33 SURFACE PRESSURE AND SUNSPOT CYCLES

SLP Jan
Fig. 1 Sea surface atmospheric pressure in January Source here

Even in the height of summer we see a marked trough in surface pressure on the margins of Antarctica, a product of polar cyclone activity driven by differences in the ozone content of the air and resulting differences in air density. Of course, the contrast  between the coldness of the ice bound continent and air from the mid latitudes also helps but at 200 hPa where these cyclones are generated the contrasts seen at the surface are less apparent. Surface contrasts probably assist in allowing the upper air troughs to propagate to the surface but where these contrasts don’t exist as in Arctic summer the propagation from upper air troughs to the surface to create a polar cyclone still occurs.

January pressure
Fig 2

In winter atmospheric pressure increases in the mid latitudes of the southern hemisphere increasing the differential pressure between the mid latitudes and 60-70° south. Surface pressure over Antarctica hits a planetary maximum.

July pressure
Fig. 3  Source of data for FIgs 2 and 3  here:

Figures 2 and 3 show the swings in pressure that are part of the annual cycle and the evolution of pressure over time. Mainstream climate science (is there any other) has yet to realise the importance, let alone account for the cause of that massive deficit in surface pressure in the ocean about the margins of Antarctica. ‘Climate science’ is yet to become aware  of the cumulative effect of the decadal slips in surface pressure and is incapable of making the connection with the ‘annular modes phenomenon’ or working out that the atmosphere is driven from the poles rather than the equator, let alone working out the mechanisms involved.in change. Perhaps this is because the bulk of the land mass and the population of the globe together with most of the money is in the northern hemisphere and perhaps because the Earth is round the incumbents can not see over the equatorial horizon?

WHATS HAPPENING WITH SURFACE PRESSURE IN ANTARCTICA?

SLP 80-90S by month
Fig. 4 Source of data here.

In FIG 4 the year to year variability is perhaps due to change in the rate of intake of mesospheric air into the stratosphere as it modulates the partial pressure of ozone above the 300 hPa pressure level.  The change in surface pressure  is greatest in Antarctica but it  impacts the global atmosphere from pole to pole. The southern hemisphere vortex is most influential in determining the ozone content of the air between June and November and the northern vortex between November and April.

AO and AAO
Fig 5 Source of data here.

The Arctic Oscillation and the Antarctic Oscillation indices are proxies for surface pressure over the pole. As they fall, we know that surface pressure rises over the pole. We see in fig. 5 above that a rise in the AAO, signalling a fall in surface pressure in the Antarctic forces an increase in surface pressure in the Arctic between June and November whereas the weaker, poorly structured and migratory northern vortex seems to be incapable of the same performance when it is active in northern winter. Perhaps our measurement  settings are not capturing it adequately.

The replacement of low ozone content air with high ozone content air consequent on a stalling of the intake of mesospheric air brings an increase in the temperature of the stratosphere. The greater the elevation the greater is the increase in temperature, a natural product of the fact that ozone is the agent of convection and it is ozone rich air that is lifted to the limits of the atmosphere.   This amplified response is documented at 80-90° south latitude in figure 6 below.

T of Sth Strat at 80-90S Lat
Fig 6 Source of data here.

Plainly, the largest response to an increasing presence of ozone is at the highest elevations. There has been a fundamental change in the temperature profile over the polar cap with a massive shift  from 1976 to 1978. Note that prior to this date the temperature at 10 hPa was little different to that at 200 hPa. The 200 hPa level is Jet stream altitude.What happens at 200 hPa determines the synoptic situation and is reflected at lower altitudes albeit, softened and smoothed due to the fact that not all activity at 250 hPa propagates all the way to the surface. Upper level troughs are cyclones that are insufficiently strong to  propagate all the way to the surface.But the point to be aware of is that the temperature profile between 200 hPa and 10 hPa is fundamental to the dynamics determining the movement of the atmosphere over the pole that relates to the timing of the final warming.

VARIABILITY AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE YEAR

Another way to assess the impact on the Antarctic stratosphere is via a whole of period assessment of temperature variability at 10 hPa according to the month of the year. To examine this each months temperature is ordered from highest to lowest regardless of the year attached to the data and the difference between the highest and lowest is derived. That difference is graphed In Fig. 7

Variability in 10hPa temp by latitude
Fig 7 Source of data here.

It is plain from  Fig 7 that in the period between 1948 and 2015 temperature variability in high southern latitudes is greatest between July and October. At lower latitudes variability is strongest in June or at the start of the year. The skew towards October reflects the impact of a developing ozone hole below 50 hPa that is forced by the intake of troposphere air containing the ozone destroyer, NOx that is drawn in laterally between 100 hPa  and 50 hPa like a gradually tightening hangman’s noose that by September occupies the entire polar cap. Very cold air drawn in from the equatorial upper stratosphere is as cold as air from the mesosphere but it has more NOx, a catalyst for the destruction of ozone. This produces a severe contrast in ozone partial pressure and air density across the vortex, generates intense polar cyclone activity and drives surface pressure at 60-70° south to its annual minimum when the hole is fully established.

the ozone hole
Fig 8 Source of data here

Fig. 8 shows NOx at 50 hPa . By 15th October 2015 NOx has destroyed all ozone between 100 hPa and 50 hPa as we see at left in Fig 9 below in terms of the distribution of ozone. The light blue line defines the position of the vortex at 50 hPa.

12th Oct
Fig 9 Source of data at left and right 

In  Fig 9,  above at right, the dotted black line represents  ozone prior to the establishment of the hole while the purple line shows the temperature profile at that time. The red line shows that temperature increases as the hole establishes in stark contrast with the narrative of those who promote the story that man is responsible for the hole, a natural feature of the polar atmosphere in spring. Big Green prefers ‘unnatural’ and it would muddy the narrative if they had to admit that the hole is a natural consequence of atmospheric dynamics.

The contrast between cold air devoid of ozone and warm air from the mid latitudes that is rich in ozone at 60° south seen in figure 9 at left drives intense polar cyclone activity giving rise to a springtime minimum in surface atmospheric pressure as seen in figure 10. It was there in 1948 but more so in November. As surface pressure has fallen and ozone partial pressure has increased the minimum is a month earlier.

SLP 60-70°S
Fig. 10 Source of data here.

The winter maximum in surface pressure seen in Fig 10 now occurs earlier than it did in 1948.

Below we see that the climate shift of 1976-8 shows up in the comparison between sea surface temperature and the temperature of the air 200 hPa (where ozone warms the air) at 25-35° south latitude. This represents enhanced ozone propagating across the latitude bands at the time of the 1976-8 climate shift, a shift that simultaneously intensified the Aleutian low in the North Pacific, the dominant low pressure, ozone rich area in the northern hemisphere with knock on effects across the Pacific and North America.

25-35°S
Fig 10 Source of data here

The increase in the temperature at 200 hPa produces an increase in geopotential height. There is a well established relationship between GPH and surface temperature as acknowledged and demonstrated in the paragraph below from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the heading ‘Temperatures’. What a title!

NOAA statement

In this way the ozone content of the atmosphere is linked to the synoptic situation, the generation of the jet stream, upper level troughs and polar cyclones. Polar cyclones are the most vigorous and influential elements in the circulation of the atmosphere and the prime determinant of the rate of energy transfer from torrid equatorial to frigid high latitudes because they determine the pressure gradient between the equator and the pole. The warm moist westerly winds emanating from tropical rain forests pass by the high pressure systems of the mid altitudes and drive pole-wards warming the surface and giving rise to precipitation in ‘fronts’.

If the jet stream loops towards the equator cold dry polar winds sweeps equator-wards bringing near freezing conditions to mid and even low latitudes. Orange Orchards in subtropical Florida can be frosted. Cold Antarctic Air has been known to sweep northwards into Brazil. If polar atmospheric pressure increases the mid latitudes cool due to this influence and also due to increased cloud cover under high pressure systems as geopotential heights fall away with the ozone content of the air.

The progressive loss of atmospheric mass in high southern latitudes over the last seventy years has added mass to the mid altitudes and enhanced the westerly wind flow while opening up the sky to admit more solar radiation thereby warming the oceans. The result has been a marked warming of the air in high southern latitudes centred on those months where this natural variability occurs, primarily between Jun and the ozone hole months of the Antarctic springtime. See Fig 11 below.

A peculiarity  in the Antarctic record is the cooling experienced in summer over the last seventy years. The Arctic forces atmospheric mass into  high southern latitudes as it becomes ozone-active in the months November through to February keeping the westerlies at bay in the summer season giving rise to cooling in high southern latitudes.

60-90S
Fig 11 Source of data here

THE EVOLUTION OF SURFACE PRESSURE OVER THE LAST SEVENTY YEARS AND ITS POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SUNSPOT CYCLE

SLP Antarctica
Fi 12 source of pressure data here

Sunspot numbers: Source: WDC-SILSO, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

 

The decline of surface pressure at 80-90° south latitude is punctuated with oscillations between regimes of relatively high surface pressure that are on average about 3.5 years apart with twenty such occurrences in the last sixty nine years and an equivalent number of periods of low surface pressure. The amplitude of the swings varies little within a solar cycle but secular change seems to occur between solar cycles. Change points seem to be associated with solar minimum.

If we now superimpose the data for surface pressure  in the high Arctic we have Fig. 13:

Polar SLP
Fig 13

Remarks:

  • Over time we see a shift of atmospheric mass from the poles and a gain of mass in the region of the East Asian High pressure zone. In fact atmospheric mass is likely to accrue everywhere except in high latitudes above 50° where polar cyclones, energised by increase in the partial pressure of ozone force pressure reductions. This process has fundamentally changed the parameters of the climate system. Changed, not ‘warped’ because warping suggests something unnatural and change is a natural and ongoing process. The change in 1976-8 involved a marked drop in Antarctic surface pressure that forced an increase in Arctic surface pressure regardless of the increase in global ozone at that time. The change in surface pressure has been continuous and  frequently abrupt and in particular either side of the relatively spotless cycle 20. There is a change of slope between 21 and 22 that is common to both hemispheres.
  • The evolution of surface pressure is characteristically different in different solar cycles
  • In solar cycle 18 Antarctic atmospheric pressure is superior to that in the Arctic. This superiority disappears in solar cycle 19, the strongest of recent times.
  • The very strong solar cycle 19 saw a steep fall in atmospheric pressure over Antarctica and also over East Asia but a compensating increase in pressure in the Arctic.
  •  The weak solar cycle 20 that nevertheless exhibited strong solar wind activity, saw a fall in atmospheric pressure at the poles that proceeded ‘hand in hand’  and a strong compensatory increase in surface pressure over the Eurasian continent.
  • The climate shift of 1976-8 involved a departure from the norm of the previous solar cycle 19 in that extreme falls in atmospheric pressure over Antarctica produced short term mirror image increases in Arctic surface pressure. Antarctic pressure still declined at much the same rate as it had over cycle 20 prior to the climate shift of 1976-8 .
  • Cycle 22 sees a recovery in Antarctic pressure and a compensatory collapse in Arctic pressure now establishing at the lowest level seen in the entire 69 year period bringing on the period of strong  advance  in Arctic temperature and loss of sea ice.
  • The onset of further declines in Antarctic pressure in cycle 23 allowed a recovery in Arctic pressure that, despite stepping to a higher level at the start of the cycle, declined over the period. Mirror image effects are again apparent.
  • Cycle 24 brings a brief recovery in Antarctic pressure at the expense of the Arctic where the peaks decline quickly as successive minimums in Antarctic  pressure (except the last) are higher than the previous minimum.
  •  After solar maximum in cycle 24 the decline in surface pressure in Antarctica is spectacular involving  greatly enhanced polar cyclone activity  perhaps due to enhanced ozone production due to  increased  cosmic ray activity as solar cycle 24  enters the decline phase. Reduced sunspot and flare activity  is responsible for a very compact atmosphere that may react more vigorously to the solar wind.
  • The peak in Eurasian surface pressure occurred about 1998 and a slow decline appears to have set in.

Generalising we can say that surface pressure and surface temperature appears to be linked to solar activity but in a fashion that is completely different to the narrative that insists that ‘total solar irradiance’ is the the only factor of importance. Rather, the driver of natural change in climate  works by changing the planetary winds and cloud cover via polar atmospheric dynamics that are closely linked to the flux in the ozone content of the air. Since 1978 the swings in surface pressure in Antarctica have been vigorous suggesting that a more compact atmosphere reacts more strongly to change in the solar wind and that cosmic rays that are enhanced in a regime of low solar activity may be more influential in ionising the polar atmosphere allowing the generation of ozone and especially so  during periods where the intake of mesospheric air is disrupted and the polar stratosphere warms. It is apparent that the ozone content of the air in high latitudes peaks in late winter/spring  even though the lifetime of ozone in the atmosphere is progressively shortened due to the increase in the incidence of destructive UVB radiation as the sun rises higher in the sky and the earths orbit takes it closer to the sun. Something has to account for that extra ozone. Climate science does not even pose the question, let alone answer it.

The ‘canary in the coalmine’ that indicates the change in the forces at work can be seen in extreme surface temperature variability in February and July. These months exhibit the greatest differences in terms of the whole of period  minimum and whole of period maximum in surface pressure as seen below. It is the months of January and July that exhibit the greatest variability in surface temperature. We see that in the sphere of natural climate change, surface pressure and surface temperature are inextricably linked. But, then again we always knew that by looking at the weather from week to week.

SLP varn Antarctica
Fig 14

The evolution of Antarctic surface pressure by the month is explored in the third diagram in this chapter. It appears that the system is at a turning point. Eight of the twelve months of the year, including the critical months under the control of the Antarctic and later the Arctic, from August through to February  show signs of a rise in surface atmospheric pressure. If this continues and the  ozone content of the global atmosphere continues to fall, and with it the temperature of the upper stratosphere we might sometime witness a reversal of the climate shift of 1976-8.

TEST QUESTIONS related to Fig.15: Have you understood this chapter?

Why is it that the Antarctic stratosphere above 150 hPa warms faster than the  atmosphere below 150 hPa in spring?

Why do we see the abrupt change in slope in the temperature of the air above 70 hPa in November?

Why does temperature between the surface  and 400 hPa decline at an invariable rate between April and August while the atmosphere above becomes increasingly colder?

What is the temperature at the tropopause in August and at what elevation is it located?

Query
Fig. 15

 

POSTSCRIPT:   For the convenience of the reader I list the chapters in this treatise in order to provide an idea of the scope of the work and the manner of its development. At the end is a list of chapters currently in preparation.

Reality

How the Earth warms and cools in the short term….200 years or so…the De Vries cycle

Links to chapters 1-38

  1. HOW DO WE KNOW THINGS Surface temperature is intimately tied to the global circulation of the air and the distribution of cloud.Ozone is inextricably linked to surface pressure and cloud. The key to unlocking the cause of climate change lies in observation.
  2. ASSESSING CLIMATE CHANGE IN YOUR OWN HABITAT On accessing and manipulating data to trace the way climate changes regionally. It is essential to understand the manner in which the globe warms and cools if one is to correctly diagnose the cause.
  3. HOW THE EARTH WARMS AND COOLS NATURALLY It is observed that the surface warms when geopotential height increases. This chapter answers the question why geopotential height increases.
  4. THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE STRATOSPHERE  Answers the question ‘at what elevation does the incidence of ozone cut in as a means for heating the atmosphere thereby creating what has been erroneously described the ‘stratosphere’. In winter its anything but stratified. It should be renamed ‘The Startosphere’.
  5. THE ENIGMA OF THE COLD CORE POLAR CYCLONE High latitude cyclones are the most vigorous circulations on the planet. At the surface they have a cold core. Their warm core is in the upper troposphere where the ozone impinges. No cyclone can form without a warm core.
  6. THE POVERTY OF CLIMATOLOGY Geopotential height at 200 and 500 hPa vary together in the extra-tropical latitudes. Furthermore, the increase in geopotential height that accompanies the surface pressure change is accompanied by a loss of cloud cover. All ultimately relate to the changing flux of ozone in the upper half of the atmospheric column in high latitudes.
  7. SURFACE TEMPERATURE EVOLVES DIFFERENTLY ACCORDING TO LATITUDE Surface temperature change is a two way process that occurs at particular times of the year.
  8. VOLATILITY IN TEMPERATURE. Temperature change is a winter phenomenon, increasing in amplitude towards the poles
  9. MANKIND IN A CLOUD OF CONFUSION Our understanding of the atmosphere is primitive.
  10. MANKIND ENCOUNTERS THE STRATOSPHERE. The origin of the stratosphere was a mystery back in 1890 and we still haven’t got it right.
  11. POPULATION, SCARCITY AND THE ORGANISATION OF SOCIETY. A dispassionate view of the Earth, considering its ability to promote plant life, sees the planet as distinctly cooler than is desirable.
  12. VARIATION IN ENERGY INPUT DUE TO CLOUD COVER. The atmosphere mediates the flow of solar energy to the surface of the planet via change in cloud cover. How could this be overlooked?
  13. THE PROCESSES BEHIND FLUX IN CLOUD COVER. A discussion of some of the intricacies involved in the relationship between surface pressure, cloud cover and the uptake of energy by the Earth system.
  14. ORGANIC CLIMATE CHANGE A discussion of the big picture that focuses on the natural sources of climate change.
  15. SCIENCE VERSUS PROPAGANDA The scare campaign about ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ is not based on science. Science demands observation and logic.  There is a ‘disconnect’ between observed change and the hypothesis put forward to explain it. One cannot ‘do science’ in the absence of accurate observation. What is being promoted as ‘Climate Science’ by the UNIPCC fails at the most basic level.
  16. ON BEING RELEVANT AND LOGICAL Climate scientists freely admit they do not know what lies behind surface temperature change that is natural in origin that expresses itself regionally and with large differences according to latitude i.e. the annular modes (Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations). In that circumstance it is nonsense to attribute change to the influence of man. There is an error in logic. But, its wilful.
  17. WHY IS THE STRATOSPHERE WARM Is the warmth of the stratosphere due to the interception of ultraviolet radiation or heating due to the interception of long wave radiation from the Earth? This issue is fundamental. Observation provides the answer.
  18. THE OZONE PULSE, SURFACE PRESSURE AND WIND The direction and intensity of the wind and the distribution of ozone is closely related. This chapter gives an introduction to the nature and origin of the annular modes phenomenon.
  19. SHIFT IN ATMOSPHERIC MASS AS A RESULT OF POLAR CYCLONE ACTIVITY The distribution of ozone maps surface pressure. When the partial pressure of ozone builds pressure falls locally and is enhanced elsewhere.
  20. THE DISTRIBUTION OF ATMOSPHERIC MASS CHANGES IN A SYSTEMATIC FASHION OVER TIME Surface pressure changes on long time schedules. UNIPCC climate science is oblivious to these changes and the consequences attached to the change.
  21. THE WEATHER SPHERE-POWERING THE WINDS. The strongest winds can be found at the overlapping interface of the troposphere and the stratosphere and we haven’t yet worked out why or what it means when change occurs at that interface.
  22. ANTARCTICA: THE CIRCULATION OF THE AIR IN AUGUST An introduction to the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere in high latitudes
  23. THE DEARLY BELOVED ANTARCTIC OZONE HOLE, A FUNCTION OF ATMOSPHERIC DYNAMICS. The celebrated ‘hole’ is actually a natural feature of the Antarctic atmosphere in spring and has always been so. It’s dictated by geography and process during the final warming.
  24. SPRINGTIME IN THE STRATOSPHERE More detail on the natural processes responsible for the ozone hole.
  25. WHERE IS OZONE? PART 1 IONISATION. The structure of the upper atmosphere is dictated by process. Hand waving is no substitute for observation.
  26. WHERE IS OZONE PART 2 EROSION More on the processes responsible for the structure of the atmosphere in high latitudes and in particular the manner in which tongues of air of tropical origin are drawn into the polar circulation.
  27. COSMIC RAYS, OZONE AND THE GEOPOTENTIAL HEIGHT RESPONSE Observation and logic suggest that both the solar wind and cosmic rays are independently influential in determining the partial pressure of ozone in high latitudes. No other possibility is remotely plausible.
  28. MISREPRESENTING THE TRUTH Ozone, not UV radiation warms the upper air in winter
  29. THE PURPOSE OF SCIENTISTS History is re-interpreted continuously to suit the purposes of elites. Science is moulded in that same way by virtue of the fact that the elites hold the purse strings. All is ‘spin’.
  30. THE CLIMATE SHIFT OF 1976-1980. The nitty gritty of how climate changes together with the basics of a theory that can explain the natural modes of variation. Observation and theory brought together in a manner that stands the test of common sense.
  31. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE HEMISPHERES: THE ORIGIN OF STRATOSPHERIC WARMINGS. Unfortunately climate science has a lot to learn. It has to begin with observation rather than mathematical abstractions. In fact, it’s best to keep the mathematicians at arms length.
  32. THE CLIMATE ENGINE THAT IS THE OZONOSPHERE . The atmosphere re-defined to take account of the critical processes that determine its movements and thereby the equator to pole temperature gradient. Takes a close look at processes inside and outside the winter time polar vortex. The system is the product of the distribution of ozone.
  33. SURFACE PRESSURE AND SUNSPOT CYCLES .  This chapter looks at the evolution of surface pressure and how it relates to solar activity. It explores the nature of the interaction between the atmosphere at the northern and southern poles.
  34. WEATHER ORIGINATES IN THE OZONOSPHERE Takes the focus to a regional and local perspective to answer the question as to why the mid latitudes of the southern hemisphere have been colder in winter of 2016.
  35. JET STREAMS Compares and contrasts two quite different explanations for the strong winds that manifest where the troposphere and the stratosphere overlap.
  36. JET STREAMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE Looks at some great work that measures the ozone content of the air across the northern hemisphere and sets up a classification in a novel fashion, by zone of commonality rather than latitude. Relates the distribution of ozone to the occurrence of the subtropical and polar jet streams.  Zones of surprisingly uniform ozone content lie between the jets, and both pole-wards and equator-wards of the jets. Tropopause height steps down at the latitude of the jets creating marked contrasts in atmospheric density. This is a very useful and rock solid survey of great importance given the relationship between ozone and surface pressure.
  37. THE HISTORY OF THE ATMOSPHERE IN TERMS OF UPPER AIR TEMPERATURE An examination of temperature dynamics at the 10 hPa pressure surface over the poles.Critical to understanding the evolution of climate over the period of record.
  38. E.N.S.O. RE-INTERPRETED. The origin of the El Nino Southern Oscillation phenomenon and why the matter is of little consequence.

 

Here is how would I explain the Earth’s natural modes of climate change to a child!

Let us consider the Earth as a car. We are at some latitude (like being in the back or the front seat of a car). Let’s imagine we have the heater in the front of the car and a vent over the back seat. You can open and close the vent and turn it to the front to scoop in air or to the back and suck air out of the car. So, the cold air from the vent can blow straight down the back of your neck or you can turn the vent around so that it sucks air out of the car so that the warm air from the engine travels to the back of the car.

Ozone heats the air in winter creating polar cyclones that lower surface pressure at the pole attracting a flow of air from the equator. More ozone = lower surface pressure in high latitudes = wind blows more often from the equator. Less ozone= higher surface pressure at the pole= wind from equator does not come. Instead, a cold wind comes from the pole similar to what would happen if you turned the vent in the car roof so it faced forwards.

The second way in which ozone changes surface temperature is by changing cloud cover. Because ozone is mainly present in the upper air and it ascends strongly at the poles in winter it has to come down somewhere else. Where it  descends it warms the air and evaporates cloud letting the sun shine through to be absorbed by the ocean that acts like a battery because it stores energy.  Full dense cloud  curtails solar radiation by as much as 90%.

The climate varies by warming and cooling  in winter. It is in winter that we see the big changes in 1. Polar surface pressure, 2. The ozone content of the air 3. The direction of the wind and hence  the temperature at the surface.

Change can be two way, both warming and cooling.

Ozone is inextricably linked to surface pressure. The key to unlocking the cause of climate change lies in working out what can change the ozone content of the air near the poles in winter.

 

12 VARIATION IN ENERGY INPUT DUE TO CLOUD COVER

Ninety nine percent of the atmosphere lies within the ambit of a vigorous day’s walk, just 30 kilometres!

The atmosphere efficiently conveys heat to space via convection (transport) and radiation.  This is apparent in the 24 hour cycle of temperature as a point on the Earth’s surface alternately faces the sun and enters the night zone and the more so in inland locations where the daily range of temperature is accordingly much greater.We call this increase in the daily range of temperature the ‘continental’ effect.

In the northern hemisphere where there is a relative abundance of land the seasonal extremes are wider we have another example of the ‘continental effect’. The strong maximum in outgoing radiation in summer should promote summer warming if the atmosphere were subject to a ‘greenhouse effect’. But, consult the graph below and see that in the mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere we find that the temperature has increased mainly in spring and autumn. In high latitudes the increase in temperature has been in winter when outgoing radiation plunges to a  minimum.

Change in T in NH according to month of the year

Under an imaginary greenhouse regime the atmosphere becomes an impediment to heat transfer and we should see an increase in temperature in all seasons and in all locations just as the ocean limits the variation in temperature of proximate locations. But in fact we observe that the temperature increase that has occurred is variable according to the month of the year. This temperature increase does not tally with the mechanism that is proposed by the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change that was set up to examines man’s influence on the climate of the globe.

In cold conditions humans make sure that the air close to their skin is contained and unable to move. But, the Earth’s atmosphere is not confined in this way. Consequently it acts as a river for energy transfer from the surface to space. As a river it is perhaps the most vigorous on the planet. The ‘supposed greenhouse effect’ is no impediment to this process. Common sense dictates that a static atmosphere is required if the rate of loss of energy is to be curtailed and back radiation is to return energy to the surface via a so-called greenhouse effect. The atmosphere is anything but static. We insulate to stop the air moving. The atmosphere is air.

Plainly we must look to other modes of causation to explain the temperature increase that has been observed.

NATURAL VARIATION IN ENERGY INPUT AS MEDIATED BY CLOUDS

The following observations demonstrate the primacy of cloud that acts to reflect solar radiation, so determining surface temperature:

  1.   For the globe as a whole the sea is always warmer than the land and the global average for both the land and the sea is greatest in July.Global sea and air
  2.  A maximum in June/July is an anachronism. Earth is farthest from the Sun on July 4. The quotient of energy available from the sun (above cloud level) is 6% less in July than in January.

Why is the Earth warmest when it is most distant from the sun?

In northern summer the sun heats the abundant land masses and the land being opaque the surface quickly warms and with it the atmosphere.  The supply of water vapour to the atmosphere lags behind the increase in the water holding capacity of the air. There is less ocean in the northern hemisphere. In any case water is transparent and it stores energy to depth releasing it slowly. The upshot is that the heating of the atmosphere by the land rich northern hemisphere directly and dramatically reduces cloud cover.  The July maximum in global temperature is due to an increase in the diminished total of solar energy that is available in July. The amount made available at the surface is so much greater in mid year as to result in a temperature peak in mid year.

In northern autumn gathering cloud reflects more solar radiation and the globe therefore cools as its orbit takes it closer to the sun. That’s a pity because as I explained in the last post the globe as a whole is cooler than is desirable from a plant productivity point of view and all life ultimately depends on plants.

MEASURES OF CLOUD INTENSITY

From:http://www.iac.es/adjuntos/cups/CUps2015-1.pdf we have direct measurements for Izana observatory in the Canary Islands of  the number of days where cloudiness (red and yellow) is recorded and conversely the number of days where the sky is sufficiently devoid of clouds to achieve a clear sky rating (green).  The attenuation of cloud cover in northern summer is evident.
Cloud cover Teide Observatory, Spain

EFFECT OF CLOUD ON INCIDENT SOLAR RADIATION

From http://www.ccfg.org.uk/conferences/downloads/P_Burgess.pdf we have direct measurements of solar radiation at the surface.

Radiation as a function of time of year and cloud cover in Bedordshire

At this site in the UK cloud is responsible for the attenuation of solar radiation by a minimum of 26%  and a maximum of 90%.

EFFECT OF CLOUD ON SURFACE TEMPERATURE

Surface temperature is directly modulated by cloud cover as demonstrated in the following satellite photograph.Temp varies with cloud cover

image:http://www.weathercast.co.uk/weather-news/news/ch/a9b4bc85105a36c329ffc8cee57292b2/article/why_is_forecasting_cloud_cover_so_difficult.html

DISTRIBUTION OF CLOUD DRIVES SURFACE TEMPERATURE AND IS ALLIED TO CHANGE IN SURFACE PRESSURE AND GEOPOTENTIAL HEIGHT

It should be abundantly clear that it is the mediation of energy input by clouds that is the most influential determinant of surface temperature. Zones that experience high surface pressure are relatively cloud free. The essence of change in the ‘annular modes’ lies in a shift of mass from high latitudes due to ozone heating that drives down surface pressure. High southern latitudes have lost atmospheric mass for seventy years on the run. Lost mass has been distributed across the globe adding to surface pressure in those parts of the globe where increased surface pressure  is allied with relatively cloud free skies. In chapter 3 we observed that the globe warms when geopotential height increases. Geopotential height increases when surface pressure increases as the core of a high pressure cells entrains ozone from the stratosphere.

STUDY OF CHANGE IN CLOUD COVER

Cloud comes in all shapes, types, sizes altitudes and density and is notoriously difficult to measure.

At http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~sgw/PAPERS/2007_Land_Cloud_JClim.pdf  we have a paper documenting change in cloud cover and establishing correlations between cloud cover over Europe and the North Atlantic Oscillation, a local manifestation of the the northern annular mode.

Survey of cloud cover change

A POSITIVE CORRELATION OF CLOUD WITH SURFACE TEMPERATURE IN WINTER AND NEGATIVE IN SUMMER??

Note that in the mid latitudes in winter, cloudiness is associated with incursions of warm, moist air from the tropics promoting a positive correlation between the presence of clouds and surface temperature. The band of cloudiness formed by frontal activity occurs in the interaction zone between cold dry air of polar origin and warm air of tropical origin. People  might observe that ‘its too cold to rain’ when the air is coming from high latitudes. Alternatively they might say, they can ‘smell’ the rain coming when the air is humid and it comes from lower latitudes. Or they might say, ‘the temperature will increase when it starts to rain’.

To suggest that the positive correlation between cloud cover and temperature in winter is due to back radiation from clouds or that there is a positive causal relationship between the presence of cloud and surface temperature due to back radiation involves an error in logic. Its warmer in winter when there is cloud about  because the cloud arrives with a warmer, moister body of air that originates in tropical latitudes.  Cloud does not cause warming in winter and an opposite effect in summer. Cloud always involves an attenuation of solar radiation.

CONCLUSION

There should be no confusion as to the effect of cloud on surface temperature. To suggest that the climate is warming due to back radiation indicates a lack of appreciation of the reality of the way in which the atmosphere mediates the flow of solar energy to the surface of the planet and a lack of appreciation of the manner in which the atmosphere actively cools the surface.

To suggest that back radiation is causing warming without first ascertaining that cloud cover has not fallen away indicates an appalling lack of common sense and responsibility.  This brand of ‘science’ is unworthy of the name.

Many sceptics of the AGW argument wrestle with the notion that there is some sense in the idea of ‘back radiation’ from clouds and a CO2 rich atmosphere and try and assess whether the ‘feedbacks’ built into IPCC climate models are an exaggeration of reality. Most unfortunately this belief in cloud radiation feedback and the primacy of a ‘back radiation effect’ has given the ‘anthropogenic’ argument legitimacy.

Back radiation is no defence against a wind chill effect! You wear clothes to combat conduction and convection. To think otherwise is to be muddle headed.

The manner in which the Earth warms and cools indicates that there is another mechanism at work. This other mechanism has primacy and a study of the manner in which the globe has warmed and cooled suggests that it is also a sufficient explanation of the change that has occurred. It is a two way process, capable of warming and cooling as we observe on an inter-annual basis. The mechanism that is responsible for inter-annual variations is also responsible for the decadal and longer trends. When you understand the mechanism you will see that cooling has already begun and more cooling is the immediate prospect.

If you can not explain the inter-annual variations you fail climate 101. UNIPPC, you fail climate 101.

 

10 Mankind encounters the stratosphere

Here I present the opening page of a paper presented to the Royal Society of London in 1908 by Mr E Gold relating to an ‘isothermal layer’ in the atmosphere. ‘Iso’ means equal. At a certain elevation the temperature of the air ceases to decline with altitude and appears to stabilize. This was a great surprise and a challenge to understand and explain. The challenge is still there, more than 100 years later. The science is by no means settled.

Isothermal layer

Teisserenc de Bort was chief meteorologist for the Central Meteorological Bureau in Paris from 1892 until 1896, when he opened his own meteorological observatory at Trappes, near Versailles.

de Bort discovered a difference in the temperature profile between high pressure cells and low pressure cells. The height at which temperature no longer falls was observed to be 12.5km in high pressure cells and only 10 kilometres in low pressure cells.

The question is: Why Is it so?

Gordon Dobson, working in the late 1920s observed that total column ozone is enhanced in low pressure cells and reduced in high pressure cells. Near the surface the air in low pressure cells is colder and denser than high pressure cells because low pressure cells originate in higher latitudes. The expectation is that the air in low pressure cells would be denser throughout the atmospheric column and that there would be more molecules in the atmospheric column, not less. That there are less molecules (lower surface pressure) is due to an anomalous reduction in density aloft due to ozone heating.

This state of affairs is reflected in the temperature of the atmospheric column at 30-40° south seen below:

30-40S

Notice that the lapse rate is lower and the cold point is warmer in winter when ozone partial pressure increases and low pressure cells are found closer to the equator. From this figure we see that the lapse rate (decline of temperature with altitude) is reduced by ozone above the 300 hPa pressure level (8 kilometres).  The enhanced presence of ozone above and below the point of reversal at 100 hPa is responsible for a warmer ‘tropopause’ than in lower latitudes.  The temperature at the point of reversal is -70° C at 30-40° south latitude whereas it is commonly -85°C above the equator. The warmer ‘tropopause’ is found at a lower elevation than at the equator. It is also found at a lower elevation in cells of low surface pressure than in cells of high surface pressure as observed by de Bort. Cells of high surface pressure originate in lower latitudes where there is less ozone to warm the atmospheric column aloft.

At 50-60° south the ‘cold point’ or ‘point of reversal’ is still warmer as seen below. But its temperature and elevation varies according to the time of the year.  Here, the presence of very cold air from the mesosphere tends to lower temperature in winter against the influence of increasing ozone partial pressure.50-60S

As latitude increases the temperature profile of the atmospheric column is increasingly affected by the presence of ozone at ever lower altitudes. The cold point is not a point of demarcation between ozone affected air and air that is free from ozone.  One might say that the stratosphere is invading and taking over the troposphere. But, more accurately, one would say that the nature of the atmospheric column is changing so as to render the terms ‘troposphere’, ‘stratosphere’ and ‘tropopause’ less and less meaningful. The cold point ascends into the stratosphere as the point at which ozone is present in the atmospheric column descends towards the surface. It is no longer appropriate to refer to the atmosphere below the cold point as the ‘troposphere’. Because its temperature profile is affected by ozone it is as much stratosphere as troposphere.

In truth, as we approach the poles the terms, ‘troposphere’, ‘stratosphere’ and ‘tropopause’ become a source of confusion.  For instance, at 50-60° of latitude we can observe that the  cold point is located in the upper margins of the ozonosphere (defined as a zone containing ozone that influences the lapse rate of temperature with elevation). In winter the cold point establishes at 10 hPa where the greatest heating due to ozone is experienced.  In conventional parlance the stratosphere, considered as that part of the atmosphere below the cold point, would simply have disappeared and the entire column up to 30 hPa would be called ‘troposphere’.

In fact, the term ‘stratosphere’, implying that the air is stratified into different layers with the temperature aloft greater than the temperature below, is  misleading. It is the presence of ozone that is responsible for the formation of the most extensive areas of uplift that extend throughout the entire atmospheric column. This is the enigma of the cold core polar cyclone, cold and dense at the surface, warm and much less dense over a much broader area aloft with ‘aloft’ implying continuation into the stratosphere. It is the stratospheric component that accounts for the lower surface pressure. Does that reality square with the notion of ‘stratified?

REALITY

For the purpose of understanding weather and climate we should forget about ‘troposphere’ and ‘stratosphere’.  It is more productive to make distinctions between parcels of air that have relatively consistent but quite different characteristics and respect that the parcel has a tropospheric component and a stratospheric component. These parcels pay no respect to the notion of a ‘tropopause’ because it is their characteristics in the ozonosphere that differentiates them.

The description of the atmosphere might then go something like this:

LOW PRESSURE CELLS

The low density and warmth aloft in a low pressure cells is unrelated to surface conditions. It is due to ozone. Reduced atmospheric density due to the presence of ozone initiates uplift.  Uplift aloft promotes uplift below. Uplift below together with the intake of moist air of tropical origin results in cloud and precipitation.  Cloud reflects solar radiation keeping the surface cool. Cloud absorbs long wave radiation from the surface promoting a warmer atmospheric column. Precipitation results in the release of latent heat warming the atmospheric column and reducing its density. Low pressure cells carry cold air into warmer latitudes maintaining the temperature differential at the surface. Accordingly, by virtue of the ozone in the air aloft, the heat engendered below, the heat gained from long wave radiation by both atmospheric moisture and ozone and the movement towards lower latitudes the pressure differential between cells of low surface pressure and the surrounding atmosphere tends to be maintained. But the process results in the erosion of ozone aloft due to the solubility of ozone in water. Low pressure cells are a watery environment, not within their core but on their wide margins where moist tropical air is drawn into the circulation. For this reason, the life of a low pressure cell is limited. Nothing like this phenomenon is generated in mid or low latitudes. Tropical cyclones have a narrow core that peters out aloft. Polar cyclones have a wide dry cold core below and broaden aloft into an even wider dry core that is plainly located in the region that we have been accustomed to call the stratosphere. In fact its ozone that gives these ascending columns of air their life force.

HIGH PRESSURE CELLS

High pressure cells are formed at lower latitude where the surface air is warmer. The consequent reduction of air density in the near surface air means that the 500 hPa pressure level is located at a higher elevation than in low pressure cells. Aloft, the relative deficit in ozone gives rise to enhanced air density.  This enhanced density aloft is responsible for the greater weight of the atmospheric column in a high pressure cell as measured at the surface.  Settlement occurs in the winter hemisphere associated with cold landmasses and cold water and over relatively cold waters on the western sides of the continents in the summer hemisphere.  Contact with a cold surface cools the air enhancing density and assists the process of descent. Descending air is dry, warming due to compression and relatively cloud free, especially in the core, less so on the margins. As pressure increases in a high pressure cell one would expect geopotential height to fall due to increased density in the lower part of the column. However, it is observed that geopotential height increases and the increase in geopotential height, increases with elevation. This is due to the downwards descent of ozone, making the column warmer and reducing the incidence of cloud.

THE JET STREAM

The difference between the two air masses establishes a horizontal density gradient that is steepest above 500 hPa. The steepness of the density gradient is associated with rapid circular motion and the elevation of low density air. This convective process manifests as a jet stream that circulates around the globe rather than around the periphery of low pressure cells. One arm tends to be located where high latitude ozone rich air meets ozone deficient air from lower latitudes. Another arm of the jet stream manifests at the polar vortex where there is a steep gradient in ozone and air density between ozone rich air on the periphery and ozone deficient air from the mesosphere within the core. Nowhere is this jet stream continuous. It is a porous medium allowing mesospheric air to escape into the wider atmosphere. In summer when surface pressure is lower at the pole and ozone partial pressure falls away in high latitudes mesospheric air no longer descends into the upper atmosphere and the entire polar region is relatively ozone rich. The absence of mesospheric air in the circulation is associated with a reversal of the flow at 10 hPa. The near polar arm of the jet stream disappears as surface pressure falls away and cold air of mesospheric origin withdraws.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF OZONE

The warmth that initiates the ascending circulation in low pressure cells is not at the surface. It is in the upper half of the atmosphere. This is due to the increase in the ozone content of the air in high latitudes due to reduced photolysis of ozone at low sun angles, especially in winter. In today’s climatology (as in IPCC reports), the reason given for enhanced ozone in higher latitudes and the Arctic in particular is ‘the Brewer Dobson circulation’ involving the descent of ozone from aloft in high latitudes. But this transport phenomenon can not explain concentration enhancement. A body of air with a given constitution can not change its constitution simply by moving to another place. Concentration enhancement is made possible by reduced photolysis as the sun sinks towards the horizon and the wave lengths that photolyze ozone are progressively screened out. This enhancement of ozone partial pressure does not explain the higher concentration of ozone in both summer and winter in the northern hemisphere. That is due to the relatively reduced intake of mesospheric air over the Arctic by comparison with the Antarctic. There is an alternative area of descent in the northern hemisphere called the Siberian High and another over the Greenland Hudson’s bay area but nowhere does surface pressure approach that seen over the Antarctic ice mound in winter. The difference in the ozone content of the two hemispheres is reflected in an enhanced erythermal UV index in the southern hemisphere, especially in summer.

In conventional climate science the atmosphere is driven by heating of the surface at the equator. In the climate science that takes account of ozone phenomena ozone is observed to be the single greatest source of atmospheric heating and it is most pronounced in the winter hemisphere. It gives rise to a zone of uplift over the oceans at roughly 60-70° of latitude in both hemispheres.

Conventional climate science has no plausible explanation for the existence of a ‘cold core’ polar cyclone’ and it struggles to provide a plausible reason for the jet streams.

Conventional climate science has no explanation for the planetary low in surface atmospheric pressure at 60-70° south latitude that has intensified over the period of record.

A low pressure circulation that engages the totality of the atmospheric column including what is confusingly described as ‘troposphere’ and  ‘stratosphere’ (low pressure cells at between 30° and 60° of latitude) must be balanced by a matching descent of stratospheric air into the ‘troposphere’. What goes up must come down. That is accommodated in zones of high surface pressure where air descends.  High pressure cells form at lower latitudes where the circumference of the Earth is greater. High pressure cells are accordingly very extensive requiring a relatively slow rate of descent over a very broad area. The ozone descending from the stratosphere is shared over this broad area and much diluted in concentration in the process. The presence of ozone in high pressure cells, while it warms the air and raises geopotential height as the ozone concentration of the air anomalously increases, is insufficient to counter the tendency of the air to settle. As the air is warmed clouds disappear allowing more radiation to reach the surface, the prime source of surface temperature variations on all time scales. This is the subject of chapter 3 https://reality348.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/3-how-the-earth-warms-and-cools-naturally/

THE POLAR HIGH

Descent also tends to occur at the pole where surface pressure increases in winter due primarily to a shift in mass from the summer hemisphere. The velocity of descent at the pole is no greater than in the upper atmosphere in the mid latitudes, in fact it is possibly less. It may be enhanced according to the vorticity of the circulation driven by ozone outside the margins of the polar cap and also as surface pressure episodically increases. It is retarded when surface pressure falls as naturally occurs in summer.  Research suggests that there is an overriding geomagnetic effect via the behaviour of charged particles in a magnetic field. The polar atmosphere has a low plasmapause and is much subject to ionization by cosmic rays. These factors will tend to facilitate a geomagnetic effect.

There has to be a countervailing force. Ozone, left to its own devices, would keep on lowering surface pressure that has the effect of excluding mesospheric air and allowing the partial pressure of ozone to build up. In any event the advent of summer puts an end to the process. The ozone content of the air is inhibited in summer by increased photolysis. Surface pressure falls as the atmosphere warms and becomes less dense. The winter hemisphere cools and draws in atmospheric mass.  It is in the alternate winter hemisphere that the process begins afresh. This is the reason why surface temperature is seen to increase in winter rather than summer. It is also the reason for the much enhanced volatility of surface temperature in January-February and July August. It is the reason why all points north of 30° south experience greatest volatility in January and February and all points south of 30° south experience greatest volatility of temperature in July and August. Why the split at 30° south. Its because of the ozone supercharged nature of the Arctic atmosphere as against the ozone impoverished nature of the southern hemisphere gives the former greater reach.

CONVECTION IN THE STRATOSPHERE AND THE GENERATION OF THE PLANETARY WINDS

It is observed (in IPPC climate science) that an increase in the temperature (or geopotential height) of the ozonosphere in high latitudes (50° through to 90° of latitude) is associated with a loss of atmospheric mass (reduced surface pressure) in high latitudes and a gain in mass (surface pressure increase) in the mid latitudes and elsewhere. What is not observed in IPCC climate science is that this shift in atmospheric mass can be extended to decadal and longer time scales. There is a cycle of change in atmospheric pressure in high southern latitudes that is longer than the seventy years of reanalysis data. This change in surface pressure alters the planetary winds on a relatively enduring basis. The failure of IPCC climate science to realize the cause of this atmospheric shift or to associate it with the manner in which the globe warms and cools over long time periods represents a failure to observe, analyse and reason. This represents a failure to come to grips with the origin of climate change that is natural in origin and the disaster of false attribution.

A FAILURE TO OBSERVE, ANALYSE AND REASON

It can be observed that in the mid and equatorial latitudes, surface temperature increases directly with atmospheric pressure. As described above this phenomenon relates to the change in cloud cover. Surface pressure rises in the mid latitudes as it falls in high latitudes. This is the primary dynamic behind weather and climate change on all time scales.

It is plain that the evolution of the planetary winds and temperature at the surface of the Earth is intimately associated with this flux in surface pressure wrought by ozone heating in high latitudes.

Mr Gold made the following statement in his paper delivered in 1908:

It is clear that there cannot be convection currents to any marked extent in this region

That there cannot be convection in the stratosphere is an article of faith in climate science to this very day.  This error arises due to a lack of appreciation of the heating properties of ozone as an absorber of long wave radiation from the surface of the Earth and conceptual confusions as to the nature of the atmosphere encapsulated in the continued use of the terms ‘troposphere’, tropopause and stratosphere’.  Mr Gold was aware of the heating properties of ozone but had no knowledge of the distribution of ozone according to latitude and altitude, its enhancement in winter hemisphere or the interaction with mesospheric air at the poles that drives change in ozone partial pressure over time.

The result of  ozone enhancement in high latitudes where there is a close conjunction of cold dense air from the mesosphere and warm light air heated by ozone is convection on a massive scale that corresponding to annular or ring like pattern of troughs in surface pressure manifesting in high latitudes and on a scale that dwarfs the manifestations of low surface pressure elsewhere on the planet, even under the pressure of direct solar radiation and massive precipitation, two forces that contribute very little to uplift in high latitudes. The flux in ozone driven convection is what gives rise to the phenomenon known as the ‘Annular Modes’, now well recognized in the annals of the IPCC, but regarded as a mystery both in terms of its mode of causation and its impact on climate.

Convection can be driven by heating of the surface. It can be driven from the lower atmosphere via precipitation at cloud level. And it can be driven by ozone heating in high latitudes where ozone tends to be ubiquitous throughout the atmospheric column.  Of these forces, the most powerful, pervasive and influential is the last. This pervasive regulating force,  is unrecognised in ‘climate science’ as it manifests in the works of the United Nations  International Panel on Climate Change. If it were recognized as the driver of the planetary winds and cloud cover we would no longer be speculating as to whether the activities of man are the cause of ‘climate change’.

Unfortunately, climatology is not yet at first base in understanding the generation of the planetary winds. Without an understanding of the origin of shifts in atmospheric mass or the physics behind the generation of cold core cyclones there is no possibility of understanding the source of natural climate change. We are then extraordinarily susceptible to the arguments of those who seek to exploit our ignorance.

Climate is not complex and nor is climate change. It is in the interest of every citizen, every voter and every taxpayer to take an interest in this matter and not leave it to the those who style themselves as professors, doctors of science or simply as ‘experts’.

EFFECT OF THE SUN

It has long been supposed that the solar cycle influences climate and in particular it is supposed that as the sun becomes more active (more sunspots) the earth might be warmer. But, those who have closely examined the data suggest that a maxima in sunspot activity frequently coincides with a cooling of the tropics while the reverse is also the case. There is no evidence that the energy quotient in solar radiation increases with sunspot activity although the composition of solar radiation certainly does change within the sunspot cycle.

On the other hand geomagnetic activity wrought by the solar wind, while it rises and falls with sunspot activity  has a different mode of activity in that it conditions the behaviour of  the Earth’s magnetic field as it manifests in the atmosphere.  The ozone cycle via its effect on surface atmospheric pressure  has the capacity to greatly magnify small changes in atmospheric pressure in the same direction as the initial change wrought by geomagnetic activity. This impacts climate on both shorter time and longer time scales than the eleven year sunspot cycle..

Geomagnetic activity, as an initiating force has the capacity to change the ozone cycle by modulating the amount of NOx that is drawn into the ozonosphere via the polar vortex in winter. An enhanced flow of NOx either from the troposphere or the mesosphere erodes ozone and reduces the temperature of the stratosphere over the pole due to a ‘space occupying effect’. If cold mesospheric air is present the warmer air is displaced to lower latitudes. This is a natural dynamic that depends upon surface pressure, much more active in winter than summer. It is for this reason that ‘sudden stratospheric warmings’ are a winter phenomenon.

This natural ebb and flow of air between the mesosphere and the stratosphere is manifestly more influential in determining the partial pressure of ozone than the flux in short wave solar radiation. When the temperature of the stratosphere over the poles changes there is a knock on  effect, rippling across the atmosphere like little waves on a pond, ever smaller in amplitude as they propagate across the globe into the summer hemisphere.

 

 

 

6 THE POVERTY OF CLIMATOLOGY

 

Meteorologists are well aware that surface temperature varies with geopotential height at 500 hPa. The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says as  much below.  The full text can be accessed at: here:https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201507

GPH and ST anomalies

But hey, there is a problem here: The  text above the map states  that there is a relationship between geopotential height at 500 hPa and surface temperature. But thereafter, the commentary is  driven by an overarching belief that carbon dioxide drives surface temperature and it is therefore constantly escalating.

But carbon dioxide is well mixed in the atmosphere and cannot account for regional warming on a month by month basis.  The observed warming is  regional in scope and it conforms to the pattern of the distribution of surface pressure and geopotential height, not the distribution of carbon dioxide that is in fact well mixed and very close to uniform in its distribution throughout the atmosphere.

And surface temperature is not constantly escalating as we will see below.

Gordon Dobson started measuring total column ozone in 1924 and soon noticed that total column ozone mapped surface pressure. An increase in surface pressure that is related to the distribution of ozone can originate in two ways namely:

  1. A reduction in the ozone content of the column above 500 hPa allowing the upper half of the column to become more dense, contract and thereby allow more molecules to  populate that column. But, this is not possible in a column of descending air that has its upper extremity in the stratosphere.
  2. A piling up of atmospheric mass against the force of gravity in the mid latitudes due to a shift in mass from high latitudes. The density of the column in the mid latitudes is increased as atmospheric mass accumulates.This should reduce geopotential height at 500 hPa.  For geopotential height to increase at 500 hPa the increase in atmospheric mass must be accompanied by warming below the 500 hPa pressure level . The lower half of the column becomes less dense as the column weight increases.

So, the question arises, is the increase in geopotential height at 500 hPa due to the descent of ozone within the atmospheric column of descending air as the weight of the column increases?

SCRUTINY FROM ABOVE

When satellites were equipped to study the atmosphere in 1969 ozone could be mapped more effectively than via surface measurement. The following report of 1973 links the distribution of ozone to geopotential height at 200 hPa :

Sensing ozone

Source: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00881075#page-1

Plainly total ozone varies with the upper troposphere (200 hPa) geopotential height,  and ozone distribution at that level defines the circulation of the air and the jet streams.

If you have read chapter four you will be alert to the fact that south of about 20° of latitude ozone begins to affect the lapse rate at the 300 hPa level  and that the notion of a demarcation between  troposphere and stratosphere via a hypothetical ‘tropopause’ is no longer sustainable. Perhaps it is the fuzzy boundary phenomenon that leads to the ambiguity of lumping together the ‘systematic variation in ozone distribution in lower stratospheric circulation‘ and the ‘correlation between ozone and upper troposphere geopotential height’ in the abstract above.

The variation in ozone partial pressure drives geopotential height at 200 hPa. Of this there is no doubt. But, does it drive  height at 500 hPa? The study reported below bears on this matter.

Baroclynic development

Found at:http://ephyslab.uvigo.es/publica/documents/file_21530-A%20climatology%20based%20on%20reanalysis%20of%20baroclinic%20developmental%20regions%20in%20the%20extratropical%20NH-ANYAS-2008.pdf

The authors of this study set out to examine the distribution of winter geopotential height minima over the period 1958–2006 at the 200, 500, and 850 hPa pressure levels. In effect they engaged in a very extensive mapping exercise to locate cyclones of ascending air that are associated with low surface pressure at three pressure levels, 850 hPa close to the surface, 500 hPa at the mid point and 200 hPa that is plainly within the fuzzy boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. When the geopotential height at a central point was lower than six or more of the surrounding eight points on a 2.5° latitude and longitude grid  the authors nominated that point as a minimum of geopotential height and mapped it as seen above.

The map reveals that height minima at 500 hPa and 200 hPa have a common geographical distribution. Furthermore, in the lowest map we see an extension of the relationship into subtropical latitudes that sees variations of geopotential height at 850 hPa to some extent aligning  with those at higher elevations.

In the light of this knowledge we might say that the temperature of the surface of the Earth is as much tied to variations in geopotential height at 200 hPa as it is to variations in geopotential height at 500 hPa and the implications would be very much clearer.

Lets pause at this point to remind ourselves of the very simple relationship between the capacity of the air to hold water vapour and its temperature. If the temperature increases more water can be held in the invisible gaseous phase. If temperature increases the droplets of moisture and highly reflective multi branching crystals of ice that constitute clouds will simply disappear. When this occurs the surface of the planet receives more solar radiation and it warms accordingly.

Lets pause a moment longer to observe that this very different chain of thought  is the narrative that should follow the observation that surface temperature is related to geopotential height…… and I hope that the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration takes note and changes their narrative accordingly.

The critical observation is that geopotential height minima have a common distribution throughout what we refer to as ‘the troposphere’ and are forced by one means or another by differences in the ozone content of the air  at the 200 hPa level and above. Many meteorologists being the practical, results oriented fellows that they are, have long noted that cyclogenisis  at elevation seems to be a requisite for the development of cyclogenesis below.

Meteorologists examine the circulation of the air at 500 hPa to be relatively free of the influences of topography, vegetation, land and sea, in order to predict the course of weather in the days ahead.  We see that the action at 500 hPa  is plainly dictated at 200 hPa and above (the lower stratosphere) where the largest variations in geopotential height, ozone partial pressure, atmospheric density and air temperature are observed. But, is that the end of it?

CHANGE IN HIGH LATITUDES DRIVES CHANGE IN LOWER LATITUDES

Chapter 5 identified the origin of so called ‘cold core’ Polar Cyclones in the heating of the air above 500 hPa by ozone. A shift in atmospheric mass from high to mid latitudes is forced by enhanced cold core Polar Cyclone activity that drives surface pressure lower in high latitudes. The result is enhancement of surface pressure in the mid and low latitudes.

This chapter establishes that geopotential height at 200 and 500 hPa vary together in the extra-tropical latitudes. Furthermore, the increase in geopotential height that accompanies the surface pressure change is accompanied by a loss of cloud cover. All ultimately relate to the changing flux of ozone in the upper half of the atmospheric column in high latitudes that occurs in winter that drives both the exchange of atmospheric mass and the observed change in the distribution of ozone that drives the circulation of the atmosphere at 200 hPa   in the extra-tropical latitudes.

We are aware that high pressure cells bring air from aloft towards the surface. We are also aware after chapter 5 that the stratospheric circulation involves descent in the mid latitudes. That brings air with an elevated ozone concentration into the troposphere.

Soooooooo, in the absence of an ability to touch, feel, smell or see what is actually happening in the atmosphere and with a sense of caution related to the fact that our hand waving and speculation is not always related to reality, and that we don’t always get things right we should inspect the surface temperature record for date stamping that is related to ozone flux at one pole or the other during the winter season. That should go a long way towards settling the matter, at least until a better explanation comes along……you know, I don’t think the science is ever completely settled.

THE SIGNATURE OF OZONE VARIABILITY THAT IS DATE STAMPED ON THE SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECORD

The tropics constitute a large surface area and make a huge contribution to the global temperature average especially on multi-year ENSO time scales. But surface temperature is actually most volatile on a monthly basis in the mid and high latitudes where ozone directly regulates cloud cover.

It is in the tropics that the waters of both hemispheres are brought together and homogenized. We can eliminate short term variability due to wind by looking at decades rather than years.

In the diagram below we have sea surface temperature at decadal intervals. Tropical sea surface air temperatures in April, May, June and July behave as if they were a bundled package with little variation between  months.  Departures seem to occur only when there is a marked change in trend. The month of April shows more variability and July the least.

SST Tropics Ap,M,J,J

By contrast, we see in the graph below, drawn to the same scale, that there is a big variation in air temperature between August and March.  It is between August and March that polar processes engineer large changes in surface temperature according to the flux in ozone from month to month, year to year, decade to decade and across the centuries. Pre-eminent in terms of volatility are the months January February and March and to a smaller extent December, under the sway of Arctic polar processes. The Arctic, precisely because of the limited descent of mesospheric air is supercharged with ozone. When change occurs it’s dynamic. Its like coming into a perfectly dark room and switching on the light.

SST tropics other months

Source of data: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

Antarctic atmospheric  processes that involve the same interaction with mesospheric air as in the Arctic, but on a much more continuous and interactive basis, are most volatile between August and November. The movement in tropical sea surface temperature in these months is in the same direction at the same time but has less vigour in line with the reduced partial pressure of ozone in the entire southern hemisphere. The fluctuations in cloud cover and surface temperature engineered by the Antarctic are consequently muted and can be compared with the act of switching on a light fitted with one of these newfangled environmentally conscious, energy saving  halogen globes that emit much less light.

Observe that in the last decade surface temperature in the tropics between August and November has fallen away, a departure from the long term trend but not unprecedented.

In the key months where the Arctic has a strong influence on cloud cover and surface temperature (January through to March) a departure from trend manifested a decade earlier in  1997-2006. A cooling trajectory was established in the last decade in all months that are strongly affected by polar atmospheric processes. This is due to a continuing reduction in ozone partial pressure in high latitudes in both hemispheres that goes along with a cooling of the high latitude stratosphere.

We will see that January and February are months of most extreme temperature variability in all latitudes between 30° south and 90° north while June and July are the months when the Antarctic most heavily stamps its authority on temperature between 30°south and 90° south.

We will see that the change in surface pressure due to the flux in ozone in high southern latitudes happens on very long time  scales with a swing so wide as to govern the ozone content of the entire stratosphere. The Antarctic makes the centennial swells upon which the Arctic generates the energetic surface chop.

Why did tropical sea surface temperature decline in the decade 1967-76? Why the spectacular increase of 0.5°C over the following two decades? Why the departure from trend between January and March in the last two decades. Obviously, there are more complex factors at work than a the remorseless increase in the very tiny proportion of the well mixed greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

But let me hasten to add that there is one, naturally occurring greenhouse gas that is quite unequally distributed, that varies in its concentration across the year and over time. It varies under the influence of polar atmospheric processes that dictate the rate of entry of mesospheric air that contains the chief agent of erosion  of ozone in the stratosphere described as NOx.

Follow the data, that is what science should be about. If  the narrative doesn’t follow the data, its propaganda.

Lets face it, people tell fibs to suit their own purposes.