Study reveals the atmospheric footprint of global warming hiatus

Posted: March 3, 2017 by oldbrew in atmosphere, pause, research

They admit the hiatus, or pause, is still a puzzle: ‘processes remain unclear’. What is clear is that the observed temperature trend in the study period is unlike the carbon dioxide trend.

The increasing rate of the global mean surface temperature was reduced from 1998 to 2013, known as the global warming hiatus, or pause.

Researchers have devoted much effort to the understanding of the cause, reports The proposed mechanisms include the internal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, ocean heat uptake and redistribution, and many others.

However, scientists also want to understand the atmospheric footprint of the recent warming hiatus as the dynamical and physical processes remain unclear.

In a recent paper published in Scientific Reports, LIU Bo and ZHOU Tianjun from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have investigated anomalous atmospheric features during the global warming hiatus period from 1998 to 2013. They show evidence that the global mean tropospheric temperature also experienced a hiatus or pause.

To understand the physical processes that dominate the warming hiatus, they decomposed the total temperature trends into components due to processes related to surface albedo, water vapor, cloud, surface turbulent fluxes and atmospheric dynamics.

The results demonstrated that the hiatus of near-surface temperature warming trend is dominated by the decreasing surface latent heat flux compared with the preceding warming period, while the hiatus of upper tropospheric temperature is dominated by the cloud-related processes. Further analysis indicated that atmospheric dynamics are coupled with surface turbulent heat fluxes over lower troposphere and coupled with cloud processes over upper troposphere.

As to why the surface latent heat flux, atmospheric dynamics and cloud-related processes showed such large differences between 1983-1998 and 1998-2013, LIU, first author of the paper, explained, “They are dominated by the Hadley Circulation and Walker Circulation changes associated with the phase transition of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO).”

According to LIU, the IPO is a robust, recurring pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies at decadal time scale. During a positive phase of IPO, the west Pacific and the mid-latitude North Pacific becomes cooler and the tropical eastern ocean warms, while during a negative phase, the opposite pattern occurs.

The IPO has shifted from the positive phase to negative phase since 1998/1999, and this transition has led to the weakening of both Hadley Circulation and Walker Circulation, which served as a hub linking the three processes mentioned above.

“Though the heat capacity of the atmosphere is nearly negligible compared with the ocean”, said ZHOU, corresponding author of the paper, “understanding the atmospheric footprint is essential to gain a full picture of how internal climate variability such as IPO affects the global climate from the surface to the troposphere. The new findings also provide useful observational metrics for gauging climate model experiments that are designed to understand the mechanism of global warming hiatus.”

Source: Study reveals the atmospheric footprint of global warming hiatus |

  1. oldbrew says:

    See also:
    Contribution of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation to twentieth-century global surface temperature trends (2016)
    Gerald A. Meehl, Aixue Hu, Benjamin D. Santer & Shang-Ping Xie

    ‘We use a novel, physical phenomenon-based approach to quantify the contribution from a source of internally generated multidecadal variability—the IPO—to multidecadal GMST trends. Here we show that the largest IPO contributions occurred in its positive phase during the rapid warming periods from 1910–1941 and 1971–1995.’

    Which tells us there wasn’t a ‘rapid warming period’ between 1941 and 1970, in fact little or no net warming at all.

  2. p.g.sharrow says:

    “Though the heat capacity of the atmosphere is nearly negligible compared with the ocean”, said ZHOU,

    So, if that is true, just maybe, the oceans are the MAJOR player here! Our atmosphere and climate are creations of WATER and it’s physics. Water is the working fluid in this giant air conditioner and fume scrubber.

    Di-hydroxide…H2O… it’s the Water!

    Then add the atmospheric pressure on the water and the sun as our energy source and weather will happen. An oxygen rich, nitrogen atmosphere will happen. It has to, it is the physics/chemistry of Water…pg

  3. Brett Keane says:

    Nice to see respect coming back for the Gas Laws and oceanic processes…..

  4. The jet stream tracks became wavier from around 2000 as the sun became less active and wavier tracks increase global cloudiness to reduce solar energy into the oceans.
    Full description here:

    Thus far the increase in cloudiness has been sufficient to cause a pause.

    I suspect that the next solar cycle (if weak) will increase global cloudiness further and convert the pause to actual cooling.

    If the next solar cycle is strong then the pause may convert to further warming.

    Either way, solar variations are amplified by affecting global cloudiness and thus the proportion of incoming solar energy that gets into the oceans.

  5. Sparks says:

    CO2 doesn’t have the capability of warming the planet, it’s a low laying gas, it never blankets the earth so to speak, to trap so called ‘heat’, physically it falls from the sky when it gets cold, the oceans absorb it, all life absorbs it, forests produce CO2 at night, every night, and absorb CO2 during the day, every day, forests have evolved to take advantage of earths gravity and how the physics of CO2 behaves on Earth as a gas, the minor waste product (CO2) of most electricity is being used as an excuse to increase profits/share prices and we are at a stage now where it’s just ridiculous,

    I apologise for the profanity up front, because I want to start swearing, I’ll try not to.

    One question, why are solar panels, when installed in homes, at the other side of the meter?

    Do you understand this question?

    Homes equipped with solar panels, produce electricity, DC/AC inverters etc… they are paying for the electricity through a meter!

    Solar panels should be on the other side of the meter, where homes don’t pay anything until they rely on the grid…

    There are enormous undeserved profits being made at the expense of domestic electricity consumers.

    The price of electricity is being over inflated.

    Way over inflated…

  6. gymnosperm says:

    Except for the direct absorption of incoming UV by ozone and near IR by water, the atmosphere is warmed from below by the surface. Thirty percent of the surface is currently land. This rather large discount must be applied to ocean control apologies. The land is also where the vast majority of thermometers are located.

    There is no need to struggle with apologies if they could just get their heads around the material properties of CO2. It simply doesn’t warm the atmosphere very much.

  7. Sparks says:

    gymnosperm, UV or the majority of the spectrum, let’s call it ‘sunlight’ does not interact with CO2, the frequency of “sun light” that does interact with it in that tiny band of sunlight is overwhelmed in comparison.

    There is no way that planetary temperature is linked to CO2, it’s absolutely absurd

    Is everyone fucking stupid?

    There you go gymnosperm you made me diddly swear…

  8. Sparks says:

    If you see my point, if solar panels work? why are you paying for the electricity they produce?
    If you have subsidised solar panels and are paying for the panels on top of your electricity use, why in the name of good god do you have solar panels? and why is everyone paying for them?

    Don’t talk shit about the environment or man made global warming as an excuse…

  9. p.g.sharrow says:

    Sparks! where are domestic solar panels connected to the gridside of the meter?
    I’ve never seen or heard of such an installation in 40 years…pg

  10. Climatism says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    The warmist Met office’s latest hadCRUT4 data shows global temps are back down to 1997 levels, closely matching sat temps. Therefore the extremely inconvenient “Pause” or “Hiatus” can now be tracked for a period going on 20 years, despite *record* CO2 emissions over the same period. Not at all what we were promised by experts. The scam is over. The theory is bust.

  11. hunter says:

    CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere. It is not simply “low lying”.
    “Since CO2 has plenty of time to disperse throughout the global atmosphere, it’s possible to use values collected at a remote site like Mauna Loa—more than two miles above the Pacific, and many hundreds of miles from any continent—as a proxy for global concentrations.”
    CO2 interacts with enough of the reflected energy from the sun in the infrared to have an impact on Earth’s atmospheric temperature.
    Sparks, electric meters run both ways.
    Study some physics and study something about the (bad) economics of solar and get back with us.

  12. catweazle666 says:

    “CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere.”

    Less well than was once thought, according to the NASA OCO-2 satellite data.

  13. hunter says:

    catweazle, that is a great video!
    But look at the distribution range: 390 – 405 on a planetary scale. That is about a 5% dynamic range. It does fluctuate due to seasonal (harrumph) cliamte and weather, but that has always been acknowledged. The spread in any given time of year globally is what is interesting. It is a few %

  14. hunter says:

    Sparks, sincere thanks to you for your comment about solar. Your comment triggered me to think about the high tech roof I put on my house last September, which allowed me to cut back the tree which was shading the West side of my flat roofed midcentury modern house. I realized that its 3800 sq. ft. of nearly flat roofing can support a LOT of solar panels, while the insulating power of that roof lowers my average monthly bill, including summer, to below $75 US. So I realized that the meter really does run both ways. So I have set an appointment with a local solar power provider to see how large of a solar panel installation I can arrange to have crammed up there. I figure I may get my bill down to $0, with a good chance for positive cashflow in many of our nice sunny days….
    So thanks! Your comment shook loose some cobwebs, and inspired the Scottish in me to follow the money.
    If anyone likes, I will be happy to post updates on this adventure.