Archive for the ‘Natural Variation’ Category


A 2020 news report (H/T Belfast Telegraph) headlined Extreme weather being caused by jet stream ‘not because of Arctic warming’, with the sub-heading: ‘Any link is more likely to be a result of random fluctuations in the jet stream influencing Arctic temperatures, researchers say’ – cites a study that comprehensively contradicts the findings described in the article below. “The well-publicised idea that Arctic warming is leading to a wavier jet stream just does not hold up to scrutiny”, said Professor James Screen [University of Exeter]. “With the benefit of 10 more years of data and model experiments, we find no evidence of long-term changes in waviness despite on-going Arctic warming.” But the stated lack of evidence hasn’t deterred this new research. Are they flogging the proverbial dead horse?
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A quartet of researchers, two with the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics and two with Pukyong National University, has created a group of simulations of changes to the jet stream under global warming, says

In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes using math theory to describe wind motion under given circumstances to create their simulations.

Over the past several years, the jet stream has become wavier than it used to be. Both peaks and valleys have become more extreme.

This has led to changes in weather patterns—some places have grown wetter and some drier, and there have also been more extended hot and cold spells around the globe.



Climate cycles and natural variability do exist then?! No need to re-visit those discussions. Quote: “One of the key findings is that the ice sheet was responding to temperature changes in the Southern Ocean”. The study says: ‘Our findings imply that oscillating Southern Ocean temperatures drive a dynamic response in the Antarctic ice sheet on millennial timescales, regardless of the background climate state.’
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By analyzing unusual rock samples collected years ago in Antarctica, scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have discovered a remarkable record of how the East Antarctic Ice Sheet has responded to changes in climate over a period of 100,000 years during the Late Pleistocene, says

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is the world’s largest ice mass. Understanding its sensitivity to climate change is crucial for efforts to project how much sea level will rise as global temperatures increase.

Recent studies suggest it may be more vulnerable to ice loss than previously thought.


2015 Gulf of Carpentaria mangrove die-off, from space [image credit: NASA]

Even the type of local tides was involved. Researchers conclude: we can chalk the 2015 mass death up to “natural causes.”
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Over the summer of 2015, 40 million mangroves died of thirst, says

This vast die-off—the world’s largest ever recorded—killed off rich mangrove forests along fully 1,000 kilometers of coastline on Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria.

The question is, why? Last month, scientists found a culprit: a strong El Niño event, which led to a temporary fall in sea level.

That left mangroves, which rely on tides covering their roots, high and dry during an unusually dry early monsoon season.

Case closed. Or is it?


Netherlands beach [image credit:]

Dutch meteorologists expect ‘we will have more cloudy summer weather again’ sometime in the future. For now: more sun = more heat. Who knew?
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The Netherlands this summer has had the highest amount of solar radiation recorded since 1976, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KMNI) reported.

The “sunny summer fits in with the trend of increasing solar radiation in the Netherlands since the 1990s,” the KMNI added.

The Dutch west coast currently receives 9% more sunshine than the country’s east though solar radiation has increased 3% in summer and 5% in spring, KMNI reported.


Disappearing glaciers for a century or more – so why wasn’t the crashed plane visible on the surface the whole time? We’re told: ‘The bodies of the three passengers were recovered by authorities at the time, but police say they didn’t have the capabilities to remove the plane from such a remote area.’ A video about the same story says ‘the glaciers have lost half their volume in less than a century’. Did they mean less than half a century? Something seems amiss here.
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In a helicopter high above the Swiss Alps, we see climate change in action, asserts Sky News.

The glacial ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, revealing items frozen long ago.

A scar suddenly appears in the bright white snow. A crumple of silver and red.

“That’s the plane,” says our guide, Dominik Nellen, pointing.


Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]

The authors propose that sea-ice formation is the key factor and not biology. In their paper, we read: ‘Results: Carbon dioxide is very strongly correlated with sea ice dynamics, with the carbon dioxide rate at Mauna Loa lagging sea ice extent rate by 7 months.’ However, drawing conclusions from correlations can go wrong. The authors conclude: ‘If sea ice does not drive the net flux of these gases, it is a highly precise proxy for whatever does. Potential mechanisms should be investigated urgently.’
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Could we be wrong about the annual cycle of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? – asks Net Zero Watch.

That’s the suggestion by a pair of distinguished Oxford zoologists Clive Hambler and Peter Henderson who have just published a paper that could change our understanding about one of the key observations of this greenhouse gas.

They propose that sea-ice formation is the key factor and not biology.


Drought in Europe

Another alarmist nothingburger not fit for human consumption. Next!
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A story published by Business Insider among other media outlets today cites the reappearance of “hunger stones” in dry European creek beds and riverbeds as evidence that climate change is responsible for the current drought in Europe.

This is false, says Climate Change Dispatch.

If anything, the fact that these stones have “reappeared” and have been uncovered multiple times in the past shows severe droughts have been common throughout European history.


Great Barrier Reef, Australia [image credit: BBC]

Dr. Peter Ridd writes: ‘The three or four bleaching events since 2016, which have been widely reported in the media, could not have killed much coral, otherwise the 2022 statistics would not be so good.’
Time to dial down the tedious climate alarmism on this.

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Official data released today reveals that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in excellent health, with coral cover reaching record levels for the second consecutive year, says Climate Change Dispatch.

The increase will be surprising to members of the public, who are regularly hit with scary stories about coral bleaching and false tales about a reef in long-term decline.

A new note, published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, explains that the data shows clearly how a handful of coral bleaching events that have affected the reef since 2016 have had a very limited impact on the overall coral cover.


Drought in Europe

Amid talk of ‘renewed focus on climate change’ (see below), we note similar drought conditions have happened before at times of La Niña. Two articles discussing the French drought refer to 1976, 2011 and 2022 as the three worst in recent history (similar to England). These were also years of significant spells of La Niña:
1975–1976 La Niña event
The 2010–2012 La Niña event was one of the strongest on record
La Niña Climate Cycle Could Last Into 2023, According to UN

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‘France struggles with drought over punishing summer of heat’ says

From farmers to fishermen, boat owners to ordinary households, communities across France are struggling with a severe drought that has seen an unprecedented number of regions affected by water restrictions this summer.

Like much of western Europe, the country is going through a punishing hot season of record temperatures and forest fires that have led to renewed focus on climate change.


The ocean carbon cycle [credit: IAEA]

COP26 is over, in case anyone hasn’t noticed. “Anyone aspiring to lead our country needs to demonstrate that they take this issue incredibly seriously,” Alok Sharma says. The real issue is that Britain’s tiny contribution to the 0.04% portion of the atmosphere that is carbon dioxide amounts to much ado about nothing. The majority of that 0.04% is naturally caused anyway, and most so-called greenhouse gas is water vapour. What is all the fuss supposed to be about?
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Alok Sharma, who led last year’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, has threatened to quit if the new prime minister ditches the current commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, reports Sky News.

The cabinet minister said a failure to follow the policy backed by Boris Johnson would cause “incredible damage” to the UK’s international reputation.

Mr Sharma also accused some of the candidates in the Tory leadership contest of being “lukewarm” on net zero.


Warm day in London

People in many parts of the world must be wondering what all the fuss is about, but Brits like to discuss their ever-changeable weather now and again…and again. Of course there’s now the added element of wild panic-mongering (see below) from the usual climate-obsessed suspects like the Met Office, trying to blame humans for natural events plus all the rest of their tedious hype. We’ve had hot days before, and some like to pay to find hotter ones on their travels, so let’s dial back on the shrill alarmism.
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The Met Office has issued its first red warning for extreme heat, warning of a “potentially very serious situation” in parts of England, says ITV News.

The UK Health Security Agency has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four – a “national emergency.”

Level four is reached only when a heatwave is “so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system”, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Illness and death may occur even among the fit and healthy, and “not just in high-risk groups.”


Credit: NOAA

Some scientists contacted by Carbon Brief have their doubts about the reasons given for the reported expansion of the Azores high. An assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, warns that “the title statement is not justified by the study”. Another assistant professor, at the University of Dartmouth, told Carbon Brief ‘that changes in the size and intensity of the Azores high could also have been driven by changes in aerosol levels, rather than changes in greenhouse gases emissions. (For example, the passing of the US Clean Air Act in the 1970s saw pollution levels drop significantly, causing localised warming.) That the authors did not investigate this factor is “a curious omission” he says.’ On top of that, Prof Richard Seagar – a research professor at Columbia University – told Carbon Brief that the expansion in the Azores high could also “easily be explained by the long-term variability and changes of the North Atlantic Oscillation”.
In short, this attempt to put the blame on humans for the more recent climatic conditions related to this phenomenon is already starting to look shaky.

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Parts of Portugal and Spain are the driest they have been in a thousand years due to an atmospheric high-pressure system driven by climate change, according to research published Monday, warning of severe implications for wine and olive production.

The Azores High, an area of high pressure that rotates clockwise over parts of the North Atlantic, has a major effect on weather and long-term climate trends in western Europe says

But in a new modeling study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, researchers in the United States found this high-pressure system “has changed dramatically in the past century and that these changes in North Atlantic climate are unprecedented within the past millennium”.


Image credit:

Not exactly a new idea, but worth pursuing. Given the present feverish pursuit of supposedly climate-related policies that attempt to counter imagined human-caused effects, all known aspects of natural variation must be highlighted and included in models.
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New analysis suggests that the Moon might be an unappreciated factor in climate change and, according to researchers from the Universities of East Anglia and Reading, its influence “cannot be discounted as an important driver of multidecadal variability of global temperature.”

It’s a suggestion that is bound to prompt debate and a possible reassessment of the relative influence of human factors on climate change in the past and the future when the lunar effect is included, says Dr. David Whitehouse @ Net Zero Watch.

It arises from the so-called lunar nodal cycle of 18.6 years caused by variations in the angle of the Moon’s orbital plane. During this period the Moon’s orbit “wobbles” between plus or minus 5 degrees relative to the Earth’s equator.


Landfalling hurricane [credit: NOAA]

A reconstructed record of cyclone activity going as far back as 1850 doesn’t show what climate alarmists, with their assertions of ‘human-induced’ global warming, might have expected. The intensity question is left for future research. The researchers note that ‘For most tropical cyclone basins (regions where they occur more regularly), including Australia, the decline has accelerated since the 1950s. Importantly, this is when human-induced warming also accelerated.’ [Or so they believe.] ‘The only exception to the trend is the North Atlantic basin’. Of course detailed historical records of natural climate variation may also be hard to find.
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The annual number of tropical cyclones forming globally decreased by about 13% during the 20th century compared to the 19th, according to research published today in Nature Climate Change.

Tropical cyclones are massive low-pressure systems that form in tropical waters when the underlying environmental conditions are right, says The Conversation.

These conditions include (but aren’t limited to) sea surface temperature, and variables such as vertical wind shear, which refers to changes in wind speed and direction with altitude.


Warm day in London

In a word – no. One or two days of warm air blowing in from the continent to the southern half of the UK can’t prove anything. The forecast for Edinburgh, Scotland for example shows nothing over 20C in the next few days, so wailing about carbon dioxide and climate change is absurd. It shouldn’t need saying that weather isn’t going to be near seasonal norms all the time.
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By the end of this week, parts of Britain will bake in temperatures of up to 34C, far hotter than normal June weather – but is climate change behind the soaring temperatures? – asks Yahoo News.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Rudman, said: “Temperatures will continue to rise as we go through the week, becoming well above-average by Friday when many parts of the southern half of the UK are likely to exceed 30C and may even reach 34C in some places.”

“This is the first spell of hot weather this year and it is unusual for temperature to exceed these values in June.”


When observations show modellers ‘the opposite of what their best computer model simulations say should be happening with human-caused climate change’, it’s surely time to revisit their assumptions. Meanwhile, much head-scratching.
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Something weird is up with La Nina, the natural but potent weather event linked to more drought and wildfires in the western United States and more Atlantic hurricanes, says

It’s becoming the nation’s unwanted weather guest and meteorologists said the West’s megadrought won’t go away until La Nina does.

The current double-dip La Nina set a record for strength last month and is forecast to likely be around for a rare but not quite unprecedented third straight winter. And it’s not just this one.


Too much instant attribution of single weather events to supposed human causes going on in today’s media, supported only (if at all) by rushed-out so-called analysis using climate models. Natural variation gets a low mark in this percentages blame game.
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A Google news search for the term “climate change,” over the past few days turns up dozens of stories in corporate media outlets blaming climate change for recent deadly floods in South Africa, says H. Sterling Burnett @ Climate Change Dispatch.

Although many of the stories accurately captured the pathos of the human tragedy resulting from South Africa’s floods, they all mispresented the facts: human-caused climate change did not cause the recent floods. [bold, links added]

History shows that floods regularly occur in South Africa because of its topography and regional ocean circulation patterns.


The theme here is that aerosols have to some extent been having the opposite of the alleged effect of so-called greenhouse gases. This study, based on climate modelling, suggests at least some recent warming is linked to reductions in atmospheric aerosol content.
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A new NOAA study covering four decades of tropical cyclones found that reducing particulate air pollution in Europe and North America has contributed to an increase in the number of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin and a decrease in the number of these storms in the Southern Hemisphere, says Green Car Congress.

The open-access study, published in Science Advances, also found that the growth of particulate pollution in Asia has contributed to fewer tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific basin.

While a number of recent studies have examined how increasing greenhouse gas emissions are impacting global tropical cyclone activity, Hiroyuki Murakami examined the less studied and highly complex area of how particulate pollution in combination with climate changes is affecting tropical cyclones in different areas of the planet.


Credit: British Antarctic Survey

Much ado about sea ice in recent times, but usually in terms of promoting climate alarm. On closer inspection East Antarctica (2/3rds of the continent) tells a somewhat different story.
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Some ice shelves in the eastern Antarctic have grown in the last 20 years despite global warming, a study suggests.

Researchers say that sea ice, pushed against the ice shelves by a change in regional wind patterns, may have helped to protect the ice shelves from losses, reports Yahoo News.

Ice shelves are floating sections of ice attached to land-based ice sheets and they help guard against the uncontrolled release of inland ice into the ocean.


I’m delighted Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller have chosen the Talkshop as the venue for the publication of this new open peer review paper on climate sensitivity. Scientific advance at the cutting edge has always been the most important aim of this blog, and I think this paper truly is an advance in our understanding of the climate system and the factors which support and modulate surface temperature on Earth and other rocky planets. 

The paper is mathematically rigorous, but is also accessible to everyone, thanks to Ned and Karl’s exemplary effort to fully explain their concepts and definitions in terms which can be understood by any interested reader who has some familiarity with the climate debate. Building on the bedrock of their 2014 and 2017 papers, this new work extends the applicability and validates the postulates of those previous papers by examining the causes of variability in planetary surface temperature and incorporating the previous findings in quantifying and deriving equations to model them. They find that Earth is sensitive to changes in cloud cover, which affects the amount of solar shortwave radiation reaching the surface, but not very sensitive to changes in Total Solar Irradiance arriving at the top of the atmosphere. They also find that the sensitivity to changes in CO2 levels has been heavily overestimated by current climate models. They show that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 280 ppm to 560 ppm will cause an undetectable global warming of 0.004K.

A PDF of the paper can be downloaded here:  ECS_Universal_Equations.


Exact Formulas for Estimating the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity of Rocky Planets & Moons to Total Solar Irradiance, Absorbed Shortwave Radiation, Planetary Albedo and Surface Atmospheric Pressure.
Ned Nikolov, Ph.D. and Karl Zeller, Ph.D.
April, 2022

1. Introduction

The term “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity” (ECS) has become a synonym for the steady-state response of global surface temperature to a modeled long-wave radiative forcing caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration with respect to an assumed pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. According to climate models based on the Greenhouse theory, an increase of atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm would produce a net radiative forcing (i.e. an atmospheric radiant-heat trapping) of 3.74 W m-2 (Gregory et al. 2004) resulting in a global surface warming between 2.5 K and 4.0 K with a central estimate of 3.0 K according to IPCC AR6 (see p. 11 in Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers). This implies an average unit ECS of 3.0/3.74 = 0.8 K / (W m-2) with a range of 0.67 ≤ ECS ≤ 1.07 K / (W m-2). Contemporary climate science and IPCC Assessment Reports do not discuss global temperature sensitivities to changes in cloud albedo, absorbed solar radiation or total surface atmospheric pressure. Consequently, no equations have been derived/proposed thus far to calculate these sensitivities. The reason for such an omission is the implicit assumption made by IPCC based on the 19th-Century Greenhouse theory (Arrhenius 1896) that the observed warming during most of the 20th Century and especially over the past 40 years was chiefly caused by an increase of industrial CO2 emissions, which are believed to trap outgoing long-wave radiation in the Earth’s troposphere and reduce the rate of surface infrared cooling to Space.

However, a plethora of studies published during the past 15 years have shown through both satellite and surface observations that the absorption of solar radiation by the Earth-atmosphere system has increased significantly since 1982 due to a decreased cloud cover/albedo, a phenomenon often referred to as “global brightening” (e.g. Goode & Pallé 2007; Wild 2009; Herman et al. 2013; Stanhill et al. 2014; Hofer et al. 2017; Pfeifroth et al. 2018; Pokrovsky 2019;  Delgado-Bonal et al. 2020; Dübal & Vahrenholt 2021;  Yuan et al. 2021). This implies a global warming driven by a rising surface solar radiation rather than CO2.