Once Again El Nino Didn’t Do What Was Forecast. Why?

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

Mark Albright, who reportedly lost his job as Oregon State Climatologist in 2003 apparently because of his views on global warming, drew attention to the failed El Nino based forecast for Oregon. Here is the official prediction.

Most of the state remains in drought conditions, and climatologists expect a strong El Nino this year. All those conditions are expected to combine to create a warmer, drier winter than Oregon usually experiences.

On January 16, 2016, Albright notes,

Portland averages 14.1 inches of precipitation over the 3 winter months of Dec, Jan, and Feb.  We are about have way through winter 2015-16 as of today (17 Jan) and the winter precipitation total stands at 18.9 inches with 6 weeks of winter remaining in our future.  In other words, we have already reached 134% of normal winter precipitation, and yet we are only at the half-way point of winter.  Even if no precipitation falls for the remaining 6 weeks of winter (UNLIKELY!), this winter of 2015-16 will go down as a WET winter in Portland Oregon.

It is one of many forecasts that failed because they use the weather and climate patterns of previous El Nino years.

A useful article by Bob Tisdale outlined some of the problems with the sea surface temperature (SST) data that are considered an integral part of the entire El Nino and more widely ENSO process. The problem parallels the inadequacies of the overall surface temperature record. Accurate knowledge of the data, which is the effect, guarantees failure to determine the cause. Similarly, lack of knowledge and understanding of the cause guarantees failure to understand and accurately predict the effect. This is part of, but more than, the problems with turbidity, differential equations, and other basic physics that Essex and McKitrick identified so well in Taken By Storm. There is much discussion about the complete failure of the IPCC models, which is not surprising considering the inadequate data and mechanisms omitted because they are not understood or deliberately left out. The problem is more elaborate models don’t produce any better results.

This article will trigger the usual responses from people who present themselves as the authorities on one specific aspect of the vast complex system that is weather and climate. They are the so-called climate scientists. The idea that you can know and understand the role of any one portion of Figure 1 illustrates the complexity and the limitations of specialization within the Earth-atmosphere system. There is only one input, solar radiation, but that ignores other mechanisms that result in changes within the system. There is an obsession with radiation that ignores physical and other mechanisms of change. This parallels the problem of ignoring gravity in the global vertical temperature gradient and the wind as a major cause of change among others.

Understanding one piece requires knowledge of the much larger segment if not the entire system, as the arrows try to indicate. Systems Analysts recognize the challenge because it is a systems diagram. They developed their expertize to deal with real world problems of interrelationships and interconnectivity.

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Figure 1: (Source Kellogg and Schneider, 1974).

In universities, the problem of specialization quickly challenged academics dealing with real world problems and resulted in the creation of inter-disciplinary studies. The real world is integrated, a fact no model or prediction can avoid.

The reason climatology was studied and taught in Geography Departments is because it is the original integrative discipline. Some referred to as Chorology defined as

the study of the causal relations between geographical phenomena occurring within a particular region.

Specialists deride it as a generalist discipline with the epithet of being jacks-of-all-trades, but masters of none. These specialists who saw an opportunity of funding in global warming believed that their piece of the puzzle was the answer. It wasn’t, but it did create the new category of climate scientists. In fact, they are people who study one small part of the complex weather and climate system. Failed predictions reflect their limitations.

Specialization is a major explanation, but it is reinforced by omitted and incorrect assumptions including that

· Most ignore the fact that cold air dominates so that warm air only moves into an area after the cold air recedes.

· An external forcing is detectable in all climate records and that an external forcing is detectable at all latitudes.

· A 30, 50, 100, or even 1000 – year record is an adequate representation of climate change.

· There are data sets adequate as the basis for any climate model.

· They believe it is safe to eliminate a variable to accommodate the limited computer capacity and assume the analysis is still valid at any point in the climate record.

· Physical force, such as the solar wind, wind, or magnetism are as important and sometimes more so than those considered.

 

El Nino Alone Illustrates Why IPCC Science Is Wrong

IPCC Reports claim with 95+ percent certainty that increases in global temperature since 1950 are due to human addition of CO2. This claim is made despite the omission or lack of understanding of most major temperature altering mechanisms. Most climate scientists who question the IPCC are little better as they focus, without full or contextual understanding, on one or two possible causes. El Nino events are a good example. Once again we are in the middle of an El Nino event that is reportedly modifying temperatures beyond the claimed human effect. The predictions about its strength and impact were wrong again. Why? As Erl Happ noted,

If we wish to understand the ENSO phenomenon we must look beyond the tropics for causal factors. ENSO in the Pacific is just one facet of change in the tropics. Change is driven by air pressure variations at mid and especially high latitudes.

Historical El Nino

Most of the public incorrectly thinks El Nino is a new phenomenon resulting from global warming. The only thing relatively new is scientific awareness and its influence on global climate. Inca, who sailed the Pacific coast of South America for millennia, knew its effects well. Their priests observed the Pleiades star formation in the spring from high in the Andes to study the optical conditions. They knew empirically that the difference between a clear or shimmering cluster of stars determined the precipitation pattern. It was a useful rainfall predictor and guided when to plant their main crop, potatoes. The atmospheric conditions vary between unstable and stable conditions as the Pacific Ocean switches between El Nino and La Nina, which determines the precipitation pattern. The Inca also knew a great deal from sailing Balsawood rafts to fish and visit the Galapagos Islands. Quinn and Neal produced a detailed record of El Nino events from 1522 to 1987 in Climate Since A.D.1500.

Spanish sailors learned from the Inca and their experiences. They named it after the little Christ child because it occurred near Christmas. Sir Francis Drake was a first class navigator but needed someone who knew the Pacific currents when he rounded Cape Horn in 1579. He captured a Spanish vessel and used the navigator Morera to avoid the El Nino currents and reach the west coast of Canada. Morera became ill near Oregon and was put ashore to increase his chances of survival. He promptly walked to Mexico and reported what Drake was doing to Spanish authorities.

Science of El Nino

Sir Gilbert Walker produced the first scientific discussions of alternating wind patterns in the Pacific in the early 20th century. Later it was called the Walker Circulation. In 1924, Walker introduced the term Southern Oscillation (SO), which is now used as an Index (SOI) to measure the difference in pressure between Darwin in Australia and Tahiti. Wang reports that scientific analysis began much later.

The earliest studies for causing tropical Pacific climate variability associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) can be dated back to Bjerknes (1966 and 1969). Bjerknes provided evidence that the long-term persistence of climate anomalies associated with Walker’s Southern Oscillation (Walker and Bliss 1932) is closely associated with slowly evolving sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the equatorial eastern and central Pacific. Bjerknes hypothesized that a positive ocean-atmosphere feedback involved the Walker circulation is responsible for the SST warming observed in the equatorial eastern and central Pacific.

I remember when these studies appeared but know that they had little impact in climatology and especially among the public. Part of this was because the focus, especially in the US, was on global cooling at the time. It was also because its impacts were primarily in northern South America and Central America. Unfortunately, we live in a world that determines the importance of a natural event on where it occurs. El Nino achieved global headlines when in 1982-1983 because it moved north to impact California. It was terrible as beachfront houses of celebrities in Malibu were threatened (Figure 2).

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Figure 2

Like all ‘new’ discoveries of natural weather phenomenon, it became an explanation for many events, but the lack of understanding of the mechanism makes predictions very difficult.

Figure 3 is a schematic of El Nino and La Nina showing the reversal of ocean surface currents that creates alternating warm and cold water on each side of the Pacific.

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Figure 3: La Nina and El Nino and Related Weather Patterns

Surface winds are created by the difference in pressure, so the air moves from the High pressure to the Low. The SOI measures the oscillating pressure difference as shown in Figure 4.

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Figure 4: Graph of recent SOI.

There is a general period of 4 years, but this varies from 2 to 7 years. Intensity and location of the events also vary. This is a major stumbling block for computer models as Wang explained.

“The ENSO oscillator models produce periodic solutions, whereas ENSO variability in nature is known to be irregular.”

There are similar problems of variability in location and latitude of El Nino events. On the American side, it is predominantly in the southern hemisphere with the northern edge affecting northern South America and touching the southwestern USA. The 1982-83 event dispelled that idea but didn’t trigger the analysis and explanation required. Nobody has effectively explained why the 1998 event triggered such a dramatic peak in global temperature. Nobody has explained why an El Nino has a measurable global impact on temperature when La Nina, which is also a large area of warm water, but on the other side of the Pacific, does not create a similar temperature impact.

Focus is on pressure, ocean currents and sea surface temperature differences, but these are effects, not the cause. Something must cause a complete reversal of the general wind patterns for the ocean currents to reverse. There are three major global wind patterns, Polar Easterlies, Mid-Latitude Westerlies, and equatorial easterlies. Only the latter disappear or reverse flow and seem to be the mechanism that causes reversals at the surface. The question is what causes the upper-level equatorial wind reversals? The IPCC tacitly acknowledge they don’t know in their 2007 Report.

There are also apparent decadal variations in ENSO forecast skill (Balmaseda et al., 1995; Ji et al., 1996; Kirtman and Schopf, 1998), and the sources of these variations are the subject of some debate. Finally, it remains unclear how changes in the mean climate will ultimately affect ENSO predictability (Collins et al., 2002).”

They are just as unsure in the 2013 IPCC Report. As an unusual NOAA analysis says,

The IPCC has LOW confidence in exactly what will happen to ENSO in the future even while they have HIGH confidence that ENSO itself will continue.

It is unusual because its banner says, “ENSO +Climate Change = Headache. This quote reinforces that assessment.

If there is one bit of knowledge you should leave the ENSO blog with, it is that ENSO is a complex system of give and take between the atmosphere and the ocean (see here or here or maybe here, and just for good measure here). Imagine a dining room whose light is controlled by a dimmer switch. If you want to make the room brighter, adjust the switch. Now, imagine instead of one dimmer switch on the wall there are hundreds, all of which affect the amount of light in the room. That light is ENSO. And climate change is some bratty kid who goes into the room and fiddles with each switch differently. Will the end result of his fiddling be a brighter room (i.e. stronger or more frequent ENSO) or a darker room (weaker or less frequent ENSO)? Hard to say.

 

They are all ignoring the obvious. They assume that the cause and effect are within the ocean/atmosphere system. It is not. There is no explanation for the mechanism that causes the reversal of pressure between the different sides of the Pacific. Surface pressure differences are caused by temperature difference, but there is no evidence or plausible explanation for that temperature difference. It appears that the primary forcing is in the mechanism that causes a reversal of the Equatorial easterlies.

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Figure 1, from the latest IPCC report, shows one possible way the Pacific Ocean might change if the central/eastern Pacific Ocean warms faster than areas in the western Pacific or just north or south of the equator. The resulting reduction in sea level pressure difference between the east and west is due to weakening high sea level pressure in the east as SSTs warm more so than SSTs in the west. This weakens the trade winds and the overall Walker Circulation (IPCC, 2013; Collins et al. 2010).  However, keep in mind, other studies suggest the SST gradient and the Walker Circulation could strengthen (Cane, 1997; Solomon and Newman, 2012; L’Heureux et al., 2013). 

In a 2004 study titled, Extreme climate of the global troposphere and stratosphere in 1940-42 related to El Nino” the authors wrote.

 

Although the El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomenon is the most prominent mode of climate variability and affects weather and climate in large parts of the world, its effects on Europe and the high-latitude stratosphere are controversial.

 

We conclude that the observed anomalies constitute a recurring extreme state of the global troposphere–stratosphere system in northern winter that is related to strong El Niño events.

These observations assume incorrectly that El Nino is causing changes in the Jet Stream. Labitzke and van Loon wrote about sun/atmosphere relationship in1992 and reinforced their findings in 1994.

This paper brings up-to-date our correlations between the 10.7cm solar flux and 30mb heights, and our composites of temperatures and geopotential heights grouped according to the extremes of the 11-year solar cycle. It shows that our earlier results are robust. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the large correlation coefficients between the solar flux and the 30mb heights to a great extent are associated with temperature variations on a decadal scale in the middle and upper troposphere in the outer tropics-subtropics.

 

 

There are some interesting studies that point to a relationship and impact not considered by most, especially the IPCC. For example, in 1974 J. King published Weather and Earth’s Magnetic Field. The abstract says,

A comparison of meteorological pressures and the strength of the geomagnetic field suggests a possible controlling influence of the field on the longitudinal variation of the average pressure in the troposphere at high latitudes. If so, changes which occur in the pattern of ‘permanent’ depressions in the troposphere as the magnetic field varies (for example, as the non-dipole component of the field drifts westwards) may be accompanied by climatic changes.

Another study by Professor Baker links solar activity to precipitation, and concludes,

“The interaction between the directionality in the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields, the incidence of ultraviolet radiation over the tropical Pacific, and changes in sea surface temperatures with cloud cover – could all contribute to an explanation of substantial changes in the SOI from solar cycle fluctuations. If solar cycles continue to show relational values to climate patterns, there is the potential for more accurate forecasting through to 2010 and possibly beyond.”

The sun’s magnetic field may have a significant impact on weather and climatic parameters in Australia and other countries in the northern and southern hemispheres. Droughts are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect, according to new research.

Interesting correlations, but what are the cause/effect mechanisms? All of these factors attracted my interest during research for my doctoral thesis. I discovered a strong 22-year cycle in a spectral analysis of a long precipitation record for two weather records. One, Churchill, is climatically subarctic. The other, York Factory is mid-latitude and within the boreal forest. York has the 22-year pattern, but Churchill does not. This mid-latitude precipitation pattern links with research of drought cycles on the Canadian Prairies.

Evidence for a possible extraterrestrial driving force constantly appears as Tsiropoula notes.

The literature contains a long history of positive or negative correlations between weather and climate parameters like temperature, rainfall, droughts, etc. and solar activity cycles like the 27-day cycle, the prominent 11-year sunspot cycle, the 22-year Hale cycle and the Gleissberg cycle of 80–90 years. A review of these different cycles is provided as well as some of the correlative analyses between them and several stratospheric parameters (like stratospheric geopotential heights, temperature and ozone concentration) and tropospheric parameters (like temperature, rainfall, water level in lakes and river flooding, clouds) that point to a relationship of some kind. However, the suspicion on these relationships will remain as long as an indisputable physical mechanism, which might act to produce these correlations, is not available.

In a chapter of the book, Handbook of the Solar-terrestrial Environment the authors write

 

Until recently it was generally doubted that the solar variability in the “11-year sunspot cycle” (SSC), as measured by satellites, has a significant influence on weather and climate variations. But several studies, both empirical and modelling, have in recent years pointed to probable and certain influences. For instance, Labitzke suggested in 1982 that the sun influences the intensity of the north polar vortex (i.e., the Arctic Oscillation (AO)) in the stratosphere in winter, and that the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is needed to identify the solar signal. At present there is no agreement about the mechanism or mechanisms through which the solar variability effect is transmitted to the atmosphere.

I proposed several years ago that a possible major mechanism in changing patterns of upper levels is the varying pressure of the Solar Wind on the magnetosphere. It cascades down through the layers to the atmosphere, where it causes changes in the major wind patterns. The mechanism has to accommodate two major wind situations. First, is the reversal of upper troposphere equatorial winds that result in ENSO. Second is the change in the Jet Stream from Zonal to Meridional Flow. This is achieved through the physical mechanism of the solar wind acting like bellows on the atmosphere that expands and contracts with increasing and decreasing Solar wind pressure. It creates a push-pull effect that causes the weaker tropical winds to stop or reverse and the much stronger Jet Stream to switch between low amplitude Zonal Flow and high amplitude Meridional Flow.

The IPCC claimed with 90% certainty that global warming is due to human CO2. Lack of data combined with omission or lack of understanding of major mechanisms as major reasons why all past, present, and future predictions are wrong. The same is true of major events within the Earth/atmosphere system like El Nino or ENSO. As it is more frequently said these days, if your predictions are wrong the science is wrong.

UPDATE 1/18/16:

I received this update/correction from Mark Albright.

I turned over the office of Washington State Climatologist to Phil Mote in 2003.  However, I remained connected to the office as the “Associate State Climatologist”, in fact, that was a condition I made for turning it over to Phil in 2003.  Then in 2007 I was dismissed as Washington Associate State Climatologist for questioning the claimed rapid ongoing demise of the Cascade Mountain snowpack due to global warming.  I was dismissed for not being a consensus team player in the global warming arena.

Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor was also fired by the Governor for his views.

252 thoughts on “Once Again El Nino Didn’t Do What Was Forecast. Why?

    • Before man destroyed the climate, the weather was always perfect, all the beautiful well-adjusted people lived in complete harmony with nature and romped in the sylvan glades with the fairies, elves and unicorns.

      Didn’t they?

      • And what about the orcs? Why does everyone leave out the orcs? Just because orcs are not warm and fuzzy is no reason to be disrespecting orcs all the time! #$@%#^ !! There are more orcs in climate science that elves, and you can take that to the bank.

      • I don’t know what happened to the unicorns but it was smoking that did in the elves. It’s still on the packets today. Smoking is bad for your Elf

      • I believe the weather at that time was recorded and set to music. It’s described in the opening song of Camelot.

        “It’s true! It’s true! The crown has made it clear.
        The climate must be perfect all the year.

        A law was made a distant moon ago here:
        July and August cannot be too hot.
        And there’s a legal limit to the snow here
        In Camelot.
        The winter is forbidden till December
        And exits March the second on the dot.
        By order, summer lingers through September
        In Camelot.
        Camelot! Camelot!
        I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
        But in Camelot, Camelot
        That’s how conditions are.
        The rain may never fall till after sundown.
        By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
        In short, there’s simply not
        A more congenial spot
        For happily-ever-aftering than here
        In Camelot.

        Camelot! Camelot!
        I know it gives a person pause,
        But in Camelot, Camelot
        Those are the legal laws.
        The snow may never slush upon the hillside.
        By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear.
        In short, there’s simply not
        A more congenial spot
        For happily-ever-aftering than here
        In Camelot.”

        This perfect climate ended with the assassination of JFK by the evil Koch brothers, and the destruction of Camelot.
        /Sarc

    • Current Ethiopian Drought: Due to El Nino or a part of Natural Precipitation Cycles?

      Reports:

      Centre for Science and Environment [CSE] a New Delhi based NGO in its’ on line Edition of Down To Earth magazine presented a story released on 15th January 2016 by FAO Representative in Ethiopia Anadou Allahoury. The Title of the article is “El Nino: Ethiopia faces worst drought in thirty years”. The crop production in Ethiopia dropped by 50 to 90% in some regions and failed completely in the eastern part of the country. The outlook for 2016 is very grim. According to FAO Resident Representative “After two consecutive seasons of failed crops, the success of the main cropping season that starts now will be critical to preventing conditions from worsening”. The prevailing El Nino phenomenon is caused crop failures, reduced livestock and pushed around 10.2 million people in Ethiopia in to food insecurity.

      Unfortunately, it has become a ritual, to attribute every weather event to El Nino or Global Warming without looking in to weather & climate data of the regions. In 2014, WMO Secretary General in his Word Meteorological Day release attributed the 2013 drought in Southern Hemisphere to global warming and the current Ethiopian drought to El Nino by FAO Representative. I sent my response to WMO Secretary General saying that the drought conditions and associated warming was part of natural cycle in precipitation [based on my studies in Brazil, Southern African countries]. Now, this is also due to natural cycles in precipitation data series. All this was published in 1980s.

      My studies:

      The Ethiopia’s case, I as a Team Leader/Chief Technical Advisor of UNDP/WMO project [ETH/86/021-WMO/UNDP] in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia brought a report “Climate fluctuations in the precipitation data of Ethiopia during the period of meteorological record”, Agroclimatology Series-4, on 1 June 1990, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The results of this study on climatic fluctuations in the precipitation data of Ethiopia suggests that at present in major part of the country is under below the average precipitation pattern. The predominant cycles are 22, 28, 36, etc. For example

      • In areas with 28 year cycle [Jijiga, Wonji, Debre-Zeit, Bahir Dar — low rainfall with bio-model rainfall with dry crops like Sorghum/Pearl Millets], new cycle starts around 1991. That means, around 2006 the below the average 14 year period started.

      • In the case of areas with 36 years cycle [Gore, Debre Markes, Gambella, Jimma, Welkite, Combolcha, Dire-Dawa – better rainfall with Coffee, Barley, Wheat] the new cycle starts around 1989. That means, around 2008 the below the average 18 year period started.

      • In areas with 22 year cycle [Asmara now in Eritrea – low rainfall], the new cycle starts around 1997. That means, around 2009 the below the average part started.

      • Addis Ababa and Massawa [moderate rainfall with the staple food crop Tef] presented irregular variations being bordered to differing cycles with Nagella the below average 18 year period starts around 2019.

      • Gonder presents a 52 year cycle with below the average part commences in 2015 and continues for 26 years with 6 years better rainfall in the middle 10 year – 6 years – 10 years.

      These years are given in my publication in a table [figures are presented for individual stations]. So, they are part of natural cycle. I visited all these regions.

      Summary of the articles/publications are included in the book:

      Reddy, S.J., 1993: Agroclimatic/Agrometeorological Techniques: As applicable to dry-land agriculture in developing countries, http://www.scribd.com/Google Books, 205p [Book Review appeared in Agric. For. Meteorol., 67: 325-327, 1994].

      Indian Scenario with El Nino:

      Out of 126 years, in 18 years El Nino occurred and in 24 years La Nina occurred and the rest of 84 years presented normal condition. Out of the 18 El Nino years, in 7 years deficit rainfall was recorded and in one year surplus rainfall occurred with five years receiving normal rainfall. Even the crop production showed change in yield with chemical inputs and on this El Nino years showed a random in the yield curve with no change in yield.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
      Formerly Chief Technical Advisor – WMO/UN & Expert – FAO/UN
      Fellow, Andhra Pradesh/Telangana Akademy of Sciences
      Convenor, Forum for a Sustainable Environment
      Hyderabad, Telangana, India
      jeevanandareddy@yahoo.com

      • Unfortunately, it has become a ritual, to attribute every weather event to El Nino or Global Warming without looking in to weather & climate data of the regions.

        Yes, and I think this is the same effect Dr. Ball eludes to when he says:

        Like all ‘new’ discoveries of natural weather phenomenon, it [climate change] became an explanation for many events, but the lack of understanding of the mechanism makes predictions very difficult.

        My thinking is it isn’t limited to climate science, I’ve seen it in other disciplines that lack an “applied” arm, paleontology, archaeology, psychology, sociology, anthropology and cosmology are all good examples. I attribute the effect to an almost uniform lack of experimental proof in those areas of study, which leads to the field being virtually dependent on popular opinion among it’s disciples.

        When explanations of observed evidence are based on conjecture and theory without experimental proof, once a popular (non-scientific) consensus is established (in this example, that Climate Change is the explanation for all weather events), the only way that opinion is changed is by the general adoption of another popular paradigm. In essence, since there’s no way to objectively prove the popular opinion is false, it continues until it isn’t fun anymore (all the grant money has been squeezed out of it), then changes to the next intriguing (but still un-falsifiable) fantasy. The more abstract portions of physics suffer from a similar problem while the applied sciences clearly do not; the theory behind semi-conductors will fail only when it’s replaced with a theory that both explains semi-conductor behavior and also explains some new and generally applicable observation; the 18th century theory of phlogiston’s replacement with the 19th century theory of oxidation is a good example from physical chemistry.

        I don’t see how this can be resolved without some sort of self-regulation by practitioners. It seems to me declaring Climate studies a “non-science” would be a difficult sell, but the truth is they really aren’t. Students of the subject continue to attempt the application of known physical sciences to the problem, but they’ve consistently failed to produce predictive theories. Unfortunately, non-scientists don’t understand this limitation and have been, in large degree, buffaloed by snake oil salesmen (politicians) into accepting edicts based on “scientific” findings that simply aren’t scientific and which are harmful to the general public.

        I believe the only solution is for students of climate to openly and loudly declare their own limitations before an otherwise gullible public. If they fail to do this, they very clearly run the risk of losing any professional credibility for generations. We all know what happened to peddlers of patent medicines; it was why organizations like the American Medical Association were formed, and why the doctrine of “first do no harm” was loudly publicized by it. I strongly advise climatologists take similar steps, very soon.

      • this essay by dr ball combined with the comments from dr reddy and bartleby make excellent informative reading. thanks for the posts.
        over on the arctic sea ice forum the commentators describe the current el nino as agw enhanced. i really wish they would remain open minded and read here as well. the standard of comment is worlds apart.

  1. “Accurate knowledge of the data, which is the effect, guarantees failure…”
    Did you mean “inaccurate”?

    • No Lance. He means that if you study the data & make a wrong guess about what causes the changes in that data, then any prediction you make about the future, based on your guess, will be wrong.

  2. ENSO determines or significantly influences East Siberian-Northern Pacific storm formation. It also guides the Polar Jet Stream. Thus during El Nino years we know precipitation over Oregon will be higher than average. Except when the opposite is true. Or there is some other result. This is the science.

    • Or the reverse of course, the polar jet stream affects the path of frontal weather and storms and also affects the upper level winds causing the wind reversal in the Pacific Walker circulation leading to El Nino, The path of the jet stream being affected by the pressure on the upper atmosphere from the solar wind which can by changing the level of the tropopause cause the jet to be more meridonal. .

    • ftm
      I would add that – despite the pig-in-a-poke outcomes – the ‘science is settled’
      Someone must own copyright [and appropriate abuse] . . . .

      Auto, harping on about the finality of investigation, again.

  3. El Nino is obviously not a Liberal. It doesn’t follow their leftist global warming agenda… as a matter of fact, it seems to have a “mind of it’s own!” LOL!

  4. El Nino didn’t do what ‘it’s supposed to do’, because the term El Nino comes from a highly localised phenomenon which has only the most tenuous connection with the rest of the climate system.
    It is an indicator. No more.

  5. The IPCC seems to be following two mutually inconsistent theses– We understand the climate well enough to make predictions AND we must make conservative choices given our lack of understanding of the climate. El Nino is only one example of the models being inadequate.

  6. This is another wonderful essay by Dr. Ball. He is telling us that we know damn little about the earth’s weather machine and we certainly can’t use computer games computer models to tell us what the average temperature will be in a 100 years.

    I would add that mankind has degraded in knowledge rather than advance during this era of CO2 delusion. As the climategate e-mail showed, a small group has kept honest investigation from happening and people can only publish papers in the journals that agree with the group-think consensus — much less get any grants to work with.

    It is not what you don’t know that really hurts; it is the stuff you think you know but that is false. (H/T to somebody but I forget who)

    Someday this CO2 madness will end. I hope to live to see it. (doubtful at my age but I can hope)

    • Bill,
      I have obviously been looking at different forecasts.
      In future I will sharpen my selectivity of forecasters.

    • I remember reading forecasts from last year that predicted dry conditions for Australia, and also for the Pacific Northwest region because of the budding El Nino. The California drought was supposed to continue, with rain in the south and dry in the north. So this El Nino has most certainly not done what was expected.

    • Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re always told El Ninos make it generally warmer and drier, it’s been mostly wetter, but not really warmer or colder. It’s a crap shoot, but the scientists won’t admit it.

    • Agreeing with the others, this is basically opposite of what I had heard predicted. Have had long conversations about it with a californian friend I have.

    • It’s certainly been rainier than usual down here in Southern California. It’s only mid January and Mammoth Mountain has had the same amount of snow as all of last year.

    • The forecasts I found with a quick google search were saying that the El Nino signal for precipitation was weak – there was a much stronger signal for temperatures. The meteorologists were expecting a warmer than average winter, with probably lower precipitation, but they were not confident about the low precipitation. It is consistent with the forecasts that precipitation would be higher than average. There has not been any surprising outcome in Oregon at all. The only confident prediction was that therre would be a warmer than average start to winter. How did that turn out?

      Some quotes

      “There is data to show that El Niño conditions lead to milder and warmer winters in the Northwest, with below-average rainfall… But these aren’t hard and fast rules.”

      “Will Western Oregon see a repeat of that El Niño winter, with above-average rainfall and Willamette Valley snow, or will the pattern of drought, warmer-than-average temperatures and low snowpacks continue? “Never count Mother Nature out,” Pierce said. “She can be quite fickle when it comes to winter weather across the Pacific Northwest.”

      “Oregon will be a hit or miss with the jacked up El Nino this winter and other teleconnections like the PDO and MJO may be the deciding factor in some rain vs. a lot of rain.”

      Clearly hedging bets with respect to rainfall.

    • If enough different forecasts are created to cover a wide range of predictions..

      ….someone may just happen to be correct.

      Climate non-science to a tee. !!

      • Although , in the case of climate models…….. they still seem to have missed the side of the barn.

      • We are talking weather forecasting here, not climate science. These are predicting the weather in a specific region.

        The title of this post is that El Nino did not do what it was forecast to do. It is now abundantly clear that the title is wrong. What is described in the post as the “official” forecast is no such thing. There are several “official” forecasts by meteorologists that clearly say above average rainfall is a reasonable expectation for this region, as ypou can see from the quotes I provided. This post is a straw man – set up one quote as the “official” one when it is no such thing, then knock it down.

  7. Lets be perfectly clear here, I am not a scientist but I am also not an idiot.
    And please, I’m not going to get into an argument with anybody about that, that’s my opinion and I’m not changing it!
    I understand perfectly what I am looking at when I log into a weather station and take note of its daily temperature log.
    Then looking at that very same log the next day, noting day and night temperatures have on ALL days had their highest and lowest temperature adjusted UP from anywhere between 0.01 and 1.5 degrees C.
    And then when queried given no plausible reasoning for their worlds best practice.
    I still can’t get past the downward adjustments of historical temperature records right around the world pre1950 and then the adjustments up after 1950.
    They say its justified,I ask why(and a few others)?
    Remove them and you have very little of their manufactured “global warming”.
    Certainly not anything to justify their highly emotive over the top prediction of global armegedon.
    It is those adjustments and how they are done that should be a priority with “denialist scientists” that should be highlighted at every opportunity.
    They simply can not explain their “worlds best practice” without exposing themselves to what all skeptjcs believe they are partaking in.
    The current crop of leaders around the world seem quite happy to continue to hand over the grant monies with no due dilligence carried out.
    I’m ranting again but it really is eating away at me.

      • Here in Aus, they show half hour readings with occasional readings in between. Daily max are regularly higher than any readings shown because of short spikes unlikely to have been picked up by previous equipment.

        Having said that, some readings have been very suspicious. I still laugh at how a record minimum for August refused to be broken for three days (all -2.3 while record was -2.4).

        With the older data, two days of exactly the same max temperature are considered a mistake and one removed from the monthly mean. I have only checked a handful of stations and years but it looks like more temperatures above the average are lost.

      • Robert B, here in Broome, i call those spikes Airport Heat Island spikes, where incoming arrivals have their Taxiway turning to the Terminal pointing direct at the BoM recording area, giving a spike often of more than 1C.

      • Spikes RB?
        Spikes that happen 365 days a year and are always UP?
        I need a little more than spikes to convince me that what these “tricksters” are doing under the guise of worlds best secret practice is above board.

      • Not trying to convince you that its above board, Leigh, just pointing out what you have enough evidence to complain about. It might be quacking like a fraud but you need a lot of evidence before claiming it.

    • Spot on, Leigh. We all agree. The BOM regularly announces maximum temperature in Australia in summer which are 3 degrees above what actually occurs. People remember the prediction but do not check reality, afterwards. Later, as you say, the BOM splits the difference and up goes the record 1-1.5 degrees. Without UHI, Stevenson Screens in carparks, and the ‘adjustments’, we would be seeing a slow temperature drop towards an Ice Age, which should really worry us.

    • Tony Heller does this almost everyday on his blog, http://realclimatescience.com

      He nails NOAA’s and NASA/GISS with their own historical data and archived statements to show how today’s the altered outputs from those government agencies are simply crap. No working scientist can have any confidence in using their adulterated data if they want their work to survive the coming fallout when the climate fraud day of reckoning arrives.

  8. Climate “science” is an oxymoron since it lacks the scientific methodology.

    That is, the main step of experimentation does not happen but just the observation.

    In that respect, it is in the same class as economics or social “sciences”. Lot of observation, theorizing, conjecture and etc but not a single controllable experiment.

    • ChrisB,
      There are many tests. The problem is that the consensus fails to recognize any test that falsifies their belief in CAGW and any conceivable test you can apply will falsify it.

      test1) If the surface temp increases by 0.8C per W/m^2 as the IPCC sensitivity asserts, surface emissions increase by about 4.3 W/m^2. COE requires the system to be linear in energy/power, so if each of the 239 W/m^2 of solar input increased surface emissions by 4.3 W/m^2, the surface would emit 1027 W/m^2 corresponding to a surface temperature near the boiling point of water. – claimed nominal sensitivity falsified

      test2) The SB LAW tells us that each incremental degree of temperature takes (T^4) more power to sustain than the one that preceded and that the sensitivity for the next W/m^2 will be less than the average for all W/m^2 that preceded. The average W/m^2 of solar input (after reflection) results in 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions (239 W/m^2 input results in 385 W/m^2 emitted by the surface). This corresponds to an absolute upper bound on the sensitivity of about 0.3C per W/m^2 which is less than the lower bound of 0.4C per W/m^2 claimed by the IPCC – claimed minimum sensitivity falsified

      test3) The end to end effect of evaporation includes clouds, rain and weather in general, all of which is manifested by a heat engine whose source of heat is the surface and whose refrigerant is water. Hurricanes demonstrate the end to end effect which leaves a trail of cold water in their wake. This clearly demonstrates a net negative feedback effect from evaporation – the claim of massive net positive feedback from water vapor is falsified

      test4) Determine the sensitivity as a function of temperature and integrate over all solar input. It is physically impossible to have a monotonically decreasing sensitivity (as required by the SB LAW) and end up with surface emissions of 385 W/m^2 and an incremental sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2, especially since the starting sensitivity for the first W/m^2 is about 65C per W/m^2. – falsifies any sensitivity > 0.3C per W/m^2

      test5) For 0.8C to arise from 1 W/m^2, surface emissions increase by about 4.3 W/m^2. The consensus claims that the extra 3.3 W/m^2 comes from feedback. This represents 330% positive feedback which is precluded by COE. – the possibility of massive positive feedback is falsified

      test6) Satellite data – the actual data falsifies every claim made by the IPCC

    • ChrisB,

      There are many tests. The problem is that the consensus fails to recognize any test that falsifies their belief in CAGW and any conceivable test you can apply will falsify it.

      test1) If the surface temp increases by 0.8C per W/m^2 as the IPCC sensitivity asserts, surface emissions increase by about 4.3 W/m^2. COE requires the system to be linear in energy/power, so if each of the 239 W/m^2 of solar input increased surface emissions by 4.3 W/m^2, the surface would emit 1027 W/m^2 corresponding to a surface temperature near the boiling point of water. – claimed nominal sensitivity falsified

      test2) The SB LAW tells us that each incremental degree of temperature takes (T^4) more power to sustain than the one that preceded and that the sensitivity for the next W/m^2 will be less than the average for all W/m^2 that preceded. The average W/m^2 of solar input (after reflection) results in 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions (239 W/m^2 input results in 385 W/m^2 emitted by the surface). This corresponds to an absolute upper bound on the sensitivity of about 0.3C per W/m^2 which is less than the lower bound of 0.4C per W/m^2 claimed by the IPCC – claimed minimum sensitivity falsified

      test3) The end to end effect of evaporation includes clouds, rain and weather in general, all of which is manifested by a heat engine whose source of heat is the surface and whose refrigerant is water. Hurricanes demonstrate the end to end effect which leaves a trail of cold water in their wake. This clearly demonstrates a net negative feedback effect from evaporation – the claim of massive net positive feedback from water vapor is falsified

      test4) Determine the sensitivity as a function of temperature and integrate over all solar input. It is physically impossible to have a monotonically decreasing sensitivity (as required by the SB LAW) and end up with surface emissions of 385 W/m^2 and an incremental sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2, especially since the starting sensitivity for the first W/m^2 is about 65C per W/m^2. – falsifies any sensitivity > 0.3C per W/m^2

      test5) For 0.8C to arise from 1 W/m^2, surface emissions increase by about 4.3 W/m^2. The consensus claims that the extra 3.3 W/m^2 comes from feedback. This represents 330% positive feedback which is precluded by COE. – the possibility of massive positive feedback is falsified

      test6) Satellite data – the actual data falsifies every claim made by the IPCC

      • experiment (noun ex·per·i·ment \ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt also -ˈspir-\): a scientific test in which you perform a series of actions and carefully observe their effects in order to learn about something

        In none of the tests you’ve considered I could not see any deliberate actions of the climatologist but only conjecture. The causality principle, the essence of the experimentation, simply is not there. A correlation, yes, but that is not causality.

      • The scientific method is about testing hypothesis. Each of the tests I mentioned tests a specific hypothesis, for example that the sensitivity is between 0.4 and 1.2 C per W/m^2 or that water vapor results in net positive feedback. Each implies a simple experimental test that fails either by observation or preclusion by a known physical law. For example, measure the average temperature of the surface and if its not close to the boiling point of water, then the test fails and the hypothesis is invalidated.

        In all of the tests I mentioned, the experiment is trivial and the result is obvious. If the result that would confirm the hypothesis is precluded by first principles physical laws, for example the Stefan-Boltzmann LAW, this is also sufficient to fail the test and invalidate the hypothesis.

      • ChrisB,
        I presume you understand that the scientific method is designed such that no one successful test can validate a hypothesis, yet it takes only one failed test to invalidate one.

      • I guess if measuring some parameter that you had no impact on was an experimental action, you would be right. Although Schrodinger’s cat will not agree with me.

        In all the tests you’ve mentioned, I don’t see a single deliberate action that is caused by the experimenter. S/he is just a bystander and an observer to the natures wonder. An observer in the line with the medieval monk who measures the dancing angels on the pin head. Had s/he been able to perturb the system deliberately and observe the outcome corresponding to this perturbation than s/he would be a scientist and the art s/he was conducting would be science.

        Scientific method is developed to eliminate the monks from our lives. Yet the monks of the climate pseudoscience have convinced many intelligent people, even some on this forum, that what they are doing is science.

        No, these people are just measuring things and conjecturing about the likely causes. Just like the economists who are baffled by the inflation, unemployment or simple stock trade they baffle us with their predictions that are pure bull.

      • Chrisb,

        There is nothing any experimenter can do to the climate system including observing it, that will change the way it behaves in any measurable way. All one can do is observe it across large natural variations in the stimulus (spatial, orbital, seasonal and diurnal) and match these observations to the known laws of physics and the mathematics quantifying the behavior of causal systems. From this we can extract a transfer function which quantifies the systems response to changing stimulus, i.e. the sensitivity as a function of accumulated forcing.

        Yes, consensus climate science conjectures about the cause of speculative results that the known physics can’t explain, so it’s clear that they fail to recognise the utility of the scientific method to falsify speculative hypotheses whose results can’t be measured and that the laws of physics otherwise precludes.

        My point is that the scientific method can be trivially applied to falsify the claims of the IPCC and I have pointed out a few of the ways this can be done. If you press any alarmist scientist to explain why any of these tests fail, they will filibuster and if you press them on why all the tests fail, they will get mad and abusive.

      • Here we both agree. There are no climate scientist because studying climate is not doing science per se but just trying to find a transfer function(s). As Willis has demonstrated several times, indeed, the results are abysmal – a quasi linear relationship between observed output and conjectured input.

        I suppose unless the so called scientists can demonstrate a deliberate causality the art they are performing will not be above economists or psychologists. We know both of these branches of art are rife with misconduct and ditto for the study of climate. No wonder the idiots in both of these fields find oxygen in climate studies (95% consensus etc).

        Study of Climate is not Science of Climate, period.

      • ChrisB,

        The consensus is not trying to extract a transfer function, which is a formal mathematical process, but is instead inventing arbitrary relationships and curve fitting to expectations, which often requires data adjustments as otherwise, they can’t fit the curve. What I’m talking about are best practices for characterizing the state function of an unknown, black box system from its observable inputs and outputs. In a formal sense, a transfer function quantifies the output as a function of input and state.

        For example, consider that the planet is instantaneously receiving Pi(t) and emitting Po(t). Pi and
        Po are directly measured by satellite sensors and can be accurately ascertained with no arbitrary adjustments. Pi is always leading Po since it takes time, quantified by a time constant, for emissions to catch up with input. The difference between them is either added to or subtracted from the energy stored by the planet which then warms or cools the planet, We can write this in a formal way as,

        Pi{t} = Po(t) + dE(t)/dt

        where E is the total amount of energy stored by the planet.

        If we define an arbitrary amount of time, tau, such that all of E can be emitted at the rate Po in time tau, we can rewrite this as,

        Pi(t) = E(t)/tau + dE(t)/dt
        Po(t) = E(t)/tau

        This is a transfer function (output as a function of input and state) and is recognized as the LTI that describes the charging and discharging of an RC circuit, where tau is the time constant and whose solutions are well known. There is some non linearity that must be accommodated which is that tau is not constant and decreases as E increases. This is because T(t) (T is surface temperature) is linearly related to E(t) (i.e. 1 calorie increases the temperature of 1 cc of water by 1C) while E(t)/tau is proportional to T^4. These effects actually act as a negative feedback influence relative to temperature as the output, but not power as the output, thus dT/dE (the sensitivity) decreases as T increases.

        Consensus climate science obfuscate the linearity in the power domain dictated by COE by specifying a sensitivity as a change in T relative to instantaneous dE(t)/dt which they define as forcing. They also fail to distinguish between dE/dt entering the surface (i.e. a change in solar input) from dE/dt entering the atmosphere (a change in GHG concentrations). The difference being that energy entering the surface has only one way out, while energy entering the atmosphere has 2 ways out (out to space and back to the surface), yet both are consistent with the IPCC definition of forcing.

        Examine the plot I showed Marcus in a different comment. You can see that the IPCC assumes forcing is linear to temperature and this is how they arrive at 0.8C per W/m^2. They fail to understand that this is only true when Pi >> Po. In the actual climate system Pi == Po and the steady state forcing (dE/dt) is zero. A failure to accommodate the non linearity I mentioned above is why they made this mistake.

  9. I proposed several years ago that a possible major mechanism in changing patterns of upper levels is the varying pressure of the Solar Wind on the magnetosphere

    The solar wind is extremely tenuous. The mass of the solar wind hitting the magnetosphere is like that of a couple of turkeys hitting per second. This will have no measurable effect, even is you increase the pressure by an order of magnitude. Put another way: the solar wind pressure is 10-100 trillion times weaker than atmospheric pressure.

    People apparently have little sense of proportion.

    • You misunderstood. The Solar winds deflect Cosmic Rays away from the Earth when Sun Spots are strong.When the Sun weakens, more Cosmic Rays enter the atmosphere, creating more clouds, thus , changing the weather !!

      • Nothing to misunderstand. Ball clearly talked about solar wind pressure being transmitted down to the surface. Nothing to do with comic rays [which BTW don’t have any effect either – but that is another – OT – story]

      • .. ” I proposed several years ago that a possible major mechanism in changing patterns of upper levels is the varying pressure of the Solar Wind on the magnetosphere ”

        Hmmmm…I see the word ” magnetosphere “, don’t see ” surface ” anywhere !

        Cosmic Rays help produce clouds..

      • It cascades down through the layers to the atmosphere, where it causes changes in the major wind patterns
        And where do you think those winds blow?

        Cosmic Rays help produce clouds
        1st: that is OT,
        2nd: there is no evidence for that

    • The solar wind conditions the magnetic fields at the surface of the Earth as you, of all people are well aware. Those magnetic fields are present in the atmosphere. Ozone is diamagnetic, Cosmic rays ionise atmospheric gases and the extent to which they penetrate is dependent on temperature/density. Particles carrying an electric charge are accelerated in a magnetic field. Change the field and the atmosphere will move.

      The part of the atmosphere that is most apt to be affected by the solar wind is that place where the ionised portion is most abundant.

      The distribution of atmospheric mass globally is much affected by the collective intensity of Polar cyclones driven by ozone heating above 500hPa. Ozone partial pressure increases in the winter as the angle of incidence of the sun falls away and the atmospheric path that depleted UVB increases in length.

      Ozone is diamagnetic.

      Can you quantify the impact of this phenomenon in terms of the impact of whatever number of travelling turkeys could produce the shifts in the atmosphere that are actually well observed and thoroughly well documented.

    • In the most detailed study to date [5], variations in IMF By of ~8 nT were associated with changes in high-latitude station surface pressure of ~1–2 hPa.

      Our results indicate that a mechanism that is known to produce atmospheric responses to the IMF in the polar regions is also able to modulate weather patterns at mid-latitudes.

      • Leif wants a mechanism: He remarks: ‘associated’ is just correlation, not causation. No mechanism is provided, in particular not of the magnetic fields moving anything.

        So, we agree there is a sound statistical association and we are looking for a mechanism to explain the association.

        Nothing wrong with this mechanism whereby a charged particle moves in a magnetic field: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwiKRis145E

        If the solar emanations change the magnetic field atmospheric constituents will move. It just so happens that they move in the opposite direction to that posited by Leif’s own research. So, an increase in Geomagnetic activity is associated with a decline in surface pressure at the pole and an increase in surface pressure in the mid latitudes.

        There is no shortage of charged particles, especially in the winter polar atmosphere where high levels of radiation represent a hazard to aircrew. Ozone itself is diamagnetic and it is enhanced at low sun angles. Hence the diminished EUV index as measured at the surface in winter.

        Once initiated the Earth’s high latitude polar processes reinforce the change, magnifying it by orders of magnitude. This occurs as a loss of surface pressure at the poles is associated with an increase in the partial pressure of ozone driving enhanced vorticity in polar cyclones collectively shifting atmospheric mass from high to mid and low latitudes and across into the summer hemisphere.

        Climate science documents this change as the ‘annular mode’ phenomenon. It has been monitored in the past and currently via the Arctic Oscillation Index. The correlation between this index and geomagnetic activity in the winter months is well established. It can also be studied in terms of geopotential heights and again the correlation with GA in the winter months is well established.

        This business about…..’cite me a paper that establishes the connection’ enables him to whack that paper with a turkey and walk away from the argument. Sooner or later he will run out of turkeys or it will be realized that the man himself is a turkey.

      • So, we agree there is a sound statistical association
        No, their CLAIM was that there was an association and they confess that “The first of these two processes, concerning the influence of IMF By fluctuations on the polar surface pressure remains under-explored and controversial”. Not exactly ‘sound statistical’.

        It just so happens that they move in the opposite direction to that posited by Leif’s own research
        since they are both spurious, they are allowed to move nilly-willy in any which way, as they do.

        This business about…..’cite me a paper that establishes the connection’
        When you quote me, quote exactly what I said. I asked which ONE paper YOU consider to be the best evidence. Come on, there are thousands to choose form, so don’t be shy [or worse: evasive].

    • Must be some strong turkeys to generate enough power to photo-luminous a couple hundred miles of oxygen and nitrogen.

      By studying the Northern Lights or “auroras”, scientists can learn more about the solar wind, how it affects the Earth’s atmosphere, and how the energy might be used for useful purposes.

      The solar wind commonly generates billions of watts of electrical power in an auroral display. This can interfere with power lines, radio and television broadcasts, and satellite communications.

      Polar-orbiting satellites can measure this electrical power, and a range from 4-900 billion watts of power has been recorded in the northern hemisphere alone. Double that for total world production as nearly identical aurora are occuring in the southern hemisphere.
      http://www.athropolis.com/arctic-facts/fact-nlights-power.htm

      And that power is directed into a small circular window around the poles.

      There is energy put into the system and if wind can cause the much heavier water to circulate, why cannot the ionosphere cause the lower levels of atmosphere to circulate?

      • You miss the point: the aurora etc are not caused by the solar wind pressure but by its magnetic field inducing electric currents. The EM forces are 30-40 orders of magnitudes (a number with some 35 digits) stronger than the dynamical forces like pressure and momentum.

        cannot the ionosphere cause the lower levels of atmosphere to circulate
        Because the ionosphere is millions of time thinner than the atmosphere you breathe.

      • how thin is the atmosphere at sea level, yet the moving atmosphere at sea level can move the water.

      • “millions of times thinner” Bit of a strawman arguement.

        At sea level, air is 784 times less dense than water. How many time less dense is the top of the Stratosphere than the bottom of the Mesosphere. As I implied by lower levels.

        “Magnitudes of orders on EM forces.” ? Solar wind has density or MASS and a velocity, and as I was told it would therefore have Kinetic Energy. How much and in what relationship?

        The best-studied stellar wind is the solar wind, which is the weakest of all measured stellar winds. The solar wind consists mainly of ionized hydrogen and fully ionized helium, with heavier elements present in solar abundances. At 1AU from the sun, the solar wind is supersonic (u > a) and super-Alfvenic (u > vA). As shown in Figure 11.2, the solar wind is “gusty”, with significant variations in velocity and density. As a lowest-order approximation, we can recognize two distinct types of solar wind: a high-speed wind and a low-speed wind. In the high-speed wind, the mean proton velocity is up = 700 kms−1 and the mean proton density is np = 3.4 cm−3. The gas pressure is P = 1.9 × 10−10 dyne cm−2 and the magnetic pressure is B2/(8π) = 1.7 × 10−10 dyne cm−2; both of these pressures are much smaller than the kinetic energy density ρu2/2 = 1.4×10−8 erg cm−3. In the low-speed wind, the mean proton velocity is up = 330 kms−1 and the mean proton density is np = 10.3 cm−3. The gas pressure is P = 2.6 × 10−10 dyne cm−2 and the magnetic pressure is B2/(8π) = 1.7 × 10−10; much smaller than the
        kinetic energy density ρu2/2 = 9.4 × 10−9 erg cm−3.

        At any given time, part of the sun’s corona is emitting a low-speed wind, and part is emitting a high-speed wind. (The high-speed winds appear to come from “coronal holes” – regions of low density and low temperature where the magnetic field lines are not closed.) Both the high and low speed winds produce a proton flux of ∼ 3 × 108protons cm−2 sec−1 at 1AU. This leads to a total mass loss rate of 2 × 10−14M⊙ yr−1.

        http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~ryden/ast825/ch11.pdf

        Did you also mention that the cross-sectional area being affected? Van Allen Belt – The outer belt consists mainly of high energy (0.1–10 MeV) electrons trapped by the Earth’s magnetosphere. It is almost toroidal in shape, extending from an altitude of about three to ten Earth radii (RE) or 13,000 to 60,000 kilometres (8,100 to 37,300 mi) above the Earth’s surface.

      • You just gave the numbers that would allow you to compute yourself what the pressure should be. My calculation shows that 38 kilogram of solar wind hits the magnetosphere cross-section per second. Peanuts! [or turkeys as I put it]

      • I have lost what your point was. My point was that there is no good evidence for any Sun-Weather-Climate effects that rise above the noise. If you think there is, please tell me the ONE paper that you think shows that the best.

  10. It is true that Oregon uses analogue years to predict the course of the current El Nino. So do others. Statistical El Nino prediction models are based on this idea, which remains the gold standard in which dynamical models are compared to. There is yet a third prediction model called a consensus model which takes into account both kinds of El Nino predictions.

    http://www.oregon.gov/oda/programs/naturalresources/documents/weather/dlongrange.pdf
    http://iri.columbia.edu/news/how-good-have-enso-forecasts-been-lately/

    The above post author seems unaware of the extensive research around this phenomenon and proposes an experimental hypothesis without due diligence to the current state of research.

      • Would you expect Tony Barston to say anything different to this?
        Unless he was retiring the next day.

      • Pamela:

        The referenced work focuses ENSO 3.4, the classic location, but did not this El Nino focus more on the ENSO 1.2? I tend to follow Bastardi and am satisfied he mostly sort of got it right, which is about the gold standard of long-range forecasting,
        Terry

    • The point. Any post related to investigation of ENSO forecast accuracy should include a review of the literature on that topic. It’s called homework. Then the experimental hypothesis being proposed should be trotted out as a reasonable method that should perform better. The post above did no such thing.

      Epic fail, and I don’t care which side of the debate fence the post falls on. This post is YET ANOTHER example of poor science when it comes to experimental hypotheses that are an alternative proposal to the null hypothesis. The author dismisses the current published methods for forecasting El Nino events without an adequate literature review, then proposes another without an adequate literature review and mechanism.

      I know it’s not my blog, and maybe there is a reason for posting such poorly done proposals, but this sort of post degrades serious elucidative public debate.

  11. Maybe interesting what Piers Corbyn has to say in this and other videos.
    Also the Electric Universe theory and weather/climate

    • Firstly I find it disturbing when Piers Corbyn openly accepts being called a Meteorologist when he has no qualifications in this area at all. Secondly Piers is a self promoting charlatan who claims false success for his “solar lunar SLAT” long range weather forecasting method as was pointed out by Willis some time ago here Willis tests Piers accuracy

      • I don’t care much what other people call him or if he doesn’t correct this. Or if he is eccentric.

        As far as I have seen videos and articles, and also comments on the Willis article, he is not correct all the time (although claiming credit for it) but seems to have a better record than conventional (‘real’) meteorologists.

        Besides, the Willis article is about a handfull wrong predictions and not his whole record.

        If one discredits/doesn’t accept his theory on the fact that he made wrong predictions, then one should dismiss all meteorological theories as invalid and meteorologists charlatans, looking at the percentage of wrong predictions.

        Why I mentioned him and the EU theory is because those theories, although also not perfect, could give us (along with the ‘conventional’ theories) a better understanding about weather and climate and thus further our knowledge and understanding.

        In my opinion worth looking at.

  12. “I proposed several years ago that a possible major mechanism in changing patterns of upper levels is the varying pressure of the Solar Wind on the magnetosphere.”
    Is there anyway to use this knowledge for forecasting??

      • Once again Leif, proclamations from above. The atmosphere is a charged body almost 200 Volts per km and sometimes enough to cause Insulation breakdown of the air over distances of kilometres. Water is a polar molecule. By what stretch of the imagination do you conclude that something that greatly affects the charge of the atmosphere has little effect on the climate (particularly to polar molecule H2O)

      • As the IPCC has informed me, and I did the number crunch, a little bit over a big area makes big changes. you are only assuming it has no effect.

      • Venus’s atmosphere is about as thick as Earth’s atmosphere with all ocean water evaporated. Venus has no magnetic field, and is closer to the Sun. I don’t understand your argument.

      • That is alright. Perhaps Dr. Ball can help you over the hump. I would not expect the solar wind to erode Venus’ atmosphere much; it was probably altered significantly when the surface of Venus was reshaped by sever volcanism some 500 million years ago. You might educate me on your lack-of-understanding.

      • The assumption seems to be that when Venus, Earth, and Mars were created, they had comparable atmo/hydrospheres. Solar wind blew out Mars’s atmosphere, because it was not protected by a magnetic field. Earth’s atmosphere was protected, so it stays. Venus’s atmosphere was not protected by a magnetic field, but it stays.How come?

      • Perhaps it was blown away, but was recreated 500 million years ago when extensive volcanism computely re-surfaced Venus. Or perhaps the theory that the solar wind always blows away the atmosphere is just wrong. Ask Dr. Ball, who is the proponent of this theory.

      • “I would not expect the solar wind to erode Venus’ atmosphere much; it was probably altered significantly when the surface of Venus was reshaped by sever volcanism some 500 million years ago. You might educate me on your lack-of-understanding”

        I consider it a sign of insanity when a person speaks of what happened on Venus 500 million years ago as fact.

      • The Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago. Is that insanity too?
        The age of the surface can be reliably determined by counting how many craters of different sizes there are on the surface.

      • “The Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago. Is that insanity too?”

        Yes, in the sense that it was stated as a fact.

        What’s your problem with not treating imagination as scientific fact?

      • Well, the age of the Earth is a fact, and the cratering chronology is well established. These are facts as well as the fact that the Earth is round. Nevertheless the are still ‘flat-earthers’ out there, and ‘age-deniers’. Are you one of those?

      • “Well, the age of the Earth is a fact, and the cratering chronology is well established/”

        Assuming a great many things, right?

      • “No, directly measuring the age using well-established laboratory physics about radioactive decay.”

        So you heard, right?

        I heard the CAGW is well established too . . What’s your problem with not treating imagination as scientific fact?

      • So you heard, right?

        No, I have myself in the lab measured decay rates and isotope contents of rocks. This is well-known physics. But you evaded my question: “are you an age-denier?” How old do YOU think the Earth is?

    • lsvalgaard,

      “No, I have myself in the lab measured decay rates and isotope contents of rocks.”

      Good, then you can rightly (as I see reality) state that as a fact. The rest is conjecture you are dressing up as fact, I say. That you can’t grasp that is the . . insanity aspect I mentioned.

      “How old do YOU think the Earth is?”

      I don’t know . .

      How come you speak of things you merely figure, as facts? Obviously if we had this conversation fifty years ago, you would be telling me something else was the age of the Earth, It’s you who are denying the factual evidence as far as I’m concerned.

      • PS ~b You are a sort of monster in my eyes, demanding others treat your imagination as a magic crystal ball that shows you only truth, and accusing me of evading things because . . well that’s what popped into your head, I guess.

      • 50 years ago, the Earth’s age was well determined. 100 years ago we did not know enough about radioactivity to deduce the age. Now we do. We know the age because we measure the age. That you don’t know how old the Earth is, does not mean that the rest of the world are mired in the same ignorance.

      • Please; Are you claiming you are aware of actual scientific tests which involve no assumptions at all, which demonstrate the age of the Earth? If so, indicate which ones / / or are you basically expressing faith in the cumulative opinions expressed by specialists over the years?

        I am not a specialist, but I’ve read/seen quite a bit of discussion of various potential flaws in various dating methods, and I know of none that don’t involve assumptions about initial states, means of deposition, history of material, formation of the planet, nature of the Sun/stars, even basic things like the constancy of the speed of light over time, etc. in addition to the obvious potential for “consensus science” type effects such as I believe we are clearly witnessing with regard to climate now . . It is difficult for me to grasp how a scientific thinker could disregard the possibility that ONE of the many assumptions involved in such an estimate could be wrong

      • From your second link leif-

        “Based on the very old zircon rock from Australia we know that the Earth is at least 4.374 billion years old. But it could certainly be older. Scientists tend to agree that our little planet is around 4.54 billion years old—give or take a few hundred million.”

        I think JohnKnight is trying to get you to say that the Earth’s age is an ESTIMATE…not a known fact. The Earth could be older because of the cycling of it’s crust, we simply do not know. Agreeing on an approximate number of years is not the same thing as knowing for a FACT that the approximation is accurate.

        The most honest answer then is “We don’t know for sure…but scientific thoughts on the matter suggest it’s roughly 4.54 bililion years old. “

      • Almost not worth mentioning, but all such numbers are always estimates, but with which we have high confidence. It is meaningless at this time to argue if the age is 4.550011 or 4.550012 billion years (some day it might be legit to ask), but that does not negative the fact that we know it is around 4.5 billion years. And there is no ‘insanity’ about this. Now, there will always be people who do not want to know, and we may have one like that in this discussion. There is not much that can be done or say about this fact, but such is life.

      • “Almost not worth mentioning, but all such numbers are always estimates, but with which we have high confidence.”

        You see? You just said it was “almost not worth mentioning, but all such numbers are always estimates”. THAT is the problem. You and I and readers here know how scientific numbers are reached. But the general public does not. There are people with strict agendas out there that take your estimates, and your high confidence, and turn them into statements of FACT.

        When you tell people that the Earth has warmed 0.8C over the past 120+ years, they actually believe that scientists have measured the Earth so accurately and so completely that they KNOW exactly how much the planet has warmed. Then, the “panic crew” steps in and drives that number-without error bars or estimation ranges-into the psyche of every citizen they can. The “science” gets portrayed as accurate, absolute, measurable and dependable.
        *********
        “… in science there is no ‘knowledge’, in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth. … This view means, furthermore, that we have no proofs in science (excepting, of course, pure mathematics and logic). In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, proofs do not occur, if we mean by ‘proof’ an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory.” Sir Karl Popper, The Problem of Induction, 1953

        “If you thought that science was certain — well, that is just an error on your part.” Richard Feynman (1918-1988).

        “A religious creed differs from a scientific theory in claiming to embody eternal and absolutely certain truth, whereas science is always tentative, expecting that modification in its present theories will sooner or later be found necessary, and aware that its method is one which is logically incapable of arriving at a complete and final demonstration.” Bertrand Russell, Grounds of Conflict, Religion and Science, 1953.

        “It is the aim of science to establish general rules which determine the reciprocal connection of objects and events in time and space. For these rules, or laws of nature, absolutely general validity is required — not proven.” Albert Einstein, in Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium, 1941.
        ****************

        There are those in climate science today that DO NOT portray their work as estimated, or unproven, or tentative. They “allow” the press to misrepresent their work all the time. 97% of papers that took an opinion on the causes of global warming/climate change seemed to endorse the AGW theory BECAME “97% of scientists agree that humans are causing global warming/climate change”. Flat out LIE. But the “scientists” who wrote the paper let that slide. They keep trying to erase the Medieval Warm Period. Why? They claimed 20 years ago that…X or Y would be happening by now. They didn’t.

        People are starting to doubt science and scientists because the message was TRUTH, FACT, KNOWN instead of “possible, and theorized and estimated. And when those “facts/truths” don’t materialize over time, you and science in general lose credibility.

        Now, I’m not saying that you, or anyone else is doing this. But you, and others, are perpetuating it, or allowing it to happen by ignoring it, not addressing it, behaving in ways that express certainty rather than confidence. And there have been, and will always be, people who will use anything they can to drive the “herd” towards their own end goal. It is insanity to expect people to “know” or read your mind, or speak “scientist” and just assume that they can and will just understand exactly what you meant, even if you don’t exactly say it.

      • When we say that it is a FACT that the Age of the Earth is 4.5 billion years we mean that it is certainly>/b> not 6000 years, nor 10 miliion years, or even 4 billion years. Such knowledge is hard-won and it has taken a long time to get there, but today we KNOW, in the same sense as we KNOW that the Earth is round, that the SUN is 150 miilion km away, and that Jupiter has a mass 318 times that of the Earth.

      • A good criterion whether something is likely to be true [also known as a ‘fact’] is that denying it would be an even greater miracle than accepting the fact. For example: we assume that the laws of physics has not changed the last several billion years. On this we base our estimate. Denying the estimate of such an inconsequential thing as the age of the Earth because one believes that it is possible that the laws have changed over time is a much more serious ‘miracle’ than just accepting the age as measured. One goal of science is to reduce the number of miracles to a minimum [ideally to zero].

      • We guard against assumptions being wrong by having several independent lines of evidence leading to the same result. But again: how old do you think the Earth is? and the Moon? And the Sun? And the Universe?
        Amazingly we have a very good idea of the answers to all these questions.

      • “As long as you can’t point to any specific ‘assumption’ and show that it is wrong, your argument carries no weight.”

        Says whom? I say dismissing the possibility of one or more adjustments to that estimate, forevermore, is the antithesis of the scientific approach.

  13. Quick question to those more knowledgeable than I am. ( Maybe this is a stupid question!!! ) Is there any way to measure when the warm water in an El Nino was originally formed. Same goes for a La Nina. I am curious just how long the warm water has been circulating or is all surface water moving around by the wind.

  14. Don’t worry folks consistency is the key with Meteorological Bureaus around the world – Here is Australia’s dismal prediction for 2015 winter and its massive failure in being remotely on the button.
    ++++++May 29th from the SMH
    “Most of Australia can expect a drier and warmer than usual winter as the influence of an El Nino takes hold – although the first few days of the season won’t feel very balmy for many.
    The latest three-month outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday shows the odds favour drier-than-average conditions for most of south-eastern Australia for June and for winter as a whole.”
    Up-date – Just in case you missed this on the news (Cause their desperately focussing on anything but this reality)
    +++June 2015
    Melbourne’s start to winter has been its coldest in more than 65 years.
    It also was the coldest start to winter for the western Melbourne suburb Laverton since record taking began in 1944.
    Melbourne Airport recorded a maximum of 11.1 degrees for the day, equalling the lowest temperature for June 1
    +++July 2015
    Only the third time in 20 years that there’s been two consecutive mornings under 2 degrees.
    Sunday 19th was the coldest July morning since 1994
    “Ballarat experiencing one morning of -6C, and across the north of the state places like Bendigo and Seymour and Wangaratta had early morning temperatures around -5 or -6 degrees [Celsius]. “Essendon Airport, temperatures dropped to minus 1.5
    Even the northern hemisphere summer is experiencing worst weather in 4 decades.
    +++August 2015
    Already had snow on Mt Macedon and Dandenong around Melbourne and snow down to sea level in Hobart
    +++Sep 1st
    The Bureau of Meteorology’s Richard Carlyon wasn’t the least bit surprised to officially record, as he compiled temperatures today, the eve of spring, that it had been the coldest winter in 26 years.
    “We have averaged 13.9 degrees,” said Mr Carlyon.
    However don’t stress my man made warmist friends it will still be the hottest year evah our meteorology records will be homogenised to ensure that.
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-weather-coldest-winter-in-26-years-keeps-a-tight-grip-on-city-20150831-gjbhkc.html
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/australias-winter-likely-to-be-drier-and-milder-than-usual-as-el-nino-kicks-in-20150527-ghb959.html#ixzz3hk6EDINc
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-weather-winter-start-breaks-coldest-june-day-record-20150602-ghel90.html#ixzz3gQLHXeId
    http://www.standard.net.au/story/3220329/melbourne-weather-city-shivers-through-coldest-morning-in-18-years/?cs=7
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-03/snow-falls-in-hobart/6667274
    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-01/melbourne-shivers-through-coldest-july-in-20-years/6665178
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-weather-city-on-track-for-coldest-july-in-20-years-20150720-gifxwt.html#ixzz3gQNPAHcN

      • Marcus,

        The best way to understand the applicability of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law is to start with an ideal gray body planet and characterize its sensitivity, which is the exact slope of the SB relationship and given by 1/(4*e*o*T^3), where T is the temperature, e is the emissivity (1.0 for an ideal black body) and o is the SB constant (5.67E-8 W/m^2 per K^4). For a body at 255K and emissivity == 1, the sensitivity is 0.266 C per W/m^2. For a body at 287K and emissivity == 0.62, the sensitivity is 0.3C per W/m^2. For a body at 287K and emissivity == 1, the sensitivity is 0.186 C per W/m^2.

        Each of these quantifications of the sensitivity are exact for an ideal black/gray body where a gray body is a non ideal black body. The Earth is accurately modelled as an ideal black body surface which from space appears as an ideal gray body where the grayness is a byproduct of the atmosphere returning some surface emissions back to the surface to make it warmer than the Sun can do on its own (the effects of GHG’s and clouds).

        The satellite data confirms that the LTE planet response is indistinguishable from that of an ideal gray body. The SB Law is plotted to scale at emissivities of 1.0 and 0.62 along with slopes representing several sensitivity values and data from satellites (the small red dots). Each small dot is the monthly average emissions vs. the monthly average temperature for constant latitude slices of the planet. The theory being that each slice gets roughly the same TSI each year, thus its response has had millennia to adapt and based on the IPCC definition of forcing, delta TSI is the same as forcing and each slice receives a different TSI, thus differences between slices is a proxy for the sensitivity. The larger dots are the 3 decade average for each slice (72 slices total). The fact that the response converges to the SB LAW is not surprising as there is no physics that can suggest otherwise.

        Notice how the presumed IPCC sensitivity appears to be the result of a linearization error that completely ignored the restrictions of the SB LAW!

  15. Several of us are performing an experimental study of the relationships of solar wind, solar flares and coronal mass ejections on medium frequency, 300- 500 kHz, radio propagation. lsvalgaard, might the solar wind and magnetosphere changes which have known ionosphere effect also create stratosphere and troposphere changes in ways that are unknown or poorly understood and not based on solar wind pressure?
    Doug FCC experimental license WH2XZO

  16. Smart guy making a smart argument. This may not be a good explanation but some parts of it are certain to be partly right. If we can get enough truly smart, highly educated people to pay attention to Dr. Ball’s hypotheses along with other good ideas we CAN learn what causes weather and climate. Knowing the causes will permit accurate predictions which in turn will save lives, ease hunger and create wealth. Even the watermelons will have to applaud.

    • The liberal elite’s socialist goal is to reduce the Human population, not help it in any way !! They have absolutely no interest in the weather, but all your other points are dead on !

  17. “These observations assume incorrectly that El Nino is causing changes in the Jet Stream. Labitzke and van Loon wrote about sun/atmosphere relationship in1992 and reinforced their findings in 1994.”

    This is fundamentally wrong. ENSO does affect the global jet streams in a simple way. Air flowing away from the equatorial convergence zone aloft deposits sinking air in the subtropics i.e. the subtropical high pressure belt. The location of where the main convection zone is determines where these semi permanent subtropical highs are located and their strength. The strongest high pressure zones normally reside over the Ocean basins. In an El Nino year these highs are displaced over the N and S Pacific from their more normal La Nina locations. (It is worth noting at this point La Nina’s are just an enhanced version of the ‘normal’ pattern, El Nino’s are the anomaly.)

    I have successfully used the tropics to make longer term weather predictions globally in my role as an energy trading meteorologist. I know that statistical models or analogue predictions using past El Ninos generally don’t work, especially if you group all the Ninos together and hence why statistical correlations with weather in Europe for example are almost nil. However, almost every El Nino is different, most importantly in the location of the strongest warm SST anomalies. This El Nino is more central Pacific focused compared to 97/98 so I look upon in dismay when I see people trying to predict weather long term using a single example like 97/98 which clearly does not fit this year but then again neither does 1982/83. Then you have to determine strength and areal coverage as well….not to mention whether the Indian Ocean is warm or cool in tandem with an El Nino.

    There are many different factors affecting the global circulation. The trick is finding which is dominating. Right at this moment the MJO is making a play for changing the global circulation. So even within an El Nino year there are many other factors that can enhance or reduce the impacts of El Nino. It is complex but there is a signal to be extracted and can be used.

  18. The solar cycle of the sun is 65.7 earth years. Comprising three 21.92 year sun spot cycles of roughly 11 years positive and 11 years of negative stronger intentensive spots. The over all climate cycle is 789 years to repeat again. As witnessed in population movements to obtain favorable climates for food production over the past 5,000 years. I.e. northern europe.

  19. The ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) is not the only one out there. There are other named oscillations/”oscillations”. In addition, random regional ruts that go on for a few or several years often crop here or there in the Pacific, and The Blob is just one of them. The Blob is a major reason why many storms hitting the US West Coast this winter did so farther north than usual during an El Nino.

    Meanwhile, The Blob seems to be slowly weakening, and the storm track has shifted farther south recently, finally allowing southern California to get some surplus of rain. (Not yet enough to fix its multiyear drought caused mostly by The Blob in the past 2-2.5 years, although La Nina just before that also contributed to their multiyear drought.)

    Also – there are 4 named “Nino regions” – 1+2, 3, 3.4, and 4. Most of the “Nino regions” area is in regions 3 and 4. Region 3.4 is the eastern 40% of region 4 and the western half of region 3, and region 3.4 alone is used in NOAA’s current Oceanic Nino Index.

    (Nino 1+2 is a smaller region approximating coverage by the still-smaller Nino regions 1 and 2.)

    Yet, regardless of what is happening differently outside the Nino regions from one El Nino to the next, there are also variations of where the most anomalous warmth occurs within the Nino regions from one El Nino to the next. For example, the current El Nino seems to have roughly matched the century-class one of 1997-1998 in Nino regions 4 and 3.4, but is looking weaker than the one of 1997-1998 in the part of Nino 3 that is not in Nino 3.4, and likewise in Nino 1+2.

    Also yet, the current El Nino seems to have caused coastal waters along extreme southern California and most of Baja California to warm more than usual for the amount of warming in the Nino regions east of Nino 3.4. This may be related to The Blob – this could be a “south blob” that is detracting from the original Blob with assistance by the current El Nino.

    Overall, this is a set of Pacific conditions different from anything since before WWII. For that matter, “business as usual” in the Pacific seems to usually be any given year or 2-3 year period usually being different from all other years or 2-3 year periods since before WWII, although parts of the Pacific can get into ruts lasting several years to around a decade.

  20. Well, well, well. Another non-reader mystified by El Nino. If you had bothered to read pages 23 to 28 of my book “What Warming?” you would know now what El Nino is. El Nino itself is caused by a low frequency harmonic oscillation of ocean water from side to side in a very large bowl we call the Pacific Ocean. If you blow across the end of a glass tube you get its fundamental tone, determined by the dimensions of the tube. Trade winds are like blowing across the end of a tube and the ocean answers with its own fundamental tone, an El Nino frequency around four or five years per cycle. But it is not a perfect oscillation because other happenings in the ocean can change the frequency to be anything from two years to seven years. It can be traced as far back as we have records, even to the CET. It has existed as long as the Pacific current system has existed which means since the Panamanian Seaway closed, perhaps two million years ago. Since it is an oscillation Hansen’s prediction of a La Nina-like Pliocene is out of the question, both physically and time-wise. Starting with trade winds that blow from east to west, warm water gets piled up in the Western Pacific at the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, the warmest water on earth. When the water level there has reached equilibrium height reverse flow by gravity begins. The returning water follows the equatorial countercurrent, runs ashore in South America, spreads north and south along the coast, and warms the air above it. Warm air then rises, joins the westerlies, gets carried around the world, and we notice that an El Nino has arrived. But any wave that washes ashore must also fall back. When that El Nino wave returns to the ocean sea level in back of it drops as much as half a meter. Cold water from below then wells up and a La Nina has started. As much as the El Nino warmed the air the La Nina will now cool it and global mean temperature does not change. This is normal but things are not always normal. The choke point of the ENSO system is the narrow equatorial countercurrent that may occasionally become blocked just as an El Nino is crossing the ocean. When this happens its way forward is blocked and it spreads out on the surface in the middle of the ocean and creates an El Nino on the spot. This is called El Nino Modoki or CP (Central Pacific) El Nino. As far as the warm phase of ENSO goes it does not matter much but there is no way to create a La Nina in the middle of an ocean. As a result, it is possible that an El Nino Modoki just may be able to raise global mean temperature, something that a regular El Nino does not do.

  21. Thanks, Dr. Ball.
    It seems like the similarities between the effects of one El Niño and those of another El Niño on a different year can be enormous, but still, there is a common core.
    I think more serious research is needed on what looks to me as the greatest factor of Earth’s climate.

    • OH NO “common core” ! sorry Andres i just had to say it, I am getting really tired of of all these circular discussions from all the people on the site these days, there is little we can do about what is going on as far as “Climate Change” is concerned. What we should be more concerned about is providing cheap energy and reliable food sources to those that need it.

  22. Accurate
    First use of this word in the text perhaps ought to be “Inaccurate” — or so I think.

  23. After being warned of an El Nino, people in Australia braced for yet another drought. Instead eastern Australia got huge rains and Lake Eyre filled. Is there nothing settled in science yet?

    I loved the tale of Morera: “Morera became ill near Oregon and was put ashore to increase his chances of survival. He promptly walked to Mexico”. Let’s see anyone try that these days.

    • The Morera tale is rather dubious and seems to be based on a desperate need of the Spanish to prove that Drake could only have mapped the Pacific coast with Spanish help. One Canadian historian who has studied the Drake voyages described it variously as as

      ‘A yarn that has been making the rounds for centuries.’
      ‘A nebulous fourth-hand tale, apocryphal and completely undocumented’

      Drake himself reported having put ashore at a latitude of 38 degrees after having sailed south from the Oregon coast and wintered in a location that most historians believe is near Point Reyes in California. The local tribes were described as hospitable and this was an area that had already been explored by the Spanish in the 1540’s. A trek from there into Mexico is much more believable than one down the Oregon coast in the depths of the LIA.

  24. You make a brief note that if temperature changes atmospheric pressure changes. The opposite can also be true. If atmospheric pressure changes, so does temperature. So add that to the list of uncertainties. On certainty we do have is that CO2 has zero effect on the mean temperature of a planetary atmosphere. It may effect the weather or the distribution of the mean temperature, but a simple analysis of Venus completely falsifies the greenhouse theory in its entireity.

  25. My evaluation: This is an appalling thread. Tim Balls article is a fine attempt to grapple with a matter of great public importance. He gets no credit for the attempt. People here seem to be focussed on making ‘witty’ comments and the forum managers are running with it. This is sad.

    I agree with Dr Balls comment: “Something must cause a complete reversal of the general wind patterns for the ocean currents to reverse. There are three major global wind patterns, Polar Easterlies, Mid-Latitude Westerlies, and equatorial easterlies. Only the latter disappear or reverse flow and seem to be the mechanism that causes reversals at the surface.”

    Roy Spencer, who knows something about climate and El Nino gave his opinion of the source of the massive difference in tropical sea surface temperature that manifest across the Pacific suggesting that it was due to a difference in the rate of up-welling of very cold waters from the deep as determined by flux in the winds. In truth, we know that when the trades slacken we get El Nino.

    But that is the change that we see near at hand that is in turn driven by change further afield

    You can see for yourself that there is a tongue of very cold water that enters the equatorial circulation on the East of the Pacific and its much bigger on the South American than the North American side.That is a response to the interruption to the west wind drift by the near conjunction of the Antarctic Peninsula and Tierra Del Fuego on the south American side. The flux in the west wind drift (and the degree of upwelling of cold waters off the coast of Chile) occurs due to change in surface pressure relations between 60-70° south and 20-40° south. The difference drives the westerlies of the southern hemisphere. The westerlies have been gaining strength for 70 years. That puts the Chilean fishing industry in good stead and is progressively choking off the El Nino tendency.

    That flux in the differential pressure between the mid and high latitudes is due to change in the intensity of polar cyclones driven by the flux in the partial pressure of ozone above 500 hPa. If the intensity of polar cyclone activity increases atmospheric mass shifts from high to mid latitudes and the Westerlies blow harder. Same applies to the Northern Hemisphere.The AO index and the AAO index have been developed to monitor this phenomenon.

    As Dr Ball, who lives in Canada observed, the Polar Easterlies of the northern hemisphere are the only one of the planetary winds that can reverse. That’s important for the circulation of the north Pacific and Canada. In the northern Pacif the cold water tends to enter the equatorial flow further west. To do so it has to flow through a vast cloud free area under a high pressure cell with little cloud cover. That high pressure cell expands and contracts according to the rate of uplift in the low pressure cell centred on the north west Pacific. What goes up must come down.As the high pressure cell expands the surface warms.

    I believe that Dr Ball never wrote truer words than these from above:

    “In universities, the problem of specialization quickly challenged academics dealing with real world problems and resulted in the creation of inter-disciplinary studies. The real world is integrated, a fact no model or prediction can avoid.

    The reason climatology was studied and taught in Geography Departments is because it is the original integrative discipline. Some referred to as Chorology defined as

    the study of the causal relations between geographical phenomena occurring within a particular region.

    Specialists deride it as a generalist discipline with the epithet of being jacks-of-all-trades, but masters of none. These specialists who saw an opportunity of funding in global warming believed that their piece of the puzzle was the answer. It wasn’t, but it did create the new category of climate scientists. In fact, they are people who study one small part of the complex weather and climate system. Failed predictions reflect their limitations.”

    This is Leif Svalgaards problem. A great scientist who makes original contributions in a very limited area of endeavour who has taken it upon himself to educate a wider audience…Great stuff but not the entire answer. To see the big picture you need a generalist.

    In the field of atmospheric numerical modelling there is an assumption that the atmosphere is a closed system. If Antarctic surface pressure falls by 15mb over 70 years you know its not. If the Antarctic stratosphere warms by 10°C in the space of a decade you know its not. And you know for sure that the prevailing theory that planetary waves cause episodic stratospheric warmings is nonsense.

    Ignore ENSO which is an artefact of the strength of the winds. Ask yourself what causes the change in the strength of the winds. Ignore any temperature trends that are ENSO affected. It represents a change in the extent to which cold water is upwelling from the deep. Its like having a basket of oranges and apples. You can put one or other on top or a mixture of the two. You can have apples to the right and oranges to the left. But it doesn’t really change anything.

    In assessing temperature trends don’t rely on any period shorter than a decade. Then, to take into account that the climate is forced by ozone that accumulates in the winter hemisphere look at the trends according to an interval no greater than a month. That way you capture the ozone effect. That’s what I do here: https://reality348.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/3-how-the-earth-warms-and-cools-naturally/

    • The ‘effect’ your link refers to was ‘discovered’ by me back in 1973 (see page 199 of my link http://www.leif.org/EOS/Sun-Weather-Climate.pdf ], but didn’t hold up. Back in 1970s I was on the forefront of Sun-Weather-Climate research, so, yes, I do know a lot about this topic.

      Unfortunately, the claims of the 1970s have not held up and my [and other’s] work back then must today be considered to be spurious.

      It is a prerogative of a scientist to be wrong, but a true believer cannot be.

      • From the original reply above: RE request for exact words:
        In the most detailed study to date [5], variations in IMF By of ~8 nT were associated with changes in high-latitude station surface pressure of ~1–2 hPa.

        Our results indicate that a mechanism that is known to produce atmospheric responses to the IMF in the polar regions is also able to modulate weather patterns at mid-latitudes.

      • nowhere does it say that the magnetic field moves the atmosphere. A change in a magnetic field produces an electric field which in the present of a conductor (ionized air) can drive an electric current (moving the charges). The magnetic field does not move anything.

      • The first indication of the effect was in a paper of mine:
        Svalgaard, L. (Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., United States)
        Abstract: Some new evidence that the weather is influenced by solar activity is reviewed. It appears that the solar magnetic sector structure is related to the circulation of the earth’s atmosphere during local winter. About 3 1/2 days after the passage of a sector boundary the maximum effect is seen; apparently the height of all pressure surfaces increases in high latitudes leading to anticyclogenesis, whereas at midlatitudes the height of the pressure surfaces decreases leading to low pressure systems or to deepening of existing systems. This later effect is clearly seen as an increase in the area of the base of air with absolute vorticity exceeding a given threshold. Since the increase of geomagnetic activity generally is small at a sector boundary it is speculated that geomagnetic activity as such is not the cause of the response to the sector structure but that both weather and geomagnetic activity are influenced by the same (unknown) mechanism.
        Publication Date: Jan 01, 1974
        Subject Category: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
        Financial Sponsor: NASA; United States
        Imprint: In: Correlated interplanetary and magnetospheric observations; Proceedings of the Seventh ESLAB Symposium, Saulgau, West Germany, May 22-25, 1973. (A75-19126 06-46) Dordrecht, D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1974, p. 627-639.

        We looked carefully at this for several years in the 1970s, but with more data, the effect went away [as almost all other sun-weather-climate associations [correlations] eventually do]. Sadly enough, as if they held up, they would increase our funding enormously.

      • That there is a causal connection between the observed variations in the forces of the Sun, the terrestrial magnetic field, and the meteorological elements has been the conclusion of every research into this subject for the past 50 years. The elucidation of exactly what the connection is and the scientific proof of it are to be classed among the most, difficult problems presented in terrestrial physics. The evidence adduced in favor of this conclusion is on the whole of a cumulative kind, since the direct sequence of cause and effect is so far masked in the complex interaction of the many delicate forces in operation as to render its immediate measurement quite impossible in the present state of science. Before attempting to abstract the results of this research on these points a brief resume of the views held by the leading investigators will be given, especially with the object of presenting the status of the problem to those who are not fully acquainted with this line of scientific literature. The bibliography is large—covers a century—and embraces such names as Gauss, Sabine, Faraday, Wolf, Stewart, Schuster, Airy, Kelvin, and many others. [Bigelow, 1898]
        These words appear to provide a modern and contemporary introduction to an essay on solar activity and the weather, but in fact they were written 75 yr ago. During this interval of 75 yr, well over 1000 papers have been published on the subject. It may be fair, then, to ask exactly what has been accomplished.
        And those words were written by John Wilcox 41 years ago (in NASA Special Publ. 366, 1975) and we can repeat the question “exactly what has been accomplished?” It may be fair to answer: “not much”. The optimism we all had so long ago has faded as virtually no compelling progress has been made, and the correlations that we cherished back then have fallen by the wayside. Science is a harsh mistress (to paraphrase Heinlein).

      • Thank you for your continued contributions to these discussions. Your last statement sums up the problems in Climate completely. Both sides have true believers that continually talk past the problems.

        With a focus in Solid State Physics during my studies, I don’t have the background in plasma physics to enter into any serious discussion of the topic, however I watch the discoveries in the area of lightning discharges with interest, because here is a place where vast quantities of energy move over extremely short periods. It’s an area where the low energy of a solar particle could trigger an extremely energetic event. It won’t happen all the time, and looking at it with statistics could easily swamp the effect. We are looking for many small triggers of effects which aggregated produce changes. The search is non-trivial, let alone finding the understanding.

        Thank you once again for your contributions.

      • I don’t believe everything I read. But if the evidence just keeps on adding up and the behaviour of the atmosphere indicates that the mechanism exists, then I start with the inference and I am quite satisfied when so many people over such a long period of time, people of the calibre of Harry Van Loon and Karen Labitzke see a response to the sun in the atmosphere. I look at all the work done on the annular modes which represent unidirectional shifts in the planetary winds that persist in moving in one direction for the entire period of record and begin to reverse only in the last two decades and I infer that this is not a closed system……its a system subject to external influences. I look at the work that identifies the stratosphere as the source of change at the surface and I observe the role of ozone in driving polar cyclones and is therefore responsible for these atmospheric shifts. In short I see climate science that assumes a closed system when patently it is not. The interaction with mesospheric air at the poles drives change in ozone as documented by Randall, Seppala Clilverd and so many others. And so, the basic parameters of the supposedly closed system are forever changing……………and then there is the stonewalling of Lief Svalgaard and I really wonder why.

        Some more research and opinion for Lief to mull over.

        http://www.geo.ecnu.edu.cn/themes/261/userfiles/download/2015/7/20/ynb0f5ztbe6hur0.pdf
        Indices of the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation show correlations on the day-to-day timescale with the solar wind speed (SWS)

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2002GL014903/pdf
        Results are presented suggesting a relationship between the NAO index and the electric field strength E of the solar wind
        This study confirms, for seven additional winters, a relationship discovered earlier between geomagnetic storms and subsequent deepening of 300-mb troughs.

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS0016793208040130
        The influence of solar proton events (SPEs) with particle energies > 90 MeV on the evolution of extratropical cyclones in the North Atlantic is studied. A substantial intensification of the regeneration (secondary deepening) of cyclones near the southeastern Greenland coast after the SPE onset is detected. It is shown that the observed deepening of cyclones is caused by intensified advection of cold when the zone of the Arctic front in the region of the Greenland coast is approached. The results allow us to assume that SPEs with the above particle energies cause substantial changes in the structure of the thermobaric field of the subpolar and high-latitude troposphere, which form more favorable conditions for the regeneration of cyclones. In this case the role of the Arctic vertical frontal zone is apparently important.

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682604000069
        It was shown that the SPE under study are accompanied by noticeable pressure and temperature decreases at the high-latitudinal stations in the cold (October–March) half of year as well as by relative vorticity increases in the troposphere. The most pronounced effects were found in the region of the arctic front near the south-eastern Greenland coasts and Iceland. The weather chart analysis showed that the effects discovered seem to be related to the intensification of the deepening of well developed cold cyclones in this region.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/JC079i015p02161/abstract
        700-mbar height difference between 20° and 55°N increases significantly in winter 4 days following geomagnetic disturbance Synoptic analyses of the departures of the mean 700-mbar contour heights from seasonal climatology following geomagnetic disturbance reveal that the effect proceeds with the growth and development of large negative centers in the latitude belt 40°–60°N and smaller positive departures at lower latitudes.

        http://spaceref.com/nasa-hack-space/satellites-last-days-improve-orbital-decay-predictions.html
        The C/NOFS data at these lower altitudes show that the upper atmosphere and ionosphere react strongly to even small changes in near-Earth space, said Rod Heelis, principal investigator at the UT-Dallas for NASA’s Coupled Ion-Neutral Dynamics Investigation (CINDI) instrument suite on board the satellite.
        “The neutral atmosphere responds very dramatically to quite small energy inputs,” said Heelis. “Even though the energy is put in at high latitudes closer to the poles the reaction at lower latitudes, near the equator, is significant.”

      • hen there is the stonewalling of Leif Svalgaard and I really wonder why.
        Perhaps I’m less gullible than you are; people believe what they want to believe. There are thousands of Sun-Weather-Climate papers. Unfortunately none of them are compelling. And none of them pass muster in my book. I’ll ask with Willis: of the thousands of paper, which ONE in your opinion contains the best evidence, which one is the one that settles the matter.

  26. There’s plenty of evidence out there to work with. Trouble is, most of Climate Science is based on selectively ignoring most of it.

  27. The “https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/22/volcanoes-and-ozone-their-interactive-effect-on-climate-change/” Laing/Ward study asserts predictability, even for D-O events, especially at the scale of Ice Ages and interglacials. The mechanism is mega-volcano emissions, high in ash or halogens, cooling or warming (ozone-depleting chlorine, etc.) respectively. CO2, of course, is just a trailing indicator.

  28. “Understanding one piece requires knowledge of the much larger segment if not the entire system, as the arrows try to indicate. Systems Analysts recognize the challenge because it is a systems diagram. They developed their expertize to deal with real world problems of interrelationships and interconnectivity.”

    This says it all, particularly when you are using computers to determine some outcome of such a complex system. There’s an obvious parallel even for the simpler use of computers in process industry control systems. If you produce a software package at the very start without fully understanding all possible interfaces and routes through the very many operating scenarios and sequences that could occur, and then later simply patch in changes, in isolation, to accommodate what you later require to overcome particular problems or scenarios that arise, then you start to get “unforeseen” system responses. If the climate scientists build inadequate computer models for forecasting future climate changes, and then start “adjusting” the programme or the data to accommodate any ongoing divergences of events from past forecast outcomes, then the ongoing system will inevitably provide ever more unreliable ongoing forecasts.

  29. even here a strong el nino is not doing what it is supposed to do in Belgium: usually el nino’s increase the chance of blocking during the winter. in 1985-1986 we had severe winters, in 1998 we had one in 2010 we had one and this year the blocking appeared to happen in “reverse” with the warmest december ever. (mainly due to the NAO pattern that was very high in the positive mode which brings us subtropical south western winds. add to this we were on the warm side of an “omega blocking” pattern and nothing very abnormal here.

    The only “abnormal thing was this pattern started around december 1 and the 3-4 weeks did fall right “in synch” with the month.

    El ninos have usually the tendency to bring us at the “cold side of the omega block” but this year it seems it didn’t. However it is still too early to say. February is usually the month where winter can strike the hardest.

    they say europe has no influence because of the el nino, and to some degree they are correct, but the cold blocking pattern tends to occur more easily during strong el nino’s is what weather events tell here.

  30. @ Dr. Tim Ball,

    I thank you for posting the above commentary.

    My comment is a little off-topic but is directly associated with these four (4) excerpted statements which caught my attention, to wit:

    Inca, who sailed the Pacific coast of South America for millennia, knew its (El Nino) effects well.

    The Inca also knew a great deal from sailing Balsawood rafts to fish and visit the Galapagos Islands.

    and used the navigator Morera to avoid the El Nino currents and reach the west coast of Canada

    Figure 3 is a schematic of El Nino and La Nina showing the reversal of ocean surface currents that creates alternating warm and cold water on each side of the Pacific.

    Being a per se “avid student” with a great interest in human migration from Asia to the New World (Americas) …. I have to assume that the Inca’s millennial old knowledge of the El Nino’s effect on “sailing across/around the South Pacific” was learned from their ancestors who were the first Asian migrants to populate the Americas …. thus negating the Bering Sea Land Bridge Theory.

    • Dr. Tim, some current analysis indicate that the Rapa Nui may have fingered ENSO earlier.

      Voyaging and Isolation in Rapa Nui Prehistory – Ben Finney, Ph.D., University of Hawai’i, Manoa
      Around 1,500 B.C., well after the glaciers had receded and sea levels had risen, canoe voyagers with roots in Southeast Asia pushed eastwards from islands off the north shore of New Guinea, and moved rapidly through island Melanesia to reach the mid-Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. Their identifiably Polynesian descendants then spread farther eastwards, reaching all the way to Rapa Nui perhaps as early as 400 A.D.
      Typically preceding or during an El Nino event the usual atmospheric pressure gradient across the South Pacific of high in the east and low in the west flattens out or reverses. This is known as the “Southern Oscillation”; hence total phenomenon of ocean and atmosphere disturbances is referred to as an “El Nino-Southern Oscillation” (ENSO) event, although here I will use the simpler label of El Nino event. This oscillation manifests itself in a weakening of the trade winds, and the outbreak of prolonged and intensive periods of westerlies, generally during or around the summer season. Although these westerlies are usually confined to the western and central Pacific, in 1982-83 a particularly massive El Nino event brought a prolonged outbreak of westerlies that pushed far into the eastern Pacific. Reports of these westerlies has led me to hypothesize that early voyagers from West Polynesia might have employed the widespread westerlies of such major El Nino events to expand to the Marquesas and other archipelagos of central East Polynesia, and that if these El Nino-intensified westerlies extended all the way to Rapa Nui they might have been crucial in the discovery of this easternmost outpost of Polynesia (Finney 1985:16-18). Subsequently, Caviedes and Waylen (MS 1989) have developed the latter suggestion, citing wind data gathered on Rapa Nui during the 1982-83 El Niflo event showing that prolonged spells of westerlies indeed reached the island.

      http://www2.hawaii.edu/~dennisk/voyaging_chiefs/finney_voyaging.html

  31. And unmentioned as yet is the coordination between two or more data streams, which will morph into a compelling set of new daa points, but be missed entirely by busy well meaning weather experts, because they are looking for only evidence of what they already believe to be true.

  32. I have not studied the subject in great depth. However, could someone explain to me why the consensus (apparently) is that wind is the main driver of Nino. Why is it not a case of cyclical change in marine currents/upwelling etc? In this case wind is just a positive feedback. We are quite willing to accepts cyclical behavior in other marine currents and warm/cold water migration. You could be on a wild goose chase trying to explain wind as the driver. It could well be a symptom

  33. reported what Drake was doing to Spanish authorities
    =============
    what was Drake doing to the Spanish authorities?

  34. I’m very confused about the treatment of this El Niño by the forecasters. In 1998, it produced a zonal flow pattern to the jet stream. This produced a milder and wetter winter than usual here in Texas and greater than normal rainfall on the west coast. However, the “experts” told us this time around that Texas will be colder than normal and that parts of the west coast will be drier than normal. Why did they expect the same climatic phenomenon to would have different results?

    • I think this is not correct. To have more rains in W and SW USA you have to have the Pacific Jet displaced southwards from it’s normal location. This is not zonal (i.e. west to east) but rather more meridional (north to south) than normal. The jet stream gets displaced southwards in the Pacific as the eastward displaced anomalous warm pool of Nino and associated enhanced thunderstorm activity acts as an attractor. However, if the Jet is displaced south here, then it must displace northwards downstream as a counter balance and this will then set up a anomalous wave like wobble in the Jet until it flattens out again probably just in time for it (the Jet) to be displaced by the Nino again as it tracks around the globe in the mid latitudes. The net result is more meridional wobbles in the Jet compared to a La Nina pattern. This is why in some Nino years there is much more blocking or wave breaking of the Jet Stream, but this blocking also depends on the strength of the winter time polar circulation. This year the polar circulation is very strong so the tendency to block is much less likely until something like a stratospheric warming event comes along to disrupt the polar circulation.

      All this sounds confusing but there are many factors which combine with or cancel out the induced circulation changes caused by El Nino and hence why each one is different and correlation stats are weak. It is also why broadbrush statistical or analogue forecasts often fail in Nino years. There simply are not enough analogue years and too many other factors that can change the El Nino influence. However, this year, once the polar circulation was obviously stronger than normal and largely symmetric around the polar region then it was obvious that blocking was less likely and that for the likes of W USA, a wet outcome and for W Europe a warm outcome was the only solution. If this polar circulation breaks down then the dominant pattern of this NH winter so far will change.

  35. The New Zealand Metservice gave a degree of probability (80%) on its long term predictions regarding the influence of El Nino several months back. This is what we should insist on in every prediction. Lets cut the crap so the general public can start to learn about the uncertainties associated with climate science.

  36. Interesting read from Dr. Ball.
    I agree with most, but the most important force which drives changes of ENSO is missing from his article and that is of the influence of the Lunar cycles. I have found with the research I have made with my ANN software that the lunar gravitational force is the main driver of ENSO variability. The other important forces which I also can show cause changes of ENSO are changes in Earth’s magnetic field and of the Solar Wind, which agrees with what Dr. Ball says.
    Believe it or not, but I have solved the mystery around ENSO variability. I have just written a up a description of how this work and its mechanism which I’m going to publish. One place for this is going to be on WUWT. Coming soon!

  37. Typo?: In light of its lead-in about inaccurate assumptions, I think this sentence needs a “not”:

    “· Physical force, such as the solar wind, wind, or magnetism are as important and sometimes more so than those considered.”

      • If I may summarize; the atmosphere works like a large (imperfect) waveguide. Atmospheric magnetic tides are global scale waves excited by differential heating OR by gravitational tidal forces from the moon and sun. (editorial comment: quite a range of forces)

        There are both gravitational waves and rotational waves. Each mode is characterized by a zonal and meridional component with periods of one solar or lunar day. The solar diurnal tidal mode is the most important. The lunar tide is 20 times smaller and insignificant. (editorial comment: what about differential heating?)

        The geomagnetic east component is the best proxy for the solar diurnal mode.

        Francois Arago described in the 1820’s how this component altered the declination of his compass in Paris by a factor of 10.

        [end of summary, apologies if necessary]

        ENSO has the peculiar habit of altering global mean sea level when it has no thermosteric right to do so. Can we rule out solar tidal influences as miniscule when they are 20 times stronger than the lunar tides we have excluded as insignificant, when after all, the moon is thought to control our common tides?

        Secondly and far more weirdly, the “excitation” with integer solar and lunar periods through step change “waveguides” with gravitational (=vibrational) and rotational modes, sounds remarkably like the quantum resonances of a molecule. Gravity remains unexplained, but has waveform without the inverse of mass. What if the planet could be thought of as a molecule?

        Like you say, it’s ok to be wrong. Far better to keep having ideas.

      • The solar/lunar tides ratio of 20/1 is for the ionosphere and does not pertain to the lower atmosphere [or the sea]. If you want to get something out of your speculation you must examine what new phenomena it predicts or which old ones it explains better. And the prediction must be quantitative. You know: numbers.

      • Ok, the whip being the transition from 1000 mb at the surface to ~.0005 at 105 km. Are these gravity waves different from the ones that cause common tides?

  38. If you happen to look at the headline picture without any particular preconceptions you may notice the irony that there are two guys re roofing the house.

    Perhaps an inverse metaphor for the guys inflating godzilla a few months back…

  39. We all noticed that the current El Niño is one of the three strongest ever recorded. For a number of months El Niño is blamed for unusual weather, which is widely acknowledged that certain effects can be linked to a strong El Niño. While the event causes weather ‘moderation’, its impact on global warming is not. A plain calculation suggests it is not. Here are some possible explanations: http://oceansgovernclimate.com/does-el-nino-warm-the-entire-climate-system/.

  40. Some more on the ground obs from California.

    Here’s how the current ENSO peak has progressed.

    We did have what I’d consider a normal amount of precip during Fall. It was due to a series of fronts riding a meridional Polar Jet. Shortly after the Solstice things trended more zonal albeit with the jet tending to split at times. That said, January has provided a couple of good belts of what I consider to be classic El Nino pattern.

    Now, its seemingly evolving back toward what we had during fall. After this week the jet’s prog’ed meridional. That will not provide very juicy fronts and the fronts will be spaced much further apart.

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