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Further Evidence for my Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis

December 29, 2013

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

For some time now I’ve been wondering what kind of new evidence I could come up with to add support to my Thunderstorm Thermostat hypothesis (q.v.). This is the idea that cumulus clouds and thunderstorms combine to cap the rise of tropical temperatures. In particular, thunderstorms are able to drive local temperatures to a level below that necessary for thunderstorm initiation. This allows them to act as a true governing mechanism.

Recently I came across a fascinating study by Zeng et al called “A Multiyear Hourly Sea Surface Temperature Data Set“(PDF). Figure 5 of their paper contains a host of information in three panels, from which I have extracted the average hourly changes in surface temperature in three areas of the Pacific shown below. The information is from moored buoys.

Figure 1. Multi-year hour by hour long-term average surface air temperatures for three…

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