Half of 21st Century Warming Due to El Nino

Reblogged from Dr.RoySpencer.com  [HiFast bold]

May 13th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

A major uncertainty in figuring out how much of recent warming has been human-caused is knowing how much nature has caused. The IPCC is quite sure that nature is responsible for less than half of the warming since the mid-1900s, but politicians, activists, and various green energy pundits go even further, behaving as if warming is 100% human-caused.

The fact is we really don’t understand the causes of natural climate change on the time scale of an individual lifetime, although theories abound. For example, there is plenty of evidence that the Little Ice Age was real, and so some of the warming over the last 150 years (especially prior to 1940) was natural — but how much?

The answer makes as huge difference to energy policy. If global warming is only 50% as large as is predicted by the IPCC (which would make it only 20% of the problem portrayed by the media and politicians), then the immense cost of renewable energy can be avoided until we have new cost-competitive energy technologies.

The recently published paper Recent Global Warming as Confirmed by AIRS used 15 years of infrared satellite data to obtain a rather strong global surface warming trend of +0.24 C/decade. Objections have been made to that study by me (e.g. here) and others, not the least of which is the fact that the 2003-2017 period addressed had a record warm El Nino near the end (2015-16), which means the computed warming trend over that period is not entirely human-caused warming.

If we look at the warming over the 19-year period 2000-2018, we see the record El Nino event during 2015-16 (all monthly anomalies are relative to the 2001-2017 average seasonal cycle):

Fig. 1. 21st Century global-average temperature trends (top) averaged across all CMIP5 climate models (gray), HadCRUT4 observations (green), and UAH tropospheric temperature (purple). The Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI, bottom) shows the upward trend in El Nino activity over the same period, which causes a natural enhancement of the observed warming trend.

We also see that the average of all of the CMIP5 models’ surface temperature trend projections (in which natural variability in the many models is averaged out) has a warmer trend than the observations, despite the trend-enhancing effect of the 2015-16 El Nino event.

So, how much of an influence did that warm event have on the computed trends? The simplest way to address that is to use only the data before that event. To be somewhat objective about it, we can take the period over which there is no trend in El Nino (and La Nina) activity, which happens to be 2000 through June, 2015 (15.5 years):

Fig. 2. As in Fig. 1, but for the 15.5 year period 2000 to June 2015, which is the period over which there was no trend in El Nino and La Nina activity.

Note that the observed trend in HadCRUT4 surface temperatures is nearly cut in half compared to the CMIP5 model average warming over the same period, and the UAH tropospheric temperature trend is almost zero.

One might wonder why the UAH LT trend is so low for this period, even though in Fig. 1 it is not that far below the surface temperature observations (+0.12 C/decade versus +0.16 C/decade for the full period through 2018). So, I examined the RSS version of LT for 2000 through June 2015, which had a +0.10 C/decade trend. For a more apples-to-apples comparison, the CMIP5 surface-to-500 hPa layer average temperature averaged across all models is +0.20 C/decade, so even RSS LT (which usually has a warmer trend than UAH LT) has only one-half the warming trend as the average CMIP5 model during this period.

So, once again, we see that the observed rate of warming — when we ignore the natural fluctuations in the climate system (which, along with severe weather events dominate “climate change” news) — is only about one-half of that projected by climate models at this point in the 21st Century. This fraction is consistent with the global energy budget study of Lewis & Curry (2018) which analyzed 100 years of global temperatures and ocean heat content changes, and also found that the climate system is only about 1/2 as sensitive to increasing CO2 as climate models assume.

It will be interesting to see if the new climate model assessment (CMIP6) produces warming more in line with the observations. From what I have heard so far, this appears unlikely. If history is any guide, this means the observations will continue to need adjustments to fit the models, rather than the other way around.


Mighty Greenland glacier slams on brakes

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Jakobshavn glacier, West Greenland [image credit: Wikipedia]
Even the climate alarm oriented BBC has finally had to admit the inconvenient truth about Greenland’s largest glacier. Instead of dropping in height by 20m. a year, it’s now thickening by 20m. a year. This isn’t supposed to happen when one of the stock phrases of the fearmongering media is ‘the rapidly melting Arctic’. Of course logic says that since glaciers can grow naturally they can also retreat naturally, despite attempts to blame humans.

European satellites have detailed the abrupt change in behaviour of one of Greenland’s most important glaciers, says BBC News.

In the 2000s, Jakobshavn Isbrae was the fastest flowing ice stream on the island, travelling at 17km a year.

As it sped to the ocean, its front end also retreated and thinned, dropping in height by as much as 20m year.

But now it’s all change. Jakobshavn is travelling…

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Javier on sunspot data

This comment by Javier [slightly edited for clarity] is reposted from Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

The Modern Solar Maximum is clearly seen with a Gaussian smoothing of the sunspot data:

Or even better just by running a 70-year moving average through the 1750-2018 sunspot data:

Respected climatologists like Takuro Kobashi, Bo Vinther and Tom Blunier accept the existence of the Modern Solar Maximum, as they see its effects on climate:

Kobashi, T., Box, J.E., Vinther, B.M., Goto‐Azuma, K., Blunier, T., White, J.W.C., Nakaegawa, T. and Andresen, C.S., 2015. Modern solar maximum forced late twentieth century Greenland cooling. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (14), pp.5992-5999.

The Modern Solar Maximum, a one in 600 years event that exactly coincides with Modern Global Warming is assigned a near-zero effect on climate by models. Not surprisingly, since it ended models performance has been abysmally poor.

Solar slump continues – NOAA: “we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Solar experts predict the Sun’s activity in Solar Cycle 25 to be below average, similar to Solar Cycle 24

April 5, 2019 – Scientists charged with predicting the Sun’s activity for the next 11-year solar cycle say that it’s likely to be weak, much like the current one. The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is declining and predicted to reach solar minimum – the period when the Sun is least active – late in 2019 or 2020.

Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel experts said Solar Cycle 25 may have a slow start, but is anticipated to peak with solar maximum occurring between 2023 and 2026, and a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the average number of sunspots, which typically ranges from 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle.

Graph via Twitter from
NOAA’s Space Weather Workshop

The panel has high confidence that the coming cycle should break the trend of weakening solar activity seen over the past four cycles.

“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24: another fairly weak cycle, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” said panel co-chair Lisa Upton, Ph.D., solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp. “The expectation that Cycle 25 will be comparable in size to Cycle 24   means that the steady decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from cycles 21-24, has come to an end and that there is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

The solar cycle prediction gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all types, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms and solar radiation storms. It is used by many industries to gauge the potential impact of space weather in the coming years. Space weather can affect power grids, critical military, airline, and shipping communications, satellites and Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, and can even threaten astronauts by exposure to harmful radiation doses.

Solar Cycle 24 reached its maximum – the period when the Sun is most active – in April 2014 with a peak average of 82 sunspots. The Sun’s Northern Hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking over two years ahead of the Southern Hemisphere sunspot peak.

Solar cycle forecasting is a new science

While daily weather forecasts are the most widely used type of scientific information in the U.S., solar forecasting is relatively new. Given that the Sun takes 11 years to complete one solar cycle, this is only the fourth time a solar cycle prediction has been issued by U.S. scientists. The first panel convened in 1989 for Cycle 22.

For Solar Cycle 25, the panel hopes for the first time to predict the presence, amplitude, and timing of any differences between the northern and southern hemispheres on the Sun, known as Hemispheric Asymmetry. Later this year, the Panel will release an official Sunspot Number curve which shows the predicted number of sunspots during any given year and any expected asymmetry. The panel will also look into the possibility of providing a Solar Flare Probability Forecast.

“While we are not predicting a particularly active Solar Cycle 25, violent eruptions from the sun can occur at any time,” said Doug Biesecker, Ph.D., panel co-chair and a solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

An example of this occurred on July 23, 2012 when a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) eruption missed the Earth but enveloped NASA’s STEREO-A satellite.

Powerful eruption from the surface of the sun captured on May 1, 2013. NASA

2013 study estimated that the U.S. would have suffered between $600 billion and $2.6 trillion in damages, particularly to electrical infrastructure, such as power grid, if this CME had been directed toward Earth. The strength of the 2012 eruption was comparable to the famous 1859 Carrington event that caused widespread damage to telegraph stations around the world and produced aurora displays as far south as the Caribbean.

The Solar Cycle Prediction Panel forecasts the number of sunspots expected for solar maximum, along with the timing of the peak and minimum solar activity levels for the cycle. It is comprised of scientists representing NOAA, NASA, the International Space Environment Services, and other U.S. and international scientists. The outlook was presented on April 5 at the 2019 NOAA Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colo.

For the latest space weather forecast, visit https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/

The Little Ice Age – Back to the Future

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:


What’s Natural

By Jim Steele

Extreme scientists and politicians warn we will suffer catastrophic climate change if the earth’s average temperature rises 2.7°F above the Little Ice Age average. They claim we are in a climate crisis because average temperature has already warmed by 1.5°F since 1850 AD. Guided by climate fear, politicians fund whacky engineering schemes to shade the earth with mirrors or aerosols to lower temperatures. But the cooler Little Ice Age endured a much more disastrous climate.

The Little Ice Age coincides with the pre-industrial period. The Little Ice Age spanned a period from 1300 AD to 1850 AD, but the exact timing varies. It was a time of great droughts, retreating tree lines, and agricultural failures leading to massive global famines and rampant epidemics. Meanwhile advancing glaciers demolished European villages and farms and extensive sea ice blocked harbors and prevented trade.

Dr. Michael Mann who preaches dire predictions wrought by global warming described the Little Ice Age as a period of widespread “famine, disease, and increased child mortality in Europe during the 17th–19th century, probably related, at least in part, to colder temperatures and altered weather conditions.” In contrast to current models suggesting global warming will cause wild weather swings, Mann concluded “the Little Ice Age may have been more significant in terms of increased variability of the climate”. Indeed, historical documents from the Little Ice Age describe wild climate swings with extremely cold winters followed by very warm summers, and cold wet years followed by cold dry years.

A series of Little Ice Age droughts lasting several decades devastated Asia between the mid 1300s and 1400s. Resulting famines caused significant societal upheaval within India, China, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. Bad weather resulted in the Great Famine of 1315-1317 which decimated Europe causing extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, cannibalism and infanticide. The North American tree-ring data reveal megadroughts lasting several decades during the cool 1500s. The Victorian Great Drought from 1876 to 1878 brought great suffering across much of the tropics with India devastated the most. More than 30 million people are thought to have died at this time from famine worldwide.

The Little Ice Age droughts and famines forced great societal upheaval, and the resulting climate change refugees were forced to seek better lands. But those movements also spread horrendous epidemics. Wild climate swings brought cold and dry weather to central Asia. That forced the Mongols to search for better grazing. As they invaded new territories they spread the Bubonic plague which had devastated parts of Asia earlier. In the 1300s the Mongols passed the plague to Italian merchant ships who then brought it to Europe where it quickly killed one third of Europe’s population. European explorers looking for new trade routes brought smallpox to the Americas, causing small native tribes to go extinct and decimating 25% to 50% of larger tribes. Introduced diseases rapidly reduced Mexico’s population from 30 million to 3 million.

By the 1700s a new killer began to dominate – accidental hypothermia. When indoor temperatures fall below 48°F for prolonged periods, the human body struggles to keep warm, setting off a series of reactions that causes stress and can result in heart attacks. As recently as the 1960s in Great Britain, 20,000 elderly and malnourished people who lacked central heating died from accidental hypothermia. As people with poor heating faced bouts of extreme cold in the 1700s, accidental hypothermia was rampant.

What caused the tragic climate changes of the Little Ice Age? Some scientists suggest lower solar output associated with periods of fewer sunspots. Increasing solar output then reversed the cooling and warmed the 20th century world. As solar output is now falling to the lows of the Little Ice Age, a natural experiment is now in progress testing that solar theory. However other scientists suggest it was rising CO2 that delivered the world from the Little Ice Age.

Increasing CO2 also has a beneficial fertilization effect that is greening the earth. The 20th century warming, whether natural or driven by rising CO2 concentrations, has lengthened the growing season. Famines are being eliminated. Tree-lines stopped retreating and trees are now reclaiming territory lost over the past 500 years. So why is it that now we face a climate crisis?

At the end of the 1300’s Great Famine and the Bubonic Plague epidemic, the earth sustained 350 million people. With today’s advances in technology and milder growing conditions, record high crop yields are now feeding a human population that ballooned to over 7.6 billion.

So, the notion that cooler times represent the “good old days” and we are now in a warmer climate crisis seems truly absurd.

Jim Steele is retired director of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, SFSU

and authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

OK in the 80s but not now: ‘seeing more polar bears means there are more bears’


Wait for it, it will come: backlash from polar bear scientists for a statement by an Inuk bear safety guide in Labrador, reported by the CBC yesterday. The guide said there are more polar bears now than there were 25 years ago based on the fact that he is seeing more bears and that more bears mean more trouble with bears, including attacks on people. As I point out in my new book, The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened, only in the 1980s did biologists admit that seeing more bears meant there were actually more bears.

polar-bear-black-tickle_Edwin Clark submitted to CBC no date This bear visited Black Tickle in Labrador a few years back. Edwin Clark photo.

It has not been OK anywhere else in the world over the last few years to suggest that seeing more bears meant more bears, whether you were Inuk or not – whether describing a subpopulation that’s officially…

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Natural climate processes overshadow recent human-induced Walker circulation trends

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Institute for Basic Science

Normal conditions (top), strengthening due to natural variability (middle) and weakening due to greenhouse warming (bottom). Black arrows represent horizontal and vertical winds with the shading on the background map illustrating ocean temperatures. Over the past few decades, natural variability has strengthened the Pacific Walker circulation leading to enhanced cooling in the equatorial central-to-eastern Pacific (middle). Climate models forced by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations simulate weakening of the Walker circulation (bottom). (Right) Temporal evolution of model-simulated Walker circulation trends, with the dark blue line and orange shading denoting anthropogenically-induced changes and the impact of natural processes, respectively. Credit IBS

Normal conditions (top), strengthening due to natural variability (middle) and weakening due to greenhouse warming (bottom). Black arrows represent horizontal and vertical winds with the shading on the background map illustrating ocean temperatures. Over the past few decades, natural variability has strengthened the Pacific Walker circulation leading to enhanced cooling in the equatorial central-to-eastern Pacific (middle). Climate models forced by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations simulate weakening of the Walker circulation (bottom). (Right) Temporal evolution of model-simulated Walker circulation trends, with the dark blue line and orange shading denoting anthropogenically-induced changes and the impact of natural processes, respectively. Credit IBS

A new study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that the recent intensification of the equatorial Pacific wind system, known as Walker Circulation, is unrelated to human influences and can be explained by natural processes. This result ends a long-standing debate on the drivers of an unprecedented atmospheric trend, which contributed to a three-fold acceleration of sea-level rise in the western tropical Pacific, as well as to the global warming hiatus.

Driven by the east-west sea surface temperature difference across the equatorial Pacific, the Walker circulation is one of the key features of the global atmospheric circulation. It is characterized by ascending motion over the Western Pacific and descending motion in the eastern equatorial Pacific. At the surface trade winds blow from east to west, causing upwelling of cold water along the equator. From the early 1990s to about 2013, this circulation has intensified dramatically, cooling the eastern equatorial Pacific and triggering shifts in global winds and rainfall (see Figure 1). These conditions further contributed to drying in California, exacerbating mega-drought conditions and impacting agriculture, water resources and wild fires. Given these widespread impacts on ecosystems and society, the recent Walker circulation trends have become subject of intense research.

In contrast to the observed strengthening, the majority of climate computer models simulates a gradual weakening of the Walker Circulation when forced by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations (see Figure 1). “The discrepancy between climate model projections and observed trends has led to speculations about the fidelity of the current generation of climate models and their representation of tropical climate processes”, said Eui-Seok Chung, researcher from the Center for Climate Physics, Institute for Basic Science, South Korea, and lead-author of the study.

To determine whether the observed changes in the tropical atmospheric circulation are due to natural climate processes or caused by human-induced climate change, scientists from South Korea, the United States and Germany came together to conduct one of the most comprehensive big-data analyses of recent atmospheric trends to date. “Using satellite data, improved surface observations and a large ensemble of climate model simulations, our results demonstrate that natural variability, rather than anthropogenic effects, were responsible for the recent strengthening of the Walker circulation”, said Prof. Axel Timmermann, Director of the IBS Center for Climate Physics at Pusan National University and co-author of this study.

In their integrated analysis, the researchers found that the satellite-inferred strengthening of the Walker circulation is substantially weaker than implied by other surface observations used in previous studies. “Putting surface observations in context with latest satellite products was a key element of our study”, said co-author Dr. Lei Shi from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in the United States.

Analyzing 61 different computer model simulations forced with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the authors showed that, although the average response is a Walker circulation weakening, there are substantial discrepancies amongst the individual model experiments, in particular when considering shorter-term trends. “We found that some models are even consistent with the observed changes in the tropical Pacific, in stark contrast to other computer experiments that exhibit more persistent weakening of the Walker circulation during the observational period”, said co-author Dr. Viju John from EUMETSAT in Germany. The authors were then able to tease apart what caused the spread in the computer model simulations.

Co-author Prof. Kyung-Ja Ha from the IBS Center for Climate Physics and Pusan National University explains “Natural climate variability, associated for instance with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation or the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation can account for a large part of diversity in simulated tropical climate trends”.

“The observed trends are not that unusual. In climate model simulations we can always find shorter-term periods of several decades that show similar trends to those inferred from the satellite data. However, in most cases, and when considering the century-scale response to global warming, these trends reverse their sign eventually”, said co-author Prof. Brian Soden from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, at the University of Miami, United States.

The study concludes that the observed strengthening of the Walker circulation from about 1990-2013 and its impact on western Pacific sea level, eastern Pacific cooling, drought in the Southwestern United States, was a naturally occurring phenomenon, which does not stand in contrast to the notion of projected anthropogenic climate change. Given the high levels of natural decadal variability in the tropical Pacific, it would take at least two more decades to detect unequivocally the human imprint on the Pacific Walker Circulation (see Figure 1, right panel).

Climate: In Case You Were Wondering

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Guest opinion by David Archibald

The global warming hysteria was reaching a crescendo in the lead up to the climate confab in Copenhagen in 2009 when a civic-minded person released the Climategate emails, deflating the whole thing. Those emails demonstrated that the science behind global warming was more like science fiction, concocted from the fevered imaginations of the scientists involved.

Nigh on 10 years have passed since then and we are currently experiencing another peak in the hysteria that seems to be coordinated worldwide. But why? Why now? The global warming scientists have plenty of time on their hands and plenty of money. Idle curiosity would have got some to have a stab at figuring out what is going to happen to climate. Do they see an imminent cooling and they have to get legislation in place before that is apparent?

The passage of those ten years has given us another lot of data points on the global warming. There are now 40 years of satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature and this is how that plots up for the Lower 48 States:


What the graph shows is the departure from the average for the 30 years from 1981 to 2010. The last data point is February 2019 with a result of -0.03 degrees C. So we have had 40 years of global warming and the temperature has remained flat. In fact it is slightly cooler than the long term average. Is it possible to believe in global warming when the atmosphere has cooled? No, not rationally. Is it possible for global warming to be real if the atmosphere has cooled? Again no.

Now let’s look at carbon dioxide which is supposed to be driving the global warming, if it was happening. A lab high up on Mauna Loa in Hawaii has been measuring the atmospheric concentration since 1958. As it is the annual change in concentration that is supposed to be driving global warming let’s see how that plots up:


What it shows is that the driving effect has been in a wide band from 1979 when the satellites to measure temperature went up but the trend is flat. Think about that – 40 years of forcing and no result in the actual atmospheric temperature. If it was ever going to happen it would have happened by now.

The opposite of global warming is global cooling. What are the chances of that? Pretty good in fact. Only one graph is need to show the potential for that – the aa Index which is a measure of the Sun’s magnetic field strength. Records of that have been kept since 1868:


The second half of the 20th century had a solar magnetic field strength that was 50% higher than that of the last 60 years of the Little Ice Age. That ended in 2006. We are now back to the solar activity levels of the 19th century and that may bring the sort of climate our forbears had then.

And so it has come to pass. January-February had record cold over North America. Seemingly the polar vortex was everywhere because Japan also had record cold.

Waiting for global warming to happen is like Waiting for Godot. It is never going to happen and the wait is getting beyond tedious.

In the meantime there is no evidence for global warming and the opposite is happening, as shown by the record cold we have just experienced. It is time to stop giving global warmers the benefit of doubt – they are loons. That includes Rick Perry.

David Archibald has lectured on climate science in both Senate and House hearing rooms.

Borenstein Tries The Daily Records Con

HiFast Note:

Here’s the Average Mean Temperature and other charts for Wooster, OH:



By Paul Homewood

Another remarkably dishonest and deceitful piece, even by Seth Borenstein standards. That it should be aided and abetted by NOAA is shameful:


Over the past 20 years, rather than shiver through record-setting cold, a new Associated Press data analysis shows.

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Are Climate Models Overpredicting Global Warming?

sunshine hours

The answer is yes.

Weather forecasters know that some models work better than others in specific situations, and they tend to rely on the versions that work best, depending upon the forecast problem. When the issue is a potential big snow along the eastern seaboard, forecasters usually lean upon the model from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (the “Euro” model). When diagnosing shifts in jet stream patterns a week or 10 days ahead, they may place more weight on the American Global Forecast System model.

But the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change simply averages up the 29 major climate models to come up with the forecast for warming in the 21st century, a practice rarely done in operational weather forecasting. As dryly noted by Eyring and others “there is now evidence that giving equal weight to each available model projection is suboptimal.”

Indeed. The authors…

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