What’s Hot, What’s Not

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to thinking about the idea of a temperature field. By that I mean nothing more than an estimation of theoretical temperatures given some variables like say latitude and elevation. We all know that as we go poleward it gets colder, and the same is true when we go upwards into the mountains. So we can make a formula that can estimate the temperature at any spot on the Earth if we know its latitude and elevation. It’s an excellent estimation, with an R^2 of 0.94.

In the CERES satellite data, the relationship works out like this. Start at minus thirty-one degrees. Add sixty times the cosine of the latitude. Then subtract six degrees for every thousand metres of elevation. That gives you the estimated temperature for any given location. I note that the decrease in temperature at higher altitudes, about six degrees C per thousand metres of elevation, agrees well with the generally estimated figure for the “environmental lapse rate”, which is the average rate at which the atmosphere cools with increasing elevation.

However, of course in the real world temperatures are never that simple. But what is of interest is not the estimated temperature of the temperature field. It is the real world observed temperature minus the estimated temperature. This shows us the locations where reality departs from the model, which is always the informative part of any model. Figure 1 shows two views of the observations minus estimation results, one centered on the Atlantic and one on the Pacific.

average temp - estimated lat elev atlanticaverage temp - estimated lat elevFigure 1. Atlantic- and Pacific-centered views of the observed temperatures minus the estimated temperatures based solely on latitude and elevation.

I certainly did not expect the planetary hot-spot, where it is the warmest compared to the temperature field, to be up north of the horizontal dotted line marking the Arctic Circle. (Note that this has nothing to do with whether the globe is warming or cooling. It’s just average temperature observations minus an estimate based solely on latitude and elevation.)

Looking at these figures, I finally understood the difference between temperatures in the Atlantic and the Pacific. It has to do with the different shapes of the western shorelines of those oceans.

In the Pacific (lower figure), you can see the effect of the El Nino/La Nina pumping action. As I detailed in The Tao of El Nino, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/28/the-tao-of-el-nino/ the action  of the combined Nino/Nina periodically pumps warm surface water westward across the Pacific. When it hits the cup-shaped shoreline of Australasia, the warm water splits into two parts, one moving to the north and one south. This results in the two lobes of warmer-than-estimated water in the northward and southward branches of the Pacific poleward ocean heat transport. It is also responsible for the warm spot in the Gulf of Alaska, and the anomalous warmth of the entire west coast of North America.

In the Atlantic (upper figure), on the other hand, the western shoreline is not cup-shaped as in the Pacific. Instead, well below the Equator the nose of South America sticks out to the east. The ocean naturally flows westward around the Equator, driven by the trade winds (shown below). South America unevenly splits this western flow of warm surface water, with most of it moving northwards as the Gulf Stream, and only a small amount moving southwards. The Gulf Stream in turn has no place to disperse as exists in the Pacific, because the Atlantic is wedge-shaped and the heat is trapped in the upper corner. This uneven split leads to the red-colored hotspot in the North Atlantic, as well as the corresponding cool spot in the South Atlantic/Southern Ocean.

In both the north Atlantic and north Pacific, this has lead to excess warmth on the western shores of the continents (Europe and Alaska/Canada/NW USA). And this in turn seems related to the excess cold on the eastern shores of the continents, although the mechanism is obscure. And this cool air on the eastern shores of the continents seems to spill out over the ocean, leaving it cooler offshore than we’d expect.

These figures also highlight the difference between the Antarctic, which is mostly kilometre-thick ice underlain by solid rock and cold to the bone, and the Arctic, which is mostly a few metres of ice underlain by warmer liquid water.

Next, I learned that looking at observations minus the temperature field highlights the great desert belts at about thirty degrees north and south of the Equator. I’ve been thinking about these lately. The deserts form as a result of the tropical evaporation and the resulting deep tropical convection that drives the “Hadley cells” on each side of the Equator.

earth as a heat engineFigure 2. Global atmospheric circulation showing surface winds and the atmospheric cells.

Warm moist air moves aloft in the deep tropics. The water is stripped out by condensation and high-altitude freezing and returned to the surface. The air aloft moves polewards north and south, and descends at around 30° N/S, warming as it loses altitude. This descending dry air doesn’t contain enough moisture to form clouds, which in turn leads to a dry, hot surface.

To see this more clearly here is a look at the land-only temperature-estimates data with the ocean clutter removed:

average temp - estimated lat elev land onlyFigure 3. As in Figure 1, but with the ocean data removed.

The horizontal dotted lines mark the furthest north and south that the sun is directly overhead at least one day a year. These are the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, in the old terminology (23.5° North & South). You can see that the warm descending air from the Hadley cells makes those two areas warmer than is estimated from just their location and elevation.

Anyhow, that’s what I see in the variations from the temperature field. As always, YMMV.

Best to all,

w.

My Usual Request: If you disagree with me or anyone, please quote the exact words you disagree with. I can defend my own words. I cannot defend someone’s interpretation of my words.

My Other Request: If you think that e.g. I’m using the wrong method on the wrong dataset, please educate me and others by demonstrating the proper use of the right method on the right dataset. Simply claiming I’m wrong doesn’t advance the discussion.

171 thoughts on “What’s Hot, What’s Not

    • Why? The only thing that really matters to the explanation is warmer/colder, wetter/drier, not the amount.

      • People only use Kelvin (K) because they don’t know how to type the degree symbol (°) for Celsius.

        And nobody but Purdue grads use Rankin.

      • Well I don’t think anyone; even Purdue grads use Rankin.

        They might use Rankine, but I can’t imagine why. The Fahrenheit scale is already a bastard scale; so why legitimize it with some purposeless extension.

        And far too many people write K or kelvin when the really mean deg. C (Celsius).

        The kelvin scale is an absolute scale 1 kelvin is below the freezing point of Hydrogen.

        And for Willis’s Temperature field.

        I always associate the word ” field ” with a Vector quantity; because that’s what fields are. But this field is just scalar.

        And I expected the false color maps to be pure white all over, as that’s what you get when the anomalies are all zero and the experimental observations agree with the theory.

        And we are talking about a global quantity where 0.1 deg. is an earth shattering discrepancy.

        So I see an awful lot of green and yellow even adjacent to each other, so we go from minus to plus without ever going through zero. So this field theory is discontinuous, because I can guarantee that the real Temperature map is quite continuous; so the discrepancy has to be in he theory numbers.

        There is an argument in Galileo Galilei’s “Dialog on the two world systems.” that proves the real temperature map is continuous.

        Maybe real discontinuous functions cannot exist outside of mathematics.

        G

    • But what is of interest is not the estimated temperature of the temperature field. It is the real world observed temperature minus the estimated temperature.” [my bold]. So using absolute temperature makes no difference.

      • I see a lot of green (+5) adjacent to a lot of yellow (-2) with no white in between.

        We know a priori that the real Temperature map is quite continuous, so it must be the theory that is discontinuous so you can switch sign without ever going through zero.

        See Galileo Galilei; “Dialog on the two world systems.” for an argument as to why the real is continuous. So the Temperature Filed theory must be discontinuous; which can’t be real. Fields are usually Vectors.

        Also there is virtually no white except where you expunged the ocean data.

        But a 0.1 deg. C discrepancy drives the whole world press crazy.

        As for K or kelvin; that is an absolute Temperature scale. So 1 kelvin is colder than the freezing point of Hydrogen.

        We use Deg. C (Celsius) when talking of Temperature differences.

        Fahrenheit is already a bastard scale, so why glamorize it with Rankine extension; which maybe Purdue grads do use.

        G

      • george e. smith January 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

        I see a lot of green (+5) adjacent to a lot of yellow (-2) with no white in between.

        We know a priori that the real Temperature map is quite continuous, so it must be the theory that is discontinuous so you can switch sign without ever going through zero.

        Huh? The maps clearly go through zero. It is in between the green and the yellow, just on the yellow side of the violet lines in the two panels of Figure 1.

        Why would you expect to find white? There is no white in the legend at the bottom. White is not among the color choices for valid data values.

        Also there is virtually no white except where you expunged the ocean data.

        Yes, you are correct. White is missing data. It does not mean a value of zero. And yes, there is no white anywhere except where I removed the ocean data, because the CERES data is spatially complete.

        Best regards,

        w.

      • Well in the general color scheme of things, yellow (eye perceived) is far and away the narrowest part of the visible spectrum of colors. Less than 5nm wavelength separates gold from grellow. The blue complement is almost as narrow around 470 nm.

        Green on the other hand is a very broad swath but not nearly as broad as red.

        In any case, I would expect zero to be white. As a matter of fact, the eye can only perceive five distinct levels of desaturation going from monochromatic yellow at about 575 nm to the closest white point, corresponding I believe to “illuminant C” or thereabouts.

        But my principal concern was as regards the lack of large areas of zero, suggesting the field model as not a good fit to reality.

        g

    • Well. quite obviously, for the purposes of the illustrations, that would make absolutely no difference at all, would it, Mr Roach? (What a well named specimen, eh?)

    • Peter –

      An embarassment? (On your part perhaps – my word processor wants double r.) I assume you were NOT being serious.

      One issue seems to me to have a temperature scale that relates easily to human experience. Let me express a fondness for the Fahrenheit scale which has 100 agreeably-sized segments between what is TOO COLD to what is TOO HOT. Probably accidentally convenient.

      • It wasn’t an accident at all. Mr Fahrenheit had a new, accurate thermometer he wanted to calibrate. So, as any right-minded scientist would do, he went outside to find a suitable thing to measure. So he stuck it in the snow and marked that point as 0 degrees. Then he stuck it in the backside of a cow and marked that point as 100 degrees.

        Incidentally, if you notice it was 0 degrees Fahrenheit outside – yes it got bloody cold in those days.

      • Hivemind,

        Mr. Fahrenheit chose the temperature derived by mixing equal weights of snow and salt as his zero point. (Think ice cream maker) There is no reason to expect a random snowbank to be at zero Fahrenheit.

        Also, cows run just over 101 degrees Fahrenheit. His thermometers could display the difference between 100 and 101 degrees F.

        SR

      • Outstanding – useful information. Having grown up on a farm, I would have to confess, nonetheless, a complete failure to ever associate the backside of a COW with a right-minded scientist. But clearly I was associating the CONVENIENCE as being accidental, not the calibration. One is always rewarded for coming here in search of something new!

        [Please do not continue to insult the perfectly useful, entirely naturally output of the back sides of perfectly useful cows by comparing them to climate astrologist extrapolations. 8<) .mod]

      • HA! Right. Nothing bad to say about cattle. The joy of raising cattle was putting food in the front ends – they did so appreciate that. Today, some 50 years off the farm, I still have occasional nightmares about having forgotten to feed the animals (never did forget). The farmer’s version of the student having forgotten to study for an exam – I guess.

      • The word degree or its symbol are not used when referring to the kelvin (K) (absolute scale) of Temperature.

        (k)elvin refers to a Temperature (absolute). It does NOT refer to any increment or Temperature anomaly.

        273.16 K (kelvin) is the Temperature of the triple point of water.

        g

      • george e. smith January 22, 2016 at 9:35 am

        (k)elvin refers to a Temperature (absolute). It does NOT refer to any increment or Temperature anomaly.

        Well, you better tell the rest of the world your new rule about kelvin, because the NASA folks and lots of other scientists routinely use kelvins for anomalies. See here for one of thousands of examples. Heck, here’s a bonus example from Science magazine …

        w.

      • I just looked up the Rankine scale on Wikipedia. Degrees Fahrenheit, but starting a absolute zero. What sort of a blithering idiot would use a stupid scale like that?

      • American engineers use Rankine scale degrees to do thermodynamic calculations…we are the blithering idiots who would use them. Oh, most of us can use S.I. units just fine also.

      • People who are doing thing in the imperial scale. A lot of engineering data is still in lb/feet/F. You need Rankine for thermodynamics if you are using this legacy equipment.

        Now, using the slug on the other hand, is very foolish. Even though it comes up in head loss calculations, you need to use the full unit (lbf*s^2/ft). In fact, the very fact that the imperial system has two lb units (the lbf and lbm) and that they are not equivalent is incomprehensible.

      • I use it. Or did when doing chemistry. In high school (1969), we used it for thermo calculations.

        Oh, we also used Kelvin too. Being bilingual and all…

        Depending on which constants I remember first, I’ll use either system. It isn’t hard.

        For day to day use, I like F better, for really hot or cold R is very nice. When dealing with folks who can’t handle fractions well and have trouble with the idea that units are a flexible concept, I’ll resort to C or K so they stop whining…

    • Use absolute temperature
      ===========
      ?? the temperatures shown are differences between two C temperatures. The values would not change if you used C or K, but the convention is to use C.

    • The article talks about the difference between actual temperature vs. modeled temperature. How is an absolute scale relevant?
      Or do you just type to hear the little clicks?

    • Yes . I agree . This is the classical sort of analysis of the variance from a simple model I expect in a physical science .
      However , I’d like to see the reference temperature field more analytically derived . I.e. where did the 60 coefficient on the cosine come from . Also , the R^2 doesn’t tell anything about whether the means match or it’s a least squares match . Was the -31 base chosen to make the means match or was there some other rational and it turns out that the means match ?

      • Good question, Bob. The values are the result of simple linear regression of the form:

        Temperature = X times cos(Latitude) + Y times Elevation + Z

        When solved using the 14-year CERES dataset, I get

        X= 60° times cos(latitude)

        Y= 6°C/1000 metres,

        Z= -31°C

        w.

      • X= 60° times cos(latitude), Y= 6°C/1000 metres, Z= -31°C
        ========
        X= coincidentally, 1 degree of latitude is 60 nautical miles.
        Y= wet air lapse rate is approx 6.5C/km
        Z = GHG warming theoretical is 33C. center of mass of troposphere is 5km. conversion of PE to KE by convection (adiabatic warming) is 5km x 6C/km = 30C

        It may be coincidental, by your Y and Z figures are very close to what is predicted/observed for likely Y and Z physical processes. So close as to suggest this is not coincidental.

        the X term, matching the conversion of latitude to nautical miles is probably co-incidental, because no physical reason would seem to exist. but it was the only match that came to mid.

        Very interesting result. The closeness of the result to known physical processes suggests a wide range of applications.

      • “Very interesting result. The closeness of the result to known physical processes suggests a wide range of applications.”

        yes For example you can use it to interpolate or predict the temperature where you have no thermometers

      • Mosher writes

        For example you can use it to interpolate or predict the temperature where you have no thermometers

        Which is fine if you’re wondering whether to pack a jumper but no real help for determining changing temperature trends. It might even make you believe you have more information than you have and hence make you think the error margins are lower than they are.

    • Fred, 60C is fairly close to the average difference between the Poles (-25C North & -40C South) and the equator (23C). (Note, going from memory on those). That is the physical basis for the regression.

      Willis, did you solve for just the 60C or did you try adding a constant to Latitude as well?

  1. Excellent analysis. Comparing where observed temperatures diverge from expected latitudinal and elevational predictions provides s with insights into how heat is transported around the world and the effect of landscapes such as deserts. Your graph with a hot spot in the Barents Sea is precisely what I argue with the Arctic Iris Effect http://landscapesandcycles.net/arctic-iris-effect-and-dansgaard-oeschger-event.html and the fact that heat ventilating from the ocean drives the changes in the global ocean

    • heat ventilating from the ocean
      =======================
      the hot spot in the Barents Sea does suggest that there is much more to the Arctic than increased albedo due to ice cover. for much of the year albedo will not be significantly different than that of water, due to the low sun angle. however, the heat loss to space will be significantly increased when there is no ice cover.

      this suggests a large negative feedback in the Arctic. When temperatures drops ice forms and reduces the loss of heat to space. when temperatures rise and the ice melts, heat loss to space is increased.

      So rather than seeing ice formation/loss as a bad thing in the Arctic, it would be better understood as a natural mechanism for regulating/moderating planetary temperatures. it is a natural process that helps make life possible on planet earth.

      • Atlantic hurricane season seems to be very subdued. The warmists assure us the heat is there in the oceans. If it’s not in the Atlantic further South, maybe it’s in the Arctic ocean at this time. Hey! Maybe heat and water move around! Nobel prize for me!

  2. Dang! Willis, with this post I think I see a method in all your work, a method that always makes for easy reading and elicits responses of “yeah, yeah, that’s it!” from even those who may only have a passing acquaintance with the subject matter.

    A possible modification: The cold off the east coast of Canada and New England is right on the Labrador current – the warm water that pushes into the Arctic has to balance out by cold water moving out. Maybe adding arrows for significant currents would detail the temperature differences on the seas. Also, warm water in one of the Pacific splits is heading right for the Antarctic Peninsula, where we hear so much about what Global warming is doing there. These are very pleasing simple images. Maybe it will all turn out to be much simpler than we thought!!

  3. Is this like the angle of the dangle times the motion of the ocean minus the square root of the size of the…

    • Thanks, Mosh. The credit for the original idea of a “temperature field” definitely came from one or more of your many cryptic comments.

      Keep’m coming,

      w.

      • If you want to confirm the skewed results of such temp fields, look at BEST station 166900, Amundsen Scott, the South Pole. BEST warmed result is on line, warmed by the regional climate fiield presumption dragging in coastal station McMurdo. The best maintained science station on the planet is algorithmecly corrupted by a station about 1100km away and near 2 km lower near ocean. For supplemental reference details see fn 24 of esssy When Data Isn’t. BEST and Mosher of course disagree, but have provided no counter evidence as to now.

      • corrupted by a station about 1100km away
        ====================
        homogenization certainly affects the statistical properties of the data. for example, while the average may remain pretty much the same, the variance will most certainly be changed.

        This means that further statistical analysis on the adjusted data is largely meaningless, because the likely error has been obscured. As a result, climate and weather predictions based on the adjusted data are likely to be less reliable than those based on the raw data.

      • “If you want to confirm the skewed results of such temp fields, look at BEST station 166900, Amundsen Scott, the South Pole. BEST warmed result is on line, warmed by the regional climate fiield presumption dragging in coastal station McMurdo. The best maintained science station on the planet is algorithmecly corrupted by a station about 1100km away and near 2 km lower near ocean. For supplemental reference details see fn 24 of esssy When Data Isn’t. BEST and Mosher of course disagree, but have provided no counter evidence as to now.”

        As I have explained to rud before. The regression OF COURSE will have particular places where the error of prediction is LARGE. And I even explained why antartica is a challenge ( we mention it in our paper)

        Prediction using lapse rate (altitude) can go very wrong in areas where there are temperature inversions.

        In antartica think katabatic winds. Ive told Rud this. he ignores it. Maybe because it was Willis who first pointed out the inversion problems to me.. I dunno

        Luckily these outliers are small in number. That is why r^2 is large.

        Rud found one… out of 40K that is not bad. But I have other users who have found a few hundred. so keep working Rud!

        The fix for temperature inversions is simple. PRISM does one. But I have other terms I want to add to the regression first. However these refinements to the regression WILL NOT change the global answer.
        They will only change LOCAL VALUES..

      • Thank you Willis (and Steven). The coloured map is very instructive. Having worked in much of western Canada and the north, the effect of Hudson Bay and the lowlands has always been intriguing. Weather maps show how the Arctic cold often envelopes Hudson Bay and areas to the east and west like a large tongue. I always thought it was due to high and lows and the jet stream. Perhaps it is. But the map suggests it is pervasive. The map also makes me think back to the voyages of the Vikings to Iceland and Greenland; as well as iceberg alley along the east coast of Labrador and Newfoundland. There may be no relationship. Perhaps it is just the bias in my reading of history, science, and climate.

        Thanks you again, this is a post to keep.

  4. Glad to see you do this.
    It helps me explain the Berkeley method… And why our method of interpolation is better.

    • Steven Mosher:

      You say

      Glad to see you do this.
      It helps me explain the Berkeley method… And why our method of interpolation is better.

      “Better” than what?

      Perhaps “better” is a misprint for “butter” as an analogue for the Berkely product: i.e. butter is made by vigorous agitation of the original milk, is soft, and soon alters to become useless.

      Richard

      • (I lived in Berkeley for several years and ‘Berkeley Farms’ was the big dairy product company there ; )

      • Simple Richard.

        People always complain about GISS interpolation.
        Where temperature from two stations 500KM apart are used to Infill temperature in between.

        In the berkeley approach the PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP between latitude, altitude and temperature is used to INFER or predict the temperature in between stations.

        AND you can ( we did) TEST THIS MODEL.. you use 5000 stations to build the regression.
        then you use the regression to predict temperature at other locations…\
        then you test your prediction,

        What do you find?

        Our method works better than IDW or simple gridding ( which is poor mans way of modelling as a function
        of lat and lon)

    • interpolation is better.
      ================
      no. sampling is better. what interpolation does is take a vote for Trump and a vote for Sanders, and from this creates a vote for Hillary.

      sampling creates nothing. It simply converts the raw data into a normal distribution, suitable for further analysis.

    • I am looking forward to the explanation of the Berkeley method, other than “the algorithm is the proof.”

    • Steven: The hot spot in the Barents Sea really stands out. If you had no temps from that region how would you ever find it using a temperature field based on latitude and altitude?

  5. Willis a question, you said this in the article and it confuses me. “When it hits the cup-shaped shoreline of Australasia, the warm water splits into two parts”, Did you mean the cup shape of North and South America? You are talking about the effect of The El Nino events in the Pacific or am I completely wrong and misread this?

    • tobias smit January 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Willis a question, you said this in the article and it confuses me. “When it hits the cup-shaped shoreline of Australasia, the warm water splits into two parts”, Did you mean the cup shape of North and South America? You are talking about the effect of The El Nino events in the Pacific or am I completely wrong and misread this?

      No, the text is correct. The Nino/Nina pump pushes water westwards across the Pacific. When it hits the Australasian area it splits and goes both north and south.

      w.

    • Tobias
      I reread Willis’ earlier treatise on the “El Nino/La Nino pumping action” (see below) and I believe that when he describes the warm water hitting the cup-shaped shoreline of Australasia before splitting to the north and south, he is describing the east to west currents that lead to a La Nina condition, not El Nino. The El Nino is part 2 of the pumping action, when the warm waters move from west to east across the Pacific.

      From: The Tao of El Nino, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/28/the-tao-of-el-nino/

      “What has happened is that when the Pacific gets to a certain threshold warmth (other conditions being equal), the rising air from the heated surface waters of the El Nino reinforces and strengthens the eastern trade winds. And these strengthened winds simply blow the warm surface water mass to the west, where it divides and goes towards both poles. This exposes the atmosphere to the cooler waters from below. At some point in this process, the exposure of the cool subsurface waters reduces the rising air over the Pacific. This reduces the trade winds, a neutral condition prevails, and the surface once again begins to warm.”

      • Thanks Greg, a brain fart, somehow I read it 180 degrees the wrong way. And thanks for your explanation I already said sorry to Willis ( and who should I be to question him, I better think before speaking again).

      • tobias,

        Asking questions is never a bad thing. The answer cleared up your confusion and made some things more explicitly stated for all. Sometimes a question in one person’s mind leads to enlightenment for all.

  6. Willis,

    This is an excellent analysis! It shows that recent warming isn’t global at all. The same pattern can be seen in the UAH data. The data show no warming at the south pole, almost no warming in the southern extra-tropics, very slight warming in the tropics, slight warming in the northern extra-tropices, and several degrees of warming at the north pole. Modern global warming isn’t global at all.

    If we look at the Arctic Ocean (on Google Earth for example), we see almost no connection to the Pacific but a large connection east of Greenland and west of Scandinavia via the Norwegian Sea. Hurricanes in the Atlantic almost never go south of the equator. Most hurricanes end up making landfall in Souther North America, or they travel up the “huricane-superhighway” called the Gulf Stream, where they sometimes reach as far as Ice Land and beyond. Makes we wonder if hurricanes move heat up to the Arctic Ocean. Maybe hurricanes caused “global” warming (really Arctic warming) instead of the other way around.

    Anything that increases the speed or magnitude of the Gulf Stream could also move more or less heat to the arctic. Any other mechanism that acts to pump heat to the north could give the appearance of “global” warming without any commensurate increase in the total heat in the global system. Just as an El Nino causes the appearance of global warming by moving heat that was concentrated in the western Pacific to other parts of the globe but without any change in the amount of heat in the total system (i.e. no external positive forcing).

    In the past 35 years, global temperature changes, which are mostly Arctic heating, tend to follow the AMO by one year. A ten-year running average of the AMO leads a ten year average of the UAH global anomaly by about one year. The AMO is going to start going into it’s cooler phase soon. If the relationship holds, it should start getting cooler in the Arctic soon. So the hiatus could turn into cooling.

    • Thomas January 19, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Willis,

      This is an excellent analysis! It shows that recent warming isn’t global at all. The same pattern can be seen in the UAH data. The data show no warming at the south pole, almost no warming in the southern extra-tropics, very slight warming in the tropics, slight warming in the northern extra-tropices, and several degrees of warming at the north pole. Modern global warming isn’t global at all.

      Thanks, Thomas, but I fear you’ve misunderstood the maps, likely my fault. This is NOT a map of warming in any way, shape, or form, global or otherwise. This map will not be very much different whether the planet is cooling or warming.

      Instead of a map of warming, it is a map of where the energy is constantly being moved and modified by the various flows, currents, and emergent phenomena that operate in the atmosphere and in the ocean. It’s a chart of how the Earth deals with the energy flows passing through it, not a map of the changes in those flows.

      Regards,

      w.

      • Willis,

        You wrote,

        “Instead of a map of warming, it is a map of where the energy is constantly being moved and modified by the various flows, currents, and emergent phenomena that operate in the atmosphere and in the ocean.”

        Excuse my imprecise language. Your description above is exactly as I understood your article. The point I had hoped to make is that it is interesting that the way the energy (heat) was moved and modified in your model vs. reality study agrees with where we find the heat in the UAH data.

        It’s two ways of getting to the same answer … global warming isn’t global.

      • And…global warming must happen in Antarctica for it to be ‘real’. Yes, we do have warm cycles like the Minoan, Roman and Medieval eras but to gage what is going to happen next, one has to look long and hard at Antarctica and Hudson Bay where glaciation grows the greatest.

        If these two places are seeing colder climate conditions leading to increased glaciation then we are going into an Ice Age cycle. If the ice especially in Hudson Bay is less and less each winter and starts later and ends earlier, we are in a warm cycle system.

        This simple gage means one doesn’t have to observe the entire planet, not even California’s coast, to understand if the entire planet is getting hotter or colder. All they have to do is spend all their time in these two places and guess what?

        NO WAY!!! They want to observe the climate in California, Hawaii, the Caribbean Ocean, etc. All the happy places!

      • Thomas January 19, 2016 at 9:54 pm

        It’s two ways of getting to the same answer … global warming isn’t global.

        No, it is nothing of the sort. Read what I said again. MY MAP HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GLOBAL WARMING. IT DOESN’T SHOW WARMING AT ALL, WHETHER GLOBAL OR LOCAL!!!

        w.

      • Right, Willis, but the map shows some correlation with maps that purport to show areas that have warmed most. Why? Don’t know. At least NH sea ice loss and exceptionally warm Barents Sea are linked to strong Gulf Stream, which shows up on your map.

  7. This is a method that could be useful when forecasting (and backcasting) epic “warm [cold]” periods. If indeed an oceanic/atmospheric teleconnection stabilizes long enough creating increasing warmth [deepening cold] in a temperature reconstruction confirmed area, what would that warm [cold] period look like on a global scale where evidence is scant? Knowing how altitude and longitude/latitude expresses temperature under current conditions could be useful in explaining the Medieval Warm Period and the sometimes oxymoronic way it is showing up in temperature indicators.

  8. Importance of Latitude, longitude, altitude and turbidity factors:

    Crop-Soil-Water balance is an important component in agricultural crop production modeling. The most important components in such modeling are radiation and evaporation or evapotranspiration. The observational networks for these parameters are sparse. These are indirectly estimated.

    In 1970 I presented empirical methods for the estimation of total solar radiation and net radiation and they were published in Solar Energy [USA] Journal in 1971, Vol. 13: 289-292. The details were worked out in 1971 [published in 1973, Indian J. Met. Geophy., 24: 137-152 “An empirical method for the estimation of evaporation from free surface of water”]. The elaboration includes the latitudinal variation factor, seasonal [hill stations, coastal stations & inland stations] variation factors. The estimates for global solar radiation, net radiation [radiation balance] and evaporation were compared with the observed data sets – average, year-wise, month-wise, location-wise. The estimates were also compared with other models.

    In this another parameter required is sunshine data. An empirical method for the estimating sunshine from total cloud amount was worked out [Solar Energy, 15:281-285, 1974]. Here latitude correction was introduced.

    All these were carried out manuallyas at that time we don’t have even a simple calculator.

    In the case of Brazil, “The estimation of global solar radiation and evaporation through precipitation” was proposed [Solar Energy, 38:97-104, 1987]. The details were published in Pesq. Agropec. Bras., Brasilia, 19:247-267 & 391-405, 1984. Here also, latitude, longitude, elevation and seasonal factors were used. The estimates were compared with the observed data network over northeast Brazil. Later these were extended to Mozambique & Ethiopia. Country to country, sometimes the turbidity factor varies and thus needs correct the constants in regression equations. This is essential basically because of climate system and general circulation patterns change the weather conditions, principally through wind and thus advective energy.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Continued —

      I prepared radiation and evaporation distribution maps over India [The National Geographical Journal of India, Vol. XXII, Parts 1 & 2, March-June, 1976, pp. 54-63; Released at I.G.U Special Number on the occassion of XXIII International Geographical Congress, Moscow, 1996]. The annual maps show a U shape with mouth opening towards the Thar Desert and the U hands covering three ocean sides with high values at the centre.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • About calculating numbers, I remember Univac at the University of Chicago way back in my own childhood, it was the only air conditioned building on the campus back then in ancient times!

      My father had this calculator that was rows and rows of buttons with numbers which one had to press very carefully to enter data. One day I ran into my father’s office (yes, we were living there while our house was being built!) and threw my cat onto the key board system causing chaos to explode and so did my father’s temper. Ahem.

      Ah, the old days before modern computer systems!

  9. Willis,
    Might an alternate explanation for some of the temperature pattern be evaporation?
    Your figure 3 seems to have a very strong correlation to rainfall.

  10. Yet again, the 1856 tri-cellular model of circulation… falsified by simply looking at satellite animations.

    A 1039 hPa MPH from Bering Strait pushing and creating a band of clouds around the expanding air mass that finally reached over the entire North Pacific and then reaches the equator. So it took about one week for this MPH to reach the equator from the Arctic. So much for closed circulation cells…

    • TomRude January 19, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Yet again, the 1856 tri-cellular model of circulation… falsified by simply looking at satellite animations.

      Thanks, Tom, that’s a fascinating video. However, I don’t think that the existence of the mobile polar highs (MPHs) and their movement falsifies the idea of the tri-cellular model. The MPHs are kinks in the boundary of the polar cell. And while this fairly fluid boundary is generally somewhere around 50-60 north, yes, at times the cold air expands down near the equator.

      In any case, it is clear from observations that the air moves
      • vertically upwards at the ITCZ.
      • vertically downwards at around 30°N/S, creating the great desert belts.
      • vertically downwards at the poles, spreading out towards the equator, usually to around 50-60° N/S, but sometimes further.

      Now, we know that the air is sinking downwards at 30° N/S … and we also know that it is descending at the Poles. And since what goes down must come up, we have to conclude that somewhere around 60° N/S, the atmosphere is going upwards … meaning three circulating atmospheric cells.

      This vertical movement at the ~50° to 60° N/S boundaries of the polar cells is driven in part by cold polar air masses known as “mobile polar highs” sliding under warmer air, and pushing it upwards. At that point, it is driven further upwards by the thunderstorms generated by this vertical displacement.

      So I don’t see anything that shows that the three-celled overall general model is not still valid, despite its age. The description has been refined by the understanding of the MPHs, not refuted by them.

      Regards,

      w.

      • Really you should re-read Leroux as MPHs and tri-cellular model are incompatible.
        The video is irrefutable.
        There is no worse blind that one who does not want to see.
        Ciao

      • TomRude January 19, 2016 at 10:47 pm

        Really you should re-read Leroux as MPHs and tri-cellular model are incompatible.

        Perhaps. On the other hand, the globe is anomalously warm at about 30°N/S and 65° N/S, and anomalously cool at the equator and at around 45°-50°N/S … coincidence? I doubt it.

        The video is irrefutable.

        Clearly for you the video is a perfect weather Rorschach Test, wherein the faithful can see whatever they imagine. It shows a few days occurrence in one part of the globe, and you seem to think it proves something.

        There is no worse blind that [sic] one who does not want to see.

        While this is true, the problem is distinguishing between those people and people who simply (and correctly) disagree with what you are saying. It’s easy to condemn your readers as being blind … it’s not so easy to accept the fact that some of them may be right and you may be wrong.

        All the best,

        w.

      • “It shows a few days occurrence in one part of the globe, and you seem to think it proves something.”

        Watching global satellite imagery every single day for the past few years as I have done it is easy to realize this video is only one of the countless occurrences of such events.
        Hence, as for the “faithful” and the “Rorschach test”, I’d bet Leroux entire observation based work against your posts anytime, any day.

        Have a nice day.

      • Tom, I fear I don’t understand your objection to my work. You seem to think that there is some big disagreement between the idea of mobile polar highs and the ideas I’ve presented. I don’t. In fact, if you look at my figure 2 you’lll see the term “mobile polar front”, which is the intersection between the cold air of the mobile polar high and the warmer air further south. And yes, as your video shows, that mobile polar front sometimes loops a ways down south as the polar highs move and vary over time. So I don’t disagree with Leroux, or if I do I don’t know where.

        Let me ask you to quote what I said that you disagree with, and then give us some quotes from Leroux that show that I’m wrong. I’m not opposed to being wrong, it’s very valuable.

        But you waving your hands and saying “Mobile Polar High” and showing a 20-second video means nothing to the rest of us. And appealing to Leroux as you do, without quoting a single word he said, is just a naked appeal to authority. I don’t do well with any of those.

        The problem is that you haven’t said a) what things I said that you think are wrong, or b) why they are wrong, or c) what Leroux might say in your support.

        Regards,

        w.

      • Willis, I am not going to play the few quotes game. Despite Connolley’s Wikipedia obliteration job, his books are well known and published in English so anyone can read him and understand why MPHs and Ferrell tri-cellular model are simply incompatible.
        I indeed should have linked to his work in my previous reply:
        http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783642046797
        http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783540426363
        http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783540239093
        My only regret is that the publisher’s pricing is making these books out of reach for most people (And since Tisdale once asked, I gladly confirm I have no financial interest here now or ever.)
        His seminal 1993 paper can be downloaded here:
        http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf
        The video linked in my comment was conveniently available and was one of countless instances simply showing what Leroux described and that is supposed not to happen in the tri-cellular model. Seeing on a daily basis circulation at work is fascinating and beautiful and I marvel at the work that so clearly described it.
        I would imagine that when wondering about energy exchanges, one would be interested in the reality of circulation, hence my comment: nothing more, nothing less.

        Let’s leave it here and best to you.

      • TomRude January 20, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        Willis, I am not going to play the few quotes game.

        Tom, around here what you call the “few quotes game”, we call identifying your objections by quoting what you object to, and backing your objections up with relevant facts and quotations.

        Since you are unwilling to let us know either what I said that you object to, or to let us know what Leroux said that you say backs up your claims, I fear I’ll have to let this discussion go.

        Best of luck in your future endeavors,

        w.

      • As I said in my last comment, my objection is clearly stated: using a falsified, antiquated circulation model to elaborate on the results of your investigation. Period. As for having to justify in a few quotes what Leroux’s work is, I invite everyone to read his work. Can’t be clearer and more concise.

      • TomRude January 20, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        As I said in my last comment, my objection is clearly stated: using a falsified, antiquated circulation model to elaborate on the results of your investigation.

        OK. You think Leroux invalidated the circulation model. Me, I don’t see that, but obviously you do. What is not obvious is why you think that.

        Period. As for having to justify in a few quotes what Leroux’s work is, I invite everyone to read his work. Can’t be clearer and more concise.

        You are running when nobody is chasing you. Nobody asked you to “justify in a few quotes what Leroux’s work is”, that’s all you.

        What I asked you to justify is YOUR work. But hey, since it’s now obvious you don’t want to back up your own claims, that’s your business.

        Just don’t expect to get any traction here by making those kinds of unsupported claims and then walking away from them when challenged. Doesn’t work that way.

        Regards,

        w.

    • “OK. You think Leroux invalidated the circulation model. Me, I don’t see that, but obviously you do. What is not obvious is why you think that.”

      Ahh because now your work is exclusively based on that tri-cellular model… LOL So the bottom line is that you’re peeved because someone points out that this model is falsified by the reality that can be seen thanks to satellite imagery, as opposed to your little cartoon, claiming to integrate Leroux work and plainly showing you have read very little of his and not understood it either, since tri-cell and MPH are incompatible.

      Instead you claim this objective video is “faithful”, “Rorschach test”… How scientific is that? It is not. My initial comment pointed out your use of the Tri-cellular model and simply explained what was seen on this video and how it invalidated the closed cell model. That is all i said but visibly enough to deserve special treatment…

      “What I asked you to justify is YOUR work. But hey, since it’s now obvious you don’t want to back up your own claims, that’s your business.”

      Re read my initial comment: “A 1039 hPa MPH from Bering Strait pushing and creating a band of clouds around the expanding air mass that finally reached over the entire North Pacific and then reaches the equator. So it took about one week for this MPH to reach the equator from the Arctic. So much for closed circulation cells…”

      Before posting, I went back and checked the atmospheric pressure value of that very MPH in my archives, as this information was not in the NASA video. I referred to Leroux work and offered references for those interested. Obviously that one too did not go too well… I wonder why? Bruised susceptibilities?

      “Just don’t expect to get any traction here by making those kinds of unsupported claims and then walking away from them when challenged. Doesn’t work that way”.

      Unsupported claim? Traction here? My oh my, give it a rest Robin Hood. Here is a North Pacific MPH from Bering as of today, stretching polar air from Alaska to Hawaii and about to reach the equator. You can even scroll back and see its progression every 3 hours.
      http://www.dwd.de/DE/leistungen/satellit_goes15/satellit_goes15.html?nn=16102

      • TomRude January 21, 2016 at 8:15 am

        “OK. You think Leroux invalidated the circulation model. Me, I don’t see that, but obviously you do. What is not obvious is why you think that.”

        Ahh because now your work is exclusively based on that tri-cellular model… LOL

        Say whaaaat? My work involves dozens of climate-related fields of study. My main work is my hypothesis that emergent phenomena regulate planetary temperatures. None of my work is “based on that tri-cellular model”, that’s just your bizarre fantasy. Whether the mobile polar highs are compatible with the tri-cellular theory may be critically important in your world.

        In my world, the tri-cellular model is of academic interest only. I’ve published almost 600 posts about climate-related topics at this point, along with five peer-reviewed papers, and mentioned it only a few times in passing.

        So the bottom line is that you’re peeved because someone points out that this model is falsified by the reality that can be seen thanks to satellite imagery, as opposed to your little cartoon, claiming to integrate Leroux work and plainly showing you have read very little of his and not understood it either, since tri-cell and MPH are incompatible.

        Tom, I made a very simply request to you, the minimum required for scientific discussion. Quote what I said that you think is wrong, tell us why you think it’s wrong, and quote what Leroux says that backs up your claim.

        Instead, you’ve gone off on a bizarre rant about how my work is “exclusively based on that tri-cellular model”, and how I’m “peeved” because you claim satellite imagery shows something or other … jeez, get a grip, dude. It’s no use focusing on me and what I think. I asked about you and what you think. In reply, you’ve given me a blizzard of a snow job about anything but that.

        Look, you said you didn’t want to back up your claims. I get that, it’s your choice. So let me invite you to go try to sell your theories elsewhere. Here we do science, which means specificity in what you disagree with, why you disagree, and what you think backs up your claims. I’m not interested in your bafflegab and your unverified and unverifiable notions that you refuse to substantiate or back up by anything except the incessant repetition of the magic incantation “Leroux, Leroux, Leroux”. That goes nowhere.

        Sadly,

        w.

  11. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    Perhaps useful in more depth than I see, but Willis has simply provided insight into how our uneven planet and all its fluids try to even out and dissipate the input energy from the sun. Nothing new, just a very astute observation of how it actually works out. The nonfluid parts are quite uneven, so the fluid flows and energy dissipation are also uneven. It shows in broad strokes why it is warmer and colder in various regions.

    Good. Simple. Broadening understanding.

  12. Thanks, Willis. Very good work! Your three figures are excellent for showing “the locations where reality departs from the model”. And I think the model is simple and correct.
    Food for thought.

  13. I’m Curious about seasonal variation within this map. It seems that this graph would yield the most usable data near the equinox’s. An inspired piece of work.

  14. About that hot spot. Thinking it is more than disproportionate diversion favoring the gulf stream. Remember OCO?

    Methinkin’ sumpin’ portent goin’ on up deah.

    Could be biological, could be volcanic. Could be both. Warmer and more CO2. Who knew?

    The projections could be normalized in arcmap for a precise correlation, but it looks brain dead simple to me.

    • Thanks, gymno, but I’d say it’s not CO2 caused for a couple of reasons.

      First, it’s way warmer than we’d expect it to be given that the difference in CO2 shown in your graph is on the order of less than 10%. Even with big feedback this could only make a difference of a few tenths of a degree, where the actual difference is ten degrees or more.

      Second, we don’t see the corresponding hot areas anywhere else where there is high CO2.

      Finally, we don’t see low temps where the blue spots are on your graph showing low CO2.

      So all up, I’d say it makes no difference.

      Finally, please, please post links with your graphs so we can figure out e.g. whether that is instantaneous measurement of CO2 or whether it’s an annual average, and where it came from.

      w.

      • Not suggesting for a moment that co2 caused the warming or that the warming caused that much co2. Volcanic explains both…
        Image was from a thread a while back where a private citizen made their own OCO maps and a commenter included a human co2 map (happily in the same projection). I overlaid them and the overlaid image is in that thread. I haven’t published it anywhere else.

        cheers

      • Was looking for an SST anomaly in the region that might match the co2 concentration and your latitude/altitude anomaly. Found this annoying unstable kml “real time” anomaly from last december…stable modis based true temperature kml shows nothing unusual in the region.

        More interestingly ran into this I thought you might like:

        http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/basicLooper.pl?category=sst&loc=sstcomp00to12&regex=sport_nhemis&title=SST Composite from 00Z to 12Z – NW Hemisphere&time_drop=show

        It shows the Kuroshio and Gulf Stream currents as meandering rivers of ~10 C water in broader 15 C zones and how they splay out against North America and England. If this is correct they are actually cold currents rather than the warm ones they are supposed to be.

      • @ Gymnosperm
        “It shows the Kuroshio and Gulf Stream currents as meandering rivers of ~10 C water in broader 15 C zones and how they splay out against North America and England. If this is correct they are actually cold currents rather than the warm ones they are supposed to be.”

        Gymnosperm, for me the 10 ºC streams in your link seem to be between 5 ºC and 15 ºC water. The darker colour to the north is a combination of the light blue and purple, you can find it back in the legend as well. Looks like dark blue: the colour is confusing and not so well chosen.

        You can see the currents end up at high latitudes, making the sea up there around 10 ºC warmer than at the same latitude on the other side of the ocean. The streams bring relative warm water northwards. As the cold streams bring relative cold water southwards.

  15. Great work, Willis. You have the rare ability to cut through academic clap-trap & present scientific concepts so that anyone who wants to can understand them – even the experts if they allow themselves to open their minds. Good to see Mosher on here doing just that.

  16. “The ocean naturally flows westward around the Equator, driven by the trade winds (shown below). South America unevenly splits this western flow of warm surface water, with most of it moving northwards as the Gulf Stream, and only a small amount moving southwards.”

    Indeed it does. Here’s the movie (40 secs in)

    • NS:

      In response to Willis Eschenbach having said

      The ocean naturally flows westward around the Equator, driven by the trade winds (shown below). South America unevenly splits this western flow of warm surface water, with most of it moving northwards as the Gulf Stream, and only a small amount moving southwards.

      you could have said, “That agrees with my (our?) understanding”, but you did not.

      Instead you said

      Indeed it does

      and you posted a computer simulation.

      Nick, models are NOT reality.

      Richard

  17. Hey, we are not talking about degrees C or K, we are talking about C degrees (or K ). Thats what temperature differences are. Sorry Willis, but I like ;your writing anyway.

    [??? .mod]

  18. Willis, it is always fascinating to me how a simple formula can describe the temperature field of the earth’s surface so well. There is not much physics behind. It would be nice to make a similar comparison with the more elaborate GCM- computer models.

    • Addendum: When you are observing that some kind of fitting function works well for the temperature field you should look for a simple climate model that leads to such a functional form. My proposal: Use annual averages. The incoming solar radiation S0 is
      S0 = c0-c1*cos(theta)
      theta is the latitude, c1 and c2 are constants. The absorbed solar radiation ASR is
      ASR= a0*S0
      where a0 is a constant.
      The outgoing long wave radiation OLR is
      OLR= c2*Ta^4
      Ta is the temperature of the atmosphere. For balance ASR=OLR and after linearization of ta= Ta-T0 you get a function of the form
      ta= a0-a1*cos(theta)
      where a0 and a1 are some constants. With a constant lapse rate cLR you get the surface temperature
      ts= ta + cLR*(h0-h).
      h0 is the elevation at which the transfer of radiation from atmosphere to space takes place.
      Taking all together you get a functional form you used. I am wondering why a0 and cLR can be treated as constants. This may be caused by large convective mixing.

    • The formula works because radiative imbalances cause lapse rate distortions which cause convective adjustments so that regional surface temperature variations net out to zero.

      The models rely on radiative effects uncorrected by lapse rate distortions and consequent convective adjustments so that they expect a rise in average surface temperature from GHGs.

      That is where the models go wrong.

  19. Couple of points. The air doesn’t just get colder the further up you go, it gets warmer the further “down” you go.
    Secondly, it is not the molecules cooling as they ascend (though some kinetic energy will be expended as it rises against the force of gravity), but rather that higher up molecules are less densely packed together and so total kinetic energy per unit of volume is less. the mean kinetic energy of induvidual molecules higher up in the atmosphere must be at least equal to those below them, otherwise they will not remain higher up!
    Finally, the altitudinal temperature gradient of a planet is determined from the top down, not the bottom up. The ocean warms from the top down. The ground warms from the surface down. The atmosphere warms from space down. Though the surface of the ocean or land can warm the bottom of the atmosphere during hot days, thermodynamic equilibrium is quickly established through the vertical column.

    • wickedwenchfan, I was with you until you said:

      The ocean warms from the top down. The ground warms from the surface down. The atmosphere warms from space down.

      Thanks, wicked. I’d say you are right about the ground and the ocean, but you’re wrong about the atmosphere.

      The atmosphere is warmed by the ground, and the heat moves upwards during the day, mixing as it goes. This is demonstrated by the daily heat-drive overturning of the atmosphere. It would not overturn if it were heated from the top as you claim.

      During the night the bottom heating stops, and as a result at night the atmosphere stabilizes and stratifies.

      Regards,

      w.

  20. Willis

    For what its worth I live at sea level. I frequently travel to our nearest upland area-Dartmoor-where there is a notable 1000 and 1500 foot contour.

    Consequently, when I set off I invariably make an estimate of the expected temperatures of the above heights.

    Around 25% of the time the estimate is pretty close. Around 25% of the time the estimate is notably too warm and 25% of the time notably too cold. The other 25% represents where there has been a temperature inversion.

    This all varies somewhat winter to summer but within those categories. Whether that all ‘averages’ out to match the official ‘estimated’ temperatures I don’t know.

    tonyb

    • Tony, I did a small sample study to show that this type of generality (a Statement by S Mosher saying the same thing) does not work for coastal areas.
      Just compare the UK with Canada at the same latitude and sea level, you can get temperature differences of 10 degrees C at any time.
      You also have a Major East to West difference for most coast as well, just look at temps on either side of any Continent to see what I mean. This is especially obvious for Australia.

  21. I think the flow of water over the Pacific is more a result of Ekman pumping/transport. To say that the warm water is pushed west and then splits either side of Australia is way too simple IMO. The combination of trade wind friction on the surface induces an Ekman flow at right angles to the right in the N Hemisphere and to the left in the S Hemisphere. Sure right on the equator this is not true but the trade winds extend far enough either side to induce Ekman flow. This continues and is reinforced by the semi permanent location of the S and N Pacific Anticyclonic Gyres. So the predominant wind in the E Pacific has a more N (N hemisphere) S (S Hemisphere) whilst the western side of the Pacific there is an opposite wind bias on the western side of both subtropical anticyclones. The net result is the cool water is pooled over the eastern boundary currents e.g. Humbolt and California currents. Meanwhile warm water is pooled N and S of the ITCZ and equator where it is also enhanced by calm mostly sunny anticyclonic weather within the subtropical highs.

    Here is a link showing the flow.
    http://www.thisisyourbrainonawesome.com/2012/07/why-is-californias-coast-so-cold-anyway/

    and also here
    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap11/equat_upwel.html

    So the idea that land mass shape determines where the equatorial warm water flow goes is in my opinion not quite correct. It is however, correct that the land mass shape or location does alter wind flow directions which in turn can alter sea current direction. It may be pedantic but the idea of warm surface water just being pushed across the Pacific is way to simplified.

  22. Hats off to you WIllis! Someone actually testing a model (no matter how basic) to real-world measured average temperatures and seeing where there model does well and where it doesn’t do so well. We never really get that from the alarmist.

  23. excess cold on the eastern shores of the continents, although the mechanism is obscure
    ===============
    prevailing winds. the eastern shore is not cold in southern hemisphere, or in lower latitudes.

  24. “(Note that this has nothing to do with whether the globe is warming or cooling. It’s just average temperature observations minus an estimate based solely on latitude and elevation.)”

    Willis, the interesting northern Atlantic hot spot might be influenced by rising temperatures. A possible mechanism could be the following:

    Warming: ITCZ (thunderstorms) dries the air. In the Caribbean the (dryer) trade winds enhance evaporation, moisture which doesn’t rain down at that latitude. The resulting saltier water is transported by the Gulf Stream northwards and, because the water is being more heavy than before, there is a bigger ‘sink’ in the pole region. The bigger sink enhances the Gulf Stream and so the Hot Spot is getting hotter.

    So, the Atlantic Ocean could have its own Heat Pump that reacts on global temperature rise. The Pump works both horizontally and vertically. And the vertically part works both upwards and downwards: a sink of warmer sea water (possible because it is saltier and the surroundings are warmer too) and by an extra upward transport of energy. For the last thing, I would like to know your ideas about the following.

    In your thunderstorm posts, you already showed the reaction by the tropics on warming. At the higher latitudes rising temperature differences (when land surfaces are warming and ocean surfaces are lagging behind) can create pressure differences which result in stronger depressions and stronger [surface] winds in the temperate cell region. Stronger depressions can transport more (huge) masses of relatively warm air upwards – in the direction of the upper layers of the atmosphere where this heat can be emitted. So, this mechanism could be a second ‘cooling pump’ and as a side effect, it can help to create more pronounced northern hot spots. Because of this stronger depressions the cold southward streams on the western part of the oceans will be enhanced, while in the eastern part of the oceans the warm northward streams are enhanced. A nice view of those depressions: http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=182.85,82.48,486

    It will be interesting to hear your ideas about this.

    Best wishes,

    Wim Röst

    P.S. Great post!

    P.S.2 Cold upwelling water on the east side of the oceans helps to create relative high pressure areas which influences the nearby land. Lowering air up there will result in dry sunny and warm deserts.

  25. ‘In the CERES satellite data, the relationship works out like this. Start at minus thirty-one degrees. Add sixty times the cosine of the latitude. Then subtract six degrees for every thousand metres of elevation. That gives you the estimated temperature for any given location.’

    It seems to me that the data just disproves that the formula.

    • No single location has data that exactly matches the formula but over the globe as a whole all data does average out to the formula, hence the Standard Atmosphere is so accurate that it can be used for aeronautics and rocketry.

      • Thanks!

        Do you know if the ‘minus thirty-one degrees,’ ‘sixty times the cosine,’ and ‘subtract six degrees’ were derived from known phenomena, or are they kluges that just happen to work?

      • Gamecock January 21, 2016 at 4:11 am

        Thanks!

        Do you know if the ‘minus thirty-one degrees,’ ‘sixty times the cosine,’ and ‘subtract six degrees’ were derived from known phenomena, or are they kluges that just happen to work?

        Good question, Gamecock. They are fitted using multiple linear regression.

        w.

  26. To me this shows quite clearly the effects of prevailing winds and oceans warmth warming the land. all areas that aren’t blocked by some form of mountain range are warmer from western coastal areas slowly cooling as you move east..

  27. Yes, where the air is dry it is hotter. Add a humidity factor over land. Dry descending air lets more sun be absorbed at ground level instead of in clouds.

    Also look at the Southern Ocean and how that sends a cold current up the west side of South America when it whacks into Drake’s Passage.

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/drakes-passage/

    Cold flow from the Southern gyres explains the cold ocean spots in the S.H. Add a factor for ocean gyres desplacing water by latitude.

    Nice visualization BTW.

    From somewhere long ago: “Models inform our ignorance”.

    Roughly the same as your point about informing when compared to reality.

    • “Dry descending air lets more sun be absorbed at ground level instead of in clouds.”

      And also instead of in water vapour, it absorbs fair amounts of solar near infrared.

  28. Willis,

    Very fine pondering and reasoning I feel, thank you.

    “So we can make a formula that can estimate the temperature at any spot on the Earth if we know its latitude and elevation. It’s an excellent estimation…”

    Perhaps that could be displayed visually as well . . for pondering purposes ; )

    • John, I could display it but it is very boring, as it is very similar to the actual temperature field, cold at the poles and in the mountains—which is why I’ve displayed the difference between the field and the observations.

      All the best,

      w.

      • Willis,

        “…it is very similar to the actual temperature field, cold at the poles and in the mountains…”

        I get that, but it’s obviously not the same . . and no, I’m not in the market for a pondering coach, but thanks anyway . .

  29. This is NOT a map of warming in any way, shape, or form, global or otherwise.
    ============================
    Willis, it might be a map of natural warming. it shows that the Arctic is much warmer than is predicted by its location and elevation.

    The forces of Nature that caused this might have turned off during the LIA for example. If for example we looked at the same map of the earth from 1500, would be see the same warm spot?

    The Arctic warm spot might be the cause of the Modern Warming, or at least a marker for the natural changes to the ocean circulation that are causing temps to rise for the past couple of hundred years.

    • During the LIA one would see a colder Arctic than at present due to increased global cloudiness (solar induced in my view) having reduced the proportion of solar energy getting into the oceans.

      The overall pattern of warm and cold spots ould be much the same, however.

  30. This is really cool. It is amazing how well the simple model matches observations. Next step would be to calculate the differences on a year-by-year -basis and see if therein lies a hint for the warming or the pause.

  31. Correct as far as it goes but one must take it to the logical conclusion as I have suggested to Willis on previous occasions.

    That ‘temperature field’ is set by mass, gravity and insolation working together via conduction and convection, NOT internal radiative fluxes.

    All internal radiative fluxes are merely a by product of thermal irregularities within the system caused by variable energy flows through the various materials of ground, ocean and atmosphere.

    Over time, the energy value of irregularities above and below the value determined by mass, gravity and insolation must net out to zero if an atmosphere is to be retained.

    That stability is achieved by variations in the lapse rate slopes from one place to another rather than by changes in average surface temperature.

    For every region that has a higher surface temperature than that set by gravity, mass and insolation there is a region with a correspondingly lower surface temperature.

    All radiative imbalances within the system are returned to neutrality by convective adjustments in order to maintain the hydrostatic balance of the mass of the atmosphere against gravity for the long term.

    One regional manifestation of the convective adjustment process is the maximum achievable water surface temperature in equatorial regions as noted by Willis in his Thunderstorm Hypothesis. That maximum achievable water surface temperature is set by the pressure of air bearing down on the water surface because that pressure determines the energy cost of evaporation via the latent heat of vaporisation which at 1 bar atmospheric pressure is a ratio of about 5 to 1.

  32. Note that in the CERES diagrams the positive (warm) values are generally where there is descending air in higher pressure cells and the negative (cool) values are generally where there is rising air in lower pressure cells.

    Naturally, rising air must be equal to descending air for convection within an atmosphere held in hydrostatic balance against gravity so it follows that the warm areas must equal the cold areas for a net zero effect on radiative emissions to space.

    Since the Arctic shows up as warmer than the tropics whereas in fact the surface is much colder it must follow that we are not looking at surface warmth but rather warmth within the vertical column above the relevant region.

    Thus, what CERES shows us is adiabatic warming of descending air within regions of higher pressure and adiabatic cooling of ascending air within regions of lower pressure.

    CERES is showing the real world distortions of the lapse rate slopes within ascending and descending columns away from the formula dictated by the temperature field which is in turn set by mass, insolation and gravity.

    All those distortions must net out to zero if an atmosphere is to be retained.

    Radiative fluxes within the system are then a consequence of those adiabatic processes and NOT causes of anything.

  33. When the r.m.s. discrepancy between the empirically fitted model projections for average temperature and measured reality is a few degrees and the extreme absolute discrepancies top 10K, the projections can hardly be called “excellent” in any practical sense. The high overall R^2 between the two is more the result of the wide range (~50K) of absolute average temperatures found on the globe, than of closeness of fit to the actual spatial temperature field.

    This exposes the fundamental foolishness of BEST’s usage of such model projections to determine not only the reference levels for all station data, but for filling in (kriging) many regions where no station data is at hand. Their methodology is totally unacceptable as a substitute for having complete geographic coverage.

    It should also be noted that the 14 years of CERES data utilized here is simply too short a record to reveal very closely the stable patterns of field variability in the presence of strong multidecadal oscillations, which are by no means uniform around the globe. Clearly the phase of these oscillations exerts a distinct modulating effect upon 14-year averages, which requires much longer records to be suppressed. This sort of uneven modulation is the reason why long series of average temperatures cannot be reasonably reconstructed without recourse to long data records. BEST’s resort to indiscriminate “scalpeling” of long records into mere decadal-length segments is a move completely in the wrong direction; reconstructions obtained by stitching together such segments tend to strongly suppress multidecadal and longer climate signal components.

    • 1sky1 January 21, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      It should also be noted that the 14 years of CERES data utilized here is simply too short a record to reveal very closely the stable patterns of field variability in the presence of strong multidecadal oscillations, which are by no means uniform around the globe.

      I do wish folks would actually do the work before uncapping their electronic pens to declaim passionately about something they’ve never tried … in fact, 1sky1, I did the same analysis using the HadCRUT4 data and found little difference from the results shown in Figure 1—warmer at 30° N/S, hottest in the North Atlantic above the Arctic Circle, same signs of El Nino circulation in the Pacific. If you got something different, please present your graphic.

      w.

      • I do wish that folks would learn to read closely such phrases as “reveal very closely” and stop reflexively imputing passion and/or inexperience upon their critics. I especially wish this upon someone who has no clue that HADCRUT4 very much reduces the multidecadal oscillations in question in order to emphasize a highly dubious global trend.

  34. “Looking at these figures, I finally understood the difference between temperatures in the Atlantic and the Pacific. It has to do with the different shapes of the western shorelines of those oceans.”

    Funny, I thought it was more to do with the opposing thermohaline circulation patterns:

    • ulric, you are right … but what I finally understood was why the same winds blowing westwards across the Pacific don’t lead to the same currents.

      In addition, that chart is no longer thought to be an accurate map of the currents—they turn out to be much more complex than we thought. See “Deconstructing the Conveyor Belt” in Science mag, along with a discussion of the paper here.

      w.

      • The Stommel flow field for the Pacific is a short circuit, cold and warm flows are in the same direction, that is irrational. And Lozier only deconstructs the Atlantic, so we are none the wiser about the Pacific flow field from that: http://www.whoi.edu/cms/files/lozier10sci_95064.pdf

        I agree with Broecker about changes in overturning being intrinsic to glacial periods, probably ice shelves effecting the Achilles heel of the North Atlantic, but that’s another topic.

    • The surface climate is affected primarily by wind-driven surface currents, rather than by the weak-sister adjunct of gravity-driven THC. It’s high time to recognize that fundamental geophysical fact.

  35. Willis Eschenbach
    January 19, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    “Good question, Bob. The values are the result of simple linear regression of the form:
    Temperature = X times cos(Latitude) + Y times Elevation + Z
    When solved using the 14-year CERES dataset, I get
    X= 60° times cos(latitude)
    Y= 6°C/1000 metres,
    Z= -31°C”

    I have repeated your simple linear regression with the HADCRUT4 2014 data. For the elevation of a 5°x5° grid element, I used the mean elevation of the weather stations inside this element. I found
    Z= -31 °C, X= 59 °C, and Y= -4 °C/km. The standard deviation of the residual was SDR= 4°C and R^2= 0,92. For Ceres 2014, I found Z= -31 °C, X= 60 °C, and Y= -4 °C/km, SDR= 4°C and R^2= 0,92. So, the results are essentially the same as yours. Only the lapse rate Y is lower. But the fit is not very sensitive to Y.
    I have done a similar linear regression analysis of the 2014 RSS satellite data: Ta= Z+X times cos(Latitude).
    TLT: Z= -41°C, X= 47°C, SDR= 3°C, R^2= 0,90.
    TMT: Z= -49°C, X= 34°C, SDR= 2°C, R^2= 0,91
    TTS: Z= -53°C, X= 7°C, SDR= 1,4°C, R^2= 0,60.
    TLS: the fitting function is not useful.
    So X is decreasing with increasing elevation. I think that the meridonial heat transport increases with elevation.

  36. Interesting: the hot spot in between Norway and Svalbard in the first figure is exactly the opposite of the situation 20.000 years ago. See the illustration: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/02/glacial-erosion-co2-and-volcanoes-the-chicken-and-the-egg-problem/comment-page-1/, comment vukcevic, February 2, 2016 at 8:49 am.

    Comparing the two illustrations suggests that a complete other kind of pressure – wind – ocean currents – temperature systems must have existed, 20.000 years ago. Land ice was centered around the North Atlantic. Indeed, where we find the present hot spot.

Comments are closed.