Report: Ocean Cycles, Not Humans, May Be Behind Most Observed Climate Change

An eminent atmospheric scientist says that natural cycles may be largely responsible for climate changes seen in recent decades. 

In a new report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Anastasios Tsonis, emeritus distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, describes new and cutting-edge research into natural climatic cycles, including the well known El Nino cycle and the less familiar North Atlantic Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

He shows how interactions between these ocean cycles have been shown to drive changes in the global climate on timescales of several decades.

Professor Tsonis says:

“We can show that at the start of the 20th century, the North Atlantic Oscillation pushed the global climate into a warming phase, and in 1940 it pushed it back into cooling mode. The famous “pause” in global warming at the start of the 21st century seems to have been instigated by the North Atlantic Oscillation too.”

In fact, most of the changes in the global climate over the period of the instrumental record seem to have their origins in the North Atlantic.

Tsonis’ insights have profound implications for the way we view calls for climate alarm.

It may be that another shift in the North Atlantic could bring about another phase shift in the global climate, leading to renewed cooling or warming for several decades to come.

These climatic cycles are entirely natural, and can tell us nothing about the effect of carbon dioxide emissions. But they should inspire caution over the slowing trajectory of global warming we have seen in recent decades.

As Tsonis puts it:

“While humans may play a role in climate change, other natural forces may play important roles too.”

Full paper: The Little Boy: El Niño and natural climate change (pdf)

234 thoughts on “Report: Ocean Cycles, Not Humans, May Be Behind Most Observed Climate Change

  1. Everybody who cares about climate should read the brief Conclusion that starts on page 15 of the full report. And they should do so with an open mind. Sadly, there are so few open minds around these days — on ALL sides.

    • I am missing your point. Few people to my knowledge have said that humans have not influence climate throughout history, e.g., cutting down temperate forest in the N. Hemisphere, expanding desert through poor land use, etc. However, I have yet to hear those on the CAGW side admit that natural forces are playing a large and dramatic role in climate change, as those forces have in the past history of the earth. Just like blaming the USA for all the ills of the world they want to blame humans in general for all things that happen in nature that they do not like.

      • The vast majority of us concede that CO2 can warm the planet. The argument has always been over how much.
        The science strongly implies climate sensitivity is below 0.5C. Probably as low as 0.2 to 0.3C.

      • Edwin, I’m an agnostic on AGW, although I believe the evidence leans against the theory that humans are the primary drivers of climate change.
        That said, I have indeed seen too many closed-minded people on “our side,” who don’t allow for the possibility that we do contribute a small warming influence. If only the two sides would eschew their fringes and meet in the middle to figure out how much, and whether it’s enough that we should even be concerned, we’d all be a lot better off.

        • renbutler
          There are quite a few of us here who I know have made a serious effort to either prove or disprove that the 100 ppm’s (0.01%)of CO2 that humans added to the atmosphere causes any warming. Myself, I started looking here in my own backyard and I recommend you do the same.
          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:
          I subsequently found out that on average the whole of the SH has not warmed at all over the past 40 years.
          Hence, since the observed warming is not even and not global I had to let go of the theory that the +100 ppm more CO2 causes the observed warming that is prevalent in the NH.

  2. “Ocean Cycles, Not Humans, May Be Behind Most Observed Climate Change”
    My, my, whatever clued you in?

    • WIth you there kokoda. On a spinning planet with an orbiting moon and both in turn orbiting a star in concert with a whole family of planets, big and small, and an extended family of comets, meteors and bits of stuff all the way down to stardust who would not think about systems responding cyclicly first, second third and fourth?
      You only have to look at the long term temperature-CO2 cycles evidencing the ice ages etc and even Michael Mann might start to think ‘duhh, maybe this stuff happens cyclicly’ (until he bangs his head against a bristlecone pine trunk until such thoughts go away.)

  3. Of course, in the conclusion to every paper, in order to be read in the warmist community and to ensure further funding, one must declare that this does not disprove accepted dogma.

    • I call it the “Copernicus” disclaimer 🙂
      Here’s all the facts but please don’t kill me for being correct because I’ve included a disclaimer!

    • Except it does. There are the claims of “robust”, ” settled science” and “what else could it be?”
      Correct or not, they will not be winning the Nobel Prize.

    • The final sentence of the conclusion is not very conclusive and attempts to leave everything up to …”maybe”:
      “While humans may play a role in climate change, other natural forces such
      as the oceans and extraterrestrial influences such as the sun and cosmic rays may
      play important roles too.”
      IMHO there has never been any disagreement on this issue. The disagreement stems from the relative contributions to climate change of those factors.
      One camp believes humans are the primary cause.
      The other camp says human contribution is insignificant.

      • Not sure ifits just two camps. I personally believe in AGW, but I think it is pure guesswork and in some cases fraudulent to pretend to know the range and associated feedbacks.

    • It all goes back to the fact that as the air cools at night, and starts to cycle more water vapor (condense,re-evaporate), water vapor controls cooling, and co2’s 3.7W/m^2 is regulated out in the large amount of energy being exchanged.
      Last of Irma blew through, and it turned clear about 8:00pm. The measured temp differences would have an 180W/m^2 flux from the surface to space.
      Part is blocked though from what my meter measures. As shown here.
      The inverted spectrum represents the part I was able to measure, so that’s is the temp in those wave lengths. Then you can use the ratio, I figure that’s 35-40% if the surface spectrum that has a pretty clear shot to space as long as there are no clouds, 24×7 btw.
      63W/m^2 is radiating from the surface and it does not change all night, SB demands it. With a 70F difference in temp to clear sky (actually the 10u water vapor line, so this changes with absolute humidity, but not rel humidity like the other band do).
      From 7 to 8pm, temps drop 8F 4F/hr. Since I didn’t measure temps at 7:00, let’s assume the sidewalk is 72F 2F warmer than air, after a fairly cloudy day, and that sidewalk is in the shade later afternoon anyways.
      That works out to 679KJ/hr or 188.78W/m^2 with a Tsky of -4
      So 4F/hr at 188W/m^2 everyone follow along?
      But at 9:00pm for the next 5 hours, it dropped 4F, 0.8F/hr
      So a 10F drop in surface temp changes a 15% difference in the difference between surface and space. made a 66W/m^2 vs 63W/m^2 difference SB emission in the optical window,
      somehow made a 5x reduction in the cooling rate! Temp difference changed by 15%, a 5% change in flux rate. But the best part is, it’s all based on air temp and dew point. All of CO2’s, and all the other GHG’s are encompassed in the 4F/hr rate, and deserts cool at much higher rates, remove the water and ghg’s do a poor job of keeping the surface warm. It’s only dew point and it’s relation to air temp that matters.
      If you show measured surface net radiation under similar conditions, you see something else is going on in the rest of the spectrum, and it’s all keyed by rel humidity, and that water vapor is releasing latent heat, and that slows cooling, regulating surface temps to dew point.
      Then add that the land surface areas are not the same between hemispheres, and air temps over land are higher, so every time the oceans transport warm pools into the NH it warms GMST. El Nino’s are an example of a short term cycle, but same process. Water vapor regulates surface temps.

      • Some labels and units on your graph axes would help a lot.

        Other than the last one’s x-axis, which ones are not marked?
        The last one I have tried many, many time, but you can’t read it because it sampled every few minutes for 4 days. And it’s either all black, or it’s worse than this.
        My assumption was most people familiar with this topic would be able to suss out the daily temperature cycle for “land markers”.

      • micro6500,
        It looks to me like your two posts should be enlarged, filled with more definitions, and proofread. Consider this: This is the response in Temp F/Whr per Day (divide by 24 to get the instantaneous rate degree F per W/m^2) at each weather station whose temperature increase is included. At eadh weather station? How many are there? Are they displayed? And is that division correctly described?

      • It’s a bit hard to follow all of what you posted. But isn’t the bottom line: water vapor and its latent heat? When in your graph the night temperature gets close to the dew point and the relative humidity increases, would formation of dew or fog release latent heat and counter radiative cooling? It would be interesting to calculate the amount of water removed by condensation or the total water vapor content in the atmosphere at night instead of the relative humidity.

        • Yes, the release of latent heat at higher rh, counters cooling. The majority of any increased forcing is just radiated away prior to rh changing rate.
          And that’s dew point is(total water vapor).
          And I have wet and dry enthalpy in my data reports. In sourceforge.

  4. “The findings presented here and in the references support the view that the climate
    system consists of distinct subsystems whose interplay dictates decadal variability.
    At the same time, these results provide clues as to what these subsystems might be.
    As such, while ’weather’ may be complicated (consisting of many parts and difficult
    to understand), ’climate’ may be complex but not complicated (with fewer parts and
    easier to understand). Moreover, it appears that the interaction between these subsystems
    may be largely responsible for observed decadal climate variability. In the
    past, this decadal variabilitywas ‘modeled’ as a tug-of-war between aerosols and carbon
    dioxide effects. The argument was that in times when aerosols were ‘winning’, the
    Earth would cool, while in times when carbon dioxide effects were more dominant,
    the Earth would warm. The results presented here refute this arbitrary assumption as
    they demonstrate that a dynamical mechanism is responsible for climate shifts. Thus
    ENSO and its ‘cousins’ do not tell us anything about human contributions to climate
    change. They do, however, underscore the importance of natural variability in climate
    change. While humans may play a role in climate change, other natural forces such
    as the oceans and extraterrestrial influences such as the sun and cosmic rays62 may
    play important roles too.”
    Source above in the post.
    There is nothing to add from the perspective of a rational man. It is a pity that there are so few rational people.

    • ’climate’ may be complex but not complicated (with fewer parts and
      easier to understand).

      Unwarranted speculation with the “may be” escape clause.

      • I believe your use of the phrase “unwarranted speculation” represents mere unwarranted speculation on your part.

      • mschillingxl,
        So you agree that the climate system is not complicated? Then why has the proposed sensitivity range for CO2 doubling not been refined after years of scientific effort and billions spent? Why does Judith Curry call it a “wicked problem”?
        Phillip Bratby,
        I understand the common meaning of “may be”. In common parlance,it is no stronger in likelihood than “may not be”.

      • Robert,
        The reason the climate sensitivity for CO2 has not been better defined is obvious. It is so miniscule that it can’t even be picked out from noise! Look at micro’s charts which show heat loss profiles on short term bases and prove that heat loss on even an hourly scale absolutely overwhelms any effect of CO2.
        The warming we experienced up to 2000 was a result of natural variability mostly related to oceanic circulation. Cycles of approximately 60-65 years appear to be pretty obvious in the climate record. Because the climate science mainstream is so atrociously politicized, they studiously avoid looking at the oceans as cause even though a heat content that is 1000 X that of the atmosphere is in contact with said atmosphere 24 hr every day. In any real science this would be laughable!

      • “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

        That’s from IPCC TAR. Is that statement from the august body consistent with the claim that climate is not complicated?

    • A key part of this paper is the recognition of the complex interaction of multiple actors, at times synchronizing and even coupling in their effects, making it extremely difficult for us to untangle the drivers of climate fluctuations.
      I was alerted to the example of a double pendulum (a slight variation on Tsonis’ point) I will try to post the diagram and some explanation: Trajectories of a double pendulum
      A comment by tom0mason at alerted me to the science demonstrated by the double compound pendulum, that is, a second pendulum attached to the ball of the first one. It consists entirely of two simple objects functioning as pendulums, only now each is influenced by the behavior of the other.
      Lo and behold, you observe that a double pendulum in motion produces chaotic behavior. In a remarkable achievement, complex equations have been developed that can and do predict the positions of the two balls over time, so in fact the movements are not truly chaotic, but with considerable effort can be determined. The equations and descriptions are at Wikipedia Double Pendulum
      But here is the kicker, as described in tomomason’s comment:
      If you arrive to observe the double pendulum at an arbitrary time after the motion has started from an unknown condition (unknown height, initial force, etc) you will be very taxed mathematically to predict where in space the pendulum will move to next, on a second to second basis. Indeed it would take considerable time and many iterative calculations (preferably on a super-computer) to be able to perform this feat. And all this on a very basic system of known elementary mechanics.

    • Hans-George capably summarized the basis for the deeply-flawed climate computer models that have led society so far astray::
      “In the past, this decadal variability was ‘modeled’ as a tug-of-war between aerosols and carbon dioxide effects. The argument was that in times when aerosols were ‘winning’, the Earth would cool, while in times when carbon dioxide effects were more dominant, the Earth would warm.”
      It should be noted that the aerosol “data” that was used to drive the modeled cooling period from ~1940 to ~1975 was fabricated “from thin air”. This is evidence of fraud by the modelers, imo.
      Here is some of the evidence, from conversations I had with Douglas Hoyt over the last decade:
      Re aerosols:
      Fabricated aerosol data was used in the models cited by the IPCC to force-hindcast the natural global cooling from ~1940-1975). Here is the evidence.
      Re Dr. Douglas Hoyt: Here are his publications:.
      Best, Allan
      We’ve known the warmists’ climate models were false alarmist nonsense for a long time.
      As I wrote (above) in 2006:
      “I suspect that both the climate computer models and the input assumptions are not only inadequate, but in some cases key data is completely fabricated – for example, the alleged aerosol data that forces models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975…. …the modelers simply invented data to force their models to history-match; then they claimed that their models actually reproduced past climate change quite well; and then they claimed they could therefore understand climate systems well enough to confidently predict future catastrophic warming?”,
      Allan MacRae (03:23:07) 28/06/2009 [excerpt]
      Repeating Hoyt : “In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly.”
      Here is an email received from Douglas Hoyt [in 2009 – my comments in square brackets]:
      It [aerosol numbers used in climate models] comes from the modelling work of Charlson where total aerosol optical depth is modeled as being proportional to industrial activity.
      [For example, the 1992 paper in Science by Charlson, Hansen et al]
      or [the 2000 letter report to James Baker from Hansen and Ramaswamy]
      where it says [para 2 of covering letter] “aerosols are not measured with an accuracy that allows determination of even the sign of annual or decadal trends of aerosol climate forcing.”
      Let’s turn the question on its head and ask to see the raw measurements of atmospheric transmission that support Charlson.
      Hint: There aren’t any, as the statement from the workshop above confirms.
      There are actual measurements by Hoyt and others that show NO trends in atmospheric aerosols, but volcanic events are clearly evident.
      So Charlson, Hansen et al ignored these inconvenient aerosol measurements and “cooked up” (fabricated) aerosol data that forced their climate models to better conform to the global cooling that was observed pre~1975.
      Voila! Their models could hindcast (model the past) better using this fabricated aerosol data, and therefore must predict the future with accuracy. (NOT)
      That is the evidence of fabrication of the aerosol data used in climate models that (falsely) predict catastrophic humanmade global warming.
      And we are going to spend trillions and cripple our Western economies based on this fabrication of false data, this model cooking, this nonsense?
      Allan MacRae
      September 28, 2015 at 10:34 am
      More from Doug Hoyt in 2006:
      Answer: Probably no. Please see Douglas Hoyt’s post below. He is the same D.V. Hoyt who authored/co-authored the four papers referenced below.
      Douglas Hoyt:
      July 22nd, 2006 at 5:37 am
      Measurements of aerosols did not begin in the 1970s. There were measurements before then, but not so well organized. However, there were a number of pyrheliometric measurements made and it is possible to extract aerosol information from them by the method described in:
      Hoyt, D. V., 1979. The apparent atmospheric transmission using the pyrheliometric ratioing techniques. Appl. Optics, 18, 2530-2531.
      The pyrheliometric ratioing technique is very insensitive to any changes in calibration of the instruments and very sensitive to aerosol changes.
      Here are three papers using the technique:
      Hoyt, D. V. and C. Frohlich, 1983. Atmospheric transmission at Davos, Switzerland, 1909-1979. Climatic Change, 5, 61-72.
      Hoyt, D. V., C. P. Turner, and R. D. Evans, 1980. Trends in atmospheric transmission at three locations in the United States from 1940 to 1977. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108, 1430-1439.
      Hoyt, D. V., 1979. Pyrheliometric and circumsolar sky radiation measurements by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1923 to 1954. Tellus, 31, 217-229.
      In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly. There are other studies from Belgium, Ireland, and Hawaii that reach the same conclusions. It is significant that Davos shows no trend whereas the IPCC models show it in the area where the greatest changes in aerosols were occurring.
      There are earlier aerosol studies by Hand and in other in Monthly Weather Review going back to the 1880s and these studies also show no trends.
      So when MacRae (#321) says: “I suspect that both the climate computer models and the input assumptions are not only inadequate, but in some cases key data is completely fabricated – for example, the alleged aerosol data that forces models to show cooling from ~1940 to ~1975. Isn’t it true that there was little or no quality aerosol data collected during 1940-1975, and the modelers simply invented data to force their models to history-match; then they claimed that their models actually reproduced past climate change quite well; and then they claimed they could therefore understand climate systems well enough to confidently predict future catastrophic warming?”, he close to the truth.
      Douglas Hoyt:
      July 22nd, 2006 at 10:37 am
      Re #328
      “Are you the same D.V. Hoyt who wrote the three referenced papers?” Yes.
      “Can you please briefly describe the pyrheliometric technique, and how the historic data samples are obtained?”
      The technique uses pyrheliometers to look at the sun on clear days. Measurements are made at air mass 5, 4, 3, and 2. The ratios 4/5, 3/4, and 2/3 are found and averaged. The number gives a relative measure of atmospheric transmission and is insensitive to water vapor amount, ozone, solar extraterrestrial irradiance changes, etc. It is also insensitive to any changes in the calibration of the instruments. The ratioing minimizes the spurious responses leaving only the responses to aerosols.
      I have data for about 30 locations worldwide going back to the turn of the century. Preliminary analysis shows no trend anywhere, except maybe Japan. There is no funding to do complete checks.

      • Ron Clutz; micro6500:
        This section from the paper is comparing interaction between multiple oscillating parameters. Quote “In physical terms, coupling is a property of an individual oscillator’s phase relative to the phases of other oscillators. When two oscillators’ phases lock – that is, they retain a fixed relationship for a sufficiently long time – then, regardless of the phase lag between them, those oscillators are considered coupled.
        The theory of synchronised chaos predicts that in many cases when such systems synchronise, an increase in coupling between the oscillators may destroy the synchronous state and alter the system’s behaviour.”
        However before they reach a state of ‘altering the system’s behaviour’, other factors may kick in, leading to major and drastic changes. The 1930 in Ron’s figure is a mild one, when the Great Plains became a dust bowl. But going back in time 5500bce was the sudden drying of the Sahara (Peter DeMenocal). And there were others. On a long time period, this thread has many examples of trip points: see fig 1.

        • That type of mixing is used extensively in electronics, radio mixers, PLL’s.
          So each ocean has it’s own circulation period, and they all couple in the Southern ocean, and Atlantic and Pacific also couple in the Arctic. They all get pulsed by the moons gravity adding that period.
          Then water vapor created in the warmer latitudes is blown poleward to cool and condense out as rain or snow. Land air temps just follow dew point.

          • Don’t underestimate.
            The mixing rate is closely related to the evaporation rate, which determines how much warmth is allowed through the atmosphere

          • Don’t underestimate.
            The mixing rate is closely related to the evaporation rate, which determines how much warmth is allowed through the atmosphere

            I’ve seen some data showing the connection between trade winds and sea surface temps, which then get translated into air temps downwind. And the evap rate is Natures flow battery storing Solar during the day to keep the planet warmer at night.

  5. What’s fascinating is the authors discovering that the NAO and ENSO are coupled. This is the first time I came across that idea. From the very beginning, the author(s) assumed that the strength and frequencies of ENSO changes are driven by global temperature variations, and not the other way around (that is, it is ENSO that drives global temperatures).
    The plot thickens.

    • Are you serious Mosher? It’s another nail in the coffin of the incorrect CO2 as temperature regulator theory

    • Mr. Mosher,
      From the conclusion: “The argument was that in times when aerosols were ‘winning’, the
      Earth would cool, while in times when carbon dioxide effects were more dominant,
      the Earth would warm. The results presented here refute this arbitrary assumption ….”
      I prefer to concentrate only on this portion of the conclusion and if anybody brings up any other points I will throw out some meaningless cryptic crap that can be interpreted in numerous ways. After that I will put my fingers in my ears and say “nah nah nah nah”. Then, as I am smarter than all else, I will proudly cherish my win.
      (you can focus on, “While humans may play a role in climate change …” and then do the same thing as me if you want to.)

    • Nothing here for skeptics

      Since you think the modern warming is from co2, of course that’s what you’d think.
      Unless you don’t really think that.
      Anyone paying attention knows the modern temperature record is the results of the water vapor distribution over the surface, not changes to co2.
      Which is it Steve?
      Is the modern temp record from natural cycles or Co2?
      And why do you guys always show forcing for the noncondensing GHG’s, and leave out the condensing GHG(or only show long averages where changes disappear as well), when never in human history has there been a time when there wasn’t vast quantities of the condensing GHG in the atm, acting as a working fluid storing and releasing energy daily.

      Nothing here for skeptics

      Nope, nothing at all.

      • He’s like an old time cop with a body leaking blood all over the ground. “Nothing to see here. Move along”

      • Micro,
        I took some time to examine a previous post of yours in some detail and I was quite impressed with your conceptual breakdown and associated information. Could you explain briefly how your understanding relates to multi-decade cycles in the weather? Also, my take on your material is that daily processes of heat rejection on the nighttime side of the planet are both mediated and accelerated by moisture and its latent heat component, and that this process, in total, vastly overwhelms any heat retention effect of CO2. Could you comment on that, please?

        • That’s it! Water during the night cycle is many time more powerful than co2, and it varies. And congratulations not many get it.
          So basically oceans store warm water, warm waters emit more water vapor, winds blow water vapor pipes are to cool.
          Oceans are large capacitors, and have natural gyres, each with its own period, connected to other pools with their own cycles. So you end up with lots of mixing of various periods.
          And then you place that water vapor over the different hemispheres, which respond differently because of the very different land masses.
          Then you got the Sun…………

          • Micro
            You are right about the scale of the thermal effect of water vapour but that just modifies the thermal effect of convective overturning within an atmosphere.
            Descending air warms up adiabatically even if no water vapour is present so the effect of water vapour is simply to make the rate of convective overturning less rapid than would otherwise be necessary to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium within the atmosphere.

          • The surface behaves very differently but only because of surface cooling characteristics. For deserts with low humidity the surface cools fast and creates an inversion layer but above that layer you still have descending air that is warming adiabatically.
            It is the adiabatic warming of descending air that creates the greenhouse effect but water vapour modifies the rate of descent required to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium.

          • I do not believe that matches the data. Well that could describe what’s happening somewhere overhead, but at the surface it’s all timed with absolute and relative humidities, that would define how many moles of water are condensing/re-evaporating. BTW, grass cools very very fast. In fact frequently below air temps covered in dew.

          • What matters globally is what happens above the inversion layer.
            All that the inversion layer achieves is to divert the descending warming air laterally so that it reaches the surface elsewhere. Horizontal winds neutralise the effect of the inversion layer.

          • Not most nights, at least inland(neohio). It’s calm. And globally there just under a 98% correlation between min temp and dew point over 79 million station records.

          • It isn’t calm above the inversion layer, winds there flow laterally.
            In tropical regions water vapour prevents or minimises the development of inversion layers because water vapour is lighter than air.
            Your water vapour description is correct but only part of the global scenario.
            If there were no water vapour speeding up energy transmission to space the rate of convective overturning would have to be faster so that energy in the atmosphere could be returned to the surface fast enough for radiation to space from the surface rather than from within the atmosphere.
            That is the only way that hydrostatic equilibrium could be maintained without water vapour.
            Mars is a good example. Without water vapour convective overturning has to be more vigorous so that despite low atmospheric mass we see periodic huge dust storms around the planet.

          • They could very well be blowing. It since work is transporting heat around, we have to be careful how we count, I think we should stick to the surface. Plus there’s impact from the ground, and the cloud layer, it’s all different.
            And there’s a lot of enthalpy, actually deserts have half the tropics, but drop twice as much at night.

          • Oh, it’s the surface, we live here, not in the inversion layer. It’s part of how the surface cools, it’s likely the last point of emission for some wavelengths. But it is likely the hot(cooling) end of a hot pipe.

      • I’m trying to follow this thread but I have very little time right now and will have to come back to it. I think we have to remember to be careful when talking about adiabatic “warming” or “heating” as an adiabatic temperature rise takes place without any increase in thermal energy/molecule. It is a temperature rise without corresponding heat increase. I honestly don’t think a lot of actual climate scientists understand this. Nor do they seem interested in humidity (relative or absolute)as it relates to enthalpy.
        I understand that the recent warming we experienced in many parts of the world from 1980 to 2000 manifested as higher nighttime lows without much in the way of higher daytime highs. I would expect this is very much a product of humidity profiles and very relevant to Micro’s information and analysis.

    • Mowh,
      Nothing except precisely what we’ve been saying since 1977.
      The conclusion had to include language showing obeisance to the Church of CACA in order to get published. Doesn’t mean a thing. Only the conclusion that natural factors at the very least far outweigh any and all human effects on climate change matters.

    • Steven Mosher: Read the conclusion.
      Nothing here for skeptics.

      In the paper there is plenty for skeptics. It represents an important stage in the development of explanations of “natural causes” of oscillations in global temperature measurements.

    • Nothing here for skeptics, mosh? What’s “here” is that if there is a natural componant to warming, then ECS is nowhere near your beloved 3C. (“nothing here” my a**)…

    • Read the conditions of the grants that supported this research. Even if only one small grant among the lot states that the research must support efforts to understand AGW and the secretary meaning is to state somewhere that it exists, the author has no choice but to include it. Have you ever gotten a research grant? With conditions? I have read many. And did research with conditions that had to be met because the grant said so.

  6. The average depth of the ocean is 12,100 feet. The total weight of the atmosphere is equal to the weight of 33 feet of that ocean. Since temperature of the ocean abyss is something like 0-3 degrees Celsius what can you say you understand about the earth’s temperature when your primarily looking at surface AIR temperatures. Only a tiny change in the top 500 feet of the ocean would be equivalent to a drastic change in the earth’s atmospheric temperatures. I think it has been thought that the oceans are stable enough to be disregarded when thinking about and modeling Earth’s climate. What’s the evidence for such an assumption? Furthermore where is the energy that sustains the cold of the ocean abyss coming from? I don’t see it in the energy diagrams I’ve been shown.

  7. The author is correct.
    Recently I analyzed the Atlantic basin ACE index. I saw this figure on GWPF.!AkPliAI0REKhgZMBhxNxvW_rfO_o6A
    I found the raw data and the first thing I did was use Dr. Evans’ Optimal Fourier Transform (OFT) analysis on it before processing through my own cyclic analysis procedure. I used the output of the OFT as inputs.!AkPliAI0REKhgZJ_jmMehICaZ8iaSA
    After the cyclic analysis I got this.!AkPliAI0REKhgZMAOFvShMaoucsHWA
    Note the 62-year multidecadal oscillation. it’s everywhere. I used 50 cycles to get that result. With only the first nine cycles I got this.!AkPliAI0REKhgZMCTw6-OE8JetToJA
    Here is an abbreviated table of the results. It does look like a lunar cycle is in there too.!AkPliAI0REKhgZJ-Mbudlen2UL5B1g

  8. Is it my imagination or are there more papers and publications on non-AGW causes for “global warming” of late. If this trend continues expect “believers” and those financially invested in AGW will take persecutions to a new level.

    • “… published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation” Problem is the CAGW crowd’s confirmation bias tell them that anything published by the GWPF is just junk and to be totally ignored. I doubt if they even read it, much less discuss it or reply to it.

  9. But Michael Mann and his accolytes did away with all that inconvenient history, so the temperature is due to CO2 levels only./s

  10. I can’t access Both google chrome and Firefox report security issues that prevent access.
    “The website tried to negotiate an inadequate level of security. uses security technology that is outdated and vulnerable to attack. An attacker could easily reveal information which you thought to be safe. The website administrator will need to fix the server first before you can visit the site.

    Google Chrome:
    “This site can’t be reached
    The webpage at might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

    They should do something about it.

  11. In 2016 – Mann concluded in a study that the pause was not predictible because the ocean cysles were unpredictible
    Like crap – the ocean cycles were showing up promeintly in the temp records since the 1850’s – The “climate – we’re smarter than everyone else Scientists” just would not admit that they ignored what all the skeptics saw.

    • What kind of science is that? Unpredictable means insufficiently understood. To any real scientist, anomalous observational data is a guidepost to a new mystery and better understanding. For these AGW potato-heads, it is bad ju-ju. Here lie monsters!!! Every time they take the field they set new highs in low downness. Pathetic. And Mann is the most pathetic of them all. Agressively pathetic! Think about that!

  12. “An eminent atmospheric scientist says that natural cycles may be largely responsible for climate changes seen in recent decades. ”
    Sure but not the anthropogenic climate change. This can be found in the homogenised data and only in the homogenised data.

  13. In fact, most of the changes in the global climate over the period of the instrumental record seem to have their origins in the North Atlantic.

    At last some common sense. Tsonis is a proper scientist at least. His work has been covered at Climate Etc. several times.
    When you see a signal that is stronger in one place than another The first place you start looking for the cause it where it is strongest.
    The most obvious conclusion to the mysterious “Arctic amplification” of warming would be that the changes in climate originate there, not that they start somewhere else and get bigger as they go along.

    • Without the “Arctic amplification” the vikings would not have settled on Greenland. The “Arctic amplification” is not a sign of a newer time, but indeed a sign of every natural warming of the northern hemisphere. With this you can explain also the MWP and the opposite, the LIA and also the “modern warming”. But you cannot explain both with CO2. That would have to be thought of?

    • I agree totally. I believe this is a result of cyclicality of ice coverage in the Arctic due to the insulating effect of ice and the simultaneous protection of the surface from wind. This is probably the only place in the entire climate sytem where there is an actual “tipping point”.
      Extensive ice coverage holds in heat in the ocean water and reduces wave action that destroys ice. As heat accumulation under the ice causes the top waters to warm the winter ice accumulation becomes thinner. At a certain point the wind becomes the dominant factor and the Arctic enters a long heat dumping phase.
      The ocean cools for years in this mode until the ice begins to dominate again. Once the ice is reestablished it keeps the wind from producing the ice destroying wind. As water from the N. Pacific infiltrates the Arctic, heat begins once again under the ice.
      There is ample evidence of this medium term cyclicality in the records and no reason to think the recent warming is anything different. The Arctic is now at reduced ice conditions and thus dumping heat. This is the cause of the pause. I suspect we are close to the end of this phase as ice extent is now in recovery. We may see some cooling once the ice nears maximum extent in the next decade or so.

    • i wish more people would look at it from that perspective. i am not the sharpest tool in the box but it constantly amazes me the approach climate science takes.

  14. I saw a documentary that mentioned Antarctic BRINE. Very cold, very salty water that can take thousands of years to travel from Antarctica northward which cools that ocean. Anyone know anything more about this? My limited knowledge would lead me to believe that our CURRENT ocean temps may be due to geologic forced set in motion HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of years ago.

    • The deep ocean is near freezing for a simple reason. As polar sea ice forms in NH and SH winters it exudes salt. The seasonal sea ice is mostly freshwater. This causes the adjacent ocean water to to become saltier, so denser. It sinks to the bottom, at basically the polar freezing point temperature. Every year this cold dense water gets ‘pushed’ toward the equator by the next winter pulse. Osmosis guarantees that the saline gradient weakens with time. The bottom water eventully gets pushed back up to the surface by upwellings along continental shelves. The entire process is called the thermohaline circulation, with a round trip taking about 800 years.

    • Barbee ==> Did you look at Tsonis’ paper? In it he speaks to systems that manifest coupling and synchronization over decades.
      There are certainly factors in the non-linear dynamical chaotic system that is Earth’s climate that are of very very low frequency, oscillating in time scales of multiple-thousands of years, which we see in the very-long-term record as Ice Ages and Interglacials.
      If CliSci will get its act together as a field, and quit hobby-horsing on CO2 concentrations, it might find out about some of these factors in a helpful way.

    • We are, in general terms, in an interglacial period of an ice age. I would suggest that our deep ocean temperatures are quite cold, relative to historical patterns going back beyond 2 mya, when we entered the current ice age. The deep oceans certainly have not recovered in temperature from the last glacial period. There is insufficient excess heat entering the system to have accomplished that in the last 8000 or so years. Heat content of the oceans is truly massive.

      • The ocean currents are a counterbalance to the earth’s climate and transport heat to the poles, where they are launched into space and transport cold water near the equator. This is a cycle without which the climate on Earth would be much more extreme. But these bunch of currents also involve changes in the thickness and displacement of the currents called the oceano cycles. It is clear from a healthy human understanding that such a change must have an impact on the climate of the earth. Also with regard to the CO2 content, if the main intake areas change, if more or less plankton is formed and, of course, largely for the moisture content of the air, which is to make up according to AGW 2/3 of the global warming.

    • Barbee, some oceanography 101 that you might find interesting. Sea ice forms in both NH and SH winters. It is mostly fresh water, so the salt is exuded as a concentrated brine. That brine makes the adjacent ocean surface saltier hence denser. The higher density makes that essentially freezing temperature surface water sink to the bottom. Every winter, a new pulse pushing the older pulses toward the equator (and beyond). Now, osmotic diffusion insures the saltier water does not stay so forever, and it will eventually resurface as just cold, nutrient rich seawater in upwellings. This process is called the thermohaline circulation, and it has a round trip time of about 800 years. But because the trigger is the freeze point of ocean water, it actually carries little to no information about past climatic conditions, as we have no way to discern differential upwelling centuries later. Read up on thermohaline circulation for a better understanding than this too brief summary.

      • I would expect that the 800 year transit time is an average or relates to an area that is better understood. Wouldn’t that dwell time be pretty contingent of the specifics of the pool size at depth and the rate of current flows, etc.?

      • Harmsworth, the 800 years as represented in ice cores is for the duration of the rising temps coming out of a glacial. Heading back into a glacial, the round trip, as istvan put it, takes thousands of years. This layman’s uncorroborated guess says that as we head back into a glacial the surface waters are progressively cooler relative to upwelling waters. This slows down easterly walker cell trade winds, hence the longer transit time. i have no idea whether or not i’m just ‘blowing smoke’ here, as istvan is also one to say, as i’ve never actually seen this topic adequately broached. Nor has anyone ever challenged me on this (but on that, there’s always hope for the future… ☺).

  15. Absolutely Brilliant ! No idea if it is right — but Tsonis starts off right on the theory:

    “First we must consider dynamical systems, chaos theory and fractals.”

    Why must we “first consider…”? Because the Earth Climate System “is a coupled non-linear chaotic system” (h/t IPCC). See my Chaos and Climate series for backgrounding on chaos.
    What Tsonis is on about is the coupling and synchronization of four of the chaotic subsystems of Earth’s climate — the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the NAO, ENSO, and the North Pacific Index (NPI) — how they are inputs for one another, affecting their individual behavior and thus their collective behavior — which we see as the whole Earth Climate.
    I think that Curry and Wyatts “Stadium Wave” theory will be found to be a manifestation of Tsonis’s coupling and synchronization concept.

    • When Hansen hatched CACA in 1988, climatologists, atmospheric and oceanic scientists didn’t know the PDO existed. It was discovered by a WA fisheries biologist in 1996.
      Progress in real climatology has come only slowly thanks to so-called “climate scientists”, ie GIGO computer gamers.

    • It’s worse than that. Our use of fossil fuels have also created a distortion in the space-time continuum causing ocean cycles to appear in the distant past where there were none before. Luckily, climate scientists are aware of these distortions and have cooled the past in the official temperature records to make things right again. /sarc

  16. In Nicholas Nassem Taleb’s Antifragile he talks about the phenomena of lecturers teaching birds to fly. As in birds know how to fly and humans also know various kinds of knowledge without having detailed theory behind it. Only later to do we fill in the blanks. So quite often organisms and systems can get on doing what they do and we see them doing what they do for many decades and eons without making it obvious what all the whistles and bells are.
    The dilemma is what you attribute changes to your pet theory and then go around trying to convince people that you know how it works.
    As with most complex systems if you propose to predict changes in output by modifying an input you need to at least make sure you have all the inputs (and feedbacks) first. Otherwise you’re just a gambler. And in climate change science, you’re doing with it with Other People’s Money.

    • OPM is all Climate Change is really about. The science got bought as natural variability is a penniless pauper for an academic climate modeler.

      • A cartoon idea for Josh.
        Natural variability man is a penniless homeless bum with nothing to offer the hungry PhD climate scientist-Mann. Along comes Mr CO2-demon selling RobberBaron, pockets stuffed full of cash, (think Top Hat Carnegie or Vanderbilt) looking for credibility to purchase.
        To Who does the climate scientist sell his credibility?

  17. I’m just an old engineer but many of us have believed for some time that the key variable in the chaotic system we call climate is the 70 % of the earth’s surface which is covered by water to an average depth of 12, 000 ft. It just makes sense. It accumulates energy and over time redistributes it where, when and how it so desires. If we ever figure out the where, when and how we’ll better understand the true thermostat for our climate much better. The multitude of other variables certainly play a part the key has to be the oceans. This paper reinforces that concept.

    • Jim,
      It’s Per Bak’s sand pile chaos dynamics. Deterministically predicting which additional sand grain will lead to a collapse (rapid sand re-distribution) of the entire pile Is not possible. As a critical angle is approached, predicting comes down to probabilities.
      For the oceans, which additional KJ of heat causes a regime shift (a rapid shift in heat transport) in one circulation pattern comes down to probabilities as critical states are approached. And the oceans are loosely coupled to each other. Its a multi-spring (or pendulum) dynamics problem.
      And the 1980’s-1999 warming period was exploited by the Alarmists to push a Socialist agenda. Consensus pseudoscience, with a grant dependency, in climate scientologists now sustains this very human failing.

  18. Nothing to do with the paper’s content, only a FYI on the meaning of El Nino. In Spanish, el nino (not capitalized) does mean “the boy.” But when capitalized, which it always is when talking about ENSO related phenomena, it means “The Christ Child.” El Nino was named by Peruvian fisherman who discovered it during the Christmas season and gave it the season’s namesake. It’s bad form to mix up the two meanings, if you ask me.
    As the Christ child was a little boy, it was also bad form to name the cooling phenomena that sometimes follows El Nino events “La Nina” as if there is a female opposite of Jesus. In that context, there is no La Nina. It would have been better to called the warm and cool phases, El Nino calor y El Nino frio, (El Nino Hot and El Nino Cold) or perhaps, or El Nino y El Nino Despues (after El Nino).
    Getting real pendantic, consider the difference between “la papa” (the potato) and “El Papa” (the Pope).

  19. Hasn’t everyone caught on by now? The greenhouse gas effect doesn’t exist in any measureable amount in Earth’s atmosphere, pesky laws of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.

      • Yes, any greenhouse effect from radiative gases must be zero otherwise they would cause a failure of hydrostatic equilibrium and the atmosphere would be lost.
        The greenhouse effect is actually a consequence of gases convecting up and down adiabatically within a convecting atmosphere.
        As such the only variables at a given level of external insolation are atmospheric mass and the strength of the gravitational field.
        Since the level of insolation can vary as a result of solar induced changes in global cloudiness the surface temperature also varies with solar activity at a given atmospheric mass and strength of gravitational field.
        Note that it is the weight of atmospheric mass on the ocean surface that fixes the amount of energy that the oceans can hold at any given level of insolation.
        Although many will deny it, that is the answer to the current confusion 😉

  20. ‘humans may play a role’
    the irony is that humans may play a role but nobody has figured out which one it is, exactly…
    My results show cooling where they shopped the trees (e.g. Tandil, ARG) and warming where they changed desert into Greenland (e.g. Las Vegas, USA)
    [looking at Minima]
    so if you want global warming to stop you have to stop planting crops, grass, trees and whatever you else want to try that is green…..
    good luck with that effort!

    • I have been telling that to poorly-educated alarmists for some time: Want to end ‘man-made’ global warming? Stop feeding half the planet.

  21. I’ve been telling you all that for the past ten years with the additional proposition that the varying energy supply for those ocean cycles is caused by solar effects altering global cloudiness and thus the amount of solar energy able to enter the oceans.

    • wildeco2014
      and I think nothing much will change until the big freeze sets in…
      [the altering cloudiness having to do with substances formed TOA by a varying amount of the more energetic particles coming from the sun?]

      • Yes, in general terms. I’ m not sure which wavelengths or which particles have the greatest effect on the ozone creation / destruction balance in the stratosphere so as to change the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles so as to change global cloudiness and thereby affect the ocean cycles but that doesn’ t matter at this stage.
        The great thing is that recent work by others is substantiating my various hypotheses.

      • The highest energy UV rays both make and break ozone, to include all the UVC and most of the UVB. Least energetic UVB and all UVA make it to the surface, where they’re capable of penetrating oceans more deeply than visible light.

  22. As is to be expected on a water planet, with an atmosphere so much less dense than oceans.
    Yesterday Arctic sea ice grew. That might have been the turn for the year, although late summer or early fall losses are still possible, if there is a storm that piles up ice, as happened in 2010. If September 13 were this year’s low, then 2017 edged out 2010 for eighth lowest year, ahead of 2012, 2007, 2016, 2011, 2015, 2008 and 2010. Since 2012, Arctic sea ice has been growing, as would be expected given its cyclic history of waxing and waning, ruled mainly by oceanic oscillations, and not so much by an extra molecule of CO2 in 10,000 dry air molecules.

    • sixto
      unless I am misunderstanding
      – please help me right –
      while the oceans’ T never get higher in T than about 30-35C
      how come clouds are formed when the temperature of boiling water is 100C?
      I surmised that clouds are formed because a tiny water layer on top of the oceans (TOO) gets heated to 100C. Now what type of radiation could do that and how could it vary so that a change in climate becomes visible? (mainly Gleissberg)
      this is how I see things
      lower magnetic force fields => more energetic particles being able to escape the sun => more ozone, peroxides and NxOx formed TOA => less UV coming in=> less heat TOO to form clouds, more heat escapes : it is globally cooling

    • Henry,
      Clouds form because tiny condensation nuclei in the air attract molecules of H2O to form liquid water droplets. Water vapor condenses on the particle, forming liquid from gas.
      Water doesn’t need to be boiling for vapor to evaporate from it. Boiling means that evaporation is happening rapidly throughout the whole mass of a liquid. Water molecules escape from the surface of water all the time, even when it’s frozen, in which case the vaporization is called ablation.
      H2O is lighter than air.

      • PS: The water droplets in clouds can also freeze to ice crystals, too, of course.
        You’ve probably observed ablation in your freezer. It’s why ice cubes left for a while get smaller. And why water ice forms atop old ice cream.

      • Sublimation is ablation by vaporization. There are other ablative processes, but when it is by vaporization, it’s sublimation.

  23. WE already knew this – here it is, without the disclaimers:
    …, here is the plot by Bill Illis that shows the “spikiness” of the tropical temperature, which tracks and lags Nino3,4 temperature by ~3 months.
    My simpler model, which has the same pattern, shows global temperature tracking and lagging Nino3,4 temperature by ~4 months. The cooling impact of major volcanoes in 1982 and 1991 is apparent.
    The mechanism is that increasing Nino3,4 temperature increases tropical atmospheric water vapour, the PRIMARY greenhouse gas, and the tropics warm, and the rest of the Earth warms ~one month later. ENSO variability drives Nino3,4 temperatures. Longer term, the integral of solar activity is probably the primary driver of global temperature.
    Then there is incontrovertible observation that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales, from ~~300 to 800 years in the ice core record to ~9 months in the modern data record, on a shorter time scale. This suggest, like other evidence, that the sensitivity of climate to increasing atmospheric CO2 is very small, and global warming alarmism is nonsense.
    In the modern data record, the velocity dCO2/dt changes ~contemporaneously with global temperature, and its integral atmospheric CO2 lags temperature by about 9 months. Other drivers of atmospheric CO2 include fossil fuel combustion, land use changes, etc.
    If climate sensitivity to CO2 (“ ECS”) was significant, CO2 would not lag temperature at all measured time scales and this close relationship would not be apparent in the data record. I wrote the original paper on this observation in January 2008 and it is finally getting some attention. See the reference in my above post.
    Not all that complicated, is it, for a “non-linear, chaotic, blah blah blah” climate system?
    The complicated climate computer models used by the alarmist IPCC fail to model the aforementioned real observations, and assume that CO2 is THE major driver of global climate – this assumption is false and the models produce nonsense – there is no real global warming crisis.
    Regards, Allan

  24. And why did Prof. Tsonis publish his critical study through the GWPF?
    Did he try to publish in a climate journal and get pushed aside by the usual angry exclusionist review process?

    • Pat,
      One would suggest that this “study” was not published in a peer reviewed journal because it completely lacks substance. There is no evidence for any assertion, no suggestion of how the oceanic oscillations might affect the climate, no suggestions as for the magnitude of the effect. And we are meant to take his word for it about when the systems are coupled and when they are not. The “study” does not even shown that there is a correlation between the oscillations and the temperature it just plots graphs and claims they look similar.
      If people on this blog were to be as critical about this “report” as they are about anything published in favour of global warming then they would be having a field day ripping it to shreds. Instead we get nonsense like “read the conclusion” rather than read and study the report and try and see if it is right.

      • jerry, you seemed to have missed about 80% of the discussion on this page. Care to start from the top and work down?

  25. At least Tsonis put ” ” around “pause” …..

    A “pause” implies a KNOWN resumption, e.g., a “pause” as used in musical notation.

    warming has STOPPED (to any meaningfully, significant, enduring, degree)

    Stopped — STOPPED — STOPPED.
    To use “pause” is careless thinking/writing …..
    an intentional supporting of the AGWer’s agenda…..
    AGWer: Of COURSE it is a “pause!” Warming will resume any second, now. We KNOW this.
    Science Realist: How do you KNOW this?
    AGW: Models.
    SR: In other words, you don’t know this.

    • The globe has been a warming phase since c. AD 1690, ie during the depths of the LIA in the Maunder Minimum, but remains in a long-term cooling trend of more than 3000 years. However since the end of LIA in the mid-19th century, there have been both warming and cooling cycles within the secular warming trend. There was a warming cycle in the 19th century, then a cooling cycle across the century boundary, then a warming cycle c. 1915-45, then a cooling cycle until the PDO flip of 1977, then a natural warming cycle of about 30 years. The “Pause” was the transition from warming to cooling.
      With the heat blown off by the Super El Nino of 2015-16, the cooling should be in evidence during the next two decades or so. Arctic ice is already growing, having bottomed in 2012.

      • Sounds about right. We seem to be in a fairly neutral phase right now (the pause). Ice is growing and the Arctic regions will soon change over from a marine climate to frozen wasteland mode. That is where the bulk of the warming has been felt and where it will soon go away. Trapped under Arctic ice for another 30 or so years.

      • Yup. The cycles are roughly 30 years, but it’s not quite that regular, as various factors are at play.
        We do know for sure however that the postwar cooling cycle ended in 1977, with the dramatic PDO mode switch.

  26. I think the Tsonis paper would benefit from a long and detailed technical appendix, including mathematics and computational details.
    Consider this: A network is a system of interacting agents.
    In their subsequent network, what does “interacting” consist of? Presumably heat transfer, but how about mass transfer? How mathematically do they represent, and then how computationally do they compute, the “interacting”?
    And this: To answer these questionsWang et al. split the network of four modes into its
    six component pairs and investigated the contribution of each pair during each synchronisation
    event and in the overall coupling of the network.51

    synchronisation was associated with an increase
    in coupling strength.

    What exactly is “coupling”, how is it represented mathematically, and how is it computed? Further on, how are changes in “coupling strength” represented mathematically, and how computed?
    In pharmacokinetics and the analysis of biological oscillations (examples cited by Tsonis), the mathematics are a system of differential equations, and the “coupling” is represented by the scaled value of one state variable being included in the derivative of at least one other. A change in coupling strength can be represented by having the “scaling” in my preceding statement be a function of yet another state variable (e.g. expression of a gene, or temperature of the system.)
    You might say that the paper whetted my appetite for more detail, but I’d like his summary of all the math instead of having to read all of the cited papers.

  27. Distinguished Dr. Anastasios Tsonis had to wait until going emeritus to publish this important result, and not in a standard journal. Even after writing a conclusion that paid obeisance to and genuflected toward the Great God CACA of human sacrifice.
    Shows how degraded, debauched and corrupt “climate science” is.

  28. Andy wrote: “These climatic cycles are entirely natural, and can tell us nothing about the effect of carbon dioxide emissions. But they should inspire caution over the slowing trajectory of global warming we have seen in recent decades.”
    However, none of these chaotic phenomena explain why decadally averaged GMSTs are now at least 0.7 degC warmer today than during the pause from 1950-1970. There is no precedent in the instrumental period suggesting that multi-decadal variability is this large. (You can’t go back to warm and cold periods like the LIA and MWP and find changes this large, but we don’t know if they were unforced variability like the ENSO and AMO.)
    More importantly, EBMs afford roughly the same ECS and TCR for many different periods: the individual and combined decades from 1970 to 2010 (Otto) and the 65 and 130 year period used by Lewis and Curry. EBMs assume that all warming is forced warming. If multi-decadal variability (chaotic like ENSO, or oscillatory like AMO) were the most important player in warming, different periods would produce different estimates for climate sensitivity.

    • However, none of these chaotic phenomena explain why decadally averaged GMSTs are now at least 0.7 degC warmer today than during the pause from 1950-1970.

      Because the hemisphere’s are asymmetrical, and the oceans distribute their water vapor asymmetrically, and land responds differently than ocean to water vapor and sun.
      If you lived in the path of the breeze blowing water vapor off a 100F cooling tower, and the wind changed direction, your average temp would change significantly.
      That’s all it is. Just big pools of water that move over long periods.

      • Micor6500: Redistributing heat on the surface via winds merely moves heat around on the surface and won’t change GMST. Exchanging heat between the surface and deep ocean CAN change GMST without any radiative forcing. This is unforced or internal variability. ENSO is a classic example.
        However, if internal variability were a major player in 20th century climate change, estimates of ECS and TCR from EBMs would vary. (The influence of the 65-year AMO was eliminated by Lewis and Curry, by analyzing only 65-year periods.)

        • No, you’re wrong Frank, land responds to the same air temps different that water. Air temps over water don’t rise as much as over land. And the hemispheres are asymmetrical. It’s part if the reason global warming only happened in the northern hemisphere.

      • micro6500: No, you’re wrong Frank, land responds to the same air temps different that water. Air temps over water don’t rise as much as over land. And the hemispheres are asymmetrical. It’s part if the reason global warming only happened in the northern hemisphere. And EBM’s if they use the same wrong physics, are wrong too.
        Land has a lower heat capacity per unit area than the ocean, so its temperature changes more slowly.
        A few bloggers seem to think that land temperatures have barely risen in the SH, but I haven’t found their arguments very convincing. It isn’t warming in Antarctica because the GHE doesn’t operate there. (The GHE depends on temperature falling with altitude, and there is relatively little fall for most of the year in Antarctica.) For the most part, SH temperature is ocean temperature.
        Energy balance models (Otto 2013, Lewis and Curry 2014) calculate ECS from forcing, observed warming and observed ocean heat uptake (Argo). It is a slight exaggeration to say that the only physics involved is conservation of energy, so they don’t use “wrong physics”.

        • I don’t think it capacity per say, but conductivity, and that water circulates. But you then go to prove my point, when you measure each hemisphere they respond differently to the same energy input. So when the oceans themselves move warm water from the southern hemisphere to the north, GMST goes up.
          Because that warm water causes the land temps to go up, as compared to colder water.
          This is also evident in land air temps where the jet stream runs, as that helps set where the boundary between tropical air vs subpolar air masses. For me, that’s air from the gulf vs Canada, but it makes a 10-15F difference in temp. And just changing the ratio of those air masses over land will also change GMST.
          I think from the rest your post we agree.

  29. It was about 10 years ago that the first new college grads I knew came out spouting their convictions of CAGW. I researched for myself back then and came up with the sun and the oceans drive the climate, not us. Now I am thoroughly sickened at the time people waste on this matter which is a non-matter!

  30. Where in the study does it say that ocean cycles “May Be Behind Most Observed Climate Change”? I only see it stated that ocean cycles may have played “a role” in climate change or ” largely responsible for observed decadal climate variability”. Similar concepts but definitely not the same thing.

  31. sixto
    thx for ur comment
    trying to warm my pool, I find you cannot heat water more than 32 [at the 1000 m altitude here]
    so there is a point when the evaporating increases and draws so much energy that it does not matter if you put more heat into the pool.
    your suggestion leaves me to think that most clouds are formed at night, i.e. when it cools, when the sun does not shine. Hence you sometimes see vapor coming off my pool when the air is cooling. Yet, the defining rate of evaporation in the oceans would still be the heat content of the first 50 or 100 cm, or even 200cm, not so/?
    which radiation provides most of that heat of the first meter?

    • It depends on humidity levels. Humid air rises into altitudes that are cooler due to the lapse rate change. That moisture has to find particulate at dew point or lower. That varies with relative humidity.

    • Dave, the upside is that this appeared in the toronto sun. Nice little opinion piece (if they can dish it out, they had damn well better take it)…
      BTW, aren’t you “on” the UP rather than “in”? (☺)

  32. One researcher made the observation that the original radametric calculations of the climate sensivity of CO2 are too great by a factor of more than 20 because the calculations do not take into consideration that the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause a slight but very significant decrease in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere. So instead of 1.2 degrees C we are looking at a climate sensivity of CO2 of less than .06 degrees C which is a rather trivial amount. Then there is the question of H2O feedback which the AGW conjecture assumes a positive feedback causing a gain on the order of 3. But the AGW conjecture ignore’s the fact that besides being the primary greenhouse gas, H2O is a primary coolant in our atmosphere as evidenced by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less than the dry lapse rate. A more realistic gain factor caused by H2O would be 1/3 which would yield a climate sensivity of CO2 of .02 degrees C which is even more trivial. This all assumes that there is a radiant greenhouse effect however; a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, on Earth, or anywhere in the solar system. Hence the radiant greenhouse effect is really science fiction so a better value of the climate sensivity of CO2 would be 0,0 degrees C. So what ever is causing climate change, it cannot be CO2.

    • And the lapse rate has actually declined. The troposphere is warming at a rate which is 50% less than the surface (to the extent the surface numbers can be believed). The wet lapse rate has declined from 6.5C/km to 6.4C/km.

      • And the lapse rate has actually declined. The troposphere is warming at a rate which is 50% less than the surface (to the extent the surface numbers can be believed). The wet lapse rate has declined from 6.5C/km to 6.4C/km.

        I see rh dropping in the data.
        The atm can’t hold the amount of water vapor it’s carrying and it’s getting bled off.
        If the Sun isn’t keeping up with its warming, you might see something like this as it tries to restore equilibrium.

      • Which of course is totally contrary to the AGW hypothesis, in which the atmosphere must warm more and more rapidly than the surface.

  33. There is perfect correlation between the 5 x 30-yr PDO warm/cool cycles and global temp trends during the 30-yr cycles since 1850.
    The current PDO cool cycle (stated in 2008) has so far not shown a global cooling trend due to the El Niño spikes of 2009/10 and the Super El Niño of 2015/16.
    Once the 30-yr AMO cool cycle starts in earnest around 2019, the coming La Niña cycle ends in about 12 months, and solar cycles continue to collapse, I’m confident the current PDO/AMO cool cycles will lead to at least 30-years of cooling as they always have since 1850:

  34. At about 10:30 in the video , Professor Judith Curry said it all. (This was when she was still at Georgia Institute of Technology) —

    …so we are getting this growing divergence between the observations and the climate model simulation…
    …that is where I break with my colleges, I just think there is a lot more uncertainty. We are now in the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and I think that is the major thing that is causing the pause. And my understanding of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is that we could stay in the cool phase for another two decades.
    So where does that leave us in terms of thinking that this sesitivity that we’ve deduced, largely based on this warming in the last quarter of the 20th century, during that period we were in the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

    • Ivan,
      Got that backwards. AGW as the main climate driver is BS. That evidence-free assertion has been repeatedly shown false.

    • From YOUR link,Ivan is this awful torrent of words:
      “A new study evaluating models of future climate scenarios has led to the creation of the new risk categories “catastrophic” and “unknown” to characterize the range of threats posed by rapid global warming. Researchers propose that unknown risks imply existential threats to the survival of humanity.
      These categories describe two low-probability but statistically significant scenarios that could play out by century’s end, in a new study by Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a distinguished professor of climate and atmospheric sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, and his former Scripps graduate student Yangyang Xu, now an assistant professor at Texas A&M University.
      The risk assessment stems from the objective stated in the 2015 Paris Agreement regarding climate change that society keep average global temperatures “well below” a 2°C (3.6°F) increase from what they were before the Industrial Revolution.
      Even if that objective is met, a global temperature increase of 1.5°C (2.7°F) is still categorized as “dangerous,” meaning it could create substantial damage to human and natural systems. A temperature increase greater than 3°C (5.4°F) could lead to what the researchers term “catastrophic” effects, and an increase greater than 5°C (9°F) could lead to “unknown” consequences which they describe as beyond catastrophic including potentially existential threats. The specter of existential threats is raised to reflect the grave risks to human health and species extinction from warming beyond 5° C, which has not been experienced for at least the past 20 million years.”
      It is all SPECULATION!!!

      • Ok. I thought the word ‘modelling” would wind you all up. But how else are you supposed to predict the future without theoretic modelling. Everyone does forecasting – the big corporates especially – to plan for the future. Predicting AGW rates/scenarios/impacts is no different.

      • ivankinsman,
        How else to predict future climate? Study the past. There you will find no evidence of tipping points from a warm regime (interglacial) to a substantially warmer one. But you can make your PlayStation models tell you whatever you wish to hear.

      • @ ivankinsman September 16, 2017 at 11:17 am
        Everyone does forecasting – the big corporates especially – to plan for the future. Predicting AGW rates/scenarios/impacts is no different.
        And what “big corporates” would maintain it’s self in business if it followed forecasts that were shown to be so poor at prediction? Climate models are just glorified encoded guesswork with a little verification, or validation, and a very, very poor track record their ability to predict much.
        P.S. I’ve just watched a video of the CFS’s 6 monthly weather forecast and as the commentary says something like — “the first 2 months have some merit, the rest is just for fun.” which is so true.
        I doubt the climate model could do better.

      • Ivan,
        Predicting AGW rates could not possibly be more different from economic and business forecasting.
        AGW is not even measurable, and predicting its nonexistent effects has always been shown laughably wrong. How did the forecasts of global cooling from the 1970s work out?

  35. “In the past, this decadal variability was ‘modeled’ as a tug-of-war between aerosols and carbon dioxide effects. The argument was that in times when aerosols were ‘winning’ …”.
    Carbon dioxide is ‘well mixed’ in the atmosphere whereas industrial aerosols are mostly confined to the NH.
    As has been pointed out many times, unlike the NH, the SH temperature hiatus 1940 – 1980 cannot be attributed to industrial aerosols:
    I don’t know what the current explanation for the opening gap between NH and SH from ~2000, it will probably be ‘adjusted’ away in due course.

  36. Interesting Paper…
    But really is it a surprise? Recall this is a planet about 71% of which is covered in oceans the average (I know, I know….averages tell you nothing) depth of which is 12,000ft ie 2 miles give or take.
    Couple the above with variations (no matter that they are small, the impact of very small changes can be very significant over long cycles) in insolation and other really long term variables eg Milankovitch cycles, and you have a recipe for layer upon layer upon layer of cycles.
    Sometimes the cycles harmonise for anomalous peaks or troughs, sometimes they cancel out. When there is absolute proof that 400ppm of CO2 can do anything (let alone anything significant) to climate, call me….
    Until then the CAGW due to CO2 is simply a HUGE scam, perpetrated as a scare story (like the CFC scam attempt of 30 years ago) to keep the sheeple herded. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but one really does have to wonder whether there is anything in the tinfoil hat brigade’s arguments about the motives behind Agenda 21 etc.
    This CO2 scam is going to run out of steam one way or another. Mother Nature will see to it. The only good thing that will have emerged from it is that perhaps serious Papers like this one will have advanced our very limited knowledge of a very complex “system” – shame it couldn’t all have been done in a dispassionate, thoroughly, rigorously, scientific way.

    A recent paper emphasizes the importance of the Millennial Cycle and supports my earlier forecasts of a coming long term cooling .
    Harmonic Analysis of Worldwide Temperature Proxies for 2000 Years
    Horst-Joachim Lüdecke1, *, Carl-Otto Weiss2
    The Open Atmospheric Science Journal
    ISSN: 1874-2823 ― Volume 11, 2017
    Year: 2017
    Volume: 11
    First Page: 44
    Last Page: 53
    Publisher Id: TOASCJ-11-44
    DOI: 10.2174/1874282301711010044
    The Sun as climate driver is repeatedly discussed in the literature but proofs are often weak. In order to elucidate the solar influence, we have used a large number of temperature proxies worldwide to construct a global temperature mean G7 over the last 2000 years. The Fourier spectrum of G7 shows the strongest components as ~1000-, ~460-, and ~190 – year periods whereas other cycles of the individual proxies are considerably weaker. The G7 temperature extrema coincide with the Roman, medieval, and present optima as well as the well-known minimum of AD 1450 during the Little Ice Age. We have constructed by reverse Fourier transform a representation of G7 using only these three sine functions, which shows a remarkable Pearson correlation of 0.84 with the 31-year running average of G7. The three cycles are also found dominant in the production rates of the solar-induced cosmogenic nuclides 14C and 10Be, most strongly in the ~190 – year period being known as the De Vries/Suess cycle. By wavelet analysis, a new proof has been provided that at least the ~190-year climate cycle has a solar origin.”
    The paper also states “……G7, and likewise the sine representations have maxima of comparable size at AD 0, 1000, and 2000. We note that the temperature increase of the late 19th and 20th century is represented by the harmonic temperature representation, and thus is of pure multiperiodic nature. It can be expected that the periodicity of G7, lasting 2000 years so far, will persist also for the foreseeable future. It predicts a temperature drop from present to AD 2050, a slight rise from 2050 to 2130, and a further drop from AD 2130 to 2200 (see Fig. 3), upper panel, green and red curves.”
    Climate is controlled by natural cycles. Earth is just past the 2003+/- peak of a millennial cycle and the current cooling trend will likely continue until the next Little Ice Age minimum at about 2650.See the Energy and Environment paper at
    and an earlier accessible blog version at
    Here is the abstract:
    This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60+/- year and, more importantly, 1,000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver is discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak -inversion point – in the UAH6 temperature trend in about 2003. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.”
    The forecasts in Fig 12 of my paper are similar to those in Ludecke et al.
    It is well past time for a paradigm shift in the forecasting methods used by establishment climate science. The whole dangerous global warming delusion is approaching collapse

  38. Norman Page
    interesting comment you made about your new paper due..
    yet it does not seem a reply to some of us here who know there are other solar cycles as well
    most notably
    Schwabe 10.7 years
    Hale 22 years (= 1 full solar cycle)
    Gleissberg (currently at 87-88 years as I can confirm from my own results, although long term it could be ca. 100 years as it seems to skip a min. or max. every now and then, hence we had medeviel warm period and a LIA
    DeVries ca. 210 years, you claim it is now 190, based on what specific analysis?
    Eddy ca. 1000 years – everyone seems to agree on that!
    Suess (questionable as it could be related to DO events)
    De Bray ca. 2450 years , which you do not mention at all, presumably because you only looked from 0-2000 AD?
    I would appreciate your comment on my summary here.

  39. The trends of the natural cycles and usable forecasts of the timing and amplitude of the cooling which has been underway since 2004 can be captured rather simply by convolving the millennial and 60 year cycles.
    See Figs 2 – 12 at
    The key thing to note is the peak in the millennial UAH 6 temperature cycle at about 2003 in Fig 4 which correlates with the millennial peak in the solar activity natural cycle at 1991 +/- ( delay is due to the thermal inertia of the oceans) Fig 10 .The is a variable delay between the solar activity peak and the peak in other variables.
    I suggest the delay between peak solar activity and minimum sea ice volume = 21 years
    Good examples of the inflection point can be seen in Figs 11 and 12.
    Don’t be distracted by the recent El Nino .
    The UAH cooling trend in Fig. 4 and the Hadcrut4gl cooling in Fig. 5 were truncated at 2015.3 and 2014.2, respectively, because it makes no sense to start or end the analysis of a time series in the middle of major ENSO events which create ephemeral deviations from the longer term trends. By the end of August 2016, the strong El Nino temperature anomaly had declined rapidly. The cooling trend is likely to be fully restored by the end of 2019.

    • Dr Page, if I might differ with the use of thermal inertia describing these longer cycles of ocean warming. The thermal conductivity of water is fairly fast, weeks or a month or two, at least since it’s not isothermal.
      The bigger delays you’re discussing are cycle delays, the time it takes for the warm pools to cycle into some current and start to run their course through the climate system as it tries to cool.

  40. How do human bodies cool themselves, when they are really hot?
    Sweat. Little drops of water.
    Temperature regulation by water. Imagine that.
    As living beings that regulate body temperature via water, we also regulate breathing via CO2, to say nothing of the fact that our very existence is carbon based.
    Is the CO2 narrative dead yet ?

  41. It’s disappointing that Tsonis relies upon GISS global anomalies to characterize periods of positively and negatively trending temperatures, which are then tied to various oceanic cycles largely visually instead of analytically, using proven system analysis methods.

  42. Two thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered in a thick layer of liquid that moves about and has a specific heat of 4.179 (or thereabouts), and you expect us to believe that has an effect of climate and temperature?
    CO2. Gotta be.

  43. The two main sources of heat on the planet are the sun and the earth’s core.
    Even during the North American eclipse many mentioned it was cooler during the eclipse. Any 24 hour chart of temperature shows the effect of the sun. Did you see how the temperature dipped during the eclipse?
    Anyone who has spent time in a hot tub or a jacuzzi bath tub, and also has seen the active volcano on the big island of Hawaii and the geysers in Yellowstone can also imagine the earth’s core heating up the earth from below the surface on the ocean floor. The ring of fire of active volcanoes is not only above ground, but at the bottom of the sea.
    The sun’s radiation is not a constant. It is variable. The heat from the earth’s core is also variable. The amount of radiation and the location of the radiation are variable.
    Find a way to detect the radiation from the earth’s core, then add that into your climate model.

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