$10,000 Challenge Submission – AMO

‘Option 1: It is extremely likely (95-100%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.’

‘Option 2: The problem is that they never provide any proof, or even evidence, that there is any connection between the current warming cycle and naturally occurring cycles.’

Here you go: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vnh/mean:30/plot/hadcrut3vsh/mean:30/plot/esrl-amo/mean:30

As I said before, please make your cheque payable to FSF.org. Your donation is STILL tax deductible.

Thanks for playing.



  1. These are nice plots and I really like this website, but how in the world are you claiming these as evidence that man made global warming is not real?


  2. ‘These are nice plots and I really like this website’
    I aim to please.

    ‘but how in the world are you claiming these as evidence that man made global warming is not real?’
    Ah. I note the subtile language change. From ‘human caused climate change being the *dominant* factor’ to ‘man made global warming being *not real*’. I suspect that you’re trying your wriggle act (you snake-hips you), but as it’s for a good cause (remember, cheques payable to FSF..) then here goes:

    The blue line is the AMO. What is the AMO? (sorry, I can’t assume you know – you’re just a physicist) The AMO is in the words of NOAA:
    ”The AMO is an ongoing series of long-duration changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, with cool and warm phases that may last for 20-40 years at a time and a difference of about 1°F between extremes. These changes are natural and have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years.”

    So, it’s a *natural* cycle. Then get your specs on and have a look at the graph. See how as the natural cycle of the AMO goes up and down, the temperatures go up and down? See how, before man’s CO2 could have had much of an effect, in the late parts of the 19thC and early 20thC the temperatures slavishly follow the AMO? And they carry on following it through the 1940s to 1970’s dip when CO2 was rocketing but temperatures fell? The *dominant* factor was the AMO not 0.035 percent CO2. Then onto the modern warming from the 1980’s to 2000’s that spawned the current chicken little climate movement. Do you notice how the temperatures are *still* following the AMO? Just as they always have? For at least a thousand years? At no time in the 990’s do I remember you folks saying ‘don’t worry boys – it’s mostly a natural cycle’…


    1) I’m not saying that CO2 has no effect, but that natural factors are the *dominant* factor. A good sized chunk of the warming will be based on top of CO2 caused warming. The natural factors are dominant however; viz 40’s to 70’s cooling with 350 ppm and rising CO2. How much the CO2 has warmed the planet will be apparent in 2030-2040 when the AMO hits the bottom again.

    2) The FSF win on both counts: i) showing that CO2 is not the *dominant* factor and ii) grinding their heel into your line about ‘The problem is that they never provide any proof, or even evidence, that there is any connection between the current warming cycle and naturally occurring cycles.’

    Again, Chris, thanks for your donation. Your help in keeping the internet a free place and our computers free of NSA spyware is appreciated and St. Peter will be rewarding you with a good table (not the one by the toilets) when the time comes.



    This submission was a real treat to read. It is actually based on valid science and far better than most of the submissions. I congratulate the submitter on doing some homework and thinking it through.

    First, let’s discuss the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Mr. Runner stated truthfully and accurately that there is a very strong correlation between the AMO and surface temperature, especially for the northern hemisphere. It is a long-term (multi-decades) change in the average surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean. When the North Atlantic is warmer than average it is in the positive phase and temperature goes up. When it is cooler than the average it is in the negative phase and the temperature in the goes down.

    Here are the plots he referred to:

    Source: WoodForTrees.org

    The blue line is the AMO. The red line is the northern hemisphere average surface temperature. The green line is the average surface temperature for the southern hemisphere. Follow the two together and you can see a very good correlation. The data starts on the left at about 1850 and today is on the right. As we go through the 1800s into the early 1900s we see the AMO decline from the positive phase to the negative one. At the same time, we see the both temperature plots decline. Then, sometime around 1910 we see all three plots begin to rise. This continues through the 1940s, until we see a decline again starting around 1960. 

    But, then two big problems occur. Staring in the late 1970s the temperature plots both rise substantially while the AMO remains in the negative phase (less than zero on the scale on the left). Based on the correlation of the AMO to surface temperature, we should have seen the average surface temperature drop. Then, the AMO actually does turn to positive, but we see the temperature plots decline. Again, based on the AMO correlation, we should have seen the two average temperature plots shoot up even more.

    I think this plot shows it more clearly:

    Source: Intellicast

    The AMO is shown to be in the negative phase (below the dotted line) from about 1965 all the way through some time about 1995 before turning positive (above the dotted line). Look at this plot of average surface temperature for the same time period:

    Comparing the two shows very clearly that the correlation stopped sometime in the 1970s, or earlier. This is when the effects of man made greenhouse gases became influential enough to take over.

    While Mr. Runner did a very nice job of showing that there is a correlation between the AMO and the average surface temperature, I think he also did a very nice job of showing the correlation has been broken. The conclusion is that either there never was a correlation and it was just a coincidence that eventually stopped, or an external agent became significant enough to break the correlation. Either way, it is shown here that the global warming of the last few decades is not due to the AMO. In fact, we should have seen global cooling for 30 years due to the AMO being in a negative phase.

    This was a very well done submission, but it does not pass the standard or proving man made global warming is not real. In fact, it actually provides very supporting evidence that it is real. 

    The AMO is a complicated and important oscillation and is the topic of a lot of research. Here is just one paper on the topic. A quick search on Google Scholar will show lots more.

    P.S. It is unfortunate you felt compelled to launch into an unfounded personal attack simply because I didn’t respond as quickly as you wanted. Yes, it is true I said I would have it posted the next day and I didn’t. But, you could have asked (or waited patiently) instead of automatically assuming I was trying to avoid responding. As you can see, it wasn’t very difficult for me. This claim has been around for awhile and I am very familiar with it.