COVID-19 could help solve climate riddles, researchers hope

Posted: April 18, 2020 by oldbrew in atmosphere, climate, Clouds, Emissions, research, Temperature

Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy


The article would have us believe that so-called ‘greenhouse’ gases are warming while aerosols are cooling, the balance of the two is unknown and that needs addressing to improve climate predictions. There may be other ways to get better predictions, but that’s another matter.

Pollution declines from pandemic shutdowns may aid in answering long-standing questions about how aerosols influence climate, says Scientific American.

As the world scrambles to contain the spread of COVID-19, many economic activities have ground to a halt, leading to marked reductions in air pollution.

And with the skies clearing, researchers are getting an unprecedented chance to help answer one of climate science’s thorniest open questions: the impact of atmospheric aerosols.

What they learn could improve predictions of the earth’s climatic future. “We hope that this situation—as tragic as it is—can have a positive side for our field,” says aerosol researcher Nicolas Bellouin of the University of Reading in England.

Aerosols are tiny particles and droplets that are emitted into the air by myriad sources—from fossil-fuel burning to fertilizer spraying and even natural phenomena such as sea spray.

They alter cloud properties and intercept sunlight, with some scattering solar radiation and others absorbing it. All of these factors influence global temperature—sometimes in competing ways.

Overall aerosols have a cooling effect on the climate, offsetting some of the warming caused by greenhouse gases—but just how much they have done so to date, or will do so in the future, remains unclear.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations could increase temperatures by anywhere between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius, with the wide range linked, in part, to scientist’s incomplete understanding of the influence of aerosols.

“The fact that the aerosol effect on climate, so far, is so uncertain has held us back,” says atmospheric scientist Trude Storelvmo of the University of Oslo.

Part of the problem in parsing out the role of aerosols has been that their sources could not simply be turned off to compare what happens with and without them. But now the response to the pandemic has effectively done so.

Scientists are now jumping at the opportunity to spot the differences in everything from specific cloud properties to changes in local temperatures before and after aerosol emissions dropped.

“If this goes on, one pretty damn sure prediction that I can make is that we will see a lot of scientific papers on this in a couple of years,” says atmospheric scientist Bjørn Samset of the Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

Continued here.

  1. ivan says:

    I am amazed that some supposedly intelligent people can spout such utter bilge.

    I suppose we must consider the problems they have getting grant money sufficient to support them in the manor they have become accustomed to but that doesn’t give them the excuse for uttering garbage.

    So far there has been no valid proof of the greenouse gas idea and that it is heating the planet. They need to get that sorted first before they try the scare tactics on everyone.

  2. oldbrew says:

    The old excuse for a dip in temperatures was aerosols from Chinese pollution. So if it got warmer it was down to overprivileged folk and their all-mod-cons lifestyles, and if it cooled it was filthy coal power mostly from China.

    But then the Chinese replaced their worst power stations so that excuse wore a bit thin.

  3. peterandnen says:

    I am amazed so many intelligent people ignored the WHO COVID-19 report last February. Perhaps they should have included Global Warming in the title?
    OB Is this worth a new thread?

  4. Paul Vaughan says:

    Same as with volcanoes.
    They assume uniformity where none exists.

    They still think geometry of the physical apparatus is something you can ignore when misinterpreting, misunderstanding, and misrepresenting patterns with degrees of freedom to violate model assumptions.

    They won’t learn anything because EU-know-WHO won’t let them.

    They STILL don’t understand why the “response” — philosophical error BY THEIR DEFINITION — with volcanoes can go EITHER way depending on how they aggregate over materials (e.g. latent properties of phase transitions), time, and space.

    If stuff is blocked in one place, other stuff moves in response. It’s a balanced differential. There’s no NET change with CLEARLY recognized TRUE LIMITS of INTEGRATION.

    Things don’t sit still SatUN. When gradients change, circulation changes.

    The ONLY way to get a global response — that overwhelms circulatory capacity to balance with spatial, material, and/or temporal compensation — is to overwhelm the WHOLE system.

    SatUN seems to understand that PERFECTLY well with the corona lockdowns, but won’t admit the same logic for insolation-driven thermal tides (including local pieces of the aerosol-scape).

    On Suggestions-42 I’m slowing bringing back EOF1234 for review.

  5. oldbrew says:

    “The fact that the aerosol effect on climate, so far, is so uncertain has held us back”
    – – –
    Held them back from what?

  6. tom0mason says:

    “COVID-19 could help solve climate riddles”
    Like why all the computerized climate models (except the Russian model ) are such useless piles of çråp!

  7. Paul Vaughan says:

    Weather it’s climate or any other riddle, let’s PERK up the right TEAM WORKS.

    Bureaucrats, please cease your campaign of pure terror against cardiovascular fitness and financial independence:
    1. Keep ALL parks open.
    2. Protect ALL livelihoods.

    “It is vital that we work together to save lives and livelihoods.”


    Exercise and livelihoods are ESSENTIAL.
    God’s companion spirits have awoke kin.

    SatUN made the grave error of closing parks and eliminating livelihoods.

    Lyin’ BaktUN Coroner

    Transmission is happening in hi-rise elevators, not giant outdoor parks. Rotate a schedule of volunteer dispatchers in each building to coordinate movements of residents by text-message.

    Here’s an example of a live transcript to show how simple it is:

    A: “need to take elevator from 12 to P1”
    Volunteer Dispatcher: “Z you are clear for G to 7”
    B: “need elevator 15th to P2”
    Volunteer Dispatcher: “A: clear for 12 to P1”
    C: “need elevator G to 23”

    Job ID D-UN:
    Logistics Coordinators needed to replace COMPLETE IDIOT park administrators.

    Building Coordinator

    Every hi-rise can have a building coordinator. Some large buildings can also have a few deputy coordinators.

    If you want to move in the building you text the building coordinator, who coordinates all movements in the building (like an air-traffic controller or delivery-fleet coordinator).

    The idea that big parks are the deadliest front on the corona-virus battlefield is PURE RED HERRING. THIS IS TRULY DEVIL-STUFF DESIGNED PURPOSEFULLY BY SATUN TO PROVOKE PRIMORIAL AWAKENING ….but let me be clear: I don’t want to encounter my neighbor IN THE ELEVATOR.

    I want every official who closed a park stripped of their job and I’m dead serious. Team: We should not be forced to campaign for our lives to counterbalance official extremism.

    In order to remain a “leading” member of the public service an employee needs to have the capacity to exercise due balance.

    Closed parks expose stumbling drunk add-minus traitors looking for lost keys under a lamp post only because there’s visibility there, when in fact the keys fell through a crack down into a dark elevator shaft.

    Park rules are simple:
    1. No loitering. Keep moving.
    2. Stay 2m (6′) apart.
    3. Travel in “groups” of 1 (or 2 at most).


    Am I right to suggest the left are possessed by SatUN’s lust to destroy livelihoods and cardiovascular health? To date no evidence exists to the contrary.

    They’re savagely terrorizing indviduals who are responsibly taking care of their heart and broader health. Red Line: Because of this we simply cannot allow them to retain their jobs, but let’s be compassionate enough to make SURE they do NOT become homeless and hungry in the cold …even though it looks like that’s the bureaucratic tunnel-vision they had in mind for us.

    UNbelievable. We sacrifice all our lives affording these people nearly cradle-to-grave job security with our tax donations. Then they turn around and savagely terrorize us in our weakest moment.

  8. stpaulchuck says:

    (un)Scientific (un)American?? OMG I dropped that subscription a decade ago after many years of enjoyable reading. Between the incompetent Keynesian/central-planning economic idiocies and then the flood of AGW lies I could stand it no longer.

  9. Paul Vaughan says:

    Solar and wind power industries are pushing HARD for the lockdowns. They figure if the public can be banned from parks for 2 years and starved into frozen homelessness, they will have to accept jobs building solar panels and windmills that will overrun parks. Then, each human will be shoved into a rat-sized cage to live for the rest of their lives. Democrats love this plan. It’s why they bang pots and pans at 7pm, signalling their approval. Your grandchildren just won’t know there was ever human life beyond their rat cage. We can thank France and California for “leading” the way to join Russia and China in opportunistically abandoning human freedom.

  10. Gamecock says:

    “I have to ask: Is this climate change in the room with us right now?”

    “As the world scrambles to contain the spread of COVID-19, many economic activities have ground to a halt, leading to marked reductions in air pollution.’

    Begging the question fallacy. There is no evidence of ‘marked reductions in air pollution.’

    ‘What they learn could improve predictions of the earth’s climatic future.’

    So everything up to now is flawed? When I tried to tell you that, you said I was a denier.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Lockdowns for life, not just for a virus?

    UK Climate Assembly Calls Lockdown A ‘Test Run’ For Greener Lifestyles
    Date: 20/04/20 Reuters

    Working from home and other measures to help stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Britain show how quickly the country could change its ways to address climate change too, participants in the Climate Assembly UK said on Sunday.

  12. Gamecock says:

    30 day free trial of socialism.

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