Archive for the ‘atmosphere’ Category

Aircraft Contrails: Where does the moisture come from?

Posted: October 2, 2015 by tallbloke in atmosphere

contrailsBe warned: any mention of ‘chemtrails’ will result in comments being ditched in the bit bucket.

Roger Clague writes in suggestions:

Contrails, does the water vapour come from the burnt fuel or the air?

According to Nasa 99.9% is from the air 0.01% from the burnt fuel.

“Nearly all of the contrail is created from the moisture in the atmosphere. “
Justified by R.G.Knollenberg(1972) paid by Nasa
“There are at least four orders of magnitude more ice present in the contrail core than the Sabreliner originally exhausted!”
A later Nasa paper says
Atlas, Wang and Duda ( 2006)
“The average ice water per meter along the length of the contrail is 1.6 104 g m 1 , some three to four orders of magnitude greater than the water vapor released by typical jet aircraft, also similar to previously reported values.”


Tropopause height as a climate metric

Posted: September 17, 2015 by oldbrew in atmosphere, climate

[image credit: B. Geerts and E. Linacre]

[image credit: B. Geerts and E. Linacre]

Having recently noted the existence of this 2011 paper on Talkshop Suggestions, contributor Roger Clague replied to say he felt it could make for an interesting discussion, and put forward some challenging initial thoughts.

Abstract. We present a seasonal climatology of tropopause altitude for 78◦ N 16◦ E derived from observations 2007–2010 by the SOUSY VHF radar on Svalbard. The spring minimum occurs one month later than that of surface air temperature and instead coincides with the maximum in ozone column density. This confirms similar studies based on radiosonde measurements in the Arctic and demonstrates downward control by the stratosphere.

If one is to exploit the potential of tropopause height as a metric for climate change at high latitude and elsewhere, it is imperative to observe and understand the processes which establish the tropopause – an understanding to which this study contributes. [bold added]


Climate model predictions, seasonal to decadal.

Posted: September 13, 2015 by Andrew in atmosphere, climate

imageCan climate models predict? A few months ago a lecture given by a senior member of the Met Office, describing where the models are at. What they can do, and more problematically, what they cannot.


[update: Tyler Robinson has replied in comments  — Tim /update]

Talkshop contributor ‘Cementafriend’ has emailed me with an interesting critique of parts the 2013 Robinson & Catling paper Common 0.1 bar tropopause in thick atmospheres set by pressure-dependent infrared transparency 

. He is an engineer and tells me that:

I have had actual experience with combustion and heat transfer. I have designed burners for coal, gas, oil and waste fuel materials. I have measured CO2 in exhaust gases, down coal mines and even in the atmosphere.

The presence of OH in the atmosphere is due to the reaction CH4 +O3 > CH3OH +O2 (of course other organics can also be oxidised by O3 but the quantity of these is tiny).
The reaction claimed CH4 +OH> CH3 +H2O is not correct. CH3OH (methanol or methyl alcohol sometimes known as wood alcohol which is poisonous) can exist as a molecule. In water this can form the ions CH3+ and OH-.
CH3OH is highly soluble in water at ocean/lake surfaces and also in drops of water in clouds. However, there is little O3 in the atmosphere up to 11,000 km and that is why CH4 persists in the atmosphere now at around 1.7 ppm.

It seems that just as there are “Climate Scientists” making up false relations in physics, thermodynamics & heat transfer (luckily they have not touched mass transfer), there also seem to be “astrophysicists” and “astrochemists” making up new chemistry & reaction kinetics.


Makarieva and Gorschov

Makarieva and Gorschov

Our old friend Anastassia Makarieva has a new paper in press with her colleagues Victor Gorschov and A.V. Nefiodov: ‘Empirical evidence for the condensational theory of hurricanes’. A preprint is available here. This theory is an extension of her earlier work on where winds come from, which we discussed a couple of years ago.

The new paper concludes with this:

We derived the relationship between the gravitational power of precipitation and air velocity in the windwall from the previously developed theory of condensation-induced dynamics [3,5]. We emphasize that the gravitational power of precipitation exists irrespective of the dissipation of the kinetic energy of hurricanes (distinct from the interpretation given in work [2]). The hurricane power budget would remain the same even if precipitation occurred in free fall with rain drops not interacting with atmospheric air.


Clues emerge to help solve red planet riddle

Posted: September 2, 2015 by tallbloke in atmosphere, data
Tags: ,

Repost from the JPL website

This view combines information from two instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to map color-coded composition over the shape of the ground in a small portion of the Nili Fossae plains region of Mars' northern hemisphere. This site is part of the largest known carbonate-rich deposit on Mars. In the color coding used for this map, green indicates a carbonate-rich composition, brown indicates olivine-rich sands, and purple indicates basaltic composition. Image credit: JPL

This view combines information from two instruments on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to map color-coded composition over the shape of the ground in a small portion of the Nili Fossae plains region of Mars’ northern hemisphere.
This site is part of the largest known carbonate-rich deposit on Mars. In the color coding used for this map, green indicates a carbonate-rich composition, brown indicates olivine-rich sands, and purple indicates basaltic composition. Image credit: JPL Click image for more info.

Scientists may be closer to solving the mystery of how Mars changed from a world with surface water billions of years ago to the arid Red Planet of today.

A new analysis of the largest known deposit of carbonate minerals on Mars suggests that the original Martian atmosphere may have already lost most of its carbon dioxide by the era of valley network formation.

“The biggest carbonate deposit on Mars has, at most, twice as much carbon in it as the current Mars atmosphere,” said Bethany Ehlmann of the California Institute of Technology and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, both in Pasadena. “Even if you combined all known carbon reservoirs together, it is still nowhere near enough to sequester the thick atmosphere that has been proposed for the time when there were rivers flowing on the Martian surface.”


This paper needs discussion.

The Hockey Schtick has an article up on a just published 69 page paper.


The above comparisons indicate that Eq. (10b) rather accurately reproduces the observed variation of mean surface temperatures across a wide range of planetary environments characterized in terms of solar irradiance (from 1.5 W m-2 to 2,602 W m-2), total atmospheric pressure (from near vacuum to 9,300 kPa), and greenhouse-gas concentrations (from 0.0% to over 96% per volume).

Now rip the paper apart. What if anything about it is safe?


A few days ago Hockey Schtick brought up Feynman deriving the basic atmospheric gas and temperature profile without mentioning radiation and showing that classical physics fails, quantum mechanics is required.


From Fenyman lectures VOL 1, Chapter 40, showing the contradiction between classic physics and reality, annotated by author. This is one and the same as the ultra-violet catastrophe matter, both needing a quantum physics jump.

Two explanations for one thing might be the food of cats or thought experiments but is not valid in the real world, one planet, although sometimes looking at the state of people I wonder.


Tim writes, someone somewhere reminded me

An anon has reminded me of a critical paper published in the May 1967 issue Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences.

As such in the context of the mid 1960s with little knowledge or computing hardware there ought to be no problem. Unfortunately a number of critical fixed assumptions and of ideas in the paper were ignored for what they were and has formed the basis of the nonsense we have today. The continued correction which typifies science guessing seemed to cease.

Given the Talkshop has many new eyes and opinions since the last mention of this paper a look today is a good move, or at least I think so.


Extracted from paper, one of several choices.


That’s the question posed by Scottish Sceptic here.

When explaining the greenhouse warming effect, I’ve avoided going into the cause of the adiabatic temperature change of the atmosphere as we get higher and instead used a hand waving argument that expanding air is cooler which has been enough to explain the necessary temperature gradient up through the atmosphere (link).

However, this isn’t really the mechanism behind the adiabatic lapse rate.


Paul Vaughan has produced a six page .pdf document crammed with the fruits of his research into the ways in which solar variation affects Earth’s climate. Several of the observations and concepts coincide with the work we have been doing here at the talkshop over the last six years to unravel the mysteries of solar system dynamics and their effect on Terrestrial variation. Paul has applied his stats and visualisation skills and thorough approach to referencing, including direct links to data. This has resulted in a landmark document which readers will find both useful and inspiring. It demonstrates the progress that has been made in solar-terrestrial theory, (with hints about the underlying planetary solar relations too).




The Albedo of Earth

Posted: March 10, 2015 by Andrew in atmosphere, Clouds

image“An important new paper finds that the albedo of Earth is highly regulated, mostly by clouds, with some surprising consequences”.


Here’s another guest post from Ed Hoskins. This one deals with the IPCC’s own figures fro the effect of CO2 on global tamperature, demonstrating that due to the logarithmic limitation as this trace gas increases, future warming will be limited to within beneficial limits.

The diminishing influence of increasing Carbon Dioxide CO2 on temperature
Ed Hoskins MAarch (Cantab)  BDS (Lond).

The temperature increasing capacity of atmospheric CO2 is theoretically plausible, but its influence is known and widely accepted to diminish as its concentration increases. It diminishes logarithmically with increasing concentration.

Global Warming advocates and Climate Change sceptics both agree on this. IPCC Published reports, (TAR), acknowledge that the effective temperature increase caused by growing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere radically diminishes with increasing concentrations. This information has been presented in the IPCC reports. It is well disguised for any lay reader, (Chapter 6. Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: section 6.3.4 Total Well-Mixed Greenhouse Gas Forcing Estimate) [i].


First images from NASA OCO-2 satelite

Posted: December 18, 2014 by Andrew in atmosphere, data

imageNASA has released the first images from its Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2)  at the AGU conference today. (more…)

  • GC33H-07Atmospheric controls on northeast Pacific temperature trends and variations, 1900-2012
Wednesday, December 17, 201403:16 PM – 03:28 PM
    • Moscone West
    • 3005
    Over the past century, northeast Pacific coastal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and land-based surface air temperatures (SATs) display multidecadal variations associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, in addition to a warming trend of ~0.5 to 1°C. Using independent records of sea-level pressure (SLP), SST and SAT, this study investigates NE Pacific coupled atmosphere-ocean variability from 1900 to 2012, with emphasis on the coastal areas around North America. We use a linear stochastic time series model to show that the SST evolution around the NE Pacific coast can be explained by a combination of regional atmospheric forcing and ocean persistence, accounting for 63% of nonseasonal monthly SST variance (r = 0.79) and 73% of variance in annual means (r = 0.86).

    Guest post from Peter Morecambe aka ‘Galloping Camel’


    The Kyoto Protocol

    Elites around the world tend to believe that rising levels of CO2 in our atmosphere will cause catastrophic climate changes. Collectively they wield enough power to shape energy policies in many nations according to commitments laid down in the “Kyoto Protocol” and subsequent accords. It is interesting to compare the fate of the Kyoto Protocol based on the work of “Climate Scientists” such as Michael Mann with that of the Montreal Protocol based on the work of people like McElroy.

    The Montreal Protocol essentially banned the production of Freon and similar compounds based on the prediction that this would reduce the size of the polar “Ozone Holes”. After the ban went into effect the size of the ozone holes diminished. This may mean that the science presented by McElroy and his cohorts was “Robust” or it may be dumb luck. Either way, McElroy has credibility and “Skeptics” are ridiculed. The Kyoto Protocol did not fare so well.


    Ferenc Miskolczi

    Well here’s a nice surprise. Out of the blue, Dr Ferenc Miskolczi has dropped a link onto Tim Channon’s thread, which goes to his major new paper, published by the SEI. So we are privileged to be among the first to read it and start a discussion. It challenges the entire basis of the IPCC AGW theory by deriving a theoretical atmosphere which fits observations and demonstrates stability of the Earth’s radiative balance. Thanks Ferenc!

    Ferenc Mikolczi 2014 Abstract


    By Kelly Dickerson for Yahoo News:

    ESA-Magnetospheres_600_MThe sun may be partly responsible for lightning strikes on Earth, and scientists think fluctuations in the sun’s magnetic field could be used to predict lightning storms weeks in advance.

    The sun’s magnetic field can bend Earth’s own magnetic field, and this twisting and turning may be allowing an influx of high-energy particles into the planet’s atmosphere. These particles can cause a buildup of electric charge that can trigger lightning strikes.

    From 2001 to 2006, during a period when the sun’s magnetic field was severely skewing the Earth’s magnetic field, the United Kingdom saw 50 percent more lightning strikes than normal, according to the new study. This severe skewing happens regularly as the sun’s magnetic field shifts. Scientists say this suggests the sun’s magnetic field could be used to predict the occurrence of lightning.


    Scientist Paul Pukite has built a simple model involving Total Solar Irradiance , the Chandler wobble and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation which does an impressive job of emulating the Southern Oscillation index from Darwin and Tahiti. Here’s the result:




    One equation for earth temperature

    Posted: November 29, 2014 by tchannon in atmosphere, Gravity, Maths

    At The Hockey Schitick MS has posted a brave article

    The Greenhouse Equation

    This seems to be a culmination of a series of articles.

    [UPDATE: and another article showing a fit against Standard Atmosphere /UPDATE]