Historical Wind Patterns; A Problem for Model Validation

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

We create crude global wind pattern maps (Figure 1). The problem is they are theoretical and based on a false premise known as the three cell global circulation pattern.

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Figure 1

The empirical evidence does not support the three cell system, yet, like the greenhouse analogy, it still appears in most textbooks. Figure 2 is from NOAA’s “Fun for kids” current website.

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Figure 2

One of the best recent (1997) reconstructions shows the complexity (Figure 3).

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Figure 3

What effectively disappeared in the better approximation, or at best is a seasonal phenomenon, is the Ferrel Cell. The diagram indicates its transitory nature by labelling it the “indirect” Ferrel Cell. Again the diagram shows average conditions for both Hemispheres, but there is a considerable difference between them because of the different land water configurations. The Southern Hemisphere structure is more basic because the Antarctic continent effectively occupies all the area within the Antarctic Circle and is surrounded by ocean. That situation provides some limited information about conditions along the edge of the massive continental glaciers that existed during the Pleistocene.

Figure 4 shows the extent of the glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. Just from the albedo differences alone, it indicates a world dramatically different than today. Then, consider the extent of the seasonal snow and sea-ice cover, which we cannot retroactively recreate. In fact, we are unable to agree on the extent of Arctic sea-ice even from satellite images.

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Figure 4

The glaciers grind and erode the surface as they move, especially when the base layer encapsulates rocks and boulders. This leaves a smooth surface exposed when the glacier melts (Figure 5). The glacier grinds much of the material down to what is called “Rock Flour” (Figure 6a) and 6b shows it spilling into a pro-glacier lake. It all washes out in front of the glacier onto the outwash plain.

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Figure 5: Author’s photograph of Fur Trade explorer Samuel Hearne’s graffiti scratched on the glacially smoothed rock at Churchill Manitoba. Note the individual striations from the glacier that indicate the direction of ice movement.

Here the rock flour and finer material are picked up and blown away from the retreating glacier by very powerful winds. These are created by katabatic flow, that is created by the cold air drainage from the glacier. The material is deposited downwind in vast areas called Loess (Figure 7).

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Figures 6a and b

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Figure 7

I know about katabatic winds from flying Search and Rescue in Arctic Canada and around the glaciers on Ellesmere and Baffin Island, but especially during trips into Thule on the northwest coast of Greenland. These winds are very strong. Cape Dennison in Antarctica has monthly mean wind speeds of 24.5 m/s (88 kph) and annual mean of 19.3 m/s (70 kph). Imagine the strength of the winds blowing out from the combined Laurentian and Cordilleran ice sheet, which was larger in surface area than the current Antarctic ice sheet and up to 3.2 km thick in northeastern Canada. That depth is estimated from isostatic adjustments, but the ice thickness overall is far less certain, making model reconstruction more difficult.

How would all this alter global wind patterns? Both the North American and Scandinavian-Siberian ice sheets are in the zone of the prevailing westerlies and the polar easterlies. These winds, including the Polar Jet, determine the weather patterns for the middle latitude zone from 35° to 65° latitude. The katabatic flow is predominantly north/south at right angles to the overall west/east circulation

We are unable to model the global wind and weather patterns today because of lack of basic weather data like temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric pressure. It is obvious they cannot recreate the conditions when the global wind patterns were disturbed by the conditions prevailing when these massive ice sheets existed.

A major failure of the computer models is they were never validated. It used to be called hindsight forecasting. It requires running the computer back to a known climate period and accurately recreating that condition. The modelers claim they can recreate past conditions, but what they do is simply tweak the model until it matches what they think were the conditions.

You don’t need to go back 20,000 years to see the problem. Early in the climate war, when skeptics identified the lack of data, the inaccuracy of the record, and the inability of the models to recreate previous climates, there was the problem of the cooling from 1940 to 1980. The models could not recreate those conditions. The problem was made worse for the AGW proponents because the pattern of known data for the historical and 20th century record was inverse to their hypothesis. For the historical record, it forced them to produce false data, like the ‘hockey stick.’ In the 20th century, contrarily, the greatest warming occurred from 1900 to 1940 when human CO2 production was low. During the cooling from 1940 to 1980 human production of CO2 increased the most.

The tweaked solution was to increase sulfate levels until the model results matched the cooling. As with most of what they do, the answer must have a human cause and sulfates from industrial production were ideal. The problem is after 1980 sulfate levels continued to increase but global temperature started to increase.

We have insufficient data to build or validate the models in the modern record. There is even less to validate them for the peak of the Ice Age. We end up with the bizarre situation that we can’t prove with validation that today’s models don’t work. However, it doesn’t matter because we know they don’t because of their failed forecasts. Frighteningly, none of this stops the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and our governments telling us they work. No wonder people are rejecting leaders and politicians of all stripes on all matters. They confirm the comment that you can tell when politicians lie because their lips are moving.

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102 thoughts on “Historical Wind Patterns; A Problem for Model Validation

  1. Very succinct, One question for Dr Ball ( Or any one that has the answer) : You show a large area of loess in South America , did that come from glaciers on the Andes Mountains or was it blown of Antarctica? Fig 4 does not show any glaciation in the SH so I am puzzled, thanks.

    • We are told that figure 4 shows glaciation in the northern hemisphere; it doesn’t claim to show anything about the south. Pity. New Zealand was affected but not covered completely. In Australia apparently the Snowy Mountains were glaciated and Tasmania had it pretty bad. In South America the “Patagonian Ice Sheet” covered Chile, so the loess probably came from that.

      • I remember a geological excursion in 1969 near Seaham, New South Wales. The feature we were examining was varved shale resulting from glaciation. Lots of trilobites.

    • Neither. It comes from desert areas on the Andean altiplano, just as the North Chinese loess comes from the Gobi desert. Loess can be deposited downwind from any large area of fine, vegetationless soils. Often these are periglacial, but far from always.

  2. The last sentence is spot on. It is also safer to assume a politician or bureaucrat is an idiot until they prove otherwise – saves time as most of them won’t.

    • Is a politician lying?
      Depends if their lips are open [not even moving . . . . . .].

      Auto – possibly on the cynical side of sucker-dom. Possibly!

  3. Actually figure 4 about continental ice sheets is a bit over the top. Maybe that could be the modelled ice sheet volumes to offset the sea level changes, however the actual situation, during the last glacial maximum in Eurasia is depicted here: https://epic.awi.de/9052/1/Hub2004a.pdf at page 1335. Not nearly enough to cover it’s part in the sea level changes.

    Also the glaciation of the Himalayes during the Last Glacial Maximum is disputed, see: http://webcentral.uc.edu/eProf/media/attachment/eprofmediafile_743.pdf

    para 10.1 page 2135: In contrast, during the LGM, Himalayan glaciation was very restricted in extent,
    generally extending <10 km from contemporary ice margins.

    • Modelled ice sheets are not reality. Reality comes from geological evidence. But the extent, thickness and timing of former ice sheets remain a great unknown. So how can they be realistically be modelled? Yet, this activity keeps many academics employed – but can this, in any way, be termed `gainfully employed`. These so called `scientists`, all pinned to their computer desks, need exposing as drags on the public purse.

    • I would guess that Figure 4 is meant to depict the total area covered at any time by glaciation in the northern hemisphere, but it is over the top even so. All of Chukotka was never ice-covered nor was Kamchatka and the glaciation in the Brooks range was never confluent with the Laurentide Ice.

  4. “We are unable to model the global wind and weather patterns
    today because of lack of basic weather data like temperature,
    precipitation, and atmospheric pressure. It is obvious they cannot
    recreate the conditions when the global wind patterns were
    disturbed by the conditions prevailing when these massive
    ice sheets existed.”

    Tim, you’ve got it absolutely right.
    It is all about shifting atmospheric mass and pressure.
    Erl Happ is doing this same topic today. Folks can get a double
    dose of great science. reality348.wordpress

      • There is a world of difference between estimating the next few days’ winds from today’s known conditions, and creating global wind patterns over long periods. And so what if global climate models can forecast wind patterns for up to 5 days – they are supposed to forecast the climate many years ahead so failing after 5 days means they are totally useless.

      • so where is the evidence that global climate models cannot model global wind patterns? Yes there is
        a huge difference between doing it for 5 days and for 5 decades but at least there is clear evidence
        that we can do it over short time scales so I would suggest that that is evidence that we can do it over
        longer ones. Also for example the “trade winds” and the “doldrums” again suggest that at least some wind
        patterns are regular enough not only to get names but to be used for navigation. Magellan for example was able to circumnavigate the globe by assuming (correctly) that the wind patterns in the pacific would follow
        that in the Atlantic and that the southern hemisphere winds went the opposite way to the northern hemisphere ones. I can also predict that storms will go in opposite directions in each hemisphere. So there is a lot I can predict about global wind patterns.

      • Mike Jonas September 18, 2016 at 12:30 am

        ..And so what if global climate models can forecast wind patterns for up to 5 days – they are supposed to forecast the climate many years ahead so failing after 5 days means they are totally useless…
        —————————————————————-
        Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water Mike. Earth Wind Map is one of the best little programs for near real time that I have ever laid eyes on. So complex at all the different hPa that is made available. You could spend hours just getting to know this fairly new and valuable tool, open and available to the general public.
        http://earth.nullschool.net
        You will find the tool box in the left corner side of the screen under the word Earth, click on it and open your eyes to a whole new world and wonder….

      • I could have sworn the warmistas used to proclaim that climate models and weather models were completely different things and that trying to compare them just proved you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    • Thank you Dr. Frank,
      The presentation is 42 minutes long and very insightful about why global climate models are not reliable. There is tremendous uncertainty regarding clouds(which they have no skill in forecasting). With regards to the effect of clouds on the thermal heat flux of the atmosphere, Dr, Franks states that cloud forcing error bars of the models are greater than the increase in the total greenhouse gas forcing of CO2.

      Just looking at the meteorological knowns that support this:
      Low level water vapor/precipitable water has increased on a global scale, which has changed the lapse rate………..on a global scale. This lowers the lifting condensation level for clouds.

      Increasing low clouds at high latitudes should increase warming there, especially at the coldest times of year because the sun/SW radiation is weak or even non existent, so the effect of trapping LW radiation dominates at the high latitudes, especially in Winter.

      At mid and especially lower latitudes, just the opposite should be the case, especially in the warmest months(when surface heating, results in rapidly rising air-that saturates at lower altitudes because of the increase in low level moisture) and clouds create a negative feedback.

      The lapse rate in a rising parcel of air, changes after it becomes saturated.

      Contributing factors are the changes in evapotranspiration from a planet that we know is greening up…….especially in warm regions(warmer times of year at higher latitudes), where the negative feedback from this would be more important, along with changes in soil moisture.

      I can explain the meteorology of cloud changes that really are happening with increased water vapor/lower tropospheric moisture. However this can’t be modeled in a way that allows for cloud projections that display skill.

      As Dr. Frank explains, since this counts so much, if models can’t project this one critical element with useful reliability, then the world is being sold projections of distant, sometimes catastrophic warming scenarios based on a tool that is presented to have reliable predictive power………….when it really does not.

    • This is an excellent presentation by Dr Franks. I really hope it is soon published by a scientific journal, though the climate modellers will hate it.
      Many thanks and good luck with publishing.

  5. While having no expertise an any of the sciences involved with climate – my specialization is language – I have had a layman’s interest going back more than 50 years.

    I would like to know how reliable the images from https://earth.nullschool.net are. They do explain that these are “a visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours.” Does this mean that their forecasts are “corrected” from actual data? Whether they are or not, these would seem to indicate the incredible chaotic nature of the winds. I cannot image how anyone could use these to make reliable long term predictions.

  6. Too bad the earth isn’t average and Zen balanced, but subject to rather wide and chaotic swings.
    I was searching for the origin of the 1,368 W/m^2 & 342 W/m^2 “average” TSI and plugged the aphelion and perihelion orbital distances into the relevant equations. The TSI at ToA fluctuates 90 W/m^2 from 1,413 W/m^2 at perihelion (closest) and 1,323 W/m^2 at aphelion (farthest). And consider the changes due to the 23.5 degree tilt that powers the seasons and the oblique angle of the incoming sunlight. An horizontal square meter at 40 N sees a seasonal difference of 638 W/m^2 from solstice to solstice. Makes CO2’s 2.0 W/m^2 look like a decimal point rounding error. Which it is.

  7. Thanks for another great essay Dr. Ball. It was another highly informative missive.

    Every place I look in the “climate wars” debate, I see lack of reliable data, blind observation bias, outright dishonesty, political motivations, group-think, lack of asking the right questions, and all the rest of the falsehoods that government funded and controlled “science” brings to us. My what “gifts” we get.

    I sometimes think that what passes for medical science in the US is far worse than what passes for climate “science” but I vacillate on the issue. I sometimes wonder if only the most dishonest (or perhaps just most arrogantly wrong) people make it into positions of authority in science.

    On the other hand, we do make some very destructive weapons. So there is that science.

    • Mark Stoval asks

      I sometimes wonder if only the most dishonest (or perhaps just most arrogantly wrong) people make it into positions of authority in science.

      Hopefully that isn’t a rhetorical question, I can’t tell. I’ll give you my version of the answer anyway.

      My experience s there’s a large difference between scientific authority and organizational authority. All the labs I’ve worked in have both types but they’re almost never the same people.

      The folks who have real scientific authority are rarely interested in day to day operations, preferring to spend their effort working to advance their field. The people who become lab managers and facility directors (the Gavin Schmidts and James Hansens of the world) usually aren’t all that good at what they do. They’re competent “puzzle solvers” for the most part who pay much more attention to “schmoozing for dollars” than making significant scientific contributions to their fields. Those who can’t do teach, those who can’t teach, direct. The best of them are dedicated cheerleaders who successfully promote the work being done by the real authorities on a subject, the worst are grandstanding hiney smoochers. Unfortunately they’re uniformly charted to set the course of research and in the case of government funded facilities, to promote the political agendas of the elected officials they report to. NASA and NOAA for example are both organized under the Executive branch of the US government.

  8. Go to any coastline at 30 degrees and higher latitudes. The trees and shrubs will show the prevailing wind direction. In my location it trends more like SW rather than W. I suspect you may find the same in NH i.e. NW rather than W. Islands are ideal as one can study all coast orientations

  9. “…you can tell when politicians lie because their lips are moving.”

    OR…

    “politians never lie, except when the truth doesn’t work”

  10. I seem to recall before modelmania that Fig. 1 was considered just a very hypothetical water covered earth. As Fig. 3 shows it would still be complicated. We used to tell students that they need to learn the basics before tackling complex issues, but a lot of these subjects have been thrust back into earlier grades.

    Are there any models of an earth without land and would they have much use?

  11. Very nice analysis of the problems with modeling wind cells, and the use of anthropogenic sulfates to explain a lack of warming in the past.

    “The empirical evidence does not support the three cell system, yet, like the greenhouse analogy, it still appears in most textbooks. Figure 2 is from NOAA’s “Fun for kids” current website.”

    It always comes back to the text books and the juvenile books. You can point out problems in any of the sciences, and the defenders online can always use an obscure, new study to redefine the terms and the problems–in fact, even completely “move the goal posts.” But the text books say what they say, and those actually reflect what is being taught.

  12. Although human production of CO2 accelerated greatly from 1940 to 1980, atmospheric concentration is an accumulation of production and has generally accelerated from 11940 to ow. Have a look at the Mauna Loa graph.

    • ***atmospheric concentration is an accumulation of production***.
      Not really. Briefly, It is – production plus releases minus absorption by water and plants plus residual concentrations.that were not absorbed.

  13. Wind from the East, fishin’s least
    Wind from the West, fishin’s best

    That’s all I know and I don’t even know that.

  14. Dr Ball,

    The following modelling studies on the latitudinal reach of the Hadley cell may be of interest here. These papers demonstrate that the size of the Hadley cell is determined by the rotation rate of the planet. For a slowly rotating planet, such as Venus, the Hadley cell reaches from the equator to the poles. On Venus the polar vortex marks the return route of descending air down towards the planet’s surface.

    For quickly rotating planets the latitudinal reach extends only to the mid-latitudes. On Earth this produces a zone of descending air at a latitude where the intense insolation of the mid-summer sun can pass down to heat the surface through the clear skies of the descending air.

    From the abstract of Del Genio, A.D. & R. J. Suozzo 1987: A Comparative Study of Rapidly and Slowly Rotating Dynamical Regimes in a Terrestrial General Circulation Model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 44 (6), 973-986.

    As rotation rate decreases, the energetics shifts from baroclinic to quasi-barotropic when the Rossby radius of deformation reaches planetary scale. The Hadley cell expands poleward and replaces eddies as the primary mode of large-scale heat transport. Associated with this is a poleward shift of the baroclinic zone and jet stream and a reduction of the equator-pole temperature contrast.

    From the abstract of Hunt, B.G. 1979: The Influence of the Earth’s Rotation Rate on the General Circulation of the Atmosphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 36 (8), 1392-1408.

    The latitudinal extent of the Hadley cell and the associated region of high surface pressure, the location and intensity of the tropospheric jet, and the conservation requirements were found to be mutually and dynamically related for both fast and slow rotation rates.
    The slow rotation rate model had quasi-axisymmetric synoptic distributions, a small tropospheric latitudinal temperature gradient, a sufficiently warm polar region to question the existence of permanent ice cover, and a large arid zone in the subtropics.
    The fast rotation rate model exhibited irregular small-scale synoptic features, a marked tropospheric latitudinal temperature gradient, a very narrow arid zone in the tropics, and a very dry and cold high-latitude region.

    The take home message is this:- In order to extend the latitudinal reach of the Hadley cell towards both poles simultaneously, it is necessary to slow down the Earth’s daily rate of rotation. Good luck with that.

    • It appears that I need to provide more information as to why I consider B.G. Hunt’s 1979 paper to be so significant. Prior to reading this work I always assumed that the canonical climatic explanation I was taught at college was correct. That the latitudinal reach of the Hadley cell is determined by the process of radiative cooling to space of the air that had been lifted to the tropopause by the convective storm cells of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.

      Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=184623

      We know that the Earth is an oblate spheroid and that the equatorial bulge is caused by the fast daily rotation rate, so if this fast spin can deform the plastic rocks of the planet’s bulk, perhaps it should not be so surprising that the mobile fluid of the surrounding atmosphere should also be concentrated at the equator by the same mechanism.

      If we look at the atmosphere of Venus, a slowly rotating planet, we find that the pattern of the convective cell extends from the equator to the poles.

      http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2443.html

      So we have to conclude that the process of radiative cooling to space at the top of the Venusian atmosphere does not determine the latitudinal location of the descending leg of the Hadley cell on Venus.

      From this I am forced to conclude that the latitudinal reach of the climatic zones of Earth are governed by speed of our planet’s daily rotation rate, not by the temperature of the planet, and certainly not by the gaseous composition of our atmosphere.

      • “From this I am forced to conclude that the latitudinal reach of the climatic zones of Earth are governed by speed of our planet’s daily rotation rate, not by the temperature of the planet, and certainly not by the gaseous composition of our atmosphere.”

        They are governed by the Coriolis force – which in turn is governed by the speed of rotation of the planet.
        Air moving north in the NH (outflow aloft from the ITCZ) is turned to the right until it becomes parallel to lines of latitude. At that point (30 deg N) it converges into the sub-tropical jet and air descends to form the ring of sub-tropic HP zones around the Earth.

        If the Earth’s rate of spin was faster our atmosphere would look more like that of Jupiter (~10 hrs), and would be very banded.

        This is because Coriolis if greater on Jupiter because of that faster spin, having the effect of curving air moving toward the poles faster until flowing parallel to lines of latitude.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_frequency

      • Toneb,
        I thought of including a picture of Jupiter, but you nicely make the point for me.
        Fig 3 of Dr Ball’s article shows the descent of the tropopause between 0 – 30N due to Radiative sinking.
        Fine as far as it goes, but that does not explain the descent of the cell down to the surface in the mid-latitudes. Your explanation does. This is where statements that the reach of the Hadley cell has increased due to global warming are such nonsense.

    • Philip Mulholland September 17, 2016 at 3:04 pm
      ——————————————————————

      Interesting post, thanks.

      Some scientists think that the Earth’s rotation varies over solar cycle. In the case of rising multiple solar cycles such as a maximum of solar activity, the increase in higher speed solar winds create a drag on the planets rotation. In the case of multiple rising solar cycles this would become kumlative over time.
      Funny thing about it is, during the last 16 years far fewer leap seconds where added to UTC by comparison to the 20 years before 2000.

      • Solar gravity waves and wave-driven dynamics, also has some interesting points related to the Earth’s wind patterns and variations thereof..

        The 11 year solar cycle signature on wave-driven dynamics in WACCM
        Chihoko Y. Cullens, Scott L. England, Rolando R. Garcia
        First published: 9 April 2016
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JA022455/full

        Abstract

        This study describes the influence of the 11 year solar cycle on gravity waves and the wave-driven circulation, using an ensemble of six simulations of the period from 1955 to 2005 along with fixed solar maximum and minimum simulations of the Whole Atmospheric Community Climate Model (WACCM). Solar cycle signals are estimated by calculating the difference between solar maximum and minimum conditions. Simulations under both time-varying and fixed solar inputs show statistically significant responses in temperatures and winds in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) during austral winter and spring. At solar maximum, the monthly mean, zonal mean temperature in the SH from July to October is cooler (~1–3 K) in the stratosphere and warmer (~1–4 K) in the mesosphere and the lower thermosphere (MLT). In solar maximum years, the SH polar vortex is more stable and its eastward speed is about 5–8 m s−1 greater than during solar minimum. The increase in the eastward wind propagates downward and poleward from July to October in the SH. Because of increase in the eastward wind, the propagation of eastward gravity waves to the MLT is reduced. This results in a net westward response in gravity wave drag, peaking at ~10 m s−1 d−1 in the SH high-latitude MLT. These changes in gravity wave drag modify the wave-induced residual circulation, and this contributes to the warming of ~1–4 K in the MLT.

  15. And your point is? The Mauna Loa graph does not begin until 1958 and many believe the first 13 years is unusable because of adjustment and other problems.

    Besides, the Mauna Loa graph was produced by Charles Keating, an avid AGW proponent whose family have the patent on the process and thereby control all CO2 measures used by the IPCC. Keating was greatly influenced by Roger Revelle. His son Ralph Keeling took over. Interestingly, he and colleagues published an article in 2011 showing that the biosphere absorbs CO2 at much higher rates than assumed by the IPCC.For this he was defunded by the Obama Administration.

    The OCO2 satellite measures quickly confirmed the inaccuracies of the IPCC claims about CO2 based on Mauna Loa. The Mauna Loa record is a completely contrived and artificial measure sitting on a CO2 emitting volcano with very propose lava deposits set at 3000 feet and produced to fit the political agenda of the IPCC.

  16. Thanks for another great posting from Dr. Tim Ball. As usual, he is spot on. The models do not work, and yet they are promoted by the IPCC as a solid basis for the making policy decisions by all governments. The uncertainty of wind is yet another cog missing from the climate model of the current Warmista theory. Their lips are moving and they are still lying.

    • @Paul: if I read this article correctly, the answer is “complex and varying, but currently closer to two-cell than three-cell”. I probably didn’t understand correctly. Another word that springs to mind after looking at the animation is “swirly”, lots of vortices coming and going at many scales. Turbulent flow used to be the modeller’s nightmare. I’ve heard a rumour that that’s changed, can someone who knows expound?

      • Richard A. O’Keefe September 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm
        @Paul: if I read this article correctly, the answer is “complex and varying, but currently closer to two-cell than three-cell”. I probably didn’t understand correctly. Another word that springs to mind after looking at the animation is “swirly”, lots of vortices coming and going at many scales. ……….
        ———————————————————————

        The Earth Wind Maps depict lots of “swirly,” vorticity, both large and small, co-joined, clock and counter clockwise.
        https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/overlay=temp/equirectangular=-75.00,0.00,300

  17. Figure 1 is a generalised wind cells constructed based on historical sea voyages. Later on several localised cells were added including circumpolar vortex [north and south polar regions], jet streams.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  18. Dr. Ball, thank you for updating me on the wind circulation pattern. The version I learned at school in 1959 was that the cold air from the poles pushed the lower altitude air to the equator, and pushed the less dense warm air up into the upper atmosphere towards the poles. At various stages, increasing pressure from trying to fit equatorial air into mid-latitude circumference forced some of that air down and created the Westerlies. Your version makes more sense.

    I must take issue here, though.
    “there was the problem of the cooling from 1940 to 1980. The models could not recreate those conditions. The problem was made worse for the AGW proponents because the pattern of known data for the historical and 20th century record was inverse to their hypothesis.’

    This sort of comparison with reality just isn’t Climate Science as I have come to know it.

    • “This sort of comparison with reality just isn’t Climate Science as I have come to know it.”

      You beat me to it RoHa:

      ” For the historical record, it forced them to produce false data,….”

      It would be nice for Ball to have included evidence instead of just hand-waving such absurd conspiracy theory.
      Oh, wait, there is none.
      Of course.
      That’show conspiracy theories work.
      The absence of evidence is the proof!

      • Try reading Alan MacRae below this post. Also, there are those inconvenient emails you seem to want to pretend don’t exist, where some rather well-known “climate scientists” talking about data adjustments, especially the need to deal with the 40’s cooling.

  19. Another very good article by Tom Ball – thank you.

    Tim wrote above:

    “In the 20th century, contrarily, the greatest warming occurred from 1900 to 1940 when human CO2 production was low. During the cooling from 1940 to 1980 human production of CO2 increased the most.

    The tweaked solution was to increase sulfate levels until the model results matched the cooling. As with most of what they do, the answer must have a human cause and sulfates from industrial production were ideal. The problem is after 1980 sulfate levels continued to increase but global temperature started to increase.”

    Here is some of the proof of that fraud – from my correspondence on sulfate aerosols with Douglas Hoyt starting in 2006:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/20/study-from-marvel-and-schmidt-examination-of-earths-recent-history-key-to-predicting-global-temperatures/comment-page-1/#comment-2103527

    Re aerosols:
    Fabricated aerosol data was used in the models cited by the IPCC to force-hindcast the natural global cooling from ~1940-1975). Here is the evidence.

    Re Dr. Douglas Hoyt: Here are his publications:.
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/hoyt/bio.htm

    Best, Allan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/26/the-role-of-sulfur-dioxide-aerosols-in-climate-change/#comment-1946228

    We’ve known the warmists’ climate models were false alarmist nonsense for a long time.

    As I wrote (above) in 2006:

    “I suspect that both the climate computer models and the input assumptions are not only inadequate, but in some cases key data is completely fabricated – for example, the alleged aerosol data that forces models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975…. …the modelers simply invented data to force their models to history-match; then they claimed that their models actually reproduced past climate change quite well; and then they claimed they could therefore understand climate systems well enough to confidently predict future catastrophic warming?”,

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/27/new-paper-global-dimming-and-brightening-a-review/#comment-151040

    Allan MacRae (03:23:07) 28/06/2009 [excerpt]

    Repeating Hoyt : “In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly.”
    ___________________________

    Here is an email received from Douglas Hoyt [in 2009 – my comments in square brackets]:

    It [aerosol numbers used in climate models] comes from the modelling work of Charlson where total aerosol optical depth is modeled as being proportional to industrial activity.

    [For example, the 1992 paper in Science by Charlson, Hansen et al]
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/255/5043/423

    or [the 2000 letter report to James Baker from Hansen and Ramaswamy]
    http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:DjVCJ3s0PeYJ:www-nacip.ucsd.edu/Ltr-Baker.pdf+%22aerosol+optical+depth%22+time+dependence&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    where it says [para 2 of covering letter] “aerosols are not measured with an accuracy that allows determination of even the sign of annual or decadal trends of aerosol climate forcing.”

    Let’s turn the question on its head and ask to see the raw measurements of atmospheric transmission that support Charlson.
    Hint: There aren’t any, as the statement from the workshop above confirms.
    __________________________

    IN SUMMARY

    There are actual measurements by Hoyt and others that show NO trends in atmospheric aerosols, but volcanic events are clearly evident.

    So Charlson, Hansen et al ignored these inconvenient aerosol measurements and “cooked up” (fabricated) aerosol data that forced their climate models to better conform to the global cooling that was observed pre~1975.

    Voila! Their models could hindcast (model the past) better using this fabricated aerosol data, and therefore must predict the future with accuracy. (NOT)

    That is the evidence of fabrication of the aerosol data used in climate models that (falsely) predict catastrophic humanmade global warming.

    And we are going to spend trillions and cripple our Western economies based on this fabrication of false data, this model cooking, this nonsense?

    *************************************************

    Reply

    Allan MacRae
    September 28, 2015 at 10:34 am

    More from Doug Hoyt in 2006:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/02/cooler-heads-at-noaa-coming-around-to-natural-variability/#comments

    [excerpt]

    Answer: Probably no. Please see Douglas Hoyt’s post below. He is the same D.V. Hoyt who authored/co-authored the four papers referenced below.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=755

    Douglas Hoyt:
    July 22nd, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Measurements of aerosols did not begin in the 1970s. There were measurements before then, but not so well organized. However, there were a number of pyrheliometric measurements made and it is possible to extract aerosol information from them by the method described in:
    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. The apparent atmospheric transmission using the pyrheliometric ratioing techniques. Appl. Optics, 18, 2530-2531.

    The pyrheliometric ratioing technique is very insensitive to any changes in calibration of the instruments and very sensitive to aerosol changes.

    Here are three papers using the technique:

    Hoyt, D. V. and C. Frohlich, 1983. Atmospheric transmission at Davos, Switzerland, 1909-1979. Climatic Change, 5, 61-72.

    Hoyt, D. V., C. P. Turner, and R. D. Evans, 1980. Trends in atmospheric transmission at three locations in the United States from 1940 to 1977. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108, 1430-1439.

    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. Pyrheliometric and circumsolar sky radiation measurements by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1923 to 1954. Tellus, 31, 217-229.

    In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly. There are other studies from Belgium, Ireland, and Hawaii that reach the same conclusions. It is significant that Davos shows no trend whereas the IPCC models show it in the area where the greatest changes in aerosols were occurring.

    There are earlier aerosol studies by Hand and in other in Monthly Weather Review going back to the 1880s and these studies also show no trends.

    So when MacRae (#321) says: “I suspect that both the climate computer models and the input assumptions are not only inadequate, but in some cases key data is completely fabricated – for example, the alleged aerosol data that forces models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975. Isn’t it true that there was little or no quality aerosol data collected during 1940-1975, and the modelers simply invented data to force their models to history-match; then they claimed that their models actually reproduced past climate change quite well; and then they claimed they could therefore understand climate systems well enough to confidently predict future catastrophic warming?”, he close to the truth.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Douglas Hoyt:
    July 22nd, 2006 at 10:37 am

    Re #328

    “Are you the same D.V. Hoyt who wrote the three referenced papers?” Yes.

    “Can you please briefly describe the pyrheliometric technique, and how the historic data samples are obtained?”

    The technique uses pyrheliometers to look at the sun on clear days. Measurements are made at air mass 5, 4, 3, and 2. The ratios 4/5, 3/4, and 2/3 are found and averaged. The number gives a relative measure of atmospheric transmission and is insensitive to water vapor amount, ozone, solar extraterrestrial irradiance changes, etc. It is also insensitive to any changes in the calibration of the instruments. The ratioing minimizes the spurious responses leaving only the responses to aerosols.

    I have data for about 30 locations worldwide going back to the turn of the century. Preliminary analysis shows no trend anywhere, except maybe Japan. There is no funding to do complete checks.

    ***********************

    • “Repeating Hoyt : “In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly.””

      Really……

      From:

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD010644/full

      “Changes in column transparency directly after WW-2 can be clearly followed from the Feodosiya smooth time series which indicates that in 1946, compared to 1945 transparency was lower, and an obvious, almost 40-year decreasing trend started. This trend includes some 1–3 year periods with weak improvements or leveling in transparency, which, however, did not alter the general decline. In Feodosiya the decline ends abruptly with a very low AITC, p2 = 0.667 in 1983. Evolution of column transparency in Estonia and Moscow can be followed only from the 1950s onward and, although these time series are not so smooth compared to Feodosiya, they repeat the general declining pattern. In Moscow and Tiirikoja the lowest values were reached also in 1983 and at Tõravere in 1984. General decrease in column transparency during the nearly 40 years after WW-2 is apparently not limited with the latitudinal belt 44°–60°N in Europe. It is noteworthy, that an average time series of relative direct irradiance, which for the 1940s was calculated by Pivovarova using data from 11 solar radiation stations (8 from the former USSR, including Feodosiya and 4 stations from Asia, 3 from the United States) fully confirms the decline during 1945–1983”

      Also….

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

      “Global dimming is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth’s surface that was observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in the 1950s. The effect varies by location, but worldwide it has been estimated to be of the order of a 4% reduction over the three decades from 1960–1990”

      And…

      “Over the last 50 or so years, pan evaporation has been carefully monitored. For decades, nobody took much notice of the pan evaporation measurements[citation needed]. But in the 1990s in Europe, Israel, and North America, scientists spotted something that at the time was considered very strange: the rate of evaporation was falling although they had expected it to increase due to global warming.[21] The same trend has been observed in China over a similar period. A decrease in solar irradiance is cited as the driving force. However, unlike in other areas of the world, in China the decrease in solar irradiance was not always accompanied by an increase in cloud cover and precipitation. It is believed that aerosols may play a critical role in the decrease of solar irradiance in China.[22]

      “Hint: There aren’t any, as the statement from the workshop above confirms.”
      Nope as the paper linked above confirms.
      “That is the evidence of fabrication of the aerosol data used in climate models that (falsely) predict catastrophic humanmade global warming.”

      That’ll be nope again.

    • Yep Alan …. that’s the reply I’d expected from someone who is just hand-waving and ignoring the science.
      Well done.

      • Hello ToneB.

        These are some of the papers you cited.

        Can you spot the glaring inconsistencies in them?

        Regards, Allan

        Global dimming and brightening versus atmospheric column transparency, Europe, 1906–2007
        Ohvril et al 2009
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD010644/full
        Abstract
        Multiannual changes in atmospheric column transparency based on measurements of direct solar radiation allow us to assess various tendencies in climatic changes. Variability of the atmospheric integral (broadband) transparency coefficient, calculated according to the Bouguer-Lambert law and transformed to a solar elevation of 30°, is used for two Russian locations, Pavlovsk and Moscow, one Ukrainian location, Feodosiya, and three Estonian locations, Tartu, Tõravere, and Tiirikoja, covering together a 102-year period, 1906–2007. The comparison of time series revealed significant parallelism. Multiannual trends demonstrate decrease in transparency during the postwar period until 1983/1984. The trend ends with a steep decline of transparency after a series of four volcanic eruptions of Soufriere (1979), Saint Helens (1980), Alaid (1981), and El Chichón (1982). From 1984/1985 to 1990 the atmosphere remarkably restored its clarity, which almost reached again the level of the 1960s. Following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo (June 1991), there was the most significant reduction in column transparency of the postwar period. However, from the end of 1990s, the atmosphere in all considered locations is characterized with high values of transparency. The clearing of the atmosphere (from 1993) evidently indicates a decrease in the content of aerosol particles and, besides the decline of volcanic activity, may therefore be also traced to environmentally oriented changes in technology (pollution prevention), to general industrial and agricultural decline in the territory of the former USSR and Eastern Europe after deep political changes in 1991, and in part to migration of some industries out of Europe.

        Global dimming: A review of the evidence for a widespread and significant reduction in global radiation with discussion of its probable causes and possible agricultural consequences, Agric. For. Meteorol., 107, 255–278,
        Stanhill, G., and S. Cohen (2001), doi:10.1016/S0168-1923(00)00241-0
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168192300002410
        Abstract
        A number of studies show that significant reductions in solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface have occurred during the past 50 years. This review analyzes the most accurate measurements, those made with thermopile pyranometers, and concludes that the reduction has globally averaged 0.51 +/- 0.05 W m-2 per year, equivalent to a reduction of 2.7% per decade, and now totals 20 W m−2, seven times the errors of measurement. Possible causes of the reductions are considered. Based on current knowledge, the most probable is that increases in man made aerosols and other air pollutants have changed the optical properties of the atmosphere, in particular those of clouds. The effects of the observed solar radiation reductions on plant processes and agricultural productivity are reviewed. While model studies indicate that reductions in productivity and transpiration will be proportional to those in radiation this conclusion is not supported by some of the experimental evidence. This suggests a lesser sensitivity, especially in high-radiation, arid climates, due to the shade tolerance of many crops and anticipated reductions in water stress. Finally the steps needed to strengthen the evidence for global dimming, elucidate its causes and determine its agricultural consequences are outlined.

        From dimming to brightening: Decadal changes in solar radiation at Earth’s surface
        Science, 308, 847–850,
        Wild, M., H. Gilgen, A. Roesch, A. Ohmura, C. N. Long, E. G. Dutton, B. Forgan, A. Kallis, V. Russak, and A. Tsvetkov (2005), doi:10.1126/science.1103215.
        http://science.sciencemag.org/content/308/5723/847
        Abstract
        Variations in solar radiation incident at Earth’s surface profoundly affect the human and terrestrial environment. A decline in solar radiation at land surfaces has become apparent in many observational records up to 1990, a phenomenon known as global dimming. Newly available surface observations from 1990 to the present, primarily from the Northern Hemisphere, show that the dimming did not persist into the 1990s. Instead, a widespread brightening has been observed since the late 1980s. This reversal is reconcilable with changes in cloudiness and atmospheric transmission and may substantially affect surface climate, the hydrological cycle, glaciers, and ecosystems.

  20. Thank you Dr. Ball for bringing this up. I have noticed the elegant diagrams of global circulation also must be chucked out the window at the Pole, when the flow becomes meridional, or an especially vigorous cross-polar-flow develops. In theory there should be descending air and high pressure at the Pole, the “Polar High”, but it isn’t there.

    We need young and brilliant minds to propose an equally elegant diagram to show what the circulation looks like when a big gale is sitting atop the globe.

  21. To the author, who said: “The empirical evidence does not support the three cell system, yet, like the greenhouse analogy, it still appears in most textbooks.”

    The reason it’s still around is simply because it provides a convenient starting point for understanding large-scale circulation for those new to the concepts involved. However, when I was being taught this model in grade school back in the 70s-80s we were told “This is NOT how it actually works, but this will give you an idea.” (A college-level idea of similar usefulness is that of wet- & dry-air lapse rates: NO air mass is purely dry, nor purely saturated, but it still demonstrates the principles involved.)

    In the real world, the middle of the “ideal” diagram is disrupted by a number of natural, well-understood processes to the point of rendering the model useless… and so we were told even back in the day. Whether they still tell folks this or not, who knows, but anyone still using the 3-cell model as the basis for even general predictions projections is doing it wrong.

  22. “..there was the problem of the cooling from 1940 to 1980. The models could not recreate those conditions.”

    UAH lower trop shows the north pole cooling from Dec 1978 to Mar 1995. No doubt because of a positive NAO regime. The models say that rising greenhouse gases increases positive NAO, yet negative NAO increased from the mid 1990’s, which when taken to its logical conclusion implies that total climate forcings have actually declined since 1995.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

    • “Shows North Pole cooling ….”
      That’s interesting – I can only find reference to “Globe” “NH” “SH” and “Tropics” – and besides UAH only “measures” between +\- 85 deg.

      • Toneb
        That’s interesting – I can only find reference to “Globe” “NH” “SH” and “Tropics” – and besides UAH only “measures” between +\- 85 deg.

        Well, there is only 1 Mkm^2 area between 85 north and the pole, so that :coverage to 85 degrees” means 512/514 Mkm^2 of the earth’s surface IS adequately and continuously surveyed by the satellite. Even at sea ice MINIMUM of 4Mkm^2, the air temperature over 3/4 the arctic sea ice IS measured properly by today’s satellites. At arctic sea ice maximum, air temperatures over 13/14 of the arctic sea ice IS measured properly. And, of course, ALL of the antarctic sea ice “air temperatures” are measured all of the time.

      • That still does not explain how Ulric extracted dat from the North Pole out of the NH data.

        And re data over the poles this is what RSS say…..

        “We do not provide monthly means poleward of 82.5 degrees (or south of 70S for TLT) due to difficulties in merging measurements in these regions.”

  23. We end up with the bizarre situation that we can’t prove with validation that today’s models don’t work.

    And we can’t prove that Bertrand Russell’s Cosmic Teapot does not exist.

    … the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others. link

  24. Could some please offer some perspective on a related point? Mike Maguire posted far above ( 09/17 @ 6:39 pm) in his summary of some video that low level humidity is increasing. The whole panic over climate feedback depends on this. Yet I have read very credible reports that humidity measurements from balloon do not support increasing humidity. For the little data I looked at about 20 years ago I had noticed a trend of rising humidity in surface stations from Western North America (why I was interested in this I can explain if anyone cares). Could someone please summarize what measurements actually show?

    • There is this paper….
      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadth/McCarthy_2009.pdf

      Which says in part in the abstract…..
      “Adjusted trends, accounting for documented and undocumented break points and their uncertainty, across the extratropical Northern Hemisphere lower and midtroposphere show warming of 0.1–0.4 K decade21 and moistening on the order of 1%–5% decade21 since 1970. There is little or no change in the observed relative humidity in the same period, consistent with climate model expectation of a positive water vapor feedback in the extratropics with near-constant relative humidity.”

      • Interesting paper to be sure. Thanks. They do spend a lot of time discussing how problematic the data set is, and how they go about correcting these problems. This brought to mind a thought. There are stories aplenty about researchers building apparatus, and hiding the internal workings even from themselves in hopes of avoiding bias. In this paper the researchers almost immediately begin discussing “spurious drying trends” and, while I am not disputing their thinking, and the need for the adjustments they propose, it is true that they expect, in advance, a moistening trend and probably prefer to find one as well. Looks like plenty of room for spurious corrections to enter their efforts.

  25. In the 20th century, contrarily, the greatest warming occurred from 1900 to 1940 when human CO2 production was low.
    ===========
    Ice ages begin (cooling) when CO2 is highest and they end (warming) when CO2 is lowest.

    What the paleo record tells us is that high CO2 causes cooling and low CO2 causes warming. Or, that CO2 is not the cause, but rather the result.

    There is no other alternative, given that the past record of temperature and CO2 is correct. Either the GHG theory is wrong, or the theory confuses cause and effect.

  26. Dr Ball,

    You correctly highlight that the role of continental icecaps in altering the pattern of wind flow is the crucial climatic difference between ice age and inter-glacial times. This Wikipedia Commons map shows the high average elevation of the modern icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica. The former icecaps would clearly have had a similar elevation and climatic impact.

    You mention having personal flying experience of the power of katabatic winds and consider the effect of that these winds from the former ice domes over North America and Northern Europe had in creating loess dust deposits. Katabatic winds clearly also had a role in creating the ice raft events seen the sedimentary record of the North Atlantic ocean and may also explain the temperature instabilities inferred from these records.

    Another curious feature of the ice age world is that the average elevation of all the continental land surfaces is effectively increased by 120 metres due to the lower sea level datum at the last glacial maximum. Consequently the average surface temperature for all areas will be decreased by 0.75C, assuming a standard environmental lapse rate applies.

  27. TLMango September 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm
    …Tim, you’ve got it absolutely right.
    It is all about shifting atmospheric mass and pressure.
    Erl Happ is doing this same topic today. Folks can get a double
    dose of great science. reality348.wordpress…
    ———————————————————–

    Yes, Erl is doing a very similar topic today…very interesting. Something Ren has been trying to tell us for some time now, too.

    Figure 2 indicates that as the neutron count increases surface pressure falls away in high southern latitudes. The surface pressure response appears to lag the neutron count by about a week. It is inferred that ionisation by cosmic rays enables the production of ozone that in turn absorbs long wave radiation from the Earth, enhancing differences in the density of the air and driving polar cyclone activity that is responsible for shifts in atmospheric mass.
    https://reality348.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/39-influence-of-cosmic-rays-on-the-global-circulation-of-the-atmosphere-and-surface-temperature/

  28. Thank you,Dr.Ball. I to have flown SAR from the B.C. Rockies to Coppermine to Frobisher Bay (Iqualit) to the North Pole, and have walked on many,many miles of it. Remote,hostile,and totally unfriendly to what us modern day humans call livable. Yet life abounds. At Eureka,you never walked from your Quonset hut 30 feet to the mess hall without a rifle(Arctic wolves love fresh food). I have pieces of petrified wood from Ellsmere Island dated by UofA at over 30 million years old. I have pieces of “rose stone” only found in two places on earth,the Canadian island of Ellsmere and Siberia. Things and our world was way different 300 million years ago. Indications seem to say we a bit further south then now.

  29. Funny thing about air that circulates – it totally negates the Greenhouse effect. Rising air cools significantly according the the Gas Laws in what Thermodynamics call the Adiabatic Process.

  30. I like the idea of a global average surface windspeed, and how it could be shown to have increased/decreased …. to ‘prove’ global warming. One could do the same with a global average surface pressure, and also a global average rainfall.

    Of course nobody would take these numbers as having any real meaning, yet some believe that a global average surface temperature number really does have significance ….

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