High carbon coal


Image from: http://phe.rockefeller.edu/AustinDecarbonization/index_files/image006.gif

When people say coal is high Carbon, it seems to be a question of chemistry. Methane (Natural) Gas has comparatively less Carbon while Oil is somewhere between the other two.

Climate Set Point

Climate Scientists believe All Factors Including CO2 (AFIC) is the control variable with much weight given to CO2. With that, CO2 primarily controls Temperature. It is suggested that at equilibrium, Temperature becomes the control variable for AFIC. The graph illustrates the slope reversal at equilibrium. At equilibrium CO2’s affect is overwhelmed by all other factors.

Climate Set Point

Climate Set Point

Climate Scientist believe it is pretty much a) with AFIC controlling Temperature. The Alternate theory is a) and b) with Temperature controlling AFIC at equilibrium. This is possibly consistent with step changes a la Tisdale and Trenberth, climate regime changes and the hiatus.

Edit: It might help to think of it as a Z curve.

Idea inspired by Willis Eschenbach.

Climate hysteresis loop

S curve hysteresis loop

Chris Colose explains the hysteresis loop and climate shifts:

“Here’s an example situation to help read this. Suppose we start off in the warm climate state on the upper branch labeled W1. Now suppose you gradually lower the CO2 a bit. In this case you will get just a bit colder, say evolving toward W2, or decreasing the CO2 a bit more, to W3. This is a steady cooling you expect from lowering CO2, but it isn’t an irreversible jump, and if CO2 returns to initial conditions you can return back to W1.

However, suppose we decrease CO2 a lot, such that we reach W4 along the upper branch. This is a rather unstable case (like a ball on the top of a sharply peaked hill just getting ready to be nudged), and further tendency to cool will cause an abrupt jump to the S1 state.

Physically, this is where an ice line starts to advance and the albedo feedback becomes very powerful. Also note that the water vapor feedback becomes negligible once you get tropical temperatures near freezing.

Now if you return CO2 levels back to W2 likes conditions, you don’t actually get to the W2 temperature. Now, you only warm a tiny bit to S2. In other words, because of the ice-albedo effect, you have multiple temperature solutions for a fixed solar irradiance and CO2 levels, and what state you’re in also depends on the history to get there.”


Colose seems to consider that CO2 does not strictly equal temperature. Allowing an S curve rather than a more or less straight line running lower left to upper right. The question is how much is CO2 acting as the control variable? I think there are other factors besides greenhouse gases contributing to control.

Consider that climate is described by this S curve. Then take the S curve to a smaller scale. A Minnesota lake.

S curve hysteresis loop lake ice

As air temperatures drop in the Fall, water temperatures follow. Usually one night ice forms across most of the lake. The lake has transitioned to its Winter state. Short term rising temperatures most likely will not be able to remove the ice until Spring. Once most of the lake is ice out, it will be very unlikely the ice will return even with extremely cold air temperatures.

Z Curve Evolution of the Northern Hemisphere’s Jet Stream

Z Curve Evolution Jet Stream

The Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream is suggested to have two states, rigid or wavy, zonal or meridional. The stable state brings rigid Jets and the less stable state brings wavy Jets. In the stable state the Jet is usually North or South of a given place say Minnesota. In the less stable state, the Jet appears to jump North or South frequently as in diagram c). The orb will to someone in Minnesota, be in one of two tracks. With a wavy jet it is suggested that cold and warm air masses are mixing their content in Earth’s attempt to cool itself. Tsonis 2007 gave me this idea when they wrote about a wave-2 and wave-3 anomaly. Jennifer Francis published some zonal meridional wind data from the Northern Hemisphere that seemed to somewhat match up with the Tsonis paper. What is of great interest to me it how fast the movement is through the Z curve in the wavy state when looked at from one place. Minnesota at times of the year could find itself on the opposite side of the jet as fast every other week. Diagram a) could be the definition of a linear system. Diagram a) could be a frequent state experienced in Minnesota over decadal periods. Yet when diagram c) is experienced in Minnesota more frequently, we would think the system has rearranged itself. I am suggesting this would be a temperature induced change to the system. That linear under increasing temperatures does not just drift upwards or sideways, we get a Z curve. Z curve results may suggest temperature plateaus where air mass mixing cools the Earth.

Diagram above from: http://www.sparcs-center.org/key-concepts/tipping-points-and-resilience.html

Antiphase and In Phase Synchrony and the Climate

Antiphase Synchrony:

Coupled Oscillating Metronomes Antiphase

The climate is suggested to sometimes operate as above. Tomas Milanovic said words to the effect of, an infinity of oscillators to describe the climate. What do they look like? In the above, warmth is entering the climate in equatorial regions. It is represented by the numbers. It then makes its way to the poles where it would typically go out through the TOA. The oscillators are synched but in antiphase. Some have suggested this is a stable state.  Each grid of a global climate model could do about the same thing. Alternating between input and output cycles. Synchrony may arise from the energy flows. Next we have:

In Phase Synchrony:

Coupled Oscillating Metronomes In Phase

Above the warmth transfer hindered. We know the warmth transfer does continue polewards. Yet some avenues may be slowed. One study of metronomes said this:

“Two coupling states are obtained, near phase and near phase opposition, the latter being stable.”

Metronome study

While we’d expect the second diagram to be the stable one based on youtube videos of metronomes, the study found the opposite for different conditions. I’d expect the system usually is in antiphase synchrony. Moving warmth to the TOA or oceans if you prefer. In phase synchrony is probably related to climate regime changes. There is a tendency to move to in phase but it may be marginally stable. Recall the youtube videos. How would you shake the whole array apart? In phase synchrony. Antiphase would not do that.

My idea for what the oscillators look like is to consider a molecule of CO2. It absorbs and emits infrared radiation(IR). Above, the numbers would be IR and the CO2 would be the metronomes. Consider extremely cold temperatures. The metronomes may slow and become sluggish and not be able to synch as easily as with warmer temperatures which have a faster and stronger beat. In the first case IR slows and in the second it speeds up. While the second diagram show reduced heat transport and a cooling reduction, that may also occur in the ice age direction as heat transport also slows. So ice might be represented by the second diagram. Ice might be considered stable not marginally stable as I suggested for in phase synchrony. I suppose I could bring up time frames or semantics. I’ll need to ponder this last point.

Chimera states

Interesting paper here:


Spring tension 1: Antiphase movement

Spring tension 2: Chimera state

Spring tension 3: In-phase synchrony

Spring tension is suggested to be the climate regime control. Antiphase is equilibrium. Inputs equal outputs. In-phase is a warming or cooling regime. Inputs do not equal outputs. The chimera state is the climate regime transition.

This is related to another article:

Huygens synchronization of two clocks
“Two coupling states are obtained, near phase and near phase opposition, the latter being stable.”