Preparing for the Next IPCC

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 10:26 PM GMT del 13 Dicembre 2008

Preparing for the Next IPCC: This blog continues the series (linked below) where I have tried to give some visibility into the management and politics within the climate community. This one is about how the community is preparing for the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report … The next report for the IPCC Working Group I, who are the physical scientists, is scheduled for release in June of 2013. In climate centers around the world, they are already configuring the models that will be used so that they can undergo extensive evaluation before they are run in IPCC experiments.

For the most part, scientific development and the community of scientists are not strongly managed. One of the big changes in the climate community, as the results of the scientific investigation take on more and more importance in society as a whole, is the need to provide “products” for particular purposes, such as the IPCC assessments. In the beginning these assessments were treated like an “add on” to the research activities that had been funded for, more or less, basic research. Today, in the U.S. there is a sub-culture of the community that is directly interested in and funded to assure the U.S> participation in IPCC. There is a constant tension between the need for basic research and the requirement to produce the products necessary for the scientific assessment of climate change. (More on that, next time. Science is managed differently in other countries.))

As suggested in the previous blogs there are a variety of ways that the community organizes to meet the need for IPCC assessments. For the next assessment, named Assessment Report 5 (AR5), it is anticipated that new types of numerical simulations will be needed. Rather than running an array of scenarios to outline what will happen, there will be more consideration of what can and will be done to stabilize the climate.

One way that the community is organizing is through a program called the Climate Model Intercomparison Project. (CMIP) . This will be CMIP number 5; hence, CMIP5. The CMIP projects follow from the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Problem which was started in 1990. There is also an even longer history of model intercomparison and assessments in the stratospheric ozone community.

These intercomparison projects are an important part of model evaluation, but they are just part of the testing and evaluation that is done in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of models. They all have basically the same steps. Observations are the foundation of any evaluation. Hence, there is the need to identify a set of observations that will be used in the evaluations. There are hundreds of possibilities, and over the community as a whole, virtually any credible observation set that provides useful information has been used. However, there are a few that rise to stop as standard. A couple of examples are the surface temperature observations as, for example, compiled and validated and maintained by the Hadley Center and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Another classic example are the cloud and radiation observations that come from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments that fly on several satellites. (Here’s where you can get some data.)

Observations sit at the foundation, but there are several other critical elements in model evaluation. One of those critical elements is to have at least one group of independent researchers mode up of members NOT responsible for the model development. This is a group that can look at models with objectivity. In the U.S. the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison is such a group. (This group is sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office Biological and Environmental Research.)

Also critical to the process is the design of numerical experiments. (Yes, some scientists argue that there is no such thing as a “numerical experiment,” but it is possible to set up robust scientific experimentation with numerical models.) For example, in the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project, all of the models simulate from 1979 – 2000 using observed monthly mean sea surface temperatures. This time span was chosen because of the presence of global satellite observations. There are several standard runs in the climate model intercomparisons. An example is the “modern industrial era,” approximately the past 150 years.

Another element of the evaluation is the selection of objective measures for the evaluation and intercomparison. One of the standard measures is called the Taylor Diagram, which is an accumulation of statistical information from many data sources and many models. Here is an example of a Taylor Diagram.

Figure 1: Taylor Diagram: (primer) The plot is constructed based on the Law of Cosines. The observed field is represented by a point at unit distance from the origin along the abscissa. All other points, which represent simulated fields, are positioned such that the variance is the radial distance from the origin, the correlation is the cosine of the azimuthal angle, and the normalized root mean square difference is the distance to the observed point. When the distance to the point representing the observed field is relatively short, good agreement is found between the simulated and observed fields. In the limit of perfect agreement (which is, however, generally not achievable because there are fundamental limits to the predictability of climate), the root mean square difference would approach zero, and and correlation would approach unity.

Finally, this is an example of organizing and planning in the climate community. The process works from both the bottom and the top. Some scientists see the need for both coordination and the need to have controlled experiments across many organizations. They self organize, then seek funding from the agencies. Sometimes the agencies see the need for organization, and then offer incentives and opportunities for scientists to organize. I want to point you to an interesting document for next major IPCC assessment. This is a strategy document developed by part of the modeling community. It is an example of scientists trying to take part in the definition of the best experiments to support the assessments. Here’s A Strategy for Climate Change Stabilization Experiments with Atmospheric Ocean General Circulation Models and Earth System Models. And here are the objectives as quoted from this document.

1. Identify new components that are currently under implementation or will be ready in the next six months for inclusion as first generation Earth System Models in Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs).

2. Establish communication through WCRP, IGBP, IPCC, the climate impacts community, and integrated assessment (IA) modeling teams to coordinate activities in preparation for climate change simulations that will be performed with this next generation of climate system models for a possible IPCC AR5.

3. Propose an experimental design for 21st century climate change experiments with these models (near term and longer term time frames).

4. Specify the requirements for these new models in terms of time series of constituents from new stabilization scenarios (particularly with regard to impacts, mitigation, and adaptation).

Links to relevant blogs.

Importance of Justification

Buying Big Computers

Fragmented Climate

Organizing the Fragments

This series of blogs collected.

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97. cyclonebuster
07:38 PM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
RE: 95. MichaelSTL,

Have the great lakes frozen over yet? Could be the warmer water is causing more snowfall.
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
96. MichaelSTL
07:07 PM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
Some interesting development with Arctic ice cover recently; ice growth has flattened out and even shows a slight drop in recent days (probably just weather related but if this continues and the maximum is considerably lower than last winter it would increase the chances of another significant melt next summer):

Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
95. MichaelSTL
05:13 PM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
I thought that this is an interesting analysis of changes in snowcover over the last 4 decades; notice that there has been no significant trend during the winter - in other words, we still see about the same amount of snow in the winter as 40 years ago (so it is incorrect to blame global warming for a relatively snowless winter; for example, it has (so far) been colder here this winter than last but only half as much snow has fallen, it has however been drier than normal as opposed to last winter, which started a record wet trend and had some very large snowfalls). The difference is almost all in the spring and summer; the summer snowcover has declined by almost 50% over the period, this year also had the lowest coverage on record during the summer and last year the second lowest:

A graph of snow cover data shows an obvious annual pattern, with more snow in winter and less in summer:

We can remove the average annual pattern to compute snow cover anomaly:

I’ve added a smoothed curve, which indicates that snow cover has decreased over the decades it’s been tracked by satellites. We can confirm the decline by fitting a trend line to the data:

This indicates that on average, for the last four decades snow cover has declined by about 45,000 km^2 per year. In fact the average northern hemisphere snow cover has declined during this time interval by about 2 million km^2. And yes, that decline is statistically significant.

But we can look closer by isolating snow cover during the different seasons of the year. I’ll use the standard climatological definitions of the seasons, Dec-Jan-Feb for winter, Mar-Apr-May for spring, Jun-Jul-Aug for summer, and Sep-Oct-Nov for fall. If we look at winter snow cover, we don’t see any obvious trend, and in fact a regression indicates that there’s no significant change in winter snow cover:

It’s really not a surprise that there’s no trend in winter snow cover. Warmer temperature tends to melt snow, but also causes more water vapor in the air, so there’s more possibility of snow. And as long as it’s still cold enough to snow (which it still is during winter), we shouldn’t be surprised by no change in snow cover.

Springtime snow cover tells a different story:

This time there is a statistically significant trend, snow cover declining at about 68,000 km^2/yr. This is due to higher temperature causing earlier, and greater, springtime snowmelt.

The trend is even stronger in summer:

Average summer snow cover has declined at a whopping 99,000 km^2/yr. Again, higher temperature is the reason. The lowest average summer snow cover yet recorded was for 2008; the 2nd-lowest was 2007.

Autumn shows signs of a decline, but the decrease is not statistically significant:

So, autumn snow cover might be declining, but then again, it might not.

The seasonal pattern of snow cover shows that there’s been no noticeable decline during fall and winter, so we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised by the large snowfall over the U.S. this past week. We can also plainly see that snow cover exhibits extremely large fluctuations, so again last week’s snowfall is no surprise whatever, and no harbinger of any reversal of global warming. But the rapid decline of springtime snow cover over the last four decades, and the even more rapid decline of summer snow cover, show the mark of global warming unambiguously. And despite what some like to shout, the statistically strong trends are what’s important, not the statistically normal noise.
Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
94. cyclonebuster
01:22 PM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
Hard to believe that since the Caspian Sea is 92 feet below sea level.
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93. sullivanweather
07:29 AM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
What's also interesting in the sea height anomaly chart is very hard to see, but a careful inspection will reveal it.

The Caspian Sea drying up...
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92. cyclonebuster
05:45 AM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
RE: 86

Man made regulated upwelling can regulate the frequency of tropical cyclone formation.
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91. SteveBloom
05:39 AM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
Re #87: "Hope Yen"? :)
90. SteveBloom
05:37 AM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
Re #86: I'll say it's interesting. Is this the mechanism needed for Kerry Emanuel's hypothesis that increased TC activity kept the tropics relatively cool during hotter past climate states? It sure looks like it.

BTW, that shriek heard emanating from an office down the hall from Kerry's was Dick Lindzen being bit in the butt by a bear trap. He should learn to be more careful around those things.

And isn't the A Train starting to pay off big time?
89. cyclonebuster
05:30 AM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
Let me rephrase that. Regulating Upwelling will allow man to regulate Earths climate!!!
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
88. cyclonebuster
05:24 AM GMT del 21 Dicembre 2008
Upwelling is the way for us to change our climate!
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87. presslord
04:35 PM GMT del 20 Dicembre 2008
In Science Choices, Obama Signals ChangeBy HOPE YEN, AP
(Dec. 20) - President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named a Harvard physicist and a marine biologist to science posts, signaling a change from Bush administration policies on global warming that were criticized for putting politics over science.

Both John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco are leading experts on climate change who have advocated forceful government response. Holdren will become Obama's science adviser as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Lubchenco will lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees ocean and atmospheric studies and does much of the government's research on global warming.
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86. MichaelSTL
02:10 AM GMT del 20 Dicembre 2008
I came across this and thought it was interesting, especially the "six percent per decade" part:

Global warming causing more tropical storms: NASA

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Global warming is increasing the frequency of extremely high clouds in the Earth's tropics that cause severe storms and rainfall, according to a NASA study released Friday.

The space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said a study by its scientists "found a strong correlation between the frequency of these clouds and seasonal variations in the average sea surface temperature of the tropical oceans."

"For every degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in average ocean surface temperature, the team observed a 45-percent increase in the frequency of the very high clouds," according to the study, recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.

"At the present rate of global warming of 0.13 degrees Celsius (0.23 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade, the team inferred the frequency of these storms can be expected to increase by six percent per decade."

JPL Senior Research Scientist Hartmut Aumann headed the study on five years of data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua spacecraft, an instrument that observes climate variations.

The link between global warming and the frequency and intensity of severe storms has long been a source of speculation for climate modelers, noted the Pasadena, California-based JPL.
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85. crucilandia
11:22 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
CO2 continues to lag behing temperature


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84. cyclonebuster
07:35 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
Correct MichaelSTL,

It is a sadness I can not bear! It is as though I have been on death row for about two years now! Sniff!!!sniff!!! BTW they also remove heat created by the fossils when they are burned.
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
83. MichaelSTL
07:29 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
Just wondering CB, are you still banned from Dr. Masters' blog (I know you were before)?
Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
82. cyclonebuster
07:20 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
I know Amy I am being tortured! LOL!!
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
81. NRAamy
07:05 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
cb...the blog is all about geoengineering, and how it's time has should be allowed to post on today's topic, for sure!

Member Since: Gennaio 24, 2007 Posts: 319 Comments: 31956
80. cyclonebuster
07:03 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
74. NRAamy 5:15 PM GMT on December 19, 2008 need to check out the Doc's blogs....your tunnels are on topic!

WOW! I sure would like to comment there! Funny how some people think they can only cool the climate. They also warm the climate if we leave them in non-cooling phase. This is done by the enourmous amount of hydroelectrical power they produce thus removing the GHGs which is known to warm the planet.They would become great regulators of the PDO and AMO!
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
79. crucilandia
06:47 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
If internal variability do not play a role in climate change, why they must be included in the models that project future cenarios or to understand the origing of change?

Example here

Internal variability, external forcing and climate trends in multi-decadal AGCM ensembles

Climate Dynamics, Volume 23, Number 6,

An atmospheric general circulation model of intermediate complexity is used to investigate the origin and structure of the climate change in the second half of the twentieth century. The variability of the atmospheric flow is considered as a superposition of an internal part, due to intrinsic dynamical variability, and an external part, due to the variations of the sea surface temperature (SST) forcing. The two components are identified by performing a 50-member ensemble of atmospheric simulations with prescribed, observed SSTs in the period 1949–2002. The large number of realizations allows the estimation of statistics of the atmospheric variability with a high confidence level. The analysis performed focuses on interdecadal and interannual variability of 500 hPa geopotential height in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) during winter. The model reproduces well the structure of the observed trend (defined as the difference in the two 25-year intervals 1977–2001 and 1952–1976), particularly in the Pacific region, and about half of the amplitude of the signal. The trend in 500 hPa height projects mainly onto the second empirical orthogonal function (EOF), both in the observations and in the model ensemble. However, differences between the modelled and the observed variability are found in the pattern of the second EOF in the Atlantic sector. SST changes associated with the El Niño southern oscillation (ENSO) are responsible for about 50% of the signal of the 500 hPa height trend in the Pacific. A second 50-member ensemble is used to evaluate the sensitivity of interdecadal variability to an increase in CO2 optical depth compatible with observed concentration changes. In this second experiment, the simulated trend includes a statistically significant contribution from the positive phase of the Arctic oscillation (AO). Such a contribution is also found in observations. Furthermore, the additional CO2 forcing accounts for part of the NH trend in near-surface temperature, and brings the zonal-mean temperature changes in the stratosphere and upper-troposphere closer to observations.

THE INFLUENCE OF INTERNAL VARIABILITYON CLIMATE PROJECTIONSA. Sorteberg (1), H. Drange (1,2,3), N. G. Kvamsto (1,3), T. Furevik (1,3)(1) Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, University of Bergen, Norway, (2) NansenEnvironmental and Remote Sensing Center, Norway, (3) Geophysical Institute, University ofBergen, Norway

With identical greenhouse forcing climate models shows a wide range of responsesboth globally and regionally. This divergence from a single soulution may be partlydue todifferent model formulations and partly due to unpredicatbility of the climatesystem due to internal variability within the climate system itself. The contribution tothe total model spread from each of the two uncertainties is complex and dependenton type of climate variable, the strength of the greenhouse forcing as well as thespatial and temporal scales that are investigated.In order to estimate the contribution of the spread due to internal variability anensemble of simulations using one coupled climate model is performed. Thus theinfluence of intermodel differences on the spread is cancelled and it is possible tomake an estimate of the influence of internal variability on the climate projections.The ensemble was carried out with the coupled Bergen Climate Model (BCM) usingan atmospheric T63 truncation with 31 levels in the vertical and a variable ocean gridranging from 0.8 to 2.4 degrees and 24 vertical levels.The ensemble members have allbeen integrated with a 1% increase per year in CO2 content for 80 years, but startedin different initial ocean and atmosphere states
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78. crucilandia
06:37 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
heat content of the ocean is 10x that of the ATM. Why isn't it the other way around, the ocean is passing heat to the ATM?
Member Since: Marzo 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
77. MichaelSTL
05:57 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
Also, I came across an interesting post here that mentions a trend towards a more La Nina-like state in the Pacific (as I read it) - since at least 1900 (I first noticed it here, though this was only since 1982):

At first glance, this does not look like an ENSO time series. However, there is a large spike in the year 1998 which was the year of the super El Nino. Also indicative of an ENSO signal is the peak for the 1983 ENSO, and the current La Nina. But the main signature of this figure is the downward trend. Looking at the EOF figure above, we can interpret what this means. Since the early 1900s, the temperature in the tropical Pacific has been decreasing (the EOF is positive and the trend is negative), while the western Pacific has been warming (a negative EOF and a negative trend).

Perhaps has some implications (such as the question of what will happen with ENSO in the future); here is an article that mentions the same thing.
Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
76. MichaelSTL
05:50 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
Speaking of heat accumulation in the ocean, the following graphics of sea surface height anomaly dramatically shows this; the first is from 2005 (neutral at this time, a weak La Nina developed later) second from 2007 (strong La Nina) and last from 2008 (weak La Nina); notice the western Pacific in particular (some of that is from the trades blowing water westwards but compare 2007 and 2008; even though last year had a much stronger La Nina present the SSH anomaly was lower):

Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
75. MichaelSTL
05:46 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
Quoting cyclonebuster:
69. crucilandia 6:35 AM GMT on December 19, 2008
Is global ocean circulation changes the primary mechanism driving global climate variations?

It does it on land,sea and air Cruc. The oceans are so massive and its heat content effects the climate globally. The PDO and AMO are great examples of this global climate variability.

I think this idea needs to be dispelled; the very definition of the PDO and AMO preclude them from having a significant global effect; they are regional modes of variability; as a scientists at RealClimate replied:

[Response: Actually, just the opposite–its too small to be meaningful (by design, in fact). The formal definition of the PDO involves subtracting off the global mean SST from the North Pacific SST field and defining the index as the residual pattern. The AMO is typically defined by taking the leading non-ENSO EOF of the North Atlantic SST field, subtracting the warming trend, and defining the index as the residual (though this is slightly different from the original definition of the AMO by Tom Delworth and myself). More recent work by Knight et al (which I was also involved in) finds that the maximum peak-to-peak projection of the AMO onto global or Northern Hemisphere mean SST is only a tiny fraction (on the order of 0.1C) of the 20th century global mean warming trend. In short, these indices define the residual, ostensibly oscillatory regional temperature signals after the long-term, large-scale global warming signal has been subtracted off! The AMO and PDO are defined precisely so that they are largely orthogonal to global warming, and it is simply invalid to view them as contributors to it. Its unfortunate that these basic aspects of how the AMO and PDO are actually defined are so often misunderstood or, worse, intentionally misrepresented by climate change contrarians (in their effort to make a disingenuous case for global warming being due to ‘natural oscillations’ in the climate system). -mike]

Notice the highlighted parts - subtracting the global average SST means that essentially it cannot have a significant impact (or we would be subtracting part of the index from itself). 0.1*C for the AMO also isn't very much either, especially as temperatures continue to rise (probably also true for the PDO; it affects ENSO and strong ENSO events contribute about +/-0.2*C, so that it is also likely near 0.1*C - though it seems that the PDO by itself has zero net effect, as during a neutral ENSO year). Also, overall the effect is likely the opposite - in order to cause warming or cooling, heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere has to change, so during the negative phases more heat is absorbed into the ocean than otherwise, and less during the positive phases (since heat content is increasing, we know that there is still a net flux into the oceans). ENSO is also similar on a much shorter timescale - El Nino releases heat and La Nina absorbs heat.
Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
74. NRAamy
05:15 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008 need to check out the Doc's blogs....your tunnels are on topic!

Member Since: Gennaio 24, 2007 Posts: 319 Comments: 31956
73. cyclonebuster
01:40 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
Scientists Find Increased Methane Levels In Arctic Ocean
ScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2008) — A team led by International Arctic Research Center scientist Igor Semiletov has found data to suggest that the carbon pool beneath the Arctic Ocean is leaking.The results of more than 1,000 measurements of dissolved methane in the surface water from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf this summer as part of the International Siberian Shelf Study show an increased level of methane in the area. Geophysical measurements showed methane bubbles coming out of chimneys on the seafloor.

“The concentrations of the methane were the highest ever measured in the summertime in the Arctic Ocean,” Semiletov said. “We have found methane bubble clouds above the gas-charged sediment and above the chimneys going through the sediment.”

The new data indicates the underwater permafrost is thawing and therefore releasing methane. Permafrost can affect methane release in two ways. Both underwater and on land, it contains frozen organic material such as dead plants and animals. When permafrost thaws, that organic material decomposes, releasing gases like methane and carbon dioxide. In addition, methane, either in gas form or in ice-like methane hydrates, is trapped underneath the permafrost. When the permafrost thaws, the trapped methane can seep out through the thawed soil. Methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, is thought to be an important factor in global climate change.

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is a relatively shallow continental shelf that stretches more than 900 miles into the Arctic Ocean from Siberia. The area is a year-round source of methane to the globe’s atmosphere. However, until recently, scientists believed that much of the area’s carbon pool was safely insulated by underwater permafrost, which is, on average, 11 degrees Celcius warmer than surface permafrost.

Semiletov said this year’s expeditions used both chemical and geophysical measurement techniques, a first in the area. He also noted that while the high-arctic ocean readings were surprisingly high, on par with those from high-arctic lakes, they are still much lower than is being found in subarctic regions.

“That means we cannot extrapolate the subarctic data to the entire Arctic,” he said.

Semiletov, as associate research professor at IARC, leads the International Siberian Shelf Study, which has launched the multiple expeditions to the Arctic Ocean to collect data on methane release of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. The ISSS includes 30 collaborating scientists from five countries. The project, which gained momentum during the International Polar Year, established more than 1,000 oceanographic stations in the Arctic and performed a few million measurements of methane mixing ratios of the Arctic atmosphere in the last five years. It is part of UAF’s work during IPY, an international event that is focusing research efforts and public attention on the Earth’s polar regions.

Semiletov is a chemical oceanographer who has studied carbon cycling in the arctic atmosphere-land-shelf system with emphasis on carbon dioxide and dissolved methane from both terrestrial and oceanic sources since the early 1990s. He joined the International Arctic Research Center in 2001. Since 2004, he has collaborated with IARC scientist Natalia Shakhova to develop the methane study at IARC.

Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
72. cyclonebuster
01:29 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
70. CajunSubbie,

You know, that is pretty arrogant to think ocean acidification isn't caused by increased Co2 levels that man has created.What say you?
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
71. cyclonebuster
01:19 PM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
69. crucilandia 6:35 AM GMT on December 19, 2008
Is global ocean circulation changes the primary mechanism driving global climate variations?

It does it on land,sea and air Cruc. The oceans are so massive and its heat content effects the climate globally. The PDO and AMO are great examples of this global climate variability.
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
70. CajunSubbie
10:10 AM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers had never bought into the notion that man can alter the climate and the Vegas snowstorm didn’t impact his opinion. Myers, an American Meteorological Society certified meteorologist, explained on CNN’s Dec. 18 “Lou Dobbs Tonight” that the whole idea is arrogant and mankind was in danger of dying from other natural events more so than global warming.

“You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant,” Myers said. “Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big – I think we’re going to die from a lack of fresh water or we’re going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure.”
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69. crucilandia
06:35 AM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
Is global ocean circulation changes the primary mechanism driving global climate variations?
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68. StSimonsIslandGAGuy
12:00 AM GMT del 19 Dicembre 2008
64 what is an "internal climate variation"? Internal to what?
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67. cyclonebuster
01:40 PM GMT del 18 Dicembre 2008
This is evidence that global sea levels are rising and GHGs are to blame. Since we are the cause of some GHGs then this is how we prove that man can change the climate by changing SSTs. Other methods of mans ability to alter his climate are possible, one of which is upwelling. Upwelling is responsable for regulating the PDO and AMO cycles. I hearby claim that by regulating the amount of upwelling in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans man can regulate the PDO and AMO. My "Underwater Suspension Tunnel" idea does just that if we need them to. I would gladly bet one Whopper one large Fry and a large Milk Shake for anyone who can disprove my theory!
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
66. cyclonebuster
01:24 PM GMT del 18 Dicembre 2008
Also notice they have to change the scaling on the left hand side or else they would have run out of graph space again!
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65. SteveBloom
05:51 AM GMT del 18 Dicembre 2008
Re #64: What sort, African or European?
64. crucilandia
05:31 AM GMT del 18 Dicembre 2008
What is the role of internal climate variations in the warming of the last century?
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63. MichaelSTL
05:15 AM GMT del 18 Dicembre 2008
Quoting cyclonebuster:
Same from nasa.


Also notice the change in the trend between that graph from 2005 (see the date in the lower left) and the current one:

Image Hosted by

2.9 mm/year through 2005 and 3.1 mm/year through 2008 - the trend is increasing, although I noticed that they look a bit different even though I selected the same kind of graph (inverse barometer applied with seasonal signal removed).
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62. we86
04:35 AM GMT del 18 Dicembre 2008
ur article is veyr profession, very good ! welcome to my blog:somewhere i've never been
61. cyclonebuster
09:16 PM GMT del 17 Dicembre 2008
Climate Change: A Dark Future For Migratory Fish
ScienceDaily (Dec. 17, 2008) — In Europe, most migratory fish species completing their cycle between the sea and the river are currently in danger. Although restoration programmes have been set up, the future distribution of these species may be modified because of climate change. At the Bordeaux Cemagref, scientists have developed biogeographical models to predict their distribution on the 2100 horizon.Migratory fish are noteworthy in that they use both the sea and freshwater environments to complete their life cycle. Since the last glacial period 18,000 years ago, this allowed them to progressively colonize all parts of Europe. However, over-fishing, river development, pollution, etc. have contributed to these migratory fish populations regressing and today most of these species are endangered.

Moreover, they must adapt to global warming, already implicated in the reduced numbers of individuals of certain species, such as the reduction in smelt numbers observed over the past few years in some of the southernmost parts of their distribution area. To identify sensitive species that may be the most severely affected by this climate change, their future geographical distribution, integrating rises in temperature and changes in precipitation, was simulated as part of a doctoral thesis at the Bordeaux Cemagref.

A historical model of species distribution

First, Cemagref researchers inventoried the migratory fish species throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. This large geographical scale covered nearly the entire geographical area of each of the 28 European species counted in the census. How does temperature limit the distribution area of these species? To answer this question, 200 catchment areas were studied to determine the distribution of each species in terms of presence-absence and abundance. The study established a distribution model for each species at a time when humans put little pressure on the environment.

The first decade of the 20th century was chosen as the reference period. More than 400 bibliographic references were analysed and the lists made were completed by the partner laboratories in the European Diadfish network . In addition to air temperature, four other factors known to influence the distribution of freshwater fish were retained: longitude at the mouth of the watershed, the watershed’s surface area, the altitude at the source and precipitations.

What does the future hold for migratory fish in 2100?

The next step applied these distribution models to a context of climate change, using the four reference climate scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Expert Group on Climate Change (Groupement d’Experts Intergouvernementaux sur l’Evolution du Climat; GIEC, 2000). The timeline covered the period to 2100 so that significant changes could be measured in the fish populations with a sufficiently long-term perspective. Moreover, this duration corresponds to most of the restoration plans successfully carried out for migratory fish. Based on a temperature rise between 1 and 7°C, the response of the species can be classed into three categories: shrinkage of the distribution area, extension of the distribution area and no change in the distribution area.

This study has shown that for most species the situation will deteriorate. For example, the smelt and the Arctic char will lose approximately 90% of the watersheds that are favourable for reduced or null gains. Only two species, the thinlipped mullet and the twaite shad, will be able to expand their territory towards the north, beyond their initial distribution area. Finally, in accordance with the predictions, the southern watersheds risk losing most of their species. Could this be an opportunity for more exotic migratory fish? Researchers remain very reserved, even pessimistic, on this point, because few of these species are found along the coast of West Africa because of a lack of permanent rivers to accommodate them.

The priority is therefore restoring the fish environments and populations. The prediction models within these studies are good tools that can be used to set up conservation programmes over the long term at different scales.

Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
60. cyclonebuster
09:09 PM GMT del 17 Dicembre 2008
Cosmic Rays Do Not Explain Global Warming, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Dec. 17, 2008) — A new study supports earlier findings by stating that changes in cosmic rays most likely do not contribute to climate change. It is sometimes claimed that changes in radiation from space, so-called galactic cosmic rays, can be one of the causes of global warming. A new study, investigating the effect of cosmic rays on clouds, concludes that the likelihood of this is very small.
A group of researchers from the University of Oslo, Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), CICERO Center for Climate and Environmental Research, and the University of Iceland, are behind the study.

Unlikely that cosmic rays affect global warming

There are scientific uncertanties about cosmic rays and cloud formation. Some researchers have claimed that a reduction of cosmic rays during the last decades has contributed to the global temperature rise. The hypothesis is that fewer cosmic rays causes fewer cloud droplets and reduced droplet size, and that this again causes global warming, since reduced cloud droplets would reflect less energy from the sun back to space. However, the researchers who stick to this hypothesis find little support amongst colleagues.

“According to our research, it does not look like reduced cosmic rays leads to reduced cloud formation”, says Jon Egill Kristjansson, a professor at the University of Oslo.

This result is in line with most other research in the field. As far as Kristjansson knows, no studies have proved a correlation between reduced cosmic rays and reduced cloud formation.

Kristjansson also points out that most research shows no reduction in cosmic rays during the last decades, and that an astronomic explanation of today’s global warming therefore seems very unlikely.

Studied solar outbreaks

Kristjansson and his collegaues have used observations from so-called Forbush decrease events: Sudden outbreaks of intense solar activity that lead to a strong reduction of cosmic rays, lasting for a couple of days. The researchers have identified 22 such events between 2000 and 2005.

Based on data from the space-borne MODIS instrument, the researchers have investigated whether these events have affected cloud formation. While previous studies have mainly considered cloud cover, the high spatial and spectral resolution of the MODIS data also allows for a more thorough study of microphysical parameters such as cloud droplet size, cloud water content and cloud optical depth.

No statistically significant correlations were found between any of the four cloud parameters and galactic cosmic rays.

“Reduced cosmic rays did not lead to reduced cloud formation, either during the outbreaks or during the days that followed. Indeed, following some of the events we could see a reduction, but following others there was an increase in cloud formation. We did not find any patterns in the way the clouds changed”, Kristjansson explains.

By focusing on pristine Southern Hemisphere ocean regions, the researchers examined areas where a cosmic ray signal should be easier to detect than elsewhere.

Supports other recent work

Joanna Haigh from Imperial College London has also studied possible links between solar variability and modern-day climate change.

“This is a careful piece of work by Jon Egill Kristjansson that appears to find no evidence for the reputed link between cosmic rays and clouds," she commented to BBC.

“It's supporting other recent work that also found no relationship," Haigh added.

Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
59. cyclonebuster
09:02 PM GMT del 17 Dicembre 2008
Same from nasa.

Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
58. streamtracker
08:53 PM GMT del 17 Dicembre 2008
Quoting crucilandia:

What bothers me about your posts is that you have learned nothing about the difference between short-term variability and long-term trends.

And besides where did you get that graph? Is it for global levels or is it just one gauge? Because it does not match the U.of Co. dataset.

Member Since: Ottobre 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
57. crucilandia
05:46 AM GMT del 17 Dicembre 2008
Member Since: Marzo 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
56. SteveBloom
02:20 AM GMT del 17 Dicembre 2008
Re #54: It is. Pay attention.
55. SteveBloom
12:05 AM GMT del 17 Dicembre 2008
Re #41: There's not necessarily a conflict between the two reports. The first one discusses glacial calving and the second overall mass loss. Among other factors, bear in mind that measurements of calving don't include meltwater loss, and that ice loss and accumulation are fairly independent processes (i.e. loss could have increased but accumulation could have increased more). Notice also that this year's calving loss was stated to be greatly dependent on a single large event late in the season, which makes me wonder if the cutoff date for the data was consistent between the two studies and if GRACE would show any difference from that big chunk of the Petermann if it hadn't moved very far.
54. crucilandia
11:40 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
glaciers are melting, why isn't sea level rising accordingly?
Member Since: Marzo 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
53. MichaelSTL
08:05 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
Quoting cyclonebuster:
41. I see the conflict. Still it doesn't bode well.

I think the one about "three times the previous record melt" was only referring to glaciers, not Greenland overall, so they may both be right (loss of glaciers of course can also speed up the flow of ice into the sea).
Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
52. MichaelSTL
08:02 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
Quoting sullivanweather:
Seems like 2009 is destined to follow in the footsteps of 2008...

It'll be another long year of weather event talking points to stall efforts to combat climate change and the looming energy crisis (for those of you that thought the spike in fuel prices from 2004-08 was bad, just wait).

The effects of another La Nina may not be as large however, if it is like 2000-2001; GISS noted how warm 2001 was despite the presence of La Nina (it does depend on what ENSO does next year; whether La Nina weakens in the spring as usual or continues, as Klaus Wolter thinks, he compares the current event to 1973-74 and that it lasted into 1976, which would translate into 2010; I'll also note however that according to the ONI the only La Nina to develop this late was in 1967-68 (first ONI of -0.5 by November-January); that one however weakened to neutral in the spring and 1968 ended with El Nino conditions; 2005-2006 is the second closest match (the 5 season ONI criteria aside) with a NDJ reading of -0.8):

The 2001 meteorological year (December-November) had the second warmest global surface temperature (Fig. 1) in more than a century of instrumental data (see Hansen et al. 2001). Calendar year 2001 will also be the second warmest year on record, as the 11-month temperature anomaly exceeds that in the next warmest years (1990 and 1995) by almost 0.1°C. Our analysis uses recently documented procedures for data over land (Hansen et al. 2001) and for sea surface temperatures (Reynolds et al. 2002).

The global warmth in 2001 is particularly meaningful, because it occurs at a phase of the Southern Oscillation in which the tropical Pacific Ocean is cool (Fig. 2). The record warmth of 1998, in contrast, was bolstered by a strong El Niño that raised global temperature 0.2°C above the trend line (Fig. 1).

Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
51. cyclonebuster
07:41 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
How do we get the real story on this?
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
50. cyclonebuster
07:38 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
41. I see the conflict. Still it doesn't bode well.
Member Since: Gennaio 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
49. sullivanweather
06:42 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
Seems like 2009 is destined to follow in the footsteps of 2008...

It'll be another long year of weather event talking points to stall efforts to combat climate change and the looming energy crisis (for those of you that thought the spike in fuel prices from 2004-08 was bad, just wait).
Member Since: Marzo 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
48. MichaelSTL
06:39 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
They also made mention of the error made in October data:

In the past our procedure has been to run the analysis program upon receipt of all three data sets and make the analysis publicly available immediately. This procedure worked very well from a scientific perspective, with the broad availability of the analysis helping reveal any problems with input data sets. However, because confusion was generated in the media after one of the October 2008 input data sets was found to contain significant flaws (some October station records inadvertently repeated September data in the October data slot), we have instituted a new procedure. The GISS analysis is first made available internally before it is released publicly. If any suspect data are detected, they will be reported back to the data providers for resolution. This process may introduce significant delays. We apologize for any inconvenience due to this delay, but it should reduce the likelihood of instances of future confusion and misinformation.
Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
47. MichaelSTL
06:31 PM GMT del 16 Dicembre 2008
It should also be noted that SSTs have started falling again in November, undoubtfully due to La Nina redeveloping:

Member Since: Febbraio 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744

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