It's newsworthy when a climate science paper appears in the prestigious Physical Review Letters. This paper concerns the anomaly observed in the QBO in 2016

>Synopsis:A Missing Beat in Earth’s Oscillating Wind Patterns


I had been mostly analyzing the QBO data for altitudes corresponding to 30hPa, but the data at a lower altitude of 70hPa shows much more fine structure -- which the tidal model also shows. The positive peaks (westerlies) show an interesting pattern in how they alternate with even and odd subpeaks, which is what the model does -- i.e. the annual impulses create that same pattern when multiplied by the monthly draconic cycles.

(The negative peaks (easterlies) appear not quite as regular, so those excursions are suppressed here)

The other aspect concerns the anomaly of 2016. Based on fitting the tidal model, I think the anomaly instead occurred in 2005 as a slight shift in the annual impulse, and that this shift reverted back in 2016. This is supported by the upper and lower chart. The upper chart shows excellent agreement up to 2005, whereby it needs a slight shift (see lower panel) in the annual impulse to get back in phase.

But this shift disappeared in 2016 (i.e. actually an anomaly reversal). The impulse trains are shown as insets, indicating how subtle this shift needs to be to influence the phase of the model.

The PRL paper recognizes only the anomaly of 2016, which is obvious to the eye (see below the indicated "disruption"), whereas the anomaly of 2005 is only obvious to the model


What I find disappointing about the [full PRL paper]( is that they can explain an anomaly without truly understanding what causes the QBO. One of the PRL authors is of the same team that published in Science the [Topological Origin of Equatorial Waves]( paper, so they should have done more than just a qualitative study.

Not only this paper but there was another PRL paper on QBO that I missed from last year:

> "Nonlinear saturation of the large scale flow in a laboratory model of the quasibiennial oscillation"


This one is problematic because they create a laboratory experiment that has nothing close to the topological environment of the atmospheric QBO. A rotating upright cylinder with downward gravity is not even close to a spinning sphere with radial gravitational forces and a Coriolis effect