Archive for September, 2016

DTR, Cloud, and Rainfall

September 19, 2016

In my last brief post I showed how Diurnal Temperature Range is related to rainfall in Northern and Southern Australia in Northern and Southern wet seasons (which correspond roughly to summer and winter).

In this post I show the relationship between DTR and daytime cloud, and between rainfall and daytime cloud, and something very peculiar about South-Western Australia.

All data are taken straight from the Bureau’s Climate Change Time Series page.

DTR is affected by rainfall through Tmax being cooled by cloud albedo, evaporation and transpiration, and Tmin warmed by night cloud and humidity.  There must be a relationship between clouds and rain, although it is (rarely) possible to have rain falling from a clear sky with no visible cloud.  Rain is easily measured in standard rain gauges.  Cloud is calculated by trained observers, and we only have data for 9 a.m., 3 p.m., and daytime cloud.  The data give no indication of cloud type, thickness, or altitude, just amount of sky covered (in oktas, or eighths).

Here I show scatterplots for Australia as a whole annually, and for Northern, South-Eastern, and South-Western Australia in summer and winter.  I calculate both rainfall and cloud as percentage differences from their means.

Fig. 1:  DTR vs Rain for Australia annually:

dtr-vs-rain-oz-ann

Fig. 2:  DTR vs Cloud for Australia annually:

dtr-vs-cloud-oz-ann

Notice much better correlation between DTR and Cloud.

Now let’s look at the relationship between rainfall and daytime cloud.

Fig. 3:  Percentage difference in Rainfall vs percentage difference in Cloud for Australia annually:

rain-v-cloud-oz-ann

Note a 10% increase in cloud cover could be expected to be associated with a 25% increase in rainfall.

Fig. 4: Percentage difference in Rainfall vs percentage difference in Cloud North Australian summers:

rain-v-cloud-n-oz-summ

Fig. 5: Percentage difference in Rainfall vs percentage difference in Cloud North Australian winters:

Note how rainfall in the North Australian dry season varies proportionally more, but has a slightly lower correlation (>0.8 vs 0.9).

Fig. 6: Percentage difference in Rainfall vs percentage difference in Cloud South-East Australian summers:

rain-v-cloud-se-oz-summ

Note the much greater effect of cloud on rainfall in the southern dry season.

Fig. 7: Percentage difference in Rainfall vs percentage difference in Cloud South-East Australian winters:

rain-v-cloud-se-oz-wint

Now, get ready for a surprise.

Fig. 8: Percentage difference in Rainfall vs percentage difference in Cloud South-West Australian summers:

rain-v-cloud-sw-oz-summ

Fig. 9: Percentage difference in Rainfall vs percentage difference in Cloud South-West Australian winters:

rain-v-cloud-sw-oz-wint

What’s going on in the south-west?

Here’s how DTR compares:

Fig. 10:  DTR vs percentage difference in rainfall: South-west Australia

dtr-vs-rain-sw-oz-ann

Similar relationship to everywhere else.

Fig. 11:  DTR vs percentage difference in cloud cover: South-west Australia

dtr-vs-cloud-sw-oz-ann

And this graph clearly shows the relationship between rain and cloud is closer in the wet seasons, but also clearly shows that South-west Australia is an extreme outlier.

Fig. 12:  R-squared comparison between rain and cloud in wet and dry seasons

chart-seasonal-r2

Why the huge difference?  There is no relationship between cloud and rain in south-west Australia, unlike everywhere else.  The South-West has seen a marked decline in rainfall since the late 1960s, but an increase in cloud cover.  It seems counter intuitive, but there you go.

Any suggestions are welcome.

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DTR and Rainfall

September 12, 2016

I’ve been looking at DTR and rainfall relationships for Northern and Southern Australia.  I’ve also analysed them by winter and summer (southern and northern wet seasons).

I’ve used a different approach.  Instead of comparing DTR with rainfall anomalies (differences from the mean) I’ve converted these to percentage differences from the mean rainfall.

Data are from the BOM climate change page, so DTR is based on Acorn.  DTR before 1950, and especially before 1932, may be suspect.  However the data are useful for this comparison.

Propositions to test:

DTR which is supposed to decrease as a fingerprint of greenhouse warming, is strongly related to rainfall variation.

There is an unexplained increase in DTR around 2001.

In the time series plots below, rainfall has been inverted, so ‘up’ is dry and ‘down’ is wet.  The rainfall anomalies are expressed as percentages difference from the mean and scaled down by 50.

dtr-rain-oz-ann

dtr-vs-rain-oz-ann

dtr-rain-n-oz-ann

dtr-vs-rain-n-oz-ann

dtr-rain-s-oz-ann

dtr-vs-rain-s-oz-ann

Now comparisons during northern wet season (November to April, basically summer), and southern wet season (May to October- winter and spring).

dtr-rain-oz-summ

dtr-vs-rain-oz-summ

dtr-rain-oz-wint

dtr-vs-rain-oz-wint

dtr-rain-n-oz-summ

dtr-vs-rain-n-oz-summ

dtr-rain-n-oz-wint

dtr-vs-rain-n-oz-wint

dtr-rain-s-oz-summ

dtr-vs-rain-s-oz-summ

dtr-rain-s-oz-wint

dtr-vs-rain-s-oz-wint

Results:

table

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice that Southern Australian winters dominate DTR.  The impact of rainfall on DTR in Southern Australian winters is twice that in Northern Australian winters, and correlates better as well.  Also note that Southern summers have very slightly higher DTR change per rainfall change and slightly better correlation than Northern.  No doubt you realise winters up here can’t really be compared with southern winters, being mild and very dry.  In many places it is not very difficult to double the mean rainfall in winter with not many millimetres of rain, and zero rain for many months in winter is not unusual.

This plot shows Cusums of DTR and inverted, scaled rainfall.

cusums

The turning points line up exactly, including 2001.  There is no visible unusual change in 2001.  There are however times when the Cusums diverge: 1932, 1958, 1985, and 2003 and 2011.

DTR is strongly related to rainfall variation, especially in southern Australia in winter.

There is no unexplained increase in DTR in 2001.

 

The Pause Update: August 2016

September 12, 2016

The complete UAH v6.0 data for August were released on yesterday. I present all the graphs for various regions, and as well summaries for easier comparison. The Pause has finally ended globally and for the Northern hemisphere, but still refuses to go away in the Southern Hemisphere.

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than 0.1 +/-0.1C per 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures. I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies. Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 9 months long- 453 months. 12 month running means commence in November 1979. The y-axes in the graphs below are at December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers. The final plotted points are August 2016.

[CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE]

Globe:

pause-aug-16-globe

The Pause has ended. A trend of +0.13C/100 years (+/- 0.1C) since March 1998 must make GWEs tremble with joy.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies:
pause-aug-16-globe-monthly

Still +0.33C/100 years since December 1997- not exactly alarming. The Pause will return sooner with monthly anomalies than 12 month means of course.

Northern Hemisphere:

pause-aug-16-nh

The Northern Hemisphere Pause has ended. Note the not very alarming warming of 0.33C +/- 0.1C per 100 years for half the record compared with 1.39C for the whole period.

Southern Hemisphere:

pause-aug-16-sh

For well over half the record, the Southern Hemisphere has zero trend.

Tropics:

pause-aug-16-tropics

The Pause has shortened again with the El Nino influence, but is still over half the record. However, don’t be surprised if the Pause disappears next month.

Tropical Oceans:

pause-aug-16-tropic-oceans

The Pause has shortened by another 3 months- the El Nino now having a strong effect on the 12 month means.

Northern Extra Tropics:

pause-aug-16-nh-extt

The Pause by this criterion has ended in this region, however note that the slope since 1998 is +0.39 +/- 0.1C per 100 years compared with +1.61C for the whole period- a quarter of the rate.

Southern Extra Tropics:

pause-aug-16-sh-extt

No change.

Northern Polar:

pause-aug-16-np

The Pause has ended in this region. (No cause for celebration- we definitely would not want to see cooling here!)

Southern Polar:

pause-aug-16-sp

The South Polar region has been cooling for the entire record- 36 years 10 months.

USA 49 States:

pause-aug-16-usa49

No change in length of the Pause.

Australia:

pause-aug-16-oz

No change here either.

The next graphs summarise the above plots. First, a graph of the relative length of The Pause in the various regions:

pause-length-aug-16

Note that the Pause has ended by my criteria in all regions of Northern Hemisphere, and consequently the Globe, but the Tropics and all southern regions have a Pause for over half the record, including the South Polar region which has been cooling for the whole record.

The variation in the linear trend for the whole record, 1978 to the present:

trends-78-to-now

Note the decrease in trends from North Polar to South Polar.

And the variation in the linear trend since June 1998, which is about halfway between the global low point of December 1997 and the peak in December 1998:

trends-98-to-now

The only region to show strong warming for this period (18 years 3 months) is the North Polar region: the Northern Extra Tropics, Tropics, the Northern Hemisphere, and the Globe have mild warming but all other regions (including all of the Southern Hemisphere) are Paused or cooling. The imbalance between the two hemispheres is obvious. The lower troposphere over Australia has been strongly cooling for more than 18 years- just shy of half the record.

The next few months will be interesting. The Pause should disappear from the Tropics next month and the Southern Hemisphere should follow. How long will the Pause last in the Southern Extra Tropics and South Polar regions?