JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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John McLean – ENSO drives sea surface temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg wants us to consider putting sun shades over the Great Barrier Reef, but it begs the question — how much is the reef heating up, and how sure are we that it’s man-made and not natural?

John McLean digs into the data and finds that temperature variations on the reef appear to be closely tied to the ENSO cycle, and that there is little reason to think our SUVs and coal fired plants have anything to do with the rises and falls.

We wonder, as usual, why those paid by taxpayers can’t do the same basic calculations and graphs that the volunteers do online.

 

Great Barrier Reef sea temperatures – What the data says

John McLean

 

Inspired by the absurdity of putting shades on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR),  I studied the observational data.

We can extract data  for the grid cells that cover the reef from NOAA’s “Optimal Interpolation” sea surface temperature data (see here).  When that data is averaged across the entire reef we find that the average sea surface temperature along the Great Barrier Reef has an annual cycle very similar to that of Willis Island, a Bureau of Meteorology observation station on an island near the middle of the reef.  Sometimes the sea surface temperature is slightly higher than Willis Island and sometimes it’s slightly lower. The trend since 1982 for both is around one degree/century, but if we look at the Willis Island trend since 1940 it’s almost flat, amounting to around 0.1C/century. The rise in the trend since 1982 is interesting but there’s more to it than you might imagine.

Using the average temperatures across the entire reef we can establish a 25-year average for each calendar month (1982-2006) and from that calculate the anomaly in each month of each year.  That monthly anomaly is shown in Figure 1.

 

Figure 1- Monthly sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies for the GBR since 1982

At first glance that graph suggests a warming in recent years but before we rush to claim it is due to human activity, as Hoegh-Guldberg did, it’s worth comparing to the major climate force in that part of the world, the El Nino Southern Oscillation (aka the ENSO).  It’s a force that’s existed for more than 125,000 years and it as a known influence on temperatures around much of the world, so maybe it’s the cause of the variation in sea temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef.

The drivers of the ENSO are still in dispute – the latest CSIRO marine climate report lists six candidates and I know of at least two others – but the situation is easily characterised. During neutral conditions easterly winds blow across the Pacific and warm water is found at the west side.  During El Nino conditions the winds decrease or even cease and the warm water is found in the centre of the Pacific, typically at the intersection of the equator and international dateline, and incidentally very close to the Pacific Warm Pool mentioned above.  During La Nina conditions the winds are stronger than normal and temperatures in the west are above normal.  It’s no wonder that El Nino events are often followed quickly by La Nina conditions; the warm water from an El Nino shift west with the wind.

This is a slightly simplistic description because the ENSO doesn’t switch between three distinct states but is a continuous range of conditions over which arbitrary thresholds have been applied to divide the range into three states.

We measure the ENSO using the Southern Oscillation Index, with a sustained period (typically 3 months) above 8 regarded as a “La Nina” event and the same length of period below -8 being regarded as an “El Nino” event.

What’s ENSO got to do with the Great Barrier Reef?

The reef is west-southwest of the Pacific’s centre and that means under normal conditions the reef water will be warm and the winds predominantly easterly. Under El Nino conditions the reef water will generally be cooler because there’s little inflow of warm water and the water had will cool by evaporation and convection.  With La Nina conditions the heat from the east is greater than usual and Great Barrier Reef sea surface temperatures rise.


Figure 2a – Monthly SST anomaly and SOI 1982-1996. Note the correlation between changes in SOI and temperature at the major shifts

Figure 2b  – Monthly SST anomaly and SOI 1996-2012. Note the correlation between changes in SOI and temperature at the major shifts. The relationship between SST anomaly and the SOI (the measure of the state of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation).

 

Figures 2(a) and 2(b) show the Great Barrier Reef monthly average sea surface temperature anomaly plotted with the SOI for that month.  (Why plot the anomaly and SOI?  Because the SOI is already an anomaly of sorts, and therefore this will compare apples with apples.)

It’s not an easy graph to follow because of short term irregularities caused by such things as variation in sea breezes and because the impact of some ENSO events were suppressed by volcanic eruptions.  We can however see cooling during abrupt shifts towards El Nino conditions (1982, 1991, 1997, 2006, 2008 and 2011) and the warming during shifts towards La Nina conditions (1983, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2005, 2009 and 2010).

The unusually strong El Nino in late 1997 spoilt this pattern somewhat because the warm pool of water that’s normally in the central Pacific expanded so much that it encompassed at least part of the Great Barrier Reef.   As it collapsed in 1998, the abrupt shift towards La Nina conditions meant the reef sea surface temperatures went even higher. Figure 2(b) shows that the ocean around the reef took about two years to cool.

It’s not human activity that’s to blame for the sea surface temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef but the ENSO, a very natural and well recognised climate phenomenon.

The analysis shown here took about thirty minutes to complete.  I just wish silencing the unfounded claims by alarmists could be done in a similar amount of time.

*******

 

More on Great Barrier Reef temperatures, albeit only to July 2011, at http://mclean.ch/climate/GBR_sea_temperature.htm

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64 comments to John McLean – ENSO drives sea surface temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef

  • #
    Theo Goodwin

    “We wonder, as usual, why those paid by taxpayers can’t do the same basic calculations and graphs that the volunteers do online.”

    Excellent question. The answer is that Warmists use a “radiation only” model of Earth’s temperatures and take into account phenomena such as ENSO only to the extent that they can be treated as a function of CO2 and radiation exchange between the sun and the earth where earth is treated as a black body. In practical terms, Warmists have no empirical science of ENSO.

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    • #

      The global climate scandal (AGW) has absolutely nothing to do with Earth’s climate.

      If it did, leaders of nations and leaders of the scientific community would have immediately disciplined scientists who were found in Nov. 2009 to have manipulated, hidden, or altered global temperature data to get research grant funds.

      The global climate story (AGW) is about advancing the UN’s agenda since 1945 - hidden until 1992 - to eliminate national boundaries and unite nations under a one-world government.

      http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

      Recently high school students in San Diego, CA have reached the same frightening conclusion:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuCaWYvpVZg

      With deep regrets,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo
      http://www.omatumr.com

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  • #

    Corals have been around for hundreds of millions of years http://www.cas.umt.edu/geosciences//faculty/stanley/stanley_files/Earth-Sci%20Rev%20Art%2003-1.pdf. The earth has been several degree warmer in the past and corals did just fine.

    What some of these eccentric cranks who pose as scientists suggest we do to solve a nonexistent problem is so bizarre as to beggar the imagination. The junk science they pander to the public with is worthy of a cheap dime store novel from the Buck Rogers era!

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    • #
      James Hein

      I was at least entertained by those kinds of dime store novels. I think this is more akin to those annoying flyers in my letterbox that go straight into the trash.

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    • #
      Gee Aye

      Whether or not the corals will be just fine is not evidenced by the fact that they have lived in warmer waters in the past. The corals today – along with their symbionts- are not the same corals and, unless evolution stood still, they are as different from them genetically as you are from vertebrates living 100s of millions of years ago.

      In all honesty I am completely over the various unsupported appeals to evolution whether by greens or skeptics.

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      • #
        Mark D.

        Ok Gee Aye, but even the most warm among us claim what 2.5 degrees in 50 years?

        Take any animal or plant you can find, set up a terrarium, aquarium or planter. Set it up in your house and after some period of normalization, increase the ambient temperature by 5 degrees. I’ll bet what ever flora or fauna you select they will survive. I’m saying do that increase in days not years.

        Want to apply for a grant to test this?

        Every species I can think of has a normal environmental temperature range far wider than the paltry few degrees the earth MIGHT have warmed.

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        • #
          Debbie

          I like both Gee Aye and Mark D’s comments.
          Getting over all the name calling and alarmism from everyone.
          Most species are far more adaptable than anyone is giving them credit for.
          We really have no hope of controlling the climate or of stopping it from changing.
          Natural phenomena such as ENSO and volcanic eruptions are of course going to completely dwarf any efforts of ours.
          Why are we spending mind boggling amounts of tax payer pretending that we can have a greater influence than natural climate behaviour?
          And seriously,
          What positive or practical outcomes is an Australian ‘carbon tax’ going to achieve for either the global weather/climate or Australia’s position in the global community?

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          • #
            Gee Aye

            Mark D and Debbie – but you can’t just say because something lives and even reproduces in a certain temperature that this means that raising that temperature in their habitant wont cause major consequences. The fish tank model is not a whole ecosystem, which if I can be cheeky about this, is complex in much the same magnitude as climate is.

            You can’t model the affect of temperature of an organism in a highly complex system based on the one factor (their tolerance) out of many changes that will occur.

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          • #
            Mark D.

            Careful Gee Aye, you are off in the twilight zone of proof. You say can’t and I say I have evidence (because those organisms exist today). So far I win on empirical grounds and you….. are on theoretical quicksand. Further, can you prove the entire “complex system” wouldn’t benefit overall from a temperature change to warmer?

            Is real life more complicated? Maybe, maybe not.

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          • #
            Gee Aye

            Complexity is an observable. Do you want me to do a literature search to bring up studies of ecosystem complexity?

            Although I agree that this is true

            Take any animal or plant you can find, set up a terrarium, aquarium or planter. Set it up in your house and after some period of normalization, increase the ambient temperature by 5 degrees. I’ll bet what ever flora or fauna you select they will survive. I’m saying do that increase in days not years.

            it is just as much an assertion as my statement. Where is your data?

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          • #
            Mattb

            Gee Aye how can you say living creatures are not highly adaptable to temperature increases and climate changes! YOu are such a typical ABC lapping Juliar Loving anti-science moron.

            Sorry can’t type more I have to go take my mammoth for a walk, feed the T-Rex and teach my dodo to sing.

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          • #
            Gee Aye

            thinking about this I can see this arguement being one where we can all walk away knowing we are right because of how we are framing our own arguements. Anyway here is a study in a pond about something from somewhere

            Scleractinian corals were exposed to 6 combinations of temperature and solar radiation to evaluate effects on coral bleaching, survival, and tissue surface area changes during and after exposure. A recirculating coral exposure system was coupled to a solar simulator to allow laboratory testing of 6 species of Caribbean corals (Diploria clivosa, Montastraea faveolata, Porites divaricata, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Siderastrea radians, and Siderastrea siderea). Significant bleaching occurred in all of the corals exposed to high irradiance except S. siderea. Elevated light levels resulted in a decrease in photochemical efficiency for all species during the exposure period, with S. siderea showing the smallest decrease. The most prominent reductions in photochemical efficiency occurred in M. faveolata and S. intersepta, and these species exhibited extensive tissue loss and the highest mortality. In contrast to high irradiance, high temperatures significantly decreased photochemical efficiency for only D. clivosa and did not lead to severe tissue loss for this species. These results demonstrate species-specific responses to solar radiation and temperatures, with M. faveolata and S. intersepta being the most susceptible to bleaching due to high irradiance.

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          • #
            Mark D.

            Gee A. I’m not arguing that complexity isn’t an issue. I’m saying that these organisms DID survive and that is evidence of their ability to adapt. (It certainly isn’t evidence of their inability to adapt is it?)

            I note in the study you provide, that the effects of high irradiance were more to do with coral bleaching than temperature. I didn’t know that co2 was able to cause that kind of increase.

            Mattb, I don’t believe your dodo, t-rex or mammoth were killed of by AGW were they? Do you even have a wisp of evidence that a degree or two did them in?

            I’ll not hold my breath…….

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          • #
            Mattb

            Mark D what does that have to do with Ed’s post? I’ve not replied to anything you’ve said.

            Can you cite any studies that indicated that a rise of say 2 degrees will be hunky dory? There are hundreds of such studies written my the corrupt warmist scientists that suggest that many many species would become extinct. But what would they know, these so called “experts”.

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          • #
            Mark D.

            What does your post have to do with the conversation Gee and I are having?

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          • #
            Debbie

            But Matt B?
            It seems your definition of good scientists and experts are only those who subscribe to the ‘consensus’.
            You’ve been happy enough to make spurious comments about very well credentialed scientists and experts on many occasions….if they point out flaws in and/or ask tricky questions of the ‘consensus’ science.
            It seems that your concept of science has a ‘fairy tale’ good vs evil tag to it?
            Just because scientists work for other institutions or companies other than tax payer funded organisations doesn’t make them any less/more credible. They are all just people and they are employed and are therefore filling their job descriptions. Most of them are probably very nice people with nice families and they could even have nice pets….it is nothing to to with the evidence and the science however.
            The self employed scientists are by definition less likely to be just filling a job description and more likely to speak from their hard won credibility and independance….think about it.

            Can I also point out that CAGW unlikely had anything to do with the diasappearance of mammoths etc?
            An upwards change of temperature in the weather/climate patterns may have contributed but that may not have been the reason or close to the primary key driver….it could have been another feature of envrionmental and species evolution that had nothing to do with temp rises at all….and highly unlikely that humans had anything to do with it.

            Re coral…and the GBR….there are exact same species thriving in waters that on average are warmer near PNG.
            They have also been subject to other variables re ph and human created nutrients….they are still there and still thriving.
            That in no way means that we should be careless with the GBR but it does partly validate what Mark D has said.
            Also Matt B, can you cite anything that proves that the current agenda re ‘mitigating’ changes in the climate will make anything ‘hunky dory’?

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          • #
            Mattb

            I could only cite science and policy written by so called “experts” so you probably wouldn’t consider them credible.

            FFS if you THINK FOR A SECOND that I think, or have argued, that mammoths are extinct because of anthropogenic global warming, then you truly are as thick as you appear.

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          • #
            Debbie

            Matt B,
            You offered the topic of mammoths as an extinct species in your attempt to sneer at other commenters, not me.
            I was just pointing out it was proving absolutely nothing in relation to the discussion re coral and AGW.
            Seems you got the point?

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          • #
            MattB

            good god! Eddy’s whole point is that coral has been alive though many temp variations… I simply pointed out that many other species are not! OF COURSE IT HAS TO DO WITH CORAL!

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          • #
            Debbie

            Yep,
            seems you did get it :-)

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      • #

        Gene, I am truly sorry to read your comment. Instead of getting sick and throwing up all over yourself you should read the paper at the link I provided. Corals have adapted to change and will almost certainly continue to do so.

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        • #
          Gee Aye

          I have read the paper although it was long ago.

          The fact that there will be corals that will survive a hypothetical change of whatever sort says nothing about what that change might be and how many species will go through that change. Further to this is that a coral wont be changing on its own, every other species will change and the whole ecosystem will change.

          Maybe your statement would make more sense if I knew which particular junk science that this paper was meant to expose?

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          • #
            Mattb

            Surely if there is one thing that the known temperature and fossil record tell us is as an ABSOLUTE FACT it is that significant changes in temperature and climate correspond with mass species extinction and migration.

            It is argumentum ad absurdism (or ad arrudaism) to suggest that the fact corals of some form were around at some stage in the past means anything.

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          • #
            Gee Aye

            that was my point at 2.2. Be prepared to vomit on yourself.

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          • #

            @ MattB and Gen

            Gee: I have read the paper although it was long ago.

            So what? Is that an argument from age, the wisdom of the ancients?

            The fact that there will be corals that will survive a hypothetical change of whatever sort says nothing about what that change might be and how many species will go through that change.

            The truth is, corals have survived real change, not hypothetical. That paper that “you read a long time ago” shows that scientist have several competing theories about the origin and evolution of corals. If scientists are not even sure of how corals evolved and survived all these millions of years how can they tell us that a couple of degrees rise in temperature is going to destroy them? And that, Gee, is why it’s “junk science”!

            Gee, you are getting just as lazy as MattB! “Anyway here is a study in a pond about something from somewhere…” Citation?

            The paper you quoted but did not cite, Comparative sensitivity of six scleractinian corals to temperature and solar radiation. Fournie JW, Vivian DN, Yee SH, Courtney LA, Barron MG was an experiment simulating temperatures over a short period of time. In the real world, temperatures change usually takes much longer. Your statement (that you agree with), “I’m saying do that increase in days not years.” is ridiculous. There has been no discernable increase in temperatures for a decade and a half so I am not too worried that we will see a five degree temperature change in less than a week!

            Mattb
            August 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm
            Surely if there is one thing that the known temperature and fossil record tell us is as an ABSOLUTE FACT it is that significant changes in temperature and climate correspond with mass species extinction and migration.

            As usual, Matt, you are too lazy to do your research. If you would have done your research you would not have made the idiotic statement that I am replying to. If you would’ve read the paper you would’ve noticed the uncertainty as to the evolutionary process surrounding corals. We do not know to any degree of certainty what effect temperature and climate had on corals. Care to comment on the paper Matt?

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    • #
      Craig Thomas

      Right – nothing worse than cranks posing as scientists. They’re easy to write off an ignore though, as soon as their crazy predictions prove to have been hopelessly ill-informed.
      You wouldn’t let anybody who had been responsible for completely and utterly wrong predictions to post any articles here, would you?

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      • #
        Mark D.

        You wouldn’t let anybody who had been responsible for completely and utterly wrong predictions to post any articles here, would you?

        Come to think of it, Hansen has not posted here.

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        • #
          Craig Thomas

          I wasn’t thinking of Hansen, whose work with temperatures has been confirmed and reconfirmed by every subsequent study.
          I was thinking more of people who may have predicted this year would be the coldest since 1951.

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      • #

        I can’t speak for Jo but I am willing to bet that nobody from the hokey team has had or ever will have the balls to post or comment her. They follow the Al Gore method of debate: avoid it at all costs. Maybe you can get Al to grace this site with his profound wisdom?

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        • #
          Craig Thomas

          You’re funny – they regularly put their reputations to the test by submitting work to scholarly journals where it is critically assessed by the best minds in science, but they “don’t have the balls” to spend any time debating stuff here with the likes of “Bah Humbug”?
          Is it not more likely they have time constraints that restrict them to more fruitful activities?

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    • #
      Mattb

      For the record Ed – Buck Rogers = global government. Who knew the UN was spreading its ideals in sci-fi!

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  • #

    The analysis shown here took about thirty minutes to complete. I just wish silencing the unfounded claims by alarmists could be done in a similar amount of time.

    Alarmists only look for interpretations that support their viewpoint. Most of the effort (paid for by taxpayers) is now in blocking or attacking any attempt to provide alternatives, including ones that fit the data far better than their own.

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  • #

    Thankyou John McLean. As usual no point, part or aspect of this climate scam stands up to scrutiny. It seems that when nearly any detail is checked something else turns up that does not support the CO2 argument. Warmists often claim that natural cycles are considered …pfft. How much of this type of combined cycle/anomaly comparison have we seen?
    Where is the analysis of the interacton and heterodyning of multiple unrelated anomaly cycles? Where are the computer models whose ONLY inputs are the rythmic, recurring and predictable cycles?
    Just a few of these cycles combined would yield so much.
    The lunar cycle.
    The 19 year metonic cycle.
    the 22 and 33 year solar magnetic cycles.
    The various sunspot cycles (the least important being the 11 year cycle).

    A lot of familiar names turning up here at the link below.
    http://cyclesresearchinstitute.wordpress.com/

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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    “Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (BScHons., Sydney; PhD., UCLA) is the inaugural Director of the Global Change Institute and Professor of Marine Science, at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.” [Source University website].

    This means that he is responsible for the overall operation of the institute, including the acquisition of funding.

    Funding comes from the submission of proposals to address a recognised need, either within Government, or within an industry sector.

    Given that the Great Barrier Reef is a major tourist attraction in Victoria, I suspect that his sights are firmly on gaining some industry funding augmented by some “logistical” funding from the Queenland State Government.

    1. Establish the scare, in the minds of the population;
    2. Create some dramatic (but mentally visual) ideas for solution;
    3. Wait for people to get worried about their livelihoods, and are calling for action from the Government;
    4. Claim that you have the answers to the problem;
    5. Issue a proposal to conduct in-depth research;
    6. Establish a scientific committee to oversee the research;
    7. Have yourself appointed as chair of said scientific committee;
    8. Appoint your cronies to the committee to ensure that the boat doesn’t rock;
    9. Have the committee approach Government for additional funding on the basis that, “It is worse than we thought”;
    10. Find additional and more frightening aspects to the original scare;
    11. Continue the process, starting at step 1.

    Simple really, once you know the formulae.

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  • #
    pat

    what puzzles me is how the MSM took the “shade cloth” comedy so seriously, including Discovery Channel, which has been unwatchable for years:

    20 Aug: Discovery Channel: Tim Wall: Excellent Idea of the Day: Umbrellas for Corals
    Four Excellent Ideas to Save the Coral:
    Underwater Umbrellas: Shade cloths, like those used in agriculture, could protect corals from the ferocious intensity of the sun. The technique has already been tested, and could be used to protect particularly sensitive areas or maintain refuges…
    http://news.discovery.com/earth/great-barrier-reef-umbrella-global-warming-120820.html

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  • #
    MattB

    Temps at reef associated with ENSO – what a headline. I bet no one ever thought of that. bejeebus.

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    • #
      BobC

      MattB
      August 24, 2012 at 9:19 am · Reply
      Temps at reef associated with ENSO – what a headline. I bet no one ever thought of that. bejeebus.

      Well, apparently not the Climate “Scientists” who have been claiming that they were the result of Human CO2 emissions.

      Your contributions seen even less relevant than usual, Matt.

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      • #
        Mattb

        Look BobC – you can’t challenge rising sea temps due to AGW with the claim that ENSO is a factor. It is like arguing that so and so is innocent because he is wearing a green shirt. Look see here’s a photo of him in a green shirt – how much more proof do you need man!

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        • #
          BobC

          Mattb
          August 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm · Reply
          Look BobC – you can’t challenge rising sea temps due to AGW with the claim that ENSO is a factor.

          Of course — I just forgot: AGW is holy writ and CO2 is a magical gas. No other explanations are allowed (or considered).

          Given the actual post you are presumably responding to, perhaps you should change “can’t” to “may not” — then explain why we “may not”. Quasi-religious explanations probably won’t get much traction.

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        • #
          Andrew McRae

          Yes. Exactly. Wookiees do not live on Endor. Well said MattyB.

          ENSO is a cyclic phenomenon manifesting itself in several ways one of which is a cycle in temperature. Climate Doomers jumped on the ENSO escalator when its direction suited them, and now that ENSO is turning the corner the adherents are Down-and-Out in Beverley Hills.

          When you subtract the known NATURAL cycles from what is observed, only the remainder can be AGW.
          You subtract the known NATURAL ENSO from water temperature and find the remainder WHILST NOT ZERO has not been nearly as large as the claimed +0.25°C/decade trend of hockey-shaped alarmist notoriety, then surely it must give you MattyB, cause for scepticism?

          Now that you are aware of a known NATURAL cycle and you refuse to subtract it from observation before diagnosing an catastrophic anthropogenic trend, that is going way beyond merely a mistake or accidental oversight.

          It is not necessary for industrial influence on the climate to be absolutely zero to justify doing nothing about it, it is sufficient for our influence to be real but smaller than other climatic fluctuations that the ecosystem has survived relatively unscathed.
          That condition is met with reference to several historic natural climate changes in both absolute temperatures and rates of change (eg 1200s MWP, eg 1691-1720 CET, eg 1782-1801 Prague, eg 1912-1942 HADSST2), ergo we defund all the pseudo-conservational redistributive global warming boondoggles UNTIL SUCH TIME AS EVIDENCE SUPPORTING A HARMFUL TREND EMERGES FROM NATURAL NOISE. Capiche?

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    • #
      Debbie

      good shot at totally missing the point Matt B

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      • #
        Mattb

        I got the point exactly Deb… obviosuly you missed mine.

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        • #
          Debbie

          Nope,
          you missed it.
          Point is that natural phenomena like ENSO, dwarf any efforts on our part to reduce AC02.

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          • #
            MattB

            so you are saying ENSO donimates other temp fluctuations over history? YOu really ARE *snip*

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          • #
            MattB

            donimates lol.

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          • #
            BobC

            MattB
            August 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm
            so you are saying ENSO donimates other temp fluctuations over history? YOu really ARE *snip*

            ENSO is the planet’s response to driving forces we don’t yet understand MattB. What apparently frosts you is that it obviously isn’t a response to increasing CO2.

            The idee fixe that CO2 (particularly, the minor component of CO2 that is anthropogenic) explains everything about the climate is a particularly stupid idea.

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          • #
            Debbie

            No Matt that was not what I said.
            It wasn’t complicated.
            Maybe you missed the LIKE before ENSO? I could have added others LIKE volcanic eruptions but I assumed that you understood natural phenomena wasn’t just ENSO.
            How you manged to accuse me of denying history from what I wrote is beyond me.

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          • #
            Mattb

            Debbie… the natural phenomena that “dwarf any efforts on our part to reduce AC02″ are not “like” ENSO. ENSO is not “like” volcanic eruptions.

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  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    Furthermore ENSO has a 60-ish year periodicity. So does HadCRUT going back 160 years. The interesting thing is if you detrend the HadCRUT dataset by the quadratic equation of best fit you get this (or this if you do an 8 year moving average).

    What these graphs show is that half of world temperature rise since 1970 is cyclical with the peak passed in 2002. And we’re now seeing global average temperature fall since then, much to the mystification of the CAGW people.

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  • #
    handjive

    Apology for going off topic, but a link our host, Ms. Jo, might be interested in:

    [UWA School of Psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky] “Blogs have a huge impact on society…”

    What motivates rejection of (climate) science?

    Journal reference: Psychological Science
    Provided by University of Western Australia

    (via tom nelson)

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    • #
      rukidding

      “More than 90 in 100 climate researchers agree on the basic fact that the globe is warming due to human greenhouse gas emissions”

      Agreeing is one thing proving it is another.

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  • #
    dlb

    Willis Island is 430km east of the GBR and I would consider temperatures on the reef are more related to local weather events than the ENSO cycle. Though in some circumstances the two are linked.

    For instance the big bleaching event in 2002 was probably linked to higher inshore water temperatures due to the drought that was affecting Queensland. According to John’s graph SSTs at this time from Willis Island were above average, but nothing unique. Also the SOI was neutral at this time.

    Sudden changes in water temperature may play havoc with coral but I doubt the almost imperceptible rise due to global warming has little effect except to extend their range.

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    One gets sick of the reef being the poster child for the environquacks since I used to romp around the reefs every Xmas when I was a kid. Can’t see any change since the 60s-70s.

    You could nuke the whole reef and eventually most of it would regenerate eventually.

    http://www.bikiniatoll.com/BIKINICORALS.pdf

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      Sonny

      What about Nemo?

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      Roy Hogue

      The Bikini Atoll is a good poster child for nature’s ability to keep on going. Sorta makes the current climate change “debate” even more laughable doesn’t it?

      After sticking closely to the observed facts all the way through, at the end the authors just had to add a bit about climate change without any possible support for the statement.

      Unfortunately radioactivity remains. But even that will eventually disappear into the normal radioactive background of the area. I wish we had not done the tests above ground but at least the lesson was finally learned.

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    Bob Santos

    Wow, what a lot of uninformed comments made by people who clearly don’t understand basic statistical principles.
    [And just what is your point? You comment on a four month old thread, and add nothing. If you want to make a point, contribute something] Fly

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