Friday, August 22, 2014



 The Great Namazu, 3,000 year old Japanese Giant Catfish and former demigod in charge of coastal storms & earthquakes, now maritime analyst for American Admiralty Books.

 Greetings bipeds!  We have some more news from the world of climate science today it seems that after something of a lengthy pause in global warming, we are starting to see a measurable cooling and climatologists think they now can understand the basic mechanism behind it. Some time ago you may recall I wrote an article noting that astronomers had observed unusual solar flares and had predicted not only a colder than normal winter last winter but that the cooler trend as a result of the solar flares would probably continue into 2020. Now looking at longer time frame data ,  climatologists working with oceanographers have identified another heat distribution system at work that may be more influential than the solar flares but coincidental in overall effect which is a temporary cooling.  Global warming appears to have halted because heat appears to have vanished in the Atlantic Ocean. Ok that would be a bit contrary to the basic laws of thermodynamics, heat doesn't vanish. It had to have been distributed elsewhere. But where?

 That there is cooling just now is beyond questioning unless your name is Al Gore. We have carried posts on record ice levels the past 24 months in both the Arctic and Antarctic waters where nations , shipping, and oil companies have been betting millions of dollars on the idea that the ice fields were melting and formerly ice clogged waters were about to open to shipping. If the trend from the last 24 months continues one would have to extrapolate that the polar seas were headed for a new lockdown. But then that might just be to 2020 when the effects of the solar flare activity dissipate and then the warming trend should continue. Well, not so. As we mentioned, the observable cooling is coincidental with solar flare activity of a nature that it predicts a cooling influence with a newly discovered (for bipeds) heat distribution mechanism. The combined effect of the solar flare activity and this newly discovered heat distributor may well produce a few more particularly cold winters till 2020. However the potential for record frigid temperatures in that time frame may be tempered by the appearance of an El Nino . But when the solar flare effects pass the surface temperature of the Atlantic will be cooler than the average during the years that triggered the concern over supposed "global warming, though the winters will moderate noticeably compared to last winter and any like it that we know to expect until 2020.   So what is this newly discovered  (for bipeds) heat distributor. I used to call it simply the up and down wellings.  

  Those of you who have been readers from the start of the Namazu School of Climatology may recall that I began the program with the statement "Climates change that's what they do". I also said that weather comes in cycles of five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred and five hundred years. Experiencing a change in cycles is not equivalent to "climate change" except locally near the margins of climate belts. Let's work an example that our editor Johnas Presbyter is familiar with. Johnas is partial to the humid subtropical climate belt. He divides his time between two places in that zone. New Orleans is his winter hangout. New Orleans is so deep into the subtropics that it is classified as "Frustrated Tropical". "Tropical" is defined as a climate with no month with an average temperature below 65 F. (18.333 C). New Orleans would just about make that average except for isolated short cold events between about Christmas and the second week of February that drop the overall average. There is the occasional exceeding rare event once a decade or every other decade event like ice that lingers into daylight hours or light snow dustings. Hence "Frustrated Tropical". Annapolis by contrast has been the East Coast's northern most "subtropical" reporting station since about 1975. The "subtropical" climatological definition is simply "no month with an average temperature below freezing. For quite some years now the January average at Annapolis has been 33 F (roughly 1 C). However the unusual cold last winter placed Annapolis out side that minimalist subtropical definition and into the "long summer temperate" category. We may find that the subtropical boundary for quite a few years to come has shifted south to about Virginia Beach about a two hour drive south of Annapolis. When the current "down welling" reverses, the subtropical boundary will probably return to Annapolis. Was there "climate change", yes but only at the extreme northern boundary of the humid subtropical belt of the U.S. East Coast. Moreover, even though the change in average seasonal weather was enough to drop a municipality a peg on the warm climate scale the change wasn't enough to affect the gardening habits, landscaping or agriculture very much in the long run. On the human scale a teen ager or twenty something might perceive the change as dramatic since they had only experienced the warm spell of the last two decades. Older people who grew up between 1945 and 1975 would see it as a "return to normal".

 As a 3,000 year old Catfish I have long been aware of this ocean surface to bottom temperature exchange though the phenomena is very muted in the Pacific. Those of you who have been members of the school since it started you know I have a Cajun Cousin named Jack. The Cajuns were never very big on "demigods" but were big on "legends". Jack's function was much the same as my own in my demigod days and that was producing coastal storms from the Carolinas to the Southern tip of Texas.  Jack would tell you that that the cooler Atlantic surface temperatures make for fewer and less severe tropical storms. But most modern day weather / climate speculators like Al Gore don't know Jack. But if they did and had asked they'd have learned about the periodic up and down wellings. Here is how it works.

 For reasons that even Jack doesn't understand ( sometimes even Jack doesn't know Jack) over intervals that usually involve a decade or two salinity levels in the upper waters of the Atlantic increase. This surface water stores a lot of heat, and despite the fact that in air heat rises, something unexpected happens. The saltier water is denser than the cold less salty bottom layers. Boom! almost in a heart beat the denser surface water "crashes" to the bottom forcing the cooler bottom waters up. The surface waters literally take a lot of the heat with them. Now of course I'm over simplifying, that's what demi gods and legends are for.Obviously the waters pass through each other and there is some exchange of heat. All of the deep sea life isn't killed by aquatic climate change but a very real and measurable heat redistribution takes place.

Since about 1900 there has actually been little increase in the average  global temperature. The various fluctuations over the last 114 years have generally been less than a fraction of 1 degree F. The "recent" pause in rising temperatures was unexplained. Then came the solar flare induced cold, making at least last years "pause " explainable ,but would the warming resume after that? Climatologists not working for Al Gore affiliates including the Federal Government were stymied, the actual pause you see set in 1999. Predictions had been made, investments made, books sold based on the assumption of "global warming". Thankfully for the warming proponents the polar ice regions continued to shrink a bit during the "pause". The resumption of near pre "warming" ice cover could be blamed on the solar flare disturbed winters. But now new research tells us that a prolonged period of actual cooling is about to occur. Waters sampled down at the 6.500 foot level (2,000 meters) showed an increase in "heat sinking" starting in 1999 the year the "pause in global warming" started. The measurements continue to show heat escaping to the bottom. Like I said Jack and I experienced this many time is our 3,000 years of existence we just thought of it as the "periodic" upwelling and downwelling.

 Historical data suggests that similar events have lasted for 20 to 25 years. The heat sinking or downwelling phenomenon may have accounted for a "deep cooling period" between 1945 and 1975 which had lay people talking about a new ice age. In the Atlantic north and south there are salinity driven events that can last up to 30 years. We've had about 30 years of rapid warming so now its time for the cooler phase. Of course no one at the moment knows exactly how the salinity changes are driven. So will the warming ever resume? It absolutely will, indeed average seasonal weather will change year to year within the cycle but we will see cold in some places over the next few decades that people in their sixties haven't seen since childhood. People as old as 40 will find things "unprecedented". The politically opportunistic crowd already have changed their song and dance routine form 'global warming" to "climate change" and assure us that we must go back to the stone age to avoid traumatic climate change. Unfortunately young people generally don't know Jack and easily fall for sales pitches from guys like Al Gore who don't know Jack. Really I've watched Jack when he takes human form as a raggedy old Cajun and heads out for a libation on Bourbon street. Not once have I seen him with Al Gore or any other Democrat. But the Republicans don't know Jack either. They are what the commies, socialists, and democrats call "Climate Change Deniers" which they equate with senility . At the Namazu School we know that climates change, that's what they do. Seasonal average weather changes too and much more often than climate though seasonal average weather changes can shift climate margins a bit. Climates usually change slowly over geological time in cycles of 10,000 to 100,000 years. We are about 10,000 years into an interglacial cycle now. 

 Fossil evidence suggests that the shorter drastic climate changes happened in response to catastrophic events beyond our control such as orbit wobble, planetary axis shift, intense volcanic activity or some combination of such forces. These climate changes are dramatic causing major shifts in the climate belts and boundaries and can happen over night. So don't call us climate change deniers just because we actually know Jack and haven't drunk the Al Gore cool aid. We are serious about our approach to climate change which doesn't involve debates with people who don't know Jack; but is focused on what we should be doing in the realms of flood control, zoning, and housing codes, and food security to be ready when climate change does come. It will come, but nobody knows when or why or whether it will be gradual or dramatically sudden. It probably won't be in our lifetimes but there have been Woolly Mammoth carcass found in the Alaskan permafrost with the seeds of temperate zone vegetation still in their teeth, apparently quick frozen about 10,000 year ago in one of those sudden events. Those big old hairy elephants probably didn't think it would happen in their lifetimes either.  We think a big part of climate change discussion ought to be a search for affordable ways to house humans in shelters that could deal with such an event and move food production into such an infrastructure. Along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf there are many cities from New York to Brownsville Texas with average elevations of 1 to 18 feet; none could go undamaged from the 30 foot wall of water that went ashore at Bay St. Louis , Mississippi in front of Hurricane Katrina. Coastal zone building codes and flood protection and creative anticipatory zoning are needed now even if the climate doesn't change for another 200 years. Surviving the inevitable with minimal damage that's what our climate change school is all about. Tired of the same old climate change drivel? Come on in to the Namazu school and get to know Jack.

For those who live deep into the subtropical belt and for those who insist on believing in global warming might we suggest :  
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