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What's causing our extreme weather? Is it unprecedented?

Paul Hudson | 16:19 UK time, Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The awful weather which continues to affect the UK led yesterday to the Great Yorkshire show being cancelled (because of the weather) for the first time in its 154 year history.

And on Monday, serious flash flooding devastated parts of the Calder valley for the second time in as many weeks.

In fact as we all know our weather, with a notable exception during the second half of May, has been dreadful since the end of March.

And research conducted in part by scientists at the University of Sheffield has concluded that declining Arctic ice could be to blame.

The Arctic has been the fastest warming area in the world and this has reduced, according to the research, the temperature contrast between the Arctic and the Tropics.

And it's this temperature contrast which determines the strength and position of the jet stream - and could be responsible for the weak, slow moving jet stream which has caused the long period of cool, unsettled weather.

If the research is correct, it suggests that the swings we have experienced in the last few years could become the norm, although it doesn't suggest we would always have poor summers.

We could also become 'stuck' on the warm side of the jet stream in summer, leading to heat wave conditions like parts of America has been experiencing.

But there are some climate scientists who say that the weak solar activity that we have observed in recent years is altering the position of the jet stream.

One of the problems with this theory is that no-one understand the precise mechanism as to how solar activity could lead to changes in the position of the jet stream - and until we do, it can't be described mathematically, and so can't be modelled by computers.

Looking back, the early 1800s was a period of unusually weak solar activity, so much so that it was named after British meteorologist John Dalton, the so called 'Dalton solar minima'.

And data shows that from 1809-1819, after what was described as a 'relatively benign period with several warm summers and less cold winters', the period saw a return to 'often harsh winters, and cold, wet summers'.

The decade from 1810-1819 was in fact the coldest since the 1690's.

One complicating factor to this is that in 1815, a huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia depressed temperature levels because of the amount of volcanic ash in the atmosphere, and contributed to the well documented 'year without a summer' in 1816.

But this example shows that the weather patterns we have experienced in the last few years are not unprecedented.

And even from a specific extreme rainfall perspective, as high as local rainfall figures have been this summer, none have been anywhere near the levels reached in Sheffield on 15th July 1973 when 119mm fell in just one day (and which incidentally led to severe flooding despite much less development on the flood plain, a subject for another day perhaps).

Whether you favour the theory of melting Arctic ice and the link to global warming, or weak solar activity, both suggest that more extremes are likely in the future.

And of course it's possible that both could be working together at the same time.

Follow me on twitter @Hudsonweather

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    So who has the correct answer?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/18748701

  • Comment number 2.

    Paul sums it all up nicely at the end:

    "And of course it's possible that both could be working together at the same time"

    And I'd also add the buterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon forest.

    Paul makes a very intersting comment about inability to develop a theory:

    "........and so can't be modelled by computers"

    Is this now a pre-requist for scientific discovery?

  • Comment number 3.

    #2 TJ wrote:
    " "........and so can't be modelled by computers"

    Is this now a pre-requist for scientific discovery?"

    Having a theory so lacking in detail that it can't even begin to be modelled is probably a disqualification for a scientific discovery, I'd say.

    This whole paragraph speaks volumes:
    "One of the problems with this theory is that no-one understand the precise mechanism as to how solar activity could lead to changes in the position of the jet stream - and until we do, it can't be described mathematically, and so can't be modelled by computers. "

  • Comment number 4.

    'Having a theory so lacking in detail that it can't even begin to be modelled is probably a disqualification for a scientific discovery, I'd say.'

    So if the models predicting excessive temperatures due to CO2 are wrong then AGW is wrong, glad to be in agreement with you, at least someone has come out and said it at last.

    Only a couple of years to the end of the Met decadal forecast from 2005 at the end of which we can judge the AGW theory.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

  • Comment number 5.

    Even so- the 1810 -1819 period (and indeed others around the same era) can be explained at least partly by the volcanoes. So what is the explanation now? Also,I believe the cold was spread more widely - certainly including eastern N America and sea ice lingering around Iceland until June.

    The flash flood of 1973 may have been heavier, but overall the summer of 1973 was fairly good and it was an untypical event for that year, unlike the seemingly endlessly repeated flooding of this year.

  • Comment number 6.

    An interesting article in the N.Z. Herald:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10818936
    This may explain a lot.
    "Ms Mikaloff-Fletcher said the breakthrough had taken scientists "completely by surprise''."

  • Comment number 7.

    #4 - ukpahonta:
    "'Having a theory so lacking in detail that it can't even begin to be modelled is probably a disqualification for a scientific discovery, I'd say.'

    So if the models predicting excessive temperatures due to CO2 are wrong then AGW is wrong, glad to be in agreement with you, at least someone has come out and said it at last."

    Those don't say the same thing. Have I missed some subtlety in your comment?

  • Comment number 8.

    #5. - jkiller56 wrote:
    "The flash flood of 1973 may have been heavier, but overall the summer of 1973 was fairly good and it was an untypical event for that year, unlike the seemingly endlessly repeated flooding of this year."
    Top ten daily rainfall figures for England & Wales for April, June and July (HadUKP):

    23/04/1971 26.09
    29/04/1991 23.07
    01/04/1973 18.62 *
    02/04/2000 17.74
    29/04/2008 17.43
    03/04/2000 15.72
    14/04/1992 14.77
    18/04/2004 14.59
    25/04/2012 14.41
    15/04/1935 14.13

    18/06/1971 24.25
    19/06/1973 22.58 *
    22/06/2004 20.63
    10/06/1971 20.61
    02/06/1958 20.5
    24/06/2007 19.92
    05/06/1931 19.74
    22/06/1966 19.16
    30/06/1932 18.82
    22/06/1982 18.58

    28/07/1969 33.26
    10/07/1968 32.71
    31/07/1978 21.19
    20/07/1992 21.13
    20/07/2007 20.91
    16/07/2009 20.9
    17/07/2001 19.66
    15/07/1973 19.04 *
    30/07/2002 18.78
    10/07/1940 18.74

    Obviously, July 2012 figures not available yet.

  • Comment number 9.

    Does anybody else remember reading that the jet stream was running at near record high speeds only a few months ago? I seem to think it was the same BBC chap as linked to in post number 1.

    Was this linked to our early warm spell? What has changed since then?

  • Comment number 10.

    OPatrick @3 wrote:

    "Having a theory so lacking in detail that it can't even begin to be modelled is probably a disqualification for a scientific discovery, I'd say"

    I agree, however, the word your missing is 'computer'. Models, concepts, mind charts etc. have been successfully utilized for 1000's of years. Computers have been introduced recently and IMO have set us back in many areas of new research as they only operate on a digital basis. They are not good at lateral/organic type analysis like climate.

    Computers are a great asset to our human tool kit, however, they restrict our views, thoughts and understanding in these respects.

  • Comment number 11.

    lateintheday wrote:

    Does anybody else remember reading that the jet stream was running at near record high speeds only a few months ago? I seem to think it was the same BBC chap as linked to in post number 1.
    Was this linked to our early warm spell? What has changed since then?

    Well we had less ice in Feb when it was colder, then more ice March when it was warmer, and then increasingly less and less ice the cooler it gets here:
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png
    Now I'm not suggesting hot summers are due to more Arctic sea ice!
    Having made solar based forecasts for a very mild winter, a bitter 1st half of Feb, strong warmth from week 2 in March, a cool April, and even a warm end to May, I'm very sure that solar activity is driving the NAO and AO changes, which are then determining the jet position. With a positive AO, cold air is trapped more in the Arctic and there is less summer melt. With a negative AO, the jet is weaker and there is more interchange of Arctic air and warmer air from the upper latitudes, and these wafts of warmer air entering the Arctic melt more summer ice in some locations.

  • Comment number 12.

    #7 OPatrick

    Sorry did I mis-interpret your statement of how important modeling is?

    But then we both know that the intention of your statement was political rather than scientific.... predictably.

  • Comment number 13.

    This is pathetic research countered very simply: why is the Southern winter so cold when the Antarctic ice extent is very high? Also, perhaps your readers should be told that well-established research data in the metallurgical literature, used for over 60 years to design furnaces, shows that above ~200 ppmV in a long optical path, CO2 ceases to absorb any more IR. This well-known IR phenomenon is called self-absorption. It has been ignored by climate research because it shows there can be no CO2-AGW. But why spoil a good work of IPCC fiction?

    Another issue is shown here; http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/hafemeister.cfm

    The physicists who wrote this officials APS guide to Houghton's atmospheric physics have noticed a major error. It's in Eq 17 where they show that there is no energy balance for lower atmosphere emissivity =1, the value claimed by Houghton and the IPCC. The equilibrium value of 0.76 implies 80 W/m^2 excess, 50 times claimed AGW. No climate models based on this fundamentally wrong physics can predict climate. The error is because meteorologists are taught incorrectly that 'downwelling LW' exists. it does not and cannot. They compound the error by claiming they can measure it with pyrgeometers but when used singly, they measure the temperature radiation field which can do no work. This error has persisted for 50 years.

  • Comment number 14.

    Weather is not climate, until it supports my beliefs and then it is. What a basis for "science"!

    Criticising the solar theory because we don't understand it yet is hilarious considering every single attempt to predict the future climate through AGW biased models has failed. If you can't forecast the next 10 years accurately then you should keep your trap shut about the next 100, especially when it causes us to spend billions on stupid projects such as wind farms and turning over food crops for fuel.

    The recent heatwave in the US is a case in point, many history rewriters claiming it is the worst in recorded history when you only have to go back to the 1930s to find many more records being broken and a quick look at USHCN data shows the US trend has been a cooling over the last 100 years (at least until you let Hansen et al at the data, and then it magically becomes a warming trend through "adjustments")

    Now contrary to Mann we have a tree ring study that shows us slipping gently out of the Holocene maximum and into the next Ice Age. That fate may well be hundreds or thousands of years off yet but ice cores have shown that when it finally flips it can do in decades. We would be well advised to secure energy sources not dependent on wind turbines that freeze up in winter or crops that under poorer growing conditions we will need to eat!

    North America is somewhat schizophrenic on this (massive wind farms, 30% of corn crop turned over to ethanol), but is finally getting it with shale gas now cutting their energy costs by over $100 billion and with other oil extraction methods has the continent awash with enough energy to last them another 200 years. Of course, the "peak oil" prediction is another rapidly moving goal post that is continually shown to be overly alarmist.

    Meanwhile the UK heads for energy oblivion and frozen pensioners, makes you proud doesn't it?

    What it doesn't take a long time to figure out is that based on the WEATHER of the last few years we can now say that AGW will be responsible for a cooler, warmer, dryer, wetter climate in the future.

    In other words, variable and unpredictable, just as it has always been.

  • Comment number 15.

    One thing to add to above regarding US energy, how much has been reported that despite refusing to sign up to Kyoto the US is one of the few nations on Earth that now look to hit that target. Not because of wind farms, or biofuels, or solar, but because of shale gas.

    US as a leader on CO2 reduction, you really can't make it up can you?

  • Comment number 16.

    8. QuaesoVeritas:

    According to the Met Office rainfall data for England E/NE, July 1973 was 12th wettest, and was behind 1988, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The wettest July in that record is 1940. The 30-year rainfall trend for July in that region is +15mm/decade.

    For summer (JJA), 1973 is unremarkable for rainfall in E N/E England. It was 36th wettest since 1910. The 30 year trend in JJA rainfall in E N/E England is currently +28mm/decade.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/

  • Comment number 17.

    My area of expertise is the Mind. What I have found is that all the experts are actually further behind than me and they have unlimited resources and money to throw at it. I have found over the last 20 years, to be very careful who I listen to, as many people haven't really a clue. The NHS is a typical example of an organisation who fails badly, has billions to spend while obesity and other illnesses are accelerating, because they don't deal with the real cause of it.

  • Comment number 18.

    14. millennia wrote:

    "Criticising the solar theory because we don't understand it yet is hilarious considering every single attempt to predict the future climate through AGW biased models has failed."

    The 2007 AR4 IPCC models are currently inside 95% of the model runs. They also got the general direction of the temperature right, i.e. 'warmer'. This is more than can be said for several 'solar-based' forecasts, notably that of David Archibald (2009), which predicted average -2.2C cooling in the mid latitudes over the course of solar cycle 24 (average temperatures globally have so far been considerably higher during SC24 relative to SC23).

    "If you can't forecast the next 10 years accurately then you should keep your trap shut about the next 100..."

    Perhaps that's a comment certain 'solar' forecasters should pay heed to?

    "The recent heatwave in the US is a case in point, many history rewriters claiming it is the worst in recorded history when you only have to go back to the 1930s to find many more records being broken..."

    NOAA publish monthly all-time temperature records, so we can check that claim regarding the recent June heatwave in the US easily enough: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/records/ . June 2012 broke or tied 173 all time record maximum temperatures across the US. Not in any June during the 1930s were so many all-time records broken. The closest was 1934 with 53.

    ".... and a quick look at USHCN data shows the US trend has been a cooling over the last 100 years (at least until you let Hansen et al at the data, and then it magically becomes a warming trend through "adjustments")"

    According to the NOAA, which also use USHCN data, the temperature trend in US temperatures over the past 100 years is also upwards. UAH data, which begins in 1978, shows the current rate of warming in the US as +0.23C/decade: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    "Now contrary to Mann we have a tree ring study that shows us slipping gently out of the Holocene maximum and into the next Ice Age. "

    Mann (1998) clearly shows a cooling trend until the late 20th century warming. Jesper (2012) also shows a cooling trend and the same anomalous 20th century warming: http://www.realclimate.org/images/N-Scan.jpg

    Both papers are in general agreement.

  • Comment number 19.

    #18. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "The 2007 AR4 IPCC models are currently inside 95% of the model runs."
    Do you mean that temperatures were within 95% of the model runs?

  • Comment number 20.

    #16. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "According to the Met Office rainfall data for England E/NE, July 1973 was 12th wettest, and was behind 1988, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The wettest July in that record is 1940. The 30-year rainfall trend for July in that region is +15mm/decade.
    For summer (JJA), 1973 is unremarkable for rainfall in E N/E England. It was 36th wettest since 1910. The 30 year trend in JJA rainfall in E N/E England is currently +28mm/decade. "
    Those trends are correct, and at first glance look impressive, but it is only because rainfall in the 1980's was unusually low. The 10 year trends, which would be expected to pick up any short-term increase, are actually about the same as they were in the 1950's and 1930's.
    July 1973 rainfall in E/NE was above that of July 2010 and 2011. The recent actual July and JJA rainfall figures are nothing special. It is true that recently they have been above the 1971 - 2000 average, but so have the VAST majority of years since 1910, since the 71-2000 average is almost the lowest possible.
    I wonder if that is why the MO use that period???

  • Comment number 21.

    Just to add, it appears that, as is the case with temperatures, at least in certain regions, rainfall figures are returning to those experienced in the past, and everyone seems to be interpreting that as being caused by "climate change".

  • Comment number 22.

    Both the first and second world wars were extremely wet events. 1914 to 18. 1939 to 45.

  • Comment number 23.

    Re 13: "It's in Eq 17 where they show that there is no energy balance for lower atmosphere emissivity =1, the value claimed by Houghton and the IPCC. The equilibrium value of 0.76 implies 80 W/m^2 excess"

    I doubt anyone claims the atmosphere has emissivity 1 (is a blackbody). The surface emissivity is approximately 1, but the atmosphere absorbs a lot of outgoing IR as part of the greenhouse effect. Actual emissivity of around 0.76 is because of this greenhouse effect. That's one way of looking at why the GH effect warms the surface - because the atmosphere reduces the emissivity of the system requiring a higher temperature to emit the same amount of radiation into space.

  • Comment number 24.

    The paper that Millennia refereed to earlier. Some good bed time reading, with models included.

    Orbital forcing of tree-ring data:
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1589.html

    "As suggested previously, we propose that the millennial scale cooling trend retained in N-scan is forced by JJA insolation changes of ~ −6 W m\2 over the past 2,000 years, as other potential forcings, including volcanic eruptions, land use and greenhouse gas changes, are either too small or free of long-term trends. We tested this theory by analysing the two CGCMs that were run over several millennia (ECHO-G and ECHAM5–MPIOM; refs 7, 8), and compared the modelled temperature trends with and without orbital forcing (Methods). The CGCMs revealed similar JJA temperature patterns including a long-term cooling trend over the past two millennia centred in Northern Hemisphere high latitudes (Supplementary Fig. S12)."

  • Comment number 25.

    quake 11.51: the 2009 Trenberth energy budget claims the earth radiates as a bb, also the atmosphere. Neither can be true. At the Earth's surface, radiation and convection are coupled so the former can never reach the bb level in a vacuum.

    So, the claim you can add 333 W/m^2 'back radiation' from the atmosphere to be absorbed by the Earth's surface, adding to the net 63 W/m^2 making 396 W/m^2 [bb for an isolated 16 deg C body in a vacuum] is spectacularly wrong. If 'back radiation' were true, you'd feel it on the back of your hand at night because it's twice average solar energy reaching the surface!

    The problem is they assume wrongly 238.5 W/m^2 DOWN at TOA. In reality they have got the wrong IR physics and DOWN TOA emissivity = 0.

    No other science makes these mistakes because they prove their calculations by experiment. There's no experimental proof of any CO2-AGW according to Trenberth's colleague Jeff Kiehl: GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007

    Those funding the research have so much invested they can't let the truth emerge.

  • Comment number 26.

    Re 25: "the 2009 Trenberth energy budget claims the earth radiates as a bb, also the atmosphere."

    No it doesn't.

    "At the Earth's surface, radiation and convection are coupled so the former can never reach the bb level in a vacuum"

    The Earth's surface emissivity is close to 1 meaning that it will emit as a blackbody. Convection merely reduces the temperature of the surface, whatever that surface temperature is the emission will be as a blackbody of that temperature.

    "If 'back radiation' were true, you'd feel it on the back of your hand at night because it's twice average solar energy reaching the surface!"

    IR from the atmosphere is emitted from all directions. It's diffuse. You wouldn't feel it coming from a single direction like you would with light from the Sun. Also the surface is emitting an even greater amount of IR so the "back of hand" test simply won't work.

    "Those funding the research have so much invested they can't let the truth emerge."

    Even climate skeptics aren't claiming what you are claiming. It's physically incorrect. There's consensus on this. Both climate skeptics and climate scientists agree that backradiation exists and warms the Earth in a greenhouse effect.

  • Comment number 27.

    quake; sorry but you are have been badly misled to assume that just because the Earth is near to being a black body, it radiates as one. This basic mistake, unique to climate science, is because no-one checked a century of experimental and theoretical data: http://www.thermopedia.com/content/204/

    I trained as a process engineer and for 0.9 emissivity and natural convection, radiative only exceeds convective flux at ~100 deg. C. You can prove the processes are coupled by putting up a windbreak on a beach - the sand temperature rises to make the sum of convection and radiation equal the SW input from the Sun.

    I don't know when climate modelling decided on this incorrect heat transfer but the 1967 root paper, Manabe and Wetherald, didn't have it. If engineers had it wrong, high speed aircraft would be built from cheaper materials and many industrial processes would have to change dramatically.

    Another major error is to think we have 33 K present GHE. You must take ~24 K lapse rate warming off that, making a 3.7 too high calibration factor. Don't worry, all the meteorologists are wrong including Lindzen who imagines that without convection we'd have ~60 K GHG warming!

    If you want to confirm my views, see Claes Johnson [Sweden] or Doug Cotton [Oz]: we have all come to the same conclusions in different ways.

  • Comment number 28.

    As far as I know I currently have the only observationally consistent explanation as set out here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6645

    "How The Sun Could Control Earth's Temperature"

  • Comment number 29.

    PS Put a 3 foot by 3 foot square of Al foil on a lawn on a still, humid, clear summer night. This stops IR from the earth. Now put your hand out about 6 inches above the foil, palm down,. The heat sensors on the back of your hand measure cooling as it radiates to the cooler air.

    333 W/m^2 claimed average 'back radiation' is the same as you'd feel 4 feet away from a 2 kw kitchen heater like my mother had. It's is an artefact of the measurement device. Your hand above the foil is a crude pyrgeometer. To the calibrated cooling of your hand you add the theoretical S-B bb radiation for the air temperature. Because of the radiation shielding, this composite signal has nothing to do with equilibration between the Earth and the sky.

    If you want to confirm this, read the manufacturer's literature: http://www.kippzonen.com/?product/16132/CGR+3.aspx

    'Two CGR 3s can form a net pyrgeometer'

    Put this pair in zero temperature gradient and it measures net zero. Take one away and the signal is the temperature signal of the air, net energy flow still zero. This is a spectacular experimental fail. I'm not a climate sceptic, just a damned good researcher damned annoyed at incompetence by people who claim to be professionals.

  • Comment number 30.

    Re 27: "quake; sorry but you are have been badly misled to assume that just because the Earth is near to being a black body, it radiates as one."

    All I am assuming is that the stefan-boltzmann law is correct which I think is a sound assumption to make. According to that law the Earth's surface must radiate energy proportional to it's emissivity times it's temperature to the fourth power. So if the Earth's emissivity is close to 1 (a blackbody) it must radiate close to a blackbody.

    That means the amount of radiation emitted from the Earth's surface should be calculatable simply from it's temperature and it's emissivity. Convection will alter the temperature, but if you know the temperature then you can calculate the amount radiated.

    As it stands the Earth's surface radiates more energy upwards than it absorbs from the Sun.

    That imbalance can only be closed if the Earth absorbs additional energy from another source. Obviously it's not convection - convection TAKES energy from the surface. The additional source of energy is backradiation - energy radiated downwards from the atmosphere.

  • Comment number 31.

    I think I saw a weather forecaster on the Beeb yesterday, saying that the current weather wasn't due to the Jetstream being too far south, it was due to it being not far enough south. Otherwise in the wrong place as far as the U.K. is concerned.

  • Comment number 32.

    We must end this obsession with man-made climate change and carbon-based 'green issues'.

    The warming industry never did (and still hasn't done) any science to establish whether changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration affect the climate. They fibbed. That is why there is nothing in the way of empirical evidence that supports any conjecture at all about MMGW due to CO2.

    The global warming cabal have been caught out. They worked back to front. At the original behest of Margaret Thatcher they thought up a good sensational 'global warming' temperature and then faked up a fish story that they cooked in computers to give them the answer they first thought of, purely for political reasons.

    Unfortunately people have an erroneous tendency to believe stuff from big enough computers - even circular arguments.

    Unsurprisingly, none of their climate predictions have come to pass. There is no AGW effect. It was lies.

    The warming industry distracted anyone seeking enlightenment with a deluge of their cod science while they kept very quiet about the inconvenient truths. We have seen some such attempts on this site.

    They fooled a lot of people for a long time. But you cannot fool all the people all the time, and many believers are now seeing the light.

    The CAGW due to CO2 conjecture is thoroughly discredited. It was fakery from the beginning.

    Not only was Tony Blair extraordinarily stupid to sign Britain up to such drastic CO2 reductions, but the reductions were never necessary in the first place.

  • Comment number 33.

    S-B only applies to an isolated body in a vacuum. In an atmosphere the same vibrationally quantized states intermediate between kinetic energy and EM energy also transfer energy to adsorbed gas molecules meaning in forced convection, radiation can go very low. I have had the same discussion with [Met. Office?] modellers who say 'it's the text book answer', only true in a vacuum. They've got it very wrong too.

    This is elementary stuff. I designed and built the first on-line pyrometers to measure temperature independently of emissivity. You can only measure true radiative flux by a back to back pyrometer to eliminate the 'Prevost Exchange Signal' which is what you measure with a single pyrgeometer. Read up about it. and realise that Prevost exchange is what controls net radiative flux by varying four rate equations.

    To measure coupled convective you put in temperature probes, pitot tubes and measure pressure differences. Then you can separate radiation from convection. You use a combined heat transfer coefficient from tables in McAdams 'Heat Transfer'.

    Here's a test for you? What is the dominant mode of heat transfer in the static air above the desert that gives the mirage?

    Answer - it's conduction because there's no convection and the air is near the sand temperature for a long way above it. You would claim that you get nearly 700 W/m^2 because it's a surface temperature of a bit over 70 deg C. See what I mean?

    There's worse in the aerosol optical physics. Sagan got that very wrong and his failure to consider a second optical process, that which gives rain clouds the highest albedo, hides the heat transfer mistakes. He was also wrong about Venus.

  • Comment number 34.

    @newdwr54:

    More all time US weather records were logged in the 30s than at any time since:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/smoking-gun-that-giss-temperatures-are-garbage/

    and of course that good old animated overlay that shows the sudden demoting of the 30s dustbowl to emphasise our none too remarkable modern warming pattern.

    The top ten years:

    All time daily record highs in continental US
    year count
    1936 10011
    1934 9704
    1939 7743
    1931 7424
    1930 6862
    1933 6808
    1953 6589
    1925 6567
    1954 6338
    1911 6206

    I was referring to raw USHCN not "adjusted" as I clearly pointed out:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/the-odds-of-the-ushcn-adjustments-being-correct-one-out-of-infinity/

    once you start playing with raw data you can make it say anything.

    And finally, if Mann had stopped at tree rings fair enough, but then he bolted a completely different dataset on the end to produce one of the most discredited papers in an already very discredited field. Not even the IPCC dare use that piece of toilet paper now.

  • Comment number 35.

    In view of the unusual circumstances surrounding the July mean rainfall for 1971-2000 in the E/NE region, i.e. the fact that it is unusually low and therefore "abnormal", I thought I would look at what the situation was with regard to the U.K. as a whole.
    It turns out that the 30 year average UK July rainfall (since 1910), is 66.28mm and by a sheer fluke, that is the LOWEST 30 year average in the series.
    Consequently, also by sheer fluke, 71 of the 102 July rainfall figures since 1910, i.e. 71%, have been "above normal" using this measure.
    Clearly this is a statistical nonsense and a much better measure of "normality" as far as this and other climate statistics are concerned, is in my opinion, the median figure of the entire series. This has the advantage of not changing much in response to extreme figures at either end of the scale. The 30 year mean UK July rainfall figure has increased from 66mm in 2000 to 76mm in 2011, while the cumulative median figure only increased from 78.5mm in 2000 to 80mm in 2011.
    I raise this point because it is inevitable that when the rainfall figures for July are announced, they will be compared to the "normal" figure of 66mm, based on the 71-2000 mean, (which is in fact, completely abnormal), when a much more meaningful comparison would be with the median figure of 80mm. This makes a big difference in deciding whether rainfall or any other statistic is below or above normal.

  • Comment number 36.

    19. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "Do you mean that temperatures were within 95% of the model runs?"

    The annual mean anomalies of all the global surface data providers were within 95% of the model runs according to RealClimate: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/02/2011-updates-to-model-data-comparisons/.

  • Comment number 37.

    20. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "The 10 year trends, which would be expected to pick up any short-term increase, are actually about the same as they were in the 1950's and 1930's."

    We're back to our perennial problem. 10 year trends are good for short term analysis, but the recommended period for inferring climate trends from temperature data is 30 years.

    What do the 30 year trends terminating in the 1950s and 30s show?

  • Comment number 38.

    Re 37:

    I should have said 'weather data' rather than 'temperature data', since we're talking about rainfall here.

  • Comment number 39.

    34. millennia wrote:

    "More all time US weather records were logged in the 30s than at any time since"

    That may be the case, but you were referring to comments made re the recent June heatwave. June 2012 broke more all-time high temperature records than did any June in the 1930s. Do you dispute that?

    "I was referring to raw USHCN not "adjusted" as I clearly pointed out..."

    Yes but *all* temperature station data are adjusted for perfectly legitimate reasons. The adjustment process is described in the peer reviewed scientific literature; it's not just done on an impulse.

    Wasn't Anthony Watts complaining because (he believed) UHI effect was interfering with US surface temperature records? Well, NOAA and NASA both compensate for UHI; i.e. both scale down the temperatures of stations affected by UHI, in a very precise and well defined way. What is this but an adjustment?

    Seems they can't win.

    "And finally, if Mann had stopped at tree rings fair enough, but then he bolted a completely different dataset on the end to produce one of the most discredited papers in an already very discredited field."

    You'll need to be more specific here, because the view that Mann's paper is "discredited" is by no means universal. In fact it has been supported by a host of other papers that used similar methods. The US National Academy of Sciences review of Mann 1998 upheld it in every important respect.

    The recent Finnish tree ring analysis you referred to previously *does not* discredit Mann 1998 in any way. In fact it strongly supports his basic outline: there was a slow cooling in the NH over the past few hundred years, later extended to a couple of thousand years by Mann and others, that terminated with anomalous warming from the beginning of the 20th century.

    You've created a lot of bluster, but you haven't really said anything that hasn't been previously and repeatedly addressed.

  • Comment number 40.

    paul is or as there ever been experiments on a huge scale to invoke weather changes and allow some form of control?

  • Comment number 41.

    newdwr54 - since when was the early 20thC warming assumed to be anomalous?
    I understood that this was generally regarded as a natural warming episode, at least until mid century. Have things changed again?

  • Comment number 42.

    #36. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "The annual mean anomalies of all the global surface data providers were within 95% of the model runs according to RealClimate: "
    But you said:
    "The 2007 AR4 IPCC models are currently inside 95% of the model runs."

  • Comment number 43.

    #37. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "We're back to our perennial problem. 10 year trends are good for short term analysis, but the recommended period for inferring climate trends from temperature data is 30 years.
    What do the 30 year trends terminating in the 1950s and 30s show?"
    No 30 year trends terminating in the 30's, because of insufficient data.
    The 30 year trends terminating in the 50's are negative, but I have explained why the recent 30 year trends are so high - because of the unusually low rainfall during the 80's and early 90's. Recovery from that results in a large upward trend, but it's only a return to more "normal" rainfall.

  • Comment number 44.

    41. lateintheday wrote:

    "since when was the early 20thC warming assumed to be anomalous?"

    It is anomalous only in the context of the past 2,000 years, whether it is caused by natural or human influences, or by a combination of both. That is the context in which my comment was made.

  • Comment number 45.

    42. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "But you said: "The 2007 AR4 IPCC models are currently inside 95% of the model runs.""

    I may be missing something important here QV; but I must admit, the contradiction, if there is one, doesn't exactly stand out for me.

    If you could explain my error I would appreciate it.

  • Comment number 46.

    The recent warming, as expressed in the Nature Climate paper by Jesper et al (2012), is no more anomalous than any of the other sharp rises( and indeed drops) of temperature shown over the two millenia indicated.

  • Comment number 47.

    43. QuaesoVeritas:

    What you're saying about the low rainfall in the 1980s may well be right. In fact I have no doubt that it is right, knowing you.

    All I'm saying is that, as far as the WMO is concerned at least, that low rainfall in the 1980s is now officially part of 'climatology'. In their view, it is part of the on-going 'bigger picture'.

  • Comment number 48.

    GISS anomalies for June:
    Global = 0.56c (-0.08c)
    N.H. = 0.82c (-0.04c)
    S.H. = 0.31c (-0.11c)
    After adjustment to 1961-90, these figures are equivalent to 0.45c, 0.76c and 0.17c respectively.
    I am quite surprised to see falls in both all three figures and that may point to a small fall in HadCRUT3, rather than an increase as indicated by satellite temperatures.

  • Comment number 49.

    #45. - newdwr54 wrote:

    "I may be missing something important here QV; but I must admit, the contradiction, if there is one, doesn't exactly stand out for me.
    If you could explain my error I would appreciate it."
    Sorry, it may just be my interpretation of what you are saying but you seem to be saying that the *models*, not oberved temperataures, are within 95% of the *model* runs.
    In any case, even referring to observed temperatures, this is like saying that someone is in the top 95% of class results, when they are in 94th place out of 100.

  • Comment number 50.

    46. Boanta wrote:

    "The recent warming, as expressed in the Nature Climate paper by Jesper et al (2012), is no more anomalous than any of the other sharp rises( and indeed drops) of temperature shown over the two millenia indicated."

    I tend to agree with that completely. There have been ups and downs right through the record. The question that needs to answered though is *why* has it warmed during a period when, according to Jesper et al, it should really have been getting a little bit colder?

    All these other ups and downs have fairly well-described natural causes: low solar output combined with high volcanic activity can explain the LIA. Increased solar output and reduced volcanic activity can explain the MWP, etc.

    But solar output has been in decline throughout the recent observed warming period. There have also been two remarkable volcanic eruptions, which led to temporary cooling. Solar forcing certainly explains most of the warming of the early 20th century, as the IPCC has acknowledged. But it can't explain temperature rise from the mid 1970s onward.

    Surely we need an explanation for that observation? Why has it, on average, been getting warmer, when natural forcings suggest it should have been getting colder? The answer is pretty well explained by mainstream AGW theory, in my view.

  • Comment number 51.

    These files should be made compulsory reading before any-one talks about unprecedented Weather or climate.
    1-http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/Weather.pdf 15MB
    2-http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/histclimat.htm
    Plenty of history on droughts,floods,heatwaves and freezing temps.
    Did people really eat each other in those dark and dismal days?
    A real eye-opener for all.

  • Comment number 52.

    48. QuaesoVeritas:

    Thanks for the GISS update.

    As we discussed previously, it's no surprise that surface data is lagging satellite during a period of ENSO transition.

    Satellites are prone to exaggerate warming/cooling at such times. It may have something to do with humidity?

    Just on GISS though, this is still the 5th warmest June in GISS's 133 year record and keeps 2012 inside the top ten warmest years-to-date on record, despite its starting off with three straight months of naturally cooling La Nina conditions.

  • Comment number 53.

    50---The peak of the MWP on the Jesper et al paper also occurred after/during the long slow decline and indeed is higher than the recent warmth. There has been no very rapid warming since 1998( some argue the case for stasis/cooling) despite rising CO2 and the current approach to a solar maximum( albeit a low max). If solarists predicting a marked and prolonged solar minimum are correct, then the decline suggested by the authors will probably continue. The dichotomy of opinion between the warmists and coolists is so great, they cannot both be correct and we'll probably know by 2020-30 one way or the other. I hope we both live long enough to continue the discussion then.

  • Comment number 54.

    @39, newdwr54 wrote:

    “ Well, NOAA and NASA both compensate for UHI; i.e. both scale down the temperatures of stations affected by UHI, in a very precise and well defined way. “

    That's debatable but immaterial. The adjustments apply to anomalies and not to absolute temperatures so don't affect records.

  • Comment number 55.

    @44, newdwr54 wrote:

    “ It is anomalous only in the context of the past 2,000 years, whether it is caused by natural or human influences, or by a combination of both. That is the context in which my comment was made. “

    The fact that natural 20th century temperature variability was 'unprecedented' according to a plethora of paleo reconstructions would make any open-minded person suspect that those reconstructions had reduced temperature variations prior to the instrumental record.

    We now know that they did and we also know why. It's a pity that it was left to people outside the field to point out the flaws. It seems that many of those in the field were more concerned that they did not 'dilute the message' than they were about the science.

  • Comment number 56.

    #12 ukpahonta:
    "Sorry did I mis-interpret your statement of how important modeling is?"

    I think so. My point was if a theory is so sketchy that the mechanisms are not well enough understood to even begin to put a model together then it's a long way from being thought of as a scientific discovery. This doesn't say anything about modelling other than that the inability to build a model is a measure of the weakness of a theory.

    Think for a moment what the reaction would be if the situation were reversed. What would have been said had someone written "the problem with the theory of anthropogenic climate change is that no-one understands the precise mechanisms as to how it could lead to warming of the atmosphere and until we do, it can't be expressed mathematically and so can't be modelled using computers"?

    "But then we both know that the intention of your statement was political rather than scientific.... predictably."

    Was mine, in your view, the only comment with political rather than scientific intent? What about, for example, TJ's comment it was in response to. It would be helpful if you could carify the rules for what counts as being a politically rather than scientifically motivated comment.

  • Comment number 57.

    scott_east_anglia . I totally agree with you. Nigel Lawson came on TV and said she wanted to cook the books to shut down the coal mines and gave money if scientists would give evidence to proof the fact. The Carbon Trust needs shutting down, before it causes any more damage.

  • Comment number 58.

    Re 33: "S-B only applies to an isolated body in a vacuum."

    Funny that no source on S-B mentions such an important fact.

    Nor is there any mention of emissivity of a material depending on adjacent gases.

  • Comment number 59.

    "The recent warming, as expressed in the Nature Climate paper by Jesper et al (2012), is no more anomalous than any of the other sharp rises( and indeed drops) of temperature shown over the two millenia indicated."

    Jesper et al shows no warming in the past 30 years. Isn't that a problem because we know the world has warmed in the last 30 years?

    It is not necessarily a contradiction because Jesper et al is a reconstruction for a single region in northern europe which I believe has not warmed as much as other regions in the past 30 years.

  • Comment number 60.

    Very good radio program with regards to scepticism (and uncertainty) in science - a good general introduction for the layman and well worth 30 minutes of your time…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kkp5v

    No mention of 'climate change' and all the better for it.

  • Comment number 61.

    Just a few weeks ago we were bombarded with tales of woe about the drought, global warming obviously the culprit - a short while later and its the bogey man global warming again being blamed, but this time for exactly the opposite, too much of the wet stuff

    They cant lose can they

  • Comment number 62.

    #61. - openside50 wrote:
    "They cant lose can they"
    Of course, "they" will say that the models predicted that "climate change" would produce periods of droughts and periods of flooding.
    Of course they were on to a good bet, since that is the way it has always been and probably always will be.
    Strangely enough, we don't normally get "normal" rainfall every year, month and/or day.

  • Comment number 63.

    #56 OPatrick

    TJ's original question was:
    "Is this now a pre-requist for scientific discovery?"

    Your response throughout the thread is then indicating that there is a pre-requisit for a theory to have a model, why, because AGW theory relies on them?

    You then make a statement that is more a matter of fact than anything else that you have said:

    'Think for a moment what the reaction would be if the situation were reversed. What would have been said had someone written "the problem with the theory of anthropogenic climate change is that no-one understands the precise mechanisms as to how it could lead to warming of the atmosphere and until we do, it can't be expressed mathematically and so can't be modelled using computers"?'

    Would of been said, it is being said, as the shortcomings of the AR4 models are becoming more and more apparent.

    The view that AGW theory with models is good science and some sort of standard where as theories contra to the AGW theory should have to fall in line with this post modernistic approach or be trashed is pure doctrine.

    The very fact that AGW theory is rapidly being seen as a complete crock and the methodology of defining the required outcome and then matching the theory to it, on a regularly changing basis, is being widely expressed.

    QV's previous statement is already being quoted on other bloggs:

    "A simple question, does that make the models or the weather wrong?"

    and is equally pertinent to the climate. The models backing up the theory are not fit for purpose because the input variables to produce the scenarios are not understood in enough detail and are even ignored if they contradict the theory.

    Believe it or not the world has moved passed the science is settled debate and more studies are now coming through to better define forcings from various climate fields.
    Throwing your arms up in the air and screaming that they don't have models is not science it's politics and defining that is common sense.

  • Comment number 64.

    59---The graph does include regional instrumental data at least to 2006 which shows recent warming. This is not any more remarkable or anomalous looking than the reconstructed/inferred temperature rises in the Roman or MWP.

  • Comment number 65.

    #63. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "QV's previous statement is already being quoted on other bloggs:"

    Really - where?
    I *must* lower my profile.

  • Comment number 66.

    Re 64:
    doesn't look like it to me. Look at the black line on the reconstruction, it's flat after 1950. All the warming happens between 1900 and 1950 and it's flat after that.
    http://www.realclimate.org/images/N-Scan.jpg

  • Comment number 67.

    QV

    Bishop Hill a few days back.

  • Comment number 68.

    66---As far as I can see the black line terminates at the 2000 gradation on the horizontal axis and just before this termination there is a shallow rise.

  • Comment number 69.

    #63 ukpahonta
    ""Is this now a pre-requist for scientific discovery?"

    Your response throughout the thread is then indicating that there is a pre-requisit for a theory to have a model"

    No, I'm not indicating that. I am saying that if a theory is so lacking in detail about the physical mechanisms involved that it is not possible to express it mathematically and to model it then it is very far from being considered a scientific discovery. The pre-requisite is for an understanding of the physical mechanisms involved to a sufficient level that they could be investigated, not for the actual modelling - although inevitably that process of investigation will involve some element of modelling.

    I have not said anything about the accuracy of that model or its ability to reproduce real-world observations - that is the next stage along the line.

    It is nonsensical to say that the mechanisms of anthropogenic climate change cannot be expressed in a model when there is interminable discussion about the accuracy of those very models. What you perhaps mean is that, in your opinion, these models are not accurate, but that is a very different thing from saying that no-one understands what the mechanisms could be such that they could be modelled.

  • Comment number 70.

    #67. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "Bishop Hill a few days back."
    Thanks, I don't read that assiduously.

  • Comment number 71.

    UKMO HadSST2 figures for May and June have now been updated.
    Whoever was responsible is probably back off his/her holidays.
    The global anomaly for June was 0.351c, compared to 0.339c in May.
    The N.H. anomaly for June was 0.400c, compared to 0.352c in May.
    The S.H. anomaly for June was 0.302c, compared to 0.327c in May.
    So the SST figures would suggest a slight rise in the global and N.H. and a slight fall in the S.H. HadCRUT3 figures, ignoring air temperatures over land.
    The actual predicted HadCRUT£ figures, based on the years 2000-2011 are as follows:
    Global = 0.400c +/- 0.09c
    N.H. = 0.496c +/- 0.11c
    S.H. = 0.318 +/- 0.08c
    Not really very helpful, since these figures suggest falls in both hemispheres, so I suspect that the land temperatures will bump up the N.H. and global figures to the top end of the estimates.

  • Comment number 72.

    To thesnowman#60

    Yes I heard the programme : as you say - no mention of climate change.

    I don't know - what is the BBC coming to? Time was you could rely on them to have a completely biased agenda.

    I'm going to write in and complain.

  • Comment number 73.

    #72. - jkiller56 wrote:
    "Yes I heard the programme : as you say - no mention of climate change."
    I haven't heard the programme yet myself, but I find it hard to believe.
    I bet there is an implied reference in there somewhere!

  • Comment number 74.

    QV#73

    Well, I couldn't see any implied reference - but I am sure you will!

    Another stat. about this utterly unremarkable summer/spring- summer/past year or so - no doubt you will have heard.

    Apparently Edinburgh has recorded less than two hours of sunshine so far this month - a bit below par I would say for December. Oh, but I keep forgetting - it's July of course.

  • Comment number 75.

    @74

    "Apparently Edinburgh has recorded less than two hours of sunshine so far this month "

    Ouch! That is going to leave a dent in the Scottish Solar ROI.

  • Comment number 76.

    75 In Scotland, any sin, including sunny weather and fornication, can be forgiven, as long as you don't enjoy it

  • Comment number 77.

    To OPatrick & ukpahonta

    I do apologize for causing any misunderstandings over my comment - 'prerequisite for scientific discovery'. This was specifically based on the use of the term 'computer' models.

    Of course we need some sort of model (concept, idea or whatever) and it can be as simple as an apple dropping to the ground. We can then apply our simplistic measurements to that model which enables us to capitalize on its function. It tells us nothing about what it is and after centuries of science we are no nearer to understanding. In fact we just come up with more questions.

    Computers and mathematics are great at digital, linear and stable type process. They do not have the capacity to take us into new discoveries of lateral, organic and chaotic type processes to understand the world in which we live in.

    As humans we only have a given number of senses. These are all we have to survive in the unknown world around us. To use wisdom is to understand that we do not understand and then make best use of the knowledge we acquire.

  • Comment number 78.

    Particularly for quake, but others might be interested, i have made developments in understanding of IR emission from the earth's surface and its absorption in the lower atmosphere. It's far more subtle than I even imagined a few days ago' The discussion is here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/12/some-progress-on-the-skeptic-vs-denier-ugliness/

    To summarise, for >~200 ppmV, CO2 at ambient temperature in 'self-absorption mode'. The fluence in its specific IR bands from the Earth's surface increases emissivity towards the earth's surface because it reduces self-absorption by reducing the number of unexcited molecules.

    That means more Prevost Exchange Energy in those bands reaching the Earth's surface, dynamically reducing its emissivity in those bands and shifting emission elsewhere in the spectrum, more in the atmospheric window.

    The other issue is that there can be little if any direct thermalisation so it's mostly indirect. These two processes combine to keep GHG warming at a near constant level.

    Now quake, this is a master Class in advanced radiation physics which you can't get anywhere else except from very good physicists like Freeman Dyson or Richard Feynmann. Go to your climate modeller mates and tell them they are hopelessly naive and until they get someone to do the proper analysis, they are wasting our taxes.

  • Comment number 79.

    #77 TJ

    No need to appologise, there is never a bad question, but you can get bad answers.

  • Comment number 80.

    78. turnedoutnice:

    Why do I get the feeling that you've been getting ideas from a blog comment poster called 'mydogsgotnonose' (among other things), who's been making similar incomprehensible and grandiose claims on sites such as WUWT and Delingpole's for as long as I've been reading them.

    In the past I've debated with him about the greenhouse effect, which he initially claimed doesn't exist; then outward radiation of IR at the top of the atmosphere, because previously he claimed that all earth's heat left the atmosphere by convection.

    Only today he's claiming to have discovered yet another a "game changer" over the course of the past 48 hrs. He keeps saying that he's going to publish his theories in the peer reviewed literature, but appears, as yet, to have had no takers. I've recommended that he try 'Energy & Environment'.

  • Comment number 81.

    A word for Hudson's readers, dwrice is we believe paid to disrupt and post warmist propaganda. He's apparently miffed that we have got to the basic physics, predicted by Miskolczi, also partly by Ramanathan and Kiehl, which shows the GHE self-regulates.

    The inference is that there can be NO CO2-AGW because as the Earth emerges from an ice age, the CO2 concentration passes the self-absorption level, ~200 ppm in 1 Atm dry air, at which it's thermal emission is restricted.

    As that level is passed, IR in the 4 and 14 micron bands from the Earth's surface switches that emission window ON in the direction of the surface. Extra 'Prevost Exchange' switches OFF the 4 and 14 micron IR emission from the Earth's surface.

    Conclusion: the GHE effect is set to a constant level defined mainly by the water vapour content in the atmosphere. CO2-AGW is zero. Other GHGs are also self restricting. The warmists are hopping mad because this physics has been completely missed by climate science operating loony 'climate models' which can't predict climate.

    Next question - will Hadley get its new computer? I doubt it because their basic physics is teenage level and wrong.

    The past 15 years of static temperatures has been because the natural warming process, mainly high solar activity leading to low cloud area, stabilised.

    The earth is now cooling as proved by the shift of the jet streams towards the equator, also the air temperature data: http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c015434d1a804970c-pi

  • Comment number 82.

    Recent weather events all fall within natural variation.
    On a recent trip to the fiords of Norway we saw many of the famous water falls in full flow. This is very unusual according to the Norwegians since the snows should have long since melted before this July visit. So:-
    1). Last winter had exceptional snow fall, or,
    2). It is cooler now than what has become considered normal, or,
    3). Both.
    It was certainly wet and cold. Thank goodness for a warm ship.

  • Comment number 83.

    One thing I notice from the HadSST2 map, is that much of the area of the gulf-stream, on the western end, appears to have been below "normal" in June.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst2/
    I don't know how this compares with other recent months, as I don't normally pay much attention to that map.
    Has anyone noticed how long his has been the case?

  • Comment number 84.

    Re 78: "It's far more subtle than I even imagined a few days ago"

    I recommend you publish your groundbreaking claims to have overturned modern physics to physics journals rather than publishing them on a BBC blog...

    I for one do not buy your claims for a second. You'll have to convince physicists first. Once your claims are in textbooks then I'll accept them. I sure I am far from alone.

  • Comment number 85.

    Re 83: "I don't know how this compares with other recent months, as I don't normally pay much attention to that map.
    Has anyone noticed how long his has been the case?"

    There's a good archive site of SST anomaly maps here http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/sst/anomaly.html

  • Comment number 86.

    Hi Quake: as you appear to think 'back radiation' is real, you imagine you know far more than you really do about basic physics.

    Claes Jonhson and I have independently come up with the radiation physics Planck did not develop and the Prevost Exchange/self absorption argument is the logical deduction.

    Trouble is, the quality of physics' teaching in the UK is very poor now.

  • Comment number 87.

    83. QV

    Watch it developing:-

    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom_loop.gif

    Also the following worth a daily look:-

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif

  • Comment number 88.

    Reading through an old physics book I came across the following :
    "Clouds obstruct the passage of radiation of all wavelengths, both to and from the earth. the sun's radiation is almost entirely reflected back to space from the top of the cloud, while the whole spectrum of the earth's long-wave radiation is absorbed and re-radiated, much of it downwards towards the earth again. The cloud layer acts as a thermostat;for if the temperature of the earth's surface rises, increased evaporation gives increased cloud, which cuts off more of the sun's radiation;and similarly if the temperature falls, less of the sun's radiation is reflected owing to diminished cloud"

    This of course is pretty obvious but it strike me that we are doing much navel gazing into the trivial levels of CO2 without concentrating on the big picture. Is it because we haven't got a record of cloud cover to correlate with global temperatures (whichever version is used for guessing the "true" temperature) and cannot therefore predict the effects?

  • Comment number 89.

    #85. - quake wrote:
    "There's a good archive site of SST anomaly maps here "
    Thanks for the link, which is useful.
    It looks like the g.s. has been relatively cold since May but there appears to have been something similar last year, so I don't know how unusual it is.
    I have to keep reminding myelf that this is relative to the "normal" temp., presumably at the same time of year, so it must be "abnormal", by definition.

  • Comment number 90.

    #87. - greensand wrote:
    "Watch it developing:-"
    Thanks, the moving pattern is informative.
    Again, the temps are relative to normal, so presumaby the g.s. is still warmer than the surrounding ocean, but it's difficult to tell from thes anomalies.

  • Comment number 91.

    #77 - TJ:
    "Computers and mathematics are great at digital, linear and stable type process. They do not have the capacity to take us into new discoveries of lateral, organic and chaotic type processes to understand the world in which we live in."

    This is an interesting area of discussion. Are there examples of what would generally be accepted to be scientific discoveries which cannot be modelled mathematically? Mathematics is often said to be the language of science, so in a sense such discoveries would seem to be oxymoronic.

  • Comment number 92.

    @90 QV

    "Again, the temps are relative to normal"

    Point taken QV, try this one, not as definitive of the g.s. which is in itself very interesting:-

    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_loop.gif

  • Comment number 93.

    As I have said before I am very non-PC, but for those that have an "interest" in PC:-

    "Willis on why Piers Corbyn claims such a high success rate"

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/15/willis-on-why-piers-corbyn-claims-such-a-high-success-rate/

  • Comment number 94.

    #92. - greensand wrote:
    "Point taken QV, try this one, not as definitive of the g.s. which is in itself very interesting:-"
    Thanks again.
    My comment wasn't intended as a criticism, I am grateful to you for providing the links.

  • Comment number 95.

    Now here is a conspiracy theory (or maybe not). The US (amongst others) have developed a weather control system called HAARP. After the political flak following hurricane Katrina, questions were asked if this technology had any part to play in the disaster or why it was not used to deflect it. There are sources who believe this system has been in play ever since, deflecting the jet stream from the US Western Seaboard..... across the Atlantic .. to the UK? HAARP exists, there is no doubt about that, but is it plausible it is being used?

  • Comment number 96.

    #74. - jkiller56 wrote:
    "Well, I couldn't see any implied reference - but I am sure you will!"
    I have now had a chance to listen to the programme and I agree that reference to "climate change" was conspicuous by it's absence. So much so that in itself, that makes me suspicious. Why a programme about scepticism in science which doesn't mention "climate change", when that is the topic of science with which sceptism is currently most associated? It is like the proverbial "elephant in the room".
    This leads me to the conclusion that the whole programme was about sceptism in "climate change", without actually saying so. After all, the title of the programme is "Reclaiming the Sceptic", reclaiming the sceptic from whom? I think the following quote from near the end of the programme gives the game away:
    "However, there are those who, as Tim Williamson described, abuse scepticism, to push ideology, ignoring facts they don't like and exaggerating those that fit in with their particular viewpoints. It seems that not all scepticism is equal. We need to reclaim the true role of the organised sceptic." I think we all know who he is talking about.
    One thing I did think was interesting was the reference to the "manipulation" of scientific research in relation to new medicines. Surely if it is the case that in the case of something as important as medicine, some research is "put in a drawer" and ignored, it is not impossible that the same may tbe true in the case of climate research. The problem with the output of models which predict "climate change", is that we don't know how many there were which didn't and whch have therefore been "put in a drawer".

  • Comment number 97.

    @94. QV

    "My comment wasn't intended as a criticism"

    Rest assured it was not received as such!

    As well as being 70% of the surface, oceans are our physical heat sink, if we gain understanding of the oceans we may just start to understand the climate.

  • Comment number 98.

    #95. - regalize wrote:
    "There are sources who believe this system has been in play ever since, deflecting the jet stream from the US Western Seaboard..... across the Atlantic .. to the UK? HAARP exists, there is no doubt about that, but is it plausible it is being used?"

    No!

  • Comment number 99.

    @98. QV

    There you go again QV, sitting on the fence!

  • Comment number 100.

    QV - that was a very definitive negative! Who else can I blame? I remember rumours after Chernobyl that the Russians (who also have collaborated in HAARP) used this technology to deflect the fallout southwards - and even today there are parts of the north-east UK which is still prohibitive for sheep grazing owing to the contaminated pastures. Climate change has certainly provide an 'ambient' temperature (if thats the right word) to our islands. Apart from two weeks of winter and five days of summer in March, we are unlikely to see extreme temperatures again. No real seasons as such. On the other hand, miserable summer weather is not unknown to us - look at the possible reason for the spread of the plague in the 14TH Century - no climate changes then - or was there?

 

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