Northern world from geostationary Meteosat 9

Posted: December 3, 2012 by tchannon in climate, general circulation, weather


Underlying images, credit EUMETSAT. Warning: 3371 x 1165 pixels (click for full size)

Image 2012 December 2nd (Sunday), 12 hours UT.

Meteosat 9 senses the full earth disc in 9 frequency bands, returning full data every 15 minutes. False colour data is published as a a visualisation, low resolution for full disc and much better resolution for some regions.

Full data needs an account and the means to take the data feed.

As part of an exercise I have constructed a good resolution image as above out of the regional fragments. This was done by hand as a proof of concept.

My motive is gaining a better intuitive understanding of circulation patterns with regard to the late Marcel Leroux’s MPH (Mobile Polar High, or AMP in the original French, Anticyclone Mobile Polar)

For the Arctic the concept is thin lens of cold air form at sea level as a temperature inversion from radiative loss to space. These lens slide out of the Arctic basin formed by the rim of high land, such as via the Bering straight, top of Canada, between Canada and Greenland and so on.

They then spiral down eastwards toward the tropics with warm air boiling around the rim and over the top. Lows form in the rim taking warm air and storms from lower latitudes toward the north. Is part of the general circulation cells.

That is simplistic.

There are some spectacular videos I will probably show soon which turn flat words into moving air, you can see the flows.

There is an older technology US geostationary satellite over the US but unfortunately this doesn’t really cover the Canada/Greenland gap although the Canadian weather service do their best to provide images.

That leaves polar orbit birds which give poor coverage, has to be stitched from different passes. Darkness at the pole doesn’t help.

In the above image Greenland is left of top on the rim of visibility, with the edge of Canada a little further around. Looks like a sea flowing out from there into a lake with a rim of cloud. The rim is taking warm moist air towards the UK. As I write this the forecast light rain has been falling as some of that moist air is moving east and meeting the Arctic air we have been experiencing, came from the other side of Greenland.

Another feature is the diagonal band of cloud across the Sahara. I’ve seen something similar many times on the RSS and UAH lower troposphere world plots, shows as a warm streak. Doesn’t show in the image I showed for October 2012.

I’m trying to work out what is a good selection of satellite images for following MPH progress. The above images were automatically downloaded, code already works and I could automatically stitch now I know how to do it. Quite possibly constructing something from separate channels will be better.

Whether this is a worthwhile little project which can be completed remains to be seen. I’ll learn something either way.

Blog readers are welcome to help.

Post by Tim Channon

Image source here

  1. donald penman says:

    Some people wonder why the sun that we get in winter does not have the same effect as it does in summer in heating the Earth.I think that it is mostly to do with the angle that sunlight hits the Earth rather than distance the Earth is from the Sun therefore it does not warm up these cold air masses as it would in summer.It is because the energy provided by the Sun is spread out over a larger area when the Sun is lower in the sky.

  2. tallbloke says:

    Wow! excellent work Tim. How can we help? I’d love to see these images posted on the talkshop daily!

    Donald, the Earth is actually closest to the Sun in January. This increases total solar irradiance at the top of the atmosphere by around 37W/m^2. That warms the southern oceans and drives heat across the equator as Earth equilibriates its energy flows to lose energy back to space in the most efficient way it can. You are right that the low angle of the irradiance on the northern hemisphere reduces the effect of the incoming insolation.

  3. JohnG says:

    Dundee has excellent polar orbiter coverage

  4. Hans Jelbring says:

    Very Good Tim,

    It might be a little tricky to “see” an MPH. It is easiest to identify them over water since small cumulus clouds are formed within a large crescent of clouds when moist warm air is lifting to the condensation level. An MPH moves more or less southwards in the northern hemisphere and doesn´t move in a cyclonic motion. Cyclonic motion will be found to the east of a prominent MPH at higher elevation when the west moving jet winds get disturbed by the MPH which can be about 2-4 km deep.

    The important work of Leroux is defamed by certain interests for the common reason. They so clearly show that no GCM can be accurate since MPHs are not included in the modelling. The formation and direction of MPHs from the polar area seem to be arbitrary but probably they aren´t.

  5. tchannon says:

    JohnG, Thanks, forgotten that one.
    I haven’t looked at Dundee images recently but they are if I recall sniffy about releasing much let alone allow image usage.

  6. Doug Proctor says:

    The interesting thing about the apogee vs perigee differences in TSI, a total amount of 91 W/m2, or 6.8% of an annual average of 1341.5 W/m2 (yes, this number is in dispute), is that despite the greater heating the south pole gets, the northern hemisphere average temperature is 2C or so greater than the southern hemisphere. The difference is said to be in land/sea/ice ratios, wherein albedos, heat capacities and thermal conductivities are different for each species.

    I say “said” because I have not seen data wrt cloud cover. Cloud cover can literally mask a large, large effect.

    But back to the TSI differences:

    The really odd thing about the orbital position effect on received TSI, is that the warmists say doubling the CO2 has an equivalent forcing of 3.5 W/m2 averaged over the 24hour world. This would be about 14.0W/m2 TSI equivalent. So the two degree difference can be said to be what would be expected if 3.5 W/m2 were added to the system, or an equivalent, non-averaged amount of +14.0 W/m2. This adds to the 91 W/m2 the orbital variation causes, for an effective difference of 105W/m2.

    So the different land/sea/ice ratios of the northern and southern hemisphere are said to have an effective 105 W/m2 of different effect.

    Is this weird, or what?

    Of course there is the heat redistribution system of wind and water to take into account aside from the ratio differences. Which says that global heating is not actually global but regional, as some areas get warmer than others. (Purely on the basis of TSI, the south pole would be much warmer, and the north pole, much colder.) In terms of internal energy balance, there is a very big discrepancy in how TSI impacts one hemisphere vs the other.

    One energy balancing stat I’d like to see is that of the two hemispheres over time. Since CO2 is uniformly distributed, one would expect the relative energy “retention” in each to be the same even if there is non-uniform movement. Of course, if even a 2% perturbation in the natural hemispheric retention that leads to the 105 W/m2 temperature difference occurred, then the 2 W/m2 effect-differential would about equal the 2.32 W/m2 (0.58W/m2) missing energy loss of Trenberth.

    Of course the IPCC models say that the north pole should get warmer than the south with CO2 effects. But if more sand is sliding to the north from the bigger pile from the south, I’d like to see just how big the pile in the south actually is, and if the difference makes sense. Without post hoc fudging, that is.

  7. The MPHs are lunar declinational atmospheric tidal pulses coming off of the arctic, and can be expected to follow a schedule of the declinational movements of the moon. They form the Negative ionized portion of the lunar tidal bulge, the positively charged tropical air masses that form the other half of the bulges, results in the frontal boundaries with the severe weather outbreaks.
    Leroux describes the processes of the movement of the polar air masses with the lunar declination with out making the connection between them.

    If you get a complete series of these maps into a movie you will be able to see the four fold patterns of the tidal pules and where they entrain through the local topography as they step through the four different patterns. This four fold pattern has been found in North America, and Australia in old synoptic maps going back to the late 1800′s.

    I covered this on my research pages a while back;
    and from a N.A. view point;

    It is about time someone watched the zonal/meridional flow pattern shifts in regards to MPHs or lunar declinational movements, keep me posted on your progress and I would be interested in acquiring a set of the images for movie making of my own with the hourly position of the moon superimposed upon the image so the relationship could be better visualized.

  8. [...] Richard Holle on Northern world from geostation… [...]