Earth’s thermosphere collapses – film at 11

Well, not quite that bad, but if I was still on TV, that would probably be the tease during prime time. It appears that solar influences are mostly at work here.

By Dr.  Dr. Tony Phillips NASA

NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet’s atmosphere. High above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.


“This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). “It’s a Space Age record.”

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

“Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.

The thermosphere ranges in altitude from 90 km to 600+ km. It is a realm of meteors, auroras and satellites, which skim through the thermosphere as they circle Earth. It is also where solar radiation makes first contact with our planet. The thermosphere intercepts extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons from the sun before they can reach the ground. When solar activity is high, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to puff up like a marshmallow held over a camp fire. (This heating can raise temperatures as high as 1400 K—hence the name thermosphere.) When solar activity is low, the opposite happens.

Lately, solar activity has been very low. In 2008 and 2009, the sun plunged into a century-class solar minimum. Sunspots were scarce, solar flares almost non-existent, and solar EUV radiation was at a low ebb. Researchers immediately turned their attention to the thermosphere to see what would happen.

Thermosphere (graphs, 550px)

These plots show how the density of the thermosphere (at a fiducial height of 400 km) has waxed and waned during the past four solar cycles. Frames (a) and (c) are density; frame (b) is the sun’s radio intensity at a wavelength of 10.7 cm, a key indicator of solar activity. Note the yellow circled region. In 2008 and 2009, the density of the thermosphere was 28% lower than expectations set by previous solar minima. Credit: Emmert et al. (2010), Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L12102.

How do you know what’s happening all the way up in the thermosphere?

Emmert uses a clever technique: Because satellites feel aerodynamic drag when they move through the thermosphere, it is possible to monitor conditions there by watching satellites decay. He analyzed the decay rates of more than 5000 satellites ranging in altitude between 200 and 600 km and ranging in time between 1967 and 2010. This provided a unique space-time sampling of thermospheric density, temperature, and pressure covering almost the entire Space Age. In this way he discovered that the thermospheric collapse of 2008-2009 was not only bigger than any previous collapse, but also bigger than the sun alone could explain.

One possible explanation is carbon dioxide (CO2).

Thermosphere (cooling, 200px)

An NCAR video shows how carbon dioxide warms the lower atmosphere, but cools the upper atmosphere. [click for more]

When carbon dioxide gets into the thermosphere, it acts as a coolant, shedding heat via infrared radiation. It is widely-known that CO2 levels have been increasing in Earth’s atmosphere. Extra CO2 in the thermosphere could have magnified the cooling action of solar minimum.

“But the numbers don’t quite add up,” says Emmert. “Even when we take CO2 into account using our best understanding of how it operates as a coolant, we cannot fully explain the thermosphere’s collapse.”

According to Emmert and colleagues, low solar EUV accounts for about 30% of the collapse. Extra CO2 accounts for at least another 10%. That leaves as much as 60% unaccounted for.

In their GRL paper, the authors acknowledge that the situation is complicated. There’s more to it than just solar EUV and terrestrial CO2. For instance, trends in global climate could alter the composition of the thermosphere, changing its thermal properties and the way it responds to external stimuli. The overall sensitivity of the thermosphere to solar radiation could actually be increasing.

“The density anomalies,” they wrote, “may signify that an as-yet-unidentified climatological tipping point involving energy balance and chemistry feedbacks has been reached.”

Or not.

Important clues may be found in the way the thermosphere rebounds. Solar minimum is now coming to an end, EUV radiation is on the rise, and the thermosphere is puffing up again. Exactly how the recovery proceeds could unravel the contributions of solar vs. terrestrial sources.

“We will continue to monitor the situation,” says Emmert.

For more information see Emmert, J. T., J. L. Lean, and J. M. Picone (2010), Record-low thermospheric density during the 2008 solar minimum, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L12102.

About these ads

142 thoughts on “Earth’s thermosphere collapses – film at 11

  1. Reminds me of a Bob Dylan song (“Ballad of a Thin Thermosphere” I think it was called) — “something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones”

  2. Weird, they used to call it “Ionosphere”… I guessed the rename it thermosphere in order to, once again, make CO2 the evil one.

  3. So, the rise of CO2 made it collapse. Yet, the CO2 is still high in the atmosphere but now it is bouncing back… what gives? There is again a direct correlation with the sun’s activity but they still look away.

  4. lots of irony here, with a mr. green from the so-called neocon AEI providing some of it!

    14 July: ANNE C. MULKERN: Ads Backed by Fossil-Fuel Interests Argue ‘CO2 Is Green’
    A group with ties to the fossil fuel industry launched a new ad campaign today pushing the idea that carbon dioxide isn’t an environmental pollutant.
    The organization “C02 is Green” funded a half-page advertisement in The Washington Post urging people to call their senators and seek a vote against “the president’s cap-and-trade bill that will increase your cost of living and not change the climate….
    The intent of the ad is more political than scientific, said Ken Green, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute think tank….

    http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/07/14/14greenwire-ads-backed-by-fossil-fuel-interests-argue-co2-79814.html

    pdf file of the Advertisement

    http://www.eenews.net/assets/2010/07/14/document_gw_02.pdf

  5. I’m still not good on solar material but wasn’t there a solar factor recently that went realllllly low, like it might make sunspots a thing of the past or whatever? ie no need to invoke the long-suffering CO2? (an invocation I distrust on principle anyway because I distrust the “low CO2″ ice records from the past).

    I’d love to hear more about the fringe solar stuff here, if relevant, if only Geoff Sharp could be seen to do trustworthy science and Leif Svalgaard were not so tetchy and territorial. I’m damn sure there is important stuff in the solar cycle correlations and so is Nir Shaviv.

  6. er… should have been a question mark on the end of that last – it was not an assertion but a question.

  7. Any one have Algores phone number? His power point says the only variable that changes is CO2 and it is because of humans.

  8. Why does anybody think they know everything?

    What we know about in science you could write a few books. What we don’t know would fill legions of libraries. When man thinks he is smarter than God……

  9. “According to Emmert and colleagues, low solar EUV accounts for about 30% of the collapse. Extra CO2 accounts for at least another 10%. That leaves as much as 60% unaccounted for.”

    Solar wind velocity was very low through 2008/9 till this spring, total numbers of coronal holes per year were also down: http://www.solen.info/solar/coronal_holes.html

  10. For such a heavy molecule I doubt the concentration of CO2 in the thermosphere is significant. The molecular concentration at that altitude must so low that surely, they must not have a significant effect on the heat transport.

    I guess the recovery is good news for the AM radio amateurs.

  11. Lucy Skywalker says:
    I’m still not good on solar material but wasn’t there a solar factor recently that went realllllly low, like it might make sunspots a thing of the past or whatever? ie no need to invoke the long-suffering CO2? (an invocation I distrust on principle anyway because I distrust the “low CO2″ ice records from the past).

    I’d love to hear more about the fringe solar stuff here,…..

    Lucy:
    This web site has lots of good technical solar info, if you are willing to wade through the technical jargon. In particular, click on the “trend charts” near the top of the page, and on the “message board”.

    http://www.solarcycle24.com/

  12. ERRrrrr, Did they take into account the shift in the solar spectrum?

    “.. We want to compare the sun’s brightness now to its brightness during previous minima and ask ourselves, is the sun getting brighter or dimmer?”

    Lately, the answer seems to be dimmer. Measurements by a variety of spacecraft indicate a 12-year lessening of the sun’s “irradiance” by about 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at EUV wavelengths. These results, which compare the solar minimum of 2008-09 to the previous minimum of 1996, are still very preliminary. EVE will improve confidence in the trend by pinning down the EUV spectrum with unprecedented accuracy…” http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/27oct_eve/

    “1. The sun’s magnetic field is weak. “There has been a sharp decline in the sun’s interplanetary magnetic field down to 4 nT (nanoTesla) from typical values of 6 to 8 nT,” he says. “This record-low interplanetary magnetic field undoubtedly contributes to the record-high cosmic ray fluxes.” [data]

    2. The solar wind is flagging. “Measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft show that solar wind pressure is at a 50-year low,” he continues, “so the magnetic bubble that protects the solar system is not being inflated as much as usual.” A smaller bubble gives cosmic rays a shorter-shot into the solar system. Once a cosmic ray enters the solar system, it must “swim upstream” against the solar wind. Solar wind speeds have dropped to very low levels in 2008 and 2009, making it easier than usual for a cosmic ray to proceed. [data]

    3. The current sheet is flattening. Imagine the sun wearing a ballerina’s skirt as wide as the entire solar system with an electrical current flowing along its wavy folds. It’s real, and it’s called the “heliospheric current sheet,” a vast transition zone where the polarity of the sun’s magnetic field changes from plus to minus. The current sheet is important because cosmic rays are guided by its folds. Lately, the current sheet has been flattening itself out, allowing cosmic rays more direct access to the inner solar system.” http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/29sep_cosmicrays/

  13. “But the numbers don’t quite add up,” says Emmert. “Even when we take CO2 into account using our best understanding of how it operates as a coolant, we cannot fully explain the thermosphere’s collapse”

    Yes, and it’s a possible explanation, could have magnified, tipping point…or not travesty.
    Translation: Back to the drawing board.

  14. Gail Combs says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    The sun’s magnetic field is still relatively weak, compared to normal cycles 1/3 way into thier ramp years.
    A better descriptor might be diffuse. Let’s ask Leif.

  15. “Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert…….”But we’re more than happy to speculate it has something to do with CO2″… “and uh, it’s a tipping point, and the end of the world. “

  16. Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    They are targeting C02 as their ‘public enemy #1′.
    So they can beat us out of what’s in our wallets, like a schoolyard bully does.
    Elections cometh, Lucy.
    It’s payback time.

  17. ““Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.”

    Life the universe and everything

    but not understanding does not stop them from making a perfect hindcast of the future

  18. Sadly, we only have record of this obviously cyclical phenomenon in the satellite age, so of course CO2 is to blame.

    Their own graphs show the cyclic nature, and yet the CO2 card is played.

    Sad that many supposed scientists today seem to have secondary degrees in marketing and advertising. Makes me want to kick a polar bear.

  19. Why did I get the feeling that CO2 would somehow get the blame? “When in doubt, blame CO2,” seems to be the mantra in today’s “consensus science” circles.

    By the way, I thought we had exited the recent solar cycle minimum and were “ramping up quickly” towards the next solar maximum (solar cycle 24). But no. It appears the “solar minimum is now coming to an end.”

    On the other hand, perhaps the sun is ramping up, but this time towards an historically low Dalton-like minimum.

  20. An NCAR video shows how carbon dioxide warms the lower atmosphere, but cools the upper atmosphere. [click for more]

    My girlfriend remarks: Oh! I am soooooo NOT believing that!!

    The thought:
    [A] WHERE is the ‘science’ which describes how a gas molecule will behave differently –even contrarily– at varying altitudes?

    [B] WHY is that not happening from ground-level all the way up through the atmosphere? Does the ‘science’ change at mid-altitudes to become entirely ‘neutral?’

    [C] Has that supposition been tested in the lab?

    [D] The whole thought is fraught with inconsistency: If CO2 molecules are supposedly doing what is spoken of –at altitude– then WHY does the Earth get warm at all? After all, if the UV radiation is being deflected by high altitude CO2 …

    You can’t have it both ways: Either it warms or it doesn’t, or it cools or it doesn’t.

  21. So, on Venus, when temperatures and the EM radiation profiles reflect 735K, CO2 causes warming.

    But in the Earth’s Thermosphere, when temperatures and the EM radiation profiles reflect 735K, CO2 causes cooling.

    There is just a lot of settled global warming science that the pro-AGW set cannot bring themselves to think about questioning. The thought just does not cross their mind at all and contradictions just continue on with no sober second thought.

  22. Lee Kington says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I guess the sky was falling.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Witty and perfect. This is quote of the week.

  23. Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    if….Leif Svalgaard were not so……territorial.

    I hadn’t thought of it that way. But that seems right. Wish I was as witty as you. I’ll go back to my cell of frustrated mediocrity now. ;-)

  24. What is CO2 doing up there? I thought that one evil humans released CO2 it stayed down around here forever and ever, just heating things up until the earth died of fever.
    I think I have figured out what really causes global warming if you look at the first picture you will note that the Sun has come to about 700 km from the earth; that should have warmed things up a bit.

  25. Before I get excited about the 60% unexplained increase in the density of the thermosphere, I want to see the correction to the data used for the calculations of the density change established by atmospheric drag. In order estimate the drag involves making assumptions about the nature of the factors that enter into aerodynamic drag including the effects of the satellite profiles and orbits. My experence with studying space effects on satelite material is that the surfaces are degraded by the effects of atomic oxygen erosion. In addition most of the satellites tumble in orbit. I plan to obtain a copy of the paper when I get back from vacation.

  26. Hypothesis: The rise of the climate blogs punctured the hot air gas bags of CAGW Notice how the atmosphere began to recover just after Climategate?

  27. kirkmyers says:
    July 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Why did I get the feeling that CO2 would somehow get the blame? “When in doubt, blame CO2,” seems to be the mantra in today’s “consensus science” circles.

    By the way, I thought we had exited the recent solar cycle minimum and were “ramping up quickly” towards the next solar maximum (solar cycle 24). But no. It appears the “solar minimum is now coming to an end.”

    On the other hand, perhaps the sun is ramping up, but this time towards an historically low Dalton-like minimum.
    ___________________________________________________
    It seems to have gotten named the Eddy Minimum.

  28. I forgot to mention the reference to The New Junk Blame, June 27 WUWT which reviews a paper from Saunders, Swinerd, and Lewis and refutes its association with CO2.

  29. “Something is going on that we do not understand.”

    Would that we might hear a climate modeler say that.

  30. More proof that the science is not settled. But the scientists will be lining up for the grants to prove Man Made CO2 did it, even if it didn’t.

  31. Maybe the 60% got ate up in the calculations. Warmers can be very good at comparing reality with expectations and finding that reality wrong.

  32. You can’t have it both ways: Either it warms or it doesn’t, or it cools or it doesn’t.

    They aren’t having it both ways at all. CO2 doesn’t “heat” anything. At best it traps heat in (the greenhouse analogy) by absorbing and re-radiating. However that same action in the upper atmosphere could equally well prevent heat from getting to lower atmosphere.

    An analogy you might understand is this. An electric heater inside warms your house. Yet placed outside your house, with the appropriate tubing, it can become an air conditioner and cool your house.

    As contradictory as it sounds, a heating operation can give localised cooling.

    I am not convinced that the CO2 effect is strong enough to give runaway global warming, but you need somewhat more than naked scepticism to rebut it. I would suggest that unless you have a great deal of the required physics and chemistry that you should leave rebuttal of these issues to people who have.

  33. Ulric Lyons says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm
    Solar wind velocity was very low through 2008/9 till this spring, total numbers of coronal holes per year were also down
    Actually not quite. During the first half of 2008, solar wind speed was very high [500 km/sec]. It was only really low [356 km/sec] during the last half of 2009.

  34. This is really interesting development. It’s not often that something this big occurs totally unexpected. Some possible implications of the thermosphere’s collapse.

    1. The science is obviously so far from settled that to suggest we understand all the forcings on climate is ludicrous.
    2. This is likely some variety of climate feedback, as such certainly could have something to do with increased levels of atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
    3. The feedback is likely to be negative on global temperatures since a cooling of thermosphere must ultimately cool the meso, strato then troposphere below.

    The Earth’s biosphere has been remarkable good at maintaining the temperature with in a relatively narrow range for hundreds of millions of years through all sorts of extremely rapid atmospheric changes. Perhaps we are witnessing just another one of Gaia’s homeostasis techniques for the first time. At higher CO2 levels perhaps this thermosphere cooling effect negates further troposphere warming…

  35. At the earths surface the incoming light energy is absorbed by the crust/oceans and some of that energy is re-radiated in IR wavelengths, the CO2 in the atmosphere does not absorb light energy – only IR.

    that is why CO2 can be cooling in upper atmosphere and warming in lower atmosphere.

  36. Any scientist getting paid by the federal gov’t (grants or otherwise) should simply not be trusted when it comes to climate. Now CO2 causes massive cooling? I guess that makes sense if you want to hedge your bets for the next round of funding. There was an article that was contemporaneous with the event that I’d read that was far less speculative (and 1000 times more honest). A couple of years later and now they’re pointing the finger at CO2. I’ll make an effort to find that article. This and other NASA garbage like the “consensus” sunspot stuff and Jim Hansen, Gavin Schmidt’s proselytizing really make me embarassed for that Agency. Why do we have to pay taxes for this garbagola? I wish they’d stick to the science and leave the boogeyman schtick for the campfire with their kids. It’s *really* getting old fellas. Time to write my CongressCritters.

  37. Mandolinjon says: “…In addition most of the satellites tumble in orbit.”

    I’ve calculated the orbital decay of such a satellite (actually a complete booster, less engines). I calculated 3 weeks life in orbit, which turned out to be off by two days. (NASA estimated 5 days, missing by two weeks.)

  38. wes george says: “…The Earth’s biosphere has been remarkabl(y) good at maintaining the temperature with in a relatively narrow range for hundreds of millions of years through all sorts of extremely rapid atmospheric changes. Perhaps we are witnessing just another one of Gaia’s homeostasis techniques for the first time.…”

    I’m still wondering whether the ionosphere is acting like a grid in a vacuum tube, moderating the loss of heat to space. When it’s thick, dense, and hot, it holds heat in; when it’s thin and diffuse, it passes more heat.

  39. It is always nice to hear these people admit when they simply do not know something.
    Hamlet:
    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

  40. @ray The ionosphere is the uppermost part of the atmosphere, between the thermosphere and the exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth. from wiki

  41. Hm.. is it just me or does everybody else know the CO2 level in the ionosphere? Has it increased then? If so, how much?

  42. Mooloo says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm
    They aren’t having it both ways at all. CO2 doesn’t “heat” anything. At best it traps heat in (the greenhouse analogy) by absorbing and re-radiating. However that same action in the upper atmosphere could equally well prevent heat from getting to lower atmosphere.

    An analogy you might understand is this. An electric heater inside warms your house. Yet placed outside your house, with the appropriate tubing, it can become an air conditioner and cool your house.

    As contradictory as it sounds, a heating operation can give localised cooling.

    I am not convinced that the CO2 effect is strong enough to give runaway global warming, but you need somewhat more than naked scepticism to rebut it. I would suggest that unless you have a great deal of the required physics and chemistry that you should leave rebuttal of these issues to people who have.

    Oooooooooooh, arrogant much? Shall we suppose that YOU are a BRAINIAC?

    WHOOP-TEE-DOOO!

    [1] PLEASE DO exhibit a SIMPLE device which employs a SIMPLE ‘electrical heater’ and ‘some copper tubing’ which will ‘cool’ the interior of an enclosed structure.

    You’ll be doing that, won’t you? Real soon now?

    And don’t be getting snotty by resorting to a compressed gas in order to weasel out of your ‘simple’ contraption. You’ll be telling us all about that, won’t you?

    [2] Next, IF CO2 receives energy, and transfers said energy to another place, then may it not be said that the CO2 was the SOURCE of the energy which was transferred to something else?

    If I employ an electrical current to cause a wire having a resistance to become hot, and the hot wire (a heating element) manages to impart sufficient heat a pot of water, was it the electricity that heated the pot of water, or was the heating element?

    That wasn’t tooooo very complicated for you to comprehend, was it?

    [3] If CO2 causes WARMING on the face of the Earth, then DO TELL: Why does NOT that same warming take place higher in the atmosphere?

    [4] Now, since you seem to twisted up with the idea that CO2 causes ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming,’ then you’ll PUH-LEEZE describe for the rest of us how it is that with all the CO2 locked in the ice matrices of the Earth’s polar ices caps and the glaciers, that the said ice isn’t melting as fast as it is formed?

    And what about the oceans? Why, with all of that CO2 entrained therein, they should be ROILING whenever the Sunlight hits them!!

    Oh, and hey: Why are the lot us being broiled when the Sunlight strikes us, what with all that thar CO2 being in the atmosphere?!!?!?

    Now, taking this to a new level: IF CO2 causes heating at lower atmospheric levels, but SUPPOSEDLY causes cooling at upper atmospheric levels, then DO TELL: WHERE will a heating element cause cooling?

    You’ll be telling us all about that too, won’t you … ?

    Don’t forget to include that ‘arrogant’ part, as it really spices-up the whole!!!

    Golly, I just LUV reading all about arrogant pseudoscience!!!

  43. James says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm
    At the earths surface the incoming light energy is absorbed by the crust/oceans and some of that energy is re-radiated in IR wavelengths, the CO2 in the atmosphere does not absorb light energy – only IR.

    that is why CO2 can be cooling in upper atmosphere and warming in lower atmosphere.

    Say, what?

    What happens at all those OTHER altitudes?

    And DO TELL: How does a gas act in an entirely contrary, i.e., reciprocal fashion, merely that it happens to find itself in a different location?

    And again: WHAT ABOUT all those OTHER altitudes?

    You’ll be explaining all that, won’t you?

  44. jorgekafkazar says:
    July 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm
    wes george says: “…The Earth’s biosphere has been remarkabl(y) good at maintaining the temperature with in a relatively narrow range for hundreds of millions of years through all sorts of extremely rapid atmospheric changes. Perhaps we are witnessing just another one of Gaia’s homeostasis techniques for the first time.…”

    I’m still wondering whether the ionosphere is acting like a grid in a vacuum tube, moderating the loss of heat to space. When it’s thick, dense, and hot, it holds heat in; when it’s thin and diffuse, it passes more heat.

    Or the base of a bi-polar transistor, or the gate of a FET, or …

    No thanks!

    Say look: Instead of attempting complicate matters with allusions to entirely human devices, it might just help to drop the entire range of that kind of thinking and step back for a moment or three, and cogitate at length about all of the entirely natural processes which have been going on for far longer than humanity has been in existence.

    This whole friggen argument has been framed in terms which define it in such a way as to exclude the entirety of natural aspects.

    Jeez, man, according to CAGW cadre, just being alive is now a crime against nature!!

    There’s an old saying in the debate circuit: When you want to defeat an opponent in an argument, DO BE SURE to reframe the argument IN YOUR OWN TERMS.

    That way, the ‘opponent’ is forced to address matter on YOUR terms.

    Ergo, all the neat weasel words and contrived terms such as ‘climate sensitivity,’ ‘positive feedback,’ ‘amplification,’ etc., etc., ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

    Bottom: GET BACK TO BASICS!

  45. 899 says:
    July 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Mooloo says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm
    “Oooooooooooh, arrogant much? Shall we suppose that YOU are a BRAINIAC?
    WHOOP-TEE-DOOO!”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Judging from all 53 comments so far Moolo seems to me to be the reasoning brainiac, you most certainly are not.
    ————————————————————————————–
    “Golly, I just LUV reading all about arrogant pseudoscience!!!”
    ————————————————————————————–
    You’ve just provided me with a perfect example. In love with oneself?
    ————————————————————————————–
    “If I employ an electrical current to cause a wire having a resistance to become hot, and the hot wire (a heating element) manages to impart sufficient heat a pot of water, was it the electricity that heated the pot of water, or was the heating element?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    How far back do you want to take this rediculous argument? To the truck that carted the coal? The furnace that burned the coal? The heat that drove the turbine? The turbine that generated the electricity? The cable that carried it?
    Don’t accuse people of bringing pseudo science, if you are a master yourself.
    The role of CO2, in the context of this article, is best left to qualified scientists
    ————————————————————————————-
    “Don’t forget to include that ‘arrogant’ part, as it really spices-up the whole!!!”
    ————————————————————————————-
    If you feel the need to use exclamation marks, one suffices; more does not add to meaning and is, may I suggest arrogant?

  46. gilbert says:
    July 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Maybe the 60% got ate up in the calculations. Warmers can be very good at comparing reality with expectations and finding that reality wrong.
    —————————————————————————————
    Pot calling the Kettle?

  47. Ray says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    “Weird, they used to call it “Ionosphere”… I guessed the rename it thermosphere in order to, once again, make CO2 the evil one.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I guess it takes an evil mind to create evil where evil doe not exist.
    The Thermosphere is not a new creation by the global warming conspiracy. It exists between the Exosphere (600Km) and the Mesosphere (95/120 Km), and has so for a long time. It is by far the thickest layer and is a combined name for the two layers.
    Any reference to the ionosphere is a reference to both the exosphere and the thermosphere. The thermosphere starts at approx 90Km with a temperature of 300K to end at approx 300Km, temperature 1300K.

  48. #
    #
    Alan Cheetham says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Since this reduced thermospheric density will reduce the drag on satellites, the satellite-based temperature data will require further adjustments.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Utter nonsence.

  49. jorgekafkazar says:
    July 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    “I’m still wondering whether the ionosphere is acting like a grid in a vacuum tube, moderating the loss of heat to space. When it’s thick, dense, and hot, it holds heat in; when it’s thin and diffuse, it passes more heat.”

    Good point. Who knew that the Earth’s ionsphere had 30% (maybe more?) play in its contraction/expansion range? Far more interesting, it’s apparently forced by more than just the solar cycle. It’s got negative feedback loop written all over it. Too early to say, but it looks like decades of CO2 climate forcing calculation are due a radical update–downward. Sad, really, I was looking forward to warmer winters.

    How silly do those who claimed “the science is settled” feel today?

  50. Henry chance says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Any one have Algores phone number? His power point says the only variable that changes is CO2 and it is because of humans.
    —————————————————————————————–
    Out of context; should that read “only known variable”?

  51. David says:
    July 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm
    *
    *
    Touched a nerve, didn’t I, David?!

    Now, DO TELL: WHY isn’t the polar ice melting, what with all the entrained CO2?

    And WHY are not the oceans roiling under the Sun, because of all the entrained CO2?

    And WHY are we not broiling in the Sun, what with all that nasty CO2?

    Got any ARROGANT answers?

  52. tarpon says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Why does anybody think they know everything?

    What we know about in science you could write a few books. What we don’t know would fill legions of libraries. When man thinks he is smarter than God……
    ————————————————————————————–
    I don’t believe in God, okay if I change that to “When man thinks he is smarter than another man”?

  53. “In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.”

    No. the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than the way we measure and conceptualise low solar activity could explain.

    TSI is inadequate to the task, we need better concepts and subtler measurements which take account of the greater variability of the different wavelengths lumped together in TSI.

  54. David says:
    July 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm
    I guess it takes an evil mind to create evil where evil doe not exist.
    The Thermosphere is not a new creation by the global warming conspiracy. It exists between the Exosphere (600Km) and the Mesosphere (95/120 Km), and has so for a long time. It is by far the thickest layer and is a combined name for the two layers.
    Any reference to the ionosphere is a reference to both the exosphere and the thermosphere. The thermosphere starts at approx 90Km with a temperature of 300K to end at approx 300Km, temperature 1300K.

    My goodness! [snip]

    From the latest version of the American Heritage English Dictionary:
    ~~~~~
    i·on·o·sphere
    n.
    A region of the earth’s atmosphere where ionization caused by incoming solar radiation affects the transmission of radio waves. It extends from a height of 70 kilometers (43 miles) to 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the surface.
    ~~~~~

    Oh my, you got your figures all twisted!

  55. rbateman says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    They are targeting C02 as their ‘public enemy #1′.
    So they can beat us out of what’s in our wallets, like a schoolyard bully does.
    Elections cometh, Lucy.
    It’s payback time.
    ————————————————————————————-
    What’s the science in this nonsense?

  56. latitude says:
    July 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    ““Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.”

    Life the universe and everything

    but not understanding does not stop them from making a perfect hindcast of the future
    ————————————————————————————
    A hindcast of the future? Why do I see a contradiction?

  57. Translation: “We’re going to need a lot more funding between now and the time I retire in order to study this and improve our understanding. Otherwise our next press release will be even scarier.”

  58. I do not think this one could be blamed on CO2 .
    This part of atmosphere is commonly known as the ionosphere, it is packed with charged particles, ions – hence the name ionosphere. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/18/Atmosphere_with_Ionosphere.svg/400px-
    Density of the ionosphere is dependant on 2 factors
    1. Intensity of solar activity – ions, protons and electrons
    2. Intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field – retaining the above particles.
    As well as decline in the solar activity there was also was a decline of the Earth’s southern hemisphere’s magnetic field (the northern hemisphere has undulating change).

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/IonSph.htm

    Decline in the solar activity meant fewer particles arriving.
    Decline in the GMF means that particles are retained shorter rime in the ionosphere and the electric ring currents.
    Both of these would result in a decline of the ionosphere’s density.

  59. @David says: July 16, 2010 at 12:28 am

    “A hindcast of the future? Why do I see a contradiction?”

    Maybe because the “NASA-funded researchers” and the warmist trolls seem happiest forecasting out of their behinds.

  60. David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:26 am
    What’s the science in this nonsense?

    We keep asking you just that question, every time you post it.

  61. David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:28 am
    A hindcast of the future? Why do I see a contradiction?

    Because, David, dear, you’re looking into a mirror at yourself …

  62. David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:09 am
    I don’t believe in God, okay if I change that to “When man thinks he is smarter than another man”?

    You don’t believe in a ‘God,’ but you evince every aspect that you’re such otherwise.

    Demigod much?

  63. That CO2 is like a thermos… A friend once said about the thermos “it keeps warm things warm and cold things cold. How does it know?”. It “knows” because there’s a vacuum, a lack of thermal conductivity at play. A single effect that explains both. This article makes it sound like CO2 is special in switching on heating and cooling effects.

    I studied absorption of photons by small gaseous molecules for my PhD thesis. I don’t think CO2 is special in the way it absorbs and emits energy. Sure CO2 radiates energy, and in the thermosphere it heads out into space. Miles closer to the earth it still radiates energy, but this energy may be absorbed by other things around it.

  64. Two things: how much CO2 could be in the thermosphere? It’s fairly dense and I would think it would not reside up there in great quantity. Second thing is the CO2 “cooling effect” is bad news for AGW because every amount of energy absorbed by CO2 in the thermosphere and radiated back into space is energy that won’t make it’s way to the surface and contribute to “AGW”.

  65. 899 says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:08 am

    David says:
    July 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm
    *
    *
    “Touched a nerve, didn’t I, David?!”
    ———————————————————————————–
    I wonder who touched whom’s nerve?
    ————————————————————————————
    “Now, DO TELL: WHY isn’t the polar ice melting, what with all the entrained CO2?”
    ————————————————————————————
    Don’t conclude from the recent slow-down in the Arctic ice extent, that it means less melting. After gobbling up all the thin ice until a couple of weeks ago, it is now attacking the thicker remaining ice. This means declining volume i.e. thinner ice, changing thickness but to a much lesser extent, the sea ice extent. I know that the sceptics don’t like ice volume to much and rest assured, I can understand. After all, it is an inconvenient truth.
    ————————————————————————————
    “And WHY are not the oceans roiling under the Sun, because of all the entrained CO2?”
    ————————————————————————————-
    Was that meant to be ‘rolling’or ‘broiling’, no matter both are ridicule. Just understand that the oceans are not as quick to respond as your electric kettle.
    ————————————————————————————–
    And WHY are we not broiling in the Sun, what with all that nasty CO2?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Just go out in the sun on a sunny day, more than an hour or so. Step under a hot shower later that day. This is not advice, just in case.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Got any ARROGANT answers?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Does the above qualify?

  66. 899 says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:18 am

    David says:
    July 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm
    “Oh my, you got your figures all twisted!”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Sorry, untwist yourself, you need to consult more than the latest version of the American Heritage English Dictionary. Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionosphere and look at the diagram top right corner. You will notice that the ionosphere spans the thermosphere and the exosphere, both cause ionisation. Just to repeat, the thermosphere was not created by the illusionary global warming conspiracy. Then again it is consistent with the label thermo-maniacs.

  67. Martin Brumby says:
    July 16, 2010 at 2:03 am

    @David says: July 16, 2010 at 12:28 am

    “A hindcast of the future? Why do I see a contradiction?”

    Maybe because the “NASA-funded researchers” and the warmist trolls seem happiest forecasting out of their behinds.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Well, at least I know where the term hindcasting comes from. Why are people from the other side of the argument called “warmist trolls” Is this an open blog or a mutual admiration society?

    [Reply: This is an open blog, unlike the censorship-prone RealClimate and other alarmist blogs. That is a major difference, just so you know. ~dbs, mod.]

  68. @David says: July 16, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Before you start getting smart about typos, you might like to consider:-

    “no matter both are ridicule”

    Ridiculous?

  69. Earth’s thermosphere collapses – film at 11 gave promise of an interesting discussion here, then via a couple of uncalled for and capricious comments (if I were Leif I would have moved on — and perhaps he did) slipped further from science into petty taunts way off subject of no value as to why a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.
         I will hang about, hoping… because I really would like to read some opinion on this.

  70. David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:10 am
    David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:30 am
    David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:49 am

    So then –and in other words– you have no valid replies.

    Understood.

    Thanks for playing …

  71. Roger Carr says:
    July 16, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Have you ever sat on a high bluff above a shore somewhere, and studied the ocean’s rhythmic wave patterns?

  72. This sounds like Stephen Wilde territory – quiet sun = contracting outer atmosphere = more stratified atmosphere layers (less tubulence at boundaries) = reduced rate of heat escape from atmosphere.

    How significant is the thermosphere to heat budget? – Leif Svalgaard says not at all. Does the stratification – heat transfer effect go down to the troposphere – stratosphere boundary, or the stratosphere upper boundary? That might have a more substantial effect.

  73. Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I’m still not good on solar material but wasn’t there a solar factor recently that went realllllly low

    This may be it

    “WUWT: Solar geomagnetic activity is at an all time low – what does this mean for climate?”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/solar-geomagnetic-activity-is-at-an-all-time-low-what-does-this-mean-for-climate/

    I think it would be interesting to talk with Faraday about electricity/magnetism from the sun and how it affects climate on earth. Maybe in the next life. :-)

  74. David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Martin Brumby says:
    July 16, 2010 at 2:03 am

    @David says: July 16, 2010 at 12:28 am

    “A hindcast of the future? Why do I see a contradiction?”

    Maybe because the “NASA-funded researchers” and the warmist trolls seem happiest forecasting out of their behinds.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Well, at least I know where the term hindcasting comes from. Why are people from the other side of the argument called “warmist trolls” Is this an open blog or a mutual admiration society?

    [Reply: This is an open blog, unlike the censorship-prone RealClimate and other alarmist blogs. That is a major difference, just so you know. ~dbs, mod.]
    ————————————————————————————–
    Thank you for the affirmation, I’ll check the site mentioned.

  75. David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:26 am

    rbateman says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    What’s the science in this nonsense?

    You are probably new to this issue and haven’t heard of ClimateGate.

  76. I was watching ABC the other night, and the tagline was, ‘Earth loses gravitational pull. Details at 11.”

    Of course at 11pm you found out that some scientist claimed that the Earth weighed 1,400 pounds less than previous estimates, which made its gravitational pull slightly lower…

  77. rbateman says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Speaking of ramps, here’s a new look at solar cycle in their ‘takeoff’ mode:

    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/DeepSolarMin10.htm

    Do keep in mind that the very early data (especially SC11/12 1877-1880) suffer from lack of coverage.
    You can see why I am want to call SC23/24 diffuse.

    Interesting. The caveat (about SC11/12) notwithstanding, a couple of things jump out at me in looking at this. First and foremost, I have to wonder if all the blue we see with SC23/24 possibly implies that we’ve been counting sunspots in the latest transition that would not have been counted in earlier transitions. Second, and more iffy, if I look hard enough, I see less activity in the NH in the older cycles, than in the more recent ones, at least in the earlier parts of the transition (say the first half). And if I look only at the red in SC23/24, I see that also. Coincidence? Is there any evidence or investigation into hemispheric differences in sunspot activity, that you are aware of?

  78. Bill Tuttle says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:39 am

    David: July 16, 2010 at 12:28 am
    A hindcast of the future? Why do I see a contradiction?

    Because you can’t see the sarcasm.
    ————————————————————————————–
    It was sarcasm was it? Thanks for telling me.

  79. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Ulric Lyons says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm
    Solar wind velocity was very low through 2008/9 till this spring, total numbers of coronal holes per year were also down
    —————————————————
    Actually not quite. During the first half of 2008, solar wind speed was very high [500 km/sec]. It was only really low [356 km/sec] during the last half of 2009.

    The solar wind lost it’s mojo late 2008, Leif is right.

    A graph from 1996 here:

    The wind speed still continues at low levels on average…not unlike the previous ramp up. The wind speed looks to be divorced from solar activity.

  80. #
    899 says:
    July 16, 2010 at 2:18 am

    David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:26 am
    “What’s the science in this nonsense?”
    899 says; We keep asking you just that question, every time you post it.
    ————————————————————————————
    This is what I commented on:
    Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    “They are targeting C02 as their ‘public enemy #1′.
    So they can beat us out of what’s in our wallets, like a schoolyard bully does.
    Elections cometh, Lucy.
    It’s payback time.”

    Again I ask, was this nonsense science? Then 899 says: July 16, 2010 at 2:21 am
    David says: July 16, 2010 at 12:28 am
    “A hindcast of the future? Why do I see a contradiction?”

    Because, David, dear, you’re looking into a mirror at yourself …
    ———————————————————————————–
    Please, let’s swap mirrors and have real fun.

  81. Basil @ 6:24 AM

    You may be aware of this but it is my understanding that the sunspots during the Maunder Minimum were large, sparse, and primarily southern hemispheric.

    I think a differential hemispheric distribution of the sunspots may be a clue to the sun’s climate effect, but, sadly, lack a mechanism.
    =============

  82. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm
    Ulric Lyons says:
    July 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm
    Solar wind velocity was very low through 2008/9 till this spring, total numbers of coronal holes per year were also down
    Actually not quite. During the first half of 2008, solar wind speed was very high [500 km/sec]. It was only really low [356 km/sec] during the last half of 2009.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Fair enough, it was still higher through most of 2008, but as a trend, it did generally stay lower from late 2008 to early this year, with a good correlation of lower speeds or lack of C.holes around the coldest weeks of the last two winters.

    http://www.solen.info/solar/coronal_holes.html

  83. Kevin says:
    July 16, 2010 at 5:27 am

    I was watching ABC the other night, and the tagline was, ‘Earth loses gravitational pull. Details at 11.”

    Of course at 11pm you found out that some scientist claimed that the Earth weighed 1,400 pounds less than previous estimates, which made its gravitational pull slightly lower…
    ————————————————————————————-
    The earth’s mass is about 6x(10 to the 24th power) kilograms. How many zero’s (after the decimal point) will be required to express the ‘slightly’ reduced gravity? Interesting thought though, he must have calculated the weight of all objects launched into space and escaping the earth’s gravity.

  84. Since “[s]omething is going on that we do not understand,” it would be prudent to not issue any hyperbolic proclamations until such time as understanding is achieved, don’t you think? (that hasn’t stopped anyone trolling for a grant in the past, why change?)

  85. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    July 16, 2010 at 5:24 am

    David says: July 16, 2010 at 12:26 am
    rbateman says: July 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm
    Lucy Skywalker says: July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    What’s the science in this nonsense?

    You are probably new to this issue and haven’t heard of ClimateGate.
    New here, yes, to the issue, no. Have I heard of ClimateGate? Yes, from both sides of the issue. One thing I noticed from the sceptical side, looking at several blogs (Yes, I follow both sides) is that they are prolific gate producers. ClimateGate-HollandGate-GlacierGate-Amazon-Gate etc. countless gates and I see it for what it is, hyperbole. The truth is always somewhere in between, and not always centre. There are some good comments here, from people ready to engage the science, some clearly with and some without understanding it. I don’t have much time for hacked e-mails, they tend to be cited out of context but that is a general observation on my part.
    However, my question to you is the same, where is the science in the comment(s) I commented on. The subject is the ‘collapsed thermosphere’, veracity, cause and effect.

  86. 899 says:
    July 16, 2010 at 4:32 am

    David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:10 am
    David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:30 am
    David says:
    July 16, 2010 at 3:49 am
    So then –and in other words– you have no valid replies.
    Understood.
    Thanks for playing …
    ———————————————————————————–
    My original reply got lost, so here’s an abbreviated one.
    No valid replies? Please point out which of the points I made were not valid.
    No game intended, I’m not the playing type.

  87. Heat used for cooling? See http://www.rvmobile.com/Tech/Trouble/cooldoc.htm
    That’s for a propane refrigerater usedin RVs.

    “Greenhouse gasses” (mostly water vapor) prevent daytime heating. Desert daytime temps. are 30F to 40F warmer than humid jungle temps. (same latitude). I know, been there. So I can believe that CO2 could prevent some heating in the thermosphere.

  88. In the picture at the beginning of the article one can see that the dominating species in the thermosphere is atomic oxygen. This cartoon should also add helium, atomic nitrogen and hydrogen. The IR radiative cooling for these species is inefficient. At the altitudes exceeding lower level of thermosphere CO2 does not exist due to photodissociation. I think CO2 cooling of thermosphere cartoon and explanation by a scientist presented above is a fiction.

  89. Walt The Physicist says: July 16, 2010 at 10:32 am
    I think CO2 cooling of thermosphere cartoon and explanation by a scientist presented above is a fiction.

    I do too. There is no mention of the decline in the Earth’s magnetic field which has significant impact on the strength of thermosphere (most of it is the ionosphere).

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/IonSph.htm

  90. Dont all get so angry, the way I read it was he basically says it isn’t much if anything to do with CO2.

    And he has no idea what the causal mechanisms are.

    He’s just the same as me and you.

  91. Bedwetters! You just got CO2 peeing up there: There it goes to get rid of its heat!
    Have you seen a propane heated balloon rising in the sky?, well, that’s it, the balloon is filled with water vapor and CO2, the products of combustion, and air (O2 and N), so when heated goes up to release its heat not down. For greenhouse effect to work the earth should have a ceiling, which it doesn’t.

  92. ““But the numbers don’t quite add up,” says Emmert. “Even when we take CO2 into account using our best understanding of how it operates as a coolant, we cannot fully explain the thermosphere’s collapse.””

    Well that’s simple. Water vapor feedback multiplies the CO2 GHG effect. Hah. Greenhorn.

  93. “…the ionosphere spans the thermosphere and the exosphere, both cause ionisation…”

    No. The ionosphere is by definition the region between 50km and 400km, made up of the D region (50-90km), the E region or Heaviside Kennelly Layer (90km-150km) and F region or Appleton Layer (150km-400km). Even though there’s lots of ionisation and even radiation belts above 400km, the ionosphere does not include the exosphere, which is by definition the region above 400km. The thermosphere, by contrast, is defined as the region of the upper atmosphere, beyond the stratosphere, in which the temperature increases with altitude; it starts at about 80-100km and ends at ~500km where the temperature tails off again a bit; its boundaries are not fixed, but vary with latitude, time of year, and solar activity, the upper boundary especially so.

  94. David says
    “Don’t conclude from the recent slow-down in the Arctic ice extent, that it means less melting. After gobbling up all the thin ice until a couple of weeks ago, it is now attacking the thicker remaining ice. This means declining volume i.e. thinner ice, changing thickness but to a much lesser extent, the sea ice extent. I know that the sceptics don’t like ice volume to much and rest assured, I can understand. After all, it is an inconvenient truth.”

    How can you talk about thick ice when we were told the ice is not thick,it is rotten and an illusion to be thick but will not survive any longer the first season ice. Does this mean it is not rotten after all?

  95. Since the upper 25% of the atmosphere is ionic – produced by UV radiation interacting with nitrogen and oxygen, strongly coupled to both the electric and magnetic fields but weakly coupled to gravity, bombarded by cosmic rays (relativistic protons), and buffeted by the charge solar wind (thermal protons), then one of the missing piece of their puzzle may be magnetohydrodynamics.

    But since climatologists ignore the upper 25% of the atmosphere , assume the Earth’s climate below the stratosphere is a closed universe (with a constant irradiation from the Sun and immunity from external gravitation perturbations,) and that the Earth’s climate is a constant of motion, then if there’s any deviation of climate from the norm, motion, it must be witches cooking the weather.

    For this generation, the witch is CO2 – a non-charged trace climate gas – the gas of life.

  96. I think these scientists must be added to the Black-List.
    To be used by the inquisition at a convenient time. What they are saying, sounds like heretic-talk to me.

    /sarc

  97. The advent of David to this blog and his increasingly childish postings, is lowering the tone of the discussion to the levels found on the lesser climate blogsites, where childish retorts and na-na na na-na form the highlights of what they consider scientific analysis.
    Why do trolls, with a few exceptions, always degenerate the thread in such an unseemly manner? Why do they not read first and then follow on the gentlemanly manners of WUWT posters? Are they totally unaware how assinine their postings appear to others as we read down a thread?
    We are pleased to consider a contrary view that is honestly held and politely advanced, but the Davids of this world quite quickly become tiresome and their opinions skimmed over in the grownups world.

  98. Basil says:
    July 16, 2010 at 6:24 am

    You can see a closeup of every spot measured by Debrecen here:

    http://fenyi.sci.klte.hu/DPD/index.html

    Everything they measure is first detected by a software package, so as to be consistent.
    Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury with Greenwich. The original plates mostly got damaged over time, and what there does exist is behind a very expensive paywall.
    So, the Debrecen data (SC21/22 to SC23/24) is entirely consistent within itself.
    Greenwich data is reckoned by the Observatory project to be 90% of Debrecen data, as far as area goes.
    Last, these are the trasition years, meant to be a closeup on the handoff of one cycle to the next.
    One thing I get out of it is that the cycles tend to start off at the strength of which the previous one ended.
    That would be the returning flux to the poles.
    SC24 has started off as weakly as SC23 ended, and though the cycle has collected itself into a relatively narrower range of latitude, it has not yet turned any corner of intensity.

  99. From Marijah McCain
    World Class Naturopath
    Herbal Healer Academy – since 1988

    http://www.herbalhealer.com

    A PUZZLING COLLAPSE OF EARTH’S UPPER ATMOSPHERE

    Before you read the link, I have to tell you what has been going on
    here with the UV radiation and solar output. My husband has a Davis
    Instruments Vantagepro II weather station that monitors temperature,
    humidity, wind and rain, it also measures the solar radiation and the
    UV index. We have records on the weather readings for the last
    10 years. Of interest is the incredible increase of the UV radiation
    and the solar radiation. For the last 10 years the highest UV
    reading was a 10 and this occurred only in August, the hottest time
    of the year here. The alarming thing now is that in June 2010 the
    UV began to spike as high as 14. Note: this is a brand new UV
    calibrated system upgraded this year! The normal high solar
    radiation was 1,000 to 1,050 watts per square meter, now it spikes
    between 1,200 and 1,400. In easy to understand terms, this mean
    there is a great deal more solar energy and UV radiation coming to
    the surface of the planet at this time. This also means that
    sunburns and heat exhaustion will happen a great deal faster. It is
    important that you understand this because things are not like they
    used to be. Wear protective clothing and sun screen if needed.
    Always wear a light colored hat if you have to be out in the sun.
    The other readings that are alarming are the heat indexes. Normal
    heat index was changed a few years ago (numbers were lowered) and
    what is reported to you by mainstream weather only factors in
    humidity and the air temperature. Our system calculates how hot is
    feels by also including the wind data and solar radiation. These
    are important because the wind can cool you off if it is moving and
    you get much hotter if there is no wind. The solar radiation puts
    extra heat into your body that has to be cooled. For the last
    10 years, normal summer time heat index highs were 100 to 110 in the
    hottest part of the summer. This year, 2010, we have reading at
    120’s everyday and on July 15th the afternoon reading was 135 heat
    index. This, in my opinion, is a very dangerous level and again you
    must change your outdoor exposures to stay safe. I am giving you
    this link about the thermosphere collapse because this may be one
    of the reasons for these reading.

    A Puzzling Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere
    July 15, 2010: NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event
    in our planet’s atmosphere. High above Earth’s surface where the
    atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called
    “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.

    The Thermosphere is where solar radiation makes first contact with
    our planet. The thermosphere intercepts extreme ultraviolet (EUV)
    photons from the sun before they can reach the ground.
    full article

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/15jul_thermosphere/

  100. @Geoff Sharp says:
    July 16, 2010 at 6:36 am
    “The solar wind lost it’s mojo late 2008, Leif is right.”

    No that was me pointing out the lower wind speed, Lief just corrected me quite fairly on the fact that most of 2008 it was still high. We still do not know exactly when in 2008 the thermosphere contracted considerably, the article just states `2008/9`.

  101. Well, here we go again. This is a perfect example of how every observation in the earth sciences – and now even space science – has to be given a climate change spin. The thermospheric density is considerably lower than at any previous minimum since at least 1970, so of course it must be attributed to changes in the troposphere 400km below: even the wretched phrase ‘tipping point’ is dragged in. But this is not the only solar activity indicator to reach a record low. The Oulu Neutron Monitor shows that the previous minimum was also the most extreme since records began in 1964: a deviation from the mean of 12% rather than the 7-8% of other minima. The monthly average Ap indices in 2009 were at their lowest values since the 1930’s. Does anyone believe that the incidence of cosmic rays, or the magnetospheric current systems, are influenced by CO2 levels in the troposphere? I believe that these records are more sensitive indicators of solar activity than visible sunspots or the 10.7cm flux, and they are showing that magnetic activity is in an unusually low state.

  102. Quote>By Dr. Dr. Tony Phillips NASA

    NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet’s atmosphere. High above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again. Abstract
    It is well known that the Solar System is swept over by neutral interstellar gases, primarily hydrogen and helium, entering the heliosphere from the upwind side and penetrating inward, even up to the orbit of the Earth. The Earth on its orbit is thus moving through this density field and is intercepting time-variable hydrogen and helium fluxes. Quantitatively, this is associated with a sensitive reaction of the density fields to time-dependent conditions of the solar radiation pressure and the ionizing solar radiations during the solar activity cycle. As we shall show, the density distribution of interstellar hydrogen along the orbit of the Earth is strongly varying during the solar cycle. In connection with the variation of the mean relative velocity of this gas with respect to the orbiting Earth a highly variable hydrogen inflow into the Earth’s atmosphere will be induced. There is also an additional source of hydrogen influencing the Earth’s environment due to the fact that neutral interstellar hydrogen and helium are neutralizing solar wind protons by charge exchange inside the orbit of the Earth, thereby producing an antisolar flux of keV-energetic hydrogen atoms impinging onto the Earth’s atmosphere.
    ..illumination indicate a breathing of the geocorona under variable interplanetary gas inflows..<
    Interplanetary Neutral Particle Fluxes Influencing the Earth's Atmosphere and the Terrestrial Environment

  103. Looks like the post got messed up.
    Parts missing, like a comment about why we think that only the thermosphere contracts, when it is surrounded by so many other layers??? huh
    We should go back and check out the other contraction, like the whole heliosphere bubble.

  104. So let’s see if we have this right.

    We are using a proxy for “atmospheric density”; those little devil CO2 molecules smash into our satellites’ always on the same side of course, and slow them down. We know it’s not the solar wind slowing our satellites; because that would push them out to Mars; and of course it couldn’t be electromagnetic drag caused by eddy currents on the circuit boards induced by the magnetic fields; Nah! can’t be anything but CO2 impingement.

    So we know we have the proxy drag down pat; but we just can’t find 60% of the ionospheric collapse that is caused by that.

    Wel I’m going to assume they know what they are doing; and when they find that missing 60% of the collapse that they know from proxies is really happening; then I’ll get interested. They need to keep turning over some more rocks to find that missing collapse.

    Don’t we have a missing collapse problem with the Antarctic ice as well ?

    Well I’ve always wondered how it is you know that you are missing something you can’t find. Isn’t that how we ended up with dark matter, and then dark energy; we can’t find either one of them; but we know for sure that they are missing.

  105. “”” Kevin says:
    July 16, 2010 at 5:27 am
    I was watching ABC the other night, and the tagline was, ‘Earth loses gravitational pull. Details at 11.”

    Of course at 11pm you found out that some scientist claimed that the Earth weighed 1,400 pounds less than previous estimates, which made its gravitational pull slightly lower… “””

    Well there is no way that the earth weighs 1400 pounds less; it doesn’t even weigh 1400 pounds to begin with, so no way it can lose 1400 pounds.

    Last time I weighed the earth on my bathroom scale it wighed in at 180 pounds; and it hasn’t varied more that five pounds around there (earth weight anomaly) in the last ten years.

    I weigh the earth on my bathroom scale, by first inverting a five gallon bucket on the floor, and then putting the scale on top of that, and upside down. Then I put a mirror on the floor underneath the scale so I can read it.

    Finally I stand on the bottom of the bathroom scale, to generate some finite gravity to pull on the earth; and every time I do that, the earth’s weight comes out to 180 pounds +/- 5 pounds.

    So nyet on the 1400 pound loss. the earth has never weighed 1400 pounds at any time since the Cambrian Era.

  106. Chris Clark says:
    July 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm
    The Oulu Neutron Monitor shows that the previous minimum was also the most extreme since records began in 1964: a deviation from the mean of 12% rather than the 7-8% of other minima.
    The neutron flux changes slowly over time due to the changing magnetic field of the Earth [not the Sun]. Even the changing climate can have an effect on cosmic ray flux. Oulu i somewhat anomalous in that other stations do not show the same long-term trend as Oulu, e.g. http://www.puk.ac.za/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/nmd_e.html

  107. Carla says:
    July 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Contractions!!!
    Oh my, that’s it. We better hurry and get Earth to the Planet hospital. Giving birth to a new moon is a big job.

  108. Just some quick basics from a DENIER.

    CO2 absorbs and emits Infrared Radiation or OLR. When it does this close to the ground its emissions will not make it out of the atmosphere, but, will most likely be absorbed and emitted at least one more time. With the higher densities in the lower atmosphere there is a higher chance that the CO2 molecule will impact another molecule or atom, before emitting the energy, heating the lower atmosphere. In the stratosphere and higher it is most likely that when CO2 emits the OLR will make it to space cooling. It is also much less likely that there will be transfer of heat from the CO2 to the surrounding area due to much more space between molecules.

    Low in atmosphere CO2 net heating or slowing cooling at night. Higher in the atmosphere CO2 net cooling. Yes, it really can do both like any good air conditioning system!! 8>)

  109. The fun part is that the Solar and atmospheric guys still will not talk about the enormous electromagnetic effects of the solar wind and the sun’s magnetic field compressing and heating the earth’s atmosphere. Until they do some studying with the Electric Universe physicists they will continue to be lost!!

    Weaker magnetic field and slower less dense solar wind equals cooler more dense thermosphere!! Check out Piers Corbyn and his Weather Action Group. Simply the best long term weather forecasts available based on Solar and Lunar influences on the earth’s atmosphere.

    http://www.weatheraction.com

  110. Missing mass derives from the rotational gradients of spiral galaxies.
    You can find plenty of papers with rotational gradient data/diagrams at ADS http://adswww.harvard.edu/
    Many theories have been put forward, but no takers as nothing concrete has been found to say aha, that’s it.
    Missing heat derives from predictions that didn’t pan out.
    So, instead of trying out and testing many theories, or examing for processes not yet known, the Missing Heat theorists see C02 fingerprints everywhere they look. In those minds, there is but one explanation: anthropogenic ; and one substance: C02.
    Thier glasses are empty, and thier spectacles are opaque.

  111. Paul Birch says:
    July 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm
    “…the ionosphere spans the thermosphere and the exosphere, both cause ionisation…”
    ———————————————————————————-
    Paul, let me remind you of the post I reacted to initially below;

    Ray says:
    July 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm
    Weird, they used to call it “Ionosphere”… I guessed the rename it thermosphere in order to, once again, make CO2 the evil one.
    ———————————————————————————–
    You quoted me July 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm when I said “…the ionosphere spans the thermosphere and the exosphere, both cause ionisation…”
    You replied;
    “No. The ionosphere is by definition the region between 50km and 400km, made up of the D region (50-90km), the E region or Heaviside Kennelly Layer (90km-150km) and F region or Appleton Layer (150km-400km). Even though there’s lots of ionisation and even radiation belts above 400km, the ionosphere does not include the exosphere, which is by definition the region above 400km. The thermosphere, by contrast, is defined as the region of the upper atmosphere, beyond the stratosphere, in which the temperature increases with altitude; it starts at about 80-100km and ends at ~500km where the temperature tails off again a bit; its boundaries are not fixed, but vary with latitude, time of year, and solar activity, the upper boundary especially so.”
    ————————————————————————————
    I merely pointed out to (Ray says: July 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm) that the ionosphere was not renamed thermosphere with some evil intent on the part of the opposite side. That’s all.
    I did not see any need of citing the subdivision into D, E and F layers, it wasn’t about the precise composition of spheres and layers within. Just making sure that the ionosphere had not been renamed for the gullible.
    However, to respond to your description, Wikipedia says;
    “The ionosphere is the uppermost part of the atmosphere, between the thermosphere and the exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth.[1] ”
    This is exactly what I quoted, no more no less. Below are the links to relevant graphs from Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionosphere

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmosphere_with_Ionosphere.svg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exosphere

  112. roger says:
    July 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    “The advent of David to this blog and his increasingly childish postings, is lowering the tone of the discussion to the levels found on the lesser climate blogsites, where childish retorts and na-na na na-na form the highlights of what they consider scientific analysis.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    Where was the scientific analysis in the preposterous claim that the ionosphere had been re-named thermosphere for evil purposes? Who, may I ask was childish.
    ————————————————————————————–

    “Why do trolls, with a few exceptions, always degenerate the thread in such an unseemly manner? Why do they not read first and then follow on the gentlemanly manners of WUWT posters? Are they totally unaware how assinine their postings appear to others as we read down a thread?”
    ———————————————————————————-
    Why do the gentlemanly manners of WUWT refer to me as a troll? Surely, that is a prime example of unseemly manners. You can discuss contrary views without the labels of trolls, thermo-maniacs etc; if you did you’d gain more respect. I still think that Steven Goddard is wrong on many issues, but he has my respect for handling scientific arguments for right/wrong reasons. He is dedicated but so am I and many others. It may seem a strange thing to say, but I hope that there is no global warming, but I also recognise wishful thinking.
    ———————————————————————————-

    “We are pleased to consider a contrary view that is honestly held and politely advanced, but the Davids of this world quite quickly become tiresome and their opinions skimmed over in the grownups world.”
    ————————————————————————————
    My initial reply to (Ray says: July 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm) was as polite as I could be given the subsurdity of his comment. However, I do get the impression that many on this blog are not so pleased with contrary views. My views, although contrary are honest and to my best knowledge polite. However, when sarcasm is inferred/accused I am capable of returning it, but as such it is always reactive. On my recent ventures into any blog I have never accused anyone of sarcasm. I tend to ignore it, politely.

  113. ..The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.
    “Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.
    The thermosphere ranges in altitude from 90 km to 600+ km. It is a realm of meteors, auroras and satellites, which skim through the thermosphere as they circle Earth. It is also where solar radiation makes first contact with our planet.
    ..According to Emmert and colleagues, low solar EUV accounts for about 30% of the collapse. Extra CO2 accounts for at least another 10%. That leaves as much as 60% unaccounted for.
    In their GRL paper, the authors acknowledge that the situation is complicated. There’s more to it than just solar EUV and terrestrial CO2. For instance, trends in global climate could alter the composition of the thermosphere, changing its thermal properties and the way it responds to external stimuli. The overall sensitivity of the thermosphere to solar radiation could actually be increasing.
    “The density anomalies,” they wrote, “may signify that an as-yet-unidentified climatological tipping point involving energy balance and chemistry feedbacks has been reached.”
    ~~~
    Geoff Sharp says: July 16, 2010 at 6:36 am
    .. Actually not quite. During the first half of 2008, solar wind speed was very high [500 km/sec]. It was only really low [356 km/sec] during the last half of 2009.
    The solar wind lost it’s mojo late 2008, Leif is right.
    A graph from 1996 here: http://www.landscheidt.info/images/Sc23wind_rz.png
    The wind speed still continues at low levels on average…not unlike the previous ramp up..
    ~~~
    Oooooo freaks me when those solar wind speeds drop to say 260 km/sec and below ooooooo.
    Rob, no more Moon babies!!! Where you in a private discussion with Oort or something again, Rob?
    Not the only contraction we are seeing within and without.
    60% 60% 60% 60% 60% unaccounted for??? Huh

    Good post VuksVuk etc. says:
    July 16, 2010 at 2:00 am

  114. @Carla says:
    July 17, 2010 at 5:35 am

    “.. Actually not quite. During the first half of 2008, solar wind speed was very high [500 km/sec]. It was only really low [356 km/sec] during the last half of 2009.
    The solar wind lost it’s mojo late 2008, Leif is right.
    A graph from 1996 here: http://www.landscheidt.info/images/Sc23wind_rz.png
    The wind speed still continues at low levels on average…not unlike the previous ramp up..”

    I can see a decline from Autumn 2008 on Geoff`s graph. Even levels around 400kms maximimum will give a colder winter, like 2008/9. Just look at the speeds in winters previous to the last two; http://www.solen.info/solar/coronal_holes.html
    (I can see 1 winter month previous to 2008/9 with a lower speed, Jan 2006, the coldest Jan in that series).
    The colder winters of 1996/7 and early 2001 are clearly visible lows in sw velocity on Geoff`s graph. The devil is in the detail!
    GW in a nutshell

  115. Leif,
    what about the extended version of Svensmark’s theory? Is it possible that the cosmic rays have an influence (via solar moderation) on density in the thermosphere?

  116. Casper says:
    July 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm
    >i>Is it possible that the cosmic rays have an influence (via solar moderation) on density in the thermosphere?
    No, as there are no clouds there. As I recall, Svensmark’s hypothesis is about cosmic rays influencing the low clouds.

  117. David says:
    July 17, 2010 at 4:45 am
    However, to respond to your description, Wikipedia says; …
    ___________________________________________________________________

    And that’s your mistake – treating Wikipedia as if it were a reliable reference. Wikipedia is wrong. The ionosphere is not the “uppermost part of the atmosphere”. That’s the exosphere, which if it weren’t for the interplanetary and interstellar media and other heavenly bodies like the moon and sun, would extend to infinity, along with the earth’s gravitational field. The ionosphere is not “between the thermosphere and the exosphere”. It’s between the stratosphere and the exosphere. Oh, and the ionosphere is not “ionised”. It is only partly ionised – and rather weakly at that. Most of the gas is neutral. Parts of the exosphere, especially the radiation belts, are much more strongly ionised.

  118. George E. Smith says:
    July 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm
    Well there is no way that the earth weighs 1400 pounds less; it doesn’t even weigh 1400 pounds to begin with, so no way it can lose 1400 pounds.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Oddly enough, the Earth actually weighs about 80,ooo tons. How come? The Earth is in orbit around the Sun. If it were in free-fall it would be weightless. But it’s not. Not quite. It’s actually moving at very slightly below orbital speed, supported by the pressure of sunlight. The momentum flow is about 1400W/m**2 * (pi*6.4E6m**2) /3E8m/s) = 6E8N. Since some of the incoming radiation is reflected or scattered back, and more is re-radiated from the day side than the night side, the net force will be ~30% higher. Call it 8E8N. Then variations in the solar “constant” through the solar cycle, and seasonal variations in Earth’s albedo through the year will cause the weight to fluctuate by ~1000 tons.

  119. New Theory:

    The rise in CO2 reached the global warming tipping point. When this happened in the Thermosphere, the pressure became so great that the CO2 boiled, and the “steam” is now being siphoned off by the Sun (like the mass movement from a larger to a smaller denser binary star pair) . The Sun, not acclimated to the extra CO2, has decided to do the opposite of the Earth->cool.

    Two things are predicted:

    1) Polar Bears will become “happier” (peer reviewed research to follow).
    2) NASA will need a new satellite to monitor the “CO2 wind”.

    Anthony: Do you think that correct placement of sensors will actually show that the Thermosphere is expanding??

    [this is my humor... at the global scale]

  120. Geoff Sharp says:
    July 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm
    EUV is a much better indicator of how the Sun can affect our climate.
    The solar cycle variation of EUV is ~0.001 W/m2 [a thousand times smaller than the TSI variation] and has no effect on the atmosphere below the thermosphere.

  121. Geoff Sharp says:
    July 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm
    EUV is a much better indicator of how the Sun can affect our climate
    The EUV creates and maintains the ionosphere in which the diurnal rotation of the Earth creates electrical currents by dynamo action. The magnetic effects of these currents have been measured for centuries and show no significant variation from minimum to minimum. The maxima show that activity the last three solar cycles has been similar to the cycles 1840-1880, while the climate definitely has been different, so the EUV does not seem to be important at all. See slide 12 of

    http://www.leif.org/research/Rudolf%20Wolf%20Was%20Right.pdf

    Remember that F10.7 does not have any effect, but is just an [perhaps] imperfect proxy for EUV [which is what creates the current].

  122. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I don’t think the wattage is important, but the upper atmosphere is certainly changed dramatically by EUV. Some research is suggesting this also contributes to changes to the Troposphere influencing some of our climate oscillators. Importantly EUV does not follow TSI and F10.7 Flux and is quite different on the minimum levels, there does not look to be a flat base floor which is significant.

    What is becoming apparent is the EUV satellite data along with the Thermosphere readings might be more accurate than the diurnal needle.

  123. Geoff Sharp says:
    July 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    but the upper atmosphere is certainly changed dramatically by EUV.
    This is old hat, has been known for decades.
    Some research is suggesting this also contributes to changes to the Troposphere influencing some of our climate oscillators.
    There are claims of almost anything, but suggestions are not reality.

    Importantly EUV does not follow TSI and F10.7 Flux and is quite different on the minimum levels, there does not look to be a flat base floor which is significant.
    EUV does follow TSI, F10.7, and the sunspot number. There is an additional small rotational modulation that may not show up as clearly in these other indices, namely that of the solar sector structure which controls the polarity of the heliospheric magnetic field, divided into 2 or 4 sectors by the heliospheric current sheet. We showed long ago that EUV has a maximum near such boundaries on the sun, see: http://www.leif.org/research/UV-Sector-Boundaries.pdf so this is also old hat that EUV can show such even if no other solar indices do [as the sector structure is ever-present].

    What is becoming apparent is the EUV satellite data along with the Thermosphere readings might be more accurate than the diurnal needle.
    The diurnal needle shows the EUV clearly [direct cause and effect relationship], while the layman’s sunspot number [and related indices] miss some of the rotational modulation. BTW, during the interval 2008.4-2008.7 when EUV showed extra modulation [e.g. slide 7 of your link], TSI had a very clear modulation too, see http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png so if you look at the data [and the uncertainties also mentioned] you can see that your concerns are misplaced.

  124. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 29, 2010 at 3:07 am

    EUV does follow TSI, F10.7, and the sunspot number. There is an additional small rotational modulation that may not show up as clearly in these other indices,

    Yes they are all in the ballpark, EUV in particular following F10.7 very closely but the lower limits do look to diverge substantially. EUV has the thermosphere measurements that look to follow the same trend and the cause and effect relationship does look compelling.

    Measuring EUV via the diurnal needle which introduces geomagnetic complications would not appear as accurate as direct satellite measurements that also measure the outcome on the upper atmosphere as a backup? The large drop in the thermosphere is telling us a big story that the diurnal needle cannot address, granted other factors could be involved but two sources are telling us the same result.

Comments are closed.