Archive for the ‘research’ Category


Ammonia in the upper troposphere originates from livestock and fertiliser emissions, say the researchers. CERN says “anthropogenic ammonia has a major influence on atmospheric aerosol particles”. Implications for climate models are suggested.
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Aerosol particles can form and grow in Earth’s upper troposphere in an unexpected way, reports the CLOUD collaboration in a paper published today in Nature.

The new mechanism may represent a major source of cloud and ice seed particles in areas of the upper troposphere where ammonia is efficiently transported vertically, such as over the Asian monsoon regions.

Aerosol particles are known to generally cool the climate by reflecting sunlight back into space and by making clouds more reflective. However, how new aerosol particles form in the atmosphere remains relatively poorly known.

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The theme here is that aerosols have to some extent been having the opposite of the alleged effect of so-called greenhouse gases. This study, based on climate modelling, suggests at least some recent warming is linked to reductions in atmospheric aerosol content.
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A new NOAA study covering four decades of tropical cyclones found that reducing particulate air pollution in Europe and North America has contributed to an increase in the number of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin and a decrease in the number of these storms in the Southern Hemisphere, says Green Car Congress.

The open-access study, published in Science Advances, also found that the growth of particulate pollution in Asia has contributed to fewer tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific basin.

While a number of recent studies have examined how increasing greenhouse gas emissions are impacting global tropical cyclone activity, Hiroyuki Murakami examined the less studied and highly complex area of how particulate pollution in combination with climate changes is affecting tropical cyclones in different areas of the planet.

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Credit: British Antarctic Survey


Much ado about sea ice in recent times, but usually in terms of promoting climate alarm. On closer inspection East Antarctica (2/3rds of the continent) tells a somewhat different story.
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Some ice shelves in the eastern Antarctic have grown in the last 20 years despite global warming, a study suggests.

Researchers say that sea ice, pushed against the ice shelves by a change in regional wind patterns, may have helped to protect the ice shelves from losses, reports Yahoo News.

Ice shelves are floating sections of ice attached to land-based ice sheets and they help guard against the uncontrolled release of inland ice into the ocean.

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Are ‘corrections’ the answer? Avoiding the need for them might be better. The researchers observe that ‘the projected warming in response to greenhouse gases is too great’. This has been known for years but the penny of reliance on a certain climate theory has yet to drop, it seems.
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Climate projections are crucial for adaptation and mitigation planning says Eurekalert.

The output of the latest round of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, phase 6 (CMIP6) has been widely used in climate projections.

However, a subset of CMIP6 models is “too hot” and the projected warming in response to greenhouse gases is too great.

How to tackle the “hot model” problem at the regional scale had previously been unclear.

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I’m delighted Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller have chosen the Talkshop as the venue for the publication of this new open peer review paper on climate sensitivity. Scientific advance at the cutting edge has always been the most important aim of this blog, and I think this paper truly is an advance in our understanding of the climate system and the factors which support and modulate surface temperature on Earth and other rocky planets. 

The paper is mathematically rigorous, but is also accessible to everyone, thanks to Ned and Karl’s exemplary effort to fully explain their concepts and definitions in terms which can be understood by any interested reader who has some familiarity with the climate debate. Building on the bedrock of their 2014 and 2017 papers, this new work extends the applicability and validates the postulates of those previous papers by examining the causes of variability in planetary surface temperature and incorporating the previous findings in quantifying and deriving equations to model them. They find that Earth is sensitive to changes in cloud cover, which affects the amount of solar shortwave radiation reaching the surface, but not very sensitive to changes in Total Solar Irradiance arriving at the top of the atmosphere. They also find that the sensitivity to changes in CO2 levels has been heavily overestimated by current climate models. They show that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 280 ppm to 560 ppm will cause an undetectable global warming of 0.004K.

A PDF of the paper can be downloaded here:  ECS_Universal_Equations.

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Exact Formulas for Estimating the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity of Rocky Planets & Moons to Total Solar Irradiance, Absorbed Shortwave Radiation, Planetary Albedo and Surface Atmospheric Pressure.
Ned Nikolov, Ph.D. and Karl Zeller, Ph.D.
April, 2022

1. Introduction

The term “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity” (ECS) has become a synonym for the steady-state response of global surface temperature to a modeled long-wave radiative forcing caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration with respect to an assumed pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. According to climate models based on the Greenhouse theory, an increase of atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm would produce a net radiative forcing (i.e. an atmospheric radiant-heat trapping) of 3.74 W m-2 (Gregory et al. 2004) resulting in a global surface warming between 2.5 K and 4.0 K with a central estimate of 3.0 K according to IPCC AR6 (see p. 11 in Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers). This implies an average unit ECS of 3.0/3.74 = 0.8 K / (W m-2) with a range of 0.67 ≤ ECS ≤ 1.07 K / (W m-2). Contemporary climate science and IPCC Assessment Reports do not discuss global temperature sensitivities to changes in cloud albedo, absorbed solar radiation or total surface atmospheric pressure. Consequently, no equations have been derived/proposed thus far to calculate these sensitivities. The reason for such an omission is the implicit assumption made by IPCC based on the 19th-Century Greenhouse theory (Arrhenius 1896) that the observed warming during most of the 20th Century and especially over the past 40 years was chiefly caused by an increase of industrial CO2 emissions, which are believed to trap outgoing long-wave radiation in the Earth’s troposphere and reduce the rate of surface infrared cooling to Space.

However, a plethora of studies published during the past 15 years have shown through both satellite and surface observations that the absorption of solar radiation by the Earth-atmosphere system has increased significantly since 1982 due to a decreased cloud cover/albedo, a phenomenon often referred to as “global brightening” (e.g. Goode & Pallé 2007; Wild 2009; Herman et al. 2013; Stanhill et al. 2014; Hofer et al. 2017; Pfeifroth et al. 2018; Pokrovsky 2019;  Delgado-Bonal et al. 2020; Dübal & Vahrenholt 2021;  Yuan et al. 2021). This implies a global warming driven by a rising surface solar radiation rather than CO2.

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Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC]


The obvious conclusion would be that the climate models are wrong, due to application of incorrect climate theory. As usual, researchers cast around desperately for other alternatives, only to find natural variation preventing warming from being global.
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Antarctic sea-ice has expanded over the period of continuous satellite monitoring, which seemingly contradicts ongoing global warming resulting from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gasses, says Phys.org.

In a study, published in Nature Climate Change, an international team of scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and South Korea shows that a multi-decadal swing of the tropical sea surface temperatures and its ability to change the atmospheric circulation across large distances is in large part responsible for the observed sea-ice expansion since the late 1970s.

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Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica


It’s noted that ‘Getting clouds right…is important for calculating how much solar radiation reaches Earth.’ A difference of 10 watts per square metre could be involved in some zones, the researchers found.
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Clouds come in myriad shapes, sizes and types, which control their effects on climate, says Phys.org.

New research led by the University of Washington shows that splintering of frozen liquid droplets to form ice shards inside Southern Ocean clouds dramatically affects the clouds’ ability to reflect sunlight back to space.

The paper, published March 4 in the open-access journal AGU Advances, shows that including this ice-splintering process improves the ability of high-resolution global models to simulate clouds over the Southern Ocean—and thus the models’ ability to simulate Earth’s climate.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


The researchers find ‘a significantly declining AA effect on the millennial time scale’ — but then attempt to link that to anthropogenic forcing in recent times, according to the article at least. That seems illogical if the argument is that humans are playing a part. In any case if the effect has been shown to occur over at least a millennium, that in itself casts doubt on claims that humans must be the prime (or any) cause of the most recent observed changes.
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The recent amplified warming in the Arctic during the last decades has received much attention, says Phys.org.

But how Arctic amplification (AA) has varied on longer time scales and what drives these variations remain unclear.

Recently, a study has provided a new perspective on the AA effect during the past millennium based on the best available paleoclimate data and novel data assimilation methods.

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Tree planting


Hapless climate botherers barking up the wrong tree again? Carbon dioxide capture should be left to nature.
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In a new paper published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change the scientists look at the climate effects of deforestation at different latitudes, says Net Zero Watch.

The researchers find that at latitudes 50°N to 60°N – in other words essentially all of the UK – and above, deforestation contributes to global cooling, so afforestation (which has opposing effects to deforestation) will contribute to global warming.

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A portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation [image credit: R. Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution @ Wikipedia]


Another supposed climate tipping point, popular with the alarm-loving media, floats away? A feature that’s “built into many models” was found not to work as advertised.
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Most simulations of our climate’s future may be overly sensitive to Arctic ice melt as a cause of abrupt changes in ocean circulation, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Climate scientists count the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (or AMOC) among the biggest tipping points on the way to a planetary climate disaster, says Phys.org.

The Atlantic Ocean current acts like a conveyor belt carrying warm tropical surface water north and cooler, heavier deeper water south.

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Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Greenland [image credit: notsogreen.com]


‘Temperatures and rates of ice sheet melting both peaked in 2012’ – interesting quote from the report. The researchers assume that natural factors are merely impeding the inevitable warming they expect from carbon dioxide emission increases, but assumptions can be risky.
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A puzzling, decade-long slowdown in summer warming across Greenland has been explained by researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan, says Phys.org.

Their observational analysis and computer simulations revealed that changes in sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles to the south, trigger cooler summer temperatures across Greenland.

The results, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, will help improve future predictions of Greenland ice sheet and Arctic sea ice melting in coming decades.

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The numbers don’t add up – another problem for climate models, and for supposedly ‘well-established’ science, as one researcher describes it. Existing predictions must once again be called into question.
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Virginia Tech researchers, in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have discovered that key parts of the global carbon cycle used to track movement of carbon dioxide in the environment are not correct, which could significantly alter conventional carbon cycle models, says Phys.org.

The estimate of how much carbon dioxide plants pull from the atmosphere is critical to accurately monitor and predict the amount of climate-changing gasses in the atmosphere.

This finding has the potential to change predictions for climate change, though it is unclear at this juncture if the mismatch will result in more or less carbon dioxide being accounted for in the environment.

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Mercury


Something similar was also detected on Mars a few years ago. One researcher commented: “The sudden intensification of a ring current causes the main phase of a magnetic storm.” Coronal mass ejections from the sun were identified as a cause.
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An international team of scientists has proved that Mercury, our solar system’s smallest planet, has geomagnetic storms similar to those on Earth, says Science Daily.

Their finding, a first, answers the question of whether other planets, including those outside our solar system, can have geomagnetic storms regardless of the size of their magnetosphere or whether they have an Earth-like ionosphere.

The research by scientists in the United States, Canada and China includes work by Hui Zhang, a space physics professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.

Their finding, a first, answers the question of whether other planets, including those outside our solar system, can have geomagnetic storms regardless of the size of their magnetosphere or whether they have an Earth-like ionosphere.

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In this new research paper the leading climate models turn out to be either too inaccurate (higher sensitivity) or unalarming (lower sensitivity).
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Plain Language Summary

The last-generation Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIP6) global circulation models (GCMs) are used by scientists and policymakers to interpret past and future climatic changes and to determine appropriate (adaptation or mitigation) policies to optimally address scenario-related climate-change hazards. However, these models are affected by large uncertainties. For example, their equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) varies from 1.83°C to 5.67°C, which makes their 21st-century predicted warming levels very uncertain. This issue is here addressed by testing the GCMs’ global and local performance in predicting the 1980–2021 warming rates against the ERA5-T2m records and by grouping them into three equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) classes (low-ECS, 1.80–3.00°C; medium-ECS, 3.01–4.50°C; high-ECS, 4.51–6.00°C). We found that: (a) all models with ECS > 3.0°C overestimate the observed global surface warming; (b) Student t-tests show model failure over 60% (low-ECS) to 81% (high-ECS) of the Earth’s surface. Thus, the high and medium-ECS GCMs do not appear to be consistent with the observations and should not be used for implementing policies based on their scenario forecasts. The low-ECS GCMs perform better, although not optimally; however, they are also found unalarming because for the next decades they predict moderate warming: ΔTpreindustrial→2050 ≲ 2°C.


The signal that wasn’t found could be ‘masked’, researchers suggest. They expected ‘ongoing climate change’ to do something, but maybe it just wasn’t there? Cue more research.
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A new Met Office-led study – reviewing evidence from previous scientific papers and climate models – reveals natural patterns of weakening and strengthening of ocean currents which influence the UK’s weather and climate.

In the North Atlantic lies one of the world’s largest climate mechanisms: a system of currents transporting relatively warm water from the tropics to the poles, with return currents at depth transporting colder, denser water further south.

The transport of heat to the North Atlantic keeps the UK’s climate warmer than other locations at our latitude, says the Met Office.

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An Atmospheric River of Dust

Posted: March 19, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, dust, ENSO, research, weather
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At least a few times a year, strong and persistent winds from the south drive Saharan dust north toward Europe, as recent research explains. Two such events in 2021 ‘led to snow darkening by dust deposition over the Alps with 40% decrease in snow albedo’, among other effects. NASA says the dust plays a major role in Earth’s climate and biological systems, absorbing and reflecting solar energy and fertilizing ocean ecosystems with iron and other minerals that plants and phytoplankton need to grow. A slight positive trend in the frequency of such events since 1980 is suggested to be related to the El Niños in the period. The research paper hints at the need for climate models to take these events into account.
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On March 15, 2022, a plume of Saharan dust was blown out of North Africa and across the Mediterranean into Western Europe, says NASA’s Earth Observatory.

The dust turned skies orange, blanketed cities, impaired air quality, and stained ski slopes.

The plume was driven by an atmospheric river arising from Storm Celia, which brought strong winds, rain, and snow to the Canary Islands.

Atmospheric rivers, normally associated with extreme moisture, can also carry dust.

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The carbon cycle [credit: laurencenet.net]


Carbon cycle alarm has so far failed to materialise, this research finds.
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Researchers have constructed a new time series for global carbon emissions from deforestation, reports Phys.org.

The series is the missing link in terms of the improved understanding of the global carbon cycle, and it implies that the natural uptake of CO2 by the land and oceans is more efficient than previously assumed.

The study shows that carbon emissions from deforestation between the 1960s and 1980s were lower than previous studies had assumed.

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Unravelling the assumptions and the strange cause/effect logic suggested by the article is a challenge here. They say they’re looking for “clues on how sensitive El Niño is to changes in climate”, but “if there’s another big El Niño, it’s going to be very hard to attribute it to a warming climate or to El Niño’s own internal variations.”
Why invent such a conundrum at all?

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The climate pattern El Niño varies over time to such a degree that scientists will have difficulty detecting signs that it is getting stronger with global warming, says Phys.org.

That’s the conclusion of a study led by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin that analyzed 9,000 years of Earth’s history.

The scientists drew on climate data contained within ancient corals and used one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to conduct their research.

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Credit: Uwe Dedering @ Wikipedia


Another crater controversy ends as two different dating methods produced the same result.
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Danish and Swedish researchers have dated the enormous Hiawatha impact crater, a 31 km-wide asteroid crater buried under a kilometer of Greenlandic ice, says the University of Copenhagen.

The dating ends speculation that the asteroid impacted after the appearance of humans and opens up a new understanding of Earth’s evolution in the post-dinosaur era.

Ever since 2015, when researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s GLOBE Institute discovered the Hiawatha impact crater in northwestern Greenland, uncertainty about the crater’s age has been the subject of considerable speculation.

Could the asteroid have slammed into Earth as recently as 13,000 years ago, when humans had long populated the planet? Could its impact have catalyzed a nearly 1,000-year period of global cooling known as the Younger Dryas?

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Do Wind Farms Change The Weather?

Posted: March 10, 2022 by oldbrew in research, turbines, weather, wind
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More research needed it seems, but it hasn’t been ruled out.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

The effect of lots of wind turbines on weather and climate is a small but active research area. Wind power converts wind energy into electricity, thereby removing that energy from the air.

The research issue of how taking a lot of energy out might affect weather or climate seems to have emerged as early as 2004. Studies range from the global climate impact down to the local effects of a single large wind facility.

Here is a nontechnical article on a key global climate scale paper in 2011: “Wind and wave farms could affect Earth’s energy balance“in New Scientist magazine, March 30, 2011. Must register to read here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028063-300-wind-and-wave-farms-could-affect-earths-energy-balance/

Here is the seminal technical paper: “Estimating maximum global land surface wind power extractability and associated climatic consequences” by L. M. Miller, F. Gans, and A. Kleidon; Earth System Dynamics…

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