Posted by: erl happ | November 15, 2010

The puzzle

I will pay $500 to the person who can explain the atmospheric physics behind the following phenomena:

If your cup of tea is too hot to drink you can blow across the surface of the liquid to cool it down.

In the trade wind zone, between the equator and 30° of latitude the temperature of the surface of the sea varies inversely with the differential pressure driving the trade winds (negative correlation).

In the zone where the westerly winds blow, between 30° and 60° of latitude, the temperature of the surface of the sea varies directly  with the differential pressure driving the westerly winds (positive correlation).

I want to advise that the reward will increase by $1 per day from today, the 16th November 2010 until the physics behind this phenomenon is explained to the satisfaction of both Mr Leif Svalgaard and myself.

Thank you Leif, for agreeing to participate.

I propose to provide a clue about once a week until the matter is resolved.

As Leif says, it should be fun.

Should there be sponsors who desire to elevate the stake I would be delighted to hear. Adding a dollar a day might suit you……..a bunch of flowers…..whatever strikes your fancy.

Update 17th November

Thanks for the contributions thus far.

All data from http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

No correspondence will be entered into in relation to the veracity of this data. That is the concern of the authorities responsible. I thank them for making available a fine database that enables a person to explore the relationship between climatic variables over time. I maintain that our climate system is changing on a daily basis.  Without an idea of where and why it changes you can not model it successfully.

Here is the data that supports the statement that sea surface temperature increases with the differential in atmospheric pressure in the latitude band 30-50° where winds with a westerly component dominate. The first figure presents anomalies based on climatology of the record up to today. In other words the data represents the departure from the monthly average for the entire period.

Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Surface Pressure

The figure below is very simply derived. The pressure data represents the difference between the sea level pressure at 30-50°N and the sea level pressure at 50-60°N averaged over the four months from June to September. Despite the variable lag, the response in terms of increasing SST to increasing differential pressure is in my view quite striking. Remember that the latitude band chosen is pretty arbitrary, it is not refined according to the position of the wind systems in the summer season and that there will be interference at low latitudes from processes that characterize the trade wind zone.

NH Summer

And here is the winter situation where the connection between the two is even more obvious.

NH Winter

The northern and the southern hemisphere are different kettles of fish. But he relationship between SST and the pressure  differential is also pretty tight in the southern hemisphere when viewed as anomalous monthly data. Notice the discrepancy from 1993 that is also apparent in the northern hemisphere data.  My guess is that its due to volcanic action. You will see it in the summer and winter figures as well. This data should be compared with data from the stratosphere to explore the relationship. But, that is not my current interest.

Southern Hemsiphere SST and Differential pressure in the westerly wind zone

The data for southern hemisphere summer is only faintly suggestive of a relationship.

SH Summer

But the data for the winter is much tighter. What causes sea level pressure to fluctuate strongly on short and long time scales? Where does sea surface temperature fluctuate most and how does it affect the differential pressure driving the major wind systems?

SH Winter

And just in case you think that the ocean always cools in the trade wind zone when the differential pressure driving the trade wind increases, look at this.

SH trade wind zone

And to focus on recent years.

SH Trade wind zone, recent

Compare the SST response to the pressure decline in 2001-2 to 2003-4 and 2008-9. Why the discrepancy. If you contemplate this for a moment you will realize that evaporation and upwelling of cold waters are not the only factors driving the temperature of the sea in the trade wind zone. The ‘thing’  that drives the temperature of the sea upwards with sea surface pressure in the zone  where the westerly winds blow is also probably operating to some extent, and at some times more than others, in the trade wind zone.

Plainly, any explanation of the climate system has to resolve the question of how and why atmospheric pressure changes over time and why sea surface temperature responds on very short (hourly) and long time scales………centuries. It must account for SST declines in some places and concurrent increases in other places. It must also account for the difference in the behavior of  two quite different baskets of fish.

There is evidence in both pressure and temperature data that we are dealing with gradual change in both directions, increase and decrease. Any person in their right mind would not suggest that the sudden warming of the tropical ocean in the southern hemisphere from 1978 is due to back-welling radiation. The increase in the temperature of the sea in the southern hemisphere mid latitudes was steep initially and has flattened out since. It seems that the temperature of the sea in northern mid latitudes is currently in decline, having peaked at a value that was last reached in the 1940’s.

I hope that some of this discussion has helped. At this stage I consider my money safe.

Update no 2  on 17th November

Useful hint

Nature. 2004 Nov 18;432(7015):290-1.

Atmospheric Science: Early peak in the Antarctic Oscillation Index

Jones JM, Widmann M.

Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS Research Centre, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany. jones@gkss.de

Abstract

The principal extratropical atmospheric circulation mode in the Southern Hemisphere, the Antarctic oscillation (or Southern Hemisphere annular mode), represents fluctuations in the strength of the circumpolar vortex and has shown a trend towards a positive index in austral summer in recent decades, which has been linked to stratospheric ozone depletion and to increased atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations. Here we reconstruct the austral summer (December-January) Antarctic oscillation index from sea-level pressure measurements over the twentieth century and find that large positive values, and positive trends of a similar magnitude to those of past decades, also occurred around 1960, and that strong negative trends occurred afterwards. This positive Antarctic oscillation index and large positive trend during a period before ozone-depleting chemicals were released into the atmosphere and before marked anthropogenic warming, together with the later negative trend, indicate that natural forcing factors or internal mechanisms in the climate system must also strongly influence the state of the Antarctic oscillation.

Update no 3 20th November 2010

I want to revisit the first figure presented above. It explores the relationship between pressure and temperature in the west wind zone of the northern hemisphere. This time I present it as a 12 month moving average of hourly data centered on the seventh month. That removes seasonal influences. Looking at this data you might think that there is an excellent relationship from 1996 to 2004 and the rest is obscure. It is probably most obscure in the period from 1948 through to 1970.

SLP and SST 30-50°N

So, lets look at the monthly data for this period. This data is presented as the departure from the monthly average for the particular month concerned, that average computed for the entire period.

1948-1970 SLP differential (30-40N less 50-60N) and SST anomalies 30-50N

There is no doubt about the relationship. When Sea Level pressure rises so does sea surface temperature. This is different to what happens in the trade wind zone where SST falls as the pressure differential increases and the winds blow harder. That is due to the effect of evaporation and cold water upwelling. So, what happens in the west wind zone is the direct opposite of what happens in the trade wind zone.

The next figure shows that the trade wind and westerly pressure differentials move together and of the two, the greater flux is seen in the westerlies.

Westerly and Trade wind differential pressure flux 1948-1970

Consider this satellite derived imagery.

Current global cloud cover

Areas of dense cloud flowing away from the major centres of tropical convection (Amazon, Congo, Maritime continent) close to the surface are moving into colder territory and the tendency will be for cloud density and the heavily shaded surface area to increase as latitude increases. However, the light grey is high level cirrus cloud that is lifted into the upper troposphere in these same centres of of intense tropical convection and also due to uplift associated with mid latitude cyclones. Cirrus tends to flow westward as the low level cloud travels eastward. I suggest that it is this cirrus cloud that lightens off as sea level pressure in the west wind zone increases. It will do so if trace quantities of ozone enter the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere from the polar regions. This occurs as polar pressure falls. It is the fall in polar pressure that allows the westerlies and the trades to gain momentum.

The evidence for this can be seen in the flux in 200hPa temperature here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z200anim.shtml. If you look frequently at sea surface temperature anomaly maps you will see that the areas that stand out as being highly variable in temperature are closely related. This includes as notable examples, the Arctic and the north west Pacific off Kamchatka.

There is a notion abroad that the presence of cirrus warms the surface. I say, the warming of the surface is related to the disappearance of cirrus cloud. We know the surface warms when atmospheric pressure increases. We know that cloud intensity is directly related to atmospheric pressure (happens in mid latitudes every summer and on a week to week basis with the passage of the pressure systems). Perhaps some smart person can separate these influences and give us the answer as to whether the observed warming of the upper troposphere is related to surface warming. My work in climate science started with the observation that a 1°C increase in SST is related to  a 3°C warming at 200hPa.

Again, I point you toward the pole, the enormous flux in atmospheric pressure that occurs at high latitudes, particularly in the south, and the flux in ozone that is closely related.

Here is the flux in the differentials driving the trade winds in millibars:

Trade wind drivers. Difference between SLP pressure at 30-40° and 0-10°

On the right hand  is dTN (differential driving the trades in the northern hemisphere) in summer and the left axis is used for polar pressure. Note the very large difference in the scales. There is a 45mb range on the left and a 4.5mb range on the right.

dTN summer

Here is dTN winter.

dTN winter

dTS (Southern Trades, where the great bulk of the tropical ocean lies) in summer.

dTS summer

dTS in winter.

dTS winter

We see a 1-2 millibar change in the differential driving the trade winds that is associated with a 10-15 mb change in Antarctic pressure.

The change in global pressure relations is part of a planetary system that involves ongoing change in the mass of the atmosphere at all latitudes on inter-decadal and longer time scales.

The change in the mass of the atmosphere is responsible for the surface winds that drive evaporation, upwelling of cold water and associated change in cloud cover, direct drivers of surface temperature.

What is being described here is a natural climate system that explains the cooling of the nineteen seventies, the warming from 1978 to 1998, static temperature thereafter and a swing to La Nina dominance from 2007.

Update no 4 20th November 2010

Here is independent support for my statement that an increase in  the strength of the westerly  winds (due to a rise in the AO or the AAO representing falling pressure at the pole) that is associated with  La Nina  type cooling in the tropics (due to concurrent intensified trade winds)  is associated with reduced cloud cover and increased sea surface temperature in mid latitudes:

11th Conference on Atmospheric RadiationP2.17

Relationship of the Arctic and Antarctic Oscillation to the Outgoing Longwave Radiation

A. J. Miller, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, Camp Springs, MD; and S. Zhou and S. K. Yang

Utilizing a combined data set of broadband outgoing longwave radiation data derived by NASA, (Wielicki et al., 2001) we show that the relationships of the Arctic and Antarctic Oscillation (AO/AAO) to the outgoing longwave radiation are well defined on the monthly time scale. Recent work by Limpasuvan and Hartmann(2000) (L&H) utilizing the NCEP/NCAR reanalyses indicate that the AO/AAO high phase minus low phase difference depicts downward motion in the mid-latitudes of each hemisphere. While it is usually very difficult to test attributes of the reanalysis, this downward motion suggests that this would be associated with a decrease of clouds and an increase in the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). Thus, the independent OLR data provide a test of the data and results. Through both correlation analysis and composite analysis we demonstrate that a positive AO/AAO signal is, indeed, strongly associated with an increase in OLR in the mid-latitudes and vice-versa. These results also compare very well with the OLR computed within the reanalyses. This leads to conjecture as to how we may improve the current forecast system at time-scales beyond about a week.

extended abstract Extended Abstract (208K)

Poster Session 2, Earth Radiation Budget
Tuesday, 4 June 2002, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Comment on this research: This research does not assist our understanding of the type of cloud that disappears but the logic (see above under the map) supports the notion that it is high altitude cirrus cloud that is affected by the flux in ozone from the stratosphere. Ozone is a potent absorber of long wave radiation from the earth. Small amounts of ozone are influential in raising air temperature. Downward transport carries the warmed air towards to the surface although it does not always reach it. Downward transport commences when polar pressure increases, as signified by a fall in the AAO or AO respectively. This is a very consistent feature that relates warming of the stratosphere to the change in pressure.

Update no 5 22nd November

Warning: What follows may be, from some points of view, an unorthodox interpretation of the way the world is. Some maintain that any warming of the Antarctic stratosphere is due to planetary waves. I consider that interpretation unphysical. Planetary waves are internally generated and can not explain the variability that is seen, the extent of warming or in the distribution of the air that is warmed. There may be an involvement of planetary wave activity in vortex splitting events that occur when polar  air pressure falls to a very low point and the vortex is wholly inactive.

First look at this: http://www.jhu.edu/~dwaugh1/gallery_stratosphere.html

Stratospheric warming is episodic and continuous but most intense in the winter hemisphere where air pressure is at its annual high point. Between seasons you can see it occurring in both hemispheres simultaneously.  See the excellent animation at: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/temp10anim.shtml

I want to describe the process by which cirrus cloud can come and go affecting sea surface temperature in the west wind zone. The diagram below shows very cool air in the eye of the polar vortex over Antarctica. The AAO index is currently (November 17-22, 2010) high which means that sea level atmospheric pressure at 80-90°S is low. The flow through the vortex will be weak and the rate of change in atmospheric constituents like ozone, slight. There will be little air entering the upper stratosphere from the mesosphere and in this circumstance ozone concentrations will rise.The stage is being set for the next warming of the middle and lower stratosphere when the vortex refreshes. At this time of the year pressure is falling away in the south and rising at the northern pole. So the next major warming will be in the north. Humpty Dumpty needs to sit on the wall before he can fall off. If pressure is low it is difficult to reduce it still further. If its high, it can fall more readily.

On November 17th (diagram below) we are looking at the result of a fall in the AAO centred about 7th November denoting higher surface pressure and a more vigorous vortex. As the vortex refreshed with the increase in air pressure , ozone was brought down into the middle stratosphere and mixed with air as far north as the equator, as you can see by the bulge between 120 and 150 west longitude. The nitogen oxides that come from the mesosphere destroy ozone and the eye of the vortex is an ‘ozone hole’.  In circumstances where the vortex is weak, ozone concentrations rise in the upper stratosphere (10hPa is about the middle at 30km) and this happened prior to November 7th. The AAO had been high for the preceding three weeks as you can see here:http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.aao.shtml

If you check that link you will see that a warming of the stratosphere always occurs when the AAO falls.

Looking at the diagram below (which relates to the tropopause, the border between the troposphere and the stratosphere) you can see a region of high temperature (Letter H) between Antarctica and Australia and another close to the junction of the Antarctic Peninsula with South America. Ozone is a very good absorber of long wave radiation from the Earth and it imparts energy to the surrounding molecules of nitrogen and oxygen causing the local temperature to increase. Paradoxically, areas with high ozone levels in the lower stratosphere are usually anomalously cool at the surface.  I would ask those who believe that greenhouse gases warm the surface to contemplate that rather awkward fact.

The atmosphere is a convective medium. Local warming promotes the ascent of low density air. Accordingly, ozone descends into the troposphere where the stratospheric air is descending, and that is never ever where the stratosphere is warmest. So, look for the temperature anomalies in the upper troposphere at 200hPa and they will be a mirror image of the temperature anomalies in the stratosphere. Then look at a map of sea surface temperature anomalies and you will see positive anomalies beneath the positive temperature anomalies at the 200hpa level. That is sunlight streaming through a hole in the cirrus cloud. The effect is most readily seen in the southern hemisphere where the flux in  stratospheric temperature is slowest and there is a single dominant vortex. By contrast the northern hemisphere is a bucket of worms with strong centres of descending air not only at the pole but also over the Tibetan Plateau, Siberia and Eastern Canada and Greenland and there is much less ocean (which is relatively neutral) than in the southern hemisphere.

All you need to do to lose cloud density is to warm the air a little. Watch the air cross a mountain range and descend on the other side and the point will become obvious.

Effect of the flux in ozone on atmospheric temperature at 100hPa

One last point. The surface warms when cirrus cloud becomes less dense. The notion that the presence of cirrus cloud warms the surface is just an urban myth. The surface warms according to the rate of evaporation in relation to the rate of heat accumulation and the latter is determined by the strength and duration of sunlight on a daily basis. Cloudy days and nights are warmer than clear days and night s because the air that is associated with cloudy conditions comes from a wet and warm place and it is moving into cooler territory.

The climate system is not that complex, but if you are fixated on a central, inappropriate idea it is going to look incredibly complex, inexplicable in fact. Then you start talking about chaos, butterfly wings and so on. But the single most debilitating idea is that it is a closed system where change is determined by internal forces. Then you can fall into the trap of thinking that the Pacific Ocean forces change worldwide and drives the polar vortex, the AAO and determines whether it’s going to rain this winter.

Update December 19th 2010

It looks like this little puzzle is not engaging too many minds. I will close the contest with the following diagrams which provides some of important clues to the physics behind shifts in the atmosphere, the forces driving the wind systems and the resulting warming and cooling of the ocean, in short climate change as it is driven by the solar wind.

Ring current dynamics affect the distribution of the atmsophere

The Dst index measures the strength of the electromagnetic fields in the Earth’s atmosphere.The Antarctic Oscillation Index and the Arctic Oscillation Indexes represent the balance of pressure between the mid latitude and the respective pole. Practically speaking these indices represent the flux in polar sea level pressure with the polar index falling as sea level pressure rises.

When the solar wind intensifies the Dst index becomes more negative and it takes a couple of months to fully relax again. In about one half of occasions when it pulses negative both the AO and the AAO move upwards, and on a quarter of occasions it is one or the other only.

 

As Dst relaxes the AO and the AAO indices fall indicating a return of atmsopheric mass to the poles

As the atmosphere becomes more compact,  it does towards solar minimum and in low amplitude solar cycles, the swings in the AO and the AAO become wilder, with a greater range in their activity. In an atmosphere where neutrals and changed particles are more closely associated it takes less energy from the solar wind to bring about the same shift in the mass of the atmsophere.

AO and AAO January 2005 to December 2010

In the long term the AO and the AAO are locked together but in the short term there can be shifts of atmosphere from one hemisphere to the other due to seasonal influences (pressure at the pole is much higher in winter) and perhaps to the state of the northern hemisphere temperature in winter and the flux of ozone into the stratosphere and troposphere from the stratospheric vortex.  Perhaps the solar wind itself can preferentially shift the atmosphere from one hemisphere to the other. Certainly there has been a spectacular decline in pressure in the Antarctic since 1948 which is now bottoming. In the Arctic pressure fell from the 1940’s till the early 1990’s and is now recovering.The recovery is faster in winter. Interestingly, the temperature of northern hemisphere winters is strongly tied to the Arctic Oscillation. When pressure rises during an Arctic winter the westerlies weaken and the polar easterlies descend from their usual habitat in the stratosphere to plunge southwards in what is frequently described as an Arctic Outbreak. The Westerlies retreat south and the hemisphere outside of the Arctic cools. In the Arctic circle and the usual centres of downdraft activity, Siberia and Greenland, the surface warms when that descending air contains ozone from the upper stratosphere. Every interval of slightly increased pressure at the pole results in an increase in geopotential heights as ozone is gathered up from the interaction zone of the stratosphere and the mesosphere by renewed vortex activity, absorbs long wave radiation from the Earth and warms the surrounding atmosphere. The phenomenon is called a sudden stratospheric warming. Ultimately that ozone finds its way into the troposphere in the mid latitudes where it warms the air so reducing cloud density.

Antarctic Oscillation Index (AAO) and Southern Oscillation Index

Some people have noticed  a relationship between the AAO and the Southern oscillation index, a proxy for ENSO and Sea surface temperatures in tropical waters. It’s frequently out of phase however.

Arctic Oscillation Index (AO) and the Southern Oscillation Index

Some people have noticed  a relationship between the AO and the Southern oscillation index a proxy for ENSO and Sea surface temperatures in tropical waters. It’s frequently out of phase however.

Antarctic Sea Level Pressure and the differential pressure driving the westerly winds between 30-40S and 60-70S latitude

There is nothing sloppy about the relationship between the Antarctic sea level pressure and the differential pressure driving the westerly winds however. The relationship is inverse.

Differential pressure driving the westerlies in the southern hemsiphere and the AAO

Differential pressure driving the westerlies in the southern hemsiphere and the AAO

And the same  can be said of the AAO and the differential pressure driving the westerlies. The relationship is stronger in the northern hemisphere (not shown)

dWS and Sea surface temperature 30-50S

As the westerly winds strengthen there is an increase in sea surface temperature. One expects evaporation to increase as the surface of the ocean becomes rougher. So, this relationship can only be due to flux in cloud cover.

SST 30-50N and 30-50S

SST between 30N and 50S by wind zone

It is apparent that the flux in sea surface temperature is greater at 30-50N than it is at 30-50S and that the flux is even less at lower latitudes. This conforms to the density of mid and upper level cloud by latitudes and the fact that the northern stratosphere has a higher ozone content and experiences a much greater flux in ozone from the stratospheric vortex than is seen in the southern hemisphere.

Going forward, weaker solar cycles will allow atmospheric mass to return to the poles, the westerlies will weaken, the stratosphere and the upper troposphere will cool, cloud cover will increase and the surface will cool. The SOI has been positive most of the time since 2007 whereas it was highly negative over the previous thirty years since the gross climate shift of 1978 when upper atmosphere temperatures jumped. Since that time upper atmosphere temperatures have been in decline.

What is described here is a mechanism that accounts for the change in the climate of the Earth over short and long periods of time that needs no reference to the supposed influence of carbon dioxide or other  ‘greenhouse gases’ of anthropogenic origin.

It is not expected that a better understanding of climate change phenomena will make much difference to the UN driven campaign to control carbon emissions. The ‘science’ of AGW has always been weak. This campaign is driven by an agenda that sees economic growth as unsustainable. Such a view has long been held by a section of the intelligentsia.  They hold this view regardless of evidence that man is highly adaptive, technology is advancing at a faster pace than ever before and individual people (even at times nation states)  frequently exhibits an unselfish attitude towards those in greater need than himself.


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Responses

  1. Low pressure at the equator as warm air rises, air cools at high altitudes and flows to 30 degrees north then sinks back to surface causing high pressure (Hadley Cell). Cool air flows back toward equator to replace rising warm air and cools water surface along the way. The higher the pressure differential between equator (low) and 30 degrees north (high), the higher the wind and cooling effect.

    Beyond the limits of the Hadley Cell (0 to 30 degrees) warm air generally makes its way poleward due to the temperature gradient. The windier it is, the more interaction between the warm air and cold water surface, and more warming of the water surface occurs.

    • Hi B Buckner,
      Thanks for your interest in the climate puzzle. I will send seperately some data that will help you attack this problem. It’s in the form of a reply to another comment and queries from Bob Tisdale that you will see at the bottom of this email. The figures I will also put it up on the site, perhaps later today, time permitting.

      In relation to your notion that a warm wind will warm the sea, I think it is likely to be a factor but a tiny one that is likely to be outweighed by the evaporative effect of the replacement of the very wet air at the surface of the sea with drier air due to increased turbulence. Air from the high pressure cells is very dry.

      Sunlight, has the property of being absorbed by the sea to depth and the exchange of energy is much more efficient than from warm air to cold sea. I suggest it is likely that the increase in air pressure is accompanied by an increase in sunlight filtering through the clouds. But, to describe the physics, and understand how the change in pressure is accompanied by a change in cloud cover you have to work out the physics behind the change in pressure and the change in the temperature of the cloud bearing atmosphere that will alter its transparency.
      Best,
      Erl

  2. Erl: Two questions: Is that $100 each from you and Leif? What data do you have to support the third phenomenon” And it was”In the zone where the westerly winds blow, between 30° and 60° of latitude, the temperature of the surface of the sea varies directly with the differential pressure driving the westerly winds (positive correlation).”

    • Hi Bob,
      The graphs referred to will go up on the site later. Meanwhile you have them in an email.

      Re the money. That is coming from me entirely. And its $500 plus a dollar a day incrementally. Valuable Australian dollars, not that US stuff which is rapidly turning into garbage. Leif is there as a referee so that I am not the only judge of where the money is to be dispensed or not dispensed. Apart from that, if you can convince Leif that the processes that you describe are physical (conforming with the laws of physics) you have done well and many others should also take some notice.

      All data from http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

      I am really pleased to have your interest.

      dWS stands for the differential pressure driving the westerlies in the southern hemisphere which I take as the difference between the Sea Level Pressure at 30-40° (high pressure) and 50-60° (low pressure)latitudes.

      dWN is the differential pressure driving the westerlies in the northern hemisphere.

      I suggest you take a look at the change in sea level pressure over time by latitude band in 10° intervals. I may have made a mistake but I don’t think so. Anyway, it will be great to have you check the numbers. The data above relates to anomaly based on the climatology of the entire period.

      On an annual basis (simply obtain difference between monthly values) you get this for the summer months in the Northern hemisphere.

      And this for the winter

      As you can see, pressure changes in a systematic fashion over time, as does sea surface temperature and the two would seem to be linked. The data may not support a numerical test of correlation, I have not tried it and the system being multi-factorial, at times that would fail anyway, so in my view, it’s better to eyeball it. If you can play ball games there should not be a difficulty!

      The polynomial curves: well you can take or leave them according to whether you see them as a fit to the data or not.

      Best regards,

      Erl Happ

  3. It’s all about water.

    The descending Hadley cell circulation at 30 degrees that then advects towards the equator (the trade winds) is dry air. Dry air enhances oceanic evaporation and the evaporative cooling of SST’s. When the pressure is higher the winds are stronger and the evaporative cooling of SST’s is enhanced. A negative correlation between SST’s and pressure.

    The Ferrel cell westerlies that blow between 30 and 60 are not dry air. That is wet air. Wet air inhibits oceanic evaporation and evaporative cooling of SST’s. When pressures there are greater and the winds stronger, evaporative cooling of the SST’s are inhibited. There is then a positive correlation between pressure and SST’s.

    • Hi Brego,
      Sorry I missed your comment earlier.

      Sorry but I can not agree. The Hadley circulation is upwards from the equatorial region and downwards at 30-50°S depending upon the season. As the air descends it is compressed, warmed and relative humidity (specific humidity is already low because it has been through a condensation process in elevation) falls away as the air descends.

      That air reaches the surface in a high pressure cell and it flows either towards the equator as a trade wind or to the high latitudes as a westerly wind, with a southerly component in the northern hemisphere and a northerly component in the southern hemsiphere.

      So, the same dry air is involved in both instances.

      However, if you live in the mid latitudes you will occasionally notice a stream of warm wet tropical air heading away from the equator at the surface. That is not part of the Hadley circulation, but it represents only a small fraction of the air occupying the mid latitudes. A good real time visual is herehttp://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/sat_worldm_640x320_img.htm

      The high pressure cells form over the oceans and develop an anticlockwise circulation in the southern hemisphere. They have cirrus cloud above them at a high level. You can pick them by the light grey cloud which exists only at great elevation.

      The mid latitude high pressure cells entrain air from what is called the Hadley and the Ferrel cells.

  4. Let’s start with the tropics. First, the tropical Pacific will be different than the other two ocean basins. The trade winds and SST anomalies in the tropical Pacific are coupled and directly related to ENSO. During La Niña events and during ENSO-neutral years, the trade winds are from east to west. This pushes the warm surface waters to the west and raises the thermocline in the eastern tropical Pacific, cooling the eastern and central tropical Pacific. During an El Niño, the warm water that was created during the La Niña sloshes to the east and warms the central and eastern tropical Pacific. At the same time during the El Nino, the trade winds reverse, because the convection that normally was over the west Pacific Warm Pool is now located in the central and eastern tropical Pacific.

    In the tropical Atlantic and Indian Oceans, through teleconnections, the trade winds decrease during El Niño events. The weaker trade winds cause a reduction in evaporation. This is the first reason SST anomalies rise. That is, less evaporation equals higher SST anomalies. The second reason is that weaker trade winds also result in lesser upwelling of cooler subsurface waters. The reverse holds true for La Niña events. Higher trade winds during La Niña events yield more evaporation and greater upwelling in the Tropical Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

    The Tropical Indian Ocean can also have what appears to be a “sympathetic El Niño event” during major Pacific El Niño events. This effect is visible in the following video. (Starts about 45 seconds into the video.) During major El Niño events, like the 1972/73, 1982/83 and 1997/98 El Niño event, a Rossby wave carries a pocket of warm water from the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean to the west, much like a Kelvin wave carries warm waters eastward during the start of an El Niño in the Pacific. The pocket of warm water is stopped by the African Coast and convection increases in the western tropical Indian Ocean. The increase in convection causes an increase in Indian Ocean trade winds and lowers SST anomalies in the east, but raises SST anomalies in the west, resulting in an abnormally high Indian Ocean Dipole value.

    And with respect to the extratropics, the following is a comparison graph of North Pacific SST anomalies (30N-60N, 120E-120W) and the North Pacific Sea Level Pressure difference between the west (30N-60N, 135E-160E) and the east (30N-60N, 150W-125W), with the east subtracted from the west. As you can see there’s no correlation, positive or negative. So the latter part of your puzzle is erroneous and irrelevant.

    My webpage has a donation link, BTW.

  5. Thanks Bob, you were certainly quick off the mark.

    Your comment:
    ‘In the tropical Atlantic and Indian Oceans, through teleconnections, the trade winds decrease during El Niño events.’

    Tells me that the phenomena are correlated. They all move together in the same direction. It doesn’t tell me why the trade winds increase in intensity globally. .i.e the physics behind it.

    I agree with your explanation of why SST change as pressure changes in the trade wind zone.

    But, in relation to the mid latitudes, the North Pacific can not represent the globe.

    The mechanism whereby sea surface pressure is linked to temperature is plainly tighter in winter. That is an observation worth following up. Here is a recent article that traverses part of the field. http://www.terrapub.co.jp/onlineproceedings/ste/CAWSES2007/pdf/CAWSES_257.pdf

  6. Erl replied, “Tells me that the phenomena are correlated. They all move together in the same direction. It doesn’t tell me why the trade winds increase in intensity globally. .i.e the physics behind it.”

    The relocation of tropical Pacific convection during the El Nino changes Walker and Hadley circulation, which in turn, slow trade winds globally. If you’d like specific, well documented, well desribed, refer to Wang (2005) “ENSO, Atlantic Climate Variability, And The Walker And Hadley Circulation.” Wang (2005) link:
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/docs/Wang_Hadley_Camera.pdf

    You rellied, “But, in relation to the mid latitudes, the North Pacific can not represent the globe.”

    But if the individual ocean basins don’t correlate as you claim it would then be impossible for me (or anyone else) to describe the processes that govern each. If you’d like me to describe how the SST anomaly patterns in the North Pacific are created, I’can and have done that. It should also hold true for the South Pacific, where the pattern is created by the inverse relationship between the SST anomalies of the SPCZ and ENSO. The South Atlantic doesn;t correlate with anything, so it’s a wildcard, and the Indian Ocean is impacted by numerous factors. It’s teleconnected with the eastern tropical Atlantic, it’s impacted by ENSO, and it’s got its own oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole, which would impact the SST anomalies being spun down into the South Indian Ocean by the Indian Ocean gyre. On top of that, the SST anomalies of 60S-30S are also impacted by the ACC, which strongly impacts to the SST variability of the Southern Hemisphere, south of 30S. So your attempt to catagorize their variability based on sea level pressure differences is faulty. You’s capture a very small portion of it.

    And that leaves the North Atlantic, and as I showed in my most recent post, the additional variations in the North Atlantic are exaggerated cumulative responses to ENSO:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/11/multidecadal-changes-in-sea-surface_17.html

    • Hi Bob,
      I respect your approach and the enormous amount of detailed work that has gone into your analysis. However, the globe does not hang on what happens in the Pacific.

      This: “The relocation of tropical Pacific convection during the El Nino changes Walker and Hadley circulation, which in turn, slow trade winds globally. If you’d like specific, well documented, well desribed, refer to Wang (2005) “ENSO, Atlantic Climate Variability, And The Walker And Hadley Circulation.” Wang (2005) link:
      http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/docs/Wang_Hadley_Camera.pdf

      is not the full quid. If you look at the variability in atmospheric pressure by latitude you will see that it is tiny in the tropics and massive near the poles. While some writers persist in suggesting that what happens in the tropics drives what is happening at the poles that is nonsense. The change that occurs at high latitudes precedes that at the equator. What happens at high latitudes conditions the strength of the winds globally, (and sea surface temperature responds directly) and is responsible for a cyclical evolution that is apparent in the data I presented yesterday. The cyclical evolution over 60-100 years, with a degree of change that dwarfs the inter seasonal movements, can not be driven by the tropics no matter where the rainfall and convectional centers move.

      Looked at this paper last night:”Opposite Phases of the Antarctic Oscillation and Relationships with Intraseasonal to
      Interannual Activity in the Tropics during the Austral Summer”

      This statement appears:
      “Our rationale is that, even though the existence of the AAO is due to internal dynamical mechanisms in the mid- to high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, the MJO and ENSO are the most important modes of tropical variability on intraseasonal and interannual time scales and they can have important interactions with the AAO.”

      You can see the confusion. Is it ‘internal variability’ or is it the tropics. This is not a cut and dried issue.

      For ‘internal variability’ read : We don’t know what is going on here so we will put this label on it in the meantime and perhaps one day….”

      But in the following article I think the authors have almost made up their mind and its thumbs down for the tropics.

      Relationships between the Antarctic Oscillation, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, and ENSO, and Consequences for Rainfall Analysis
      Journal of Climate, Jan 15, 2010 by Pohl, B, Fauchereau, N, Reason, C J C, Rouault, M
      ABSTRACT
      The Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) is the leading mode of atmospheric variability in the Southern Hemisphere mid- and high latitudes (south of 20°S). In this paper, the authors examine its statistical relationships with the major tropical climate signals at the intraseasonal and interannual time scales and their consequences on its potential influence on rainfall variability at regional scales. At the intraseasonal time scale, although the AAO shows its most energetic fluctuations in the 30-60-day range, it is not unambiguously related to the global-scale Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) activity, with in particular no coherent phase relationship with the MJO index. Moreover, in the high southern latitudes, the MJO-associated anomaly fields do not appear to project coherently on the well-known AAO patterns and are never of an annular nature. At the interannual time scale, a strong teleconnection with ENSO is found during the peak of the austral summer season, corroborating previous studies. El Nino (La Nina) tends to correspond to a negative (positive) AAO phase. The results are statistically significant only when the seasonal mean fields averaged for the November through February season are considered.

      This is what I observe:
      1. A negative AAO represents high sea level pressure at 80-90°S.
      2. A negative AO represents high sea level pressure in the Arctic.
      3. The two frequently cycle together, and are locked together when you look at longer time scales.
      3. There is an exchange of atmospheric mass between high latitudes and other latitudes and this is what is monitored by the AAO and the AO. Very simple. No need for talk about second orthogonals or any other sophisticated twaddle.
      4. Stratospheric temperature varies according to the change in atmospheric mass with simultaneous warming at high latitudes and cooling in the stratosphere above the equator.
      5. The AAO and the AO are indicators of the direction that weather and climate will take at all latitudes……..in all the wind zones.
      6. The asymmetry of the hemispheric response due to the differences between the poles confuses the issue. At one pole we have a weak vortex and very high ozone levels in the stratosphere. At another we have a very strong and persistent vortex in all seasons and abysmally low ozone concentrations.
      7. When pressure rises at the pole (AAO and AO fall) there is an immediate response in terms of increased geopotential heights. That is ozone carried down from the upper stratosphere absorbing long wave radiation from the Earth. The response is in the mixing zone. There is almost no ozone within the vortex itself……..at any time. That reflects the influence of NOX from the mesosphere.

      Enough said for the moment.

  7. Yikes. Sorry about all he typos in the previous reply.

  8. Erl, I had missed your earlier reply.

    You wrote, “The graphs referred to will go up on the site later. Meanwhile you have them in an email.”

    Never received it. Did you send it? I may be having trouble with my email.

  9. Hi Bob,
    I have readdressed that reply and it should be with you now.
    Erl

  10. Erl: Sorry .It just occurred to me. With my graph above comparing No Pacific SLP differences to SST anomalies, I was doing SLP longitudinally, not latitudinally. My mistake. I’ll replot and work on my reply.

    • No worries Bob. Please see reply below to your overnight comment.

      • Erl: Now that I’ve replotted the North Pacific SLP data using the corrdinates listed in the following graph, I will replay my earlier comment.

        And with respect to the extratropics, the following is a comparison graph of North Pacific SST anomalies (30N-60N, 120E-120W) and the North Pacific Sea Level Pressure difference between the north (30N-40N, 120E-120W) and the south (50N-60N, 120E-120W), with the north subtracted from the south. As you can see there’s no correlation, positive or negative. So the latter part of your puzzle is erroneous and irrelevant.

        Again, I can’t describe the individual ocean basins in the extratropics because there is no correlation as you describe in the first basin I chose to look at.

      • Bob, The Pacific is not the globe and neither is the pressure differential between these latitudes within the Pacific a good guide to what is happening globally. You have a persistent high pressure cell south of Alaska that heavily influences the result.

  11. Erl wrote: “The change that occurs at high latitudes precedes that at the equator. ”

    Do you have documentation of this?

    • I don’t need other people to tell me. And nor do you.

      Plot the daily AAO and the AO against the daily SOI. Both the AO and the AAO are influential, the former because of the high ozone levels in the Arctic by comparison with the Antarctic. The last few years of low solar activity are of particular interest.

      • The AAO and SOI run in and out of phase. Always have, always will.

      • The Earth has two hemispheres. The winter hemisphere is the one subject to greatest fluctuation in pressure. The seasons follow each other sequentially. The Antarctic has a very strong positive differential in winter. The Arctic pressure differential is slightly negative in relation to the mid latitudes. In this situation you will see that the AAO and the SOI may lead and lag interchangeably. But, at the time that the AOI is lagging the SOI , I suspect a rare event, you will find that it is the Arctic that is leading.

        Then we have to think in ENSO time scales because the AAO and the AO change on the three and four year time scales, on decadal and longer time scales as is obvious on the graphs that I have supplied. We need to ask ourselves why the climate system tips to warming (1978-1998) or cooling (2007 plus) dominant modes within a sixty year time interval.

        If you need a signal that assimilates the two I suggest it lies in the negative response in stratospheric temperature at 10hPa or 30hPa to warming at either pole (that follows the collapse in sea level pressure). You can observe the warming at the poles and the simultaneous cooling in equatorial latitudes here: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/ or in a graphical format here:http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/ However, the strength of that signal seems to change seasonally perhaps it is because the northern hemisphere that is favored by the shift in atmospheric mass rather than just the equatorial regions.

        But in any case tell me how the tropics can force the AAO when the SOI lags the AAO.

        In my view you are arguing for a link that is unphysical. You must familiarize yourself with the global flux in pressure that represents a shift in atmospheric mass. Then, ask yourself whether anything that happens in the Pacific Ocean or the equatorial region could cause that planetary shift in atmospheric mass.

        The shift in atmospheric mass is the thing that causes the flux in the strength of surface winds (its one and the same thing) and is strongly linked to factors influencing the flux of sunlight to the sea surface in mid latitudes. But if you persist in quoting the instance of the north Pacific as if this were a definitive test (it can never be) that information can not be assimilated.

        In this car the engine is in the front. You happen to be looking at the exhaust end, in the tropics. There is a lot of sound and fury there but it is a residual thing due to the activity in the engine room and the engine is at the poles extending from the surface into the mesosphere and it responds directly to changes in the distribution of the mass of the atmosphere.

        Now, here is a puzzle for you. Why was the late 2009 early 2010 El Nino a product of forcing in the northern hemisphere that was traceable to a strong increase in surface pressure in the Arctic and a depletion in the differential driving the northern trades?

  12. Erl: I’ve attempted to reproduce your delta SLP vs SST anomaly graphs, and I have not been successful. Here’s the Northern Hemisphere Extratropics:

    And here’s the Southern Hemisphere Extratropics:

    I suggest you smooth your data with at least a 12-month filter to eliminate any seasonal components. I also believe you fool yourself by adding the polynomial filter to only one of the two datasets you’re examining. You’ve done that in all of the graphs you’ve provided above as hints, and it influences one’s perspective. Either add it to both using the same order level, or don’t add them at all.

    And with respect to your second clue, while there is an apparent influence of the AAO on Southern Hemisphere Extratropical SST Anomalies, appearing as though the SST anomalies integrate the AAO, at least since 1979…

    The same cannot be said for the AO and Northern Hemisphere Extratropical SSTdata:

    For the Northern Hemisphere, the individual oceans have to be examined to determine the influence of SLP on SST, and as noted in earlier comments, the effect is not a function of SLP differences.

    Regards

    • Bob, you say: For the Northern Hemisphere, the individual oceans have to be examined to determine the influence of SLP on SST, and as noted in earlier comments, the effect is not a function of SLP differences.

      The rise in sea surface temperature with sea level pressure is not in doubt. I have indicated what I have done and you have not tried to reproduce it at all. There are two things driving sea surface temperature, the first being the rate of evaporation and the second and more influential factor, the flux of light to the surface. It is the second that is conjunctional with the rise in the sea surface pressure differential that is responsible for the increase in SST at 30-50N and 30-50S. It so happens that a massive fall in pressure at the pole is what is required to produce a moderate increase in the differential driving the westerlies. What happens to the trades depends on what is happening in Antarctica. But the mix of possibilities is endless. It helps to plot and compare the differentials driving the wind systems to appreciate that point.

      The fall in pressure at the pole that inevitably follows the period of higher pressure is accompanied by upper atmospheric warming due to ozone flux into the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere where cirrus cloud prevails. And that is what allows increased flux of light to the surface.

      If the tropics were driving the global flux in pressure we would see low air pressure at the equator and massive air pressure at the poles. In point of fact there is very frequently a negative differential rather than a positive one, lower pressure at the pole than at the equator. How do you account for that?

      • Erl: There are still two comments of mine, responding to your earlier comments, that still show up as not having been moderated.

    • Thanks for this comment Bob. If you want to reproduce my graphs please use the same database and the same format, looking at annual data (therefore deseasonalized) for summer and winter months. For the two graphs that shows monthly anomalies from 1948-2010 climatology there is no way you can reproduce anything remotely similar unless you download the array, convert to list form, insert the monthly average and subtract the actual monthly figure from that average for the month for the entire period.

      The polynomials are of no value unless they can be seen to fit from a visual point of view. I don’t like to clutter things up with too much data. It is already complex.

      There is a lot of work in setting up he spreadsheet but it gives you a very powerful and useful tool to deal with any array of data in 12 columns.

      I will send you (and anyone else) a spreadsheet with all the formulas if you ask for it.

      I want to put up on this blog some more work relating to the first graph later today, time permitting. That data merits close scrutiny because it is a strong example of natural cycle that runs almost peak to peak within the scale of a human life time. The work will use 12 month moving averages and also deseasonalized monthly data.

      In relation to your comments on the AAO and SST data just remember that the thing responsible for the increase in sea surface temperature in the west wind zone is a change in cloud cover. High pressure cells are much less cloudy than low pressure cells. In summer, high pressure cells dominate as low pressure cells retreat towards the poles. Any change in the atmosphere that increases pressure (in the west wind zone) will be accompanied by an increased flux of solar radiation to the surface. It is a perfectly natural and unremarkable phenomenon for the ocean to warm when the pressure differential driving the westerlies increases. As the westerlies increase in intensity the trades, that originate from the same high pressure cells also increase in intensity. As the trades blow harder, the tropical ocean cools. There is little cloud in the trade wind zone so the flux of radiation to the surface remains unchanged.

      So, we have a paradox. As the tropics cool, the extra-tropics warm, and vice versa. It’s a global phenomenon. This is something that ENSO and Pacific Ocean enthusiasts need to appreciate.

  13. Erl replied, “The Earth has two hemispheres.”

    That’s right and the AO and AAO lag ENSO, not vice versa. They may lag El Nino events:

    Or they may lag La Nina events:

    Why do they switch? I know there are papers that describe it, I’ve read one or two, but the major variations in the AO and AAO are responses to ENSO, not vice versa.

    I’m done.

    Adios.

    • Hi Bob,
      When you wrote adios, I thought you were gone, never to return.

      My response to this comment is that you should take my initial suggestion and plot daily data. The SOI is a very agitated index and it signals change in the ENSO 3.4 region in the Pacific. The conclusion that one could derive from that is that the change in SST is preceded by the change in pressure. The sea between Tahiti and Darwin is one small section of the southern tropics where the change in global pressure relations is amplified. Now, the change in pressure depends upon the global distribution of the atmosphere. That is a matter of a flux in a variable part of the mass of the atmosphere between the mid latitudes and the poles……so we talk of the AAO and the AO but it also depends upon interchange between the hemispheres, a very important factor as yet unrecognized. If you want to know what is happening you need to look at the data at the shortest scale at which it varies. The south east Pacific and the entire zone between the equator and 30°S responds to change that is greatest in extent and taking place elsewhere. The push-pull can be coming from either hemisphere. The atmosphere is like the ocean. There are tides. What you see here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.aao.shtml

      is a direct reflection of those tides over a very short period.

  14. Erl replied, “I respect your approach and the enormous amount of detailed work that has gone into your analysis. However, the globe does not hang on what happens in the Pacific.”

    Actually, it appears that it does. In the post I linked earlier…
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/11/multidecadal-changes-in-sea-surface_17.html
    … I’ve shown using two different methods that the global oceans integrate the effects of ENSO, I’ve provided a video that confirms it, and I’ve reproduced the global temperature record using monthly and annual NINO3.4 SST anomalies, with solar and volcanic aerosols to add a few wiggles.

    BTW, if you were to do a correlation analysis of Southern Ocean SST anomalies with the Global SST anomalies, you’d find that the Southern Ocean SST anomalies correlate with La Niña events. Not ENSO, the Southern Ocean responds primarily to La Niña vents. Do the same with Arctic Ocean SST anomalies, and you’d find they respond to El Niño events. I may post about that next week.

    • Oops had that backwards. Southern Ocean positively correlates with ENSO and Arctic Ocean negatively correlates with ENSO

      • Someone told me once that correlation is not causation.

        It’s the physics that concerns me.

  15. Hey Erl, hows it hanging?

    I thought I’d add a thought here, though I don’t know whether it’s part of the answer or another part of the puzzle really. A couple of months ago Bob posted a graph of north pacific sst’s vs dpo and commented that they didn’t correlate. I pointed out that they did, but it was an anti-correlation. Bob checked this properly, saw my eyeball wasn’t bad and put up a new post here: http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/09/inverse-relationship-between-pdo-and.html

    I just overlaid that on your SLP and SST 30-50°N graph and the fit is reasonably good, with Bob’s N. Pacific SST residual roughly tracking your 30-50N SST and his PDO curve roughly following your dWn curve.

    Do I get a jelly baby?

    • Hi Tallbloke,
      Bit hard to get the gist of what you are talking about. Any chance of seeing the overlay and I will have a close look at Bob’s post to see if I can get my head around it.

      I must confess that I don’t take much interest in the PDO or the North Pacific as a subset. However, I am aware that apart from residual effects of ocean currents transporting warmth there is a strong flux in SST off Japan depending upon the strength of sea level pressure in the high pressure cell over Asia, which competes directly with the Arctic and Greenland for downdraft air in the northern winter. As a result there is periodic warming of surface temperature as the Asian high pressure cell strengthens bringing ozone down into the lower stratosphere /upper troposphere.

      See if you can work out what is happening here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/temp30anim.shtml
      and here:http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z200anim.shtml

      and relate that to update no 5 and local SST.

      Any increase in SST in the Westerly wind zone may simply be due to the flux in cirrus cloud cover with the pressure differential driving the wind between 30 and 60 degrees of latitude. SST in the west wind zone is not simply a residual of ENSO.

      Jelly babies will come with a demonstration of what drives the flux in pressure between the poles and the mid latitudes that is the agent of change in the strength of ALL of the winds, the Trades, the Westerlies and the Polar Easterlies. That is really the $500 question. I know that $64,0000 would be better. I need an interested sponsor.

      • Seems to be a bit controversial at the moment, but Makarieva’s work on wind being caused by precipitation mass loss from the atmosphere may be worth thinking about. Have you had a look at seasonal precipitation and longer term patterns?

        Rough plot here for my previous comment here:

        Makarieva discussion here:
        http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/23/water-vapor-mischief/

  16. Tallbloke,
    It’s the pressure differential that drives the wind at the surface. Degree of uplift can be accented by release of latent heat and that will change the pressure differential. But we knew that.

    The general assumption in climate science is that all pressure differentials are internally generated due to differences in solar energy input, evaporaton,release of latent heat and the cooling effect of condensation. No I say. There is another factor that accounts for the massive differentials that are evident and the change in the differentials over time. So great is the change that the agent of change is producing phenomena outside the range of what might be expected from an internally generated variation.

    Furthermore, the change in the pressure differentials is producing what we know as the ENSO phenomenon.

    And the change in the pressure differentials explains the way in which the climate changes over time, not due to ENSO, because it is simply part of a larger phenomenon where the most dramatic change is actually in places other than the tropical Pacific ocean. I am coming around to the viewpoint that the tropics simply integrate changes that take place elsewhere and that tropical phenomena like the shift in the zones of condensation and uplift and the Madden Julian Oscillation etc are just like ripples on the water…..phenomenological curiosities likes reflections in a pond.

    Your graphs overlay well. Still need to work through what Bob is saying and what the data may mean.

  17. Hi Erl,
    Have you noticed that the zero crossings in Bob’s graph are at the times of climate regime shift? Big El Nino 1944, big La Nina 1975, big El Nino 1998

    a 54 year cycle would be Moon related. Maybe Richard Holle is the man to ask.
    Did you ever read this post on my blog?
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-moon-is-linked-to-long-term-atlantic-changes/

    If this turns out to be it, Leif ain’t gonna like it. 😉

  18. I just checked Harald Yndestad’s graph from that post on my blog against your SLP and SST 30-50°N graph and the 74.4 year tidal cycle he found fits the black polynomial perfectly in phase and all…

    This is related to the lunar nodal cycle rather than the 54 year eclipse cycle, but it’s all wheels within wheels….

    Messy graph but here you go:

  19. Ian Wilson might be the other man for this job. He has a forthcoming paper on lunar-solar resonance:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/ian-wilson-forthcoming-paper-2011/

    Sorry if I’m bombarding you with stuff you’re not remotely interested in, I know Leif won’t be.

  20. Have you considered, that collapse of thermosphere has made chances to the whole atmosphere? Radiation works as a sounwave, the longer wave the easier it penetrates all barriers. So if atmosphere shrink’s down longwave IR goes easier trough. At the same time density chance in atmosphere makes diffrencies to lower atmosphere, like turnig jetstreams. And all this, because radiation specra from the sun is diffrent and lack of solar wind? I don’t have anykind education, but it does not make me stupid. I’m 100% that CO2 effect to worlds climate is 0. There is lot of things we don’t know about Sun, but one thing is shure, there is no climate without it.
    Creetings fom Vantaa Finland.
    Current weather -9c snowing 🙂

  21. Olavi from Vantaa,
    What a delight to get your message. And your English is a lot better than my Finnish.

    Is there any sun to be had when it is -9 and snowing? What does the current low AO index mean for Finland?

    I agree with you that the collapse of the thermosphere is very interesting, particularly as some short wave lengths have been increasing. My understanding is that most of the longwave going through the atmosphere is from the Earth and heading outwards, being picked up by ozone, warming the stratosphere. If this ‘greenhouse effect’ were to affect the surface a cooling stratosphere should have resulted in a cooling of the surface. But, that hasn’t occurred so I am with you. No greenhouse effect at all.

    We do need to know a lot more about the sun. Perhaps over the next 20 years we will learn.

    My daughter spent a year in Finland when she left school and learned how to drink like a fish, enjoy sauna and run around naked in the snow. But, that was when she was young and today she lives in a warmer place, keeps her clothes on and is a very responsible citizen.

  22. Hi
    My English is bad, because I’ don’t use it often, but my Spanish is worse. We have daylight someting 5h 48min.
    Low AO means allways the same cool and snow. We have warm north atlantic and cool east. So before christmas we had -27c and now -6 and still snowing. We have allready 50cm snow and lot more is coming. This is second consecutive winter with low AO. Correlation has always been clear. What I believe is, next decade is going to be wery much like this year.
    It’s nice to have my childhood’s winters back. In sixteens we had mountains of snow or at least, it felt like. 🙂
    I have writing an article of what I believe is happenig in Earth’s climate but, I have to translate it before posting. I have cathered stuff from everywhere to get a big picture.
    When I was younger I had same habits than your daughter, nowdays i’m trying to be decent father to my children. Have nice Cristmas. 🙂

  23. Hi Erl; Read your post and comments. I liked all of the thoughts and graphs. The one thing that I saw that was missing was the effects of the energy and matter flow caused by the flux lines of the earths magnetic field. These forces cause the distortion of the earths surface to an oblate spheroid and could as well influence the thickness and pressure of the atmosphere. Good luck on your quest for an explaination of the climate drivers. pg


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