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This is PART 4: HOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS CONTROL CLIMATE
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The transcript for this video is below
Welcome back everyone.
Surprising to many, climate change over the past 10 thousand years has acted completely opposite of what the CO2 hypotheses predicted.
So here in part 4 of my educational video series, I present a much-needed alternative hypothesis that is 100% supported by evidence over the past 10,000 years. I call it the dynamic warm pool, La Niña, Intertropical Convergence Zone hypothesis, or just the Warm Pool Theory for short.
As Rosenthal 2016 has argued, it only requires very small changes in solar heating.
The earth's average temperature is a balance between heating from absorbed solar energy and the rate of cooling as energy is radiated back to space.
The warm pool theory argues ocean dynamics determine the earth's heat storage and heat ventilation and that controls the earth’s rate of cooling.
The function of the warm pool is analogous to a home’s hot water heater and determines how much heat reaches the rest of the world. When a home's hot water heater is fully charged, then there's adequate hot water for every sink, dishwasher, and shower. But drain that hot water heater and you suffer a cold shower. Warmer water gradually returns as the hot water heater recharges.
Likewise, the Little Ice Age drained the warm pool. Now our current warming trend is simply the net effect of a recharging warm pool.
Because oceans can store huge amounts of heat, but the atmosphere cannot, and because the upper 10 feet of the world's oceans contain more heat than the entire atmosphere, solar driven ocean dynamics are truly the climate control knob. The warm pool theory explains the past 10,000 years of climate change, an explanation that CO2 driven climate models have repeatedly failed to account for.
The Indo-Pacific warm pool is often called the heat engine of the world. It is defined by waters that are 28ºC or 82ºF or warmer, and is primarily located in the western Pacific as well as the eastern Indian Ocean
The intense convection over the warm pool drives the region's Hadley circulation and transports heat via the atmosphere from the tropics towards the poles.
Convection requires a minimum ocean surface temperature of 26ºC, and widespread deep convection requires 28ºc or more. Smaller warm pools will generate less convection and thus less global. Warming.
In addition, the strength of the warm pool also determines how much warm water is transported from the tropics to the arctic via several dynamics that integrate into the global conveyor belt.
(One point I didn't emphasize enough in this video but am adding here, is as the re-charging of the warm pool increases heat in the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, and that heat gets transported into the Arctic, it creates a positive temperature feedback that melts more Arctic sea ice which allows the great quantities of heat stored in the Arctic Ocean to more readily ventilate. It is that short term ventilation of heat that has biased the global average temperature. Like an El Nino event, that heat ventilation paradoxically cools the ocean while warming the air yet this "dynamical warming" is falsely attributed to radiative heating from rising CO2.
It is well established that on average the tropics receive far more solar energy (represented by the blue curve) than the tropics radiate back to space (represented by the red curve).
That's because significant tropical heat is transported to the poles where it is radiated back to space. That transported heat also warms the poles, which become much warmer than by solar radiation alone. Thus, a stronger warm pool generates a higher global average temperature by transporting heat across the globe via convection and the ocean conveyor belt.
Several peer-reviewed papers have examined how the warm pool has changed since the last glacial maximum. The illustration here is from dang 2020.
Despite low CO2 concentrations, temperatures of the warm pool began heating up 25,000 years ago and peaked about 10,000 years ago in a period known as the early Holocene.
Then for the past 10,000 years the oceans cooled until a slight warming trend began over the recent 300 years
In contrast, sea surface temperatures and the global average temperature lagged the warm pool warming,Suggesting it is deep ocean warming that drive atmospheric warming.
The sun's Milankovitch orbital cycles of obliquity and precession seem to correlate well with the warm pool's long term temperature trends but can’t explain the last few hundred years. Those orbital cycles do not add to the earth's annual insolation. The peak of those cycles in the early Holocene did cause warmer northern hemisphere summers but were balanced by colder winters. In addition, if precession drives global temperatures, our current temperatures should be as cold as they were 22,000 years ago. I introduced the mechanics of these cycles, in part 3 "how the sun and the ITCZ controlled climate and civilization collapses"
Cooling of the Holocene warm pool can be explained by the ITCZ's southward migration that increases El Niño events which ventilate and drain warm pool heat.
The ITCZ integrates global energy inputs and outputs,and accordingly shifts its average location towards the warmest hemisphere. Thus, small changes in solar energy can drive the migration of the ITCZ.
As the ITCZ migrated southward, it increased the frequency of El Niño events that cool the warm pool and contributed to the Holocene cooling trend.
Conversely, it can be inferred that any northward ITCZ shift would result in fewer El Niños and more La Niña-like conditions that heat and enlarge the warm pool.
Although the exact reconstruction of global temperatures varies depending on the models and data that a researcher employs, all agree there has been an 8000-year cooling trend and that is the exact opposite of what CO2 driven climate models simulate.
The erroneous climate models are driven by an 8000-year trend of increasing CO2, which puts those models at odds with evidence-based climate change
In contrast to the Holocene cooling trend, all relevant researchers have found the warm pool has been expanding since 1900.
And this expansion coincides with a more La Niña-like Pacific Ocean with fewer El Niño events than during the Little Ice Age.
Here is a closer look at the dynamics that control the warm pool and the effects of the ITCZ and El Niños. Trade wind-driven equatorial currents bring heated water to the warm pool.
These currents are the north equatorial current, designated here as NEC, and 2 branches of the south equatorial current designated SEC.
The equatorial currents generate higher sea levels in the Pacific which pushes warm water through the maze of channels around the islands of the maritime continent, comprising a westward current known as the Indonesian throughflow. Much of that through flow joins the Indian ocean's south equatorial current that is part of the ocean conveyor belt. Some throughflow water circulates through the northern Indian ocean, enhancing an Indian ocean warm pool,
While some flows join the Leeuwin current that flows southward along the west coast of Australia. During a strong La Niña this current is amplified producing what Australians call a Ningaloo Niño.
While the warm pool's overflow through the Indonesian through flow modulates its size, it is the eastward north equatorial counter current that truly controls the warm pool's size which then modulates the throughflow and warming of the ocean conveyor belt, The stronger the north equatorial counter current the more rapidly the warm pool is drained.
The strength of the north Pacific gyre controls the draining of the warm pool.
The gyre is driven by the north trade winds that drive the north equatorial current on the gyre's southern border, while the westerly winds drive the gyre eastward on the gyre's northern border. The north equatorial current contributes a limited amount of water to the warm pool because much of the current veers northward into Kuroshio current bringing added warmth to Alaska.Since the 1980s, many researchers have reported that a strong gyre drains the warm pool by enhancing the counter current.
Most recently researchers confirmed the connection between the gyre strength, the southward ITCZ migration during the Little Ice Age and an enhanced counter current that drained the Little Ice Age warm pool.
So, what's the role of thee ITCZ? In the age of satellites, the ITCZ is defined by a band of heavy clouds encircling the earth. But centuries ago, sailors identified the ITCZ by the doldrums which stranded many a ship for days and weeks. The ITCZ's vertically rising air creates relatively motionless surface air with no movement to the east, west, north, or south. Thus, the doldrums allow a counter current to flow eastward without being opposed by the westward trade winds
As a result, a shifting ITCZ can determine the strength of the counter current and size of the warm pool on all time scales from seasons to ice ages.
The two branches of the south equatorial current provide about 66% of the warm water to the warm pool. Because the ITCZ's average position over the Pacific remains to the north, there is only a very weak south equatorial current, here designated SECC, that sometimes disappears completely. So equatorial counter current has a minimal impact on the warm pool.
Not only does the ITCZ drive the strong north equatorial counter current but also a deeper eastward undercurrent that drains deeper waters of the warm pool.
How does the sun and greenhouse warming affect the warmth of the equatorial currents? The warm pool waters originate from the high-pressure regions created by the Hadley circulation. The descending air in those high pressure-systems are dry, and thus few clouds are formed and amplifies solar heating. The lower amounts of water vapor, the major greenhouse gas, also allows more heat waves to escape back to space, reducing any greenhouse warming. So, it is accurate to claim increasing warm pool heat is driven by solar heating.
All the dynamics in a La Niña-like ocean are illustrated here. An official La Niña happens when temperatures in the Niño 3.4 regions are at least a half degree Celsius cooler than average for 3 months. Whether during a neutral El Niño Oscillation year or an official La Niña year, the same dynamics increase the warm pool.
Accordingly, the western Pacific experiences higher sea levels that feed the Indonesian throughflow and ocean conveyor belt. More warm water gets stored deeper in the west Pacific warm pool deepening the thermocline. Strong trade winds cause upwelling of cooler deep waters in the eastern Pacific, causing a large east west temperature gradient of about 6-7 degrees Celsius between the warmer western warm pool and the cooler upwelled waters of the eastern Pacific. That large temperature gradient defines a La Niña-like ocean. This temperature gradient amplifies the trade winds which further reinforces La Niña conditions.
All climate models based on the physics of CO2 warming have predicted that rising CO2 would have little effect on warm pool surface temperatures, arguing CO2 would preferentially warm the eastern Pacific where dryness had reduced greenhouse warming, and thus reduce the temperature gradient But this has not happened, as the large temperature gradient has on average remained or increased in accord with a currently growing warm pool.
In 2019, Seager published a paper showing that by using different physics, the lack of eastern Pacific warming was consistent with CO2 theory. Apparently, the choice of which science to follow is quite arbitrary So, with amplified trade winds maintaining strong La Niña-like conditions, what triggers the switch to an El Niño every 3 to 7 years. The short answer is the ITCZ
The ITCZ doldrums enable an amplified eastward equatorial countercurrent that results in El Niños As the ITCZ moves southward the rising air within the ITCZ also triggers the intense convection in the Indian ocean of the 60 to 90-day Madden Julian Oscillation that produces westerly wind bursts Those westerly wind bursts can initiate a kelvin wave of eastward flowing warm pool water.
The resulting El Niño events then drain the warm pool and cool the ocean's sub-surface waters. Enough 26+ degree warm pool water moves eastward to also shift the location of intense convection affecting global weather. The warm pool's stored sub-surface heat is brought to the surface in the central and eastern Pacific where it ventilates causing a temporary spike in the global average air temperatures. That reduces the east west temperature gradient, which defines an El Niño-like ocean. A smaller temperature gradient weakens the trade winds reducing the volume of warm water pumped into the warm pool. Upwelling is reduced, maintaining a warmer eastern Pacific,
Looking at just the past 2000 years, Oppo's 2009 temperature reconstruction shows the recent warm pool temperatures (shown here in black), began increasing in the 1700s before the rise of industrial CO2. Oppo also compared warm pool trends to Michael Mann’s 2008 global temperature reconstruction, shown in red. Both reconstructions show similar long-term variations except Mann’s last 100 years that he attributes to rising CO2. However, the warm pool was as warm 1000 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period, as it is today, despite lower CO2 concentrations.
However, the warmer Medieval warm pool does correlate with a La Niña-like ocean and an ITCZ that was located further north.
During the Little Ice Age, the warm pool cooled associated with sunspot minimums and the southward migration of the ITCZ. The ocean entered an El-Niño like state, (as indicated by coral proxies from Cobb 2003 and other researchers), indicating ocean dynamics were draining the warm pool.
Since the 1700s, as the ITCZ moved back northwards, the ocean experienced fewer ventilating El Niños, and the warm pool began warming and expanding
So, here's how to interpret a graph of the past 50 years of global average temperatures. Putting aside changes in land surfaces that also increase temperatures via dynamics such as urban heat islands, the most parsimonious explanation for the observed warming trend is there are currently fewer El Niños than during Little Ice Age, and more La Niña-like years that has increased the heating dynamics to support a growing warm pool. The warming trend simply reflects the recharging of the earth's hot water heater that was drained during the Little Ice Age.
The transitory air temperature spikes are caused by El Niños discharging stored heat, which temporarily cool the ocean.
So, what does the future hold? It’s hard to know. The scientific community is divided on predictions regarding more or fewer future El Niños
But the next few decades should provide some evidence that could refute or support the warm pool hypothesis. So, teach your children to be on the alert and think critically.
If low solar output continues with low sunspots as some predict, then, if the ITCZ is truly sensitive to such small radiative changes, the ITCZ should move further southward, and temperatures will approach Little Ice Age conditions.
However, if solar output increases as others predict, the ITCZ should edge northwards, and the warm pool will continue to expand, and temperatures will approach those of the medieval warm period. The good news is since there was no climate crisis one thousand years ago, there won’t be one that happens in the near future, and the effects of CO2 will continue to be insignificant.
So up next: will be part 5 of how pressure systems control the climate: the cause heatwaves