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

Image by Luc Viatour  www.Lucnix.be

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.

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Is another big La Nina on the way?

Another big La Nina could mean another cold winter for the Northern USA, and another wet flooding summer with potentially nasty cyclones for Eastern Australia (and the rest of the Eastern Pacific nations). La Ninas even affect the Indian Monsoon Season. If only we could predict them accurately.

Frank Lansner on HideTheDecline has noticed that one set of models (NCEP/CFS) is predicting a large La Nina brewing, while most of the others are still forecasting “neutral” conditions. The NCEP/CFS models were more accurate last year. If they are right now, we could be in for a large La Nina. On the other hand, Australia’s Bureau of Met is predicting only that “La Nina remains possible in 2011″.

Guest Post: Frank Lansner

Another Large La Nina Imminent?

For months the NCEP/CFS has been predicting a stronger second La Nina dip. Prior to the last La Nina, the NCEP/CFS was much better at predicting the La Nina — and personally I feel confident with the NCEP/CFS Prediction. It does seem to suggest that a La Nina will be upon us in a very short while. If so, global cooling is likely to shift into a faster gear.

Cooler water is appearing [...]

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.

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