Exhibit Z: PDO/ADO and other Natural Cycles You’ve Never Heard of…and for good reason.
The problem the climate alarmist face is that they reached a conclusion, and then tried to find data to support that conclusion. That is the exact opposite way real science is performed. The conclusion in real science is the end point, not the starting point. Real science doesn’t start with a political agenda and work backward to discover ways to pass that political agenda, real science is driven by an unbiased intellectual curiosity to better explain the world in which we live in.
This chart demonstrates the problem the climate alarmists face, when you control for water vapor, and isolate the impact of rising CO2 on atmospheric temperature, it simply doesn’t exist.
Even when you don’t control for water vapor, the relationship doesn’t fit.
Try as the climate alarmist might to make CO2 and temperature demonstrate a linear relationship, the physics behind CO2 and temperature are logarithmic, not linear. No amount of propaganda will ever change that, and therefore the linear relationship defined in all the climate models are doomed to fail, and their failure will increase over time as CO2 goes higher and higher.
By focusing on a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature, the climate experts will never be correct, and their models will never properly model the relationship between CO2 and temperature. No amount of supportive “peer reviewed” journal articles, and regardless of how universal the “consensus” is, nothing will ever change the basic physics of a CO2 molecule. Physics will always trump politics when it comes to defining the real world.
If climate alarmists were truly interested in understanding how the climate really works, they would look for relationships that actually exist. Simply looking at the IR absorption of the various greenhouse gasses would have a real scientist focus on water vapor and O3, not CO2.
If you then take a cross-sectional look at the atmosphere, sure enough, where there is water vapor, there is warmth. These two charts are almost indistinguishable.
Given that H2O covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, and holds 2,000x more energy than the entire atmosphere, you would think real climate scientists would focus on the impact of water on the climate and global temperatures. The evidence is clearly there. Atmospheric temperatures show clear “spikes” and then rapid declines during periods called El Nino’s and El Nina’s. While not highlighted on this chart, 2016 was a strong El Nino year.
The subsequent El Nina as resulted in the most rapid drop in temperatures in the satellite record.
The other observation to be gained from the temperature record is that temperature doesn’t trend upward like CO2 does, atmospheric temperatures “step-up” and then plateau. This chart demonstrates the strong El Nino Spike and the El Nina decline of 1997. Al Gore took full advantage of this natural cycle in his documentary.
Between El Ninos and El Ninas, the temperatures do very little and simply plateau, all while CO2 marches higher. There is no natural on/off switch in a CO2 molecule that could explain it causing warming at one period, then cooling, and then nothing. Here is the period between 1980 and midway through 1994. Basically nothing happening.
Here is the chart after the strong 1997 El Nino/Nina cycle ended up to the next major El Nino/Nina in 2016. Basically, nothing is happening, even though CO2 marched higher.
Here is the current 2016 El Nino/Nina spike and decline. There is nothing in the physics of a CO2 molecule that could explain this, a plateau or even a rapid spike in temperature (sudden increase in a rate of change of the dependent variable without a sudden changing in the rate of change of the independent variable). For a “settled” science there seems to be a very large number of unanswered questions and unexplained observations.
In addition to the El Nino/El Nina, or El Nino Southern Oscillations (ENSO), there are also Pacific and Atlantic Decadal Oscillations (PDO/ADO), and they too do a fantastic job explaining atmospheric temperatures. This graphic demonstrates atmospheric temperatures and the ADO going back to 1850. Like the H2O and temperature graph above, these two charts are almost indistinguishable.
The PDO doesn’t have as impressive a fit, but it highlights the problems in the field of climate “science.” Depending on what data set used you can get different answers to the same question. Here is the long-term chart of the PDO and temperatures. Prior to 1940 and post-2000 the relationship appears to break down.
Shortening the time period to the period satellite data waavailablele and changing the data set to satellite temperature data, the fit becomes much better. Not perfect, but infinitely better than the CO2 and temperature relationship over this period.
For comparison, here is CO2 and temperature over that same time period. CO2 has a linear uptrend, with minor variation. Temperatures spike, decline and plateau and have large variations.
Not only do the oceans influence the atmospheric temperature, they also influence atmospheric CO2they also influence atmospheric CO2. As described by Henry’s Law, the diffusion of a gas in a liquid is inversely related. Bottom line, warm oceans will outgas CO2. Not how the CO2 spikes correlate with the El Nino spikes.
If we conclude, and the data supports that conclusion, that the oceans control the global atmospheric temperature and greatly influence climate change, we then have to look at what is warming the oceans. The first and easiest cause of the ocean warming to reject is CO2. Once again, when talking about CO2 driven warming the discussion has to focus on the mechanism by which CO2 can affect a change. CO2’s only defined mechanism by which it can affect the climate is through the Green-House Gas Effect (GHG), which limits CO2 contribution to absorbing and re-radiating long-wave infrared radiation (LWIR) with a wavelength between 14 and 16 with a peak 15 microns. Keeping the discussion on how 14 to 16 LWIR can cause the observation will immediately end most discussions regarding global warming.
CO2 is immediately ruled out as the cause of ocean warming because LWIR between 13 and 18 microns won’t warm water. The oceans are warmed by shorter wavelength much higher energy visible and ultra-violet, LWIR simply doesn’t penetrate water, and most likely caused cooling by causing surface evaporation. (Science Class Lesson Plan: Place an aquarium in a dark room with an IR lamp radiating 13 to 18 microns and measure the temperature and evaporation rate change). Once again, the physics of the GHG effect simply don’t support CO2 being the cause.
If you look at the entire spectrum, the GHG and LWIR simply become irrelevant. There simply isn’t much energy at that end of the spectrum. Energy and wavelength are logarithmic relationships, small changes are a big deal. If a light-wave has a wavelength of 1 meter and has x energy/meter, a light-wave with a wavelength of 0.5 meter has 2x the energy/meter, a light-wave with a wavelength of 0.33 meter has 3x the energy.
Once you rule out CO2, and identify visible and UV radiation as the source of warming, you then have to take a look at the source (the cause) of all this energy, the sun. Visible and UV radiation has no problem pass through our atmosphere, and warming our oceans. The GHG effect focuses on outgoing low-energy LWIR, and completely ignores the incoming very high-energy visible and UV radiation. (Note the extreme difference between the temperature (energy) of incoming and outgoing radiation, 5525k vs 260k)
While the GHG effect looks exclusively at outgoing energy, a far more likely explanation focuses on changes in incoming radiation. Whereas the GHG effect and CO2 can’t explain the start or end of an ice age, or why temperatures would ever stop increasing with increased CO2, the sun can easily explain all three.
Climate Sophistry Alert: When discussing the sun with a climate alarmist, they are almost certain to claim the sun can’t be the cause because the sun has constant output, and you can’t explain a variation with a constant. Here is a quote regarding the IPCC position.
The IPCC “basically says that global warming is not caused by the sun,” says Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “The strongest evidence for this is the record of satellite measurements of solar output since the late 1970s that show no increasing trend in solar output during a period of rapid global warming.”
First of all the statement is totally false. Yes if you smooth the solar radiation data over the long-run it appears to be constant, but the sun’s output is highly variable over the short-run.
Sunspot and solar cycle data also clearly show variability and historically been used to explain previous periods of warming and cooling.
This argument, however, is pure sophistry, and any real scientist would see right through it. To warm the oceans, solar radiation must reach the oceans. You could have an extremely hot sun, but if a cloud cover is blocking the incoming radiation, there will be no impact on the warmth of the oceans. Anyone that has ever been working in a field on a hot summer day knows the relief felt when a cloud passes in from of the sun. Simply drawing the shade on a window will quickly turn a hot room cool. The patterns of ice ages are in fact explained by altering the amount of radiation that actually reaches the earth, not what is being produced by the sun.
Additional theories explain how when the earth passes through a “finger” or “arm” of the galaxy, solar radiation reaching the earth is reduced, much like how a car’s headlights get blocked during a snow or dust storm.
Once provided all this data, it is hard to understand all the excitement about CO2. There are simply far better explanations of the variability of climate and temperature.
The best way to phrase the question is, “is Mother Nature Stupid?” For CO2 to be the cause of the warming, with no natural off-switch, a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature is simply a global doomsday bomb. CO2 would lead to warming, which would lead to more CO2, which would lead to more warming and on and on and on for an endless continually warming cycle. We know from the geological record, and basic logarithmic physics of CO2, that this isn’t the case. CO2 does, in fact, have a natural off switch, and never in 600 million years of geologic history has CO2 resulted in catastrophic warming, even at levels of 7,000 parts per million.
The earth has evolved over 4.3 billion years, with the first signs of life appearing 3.8 billion years ago. Mother Nature has had plenty of time to work out the bugs, and like the logarithmic absorption of LWIR by CO2, adjusting the protection of the earth from changing solar cycles was not something she missed. A hotter sun will emit more high-energy UV and cosmic rays, so much like a sunbather applies SB40 during a hot clear day, Mother Nature applies SB40 in the form of a protective cloud layer.
For a “settled” science, the sun and H2O appear to make a very very convincing case for explaining the temperature and climate variations of the globe. For someone to make any claim to the contrary they would have to demonstrate that the sun, clouds, and water vapor have been thoroughly studied, understood, modeled and rejected, leaving only CO2 as the possible cause. Unfortunately, that isn’t even close to the case, and even the IPCC admits they know very very little about the most significant factors impacting temperature and climate. How can you have a “settled” science and a scientific “consensus” when the most significant variables are largely unknown, undefined, and unmodelled variables? Modern climate “science” is based on a model similar to a weight loss model that doesn’t include caloric intake and exercise as variables and claims what weight gain causes eating (CO2 tends to lag, not lead temperature). (Note the label on the X-Axis)
Once CO2, H2O, ocean temperatures, solar radiation and cosmic rays are understood and considered, it should become painfully obvious why the IPCC models, based upon a non-existent linear relationship between CO2 and temperature, produce such awful results. Results that do more to reject the CO2 based AGW theory than to support it.