Consider the evolution of surface pressure over the last 68 years as documented in the figures below. The change in surface pressure in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere from one decade to another is due to change in the ozone content of the air as it generates polar cyclone activity of varying intensity in the region of 60-70° south latitude.

July pressure

The activity of polar cyclones gives rise to the planetary low in surface pressure on the margins of Antarctica that we see below.


Even in the depths of northern winter when ozone partial pressure is elevated in the northern hemisphere there is no annular ring of low surface pressure in high northern latitudes. Although somewhat  depleted in extent and intensity that annular ring surrounding Antarctica is maintained throughout summer. Notice that in summer the zone of high surface pressure over the Antarctic continent is attenuated by comparison with the annual average. In the northern hemisphere ozone peaks and the associated surface pressure troughs are established over the high latitude Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans.SLP Jan

In January the southern hemisphere warms but to a much smaller extent than the northern hemisphere does in its summer. It’s mostly ocean and the sea readily absorbs energy. Terra firma tends to return energy to the atmosphere on a daily basis, forcing cloud loss and faster heating and that is why the northern hemisphere experiences the greater annual range of temperature as we see below.

NH and SH temp

The northwards transfer of atmospheric mass from the southern hemisphere is much less than the corresponding transfer from north to south in July.  But the strength of polar cyclone activity in the southern hemisphere is such as to fully compensate for the lack of heating of the southern atmosphere in summer driving down surface pressure  over a wide band of latitudes near the pole creating the imbalance in the distribution of atmospheric mass that is indicated below, particularly affecting high southern latitudes. Compare the January data below with the July data above to see the point of this discussion.

January pressure

It is plain that:

  1. The primary driver of the distribution of atmospheric mass globally is solar heating in summer. This shifts mass to the winter hemisphere. Massive heating of the northern hemisphere in northern summer due to the return of energy to the atmosphere as the abundant  land masses of the northern hemisphere heat up the atmosphere, reducing its density  thereby shifting atmospheric mass to the colder southern hemisphere and Antarctica in particular. It is at this time that the temperature of the globe peaks. It’s a full 4°C warmer in July than in January despite the fact that the Earth is further from the sun and solar radiation 6% truncated in the middle of the year. Global cloud cover is lowest in July due to the heating of the atmosphere accounting for the temperature maximum for the globe as a whole.
  2. The secondary and equally powerful driver of the distribution of atmospheric mass is the flux in ozone partial pressure at 60-70° south latitude. Correctly speaking, its the contrast in  air density between air over the Antarctic continent and that over the sea on the margins of the continent that is the main engine of change in the distribution of atmospheric mass because it determines the intensity of Polar Cyclones that form on the margins of Antarctica. These cyclones collectively determine the volume of the atmosphere that resides  between the pole and 50° south latitude.
  3. A tertiary driver, much smaller in its impact on the distribution of atmospheric mass is the flux in the ozone content of the air in and about the Arctic.

Plainly, to understand variability in surface pressure on an inter-annual and longer time scales a focus on atmospheric dynamics in high southern latitudes is required.

Until the advent of satellite technology change in mid to high southern latitudes remained undocumented. Since the publication of reanalysis data in 1996 it is possible to examine what has happened in that part of the global atmosphere.

I am very much aware that the connection between the evolution of the climate globally and the flux in southern hemisphere ozone is ‘new information’ for the reader and will be seen as a ‘crazy theory’, especially by those unfamiliar with atmospheric processes. Let me refer to two items of supporting research, both the product of sophisticated mathematical analysis. This is the classic ‘resort to authority’. I need you to take these matters seriously.


Geopotential height changes with the temperature of the air below a pressure level. Low heights indicate cold air below the stated pressure level related to cyclonic conditions and high heights warmer air that is associated with anticyclones. Change in geopotential height represents change in both surface pressure and the origin of the air.  Low heights at 100 hPa are associated with incursions of cold dense air of equatorial origin and high heights incursions of warm, low density air of polar origin. The temperature difference relates to the high tropopause near the equator where the temperature of the air is similar to that in the mesosphere. In contrast, the tropopause is much lower in higher latitudes and the air above it warmed by ozone.

If geopotential height changes systematically over time it signifies change in the character of the air at that particular latitude that entails change of temperature at the surface, in short ‘climate change’. A change in heights is also associated with a change in the source of the air that blows at a particular location. Another way of looking at this change in wind direction is as a change in the way the atmosphere transports energy from the tropics towards higher colder latitudes.



The second abstract informs us that change in geopotential height originates in the stratosphere in high latitudes. The first abstract informs us that the primary and initiating mode of change is to be found in the Antarctic.


To understand variability in surface pressure (and surface temperature) on an inter-annual and longer time scales a focus on atmospheric dynamics in high southern latitudes is required. Specifically we need to monitor the ozone content of the air in the interaction zone between the troposphere and the stratosphere. This is not something that is realised by those who write UNIPCC reports. If it were, we would see much greater interest in the origin of polar cyclones and the ozone content of the air in high latitudes.



There is a body of work that is being presented here, as a blog. Very unusual. It follows a carefully planned logical sequence. You can access all the chapters in this ‘treatise’, in reverse, at: https://reality348.wordpress.com

1 HOW DO WE KNOW THINGS? The virtue of taking in the broadest possible view using our own senses rather than relying on the opinions of others.

2 ASSESSING CLIMATE CHANGE IN YOUR OWN HABITAT Employing reanalysis data and a spreadsheet to take the long view

3 HOW THE EARTH WARMS AND COOLS-NATURALLY. A top down mode of causation is described. This mode of change is capable of explaining variations in both the short and long term in both directions, both warming and cooling. It can explain warming in one place and simultaneous cooling in another. In short it is very well adapted to explain the climate changes that we observe from daily through to centennial time scales ……. and to do so, exclusively and completely.

HERESY AND ORTHODOXY. Some impromptu observations on the inexplicable entanglement of science and politics. On exercising control, suppression of ideas, the nature of propaganda and ‘results oriented behaviour’ that is antagonistic to the interests of humanity in general.

IN THANKS TO STEPHEN WILDE. Some off the cuff comments on the nature of the atmosphere and climate science directed to a man who struggles earnestly in that same field of endeavour.

IT’S SIMPLE SIMON. A brief, impromptu exploration of the nature of the atmosphere.

4 THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE STRATOSPHERE. A re-examination of the nature of the troposphere and the stratosphere via a study of the lapse rate of temperature with elevation as it varies with latitude. If there is a problem in climate science it is in failing to appreciate that the zone of interaction between the stratosphere and the troposphere varies with latitude, descending strongly at high latitudes and is extensive, almost as thick as the troposphere proper. This zone of interaction involves marked differences in air density in the horizontal plane giving rise to strong winds, much stronger than at the surface. This is where air pressure and the ‘synoptic situation’ is determined. The notion of a ‘tropopause’ that marks a boundary between the ‘stratosphere’ and a ‘stratosphere’ that ‘exists at a particular elevation’ is profoundly, and dismayingly misleading.

5 THE ENIGMA OF THE COLD CORE POLAR CYCLONE. A cyclone cannot come into existence in the absence of a warm low density core. In short the polar cyclone is cold below and warm above. Ozone kick starts and then accelerates the circulation of the air in a fashion that is more vigorous than is possible anywhere else on the globe. An investigation of the agent that is responsible for natural climate change on all time scales……arguably the only form of climate change that is consistent with the surface temperature record.

6 THE POVERTY OF CLIMATOLOGY. There is a palpable disconnect between observation and theory. Surface temperature is linked to geopotential height increases that are common from the surface to the 200hPa level in turn linked to change in the ozone content of the air…….as yet unrealized in academic and meteorological circles. Does this represent simply a failure to think things through, or something more sinister? The signature of ozone variability is date stamped into the tropical sea surface temperature record.

7 TEMPERATURE EVOLVES DIFFERENTLY ACCORDING TO LATITUDE. A brief survey that establishes the diversity that exists in the nature of the way temperature changes at different latitudes. On the face it, completely inconsistent with greenhouse theory.

8 VOLATILITY IN TEMPERATURE. In George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’ that gave rise to the Lerner and Loewe musical ‘My Fair Lady’, Henry Higgins declares that he can tell where a person comes from according to the accent in their speech. Equally, it is possible to detect the origin of temperature change, natural or otherwise, via a close study of the evolution of temperature over time. This is a critical chapter. It identifies the signature of the mode of natural climate change that is written into the temperature record. It points to origin and causation. Unfortunately, nobody  actually looks at the record to discover it.

9 MANKIND IN A CLOUD OF CONFUSION Coming to grips with the true nature of the atmosphere rather than the fairyland version promoted by IPCC climate science.

THE ARCTIC STRATOSPHERE SO COLD TODAY. An impromptu investigation of the forces active in the Arctic stratosphere.

10 MANKIND ENCOUNTERS THE STRATOSPHERE The evolution of the planetary winds and temperature at the surface of the Earth is intimately associated with flux in surface pressure wrought by ozone heating in high latitudes.

11 POPULATION, SCARCITY AND THE ORGANIZATION OF SOCIETY. What is the most desirable temperature regime for humanity? What would we prefer?

12 VARIATION IN ENERGY INPUT DUE TO CLOUD COVER. An investigation of the relationship between cloud cover and surface temperature

13 THE PROCESSES BEHIND FLUX IN CLOUD COVER. Change in cloud cover is manifestly a major mode of natural climate variation. This is basic stuff. Here is where the investigation should begin.

14 ORGANIC CLIMATE CHANGE. Focus on natural processes that account for surface temperature change. Heating of the vast land masses of the northern hemisphere in northern summer reduces global cloud cover and as a result the temperature of the Earth peaks in July when the Earth is furthest from the sun. In July solar radiation is 6% weaker than in January. In January the sun is overhead the most extensive stretch of the global oceans, the south Pacific, the Indian, the Atlantic and the enormous Southern Ocean. At this time atmospheric albedo, via cloud cover, peaks. This has not always been the case and nor will it be the case in future.

15 SCIENCE VERSUS PROPAGANDA. If we want to understand the climate system we need to be concerned with both the input and the output side of the energy flows. The singular focus on the output side of the energy equation and the constant promotion of ‘greenhouse theory’ is the result of uni-dimensional thinking that is realms away from the real world. This does not represent rational problem solving behaviour. Some remarks on greenhouse theory and the inappropriate use of a single statistic to monitor a global average temperature.

16 ON BEING RELEVANT AND LOGICAL. When one looks at climate change by latitude there is very marked diversity in the warming/cooling according to the time of year. Here we look at climate change by the decade at different latitudes to escape the gyrations associated with short term oscillations. The interest in this chapter is to ascertain if there is a generalized warming that is like a groundswell, underpinning the whole. That is what would be expected under the greenhouse scenario. The upshot: If it’s there, it’s either insignificant or completely overwhelmed by other influences.

17 WHY IS THE STRATOSPHERE WARM This is a question of fundamental importance. Mainstream climate science says it’s due to the interception of short wave solar radiation. But this cannot explain the warming of ozone rich air in the polar atmosphere during the polar night when contrasting atmospheric density produces the most intense response in terms of wind strength. It can’t explain why the air above Antarctica is warmer than the icy surface below. It can’t explain the strengthened jet stream in winter. It’s inconsistent with the way that the stratosphere drives the generation of polar cyclones and produces the greatest fluctuations in surface temperature across the surface of the globe in the depth of winter.

18 THE OZONE PULSE SURFACE PRESSURE AND WIND Traces the flux of ozone partial pressure by latitude across the annual cycle as it depends upon the uplift of NOx and water from the troposphere and the descent of ozone deficient air from the mesosphere. These inflows determine the ozone content and temperature of the stratosphere against a relatively stable background of short wave ionizing radiation responsible for photolysis and the creation of ozone. Change in surface pressure across the globe results via the variation in the intensity of polar cyclones in the winter hemisphere. These cyclones owe their warm cores to ozone. A broad interactive zone between 8 and 15 km of altitude exhibits extreme variations in air density giving rise to Jet Streams. Meteorologists trace the development of the weather that is so generated at the 250hPa pressure level. Identifies the origin of the Antarctic Ozone Hole.

19 SHIFTS IN ATMOSPHERIC MASS. Describes the origin of change in the planetary winds and cloud cover. Looks at the historical evolution of the distribution of atmospheric mass by the decade. Identifies the source of natural climate change as shifts in atmospheric mass consequent upon of change in the ozone content of the Antarctic stratosphere. Meshes nicely with recent observations as the the nature of the dominant modes of inter-annual climate variation that are called ‘annular modes’ and observations of where climate change is initiated….Antarctica.



  1. Macha. On the contrary. Going strong and on schedule. Would like more visitors though. Visitors running at 15-30 per day and views greater than 3 per visitor so people are reading. Visitor numbers climb as I get to comment on others blogs but cant spend too much time galloping about or the work would not be done. Posts 1 per week is a good rate, normally late in the week ready for the weekend readers.

    So, is it making sense to you?


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