UPDATE 1 (January 20, 2012): I revised the closing comment, and used strikethrough on the original version so that you can see the intent of the revision.
This post examines only two sentences in Joe’s Bastardi’s post at WattsUpWithThat titled, Global temps in a Crash as AGW proponents Crash the Economy.
Joe Bastardi opens his post with:
“When the PDO turned cold, most of the meteorological and climate community understood that the pattern was turning very similar the last time of the PDO reversal, the 1950s, and it was a matter of time before the global temperatures, which have leveled off, would start falling in the same herby jerky fashion they had risen when the PDO turned warm at the end of the 1970s.”
This is a very curious statement. Let me paraphrase: It states that we should anticipate a decrease in global surface temperatures at a rate that is comparable to the rate at which they rose from the late 1970s to late 2000s. But surface temperatures did not decline at anywhere near that rate from the early 1940s to the late 1970s, when the PDO was in the same mode we’re in right now. So there’s nothing in the instrument temperature record to support the claim that global temperatures “would start falling in the same herby jerky fashion they had risen when the PDO turned warm at the end of the 1970s”.
Also the PDO “switched” to the cool mode in the 1940s, not the 1950s. The JISAO PDO webpage reads:
…“‘cool’ PDO regimes prevailed from 1890-1924 and again from 1947-1976”…
But since there’s no process by which the PDO could raise or lower surface temperatures, it’s a moot point.
In the third paragraph, Joe Bastardi writes:
“However first came the flip in the PDO, seen nicely here on the Multivariate Enso Index chart, which clearly illustrates the colder Pacific when the earth was colder, the start of the warming period coinciding with the satellite era, and now.”
There are a bunch of errors in that sentence:
First, the Multivariate ENSO Index by its name is an ENSO index. It does not represent the PDO, and the PDO does not represent it. The Multivariate ENSO Index includes NINO3 sea surface temperatures and 5 other tropical Pacific variables. On the other hand, the PDO is a statistically created index that represents the leading Principal Component of the North Pacific, north of 20N, after the data has been detrended. One’s in the tropics of the Pacific; the other’s in the extra-tropics of the North Pacific. Neither represents the sea surface temperature of the Pacific.
Second, the Multivariate ENSO Index data has been standardized. Look at the y-axis in the graph that Joe Bastardi provided, shown here as Figure 1. It does not list the units as deg C. It lists them as “Standardized Departure”. The units of the MEI are not temperature.
Third, since the Multivariate ENSO index does not represent temperature in any way, shape or form, the statement, “which clearly illustrates the colder Pacific when the earth was colder,” is wrong.
Fourth, even if you were to replace the MEI data with the official ENSO index of NOAA, that index is based solely on the sea surface temperatures of a very small region in the eastern equatorial Pacific, the NINO3.4 region. It does not in any way illustrate “the colder Pacific when the earth was colder” because it does not represent the Pacific as a whole, just a teeny little part of it.
Fifth, the satellite era for sea surface temperature data starts in November 1981. The Pacific climate shift occurred in 1976/77.
The skeptical side of the climate change debate is not reinforced by misleading and error-filled sentences such as this.
The authors of posts should realize the skeptical side of the climate change debate is not reinforced by misleading and error-filled sentences such as this.