Ah, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? My friend Jeff at The Air Vent asked me if I’m giving up. I understand the appearance of this, given my lackluster performance (or more accurately, zero performance) as of late.
Before I present a chart of the EPO Index, which most of us probably don’t care all that much about anyway (if we’ve even heard of it), I have a few random observations:
1) To Docattheautopsy: Ha! I told you! (Check out comment #6 here: http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/el-nino-is-back-with-the-fury-of-a-woman-scorned/#comments). Good thing, too, because I get enough spam. Anyway, as complex as climate is, it is actually kind of amazing that so much of the simplicity can be missed among the complexity. I know it doesn’t always hold, but there are some rules of thumb that stand up pretty well. La Nina in spring/summer ==> cold Wisconsing Winter. El Nino in Spring/Summer ==> mild Wisconsin winter. It’s not really rocket science. So, each of the last two years gave us frigid temps and lots of snow, and so far this year we have above average temperatures in November. It’s supposed to cool off soon, but nothing unusual. I admit I was nervous in October – it was a very cold and wet October, but November has been beautiful.
2) Climategate: I love it. I don’t “love it” in the sense that it should have ever happened. That part ticks me off, because it’s simply a blight on the scientific process and public trust, and a validation of the more underhanded aspects of the whole thing – it’s about money, politics, control and power. That’s a major shame. But I do “love” the fact that this has been exposed. It may well be true that much of their analysis doesn’t change, and they may actually believe their conclusions. But what is lost in making that simple argument of dismissal about the relevance of the situation is that there are other scientists who have reached different conclusions who were essentially shut of of the public debate, and in doing this it led to a global, incessant mantra that brainwashed policymakers and citizens alike. It’s not whether or not their studies are meritorious, it’s about the fact that the full debate and scientific process was not implemented, and the full range of views were shut out of attaining credibility through reprehensible methods of collusion and intimidation. And really, it just shows the overall poor character of the participants in these exchanges, which also leads to a lack of trust.
3) Where are the temperature charts? Well, I’ll get back to them. I really wanted to spend time on the Oscillation Data, so I’m continuing down that path at the moment. The trends don’t change so much from month to month, and I am in no way avoiding it due to recent uptick in temperatures. I don’t do that, even if Phil Jones and Michael Mann may suggest implementing a trick to disguise the uptick, if they were skeptics.
And so, with that, let me explain the following chart: The Eastern Pacific Oscillation Data are available since 1950 (link to the right) and is just another one of the Oceanic Oscillations. It’s not one we hear about much, and may well not be highly important in the climate discussion. That’s OK. By plowing through the different indices, I hope to isolate the ones that do have an apparent oscillation pattern, because it seems to me that this is an indication that the Oscillation is a driver of temperature, rather than the other way around. The interesting thing about most of the oscillation patterns is that they tend to cycle on a longer time period. Even ENSO, with its shorter term spikes (not on particularly predictable intervals, it seems) has a longer term cycle. The EPO index suggests something else – an 8.9 year cycle.
Caveat: there are no December values in the data set. I have adjusted this by using the average of the November and January values. I have sent an e-mail to NOAA seeking an explanation for this. If I receive a response, I’ll either comment about it or update the post.
It’s hard to say how much impact this metric has on global temperatures, and I probably won’t know until I can do a full correlation analysis of all the oscillations, solar index, and CO2, at minimum. But it may have some impact. There is almost no linear trend whatever on this, and the index seems well-centered around a zero anomaly.
There also does seem to be a very shallow 40-year cycle, if I expand the analysis out to look at that, but nothing worth more than a note. The driving cycle is the shorter-term one.
Hope all is well with everyone. If I find I cannot get to data analysis, I will try to do better at posting some fluff just to let you know I’m still here .