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Friday, March 7, 2014

Around the traps: GWPF and global warming, BEST daily temperatures and an El Niño watch

Sou | 5:15 AM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment

Some blog articles worth reading.

Ed Hawkins (and others) on a GWPF article on climate sensitivity

First Ed Hawkins has written about some article Nic Lewis and Marcel Crok wrote for the GWPF.  Actually it was two articles reports, a short version with 44 pages cover to cover and a long version with 72 pages cover to cover.  Ed makes the point that not before time is the GWPF acknowledging that we are heading to dangerous warming of more than two degrees by the end of the century if we keep burning fossil fuels at the rate we are.  The other points he makes are about why Nic Lewis is probably erring on the low side in his estimate of climate sensitivity.

Greg Laden has also written a good article on the topic of the Lewis and Crok article, which you can read here.  Bob Ward took down Nic Lewis' recent testimony to a UK parliamentary committee (along with that of other deniers).

I can't really add anything to what these people have written, except to say that Judith Curry wrote a foreword to Nic and Marcel's articles, with effusive praise for Nic and Marcel and slightly more muted "appreciation" for the GWPF.  Plus maybe a hint that they asked her to find a publisher, which she couldn't manage to do.
While writing this Foreword, I considered the very few options available for publishing a report such as this paper by Lewis and Crok. I am appreciative of the GWPF for publishing and publicizing this report. Public accountability of governmental and intergovernmental climate science and policy analysis is enhanced by independent assessments of their conclusions and arguments.

Victor Venema on the daily temperature dataset from BEST

The other article I'll point you to is by Victor Venema.  He's saying "Be careful with the new daily temperature dataset from Berkeley".  And continues:
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project now also provides daily temperature data. On the one hand this is an important improvement, that we now have a global dataset with homogenized daily data. On the other hand, there was a reason that climatologists did not publish a global daily dataset yet. Homogenization of daily data is difficult and the data provided by Berkeley is likely better than analyzing raw data, but still insufficient for robust conclusions about changes in extreme weather and weather variability.

It's worth a read - Victor is a specialist in climate temperature data.

RealClimate has an article by Zeke Hausfather and Robert Rohde, two of the BEST team members behind the new data set.

Jeff Masters on El Niño watch

You read it here at HotWhopper first of course :)  Then NOAA announced it.  Jeff Masters has now written about it too. There may be an El Niño on its way later this year.

Jeff points to this earlier article by Michael Ventrice at that is worth reading. (I wrote something about ENSO here some weeks ago, which has more links to the subject,)

Update: Webb Roberts ‏(@webbr) pointed me to another article about this from Kim Cobb's Lab at Georgia Tech, suggesting it could provide a rare opportunity for scientific study and learning more about ENSO, if resources can be put together in time.


  1. Thanks for the recommendation, Sou!

    The document of Nic Lewis and Marcel Crok is probably more accurately referred to as a report than an article.

  2. Interesting that Judith Curry wrote the introduction to the report. She is now formally involved with projects hosted by the GWPF (UK) and De Groene Rekenkamer (NL) - both essentially denialist organisations. Affiliation-watchers should also note that a certain R. Tol is on the academic advisory boards of both these lobby groups.

  3. Matt McGrath at suggests that the report at least acknowledges increased CO2 has an effect on climate and temperature. If a subsequent El Niño gives a boost to temperature they will hardly be able to walk back their position...

    1. David Sanger

      I have suspected for a long time that "sceptics" will respond to an EN by saying that *it* is the sole cause of the transient warming spike. Nothing to to with AGW etc. After all, they have never admitted that the Big One in 97/98 was amplified by anthropogenic forcing pushing OHC up.

    2. nor that the effects of La Niña or el Nada have been ameliorated by the background warming.

  4. BBD - Trenberth says OHC went down as a result of the 97-98 El Nino.

    1. That's right. The oceans get warmer - more so because of global warming. The Pacific loses some of that extra heat via El Nino. The heat transfers to the surface and the air and land, which is why we get a spike in surface temperature with an El Nino.

      "In El Niño, trade winds are weaker. The Walker Circulation weakens and can even reverse in an intense El Nino. The sea surface temperature in the east is warmer than before (the thermocline drops and there is more warmer water in the mixed surface layer) and to the west it's cooler. The warmer water spreads right out over a much larger area of the ocean and the surface temperature of earth gets hotter (more heat is transferred from the ocean to the air).

      El Niño is also known as the discharge phase of ENSO, where the heat accumulated in the west of the Pacific is discharged to the air and, in the ocean, it is moved away from the equator toward the poles."

    2. I don't know. If you look at the back-to-back El Nino events starting in 2002 and ending in 2005, a hottest year on some series, OHC pretty much goes up through all of it. So I suspect it takes a powerful El Nino to actually dig a hole in OHC.

      That's why I think the 2002 - 2005 El Nino events are the ones that created the big ramp up in SAT that has not dissipated since. The SAT increase after 97-98 dropped like a rock.

    3. I see what you're getting at. The heat loss in El Nino is only from the equatorial Pacific so it does take a decent loss to be discernible in the ocean as a whole, probably more so because heat continues to build up in the oceans as a whole (various parts of them) with AGW.

      The 97 El Nino was a whopper :)

    4. JCH

      Yes, I know, and I'm sure he's correct. Where else could the energy have come from that heated the troposphere in 1998 and gave us that record spike in GAT?

      You sound like you favour Kyle Swanson's post-1998 EN radiative disequilibrium hypothesis?

      But SAT (GAT?) "dropped like a rock" after the 1998 EN? Like Swanson, I see something of a step change *up* in GAT from 2000.

    5. JCH

      Largely ignore the above. I hadn't read your comment properly:

      The SAT increase after 97-98 dropped like a rock.

      Rate of SAT increase. I see now.

  5. Hi Sou

    I've been having "interesting" discussions at Warwick Hughes blog re: the potential upcoming El Nino.

    The latest subsurface temperature anomalies across the equatorial Pacific are pretty startling - I understand they are the largest since the 1997 El Nino event. The anomlies are travelling upwards along the thermocline - so they will broach the surface - given that anomalous westerly winds continue across the equator. This graphic is pretty startling: (you might want to archive it for the future)

    Also the latest ensemble model guidance is suggesting NINO 3.4 will rocket upwards over coming months:



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