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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SSW, Sudden Stratospheric Warming hitting a record over Antarctica, Ozone hole almost gone already?

Two days ago over the Antarctic the SSW or Sudden Stratospheric Warming was still running strong up at 10 hPa or around 30 km high.

NIWA claim it may be the strongest SSW seen in the Southern Hemisphere ever (which means the last 50 years).

Temperatures in the  green circle marked in the centre were 11C, instead of minus 40 to minus 60C. As we mentioned before, this is extremely rare, and the likely implications are that sometime in the next few weeks a cold beast will hit somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, but no one really knows where. The Australian BOM are rather bravely predicting a warmer less rainy spring for NSW and QLD. (See below).

If only we really understood the major drivers of our climate we might have predicted this more than a few weeks in advance. Perhaps it is caused by some of those solar factors that the big GCM’s completely ignore?

From Nullschool:

Stratospheric Sudden Warming, Southern Hemisphere, Antarctica.

Two years ago, same time, we see a single large polar jetstream at 10hPA and temperatures of around minus 40C in the warmest part and minus 60 elsewhere in the jetstream. These normal winds flow [...]

Is the Sun driving ozone and changing the climate?

In 2015 the hunt for clues continues…

The central mystery in climate science is the Sun. The direct energy from the 1.4 million-kilometer-wide flaming ball stays remarkably constant. The radiation pours down on us but the relentless sameness of the watts can’t be causing of the swings in temperature on Earth. Something else is going on with the Sun. For one thing, the total light energy coming off the Sun stays almost the same but the type of light changes — the spectrum shifts –  with more shorter wavelengths at one point in the cycle and longer wavelengths at the opposite part of the cycle. These have different effects. Shorter wavelengths (UV) generate ozone in the stratosphere and penetrate the ocean. Longer wavelengths don’t. But the Sun is also sending out charged particles and driving a massive fluctuating magnetic field, both of which affect Earth’s atmosphere.

But the tiny changes in total sunlight (TSI) may still be leaving us clues about other things going on with the Sun. David Evans’ notch-delay theory is that TSI is a leading indicator, and after solar TSI peaks, the temperatures on Earth follows with a peak roughly 11 years or so later (or one [...]