Archive for the ‘Ocean dynamics’ Category

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Despite warming due to atmospheric trace gases being a racing certainty according to the IPCC and like-minded theorists, evidence of it is getting ever harder to find.

Science Matters

Presently sea surface temperatures (SST) are the best available indicator of heat content gained or lost from earth’s climate system.  Enthalpy is the thermodynamic term for total heat content in a system, and humidity differences in air parcels affect enthalpy.  Measuring water temperature directly avoids distorted impressions from air measurements.  In addition, ocean covers 71% of the planet surface and thus dominates surface temperature estimates.  Eventually we will likely have reliable means of recording water temperatures at depth.

Recently, Dr. Ole Humlum reported from his research that air temperatures lag 2-3 months behind changes in SST.  He also observed that changes in CO2 atmospheric concentrations lag behind SST by 11-12 months.  This latter point is addressed in a previous post Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

The May update to HadSST3 will appear later this month, but in the meantime we can look at lower troposphere temperatures (TLT) from UAHv6…

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One of the points made here is that ‘cleaner air has resulted in more visible radiation warming of the oceans, not CO2’.

CO2 is Life

OA1.PNGSource

We have mentioned countless times on this blog that the warming oceans are evidence that CO2 is not the cause of global warming. To understand the climate you must first understand the oceans. The oceans control the global climate. As the oceans warm, they warm and alter the humidity of the atmosphere above them. The problem is, as we have pointed out countless times, CO2’s only defined mechanism by which to affect climate change is through the thermalization of LWIR between 13 and 18µ.

LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans. Visible radiation, mainly from the high energy blue end of the spectrum does. CO2 is transparent to incoming visible radiation. The energy stored in the atmosphere and land is insignificant when compared to the oceans. The oceans contain 2,000x the energy of the atmosphere, so small changes to the oceans can mean big changes…

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Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC]


Have scientists been looking through the wrong end of the telescope, so to speak, regarding ice ages theory?

Ancient rainfall records stretching 550,000 years into the past may upend scientists’ understanding of what controls the Asian summer monsoon and other aspects of the Earth’s long-term climate, says EurekAlert.

Milankovitch theory says solar heating of the northernmost part of the globe drives the world’s climate swings between ice ages and warmer periods.

The new work turns Milankovitch on its head by suggesting climate is driven by differential heating of the Earth’s tropical and subtropical regions.

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The headline from the source should perhaps mention that those ‘variations’ can include ‘no global warming trend’, or hiatus, as explained below.

New research has shown that natural variations in global mean temperature are always forced by changes in heat release and heat uptake by the oceans, in particular the heat release associated with evaporation, reports Phys.org.

Analysing data from six climate models that simulated future climate change scenarios for the last International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Report, which appeared in 2014, University of Southampton Professor Sybren Drijfhout has shown that in all cases variations in global mean temperature were correlated with variations in heat release by sensible and latent heat.

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Is there evidence of a cause and effect connection between geological forces and El Niño generation? A look at one theory.

The Next Grand Minimum

El Niño and La Niña weather patterns have a significant impact on California climate. This illustration shows the drought impacts.

west-with-out-water-page-54

Long-term La Niña periods have been associated with long-term droughts in the southwest lasting 200, 90 and 55 years. More specifically severe droughts from AD1021 to 1051, AD1130 to 1180, AD1240 to 1265, AD1360 to 1365.

I often wondered what was the controlling mechanism that generated long-term La Niña conditions with few La Niño conditions. Plate Climatology Theory may be one possible answer, the generation of La Niña events by undersea volcanic activity.

I found this article on Plate Climatology most interesting.

eruptive-warm-burstGeologically induced “Eruptive” warm burst that helps generate 2014-2015 El Nino.

All El Ninos originate at the same fixed “Point Source” located east of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Fixed point sources are typical of geological features, and not typical of ever moving atmospheric or ocean…

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Image credit: NOAA @ Wikipedia]


Two professors question the validity of current climate modelling, pointing to a number of apparent difficulties.

New understanding of ultra-long timescales provides a new take on climate, says The GWPF.
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A newly published paper in the journal Physica A suggests that there is an undiscovered universe all around us that we are too short-lived to perceive.

Authors Prof. Christopher Essex (Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario) and Prof. Anastasios Tsonis (Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) explain that even without external influences (e.g. man-made carbon dioxide) the weather patterns change over very long timescales, locally and globally.

If some elderly person claims to recall summers, say, that were different when that person was a child, that may not be faulty memory. Just because summers seemed warmer or colder; spring or winter seemed sooner; more or less snow was recalled, it doesn’t follow that the climate system has changed in any meaningful way.

Prof. Essex explains, “Unlike the stable virtual ‘climates’ seen in computer simulations, corresponding real-world conditions aren’t stable at all. There are perpetual, natural, internal changes in play that take longer than human lifetimes to play out.”

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ClimategateFictionI ran across this interesting exchange recently. In it, James Annan, one of the IPCC authors who got Pattern Recognition in Physics shut down after we published our findings on the solar-planetary theory in it because he thought it was wrong, doesn’t seem as bothered to deal with errors by his fellow oceanographer Syd Levitus. Not even when it’s a whopper that has been costing the taxpayer billions due to the climate! panic! James and his colleagues have promoted for years.

James Annan did eventually write a short letter to the journal, but it went unpublished. The Levitus papers were never corrected, though later IPCC reports show a figure for 1955-96 closer to 13×10^22J than the 18×10^22J Levitus et al reported. The increase was actually caused by the reduction in cloud cover letting more sunshine through, as measured by the ISCCP. The latest graphs have also ‘disappeared’ the fall in OHC between 2003-9 measured by ARGO buoys and replaced it with a rise.

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Artistic interpretation of the flooding of the Mediterranean through the Gibraltar Strait, 5.3 million years ago [image credit: Paubahi @ Wikipedia]


“We may be dealing with the one of the largest floods that ever occurred on our planet,” said the lead author of the study.

It was the most abrupt environmental change, at a planetary scale, since the end of the Cretaceous, says Discover magazine.

One of the largest floods in Earth’s history may have deluged the Mediterranean Sea more than 5.3 million years ago, leaving behind a mass of debris roughly the size of Greece’s largest island, Crete, researchers say.

Scientists investigated a roughly 640,000-year span of time starting nearly 6 million years ago when the Mediterranean became a hyper-salty lake.

This so-called Messinian salinity crisis “was the most abrupt environmental change, at a planetary scale, since the end of the Cretaceous — that is, a sudden mass extinction, including dinosaurs, due to a meteorite impact,” said study lead author Aaron Micallef, a marine geoscientist at the University of Malta.

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Ken Rice, an Edinburgh University academic who selectively censors dissenting comments at his pro-AGW “and Then There’s Physics” propaganda blog, has another of mine in moderation:
tallbloke says:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

OK, I’ll drop that subject and deal directly with the subject of your blog post.
You state that:

“If the Earth’s atmospheric pressure is to contribute to the enhanced surface temperature, then that would mean that the atmosphere would need to continually provide energy to the surface. It could only do this through the conversion of gravitational potential energy to thermal energy. This would then require the continual contraction of the Earth’s atmosphere.”

This quote demonstrates that you’ve fundamentally misunderstood Ned Nikolov’s hypothesis. He’s not positing a raised surface T due to an ongoing gravitational collapse producing a compression, generating heat which is then lost to space.

Atmospheric pressure produces a density gradient; i.e. it forces there to be more air molecules per unit volume at lower altitude than at higher altitude. Denser air intercepts and absorbs more of the sunlight passing through it than less dense air, producing more molecular collisions and excitation. It therefore holds more kinetic energy.The more kinetic energy it holds the higher its temperature will be.

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Is this how it works? [image credit: politics.ie]


An obvious problem with studies like this is that as soon as natural climate variation is invoked – to explain the lack of expected warming from so-called greenhouse gases – the argument that such gases could be a dominant factor in climate processes is then severely weakened to say the least. It is in effect an admission that such variations could cause warming as well as cooling. How long can a ‘hiatus’ last before it becomes the status quo?

Reinforcement of Climate Hiatus by Decadal Modulation of Daily Cloud Cycle
– By Jun Yin and Amilcare Porporato, Princeton University
H/T The GWPF

Based on observations and climate model results, it has been suggested that the recent slowdown of global warming trends (climate hiatus), which took place in the early 2000s, might be due to enhanced ocean heat uptake.

Here we suggest an alternative hypothesis which, at least in part, would relate such slowdown to unaccounted energy reflected or re-emitted by clouds.

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Image credit: NOAA


Another attempt to shed light on this recurring but tricky to predict climate phenomenon.

For decades, scientists have observed the phenomena known as El Niño and La Niña, says Phys.org. Both significantly impact the global climate and both pose a puzzle to scientists since they’re not completely understood.

Now, a new study clarifies some of the obscurity surrounding El Niño and La Niña, which together are called the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

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Fiji beach [image credit: travelonline.com]


H/T The GWPF

The oceanographer Nils-Axel Mörner challenges the IPCC and warnings about sinking islands, in a recent interview.

Mr. Mörner, you have recently visited the Fiji islands in South Pacific several times in order to research changes on the coasts and sea levels. Why Fiji?

Nils-Axel Mörner: I knew there would be a science conference in New York in June 2017 that focused on sea level changes in Fiji. In addition, it was known that the island nation would chair the 23rd World Climate Conference, which took place last November in Bonn. Thus, Fiji moved into the focus of interest. It was said that the rising sea level had done a lot of damage there. I wanted to check with my own eyes if that is true.

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Image credit: theozonehole.com


‘The salinity puzzle’ – something new for climate theorists to ponder and debate. Here they still refer to ‘heat-trapping’ gases, having ignored or forgotten about convection.

Researchers aboard an Australian ship undertaking pioneering work in the Southern Ocean have found the “first hint” of a shift in a decades-long trend towards fresher, less dense water off Antarctica, reports The Age.

Teams of scientists on the RV Investigator have been profiling the salinity and temperature of water between Tasmania and Antarctica at 108 locations. They also released the first batch of deep Argot floats to measure conditions as deep as 4000 metres.

But it is the early analysis of data on salinity in the so-called bottom waters near the seabed that may stir international debate.

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The lead author found it ‘remarkable’ that ‘The results indicate that in present and past the Atlantic Ocean surface currents correlate with rainfall patterns in the Western Hemisphere.’
It turns out that ‘If we go back in increments of 30 [years], we’re well positioned to understand things on the order of centuries.’ Could we call it natural variation perhaps…?

Research conducted at The University of Texas at Austin has found that changes in ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean influence rainfall in the Western Hemisphere, and that these two systems have been linked for thousands of years, reports Phys.org.

The findings, published on Jan. 26 in Nature Communications, are important because the detailed look into Earth’s past climate and the factors that influenced it could help scientists understand how these same factors may influence our climate today and in the future.

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Antarctica [credit: Wikipedia]


Some parts of the media may try to give a different impression, but El Niño/La Niña events are natural phenomena with a range of consequences.

A new study published Jan. 8 in the journal Nature Geoscience reveals that strong El Niño events can cause significant ice loss in some Antarctic ice shelves while the opposite may occur during strong La Niña events, reports SpaceRef.

El Niño and La Niña are two distinct phases of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a naturally occurring phenomenon characterized by how water temperatures in the tropical Pacific periodically oscillate between warmer than average during El Niños and cooler during La Niñas.

The research, funded by NASA and the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, provides new insights into how Antarctic ice shelves respond to variability in global ocean and atmospheric conditions.

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Thermometer with Fahrenheit and Celsius units [image credit: Stilfehler at Wikipedia]


Geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus said: “Our precision is about 0.2 ºC (0.4 ºF) now, and the warming of the past 50 years is only about 0.1 ºC,” adding that advanced equipment can provide more precise measurements, allowing scientists to use this technique to track the current warming trend in the world’s oceans, reports Phys.org. Quite modest recent warming then?

There’s a new way to measure the average temperature of the ocean thanks to researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

In an article published in the Jan. 4, 2018, issue of the journal Nature, geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus and colleagues at Scripps Oceanography and institutions in Switzerland and Japan detailed their ground-breaking approach.

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Iberian Peninsula [image credit: NASA]


Study of long-term oceanic influences on a regional climate has turned up some interesting results, as Phys.org explains.

What is causing the droughts that the Iberian Peninsula regularly endures? Why are the winters sometimes mild and rainy and other times cold and dry or cold and damp? Is climate change of anthropogenic origin exerting an influence on these processes? How are these cycles affecting the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems?

And finally, can these cycles be predicted and the economy thus adjusted to them?

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The researchers back the idea that ‘a strong NAO synchronizes climate across large parts of Europe’, reports ScienceDaily. ‘Large scale changes in pressure’ are involved.

Research has found a strong correlation between the North Atlantic Oscillation and synchronized tree reproduction across Europe, supporting the idea that this phenomenon plays a greater role in large scale masting, the process whereby forest trees produce large numbers of seeds in the same year.

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) refers to the large scale changes in pressure that occur naturally in the North Atlantic region. It has been shown to have a strong effect on atmospheric circulation and European climate.

It is known that tree reproduction tends to be strongly synchronised within local populations, so that if one tree is producing a very heavy seed or fruit crop, it is very likely that a neighbouring tree will also be heavily fruiting.

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The scientists conclude:
‘It is therefore essential that we continue to improve our understanding of the LSW/subpolar gyre dynamics at a range of time scales to reduce uncertainty in future climate predictions.’
[LSW = Labrador Sea Water]

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

A newly published paper has linked changes in European climate to North Atlantic variability over the last 3000 years:

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ABSTRACT

The subpolar North Atlantic is a key location for the Earth’s climate system. In the Labrador Sea, intense winter air–sea heat exchange drives the formation of deep waters and the surface circulation of warm waters around the subpolar gyre. This process therefore has the ability to modulate the oceanic northward heat transport. Recent studies reveal decadal variability in the formation of Labrador Sea Water. Yet, crucially, its longer-term history and links with European climate remain limited. Here we present new decadally resolved marine proxy reconstructions, which suggest weakened Labrador Sea Water formation and gyre strength with similar timing to the centennial cold periods recorded in terrestrial climate archives and historical records over the last 3000 years. These new data support that subpolar North Atlantic circulation changes, likely…

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia [image credit:BBC]


This makes a change from the more usual climate-related doom-and-gloom reef scenarios often served up by the media.

Researchers have identified a series of robust reefs that may act as sources to replenish areas of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) damaged by severe disturbances such as bleaching events and cyclones, reports ABC News.

The “robust source reefs” typically lie on the outer shelf fringes of the GBR where ocean currents push deeper, cooler water toward the surface, reducing the severity of heat stress.

It is hoped that these reefs may temper the decline of the GBR as climate change pressures continue to mount, according to Scott Condie from the CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere department in Hobart.

“They’re the bank for the future of the reef,” Dr Condie said.

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