Monday, September 23, 2013

Prof. Anastasios Tsonis: The Art Of Misdirection (open letter 2)

Last week I wrote an open letter to Professor Tsonis, where he replied with the following

"I am not really sure who you are and what is your profession but it seems you have much more time in your hands to deal with all these issues than I do. You wrote to me and asked me questions. I answered them but obviously you did not understand my replies and asked more questions. I replied to your new request that I cannot continue an exchange of answers and questions for ever. I am dealing with a lot of people and I have a job to attend to. Now if you see this as an evasive action then you need to set back and relax.
All the best
Professor Anastasios Tsonis
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In reply I would say,
Professor Tsonis, it doesn't matter who I am, nor how much or little time I have at my disposal.

Furthermore professor, you most certainly did not answer my questions - instead you repeated the same old evasions and misdirection.

Thing is, a google search shows that you have been very active in trying to present a science fiction story that Earth as a planet has entered a cooling phase.

Your message flies in the face of known geophysical facts regarding Anthropogenic Global Warming.  It is in fact nothing more that a politically motivated attack on science and attempt to misinform and dumb down the public, when solid information is what they/we need the most. 

And it is about time you are taken to task for your misrepresentations.


After my post a Steven B came to your defense in a sort of backhanded way, he wrote:

"It would be informative for you to have a look at Tsonis' own research (with various colleagues) pertinent to the discussion. He argues that he has identified a long-term cycle in the climate system (basically a periodic synching and unsynching of known shorter-term ocean cycles like ENSO) that would mean that we're in a hiatus that will last several decades.  
After that, there will be a price to pay as the warm part of the cycle combines with the inexorably increasing radiative imbalance to create a sharp warming spike. Then lather, rinse, repeat. ..."
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OK, so Steven does make a good suggestion and we should look at some of your papers.

My complaint with you is that your often repeated public pronouncements (as opposed to your studies) are taken to mean that society doesn't have to worry about AGW and that our leaders and public should instead continue on with a business as usual attitude as though we don't have a critical situation demanding our immediate attention and action. 

Following your papers and my comments.   
I am including a 'Repost' of's recent article:
Nuccitelli et al. (2013) Debunks Akasofu’s Magical Thinking

Admittedly, Akasofu's paper takes a different tack - Akasofu uses fancy statistical gamesmanship to rationalize that the current warming is merely a remnant of our planet "recovering" from the Little Ice Age.  But, it is also another example of creative science in a vacuum, where a limited number of considerations allow a disingenuous presenter to make unsupportable claims about the state of our climate.
The reason I'm reposting the Nuccitelli et al. (2013) article is because it spells out scientific clarifications that have a direct bearing on the issues you have learned to distortion and evade so well.

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 32, L09701, doi:10.1029/2005GL022875, 2005 
Unfolding the relation between global temperature and ENSO
Tsonis, Elsner, Hunt, Jagger
Received 1 March 2005; revised 25 March 2005; accepted 30 March 2005; published 3 May 2005.
"[1] An analysis of global temperature and ENSO data indicates that their relationship is more complicated than currently thought. Indeed, it appears that there are two complimenting aspects to this relation. The first (and known) aspect expresses the fact that global temperature increases after an El Nino event and a La Nina event follows an El Nino event. Thus, El Nino forces global temperature.  
While this is an important result, it is not the entire picture. If it were, ENSO would be independent of global temperature. The second aspect, which is proposed here, suggests a deeper connection between global temperature and ENSO. We find that ENSO is not independent and that positive (negative) global temperature tendency tends to trigger an El Nino (La Nina).  
Thus, in a warming climate El Nino events will be more frequent than La Nina events. The methodology presented in this paper may elucidate how realistically coupled ocean-atmosphere models simulate the response of climate to global change." 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

It certainly isn't the entire picture.  

"Thus, El Nino forces global temperature." 

"Forces"?  That would demand that El Nino's produce heat!  
Prof. Tsonis can you describe that mechanism?

Climatologists point out that ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation) moves heat around the globe including into and out of ocean layers - it does not warm or cool the planet as a whole.  

That's where Earth's "Radiation Budget" comes in.  And that is where our atmosphere's concentration of greenhouse gases plays a big part in determining Earth's overall global temperature.  {Mr. Tsonis ignoring that important issue is what makes you a fraud, in my eyes.}

Not to say that understanding ENSO patterns isn't important and a valuable contribution.  But, in no way does it falsify the problem of our planet's atmosphere absorbing more heat than it is emitting into space.

In the interest of learning here are various, hopefully, representative exerts from Professor Tsonis's long list of publications.  Followed by a Repost from which will present a much more coherent description then I could ever hope to.

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Full Article
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L07708, doi:10.1029/2008GL036874, 2009
The pacemaker of major climate shifts 

Wang, Swanson, Tsonis
Received 2 December 2008; revised 21 January 2009; accepted 3 February 2009; published 15 April 2009. 
1. Introduction and Previous Results
[2] An important aspect of the theory of synchronization between coupled nonlinear oscillators is coupling strength. The theory of synchronized chaos [Pecora et al., 1997; Boccaletti et al., 2002] predicts that in many cases when such systems synchronize, an increase in coupling strength between the oscillators may destroy the synchronous state and alter the system’s behavior. 
These ideas have lately been explored in a network of four climate oscillators, namely ENSO, NAO, NPI, and PDO [Tsonis et al., 2007]. These modes represent regional but dominant modes of climate variability in the northern hemisphere, with time scales ranging from months to decades.
3. Conclusions
[7] Many studies have in the past dealt with the origin and mechanisms of climate oscillations as well as with the consequences of their interactions. Our study with the help of a novel approach identifies for the first time which may be the most significant of these oscillations.  
In a dynamical scenario where the major modes of variability in the northern hemisphere are synchronized, an increase in the coupling strength destroys the synchronous state and causes climate to shift to a new state. Here we were able to identify that the major participant in this coupling strength increase is NAO, which we found to be behind all climate shifts observed in observations as well as in three climate simulations.  
Understanding variability of our extremely complex climate system is far from complete as new and often contradicting views are proposed. In this realm we hope that our results will provide some direction and focus to this perpetual quest for understanding climate variability.
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Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and Northern Hemisphere’s climate variability
Marcia Glaze Wyatt, Sergey Kravtsov, Anastasios A Tsonis
Publication date 2012/3/1
Journal Climate dynamics
Volume 38, Issue 5-6, Pages 929-949
Publisher Springer-Verlag

Non-uniformity in the global warming trend is usually attributed to corresponding non-uniformities in the external forcing. An alternative hypothesis involves multi-decadal climate oscillations affecting the rate of global temperature change. ...
~ ~ ~ 
Methodology. We use the Multi-channel Singular Spectrum Analysis (M- SSA; Ghil et al. 2002) to identify the dominant multidecadal signal in our climate network, consisting of 15 indices. Choice of indices was guided by our hypothesized hemispheric influence of the AMO; indices considered included those based on SST (sea-surface temperature) anomalies in the North Atlantic (AMO: Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) and North Pacific (PDO: Pacific Decadal Oscillation, ENSO: El Niño Southern Oscillation), as well as the “atmospheric” indices – NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), AT (Air-mass Transfer anomalies), NPO (North Pacific Oscillation), among others. The climate signal is represented by the dominant M-SSA pair, whose reconstruction is visualized in Fig. 1 (Fig. 3 [heavy blue lines].)
~ ~ ~ 
Stadium-wave multidecadal variability!
The “stadium-wave” (Fig. 1) comprises a collection of atmospheric and lagged oceanic teleconnections, which “propagate” across our climate-index phase space. It describes how the Atlantic-generated climate signal produces hemispheric climate-regime shifts. 
In particular, a warm (cool) North Atlantic initiates atmospheric teleconnections that generate cool (warm) Pacific circulations within approximately twenty years, culminating in a cooling (warming) hemispheric signal. This hemispheric response is reflected in the Northern Hemispheric surface temperature (NHT, with linear century-scale trend removed); it can be thought of as a weighted sum of the North Atlantic and North Pacific SST anomalies (Fig. 2). As the stadium-wave teleconnections evolve, so does the NHT:
+AMO → – AT → –NAO → –NINO3.4 → –NPO/PDO → –ALPI → –NHT → –AMO →+AT → +NAO → +NINO3.4 → +NPO/PDO → +NHT → +AMO...
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To summarize:

These studies are science in action and look at component interactions within our global heat distribution engine, in particular the "four climate oscillators, namely 
ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation), NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), NPI (North Pacific Index), and PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation)"

My point is that these are the equivalent of studying the interactions of ingredients that go into making a stew while never commenting on the dynamics of the heat under the stewpot.  And while it is valid to discuss the ingredients and their interrelationship within a stew - it would be silly to ignore the interaction of the stew's ingredients with the outside heat source that is forcing the action going on inside that stewpot.  

I believe that's exactly what you, Professor Tsonis, are doing in your public pronouncements and misleading extrapolations.

The point I'm making is that these studies and your work in no way contradict the most important lesson 'we the people' need to be coming to grips with!  Our ever increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas injects are forcing our Earth's heat radiation budget into an imbalance, with more heat being retained within Earth's various climate components.  Simple unassailable physics, no?

This will cause Earth's climate into a higher energy state with increasingly extreme weather events - as we have been witnessing.  Think about it, climate change has aways happened, and serious climate change has always severely disrupted the existing ecosystems and the societies who rely on those systems.  

Professor Tsonis, you actively suppress that most important 800 pound gorilla from your advocacy of the "business a usual approach" of turning a blind eye and allowing the future to steamroll us . . . future generations be damned... this is our time and our party... you Mr. Tsonis are actively participating in a fraud against the public and the future generations... to say nothing of being in betrayal of honorable scientific ethics.

I have the American right to call you out on it.

With my regards and best wishes that your conscience might start visiting you more often.

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Nuccitelli et al. (2013) Debunks Akasofu’s Magical Thinking (via Skeptical Science)
Posted on 23 September 2013 by dana1981, John Abraham, ProfMandia One of the most important concepts to understand when trying to grasp how the Earth’s climate works, is that every climate change must have a physical cause.  This principle was the…

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