25 January 2008

Sun and Ocean Driving Climate, Not CO2

The numbers tell an interesting tale about climate, CO2, the sun, and ocean oscillations. Look at the strength of correlation between temperature records and the three variables below.Source Icecap via NCMedia

Atmospheric CO2 levels have been rising over the past century, and show no sign of slowing down. The apparent association between rising CO2 levels and rising surface temperatures has fueled an apocalyptic media feeding frenzy over the past decade and a half--carrying many politicians and opportunists along with a gullible public. A more sober analysis appears to indicate that other factors may be much more important than the low level CO2 effect.
Much of the rain and snow we are having right now is the result of a La Nina which may be an early indicator that the Pacific has shifted to a cool phase. This shift will bring us back to the weather we had between the 1940 and 1970s. It was a lot colder and wet in the winter and spring. I remember one year when it seemed to rain from December to May. [arid California foothills]

You can down load the whole analysis here (pdf).
NevadaCounty Media Watch
H/T Tom Nelson

Note: AMO in the graph above stands for Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. PDO stands for Pacific Decadal Oscillation. USHCN stands for United States Historical Climatology Network, i.e. ground station temperature record.

More: Oceans affect the world's climate in many ways. Oceans store enormous amounts of solar heat. The ocean is also a huge carbon sink by multiple means. Scientists are learning more all the time about the ability of ocean micro-organisms to use the sun's energy together with atmospheric CO2 to contain and sequester a monstrous amount of carbon.

As the oceans warm from solar heating, they release dissolved CO2 into the atmosphere. This is responsible for most of the rise in atmospheric CO2 being observed in the atmosphere. As the solar cycles move into longer, weaker cycles, that effect will diminish. There is necessarily a lag time of many decades to centuries between the solar cycles and the changes in ocean-CO2 balance.

The simplistic GCMs that focus on CO2 to the exclusion of the truly important climate forcings, have the effect of dumbing down the public in science, and diverting trillions of dollars to non-productive (anti-productive) enterprises. Humans could never reach the next level that way.


Update: Anthony Watts has an excellent posting explaining all the information above over at Watts Up With That. H/T Tom Nelson

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