Judith Curry boasted that she started a talk to American Physical Society Meeting in Denver with these words (archived here):
For the past 15+ years, there has been no increase in global average surface temperature
So she started off in her usual form, minus any uncertainty. She then goes on to promote Marcia Wyatt's stadium wave, saying:
The stadium wave hypothesis provides a plausible explanation for the hiatus in warming and helps explain why climate models did not predict this hiatus. Further, the new hypothesis suggests how long the hiatus might last.
Judith didn't write her full talk, but she put up some different options under a heading: "implications for the future":
Implications for the future: I. IPCC AR5 view
The hiatus will end soon, with the next El Nino
Implications for the future: II. View emphasizing natural internal variability
- The ‘hiatus’ will continue at least another decade
- Climate models are too sensitive to external forcing
- Hiatus persistence beyond 20 years would support a firm declaration of problems with the climate models
- Incorrect accounting for natural internal variability implies:
- —Biased attribution of 20th century warming
- —Climate models are not useful on decadal time scales
You can read her article here. It seems to be a mix of mainstream science and fringe science (pattern seeking), such as: Climate shifts hypothesis: synchronized chaos framework for natural internal variability (shift ca. 2001) as well as her protégé's stadium wave hypothesis.
Anyway, what do you reckon. Is anyone up for a prediction? Will Judith's "hiatus" end sooner rather than later or will global surface temperatures continue to shuffle upwards very slowly for the next two decades? Can she sustain her "stadium wave" theory longer than this one that went for 15 minutes? You'll probably recall that back when she introduced the stadium wave to her readers Judith wrote:
“The stadium wave signal predicts that the current pause in global warming could extend into the 2030s,” Wyatt said, the paper’s lead author.Now Judith has dropped back to maybe 2024, reducing it to only "at least another decade".
I'm game. I don't think Marcia Wyatt's stadium wave will last another three years. For one thing, it predicts that:
sea ice will recover from its recent minimum, first in the West Eurasian Arctic, followed by recovery in the Siberian Arctic,” Wyatt said. “Hence, the sea ice minimum observed in 2012, followed by an increase of sea ice in 2013, is suggestive of consistency with the timing of evolution of the stadium-wave signal
So the stadium wave hypothesis will need to be heavily revised if either or both:
- global surface temperatures continue to rise in the coming few years
- Arctic sea ice continues to disappear more each summer.
The next El Niño
Then there's El Niño. I'm aware that ENSO predictions at this time of the year are fraught because, as BoM states on p3 of its latest ENSO report:
The predictability of El Niño or La Niña conditions for the period extending through and beyond autumn is lower than for forecasts made at other times of the year (known as “the autumn predictability barrier”). Long-range model outlooks should be used cautiously at this time.Nevertheless, this is the first time in months there has been a POAMA chart like this one, which has been updated since the latest ENSO report on 24 February:
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
Jeff Masters at Wunderground.com recently wrote:
Two Pacific tropical storms form, boosting the odds of an El NiñoThe atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the Equatorial Pacific are ripe for an El Niño event to develop this spring or summer. As detailed in a guest blog post by WSI's Dr. Michael Ventrice on February 21, all that is needed to trigger an El Niño this spring or summer are strong and persistent bursts of westerly winds in the Equatorial Pacific to help push warm water from the Western Pacific Warm Pool eastwards towards South America. Two tropical storms capable of doing just that formed in the Pacific on Friday, boosting the odds that we will see an El Niño event this spring or summer.
Climate change in Denver
I'd also be curious as to how Judith's Denver audience reacted to her talk. Colorado has been beseiged recently. Last year alone there were dreadful wildfires followed by the "biblical" flood. Anyway, here are just four bits and pieces about how people in Denver and Colorado more generally are coping with and/or preparing for climate change. There is lots more where these came from.
- Denver Water is performing the planning needed to adapt to potential water impacts from climate change...Still, there are a wide range of climate-change predictions for Colorado, which makes future water-supply planning difficult.
- From AMWA: A simplified climate change scenario shows Denver’s [water] supply could be quite vulnerable to warming: a 2 to 5 degree Fahrenheit (1.1 - 2.8 degrees Celsius) increase in temperature could cause a 7 to 14% decline in water supply yield.
- The University of Colorado has a climate action plan.
- Chipotle says it could drop guacamole from its menu over climate change - Denver-based chain says it may have no choice.