Thursday, 31 December 2015

Weekend Update 31/12/2015 Weather v Climate.

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain.

A very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2016 to all. 

The  "Red Priest" at his best.

This weekend, the El Nino disturbed weather trumps alleged “Climate Change” all around the planet. Finally even the loony left BBC catches on to the El Nino effect.

El Nino weather 'could be as bad as 1998', says Nasa

30 December 2015
The US space agency Nasa has warned that the effects of the current El Nino weather phenomenon could be as bad as those of 1998, the strongest on record.

That El Nino played havoc with world weather systems and was blamed for several extreme weather events.
The current El Nino has been linked to several floods and unusually warm conditions in the northern hemisphere.

The phenomenon sees warm waters of the central Pacific expand eastwards towards North and South America.

El Nino is a naturally occurring weather episode which happens every two to seven years.

It usually peaks late in the calendar year, although the effects can persist well into the following spring and last up to 12 months.

Nasa says the current El Nino "shows no signs of waning", based on the latest satellite image of the Pacific Ocean.

It bears "a striking resemblance" to one from December 1997, the agency says, "the signature of a big and powerful El Nino".

Strongest El Nino since 1950 on the way
Matt McGrath: 'High impacts' from globally stronger El Nino

This year's El Nino has been linked to the worst floods seen in 50 years in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

The floods there have forced more than 150,000 people from their homes - more than 100,000 of them in the Paraguayan capital alone.

Sick of El Niño? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Warns NASA

The El Niño currently wreaking havoc around the world is forecast to only worsen in 2016 — and NASA experts fear it could get as bad as the most destructive El Niño ever.

A new satellite image of the weather system "bears a striking resemblance to one from December 1997" — the worst El Niño on record — which was blamed for extreme weather, including record rainfall in California and Peru, heat waves across Australia, and fires in Indonesia. The severe conditions resulted in an estimated 23,000 deaths in 1997 and 1998.

More inc. satellite comparisons.

Record Snowfalls hit Canada, Mexico, Texas & China – ‘Insanely cold’ in Calif. – Peru sees ‘heavy snowfall’ in Summer

By: Marc Morano - Climate Depot December 31, 2015 9:46 AM
In the past few days, record snow and cold has descended on many parts of the world while other parts have seen record warmth. (See: Meteorologists refute media claims that Arctic storm caused by humans: ‘That’s utter bullsh*t’ – ‘Who is feeding the media this crap?’)

Below is a small sampling of some of the snowfall records and cold. (Also note: No global warming at all for 18 years 9 months – a new record – The Pause lengthens again)


Montreal carting away record snowfall – Video – Montreal hit with 39.2 cm (15.4 inches) of snow, breaking a 61-year-old record.

Hard Freeze Warning for the San Joaquin Valley – The San Joaquin Valley produces the majority of the 12.8% of the United States’ agricultural production that comes from California

Mexico – Biggest snowstorm in more than half a century

Heavy snowfall in Peru – In the summer – Surprises inhabitants.

 Heavy snowfall in Niseko Hokkaido Japan – Video of JR train in the snow

Record snowfall in China – The snowfall lasted over 40 hours
Historic snowfall closes I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass – More than ¼ of an entire season’s snowfall in one week.

Record snowfall in Lubbock, Texas – More spectacularly, snow drifts ranged from 1-4 feet deep in Lubbock to 7-10 feet in areas along the Texas/New Mexico border.

Unnatural consensus on climate change
Judith Curry, Special to Financial Post Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015
Without an understanding of natural climate, there’s no strong basis for predicting climate change

The world’s leaders are touting a victory over the 2015 agreement in Paris to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and so to prevent dangerous climate change.

A number of scientists have spoken out, saying that the Paris agreement is merely political theater and will do little to reduce global warming. Ironically, many scientists on both sides of the climate debate agree regarding the potential efficacy of the Paris agreement to alter the trajectory of climate change: i) scientists who view the proposed emissions reductions as insufficient to significantly alter the warming trajectory, and ii) scientists who regard climate variations to be relatively insensitive to carbon dioxide emissions and hence insensitive to such policies.

The 2013 Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made the dire projection that we can expect about 4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the 21st century if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced. To assess the credibility of this prediction in terms of the actual trajectory of the 21st century climate, it is important to point out that the global climate models cannot predict future major volcanic eruptions or solar cycles, and do not adequately predict the long-term oscillations in the ocean.

What is the global warming hiatus, and why does it matter?

The credibility of the IPCC’s projections of 21st century climate has been called into question by a slowdown of the rate of warming in the early 21st century, relative to a more rapid rate of warming in the last quarter of the 20th century. This slowdown is referred to as the “global warming hiatus.”

The 2013 IPCC assessment made the following statement: “the rate of warming over the past 15 years . . . is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951.” Most significantly, the observed rate of warming in the early 21st century was slower than climate model predictions. The growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and the observations has raised serious questions about the climate models that are being used as the basis for national and international energy and climate policies.

A comparison of three global surface temperature datasets is shown in Graph 1 for the period since the 1990s. The data set with the largest trend since 1998 (0.1 C per decade) is the new NOAA data set (the black line), which has a trend that is 50 per cent greater than some of the other data sets. However, even the larger NOAA trend is just below the lower end of the climate model projections for the early 21st century warming of 0.11 to 0.43 C per decade.

The warming hiatus is most clearly revealed in the global satellite data sets of lower atmospheric temperature in Graph 2.

Scientists disagree on the reasons for the discrepancies between the variations of surface temperature and the lower atmospheric temperatures. The presence of El Nino and La Nina events compounds the difficulty in interpreting trends. Scientists working with the global surface temperature datasets have predicted an 85 per cent probability that 2015 will be the warmest year on record. However, scientists working with the satellite data of lower atmospheric temperatures do not foresee 2015 as being among the warmest years.

Scientists continue to debate these temperatures and investigate the reasons for discrepancies among the data sets. It will likely be five years into the future before we have the perspective to identify whether the warming hiatus has ended, or whether the warming in 2015 from the large El Nino event will be followed by several cool years, as is often the case following El Nino events.

What are the implications of the warming hiatus for our understanding of how much of the recent warming has been caused by humans? The significance of a reduced rate of warming since 1998 is that during this period, 25 per cent of human emissions of carbon dioxide have occurred.

The key conclusion of the 2013 Assessment Report of the IPCC is that it is extremely likely that more than half of the warming since 1950 has been caused by humans, and climate model simulations indicate that all of this warming has been caused by humans.

Global surface temperature anomalies since 1850 (from the Hadley Centre and the UK Climate Research Unit) are shown in Graph 3.

If the warming since 1950 was caused by humans, what caused the warming during the period 1910-1945? In fact, the period 1910-1945 comprises over 40 per cent of the warming since 1900, but is associated with only 10 per cent of the carbon dioxide increase since 1900. Clearly, human emissions of greenhouse gases played little role in causing this early warming. The mid-century period of slight cooling from 1945 to 1975 – referred to as the “grand hiatus” – also has not been satisfactorily explained.

Apart from these unexplained variations in 20th century temperatures, there is evidence that the global climate has been warming overall for the past 200 years, or even longer.  While historical data becomes increasingly sparse in the 19th century, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project has assembled the available temperature data over land, back to 1760 in Graph 4.

The Berkeley Earth analysis shows a warming trend back to 1800, with considerable variability in the late 18th century. Some of this variability around the turn of the 19th century can be attributed to large volcanic eruptions. This was also the time of the Dalton solar activity minimum (1791-1825). Paleoclimate reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere climate – such as from tree rings and boreholes – indicate that overall warming may have occurred for the past 300-400 years.

The climate models making dire predictions of warming in the 21st century are the same models that predicted too much warming in the early 21st century, and can’t explain the warming from 1910-1945 or the mid-century grand hiatus.

The politically driven push to manufacture a premature consensus on human-caused climate change has resulted in the relative neglect of natural climate variability. Until we have a better understanding and predictive capability of natural climate variability, we don’t have a strong basis for predicting climate change in the decades or century to come.

So, with regards to the evolution of the 21st century climate: Whether the climate models are correct or whether natural climate dominates, it appears that the Paris agreement will turn out to be phenomenally expensive but ultimately futile in altering the course of the 21st century climate.

Judith Curry is professor and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and president of Climate Forecast Applications Network. Follow Judith Curry on Twitter @curryja

Whether the weather be fine,
Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the whether,
Whether we like it or not


1 comment:

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