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The Great Global Warming/Cooling Thread Part 2

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(Phys.org) —"Rapid" and "instantaneous" //////////////////////////// climate shift that occurred 55 million years ago.

In a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Morgan Schaller and James Wright contend that following a doubling in carbon dioxide levels, the surface of the ocean turned acidic over a period of weeks or months and global temperatures rose by 5 degrees centigrade – all in the space of about 13 years.

1x1.gif Explore further: Late Cretaceous Period was likely ice-free

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences img-dot.gif img-dot.gif

Provided by Rutgers University img-dot.gif

Edited by Dreamwalker
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http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/10/government-rejects-carbon-price-warning

The federal government has rejected suggestions that it could be forced to pay companies more than $2bn if it presses ahead with scrapping the carbon price before 2015.

New analysis from energy advisory firm RepuTex warns that the government could be facing a $2bn bill if companies rush to cash in their freely allocated permits before the carbon price is repealed.

Brown coal generators and other high-emitting companies were given free permits to help them get used to carbon pricing, which they could use to pay for their emissions or sell back to the government.

But without a carbon liability to pay, and millions of free permits up their sleeve, these industries could be set for a "significant windfall" when thecarbon tax is ditched, RepuTex says.

If the scheme is abolished in October 2014, RepuTex forecasts, the government could be left with a bill of more than $2bn as companies cash in nearly 87m free carbon dioxide permits.

But if the repeal was delayed until April 2015, when companies would need their permits to pay for their carbon liability, the damage would be considerably less – about $138m.

Finance minister Mathias Cormann said he did not accept the modelling, adding that the new government's timeline for repealing the carbon tax remained unchanged.

"Our intention is to scrap the carbon tax with effect from 1 July 2014," he told Sky News on Thursday.

It is less than certain how the government will achieve its aim, given the hostile make-up of the Senate until June 30.

RepuTex says the earliest the carbon tax is likely to be dismantled is the start of October 2014, assuming a deal has been struck with the new Senate.

value for money right there

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feck thats a strange looking core sample Dreamwalker....and I stare at a lot of 'em - thanks for putting that up

"When we see cycles in cores, we see a process" ....true that

Edited by waterboy

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So Waterboy................do you research core samples?.............is it more of an interest you follow?

"the surface of the ocean turned acidic over a period of weeks or months and global temperatures rose by 5 degrees centigrade – all in the space of about 13 years."

I was suprised to read this.............it sounds really amegidon.............not at all like a consevative researcher..............sometimes I think humanity needs a good sharp shock...................we have so much potential both as indivduals and collectivly .....but like this gift of life and nature...............its all just wasted ..................I think the core issue is this corporate dominance...............the baboon beating its chest.......................we are stuck in a loop......................can't step beyond our instinct.....................

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I use coring as part of geo investigations professionally dreamwalker, rock coring and soil/sediment .

I've been seeing a lot of change in soil/water balance over the past few years, particularly landslides.....

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I use coring as part of geo investigations professionally dreamwalker, rock coring and soil/sediment .

I've been seeing a lot of change in soil/water balance over the past few years, particularly landslides.....

Thats interesting stuff..................so your in the south?..................Have landslides increased?....................and if so, is that because of more rain or more residental development in slip prone area's........................?

Why did you think the core sample above looked strange?

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My observations are local area increase in incidence of some ancient ones becoming active again(developed and undeveloped),

and some developed areas that were stable, becoming mobile.New ones also appearing. Its a water balance thing mostly, more water getting into the ground...lubrication, increased moisture(does funky shit to soil mechanics) and weight in a nutshell. (Thats the pub version anyway...lol)

Some shit that use to "stand up" just wont do it anymore.

Dare I say a change to local climate.....

will Pm ya on my view of the core when I have a minute :wink:

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BYRVxiFCAAAIb1Q.jpg

the world is actually in a cooling phase

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Environment Minister Greg Hunt to give UN Climate Talks a miss

AUSTRALIA has downgraded its role in global climate change negotiations and will not send a minister to the UN conference being held in Poland from next week.

The federal government confirmed yesterday that Environment Minister Greg Hunt would not have a role at the international gathering, while Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who has responsibility for all international negotiations in the Abbott government, said she was too busy to attend.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/environment-minister-greg-hunt-to-give-un-climate-talks-a-miss/story-e6frg6xf-1226755294890#

Edited by Halcyon Daze
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The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan cast a gloom over U.N. climate talks Monday as the envoy from the Philippines broke down in tears and announced he would fast until a "meaningful outcome is in sight."

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Yeah well all the deniers are claiming once again that it's overpopulation, corrupt governments withholding money from the poor natural disasters etc etc

They can't seem to accept a single scientific fact if someone tells them it might disrupt their pitiful lives even remotely by trying to do something positive.

Sad.

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90 firms responsible for emitting two-thirds of world's deadly gases since 1751: Study

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/90-firms-responsible-for-emitting-two-thirds-of-worlds-deadly-gases-since-1751-Study/articleshow/26599059.cms

NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing debate over how to arrive at a global climate deal which may be acceptable to all nations, new research ongreenhouse gas emissions has listed 90 companies - mostly belonging to rich countries - as the major culprits who emitted nearly two-thirds of the total carbon dioxide and methane emissions in the world since 1751.

post-8867-0-89850900-1385815659_thumb.jp

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90 firms responsible for emitting two-thirds of world's deadly gases since 1751: Study

Nationalise them, stripe them of their assets....................
Edited by Dreamwalker

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Global warming or climate change or whatever they rename it to next (it was global freezing in the 1970's) tax is a lot like a parent putting a band aid on a child's bruised finger. Doesn't do anything but the child thinks that the pain is gone and is happy again.

Putting a tax on industry and petroleum etc only adds to the consumers cost and allows the said industry to sneak a little extra price hike every couple of years. Essentially rich people get richer off the backs of the "lower" income people who foot the bill and have less to show for their servitude for something that is debateable as well as provable AND disprovable with statistics on both sides of the debate. This is because of the easy manner in which statistics can be manipulated to prove a point. You just narrow down and focus on an area of statistic that reflects your theory and ignore all else and 'wallah' !!! PROOF! All the better if you have a Phd or more on your wall and the television backs you up with your rhetoric.

If it was a serious case of something has to be done ASAP or the ice will melt and the polar bears will die etc and the planet will be doomed and Pamela Anderson's breasts will deflate then they should set a deadline for all those industries who pollute the atmosphere to invent the means to do away with all the pollution while still providing energy that is favourable to our ecosystem and still supports human needs in a healthy way. After the deadline is passed and if the set goals are not met then a high percentage of the profit margin of those industries should be extracted in fines per year a strict enforcement watchdog set up to ensure those industry do not try to scam that loss through price increases. The fines extracted could then be used to fund serious development of environmentally friendly energy creation.... Yeah dream on dude.

OR....

Humanity could simply just pull its collective head out of its collect asshole and embrace HEMP and stop with all the paranoia propaganda that has kept that industries hands tied behind its back for over eight decades and left us with toxic sludge industrial nightmares that make people sick and rich men of soul less creatures. "Nah tax me more mr tax man I wanna hep da planet by being taxed and not really actually doing nuffink real....."

Every New Years I wonder to myself, as I walk along the beach, the morning after, how many of those people who fire off all those big massive fireworks up and down the beach then leave them there to get washed out to sea are all gung ho green environmentalists the rest of the year. Hundreds of the damn things and not enough bins to stuff them in.

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The problem is people are stupid and easily manipulated. We just got talked out of a carbon tax in favor of another TAX and a dick for PM

What's the point, we're too spoiled in this country.

People will only take action when things get really bad, not before, when it would have actually made a difference.

This is the most significant flaw with democracy, and the reason why countries like China are making more environmental innovations than the west.

Here's a law of nature I've discovered.

Democracy plus capitalism equals environmental disaster. :(

I call it Halcyon's Law.

Edited by Halcyon Daze
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Maybe the human race is merely the first species to get paranoid over the state of its environment, the illusions of life and death as well as egotistically arrogant enough to imagine that it has some kind of control over the ecology of the planet to change that ecology one way or another. The planet earth, in all its billions of years, science tells us, has gone through some wild and extreme phases where no human could have even existed and indeed most life as we know it today could never have existed. Indeed there are many examples, science tells us, where change to the ecology that led us to where we are today came about by the actions of microbial respiration and other forms which changed that unliveable ecology into what we have today. I have to wonder if there had been a species back in those early times with the "power" to halt all ecological change because their environment was changing to it's own detriment would we have come to be? Is there another even more profound species just waiting to evolve (for lack of a better description) and is humanity in perhaps some microbial manner the catalyst for that evolution?

Yes there is climate change but there has always been climate change. Up and down, up and down. Whenever there are large outbreaks of solar flare activity on our sun there is warming and when it settles down there is cooling. NASA tells us there has been a fair bit of solar flare activity over the past decade. Taxes wont help that. The sun doesn't accept cash nor American express....

No polity is just another example of the band aid solution or super hero syndrome. It gives simple people [not meant to be taken as derogatory] the illusion that someone is in control and is out their doing something to protect us from the big bad world. All they really do is control and manipulate.

Death is just an illusionary concept for a species that has lost touch with spirit and the fear of death, however subliminally, is promoted by a culture that thrives on the energy that fear creates. The ministry of fear...

Of course these are my opinions and thoughts and not necessarily the views of the sponsors ;)

Edited by michael1968
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http://theconversation.com/is-global-warming-in-a-hiatus-18367

19 September 2013, 10.54am AEST

Is global warming in a hiatus?

On September 27 2013 the 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released. One part of this report will address the so-called “warming hiatus”. This is the…

Author
  1. andy-pitman.jpg Andy Pitman

    Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at University of New South Wales

Disclosure Statement

Andy Pitman receives funding from several ARC grants and several other sources of research funding. He is a Review Editor on the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC.

University of New South Wales does not contribute to the cost of running The Conversation. Find out more.

The Conversation is funded by CSIRO, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, UTS, UWA, ACU, ANU, Canberra, CDU, Curtin, Deakin, Flinders, Griffith, JCU, La Trobe, Massey, Murdoch, Newcastle, QUT, Swinburne, Sydney, UniSA, USC, USQ, UTAS, UWS and VU.

Jobs More Jobs Where experts find jobs yfcb4z5d-1379477712.jpg With low solar activity, a double-dip La Nina and more particles in the air, it should be much colder than it is. Les Chatfield/Flickr

On September 27 2013 the 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released.

One part of this report will address the so-called “warming hiatus”. This is the argument that warming has stopped, with the further assertion in some quarters that we therefore have nothing to worry about in the future.

It is a fact, based on observations of air temperature, that the rate of global warming measured as surface air temperature has slowed over the past 15 years. The last decade is still the warmest in the past 150 years.

If you measure global heat content then global warming has not slowed. If you measure other indices including sea level rise or ocean temperatures or sea ice cover global warming has not slowed.

However, the warming trend in air temperatures has slowed over the last 15 years. There is a great deal of interest in this “hiatus” in the sense of whether it points to some fundamental error in climate science.

The 5th Assessment Report by the IPCC explains the slowing in the rate of global warming in roughly equal terms as the consequence of reduced radiative forcing (the difference between radiative energy that hits the earth and energy radiated back to space), increased heat uptake by the oceans and natural variability.

The reduced radiative forcing (the amount of energy available to drive the climate system) is due to the recent solar minimum (a period of low solar activity), and volcanic and anthropogenic aerosols (these are particles such as sulphur and soot, which block some radiation from hitting the earth).

The slowing in the rate of warming over the last 15 years is not in the least surprising. We have seen a combination of the solar minimum, anthropogenic aerosol emissions and back-to-back La Niñas.

What is surprising - and what is deeply concerning to me and almost entirely missed in the media commentary - is that we have not cooled dramatically over the last 15 years.

Below is the global surface temperature graph – this comes from a NASA site but any other reputable temperature reconstruction makes similar points. Note that there were periods through the 20th century where combinations of aerosols from volcanoes and human sources, solar variability and natural variability led to very significant cooling.

r6s6nn5m-1379477042.jpg Figure 1: Global surface temperature. NASA
Click to enlarge

Between about 1880 and 1890, temperatures cooled by about 0.4C. Between 1900 and 1910 temperatures cooled close to 0.3C. Between 1945 and 1950 temperatures cooled about 0.35C. Between 1962 and 1965 temperatures cooled about 0.3C. There are other examples, but these were decade-scale cooling of 0.3C to 0.4C.

The most recent period of similar relevance starts with the extremely hot year, 1998. Since 1998, through to 2012, the temperatures cooled by 0.03C. However you choose to view the figure you simply have to conclude that natural variability, aerosols and solar variability have caused global cooling in the past of a scale that dwarfs anything that has occurred in the last 15 years.

So, here is what I think we should be genuinely concerned about.

Given the double-dip La Niña, coupled with the solar minimum and coupled with the high aerosol output from some developing nations, the question in the minds of some climate scientists is not “why has it cooled?”, because it has not cooled in any significant sense and the climatologically significant trends (calculated over 30 years) remain upwards.

Indeed, despite a suite of forcings that should have led to cooling, we still had the warmest decade in the observational record.

So, the question is, given it did cool several times in the historical period under broadly parallel circumstances in terms of the forcing, why has it not cooled since 1998 by 0.3C or 0.4C, and how come we broke the records for the warmest decade?

There has been time (its 15 years while previous cooling occurred in 10 years) for cooling of 0.3C or 0.4C to have occurred. There really is a case to argue that we should have cooled to close to the values measured in around 1990 and definitely not broken the record for the warmest decade on record.

A plausible answer is that we have underestimated the climate sensitivity.

We know, for certain, that aerosols, natural variability and solar variability have cooled the climate in the past. This time, they have not.

One way that this makes sense is if climate scientists have underestimated how dominant CO2 and other greenhouse gases are in warming the climate. In other words, CO2 and other greenhouse gases are countering the cooling effects of natural variability by much more than we anticipated.

If correct, this means that the capacity of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to accelerate warming - once natural variability, solar variability and aerosols decline in influence - has been underestimated.

A second possible explanation is that the warming by CO2 has led to a sufficiently different climate system that natural variability now functions differently. This seems extremely unlikely but is certainly anything but comforting.

If you see the slowing of warming over the last 15 years as a hint that climate scientists might have been wrong and that global warming is less of a problem than predicted, you are very likely being lulled into a false sense of security.

The lack of cooling of 0.3C or 0.4C since 1998 is most easily explained by the effect of increasing CO2 and other greenhouse gases masking the cooling that would otherwise have occurred.

It follows that when we next see an El Niño, and the solar cycle is more average, or if developing countries clean up their aerosol emissions, we will see an acceleration of warming rates observed prior to 1998.

In short, the slowing of warming rates since 1998 is not a good news story. It is very likely a hint that climate scientists have underestimated the sensitivity of climate to increasing CO2 and the slowing of warming is lulling us into a very false sense of security.

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Climate change: The case of the missing heat

Sixteen years into the mysterious ‘global-warming hiatus’, scientists are piecing together an explanation.

The biggest mystery in climate science today may have begun, unbeknownst to anybody at the time, with a subtle weakening of the tropical trade winds blowing across the Pacific Ocean in late 1997. These winds normally push sun-baked water towards Indonesia. When they slackened, the warm water sloshed back towards South America, resulting in a spectacular example of a phenomenon known as El Niño. Average global temperatures hit a record high in 1998 — and then the warming stalled.

For several years, scientists wrote off the stall as noise in the climate system: the natural variations in the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere that drive warm or cool spells around the globe. But the pause has persisted, sparking a minor crisis of confidence in the field. Although there have been jumps and dips, average atmospheric temperatures have risen little since 1998, in seeming defiance of projections of climate models and the ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. Climate sceptics have seized on the temperature trends as evidence that global warming has ground to a halt. Climate scientists, meanwhile, know that heat must still be building up somewhere in the climate system, but they have struggled to explain where it is going, if not into the atmosphere. Some have begun to wonder whether there is something amiss in their models.

Now, as the global-warming hiatus enters its sixteenth year, scientists are at last making headway in the case of the missing heat. Some have pointed to the Sun, volcanoes and even pollution from China as potential culprits, but recent studies suggest that the oceans are key to explaining the anomaly. The latest suspect is the El Niño of 1997–98, which pumped prodigious quantities of heat out of the oceans and into the atmosphere — perhaps enough to tip the equatorial Pacific into a prolonged cold state that has suppressed global temperatures ever since.

“The 1997 to ’98 El Niño event was a trigger for the changes in the Pacific, and I think that’s very probably the beginning of the hiatus,” says Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. According to this theory, the tropical Pacific should snap out of its prolonged cold spell in the coming years.“Eventually,” Trenberth says, “it will switch back in the other direction.”

Stark contrast

On a chart of global atmospheric temperatures, the hiatus stands in stark contrast to the rapid warming of the two decades that preceded it. Simulations conducted in advance of the 2013–14 assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the warming should have continued at an average rate of 0.21 °C per decade from 1998 to 2012. Instead, the observed warming during that period was just 0.04 °C per decade, as measured by the UK Met Office in Exeter and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK.

The simplest explanation for both the hiatus and the discrepancy in the models is natural variability. Much like the swings between warm and cold in day-to-day weather, chaotic climate fluctuations can knock global temperatures up or down from year to year and decade to decade. Records of past climate show some long-lasting global heatwaves and cold snaps, and climate models suggest that either of these can occur as the world warms under the influence of greenhouse gases.

But none of the climate simulations carried out for the IPCC produced this particular hiatus at this particular time. That has led sceptics — and some scientists — to the controversial conclusion that the models might be overestimating the effect of greenhouse gases, and that future warming might not be as strong as is feared. Others say that this conclusion goes against the long-term temperature trends, as well as palaeoclimate data that are used to extend the temperature record far into the past. And many researchers caution against evaluating models on the basis of a relatively short-term blip in the climate. “If you are interested in global climate change, your main focus ought to be on timescales of 50 to 100 years,” says Susan Solomon, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

But even those scientists who remain confident in the underlying models acknowledge that there is increasing pressure to work out just what is happening today. “A few years ago you saw the hiatus, but it could be dismissed because it was well within the noise,” says Gabriel Vecchi, a climate scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.

Warming2.jpg

“Now it’s something to explain.”

Researchers have followed various leads in recent years, focusing mainly on a trio of factors: the Sun1, atmospheric aerosol particles2 and the oceans3. The output of energy from the Sun tends to wax and wane on an 11-year cycle, but the Sun entered a prolonged lull around the turn of the millennium. The natural 11-year cycle is currently approaching its peak, but thus far it has been the weakest solar maximum in a century. This could help to explain both the hiatus and the discrepancy in the model simulations, which include a higher solar output than Earth has experienced since 2000.

An unexpected increase in the number of stratospheric aerosol particles could be another factor keeping Earth cooler than predicted. These particles reflect sunlight back into space, and scientists suspect that small volcanoes — and perhaps even industrialization in China — could have pumped extra aerosols into the stratosphere during the past 16 years, depressing global temperatures.

Some have argued that these two factors could be primary drivers of the hiatus, but studies published in the past few years suggest that their effects are likely to be relatively small4, 5. Trenberth, for example, analysed their impacts on the basis of satellite measurements of energy entering and exiting the planet, and estimated that aerosols and solar activity account for just 20% of the hiatus. That leaves the bulk of the hiatus to the oceans, which serve as giant sponges for heat. And here, the spotlight falls on the equatorial Pacific.

Blowing Hot And Cold

Just before the hiatus took hold, that region had turned unusually warm during the El Niño of 1997–98, which fuelled extreme weather across the planet, from floods in Chile and California to droughts and wildfires in Mexico and Indonesia. But it ended just as quickly as it had begun, and by late 1998 cold waters — a mark of El Niño’s sister effect, La Niña — had returned to the eastern equatorial Pacific with a vengeance. More importantly, the entire eastern Pacific flipped into a cool state that has continued more or less to this day.

This variation in ocean temperature, known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), may be a crucial piece of the hiatus puzzle. The cycle reverses every 15–30 years, and in its positive phase, the oscillation favours El Niño, which tends to warm the atmosphere (see ‘The fickle ocean’). After a couple of decades of releasing heat from the eastern and central Pacific, the region cools and enters the negative phase of the PDO. This state tends towards La Niña, which brings cool waters up from the depths along the Equator and tends to cool the planet. Researchers identified the PDO pattern in 1997, but have only recently begun to understand how it fits in with broader ocean-circulation patterns and how it may help to explain the hiatus.

One important finding came in 2011, when a team of researchers at NCAR led by Gerald Meehl reported that inserting a PDO pattern into global climate models causes decade-scale breaks in global warming3. Ocean-temperature data from the recent hiatus reveal why: in a subsequent study, the NCAR researchers showed that more heat moved into the deep ocean after 1998, which helped to prevent the atmosphere from warming6. In a third paper, the group used computer models to document the flip side of the process: when the PDO switches to its positive phase, it heats up the surface ocean and atmosphere, helping to drive decades of rapid warming7.

A key breakthrough came last year from Shang-Ping Xie and Yu Kosaka at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. The duo took a different tack, by programming a model with actual sea surface temperatures from recent decades in the eastern equatorial Pacific, and then seeing what happened to the rest of the globe8. Their model not only recreated the hiatus in global temperatures, but also reproduced some of the seasonal and regional climate trends that have marked the hiatus, including warming in many areas and cooler northern winters.

“It was actually a revelation for me when I saw that paper,” says John Fyfe, a climate modeller at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria. But it did not, he adds, explain everything. “What it skirted was the question of what is driving the tropical cooling.”

Warming.jpg

That was investigated by Trenberth and John Fasullo, also at NCAR, who brought in winds and ocean data to explain how the pattern emerges4. Their study documents how tropical trade winds associated with La Niña conditions help to drive warm water westward and, ultimately, deep into the ocean, while promoting the upwelling of cool waters along the eastern equatorial region. In extreme cases, such as the La Niña of 1998, this may be able to push the ocean into a cool phase of the PDO. An analysis of historical data buttressed these conclusions, showing that the cool phase of the PDO coincided with a few decades of cooler temperatures after the Second World War (see ‘The Pacific’s global reach’), and that the warm phase lined up with the sharp spike seen in global temperatures between 1976 and 1998 (ref. 4).

“I believe the evidence is pretty clear,” says Mark Cane, a climatologist at Columbia University in New York. “It’s not about aerosols or stratospheric water vapour; it’s about having had a decade of cooler temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific.”

Heated debate

Cane was the first to predict the current cooling in the Pacific, although the implications weren’t clear at the time. In 2004, he and his colleagues found that a simple regional climate model predicted a warm shift in the Pacific that began around 1976, when global temperatures began to rise sharply9. Almost as an afterthought, they concluded their paper with a simple forecast: “For what it is worth the model predicts that the 1998 El Niño ended the post-1976 tropical Pacific warm period.”

It is an eerily accurate result, but the work remains hotly contested, in part because it is based on a partial climate model that focuses on the equatorial Pacific alone. Cane further maintains that the trend over the past century has been towards warmer temperatures in the western Pacific relative to those in the east. That opens the door, he says, to the possibility that warming from greenhouse gases is driving La Niña-like conditions and could continue to do so in the future, helping to suppress global warming. “If all of that is true, it’s a negative feedback, and if we don’t capture it in our models they will overstate the warming,” he says.

There are two potential holes in his assessment. First, the historical ocean-temperature data are notoriously imprecise, leading many researchers to dispute Cane’s assertion that the equatorial Pacific shifted towards a more La Niña-like state during the past century10. Second, many researchers have found the opposite pattern in simulations with full climate models, which factor in the suite of atmospheric and oceanic interactions beyond the equatorial Pacific. These tend to reveal a trend towards more El Niño-like conditions as a result of global warming. The difference seems to lie, in part, in how warming influences evaporation in areas of the Pacific, according to Trenberth. He says the models suggest that global warming has a greater impact on temperatures in the relatively cool east, because the increase in evaporation adds water vapour to the atmosphere there and enhances atmospheric warming; this effect is weaker in the warmer western Pacific, where the air is already saturated with moisture.

Scientists may get to test their theories soon enough. At present, strong tropical trade winds are pushing ever more warm water westward towards Indonesia, fuelling storms such as November’s Typhoon Haiyan, and nudging up sea levels in the western Pacific; they are now roughly 20 centimetres higher than those in the eastern Pacific. Sooner or later, the trend will inevitably reverse. “You can’t keep piling up warm water in the western Pacific,” Trenberth says. “At some point, the water will get so high that it just sloshes back.” And when that happens, if scientists are on the right track, the missing heat will reappear and temperatures will spike once again.

Nature 505, 276–278 ( 16 January 2014 ) doi:10.1038/505276a

http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1.14525

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cold.png

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Equatorial Glaciers in Papua New Guinea since the industrial revolution.

Puncak_Jaya_glaciers_1850-2003_evolution

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Banks and big business warn Direct Action will lift costs and deter projects

Short-term incentives offered by the policy ‘will drive up’ the amount Coalition will pay to buy emissions reductions

Banks and big business are warning the government the short-term incentives offered by its Direct Action climate policy will deter many projects and drive up the amount the government will have to pay to buy emission reductions.

The government’s new emissions reduction fund (ERF) is supposed to start buying greenhouse abatement from July through competitive tenders that offer five-year grants to companies and organisations that reduce emissions.

Guardian Australia understands some in the government argued the fund should offer only three-year contracts, as the Coalition has announced specific funding for only the first three years.

A green paper, released late last year, said contracts would be for five years.

But in a submission to government, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) will argue even a five-year period is “of concern” because it could force bids up to cover the cost of projects likely to last more than five years, instead of spreading the costs more evenly over a longer period.

The National Environmental Law Association (Nela) has also warned the government that “a five-year contract term will prove to be a significant inhibitor in terms of ERF participation”.

“In particular, Nela is aware that none of the big four banks are likely to be willing to offer project finance for ERF projects, unless a longer contract term is available,” the association said in its submission on the fund.

The government has said the emissions reduction fund will run from 1 July 2014 to 2020, but has specified only the initial allocations for the first three years, of $300m, $500m and $750m. Even those amounts were not included in the December mid-year economic forecasts, where money for the fund was included in the “contingency reserve”.

The BCA is also likely to call on the government to clarify when the five years will take effect – the date of the execution of the contract, or when the emission reductions actually occur. This could also push spending into later years.

Nela said if the government insisted on keeping the five-year contract limit it would need to allow businesses other ways of finding funding, for example through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). But the government is trying to pass legislation to abolish the corporation.

In a submission to a Senate inquiry into Direct Action, the CEFC has also argued that five-year contracts would struggle to get funding from regular banks.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/24/banks-and-big-business-warn-direct-action-will-lift-costs-and-deter-projects

Edited by bot6

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You could probably make a similar map of North America from this year that shows record cold temperatures. So if you were to crunch the numbers global warming could seem insignificant.

It certainly shows that the climate is getting much more extreme on both ends of the scale. The global warming aspect of climate change is a big issue but statistics could be employed to downplay that aspect.

I think in way discussions about global warming detract from the climate change issue in some ways because of the way global statistics (as a whole) portray only small changes.

Mean temps don't really mean much to me, it's the extremes in temperate zones (as shown in WB's map) that have changed the most. Changes in the biology of the planet are much more important to me.

Edited by Sally
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