This post contains three addenda to the next post; additional/further explorations that I feel have more of a tangential than a fundamental bearing on the main argument laid out there, still, I would say, providing some definite extra depth, scope and context to it. The figure numbering here will simply carry over from the main post (ending with number 31.), and all figures referred to in the text or captions below (but not in direct quotes) numbered somewhere between 1. and 31. will be from that post, unless otherwise noted.
The three addenda are:
I – A net flux composite
II – What do the models say?
III – ASR and cloud albedo
First the SW (that’s measured reflected SW at the top of the atmosphere (ToA), basically an expression of Earth’s albedo). TSI (incoming sunlight) at the ToA minus reflected SW (albedo) at the ToA equals the ASR (“absorbed solar radiation”) at the ToA, the actual radiant HEAT (net SW) transferred from the Sun to the Earth system as a whole:
(ERBS Ed3 + CERES EBAF Ed2.8 vs. ISCCP FD; tropics, 1985-2004 (20 years).)
More than fifteen months ago I wrote the post “What of the Pause?”, where I tried to analyse the state of the global climate with a special focus on the interesting developments following the 2011/12 La Niña. I have also later discussed that particular time period here.
I have earlier pointed out the close connection between the SSTa in that central-eastern part of the narrow Pacific equatorial zone called “NINO3.4” and “global” SSTa over decadal time frames, how the former consistently seems to lead the latter in a tightknit relationship, firmly constraining the progression of global mean anomalies through time – flat (though with much noise) as long as the NINO3.4 signal remains strong enough to override (and/or control) all other regional signals around the globe, which most of the time it does.
I have then proceeded to show how “global warming” (or “global cooling”) only appears to come about at times when the influence of this tight relationship on the global climate is somehow offset by surface processes elsewhere, meaning outside the NINO3.4 region. This obviously doesn’t happen too often, because it would take a very powerful and persistent process to disrupt and even break the sturdy grip of the NINO3.4 region on the leash with which it controls the generally flat progression of global mean temps over time.
In fact, from 1970 to 2013 it evidently only happened three times. Which means that within these three instances of abrupt extra-NINO surface heat is contained the entire “global warming” between those years. Before, between and after, global temp anomalies obediently follow NINO3.4 in a generally (though pretty noisy) horizontal direction; no intervening gradual upward (or downward) divergence whatsoever.
With the year 2015 completed, I felt an update of this NINO3.4-global SSTa relationship was in order. Is there evidence of a new step as of late …?
My answer to this can only be: ‘It is still too early to tell.’ But interesting things have happened – and are indeed still happening – over the last two to three years, since about mid 2013:
Global SSTa has really been ratcheting up now for a while. At the moment, the strong ongoing El Niño is doing most of the work, but there is no question that even this has been provided with a significantly elevated baseline from which to soar, a raised mean level seemingly establishing itself already years before the current El Niño started moving.
Well, it just so happens that this new level is higher than the old one by quite exactly 0.1 K. How can one tell?
Like this …
We noted and discussed already a year ago how the global lower troposphere has yet to respond to the conspicuous and mostly extratropical accumulation of surface heat in the NE Pacific basin starting in mid 2013.
Under the working hypothesis that this abnormal and persistent NE Pacific surface heat phenomenon (often simply nicknamed “The Blob”) is responsible for the entire 0.1K lift in the mean level of global SSTa since 2013, and positing that the lower troposphere has not yet responded to it, hence giving rise to the distinct divergence seen over the last couple of years between the “gl SSTa” and “tlt” curves, we lower the former en bloc by 0.1K from July 2013 onwards (yellow vertical line in Fig.1) and superimpose it on the latter: Continue reading
In IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of last year, they stated the following:
“It is extremely likely [95 percent confidence] more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.”
‘More than half.’ That sounds like a pretty conservative guess. Well, they end up going further than that. Much further.
What caused global warming over the last 60 years or so, according to the IPCC? Apparently, human ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions alone (100%):
“The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period … The observed warming since 1951 can be attributed to the different natural and anthropogenic drivers and their contributions can now be quantified. Greenhouse gases contributed a global mean surface warming likely to be in the range of 0.5°C to 1.3 °C over the period 1951−2010, with the contributions from other anthropogenic forcings, including the cooling effect of aerosols, likely to be in the range of −0.6°C to 0.1°C.”
That should be a net range of anthropogenic ‘contributions’ to the general global temperature rise between 1951 and 2010 of 0.6 to 0.7°C.
So, then, what did not contribute at all (0%) to that same general warming, according to the IPCC? Apparently, natural external factors like solar activity, and natural internal factors like ocean cycles:
“The contribution from natural forcings is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C, and from internal variability is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C.”
That should make up a total natural contribution to the general global temperature rise between 1951 and 2010 of exactly 0°C. Continue reading
”The main tool used in this study is correlation and regression analysis that, through least squares fitting, tends to emphasize the larger events. This seems appropriate as it is in those events that the signal is clearly larger than the noise. Moreover, the method properly weights each event (unlike many composite analyses). Although it is possible to use regression to eliminate the linear portion of the global mean temperature signal associated with ENSO, the processes that contribute regionally to the global mean differ considerably, and the linear approach likely leaves an ENSO residual. We have shown here that 0.06 °C of the warming from 1950 to 1998 can be accounted for by the increased El Niño phase of ENSO. The lag of global mean temperatures behind N3.4 is 3 months, somewhat less than found in previous studies. In part, this probably relates mostly to the key ENSO index used, as the evolution of ENSO means that greater or lesser lags arise for alternative indices that also vary across the 1976/1977 climate shift.”
From Trenberth et al. 2002: “Evolution of El Niño-Southern Oscillation and global atmospheric surface temperatures.”
I want you to bear this quote in mind – especially the highlighted part – throughout this post. Because what we will do in the following, is to address and track Trenberth’s ‘ENSO residual’, the result of ENSO-related oceanic/atmospheric processes operating and contributing regionally to global mean temps outside the ‘key ENSO index’ region in the equatorial East Pacific (the NINO3.4), and that evidently (according to the data) differ considerably in their effects (contributions) from some ENSO events to others. This extra-NINO part of the ENSO process is what caused ‘global warming’ since 1980. That’s not a claim. It’s an observation. It’s right there in the freely accessible real-world data. For all to see.
If one simply cares to have a look … And knows what to look for. Continue reading