New NASA data sheds (Sun) light on climate models

Posted: May 15, 2021 by oldbrew in climate, modelling, research, satellites

Scientists at the University of Michigan, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and University of Colorado Boulder recently used TSIS-1 SSI satellite data in a global climate model for the first time – and got a few surprises. Another dent in the myth of ‘settled’ climate science.
– – –
Have you ever worn a dark T-shirt on a sunny day and felt the fabric warm in the Sun’s rays? asks NASA-GISS.

Most of us know dark colors absorb sunlight and light colors reflect it – but did you know this doesn’t work the same way in the Sun’s non-visible wavelengths?

The Sun is Earth’s power source, and it emits energy as visible sunlight, ultraviolet radiation (shorter wavelengths), and near-infrared radiation, which we feel as heat (longer wavelengths).

Visible light reflects off light-colored surfaces like snow and ice, while darker surfaces like forests or oceans absorb it. This reflectivity, called albedo, is one key way Earth regulates its temperature – if Earth absorbs more energy than it reflects, it gets warmer, and if it reflects more than it absorbs, it gets cooler.

The picture becomes more complicated when scientists bring the other wavelengths into the mix. In the near-infrared part of the spectrum, surfaces like ice and snow are not reflective – in fact, they absorb near-infrared light in much the same way a dark T-shirt absorbs visible light.

“People think snow is reflective. It’s so shiny,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and acting NASA senior climate adviser. “But it turns out in the near-infrared part of the spectrum, it’s almost black.”

Clearly, for climate scientists to get the whole picture of how solar energy enters and exits the Earth system, they need to include other wavelengths besides visible light.

That’s where NASA’s Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) comes in. From its vantage point aboard the International Space Station, TSIS-1 measures not only the total solar irradiance (energy) that reaches Earth’s atmosphere, but also how much energy comes in at each wavelength.

This measurement is called spectral solar irradiance, or SSI. TSIS-1’s Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) instrument, developed by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, measures SSI with an accuracy better than 0.2%, or within 99.8% of the true SSI values.

“With TSIS-1, we have more confidence in the measurements of visible and near-infrared light,” said Dr. Xianglei Huang, professor in the department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan. “How you partition the amount of energy at each wavelength has implications for the mean climate.”

Full article here.

  1. Gamecock says:

    ‘measures SSI with an accuracy better than 0.2%, or within 99.8% of the true SSI values’

    Calibrated how?

    ‘Even though the polar climate looks different with the new data, there are still more steps to take before scientists can use it to predict future climate change, the authors warned.

    Dudes have been predicting ‘future climate change’ for 30 years now, in the current Global Warming regime, 60 years if you go back to the global cooling scare. Now, they announce ‘there are still more steps to take before scientists can use it to predict future climate change.’

    ‘The team’s next steps include investigating how TSIS data affects the model at lower latitudes, as well as continuing observations into the future to see how SSI varies across the solar cycle.’

    Huge gaps in current knowledge. Don’t think for a second that Schmidt just learned about near-infrared absorption. He has touted models for decades that HE KNEW were inadequate.

    ‘Learning more about how solar energy interact with Earth’s surface and systems – at all wavelengths – will give scientists more and better information to model the present and future climate.

    All previous model reports have been invalidated.

    ‘With the help of TSIS-1 and its successor TSIS-2, which will launch aboard its own spacecraft in 2023, NASA is shining a light on Earth’s energy balance and how it is changing.’

    What? You have NO evidence of ‘how it is changing.’ You just made that up. Measurements of solar output is all you’ve got.

    GRRRRR. My tax dollars at play.

  2. P.A.Semi says:

    I’ve been waiting almost a month for some solar-related article to send you an invitation to my new Solar videos:

    Beside almost-normal SDO/AIA171 videos, just sharpened a bit from original blurred ones, there are few color composite videos, that shift ultra-violet colors into visible ones. It’s not just another color palette, but mix of three channels 171+211+304, and unlike that, what produces NASA in their mix, here all colors contribute to all color channels somehow, and the product is amazing in my opinion…
    It’s according to Prof. Druckmuller’s “Planckian Mapping” method, but using different sharpening and noise-clearing methods…

    The videos are large files, and if you are outside of Europe, the playback directly from web-page probably would not be smooth, but you can download MP4 files and view them locally… It cannot be uploaded to services like Youtube, because they degrade quality by re-encoding videos, and these cannot be compressed much without loosing the quality and sharpness…

    The smaller video files are marked by green frame, but it often means they are in lower resolution or short…


  3. Stephen Richards says:

    Are we seeing the start of a bail out from Shmidt

  4. JB says:

    Dimwits. Ham radio operators have known for decades about wavelength absorption across the spectrum. That knowledge came to the fore (public) with the space program in the 60s.

    Apparently it still has yet to sink in at the collegiate and professional levels.

  5. cognog2 says:

    How do I comment using just one line for input? Please could someone sort this out.

    [mod] If you see a comment box headed ‘Leave a Reply’ it can be expanded by using the Enter/return key. If not, what do you see?

  6. oldbrew says:

    The days of pretending solar variability is too trivial to mention seem to be over, or should be.

  7. stpaulchuck says:

    cognog2 says:
    May 15, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    and Mod

    the ‘Leave a Reply’ text box has a little graphic on the bottom right. It is a grab handle for the box. Click-grab it and pull down and the box will expand. Took a little fiddling with the box and the graphic to figure it out but it is simple.

  8. oldbrew says:

    No graphic visible in Google Chrome?

  9. Roger,

    NASA does not even have a clue that they do not understand Climate Energy Balance. They continue to base everything on settled science, science that was settled long before they knew enough to settle science. I would like to discuss some of this with you and others.

    Herman A (Alex) Pope

    On Sat, May 15, 2021 at 5:20 AM Tallbloke’s Talkshop wrote:

    > oldbrew posted: “ Scientists at the > University of Michigan, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, > Maryland, and University of Colorado Boulder recently used TSIS-1 SSI > satellite data in a global climate model for the first time – an” >

  10. Phoenix44 says:

    The Germans knew this in WWII. They discovered that the white paint used by the Russians reflected ultraviolet light differently than the surrounding snow so could use photographic film sensitive at the right wavelengths to identify vehicles and aircraft.

    Climate scientists are so incredibly ignorant of the rest of science and knowledge.

  11. konradwp1 says:

    Solar spectral variance is one of the most likely culprits for the small amount of warming observed since the end of the Little Ice Age.

    Here NASA is belatedly admitting to the obvious: the surface of our planet in no way resembles a “near black body”.

    But the issue is not ice and snow. Because short wave infrared radiation variance will only cause near surface effects. The issue is UV variance, as this penetrates up to 200m below the ocean, effecting ocean heat content.

    But NASA will never admit that different frequencies have different heating capabilities regarding liquid water. That would mean admitting that our oceans are an extreme short wave selective surface. That LWIR cannot heat the oceans like SW or UV. That their claim of “surface Tav of 255 Kelvin in absence of radiative atmosphere” is complete and utter tripe.

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