Events That Causes Long-Term Global Warming: Does The Climate-Science Industry Purposely Ignore A Simple Aspect of Strong El Niño?

Bob Tisdale - Climate Observations


It was a little more than 10 years ago that I published my first blog posts on the obvious upward steps in the sea surface temperatures of a large portion of the global oceans…upward steps that are caused by El Niño events…upward steps that lead to sunlight-fueled, naturally occurring global warming.

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The credibility gap between predicted and observed global warming

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The prolonged el Niño of 2016-2017, not followed by a la Niña, has put paid to the great Pause of 18 years 9 months in global warming that gave us all such entertainment while it lasted. However, as this annual review of global temperature change will show, the credibility gap between predicted and observed warming remains wide, even after some increasingly desperate and more or less openly prejudiced ever-upward revisions of recent temperatures and ever-downward depressions in the temperatures of the early 20th century in most datasets with the effect of increasing the apparent rate of global warming. For the Pause continues to exert its influence by keeping down the long-run rate of global warming.

Let us begin with IPCC’s global warming predictions. In 2013 it chose four scenarios, one of which, RCP 8.5, was stated by its authors (Riahi et al, 2007; Rao & Riahi, 2006) to be a deliberately extreme scenario and is based upon such absurd population and energy-use criteria that it may safely be ignored.

For the less unreasonable, high-end-of-plausible RCP 6.0 scenario, the 21st-century net anthropogenic radiative forcing is 3.8 Watts per square meter from 2000-2100:


CO2 concentration of 370 ppmv in 2000 was predicted to rise to 700 ppmv in 2100 (AR5, fig. 8.5) on the RCP 6.0 scenario (thus, the centennial predicted CO2 forcing is 4.83 ln(700/370), or 3.1 Watts per square meter, almost five-sixths of total forcing). Predicted centennial reference sensitivity (i.e., warming before accounting for feedback) is the product of 3.8 Watts per square meter and the Planck sensitivity parameter 0.3 Kelvin per Watt per square meter: i.e., 1.15 K.

The CMIP5 models predict 3.37 K midrange equilibrium sensitivity to CO2 doubling (Andrews+ 2012), against 1 K reference sensitivity before accounting for feedback, implying a midrange transfer function 3.37 / 1 = 3.37. The transfer function, the ratio of equilibrium to reference temperature, encompasses by definition the entire operation of feedback on climate.

Therefore, the 21st-century warming that IPCC should be predicting, on the RCP 6.0 scenario and on the basis of its own estimates of CO2 concentration and the models’ estimates of CO2 forcing and Charney sensitivity, is 3.37 x 1.15, or 3.9 K.

Yet IPCC actually predicts only 1.4 to 3.1 K 21st-century warming on the RCP 6.0 scenario, giving a midrange estimate of just 2.2 K warming in the 21st century and implying a transfer function of 2.2 / 1.15 = 1.9, little more than half the midrange transfer function 3.37 implicit in the equilibrium-sensitivity projections of the CMIP5 ensemble.


Note that Fig. 2 disposes of any notion that global warming is “settled science”. IPCC, taking all the scenarios and hedging its bets, is predicting somewhere between 0.2 K cooling and 4.5 K warming by 2100. Its best estimate is its RCP 6.0 midrange estimate 2.2 K.

Effectively, therefore, given 1 K reference sensitivity to doubled CO2, IPCC’s 21st-century warming prediction implies 1.9 K Charney sensitivity (the standard metric for climate-sensitivity studies, which is equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 after all short-acting feedbacks have operated), and not the 3.4 [2.1, 4.7] K imagined by the CMIP5 models.

Since official predictions are thus flagrantly inconsistent with one another, it is difficult to deduce from them a benchmark midrange value for the warming officially predicted for the 21st century. It is somewhere between the 2.2 K that IPCC gives as its RCP 6.0 midrange estimate and the 3.9 K deducible from IPCC’s midrange estimate of 21st-century anthropogenic forcing using the midrange CMIP5 transfer function.

So much for the predictions. But what is actually happening, and does observed warming match prediction? Here are the observed rates of warming in the 40 years 1979-2018. Let us begin with GISS, which suggests that for 40 years the world has warmed at a rate equivalent not to 3.9 C°/century nor even to 2.2 C°/century, but only to 1.7 C°/century.


Next, NCEI. Here, perhaps to make a political point, the dataset is suddenly unavailable:


Next, HadCRUT4, IPCC’s preferred dataset. The University of East Anglia is rather leisurely in updating its information, so the 40-year period runs from December 1978 to November 2018, but the warming rate is identical to that of GISS, at 1.7 C°/century equivalent, below the RCP 6.0 midrange 2.2 C°/century rate.


Next, the satellite lower-troposphere trends, first from RSS. It is noticeable that, ever since RSS, whose chief scientist publicly describes those who disagree with him about the climate as “deniers”, revised its dataset to eradicate the Pause, it has tended to show the fastest apparent rate of global warming, now at 2 C°/century equivalent.


Finally, UAH, which Professor Ole Humlum ( regards as the gold standard for global temperature records. Before UAH altered its dataset, it used to show more warming than the others. Now it shows the least, at 1.3 C°/century equivalent.


How much global warming should have occurred over the 40 years since the satellite record began in 1979? CO2 concentration has risen by 72 ppmv. The period CO2 forcing is thus 0.94 W m–2, implying 0.94 x 6/5 = 1.13 W m–2 net anthropogenic forcing from all sources. Accordingly, period reference sensitivity is 1.13 x 0.3, or 0.34 K, and period equilibrium sensitivity, using the CMIP5 midrange transfer function 3.37, should have been 1.14 K. Yet the observed period warming was 0.8 K (RSS), 0.7 K (GISS & HadCRUT4) or 0.5 K (UAH): a mean observed warming of about 0.7 K.

A more realistic picture may be obtained by dating the calculation from 1950, when our influence first became appreciable. Here is the HadCRUT4 record:


The CO2 forcing since 1950 is 4.83 ln(410/310), or 1.5 Watts per square meter, which becomes 1.8 Watts per square meter after allowing for non-CO2 anthropogenic forcings, a value consistent with IPCC (2013, Fig. SPM.5). Therefore, period reference sensitivity from 1950-2018 is 1.8 x 0.3, or 0.54 K, while the equivalent equilibrium sensitivity, using the CMIP5 midrange transfer function 3.37, is 0.54 x 3.37 = 1.8 K, of which only 0.8 K actually occurred. Using the revised transfer function 1.9 derived from the midrange predicted RCP 6.0 predicted warming, the post-1950 warming should have been 0.54 x 1.9 = 1.0 K.

It is also worth showing the Central England Temperature Record for the 40 years 1694-1733, long before SUVs, during which the temperature in most of England rose at a rate equivalent to 4.33 C°/century, compared with just 1.7 C°/century equivalent in the 40 years 1979-2018. Therefore, the current rate of warming is not unprecedented.

It is evident from this record that even the large and naturally-occurring temperature change evident not only in England but worldwide as the Sun recovered following the Maunder minimum is small compared with the large annual fluctuations in global temperature.


The simplest way to illustrate the very large discrepancy between predicted and observed warming over the past 40 years is to show the results on a dial.


Overlapping projections by IPCC (yellow & buff zones) and CMIP5 (Andrews et al. 2012: buff & orange zones) of global warming from 1850-2011 (dark blue scale), 1850 to 2xCO2 (dark red scale) and 1850-2100 (black scale) exceed observed warming of 0.75 K from 1850-2011 (HadCRUT4), which falls between the 0.7 K period reference sensitivity to midrange net anthropogenic forcing in IPCC (2013, fig. SPM.5) (cyan needle) and expected 0.9  K period equilibrium sensitivity to that forcing after adjustment for radiative imbalance (Smith et al. 2015) (blue needle). The CMIP5 models’ midrange projection of 3.4 K Charney sensitivity (red needle) is about thrice the value consistent with observation. The revised interval of global-warming predictions (green zone), correcting an error of physics in models, whose feedbacks do not respond to emission temperature, is visibly close to observed warming.

Footnote: I undertook to report on the progress of my team’s paper explaining climatology’s error of physics in omitting from its feedback calculation the observable fact that the Sun is shining. The paper was initially rejected early last year on the ground that the editor of the top-ten journal to which it was sent could not find anyone competent to review it. We simplified the paper, whereupon it was sent out and, after many months’ delay, only two reviews came back. The first was a review of a supporting document giving results of experiments conducted at a government laboratory, but it was clear that the reviewer had not actually read the laboratory’s report, which answered the question the reviewer had raised. The second was ostensibly a review of the paper, but the reviewer stated that, because he found the paper’s conclusions uncongenial he had not troubled to read the equations that justified those conclusions.

We protested. The editor then obtained a third review. But that, like the previous two reviews, was not a review of the present paper. It was a review of another paper that had been submitted to a different journal the previous year. All of the points raised by that review had long since been comprehensively answered. None of the three reviewers, therefore, had actually read the paper they were ostensibly reviewing.

Nevertheless, the editor saw fit to reject the paper. Next, the journal’s management got in touch to say that it was hoped we were content with the rejection and to invite us to submit further papers in future. I replied that we were not at all satisfied with the rejection, for the obvious reason that none of the reviewers had actually read the paper that the editor had rejected, and that we insisted, therefore, on being given a right of appeal.

The editor agreed to send out the paper for review again, and to choose the reviewers with greater care this time. We suggested, and the editor accepted, that in view of the difficulty the reviewers were having in getting to grips with the point at issue, which was clearly catching them by surprise, we should add to the paper a comprehensive mathematical proof that the transfer function that embodies the entire action of feedback on climate is expressible not only as the ratio of equilibrium sensitivity after feedback to reference sensitivity before feedback but also as the ratio of the entire, absolute equilibrium temperature to the entire, absolute reference temperature.

We said we should explain in more detail that, though the equations for both climatology’s transfer function and ours are valid equations, climatology’s equation is not useful because even small uncertainties in the sensitivities, which are two orders of magnitude smaller than the absolute temperatures, lead to large uncertainty in the value of the transfer function, while even large uncertainties in the absolute temperatures lead to small uncertainty in the transfer function, which can thus be very simply and very reliably derived and constrained without using general-circulation models.

My impression is that the editor has realized we are right. We are waiting for a new section from our professor of control theory on the derivation of the transfer function from the energy-balance equation via a leading-order Taylor-series expansion. That will be with us at the end of the month, and the editor will then send the paper out for review again. I’ll keep you posted. If we’re right, Charney sensitivity (equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2) will be 1.2 [1.1, 1.3] C°, far too little to matter, and not, as the models currently imagine, 3.4 [2.1, 4.7] C°, and that, scientifically speaking, will be the end of the climate scam.

A Sea-Surface Temperature Picture Worth a Few Hundred Words!

Reblogged From Watts Up With That:

We covered this paper when it was first released, here is some commentary on it – Anthony

Guest essay by By PATRICK J. MICHAELS

On January 7 a paper by Veronika Eyring and 28 coauthors, titled “Taking Climate Model Evaluation to the Next Level” appeared in Nature Climate ChangeNature’s  journal devoted exclusively to this one obviously under-researched subject.

For years, you dear readers have been subject to our railing about the unscientific way in which we forecast this century’s climate: we take 29 groups of models and average them. Anyone, we repeatedly point out, who knows weather forecasting realizes that such an activity is foolhardy. Some models are better than others in certain situations, and others may perform better under different conditions. Consequently, the daily forecast is usually a blend of a subset of available models, or, perhaps (as can be the case for winter storms) only one might be relied upon.

Finally the modelling community (as represented by the football team of authors) gets it. The second sentence of the paper’s abstract says “there is now evidence that giving equal weight to each available model projection is suboptimal.”

A map of sea-surface temperature errors calculated when all the models are averaged up shows the problem writ large:

Annual sea-surface temperature error (modelled minus observed) averaged over the current family of climate modelsFrom Eyring et al.

First, the integrated “redness” of the map appears to be a bit larger than the integrated “blueness,” which would be consistent with the oft-repeated (here) observation that the models are predicting more warming than is being observed. But, more important, the biggest errors are over some of the most climatically critical places on earth.

Start with the Southern Ocean. The models have almost the entire circumpolar sea too warm, much of it off more than 1.5°C. Down around 60°S (the bottom of the map) water temperatures get down to near 0°C (because of its salinity, sea water freezes at around -2.0°C). Making errors in this range means making errors in ice formation. Further, all the moisture that lies upon Antarctica originates in this ocean, and simulating an ocean 1.5° too warm is going to inject an enormous amount of nonexistent moisture into the atmosphere, which will be precipitated over the continent in nonexistent snow.

The problem is, down there, the models are making error about massive zones of whiteness, which by their nature absorb very little solar radiation. Where it’s not white, the surface warms up quicker.

(To appreciate that, sit outside on a sunny but calm winters day, changing your khakis from light to dark, the latter being much warmer)

There are two other error fields that merit special attention: the hot blobs off the coasts of western South America and Africa. These are regions where relatively cool water upwells to the surface, driven in large part by the trade winds that blow into the earth’s thermal equator. For not-completely known reasons, these sometimes slow or even reverse, upwelling is suppressed, and the warm anomaly known as El Niño emerges (there is a similar, but much more muted version that sometimes appears off Africa).

There’s a current theory that El Niños are one mechanism that contributes to atmospheric warming, which holds that the temperature tends to jump in steps that occur after each big one. It’s not hard to see that systematically creating these conditions more persistently than they occur could put more nonexistent warming into the forecast.

Finally, to beat ever more manfully on the dead horse—averaging up all the models and making a forecast—we again note that of all the models, one, the Russian INM-CM4 has actually tracked the observed climate quite well. It is by far the best of the lot. [Hifast bold]  Eyring et al. also examined the models’ independence from each other—a measure of which are (and which are not) making (or not making) the same systematic errors. And amongst the most independent, not surprisingly, is INM-CM4.

(It’s update, INM-CM5, is slowly being leaked into the literature, but we don’t have the all-important climate sensitivity figures in print yet.)

The Eyring et al. study is a step forward. It brings climate model application into the 20th century.

Strong chance of a new El Niño forming, says WMO

Tallbloke's Talkshop

The last one finished in mid-2016 and was one of the strongest on record.

The World Meteorological Organization says there’s a 75-80% chance of the weather phenomenon forming by next February, BBC News reports.

The naturally occurring event causes changes in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean and has a major influence on weather patterns around the world.

It is linked to floods in South America and droughts in Africa and Asia.

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Ian Wilson: Is the November 2018 Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) a possible trigger for an El Niño?

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Conservation of angular momentum – ice skater
The title says it all. Another in the author’s series of intriguing brain-teasers for followers of climate theory to explore, this time with a particularly topical theme.

1. The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO)

The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the dominant form of intra-seasonal (30 to 90 days) atmospheric variability in the Earth’s equatorial regions (Zang 2005). It is characterized by the eastward progression of a large region of enhanced convection and rainfall that is centered upon the Equator.

This region of enhanced precipitation is followed by an equally large region of suppressed convection and rainfall. The precipitation pattern takes about 30 – 60 days to complete one cycle, when seen from a given point along the equator (Madden and Julian 1971, 1972).

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Global Temperature Report: August 2018 – Global Temp cooling a bit to +0.19 from +0.31 in July

From Watts Up With That:

Global Temperature Report: August 2018
Global climate trend since Dec. 1 1978: +0.13 C per decade

August Temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.19 C (+0.34 °F) above seasonal average
Northern Hemisphere.: +0.15 C (+0.27°F) above seasonal average
Southern Hemisphere.: +0.10 C (+0.18 °F) above seasonal average
Tropics.: +0.12 C (+0.22 °F) above seasonal average

July Temperatures (final)
Global composite temp.: +0.32 C (+0.58 °F) above seasonal average
Northern Hemisphere.: +0.42 C (+0.76°F) above seasonal average
Southern Hemisphere.: +0.21 C (+0.38 °F) above seasonal average
Tropics.: +0.29 C (+0.52 °F) above seasonal average

Notes on data released September 6, 2018
The seasonally-adjusted global average temperature fell slightly to +0.19 °C (+0.34 °F) as nearly all regions of the globe cooled relative to their July readings. For the first 8 months of the 2018 calendar year, the atmosphere is averaging a departure from average of +0.23 °C (+0.41 °F) which is cooler than observed since 2014 when the annual average was +0.18 °C (+0.32 °F).

The coolest seasonally adjusted temperature was found in the far southeastern Pacific Ocean at -3.42 °C (-6.16 °F) below average. The warmest spot was near Dome Fuji in East Antarctica at +3.91 °C (+7.04 °F). The tropics as a whole show virtually no noticeable departures from average. Especially warm areas occurred in the Gulf of Alaska, Canadian
Maritime Provinces, Eastern Europe, northern China, far South Atlantic and East Antarctica. Cooler than average regions covered Arctic Canada, Iceland, Sea of Okhotsk and parts of the far southern oceans.

While the outlook for a developing warm El Niño is still “favorable” according to NOAA (3 Sep 2018), the Pacific sea surface temperatures are giving mixed signals, being very warm north of the equator, but cooler than average south of the equator. The deeper ocean heat content down to 300 m is above average in the Pacific so provides evidence still
pointing toward warmer (El Niño) conditions in the coming months. If this occurred it would be followed by warmer atmospheric temperatures a few months later. We will monitor developments of this unusual situation.

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAH, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where
reliable climate data are not otherwise available. They are assisted by Dr. W. Daniel Braswell and Robert Junod in the generation of these products.

The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data are collected and processed, they are placed in a “public” computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.

The complete version 6 lower troposphere dataset is available here:

Archived color maps of local temperature anomalies are available on-line at:

Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.

Conditions for formation of Super El Ninos determined

A University of Aizu team has identified two distinct Indo-Pacific processes shaping the unique features and extraordinary ferocity of super El Ninos. A systematic analysis of these processes and their interactions will improve forecasts of the elusive super El Ninos, the researchers claim.

“Until recently, scientists believed that climate and weather processes operating within the Pacific Ocean could explain the occurrence of super El Ninos. The infamously failed prediction of a super El Nino event in 2014 had its root in these assumptions,” says Saji Hameed from the University of Aizu, who led the study.

To unveil the mechanisms of super El Ninos, Hameed and his colleagues conducted computational simulations that recreated selected Pacific Ocean processes involved in the generation of El Ninos. To their surprise, they discovered a mechanism embedded within the Pacific Ocean, which prevented sea surface temperatures in the far-eastern Pacific rising too far above normal.

“Extremely warm  are a notable feature of the super El Ninos that occurred in 1972, 1982, and 1997. The fact that Pacific Ocean processes responsible for generating regular El Ninos could not explain this key signature of super El Ninos came as a big shock,” says Dachao Jin, co-author of the study.

Noting that the years of super El Ninos co-occurred with Indian Ocean Dipole events (a phenomenon similar to El Nino, but generated by processes inherent to the Indian Ocean), the researchers explored possible mechanisms linking both phenomena. They found that while Pacific processes are needed to initiate El Ninos, it was the extra energy generated by the Indian Ocean Dipole, and transferred to the Pacific through atmospheric pathways, which eventually transformed the El Nino into a super El Nino event.

“A model for super El Ninos’ was published in Nature Communications.

 Explore further: Cause of El Nino abnormality found

More information: Saji N. Hameed et al. A model for super El Niños, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04803-7


Solar minimum and ENSO prediction

From WUWT:  Andy May / July 5, 2018

By Javier

Two solar physicists, Robert Leamon from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Scott McIntosh from the High Altitude Observatory at Boulder, CO, have made an interesting observation that links changes in solar activity with changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

As they reported at the AGU 2017 Fall Meeting, the termination of the solar magnetic activity bands at the solar equator that mark the end of the Hale cycle coincides since the 1960’s with a shift from El Niño to La Niña conditions in the Pacific.

Predicting the La Niña of 2020-21: Termination of Solar Cycles and Correlated Variance in Solar and Atmospheric Variability

“We look at the particulate and radiative implications of these termination points, their temporal recurrence and signature, from the Sun to the Earth, and show the correlated signature of solar cycle termination events and major oceanic oscillations that extend back many decades. A combined one-two punch of reduced particulate forcing and increased radiative forcing that result from the termination of one solar cycle and rapid blossoming of another correlates strongly with a shift from El Niño to La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean.”

More information is available at the talk they gave at the last SORCE Meeting:

Terminators: The Death of Solar Cycles and La Niña 2020

As they say in the talk, the probability that the pattern is due to chance is very low. Particularly since the termination of the magnetic activity bands at the equator coincides quite precisely with the El
Niño-La Niña shift.

Analysis of the ONI (Oceanic Niño Index) data from NOAA, and sunspot number from SIDC shows
the following pattern:

Figure: Top: Six-month smoothed monthly sunspot number from SIDC. Bottom: Oceanic El Niño Index from NOAA. Red and blue boxes mark the El Niño and La Niña periods in the repeating pattern.


Since the 1960’s the early solar minimum is associated with La Niña conditions, the late solar minimum is associated with El Niño conditions, and the rapid increase from minimum to maximum is associated to La Niña conditions again. As the authors note, this pattern did not take place in the 1954 minimum, although the rise in activity was also associated with La Niña conditions then. It is unclear why the ENSO system responded differently at that time, but it is clear that solar activity was not the only factor affecting ENSO.

The pattern appears to be repeating again this minimum. The early minimum has been associated to La Niña conditions and, as we move towards the late minimum, an El Niño is being forecasted for late 2018. The authors made their claim for a 2020 La Niña before the 2018 El Niño was forecasted. Now a repetition of the pattern looks even more probable and we should expect a La Niña when solar activity increases in late 2020 to 2021.


La Niña and a Cooler Earth May Be Coming Faster Than Predicted

Watts Up With That?

Our WUWT ENSO meter in the right sidebar has ticked down twice in the last week, and the most important 3-4 region of the Pacific monitored for ENSO conditions looks like it is in freefall:


In their weekly discussion posted Monday, April 6th, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center had this to say:

During the last four weeks, equatorial SST anomalies notably decreased in the central and east-central Pacific, while increasing in the far eastern Pacific.


Karen Braun, Reuters writes this article:

Not only is the atmosphere supporting a faster switch to La Niña, but so is a revised model prediction after an error that massively skewing the results was corrected.

The decay of El Niño and the onset of La Niña, the cold phase of tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperatures, are occurring more rapidly than it would appear.

The timing of La Niña’s arrival is important to commodities markets as La Niña has…

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