Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

I’m delighted Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller have chosen the Talkshop as the venue for the publication of this new open peer review paper on climate sensitivity. Scientific advance at the cutting edge has always been the most important aim of this blog, and I think this paper truly is an advance in our understanding of the climate system and the factors which support and modulate surface temperature on Earth and other rocky planets. 

The paper is mathematically rigorous, but is also accessible to everyone, thanks to Ned and Karl’s exemplary effort to fully explain their concepts and definitions in terms which can be understood by any interested reader who has some familiarity with the climate debate. Building on the bedrock of their 2014 and 2017 papers, this new work extends the applicability and validates the postulates of those previous papers by examining the causes of variability in planetary surface temperature and incorporating the previous findings in quantifying and deriving equations to model them. They find that Earth is sensitive to changes in cloud cover, which affects the amount of solar shortwave radiation reaching the surface, but not very sensitive to changes in Total Solar Irradiance arriving at the top of the atmosphere. They also find that the sensitivity to changes in CO2 levels has been heavily overestimated by current climate models. They show that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 280 ppm to 560 ppm will cause an undetectable global warming of 0.004K.

A PDF of the paper can be downloaded here:  ECS_Universal_Equations.

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Exact Formulas for Estimating the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity of Rocky Planets & Moons to Total Solar Irradiance, Absorbed Shortwave Radiation, Planetary Albedo and Surface Atmospheric Pressure.
Ned Nikolov, Ph.D. and Karl Zeller, Ph.D.
April, 2022

1. Introduction

The term “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity” (ECS) has become a synonym for the steady-state response of global surface temperature to a modeled long-wave radiative forcing caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration with respect to an assumed pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. According to climate models based on the Greenhouse theory, an increase of atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm would produce a net radiative forcing (i.e. an atmospheric radiant-heat trapping) of 3.74 W m-2 (Gregory et al. 2004) resulting in a global surface warming between 2.5 K and 4.0 K with a central estimate of 3.0 K according to IPCC AR6 (see p. 11 in Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers). This implies an average unit ECS of 3.0/3.74 = 0.8 K / (W m-2) with a range of 0.67 ≤ ECS ≤ 1.07 K / (W m-2). Contemporary climate science and IPCC Assessment Reports do not discuss global temperature sensitivities to changes in cloud albedo, absorbed solar radiation or total surface atmospheric pressure. Consequently, no equations have been derived/proposed thus far to calculate these sensitivities. The reason for such an omission is the implicit assumption made by IPCC based on the 19th-Century Greenhouse theory (Arrhenius 1896) that the observed warming during most of the 20th Century and especially over the past 40 years was chiefly caused by an increase of industrial CO2 emissions, which are believed to trap outgoing long-wave radiation in the Earth’s troposphere and reduce the rate of surface infrared cooling to Space.

However, a plethora of studies published during the past 15 years have shown through both satellite and surface observations that the absorption of solar radiation by the Earth-atmosphere system has increased significantly since 1982 due to a decreased cloud cover/albedo, a phenomenon often referred to as “global brightening” (e.g. Goode & Pallé 2007; Wild 2009; Herman et al. 2013; Stanhill et al. 2014; Hofer et al. 2017; Pfeifroth et al. 2018; Pokrovsky 2019;  Delgado-Bonal et al. 2020; Dübal & Vahrenholt 2021;  Yuan et al. 2021). This implies a global warming driven by a rising surface solar radiation rather than CO2.

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Irish farm [image credit: climatenewsnetwork.net]


Yet another climate folly induced by arbitrary targets. As usual they conveniently forget that most of their so-called ‘greenhouse’ gas is water vapour, which depends on the temperature. There’s so little methane in the atmosphere it has to be measured in parts per billion, but alarmism has taken over.
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In order for legally binding climate targets to be met, and agricultural subsidies to be granted, the number of livestock on the island needs to go down says Buzz.

The size of herds both North and South of the border is being scrutinised. It is likely both cow and sheep herds on both sides of the border will need to be cut – and soon.

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Neptune


Planetary temperature conundrums are not confined to Earth. Nobody foresaw the observed changes that occurred on Neptune between 2018 and 2020.
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An international team of astronomers have used ground-based telescopes, including the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), to track Neptune’s atmospheric temperatures over a 17-year period, Phys.org.

They found a surprising drop in Neptune’s global temperatures followed by a dramatic warming at its south pole.

“This change was unexpected,” says Michael Roman, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Leicester, UK, and lead author of the study published today in The Planetary Science Journal. “Since we have been observing Neptune during its early southern summer, we expected temperatures to be slowly growing warmer, not colder.”

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It’s better than we thought! Another setback for alarmists as modern UK rainfall isn’t living up to the climate hype after all. Will the ‘adjusters’ be called in?
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Newly transcribed data from the Victorian era has ‘smashed’ current rainfall records, report experts at the Met Office and the University of Reading.

Heavy rainfall may be associated with flash floods and the modern-day battle against climate change, says the Daily Mail.

But a new study led by the Met Office and the University of Reading shows it’s nothing new – in fact, newly recovered data from the Victorian era has ‘smashed’ current rainfall records.

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The short answer to the climate question.

Science Matters

This post is about proving that CO2 changes in response to temperature changes, not the other way around, as is often claimed.  In order to do  that we need two datasets: one for measurements of changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over time and one for estimates of Global Mean Temperature changes over time.

Climate science is unsettling because past data are not fixed, but change later on.  I ran into this previously and now again in 2021 and 2022 when I set out to update an analysis done in 2014 by Jeremy Shiers (discussed in a previous post reprinted at the end).  Jeremy provided a spreadsheet in his essay Murray Salby Showed CO2 Follows Temperature Now You Can Too posted in January 2014. I downloaded his spreadsheet intending to bring the analysis up to the present to see if the results hold up.  The two sources of data were:

Temperature…

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Where are existing climate-obsessed energy policies taking us? The drive toward renewable energy production in new building developments can make microgrids susceptible to outages, this research article suggests. Batteries are not a solution, they say.
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The abstract of the article says:

Contemporary proliferation of renewable power generation is causing an overhaul in the topology, composition, and dynamics of electrical grids. These low-output, intermittent generators are widely distributed throughout the grid, including at the household level. It is critical for the function of modern power infrastructure to understand how this increasingly distributed layout affects network stability and resilience. This paper uses dynamical models, household power consumption, and photovoltaic generation data to show how these characteristics vary with the level of distribution. It is shown that resilience exhibits daily oscillations as the grid’s effective structure and the power demand fluctuate. This can lead to a substantial decrease in grid resilience, explained by periods of highly clustered generator output. Moreover, the addition of batteries, while enabling consumer self-sufficiency, fails to ameliorate these problems. The methodology identifies a grid’s susceptibility to disruption resulting from its network structure and modes of operation.’

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Full research article here: Science Advances, March 2022

BMW i3 electric car plus battery pack [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]


If they’re already struggling to get enough lithium when EVs have only a small market presence, where are the supplies for the massive planned EV expansion supposed to come from, and at what cost in already expensive machines? Mining operations don’t spring up overnight, and time is short if supply is to meet the expected demand from the manufacturers.
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As the price of lithium has skyrocketed over 400% in the past year, the demand for lithium-ion batteries appears more intense than ever, says AG Metal Miner @ OilPrice.com.

Lithium has earned the ‘white petroleum’ label due to its dramatic need for supplies from the rise of battery giga-factories, electric vehicles, powerwalls and energy storage businesses.

Battery makers including Tesla, Panasonic and LG Chem, have to budget for the rising cost of lithium. Batteries that go into electric cars require lithium. More battery makers will need to expand production to keep up with demand from electric cars.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


One finding was that snow cover variability was more ‘extreme’ than expected, pointing to the need for further research as well as improvements to climate models. Whether the recent Arctic weather/climate history is a reliable guide to future conditions remains to be seen.
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Hundreds of international researchers are currently analyzing observations from the one-year MOSAiC expedition, during which hundreds of environmental parameters were recorded with unprecedented accuracy and frequency over a full annual cycle in the Central Arctic Ocean, says Phys.org.

They have now published three overview articles on the MOSAiC atmosphere, snow and sea ice, and ocean programs in the journal Elementa, highlighting the importance of examining all components of the climate system together.

These results present the first complete picture of the climate processes in the central Arctic which is warming more than two times as fast as the rest of the planet—processes which affect weather and climate worldwide.

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Diagram showing solid-body rotation of the Earth with respect to a stationary spin axis due to true polar wander. [Credit: Wikipedia]

The researchers say their finding ‘challenges the notion that the spin axis has been largely stable over the past 100 million years.’
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We know that true polar wander (TPW) can occasionally tilt whole planets and moons relative to their axes, but it’s not entirely clear just how often this has happened to Earth, says ScienceAlert.

Now a new study presents evidence of one such tilting event that occurred around 84 million years ago – when dinosaurs still walked the Earth.

Researchers analyzed limestone samples from Italy, dating back to the Late Cretaceous period (100.5 to 65.5 million years ago), looking for evidence of shifts in the magnetic record that would point towards an occurrence of TPW.

Bacteria fossils trapped in the rock, forming chains of the mineral magnetite, offer some of the most convincing evidence yet of true polar wander in the Late Cretaceous – and it may help settle a scientific debate that’s been going on for decades.

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A year after I wrote the original ‘Why Phi’ post explaining my discovery of the Fibonacci sequence links between solar system orbits and planetary synodic periods here at the Talkshop in 2013, my time and effort got diverted into politics. The majority of ongoing research into this important topic has been furthered by my co-blogger Stuart ‘Oldbrew’ Graham. Over the last eight years he has published many articles here using the ‘Why Phi’ tag looking at various subsystems of planetary and solar interaction periodicities, resonances, and their relationships with well known climatic periodicities such as the De Vries, Hallstatt, Hale and Jose cycles, as well as exoplanetary systems exhibiting the same Fibonacci-resonant arrangements.

Recently, Stuart contacted me with news of a major breakthrough in his investigations. In the space of a few hours spent making his calculator hot, major pieces of the giant jigsaw had all come together and brought ‘the big picture’ into focus. In fact, so much progress has been made that we’re not going to try to put it all into a single post. Instead, we’ll provide an overview here, and follow it up with further articles getting into greater detail.

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Credit: NOAA

Researchers propose another weather/climate cycle.
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A team of researchers with members affiliated with a large number of institutions across Japan has found that the Gulf stream and Kuroshio are synchronized on a decadal time scale, says Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of decades of weather satellite data and the link between the two ocean currents.

Paola Cessi, with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, has published a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in Japan in the same journal issue.

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Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy

Many of Earth’s complex systems ‘may be more resilient than currently thought’, in the words of the study. Makes a change from claims that various climate nasties lurk just round the corner if this or that is allowed to happen.
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We regularly hear warnings that climate change may lead to ‘tipping points’: irreversible situations where savanna can quickly change into desert, or the warm gulf stream current can simply stop flowing, says Phys.org.

These cautions often refer to spatial patterns as early-warning signals of tipping points. An international team of ecologists and mathematicians has studied these patterns and come to a surprising conclusion.

“Yes, we need to do everything we can to stop climate change,” the authors said in full agreement with the recent IPCC report. “But the Earth is much more resilient than previously thought. The concept of tipping points is too simple.”

The scientists have recently published their work in the journal Science.

The article builds on years of collaboration between a variety of research institutes in the Netherlands and abroad, especially between Utrecht University and Leiden University.

The researchers approached the idea of a tipping point within a spatial context. “The formation of spatial patterns in ecosystems, like the spontaneous formation of complex vegetation patterns, is often explained as an early-warning signal for a critical transition,” explains lead author Max Rietkerk, ecologist affiliated with Utrecht University.

“But these patterns actually appear to allow ecosystems to evade such tipping points.”

These findings are based on mathematical analyses of spatial models and new observations from real-world ecosystems.

Continued here.
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Study: Evasion of tipping in complex systems through spatial pattern formation

German coal: back to the future
[image credit: BBC]

What to do when you need reliable electricity generation *now*? Pay up, look big and burn fuel – if you can get it, and have something to burn it in. Renewables-obsessed governments are struggling to justify their blinkered ‘net zero’ policies now the energy chips are really down. All this with the COP26 climate talks looming.
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It’s not just extra natural gas that Europe’s struggling energy markets are finding tough to get from Russia, says Bloomberg (via MiningWeekly.com).

Power producers in the continent are being forced to ask Russia for more coal to ease an energy crunch with winter approaching and record-high gas prices denting profitability, according to officials at two Russian coal companies.

But they may be left stranded as any increase in exports from the country won’t be substantial, they said.

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Halfway through this article we see the study’s findings were made ‘where increases in sea surface temperatures have been recorded because of the reversal of a climatic condition called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, with likely connections to global climate change’. So the PDO has changed, which it regularly will do as its name (‘decadal’) indicates, and they want to tie the consequences to humans? That seems to be implied, although left vague by the usual catch-all term ‘climate change’.
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WASHINGTON—Warming ocean waters have caused a drop in the brightness of the Earth, according to a new study, says Eurekalert.

Researchers used decades of measurements of earthshine — the light reflected from Earth that illuminates the surface of the Moon to find that there has been a significant drop in Earth’s reflectance over the past two decades.

The Earth is now reflecting about half a watt less light per square meter than it was 20 years ago, with most of the drop occurring in the last three years of earthshine data, according to the new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters, which publishes high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Earth and space sciences.

That’s the equivalent of 0.5% decrease in the Earth’s reflectance. Earth reflects about 30% of the sunlight that shines on it.

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energy1

This economist clearly has faith in IPCC climate models and theories, but he may be in for his own shock by putting all his climate eggs in the carbon dioxide emissions basket. Meanwhile, brace for economic pain.
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The vast expense of ending global warming [Talkshop comment: reality may differ] will trigger a blow to the world economy that is as damaging as the 1974 oil shock, a top international economist has warned. The Telegraph reporting.

A scramble to cut carbon emissions is likely to send energy prices rocketing and hold back living standards for years to come, Jean Pisani-Ferry said in a report published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Mr Pisani-Ferry – a public policy expert who has served in senior economic roles in the European Union for decades – said that although the bill is both manageable and necessary to halt climate change, politicians are failing to be honest with the public about the dramatic effect on their lives and livelihoods.

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Sun_NS

Our magnetic Sun [image credit: space.com]

The declining phase of the current solar cycle 25 is predicted to be short. Whether that would follow a low peak remains to be seen, but not much has happened so far in the cycle.
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Violent activity on our Sun leads to some of the most extreme space weather events on Earth, impacting systems such as satellites, communications systems, power distribution and aviation, says Phys.org.

The roughly 11-year cycle of solar activity has three ‘seasons’, each of which affects the space weather felt at Earth differently: (i) solar maximum, the sun is active and disordered, when space weather is stormy and events are irregular (ii) the declining phase, when the sun and solar wind becomes ordered, and space weather is more moderate and (iii) solar minimum, when activity is quiet.

In a new study led by the University of Warwick and published in The Astrophysical Journal, scientists found that the change from solar maximum to the declining phase is fast, happening within a few (27 day) solar rotations.

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lanina-winterNo imminent upward pressure on global temperatures resulting from the ENSO phenomenon, judging by the latest analysis. Possibly the opposite, if current trends continue.
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Aug.12 (Reuters) — The La Niña weather pattern could potentially develop during the August-October season, and last through the 2021-22 winter, the U.S. government’s National Weather Service said on Thursday. (Yahoo Finance reporting.)

The La Niña pattern is characterized by unusually low temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and is linked to floods and drought.

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An IPCC scientist on twitter alerted me to this animation created by Chris Rentsch which analyses the data from the AIRS satellite measuring outgoing longwave radiation.

Here’s a still from the end of the video sequence.

As we can see, by 2019, there is a decrease in OLR at the wavelengths absorbed by CO2 (13-15um) as its atmospheric fraction increases. But we can also see that there is a much bigger increase in OLR at the wavelengths within the ‘atmospheric window’ (10-13um) where it isn’t absorbed by any atmospheric gases.

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energy1The amount of additional electricity required worldwide is more than any existing increase in output from renewables. As value-for-money fossil fuels – coal and gas mostly – fill the breach as it were, ‘decarbonisation’ is in effect going negative (if it was ever doing anything else). Let COP26 delegates chew on such ‘challenges’ as they’re called, in Glasgow later this year.
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The planet’s electricity demand is expected to rebound strongly this year and next after falling by around 1% in 2020, according to a new publication from the International Energy Agency.

Released on Thursday, the IEA’s electricity market report predicts that global demand for electricity will increase by nearly 5% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 as economies around the world seek to recover from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, says France24.

The report from the Paris-based organization notes that although electricity production from renewable energies “continues to grow strongly” – it is expected to increase by 8% this year and more than 6% in 2022 – it does not, cannot meet the growing demand.

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Quote: ‘the bottom line is that the doubling in the number of named storms over a century is very likely due to technology change, not natural or man-made climate change.’

Inside the Eye

Chris Landsea and Eric Blake [1]

An Incredibly Busy Hurricane Season

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active and destructive with 30 named storms.  (The Hurricane Specialists here at the National Hurricane Center use the designation “named storms” to refer to tropical storms, subtropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes.)  We even reached into the Greek alphabet for names for just the second time ever.  The United States was affected by a record 13 named storms (six of them directly impacted Louisiana), and a record yearly total of 7 billion-dollar tropical cyclone damage events was recorded by the National Centers for Environmental Information (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/time-series/US).  Nearly every country surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical/subtropical North Atlantic was threatened or struck in 2020.  Total damage in the United States was around $42 billion with over 240 lives lost in the United States and our neighboring…

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