Definitions and Some Background: Arctic Oscillation (1)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 11:12 PM GMT on August 18, 2013

Definitions and Some Background: Arctic Oscillation (1)

Every now and then I take an unexpected blogging hiatus because the day job is overwhelming. That’s the last three weeks as the project that I have been working on the past couple of years came to its first major milestone – a workshop on the evaluation of model projections to improve their usability in planning. Plus it is canning season – any good chutney recipes?

During the run up to the workshop, thanks to my expertise in time management, I gave a seminar on the Arctic Oscillation for a National Park Service webinar series “Climate Change in America's National Parks - Post-Sandy Recovery Series I: Storms, Barrier Islands, and Implications for the Atlantic Coastline.” I’m going to spend a few entries going through some the ideas in the presentation. First, however, here is the link to my presentation. It was recorded, but I have not figured out how to post that yet. Also here is a link to the GLISAclimate.org project workspace where I collected together the materials I used in the presentation - Arctic Oscillation: Climate variability in the Great Lakes.

The reason I was asked to give this talk followed from my participation in a planning exercise for Isle Royale National Park. During that planning project the Arctic Oscillation emerged as a topic of special interest. I have written a number of blogs in the past that discussed the Arctic Oscillation, regionally often referred to as the North Atlantic Oscillation, and its role in variability of winter and spring temperatures. We hear about the Arctic Oscillation the most when winters in the eastern half of the United States are cold and snowy. People get excited and start writing that climate change is bogus. I have put just a few of the links to previous blogs at the end.

What is the Arctic Oscillation? Here from the CPC Climate Glossary is the start of the definition of the Arctic Oscillation. “The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases.” I think the definition is a little easier to explain if I focus on the North Atlantic Oscillation and, again from the glossary, “The North Atlantic Oscillation is often considered to be a regional manifestation of the Arctic Oscillation.” In the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation there is higher than average pressure over the pole and lower than average pressure over the North Atlantic, for example, over Iceland. In the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation there is lower than average pressure over the pole and higher than average pressure over the North Atlantic. Going back to the original focus, the Arctic Oscillation, rather than the pressure differences at sub-polar latitudes being over the North Atlantic, they might be over some other place, like the North Pacific. Here is a schematic figure showing the North Atlantic Oscillation from educational material at Lamont-Doherty.



Figure 1: Positive Phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. from LDEO



Figure 2: Negative Phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. from LDEO


These changes in the weather pattern have large consequences on the weather in the U.S. When the North Atlantic Oscillation is in its positive phase, the winters in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. are moist and mild. When the North Atlantic Oscillation is in the negative phase, the winter in the same regions of the U.S. are cold and snowy. Though snowy, the actual amount of water that falls from the sky is less than average.

The discussion of the Arctic Oscillation often focuses on the winter and spring because in the U.S. the discussion of weather and climate often over emphasizes what is happening in the Interstate 95 corridor. (Isn’t it great that I-95 has its own website?). However, the Arctic Oscillation is the dominant mode of variability in the Northern Hemisphere middle latitudes, and this is true all of the year. When we say that something is the “dominant mode,” we mean that if we formally measure the variance and then try to describe the variance by recognizable patterns, then the single largest way to describe the variance is with the Arctic Oscillation.

Meteorologists describe the Arctic Oscillation as an atmospheric phenomenon as opposed to a phenomenon that might represent the coupling between the atmosphere and the ocean. The El Nino – La Nina oscillation involves both the atmosphere and ocean. Since the ocean is important, El Nino and La Nina are at least a little bit predictable. The Arctic Oscillation is notoriously difficult to predict.

The reason the Arctic Oscillation took on as much importance as it did in the Isle Royale National Park project was its impact on ecosystems. In the area around Lake Superior, when the Arctic Oscillation is in the positive phase it tends to be warm and dry. There is very little snow. When the Arctic Oscillation is in the negative phase, there are cold air outbreaks from Canada and the likelihood of large snowstorms is higher. If the atmosphere bounces back and forth between the positive and negative phase, then you can imagine a snowstorm followed by a thaw. This stands to change the ebb and flow of the annual water cycle with winter thaws and perhaps winter floods. There might be a lot of snow in the winter, but there is less snow on the ground going into spring. An example of an ecosystem impact is in the forest – if it is warmer and dryer in the spring at peak growth time, this is a major stress on the forest. Next blog a little more on the Arctic Oscillation and temperature.



r

(I will look for new likes on old blogs!)

Confounding Variability: A short blog from the early times.

Bumps and Wiggles (8)Ocean, Atmosphere, Ice, and Land

La Nina and Missouri River Flooding

Jeff Masters Extreme Arctic Oscillation

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Quoting 1004. Birthmark:

Let me try to explain this as simply as possible: "AGW doesn't cause weather." Period. Full-stop.

Just be careful. Technically after the atmosphere becomes more and more altered from what it would have been, weather starts occurring that would not have occurred, and weather doesn't occur that would have occurred. It gets... complicated. But it is correct to say that a change to the climate changes the frequency and magnitude of events, and typically doesn't "cause" any particular event (like in the sense that it was the direct and sole cause). But some scientists do try and compare certain extreme events to climate change through attribution studies. Typically the result they are looking for is "how much more likely was this event to occur now that the the climate has changed in ___ way."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1000. Birthmark:

Jeez, that was pretty hand-wavy, wasn't it? I swear I could feel a breeze while reading that self-serving twaddle.

She completely ignores Tamino's (correct)assertion of a cherry-pick --which is rather fundamental to Curry's addled argument and why her argument is wrong in the first place.

All you have to do is cherry pick a different window of dates, and you get an entirely different answer. I picked the most recent 25 years, used the same methodology, and got the opposite answer. Instead of natural causes being responsible for most of the warming, it showed that natural causes were responsible for cooling and human activities were responsible for 180% of the warming. Same exact methodology, just changed the dates.

It's funny how she had this "let me explain something to you, Grant Foster" attitude, all the while completely missing the fact that she was still wrong and apparently didn't even yet understand why she was wrong.
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Ah, some nighttime reading! :)
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You're welcome yoboi.
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Quoting 1005. overwash12:
I think several factors come into play. Kinda like we have snowier winters and sometimes we don't. That sorta logic,you dig? peace out!


Did you even read what he said?

"we have snowier winters and sometimes we don't"

That's weather. The chaotic ups and downs that happen daily, monthly and yearly.

Climate is the combination of a series of weather events (usually a 30-year period of weather is sufficient). This time-frame gives us a climatic trend. AGW is Anthropogenic Global Warming or Anthropogenic Climate Change. The latter is a more suitable term since a warming world modifies the climate as a whole.

Therefore, it is considered invalid to use arguments such as yours because weather is extremely variable when examined over such a short time period; it will always change abruptly.

In conclusion, the short answer is we cannot ask the question: is there a correlation between a single weather event and Climate Change? Only a prolonged series of weather events can be attributed to Climate Change.

I hope you understand now...
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Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.

Climate Change Doubles Likelihood of Sandy-Level Floods in NYC

Nuclear Trashmen Gain From Record U.S. Reactor Shutdowns

Exploring the New Food Focus at Scientific American

Green compensation proposals outlined


Ghana's dead whales: Oil linked denied

Temperature rise will fan forest flames


* Brazil faces drop in crops

Soot 'melted Alps glaciers, not heat'

Poll pinpoints public's climate fears

Scientists Confirm Existence of Largest Single Volcano On Earth

Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Lines Between Stars and Planets

Beneath Earth's Surface, Scientists Find Long 'Fingers' of Heat

Global Warming Has Increased Risk of Record Heat

Patiently Probing Pure Piss

Relationship Between Landscape Simplification and Insecticide Use Explored

Clues in Coral Bleaching Mystery

A lot less sea turtles arriving in Nicaragua

* Obama climate plan wins overseas support in run-up to G20

Tropical storm Gabrielle fizzles: Why has hurricane season been so calm? (+video)

*** A Catalog for All the World's Viruses?

In Gut Research's Latest Advance, Bacteria From Thin Humans Can Slim Mice Down

*** Trying to Shame Dune Holdouts at Jersey Shore

Wildfires and Climate Change

Saving most of Earth's plants may take just a bit of land

Mysterious 'fairy circles' in African desert: Here's a new theory

Reality check on King Solomon's mines: Right era, wrong kingdom

* Confirmed: Fracking practices to blame for Ohio earthquakes

*** Experts get set to write the next chapter of the climate change saga

Navajo Nation split on coal deal

Climate science 'irrefutable' says Kerry, as Pacific islands urge action

Fracking in Texas: Seen as the future, also viewed with fear
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and that memo is proof of what, again? that the fukushima plant didn't actually have a design until it had been under construction for 4 years?

Quoting 1002. yoboi:




Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1004. Birthmark:

Let me try to explain this as simply as possible: "AGW doesn't cause weather." Period. Full-stop.

However, all weather takes place against a backdrop of climatic conditions. So it would be more proper to say that AGW might influence weather generally to a rather small degree. But that's very different from causation.
I think several factors come into play. Kinda like we have snowier winters and sometimes we don't. That sorta logic,you dig? peace out!
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Is AGW responsible for the low hurricane activity this year? TIA
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Quoting 996. JohnLonergan:
NEW FROM NOAA

Explaining Extreme Events of 2012





Chris Burt has a blog on this with a brief synopsis and alink to the complete BAMS report.
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Quoting 994. ScottLincoln:
I'm going to break in with some climate science! :)

Not sure if this was posted already but did anyone else see that Dr. Judith Curry responded to concerns by statistician Grant Foster on the Kosaka and Xie (2013) paper?

http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/03/natural-interna l-variability-sensitivity-and-attribution/

From the sounds of it she didn't really respond directly to the main criticisms, but did some hand-waving and dodging to make it seem like she could still be right and people were picking on her.

Of course, as I already showed, using her methodology you could also conclude that human activities were responsible for 180% of the observed warming trend. She really needs to be a bit more skeptical and try her "analysis" on different periods of data. It might help show her how it doesn't work.


Dr. Curry never met an analysis she couldn’t misunderstand!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
so you're still going with 'the fukushima reactor broke ground in 1967 which means that the design is from the 70s'?

or is it 'i know i was talking about the containment design being flawed, but i'm going to point to other terminology as a non-sequitur to avoid admitting i was wrong'.

either way it makes you look like a buffoon. you yourself cited a report about Mark I containment being flawed as evidence that it was from the 70's when Mark I's were built in the 60's as i pointed out.

face it, you stepped in it. now you're just smearing it everywhere in a vain attempt to spread it around.

Quoting 995. yoboi:


Like I said contact oyster creek and take it up with them.....maybe they can explain what a reactor is and what containment is.....who knows maybe they are confused between the two....I would think providing the original document and information straight from the oyster creek website would be enough.....I am wrong for thinking that would be enough.....best of luck with your fact-finding-adventure.....peace....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
NEW FROM NOAA

Explaining Extreme Events of 2012

Human influences are having an impact on some extreme weather and climate events, according to the report Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective released September 5, 2013 by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Scientists from NOAA served as three of the four lead editors on the report. Overall, 18 different research teams from around the world contributed to the peer-reviewed report that examined the causes of 12 extreme events that occurred on five continents and in the Arctic.

Location and type of events analyzed in “Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective"

The report shows that the effects of natural weather and climate fluctuations played a key role in the intensity and evolution of many of the 2012 extreme events. However, in several events, the analyses revealed compelling evidence that human-caused climate change was a secondary factor contributing to the extreme event. “This report adds to a growing ability of climate science to untangle the complexities of understanding natural and human-induced factors contributing to specific extreme weather and climate events,” said Thomas R. Karl, LHD, director of NCDC. “Nonetheless, determining the causes of extreme events remains challenging.”

In addition to investigating the causes of these extreme events, the multiple analyses of four of the events—the warm temperatures in the United States, the record-low levels of Arctic sea ice, and the heavy rain in both northern Europe and eastern Australia—allowed the scientists to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of their various methods of analysis. Despite their different strategies, there was considerable agreement between the assessments of the same events.

Thomas Peterson, PhD, principal scientist at NCDC and one of the lead editors on the report, said, “Scientists around the world assessed a wide variety of potential contributing factors to these major extreme events that, in many cases, had large impacts on society. Understanding the range of influences on extreme events helps us to better understand why extremes are changing." See more of what Dr. Peterson has to say on global warming and weather in this Climate Q&A from Climate.gov.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
I'm going to break in with some climate science! :)

Not sure if this was posted already but did anyone else see that Dr. Judith Curry responded to concerns by statistician Grant Foster on the Kosaka and Xie (2013) paper?

http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/03/natural-interna l-variability-sensitivity-and-attribution/

From the sounds of it she didn't really respond directly to the main criticisms, but did some hand-waving and dodging to make it seem like she could still be right and people were picking on her.

Of course, as I already showed, using her methodology you could also conclude that human activities were responsible for 180% of the observed warming trend. She really needs to be a bit more skeptical and try her "analysis" on different periods of data. It might help show her how it doesn't work.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
oh, sweet jesus (rubs bridge of nose).

look, the containment system is what failed. clearly that's what we're talking about here. you blamed the democrats for some reason. you even cited a whistleblower who said in 1971 that the Mark I containment design was flawed.

i pointed out that Mark I reactor design was from the 60's. i was right. now you're quibbling over 'containment' vs 'vendor/type' when we were talking about containment the whole bloody time.

for crying out loud, the mere fact that the fukushima plant broke ground in 1967 is more than enough evidence that the design was from the 60's, no matter what category you want to point to in some lame attempt to obfuscate.

face it. you were wrong. straight-up, pigheadedly wrong. now you're trying to quibble over terminology that doesn't even refer to what we were talking about like a squid releasing ink to swim away.

Quoting 991. yoboi:



Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station Location: Forked River, NJ (9 miles S of Toms River, NJ) in Region I
Operator: Exelon Generation Co., LLC
Operating License: Issued - 07/02/1991
Renewed License Issued - 06/03/09
License Expires - 04/09/2029
Docket Number: 05000219

Reactor Type: Boiling Water Reactor
Licensed MWt: 1,930
Reactor Vendor/Type: General Electric Type 2
Containment Type: Wet, Mark I


Straight from Oyster Creek....MARK I IS CONTAINMENT TYPE!!! MARK I IS NOT A REACTOR TYPE!!!



I am done debating this contact oyster creek and take it up with them......peace....
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Quoting 987. yoboi:


Containment Type: Wet, Mark I



yes, they're both Mark I reactors. are you getting it now?

maybe you should contact oyster creek because Mark I is the containment type


that's what i've been saying. oyster creek, like fukushima, is a Mark I reactor. Mark I being a flawed design.

I will provide the link so you can correct them


dude, that's the link i provided you. there's nothing to correct.

seriously, you need to take a break. you're making yourself look incredibly ignorant here.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Changes in Ecologically Critical Terrestrial Climate Conditions

Noah S. Diffenbaugh, Christopher B. Field


Abstract



Terrestrial ecosystems have encountered substantial warming over the past century, with temperatures increasing about twice as rapidly over land as over the oceans. Here, we review the likelihood of continued changes in terrestrial climate, including analyses of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project global climate model ensemble. Inertia toward continued emissions creates potential 21st-century global warming that is comparable in magnitude to that of the largest global changes in the past 65 million years but is orders of magnitude more rapid. The rate of warming implies a velocity of climate change and required range shifts of up to several kilometers per year, raising the prospect of daunting challenges for ecosystems, especially in the context of extensive land use and degradation, changes in frequency and severity of extreme events, and interactions with other stresses.
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"Ego Death" is a hard concept for many
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also, not to belabor the point, but 1971 was when the fukushima plant was finished being built. construction started in july of 1967.

so unless you're arguing that they only came up with the reactor containment design after construction of the plant had been ongoing for 4 years, i'd suggest you just accept that you were wrong and get it over with.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
GE2/3 doesn't refer to the containment. the containment system, which is what failed in fukushima and what the report you keep flogging said was flawed from the start (and which is somehow the democrats' fault), is called Mark 1.

Mark 1 containment design preceded fukushima. oyster creek is a Mark 1 reactor.

jesus, this is getting infuriating. how long is this going to take to sink in, cause i have some errands to run.

Quoting 984. yoboi:





• Monticello, Monticello, Minnesota, 1970, GE 3.

• Nine Mile Point 1, Scriba, New York, 1969, GE 2.

• Oyster Creek, Forked River, New Jersey, 1969, GE 2.

• Peach Bottom 2, Delta, Pennsylvania, 1973, GE 4.

• Peach Bottom 3, Delta, Pennsylvania, 1974, GE 4.

• Pilgrim, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1972, GE 3.

• Quad Cities 1, Cordova, Illinois, 1972, GE 3.

• Quad Cities 2, Moline, Illinois, 1972, GE 3.

• Vermont Yankee, Vernon, Vermont, 1972, GE 4.

not even the same GE design as oyster creek....1970's started with GE 3 and GE 4.....Oyster Creek GE 2
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
I am just going by what Greenpace said


well maybe you should try actually looking up things for yourself before telling other people they're wrong and looking the fool.

and also found the original document discussing the design flaws


the date of which is meaningless as to when the actual MK1 design was created.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/oc.html

from the NRC. oyster creek nuclear plant. GE MK1 design.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_Creek_Nuclear _Generating_Station

commissioned in december 1969. see also here:

Now, with one Mark 1 containment vessel damaged at the embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and other vessels there under severe strain, the weaknesses of the design — developed in the 1960s by General Electric — could be contributing to the unfolding catastrophe.


in all seriousness, the fact that a report from 1971 pointed out flaws in a reactor design doesn't inherently mean the reactor design must also be from 1971. that's crazy talk.

Quoting 979. yoboi:


Yeah I understand that's why I found the official document.....it says 1971 and if you can find another official document please provide.......
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
so a report from 1971 claiming flaws in a reactor design somehow evidences that the reactor design must also be from 1971?

i think at this point you've actually surpassed 'coo-koo bananapants'. at least those guys wear pants, even if it is made out of bananas.

Quoting 978. yoboi:


here is the official report....wow November 1971.....


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
repeating it doesn't mean you understand it.

look, GE MK1 plants preceded Fukushima. they were built in the 60's. i just pointed out one. are you saying the oyster creek nuclear reactor is a figment of the imagination?

i think when greenpeace says 'GE designed...' they mean the site design. if they mean the MK1 containment design, then yes, they'd be wrong about that.

do you understand now?

Quoting 976. yoboi:





In 1971, General Electric designed, built and delivered the first, now-exploded, Mark 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and that design was also used for four of the other five reactors. Whistleblower Dale Bridenbaugh, a former engineer for GE, exposed a critical flaw in the reactor design that was so bad, he recommended all Mark 1 reactors be shut down to repair them. This didn't happen. Then, as now, profits and protection of nuclear business were put ahead of safety and the protection of people.




Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
i'm saying you're confusing when fukushima was built with when GE came up with the Mark I design.

oyster creek is a GE MK1 reactor. construction began in 1965. so yes, the Mark I reactor design is indeed from the 60's.

ETA: so what i'm saying is, you need to work on your reading comprehension.

Quoting 974. yoboi:


Are you saying Greenpeace is providing false information????
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
uh, GE came up with the design for the Mark I in the 60's. pointing out that Fukushima was built in 1971 is meaningless.

nice try tho.

Quoting 972. yoboi:



Well I consider "coo-koo-banana-pants" someone that thinks the 1960's is the 1970's....;)


In 1971, General Electric designed, built and delivered the first, now-exploded, Mark 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and that design was also used for four of the other five reactors. Whistleblower Dale Bridenbaugh, a former engineer for GE, exposed a critical flaw in the reactor design that was so bad, he recommended all Mark 1 reactors be shut down to repair them. This didn't happen. Then, as now, profits and protection of nuclear business were put ahead of safety and the protection of people.

Link from Greenpeace for your reading....Haave a nice day!!!!


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
I wish the plus system had a 3-star rating.

With only one option it doesn't separate the excellent posts from the mere good posts.

Everybody has a different feel for each post but with only one plus we can't discern anything.

In real social situations you can tell how much someone likes your comment by reading their expression (once you get to know them). Why is it different here?

Plus, it would be fun to see the minuses each person left as well.
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Quoting 969. FLwolverine:
I think you've got the answer.


I put it down to being a concern troll.
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Quoting 952. SteveDa1:


I like your personality Southern Illinois but that is just wrong... Why tell a lie? I know how you seem to must love anybody here but what you said doesn't make any sense.

OH, I think I understand... you're trying to get a laugh from getting a reaction out of us because it's a sensitive issue to us.

I hope this is why!
I think you've got the answer.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
so, since GE currently gets tax breaks, the democrats are to blame for the flaws in a GE reactor design from the late 60's?

that's some cask-strength coo-koo-banana-pants talk right there.

Quoting 811. yoboi:



What part did I say it did not happen in a foreign nation????? The democrats keep giving GE tax breaks and in turn they cut corners.....You can blame the Democrats for this mess.....


Link
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Quoting 965. Birthmark:

Yeah, that's a full-time job on this planet.

There are planets where that's not the case. (Okay, I don't *know* that, but it does me no end of good believing it.)

“This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy." - Douglas Adams
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I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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