Archive for the ‘satellites’ Category

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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Sea ice optional [image credit: BBC]


Not an indicator of supposedly dire global warming this season then? Groans from climate obsessives perhaps. Nothingburgers all round.
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Arctic sea ice appeared to have hit its annual maximum extent on Feb. 25 after growing through the fall and winter, says NASA (via Phys.org).

This year’s wintertime extent is the 10th-lowest in the satellite record maintained by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, one of NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers.

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The Starlink Incident

Posted: February 10, 2022 by oldbrew in Geomagnetism, satellites, solar system dynamics

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Looks like the risks were seriously underestimated if this was only a minor geomagnetic storm.

Spaceweather.com

Feb. 9, 2022: As many as 40 Starlink satellites are currently falling out of the sky–the surprising result of a minor geomagnetic storm. SpaceX made the announcement yesterday:

“On Thursday, Feb. 3rd at 1:13 p.m. EST, Falcon 9 launched 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. … Unfortunately, the satellites deployed on Thursday were significantly impacted by a geomagnetic storm on Friday, [Feb. 4th].”

Two days before launch a CME hit Earth’s magnetic field. It was not a major space weather event. In fact, the weak impact did not at first spark any remarkable geomagnetic activity. However, as Earth passed through the CME’s wake, some sputtering G1-class geomagnetic storms developed. It was one of these minor storms that caught the Starlink satellites on Feb. 4th.

Geomagnetic storms heat Earth’s upper atmosphere. Diaphanous tendrils of warming air literally reached up…

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


One finding was that snow cover variability was more ‘extreme’ than expected, pointing to the need for further research as well as improvements to climate models. Whether the recent Arctic weather/climate history is a reliable guide to future conditions remains to be seen.
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Hundreds of international researchers are currently analyzing observations from the one-year MOSAiC expedition, during which hundreds of environmental parameters were recorded with unprecedented accuracy and frequency over a full annual cycle in the Central Arctic Ocean, says Phys.org.

They have now published three overview articles on the MOSAiC atmosphere, snow and sea ice, and ocean programs in the journal Elementa, highlighting the importance of examining all components of the climate system together.

These results present the first complete picture of the climate processes in the central Arctic which is warming more than two times as fast as the rest of the planet—processes which affect weather and climate worldwide.

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Opposite sea ice trends? [Credits: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Joy Ng]


Climate modellers need yet more and bigger computers to stand a chance of eradicating faulty sea ice projections in the polar regions, apparently. Meanwhile, they believe there must be some ‘delay’ in their long-predicted but not (yet?) happening Antarctic sea ice decline. Quote: “Our study supports the hypothesis that climate models and projections of the Antarctic sea ice will be far more reliable as soon as they are capable of realistically simulating a high-resolution ocean, complete with eddies”.
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Despite global warming and the sea-ice loss in the Arctic, the Antarctic sea-ice extent has remained largely unchanged since 1979, says Eurekalert.

However, existing climate model-based simulations indicate significant sea-ice loss, contrary to actual observations.

As experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute have now shown, the ocean may weaken warming around Antarctica and delay sea-ice retreat.

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The atmospheric plume from an underwater volcano eruption in the Pacific nation of Tonga is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 269 miles above the Pacific Ocean northwest of Auckland, New Zealand [image credit: NASA / Kayla Barron @ Wikipedia]


This NASA animation leaves little room for doubt about how powerful the Tonga event was. The very low-frequency sound waves it produced were first predicted by Laplace over 200 years ago, as the article below explains.
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The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption reached an explosive crescendo on Jan. 15, 2022, says Kevin Hamilton @ The Conversation (via Phys.org).

Its rapid release of energy powered an ocean tsunami that caused damage as far away as the U.S. West Coast, but it also generated pressure waves in the atmosphere that quickly spread around the world.

The atmospheric wave pattern close to the eruption was quite complicated, but thousands of miles away it appeared as an isolated wave front traveling horizontally at over 650 miles an hour as it spread outward.

NASA’s James Garvin, chief scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, told NPR the space agency estimated the blast was around 10 megatons of TNT equivalent, about 500 times as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World Word II.

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Antarctica


The article says ‘The satellite measurements start in 1979’, but the USGS Landsat satellite project has been ‘imaging the Earth since 1972’. The researchers say in the abstract of their paper: ‘In stark contrast to the Arctic, there have been statistically significant positive trends in total Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979. However, the short and highly variable nature of observed Antarctic sea ice extent limits the ability to fully understand the historical context of these recent changes.’ The UK Met Office reported in October 2021: ‘Antarctic sea ice reached a maximum extent (to date) of 18.75 million sq km on 1st September 2021 (Figure 7), which is very close to the 1981-2010 average maximum extent of 18.70 million sq km.’
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A study led by Ohio University researchers shows that the increase of sea ice surrounding Antarctica since 1979 is a unique feature of Antarctic climate since 1905—an observation that paints a dramatic first-ever picture for weather and climate implications on the world’s southernmost continent, says Phys.org.

Dr. Ryan Fogt’s study, published today in Nature Climate Change, is the first to detail sea ice extent surrounding the entire continent though all four seasons over the last century.

Weather, especially winds and temperatures, contribute to sea ice changes. Fogt is professor of Geography in OHIO’s College of Arts and Sciences.

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Bioluminescence [image credit: Gov’t. of South Australia]


Such events happen because ‘the microbes can suddenly light up as if a switch were thrown’. Even the smallest occurrence can be ‘100 times larger than Manhattan’.
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The ocean has always glowed, says the NY Times (via bdnews24.com).

The Greeks and Romans knew of luminous sea creatures as well as the more general phenomenon of seawater that can light up in bluish-green colours.

Charles Darwin, as he sailed near South America on a dark night aboard the HMS Beagle, encountered luminescent waves. He called it “a wonderful and most beautiful spectacle.”

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A Seasonal Emerald in the Sahel

Posted: November 28, 2021 by oldbrew in climate, Natural Variation, satellites

Credit: geopoliticalfutures.com

A striking example of seasonal climate variation, with detailed images.
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The Inland Delta of the Niger River is one of the world’s most productive wetlands says NASA, even though it is mostly dry for nearly half of each year.

Depending on the abundance and timing of rainfall upstream, the inland delta of the Niger River in Mali typically floods with water from roughly August to December.

The result is a seasonal burst of green vegetation at the intersection of the Sahara Desert and the Sahel.

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Credit: NOAA

Researchers propose another weather/climate cycle.
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A team of researchers with members affiliated with a large number of institutions across Japan has found that the Gulf stream and Kuroshio are synchronized on a decadal time scale, says Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of decades of weather satellite data and the link between the two ocean currents.

Paola Cessi, with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, has published a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in Japan in the same journal issue.

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rectenna

Credit: NASA

The UK is not alone in what’s billed as a new space race. China for one is in the game. If you think you’ve heard it all before, you probably have
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Vast solar power satellites in Earth’s orbit, beaming energy back to Earth. It’s a serious idea for green energy from the UK Space Agency, say insurers MS Amlin.

In one of his early dystopian short stories, the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov imagined a mile-wide space station that could “feed solar energy to the planets”.

Published in 1941, under the title Reason, it described a fantastical “energy converter” that gathered sunlight and beamed it across the entire solar system.

Some 80 years later, Asimov’s flight of fancy is starting to take real shape.

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An IPCC scientist on twitter alerted me to this animation created by Chris Rentsch which analyses the data from the AIRS satellite measuring outgoing longwave radiation.

Here’s a still from the end of the video sequence.

As we can see, by 2019, there is a decrease in OLR at the wavelengths absorbed by CO2 (13-15um) as its atmospheric fraction increases. But we can also see that there is a much bigger increase in OLR at the wavelengths within the ‘atmospheric window’ (10-13um) where it isn’t absorbed by any atmospheric gases.

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Hurricane_Season

Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com

Quote: ‘No evidence’. Not more intense either. Reports claiming otherwise were greatly exaggerated or at least ill-informed, it seems (as well as being frequent, and intensely irritating). Climate alarmists will not be amused.
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Researchers affiliated with several institutions in the United States have determined that the increase in the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic over the past several years is not related to global warming, says The Conversation (via Phys.org).

They suggest instead, in their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, that it is simply reflective of natural variable weather patterns.

Over the past several decades, scientists studying satellite data have found that the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean has been increasing.

Many in the field have suggested that this is due to the impact of global warming.

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Scientists at the University of Michigan, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and University of Colorado Boulder recently used TSIS-1 SSI satellite data in a global climate model for the first time – and got a few surprises. Another dent in the myth of ‘settled’ climate science.
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Have you ever worn a dark T-shirt on a sunny day and felt the fabric warm in the Sun’s rays? asks NASA-GISS.

Most of us know dark colors absorb sunlight and light colors reflect it – but did you know this doesn’t work the same way in the Sun’s non-visible wavelengths?

The Sun is Earth’s power source, and it emits energy as visible sunlight, ultraviolet radiation (shorter wavelengths), and near-infrared radiation, which we feel as heat (longer wavelengths).

Visible light reflects off light-colored surfaces like snow and ice, while darker surfaces like forests or oceans absorb it. This reflectivity, called albedo, is one key way Earth regulates its temperature – if Earth absorbs more energy than it reflects, it gets warmer, and if it reflects more than it absorbs, it gets cooler.

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Credit: concernusa.org


Well, knock me down with a feather. Real world data can expose flaws in ‘greenhouse gas’ infected climate models, which are unable to model El Niño and La Niña events, and mostly predict much more warming than actually occurs.
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New research shows that naturally occurring climate variations help to explain a long-standing difference between climate models and satellite observations of global warming, says Phys.org.

Satellite measurements of global-scale changes in atmospheric temperature began in late 1978 and continue to the present.

Relative to most model simulations, satellite data has consistently shown less warming of Earth’s lower atmosphere.

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Boeing 767 flight deck [image credit: Continental Airlines]


In the midst of pandemic-related hard times, airline survival means looking for fuel savings ahead of trivia like emissions of harmless trace gases. A mix of nature and new tech might do the trick.
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Airlines could save fuel and reduce emissions on transatlantic flights by hitching a better ride on the jet stream, new research has shown.

Scientists at the University of Reading have found that commercial flights between New York and London last winter could have used up to 16% less fuel if they had made better use of the fast-moving winds at altitude, says TechXplore.

New satellites will soon allow transatlantic flights to be tracked more accurately while remaining a safe distance apart.

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Image credit: MIT


At least they don’t need any help predicting hours of darkness.
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The output of solar energy systems is highly dependent on cloud cover, says Science Daily.

While weather forecasting can be used to predict the amount of sunlight reaching ground-based solar collectors, cloud cover is often characterized in simple terms, such as cloudy, partly cloudy or clear.

This does not provide accurate information for estimating the amount of sunlight available for solar power plants.

In this week’s Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, from AIP Publishing, a new method is reported for estimating cloud optical properties using data from recently launched satellites.

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Earth-orbiting satellites beware!

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 16, 2019: Yes, there are explosions in Earth’s magnetic field. They happen all the time. Gusts of solar wind press against Earth’s magnetosphere, squeezing lines of magnetic force together. The lines criss-cross and reconnect, literally exploding and propelling high energy particles toward Earth.  Auroras are the afterglow of this process.

On Dec. 20, 2015, one such explosion occurred closer to Earth than anyone had seen before.  It has taken researchers 4 years to fully wrap their minds around what happened, and the results were published just this week in the Jan. 13, 2020, edition of Nature Physics.

Joseph-Bradley-_MG_8407_1450760666 Auroras in the aftermath of a near-Earth magnetic explosion on Dec. 20, 2015. Credit: Joseph Bradley of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Lead author Vassilis Angelopoulos of UCLA explains: “Usually, these explosions happen at least 100,000 miles from Earth, far downstream in our planet’s magnetic tail. On Dec. 20, 2015, however, we observed…

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Credit: reference.com


There are many reasons NASA is pursuing the Artemis mission to land astronauts on the moon by 2024: It’s a crucial way to study the moon itself and to pave a safe path to Mars, says Phys.org.

But it’s also a great place to learn more about protecting Earth, which is just one part of the larger Sun-Earth system.

Heliophysicists—scientists who study the Sun and its influence on Earth—will also be sending up their own NASA missions as part of Artemis. Their goal is to better understand the complex space environment surrounding our planet, much of which is driven by our Sun.

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