Where did the 2016 El Niño's heat come from?

Guest essay by Mike Jonas

1. The basic physics

2016 was claimed as the “hottest year ever”. Well, the hottest for a few centuries, anyway, if the global temperature measures are to be believed. Let’s suppose that they are. It is known that 2016 was an El Niño year, and that the “hottest year ever” was caused by a burst of warm water from the ocean (and we know that CO2 doesn’t act that fast). So – where did the El Niño’s heat come from? Let’s look at some basic physics:

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) warm the atmosphere. From there, the downward Infra-Red (IR) radiation reaches the ocean surface.

IR cannot penetrate more than a fraction of a millimetre into the ocean, so it warms just the surface skin. From there most of its energy goes back into the atmosphere or space, but some of it can convect or conduct into the ocean. From the 2nd law of thermodynamics, in the absence of work, net heat transfer can only occur from a warmer object to a cooler one. So …

  • The atmosphere cannot warm the ocean surface skin to a higher temperature than itself.
  • Water in the ocean surface skin cannot mix with deeper water to create water of a higher temperature than itself.
  • Water from the ocean cannot warm the atmosphere to a higher temperature than itself.

This means that none of the extra warmth from the ocean which caused the “hottest year ever” can have come from GHGs within the last few centuries. It’s not a question of how much came from GHGs and how much from natural causes. The proportion of the extra heat that actually came from GHGs (within the last few years at the very least) has to be precisely zero.

The basic physics tells us: The atmosphere cannot heat itself !



Figure 1. Can the Atmosphere heat itself?

So where did the extra heat come from; what could have provided the energy to cause a part of the ocean to be hotter than it “ever” had been before?

The argument that GHGs slow down the ocean’s rate of heat loss isn’t the answer. That can cause the temperature to be higher than it otherwise might have been, but, as above, it can’t provide the energy to cause a new high temperature.

A lot of solar radiation is absorbed into the ocean’s surface skin, but this could not have been the source of the extra heat. For that, the ocean’s surface skin would have had to be as warm or warmer than the later El Niño, but it wasn’t.

“Natural variation” won’t cut it as an answer either. The heat has to have physically come from somewhere. We need to know where.

And remember, whatever the process was, it was all going on at a time when temperatures were lower than 2016’s. GHGs were higher than they had been before, but their influence can only be slow and steady. They can’t act as fast as an El Niño.

The only candidate for providing the extra heat appears to be the ITO (“Into The Ocean”), that is, the band of solar radiation with wavelengths from about 200-1000nm which is absorbed below the ocean surface, some of it many metres below the surface. For more on the ITO, see [1] below.

So let’s have a look at the ITO, and see how it stacks up against the IPCC’s favourite pet, CO2.

NB. This is a general comparison between ITO and CO2, it’s not specific to the 2016 El Niño. It also has some pretty rough back-of-envelope calcs that could turn out to be a health hazard. But at this stage, I’m just looking for ball-park figures.


2. ITO vs CO2

[Supporting calcs are in Appendices A, B]

The ITO is controlled by clouds, ie. by changes in cloud cover. The sun has been shown to influence cloud cover [1], so the sun is a factor too, but much more for its effect on clouds than for its TSI.

Over the period 1983-2009 (the only period for which I have the data needed), the IPCC estimate for the increase in CO2 forcing – including feedbacks – was ~0.54 Wm-2 (global average). As I explained in [1] Part 2, this figure was arrived at by the modellers by tuning the climate computer models to match the 20th century warming. In other words, the figure of 0.54 Wm-2 (or its equivalent over some other period) was calculated as the amount that was needed to deliver the observed warming, and then parameterised into the models.

Looking at the ITO over the Pacific tropics, and arbitrarily using only the portion of the ITO that is absorbed from 10 to 100m below the surface, the change in cloud cover from 1983-2009 delivered an extra 0.55 Wm-2 on a global basis. ie, the extra energy delivered into the Pacific tropical ocean 10-100m below the surface was equivalent to 0.55 Wm-2 over the whole of Earth’s surface.

Don’t read anything into the closeness between the IPCC’s 0.54 Wm-2 and the ITO’s 0.55 Wm-2. My ITO calculations were done using some arbitrary numbers, simply to arrive at a ball-park figure, in order to check whether the ITO could have delivered enough energy into the ocean to explain the global warming that the IPCC attributed to CO2. It did.

In a way, it had to. Think of it this way: The warming from CO2 could not have produced the El Niño warming that gave us the “warmest year ever”, as I explained in 1 above. It also for example could not have produced the El Niño warming in 1998, for the same reason. Even with CO2 warming, the only actual source of energy that could have produced those El Niños had to have come from ITO, regardless of where the IPCC thought it came from. So when the modellers were tuning their models to the 20th century warming, they were actually tuning them to the ITO (though they didn’t know that). This means that the ITO must have already delivered the amount of energy that the models assumed had come from CO2.

Now, let’s briefly re-visit the theoretical basis.

3. SCO vs IPCC

The IPCC’s view of climate is CO2-centric. In their version, Earth’s climate is basically stable, with variations caused by varying levels of atmospheric CO2 concentration and by little else. They think that until man-made CO2 came along, there wasn’t a lot that changed CO2 concentration, so Earth’s climate was pretty stable. Various dubious techniques were used to promote this idea, such as the infamoous “hockey-stick” graph produced by Michael Mann in which proxy temperature series that did not support the narrative were truncated. See here.

In the SCO hypothesis (Sun-Cloud-Ocean [1]), the key factor is the solar radiation that penetrates many metres into the ocean – the ITO. The ITO is affected by cloud cover.. Over the longer term (decades to centuries) cloud cover is driven by solar activity, as described by Henrik Svensmark here, and later successfully tested. Cloud cover is affected by solar activity in the short term too, eg as described here, but these short term variations probably have little effect on climate, because it takes time for clouds’ effect to accumulate. Cloud cover does vary naturally for other reasons, but little is known about it.

Clouds have a minor overall effect on average atmospheric temperature [“clouds exert two competing effects .. The balance between these two components depends on many factors” AR4], but they have a significant effect on the ITO and hence on the rate of absorption of energy by the ocean. The ocean can accumulate some of this energy over many years before releasing it. The ocean then acts like a giant heat-pump. Accumulated energy in the ocean is pumped in short (months, years) or long (years, decades) bursts by the ocean into the atmosphere, typically because of an ocean oscillation such as El Niño, AMO, PDO, etc. In the short term, or even over decades, the release of energy might bear little relation to its acquisition.

The global temperature pattern over the 20th century bears little resemblance to the supposed warming by CO2, but it does have a very good correlation with ocean oscillations (see here), and El Niño’s influence is easily seen.

4. Conclusion

I need to re-work everything carefully, and there are still a few gaps in the SCO hypothesis to fill in, but I am confident that I have found the mechanism of the 20th century global warming. It involved the sun, the clouds, and the ocean. SCO fits the evidence, CO2 does not.

Very important: The statement made in 2 above – ” the change in cloud cover from 1983-2009 delivered an extra 0.55 Wm-2 on a global basis” – is a statement that does not rely on the SCO hypothesis. It is what actually happened (apart from any arithmetic error), based only on published data and a straightforward calculation. It is valid regardless of the IPCC or anyone’s hypotheses or CO2 or anything else that might affect the climate.


Figure 2. Absorption by wavelength, depth. The longer wavelengths (over 700nm) are almost completely absorbed in the first metre. Only wavelengths 300-600nm get past 10m depth. Little gets past 100m depth. [Note: Wavelengths 200-300nm are all scattered in the atmosphere and don’t reach the ocean.].Visible light wavelengths very approximately are 400-500nm Blue, 500-600nm Green, 600-700nm Red.


Appendix A. CO2

The IPCC says:

The concentration of atmospheric CO2 has increased from a pre-industrial value of about 280 ppm to 379 ppm in 2005.” – AR4 TS.2.1.1.

The simple formulae for RF of the LLGHG quoted in Ramaswamy et al. (2001) are still valid. These formulae are based on global RF calculations where clouds, stratospheric adjustment and solar absorption are included, and give an RF of +3.7 W m–2 for a doubling in the CO2 mixing ratio. (The formula used for the CO2 RF calculation in this chapter is the IPCC (1990) expression as revised in the TAR. Note that for CO2, RF increases logarithmically with mixing ratio.)

[..] Using the global average value of 379 ppm for atmospheric CO2 in 2005 gives an RF of 1.66 ± 0.17 W m–2; a contribution that dominates that of all other forcing agents considered in this chapter.” – AR4 2.3.1.

[RF = Radiative Forcing, LLGHG = Long-Lived GreenHouse Gases]

At 3.7 Wm-2 per doubling of CO2, the RF increase from 280 ppm to 379 ppm in 2005 is +3.7*(log2(379)-log2(280)) = +1.62 Wm-2

I’m not sure why IPCC put it at 1.66 Wm-2. I think they used 277 as the 1750 CO2 concentration, but maybe the allowances made for “clouds, stratospheric adjustment and solar absorption” made a difference. To be on the safe side, I’ll adjust following calcs up to match.

I only have cloud data for 1983-2009, so I need to work within that period so that I can do comparisons. Mauna Loa CO2 in 1983 averaged 342.7ppm, in 2009 averaged 387.2 (Data downloaded from here in Feb 2012). That gives an RF increase of +3.7*(log2(387.2)-log2(342.7)) * (1.66/1.62) = +0.20 Wm-2.

I have to be careful here, because the IPCC claim “feedbacks” to CO2 warming that increase the ECS from 1.2 to 3.2. So the +0.20 Wm-2 RF increase from 19983-2009 becomes something like +0.20 * 3.2/1.2 = +0.54 Wm-2.

How does the ITO stack up against that RF increase? See Appendix B.

Appendix B. The ITO

About 168 Wm-2 of solar radiation reaches Earth’s surface directly:


.Figure A.1. Global annual average energy budget, from here).

Of this, about 3/4 is in the ITO band of wavelengths. This is calculated from SORCE data, with the longer wavelengths (missing in the SORCE data) estimated from this chart provided by davidmhoffer:


Figure A.2. Radiation absorption chart.

We’re looking for the total Wm-2 represented by the red area from wavelength 0.2-1µm (200-1000nm). This comes to 133 Wm-2 (about 3/4 of the 168 Wm-2 in Figure A.1).

The oceans are 3/5 of Earth’s surface, so the ITO, which is ocean-only, works out at 133 * 3/5 = 80 Wm-2 over the globe. But what we need is the change from 1983-2009.


Figure A.3. Global cloud cover 1983-2009, ocean only.

Global cloud cover over the ocean dropped by about 4 percentage points from 1983 to 2009, based on the linear trend. Note that we are not concerned here with the exact amount, we’re just getting an idea of what it is like.

The average cloud cover over the period is about 71%, and the ITO is about 80 Wm-2 on a global basis. So the change in the ITO’s RF from 1983-2009 is about 80 * 4/(100-71) = 11 Wm-2 on a global basis.

Of that, about 45% is absorbed in the first metre of ocean, 30% from 1-10m, 22½% from 10-100m, and about 2½% goes further down. The part we are interested in is probably the 22½% from 10-100m, which is about 2.5 Wm-2 on a global basis.

Check: The ocean area we’re interested in is the one that feeds El Niño. That’s basically the Pacific tropics, so we need to check the cloud pattern over the Pacific tropical ocean:


Figure A.4. Pacific tropics 20S-20N cloud cover 1983-2009.

The pattern there is even stronger, with a cloud cover decline of about 6 percentage points, but the Pacific tropics is a smaller part of Earth’s surface. It also has a slightly lower average cloud cover, 61%. Its area is about 20% of Earth’s surface, so the equation for 10-100m depth in the Pacific Tropics becomes 80 * (6/(100-61)) * 20% * 22.5% = 0.55 Wm-2 on a global basis. That’s similar to the global warming capability that the IPCC claims for CO2. And bear in mind that for CO2’s 0.54 Wm-2, that’s spread around the whole globe and they need all of it for El Niño, whereas for ITO’s Pacific tropics 0.55 Wm-2 there’s another global 1.95 Wm-2 (2.5 – 0.55) going into the rest of the ocean to feed the other ocean oscillations.

Note: I need to re-work the Pacific Tropics chart, using the El Niño ocean areas. The fact that the Pacific tropics comes out at almost exactly the IPCC figure for CO2 is simply a fluke. I chose 20S-20N arbitrarily, and I chose depths 10-100m arbitrarily, just to get a ball-park figure. A more detailed calculation is needed, using the ENSO areas and water depths.


[1] SCO information is on WUWT:

· Part 1 describes how climate works.

· Part 2 explains how mainstream climate science went wrong.

· Part 3 looks at the scientific process.


Data and Calcs

Absorption data and calcs are in spreadsheet AbsorptionCalcs.xlsx (7mb)

See the spreadsheetabsorptioncalcs (.xlsx)

Cloud data and calcs spreadsheet (37mb) is too large to post at this stage.


AMO – Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

AR4 – IPCC’s fourth report

CO2 – Carbon Dioxide

ECS – Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

GHG – GreenHouse Gas

IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

IR – Infra-Red radiation

ITO – Into The Ocean [Band of Wavelengths approx 200nm to 1000nm]

LLGHG – Long-Lived GreenHouse Gases

PDO – Pacific Decadal Oscillation

RF – Radiative Forcing

SCO – The Sun-Cloud-Ocean hypothesis

TAR – IPCC’s third report

TSI – Total Solar Irradiance

WUWT – wattsupwiththat.com

Mike Jonas (MA Maths Oxford UK) retired some years ago after nearly 40 years in I.T.

301 thoughts on “Where did the 2016 El Niño's heat come from?

  1. Zonal jet stream tracks = less clouds = more energy into the oceans
    Meridional jet stream tracks = more clouds = less energy into the oceans.
    To switch between zonal and meridional requires a change in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles.
    I have explained elsewhere how that comes about and it is not caused by cosmic rays although cosmic rays, along with other solar indices, serve as an adequate proxy for the actual cause which is variations in the ozone creation / destruction balance in the stratosphere acting differently above equator and poles.
    Ozone amounts just above the tropopause affect the temperature just above the tropopause and thus affect tropopause heioght.

    • Stephen Wilde – While I was going through the cloud data, I was thinking that some of it demonstrated what you had been saying for a long time, but I was concentrating on other aspects. ie, I think the data supports your views. Regarding the sun and cosmic rays, I think the long term patterns of global temperature show that Svensmark is correct, but that other factors are in play over lesser periods (multi-decadal or less, perhaps). It would be very helpful if you could provide an analysis of cloud cover changes over the last few decades, showing what caused them.

      • I use the same data that you have produced. I don’t think there is anything more detailed. The key observation for me was that there is an inflection point around the year 2000 when decreasing cloudiness levelled off. That coincided with my observation that the jet stream tracks were becoming more meridional, similar to the cooling period of the 50s and 60s but not as pronounced.
        I have been pointing that out in the blogs since 2007.
        Svensmark can only be correct if cosmic rays cause that change in jetstream behaviour. Thus cosmic rays would have to alter not only cloud condensation rates per se but also the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles. Only ozone will do that because the amount of ozone above the tropopause affects temperature and thus tropopause height.
        The more recent observations that solar variations change ozone differently below 45km and above the equator as compared to above 45km and over the poles gives the tropopause height seesaw effect that I require for my hypothesis which is set out in detail here:
        I have pointed out the implications of the observations to Joanna Haigh but thus far she has declined to either rebut or confirm my hypothesis.

      • And 2000 is when the step took over after the last el nino, this is the area it affected.
        And, it’s affect is on the seasonal transition of Oct to Mar, from losing the most energy per day to gaining the most energy per day.
        Both min and max temp did they same thing, and there was little change in the cooling cycle of max warming per day to max cooling per day, and that, the one which should change due to co2, did not change.

    • Can’t agree less with your statement about zonal jet stream and what it delivers. In New Zealand for the past five months we have been under repetitive “Ground Hog Day” attacks from a zonal jet stream delivering nothing but cloud to those of us who receive the prevailing westerly winds. We would love some ‘meridional jet stream,’ favourable of course, that locks a ‘high’ over us.
      All we see on the global SST map is a pool of blue around us in those five months. We wait with abated breath for our own beloved NIWA to explain what or why the ‘blue pool’ is there.The problem with holding your breath too long is that you can turn blue! Not a good look. In the mean time NIWA trot out the old mantra of “Global Warming,” to explain it all away! Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

      • You get a west to east flow in various positions around the globe even when the jets are more meridional. It just depends on your position relative to the loops in the jet stream tracks.
        The southern hemisphere has been just as ‘loopy’ as the northern hemisphere over recent years.
        Furthermore, such loopiness can produce extended warmth in some locations and extended cold in others because the loops tend to stick in place for periods of time.
        That fits your New Zealand situation.

      • And I think those loops, loop around high pressure zones, which tend to be clear, getting lots of solar, making them warm, and make high pressure zones………

    • variations in ozone destruction — is that due to variations in ultra-violet radiation intensity from the sun?

      • I prefer to hedge my bets by referring to wavelength and particle variations because there are many possible reactions involving ozone above the tropopause

  2. Soory, what a bullshit
    Try basics of ENSO before talking about things you dont understand. El-Nino is a Interplay between Atmosphere (Wind-Force) and Ozean (reduced Upwelling and higher OHC by Kelvinwaves caused by Windbursts). The Tropics in Pacific are always a net heat sink and El-Nino is in a simple way, just the bjerknes feedback loop.
    So your Question is simple, the internal climate can generate itself this heat and this heat is not really a heat, its more a warming to state in pacific if cold upwelling would not exist.
    Everyday the same with the so called “skeptics” all arround the world

    • Windforce in the ENSO region is part of a continuum with the global air circulation and cloudiness is an inherent feature of the global air circulation. Over long periods of time the balance between El Nino events and La Nina events shifts as a direct result of solar induced (IMHO) changes in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles which affects global winds and cloudiness and thus the amount of solar energy entering the oceans.
      Mike is on the right track.

      • Energy gets into the oceans when cloudiness is reduced, energy leaves the oceans when El Nino begins and clouds increase as a result of the extra heat from the El Nino but the primary cause of changes in the amount of energy entering the oceans in the first place is a change in the entire global air circulation over multidecadal periods of time.

      • Its also effect the cloud cover which is shown in this essay, because the beginning is more el-nino-like and the end more la-nina like, so the Cloud Cover have to decrease because la-nina-states decrase cloud and therefore heat uptakte to the ocean increase but not on the upper but to the deeper ocean and that is, because la nina is a sign of increased upwelling of cold water and this means increased mixing

      • “El-Nino isnt solar heating, its the opposite”
        The heat released during El Nino is solar in origin. However OHC rises and stores this energy during La Nina events. So El Nino is the time when this stored heat is released and causes warming in the global surface record.

      • Stephen again,
        So say:
        “Energy gets into the oceans when cloudiness is reduced, energy leaves the oceans when El Nino begins and clouds increase as a result of the extra heat from the El Nino but the primary cause of changes in the amount of energy entering the oceans in the first place is a change in the entire global air circulation over multidecadal periods of time.”
        That not true at all, because of trade winds which cause upwelling, the tropics in pacific are always a heat sink, the cloud cover can be stabile, the ocean will alway take energy in as long as upwelling of colder water is there. Also the heat cant leave at the beginn of el nino, the heat will build up at the first place, because with decrease upwelling, the tropical divergence also decrease, its an feedback loop. But to the End of El-Nino, the heat which was build up before now beginns to leave, but not all away, since then upwelling beginns to be normal, the divergence increase and we get much warming in the residual areas (outside the inner tropics), also some heat get in to the deeper ocean and another part is going to leave the earth. Thats also why, the warming signal from El-Nino is delayed and someof that heat exists although el nino is gone.

      • Greg,
        “The heat released during El Nino is solar in origin. However OHC rises and stores this energy during La Nina events. So El Nino is the time when this stored heat is released and causes warming in the global surface record.”
        Heat is always come from the sun, its the only source, but there is some factors, which can cause that the earth is less able to cool like cloud or GHGs. During La-Nina, the Ocean-Heat-Content of the upper ocean is decreased, the first few 100 metre becomes cooler as a consequence of upwelling of cold water. If El-Nino come in to progress the heat is build up from the fact, that upwelling is less and upwelled water is warmer then in normal state. The heat which was sink before is mixed, and alway colder as the surface.
        So this stored Energy isnt able to warm the planet direct, but it help to build up the el-nino because the upwelled water is less cooler

      • The oceanic crust heat flux is about 100 Wm-2, so the sun is most certainly not the only source of energy. The global average is about 83 Wm-2.

        • I doubt the result…..
          Go one km down into a goldmine here, and feel the elephant in the room?\
          the movement of earth’s inner core explain a lot of my own results, showing no warming in the SH and significant warming in the NH, especially north pole.

      • So whatever happened to the evaporation that is promoted by the downward LWIR from the atmosphere getting absorbed in the top 5-5o microns of ocean water ??
        So the conduction and convection of heat at the surface from down welling LWIR actually creates the el nino warm spot ??
        If the SST is the highest Temperature; where is it going to conduct and convect to, in a normal universe where heat moves from hot to cold ??

      • I doubt the result as well Henry. I think I found the main source of error in Davies estimates:
        “The global heat flux map consists of three major components. First, since young ocean crust data is affected by hydrothermal circulation [Lister, 1980] a model estimate is used in such regions rather than the raw data measurements. Second, in other regions of the world with measurements, those provide the estimate. Third, in all other regions the estimate is developed by assuming that there is a correlation between heat flow and geology, and the estimate is based on a weighted area estimate of the heat flow. I will now briefly describe these component data sets.”
        Of course hydrothermal circulation has an effect on heat flux, it’s the primary source of heat!

      • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/figures/doi/10.1002/ggge.20271#figure-viewer-ggge20271-fig-0012
        Global map of the difference between the heat flow estimate in a cell based on data and the geology correlation (where both exist—excluding young ocean crust). Classification is based on Natural Breaks (Jenks).
        The raw data minus model estimate clearly tends to underestimate heat flow (underestimating up to 1 W/m2 vs overestimating just 70 mW/m2), and this doesn’t even cover the young oceanic crust where the vast majority of heat flow exists. The raw data shows a scale up to 500Wm-2 http://www.heatflow.und.edu/marine.jpg, in areas of young crust whereas the final map averages it down to 150-450 mW-2. It could be a good average but I am skeptical since 1) the estimate has traditionally increased as more data is collected and 2) entirely new types of hydrothermal vent fields have been discovered on the flanks of the ridges as well as far from them on abyssal planes since the latest global estimate was done.

    • And by the Way
      El-Nino increases the cloud cover over the tropic, OLR becomes negativ over the El-Nino Basin

      • Stephen,
        If we look global, then its a question of where and when decrease the cloud cover and important, which kind of cloud decrease.
        Less Cloud Cover in Winter can also make things cooler because if solar insolation is low, the temperature can be lower (in the mean) because of less clouds

    • No mention in the discussion that we now know that there is quite a bit of heat being released from eh ocean’s bottom in the West Pacific, which heats the water even more and then it sloshes Westward. The Blob in the Northeast Pacific was also largely created by sea floor heat releases.

    • Hmm. The first version of this comment seems to have disappeared.
      Mike Jonas, IF only you had a basic understanding of the processes that drive ENSO.
      Since you obviously don’t, you wasted your time writing this post and you’ve wasted the time of everyone else who read it.
      Here’s a book for you to read…been available for over 4 years…the free edition that follows has been available for about a year.

      • Thank you, Bob, for this work. (i have bookmarked your “preview” edition from a couple years back) Some of us need visuals and the cartoons at the end are priceless. i also had the good fortune of living on maui back in the eighties, so your imagery really brought my experiences to life. Thanks so much…
        i do have a question or two for you. As the trades slacken and an el nino is about to begin, yes, the piled high waters roll back due to gravity. BUT, doesn’t also the warm water (that’s forced down into the western pacific by trades) spring back up (and eastward) simply because it is less dense than other ocean waters? And if so, how much of the eastward moving waters can be attributed to this mechanism verses the water rolling back east due to gravity?

      • (the reason i ask these questions is that it seems to me that the waters “shoot” back east rather quickly -also in larger amounts- and i was thus wondering if there was something more to it than just gravity)

      • There is literally a current that flows back East under the Pacific called the Cromwell Current or the Pacific Equatorial Under-Current.
        This is shown here as a tiny ribbon at the Pacific equator in this image and animation from the Global RTOFS ocean model. Just a small ribbon her but it still moving a lot of water. 200 metres depth flowing West to East. I bet you have never seen this before.

      • Bob Tisdale said: “Mike Jonas, IF only you had a basic understanding of the processes that drive ENSO”
        I have been telling you for years now that the ENSO’s are triggered by Proxegian lunar tidal events which influence the propagation of Madden-Julian events into the Western Pacific ocean.The evidence for this model is now overwhelming.
        I am not criticising your excellent explanations of the processes that drive ENSO events however, I am claiming that you do not have basic understanding of the mechanisms that initiate ENSO events.

      • Bob, you need to contemplate tthis paraphrase of what you just said about Mike Jonas: “Bob Tisdale, IF only you had a basic understanding of the processes that drive ENSO.
        Since you obviously don’t, you wasted your time writing this post and you’ve wasted the time of everyone else who read it.”
        You did that by pushing your belief that El Nino is capable of warming the world. The title of your e-book says it, so the case must be closed. That of course is just abject nonsense. El Ninos and La Ninas are created in pairs and whatever heat the El Nino seems to bring is taken back by the La Nina that follows in its footsteps. You will find a short outline of the real El Nino theory in the comment I left in this blog down the line. It shows you the ways in which you have erred. Not only is your science wrong, you also have no scientific ethics. I am still waiting for your apology for the libelous comment that I manufactured data in figure 15 of my book.

    • @ Christian
      February 8, 2017 at 10:31 am : We already know those things, contemptuous one. So, what do you think CO2 does?

    • Christian – your “the internal climate can generate itself this heat” doesn’t cut it. Heat can’t just magically appear, there has to be a mechanism. Stephen Wilde explains the mechanism succinctly, though I think there are other factors operating over longer timescales. If you have a different mechanism in mind, please explain it.

    • Kelvin (and Rossby) waves are reaction waves.They bounce off the land masses that bound the Pacific, and reflect back. Ultimately the trade winds control, and when they flag (QBO?), they release an avalanche of warm water stacked vertically in the Pacific Warm Pool. The avalanche travels incognito in the downwelling mode below the surface until it reflects back from South America in the upwelling mode and spreads all that warm water horizontally across the surface.
      Now you get the warming.
      The internal climate cannot “generate itself this heat”. That energy comes from the sun warming the ocean to the depth of the mixed layer in the less cloudy skies the trade winds foster.
      Carbon dioxide helps warm the “skin” of the atmosphere by absorbing IR radiation emitted from surface (~70% ocean). The skin of the atmosphere is measured in a few meters rather than a few microns, but the combined efforts of water vapor and CO2 in these few meters extinguish surface radiation in all but the inconsequential absorption bands of CO2. The net effect of the water/CO2 absorption overlap is NEGATIVE (Staley and Jurica, 1972).
      The bottom line is that IR radiation warms the atmosphere from below far more efficiently than it warms the ocean from the top.
      Let’s keep talking. You show a far deeper understanding than most Carbon harpies.

  3. There’s a planet sized nuclear power station made of rock below us. Maybe the heat comes from there.

    • if there is an inner core reactor, it is currently in a far-from-critical state, as there is not the anti-neutrino flux such fissions would produce and be detected at present.

    • “Too little gets out”
      Maybe that’s why the planet is in a 20+ million year old ice age, because the planet is currently in a quiet state of tectonism. Maybe that’s why there are paradoxes in early Earth climate models and observations, and now the same paradox exists for Mars, because the science is wrong and is too stuck in conventional wisdom to budge.
      It just so happens that the heat flow from the Earth is not constant, and ‘coincedently’ the hot house/ice house conditions on Earth generally correlate to this flux.
      Unless you think the climate controls tectonics, there is a litany of observational data that suggests a mantle convection flux/climate link.

    • Can I go now? I need to cry aloud.

      The argument that GHGs slow down the ocean’s rate of heat loss isn’t the answer. That can cause the temperature to be higher than it otherwise might have been, but, as above, it can’t provide the energy to cause a new high temperature.

      The energy, of course, came from the Sun. Everything else is just details about how it dissipates.
      GHG’s really by theory basically just let the sunshine in and then they raise the temperature at which the surface stays. not much, say maybe 2C / 2xCO2, but anyway, the ocean may do tricks by cyclic changes and upwelling.
      Frankly there are moments I wonder what I’m doing here. Of course, I know you’re more civil than people at RC or the Conversation.

      • But it doesn’t actually add, it’s nonlinear.
        Water vapor basically lets it leave to space, before it slows down night time cooling. It’s maybe 10% the value you listed.

      • I know you say it’s smaller but I’ll go with more an IPCC’ish number.
        2C does not kill us. But we will die, anyway.

      • Hugs: After you finish crying, ask yourself how fast the sun can warm the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during an El Nino event. Let pick a nice round number and say that the peak rate of warming is 10 K/yr or a little less than 1 K/month for the months of most rapid SST warming. For global warming, I previously calculated that a radiative imbalance of 1 W/m2 is capable of warming a 50 m mixed layer of ocean over 70% of the surface (plus a meter depth of land and the atmosphere) at an initial rate of 0.2 K/yr. The Equatorial Pacific is all ocean, but the mixed layer is shallower there, so let’s say that 1 W/m2 can warm at a rate of 0.2 K/yr. Turbulence caused by winds spreads distributes heat through the mixed layer.
        If the sun were the source of El Nino warming, it needs to be delivering 50 W/m2 of extra solar radiation to the Eastern Equatorial Pacific to make it warm at a rate of 1 K/month. On the average, clouds reflect 100 W/m2 of SWR back to space, so half of normal cloud cover could provide 50 W/m2 to the surface – more actually since the tropics receive more SWR/m2 than average. However, if the sun were the cause of the warming of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during an El Nino, then it must be caused by a very easily detected change in cloud cover in this region. Such a decrease in cloud cover is not observed.
        (Furthermore, the extra heat absorbed due to a lack of cloud cover wouldn’t remain in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. The ocean warms the atmosphere and trade winds move the atmosphere plus latent heat of evaporation overhead hundreds of miles every day. Heat from the Eastern Equatorial Pacific is spread around the world, which is why global temperature rises. When you think about “global” warming during an El Nino event, it is easy to see that the sun is not the source of this heat.)
        If you read Bob Tisdale’s book or read his posts, you will find that El Nino is associated with a slowing down of the upwelling of cold deep water off the coast of South America (that makes the tropical ocean 5 K cooler here) and a slowing of the downwelling of warm water in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. This is an example of “unforced warming” typical of chaotic behavior/internal variability associated with fluid flow, not warming that is forced by a lack of clouds, CO2, or other external factors.

  4. El Nino and La NIna (ENSO) happens during a very short period. Each of them takes only from 1 to 2 years. The first conclusion is that it has nothing to do with the climate change, because climate change takes a much longer time. ENSO happens in the very limited area in the Pacific. If the ITO effect is the reason, we should find sharp and great changes in the cloudiness over that limited area. TSI changes very little over 1 or 2 years.

    • One must consider long multidecadal periods of time. A single ENSO period tells us very little about climate change, as you say. However, the net balance between El Nino and La Nina over several successive ENSO periods can be a diagnostic indicator for long term warming or long term cooling.
      As can global cloudiness.
      As can net jet stream zonality / meridionality.
      It is no coincidence that the current temperature pause occurs during a period of flat global cloudiness. If global cloudiness increases due to increased jet stream meridionality then we will see global cooling.

      • Yes, I fully agree that cloudiness may have an important role in the climate change, because the Earth is very sensitive of the albedo changes. My point was in ENSO events: where the heat comes from. As I wrote I do not know any evidence about local cloudiness changes during ENSO events.

      • @ Stephen Wilde February 8, 2017 at 10:45 am: The gravito-thermal effect seems very similar between Earth and a ‘dry’-surfaced planet such as Venus (making due allowances). I can see there must be lags from ocean effects, but I wonder if the water cycle, starting with diurnality, still brings temperatures back to the ‘universal’ rates. In spite of absorbing short waves. Though those would be absorbed and converted elsewhere on a dry planet……

        • The effect of the water cycle is to shift large amounts of energy up and down more quickly than would be possible without it. Thus convective overturning within an atmosphere need be less vigorous than would otherwise be necessary to retain hydrostatic equilibrium.
          A good illustration is Mars which is a dry planet. When it periodically gets out of thermal equilibrium vast planet wide dust clouds are thrown up by increased windiness until the increased albedo from those clouds restores the original thermal equilibrium.

      • Is it possible the alternation of cloudy-not cloudy conditions is just the same heat content reflected in two different ways? It always bugs me that discussion of global “warming”is exclusively represented by temperature when phase change in the water cycle has such massive effect on heat content and transportation. This is nowhere better illustrated than in the el Nino-La nina cycle or Indian monsoon. The temperature rise associated with el Nino is actually heat moving away from the equator in the form of water vapour and warming higher latitudes.

    • Actually, there is already a pool of warmed water which migrates between the west pacific and the east pacific. When we have an El Nino, west Pacific has a La Nina and vice versa. Read Brian Fagan’s “Floods, Famines and Emperors, El Nino and the fate of civilizations” for a full understanding of how our current civilization is fully defined by past El Ninos and La Ninas. Nothing has changed, except our attempt to take credit for something that is as natural as rain.

  5. Well, CO2 has to be in the equation somewhere. C’mon!
    I put it in the reduction of cloud cover. CO2 grabs an incoming photon and shoots it into a cloud water droplet immediately vaporizing it.
    Please note I did take a college quantum mechanics physics class once and both a physical and organic chemistry class and passed all three, so I (kinda) know what I’m talking about.

    • Does CO2 “grabbing” a photon and shooting it out change the energy of that photon and does is the photon transparent to the cloud water droplet unless CO2 is involved?

      • CO2 is ‘magic’? secret source of unending energy…
        agree that rbacock is wrong
        obviously there is no man made warming
        don’t need any big qualifications
        just look in your own back yard, like I did
        Concerned to show that man made warming (AGW ) is correct and indeed happening, I thought that here [in Pretoria, South Africa} I could easily prove that. Namely the logic following from AGW theory is that more CO2 would trap heat on earth, hence we should find minimum temperature (T) rising pushing up the mean T. Here, in the winter months, we hardly have any rain but we have many people burning fossil fuels to keep warm at night. On any particular cold winter’s day that results in the town area being covered with a greyish layer of air, viewable on a high hill outside town in the early morning.
        I figured that as the population increased over the past 40 years, the results of my analysis of the data [of a Pretoria weather station] must show minimum T rising, particularly in the winter months. Much to my surprise I found that the opposite was happening: minimum T here was falling, any month….I first thought that somebody must have made a mistake: the extra CO2 was cooling the atmosphere, ‘not warming it. As a chemist, that made sense to me as I knew that whilst there were absorptions of CO2 in the area of the spectrum where earth emits, there are also the areas of absorption in the 1-2 um and the 4-5 um range where the sun emits. Not convinced either way by my deliberations and discussions as on a number of websites, I first looked at a number of weather stations around me, to give me an indication of what was happening:
        The results puzzled me even more. Somebody [God/Nature] was throwing a ball at me…..The speed of cooling followed a certain pattern, best described by a quadratic function.
        I carefully looked at my earth globe and decided on a particular sampling procedure to find out what, if any, the global result would be. Here is my final result on that:
        Hence, looking at my final Rsquare on that, I figured out that there is no AGW, at least not measurable.
        Arguing with me that 97% of all scientists disagree with me is useless. You cannot have an “election” about science.
        You only need one man to get it right.

      • @HenryP
        I like your work.
        Obviously many things can happen simultaneously. CO2 rise in as a percentage of atmosphere would dilute the atmosphere of elements/compounds that hold heat a greater rates, like H2O vapor. thicker atmosphere is slower to lose surface heat than a thinner atmosphere. The earth orbit radius affects surface temperature. The sun, our ultimate source of surface temperatures increases and decreases in activity that over the period of the last 100s of years significantly over laps other factors. The other significant heat source is magma rising to the surface and the resulting magma flows at the surface. Then the Urban Heat Island is just what it implies, an island with borders.
        But…the number one cause of AGW is fraud, thus all this hoopla over nothing.

      • Henry nice work

        The speed of cooling followed a certain pattern, best described by a quadratic function.

        It’s water, two parts, one is absolute amount (I’m pretty sure on this), the second is rel humidity (which I’m sure of). so you have a quadratic with a max cooling rate under clear calm skies at rel humidity<~70% has a slight variance due to water vapor, but once water vapor starts condensing in the atm column, the cooling rate slows, until it nears 100% where the rate has dropped by 2/3rds for the rest of the night.
        Cooling at night is regulated to dew point temp.

    • rbabcock: CO2 grabs an incoming photon and shoots it into a cloud water droplet immediately vaporizing it.
      Or, CO2 grabs an incoming photon and collides with an cloud water droplet, vaporizing it? or collides with something else slightly raising the ambient temp and reducing the rate of cloud formation?

  6. As long as the gravitational energy difference between the top and bottom of the atmosphere is not included in Kiehl & Trenberth’s ubiquitous Figure A.1 accounting , it cannot be correct . The computation should be fairly easy and appears to have been done by a number of people including notably HockeySchtick .

      • Stephen ,
        I keep seeking more compelling , common sense , ways of pointing out that the entire GHG paradigm is conspicuously leaving out the other macroscopic force and its concomitant energy . That energy must be accounted for .
        I only came to that realization after working out the general computations for radiative balance of arbitrary spectra and seeing an unfilled ( other than by endless recursive verbiage ) gap between surface temperatures and radiative equilibrium temperatures . It was exchanges here on WUWT , including with you , that finally got it thru to me .
        But this relationship between gravity and heat is a very deep thing . It is obviously seen everywhere but somehow seen as a remnant of initial accretion with the expectation that it will dissipate ala Lord Kelvin .
        But this relationship explains your observation “too little gets out” . To be in radiative balance with external heat sources would require some increasing temperature gradient down to the core of any massive object .
        The only counterexample I know to this relationship of depth with heat are oceans which apparently are about 4c at their bottoms , coincidentally close to the gray body temperature in our orbit .
        Anybody interested in working on these problems quantitatively , get 4th.CoSy and we’ll work on it together as a step towards an open model of Earth physics while advancing the language and the business as well .

  7. This makes good sense. The atmospheric temperature at the peak of the El Nino almost matched what the models predicted, and since they were actually tuned to ITO, the models only work when that heat manifests in atmospheric temperatures but then disappears quickly because the CO2 is not “trapping” the heat they purport it does.
    The only thing I see that I think I disagree with is the claim that CO2 warming acts slowly over 100s of years. There is no slow build up of kinetic energy from the molecular reaction to IR, it is immediate and does not retain this energy over time as the loss of kinetic energy to heat is also immediate — the vibrational modes are like a simple harmonic oscillator and have a net energy loss if the input energy (IR) source is lost.

  8. Water from the ocean cannot warm the atmosphere to a higher temperature than itself.

    What is the reasoning for that assertion? Air has a much lower specific heat capacity than water so a given amount of heat transferred from on to the other will cause a greater change in temperature in the air.
    The Foehm effect uses the latent heat of evaporation ( which comes from thermal energy in the ocean ) and can raise air temperature by 5 deg C or more.

    • Assuming that the marine air temperature was close to the SST at the point of departure than means that the air temp ends up considerably hotter than SST thus contradicting the assertion in the article.

      • A given amount of energy from ANOTHER source will heat air more than water but neither air nor water can heat the other to a temperature warmer than its own.
        In the Foehn effect the OTHER source is the latent heat released on the lee side by the dry adiabatic lapse rate in descent which is steeper than the moist adiabatic lapse rate in ascent on the windward side. Thus, due to the lapse rate difference, air at the same height on both sides will be at different temperatures

      • I agree. But as I pointed out and you missed, that “latent heat” is latent heat of water vapour and that heat comes from sensible heat in the ocean.

      • The warming of the Antarctic peninsula which Stieg et al 2009 managed to smear across the entire continent, was due to Foehn effect and reflects heat which came from the surrounding ocean.
        Sea can make air warmer than the surrounding SST.

      • Greg, the heat may have come from the ocean but what does the warming on the lee side of high ground is the different lapse rate. It is not a case of the ocean making air in contact with the ocean warmer than the ocean.

      • Yes, and why is the lapse rate different ? Because of the difference in SHC of dry and moist air.
        The point I am trying to make is that you cannot make generalities like these kind of 2nd statements in a complex system like climate. Making assertions like “ocean can’t make the air hotter than itself” is derived from basic laws which have very stringent conditions. Making sweeping statements based upon naive misapplication of basic physical laws without observing all the caveats will lead to spurious conclusions.

      • What is jet stream meridionality ??
        Or just ordinary merdionality ??
        Some of us would really like to know what it is.

      • Well leave out the “assuming”
        If the marine air is close to the SS, as in it’s the next layer of molecules not a part of the ocean surface, then the temperatures have to be the same; or you have one hell of a Temperature gradient.
        Those two molecular layers, one water and one air must talk to each other by conduction, with the higher temperature one doing the heating.
        The water molecules that leave the ocean surface and head into the atmosphere are the higher energy tail end of the Maxwell Boltzmann temperature distribution. So that would seem to represent higher Temperature for the water molecules in the air. But the energy distribution in the evaporated water molecules is NOT a M=?B distribution so it is not any sort of equilibrium Temperature, and within nano-seconds it must renormalize its energy distribution to conform to the equilibrium Temperature.
        The water surface layer, having lost some of its highest energy molecules, must necessarily be colder than it was, but it too will renormalize to an equilibrium distribution.
        If the air temperature above the surface is hotter than the water surface, it didn’t get that way by heat flow from the colder water.
        And the latent heat of vaporization isn’t going to heat diddley squat.
        That water vapor, will remain in the vapor phase, UNTIL it gets cooled down by collision contact with the air, and only then after having lost the latent heat to a cooler surrounding, will it revert to the liquid phase.
        The Temperature NEVER goes up above the water (vapor) Temperature, when it condenses.

      • “The Temperature NEVER goes up above the water (vapor) Temperature, when it condenses .”
        Correct. It is the heat energy being removed which causes the condensation, not the condensation causing a temperature change. However, if the air then descends, it ends up warmer than the water and/or water vapour which transmitted the heat to it.
        In the case of Foehn effect, like Chinook winds other climate processes are involved, like winds, but it is not the wind which provides the energy, it is the oceans.
        This is why I challenged basing the logic of one’s argument of simplistic application of basic laws to a complex system where the conditions of the basic law are not met.
        This is the same error as CAGW. The “basic physics” tells us CO2 will cause warming but the magnitude of that warming cannot be worked out from basic radiation laws in a complex, non linear system.

    • If the ocean was the only energy input into the air above, no it couldn’t warm the atmosphere above its own temperature. In the real world we have the sun which also adds energy to the atmosphere, so of course a 20C ocean can help push the atmosphere above to 21C or much higher.

    • “Greg, do you believe that water at 20C can warm the air above to 21C?”
      The air directly above it no. But there is something called wind. It is all about air moving around. I explained how the Foehn effect will cause the oceans to give up heat to the air and for that air to end up warmer than the SST from where the heat came.
      This involves movement of the air, changes in terrain, condensation, lapse rates etc. ie several elements of a complex weather system. This is why simplistic application of abstract thermodynamic laws will lead to false or unreliable conclusions.

    • Where else does science come from? Sound science has to be discovered by someone, usually in response to previous, failed science.

      • Yes, it’s not like Einstein just made up relativity purely by thinking about it …. oh, wait ….. Well at least he was a working, published and well-regarded scientist working in this area at the time …. oh, wait … Damn.

    • Hi Griff,
      Completely off topic and I rely on the good grace of the mods but have you had time to consider a response to my question to you on when harm to children ceases to be so?
      Remember, we are not trying to influence each others views, just those of the audience.

      • Exactly! If there were some causality, you’d think that by measuring the Mars’ atmosphere which is 95% CO2 they could find some ‘trapped’ heat. Alas, the Mars’ surface sheds over 200F degrees of heat overnight (roughly the same day length as Earth). When, where, and for how long, is any heat being ‘trapped’? That ‘blanket’ of a ‘greenhouse gas’ sure lets a lot of heat escape.

        • Thomas,
          Yes, CO2 is like a blanket with a lot of holes in it representing the transparent regions of the spectrum. The glass in an actual greenhouse has no transparent regions in the LWIR transmission spectrum and all of the energy emitted by the greenhouse originates as broad band BB emissions from the glass itself.

    • Dismissive statements of authority are never helpful. Please explain what it is you object to. I followed a couple of disagreements initiated by this post back up-thread, and they were filled with misunderstandings. So, kindly explain yourself.

    • While Griff and I part ways on anthropogenic CO2 as the agent of change in the modern warming trend, I have to agree on his statement. Pet theories, even mine, provided by those with, and especially without, post graduate chops in climate science, are best subdued to comments and certainly not trotted out as a post on such a large stage, unless the argumentative style is supremely carried out. Which does not describe this post at all. Word to the wise, don’t even try a re-write.

      • Hi Pamela . Please note that the warming by Blue and Green light (and some UV) that I describe does NOT come from my pet theory at all. It comes from analysis of the data, and the analysis is pretty straightforward. I am a mathematician by training, and I think that makes me perfectly well qualified to do the analysis.
        What the analysis does do, however, is to demonstrate that all of the warming that the IPCC claims came from CO2 actually came from those wavelengths (Blue, some Green, some UV) of direct solar radiation. That, in turn, supports my hypothesis. I think it would be worth your while to look at it all a bit more carefjully.

      • If “97%” of accredited climate scientists can come up with a piece of crap like AGW then I’m ok with Mike having a go

  9. A given amount of energy from ANOTHER source will heat air more than water but neither air nor water can heat the other to a temperature warmer than its own.
    In the Foehn effect the OTHER source is the latent heat released on the lee side by the dry adiabatic lapse rate in descent which is steeper than the moist adiabatic lapse rate in ascent on the windward side. Thus, due to the lapse rate difference, air at the same height on both sides will be at different temperatures.

    • It would be more accurate to say that the latent heat is released at higher altitudes by condensation leading to precipitation. This then means that the, now dryer, air has been warmed before being compressed in descending the leeside. It is not the lapse rate which releases latent heat.
      It is the difference in lapse rate, due the the different SHC when leads to the net warming of air once it is back near sea level. That energy came from OHC.
      This is one example of why you cannot reliably make sweeping statements based on simple physical laws in a complex system.

      • I’d actually say that most of the energy in the atmosphere comes via conduction from both water AND land surfaces.
        Latent heat of evaporation does play a role but is not the primary source of atmospheric energy. Even with a dry world you get convective overturning.

  10. There have been 3 El Nino events from 1996 to 2017, and by your hypothesis there must have been 3 regular oscillations of cloud cover/Sun penetration to ocean depths. Does this agree with observations? I don’t have the info (maybe someone can correct me). Here is another possibility: Incoming Sunlight warms the equatorial waters which expand and become less dense. The rotating Earth is a huge centrifuge, driving more dense stuff toward the Equator (outward), which means less dense stuff is driven toward the poles. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Coriolis Effect drives these currents to the right, creating clockwise circulations. This explains the NE movement of the warm Gulf Stream and the Japan Current, as well as the SE movement of the upwelling cold California Current and the Canary Current. Upwelling currents bring nutrients to the surface, enabling plankton to bloom, feeding fish and seals, etc. In the Southern Hemisphere, warm currents are driven from the Equator toward the poles, and the Coriolis force deflects them to the left (e.g. the Brazil current). Upwelling cold currents are driven toward the Equator, but deflected to the left by the Coriolis Effect, creating counterclockwise rotation of surface currents. The cold Humboldt (Peru) and Benguela currents again bring up nutrients to the surface, feeding plankton, fish, seals, etc.
    So why does the Southern Pacific circulation reverse itself in El Nino events? I am guessing that the Peru Current drives warm equatorial waters from East to West where they pile up in a funnel-shaped region bordered by island chains from New Guinea to French Polynesia. The ocean water level rises slightly, but eventually gravity drives the water from west to east, just like a pendulum reversing itself. This would explain a rough regularity in El Nino events. The warm equatorial water on reaching South American then piles up and prevents the upwelling of the cold Peru Current, depriving fish of the plankton needed for food, resulting in a crash in the anchovy population. Reducing the patch of cold surface water means a rise in the mean surface temperature of the Earth. Because ocean waters can also circulate in the vertical direction, the real picture is more complicated. For example, cold, dense (salty) Arctic water by the centrifuge effect would be drive Southward toward the Equator, with the Coriolis Effect deflecting it toward the right. So we expect a cold dense current moving southward at depth, hugging the Eastern coast of North America, to partially balance the mass driven northeastward in the Gulf Stream. This fundamental centrifuge + Coriolis Effect explains the path of low-density hurricane air masses northeastward from Florida along the coast until driven into the mid-Atlantic. Also low density tornadoes in the flat central plains of the USA, along Tornado Alley.

    • Since there are more oceans in the southern hemisphere there is an imbalance in the amount of solar energy entering the oceans in each hemisphere.
      The Earth’s rotation smears the excess solar energy entering the southern Pacific in parallel with the equator from South America to Indonesia.
      When the imbalance becomes large enough the excess energy is discharged across the equator both in ocean currents and air circulation changes until the balance is approximately restored and the El Nino ceases.

    • Roger,
      You seem to be the only commentator here that recognises the ocean currents. I have experienced rates of up to 2 knots in the open Pacific, and 5 knots close to the east of the Phillipines. This represents a massive displacement of very large quantities of water, and submariners report thermoclines at all sorts of depths.
      More needs to be explored regarding the transport of heat from here to there, from the surface to depths and vice versa.
      Try looking over the parapet of a river bridge with a visible current in the water and observe the swirling of the water. Then transpose that many thousands of times and you might have an idea about how the ocean currents churn, very slowly, the water column.

      • Some people have made electrical generators from these fast flowing under water wind tunnels… This is not a comment on viability, just existence.

      • actually they don’t … they report one temperature boundary layer … yes there are some big currents … they don’t mix very much …

    • rogertaguchi – Please read my earlier “This is How Climate Works” posts. Your “There have been 3 El Nino events from 1996 to 2017, and by your hypothesis there must have been 3 regular oscillations of cloud cover/Sun penetration to ocean depths.” comment is incorrect.

  11. Over the longer term (decades to centuries) cloud cover is driven by solar activity, as described by Henrik Svensmark here, and later successfully tested.

    Svensmark’s work studied very short term changes. It is totally no justified to confound this with “longer term” changes in cloud. AFAICR, he neither studied that, nor suggested it was implied from what he did.

    • Greg – Your comment is absolutely wrong. Viz, eg. “Figure 5 takes the climate record back 300 years, using rates of beryllium-10 production in the atmosphere as long-accepted proxies for cosmic-ray intensities. The high level at AD 1700 corresponds with the Maunder Minimum (1645–1715) when sunspots were extremely scarce and the solar magnetic field was exceptionally weak. This coincided with the coldest phase of what historians of climate call the Little Ice Age (Eddy 1976). Also plain is the Dalton Minimum of the early 19th century, another cold phase. The wobbles and the overall trend seen in figure 5, between cold 1700 and warm 2000, are just a high-resolution view of a climate-related switch between high and low cosmic-ray counts, of a kind that has occurred repeatedly in the past.“.

  12. When I made my first post not a single one had appeared yet mine hasn’t. I don’t know why, but I can re-do if necessary

  13. According to ERBE top of atmosphere data, the reaction of the climate system to the cooling caused by Mt Pinatubo carried on long after the initial cooling effects had subsided.
    Failure to account for this warming effect of volcanoes as well as the initial cooling is why models tuned to the volcanically active 1960-1995 period falsely attribute this warming to something else: our good friend CO2.

    • This strong negative feedback means that the hypothesised strength of the volcanic forcing is overstated and needs to be countered by a stronger AGW.
      Now we have had over 25 y with minimal volcanic activity, the models are left with an exaggerated AGW, not exaggerated volcanic cooling to balance the books. Hence models are all running too warm.

      • To be precise, gases like N2 and O2 do not radiate much radiation, if any at all, in the relevant LWIR spectrum. Only GHG’s radiate any significant amount of LWIR energy as photons emitted from the return to the ground state and these photons are certainly emitted in all directions. The only other significant source of atmospheric radiation comes from the liquid and solid water in clouds which is also radiated in all directions.

  14. Mike
    you are right in seeing that cloud cover, especially in the tropics, is a large factor, accelerating warming or cooling.
    In its turn of course, cloud cover has initially to do mostly with the amount of UV coming into the oceans, but let us leave that discussion aside, for the mom/
    I note you draw a descending linear line for cloud cover forgetting that the trend is in fact non linear.
    Clearly, you can see that cloud cover reached its lowest point around the beginning of the millennium and the trend on cloud cover is going up from around 2000. Try to fit a quadratic function on cloud cover?

    • HenryP – yes I saw all that, and posted on it some time ago. In this article, I tried to make it clear that I was using the linear trend simply to get a ball-park figure, nothing more, nothing less.

  15. Awesome. I have been saying this for years.
    THe AMO / PDO are unexplained by climate scientists. Yet they obviously exist. The variations over a 60 year period impart on average a peak upward temperature oscillation of 0.23C and downward of 0.23C for the other 30 years. The amount of energy to do this osciallation of temperature is missing from all computer models or any understanding by the climate scientists.
    They could have spent much more time figuring this out rather than making adjustments on the record to enhance global warming but of course that has no political objective only scientific objective.
    During the “pause” which John Bates has proven still exists and we knew existed for many many reasons the ARGO buoys were showing that the surface of the ocean was not really getting warmer but the deeper ocean remarkably was getting considerably warmer. In fact, the warming below 300 meters was enough to account for all the energy lost during the pause. The immediate conclusion of climate scientists like Trenberth was “Aha we found the energy from co2. It was in the deep ocean..
    This is stupid. No mechanism was explained how energy mostly accumulated at thousands of feet altitude in the atmosphere could be getting to 1000 feet depth in the ocean without going through the 1000 feet of high heat capacity material in between!!!!!
    We never had the ARGO buoys before so we have no data on whether this heat in the lower ocean was cyclic and natural variation or was produced by CO2 somehow. It is extremely unlikely in my opinion that it is a good idea to assume this never happened before. I would assume that this was periodic.
    It turns out of course that we are in the middle starting around 2000 in a “low part of the cycle” of the PDO and AMO. This heat could easily be associated with the PDO/AMO cycles and could be providing the store needed to produce the 0.23 variations we see over 60 years. This would imply that over the next 10-15 years more heat accumulates in that region. One interesting thing would be to see if heat was lost from that region during this El Niño cycle.
    During the up cycle we would expect this heat layer to reverse and actually lose heat similar to how much has been gained. So heat would be released from this store starting in 2030 or so.
    This may be a sort of oscillating cycle in the ocean that has no losses or it is much more likely that something feeds energy into this cycle in order to keep the cycle alive. This heat to power the cycle could be provided by variations in cloud cover as described here, variations in underwater valcano heat emissions based on some cyclic phenomenon in the mantle probably the result of some orbital dynamics that would need to be studied.
    This must be the case that this heat in the ocean has to be explained. After it was discovered they seemed to give up on studying it preferring instead to hack the land records and theormostats since then they wouldn’t have the anoying problem that they never anticipated AMO/PDO, heat in the ocean or not, pause etc. But could say everything was going according to plan except the magnitude of warming was still Half what they predicted. It is kind of obvious we need to jettison the current cadre of misfits running our climate science because they are nothing but politicized animals seeking to pander alarmism to boost their research grants, make millions and push forward a political agenda. We need real science like this to study what is really not happening not Co2 attacking.

    • The fraud is a means to enslave the populous. The internet with sites like this most likely thwarted this aggressive means to control another aspect of our prosperity. Recall this vile plan began in the 1980’s before we had the instant communications of the internet. Notice the same groups aggressiveness to then control the internet and eventually claim it false news. Notice there is no science argument but heavy violent and defaming aspersions. Notice the 100’s of billions of dollars (our money) spent to take more wealth through CO2, carbon myths. We should be very angry. And why is there never a consequence for the lies and damages?

    • we are past the peak of the amo. the heat is already being lost to space with increased exposure of arctic ocean . looking at the stage of the amo we are at just now, there will be another gadoid outburst in the north east atlantic beginning in the next 5 years.

      • I want to correct myself. I use the AMO/PDO on a cycle of time not on ocean temperatures.
        My logic is that the world temperatures for several hundred years has varied in a 60 year cycle that has a magnitude of +.23 and -.23. That is the correlation.
        Scientists have identified a warming in the Pacific Ocean PDO and the Atlantic AMO. That is the official definition and I am not challenging that.
        I’m saying that whatever is causing the variation in world temperatures is now still in a low phase and it has 10-15 years to go. The fact that what we think is related to that phenomenon is out of phase may mean that that ocean temperature may not be the correct indicator of the phase of the curve.
        If we see another 10-15 years of basically flat temperatures then I guess it means how we define the AMO may be less useful in helping predict the phase of the cycle.
        If on the other hand the actual physical basis of the cycle is related to this ocean variation in the way you suggest then that would mean the cycle was modified in a major way which might mean that co2 is affecting the climate in a major way by modifying the climate cycle.
        The fact is that for the last 20 years there is hardly any change in temperature under a massive assault of co2. I therefore would say that we are in the low phase of the cycle. That cycle has historically lasted 30 years so it seems likely that it will continue for 10 years.
        I actually made a prediction of the El Niño in 2015 based on a simply extrapolation of similar El Niño’s occurring at the middle ( 15 years ) of the low phase in the last 2 cycles. If I’m right then it says the climate is actually following a very predictable pattern. If we are in the low phase then temperatures will return to pre 2015 El Niño levels and may go lower than even the average of the last 15 years.
        I think we may find that the temperature accumulation in the ocean below 300 meters may be a better predictor of temperature than the official AMO.
        Because of lack of knowledge of ocean temperatures at the surface or at depth leaves us in a hard spot. I don’t have enough time to study this in enough depth to answer how this cycle works exactly what feeds it and how it exactly works. This is what I hope climate scientists will study instead of fabricating adjustments to justify their juiced models.

  16. Regarding: “IR cannot penetrate more than a fraction of a millimetre into the ocean, so it warms just the surface skin. From there most of its energy goes back into the atmosphere or space, but some of it can convect or conduct into the ocean.”
    A fair amount does conduct back into the ocean. Warming just a surface skin causes a steep temperature gradient that causes rapid downward heat conduction. The gradient lessens as a result of heat being conducted downward. Once heat gets a few millimeters down, mixing spreads it out more.

    • If evaporation increases then the gradient from cold surface skin to warm water beneath gets STEEPER because evaporation takes up 5 times as much energy as is required to induce it at 1 bar atmospheric pressure. It is that high energy demand that creates the cooler surface skin in the first place.
      So, no, you do not get downward convection or conduction except maybe in very rough conditions that cause mixing before evaporation can take place to its maximum from a given unit of water volume.

    • “Warming just a surface skin causes a steep temperature gradient that causes rapid downward heat conduction.”
      Water is fairly poor conductor of heat. That is how immersion water heaters manage to keep the hotter water at the top when cold water enters at the bottom. It’s stratification and there is surprisingly slow loss of temperature from top to bottom.
      Mike Jonas: “but some of it can convect or conduct into the ocean”
      Likewise, most mixing is wind driven turbulence and splash at the surface then deeper down eddy diffusion. Convection will mainly occur at night when the surface is cooler than the bulk of the mixed layer.

      • It’s interesting the climate models use a 2 layer model of the ocean and concluded that very little energy makes it below the first few feet over many years. Yet we found in 2010 that lots of heat was going to depths below 300 meters. It was accumulating. They then said this was the missing heat from co2 although they originally said that this was impossible. That the heat couldn’t over the 10 years of the pause make it into lower ocean. Complicating the picture was that there was no heat in the upper ocean. So how did the heat get from the sky and atmosphere to the lower ocean without heating the upper ocean? Unanswered. They decided to pursue a different path and jack the heat in through adjustments in the worst quality thermostats that they could fudge. Thus we have the divergence of satellite and land records. Remove the adjustments and the land records look like the satellite records. Hmmm that’s funny.
        Do you get the impression they have no idea what’s going on?

    • DLK,
      But is there enough water mass in the micro layer to hold enough heat to influence the mass of the whole atmosphere? Is this a true effect but so minor in enegybthat it can be ignored? Numbers?

  17. The warmest point on the ocean can be warmer than it otherwise would be due to cooler parts of the ocean being warmed, despite the 2nd Law. When other-than-warmest-point waters are warmed, the sun does not have to do as much work to get them to record-tying or record-breaking temperatures if they move to locations where they get warm.
    Also, warming something other than the warmest point can reduce cooling of the warmest point, allowing the warmest point to get even warmer.

    • Donald L. Klipstein – What you say is reasonable, but the argument is more subtle. The surface skin, or near-surface, by being warmer, can indeed slow the rate of cooling of the deeper ocean. But, unless it is at a higher temperature (which it was not) it cannot supply any of the heat itself. That means that the heat must have come from somewhere else – remember, the temperature actually went up, it didn’t just cool more slowly. The heat cannot have come from the atmosphere or from any wavelength of solar irradiation outside the UV-Blue-Green range that I identify. That is because all the other wavelengths cannot penetrate the surface skin, which in turn means that they cannot directly or indirectly have supplied the required heat. The only way that heat could have built up in the deeper ocean is if it came from UV-Blue-Green light. But we can calculate how much of that there is, and we know that the amount is directly affected by clouds. I have done those calculations, and have shown that all of the extra warming attributed to CO2 by the IPCC in fact came from UV-Blue-Green light.

      • “I have done those calculations, and have shown that all of the extra warming attributed to CO2 by the IPCC in fact came from UV-Blue-Green light.”
        I like that simplified explanation. That boils it down nicely.

  18. I think it’s worth pointing out that when the ‘warmest year ever’ is due mostly to measured temperatures in the winter Arctic ‘soaring’ to minus 20˚C (instead of their normal minus 30˚C) that we are actually witnessing a COOLING event.
    How does ‘warmth’ get to Greenland in February? Certainly not through downwelling (or any other kind of) radiation. It can only be transported there as warm moist air…and you don’t need to be a ”climate” scientist to understand that warm moist air entering a frigid zone usually results in snow or ice formation.
    Hence the massive gains in Greenland’s ice Mass this year.

      • @ Stephen Wilde Feruary 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm : Hear, hear, Charles and Stephen above. Dead right, and I wonder if Erl Happ’s warmer ozone is helping the polar uplift. Sure is no heat comes out, except to space. Ask Siberia and Canada. Enormous cooling while the ice gets compressed and thickens, and the water cooled.

    • Charles
      Absolutely correct. Just look at the Arctic sea ice variations as one indicator during those periods = wind.
      There is only two methods for ocean heat to relocate, by ocean circulation or by wind, the latter being the most immediate and effective.

      • Further
        There is only a certain amount of latent energy (heat etc) stored in earths systems at any given point of time. How much energy, and in what form it is released can vary from year to year and variations within that year. The same applies to adsorbsion of heat.
        When it is released – how and where it is transported to varies, but understanding those transport mechanisms is becoming one of the more critical issues to understand, and the many significant wider effects.
        The Arctic sea ice minimum for example is controlled by atmospheric circulation. The exact day that the minimum occurs is controlled by other inter-related factors which vary on a year by year basis. But the exact same process applies each year.
        Atmospheric circulation for the majority of the year is not smooth and consistant. It comes in a series of pulses, and those pulses have significant outcomes.

  19. The far more important question is where did the heat go !!!
    if Green house gases are so good at trapping heat, where did the heat go?
    If it went out into space where I think it went, then it should show up in the CERES Data

    • It went out to space as part of the normal outgoing radiative flow which is approximately the same as that which comes in. The issue is that more meridional jets and more global clouds are not allowing as much back into the oceans as was allowed in during the recent warming spell.
      The satellites did show a peak of outgoing as a result of the El Nino and that is now dropping back.
      At the moment we are at a level of global cloudiness that keeps things in balance ‘the pause’ but that won’t continue forever.

      • Hi Stephen, you mentioned
        “The satellites did show a peak of outgoing as a result of the El Nino and that is now dropping back.”
        Have you got a link to the data that shows this as I have been unable to find it.

  20. “The atmosphere cannot warm the ocean surface skin to a higher temperature than itself.”
    Is that why blankets and coats don’t work? Because they are not warmer than me?

    • Really Skeptical are you claiming you think it’s possible to warm a rock with light, when it’s immersed in cold fluids, and that you can then suspend ever more refractory material between the fire and the rock, using the fluid bath, and make more light come oozing out of the light, that when more light, was oozing in?
      Because I can shoot that into little tiny pieces without cracking a book.

      • Really Skeptical you claim to understand the concept of a coat or a blanket. Firemen wear heavy coats, and people who are trapped in fire, are told to get a blanket.
        The reason they’re told to get that blanket is the refractive properties of the blanket: or the firemens’ coats.
        Are you telling me you think a refractory insulating blanket is placed between a fireman’s back and a fire, to make the fireman’s back hotter? If you tell me that,
        I’ll tell people I’ve identified another one of you clowns who claim you believe in green house gas warming is possible.

    • Clearly sarcasm, but I’ll play 🙂
      Your body is constantly producing ‘new’ heat from chemical reactions. The ocean cannot do that.
      A better analogy is to point out that your blankets and coats could keep you cool under a hot sun if your body were not producing its own heat.
      Why do you think desert dwellers dress in flowing robes ?

      • “Your body is constantly producing ‘new’ heat from chemical reactions. The ocean cannot do that.”
        The ocean is being heated by the sun. Don’t be dumb.

      • Stephen: “Your body is constantly producing ‘new’ heat from chemical reactions. The ocean cannot do that.”
        The article told us that the ocean was receiving energy from UV and visible light. That is functionally the same as your body producing new heat from chemical reactions. It does not matter to the energy balance where the energy comes from.
        How about this for a possibility?
        Light from sun warms ocean. Ocean loses heat to atmosphere. IR from atmosphere warms the skin of the ocean (a few microns). Warming the skin reduces the flux of heat from ocean to atmosphere. Ocean is warmer with the IR from the atmosphere than without.
        Can you point out what is wrong with this?

        • Your problem is that the ocean skin is 0.3 C colder than the ocean bulk 3 mm below it so no warming of the skin by downward IR
          The net energy deficit is caused by the latent heat of evaporation extracting 5 times as much energy as is required to induce evaporation.
          More evaporation from more downward IR makes the skin colder not warmer.

      • Wildeco2014. No, that is not it. Say the bulk water is 25C and the skin without IR is 20C. We get a certain amount of heat transfer across the skin from the bulk into the air. Now say the skin temperature is raised to 23C. We now get a lower amount of heat transfer across the skin into the air. Since the bulk is absorbing radiation, the temperature of the bulk with the IR becomes warmer than the bulk without the IR.
        “More evaporation from more downward IR makes the skin colder not warmer.” Ate you comparing the IR to moving the air across the surface? Moving air increases evaporation and lowers the temperature. However, the air does not add any energy. This is different from the IR which is adding energy.
        What you seem to be saying is that adding energy causes evaporation to increase, evaporation reduces temperature, so adding energy reduces temperature. This is clearly wrong, as my kettle demonstrates.

        • Your kettle heats from the base whereas the ocean heats from solar energy of the correct wavelength to pass straight through the evaporating layer.
          The evaporating layer is only microns thick but such is the energy demand of evaporation the cooler ocean skin descends to about 3 millimetres.
          If evaporation increase the top 3 microns become even colder and the depth of the cool layer increases.
          My description is correct.

      • It doesn’t matter if the atmosphere heats or cools the ocean, or if the ocean heats or cools the atmosphere. All other things being equal, the atmosphere retains heat (due to extra CO2) that should normally go to space. Hence, the atmosphere is warmer than it should be. Henceforth, the atmosphere heats the ocean more or cools it less, what ever you like.
        No different than the way a blanket works.

        • The largely non radiative atmosphere retains heat primarily due to conduction and convection. The oceans retain heat due to solar shortwave (not IR) getting past the evaporative layer. Completely separate processes and neither is anything like a blanket.
          Blankets do not allow radiation through (oceans)and do not allow convection (atmosphere)..

  21. The ‘extra’ heat is not extra at all, but just the consequence of a temporary out of balance condition arising from reduced cooling. The equatorial region has more clouds than the rest of the planet, slowing down surface cooling. When ocean currents concentrate surface heat at the equator (El Nino), it cools more slowly than it would if that heat was distributed across latitudes away from the tropics causing the planet to be slightly out of balance and warmer than it would be otherwise. This temporary heating is always offset by future cooling (La Nino) which ultimately makes the planet cooler than it would be otherwise and the cycle repeats. The main point here is that all heating is the consequence of the Sun and any apparent ‘excess’ heat is the consequence of reduced cooling.
    Consensus climate science fails to grasp this because they believe the planet is perpetually out of balance and cooler than it would be otherwise owing to future effects of past CO2 emissions that have not manifested yet. What they fail to recognize is that each hemisphere is always out of balance, half the time warmer than it would be (during winter) and half the time cooler than it would be (during the summer). That is, during the summer months, incoming radiation exceeds outgoing radiation and the planet warms and the opposite is true during winter months. Owing to asymmetries between the hemispheres, the N responds faster owing to a larger fraction of land, thus the planet as a whole exhibits the signature of the N hemisphere.

  22. I have seen equation 1) below used to calculate the emissivity of a heated surface using the Stefan Boltzmann relationship. The general form being:
    0) W = σ * ε * A * T^4
    Rearranged algebraically:
    1) ε = W / (Asource * σ * (T^4source – T^4sink))
    T^4sink is the notorious “back” radiation.
    In my opinion this equation is incorrect because it does not account for the radiative area of the sink. The following is what I consider to be the correct form.
    2) ε = W / ((Asource * σ * T^4source) – (Asink * σ * T^4sink))
    Because of conservation of energy:
    3) (Asource * σ * T^4source) = (Asink * σ * T^4sink)
    and the denominator goes to zero and the equation becomes indeterminant.
    There is no spoon – or “back” radiation.

    • So what you are saying by your proposed equation #2, taken to its logical conclusion, is that two objects at the same temperature would transfer heat between them, net heat going to the object with a larger surface area? This violates at least two laws of thermodynamics and perhaps a third.

    • @ Nicholas SchroederFebruary 8, 2017 at 1:32 pm: The sink temperature at which SB works needs to be understood before it is used in climastrology. Nor can a gas be a blackbody.

  23. Point number two
    “…Water in the ocean surface skin cannot mix with deeper water to create water of a higher temperature than itself….”
    Well, it could if the deeper water were warmer than the surface, but we know it is actually colder. When dealing with any argument involving this topic, one needs to address all contingencies.

  24. Some 2-3 years ago I did a look at ENSO and the tectonic activity in the equatorial Pacific, there it appears to be some association if not a direct correlation of the two sets of events, at least according to the data I collected. If so then the ENSO is simply result of a neutral energy perturbation between ocean’s strata, while the trade winds variability is a direct consequence.

    • Interesting comparison Vuk’.
      Those two peaks in tectonic data look a lot like 8.85 and 11.86 y , do you have a link to that dataset please?

      • I’m sure you also noticed a ~65 year quasi oscillation, ~17 might be the data length effect on a possible 18.5 years, while 11.86 is not open for discussion.
        I spent some months researching and assembling data files of the extreme tectonic events along the ‘ring of fire’, the equatorial Pacific (as in the graph above) and the Mid Atlantic ridge ( as in here ).
        There is no link to data, just number of files on my PC, hope to publish some day, but without a convincing hypothesis the data files are just bundles of numbers.

      • OK, so you’re saying the data is proprietary since you are intending or would like to publish. That’s fine but disappointing. I love new datasets. I doubt the 16 point something is anything to do with 18.6 .
        “but without a convincing hypothesis the data files are just bundles of numbers.”
        You do not need a hypothesis of the cause to publish an analysis. Collating and presenting a new dataset is worth while in itself. The periodograms are suggestive of cause even without a specific mechanism.
        Did you do a frequency analysis of the N. Atl data or was it too discontinuous?

      • Spectral peaks in the Pacific tectonix are 4.3, 5.2, 6.2, 8.7, 11.8 and 16.4 years
        errors bars of at least + – 2% to 3% should be added.
        16.1 years is one of the prominent periodicities present in the earth’s core magnetic field variability.

      • In case of N.A. tectonix graph is the ‘previous 30 year integral’ of the events count, data goes back to 1700. Data are contiguous but discontinuities are introduced to achieve a ‘wiggle match’ non-stationary correlation) of the two sets of events (non-stationary correlation).
        Periodogram (possibly) for that reason has no AMO’s ~60 year component.
        Eliminating noise from periodogram by cutting off lower portion of the graph for the direct data (not the integral) compared to the CET (summer, winter & annual) is shown here

        • Interesting, but each ENSO event includes both El Nino and La Nina so the tectonic plates could be responding to either which fits the ‘weight of water’ hypothesis.

      • Very unlikely. If you look at the link posted in the reply to Greg Goodman, a similar relationship is observed in the N. Atlantic where there is no major see level decadal oscillation.
        As said above I have no convincing hypothesis either for the ENSO or the AMO as related to the tectonics, and it appears no one else to anything else.

      • Vuk’, it would be interesting to see the cross-correlation fn and also the spectral analysis of the same.

      • “I have no convincing hypothesis either for the ENSO or the AMO as related to the tectonics,”
        Same tidal forces causing tectonic activity could be affecting horizontal ocean heat displacement. El Nino is an atmospheric positive feddback but it needs a trigger. I suspect the trigger is slow multiyear tides at the top of the the thermocline.
        In 2015 perigee full moon occurred very close to the equinox ,when sun and moon are over the equator. Similarly 18 years earlier in 1997.

  25. The most logical explanation (IMO) is that it is simply a periodic release of ocean heat. I don’t know of any flux in nature that is linear over time. I agree that it is a cooling event that releases a degree of stored heat. A thermometer over a pot of water being heated is not going to show a lineal increase, is it? (never tried the experiment 🙂 )
    What triggers the release once a certain equilibrium is reached is another question. I do agree that we don’t know enough about the tectonic heat influence.

    • Tectonic heat release might sometimes affect timing but the basic phenomenon arises from the fact that there is more ocean in the southern hemisphere so that more solar energy is stored south of the equator until the imbalance grows large enough for the release to occur in the form of El Nino.

      • Stephan – I believe that those with high budgets are discounting this possibility too easily. While the Atlantic blob was active it would have been oh so easy to get sea samples for chemical analysis – Duuggh! It sat bang over an active tectonic boundary

      • We were looking at the moon crossing the ecliptic plane as a possible trigger for Enso Kelvin Waves. Haven’t heard either way yet.

    • Someplace on this site a long time ago I showed that heat released from the Earth’s interior on the seafloor is many orders of magnitude too small to have any impact on the heat budget over periods of a few years. I realize those midocean ridges and seafloor volcanoes are very hot, but they represent a very small area of a very vast ocean.

      • Yes, negligently small, that is not what is proposed above, it is the normal tidal forces.
        If I was to formulate a hypothesis it would be based on the ‘acoustic-gravity waves’ kind of ‘longitudinal seafloor tsunami’ following a major tectonic event. Such waves transport water at a velocity of only a few cm/sec but move millions of cubic meters of deep water per second.

  26. Mike Jonas, your basic misunderstanding of the so called atmospheric greenhouse effect works makes this writeup a mistake. It is true the colder sky can’t directly heat the ocean. However it does slow net radiation up from absorbed sunlight, and the slowing of net radiation is the source of the increased temperature. It is a (T^4 hot -T^4 cold) effect, where the T^4 cold reduces the net radiation, thus slowing trapped heat removal faster than solar absorption accumulates. Conduction, convection, and evaporation partially compensate to balance the radiation up reduction but not fully, so the surface heats some.

    • Leonard,
      Since evaporation requires 5 times as much energy as is required to induce it at 1 bar atmospheric pressure how do you think that there is anything left over when downward IR is absorbed into more evaporation ?
      There is no problem in having convection whisk it all away because water vapour is lighter than air and so increases the rate of convection proportionately to the increase in evaporation.
      You could only inhibit the underlying energy flow from the ocean bulk by reducing the temperature differential between cold skin and warmer bulk but more evaporation actually increases the gradient. That must be so because evaporation caused the cool skin and the accompanying thermal gradient in the first place.

      • If GHG’s can add heat to the oceans (they cannot) Then Water vapor dominates over the oceans – CO2 does not get a lookin

      • Stephen, I think we have had this discussion before. The only net effect of the radiation partial insulation of the greenhouse gases is to raise the AVERAGE altitude of final radiation to space. the lapse rate changes are much less affected (they only depend on average specific heat of the atmosphere and gravity), so the lapse rate calculated downward from the higher average location of radiation to space to the surface requires a warmer surface for balance. Your comments on water vapor, surface skin effects, etc. are irrelevant.

      • Leonard,
        I was responding to your comment that “conduction, convection and evaporation only partially compensate to balance the radiation up reduction but not fully so the surface heats some.”
        That does involve consideration of the effect of downward IR on the ocean skin.
        In my view conduction and convection involve a closed ‘adiabatic’ energy loop that requires a higher surface temperature to sustain it but that is an entirely non radiative process so we can exclude that from current consideration.
        That just leaves evaporation induced by downward IR and the huge energy demand of the evaporative phase change prevents any surface warming at all. Indeed, raising downward IR further intensifies the ocean skin effect.
        We probably have discussed this before but since then I’ve satisfied myself that my description is indeed correct and have refined the terms of expression.
        That probably won’t make it palatable to everyone though 🙂

  27. Educated guess is that the “heat” along the Pacific Equator is the result of the 10,000 or more underwater volcanoes (the “Ring of Fire”) from which the heat trail points to like an arrow.

  28. To the author Mike Jones , The missing link that is continually left out of the climate change debate is the global electric circuit, the way Earth and the ionosphere exchange energy is the key to understanding the way climate and weather patterns are connected. When salty ocean water flows through the magnetic field, an electric current is generated and this, in turn, induces a magnetic response in the deep region below Earth’s crust – the mantle. Because this response is such a small portion of the overall field, it was always going to be a challenge to measure it from space. http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Swarm/Magnetic_oceans_and_electric_Earth
    As time goes by, through observations like SWARM science will come to the conclusion that Earth’s internal processes and resistance that is produced by the charging processes from within, is the main driver that creates resistance (heat) from incoming space charges, whether it be from the sun or cosmic ray’s it’s Earth’s 6000C interior that provides our magnetic shielding.
    5.1. Atmospheric circulation, lightning and climate
    The global distribution of atmospheric discharges (CG, IC, TLEs)
    driven by solar heating and also influenced by land/ocean dis-
    tribution on the planet follow the general circulation patterns of
    the atmosphere (Williams, 2005). Atmospheric discharges are the
    main contributor to the global electric circuit. The electric field and
    vertical current near cloud may influence the change in shape,
    terminal velocities, collision, coalescence and disruption char-
    acteristics of the drops (Coqillat et al., 2003;Bhalwankar and
    Kamra, 2008,2013) which may affect precipitation and also sur-
    face temperature. It is known that Africa, South America and
    Southeast Asia regions rank from the most lightning active and
    least rainfall region to least lightning active and most rainfall re-
    gion (Williams and Stanfill, 2002;Christian et al., 2003;Siingh
    et al., 2011). These regions also dominate the Walker circulation
    which clearly support to the fact that the global circulation is
    energized by the convective process in the atmosphere

  29. In reply to the not-so-anonymous troll who asked “where his posts are going to?”, see this image below. I know who you are down there in YC, so just knock it off unless you want me to register a complaint with your ISP among other things. You’ve violated site policy so many times with your inane and hate-filled comments under dozens of screen names and proxy servers, I ought to do it anyway.
    Feel free to be as upset as you wish, but do cease and desist unless you want me to escalate this.
    To the readers, this is why we have such a tight filter and many of your posts disappear – because of people like this.

    • Anthony,
      I think this explains why some of my postings disappeared when I used different versions of my name. I have now figured out the version that always works and have put it on all my machines. I am sorry you have to run such a tight filter.

      • What you need is a plain Jane name like mine. Except for the fact that if you google it, you will get everything from Hollywood stars to prostitutes. That said, the less unique you are and the more consistently boring you are, the less trouble you will have getting comments to post. I am pedantically boring. Unless I have too many glasses of red wine. Then all bets are off.

  30. OT: i saw this odd radar pattern with what looks like a triangle over Sacramento. The right side is interesting, especially the upper part where the line of dry weather continues through rainy area. Is this easily explainable or? I stumbled onto a weather control site a few years ago and they were talking about HAARP iirc and i think it had strange patterns like in this image:
    any thoughts?

  31. The answer is really simple. There never was any extra heat. The sun’s radiation does heat the upper surface of the water all the time, but there is a natural up welling along the coasts, warmer water will actually sink down in other spots, caused by the winds pushing the ocean water, and the Coriolis effect. The water welled up is cool and cools the surface. When we have El Nino, the water isn’t circulating the same way because winds change. This prevents the up welling action, so cold water doesn’t go to the surface, The surface then stays at the warmer because cold water isn’t brought up to mix with the warm. This was established long ago – don’t know why we need several paragraphs of head scratching.

  32. There is a big misunderstanding about what El Niño is, and this article is no exception.
    To understand El Niño it is important to look at its paleoclimatology. Essentially there was no or very mild El Niño during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, and El Niño became a common feature during the Neoglacial period, increasing progressively in intensity. So El Niño characterizes a cooling world. But interestingly El Niño disappears during Bond events when the world is suddenly colder.
    This is easy to explain when one understands the nature of El Niño. The energy of an El Niño is already within the system when El Niño starts, and originates from the Sun warming the oceans. Before an El Niño, this heat is partially lost to space through Outgoing Long wave Radiation (OLR), and partially transported by the meridional transport through oceanic currents and atmospheric transport towards higher latitude regions where there is a radiation deficit.
    But the conditions that give rise to an El Niño mean that too much heat is accumulated in the equatorial Pacific to be transported by the Meridional Transport. El Niño is essentially a short circuit in the Meridional Transport. There is an outburst of heat towards the atmosphere. This produces an increase in tropical OLR detected by satellites, that coincides with El Niño index (MEI).
    But most of the heat makes it through atmospheric transport increasing temperatures almost everywhere, producing the record temperatures. But eventually that heat makes it also to space as it has nowhere else to go. So what we record as increased heat and global warming, is actually a loss of heat by the system. The El Niño is therefore like a release valve outburst from a pressure cooker. It burns if you put your hand, but the cooker reduces its energy.
    Now we can understand why El Niño is a feature of a cooling world. A cooling world is a world where the Meridional Transport is already working hard taking heat from the tropics towards the poles. During the Holocene Climatic Optimum the world was uniformly warmer and during Bond events colder than it is now, and the Meridional Transport did not saturate.
    This also explains why we live in a period that doesn’t have as much El Niño intensity as previous periods. The world is warming and the Arctic amplification is reducing Meridional Transport by reducing the equator-polar gradient.
    An El Niño means excess heat needed to get out of the planet. That’s all. It is a symptom, not a cause. Periods of frequent El Niño in the decadal timeframe during modern global warming are periods when the planet is warming and requires more frequent heat releases. When the planet is cooling, like between 1100-1500 AD, frequent El Niños mean faster cooling.

    • It used to be thought that the warmer than present Pliocene must have had a near continuous El Nino condition, but such is not the case, based upon paleoproxy data.

      • 20,000 years ago the Sun was producing the same amount of energy as today. Precession had almost identical solar irradiance distribution over the planet 20,000 years ago as today, and the axial tilt was at that time almost identical to today. Same amount of energy and near identical distribution over the planet, yet 20,000 years ago the planet was at its coolest in a specially hard glacial maximum, while today it is quite warm during an interglacial. Thermal inertia and heat transport are key to explain why the planet is in such different condition.
        El Niño does not depend on temperatures, at least not alone. Meridional transport, as a manifestation of the equator-polar gradient is even more important. There is an interplay of atmospheric phenomena over the tropics that is a direct response to the amount of energy (heat) that needs to be transported, and that includes the quasi-biennial and the Julian-Madden oscillations.

      • Which just goes to show that a few minor parameter changes can produce major climatic shifts.

    • Javier: “So what we record as increased heat and global warming, is actually a loss of heat by the system. ” Certainly heat is lost by the system in an El Nino. However, whether the system is cooling or heating also depends on the energy in as well as the energy out. The pressure cooker in your analogy has energy removed by the release valve, but it can still be getting hotter if we turn up the gas.

      • However, whether the system is cooling or heating also depends on the energy in as well as the energy out.

        That is obviously correct. The important thing is that El Niño is a cooling mechanism. The world will continue warming if in a warming trend, and will cool faster if in a cooling trend. Since we are in a non-warming period (hiatus) those that believe that El Niño ended it are most likely wrong. It increases the chances of the hiatus continuing, specially if it is not followed by a La Niña that increases the energy going into the system.
        With the AMO turning negative (or at least not increasing), and the Sun in a centennial minimum it is going to be complicated for the planet to recover the lost energy during El Niño and more to continue warming the planet. The reported death of the Pause has been greatly exaggerated.

  33. Please answer my simple question and you may find an answer to yours.
    The Vukcevic correlation makes a lot of sense to me .
    Why because every 9 years ( as I understand it ) the moons orbit is along the equator
    as it was during this most recent El Nino .
    It was also along the equator in 1998 ( as I recall ) , exactly 18 years ago .
    Which also occurred close to a solar maximum ( coincidence ??? )
    Surely therefore there must have been a massive tidal drag of water and atmosphere
    towards the equator at that time . THE HOTTEST PART OF THE GLOBE . The
    very place where it would gather the most possible heat both by mixing with warmer
    water/air and from solar exposure .
    There would also have been strong forces leading to increased volcanic activity
    ( Solar max + Moon gravitational max ) hence the Vukcevic correlation .
    So my question is …… Why is the moon gravitational effect not considered relevant or
    is it just ignored unintentionally .

    • The has orbital cycles, the moon does, and soda all of the planets. When el Nino was first recognized it appeared to occur about every 20 years. At the time there were no satellites in orbit and no hard data on the ocean to know what happened during an el Nino. If I recall correctly 1982 was the first time satellites were able to follow the an El Nino before and after it started. We now know they occur more frequently than 20years. However the biggest and strongest and most easily recognized ones still appear about every 20years.
      Scientist have also recognized ocean currents have an effect on the heat moving around. Tidal currents in the pacific generally move surface water east to west. The editorial winds also generally blow east to west. Look at a map of the pacific. You will notice that was Asia, Australia and Indonesia form a funnel shape with a small outlet around Indonesia.
      What appears to be happening is that the the Equatorial currents push warm water west ere it piles up. The hot water in the west pacific is either lost to the air or driven down by the currents. In the East Pacific around central america the warm water is close to the surface and the water gets cold very quickly as you go down. In the west pacific the warm water piles up and goes down and tends to stay there. The ocean currents and the shape of continents has in effect created a giant Thermal battery. As long as everything stays in balance the thermal charge of the battery stays constant. Unfortunately nothing stays constant.
      The earths and moons orbital cycles combined withe gravitational pull of the sun cause the tidal current to periodically strengthen and weaken. When the current weakens some of the warm water in the western pacific rises to the top of the ocean and spreads out. The wind then gradually moves it around. This moving warm water will eventually interact with the atmosphere and this can eventually cause the the equatorial winds to weaken and even reverse direction. When the equatorial winds start blowing from east to west most of the warm water in the western pacific is moved east. it hits south and central america and starts to spread out into a thin large area a warm water at the surface. Most of the heat is then quickly dumped into the air. This destabilizes weather around the globe and increases the earths temperature. and the earth starts to cool.
      When enough heat is lost the equatorial wind reestablish their normal east to west direction Eventually moving what warm water is left back to the east and recharging the thermal battery. A La Nina may form. During an El Nino Indonesia and Australia are in a drought due to less cloud cover cooler oceans. This extra light reaching the eastern pacific helps recharge the thermal battery. As the battery charges it helps to destabilize the normal weather patterns. Also if the sun is more active than normal it may overheat the ocean after the La Nina resulting in a step increase in temperature. At times when the sun is weak the Earth may take a step down in temperature.
      If this description is correct the amount of heat released in each major El Nino will be very close to the amount released in the previous Major El Nino. Which is what appears to have happened between 1998 ad 2016. Most of the small difference appears to have come from the step increase the earth temperature that occurred after 1998. El Nino’s between 1998 and 2016 released less heat and had less impact which agains fits the above explanation. The suns output was in an upward trend between 1980 and 2000 which probably explains the more frequency larger El Nino during that period and the temperature increase of the ocean at that time. The thermal battery was constantly being overcharged and frequently leaked.

    • “Is it plausible that activating 1 out of 2,500 molecules can actually change the temperature of the entire atmosphere? ”
      Yes, completely plausible. I don’t know why anyone would think otherwise. If I could magically target one in every 2500 water molecules in a swimming pool with a burst of energy it would inevitably increase the temperature of the pool.

      • The point is the ratio of energy to molecules. 1 degree is 1/300 the energy of a 300 degree body. Activating 1/2500 of the atmosphere to warm 100% means diluting that energy a lot. Those 1 out of 2500 molecules have to contain a whole lot of energy.

      • You would change the temperature of your pool by the temperature difference between your 1 hot molecule versus the pool full of molecules times the specific heat factor of your molecule- resulting in an utterly unmeasurable temperature change, probably compensated for by an immeasurable amount of increased evaporation of pool water- probably about one molecule.
        Then you would have to start making up temperatures to produce a “proof”. I’m not sure where you are going to park a ship in your yard with the engines running so you can pump pool water through the engine room to a temperature measurement point but, hey, go for it! Meanwhile, can I come and play in your pool? It’s -20C where I am.

        • Global cooling means less rain at higher latitudes. Go south. I had two swims tonight. Pool is 28. Temp. Is now + 25.
          You are so welcome here.
          Pretoria. South Africa.
          Originally Dutch. Would not be able to take your cold…

    • So how many air molecules are there per meter at sea level ? How far does a photon have to travel before it’s almost certain to run into a CO2 ? I understand it’s about 100m . That’s the basis of Beer’s law and why adding more makes little difference . The expressions for equilibrium temperature for any arbitrary spectra are on my http://CoSy.com in a downloadable APL .
      But that straightforwardly computable spectral equilibrium , radiative balance , temperature does not change as one adds layers . The CO2 transfers heat to ( and from ) the molecules around it , but that does not change the equilibrium .
      And in any case you are right : the atmosphere holds damn little total heat in any case .
      The issue of why the bottoms of atmospheres are hotter than their tops is separate and not answered by spectral equations .

  34. When i reached this line: “Greenhouse gases (GHGs) warm the atmosphere. From there, the downward Infra-Red (IR) radiation reaches the ocean surface.”
    Totally BS!
    “Greenhouse gases” doesn’t heat anything!
    It doesn’t produce any energy (heat) and it doesn’t prevent energy from leaving the atmosphere, FULL STOP!!
    Because the CO2-molecule is “blank” (doesn’t react) to infrared radiation in temperature between 220 – 320 K. (-53.15 to +46.85).
    I won’t bother reading the rest when that is the standard ..

    • roaldjlarsen,
      ““Greenhouse gases” doesn’t heat anything!”
      Kind of correct, but you are conflating the kinetic temperature of GHG’s with the radiant emissions of GHG’s. The kinetic temperature of any atmospheric gas can not heat the surface, but arises by conduction with the surface and distributed by convection. GHG’s have an additional property, which is to absorb and emit photons of very specific wavelengths which is active in the LWIR related to all of the relevant temperature ranges, although below 0C, water vapor absorption is attenuated and below about 195K (temperature of dry ice), CO2 absorption is significantly attenuated.
      The failure of consensus thinking, which unfortunately spills over into the thinking of many skeptics, is considering that most or all of the absorbed energy is converted into the kinetic energy of molecules in motion. This would make the atmosphere hotter than the surface enabling it to further heat the surface, although, the relative heat capacities of the surface and air above means that an atmosphere at T1 and a surface at T2 will will both converge in LTE to a temperature far closer to T2 than to T1.
      Of course, this is not how GHG’s make the surface warmer than it would be without them. GHG’s convert very little of the energy absorbed into the kinetic energy of molecules in motion. CO2 specifically converts none. Water vapor converts some as an energized water vapor molecule that is not in the ground state condenses upon a droplet of liquid water. This is observed as slightly more than a 50% reduction in planet emissions in water vapor absorption lines as seen from space which is offset by a slight increase in the power emitted by the water in clouds and passing through the transparent window.
      The mechanism that explains how GHG’s make the surface warmer than it would be otherwise is to delay some fraction of surface emissions that they absorb which are then added to new energy arriving from the Sun at a later time. The atmosphere doesn’t create energy, but retains some portion of old surface emissions and returns about half to the surface at a later time as the other half is added to the power passing through the transparent window in order to offset the 240 W/m^2 of average power arriving from the Sun.

      • The mechanism that explains how GHG’s make the surface warmer than it would be otherwise is to delay some fraction of surface emissions that they absorb which are then added to new energy arriving from the Sun at a later time.

        And how long is the delay?
        The Earth only receives solar for 12 hours a day, but radiates LWIR 24 hours a day.

        • Richard,
          “And how long is the delay?”
          For GHG’s, the delay between when energy is absorbed by a GHG molecule and ultimately emitted from a different molecule, is from milliseconds to seconds. For the water in clouds, it’s from minutes to hours. The O2 and N2 is irrelevant to the absorption and emission of energy by the atmosphere.
          “The Earth only receives solar for 12 hours a day, but radiates LWIR 24 hours a day.”
          The input path from solar energy to energy stored by the virtual surface in direct equilibrium with the Sun is orthogonal to the output path emitting LWIR from that surface, so what is the meaning of your statement?
          At each point on the surface of the planet, the ‘equilibrium state’ of input power == output power occurs twice per day, once in the morning and again in the late afternoon. Similarly, each average of day/night emissions is equal to the average of its solar input twice per year, once in the Fall and again in the Spring. Mathematically, the planet’s steady state is a hierarchical collection of steady states, each acting with the same periodicity as the change in solar forcing driving it. Since each of these steady state solutions is defined in terms of joules, rather than temperature, superposition applies and they can be trivially summed and averaged to arrive at the total energy response. The energy response can then be converted to an EQUIVALENT temperature by applying the SB Law in reverse.
          The EQUIVALENT temperature of the virtual surface in direct equilibrium with the Sun is close enough to the actual temperature of the actual surface we care about, they can be considered the same and often are for the purposes of surface temperatures derived from satellite measurements of LWIR.

      • Nonsensical, dishonest word salad!
        There’s no such thing as “Greenhouse gases”, and as i said in my previous post, CO2 doesn’t produce any energy. The closest we get a greenhouse gas is water vapor, but that is called latent heat.
        “GHG’s have an additional property, which is to absorb and emit photons of very specific wavelengths which is active in the LWIR related to all of the relevant temperature ranges, although ..”
        Question: How much more energy (you call it photons) does the CO2 molecule emit than it receive, and – in what temperature range does that magic occur?

        • roaldjlarsen,
          “How much more energy (you call it photons) does the CO2 molecule emit than it receive, and – in what temperature range does that magic occur?”
          Obviously, a GHG molecule will not emit more energy than it absorbs. Absorption and emission occurs at ALL temperatures where the GHG is in the gaseous phase, but only at specific wavelengths. It’s not magic, it’s called Quantum Mechanics, although to the untrained mind, Quantum Mechanics may seem like magic ….

          • IR Expert Speaks Out After 40 Years Of Silence : “IT’S THE WATER VAPOR STUPID and not the CO2”
            Mike Sanicola says:
            I’m a professional infrared astronomer who spent his life trying to observe space through the atmosphere’s back-radiation that the environmental activists claim is caused by CO2 and guess what? In all the bands that are responsible for back radiation in the brightness temperatures (color temperatures) related to earth’s surface temperature (between 9 microns and 13 microns for temps of 220K to 320 K) there is no absorption of radiation by CO2 at all. In all the bands between 9 and 9.5 there is mild absorption by H2O, from 9.5 to 10 microns (300 K) the atmosphere is perfectly clear except around 9.6 is a big ozone band that the warmists never mention for some reason. From 10 to 13 microns there is more absorption by H2O. Starting at 13 we get CO2 absorption but that wavelength corresponds to temperatures below even that of the south pole. Nowhere from 9 to 13 microns do we see appreciable absorption bands of CO2. This means the greenhouse effect is way over 95% caused by water vapor and probably less than 3% from CO2. I would say even ozone is more important due to the 9.6 band, but it’s so high in the atmosphere that it probably serves more to radiate heat into space than for back-radiation to the surface. The whole theory of a CO2 greenhouse effect is wrong yet the ignorant masses in academia have gone to great lengths trying to prove it with one lie and false study after another, mainly because the people pushing the global warming hoax are funded by the government who needs to report what it does to the IPCC to further their “cause”. I’m retired so I don’t need to keep my mouth shut anymore. Kept my mouth shut for 40 years, now I will tell you, not one single IR astronomer gives a rats arse about CO2. Just to let you know how stupid the global warming activists are, I’ve been to the south pole 3 times and even there, where the water vapor is under 0.2 mm precipitable, it’s still the H2O that is the main concern in our field and nobody even talks about CO2 because CO2 doesn’t absorb or radiate in the portion of the spectrum corresponding with earth’s surface temps of 220 to 320 K. Not at all. Therefore, for Earth as a black body radiator IT’S THE WATER VAPOR STUPID and not the CO2.
            Even if CO2 actually did absorb energy in the temperature critical for the (now long failed) hypothesis to be valid for absorption, it still wouldn’t make anything warmer. That is why i call it magic. If that magic was in fact a possibility, humans wouldn’t have existed as the internal organs would have heated itself and neighboring organs to the point of self destruction, and that is a closed system, i.e. the effect would be much stronger if such an effect in fact did exist. I am, so it doesn’t – so it’s FAKE!

          • roaldjlarson,
            “IT’S THE WATER VAPOR STUPID and not the CO2.”
            Please stop being silly. There”s no question that water vapor is also a GHG and its effect is about 2/3 of the total GHG effect. The salient point is that water vapor is a GHG and operates in the same way as CO2. You can’t disregard the effect of CO2 just because the effect from water vapor is larger. None the less, the effect from CO2 is small by any metric, but it’s not zero.

          • According to the scientific method, we agree we are going to use science and the scientific method, right!?
            If so, according to the science and the scientific method, there has never been empirically measured or proven that CO2 does ANYTHING ELSE BUT TO COOL ..
            (used to be for example a coolant in refrigerators)
            If you want to speculate and imagine stuff, be my guest, but that is NOT SCIENCE!

          • raoldjlarsen,
            “… it still wouldn’t make anything warmer. ”
            Of course it does. The surface only receives about 240 w/m^2 from the Sun which corresponds to a temperature of only 255K. The surface is indeed warmer than that emitting about 145 W/m^2 more, or about 385 W/m^2 corresponding to an average temperature of about 287.5K. This extra 145 W/m^2 is replenished by surface emissions that were absorbed by GHG’s and/or clouds in the past and returned to the surface in the future. This delay is why it can add to the power from the Sun and contribute to surface warmth.

  35. In the Global and Annual Energy Budget graph it is shown that incoming is 242 w/m2. Depending on which paper you select, energy fluxes as of 2002 was defined as
    1370*(1.- 0.3)/4 = 239.7 w/m^2
    Now to get 242 w/m^2 you would need a TSI of 1382. When was it ever 1382? Recently it has been shown that the instrumentation has been in error. As of last April the TSI was listed as 1361. In other official places it’s listed as 1368.
    Now rounding numbers up to meet the matches and shrugging away numbers that don’t isn’t science.
    Let’s talk about the alleged increase in temperature and how it relates to those temperatures. We will make use of Stefan Boltzmann Law.
    239.7 = aT^4 => T = (239.7)/ (5.67X 10 -8)^4root = 254.98 K
    242 = 255.59 K which is a difference of 0.61 K. Remember we are talking about heat on a planetary basis here. So, (242+242)/(5.67 x10 -8)^4 root = 303.959 K
    Now if we are talking about a rise in temperature of about 1 C, isn’t it easy to fudge the numbers ? Now let’s take the TSI down to 238 w/m^2 (about 1360). That gives us 302.69 K
    Let’s remember that dTs = ( – 288/4) (-4/240) = 1.2K .. Isn’t that a Surprise! The difference between 303.95 and 302.69 is 1.269 K. I have more to say about the dTs formula if anybody cares to play with numbers from warming by co2. The numbers go the wrong way, don’t they? Who thinks 240 was cherry picked ?

    • Here’s the problem with the change in Ts. More co2 should increase the temperature via more retained wattage. So let’s see what happens when we retain 260 w/m^2 instead of 240.
      dTs = (-288/4) (-4/260) = 1.1 K . The temperature declined. It should be warmer not cooler.
      dTs = (-288/4) (-4/220) = 1.3 K. Given less retained heat via less co2 means it would have been warmer ?
      From above, the actual TSI is probably a little more than 1360, 1361 or 2, but hey, close enough for government work. That pesky 0.069.

      • “… via more retained wattage.”
        Wattage is not retained or stored. Only Joules can be stored or used to perform work. Watts are Joules per second and represents a rate of energy. When you turn on a standard incandescent lamp, it consumes 60 Watts or 60 Joules per second. If you keep the lamp on for 1 hour, you will have consumed 21600 Joules which is the same as 60 Watt*hour, since 1 Watt*second = 1 Joule.

        • I’m making the point this is the math the IPCC and associates used to prove their point. The rest is just academic.
          Also because of man made variability in TSI is much bigger than the offical estimate. They choose 0.012 % for a reason. Mathematically, 0.012% has little effect on temperature, greater than 0.015 % does.
          They can’t argue this, it’s what they put out, and it’s wrong. Been wrong.

  36. The 2016 El Nino heat came from the accumulation of solar heat via TSI from 2008 until 2016, ie seven years of increasing solar radiation, which peaked in Feb 2015. One year later in Feb 2016 as OHC was still high enough from that peak and the incoming solar for a temperature peak then. When TSI thereafter dropped, temps dropped. All the way to today. No surprises there.
    I mentioned in 2014 here at WUWT “Solar activity ramped up late last year [2013] and has since tapered off. The “recharge” of the oceans from that rampup is now dissipating. If and only if there is another spike in solar activity this year will there be an El Nino.
    The solar uptick for the second half of 2014.into Feb 2015 is history, as was the revival and strengthening of the ENSO, confirming my 2014 prediction.
    Once you know what to look for, solar activity-based ENSO predictions are not mysterious.

    • Bob, how do we know that el ninos come from a solar charging of the oceans given that the trigger for an el nino is also solar related (with the reduction of trade winds after a solar max)? What i’m getting at is that el ninos represent a break down in the cooling mechanism of the oceans due to the cessation of walker trades, vertical mixing and upwelling in the east. How much of the warming that we see is due to solar charging verses the break down in ocean cooling?

  37. The atmosphere cannot warm the ocean surface skin to a higher temperature than itself.
    Water in the ocean surface skin cannot mix with deeper water to create water of a higher temperature than itself.
    Water from the ocean cannot warm the atmosphere to a higher temperature than itself.
    The atmosphere can slow the release of warmth from the oceans to the atmosphere by being warmer than it otherwise would be.
    A warmer than otherwise atmosphere being able to do my immediate above would make the water an inch below the surface skin warmer than it otherwise would be. This water an inch below the surface can mix with deeper water to create water deeper that is warmer than it otherwise would be. Any additional evaporation very close to or in the skin layer, increases salinity in the same area, increasing the chance of warm water sinking into cooler water and making it warmer than it otherwise would be. While part of the skin layer theory says it in effect bounces right back the atmosphere, that would then increases the salinity of the water then it sinks, and these joules are less likely to be released in the atmosphere. There isn’t a mirror at the surface, there is a physical process.
    Water from the oceans can make the atmosphere warmer than it otherwise would be simply by being at 30 C rather than 20 C at the surface with an atmospheric temperature of 33 C. You stand in a sealed insulated room with a body temperature of 98 F. The room is 0 degrees F. Someone places an object in the room that is 90 F and conducts heat well. Such as 400 pounds of iron. You are still cold but the iron while cooling, makes you and the room warmer than it otherwise would be. Your body heat does not warm the iron, but it makes it cool a bit slower than otherwise. Some might say, body heat will continue for days as your body creates warmth. Replace you with a 400 pounds of water in an open barrel at 98 F.

    • “The atmosphere can slow the release of warmth from the oceans to the atmosphere by being warmer than it otherwise would be”
      This just results in increased evaporation and the release of heat is barely impaired.What could make a difference would be a lack of wind to move the warm, humid air away. If it stays at the ocean surface it would impair evaporation and hence heat loss. This may be part of what happens when heat is accumulating in the Western Pacific before the el Nino “break out”.

  38. “some of it can convect or conduct into the ocean.”
    Energy cannot convect top down. Convection is exclusively a bottom heating phenomenon. The atmosphere is heated from the bottom. The ocean is heated from the top (except for that geothermal wildcard).

  39. I am well aware that GHG’s cannot add heat to the ocean – they can only heat the surface & promote evaporation & I am not getting into an argument here – evaporation & water vapor over oceans has been increasing & falling over land as plants drop their emissions due to increases in co2 – which is empirical evidence to support my position –
    The most important point here is that even if GHG’s could heat the oceans – water vapor would dominate the process completely over the oceans – co2 would not get a look in as the more its heated the more watervapor is evaporated. So that rules out co2 & human influence completely.
    First of all there was the Blob – a spot in the ocean off west coast USA that caused a high pressure system that stayed there for over 13 months – this could only have been caused by Geothermal or volcanic activity in the ocean Hot spots in the ocean do not sit in one position for as long as this thing did.
    There are a large number of studies that show clearly a huge correlation between El Nino & Submarine volcanic activity – the trade winds push the Pacific waters towards Asia normally (variation in SLR of 60 odd centimeters – from memory – which is why Pacific islands flood during an El Nino) – when El Nino occurs the trade winds stop or reverse allowing the ocean to rush back towards the west coast USA – this tilts the Pacific tectonic plate by 40 cm or more from memory & that causes submarine volcanic activity …. obviously there is a lot of heat coming from the ocean floor & heating the ocean – I have studies that show that they are wrong in what they think comes through – there is a massive amount of volcanoes & geothermal heating of the oceans in the Pacific – we have no idea or comprehension of how much it heats the oceans

  40. “The most productive volcanic systems on Earth are hidden under an average of 8,500 feet (2,600 m) of water. Beneath the oceans a global system of mid-ocean ridges produces an estimated 75% of the annual output of magma. An estimated 0.7 cubic miles (3 cubic kilometers) of lava is erupted. The magma and lava create the edges of new oceanic plates and supply heat and chemicals to some of the Earth’s most unusual and rare ecosystems.”
    The associated heat, DIRECTLY injected into the oceans with 100% efficiency, but stochastically, is not accounted for in any computer studies or models.

  41. how does this fit in with the notion that the diurnal effect has seen a change where nights are getting warmer faster than days?

  42. Here is the NIWA (NZ) monthly report for January:
    “Well below average (1.20°C of average) for a small number of locations in Hawke’s Bay”
    Hawke’s Bay makes up a minor area. There is certainly a whip in the tail of the 98 El Nino
    Given that the ‘average’ baseline is 1981-2010 this is a dramatic drop. We farmers knew it only too well, It started in December. It was the coldest January I can recall after 40 years of farming. February is faring no better

  43. Mike Jonas to be blunt you fail when you treat temperature as a unit of heat. You claim el-Nino temperature increase could only be caused by an increases in heat. High school physics tells us temperature is not a unit of energy. Yet you treat it as one. Wind pattern changes causing changes in humidity can just as easily explain why a global average temperature would vary. No change in sun output ITO or CO2 needed.

    • Can wind pattern changes alter global humidity and thus global temperature ?
      Wind picks up humidity in one location and drops it in another, so how does it change the total ?
      Furthermore, humidity per se doesn’t increase the temperature because water vapour is lighter than air and heat lower down is just shifted higher up where condensation occurs and the condensate radiates more energy to space.
      Humidity makes any given temperature FEEL hotter to us because the humidity reduces the efficiency of our sweat mechanism.

      • First you assume it picks up and drops off evenly. That is an assumption with no basis.A wind pattern shift from moist isthmus of panama to dry northern mexico would lose moisture one year that in previous years pattern it would not have.
        “Furthermore, humidity per se doesn’t increase the temperature because water vapour is lighter than air and heat lower down is just shifted higher up where condensation occurs and the condensate radiates more energy to space.” First never said humidity would increase only change. Second, you make a point for me. Global temperature is measured at surface not upper so using surface temps as measurement of heat of all atmosphere is wrong in multiple ways. Third you also confuse temp with energy you assume a movement of one means a movement of the other. Move heat from a hot plate into ice water, temperature remains constant for quite some time. Fourth does the desert or the rain forest have a higher temp? Which has the higher energy content? So, higher energy but lower temp hmmm. Has nothing to do with “feeling” but basic physics. And, guess what accompanies every elNino, that is correct a wind shift.
        Prove to me why this 100yrs of accumulated climate change (.1C/decade) that occurs in single year can’t be caused by a wind shift. Oh wait that is practically the definition elNino. Couldn’t smaller subtle shifting winds be the cause of 0.01C/yr change?

      • Humidity is a part of total enthalpy in any atmospheric condition, so it also makes any cold temperature feel colder. Also, wind doesn’t “drop” humidity at all. It transports it to another location where it may raise the local humidity, possibly high enough to cause precipitation. relative humidity is a function of temperature and absolute humidity. When humid air arrives at a drier location, it may warm the area and relative humidity will change accordingly. As the air warms, the dew point will rise and the air will still have to cool or acquire more moisture before precipitation can occur. The magic of CO2 is completely lost in the details of heat transfer on our perfect little rock.

  44. How to confuse yourself in one epic tedious lesson.
    And please, if one more person puts up that awful and dreadfully muddled ‘energy flow’ diagram (Fig A1) I may not be responsible for my actions.
    DO NOT confuse convective and conductive heat flow with radiative flow. OK? Pretty please.
    The simple way to understand the Green House Effect is to use the Reductio Absurdio method.
    Assume it is correct then look for things that it would cause down here on the ground.
    DO NOT be bamboozled, amazed & befuddled by words like ‘troposphere, tropopause, absorption etc
    Every can/bottle of carbonated soda-pop is a miniature Earth. Do they spontaneously heat up?
    Is there a China Syndrome event every day of the week in every grocery store the world over because of things containing CO2 ‘trapping’ heat and getting hotter and hotter.
    Maybe that’s why soda pop is usually kept in the fridge???
    Some refrigerated delivery trucks use Dry Ice to keep their cool. Do they erupt in a blinding flash of white light when the doors are opened on a sunny day?
    They’d go off like Krakatoa on a cloudy day because as we all know, clouds trap heat and make you hot.
    Lord help us.

  45. “some of it can convect or conduct into the ocean.”
    It cant conduct up hill though, and there is a hill, called the cold layer, due to evaporation.

  46. “This means that none of the extra warmth from the ocean which caused the “hottest year ever” can have come from GHGs within the last few centuries. ”
    Nobody claims that the energy came from anywhere except the sun. The surface warms because it absorbs short wavelengths from the sun. Because it is warm it emits most in the long IR part of the spectrum. Energy from UV/VIS in = energy from IR out (long term).
    Look at figure 1 and add in the actual heating energy. The water is heated by UV/Vis light. There is no magic.

    • Sure, but quite a few people are claiming that GHG are pushing the Earth toward a new equilibrium at higher temperatures because they’re trapping more of the Sun’s energy in the atmosphere, and some are claiming that the aforementioned energy is being stored in the oceans and will later be released to raise temperatures further.
      Since GHG do not directly increase the energy reaching at the surface, the only mechanism for this storage is a (magical) process whereby energy sometimes flows from the cooler ocean to the warmer atmosphere. That requires the ocean to do something other than what the Second Law implies it must do (be a giant stabilizing heatsink). There are certainly ways that could happen on certain timescales, of course, but they in the long run it requires something like work.
      BTW it should always be mentioned in these types of articles that the hydrosphere is two orders of magnitude more massive than the atmosphere and its average temperature has changed very little since 1950. So I’d argue an even bigger problem with “ocean heat storage” is that the ocean could store a lot more heat before reaching a new equilibrium with a modified atmosphere.

    • We all know where the heat comes from. Where the hell does it go in Magic CO2 land? The world is back down to the same temperature it was in 1997. How is that possible if CO2 is retarding heat loss? Don’t even bother throwing Mannian reconstructions and fake proxy crap at me. CO2 can’t ratchet up temperature if the ratchet doesn’t work! Everybody, back to work! Some lying idiots set off a false alarm!

  47. Just my 3 cents as a physicist looking at the climate debate: Why do I perceive that there are quite a few assumptions in climate modeling that could be replaced with data, but people are too cheap or lazy to collect it?
    1) Interactions between land and air, and cloud cover: Why doesn’t someone put temperature, humidity, pressure, and 4 pi steradian wind gauges, every 100 meters up, every high altitude RF tower in the world and network the data into a fusion center? ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_structures ) with a couple fish eyed multispectral camera measuring cloud cover and sky luminance and ground luminance at the top of these towers?
    2) Why can’t there be 3 geosynchronous multi-spectral cameras that measure the luminance of every 10km square on Earth down into the IR and up into the UV? Maybe have white and black bodies on a boom in front of the camera for continuous or routine pixel calibration?
    3) Why couldn’t this data flow into a genetic algorithm and big data mining tools that would attempt to match and predict the data from the above sources, independent of any theories as to the underlying complex physics? I know this approach would put a lot of scientist out of work but it would answer a lot off questions.

    • You’re pretty close to understanding how corrupt these jokers are and why they didn’t become physicists!

  48. The question of tectonic heat has been raised here. Often we get the simplistic (IMO) response that it is insignificant based around lava production from MOR’s. Volumes, temperatures and heat capacity of this lava is used to calculate capacity to heat water. The result comes out to be insignificant.
    Well – there is a heck of a lot more going on on the sea bed then just MOR activity. MOR geothermal activity is of a rather slow but persistent nature. In the above calculations other tectonic zones are being ignored e.g. tectonic boundaries, back-arch basins, and extension zones. These zones are commonly associated with the big-daddies of volcanism that dwarf MOR activity e.g. silicic volcanism. Furthermore, the crust is commonly thinner in these zones, meaning the geothermal heat gradient (temp at depth) is much higher over a wider area than around MOR’s.
    These zones can act as giant radiators. Water penetrates through fractures into the crust and can circulate driven by variations in temperature and pressure. So, there is much more to this then just lava production.
    One can see a very impressive back-arch basin on Google Earth that runs from Tonga right down into central North Island, New Zealand. We have geothermal power stations tapping its energy. By scanning elevation the depth of the basin in relation to the tectonic boundary to its east can be defined. Multiple volcanic cones can also be identified. We know that many of these are active.
    There has been very credible field reports on this forum about elevated sea temperature zones around Tonga. Scientist have recorded large rafts of fresh pumice near the kermadecs.
    In science we eliminate possibilities though evidence before discounting. Well, that the way it is supposed to work.

    • Michael
      I indeed did find T going up in Raratonga -21.2 latitude by about 0.02K/annum over the past 40 years
      yet, overall, in the SH, it [heating] counts to nought
      whilst in the NH warming seems to continue
      my only explanation is that earth’s inner core is moving
      [up north, as the evidence will show]
      go down 1 km into a gold mine here [in South Africa]
      and notice the elephant in the room?

  49. Jonas – the source of the heat in the 2016 El Nino has to be the sun, and this is how.. It is not the locally generated surface layer of warm water that does it but the steady accumulation of that warm layer by winds that does it. Thus way, a warm pile of water called the Indo-Pacific warm pool is produced in the western Pacific. It is comprised of the warmest water on earth. The winds that cause it to pile op are the trade winds. .Their constant blowing elevates the surface of the warm pool above the average sea surface level of the Pacific Ocean. Eventually a point is reached where the force of wind pushing the water uphill is balanced by the gravity of the accumulated pile of warm water. This starts a reverse gravity flow of warm water along the equatorial counter-current that crosses the ocean from west to east an runs ashore in South America. It is clearly visible in satellite photographs. From the point of impact it is forced north and south along the coast and spreads out. This spreading out on the surface warms the air above it, warm air rises, joins the westerlies, and we notice that a La Nina has arrived. But any water that is forced ashore must also retreat. As this water retreats, a gap up to half a meter deep opens up behind it. Cold water from below then wells up and a La Nina has started. This is why El Ninos and La Ninas come in pairs. They have been doing so ever since the Panamanian Seaway closed and thereby established the current Pacific current system. The frequency of this ENSO oscillation is approximately five years, during which one El Nino and one La Nina are generated. This varies, however, because of other things going on in the ocean which makes long term El Nino mprediction notoriously hard. Not all El Ninos are created equal, however, and some rare big ones are considered super El Ninos, like the one in 1998. I am inclined to doubt that these supers originate in the same Indo-Pacific Warm Poo tthat gives rise to ENSO. They might as well come out of the Australian warm pool or be caused by Indian Ocean overflow, for all I know. These guys with billions to spend on climate study have not bothered to spend a penny of it on such basic questions that still remain open.

  50. At this point, there are 228 thoughts on “where did the 2016’s El Nino’s heat come from”.
    None have even touched upon the actual cause of the warming.
    Between 1975 and 2011 (the latest year for which global anthropogenic SO2 emissions are currently available), temperature projections based solely upon the amount of their reduction are correct to within .02 deg. C.or less, proving that they are the control knob for climate change.
    The cleaner air from their reduction allows sunshine to strike the earth with greater intensity, warming both land and sea surfaces.
    The “very strong” 15 month 1982-83 El Nino had ENSO temperatures of 0.5 – 2.1 deg. C. (avg 1.44). It raised avg. global J-D temps., with respect to 1981 (0.33), by -0.03 deg. C.
    The “very strong” 17 month 2015-2016 El Nino had ENSO temps. of 0.5 -2.3 deg. C.(avg. 1.41). It raised avg. global J-D temps, with respect to 2014 (0.75), by 0.13 deg. C.
    Clearly, it is impossible for essentially identical ENSO temperatures for an El Nino to temporarily raise average global J-D temperatures. by an extra 0.15 deg. C.
    The extra warming had be due to reductions in average global SO2 aerosol emissions, the only other way to temporarily increase average global temperatures.
    Google “Climate Change Deciphered” for proof of the above.

  51. “The basic physics tells us: The atmosphere cannot heat itself !”
    Mike, this is irrelevant to GHE theory. The atmosphere does not heat itself. Solar radiation heat both atmosphere and surface. GHG reduces the rate of cooling of both atmosphere and surface thus increasing their temperatures. That’s the basic of GHE theory.

  52. Mike Jonas asks: Can the atmosphere heat itself? Sure, water vapor can condense, converting latent heat to an atmosphere with a higher temperature. It happens all the time.
    Your presentation of heat flow (including radiation and latent heat) and temperature change is over-simplified Nothing on the planet is heated and cooled by a single process. Temperature change is the net result of all processes that transfer energy from one place to another. If more comes in than goes out, the temperature rises. (The law of conservation of energy demands that the extra energy become “internal energy” – warmer temperature.) Warmer temperature leads to more loss of energy via thermal radiation (and by evaporation for water). Eventually the temperature will rise until incoming and outgoing energy fluxes are equal.
    The top 10 um of the ocean (the skin layer) absorbs all of the DLR from GHG’s in the atmosphere (average 333 W/m2) and a small fraction of SWR during the day. The top 10 um of the ocean emits all of the surface OLR (average 390 W/m2) and loses more energy as latent heat and simple heat (100 W/m2). So it is losing about 160 W/m2 MORE energy than it gains. This difference can be made up by SWR around noon, but certainly not at night. So the topmost layer of the ocean is usually colder (and denser) than the water below, especially at night. CONVECTION carries the cold water downward from the surface and replaces it with warmer water from (a few centimeters to meters) below. Conduction also warms the skin of the ocean. As you discussed, the sun deposits most of its radiative energy during daylight (an average of 160 W/m2 over a full day) below the surface. Now we have a complete picture of the energy flows between the cooler skin layer of the ocean, the warmer top few meters of ocean, the atmosphere and the sun.
    Seasonal warming and cooling of the ocean is transmitted to an average depth of about 50 m due to turbulent mixing by winds. So the top 10 m or so warmed by the sun mixes several tens of meters of water below. This constitutes the mixed layer, which is in near equilibrium with SST and the atmosphere above whenever the wind is blowing normally – say on a monthly time scale.
    Now see if you explanation still works and compare it to what Bob Tisdale says about El Nino. (I don’t think the sun can possibly be responsible for the rapid changes in SST (and the mixed layer below) that occur during an El Nino.)

  53. Mike: I think you are wrong here:
    “Greenhouse gases (GHGs) warm the atmosphere. From there, the downward Infra-Red (IR) radiation reaches the ocean surface.”
    The CO2 acts more like a reflector, which can reflect without much of an increase in temp.
    The atmosphere actually warms from the earth’s surface.

  54. Hello! Is anybody listening? First, please review:
    Now, then, from August, 2014 to February, 2015, Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano underwent the largest basaltic eruption since Laki in 1783, releasing large amounts of hydrogen chloride and bromide to the atmosphere. If Peter Ward and I are right, then it is these volcanic halogen emissions thinning the ozone layer and letting in increased UV-B irradiation, and not CO2 or other so-called “greenhouse gases” that is the true cause of the recent El Nino. This is a very simple and logical explanation for the heat spike, and it should be duly considered.

    • please review

      I can provide all of the measurement data you would like to review this. While I use the day to day change from changing length of day time to see it’s effect on temps (so I have all of the day to day change during your gap period), I’ve noticed no effect (agreeing with your hypothesis).
      The data sets are build from NCDC global summary of days, and each report is a defined areas, where only stations that produce a specified number of records per year are included. I do daily and annual averages of all of the station weather data, plus a number of add on derived from that data. What you want will be in a daily report. Each area gets a number of reports, what stations are included, some basic info on them, running averages, and with solar, and I construct an effective sensitivity. The CS report uses the slope of daily change in min and max temp, and for most it looks like a pretty straight line from march to september.
      But I also discovered why the energy from co2 doesn’t do much. follow my name

      • I said that our new alternative hypothesis of warming through ozone depletion by anthropogenic (CFCs) and non-explosive volcanic chlorine needs to be considered as a possibility, and if I interpret your response correctly, you’ve only looked at existing datasets, which wouldn’t cover such an effect. One pertinent fact of interest is that every major uptick in the delta-oh-eighteen temperature proxy in the GISP2 ice cores is accompanied by a major deposit of volcanic sulfate from Icelandic volcanoes, suggesting that basaltic eruptions somehow play a part in warming. The only way in which they could do that is by means of release of halogens and their subsequent depletion of the ozone layer, letting in a higher insolation by UV-B.

      • Micro6500, Rowland and Molina established that Cl does destroy ozone catalytically. You’re asking, I take it, that it be shown observationally by recorded data that the HCL released by basaltic eruptions actually winds up on polar stratospheric clouds in March in sufficient quantity to cause an amount of ozone thinning to allow a sufficient increase in UV-B to account for observed warming. There is no question that it can happen, the question is can it be shown that it does. Clearly, the data that could confirm this don’t exist, and obtaining them would be virtually impossible, so the next best thing is to show that there is no known process that would interfere with this mechanism. Can you point to any such process?

        • In the referenced post, there was a hypothesis about peak temps and peak co2 values, and whether they coincided or not. I was offering daily surface data that might provide light on the topic. Nothing more than that.

    • David
      increases and decreases in ozone respectively follow decreases and increases in solar magnetic field strengths. I can prove this.
      My theory is that as the solar polar magnetic field strengths decreases, more of the most energetic particles are able to escape, forming more ozone, peroxides and N-oxides TOA. The atmosphere protects us, against these harmful rays.
      The ozone hole was another dumb scare story. My bet is, that peroxides are formed preferentially above the oceans as more OH radicals are available TOA>
      The amounts of stuff produced by volcanos is not enough to produce any effect of the order that you claim possible. Increase in volcanic activity in Iceland does show you that earth’s inner core has been moving, north east, going by the change in the magnetic north pole. Go down 1 km into a gold mine here and feel the elephant in the room?
      Hence, there has been some warming at the north pole and in the NH.
      Here in South Africa, there has been no warming and overall, for the SH, it is almost zero or even below…

      • “The amounts of stuff produced by volcanos is not enough to produce any effect of the order that you claim possible.”
        Can you substantiate this claim? How else can you explain the correspondence in the GISP ice core between every single sudden warming, including all 26 Dasgaard-Oeschger events, with Icelandic eruptions?

  55. David
    True. You caught me out there on the one question that I cannot answer. It could well be that there is a small influence; but how to measure it? If I look at all my results, it can never be much.
    All my results infer greater power to
    1) solar cycles – energy out to in – formation of ozone, peroxides and N-oxides which screens the amount and type of UV coming in, and that determines how much water evaporates.
    2) inner movement of earth core – energy in to out [magnetic stirrer effect]
    3) mixing of the top layers of water with the lower layers – lunar tides
    4) position of the planets – movement of the exact center of the solar system.
    for example,
    my results show -0.0003K/annum warming in the SH over the last 34 years. (measured in 2014}
    my results show 0.0205K/annum warming in the NH since same time.
    Average = ca. 0.01K/annum global
    which does not compare that bad with global UAH and RSS when looked at same period?
    So let me ask you: How would my results fit in with your theory, i.e. do you say volcanic activity is more prominent in the NH than the SH?

    • Well, of course! You’re wedded to your results; I’m wedded to mine, n’ est ce-pas? The question I’d raise here is what percentage of your results is theoretical and how much is based on hard data? The theory in mine is based on hard data observed in the ice cores plus theoretical inferences drawn on the basis of a lack of other available data or mechanisms that could possibly yield this result,. I’e., it’s the only possible conclusion regarding the evident relation between sudden warming and basaltic volcanism, based on the evidence available. The same could be said for my graphic in the url I presented with my first post.
      As for north-south volcanic distribution, the important thing here is that Iceland constitutes an unusual case in that it’s subaerial, not submarine. I know of no counterpart on the oceanic spreading ridges of the southern hemisphere. Subaerial means that whatever HCl and HBr is released from the basaltic lava isn’t dissolved in seawater, but go directly into the atmosphere, where they can become photodissociated on polar stratospheric clouds in March and subsequently destroy ozone, thereby increasing irradiation by high-intensity UV-B, which, if it causes sunburn, certainly has a heating effect on water-bearing matter.

  56. David
    when it comes to climate change [and politics]
    trust no one but yourself.
    My results are all based on hard daily data 99%. If a month of daily data was not complete, I used the following rules
    1) if daily data > 15 days, take average of the month
    Normally, in stats you fill in long term averages, if data is missing. However, to study climate change over time, per year, on average, I thought it wiser that
    2) if daily data < 15 days, take average of same month in the year before and the year after.
    As far as I remember my chemistry, I don't think HCl (H+) and Chlorine are stronger oxidators than ozone?
    the HCl would simply fall out the sky as acid rain, just like sulfuric acid. Probably kills some trees in the process.
    Bromine, maybe, but as I reckon, I doubt that the quantities involved can be that much..

    • In our model, HCl and HBr wind up on polar stratospheric clouds, where they are photodissociated in March, yielding monatomic chlorine, which then destroys ozone catalytically. We follow Rowland and Molina in this. The photodissociated H is presumably lost to space. I’m sure your data analysis is internally consistent, and I’m certainly not disputing it. In fact, it ties in rather nicely with our contention that it’s solar UV-B, and not re-radiated IR, that actually heats Earth through its absorption by water. We simply provide a mechanism for an increase in this UV-B to take place.

  57. David
    it is the “type” and amount UV coming through that determines a large part of ‘climate change;
    that type of radiation easily heats the top layer of water molecules to 100C.
    I have grown skeptical of man made ozone destruction [Fluor/Chlorine] since I never saw any results of peroxides inside the hole. Nobody ever thought of it>?
    look at the spectrum of peroxide and ozone? it looks identical. no co-incidence.
    Just like, according to my analysis, there is no man made global warming. I started doubting when I looked at the exact quantities involved.
    you can figure out the way I thought from here:
    Concerned to show that man made warming (AGW ) is correct and indeed happening, I thought that here [in Pretoria, South Africa} I could easily prove that. Namely the logic following from AGW theory is that more CO2 would trap heat on earth, hence we should find minimum temperature (T) rising pushing up the mean T. Here, in the winter months, we hardly have any rain but we have many people burning fossil fuels to keep warm at night. On any particular cold winter’s day that results in the town area being covered with a greyish layer of air, viewable on a high hill outside town in the early morning.
    I figured that as the population increased over the past 40 years, the results of my analysis of the data [of a Pretoria weather station] must show minimum T rising, particularly in the winter months. Much to my surprise I found that the opposite was happening: minimum T here was falling, any month….I first thought that somebody must have made a mistake: the extra CO2 was cooling the atmosphere, ‘not warming it. As a chemist, that made sense to me as I knew that whilst there were absorptions of CO2 in the area of the spectrum where earth emits, there are also the areas of absorption in the 1-2 um and the 4-5 um range where the sun emits. Not convinced either way by my deliberations and discussions as on a number of websites, I first looked at a number of weather stations around me, to give me an indication of what was happening:
    The results puzzled me even more. Somebody [God/Nature] was throwing a ball at me…..The speed of cooling followed a certain pattern, best described by a quadratic function.
    I carefully looked at my earth globe and decided on a particular sampling procedure to find out what, if any, the global result would be. Here is my final result on that:
    Hence, looking at my final Rsquare on that, I figured out that there is no AGW, at least not measurable.

  58. Regarding: “Mauna Loa CO2 in 1983 averaged 342.7ppm, in 2009 averaged 387.2 (Data downloaded from here in Feb 2012). That gives an RF increase of +3.7*(log2(387.2)-log2(342.7)) * (1.66/1.62) = +0.20 Wm-2.”
    This is incorrect. It equals .66 W/m^2. .2 W/m^2 is the answer using log10 instead of log2.

    • I’m inclined to think think that it’s 0.18 w/m^2. Why is that ? If you work the formula backwards that’s what you get. Additionally, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo confirms that the cooling was somewhere around 0.15 w/m^2. If co2 acted that way, the cooling would have been more severe. The number 0.66 w/m^2 is 3 times higher. I don’t see a basis for it.
      The linear sensitivity is probably a little higher than 0.20 w/m^2. The warming is not a log up in saturation, but a decline. In other words, the rate of warming declines as the co2 levels increase. Holding that thought, I think that’s what the record shows. Otherwise, the models based on 3 times higher would reflect that in reality.
      I have never seen any example of where co2 could go over unity. If it does, that would be a truly wonderful thing.

        • I don’t think any of the warming has been from co2 at all. So I’m not going to disagree. In fact, I’ve said warming is from co2 is no more than 3% of the reported warming. Background noise. And some think that number is way too high. I’m arguing from the IPCC prespective. It was convient for them to come up with that number in 2002 so that all the math fit at that particular time. None of it works foward or backwards. In any case it can not possibly be 0.66w/m^2. The world would be 3 times warmer than today. .
          ( do note I’m not a Luke warmer in the sense that co2 is the cause. I think it has warmed somewhat from about 1967 to 1978 but from other causes)

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