Archive for the ‘Clouds’ Category

leak.smlThe hole in the ozone layer is now steadily closing, but its repair could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.

The Antarctic ozone hole was once regarded as one of the biggest environmental threats, but the discovery of a previously undiscovered feedback shows that it has instead helped to shield this region from carbon-induced warming over the past two decades.

High-speed winds in the area beneath the hole have led to the formation of brighter summertime clouds, which reflect more of the sun’s powerful rays.

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Is this how it works? [image credit: politics.ie]


An obvious problem with studies like this is that as soon as natural climate variation is invoked – to explain the lack of expected warming from so-called greenhouse gases – the argument that such gases could be a dominant factor in climate processes is then severely weakened to say the least. It is in effect an admission that such variations could cause warming as well as cooling. How long can a ‘hiatus’ last before it becomes the status quo?

Reinforcement of Climate Hiatus by Decadal Modulation of Daily Cloud Cycle
– By Jun Yin and Amilcare Porporato, Princeton University
H/T The GWPF

Based on observations and climate model results, it has been suggested that the recent slowdown of global warming trends (climate hiatus), which took place in the early 2000s, might be due to enhanced ocean heat uptake.

Here we suggest an alternative hypothesis which, at least in part, would relate such slowdown to unaccounted energy reflected or re-emitted by clouds.

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Uranus [image credit: NASA]


One of the two processes involved is “due to high-speed particles from outside the solar system, known as galactic cosmic rays, bombarding the atmosphere and influencing the formation of clouds”, reports Phys.org. If so, it looks like further evidence for the Svensmark hypothesis.

Changes in solar activity influence the colour and formation of clouds around the planet, researchers at Oxford and Reading universities found.

The icy planet is second furthest from the sun in the solar system and takes 84 Earth years to complete a full orbit – one Uranian year.

The researchers found that, once the planet’s long and strange seasons are taken into account, it appears brighter and dimmer over a cycle of 11 years. This is the regular cycle of solar activity which also affects sun spots.

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cr-atmos

Illustration of cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere. A proton with energy of 100 GeV interact at the top of the atmosphere and produces a cascade of secondary particles who ionize molecules when traveling through the air. One 100 GeV proton hits every m2 at the top of the atmosphere every second.

H/T GWPF: Researchers have claimed a breakthrough in understanding how cosmic rays from supernovas react with the sun to form clouds, which impact the climate on Earth.

The findings have been described as the “missing link” to help resolve a decades long controversy that has big implications for climate science.

Lead author, Henrik Svensmark, from The Technical University of Denmark has long held that climate models had greatly underestimated the impact of solar activity.

He says the new research identified the feedback mechanism through which the sun’s impact on climate was varied.

Professor Svensmark’s theories on solar impact have caused a great deal of controversy within the climate science community and the latest findings are sure to provoke new outrage.

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Credit: Environment Canada


Whether this tells us anything about long-term climate trends is not clear, but worth a mention anyway. The report from Phys.org states: ‘Scientists said the smaller ozone hole extent in 2016 and 2017 is due to natural variability and not a signal of rapid healing’.

Measurements from satellites this year showed the hole in Earth’s ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, scientists from NASA and NOAA announced today.

According to NASA, the ozone hole reached its peak extent on Sept. 11, covering an area about two and a half times the size of the United States – 7.6 million square miles in extent – and then declined through the remainder of September and into October.

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Credit: NASA

The report at Phys.org explains that “Even though the moon blocking the sun during a solar eclipse and clouds blocking sunlight to Earth’s surface are two different phenomena, both require similar mathematical calculations to accurately understand their effects.”

It was mid-afternoon, but it was dark in an area in Boulder, Colorado on Aug. 3, 1998. A thick cloud appeared overhead and dimmed the land below for more than 30 minutes. Well-calibrated radiometers showed that there were very low levels of light reaching the ground, sufficiently low that researchers decided to simulate this interesting event with computer models.

Now in 2017, inspired by the event in Boulder, NASA scientists will explore the moon’s eclipse of the sun to learn more about Earth’s energy system. On Aug. 21, 2017, scientists are looking to this year’s total solar eclipse passing across America to improve our modelling capabilities of Earth’s energy.

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Despite confessing to being ‘baffled by clouds’, climate science and its media followers are still prone to assertions like ‘as the world warms’ – as though it’s bound to do so indefinitely.

Though we see them every day, clouds remain such a mystery to scientists that they are inhibiting climate change predictions. But a new atlas could be a game changer, thinks DW.COM.

Nothing beats a lazy afternoon sitting on the grass and watching the clouds roll by. These white fluffy friends can feel like a constant and comforting presence in life. And since the dawn of air travel, as folk singer Joni Mitchell once sang, we’ve looked at clouds from both sides now.

But as Mitchell cautioned, somewhow we still don’t know clouds at all. Her words were true in 1969, and they are still true today.
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Credit: airbus.com

Credit: airbus.com


The observed radiation surges seem to occur ‘at relatively high latitudes, well above 50 degrees in both hemispheres’. They suspect certain magnetic phenomena could be at work. Korean researchers may have found something similar occurring at middle latitudes.

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Space Weather reports the discovery of radiation “clouds” at aviation altitudes. When airplanes fly through these clouds, dose rates of cosmic radiation normally absorbed by air travelers can double or more, reports Spaceweather.com.

“We have flown radiation sensors onboard 264 research flights at altitudes as high as 17.3 km (56,700 ft) from 2013 to 2017,” says Kent Tobiska, lead author of the paper and PI of the NASA-supported program Automated Radiation Measurements for Aerospace Safety (ARMAS). “On at least six occasions, our sensors have recorded surges in ionizing radiation that we interpret as analogous to localized clouds.”
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Venus_atm
Sci News reports scientific findings that ‘winds, the water content, and the cloud composition – are somehow connected to the properties of Venus’ surface itself’.

Using data from ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft, European planetary researchers have shown how weather patterns seen in Venus’ cloud layers are directly linked to the topography of the surface below.

Venus is famously hot. The average temperature on the Venusian surface is 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius).

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James Marusek’s paper says: I propose two mechanisms primarily responsible for Little Ice Age climatic conditions. These two components are Cloud Theory and Wind Theory.

Thanks to Paul Homewood for bringing this to our attention.

[Click on ‘view original post’ below to find a link to the full paper].

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

James Marusek has sent me his latest paper, Little Ice Age Theory.

Excerpts below:

INTRODUCTION

The sun is undergoing a state change. It is possible that we may be at the cusp of the next Little Ice Age. For several centuries the relationship between periods of quiet sun and a prolonged brutal cold climate on Earth (referred to as Little Ice Ages) have been recognized. But the exact mechanisms behind this relationship have remained a mystery. We exist in an age of scientific enlightenment, equipped with modern tools to measure subtle changes with great precision. Therefore it is important to try and come to grips with these natural climatic drivers and mold the evolution of theories that describe the mechanisms behind Little Ice Ages.

The sun changes over time. There are decadal periods when the sun is very active magnetically, producing many sunspots. These periods are referred…

View original post 784 more words

sun-earth-moon

Using satellite data on how water moves around Earth, NASA scientists have solved two mysteries about wobbles in the planet’s rotation — one new and one more than a century old. The research may help improve our knowledge of past and future climate.

Although a desktop globe always spins smoothly around the axis running through its north and south poles, a real planet wobbles. Earth’s spin axis drifts slowly around the poles; the farthest away it has wobbled since observations began is 37 feet (12 meters). These wobbles don’t affect our daily life, but they must be taken into account to get accurate results from GPS, Earth-observing satellites and observatories on the ground.

In a paper published today in Science Advances, Surendra Adhikari and Erik Ivins of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, researched how the movement of water around the world contributes to Earth’s rotational wobbles. Earlier studies have pinpointed many connections between processes on Earth’s surface or interior and our planet’s wandering ways. For example, Earth’s mantle is still readjusting to the loss of ice on North America after the last ice age, and the reduced mass beneath that continent pulls the spin axis toward Canada at the rate of a few inches each year. But some motions are still puzzling.

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Cumuliform cloudscape over Swifts Creek, Australia [image credit: Wikipedia]

Cumuliform cloudscape over Swifts Creek, Australia
[image credit: Wikipedia]


Climate modellers know less about cloud formation than they thought they did, according to new research.

There is enough known about cloud formation that replicating its mechanism has become a staple of the school science project scene. But a new study by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) reveals that much more is going on at the microscopic level of cloud formation than previously thought.

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Cloud formation [image credit:NASA]

Cloud formation [image credit:NASA]


This extract from a Phys.org article looks at some of the difficulties climate models have with clouds, a subject the Talkshop featured recently. One scientist says: ‘A key problem is that we generally do not have data on clouds from the pre-industrial era, before there was pollution, for comparison with the clouds of today.’ Another good reason to use more caution over possible future climate trends, perhaps?

Cloudy complexity

Currently, when scientists use models to calculate the extent to which aerosols—through clouds—affect the earth’s climate, they get a much, much wider range and greater uncertainty than for greenhouse gases. Why?

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Send in the clouds [credit:NASA]

Send in the clouds [credit:NASA]


Adding cloud data to climate models must be long overdue if it’s considered to be a new technique. Scientists were surprised to find that doing so accounted for over half the strength of El Niños, as Phys.org reports:

A small team of researchers from the U.S., Australia and Germany has found evidence that suggests cloud formation may have a much bigger impact on weather patterns associated with El Niño events than has been thought.

In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the team describes they differences they found when they input cloud data into computer models that simulated weather patterns associated with El Niño events and why they now believe that all such models should include such data going forward.

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DSCOVR observatory [image credit: NASA]

DSCOVR observatory [image credit: NASA]


Solid data on global cloud cover seems hard to come by, but NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) could be changing that. SpaceRef reports.

From a dusty atmosphere stretching across the Atlantic Ocean to daily views of clouds at sunrise, a new NASA camera keeping a steady eye on the sunlit side of Earth is yielding new insights about our changing planet.

With NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), affixed to NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) about one million miles from Earth, scientists are getting a new view of our planet’s clouds, land surfaces, aerosols and more.

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Using holography to better understand clouds

Posted: October 11, 2015 by oldbrew in Clouds, research, weather
Tags:

Cumulus thunderheads near Sao Paulo, Brazil [image credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute]

Cumulus thunderheads near Sao Paulo, Brazil [image credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute]


Another shortcoming of computer models used in climate science is exposed here, as SpaceDaily explains.

As clouds change shape, mixing occurs, as drier air mingles with water-saturated air. New research led by Michigan Technological University analyzes this mixing with a holographic imaging instrument called HOLODEC and an airborne laboratory.

The work was done in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Mainz University. This new way of seeing clouds – and the way wet and dry air form sharp boundaries – is the focus of the team’s study, published in Science this week.

What the team found with these naturally created boundaries, formed by completely evaporating some water drops and leaving others unscathed, is called inhomogenous mixing. And it goes against base assumptions used in most computer models for cloud formations. [bold added]

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isoprene1This may sound like a joke but it seems not – it’s all over the usual blogs and sceptic media. Does it put a spanner in the works? This from The Register’s report:

As world leaders get ready to head to Paris for the latest pact on cutting CO2 emissions, it has emerged that there isn’t as much urgency about the matter as had been thought.

A team of top-level atmospheric chemistry boffins from France and Germany say they have identified a new process by which vast amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted into the atmosphere from the sea – a process which was unknown until now, meaning that existing climate models do not take account of it.

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Cloud cuckoo land in Silicon Valley

Posted: July 12, 2015 by oldbrew in Clouds, innovation, research
Tags:

[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]

[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]


Are these people just mind-bogglingly naive, downright dangerous – or something else? You decide. And for the record we don’t support the ‘scientific consensus’ claim in this Mercury News report:

A team of elder Silicon Valley scientists is building an audacious device that might solve one of humanity’s most profound dilemmas — a “cloud whitener” designed to cool a warming planet.

The men — retired physicists, engineers, chemists and computer experts from some of Silicon Valley’s top tech companies — have been meeting four days a week for seven years in the Sunnyvale lab of the Marine Cloud Brightening Project to design a tool that creates perfectly suspended droplets of water resembling fog.

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[credit: NASA]

[credit: NASA]


A few weeks ago we put up a post to discuss the role of convection in the Earth’s atmosphere:
Beginner’s guide to convection cells

The introduction, linked to a short video, said:
‘When you warm air, it rises. Cool air will sink. This process of convection can lead to flows in the atmosphere, in a manner that we can illustrate [see video] on a small scale. Warm and cool air in a fish tank rise and fall; this motion is made visible by adding fog. Ultimately, the motion leads to a convection cell, with air rising, moving to the side, falling, and moving back. This heat-driven motion of air moves heat around in the atmosphere. It is also responsible for making the wind blow.’

That may have seemed straightforward to some, but a few hundred comments later controversy continues, so we’re starting a new post using this website for reference : Lapse Rate, Moisture, Clouds and Thunderstorms

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Let’s put this up for discussion as the dominant role of WV often gets buried in all the focus on man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

Musings from the Chiefio

This posting just points to a very well done page that calculates the relative contributions to the greenhouse effect as used by the AGW thesis, by various gasses. In particular, it includes water vapor. The result is a conclusion that human caused CO2 is not relevant to global temperature. Something I have said before, but without the nice graphs and calculations.

It really is all about the water on our water world.

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System

Just how much of the “Greenhouse Effect” is caused by human activity?

It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not.

This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn’t factored into an analysis of Earth’s greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.

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