Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

Eastern Pacific Oscillation and Random Stuff – Believe it or not, a New Post…

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 1, 2009

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: 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.


EPO Data as of 200910

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 ;).


6 Responses to “Eastern Pacific Oscillation and Random Stuff – Believe it or not, a New Post…”

  1. Bob H. said

    Welcome back Joe. It seems you have been busy. I suppose you could always have a guest post or two to fill in the holes between posts. On climategate, I’m enjoying watching things develop. It’s a shame the corruption is as widespread as it seems. Truthfully thought, I wasn’t really surprised by what was revealed, although the revelation itself was a surprise. As they say, timing is everything.

    On the EPO, is there any linear trend or it just a long-term cycle? Is there any correlation with the PDO?

    Regarding sunspots, the sun seems to be picking up activity a bit. At least the time between the appearance of new sunspots is becoming less, finally.

    • The Diatribe Guy said

      Bob, good to be back. In fact, I intended to add in guest posts – yours and one other, and have them in my inbox. I admit to having been pretty lazy about putting them up. Good intentions and all that…

      No linear trend to speak of on the EPO. The long term cycle was so shallow as to be considered almost non-existent, and I didn’t take the time after that observation to look at how the time frame of the cycle lined up with the PDO.

      I haven’t spent much time looking at the sunspots. This cycle will be interested. We can’t expect a dead sun forever, but it will be interesting to see what cycle 24 maxes out at. My gut – based on no scientific evidence at all – is that it will be less than 100, and possibly as low as 60. This may just be me anticipating longer-term cooling, and these are the levels I’ve noted in the past where additional warming will not occur, if my correlation analyses are correct.

  2. Mike said

    Joe – I’d be surprised if you don’t find some kind of correlation. A few years ago, when I first got interested in the AGW brouhaha, I ran the raw temp data from State College, PA (available online) through some spectral analysis. After subtracting the annual cycle, I found a good square-wave signal which matched the timing of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. Subtracting that out, the only warming trend left was a near-perfect match to the predicted urban heat island effect based on State College’s census data. Wouldn’t be surprised if you found something similar.

    Never did check to see where the temp signal stood time-wise compared to the oscillation. May need to dust the data off and take another look (if I can find the spreadsheet – hope I didn’t lose it moving to the new computer, I’d hate to have to re-load and re-figure over 100 years of data). Given my current work-load, probably won’t happen ’till next year though.

  3. docattheautopsy said

    Hey, so long as it’s not the ice storms. If we don’t have an ice storm, I’ll be tickled pink!

    I got to try out the snow blower at the place we’re renting, and it was very fun, although I couldn’t feel anywhere below my elbows for 15 minutes after from all the vibrations.

  4. glenn scriven said

    I did a plot from WRCC of S.California coast temperature records with a ten year moving average for the months of December, January and February.
    It shows a twenty to thirty year oscillation in temperature of about one to three degrees.
    It appears that the recent warming trend began in 1970 and peaked in 1982.
    The recent decline begins in 2000 which may indicate the cooling side of this oscillation.
    The cooling side of the oscillation tends to last about ten years so the warming side should begin soon(now?).
    This may fit in with the North Pacific Decadenal oscillation.

  5. Excellent idea

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