2009 SOI so far refuses tango with El Nino

The large climate groups including NOAA in the USA, are predicting an El Nino event in 2009.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said on 8 July “Leading climate models indicate that warming of the Pacific will continue for the next few seasons, with very little chance of the current development stalling or reversing.”

It is is noteworthy that the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) which should be trending towards negative monthly values for an El Nino – still shows a positive 30 day average value of 8.38 as of the 18th July 09. SOI information.

The BoM discuss effects of the “classical” or “canonical” ENSO events since 1900 and I have plotted the month by month SOI numbers showing development of those El Nino events – adding in 2002 and 2006. We can compare 2009 with the series of strong El Nino’s and it is clear that the SOI in 2009 is too positive for us to be expecting a “canonical” El Nino.

2009 SOI compared strong El Nino years

I have put in a nominal 0 value for July but note that as I write the 30 day average at 18th July is 8.56.

So it looks unlikely we will see a “canonical” El Nino start in 2009. But hey !!, we might see a weaker event.

Interesting too that the TAO SST map for the El Nino regions for the 17th July seems to show the anomaly weaker than the BoM inset shows re the 8th.

NOAA TAO SST anomalies

The BoM say their next comment is on 22nd July – it will be interesting to examine the nuances in what they say – in the light of hard data.

More huge errors in HadCRUT3 gridded temperature data

The brave prediction, “Sydney’s climate to ‘become like Brisbane’s'” for 2100 by staff at James Cook University means that Sydney Airport will warm by ~2.75 degrees C relative to Brisbane Airport (based on 1961-1990 averages) for this prediction to come true. It is obvious that the Sydney Urban Heat Island (UHI) has already notionally moved Sydney north but we will all be departed when it falls due to adjudicate on this claim by JCU staff in 90 odd years time.

However the review paper that this prediction was extracted from is titled, “Expansion of the tropics”. The authors do not seem to present evidence directly themselves, preferring to cherry pick quotes from a wide range of IPCC compliant literature.

I just want to point out that whatever merits this concept of the “expanding tropics” might have, the tropics are only warming slightly. According to 30 years of temperature trends in the lower troposphere generated by NASA satellites and calculated by the University of Alabama at Huntsville, the tropics are warming at about 0.05 C per decade. That trend is partly driven by cooling due to volcanoes early in the 30 year period then warming from the huge El Nino in 1998 – cooling early in the 30 years and warming late in the 30 years forms a couple which to some extent inserts a warming trend into the data.

However one hopes that none of the papers reviewed and relied upon by our JCU academics are quoting the authoritative (much IPCC quoted) HadCRUT3 land sea gridded temperature data compiled by the University of Norwich, Climate Research Unit, Dr. P. D. Jones and the UK Met. Office Hadley Centre.

HadCRUT3 errors in tropical Africa

This graphic shows that for a huge region of tropical Africa the HadCRUT3 data has errors of about 0.8 degrees C over the 30 odd years.
And world leaders are discussing huge changes to our economies assuming all the science is settled.
I should have said I got my data from the The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute useful website Climate Explorer. Follow the Monthly observations link on the right.

Australia phasing out incandescent light bulbs

Policy originating in early 2007, near the end of the Howard years, by the then Environment Minister – Malcolm Turnbull, will phase out ordinary incandescent light bulbs in favour of the mercury polluting, dim, prone-to-explode, complex fluoro things costing ~10 x as much – by Oct or Nov 2009. Most A.C.T. shops are out of the old bulbs now and have big displays of the new higher-priced lines. If anybody knows of supplies anywhere of incandescent bulbs, please add store location in a comment. We found some on weekend at grocers in Mitchell, Canberra. On 7th Jul. Franklins S’market in Yass plus the Home Hardware alongside, both have stock.

Solar means Cost Blowouts & Power Blackouts for Consumers

Contribution from Viv Forbes
“Solar power – a subsidised appendage”.

Australian electricity consumers can look forward to soaring charges for electricity and blackouts if state and federal politicians continue to undermine the power grid by mandating and subsidising solar power generation.

Solar power can never produce continuous, predictable, low cost power. It must always be supported by expensive power storage systems or by reliable power sources such as coal, gas, hydro or nuclear.

No matter how many millions of taxpayer money is poured into “research”, it can never solve the two fatal flaws of solar power.

Firstly, sunlight energy arrives in very dilute form, and thus needs vast areas of collectors to harvest significant energy. This results in high capital costs and much environmental disturbance. Solar power can light one 75-watt bulb for every card table of collectors (in the middle of the day only). How many card tables do we need to run the trains, factories, fridges, homes, heaters, hospitals and tools of a big city?

Secondly, the solar energy produced during daylight hours is constantly variable and unpredictable, and zero power is generated at night. As a result, solar power farms seldom produce more than an average of 15% of their rated capacity over a year and as low as 1% for a day or so.

In Australia, the maximum electricity demand occurs at about 6.30 pm in mid-winter in the big southern cities. However, the maximum solar power is generated at noon in mid-summer in clear northern deserts. If the nightly solar curfew is to be supplied by solar power, this necessitates a vast area of collectors to provide daytime grid power as well as charging a storage backup which supplies power at night. The scattered solar collectors also need a huge new transmission network. Such a system is inefficient and very costly.

More likely, however, is that the solar farms will be backed up by gas or coal power stations on standby, wasting fuel and capital until they are needed to supply power on cloudy days or during the nightly solar blackouts.

Solar energy has useful applications, but supplying the power grid is NOT one of them. Solar power can never supply the reliable low cost electricity needed for Australian cities and industries. In that application, it can only exist as a subsidised and troublesome appendage propped up by serious power sources such as coal, gas, nuclear or hydro.

Viv Forbes Chairman

The Carbon Sense Coalition

MS 23 Rosewood Qld 4340 Australia 0754 640 533

www.carbon-sense.com info@carbon-sense.com

For a detailed look at Solar Power Realities, with actual performance figures see:

Viv, the ACT regulatory commission agrees with you.

Also see my: Canberra solar PV gross feed scheme is a foolish and expensive experiment with our electricity system
April 19th, 2009 by Warwick Hughes

NOAA/NASA sunspot prediction increasingly irrelevant in mid 2009

Updating my January 2009 post, the ROYAL OBSERVATORY OF BELGIUM have published their June RI number at 2.6. Space Weather Operations in Boulder CO are yet to publish their SWO number.
Monthly sunspots through June 2009
It is interesting that to date in 2009 sunspots have not exceeded the levels in October-November 2008.
Timo Niroma has an update, scroll down to his “ALERT: A PROBABLE NEW SUPERMINIMUM” So the evidence is quietly building that earth is headed for cooler decades.