The notion that the climate of the Earth is independent of external influences is a basic tenet of ‘climate science’ as promulgated by the UNIPCC. It is maintained that the only way in which the sun could influence surface temperature is via a variation in TSI (total solar irradiance). Since TSI is invariable it is held that the sun can not be responsible for any variation in surface temperature. In consequence it is maintained that the flux in surface temperature is internally generated and that surface temperature will increase as a function of back radiation from so called ‘greenhouse gases’, the chief of which is carbon dioxide.
But the assumption that change is internally generated is unwarranted. The most cursory examination of the climate record reveals that the Earth has natural modes of climate variation capable of increasing and decreasing surface temperature and to do so at different rates at different latitudes and also between the hemispheres. In this post I will demonstrate that the Earth’s climate system is an open system, that responds to external influences so as to increase and decrease surface temperature. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that this is the only mode of climate variation that is in operation.
The Annular mode concept is described here.
The UNIPCC has a discussion of the Northern and Southern Annular modes here. Climate models are incapable of simulating these natural modes of change. Nor will models be able to simulate the change until the underlying mechanics are understood. Currently, the discussion is about ‘troposphere-stratosphere coupling processes’ jargon for the manner in which change that originates in the stratosphere ‘propagates to the troposphere’. The argument as to whether change begins in the troposphere or the stratosphere is ongoing.
If we investigate the, by now very well documented, ‘Northern and Southern Annular Modes’ of natural climate change we observe:
- At all points on the Earths surface temperature is most variable in winter being driven by Arctic processes that are most influential in January and February and Antarctic processes that are most influential in June and July.
- An interchange of atmospheric mass occurs in winter between high latitudes and the rest of the globe. This changes the balance in the pressure relationships that determine the strength and direction of the planetary winds. In consequence there is change in the equator to pole temperature gradient. In general, because surface pressure is lowest in the region of the circumpolar trough that surrounds the Antarctic continent air flows from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere and from equatorial regions towards Antarctica producing warmer or cooler temperatures at each point along the route according to the origin and strength of the flow of air that emanates from warm or cold places.The natural state of the climate system involves a transition between these warm and cold regimes.
- As atmospheric mass shifts from high to mid and low latitudes surface pressure increases in the latter and it is observed that surface temperature increases in proportion to surface pressure, geopotential height at 500 hPa and the temperature of the air above 500 hPa. Plainly, the surface temperature response is due to change in cloud cover. However, this point is not be made in the literature due to ideological fixation on the notion that surface temperature must be a product of downward radiation from radiating gases. So, the relationship between geopotential height and surface temperature may be acknowledged but is never explained.
- The agent of shifts in atmospheric mass is the relative intensity of polar cyclones that collectively constitute the Antarctic Circumpolar Trough. The vorticity of these cyclones is driven by contrast in air density between 300 hPa and 50 hPa where the stratosphere overlaps with the troposphere and marked conjunctional disparities in tropopause height can be observed. This is where warm ozone rich air from the mid latitudes meets cold, ozone deficient air that occupies the the polar cap in winter. Here, the ozone content of the air is a strong driver of air density. It is observed that air masses characterised by low surface pressure are rich in ozone aloft while air masses that exhibit high surface pressure are relatively deficient in ozone aloft emanating from either the tropics or the Antarctic continent. All air streams meet at the Antarctic circumpolar trough and the contrast in the nature of these air streams is greatest in winter.
- It is observed that the ozone content of the air in high latitudes increases strongly in winter, providing the energy, via the absorption of long wave radiation from the Earth itself to drive convectional uplift to the limits of the atmosphere where ozone accumulates in localised ‘hot spots’ like the north Pacific or the western Pacific in the region of New Zealand.
- The exchange of atmospheric mass that occurs between the high altitudes of the southern hemisphere and the rest of the globe has a fulcrum approximately at 45° -50° south latitude. That fulcrum moves marginally towards the equator when polar surface pressure is reduced and pole-wards when polar surface pressure increases.
Figure 1 documents the reciprocal relationship in atmospheric surface pressure either side of the 50° south parallel. Enhanced polar cyclone activity lowers surface pressure south of 50° of latitude and antithetically, relaxation of polar cyclone activity allows atmospheric mass to return to high southern latitudes.
The ozone content of mid to high latitude air is enhanced in winter. Logically the enhancement is not a product of reduced ionisation pressure due to low sun angle because enhancement is uneven and episodic in nature. The early months of the year when atmospheric mass tends to be drawn to the Arctic, depleting Antarctic surface pressure, is a period when the ozone content of the air on the equatorial side of the Antarctic circumpolar trough is seasonally low. On the other hand, the mid winter months are periods where surface pressure in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere is high. It is in these mid and late winter months, when polar surface pressure is enhanced, that the ozone content of the air varies most dramatically, and with it polar cyclone activity. It is in these months, where the norm is high surface pressure, that the opportunity for wholesale shifts in atmospheric mass is at its greatest.
It is uncontroversial that the ozone content of the stratosphere depends upon the the ionisation of the oxygen molecule by short wave radiation from the sun. Where this actually occurs and how the ozone content of the air gets to be most elevated at the time and in the locations where short wave radiation is seasonably unavailable should be a matter of great scientific interest. It will no doubt become so when those who study climate open their minds to the possibility to external regulation of the climate system….an open rather than a closed system. Would it not be astoundingly remarkable if the earth system were to be entirely free and independent of external influences? All our experience on Earth is that interdependence and adaptation are pervasive features of natural systems. Why should the Earth be free of influences emanating from its inter-terrestrial environment?
In high latitudes, cosmic rays, emanating not from the sun but from intergalactic space ionise the atmosphere. The neutron monitor that measures the incidence of these rays at the south Poles is pictured below.
"Neutron monitors of the Bartol Research Institute are supported by the National Science Foundation."
Neutron data from the Bartol Research institute can be accessed here
The daily Antarctic Oscillation Index (AAO) can be accessed here
To interpret figure 2 one mus be cognisant of the fact that the AAO index can be taken to represent the reciprocal of high latitude surface pressure. When the AAO index rises it indicates a decline in surface pressure south of the 50° parallel of latitude.
Figure 2 indicates that as the neutron count increases surface pressure falls away in high southern latitudes. The surface pressure response appears to lag the neutron count by about a week. It is inferred that ionisation by cosmic rays enables the production of ozone that in turn absorbs long wave radiation from the Earth, enhancing differences in the density of the air and driving polar cyclone activity that is responsible for shifts in atmospheric mass.
It is thought that the intensity of cosmic rays outside the Earth environment is relatively invariable. Within the environment of the Earth and its atmosphere the neutron count, a product of cosmic ray activity, is a function of solar activity. In this reversed out fashion the sun indirectly regulates the ozone content of the atmosphere in high latitudes, the distribution of atmospheric mass and surface temperature. This is, in all likelihood, just one of a many ways that the sun influences the atmosphere of the Earth and surface temperature. The gravitational effect of the moon is a prime candidate so far as the modulation in the flux of atmospheric mass is concerned. The ionising effect of short wave radiation inflates the atmosphere and will condition its response to electromagnetic influences. It should be born in mind that the atmosphere super-rotates with respect to the rotation of the Earth itself and its rate of rotation very likely responds to the electromagnetic environment that is more powerful with elevation, and more so over the poles than at the equator.
Figure 3 indicates that 2015 represents a recent low point in the incidence of cosmic rays as sunspot activity peaks in solar cycle 24. Neutron counts have increased strongly at Thule during 2016. Southern winter has seen a further steep fall in surface pressure in high southern latitudes as documented in figure 4.
Figure 4 indicates that in general sea level pressure varies in a reciprocal fashion either side of the 50° latitude band in the southern hemisphere while surface pressure at 40-50° south is relatively constant.
Surface temperature on Earth is a product of the planets dependence on the intergalactic environment in which it exists. Important aspects of that environment include emanations from the sun and also from beyond the solar system.
There is good reason to believe that the modes of natural climate change described here can account for the entire spectrum of climate change since 1848. Witness the fact that there has been no increase in surface temperature in the month of December since 1948-56 as documented in figure 5 below. If surface temperature were responding to the increased presence of CO2 one would expect to see a background level of warming in every month. Plainly this is not the case. Plainly, warming and cooling is regulated according to change that originates in high southern latitudes in winter.