Climate Model Chaos

Climate Model Chaos by Stephen Wilde-1

Global warming theory in chaos after report finds increased solar activity may COOL the Earth – Daily Mail

I have been raising this issue for some time especially in my various articles for in which I have been persistently proposing that on the basis of real world climate observations the effect of solar variability on climate must be the opposite of conventional climatology.

It has even been worked into a general climate overview, see here:A New And Effective Climate Model in which I said:

“Thus when the sun is more active far from warming the planet the sun is facilitating an increased rate of cooling of the planet. That is why the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun.”

Admittedly I would now make some adjustments to my model in the light of constructive criticism but it remains substantially correct.

I propose to issue an update and review of it shortly.

As far as I know my proposed model is the only one in existence remaining viable in the light of Joanna Haigh’s findings.

Even Gavin Schmidt at Realclimate appreciates the significance:

“this result would imply that all current attributions to solar variability of temperature changes in the lower atmosphere and surface ocean would be of the wrong sign. Mechanisms elucidated in multiple models from multiple groups would no longer have any validity. It would be shocking stuff indeed.”

The issue of the correct sign for the solar effect on stratospheric temperatures is now gaining some momentum so let me try to share my reasoning in terms that are as simple as possible because I’m not currently aware of anyone else other than me who figured it out before Joanna’s findings came to light.

i) I noted the poleward drift of the jets throughout the late 20th Century warming spell and on the face of it that was consistent with a warming troposphere. Clearly a warmer troposphere would invigorate the hydrological cycle and push the jets poleward and AGW theory recognised that with the models supporting just such a poleward shift. Indeed that poleward shift was supposed to be accompanied by a tropospheric hot spot as the enhanced upward energy flux was then constrained by extra GHGs so that the ‘surplus’ energy was retained in the troposphere and thereby denied to the stratosphere which then cooled as per observations and despite the ‘normal’ warming of the stratosphere that would otherwise have been expected from the highly active sun at the time. So far so good.

ii) But then around 2000 I noted that the jets had started moving equatorward again and no one said anything about it. To my mind that broke the expected (AGW) pattern and I was puzzled so I watched and thought and read but no one ever picked up on the point and not being a climate professional and being otherwise occupied in earning a living I did not raise the issue with anyone.

iii) Then the AGW thing reached a crescendo with Al Gore’s film and I felt that something was not right and started participating on the blogs.

iv) It soon became clear to me that the essential point was being missed by everyone, AGW proponents and sceptics alike. That is, if the more poleward jets represent a faster hydrological cycle with energy being propelled upward faster yet no tropospheric hotspot where the energy is being backed up then how the hell can anyone assert that the energy being supplied to the stratosphere from below has been reduced by the presence of more CO2 in the troposphere.

If anything the poleward shift of the jets inevitably implies that more CO2 results in energy being propelled upward faster not slower and of course that would be consistent with the observation that more downward IR from any additional CO2 gets converted instantly into latent heat by enhanced evaporation to be released higher up when condensation occurs. So for AGW theory to have been correct we would have to have seen that hot spot at the top of the troposphere and the presence of that hotspot would have prevented the jets moving poleward, indeed it should have sent them equatorward instead because it would have had the same effect as a reduction of the height of the tropopause and an enhancement of the intensity of the tropopause.

v) So if the stratosphere was not being cooled by a dearth of energy from below it must be cooling from an even greater increase of energy flowing upward towards space.

vi) Joanna Haigh’s observations, if verified, prove that to be the case. Thus AGW theory collapses totally and we have to dump all existing climate models and theories except mine which is the only hypothesis that anticipated those observations and accommodates them in the overall narrative.

At the base of all this is the simple failure of anyone to note the start of the equatorward shift in the jets around 2000.
Everything I say is a simple logical extrapolation from what should have been the obvious implications of that change in trend as regards jetstream behaviour . The climate establishment clearly took it’s eye off the ball and has led us a merry dance for at least ten years.

It is for others to decide whether there has been fraud or simply gross negligence.

Some AGW proponents have tried to minimise the significance of all this by suggesting that the implication is that Greenhouse Gases are even more important because the troposphere warmed despite the now revealed cooling effect of the more active sun.

Actually it only shows that the role of other factors is enhanced and that need not be CO2 or GHGs. The oceans are themselves carrying out the same function as GHGs in the air by slowing the release of incoming solar energy back to space.

The temperature of the troposphere is barely influenced at all by the air. That temperature is almost entirely set by all that water due to it’s hugely greater density and heat carrying capability.



“The atmospheric greenhouse effect is a flea on the back of an oceanic elephant and the influence of CO2 but a microbe on the back of the flea and the influence of anthropogenic CO2 but a molecule on the back of the microbe.”

from here:

“Greenhouse Confusion Resolved”.

The poleward shift of the jets during a period of active sun was always inconsistent with AGW theory.

AGW theory in requiring a slowdown of energy transfer from troposphere to stratosphere would require more equatorward jets and a slower hydrological cycle which does not happen. The models reflected that poleward shift but had no means of recognising it as a quantifiable change in the speed of upward energy transfer because they do not accurately model clouds, convection and the effect of the phase changes of water on a global basis. A critical omission as it now turns out because to get observations to match theory logic then demands a change in the sign of the solar effect on the atmosphere being necessary. Just as Dr. Haigh has now discovered with actual measurements.


Note that the solar effects are opposite to those which the models are built on which is fatal for the models. Not much can survive after getting the sign wrong for a significant component. Back to the drawing board for the lot of them.

Furthermore those solar effects may not be small at all. So far it has only been said that the contribution to warming by the sun during the late 20th century might be smaller than expected but since they have been saying it was virtually zero during the late 20th century that doesn’t get us very far.. The cooling and warming effects have not yet been properly quantified and will most likely turn out to be significant.

Published by Stephen Wilde October 12, 2010

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