Pacific atmospheric dynamics with and without a positive ENSO (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)
In a previous post I discussed the implications from having a global system unstable, Heterogeneous and in a state of non thermodynamic equilibrium (more here and here). Ultimately, such state of instability and non-equilibrium maintains active the energy flows keeping our global system from stalling. The main question is how much instability can become an issue for the zonification of our ecosystems and climatic regimes. And therefore, the repartition of resources, demands, availability, supply and consumption in order to accommodate the needs for the human specie, and ironically the last in priority, the rest of the life systems. Personally I believe that biological systems are the line of defence against changes in this balance which allow conditions suitable for our comfort. The state of this line of defence is what is coming into debate in the actual times. Not only to perform against changes but also to recover from them (more on this topic here).
El Niño is the warm phase of the ocean cycle known as El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO for short. La Niña is the cool phase. The pattern can shift back and forth every two to seven years.
The connections between this variations in Sea Surface Temperature and weather patterns is a matter of study. Even though the El Niño/La Niña phases have shown to follow some synchronism with weather patterns affecting South and North America, those patterns have not always matched with what it was expected.
Two scenarios have been broadly considered in order to explain the increase in SST and the “heat source” at the Pacific Equator.
One scenario broadly adopted is that a change in the atmospheric circulation at the equator induce an increase in intensity for the Westerlies pushing warm superficial sea water into Eastern latitudes (e.g. NOAA-TAO).
The influence of stronger Westerlies/weaker Easterlies pushing warm superficial water from the west-central Eq. Pacific into the East. In normal, non-El Niño conditions, the trade winds blow towards the west across the tropical Pacific. These winds pile up warm surface water in the west Pacific, so that the sea surface is about 1/2 meter higher at Indonesia than at Ecuador. The sea surface temperature is about 8 degrees C higher in the west, with cool temperatures off South America, due to an upwelling of cold water from deeper levels.
During El Niño, the trade winds relax in the central and western Pacific leading to a depression of the thermocline in the eastern Pacific, and an elevation of the thermocline in the west. This reduced the efficiency of upwelling to cool the surface and cut off the supply of nutrient rich thermocline water to the euphotic zone. The result was a rise in sea surface temperature towards the East Pacific. (from NOAA-TAO and climate.gov/enso)
Such approach implies some major restrictions in the interpretations of previous and subsequent events. The major one I see is that it is accepted that the ENSO is a consequence of a change in atmospheric dynamics. When considering the El Niño as a consequence of a variation in the configuration of winds (W/E) at the Eq. Pacific, any weather phenomena occurring in synchronism (including latency) with the ENSO is part of a chain reaction being originated before the positive ENSO is detected. And yet, studying the effect called “El Niño” it is diminished the approach of considering it as a consequence but it is given to it primary relevancy as a factor being a trigger. Furthermore, some other considerations have not been fully addressed yet as it is the implications carried from assuming that an increase in the strength of winds moving over superficial waters would have an increasing cooling effect over those same waters, like cooling of your soup with your breath.
Another scenario considered would be based on that the source of heat causing Eastern Pacific waters to become warmer comes from subsurface temperatures. But such claim can not explain changes in the trade winds and furthermore addresses changes in thermohialine circulation which has not been fully supported with data.
Consequently, in order to consider all those factors in my research and minimise unsupported assumptions I will keep considering that the weather phenomena occurring in synchronism (including latency) with the ENSO is part of a chain reaction being originated before the positive ENSO is detected.
Before I continue I have to make a small clarification. As independent researcher with limited resources I can not offer al the data required to support my arguments but it is an united effort from all the scientific community what it is needed and I am doing my part.
Considering that the changes in the trade winds is the key feature in the atmospheric circulation generating variability towards the ENSO, and subsequent weather patterns, I have based my research on observing atmospheric circulation since 2013. From my research I believe that the main mechanism driving atmospheric circulation at the NH and global scale, is the interaction between mid latitudes and Arctic circulation having the Polar Jet Stream as the main feature. In particular, the properties enforced into the air masses at Mid latitudes (Temperature, water content and molecular composition) at the North Hemisphere are directly drawn by the influence of evaporation over the Equator and gaseous emissions at Mid Latitudes. In order to absorb all incoming energy fluxes and matter compounds (Gaseous and aerosols) at mid Latitudes, the volume delimited by the Polar Jet Stream has to variate. Such impacts have shown to be at low latitudes through intrusions of warm masses of air coming across the barrier, and at high altitudes delivering events of Stratospheric Sudden Warming.
Such scenario would suggest that the Mid Latitudes have always been linked with the state of the trade winds. And their variable strength at the Equator would be related with their interactions with the Arctic circulation at higher latitudes and altitudes.
Increasing the thermal conductivity of the air masses contained at mid latitudes (due to GHGs) would increase convective power to move towards the Arctic and in altitude. As a pressure valve in an industrial system, such valve would open sporadically releasing pressure from the system when the conditions overwhelm the resistance to contain it.
As I have discussed in my previous post on Arctic circulation, I believe that such scenario has allowed a trans-Arctic connection between Atlantic and Pacific basins. Actual developments seen through February and March 2016 seem to keep supporting my previous assessments following this approach.
On my previous publication on thermodynamics I have discussed their applications in assessing atmospheric circulation dynamics. In one of my assessments I suggested that the driving forces behind the positive phase of the ENSO during 2015 might have played an impact over the Pacific circulation by overstimulating Pacific atmospheric dynamics. Such over-stimulation would have induced a change from a two cell configuration seen over 2013, 2014 and summer 2015, with high activity on the Equatorial middle Pacific, into a single big cell dragging low systems from the West Pacific coast all the way into North America. (previous discussion here and here).
Previous positive ENSO. 2013-14 early 2105
My point of view over this situation is that this one cell pattern is the result from the two previous cells coalescing as consequence of the positive ENSO phase. But furthermore, I pointed out that I believe that with the return into neutral conditions the circulation at the Pacific will regain a pattern with two cell of atm rivers as those seen in 2013-14 (for more see my previous publications following this link).
One of the observations that I find relevant to support the idea of that the two cell configuration will comeback is the fact that the blocking patterns over California and the Atlantic have always been around since before and through the positive ENSO.
22 March 2016. NCEP/GFS Graphic representation of TPW by Nulschool
Previous conditions assessed throughout the research published in this blog.
NCEP/GFS Graphic representation of TPW by Nullschool
Setting up the premises of this research.
“The atmosphere in the Earth is at state of thermodynamic equilibrium (that is, maximum entropy) and therefore, the pressure from above and below any horizontal plane is equal“.
Is our system in thermodynamic equilibrium?
“Thermodynamic equilibrium is the state of maximum entropy subject to the constraints of the system. In that state all unbalanced energy potentials have dissipated.”
Energy potentials have not dissipated in the Earth system. As examples are the Polar Jet Stream and Stratospheric Sudden Warmings.
“Entropy is increasing if and only if unbalanced energy potentials are dissipating”.
“There can be no transfer of energy or matter across any internal boundary when there is thermodynamic equilibrium.”
E and matter are being transferred across internal boundaries. That is where GHG emissions and increases in atmospheric Temperature become a key issue to be studied. Furthermore, constantly changing mixture of gases which do condensate in the atmosphere, Water vapour, and gases which do not condensate, GHGs, makes inappropriate to apply the Kinetic Theory of Gases considering a fixed number of molecules in an isolated system, behaving as an Ideal Gas.
Our atmosphere (Earth) is not at state of thermodynamic equilibrium as well as density and pressure are not equal from above and below any horizontal plane. That is why we have weather systems like in no other planet.
Since 2002 I have performed research and written a thesis about the aerodynamics involved in small balls (pollen grains) bouncing through the atmosphere studying their transport and distribution and observing the stream lines pressure dependent which dictate most of their behaviour. So they are good indicators of the entropic state of the system in which they are embedded. From those studies and the research published through this blog, I can tell that boundary layers in the atmosphere due to differences in pressure (non isokinetic conditions) are dominant. Furthermore, the distribution of particle matter from a source only follows Gauss distribution under atmospheric stable conditions dictated by gravitational forces. Otherwise, there is no Gaussian distribution and it all depends on weather conditions, turbulence, etc. The atmosphere is defined by stream lines and pressure gradients all over the place describing a no equilibrium state.
Moreover, as Biologist, I would like to point out that the mere existence of a single cell exhibits a behaviour contradicting the 2nd thermodynamic law. A whole ecosystem of multicellular organisms multiply the strength of such force.
Earth is different from other planets because there is matter being introduced in the system by activities beyond geological processes. Biological activities are changing not only the absorption, emission and refraction (albedo) characteristics of the gaseous phase of the system interfering with equilibrium but also the absorption, emission and refraction (albedo) characteristics of the solid layer (surface) displacing the system from equilibrium.
When we face the question about how can the atmospheric temperature raise if we are at Thermodynamic equilibrium? The answer comes within the question. The system is not in thermodynamic equilibrium.
And therefore, it can not be applied the presumption of such state to determinate the behaviour of the data introduced to study its behaviour. More discussion here.
Copyright © 2016 by Diego Fdez-Sevilla — All Rights Reserved
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Research on Environmental Issues https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/
Contact: d.fdezsevilla at gmail.com
Since October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.
Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.
- New theory proposal to assess possible changes in Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on October 21, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-k3
- Why there is no need for the Polar Vortex to break in order to have a wobbling Jet Stream and polar weather? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on November 14, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-mt
- State of the Polar Vortex. Broken? From 29 Nov 2014 to 5th Jan 2015 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla). Posted on November 29, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-o7
- Gathering data to make visible the invisible (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on December 22, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-pN
- Probability in the atmospheric circulation dictating the Weather (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on January 15, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-rm
- Meteorological Outlook Feb 2015 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on February 7, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-sU
- Revisiting the theory of “Facing a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. Posted on February 10, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-to
- Drops of Weather. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)March 7, 2015
- Steering climate´s course (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)March 27, 2015
- Climate. Looking at the forest for the trees (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)April 9, 2015
- Matching Features Between Land Surface and Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)April 23, 2015
- Domesticating Nature. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 7, 2015
- A roller-coaster of temperatures in South Europe. Spain (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) May 14, 2015
- Talking about climate (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 12, 2015
- News from an Ecosystem (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 20, 2015
- In climate it is becoming Less probable to not have a High probability. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 29, 2015
- Drinking from the source (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 5, 2015
- Communication takes more than just publishing thoughts. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 9, 2015
- Extreme climatic events, implications for projections of species distributions and ecosystem structure (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 18, 2015
- The scope of Environmental Science and scientific thought. From Thought-driven to Data-driven, from Critical Thinking to Data Management. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 26, 2015
- Atmospheric Circulation and Climate Drift. Are we there yet? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 2, 2015
- Lateral thinking. From Micro to Macro (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 4, 2015
- Something for the curious minds. Climate and Streamlines (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 17, 2015
- Solar Activity and Human Activity, Settling Their Environmental Liability. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 24, 2015
- Atmospheric composition and thermal conductivity? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)August 6, 2015
- Latitudinal barriers and typhoons (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)August 13, 2015
- The Earth is Ticking (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)August 20, 2015
- What if, the relevant bit lies hidden on identifying the pattern behind similarities instead of trying to match anomalies? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)September 3, 2015
- A Climate “Between Waters” (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla).September 8, 2015
- Sensing Atmospheric Dynamics (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)September 22, 2015
- InFormAtion. The “Act” of “Giving Form” to “Knowledge” (by Diego fdez-Sevilla)September 30, 2015
- Arctic Intake of Water Vapour (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)October 7, 2015
- SST Anomalies and Heat Waves. Are They Not All Just Heat Displacements? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)October 16, 2015
- Discussing Climatic Teleconnections. Follow Up On My Previous Research (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)October 21, 2015
- Follow-up on Arctic circulation 30 Oct 2015 ( by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) October 30, 2015
- There is Ice or Frost In Antarctica? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 5, 2015
- Starts Raining Drops of Winter at Mid-Latitudes. The new Autumn? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 10, 2015
- Press release. Ask NASA (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 12, 2015
- Following the Behaviour of the Jet Stream (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 19, 2015
- What Is Wrong With The Concept “Bio”? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 26, 2015
- Energy. Looking For Sources of Something We Waste. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 3, 2015
- SOILS. The Skeleton Holding The Muscle On Our Ecosystems (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 9, 2015
- Could It Be El Niño The New “Wolf” Coming? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 11, 2015
- Climate and weather December 2015. Another Polar Vortex another Heat Wave? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 18, 2015
- New insides on old concepts (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 23, 2015
- Atmospheric Dynamics And Shapes (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) January 13, 2016
- European weather. Old News, Same News? by Diego Fdez-Sevilla January 15, 2016
- Observational events on atmospheric dynamics. A follow-up assessment over the theory proposed over Energetic gradients by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. January 29, 2016
- North American Weather. Old News, Same News? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) January 20, 2016
- Observed Atmospheric Dynamics. A follow-up assessment over the theory proposed on Energetic gradients by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. January 29, 2016
- (updated 11-18 Feb2016) Polar Vortex, Old News, Same News? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) February 4, 2016
- Forecasting Past Events. Snow Coming to Spain (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) February 12, 2016
- Do You Believe in the Value of Your Work? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) February 23, 2016
- Forecasts For Ecosystems (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) February 25, 2016
- Seasonality Spring 2016. Continuous follow-up on my previous research assessing atmospheric dynamics. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) March 3, 2016
- Tangled in Words. Atmospheric Dynamics, Stefan Boltzmann Calculations and Energy Balance (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) March 10, 2016
- Pacific atmospheric dynamics with and without a positive ENSO (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) March 22, 2016
- Plant growth, CO2, Soil and Nutrients. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) March 31, 2016
- Atmospheric Dynamics, GHG’s, Thermal Conductivity and Polar Jet Stream (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) April 6, 2016
- Feedback. Have Your Say. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) April 14, 2016
- Plant an Idea and Then a Tree… But Which Ones? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) April 22, 2016
- (updated 28/April/2016) Severe weather warning 27 April 2016 USA (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) April 28, 2016
- Research Update May 2016 (by Diego Fdez-sevilla) May 6, 2016
- Scientifically Challenged (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) May 12, 2016
- Another roller-coaster of temperatures in South Europe. Spain (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) May 13, 2015 May 13, 2016
- Our Environment. One Vision and Many Thoughts. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) May 20, 2016
- Atmospheric Circulation and the Mixing Zone. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) May 26, 2016