Is there a climate equilibrium, a strange attractor?

Here I respond to popesclimatetheory:

Week in review – science and policy edition

“This is how ice cycles work. Warm and Cold periods must alternate, there is no stable equilibrium in between. When temperature is in between, it is always a time of advancing or retreating ice.”

I am not disagreeing with you. What if there was an equilibrium? That was constantly being overshot by the climate. The equilibrium would be the strange attractor. The climate would orbit the attractor alternating between warm and cool. On the glacial/interglacial scale the orbit would be elliptical. Like a comet’s. As glacials last longer.

Wandering down another road, The Earth is closest to the Sun on about January 4. A water planet is suggested to store heat in its oceans during the closest approach to the Sun and release some of it slowly thereafter. The Southern oceans would arguably warm each year and store some of that. Seems good for capturing energy. The NH might not do so well with that if the closest approach was during July with so much more land when compared to the SH. All things being equal, a water planet would do better with more elliptical orbits.

Here I expand one a possible equilibrium:

I think there’s an average temperature going back say 400,000 years. Through a number of long cycles. This average could be thought of as the value of the strange attractor assuming no changes during this time frame. One can make an equation where most values converge on the equilibrium as they spiral into that or one where they orbit the same point that the equilibrium sits at. Like Lorenz did. The Earth orbits the Sun. Its average position is what? I’d say pretty close to the Sun or in it, though I may be torturing the definition of average. What is the equilibrium position of the Earth? We could say there is none. Or there is one and the Earth will not reach for a more than a billion years because of the vector arrow that all stable orbiting bodies have, its forward speed. There is this place the Earth is trying to get to but one of its vector arrows prevent that. This place is our Sun.

Lopsided PDF and CMIP5 ensemble means

brandongates linked to this:


For 16 years everything stayed below the CMIP5 ensemble mean. What is that called? You have your about 95% and you stay in the lower half for that long. Think of a PDF. Better yet, think of the PDF changing with a regime change. Rotate it 180 degrees with the a regime change so it is now its former self’s mirror image. El Nino periods would then be out there in the long tail or when PDF has flipped.

Look at CMIP3 on the plot. In about 1998 the two CMIPs diverge. About 0.1 C is added to CMIP5. CMIP 3 provides much more reasonable and useful information.