On Sun, Dec 02, 2012 at 07:51:28AM -0500, Roger Clough wrote:
> Hi Russell Standish 
> 
> Good information; it made me look up el nino and la nina and I
> I see that as you observe, these are fundamentally phenomena
> of the southern hemisphere, so can't explain the north pole
> warming.   
> 

I'm sure all the different oceanic cycles are connected to a greater
or lesser extent. I just wasn't sure what you were suggesting was the
mechanism behind artic warming. We had an almost decade-long El Nino
during the early 00's, the last couple of years have been La Nina, and
currently its neither. Yet, this September 2012 has seen the lowest Arctic
ice miniumum on record - the Arctic melting trend seems to be
happening regardless of the ENSO index.

> What is particularly notable in the vostok data is the sharp 
> cooling slopes but more gradual warming slopes. Perhaps
> that's just a feature of melting vs forming of ice and snow.
> 

That sort of behaviour is a feature of catastophe theory. It's not
unsurprising in a complex system such as the climate.

> Also the sharpness of the cooling drops seems to rule out
> damping or non-resonant driving, which only tend to smear
> out the peak frequency.
> 
> The background cycle of the vostok data says that something
> very basic has been going on for many many years. It's
> not sunspot cycles. Perhaps there is an error in the calculation
> of the mikhailovich freuency.
> 
> The recent violent expressions of the weather (tornadoes,
> hurricanes, arctic melting) seem (without evidence) to me to
> be basically not CO2, although that could have an effect,
> the violence has come on suddenly and  some weird things
> have been happening to the ionosphere, like periodic fractures
> and openings, which might accout for the violence.
> 

The whole thing is dominated by energy input, which over millions of
years is increasing as the Sun is getting hotter, but there being
shorter cycles, of which the 11 year sunspot cycle is the most well
known, and the energy output, which is controlled by a bunch of
factors, including the difference between Earth's temperature (approx
300K) and that of interplanetary space (approx 3K), the amount of
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (water vapour, CO2, methane, etc),
to which we're currently adding at a fantastic rate and the planet's
albedo (snow and ice have higher albedo, than open ocean or land, so
does high altitude smog, (the acid rain producing coal-fired power
stations in the 50s and 60s had a net cooling effect). All of this is
quite well-known physics.

In between the input and output is a fantastically complicated machine
that shuffles the energy around the planet, for which we're getting
better at modelling, and understanding the nitty-gritty details of
things that matter to use humans, such as where the rain is going to
fall, or where and when cyclones are likely to strike, or how fast the
seam levels will rise. But it requires more research, not less, as
we're still a long way from really knowing what the consequences are.


-- 

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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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