ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Shift in the Drift–

Last post I talked about my yearning to see the Russian records of how the sea-ice drifted, in the cases of their 41 Arctic Ocean Bases, going all the way back to  1937, (as well as the 14 Barneo floating tourist-traps for the ober-wealthy, since 2002.).  Unfortunately such information is in some ways “top secret”, (in terms of industrial espionage, if not military). Because of this hidden record-keeping some shifts in the flow of sea-ice are described as “unprecedented” when in fact they have been seen before. The Russians themselves described two general flows of the sea-ice, translated as “circular” and “wash out”, yet the more political side of NOAA made a big deal of a change in the flow during the very-low-sea-ice year of 2012:

If that shift-in-the-drift was a sure sign of Global Warming, as certain Alarmists suggested when the above video was published in 2012, then surely the shift-in-the-drift away from that pattern to what we see now must refute Global Warming. Except it doesn’t. Alarmists either have very short attention spans, or have such overpowering confirmation-bias they’re blinded, or perhaps both.

The current drift is shown by the movement of the Polarstern and MOSAiC expedition, and is quite like the movement of Nansen’s ship “Fram” 130 years  earlier. (Blue line is the Fram after it was lodged in sea-ice).

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/Nansen_Fram_Map.png/350px-Nansen_Fram_Map.png

This similarity is a little embarrassing for Alarmists, (especially when NOAA was stating currents had dramatically changed, only eight years ago). Fortunately for Alarmists, the Polarstern is moving much faster than the Fram did, and likely will cross a similar distance in perhaps only a third of the time it took the Fram. This can be used to suggest that the sea-ice is more “rotten” and that there is less of it, which may well be the case. (Although it may also be that the Polarstern is in the middle of the Transpolar Drift, while the Fram was closer to the Eurasian coast and may have been slowed by a counter-current which runs close to the coast.)

I tend to look about for other reasons the sea-ice may have been thicker in Nansen’s time. One thing that many have noticed is that the sun was “quieter” back then, if you look over the previous five decades. Nansen sailed the Fram at the end of sunspot cycle 13.

The very high sunspot totals (and low number of “spotless” days) of cycles 18 through 23 represent a time our Sun was quite energetic and pouring extra heat on the planet. Though we are now returning to quiet conditions, the arctic is currently still cooling from the warmer times which are called “The Modern Maximum”.  In Nansen’s day, however, the arctic was warming. In fact the high totals of “spotless days” before Nansen sailed are likely not as impressive as they look in the above graph, when you compare the above upward blip with the greater Dalton Minimum which preceded it, and the Dalton was preceded by the Maunder Minimum which is even more impressive. As measured by Carbon 14 in tree rings,  the energy of the “Modern Maximum” is especially impressive. (The graph below ends with the year 1950.)

I can’t help but wonder if Nansen and the Fram were sailing in an Arctic Ocean which “remembered” far colder times, whereas the MOSAiC scientists and the Polarstern are sailing in an Arctic Ocean which “remembers” warmer times, though those warmer times are now over.

Therefore I have a confirmation bias all my own. I am keeping a sharp look-out for changes which shift away from the lower ice-extents of the present to the higher extents of the past. For there can be little doubt the sun has gone quiet.

(Above from Joseph D’Leo’s blog on the Weatherbell Site.)

As my confirmation-bias looks for increases in sea-ice I often see the exact opposite of what I expect, because my thinking is too simplistic. Some of the ways the planet responds to a “quieter” sun are not what you would expect, and are counter-intuitive. Here are two I’ve mentioned in past posts:

First, you’d think less energy from the sun would make air colder and therefore drier, but instead the air gets warmer and moister, because the surface of the sea is warmer and more moisture evaporates. How can this be? I think this occurs because less energy from the sun also makes the winds less, and without strong Trade Winds the very cold waters can’t up-well along west-facing coasts as surface waters are blown off-shore. Therefore the first response to a “quiet” sun would be warmer seas (and El Ninos) and moister, milder air.  And Indeed the El Ninos have been strong and the La Ninos a bit feeble recently, and to this day the planet looks above normal at the equator.

https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2020/anomnight.4.20.2020.gif

However such warmth draws upon the bank account of the past, robbing from Peter to pay Paul, and there are indications that, in the Pacific, it is superficial, and is currently being eroded away from below:

Only when the cold water reaches the surface and a La Nina occurs is my bias confirmed.

Second, one would think a “quiet” sun would immediately create more sea-ice in the Arctic Sea, but in terms of an important component it creates less.

The captains of icebreakers in the arctic keep a sharp lookout for “biggy bergs”, which are different from sea-ice of the same size and thickness. When an icebreaker nudges against typical sea-ice seven feet thick the sea-ice is a conglomerate, made of a multitude of thinner slabs, and the bow of the icebreaker finds it easy to break apart the many smaller slabs. However when a seven feet thick section of ice has broken from a glacier, it is rock solid, and the icebreaker gets quite a jar, meeting a “biggie berg”, even if the icebreaker doesn’t sink like the Titanic.

What is interesting about “biggy bergs” is that they are more common when the arctic is warming, and are few and far between when the arctic is cooling. And every Alarmist knows why: Warming causes glaciers to calve more. When times get colder the glaciers stop calving, and extend out to sea more, in some cases becoming shelves of ice.

During the “Modern Maximum” some of the big shelves created by the “Maunder Minimum” broke off, creating handy platforms for the spy-vs-spy bases of Americans (for example “Fletcher’s Ice Island”) and Russians  (for example the basement of their base “NP 22”, which was occupied more than eight years.) However, besides these large “ice islands”, which are few and far between, there are a great many “biggy bergs” deposited into the arctic ocean from glaciers that face north, and whose calving ice is not swept south in Baffin Bay or south along the east coast of Greenland, and instead bobs about in the Arctic Ocean along with more ordinary, conglomerated sea-ice, which is formed yearly by winter cold.

To me it seems “biggy bergs” must have an influence on both “volume” and “extent” of sea-ice, and it seems counter intuitive to me that the colder it gets the less they are seen (because north-facing glaciers cease calving them as it gets colder).

There is a third counter-intuitive thing happening I haven’t yet been able to put my finger on. All I know is that once again my confirmation bias has been sat backwards onto its butt. It has to do with how fast the Polarstern has been progressing across the Pole, and what this means in terms of Svalbard. With so much sea-ice rushing towards Fram Strait, by April 1 sea-ice surrounded Svalbard to levels I’ve never before seen.

https://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20200401.png

The build up of sea-ice around Svalbard is a little embarrassing for Alarmists, for a few years ago the situation was reversed, and south winds had pushed the sea-ice north of Svalbard even on its eastern side, which is relatively rare, and which Alarmists took to be a sign of Global Warming (and the doom of cute baby polar bears).  Now the sea-ice has returned with a vengeance, as have the highly adaptable bears (though hopefully the bears feel no vengeance).

Alarmists likely want to look away from Svalbard, but actually should take heart, for the “second lowest sea-ice extent evah”, in 2007, was achieved largely because a great deal of sea-ice was flushed south through Fram Stait. (Sea-ice south of Fram Strait is doomed to melt in southern waters).

(The site “Polar Bear Science” has a good post on the recent high sea-ice Svalbard situation here:)

Highest Svalbard sea ice since 1988 with Bear Island in the south surrounded

The problem with comparing the situation now with 2007 is that…well…it isn’t the same. That is what is troubling me, and I can’t quite put my finger upon.

Some things are similar: For example 2007 was also close to the minimum of a sunspot cycle, however 2007 was coming off a high maximum while we are now coming off one of the lowest maximums in the past 200 years. Also 2007 was at the heart of the “warm” AMO, while there are indicators suggesting we are now at the very end of the “warm” AMO.  Lastly, while Alarmists like to show decreasing sea-ice by starting their charts in the high sea-ice year of 1979, even their charts show things bottomed out around 2006-2007, and there has even been a slight rise, if you begin the “trend line” at that time rather than at 1979. For example, here is graph for extents in the month of March.

March 2020 average graph 1979-2020 NSIDC

You can’t help but notice the extent is now higher than 2006.

However what was most puzzling to me on April 1 was the sea-ice to the west of Svalbard. That should make any sea-ice geek quirk an eyebrow, for that area is nearly always free of sea-ice. That is where the Fram popped out into open water after crossing the Pole, 1893-1896, and that is where Willem Barentsz “discovered” Svalbard (Vikings likely were there earlier) in 1596. The water is usually open there because a northernmost tendril of the Gulf Stream, the West Spitsbergen Current, bounces off the coast of Norway and heads a little west of due north, entering the Arctic Sea on the east side of Fram Strait.  This current usually has a very impressive ability to melt sea-ice.  I have witnessed strong west winds push large masses of sea-ice across Fram Strait, and seen (in satellite photos) the entire mass of ice shrink and vanish in a few days. But this year hasn’t seen that. What the heck?

My guess is that the WSC (that is what we true geeks call the West Spitsbergen Current) has been cooled this year by the powerful storms we (last winter) saw not stall by Iceland (as is more ordinary) but remain huge into Barents Sea and even the Kara Sea. When such “Icelandic Lows” stay by Iceland, surges of mild air are brought north, sometimes all the way from the balmy Azores, on the storm’s east side. But, when the storms are displaced east, as they were this year, the same waters get north winds on the gale’s west side. This year we saw the waters that hold the WSC blasted by north winds gusting to hurricane force, with waves up to forty feet tall. Not only would this churn and chill the WSC, but it would physically transport the water at the very surface of the current in the wrong direction.

This moves us into an interesting topic, if you are a true geek, involving a sort of water budget.  It must be balanced. The water entering the Pole must be balanced by by water leaving the Pole. The WSC entering the Pole is more than matched by, on the far side of Fram Strait, the very cold EGC (East Greenland Current). More water leaves the Pole by sea than enters by sea, for evaporation is low due to sea-ice and cold temperatures, and much extra water enters via some of the world’s biggest rivers, as well as glaciers.

What is most fascinating is the fact various currents often (but not always) keep their identity as they travel around under the sea-ice. Water from the south tends to be saltier, but is made less salty as it melts sea-ice, yet can still be identified as a separate current.  Some currents dive beneath other currents, because the buoyancy of a current is determined by its salinity and its temperature, which are always changing. When waters are quiet, undisturbed by storms under ice, they can stratify into various layers, with each layer part of an identifiable current. Therefore the WSC, after passing through Fram Strait, forks into the Yerkmak and Svalbard branches, which can be traced all the way around the Pole until they exit as the RAC (Return Atlantic Current) which heads south in the middle of Fram Strait between the Colder and less salty  EGC heading south to the west and the milder and saltier WSC heading north to the east.

To make things either more interesting or more annoying, (depending on your temperament), is that, when you return the following year, things may have changed. For example, the WSC may have three other branches (perhaps more) besides the Yermak and Svalbard branches, but they are not seen every year.

In my humble opinion the study of such currents, and the way they change, is very important. Why? Because they set up certain areas of sea-surface-temperatures (such as the “warm blob” in the Pacific) which have been seen to have a major influence on the route taken by atmospheric jet-streams, which can determine things such as which-crops-are-wisest-to-plant-where.

One such change is the shift in the AMO from “warm” to “cold”, which we know little about because the last time it occurred satellites had barely been invented. It involves some major shifts-in-the-drifts which we will in many ways be seeing for the first time (by satellite, at least). The scant records we have from the past indicate the changes are major. For example, the prime fishing grounds for herring can shift hundreds of miles.

The above newspaper article from 1922 describes how swift and dramatic the change from a “cold” to “warm” AMO was around Svalbard, however it took more than a decade for the warming to start reaching the Russian coast and making the Northeast Passage more passable. (It was fortunate the sea-ice was still low when Hilter invaded Russia, for the British learned it was suicide to attempt to send Russia supplies via the arctic routes during the broad daylight of summer, and despite Stalin’s objections the British only dared do it in the darkness of arctic winter. Had sea-ice been more formidable then supplying Russia might have failed and Hitler might have succeeded.) But, to return to my point,  I assume the change back from “warm” to “cold” might also be swift and dramatic, and might also be first seen around Svalbard.

One major element of the shift-in-the-drift involves a simple fact: Cold water sinks. When the EGC brings cold water south along the east coast of Greenland it stays at the surface because the shallow continental shelf keeps it from sinking, and also to some degree by the fact less saline water is more bouyant than more-saline water, even if it is colder. However down around the latitude of Iceland the bottom falls, and so does much of the EGC.  In a manner that makes niagra falls look like a trickle, humongous amounts of cold water plunge to the ocean’s abyss, and seemingly such cold loses all ability to influence the surface.  But does it?

Allow me to subject you to a simple thought-experiment. Imagine a large box of water is plunged downwards. What will this do to waters at the surface, and what will this do to the waters beneath?

At the surface it is obvious that waters must rush in to replace the water that sinks. But what determines whether it will be warm water rushing up from the south, or cold water rushing down from the north?  History hints both have happened, and that what determines the flows of waters is as varied as what determines the flows of air on a surface weather map. But, on occasions when the flow of waters is increased from the north, the EGC transports south cold water that refuses to sink, called sea-ice. This sea-ice at the surface can change the temperature of sea-surface water hundreds of miles further to the south, changing air temperatures and the weather of lands downwind, and also causing more waters to chill and sink.

Beneath the sinking cold waters is the abyss, which we know little about. However we do know water can’t compress, and when water presses down from above the water beneath must move to make room. Some of this movement is explained by deep sea currents. However such currents are very slow, nor do they vary much. When a charge of bitter cold arctic air causes much more cold water to sink, the deep sea currents don’t speed up, (as far as I know, at this time.)  Therefore things are not adding up. When water presses down from above room must be made for it, but where is the room made?

Two ideas have occurred to me. One idea is that room is made by bulging the thermocline upwards, but this bulge would become a sort of wave moving away through the thermocline like the ripple from a splash, an undersea phenomenon which as far as I know is undocumented, but which, if it did exist, would have some effect when the wave hit a distant coast. A second idea is that, just as when you push a brake pedal an immediate effect is seen in rear brakes far from the actual pedal, when cold waters sink south of Fram Strait, an immediate up-welling effect might be seen in some place far away, because water can’t be compressed. I am well aware this second idea is outlandish, but is it as outlandish as this: (?)

Patient, hard-working scientists have mapped the slow currents of the abyss, and to some degree have mapped the undersea rivers which connect where waters sink and where up-welling brings deep waters back up. Yet none of these rivers ends at the biggest up-welling, off the coast of Peru, which is part and parcel of the switch from El Nino to La Nina.

Thermohaline circulation - Energy Education

Only recently have maps started to include a branch of the thermohaline circulation past the coast of Peru, but this shows a warm surface current and not the cold up-welling so vital to the creation of La Nina’s (and to the fisheries of Peru.)

https://i0.wp.com/blogs.evergreen.edu/seachange/files/2013/05/AlyssaConveyor2.jpg

 

The generally accepted idea is that the up-welling off the coast of Peru is caused by strong offshore Trade Winds blowing from South America westward into the Pacific. These winds blow the warm surface water towards Australia, which causes cold, nutrient-filled waters to be drawn up from the depths to replace the displaced surface water.  The problem with the idea is that the up-welling has a degree of independence from the wind. At times the up-welling can even occur before the increase in the Trade Winds, in which case the colder water appears to be causing the increase as much as the increase causing the colder waters. This has two effects. First, it makes El Ninos and La Ninas notoriously hard to forecast, and second, it allows madmen like myself to suggest that pushing water down in Fram Strait can cause water to up-well off the coast of Peru.

In any case the shift-in-the-drift off the coast of Peru has major repercussions, in terms of the world’s weather, just as the shift-in-the-drift in the North Atlantic associated with the switch of the AMO from “warm” to “cold” has major repercussions, in terms of the world’s weather. Such major repercussions are interconnected in ways we do not yet understand. Inquiring minds want to know. Scientists state “further study is needed”, holding out a cupped palm for money.

In my opinion the late Bill Gray’s desire for funding to better understand thermohaline circulation was intuitive genius, while Al Gore’s petty prevention of such funding was the initial travesty which has seen Global Warming politics befoul science. Money which could have been wisely used to further our understanding has been redirected to political hacks. Things important to study have been neglected to study the incidental. Not that I have anything against the study of polar bears, but bears can’t determine which crops to plant in Kansas, while the shift-in-the-drift can.

In order to redirect funding in unproductive ways, politicians always seem to need to invent a crisis, whether it be acid rain, or ozone holes, or global warming, or a corona virus pandemic. The problem is that when you are too unproductive you wind up broke.

End Rant.

In any case it will be interesting to watch the sea-ice in the North Atlantic as the winter gales die down and the quieter summer weather arrives. For five years now the two long-term measuring points of the Norwegan Current, which feeds into Barents Sea, have been noting a decline in water temperatures:

Sea-ice extent is within two standard deviations from normal, and high for recent years, though still low.

DMI 200424 osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

Both the Kara and Laptev Seas have seen a lot of sea-ice exported north into the Central Arctic this winter, and thin baby-ice now skims them, so I expect a fair amount of Alarmist hoop-la to occur when they become ice-free this summer. This may be reflected in a plunge in the extent graph, as they melt. However the hoopla may then die down as the extent graph flattens, as other parts of the Arctic Ocean see sea-ice more stubborn. If the PDO remains in its “cold” phase it will be especially interesting to see if sea-ice remains stubborn north of Bering Strait.

The “volume” graph is currently very low for this time of year, likely due to the thin ice in the Laptev and Kara Seas, and also due to an incapacity inherent in measuring the volume of pressure ridges, which are numerous in the Central Arctic due to all the sea-ice transported north from the Kara and Laptev Seas. I expect the “volume” graphs to become more normal later in the summer, when pressure ridges tend to crumble and spread out, and be included more easily in the totals.

The MOSAiC expedition is now experiencing 24 hour daylight, and I am enjoying the pictures I crave, which have been sorely missed since the camera-buoys stopped being funded. The scientists are enjoying the one part of the world without corona virus, and witnessing first hand how very dynamic the sea-ice is. A large lead snapped the cables powering one of their remote station, forcing them to operate at a reduced capacity with generators for around three weeks until they were able to lay a new cable.

MOSAiC lead Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC(1)

Other leads have opened and crushed shut again, forming pressure ridges.

MOSAiC Pressure ridge 4-20 Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC(2)

MOSAiC Pressure Ridge 4-16 Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC

Some of the things they are studying are fascinating, such as the biology under the ice. Other studies seem based on the Global Warming narrative, and make me want to roll my eyes. (I will bite my tongue, regarding measuring the nearly non-existant amounts of nitrous oxide exuded by the Arctic Ocean.) (Of course, data is data, and when I was young I would have counted the number of leaves on a tree, if it let me avoid getting a Real Job.)

What really interests me is the shift-in-the-drift, but things do get more tranquil in the summer, and the currents slow down. (The WSC north through Fram Strait nearly halts at times.) While the Polarstern had been making steady progress towards Fram Strait, it recently experienced a bit of “wrong way” drift.

MOSAIC wrong way Screenshot_2020-04-23 MOSAiC(3)

 

This expedition is experiencing some interesting resupply problems they are not talking about, due to the rest of the world going crazy due to the Corona Virus. If they dawdle too much, getting down to Fram Strait, their story could get interesting.

Stay tuned.

RIP Dr. Bill Gray

“They’ve been brainwashing us for 20 years,” Gray says. “Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming.This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we’ll look back and see what a hoax this was.”  Dr. Bill Gray, as quoted in Denver Post, June 5, 2006. 

http://www.denverpost.com/harsanyi/ci_3899807

Bill Gray 1 gray-thumb

In 2006 Dr. Gray was a strapping young man of 76, but when he spoke of “15 to 20 years” he was speaking of a day he knew he’d be lucky to live long enough to see, as he would need to live to an age of 91 to 96. When he died this April 16th he was only 86, however it wasn’t because he was unlucky.  He was blessed with a thing called “integrity”, which sometimes is a thing you can feel it is unlucky to have, when the corrupted get mad at you for refusing to be corrupted. However we all must die, and on that day we may be asked to account for our actions, and be faced with our honesty, or our lack of it.

Dr. Gray likely was seen by Beltway Insiders as naive, for he had the belief that honesty was an American trait. When he was young children were told that George Washington, when questioned by his father, confessed,  “Father, I cannot tell a lie. I did chop down your cherry tree with my little hatchet.” Nowadays Beltway Insiders laugh at this fable, but scientists understand the Truth behind it, (if not other fables).

If there is any Truth involved in the theory of Global Warming, it is hidden under the shame of what amounts to a grotesque fraud perpetuated upon the trusting. Why? Because, for the sake of sleazy political concepts that treat Truth like a second class citizen,  (such as “might makes right” and “the ends justify the means”), good scientists like Dr. Gray saw their funding cut, as scurrilous knaves landed prestigious positions.

It must have been with a sense of shock, and mystery, that Dr. Gray saw the funding cease and the awards stop. How could it be wrong to tell the truth? But, in the so called “slyness” of power politics, the Truth is stood upside down. Dr. Gray was “out” for being honest, while Dr. James Hansen made a career of wasting millions “adjusting” the actual temperatures taken by reputable citizens and instead creating fudged data, and also by alarming people in 1986 by suggesting “science” would “prove” New York City would be flooded by now, and Earth might become as hot as Venus. As years past his absurd science became a joke, and he increasingly became a sort of cartoon, often equated with Homer Simpson.

H H 1 magesH H 2 roy-spencer-homer-simpson-climate-scientist

Bill Gray will be vindicated, as it increasingly becomes obvious that some of the characters held up as paragons of modern science were but paid shills. Mann’s “hockey sticky” has been exposed as a farce based on the rings of a lone tree. The sea-ice “Death Spiral” of Serreze suffers yearly embarrassments. Cook’s “97 per cent of all scientists agree” has been exposed as mangled data that can’t even prove “97 of all shills agree”, so that anyone who quotes it, (even the president of the United States),  looks like a complete imbecile if they refers to “97%” as an actual fact. And last but not least, (as he held the power that could cut Bill Gray’s funding), Al Gore and his movie “Inconvenient Truth” has been exposed as being far from science, and very close to being the most cynical of propaganda.

Although Bill Gray will be vindicated, I think it is a bit of a drag to be vindicated after you are dead. I wish he could have lived to be a hundred, so he could see the shills get what they deserve. However perhaps it is best he be spared that. For, when the shills get what they have earned, and reap what they sow, it will include much of the USA, for “power politics” have put fools in control. Many innocent bystanders will be swept up in the ruinous fall of a fraud, and I wouldn’t have wanted Dr. Gray to suffer even a stray shard of shrapnel.

What I most admire is how resilient his spirit proved to be, after he discovered he was politically ostracized. Surely he must have gone through some sullen moods and some black nights, and in fact he had every reason to drown his sorrows and become a bitter, ruined man. He did not do so, though some say there were times his temper flared.

Dr. Bill Gray was my age, 63, when his funding was cut by Al Gore in 1993. I can’t imagine what it feels like, after a lifetime of hard work, and on the verge of great research,  to have the culmination be to be relegated to the back rooms of hurricane research. However perhaps Al Gore would have wished even worse to befall the good man, but Dr. Gray was too brilliant to completely trash. His hurricane research was superb.

The fact Al Gore could make this mistake makes me strangely ashamed of my generation. All the talk of Peace and Love and Understanding, and all the hoopla about caring for the environment, was perverted into cruelty, by the Tolkien “ring of power.” (Perhaps I was lucky to never gain power, and always be excommunicated, like Dr. Gray.)

But Dr. Gray did one thing that really makes him shine. He never completely dissolved into rage and frustration, but trained up a new generation of scientists to love Truth more than politics. Right to the end he was a mentor.

Dr Gray 2 grayklotzbach_2014

I doubt that, at 63, I have the 23 years left to live that Dr. Gray had. I’m not sure I’d like it, in a world as corrupted as ours has become. However, even if I only have a year left, I hope to follow Dr. Gray’s footsteps, and be the sort of man who inspires hope rather than cynicism, and encourages belief in Truth rather than reliance on corruption.

Once I was that pert student, eager to please:
That annoying one nodding as teachers spoke,
But that time’s warmth felt drafts of deep freeze
And I came to regard such pupils as a joke.

I then slouched by the window. My hope
Was in clouds. Teachers clashed Venetian blinds
Closed, and called me “class clown” and “the dope”,
But they couldn’t sell the poisoning of minds.

The blinds had imperfections. I still saw
A slice of sky, and clouds, and hope, and then
A teacher noticed, walked over…to my awe
He opened the window, and spoke man to men,

“Blinds hide the clouds. To hide is to lie.
Truth loves the air, and the vast views of sky.”

Rest in Peace, Dr. Bill Gray.

WHY CLIMATE MODELS FAIL —A very important point by Dr. Bill Gray

I think this is an  important point which the political Alarmists have actively avoided facing, even to the degree where Gore and Hansen took steps to make certain Bill Gray didn’t get funding in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.

What they tended to say was, “Stick to hurricanes, Bill.”  What they were implying was that Bill Gray knew nothing about the entirety of the Climate System, and only knew about the microcosm of hurricanes.

In actual fact the study of hurricanes involves studying the interactions between the lower and upper regions of the troposphere, because amazing updrafts are involved. Therefore Dr. Gray should have been listened to. As it was the models included an “upper troposphere hot spot” in the future, which has never been observed.  If they had listened to Dr. Gray they might have avoided this embarrassment.

What the models do is to include a positive feedback where they should have included a negative feedback. They assumed all the updrafts would pump moisture to the top of the atmosphere, and create clouds which would prevent further heat from escaping, and make the world warmer.

In fact the exact opposite occurs. In the upper atmosphere the pressure is so low the air can hardly hold any moisture, and rains it all out. (The wisps falling from high cirrus is an example.) This makes the upper air extremely dry, and when such air descends to make way for the next thunderstorm’s updraft, this extremely dry air evaporates the clouds at lower levels, which allows more heat to escape.  In effect, rather than a “hot spot” you get a open window allowing more heat to escape.

Or that is my understanding. Dr. Gray does a better job of explaining, so it is likely best you read it for yourself:

This is for your general information.
 
I am appalled that scientific objectivity has been so blatantly disregarded by our government and the world’s environmentalists who would use erroneous climate model results to justify their faulty AGW pronouncement which are injurious to humanity.
 
Gray’s View on AGW. We AGW skeptics need to be able to offer two basic plausible physical explanations in order to negate the AGW hypothesis.
 
1. Why projected CO2 increases over the next 50-100 years will only be able to bring about very small amounts (0.2-0.4°C) of global mean temperature rise.
 
2. Why there is natural climate change unrelated to CO2 variations? We need a believable physical explanation for the global climate changes over the last few thousand years (Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, etc.) and in particular the apparent quite modest global warming of the last century. We also need an explanation of the shorter time-scale multi-decadal global warming periods (1910-1940, 1975-1999) and of the global cooling or neutral periods (1880-1910, 1940-1974, and 1999-2015).
 
Explanation #1 can be understood as a result of CO2 increases causing more global precipitation and associated increase in the globe’s deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convective clouds. These CO2 induced precipitation increases bring about upper tropospheric drying which allows more infrared (IR) flux to space – a negative water-vapor feedback. This extra rainfall enhances surface evaporation cooling which acts to balance out most of the expected global warming resulting from CO2’s increasing blockage of IR to space (3.7 Wm-2 for a CO2 doubling). This prevents CO2 increases from bringing about any significant global warming. Only minimal warming (0.2-0.4°C) is going to occur with a doubling of CO2. The main effect of CO2 increases will be an enhancement of global average precipitation of about 3 percent. This enhanced global rainfall will occur in regions where it is already raining and should be hardly noticed.
 
Explanation #2 can be explained by the multi-decadal and multi-century variations in the globe’s deep ocean circulations (or Meridional Overturning Circulation – MOC) which are primarily driven by space and time variations of oceanic salinity. Salinity changes occur in ocean areas where there are long period differences in surface evaporation minus precipitation. This is especially the situation of the Atlantic where ocean evaporation is 10-20 percent greater than precipitation. Salinity driven ocean changes bring about alterations in the strength of the Atlantic Ocean Thermohaline Circulation (THC), and through Pacific basin upwelling response variations to variation in the Pacific multi-decadal oscillation (PDO) as well. There is also salinity driven ocean subsidence around the Antarctic continent. All these factors influence the strength of the MOC.
 
Most of the globe’s last century weak global warming has, in my view, been a consequence of a modest slowdown of the global oceans MOC. This last century long MOC slowdown is also detected in an associated weak increase (in milliseconds) in the earth’s rate of rotation.
 
Lack of Ability of Other Suggested Non-ocean Climate Change Mechanisms to Rival or be Superior to Coming CO2 Influences. The many other non-ocean proposed physical ideas for climate change (where orbital parameters do not play a role) such as
 
1. Solar variability
2. Sun-spot changes
3. Cosmic ray variability
4. Aerosol changes
5. Human land use changes
6. Volcanic activity
 
may each play a minor role in some aspects of the globe’s climate alteration. But the individual physical influence of each of these suggested mechanisms is too small to be used as a dominant physical argument against the CO2 change hypothesis.
 
None of the above proposed climate change mechanisms well match the observed past changes in global temperature. In addition, the magnitude of potential energy change from these above non-ocean physical mechanisms does not have the power to come close to producing the climate changes which the variations of the deep ocean circulations are capable of bringing about.
 
We AGW skeptics who have proposed non-ocean climate change mechanisms as an alternate to CO2 induced climate changes will continue to have difficulty in rebutting the CO2 advocates. These alternate physical hypothesizes do not have enough supporting observational evidence to allow any one of them or a combination of them to be judged to be more dominant than the changes which future CO2 increases will be able to bring about.
 
We critics of the AGW CO2 warming hypothesis need a more dominant alternate physical hypothesis which is stronger and which better conforms in time with the global observations. Changes in the ocean’s deep circulation currents appears to be, by far, the best physical explanation for the observed global surface temperature changes (see Gray 2009, 2011, 2012, 2012). It seems ridiculous to me for both the AGW advocates and us skeptics to so closely monitor current weather and short-time climate change as indication of CO2’s influence on our climate. This assumes that the much more dominant natural climate changes that have always occurred are no longer in operation or have relevance.
 
Cumulus Convection Influences. Most cumulus convection is organized in meso-scale cloud clusters containing 10 to 20 individual Cb convective elements which are typically concentrated in areas of 200-500 km wide. The individual deep Cb convective cells within these cloud-cluster systems are often arranged in lines and new convective elements are continuously being formed and dissipated. Each new Cb convective element goes through a typical lifecycles of an hour or so. The strong downdrafts from the late stages of these dying Cb elements typically contribute to the low-level mass forcing needed for the initiating of other new adjacent Cb clouds. This is why multiple Cb clouds tend to cluster together.
 
Cb clouds penetrate well into the middle and upper troposphere. The excess mass within the weakening upper-level Cb elements diverge and spread out as cirrus clouds. This higher level extra mass and cirrus cloudiness then begins to undergo sinking so as to make space and satisfy mass balance for the new emerging upper tropospheric Cb penetrating elements.
 
Subsidence Drying. Cumulonimbus updraft elements have very high rainfall efficiency as they weaken and die in the very cold upper troposphere. The very cold air at these upper tropospheric levels can hold (even at saturation) very little water-vapor (only about 1% of the low-level moisture content by mass and 0.1 of 1% by volume) compared to the middle and lower tropospheric moisture contents. This very low water-vapor content air from the upper Cb outflow then sinks, evaporates its cloud particles, and arrives at lower levels where the saturated water-vapor contents are much higher. The original upper-level dry air then mixes with the lower level air. This mixture of air at the lower level becomes drier than the air at this level was before any of the upper-level air mixed into it.
 
A saturated air parcel from a dying Cb cloud which sinks from the 200 mb (12 km height) level to the lower pressure height of 300 mb (10 km ht.) will arrive at this lower-level with a RH of only 10-12 percent of the lower level air. These unusually large upper-level subsidence drying amounts are a consequence of the very large gradient of saturated vapor pressure in the upper troposphere. Vertical gradients of saturated vapor pressure at middle and lower tropospheric levels are, percentage wise, much smaller.
 
An increase in global deep convective (Cb) activity as a result of CO2 increases will thus bring drying (not moistening) to the upper troposphere, just the opposite of the climate models projections. This upper tropospheric drying acts to lower the infrared (IR) radiation emission level (EL) to a lower height and a warmer temperature where larger amounts of IR energy (σT4) are able to be fluxed to space. Increases in net global Cb convective activity results in higher amounts of IR energy being fluxed to space, not lower amounts as all the climate modelers and their fellow AGW advocates believe.
 
Our extensive analysis of the ISCCP data well shows the degree to which the broad upper-level sinking air from the global rain areas have had their RH reduced when an enhancement of the global rainfall rate (and accompanied increase in Cb convection) occurs. Please see the attached short write-up “Crux of AGWs Flawed Science” for more detailed discussion and clarifying figures and tables.
 
How Global Temperature Will Change as CO2 Increases. The rise of CO2 gas occurs very slowly. By contrast, the troposphere’s hydrologic cycle and its energy dissipation cycle operate on a time-scale of only around 10 days. Any CO2radiational induced warming will be quickly felt by the earth’s surface and will immediately act to enhance surface evaporation. The more surface evaporation, the less the surface will warm.
 
A doubling of CO2 gas in the atmosphere will cause an alteration of our global climate but not in the same way as envisioned by the climate modelers or by the majority of scientists studying this topic. Most researchers concentrate only on the direct radiation influences which CO2 increases bring about. They tend not to consider the other related feedback mechanisms which will be simultaneously activated as CO2 amounts increase. The increased global evaporation from CO2 increase will extract energy from the earth’s surface and enhance surface cooling. This will act to reduce the pure radiation assumed 1°C warming through both enhanced IR energy flux to space and enhanced surface evaporation. The more evaporation from a doubling of CO2 will act to further reduce the 1°C direct radiation only temperature response. As the CO2’s induced speed-up of the globe’s hydrologic cycle continues the cooling influences of the enhanced surface evaporation-precipitation will greatly suppress any pure radiation assumed rise of 1°C. Doubling CO2 will thus be able to bring about only a quite modest global warming. The main influence of a doubling of CO2 will be to increase average global precipitation.
 
Basic Flaw of the AGW Hypothesis. It is the climate models parameterization schemes for cumulus convection (particularly the deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convection) which are grossly unrealistic and which completely negates the global modeler’s projections of 2-5°C warming for a doubling of CO2. This does not mean that the globe won’t be measurably influenced from CO2 doubling. But this CO2 influence will occur primarily as an enhancement of the global hydrologic cycle (precipitation) and only minimally from a rise in global surface temperature.
 
The AGW hypothesis that warming from increased CO2 will enhance global rainfall is correct. But the assumption that this added rainfall and added tropospheric condensation warming will greatly increase upper tropospheric temperature and water-vapor (through the assumption of constancy of relative humidity) is not at all valid. The opposite occurs. Increased deep Cb convection causes dryness to the upper troposphere. The climate modeler’s large increase in upper tropospheric water-vapor and temperature from added CO2 does not agree with the physics of how real-world deep Cb convection functions. And the additional positive feedback doubling of the upper troposphere warming and moistening which they add to the direct CO2 radiation blockage is completely bogus. This additional feedback assumption greatly increases the divergence of their model simulations from reality.
 
Summary. The global climate modelers assumed that CO2 enhanced global rainfall will bring about large upper-tropospheric water-vapor and temperature increases. These upper-level water-vapor increases are then projected to bring about even larger temperature increases and additional water-vapor (positive water-vapor feedback) amounts which add twice as much additional blockage of infrared (IR) energy to space than the initial influence of the CO2 blockage alone. Such large water-vapor and temperature increases are not at all realistic. This is the Achilles-heel of the whole AGW theory.
 
Comment. None of the global climate modelers or other AGW advocates seem to know that the globe’s deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convection processes act, not to increase upper level water-vapor, but in an opposite sense to reduce the globe’s upper tropospheric water-vapor content. The global climate modelers live in a very isolated Ivory Tower world. Their positive water-vapor feedback schemes in their doubling of CO2 simulations shows that they know next to nothing about how the atmosphere’s cumulus convective and moisture processes really function.
 
Gray Research Project. I and my Colorado State University (CSU) research project have a long background in studying cumulus convection, and particularly deep and intense cumulonimbus (Cb) convection of the tropics associated with meso-scale rain systems and tropical cyclones. We have published a lot of material on this subject over many years. These convective studies appear to provide crucial background information fundamental to establishing the invalidity of the AGW hypothesis. My CSU project’s over 50 years of tropical meteorology research has, by necessity, had to make the study of cumulus cloud convection a priority item for the understanding of tropical circulations and tropical cyclones. Our information has been gained from my project’s extensive involvement in many field experiments and from rawinsonde compositing activities over many years and recently through extensive analysis of ISCCP and NOAA Reanalysis data. To my knowledge, none of the AGW proponents have ever referred to any of my project’s many published papers and project reports.
 
Any scientist having advanced and detailed knowledge and working level experience of the globe’s deep cumulus convection process can completely negate the scientific validity of the AGW hypothesis. This could have been done decades ago if there had been an open and honest debate and further research on how changes in cumulus convective dynamics are related to CO2 increase. This greatly needed open and objective debate on cumulus convection process began and was taking place during the late 1960s and 1970s. But these studies were discontinued during the 1980s-1990s when the global models began to show useful results which the politicians, environmentalists, and the world government advocates could use to back up their desired AGW hypothesis. They did not want any further tampering with the models and the earlier momentum build-up for cumulus-moist process research did not go forward. The AGW advocates needed to utilize the unrealistic CO2 doubling climate model warming results as a scare mechanism to advance their agendas. And the CO2 global climate modeling community was quite happy to provide this justification and be well rewarded for their efforts.
Please see the attached paper “Crux of AGW’s Flawed Science” for full background discussion with figures and tables.
 
 
Best regards,
Bill Gray
 
 
Here is Grays paper on the Meridional Overturning Circulation ( MOC)
 
Personally, I think we will be hard pressed to “double” the CO2 content of the atmosphere.  Burning enormous amounts of coal over the past 200 years has only raised it 80 parts per million,, to 400 parts per million, and we would have to raise CO2 levels a further 250 parts per million to “double” the CO2 content.  Likely we would be far past “peak oil”, and economic pressures would have stimulated the development of safer nuclear power, before “doubling” could occur.
Even of one assumes the “doubling” could actually happen, then, (if Dr. Gray is correct, and this “doubling” will only raise world temperatures a half degree at most), we are talking about a rise which may not be as great as the rise that led to the Medieval Warm Period.  Such a small rise would likely be a benefit, especially to northern lands, and very well might delay the start of the next ice age. Furthermore the growth of many plants would be stimulated by greater levels of CO2. Besides benefits there would also be liabilities, (there always are), however the liabilities would be nothing like the end-of-the-world scenarios portrayed by Alarmists.