Natural variations help resolve a climate puzzle, say researchers

Posted: March 23, 2021 by oldbrew in atmosphere, climate, data, ENSO, modelling, Natural Variation, research, satellites


Well, knock me down with a feather. Real world data can expose flaws in ‘greenhouse gas’ infected climate models, which are unable to model El Niño and La Niña events, and mostly predict much more warming than actually occurs.
– – –
New research shows that naturally occurring climate variations help to explain a long-standing difference between climate models and satellite observations of global warming, says

Satellite measurements of global-scale changes in atmospheric temperature began in late 1978 and continue to the present.

Relative to most model simulations, satellite data has consistently shown less warming of Earth’s lower atmosphere.

This has led some researchers to conclude that climate models are too sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions, and thus are not useful for making future climate change projections.

Instead, the model-versus-satellite difference is largely driven by natural variations in the Earth’s climate.

“Natural climate variability has likely reduced the observed warming during the satellite-era” said Stephen Po-Chedley, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) climate scientist and lead author of a paper appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The main driver of natural year-to-year variations in global climate is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Every few years, ENSO produces an El Niño event, which results in widespread warming of the atmosphere and ocean lasting several months.

The cold phase of ENSO is La Niña, which cools the atmosphere and gives rise to a distinct pattern of cooler-than-usual sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, with warmer waters to the north and south.

Many climate models produce ENSO variations, but the timing of these events is not specified in model simulations. “While models are intended to represent the average climate, its changes and realistic natural variations, they can only simulate the exact timing of natural climate events by chance,” said Po-Chedley.

Some decades favor El Niño or La Niña events. Clustering of El Niño and La Niña events can create decadal oscillations that influence the rate of atmospheric warming.

Simulations with coupled models of the atmospheric and ocean circulation produce such decadal oscillations, but their phasing will not necessarily match the real world during the satellite era.

Qiang Fu, professor at the University of Washington and an author of the study, notes that, “while it is well-known that natural variability can produce decade-long periods of subdued warming, this study demonstrates that it also can play an important role over the relatively long 40-year timescales that are relevant to satellite records.”

Climate models typically simulate substantially more warming than satellite data in the tropical troposphere (the lowest region of the atmosphere, extending from the Earth’s surface to a height of about 11 miles).

Continued here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    They found that natural climate variability is a key component of the differences between modeled and observed warming rates.

    Hardly surprising.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    They also found chaotic systems are not predictable.

    If they keep this up they may even discover weather is not climate…

  3. Stephen Richards says:

    Is this the scammers starting to wind back their false data as the planet cools ??

  4. Eric Johnson says:

    EMS Granted, this was almost 21 years ago, but have “they” corrected the stated observation?

    Executive Summary, IPCC TAR (2001), Ch 14, p771, 6th bullet point:

    Improve methods to quantify uncertainties of climate projections and scenarios, including development and exploration of long-term ensemble simulations using complex models. The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and
    >>therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.<<
    Rather the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive and requires the application of new methods of model diagnosis, but such statistical information is essential.

    A lot of hocus-pocus, out-of-focus, escape words follow.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Cimategate emails: I paraphrase from memory
    “What if it all turns out to be a multidecadal oscillation – they’ll kill us, probably.”

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    I prefer a slow death for them. Cut off their funds.

  7. Gamecock says:

    ‘New research shows that naturally occurring climate variations’

    Weather has variations. Climate doesn’t. This is really, really stupid.

  8. Paul Vaughan says:

    tallbloke wrote:
    Cimategate emails: I paraphrase from memory
    “What if it all turns out to be a multidecadal oscillation – they’ll kill us, probably.”

    Leaving no ambiguity :
    Those already tuning into “the voice of God” are peaceful.

  9. Phoenix44 says:

    I am really not following their argument. Their models are still right but they have underestimated natural cooling?

    In other words, the additional CO2 has warmed as much as they forecast but total warming is lower because natural variation has been greater than they thought.

    So they can predict the CO2 driven climate but not the natural climate. But they can still predict the climate.

  10. ren says:

    Dr. Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue)

    Temperature analysis (T319) from Japanese Met Agency (JRA-55 Reanalysis) on a 2-day Delay. Current climatology for data is 1981-2010 but maps were shifted to 1991-2020.

  11. ren says:

    Sea Ice Index – Global

  12. ren says:

    4-month sequence of vertical temperature anomaly sections at the equator, Pacific for March 2021

  13. tom0mason says:

    Natural variation to AGW types is anything that occursthat they can not find a way to blame humans for. Most natural variations for these dullards, means that the models need a bit more ‘tweaking.’

  14. Ulric Lyons says:

    “natural variability has likely reduced tropospheric warming over the satellite era, both in the real world and in simulations consistent with satellite warming rates.”

    Anti-science garbage, weaker solar wind states since 1995 have driven a warm AMO phase, which then reduces low cloud cover.

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