15 Jul 2011

It seems that volcanic aerosols may be under-estimated when it comes to global temperatures. Research in France has just been published by PNAS (July 2011) (see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/11/new-study-suggests-that-the-volcan... ). What caught my attention in this post is the possibility that aerosols may play a role in the cool weather of the Little Ice Age (but unsaid). Most attention has been placed on the role of sun spots in the various so called 'Minimums' - as they are an observable factor in the modern world. Aerosols are not. This is of course a factor suggested by Clube and Napier in The Cosmic Winter and more recently by a Korean researcher at Seoul University on the 'Chosun Annals'. While there has been research on volcanic effects on climate during the Little Ice Age this has not been a feature recently, where the impetus has focussed on downplaying the coldness of the period in order to emphasise the unnatural nature of current global warming. Hence, this new study is to be welcomed - but at the same time any kind of debris captured by the upper atmosphere, volcanic aerosols as well as dust with an origin in space, is capable of creating a haze, or an 'opaque atmosphere' as it is sometimes described, restraining the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the earth.

Another paper is openly acknowledging there has been no global warming recently, and this time the emphasis is placed on the last 8 years (see www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/332299/title/Simulation_tracks_ocean... ). In this paper the slowdown is blamed on natural fluctuations as a result of the ocean circulation system. Temperatures in the upper 700m of the oceans rose in the 1980s and 1990s, we are told, but flattened out in the 2000s. As climate science theory, or the consensus, dictates, the upper oceans must absorb most of the extra energy trapped by greenhouse gases. Therefore, a lack of warming is a problem and although in this paper that problem is openly acknowledged, in contrast to most AGW propaganda that deliberately ignores the fact, the aim is to blame the loss of heat on the ocean circulation system. Recognition of the anomaly, by itself, is important as a great deal of time has been wasted by AGW advocates attacking the reputations of people that have previously pointed at the anomaly, and in the process the science has been ignored. For the moment a word of caution as a computer simulation is again at the heart of this paper - and computers only regurgitate what they are being fed.

Another paper is due to appear in Geophysical Research Letters along a similar vein, once again suggesting the heat has been buried by ocean currents. Therefore, just looking at surface temperatures, we are cajoled, is not a reliable way to detect global warming.