‘Warming’ and ‘The Pause’ Explained By Wind, Upwelling And Mixing

Cooling and warming the surface of the Earth without energy loss or energy gain: a natural mechanism

Guest Post by Wim Röst

Abstract

Upwelling is a massive force, well visible on world maps. Data provide evidence that the last century ‘Warming period(s)’ just may be caused by ‘less deep sea cooling’. Data also show that the ‘Pause’ is characterized by ‘more wind’ and therefore by ‘more upwelling’. That upwelling cooled the surface layer of the Oceans and ended the previous warming trend. Effects are visible both on a regional scale (i.e. the North Atlantic) and on the global scale. ‘Upwelling’ together with ‘mixing’ is a massive force. On a scale of decades the mechanism responds quickly to changes and it forms a very active force. The changes in wind speed are enhanced in their effects because ‘wind stress’ on the surface is a quadratic function of wind speed. Preliminary data suggest that the wind-upwelling-mixing mechanism might be a new and important stabilizing feedback mechanism as well. The here described warming/cooling mechanism acts without energy loss / energy gain for the Earth as a whole. The author suggests that because of it’s massive power, the mechanism also plays a main role in Abrupt Climate Changes as are known from the rapid transitions into and out of the Interglacials. Less wind causes accelerated warming of the sea surface and the atmosphere. ‘More wind’ causes a quick and strong cooling by the Deep Sea.

Introduction

In my last post, Warming by [less] Upwelling of Cold Ocean Water *, I explained that the ‘cooling potential’ of the deep sea is enormous. Calculations showed that – if activated – the subsea can and will decide over sea surface temperatures. A one year doubling of the regular ‘upwelling’ diminishes global sea surface temperatures with 0,18 ºC. I stated that ‘wind’ is determining cold upwelling (and ‘mixing’).

So far the theory. Let’s check the facts.

First question: can we see the effect of ‘upwelling’: is upwelling that huge that it is visible?

Answer: sure, the effect of upwelling is very well visible, even on world scale maps. Who looks in ‘horizontal lines’ often sees on the same latitude sea surface temperatures that are lower than elsewhere, especially on the West side of continents. Have a look at fig. 1.

Fig. 1: ** Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) 1985-2015.

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We find main upwelling areas West of North Africa, West of South Africa, West of Peru and West of California. Prevailing Eastern winds, the Easterlies, are the cause of big upwelling areas. Less well known are upwelling/mixing areas resulting from Westerlies: the Sea of Okhotsk (East-Siberia) and the seas North and East of Newfoundland. For climate change those areas are important as well.

It is clearly visible: Upwelling is a massive power.

But that is not enough. When changing wind patterns are the cause of temperature differences as I argued in my last post, then we must be able to see those changing patterns between two periods.

Because the last ‘warming period’ is quite different from ‘the Pause’ I selected two different 15 year periods that both included a massive El Nino: 1986-2000 and 2001-2015 (data for 2016 were not available at the moment of plotting the maps).

In ClimateReanalyzer it is possible to subtract the average of the ‘Warming period’ from the average for ‘the Pause’: 2001-2015 minus 1986-2000. The parts of the ocean that cooled down during the Pause (compared to the warming period before) are shown in blue. Relative ‘warming’ during the Pause is shown in red. The sea temperature differences between both periods are well visible in most of the seas: Fig. 2.

Fig. 2:** Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly of ‘The Pause’ minus ‘Warming’ (2001-2015 minus 1986-2000).

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During the Pause, most main upwelling area’s show ‘cooling’ (blue). Deep upwelling water was cooling the surface during the Pause more than it did during the Warming period before. Or, reversely, during the Warming period, less upwelling water was cooling the surface layer, resulting in ‘warming’.

Following the theory, the following question was: “Do sea surface temperatures show cooling because of a change in wind patterns? As I argued in the last post, wind drives upwelling. If so, the following map must show stronger winds at the cooling places of fig. 2.

For the same periods the difference in average wind speed was plotted. More wind (in red) means the wind enhanced over that region during the Pause.

The result is astonishing: fig. 3.

Fig. 3:** Wind speed during ‘The Pause’ minus wind speed during ‘Warming’ (2001-2015 minus 1986-2000). ‘Red’ = higher wind speed during the Pause, ‘blue = lower wind speed than in the preceding (warming) period.

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Fig. 2 and fig. 3 are nearly the inverse of each other. Where wind speed was enhanced during the Pause, sea surface cooled. Where wind speed diminished, sea surface warmed.

In the Pacific Ocean we see that in the upwelling areas (West of California, West of Peru – blue in fig. 2) the wind was indeed stronger (‘red’ in fig. 3). This stronger wind enhanced the upwelling. And upwelling cooled the surface: blue in fig. 2.

But there is more. In my last post I also stated that ‘Warming’ could have been caused by less upwelling. If so, wind speed must have been diminished in seas that warmed.

Let us have a look at the North Atlantic, the region that warmed the most during the Pause (red in fig. 2). What was the role of wind in the North Atlantic during the Pause? The theory says it should have been diminished. If so, it would be shown as ‘blue’ in fig. 3.

And it is shown in blue. Less wind in the North Atlantic indeed coincided with ‘warming’. Less wind, less upwelling/mixing. And Sea Surfaces in the Atlantic were warming.

But that is not all. In my last post I also stated that ‘the whole period of Warming’ could have been caused by less upwelling.

If ‘Warming’ in general is also caused by less wind (resulting in less upwelling/mixing), than, in the Warming Period the average wind speed must have been lower in 1986-2000 than during 2001 – 2015. Let’s check.

Fig. 4 shows the development of average global wind speed for the whole period (unfortunately wind speed ´for oceans only´ was not available)

 

Fig. 4:**  Development of global wind speed since 1979

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(WR: The red line is added to the original graphic)

Less wind + less upwelling = Warming

Wind speed increased from 1979 onwards. During the entire period of warming wind speed on average was lower than during the Pause. Resulting in ‘warming’.

More wind + more upwelling = The Pause

During The Pause wind speed on the average was higher than during the Warming period. Resulting in ‘no warming’. As the theory says.

A ‘phase shift’ in 1997?

Because I was interested in the difference between the distinctive periods before and after 2000, I tried to look at the above graph in a different way: is there something visible like a ‘phase shift’ between the two periods?

Something like a phase shift seems to be the case from the start of the 1997 El Nino. I added the red line to the graph. Looking left and right of the red line, one discovers a different ‘average level’ for the two periods.

A negative feedback mechanism?

After the 1997 El Nino the average surface temperature of the seas was higher as well. See fig. 5

Fig. 5**: Development of Sea Surface Temperatures since 1979

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(WR: Again a red line is added to the original graphic at the same moment in time as in fig. 4)

The development of Sea Surface Temperatures shows a pattern that is remarkably the same as the development of Wind Speed. Higher sea surface temperatures coincide with more wind.

As we already saw, more wind results in cooling because of upwelling/mixing. Therefore, the most logical conclusion here is that warming seas enhanced global wind speed and that global wind speed in turn started the cooling process.

This leads to the conclusion that a negative wind/upwelling feedback might be regulating surface temperatures: more warmth > more wind > more upwelling > cooling.

If future observations (and reanalysis results) confirm the pattern, an important new stabilizing feedback might have been discovered.

This feedback could play an important role in explaining the cyclic character of warming/cooling periods as well.

Wind stress is a quadratic function

The difference in wind speed between the two distinctive periods doesn’t seem to be that high in meters per second, but: “Because wind stress is a quadratic function of wind speed, gusty winds produce larger stresses than would steady winds of the same average speed.” *** In other words, a few extra storms will have a much bigger impact on upwelling and mixing of the sea surface than ‘average wind change’ would suggest. A little increase in wind speed results in a lot of extra upwelling and mixing. And a little decrease in wind speed results in much less upwelling and mixing.

Physical processes

Without wind, the sun would heat up the upper surface layer of the oceans, in the tropics more intensely than at the higher latitudes. Without wind, the upper layer will quickly show a stronger stratification in temperature.

As everyone who is visiting a cold lake in summertime can experience, the following happens. Without wind, in three to five sunny days the sun can heat up the toplayer significantly, producing one or two meters of much warmer water. Which, during the heat of summer, often is nice to swim in. Fig. 6.

Fig. 6: Stratification of a lake after warming by the sun – without wind

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After the initial situation shown above, the following happens after the wind started to blow. Upwind the warm surface layer will be blown away and cold water will well up. Fig. 7.

 

Fig. 7: Cooling the surface by upwelling

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Cooling without energy loss

Downwind, the wind will mix the upper layers. The warm water at the surface will be mixed with the cooler water below, resulting in an overall lower surface temperature and a thickening of the surface layer itself. By mixing, no energy is lost, however the top surface layer cooled. Wind cools the surface. Also by mixing. See Fig. 8.

Fig. 8: Cooling the top of the surface layer by ‘mixing’. An example.

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Oceans are ‘very big lakes’ with their own characteristics. But there, the same wind / upwelling / mixing principles are at work.

Experiences of a submariner confirm that ‘mixing’ in the oceans in some cases can go as deep as 1000 meter. For some first hand observations, scroll down to: **** Submarine Experiences

Abrupt Climate Change

Due to Abrupt Climate Change(s) into an Interglacial, the global climate system changed rapidly. A different climate system with completely other characteristics for major areas established itself in a very short time. Gradual orbital chances can not explain the rapid temperature changes into the Interglacials. Some power must have warmed the surface at moments of a rapid shift into the Interglacial. In a following post I will elaborate on the idea that by a temporary switching off of the Earth Cooling Mechanism it was possible that the surface of the Earth was warmed by several  degrees in a century. Or strongly cooled when the cooling mechanism was working in overdrive. It has always been the Sun that warms the Earth year after year, but the Sun can only warm the surface rapidly when the massive (and continuously working) Deep Sea Cooling is diminished substantially.

In a future post I will elaborate on the consequences of upwelling and mixing processes for climate. The consequences are huge. But, given the massive influence on surface temperatures as shown earlier in this post ((fig. 2 and fig. 3) and in the previous one, we can already draw some important conclusions.

Conclusions:

The here described mechanism shows that ‘warming’ or ‘cooling’ of the surface of the Earth is able to happen without ‘energy gain’ or ‘energy loss’ for the Earth as a whole.

Periods of warming or cooling might just be the result of natural variation within the atmosphere/ocean system itself.

‘Weather’ (here: ‘wind’) still controls sea surface temperatures as shown by fig. 2 and fig. 3. The Oceans dominate the Earth’ surface (with a share of 71%) and determine most of the Earth’ temperature. Winds and Oceans are the decisive factor. ‘Upwelling’ and ‘mixing’ are processes that strongly react on relatively small changes in atmospheric conditions. Slight increases in wind speed result in the mixing of a lot of ‘cold’ deep seawater into the surface layer.

In respect to warming/cooling there are three possibilities:

  1. No wind: no mixing and upwelling, strong warming of the surface layer.
  2. “Normal wind”: no change in temperature, just the right quantity of ‘cold from the depth’ and ‘sun energy from above’ to keep surface temperatures stable.
  3. More wind: more mixing and upwelling, cooling of the surface, cooling of the atmosphere.

My guess: both warming periods of the last century were [mainly] the result of diminished ‘wind’. ‘The Pause’ showed a wind level that was just ‘right’ to keep surface temperatures stable. More wind will result in cooling. And less wind in the future will result in another warming period.

One who can not predict ‘wind,’ can not predict climate change.

So far, nobody can predict future winds, not even two weeks ahead. And no one can predict the behaviour of the oceans either.

Wind and oceans do what they do.


With regards to commenting: please adhere to the rules known for this site: quote and react, not personal. Factual information in regard to this topic is welcome.

About the author: Wim Röst studied human geography in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The above is his personal view. He is not connected to firms or foundations nor is he funded by government(s)

Notes:

* https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/26/warming-by-less-upwelling-of-cold-ocean-water/

** Source of fig. 1-3 and fig. 4 and 5:

http://cci-reanalyzer.org/reanalysis/monthly_maps/index.php

http://cci-reanalyzer.org/Reanalysis_monthly/tseries.php

*** Source: https://marine.rutgers.edu/dmcs/ms501/2004/Notes/Wilkin20041014.htm

 

**** SUBMARINE EXPERIENCES

I spent the 1980’s on prolonged nuclear submarine submerged deployments (>80 days submerged duration) throughout the North Atlantic Basin.  For a variety of operational and tactical reasons, ocean water temperature was of extreme interest.  We typically operated below 70 meter submerged depth.  We were often in the same area at the same depth repeatedly during a deployment and also from year to year.

Summary:

1)  Very large storms will stir up the water column and hence the temperature profile much deeper than 70m.

a)  We witnessed one severe winter storm system in 1984 change the temperature profile for at least 1000 m depth.

b)  This temperature disruption lasted for at least 60 days after the storm system had abated.

2)  All of our temperature measurements were taken by direct readings.

a)  Ship board precision sensors

b)  Remote wired sensors deployed from the ship.

c)  Calibrated accuracy was to +/- .05C  (I have a lot of engineering experience with precision temperature measurement systems, accuracies, calibration, etc.)

3)  In the absence of storm systems, the temperature profile would change repeatedly when in proximity to the Gulf Stream current in the North Atlantic.  Proximity could mean within 200 to 300 km of the main Gulf Stream Current.  We would see changes of 1 to 4C in a 30 to 45 day time frame.  It depended upon the amount of eddie current and time of year off of the Gulf Stream Current.  In summary this is a very powerful mixing agent.

4)  In relatively still and deep ocean basins, the changes would not be so dramatic or dynamic. However from year to year (at the same time of the year) we would often see variations of 1 – 2C

The ocean is an incredibly dynamic, constantly changing three dimensional system

(name known by the author of this article)

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194 thoughts on “‘Warming’ and ‘The Pause’ Explained By Wind, Upwelling And Mixing

  1. Assume your audience has never heard of “upwelling” in the context in which you are explaining it.

    Now answer the question: “WHAT substance is upwelling ?” It is not immediately apparent whether you are talking about atmospheric air or ocean water.

    You have the words, “wind” and “upwelling” in the title, which, to those unfamiliar with the terminology, at first suggests that air is the subject. It would be more apparent if your title included “ocean water upwelling”, if this is what you want readers to immediately grasp. I, for example, first thought this was an article about air convection and “upwelling” air currents. My whole context was thrown, which made my experience of your article a little shaky upon first entry.

    • Robert Kernodle ==> You are quite right to complain about the lack of definition of terms. It is one of the trickier parts of writing to be aware of what your readers might not know. There should have been a single line or even phrase indicating that “the passage of wind over the surface of the oceans pushes the warmer surface waters in the direction the wind is blowing, causing deeper, usually cooler, water to “upwell” to replace it, as shown in the diagram below” (let your imagination supply the diagram).

      As an occasional author here, I am sometimes guilty in the same way.

      • Kip Hansen: “There should have been a single line or even phrase indicating that “the passage of wind over the surface of the oceans pushes the warmer surface waters in the direction the wind is blowing, causing deeper, usually cooler, water to “upwell” to replace it, as shown in the diagram below” (let your imagination supply the diagram).”

        WR: See above:
        “Introduction
        In my last post, Warming by [less] Upwelling of Cold Ocean Water *, I explained that the ‘cooling potential’ of the deep sea is enormous.
        Notes:
        * https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/26/warming-by-less-upwelling-of-cold-ocean-water/

        In the first post upwelling was explained. The first sentence gave a reference to that post. Later in this post enough about upwelling was explained.

        But I will take notion for a next post.

      • Wim ==> I suspected that you might have explained it in the first post (which I don’t recall seeing, personally). I always take reader complaints as a chance to “do better next time” and often use a preamble to state if readers must read earlier essays in a series before the current one. I have written a couple of serial posts here and sometimes that all must be read in order or the reader will definitely be lost.

        I would like to see an additional essay in this series which looks at the use of the Land and Ocean Surface temperature metrics as (LOTI and others) yardsticks for planetary atmospheric warming due to GHGs.

        It is my thought that including ocean surface temperature in such a metric, averaged with land surface temperatures (air 2 m above the surface) is a non-physical thing to do — the combination measures nothing useful. They are not caused by the same forces.

      • Kip Hansen January 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

        Kip, thanks for your recommendations, I read them well! Thanks.

        I remember one of your posts in which you asked more attention for ‘wind’. The role of wind indeed is underestimated. I hope that taking here one aspect of the wind (the role it plays for the vertical motion(s) in the ocean) will have pleased you. Perhaps this article will stimulate others too to look at the role of wind and at the connection between the fluids (air and water) in all their natural variations. As soon as we know all the natural variations, we can see which part of the ‘changes’ is made by man.
        It will take a lot of time before we know all about those natural variation(s) and their interconnections. We don’t know much about wind and the same for the oceans. I was glad to read your request for more attention for wind and I hope my article will also stimulate research for both wind and ocean plus their ‘connection(s)’.

      • Wim ==> “Perhaps this article will stimulate others too to look at the role of wind and at the connection between the fluids (air and water) in all their natural variations. ” That is what used to be known as “climate studies” — fluid dynamics of ocean and atmosphere — the very reason NOAA is the “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” — the combination produces the weather and the climate.

        The research began back with Dave Fultz at Chicago and Robert Hide at Cambridge doing physical rotating “dishpan” experiments to understand the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean currents. In doing these experiments, they stumbled on the first hints of chaos in those dynamics. I mentioned some of this here and here.

      • Kip Hansen January 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm
        “Wim ==> “Perhaps this article will stimulate others too to look at the role of wind and at the connection between the fluids (air and water) in all their natural variations. ” That is what used to be known as “climate studies” — fluid dynamics of ocean and atmosphere — the very reason NOAA is the “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” — the combination produces the weather and the climate.”

        Kip, I read that billions a year are spend for climate research. And we absolutely need to know all about the “fluid dynamics of ocean and atmosphere”. But I was rather astonished to discover that the cooling role of the deep sea and the variations in that cooling – as far as I could find out – never was connected to global climate change. While we are measuring changing global temperatures in hundreds of a degree, a massive force as “the Earth’ Water Cooling”, able to make changes in global temperatures in tenth of a degree in a year, never got the attention it deserved. It seems that everyone ‘is looking up’ while most happens at the connection between Atmosphere and Ocean and below the surface of the Ocean. That is where our attention should have been.

        Of course there are more important climate factors than the factors here described, but these forces ‘Wind’ and ‘Deep Sea Cooling’ are that powerful that you really should expect that they would be in the centre of attention. They seem ‘to be missed’.

        But in studying these factors, there is a risk. A risk that can be proven that Nature indeed can cause the variations in temperature that we are measuring. And that there are feedback mechanisms that will bring all ‘extra energy’ that is brought into the Atmospheric system into the deep ocean.

        In my last post Bryan counted that it would take the Oceans 870 years to raise the temperature of the whole ocean one degree C/K when the Oceans would take up all the extra energy that is mentioned: “Now we are told that on average there is a 0.58w/m^2 gain over the recent past” See comment https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/26/warming-by-less-upwelling-of-cold-ocean-water/#comment-2383370 Compare this 870 years of heat uptake to the cooling of 0,18 degree C in one year (!) when the upwelling one year should have been doubled. You should really expect far more attention for the cooling capacity and the cooling role of the Ocean. Which is really huge.

        In a future post I will like to discuss aspects of ‘other climate systems’ that have existed. With probably quite other characteristics for wind and oceans. Characteristics that are the results of other circumstances and that at their turn result in other circumstances -.as it works in a dynamic ever changing chaotic system of fluids.

        Kip, I will have a look at your links too, but later. Thanks!

    • I thought it was plain as day he was referring to the ocean waters. ‘Upwelling’ in the atmosphere is more associated with the water cycle, thermals and the like, i.e. much to do with weather. “Wind” is a common expression used in this context.

      This was one of the best explanations of a natural, almost zero sum mechanism that would explain quite long period fluctuations in surface temperatures and also highlight the misleading effect of using such a metric in a simplistic way to fully characterise and measure whether there is actual energy accumulation by the planet aka ‘global warming’ or whether what some scientists think they are seeing is actually something else.

      • “This was one of the best explanations of a natural, almost zero sum mechanism that would explain quite long period fluctuations in surface temperatures and also highlight the misleading effect of using such a metric in a simplistic way to fully characterise and measure whether there is actual energy accumulation by the planet aka ‘global warming’ or whether what some scientists think they are seeing is actually something else.”

        WR: Thank you M Seward. Trying to find out what is REALLY happening and reading as much as possible about it, I often thought: “It ain’t necessarily so”. To discover that the internal variation between two systems, (“Atmosphere” and “Ocean”) could be able to explain all measured differences in temperatures without energy gain or loss for the Earth as a whole was a very fundamental discovery. Wind and ocean are reacting on each other (and probably on a lot of other things not discussed here) and only their internal dynamics already can explain most – if not all – of the temperature changes we are measuring. It takes time to realize what this means.

      • I concur . I think Bill Gray might well have too .
        Given the total variation in temperature this whole nonscience is about , it’s easy to believe that a major portion of it is just 0 sum redistributions of energy .

    • Robert,

      The grammar and vocabulary was a little stilted, suggesting to me that English is a second language for Wim. I think that we could cut him a little slack for that. Taking allowance for the fact that it didn’t read like something that I might write, I had no difficulty understanding his points, when take in context.

      I applaud Wim for making a good attempt at conveying an important idea to an audience that doesn’t speak Dutch.

      When are you going to write an article for us so that we can learn, by example, how it should be done?

      • Clyde: “Robert (….) When are you going to write an article for us so that we can learn, by example, how it should be done?”

        Thank you Clyde. Yes, I would be interested in such an article. And in Robert’s translation in Dutch or in French, German or Portuguese, languages I can read and in which I can express myself a bit. Reading English is not a problem, actively expressing myself is a bit more difficult. But as I try to understand other languages, it helps as others try to understand my English. In the end, the message is more important than the exact words.

      • Trust me, I appreciate the article. I was just pointing out to someone who wants to communicate his thoughts how his efforts were going. The critique should not be evoking defensiveness, but rather insight into writing for ignoramuses in the field like moi. (^_^)

    • There was no clickable link to that first post. Otherwise, I most certainly would have clicked on it — this was my first instinct, but no link, so no click, so no enlightenment to proceed, without first having to enter the title in a search, taking more time away from the reading, when a simple clickable link at the very start would have prevented any of my commentary. Thanks for the link now.

      • Robert, you probably were to quick. If you had followed the first * you would have found the link just below the text of the article as the first note. You can still find it there.

  2. Quite so, hence my earlier ‘Hot Water Bottle Effect’ to describe the contribution of the oceans to the overall global greenhouse effect.

    And as suggested the winds change first, hence the change in jet stream behaviour between zonal and meridional patterns as described here:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/26/warming-and-the-pause-explained-by-wind-upwelling-and-mixing/

    And others here will recall me saying for many years past that I first noticed the change in jet stream behaviour from the zonality of the warming spell to the meridionality of the pause back in 2000.

    If we now see a further increase in meridionality then cooling will commence, if it has not already done so.

      • Macha, the sun and the rotation of the earth drives the winds.

        Each and every day, the earth rotates, so the terminator (dark./light) boundary sweeps across the surface of the earth causing differential warming. (light surface warmer than dark)

        The winds must, on average, flow from west to east due to this differential warming.

        Away from the equator, the suns heating effect is less, so less differential warming, so we get a northerly or southerly component depending upon our hemisphere.

        So, in the northern hemisphere the general flow is from the south west, in the southern hemisphere it is from the north west.

        Sea/ground boundaries and mountains etc will give large eddies which will give local persistent contrary winds.

        Variable cloud cover, sea breezes also give daily variations.

      • Macha January 27, 2017 at 12:47 am “So what drives pressure changes…”

        WR: “Air” changes in its qualities as ‘level’ changes, as ‘latitude’ changes, as ‘season’ (orbit) changes, as day and night changes, as ‘cloud’ changes. You can find many qualities of air that doesn’t mix well. Lying on your back in the grass on a nice day and looking to the clouds you can often see that the low clouds above are going in another direction than the wind at the surface. The higher clouds might flow rectangular to the lower clouds. In “Nullschool” you can click on many ‘layers of air”. https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/10hPa/orthographic=-330.45,49.00,450/loc=-96.198,41.189 Click ‘Earth’, Overlay ‘wind’, use mode ‘air’, make your choice for ‘height’ and click on the different hPa’s. Every ‘layer’ is different. “So what drives pressure changes……?”.

        In the Oceans the behaviour of fluids is as complicated. It looks a bit about what happens above the surface, in the air. We don’t know that much about what happens down in the oceans.

        And It is not too easy to understand what happens ‘high above’ either, for example in the stratosphere. I wander what is going on in the stratosphere at the poles. As UAH measurements show (click on the links for the data) a lot of things are happening there. What about the connection through the Atmosphere between North and South Pole? What about the Polar See-Saw effect? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_see-saw How much do we understand?

        The idea that ‘Science is settled’ is far from reality. At least 97% of Scientists will agree. Who looks down at the Ocean understands.

      • Yes, but the basic thrust is that water piles up to the west (at least where it matters the most for temps, at the equator). Therefor, the dominate winds are easterly from hadley cell trades and temperature dependant walker cell trades…

  3. The warm up to the current interglacial took about 5000 years. “Abrupt Climate Changes as are known from the rapid transitions into and out of the Interglacials” is misleading.

    • Dan Pangburn: “Abrupt Climate Changes as are known from the rapid transitions into and out of the Interglacials” is misleading.

      WR: Just an example:

      https://phys.org/news/2014-09-discrepancy-greenland-temperatures-ice-age.html#nRlv
      Research resolves discrepancy in Greenland temperatures during end of last ice age

      “In addition to the gradual warming of five degrees (C) over a 6,000-year period beginning 18,000 years ago the study investigated two periods of abrupt warming and one period of abrupt cooling documented in the new ice cores.”

      • I’m not really questioning your basic theory here, Wim, but how do you know this is upwelling and not surface cooling caused by enhanced evaporation from the increased wind speed?

      • “how do you know this is upwelling and not surface cooling caused by enhanced evaporation from the increased wind speed?”

        WR: Good question. We will have to measure and compare both. Of course evaporation plays an important role as well and Willis on this site clearly explained which role. But when you look at fig. 1 and see the enormous upwelling areas West of the continents (mostly green, rather close to the equator for what we would expect) than you can imagine how huge the cooling capacity of that million cubic kilometer is.

        Imagine that you cover the whole surface area of the United States (something like 10 million square kilometer) with that one million cubic kilometer icecold water that is coming up somewhere every year. That is a layer of a hundred meter on every inch of the United States, an ice cold water layer that has to be heated to ‘surface temperature’ every year again. This reflects the ‘cooling potential’. We have to compare that cooling potential with the effect of evaporation. Which will be important as well.

        And in fact we need to know exactly the whole system with all its interactions.

      • Wim- If you are referring to Fig1, it is just sea surface temp. It does not indicate directly that it is upwelling. Or are you referring to something else?

      • john harmsworth January 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm ” it is just sea surface temp. It does not indicate directly that it is upwelling.”

        WR: Agree. Fig.1 is about sea surface temperature and you can think about ‘currents’ influencing the sea surface temperatures. They will play a role but not the dominant one. When you search for a map with ‘currents’ and you lay that over the map of fig. 1, you can for example see for the North Atlantic Gyre that it is not a circling current that is creating the temperature patterns of fig. 1. It is not temperature circles that you see: it is the pattern of cooling at upwelling places.

  4. Plausible. More arctic ice insulates the water from wind and evaporation which reduces sinking cold water which decreases circulation. Strong negative feedback.

    There is also the increased salinity with arctic ice as brine drains from sea ice.

    Then there is evaporative cooling from lack of arctic ice. Lake effect ring a bell, Pavlov?

  5. Tom Nelson @tan123 Sep 29
    Phil Jones, ’09: “Bottom line: the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 yrs before we get worried” #IPCC https://twitter.com/tan123/status/384258425284071424

    But the pause has gone on now for near 20 years. Phil Jones also wrote in 2008: “I’d like the world to warm up quicker.”

    So Jones wants the world to warm faster, and would “worry” if the pause continued. Wouldn’t it be a relief if the world appeared NOT to be heading to catastrophic warming?? But these Chicken Littles don’t think that way. They’re just so invested in the AGW scare and in the draconian leftist policies they hanker for .. that everyday they get up and wish for signs that we actually were heading for Armageddon.

    But we’re not heading for Armageddon. Sorry.

  6. Nice Work Wim. From the hundreds of articles I’ve read (on WUWT) regarding Earth’s climate systems and change drivers, the upwelling, or not, of the oceans has emerged, to me, as a very plausible cause for short-term, and regularly occurring climate changes globally. In other words, the oceans are the main “drivers” of global climate changes ( obviously not CO2). I look forward to reading more of your research on this subject. Hopefully many more thinkers and scientists will join in and look into this theory in depth (pardon the pun):)))

    • I am not sure of your definition for “short term”, but the oceans have over-turning times measured in millenia, which relegates their temperature response to millenia as well. Since this is much longer than the longest record of instrumental temperature I would call that long term climate change.

      • K. Kilty,
        As shown by the rapid onset, dissolution and short-term effects of El Ninos, which are produced by ocean action,( up-welling or lack of up-welling, as expertly described by Bob Tisdale’s very complete reports based on real-time temperature data), the oceans have both short-term and long-term effects on climate, depending on the degree of and frequency of up-welling, which is in turn tied into wind activity, which is tied-into sun activity and many other known and mostly unknown, factors.

      • Surely the term of the effect is determined by the temperature, volume and location of the water changeover. As such, changes can be short term, long term, minor or catastrophic. Not Anthropogenic, though. So it’s a new thing to add to the catastrophe list! CNGP!

    • Hollybirtwistle,
      Upwelling also plays an important role in changing the surface pH, which is something that usually doesn’t get mentioned when there is a lot of hand waving about the threat to littoral zone shell fish.

  7. Am I wrong? I think that the fluid ‘air’, is caused to move, becoming ‘wind’, only by variations in its temperature and, to the extent that it has ‘mass’, the earth’s rotation. Absent the sun’s heating, and the earth’s rotation, would there be ANY wind (or ocean current)? (Forgot, have to get rid of the moon too.)

    • Air pressure differences. Highs and lows. Particularly inside to outside of hurricanes and T. storms, as well as pressure variances caused by lightning.

  8. Only thing I can say…good and interesting blog post, which for the sake of the truth I could not go down to the end of it….but never the less….. in my understanding and opinion is horribly wrong….it still relies in short term internal variability…. the famous Phil and Treb still be LOLing at it..:)

    Guys please stop trying a be a LOLing stock with your faulty approach…..“

    cheers

    • Can you enlighten us with some detailed objections? Or are you just stuck on the teachings of the Church of Warming?

  9. And the takeaway point is- One who can not predict ‘wind,’ can not predict climate change. Just one more item (maybe the most important?) the models fail to account for.

    • Maybe… This is tantalount to pretend the ocean temp are known with better than 0.005 K precision.
      Do you really believe this ?

      • Only a fool would believe this level of accuracy. That’s what they’re counting on when they spin their b.s. and emphasize nonsense like this. This is the very definition of that new term, “altenative truth”!

      • More ignorants than fools. They have no clues about basic physical facts, magnitude and accuracy are unknown to them.
        They don’t believe in such a level of accuracy, they just don’t know it would be required to make their belief a fact
        ocean heat content is just not known yet. Argo is so young and still insufficient a program.

      • W Rost’s postscript was also interesting, where he discusses the mixing of waters at depth. How can the alarmists claim such accuracy of measurement with that much intermixing taking place?

    • “But ocean heat content, and total Earth system heat content, continue to rise:”

      WR: Indeed, the ocean heat content is absorbing most of the Earth’ extra heat content but that doesn’t impress me that much. It seems that it takes 870 years to have the ocean temperatures rise with 1 degree because of the energy uptake. For the calculation: see the link under my comment Wim Röst January 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm.

      The ocean heat uptake is minimal if compared to the cooling capacity of the ocean. And we nearly don’t know anything at all about ‘that big ocean cooling’. Really incredible.

      • So true. Oceans cool convectively and heat by radiation. The CAGW acolytes worship data collected by their hallowed thermometers which fail to measure latent heat from vaporizing water.

    • paqyfleyc and john harmsworth
      I encourage you to first study and understand the issues around precision temperature measurement!
      See: Strouse, Gregory F. “NIST Realization of the Gallium Triple Point.” Proc. TEMPMEKO 1999 1 (1999): 147-152.
      “The gallium triple point (302.9166 K) instead of the gallium melting point (302.9146 K) is used at NIST in the
      realization of the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90). F . . .
      The assigned expanded uncertainty (k = 2) for the twelve cells is 0.04 mK. ”
      I.e., temperature sensors can be calibrated to +/- 0.000 04 K at 302.9146 K

      Then examine how sensors are calibrated, drift etc. in the ARGO systems. e.g.

      After recalibration of the temperature and conductivity sensors of three Argo profiling floats recovered after operations for four to nine months, the results indicate that the floats basically showed no significant drift, either in temperature or salinity, and adequately fulfilled the accuracy requirement of the Argo project (0.005°C for temperature and 0.01 psu for salinity).

      Stability of Temperature and Conductivity Sensors of Argo Profiling Floats, Eitarou Oka, and Kentaro Ando, 2003
      http://w3.jamstec.go.jp/J-ARGO/results/2003oka.pdf

      • Meaningless drivel! The accuracy of the instrumentatation is completely beside the point. The number of data points neccessary to give proper representation of the total volume of the ocean in terms of average temperature to any degree of accuracy such as this beggars belief. After you calculate the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin, you can work on this. And then you can try to turn that into total heat content. Give us a break! Most of you Warmunists are like Mikey Mann, you cant count to ten on your fingers without getting 11.005! Grow up!

      • except they didn’t use temperature measurements from argo especially pre-argo for the graph in question. So, do you stand by your claim of 0.00004K accuracy?

      • David L. Hagen you miss the point.
        The point is, the coverage of ocean : ~4000 argo floats for ~4.10^8 km² / ~1.35 10^9 km3. That’s an average float for 100,000 km² / 340 000 km3
        Even a perfect thermometer cannot give you a better that +/-1K themperature of just a swimming pool. Now, what about a 300 km square pool 3 km deep ?

      • paqyfelyc & harmworth
        You must look at each component in the system. Instrumentation is one key part of the system and that shows measurement capability. As you point out, sampling is also important. So is averaging large numbers of points.
        Rather then denigrating, castigating, falsely labeling those you do not know, try addressing the science and ALL the uncertainty issues involved rather then trivially dismissing everything!

      • David L. Hagen
        The very first step to knowledge is to say “i don”t know”. Those who pretend to already know impede learning. They deserve denigrating and castigating (although I don’t do that much).
        Argo is a wonderful step forward, that i surely not dismiss nor mock. But it’s still far from enough. It’s not so expensive, and i guess it could had been stepped up a magnitude for the price of a few bird-chopper. too bad it wasn’t.

      • paqyfelyc Check first. 7 wind turbines/year for the cost of Argo temperature. Argo Cost $25,000,000/year. $200/temperature profile. “* How much does the project cost and who pays?
        Each float costs about $15,000 USD and this cost about doubles when the cost of handling the data and running the project is taken into account. The array has roughly 3000 floats and to maintain the array, 800 floats will need to be deployed each year. Thus the approximate cost of the project is 800 x $30,000 = $24m per year. That makes the cost of each profile around $200. 28 countries have contributed floats to the array with the USA providing about half the floats.” “The temperatures in the Argo profiles are accurate to ± 0.002°C and pressures are accurate to ± 2.4dbar. ” http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/FAQ.html

        Wind turbine costs
        Commercial Wind Turbines
        “The costs for a utility scale wind turbine range from about $1.3 million to $2.2 million per MW of nameplate capacity installed. Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3-$4 million installed. ” http://www.windustry.org/how_much_do_wind_turbines_cost

    • Too bad CAGW theory is that the land surface temps will rise significantly not that the oceans temps will rise 0.01 degree. Your graph shows no acceleration in land temps the basis for CAGW. Not to mention I don’t ever recall there being land bouys that go up and down in the land to measure the heat content or ice. Furthermore, to get the heat content of the atmosphere one needs to know all the variables since temperature is not equal to energy. The relationship is not even linear.
      That is the fatal flaw in the CAGW theory, equating temperature to energy, and also the flaw in this paper.
      Case in point el-nino can change the global temperature by centuries average in one year. El-nino is just a change in wind pattern moving air from once place to another. What other changes are occurring that may account for the temperature changes that aren’t as drastic.
      This article may highlight one, but it by no means accounts for all of them.

  10. fine, but hardly enough. This need some calculation of involved power.
    How many water gets upwelled, what temp is it etc.

    • We don’t know that much about upwelling and mixing. What we know is an estimation that by downwelling at the poles in one year a million cubic kilometer goes down. And that million cubic kilometer has a temperature between – 1C and +5C. And when one million cubic kilometer goes down, it somewhere has ‘to come up’.
      Besides that there is a lot of ‘mixing’, a term that is mostly used for movement of layers above the thermocline. The thermocline is the rather sharp boundary between the rather thin surface layer and the mass of very cold deep ocean water (see the first article about upwelling). But in between that surface layer temperature differences might be some 20 degrees between the different layers and ‘mixing’ will change surface temperatures a lot. Or NO mixing will NOT change the surface – and then we get warming.

      I agree, we need to know all about it.

      • I mean, i am pretty sure the mechanism exist, and has some effect. But how much “some”? ~100 W, 1 W, or 0.01 W?
        Makes a hell of a difference

      • paqufelyc “I mean, i am pretty sure the mechanism exist, and has some effect. But how much “some”? ~100 W, 1 W, or 0.01 W?”

        WR: I suppose we will be surprised. And I am sure one or more people on this site will do some calculations about the forces involved.

  11. Very nice work Wim! It should be published. The question that popped into my head is, what causes the average wind speed to vary over periods of decades and even centuries? Is it just random fluctuation. Your work seems to show that global warming does cause hurricanes. But hurricanes cause global cooling!

    • I read an article recently that wind speeds are reduced around the planet compared to historical records. This would certainly correspond with my recollection of almost 60 years lived on the Northern Plains. It was a lot windier in my youth.

    • “what causes the average wind speed to vary over periods of decades and even centuries?”

      WR: a very interesting question but one without a simple answer. In it’s most simple form, daily wind varies because of pressure differences and pressure differences mainly are caused by temperature and water vapour content differences. But, over decades, centuries, millennia and even millions of years things like global temperature gradients, ocean deep water temperatures, ocean surface temperatures, variations from place to place, the quantity of ‘warm surface layer water’, the extent of the warm surface layer water, orbit changes, season effects (because of orbit changes), ocean surface (which is smaller during glacials), topography of the oceans and continents, forms and positions of the continents, changing currents, ice and snow coverage, distribution of fresh and salt and very salt water, vegetation etc. etc. will play a role.

      So, I only pointed at some important things I saw. But there is much more, often only partly understood. But, a very interesting question, leading to a nice puzzle.

  12. For a variety of operational and tactical reasons, ocean water temperature was of extreme interest.

    Finding a nice thermocline or halocline is possibly a matter of life and death. link

    • From the coolest article I’ve read today! Before this one, of course!: Each night for example in ocean pastures far out to sea the phytoplankton on the surface is beset upon by zooplankton that rise out of the dark abyss to graze in the relative safety of the dark of night. This nightly migration is widely known as ‘the greatest migration on earth‘ as it contains herds of different zooplankton far more diverse and in infinitely larger biomass than the migrations of the great herds of wildlife on the African savannahs.
      Clearly the nightly migration is governed by darkness as it is curtailed when the moon is full and there are few clouds and maximized during the darkest of nights. By dawns early light the multitudes are sinking and swimming back down to the darkness and safety with bellies full and bulging with phytoplankton. During the day those fattened ‘zooplanktor cows’ rest on the deep thermocline the boundary layer of dense water that separates the productive and daily mixing upper ocean from the deep layer where mixing takes place but on a time scale of  centuries not hours.
      http://russgeorge.net/2017/01/26/ai-plankton-bots-swarm-and-swim-to-help-save-blue-planet/

      • This guy turned a projected salmon run return of 50 million fish into the largest return ever recorded, 300 million fish. At least from what I’ve read, he did!

  13. Read on its own, seems plausible, as does the Milankovitch cycles, as does Svensmark’s hypothesis, as does Willis’s thermostat theory, and yes, even CO2 considerations probably have a place. If only some genius could put all of them together and help us understand why the climate changes.

  14. Interesting piece of work. Thank you

    My inclination is that fundamentally differing sea temperature cells and air pressure drive air flow. This does not mean that wind cannot influence mixing and the fluid dynamics. Once differing pressure and temperature accelerates wind velocity this wind could act as a positive feedback.

  15. Is is easy to falsify a theory. You just have to find one weak point.

    I think like that:

    1. Some tenth’s of meters wind speed don’t make so much difference in upwelling.
    2. The real big upwelling thing is El Nino / La Nina in the Pacific Ocean which makes one third of the earth’s circumference. El Nino digs out the hottest water in the oceans from some hundred meters depth. Nothing compares to this. La Nina and ENSO Neutral dig out cold water comming from the Antarctic via Humboldt Stream.

    So there seems just not enough place for an additional process.

  16. Well I see the problem that your own data contradicts your hypothesis:

    If the wind has been increasing and the wind is responsible for upwelling and cooling, then temperatures should have been going down not up. It seems to me that if the data is true, we have now both more wind and higher temperatures which contradicts your hypothesis.

    But I don’t think you can trust that wind data the least. There’s quite a lot of bibliography on winds decreasing in many places during the last three decades.

    • Javier: “If the wind has been increasing and the wind is responsible for upwelling and cooling, then temperatures should have been going down not up.”

      WR: When you look at the rising mean, you would expect a cooling temperature effect in time. Which is there: compare the Pause with the period of Warming before. When you look at the average left of the red line (on the average a lower wind speed in a warming period) and then right of the red line (a higher wind speed in a period with no [substantial] warming), than that is in line with the theory. On fig. 2 and fig. 3 you can find many areas that exactly show this pattern: more wind, cooling, less wind, warming.

      Of course the question remains: why is wind speed rising during the Pause? Future data (and/or more data from the past) must show. Is a rise in sea surface temperature a reason for a higher average wind speed? If so, than that’s is a negative feedback mechanism: cooling will be the result. The system stabilizes itself in this way.

      • “Is a rise in sea surface temperature a reason for a higher average wind speed?”

        Isn’t the answer to your question “of course”. (i kind of thought that was well known) The temperature of the upwelling waters stays essentially the same, while the SSTs are what changes. That creates a change in pressure differential which drives wind speeds. This spells trouble for agw theory in that the more we warm the faster the heat will be transported into the depths…

    • Javier, i think that the higher wind speeds are caused by warming temperatures, which in turn then drives the ocean overturning that causes the pause. (so the more we warm, the faster heat sinks into the ocean)…

    • Wim. On the wind speed time series, it looks like global winds were often slow prior to El Niños, which are associated with slowing trade winds. El Niños cause higher global temps because water that was buried deed in the West Pacific Warm Pool, sloshes back across the Pacific so the heat that was buried below the surface is exposed to the atmosphere. El Niños are upwelling events that warm the plant. But the warming is brief. Over the longer term, El Niños liberate heat from the ocean/atmosphere system. Heat that was trapped in the deep warm pool, floods into the atmosphere were it can then radiate to deep space.

      The spikes in wind speed correspond to El Niños, suggesting that warmer sea surface does cause higher wind speeds. You responded to Javier with, “When you look at the rising mean, you would expect a cooling temperature effect in time.” In other words, wind speeds have been increasing so the warming from the early 1980s to the late 1900s should be slowing down, hence the pause.

      That seems possible but its hard to reconcile the fact that it was cooler in the 1980s when winds were slower and warmer in the 2000’s when winds were higher. I guess you’re saying the effect is gradual and, since winds speeds have been gradually increasing, we should expect temperatures to first stall then start falling—if winds keep increasing (?).

      If your theory is correct, you have linked wind speed to ocean mixing to global temperature. But why have average winds been steadily increasing for 30 years? I’ve been looking at a similar problems. There is some evidence that global temperature are linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, perhaps because it governs flow of heat to the poles. But what governs the AMO?

      Perhaps it’s enough to say that natural fluctuations in global heat exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere can cause large fluctuations in global temperature and, since the ocean/atmo system it is interlinked and turbulent on large and small scales, it a chaotic system that is not easily understood or modeled.

      It may be that it is impossible to accurately model changes of a few degrees in global temperature. In fact, sitting in a room with the windows open on typical afternoon it would probably be impossible to model temperature and predict changes of a degree on even a one-meter by one-meter three dimensional grid.

      This is not so bad though. If we could know the future, there would be little incentive to live in the present.

      • Thomas, i know you were hoping for a reply from wim and are none too happy about getting a hood in a leather jacket in his stead (but here goes anyway)…

        Not so sure about how el ninos cause warming as you are saying. The waters that roll back are (apparently) no warmer than the SSTs that they are rolling back into as they were once just sea surface waters themselves. What i think happens is that when the waters roll back the upwelling in the eastern pacific ceases and therefor there is a breakdown in not only the thermocline, but virtical mixing as well. Since the water is stagnant, as wim points out, there is warming. Waters beneath the upper most layer actually are cooler than average. i’m going to leave you a link to dr spencer’s take on why it is that el ninos cause warming after my comment here. (it’s a pretty good read)…

        i think wind speeds have been increasing over time because SSTs have been rising over time. Water that upwells from the deep stays essentially the same temperature. It’s the SSTs that change. This would cause the walker cell trade winds (easterlies) to speed up due to a change in pressure differential. Once we reach peak warming (the pause), trades no longer speed up, so i’m not so sure that we should expect eventual cooling from this particular mechanism. It should be mentioned also, that a change in cloud cover is associated with the pause, so it could be difficult to untangle cause and effect here. (But we try… ☺)

      • In response to Thomas and Afonzarelli:

        The link to the post of Roy Spencer is an interesting one. Some phrases:

        Roy Spencer: “In a sense, the deep ocean provides an air conditioner for the climate system, and during El Nino the air conditioner isn’t working as hard to cool the atmosphere. During La Nina, it’s working harder than normal, leading to global-average coolness
        (…)
        But we demonstrated that as El Nino develops there is an increase in radiative energy input into the global-average climate system which precedes peak El Nino warmth by about 9 months. This is mostly likely due to a small decrease in low cloud cover associated with the changing atmospheric circulation patterns during El Nino (La Nina would have increased cloud cover).
        (….)
        …. are not sufficient to explain the net warming effects of El Nino. That instead requires (in my view) a global-average decrease in the mixing of warm surface waters and cold deep waters, as I have outlined above.”

        WR: I fully agree with Roy’s: “the deep ocean provides an air conditioner for the climate system”. Wind puts the air conditioner on and off.

        Bob Tisdale was writing interesting things about the role of ‘cloud cover’ in relation to El Nino / La Nina. Somewhere he states that the cold tropical seas of La Nina in fact are the cause of an energy gain (!) by the Earth. The cold sea surfaces causes cold air to descend and flow away over the surface, as is usual in high pressure area’s. High pressure areas (as we use to find in dry and relatively cold places) give sunny weather, which in the tropics (!) result in a high heat uptake by the ocean waters, resulting in a heat gain for the system as a whole. Warm seas (look at what Willis Eschenbach wrote about clouds and thunderstorms) result in the formation of clouds that by their reflectance ‘balance out’ and keep the system more or less stable.

        It is important to look at WHERE the processes take place. A high pressure area in the tropics has a different effect for the Earth as a whole than a high pressure are on the poles or in between has. The same for low pressure areas. Think about the ‘Blue Blob’ that recently developed in the Northern Pacific (while la Nina seems to be weak). The Blue Blob started in autumn at a latitude where sun was whether disappearing or was remaining ‘low above the horizon’, resulting in a low energy uptake by the oceans during many months. And resulting in a big energy loss during long and more cloudless nights. Quite different from the effect of a high pressure area at the equator.

        To understand what is happening, we always must go back to the basics. The basics here are, that even without any (!) heat uptake or heat loss by the Earth as a whole, the surface temperatures may change, whether showing ‘cooling’ or ‘warming’, just because of the role of cold water being mixed with the warm layers at the surface or ‘not being mixed with the warm layers at the surface: fig. 8 above. Or, as Roy says about the net warming effects of El Nino: “That instead requires (in my view) a global-average decrease in the mixing of warm surface waters and cold deep waters (…)”

    • Wim:

      >”you would expect a cooling temperature effect in time. Which is there

      This looks like a case where your hypothesis is correct either way. If temperatures go down (which they didn’t) it is the increasing wind. If temperatures go up (which they did), they didn’t go up more because of the wind. Then it is not the wind who is driving temperatures, clearly, as they go in the opposite direction. Besides if your hypothesis was correct one would expect the rate of wind changes should match the rate of temperature changes, which they don’t. The rate of warming started to decrease in the late 90’s not in the 80’s

      • Thanks Javier. ‘Time lag’ and ‘regional circumstances’ play a role. To understand and test the theory it is best to first look at a regional scale and to look in second instance to the ‘spread out effects’ of cooler ocean waters. And the ‘spread out effect’ is a main input for changing wind patterns.

        The relation between regional winds and regional ocean temperature effects is best seen on fig. 2 and fig. 3 and those figures confirm the cooling role of winds in combination with upwelling/mixing. Because upwelling and mixing are reacting at a local scale and wind performs patterns at a regional scale, any proof of the theory can be found especially on the regional scale.

        The effects of upwelling and mixing will be wider than the region where upwelling / mixing occurs. Currents transport the from upwelling and mixing resulting colder waters to other places. Example: the present Blue Blob in the Northern Pacific.

        For accumulated warm waters it is the same. Accumulated warm water near Indonesia spreads during an El Nino over last surfaces. The extended cold/warm areas influence wind patterns in second instance.

        The influence of surface temperatures on ‘wind’ is more complex than the influence of ‘wind’ on sea surface temperatures: more wind enhances mixing and upwelling on for upwelling and mixing sensible places. The theory is about this last one, but I don’t close my eyes for the effects of colder waters on ‘wind’. But then we must take into account a certain ‘spread out effect’ of the cold (warm) surface waters.

        About the warming period you say: “If temperatures go up (which they did), they didn’t go up more because of the wind.” I don’t know the wind speed during the cooling period before last warming, let’s say wind during 1950-1975. According to the theory wind speed should have been higher than during the warming quarter 1975-2000. It would be nice to see the data. It would be best to get the data for ‘ocean wind’.

        If the theory survives, it will be interesting to see what the effects of the mechanisms are on the global scale. For example, strong regional cooling at upwelling places because of their spreading effect can bring down regional / global temperatures and enhance ice and snow. The extending ice and snow diminish the temperature gradient with the tropics ( the more in specific seasons – important as well!) and will enhance wind: an ‘Abrupt Climate Change’ pattern seems to develop. And what is interesting to know, is what the exact conditions will be that will lead to such a cooling enhancing pattern.

        The least we can say for now is that upwelling/mixing probably plays an important role in cooling the surface of the Earth and that ‘wind’ is an important and uncontrollable factor.

      • Wim I do not think you are “showing” anything here. You claim in reply to a comment below by me that surface circulation does not dominate. To be honest you are just pulling this out of the air ( no pun ). You have no comparison of any sort , why do say one ‘dominates’?

        Bob Tisdale was writing interesting things about the role of ‘cloud cover’ in relation to El Nino / La Nina. Somewhere he states that the cold tropical seas of La Nina in fact are the cause of an energy gain (!) by the Earth. The cold sea surfaces causes cold air to descend and flow away over the surface, as is usual in high pressure area’s.

        Bob wrote this 4 or 5 years ago and I think was a great insight. However, I do not recall him ever saying it was the air warming the oceans. It is incoming solar which inputs heat energy into the climate system and it is primarily warming the oceans. The rest in internal redistribution.

        La Nina is when OHC is increased, El Nino is when some of this is transferred to the atmosphere ( and eventually out to space ).

        Your figs. 6 and 7 could equally be the equatorial section of Pacific in El Nino / La Nina states .

      • That last sentence is to illustrate the similarity to what you are saying and is not new. This is point I tried to rise in my earlier comment below. ( much lower ).

  17. So, if this “wind, upwelling and mixing” has so massive an effect, as asserted in the article, how is that the 20-plus “best” global climate models used by the IPCC totally missed these effects . . . and thus missed predicting the recent 15-20 year-long global warming hiatus?

    Are the computer global climate models so short on basic understanding of climate drivers and interactions???

  18. So wait a minute! Does this mean that all of those wind turbines taking all of that energy out of the wind are actually contributing to global warming?

    • Even without the consideration of this article, Wind turbines convert kinetic energy from the wind to electricity and when the electricity is used the energy is converted to heat.
      Wind turbines will heat the earth, just as solar panels heat the earth in the same way.
      The question is whether it is more significant than other means of energy production and it it significant in the big picture.

    • “So wait a minute! Does this mean that all of those wind turbines taking all of that energy out of the wind are actually contributing to global warming?”

      Of course, they are turning kinetic energy into heat !

      That heat will likely lead to more advection and increasing winds , better than burning limited resources if we can properly exploit and irregular power source.

      • You go first , don’t use any fossil fuels, I will still use them because they are not as limited as you think and putting more CO 2 into the atmosphere is not as bad as many claim who want to redistribute wealth as their ultimate goal. We are improving our fossil fuel supply with technology every day, unlike trying to depend on 13th century technology.

  19. Nice article.

    One point I thought was very interesting and I wouldn’t have expected that.

    “a) We witnessed one severe winter storm system in 1984 change the temperature profile for at least 1000 m depth.”

    For winds moving ocean water, I always like the ENSO regions. For perspective, the region shown here is 20,000 kms wide! Its complex, it moves fast, eddies and counter currents build up all over the place.

    • Thanks Bill. Yes, “a) We witnessed one severe winter storm system in 1984 change the temperature profile for at least 1000 m depth.”: to be honest: I also was surprised. I suppose it must have been a very strong storm system that lasted many days in the same region. And perhaps some eddies helped. But even when it is exceptional, it shows how strong the power of – in this case – mixing is. And the effect of ‘no mixing also: no mixing means a stronger stratification of the Sea Surface Layer which results in warmer SST. Without extra energy.

      I love looking at graphics and/or maps like the one you show here. Interesting in the Pacific near Middle America are the two green/blue belts that develop exactly there where you can see (on other maps) stronger winds enter the Pacific from the Carib: upwelling regions. Another type of upwelling are the blue swirls that develop around the equator. This seems to be due to Coriolis and Ekman forces: the surface water moves at 45 degrees from the equator while the wind is parallel to the equator. The upwelling which is the result, diminishes the depth of the surface layer, which is visible in graphics that show a North-South section of the surface layer. That surface layer is varying in depth and extent, varies in time as well and its characteristics have important consequences for climate. Enso is a decadal example, but on other timescales there are consequences as well. I am studying on this, might be a subject for a future post.

      Another interesting area in the above animation is the area with the continental shelves of Australia and Indonesia/South East Asia. During the Glacials when sea levels were 120 meter or a bit more lower than they are now, water transport between the Pacific and the Indian (and so between the Indian and the Atlantic) must have been different: the shelves mostly became land. This Influenced SST, pressure differences, upwelling etc. Endlessly complex. It remains a challenge to catch some ‘main lines’.

      • ” Interesting in the Pacific near Middle America are the two green/blue belts that develop exactly there where you can see (on other maps) stronger winds enter the Pacific from the Carib: upwelling regions.”

        Thanks for that comment Wim. I have been intrigued by this affect for years. There are articles correlating plankton/phytoplankton and good fishing in the eddies created by the “gap” winds coming across Central America. Your charts and others make it look like there is pretty good heat transfer from the Caribbean to the Pacific. That probably isn’t the reason but it is an interesting graphic that I don’t understand. Just the equatorial heating? Doesn’t look like it to me.

        Good article.

      • Thank you Wayne. It is a very dynamic process as you can see in Bill Illis’ animation as well. Upwelling is directly reacting on winds that often have a seasonal and/or decadal character (ENSO). Upwelling is very different during other ‘climate constellations’ as during the glacials or in the Eocene and Pliocene. Today’s wind pattern you can see very well at https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-88.43,13.43,2958/loc=-149.524,-17.561 and today (Friday 27th) the wind pattern is such that the three ‘holes’ in Middle America are clearly visible. You would expect low sea surface temperatures but right now you will find exactly on those places ‘warm anomaly’s’, reflecting that the wind pattern in the last days have been different from the ‘normal patterns’ (which you can check on the animation above). For today’s SST anomaly’s: https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/primary/waves/overlay=sea_surface_temp_anomaly/orthographic=-88.53,13.41,2958/loc=-94.360,15.197

        The effect on fishing is interesting and the subject of many publications. For those who are ‘new’ on this subject:
        “Approximately 25% of the total global marine fish catches come from five upwellings that occupy only 5% of the total ocean area.”
        “Upwelling regions therefore result in very high levels of primary production (the amount of carbon fixed by phytoplankton) in comparison to other areas of the ocean. They account for about 50% of global marine productivity.”
        Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upwelling

        It is funny to read articles about the effect of upwelling on fishery and to discover that some of them mention the ‘local /regional effects’ of upwelling for the climate, while nobody looked at the global effects of upwelling (and mixing). The feeling that ‘all is changing but on the average remains the same’ must have been common. The same for the modellers and the AGW scene. Missing ‘half of the story’: cooling. And missing the main point: that Earth’ surface temperatures can change a lot without energy loss or energy gain……. . Just by internal variations in the system.

        Tiny changes in water qualities make big differences. The same for weather patterns in the atmosphere. The chaotic character of movements in water and air reveal the complexity of the processes involved. An always fascinating experiment is ‘a drop of milk (or tea or even a drop of salt water) in a glass of water’. The effect never is the same. It is the most easy experiment and one that gives a lot of insight in atmospheric and oceanic complexities.

  20. The mantra of warmist scientists has always been, “We can’t think of anything else but CO2 to explain warming.” This greater wind riving greater oceanic mixing causing global cooling hypothesis is that something else. This is a very important theory.

  21. I live on South West Australia and there has been something unusual going on out to the south west of us. The SST anomaly for the last 9 months has been between -2.5 to -1.5 consistently. There has been consistent bursts of very cold air from Antartica from the same general area during that period and we had the coldest winter for 40 years and summer so far has been incredibly mild. In that entire period we have had nightly minimums of about 2C less than the long term average. I guess this might be wind driven upwelling cooling the surface? Or is it simply wind driven cooling by enhanced evaporation? Is it simply that colder air from the Antarctic is reaching further north than usual? The ’cause and effect’ is not clear to me, but for sure there has been a significant change of some sort. The same, almost fixed, pattern of weather in the last 9 months has given the east coast their current intense heat wave and New Zealand is having unseasonal summer snow…

  22. Wim Röst
    My compliments on your post in laying out and developing a very important hypothesis on wind driven ocean and temperature changes.
    As you noted, the wind stress varying with the cube of the wind speed is very important. Suggest especially graphing the energy in the wind, not just the speed.
    Thoughts:
    Can you show lead/lag between wind and ocean temperature changes? ie to distinguish causation from correlation.
    Can the changes in temperature profile with depth (Fig. 8) be shown from the ARGO temperature data?
    The wind driven ocean changes should also be evident in changes in the height distribution of the oceans, and thus in the gravity changes measured by the Grace satellites.
    Best regards.

    • Thank you, David L. Hagen. The importance of wind stress varying with the cube of the wind speed can not be underestimated. Especially when ‘special circumstances’ develop which you can expect when the climate system of the Earth is making an important ‘switch’: wind will play an important role. And so oceans, both the surface layer and the deep ocean waters.

      About your thoughts:
      “Can you show lead/lag between wind and ocean temperature changes? ie to distinguish causation from correlation.” WR: no, unfortunately not. I can read maps and graphics very well but I am lacking the very technical skills that are requested to be able to answer this question. But perhaps other people can deliver nice graphics.

      “Can the changes in temperature profile with depth (Fig. 8) be shown from the ARGO temperature data?” WR: Some mixing must be shown by ARGO data. They measure temperature and salinity up to 2000m (unfortunately mostly not until the bottom). But there are some problems. First is the small number of the ARGO buoys (on 360 million square kilometers of ocean) and second their moving character: they are floating around. But perhaps the most restricting is that up to now ‘upwelling’ and ‘mixing’ remained out of sight of global climate research. There must be data (as there must be accurate submarine data as well) but so far I did not see results in respect of specifically upwelling and mixing. I hope this theory will be tested with buoy data. For that, I would like to exchange windparks on sea for a real extensive network of fixed buoys that start measuring some ‘cycles’ of sea water movements all over the oceans. As we expect 60 or 70 year cycles that must be during more than a century. For being able to act on climate change in the future this would be the best we could do for now.

      “The wind driven ocean changes should also be evident in changes in the height distribution of the oceans, and thus in the gravity changes measured by the Grace satellites.” WR: I am not a specialist on satellite technology as well. Horizontally those satellites will give an image of the temperature distribution over the oceans after corrections. But three dimensional mixing and upwelling??? I am afraid that they can not represent that good enough and that we anyhow need an extensive network of fixed buoys.

  23. Excellent article Wim!
    Many important insights and the foundation of a new paradigm of climate science.
    I have always cringed at the use of the word “forcing” as if temperature change can’t happen without it. As if the climate system had no heat capacity.
    Thanks Wim for some much needed climate sanity!

  24. ……. the Pause is part of continuos 60+ year cycles over centuries….
    please fit the wind and the upwelling waters into this cyclic pattern…..
    showing that wind and upwelling were drivers (cause) and not simply
    effects…….

  25. About a month ago I read remarks on this site or Judy’s to the effect that the average temperature of American lakes had risen over recent decades, but that there was no geographical clumping evident. Instead, the pattern was spotty. This spotty pattern could be explained by variations in wind speed, which is likely spotty. This data should be checked, because it might support Rôst’s thesis.

  26. At least on continental shelves there are interesting density differences like bottom intrusions at the edge that may not upwell, but one wonders if they contribute by later less spectacular mixing, especially if carried along the shelf and coast. Even more inshore clearer waters pop up in strange places. Maybe more outliers than heat killers, but I like them and they may produce eddies as some you observed. It is much more complicated than your upwelling graphs so it might help if you complicate them a little. Where I live (Texas) the wind has a greater ocean effect than in a lot of areas. Keep it up, Langmuir wasn’t an oceanographer but he gave us great insight about circulation with a simple experiment. Maybe a young one is watching and learning. Lots more out there to sieve.

  27. Hmmmn. Sounds sort of convincing. About 70% of the Earth is covered in a thick layer of a liquid which has a very high specific heat. (Learnt that in High School.) This liquid moves about a bit, and can absorb and emit heat as it goes, so it could have an effect on the climate.

    But no mention of CO2, so it must be heresy.

  28. Wim Röst – Nice post. I’m preparing a new post which goes a lot further, but (if AW publishes it) you will see that what you have described here is a part of the whole.

  29. Wim Röst – Nice post.

    It is a shame that your English is far less accurate than your analysis…e.g.

    the subsea can and will decide over sea surface temperatures. A one year doubling of the regular ‘upwelling’ diminishes global sea surface temperatures with 0,18 ºC.

    …was fairly incomprehensible to me.

    After a bit of thought I decided that you probably meant :”deeper layers of the ocean can and do determine sea surface temperatures. A one year doubling of the regular rate of ‘upwelling’ diminishes global sea surface temperatures by 0.18 ºC”

    • Thanks Leo. Correct. I think I need someone like you who likes to check my next posts before publishing. So far I don’t have a native speaker volunteer for that.

      (I had to learn my English in highschool in total in a 500 lessons, at a moment there was no internet. Passively using another language is easier than using it actively and I didn’t need to use my English actively, except for holidays)

    • I understood what he wrote. But then, I also understand “Hero, May I Habu Engrish Combasation Wish You?” Don’t ask. The story isn’t that interesting.

  30. Well done. The deep oceans could well be doing this, so little do we know of them. But what about upwelling from the Coriolis Effect?
    ==============

    • Kim: “But what about upwelling from the Coriolis Effect?”

      WR: See my comment at January 26, 2017 at 5:59 pm. Furthermore, the Coriolis force is working constantly. It is the changing patterns that make the difference. Like the changing pattern of winds at upwelling sensible places.

      • Thanks, I’d missed that 5:59 comment, I’m ashamed to admit. Nice that you can see the effect in the swirls near the equator, though the effect works everywhere, diminishing poleward.
        =========

  31. Very interesting idea and the submariner anecdotes are handy to have.

    One flaw I see is that you are instantly attributing the warmer and cooler regions to upwelling but do not even mention the major oceanic gyres which circulate in all major basins.

    Much of the cooler water seen along west coast of S. Am is because to the anticlockwise rotation of surface water. similarly the west Pacific warm pool is because of westward circulation of water along the equator in both hemispheres which gets progressively warmer as it goes across. It then spreads out N and S when it hits the continental barrier of Asia.

    The reason the Gulf Stream flows where it does is because to the c/w rotation of the N. Atl gyre.

    This is not say that you are wrong but to ignore this and state with certainty that what you show in the maps is due to upwelling is not accurate.

    Also if you want to suggest that there is ‘proof’ in the similarity of fig 3 and 5 then you should plot them on top of each other for direct comparison and / or give something like the correlation coeff of the two.

    I don’t think they are that similar.

    However, interesting and worth looking into more thoroughly .

    When the trade winds fail in the Pacific the warm water spreads out causing ‘El Nino’ which is know to cause wide scale warming. This is similar to what you describe.

    How much is this influencing the global comparison you are doing here. What does this data look like on a basin by basin basis?

    • Greg: “you (….) do not even mention the major oceanic gyres which circulate in all major basins.”

      You are correct that I did not mention the gyres in the article, but I have had a look at them: see my comment: Wim Röst January 26, 2017 at 4:25 pm. They contribute, but don’t dominate.

      Any proof of the theory is best shown at a regional scale. Fig. 2 and 3 give the best result. See my earlier comment: January 27, 2017 at 4:35 am

      • Thanks for the reply Wim. However, I do not see either of the time stamps you indicate. I think that varies with what time zone the reader is in !

        Can I suggest that you hover over the time/date on any comments you wish to refer to and copy the permalink. This uses the unique comment ID and works consistently. Eg you last one links as follows:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/26/warming-and-the-pause-explained-by-wind-upwelling-and-mixing/#comment-2409461

      • “Any proof of the theory is best shown at a regional scale. Fig. 2 and 3 give the best result. ”

        I do not see any results. I see some rather vague speculation based on eyeballing some maps. I’m not sure that even merits being called a hypothesis, let alone a theory.

        I like the article, it is thought provoking but I think you need to be a bit more rigorous and scientific. Like I said , if you think there is a correlation in fig 6 and 7 lets see the two data sets together and some correlation stats.

        Are you able to plot a graph of those two time series?

      • Greg January 27, 2017 at 6:07 am “I do not see either of the time stamps you indicate”

        WR: when you search for ‘gyre’ you will also find the location. The same for ‘regional scale’.

  32. I can’t thank you enough for doing all the work that went into this post. I have often noticed the effect more-wind or less-wind has on SST, but lack the skill-sets necessary to gather all the facts and figures in the manner you do.

    In the past I’ve been involved in debates with Alarmists who wear blinders. When I observe something, and point it out, they distrust my eyesight. They want a “link”, and want facts and figures. I am going to save this post, to use in such situations.

    Thanks again.

    • Thank you Caleb. I like the way you are searching for the essential things as well. Although the essintial things often are simple it is not always simple to find them. The mechanism described in this post and the previous one is an important one. There is more, but we will never be able to understand ‘warming’ when we don’t know everything about ‘cooling’ or ‘the lack of cooling’.

  33. Wim, Excellent!

    In ClimateReanalyzer it is possible to subtract the average of the ‘Warming period’ from the average for ‘the Pause’: 2001-2015 minus 1986-2000. The parts of the ocean that cooled down during the Pause (compared to the warming period before) are shown in blue. Relative ‘warming’ during the Pause is shown in red. The sea temperature differences between both periods are well visible in most of the seas: Fig. 2.

    There is a changing climate sensitivity in the lat band of 20 to 30 or 35 North Lat, at the end of the 97 El Nino, that area warmer more with the calculated amount of solar it was receiving.
    What you did gives a visual picture of what the oceans were doing, while at the same time land based surface stations detect these changes as both a change in dew points (which approximately sets daily min temp planet wide). I can show you the effect of these changes.
    https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/measuring-surface-climate-sensitivity/

    This is the change in temp F, based on the varying solar at TOA for the exact location each station. Truely actual sensitivity to the change in solar forcing.

  34. Yes, Wim is correct. I’ve been beating this drum for years. I even find scientists who do climate research who don’t think about the possibility of a chaotic change in ocean mixing causing climate change.

    • Thank you Roy.

      It was a pleasure to get this link: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/01/what-causes-el-nino-warmth/ and to see that ‘from another corner’ you came to the same conclusion about the world’s cooling system. You by ENSO, I followed maps and more especially the Thermohaline Circulation, THC. I became fascinated by the sink of icecold water and realized that it had to come up somewhere. A map with the different times the cold water stayed down made me realize that ‘1000 years down’ seemed a lot, but when it is about 1.3 billion cubic kilometers, the water coming up had to have an enormous impact of the heat content of the surface layer. And so of the Atmosphere. And so I continued step by step.

      • There’s hardly an oceanic process that leads more non-oceanographers astray than upwelling–especially in connection with the thermohaline circulation. Oceanographers have long recognized that strong wind-driven, horizontal circulation of surface layers of the oceans transport orders of magnitude more water and encapsulated heat than the sluggish, diffusive, gravity-driven adjunct of THC. “Climate science” science, however, has embraced wholly unrealistic notions of a coherent global “conveyor belt,” whose existence and properties have never been empirically established.

        Widely varying estimates of the strength and stability of putative THC and its impact upon surface climate depend largely upon bald conjectures and wholly unvalidated model calculations. such as seen in: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/glodap/glodap_pdfs/Thermohaline.web.pdf. A more realistic view of THC, however, can be glimpsed in the work of seasoned oceanographers such as Klaus Wyrtki
        (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0146631361900144) and Carl Wunsch
        (http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/thermohaline.pdf), who calls the “conveyor belt” a “fairy tale for adults.” No attributions to THC should ever be made without grasping the physical insights provided by these specialists.

      • Hello 1sky1, to realize that the THC is NOT a pipeline that transports cold water through all the oceans and after a certain time will deliver that cold water at certain places helped me to get a better image about what is really happening in the oceans.

        I realized that the cold water goes down. But, where and when does it come up? Nobody knows this exactly, aside from the fact that patterns are daily changing. Local and well visible upwelling is one part of the process. The invisible ‘replacing’ somewhere down, of surface water that is lead away by currents, is happening is also part of the process. The second part perhaps happens at most of the 360 million square kilometres of the ocean. Important for ‘temperature effects’ but not easy to detect.

        In fact the quantity of water that ‘sinks’ at the poles will form part of the mass of very cold water (95% of all ocean water) down in the ocean. More than a billion cubic kilometres that is always ‘on the move’. A tremendous lot of cubic kilometres with often subtle differences from each other, subject to processes we hardly know. And we need to know all that is happening down, to be able to foresee a little bit of what is going to happen within the oceans somewhere in the future. And by doing so, to foresee what is going to happen with climate.

        Realizing this all, made me look at the upward movement of the THC and especially the visible upwelling. And realizing the quantities involved, it became clear that this was a process that is fundamental to understand the functioning of present global climates. And their development in time.

        Until now nearly everyone seems to be concentrated on ‘warming’ and forgetting that ‘cooling’ is [at least] half of the process.

        You can isolate the walls of your house to get it warmer, but when you forget to realize that a little window still is opened, a window that let’s flow in the cold air into your house 24/7, summer and winter, a small window but with a substantial impact on the temperatures in your house, you will never be able to understand why the temperature in your house will not be that what you expected it to be.

        This seems to happen in climate world.

        Thanks for your links I will surely have a look at them.

  35. The average wind speed over the ocean surface can change for various reasons — long term alteration of pressure systems is probably the largest.

    Can I put forward my own suggestion — Mosh, look away now.

    Low level wind will decrease over a rough surface. Over a smooth surface it will increase. An oil-polluted ocean surface resists wave breaking up to Force 4 because the oil smooths the surface and there is reduced engagement. By disengaging the wind from the upwelling effect one will obviously reduce upwelling and increase SSTs .Is surface smoothing a contributor to global warming? I don’t know.

    Give me a few hundred million dollars and I will quantify the effect.

    JF

    • Diminishing the wind stress will make the temperature of the top surface layer rise: into the direction of the no mixing situation fig. 8.

      • Wim, if i (as a humble layman) were to put it all in an (overly simplistic) nutshell, i would say that wherever those warmer areas (the reds and yellows) are, waters are piling up and subsequnetly sinking. And visa versa, where ever those cooler areas (the blues and purples) are, waters are upwelling. AND the faster the winds blow (warmer SSTs), the more sinking (warm) and upwelling (cool) we get…

      • “subsequnetly” should read “subsequently”

        (and ‘humble layman’ translates as ‘dummy’… ☺)

      • Afonzarelli, unfortunately it is not that simple. The warm waters you see in fig. 1 as red and yellow are expanded because of their temperature and therefore have a density that is less than the colder water below. Therefore they will continue to float. The total process of sink and upwelling is more complicated, because ‘salt content’ also plays a role. I will come back on this later.

      • Yes, that was my point. Disengaged wind will be the equivalent of a lower wind speed, so even though the wind is increasing its effect on the upwelling cooling cycle will be less.A surface which is smoothed will also have a lower albedo — more warming — and will have fewer breaking waves. Fewer breaking waves, fewer aerosols. Fewer aerosols, less stratocumulus cloud, more warming.

        I have been puzzled about El Nino. I wonder if anyone has studied the phenomenon beyond the purely quantitative. You read things like ‘there are more El Ninos therefore the world is warmer’, but my question is ‘why more El Ninos, what is causing them?’ Maybe I haven’t read enough.

      • Well… they don’t sink in the conventional sense, being less dense, sure. But, when warm water gets piled up on top of warm water (over and over again), then the whole mass will go down, no? And in the eastern ocean, water will thus rise. In essence the coriolis effect (trade winds) acts as a great big heat pump, pumping warm surface waters into the abyss. Sure, the waters spread out and some simply piles up, but much of it would sink. That’s how (i thought) the THC works. Imagine an open ended test tube in the shape of a “U”. And there is ice cold (blue dyed) water filling up about half of it. And we pour scalding (red dyed) water into one of the openings. The hot water will go downward once added to the tube. And on the other side, the cold water will rise. (if my memory serves me, it’s called ‘conservation of mass’?) What i’m saying here is conventional wisdom or so i thought. Maybe i’m just not understanding you here. (it’s not your english, it’s my thought processes which aren’t the greatest!)

        i see that mike jonas’ piece has just come up. If i don’t see you again here, thank you very much for the wonderful post, and for wading in with the peops so thoroughly in the comments. i think this was a very important posting with much to learn and confirm. (my biggest take away was your response to javier where you described the whole process as a “negative feedback”)…

  36. Hi Wim. Greetings from the Big Mango (BKK).

    Thanks for this proposal. I think it does explain the self-regulating effect of the ocean wind combination.

    What I am more interested in is how does this start a glacial or end an interglacial. what would have to disrupt or unbalanced the self regulating effect to cause an ice age.

    1. Do the periods of high winds correspond to peaks in the sunspot cycle.

    2. I have read about the Hadley cells, Ferrel cells and the polar . Also I have seen ITCZ move around daily and seasonally. My question is at the end of the last ice age can we know if there was only the Hadley cell operating from equator to the poles. At that time of course course the sea level was about 120 meters lower. This might help explain the sudden change.

    Regards,
    Pearce M. Schaudies.
    Minister of Future

  37. “how does this start a glacial or end an interglacial. what would have to disrupt or unbalanced the self regulating effect to cause an ice age”

    WR: The processes on the Earth are diverse and not easy to disentangle. Seldom you can convert them 1:1. Many processes influence other processes and often smaller or bigger time lags are involved. As the sun is directly connected to the Earth, changes in the behaviour of the Sun will have their effect on Earth, but so far it is not easy to detect those effects directly. But the effects of changes in the Sun will influence ‘cycles’ that we can see in processes that are happening on Earth. So far it is not proved that sunspots have a direct effect on things like ‘wind’. We know that the sun/orbit has an influence on wind, think about the seasons, think about day/night differences. Changes in orbit/insolation/season probably will have an influence on wind and upwelling that will help us changes in climates. I probably will come back on this later.

    The discovery of Hadley cells and other cells helped to explain the different climates on the Earth. But later we discovered the different stratifications in the air and this complicated the situation. See my comment Wim Röst January 27, 2017 at 2:46 am. Nullschool made me doubt about Hadley cells. See: https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=total_precipitable_water/orthographic=339.17,1.64,508 What is clearly visible is that movements of water vapour don’t stop at places where we expect the air to go down, at around 30N and 30S. This learned me that we must look in another way (at least for a certain percentage) to what is happening in the atmosphere.

    What has my attention is the possible change in pressure areas that will result as North Pole ice would continue to shrink. Warmer Poles will result in more low pressure areas over there, which will have big implications. Our Atlantic Ocean will get a kind of a ‘northern extension’. For now we are still thinking about two systems, the Arctic seas and the Atlantic. But think about a situation without summer ice, being the two one system.

    The contrary happens during the glacials. Pressure areas change, winds change, wind speed changes, upwelling changes, upwelling areas change, water quantities change, currents change etc. etc. And in time, all systems continuously keep changing. An interesting puzzle.

    • I like to tell little children that I can always tell what is inside a wrapped gift box. Then I reveal that what is inside is a puzzle.
      =================

    • Bill Heyn, a very funny and a very important question.

      We know that graph you mentioned is false in itself: it is not representing reality. But if the graph would have been correct, would that graph have shown greenhouse warming or could it have been something else as well? And in case it would have shown greenhouse warming, what would the cooling system do in reaction to this warming?

      First answer: natural variation can fully explain even such a graph. Such a graph could show that our unpredictable chaotic ocean / atmospheric system for a while has chosen a less usual path like what sometimes happens at sea when ‘movements from different directions’ are able to produce a giant wave that ‘normally’ is shown nowhere. But those ‘impossible waves’ do develop from time to time and big ships may even disappear by them. It our climate world something unusual like could easily be a natural variation in a little bit more extreme form. But we have seen much stronger movements in and out the interglacial and also within the glacials. So nothing unnatural. Last century warming – as I have shown above in fig. 2 and 3 – might be nothing else than normal ‘natural variation’, without ANY greenhouse effect involved.

      This natural variation is caused by ‘partly putting off the deep sea cooling’. A period of less wind causes less cold upwelling of cold deep sea water that mixes with the rest of the surface layer. The sun is heating the less cooled (so initially already warmer) surface layer with the same energy as usual and the surface layer will become warmer than before. This results in a warming sea surface / atmosphere system for some decades. Therefore all of the present warming might be the result of variations inside the system itself. With no greenhouse effect involved at all.

      The same for a cooling world. Nothing has to change in the composition of the atmosphere to get in the present century two 30 year periods of cooling. When our chaotic ocean/atmosphere system decides to enhance wind speed with some percents we can experience two periods of cooling. Just by natural variation. Deep cold upwelling ocean water will cool the surface layer that will cool the atmosphere. With no energy gain nor energy loss for the Earth as a whole.

      But what, if there IS a warming effect by greenhouse gases? How will the here described cooling system react?
      1. The Antarctic does not cool easily: too much ice. Polar warming therefore will be on the North Pole. Warming results in lower pressure. As the pressure at the Antarctic not will change a lot and the pressure in the Arctic will be lowered substantially, at the surface level the air movement between SP (South Pole) and NP will be enhanced. More wind = more upwelling = cooling.
      2. In the above warming system, air will rise at the NP and will be going down at the SP. The area of the South Pole will cool by the in the high pressure area lowering air (as it did) and sea ice will be extended (as it did). At the NP warm air and warmer water will arrive (as it did), sea ice will melt (as it partially did) and warm air will rise to a height where the energy easy can go spaceward (as it did).
      3. Land warms faster than Sea. The temperature gradient Land – Sea will be enhanced. At land more warm air will rise and it will have to be replaced by cooler air from the surfaces of the seas. Pressure differences will be enhanced. Wind will be enhanced. And the resulting rising wind speed will in the end result in cooling of the total system by more upwelling of cold water.
      4. More wind will result in more mixing of the upper regions of the oceans. This might both cool and thicken the surface layer. The cooling of the seas will enhance temperature differences with the warming land, create even more pressure differences, raise temperature gradients and (again) raise wind speed. Continuing and enhancing the cooling process. Until the system is more balanced.
      5. At the North Pole the very salty but less cold (because of warming) Gulf Stream water will be surrounded by warmer other water and will sink down. Bringing more energy into the deep sea. As a result, the surface of the Earth will cool and the deep sea will warm. Because of its enormous capacity to contain energy, the deep sea will only warm a very very little bit.
      6. On the long run (think about hundreds of years or a millennium) the uptake of energy by the oceans will warm the oceans as a whole (including the Deep Sea) slowly and will result in a bit warmer upwelling water that will raise the Earth’ temperatures slightly.

      Concluding: if there is a Greenhouse effect (which I hope, but more about that in following posts) than the effect of the Greenhouse warming will be measured on a scale of hundreds of years or even millennia. In the short run (decades, a century) warm periods will stimulate the Earth Cooling Motor and the Deep Sea will be activated in such a way that ‘in the next 30 year round’ the eventual warming will be mitigated or even reversed in a cooling pattern as we saw in the fifties and sixties of last century.

      My guess for the future:
      As soon as a real cooling process will be activated around the North Pole, there might be a switch in roles between Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. This will be visible in more sea ice on the NP and less sea ice around the SP. The warming we experienced mostly around the North Atlantic will disappear for a period of at least decades. And possibly will be conversed in real cooling of the North Atlantic area, whatever the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The cooling mechanism (cool deep sea water) is that strong that such a cooling will be ‘peanuts’ for the Earth. As stated above, the uptake of ‘greenhouse gas energy’ from the atmosphere finally might warm the oceans and so the surface of the Earth very slowly on a scale of hundreds of years or millennia from now. And as I later will explain: we might be very glad about that eventual future warming.

      • Wim, two points here… It’s been said (over and over) that warming at the poles decreases the gradient between the tropics and the poles. Therefor we should expect lower wind speeds going north/south. What is your take on this? AND, if what i’ve stated is true, how would that fit into the bigger picture (of increasing east/west wind speeds)?
        Secondly, my thinking is that it is possible that we could reach “peak warming” at some point (in the short term; decades to centuries). If it can be said that ocean temps were at an equilibrium state (LIA) temperature, we are now at about .7C (SSTs) above that equilibrium state temp. So when those upwelling waters hit the sea surface, the temperature differential creates a certain wind speed. The further SSTs get above the equilibrium state temp, the faster the wind speeds (and the greater the “negative feedback” of cooling). At some point the negative feedback would become so powerful as to stall any future warming. (this in much the same way that a sink with the spigot on so high eventually sees the water ceasing to rise, but not falling, in a basin)…

      • i might add to my second point that, if true, it would spell the end of AGW theory as we know it. (if not scientifically, then certainly politically)…

      • Afonzarelli, inviting questions. Here my answers.

        A. “It’s been said (over and over) that warming at the poles decreases the gradient between the tropics and the poles. Therefor we should expect lower wind speeds going north/south. What is your take on this?”

        WR:
        1. As the tropics warm, the big mass of ice at the South Pole will stay as cold as it was and the gradient with the tropics will rise: more wind. From the high pressure area at the North Pole all the air that comes down goes (initially) direction equator. More ice cold wind will result in more sea ice and cooling seas. As we have seen.
        2. At the North Pole warming will diminish the gradient with the equator and this should result in less wind. But, in the winter half year, the NP will be (much) warmer as we see especially this winter 2016/2017. This year we saw a lot of Low Pressure areas in the Arctic not only during the summer but also in autumn and winter. Cold winters at the land masses South of the Arctic (Canada, Siberia) create high pressure area’s. In between the LP / HP areas from resp. Arctic and Siberia, from autumn 2016 I saw very strong winds blowing direction the Sea of Okhotsk, East of Siberia. In some weeks I saw a ‘Blue Blob’ develop in the Northern Pacific that after some time extended to Canada. That colder North Pacific Ocean has a higher gradient with the tropics and should result in more wind (direction California for example)
        3. Both ‘cold’ and high pressure area’s at the Northern land masses this year got an impulse from early autumn snow. The Low Pressure areas at the NP have send a lot of relative warm but still ice cold air to the South with a higher than normal moisture content: a lot of snow. Already early in autumn when the sun lowered a lot at the latitudes of North Siberia the land masses got snow. This resulted in strong early cooling and in high pressure at the land masses. Enhancing the gradient and resulting in wind.

        It is my guess that the cooling effect of both early snow and the developing cold North Pacific will have a net cooling effect on the NH. In that case, both Hemispheres will show a cooling pattern as the Arctic continues to warm.

        If so, it is worrying that we already got ‘Peak Warming’ six to eight thousand years ago, at the Holocene Optimum. Trees were growing up to where now the Arctic Sea is. The tree stumps still are present in the tundra.

        If I am right that a warmer Arctic can result in net cooling……

        ===

        A. “it can be said that ocean temps were at an equilibrium state (LIA) temperature”.
        WR: I am not sure about that. 5 Million years ago both surface temperature and Deep Sea temperature were a lot higher. Preventing Glacials. We did not reach that level yet. Therefore it will be easy to fall back into a glacial – as happens every time after a short interglacial.

        A: “when those upwelling waters hit the sea surface, the temperature differential creates a certain wind speed”.
        WR: Indeed, have a look at fig. 3: at the upwelling area’s in the Pacific wind speed is clearly enhanced. Enough to create a Pause and we will see what the future will bring.

        A: “if true, it would spell the end of AGW theory as we know it.”

        WR: I think you are right. Who understands fig. 2 and 3 will understand that ALL warming (and cooling) might have been ‘just natural variation’. That it would be more logical to look at the lowering temperature trend since the Holocene Optimum and – I will explain that later – that we should look at the growing variance in temperature movements in the last couple of hundreds years. Therefore I can end as I ended above: “And as I later will explain: we might be very glad about that eventual future warming.”

      • “1. The Antarctic does not cool easily: too much ice. Polar warming therefore will be on the North Pole. Warming results in lower pressure. As the pressure at the Antarctic not will change a lot and the pressure in the Arctic will be lowered substantially, at the surface level the air movement between SP (South Pole) and NP will be enhanced. More wind = more upwelling = cooling.”
        How does an increasing surface temperature result in a decreasing surface pressure?
        We can have a low surface pressure at just about any surface temperature.
        Surface pressure is NOT caused by surface temperature.

    • Ben Wouters: January 30, 2017 at 1:35 am
      “How does an increasing surface temperature result in a decreasing surface pressure?”

      WR: Your question doesn’t reflect my words: please use the words I used. Air pressure reflects the weight of the total air column above a certain point. As air warms, air expands and lowers the weight of the column involved: the pressure lowers.

      • “As air warms, air expands and lowers the weight of the column involved: the pressure lowers.”

        As air warms, the column expands, but this does not change anything to the weight of the entire column, so the surface pressure remains the same.
        Increase the surface temperature of the entire earth eg 10C, and the surface pressure will remain the same.

      • Warmer air expands to leave more space between molecules so the mass density is less for a given height of column and thus lighter with lower surface pressure.

        An exception is beneath an inversion layer under a high pressure cell of descending more dense air. In that situation the surface layer can get very hot but is prevented from reducing the density and weight of the air coming down from higher up. Instead the heated surface air flows outward towards any adjacent lower pressure cell.

      • Wim Röst January 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm

        “Cold winters at the land masses South of the Arctic (Canada, Siberia) create high pressure area’s.”
        Could you elaborate a bit on the mechanism for the creation of these high pressure areas?
        Especially in comparison with the desert belt around 30 N/S, where hot weather also seems to ‘create’ high pressure areas?

      • Ben Wouters: “Could you elaborate a bit on the mechanism for the creation of these high pressure areas?” Especially in comparison with the desert belt around 30 N/S, where hot weather also seems to ‘create’ high pressure areas?

        WR: Cold and/or dry air result in high pressure area. As explained above by Stephen Wilde, low temperatures result in less space between the molecules (the molecules move less) and therefore the same air column consists of more molecules = high weight = High Pressure. This is the reason for the high pressure areas in Siberia. Because of the low temperatures, the air column has but a few light H2O molecules as well: high pressure.

        H2O molecules have less weight as O2 and N2 molecules have. H2O molecules push the O2 and N2 out of the air column. The resulting high moisture air column therefore has a lower weight = lower pressure.

        For the deserts at 30N/S the reverse. The Hadley cell system explains: around the equator the air (high moisture, light) rises, loses its water vapour (tropical rain) and on a high level in the troposphere the air is transported to 30N/S. There, the dry air descends. Because it is dry (no light H2O molecules) there are more heavy N2 and O2 molecules in the air column. At 30N/S this is the reason for the high pressure. It is still warm, but no H2O in the air column.

      • I would just add a bit as regards the reason for the position of the Hadley cells. If the Earth were not rotating there would be a large low pressure system containing rising warm less dense air on the sunlit side and a large high pressure cell containing cold more dense falling air on the dark side.
        Add rotation and those two basic cells break up and get spread out in the observed pattern of surface pressure distribution. That is what gives us the well recognised climate zones.
        The jetstreams then thread their way between the various high and low pressure cells because there are density differentials between the different air masses which creates instability/overturning where they meet and the Earth’s rotation gives horizontal impetus to those jetstreams.
        Most clouds are associated with jetstreams because of the temperature and humidity differentials either side of their tracks so longer meridional tracks looping latitudinally will make Earth cloudier whereas shorter straighter zonal tracks will make the Earth less cloudy.
        Linking such changes in jetstream tracks to overall global cloudiness is unique to me as far as I know and I think that provides a better explanation than the Svensmark suggestion once it is realised that it is solar variability that makes the tracks of the jetstreams more, or less, meridonal.

      • Wim Röst January 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm
        “WR: Cold and/or dry air result in high pressure area. As explained above by Stephen Wilde, low temperatures result in less space between the molecules (the molecules move less) and therefore the same air column consists of more molecules = high weight = High Pressure. This is the reason for the high pressure areas in Siberia. Because of the low temperatures, the air column has but a few light H2O molecules as well: high pressure.”

        Ok, thanks. In the real world:
        https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/anim=off/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/orthographic=87.25,58.99,401/loc=86.151,74.912
        At position ~N85E86 the MSLP is presently ~973hPa, temperature -22C.
        How does this fit in your explanation for high pressure areas being created by low temperatures?

      • Ben Wouters, January 31, 2017 at 1:52 pm

        Ben, we are off topic now, but the answer on your question is right now to the east: 63.89° N, 144.61° E✕
        250° @ 5 km/h, -46.8 °C, 63.89° N, 144.61° E✕ 250° @ 5 km/h 1012 hPa https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/orthographic=-243.83,48.25,587/loc=144.609,63.892

        Interesting for you: the moving pattern in this forecast which shows that there is also in cold areas a continuous variation in pressure due to the movement of air masses: http://cci-reanalyzer.org/wx/fcst/#GFS-025deg.WORLD-CED.T2_anom-MSLP

      • Wim Röst January 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm

        1012 hPa is still low(ish) pressure, but that is besides the point.
        Temperature has NO influence on the surface pressure. ONLY thing that decides surface pressure is the weight of the entire column above the surface, whether the surface temperature is +40C or -40C
        With a high column temperature the column will be expanded much more than a column with a lower temperature.
        We have two areas with on average higher pressure: at the 30 N/S high pressure belt and the at two poles, and also there the pressure varies on a daily basis.

        Suggest to read up on the hydrostatic equlibrium the atmosphere is in.

      • Stephen Wilde January 31, 2017 at 12:38 pm
        ” If the Earth were not rotating there would be a large low pressure system containing rising warm less dense air on the sunlit side and a large high pressure cell containing cold more dense falling air on the dark side.”
        I doubt there will be much of an atmosphere on the dark side with surface temperatures around 30K.
        All the action will be on the sunny side. Probably a kind of Hadley cell from the zenith point towards the day/night border, with surface flow towards the zenith point.

      • Well you could have descending air on the dark side freezing to the ground and then being revapourised when the rotation moves it around to the sunlit side but you would still have ascent on the day side and descent on the dark side.
        On Earth the atmosphere has enough mass aided by the water oceans for freezing to the surface not to be an issue.

  38. >> The here described mechanism shows that ‘warming’ or ‘cooling’ of the surface of the Earth is able to happen without ‘energy gain’ or ‘energy loss’ for the Earth as a whole.

    That is part of natural variability and is not modeled that well.

    Separate from that of course, we have CO2 increases by man and the net energy gains associated with that atm.

      • micro6500, if you didn’t take a lot of physics while in school, you might not understand what I mean. Increasing the net amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (that’s that 400ppm or such number you might have seen thrown around) retards the speed and facility by which the energy the sun is constantly radiating at us is dissipated by the planet into space. It’s called the greenhouse effect. Adding ghg temporarily disrupts the balance of energy in/ energy out so that there is accumulation of energy. Satellites pick this up, but before satellites we had sound theories of gas radiation/absorption so it was not a surprise. Before global warming became politicized like crazy, way before, in the 1970s, the evidence was really strong and institutions like the US National Academy of Sciences had accepted that basic theory resoundingly based on their survey of the scientific literature.

      • Except they are wrong, it is a ghg, it’s just the bigger ghg in the atm regulates cooling. Co2 was likely much needed on a frozen earth with little water vapor. But that is not the world we have now.

  39. Nice work Wilm

    Please now chart solar activities with wind.
    I have a theory and have watched the inverse correlation between solar activities and warming and cooling of sea surface temps in regions. #ssttheory

    • There is a 3-5 day lag. Region I have seen and Watched the inverse correlation between solar and SST changes is Nino 1+2.
      Only can be clearly be seen when weather systems are not causing static.

      You can contact me on twitter if any Q @njsnowfsn
      Thanks.

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