If one appreciates the way in which the planet has warmed in some places and not in others, the way it warms in winter rather than in summer, the way it warms in fits and starts then, the thesis that the warming relates to the steadily increasing proportion of so called ‘greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere must be seen to be implausible. If one appreciates that the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere are cooler today than seven decades ago, then it is obvious that there are more influential factors at work. If one appreciates that the entire southern hemisphere is no warmer today in the month of December than it was in the nineteen fifties then a sensible person would have to conclude that something other than the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ is at work. The  change in surface temperature is plainly not due to enhanced back radiation alone, if at all.

Indeed there are natural factors at work that have nothing to do with the activities of man. THE FUNDAMENTAL modes of natural climate change have been termed the Northern Annular Mode and the Southern Annular Mode. These modes involve shifts in atmospheric mass from high to mid and low latitudes and across the hemispheres accompanied by change in surface pressure, the winds and surface temperature.

Surface pressure simply reflects the total ozone content of the atmospheric column, an identity that was discovered more than 100 years ago. Ozone is material to the presence of what we call the stratosphere. It is change in the ozone content of the stratosphere that is responsible for change in surface pressure, surface winds, sea surface and air temperature.

I abandoned this blog for months while engaged in a project that demanded my full attention. During this period the election of Trump to the presidency of the USA and the appointment of men who understand that cheap and reliable energy is a requirement for economic growth and sustained living standards has led climate realists to think that the tide of manipulation designed to promote the idea of  ‘renewables’ will been turned back and we can at last relax.

The last few days have been spent on the flat of my back. With little else to do I went to Google to discover whether any progress has been made in explaining the role of the annular modes …and indeed there has, but in Beijing, not in Washington or Colorado.

I direct the reader to this page:

It is a treasure trove of useful observation and deduction.

A paper published in December 2016 is of the first importance

Xie, F., J. Li*, W. S. Tian, Q. Fu, F. F. Jin, Y. Y. Hu, J. K. Zhang, W. K. Wang, C. Sun, J. Feng, Y. Yang and R. Q. Ding, 2016:A connection from Arctic stratospheric ozone to El Niño-Southern oscillation. Environ. Res. Lett., 11, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/12/124026.

The paper can be accessed here:

What is known as the El Nino Southern Oscillation represents the most spectacular manifestation of surface temperature change. This phenomenon has been described as an ‘oscillation’ that is said to be internal to the climate system. Not so. It has its origin in change in the stratosphere in high latitudes that is the subject of previous chapters in this blog. The most dramatic swings in the ozone content of the stratosphere occur in the northern hemisphere in winter.The poles are where climate change is initiated.

The authors conclude that: ‘understanding this kind of connection and potential feedback between the stratospheric tracer gases (such as ozone) and the climate system deserves more attention.’

I concur.

It’s one thing to identify the chain of causation and another to understand and explain the physical processes behind it. It’s yet another to explain how and why ozone varies in the polar stratosphere and to explain the drivers that operate in the upper atmosphere where the Earth system is a part of the interplanetary environment. This is the real frontier in climate science.

There is no great urgency to discover and describe the mechanisms involved, no pressing need for massive funding unless humanity is led astray by false prophets. We can expect that those who have a vested interest in continued funding of their ‘global warming’enterprise will put up vociferous arguments to try and justify their claims. End of the day, the voters decide how their taxes are spent and it appears that, when offered a clear alternative, voters can work out when they are being ‘had’ and adjust accordingly. It’s possible to fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

Let’s hope the tide has turned.

Its a worry that ‘global warming’ hysteria got as far as it did and did as much damage as it did before people woke up to what has been happening.


15 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Here’s a description of the ideas I think make some sense, in parts. The atmosphere has really small heat capacity. Thats why we see large temperature changes from day to night compared to water. the ocean is also a massive storage bank compared to the relatively thin atmosphere column. Even land gives up heat faster than water.
    Dr. Gray focuses too much on CO2, but I guess that is somewhat forgivable.
    Another here, even though I know you do not like Wuwt..

    So, yes, ozone can / is be the driver of pressure and that Moves energy around via wind, but the source of the heat carried by that wind is surely from the oceans – a storage system. climate is really just weather that repeats in a predictable manner. Ie tropical, arid, temperate, cold, etc.


    1. Thanks, I had already followed the links to the full version. Back to pressures, over the past month or so I have observed about 4-5 days which are singularly 10-15C hotter or colder than the several-day trend either side. Like today, rain and blowing its box off. Nullschoolearth always shows a finger or ripple of high winfs sticking out of the southern vortex. The speed increases from 30 to 250km/ hr as hieght increases right up to 70hPa. The ring also seems larger…. Ie reaches us on the southern tips of Oz.


  2. Hi Erl

    Nice to see you back.

    So far over here on the West Coast of the South Island the current “so called” summer is the wettest and cloudiest I can recall in the last 30 years. Lingering after-effects of the big El Nino? I hope its been better for you over in WA.


  3. Here in Margaret River it appears that the vines are 2-3 weeks later than normal. Could be a vintage like 2006 where we struggled to get flavour ripeness.

    Last week we had a front move through yielding an inch of rain….very rare for summer. Surface pressures for December in the near Indian Ocean rate amongst the lowest half a dozen years in the last seventy. Intensified polar cyclone activity in both hemispheres gives rise to wide swiings in the jet stream.


    1. We sure have had a very long line-up of rain-bearing fronts being dragged along in an almost continuous westerly to southwesterly wind flow. I can’t count the number of times people have said to me that they really do want a bit of global warming to kick in. Its been fairly cold here as well. Temp struggling to break through 18C and commonly down around 14 to 15C.


  4. Happy New Year to all. .I have been following Caleb’s arctic weather blog “Sunrises Swansong”, and noting how the wild jetstream etc. has been at both ends of the Earth this season. Or so it seems. SSW over NH, and some thing similar here in the SH, but in summer ( I think I see warm high Ozone over the Antarctic too). Any thoughts on this?

    I also think the Modoki/Blob northern higher pressures may be nearly gone at least, and things more back to as expected in a quiet sun period. Brett Keane


  5. Hi Brett,
    Had a bit of a look at Calebs delightful blog and intend to go back to earlier posts and see where he is coming from. He writes with a nice light entertaining touch.

    I checked out the incidence of sudden stratospheric warmings here:

    It shows you the elevation where the warming is occurring and you can also check its latitudinal extent and the extent of the opposite response in the tropics. It can also show up in the opposite hemisphere at 25-65 south at the highest elevation testifying to the speed and extent of air transfer in the upper stratosphere.

    For ozone I go here:

    To check the impact of ozone on geopotential height, air temperature and circulation I go here: focussing in particular on that section at the bottom called NCEP/GFS analyses and Forecasts . I see that since I last visited they have extended the ozone analysis down to the 400 hPa level. The temperature and GPH at 100 hPa gives a good idea of whats forcing the circulation between 100 hPa and the surface.

    For the direction of the wind and air temperature nothing better than,85.33,410

    Look at Null School particularly between 200hPa and 70hPa. Thats where its all driven from. The Chinese have discovered a parallel between what happens in that part of the stratosphere between 150hPa and 50 hPa and the ENSO pattern that manifests 20 months later. That 150 hPa to 50 hPa is jet stream territory. The polar cyclones are a product of density differences at these altitudes. Once established they propagate to the surface but weaken as they do so. At 500 hPa however their influence is very extensive. Caleb is examining the surface patterns. Those patterns are a product of the generator at Jet stream altitudes. Nobody is yet properly aware of this or of its importance. The atmospheric theorists cant imagine that the atmosphere can be driven from anywhere else but in the tropics. WRONG. Lowest surface pressures manifest in high latitudes and much more so off Antarctica than the Arctic. So the entire circulation has a north to south trajectory across the equator towards high southern latitudes.

    Remember than in winter the oceans have have a comparatively warm surface that tends to promote uplift and that’s where ozone is drawn into the circulation, collected from all about, and at higher altitudes it drifts from the centres of ocean accumulation towards the East with the central downward vortex between these centres of uplift (polar cyclone derived) tending to descend over northern Eurasia, Siberia and Mongolia/Lake Baikal and only occasionally drifting towards Europe and down to Turkey or inside the Rockies across the Great Plains down as far as New Orleans. The conjunction of this Arctic air and warm moist air out of the Gulf of Mexico brings precipitation/snow/blizzards up the east coast of the USA.

    The early winter pattern has been intense. This severity can also been seen as the circulation re-establishes after a sudden stratospheric warming that simply represents the choking off of the normal stratospheric descent of very cold ozone deficient air. The pattern of descent and a wide swinging arc of the jet stream that brings polar cyclone activity to the mid latitudes and very cold conditions can then re-assert itself.

    I believe that low solar activity is associated with heavy ionisation of the air in high latitudes due to cosmic ray activity. Ozone levels build gradually from November and more hot air means growing instability with big swings between temperature extremes at the surface. Wind from the south is warm. Wind from the north or higher elevation is exceedingly cold.

    The Brewer Dobson circulation is bullshit. Dominant circulation at Jet stream altitude and above is upwards and outwards towards the equator.

    The long term trend however is for a cooler stratosphere with diminished UV from a quiet sun and that means a changed based state. Cosmic ray activity can play havoc with this changed base state. The AO index and the AAO index show the long term trends. Long term means many decades.

    That’s as I understand it. Others will have a different point of view. BUT, it is now well established that the Northern and Southern Annular modes are the prime modes of natural climate change. We lack a long term focus on whats happening in terms of these modes.


    1. Interesting times TL Mango. The ozone and the global warming scares emanated from the US. There is no need for a ‘green’ party in the US. They have taken over the Democratic Party. Now with Trump as president there is a re-assertion of common sense and the greens are outraged. The press is floundering. There is an avalanche of protest on the way. In fact the true public debate has just begun.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s