It looks like the little puzzle that was the subject of my last post is not engaging too many minds. I will close out the offer of a reward with the following diagrams which provide some clues as 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 is driven by the solar wind.
If the following diagrams seem to be obscure click on them to get a full screen view. The text explaining the figures is immediately beneath each figure.
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 also 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 and on the other quarter it is the other. There are very few occasions when the polar indices fail to react.
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 an equivalent shift in the mass of the atmosphere.
In the long term the AO and the AAO are locked together. This tells us that a force that must be external to the Earth itself must be responsible. What internal force could give rise to a shift of atmospheric mass from high to lower latitudes and gradually magnify the effort over sixty or 100 years, and then reverse the process?
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 entire 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. The notion that this is all due to ‘planetary waves’ is unphysical. This idea does nothing to explain the propagation of thermal anomalies from upper stratosphere to middle troposphere that occurs every time pressure rises at the pole.
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, sometimes one leading and sometimes the other. This rules out ENSO as a mode of causation of change at the pole. However, it does not rule out polar phenomena as a cause of ENSO because there are two poles that swing independently over the short term. Defend the jab from the south but watch out for the uppercut from the north.
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.
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.
And the same can be said of the AAO and the differential pressure driving the westerlies. The relationship and its result in terms of changing sea surface temperature is stronger in the northern hemisphere (not shown)
As the westerly winds strengthen there is an increase in sea surface temperature. One expects evaporation to increase as the surface of the ocean gets rougher. So, this relationship can only be due to flux in cloud cover. Notice the wider swings in dWS and sea surface temperature in the mid latitudes after 1990. I used to think think that this was due to the expansion of the Hadley cell. Now, I think it due to the gradual collapse of the ionosphere through solar cycle 23. The atmosphere is more reactive now because neutrals are more intimately associated with charged particles that are capable of acceleration when the electromagnetic field changes.
Beware the differences in the scale on these two figures. 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 what we know of the density of mid and upper level cloud according to latitude 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 exhibit an unselfish attitude towards those in need. Left to his own devices man strives for improvement, organized into political parties and movements, he often loses his way. But, its usually temporary.
Brian H asked for a potted version of my theory of climate change.
From the surface upward.
Sea surface temperature increases due to
Increase in temperature of the cloud bearing layer of the troposphere from about 5km through to 12 km (this thins the cloud layer and lets more light through) due to:
Ozone descending from the stratosphere due to
A pulse of ozone descending via a polar vortex as the vortex recovers activity after a period where the flow has been restricted due to
Loss of atmosphere from the polar region due to
Electromagnetic attraction from the equatorial regions due to
Pulse of energy from the solar wind generating electric currents in the atmosphere…in particular the ‘ring current’ that circulates around the equator.
How can we get “A pulse of ozone descending via the polar vortex”
Because the upper stratosphere over the pole is a mixing zone for nitrogen ions from the mesosphere and oxygen ions from the stratosphere. When the vortex is strong the flow of nitrogen ions is strong and this depletes the oxygen ions available to form ozone (O3).
When the vortex is weak, the flow of nitrogen ions is reduced, oxygen ions become abundant and more ozone forms.
So the vortex at the poles represents the primary natural regulator of the amount of ozone in the stratosphere and because ozone absorbs long wave energy from the Earth the vortex is also the primary regulator of stratospheric temperature. Because the stratosphere and troposphere are not walled regions that never mix and there is in fact a descent of ozone rich air into the troposphere (especially in the mid latitudes and to a lesser extent the low latitudes) this directly affects cloud density. When the cloud thins, the sea warms. The warming of the sea can be traced back very directly to a shift in the atmosphere (to and from the poles) wrought by the solar wind.
These phenomena are observable on a weekly basis. The loss of atmospheric pressure at the poles and gains elsewhere indicate that the phenomenon also varies on very long time scales of the order of at least 100 years.