Role of Atlantic warming(?) in recent climate shifts

by Judith Curry

Record breaking trade winds may have led to hiatus in global surface average temperatures.

A relevant paper was published in Nature Climate Change last week, that is creating some buzz:

Recent Walker circulation strengthening and Pacific cooling amplified by Atlantic warming

Shayne McGregor, Axel Timmermann, Malte F. Stuecker, Matthew H. England, Mark Merrifield, Fei-Fei Jin & Yoshimitsu Chikamoto

Abstract. An unprecedented strengthening of Pacific trade winds since the late 1990s has caused widespread climate perturbations, including rapid sea-level rise in the western tropical Pacific, strengthening of Indo-Pacific ocean currents, and an increased uptake of heat in the equatorial Pacific thermocline. The corresponding intensification of the atmospheric Walker circulation is also associated with sea surface cooling in the eastern Pacific, which has been identified as one of the contributors to the current pause in global surface warming. In spite of recent progress in determining the climatic impacts of the Pacific trade wind acceleration, the cause of this pronounced trend in atmospheric circulation remains unknown. Here we analyse a series of climate model experiments along with observational data to show that the recent warming trend in Atlantic sea surface temperature and the corresponding trans-basin displacements of the main atmospheric pressure centres were key drivers of the observed Walker circulation intensification, eastern Pacific cooling, North American rainfall trends and western Pacific sea-level rise. Our study suggests that global surface warming has been partly offset by the Pacific climate response to enhanced Atlantic warming since the early 1990s.

Press Release

From the University of New South Wales news release Atlantic warming turbocharges Pacific trade winds:

New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds. Currently the winds are at a level never before seen on observed records, which extend back to the 1860s.

The increase in these winds has caused eastern tropical Pacific cooling, amplified the Californian drought, accelerated sea level rise three times faster than the global average in the Western Pacific and has slowed the rise of global average surface temperatures since 2001.

“We were surprised to find the main cause of the Pacific climate trends of the past 20 years had its origin in the Atlantic Ocean,” said co-lead author Dr Shayne McGregor from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS) at the University of New South Wales.

“It highlights how changes in the climate in one part of the world can have extensive impacts around the globe.”

The record-breaking increase in Pacific Equatorial trade winds over the past 20 years had, until now, baffled researchers.

Originally, this trade wind intensification was considered to be a response to Pacific decadal variability. However, the strength of the winds was much more powerful than expected due to the changes in Pacific sea surface temperature.

Another riddle was that previous research indicated that under global warming scenarios Pacific Equatorial Trade winds would slow down over the coming century.

The solution was found in the rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean basin, which has created unexpected pressure differences between the Atlantic and Pacific. This has produced wind anomalies that have given Pacific Equatorial trade winds an additional big push.

Many climate models appear to have underestimated the magnitude of the coupling between the two ocean basins, which may explain why they struggled to produce the recent increase in Pacific Equatorial trade wind trends.

“It will be difficult to predict when the Pacific cooling trend and its contribution to the global hiatus in surface temperatures will come to an end,” Prof England said.

Critiques

Andy Revkin at  DotEarth  has a post with comments from several climate scientists, excerpts:

Kevin TrenberthThere is no question that the changes going on are global in scope and the Walker circulation linking the Pacific and Atlantic plays an important role, but I have to be very very skeptical to say the Atlantic is the driver. So my quick reaction to this paper is why the word “cause”? There is no doubt that the processes they describe are involved but what sets them off is another matter.

Carl Wunsch,  wrote this note stressing the importance of putting this work in broader context with the broader flow of climate science: Science (lowercase) requires thought, independent calculations, discussion, time, and context.  [This] proposal isn’t crazy, but figuring out how these things are connected will take months and years. Causality in anything remotely as complicated as the climate system is an exceedingly difficult concept, and I would argue anyone who instantly says “yes this must be right” or “no this is wrong” or even that “this is important” cannot possibly know what he is talking about.

Kerry Emanuel:  It is very difficult to deduce causality in a complex system, even by doing numerical experiments. The hiatus temperature pattern (Figure 1a of the paper) is interesting and worth trying to understand. This paper does not advance us toward that goal.

JC reflections

Well, it is good to see papers working to unravel natural climate variability and the teleconnection patterns.  With the overwhelming focus on anthropogenic forced climate change, natural climate variability has received short shrift.  With the growing prominence of the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’, natural climate variability is starting to get more attention.

The MacGregor et al. paper identify a connection between the circulation patterns in the Atlantic and tropical Pacific Oceans.  Trenberth, Wunsch and Emanuel all hit on the key problem with paper – claims of causality.  Kerry Emanuel states:  It is very difficult to deduce causality in a complex system, even by doing numerical experiments.  I wholeheartedly agree with this statement; I just wish there was some acknowledgement of this difficulty in context of the highly confident statements about attribution of global warming.

 This paper suffers from a chicken and egg problem, and there is really no way to sort out causality.  Especially when it is so difficult to disentangle forced from intrinsic climate variability (previous post by Marcia Wyatt).

I think a better way to look at this is in context of a networked sequence of teleconnection and circulation patterns; the Stadium Wave  paper is an example.  Marcia Wyatt describes this as exceedingly complex dance between atmospheric circulations, sea ice and ocean circulations that evolve in a spatially and temporally ordered manner.  The complex dance metaphor is more apt than attempting to identify causality here; at best MacGregor et al. have identified a temporal sequence of circulation patterns that may be linked.

With regards to the stadium wave, I tried to infer whether the pattern that MacGregor et al. found was consistent with the stadium wave.  See in particular Figure 3a, which plots North Atlantic and Pacific surface temperature anomalies since 1900.  Of particular interest is the divergence since about 1995, which looks similar to the divergence from ~1925-1940.  Both periods are characterized by the beginning of the warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).

So there is little question in my mind that the AMO is a, if not the, lynchpin to understanding multidecadal natural climate variability.  What sets the tempo of the AMO, how the AMO interacts with forced climate variability, and how the AMO interacts with global circulation patters, are to my mind probably the most important topics in climate dynamics research.

180 responses to “Role of Atlantic warming(?) in recent climate shifts

  1. Since you don’t have a cartoon perhaps you could post your PDO AMO chart showing NA general tendencies for +PDO/+AMO etc.?

    • good suggestion let me try to dig something up.

      • It is very difficult to deduce causality in a complex system, even by doing numerical experiments.

        Indeed

      • @ curryja
        “probably the most important topics in climate dynamics research”

        Climate dynamics? Oh no. Weather dynamics, atmospheric dynamics, ocean current dynamics, yes. But climate is something stable (at least in the interglacials).

      • But climate is something stable (at least in the interglacials).

        No it isn’t. The continual unstable process of shifting from one meta-stable condition to another is one of the few aspects of “climate” that is robust to a) different time-scales, and b) different definitions of “climate”, at least within the general “definition” used by just about anybody.

        The “stability” of climate is a myth, promulgated for political purposes. One of those myths that’s indistinguishable from a lie.

      • The climate is not what you expect

        Lamb’s essentially modern view allows for the possibility of climate change and is closely captured by the popular expression: “The climate is what you expect, the weather is what you get” (the character Lazurus Long in [Heinlein, 1973], but often attributed to Mark Twain). It is also close to the US National Academy of Science definition: “Climate is conventionally defined as the long-term statistics of the weather…” [Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects 60 on Climate, 2005] which improves on the “the climate is what you expect” idea only a little by proposing: “…to expand the definition of climate to encompass the oceanic and terrestrial spheres as well as chemical components of the atmosphere”.

        The Twain/Heinlein expression was strongly endorsed by the late E. Lorenz who stated: “Before embarking on a search for an ideal definition (of climate) assuming one exists, let me express my conviction that such a definition, when found must agree in spirit with the statement, “climate is what you expect”.” [Lorenz, 1995]. He then proposed several definitions based on dynamical systems theory and strange attractors (see also [Palmer, 2005]).

        The purpose of this paper is show that the weather-climate dichotomy is empirically untenable, that hiding between the two is a missing middle range spanning a factor of a thousand in scale (~10 days to ~30 years) characterized by qualitatively different dynamics. This new low frequency weather regime was dubbed “macroweather” since it is a kind of large scale weather (not small scale climate) regime [Lovejoy and Schertzer, 2012b], it fundamentally clarifies the distinction between weather and climate, the status and role of GCM models and the notion of climate predictabilty.

        […]

        Contrary to [Bryson, 1997], we have argued that the climate is not accurately viewed as the statistics of fundamentally fast weather dynamics that are constrained by quasi fixed boundary conditions. The empirically substantiated picture is rather one of unstable (high frequency) weather processes tending – at scales beyond 10 days or so and primarily due to the quenching of spatial degrees of freedom – to quasi stable (intermediate frequency, low variability) macroweather processes. Climate processes only emerge from macroweather at even lower frequencies, and this thanks to new slow internal climate processes coupled with external forcings. Their synergy yields fluctuations that on average again grow with scale and become dominant typically on time scales of 10 – 30 years up to ~100 kyrs.

        Looked at another way, if the climate really was what you expected, then – since one expects averages – predicting the climate would be a relatively simple matter. On the contrary, we have argued that from the stochastic point of view – and notwithstanding the vastly different time scales – that predicting natural climate change is very much like predicting the weather. This is because the climate at any time or place is the consequence of climate changes that are (qualitatively and quantitatively) unexpected in very much the same way that the weather is unexpected.

        At a subjective level, from experience over the years, we all grow to expect certain stable patterns of macroweather (complicated by seasonal effects, but nevertheless recognizable from year to year) so that in daily discourse we may say “macroweather i what you expect, the weather is what you get”. However over generational scales – periods of 10 – 30 years – the macroweather we are accustomed to evolves due to climate change. Speaking to our children and grandchildren, the appropriate dictum would therefore be “macroweather is what you expect, the climate is what you get”.

    • It’s easy separating natural and anthropogenic climate change.

      When climate warms it’s anthropogenic.

      When climate cools it’s natural.

      Write that down.

  2. Dr. Curry, I do believe that you have hit the nail on the head. And it was a 4lb hammer that hit that nail!

  3. “It is very difficult to deduce causality in a complex system, even by doing numerical experiments.” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement; I just wish there was some acknowledgement of this difficulty in context of the highly confident statements about attribution of global warming.

    “Cause and Effect” is a myth.

    We were surprised to find the main cause of the Pacific climate trends of the past 20 years had its origin in the Atlantic Ocean. [my bold]

    This gives an arm-wave to the fact that hyper-complex non-linear systems don’t really fit the “cause and effect” paradigm, but the general tone of the excerpts suggests only a pro forma recognition.

    I get the impression the authors of this paper are still stuck in the linear mode of thinking, where the “biggest” contributing “cause” is the main cause”.

    • They are likely doing a chicken egg thing but depending on where you start it is hard not to state something is a cause. The North Atlantic basin is a large driver of “global” surface temperatures due to the land amplification in the 30N-60N band and with the northern Pacific, the two drive most of the measured variability. I am a bit surprised that this “discovery” is significant enough to be published.

    • I also find it very interesting how even climate models “forced with the global observed SST trend (shading)” (c and d) and “forced with the Atlantic SST trend and a Pacific mixed layer” (e and f) in Figure 1: Trends (1992–2011) of SST, SLP, wind stress and relative precipitation fail to replicate the observed “relative precipitation trends (colour scale) and significant wind stress trends[30] (N m−2 yr−1) significant above the 95% level (vector).” Take a look at the differences between panel b (observed) and panels d and e (modeled). It totally confounds me how anybody could regard the output of these models as anything but a preliminary baby step towards understanding how the system actually works.

    • In a computer model, when they start with Situation A and then B occurs, one might infer that A “caused” B in the context of the model runs. Probably a better way to state this than saying “caused”. Of course, I have not read the paper and maybe they were not just talking about their model runs.

      • In a computer model, when they start with Situation A and then B occurs, one might infer that A “caused” B in the context of the model runs.

        We could infer that “Situation A” in the sense of the state of the entire model at time T(A) “caused” “Situation B” in the sense of the state of the entire model at time T(B). If you want to drill down to one specific “Situation A” causing some specific “Situation B”, you need to make a number of different model runs, with “Situation A” variously present and absent under a large combination of other circumstances, and evaluate the correlation with the occurrence of “Situation B”.

        If the model actually replicated the functioning of the real world, which it doesn’t, you might then be able to say something about real-world “cause and effect”. Even then, however, there’ll be all sorts of caveats WRT other conditions that can modify the chain of cause/effect.

  4. jcSo there is little question in my mind that the AMO is a, if not the, lynchpin to understanding multidecadal natural climate variability.

    Hmmm. I wonder if there is an implication here that the temperature record of the North Atlantic and surrounding land masses is of special importance to thinking about global climate?

  5. Is hiatus another word for global cooling?
    Have scientists decided that beyond doubt we must have global warming?
    Why can’t we have weather make the decision for us? I know that Nature doesn’t read peer reviewed papers, but please let it do what it does best – give us surprises.

    • In past centuries, the hiatus would have been a cooling, and there have been plenty of those in the record, but nowadays with a background of warming, a hiatus is a close as you will get to a cooling. Now it is warmings and hiatuses for the foreseeable future.

      • In past centuries there was a little ice age. that is the problem with climate, it can take a long, long time.

      • I wonder what forcing factor has changed most since the LIA? That might explain why now is different.

      • JimD, that would be a nice answer to know. The start of the LIA appears to be a combination of volcanic and solar. Neither by themselves should be able to do it.

        https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4zAK8WgoI6vNLF6DGzjwtGOgDWbavFFD-Kq_zhzNWDU=w409-h227-p-no

        Since the Northern hemisphere really drives climate, that reconstruction should be interesting to the “unprecedented” crew.

      • >In past centuries, the hiatus would have been a cooling, …

        Demonstrate that assertion, Jimmy old bean – or is this just another revolving goal post ?

      • It’s just from studying this kind of graph.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:80/mean:40/from:1850/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:80/mean:40
        We see the coolings have become weaker and pretty much disappeared for the last half century. They are replaced just a few barely visible hiatuses. The last part has a completely different nature from the first part, especially after 1970.

      • Holy crap, Jim D. The plot you from the link you reference has ONLY +/- 1 degree on the Y-axis, against OVER 200 YEARS for the X-axis. The ‘sharp slope’ in the last 40 or so years is so misleading BECAUSE OF THIS.

        Why not show what the temps were from , say, the Medieval Warm period. OR better yet, the Roman warm period. OR, maybe 5000 years ago ( yeah, they would need proxies, wouldn’t they . . ). What would the y-axis scale be since then, and how would the last 200 years then compare? ? ?

        This excuse of a plot to try to show how ‘severe’ the recent warming is is just plain absurd. That is nothing short of ‘ALARMISM’.

        Let’s just see what the next 10-20 years bring. We have PLENTY of time to adapt, IF the temps continue to increase at 1 degree per century – WHICH is the increase per the plot you show . . .

      • Your background of warming is just another quasi-cycle, which is plateauing as well and shifting to cooling this decade.

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D
        Past centuries…. add a few 0s and you may have something interesting to discuss.

      • JimD,

        Perspecetive seems to cast a different light……can someone tell me what caused all the other temp swings up and down? Wait, you don’t know? But we all know EXACTLY what caused the last 50 years and what to do about. RIGHT………..

  6. ” An unprecedented strengthening of Pacific trade winds… ”

    Unprecedented? Really???

    • nottawa rafter

      Unprecedented

      That is the unscalable hurdle they have yet to conquer. In their dreams. But it sells newspapers and gets you published apparently.

    • Certainly since Professor England started getting $ millions to push CAGW propaganda

    • The temperatures over the tropical pacific are dodgy before 1980, but we have some indication. As for the winds over the tropical oceans, prior to 1980 we only have land observations and sporadic ship observations. We have reanalyses going back to 1950 and even much further (with perhaps some credibility). So, ‘unprecedented’ since 1980?

      • Judith

        Here is a wind pattern change site. It also references the various clipper routes that made full use of prevailing winds which were known to alter year by year and decade by decade/.

        http://all-geo.org/metageologist/2014/01/winds-of-change/

        The first comment by the author references a site where ships logs giving wind speeds-an essential requirement for ships, unlike recording SSTs- have been plotted.

        Winds have been recorded in the Atlantic and the trade routes for hundreds of years. What use is an article (paywalled) looking back only to the early 1990’s? How do researchers get funding for this sort of stuff?

        The information is out there for anyone wanting to carry out a proper study of changing winds and the likely effect on the ocean

        tonyb

      • Tony, thanks much for this link

      • The records of captains’ logs over centuries, that Tony refers to.
        a valuable resource at Andrew Zolnai’s site at
        http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=bef10f69b5c24a0c94caf50b176fa52f

      • Tony, where on that site are wind speeds for the Pacific? There’s a lot there. It would be great if you have a link.

      • jim2

        Click on the globe with your mouse and ‘spin’ it to the desired position.

        Wait a few seconds for the winds to reappear then click on the desired spot. it will display a small green circle. in the left hand corner will be displayed the wind characteristics including speed. Have fun!

        tonyb

      • Hi Tony,
        I have the real-time wind app. I was referring to the historical wind measurements in the Pacific. I found ocean trade routes, but no wind speed data.

        TIA.

    • “Record-breaking” and “unprecedented” are pretty good warning flags that one is dealing with juveniles, albeit of a clever and manipulative sort, and that one should read no further.

  7. “Here we analyse a series of climate model experiments …”
    Hmmm … would these be the same “climate models” that DIDN’T predict the pause? I guess the models are really good at postdictions.

  8. Like I’ve said before, along with others I’m sure, “climate scientists” only look into something if the climate isn’t playing along with global warming religion. It’s the dominate form of confirmation bias in “climate science.”

  9. stevefitzpatrick

    Hummm…. I guess the the three quoted climate scientists were not reviewers. Pretty harsh.

  10. nottawa rafter

    The statement by Carl Wunsch was great. More of this cautious circumspection would do wonders for the credibility of climate science.

    • Understanding the ocean

      THE article by Graham Lloyd will likely leave a mis-impression with many of your readers concerning the substance of our paper that will appear in the Journal of Physical Oceanography (“Puzzle of deep ocean cooling”, 25/7).

      We never assert that global warming and warming of the oceans are not occurring — we do find an ocean warming, particularly in the upper regions.

      Contrary to the implications of Lloyd’s article, parts of the deep ocean are warming, parts are cooling, and although the global abyssal average is negative, the value is tiny in a global warming context.

      Those parts of the abyss that are warming are most directly linked to the surface (as pointed out by Andy Hogg from the ANU).

      Scientifically, we need to better understand what is going on everywhere, and that is an issue oceanographers must address over the next few years — a challenging observational problem that our paper is intended to raise.

      Carl Wunsch, Harvard University and Massachusetts, Institute of Technology

      • nottawa rafter

        We need to better understand

        Great advice for every warmist. Not, we have this baby down pat.

        The dichotomy between skeptics and warmists.

      • Matthew R Marler

        JCH, quoting Wunsch: Contrary to the implications of Lloyd’s article, parts of the deep ocean are warming, parts are cooling, and although the global abyssal average is negative, the value is tiny in a global warming context.

        Do you have a link to that quote? The bit about global abyssal cooling is news to me, and possibly to other readers.

      • “The bit about global abyssal cooling is news to me, and possibly to other readers.”
        _____
        Uh, it would be news to most experts on ocean temperatures. It was from a model based on very scant data and very select regions– as such, it has possibly even more uncertainty than the rather scant direct observations and even then the paper concluded that indeed some abyssal ocean regions were likely warming. The most honest thing we can say about abyssal ocean temperatures is “more data, please.”

      • Rgates
        You say
        More data please.

        Does that mean you will stop quoting. Purists etc all as if it were gospel? As I pointed out to you Thomas stocker said we did not have the technology to measure the deep oceans. We pretend to know with certainty much more than we really do know and then claim the resultant models have more value than they merit
        Tonyb

      • What is the difference between Purkey and Johnson’s abyssal warming and Wunsch’s abyssal cooling? LMAO.

      • Matthew R Marler

        curryja:I had a post on this about two weeks ago:
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/22/are-the-deep-oceans-cooling/

        Thanks for the link. I was away from my computer at that time.

  11. I agree that correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causality and that it may well be the case that the two ocean basins have an effect on each other, as well as being affected by each other along with many known (and unknown) external forcings, such as sunspot activity and cloud albedo effects. In fact nothing can be inferred as to how such linkages are triggered in the first instance and which ocean basin could be described as the main driver.

    • In these non-linear systems, you’re looking at/for synchronization and not causality. To me, one of the most interesting aspects of the Stadium Wave is that it is yet another example of linked systems synchronizing (albeit slowly).

    • I agree that linked systems are synchronising but the jury is still out on what influences are actually driving things along and how sudden shifts (comparatively speaking as long time spans apply) occur in the Earth’s climate across regions. The talk of global shifts should be taken with several grains of salt.

      • The jury is out to lunch, I don’t know what they are having today.

        The data is clear, it snows more when oceans are warm and it snows less when oceans are cold and this keeps temperature well bounded.

        Every time it does get warm it does snow more and after that it does get cold.

        Every time it does get cold, it does snow less and after that it does get warm.

        Ocam’s razor is very clear on this.

        If you really have something that proves this wrong, offer it now.

      • Yes, the albedo effect of snow is quite true but to suggest that the negative feedbacks from ice buildup and ice melts are the main causes of climate shifts would be too simplistic. The negative feedbacks do in fact keep climate within narrow bounds but do not adequately explain sudden changes.

      • “..Our simulations suggest that a substantial fraction (60% to 80%) of the ice sheet was frozen to the bed for the first 75 kyr of the glacial cycle, thus strongly limiting basal flow. Subsequent doubling of the area of warm-based ice in response to ice sheet thickening and expansion and to the reduction in downward advection of cold ice may have enabled broad increases in geologically- and hydrologically-mediated fast ice flow during the last deglaciation.” – http://scienceofdoom.com/2014/04/
        The higher you stack ice the more you get basal sliding. It seems it’s a question of mass accumulation reversing itself and that the authors have a plausible and interesting theory. When wondering how is it possible to pull out of a glacier, I’ll give relatively sudden a chance.

      • I’ll say this about Pope’s climate theory, when Minnesota was getting blankets of high albedo snow post equinox about March 21st, 2014 the theory was working. We are at about 45 degrees longitude and the Sun was pretty high in the sky so we avoided a lot of SW gain for a few days. Even 2 days out of about 182 of peak solar not too far from 1%. So it seems a key variable is Spring snowfall. When snow can still occur at a high solar time. And this would occur along the margins. For instance you may not get such snow in Oklahoma.

    • There are ocean currents that do circulate around the whole world. What happens in the oceans does affect all the oceans. Warm water from the low latitudes does circulate in the polar regions and does cause snowfall when it melts polar ice.

      Water, in all of its states does regulate the temperature of Earth. When it is warm it snows more and stops the warming. When it is cold it snows less and stops the cooling.

      Climate is really complicated. This Simple temperature regulation is not complicated. Ocam’s Razor holds true.

  12. It’s very kind of climate authorities to take a cursory interest in climate. They didn’t have to do that.

  13. This comes back to the AMO paper by Mann who suggests that the recent rising part of the “AMO” is actually accelerated global warming, not an internal signal. This comes from linear detrending used in a common AMO definition which distorts things when the background trend is curving upwards. Mann would say that the AMO itself has been in a cooling phase recently, implying that the warming of the Atlantic is from external forcing.

  14. Well, whatever is causing it, we better DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!

    Comparing media reports from July 2004-July 2005 to those from July 2013-July 2014 (http://www.mrc.org/bias-numbers/network-coverage-extreme-weather-nearly-1000-percent), we find that reports which identify weather events as ‘extreme’ have increased by roughly 1000% in the last nine years.

    Clearly, ACO2 is causing the climate to spiral out of control and unless the government ensures that fossil fuel consumption is restricted to government business, government officials, and those with government ‘pull’, we are doomed. The good news is that they are ‘on it like a duck on a Junebug’.

    • Maybe we could all swim from Panama canal to Australia? That should get the El Nino up and running.

    • The scary thing about Bob Ludwick’s post is that it mirrors thousands of serious posts on the alarmists boards.

    • Your note reminds me of the saying “The plural of anecdote is not data.”

      You don’t suppose that there are more reports because “global warming” is a hot topic in the media, do you? Nah, couldn’t be.

      • @ Occam37

        “…….because “global warming” is a hot topic in the media,……”

        Of COURSE it is a ‘hot’ topic.

        After all, extreme weather events have increased by 1000% due to Global Waring, so why wouldn’t it be a hot topic?

        Or, alternatively, the number of ‘extreme’ weather events is trucking along pretty much as usual, but the number of reports emphasizing their ‘extremity’ has increased by 1000%.

        At any rate, it is clear from the reporting that extreme weather resulting from Global Warming is an extreme problem, escalating at an extremely rapid rate, otherwise why would the reporting on it, with (extreme) emphasis on its extremity, go up by 1000% in 9 years?

  15. Reposting,
    ‘…we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified
    and dramatic statements…’
    Stephen Schneider.

    … Hey ‘unprecedented’ now that should capture the public
    imagination!

  16. It’s all post-facto (latin for crack-papering). They say “the cause of this pronounced trend in atmospheric circulation remains unknown” and they say it’s “unprecedented”. It is unknown all right, but they can’t know it’s unprecedented, because they have no historical data. So it’s yet another in a long line of scientifically useless papers.

    Let’s face it, the previous period of lower trade winds may have been the unprecedented one (we jjust don’t know), and it may have been the cause of the late 20thC warming (we just don’t know). My guess is that trade winds have been a cyclical factor in climate for a long time, that lower trade winds were a factor in the early and late 20thC warmings, and that higher trade winds were a factor in the late-mid 20thC and early 21stC coolings (the latter being still in progress).

    But until we get some proper science – including the end of the stupid practice of trying to use weather models for climate – we just won’t know.

    • I had that deja vu feeling as I wrote that – now I’ve found it:

      Paper: “Weakening of Tropical Pacific Atmospheric Circulation Due to Anthropogenic Forcing,” :- “Several theoretical studies have shown that an increase in greenhouse gases should produce a weakening of the Walker circulation.”. (“The Walker circulation, which spans almost half the circumference of Earth, pushes the Pacific Ocean’s trade winds from east to west [..]”).
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/10/seven-years-ago-we-were-told-the-opposite-of-what-the-new-matthew-england-paper-says-slower-not-faster-trade-winds-caused-the-pause/

      So – increased GHGs cause slower trade winds. We now have ever-increasing GHGs and stronger trade winds.

      The relevant quote here is Manuel’s [Fawlty Towers]: “I know nothing!”.

      • That was the climate model output before they “tuned” it. Now, it’s absolutely as good a gold. Sure it is.

      • ‘I know nothing’ was also Sgt Schultz’s trademark saying on Hogans Heros.

        That was always my understanding — easterly trade winds cause El Nino — the opposite of what this paper seems to suggest.

    • What alarmists like to tell you is that today’s climate is not like that of our grandparents.

      What they don’t tell you is that our grandparents’ climate was not like that of their grandparents.

      • What do Charles Dickens and George Washington both have in common? They both lived during the Little Ice Age that occurred from about the mid thirteenth century to the 1860s–Dickens wrote about a “White Christmas” and our vision of Washington is crossing the Delaware afloat with chunks of ice.

  17. “Another riddle was that previous research indicated that under global warming scenarios Pacific Equatorial Trade winds would slow down over the coming century.”
    Faster Pacific Trade winds might speed up the main Pacific gyres increasing meridional ocean heat transport and be consistent with a negative feedback to global warming. They might be saying we expected more El Ninos. Others have expected warmer polar temperatures to slow down meridional atmospheric heat transport which I am not sure the GAT is showing now. In both case there’s an expectation that things will slow down. That heat will cause Nature to take a nap. If you look at a Minnesota lake in Summer, more heat makes it more active to the point of causing evaporation. In that same lake in the middle of Winter, you have a near dormancy at its surface. It has slowed down and does little to effect weather beyond an albedo effect with that effect probably slowing things down by bouncing SW back into space. Granted some circulations may slow down, but it seems rational to expect there is enough acceleration and deceleration of circulation on average to explain the relatively narrow range of temperatures over the past 10,000 years.

  18.  
    The March of Climate Science: Astrology to Dendrology to Anemology to… Helioseismology?

  19. I have it on good authority that it’s not the Steaming Hot Atlantic wot’s savin’ us from a boilin’. It’s the ants wot did it!
    *****
    NEW YORK: Ants may be cooling the Earth by helping trap carbon dioxide from the environment, a new study has claimed.

    A long-term experiment tracking the ants’ effects on soil suggests they cooled Earth’s climate as their numbers grew.

    “Ants are changing the environment,” said lead study author Ronald Dorn, from the Arizona State University in Tempe.

    Certain ant species “weather” minerals in order to secrete calcium carbonate — better known as limestone. The process traps and removes a tiny bit of carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere, Dorn said.

    This ant limestone factory is a small-scale version of the massive planetary-cooling process that takes place in the oceans, known as carbon sequestration, ‘Live Science’ reported.

    Dorn discovered that ants were powerful weathering agents by tracking the breakdown of basalt sand.

    His experiment shows that ants appear to break down the minerals 50 to 300 times faster than sand left undisturbed on bare ground.

    According to Dorn, the ants may be scavenging calcium and magnesium from the minerals and using these elements to make limestone.

    In the process, the insects may trap carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in the rock, the report said.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/Can-ants-save-Earth-from-global-warming/articleshow/39547238.cms

    • I’m sure this guy’s waiting for his check from the UN now.

    • How to sequestrate carbon dioxide and save the world – widespread replication of the atomic tests which gave us the giant ants in “Them!” (1954). And this time, don’t try to stop them! If we hadn’t intervened in 1954, we wouldn’t have elevated CO2 levels now!

      It’s about time that ants got some good PR.

      • That’s part of the problem with people’s thinking. Why do they have to be “giant ants”? Why not regular-sized ants, just lots more of them?

  20. McGregor et al appear to have a “cause” without a cause.
    Is there some ACO2 effect that would cause the Atlantic water to increase in surface temperature more than other oceans?

  21. Dr. Curry:So there is little question in my mind that the AMO is a, if not the, lynchpin to understanding multidecadal natural climate variability. What sets the tempo of the AMO, how the AMO interacts with forced climate variability, and how the AMO interacts with global circulation patters, are to my mind probably the most important topics in climate dynamics research.

    If this working hypothesis is reasonable, there must be evidence of it in the paleo record associated with Dansgaard–Oeschger events.

    with apologies to James Carville: It’s the Oceans, Stupid.

    • The land temperatures precede the AMO by a decade, as can be seen by detrending CRUTEM4 and putting it with AMO. To me, this indicates both are driven by anomalies in the external forcing with the land responding faster than the ocean, especially since this is a global signal that precedes AMO, while the AMO signal itself is in phase with the global oceans.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/mean:240/mean:120/from:1850/plot/crutem4vgl/mean:240/mean:120/detrend:0.9/offset:0.7

      • COME ON, JIM D, there you go again with a plot that has the y-axis that has only 0.6 degrees from top top bottom, against an x-axis that is 140 YEARS ! ! ! !

        Why don’t you show it against a y-axis with a scale of even 5 degrees? ? ? (Which is NOTHING compared to daily temp swings).

        Yeah, I know, nothing but ALARMISM ! ! ! ! !

      • Some people believe the AMO is significant when it is not, and also likely not an internal oscillation at all, just a reflection of global-scale trends. If the AMO is something, this AMO index is not it.

  22. Berényi Péter

    New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds. Currently the winds are at a level never before seen on observed records, which extend back to the 1860s.

    There is an arcane reasoning, utterly incomprehensible for most climate scientists, which demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean could not possibly turbocharge Pacific Equatorial trade winds.

    1. In fact there was no Atlantic warming whatsoever during the last 15 years, a slight cooling perhaps.
    2. “No warming” and “rapid warming” are two completely different states of affairs, they are inconsistent with each other.
    3. From a single false statement anything follows.

  23. Earth Temperature has been in the same bounds for ten thousand years. Every time I read about “unprecedented circumstances” my stomach hurts. Except for CO2, which only makes everything better, everything else is inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years and not headed out.

    Life is good, life is wonderful, Climate is good, Climate is wonderful, Climate is Paradise, as Leighton Steward described in his book, “Fire, Ice and Paradise”

  24. Let’s see now, global warming causes rapid warming of the Atlantic, which in turn causes cooling of the Pacific?
    Why does the same global warming not cause rapid warming of the Pacific?
    Or did the Atlantic warm first, which then stopped the Pacific from warming?
    Someone please explain!

  25. …besides which, I’ve always been under the misapprehension that global warming is an effect, rather than a cause.

  26. How many more failures have to occur before the current fad for deterministic climate models is finally abandoned? Clearly they do nothing to increase our understanding of climate. They are not an aid to science they are a substitute for it; p*ssing competitions for computer jocks.

  27. 21 reasons why the pause has happened.
    Each one claiming to explain a missing 0.2 degrees.
    That is 4.2 degrees of heat that has been disappeared.
    4.2 degrees!
    If they were all right. No one backing down.
    So does this mean 4.2 degrees is natural variation?
    Or did the deep sea eat the extra 4.2 degrees, Gatesy?
    Judith if we have another 10 reasons in the next year it will be 6.2 degrees.
    Should not a group in the science community comment on the absolute ridiculousness of all these reasons and bring people to task?

    • We’re now at 30 “reasons”, including this paper. Let’s get all 30 groups into a room and let them argue it out as to which one is “right”.
      Now, that’d be fun.

  28. AMO is neither only (North) Atlantic nor only multidecadal. It’s global, and the secular trend, which has been removed, is just another longer scale variability/oscillation.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/plot/esrl-amo/trend/plot/hadcrut4sh/detrend:0.742/plot/hadcrut4sh/detrend:0.742/trend

  29. Claude Harvey

    How ’bout we simply settle on the obvious. Global climate is a monstrous, chaotic, self-regulating system that is bounded by the upper and lower temperature limits repeatedly demonstrated in Warm Period and Ice Age cycles. In between those major limits and during the gradual temperature decline into Ice Ages and the rapid temperature rise into Warm Periods, the system is self correcting such that any forcing function is met with negative feedback. The old girl jitters, but she don’t jump off a cliff.

  30. The AMO tends to lag ENSO, an easy way to illustrate this fact is to compare the yearly rates of change of both indices.

    As for the trivially true but for the most part actually false statement that there “must be a cause”, I dedicate the following video for the monkeys that wrote this paper.

  31. This was in the first few paragraphs.

    ‘Abstract. An unprecedented strengthening of Pacific trade winds since the late 1990s has caused widespread climate perturbations’

    Since the 1990’s? So what. Is that how far back researchers need to go back to claim something is wrong.

    Is the rest of the paper better? Is it worth reading or does it all revolve that absurdly recent observation?

    tonyb

  32. Lot is written about N. Atlantic quasi periodic variability (‘oscillation’) and possibly far less understood.
    Chain of the events does not start with the AMO. The North Atlantic and the Arctic ocean floors are slowly splitting up, and (presumably) have an effect the Icelandic low (semi-permanent atmospheric pressure system), which is in phase with the tectonics of the area, and advances the N. Atlantic SST by number of years.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EAS.htm
    On the other side of the globe the North and the Central Pacific tectonics work in a push-pull coupled arrangement, (presumably) driving the Aleutian Low and the Southern oscillation atmospheric pressure systems, and the most likely alone bear responsibility for the Pacific SST variability which is very little if anything to do the AMO.
    For the origin of all the ‘oscillations’ one has to look within the earth’s interior (decadal magnetic changes are a good proxy), the fact that they go in and out of the phase is most likely linked to internal differential rotation (see fig.5 http://gji.oxfordjournals.org/content/143/3/777.full.pdf J.Dickey et al)

    • This is definitely interesting, although to what extent this impacts the climate is at the knowledge frontier.

    • @ vukcevic

      “The North Atlantic and the Arctic ocean floors are slowly splitting up, ……..”

      So if the ocean floors are ‘splitting up’, any chance that some of the copious supply of heat inside the Earth may leak out of the cracks? In random amounts and locations and at pseudo periodic intervals? Under the Arctic ice? And melt some of it? Without benefit of ACO2?

      Naaaah. Can’t be. The science is settled: It’s ACO2, all the way down.

  33. Tomas Milanovic

    The article being behind pay wall, I just read what could be seen at the Nature site.
    This is typically a “paper” of the kind we have been discussing in the Kardashian thread.
    .
    Let us see :
    – they had to be 7 to produce 4 pages
    – colored pictures in numbers but 0 equation
    – the colored pictures are produced by a GCM (easiest and fastest way to produce colored pictures with an Earth map on them)
    – no physical interpretation of the numerical “experiments” is provided
    – despite the fact that the 7 authors explicitely say at one point that the GCM underestimated the wind stresses by a factor 3, it doesn’t stop them from going on. An inquiring reader is bound to ask at that stage what other parameterss are off by a factor 3 or 5.
    – accompanying hype about unprecedented phenomena (Note : unprecedented here means not being seen since early 1990ies …)
    .
    I think we can safely add these 4 pages to the useless mountain of pseudo scientific musings containing no value and no progress.
    I vaguely remember that some time ago we were told that the GW would weaken the trade winds – this result was of course based on numerical “experiments”.
    Today we are told that based on other numerical “experiments” they will strengthen.
    It is only a matter of time untill 14 authors (they must be at least 2 times more) will prove that based on unprecedented numerical “experiments” they will weaken.
    And as was rightly said that “causality is a very difficult concept in spatio-temporal chaos”, this little game can go on for a long time providing occupation to otherwise idle computers and to the scientists who feed them.
    .
    Nonwithstanding the uselessness of this paper, I agree with Judith that oceanic oscilations and more specifically the AMO belong to the defining spatial patterns that dominate the climate dynamics.
    Understanding their interactions is certainly a clue for advance but this understanding will not come from running this or that GCM on a computer even if I must admit that they are good in producing colorful pictures.
    .
    You may even parameter the colors what is doubtlessly unprecedented :)

  34. Curry says: “So there is little question in my mind that the AMO is a, if not the, lynchpin to understanding multidecadal natural climate variability. What sets the tempo of the AMO, how the AMO interacts with forced climate variability, and how the AMO interacts with global circulation patters, are to my mind probably the most important topics in climate dynamics research.”

    North Atlantic SSTa has warmed at TWO specific times (in two abrupt steps) over the last 50 years relative to the NINO3.4 (tropical East Pacific). In 1988 and 1998, defying the East Pacific calls for La Niña cooling after the strong, solitary El Niños of 1986-88 and 1997/98:

    There is nothing strange going on. The Pacific runs the show. The Atlantic tags along. Done deal.

  35. The pretty amazing fit between North Atlantic SSTa (AMO with trend kept) and global temps over the last 150 years shows that whatever controls the multidecadal swings in the NA SSTa also controls the multidecadal swings in global temps.

    The fit also clearly reveals how the global data has been strongly tampered with by the temperature ‘adjusters’, specifically in that segment when the so-called ‘divergence problem’ arose, just after 1960.

    The fit is impressive all the way from 1860 up to around 1960 and then again from about 1970 till today. Between 1960 and 1970, however, there is all of a sudden a major step change in that fairly tight normal covariation:

    http://okulaer.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/the-strange-60s-step-change-between-global-temps-and-the-amo/

    What to make of this?

    • What to make of this.

      There is enough instrumented data to curve fit the 60 year cycles and the shorter cycles, but to curve fit and project the 800 to 1000 year cycles, you must use ice core data or some other proxies. Look to the warming phase of the Roman or Medieval warm periods to better understand what has happened in the instrumented data time period.

      And, there are the adjusters. Yet, no matter how hard they try, they cannot adjust out the warm and cold periods of the past ten thousand years. They need that hockey stick, so really badly, but data goes up and down and not flat and then up. There is a Polar Ice cycle of 800 to 1000 years.

      Earth warms until polar ice melts and turns on snowfall.
      Earth cools until Polar oceans freeze and turns off snowfall.
      Ocam’s Razor holds true.
      This part of Temperature regulation is really this simple.

  36. Currently the winds are at a level never before seen on observed records, which extend back to the 1860s.

    Duh!

    The long term pattern is 800 to 1000 years. Go back to the same part of past warming periods to find the same conditions. Expect conditions to be different since 1860. We have been coming out of the little ice age. In another 800 to 1000 years, we will see the most recent cycle repeat, but by then, we will have recorded instrumented data for a full cycle and we will expect it.

    • The Polar Ice cycles are about 800 to 1000 years.

      This is recorded in the ice core data, in the north and in the south.

      They have operated in the same bounds for ten thousand years.

  37. Hank Zentgraf

    My high school physics teacher: “When you see correlation, it is interesting but it is not causation. Now the hard work starts!”
    Let’s give the models a rest and focus on natural climate variations and dig into the messy and chaotic.
    Note who the “skeptics” are who wrote the critiques! The word sceptic is now respectable in climate science?

  38. Skeptic, not sceptic.

  39. The language used belies incredible bias:

    Abstract. An unprecedented strengthening of Pacific trade winds since the late 1990s …

    Unprecedented. Really. Trade winds have never, ever been this strong before, ever? Uh-huh.

    … has caused widespread climate perturbations, including rapid sea-level rise in the western tropical Pacific, …

    And concomitantly less rapid sea level rise in the eastern tropical Pacific. Funny how they choose which of those to mention and which to leave unsaid.

    The corresponding intensification of the atmospheric Walker circulation is also associated with sea surface cooling in the eastern Pacific, which has been identified asserted as one of the three dozen or so allegedcontributors to the current pause in global surface warming.

    There. Fixed that for ya.

    Here we analyse a series of climate model experiments (sic) along with observational data to show conjecture that the recent warming trend in Atlantic sea surface temperature …

    Fixed that, too.

    Our study suggests that global surface warming has been partly offset by the Pacific climate response to enhanced Atlantic warming since the early 1990s.

    The term that you are conspicuously refusing to use here is “negative feedback”.

  40. “Record breaking trade winds may have led to hiatus in global surface average temperatures.”

    Did below normal trade winds cause the warming from 1909 to 1945 and 1980 to 1998?

  41. Global warming causes global cooling. Yeah right! I guess this is the negative feedback everyone said didn’t exist. Or….there was no manmade warming in the first place and nature is just doing what she does best….making fools of the hubristic.

    • Yep, it snows when oceans are warm and thawed.
      Snow stops when oceans are cold and frozen.
      You don’t get ocean effect snow from a frozen ocean.
      You don’t get lake effect snow from a frozen lake.

      If man does or does not do any warming, it will not matter.
      It always snows as much as necessary when needed.

  42. At what point does it stop being science, when the system is so large that it isn’t being figured out?

    There are bits of stuff that can be science but not the whole mess.

    Yet the thing has a name and claims to be science.

  43. “Unprecedented” increase in trade winds, I guess that might be around a quarter of a cycle of an oscillation, and from this they write a paper!

    My weight has increased in a similar fashion since the late 80s, should I publish this as a correlation? Global warming “probably” caused an increase in trade winds, which “probably” caused my weight to increase.

    OMG, its going to be worse than we expected, we must do something about this NOW. The sad thing is that the comic “Nature Climate Change” would consider publishing it.

    • @ Mikky

      “My weight has increased in a similar fashion since the late 80s, should I publish this as a correlation? ”

      I see you got the memo: Studies show that the tragic epidemic of obesity is the direct, predictable, and predicted consequence of Global Warming.

      Actually, it should have been obvious and not required an expensive, government-funded study.

      Think about it.

      The Global Warming drives the outdoor temperature up. People withdraw from the overheated outdoors, where they formerly engaged in ‘outdoorsy’ activities by which they burned off excess calories, to stay indoors in air-conditioned comfort, surfing the net, tweeting, texting, and playing video games. Which allowed their formerly burned off calories to accumulate as unsightly obesity.

      Q. E. D.

  44. An expanded SOI index would need to consider the Atlantic ocean along the equator west of Africa. That’s the home of La Niña this year.

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_daily.php?plot=ssa&inv=0&t=cur

  45. Interesting. The challenge exposed herein about trying to figure out how these pieces interact is even more interesting. Weird, surface temperature being a 2d slice through the 3d earth, it makes sense to me that understanding it would be extremely difficult, as it has no inertia of its own, its essentially the slave to the 3d medium in which it exists. I guess its importance is far greater, however, since it dictates the ecology of the earth. Makes life on earth seem kind of fragile.
    From a sensitivity standpoint, being a 2d entity, prediction is going to be that much harder; the input to any kind of adjoint analysis will be a 2d delta function. Delta functions almost always lead to greater sensitivity.

  46. If the hypothesis is that Atlantic warming is being caused by higher CO2 levels and this in turn leads to a strengthening of the Walker Circulation, the the paleoclimate record ought to show a semi-permanent La Nina-like condition might have existed in the Pacific the last time CO2 was around 400 ppm– which would have been during the mid-Pliocene. Interestingly, there seems to be some paleoclimate evidence for this:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15790852

    If one is gauging “global warming” purely by tropospheric sensible heat, this could be seen as a negative feedback, but since there is no removal of energy from the system, but simply a displacement, it would be incorrect to suggest that the the energy imbalance caused by increasing CO2 simply goes away because of strengthened Walker circulation and a La Nina-like state prevailing. Indeed, the increased strength of the winds is one form of that energy. Additionally, both polar regions were much warmer with far less ice during the mid-Pliocene, and so the energy not coming out as sensible or latent heat over the Pacific, would still be advocated to higher latitudes via ocean currents to show up as latent heat of fusion in the melting of glacial ice and permafrost.

    • Of course it should be “advected” to higher latitudes, not advocated. Silly autofill…

    • “If one is gauging “global warming” purely by tropospheric sensible heat”

      Im curious to what extent the temperature of the troposphere and the surface temperature are the related?

      Can I think of them as roughly the same? The zero measure of “surface” temperature is causing me consternation… Obviously they are not ‘exactly’ the same…
      ?

      • for quality control in your info searching, head straight to Climate Etc.’s search function :)

      • :) I’ll probably have to spell things correctly tho. Google….

      • Definitely a good idea just to begin your searches with CE– save a lot of time. :)

        But related to tropospheric sensible heat, in the broadest meaning I am thinking anything that can be measured directly by a thermometer or indirectly via satellite from the surface to the tropopause. It is one basic measurement for one form of energy in the climate system. How good of a proxy for total net energy is the climate system? Horrible for anything less than a decadal average time frame.

      • I can see that as a mathematically nice climate unit (troposphere). Temp on a manifold is a little weird because it has no volume and so no influnce on the system or no net energr (I think).
        But I learned these two have a nontrivial relationship (my take on the thread).
        Thx!

      • Energy at the surface consists of latent and sensible heat. In the troposphere it is all realized as sensible heat at some level.

        The surface temperature is to a significant degree a function of water availability and resultant evaporation. The ability to measure heat in the troposphere makes the surface record obsolete.

        Both the surface record and the tropospheric record – as well as ocean heat – follow changes in net TOA flux. Ocean heat – and indeed altimetry -is the least reliable record as the errors are larger than the changes.

      • “The surface temperature is to a significant degree a function of water availability and resultant evaporation”

        Interesting. Thx @Rob

    • That so-called extra energy is also a hypothesis and one that is impossible to tease out of the available satellite instruments as you should know. It is built on the founding hypothesis that CO2 is a driver of climate, which is now thoroughly disproven and was only ever a half-hypothesis in the first place.

      If you are basing your bold assertion on the absurd notion of ocean warming below 700m then you need sufficient data, a theory that doesn’t defy physics and an explanation of why this imaginary heat will magically rise out from this massive heat sink, thereby further defying physics.

      The amazing thing about climate scientivists is that a mere notion, regardless of how physically absurd and/or contradicted by reality seamlessly becomes an irrefutable fact in their closed minds and thence something to worry about. If skeptics used such physics-defying leaps of faith we’d be condemned as anti-science.

  47. ‘An increase in the circulation of the South Pacific Ocean subtropical gyre, extending from the sea surface to middepth, is observed over 12 years. Datasets used to quantify the decadal gyre spinup include satellite altimetric height, the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) hydrographic and float survey of the South Pacific, a repeated hydrographic transect along 170°W, and profiling float data from the global Argo array. The signal in sea surface height is a 12-cm increase between 1993 and 2004, on large spatial scale centered at about 40°S, 170°W. The subsurface datasets show that this signal is predominantly due to density
    variations in the water column, that is, to deepening of isopycnal surfaces, extending to depths of at least 1800 m. The maximum increase in dynamic height is collocated with the deep center of the subtropical gyre, and the signal represents an increase in the total counterclockwise geostrophic circulation of the gyre, by at least 20% at 1000 m. A comparison of WOCE and Argo float trajectories at 1000m confirms the gyre spinup during the 1990s. The signals in sea surface height, dynamic height, and velocity all peaked around 2003 and subsequently began to decline. The 1990s increase in wind-driven circulation resulted from decadal
    intensification of wind stress curl east of New Zealand—variability associated with an increase in the atmosphere’s Southern Hemisphere annular mode. It is suggested (based on altimetric height) that midlatitude gyres in all of the oceans have been affected by variability in the atmospheric annular modes on decadal time scales.’ Roemmich, D., Gilson, J., Davis, R., Sutton, P., Wijffels, S., Riser, S., 2007: Decadal Spinup of the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 37, 162–173. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JPO3004.1

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-32.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_oscillation#mediaviewer/File:Arctic_Oscillation.svg

    If you had a choice between ‘renting’ this paper for $4.99 or buying a cup of coffee there is no choice.

    The gyre idea has physical evidence and links Pacific states with SAM and NAM and top down solar modulation by ozone/UV interactions in the stratosphere. This begins to explain both large scale variability and the exact correspondence between north eastern and equatorial Pacific states.

    e.g. Matthes et al 2006, Gray et al 2010, Lockwood et al 2010, Schaife et al 2012

    The gyres push more or less cold water into the upwelling zones off the North and South American west coasts reducing or not the density differentials between surface and subsurface water and facilitating or not cold water upwelling. This starts the feedbacks that drive the ENSO cycle.

    So it is overly surprising that low solar activity leads to a resurgence of La Nina dominance that we have seen over the past 1000 years.

    e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=190

    That this is a mere redistribution of energy – btw – is an urban myth. Cloud cover responds in coherent ways to the changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation which in turn changes – of course – the energy budget of the planet.

    • … not overly surprising…

    • “So it is overly surprising that low solar activity leads to a resurgence of La Nina dominance that we have seen over the past 1000 years.”

      The reverse is true, El Nino frequency and intensity increases with low solar activity.

  48. The study of climate is the abysmal science.

  49. The failure of climate models …

    http://climateaudit.org/2014/07/24/new-paper-by-mckitrick-and-vogelsang-comparing-models-and-observations-in-the-tropical-troposphere/

    The decreasing atmospheric humidity …

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/03/man-made-global-warming-theory-is_6.html

    The trade wind misfire, tornado misfire, mass extinction misfire, warming misfire, …. Mother Nature is yelling at you that you’re wrong, CAGWers!

  50. “New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming,”

    “likely caused by global warming”. Classic. Science at its most basic. “likely caused by global warming”. God help us.

  51. “New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds.”

    The warm phase of the AMO since 1995 is associated with increased negative NAO/AO episodes, and negative NAO/AO is associated with weaker trade winds.
    The AMO has in fact cooled moderately recently, since the trade winds have strengthened.

    As a warm AMO is dependent upon increased negative NAO/AO conditions, by default it cannot be due to global warming, as increased forcing of the climate promotes increased positive NAO/AO conditions.
    Meaning that it takes a decline in a forcing to produce a warm AMO mode, and there is only one forcing that can explain that decline:

    The AMO is an amplified negative feedback to declines in solar plasma forcing, wind driven, the same as ENSO.

    • Knudsen et al 2014 comes to the opposite conclusion.

      • They think that it is internal, quote from the paper…

        “Solar forcing is therefore not likely to be responsible for the dominant 55- to 70-year Holocene AMO pattern, which implies that the Holocene AMO pattern more likely reflects internal, quasi-periodic variability in Atlantic Ocean circulation, in accordance with, for example, the HadCM3 model.”

        The 69 year periodicity is easily demonstrated in the planetary ordering of solar activity.

      • What they lack is a theory for the change in atmospheric circulation that drives the warm AMO, which is increased Arctic pressure, and more negative NAO/AO states. An increase in negative NAO/AO is the wrong sign for an increase in forcing of the climate.

      • That’s actually from his 2011 paper Tracking the AMO through the last 8000 years. You want the 2014 paper Evidence for external forcing of the AMO since termination of the LIA. I’d supply a link but I haven’t figured out the (hopefully) last place my ability to link is turned off on the new set-up yet and may never since almost nobody actually looks at them lol. He seems to have changed his mind.

      • The observational data from the real world also shows otherwise.

        AMO is mostly simply a result of the teleconnected influence the Pacific Ocean has on the North Atlantic. The Pacific runs the global climate show.

      • I would not take the tree ring proxy for the AMO seriously, especially as there are ships logs that report greatly reduced Arctic sea ice around 1816-1818. Fig 1 shows the the AMO warm in Sporer and Maunder, but cold in Dalton and in the 1836-1845 cold period too. I don’t believe it:
        http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140225/ncomms4323/full/ncomms4323.html

      • The AMO seems to be move phase with solar cycles in its cold mode, and out of phase with solar cycles in its warm mode.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/every:13/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/normalise

      • Don’t forget he isn’t only comparing solar cycles, he is also comparing volcanic forcing. I’d add that the long term trend of poleward heat transport would also be evidence for a positive correlation between solar and transport as shown in the Lund 2006 reconstruction of Gulf Stream transport.

      • Steven said:
        “Don’t forget he isn’t only comparing solar cycles, he is also comparing volcanic forcing. I’d add that the long term trend of poleward heat transport would also be evidence for a positive correlation between solar and transport as shown in the Lund 2006 reconstruction of Gulf Stream transport.”

        He does not compare solar cycles as such as I have shown above, but trends in TSI. I am more concerned with the solar plasma forcing, and how it has declined from 1995: http://snag.gy/dXp1s.jpg
        The upward trend in poleward heat transport only takes off after March 1995: snag.gy/mfOI7.jpg

      • Ulric Lyons | August 7, 2014 at 11:11 am
        Typo…
        The AMO seems to move *in* phase with solar cycles in its cold mode, and out of phase with solar cycles in its warm mode.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/every:13/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/normalise

      • Northern north Atlantic ocean heat content falls before 1995 too:

      • If you were right then ocean heat transport should be going up with the recent weak solar cycle. Instead it has dropped. Yes, I connect solar cycle strength with TSI. Is there a reason I shouldn’t?

        Smeed et al 2013 Observed decline of the AMOC 2004 to 2012

      • steven | August 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        “If you were right then ocean heat transport should be going up with the recent weak solar cycle. Instead it has dropped.”

        It did go up, and it has dropped temporarily around this sunspot maximum, and will rise again from late 2015 to 2024, out of phase with the sunspot cycle, as is typical during the warm mode of the AMO:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/every:13/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/normalise

        “Yes, I connect solar cycle strength with TSI. Is there a reason I shouldn’t?”

        It does not have the short term effects on polar air pressure and the condition of the NAO&AO that the solar wind forcing does.
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117713005802

      • Well, what you say doesn’t match up well with the litereature on the topic but I’ll keep in mind your hypothesis should things turn out differently than most expect. I would make one comment regarding your Tisdale chart. To me it looks like you are using the detrending data. That may separate out the AMO or it may not. It sort of depends on if there has been a trend in the maximum and minimum of the AMO. Reconstructions of the AMO do not show a consistent pattern in that manner. The actual statement that ocean heat content in the North Atlantic had been dropping before 1995 is incorrect regardless.

      • Steven said
        ” I would make one comment regarding your Tisdale chart. To me it looks like you are using the detrending data.”

        No that is not detrended, it is the monthly anomalies.

      • Oh sorry, the high N Atlantic looks similar to the detrened. Can you say why you would go with only the high N atlantic to determine ocean heat transport from the equator?

      • Ulric, nevermind. It’s interesting how similar it is.

    • Kristian said:
      “The observational data from the real world also shows otherwise.”

      So which data is that exactly?

  52. “An unprecedented strengthening of Pacific trade winds since the late 1990s has caused widespread climate perturbations, including rapid sea-level rise in the western tropical Pacific, strengthening of Indo-Pacific ocean currents, and an increased uptake of heat in the equatorial Pacific thermocline. ”

    What has changed significantly from the 1990´s is solar activity, in particular the UV flux and wavelenghts, the strength of the solar wind and geomagnetic activity. We are also further on in the Saros cyclethat linked to the latter affects ocean and atmospheric currents. Earl Happ has papers showing the importance of the site of formation and warming of ozone in the stratosphere on surface pressure and it is differential surface pressures that determines wind speeds. Switches in warming of ozone in the lower and upper stratosphere affect the siting of low pressure zones in the NH and SH and the movement of the atmosphere between the two. On this basis there is little mystery to what has happened. Empirical proof is another matter but is helped by the fact that surface pressure measures are available and are a better metric than surface temperature anomalies:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/03/a-climate-change-dynamic/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/author/erlhapp/
    http://www.space.dtu.dk/upload/institutter/space/forskning/06_projekter/isac/wp501b.pdf

    • Unprecedented since the late 1990’s? Gibberish
      ! Another contradiction to go along with warming causing cooling!

  53. The Atlantic warming as mentioned is due to increased insolation as the result of reduced general and AEW cloud mass above. Which is inturn the result of the man made alteration to the Eastern Mediterranean SST and salinity which was instrumental in reducing the evapotransportation of moisture south to Sub Saharan Africa, where it contributed to the general moisture budget in the late rainy season and promoted the formation of AEWs. All covered in the following paper – now all that is needed is somebody brave enough to give it peer review.

    The Accidental Geo-Engineering of Planet Earth?
    Know anybody that might want to peer review a gripping 8,300 word doc with 24 charts & images covering everything from Atlantic insolation
    to Sub Saharan precipitation
    to resistance time for plants to produce viable seeds and growth
    to cloud condensing nuclei
    to AEW precursors and formation on the Darfur Mountains
    to river flow
    to East Mediterranean evapotransportation
    to inter-phase between the Med and Indian Ocean systems.

    A real bundle of joy – but if it was easy we would already have figured out the answer. Tried David Rowell at the Met Office, but I think he would not come near me with a barge pole.

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  55. When a press release from the University of New South Wales casually mentions among other things that “…rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean…” is “…likely caused by global warming…”, I cringe. I proved that it was not global warming in my 2011 paper of which they are oblivious. These so-called “experts” writing press releases simply have no idea of what the climate is doing and keep,singing that global warming song all day long. Their paper attempts to tie Atlantic warming to the strength of Pacific trade winds when the Atlantic warming is purely local and does not cross the continent. As I pointed out in my article, Atlantic warming started at the turn of the twentieth century. Prior to that there was nothing there except two thousand years of slow, linear cooling. Warming halted in mid-century for thirty years, then resumed, and is still going strong. Greenhouse effect was ruled out as a cause because there was no increase of atmospheric CO2 when the warming started. This made it likely that warming was caused by a change in the North Atlantic current system at the beginning of the century which started to carry warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean. Direct water temperature measurements near Svalbard in 2010 reported that it was likely higher than it had been any time during the last two thousand years. The warming pause in the middle of the century most likely was due to a temporary return of the previous flow pattern of currents. In nature, if something has happened it can happen again. Another such pause in warming would not be too good for Arctic development or transportation.

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