2012-03-21 20:43:07Falling Cloud Height In the Last Decade: Is It Just ENSO?
Rob Painting

Post is here. I'll adapt it into a rebuttal tomorrow - because these 'zombie' argument never truly die. 

2012-03-22 04:58:21
Julian Brimelow

Hi Rob,

Thanks for putting this together.  A colleague emailed me a question about this the other day after seeing the fake skeptics spinning the findings. 

2012-03-22 06:33:20
Doc Snow
Kevin McKinney

I like it.  Ending could be clearer, though--I read the bit about L & W about 4 times to understand what was being said.  The height/pressure inversion--though clearly noted in text--when combined with the 'longer trend' vs. the 'noughties trend' was a lot to process all at once.

2012-03-22 16:18:09
Dana Nuccitelli

Your first 4 links got screwed up.  Also in the 'been this way before' section.

I'd clarify that SOI is a measurement of ENSO, not ENSO itself (before Figure 1).

I'd suggest adding a link to the Clouds provide negative feedback rebuttal, though you may have it in the 'been this way before' section.

Spencer's hypothesis is basically that ENSO drives cloud changes which thus drives temperature changes - does this research support that hypothesis?

2012-03-23 05:32:08
Same Ordinary Fool


Does the 'Chicken Little' analogy really apply to Patrick Michaels and the given media link?  They aren't frantically warning everyone about a dire outcome..........Actually, in Michaels' second paragraph, with his, "inevitably headed toward a disastrous warming," there is a hint of the more usual orientation.  Deniers like to refer to AGW'ers as 'Chicken Littles'.

From "The quick lowdown on ENSO" section:  "Described very broadly; La Nina is when a large pool of warm water is stored in the surface, and subsurface, ocean in the western tropical Pacific Ocean, leading to cooler global surface temperatures."..........You need a description that avoids this one's confusing contradiction:  warm water leading to cooler temperatures..........."Durilng a period of La Nina, the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 3-5.C."  Wikipedia

2012-03-23 06:11:35
Rob Painting

SOM - fixed the ENSO section (I think). If any commenters moan - I'll just refer them to the frickin' animation! As far as dire outcomes - I don't mention that anywhere. The analogy is one gross misinterpretation. And it's nice to turn the table on deniers like Michaels by describing him as Chicken Licken - it will really wind him up - and that's a nice thought.

Doc Snow - is that alteration to the text any clearer? I did think about emailing Erlykin or Wolfendale for the data and re-plotting it so the cloud top pressure anomalies were inverted, but discounted that due to time contraints on my part.

Dana - fixed. Why that little WYSIWYG editor!!!.............. I'm not sure how Spencer's hypothesis is supposed to work given the long-term ENSO trend is zero, and the cloud response is due to tropospheric temperature changes as a consequence of the variation in outgoing longwave radiation (i.e clouds responding to ENSO).