Monday, July 28, 2014

Updated list of 29 excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming

"If you can't explain the 'pause', you can't explain the cause"
RSS satellite data showing the 18 year 'pause' of global warming


An updated list of at least 29 excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming, including recent scientific papers, media quotes, blogs, and related debunkings: 

1) Low solar activity 



9) Stadium Waves

10) ‘Coincidence!’

11) Pine aerosols


12) It's "not so unusual" and "no more than natural variability"

13) "Scientists looking at the wrong 'lousy' data"

14) Cold nights getting colder in Northern Hemisphere

15) We forgot to cherry-pick models in tune with natural variability [debunked]

16) Negative phase of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation

17) AMOC ocean oscillation

18) "Global brightening" has stopped

19) "Ahistorical media"

20) "It's the hottest decade ever" Decadal averages used to hide the 'pause' [debunked]

21) Few El Ninos since 1999

22) Temperature variations fall "roughly in the middle of the AR4 model results" 

23) "Not scientifically relevant"

24) The wrong type of El Ninos

25) Slower trade winds [debunked]

26) The climate is less sensitive to CO2 than previously thought [see also]

27) PDO and AMO natural cycles and here

28) ENSO

29) Solar cycle driven ocean temperature variations


Embedded image permalink
An incomplete list of excuses

Related:

Climate Depot Analysis: ‘There have been at least 10 separate explanations for the standstill in global warming’ – 1) Low Solar Activity; 2) Oceans Ate Warming; 3) Chinese Coal Use; 4) Montreal Protocol; 5) Readjusted past temps to claim ‘pause’ never existed 6) Volcanoes 7) Decline in Water Vapor 8) Pacific trade winds 9) ‘Coincidence’ 10) ‘Stadium Waves’

‘Warming Interrruptus’ – Causes for The Pause


Quotable Global Warming Hiatus Quotes

Sunday, July 27, 2014

New paper finds 'high correlation between solar activity and Earth's temperature over centuries'

A new paper published in the Chinese Science Bulletin finds "high correlation between solar activity and the Earth's averaged surface temperature over centuries." 

The paper is written in Chinese, but has an English abstract [below] and a press release which states, 

"results demonstrate that solar activity and the Earth’s temperature have significant resonance cycles, and the Earth’s temperature has periodic variations similar to those of the solar activity (Figure 1).     
The study also implies that the “modern maximum” of solar activity agrees well with the global warming of the Earth during the past century. A significant correlation between them can be found (Figure 2). Especially, the correlation between the solar activity and the ocean temperature is higher than the correlation between the solar activity and the land temperature. These results, as pointed out by a peer reviewer, “provide a possible explanation for the global warming”.  
The global wavelet coherence between Sunspot number (a), Total Solar Irradiance (b) and the anomalies of the Earth's averaged surface temperature. The resonant periodicities of 21.3-year (21.5-year), 52.3-year (61.6-year), and... Click here for more information. 
It is left to the reader to translate the paper from Chinese, but it appears from the abstract and press release to support other work demonstrating that cumulative solar activity explains much of the global warming of the 20th century, indeed over the past 400 years. 


Has solar activity influenced Earth's global warming?


A recent study demonstrates the existence of significant resonance cycles and high correlations between solar activity and the Earth's averaged surface temperature over centuries. This provides a new clue to reveal the phenomenon of global warming in recent years.

Their work, entitled "Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations" was published in CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN (In Chinese) 2014 No.14 with the co-corresponding authors of Dr. Zhao Xinhua and Dr. Feng Xueshang from State key laboratory of space weather, CSSAR/NSSC, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It adopts the wavelet analysis technique and cross correlation method to investigate the periodicities of solar activity and the Earth's temperature as well as their correlations during the past centuries.


Global warming is one of the hottest and most debatable issues at present. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claimed that the release of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases contributed to 90% or even higher of the observed increase in the global average temperature in the past 50 years. However, the debate on the causes of the global warming never stops. Research shows that the current warming does not exceed the natural fluctuations of climate. The climate models of IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on the climate change, while overstate that of human activities. Solar activity is an important ingredient of natural driving forces of climate. Therefore, it is valuable to investigate the influence of solar variability on the Earth's climate change on long time scales.

This innovative study combines the measured data with those reconstructed to disclose the periodicities of solar activity during centuries and their correlations with the Earth's temperature. The obtained results demonstrate that solar activity and the Earth's temperature have significant resonance cycles, and the Earth's temperature has periodic variations similar to those of solar activity (Figure 1).

This study also implies that the "modern maximum" of solar activity agrees well with the recent global warming of the Earth. A significant correlation between them can be found (Figure 2).

As pointed out by a peer reviewer, "this work provides a possible explanation for the global warming".

###

See the article:

ZHAO X H, FENG X S. Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations (in Chinese). Chin Sci Bull (Chin Ver), 2014, 59: 1284, doi: 10.1360/972013-1089 http://csb.scichina.com:8080/kxtb/CN/abstract/abstract514043.shtml


High Correlations between Solar Activity and the Earth's Averaged Surface Temperature Proved by NSSC Scientists

Global warming, namely the unequivocal and continuing rise in Earth’s climate, is one of the hottest and most debatable issue at the present time. As a scientific intergovernmental and international body under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) once claimed that the release of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases contributed to as much as 90% or even higher of the observed increase in the global average temperature in the past 50 years. However, worldwide scientists are still skeptical and debate on the possible explanation of the global warming never ends. Research shows that the IPCC’s model tends to underestimate the impact of natural factors on the climate change, while overestimate that of the human activities.

As a matter of fact, solar activity is an important ingredient of natural driving forces of climate. A recent study done by space physicists at the State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, the National Space Science Center (NSSC) have demonstrated the high correlations between solar activity and the Earth’s averaged surface temperature during centuries. The result will to a large extend provide a new clue to reveal the cause of global warming in recent years.

Supported by NSSC’s “Five Key Cultivation Directions” Fund, Dr. ZHAO Xinhua and Dr. FENG Xueshang combined the measured data with those reconstructed to disclose the periodicities of solar activity during centuries and their correlations with the Earth’s temperature based on the wavelet analysis technique and cross correlation method. Their results demonstrate that solar activity and the Earth’s temperature have significant resonance cycles, and the Earth’s temperature has periodic variations similar to those of the solar activity (Figure 1). 


The study also implies that the “modern maximum” of solar activity agrees well with the global warming of the Earth during the past century. A significant correlation between them can be found (Figure 2). Especially, the correlation between the solar activity and the ocean temperature is higher than the correlation between the solar activity and the land temperature. These results, as pointed out by a peer reviewer, “provide a possible explanation for the global warming”.


Their work, entitled Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations was published on CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN (In Chinese) 2014 No.14. It was reported by the global source for science news, EurekAlert!, both in Chinese and in English entitled Has solar activity influence on the Earth's global warming? on June 3 and June 4, 2014, respectively.


Figure 1: The global wavelet coherence between Sunspot number (a), Total Solar Irradiance (b) and the anomalies of the Earth’s averaged surface temperature. The resonant periodicities of 21.3-year (21.5-year), 52.3-year (61.6-year), and 81.6-year are close to the 22-year, 50-year, and 100-year cycles of solar activity. (Image by NSSC)
  Figure 2: Comparisons between the 11-year running averaged Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) and the temperature (T) anomalies of the Earth (global, land, ocean). (Image by NSSC)

Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations

ZHAO XinHua*, FENG XueShang* 


State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

Abstract:

Based on the well-calibrated systematiCmeasurements of sunspot numbers, the reconstructed data of the total solar irradiance (TSI), and the observed anomalies of the Earth’s averaged surface temperature (global, ocean, land), this paper investigates the periodicities of both solar activity and the Earth’s temperature variation as well as their correlations on the time scale of centuries using the wavelet and cross correlation analysis techniques. The main results are as follows. (1) Solar activities (including sunspot number and TSI) have four major periodic components higher than the 95% significance level of white noise during the period of interest, i.e. 11-year period, 50-year period, 100-year period, and 200-year period. The global temperature anomalies of the Earth have only one major periodic component of 64.3-year period, which is close to the 50-year cycle of solar activity. (2) Significant resonant periodicities between solar activity and the Earth’s temperature are focused on the 22- and 50-year period. (3) Correlations between solar activity and the surface temperature of the Earth on the long time scales are higher than those on the short time scales. As far as the sunspot number is concerned, its correlation coefficients to the Earth temperature are 0.31-0.35 on the yearly scale, 0.58-0.70 on the 11-year running mean scale, and 0.64-0.78 on the 22-year running mean scale. TSI has stronger correlations to the Earth temperature than sunspot number. (4) During the past 100 years, solar activities display a clear increasing tendency that corresponds to the global warming of the Earth (including land and ocean) very well. Particularly, the ocean temperature has a slightly higher correlation to solar activity than the land temperature. All these demonstrate that solar activity has a non-negligible forcing on the temperature change of the Earth on the time scale of centuries.

Full paper [in Chinese] available here 

Why the IPCC exaggerates greenhouse warming of the oceans by at least 2.5 times

A new paper finds the deep oceans have cooled contrary to alarmist claims of deep ocean warming by Trenberth's "missing heat" from carbon dioxide. Trenberth's theory, one of at least 14 excuses for the ~18 year 'pause' of global warming, now appears to be dead in the water. 

Data from the new paper can be used to derive that the world's oceans have warmed only about 0.008°C over the past 19 years from 1992-2011, and imply that the IPCC exaggerates net greenhouse forcing on the oceans by at least a factor of 2.5 times. 

According to the author Dr. Carl Wunsch, one of the world's most respected oceanographers, 
"A total change in [world ocean] heat content, top-to-bottom, is found (discussed below) of approximately 4 × 10^22 Joules in 19 years, for a net heating of 0.2±0.1 W/m2, smaller than some published values (e.g., Hansen et al., 2005, 0.86±0.12 W/m2 ; Lyman et al., 2010, 0.63±0.28 W/m2; or von Schuckmann and Le Traon, 2011, 0.55±0.1 W/m2; but note the differing averaging periods), but indistinguishable from the summary Fig. 14 of Abraham et al. (2013). Perhaps coincidentally, it is similar to the 135-year 700 m depth ocean rate of 0.2±0.1 W/m2 of Roemmich et al. (2012)."
Although the paper does not compare these estimates to those of the IPCC, using the "IPCC formula" for forcing from CO2 [which includes alleged positive feedback from water vapor], we find that over the same 19 year period studied by Dr. Wunsch that greenhouse gas forcing allegedly increased by 0.505 W/m2 given the increase in CO2 levels from 356.38 ppm in 1992 to 391.63 ppm in 2011:

5.35*ln(391.63/356.38) = 0.505 W/m2

However, Dr. Wunsch notes above that over the same period the world oceans warmed by only 0.2 ± 0.1 W/m2, or 2.5 times less than the IPCC alleged forcing from greenhouse gases. Note this is assuming that all ocean warming over that period was from greenhouse gas forcing and none from ocean oscillations, solar amplification mechanisms, clouds, global brightening, natural variability, etc. The actual greenhouse forcing on the oceans after feedbacks and natural variability is thus most likely to be a minimum of 2.5 times less than the IPCC claims. 

Dr. Wunsch also finds a forcing of 1 W/m2, if continuously maintained, would change global mean ocean temperature by only about 0.04C.
"Consider, for example, that greenhouse gas warming of the ocean [since ~1850]  is widely believed to be of order 1 W/m2 (e.g., Hansen et al., 2005) or less. The volume of the ocean is about 1.3 × 10^18 m3 . Using a mean density of 1038 kg/m3, the total mass is about 1.34 × 10^21 kg, and with a heat capacity of roughly 3.8 × 103 J/kg/◦C, the global heat capacity is approximately 5.4×10^24 J/◦C. A heating rate of 1 W/m2, if maintained for 20 years, produces an energy content change of about 2.2 × 10^23 J for a change in global ocean mean temperature of about 0.04◦C."
Per the IPCC formula above, the alleged increase in greenhouse forcing over the recent 19 years is 0.505 W/m2, which would thus translate to an ocean warming of only 0.505*.04 = 0.02C. Dr. Wunsch finds the oceans have warmed only 0.2 W/m2 over the 19 years, which would translate to only a very tiny 0.2*0.04 =  0.008C. 

The estimated ocean heating rates in Dr. Wunsch's paper are also much less than prior estimates:
These findings are understandable in the context of the ~18 year pause in surface warming [thus no change in the temperature gradient between the atmosphere and ocean surface] and because longwave infrared radiation from greenhouse gases cannot heat the oceans.

Full paper by Dr. Wunsch available here

Related:

A Very Unsettled Science: Just a few of the most urgent unsolved questions in climate science

A recent paper published in Frontiers in Earth Science briefly describes twelve of the "grand challenges" in atmospheric research over the next several years. According to the author, this "non-exhaustive" list only mentions "a few of the most urgent unsolved questions and naturally remains incomplete."

The few of the most urgent unsolved questions include climate forcings, feedbacks, data series of adequate length to determine trends and correlations, better representation of errors, the carbon cycle, representation of clouds & deep convection, the complex dynamics in urban areas, closure of the surface energy and heat balance with observations, effect of aerosols, extending weather forecasts beyond 2-7 days, non-linear fluid dynamics and chaotic interactions, understanding of the nature of the interaction between atmospheric and land surface processes, climate sensitivity to CO2 and other greenhouse gases, the hydrological cycle, the dynamics of deep convection, the role of the tropopause in atmospheric dynamics, development of mesoscale models, improvement in the parameterizations used in the wave-based models of weather and climate, remote sensing of the regional and global cycles of clouds and precipitation necessary for climate monitoring & verification of model outputs, establishment of source-sink relationships for atmospheric water vapour, the effects of the main modes of climate variability on the variability of the moisture regions, how the transport of moisture occurs in a changing climate, a more complete picture of solar forcing in climate models, etc., etc.

And these are only a few of the grand challenges of understanding the atmosphere, not to mention any of the more exhaustive list of grand challenges of understanding the oceans, which control the atmosphere. 


The next time someone naively suggests that the infant field of climate science is "settled" or able to claim 95% or 97% confidence in climate prognostications, show them this "non-exhaustive" list of deep challenges that must be "settled" first. Likewise, when anti-science alarmists claim skeptics are "climate science deniers," ask them specifically which of these "unsolved questions" in climate science you "deny".





Emphasis added:

SPECIALTY GRAND CHALLENGE ARTICLE

Front. Earth Sci., 29 October 2013 | doi: 10.3389/feart.2013.00001

Grand challenges in atmospheric science

EPhysLab, Facultade de Ciencias, Universidade de Vigo, Ourense, Spain


As a subject of study, the atmospheric sciences encompass all the processes that occur in the atmosphere, together with its links with other systems, mainly the hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and outer space. As such it is an extensive discipline and the task of describing the main challenges is not an easy one, and entails a fair degree of overlap with some of the other grand challenges in the earth and environmental sciences. As a special overlapping could occur with climate sciences it is worth to remember that atmospheric processes differ from climate ones in the temporal scale, being the latter those occurring over long periods, typically higher than 30 years, but in any case long enough to produce meaningful averages. Atmospheric processes are central to configure the state of the climate but also to many of the forcings and feedbacks that determine the magnitude of climate change and its possible impacts. Additionally, there has been impressive progress of late in the atmospheric sciences in terms of the benefits provided to individuals and organizations. The flow of atmospheric “information” is of considerable importance in decisions related to health, agriculture, energy, power, and the environment. This “Grand Challenges” article focuses on the atmosphere, although the strong interaction with other parts of the earth and its environment, together with the societal implications involved, is a common theme in all the challenges described.

Over the next few years, progress in the atmospheric sciences is essential if understanding of the basic processes and their modeling is to improve; this will require genuine advances in observational, conceptual, and technological approaches. For this reason the following non-exhaustive list of 12 selected challenges includes those related to observations and data assimilation, those covered within the traditional disciplines (atmospheric physics and chemistry, atmospheric dynamics and weather forecasting), those concerned with the interactions between the atmosphere and its boundaries, and those related to the atmospheric component of climate studies.

Challenge 1: Data Assimilation


The challenges in terms of data assimilation for earth observation over the next years relate to technical and general thematic aspects, as well as to the ability to take advantage of new and exciting opportunities in earth observation systems. The benefits of addressing these challenges are likely to include improvements to reanalyses, improvements to weather forecasting, an improved observational system, and an improved foundation on which the elements of climate models can be built. Among the technical challenges, five areas are most significant: (1) the assimilation of coupled data to account for links between different elements of the earth's system; examples include the coupling of the atmosphere and the ocean, of the ocean and the cryosphere, and of the atmosphere and the land; (2) assimilation of ensemble data to account for natural variability and/or to represent errors in the earth system—here, the technical effort will focus on the design of realistic ensembles; (3) performing data assimilation at increased spatial resolutions, representing the earth system at finer scales (mesoscale and finer), including theoretical developments to account for changes in balance conditions; (4) better representation of errors (random and bias) in the observations and models used in data assimilation, including the representation of forecast errors, model errors and online bias correction; (5) extension and consolidation of the joint state estimation and the inverse modeling approach in order to study biogeochemical cycles (e.g., the carbon cycle). The overarching challenge here is the consolidation and integration of the community data assimilation efforts of the meteorological and space agencies, of research and operational activities, and from in situ and satellite observational platforms, including all continental and global collaborations, and the effective application of these efforts toward the development of new missions in earth observation.

Challenge 2: Small Scale Processes in the Atmosphere

Several challenges are apparent in terms of our fundamental understanding of small scale processes and related applications, many of which are in currently being actively debated and studied. First, increased computational power allows the more detailed simulation of fluid mechanics problems, thus, even stably stratified flows are now modeled by direct numerical simulation. At the same time, these advanced computational techniques also require a new generation of parameterization schemes for numerical weather prediction (NWP) and climate modeling. At high resolutions, for example, the complex dynamics that occur in urban areas cannot be neglected and specific NWP schemes to represent these are required. At smaller grid sizes the so-called gray zone of turbulence is approached in NWP, and the impact of this must be understood and quantified. There is some room for improvement in terms of the representation of clouds and of the diurnal cycle of deep convection, and the same also applies to the physical processes that govern the stable boundary layers and the diurnal cycle, and the intermittent nature of turbulence, especially under calm conditions. In addition, higher resolutions also require more advanced techniques to allow the interpretation of the observations made. In boundary-layer meteorology, the closure of the surface energy balance and the heat budget in field observations requires further attention. Finally, the data challenges facing meteorology will also increase, due in particular to the greater availability of both professional and crowd-sourced observations (Muller et al., 2013).

Challenge 3: Air Pollution Chemistry

The key components of a program to address the most important challenges for researchers in air pollution chemistry may be described under the following three headings: (1) Indoor Pollution and health: given the tendency for people to remain largely indoors for work, school, and leisure, it is important to study the impact of indoor pollution on human health as a result of indoor emissions and/or the infiltration of the external ambient air. In recent years the processes that govern indoor air quality have changed markedly as result of modifications to building regulations with the aim of better energy efficiency. There are still considerable unknowns in relation to the sources, compounds and processes that affect indoor air quality and its impact on human well being. (2) Dust and air quality: with continuous improvements in the characteristics of vehicle emissions, the effects of aerosol pollution in urban areas can now increasingly be traced to other sources of emissions, such as the transport of natural dust and the resuspension of road dust, mainly in southern European areas with drier climates in areas affected by the transport of dust from the deserts of North Africa. An understanding of these impacts and the application of mitigation measures (for road dust resuspension) are both areas of future research. (3) Biomass burning: with climate change and concerns about the impact and cost of fossil fuels, biomass combustion is now commonly used for domestic heating in Europe. In many urban areas, principally in winter, domestic biomass has been found to be an important source of air pollution by particulates. Ar present some emphasis is being placed on the evaluation of the impact of biomass burning in terms of urban air quality as well as in terms of the study of the emission characteristics of biomass burning equipment and installations, as well as on the impact of the composition of biomass burned particles on human health.

Challenge 4: Aerosol-Cloud Interactions

There is no doubt that aerosol particles are actively involved in cloud formation via the supply of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nuclei (IN). It has been suggested that changes in aerosol concentrations will alter cloud lifetimes and precipitation efficiency, and hence affect the radiative forcing of the earth system. Great efforts have been devoted to this topic, resulting in rapid developments in terms of knowledge, methodologies, and techniques (e.g., Wang, 2013). Despite this progress, it is still difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions about the climatological effects of aerosols at regional and global scales. In contrast, aerosol-cloud interactions at molecular and microphysical scales have become more and more predictable and its modeling more deterministic. There appears to be a significant gap in our knowledge between the small-scale (molecular and microphysical) processes and the large-scale (regional/global) events in this area. We suggest that there remains a need to synthesize multi-scale results to identify clearly the problems involved and to improve the current set of tools and methodologies required to close the gap.

Challenge 5: Weather Prediction


Phenomena described by fluids are complex, however, the appearance of the laws of fluid motion is deceitfully simple, equations governing these laws are non-linear, what implies multiple (and hard to understand) types of feedback effects. The atmosphere and the temporal evolution of its state does not deliver from this problem. In any case one of the flagships of the body of research on atmospheric sciences over the last few decades has been the establishment of reliable forecasting in the 2–7-day range, in view of the enormous potential economic benefits; however, such techniques still suffer from problems derived from the collection and utilization of data, which are mostly collected over the oceans. The use of new data from satellites and ground-based remote sensing could help in this regard, as could the correct maintenance of traditional data sets such as the now some what outdated global rawinsonde network. Improvements in measurements of water vapour and land surface properties are also priorities. The physical challenges continue to be the same as they were when defined more than a decade ago (National Research Council, 1998), namely: a better understanding of the nature of the interaction between atmospheric and land surface processes, the hydrological cycle, the dynamics of deep convection, the role of the tropopause in atmospheric dynamics, a fresh impetus in the development of mesoscale models and an improvement in the parameterizations used in the wave-based models of weather and climate. An example of the importance of these improvements is orographic gravity wave drag, whose parameterization in weather and climate prediction models needs to be updated given the importance of some effects shown to be important in recent research. Among these is the impact of wind shear on both the surface drag and the wave momentum flux (and its dissipation), and the drag produced by trapped lee waves, whose energy propagates, and is dissipated, downstream of their source rather than upwards. The implications of these orographic gravity waves for clear-air-turbulence (CAT), a very serious aviation hazard, have not been satisfactorily quantified. Most CAT forecast methods use empirical predictors not explicitly linked to gravity waves, but it is well known that directional shear (which is ubiquitous in nature) leads to gravity wave breaking, which may be an important source of CAT. The trapping of gravity waves in the lee of mountains or hills leads to the formation of unsteady, turbulent, closed circulations known as rotors, which are also a serious aviation hazard. Our understanding of the conditions necessary for the onset of these flow structures is incomplete, and will no doubt benefit from recent advances in mountain wave theory.

Challenge 6: Remote Sensing for Meteorology and Climate

Ground-based and satellite remote sensing has provided major advances in our understanding of both the weather and the climate systems, as well as the changes in these (Yang et al., 2013), by allowing the quantification of the processes and spatio-temporal states of the atmosphere, land, and oceans. The intensive use of satellite imagery in meteorology, and spatial patterns of sea level rise, provide good examples of this. The duration of the time series concerned are usually too short to allow their use for capturing long term trends of many climate variables, so one major challenge is to extend the durations of these time series. Remote sensing of the regional and global cycles of clouds and precipitation is also necessary for climate monitoring and the verification of model outputs. There are two notable challenges in atmospheric physics; the first is to design innovative studies focusing on cloud microphysics and the relationship with the physics of lightning discharge, together with all aspects related to the observation and measurement of atmospheric electricity, and the second is to develop new passive radiometer and radar studies to help us to understand the structure of clouds and precipitation with special emphasis on tropical warm rain processes, mid-latitude light precipitation, snowfall, cloud liquid and ice water content, precipitable water and water vapour profiles. One hydrometeorological challenge is to extend and improve our observations and modeling of the atmospheric and continental parts of the water cycle in order to allow its closure (e.g., mountain areas, polar regions).

Challenge 7: The Atmospheric Branch of the Hydrological Cycle


Among the many challenges related to the hydrological cycle, those concerned with the atmospheric transport of moisture must receive special mention because of their existence entirely within the realm of the atmospheric sciences. Here we consider the most pressing of the challenges described in the recent review of Gimeno et al. (2012). The diagnosis of moisture sources has become a major research tool in the analysis of extreme events (e.g., floods, droughts), and can be thought of as a basic tool for regional and global climatic assessments; it is therefore, necessary to check the consistency of the different approaches used to establish source-sink relationships for atmospheric water vapour. Of key importance is the improvement of our understanding of how sources of moisture affect precipitation isotopes; this is important in and of itself but it is also crucial for correctly interpreting the most prominent paleoclimatic archives including ice cores and cave sediments. A further challenge is the better understanding of the role of the transport of moisture as the main factor responsible for meteorological extremes (heavy rainfall via structures such as low level jets and atmospheric rivers, or drought via the prolonged diminished supply of water vapor from moisture source regions). In order to assess whether the moisture source regions have remained stationary in past years, it is necessary to understand the effects of the main modes of climate variability on the variability of the moisture regions, and how the transport of moisture occurs in a changing climate. These unsolved questions constitute a substantial challenge for climate scientists.

Challenge 8: Interaction of Scales in Climate Simulation


The interaction among various spatial and temporal scales results in what we call climate. (Lorenz 1967) was among the first to emphasize the importance of scale interactions in explaining some of the key characteristics of climate observed in various regions. The non-linear character of most of these scale interactions has made them difficult to model, and as a consequence this still constitutes a source of uncertainty in climate simulations. Some empirical methods have been proposed to downscale the output from climate models but these are still somewhat controversial (Pielke and Wilby, 2011), particularly when used to interpret long term climate projections at a regional scale. The use of boundary conditions from an global model in which coupled interactions among all the major subsystems of the climate system (atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, and cryosphere) are predicted has a number of problems as the retention of large-scale climate errors in the global models, its great dependence on the lateral boundary conditions or the lack of two-way interaction between the regional and global models. The role of small scale atmospheric processes, usually in short lived phenomena, turns to be highly relevant particularly in tropical regions, where mesoscale convective systems interact with large scale circulations, and are of crucial importance in the hydrological cycle. For example, tropical cyclones may result in very wet or dry years in some regions depending on their activity and trajectory. This element is rather difficult to simulate in climate models, but its contribution to regional climate is beyond doubt and must be better understood in order to incorporate it into climate modeling systems.

Challenge 9: Extreme Events


In recent years the effects of different meteorological and climate phenomena have gained in importance in the eyes of the media and the population as a whole, partly as a consequence of extreme events such as the heatwaves in Europe (2003), Russia (2010), or USA (2011), or the deadly and extremely costly hurricanes that have hit densely populated areas in recent years, including New Orleans (Katrina, 2005) and the Metropolitan area of New York (Sandy, 2012). Likewise, prolonged periods of drought have caused severe problems for cereal producers, including in southern Australia (2002–2010), or the south-western USA, or via the increased likelihood of forest fires (Amazonia, 2005 and 2010). Some of these extreme events are closely related to the occurrence of vigorous circulation patterns such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), or to blocking and the displacement of storm tracks and the jet stream. By definition, extremes are rare in a time series, there is therefore, a pressing need, linked to the analysis of extreme events, to extend the climatic series as far as possible, and for this reason reconstructions of the past climate based on instrumental, historical and proxy data continue to be indispensable. The recent IPCC report (IPCC, 2013) shows that this growing interest in climatic extreme events must be addressed within the wider context of climate change, given that the expected changes in global, regional and even local climates are most likely to be felt through changes in the magnitude and frequency of extreme events.

Challenge 10: Solar Influence on Climate

It has been estimated that about 8% of recent global climate change can be attributed to solar variability, but this figure must be treated with caution given that a number of aspects of solar forcing and the mechanisms coupling solar variability to the earth's climate system remain poorly understood (Gray et al., 2010). With the increasing complexity and sophistication of atmospheric and climate models, and the need for increased accuracy of the predictions made, it is important to able to include a more complete picture of solar forcing in these models. Sources of solar forcing can be divided into radiatively and particle driven components. The scientific focus for the radiatively driven forcing is currently shifting from the global to the regional responses as driven by variations in solar spectral irradiance (SSI). A number of questions remain about the nature of the variations in SSI, how these should be implemented in models, and how they will change in future solar cycles if the sun moves away from its current grand maximum of solar activity toward a new maunder minimum. The particle driven component is further divided into energetic particle precipitation (EPP) and cosmic ray (CR) effects. The EPP effect initially influences the upper stratosphere and lower thermosphere. While the chemical effects of EPP on the atmosphere are now well understood, there is a pressing need to understand further dynamical effects, as well as the potential mechanisms and magnitudes in terms of the earth's climate. The potential influence of EPP on climate is an emerging research area, and is one that is assuming a greater importance now that climate models are extending to higher altitudes that are more directly influenced by EPP. EPP provides one of the key transport pathways from the lower thermosphere down to the stratosphere and beyond, down to the troposphere via stratosphere-troposphere coupling in the polar regions. The effect of EPP could also become more pronounced in the near future as radiative forcing becomes more influenced by a move to maunder minimum types of solar activity. The CR driven component is currently considered to be the least well understood of the sources of solar forcing, although dedicated ongoing international research efforts are being made to address this question. Resent results have suggested that although CRs may stimulate aerosol nucleation, in global terms these effects are not great, and questions remain on the physical mechanisms linking CRs and aerosol nucleation.

Challenge 11: Urban Weather and Climate


The urban heat island (UHI) is perhaps the best known effect of the presence of cities on the local microclimate; the air temperature in a city at night can be much higher (up to 10°C or more) than in the surrounding area. Urban Climate, an emerging branch of meteorology 20 years ago, is now a mature field of research. It covers a range of topics, from fundamental theoretical studies to more applied research, having as its main goal the application of climatic knowledge to the better design of cities around the world. Micrometeorology has always been a core area of interest in urban studies because of the scales involved. Urban climatology instrumentalists have pioneered the continuous development of instrumentation and process analysis ever since the 1970s. The processes leading to the formation of the UHI (mostly physical in nature due to the 3D shape and the materials that make up the urban fabric), emerged from these early studies. Today, a number of challenges remain in relation to the measurement of this rather complex urban boundary layer. New short-range teledetection instruments are being used to gain a specialist view of the physical processes involved. Such instrumental developments will inevitably continue. Urban climate was only tackled by atmospheric modellers when the atmospheric models reached a sufficiently high resolution (a few km) to be able to represent cities explicitly. The first models representing the exchanges of energy and water between urban surfaces and the atmosphere appeared in the early 2000s (see reviews inMasson, 2006 and Martilli, 2007), and are now being used more and more in numerical weather forecasting models. The first international intercomparisons of urban models (Grimmond et al., 2010,2011) discussed some obvious means of improvement, for example in the representation of urban vegetation. In addition, approximately 15 years later than atmospheric models, regional climate models now have spatial resolutions compatible with urban scales. This of course presents a new challenge in the proper representation of cities in climate models. Similarly, urban meteorology studies cannot be limited to physics or chemistry, but must take account of the behavior of the inhabitants. Although biometeorological studies already exist, especially in terms of levels of human comfort, the interactions between the meteorological and social worlds, both in terms of human comfort but also in terms of meteorologically dependant energy use, for example, still form one of the main challenges for urban meteorologists.

Challenge 12: Ozone Depletion and Recovery

Although stratospheric ozone concentration minima are still seen in many regions, signs of recovery are beginning to be perceived. In the Antarctic stratosphere the concentration of halocarbons peaked around the year 2000 and then began to diminish. Current projections suggest that complete recovery could occur around the year 2050. This means that one of the major challenges is to ensure the continued monitoring both of ozone and of ozone-depleting gases in order to guarantee the recovery. Improvements in the basic understanding of processes, and simulations thereof, are especially important in the context of a changing climate. Both directions must be simulated, i.e., how a changing climate will affect the ozone layer, and how the recovery of the ozone will affect weather and climate. The so-called climate-chemistry models (CCMs, Lamarque et al., 2013) appear to be of key importance in this case.

The foregoing list of challenges for the next few years in atmospheric sciences research relates only to a few of the most urgent unsolved questions and naturally remains incomplete. The challenges described herein must not be considered to be the likely principal research topics in Frontiers in Atmospheric Science; any interesting work linked to the umbrella of atmospheric science should find accommodation in the journal.

Friday, July 25, 2014

LISTEN NOW: Dr. John Christy rebuts climate alarmist talking points

Dr. John Christy's radio interview today debunks silly misconceptions including the bogus "97% consensus", that all climate change is man-made, that CO2 has a significant effect on climate, that climate models are reliable, that glacier melt is 'unprecedented' or man-made, that skeptics are against clean air, the mistaken beliefs of amateur climatologist Neil Degrasse Tyson, as well as other alarmist talking points. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why the models fail: New paper finds the climate to be 'highly nonlinear'

A paper published today in Science finds "the climate system can be highly nonlinear, meaning that small changes in one part can lead to much larger changes elsewhere." 
"Some proposed mechanisms for transmission of major climate change events between the North Pacific and North Atlantic predict opposing patterns of variations; others suggest synchronization. Resolving this conflict has implications for regulation of poleward heat transport and global climate change." 
"When the climates of the more local high-latitude Pacific and Atlantic sectors varied in parallel, large, abrupt climate fluctuations occurred on a more global scale."
One of many examples would be the interactions of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation [PDO] and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation [AMO], which are sometimes aligned in the same positive phase to produce abrupt global warming, sometimes aligned in the same negative phase to produce abrupt global cooling, and sometimes in opposite phases which "cancel" their net global effect. 

Systems which are "highly nonlinear" and chaotic are extremely difficult to impossible to predict or model. The projections of current climate models show that the models really boil down to just a simplistic 1:1 linear function of CO2 levels:


Needless to say, modeling the "highly nonlinear" and chaotic global climate system using a linear function of a single independent variable - CO2 - is nonsense and an essentially worthless exercise. Damaging the entire global economy and basing policy decisions upon such models is pure insanity. 


Editor's Summary:

Climates conspire together to make big changes

The regional climates of the North Pacific and North Atlantic fluttered between synchrony and asynchrony during the last deglaciation, with correspondingly more and less intense effects on the rest of the world, researchers have found. The climate system can be highly nonlinear, meaning that small changes in one part can lead to much larger changes elsewhere. This type of behavior is especially evident during transitions from glacial to interglacial conditions, when climate is affected by a wide variety of time-varying influences and is relatively unstable. Praetorius and Mix present a record of North Pacific climate over the past 18,000 years. When the climates of the more local high-latitude Pacific and Atlantic sectors varied in parallel, large, abrupt climate fluctuations occurred on a more global scale.
Science
Vol. 345 no. 6195 pp. 444-448 
DOI: 10.1126/science.1252000
  • REPORT

Synchronization of North Pacific and Greenland climates preceded abrupt deglacial warming

Some proposed mechanisms for transmission of major climate change events between the North Pacific and North Atlantic predict opposing patterns of variations; others suggest synchronization. Resolving this conflict has implications for regulation of poleward heat transport and global climate change. New multidecadal-resolution foraminiferal oxygen isotope records from the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) reveal sudden shifts between intervals of synchroneity and asynchroneity with the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) δ18O record over the past 18,000 years. Synchronization of these regions occurred 15,500 to 11,000 years ago, just prior to and throughout the most abrupt climate transitions of the last 20,000 years, suggesting that dynamic coupling of North Pacific and North Atlantic climates may lead to critical transitions in Earth’s climate system.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New paper finds 23% of warming in Europe since 1980 due to clean air laws reducing sulfur dioxide

A paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters finds that clean air laws which greatly reduced sulfur dioxide emissions explain 81% of the "brightening" of sunshine and 23% of the surface warming in Europe since 1980. However, the authors note "this phenomenon is however hardly reproduced by global and regional climate models." 

According to the paper, 
"observed surface solar radiation, as well as land and sea surface temperature spatio-temporal variations over the Euro-Mediterranean region are only reproduced when simulations include the realistic aerosol variations" which the authors state are "however hardly reproduced by global and regional climate models"
"Global brightening" is a well-known global phenomenon which may partially be due to clean air laws reducing sulfate and black carbon aerosols, as well as natural changes in cloud cover. "Global brightening" and "global dimming" show high correlation with global temperatures, yet as this paper notes are "hardly reproduced" by climate models. Another of many highly important variables including ocean oscillationssolar amplification mechanisms, convection, clouds, etc., etc. which climate models do not adequately simulate.

Note: Sulfur dioxide is an actual air pollutant, unlike harmless, essential, & beneficial carbon dioxide, despite the widespread scaremongering propaganda labelling CO2 as "carbon pollution"

Contribution of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols to the changing Euro-Mediterranean climate since 1980

Pierre Nabat et al

Since the 1980s anthropogenic aerosols have been considerably reduced in Europe and the Mediterranean area. This decrease is often considered as the likely cause of the brightening effect observed over the same period. This phenomenon is however hardly reproduced by global and regional climate models. Here we use an original approach based on reanalysis-driven coupled regional climate system modelling, to show that aerosol changes explain 81 ± 16 per cent of the brightening and 23 ± 5 per cent of the surface warming simulated for the period 1980–2012 over Europe. The direct aerosol effect is found to dominate in the magnitude of the simulated brightening. The comparison between regional simulations and homogenized ground-based observations reveals that observed surface solar radiation, as well as land and sea surface temperature spatio-temporal variations over the Euro-Mediterranean region are only reproduced when simulations include the realistic aerosol variations.

New excuse for the 'pause': Negative phase of the natural Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation

Matthew "say anything" England is back with a new paper which offers yet another excuse for the 17+ year pause in global warming: the negative phase of the natural Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO)  [excuse #14 by my count]. 

The paper comes hot on the heels of another paper by England et al claiming that the 'pause' was due to an entirely different mechanism of strengthened Pacific trade winds, but which was readily debunked by skeptics and apparently not even believed by England himself anymore as he now claims
"We further demonstrate that most non-volcanic hiatuses across CMIP5 models are associated with enhanced cooling in the equatorial Pacific linked to the transition to a negative [Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation] IPO phase."
The natural IPO is a close cousin of the ~60 year Pacific Decadal Oscillation, but with a cycle of 15–30 years, and affects both the North and South Pacific.

England et al boldly claims using the same climate models that did not predict the current pause of almost 18 years that after 2030, no more decadal 'pauses' of global warming will occur, stating, 
Under high rates of greenhouse gas emissions there is little chance of a hiatus decade occurring beyond 2030, even in the event of a large volcanic eruption. 
More circular reasoning from climate scientists that models which utterly failed to simulate the current 'pause' can be used to simulate the probability of a 'pause' in the future. Not to mention, CMIP model projections have already been falsified at confidence levels of 95-98+%. 

As noted by Dr. Roy Spencer,
"...they can’t ignore our arguments any longer. For many years we had been hearing from the “scientific consensus” side that natural climate change is nowhere near as strong as human-caused warming…yet the lack of surface warming in 17 years has forced those same scientists to now invoke natural climate change to supposedly cancel out the expected human-caused warming!
C’mon guys. You can’t have it both ways! They fail to see that a climate system capable of cancelling out warming with natural cooling is also capable of causing natural warming in the first place."

Drivers of decadal hiatus periods in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Nicola Maher, Alexander Sen Gupta, Matthew H. England

The latest generation of climate model simulations are used to investigate the occurrence of hiatus periods in global surface air temperature in the past and under two future warming scenarios. Hiatus periods are identified in three categories, (i) those due to volcanic eruptions, (ii) those associated with negative phases of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) and (iii) those affected by anthropogenically released aerosols in the mid 20th Century. The likelihood of future hiatus periods is found to be sensitive to the rate of change of anthropogenic forcing. Under high rates of greenhouse gas emissions there is little chance of a hiatus decade occurring beyond 2030, even in the event of a large volcanic eruption. We further demonstrate that most non-volcanic hiatuses across CMIP5 models are associated with enhanced cooling in the equatorial Pacific linked to the transition to a negative IPO phase.

New paper finds climate models unable to simulate the Holocene Climate Optimum & subsequent cooling

A paper under discussion for Climate of the Past finds climate models are unable to simulate the mid-Holocene Climate Optimum from ~4-6 thousand years ago when global temperatures were naturally 2-3C higher than the present. The models are also unable to simulate the gradual cooling from the Holocene Climate Optimum to the Little Ice Age and pre-industrial temperatures.

According to the authors,
"The model does not capture the mid-Holocene "thermal maximum" and gradual cooling to pre-industrial global temperature found in the data."
If climate models are unable to simulate the Holocene Climate Optimum, Roman Warm Period, Dark Ages Cold Period, Medieval Warm Period, and little Little Ice Age over the past 4,000 years, how can they possibly be relied upon to simulate the Current Warm Period or to distinguish natural variability from anthropogenic?


Clim. Past Discuss., 10, 2925-2978, 2014
www.clim-past-discuss.net/10/2925/2014/
doi:10.5194/cpd-10-2925-2014

Global climate simulations at 3000 year intervals for the last 21 000 years with the GENMOM coupled atmosphere–ocean model


J. R. Alder and S. W. Hostetler
US Geological Survey, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, United States
Abstract. We apply GENMOM, a coupled atmosphere–ocean climate model, to simulate eight equilibrium "time-segments" at 3000 yr intervals for the past 21 000 years forced by changes in Earth-Sun geometry, atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), continental ice sheets and sea level. Simulated global cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is 3.8 °C and the rate of post-glacial warming is in overall agreement with recently published temperature reconstructions. The greatest rate of warming occurs between 15 and 12 ka (2.4 °C over land, 0.7 °C over oceans and 1.4 °C globally) in response to changes in radiative forcing from the diminished extent of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) ice sheets and increases in GHGs and NH summer insolation. The modeled LGM and 6 ka temperature and precipitation climatologies are generally consistent with proxy reconstructions, the PMIP2 and PMIP3 simulations, and other paleoclimate data-model analyses. The model does not capture the mid-Holocene "thermal maximum" and gradual cooling to pre-industrial global temperature found in the data. Simulated monsoonal precipitation in North Africa peaks between 12 and 9 ka at values ~ 50% greater than those of the PI, and Indian monsoonal precipitation peaks at 12 and 9 ka at values ~ 45% greater than the PI. GENMOM captures the reconstructed LGM extent of NH and Southern Hemisphere (SH) sea ice. The simulated present-day Antarctica Circumpolar Current (ACC) is ~ 48% weaker than observed (62 vs. 119 Sv). The simulated present-day Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) of 19.3 ± 1.4 Sv on the Bermuda Rise (33° N) is comparable with the observed value of 17.4 Sv. AMOC at 33° N is reduced by ~ 15% during the LGM, and the largest post-glacial increase (~ 11%) occurs, unforced, during the 15 ka time slice.