Archive for the ‘atmosphere’ Category

Credit: weather.com


By what known physics could a few molecules of carbon dioxide upset the jet stream? A meteorologist is not impressed by such claims.

By Chris Martz | November 9, 2019
INTRODUCTION Just when wildfires weren’t enough, we now have people blaming cold weather on a warming climate, which seems quite contradictory.

In light of the Arctic outbreak in forecast this coming week, people like Phil Plait (who has since blocked me) took to Twitter (Figure 1) to claim that man-made climate change is causing frigid, Arctic air to be displaced south into the United States, Europe, and Asia.

His argument, which is supported by some climate scientists, suggests that man-made global warming causes the polar jet stream to destabilize causing it to become wavy rather than zonal, sending Arctic air southward into the mid-latitude regions.

He also stated that without global warming, the polar air would stay near the north pole.

Both of these claims are exactly backwards from reality and are not supported by weather dynamics, the global warming theory, or statistical observations in long-term temperature data.

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A reconstruction of the Anglian ice sheet in Precambrian North London (credit: BBC / The Natural History Museum, London)


This might rattle a few cages in climate-land.

An analysis of air up to 2 million years old, trapped in Antarctic ice, shows that a major shift in the periodicity of glacial cycles was probably not caused by a long-term decline in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, writes Eric W. Wolff in Nature.
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During the past 2.6 million years, Earth’s climate has alternated between warm periods known as interglacials, when conditions were similar to those of today, and cold glacials, when ice sheets spread across North America and northern Europe.

Before about 1 million years ago, the warm periods recurred every 40,000 years, but after that, the return period lengthened to an average of about 100,000 years.

It has often been suggested that a decline in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was responsible for this fundamental change.

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Close Encounter with a Gigantic Jet

Posted: October 27, 2019 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Travel
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One jet meets another 😎

Spaceweather.com

Oct. 25, 2019: When you see lightning, run! So NOAA advises in lightning safety brochures. On Oct. 15th, however, pilot Chris Holmes had no place to go when lightning started to crackle in thunderstorms around his aircraft. Like it or not, he was in position for a close encounter … with a Gigantic Jet.

“I was flying 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatan Peninsula when a super cell started pulsing with light,” he says. “It wasn’t just ordinary lightning, though. The cell was also creating lots of sprites and jets. They were leaping up from the thunderhead.”

At a distance of only 35 miles, he video-recorded a towering Gigantic Jet:

gj_crop

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in my aviation career,” he says.

Sometimes called “Earth’s tallest lightning,” Gigantic Jets were discovered in 2001-2002 shooting out of thunderstorms near Taiwan and Puerto Rico. Since then…

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As this is going on, cosmic rays are near a record high since measurements began. Researchers are using natural cosmic rays this time.

CERN’s colossal complex of accelerators is in the midst of a two-year shutdown for upgrade work.

But that doesn’t mean all experiments at the Laboratory have ceased to operate.

The CLOUD experiment, for example, has just started a data run that will last until the end of November, reports Phys.org.

The CLOUD experiment studies how ions produced by high-energy particles called cosmic rays affect aerosol particles, clouds and the climate.

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Venus


As usual the ‘runaway greenhouse effect’ theory rears its ugly head, and the event that supposedly led to it ‘forced massive amounts of CO² into the atmosphere’. But the huge atmospheric pressure of Venus (> 90 times that of Earth’s surface), combined with its being nearer to the Sun than Earth, can adequately explain the observed temperatures.

A new study on the volcanic highlands of Venus casts doubt on whether the planet ever had oceans, reports Universe Today.
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Venus is often referred to as “Earth’s sister planet“, owing to the number of similarities between them.

Like Earth, Venus is a terrestrial (aka. rocky) planet and it resides with our Sun’s Circumstellar Habitable Zone (CHZ). And for some time, scientists have theorized that billions of years ago, Venus had oceans on its surface and was habitable – aka. not the hot and hellish place it is today.

However, after examining radar data on the Ovda Fluctus lava flow, a team of scientists at the Lunar and Planetary Institute concluded that the highlands on Venus are likely to be composed of basaltic lava rock instead of granite.

This effectively punches a hole in the main argument for Venus having oceans in the past, which is that the Ovda Regio highlands plateau formed in the presence of water.

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Stating the obvious, but most of the heat is in the oceans if compared to the heat in the atmosphere. Wikipedia says ‘the top 2.5 m of the ocean holds as much heat as the entire atmosphere above it.’ If improved predictions are expected, evidence of that will be needed.

University of Maryland (UMD) scientists have carried out a novel statistical analysis to determine for the first time a global picture of how the ocean helps predict the low-level atmosphere and vice versa, reports Phys.org.

They observed ubiquitous influence of the ocean on the atmosphere in the extratropics, which has been difficult to demonstrate with dynamic models of atmospheric and oceanic circulation.

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Venus


The article here notes that: ‘The atmosphere of Venus – which is mostly carbon dioxide – is extremely dense and hot; atmospheric pressure on Venus’ surface is some 90 times that of Earth.’ An extremely dense atmosphere with enormous atmospheric pressure is always going to be hot, regardless of its composition. Just a thought, but maybe it needs a lot of convection (wind) to offset the heat.

Why does Venus’ upper atmosphere circle the planet in just 4 Earth-days, while the planet itself takes 243 Earth-days to spin once?

Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft probed the mysterious “super-rotation” of Venus’ clouds, reports EarthSky.org.

The spacecraft – aka the Venus Climate Orbiter – got off a rocky start but has been sending back useful data from Venus for several years now.

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Image credit: theozonehole.com


Southern hemisphere spring, that is.

European weather scientists believe the ozone hole over the Antarctic this spring may be one of the smallest since the mid-1980s, says stuff(NZ).

Experts at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) have observed strange behaviours of the annual ozone hole this season.

Not only is it already shrinking and well on the way to being about half the size it usually is at this time of year, but also it began forming about two weeks earlier than usual and it is off-centre, away from the South Pole.

They say that is probably the result of the rare sudden stratospheric warming, which has been under way about 30km above Antarctica since last month.

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Hurricane Dorian


As the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season arrives, weather forecaster Chris Martz tries to inject some sanity into the clamour around the latest weather event to hit the headlines. This is an extract from the full article, which as you might expect offers a more in-depth view.

We’ve made it three weeks without extreme weather and/or climate change hysteria making rounds on social media. Unfortunately, that streak has come to an end, making the lives of most weather forecasters like me a lot more difficult.

We are quickly approaching climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season¹ (September 10th) (Figure 1), thus it should be NO surprise to anyone that we have seen an uptick in tropical activity. However, I stand corrected - people are losing their minds about it.
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Debunking the SST myth

I want to debunk the popular myth that has been circulating around the internet. Warmer sea surface temperatures (SST) does not guarantee that hurricanes will become more frequent or more intense.

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Are the increased cosmic rays of solar minimum at work here? A strong possibility it seems.

Spaceweather.com

August 30, 2019: You never know what you might see in the wake of a big storm. On Aug. 25th, Chinese astrophotographer Chao Shen of Shaoxing City went outside to photograph the Milky Way. A typhoon named “White Deer” had passed through the day before, and the storm clouds were parting. “I saw the stars–but that’s not all,” says Shen. “A Gigantic Jet leaped up right before my eyes!”

gj

Gigantic Jets are lightning-like discharges that spring from the tops of thunderstorms, reaching all the way to the edge of space. They’re related to sprites, but larger and more powerful.

“Shen definitely caught a Gigantic Jet,” confirms Oscar van der Velde of the Lightning Research Group at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. “It looks like it may have reached as high as 90 km above the ground.”

“Gigantic Jets are much more rare than sprites,” says van der Velde. “While…

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Science Goes Up In Rainforest Smoke

Posted: August 30, 2019 by oldbrew in alarmism, atmosphere, Critique, trees
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Amazon near Manaus [credit: Wikipedia]


If journalists, politicos, celebs and the Pope can fall for scientific myths and get the facts so wrong, why should we believe them on other climate issues? – asks Climate Change Dispatch.
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The idea that the Amazon rainforest is the lungs of the world is so embedded in our minds that few questioned its widespread use when news about fires in the Amazon was reported this summer, writes Dr. David Whitehouse.

The idea is everywhere—so it’s obviously true. Trees absorb carbon dioxide (bad), don’t they, and give off oxygen (good), and there are billions of trees in the Amazon, so surely it makes sense.

Responding to the fires in the Amazon the Pope has said that the “Lungs of the forest are vital for the planet.”

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Credit: UN/WWAP


The report says the productivity of the new water harvester is ’10 times that of the previous device and 100 times higher than the early proof-of-concept device’, and that ‘no traces of metal or organics have been found in the water’.

In 2017, UC Berkeley chemists demonstrated that a new MOF design could rapidly adsorb water from even dry air, allowing it to be condensed and collected for drinking, reports TechXplore

A second-generation MOF can now cycle through adsorption and desorption in 20 minutes, allowing continous collection of more than a liter per day per kilogram of MOF using solar power.

The new MOF is the basis of a planned microwave-sized device that delivers 7-10 liters per day.

With water scarcity a growing problem worldwide, University of California, Berkeley, researchers are close to producing a microwave-sized water harvester that will allow you to pull all the water you need directly from the air—even in the hot, dry desert.

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[click on image to enlarge]


NOAA’s latest offering on this topic is here. Of course we’re pitched into the world of ‘greenhouse gas’ theory. But it seems to be a world of considerable uncertainty, if the phrases highlighted (by the Talkshop) are anything to go by. Most attention is given to CO2 in the media, but it’s only a very minor player in the atmosphere (0.04%). There’s no accepted figure for ‘water vapor’ (NOAA uses US spelling) as exact data doesn’t exist, although ballpark estimates from various readings can be found. Why do greenhouse gas believers obsess about CO2 when they don’t know a lot about what’s going on with water vapor, which is on the face of it far more important to their theory?

Water Vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, which is why it is addressed here first. However, changes in its concentration is also considered to be a result of climate feedbacks related to the warming of the atmosphere rather than a direct result of industrialization.

The feedback loop in which water is involved is critically important to projecting future climate change, but as yet is still fairly poorly measured and understood.

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More on the mysteries behind noctilucent clouds. Lots of extra water vapour has turned up this season that can’t easily be explained.

Spaceweather.com

June 19, 2019: The 2019 season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) has been remarkable, maybe the best ever, with NLCs appearing as far south as Los Angeles CA and Albuquerque NM. What’s going on? Researchers aren’t sure, but Lynn Harvey of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics has just found an important clue.

“The mesosphere is quite wet,” she says. “Water vapor concentrations are at their highest levels for the past 12 years.”

electricblueNoctilucent clouds over Piwnice, Poland, on June 18th. Credit: Piotr Majewski

Noctilucent clouds form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise to the top of the atmosphere. Water molecules stick to specks of meteor smoke, gathering into icy clouds that glow electric blue when they are hit by high altitude sunlight.

When noctilucent clouds began appearing at unusually low latitudes in early June, Harvey took a look at data from NASA’s Microwave…

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Kansas tornado [image credit: Wikipedia]


Politicians keen to promote climate alarm run the risk of embarrassing themselves when pronouncing on random weather events.

H/T Climate Change Dispatch

With destructive tornadoes comes climate alarmism, so it’s useful to know why so-called global warming would produce fewer – not more – cyclonic events, says Dr Roy Spencer.

Progressive politicians like Al Gore, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.-N.Y., don’t hesitate to blame any kind of severe weather – even if it is decreasing over time – on global warming.

With the devastating Dayton, Ohio, tornadoes fresh on our minds, it is useful to examine exactly why (modest) global warming has produced fewer – not more – of such events.

The simple answer is that tornado formation requires unusually cool air.

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Polar Mesospheric Summer Echoes

Posted: May 22, 2019 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Clouds, physics

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Noctilucent clouds form when molecules from summertime water vapour stick to the microscopic debris of disintegrated meteoroids.

Spaceweather.com

May 21, 2019: Every summer since the late 1970s, radars probing Earth’s upper atmosphere have detected strong echoes from altitudes between 80 km and 90 km. The signals come from noctilucent clouds (NLCs).  NASA’s AIM spacecraft is still waiting to spot the first NLCS of the 2019 season, but the echoes have already begun. Rob Stammes of the Polarlightcenter in Lofoten, Norway, detected them on May 19th and 20th:

pmse

“I detected these VHF signals from Eastern Europe,” he explains. “They reflected from the mesosphere back down to my receiver in Norway. The wave patterns were recognizable and very strong.”

Researchers call them “Polar Mesospheric Summer Echoes” or “PMSEs.” They occur over the Arctic during the months of May through August, and over the Antarctic during the months of November through February. These are the same months that NLCs appear.

The underlying physics of these echoes is still uncertain.

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Saturn seen across a sea of methane on Titan by Huygens probe 2005


Not sure they mean Earth also has eerie lakes – apart from Lake Erie perhaps. Titan, billed here by a researcher as ‘the most interesting moon in the solar system’, has some observed similarities with Earth, plus some quirks of its own.

There’s one other place in the solar system where liquid rains, evaporates, and seeps into the surface to create deep lakes: Saturn’s moon Titan, says Tech Times.

In this alien world, the Earth-like hydrologic cycle does not take place with water, but with liquid methane and ethane. In Titan’s ultra-cold environment, these gases behave just like water.

Two new papers published in the journal Nature Astronomy detailed the findings of the concluded Cassini mission, particularly the details on Titan’s lakes and their composition.

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As the professor quoted below says: “Despite over 250 years of research, how lightning begins is still a mystery.” Tesla had a few ideas though (video).

In a first-of-its-kind observation, researchers from the University of New Hampshire Space Science Center have documented a unique event that occurs in clouds before a lightning flash happens, says Phys.org.

Their observation, called “fast negative breakdown,” documents a new possible way for lightning to form and is the opposite of the current scientific view of how air carries electricity in thunderstorms.

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Credit: PAR @ Wikipedia


If you think you saw something about this a few days ago, you’re right. This article is a sort of follow-up that has appeared in Nature Climate Change on 1st April [sic] – abstract here. The ‘recent human-induced Walker circulation trends’ in the headline seem to be an artefact of some of the climate models, judging by the report. The authors make a telling point: ‘In contrast to the observed strengthening, the majority of climate computer models simulate a gradual weakening of the Walker Circulation when forced by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations’. So they got it exactly backwards? How unfortunate.

A new study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that the recent intensification of the equatorial Pacific wind system, known as Walker Circulation, is unrelated to human influences and can be explained by natural processes, reports Phys.org.

This result ends a longstanding debate on the drivers of an unprecedented atmospheric trend, which contributed to a three-fold acceleration of sea level rise in the western tropical Pacific, as well as to the global warming hiatus.

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So climate sensitivity… is likely somewhere between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees. This result has not changed until today, about 40 years later. And that’s exactly the problem.
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Maybe the problem lies in thinking that that is the problem.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

An insightful interview with Bjorn Stevens.

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