Recent research on aerosol forcing of the CMIP5 models

by Frank Bosse

A few days ago a paper (Sato et al) dealing with some aspects of the “Aerosol Cloud Interactions”, (ACI, also called “aerosol indirect effects”) was released. It bolsters the conclusions of earlier papers: the effective radiative forcing from ACI (ERFaci) is smaller than thought, perhaps near zero .

A discussion of Malavelle et al. (2017) and Stevens (2017, an accompanying comment on the Malavelle paper) was released in July 2017.

The Sato et al.  paper refers to a new model which makes it possible to study the globally impacts of aerosols on warm clouds (T>0° C) thanks to a much higher resolution than former approaches. Some details were discussed in this blogpost. Nic Lewis made a comment in which he states:

” By contrast, in all but a few models that forcing is significantly negative, and is one of the main reasons why current climate models match observed historical warming despite their generally high (transient) sensitivity.”

I was interested in the quantitative order of the mean overestimation of the total effective aerosol forcing (ERFaero) of the CMIP5 models. It is well known that the ERFaero , the sum of direct aerosol forcing ( ERFari) and ERFaci is by far the greatest source of uncertainty when it comes to observationally based estimates about the transient sensitivity (TCR) and the expected warming in this century.

Data

I used the IPCC AR 5 forcing data, revised (Myhre 2017 , Etminan (2016), updated, and the GMST from Cowtan & Way both for the time span 1950…2015 (not 2016 due to very strong ENSO influence). I excluded the volcano forcing and the years with ERFvolcano >1W/m² to avoid some bias due to the timing of these events and the known lower impact of volcanism on the GMST than other forcings.

Estimation of ERFaero in the CMIP5 mean vs. Sato et al.

All calculations (i.e. here or here ) using the regression method- observed GMST vs. the total forcings- come to TCR estimates which are well below the mean of the CMIP5 models of 1.8 K/doubling CO2. Despite this, the CMIP5 mean historical warming reasonably matches the observed warming. The explanation for this should be the use of different ERFaero values because all other forcing data are much better constrained than ERFaero.

I used the regression method the other way around — the TCR of 1.8 °C/2*CO2 for the CMIP5 mean is given, implying a target sensitivity of 0.48 °C/W/m² with 3.8W/m² per doubling CO2. The required correction to total forcing in order for the regression of GMST on total forcing to produce that sensitivity should represent the additional ERFaero included in the CMIP5 models on average.

With an empirical method I found that a linear additional trend from 1950 to 2015 of 0.085 W/m² /decade to ERFaero made the correlation coefficient match the CMIP5 mean sensitivity. The regression given this is shown on Fig.1.

Fig.1: The 1950-2015 regression of the GMSTA (Global Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly) on the total forcings that achieves the wanted TCR of 1.8 °C/doubling CO2 for the CMIP5 mean.

To estimate a possible bias from the exclusion of volcano years in the regression I used the changes in forcing and GMST from the 1950-1962 mean to the 1996-15 mean, the longest early and late volcanic free periods. This gives a TCR (based on F2x= 3.80 W/m2) of 1.76, close enough to 1.8.

In Sato et al. there is no quantitative forcing estimation included about the described finding that one of the two major components of the models, the cloud lifetime effect, has in most regions the opposite sign in the real world. The authors give some hint when they write:” This suggests that estimates of the net negative radiative forcing due to the total ACI can also be significantly reduced and its uncertainty range could even include positive values.”.

As a first guess, I reduced the ERFaci by about 50%, this gives for the ERFaero a scaling of 0.75 vs. the AR5 ERFaero.

With this input I regressed the GMSTA vs. the “Sato-forcings” — the total AR5 forcing estimate with ERFaero scaled by 0.75:

 

Fig. 2: The 1950…2015 regression of the GMSTA on the total forcings with reduced ERFaero following Sato et al., assumed to imply that ERFaero is 0.75 of the level estimated in AR5. The TCR regression estimate gives 1.3 with 3.8W/2*CO2.

Closing this section, I compare the ERFaero estimates for the time span 1950…2015:

Fig.3: The ERFaero for the CMIP5 mean (red), for the IPCC AR5 estimate (black) and the Sato et al. estimated findings (blue), all relative to 1750. The described additional linear trend as a rough approach to estimate the ERFaero of the CMIP5 mean is also justified by the agreement between the determined -1.25 W/m² for the years around 2000 and the given values in this paper.

The difference in the ERFaero between the CMIP5 mean and that implied by the latest research results increased to more than 100% for the years after 2000.

Conclusions

The sensitivity of the earth’s climate vs. GHG depends on how much GHG warming has been offset by cooling from aerosols. The forcing due to greenhouse gases is well known: an average of 3 W/m² in the last decade. The “damping” of the greenhouse gas warming in the past due to aerosols is poorly known. Many CMIP5 models (influencing strongly the model mean) have an inherent strong aerosol forcing. Their high TCR is partly compensated by this. The latest research in this field points to much lower ERFaero values, roughly half as much. This contrast will lead to greater model divergences from the real climate system. The next generation of models will appear and hopefully close this gap. The latest progress makes hope.

 

 

 

169 responses to “Recent research on aerosol forcing of the CMIP5 models

  1. Completely the wrong area of focus when it comes to why/how the climate changes.

    It has to do with weak geo/solar magnetic fields which promote a cascade of secondary effects which effect the climate.

    This makes the most sense because the sun drives the climate and the geo magnetic field can enhance or diminish given solar effects depending on if it is in phase or out of phase with solar.

    The galactic cosmic ray issue is not just about if it may cause an increase in clouds but how it may contribute to an increase in major volcanic activity which would have major climatic due to those items effecting albedo.

    So much time is being spent on the fallacy of GHG and global warming, despite so much that AGW theory has called for never happening, and evidence when looking back through climatic history that lends next to no support for this theory while evidence is very strong for a solar involved connection.

  2. WHY AGW THEROY SO FAR SEEMS TO BE WRONG

    1. The climate is still not unique as of today. Well within the bounds of natural variability.

    2. The POSITIVE feedback between CO2 and WATER VAPOR which is suppose to result in a lower tropospheric hotspot has not materialized. A BIG ONE.

    3. The AO/NAO have not become increasingly positive in other word the atmospheric circulation if anything is less zonal the opposite of what AGW theory called for.

    4. I see no evidence of OLR lessening.

    5. CO2 has been lower then presently while global temperatures have been higher over the past 10000 years.

    6, As CO2 is added it’s effects lessen due to the saturation point being reached and again without the positive feedback from water vapor I do not see how the temperature rises as a result of adding more CO2 into the atmosphere.

    7. CO2 and WATER VAPOR are influenced by the environment in other words as the oceans go so do hey despite man’s contribution which is fractional when compared to natural processes.

    8. CO2 in the past has ALWAYS followed the temperature never has lead it.

  3. Salvatore, this I don’t understand: “The galactic cosmic ray issue is not just about if it may cause an increase in clouds but how it may contribute to an increase in major volcanic activity…” I’m not aware of any physical mechanism of controlling ERFvolvano by ERFsolar.
    GCR do produce indeed more condensation kernels in the chamber experiments BUT this does not influences clouds significantly AFAIK… from the same reason described in the article: Clouds are unfaced by haze!

  4. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/climate-modeling-ocean-oscillations.html

    Meanwhile we have this strong correlation in the above , which does not exist for CO2 when it comes to the climate yet that gets more attention then this. Amazing!

    Reason is because that is where the money is, but they are going to be proven wrong and year 2018 I think is a turning point

    • I think the turning point is somewhere between 2000 and 2300, but don’t let that stop you from predicting them each year at a time.

  5. Natural climate cycles have occurred in the past. It is hockey stick thinking that it is only greenhouse gases and aerosol forcing that causes changes now.

    Understand and explain the past natural climate cycles or don’t pretend you know what is happening in recent times.

    • Where do you het the insane notion that natural variation is ignored? The big ignorers of NV are the people claiming low climate sensitivity.

      • i think JCH is still in a stew because Robert got the best of him with that hari kari comment last post. (Ellison, two thumbs up from the fonz… ☺) At a half way to doubling of CO2 and an ECS of 3C, the entire rise thus far would have to be anthropogenic. At this point there is no room for natural variability. Cut the ECS in half and that makes room for half of the warming coming from variability. (this would be the luke warmist position) It is not those that claim a low climate sensitivity who are in d’nial of natural variability…

      • JCH:

        What is Low Climate Sensitivity? The IPCC allows values of 1.5 C with a sixth of the distribution lower than that.

        We have an agile short term and a more sedate and massive long term. 4 kilometers of average ocean depth and 1000s of years of ice.

        The IPCC says the TCR can be as low as 1.0 C but let’s call it 1.25 C in an attempt to stay mainstream.

      • JCH: Too funny to show SLR from 2012 ( strong LaNina) to 2017 ( with very storng ElNino in the end) with the headline: “no juice” and LS-trend. It’s the usual cherrypic. You are able to do it better!

      • The accusation of cherry picking is often false. It’s often a cheap shot.

        By May of 2012 the La Niña was long gone, and the GMST anomaly was already high: GISS, .74 ℃:

        Like I said, the skeptics will try to ignore NV while praying for the negative phase of something, anything.

      • Nice try! See this

        How many mm SLR were natural due to ENSO in this time span? 3mm?
        Do you really think that SLR follows Nino3,4 with no delay?
        But it’s strongly o/t here.

      • “Like I said, the skeptics will try to ignore NV…”

        https://goo.gl/images/PrPbCS

        What natural variability?

        The IPCC said over a long time frame it didn’t add or subtract anything while CO2 does from 1.5 X to 4.5 X with 2/3s certainty. It’s a good trick to say we don’t really know what CO2 does, but we are sure it did this. Sure, it’s all understandable to Gavin Schmidt in his ivory tower. What about the rest of us?

        CO2 is the pacemaker, the band leader, the lead dog, the King of Kings, the Uber, the Godzilla of compounds. It is the key, the map, the light, the word. On the first day, God created CO2. No, CO2 created Man.

      • It’s the North Pacific. Bad try.

      • Wolter, PDO, positive phase. For skeptics, it’s very important that the positive phase of the PDO gets erased.

      • “Of course they’re the same you blithering pinhead. You use the one with blue to deceive people into thinking the PDO did not go positive in 2014.” JCH

        He is by and large an abusive little troll with an obsessional delusion with impossible short term Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation prognostication. I quote and reference hundreds of scientists – he is barely able to read past the headline. I might say that they all think he’s a doofus – but that’s just utterly mad. It is just so surreally absurd, ridiculous, foolish, stupid, ludicrous, farcical, laughable, comical, risible, hare-brained, asinine, inane, nonsensical and pointless as to defy credibility.

        The current reality is a cooler eastern Pacific whether you use the Mantua or NCEI PDO index. JCH insists that the 20-30 year chaotic oscillation of the PDO turned positive in 2014 based on some red in the chart. The reality for the reality challenged is that there is always some red in blue periods and vice versa. Has the PDO regime shifted again? It is 20 years this year – so it is due sometime in the next decade. Perhaps it is happening. But where and when it will go is at the whim of the Dragon Kings of wind and storm. We will need more time and data to tell. A cool (warm) PDO is associated with increased La Niña (El Niño) intensity and frequency.

        “Compared to last month, the updated (January-February) MEI dropped further to reach -0.73, approaching a moderate La Niña ranking.

        Looking at the nearest 12 rankings (+6/-6) in this season, and excluding the two cases that showed a three-month rise of 0.4 or more, we end up with the following ten ‘analogues’: 1950, 51, 62, 63, 67, 68, 97, 99, 01, and 09 (three of these were flagged as an analogue last month: 63, 68, and 09). Subsequently, five of these analogues transitioned to El Niño conditions at some point during the same calendar year (within two months in 1997 compared to nine months in 1968, while 1951, 63, and 09 fall in between). In contrast, four years (1950, 62, 67, and 99) remained more or less in their La Niña state through the remainder of the year, and only 2001 eased into an ENSO-neutral state. Not much to glean from historical analogues, except that ENSO-neutral is least likely later this year.” Claus Wolter

        ENSO and the IPO are dynamically triggered recharge oscillators. The impetus comes from the south and north poles respectively. Enhanced north/south blocking patterns in periods of low solar activity enhance flow in the Peruvian and Californian Currents facilitating increased eastern Pacific upwelling of cold and nutrient rich water from the deep ocean. Cold surface water in the east and warm in the west enhance atmospheric circulation cells and the resultant enhanced surface south and north –
        respectively – easterly trade winds pile up warm surface water against Australia and Indonesia. This is the situation at the moment.

        An El Niño will be triggered inevitably when the conditions are right. When the geopotential energy in the west is sufficiently charged – and perhaps the Madden-Julian Oscillation causes the trade winds to falter – then these piled up waters will surge eastward to crash against the coast of the Americas.

      • REI, looks like we’re about 8 yrs into a usually roughly 22 yr negative PDO phase. I also wonder if this cycle might end up longer/cooler than with the muted solar cycle we’re on the tail end of.

        Expect the step change from this extended el nino event will not be so significant. I will only be mildly surprised if the step ends up negative.

  6. AGW theory says it is ALL CO2 end of story. Nothing else matters.

  7. Tell us what else matters to AGW theory when it comes to the climate?

    • To name a few, the sun, the moon, etc., the past, the atmosphere, land, water, ice, snow, salt, clouds, winds, continents, flora and fauna, volcanos, etc.

      • So that means AGW theory may be in trouble if those other items do not cooperate with what AGW calls for UNLESS as I said nothing else really matters because CO2 in THE driver.

  8. “Thus the net radiative forcing is determined by the relative amounts of BC and sulphate. However, BC is invariably internally mixed with sulphates8
    and solar absorption by BC is amplified when it is internally mixed with
    sulphates1,9,10. Such mixtures of absorbing and scattering aerosols
    (including other particulate matter such as nitrate, potassium and
    so on) are referred to as ABCs, for atmospheric brown clouds11” https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo918

    Figure 7.18 | Annual mean top of the atmosphere radiative forcing due to aerosol–radiation interactions (RFari, in W m–2) due to different anthropogenic aerosol types, for the 1750–2010 period. Hatched whisker boxes show median (line), 5th to 95th percentile ranges (box) and min/max values (whiskers) from AeroCom II models (Myhreet al., 2013) corrected for the 1750–2010 period. Solid coloured boxes show the AR5 best estimates and 90% uncertainty ranges. BC FF is for black carbon from fossil fuel
    and biofuel, POA FF is for primary organic aerosol from fossil fuel and biofuel, BB is for biomass burning aerosols and SOA is for secondary organic aerosols.” AR5

    It is unclear that net forcing by aerosols is negative – but it is clear that these can be managed with reduced burning of biomass and off the shelf technologies.

  9. David Springer

    Has anybody won the climate wars yet?

    If not when should I check back?

    Thanks in advance!

    • David

      This site was closed down two years ago.

      Vintage climate articles are played on a continuous loop and sophisticated algorithms then insert comments, some of them relevant

      Tonyb

      • Yep, it was put on autopilot about the time two years ago when I predicted that Trump would win the election and render the endless wrangling over CAGW alarmism moot. But don’t tell yimmy. He still thinks he is saving the planet by boring the deniers to death.

      • Some of the algorithms are better than others. The yimmy ones clearly fails the turing test. Mosher should suffer restricted privileges for that one.

    • I think we are waiting for government money to dry up which should take about another 5-10 years. In the mean time nature abhors a vacuum so it is filled with anything that will make a profit.

    • China.
      For the last 20 years, the warm have been enlisting western governments to move all manufacturing to China thanks to the “basic physics” that tells us eastern CO2 doesn’t have the same physical properties as western.
      They’ll be giggling over that one for a couple generations.

  10. Harry Twinotter

    I don’t think the world needs to wait for confirmation from the GCMs. There is plenty of other evidence around to support AGW.

    Even if the sensitivity does turn out to be lower than expected, it is not an argument against implementing remediation efforts now.

    • Depends on what you mean by ‘remediation’.

      watertechbyrie.com

    • Harry Twinotter: Even if the sensitivity does turn out to be lower than expected, it is not an argument against implementing remediation efforts now.

      It depends on what you mean by “remediation efforts”, how much you intend to invest in them (labor, time, money), and how fast you want to ramp up the effort.

      Consider California and its Renewable Portfolio Standard and High Speed train through the central valley. Are those worth the $$$B being spent on them? The case for that heavy an investment world wide is full of holes. Or perhaps you might be referring to bolstering the flood control and irrigation systems, which CA is neglecting.

      • Robert I Ellison: We are looking at $2.5 trillion in focused spending to 2030.

        Who is “we”, and how does that relate to Harry Twinotter’s post?

      • Sorry – I included myself – at least in spirit – with the 300 odd economists and 7 Nobel laureates who together produced more than 100 reports at the linked Copenhagen Consensus site.

        As for Harry’s comment – I was pretty much in agreement – just with a bit more focus. But in fact I responded to your unimaginative, rehashed commentary. Californians shouldn’t have a train? I say if they want a train – its a democracy – they can have a train. I supplied some numbers. Not for the train – I don’t care much about the train – but for much more valuable things.

        Focused aid with benefits in excess of 15 times costs is one $2.5 trillion dollar thing – but if you bothered doing more than rehashing tired old ideas with a plodding pedants over estimate of your own sagacity. If you are going to ask more silly questions – do me a favor and push some buttons first so that they are at least informed silly questions.

      • … sagacity… you might have noticed that economic freedom is the key to development and the environment…

      • Should Californians have a train? What problem are they trying to solve? I assume they think a train will eliminate emissions from millions of cars. If the idea is to better connect the major population centers then there are of course many people-moving benefits.

        The expense involved would have to be justified by improved people-moving, Look at it like the expense of fixing the New York subway system ($100B?). What do you gain by spending that kind of money? Protection against climate change is not mentioned as a priority when NY is discussed.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that huge climate remediation expenditures have to be justified primarily by other benefits gained. And they certainly will have to be sold that way if there’s to be a chance that that sort of money will be approved.

      • Harry Twinotter

        “Consider California and its Renewable Portfolio Standard and High Speed train through the central valley”

        Subject change.

      • Harry Twinotter: “Consider California and its Renewable Portfolio Standard and High Speed train through the central valley”

        Subject change.

        Here is what you wrote: Even if the sensitivity does turn out to be lower than expected, it is not an argument against implementing remediation efforts now.

        RIE and I said that it depends on what remediation efforts you are talking about.

        What remediation efforts are YOU talking about? CA has proposed a renewable portfolio standard and high speed train. I infer from your response that you would not support those — its that true and what do you support? What other projects would you sacrifice, as CA is sacrificing its flood control and irrigation system. (I should mention that San Diego Co. is expanding its water supplies with a multi-pronged approach, but in that it is out of step with the rest of the state.)

      • Robert I Ellison: Californians shouldn’t have a train? I say if they want a train – its a democracy – they can have a train.

        Is it wise? Is it remediation? Is it worth the sacrifice of the flood control and irrigation systems? Do you or Harry Twinotter propose them for other states and countries?

        Other than that – it is all about economic freedom.

        For the bullet train, Californians are spending “other people’ s money”, which is to say taxes that they think only rich people and big, successful companies will actually be required to pay. Having voted for the renewable portfolio standard (I voted against), the proponents are now claiming that the increased electricity fees are the “fault” of the utility companies, and some still blame cheap out of state suppliers. Rarely is increased government control called “economic freedom”.

      • Did you miss the bit where I don’t give a rat’s arse about the train?

      • And if we are talking economic freedom – perhaps the US is not the place to look much less California.

        https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

      • Robert I Ellison: Californians shouldn’t have a train? I say if they want a train – its a democracy – they can have a train.

        Did you miss the bit where I don’t give a rat’s arse about the train?

        You did not say whether you thought it was a good idea in general, or whether it constituted “remediation”, on a thread about remediation. Or how/whether you actually think that raising taxes to pay for the train constituted “economic freedom”.

      • Which bit of I don’t give a rat’s arse don’t you understand? I don’t know and I don’t care enough to find out.

        If Californians want a train – go for it. Democracy is the ruling principle of freedom if you haven’t worked that out – among the many other things you fail to understand.

        “When I say that the conservative lacks principles, I do not mean to suggest that he lacks moral conviction. The typical conservative is indeed usually a man of very strong moral convictions. What I mean is that he has no political principles which enable him to work with people whose moral values differ from his own for a political order in which both can obey their convictions. It is the recognition of such principles that permits the coexistence of different sets of values that makes it possible to build a peaceful society with a minimum of force. The acceptance of such principles means that we agree to tolerate much that we dislike. There are many values of the conservative which appeal to me more than those of the socialists; yet for a liberal the importance he personally attaches to specific goals is no sufficient justification for forcing others to serve them. I have little doubt that some of my conservative friends will be shocked by what they will regard as “concessions” to modern views that I have made in Part III of this book. But, though I may dislike some of the measures concerned as much as they do and might vote against them, I know of no general principles to which I could appeal to persuade those of a different view that those measures are not permissible in the general kind of society which we both desire. To live and work successfully with others requires more than faithfulness to one’s concrete aims. It requires an intellectual commitment to a type of order in which, even on issues which to one are fundamental, others are allowed to pursue different ends.”
        Hayek – Why I am not a conservative

        But then the train – for God’s sake – is far from a fundamental issue.

      • Robert I Ellison: Which bit of I don’t give a rat’s arse don’t you understand?

        You wrote that I had missed something that you had no written; now you write that I don’t understand how little you care about something you write on and on about.

        Democracy is the ruling principle of freedom if you haven’t worked that out

        Individual liberty is the ruling principle of freedom. The people who wrote the US Constitution understood that democracy without limitations on the elected government could be a threat to liberty. It’s one of the reasons that the US does not elect its president based on the simple winner or plurality of the popular vote. It’s why the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, ninth and tenth amendments were added to the Constitution.

      • No I don’t twitter on about the bloody train – Matthew does. And waffling on about constitutional democracy being the basis for freedom is lexical semantics as usual from him. But much is permissible in democracies – including the bloody train if that’s what they want.

      • (you might say that Matthew has derailed the conversation)…

      • Robert I Ellison: No I don’t twitter on about the bloody train

        All I did was ask Harry Twinotter whether the CA high speed train was an example of the otherwise undefined (by him) “remediation efforts” to implement now. RIE pointed to some other remediation efforts costing $2.5T to 2030, which “we are looking at” (that RIE endorsed them he wrote later), but Harry Twinotter still has not clarified what remediation efforts he thinks ought to be implemented now.

        RIE also introduced the “economic freedom”, about which I posed the question of whether the CA high speed train increased or decreased economic freedom. It isn’t about whether RIE “[gives a rat’s ass]” about the CA bullet train, but to clarify what he means by the abstract notion of “economic freedom”.

        It is the right of Harry Twinotter and Robert I Ellison to avoid translating their abstract notions into specific projects. And it is the right of the rest of us to ask that they do so.

        How about the “flood control and irrigation systems, which CA is neglecting”? Would upgrading them constitute some of the remediation efforts that ought to be implemented now? CA is only one example of a govt trying to implement “remediation efforts”; how about other examples to clarify Harry Twinotter’s otherwise undefined phrase?

        As to “derailing” — Hayek? Always worth reading, but how is that one on topic?

      • Matthew introduces trains and then complains when no one is interested. It is a matter of putting things in a broader political and economic context.

        There are 19 Copenhagen Consensus smart development goals for $2.5 trillion in scarce development funds.

        “In a world of limited resources, we can’t do everything, but how should we prioritize? The Copenhagen Consensus Center provides information on which targets will do the most social good relative to their costs.”

        http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/post-2015_presentation_3.pdf

        These are all critical efforts to improve lives and all have climate and environment implications. Good information from 100’s of economists and 7 Nobel laureates – but the reality is that only economic and political freedom will bring the progress required.

        The global economy is worth about $100 trillion a year. To put aid and philanthropy into perspective – the total is 0.025% of the global economy. If spent on Copenhagen Consensus smart development goals such expenditure can generate a benefit to cost ratio of more than 15. If spent on the UN Sustainable Development Goals you may as well piss it up against a wall. Either way – it is nowhere near the major path to universal prosperity. Some 3.5 billion people make less than $2 a day. Changing that can only be done by doubling and tripling global production – and doing it as quickly as possible.

        Rich economies can afford both environments and trains. And there are simple technological solutions to the multi-dimensional problems of anthropogenic aerosols that I discuss below.

      • Robert I Ellison: Matthew introduces trains and then complains when no one is interested.

        There is no complaint.

    • The models are wrong but we’ll act on their output anyway! That’s not just crazy, but surreal.

      • Models are always wrong – climate models are not even useful. But that wasn’t the point was it? The physics are right – at least in principle. Including dynamical systems theory.

      • Harry Twinotter

        So the “models” are wrong according to you. Me, I put my trust in the scientists with the appropriate expertise not you.

      • Yes the models are wrong. They start with a very large uncertainty in initial and boundary conditions and end with an ‘irreducible imprecision’ that is literally off the charts.

    • Correct.

      Majority of which comes from politicians and media types.

      And those whose pay check depends on taxpayer dollars.

      Besides, most people are not arguing against AGW. They take issue with the many claims of doom and disaster that gets constantly associated with it. That is where the evidence disappears.

    • If TCR/ECS are lower than assumed by IPCC experts, and if we use resource limits on oil, gas and coal (rather than using the hyper cornucopian figures used in RCP8.5), then the market, emerging technology driven by higher fossil fuel prices will reduce emissions to have concentration peak at ~630 ppm (that’s a rough estimate). Note that I assume the current hysteria about global warming will be weakened over time, and have negligible influence on events. However, it’s also possible there will be minor efforts by the European Union and other goodniks which will manage to keep peak CO2 concentration even lower. In any case, it’s going to be more critical to find new (cheap, viable) sources of energy.

    • Not only is sensitivity lower than expected, it is likely a moving target which will get smaller as positive feedbacks diminish and negative ones increase. Couple that with the limited growth potential of CO2 concentrations and growing biological response (which likely lags concentration growth), and it doesn’t even seem plausible that warming will be a net cost on a meaningful time scale (hey anything is possible– maybe there are temporary climate regimes where even mild ghe produces worse weather which we just haven’t experienced yet–eg a portion of the -PDO phase).

      The one big temp response that may increase is a decrease in glacial melt which would reduce the dampening effect of latent heat transfer. (probably would be damped by increasing seasonal sea ice changes).

      • (or a portion of -PDO phase during a weak solar with ? +/- polarity).

      • Harry Twinotter

        “which will get smaller as positive feedbacks diminish and negative ones increase.”

        Interesting theory you have there. Did you work it out yourself or did you read on a blog somewhere? If it is your own work, a reference to your study is in order.

      • Elementary physics to do with atmospheric windows and the Planck response.

  11. A gradient of 0.5 still falls well within the scatter of the “Sato” plot. Imagine a line that goes from (1, -0.2) to (3, +0.8) which has a gradient of 0.5, and fits the later slope better.

    • I don’t know what this is but it is not Sato et al. AR5 suggest that cloud aerosol effect are -0.55 (-1.33 to -0.08) W/m2. Sato et al that it may be less negative. 27% less I have seen elsewhere.

      • A gradient of 0.5 fits the mainstream sensitivity fairly well, and also fits those points.

      • You pretend to have a clue but it is just not happening.

      • It is very clear that the line doesn’t fit the later years, and it is clear why.

      • It is clearly not data. More fool you.

      • Looks skewed to me, not you. That’s all there is to it.

      • It is not real data – it is not Sato et al – I don’t care what it looks like. Your insistence that it means something is a joke – on you.

      • No, it is various estimates of aerosol forcing that cannot be measured. You don’t want to look at estimates, but that’s all there is on aerosols at this point, so you have removed yourself from debating an important part of the uncertainty and that is by your choice.

      • “In Sato et al. there is no quantitative forcing estimation included about the described finding that one of the two major components of the models, the cloud lifetime effect, has in most regions the opposite sign in the real world. The authors give some hint when they write:” This suggests that estimates of the net negative radiative forcing due to the total ACI can also be significantly reduced and its uncertainty range could even include positive values.”.

        As a first guess, I reduced the ERFaci by about 50%, this gives for the ERFaero a scaling of 0.75 vs. the AR5 ERFaero.”

        “Recent satellite observations, however, have yielded contradictory results: LWP can decrease with increasing aerosol loading. This difference implies that GCMs overestimate the aerosol effect, but the reasons for the difference are not obvious. ” Sato et al

        Blog science at its best. You keep dissimulating to avoid looking like a fool. Far too late.

      • First you say not interested, then you want to discuss it in detail. I don’t. I’m just looking at whether the pictures support the numbers, and they look a bit skewed on the later data.

      • Wow – a guess is as good as data. First I say it’s cr@p but Jimmy wants to waffle on about what I assume is the negative aerosol cloud effect being -0.55 W/m2 plus or minus something huge. How he gets anything like that from this guessed graph is a mystery up there with Jimmy’s finest efforts at blog science.

        I can’t talk in detail because I don’t have the foggiest what he imagines is going on. Sato et al from measurement suggested that more aerosols did not necessarily equate to more cloud – implying model overestimation of the aerosol cloud effect.

      • No, I agree that this is a blogger who has read a paper and extracted something to twist into his own way of thinking about things. Not much value because the paper said nothing quantitative about a forcing change. Pure speculation on his part with a dubious graph to top it off.

      • So you agree? On the basis of the probability of you ever being right, I’ve changed my mind.

      • I agree. It is a blogger who is applying wishful thinking to a result that Sato didn’t even quantify themselves. Part of that wishful thinking was displayed in that graph they labeled with “Sato”.

      • “When open burning emissions, which emit high levels of organic matter, are included in the total, the best estimate of net industrial-era climate forcing by all short-lived species from black-carbon-rich sources becomes slightly negative (-0.06 W/m2 with 90% uncertainty bounds of -1.45 to +1.29 W/m2). The uncertainties
        in net climate forcing from black-carbon-rich sources are substantial, largely due to lack of knowledge about cloud interactions with both black carbon and co-emitted organic carbon.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/pdf

        But then Frank’s guess is a lot better than yours.

      • Black carbon would show up as a local effect near and just downstream of where it is emitted. The largest warming is not occurring where the black carbon is, so that’s a clue about its effect relative to GHGs and albedo. Maybe increases in forest fires will make it a more significant change in that regard, another positive feedback.

      • It in fact cools the surface with a dimming of some 10% over very large areas of the tropics – and warms the atmosphere. There are as well sensitivities to mixing and coated with sulfates that amplify warming. This is as well high uncertainty in pre-industrial burning addressed in the link I supplied. I could supply dozens more relevant references – but there doesn’t seem much of a point with you.

        Try reading and understanding even just the abstract of the study I linked just above.

      • Well, there you go then. It is masking the surface warming and it is actually worse than we thought,

      • It absorbs more sunlight than the surface. has far more health, hydrological and photosynthesis impacts and is easiest to control with off the shelf technology and land management practices – with less carbon loss from the land use sector. Much better than you thought.

        http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/science/06-09SootUC.asp

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796752/

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796752/

      • It also may help melt glaciers. If you take the black carbon away, you may get more warming at the surface, but apart from that it’s good to do.

      • You get less SW at the surface but it warms the atmosphere instead.

        “We estimate that black carbon, with a total climate forcing of +1.1 W m−2, is the second most important human emission in terms of its climate forcing in the present-day atmosphere; only carbon dioxide is estimated to have a greater forcing.”

        Seriously – go through several dozen references and don’t just make it up.

      • Yes, the warming of the atmosphere opposes the TOA CO2 forcing. Take the black carbon away and the surface has to warm instead to counter the TOA CO2 forcing. Not a good thing.

      • Ya what? ” Black and brown carbon, ozone and methane contribute as much as 40% to anthropogenic radiative forcing.” It is 3km deep and like any cloud absorbs and reflects outgoing IR back to the surface. Do you imagine it happens in isolation?

        “Atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs) are widespread pollution clouds that can at times span an entire continent or an ocean basin. ABCs extend vertically from the ground upward to as high as 3 km, and they consist of both aerosols and gases. ABCs consist of anthropogenic aerosols such as sulfates, nitrates, organics, and black carbon and natural dust aerosols. Gaseous pollutants that contribute to the formation of ABCs are NOx (nitrogen oxides), SOx (sulfur oxides), VOCs (volatile organic compounds), CO (carbon monoxide), CH4 (methane), and O3 (ozone). The brownish color of the cloud (which is visible when looking at the horizon) is due to absorption of solar radiation at short wavelengths (green, blue, and UV) by organic and black carbon aerosols as well as by NOx. While the local nature of ABCs around polluted cities has been known since the early 1900s, the widespread transoceanic and transcontinental nature of ABCs as well as their large-scale effects on climate, hydrological cycle, and agriculture were discovered inadvertently by The Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX), an international experiment conducted in the 1990s over the Indian Ocean. A major discovery of INDOEX was that ABCs caused drastic dimming at the surface. The magnitude of the dimming was as large as 10–20% (based on a monthly average) over vast areas of land and ocean regions. The dimming was shown to be accompanied by significant atmospheric absorption of solar radiation by black and brown carbon (a form of organic carbon). Black and brown carbon, ozone and methane contribute as much as 40% to anthropogenic radiative forcing. The dimming by sulfates, nitrates, and carbonaceous (black and organic carbon) species has been shown to disrupt and weaken the monsoon circulation over southern Asia. In addition, the ozone in ABCs leads to a significant decrease in agriculture yields (by as much as 20–40%) in the polluted regions. Most significantly, the aerosols (in ABCs) near the ground lead to about 4 million premature mortalities every year. Technological and regulatory measures are available to mitigate most of the pollution resulting from ABCs. The importance of ABCs to global environmental problems led the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to form the international ABC program. This ABC program subsequently led to the identification of short-lived climate pollutants as potent mitigation agents of climate change, and in recognition, UNEP formed the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to deal with these pollutants.”

        Yet again you have failed to read anything I have referenced and invent foggy narratives. If you ever referenced any science – I swear I would read it – but that seems unlikely.

      • TOA forcing is not the same as surface forcing, especially in this case. It can have an opposite sign. Take the black carbon away and the surface gets warmer.

      • You confuse dimming with cooling.

      • But the bottom line remains – Frank’s cloud guess is much better than yours.

      • I didn’t make a guess, but Sato did not show a reduced albedo from more polluted clouds, and nobody has either in models or observations.

      • I figured you guessed it hadn’t changed from the mean IPCC forcing. But how anyone be sure?

    • Jim, how to generate a Least Square (LS) Trend is not too complicated. And a slope of 0.5 is NOT a LS Trend with the given data. You want kidding the audience??

      • PS: Both trends ( CMIP5 vs. Sato) are different with 95% confidence.

      • There should be error bars, and you can see that the early c1950 data is skewing the gradient. This is visible as the gradient is shallower than the general trend after 1960. Staring with a later year would have given a steeper gradient.

      • Jim, at first you suggest that .”A gradient of 0.5 still falls well within the scatter of the “Sato” plot. “. Thereafter it’s clear that this is not the case. Your response is now: “Starting with a later year would have given a steeper gradient.” For BOTH cases ( Sato and CMIP 5 mean) I’m afraid.
        You don’t have the clue about the content of the post, do you?

      • I noted that all the data past about 1.1 W/m2 is not the same gradient as the plotted line and its gradient is close to 0.5. Maybe you didn’t notice that skewed gradient. Fine by me. There’s nothing magical about starting when it did. A good trend would be robust to starting dates, and more starting dates would give higher gradients.

  12. “The forcing due to greenhouse gases is well known: an average of 3 W/m² in the last decade.”

    Really? According to MODTRAN it is 2 W/m2, and MODTRAN is limited to IR or longwave light in the atmosphere. According to CERES data TOA IR or longwave radiation from the TOA to space is increasing.

    We are left with a host of unsavory possibilities. Maybe CERES is wrong, and MODTRAN and the “well Known forcing” are generally correct, but differ by 1/3. Maybe MODTRAN and “well known” are wrong, and CERES is correct; in which case it really is not about IR light. This is Mr. Trenberth’s current assessment. He is looking for increased SW absorption, for which there is CERES evidence. His problem is that he wants a feedback from increased atmospheric water, for which there is no evidence.

    Worst case, all three are wrong, and we go back to Start without passing GO and collecting $200.

    • I would expect the planet to emit more infrared photons when its surface temperature increases. The El Niño just raised temperatures by around 0.4 degrees C, and this has to be reflected in the outgoing long wave radiation.

      • Of course. More photons are emitted to the fourth power of ANY increase in temperature, for whatever reason the increase in temperature takes place. The peak of maximum intensity also shifts.

        The problem is that LW radiation becomes a circular game when the reason the planet is warming is that greenhouse gasses are reducing LW radiation to space, while at the same time LW radiation to space increasing.

        The fourth power is certainly helpful in this regard, but there is also some sort of quadratic diminution of effect with increasing GHG concentrations; due to interference. For example, it is well established that the GHG effects of Water and CO2 would both be higher, if they didn’t coexist in the same atmosphere.

        This is difficult stuff, and nobody has all the answers. I agree with Mr. Trenberth that differential SW absorption is going to be in the game. The question becomes where…

      • I could see the opposite happening. During a cooling phase, surface atmosphere could cool as heat is transported to upper atmosphere by more intense weather and then radiates away.

  13. The estimates of CMIP5 aerosol forcing and difference inferred from Sato et al. shown here are very unlikely to be correct. About 1/3 of CMIP5 models don’t include ACI effects at all. And of those which do about 1/3 don’t include the cloud lifetime effect which is the subject of Sato et al. and much of Malavelle et al. 2017.

    The verification comparison with ACCMIP doesn’t really work because the models included in that project represent only a subset which are the most fully-featured for aerosol modelling, and therefore generally produce the most negative aerosol forcings. It’s not representative of the CMIP5 ensemble as a whole.

    As a very rough rule of thumb, models including a lifetime effect produce forcing at around -1.5W/m2. Those with only a first indirect effect about -1W/m2, and direct effect only about -0.3W/m2. Using the fractions above that results in a CMIP5 ensemble mean of about -1W/m2, which equals the figure from models with ACI but no lifetime effect.

    However, the first indirect and lifetime effects are not the only aspects of ACI which have been investigated in recent research. A positive correlation between aerosols and cloud fraction (CF) has long been observed. Gryspeerdt et al. 2016 attempted to address confounding factors and found an anthropogenic aerosol-CF forcing best estimate of -0.48W/m2. This is notable since CMIP5 models do not seem to reproduce this effect and the equivalent aerosol-CF forcing across the CMIP5 ensemble is basically zero.

    It’s also the case that observed estimates of direct aerosol forcing have tended to be more negative than modeled.

    Here’s a rundown by a prominent aerosol researcher of where they view the state of knowledge in light of recent studies. The upshot is a proposed uncertainty range of -0.4 to -2.0W/m2, though with a skewed distribution such that the median is probably around -1.0W/m2.

    • “the first indirect and lifetime effects are not the only aspects of ACI which have been investigated in recent research.” “CMIP5 models do not seem to reproduce this effect and the equivalent aerosol-CF forcing across the CMIP5 ensemble is basically zero.”

      I don’t think so. The effect of aerosols on cloud fraction that Gryspeerdt et al 2016 refer to is the cloud lifetime effect, also known as the Albrecht effect! The reference they give for the effect of aerosols on cloud fraction is Albrecht 1989.

      • Gryspeerdt et al. 2016 isn’t really about any hypothesised aci process. They briefly mention Albrecht 1989 and the lifetime effect in the introduction as a well-known hypothesised cause of cloud fraction change, but the study is an empirical one, addressing an observed positive correlation between aerosols and cloud fraction. That could be due to some kind of lifetime effect, I think other possibilities have been proposed, but whatever the cause the relationship is there.

        Some recent empirical papers have begun separating into intrinsic (which would relate to cloud opacity changes) and extrinsic (related to cloud cover changes) effects rather than using the process-oriented language of 1st and 2nd (lifetime) indirect effects, semi-direct effects etc.

  14. This post is irredeemable nonsense – that breeds more nonsense. As in the comment above.

  15. “The sensitivity of the earth’s climate vs. GHG depends on how much GHG warming has been offset by cooling from aerosols.”

    Beyond the problems of the high margin of error of shortwave albedo measurements, and the lack of a counter-factual on precisely and accurately what albedo has been and what it would be in the absence of humans, SO2 emissions globally appear to have peaked:

    And regionally, the air over the US hasn’t been this clean in more than a century:

    Europe indicates a similar trend.

    It might be pertinent to ask how much warming is simply from cleaner air, not the real, but perhaps overestimated RF from CO2.

  16. paulskio: From your link: ” My range for RFari+aci is then −1.5 to −0.4 W m−2″ Please compare Fig. 3 of the post which shows ERFari + ERF aci . CMIP5 should have -1.3 W/m² which is near the lower edge. The upper of -0.4W/m² is not touched with this approach.

    • frankclimate,

      Sorry, not really sure what your point is in context of my comment. Is there a reason you’re comparing the RFari+aci from that link with your ERF values? The link gives an ERFari+aci range of -0.4 to -2.0 W/m2.

      As I said, -1.3W/m2 for CMIP5 mean aerosol forcing is too negative. It would be representative of CMIP5 models which included the lifetime effect but about half of the ensemble didn’t, and a large proportion are much less negative because they do not include any indirect effects.

      • “It would be representative of CMIP5 models which included the lifetime effect but about half of the ensemble didn’t, and a large proportion are much less negative because they do not include any indirect effects.”
        Are you sure? https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00396.1 Tab.2

      • Perhaps there is a misunderstanding of the approach in the mainpost. At first was shown how the TCR of 1.8 of the mean of CMIP5 could be deduced with the ERF aero because this is by far the greatest source of uncertainty, the ERF ghg ect. is well known. As you admitted the ERFaero of -1.3 W/m² for 2015 is too low.
        The impact of Sato et al. was not directly deduced from CMIP5 but from IPCC AR5 : https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf , Tab. 8.6, where is shown the best estimate of ERFaci =-0.45 W/m². The statement of Sato et al. “” This suggests that estimates of the net negative radiative forcing due to the total ACI can also be significantly reduced and its uncertainty range could even include positive values.” was translated into a very modest reduction of ERFaci of 0.19 W/m² in 2015. The result is given in relation to AR5, not in relation to CMIP5.

  17. Net ‘forcing’ is some 2.33 W/m2 with large uncertainties. It is based on empirical formula that nominally calculate increases in forcing from 1750 without any planetary response. Although with aerosols we will never know what was present in 1750. It is not equivalent at all to changes in top of atmosphere (TOA) power flux.

    If you look you can see a mirror image in CERES shortwave (SW) and infrared (IR) power flux – more positive is increased loss to space – that is characteristic of cloud cover changes. Low level marine stratiform cloud result in less IR power flux at TOA and more reflected sunlight – with SW dominating.

    “Satellite imagery of cloud fields over the eastern edges of the oceanic basins exhibits both closed and open cellular cloud patterns that have captured the imagination of the atmospheric scientist and the layperson alike. Interest in these cellular cloud modes has been spurred by both the desire to understand these states and to evaluate their consequences for shallow cloud reflectance and climate forcing. The closed cellular state is a mostly cloudy state characterized by broad, weak updrafts in the opaque cloudy cell center and stronger, narrower downdrafts around the cell edges. The open-cell state is the “polar opposite” or “negative” in which narrow, strong, cloudy updrafts surround broad, weak downdrafts in the optically thin cell center.” https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/15/7351/2015/acp-15-7351-2015.pdf

    “Closed cell cloud systems have high cloud fraction and are usually shallower, while open cells have low cloud fraction and form thicker clouds mostly over the convective cell walls and therefore have a smaller domain average albedo.4–6 Closed cells tend to be associated with the eastern part of the subtropical oceans, forming over cold water (upwelling areas) and within a low, stable atmospheric marine boundary layer (MBL), while open cells tend to form over warmer water with a deeper MBL. nevertheless, both states can coexist for a wide range of environmental conditions.5,7 Aerosols, liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere, serve as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and therefore affect the concentration of activated cloud droplets.8 Changes in droplet concentration affect key cloud properties such as the time it takes for the onset of significant collision and coalescence between droplets, a process critical for rain formation.” https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.4973593

    “A series of cloud-resolving simulations shows that the transition between closed and open cellular states is asymmetrical and characterized by a rapid (“runaway”) transition from the closed- to the opencell state but slower recovery to the closed-cell state. Given that precipitation initiates the closed–open cell transition and that the recovery requires a suppression of the precipitation, we apply an ad hoc time-varying drop concentration to initiate and suppress precipitation.” op. cit.

    The physics is Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a fluid (the atmosphere) heated from below. In principal – transition to open cell – low albedo – cloud is dependent on the amount of precipitation and therefore on the concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). If there were a deficit of CCN that is augmented by anthropogenic emissions of aerosols – then this would be a positive feedback rather than a negative one.

    It depends on the relative quantities of anthropogenic or natural aerosol emissions – 25-50% in some estimates. Primarily natural over the Southern Ocean. Changing according to dust fertilisation and nutrient upwelling.


    http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/1/6/e1500157.full.pdf

    Soot, sulfate and nitrates from fossils fuels and biomass. Note the warming in mixed phase aerosols found in brown haze over a lot of the planet – commonly neglected including in IPCC ‘forcing’. This feedback is positive as well.

    • Bond et al 2013 suggest that the net global impact of anthropogenic aerosols on climate is -0.06W/m2 with broad uncertainties. But the effect of aerosols is modulated by regional patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation. The Pacific is the globally dominant source of cloud variability (Clement et al 2009). On a 20°S transect aerosols from different sources have a role in the creation and maintenance of bistable open and closed cell clouds. At the coast anthropogenic aerosols result in brighter but optically thinner cloud – offshore dimethyl sulfate helps form thicker cloud. Sulfates drive a precipitation dynamic in ‘pockets of open cell’ (POC’s) cloud.

      “Precipitation in POCs has a fundamentally distinct character from that in the surrounding cloud, with cold pools driving a reorganization of the mesoscale structure and dynamics. The interaction between these cold pools helps regenerate clouds.
      • Strong depletion of aerosols driven by precipitation losses appears to be a fundamental component of a POC. Slow aerosol replenishment in the ultraclean POC environment permits the maintenance of open cells.
      • Along 20°S, the submicron aerosol is dominated by sulfates. The increased sulfate loading near the coast is driven by anthropogenic pollutants primarily
      from the Santiago megacity and secondarily from smelters rather than by enhanced DMS near the coast. DMS is the primary source in the sulfate
      mass budget over the remote ocean west of 80°W.
      • The first aerosol indirect effect has been observationally quantified over the SEP, with cloud thinning of the more polluted coastal clouds mitigating
      the overall radiative impact. The effects were also quantified using a regional model.” http://www.dgf.uchile.cl/rene/PUBS/BAMS-VOCALS.pdf

      Open and closed cell cloud formation dynamics are driven by sea surface temperature – with cooler surfaces favoring closed cells and higher planetary albedo. Sulfates play into precipitation amounts and conversion of closed cells to open cells in the bistable process.

  18. So, we have the capability to actually construct GCMs that arguably will be scientifically verifiable… so long as we drastically dial-down the warming effect of increased CO2? Sorry, but that method cannot fit in with an au courant ideologically-motivated reasoning process of Western academia that will still be consistent with Leftist economic objectives.

  19. No wonder the tribesmen and witchdoctors at CargoCult Etc. are so depressed:

    La Niña ends, El Niño-Southern Oscillation returns to neutral
    The 2017–18 La Niña has ended.

    El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators have eased back to neutral levels over the past several weeks. This means the ENSO Outlook has shifted from LA NIÑA to INACTIVE.

    • Doncha wanna lecture me on how long the La Niña is going to last?

    • Again the asinine and off topic cant.

      https://judithcurry.com/2018/03/11/recent-research-on-aerosol-forcing-of-the-cmip5-models/#comment-868626

      I have been in touch with the Australian BOM for decades as a professional hydrologist – they all think he’s a doofus.

      • “Lol, the water chef did not get the best of me. By in large the people he quotes think he’s a complete doofus.”

        He doesn’t of course recognise sarcasm. He is by and large an abusive little troll with an obsessional delusion with impossible short term Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation prognostication. I quote and reference hundreds of scientists – he is barely able to read past the headline. I might say that they all think he’s a doofus – but that’s just utterly mad. It is just so surreally absurd, ridiculous, foolish, stupid, ludicrous, farcical, laughable, comical, risible, hare-brained, asinine, inane, nonsensical and pointless as to defy credibility.

        He doesn’t know what he is talking about and indulges in schoolyard level insults. Surely he is just an off topic distraction who has outlived whatever welcome he ever had.

      • The comment I replied to disappeared faster than I could respond. Funny that.

    • Ha! Jus’ Wonderful:

      INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL on CARGO CULTS

      (JCH, always knew you wuz good for somethin’, jus’ never quite shur what)…

      • “It was for a good reason that in the above we used the rather vague expression “La Niña-like conditions”. Only looking at the Niño 3.4 index hides the fact that this event is more typical of La Niña Modoki, where cool SST anomalies in the central equatorial Pacific are flanked by warm anomalies to the east and west. Looking at the El Niño Modoki Index (EMI; Fig. 2) confirms that the tropical Pacific condition from September 2016 to February 2017 does indeed qualify as a La Niña Modoki event.” http://www.jamstec.go.jp/aplinfo/climate/?p=1329

        “Warm (red) and cold (blue) periods based on a threshold of +/- 0.5°C for the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) [3 month running mean of ERSST.v5 SST anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region (5oN-5oS, 120o-170oW)], based on centered 30-year base periods updated every 5 years.

        For historical purposes, periods of below and above normal SSTs are colored in blue and red when the thresh old is met for a minimum of 5 consecutive overlapping seasons. The ONI is one measure of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, and other indices can confirm whether features consistent with a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon accompanied these periods.” http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ONI_v5.php

        The ONI embodies the traditional definition of ENSO events -but there are problems. It is simply too limited to capture ENSO changes. The Claus Wolter multivariate index is more broadly based. “Here we attempt to monitor ENSO by basing the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on the six main observed variables over the tropical Pacific. These six variables are: sea-level pressure (P), zonal (U) and meridional (V) components of the surface wind, sea surface temperature (S), surface air temperature (A), and total cloudiness fraction of the sky (C).” The second problem is the time it takes to verify that an event is happening. The +/- 0.8 °C criteria is a new – and ad hoc – criteria intended I presume to be a conservative indicator to meet the demand for instant gratification. I’d noted it but it is not a fundamental problem on a site intended for geetar strummin’ cowboys like JCH. A third problem is that it miss diagnoses Modoki events.

        Cooling of the Pacific has intensified to now as I suggested it would some months ago now. Things tend to change this time of year – and where ENSO goes in the Austral winter is the thing to watch. It is a bit of mystery still.

      • Y’all are tracking the wrong cycle, you should be comparing the climate change communications/political cycle to the El Nino, La Nina cycle.
        From 2001 to 2008 climate communication in the United States was in a Super El Payaso state. From 2009 through most of 2016 was a strong La Latente.
        There were indications that starting in November 2016 we’d be re-entering El Payaso, but this appears to be moderated by a hefty renewables low pressure in Europe interacting with a natural gas high in the US northeast. Expect ECS recalculations to result in a less than average season this summer with a rare named storm from either Romm, Hansen or Mann.

    • BOM A new definition of La Nina?

      “Persistent NINO3 or NINO3.4 values cooler than −0.8 °C are typically indicative of La Niña, while persistent values warmer than +0.8 °C are typical of El Niño.”
      “The end of the La Niña is clear in oceanic and atmospheric indices. Sea surface temperatures have warmed steadily since December, and are now in the neutral range.”

      Drivel from BOM.
      How can they get away with it?
      The previous so called weal La Nina 2016/2017 never got below -0.8c yet BOM called it a La Nina.
      The current La Nina has not changed in the last few months and is much stronger than the previous one though still weakish.
      A proper definition is lower than – 0.5 C for 5 months.
      It satisfies that. Pretending it does not exist will just cause egg on the face of BOM and JCH.

    • November 2016 La Niña update: Hello, lady!the sea surface temperature in the Niño3.4 region more than half a degree cooler than average? Yes! (It was about -0.7°C below average during October.) Do forecasters think it will stay cooler than that threshold for several overlapping three-month periods? Yes! (But just barely.) Finally, are there signs that the atmospheric circulation above the tropical Pacific is stronger than average? Yes! This all means that La Niña has officially arrived.

      • Does BOM maintain an official listing?

        Australia’s climate in 2016


        The central tropical Pacific approached La Niña thresholds during spring, but a La Niña did not develop.</blockquote.

      • There is no such thing as the proper way. BOM has theirs; they live in close proximity to where it happens. NOAA has theirs; they don’t.
        If you are thinking I think there has not been a 2018 La Niña, then you’re dead wrong. I think is likely that the NOAA threshold will be met.

      • “If you are thinking I think there has not been a 2018 La Niña, then you’re dead wrong. I think is likely that the NOAA threshold will be met.”

        Then you should only use NOAA to say it has stopped.
        Fair’s fair.

      • I use both sources, and there is no reason to not do that. NOAA has also indicated this La Nina is ending, as has IRI.

        Record setting, for a reason, the Divine Wind. Pray for the Divine Wind to come back.

        Record-breaking La Niña events

      • ENSO changes at this time of year – which is what makes predictability so difficult.

        https://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/styles/inline_all/public/SummerForecast_610_alt2.png?itok=Zjh_SbG7

        “Looking at the nearest 12 rankings (+6/-6) in this season, and excluding the two cases that showed a three-month rise of 0.4 or more, we end up with the following ten ‘analogues’: 1950, 51, 62, 63, 67, 68, 97, 99, 01, and 09 (three of these were flagged as an analogue last month: 63, 68, and 09). Subsequently, five of these analogues transitioned to El Niño conditions at some point during the same calendar year (within two months in 1997 compared to nine months in 1968, while 1951, 63, and 09 fall in between). In contrast, four years (1950, 62, 67, and 99) remained more or less in their La Niña state through the remainder of the year, and only 2001 eased into an ENSO-neutral state. Not much to glean from historical analogues, except that ENSO-neutral is least likely later this year.” Claus Wolter

        The future evolution of ENSO will be determined by the strength of the South Pacific gyre – that in turn is driven by surface pressure at the South Pole and resultant changes in circumpolar westerly winds. Here’s a nice little NOAA tutorial on ocean currents.

        http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/edu/learning/player/lesson08.html

        Polar surface pressure is in part determined by changes in solar activity.
        As scientists are predicting a solar downturn – I am predicting a centennial scale increase in the intensity and frequency of La Niña events.

        More salt in the 1000 year, high resolution ENSO proxy from a Law Dome Antarctica ice core is La Nina. The 20th century saw a 1000 year peak in El Nino frequency and intensity. I am inclined to think that most 20th century warming was quite natural. Anthropogenic warming in the post – war period was some 0.4 degrees K – 1944 and 1998 being the peaks of 2 successive 20 to 30 year Pacific Ocean regimes – as seen in surface temperature records. With a dimming sun and associated resurgent upwelling in the eastern Pacific suggesting a cooling influence this century. Starting perhaps with the next Pacific climate shift due in a 2018 to 2028 window. If you have not heard of this – I guess it will come as a surprise.

        The next ENSO event both matters little in the rich and complex changes in this system – and is quite unpredictable. In the broader sweep of climate history – ENSO will shift dramatically.

        Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 12,000 years. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years that was identified by Tsonis 2009 as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high ENSO (in excess of a red intensity of 200) activity associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). For comparison red intensity in 1997/98 was 99. It shows ENSO variability considerably in excess of that seen in the modern period.

        The mid Holocene ENSO transition is coincident in the isotope record with a transition to higher solar activity. The intriguing possibility is that another solar threshold might trigger a return to abundant water in, and great herds again wandering on the Sahel.

      • “November 2016 La Niña update: Hello, lady!the sea surface temperature in the Niño3.4 region more than half a degree cooler than average?”
        from
        “A weak La Nina is in place [Nov 2016] and is likely to remain for the winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The weak La Nina is likely to contribute to persisting or developing drought across much of the southern U.S. this winter.
        What to expect this winter: NOAA’s Winter Outlook.

        JCH
        “There is no such thing as the proper way. BOM has theirs; they live in close proximity to where it happens. NOAA has theirs; they don’t.”

        The good old Maxwell Smart argument of proximity, I guess.
        Not very scientific.
        Missed it by that much… would you believe.

      • But what happened was severe flooding in both California and Australia. A cartoon might help. What happened in 2016/17 weren’t a La Nina.

        “Since 2007 a new type of La Niña was discovered from analysis of a Japanese team that have named it La Niña Modoki in Japanese. It is distinguished from the classic La Niña by its specific impact on the global atmospheric circulation.

        Traditionally, the classic La Niña is associated with the cooling in the eastern tropical Pacific (Niño 1+2 et 3). However, during La Niña Modoki the anomaly of the sea surface temperature (SST) in the eastern Pacific isn’t affected by cooling but by warming just like western equatorial Pacific, while a cold anomaly affects the central equatorial Pacific (Niño 3.4). These zonal gradients of SST result in an anomaly in circulation of two Walker cells on the tropical Pacific, with a humid region in the Eastern and the Western Pacific. The thermocline doesn’t switch the same way as during the classical La Niña because this one raises at the Eastern Equatorial Pacific to sink at the West while during its cousin the thermocline raises at the center of equatorial Pacific Ocean and sinks at each end of the Pacific.” http://la.climatologie.free.fr/enso/enso-pdo2-english.htm

        An El Nino will happen – and the intensity and duration is dependent on the thermal and geopotential energy stored in the western Pacific. And that is dependent on the strength of the preceding La Nina in recharging the western warm pool.

        The Pacific – like anything else is likely to revert to the mean – and the only one on their knees is JCH praying that it just ain’t so. The centennial mean is cooler. Well – he may not be the only one. In fact – it is a pervasive myth from the climate rabble that the 20 to 30 year Pacific states are white noise and add to zero. I know that ain’t so. Even worse – that it is purely periodic and that the next shift will be again to warmer conditions. I might not know where it will go – I have a hypothesis – but I do know that ain’t necessarily so. So he should keep praying – he might get lucky. Perhaps if only on the stopped clock principle.

      • You can cut and paste until the cows come home. The PDO completed a shift in late 2013. New regime is in place.

      • I may quote reputable sources as much as I like? On something that was quite evident at the time – as I said – but that JCH completely misses still?

        There has been speculation that the Pacific may have shifted. But no – the IPO multi-decadal shift is something for which there is not yet sufficient evidence. It may be happening – it may not. It may be to cooler or warmer states. It is due within a decade at most. But then there is JCH with his impossible certainties.

      • maksimovich1

        The PDO completed a shift in late 2013. New regime is in place.

        It is not a regime change it is an island.

        And island’s of stability for short times. are not unusual they cohabit .within hyperbolic systems.eg (R. Artuso and P. Cvitanovi´c)

        From a general perspective the analysis of circle maps thermodynamics has revealed the fact that physically interesting dynamical systems often exhibit mixtures of hyperbolic and marginal stabilities. In such systems there are orbits that.stay ‘glued’ arbitrarily close to stable regions for arbitrarily long times. This is a generic phenomenon for Hamiltonian systems, where elliptic islands of stability coexist with hyperbolic homoclinic webs

        for a good application of circle maps theory to a climate problem read Ghil 2008.

      • Yes, it’s very important for koolers to never admit that regime changes that enhance greenhouse warming actually exist. The only regime changes that are possible are cooling regimes. They’re right around the corner. Just wait.

        50 straight months, so it’s an island.

      • This is still utterly off topic – and is seemingly the only topic he is interested is. It is simply and obviously not true – 20th century warming was some 0.1K/decade. A warming regime now won’t change that – and pulling one out of his arse is hardly scientifically conclusive.

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

        How many times have I quoted this?

      • lMAO. Why don’t you write the PDO a letter and tell it to obey your silly phase-length rules. Smother it with cut and paste. That is exactly what you were doing before the current shift: repeatedly claiming the warming hiatus was going to continue for another decade or two.

        You were dead wrong and your fragile little ego can’t deal with it so thing bully anybody who dares to question the great oz.

        The length of a PDO phase is the number of years between shifts; there no rules:

        1924/25 to positive
        ~23 years
        1947/48 to negatiive
        ~29 years
        1976/77 to postive
        ~22 years
        1998/99 to negative
        ~15 years
        2013/14 to positive

        The current phase, which is solidly positive, will last until the next shift, and there is currently no sign that is imminent:

        Since we now have a phase that lasted less than 20 years, constantly repeating that they last 20 to 30 years is rather silly. Pray for the Divine Wind.

      • I have thought about the periodicity of shifts in Pacific state for a long time. They were identified in the 80’s in Australian stream morphology and flows. They are a critically important factor in water resource planning across the world – and the influence on temperature is relatively uninteresting. There seem to be two mechanisms in the latter – energy transferred between oceans and atmosphere dominated by closed or open cell cloud frequency over cool or warm surfaces respectively. The ‘consensus’ estimate of 20 to 30 years – as in the NASA quote above – is based on duration in the twentieth century. Shifts in the mid 1940’s, the late 1970’s and around the turn of the 21st century. I have seen claims of 10 to 40 years, 20 to 40 years… The study quoted below suggests a warm duration of 15 odd years and a cool duration of 9 years. There is imprecision in the instrumental record let alone proxies.

        “The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) are somewhat interchangeably used to describe low-frequency Pacific Ocean sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA).
        However, the IPO differs from the PDO in that it describes the Pacific basin-wide bihemispheric expression of the North Pacific derived PDO [Power et al., 1999; Parker et al., 2007]. Negative phases of both modes reflect La Nina-like SSTA, while positive phases appear El Niño like, and phase changes occur every 20–30 years [Mantua et al., 1997; Power et al., 1999]. Both the IPO and PDO influence multidecadal drought risk across
        the Pacific [Kiem and Franks, 2004; McCabe et al., 2004]. In this study we refer to the IPO, which has a greater relevance to Australasia, yet the reconstructions detailed here could be used across the Pacific. Only three
        complete IPO phases have occurred during the twentieth century—two positive (IPO > 0.5, 1924–1941, 1979–1997) and one negative (IPO< −0.5, 1947–1975). Such a dearth of phase switching across the reliable instrumental era means that there are large uncertainties about the long-term frequency, amplitude, or dominance of either phase. The influence of the IPO extends from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, southern Asia, and Madagascar [D’Arrigo et al., 2005; Crueger et al., 2009; D’Arrigo and Ummenhofer, 2014]. The IPO is also thought to influence global temperature, as the current hiatus in global warming has been related to the late 1990’s phase change [Meehl et al., 2013; England et al., 2014]. Australia is similar to North America [Cook et al., 2007] in that the tropical Pacific is of central importance to drought formation [Kiem and Franks, 2004]. This Pacific role in drought formation is mediated by the IPO. In negative IPO phases, an El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-precipitation teleconnection dominates Australian rainfall variability, but this connection fades and drought risk is increased during positive IPO phases [Power et al., 1999; Kiem and Franks, 2004; Cai et al., 2010]. This has major implications for drought risk planning because the increased drought risk cannot be well constrained with data from only two positive IPO phases [Kiem and Franks, 2004]. The few long droughts that have occurred in Australia over the past ∼100 years seem exceptional, but this may not be true over longer timescales. In North America, drought reconstructions suggest regional medieval megadroughts were in fact spatially coherent, widespread, and have no modern analog [Cook et al., 2007]. It is currently unknown whether megadroughts have occurred in Australia’s past." https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/2014GL062447

        I'll stick to 20 to 30 years for the time being – like most scientists who have studied this. It is not statistically well constrained as Tessa Vance and colleagues say. The Pacific state shifted around the turn of the century. Although that's uncertain as well. This is an index – it depends on where the zero is put. Has a more recent shift happened for sure?

        And by the nature of things there are rules. A shift does seem likely in the next decade – based on the recent past. The Pacific state is driven by polar blocking patterns in the north and the south spinning up or not the Californian and Peruvian currents. Blocking patterns are more intense with low solar activity. It has been speculated that the 20 to 30 year periodicity is caused by the Hale cycle of solar magnetic reversal. It is a hypothesis. Will the evolution of rich, complex and extreme change in the Pacific depend on what Sol does in future?

        "It was one more defeat in our long and losing battle to keep the Sun perfect, or, if not perfect, constant, and if inconstant, regular. Why we think the Sun should be any of these when other stars are not is more a question for social than for physical science." Jack Eddy

      • The analysis presented here provides support to the hypothesis that anthropogenic forcing may lead to an amplification of PDV through a strengthening of the PMM via the WES. However, the lack of a detectable trend in the WES parameter in the observational record does not allow for a clear attribution of the recent trends in PDV to anthropogenic forcing. According to the LENS, the trend in the WES begins to emerge in the period 2000–2020. Moreover, the computation of the WES parameter involves higher-order statistics of quantities such as latent heat and wind speed that are not well constrained in observation. While this is especially true for estimates before the satellite era, even remote sensing-based estimates present a substantial uncertainty, which in the case of the latent heat flux may be on the order of 20% or larger (Jiang et al., 2004, and reference therein). The ensemble mean statistics from the LENS are very clear in projecting an increase in WES as a response to a warmer mean state. We anticipate that an amplification of this feedback in the next one or two decades will be accompanied by an intensification in both PMM and ENSO activity. In this respect, it is plausible that the record-breaking PMM index recorded in spring 2015 (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/ data/timeseries/monthly/PMM/)), followed by one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded (winter 2016/2017) (e.g., Hu & Fedorov, 2017), represents a manifestation of this ongoing intensification.

      • maksimovich: It is not a regime change it is an island.

        JCH: Yes, it’s very important for koolers to never admit that regime changes that enhance greenhouse warming actually exist.

        The phrase “regime change” does not have a clear operational definition. For maksimovich an excursion from one region of the trajectory to another (possibly from one region of the attractor to another) is not a “regime” change; for JCH, a change in mean temperature from below average to above average is a “regime” change.

      • No.

        There is absolutely no way that scientists will allow 50 straight months of positive monthly numbers to be called a continuation of the ~1998 regime shift.

        There is also the fish. JIASO is in salmon country, but I suppose with skeptics anchovies count and salmon have to be ignored because it’s extremely important not to acknowledge there was a regime shift in 2014:

      • Just as I said – meridional – north south – flows in the Peruvian and Californian Currents drive greater or lessor upwelling in the eastern Pacific.
        And the origin of variability of the IPO is in the variability of north and south polar annular modes.

        Multi-decadal variability in the Pacific is defined as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (e.g. Folland et al,2002, Meinke et al, 2005, Parker et al, 2007, Power et al, 1999). The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006) Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947).

        Can the meridional modes be influenced by AGW? Perhaps so – http://www.climatesignals.org/climate-signals/increased-atmospheric-blocking – but this would seem to imply increased north/south blocking enhancing sub-polar gyre circulation and more cold upwelling in both the north and south east Pacific. There may be as well a modest increase of thermal energy in the western Pacific warm pool. Hence enhanced variability of the Pacific system. But to see where this might go there must be realistic attributions of anthropogenic warming in the 20th century – and feasible projections of emissions. Along with an understanding of natural variability of the Pacific system.

        Blocking patterns are linked to solar activity with low activity enhancing north south patterns. El Nino intensity and frequency peaked in the 20th century – along with solar activity – and such conditions are not unknown in the deeper past. ENSO seems much more variable over the Holocene than anything seen in the modern period.

        Regimes – btw – are identified as persistent patterns with a mean and a variance – and a shift to a different pattern with a new mean and variance. Is there a regime change in the Pacific or are 2015/16 sea surface temps –
        and resultant biological responses – just an excursion in a highly variable, complex and poorly understood system?

      • Robert I Ellison: Regimes – btw – are identified as persistent patterns with a mean and a variance

        Well, sure. And “persistent” and “patterns”, like “beauty”, are in the minds of the beholders.

      • The words have meanings in ordinary English and simple statistics that Mathew seems to not understand. What is being discussed has a real world physical context. It is not an abstraction of attractors or whatever. .

        http://appinsys.com/globalwarming/ClimateRegimeShift.htm

      • Robert I Ellison: The words have meanings in ordinary English and simple statistics that Mathew seems to not understand. What is being discussed has a real world physical context. It is not an abstraction of attractors or whatever. .

        http://appinsys.com/globalwarming/ClimateRegimeShift.htm

        That is a good link, but it is neither “ordinary English” nor “simple statistics.”

        Regimes – btw – are identified as persistent patterns with a mean and a variance – and a shift to a different pattern with a new mean and variance. Is there a regime change in the Pacific or are 2015/16 sea surface temps – and resultant biological responses – just an excursion in a highly variable, complex and poorly understood system?

        Good question, isn’t it?

        How long does a “pattern” have to “persist” in order to constitute a “regime”? 3 hours, like around noon vs around midnight? 3 months, like winter vs summer? Do the mean and the variance have to be constant within a regime, or can they continue to change, like the changes in the SOI within the above average “regimes” and the below average “regimes”?

        If El Nino is a “regime” and La Nina is a “regime”, how about the time in transition from one to another: is that a “regime” as well? Or two “regimes”, one for each direction of transition?

        Can you operationally distinguish between a “regime” and an “excursion”? Does the graph displayed by maksimovich1 above display differently colored distinct “regimes” or differently colored distinct “excursions”?

        I enjoy most of your posts, Bob, but sometimes you tie yourself in knots trying to maintain that words are better defined than they are.

      • A regime persists for a while with a mean and variance and then shifts. It is why they are known as chaotic oscillators – with a period of 20 to 30 years in the Pacific system.

        Your problem is that it is just verbosity.

      • Robert I Ellison: A regime persists for a while with a mean and variance and then shifts.

        The mean temperature in the PDO is always changing. What value you compute for a “while” depends on which “while” you choose. You can pick a while in which the mean has a positive value compared to the 100 year mean; or in which the mean is equal to the 100 year mean but the slope is positive; or in which the mean is below the 100 year mean. You can pick a “while” with multiple peaks and troughs in which the mean is above the 100 year mean, equal to the 100 year mean, or below the 100 year mean.

        “a while” is no better defined than “persistent”.

        The following question that you posed is a good question: Is there a regime change in the Pacific or are 2015/16 sea surface temps –
        and resultant biological responses – just an excursion in a highly variable, complex and poorly understood system?

        For each alternative, you can devise a statistical definition that is satisfied by that alternative. Statistically, if the PDO is at least approximately an autoregressive process with power in the 15 – 45 year period band, then it is just an excursion. For a different set of definitions, you can conclude that it is a “regime” change.

      • Work it out instead of rabbiting on with random nonsense.

        “The notion that climate variations often occur in the form of ‘‘regimes’’ began to become appreciated in the 1990s. This paradigm was inspired in large part by the rapid change of the North Pacific climate around 1977 [e.g., Kerr, 1992] and the identification of other abrupt shifts in association with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) [Mantua et al., 1997].”
        https://www.beringclimate.noaa.gov/regimes/Regime_shift_algorithm.pdf

        Here’s a calculator.

        https://www.beringclimate.noaa.gov/regimes/index.html

        All this is in the Appinsys post if you’d care to be a little diligent rather than more than a little emptily verbose.

      • Robert I Ellison: All this is in the Appinsys post if you’d care to be a little diligent rather than more than a little emptily verbose.

        That algorithm gives three shifts, using p = 0.1. Is that the best algorithm? Is three the correct number? Do you generally trust results based on p = 0.1? With AR1 = 0.19 it is not a “long memory” model; is that the correct autocorrelation structure? Where is the 20-30 year period that you wrote of?

        You think I don’t know anything. And yet you have never been able to show that anything I have written that you have quoted correctly is false.

      • Predominantly blue to the great Pacific climate shift of 1977, red to 1998, and a bit of a mixed bag since. You are quibbling about the algorithm and not the reality.

      • Robert I Ellison: You are quibbling about the algorithm and not the reality.

        The “reality” is not known other than by inference from the algorithm (or algorithms.) So it isn’t a “quibble”. I am arguing that the words are not well-defined, and that different details in the algorithms (and derivations) produce different instances of the claimed concepts.

      • These regimes leave marks on the landscape.

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233871224_Geomorphic_Effects_of_Alternating_Flood-_and_Drought-Dominated_Regimes_on_NSW_Coastal_Rivers

        The indices of chaotic oscillators have been investigated with network math.

        https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2007GL030288

        In natural sciences intuition and pattern recognition in the world are the primary tools. The math shows synchronous chaos – but unless you can see the pattern the math makes no sense. It is like trying to explain color to a blind man.

      • Robert I Ellison: Regimes – btw – are identified as persistent patterns with a mean and a variance – and a shift to a different pattern with a new mean and variance. Is there a regime change in the Pacific or are 2015/16 sea surface temps –
        and resultant biological responses – just an excursion in a highly variable, complex and poorly understood system?

        I think the question is the best thing that you wrote on the topic. Identifying “regime change” from statistics of measurements on the state is not sufficient to distinguish an excursion from a change in the quantitative properties of the system that generates the excursions. And as I wrote, seemingly minor changes in the details of the statistical algorithm (long memory model of natural variation vs short memory model; p = 0.01 instead of p = 0.10 [with its well-known high type 1 error rate in settings of multiple testing]) produce dramatically different inferences based on the time series of summary statistics.

        The effects of the processes can be measured, and the measurements can be graphed, and people can see patterns in the graphs. The patterns, like the beauties, are in the minds of the beholders. You have brought us around full circle.

    • JCH: No wonder the tribesmen and witchdoctors at CargoCult Etc. are so depressed:

      The 30-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) to 11 March was +3.2 (90-day value +0.9), which is within the neutral range. While the SOI fluctuates more during the southern hemisphere summer due to movement of tropical systems, it has spent most of 2018 to date within the neutral range.

      Sustained positive values of the SOI above +7 typically indicate La Niña while sustained negative values below −7 typically indicate El Niño. Values between +7 and −7 generally indicate neutral conditions.

      30-day SOI values for the past two years Select to see full-size map of 30-day Southern Oscillation Index values for the past two years, updated daily.

      The graph did not come through, only its title.

      It seems that your only point is that the index is a little short of the “criterion line” for calling the state “LA NIÑA”.

  20. Sato et al 2018 suggest that the lower measured than calculated relationship between sulfate and cloud cover was the the result of poorly modeled cloud level evaporation and condensation. Climate more generally is a naive science with broad uncertainties and many unknowns. One of these is the nonlinear conversion rate of cloud to rain. Rain washes out aerosols – in one process involving the conversion of closed cell to open cell cloud through faster rain formation in response to additional aerosol loading – with slow subsequent recovery of aerosols. A warming rather than a cooling process.

    “We show that the control of the droplet concentration (N), the environmental carrying-capacity (H0), and the cloud recovery parameter (τ) can be linked by a single nondimensional parameter (μ= √N/(ατH0)), suggesting that for deeper clouds the transition from open (oscillating) to closed (stable fixed point) cells will occur for higher droplet concentration (i.e., higher aerosol loading)…

    Aerosols, liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere, serve as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and therefore affect the concentration of activated cloud droplets.8 Changes in droplet concentration affect key cloud properties such as the time it takes for the onset of significant collision and coalescence between droplets, a process critical for rain formation.” https://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/1.4973593

    Aerosols are in general less well known that treatment as separate entities would. Mixing in of sulfate and black and brown carbon in Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) can double the warming potential of black carbon alone.


    https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo918

    It is largely now a developing world problem – and reduction of these emissions are both technologically simple and have dozens of benefits each more important than mooted AGW by energy CO2 emissions.


    Emission rates of BC in the year 2000 by region, indicating major source categories in each region (Source: Bond et al 2013)

    ‘On-road diesel engines include diesel cars and trucks, while off-road engines include engines used in agriculture, construction, and other heavy equipment. The diesel-engine category in this assessment specifically excludes shipping emissions, which are summarized separately. Diesel engines contributed about 20% of global BC emissions in 2000. These sources have the lowest co-emissions of aerosols or aerosol precursors of all the major BC sources. In order to enable use of the most advanced exhaust controls, sulfur must be removed from the diesel fuel during refining. Therefore, in regions with fewer controls, primary particulate matter emission factors are higher, but SO2 emissions are also higher….

    Diesel engine sources of BC appear to offer the best mitigation potential to reduce near-term climate forcing. In developed countries, retrofitting older diesel vehicles and engines is a key mitigation strategy; in developing countries, transitioning a growing vehicle fleet to a cleaner fleet will be important.’ Bond et al 2013


    Improvements in diesel engine emissions – http://www.occup-med.com/content/9/1/6

    ‘Industrial coal combustion is estimated to provide about 9% of global emissions, mainly in small boilers, process heat for brick and lime kilns, and coke production for the steel industry. Although coal combustors can be designed to produce little BC, coal can also be highly polluting when burned in simple combustors, which are still present in small industries, particularly in developing countries. Co-emitted SO2 is estimated from coal sulfur content and exhaust control. The SO2/BC ratio for industrial coal is much higher than that for the other emission categories, where the fuel has little sulfur or more efficient flue-gas controls are in place. Emissions from coal-fired power plants, which emit much less BC because of their better combustion efficiency, are not included here.’ Bond et al 2013

    ‘Wood, agricultural waste, dung, and coal are used for cooking or heating in homes, providing another 25% of BC emissions. Most of the emissions occur in single-family devices, which are often of simple design. When infrastructure and income do not allow access to low-emission residential energy sources such as electricity and natural gas, solid fuels are used extensively for cooking. Otherwise, they are used more often for heating. Coal and, less frequently, wood are also used for heating in multi-family building boilers. The designation “cooking” in Figure 2 refers to regions where wood is primarily used for cooking, even if some heating occurs. Similarly, “heating” includes all uses in regions where heating is dominant. This sector also includes emissions from both production and consumption of charcoal. The poor combustion and mixing in these simple devices result in relatively high POA:BC ratios, but SO2 emissions are low except for coal.’ Bond et al 2013 Simple technology can improve lives and conserve forest and woodland.

    But energy production in the near future will be be heavily reliant on High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) coal technology. These eliminate almost all black carbon and sulfate emissions.

    ‘Open burning of biomass in the location where it is grown is a very large contributor to global BC emissions, with bottom-up estimates predicting that it contributes about 40% of the total… Current global emissions estimated from open burning range between 2000 and 11,000 Gg/yr for BC and between 18,000 and 77,000 Gg/yr for OC in average years… Most studies fall into the range of 2000 to 6000 Gg/yr for BC and 20,000 to 27,000 Gg/yr for OC… A smaller contribution originates from open burning in agricultural fields, which is often done to clear residues after harvest. This source contributes about 300 Gg/yr BC and 1500 Gg/yr OC. In regions like south Asia, this source can contribute about 20% of carbonaceous aerosol emissions.’ Bond et al 2013

    Some forest and grassland types are adapted to burning – but if it results in land use change the carbon impacts are a significant factor in climate change. Fire regimes can be designed to limit carbon loss from soils and vegetation. Crop residue is far better preserved in soil carbon than burnt.
    https://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/26/food-for-people-conserving-and-restoring-soils/

    Naive science is used to bolster naive policy. But if you are looking for real multi-dimensional progress – on building prosperous and resilient communities this century – this is the way the world is heading.

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