The timing of El Nino in relation to the solar cycle

Posted: June 12, 2011 by tallbloke in climate, Energy, Ocean dynamics, solar system dynamics

I’ve been challenged a couple of times by Bob Tisdale to substantiate my claim that ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) is related to the solar cycle. I have said that El Nino tends to start occurring on the declining side of the cycle, the big ones at or just after solar minimum.

I’ve prepared a couple of graphs to see if anyone else agrees with me. First the longerterm view, using the reconstruction of ENSO back to 1860:

And here is the more recent past, from 1950

So, am I right or not? You decide, and tell me below. If we agree that I am, we can start to look at the reason why, and what effect it has on comparisons of solar activity levels with the surface temperature record.

Comments
  1. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    No, I don’t see any obvious correlation between SSN and individual El Niños on your graph. Sorry.

    However, if you smooth the ENSO index into five-year averages and advance it by a few years to simulate a lag relative to solar you will get quite a good match to SSN over the last three solar cycles.

    I think the ENSO index is controlled by a combination of the 11-year solar cycle and a +/-6-year oceanic oscillation of unknown (at least to me) cause. At least that’s what my spreadsheets show.

  2. tallbloke says:

    Hi Roger, let me pose the question another way.
    How many of the 18 El Nino’s since 1950 started (i.e. the SOI index went positive) from just after solar max to just after solar min?

    I count all 18 of them possibly excepting the small brief 1957 and 1970 events. How about you?

    Thanks for looking at the smoothing and lag idea, send me a graph and I’ll post it.

  3. Theodore White says:

    As the astrometeorologist who forecasted the 2009-2011 ENSO (which included my forecast for La Nina to follow El Nino) I am of the view Tallbloke is absolutely correct. Excellent work by the way!

    Solar activity does drive Earth’s climate. Our planet’s entire temperature record is contained in the history of solar activity. The relationship, as far as I understand it to be, is planetary, as the Sun’s orbital cycle in relation to the planets (including the Earth) easily correspond to the climate cycles we experience.

    In response to Roger who said, “I think the ENSO index is controlled by a combination of the 11-year solar cycle and a +/-6-year oceanic oscillation of unknown (at least to me) cause”

    The cause are solar tides which are caused by planetary motions. The Sun’s oscillations can be measured by way of readings of electromagnetic wave propagation signals for one. Astrometeorologists who forecast by astrological means mark planetary transits that show either increasing or declining solar activity. I use this method as well.

    From this, one can then deduce coming climate events. I do it all the time with my climate forecasts. There is plenty of proof of the fact that increased radio and x-ray emissions can be observed and measured when transiting planets aligned with the Sun about two months prior to the emergence of large sunspot groups, flares or major coronal mass ejections.

    When the Sun is on a decline cycle, as tallbloke as shown, one should monitor the Sun’s magnetic oscillation activity; the variations of magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere – the solar tides. This activity is sparked by planetary transits, so can be timed. The 11-year cycle of the Sun, for instance, is marked by Jupiter’s periodicity, which is also 11 years.

    This was demonstrated in a 2007 paper written by Ching-Cheh Hung for NASA:

    ABSTRACT

    “A solar storm is a storm of ions and electrons from the Sun. Large solar storms are usually preceded by solar flares, phenomena that can be characterized quantitatively from Earth.

    Twenty-five of the 38 largest known solar flares were observed to start when one or more tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter) were either nearly above the event positions (<10° longitude) or at the opposing side of the Sun. The probability for this to happen at random is 0.039 percent.

    This supports the hypothesis that the force or momentum balance (between the solar atmospheric pressure, the gravity field, and magnetic field) on plasma in the looping magnetic field lines in solar corona could be disturbed by tides, resulting in magnetic field reconnection, solar flares, and solar storms.

    Separately, from the daily position data of Venus, Earth, and Jupiter – an 11-year planet alignment cycle is observed to approximately match the sunspot cycle. This observation supports the hypothesis that the resonance and beat between the solar tide cycle and nontidal solar activity cycle influences the sunspot cycle and its varying magnitudes."

    Our Sun emits electromagnetic radiation and matter by way of its solar wind. The readings to take are those on internal buoyancy and gravity waves.

    Note that MF and LF wave propagation modes interact with the Earth's atmosphere and is also seen in stratospheric and tropospheric meteorological effects. This is observed by effects such as lightning, moisture and temperature anomalies of deep ocean inversions that produce the southern oscillation we call ENSO at the equatorial Pacific, the engine oven of the Earth.

    My long-range climate/weather forecasts are produced by astronomic means.

    By calculating the planetary transits relative to the Sun I was able to correctly forecast from 2006 that El Nino would arrive by 2009-2010 and would be followed by an unusual La Nina. Most observers agree that the Sun was at minimum by December 2008 and on this decline phase – emerged El Nino – by mid-2009 as tallbloke pointed out.

    I had read astronomic signals on the planets that suggested to me that a cold anomaly of La Nina would arrive just after El Nino, which is a warm southern oscillation that produced ungodly amounts of precipitation that lead to record floods in 2010. I forecasted 2010 to be the year of the flood.

    La Nina, the cold southern oscillation does not always follow an El Nino, but did so in late 2010 into 2011.

    This La Nina also produced heavy precipitation as well as produced colder-than-normal temperatures which continue to affect both the northern and southern hemispheres. Water tables in many regions of the world have been raised with significant precipitation between 2009-2011.

    I also forecasted that for at least much of 2011, we would see cooler-than -normal temperatures as ash particulates high in the atmosphere from volcanic eruptions worked to increase cloud cover over regions. This has happened and is caused by the solar and planetary tides relative to Earth. You will observe multiple cold-climate events throughout the world: snow in May and June; record heavy snow-pack in the U.S. West, early snowfalls and the cold autumn in the southern hemisphere, etc.

    At present, the La Nina oscillation is at neutral and phasing out.

    In my view, the Sun is about to wake up. I forecasted this as well back from 2006 by reading planetary transits and their effects on the solar tide. We're into the last six (6) years of a solar-forced global warming cycle that began in 1980-81 that will officially end in 2016-17 when global cooling officially begins.

    I apologize for the length of my comment. Good work on the graphics tallbloke. Quality job. And of course, you are right. I enjoyed reading your take on the Sun and ENSO. Keep up the great work and have fun doing it!

    Regards,
    Theodore White, astrometeorologist.S

  4. Stephen Wilde says:

    From those charts I’m not convinced about there being much in a cycle to cycle correlation.

    Even going back to 1860 the short term correlations are weak but one can begin to see a broad suggestion that a run of weak cycles gives a more negative SOI and vice versa.

    The real evidence for me is the 500 year swings from MWP to LIA to date where the coincidence between what the SOI must have then been (if we had the data) does seem to link strongly to the level of solar activity.

    In making that judgement I have to rely on a proxy for SOI (and by implication NAO) namely jetstream behaviour.

    Generally warm SSTs send the jets poleward (or make them more zonal) whereas cool SSTs send them more equatorward (more meridional).

    There is plenty of evidence of such jetstream changes from MWP to LIA to date. and on that timescale the correlations are reasonably strong to my mind.

    I know that tallbloke is keen to resolve shorter term correlations and I support that ambition but am currently a little doubtful about the feasibility.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Hi Theodore, and welcome to the talkshop. Thanks for the kind words, there is much more than just my work here, and I’d like to extend your appreciation to all my contributors.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Ching Cheh Hung is onto the electromagnetic/ tidal connection, which Jupiter has a major role in. There is also an angular momentum connection, dominated by the outer gas giant planets.

    Jupiter’s orbit is 11.86 years, whereas the solar cycle averages 11.07. However, as Tomo Niroma showed, the solar cycle length is more likely to be around 12 years or 10.4 years than 11 years. These periodicities match the Jupiter orbital period, and the Jupiter Earth Venus cycle. You might be interested in the correlations Roy Martin and I found between straight line relationships and planetary alignments along the curve of the Parker Spiral, and sunspot activity levels.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/roy-martin-venus-earth-jupiter-solar-cycle-analysis/

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/breakthrough-major-discovery-on-planetary-solar-connection/

    Thanks again for your contribution, please call back with more about your own discoveries in a guest post.

  6. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Stephen, you’ve suggested an idea to me which might make the relationship I’m trying to demonstrate clearer. I’ll try to find a way of graphing rate of change of sunspot number. I think that will do the trick. Smaller El Nino seems to be triggered by sudden negative increases in the rate of change of solar activity when they occur near the tops of solar cycles, and the big ones near minimum seem to be a response to a longer term drop in activity. So you get less lag for the small events and longer lag for the big events. That makes sense to me.

    We both struggle with the lack of long term data. I’m sure you’re right about the jet streams, and I wonder what proxy c ould help you. What about deposition of glacial detrius on the seabed from wind driven currents?

  7. tallbloke says:

    “one can begin to see a broad suggestion that a run of weak cycles gives a more negative SOI and vice versa.”

    That’s true, and it tends to obscure the shorter term relationship I’m trying to isolate, which is the El Nino events caused by the sudden drop in solar activity. The longer that low activity continues, the more La Nina will come to dominate ENSO. These are two separate effects with different causation in my view. The dominance of La nina lagging some time after solar activity goes low is due to lowered ocean heat content. The Big El Nino’s occurring soon after the dropoff of solar activity may be due to decompression of the sea surface, as the atmosphere loses gravitational potential by contracting and losing water vapour as rain.

    Thoughts?

  8. malagaview says:

    tallbloke says:
    There is no doubt in my mind that Ching Cheh Hung is onto the electromagnetic/ tidal connection….

    Roger Andrews says:
    I think the ENSO index is controlled by a combination of the 11-year solar cycle and a +/-6-year oceanic oscillation of unknown (at least to me) cause. At least that’s what my spreadsheets show.

    Perhaps you are both right…
    Perhaps the unknown oceanic oscillation is associated with Lunar precession…

    The Sun and the Moon are the major factors governing ocean tides….
    The ocean tidal nodes could be a major driver for cold water upwelling…

    Lunar precession
    the long axis (line of the apsides: perigee and apogee) of the Moon’s elliptical orbit precesses Eastward about once in just under 9 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_precession

  9. tallbloke says:

    MV: Check out the second ever post on this blog.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-moon-is-linked-to-long-term-atlantic-changes/

    The lunar effect on the oceans is really, really complicated…

  10. Bill Henthorn says:

    Tallbloke, while I think there is a relationship to the sun, I think the driving force for el ninos and la ninas is the PDO cycle. with predominance of el ninos during warm PDO and and like wise la ninas during cool PDO cycles. Turns out that the PDO cycle being around 60 years seems to follow planetary positional cycles which also affect solar activity…sunspots. What do you think of the sunspot activity now…being almost none…Bill

  11. tallbloke says:

    Hi Bill,
    The principle 60 year cycle is every third Jupiter-Saturn synodic conjunction taking place in approximately the same place (there is a precession cycle of the synodic conjunctions of a length consistent with a longer climate cycle).

    This may have something to do with the main oceanic oscillation of the PDO. That is a longer term effect than the one I’m trying to isolate, which is the apparent tendency for El Nino to occur when the solar activity level rate of change goes negative.

    Sunspot activity has dropped off again after a recent uptick. I think these sporadic upticks and downspikes will characterise a long flat max to cycle 24. Having said that, the Sun could yet have surprises in store. Almost anything could happen, and probably will.

  12. malagaview says:

    MV: Check out the second ever post on this blog.

    THANK YOU Tallbloke: amazing posting!!!
    THANK YOU Richard Holle: amazing comments…. simply amazed!!!

  13. Ian W says:

    Perhaps this is being looked at in the wrong way.

    Many of the features being discussed are actually indicators of forces imposed on sun and planets.

    Taking the Earth as an example what forces act upon it, what is their strength and variation, and what would be the expected effects of that force with that variation on a thin skinned planet and the two thin layers of fluids that cover it?

    So for example: If the Sun, moon and solar system were removed and Earth was on its own – it would possibly still spin, but proceed at a constant velocity through space. So now add the Sun and it should perhaps orbit the Sun at a steady rate – but it does not – why? What forces cause the Earth’s orbit to stretch into an ellipse? What are the expected effects of that force with that variation on a thin skinned planet and the two thin layers of fluids that cover it? Does that force or the presence of the Earth affect the Sun? How? etc etc.

    We currently appear to be starting by saying look at ENSO where did that come from? Perhaps we should start at the other end of the problem.

  14. tallbloke says:

    OK, I’ll try again. I’ve split the graph from the final El Nino starting before the end of each solar cycle. Hopefully this will help people see what I’m trying to get at.

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/ssn-soi-split.jpgssn-soi split

    SO, can we now agree that El Nino’s occur after the peak and start before or just on solar minimum? :)

  15. tallbloke says:

    Hi Ian, and welcome back. It’s a cool idea, but apart from an interesting thought experiment, I don’t see how we get from there to the messy complicated universe we are in. No lab big enough etc.

  16. Layman Lurker says:

    Interesting. I don’t have the time right now but when I get back later tonight I will play around with this some more. Here is a scatterplot of nino 3.4 vs tsi. I anomalized tsi and plotted against nino 3.4 anomaly. Looking at your graphs above, I guessed a 24 month lag and I must have hit it right (r = 0.245) because the correlation drops off either way. It looks like might be another one at about 6 years or so but I don’t have time right now – later.
    scatter nino

  17. Murray says:

    Tallbloke, I think the rate of change is key. High sunspot peaks are generally associated with short sunspot cycles, and vice versa, so the rate of change varies quite dramatically, and seems to be strongly correlated with solar activity. I did some work on this a few years ago when a couple of critics published a paper purporting to invalidate Svensmark’s correlation in recent cycles. The rate of change still correlated. Murray

  18. Ninderthana says:

    Rodger Andrews,

    The 6 year cycle that you are observing is 6 year periodicity in the acceleration of the Earth’s rotation rate. The 6 year LOD acceleration cycle is synchronized with 6 year tidal cycle of the Moon. The Sun and Moon act in together to influence the Earth’s climate.

  19. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    Yes, believe me, I do see it. Sixteen of the eighteen El Niño events since 1950 have indeed occurred in the time intervals between just after solar maximum and just after solar minimum. The problem is that these time intervals cover about three-quarters of the record, so we would expect that maybe 14 of the 18 events would occur in this time frame as a matter of random chance. I don’t know whether 16 out of 18 would qualify as non-random, but maybe there’s a statistician around somewhere who could figure it out.

    As I mentioned earlier, the ENSO index does appear to be related to the +/-11-year solar cycle (over the last three solar cycles anyway) but the red blobs on your graph show that El Niños tend to occur at +/-5 year intervals, which makes it difficult to relate them DIRECTLY to solar activity. (I’ve played with the idea that they’re a heterodyne effect caused by the superimposition of a shorter oceanic (?) cycle on the solar cycle. I’ve been able to generate synthetic El Niños and La Niñas by combining sine waves on a spreadsheet, but I can’t replicate the actual ENSO record.)

    However, I think we can demonstrate an INDIRECT connection between solar and El Niños. I can match smoothed ENSO and SSN over the last three solar cycles when I lag ENSO by a few years, and El Niños and La Niñas largely determine the shape of the smoothed ENSO index. The implication is that El Niños are indeed more frequent after a solar maximum (and La Niñas more frequent after a solar minimum).

  20. tallbloke says:

    “we would expect that maybe 14 of the 18 events would occur in this time frame as a matter of random chance.”

    I accept that, but argue that the infrequent occurence of the onset of big EL Nino’s at any other times than just on solar minimum carries an additional weight.

    I appreciate that smoothing and lagging helps point to a relationship too, but again, it’s straying from the point I really want to elucidate and discuss, which is the cause of the eruption of energy from the ocean when the sun goes quiet.

  21. lgl says:

    tallbloke

    Three times the dominant ENSO cycle is 10.6 years, so they will stay in sync for a while.

  22. tallbloke says:

    Hi lgl, I think Ninderthana is right, so the interplay of the ~11 year solar magnetic cycles and ~6 year lunar tidal cycles is going to produce the ~3.5 year quasi subharmonics we observe in ENSO. They still seem to avoid the main part of the solar cycle upswing though, and to do that, they have to ‘work around’ the changing solar cycle length.

  23. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    “it’s straying from the point I really want to elucidate and discuss, which is the cause of the eruption of energy from the ocean when the sun goes quiet.”

    The data in fact suggest that El Niño “eruptions” tend to be most frequent just after solar maxima, not when the sun goes “quiet”. I get the best fit between SSN and ENSO when I lag ENSO by about 3 years, and the graph that Layman Lurker posted above shows a best fit between TSI and Niño3.4 with a 2-year lag. (Note that this doesn’t violate your theory regarding releases of stored ocean heat to the air during quiet sun periods – I think I’ve got that right but please correct me if I haven’t – because El Niños and La Niñas are episodic events that have only short-term impacts on SAT.)

    As to what causes the El Niño eruptions, well, that’s the $64,000 question. The prevailing theory seems to be that it’s a weakening of the trade winds. Wikipedia puts it thus: “El Niño events begin when trade winds, part of the Walker circulation, falter for many months. A series of Kelvin waves—relatively warm subsurface waves of water a few centimetres high and hundreds of kilometres wide—cross the Pacific along the equator and create a pool of warm water near South America, where ocean temperatures are normally cold due to upwelling.” I find this theory deficient from two standpoints.

    1.There is a correlation between trade wind strength and El Niños, but I don’t think it’s possible to tell whether the changes in wind strength caused the El Niños or the El Niños caused the changes in wind strength. (I suspect the latter.)

    2. Even if wind strength changes did cause the El Niños, it leaves unanswered the question of what caused the wind strength changes.

    My gut feeling is that when something funny happens in the ocean the most likely cause is a tidal effect. Is there a tidal cycle that might explain the +/-5 year El Niño periodicity? According to the earlier comment from Ninderthana, there is: “The 6 year cycle that you are observing is 6 year periodicity in the acceleration of the Earth’s rotation rate. The 6 year LOD acceleration cycle is synchronized with 6 year tidal cycle of the Moon. The Sun and Moon act in together to influence the Earth’s climate.”

    Based on this information I’m going to postulate that el Niños are caused by superimposition of a +/-6 year lunar cycle on the +/-11-year solar cycle. Further elucidation and discussion is solicited.

  24. jorgekafkazar says:

    Sorry, I can’t agree. This is, like most exercises in ‘wiggle-matching,’ a frustrating process. So much of the data seems to ALMOST match. As I’m sure you’re aware, you may be looking at two unrelated phenomena with underlying cycles that differ by a small amount, yielding apparent synchronicity for a long period. I’m also reminded of the statistic, “Ninety two percent of all homicides occur within one week of either a new moon or a full moon.”

    However, I think there’s a possibility you’re onto something. I have yet to hear a clear explanation of what triggers an El Nino. Use of the full data sequence, plus a non-subjective statistical test for a match, might yield more convincing results in the form of something with a correlation coefficient or test of significance. Layman’s shotgun blast doesn’t do it for me, though it’s a very nice effort. Keep trying!

  25. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    Just noticed that you got in before me. Seems like we’re vibrating on more or less the same wavelength, if you’ll excuse the pun. .

  26. tallbloke says:

    Jorge, your reservations are noted and input appreciated. I’m trying to avoid statistical manipulation for a couple of reasons. First, I’m not a statistician, and I’d probably botch it. Second, I usually get more informative insight by eyeballing the wiggles, and thinking about the physical processes that produce them. Abstracted data doesn’t give me those visual cues and clues.

    Regarding the cause of energy erupting from the ocean:
    I found a correlation between specific humidity near the tropopause and solar activity levels. If the more active Sun puts billions of extra tons of water into the atmosphere, this is going to add a lot of gravitational potential to the atmosphere, and increase sea level pressure. Then when solar activity falls and we get some extra rain down, that pressure reduces. This is analogous to uncorking the beer bottle. Gas comes out of solution and rushes upwards. Perhaps energy does the same in some way I haven’t worked out yet.

  27. Tim Channon says:

    Lets look at the data slightly differently.

    SOI is the differential atmospheric pressure between two locations some distance apart on the equator. The usual processing method is http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/Readme.index.shtml#SOICALC

    Why amplitude adjust the two time series differently?

    I’ve done something much simpler, very narrow band notch out the annual cycle (with harmonics) and pocket calculator the two results.

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/soi-vari-1.pngTim SOI

    Data from http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/, SOI and from SIDC

    Several things to notice.
    I have not removed the pressure offsets, therefore is absolute. On a number of occasions the pressure difference reduces to the zero line as though it is some kind of definite thing. Perhaps this is also a measure of winds.

    Also notice there seems to be some kind of immediate effect between solar bursts and SOI, perhaps flares. All datasets are monthly, post standard practice torturing and will contain artefacts. So far as I know clean pressure datasets (eg. hourly, aliasing is an issue) are not available otherwise it might be an interesting line to follow.

    The low pass is arbitary (7.4y). If one of the datasets is inverted:

    1. It looks like the last two solar cycles delayed a few years
    2. This does not work for prior cycles

    Not shown is extracting the all pervasive circa 45 year cycle seen in temperature, sea level, etc. and is also present correctly phased in solar asymmetry data.

    (ask if you want the time series)

  28. tallbloke says:

    Roger: Have a read of Erl Happs blog when you have a few days to spare. :)

    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/

  29. tallbloke says:

    Tim, elegant graphing as always, thanks. I agree major solar proton events have an effect on SOI.
    Why doesn’t it work for prior cycles? Lack of good data? Or do you mean something about the relationship I am looking for?

  30. Roger Andrews says:

    TB

    I read Erl Happ’s posts a few months ago. It’s what go me started looking at trade winds, ENSO (and SLP), and I spent more than a few days reviewing the data. My comments about not being able to tell whether the wind strength change caused the El Niño or vice versa were based on these data reviews.

  31. Tim Channon says:

    Why would a solar irradiation effect be seen in a differential signal, when it ought to be a common-mode effect?
    (doesn’t seem to be in the sum either)

    All being well, a little experiment coming up.

  32. Tim Channon says:

    Grid cells roughly over Tahiti and Darwin for the RSS satellite temperature dataset

    Sum and difference for all four datasets, plotted I hope consistently.

    Although not about SOI, lower stratosphere is showing a large excursion this year. This might be of considerable interest because there was a mode switch. Question is whether another mode switch is happening.

    tim soi comp rss

  33. tallbloke says:

    Roger, yes, Erl’s, writings always leave me confused on a more highly informed level too. :)
    I think he sees the top down solar effect as paramount thought, in the difference it makes to ozone, and hence pressure via optical depth and evaporation as an amplifying mechanism. Still not sure though.

    Tim, more nice graphing work. Almost looks like there is a Bimodal effect going on.

    Oops, the graph’s gone, I’ll wait until you’re happy with it.

  34. Stephen Wilde says:

    Erl’s work is incredibly detailed but I too think he has cause and effect inverted and so has to go through a lot of contortions to present his scenario.

    I see it as much simpler to propose that the sun changes the polar vortices, the surface pressure distribution changes to affect cloudiness and albedo which then affect energy input to the oceans to skew the PDO more positive or more negative.

    The oceans then have their own internal oscillations that the solar effect is imposed upon.

    As regards wind changes I see that as a consequence of the net solar and oceanic interaction as the two competing processes vie for dominance and shift the surface air pressure distribution.

  35. Roger Andrews says:

    TB

    “Roger, yes, Erl’s writings always leave me confused on a more highly informed level too.”

    What? You’re saying you’re more highly informed than I am? ;-)

    Seriously, though, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Erl thinks the sun is the main driver of climate. This is clear from his introduction to his paper, which “describes the process whereby the sun alters the distribution of the atmosphere so as to mediate the interaction between the mesosphere and the stratosphere that determines the ozone level at the limits of the stratosphere at the poles”.

    Erl also has a post on El Niños, which he attributes to 60-year cyclic pressure differentials, although interestingly he says nothing about how these cycles might relate to the sun. You might care to read it. It’s at:

    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/is-enso-rather-than-a-%E2%80%98greenhouse-effect%E2%80%99-the-origin-of-%E2%80%98climate-change%E2%80%99-by-erl-happ/

    Tim C. might also be interested in reading it because it contains “a new ‘Southern Oscillation Index ‘ and for the first time, an equally valid ‘Northern Oscillation Index’.”

  36. tallbloke says:

    Stephen, that would certainly explain why there is *some* relationship between El Nino and solar cycles as I have (I hope) demonstrated, but there is clearly an underlying oceanic oscillation (probaly Lunar tide related) which also modulates the outcome.

    Big prize for the first person to emulate the ENSO time series with solar and lunar cycles!

    Nindathana has already been looking at Lunar-Solar relationships to climate, so he might have a head start. Harald Ynistad might be in the running too if he collaborates with a solar researcher.

  37. Kermit Johnson says:

    This may be a bit off topic, but mention of “solar tides” caused by “planetary motions” caught my attention. Back in the mid-90s I wrote an article for CYCLES magazine (Foundation for the Study of Cycles) that showed a slightly less than twenty year cycle in tree ring data from Iowa. My guess was that the most likely cause was the Saturn/Jupiter lap period and the tides resulting from this on the sun. I expected dry weather in Iowa in the mid-90s, but it seemed that El Ninos came constantly, much like the years around 1915. Now, I expect that the cycle should repeat by the middle of this decade, and if it happens, grain and meat production could be greatly affected.

    What I’m wondering is what this group of people think about the guesses I made back then. Thanks.

  38. tallbloke says:

    Hi Kermit, and welcome to the talkshop. I don’t know anything particular about Iowa weather, but I would guess that the slightly less than 20 year cycle might be more related to the Lunar Saros cycle (18.6 years) than the JUpiter Saturn synodic period. That would maybe produce a precipitation related signal in the tree rings. That is within the longer oceanic quasi-cycle of ~60 years giving a positive and negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). El Ninois more frequent in the positive phase, which ran from 1976 to ~2006.

    We’d need to look at some time series for the Iowa region to see how the anti-phase of the 18.6 year Lunar cycle might have affected the PDO. For an example of what I’m talking about, have a look at the graph in this thread:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-moon-is-linked-to-long-term-atlantic-changes/

  39. Bill Henthorn says:

    OK… so one thing which happens when the sun heads toward minimum and is near minimum is that the solar wind decreases in strength. Recent studies or papers have linked reduced solar wind strength to increased cosmic ray impingement on the earths atmosphere. This increased cosmic ray activity in the atmosphere causes cloud producing particles/ions which increase cloud cover …cooling the earth/sea because sunlight is reflected back to space. El ninos are caused by tradewinds reversing from.. east to west ….to… west to east …which has the affect of reversing the warm water current in the Pacific from going west to going east with the result that the eastern Pacific gets warmer than usual and the el nino is on. Now if the sun cycle and reduced solar wind of minimums (extra clouds and cooling) causes the trades to reverse then there is your link..Trouble here is all these things have different cycles and lags but once an equilibrium is reached…a pattern should be found…let the real experts chew on this!

  40. tallbloke says:

    Bill:

    Which “real experts” did you have in mind? Not the 95% who don’t think the Sun has much effect on climate obviously!

  41. Kermit Johnson says:

    Thanks, tallbloke, for the reply. When I started looking for weather cycles in the tree rings, I looked first for the 18.6 year cycle, since that was the one Louis Thompson always talked about. It fit in the most recent years, but going back (to 1680, as I remember) farther, it appeared to be out of phase with the tree rings data.

    As I said, it should be interesting to see if we do have some poor crop growing years this decade in the corn belt, as it appears unlikely that we will see frequent El Ninos to modify this cycle.

  42. tallbloke says:

    It would be great to see the dataset, so we could analyse it. There may be more El Nino’s than expected this coming decade, but they will be quite brief and weak compared to the big events of ’98 and 2010 I think.

  43. jorgekafkazar says:

    Has anyone plotted air and sea temperatures and low tropospheric humidity just west of South America’s bulge to see if lower values precede El Nino onset?

  44. tallbloke says:

    Good question Jorge. I haven’t read enough of the literature to provide you with a ready answer. Roger Andrews might help us here.

  45. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    Yeah, I probably can, but right now I’m doing work work. :-(

    Back later.

  46. Bill Henthorn says:

    Tallbloke, you were right about my comment on experts. The sun is the big kahuna when it comes to climate. I just find all this very interesting, especially with the sun possibly headed into a grand minimum. We should see what happens to all the theories and even el ninos since minimums will be the order of the day. If this cycle is weak and heads off of it’s max part of the cycle soon we may be able to see all of the relationships in slow motion.

  47. tallbloke says:

    Bill: I get the feeling the Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” is about to be visited on us.
    But yes, rate and amplitude of el Nino events will be interesting to watch while the sun is in a funk. I think we will be in for some surprises. My recent realisation regarding just how much energy there is in the ocean means I expect some biggish El Nino’s despite the lack of solar input.

  48. Roger Andrews says:

    “Has anyone plotted air and sea temperatures and low tropospheric humidity just west of South America’s bulge to see if lower values precede El Nino onset?”

    SAT: no anomalously low values preceded the 1997-98 El Niño onset
    SST: ditto
    LT humidity: no data

    Interesting fact: The SA bulge area shows a strong 1997-98 El Niño but no sign of the 1999-2000 La Niña

    Another interesting fact. The 1997-98 El Niño was strongest in the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific.

  49. jorgekafkazar says:

    “SAT: no anomalously low values preceded the 1997-98 El Niño onset”
    “Interesting fact: The SA bulge area shows a strong 1997-98 El Niño but no sign of the 1999-2000 La Niña
    “Another interesting fact. The 1997-98 El Niño was strongest in the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific.”

    Noted. Thanks. Where did you get the data? I may want to take a broader look at the data.

  50. Roger Andrews says:

    jorgekafakzar

    These data, and a lot more like them, are all available at the very excellent KNMI website (http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere).

    You might also be interested in the Bob Tisdale El Niño animation I just linked to on the Orbital Eccentricity and Ice Ages thread. (Don’t know how we got into El Niños on that thread, but there you are.)

  51. Bill Henthorn says:

    With the Pacific ocean sloshing back and forth between la nina and el nino, we have an oscillation. If that is caused by the varying trade winds then we can look at that. The trades are associated with cloud cover over certain parts of the Pacific and related precipitation affects on Australia. I bet the sun cycle can at times boost the intensity of these oscillations or visa versa. Because of the lag between the ocean temps and the solar effects, the oscillation could trail the solar cycle. But if cosmic rays generate more clouds during minimums, then the lag might be reduced at these times causing further intensity or visa versa. We might find that the Solar sunspot cycle itself causes the Pacific el nino oscillations and then intensities would be impacted by both the length of a solar cycle and also on intensities of that cycle both in the maximum and minimum phases. Evidence of this could show a second order driver which is hidden in the randomness of all this. The atmosphere and the Pacific are both involved too.

  52. jorgekafkazar says:

    Roger: Thx!!

    Bill: you may be right across the board. And the lag may be variable. I’ll take a look. I still want to know what the trigger is!

  53. steven mosher says:

    First thing you want to do tallbloke is decide what you mean by the ‘declining’ side.

    by defining the declining side as anything after the max and before the min ( is that the definition)
    you have a binary variable for SSN
    on the decline/ not on the decline.
    you should write out those exact dates.
    then you have a series of dates for SOI going positive.
    It’s pretty elementary to test what the co occurance rate is, and then test what the probablity of
    such an co occurance rate is.

    In the end, you’ll still be missing the vital thing. A physical law. Discovering a law by looking for correlations is a needle in a haystack approach.

    rather than work with SSN ( which doesnt have physical meaning) you should work with flux measures which actually have physical meaning.

  54. tallbloke says:

    Hi Mosh,
    SSN has been shown to be a good proxy for TSI so I’m chucking that crit out right at the start.
    I’m thinking plenty about the physical mechanisms involved, that’s what I’m concentrated on.
    I’m a rough and ready dirty handed mech eng type.Faddling about with exact stats I leave to nitpickers like yourself. BOE is sufficient to my current purpose. :)

    So hows tricks? Anything exciting been happening on Judy or Steve’s blogs?

  55. steven mosher says:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=9&ved=0CF8QFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsolar.physics.montana.edu%2FSVECSE2008%2Fpdf%2Fdewit_svecse.pdf&ei=PjL5Te-PFIPQiAKF_8n9DA&usg=AFQjCNHG2PHBJUXWS8HFRrdS_i8-lzEAJg&sig2=ULfzP4hagjdzn6rUVZrRug

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=12&ved=0CB4QFjABOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsidc.oma.be%2Fesww4%2Fpresentations%2FSession%25204%2520meteo%2FDudokdeWit_TSI.pdf&ei=ljP5Tdm6GeXZiAL2k9H9DA&usg=AFQjCNE4pvf2pYI087TCC5e241VFCAybaA&sig2=EqlIQc4mPwHkVcuTW2hpEw

    http://www.slidefinder.net/S/SOLAR_IRRADIANCE/9934789

    And more I’m sure.

    In the end on your path you would end up with an equation in SSN f(SSN,x,y,z) = TSI watts.

    So how do you get watts out of a count? you dont. which means whatever work you do at some
    point has to get the physical units correct. Otherwise it will always and forever be merely an empirical
    relationship with no physical meaning. We will always and forever say, nice equation, what’s the mechanism

    The other problem with spots is they cant go below zero, and that would imply an absolutely flat TSI at SSN 0.
    which you can be pretty certain is not the case.

    Anyway, you see there are a bunc of other proxies that are also used. That means of course that you
    should probably test your analysis WRT its sensitivity to proxy selection.

    Anyway. post up the dates for your time periods ( in decline) and the dates for SOI onset and I may play with it for you

  56. Roger Andrews says:

    jorgekafkazar, if you’re still around. My claim that the 1997-98 El Niño was strongest in the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific, was incorrect. I was working with a lot of different data set and screwed the data labels up. Apologies.

  57. jorgekafkazar says:

    No problemo, Roger. My hypothesis is that the trigger is in the atmospheric dynamics west of South America, so the point of strongest El Niiño isn’t of particular interest. Yet. Thanks for the correction.

  58. tallbloke says:

    Mosh, thanks for the additional links. And thanks for the offer of help with the stats too. I’ll try to compile the dates soon.

  59. Bill Henthorn says:

    Jorge, I think you are looking in the right area….also these cycles seem to be 4-6 years so that would be 1/2 solar cycle ball park

  60. jorgekafkazar says:

    Thanks, Bill. I strongly suspect the Nino/Nina “cycle” lengths are mostly independent of the solar cycle. But in investigating this possibility, something may be uncovered. I’m more interested in the cause of the trigger than the cycle itself.

  61. Roger Andrews says:

    Jorge:

    “I strongly suspect the Nino/Nina cycle lengths are mostly independent of the solar cycle.” Right. As I commented earlier (forget where) I can broadly match the Niño 3.4 index to SSN after 1960 by applying 11-year smoothing to both and lagging Niño 3.4 by about 5 years. But I can’t match them before 1960, and there’s no way I can see of relating individual ENSO events after 1960 to the sunspot cycle.

    I’ve looked at El Niño data to see if I can identify a trigger, and FWIW here’s a brief summary of what I’ve found.

    During the 1997-98 El Niño the following things happened to all intents and purposes simultaneously:

    The SOI increased (i.e SLP at Tahiti increased relative to SLP at Darwin).
    SLP in Niño zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 increased.
    Wind speeds in Niño zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 decreased.
    The differential between trade wind speed and wind speed in the Niño 3.4 zones increased.
    SST in Niño zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 increased.

    Did the wind speed changes trigger the Niño, or did the Niño trigger the wind speed changes? And did the SLP changes trigger the wind speed changes, or did the Niño itself trigger the SLP changes that triggered the wind speed changes? Or did they all happen in response to some external trigger?

    Another complication. There were smaller El Niño events in the Equatorial Atlantic and Pacific (amplitude about 1C compared to 2.5C in the Pacific) that began at about the same time as the Pacific El Niño but peaked about three months later. What caused them?

    Yet another complication. There was a +/- 0.3C overall increase in SST outside the 5N-5S “Niño” latitudes that also began at about the same time as the Pacific Niño but peaked 6-9 months later. What caused it?

    No shortage of things to look at. :-)

  62. tallbloke says:

    Jorge:” I strongly suspect the Nino/Nina “cycle” lengths are mostly independent of the solar cycle”

    I don’t disagree. I think the amplitude of the events is linked to the solar cycle though, notwithstanding the underlying variation of the PDO on the longer timescale.

  63. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    You probably already know about the Landscheidt paper on El Niños and La Niñas, but I’ll link to it anyway.

    http://www.john-daly.com/sun-enso/sun-enso.htm

    Landscheidt concludes that “El Niño and La Niña are subjected to external forcing by the sun’s varying activity to such a degree that it explains nearly all of ENSO’s irregularities”. And if he’s right then the question of what triggers ENSO variations is answered.

    But is he right? What’s your opinion?

  64. jumbuck says:

    Some interesing ideas have been floating around. I’d have to agree with Steven Mosher. I’ts no use trying to find the answers in the symptoms like the CO2 warming crowd does. It appears to me that the causes of ENSO are the tidal effects of Jupiter on Earth that at times may interact with the tidal effects of the Moon and the Sun. Venus too must have tidal effects on Earth because the gravity at aphlelion is about 2/3 Jupiter’s perihelion. The effects are probably translated largely into changes in the angular momentum of the Moon. LOD with a 6 year temperature lag is a symptom of that. However, the >century long LOD trend such as the one that started late 19th century and marked the start of warming last century had a lag period of about 12 years. The trend appears to be reversing. The cycle appears to be twice the Jupiter-Saturn cycle of 58 years, which is consistent with the LOD bump during WWII and the corresponding warming peak 12 years later.

    In reference to Theodore White on June 13, 2011 at 6:38 am quoting Ching-Cheh Hung “Twenty-five of the 38 largest known solar flares were observed to start when one or more tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter) were either nearly above the event positions (<10° longitude) or at the opposing side of the Sun."

    It seems strange that the gravity of any of the inner planets can be sufficient to produce an effect on the opposite side of the Sun other than as a lag effect.

  65. tallbloke says:

    Roger:
    Well, as Theodor himself said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so lets see what he predicted and how well it panned out:

    “Precise forecasts that prove correct are the sharpest criterion of effective science. So I will try my third long-range El Niño forecast. It goes nearly three years beyond the lead time of 12 months, discussed in the beginning. The next negative extremum in the SOI going along with an El Niño should occur around 2002.9 (± 6 months). The last zero phase of a small finger cycle fell at 1998.3. The following one will occur in 2005.8. The length of the SFC cycle reaches just 7.5 years. So the probability is low, though not zero, that the phase 0.382 within the SFC will release an El Niño around 2001.2. The following 0.618 phase falls at 2002.9. It should be effective. This all the more so as around this time the descending part of the sunspot cycle is expected to reach the phase 0.382. The next negative 0.236 phase within the small finger cycle will fall at 2000.1. The present positive SOI and the accompanying La Niña seem to be related to it. So La Niña conditions should prevail till 2000.1 and beyond.”

    So, in chronological order:
    “La Niña conditions should prevail till 2000.1 and beyond.” – SUCCESS
    “El Niño should occur around 2002.9 (± 6 months)” – SUCCESS
    “The following one will occur in 2005.8 (± 6 months).” – SUCCESS

    I agree with Landscheidt that the golden section plays an important role in the fractal nature of the cosmos. I have not thoroughly investigated his phase reversal stuff, but it looks pretty useful at first flush.

  66. tallbloke says:

    Jumbuck: Welcome to the talkshop, and thanks for your interesting comment. Regarding the effect of the inner planets, why do you assume the effect must be gravitational rather than electromagnetic?

    “LOD bump during WWII and the corresponding warming peak 12 years later.”

    Are you sure you don’t mean an LOD bump in the ’30s and the warming peak in WWII?

  67. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    Seems to me that the Landscheidt paper would be worth a thread if you or someone could condense it down to a more readable length.

  68. tallbloke says:

    Roger, well volunteered that man! ;)

    As far as I’m concerned, if people want to be well informed, they’ll take the trouble to read unabridged Landscheidt carefully, several times. I was thinking of doing a couple of appetite whetters though.

    By the Way, another Landscheidt snippet which will interest you:

    “The magnetic sunspot cycle of 22.1 years, also called the Hale cycle, is the true cycle of solar activity. Groups of sunspots are usually composed of preceding and following spots with different magnetic polarity. With the commencement of a new cycle the polarity reverses. Thus, the original polarity is only restored every second 11-year cycle. When the position of the major of the Golden section within a big finger cycle is calculated, it falls just at the length of the Hale cycle (35.76 years × 0.618 = 22.1 years). This helps to limit the instability which is inherent in solar activity. In climate, the Hale cycle is a dominant feature in the global record of marine air temperatures, consisting of shipboard temperatures measured at night [9], in the detrended Central England temperature record for 1700 to 1950 [72], and in the drought severity index covering different areas of the Western United States [77]. The major of the Golden section within the cycle of the big hand (178.8 years × 0.618 = 110.5 years) yields a similar result. Japanese scientists found a cycle of just this length in sunspots when they applied a frequency analysis to the data”

  69. pennlion says:

    I believe that the pacific ocean is a big player in the el nino cycle because of the water temp and currents involved. If the trades from east to west are strong….as is logical since the west would be above average in temp at this time and the east is cooler than usual (La Nino in place). While this is going on an ocean current from east to west sets up and continues for a while pushing more heated surface water to the west, at some point there becomes an equilibrium with the Pacific ocean higher than normal in the west and the current stops and reverses in the west and does so with enough push that the warm water plunges under the cool surface water (Kelvin wave? )and heads to the east until it hits South America where it rises to the surface and starts an el nino. At the same time-frame that the current reversal occurs…the trades in the west reverse and blow back toward the east…further stimulating the reversed under water warm water currents toward the east. So there seems to be both water potential and atmosphere potential for driving the conditions to start an el nino. The trades going east probably start near the Indian ocean. Something must be interupting the trades as they are the driver for moving the warm water around. Could it be emanating from the Far West (MJO?)causing an El Nino event? What would hot water in the far west cause that would cause a big wind toward the east (Monsoon)? And would that be boosted or hurt by the solar cycle?

  70. jorgekafkazar says:

    Nice, Roger. Lots to think about in your comment. In case you haven’t heard my hypothesis, I’ll bore the rest of you with a repeat:
    First part: During La Nina, upwelling of cold seawater along the equator and coast of South America eventually lowers sea surface temperatures significantly. At lower eastern Pacific SST’s, five related variables change: (1) seawater viscosity increases; (2) low altitude air temperatures decrease, (3) low altitude air humidities decrease; (4) [2] and [3], above cause air densities to increase; (5) [2],[3],[4] cause air viscosity to increase. The viscosity changes are not trivial, being greater than the density changes. These process are, of course, not very fast.
    Second part: tradewinds encounter stiffer, heavier air (and, at the surface, water), impeding them and diverting them north and south, away from the equator. Static pressures above the upwelling region increase. All the conditions necessary for the western warm water “bulge” to dissipate eastward are now met. El Nino has been triggered.
    Comments, please, TB, Roger, all.

  71. Roger Andrews says:

    Hi Jorge:

    Interesting, but I just had a bunch of guests show up so I’ll have to get back later.

  72. tallbloke says:

    Hi Jorge, as Roger said, interesting. SO do you envisage the warm water from the Pacific Warm Pool flowing more easily out over the top of the more viscous, cooler water and spreading the heat out on the surface where it can heat the atmosphere and increase humidity through evaporation?

    I’ll think some more while I enjoy a nice English real ale or two. Back later.

  73. Roger Andrews says:

    Hi Jorge:

    Guests have gone shopping, but have to hurry.

    You’re assuming that La Niñas trigger El Niños, but the Niño3.4 index suggests that the Niños actually trigger the Niñas. There was, for example, no La Niña before the 1997-98 El Niño but a strong one immediately after.

    And the La Niña cold water upwells in the W Pacific, not the E Pacific, and moves east. See http://i53.tinypic.com/etb58j.jpg.

    So I guess my question is, does your theory work in reverse?

  74. jorgekafkazar says:

    “…do you envisage the warm water from the Pacific Warm Pool flowing more easily out over the top of the more viscous, cooler water and spreading the heat out on the surface where it can heat the atmosphere and increase humidity through evaporation?”

    Yes, that seems to be approximately what happens. There is some motion in the cooler layers, too, though not as great. Also, as the topmost layer flows eastward, there may be some reverse flow of the cold water layers west of South America. The very deepest layers are somewhat constrained by the sea bed, of course. But once released by slackening tradewinds, the bulge in the Pacific Warm Pool will flow by gravitational force, so the eastward flow is not as dependent on viscosity as is the trigger mechanism itself, as near as I can guess.

    Guinness, for me.

  75. jorgekafkazar says:

    “You’re assuming that La Niñas trigger El Niños, but the Niño3.4 index suggests that the Niños actually trigger the Niñas.”

    It’s not impossible that each triggers the other, like a clock escapement mechanism.

    “There was, for example, no La Niña before the 1997-98 El Niño but a strong one immediately after.”

    True, but the SOI was strongly positive before the 1998 El Nino. (I’m tilde-challenged, pardon the omission.) The presence of “La Nina” is somewhat arbitrary; there was sufficient previous build-up to create “the bulge.”

    “And the La Niña cold water upwells in the W Pacific, not the E Pacific, and moves east. See http://i53.tinypic.com/etb58j.jpg.”

    The linked tinypic chart shows low temperatures at almost 40°N, off the California coast. My understanding is that El Nino/La Nina is more of a Tropical phenomenon. See also the two following references:

    During non-El Niño conditions, the Walker circulation is seen at the surface as easterly trade winds which move water and air warmed by the sun towards the west. This also creates ocean upwelling off the coasts of Peru and Ecuador and brings nutrient-rich cold water to the surface, increasing fishing stocks. –newworldencyclopedia

    This warm pool expands to cover the tropics during El Niño, but during La Niña, the easterly trade winds strengthen and cold upwelling along the equator and the West coast of South America intensifies. Sea-surface temperatures along the equator can fall as much as 7 degrees F below normal. –http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/lanina_new_faq.html

    “So I guess my question is, does your theory work in reverse?”

    I’ve addressed that above, but I think it’s clear that as soon as the humidity west of S.A. goes back up, the trade winds will have a path of least resistance due West, providing La Nina neutral to positive conditions. So, yes. Tick triggers tock; tock triggers tick.

  76. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    I became intrigued with the Landscheidt claims you listed earlier, so I checked them out. I got the following results:

    “the Hale cycle is a dominant feature in the global record of (night) marine air temperatures”. The MohMAT NMAT series shows no relationship with the Hale cycle since 1870.

    “(and) in the detrended Central England temperature record for 1700 to 1950″. The CET record shows a fairly good correlation with the Hale cycle between 1750 and 1900, but none before 1750 and none after 1900.

    “and in the drought severity index covering different areas of the Western United States.” The annual western US drought index since 1650 shows a few peak-trough matches with the Hale cycle but no overall correlation.

    Hmmm.

  77. jorgekafkazar says:

    “I don’t disagree. I think the amplitude of the events is linked to the solar cycle though, notwithstanding the underlying variation of the PDO on the longer timescale.” –Tallbloke, earlier

    Just getting back to this. I’d say you may be right: amplitude (in at least one direction) could very well be linked to TSI and Whatever-it-is-the-Sun-does. Especially likely during La Nina, ironically, since a strong El Nino would rapidly restore the temperatures necessary to trigger La Nina. Conversely, La Nina triggers El Nino by low temperatures (at the trigger zone), so high temperatures might only weaken La Nina a little, causing it to wiggle, without triggering El Nino. [Hmm. Do I see more wiggles in the blue line than in the red? One glaring exception ~1994–1998, though. Darn. Can I splice in some other data to hide the red wiggles? I understand Mike Mann has some tree ring data left over.]

  78. tallbloke says:

    Roger:
    You’re going to have to read another big Landscheidt paper to see how his theory on phase reversals fits in to the picture:

    http://www.john-daly.com/solar/solar.htm

  79. tallbloke says:

    Maybe Erl Happ is on the case. Robert Ellison ‘Chief Hydologist’ on Judy Curry’s blog says this:

    There are standing patterns in the atmosphere and oceans – those at the poles being the key to higher latitude changes. There are 2 ways of predicting rainfall. One is the initialised models that lose their way within a week at most. The other is to look at standing patterns in oceans and atmosphere because these persist for decades.

    The Arctic Oscillation influences the path of storm tracks spinning of the polar front in the Northern Hemisphere. The more recent trend to negative values pushing storms further to the south. .

    http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/patterns/arctic_oscillation.html

    http://stateoftheocean.osmc.noaa.gov/atm/ao.php

    The variability in the AO is driven by the temperature of the stratosphere – which is the determined largely by UV warming of ozone.

    ‘During the descent into the recent ‘exceptionally’ low solar minimum, observations have revealed a larger change in solar UV emissions than seen at the same phase of previous solar cycles. This is particularly true at wavelengths responsible for stratospheric ozone production and heating. This implies that ‘top-down’ solar modulation could be a larger factor in long-term tropospheric change than previously believed, many climate models allowing only for the ‘bottom-up’ effect of the less-variable visible and infrared solar emissions. We present evidence for long-term drift in solar UV irradiance, which is not found in its commonly used proxies. In addition, we find that both stratospheric and tropospheric winds and temperatures show stronger
    regional variations with those solar indices that do show long-term trends. A top-down climate effect that shows long-term drift (and may also be out of phase with the bottom-up solar forcing) would change the spatial response patterns and would mean that climate-chemistry models that have sufficient resolution in the stratosphere would become very important for making accurate regional/seasonal climate predictions. Our results also provide a potential explanation of persistent palaeoclimate results showing solar influence on regional or local climate indicators.’

    There is a similar effect in the South Hemisphere which has an impact on cold water upwelling in the eastern Pacific – and thus the evolution of ENSO. Thus a global impact on cloud, biology, hydrology and surface temperature.

    ‘So there are natural causes of decadal, centennial and even millennial variability in hydrology (and climate) on which we clearly do not have much of a handle – and it is as a result impossible to convincingly disentangle causation. It echoes the other problem – there clearly should be some warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases but how can you tell by how much.

  80. jumbuck says:

    TB:
    Oops. Thanks TB, my mistake. Yes, it was the LOD bump of the 1930’s and the warming of WWII. That shortens the period considerably and blows that idea. Nevertheless gravity from the other planets needs to be considered. When Jupiter moves from aphelion to perihelion the tidal effects on Earth and on the other inner planets increases.

    Do the electromagnet fields from other planets extend that far? Venus doesn’t have one. Coupling between the core and the atmosphere from LOD changes may be an option?

    Could it be that ENSO results from the vertical expansion and contraction of the Hadley and Ferrell cells according to the strength of the solar cycle? I recall reading that Lambeck 1980 referred to distinct changes in wind directions from longitudinal to meridional in 30 year cycles.

  81. erlhapp says:

    Hi Tallbloke,
    If you plot the aa index of geomagentic activity against the Southern Oscillation Index you will discover that, broadly speaking the relationship is inverse. High levels of geomagnetic activity are associated with El Nino warming.

    However, the relationship is not completely deterministic. It depends upon the level of solar irradiance. At the low point of the solar cycle when irradiance is weak it takes very little geomagnetic activity to produce a response (El Nino). At the high point of the cycle the ionosphere is most inflated. Any change in the electric field that affects the ionosphere at this time can produce only minor change in the distribution of neutrals so burgeoning irradiance is frequently associated with La Nina. You will appreciate the paradox but many can not get over the idea that higher irradiance must mean a warmer Earth. It is in fact precisely the opposite.

    It is change in the distribution of neutrals between the poles and other latitudes that modulates the activity of the polar night jet so determining the concentration of ozone in the polar stratosphere. It is so because the night jet brings erosive nitrogen into the upper stratosphere at the poles.

    The troposphere and the stratosphere are coupled in one overturning circulation in the polar atmosphere. This is strongest in winter when there is the polar stratosphere receives no light from the sun. Effectively, the tropopause is elevated to 10hPa or higher. Under that circumstance both the troposphere and the stratosphere support convection. The overturning circulation brings stratospheric ozone into the troposphere. As you know, ozone is a potent absorber of infrared emanating from the Earth. The result is tropospheric warming, increased geopotential heights throughout the vertical profile and falling surface atmospheric pressure. The geography has been well documented by others in the studies of the ‘annular modes’. But the following bit is new, and easily documented. As pressure falls, cloud disappears and the surface receives more sunlight. The influence of ozone is spread equator-wards by the counter-westerlies that are the return circulation of the surface south-westerlies in the northern and the north-westerlies in the southern hemsipheres.

    Above is the nutshell version. The comprehensive description can be found at http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf

    I am currently going through the paper to try and make sure that the exposition is clear. I confidently predict that it will earn me an honorary PhD to be awarded posthumously.

    There is more work to be done. Hopefully, I can find a useful precursor that indicates the likely movement in the SOI index. But, bear in mind that the activity of the sun is unpredictable. Look at the explosive increase in solar irradiance in May. The task is more difficult in low amplitude solar cycles like Cycle 14. According to Lief, cycle 24 could be similar.

    Really, the way in which the cloud is forced within the Earths atmosphere, so changing surface temperature on all time scales should not be a matter of dispute. That which is forcing the atmosphere so as to shift atmospheric mass between high and low latitudes is more difficult to explain. The existence and the nature of the shift should not be the subject of debate. It is documented in the AO and AAO indices. The inter-hemispheric shift needs more work. Its tied in with the long term decline in atmospheric mass in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere. But, the dynamics of all this is where the electric universe comes in, reinforced by the multiplier effect from the Antarctic circulation, in turn a product of the distribution of land and sea..

    Re the comment from Mr Ellison:

    “So there are natural causes of decadal, centennial and even millennial variability in hydrology (and climate) on which we clearly do not have much of a handle”. My comment: Speak for yourself. It’s not that difficult.

    “and it is as a result impossible to convincingly disentangle causation”. My comment: Getting much closer than you think. Look harder.

    “there clearly should be some warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases but how can you tell by how much”. My comment: Not on a planetary scale.

    If you really want to get a grip on these phenomena don’t rely on others. Examine the history of the atmosphere for yourself. It can be found at: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl It’s a gripping story.

    Tallbloke, I love your comment box that expands as you write. It’s very consumer friendly and so are you.

  82. Chief Hydrologist says:

    “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd” – Voltaire.

    The hydrological methodologies include as I said initialised models and hueristic and very approximate methods involving the range of persistent ocean and atmospheric indices. There is no prospect of quantitative long range predictions any time soon.

    Simple causation is in itself misleading. Erl fails to appreciate the nature of a system that includes control variables and multiple feedbacks. It is a system that evolves chaotically across space and time. Change is abrupt and nonlinear. There is very little mathematics that applies – the increase in autocorrelation (slowing down) followed by noisy bifurcation (dragon-kings). Erl is still is the stage of un-evolved thought that overlooks entirely the complex, dynamic and nonlinear.

    ‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space. Prognostic equations for ρ, the Liouville and Fokker-Plank equation are described by Ehrendor. In practice these equations are solved by ensemble techniques, as described in Buizza.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

    I very much don’t like people who can can confidently predict the future – and do not believe them at all.

  83. tallbloke says:

    Hi Robert and welcome to the talkshop. We have some tools in the box which haven’t been considered seriously by the mainstream astrophysicists and climate scientists which will help reduce the apparent chaos if you’ll take the time to acquaint yourself with them. These should help tighten the constraints on the state space for you, and thus help improve the accuracy of forecasting. We don’t confidently predict the future weather here, but we can confidently predict the future course of some variables which we are pretty sure have a large effect on background climate parameters which set the scene weather occurs in.

    Erl: great exposition, your writing is becoming clearer and I’m closer to understanding your hypothesis than ever before. I think we can help with a couple of the remaining puzzles. The ~75 year oscillation you found in AO and AAO is likely linked to Solar-Lunar tidal action. I can’t see why it wouldn’t help with inter-hemispheric shifts as well. Citation below the graph:

    yndestad - lunar
    2008: Yndestad Harald; Turrell, William R and Ozhigin, Vladimir: Lunar nodal tide effects on variability of sea level,
    temperature and salinity in the Faroe-Shetland Channel and the Barents Sea.
    Deep Sea Research. 55/12. pp 1201-1217.
    Abstract:
    The Faroe-Shetland Channel and the Kola Section hydrographic time-series cover a time period of more than 100 years and represent two of the longest oceanographic time-series in the world. Relationships between the temperature and salinity of Atlantic water from these two areas are examined in this paper, which also presents for the first time comparisons between them and annual mean sea levels in the region. The investigation was based on a wavelet spectrum analysis used to identify the dominant cycle periods and cycle phases in all time-series. The water-property time-series show mean variability correlated to a sub-harmonic cycle of the nodal tide of about 74 years, with an advective delay between the Faroe-Shetland Channel and the Barents Sea of about 2 years. In addition, correlations better than R=0.7 were found between dominant Atlantic water temperature cycles and the 18.6-year lunar nodal tide, and better than R=0.4 for the 18.6/2=9.3-year lunar nodal phase tide. The correlation between the lunar nodal tides and the ocean temperature variability suggests that deterministic lunar nodal tides are important regional climate indicators that should be included when future regional climate variability is considered. The present analysis suggests that Atlantic water temperature and salinity fluctuations in the Nordic Seas are influenced by forced tidal mixing modulated by harmonics of the nodal tide and influencing the water mass characteristics at some point “down stream” from the Faroe-Shetland Channel. The effects of the modulated oceanic mixing are subsequently distributed as complex coupled lunar nodal sub-harmonic spectra in the thermohaline circulation.

    On his webpage, Harald Yndestad also says:

    Climate dynamics are theories about how the climate is developing in time. In this case the analysis is based on analysis of the power spectrum in data series and the theory of coupled oscillators. The power density spectrum in time series from nature is falling by about 1/frequency. This implicates that time series from nature has no stationary mean value. The mean value is dependent on the time series scaling range, and the climate state is dependent on the phase relations between a spectrum of causes.

    In this analysis we may understand the forced gravitation oscillation between the earth, sun and the moon as a forced coupled oscillation system to the earth. The tide and the earth rotation responds as a non-linear coupled oscillation to the forced gravity periods from the moon and the sun. This is a complex oscillation in periods between hours and thousands of years. The forced gravitation introduces a tidal mixing in the Atlantic Ocean. This tidal mixing introduces temperature and salinity fluctuations that influences climate and the eco system. This research has focus on the respond from harmonics from the 18.6 yr lunar nodal amplitude cycle and the 9.3 yr phase cycle.

    More here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-moon-is-linked-to-long-term-atlantic-changes/

  84. kim says:

    Yes, I can hear Koutsoyiannis’s Gods laughing at their dice game in the clouds. But I also think Apollo has the game rigged. I’m intriqued by the fact that UV can vary enough to account for climate variations, and I believe that the earth’s responses are complex enough to somehow dampen the hypersensitivity that Leif keeps reminding us to wonder about. It also seems obvious that albedo is the manner through which all this marvelous machinery is expressed. I suspect there must be a beat to the music of the spheres. It’s not cacaphony we note.
    ====================

  85. tallbloke says:

    Ah, Kim, a man with rhythm in his rhyme and meter in his mischief. Come to play Pan on our planetary piping! Welcome.

    With rumbling Rhumba of Volcanic lava
    Pouring forth the molten magma
    To boil the sea and cool the sky
    The wandering cloud now passes by

  86. erlhapp says:

    Robert. I remind you of this comment from my post above:

    ‘Really, the way in which the cloud is forced within the Earth’s atmosphere, so changing surface temperature on all time scales should not be a matter of dispute.”

    For the exposition of the mechanism I refer you to chapter 10 in the paper that I gave a link to. Let’s be specific about any objections that you have.

    Tallbloke. Thanks for the suggestion. Ocean tides are a feature of our experience. But for the life of me I cannot see how tidal movements would affect surface temperature. We need a mechanism. Otherwise it’s just Cyclomania…Lief’s term.

    Kim, never far away from a party. Always a pleasure to hear from you. Yes, I too think that the variation in very short wave radiation will have a strong part to play because it determines the density of plasma within the neutrals and therefore the impact of the solar wind on the distribution of the neutrals. So far as I can see there are big gaps in our understanding of the variation in the incidence of short wave energy within and between solar cycles. Short wave energy does not get to the surface and it is very expensive getting out beyond the atmosphere to measure what is being thrown at us by the sun.

    Two bits of data that should be compared can be found here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/
    Look at the 25°south to 25°south at 2hPa.
    Compare with the polar regions at 2hPa.

    As temperature rises at the pole it simultaneously falls at the equator. Check the timing of the spikes. Then look at the line showing the highest temperature seen at the equator. You will see that it is what happens over Antarctica that most influences tropical stratospheric temperature. At the pole a fall in surface pressure is coincident with a rise in the temperature in the stratosphere. The fall in the temperature in the stratosphere over the equator is coincident with a rise in surface pressure there. Methinks that fall in temperature at the equator relates to an outward movement in the zone of ionization. Some researchers have noted a coincident change in the ring current as measured at equatorial observatories.

  87. Stephen Wilde says:

    Hello Erl, nice to hear from you.

    A couple of questions:

    i) “The fall in the temperature in the stratosphere over the equator is coincident with a rise in surface pressure there.”

    I always thought that a fall in the temperature of the stratosphere raises the tropopause resulting in lower pressure at the surface. Is it different at the equator ?

    ii) “Short wave energy does not get to the surface.”

    Isn’t it shortwave solar energy that gets past the evaporative layer at the top of the oceans and into the bulk?

  88. erlhapp says:

    Hi Stephen,
    Thanks for the cordial welcome and I am happy to give you my take on the matter. Others will no doubt provide different answers.

    Re: “I always thought that a fall in the temperature of the stratosphere raises the tropopause resulting in lower pressure at the surface. Is it different at the equator ?”

    The stratosphere is a big place and the forces acting on it are complex and vary with altitude, latitude, season and also with the quasi biennial oscillation. In the tropics the tropopause is forced upwards by the erosion of ozone by ascending water vapour. So the tropopause is up to 18km in elevation there but only about 10km in the mid latitudes. From my point of view the height of the tropopause is going to react according to the forces determining the concentration of ozone and the chief one at tropopause level is water vapour. In the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere it is the interception of infrared radiation by ozone that reverses the decline of temperature with elevation.

    Now, if the temperature of the stratosphere (or part of it) increases we have got to understand the possible cause of that to work out what’s going to happen to the tropopause. e.g. More very short wave radiation coming from the sun? Less water vapour coming up from below? Less nitrogen coming in via the night jet at the pole? More infrared coming up from the Earth? More aerosols coming up from volcanoes?

    I don’t think it is useful to talk about the temperature of the stratosphere as if the whole thing behaved as a homogenous unit. It doesn’t. Some commentators talk about the temperature of the ‘stratosphere’ falling away but that is historically true only of the mid latitudes. At high latitudes the temperature of the stratosphere increased dramatically prior to 1978 and has slowly fallen away since that time but it is still much warmer than it was back in 1948.

    The polar stratosphere in the night zone is a different ball game altogether. It is being heated only by outgoing infrared radiation but there is a lot of ozone there because the air is cold and dry. Ozone is not created there. It drifts in. I suspect that there is much more ozone in the polar regions all the way to the surface and particularly in winter.

    The mode of thought that admits a greenhouse effect would have us believe that if the temperature of the stratosphere increases, so will the troposphere. That doesn’t happen and because it doesn’t happen we know that the greenhouse effect exists only in the mind of the proponents.

    The concept of a ‘tropopause’ is more an intellectual construct that appears on diagrams than what is happening in the real world. Given the frequency that it goes up and down with the passage of weather systems, the terrain below and the seasons and the fact that convection frequently overshoots it would be very difficult to actually find the thing in practice.

    Re: “Short wave energy does not get to the surface.”
    Sorry, loose terminology. The wave lengths shorter than violet are absorbed by the atmosphere. The wave lengths longer than violet, i.e the visible spectrum do get through to the surface.

    It is the wave lengths that are absorbed by the atmosphere that vary much more than TSI. Unable to measure them at the surface we don’t know how they vary within and between solar cycles. So we are unable to predict what is happening in the ionosphere and in the all important layer where ions (plasma) interact with neutrals.

  89. @erlhapp:

    …and not forgetting the Solar Flux: http://www.solarham.com/flux.htm
    having a wavelength very close to that of the Microwave OVENS:

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/waves/mwoven.html

  90. tallbloke says:

    Erl, I thought the AGW proponents said a cooling stratosphere was a sign that more heat was being trapped in the troposphere by extra co2? Or was it that that would then raise the equilibrium temperature and so raise the temperature of the stratosphere later as the system re-equilibriated?

    You said:
    ” Ocean tides are a feature of our experience. But for the life of me I cannot see how tidal movements would affect surface temperature. We need a mechanism. Otherwise it’s just Cyclomania…Lief’s term.”

    Ah well, that’s what comes of hanging out with Leif. He clings to the party dogma that the ocean doesn’t accumulate heat on timescales longer than a year. If you use logic for a minute, you’ll see he can’t be right. There was a geological epoch during which the ocean warmed all the way to the bottom. It took millions of years for it to cool down, so clearly the oceanic heat capacity, being as large as it is, is capable of accumulating heat over long timescales too. In order to do that, excess solar energy from raised insolation (reduced cloud cover) has to get mixed down into the ocean, since it can’t come straight out again due to the constraint the insulating effect of the air blanket above it creates. Air has a much lower heat capacity than water, so would soon rise above sea temperature and prevent further oceanic heat emission.

    The internal tides caused by the gravitational effects of the Moon and Sun are what mixes the energy, and due to the stratification of layers of water at differeing temperatures, this produces sea surface temperature variation on timescales reflecting the periodicity of the raised an lowered rates heat enters the ocean at as the solar furnace waxes and wanes. This is also amplified by the changes in Earth’s length of day having the same frequencies, because they both have the same underlying cause – planetary motion. As the crust spins more slowly and quickly, the oceans bump up against the continental plates, causing more cold upwelling/mixing down of surface water warmth. See papers by veteran oceanologist Walter Munk

    Munk, W., and Wunsch, C. (1998). “Abyssal recipes II: Energetics of tidal and wind mixing”. Deep-Sea Res. 45 (12): 1977–2010. doi:10.1016/S0967-0637(98)00070-3.
    Munk, W. (1966). “Abyssal recipes”. Deep-Sea Res. 13: 707–730.

    So Stephen has it right, there is the top down short term solar effect on ozone and atmospheric pressure shifts, and also the bottom up oceanic effect. My contention is that the bottom up effect is also a function of solar and lunar rhythms, coupled with Earth orientation changes. All three are caused by planetary motion and are ultimately calculable, although our imperfect understanding of the motion to solar activity link and LOD to oceanic sloshing link introduces the chaos Robert sees in the system. Nonetheless on longer timescales we can see it clearly:

    lod-temp-ssb

  91. Roger Andrews says:

    TB:

    I took your recommendation and re-read Landscheidt’s paper. I have a number of comments and questions, but I will l defer them until you post the appetite-whetter you promised. :-)

  92. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thanks Erl, I’ll give that some thought.

    There does seem to be a discrepancy between my scenario and yours but I’m having problems pinning down exactly what it is and the logical implications.

    We seem to agree that a more active sun actually increases system cooling rather than warming it (against all the established science but in accordance with recent data mentioned by Joanna Haigh).

    I wonder whether our difference relates to the location of that effect.

    You say that there is a La Nina cooling dominance when the sun is more active but in fact weren’t El Ninos more dominant during the late 20th century period of warming and active sun?

    I say that the more active sun cools the mesosphere and stratrosphere to draw the jets polewards and allow more energy into the oceans to enhance El Nino warming just as was seen.

    Any idea as to which of us is right?

    Stephen.

  93. tallbloke says:

    Steohen: Erl is right that La Nina often occurs near solar max, so in the short term that works. However, over the whole solar cycle, a comparison with sst shows a positive correlation. El Nino, particularly the large ones, often takes place just after solar minimum. Along with the mixing down of excess solar energy, the overall effect is to diminish the apparent effect of the solar cycle on surface temperature. This leads to mistaken estimates of the degree to which solar variation in the long term affects the surface temperature record.

  94. Stephen Wilde says:

    Yes Rog, that’s fine but one really needs to look at trends over multiple solar cycles to see the background climate changes over the long term.

    MWP and today show jets poleward presumably with a cooler stratosphere.

    LIA shows jets equatorward presumably with a warmer stratosphere.

    The recent solar minimum has coincided with a cessation of cooling in the stratosphere (possibly a slight warming) and more equatorward jets.

    So an active sun cools the stratosphere, jets move poleward, more energy into oceans, El Ninos get stronger.

    An inactive sun warms the stratosphere, jets move equatorwards, less energy into oceans, El Ninos get weaker.

    Note that the solar part of the process is over and above the separate oceanic oscillation giving rise to the basic ENSO/PDO phenomenon.

    I accept that the basic phenomenon may well be initiated and maintained by the other forcings that you discuss such as LOD and planetary/lunar alignments.acting on the ocean bulk.

    Do we see stronger El Ninos/La Ninas or weaker El Ninos/La Ninas when the sun is active or when it is inactive ?

    Erl suggests that La Ninas are stronger when the sun is more active but that doesn’t fit well with the late 20th century does it?

    Then we had strong El Ninos plus an active sun.

    Now we have a less active sun and La Nina seems to be gaining over El Nino.

    So the natural ocean oscillations involve an alternating dominance of El Nino over La Nina over 60 year timescales but separately the level of solar activity affects the scale of the differential over longer periods of time.

    I think :)

  95. tallbloke says:

    Stephen says:
    Erl suggests that La Ninas are stronger when the sun is more active but that doesn’t fit well with the late 20th century does it?

    Erl was talking about the individual solar cycles, not the longer term:

    Erl said:
    “At the low point of the solar cycle when irradiance is weak it takes very little geomagnetic activity to produce a response (El Nino). At the high point of the cycle the ionosphere is most inflated. Any change in the electric field that affects the ionosphere at this time can produce only minor change in the distribution of neutrals so burgeoning irradiance is frequently associated with La Nina”

    Now whether he has wrongly extrapolated that is another question. Do you think he has? If so, quote him.

  96. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Now whether he has wrongly extrapolated that is another question. Do you think he has? If so, quote him”

    I’ll await Erl’s comment on that.

    I’m not sure whether a different long term response to the short term response causes his scenario any problems.

  97. tallbloke says:

    Wise move. :)

    One good contribution Erl has made is his observation about geomag and why, if there is a link, it can more easily cause bigger El Nino’s at solar minimum. Another interesting possibility to add to my collection.

  98. Stephen Wilde says:

    Yes, Erl has lots of good stuff and he is ahead of me on the geomag just as you are ahead of me on LOD et al.

    I think I have the right general overview for the longer term but fitting it to the suggestions of my sceptic colleagues for the shorter term is a work in progress.

  99. jumbuck says:

    On June 19 at 9:59 am Erl Happ says:

    “At the pole a fall in surface pressure is coincident with a rise in the temperature in the stratosphere. The fall in the temperature in the stratosphere over the equator is coincident with a rise in surface pressure there.”

    What’s the difference?

    Hi Erl:
    Looking at fig.1 in your paper, it appears that the trend lines after 1980 are arbitrary? If you’d match them would would the top one look wrong?

    As to ENSO: It appears that the close association of the La Nina with solar max as TB said earlier, is the result of heat building up to a critical temperature in the surface layer of the Pacific in the tropics. This causes evaporation to increase and for the remaining the salt to increase the density of the water. The eventual overturning/ slumping causes the air above to cool, the Hadley convection cells to contract and break up, which causes wind directions to become more longitudonal.

  100. jumbuck says:

    Further to what I.’ve saidabove, we should not forget that it is the Ocean that is the great heat sink of the world , not the atmosphere, and that the atmosphere can do little more than respond to what the Ocean dictates.

    The ENSO and the other oscillations are the Ocean’s responses to solar radiation that drive evaporation, cloud cover, CO2, and the global climate. The elongation of the Hadley convections cells is the rapid response to warming of the mainly tropical Ocean. It is what helps the formation and distribution of clouds where they are most needed. The La Nina dumps water that’s no longer needed as clouds in the Troposphere after the Ocean water has overturned.

  101. It has long been my thoughts that there is a relationship between the interference between lunar phase and declinational tidal interactions across the Pacific basin that results in the Qbo frequency 28 days X27.32 days =~765 days, which beats with the passing synod conjunctions of the outer planets.To result in the loose connection to the solar cycle (driven by the outer planets) and the SOI signal is the result of the compounded signal on the ocean SSTs and resultant pressure swings, as the Phase of the moon and the daily solar advance is responsible for the push of the trades while the moons declination is close to the equator, and the tidal effects shift to pushing the westerlies when the lunar declination is onto its culminations.

    When an outer planet synod conjunction happens to be in sync with the equatorial crossings the trades are given an extra push, and when close to lunar declinational culminations the westerlies and tropical storms come off of the tropics. It is all a non-equilibration free running oscillation that gets pushed and shoved around at shorter time scales 6 years or less.

    The 6 year progression of the lunar nodes, and the 18 year Saros cycle inner planet repeats, just add a base for the other beats to mix with, you are going to need a complex filter system to tease the segments apart, or a good basic under lying compounded repeating pattern to forecast the multiple effects of all of the combined interactions.

    I have been using the 6558 day (almost Saros) cycle timing to forecast the weather on a daily basis, with good results. (Should have site revision and better detailed maps completed in about a month or so.)

  102. erlhapp says:

    Tallbloke
    “I thought the AGW proponents said a cooling stratosphere was a sign that more heat was being trapped in the troposphere by extra co2?”

    I can’t accept that notion. Long wave radiation from the surface or the upper troposphere in the winter hemisphere (from where most of it is emitted) must travel the gauntlet of the stratosphere to get to space. In the process the stratosphere is heated because ozone absorbs that long wave.
    Secondly, atmosphere does not store heat, it vents it. Its temperature reflects the flow of energy that it is being transmitted. The energy transmitted reflects the energy accepted and that depends upon cloud cover as the major variable.
    Warm air cannot be held down by the atmosphere and warm water cannot be held down by the oceans because the physics of displacement work the same way in both. The ocean gyres that are driven by the wind (not the tides) move warmer surface waters into colder latitudes. By the time the water turns around and heads back to the equator it has lost most of the energy that it had. Residence time of the heat? Hard to determine but probably less than a year.
    When I look at the Pacific Ocean data I see change in water temperature down to 300 metres, no more.
    Air is a good insulator but only when it is trapped and can’t move. When it moves it is an excellent vehicle for transferring energy. Leave a couple of windows open and test that for yourself.
    What we have learned from Lief is that the solar furnace does not wax and wane. He is an independent thinker, not a party man. He doesn’t mind going out on a limb as long as it looks sound.
    In chapter 2 I look at the way in which temperature has changed over time. Whatever the theory as to the cause of temperature change, it must square with that. Temperature changes differently by hemisphere and by latitude within a hemisphere with the annual minimum behaving differently to the annual maximum. No chapter has had more careful consideration than chapter 2. Whatever your theory it must explain the observed pattern of change. Greenhouse theory doesn’t cut it. Stephens theory treats the globe as a unit. Any theory that treats the globe as a unit and can’t account for the different experience that is seen in chapter 2 will not cut it for me.

  103. tallbloke says:

    Richard: Kudos to you for making testable predictions, and for your insight into the complexity of the tidal forces which shift and shove the fluid surface of our planet around. I’m trying to work from the big picture inwards, partly because I find the short timescale stuff too difficult to untangle. I am beginning to see more though, I think.

    Jumbuck, yes, the ocean is the big driver, or as Anthony Watts put it “one big assed heat flux capacitor”.
    How the slinity changes and overturning work I need to read up more about. If I had my time over, I’d become an oceanographer.

  104. tallbloke says:

    Hi Erl, you caught me at sleep time, so I’ll respond more fully later, but consider your words:

    “When I look at the Pacific Ocean data I see change in water temperature down to 300 metres, no more.”

    There’s an awful lot of energy stored in 300m of Pacific. It can only escape at the rate the air can convect it. When the Sun is more than averagely active, and cloud is reduced, energy arrives faster than it can escape. If the sun stays more than averagely active over several decades, that excess energy *has to*accumulate in the ocean, just as the increase in steric sea level shows it does.

    Keep it coming, I’m really enjoying having you over for a chat.

  105. erlhapp says:

    Stephen
    “weren’t El Ninos more dominant during the late 20th century period of warming and active sun?”
    If you aggregate the monthly SOI value for each solar cycle in turn and plot the values you will see that the ENSO cycle varies in the amplitude of its fluctuation over time, amplitude has increased over the period of record and its positive for 20-30 years then negative. It’s a while since I have done it so I am not sure of the period, and I think it varies
    Short term swings in ENSO are driven from the Arctic. See my figure 38 page 67.
    In the long term ENSO is driven by the SAM. This paper is a statistical analysis and it has the causation back to front but it establishes that the correlation is significant. See: http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/ao/ThompsonPapers/LHeureux.pdf
    Can ENSO be driven by both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Yes. The short term swings in the Arctic are driven from the Antarctic. See the discussion from page 133 -138.
    So, I would say to you that you need to look carefully at chapter 10 that describes the mechanism that changes cloud cover on all time scales. That mechanism ultimately depends upon electromagnetic influences upon the distribution of the atmosphere between high and low latitudes. You need to delve into plasma physics that explains how a mixture of charged and uncharged (neutral) particles will move in a changing electromagnetic field.
    Can ENSO drive what happens at the poles? Those who think so invoke planetary wave theory and ignore change in surface pressure and its effect on night jet activity. But to produce the marked change in the temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere that occurred 1948 -1978 you need more than planetary waves.
    Change in surface pressure is the gorilla in the room that stands unnoticed. It is the prime influence upon the interaction between the mesosphere and the stratosphere. That interaction determines stratospheric ozone values and the temperature of the stratosphere.
    Re declining stratospheric temperature in mid and low latitudes: It’s due to a strong increase in the movement of water vapour into the stratosphere from the tropics. Nothing to do with the sun, or short wave length flux or change in solar activity. Ozone is absorbed by water. In the lower stratosphere temperature depends upon the amount of ozone there is to absorb infrared from the Earth. All the very short wave energy that comes from the sun (to which the atmosphere is opaque) is fully absorbed at higher elevations.
    Re movement of the wind systems and the jets: Its due to the expansion and contraction of the Hadley cell depending upon the amount of energy given off in the tropics as latent heat, driving the overturning circulation.

  106. erlhapp says:

    Jumbuck
    “What’s the difference?”
    The import of the question escapes me? Possibly relates to the way you take what I have written. What do you think I am saying?

    Re: “Looking at fig.1 in your paper, it appears that the trend lines after 1980 are arbitrary? If you’d match them would would the top one look wrong?”

    Yes those lines are fitted by eye and you can take them or leave them. If you read the data some other way then so be it. But, let me say I am looking at the very broad picture, not the minutae. I don’t trust the data to that extent.

    Can’t relate to your explanation of how El Nino becomes La Nina at all. The particular phenomena that we see in the Pacific relates to the geography of the Pacific. It is a response to things happening elsewhere rather than a causative agent. Does the Pope make the church or the church make the Pope?

  107. Tim Channon says:

    I generally keep out of artificial datasets, real are bad enough. Sea indexes? Too abstract and top down for me.

    Perhaps I can add something to do with solar in surface records.

    “Roger Andrews says:
    June 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I became intrigued with the Landscheidt claims you listed earlier, so I checked them out. I got the following results:

    “the Hale cycle is a dominant feature in the global record of (night) marine air temperatures”. The MohMAT NMAT series shows no relationship with the Hale cycle since 1870.

    Hmmm.”

    I did the linked some time ago, early on in software development. The underlying data has problems but there are essentially no other long daily min/max records anywhere.

    The data is still not good enough.

    One reason: A min/max reading violates sampling requirements, cannot be done and cannot be undone once wrong. (there is no way of knowing the actual sample time, sometime inside a large time window is all that is known)

    Temped to say much more about sampling and data processing violations. Long long subject which meets hostility and entrenched views, regardless it is exact maths.

    In the following notice the differences in the solar signature. Also notice the 45 years, appears in sea level, hemispheric, solar, varves etc.

  108. erlhapp says:

    jumbuck says:
    June 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm
    Agreed with all that you say except this:

    “The La Nina dumps water that’s no longer needed as clouds in the Troposphere after the Ocean water has overturned.”

    I would say: Geomagnetic activity falls away or irradiance increases with the result that atmospheric mass returns to the pole.This enlivens the night jet reducing ozone levels in the upper polar stratosphere. Reduced ozone feed into the churn zone (coupled circulation causing the annular mode) allows the troposphere to cool. Cloud increases, less sunlight gets to the surface. The atmosphere cools and dumps moisture. The surface cools, further cooling the atmosphere the process continuing until atmospheric moisture levels become scarce. the atmosphere is then ripe and ready for an El Nino event as soon as irradiance falls away or geomagnetic activity increases.

    But we are arguing about what we see and we all see differently.

    So, taken in the broad, you really are a very sensible sheep.

  109. jumbuck says:

    Erl, good morning, nice to see you’re awake too.

    Without seeking to deminish the role of CO2 as the transporter of the mighty Carbon atom, as a greenhouse gas it is useless in low concentrations, particularly in the presence of water vapour. However, during glaciations CO2 becomes very important as a greenhouse gas. This is because with minimal photosynthesis and continuing LOD changes (from changes in Earth’s rotation and its the angular momentum from the lunar orbit that is affected by the gravity of mainly the Sun, Venus, Jupiter &Saturn) that drive earthquaques and volcanic activity, that cause contiuing volcanic activity to buid up CO2 over time to concentrations of over 10% (to more than 250 times the current 0.04%). When it does so with minimal water vapour in the air, because that gets frozen out, CO2 prevents a “Snowball Earth” from occurring that would freeze the Ocean down to great depth (as it would without the Sun). Mars is a useful exemple.

    CO2 also works the othe way. On Venus the atmosphere is 93 times denser than on Earth and contains almost 97% CO2. On Earth, looking West after sunset or East before sunrise we can often see Venus as the brightest object in the sky. This is because CO2 acts together with SO2 as a reflector of sunlight that is the almost twice the intensity on Earth. With one Venus day being the equivalent of 243 Earth days, CO2 distributes the intense heat from the Sun all around the planet.

    PS. Could the beech sands on the rocks on your property have got there as a result of uplift after deposition, instead of having been blown there by winds or having been deposited when the sea level was higher?

  110. erlhapp says:

    Tallbloke

    Re “There’s an awful lot of energy stored in 300m of Pacific. It can only escape at the rate the air can convect it. When the Sun is more than averagely active, and cloud is reduced, energy arrives faster than it can escape. If the sun stays more than averagely active over several decades, that excess energy *has to*accumulate in the ocean, just as the increase in steric sea level shows it does.”

    Agreed about the sea level indicating that energy is stored in the ocean but can we be sure? Ocean height also depends upon the distribution of water between the land and the sea and how much is stored as ice or in water catchments, and subterranean basins and the atmosphere itself. Have we accounted for all these pockets?

    Active sun? in what respect active?

    Cloud disappearing? Why?

    Would it not be sufficient to have the cloud coming and going to fully explain the flux in the surface temperature and the wind. What does it matter if the residence time for energy in the ocean varies a little with the speed of the wind.

    One thing I do know is that the disappearance of the cloud is accompanied by an increase in the speed of the wind, especially in the southern hemisphere.That’s why the sea surface temperature response in the mid latitudes is damped. See Fig 32 and 33. So, as the cloud disappears the process of heat removal speeds up.

    Another thing, and Jumbuck points it out is that there is little cloud in the tropics. So, the coming and going of the cloud is a mid latitude phenomenon. Thirdly, if you look at my Ch1 you see that cloud flux is most active in southern summer. So it is the southern oceans where the rate of energy acquisition varies most strongly. Here, the ocean circulation moves water from the tropics towards Antarctica where it gets its thermal wings thoroughly clipped in winter when Antarctica doubles its surface area via the addition of three million square miles of ice hanging onto its perimeter.

  111. jumbuck says:

    Erl: What you said about he geomagnetic activity and night precipitation sounds perfectly reasonable but what are the relative percentages? The rainfall in Eastern Australia from the just finishing La Nina was enormous. Cooper Creek and Lake Eyre flooded twice.

  112. erlhapp says:

    Tim
    A min/max reading violates sampling requirements.

    Right on.

    If you want to know what is happening from the point of view of say, a plant, hour degrees above and below thresholds is the way to go. Sampling every twenty minutes is desirable.

    The mean temperature (Max plus Min/2) can be two or more degrees either side of an average of hourly readings.

  113. erlhapp says:

    Jumbuck. Got to work. Be back later.

  114. jumbuck says:

    Erl, re my reference to your: “At the pole a fall in surface pressure is coincident with a rise in the temperature in the stratosphere. The fall in the temperature in the stratosphere over the equator is coincident with a rise in surface pressure there.” and my question “What’s the difference?” and your “The import of the question escapes me? Possibly relates to the way you take what I have written. What do you think I am saying?”

    Are your sentences not saying the same about about the poles as they do about the equator by changing the emphasis and the order from “a fall in surface pressure” and “a rise in the temperature of the stratosphere’ to a “fall in the temperature in the stratosphere” and “a rise in surface pressure”? If you exchange the words ‘rise’ and ‘fall’ in either of the sentences you get the same of what you say in the other sentence except in reverse order. What I’m saying in algebraic terms is that a+b=b+a and, that -a+b=b-a and, further that a-b=-b+a.

    So, what you are saying is that the same contition of a fall in surface pressure at the pole or at the equator coincides with a corresponding rise in temperature in the Stratosphere and that a rise in surface pressure at the poles or at the equator conincides with a corresponding fall in temperature in the Stratosphere.

    My question is: Is that what you meant to say?

  115. jumbuck says:

    Thanks for letting me know Erl, I’ll have to do the same. Cheers

  116. erlhapp says:

    Jumbuck,
    Nice to know that I am not the only guy who has to work.

    Re the temperature of the stratosphere at the pole and the equator.

    This is what happens. The Southern Annular Mode that is monitored using the Antarctic Oscillation Index tracks a phenomenon whereby atmospheric mass moves from high latitudes to other parts. When this happens the loss of mass is heaviest, not at the pole itself but on the margins of Antarctica. However note that the process is led by a loss of mass at the highest latitudes. It is led on the way up and the way down. The change in the temperature of the stratosphere tells us that. See figure 145 page 172

    So, I said in the paragraph above that atmospheric mass moves to ‘other parts’. If you investigate the change you see that mass and therefore pressure increases in the tropics at precisely the same time as it is lost at high latitudes.

    I observed that as pressure falls in high latitudes upper stratosphere temperature rises at the pole.

    At the equator where pressure rises, temperature falls from 200hPa (upper troposphere) and all the way upwards into the equatorial stratosphere. Effectively the stratosphere jumps upwards, the zone of greatest heating is further away from the Earth because the atmosphere has got thicker.

    More information. What is described above (re the tropics) is the short term week by week response. But when we plot the sixty year record we find that sea surface temperature in the tropics rises strictly with atmospheric pressure in the tropics. That tells us that the loss of mass at high latitudes and gain at the equator is associated with a loss in cloud cover.

    What is described above could be repeated in terms of the Arctic Oscillation Index in the northern hemisphere.

    But, there is an additional complication. Over the last sixty years the entire southern hemisphere has lost atmospheric mass and the northern hemisphere has gained mass. That is a product of the very strong coupling and the continuous overturning of the troposphere and the stratosphere over Antarctica which dumps ozone in that specific pattern described as the annular (ring like) mode. By contrast, in the Arctic, ozone is frequently dumped centrally, a phenomenon called a sudden stratospheric warming that involves a reversal of the wind direction. That is very rare in Antarctica.

    When ozone is dumped into the troposphere it warms the troposphere and geopotential heights increase.Effectively, there is more kinetic energy forcing the molecules apart. So, they get further apart. Some get shoved north. As it turns out more and more have been shoved north over time. Hence the shift in atmospheric mass. But this is a secondary shift that is an inevitable follow on from the initial shift engineered by the sun. It is a multiplier effect, a positive reinforcement.

  117. jumbuck says:

    Erl: Thanks for getting back on that. Yes, I think I’m getting you drift. A week in meteorology is a long time. It is about the average time it takes for a molecule of water evaporated from the surface to get back to the surface. So, what you appear to be saying is that increased mass/pressure at the equator results in a loss of temperature at altitude and the opposite occurs at higher latitudes close to the Antarctic about one week later, where there is a torus-vortex kind of convection.
    Is the loss of mass at the higher latitudes due to precipitation?
    If I understand that correctly, what happens in Antarctica could be a good example for the observable Universe if indeed it has that shape????
    I think the answer lies in the water content of the air increasing the mass, vis-à-vis the pressure and the extraction of heat at altitude to stay as a vapour before falling as a monsoon rain as part of the Hadley convection cells. The Hadley cells then drive the Ferrel convection cells in opposite direction and the Antarctic torus-vortex that is maintained by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) of the Ocean.
    If that is so, then it would explain the difference in the Artic where Ozone increases at or near the pole because of the absence of a circumpolar current?
    I think you’re absolutely right as far as the effects of cloud cover are concerned.
    I’m intrigued by the loss of atmospheric density & cloud cover over the last 60 years. It suggests a possible link with the Jupiter – Saturn cycle and LOD warming affecting the SH less than the NH because of having only half the landmass with dryer continents and much more ocean. The differences in evapotranspiration too could be significant factors.

    Earlier I was trying to say something about gravity and tides. In case you find it interesting, I copied this from
    http://www.etsu.edu/physics/etsuobs/starprty/22099dgl/planalign.htm, which in turn comes from Bad Astronomy:

    In units of Moon gravity and tides, below are the forces on the Earth from rest of the planets The masses are in units of 10**22 kilograms (the Earth masses 6×1024 kilograms, or 600 on this scale), and the distances in millions of kilometers. By the way, the distances of closest approach to the Earth are used to maximize the effect. Realistically, the force will be smaller than what is listed.

    The info is listed in the following order:
    Planet Mass in (10**22 kg), Distance, Gravity, Tides, ith th expressed in terms of the Moon

    Mercury 33 92 0.00008 0.0000003
    Venus 490 42 0.006 0.00005
    Mars 64 80 0.0002 0.000001
    Jupiter 200,000 630 0.01 0.000006
    Saturn 57,000 1280 0.0007 0.0000002
    Uranus 8,700 2720 0.00002 0.000000003
    Neptune 10,000 4354 0.00001 0.000000001

    As you can see, the table didn’t copy well so you may as well look at the site for yourself, save to say that the last two numbers are the significant ones with Jupiter, Saturn and Venus having any appreciable gravity effect and the tidal effect being much less because of the inverse cube law.

  118. tallbloke says:

    Hi Erl,

    good questions and points.

    “Agreed about the sea level indicating that energy is stored in the ocean but can we be sure?”

    ENVISAT shows a much lower trend than TOPEX/JASON, either for technical reasons. for political reasons or because the ocean has been cooling since 2003 according to Loehle’s take on the ARGO data. The latter I hope.

    “Ocean height also depends upon the distribution of water between the land and the sea and how much is stored as ice or in water catchments, and subterranean basins and the atmosphere itself. Have we accounted for all these pockets?

    IPCC say about half the sea level rise since 1993 is due to melt runoff and the other factors apart from thermal expansion are fairly negligible. NOAA figures on http://blogs.shell.com/climatechange/2011/06/weird-weather-or-just-chaos-as-usual/ for ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica seem to be in that ballpark The ocean increased in volume around 5600km^3 during the 1993-2003 decade according to U.of Colarado TOPEX measurement. According to http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleatmosphere.html the atmosphere contains around 12900km^3 at any one time. This doesn’t vary much, because when it raining somehwere, it’s dry elsewhere. The blog link above shows rainfall varying around +/-40mm/year. Is this adjusted for by Colorado? Dunno, but lets remember that what falls out of the sky got evaporated from the ocean in the first place.

    Active sun? in what respect active?

    If I’m right about the ocean accumulating solar energy on multidecadal scales, the higher than average TSI over the C20th needs to be counted as an integration of the TSI value (using sunspot number as a proxy). This shows that the ocean was accumulating energy since about 1934 until around 2003. It was losing energy prior to that from around 1880 to 1934. The oceanic oscillations seem to have over-ridden that causing the upswing in sst from ~1915 to 1945, and the drop in sst from 1945to 1976.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/nailing-the-solar-activity-global-temperature-divergence-lie/

    Cloud disappearing? Why?

    Apart from the possible Svensmark effect, I found that correlation between specific humidity and solar activity. Nir SHaviv used the oceans as a calorimeter and found the solar signal was amoplified by 5 to 7 times by a terrestrial mechanism. Albedo is the best candidate.

    Would it not be sufficient to have the cloud coming and going to fully explain the flux in the surface temperature and the wind.

    Probably, but then we have a good correlation between solar activity and accumulated ocean heat anyway. Albedo must therefore be linked to solar activity levels somehow, because it is as you say a bigger cause of variation in insolation than TSI variation.

    What does it matter if the residence time for energy in the ocean varies a little with the speed of the wind.

    Residence time for the energy in the near surface waters will fluctuate as you say. Residence time for energy mixed down to great depth can be of the order of millions of years, as the geological and fossil record shows. It’s going on at all timescales. This is where Svalgaard gets it wrong. He may be a good solar physicist, but he understands little about ocean dynamics. Don’t get suckered by him on this. I’ve been having this argument with him for three years, and every time he concedes my logical points after a long battle, he pops up on another thread and repeats the same fallacies. It’s almost as if he can’t admit it to himself for more than a minute, because it threatens his conceptual views of terrestrial energy throughput. He once even got Anthony Watts to delete my response on a new thread when I caught him at it and linked the thread where I had just won the debate. I don’t think for one minute that Leif is an undercover agent for AGW, I think he simply has to defend the scientific status quo because he frets that Institutional science will be diminished if lay people like you and me show the experts to be non-expert. He’ll deny that and provide counter examples of what he has said, but taken in the round, that’s what it adds up to IMO.

    “So it is the southern oceans where the rate of energy acquisition varies most strongly. Here, the ocean circulation moves water from the tropics towards Antarctica where it gets its thermal wings thoroughly clipped in winter when Antarctica doubles its surface area via the addition of three million square miles of ice hanging onto its perimeter.”

    Yes, but that same ice acts as an efficient insulator, preventing the water beneath it convecting or radiating heat into the atmosphere. And it only takes a tiny fraction of the energy of the surface waters to be lost to form that ice.
    The top two meters of the ocean contain as much heat capacity as the entire atmosphere above it. This key fact needs tattooing onto the eyeballs of every climate scientist.

    You have great insight into decadal variation and the driving forces behind important terrestrial phenomena. Stick with us for a glimpse into the longer term processes which tell us things about the ocean, the Sun, the planets and the bigger picture. Have a read of Ian Wilsons paper that I just posted if you can find the time.

    Best to you

    Rog

  119. jumbuck says:

    TB: Thanks for posting the Ian Wilson’s paper. Did you write one on your different solar motion indices in the z-axis? If so, I’d love to read it.

  120. tallbloke says:

    Jumbuck: Not yet, but you can see the result here:

  121. jumbuck says:

    TB: Thanks once again. Having gracefully accepted your earlier correction, and having further considered the LOD plot I was looking at, as well as being encouraged by Ian Wilson’s paper, it now appears that the timing of the LOD increase in the late 19th century can be interpreted to have started earlier and to correlate with the Jupiter-Saturn cycle.

    Further: Ian Wilson writes in his introduction “Measurements of the variation in the Earth’s length-of-day (LOD) since 700 BC show that the changes in this parameter have two main components:

    The first is a steady increase in LOD by 2.3 milliseconds/century (ms/100y) caused by the combined gravitational force of the Sun and Moon acting upon the tidal bulge in the Earth’s oceans (Stephenson 2003).

    I doubt that the tidal bulge of the Ocean is doing so by itself as implied by Stephenson. Just as a reminder (from http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/1999-11/943288749.Es.r.html), planet Earth consists of the Atmosphere (38% by volume, 0.014% by mass); the Ocean (0.04% by mass); the Lithosphere (2.18% by volume, 2.72 by mass); the Mantle (49.5% by volume, 68.4% by mass); the Outer Core (9.25% by volume, 27.5% by mass); the Inner Core (0.48% by volume, 1.86% by mass).

    Looking at these percentages and considering the radii, if LOD variations were due to Sun and the Moon acting on the Ocean alone, it would probably fly off. Clearly, it is the Lithosphere and the Mantle that get most of the angular momentum (drag).

    Nevertheless, it is a paper well worth reading.

  122. erlhapp says:

    Hi Tallbloke,
    Thanks for the detail on the sea level rise.

    Re: the drop in sst from 1945to 1976.
    That was strictly a northern hemisphere phenomenon.

    Do you have a data on ocean heat content by latitude? And to what depth?

    I will certainly look at Ian Wilson’s paper.

    Jumbuck, your interpretations are hard to fathom. I guess we are just having trouble understanding what each other is saying. Perhaps we need a beer to smooth the path and the sort of interaction that is only possible when you are face to face.

  123. tallbloke says:

    Jumbuck, I don’t believe the ocean is only 3 times heavier than the atmospehere, so you might want to check that. But I agree that the LOD changes are probably a lot to do with subsurface changes in the flows within the molten part of Earth’s outer core. The NASA scientist, Richard Gross, who constructed the LOD series I used thinks so too. I think that LOD changes are likely due to the height from the core and metallic composition of the flows, and this could be connected with the reasons Earth goes through periods of more volcanic activity when the solar activity is low too.

    I think you should repost your comments on the WIlson thread and I’ll reply again there too, so that Ian gets a chance to respond, and so this thread doesn’t drift too far off topic.

    Thanks

  124. tallbloke says:

    Erl, for the OHC reconstruction by latitude back to the mid-fifties, use the KNMI climate explorer.

    Be aware that the magnitude of the OHC anomaly has been repeatedly adjusted downwards to make it look like co2 forcing accounts for all of it, and solar is squeezed out. This is data fudging at its worst, because it endangers lives on the open sea. Hurricane strength estimates and warnings are too low because of it. Propaganda wars have real casualties.

  125. Roger Andrews says:

    Tim Channon says:
    June 20, 2011 at 12:58 am

    “I generally keep out of artificial datasets, real are bad enough. Sea indexes? Too abstract and top down for me.”

    The Niño3.4 index, which is the commonly-used El Niño metric, is essentially the Equatorial Pacific SST record, so it’s not artificial. The SOI index is basically just Tahiti SLP minus Darwin SLP, and while there may be different ways of calculating it the metric itself is hardly abstract. Niño3.4 and the SOI are also closely correlated with each other and also with other independent data sets such as wind speed, wind speed differentials, vapor pressure, humidity, surface air temperature and LT temperature. Conclusion? There’s nothing seriously wrong with either of them.

    “Roger Andrews says
    June 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm
    ‘…. The MohMAT NMAT series shows no relationship with the Hale cycle since 1870.’
    … The data is still not good enough. One reason: A min/max reading violates sampling requirements, cannot be done and cannot be undone once wrong. (there is no way of knowing the actual sample time, sometime inside a large time window is all that is known)”

    The MohMAT NMATs were taken at night, so they will be biased towards min readings. The min/max averages are given by the MAT (ICOADS Tair) data set, which includes the daytime readings. The times at which NMAT readings were taken were also recorded (or there would be no way of knowing whether they were NightMATs or DayMATs.)

  126. Tim Channon says:

    I’d better not drag the context, can discuss this when it is more apt.

  127. jumbuck says:

    TB: I didn’t calculate the ratios. To me it didn’t sound far off. The following is from Wikipedia: “The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1,400,000,000,000,000,000 metric tons (1.5×1018 short tons) or 1.4×1021 kg, which is about 0.023 percent of the Earth’s total mass.” , which makes it even less. Pleae don’t forget that the Ocean and the Atmosphere easily exchange water and that the everage depth of the ocean is ~ 1.5 km compared withe the Troposphere ~17 km, which has ~75% of the Atmosphere’s mass..

    I’ll go on the Wilson thread in due course, but I’ll have some other things to take care off first.

    Erl: Thanks for the invite. I’d love to have a yarn with youover a beer . Better still, taste your lovely wine. Sadly, the 5000km gap isn’t easily bridged.Nevertheless, I may take you up on that one day. If ever you’re coming my way, pls let me know. Cheers

  128. tallbloke says:

    Hi Jumbuck:

    The mass of the atmosphere is 5.27e18 kg or about 265 times less than the mass of the ocean.

    The mass of the water in the atmosphere is around 1.29e13kg.

    Please don’t forget a bag full of water weighs a lot more than a bag of air 12 times bigger. ;)

    See you on the Wilson thread.

  129. jumbuck says:

    TB: Yeah, and 1kg of feathers weighs the same as 1 liter of water. ;)

  130. tallbloke says:

    True, but my 1kg down sleeping bag occupies 50l volumetrically packed loose. And feathers are heavier than air. Have a think about it.

  131. jumbuck says:

    Not much luck with the other faces

    TB: I hope it’s going to keep you warm tonight.
    Yes, you’re right ‘bad science’ missed a 0. Thanks.
    It doesn’t take away from the fact that most of the mass vis-a-vis the angular momentum resides in the Mantle and that the atmosphere doesn’t have sufficient mass to make a significant difference in that regard. Try moving a bowling ball with a feather. Cheers ;)

  132. erlhapp says:

    Here is a paper by statisticians who know nothing about the climate system who believe that their manipulations enable them to pontificate about cause and effect. I just itch to get at them but there is no way available.

    http://eprints.ucm.es/12871/ and http://eprints.ucm.es/12871/1/1121.pdf

    Abstract:
    The El Niños Southern Oscillations (ENSO) is a periodical phenomenon of climatic interannual variability, which could be measured through either the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) or the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Index. The main purpose of this paper is to analyze these two indexes in order to capture the volatility inherent in ENSO. The empirical results show that both the ARMA(1,1)-GARCH(1,1) and ARMA(3,2)-GJR(1,1) models are suitable for modelling ENSO volatility accurately. The empirical results show that 1998 is a turning point, which indicates that the ENSO strength has increased since 1998. Moreover, the increasing ENSO strength is due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The ENSO strengths for SST are predicted for the year 2030 to increase from 29.62% to 81.5% if global CO2 emissions increase by 40% to 110%, respectively. This indicates that we will be faced with an even stronger El Nino or La Nina in the future if global greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase unabated.

    Just in case this worries you here’s another interpretation. The 1997-8 event was indeed a big event. It was made so by the effects of Pinatubo erupting in June 1991. From Wikipedia:

    The effects of the eruption were felt worldwide. It ejected roughly 10 billion metric tonnes (10 cubic kilometres) of magma, and 20 million tons of SO2, bringing vast quantities of minerals and metals to the surface environment. It injected large amounts of aerosol into the stratosphere – more than any eruption since that of Krakatoa in 1883. Over the following months, the aerosols formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze. Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F), and ozone depletion temporarily increased substantially.”

    As a result of the induced cooling, a product of the haze and the ozone loss (affecting the annular modes thereby increasing cloud cover) precipitation increased and the global atmosphere dried out. The drying persisted to 1996. Ozone levels began to recover. The increase in ozone flux into the polar stratosphere induced a loss of cloud and the result was a warming event of spectacular amplitude. The atmosphere recovered its water vapour content due to enhanced evaporation during the 1997-98 event and an equally spectacular cooling event followed.

    In the mid 1990’s cooling in the southern hemisphere was stronger than in the northern hemisphere, a neat practical demonstration of the relative importance of the Antarctic circulation as it determines cloud cover in the southern hemisphere.

  133. jumbuck says:

    Erl: What would happen to the statistics if you substituted LOD for CO2? Would the statistical results not be the same? But, you’d have tho increase the LOD by 40% to get the predictions. In my view increases in the concentration of CO2 in the Troposphere are due to SST increases. This is where the CO2 madness comes from. The nuclear lobby and AGW proponents put the horse behind the cart.
    It appears to me that that the gradual LOD decline of 1.7ms/century is from the reducing eccentricity of Earth’s orbit, which should end in about 18kyrs and then reverse, because it marks the low point of the 413kyrs cycle. In other words, in 36kyrs the world will be back at where we are now but moving in the opposite direction on that score. However, obliquity is the other major driver of the the world climate with a 41kyrs cycle that is moving the world in the global cooling direction at the same time.

  134. jumbuck says:

    Although none of us will be around to verify this, my expectation for the long term outlook is that the world will continue to cool gently for the next 10kyrs or so, then start warming again to above the temperatures of 8kyrs ago without any help from CO2. On the shorter time scale of 100 years it appears that the LOD is reducing and that the temperatures will drop slightly, by about 0.5 degrees C (0.8 F) with the strength of ENSO cycle and the frequencey reducing.

  135. tallbloke says:

    Erl, good analysis. I agree with you that the short term effect of volcanos is compensated for by resulting negative feedbacks which restore balance. I while back I did a comparison of the El Nino’s at the end of the C19th and C20th in relations to the solar cycles, which showed they were in more or les the same phases and similar decline. I’ll do a new post on that along with the timings of the two volcanic eruptions so we can take a look. The co2 stats paper is just too dumb to be worth commenting on, apart from to say that the complete fixation on the wondergas has addled the brains of too many young climatologists and statisticians.

    Jumbuck: I don’t know which orbital/orientation parameter the secular change in LOD over the last couple of centuries is due to but it’s a conversation worth having on the Wilson thread.

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