Posted: January 16, 2016 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics


In George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’ that gave rise to the Lerner and Loewe musical ‘My Fair Lady’, Henry Higgins declares that he can tell where a person comes according to the accent in their speech. Equally, it may be possible to detect the origin of temperature change, natural or otherwise, via a close study of the evolution of temperature over time.

Departures from the 1948-2015 average monthly air temperature are presented below.  The spread on the axes has been adjusted to a common interval of +4 to -4°C to facilitate  comparison.

We are looking for the month that shows the greatest variability over time. We are also interested in the course of temperature change over the entire sixty seven year period.

For economy of effort, we look at two months at a time starting with January and February in the Arctic.

Air T 60-90nAit T MAAir T MJAir T JAAir T SOAir T NDAir T 60-90n

We see that January and February are the months when…

View original post 3,061 more words

  1. ren says:

    Ozone as diamagnet is pushed out by the magnetic field. It accumulates where the magnetic field is weak. When the solar wind is strong ozone is pushed out by the solar wind magnetic field over the polar circles.
    This is particularly evident in winter when ozone is not formed on the pole due to the lack of UV radiation. That’s why the polar vortex is strong, when solar activity is high, because ozone is repelled by the magnetic poles.
    Then do not block the polar vortex.


  2. Margaret says:

    You say it is a January/February issue and then go on to look at only that time period across the whole globe. Should you also check it is not a Winter/Summer issue and check whether there is the same monthly pattern in the southern hemisphere equivalent? You may have done that but it is not in your article and it would strengthen the case you make.

  3. erl happ says:

    Thanks for this contribution. I do not agree that the ‘strength of the polar vortex’ is a function of the electromagnetic repulsion of ozone but nevertheless this repulsion is a very important conditioning factor that is influential in determining the partial pressure, density and temperature of the stratosphere over the poles.

    The term ‘strength of the vortex’ is ambiguous. I prefer to refer to the degree of penetration of very cold, ozone deficient and NOx rich air from the mesosphere that occurs in winter over the pole. Its the contrast in density between this air and that on its margins that is responsible for the jet stream and the jet stream is the actual vortex.The Jet stream represents low density ozone enriched air on the move with both a vertical and a horizontal component to its movement. Its enriched in ozone because the wave lengths in the UVB spectrum that destroy ozone are used up in the process of ozone destruction. In winter the atmospheric path is longer so, ozone partial pressure increases as a result. Its the enhancement of ozone partial pressure that produces a stronger jet stream in winter and this jet stream ascends up to the limits of the stratosphere. What goes up must be balanced by a return circulation. Part is in the mid latitudes and a small part over the pole…..entraining the mesospheric air. So the degree of entrainment (size or strength of the vortex) is in large part a function of the strength of the ascent outside the mesospheric tongue.

    The erythermal UV index measures the strength of UVB at the surface of the Earth. Its less in the northern hemisphere than the southern because there is more ozone in the northern hemisphere than the southern. That in turn is due to a reduced flow of mesospheric air into the northern stratosphere (across or through the vortex) by comparison with the southern hemisphere.

    Although the jet stream can be strong it does not mean that mesospheric air is ‘coralled up’ like sheep in a pen. If the mob of sheep is large, one dog can not keep them all contained. In the polar atmosphere we are dealing with gases that exhibit strong vertical and lateral movements due to differences in density. The jet stream is wavy and discontinuous. On top of this we have the impact of the Earth’s magnetic field on ozone as a diamagnetic particle and the field intensifies under the impact of the solar wind. This is a conditioning factor directly influencing surface pressure. High surface pressure is necessary for the descent of mesospheric air.

    The ‘big mother’ is the Antarctic circulation where surface pressure reaches a planetary peak in winter due to mass transfer from the warm northern hemisphere.Over the last 68 years we see a reduction in surface atmospheric pressure over Antarctica of 15mb. That is the effect of increased ozone partial pressure driving the creation of polar cyclones that drive surface pressure down below 950mb. Peak effect is in September-October. This in turn is due to a reduced intake of mesospheric air. So, we have a circular, self reinforcing system where a reduced intake of mesospheric air amplifies ozone, reduces surface pressure that further reduces the intake of mesospheric air.

    The loss of surface pressure ceased about 1998. The next phase will be gain in pressure and in response the temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere will fall.

  4. erl happ says:

    Hi Margaret,
    In fact I looked at every month in every latitude band in order to isolate those months where the temperature is most volatile. I present 6 graphs for the latitude band 60-90° north taking in all months two at a time. Its plain that January and February are the months that are most volatile in that latitude band and you can see that for yourself.

    I did the same for all the other latitude bands but given that there are six of them that involved 36 graphs. Rather than present all these graphs I took a short cut. After demonstrating the process for the latitude band 60-90° north I simply presented graphs to show you the months where temperature was most volatile in in each latitude band. You get the results of the analysis, not the process. To see this you have to read the labels on the graphs.

    My conclusion states that it is indeed the months of January and February that temperature is most volatile between the north pole and 30° south. South of 30° south it is July and August. That leads on to an analysis of why this should be so.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Hi Erl,
    I left this comment at your site:

    “It is plain that variability falls away with distance from the poles.”

    True. But in part, this is because less energy difference is required to cause a big swing at low temperatures than at higher ones. Carrying that thought further, can the amount of energy causing the polar swings strongly affect the regions close to the equator? I guess they might, if there’s an amplifying effect like cloud cover involved.

  6. erl happ says:

    Tallbloke, following the bouncing ball:

    Point accepted. Less energy is required to cause a swing at lower temperatures.

    However, the swing at high latitudes is not just a function of energy absorbed by the atmosphere or the surface.

    Here is an alternative point of view: Surface temperature at any point on the Earth’s surface is a function of a the origin of the air moving by. When the wind comes from a warm place its warm and a cold place its cold. Its the change in the relationship between surface pressure in high and mid altitudes that determines where the wind comes from.

    The incidence and intensity of polar cyclones driven by the partial pressure of of ozone aloft determines the balance between surface atmospheric pressure between the warm and the cold place. This, by the way is a recent insight that I explore in the post ‘The enigma of the ‘cold core’polar cyclone’

    As the air moves across the surface it is warmed or cooled according to the amount of solar insolation that gets through the cloud layer…cloud can attenuate it by 80%.

    If geopotential height increases at 500 hPa it indicates a warming atmosphere below 500 hPa. A warming atmosphere loses cloud. The last post that you re-blogged from me observed that surface temperature increases as geopotential height increases at 500 hPa.

    Now to close the circle: It is observed that as surface pressure increases in the mid latitudes (mass transfer from high latitudes) geopotential height increases in the mid latitudes indicating that the lower half of the atmospheric column is warming. An increase in the weight of the atmosphere that constitutes increased surface pressure consolidates the lower atmosphere and geopotential height should fall as pressure increases. There is a possible warming effect from compression. But, common sense dictates that it is due to the descent of ozone. The increase in the temperature of the atmospheric column as surface pressure increases increases with altitude. That is what gives the game away.

    Thanks for bringing my work to the attention of the many, many people that you interact with. I very much appreciate it. And your kindness that is apparent in almost every comment that you make.

  7. ren says:

    The current model of ionizing radiation at the height of 11 km is compatible with the distribution of pressure in the northern hemisphere. It is also consistent with the current circulation.

  8. ren says:

    Current Dose Rate: The NAIRAS model predicts atmospheric radiation exposure from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar energetic particle (SEP) events. GCR particles propagation from local interstellar space to Earth is modeled using an extensionhe Badhwar and O’Neill model, where the solar modulation has been parameterized using high-latitude real-time neutron monitor measurements at Oulu, Tomnicky, and Moscow. During radiation storms, the SEP spectrum is derived using ion flux measurements taken from the NOAA/GOES and NASA/ACE satellites. Transport of the cosmic ray particles – GCR and SEP – through the magnetosphere is estimated using the CISM-Dartmouth particle trajectory geomagnetic cutoff rigidity code,driven by real-time solar wind parameters and interplanetary magnetic field data measured by the NASA/ACE satellite. Cosmic ray transport through the neutral atmosphere is based on analytical solutions of coupled Boltzmann transport equations obtained from NASA Langley Research Center’s HZETRN transport code. Global distributions of atmospheric density are derived from the NCEP Global Forecasting System (GFS) meteorological data.

  9. ren says:

    Waves zone appear in the upper stratosphere when solar activity decreases.
    This is at a time when the polar vortex is formed.
    The polar vortex is strong, when the speed of the jet stream in the stratosphere is high.

  10. ren says:

    Let’s see changes in temperature in the stratosphere in the Southern Hemisphere.

  11. ren says:

    For comparison, in 2014.

  12. ren says:

    For comparison, the solar wind changes from 2014.

  13. erl happ says:

    Dear Ren,
    There is indeed a very strong relationship between the atmospheric circulation and the penetration of the atmosphere by cosmic rays. But the mode of causation is first atmospheric heating causing greater penetration by cosmic rays.

    This phenomenon is reported here: http://www.leif.org/research/2008GL036359-pip.pdf

    What is in question is the cause of the atmospheric heating. That’s what I describe in the article 8 Volatility in temperature, the subject of this discussion.

    If you consult the the paper at http://www.leif.org/research/2008GL036359-pip.pdf you can see a description of the mode of causation of sudden stratospheric warmings and I quote from the paper below:

    “In the atmosphere, planetary Rossby waves can have horizontal wavelengths of several
    thousand kilometers [Andrews et al., 1987]. These waves propagate up from the
    troposphere to the stratosphere during winter [Charney and Drazin, 1961] and have an association with high-latitude vortex structures in the upper atmosphere. In analogy to
    water waves these waves can break causing temperatures in the polar stratosphere to rise
    by over 50 K in a few days. These events are known as Sudden Stratospheric Warmings
    (SSW) and appear as a displacement or splitting of a large persistent low pressure system
    which resides over the pole, known as the wintertime stratospheric polar vortex. These
    events are observed as anomalous changes in temperature and wind at high latitudes.”

    That description of the origin of the heating of the upper atmosphere is an accurate rendition of current thinking but it is nonsense. I say this advisedly and not out of a wish to shock or be controversial.How do I know?

    The temperature of the polar cap (more or less coextensive in area with the vortex) is simply a function of whether a warm airmass or a cold air mass is in residence. The cold air mass comes from the mesosphere. The warm airmass is the stratosphere that surrounds the cold airmass. If you follow the sequence of diagrams in my post you will see that between the 26th December and the 28th the cold airmass moves into and is swallowed up by the warm airmass on its perimeter. The result is a sudden warming, This opens up a window for the entry of cosmic rays.

    In a paper to come I show that this warming happens when atmospheric pressure falls at the pole. So the true cause of the heating aloft that allows the cosmic rays to penetrate further is the loss of atmospheric pressure. I believe that the loss of pressure is due to geomagnetic activity that changes the electric currents and the magnetic field in the atmosphere causing air that contains ozone to accelerate away from the poles towards the equator. Because the ozone content of the atmosphere is greater in winter it is the winter hemisphere that is most subject to this type of electromagnetic influence. The Earth’s magnetic field as you well know is oriented at the poles so that where charged particles that enter the Earth’s atmosphere will be focussed.Ozone, as you pointed out is diamagnetic. Any particle that is affected by a magnetic field is subject to acceleration and it pushes the neutrals along that happen to get in the way.

    Now, the temperature of the stratosphere over the polar cap changes over time as ozone proliferates. By virtue of the fact that ozone is present in the entire atmospheric column in high latitudes in winter, and the fact that it absorbs at 9-10um in the peak of the wave lengths in the infrared that are emitted by the Earth it has an inexhaustible energy stream that it employs to heat the surrounding atmosphere. The resulting reduction in density causes polar cyclones that collectively condition the atmospheric pressure from 50° to 90° of latitude. The loss of atmospheric pressure in these latitudes over the last 76 years is a product of ozone heating. It is not feasible for ‘planetary Rossby waves’ that are generated near the surface of the planet to cause that loss of pressure. So, people who believe in that theory are deceiving themselves or they are seeking to deceive others.

    Churches have many stories of this type. The church of Global Warming is no different in this respect to other churches. In this church of Global warming it is commonly asserted that the temperature of the stratosphere is the result of heating by short wave energy from the sun. But there is no short wave in the polar night so they need another source of heat to explain sudden stratospheric warmings. So, we observe that in the church of Global Warming there is a belief that ozone is not a greenhouse gas that is excited by wave lengths 9-10 micrometres in length.That sort of thinking is like the assertion that Jesus was born to a virgin.

    People who assert that stratospheric warmings are due to planetary waves are trying to bend you to their will. What is at stake is power, authority and access to the public purse.

  14. ren says:

    After a long period of weak solar wind (low density) becomes visible breakdown of the polar vortex in the lower stratosphere at two centers in accordance with the magnetic field in the northern hemisphere.

  15. ren says:

    There is still the question of whether the galactic radiation increases the temperature of ozone.
    This animation this suggests.

  16. erl happ says:

    Ren,There is all the energy that ozone needs coming from the Earth itself. 9-10 um is at the peak of the spectrum that the Earth emits. There is enough left over to enable the detection of ozone via the slight truncation of the wave lengths as measure by satellites beyond the atmosphere.

    Note how the warm zone occupies the cold zone. The north Pacific is where high ozone partial pressure is associated with low atmospheric surface pressure.

    The polar stereographic view is more informative.

  17. erl happ says:

    Ren Another path of interest mentioned in the paper I cited above:

    “As a significant fraction of tropospheric ionisation is thought to be produced by secondary cosmic muon radiation [Aplin et al., 2005; Bazilevskaya et al., 2008; Sloan and Wolfendale,
    2008], future work should include looking for these and related effects in lower energy cosmic muons.”

    If the neutral atmosphere is ionised by cosmic rays it increases the portion of the atmosphere that is affected by change in electromagnetic field wrought by the solar wind. Once a transfer of mass is initiated the initial warming of the stratosphere due to slight withdrawal of the mesospheric tongue is followed by a further loss in surface pressure as ozone partial pressure increases. At the same time, the warming atmosphere allows a deeper penetration of cosmic rays with an increase in ionization so that any further stimulus by the solar wind results in an a more energetic transfer of mass than the first impulse.We have an accelerator effect.

  18. ren says:

    ” In this connection, because CR induced ionization is related
    to both effects NOx and lightning, the extension of recent models ( Usoskin and
    Kovaltsov, 2006; Velinov et al.,2009 ) to higher energies will be of considerable
    The claimed PeV increase in the recent past could (‘over, say, 5000 years )
    conceivably be found in historical records of changes in lightning rates more
    extended than those carried out by us so far.
    Turning to the variations in the sub-10GeV intensity, if, indeed the lightning
    rate is affected by CR of all energies, then, again, CR-induced evolutionary
    effects are expected. These changes would be expected to be confined to
    high latitudes and high altitudes although still important if the claimed mechanisms
    of transmitting stratospheric changes to the troposphere ( eg Haigh, 1996;
    Kudryavtsev and Jungner, 2005 ) are effective. The main causes envisaged relate
    to the movement of the solar system through different environments in the
    interstellar medium, geomagnetic field reversals and solar flares. Even without
    lightning, changes to the global electric circuit could have generated important
    climatic effects.
    In conclusion, it is argued that CR should be considered alongside other
    astronomical factors, most notably changes in the Earth-Sun distance and the
    Earth’s spin axis ( ’Milankovich effects’ ), in causing effects on the initiation
    and later evolution of life.”

  19. ren says:

    “Understanding effects of ionisation in the lower atmosphere is a new interdisciplinary area, crossing
    the traditionally distinct scientific boundaries between astro-particle and atmospheric physics and
    also requiring understanding of both heliospheric and magnetospheric influences on cosmic rays.
    Following the paper of Erlykin et al.,
    1 we develop further the interpretation of our observed changes
    in long-wave (LW) radiation2
    , by taking account of both cosmic ray ionisation yields and atmospheric
    radiative transfer. To demonstrate this, we show that the thermal structure of the whole
    atmosphere needs to be considered along with the vertical profile of ionisation. Allowing for, in
    particular, ionisation by all components of a cosmic ray shower and not just by the muons, reveals
    that the effect we have detected is certainly not inconsistent with laboratory observations of the LW
    absorption cross section. The analysis presented here, although very different from that of Erlykin et
    al., does come to the same conclusion that the events detected by AL were not caused by individual
    cosmic ray primaries – not because it is impossible on energetic grounds, but because events of the
    required energy are too infrequent for the 12 hr-1 rate at which they were seen by the AL
    experiment. The present paper numerically models the effect of three different scenario changes to
    the primary GCR spectrum which all reproduce the required magnitude of the effect observed by AL.
    However, they cannot solely explain the observed delay in the peak effect which, if confirmed,
    would appear to open up a whole new and interesting area in the study of water oligomers and their
    effects on LW radiation. We argue that a technical artefact in the AL experiment is highly unlikely
    and that our initial observations merit both a more wide-ranging follow-up experiment and more
    rigorous, self-consistent, three-dimensional radiative transfer modelling.”

  20. ren says:

    Two sets of nitrate (NO3−) concentration data, obtained from Central Greenland and East Antarctic (Dronning Maud Land) ice cores, were analyzed statistically. Distinct century-scale (50–150 yr) variability was revealed in both data sets during AD 1576–1990. It was found that century-type variation in Greenland and Antarctic nitrate correlates fairly significantly with the corresponding Gleissberg cycle: (a) in sunspot number over 1700–1970 AD; (b) in 10Be concentration in Central and South Greenland over 1576–1970 AD. Thus, presence of century-scale relationship between polar nitrate and solar activity was confirmed over the last 4 centuries. That proves that NO3− concentration in polar ice caps could serve as indicator of long-term solar variability.

  21. ren says:


    Lidar measurements of atmospheric temperature profiles and aerosol backscatter ratio and depolarization have been carried out at Thule (76.5°N, 68.8°E), Greenland, in the period January – early March 2009. The Lidar, installed at Thule in 1990, is part of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). During winter 2008-2009, Lidar profiles were acquired on a regular basis with a maximum of 5-6 hours of measurements per day, except for a few periods characterized by poor weather conditions or instrumental problems. A total of 44 Lidar temperature profiles between 25 and 70 km were obtained during the measurement campaign. Radiosonde data obtained at the stations of Eureka (79.9°N, 85.9°W) and Alert (82.5°N, 62.3°W) were used to derive temperatures below 25 km. Lidar temperature profiles have permitted to show the evolution of the stratospheric thermal conditions. During the first part of the campaign, in mid-January 2009, the polar vortex was still present above Thule. A polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) of NAT particles was detected on January 17 and 18 between 17 and 19 km. The major sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) was observed during the second half of January. The warming affected the upper stratosphere (~ 40-45 km) first, and then propagated rapidly from the upper to the lower stratosphere. The temporal evolution of the stratospheric temperature was derived at fixed potential temperature levels between 500 and 1500 K. Lidar data show the first signs of the warming at the 1500 K level (~ 42 km) on 22 January, after a week of instrumental problems that prevented from carrying out measurements. After 2-3 days, the warming reached 1000 K (~ 34 km), 900 K (~ 32 km) and 800 K (~ 29 km), and after 5-6 days it reached 600 K (~ 23 km) and 500 K (~ 20 km). Comparison of Lidar data with CIRA model profiles indicates that during the SSW the measured temperature between 25 and 45 km altitude exceeded by 40-50 K the expected CIRA values, reaching a maximum of ~290 K at 40 km. The intensity peak of the SSW was observed between 22 and 24 January. The warming produced an abrupt and irreversible break of the polar vortex. Comparison of 2009 data with Lidar atmospheric temperature measurements obtained during several years between 1994 and 2007 indicates that the 2009 SSW was the strongest event ever observed by the Lidar at Thule.

  22. ren says:

    Erl only weakening of the polar vortex (temperature rise) allows the inflow over the Polar Circle warm air in the troposphere. Of course, in the winter.

  23. ren says:

    Currently ionization of the lower stratosphere is very high.

  24. ren says:

    Need to click.

  25. erl happ says:

    What is the state of ionization in the Antarctic? Not measured?

  26. gymnosperm says:

    9-10 microns is not the peak of earth radiant intensity but substantial intensity remains at ~ 10 um/ wavenumber 1000. Strong IR absorption by ozone in this vicinity, shown in the shark bite to the right below, us vastly underappreciated. It looks to be maybe 25% of the bite taken by CO2.


    What puzzles me is that while the “flat” (saturated) bottom of the CO2 bite to the left is invariant in radiating at the temperature of the lower stratosphere ozone layer from all different places and altitudes, the ozone bite moves along with the different surface temperatures seen through the atmospheric window on either side of the ozone bite. This suggests that ozone IR absorption is not taking place in the stratosphere but somewhere closer to the surface.

  27. erl happ says:

    This term ‘weakening of the polar vortex’ can be confusing. It’s widely used in talking about the northern hemisphere.
    In terms of the ‘misery index that takes into account both temperature and the speed of the wind you see it at this moment in the Southern Hemisphere that high misery index is confined to the Antarctic continent : http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=misery_index/orthographic=-305.71,-80.18,410
    In the winter cold air of polar origin impinges on the southern land masses :
    An ‘outbreak’ of cold air in winter is a natural circulatory phenomenon. It represents the donut of low pressure systems rearranging themselves so as to send cold air further towards the equator. The effect is felt over the land more than the sea. In the southern hemisphere the donut of low pressure systems represents a very compact arrangement centred on Antarctica.
    You mention inflow of warm air over the polar cap. This is about as warm as the Arctic gets in summer. http://earth.nullschool.net/#2015/07/26/0900Z/wind/surface/level/overlay=misery_index/orthographic=-94.10,86.94,410/loc=170.722,82.542
    And below we have opposite effect , the flooding of frigid air from the polar cap southwards over the continents as we see here for the northern hemisphere in winter:
    This is associated with this distribution of surface pressure that is very different to what we see in the southern hemisphere: http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/orthographic=-94.10,86.94,410/loc=170.722,82.542
    And at 10hPa it is associated with the descent of frigid air giving the northern hemisphere a bit of a feel for the temperature of Space http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/10hPa/orthographic=-94.10,86.94,410/loc=170.722,82.542
    The low pressure areas are over the sea and they correspond to the distribution of ozone in the stratosphere. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_toz_nh_f00.png
    In the southern hemisphere the distribution of ozone and surface pressure is much more completely annular or ring like in shape as seen here for this moment:

    Due to this distribution of ozone http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_toz_sh_f00.png
    At 10hPa the warmest part of the stratosphere is directly over Antarctica.
    I would expect, given the warmth of the stratosphere that cosmic rays will be penetrating deeply into the atmosphere over Antarctica.
    In the southern hemisphere there is always a true annular ring of warm ozone rich air that I call the ‘donut’ surrounding the cold dense air that is the ‘ozone hole’ that constitutes mesospheric air settling in from above. That gives rise to settlement over Antarctica and convection via polar cyclones located over the ocean on its perimeter. The cyclones have an anticlockwise rotation sucking in cold air from the Antarctic and warm air from the mid latitudes. Uplift is driven by low density that develops above 500hPa due to ozone heating.
    In terms of the mixing processes in the stratosphere between ozone deficient high NOx air and ozone rich air in the ‘donut’, there is no such thing as a continuous and unbreakable vortex that contains mesospheric air. The movement of the air has strong horizontal and vertical components. I describe the mixing in my post referenced above.

  28. tallbloke says:

    Hi Erl, no more than seven links in a comment or it’ll be held for moderation while I’m sleeping.
    Cheers – TB

  29. erl happ says:

    gymnosperm.Thanks for being present and bringing to bear your observations and research ability.

    Not sure what that lapse rate in your diagram represents. Is it integrated for all latitudes? If it is, then its useless as an indicator of what’s happening in the polar atmosphere in winter.

    The distribution of ozone varies strongly according to latitude and season so the attenuation of infrared radiation can not be treated as an average for the atmosphere as a whole.If that is what is happening it will be a case of garbage in garbage out.

    For a better survey of how ozone affects lapse rates according to latitude and altitude see:https://reality348.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/4-the-geography-of-the-stratosphere-mk2/

    If one gets to grips with the distribution of ozone one discovers the engine that drives variation in the planetary winds.

  30. erl happ says:

    Tallbloke, thanks for the warning.

  31. erl happ says:

    Re: “Thus, presence of century-scale relationship between polar nitrate and solar activity was confirmed over the last 4 centuries. That proves that NO3− concentration in polar ice caps could serve as indicator of long-term solar variability”

    NO3 is part of NOx. It serves as an indicator of the impact of mesospheric air on the stratosphere.

    What is required, if the importance of this observation is to be realized, is the overthrow of the current paradigm that ‘Planetary waves’ are responsible for stratospheric warmings.

    As described in my post, the temperature of the polar cap is a function of the type of air that is in residence. It either air from the donut of ozone enriched air that surrounds the polar cap or air from the mesosphere that is rich in NOx. As soon as surface pressure falls the former invades the space hitherto occupied by the latter and the tongue of mesospheric air retreats into its summer palace.

  32. Brett Keane says:

    Erl, bringing your beliefs on a religion into your comparisons, brings more suspicion than light to your propositions. It is out of place. Brett

  33. ren says:

    Erl radiation over Antarctica is the same. Please note that the polar vortex is formed in the autumn, which is why I’m talking about a vortex in the winter.

  34. ren says:

    Ionization is the strongest at an altitude of about 15 km, because there is adequate air density. This means that the ozone layer absorbs most of the radiation of the primary.

  35. erl happ says:

    Brett. I am not religious. I try to work out what is happening based on what I see in the data.

  36. ren says:

    Such a distribution of ozone in the lower stratosphere is conducive to influx of Arctic air to Europe because the main jet stream will move by along the border of the blue area.

  37. erl happ says:

    The data you point me to indicates there is very little difference in the ‘dose rate’ in high latitudes between the hemispheres. The southern polar cap is as hot as it gets, there is no influence of mesospheric air apparent. The Northern Polar cap is experiencing a slight temporary warming mostly above 5hPa but between 70hPa and 10hPa its currently colder than I have ever seen it before, and cold enough to be off the scale in this presentation http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_MEAN_JFM_NH_2016.png

    What I see is the AO index indicating a big swing to high pressure over the Arctic and low in the mid altitudes but the distribution in the mid latitudes is very different between land and sea. There is high pressure over Siberia through to Hudsons Bay. China is experiencing the coldest winter in thirty years. Today is not a good day to be in either Chicago or Beijing. China’s weather service has issued a severe weather alert and there is snow on the Great Wall.

    Its interesting to compare the extent of cooling in the northern stratosphere at this time of the year over time at this site http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/

    In see strong cooling in sea surface temperatures in high latitudes.

    There is a progression towards cooling and its dictated by what’s happening in the stratosphere in both hemispheres. Atmospheric mass is returning to the poles. The how and the why of it is still to be explained.

  38. erl happ says:

    You said Such a distribution of ozone in the lower stratosphere is conducive to influx of Arctic air to Europe because the main jet stream will move by along the border of the blue area.

    Looks to be bringing very cold conditions to central Europe right now. Zone of high surface pressure that manifested over China now spreads into Europe. So, the air that travels at the surface has a stronger element of descent in its origin. The upper air is very cold. Over the next few days it should be very cold in Europe. Big low pressure cell centred on Greenland cuts off the flow of Arctic air.

    So, its not air from the Arctic that is responsible but air from aloft. And the centre of descent is not the Arctic, its Lake Baikal north of Mongolia with a surface pressure of 1060 hPa! Surface air temperature is -30°C and where the air is coming from at 500hPa its also -30°C.

  39. Brett Keane says:

    @erl happ says:
    January 18, 2016 at 11:37 pm : Are we looking at the “Siberian High” feature, or is there no connection? Brett

  40. ulriclyons says:

    That’s interesting, 60S to 90S from 1948:

  41. erl happ says:

    Hi Brett, the very same Siberian High that is influential in determining the climate over Eastern Asia and China in particular.

    That paper talks about the weakening of the Siberian High to 2002 when it was published.

    What I know is this and it will be explained in later chapters of my book/blog at reailty348.

    As atmospheric mass has been lost over Antarctica (in fact from 50-90° south latitude) over the last 70 years it has increased surface atmospheric pressure elsewhere across the entire globe. This has impacted the Arctic that has its own ozone driven winter cyclones and the same dynamic shifting atmospheric mass away from the Arctic in winter as the stratosphere warms. The essence of a polar cyclone is high density at the surface and very low density driven by ozone aloft. It takes a big reduction in density aloft to produce a surface pressure of 950mb when the lower portion of the atmospheric column is about as dense and cold as it gets anywhere. The implication is: Look aloft to discover the origins in the change in the weather.

    The Eurasian continent is an independent centre for the formation of high pressure cells of descending air in winter, It can be as cold or colder than the Arctic Ocean. At this moment spot surface temperature over the Arctic is about -30°C and down to -40° C south of Lake Baikal.

    So, looking at an index like the Arctic Oscillation index doesn’t give the complete picture. The AI is reciprocal for Arctic surface pressure. The index is not much affected by the tiny fluctuation in surface pressure in the mid latitudes.

    As surface pressure has increased in the northern hemisphere the gain between the Arctic and central Asia has been different.

    The atmospheric column in high latitudes in winter is one heaving mass of ozone driven convection all the way through to 10hPa. Explore http://earth.nullschool.net/

    What goes up must come down. The descent of ozone will be affecting atmospheric dynamics over central Asia.

    The distribution of land and sea makes for a very complex meteorological situation in the northern hemisphere. Its much simpler in the southern hemisphere. Some Chinese researchers are very much aware of the importance of Antarctic processes for climate in China. See: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cjg2.1010/abstract

  42. ren says:

    Such distribution of ozone in the stratosphere allows a flow of air from the north to the United States.

    Due to the low solar activity breakdown of the vortex may still be visible.

  43. ren says:

    Here you can see what is happening in the lower stratosphere in the northern hemisphere.

  44. Brett Keane says:

    Erl, for what it’s worth, ten years ago I figured out a daisy chain of weather teleconnections around the globe. The Siberian high, I thought, fed to the Southern Oscillation via effects around Darwin’s regional pressure, and so on across the Pacific, Caribbean, Nth Atlantic, Arctic, and back to Baikal.

  45. Brett Keane says:

    Baikal, of course, having featured in “Dr Zhivago”, as being cold even for Russia. The other such area I know of is Central Antarctica.. Scott (and Mawson also suffered tragedy about that time) had measured such extremes but no one outside Siberia I guess had had to try and move sleighs over snow at below -61C. It doesn’t work, the slippiness is gone> That’s what killed him, not stupidity as alleged by some. A neighbour of ours, who also climbed a bit, led the first trans-Antarctic crossing that succeeded. So we have an interest… Getting back on-topic, I have been seeking a mechanism for the uplift of cold(er) air. The physics will be interesting.

  46. erl happ says:

    Ren, The circulation at 10hPa reflects the geographical distribution of ozone at and above 30hPa through to 10hPa. Ozone concentration in terms of ppm is greatest at 30hPa and in terms of partial pressure at 10hPa. Circulation at 10hPa is seen here:


    The upper half of the atmospheric column determines the density of the entire column and therefore the distribution of surface pressure. That was what Dobson observed when he began to measure total column ozone.

    The answer to Brett Keanes search for a mechanism for the uplift of colder air is in the last paragraph. By the way Brett, I have been waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to realize the implications of that reality. I am excited by the fact that you see the origin of polar cyclones as a matter to be resolved. Have you read this?: https://reality348.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/5-the-enigma-of-thecold-corepolar-cyclone/

  47. erl happ says:

    Brett Thanks for entering the fray. Its a very small fray. Minute. Your observations re Scott and the temperature of the surface in Antarctica are enlightening. You are obviously a keen observer. Are you familiar with the work of Wallace and his followers?: http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/~davet/ao/introduction.html

    The physics is more than interesting. Once grasped, its revelatory. There are three major sources of atmospheric warming in the lower atmosphere of which the most energetic and influential, driving change in the planetary winds, is ozone. It drives Hadley cell dynamics. The Antarctic drives the Arctic and all points between.

    The clue is to work out what drives the inter annual variation in ozone and how that feeds into cloud cover and surface temperature.

  48. erl happ says:

    Ren, I have never experienced a northern hemisphere winter so I don’t have the context. But I have observed the speed of transition between summer and winter in Burgundy. One week its sunny and humid and next snow is appearing on the hilltops. I am also very much aware that places like Madrid can be very hot in summer and very cold in winter. Cool autumns are associated with flavoursome wine and you see that in Central Spain.

  49. erl happ says:

    Just caught up with your comment. Yes Antarctica sees the biggest changes in data worldwide. You are looking at 1000hPa temperature data. Winter minimum rising summer maximum falling. Temperature of the air is warmer than the surface. It reflects the movement of the air vertically and laterally and the temperature of the air at source.

    Of greatest interest should the 15mb loss in surface pressure and the dramatic increase in the temperature at 10hPa leading up to 1978 and the gradual decline since that time.

    The increase in the temperature at 10hPa took the Antarctic stratosphere to the same temperature as the Arctic in their respective winters. The increase was and still is centred on October. It related to a diminished flow of cold ozone deficient high NOx mesospheric air into the stratosphere via the vortex. This moves beyond the vortex and conditions the ozone content of the global stratosphere. This might sound like a flight of the imagination but it can readily be observed on a day to day basis if one looks at the ozone content of the atmosphere here:http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/
    or even better here: http://macc.aeronomie.be/4_NRT_products/5_Browse_plots/1_Snapshot_maps/index.php?src=MACC_o-suite&l=TC

  50. ren says:

    The greatest number of particles of ozone can be seen now at 10 hPa, but ionization of applies not only to ozone, but also other gas molecules. That’s why I wrote “air density.”


  51. ren says:

    Current distribution of ozone is very visible at the level of 5 mbar.

  52. ren says:

    Brett Keane
    Now just the polar vortex will win of El Niño.

  53. ren says:

    It is necessary to see the current solar activity.

  54. ren says:

    Brett Keane
    Now just the polar vortex will win of El Niño.
    In confirmation of what I wrote.

  55. ren says:

    “The potential exists for a major snowstorm to affect more than 50 million people across the eastern United States at the end of the week.
    Areas from near Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston could receive heavy snow from the storm.
    The exact track of the storm will hold the key as to which areas in mid-Atlantic and New England are hit with heavy snow, dangerous highway travel and scores of flight delays and cancellations during Friday into Saturday.
    Unlike most storms so far this winter, this system will have enough cold air to produce snow and disruptions to daily activities in some areas of the East that have seen little thus far.”

  56. ulriclyons says:

    erl happ says:
    “Winter minimum rising summer maximum falling.”

    Exactly what I was looking at, but why though?

  57. erl happ says:

    Re your comment.

    It is necessary to see the current solar activity.

    Have you tried to correlate solar wind and atmospheric data?

    It might be useful to line up atmospheric pressure over Lake Baikal or surface temperature there against some measure of GA activity on the other hand like the aa index, the kP index, or the interplanetary magnetic field looking at just the months of January, February and March.

    Could do the same with surface pressure over the Arctic.

    Separately with the Greenland Husons Bay sector.

    Perhaps the migration of the north magnetic pole towards Siberia might be enhancing the relationship with that sector.

    Re snow and cold temperatures in northern winter: We are looking at a turning point over the last decade. Commentators (Shindel) predicted a gradual increase in the AO index (falling surface pressure in the Arctic) as a product of ‘global warming’. They were wrong.

    Both the Arctic and the Antarctic should begin to gain atmospheric mass and surface pressure. We are looking at very cold temperatures in the lower stratosphere in the Arctic. I have been looking at the Antarctic closely for two months and I suspect that the Antarctic vortex will start taking in mesospheric air earlier in the coming months than in previous years. Its been tracking at the bottom of the range so far as temperature is concerned until the last month or so. The decline in ozone (and temperature) in the Arctic is dragging atmospheric mass north at the expense of the Antarctic at a time of the year when it is congenitally weak. Won’t be long before it picks up however.

    Keep warm.

  58. erl happ says:

    “Winter minimum rising summer maximum falling.”

    Exactly what I was looking at, but why though?

    Guessing but in an educated fashion:
    Rising winter minimum: The increase in surface pressure in the mid latitudes and decline at 60-70° south on the margins of the continent enhances the velocity of the warm moist westerlies. The low pressure cells wander onto and off the edges of the continent. So, to the extent that the westerlies are enhanced at the expense of the out flowing easterlies the winter minimums increase. Add to that the descent of warmer air from aloft that is required by enhanced uplift driven by increasing ozone partial pressure at 60-70° south.

    Falling summer maximums. Enhanced surface pressure in the mid latitudes expands the Hadley cell of relatively dry, cloud free air. The cloud zone that arises due to the uplift of warm moist air of tropical origin as it meets cold dry polar air that occurs in polar cyclones moves southward and is relatively more intense due to closer confinement nearer the pole. Less solar radiation reaches the surface which cools. This is an all year thing tending to chill the waters in high southern latitudes. Ice forming on the margins of the continent doubles its surface area in winter and the area of ice has been increasing for 50 years. It hangs on into early summer reducing summer temperatures.

    The whole continent is an ice box and it can never melt. It just keeps getting deeper. So people who want to go back for the summer each year build their residences on stilts and just keep on jacking them up out of the slowly accumulating snow.

    Isn’t that funny. Thanks for the question.

  59. Brett Keane says:

    Erl: Turning points – observed that with shifts in our southern convergence zones ( I’m a Kiwi). I’ve long thought the Antarctic was a leader in some climatic sense, from its size. Could be just Southern-centrism (grin).

    Annular modes – Ren and others have helped us understand them and make use of the knowledge.

    Lorentzian butterflies – again Ren and co re SSWs. The effects are startling, esp. Winter- Spring. But now you stir it up with observations which lead us who knows where. Hopefully not back to greenhouses. That is good. There is a lot else in Ozone/NOx chemistry to be accounted for yet.

    Solar System data revolutionised our understanding of common gas law dominance over GHG fancies. We can also see and are measuring extra terrestrial weather. But Ozone – is that not a product of organic life, so far unique to Earth. Or is there enough oxygen elsewhere for it to show up too, so we can compare?

  60. ren says:

    Erl let me repeat.
    Due to the low solar activity breakdown of the vortex small still be visible.
    I do not have any evidence, apart from my observation and my predictions.
    It seems to me that most of these works, but maybe I’m wrong? I’m no scientist, they should take care of the stratosphere.

  61. ren says:

    The level of neutrons corresponds to the density of the solar wind. You can set the time and mileage waves in the stratosphere, as in 2009.

  62. ren says:

    The temperature in Sweden is below -20 degrees C and in Finland below -30. In the north of Scandinavia reaches -40 degrees.

  63. ren says:

    The tongue Arctic air has reached to North Africa, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.

  64. Brett Keane says:

    Erl thanks, I’m digesting the uplift mechanism ‘vacuum cleaner ‘ idea. It will need teasing out yet. Are you discussing it in full detail later?

    The reversal of Ren’s work on GCR and ozone, also SSWs, will be something else. Your provided descriptions are compelling. But we need more data. Both processes can of course be possible, I don’t know yet. I look forward to the promised elucidation…..I suppose we may find there are linkages and effects that are new to us.

  65. erl happ says:

    A swift search on Google: Venus and Mars have ozone in their atmospheres

    Ren, breakdown of the vortex or ‘Sudden stratospheric warming’ occurs when surface pressure falls over the pole and the vorticity of the descending cell of air is reduced. There is good documentation of a loss of pressure in high latitudes when GA activity increases.Here is one of many studies.

    700-mbar height difference between 20° and 55°N increases significantly in winter 4 days following geomagnetic disturbance Synoptic analyses of the departures of the mean 700-mbar contour heights from seasonal climatology following geomagnetic disturbance reveal that the effect proceeds with the growth and development of large negative centers in the latitude belt 40°–60°N and smaller positive departures at lower latitudes.

    Once initiated the fall in pressure is accelerated by the resulting warming of the stratosphere further lowering surface pressure. Polar cyclone activity intensifies as ozone builds.

    I suggest that under low solar activity the mix of ionized particles within a compact neutral atmosphere should produce greater shifts of mass, not smaller. If Cosmic rays cause more ionization in a low sunspot regime the shift in the atmosphere will be greater for the same change in GA. This conforms with my own observation that the Southern Oscillation index swings more widely at solar minimum. SOi is surface pressure based.

    The Thule Lidar data confirms that the stream of cold mesospheric air is interrupted at the highest elevation (stratopause) and propagates downwards.It occurs at the interface of the mesosphere and the stratosphere.

    That wunderground map is a great resource.

    The null school map can be used to look at temperatures at the 700hPa level to assess where descending air is causing very cold temperatures. It the descent of air from above that accounts for very low surface temperatures rather than surface flows. Strong descent from above relates directly to high surface pressures. Historically the coldest temperatures experienced in Scandinavia are associated with stationary high pressure cells. The air comes from above.

    What distinguishes the northern hemisphere from the southern is that the Arctic is not a natural region for the establishment of high surface pressure. Look to the big land masses like Antarctica….even if they are off to the side and not directly under the pole.

    The current stratospheric warming is proceeding at a time when surface pressure has plunged to thirty year lows over the Arctic. That warming is a minnow in the atmospheric pool that is going in another direction entirely.

  66. erl happ says:

    Brett: Erl thanks, I’m digesting the uplift mechanism ‘vacuum cleaner ‘ idea. It will need teasing out yet. Are you discussing it in full detail later?

    Yes, much more detail to come.

    But it is observant meteorologists know that you cant get strong uplift at the surface without facilitation aloft.

    Dobson observed that high total column ozone is always associated with low surface pressure. Contemplate that relationship.

  67. ren says:

    In the previous year magnetic activity was high. Therefore, the south polar vortex was strong and very decreased the temperature in the stratosphere.

  68. erl happ says:

    Ren, Can we look at a longer time series. Stratospheric temperature can be downloaded at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    dst series here;http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dstdir/
    or aa series here: http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/data_service/data/magnetic_indices/aaindex.html

    Dst is virtually the reciprocal of the aa index.

    I would isolate just the winter months. The rest do not matter. Climate is driven from the winter hemisphere.

  69. ren says:

    This was the temperature below 60 latitude to the south.

  70. ren says:

    Compare the temperature changes, in 2009.

  71. erl happ says:

    Ren, There appears to be a warming response to increased GCR in the Arctic between December and April. There appears to be a smaller and less distinct warming response in the Antarctic between July and November.

  72. tallbloke says:

    Apropos of nothing in particular, but a search for the ascent rate of radiosondes turned this up:

    Are those big wiggles above the tropopause due to lateral winds? Or varying density? or up/downdraughts? Or ‘convectively generated gravity waves’, whatever the hell they’re supposed to be??

  73. erl happ says:

    Courtesy of Wikipedia: The terms zonal and meridional are used to describe directions on a globe. Zonal means “along a latitude circle” or “in the west–east direction”; while meridional means “along a meridian” or “in the north–south direction”.

    Below I am guessing.

    Ascent rate is given on the right column. It is initially fast but declines to 500hPa and then advances indicating that something is heating the air above 500hPa making the air less dense that the air that surrounds it giving rise to increasing rate of ascent of the air itself with elevation. With no idea where this radiosonde is taken I would say that the heating above 500hPa is due to the presence of ozone.

    The Sonde rises because it is filled with helium. But its rate of ascent through a parcel of air varies according to whether that parcel of air is itself ascending or descending and according to the rate of ascent of that particular parcel of air relative to its surroundings. As it ascends the balloon moves through air that represents different parcels with their own motion in terms of horizontal or vertical vectors. That’s the fine wiggles.

    Using this information you could probably take a balloon to a chosen destination, as is done in Project Loon. Note the strong movements in the stratosphere above 15km. Would you say that the stratosphere is a relatively quiescent medium by comparison with the troposphere?

    Gordon Dobson observed that atmospheric pressure is determined by the composition of the air above about 8km. In high latitudes we know its the composition of the air above 5km or less that determines surface pressure.

    Below here I am no longer guessing.

    The atmosphere is a thin medium where the nature of the ozone bearing layer determines that direction of the wind and the weather at the surface.

    My heresy for today….there…I’ve got it out.

    If you comprehend the reality of this statement you turn climate science on its head. The stratosphere becomes the area of interest.

    Thanks Ren for introducing me to cosmic rays as a source of the ionization of the polar atmosphere that renders it susceptible to movement as the electromagnetic field in the atmosphere changes under the influence of the solar wind.

  74. ren says:

    Thanks Erl that we are talking about the stratosphere.

  75. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Erl. I guess the key point is that the wiggle amplitudes show the stratosphere to be a meteorologically active place.

  76. ren says:

    “Several very important conclusions about the distribution of particles and their energies in the magnetosphere can be drawn from this equation. For a particle to penetrate the Earth’s field successfully, the cut-off rigidity must be low. The equation above shows that for vertical arrival of the particle (a = 90°), the cut-off rigidity goes as , where is the magnetic latitude. Thus, it is easier for particles to penetrate at high magnetic latitudes (where is minimised) than near to the magnetic equator. The equation also shows the asymmetry in cut-off rigidity with respect to arrival direction. For example, for a positive ion, it is easiest to penetrate from the West (a = 0°).

    Cut-off rigidity is also inversely proportional to the square of geocentric radius. Therefore, at a given latitude, penetration to lower altitudes requires a greater rigidity. In other words, at a given latitude, the particles with the highest values of rigidity will be at the lowest altitude, and the particles of lowest rigidity will be at the highest altitude.”

  77. erl happ says:

    Ren, Have you ever made a study of this site? I think its brilliant in showing the distribution of ozone and NOx

  78. ren says:

    Thanks Erl.

  79. erl happ says:

    Put aside the northern hemisphere where the distribution of ozone is much affected by the arrangement of land and sea. Ozone peaks over the Oceans there.

    Look at the southern hemisphere where ozone tends to be more symmetrically arranged in a travelling ring about the Antarctic continent.

    I think there may be a tendency for the southern hemisphere atmosphere to develop a wave in its NOX /Ozone structure in the region of the South Pacific magnetic anomaly. Probably best viewed at 1hPa looking at ozone on a daily toggle? What do you think?

  80. ren says:

    Lock the polar vortex occurs over Alaska and Canada. This weakens the polar vortex.
    Therefore, the warm air in troposphere gets to the north and vice versa, cold falls south.

  81. erl happ says:

    The pattern of distribution of ozone is different at each level. 100hPa, 50hPa and 1hPa.
    The misery index http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=misery_index/patterson/loc=-45.809,-69.114
    looks fairly similar to the distribution of surface pressure.

    At 500hPa the air will be descending strongly in high pressure cells with several strong cells located over East Asia.
    -49° C at 500hPa near Lake Baikal and -36°C at the surface.

  82. erl happ says:

    Ren, How can I post an image? This Mac site reverts to a different image to the html address.

  83. tallbloke says:

    Hi Erl
    You can Screenshot or save the image locally, then upload it to an image hosting site, or email it to me.
    Meantime, post the address of the image without the ‘http://’ part of the address.

  84. ren says:

    Erl agree that the level of 500 hPa corresponds to the situation in the lower stratosphere.
    On other levels, the lock is also visible.

  85. erl happ says:

    Ren What do you mean by a ‘lock’. The ozone rich low pressure areas at 10hPa are almost stationary over the sea although they wax and wane in strength. The high pressure cells form between these low pressure zones as and when they can, assisted by the cooling of the land in winter. Lets talk about the forces involved, the movement of the gases.

  86. erl happ says:

    There is an excellent site for the study of atmospheric processes in the stratosphere here: http://macc.aeronomie.be/4_NRT_products/5_Browse_plots/1_Snapshot_maps/index.php?src=MACC_o-suite&l=TC

    When you open up it will default to total column ozone for the latest day. Its worth while setting it up with a 3 by 3 mosiac to show nine months of data and toggle back to look at the evolution of total column ozone over the last two years, You will see how relatively weak the southern hemisphere is in terms of ozone by comparison with the northern hemisphere and you should ponder why this is the case.You will also see the ozone hole show up in the southern hemisphere in September and October.

    It is also interesting to set the maps to show a mosiac of 9 at 50hPa to show the NOx content of the atmosphere. There is NOx in abundance in both the troposphere and the mesosphere. In the stratosphere there is a reciprocal arrangement between the two. Where there is NOx there will be little ozone and little convection to mix the two. Where there are small amounts of NOx it will be because it has been used up by ozone.

    Where NOx shows up in the lower part of the atmosphere at 50hPa the air is relatively warm at 50hPa settled and stratified. There is little mixing either from above or below. Where NOx is uplifted by convective processes from the troposphere at the equator it has a short life because it is attacked by ozone and in the process ozone is lost, part of the reason for the low ozone content of the air over the equator. You wont read that in the text books but you can see it in these diagrams.

    The diagram posted below is of interest because it shows the handover from the Arctic to the Antarctic in March and April. Vigorous convection that uses up NOx is a winter phenomenon and this mixing process extends down to 50hPa and beyond in winter. Ozone is lifted up from the troposphere in winter and plays its part in the destruction of ozone at the poles, in particular in September and October when surface pressure falls to its annual minimum at 70-80° south and you can detect this by examining the winter profile in either hemisphere.

    In fact, if you look carefully you will be able to locate the zone of greatest convection, the margin between ozone rich and ozone poor air at what is called the polar vortex.

    There is much more to discover on this site with patient effort.

  87. ren says:


  88. ren says:

    This forecast is very bad for the eastern United States.

  89. ren says:

    Erl for a very concentrate on ozone. The temperature is important and ionization of the air in the zone of the ozone. Ionization raises the temperature not only ozone.

  90. erl happ says:

    Ren, How can you tell what heating is due to Ionization and what is due to ozone absorption of long wave radiation from the Earth?

  91. Brett Keane says:

    The loss of Mr Worsley today on the ice recalls the words of Scott in his diary. He refers to the snow changing from a platey structure to a sandy grittiness that multiplied the energy needed for sledding and ended up destroying their physical capacity from sheer exhaustion. Death soon follows from lowered core temperatures, I suspect. Susan Solomon referred to a loss of the usual pressure-induced brief melt that is the enablement for sliding/sledding. Stratospheric conditions may have then existed where that snow formed. Investigations of the meteorology around this latest tragedy could result in new understanding.

  92. Brett Keane says:

    Oops! Seems like it was peritonitis, not cold. Though much cold has been occurring of late, even in the south.

  93. Brett Keane says:

    One also has to wonder what happens internally when we inhale particles and possibly air at near to dry ice temperatures. I can imagine multiple and ongoing cell deaths could occur internally, which might lead to the likeness to symptoms of perotineal inflammation……It all reminds me of Scott’s writing, possibly Shackleton’s too. If true, it would be a lottery pure and simple re stratospheric descent and death.

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