Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Get Yourself Informed on Temperature Anomalies


Satellites have been accurately measuring the temperature of the troposphere all over the face of the earth since 1979. You can view a map of the globe with all temperatures above and below average mapped out in red (above) and blue (below) month by month for over 25 years. Anyone can plainly see that global warming is regional. Near the equator, both above and below it, is almost always uncolored or blue. South America, Central America, and the lower U.S. are experiencing cooling. Most of Africa is cooling. Austrailia is cooling. Southern Europe and Southern Asia are cooling. The air over almost all the Pacific and Mid, and South Atlantic is cooling. Greenland is heating up. Northern Asia and Northern Europe are heating up. Northern Canada and Alaska are heating up. Antarctica has been about the same and the interior has actually cooled off some in the last 10 years. Global warming IS REGIONAL! Everyone needs to know this but no one is being told. If you’re unbiased about this and willing to be swayed by the facts then go to the link below and click through the time series of the global map showing where it is warming, where it is cooling, and how much. Get yourself informed.


Pay attention to the lower graph too. It represents the average across the globe. Note it spends about as much time above as below zero point indicating that, at least since 1979, the earth hasn’t been heating or cooling on average, some places are heating and some are cooling.

You have been lied to. Big time.

Once you see how information has been withheld from you so you don’t question the politically driven “scientific” consensus in regard to global warming you’ll understand how the wool is being over everyone’s eyes about the politically driven “scientific” consensus in regard to evolution too.

Toxy-proxy We've heard of short-cut, alarmist, alarmist reaction to global warming -- using nuclear fire-extinguishers (nuclear-winter technology) to thwart the onslaught of intense 0.76 degree C flames. Well, here is another short-cut: a greener world by toxy-proxy? Check out "Barren Hill Made Green With Paint" at... http://english.cri.cn/2906/2007/02/13/1221@195972.htm Quick cover-ups often uncover more long-lasting deception. After reading of about the insignificance of UHI effects in basic global temperature data, I'm wondering if we will soon read that UHIs are compensated with PII (polar ice islands) or RRI(rural radiative islands). "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." eebrom
Scheesman, Someone was asking about something you said last night. Go to the Michael Egnor thread and search for your name. jerry
Here is a sample quote from the above-referenced EOS article: "The omission of reference to changes in Eg↓in the IPCC assessments brings into question the confidence that can be placed in a topdown, ‘consensus’ science system that ignores such a major and significant element of climate change. A separate and more fundamental question is whether scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficient to produce a useful consensus view. Is climate change a science or is it a trans-science, asking questions that can be stated in the language of science but that are currently beyond its ability to answer? The cautionary note global dimming and brightening sounds for climate change scientists is not a new one; rather it strikingly vindicates the two rules of climate change set out by Peter Wright 30 years ago [Wright, 1971]. The first rule states that some feature of the atmosphere can always be found that will oscillate in accordance with your hypothesis; the second states that shortly after its discovery, the oscillation will disappear." Gerald Stanhill, Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel. SCheesman
Dave Scot: Please check out the latest issue of EOS (Transactions, American Geophysical Union), Vol 88, Number 5. The "FORUM" article is entitled "A Perspective on Global Warming, Dimming, and Brightening", and includes not only some interesting graphs showing the change in solar irradiation over the last 50 years, but some juicy quotes. You might like to post it as a new thread. SCheesman
realclimate.org failed to approve my comment about Hansen's 0.8 black carbon forcing data being ignored in the IPCC report or even Jacobson's 0.5 figure and instead only showed the range as 0.0 - 0.2. I guess they (realclimate) either don't have a canned answer ready to hand out or are going to see if they can find an answer before they allow the question to see the light of day so they appear to not be taken by surprise. Given that I can't respond there (one comment is the quickest I've been banned anywhere and it certainly wasn't for being rude or anything) I guess I'll have to respond to raypierre's lame polar amplication response here which didn't say anything except acknowledge the Arctic is heating faster than anywhere else without giving the cause. I already knew the Arctic was heating way faster than anywhere else without raypierre telling me. I was asking why. They should at least call it North Polar Amplification because the South Pole isn't amplifying jack diddly squat and in fact has cooled off a bit in the last 10 years. Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictionsFebruary 15, 2007
“What we see now is that the temperature regime is broadly similar to what we saw before with snowfall. In the last decade or so, both have gone down,” he said.
Bummer. Polar Amplification is Polar De/i<>amplification in the Antarctic. One can only hope raypierre lurks here so he can keep up with what's really going on. Of course the black soot theory explains this perfectly. The Antarctic snowpack, unlike the Arctic snowpack, doesn't have any soot on it. It's pristine. It's been measured. It's too far from the manmade sources of black carbon and soot which are concentrated in the northern hemisphere. [shrug] And here Mark Frank told me they knew what they were talking about at realclimate? Yeah, right. Nothing but hot air at realclimate and I do mean that metaphorically. DaveScot
Peanut gallery contributor Zach posts a link to an article by Hansen which concludes the earth is absorbing 0.85 +- 0.15w/m^2 more energy than it is radiating back out into space. I guess the implication Zach makes is that this must raise the temperature of the earth. First of all, Zach needs to read up a bit on what this energy budget stuff really means and how the term greenhouse is misused. I recommend: http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/ Next Zach needs to be reminded that even if the earth is temporarily absorbing more energy than it is radiating this doesn't necessarily translate to a higher surface or air temperature nor is it necessarily due to greenhouse gases. In fact the energy is not heating the earth very much and the excess absorption is not due to greenhouse gases to a large extent. Zach surely must be forgetting that energy may be stored as potential energy in various forms; chemical, kinetic, gravitational, elastic, and so forth. Some of the excess energy is being locked up in chemical energy by living things. That's what oil is - excess energy from the sun stored as potential chemical energy. There's all kinds of chemical energy storage. But the real energy hog right now is water and it stores a LOT of energy in kinetic form when it transitions from solid to liquid and liquid to gas. 1 gram of ice at 0 degrees C will absorb 80 calories of heat energy to become 1 gram of water at 0 degrees C. It doesn't get any warmer in the transition, all the energy is stored as kinetic energy. Turning it into water vapor is an even better storage mechanism. It takes 540 calories to turn 1 gram of water into 1 gram of water vapor without raising its temperature. The atmosphere can hold a lot more water vapor than it holds right now and there's plenty of liquid water available to evaporate. Now, while a higher concentration of gases that absorb infrared radiated from the earth's surface will be able to soak up more energy for a while (eventually they reach a limit imposed by the solar flux density; think of this limit as the same one that keeps a potato from getting hotter than the oven its in) the real bandit in all this is dark soots and dusts that accumulate on snow and ice making them darker and better at absorbing solar energy. So where is all that excess 0.85w/m^2 going? It's going to turn ice at 0 degrees C into water at 0 degrees C and after that it can drive evaporation turning warm water into warm water vapor, all the while not driving up the temperature of the earth as a whole because the energy is simply being stored as chemical and kinetic energy. If this was where all that excess energy was being stored what would the symptoms look like, Zach? Give yourself a gold star for saying thinning/retreating ice sheets, permafrost melting, and things of that nature. :-) DaveScot
Jennifer Here's a quote by Dr. Christy from the UAH website. He said this just last year: http://www.uah.edu/News/newsread.php?newsID=291
"It just doesn’t look like global warming is very global," said Dr. John Christy, director of UAH’s Earth System Science Center. "Obviously some part of the warming we’ve observed in the atmosphere over the past 27 years is due to enhanced greenhouse gases. Simple physics tells you that. "But even if you acknowledge the effects of greenhouse gases, when you look at this pattern of warming you have to say there must also be something else at work here. "The carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is distributed pretty evenly around the globe and not concentrated in the Arctic, so it doesn’t look like we can blame greenhouse gases for the overwhelming bulk of the Northern Hemisphere warming over the past 27 years. The most likely suspect for that is a natural climate change or cycle that we didn’t expect or just don’t understand." "The computer models consistently predict that global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases should show up as strong warming in the tropics," Christy said. Even with a recent data correction that added tropical warming to the dataset, however, the satellite data still shows that the tropical atmosphere has warmed by only 0.19 C — just over one-third of a degree Fahrenheit — in 27 years.
I encourage you to provide more recent quotes where he has something different to say but I think I've demonstrated that the data I used is reliable and I have not contradicted a single thing that Dr. Christy has said on the subject. However, I do think Dr. Christy is wrong about Arctic heating being either natural or misunderstood. The cause is manmade, it's black carbon (soot) turning arctic snow darker, and there are a number of scientists I've found who do indeed understand it including James Hansen (see here for Hansen's research). From Hansen 2003:
Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas)yield a climate forcing of 0.3 W/m^2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The ‘‘efficacy’’ of this forcing is 2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost. If, as we suggest, melting ice and sea level rise define the level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, then reducing soot emissions, thus restoring snow albedos to pristine high values, would have the double benefit of reducing global warming and raising the global temperature level at which dangerous anthropogenic interference occurs. However, soot contributions to climate change do not alter the conclusion that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been the main cause of recent global warming and will be the predominant climate forcing in the future. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1) estimates the global climate forcing by fossil fuel black carbon (BC)aerosols as 0.2W/m^2. Jacobson (2) suggests that the fossil fuel BC forcing is larger, 0.5W/m^2. J.H. and colleagues (3–5) have argued that the total anthropogenic BC forcing, including BC from fossil fuels, biofuels, and outdoor biomass burning, and also including the indirect effects of BC on snow ice albedo, is still larger, 0.8 +- 0.4 W/m^2. Here we estimate the magnitude of one component of the BC climate forcing: its effect on snow ice albedo. Several factors complicate evaluation of the BC snow albedo climate forcing and dictate the approach we use to estimate the forcing.
Jacobson referenced above has this to say in Nature
The magnitude of the direct radiative forcing from black carbon itself exceeds that due to CH4, suggesting that black carbon may be the second most important component of global warming after CO2 in terms of direct forcing.
Jennifer I’m a student at UAH and have heard a good bit about this from Dr. Christy and other scientists at NASA (Dr. Christy spoke to one of my classes last year). The data error was significant and the models at UAH now match up more closely with most other models I quoted the published study by Dr. Christy. Regardless of what you think you heard on campus I used what was meticulously written by Dr. Christy and disseminated to the scientific community. Yes, the errors were significant but in 2 of 3 cases the radiosondes were at fault not the satellites and in the case where the satellite data is wrong it's significant for only about a year and the maximum error is 0.2F lower reading than it should have been. While that is "significant" one year of error hardly changes the 25 year history of satellite temperature measurements. DaveScot
Jennifer From reading the report by Christy 2006 they found the satellite data was correct and the radiosonde ground data wrong in 2 of 3 discrepancies.
we conclude that the radiosondes experienced a spurious cooling shift in Jan 1990. Similarly, event C in Jun 1997 was discovered by both satellite datasets, was highly significant and of the same magnitude (+0.156 K, Table 1). This was the point in time when most of the stations switched from VIZ-B to VIZ-B2 instrumentation. The B2 instrument included a solid-state baroswitch which replaced the mechanical arm that rotated through 180 discrete electrical contacts. This change provided a more accurate pressure reading and allowed the pressure and temperature to be simultaneously (i.e. stantaneously) measured. There was generally a lag between the pressure reported from the baroswitch, being the last contact made, and the temperature. The net impact introduced warmer temperatures.
Event B is of more interest to the issue at hand. We were unable to locate any information that might implicate the radiosondes as having a shift to cooler temperatures during late 1991 to 1993 as depicted by the z-scores in Fig. 1. However, this is a period in the satellite record for which spurious discontinuities and shifts may have occurred. First, NOAA-12 became operational in Oct 1991, so its data were first merged into the time series at that point. Secondly, the adjustments necessary for NOAA-11 to account for drifting through the diurnal cycle and separately for its instrument calibration problem were of significant magnitude in this period.
The graph at the bottom shows the z-score (the difference between radiosonde and satellite readings) for event B was only above 2.5 (above 2.5 is defined as "significant" in the text) for about a year in 1993. Moreover, the reported temperature measurement discrepancy for that period is a maximum of 0.13 K which is barely .2 degrees F.
Assuming event B is a satellite problem, the 31 stations provide a sufficient sample size to determine that the shift is on the order of –0.08 ± 0.05 K (applying the 36-month breakpoint methodology).
So, the long and the short of it is that yes, there was a discrepancy in satellite data due to orbital shifting but the error was limited to late 1991 to 1993 and at its worst was only 0.2 degrees F lower than actual temperatures aloft measured by radiosondes. The objection that there are errors in the satellite data are there but are nowhere near sufficient to significantly alter the picture presented here: http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/temperature/ This is what I suspected. NASA is exceedingly expert at orbital calculations and the mistake only effected one satellite (NOAA-11) for a short period of time. The satellite data remains by far the best global temperature data available beginning in 1979. If you feel that's not correct please present your case to the contrary. DaveScot
I'm a student at UAH and have heard a good bit about this from Dr. Christy and other scientists at NASA (Dr. Christy spoke to one of my classes last year). The data error was significant and the models at UAH now match up more closely with most other models. Jennifer6972
Jennifer A drift in the time that readings are taken due to orbital miscalculation can account for an error in the global average temperature not rising over time but it can't account for the difference in magnitude between latitudes as these would all be subject to the same time-of-day error factor. I'm reading through the report on satellite data accuracy by Christy right now at http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/116715.pdf to see exactly how much error NASA is admitting to due to orbit calculation mistakes. I find it difficult to believe the errors are large enough to be a significant factor given NASA's long experience in orbital mechanics. DaveScot
realclimate.org has so far refused to approve my comment showing huge discrepancy between Hansen and IPCC in black carbon forcing. If they ignore it then I'll just spin that into a main entry accusing them of a coverup. Heads I win, tails they lose. [shrug] DaveScot
ajl Yes, Greenland was actually much warmer prior to the "little ice age" and there's substantial archeological evidence of it. http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/voyage/subset/greenland/environment.html DaveScot
Actually, that data is sort of old and has errors (the last date is from 2002). The university where the center is based has a press release about the errors somewhere but I can't find it. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2005-08-11-global-warming-data_x.htm "After examining the satellite data, collected since 1979 by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellites, Carl Mears and Frank Wentz of Remote Sensing Systems in Santa Rosa, Calif., found that the satellites had drifted in orbit, throwing off the timing of temperature measures. Essentially, the satellites were increasingly reporting nighttime temperatures as daytime ones, leading to a false cooling trend. The team also found a math error in the calculations. "Our hats are off to (them). They found a real source of error," says atmospheric scientist John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, whose team produced the lower temperature estimates. When examining the balloon data, Yale University researchers found that heating from tropical sunlight was skewing the temperatures reported by sensors, making nights look as warm as days. Once corrected, the satellite and balloon temperatures align with other surface and upper-atmosphere measures, as well as climate change models, Santer says. " Jennifer6972
Joseph The Vostok ice cores go back hundreds of thousands of years. Even though I read of a lone Russian ice core scientist who said the Vostok temp/c02 analysis was bogus for a number of reasons they seem reliable enough so long as one keeps in mind they are only one point on the earth and a weird atypical point at that. Morever, since they unarguably show that that temperature rise precedes CO2 rise by 800 years they dispute the C02 myth being foisted upon the public. It's really comical. Those cores are the best evidence available for a history of C02 concentration and temperature on the planet and the myth mongers have to make up a Bizarro world fantasy where good is bad, bad is good, and effect precedes cause, all to explain why temperature rise preceding C02 rise doesn't really mean it happened in that order, except for those first 800 years. So they end up saying something else starts global warming rolling, and that initially increases C02 levels, but then C02 takes over the job of warming. Uh huh. SUUUUURE... Can these guys spell "clutching at straws"? Denial is more than just a river in Egypt. :-) DaveScot
AJL- To put what I said in perspective: It's too bad we don't have the climate data from 1,000 to 2,000 years ago. IOW it would be nice to have reference points throughout history BEFORE jumping to any conclusions based on a few/ several decades of info. Joseph
It is too bad that we do not have any climate data from when Greenland was green Joseph, I don't think you will find it. If memory serves me right, the Viking Explorers used the names to confused new settlers. Therefore, Greenland was never really that green, and Iceland was never really that brutal of an environment. ajl
Big Mistake Found in IPCC Report Compare Hansen radiative forcing factors http://www.realclimate.org/images/forcing_1750-2000-toppanel.jpg to IPCC 2007 radiative forcing factors http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf (page 4, figure spm-2) You'll find all the forcing factors agree except for black carbon. In Hansen black carbon (BC) is given a forcing factor of 0.8 (a major factor second only to C02) but in the IPCC report it's given a factor of 0.1 which makes it trivial. It appears that someone made a clerical mistake in entering that bit of data. Either that or they purposely ignored some of the best data on BC forcing from Hansen, Jacobsen, and others. That's either sloppy or dishonest. A hundred collaborators on the report also missed it if was merely a typo. Maybe it was a Freudian slip - they subconciously wanted to miss it. I posted this descrepancy to both realclimate.org and climateaudit.org as well. A forcing factor this big that's missing from the IPCC report is a serious error which seriously undermines conclusions that followed from relative importance of forcing factors. DaveScot
Summary so far: 1) Satellite measurements of the temperature of the troposphere are the only source of temperature measurements across every point of the earth. These were calibrated by radiosonde temperatures aloft and are very precise. 2) Regional temperature plots across the earth's surface over 25 years of satellite coverage show a cooling trend south of Canada and north of Antarctica. Antartica itself while varying from year to year has not exhibited either more heating or more cooling. In the higher northern latitudes there has been significantly more warming than cooling. 3) The net of all warming and cooling over the entire globe is neutral. Warming is regional, almost exclusively confined to the far north, and is offset by slight cooling on most of the rest of the globe. 4) CFC (0.3), ozone (0.4), and black soot on snow (0.8) perfectly account for the observed regional patterns of warming for, according to Hansen 2005, a total forcing of 1.5 from these factors. 5) Suspended aerosols exert a cooling effect of -2.1 and land use albedo change -0.15 (Hansen) for a total of -2.25 6) Minor greenhouse gases excluding CO2 and solar flux increase account for another 1.0 of heating. 7) Without considering C02 at all we get a total of 2.5 in warming and 2.25 in cooling. Almost a perfect balance. 8) Without consideration of C02 at all the rest of the heating and cooling factors perfectly match the global and regional temperature patterns measured by the best instruments we have. Aerosol cooling dominates greenhouse gas warming over the lower and middle latitudes which accounts for slight regional cooling trend there. In the high northern latitudes where snow cover is permanent and sources of black soot are near enough to reach it, warming from black soot on snow plus greenhouse gas dominates aerosol cooling for net warming trend in that region. In Antarctica black soot sources are too far away to darken the snow and there's no net warming. 9) The $64,000 question is why C02 is brought into the picture when all the other factors explain the observations? C02 is not just unnecessary but when added in per Hansen at warming = 1.5 it should easily force a warming trend ALL OVER THE GLOBE and that is CLEARLY NOT in the satellite data. I'm now embarking on a search for what real data supports the inclusion of C02 forcing at such a high level. So far it appears to be all based on computer models which predict it. Virtual reality trumps actual reality. Ain't that a helluva thing? Usually when computer models don't agree with reality and we have proven reliable instruments measuring reality, we throw away the computer model instead of denying reality. I'll continue this as I dig up the dirt on C02. The only real data we have AFAIK now is Vostok Ice Cores which track C02 content in the atmosphere in trapped gas bubbles and infer a temperature by the ratio of deuterium and 018 isotopes in the same gas bubble. The C02 and temperatures obtained that way seem reliable enough (I didn't look for reasons to doubt the ice core data) although certainly not as precise as 9 orbiting satellites and Vostok is just one spot on the globe in Antarctica of all places so it very well might not accurately reflect the temperature trend all across the globe. To add insult to injury a rise in temperature PRECEDES a rise in C02 by 800 years according to the ice cores. The only reasonably assured thing we can conclude from the Vostok cores is that, in Antartica, a rise in temperature CAUSES a rise in C02. Incredibly, the computer models we are using presume that rising C02 causes a rise in temperature when just the reverse is proven in the only real data we have on the relation of C02 and temperature. So far this really looks like a big witch hunt to blame C02 and the whole case for C02 warming is pencil whipped data and computer model predictions that are disputed by reality. The emporor has no clothes! DaveScot
It is too bad that we do not have any climate data from when Greenland was green. I tsay that because if we did have such data we may be able to "conclude" that the Earth's average temperature is just now getting back to "normal", ie to the levels when Greenland really was (green). It is alo too bad that the ice sheets won't be melting anytime soon. I was kind of hoping for my central Massachusetts local to become a beach front resort in my lifetime. Joseph
Mark Frank, I apologize for not keeping up with the moderation queue. I wasn't purposely leaving anything out, I was busy doing other things. Interestingly Hansen 2005 found black carbon forcing at 0.8 as you pointed in the realclimate.org link. IPCC 2007 meanwhile assigns it a forcing of 0.1 while giving the net from all manmade sources at 1.6. If they'd given it the same weight as Hansen then black carbon on snow would be responsible for fully half of the net forcing. They were on a mission to blame C02 (and by proxy the United States because we're the biggest C02 producer). The fact of the matter is that C02 warming doesn't correlate at all with the regional or temporal warming data while black carbon on snow correlates perfectly. And South Asia is the biggest single offender in the black carbon category but we can't be having that when the mission is to spank the United States for not going along with Kyoto. See Figure SPM-2 on page 4 of IPPC report at http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf for black carbon at 0.1 and net at 1.6. Thank God for George W. Bush. He was perfectly correct that we needed more research. Now we need to publish ALL the research and place the blame where the blame is due. In regard to black carbon superceding CFCs... yes, but not by much. Hansen assigns ozone a forcing of 0.4 and CFCs a forcing of 0.3 for a combined total of 0.7 while it puts black carbon at 0.8. Combine the two for a grand total of 1.5 and that's almost the entire net forcing (1.6) in the IPCC 2007 report. Thanks for asking. http://www.realclimate.org/images/forcing_1750-2000-toppanel.jpg This leaves us with a far easier path to addressing global warming which is CFCs and carbon soot instead of C02. Cleaning soot from smoke and using alternatives to CFCs is not difficult and the U.S. leads the world already in elimination of those POLLUTANTS. You see that's because people breathe soot and ozone and it causes nasty health problems so we've been beating those down for a long time. C02 on the other hand is not a health threat and is not classed as a pollutant. The next thing after settling on how to best stop the glaciers from melting is arguing over whether reducing global warming is an advisable idea. The troposphere satellite data indicates that there is no net warming and if we remove the hotspots in and around the arctic circle where all the ice is melting we will turn what's now regional warming into global cooling. Global cooling is definitely a bad thing. That reduces the amount of food we can grow and with 6+ billion and growing mouths to feed the last thing we need is less capacity to grow food. Personally I think we should go ahead and let the northern land masses warm up as long as the rest of the world isn't warming up along with it, and it doesn't appear to be. DaveScot
Scientists Watch Dark Side Of The Moon To Monitor Earth's Climate
"Earth's climate is driven by the net sunlight that it absorbs," says Philip R. Goode, leader of the New Jersey Institute of Technology team, Director of the Big Bear Solar Observatory, and a Distinguished Professor of Physics at NJIT. "We have found surprisingly large--up to 20 percent--seasonal variations in Earth's reflectance. Further, we have found a hint of a 2.5-percent decrease in Earth's albedo over the past five years." If Earth reflected even one percent less light, the effect would be significant enough to be a concern with regard to global warming.
My emphasis Black Carbon (Soot)
Scientists have begun to recognize soot as having the potential to cause changes in climate. A study by the Goddard Institute and Columbia University's Earth Institute found that the effect that soot has on snow albedo may be contributing to the trend of early spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Studies have revealed that South Asia has become the largest contributor of black carbon emissions, and is also believed to be the greatest contributor of soot deposited within Greenland. Studies continue to indicate that soot is a likely factor in climate change. In 2003, a computer simulation done by NASA suggested that black soot may be responsible for up to 25 percent of the observed global warming over the past century. Another NASA experiment found that the amount of sunlight absorbed by soot was two-to-four times larger than previously assumed. However, the extent that black soot has an effect on climate change will continue to be debated since it has only recently become a factor included in studies of global warming. This page was last updated on November 14, 2006.
ONLY RECENTLY. Translation: you haven't heard about it yet because it's embarrassing as hell that no one figured this out before and you'll have to pry our broken C02 model out of our cold dead fingers. Hurry up and get the IPCC report out and blame George Bush & the United States before the real inconvenient truth gets out and the Americans elect another Kyoto bashing republican. :lol: DaveScot
Control of fossil-fuel particulate black carbon and organic matter, possibly the most effective method of slowing global warming JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 107, NO. D19, 4410, doi:10.1029/2001JD001376, 2002 Title says it all... DaveScot
Check this out. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/Images/soot_gcm_2002_lrg.pdf A map of soot induced warming. Basically ALL of the satellite temperature anomalies map right onto this. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=16404
New research from NASA and Columbia University climate scientists shows that more than 25 percent of the increase in average global temperature between 1880 and 2002 may be due to soot contamination of snow and ice worldwide.
I’d like you to provide some corroboration that adjustments have been made for carbon soot changing the albedo of snow. I believe that’s a baseless claim but you’re welcome to prove me wrong. If you look at the link I gave you to real climate you will find this quote: "The biggest warming factors are CO2 (1.5 W/m2), CH4 (0.6 W/m2, including indirect effects), CFCs (0.3), N2O (0.15), O3 (0.3), black carbon (0.8), and solar (0.3), and the important cooling factors are sulphate and nitrate aerosols (~-2.1, including direct and indriect effects), and land use (-0.15)" In the accompanying diagram you will see a reference to "snow albedo". YOur NASA link appears to support what I am saying. It is an example of continuing efforts to model the albedo effect and its contribution to global warming. Note these phrases: "This research offers additional evidence that black carbon may have a significant warming impact on the Arctic." "Black carbon has already been implicated as playing a role in melting ice and snow" Mark Frank
Wow Dave. That's some serious lot's of stuff to read there. You've gotta guess that they're up to something when Al Bore makes a film trying to scare all the little liberal kiddies out there. If the albido factor is "contributing"- what a word, talk about framing your arguments- to global warming just over a tiny bit of the northern hemisphere but is making the ice melt, where's the global warming? I'll tell you where it is. It's in the draft-dodging, free-love, take from the rich and give to the poor, science and post-modern establishment. It's a race to see who can think of more ways to be insulted by our prosperity and stong global leadership and values that hold families together and make our young men know the value of freedom and willing to go to war to protect it. They notch their friggin bedposts with their new ideas about how to make our culture look bad. Doug
Dave Yes the raw satellite data is accurate and comprehensive. The difficulty is in the interpretation. To quote from the Wikipedia article: "even though they began with the same data, each of the major research groups has interpreted it with different result" If you read Wikipedia article and the discussion page you will get a vivid sense of how controversial and debateable the interpretation is. Yes, the surface record is much less accurate with inconsistent methods and reporting and very sparse coverage in some parts of the world - but the interpretation is more straightforward. That is why you need to take them both into account. Plus proxy measures like growing seasons and glacier change. Having said all that, it is also true that warming is not equally spread round the globe and no doubt some areas are cooling. In that sense it is regional and that is not controversial. What matters is the overall trend. I don't challenge the truth of the 1980 article. My point is that, since then, we have had 27 years of increasingly intense study of the climate. Climate scientists have taken albedo effects into account (along with lots of other things) and still found a warming trend that can best be explained by the increase in GHGs. I will be interested to see what other readers think. Cheers PS Has the albedo theory superseded the CFC theory? :-) Mark Frank
Jackpot! Here we go. http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/arctic_soot.html
Black and White: Soot on Ice 03.23.05 NASA has been exploring how black carbon or soot affects the Earth's climate, by using satellite data and computer models that recreate the climate. New findings show that soot may be contributing to changes happening at the North Pole, such as increasing melting of sea ice and snow and warming atmospheric temperatures. "This research offers additional evidence that black carbon may have a significant warming impact on the Arctic," Koch said. Warmer temperatures in the Arctic mean melting ice and snow, among other things. These temperature and ice changes also wind up affecting climate patterns around the world.
Basically, they don't know yet how much this is contributing to so-called "global warming". By the looks of how the regional satellite data has hot spots clustered on northern snow cover I'd bet dollars against donuts if you subtract lowered albedo effects what little global warming there is would disappear and we'd be back to worrying about global cooling again. DaveScot
Mark Frank Thanks for adding your admittedly inexpert opinion. I agree that you don't seem able to look at satellite troposphere measurements and understand that they are by far the most accurate data we have. We don't have ground based instrument coverage anywhere near what satellites can acheive. Another thing you might want to think about is whether our weather is generated at the surface or aloft. Does rain and snow fall up from the ground or down from aloft? Possibly you're unaware but my military training was in meteorological instrumentation. I was farmed out from the military to NOAA for some time taking radiosonde measurements of tornadic supercells back before we had satellites capable of measuring temperatures aloft. Satellite temperature measurements were calibrated using radiosonde measurments of temperatures aloft at the same time and place. The raw temperature information in the satellite data is dead accurate. I also worked with the group that developed the first Doppler weather radar at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. As to your objection on the carbon soot study being old, I'm fairly certain that the laws of physics which cause soot and dust to change snow albedo haven't changed in the 25 years since that study was completed. We weren't in the stone age in 1980. DaveScot
Bruce There are two blogs that I would recommend. I used to follow both avidly but the discussions became repetitive. HodorH is right to point out www.realclimate.org. This is run by climate scientists with an establishment/IPCC/believe AGW viewpoint. Climate Audit (www.climateaudit.org/) is a sceptical blog run by knowledgeable sceptics. The advantage of both these blogs is the contributors by and large know what they are talking about. As far as I can see there is no one who knows much about climate change contributing to this discussion (sorry Dave but it is clearly true). I am no expert, but I did follow the discussion quite closely for a few years, so I might as well chip in. The temperature record that Dave is directing you to is the satellite data for the lower troposphere. There are a number of other temperature records which show a different pattern and a stronger warming trend. The interpretation of the satellite data is one of many controversies in climate change. Among other things the satellite mesurements do not measure the surface of the earth. See wikipedia for a discussion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements Dave's albedo paper was written in 1980. The world's climate scientists are aware of the albedo effect and in the intervening 27 years have made increasingly sophisticated adjustments for that and many other factors. There are many different things that contribute to the change in the world's temperature and change in albedo is one of them. For a discussion of the different "forcings" as they are called and their relative importance look at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/attribution-of-20th-century-climate-change-to-cosub2sub/ Mark Frank
I added the following comment to http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/02/what-triggers-ice-ages/ and also to http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1150#more-1150
I was browsing the NASA interactive satellite temperature data for the troposphere which stretches from 1979 to 2003. It has a global map that's colored in shades of red for heating and blue for cooling. Flipping through the time sequence it's obvious that almost all the heating anomalies are in the snow covered far north. South of Canada down to Antarctica isn't really heating at all. Moreover, there's a graph of the average temperature anomalies of all areas (below the world map) and that shows that the net of heating and cooling is just about zero. I was wondering what could account for this pattern of heating and cooling and it occured to me that if the albedo of the snow cover in the far north was declining that would do it. So I looked around and dug up a study of snow albedo that appeared in the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Volume 37, August 1980 which confirmed that carbon soot from manmade sources (including forest fires) migrates thousands of miles and accumulates on permanent snow cover causing melting and temperature increases. The antarctic is relatively free of soot buildup but the arctic has been well contaminated. This explains the heating and cooling patterns quite well. How does CO2 greenhouse heating explain these patterns and why is the global average temperature not really increasing if a growing C02 greenhouse situation is responsible?
Both are moderated (no big surprise, all the good sites are). Let's see if they approve the comment and respond to it. DaveScot
WinglesS Yes, ice is melting and sea level is rising VERY slowly but I recall reading that Greenland's ice sheet, because it's on land, will take a thousand years or more to melt which is plenty of time to deal with a rising ocean. Antarctica isn't melting and it too is on land. Those are the biggies as far as ice sheets go and the remainder aren't enough to cause drastic rise of ocean level. The problem with soot is that what's already on the snow won't go away. It just gets darker and darker as snow melts and the soot on top gets thicker and thicker. Even if you stop all soot emission now it's probably too late to do anything about it. DaveScot
Hmm, but aren't sea levels rising? So even though global warming is regional it melts more ice than it freezes? Well I'm all for stopping the soot - or whatever is the root cause of the problem. WinglesS
If St. Paul were writing the book of Romans today, surely he would point out that there is absolutely no excuse for anybody not reading the "signs of the times" on the not-so-invisible Internet. There is so much material available; there are so many clues to underlying intent and pervading agendas. Something I like to repeat to folks now and again concerns this (relatively) extremely thin layer of air we live in. Go up thousands of feet and it gets cold fast. Dig down thousands of feet, and it gets hot fast. Take a globe of the World, say about a foot in diameter. If you could draw a line 1/1000th of an inch thick (less than the thickness of a normal human hair), it would represent the vertical extent of reasonable, livable temperatures above or below the ground. With the temperatures above that region being so cold, and those below being so hot, IMO, it is totally awesome that the global temperatures are so constant! If I were Chicken Licken or Henny Penny or Cocky Locky or Ducky Lucky or Loosey Goosey or Turkey Lurkey or Foxy Loxy or Holey Moley I wouldn't go to the king to announce a temperature increase of a mere 0.6 degree Celsius. I hope I'd go to visit the King, and give thanks! All of which isn't to encourage a careless, carefree attitude towards the stewardship of our environment. Quite the opposite. Perhaps somebody will discover that the relentless increase in the tiny fraction of CO2 in our atmosphere has actually saved countless thousands from starvation -- not to mention a huge increase in wood to build houses. Maybe the fine-tuning of our atmosphere is finer than some people think. Could it be that the almost constant surface temperature existing between the near absolute zero of space and the thousands of degrees of molten earth beneath us derives from mere chance? eebrom
Bingo. THAT'S the stuff: Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Volume 37, August 1980
Longwave emissivity of snow is unaltered by its soot and dust content. Thus the depression of snow albedo in the visible is a systematic effect and always results in more energy being absorbed at a snow covered surface than would be the case for pure snow. Thus man-made carbon soot aerosol may continue to exert a significant warming effect on the earth's climate even after it is removed from the atmosphere.
Be sure to read, if nothing else, the summary at the end of the article which clearly illuminates the smoking gun. The article is scanned and I transcribed the summary for your convenience:
7. Summary We have shown that the discrepancy between observations of visible snow albedo and calculationas for pure snow (fig. 17 of part 1) can be resolved if the snow whose albedo was measured was not pure. In order to match the observations of snow albedo at Station T-3 in the Arctic Ocean and at the South Pole Station, we require the presence of a grey impurity, i.e., one whose imaginary index of refraction varies little with wavelength. Graphitic carbon ("soot") has this property, and it is a normal component of the background atmospheric aerosol due to industrial sources as well as forest and brush fires. The snow at the South Pole Station almost certainly suffers from local contamination and its albedo is unrepresentative of the rest of the Antarctic plateau where measured impurity concentrations are too low to affect the albedo. Soot at T-3 in the Arctic Ocean, of which we require 0.3 ppmw to explain the albedo, may either be characteristic of the entire Arctic basin or derived from local (camp) pollution. This amount is not unrealistic if the soot which has been measured in Arctic air finds its way into the snow as well. In middle latitudes the snow is closer to sources of of dust and soot, but the snow accumulation rate is higher, so the concentration of impurities may not be larger until the snow begins to melt. The deposition rate of elemental carbon in Lake Michigan is now 30 ug/cm^2/year (J. Herring, U.S.G.S., unpublished manuscript). It was only half this value prior to 1900. The morphology of the particles indicates about one-half charcoal and one-half industrial sources. Assuming an annual precipitation of 1 m(liquid equivalent), the snow near Lake Michigan would contain 0.3 ppmw soot, the same as we need to explain the albedo observations in the Arctic Ocean (Fig. 6), where the annual precipitation is only one-tenth that of Lake Michigan. It is difficult to analyze for graphitic carbon, particularly because it must be distinguished from organic carbon. It has not been looked for in any of the many snow-chemistry studies in Antarctica and Greenland. Due to the excellent experimental work of Rosen and Novakov (1977, 1978), however, it has now become possible to identify and measure the carbonaceous content of aerosols. In order to test the predictions of our model, it will be necessary to make simultaneous measurements of snow spectral albedo, snow grain size, soot concentration and soot size distribution. The snow samples reviewed here were from Artic and Antarctic locations, and they exhibited "grey" albedo in the visible. In snowfields closer to desert areas and remote from population centers, such as ice caps of the Tibetan Plateau, the principle absorptive component of the dust may be iron oxide instead of carbon. The snow would then exhibit a peak in the spectral albedo 0.6 um (Fig. 5) as has been seen by eye in Europe and New Zealand following dust storms in North Africa and Austrailia. If the albedo of natural snow is being reduced by the presence of dust or soot, this could be an important climatic effect of tropospheric aerosols. Landsberg (1970) speculated that the climatic effects of aerosols in snow would be greater than their effects in the troposphere. Aerosols in the troposphere have competing effects on the radiation budget, in that they both absorb and reflect solar radiation, and emit infrared radiation. Carlson and Benjamin (1980) show that, for typical Saharan dust over the Atlantic, these effects roughly cancel each other for the top-of-atmosphere net flux. But when absorbing aerosols fall into snow, they have only one effect -- that of reducing the shortwave albedo. The emissivity of snow in the infrared region (8-12 um) is very close to 1.0 (Figs. 8b and 11b of Part I) and the addition of parts-per-million amounts of dust does not change. In closing, we might note that gross amounts of carbon particles have in the past been suggested as effective melters of sea ice or modifiers of weather (Gray et al., 1976). The present work indicates that such particles may have been having a climatic effect, albeit on a more subtle scale, over long periods of earth's history, which effect has been accentuated by man's industrial pollution. Note added in proof. Grenfell et al. (1980) have recently collaborated to make simultaneous measurements of snow spectral albedo and soot content. Their measured grain sizes apparently are not the same as our effective spherical radii, so we deduce the effective grain size from the near-IR albedo measurements. It then appears that, in order to explain the visible albedos, we would need 2-5 time as much soot as actually found in the snow. A factor of 2 difference in soot concentration can be explained by our use of graphite density instead of soot density (see footnote 3), but the remaining discrepancies remain to be investigated. Acknowledgements. We thank Craig Bohren for first suggesting to us the importance of trace impurities in lowering snow albedo; Thomas Grenfall and Michale Kuhn for providing details of the experiments; and Robert Charlson, Peter MacKinnon, Kenneth Rahn, Hal Rosen, Lonnie Thompson and Ellen Mosley-Thompson for helpful discussion.
It's not C02 causing the worst heating in the far north, it's carbon soot. That explains why the southern hemisphere isn't getting nailed. All the industrial smokestacks, residential wintertime heating from burning dirty fuels, and vehicle exhausts spewing out carbon soot are concentrated in the northern hemisphere. We don't need to lower C02, we need to continue and improve cleaning the particulate pollutants out of exhaust gases. Even so, it may be too late because the soot, once in the snow, doesn't leave until the snow either completely melts away or it gets buried by clean snow cover that never melts. DaveScot
Here's more http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0469(1980)037%3C2734:AMFTSA%3E2.0.CO%3B2 (a working link for above: http://tinyurl.com/3atbg3)
A Model for the Spectral Albedo of Snow. II: Snow Containing Atmospheric Aerosols Stephen G. Warren and Warren J. Wiscombe National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307 ABSTRACT Small highly absorbing particles, present in concentrations of only 1 part per million by weight (ppmw) or less, can lower snow albedo in the visible by 5–15% from the high values (96–99%) predicted for pure snow in Part I. These particles have, however, no effect on snow albedo beyond 0.9 μm wavelength where ice itself becomes a strong absorber. Thus we have an attractive explanation for the discrepancy between theory and observation described in Part I, a discrepancy which seemingly cannot be resolved on the basis of near-field scattering and nonsphericity effects. Desert dust and carbon soot are the most likely contaminants. But careful measurements of spectral snow albedo in the Arctic and Antarctic paint to a “grey” absorber, one whose imaginary refractive index is nearly constant across the visible spectrum. Thus carbon soot, rather than the red iron oxide normally present in desert dust, is strongly indicated at these sites. Soot particles of radius 0.1 μm, in concentrations of only 0.3 ppmw, can explain the albedo measurements of Grenfell and Maykut on Arctic Ice Island T-3. This amount is consistent with some observations of soot in Arctic air masses. 1.5 ppmw of soot is required to explain the Antarctic observations of Kuhn and Siogas, which seemed an unrealistically large amount for the earth's most unpolluted continent until we learned that burning of camp heating fuel and aircraft exhaust indeed had contaminated the measurement site with soot. Midlatitude snowfields are likely to contain larger absolute amounts of soot and dust than their polar counterparts, but the snowfall is also much larger, so that the ppmw contamination does not differ drastically until melting begins. Nevertheless, the variations in absorbing particle concentration which will exist can help to explain the wide range of visible snow albedos reported in the literature. Longwave emissivity of snow is unaltered by its soot and dust content. Thus the depression of snow albedo in the visible is a systematic effect and always results in more energy being absorbed at a snow-covered surface than would be the case for pure snow. Thus man-made carbon soot aerosol may continue to exert a significant warming effect on the earth's climate even after it is removed from the atmosphere. Manuscript received April 15, 1980, in final form August 28, 1990 DOI: 10.1175/1520-0469(1980)037<2734:AMFTSA>2.0.CO;2
Since you can see from the map that northern landmasses with permanent snowcover are by far the global warming hotspots it occurs to me that changing surface albedo could easily explain the phenomenon. As a child in the 1950's and 1960's growing up in cold northeastern winters near a busy highway I remember vividly that soot from all the 18-wheel diesel truck exhausts darkened the snow cover. I also remember from living in Southern California back in the 1970's and 1980's how light colored windowsills would turn dark from the air pollution. As one of, if not THE fastest, warming regions of the world, Greenland is a prime candidate to see if surface albedo has been decreasing in the 20th century due to dust and soot in the atmosphere from burning of fossil fuels and land clearing for agriculture darkening the snow slightly. If it has then this handily explains what's happening in the regions of the world most subject to warming. There is positive feedback in this effect because as the top layer of snow melts it concentrates the dust and soot on the surface. Melting snow drifts close to highways where I grew up would turn almost black in a paper thin layer on the top surface after 12 or more inches had melted off in a thaw. I'm having a difficult time finding historic surface albedo measurements. Can anyone else find anything and report back here? So far this is tantalizing:
TI: Effects of dust and black carbon on albedo of the Greenland ablation zone AU: * Boggild, C E EM: carl.egede.boggild@unis.no AF: The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), PB 156, Longyearbyen, N-9171 Norway AU: Warren, S G EM: sgw@atmos.washington.edu AF: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Box 351640, Seattle, WA 98195-1640 United States AU: Brandt, R E EM: brandt@atmos.washington.edu AF: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Box 351640, Seattle, WA 98195-1640 United States AU: Brown, K J EM: kbr@geus.dk AF: Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Department of Quaternary Geology, Oster Voldgade 10, Copenhagen, DK-1350 Denmark AB: Recent thinning of the perimeter of the Greenland ice sheet has prompted several studies that are focused on identifying possible mechanisms. Surface melting in the ablation zone is known to be highly sensitive to changes in the surface albedo. However, explanations for the variable albedo of the ablation zone in Greenland have not yet been established because ground validation is often difficult due to the inaccessibility of much of the marginal zone. The emergence and melting of old ice in the ablation zone creates a surface layer of dust that was originally deposited with snowfall high on the ice sheet. This debris cover is augmented by locally-derived windblown sediment. Subsequently, the surface dust particles often aggregate together to form millimeter to centimeter scale clumps that melt into the ice, creating cryoconite holes. The debris in the cryoconite holes becomes hidden from sunlight, thus raising the area-averaged albedo. These processes were examined on the readily accessible ice sheet margin of northeast Greenland in Kronprins Christians Land (80 N, 24 W). To assess the effects of dust and black carbon deposition on ice albedo, spectral albedo measurements across the solar spectrum at ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared wavelengths were taken on snow, slush, ice hummocks, debris-covered ice and cryoconite-studded ice. In addition, albedo measurements were likewise taken on the debris in the cryoconite holes. Areal distribution of the aforementioned surface types was estimated as a function of distance from the ice edge (330 m elevation). Ablation rates were measured on a 5-km transect from the ice margin that spanned both Pleistocene and Holocene ice, eventually terminating in the slush zone (550 m). Impurity concentrations (per unit area of surface and per unit volume for snow and subsurface ice) were measured. Snow was also collected for analysis of impurities at distances of 40 and 90 km from the margin, at elevations of 950 and 1440 m respectively. The absorption of sunlight at visible wavelengths is dominated by dust at all the sites studied, but black carbon also contributes. The nature of the impurities is being determined through mineralogical and optical-microscopy analyses. Our results show that the ablation zone is characterized by higher albedo near the margin and a decline in albedo toward the equilibrium line, before superimposed ice and snow again raise the albedo. The higher albedo close to the ice margin is due to the formation of cryoconite holes, which become less frequent higher on the ice sheet. Studies in western Greenland have shown that a lowering of the surface albedo by 0.15 can result in excess annual melting of up to 1 meter. Lowering of snow albedo by increasing deposition of black carbon could cause more rapid snowmelt, thereby uncovering the darker debris-laden ice earlier in the summer season. This process may help to explain the ongoing thinning of the Greenland ice sheet margin. DE: 0305 Aerosols and particles (0345, 4801, 4906) DE: 0726 Ice sheets DE: 0738 Ice (1863) DE: 0764 Energy balance SC: Union [U] MN: 2006 Fall Meeting

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