Archive for the ‘atmosphere’ Category

Photosynthesis: nature requires carbon dioxide


‘What is carbon dioxide, anyway? How does it cause global warming?’ – asks Phys.org. [Delete ‘how’ – says the Talkshop.] Anyway, the entire article they attach to their loaded-question headline never once mentions water vapour. It’s all about demonising CO2. Even climate worrier Wikipedia says: ‘Water vapour is the gaseous phase of water…Being a component of Earth’s hydrosphere and hydrologic cycle, it is particularly abundant in Earth’s atmosphere, where it acts as a greenhouse gas and warming feedback, contributing more to total greenhouse effect than non-condensable gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.’ So even for fans of greenhouse theories there’s no escaping the predominance of water vapour over carbon dioxide. Completely ignoring it makes the whole CO2-promoting article redundant.
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Chemically, carbon dioxide is incredibly simple—it is just one carbon atom linked with two oxygen atoms, says Phys.org.

Together they create a colorless gas that makes up just a tiny fraction of the Earth’s atmosphere, about 0.04%.

That gas is critical to life on earth because plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide to create energy through the process of photosynthesis.

But carbon dioxide is also the primary reason the climate is warming, a long-term shift in temperature that threatens the delicately balanced ecosystems humans depend upon.

So how is something so necessary to life also so harmful? Here’s what to know:

Continued here.
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A footnote to the article says:
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
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Natural aerosols, not ‘human pollution’. Another climate assumption gets blown out of the water.
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In addition to oxygen, nitrogen or carbon dioxide, the air we breathe contains small amounts of organic gases, such as benzene and toluene, says Phys.org.

These oxidize into small particles or aerosols that contribute to the condensation of water in the droplets that form clouds.

Now, a study by the Institut de Cièncias del Mar (ICM-CSIC), the Instituto de Química Física Rocasolano (IQFR-CSIC) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) stresses the importance of clouds, which filter solar radiation, for understanding past and future climate changes.

“If we don’t get the clouds right, we won’t get the climate right,” says Charel Wohl, ICM-CSIC researcher and lead author of the study. “We are just beginning to unveil the multiple ingredients that form cloud seeds,” he adds.

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Australian coral [image credit: heraldsun.com.au]


Professor: “this study actually contributes to more accurate accounting of carbon around the globe.” Nature’s carbon cycle continues to surprise researchers.
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An international study comparing data from Heron Reef and the Middle East’s Gulf of Aqaba has disproved the long-held theory that coral reefs only have the capacity to emit CO2, reports Phys.org.

The first-of-its-kind discovery is the result of an international study led by The University of Queensland which found that dust blown in from nearby deserts can convert coral reefs into CO2 sinks.

Professor Hamish McGowan from UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences said the discovery was made after researchers observed a correlation between influxes of CO2 and periods of increased dust concentrations in the atmosphere around the reefs.

“We were surprised at how significant a role dust accumulation played in switching coral reefs from a CO2 source to a CO2 sink,” Professor McGowan said.

“This process was previously thought to be impossible, but our research proves otherwise.

“We found that the build-up of dust in the traditionally low-nutrient and low-chlorophyll waters of the Gulf of Aqaba actually fertilizes and improves coral-growing conditions and photosynthesis in reef ecosystems.”

Professor McGowan said the results will allow for the development of more accurate carbon budgets for the world’s oceans.

“The process we have identified in this study actually contributes to more accurate accounting of carbon around the globe,” Professor McGowan said.

“This informs predictions of the impact of atmospheric carbon on climate and climate sensitive ecosystems such as coral reefs.”
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The research establishes the causal controls on reef water temperatures, as opposed to previous predictions which were more focused on the correlation of global warming and coral bleaching.

Professor Lensky said these findings will allow researchers to correctly attribute the cause of, for example, extreme high water temperature events that result in coral bleaching.

“Our research, which included analysis of data collected at Heron Reef on the Great Barrier Reef, has confirmed the crucial role of local meteorology and the prevailing weather patterns in determining reef water temperatures,” Professor Lensky said.

Full report here.
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Earlier research: Dust in Earth system can affect oceans, carbon cycle, temperatures, and health (2010) – ScienceDaily

Credit: earthhow.com


Is there a role for natural climate variation here, and if so, what is going on?
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Claims by a UN-backed expert panel that the ozone layer is healing and headed to full recovery may be premature and overly optimistic, Net Zero Watch’s Science Editor Dr. David Whitehouse has warned.

Any internet search will find hundreds of news stories announcing that the ozone hole over the Antarctic is slowly filling and that by about the middle of this century mankind’s vandalism of this natural atmospheric layer will have been remedied, says Benny Peiser via Climate Change Dispatch.

The ozone hole has become an icon of anthropogenic interference in the natural world — and a hopeful signpost that there is a way back. But is the ozone hole healing? Not by as much as many headlines suggest, it would appear.

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What was the point of all those UN climate conferences again?
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Preliminary analyses of global satellite data by environmental researchers at the University of Bremen show that atmospheric concentrations of the two important greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) continued to rise sharply in 2022, reports Phys.org.

The increase in both gases is similar to that of previous years. However, the increase in methane does not reach the record levels of 2020 and 2021.

The Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) at the University of Bremen is a world-leading institute in the field of evaluation and interpretation of global satellite measurements of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) and other atmospheric trace gases that are of great importance for climate and air quality.

The institute leads the GHG-CCI greenhouse gas project of the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative (ESA) and provides related data to the European Copernicus Climate Change Service C3S and the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service CAMS.

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“Hot’s getting a lot hotter,” Newsom said. “Dry’s getting a lot dryer. But the wet’s getting a lot wetter, as well.” — The weather’s getting more weathery? It’s as if the wonder gas carbon dioxide can do anything, even at a tiny atmospheric concentration of 0.04%. Of course severe weather is a serious matter for those concerned, but the amazing power of CO2 is beyond belief /sarc!
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Newsom said climate change is to blame for the increase in the number of atmospheric rivers and intensity, reports Fox News.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced during a press conference on Sunday that he is requesting a state of emergency from the White House as another round of storms targets the Golden State this week.

Severe storms in California knocked out power to over 560,000 homes on Sunday.

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Not forgetting that CO2 is only a minor trace gas, at ~0.04% of the atmosphere.

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…

View original post 1,375 more words

Lift-off [image credit: NASA]


Collecting mountains of data on so-called greenhouse gases was not going to be cost-effective, says NASA. ‘Technical concerns’ played a part in the decision.
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All good things must come to an end, and in the case of NASA’s GeoCarb mission, some good things must end before they really begin, says Space.com.

NASA has canceled the GeoCarb mission, which was a collaboration with the University of Oklahoma and Lockheed Martin that intended to put a greenhouse gas–monitoring satellite into geostationary orbit.

GeoCarb would have measured levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane in the atmosphere about 4 million times per day. The mission was selected by NASA in 2016.

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California flood control channel [image credit: UC Berkeley]


Looking a lot further back than the satellite era can give a better perspective in weather trends. Nothing for alarmists to see here.
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Although the West has experienced major ups and downs in its precipitation patterns from year to year, over the past 130 years regions that provide the major source for spring and summer runoff have not shown a long-term pattern that indicates a permanent decline in precipitation, according to research by Dr. John Christy, a distinguished professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

The results of Dr. Christy’s construction and analysis of the longest, regional-scale time series of snowfall accumulations for Washington, Oregon and California from 1890–2020 are in a paper in the December 2022 issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Hydrometeorology, says Phys.org.

As part of a joint project between UAH and the Department of Energy, Dr. Christy examined archived snowfall data dating back to 1890 from over 700 stations located in the three states.

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Omega blocking highs can remain in place for several days or even weeks [image credit: UK Met Office]


We note that’s the period of two solar cycles. Meanwhile it’s reported to be milder than average around the Arctic: December serving up baked Alaska and warming most of Arctic. Much is made of lower sea ice than a few decades ago. But could the two events be related, as a blocking high pressure system has hovered over Scandinavia and western Russia in the last two weeks?
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The cold spell that began on November 30 continues in Moscow, reports Gismeteo.

Yesterday was the sixth day of the cold anomaly. The average daily temperature has been 4°C to 7°C below normal.

It is mostly sunny and dry, with the mercury dropping to -10…-14°C at night (down to -18…-20°C in the Moscow region) and rising to -5…-8°C in the afternoon.

How often does this happen at the beginning of the calendar winter?

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The ocean carbon cycle [credit: IAEA]


Nature’s carbon cycle works even better than was believed. The researchers say ‘it can be assumed that the global influence of this mechanism as a carbon sink is actually much greater’.
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Every year, the cross-shelf transport of carbon-rich particles from the Barents and Kara Seas could bind up to 3.6 million metric tons of CO2 in the Arctic deep sea for millennia, says Science Daily.

In this region alone, a previously unknown transport route uses the biological carbon pump and ocean currents to absorb atmospheric CO2 on the scale of Iceland’s total annual emissions, as researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute and partner institutes report in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Compared to other oceans, the biological productivity of the central Arctic Ocean is limited, since sunlight is often in short supply — either due to the Polar Night or to sea-ice cover — and the available nutrient sources are scarce.

Consequently, microalgae (phytoplankton) in the upper water layers have access to less energy than their counterparts in other waters.

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Cumulus clouds over the Atlantic Ocean [image credit: Tiago Fioreze @ Wikipedia]


The article says iodine’s ‘catalytic role in particle formation enhances its effects in the atmosphere wherever it goes, whether that role is eliminating protective ozone molecules or increasing cloud cover.’ But it’s not clear why this claim would be correct: ‘As sea ice melts in the Arctic, more iodine can enter the atmosphere, increase cloud cover and enhance warming effects on the region.’ Effects of cloud cover differ between high and low cloud, for example.
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An international team led by CU Boulder researchers has cracked the chemical code driving the formation of iodine particles in the atmosphere, revealing how the element contributes to increased cloud cover and depletes molecules in the Earth’s protective ozone layer, says Phys.org.

The research, conducted at the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was published today in the journal Nature Chemistry.

It’s the first time that any experiment in the world has demonstrated the mechanism for how the gas-phase form of iodine—known as iodic acid—forms, and suggests it has an significant role in atmospheric particle formation.

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Climate alarmists love to refer to ‘heat-trapping’ greenhouse gases, but never explain how trace gases – or any gases – can trap heat in an openly convecting atmosphere. The UN also conveniently forgets that water vapour is by far the most prevalent radiative gas, while claiming ‘the warming effect of greenhouse gases has risen by nearly 50% between 1990 and 2021’. Methane is measured in parts per *billion* in the atmosphere but is still deemed good for regular alarm attempts. All grist to their COP27 mill.
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The world saw a record jump in levels of methane in the atmosphere last year as the main heat-trapping greenhouse gases reached new highs, UN experts said.

The World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) annual bulletin shows the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – all reached record high concentrations in the atmosphere in 2021, showing the world was “heading in the wrong direction” on climate change, says The Ecologist.

And potent greenhouse gas methane saw the biggest year-on-year jump in levels since measurements began nearly 40 years ago.

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When they say ‘sudden’ they don’t mean short-lived. The report notes that ‘some of the events, unlike the brief flashes we recognize as solar flares, lasted for one or two years’. Only a handful of these so-called ‘cosmic barrages’ have occurred in the last 9000 years or so, according to the data.
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One of the events was 80 times more powerful than the strongest solar flare ever recorded, says LiveScience.

A series of sudden and colossal spikes in radiation levels across Earth’s history could have come from a series of unknown, unpredictable and potentially catastrophic cosmic events, a new study has revealed.

Named Miyake events after the lead author of the first study to describe them, the spikes occur roughly once every 1,000 years or so and are recorded as sudden increases in the radiocarbon levels of ancient tree rings.

The exact cause of the sudden deluges of radiation, which periodically transform an extra chunk of the atmosphere’s nitrogen into carbon sucked up by trees, remains unknown.

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Image credit: beeculture.com


Even a world-famous naturalist was baffled by the ‘aeronaut spiders’ appearing from nowhere on his ocean-going ship. Does this solve Darwin’s puzzle?
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By measuring the electrical fields near swarming honeybees, researchers have discovered that insects can produce as much atmospheric electric charge as a thunderstorm cloud, says ScienceDaily.

This type of electricity helps shape weather events, aids insects in finding food, and lifts spiders up in the air to migrate over large distances.

The research, appearing on October 24 in the journal iScience, demonstrates that living things can have an impact on atmospheric electricity.

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Credit: Wikipedia


Interesting, if the suggested predictions work. Tallbloke identified this 13 years ago.
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How long is a day on earth? The obvious answer of 24 hours is accurate enough for many applications, says the Met Office blog.

But for those interested in GPS or deep space, then understanding the fluctuations of about one millisecond in the length of a day can be fundamentally important.

A team at the Met Office, led by Professor Adam Scaife, has calculated that these length of day fluctuations are predictable out to more than one year ahead and this is all to do with predicting the strength of atmospheric winds.

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Layers of Earth’s atmosphere


Have experts missed a huge tropical ozone hole that has existed since the 1980s? — asks Geographical. Or could it be more a question of definitions?
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In July, an extraordinary research paper, documenting a huge, previously undetected ozone hole over the tropics, prompted a flurry of news stories.

Said to be seven times the size of the well-known ozone hole over Antarctica, the discovery is cause for ‘great global concern’, according to Qing-Bin Lu, a professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and author of the report.

His research suggests that, unlike the Antarctic hole, which only opens in spring, the tropical hole remains open year-round, putting roughly half the world’s population at higher risk from ultraviolet radiation.

Most surprisingly of all, Lu claims that the hole has existed since the 1980s.

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Nature’s carbon cycle still working as expected.
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Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have contributed to a rise in wood volume or biomass of forests in the US, according to a new study.

The research, published recently in the Journal Nature Communications, found that elevated carbon levels have led to a consistent increase in wood volume in 10 different temperate forest groups across the US, says The Independent.

By bulking up this way, trees are helping shield Earth’s ecosystem from the impacts of global warming, say scientists, including those from the Ohio State University.

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Current rates of temperature increase, if accurate, don’t look all that startling despite the odd few hot days. For example, Roy Spencer reports a linear warming trend of +0.13C per decade since 1979. We know previous cooling trends must have occurred over the centuries from the regular advance and retreat of glaciers, to cite one obvious line of evidence. Focussing on CO2 all the time is a bit like looking through the wrong end of the telescope.
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How did plants and animals survive around 200 million years ago when the carbon dioxide concentration went up to 6,000 parts per million?

Paul Olsen, a geologist and paleontologist at Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, walked us through what scientists know about carbon dioxide levels over time, says Phys.org.

Although no one was around to measure the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration millions of years ago, paleoclimatologists can reconstruct past temperature and carbon dioxide levels using ice cores, tree rings, corals, ancient pollen, and sedimentary rocks.

These natural recorders of climate fluctuations can also reveal how various animals and plants thrived or perished during different geological periods.

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Credit: klimatetochskogen.nu


An expensive exercise in futility. As noted below, ‘the scheme will be able to process 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, then later between five and six million tonnes. But that is just a tiny fraction of annual carbon emissions across Europe.’ Even Greenpeace opposes it. It’s for show, not for any useful purpose.
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On the shores of an island off Norway’s North Sea coast, engineers are building a burial ground for unwanted greenhouse gas, reports Phys.org.

The future terminal is to pump tonnes of liquefied carbon dioxide captured from the top of factory chimneys across Europe into cavities deep below the seabed.

The project in the western municipality of Oygarden aims to prevent the gas from entering the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.

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