Another major study predicts rapid warming over next few years — nearly 0.3°F by 2014

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"Another major study predicts rapid warming over next few years — nearly 0.3°F by 2014"

From 2009 to 2014, projected rises in anthropogenic influences and solar irradiance will increase global surface temperature 0.15 ±0.03 °C, at a rate 50% greater than predicted by IPCC.

So conclude Judith Lean, of the US Naval Research Laboratory, and David Rind, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in a new Geophysical Research Letters study, “How Will Earth’s Surface Temperature Change in Future Decades?” (subs. req’d).  The UK Guardian explains:

The work is the first to assess the combined impact on global temperature of four factors: human influences such as CO2 and aerosol emissions; heating from the sun; volcanic activity and the El Ni±o southern oscillation, the phenomenon by which the Pacific Ocean flips between warmer and cooler states every few years.

This study does not assume we will have a major El Ni±o, but notes that if we did have a really big one, it could add as much as 0.2°C [0.36°F] to the temperature in an individual year.  In the July 27 weekly update by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, “ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions,” NCEP notes “Current observations and dynamical model forecasts indicate El Ni±o conditions will continue to intensify and are expected to last through” the winter, and “nearly all of the dynamical models predict a moderate-to-strong episode.”  So again, it looks NASA’s January prediction is accurate,

Given our expectation of the next El Ni±o beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years.

Significantly, a 2007 Hadley Center paper in Science: “Improved Surface Temperature Prediction for the Coming Decade from a Global Climate Model” (see “Climate Forecast: Hot “” and then Very Hot“) also concluded:

Our system predicts that internal variability will partially offset the anthropogenic global warming signal for the next few years. However, climate will continue to warm, with at least half of the years after 2009 predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record.

That 2007 paper predicted roughly twice as much warming by 2014 as the new study.

A 2008 Nature paper that confused many actually found that the coming decade is poised to see faster temperature rise than any decade since the authors’ calculations began in 1960 (see “Nature article on ‘cooling’ confuses media, deniers: Next decade may see rapid warming“).

The new GRL paper seems highly credible:

By representing monthly mean surface temperatures in terms of their combined linear responses to ENSO, volcanic and solar activity and anthropogenic influences, we account for 76% of the variance observed since 1980 (and since 1889, Lean and Rind, 2008) and forecast global and regional temperatures in the next two decade.

The authors note that:

… our empirical model predicts that global surface temperatures will increase at an average rate of 0.17 ±0.03 °C per decade in the next two decades….

Northern mid latitudes, especially western Europe, will experience the largest warming (of as much as 1°C)….

Of course, Americans also live in the Northern mid latitudes.

Notwithstanding the occasional confused study, we continue, sadly, to be on track for every decade this century being the hottest decade in recorded history.”

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15 Responses to Another major study predicts rapid warming over next few years — nearly 0.3°F by 2014

  1. Gail says:

    There seems to be no end to the list of ravages of climate chaos:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111109436&ft=1&f=1001

  2. Gail says:

    Ice and then, Fire…http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090728123047.htm

    *must go back to reading pulp romance novels*

  3. MarkB says:

    ” our empirical model predicts that global surface temperatures will increase at an average rate of 0.17 ±0.03 °C per decade in the next two decades….”

    That seems in line with the IPCC. The short-term forecast, though, is indeed meaningful:

    “From 2009 to 2014, projected rises in anthropogenic influences and solar irradiance will increase global surface temperature 0.15 ±0.03 °C, at a rate 50% greater than predicted by IPCC.”

    A move away from the recent la Nina conditions towards el Nino and a resumption of the solar cycle would certainly be enough to cause a larger spike during this timeframe.

  4. From Peru says:

    Have you read the paper that links solar maximum with La Niñas, something that will cause a cooling that probably outweights the solar forced warming?(ie, if solar maximum comes in 2012, then a La Niña cooling is likely around that year)

    Anyway, do you think that the 2009-2010 El Niño will be strong or moderate?

  5. From Peru says:

    Anyway, do you think that the 2009-2010 El Niño will be strong or moderate?

    [JR: Too early to say. Somewhere in between, I'd guess at this point. It may be long.]

  6. From Peru says:

    There is one interesting site called “Climate Observations”, by Bob Tisdale. In that site, a series of plots of recent and historical SST, SST anomalies, tropospheric temperatures, ENSO, sea level rise, etc.

    One of the most interesting posts regard the after-effects of big El Niños. In the plots is showed that these events are followed by a warming of East Indian , West Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. He argues that the heat stored under the West Pacific waters in non El Niño years is then sudenly released to the atmosphere.

    The heat is then trasferred to the surface oceans,where it appears as warming. In the time-latitude plots is observed also that years after big El Niños there is Arctic warming, and the explanation is that the heat released in the ENSO area is trasferred to the Arctic. Indeed, he argued that the post-1976 warming comes in various steps, each preceded by a super-Niño. The exception is the 1983 El Niño, because it effects were suppressed by the El Chichon eruption.

    He believes that this explain the post-1976 warming instead of CO2 forcing (it also posts in the WUWT site).

    But this is just his opinion. Instead, data is data. These are interesting observations, so you might find them interesting. If you read it, please tell me what do you think about them.

  7. paulm says:

    Peru, Bob is in denial mate.

    BTW…

    the latest heat wave continues in South Coastal B.C. Fifty year old temperature records in Victoria, Abbotsford, Lytton and Lillooet have fallen.

    “We’re looking at a once-in-a-lifetime heat wave,” Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones said. “Five consecutive days with temperatures over 32 C . . . . We’re going to do that this week. That’s only happened three times since 1880.”

  8. David B. Benson says:

    From Peru — ENSO is rather well understood. It provides qausi-periodic oscillations, El Nino and La Nina, on the underlying centennial scale trend forced primarily, but not solely, by increasing CO2 concentrations.

    That CO2 is a global warming (so-called greenhouse) gas is beyond question. That more CO2 causes more warming is also beyond question.

  9. Jim Eaton says:

    Been a tad warm out West. Portland, Oregon hit 106 today (41 C), just one degree below their all time high temperature. Seattle was 97 (36 C) and may go over 100 tomorrow.

    LOCATION NEW RECORD OLD RECORD
    =============================================
    Redding, Calif. 113 112 1973
    Red Bluff, Calif 112 111 2003

    THE FOLLOWING ARE PRELIMINARY HIGH TEMPERATURES AS OF 5 PM PDT
    07/28/2009.

    …NEW RECORDS FOR JULY 28TH…
    …ALL-TIME HIGH SHOWN TO THE RIGHT FOR COMPARISON…

    LOCATION NEW RECORD OLD RECORD ALL-TIME RECORD
    ==============================================
    VANCOUVER (WA) 106 100 (1998) 105 (06/30/1942)
    PORTLAND AIRPORT 106 101 (1998) 107 (08/10/1981)
    PORTLAND DOWNTOWN 105 100 (1998) 106 (08/10/1981)
    TROUTDALE 105 101 (1998) 108 (08/18/1977)
    SALEM 107 99 (2003) 108 (08/09/1981)
    EUGENE 106 100 (2003) 108 (08/09/1981)
    HILLSBORO 105 96 (1985) 108 (07/19/1956)
    MCMINNVILLE 106 104 (1998) 110 (07/10/1926)
    HOOD RIVER 103 (TIED) 103 (2005) 108 (08/18/1977)
    ASTORIA 92 82 (2003) 101 (07/01/1942)

    NEW RECORD OLD RECORD

    SEA-TAC 97-TIED 97 1998
    OLYMPIA 101 100 1998
    HOQUIAM 93 81 1965
    BELLINGHAM 90 88 1958
    SEATTLE WFO (SANDPOINT) 95 92 1998

    RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES
    SEA-TAC 69* 65 1998
    OLYMPIA 63 62 1958
    QUILLAYUTE (FORKS) 59-TIED 59 2000
    BELLINGHAM 63-TIED 63 1958

    *TIES ALL-TIME HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE SET 9/2/1974

  10. Vinny Burgoo says:

    @MarkB

    ‘That seems in line with the IPCC. The short-term forecast, though, is indeed meaningful: …’

    Why is a short-term forecast of a steep rise more meaningful than a long-term forecast that is ‘in line with the IPCC’? The former is subsumed by the latter. The real story is that the paper says the IPCC got things more or less right.

    In a similar vein, both Joe Romm and the Guardian article gleefully report the paper’s conclusion that a powerful ENSO will cause a spike in temperatures but they don’t mention its (equally obvious) conclusion that major volcanic activity would flatten the trend. If you’re going to pick cherries, why pick the rotten ones?

    [JR: Uhh, wow, you win the award for missing the point. The point is the deniers have been cherry picking the last big El Nino year, 1998, for their nonsensical claim that we stopped warming a decade ago. And there is nothing gleeful in my post. Quite the reverse. As I concluded, "we continue, sadly, to be on track for every decade this century being the hottest decade in recorded history.”]

    (Incidentally, can anyone think of a good reason why the last few years of trend are missing from Guardian’s temperature chart? The original at CRU is complete. An accident with an eraser?)

  11. Richard Steckis says:

    This decade is most certainly the warmest of this century. This also is certainly fhe coolest decade of this century. That is because this is the only decade of this century.

  12. Jim Eaton says:

    Seattle breaks all-time temperature record
    (AP) – 48 minutes ago

    SEATTLE — Seattle has recorded the hottest temperature in its history.

    The National Weather Service recorded 102 degrees at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, breaking a previous record of 100 degrees, set most recently in 1994.

    Jay Albrecht with the National Weather Service says that’s the hottest it has been in Seattle since temperatures were first recorded in 1891. He says temperatures could keep climbing.

  13. From Peru says:

    paulm, David B. Benson: I don`t have any doubt about greenhouse global warming. And I also know that Bob Tisdale is a global warming skeptic.

    But that doesn`t stop me to find Bob`s blog interesting, even if I don`t agree with his conclusions. The data and analysis are meticulous, and some observations, like the Big El Niño aftermath warming, are interesting and pretty logic.

    The climate, all we know, is highly nonlinear, and so the climate change is not gradual, but nearly always abrupt. One of those aspects are the so-called tipping points( Arctic sea ice melt, Altlantic meridional overturning current, the Indian Monsoon, the Amazon desertification, etc), but there are very likely also some minor but still importants nonlinearities.

    Bob Tisdale semms to have found one than other have missed, the West Pacific Warm Water Pool coupled to ENSO events.

    Huge amounts of heat may be stored under those waters, but because this warm water is hundred of meters deep, is not computed in the world average, that only considers surface and atmospheric temperatures. When a Big El Niño happens (like in 1983 and 1998) all this warm water go to the the East Pacific in front of Peru (where I live)and other South and Central America counties, and is exposed in the oceanic surface. A considerable amount of the heat in water is released to the troposphere, sending warm air that spread with the winds over all the globe.

    Then , even after the Big Niño, when ENSO has switched to La Niña and cool weather hit the ENSO region, the heat previously released has warmed the troposphere, and so that warms the rest of the globe, specially the other (non ENSO regions)SST and the Arctic.

    This is a totally reasonable hipothesis suggested by the data analysis. Bob concludes that this explain the post-1976 warming (thanks to series of big El Niños after that year), but a more reasonable conclusion will be that most of the greenhouse heat is stored under West Pacific waters and then abruptly released during big El Niños. This will contribute to a non-linear warming, in particular to an abrupt warming after super-Niños that is not seen in the relationship between ENSO cycle trends and global temperature trends.

    Even with a wrong conclusion, it still is a good analysis of the data.

    It has also and obvious corollary: if there is now a big El Niño, then an abrupt warming will follow(even worse than the ones described in this website, because they don’t consider this effect), and that will be the final blow to the Arctic, becoming ice-free in summer maybe in a date so near as 2012.

  14. Richard Steckis says:

    You stated in reply to Vinny Burgoo #10:

    “JR: Uhh, wow, you win the award for missing the point. The point is the deniers have been cherry picking the last big El Nino year, 1998, for their nonsensical claim that we stopped warming a decade ago.”

    It has actually been shown statistically that there is a breakpoint at 1998. Therefore, using 1998 as a start point is not “cherry picking” but a legitimate start point. My analysis of HadCRUt and GISSTemp has shown three breakpoints: 1976, 1986 and 1998 that makes the so-called linear warming of the 1970s to 2000s a series of three discontinuous events. Therefore the greater “cherry pick” is probably treating the period as one continuous linear time series.

    [JR: Wow. Even worse than missing the point -- misrepresenting what I wrote and why I wrote it. Silly to try to pull that Pielke-esque crap here.]

  15. From Peru says:

    Richard Steckis has perhaps found the same stepwise warming that I found in the Bob Tisdale blog: maybe ENSO introduce a strong non-linearity that regression analysis have missed.

    Is there some article in peer-reviewed journals about that issue?

    In any case, it seems a very interesting point.