Archive for the ‘Measurement’ Category

Perfect harmony? [image credit: homedit]

Perfect harmony? [image credit: homedit]

From the believe-it-or-not file, reports a possible solution to an old puzzle:

Almost 350 years ago, Dutch inventor and scientist Christiaan Huygens observed that two pendulum clocks hanging from a wall would synchronise their swing over time.

What causes the phenomenon has led to much scientific head-scratching over the centuries, but no consensus to date.

‘But now’ – as Tomorrow’s World presenters used to say…


Pacific ocean [image credit: Wikipedia]

Pacific ocean [image credit: Wikipedia]

Let’s see if this new paper in the same journal as the ‘what hiatus?’ effort gets the same level of publicity as the other one, given that ‘Nieves et al…find substantially less warming in the top 100 m of the oceans in the current decade than in the previous one.’

If there is one topic that illustrates the state of climate science it is that of the so-called “pause” or hiatus – the observational fact that global surface annual average temperatures, as well as satellite data on the lower troposphere, hasn’t changed for a decade or more.


This is an experimental work which I am sure has been done far better by professionals who will have proper access to special data and expertise. [updated with corrections]Image

Figure 1, overlay plots of pairs of almost raw datasets, in each case the Met Office areal mean temperature data for England and Wales, less annual, against gridded UAHTLT V6 beta 2, UAHTLT V5.6, RSSTLT V3.3, Hadcrut4 V4.3.0.0, the latter is unfair because it is gridded at 5 degrees instead of 2.5 degrees. In all cases the geographic area overlap is very approximate.

Click image for larger but preferably download this PDF (106KB) since as a vector plot zoom/enlargement and pan allow examination in great detail.


US Coastguard icebreaker [credit: NSIDC]

US Coastguard icebreaker [credit: NSIDC]

Once again reports of the imminent death of Arctic sea ice have been greatly exaggerated. As even the pro-alarmist BBC has conceded, ‘to understand Arctic sea ice requires measurement of both area and thickness’, and it turns out that sea ice volume is well above the lowest recorded level for the time of year.

BBC: Although Arctic sea ice set a record this year for its lowest ever winter extent – that was not the case for its volume, new data reveals.

Europe’s Cryosat spacecraft routinely monitors the thickness of floes in the far north.

The thinnest winter ice it has ever seen was in 2013. This February, in contrast, the Arctic floes were about 25cm (17%) thicker on average.


As I promised here is the result from the thermal radiation instruments where as expected little was seen through light cloud.


Figure 1. CNR1 radiometer. (two pairs, looking up/down, short/long wavelength)

There is a minor effect during the eclipse. I live close by where the sun could be made out through light cloud. Around 12 hrs the cloud cleared abruptly. Video taken at Chilbolton shows similarly sudden sunshine.

Two factors in figure 1 need comment.


Weather station [image credit: Peter West/National Science Foundation]

Weather station [image credit: Peter West/National Science Foundation]

Long-time critic of climate alarmism Christopher Booker has no doubt what the answer should be in his latest piece at the Telegraph:

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.


Recntly, NASA released data from the OCO satellite borne instument measuring CO2 emissions across the globe. The December data with a map of the Earth’s rainforests in the image below clearly shows where most CO2 is being emitted.


But looking at NASA’s ‘Earth Now’ page for CO2, you wouldn’t recognise the true situation.

Celestial light and earthshine

Posted: January 17, 2015 by tchannon in Astronomy, climate, Clouds, Measurement, moon, Uncertainty

This paper is about adding a further layer of correction to earthshine measurements and therefore albedo determination by terrestrial based observations.

Influence of celestial light on lunar surface brightness determinations: Application to earthshine studies
P. Thejll, H. Gleisner, C. Flynn
A&A 573 A131 (2015)
(open access with registration)


Aims. We consider the influence of celestial-sphere brightness on determinations of terrestrial albedo from earthshine intensity
measurements. In particular, the contributions from zodiacal light and starlight are considered.

Results. We find that celestial-sphere surface brightness can be so large that a considerable and unacceptable error level would have
an impact on half of typical earthshine-based albedo-determinations if left unaccounted for. Considering the empirical uncertainty on
ZL, we show that almost all our earthshine data can be used if a sky correction is made. In real observations we find up to a 1% effect
on albedo results of correcting for the celestial brightness.


Earth's Axial Tilt, or Obliquity [Credit: Wikipedia]

Earth’s Axial Tilt, or Obliquity [Credit: Wikipedia]

This Atlantipedia report (reproduced below) from 2010 concerns research by English-born George Dodwell, who held the post of Government Astronomer for South Australia for 43 years (1909 – 1952) until his retirement. He came across a study by a Professor Drayson who cited ancient astronomical observations and put forward a revision to standard Earth precession theory which Dodwell found ‘untenable’, but he became interested in the data.

Dodwell: ‘it seemed to me worthwhile to trace out more clearly just how much, and why, the ancient and mediaeval observations of the obliquity of the ecliptic, on which Professor Drayson based his conclusions, differed from Newcomb’s internationally accepted formula for the secular, or age-long, variation of the obliquity. These observations went back to values given by Strabo, Proclus, Ptolemy, and Pappus in the early centuries of the Christian era. They indicated a consistent and increasing divergence in past ages from the values calculated by means of Newcomb’s formula.’ [bold added]


I am both pleased and perplexed by a result which raises more questions.

There are 4 traces on this plot.Image

This is the Chilbolton data shown a few days ago but now I have worked out more of the insolation computation. If you look at the type CNR4 pyranometer specification this is within accuracy. Water vapour value from a specialist instrument is shown as a guide to humidity change, not used in the computation.


A new facility here for creating clear air insolation data, without the more involved absorption effects or cloud, etc. needed some testing and so…


This plot appeared during July 2012[1] after Dr. Hans Jelbring made available hourly data from the Koorin Expedition to Daly Waters, Australia during the astral winter of 1974[2]. A new plot trace has been added, computed by a new dynamic language[3] library, a wrapper around an unaltered version of NREL SOLPOS[4]. This produces an output value for one point in time, the plots here were created by a program feeding in different parameters, producing a time series, all very simple.

This result is similar to a result with data from Chilbolton Observatory, England from a Kip & Zonnen CNR4 net pyranometer / pyrgeometer[5]. Around 22% of inward solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere in excess of that computed by SOLPOS.


The plot below needs little explanation. The globally average surface temperature hasn’t warmed in over 18 years according to the RSS satellite dataset.



Now, Some say the surface hasn’t warmed because the ‘missing heat’ has gone into the oceans instead of warming the surface.However, if we look at ARGO; the best data we have for ocean heat content (OHC) (before it got reworked in 2010 by dropping buoys showing cooling from the dataset) – we see that Ocean Heat Content actually fell from 2003 to 2008:


Where else could the heat have ‘hidden’? Well, the warmists claim it went deeper than the bulk of the ARGO system measures – below 700m, where uncertainty rises dramatically. However, they offer no plausible explanation of how energy is transferred through a 700m deep COOLING layer, in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics.


The size of the sun is of critical importance to solar studies yet this is poorly known, let alone if and how the size varies over time. Paper published this week in Astronomy & Astrophysics.


Fig.1. Left: solar radius measurements (red symbols) made since the seventeenth century (Rozelot & Damiani 2012). The mean value of all these measurements is close to 960 arcsec. Right: focus on solar radius measurements made since 1970. …

Fig.2. Evolution of the solar radius variations over time for ground instruments (Solar Astrolabe, DORAYSOL and SODISMII monthly mean at 782.2 nm), balloon experiment (SDS), and space instrument (MDI) vs. daily sunspot number time-series. For each series, the mean has been taken as reference value.

Fig.2. Evolution of the solar radius variations over time for ground instruments (Solar Astrolabe, DORAYSOL and SODISMII monthly mean at 782.2 nm), balloon experiment (SDS), and space instrument (MDI) vs. daily sunspot number time-series. For each series, the mean has been
taken as reference value.


Ground-based measurements of the solar diameter during the rising phase of solar cycle 24
M. Meftah, T. Corbard, A. Irbah, R. Ikhlef, F. Morand, C. Renaud, A. Hauchecorne, P. Assus, J. Borgnino, B. Chauvineau, M. Crepel, F. Dalaudier, L. Damé, D. Djafer, M. Fodil, P. Lesueur, G. Poiet, M. Rouzé, A. Sarkissian, A.Ziad, and F. Laclare

Paper access is available with registration.


[credit: BBC]

[credit: BBC]

‘What correlates with what’ may well be one of the key questions in climate matters.
Let’s see if any of this can shed light on any mysteries…

‘Solar physicist Dr. Leif Svalgaard has revised his reconstruction of sunspot observations over the past 400 years from 1611-2013.’


H/T to ‘intrepid Wanders‘ for this repost from the Uni of Reading meteorology section. No settled science here, and lab model derived from far IR wavebands used in climate models and energy budget diagrams rests on a bunch of assumptions. Who knew? Obviously not Trenberth, who has no error bounds on his energy budget. So along with cloud microphysics getting the predicted absorption of energy by clouds wrong by a large margin, we have big uncertainty in the spectral absorption lines of water vapour. Ho hum. Business-as-usual in climate science land.

Water vapour continuum

  In addition to the spectral lines, it has long been recognized that water vapour possesses a continuum absorption which varies relatively slowly with wavelength and pervades the entire IR and microwave spectral region. This has a marked impact on the Earth’s radiation balance with consequences for understanding present day weather and climate and predicting climate change. It is also important for remote sensing of the Earth and its atmosphere.

  Discovered by Hettner (1918) as a low-frequency component of water vapour absorption in atmospheric transparency window 8-14 mcr, this phenomenon remained unexplained for 20 years, until Elsasser (1938) suggested that the continuum is an accumulated far-wingcontribution of strong water vapour spectral lines from neighbour bands. This hypothesis was generally accepted until the end of 70th years when the strong quadratic pressure dependence of the continuum absorption (which could not be explained by Lorentz (1906) line profile) as well as the strong negative temperature dependence have been detected (Bignell et al.,1963;Penner and Varanasi,1967). In this connection Penner and Varanasi (1967) and Varanasi et al. (1968) suggested that the main contribution to the self-continuum could be caused not by far wings of water monomer lines but rather by water dimers. Similar assumption was made also by Viktorova and Zhevakin (1967) for microwave spectral region.


Record solar UV irradiance in the tropical Andes
Nathalie A. Cabrol, Uwe Feister, Donat-Peter Häder, Helmut Piazena, Edmond A. Grin and Andreas Klein

High elevation, thin ozone layer, and clear sky produce intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the tropical Andes. Recent models suggest that tropical stratospheric ozone will slightly decrease in the coming decades, potentially resulting in more UV anomalies. Data collected between 4300 and 5916 m above sea level (asl) in Bolivia show how this trend could dramatically impact surface solar irradiance. During 61 days, two Eldonet dosimeters recorded extreme UV-B irradiance equivalent to a UV index (UVI) of 43.3, which is the highest ground value ever reported. If they become more common, events of this magnitude may have societal and ecological implications, which make understanding the process leading to their generation critical. Our data show that this event and other major UV spikes were consistent with rising UV-B/UV-A ratios in the days to hours preceding the spikes, trajectories of negative ozone anomalies (NOAs), and radiative transfer modeling.

Front. Environ. Sci., 08 July 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2014.00019


OCO2, NASA’s co2 measuring platform is in orbit. Third time lucky. Bits of the original ended up in the southern ocean. The replacement’s launch was aborted several times due to technical hitches. This from El Reg:

Artists rendition of OCO2 – Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) not only managed to lift off today, it also achieved successful separation from its booster stack and got into orbit.

The satellite – which will study the absorption of sunlight by carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere – is the third attempt to get a CO2-measuring craft into space by the American space agency. The OCO-1 in 2009 and follow-up Glory in 2011 both failed when they weren’t able to complete their first stage separation.

Laying the Points Out

Posted: July 2, 2014 by tallbloke in Analysis, Dataset, Measurement


Brandon’s take on the temperature record debacle

Originally posted on Izuru:

There has been a lot of hoopla about supposed problems in the surface temperature record recently. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t seem to understand what the hoopla is actually about. I think the problem is people have focused too much on rhetoric and too little on actual information. I’d like to try to reverse that.

View original 1,359 more words

[image credit:]

[image credit:]

James Delingpole highlights the absurdity of US ‘climate policy’ – $4 trillion for what?

In a week when confidence in sea surface temperatures as a measure of ‘climate change’ seems to have gone out of the window, the eye-watering cost of trying to influence the planet’s weather systems beggars belief.


Reblog from The Hockey Schtick, new paper in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Pesky radiosonde data again. Maybe the balloon has gone up on models Climate Sim World.

New paper finds climate models violate the ‘basic physics’ of the 2nd law of thermodynamics
A paper published today in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society finds climate models violate the ‘basic physics’ of the Second Law of Thermodynamics with respect to simulating conventional turbulent heat flow, one of the most important mechanisms of heat transfer in the atmosphere.

According to the authors,
“Numerical models of the atmosphere should fulfil fundamental physical laws. The Second Law of thermodynamics is associated with positive local entropy production and dissipation of available energy.”
i.e. entropy always increases and energy always dissipates per the second law of thermodynamics. …

Link to THE HOCKEY SCHTICK and paywalled paper.