Extreme Drought to Flood in Georgia: Weather Whiplash Strikes Again

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:57 PM GMT on May 06, 2013

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The remarkable storm that brought record-breaking May snows and cold to the Midwest last week continues to spin over the Southeast U.S. The storm is unleashing flooding rains, bringing a case of "Weather Whiplash" to Georgia: flooding where extreme drought had existed just a few months ago. The storm formed when a loop in the jet stream of extreme amplitude got cut off from the main flow of the jet over the weekend, forming a "cutoff low" that is now slowly spinning down as it drifts east over the Southeast U.S. On Sunday, the storm dumped 3.4" of rain on Atlanta, Georgia--that city's sixth heaviest May calendar day rain storm since record keeping began in 1878. Remarkably, the rains were also able to bring rivers in Central Georgia above flood stage. This portion of the country was in "exceptional drought"--the worst category of drought--at the beginning of 2013.


Figure 1. The record May snowstorm that hit the Midwest U.S. on May 1 - 3, 2013, got cut off from the jet stream and was seen spinning over the Southeast U.S. on Sunday, May 5, in this image from NASA's MODIS instrument. The 3.4" of rain that fell on Atlanta, Georgia on May 5 was that city's sixth heaviest May calendar day rainfall since record keeping began in 1878.

Weather Whiplash
Weather Whiplash--a term originally coined by science writer Andrew Freedman of climatecentral.org to describe extreme shifts between cold and hot weather--is also a excellent phrase we can use to describe some of the rapid transitions between extreme drought and floods seen in recent years. I brought up a remarkable example in mid-April, when a 200-mile stretch of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis reached damaging major flood levels less than four months after near-record low water levels restricted barge traffic, forcing the Army Corp to blast out rocks from the river bottom to enable navigation. As the climate warms, the new normal in coming decades is going to be more and more extreme "Weather Whiplash" drought-flood cycles like we have seen in the Midwest and in Georgia this year. A warmer atmosphere is capable of bringing heavier downpours, since warmer air can hold more water vapor. But you still need a low pressure system to come along and wring that moisture out of the air to get rain. When natural fluctuations in jet stream patterns take storms away from a region, creating a drought, the extra water vapor in the air won't do you any good. There will be no mechanism to lift the moisture, condense it, and generate drought-busting rains. The drought that ensues will be more intense, since temperatures will be hotter and the soil will dry out more.


Figure 2. Weather Whiplash in Georgia, 2013: the center of the state was in exceptional drought as the beginning of the year, but heavy rains in February, March, and April busted the drought. Heavy May rains have now brought flooding. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.

Weather Whiplash in the Southeast U.S. more likely due to an intensification of the Bermuda High
This year's "Weather Whiplash" in Georgia is the second time in the past decade the state has gone from exceptional drought to flood. In September 2007, Atlanta, Georgia was in the midst of a 1-in-100 year drought, and was just weeks away from running out of water. Yet just two years later, the drought had been busted, and a phenomenal 1-in-500 year flood ripped through the city, killing ten and causing $500 million in damage. According to a 2011 study by a Duke University-led team of climate scientists, "Changes to the North Atlantic Subtropical High and Its Role in the Intensification of Summer Rainfall Variability in the Southeastern United States", the frequency of abnormally wet or dry summer weather in the southeastern United States has more than doubled in recent decades, due to an intensification of the Bermuda High. The scientists found that the Bermuda High, which is centered several hundred miles to the east of the Southeast U.S., has grown more intense during summer and has expanded westwards over the past 30 years. Since high pressure systems are areas of sinking air that discourage precipitation, this has made abnormally dry summers more common over the Southeast U.S. However, in summers when the Bermuda High happens to shift to the east, so that high pressure is not over the Southeast U.S., the stronger winds blowing clockwise around the Bermuda High bring an increased flow of very moist subtropical air from the south to the Southeast U.S., increasing the incidence of abnormally wet summers. Thus, the intensification of the Bermuda High has made extreme droughts and extreme floods more likely over the Southeast U.S. Using climate models, the scientists determined that human-caused global warming was likely the main cause of the significant intensification in the Bermuda High. Thus "Weather Whiplash" between drought and flood will probably become increasingly common in the coming decades over the Southeast U.S.


Figure 3. Observed June-July-August departure of precipitation from average over the SE United States for a 60-yr period (mm day−1). Horizontal dashed lines represent 1 standard deviation of the summer rainfall. Note that summer precipitation extremes exceeding one standard deviation have more than doubled during the most recent 30-year period compared to the previous 30-year period. Image credit: Li et al., 2011, Journal of Climate.

New climate change blog at The Guardian
In these days of steadily decreasing media coverage of climate change (and all science, in general), its good to see a fresh new source of good science appear in a major newspaper. The Guardian, a prominent UK news source, has a new blog called Climate Consensus – The 97%. The primary authors are Dana Nuccitelli of SkepticalScience and John Abraham, Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The first post at the new blog is titled “Why is Reuters puzzled by global warming’s acceleration?”

Related Links
Don't miss the summary post on last week's remarkable snow storm by wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, The Phenomenal May Snowstorm of May 1-3, 2013

Extreme Drought to Extreme Flood: Weather Whiplash Hits the Midwest: my April 19, 2013 blog post.

Southeast U.S. drought: another Tropical Storm Alberto needed: my April 2012 post describing how 20% - 50% of all droughts in the Southeast U.S. are broken by tropical storms or hurricanes.

Study: Global warming is driving increased frequency of extreme wet or dry summer weather in southeast, so droughts and deluges are likely to get worse: October 2010 post by Joe Romm at climateprogress.org.

Jeff Masters

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366. Skyepony (Mod)
Fresh ASCAT of the low in the mid-Atlantic.

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Quoting allahgore:


I think wilma in 2005 was the last major to hit the USA.


did Ike get upgraded or no?
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I'm not sure what weather events have been extreme the past few years. Yes, the tornado season of 2011 was certainly extreme, but it was likely due to natural variation given a rather constant wind shear, water vapor, and instability profile across the Mississippi Valley over the past few decades. Yes, there was -- and remains to be -- a large drought across the central United States. However, as NOAA stated in their report last month, it was, again, just natural variation. And yes, we have seen a below-average winter and spring across the United States. While that may be attributed to global warming (increased blocking events across the Arctic, displaced polar vortex, cooler temperature across the USA), it's too early to tell for certain. Other than that, it's not been too bad.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Quoting beell:
LOL. Hide this post after you read it.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
when it comes to global warming/climate change

they know no better

soon an event is to occur
that no amount of denying
will be able to hide
its true cause

all we have to do is wait
cause its not to be much longer


touche
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Quoting Snowlover123:


Given that the rate of warming is significantly slower than the 1990s, to the point where it hasn't warmed at all over the last 15 years, is why sensitivity estimates based off of rapid warming in the 1990s were too high.


Ridiculous.




Decade Average Temp 75% Sized photo DecadeAverageTemp75Size.jpg">

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Also curious as wheather you think we would rapidly decend into another ice age or a water world, assuming Greenland keeps melting. I lean towards ice.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
when it comes to global warming/climate change

they know no better

soon an event is to occur
that no amount of denying
will be able to hide
its true cause

all we have to do is wait
cause its not to be much longer
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting GatorWX:
Is anyone as alarmed as me about the trends in the jetstreams lately? Also, Dr Master's pointed out well to the extreme weather in the southeast, andone can certainly assume this will ony exponentiate itself with a warming climate which is what is causing the changes in the first place. I am beginning to become alarmed, and I am by no means a doomsday person, but I've been following weather very closely really since Charley came through my backyard. It's the large scale changes in weather patterns across the world and the "new" extremes that worry me. Does anyone want to have an intelligent conversation about this whether you agree or not?


New extremes? The Southeast U.S. has not seen a major hurricane in forever and tornado season has been as quiet as it can be...is this more of what the southeast will see in a warming world?
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Off Topic= The defending champions Miami Heat were stunned by Chicago Bulls 93-86 in game 1 of Eastern Conference Semifinal.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13931
Quoting allahgore:




"The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age." — Kenneth Watt


I don't know who Kenneth Watt is but he's as wrong as George Bush about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction.

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Is anyone as alarmed as me about the trends in the jetstreams lately? Also, Dr Master's pointed out well to the extreme weather in the southeast, andone can certainly assume this will ony exponentiate itself with a warming climate which is what is causing the changes in the first place. I am beginning to become alarmed, and I am by no means a doomsday person, but I've been following weather very closely really since Charley came through my backyard. It's the large scale changes in weather patterns across the world and the "new" extremes that worry me. Does anyone want to have an intelligent conversation about this whether you agree or not?
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Quoting Sangria:
Seriously? Can you people take your debate to a different blog?

I realize that Dr. Masters touched on "Weather Whiplash" in his post, in regards to flood - drought, but I don't believe I read a direct comment, referencing climate change/global warming, as a topic......

He did, in fact, broach the topic of a new blog, related to climate change, at the Guardian. Perhaps, that is a good place, for y'all to take this disucussion.



Yeah, I'm tired,this topic is like the tale of cat and mouse...Is like a vicious circle...
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
Quoting hydrus:
være sikker på å fange den største paraplyen hvis du lar.


Ja, det vil jeg.
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I was enjoying this article until it took the inevitable slice into global warming territory...no surprise.

I'm thinking that "global warming" being the answer for every any any weather phenomenon is much like the hucksters that used to go from town to town pedaling various elixirs that would cure any ailment that their prospective customer had. Cold/Warm Spring....global warming. Too much rain/too little rain...global warming. I'm sure that their elixirs were approved with testimonials (peer reviewed) by other hucksters.

BTW...the Guardian has a GW blog...that is a shock. The Guardian makes the NYT look conservative and if Lenin were around to read it, even he would blush.

C'mon Doc. I like your blog a lot more when you just stick to the physics of weather instead of politics.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
It's pouring..... Again

looks like I'll pick up another 1/2" plus or more again today. Models are hinting that north ga and Alabama might continue to see showers till the upcoming weekend rain event.

Anyway time for another rise on creeks rivers lakes and streams.

At least the warmup begins tomorrow.


Record Report

Statement as of 04:50 PM EDT on May 6, 2013

... Record low maximum temperature set at Atlanta...

a record low maximum temperature of 59 degrees was set at Atlanta
today. This breaks the old record of 62 set in 1920.




Tomorrow we get back to 70F


Yep...I saw that statement
And it's raining again, could get another inch of rain
:(
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14870
348. beell
Quoting Barefootontherocks:


LOL. Hide this post after you read it.

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Quoting wxchaser97:

Well, not to be mean or anything, but Dr. Masters did have climate change as a topic in this post.


LOL....I'm not sure whether to "high five" you, or give you a Jethro Gibbs (NCIS/ TV show) smack, on the back of your head!!!

but....just to clarify.... my comment, in regards to that was " I don't believe I read a direct comment, referencing climate change/global warming, as a topic......"

And the "rules of the road" state...... When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


You're starting from a premise that is unfounded though. There aren't any scientific papers I'm aware of that claim the warming we've seen is mostly from natural forcings. Quite the opposite actually.


There are a bunch of papers using observations from the sun and observations from regional, hemispheric, and global temperatures and precipitation that suggest otherwise. If I may name three:

Bhattacharya et al. 2010

The paper examines thoroughly all the past 23 sunspot cycles and the associated 11 hale cycles. It is noticed that
solar cycle 23 had a deep minimum with longest decline phase. When solar cycles 20 to 23 are compared with
solar cycles 1 to 4, the forthcoming Dalton minimum can be expected. The predicted variation of sunspot
number for the present solar cycle 24 is examined at length and it appears that the peak monthly sunspot number
of the solar cycle 24 will be around 80. We have correlated the solar cycle length and peak sunspot number with
a priority to the solar cycle 24. From an elaborate analysis it appears that the most common cycle length is
around 10.5 years, with few cycles in the range 11.5 to 12.5 years. Global temperature depends upon the total
solar irradiance which in turn depends on duration of solar cycle. Also cloud cover directly depends on the solar
irradiance. Our analysis supports that the global temperature is governed by the length of the predicted cycle.


Zhao et al. 2011

Monthly high-resolution land surface precipitation data from 1901 to 2006 associated with sunspot number (SSN)
data is investigated for the relationship between summer precipitation in China and the decadal solar variability. Gen-
erally, on a national scale, precipitation is poorly correlated with SSN. However, in many regions, the long-period (>8
years) variability in summer precipitation is significantly (at >95% confidence level) correlated to SSN. Absolute value
correlation coefficient can exceed 0.48 (at >99% confidence level) in some regions. If only the decadal (9%u201313 years)
precipitation component is considered, the correlation becomes stronger with a maximum (minimum) correlation co-
efficient of 0.73 (%u20130.73) (at >99.9% confidence level). Considering that the decadal component is the most important
factor among precipitation%u2019s low-frequency signals in the high correlation areas (because it explains more than 50% of
the precipitation%u2019s low-frequency variance), it can be concluded that solar variability seems to dominate the long-period
variation of summer precipitation in these areas.


Almleaky et al. 2005

A very good correlation has been found between the annual temperatures and the length of the Solar Cycle (in Jeddah)


Quoting Xyrus2000:



Your claim of "a large number of papers now peg the sensitivity to less than 2C" is also incorrect. Some papers have used a wider range (1.5C to 6.5C). Some try to find the absolute lowest bound (Royer 2007 places the lowest at 1.5C). Some papers have very large error margins (for example, Schwarz 2010 has a sensitivity of 1.9C -1C) but almost every paper has the most likely value being around 3C. The 2007 IPCC report, which represented the aggregation of such results gives the range from 2C to 4.5C with the highest confidence value of around 3C.


Really?



Quoting Xyrus2000:



There also hasn't been a "hiatus" for the last 15 years. Using the strongest El Nino event in the last century as you're starting point isn't scientifically valid. Remove the outliers from the data set (strong El Ninos and La Nina's) and try again. Also, try using the typical 30 year period used for climate analysis. Skeptical science has a decent summary explaining this, as well as a list of papers backing this up.


A portion of the hiatus is probably due to ocean effects. The PDO significantly influences ENSO, so this may ultimately be the work of the PDO that is contributing to the hiatus period.

I get the impression that you believe the science to be settled on the causes of this hiatus period. James Hansen, and Rajendra Pachuari agree that this pause in the warming is legitimate. There are few that claim that the warming trend on the surface datasets hasn't at least stopped temporarily.

One of my favorite articles to show our ignorance of the climate system, has to be all of the conflicting viewpoints by Climate Scientists about what the main cause of this pause in the warming is. I get the impression from your post above that you think the science is settled on what caused the hiatus period. The science is anything but settled, and the vast disagreement on the causes of this hiatus period is strong evidence for this assertion.

Quoting Xyrus2000:




As for cloud negative feedbacks, that idea has been pretty much ruled out.


I really don't think you have a reasonable grasp on uncertainties with Climate Science. There are plenty of papers suggesting a negative cloud feedback. If I may name three:

Caldwell et al. 2012 Differences in EIS and EIS change between GCMs are found to be a good predictor of current-climate MLM cloud amount and future cloud change. CMIP3 GCMs predict a robust increase of 0.5%u20131 K in EIS over the next century, resulting in a 2.3%%u20134.5% increase in MLM cloudiness. If EIS increases are real, subtropical stratocumulus may damp global warming in a way not captured by the GCMs studied.

Cho et al. 2012


%u2022Clouds over the Pacific warm pool have longwave cooling effect for increased SST.

This study investigated variations in outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) in response to changes in sea surface temperature (SST) over the Pacific warm pool area (20{degree sign}N-20{degree sign}S, 130{degree sign}E-170{degree sign}W). OLR values were obtained from recent (January 2008-June 2010) geostationary window channel imagery at hourly resolution, which resolves processes associated with tropical convective clouds. We used linear regression analysis with the domain-averaged OLR and SST anomalies (i.e., %u0394OLR, %u0394SST; deviations from their 90-day moving averages). Results show that the regression slope appears to be significant only with SST least-affected by cloud radiative forcing, for which SST needs to be obtained as daily average over cloud-free regions (%u0394SSTclear). The estimated value of %u0394OLR/%u0394SSTclear is 15.72 W m%u22122 K%u22121, indicating the presence of strong longwave radiation in response to surface warming. This atmospheric cooling effect is found to be primarily associated with reduced areal coverage of clouds (%u221214.4% K%u22121).


Davies and Molloy 2012 Finally, we note that the climate data record of H
anomalies may ultimately indicate a measure of long-term
cloud feedback that may be quite separate from the correlations
discussed above. Ten years is unfortunately too short
a span for any definitive conclusion, as the linear trend in
global cloud height of 44  22 m over the last decade is
partly influenced by the La Ni%uFFFFvent, and may prove
ephemeral. The difference between the first and last year
of the decade, not directly affected by the La Ni%uFFFFvent, is
31  11 m. If sustained, such a decrease would indicate a
significant measure of negative cloud feedback to global
warming, as lower cloud heights reduce the effective altitude
of emission of radiation to space with a corresponding cooling
effect on equilibrium surface temperature.
Given the
precision of the MISR measurements, we look forward to the
extension of this climate data record with great interest.


When you claim that negative Cloud Feedback has been ruled out, that is not a observationally and scientifically accurate claim.
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Quoting Sangria:
Seriously? Can you people take your debate to a different blog?

I realize that Dr. Masters touched on "Weather Whiplash" in his post, in regards to flood - drought, but I don't believe I read a direct comment, referencing climate change/global warming, as a topic......

He did, in fact, broach the topic of a new blog, related to climate change, at the Guardian. Perhaps, that is a good place, for y'all to take this disucussion.


Well, not to be mean or anything, but Dr. Masters did have climate change as a topic in this post.


Oh, and I am definitely ready for more tropical weather talk, just I was pointing out that the discussion wasn't against the rules.
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Seriously? Can you people take your debate to a different blog?

I realize that Dr. Masters touched on "Weather Whiplash" in his post, in regards to flood - drought, but I don't believe I read a direct comment, referencing climate change/global warming, as a topic......

He did, in fact, broach the topic of a new blog, related to climate change, at the Guardian. Perhaps, that is a good place, for y'all to take this disucussion.

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Quoting BobChecks:
Here's a critique of Scaffetta and his analysis for you to read...

Link


That has nothing to do with what I posted. That talks about Scafetta's Temperature forecast, which I did not refer to.
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Quoting BobChecks:
The reduced sensitivity estimates are likely because of the hiatus period observed over the last 15 or so years.

Please, can we put this myth out of its misery?

We can't have a meaningful discussion if some are bringing false information.


Actually it was an argument used by reputable scientists who used that as one of the reasons for a lower climate sensitivity. Far from a myth.

Quoting Article:

The Earth's mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s, said Terje Berntsen, a University of Oslo professor who worked on the study. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity refers to the total amount of global warming projected if atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are doubled.


Given that the rate of warming is significantly slower than the 1990s, to the point where it hasn't warmed at all over the last 15 years, is why sensitivity estimates based off of rapid warming in the 1990s were too high.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I found this graph from Georgia State University.



This is an interesting analysis of the Northern American Temperature and the Solar Cycle Length. The Solar Cycle Length has also found to be correlated to many aspects in regional climates as well.



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Here's a critique of Scaffetta and his analysis for you to read...

Link
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Quoting Grothar:
Hello boys and girls


Hello caveman! :P
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Loop
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5636
Quoting allahgore:


I agree, can you imagine in the 1970's not that long ago science was telling us we were headed into an ice-age, wow they were wrong. Who knows maybe they got it right this time or could be wrong again.


I wish I got a dollar for every time someone told you that your claim about the 1970s ice age stuff was absolutely absurd.

At the rate you're going I would end up richer than Al Gore.
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335. Skyepony (Mod)
The Arctic seas are being made rapidly more acidic by carbon-dioxide emissions, according to a new report.

Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region.

They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels.

Many creatures, including commercially valuable fish, could be affected.

They forecast major changes in the marine ecosystem, but say there is huge uncertainty over what those changes will be.

It is well known that CO2 warms the planet, but less well-known that it also makes the alkaline seas more acidic when it is absorbed from the air.

Absorption is particularly fast in cold water so the Arctic is especially susceptible, and the recent decreases in summer sea ice have exposed more sea surface to atmospheric CO2.

The Arctic's vulnerability is exacerbated by increasing flows of freshwater from rivers and melting land ice, as freshwater is less effective at chemically neutralising the acidifying effects of CO2.

The researchers say the Nordic Seas are acidifying over a wide range of depths - most quickly in surface waters and more slowly in deep waters. ..more at the link.
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Vennligst ikke samhandle med trollene
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5636
Quoting allahgore:


I agree, can you imagine in the 1970's not that long ago science was telling us we were headed into an ice-age, wow they were wrong. Who knows maybe they got it right this time or could be wrong again.


There is always a first time for everything.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10028
.
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Quoting BobChecks:


Solar output increased until about 1960 and then decreased, disassociating itself from observed global warming.



If you use the PMOD TSI dataset you get a negative trend in TSI in the late-20th Century. That still doesn't support your initial claim that there has been no trend in Solar Activity since 1850. What I posted was the Geomagnetic AA Index, which is a measurement of the number of geomagnetic storms perturbing the Earth's Atmosphere, a and thus is a much better indicator of solar activity's impacts on Earth rather than TSI. If we assume the ACRIM TSI Composite to be correct, we can get a much larger percentage of the late-20th Century Warming to be able to be explained by the sun.



Note the late-20th century increase in solar activity as seen by ACRIM in the above chart.



The image above is from Scafetta and West 2007.

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Quoting Grothar:
We are having one heavy rainstorm on Fort Lauderdale.




Nothing here but a nasty smelling wildfire to the west of me.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10028
I see the that style of commenting as more of a classic gish-gallop style of denialist clap-trap that may on the surface seem logical and convincing to those unfamiliar with science and the way it works.

What I see a lot of on this site is a small number of climate change deniers who, for some reason known only to themselves, are not willing to accept the obvious.

Because they feel a need to support their political party/radio talk guru, just can't admit that they were wrong, or whatever, they end up tossing ridiculous stuff into the comment section or start posting irrelevant graphics in an attempt to disrupt other's conversations.

It's as if they live their life defending their right to be wrong.
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Quoting Grothar:
We are having one heavy rainstorm on Fort Lauderdale.


være sikker på å fange den største paraplyen hvis du lar.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Probably something to do with local pressures in the vicinity of Darwin or Tahiti.

EDITED: Across the basin, conditions are more around neutral (slight El Nino conditions I 'spose). Here's the last week of MSLP anomalies (top image). So for now, those daily SOI signals don't mean much -- they aren't representing the conditions across the basin very well.



Thanks. I understand now,then this seems to be one of the weakness of this method...
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
Quoting BobChecks:

Someone points out to them that there is an elephant sitting on top of their car...
If they did not notice when it was in the room with them, surely they won't notice it sitting on their car!

One particular person has been posting an amazing gish-gallop of clips about solar as being the primary cause of AGW/CC both here and at Dr. Rood's blog. Those posts may at first glance appear to be related to each other, but as has been pointed out by several of the wiser heads here, they are in reality disconnected gibberish. I have yet to see a cogent post by him/her that presents a believable argument against the vast consensus from the world of climate science or presents the solar argument in a clear step-by-step manner.

I see the that style of commenting as more of a classic gish-gallop style of denialist clap-trap that may on the surface seem logical and convincing to those unfamiliar with science and the way it works. However, those who are wise enough to see through the b.s. will recognize that it is simply climate denialism at a very high level of almost-convincing presentation.
Quoting Dana Nuccitelli, Skeptical Science:

Climate contrarians often exhibit what we have described as the 5 characteristics of scientific denialism. These characteristics involve various ways in which people will deny scientific reality by rejecting and misrepresenting data and evidence. These characteristics are often exhibited in the form of a Gish Gallop, which describes the technique of repeating a large number of incorrect or misleading statements in such a short amount of time that it becomes difficult to refute them all., which describes the technique of repeating a large number of incorrect or misleading statements in such a short amount of time that it becomes difficult to refute them all.
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Quoting allahgore:



I think they sold the tv network to a fossil fuel company.


Obviously you didn't bother to gather any information prior to thinking.

In the link I provided to you. Al Jazeera was the purchaser.
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Quoting Snowlover123:


The level of scientific understanding of how strong the aerosol forcing is that is "masking" any warming is very uncertain. If it's low, then climate sensitivity is likely very low, considering a significant fraction of the warming has probably been naturally induced. If the aerosol forcing is high, then climate sensitivity is likely very high. However, a recent influx of scientific papers have been reducing the sensitivity estimates.. a large number have reduced it down to less than 2 Degrees C. The reduced sensitivity estimates are likely because of the hiatus period observed over the last 15 or so years. There is also evidence for a negative Cloud Feedback, which would reduce the climate sensitivity as well. There are many uncertainties with Climate Sensitivity and the Aerosol Forcing that need to be quantified before anything definite can be said about the climate system concerning how much of a role natural and human factors have had.


You're starting from a premise that is unfounded though. There aren't any scientific papers I'm aware of that claim the warming we've seen is mostly from natural forcings. Quite the opposite actually.

Your claim of "a large number of papers now peg the sensitivity to less than 2C" is also incorrect. Some papers have used a wider range (1.5C to 6.5C). Some try to find the absolute lowest bound (Royer 2007 places the lowest at 1.5C). Some papers have very large error margins (for example, Schwarz 2010 has a sensitivity of 1.9C+-1C) but almost every paper has the most likely value being around 3C. The 2007 IPCC report, which represented the aggregation of such results gives the range from 2C to 4.5C with the highest confidence value of around 3C.

There also hasn't been a "hiatus" for the last 15 years. Using the strongest El Nino event in the last century as you're starting point isn't scientifically valid. Remove the outliers from the data set (strong El Ninos and La Nina's) and try again. Also, try using the typical 30 year period used for climate analysis. Skeptical science has a decent summary explaining this, as well as a list of papers backing this up.

As for cloud negative feedbacks, that idea has been pretty much ruled out. Several papers on the subject have shown that clouds actually have a net positive feedback. Again, Skeptical Science has a decent summary as well as list of some of the better known papers demonstrating this.

There are uncertainties to be sure. Science is never exact. There will always be error bars. That being said, the uncertainties aren't what you think they are.
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Quoting stormchaser19:


Tom,SOI values Link in last days are highly negative. that means EL NINO pattern,models are forecasting strong trade wind in the equatorial pacific,mean that SOI values not always apply in Enso values?
Probably something to do with local pressures in the vicinity of Darwin or Tahiti.

EDITED: Across the basin, conditions are more around neutral (slight El Nino conditions I 'spose). Here's the last week of MSLP anomalies (top image). So for now, those daily SOI signals don't mean much -- they aren't representing the conditions across the basin very well.



Expect things to look more El Nino like when the MJO works its way into the wpac.
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It's pouring..... Again

looks like I'll pick up another 1/2" plus or more again today. Models are hinting that north ga and Alabama might continue to see showers till the upcoming weekend rain event.

Anyway time for another rise on creeks rivers lakes and streams.

At least the warmup begins tomorrow.


Record Report

Statement as of 04:50 PM EDT on May 6, 2013

... Record low maximum temperature set at Atlanta...

a record low maximum temperature of 59 degrees was set at Atlanta
today. This breaks the old record of 62 set in 1920.




Tomorrow we get back to 70F
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Basin wide zonal wind stress anomaly in the tropical Pacific should keep SSTs cool in the Nino regions for the next week. Wind anomaly largely a result of the predicted development of twin cyclones in the Indian ocean (huge upward motion pulse in that region). Pacific basin is forced to compensate for the upward displacement of mass, creating the zonal wind anomaly (stronger trades).



Tom,SOI values Link in last days are highly negative. that means EL NINO pattern,models are forecasting strong trade wind in the equatorial pacific,means that SOI values not always apply in Enso values?
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
MJO is excited so greatly that the GEFS still has a strong MJO signal 16 days out. At 16 days GEFS centers the MJO on the CPAC. Should this wave progress eastward as forecasted there is a decent chance we will see development in the Caribbean. I think the time to watch will be the last few days of May into the first week of June. GFS leans on the overly progressive side and development most often seems to occur when the MJO pulse is either centered on our basin, or just beyond our basin which is why I'm leaning toward the first week of June. Long ways out so plenty of uncertainty, but the concern is warranted when the MJO signal looks like this...




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The Dunning-Kruger effect and the climate debate

One of the best titles for a scientific paper has to be the Ig Nobel prize winning "Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments". The paper compares people's skill levels to their own assessment of their abilities. In hindsight, the result seems self-evident. Unskilled people lack the skill to rate their own level of competence. This leads to the unfortunate result that unskilled people rate themselves higher than more competent people. The phenomenon is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, named after the paper's authors, and is often seen in the climate debate.

There are many with a cursory understanding who believe they're discovered fundamental flaws in climate science that have somehow been overlooked or ignored by climate scientists. Some take this a step further and believe they're being deceived.

[...]

The most common example is the argument, "why don't climate scientists look up and see that big, fiery ball in the sky - don't they realise the sun drives climate?" In actuality, climate scientists have noticed the big, fiery ball in the sky that provides almost all our climate's energy. Consequently, there are a multitude of peer-reviewed studies examining the sun's role in global warming. These studies have independently come to the conclusion the sun has not shown enough trend to have contributed significantly to recent global warming. More recent papers using the latest data have found the sun is actually moving in the opposite direction to climate. Eg - the sun has been cooling while the climate is warming.

The second most common example of the Dunning-Kruger effect is "don't climate scientists realise climate has changed naturally in the past?" If one peruses the peer-reviewed science, they'll find that yes, climate scientists do realise that climate has changed in the past. There is a whole field of science devoted to examining and understanding past climate change: paleoclimatology. And what scientists find in the Earth's past is that the planet is highly sensitive to changes in energy imbalance. When our climate loses or gains heat, positive feedbacks amplify the temperature change. This is one (of many) lines of evidence that tell us our climate is sensitive to CO2 forcing.


Complete article here.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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