Hemisphere surface temp
Fig. 1 Evolution of temperature at 1000 hPa in the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the Earth. DATA SOURCE:

According to Mark Twain, when it comes to numbers there are Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

Any form of manipulation to achieve simplification involves suppression of information.If one is to draw intelligent conclusions it is better to have all the original data. The less averaging the better.

Even the act of aggregating for a whole hemisphere, as is done in figure 1, is questionable. A sphere exhibits very different characteristics across its surface and so does  a half sphere. But, looked at in this way, its better to look at the two hemispheres seperately rather than together. The act of dividing the globe in half at the equator is a reasonable thing to do because the two are very different and we can learn in the process.

In figure 1  we have monthly data.  The peak in the cycle is the warmest month and the trough is the coolest month.Between the two are all the other months.

The two hemispheres are about as different as two planets. Temperature in the southern hemisphere (red line) exhibits a smaller annual range. Winter is marginally warmer than in the northern hemisphere. Summer is a lot cooler. In the Southern Hemisphere temperature is moderated by the extensive oceans.

In the Northern Hemisphere temperature is driven up due to the extensive areas of land. This  affects high more than low latitudes. The warming of the mid and high latitudes of the northern hemisphere in summer is due to atmospheric heating and loss of cloud cover. More solar radiation gets through the clouds to warm the surface. Paradoxically the Earth is furthest from the sun in July and accordingly solar radiation is 6% weaker by comparison with January. Straight away we see that atmospheric heating and cloud cover is the dominant influence on surface temperature while the degree of variation in surface very much depends on the ratio of sea to land. Who would have thought that? We have been told that it is the ‘greenhouse effect’ that makes surface temperatures what they are. In fact surface temperature depends on whether the Earths natural sunshade is in place or not and just how far a location is from the moderating influence of the sea. There is always less cloud over land than over the sea and particularly in those places where little rain falls.

In fact the ratio of land to water determines the extent of atmospheric warming and cloud cover on all time scales from daily through to annual. This is the strongest influence on surface temperature. Its due to the fact that the temperature of the air changes quickly and to a much greater extent than the amount of water vapour in the air that is required to form cloud. Water vapour content tends to be reduced by cold overnight temperatures giving us dew and cloud in the mornings and relatively clear sky at midday. The closer to the surface of the Earth, the more moisture can enter the atmosphere via evaporation from open water and plant transpiration. The more elevated the location, the colder is the air and , the lower is its moisture content. The higher the elevation, the less  the air is affected by warming and cooling at the surface. The higher the elevation the more the temperature of the air is determined by its ozone content.

When the ozone content of air increases and it warms via the interception of long wave radiation from the Earth, the response is measured as increased geopotential height. Surface temperature rises in proportion to geopotential height. That is due to the cloud cover response. Surface pressure, geopotential height and surface temperature all rise and fall together.This is the natural climate change dynamic driven by change in cloud cover.

Enough of these ramblings. Back to figure 1. The dotted lines in figure 1 are strictly horizontal. They have no slope. These lines assist the eye to  detect variations. There is a relatively small variability in temperature in the southern hemisphere in summer (upper limit of red series) over the last 69 years and no obvious trend. On this basis one can rule out carbon dioxide as a driver of surface temperature because the gas is well mixed. If there is a back radiation effect it needs to show its face here. Palpably it doesn’t. If the back radiation effect depends at all on enhancement by humid air and the presence of cloud we should see a continuous increase in the temperature of the air in the southern hemisphere from November through to March because this is the time of the year when cloud cover peaks. But, we see that there is no change in surface temperature in the warmest month of the year. However, we do see a gradual increase in coolest month temperature in the southern hemisphere from about 1970. This is the warming that needs to be explained.

Now, lets look at the northern hemisphere. Coolest month temperatures rise and fall over quite short time intervals. The 1970’s are the coolest decade in the northern hemisphere in terms of both the warmest summer month and the coolest winter month.   Northern Hemisphere temperature increased after 1998 in both coolest and warmest month and this too needs to be explained.


The raw data doesn’t inform us as to whether the climate cooled or warmed in spring or autumn. Does that matter?  Come to think of it, if the global average rises due to an increase in temperature in the winter months is that really a problem. Would we not actually prefer warmer winters? Can we make rational decisions on the basis of a global average? Not really! Under a regime of dramatically increased summer temperatures with thousands dying of heat stroke and and dramatically reduced winter temperatures with thousands freezing to death, the average may be unchanged. We may think the planet is warming if we see a rising global average. But that could simply represent some warming in the coldest, abominably cold month so that month is slightly less abominably cold. Quoting the global average is the sort of thing that Mark Twain was complaining about.

Having dispensed with the CO2 furphy and the global average furphy we can now concentrate our on why the temperature changes as it does!


What stands out most in figure 1 is the warming that occurs in the southern hemisphere in winter (red line) starting in the 197o’s.

Given that the temperature of the air is a chilly 11°C in mid winter, this warming, and even more so, the warming of the northern hemisphere in winter, is unequivocally beneficial. This is a matter for congratulation rather than concern. We live in fortunate times. But it would be nice to know why this is happening because winter warming inflates the average for the globe as the whole and gives rise to a lot of hysterical  nonsense that is swallowed by an uncritical media that take the point of view that the science of climate is a matter for ‘scientists’ and the average global temperature  is Gods Word. These people have no idea what Mark Twain was talking about.

Politicians don’t read science. They read the daily papers. We get the blind leading the blind and a cabal of irresponsible scare mongers beating the drum and clashing the cymbals while snapping at the politicians heels demanding ‘clean energy’ and an end to ‘carbon pollution’. This is the modern ‘left’ in action. Its the Democratic Party in the US, the moneyed elite in the UK and an unholy alliance of Labour, The Greens and the soft underbelly of the Liberals in Australia. Even the Chinese, who in many ways are very practical people, seem to have fallen in love with this idea. If you muzzle the press, put the intellectuals in prison and rule with an iron fist you can do whatever you bloody well like. Can we pretend that what is happening in the West is somehow preferable? Can we point to a more rational and beneficial result from our ‘democratic process’? Cast not the first stone.


The warming of the northern hemisphere in both winter and summer starts in about 1998. Bear in mind that the warming in southern winter occurs at a time when global cloud cover plummets as the large land surfaces of the northern hemisphere heat the atmosphere. Is that warming  due to an increasing ozone content of the air and a consequent decline in cloud cover?

Figure 2 confirms a step up in temperature at the 10 hPa pressure level after 1976. This is predominantly a southern hemisphere phenomenon.  The step up occurs in winter.The consequent much enhanced feed of ozone into the  high pressure zones of descending air over the global oceans would reduce cloud cover. Under normal circumstances 90% of global cloud cover is to be found over the oceans and this is where high pressure cells form, especially in summer. When ozone rich air descends in a high pressure cell, the air warms (geopotential height increases) and this is always, without exception, associated with warming at the surface.So, the warming is due to loss of cloud cover.

Raw 10 hPa T poles
Fig. 2.  10 hPa temperature near the poles

Now, I want you to sanction something quite unorthodox and shocking.

In figure 2 the hand drawn line that links the high points in the summer maximum in the northern hemisphere is copied and applied to the northern minimum and to both the minimum and the maximum in the southern hemisphere. This unsophisticated ‘sleight of hand’ is performed as a ‘seeing aid’ to discern the points of difference. I guess I am just a frustrated artist and the mathematical exactitude of Excel is humanised by this process.I was once told by a plant breeder that if you cannot see the difference in plant performance by eye that difference is not worth measuring. It’s somehow comforting to realise that we don’t always need mathematical manipulations in order to get to the nub of the question.

Some points to note:

  1. Winter minimums are more variable than summer maximums and particularly so in the northern hemisphere.
  2. Whole of period change at 10 hPa  is greatest in the Antarctic. Those who make a close study of the matter have worked out that this is where natural climate change begins. Here is the documentation: Antarctica is the source of natural climate change.
  3. At the surface, the widest range in temperature between summer and winter is seen in the northern hemisphere but that is not the case at 10 hPa.  It is the southern hemisphere that exhibits the big variations.

Now in the last point we have an anachronism and a clue.  See Figure 3.

The wide range in temperature at 10 hPa in the southern hemisphere is due to the variable intake of mesospheric air over Antarctica in winter. This intake of cold air cools the upper stratosphere. It does not affect the temperature of the air at elevations below 300 hPa. The deepest cooling occurs at the 30 hPa pressure level in July.  Why is it so?

In winter surface pressure in the Antarctic region reaches a resounding planetary high. Nowhere else, anywhere on the globe, in any season of the year does surface pressure approach that achieved over Antarctica in winter. Air from the mesosphere has a low ozone content and it dilutes the ozone content of the atmosphere generally.The enhanced flow of mesospheric air into the southern hemisphere causes a generalised deficit in the ozone content of the air in the entire southern hemisphere. Alternatively, when the flow is choked off (surface pressure rises) there is an increase in the temperature of the air and its ozone content.

It is easy to see how the ozone content of the air can change over time via an alteration in the mesospheric flow.

Polar column temperatures


See figure 4 below. The short term variability that is seen in Arctic is much enhanced after February. It is initiated  by a fall in polar surface pressure signalled by a rise in the Arctic Oscillation Index (the two are inversely related). This increase in 10 hPa temperature  is likely reinforced in amplitude and duration by an increase in ozone partial pressure due to enhanced penetration of ionising cosmic rays as the stratosphere warms. The build up in the temperature over the polar cap is avalanche like in its suddenness. It represents the displacement of cold mesospheric air. The heating effect,  observed to last for weeks at a time, requires amplification to persist in this way. Otherwise it would be gone in ten days. Without amplification the descent of mesospheric air should re-establish in short order . Patently it does not.

T strat and AO 10hPa

Figure 4. Mean temperature at 10 hPa compared with the Arctic Oscillation Index.

In Fig. 2 we observe little difference between the hemispheres in the evolution of 10 hPa temperature in summer. There is a slight step up in 1976. And, the step up in summer is greater in the south than the north.The change in the ozone content of the atmosphere is global, affecting the entire year  and it is related to a fundamental change in the atmospheric circumstances over Antarctica, most pronounced in the winter season.

The ozone content of the air is rapidly propagated across the globe as we will see in figures 6 and 7 below. This testifies to the strength of horizontal winds in the stratosphere and most particularly in the area of overlap where stratosphere and troposphere occupy common ground.

So, the standout anomaly in figure 2 is the step change in 10 hPa temperature in southern winter after 1976. This step change in 10 hPa temperature is reflected  in surface pressure data in figure 5 below.

In fact this step change in 1976 is  reflected surface temperature data at every latitude across the entire globe as documented here.

SLP 75-90S


As Gordon Dobson discovered in the 1920’s surface pressure  is a reflection of the ozone content of the air and vice versa. The fall in surface pressure at 75-90° south latitude documented in figure 5 is a direct consequence of the increase of the ozone content of the air. It is the ozone content of the air that affects its density, the weight of the entire column and hence surface pressure.

Wind strength in the atmosphere is intimately connected with the ozone content of the air. The air is relatively still near the surface of the planet and also at the highest elevations. Wind velocity is most enhanced in the overlap between the stratosphere and the troposphere between 300 hPa and 50 hPa where abrupt change in the height of the tropopause is associated with jet streams.

The 10 hPa level is virtually the top of the atmosphere because 99% of atmospheric mass is below that pressure level. The rapidly ascending circulation at the pole elevates ozone producing the greatest temperature response at the highest elevations as is evident in Fig 6. The strong temperature response at 10 hPa is due to convection of ozone rich air that increases ozone partial pressure at the highest elevations. That ozone mixes across the profile and affects the ozone content of the air in descending circulations in mid and low latitudes.

The pressure gradient (density differential) across the vortex in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere where polar cyclones are initiated determines the strength of convection.  The density differential is increased seasonally as the ozone hole is established below 50 hPa when NOx rich air from the upper troposphere is drawn into the circulation over the polar cap during the final warming of the stratosphere.

The incidence of very much higher temperature at the 10 hPa pressure level after 1978 represents a step change in the fundamental parameters of the climate system.  There is not one climate system here but many, as many as there are days in the year. Changing the ozone content of the air in high latitudes alters surface pressure differentials and therefore it changes the planetary winds.

Fig. 6


In figure 7 below we chart the evolution of 10 hPa temperature  in selected months from the mid latitudes to the southern pole.

10 hPa T SH
Figure 7 The evolution of air temperature at the 10 hPa pressure level in high latitudes

10 hPa temperature over the pole is greater at 80-90° latitude than at lower latitudes in summer. This is when mesospheric air is excluded and ozone rich air gently ascends to the top of the atmosphere. This phenomenon occurs over Antarctica between October and February.

10 hPa temperature over the southern pole is inferior to that at lower latitudes when mesospheric air is drawn into the circulation between March and October.

After 1978 we see a change in the temperature profile in all months. This is particularly so from June through to November. The transition month for the final warming prior to 1978 was November. After 1978  the transition occurs  in October. Taken all-together this data indicates  a fundamental change in atmospheric dynamics that inevitably produces an increase in surface pressure, geopotential height and surface temperature in mid and low latitudes.

This is the source of the warming in southern winter. It has nothing to do with the works of man.

The change in the temperature of the air at the 10 hPa pressure surface in the Arctic is a product of the combined influence of atmospheric dynamics at both poles. The Arctic is  independently influential.  Its calling card is extreme temperature variability in January and February. This can be seen in Figure 1 in the surface temperature in the coolest months.

Climate change is a matter of observation and common sense. There is not much of it about. When it comes to numbers there are Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. Undoubtedly the leading offender is the global average of surface temperature as disseminated by GISS, The NOAA  and the Hadley Centre, all dedicated to the dissemination of information in support of the nefarious activities of Global Green and the UNIPCC.



Pioneering work in establishing that the speed of the wind increased with elevation was  initiated in the first world war by people like Robert Millikan who worked for the US signal corps. He wrote

Within the past year approximately 5000 . . . [pilot balloon] observations have been taken by the Meteorological Service of the Signal Corps . . . the balloon is kept in sight up to distances as great as 60 miles and up to heights as great as 32,000 meters, or approximately 20 miles . . . observations show air currents increasing in intensity with increasing altitude and approaching the huge speed of 100 miles per hour. Such speeds are perhaps exceptional but not at all uncommon.

Gordon Dobson followed up this work in the 1920’s.

Wasaburo Ooishi in Japan amassed a total of 1288 observations between March 1923 and February 1925 and published a paper on the subject in Esperanto, to make it accessible to non-Japanese speakers.Here is Ooshi’s plot of wind speed as it varies with elevation  in the vicinity of his observatory at Tateno, twenty kilometres  north of Tokyo.

Wind speed Japan

The seasonal variation in the winds was analysed.

Upper air speed by season

Source: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-84-3-357

So, what drives the air so that its velocity increases with altitude? Why is the velocity greater in winter? Is it all driven by warming at the surface? Is it driven  by the release of latent heat of condensation. Or is it differences in air density that manifest above the cloud layer in that confusing space that is shared by  the troposphere and the stratosphere?

When surface pressure is high, there is little ozone in the upper air, the troposphere is 2-3 km higher. When surface pressure is lower there is more ozone in the upper air and the tropopause is lower. In high latitudes we have the side by side conjunction of these two species of air at The Polar Front. The classical illustration  is in the southern hemisphere where a chain of low pressure cells sometimes described as the Circumpolar Trough constitutes the mixing zone for these different species of air with high surface pressure, ozone deficient air over the continent and low surface pressure, ozone rich air on the equatorial side of the trough.

This conjunction is an untenable situation.  The stratospheric resolution of this unstable conjunction of two species of air is the polar vortex, a stream of ozone rich air circulating roughly about a particular line of latitude taking air to the top of the atmosphere. At 250 hPa this stream of high velocity air manifests as the jet stream. As the stream ascends further into the stratosphere its velocity increases. This is a winter phenomenon due to the descent of cold mesospheric air inside the stratospheric vortex at that time of the year.

The above is my view on the matter. Now lets look at the conventional meteorological  viewpoint.

The explanation of the nature of the jet streams that appears below was, until recently, provided by the American Meteorological Society at:  http://www.ametsoc.org/amsedu/proj_atm/modules/JetStreams.pdf

It is no longer available at that address.

In providing this paper I could not  resist highlighting  important statements in red, interspersing a few comments in blue (where the explanation can be improved) and I follow up with some comments at the end.

Introduction: Jet Streams

As World War II was approaching its conclusion, the United States introduced the first high-altitude bomber plane called the B-29. It could fly at altitudes well above 20,000 feet (6.1 kilometers). When the B-29s were being put into service from a Pacific island base, two air force meteorologists were assigned the task of producing a wind forecast for aircraft operations at such altitudes.

To make their prediction, the meteorologists used primarily surface observations and what is known in meteorology as the “thermal wind” relationship. In plain language, this relationship implies “that if you stand with your back to the wind, and the air is colder to the left and warmer to the right, the wind will get stronger on your back as you ascend in the atmosphere.” Using this relationship, the meteorologists then predicted a 168- knot wind from the west. Their commanding officer could not believe the estimate. However, on the next day, the B-29 pilots reported wind speeds of 170 knots from the west! The jet stream was discovered.

Actually atmospheric scientists had theorized the existence of jet streams at least as early as 1937. The bomber pilots just confirmed it. Now many television weathercasts mention the positions of jet streams and their impact on daily weather events.

Jet streams are relatively strong winds concentrated as narrow currents in the upper atmosphere. The polar-front jet stream is of special interest to meteorologists because of its association with the regions where warm and cold air masses come in contact and middle latitude storm systems evolve. The polar-front jet stream encircles the globe at altitudes between 6 and 8 miles (9 and 13 kilometers) above sea level in segments thousands of kilometers long, hundreds of kilometers wide, and several kilometers thick. It flows generally from west to east in great curving arcs. It is strongest in winter when core wind speeds are sometimes as high as 250 miles (400 kilometers) per hour.

Meteorologists study the polar-front jet stream as they forecast weather. Changes in it indicate changes in weather. The jet stream is also of importance to aviation, as the B- 29 pilots quickly found out. Westbound high-altitude flight routes are planned to avoid the jet-stream head winds. Eastbound flights welcome the time-saving tail winds. However, the jet stream produces strong wind shears in some locations because of large changes in wind speeds over short vertical and horizontal distances. The resulting air turbulence can be very hazardous to aircraft.

The polar-front jet stream’s location is one of the most influential factors on the daily weather pattern across the United States.

Characteristics of the Polar-Front Jet Stream

  1. Jet streams are relatively high speed west-to-east winds concentrated as narrow currents at altitudes of 6 to 9 miles (9 to 14 kilometers) above sea level. These meandering “rivers” of air can be traced around the globe in segments thousands of kilometers long, hundreds of kilometers wide and several kilometers thick.
  2. Two high-altitude jet streams affect the weather of middle latitudes; they are the subtropical jet stream and the polar-front jet stream.(Latter only present in winter)
  3. The subtropical jet stream is located between tropical and middle latitude atmospheric circulations. Although not clearly related to surface weather features, it sometimes reaches as far north as the southern United States. It is an important transporter of atmospheric moisture into storm systems.
  4. The polar-front jet stream is associated with the boundary between higher latitude cold and lower latitude warm air, called the polar front. Because of its link to surface weather systems and features, the polar-front jet stream is of special interest to weather forecasters.It defines the position of polar cyclones.
  5. The polar-front jet stream is embedded in the general upper-air circulation (including the stratosphere) in the middle latitudes where winds generally flow from west to east with broad north and south swings. As seen from above, these winds display a gigantic wavy pattern around the globe.
  6. The maximum wind speeds in the polar-front jet stream can reach speeds as high as 250 miles (400 kilometers) per hour.
  7. The average position of the polar-front jet stream changes seasonally. Its winter position tends to be at a lower altitude and at a lower latitude than during summer.
  8. Because north-south temperature contrasts are greater in winter than summer, the polar-front jet stream winds are faster in winter than in summer. (the presence of very cold mesospheric air above about 300 hPa, over the pole, increases density)
  9. Small segments of the polar-front jet stream where winds attain their highest speeds are known as jet streaks. Across the United States, one or two jet streaks are commonly present in the polar-front jet stream.

What Causes the Polar-Front Jet Stream?

  1. Fundamental to the formation of the polar-front jet stream is the physical property that warm air is less dense than cold air when both are at the same pressure. (Lets be very clear here: The term ‘pressure surface’. i.e. the 200 hPa pressure level is more appropriate than ‘pressure’. An alternative expression is: The geopotential height of a pressure surface is greater on the equatorial side of the polar front than the polar side OR  Air has lower density at  jet stream altitudes on the equatorial side of the polar front OR The tropopause does not exist on the polar side of the polar front and is very low on the equatorial side bringing warm ozone rich air in contact with very cold, dry, dense air of mesospheric origin.)
  2. 11.The polar-front represents the boundary between higher latitude cold air and lower latitude warm air. This temperature contrast extends from Earth’s surface up to the polar-front jet stream altitude.  (In fact  the temperature contrast is maintained to the top of the atmosphere but the mixed air interface  broadens with elevation .  At the surface the core of a polar cyclone is cold in relation to the surrounding air. At 250 hPa the core of a polar cyclone is warm in relation to the surrounding air and it is the contrast in density at this level that energises the wind. The Jet stream links polar cyclones giving rise at the 200 hPa level, but higher or lower depending on the season, to a relatively unified stream of rapidly rotating air that takes ozone rich air to the top of the atmosphere. It  might be compared to a chimney except that it is annular in shape with a hole of inactive air in the middle. That chimney is therefore like no other because it surrounds a core of cold mesospheric air. It is the conjunction of the core of relatively very cold air and the warmer and ozone rich air that surrounds it that gives rise to the most vigorous ascending circulation on the planet. This circulation ascends to the top of the atmosphere. It  originates in the vicinity of the tropopause on the equatorial side of the front and pulls in air from the troposphere. Cold air from the Antarctic side and warmer air from the tropical side is entrained in the ascending spirals that represent an amorphous ‘Front’, quite a different concept to what is referred to as a warm or cold front in the mid latitudes. It is from this zone of ascending  air that the global circulation is driven, not the tropics.)
  3. Air pressure is determined by the weight of overlying air. In the vicinity of the polar front, air pressure drops more rapidly with an increase in altitude in the more dense cold air than in the less dense warm air. ( very confusing statement. Reduced air density aloft applies not to the cold air from the mesosphere but the air that contains ozone on the tropical side of the front. This reduced density is due in part to the origin of the air (its from temperature regions)  and also to ozone heating of the air as it absorbs long wave radiation from the Earth and instantly and continually passes that energy on to adjacent molecules. The energy stream, unlike that from the sun, is available continuously day and night. The energy so acquired destabilises the atmosphere and this situation is resolved by movement.The polar front, that is properly considered as a stratospheric phenomenon because that is where the contrast manifests, is the strongest ascending air stream on the planet. Its importance in determining the distribution of atmospheric mass and therefore the planetary winds has yet to be realised by mainstream climate science.)
  4. The effect of temperature on air density results in air pressure at any given altitude being higher on the warm (equatorward) side of the polar front than on the cold (poleward) side. (This statement would be more meaningful if couched in terms of differences in air density in this form: The effect of temperature on air density results in air density at any given altitude being less on the warm, equator-ward side of the polar front than on the cold, pole-ward side.).
  5. When cold and warm air reside side by side, the higher the altitude the greater the pressure difference is between the cold and warm air at the same altitude. (This statement would be more meaningful if couched in terms of differences in air density as in:  At the polar front  the the temperature and density difference increases with altitude.).
  6. Across the polar front, at upper levels (including the jet stream altitude), horizontal pressure differences cause air to flow from the warm-air side of the front towards the cold-air side of the front. (Horrible. Rephrase as: Enduring horizontal density differences result in the ascent of air of lower density being driven upwards to the top of the atmosphere.)
  7. Once air is in motion, it is deflected by Earth’s rotation (called the Coriolis effect). Upper-level air flowing poleward from higher pressure towards lower pressure is deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere (or to the left in the Southern Hemisphere). The result is a jet stream flowing generally towards the east, parallel to, and above the polar front.(Deeply unsatisfying statement. The atmosphere super-rotates in the same direction as the Earth rotates on its axis but faster. The speed of its rotation increases in winter. The speed of rotation increases from the equator to the polar front. Its speed of rotation increases from the surface into the upper stratosphere but falls away at the highest elevations as the diameter of the cone of spinning air increases to take in the mid latitudes. There are discontinuities in this stream of ascending air due to locally enhanced ascent where sticky low pressure cells form on the lee of the continents where warm waters in the ocean promote the formation of low pressure cells of ascending ozone rich air. This results in pockets of ozone rich air at 1 hPa above these centres of local ascent. A collapse in the descent of atmospheric air over the pole (as in summer) allows these centres of local ascent to flood into the region of the polar cap or across it completely reversing the west to east flow so that it then flows weakly east to west, the summer pattern. This is perceived as a sudden stratospheric warming. It represents the replacement of one species of air with another.)

Relationships between the Polar-Front Jet Stream and Our Weather

  1. The polar-front jet stream exists where cold air and warm air masses are in contact. Hence, your weather is relatively cold when the polar-front jet stream is south of your location and relatively warm when the jet stream is north of your location.
  2. The polar-front jet stream can promote the development of storms. Storms are most likely to develop under a jet streak.
  3. As a component of the planetary-scale prevailing westerly circulation, the polar-front jet stream steers storms across the country. Hence, storms generally move from west to east.

Authors further remarks:  

There is a confusion in the AMS account  as to the location of warm and cold air and also due to the use of the term ‘pressure’ for air at altitude rather than ‘density’. There is also a loose use of the term ‘Polar Front’ that properly applies to the stratosphere rather than the troposphere where the front is actually a chain of massive polar cyclones that can occupy many parallels of latitude.  And most unfortunately there is a lack of appreciation of the origin of the phenomenon in the stratosphere where the energy to drive the circulation is acquired  in part via the agency of ozone.

The archetypal instance of this circulation lies not in the Arctic but the Antarctic where the patterns are much simpler than in the northern hemisphere and it is the latter circulation that I refer to in the comments below.

The annular nature of the zone of uplift that constitutes the polar arm of the jet stream  is due to the almost complete chain of polar cyclones that surround the Antarctic continent.  Ascent in this column of air that surrounds a tongue of mesospheric air  in the stratosphere is balanced by descent in the mid latitudes and also over the pole. Descent is a gentle affair because the areas available for descent are expansive by comparison with the zones of ascent. It is only by restricting the flow through a small orifice that one can increase the speed of the flow, a concept that many gardeners and fire-fighters will be familiar with.

The near surface feed that is the westerlies in the southern hemisphere is extremely vigorous reflecting a strong pressure differential between the rest of the globe and the circumpolar trough that extends from about 50° of latitude to about 70° of latitude. The air streams converge at higher latitudes speeding up as they do so, only by much increased wind speed at elevation.

The names that sailors used to describe the surface winds indicate the increase in wind speed at high latitudes. We have the Roaring Forties, The Furious Fifties and The Screaming Sixties. Convergence at high latitudes requires rapid modes of ascent (in this case to the top of the atmosphere) and an equally large return flow  at elevation but spread over a very wide surface area because it is returning to the wider circumference of the mid latitudes. How does the hypothetical Brewer Dobson circulation fit into this scenario: In short, it doesn’t. The flow to high latitudes is not in the stratosphere, it is in the troposphere and that air is cold, dense and ozone deficient.

The Brewer Dobson Circulation was proposed as a hypothesis, not an observation, in order to explain elevated ozone partial pressure and a descending tropopause in higher latitudes. Another hypothesis is that ozone persists due to reduced pressure of ionisation due to low sun angle. However ozone partial pressure continues to increase as the sun rises higher in the sky and the stratosphere begins to warm in spring suggesting that synthesis of ozone due to ionisation by cosmic rays is the most likely explanation for the elevated ozone content of the air in spring. In any case in my, admittedly limited, experience it is not possible for a flow of tepid water to produce a warm bath.

A positive pressure differential exists between the Rest of the World  and the area dominated by polar cyclones at 60-70° south. This gives rise to intermittent flows of warm moist air that move counter to the trade winds from strong centres of evaporation near the equator. This warm moist air has little ozone because it comes from below the elevated tropical tropopause. It is drawn into the polar circulation. It’s moisture content enhances the vorticity of polar cyclones but only on the external margins where small scale fronts form so that the core of a polar cyclone is dry. Tropical air from under the tropopause is  very cold, at a temperature of -80°C, as cold as air from the mesosphere. It has a very low ozone content and a high NOx content . At 100 to 50 hPa  tropical air is dense tending to settle rather than be drawn into ascent. At the time of the final warming of the stratosphere from August through to December this air enters the space formerly occupied by mesospheric air giving rise to a pronounced ‘ozone hole’ below 50 hPa. Other than during the period when this ozone hole manifests the air from the mesosphere, although relatively ozone deficient by comparison with the air on the other side of the vortex has more ozone due to ‘spill in’ mixing during descent.

The descent of mesospheric air over the pole in winter is relatively slow, tenuous and easily interrupted. It can be interrupted if  surface pressure falls away as it does in summer.  Surface pressure can fall away in winter if ozone is generated by cosmic ray activity or the electromagnetic activity of the solar wind slows the zonal wind. Hence the stratospheric sudden warming phenomenon where warm air replaces cold. 

Relatively low pressure is endemic in the Arctic inhibiting the entry of a tongue of mesospheric air. In Antarctica, by contrast the ice mound and the vigour of polar cyclone activity over the surrounding ocean ensures that there will always be descent in the mid latitudes and also over the Antarctic continent and the ice that prevails in winter. In winter, beginning in March and enduring till November there is to some extent a persistent tongue of mesospheric air that penetrates to the 300 hPa level.

There is no recognition in the (admittedly outdated) analysis from the American Meteorological society of the role of ozone in giving rise to  increasing contrasts in air density aloft. So the article, while it is rich in rules of thumb and observation of the nature of the Jet Stream actually fails to address the physical forces that are responsible for the Jet stream.

Without a realisation of the role of ozone in enhancing the density differences across the polar front that results in 1. polar cyclones and 2. shifts of atmospheric mass, the source of natural climate change must remain inexplicable. This is the current situation. The prevailing mindset is incapable or unwilling to conceive that the climate system may be subject to external influences. An item of faith is involved. Man is stained with original sin and atonement is required.  All interpretation is tuned to that end. We have been taken back to the middle ages. The only other interpretation is that men are weak and follow the money dished out by elites who have a warped view of nature and the place of humanity within nature.

Is ozone a greenhouse gas or is it not! Is it responsible for the warmth of the stratosphere? Does it collect energy and transmit that energy to adjacent molecules. If it does, then it must warm the air that accordingly loses density and that air is displaced at a rate that reflects the efficacy of the warming process. The observed phenomena reflect the mode of causation and amply indicates the energy that is required to drive the process. This process is continuous. It’s never exhausted. It requires continual input of energy to sustain it. That energy is applied to the atmosphere, not in low latitudes but in high latitudes per agency of ozone via its ability to pass on the energy that it acquires from the Earth itself.

Above 500 hPa the air circulates west to east in both hemispheres all year round. The stratosphere in the winter hemisphere is a very  vigorous medium. The source of its vigour relates to its unique atmospheric composition….the presence of ozone at a greater partial pressure than in summer time.  To account for this there is the relative absence of photolysis in winter and the possible involvement of cosmic rays in the generation of ozone in high latitudes. The increase in the density differential across the polar front in winter is in part due to the descent of cold mesospheric air over the polar cap. In spring the increase in the density differential is due to ozone synthesis and also the erosion of ozone below 50 hPa by NOx from the troposphere that is trapped in the lower atmosphere during the final warming of the stratosphere. Once accomplished the warming results in a complete reversal of rotation aloft.  At the time when the ozone hole appears surface pressure at 60-70° south latitude reaches its annual minimum. This is also the time of the year when a warming of the stratosphere will facilitate the penetration of cosmic rays. The solar cycle modulates the interplanetary environment in such a way as to preclude cosmic rays when solar activity is strong.

The failure of climate science to get to grips with the physics of the atmospheric circulation in high latitudes and in particular to realise that convection at the pole is driven from the upper atmosphere is a terminal fault that leaves the stage open for the AGW argument. Prevailing modes of thought lack focus on mixing processes that involve the entire atmospheric column that are initiated above 500 hPa in the winter season. At the root of the problem is an inability to observe, a fondness for dogma and a simple follow the leader mentality that reminds one of the Medieval Church. Today, the centres of scholarship are funded by governments and dependent on the opinions of the governing elites. Our elites are about as sensible as the Medieval Popes. Nobel winner Al Gore is the titular head of this church. Barack Obama is a very funny man, perhaps he is the Court Jester.

 We need to see atmospheric processes in terms of cause and effect based on an appreciation of gas behaviour. Otherwise we are limited to correlative prediction based on primitive rules of thumb like the following:

  1. If you stand with your back to the wind, and the air is colder to the left and warmer to the right, the wind will get stronger on your back as you ascend in the atmosphere
  2. Storms are most likely to develop under a jet streak.
  3. The polar-front jet stream steers storms across the country. Hence, storms generally move from west to east.

The poverty of climate science when it comes to understanding cause and effect is abundantly evident.

It has long been known that there is an association between the Arctic Oscillation Index and geomagnetic activity that is the product of the interaction of the solar wind with the atmosphere. This is a no-go area in climate science.  Why?

A comment about the composition of the journal ‘Science’that appeared here is apt:

Willis back in the early 80’s when I first began to take an interest in Global Warming. I depended on “Science” to give me a picture of the development of the research. In those days, about one in three articles were about natural causes of warming. It seemed at the time that the natural trend articles tended toward the more serious considerations. I thought, well science will sort it out and over the next few decades, and I can sit back and watch it unfold. Well, that was back when Philip Abelson was the Editor, he lost that position which, according to an interview I read at the time, he said was primarily because of his changing position on Global Warming. As the portrait in Wikipedia says “Some have claimed him to be an early skeptic of the case for global warming on the basis of a lead editorial in the magazine dated March 31, 1990 in which he wrote, “[I]f the global warming situation is analyzed applying the customary standards of scientific inquiry one must conclude that there has been more hype than solid fact.” ”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Abelson Subsequent to his replacement “Science” no longer entertained contrarian views. He was the first scientist I knew who lost his position because of the Climate agenda.


Readers interested in the history of how the global warming scare came to be will be interested in Bernie Lewin’s analysis here.

There is also an excellent study by Michael Hart in his book Hubris: ‘The troubling science, economics and politics of climate change’.


Matthew Flinders named Cape Leeuwin after the first known ship to have visited the area, the Leeuwin (“Lioness”), a Dutch vessel that charted some of the coastline in 1622. There are three Capes in the southern hemisphere that offer a landfall to sailors who take advantage of the westerly winds at this latitude.

Cape Leeuwin is surrounded by blue/green water. Its a long stretch from Cape Town to the south west corner of Australia and an even longer stretch to Cape Horn. There is very little land between 30° south and 70° south latitude. The wind blows vigorously from the west. When you gaze out to sea and and find yourself reaching for more clothing it is because the air is very fresh, it has the same temperature as a vast stretch of ocean.

This Ocean  is the Earths battery. It is the chief and only means of storing energy from the sun. Whatever energy gets through the cloud layer penetrates deeply into the water and is given up slowly. The ocean warms and cools in the same way that it develops a long swell on its surface. When riding across the swell you rise up slowly and fall down just as slowly regardless of the surface chop. If we are looking for ocean, the location of the Earths energy store, you find it here. It is for this reason that Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is a good proxy for what is happening to the globe as a whole.

If a steady 33 mph (30 knots) wind blows for 24 hours over a fetch of 340 miles there is a 5% chance of encountering a single wave higher than 35 ft (11 m) among every 200 waves that pass in about 30 minutes. At the latitude of Cape Leeuwin a 50 knot wind is frequently encountered. No trees can grow in the vicinity of the lighthouse, just grass and low scrub. There is a layer of salt on everything.

If one looks for consistent high variability in the temperature of the surface of the sea it is here, in the southern hemisphere that one finds it, and at the equator. Here the variability is due to change in cloud cover and the direction of the wind. At the equator there is little cloud, little wind but a big variation in the in-feed of cold water from high latitudes according to the speed of the ocean circulation that is driven by wind and wave in high southern latitudes. It is in high southern latitudes that one finds the strongest wind belts on the planet, the roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties and the Screaming sixties.


Lighthouse and houses

The lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin dates from 1910 and so does the temperature record. A sample from 1915 to 1921 is presented below. There is a tiny diurnal and annual range  but strong cycles of warming and cooling. The daily range increases strongly in summer when hot winds from the continent tend to arrive on a ten day cycle associated with the passage of anticyclones. In winter, these winds off the land can be cold suppressing the maximum and reducing the diurnal range. There is considerable variability in the daily minimums in winter within and between years. Winter is the time of the year when the Antarctic dynamic associated with the ozone content of the polar atmosphere causes marked swings in the relationship between surface pressure in the mid latitudes and the Antarctic circumpolar trough affecting the rate of flow of the westerlies and at times bringing cold southerly wind from Antarctica. Frontal rainfall falls in winter. Summers are arid as cyclones  track well south. Autumn is a season of quiet air, and infrequent light showers when farmers clear up land for pasture and burn the native vegetation to reduce the risk of fire. With solid winter rainfall and deep soils the countryside supports the growth of large eucalyptus trees that drop leaves and twigs in summer, a worrying fire hazard but an essential store of nutrient for soil microflora and plants, tending to keep the soil cool and moist in the dry summers experienced on the western sides of the continents at this latitude. Not far away is a very large desert.

Fig 1

The red ellipses in figure 1 are intended to take your eye to features of interest, in particular the shape of the variability in the curve when temperature is least and the extreme variability in the daily maximum in the height of summer.

Plainly, the climate is like the road that curls through the Karri forest as seen below.


There is a conclusion that can be drawn from the data presented below: Between 1910 and 1992 the minimum daily temperature does not change. Between 1992 and 2015 it warmed slightly then cooled again, then warmed for about six years and cooled for another six and looks as if it will get back to the 1910 average of about 14.3°C in a few years time.

Straight up this tells us that either, there is no greenhouse effect due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or that some local influence is maintaining the status quo as the rest of the globe is warming. I believe that there is no greenhouse effect. I do know that there is a local factor enabling this place to retain the status quo as surface temperature increases elsewhere. Until we understand the latter influences we will not be free of fear of the former.

Carbon dioxide is plant food and it is greening the Earth and in particular the arid zones because a plant that is not starving for carbon dioxide does not have to open its breathing apparatus (stomata) as wide as an opera singer and it loses less moisture to evaporation in the process of acquiring its plant food. For godssake, plants are at the base of the food chain. We have the wherewithal to feed double the current population of the globe and yet global economies are in complete disarray, interest rates are negative, governments are printing money, nobody wants to invest,  commodity markets are reeling and the whole system is teetering on the edge of an abyss.  Something is very wrong in the way that we are ordering society. That something has a lot to do with climate scares.

In any case 14°C is too cool to support plant life properly. Photosynthesis is optimal at 25°C. The globe is too cold for comfort, too cold to support photosynthesis over the bulk of its area for too long in the annual cycle.

If the ‘climate sceptics’ could all read from the same hymn book there would be a much better chance of dismissing ‘climate change hysteria’ that is resulting in gross manipulation of energy markets and making it impossible for poor people in cold climates to keep warm in winter while denying many countries who are yet to industrialise the cheap energy that is required to fuel machines. That we have ‘luke warmers’ who consider that man is having some effect on the climate but can’t work out just ‘how much’ influence he is having plays into the hands of the so called ‘consensus’ claimed by the alarmists. This is like reaching down with a machete and cutting your legs off just below the knees. There is no need. Luke warmers…… forget about the theory and OBSERVE.


Min 1910-39

Max 1910-39
Fig 2 1910-1930, Daily maximum and Minimum temperatures. Solid line shows trend. Dotted line is a true horizontal.

Above we see that the annual range varies a lot. This is because in the height of summer the ozone content of the air is much affected by what is happening in the Arctic stratosphere. Less ozone means cooler temperature aloft and more cloud. In the depth of winter the ozone content of the air and hence its temperature, cloud cover and the entire global circulation is driven predominantly from Antarctica. If ozone partial pressure falls temperatures at all levels in the atmosphere respond, first in the stratosphere and next in the overlapping region where ozone exists in the upper troposphere and finally at the surface.

Gordon Dobson  put the matter in perspective when he calculated that if the entire atmosphere had the same density that it exhibits at the surface it would have a sharp top at 8 kilometres in elevation. I would remind you that  you can walk 8 km in an hour and if you are a walker in the Olympics you could be there in half an hour.


Max 1940-1975

MIn 40-75
Fig. 3 1940-1975  Dotted line is the horizontal

There are two possible reasons why the daily maximum could rise while the daily minimums fall.

  1. Cloud cover could fall away in summer as surface pressure rises in the mid latitudes (along with upper air temperature and geopotential height) while the winds that drive the circumpolar current accelerate due to the enhanced difference in the surface pressure between the mid latitudes and the poles. This would bring colder water from the poles to the western coasts of the southern continents reducing the winter minimum temperature and in fact the summer minimum because when the sun is not shining it matters little whether there is cloud or not.
  2. If the wind blows more consistently from the continent in summer that wind will be hot. That could occur if the core of anticyclones tracked further south. When surface pressure rises in the mid latitudes that is what happens. It has been observed that the so called Hadley cell that takes in the convection in the tropics and the descending air in the mid latitudes  has expanded in recent times. Notice the large fluctuation in the maximum temperature at Cape Leeuwin in summer. Notice that the pattern of extremes is quite different from year to year. This is what determines the level of success I have ias a wine maker in making wine from the early ripening Pinot Noir, a grape that is negatively affected by heat in the last month of ripening. Our ‘Three Hills’ vineyard is just 12 km north of the the lighthouse.On a hot day in February the temperature can climb to 42°C and the relative humidity drops from 60% to 30%. In just one day of this sort of treatment the grapes shrivel and sugar concentration rockets. Fortunately even if February is warm, most of the reds ripen in March and are picked in April. The chance of hot days is less in March, unheard of in April.

Group 1940-75

Above, we give a closer inspection of the temperature profile in the summer of 1958-59. It would not be possible to ripen grapes in such a year. Notice the low variability in the daily data in summer and the relatively high variability in spring. Quite atypical. The diminished area under the summer season temperature curve represents a reduced capacity for plant work.

Global data for the latitude band 30-40° south latitude is not  necessarily representative  of local conditions at Cape Leeuwin but neither of the summers of 1956-7 or 59-60 look particularly auspicious when we  examine the  geopotential height data for these years. Heights are likely to vary less with latitude than is sea surface temperature.  Sea surface temperature depends on the circulation of the ocean that exhibits a south to north and north to south component  whereas the movement of the atmosphere has a gently north east to south east movement that comes pretty close to following lines of latitude.



Max 1975-92

Min 75-92

In this graph we have fewer years and the pattern of heightened variability in mid-summer and mid-winter is  more apparent to the eye. Year to year variability comes from the same source as long term variability, the winter pole with peak variability in January-February emanating from the Arctic and July-August from the Antarctic. This is what is behind the variation in the seasons that keeps the farmers guessing.Its also what lies behind the long term variability, decadal and longer.



Max 92-15


Min 75-92

Again the dotted line is the horizontal. Its easy to see that the minimum has increased at about half the rate of the maximum. There is nothing in the Earth system that takes away carbon dioxide overnight and puts it back in the daytime.


Magnification drives home the point that variability in temperature is strongest in mid winter and mid summer. Extreme summer variability is due the fact that Cape Leeuwin occasionally experiences hot winds from the East in summer but it is also due to a flux in the ozone content of the air above and with it, cloud cover. Autumn is a time of low variability, balmy pleasant weather with light winds. The coldest months of winter are not always cold and nothing in the shape of the curves  in the bridging seasons provides any sort of an indication of what will happen in June, July, August and September. That depends on whats happening at the Antarctic circumpolar front.

Max 92-15.JPG  second

min 92-15.JPG second

Above is a different way of looking at the same data for the last 23 years. The trend curves are polynomials and they fit better the pattern exhibited by the extremes. The cooling trend of the last five years is given the weight it deserves. So far as the minimum is concerned we will soon be back at where we started in 1910.


In the figure below we have data for the entire globe in the 30-40° south latitude band drawn from here.

30-40S glabally Feb and July
Fig 5.  Sea Surface Temperature 30-40° south. Average monthly data.

Average monthly data conceals the interesting complexities that are only revealed in daily maximums and minimums. Is the temperature increasing during the day or at night? We are at a loss to explain anything and we are at the mercy of witch doctors who rush in to provide us with a global average.

At Cape Leeuwin the  daily maximum is the chief driver of variations in the average temperature.  Without a shadow of a doubt part of that daytime summer warming is associated with loss of cloud as the increase in geopotential height and air temperature aloft suggests. Part will be due to a more easterly component in the air in the summer that brings warm air from the warming continent during the day. In any case, its readily apparent that the direction of the wind can be critical to surface temperature in coastal locations. That applies, not only in coastal locations, but everywhere, when the wind comes more consistently from either the equator or the pole. Change the wind and you change the local temperature. For this reason we need to get a grip on what changes the global circulation if we wish to understand surface temperature change. Just quietly, we also need to get a grip on the degree of mixing of cold deep water with warm surface water due to the currents and the waves. We are measuring the temperature of our patient not in his anus or his mouth or ear-hole but at the extremities.

Some of the change in temperature at Cape Leeuwin may well be due to a change in the amount of cold water from the Southern Ocean being driven up the coast due to an increase in the speed of the southern ocean circulation. In that case, the enhanced current will tend to limit the increase in the temperature of the air as measured at Cape Leeuwin. The enhanced pressure differential between the mid and high latitudes has undoubtedly enhanced the circumpolar circulation and assisted to stabilise the temperature at Cape Leeuwin, a built in countervailing force limiting the rate of temperature increase due to loss of cloud cover and a generally enhanced flow of warm air from the tropics as the Antarctic circumpolar trough in surface pressure has deepened.



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?


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.


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.

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.

Fig 11 Source of data here


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


  • 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?

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.


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.



This chapter explores the characteristics of the atmosphere in spring.  It relates the distribution of ozone and NOx  to ozonesonde data  and the temperature and movement of the air. My data sources are  here for maps showing ozone and NOx profiles and here for ozonesonde data and here for maps showing temperature, pressure and wind.

The objective is to investigate the factors responsible for the composition, temperature, density and movement of the air. The discussion pertains to the origin of  the planetary winds, cloud cover and surface temperature, in short climate change.

Ozone 50hPa 6 hr

Above: Ozone at 50 hPa 11th to 13th September at six hourly intervals.

The diagrams above show ozone at the 50 hPa pressure level (20km) in the southern hemisphere at 6 hourly intervals. Observe that the rotation of the atmosphere  above the Antarctic continent over 54 hours amounts to about half a circle. A full rotation at this rate would take 4.5 days.

It takes about 10 days for a mid latitude anticyclone to pass a point on the Earth’s surface at the latitude of southern Australia. It takes about five days for a polar cyclone to pass from one side of the continent to the other.

As the Earth spins on its axis the morning sun appears on the eastern horizon. The atmosphere moves from the west to the east rotating faster than the Earth itself. The rate of rotation of the atmosphere increases with latitude. In winter, in high latitudes,  the rate of rotation also increases with height. This is counter-intuitive. It is commonly asserted that the heat that is absorbed in the tropics is providing the energy to drive the circulation of the air. In general, wherever energy is applied to a system, that is where the most vigorous response is to be found. The  movement of the atmosphere, more exaggerated at the poles than at the equator, suggests that the force driving the circulation is being applied at or near the poles. In fact, the greatest depression of surface pressure and the greatest peak in atmospheric pressure on a global scale is to be found in the region of the Antarctic continent in winter. The strongest winds at the surface of the planet merge at 60-70° south latitude. The variation in the temperature of the Earth at every particular latitude is greatest in the middle of winter when the flux in the ozone content of the air is most extreme.

The distribution of ozone at 50 hPa might be described as annular or ring like in shape surrounding the pole. Tracers of ozone fan out towards low latitudes from nodes of relatively high ozone partial pressure. Such a node is located between Antarctica and Australia/New Zealand as seen in the diagram above.

The tracer pattern of ozone distribution is similar to what we observe when a broad bladed paddle is applied to a can of paint. As we stir, a vortex is created in the middle where the centre of the circulation is depressed in relation to the perimeter. Intuitively, the Antarctic circulation is driven  in a similar fashion. There is obviously no broad bladed paddle at work. The differences in air density on either side of latitude 60-70° south that give rise to polar cyclones increase as the ozone content of the air is enhanced in winter. The seasonal descent of very cold mesospheric air over the pole chills the interior as the ozone content of the air increases outside the margins of that very cold mesospheric air. These developments together create a situation of atmospheric stress related to extreme differences in air density that is entirely local in origin.  We know that the ‘zonal wind’ (east west) varies in conformity with geomagnetic activity. So it is likely that the driving force of this system is in part compositional (density related) and in part electromagnetic in origin.

This description of the forces responsible for the winds in high latitudes is very different to that given in the ‘climate science’ of this day. In fact climate science can not enlighten us as to the origins of the zone of extremely low surface pressure on the margins of Antarctica or the indeed the historical decline in surface pressure in high latitudes let alone the reversal in that process of decline that is currently under-way.None of these features rate a mention. Climate science is dominated by radiative theory and the notion that back radiation from ‘radiation absorbers’ like CO2 and water vapour drives surface temperature. Geographers are out of fashion. Mathematicians and Physicists who know little of the geography of climate hold sway.

Ozone from 26Aug at 50hpa

Above: Ozone at 50 hPa at daily intervals.

The diagrams above show the state of the atmosphere at daily intervals. Every particular feature changes in shape over the 24 hour interval between one diagram and the next. There are locations centred on latitude 30° south where ozone partial pressure is low and atmospheric pressure tends to be persistently high. One such lies in the Indian Ocean to the west of Australia a second in the Pacific to the west of the South American continent. A third is located in the South Atlantic to the west of Africa

We can relate the distribution of ozone to that of the  chemical family referred to as NOx as seen below. This family catalytically destroys ozone at any temperature. Like any reaction the higher the temperature the faster it will proceed. A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

NOx from 26Aug at 50hpa

Above: NOx at 50 hPa

The NOx that manifests in this ring like fashion originates in the troposphere and enters the Antarctic circulation from the north in a lateral fsashion. See the charts of NOx at 100 hPa below that indicates little or no NOx in high latitudes at this level. There is NOx in low latitudes but none near the poles.

The core of low NOx values at 50 hPa seen above contracts in diameter like the aperture of a camera over the ten days prior to August 30th. As it does so, day by day ozone is eroded.

NOX at 100 hPa from 26 Aug

Above: Nox at 100 hPa.

The distribution of NOx at 50 hPa on the 30th August can be compared to the distribution of ozone and the position of both in relation to the the zone of very low surface pressure that surrounds Antarctica.

NOx 30th Aug

I have traced the main features of the distribution of NOx in the diagram above and applied the resulting figure as an overlay on the figure below.  NOx manifests in greatest concentration inside the annular ring of ozone rich air. That is as expected, given the ability of NOx to catalytically destroy ozone. The distribution of ozone is therefore a product of the movement of the air and is modulated by the presence or absence of NOx

Ozone at 50hPa

In the same fashion, the figure indicating the distribution of NOx is overlaid on the map of surface pressure and wind at 250 hPa that is below. It is apparent that NOx is drawn into the ascending circulation created by polar cyclones. Air enters the circulation horizontally above 100 hPa and this air shows high concentrations of NOx and very little ozone. In the process it progressively floods the entire area over the Antarctic continent at the 50 hPa level. NOx closes in on the pole like the aperture of a camera. Bear in mind that the distance between the surface where pressure is measured and the 50 hPa level is 20 kilometres. At the surface the distribution of surface pressure is somewhat irregular. At altitude the circulation becomes increasingly smooth and ring like. This is the character of what is called the polar vortex. The vortex does not respect our notions of what is troposphere and stratosphere. It is not particular at all.

SLP August 30th

An ozonesonde consists of a small piston pump that bubbles ambient air into a cell containing 3 milliliters of 1% potassium iodide solution. The reaction of ozone and iodide produces a small electrical current in the cell, which is proportional to the amount of ozone. The ozonesonde is also interfaced with a radiosonde, which measures air temperature, pressure, relative humidity and transmits all of the data back to a ground receiving station. Total column ozone is calculated by integrating the ozone partial pressure profile up to the balloon burst altitude and adding a residual amount, based on climatological ozone tables, to account for ozone above the balloon burst altitude.

The  ozonesonde data below was gathered at the US Amundsen Scott base at the south pole. The distribution of ozone in the diagrams below left relates to the 50 hPa level. Both diagrams relate to the 20th August 2015. Together they give us  information about a vertical and a horizontal slice of the atmosphere.26 Aug

AUGUST: On 26th August the partial pressure of ozone at 50 hPa at the pole is unaffected by the gradual ingress of NOx that is already in evidence on the 7th June at left because it begins only at the outer margins of the continent. The pole is as yet unaffected.

Nox to 26th Aug

Above: Nox at 50 hPa. NOx occupies more and more of the space over the polar cap from June through to August. The seeds of the ozone hole are planted early. But on the 26th August the polar region is still NOx free.

12 Sep

KEY to diagram on the right:    Fine black line: ozone on 26th August (see above). Green line: Generic indicator of pre-ozone hole extent, origin unknown. Blue line: Ozone partial pressure as measured 12 September. Red line: Temperature as measured on 12th September. Fine purple line: Temperature as measured on 26th August.

SEPTEMBER: By 12th September NOx is certainly beginning to erode the partial pressure of ozone over the pole but the extent of erosion depends not on the local temperature (-85°C at 70hPa) or the presence of sunlight (none), or the presence of noctilucent clouds, even though all may be favourable to chlorine chemistry but simply according to the patterns of movement in the air that progressively floods the polar cap with NOx. There are different air masses over the pole, different in their trace gas composition according to the presence or absence of NOx and this is the determining influence so far as total column ozone is concerned.

Notice that the seasonal minimum in total column ozone at the pole manifests between 50 and 100 hPa. There is a marked contrast between this deficit and the high ozone content of the air on the outside of the chain of polar cyclones. The formation of the hole exaggerates the contrast.

We see below that between 12th September and 15th October NOx floods the polar cap between 100 hPa and 50 hPa and the ozone simply disappears. The outer perimeter of the chain of polar cyclones marks an abrupt transition between high ozone values and virtually none at all. This is the month when surface pressure falls to its annual minimum at 60-70° south. This is not a coincidence. Surface pressure is a function of the vorticity of polar cyclones in turn a function of differences in air density between the northern and southern perimeter of this chain of polar cyclones. With zero ozone on one side of the vortex and a variable amount of ozone on the other side the stage is set for variability that arises entirely according to change in the partial pressure of ozone.

The polar circulation is now changing quickly as the stratosphere undergoes its final warming. See below. There is a strong  increase in the temperature of the air above 50 hPa between mid September and mid October.

Notice the warmer air above 25km. Over the polar cap there is insufficient ozone in the air and insufficient air density to allow ozone to make a strong contribution to the temperature of the air above about 25 km in elevation. The increase in the temperature of the air that we observe in this month reflects a reduced influx of very cold mesospheric air and is due entirely  to atmospheric dynamics. Warmer air from lower latitudes begins to occupy the polar cap as the polar vortex contracts in diameter and its degree of penetration. The two are actively mixed in the rapidly rotating cross currents of cold descending and warm ascending air across the polar vortex. As we will see the very cold air from the mesosphere enters laterally rather than vertically.12th Oct

OCTOBER: A reminder: Surface pressure at 60° to 70° south falls to its annual minimum in October when the contrast between the ozone content of the ‘hole’ and its margins is greatest. There should be no doubt as to the motive forces behind this circulation and it has nothing to do with heating in the tropics or any of the circuitous arguments of those who theorise in the world of fluid dynamics who assume that  all atmospheric motions can ultimately be put down to heating at the equator and the movements of air masses on a spinning circular orb.  A pennyworth of observation is more valuable than a pounds worth of theory.

Below we see that 15th October marks the climax in terms of the presence of NOx over the continent. Unfortunately there is no data for NOx after the 25th November and we have to rely on the distribution of ozone as the sole indicator of the air flow. This is no real hardship because we know that one is always the mirror image of the other. Notice however that NOx declines in concentration after 15th October.

NOx to 25 Oct

Above: NOx at 50 hPa.

Between the 15th October and the 18th November the air over the pole warms strongly as we see below and the vortex of cold air that descended over the pole is no more.  The air in the core of the circulation has a temperature of -53°C on 10th October, and is surrounded by warmer air that is at -15.7°C at its warmest with much colder air on the perimeter and the core of the circulation ends up at -17°C a month later. The air outside the vortex remains at the same temperature.

10hPa 15.10.2015

10hPa 18.11.2015

18 Nov

NOVEMBER: The increase in the temperature of the air at 10 hPa (30 km) is reflected in the ozonesonde data for the 18th November. Total column ozone has increased but there is still a marked deficit between 100 hPa and 50 hPa that would be described as an ‘ozone hole’. This deficit can not be accounted for in terms of chlorine chemistry because the air at 50 hPa is now too warm for this to occur. The distribution of ozone simply reflects circulatory phenomena. The diagram at left shows that the greatest deficit in ozone is not above the pole but in the core of the now wandering circulation of swiftly warming air that is no longer locked into its winter position over the pole. 16 Dec

DECEMBER: It is plain from the diagram at left that the presence or absence of ozone is a product of the movement of the air masses. The ozonesonde data shows that at the 100 hPa level ozone is still heavily depleted by comparison with the  August pattern indicating that disparate winds in the horizontal domain account for the presence or absence of ozone in the air. The blue ozone curve indicates fluctuating levels of ozone between 10 and 15 km in elevation and certainly a deficit by comparison with the month of August.

The red temperature line shows that a very definite tropopause is established at 9km (250hPa) in elevation associated with an increase in the ozone content of the air to only 4ppm  that is sufficient at this pressure level to cause an increase in the temperature of the air. This indicates a reduced exchange of air in a north south direction and the establishment of relatively calm conditions. The surface pressure gradient between the continent and southern ocean is now  falling away from its October extreme. Atmospheric pressure at 60-70° south latitude is now rising steeply as is seen below.SLP 60-70°S

20 Jan

JANUARY: Features of the atmosphere include a very definite tropopause at about 9km in elevation. The top of the atmospheric column is cooling from its December peak as the upper circulation receives a marginally increased contribution of cold air from the mesosphere. We see at left that the bulk of the  air at 50 hPa over the Antarctic continent is little differentiated in terms of its ozone content. Between the equator and 30° south the ozone content of the air at 50 hPa  is much affected by the elevation of NOx and water from the troposphere that occurs in summer. We see that  the interaction of the troposphere and the stratosphere is important in modulating the ozone content of the air above about 8 km in elevation at the poles and double that elevation at the equator. It is not the so called Brewer Dobson circulation that is responsible for the increase in ozone partial pressure in higher latitudes but the freedom from erosion by NOx from the troposphere and the low ionisation pressure in winter.


1 Greenland

Sonde greenland

Summit Station at latitude 72° north is located on the highest part of the Greenland ice sheet. Land in high latitudes promotes high surface pressure in winter and low pressure in summer. In winter low pressure zones tend to locate over the ocean. The absence of a stabilising land mass in what is the Arctic Ocean means that the pattern of polar cyclone activity is much less annular than it is about the Antarctic pole.  Apart from a persisting low pressure zone that establishes over the north Pacific most locations at 50-70° north experience low surface pressure on an intermittent basis.


Above: Ozone at 50 hPa between the 6th and the 14th March 2016.

There is a well established relationship between the ozone content of the air and surface pressure that goes back to the observations of Gordon Dobson and others prior to the 1920s. On the 6th March at Summit station Greenland, cold, ozone deficient air manifests in a lateral flow between 10 and 25 km in altitude and surface pressure is accordingly high. It is the elevated ozone content of the air on the 12th March that is responsible for low surface pressure.

Referring again to the sonde data, note the variation in the height of the tropopause between the 6th and the 12th March, the much cooler denser stratosphere  at and about 50 hPa on the 6th and the strong response to the presence of ozone at 7 km in elevation  on the 12th March and again at 20km of elevation. This illustrates the fact that the temperature of the stratosphere is a response to two influences. The first is the presence of ozone and the second, regardless of ozone content, the very different temperature of the air  according to its origin.

Let us note that the high latitude stratosphere in both Antarctica and the Arctic is far from a quiescent medium. There are strong lateral flows beginning from as low as 7km of elevation in some locations but higher in others. It is the ozone content of the air above 7km in elevation that determines surface pressure and not the other way round.

Secondly, let us note that from one year to the next there is a large variation in the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere as is evident by comparing the diagrams above and below.

Greenland 6-14

Above: Ozone at 50 hPa between the 6th and the 14th March 2015

Thirdly, let us note that the ozone structure at 50 hPa is very different in comparable spring months between the Arctic and the Antarctic. The Arctic is relatively supercharged with ozone and the vortex is both highly variable in terms of the its shape and also its location. The Antarctic works at more moderate levels of ozone but it maintains a stable vortex with an extreme gradient in ozone partial pressure and hence surface atmospheric pressure between the inside and outside of the vortex. The vortex plays a much stronger role in modulating the ozone content of the southern hemisphere than it does in the northern hemisphere and drives down the ozone content of the entire southern hemisphere. In fact it can be demonstrated that the southern vortex modulates the ozone content of the global atmosphere on inter-centennial time scales and in doing so modulates the distribution of atmospheric mass and hence the planetary winds, cloud cover and surface temperature. Ozone therefore modulates the distribution of energy and the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles.

2. Suva, Fiji


Suva is the capital city of Fiji located at 18° south latitude on the margin of a very large area of high surface pressure that spreads eastward to South America. We see that total column ozone values at this latitude are comparable to the Antarctic in summer and there is a marked deficit in ozone between about 7 and 17 km in elevation, not greatly different to the circumstance in the Antarctic in October.There is a similar ‘hole’ to that in Antarctica but the Suva hole is invariable. If air of this nature travels to Antarctica (and it does) it will be seen to be NOx rich and ozone poor.

An interesting variation in the ozone content of the air occurs in the troposphere. It is clearly related to the shape of the temperature profile. As ozone dissipates from these stratified layers into the air above and below it will affect cloud cover. In October and November average rainfall in Suva is in excess of 200 mm per month. Surface temperature varies between 23 and 26°C across the year peaking in February. As the air warms it has the capacity to absorb more moisture. In a warming regime clouds will disappear resulting in a warmer surface on land or increased absorption of energy by the sea. We call this weather on daily time scales, seasonal variation on inter-annual time scales and climate change on longer time scales and its all entirely natural in origin.

The tropopause is well marked and much elevated at all times of the year. The temperature profile above about 18 km in elevation indicates a strong response to the presence of ozone that is only possible in relatively still air. The temperature of the air increases at elevations above 27km (20hPa) despite the falling away of ozone partial pressure indicating a strong contribution from ionising short wave radiation from the sun in the very exposed latitudes close to the equator. Above 20 hPa there is only 2% of the atmosphere to intercept short wave energy from the sun.

Pago Pago

3. Pago Pago

Pago Pago is situated at 14° south latitude in the south west Pacific. The ozone regime is very similar to that at Suva. Notice the temperature response to the presence of 5-6ppm ozone quite close to the surface on 9th December. As Gordon Dobson observed, it is not uncommon to find parcels of very dry air from the stratosphere in places where they are least expected.

Huntsville 2

Huntsville 1

4. Huntsville Alabama.

Huntsville Alabama experiences  a great deal of diversity in the nature of the air masses, the ozone content of the air, the ozone profile, the speed and ozone content of the wind at different elevations and therefore the height of the tropopause. Note that on the 12th March there is a minor temperature response despite the presence of 10 ppm ozone at 13-15 km of elevation. This suggests that an influx of relatively ozone rich air from higher cooler latitudes  is responsible for the low temperature, apparently a relatively frequent phenomenon. On the 2nd March at 10 km in elevation we have 10 ppm ozone and no temperature response at all.

5 Trinidad Head, Humbolt County, Northern California 40° north latitude

TRinidad Head 1

TRinidad Head 2

Trinidad Head is much subject to a rising and falling tropopause as the ozone content of the air changes with the origin of the travelling air masses. The stated total column ozone value for the 20th January of 99999 Dobson Units  illustrates the magnitude of the error that is possible when using ‘climatological tables’ to infer total column ozone when the helium balloon carrying the ozonesonde bursts at a low altitude.


  1. Ozone maps surface pressure. The primary driver of change in surface pressure globally is the variation in the ozone content of the air between the surface and 50 hPa.
  2. The variability in the ozone content of the air manifests in both the troposphere and the stratosphere in the main between between about 7 km in elevation through to 20 km in elevation (350 hPa to 50 hPa).
  3. The vigorous lateral circulation of the air at and above  250 hPa is a prime driver of the ozone content of the air at particular locations on a day to day basis. The lateral movement of the air in the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere is associated with changes in surface pressure and weather on day to day  time scales.
  4. Ozone at 4 ppm in the lower troposphere can drive an increase in the temperature of the air. This will affect cloud cover and in a regime of changing ozone partial pressure that will drive change in climate. This appears to be the mechanism behind the observed relationship between geopotential height and the temperature at the surface of the planet.
  5. Change in the ozone content of the air is responsible for change in the weather on day to day intervals and the climate on longer time scales. As Gordon Dobson discovered in the 1920’s Total Column ozone maps surface atmospheric pressure. Unfortunately ‘climate science’ went on a mathematical picnic in the 1960’s and has yet to return to the task of coming to grips with the nature of weather and climate, as it is observed and as it evolves. Dobson was first and foremost an observer and secondly an enormously resourceful inventor of instruments to gather the data necessary to describe the nature of the atmosphere and its modes of change. He left little in the way of written work but his ‘Exploring the Atmosphere’ of 1963 is seminal.
  6. The atmosphere has a history that is indissolubly linked to the evolution of surface atmospheric pressure at 60-70° south latitude.




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

Links to chapters 1-23























SLP 60-70°S

Source of data here.


Ozone is a greenhouse gas that absorbs radiant energy from the Earth at 9-10 um heating the air. It accumulates in the winter hemisphere but not over the polar cap. The descent of very cold, dense, ozone deficient air from the mesosphere is promoted by increased surface pressure over the polar cap. The resulting difference in air density either side of about 60-70° of latitude is responsible for  the formation of polar cyclones where differences in air density between 300 hPa and 50 hPa create upper level troughs that propagate to the surface.

The term NOx refers to the mono nitrogen compounds of nitrogen, NO and NO2. NOx is abundant in the troposphere and less so in the mesosphere. NOx catalytically destroys ozone.

The depression in surface pressure on the margins of Antarctica in October as documented above (rather than in December or January when the atmosphere is warmest) is related to  the establishment of the aforementioned difference in atmospheric density across the polar vortex and the consequent generation of intense polar cyclones.

The more severe is polar cyclone activity, the more surface pressure falls away over all latitude bands south of 50° south latitude. The diagram above displays the evolving decline in surface pressure over the last seven decades.

The diagram above and another immediately below represent unacknowledged  ‘smoking guns’ of natural rather than man made climate change. If we acknowledge the natural influence  there is no need for other arguments to explain the change in climate that has occurred.

Strong winds (jet streams) are found at the 200 hPa level, much stronger than at the surface. The relatively abrupt increase in the temperature of the air at 200 hPa in the southern hemisphere that occurred in the late 1970’s changed the parameters of the climate system. Some have described the accompanying  1°C increase in tropical sea surface temperature as a manifestation of the  Great Climate Shift of 1976-78.


This chapter explores the origin of the Antarctic ‘ozone hole’ finding that it is entirely natural in origin.


On the margins of Antarctica we have a very special place where extremely low surface pressure manifests all year round. Even in July when surface pressure peaks strongly over the Antarctic continent there is anomalously low surface pressure on the margins of Antarctica. This is the part of the globe where surface pressure is regularly less than anywhere else, including the massive Eurasian continent in the height of summer. The force that is responsible for this pressure deficit is unknown to climate science. It is the lack of knowledge of the forces involved that has enabled the ‘ozone hole’scare to to be perpetuated. The horse of ‘ozone deficit’ has been harnessed to the global warming cart in an effort to implicate man when both phenomena are actually the result of natural processes that have their origin in the distribution of land and sea.


Climate science has no explanation for the existence of the massive deficit in atmospheric mass on the margins of Antarctica (fewer molecules in the atmospheric column) let alone an explanation for the decline in surface pressure over the last seventy years. The gradual  loss of atmospheric mass points to an increasing differential in air density within and without the polar vortex driven by ozone heating of the atmosphere outside the vortex and ozone depletion within it. We can infer from the surface pressure data that the ozone hole has intensified over the decades. We can also see that the  existence of the hole pre-dated the manufacture and widespread use of those compounds that have been restricted under the Montreal protocol designed to ‘save the ozone layer’. This protocol was the first major triumph of the environmental movement that laid the groundwork for the United Nations to explore the supposed warming effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a warming effect that has yet to be demonstrated to the satisfaction of those whose field of expertise is atmospheric physics. So effective has the agitation of the environmental movement been that advanced western nations have, regardless of consequences, fallen in love with the idea of utilizing the energy from the sun and the wind while capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and burying it in reservoirs underground. Don Quixote rides again but he rides through a greener countryside due to the response of plants to the easing of a carbon dioxide deficit. To a photosynthesising plant 400 ppm of carbon dioxide in the air represents  near starvation. As the CO2 content of the air has increased all CO2  using organisms have responded magnificently.

Back in 1948-56 the ozone hole was severe in November. Today it is severe in October. That is what the first graph above tells us. It tells us also that surface pressure in high latitudes has  declined  over time.  We need to understand the sources of the extra ozone that has given rise to that increasing deficit in atmospheric mass, increased the vorticity of polar cyclones on the margins of Antarctica, enhanced the velocity of the westerly winds that drive southwards from the mid latitudes and produced the marked rise in the temperature of the air at 200 hPa between 1976-8 in the mid altitudes of the southern hemisphere.


oz 5

Oz 6

The last chapter explored the structure of the atmosphere on 20th August 2015 by way of introduction to this discussion.

As can be see via inspection of the diagrams immediately above, the slowly developing ‘hole’ of ozone deficient air at 50 hPa  first becomes evident after 30th July. The slight green tracer increased in latitudinal thickness over the month of August at about latitude 60° south. By 9th September  it manifests as a dark blue zone of fully depleted ozone on the margins of the Antarctic continent. The zone  of depletion grows to occupy the entire Antarctic continent from 19th September through to the 8th November.

50hPa T Antarctica

Inspecting the diagram above we see that temperature of the air at 50 hPa  on September 19th is in excess of the of the -77°C necessary for the functioning of the chlorine chemistry that works in conjunction with polar stratospheric cloud to destroy ozone. At this time of the year the temperature at 50 hPa is not only too warm for chlorine chemistry but it is warming fast and not looking back. This occurs as the very cold ozone deficient air inside the vortex is withdrawing back into the mesosphere from whence it came. It is being replaced by air from the lower stratosphere, below 50 hPa.

We notice that the hole first manifests not at the core over the pole where temperature is coolest but on the margins of the polar circulation where the temperature is warmest and grows by extension  from that outer margin. This too, is inconsistent with chlorine chemistry.

As we see below surface atmospheric pressure falls steeply between 75°and 90° south latitude as the ozone hole is established in the period from 19th September through to the 8th of November.

Surface pressure Antarctica

The steep reduction in Antarctic surface pressure that begins in mid September is a result of two influences. Firstly there is cooling in the northern hemisphere allowing a shift of atmospheric mass back across the equator. Secondly, there is the fall in surface pressure associated with the development of the hole. The hole exaggerates the difference in the temperature and the density of the air between the polar cap over Antarctica on the one hand  and the air over the Southern Ocean that is ozone rich on the other. The density gradient that drives polar cyclone generation is enhanced as the ozone hole builds.

In order to track the distribution of ozone on 20th August as the ozone hole begins to develop, I refer the reader to the detailed diagrams immediately below. The view is polar stereographic with Antarctica at the centre and South America at 10 O’Clock. I suggest the reader begins with a close inspection of the data at top left and moves about in a clockwise fashion.

Source of this data here

NOx distribution

In the core of the circulation the air is relatively deficient in ozone (top left) and relatively dry (top right). The inner core of the circulation is also free of NOx (bottom right). The core is occupied by dry mesospheric air that descends in the winter season as surface pressure increases to a planetary maximum over the Antarctic land mass.

Below is the situation in terms of pressure relations. The depth of the pressure deficit at 60-70° south is a product of polar cyclone activity. This pressure deficit is the direct product of local differences in air density.

July pressure

Look again at the set of 4 diagrams above. At 50 hPa (top left) peak ozone manifests in a narrow, unbroken ring like band with a diminished diameter by comparison with total column ozone (bottom left). Look carefully to see the distribution of NOx derived from the diagram bottom right  that is co-extensive with the zone of low temperature at 70 hPa (bottom left).

Observe the erosion of the ozone content of the air inside the margins of the  annular ring of highest ozone concentration in the diagram top left.  This erosion is a product of the joint activity of water, in which ozone is soluble and NOx that chemically destroys ozone as it is drawn into the heart of the polar cyclones that surround the continent(see below).

Overlay on surface pressure

Look carefully at the diagram bottom right in the set of 4 diagrams above. At 50 hPa NOx is plainly drawn into the upwardly ascending circulation inside the zone of peak ozone concentration at 50 hPa.  The distribution of NOx is almost co-extensive with the zone of very low surface pressure seen immediately above and it lies across and inside the cordon of air that is rich in ozone. This mixture of air from the mesosphere and the weather-sphere ascends in the core of polar cyclones and presents as a near laminar flow at 70 hPa. It will continue to ascend to the uppermost parts of the atmospheric column at 10 hPa (30 km, 99% of atmospheric mass below) and beyond. By the end of October the air at 1 hPa will attain a temperature of 0°C being 5°C warmer than the air over the equator and 25°C warmer than the air over the Arctic at this same level. This occurs at a time when the sun has just appeared over the horizon. The warmth of the air is due primarily to the absorption of long wave radiation from the Earth by ozone that is transported aloft by this circulation.

We can now transfer our attention to the diagrams below. In the initial stages of the development of the ozone hole the zone of high surface pressure across the continent maintains a slightly enhanced ozone concentration (yellow tones) by comparison with the perimeter of the  continent where green tones prevail. But, look at what happens as surface pressure falls and the temperature of the air across the polar cap rapidly increases:


Compare the  distribution of NOx (below)  to the distribution of ozone within the ‘hole’ shown above. There is plainly a very close identity in terms of the spatial arrangement. The cause of this ‘ozone hole’ phenomenon is plain to see.

the ozone hole

NOx migrates into the core of the circulation depleting its ozone content from the margins of Antarctica where it is entrained with ozone. This NOx charged air gradually occupies the entire space over the continent that formerly exhibited high surface pressure, extreme cold and a very dry atmosphere with some ozone. This is the process that erodes ozone to produce the ‘ozone hole’. It proceeds by gradual replacement of one sort of air with another, the latter including a compound, namely NOx, that soaks up ozone. It closes from the perimeter like the iris in the aperture of a camera.

Plainly NOx rich air is progressively entrained into the core of the circulation over the continent as mesospheric air stalls in its descent. NOx rich air from below 50 hPa accumulates in the lower stratosphere as the formerly descending circulation withdraws. The hole is a function of atmospheric dynamics that are initiated in August on the margin of the ‘night zone’. It is unrelated to the incidence of solar radiation or the return of sunlight and any possible involvement with stratospheric clouds and chlorine chemistry. NOx  destroys ozone in the Antarctic atmosphere as efficiently as it destroys ozone in near equatorial latitudes.

There is no correlation between the amount of ozone within the core and that without. In other words ozone levels in the wider stratosphere remain high as ozone levels plummet within the localized ‘hole’.  This is inconsistent with the ozone hole narrative beloved by those who  maintain that the activities of man are endangering the global stratosphere.

The diagrams below trace the gradual disappearance of NOx and its replacement with relatively ozone enriched air. This is made possible by the ingress of air from the perimeter (contraction of the vortex structure) and the chemical exhaustion of NOx. Rather than being confined to the perimeter of the continent as it is in winter, ozone rich air floods over the whole, occupying the entire continent by December 31st when temperature at 50 hPa reaches its annual maximum. (see the fifth diagram in this chapter).

Nox post Nov 1

Ozone post Nov 1

As NOx inside the hole disappears, so too does the ozone hole.  The resultant warming of the lower stratosphere at 50 hPa marks the transition to the ‘final warming’ over the polar cap and the change from descent in the core to gentle ascent with an accompanying 180° swing in the direction of the wind at 10 hPa. The evolution of the winds and the temperature of the air is shown below.


The diagram below shows the temperature of the air at 10 hPa and the direction of the wind on 13th August as the hole begins to manifest.  Data from here.

Circ 13 Aug 10hPa

On 13th August (above) there is a vigorous clockwise circulation of very cold mesospheric air   directly over the Antarctic continent. Cold mesospheric air extends as far north as 30° south latitude. North of 30° south latitude the air circulates in an anticlockwise direction.

Circ 4 Dec

By 4th December (above) the vortex of mesospheric air is much reduced  in its latitudinal spread and 65°C warmer. The zone of air that rotates in an anticlockwise direction has expanded and the internal core that rotates clockwise has contracted.

Circ 10hPa 20 Dec

By 22nd December (above) as the last vestiges of the ozone hole disappear into the wider atmosphere, the air at 10 hPa has reversed in its direction of flow and is now circulating in an anticlockwise direction.  This will persist until the resumption in the intake of mesospheric air as surface pressure over Antarctica begins to build in February.

This is the same process that is responsible for stratospheric warmings in winter except that the winter warming may involve the displacement of the vortex off the polar cap, particularly so in the northern hemisphere. Displacement is extremely rare in the southern hemisphere where the vortex is firmly anchored over the Antarctic continent. The degree of anchoring and the appearance of the ‘ozone hole’ is a function of the distribution of land and sea. The sea supports the development of low pressure (ozone rich) zones in winter and the land supports the development of high pressure zones (rich in dry, relatively ozone deficient mesospheric air). Unlike the southern hemisphere there is no facilitating land mass within the Arctic Circle. Rather there is land in Eastern Eurasia and across northern Canada and Greenland.  The increase of atmospheric pressure  in the northern hemisphere in winter tends to occur over the land masses rather than over the Arctic Ocean.

Accordingly, the synoptic situation in the northern hemisphere is always more complex and less stable.

The relative ozone poverty of the entire southern hemisphere is a product of the strength of the mesospheric flow and the constant escape of this air into the wider atmosphere. The so called ‘vortex’ is actually a chain of polar cyclones that  might be compared to a chain of egg beaters with their mixing heads  set at between 300 hPa and 50 hPa in elevation at an altitude where ozone, and the density of the air is most variable. Accordingly, there is a great deal of horizontal movement and vigorous mixing at this elevation. Egg beaters mix and so too do this chain of polar cyclones.

The notion of a so called containing ‘strong vortex’ that acts as some sort of wall separating  relatively dry cold mesospheric air from ozone rich air on the periphery is nonsense. If the chain of cyclones intensifies,  a wave in the chain develops or a major cyclone breaks free of the chain then cold air traverses lower latitudes. The notion of containment is un-physical.

The notion of planetary waves that supposedly govern the temperature of the polar cap at higher elevations may be likened to the suggestion that the tail wags the dog rather than the other way round. The area of high surface pressure inside a ring of polar cyclones that supports a descending vortex simply expands and contracts according to the flux in surface pressure over the Antarctic continent. When I pass my hand across the surface of a pond is the depression of the water level behind my hand responsible for the movement of my hand?

Some commentators will suggest that the ozone hole is a natural feature of the Antarctic circulation and may be of the opinion that it has been aggravated by chlorine chemistry. This  argument ignores the introduction of NOx to the circulation in the lower stratosphere and the disappearance of the zone of higher surface pressure across the continent enabling the ring of polar cyclones to close in as the circulation over the polar cap responds to reduced surface pressure.

The increase in the contrast in ozone partial pressure as a consequence of the ‘hole’ assists to lower surface pressure across the polar domain in October because it intensifies polar cyclone activity.

The increase in the ozone content of the polar stratosphere on the equatorial side of the low pressure zone as a consequence of the reduced flow of air from the mesosphere acts to strengthen polar cyclone activity, directly reducing surface pressure across the entire domain further weakening the flow of mesospheric air that modulates ozone partial pressure. This represents a strong feedback mechanism that promotes the relatively sudden appearance of the ‘ozone hole’.

There is no response in the wider atmosphere to ozone deletion within the hole.

The temperature of the air is too warm for chlorine chemistry prior to and at the time when the hole reaches its greatest extent.


In evaluating the argument for aggravation of the hole due to chlorine chemistry  we need to be mindful of certain things:

  • The increase in the temperature of the stratosphere over Antarctica over the period of record since 1948  indicates a diminution in the flow of mesospheric air into the wider atmosphere allowing ozone partial pressure to build. The resulting increase in temperature is most marked in October as we see in the diagram immediately above. This is a function of ozone enhancement in the atmosphere outside the ‘hole’ and ozone depletion within, that acts to reduce surface pressure.
  • If chlorine chemistry were the cause of a hole then it should be reflected in an erosion of ozone and a fall in the temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere generally, both within and without the hole. The reverse is in fact the case.
  • The increase in temperature wrought by ozone increases the vorticity of polar cyclones and the rate of influx of NOx into the lower stratosphere over the polar cap as the hole develops. NOx enters in the horizontal rather than the vertical domain. and therefore  the hole manifests in the lower stratosphere.
  • The reduced surface pressure in high latitudes in October has the effect of stalling the rate of  infusion of mesospheric air in late spring, bringing on an earlier and longer lasting ‘final warming’ involving an earlier and more emphatic choking of the winter circulation. The result is an enhanced presence for NOx in the lower stratosphere and enhanced convection involving a direct enhancement of the ozone deficient ‘hole’ and a marked warming of the upper stratosphere in October as the hole manifests. It is the warming in October that has been the most noticeable change in the southern stratosphere since 1976.
  • Finally, we can note that in terms of inter annual and inter-decadal temperature variability at 10 hPa, from latitude 50° south to the Antarctic pole it is the months of September and October that stand out as extreme. The graph below documents this point.

Variability in 10hPa temp by latitude

Climate variability at any point on the Earth’s surface has two origins. It proceeds via the alteration of the partial pressure of ozone via the descent of mesospheric air either in the Antarctic or the Arctic. The effect of Arctic processes is felt in the Antarctic between November and May (see below). It is in the winter season that polar atmospheric processes drive change. Accordingly variation in surface air temperature is most extreme in winter. The diagram below confirms that point so far as the Antarctic is concerned.



These observations  undermine the rationale for the Montreal protocol that involved the limitation of the emissions of certain chemicals supposedly harmful to the ‘ozone layer’. That protocol represents an error of judgement based on  the desire of ‘environmental activists’ to influence public policy. The enthusiasts who promoted this story were and continue to be responsible for a  costly distraction. The inconvenience and waste that has been involved in the implementation of this protocol is regrettable.  The most grievously affected should sue the proponents of the Montreal Protocol and their supporters in government that continue to promote this argument. A vigorous pursuit of those involved is  desirable in order to secure a more circumspect expression of opinion by elements of society hell-bent on promoting the notion that catastrophe of one sort or another is about to engulf mankind. The catastrophe in this case is but a figment of their enthusiastic, no doubt well meaning but ultimately deluded imaginations. These people are in fact ‘the catastrophe’. They should be forced to bear responsibility for their advocacy. They have injured society that trusted their expertise as ‘scientists’. The injury is related to both the material and the intellectual well being of humanity and its notions of self worth. The effect has been wholly pernicious.


The strength of the ‘zonal wind’ that circulates at 50-90° south latitude is related to geomagnetic activity as a product of the Earth’s electromagnetic environment and its response to the solar wind.  The abstract reproduced below appeared on-line in January 2016. It points to a solar influence on the circulation of the air in high latitudes. It is the latest of many papers that have appeared over the last thirty of forty years that point to the same mode of causation, all studiously ignored by those who write UNIPPC reports. The UN  and the EEC have assiduously promoted the story of catastrophic global warming. The UNIPCC analysis is pursued in ignorance of the change in the parameters of the climate system set in high southern latitudes that condition the planetary winds, cloud cover and surface temperature. The promotion of the idea of ‘anthropogenic climate change’ has been pursued despite the manifest inability of climate models to predict the course of global temperature over the last 18 years. It is time to say, enough is enough, to become a little more analytical and for common sense to prevail.

GA activity

A collapse in the zonal wind  represents a reduction in the flow of air from the mesosphere into the polar atmosphere. It results in an increase in the ozone content of the atmospheric column impacting surface pressure, the distribution of atmospheric mass  and the planetary winds.

Let’s be quite plain. Here we are referring to the agent of change in the daily synoptic situation and climate in all parts of the globe on all time scales.

Climate is driven by two influences, one stronger than the other, one operating in the middle of the year (Antarctica) and one at and about its commencement (the Arctic). These influences yield a  tell-tale variation in the temperature of the air according to latitude as documented here.


The interpretation of the circulation of the Antarctic atmosphere that is provided below is different to that you will find in climate texts. The distribution of tracers of air of different composition reveals the circulation. There is a notion that the polar vortex constitutes a barrier to interaction, people speaking of a strong or a weak vortex……..all this is nonsense. Then there is the notion that ‘atmospheric waves’ disturb the vortex….well…. perhaps in fairyland.

Our interest in  ozone is primarily driven by the fact that we are aware of the protective effect that it provides via the mopping up of ultraviolet light that is harmful to life at the surface of the planet.

There have been many scares related to ozone depletion in the last fifty years. There have been concerns about the effect of spray can propellants, refrigerants and supersonic jets on the upper atmosphere. The most celebrated concern relates to the Antarctic ‘ozone hole’, a natural feature of the Antarctic circulation in late winter that is said to be aggravated due to the influence of man. The hole was first noticed at Halley Bay in 1956 using Dobson’s spectrophotometer. It existed prior to the  concern for the ozone environment. Today it is too often mistakenly suggested that ‘the hole’ is entirely the result of the activities of man. The Montreal Protocol was designed to end the manufacture of the substances held to be responsible for ozone depletion. These substances include Chlorofluorocarbons, Halons and Carbon Tetrachloride.

As documented in previous posts, ozone has a dominant but unrealised role as a natural greenhouse gas that accounts for the differences in density in the ‘weather-sphere’ that is in turn responsible for the synoptic situation that drives winds and weather across the globe. The weather-sphere manifests in mid to high latitudes. It includes the upper troposphere overlapping both troposphere and the tropopause where the temperature does not change with altitude. In mid to high latitudes the ‘weather sphere’ constitutes  the middle of the atmospheric column centred on the 100 hPa pressure level.  It does not include the troposphere below 600 hPa. Change in the ozone content in the weather-sphere drives change in climate. This natural source of climate variation manifests as marked variations in surface temperature associated with atmospheric processes. These processes are most marked in the winter hemisphere.  The processes result in extreme variations in surface temperature in January and July that originate in the Arctic and the Antarctic respectively.  There is a demonstrable relationship between ozone, surface pressure and the height of the tropopause. Knowledge of this relationship dates back to the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the works of GM Dobson and the French Meteorologist de Bort who explored the upper air with helium balloons at his own expense.

Realising the significance of ozone to the synoptic situation it is therefore a matter of interest to explore the mechanisms that account for the concentration and distribution of ozone in the atmosphere and  in particular to elucidate such phenomena as:

  • The increase in the ozone content of the air in the winter hemisphere.
  • The historical trend to a warmer stratosphere in the southern hemisphere, involving a marked ramp up in temperature in the late 1970s with peak warming in October that has been maintained to this day.
  • The maintenance of high ozone concentrations in polar atmospheres into spring in spite of the gradual shortening of the atmospheric path after mid winter.
  • The intensification of cyclone activity off Antarctica through to September/October in conjunction with the appearance of the Antarctic Ozone Hole.
  • The long term loss of atmospheric mass (reduction in surface pressure) in high southern latitudes between 50° of latitude and the Antarctic pole.
  • The reasons for the generalized deficit in ozone in the southern by comparison with the northern hemisphere.
  • The circulation of the atmosphere as it responds to and in turn influences the concentration of trace gases according to latitude and altitude.
  • The role of the high latitude circulations  in regulating the distribution of ozone and the substances that naturally deplete ozone including H20 and Nox that are abundant in the troposphere.

The Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service via  this site provides us with data  showing the composition of the atmosphere over Antarctica:

Seasonal variations in the stratosphere are much more extreme than at the surface. Our examination of the Antarctic atmosphere is focussed on a single day, August 20th 2015 when the temperature of the stratosphere is advancing steeply from its winter minimum  in  the first week of August as is apparent in the diagram below.

50hPa T Antarctica

Chapter 21 is required reading if the reader is to understand the movements in the air described in the current chapter. The reader must comprehend the nature of the ‘weather-sphere’, an entity that is neither troposphere nor stratosphere as conventionally defined.

In the next chapter we will move forward in time to chart the development of the Antarctic ozone hole.

AUGUST 20th 2015

Nox 20Augozone with overlays


In this analysis we depend upon pattern recognition. Both NOx (oxides of nitrogen) and H2O (water) destroy ozone. NOx is uplifted from the troposphere by convection in the tropics. The tracing applied by the author to the first diagram is duplicated as an overlay on the diagram below.

It is clearly evident that NOx is very much involved in the destruction of ozone in low latitudes accounting for the relatively high tropopause and extremely low temperature at 100 hPa over the equator. The activity of NOx  under the influence of generalized convection in low latitudes helps us to understand why ozone partial pressure is greater near the poles. Another factor tending to promote the presence of ozone at higher latitudes is the increased length of the atmospheric path that absorbs some of the short wave energy responsible for the photolytic destruction of ozone and especially so in the night zone in winter.

The banded, ribbon like structure in ozone rich air at 100 hPa is a response to the west to east movement of the atmosphere driven by the high speed circulation of the air inside and outside the polar vortex that increases in velocity with elevation up to and beyond 10 hPa. Tracers of air  from the polar circulation spiral outwards towards the equator as streamers caught in air that has an equator-wards component in its direction of movement. In understanding the atmosphere one must comprehend the forces that are at work at 100 hPa in mid to high latitudes.   If there is an outstanding problem in climate science it is the failure to appreciate the forces involved in generating differences in air density and the fact that the energy supplied by the surface is relatively inconsequential in comparison with the forces at work in the vicinity of the tropopause.

Ninety nine percent of the atmosphere lies below the 10 hPa pressure level. The elevation at 10 hPa is just thirty kilometres. The surface circulation rotates in the same direction as the Earth at a faster rate than the rotation of the Earth itself.  The atmosphere at 10 hPa super-rotates at an even faster speed. It appears that the atmosphere is an electromagnetic medium where the motive force contributing to the winter circulation increases with elevation, particularly over the pole. Recent research identifies a response of the zonal (east-west) wind in high latitudes to geomagnetic phenomena. As an electromagnetically responsive medium, the  upper atmosphere is impacted by the solar wind because it changes the electric fields. The response to this change is via the distribution and the concentration of ozone and other trace gases. We know this because there is a  change in the height of the ‘tropopause’ that is linked to geomagnetic activity. Accordingly, what is described here is ultimately linked to activity on the sun.

On the perimeter of the Antarctic continent intense upper air troughs are formed that propagate downwards towards the surface as an ascending circulation with the cellular structure of a polar cyclone. Meteorologists monitor the strong winds of the jet stream  at 250 hPa but these are not the strongest winds in the polar circulation. In mid winter the strongest winds are to be found at the highest altitudes. Essentially the circulation responses to forces aloft rather than forces at the surface.

The 100 hPa pressure level is plainly, given the circulation of ozone in the air evident in the left hand diagram, a mixing zone where ozone rich air circulates in peripheral contact with ozone deficient air located over the continent. This mixing is material to the development of polar cyclones that drag up air from the near surface layers but even more so, attract mid latitude air towards the core  in the horizontal plane where the more important differences in atmospheric density and wind strength manifest.  The location of very cold dry air of mesospheric origin is indicated in the diagram above by a blue line that marks the perimeter of very cold, very dry air. The blue line is derived from the diagram at right below.

A striking feature of the circulation at 100 hPa is the heterogeneity in the composition of the air. This is a matter of immediate interest. How and why does this pattern manifest? What accounts for the ozone deficit between ribbons of air that exhibit an elevated ozone content when plainly, at high latitudes, at the 100 hPa elevation, there is no NOx present? The direct ascent of NOx from the surface is not evident at 100 hPa . Plainly the ozone is being drawn into and traversing a domain of very different air that has a much lighter ozone content and virtually no water content, devoid of NOx, indicating a process of lateral mixing where the ozone traversing the polar domain, perhaps due to a limited rate of intrusion, becomes a minor part of the composition of the air behind the vortex. Notice that at the 100 hPa level peak ozone concentration is 1.6 ppmv whereas it ramps up to 5 pppv  at 50 hPa.

The vortex actually constitutes a chain of discrete low pressure cells that surround the continent. The essence of each independent cell is the ingress of parcels of air that are essentially very different in temperature and chemical composition. The vortex is not an exclusive but very much an inclusive, homogenising process that can never run to completion, even though it may more closely approach homogenization in summer. The vortex constitutes a very different set of phenomena to that described in conventional climate science texts.

The circulation at 100 hPa is indeed a classic spiral of the sort that manifests when pigment is mixed into a can of house paint, but in this case a mixing process that can never reach completion.


Source of diagram at left here.

winds etc



In the top diagram we have wind and temperature at 250 hPa and superimposed on that, the distribution of Nox and ozone at 100 hPa. On the second diagram we have the distribution of H2O, and superimposed on that the distribution of both NOx and ozone.

It is plain that:

  • The ozone content of the air at  100 hPa is closely associated with differences in air temperature and the flow of the circulation. We know that the ozone content of the air at 500 hPa through to 100 hPa and above is closely associated with the synoptic situation at the surface. Upper level troughs drive the circulation of the air in mid to high latitudes. Upper level troughs are associated with warm air heated by ozone. Troughs manifest in maps of geopotential height, upper air temperature and upper air ozone content as seen here. These are the essential aspects of the weather-sphere, an upper air rather than a near surface phenomenon.
  • There is more water in the air at 100 hPa in near equatorial latitudes and very little over the Antarctic continent. The water in the tropics is in the same zone that exhibits elevated NOx. The uplift of moisture and NOx in low latitudes is patently an influential dynamic affecting the ozone content of the global atmosphere.
  • The zone of very low temperature over Antarctica is associated with air that contains very little moisture, some ozone but no NOx. At its heart is a rotating, three pronged mass of very cold dry air shaped like a tyne in implement that could be towed behind a tractor to till the soil. This is primarily air that has descended from the mesosphere. Mesospheric air descends in winter under the influence of high surface pressure. The rate of  descent of this air is a prime determinant of the ozone content of the global atmosphere, much more influential that fluctuations in the quantum of short wave solar radiation emanating from the sun.
  • Ozone rich air that is warmer than tropical air  lies between the warm, wet, Nox rich air of the tropics and the cold, very dry air descending from the mesosphere.
  • In the mid latitudes appreciable quantities of moisture from the near surface atmosphere are associated at the 100 hPa level with warm, low density air containing ozone. H2o is conjointly an absorber, with ozone, of infrared radiation. In the weather-sphere it is variations in air density that determine the synoptic situation that is mapped at 500 hPa and at the surface. Water vapour and ozone are allies in determining the density of the upper air.

Lets now look at ozone and NOx at 100 hPa from an equatorial perspective.


In the global (rather than the polar stereographic) view, we see that the zones of elevated NOx content at 100 hPa are  associated with zones of low ozone concentration in low and mid altitudes. In August ascending NOx from the troposphere affects ozone concentration from 50-60° North latitude to about 40° south latitude.  Plainly NOx tends to reduce ozone concentration more in the summer than the winter hemisphere. Because of the distribution of land and sea the annual range in temperature (and convection) is much greater in the northern than the southern hemisphere.

There is a staccato wave like pattern of enhanced NOx/depleted ozone exhibiting a north south orientation across the near equatorial latitudes. These features may be causally associated with the ‘equatorial Kelvin waves’ observed by meteorologists.

Plainly the greatest impact of NOx on ozone at 100 hPa is seen in the northern hemisphere. However, trace amounts of NOx have a relatively severe depletion effect on the ozone content of the southern lower stratosphere that is apparent in the wing like extensions south of latitude 30° south.

Despite the enhanced attack of NOx in the northern hemisphere ozone levels are always higher than in the southern hemisphere indicating that the more influential driver of change in hemispheric ozone is by far the intake of air from the mesosphere at the respective poles.

Lets transfer our attention to ozone and NOx at the 50 hPa level.

50hPa mercators

Note that the ozone profile traced in the higher diagram is overlaid on the lower diagram. The zone of elevation of the air associated with polar cyclones is centred on latitude 60-70° south that is poleward of the annular ring of higher ozone values at 40-70° of latitude on the margins of the Antarctic continent In fact it lies between ozone rich air to the north and ozone deficient air over the continent. This is the mixing zone. We might call it the Polar Front. Its a meeting place where things get stirred together. It exhibits the lowest surface pressure seen anywhere on the planet and it manifests as chain of polar cyclones.

The pattern of surface pressure across the globe in August is documented below, courtesy of the JRA 55 atlas to be found here. If we compare the pattern of surface pressure with  the distribution of NOx the two are identical. At 50 hPa NOx is plainly a marker for uplift.  That uplift involves a lateral intake of NOx rich air between the 100 hPa level where NOx is not evident and the 50 hPa level where NOx is evident. Lateral movement of the air is  a very strong feature of the polar circulation surrounding the Antarctic continent. NOx and ozone are entrained at this level,  one acting to some extent as a marker for the other. Note the ribbon of ozone deficient air that lies between the band of ozone rich air and the margins of the continent. It is not the edge of the landmass that governs the location of the circulation even though it may appear to do so. A mass of sea ice surrounds the continent in August.  Rather, it is the surface pressure arrangement with a planetary high in surface pressure over the continent itself and a planetary low at 50-60° south latitude. This is the undiscovered gorilla in the climate science chamber of conceptual errors.

SLP August


Referring now to the diagrams immediately above: The core of air with depleted NOx marked ‘mesosphere’ is surrounded by NOx rich air at 50 hPa. Air that contains NOx is drawn in laterally to participate in the high latitude circulation via intense polar cyclones that elevate air into the stratosphere. These cyclones do not respect a hypothetical ‘tropopause’. These cyclones are more intense in terms of geopotential height contours (or isobars) at 100 hPa than at the surface. It is at this level that the energy to drive the circulation is to be found. The circulation is powered by long wave radiation from the Earth whether the sun is below the horizon or above the horizon. The rotation and the uplift is a function of differences in the ozone content of the air…….unknown to climate science.

In the core of the Antarctic circulation there is a zone of mesospheric air that is devoid of NOx. At left we see that the ozone content of this core of mesospheric air is similar to the air in near tropical latitudes. We do not expect air from the mesosphere to contain much ozone.  It is present as a direct result of the intake of ozone rich air that spirals inward towards the heart of the circulation situated more or less over the geographic/ magnetic pole. This process adds ozone to the parcel of mesospheric air that lies within the core disguising its real character. Mesospheric air dilutes the ozone content of the global stratosphere.

Note that tracers of ozone outside the zone of heaviest concentration  at 50 hPa are associated with tracers of NOx. This represents air spun out from the vortex circulation towards mid and low latitudes. The source of these tracers is seen in the structures at 5 to 6 O’Clock and another at 2 to 3 O’Clock. There is  plainly a process of vigorous horizontal mixing at 50 hpa that gives rise to these streamers of air rich in both ozone, NOx and H2O. The latter must be ultimately derived from the lower, near surface atmosphere, perhaps elevated by polar cyclones that travel equator wards into the mid latitudes. Unless we comprehend a ‘weather-sphere’ that is driven by ozone heating and in doing so discard our notions of an ‘ozone free troposphere’ extremes in lateral movement in the middle atmosphere can not be comprehended. Only when we allow for differential heating of the air according to its ozone and water content   can we account for the differences in density that give rise to these powerful upper air movements.

The observation that total column ozone maps surface pressure in the mid latitudes inevitably leads to a very different  idea as to what constitutes the ‘weather-sphere’. It leads to the conclusion that it is ozone in high latitudes that drives the global circulation rather than solar energy acquired in tropical latitudes. Effectively, we tip UNIPCC climate science on its head and give it a damn good shake. It’s wholly and abundantly necessary.

Pressure etc

We see above a comparison between wind at 70hPa, surface atmospheric pressure, the ozone content of the air and the H2O content of the air, the latter at 50hpa.

There is a marked deficit in H2O inside the margins of the Antarctic continent associated with air of mesospheric origin.  The wettest air, if air containing 5.5 ppm by volume can be described as wet, lies partly within and across the inside margin of the ozone rich zone at 50 hPa. Above, we see that this air is NOx rich. This zone exhibits extremely low surface atmospheric pressure. Relatively warm air from the surface westerly flow is drawn in and elevated with ozone rich air that is also wet, the two ‘greenhouse gases’ warming by absorbing radiation from the Earth itself.

H20 and NOx

Above we see that the distribution of NOx and H2O is co-extensive lying between the very cold dry air from the mesosphere and  the band of ozone rich air charted in the earlier diagrams.

We are now in a position to describe the nature of the air in the ascending columns within polar cyclones. That air at near surface elevations derives from the westerly stream being relatively rich in both NOx and H2O and the polar easterly stream of near surface air off the continent.  Above the 500 hPa pressure level the circulation is invigorated and its composition changes. Ozone rich air is anomalously warm. Uplift is generated aloft where warm, ozone rich air is reinforced with air containing water both constituting potent absorbers of long wave radiation from the Earth.


Ozone all levels

Above left we see a representation of peak ozone content of the air at 50 hPa as a tracing over the map showing the composition of the air at 10 hPa. The map at right shows Total Column Ozone. It is apparent that there is a widening of the annular ring of high ozone values with increasing elevation. This cone shaped space over Antarctica is occupied by mesospheric air in winter and spring under a regime of high surface pressure over Antarctica. In fact surface pressure over the continent regularly attains a planetary peak at about 1050 hPa.

There is no parallel to this structure in the northern hemisphere. If there were the evolution of the climate of the Earth would be very different.

Below we see the temperature of the air and its circulation in the clockwise west to east fashion about the globe with the view centred over Antarctica.

circulation at 70hPa and 10hPa

Between 70 hPa (17 km) and 30 hPa (30 km) the air ascends as it circulates and it warms due to the fact that it is the warmer, less dense air that preferentially ascends. The tracing representing total column ozone in pink is roughly co-extensive with the warm zone.This is the reason why the stratosphere at 10 hPa is warmer near the winter pole than it is over the equator. It is the accumulation of ozone at elevation and its ability to derive energy from infra-red radiation from the Earth itself (in the relative absence of short wave radiation from the sun) that produces the warm zone centred on about 35° south latitude at 10 hPa. Here is another error in UNIPCC climate science. The stratosphere at and below  10 hPa owes its warmth to long wave radiation from the Earth, not short wave radiation from the sun.

Within the column of colder air that descends in the core of the circulation, the air at 50 hPa is 12°C cooler at 70 hPa than it is at 10 hPa. This testifies to the importance of lateral movement in the stratosphere that allows cold air to enter the circulation other than via vertical descent.

The core of the circulation is relatively ozone deficient. However, the ozone content of the core does not represent the ozone content of mesospheric air because it is a function of mixing processes at all levels. Ozone is introduced from the perimeter.

So far as NOx is concerned, the evidence is that it enters the descending core primarily via ascent from the lower atmosphere rather than descent from the mesosphere although the latter can not be ruled out as an influence on the composition of the air that enters the circulation from the mesosphere. The descent is slow and there is time for reactions to occur.

The evidence suggests that the most vigorous mixing across the air streams occurs between about 300 hPa and 50 hPa.

The lapse rate of temperature in the Antarctic atmosphere below 100 hPa is much less than in the mid and low latitudes reflecting a significant ozone presence down to the near surface layers. As surface pressure increases so does the rate of descent bringing warmth to the surface that is always colder than the atmosphere.

Mixing is evident in the streamers of air that radiate from the core between 100 hPa and 50 hPa. Mixing involves the escape of cold air of mesospheric origin into the wider atmosphere imposing an ozone control dynamic with rate of flow of mesospheric air a function of surface pressure and geomagnetic influences. In this way, the polar atmosphere is set up for solar control of the synoptic situation globally.

In the next post I will explore the manner in which NOx from the lower atmosphere floods the lower stratosphere to produce an ‘ozone hole’ in the lower stratosphere as the temperature of the stratosphere rapidly increases in spring cutting off the flow of cold air from the mesosphere, dramatically reducing the rotation speed of the polar circulation and by late December temporarily reversing its flow. It then circulates in an anticlockwise direction at 10 hPa while maintaining its clockwise circulation at and below 70 hPa despite the flooding of the polar cap with slowly moving warm, relatively ozone rich air and the almost complete disappearance of cold mesospheric air. Nevertheless, it appears that strong lateral flows in the region of 250 hPa to 100 hPa continue to supply very cold dense air that rotates in an anticlockwise fashion in localized high pressure circulations over the Antarctic continent as a less frequent adjunct to a zone that continues to be characterised by dramatically low surface pressure, a product of polar cyclone activity.


Understanding the polar circulation is necessary if we wish to understand the origins of natural climate change and with it the true origins of the modern warming. If that is possible, much time, trouble, waste and distraction can be avoided.  Humanity can then get on with the business of supporting itself, pursuing the process of technological change and performing work with machines that will raise living standards without the worry that  it  is storing up trouble for the future.



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:


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?


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:


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 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 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 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/


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.


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.


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’.


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.




The Arctic stratosphere, so cold today

Reference frame

The diagram above serves as a reference frame. The middle stratosphere at 30 hPa has been off the scale cold since the end of November as the Arctic began to experience Polar night.


From http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=-229.99,86.00,439/loc=30.031,38.214


The great bulk of the northern landmasses are experiencing sub zero temperatures. The winds streaming out of the Arctic are warm by comparison with the air near Lake Baikal and the interior of Iceland. Reputedly China is experiencing its coldest winter for thirty years. The diagram below shows the circulation of the air and its temperature at 10hPa or 30 km in elevation.


The cold is due to the descent of mesospheric air in the circulation at left centred over Russia and spiralling in to the surface in the proximity of Lake Baikal. The warm ascending circulation on the right that is centred on the north Pacific is due to the persistent presence of high concentrations of ozone that gives rise to low surface pressure. By contrast, the Siberian high pressure zone centred on lake Baikal has an elevated surface pressure as seen below.


The diagrams below show the evolution of temperature at elevations between 10hPa (30 km) and 70 hPa (17 km) in the area of the polar cap that takes in only that part north of 65° north, where the polar night prevails. It is important to realize that Lake Baikal, where the descent of very cold air is centred is at latitude 53° north. We are in fact sampling the temperature of the air outside the zone where the cold air originates.

10 T

A sudden stratospheric warming affecting the lower stratosphere has materialized in the last few days.


The warming is more apparent at 30 hPa than at 70 hPa.


Just a few days ago on the 24 th January we had this distribution of ozone at 10 hPa. Notice that there is an increasing deficit in ozone from the equator towards the pole at this elevation with up to 20 ppm on the perimeter and down to 6 ppm in the core. This reflects the fact that the air that is descending is low in its ozone content and high in NOx, compounds based on nitrogen that destroy ozone. There is an ascending circulation located over the ozone rich north Pacific that  was apparent above. That ascending circulation drags in air from the core and the entire ozone rich mass of air rotates about the core in a clockwise ascending spiral.

10 ozone

Observe the bulking up of the ozone driven circulation over the last three days. By the 28th there is an increase in the volume of ozone deficient air from the core inside the dashed oval that serves as a marking of the zone of ascent.

10hPa ozone 27

Latest available data is for the 28th January.

10 ozone 28

It is of the greatest importance that you understand that the inflow of NOX modulates the ozone content of the wider stratosphere. Just because climate science as embodied in the works of the IPCC is ignorant in this respect (wilfully so, I imagine, because they can’t be that unobservant). So, I will run down through the atmosphere to show you the process in detail.

At 20hPa background levels of ozone in low latitudes are distinctly lower than at 10hPa so there is less contrast between the ozone rich ascending circulation over the north Pacific and the background. We observe an extensive lateral mixing process in action. We have no means of judging the extent of vertical mixing in a diagram of this sort. There is a secondary exchange region, much smaller in scope at about 2 o’clock over the Middle East. The ozone deficient core is centred on Siberia and elongated towards Greenland. The ozone deficient core is weaker and less extensive than it is at 10hPa.

20 ozone

Below, the zone where ozone accumulation drives the ascending circulation is evident at 30hPa, an elevation of 23 kilometres.

30 ozone

At 30hPa ozone peaks over the North Pacific at 10ppm. On the periphery we have as low as 5ppm and in the core as low as 3ppm.

40 Oz

At 40 hPa the contrast between the ozone rich north Pacific at 9 ppm and the background at 3 ppm is still marked but the core is much reduced in area. There is less lateral mixing implying a steeper rate of vertical ascent in the ozone enhanced zone.

50hPa ozo

At 50hpa core ozone values in the north Pacific zone are in the region of 9ppm but ozone values fall away strongly towards lower latitudes implying fast ascent over the north Pacific. Notice the extent of the penetration of the Arctic circle by ozone rich air. The temperature of the air at 60-90° north reflects the varying penetration of the night zone by ozone rich air that circulates on its periphery. ‘Planetary waves’ reflect the pattern of ozone variability in the atmosphere that drives surface pressure. Cold core polar cyclones are warm core aloft. Without a warm core there can be no ascent.

70 oz

At 70 hPa the descent of cold vortex air is the dominant feature of the atmospheric circulation. This air has changed very little in its temperature in its descent from 10 hPa at 30 km to the 70 hPa level at 17 km and nor would we expect it to. Although it may have run a perimeter course and suffered some admixture of ozone rich air in the process it has moved only 13 km in the vertical and it has essentially retained the character that it did at source.  We don’t have any indication of the vertical vector in this plot but common sense dictates that the air can not pass through an ozone rich zone without having its temperature altered considerably. The implication is that the vertical vector at 9 0’clock is probably more important than the horizontal vector.  The question is, How far does this mesospheric air descend and what is its effect on the circulation of the lower atmosphere.

70 T Circ

The last observation of the temperature of the stratosphere that is available is at 100hPa.

100 oz

In low latitudes through to about 30hPa there is no ozone. The uplift of tropospheric air containing NOx destroys ozone at the 100hPa level. The north Pacific still rejoices in up to 4ppm ozone while vortex air at 1.5 to 2.ppm ozone occupies an extensive zone from 30° of latitude northwards.


At 250hPa (9km) very cold mesospheric air is being mixed with warmer stratospheric air. Areas of low surface pressure on the periphery give rise to cyclones( cold below, warm at 250hPa). The Jet stream manifests at the edge of the circulation as a wave like formation.

250hPa T Global

Globally, we see that polar cyclones are warm core circulations aloft, especially evident in the southern hemisphere at this time of the year.

Some take home messages:

  • Surface temperature in the winter is driven by a dramatic change in the source of the air, being driven from aloft. Notice the very cold air at 250 hPa over Lake Baikal.
  • According to the rate of delivery of mesospheric air into the polar atmosphere the ozone content of the air will change and with it surface pressure polewards of about 50° of latitude. This pattern of surface pressure change shifts atmospheric mass between high and low latitudes as the ozone content of the air increases driving surface pressure ever lower. This (unknown t the IPCC) is the origin of the annular mode phenomenon.
  • The winter polar circulation is highly energetic and is subject to ascent and descent. It is not stratified.
  • According to the ozone content of the air and the contrast in density that arises polar cyclones are generated on the margins of descending mesospheric air.
  • Planetary waves reflect the ozone content of the air.
  • Polar temperatures aloft reflect the pattern of distribution of warm and cold air. There is nothing mysterious about sudden stratospheric warmings.

Last but not least lets see this:

1 hPa Jan 8

1hPa 29th

Between the 8th and the 28th of January the ratios have changed implying that ozone has built up in the Pacific sector and is there is more ozone in the core than there was, perhaps via an exchange between the two. Or perhaps it represents a reduction of the inflow of mesospheric air heralding a major warming of which the one that we are seeing today is just a precursor?









9 Mankind in a cloud of confusion

The last chapter ended with these words: If we want to understand climate change we need to come to grips with the processes that are responsible for the change in the partial pressure of ozone in the polar atmosphere. This is the parameter that drives surface pressure, the planetary winds, cloud cover and surface temperature.  We will see that ozone levels climb to a peak in the polar atmosphere in spring but to a variable extent between the years and across the decades. We will see that this process is independent of man’s activities. Furthermore, it is a sufficient explanation of the change in surface temperature that has occurred. But this is a long story that is rich in evidence and will take time in the telling.

The basic parameters of the climate system are forever changing in a fashion that precludes effective modelling, unless we properly apprehend the forces involved.

This chapter is intended to be a brief general introduction to the nature of the atmosphere. It is informed by an unconventional view of climatic processes. I hope that the chapters that precede this chapter have prepared you for this!

Two very different accounts of the nature of the atmosphere are presented, first my own and then what might be describes as the orthodox version.  The latter emanates from a private company in the UK, not the Met Office. It can be found at: http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/wxfacts/The-Earths-Atmosphere.htm

In the latter there are a number of jolting errors: Nitrogen represents 78%, not 70% of the Earth’s atmosphere. Secondly, there is in fact pervasive horizontal and vertical motion in the stratosphere. The stratosphere is anything but homogeneous in its composition.  Thirdly, the ozone content in the stratosphere is in a state of constant flux. Fourthly, the concept of a tropopause, if by ‘tropopause’ we mean a notional boundary separating ozone affected and ozone free air, that is coincident with a ‘cold point’  can not be found outside near equatorial latitudes.

There is however, an elemental truth in the orthodox description of the atmosphere relating to its importance to humans dwelling at the surface and it is encapsulated in the following words: “The atmosphere protects surface dwellers from the high energy short wave radiation from the sun and the frigid vacuum of space”.  Let me hasten to add that these points  should be qualified. The southern hemisphere is in fact, due to the relative deficiency of ozone’ much less protected from short wave radiation than is the northern hemisphere, a curiosity that needs to be accounted for. On the other hand, the northern hemisphere that is land rich and therefore develops large areas of high surface pressure in the winter,  regularly gets a taste of the frigid vacuum of space. That’s why Santa Clause lives in the relatively salubrious climate of the north Pole rather than in Siberia.  The relative warmth of the Arctic Ocean is infinitely preferable to the blizzards of Antarctica or the gut freezing grip of Oymyakon in Siberia. In 1924 a temperature of −71.2 °C was reported for Oymyakon  indicating that the air gained only  15°C in its passage from the mesosphere to the surface. This is no place for reindeer. At about -60°C the snow and ice loses its slipperiness and sleigh travel is no longer practical. Santa would be locked up for Christmas.


 Over a short vertical interval of about a thousand metres the atmosphere has a temperature that is close enough to surface temperature to be comfortable to humans but only over a restricted range of near tropical latitudes and a larger portion of the summer hemisphere. Fortunately the atmosphere and the waters of the oceans actively transfer energy tending to make cold places warmer and warm places cooler. This relates to storage and transport phenomena and simple conductivity rather than any supposed ‘greenhouse effect’. The oceans are a great moderating influence. By virtue of their transparency the oceans store energy to depth. Maritime locations have a relatively invariable temperature regime while landlocked places are subject to inconvenient diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in temperature. Accordingly the ocean rich southern hemisphere is warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the land rich northern hemisphere.



It is somewhat inconvenient that due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis, the winter sun falls low in the sky near the poles actually disappears below the horizon. The land surfaces do not store energy at all well.  In the land rich northern hemisphere surface temperature falls precipitously. The map above shows the extent of the inconvenience attached to the combination of low temperatures and dry moving air calculated as a ‘misery index’. This map relates to the early part of winter on January 18th 2016. The combination of cold dry air and the movement of the air induces a chilling effect.  the temperature ‘feels like’ the figures recorded above. The transition between black and blue takes one into the freezing zone.  Freeze drying chambers intended to freeze animal tissue operate at a temperature of -50 to -80°C , the latter being close to the temperature of the mesosphere and the middle stratosphere over the pole in winter.

On the dark side ozone proliferates intensifying the production of polar cyclones that collectively lower surface pressure between  50° of latitude and the pole. The transfer of atmospheric mass to lower latitudes and the summer hemisphere that is due to enhanced polar cyclone activity is recognized as the major mode of inter-annual climate change. It depends upon the amount of ozone in the air in high latitudes, the agent for the generation of polar cyclones. That depends in turn upon the extent of incursions of cold mesospheric air from above and tropospheric air from below. Both contain oxides of nitrogen that are involved with the destruction of ozone.

The transfer of mass engendered by waxing and waning polar cyclone activity engenders change in processes responsible for cloud cover and surface temperature. Northern landmasses in winter can suffer from accelerated descent of cold upper air as surface pressure rises in the mid latitudes. The extent of cloud cover in the mid latitudes is reduced as surface pressure increases over those parts of the oceans occupied by high pressure cells.  Cloud can reflect up to 80% of incident solar radiation. The energy stored in the oceans represents a buffer that, via the movement of the sea makes maritime locations more tolerable than inland locations and offers a store of energy that tends to maintain planetary temperatures above inconvenient minima, especially in spring and autumn. This buffer is sore needed in the northern hemisphere in winter.

The temperature of the surface of the Earth varies with change in the amount of energy  that finds its way into the ocean according to variations in cloud cover rather than any supposed inefficiency in the process of  transferring energy to space.  The atmosphere is invariably efficient in transporting energy from the surface of the planet to space. There can be no inhibition due to back radiation in an atmosphere characterised by constant movement. The properties of a thin envelope of gas surrounding a planet spinning in space that is warm at its equatorial region and cold elsewhere, where the gas envelope loses density with elevation at a very fast clip, all together, ensure that the celebrated ‘greenhouse’ mechanism is simply  a work of the imagination rather than an atmospheric reality. If the atmosphere was static, like a jelly, then perhaps, yes. But in an atmosphere that is characterised by uplift of any parcel of air that becomes slightly warmer…no, definitely not.


The atmosphere contains a very large molecule much subject to destruction via photolysis by short wave radiation from the sun, a molecule that is distributed quite unequally, a molecule that is energised by radiation from the Earth itself, that becomes the dominant influence on the circulation of the atmosphere at the surface and the temperature of the cloud bearing layer. The concentration of that molecule in the atmosphere  is affected by  interaction with the very much rarefied upper portion of the atmosphere that is hungry for oxygen and ozone and equally he Nox rich troposphere below. Ozone is subject to destruction via the impact of  Nox metered into the stratosphere over the poles at a faster rate in the southern than the northern hemisphere.  It is also affected by the uplift of NOx from the troposphere and particularly so over the equator. To a slight extent the atmosphere responds to changes in the Earth’s magnetic field forced by the solar wind due to the diamagnetic properties of ozone and the presence of particles carrying an electric charge in turn due to the activity of cosmic rays.  Once initiated a reduction in high latitude surface pressure is  magnified by the increase in the ozone content content of the polar atmosphere that immediately occurs. These factors combine to ensure that climate at the surface must inevitably change over time according to the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere and clouds in the sky.


Man makes sense of his environment and promotes communication, cooperation and order by classifying things according to their character and giving them names. He draws maps and puts up fences to suit his own convenience. He builds houses on the sea shore, on slopes subject to slippage, in terrain subject to earthquakes and valleys subject to flooding. This is not wise.

In his notions of what constitutes the atmosphere man is less wise than the birds who rise upon the thermals and wing their way across the hemispheres in vast annual migrations. In particular the notions of a troposphere and a stratosphere with a notional boundary between the two have hampered man’s understanding of his atmospheric environment. Earth is an orb spinning about the sun rather than a flat surface uniformly illuminated from above and the implications of this are difficult to grasp. This ‘orbital character’ fundamentally shapes the character of the atmosphere ensuring that in almost every respect the atmosphere is very different in its summer and winter modes. Climate Science of the official academic variety has yet to come properly to grips with this reality.


The first mistake made in the description of the atmosphere that is provided below comes in the very first sentence. The atmosphere has none of the properties of a blanket. The second mistake is in the second sentence. For practical purposes, so far as atmospheric energetics is concerned, the atmosphere is not 200 kilometres in thickness but somewhere between 20 and about 30 kilometres in thickness, encompassing 97% and 99% of its total mass respectively … a mere skin.

Within  that skin like layer the atmosphere  has charged particles subject to electromagnetic influences and chemical interactions but less so at the equator and more so at the poles. The behaviour of these changed particles when the Earth’s electric and magnetic field is affected by the solar wind is a matter of conjecture but of fundamental importance to the climate system that can be nudged one way or the other  according to tendencies that are maintained over long periods of time. The Earth system itself tells us that this must be happening. There is a consistent date stamp in the surface temperature record indicating that polar processes govern the  inter-annual variation in  surface climate and that same date stamp appears in the historical evolution of surface temperature across the decades. The date stamp is applied to the pulse of extremes associated with those months of the year when polar atmospheric processes engineer the strongest shifts in atmospheric mass. And to top this off the movements in mass change high latitude surface pressure over long time cycles, of the order of perhaps 200 years so far as the Antarctic is concerned and shorter intervals for the Arctic.

The two hemispheres are very different kettles of fish. The change in surface pressure over time should not be swept under the table as a matter of little consequence because the distribution of atmospheric mass and surface pressure determines the temperature of the air that we perceive as we emerge from under the blankets each morning. Our first interest is to work out what to wear to keep ourselves warm.


Wind is air in movement travelling from a high to a low pressure zone. Low pressure is produced by heating of the atmosphere reducing its density. The three major modes of heating are via contact with a warm surface, via the release of latent heat associated with condensation and sublimation  (as in a tropical cyclone) and via the absorption of infra-red energy by ozone utilizing the energy emanating from the earth itself. The proportion of the atmospheric column that contains ozone increases with latitude and more so in winter. Lowest surface pressures are produced in high latitudes where the air is cold and dense. One can with difficulty imagine the extent of the influence of ozone that is required to produce this phenomenon. It is this latter source of heating that drives shifts in atmospheric mass from high latitudes on inter-annual and longer time scales. In fact it drives Hadley cell dynamics and the change in the velocity of the winds that accounts for the relative share of the tropics inhabited by cold waters up-welling from the deep. One can perhaps appreciate the shift in thinking that is required to accommodate this reality.


When one emerges from ones cosy bed in the morning and steps outside the air is observed to be warm or cold, moist or dry according to the point in the compass from which it blows. between the frigid zones surface temperature is dictated by the origin of the air mass present at the time. The temperature of the air is influenced by the surface over which it blows. The sea is much windier at the surface than the land and it more strongly reflects the surface pressure regime that varies with latitude. The surface pressure regime is a function of the distribution of atmospheric mass that depends upon the ozone content of the air.

In the Frigid zones the origin of the air alternates between the warmer surface that is always more equatorial in origin and the very much colder air aloft. If surface pressure is high the air will be descending.


The most limiting nutrient  so far as plant growth is concerned is carbon dioxide. The increase in the carbon dioxide content of the air enables plants to survive with less water. The increase from near starvation levels to levels that will continue to be well short of optimal is enabling a well documented greening of the arid lands and will increase the carrying capacity of the globe. If man exhausts sources of energy that involve the emission of carbon dioxide plants will have to survive on the carbon dioxide breathed out by warm blooded animals. Then perhaps it will be a question of the survival of the fittest.



atmsophere a