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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It’s “special” science where one Hot Month is the signal, and years of The Pause is just noise.

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We can always rely on Peter Hannam of the Sydney Morning Herald to accidentally advertise the unscientific stars of the Climate Church.

“Spike in global temperature fuels climate change fears”

It used to be that science was symmetrical — the laws of physics worked every day. You know, thou shalt not create nor destroy energy, it’s one of those unarguable things. But UNSW has a new “special” kind of science where the global temperature can pause for years and billions of quadrillions of joules of energy can disappear and who cares? In politically correct science this is noise. But one hot month, caused by an El Nino and strap yourself in, glue on the Armageddon-helmet. Panic-now, Panic-later, Fear and Hellfire. The Mystical Sign has cometh!

Prof Rahmstorf seems a bit confused about  what’s “noise” and what’s “signal”:

“It’s important to take this hot spike as a reminder that this is a really urgent problem” said Professor Rahmstorf, who until last week was also a visiting professorial fellow at the University of NSW. “We are running out of time to avoid a 2-degree world.”

Try and imagine him saying [...]

Cold water in vast Western Pacific, record water vapor, clouds, rain — super big El Nino things going on

Indo-pacific-warm-pool (IPWP) | NotricksZone

A very striking pattern of records is happening at the moment. Data is going “off the chart” on several factors at once.  As well as record high temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere in Feb 2016, the water is far cooler than usual in the Indo Pacific, while there is increased water vapor and cloud all over the world’s oceans. But windspeeds are slow, slow, slow. It has the hallmarks of a very Big El Nino. Bigger by many measures than 1997-98.

The cooler Indo-Pacific

P Gosselin at NotricksZone has got some very interesting graphs about the ocean around the vast Western Pacific.  Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt noticed  that ARGO buoys are recording a very unusual cooling in the Indo-Pacific Western Pacific.

Is something fishy and odd going on there? Hard to say, but while the globe set a record last month, it is interesting to know that over the last couple of years temperatures have declined in the Western Pacific by a whole degree.  The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) covers 20N to 20S across a full quarter of the circumference of the Earth. According to Bosse and Vahrenholt it’s around “16 million cubic [...]

Can the Moon change our climate? Can tides in the atmosphere solve the mystery of ENSO?

Image by Luc Viatour

The Moon has such a big effect — moving 70% of the matter on the Earth’s surface every day, that it seems like the bleeding obvious to suggest that just maybe, it also affects the air, the wind, and causes atmospheric tides. Yet the climate models assume the effect is zero or close to it.

Indeed, it seems so obvious, it’s a “surely they have studied this before” moment. Though, as you’ll see, the reason lunar effects may have been ignored is not just “lunar-politics” and a lack of funding, but because it’s also seriously complex. Keep your brain engaged…

Ian Wilson and Nikolay Sidorenkov have published a provocative paper, Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric Tides in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s an epic effort of 14,000 words and a gallery of graphs. As these atmospheric tides swirl around the planet they appear to be creating standing waves of abnormal air-pressure that slowly circle the planet, once every 18 years. If this is right, then it could be the key to finally understanding, and one day predicting, the mysterious Pacific ENSO pattern that so affects the global climate. Even at this early stage, brave predictions are on [...]

A Monster La Nina in the making?

La Nina is here. But how big will it get?

The NCEP NOAA forecasts suggest it might be so big, it’s historic — stronger and colder than anything since possibly 1917. (Then again, the Australian BOM are saying it’ll be a bit weaker than the last one.) But as Frank Lansner points out, the NCEP model got it right last year when many others were not even close.

Lansner has spotted the uber cold forecasts of NCEP. By March next year their models are telling them the Pacific Ocean (section Nino 3.4) will be 2.5 degrees below average. The forecasts are so unusually cold, some of the model runs don’t even fit on the graph. (Warmistas must be quaking at the thought of a blockbuster cold northern winter. Bring out your “warming causes cooling” memos.)


If conditions do reach 2.6 degrees below average, that would make the ocean surface temperatures in that zone, colder than anytime in the last 60 years. It would be the La Nina to almost match the strength of the 1998 El Nino anomaly  (2.8K) that set records all over the world.


The deep oceans drive the atmosphere

Ever wondered how the whole planet could suddenly “get warmer” during an El Nino, and then suddenly cool again? William Kininmonth has the answer. As I read his words I’m picturing a major pool of stored “coldness” (bear with me, I know cold is just a lack of heat) which is periodically unleashed on the surface temperatures. The vast deep ocean abyss is filled with salty and near freezing water.  In years where this colder pool is kept in place we have El Ninos, and on years when the colder water rises and mixes up near the surface we have La Ninas. The satellites recording temperatures at the surface of the ocean are picking up the warmth (or lack of) on this top-most layer. That’s why it can be bitterly cold for land thermometers but at the same time the satellites are recording a higher world average temperature, due to the massive area of the Pacific.

In other words, just as you’d expect, the actual temperature of the whole planetary mass is not rising and falling within months, instead, at times the oceans swallow the heat on the surface and give up some “coldness”. At other times, the cold [...]

The La Nina shark rises to bite

UPDATED (below)

Does this herald the end of this years warm spell?

Frank Lansner has been watching the Southern Oscillation Index and noticed it’s rapid climb out of El Nino territory. He’s found graphs showing how the warm water is displaced from below and I’ve pasted them into a brutally rough animation.

See Franks full post

I wouldn’t use a single season to debunk AGW (and nor does Frank) but we all know that the crowds are swayed by weather, and Frank’s point is that the weather is possibly not going to help The Big Scare Campaign.