The character of climate change part 3

Guest post by Erl Happ

Here’s a hypothetical:

Let’s imagine that we have an atmosphere of two parts.  The first 10 km of the atmosphere has no greenhouse gas.  The second 40 km has a greenhouse gas incorporated.

In the lower layer there is  water vapor and clouds that come and go according to the temperature of the air.

Let’s consider that there is an impermeable membrane over the surface preventing the interchange of moisture with the atmosphere. No precipitation of moisture from the atmosphere falls to the surface.

Now, set this planet spinning in space around a sun in such a way that the polar sections experienced permanent night for part of the year so that the entire depth of the atmosphere (both layers) within the polar night region cool down  and a gradient of ever diminishing temperature occurs all the way from the surface to the top of the atmosphere, the entire 50 kilometers.

Parts of the planet would be warm and parts would be cold. Ascent and descent of  the atmosphere is forced by these thermal differences but the ascent is usually confined to just a few kilometers in elevation.

Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that  contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there.

That greenhouse gas absorbs long wave radiation from the planet. This sets up a convective circulation within the polar night that spins the greenhouse gas  rich air away from the pole towards the margins of the polar night. Remember that temperature descends all the way from the bottom to the top of the atmosphere within the polar night and this promotes convection throughout the entire profile. In fact the two layers act as a coupled circulation.

So, greenhouse gas descends into the near surface layer on  the margins of the polar night that hitherto was  entirely free of greenhouse gas. This causes the air on the margins of the polar night to warm as it descends.  Surface pressure falls away in this region.

Now, if this circulation came and went, we would see clouds come and go on the margins of the polar night as the air alternatively cooled and warmed.

Now, let us imagine that there is a wind that blows from the polar night towards the equator that carries greenhouse gas towards the equator warming the air and causing cloud to disappear.

Now, let us introduce land and sea in the winter hemisphere and assume that the air on the margins of the polar night descends preferentially over the sea. We would then expect the greenhouse gas to be concentrated in the atmosphere over the sea. This would give rise to a pattern of warm and cool air, clouds in the cool zone and none in the warm zone. A cloud free path would be set up that ran from the warmer margins of the night zone towards the equator. The cloud would come and go as the coupled circulation waxed and waned.

The lower of the two layers would show zones of warmed air like the map below.

Figure 1

And under the influence of the wind that blows towards the equator we might see a pattern of sea surface temperature like this:

Figure 2

Now, let’s imagine that there is an insidious chemical generated in the rarefied atmosphere above both layers that has an affinity for the greenhouse gas and this chemical is intermittently trickled into the top of the layer containing the greenhouse gas and this occurs over the pole.   This is accomplished by a thing we call the ‘night jet’.  Accordingly, the greenhouse gas content of the night zone would wax and wane causing a fluctuation  in cloud and the temperature of the sea.

If we wished to know what was changing the weather and the climate we would have to look at what changes the trickle rate and what causes the polar circulation to wax and wane.

We look closely and find the  ‘night jet’ is active when surface pressure is high.

We discover that the pressure is high when the sun is less active.

When the sun is active pressure is low and the night jet is less active, the greenhouse gas content builds up, the temperature of the column increases and the convective circulation goes into overdrive. And the clouds disappear.

And the temperature of the polar stratosphere might look like this:

Figure 3

So, in this circumstance the planet warms. Does anyone recognize the origin of the great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976-8?

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About erl happ

I am a winemaker and grape-grower with a strong interest in climate. I was interested enough to try and discover the common thermal characteristics that are seen in great vineyard locations and did a lot of work with hourly temperature data from around the world. Climate sets the limit on what can be achieved in the vineyard. I became interested in climate change when I noticed the growing season temperature falling in our part of the world, the south west of Western Australia. That set me on a quest to work out why. Soon, it became apparent that parts of the Southern Hemisphere like Antarctica and Southern Chile had been cooling for fifty years or more. My experience in analyzing temperature dynamics for vine sites and working out just how much heat these plants need to bring their fruit to maturity gave me a focus on sourcing data and figuring out what has been happening on a regional scale, both at the surface and in the upper atmosphere. I think there is room for a subject called historical climatology. We can learn a lot just by looking at what has happened over long periods of time. Good data sets are readily available on the net. All one needs is a little curiosity, a facility with spreadsheets and a lot of determination.
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117 Responses to The character of climate change part 3

  1. Erl said: “Let’s imagine that we have an atmosphere of two parts. The first 10 km of the atmosphere has no greenhouse gas. The second 40 km has a greenhouse gas incorporated. In the lower layer there is water vapor and clouds that come and go according to the temperature of the air.”

    Water vapor is a greenhouse gas…

  2. Keith says:

    Brilliant essay and spot on. Why is it that there is so little focus in AGW public communications on solar UV output? Is it because the comparatively enormous variability is known, its effect on O3 is clear and that bringing too much attention to this relationship would blow a hole in not just the cosy compact that’s been achieved over climate between scientifically-illiterate politicos, but also the Montreal Protocol and the aims to broaden its application?

    As you’ve said previously, ENSO IS climate change/variability/global warming, rather than a consequence of it. It’s the Sun wot dunnit.

  3. Green Sand says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    “Water vapor is a greenhouse gas…”
    ————————————————————–

    Many people with more comprehension than I have stress that:-

    Water vapor is THE greenhouse gas.

  4. Erl said: “We discover that the pressure is high when the sun is less active”

    Quantify that: produce a graph that on the X-axis has solar activity and on the Y-axis pressure.

  5. richard verney says:

    Leif beat me to it. That said, I am still not sure what you are seeking to establish

  6. Bruce says:

    Leif: “Water vapor is a greenhouse gas…”

    Many forget that. Or ignore it. Or never mention it.

  7. Yes water vapor is opaque to IR. As is C02.

  8. 1DandyTroll says:

    @Leif Svalgaard says:

    “Water vapor is a greenhouse gas…”

    Technically speaking it’s not, it is actually just a bi-product of the hydration cycle in a greenhouse and not a gas that is added for its own properties like CO2 or Nitrogen stuff. It is very rarely water in a greenhouse turns to gas really, apparently.

  9. Rosco says:

    Surely the enormous amounts of energy absorbed by water during evaporation (and the smaller but still large amounts absorbed during melt) being more than 2500 times the specific heat capacity of CO2 dwarf the radiative effects into relative insignificance.

    And surely the whole of the atmosphere heats up and radiates.

    I believe radiation is a relatively ineffective mechanism for energy transfer – sure the only method for space transmission. Almost every method of cooling we use to keep our machines at working temperatures relies on conduction/convection. Even our car radiators dont work by radiation.

    The rising water vapour carries enormous amounts of energy high into the atmosphere and releases it where it escapes to space during precipitation events – particularly thunderstorms.

    I see the sun warms the earth during the day, ocean water evaporates and parts of the oceans warm, the atmosphere warms. At night everything starts to cool off, thankfully rather slowly given that space is fairly cool, until we get our next fix of energy at dawn.

    I think the modest warming is down to the sun and we could be heading for a cooling spell. If this is correct I may live long enough to see it happen.

    This will no doubt inconvenience the IPCC who carefully construct their fear campaign so that it is immenent enough to generate concern but always just out of reach of most alive today to witness.

  10. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    1DandyTroll: I was under the impression that gaseous water vapor is called ‘humidity’. And most greenhouses that I’ve ever gone into are very humid.

  11. Brian H says:

    He has posited a fixed amount of water vapour, and no precipitation, just variations in RH resulting in appearance/disappearance of cloud (AKA albedo). So the delta is the GHG’s circulation patterns.

  12. Charles Higley says:

    Kieth said:”Why is it that there is so little focus in AGW public communications on solar UV output? ”

    DO you really think they are at all interested in the science? It’s a political agenda using junk science as an excuse for its imposition. Carbon regulations and all issues related to fighting global warming have nothing to do with the good of the people or the world or the climate or the environment. It’s all about money and power—and AGW is the excuse/crisis.

    They know that green energy will fail, but going nuclear means work for already existing companies. Green energy means the chance to give huge start up funds to your friends with the great expectation of failure and “loss” of lots of money—does it all really get spent or simply reallocated during the development/failure to certain pockets?

  13. RockyRoad says:

    1DandyTroll says:
    August 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    @Leif Svalgaard says:

    “Water vapor is a greenhouse gas…”

    Technically speaking it’s not, it is actually just a bi-product of the hydration cycle in a greenhouse and not a gas that is added for its own properties like CO2 or Nitrogen stuff. It is very rarely water in a greenhouse turns to gas really, apparently.

    Then you need to step into a greenhouse. Beyond that, nothing you’ve said makes any sense.

  14. SSam says:

    1DandyTroll says:

    “It is very rarely water in a greenhouse turns to gas really, apparently.”

    LOL… then what is evaporation?

  15. erl happ says:

    Thanks Anthony for introducing this topic and particularly on a Sunday when all the retired gents need to be entertained.

    Leif. Thanks for the comment. Good to see you participate in a discussion about the atmosphere.And thanks to all those who will comment regardless of your point of view.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    “Water is a greenhouse gas”

    I have deliberately neutralized the issue via the membrane assumption. Why did I do that?
    1. The great bulk of long wave radiation originates high in the troposphere as dry air descends.Its dry up there because the air has been dehumidified in the tropics at minus 80°C.
    2. Reanalysis documents the fact that atmospheric precipitable moisture is left behind as the surface warms. The air becomes drier and this enhances the warming process. Cloud cover is impaired. In the last ten years precipitable moisture has begun to recover and this will enhance cooling.
    3. The cooling of the globe in November to March as global cloud cover reaches its peak at 3% more than in July indicates to me that the net effect of water vapour in the atmosphere is to cool the surface. This is despite the fact that the Earth is closer to the sun in January than in July.So, I say that all effects considered, when water vapour levels increase the globe will cool.

    But, I didn’t want to get into that discussion because there is little sense to be seen in most comments on that issue, and none at all from those who argue from their perception of the principles of physics rather than observation of the real world. But I do believe that Lindzen and Spencer are talking negative feedback.

    So, lets not drag that in. Lets focus on the things that drive the change in cloud cover and surface temperature as documented in the figures.The change in cloud cover is initiated at the poles where the atmosphere is very dry and that changes very little over time.

    Secondly I want to focus on the stratosphere where there is manifestly a very effective greenhouse gas. The bottom half of the stratosphere is warmed in the main via the absorption by ozone of long wave radiation from the Earth.The stratosphere is the best illustration we have that a greenhouse effect exists.But I hasten to add that there is no evidence whatsoever that down-welling radiation from the stratosphere warms the upper troposphere.

    The beauty of the stratosphere is that it is well demarcated from the troposphere and where we get an interaction we can see what happens when we get an increase in the proportion of greenhouse gas at a particular place in the troposphere. The influx of ozone from the stratosphere on the margins of the Antarctic and the Arctic affects geopotential heights, surface pressure, air temperature and cloud cover. Can we just acknowledge that? Can we acknowledge that it appears to be a driver of cloud cover. Would that be asking too much?

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Erl said: “We discover that the pressure is high when the sun is less active”

    Quantify that: produce a graph that on the X-axis has solar activity and on the Y-axis pressure.

    Response: Tomorrow, or when when Anthony brings on part 4.

    richard verney says:
    August 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    “Leif beat me to it. That said, I am still not sure what you are seeking to establish”

    Better read the post again then. What I am talking about is the reason why the clouds come and go and how that determines the manner in which the surface warms…………but perhaps that is not a matter of interest to you?

  16. RockyRoad says:

    So, lets not drag that in. Lets focus on the things that drive the change in cloud cover and surface temperature as documented in the figures.

    Are you ready to admit CERN’s CLOUD experiment is applicable? If so, why; if not, why not; explain.

  17. Erl said: “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there.”

    This sounds like nonsense to me. Gases mix, don’t dissolve into each other…

  18. RockyRoad says:
    August 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    Are you ready to admit CERN’s CLOUD experiment is applicable?
    The CLOUD crew promised publication in August. Nothing yet. They have 11 days left…

    Erl: some info about a greenhouse gas in the stratosphere:

    http://research.eeescience.utoledo.edu/lees/papers_PDF/Aoki_2003_Tellus.pdf

    and greenhouse gas concentrations in general:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html

  19. erl happ says:

    Rosco says:
    August 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm
    I agree. Let’s thank the maker of the universe for evaporation/conduction/convection.Without that the surface of the Earth would be very warm. Try walking on dark sand in the middle of a cloudless day in summer and give us your impression as to how the heat is conveyed.

    Brian H says:
    August 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    “He has posited a fixed amount of water vapour, and no precipitation, just variations in RH resulting in appearance/disappearance of cloud (AKA albedo). So the delta is the GHG’s circulation patterns.”

    Exactly. And if we could stick to that we might focus on the bits that really matter.

    RockyRoad says:
    August 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    “Are you ready to admit CERN’s CLOUD experiment is applicable? If so, why; if not, why not; explain.”

    Relevant but I see no evidence that cloud increases as the sun is quieter. I see La Nina at solar maximum and El Nino at minimum. So, there are other physical forces that are patently more influential.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm
    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble”

    Ozone is soluble in water. In the industrial generation of ozone the air is dried at minus 80°C so that the ozone can be generated and has some residual persistence.

  20. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm
    Re solubility of ozone in water vapour: More things to think about:

    The elevation of the tropopause to 18km in the tropics where a temperature of minus 85°C is attained, is due to the erosion of ozone by water vapour. The effect of water vapour on ozone in the stratosphere is acknowledged in the literature.

    The warmest part of the stratosphere is over the summer pole, not the equator. That’s not due to short wave energy reception. Its due to enhanced concentration of ozone in part due to reduced night jet activity but also due to the dryness of the air.

    The stratosphere in the night zone is warm due to the absorption of OLR by ozone.There is not a lot of OLR but ozone captures it very effectively.

  21. Cementafriend says:

    steven mosher says:
    August 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    “Yes water vapor is opaque to IR. As is C02.”
    This is not correct CO2 only aborbs in a narrow wavelength range around 14.8 micron but it is transparent for most of the IR range of 4 to 25 micron. Water vapor also absorbs in the same range as CO2 and as there is more water present it swaps the effect of CO2. In addition water vapour also aborbs in other wavelength ranges of the IR in fact 100% over 15 micron. If there was no CO2 present in the atmosphere it would not by itself change the climate although CO2 is necessary for plant growth which in turn has an impact on land base water vapor transpiration and cloud formation.
    It should be added that there is a window in the IR spectrum where the atmosphere does not absorb.

  22. Rich Lambert says:

    Aren’t all atmospheric gases more or less “greenhouse” gases?

  23. erl happ says:
    August 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm
    Ozone is soluble in water
    There is no water in the stratosphere. Just [precious little] ice and water vapor.

  24. George E. Smith says:

    “””””” Guest post by Erl Happ

    Here’s a hypothetical:

    Let’s imagine that we have an atmosphere of two parts. The first 10 km of the atmosphere has no greenhouse gas. The second 40 km has a greenhouse gas incorporated.

    In the lower layer there is water vapor and clouds that come and go according to the temperature of the air. “””””

    So why aren’t you sticking to the script; the first 10 km is supposed to be devoid of greenhouse gases; and you immediately include there the only green house gas that maters a hill of beans.

    What is the purpose of this running off the rails hypothetical ??

  25. RockyRoad says:

    Once we get the ground rules established on this hypothetical, it might prove to be interesting.

  26. u.k.(us) says:

    Erl, has enticed the prey to the bait.
    I’m enjoying the show.
    Good stuff.

  27. erl happ says:

    Leif,
    Thank for the paper on the CO2 content of the stratosphere. It is a useful tracer to hint at the direction of movement of the air and a nice way to register the fact that in the chemical soup up there gases do interact chemically in a manner that we can at this stage only speculate about. Nitrous oxides are potent agents for change apparently, even with CO2 and there is apparently some evidence of exchange of constituents at the molecular level even as low as 25km in elevation.

    But, as you can see I am talking about ozone as the greenhouse gas not CO2 or water vapour. That gives the coupling of the troposphere and the stratosphere at the poles the power to change weather and climate.

  28. erl happ says:
    August 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    But, as you can see I am talking about ozone as the greenhouse gas not CO2 or water vapour.
    You were VERY coy about that, calling it ‘that greenhouse gas’, not telling anybody what it was. And still: “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble” is nonsense in the context as there is no water in the stratosphere. Perhaps you also mean to say something else here.

  29. “Yes water vapor is opaque to IR. As is C02.”
    This is not correct CO2 only aborbs in a narrow wavelength range around 14.8 micron but it is transparent for most of the IR range of 4 to 25 micron

    ##
    yes there are windows.
    check the stratosphere which is dry and where C02 does a wonderful job.

  30. Mike Wryley says:

    It would seem to me that temps at some of the altitudes mentioned are relatively meaningless,
    Half the atmosphere lies below 18,000 feet, at 50,000 feet your blood will boil. Moving heat via conduction requires mass, so the heavy lifting convection wise has to occur at lower altitudes.

  31. And dont forget about doppler broadening

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CCYQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnit.colorado.edu%2Fatoc5560%2Fweek4.pdf&ei=-WdQTu3eNYmDsgK4vPXDBg&usg=AFQjCNEZ4eBWftW0uqM0Iz8R-MqWQ4gUvw&sig2=3uADjSeodQisIDI5Z7-C_g

    The special effects of C02 in the strat gained ground in the 1950s. In fact, some people thought that C02 would have little effect because of its overlap with H20 lines. However, when the Air Force found that the Strat was dry, this view quickly vanished in light of that evidence (observations ya know) .here is an early dissertation on the matter
    circa 1964.

    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/8439/4/bad5362.0001.001.txt

    “in infrared radiative transfer in the stratosphere. Gold considered
    carbon dioxide, water vapor and ozone in the stratosphere. He used the
    absorptivity measurements of Angstron in his calculations. The main
    assumption in his work was that the various absorbing gases acted as
    black bodies for emission. Humphreys, however, noted that this assumption might not be correct. Gold’s main result was that the stratosphere
    does not absorb enough radiation to induce convection. Humphreys’ paper
    is mostly a review and contains some suggestions for further research.
    After these two papers little effort was devoted to the problem
    until 1937 when Godfrey and Price investigated infrared radiation effects in the atmosphere above 100 km. They considered ozone, water
    vapor and oxygen. Unfortunately they did not consider the breakdown of
    local thermodynamic equilibrium due to the relaxation of the ozone and
    water vapor molecules. The importance of this had been noted by Milne
    (1930), who worked out the radiative transfer equation for a two-state
    relaxing gas. The neglect of relaxation invalidates Godfrey and Price’s
    results.
    In the period from 1909 to 1937, while little effort was being devoted to infrared radiation in the stratosphere, considerable progress
    was being made in understanding the structure of molecular bands and
    measuring the absorptivities of the various molecular bands of atmospheric interest in the laboratory. The University of Michigan was one
    of theleaders in the field producing three classic pieces of research.
    Martin and Barker (1952) investigated the infrared spectrum of carbon…..”

    Read it all. Long before AGW we understood the role of C02. We had to, to build better radars, sensors, airplanes, you name it.

    Of course we’ve learned a lot since then. Ask Leif

  32. kuhnkat says:

    Leif Svalgaard,

    “The CLOUD crew promised publication in August. Nothing yet. They have 11 days left…”

    I wonder if everyone had to rewrite their papers after they were told they couldn’t interpret the data or just decided not to publish.

  33. erl happ says:

    George E. Smith says:
    August 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm
    Why aren’t I sticking to the script?

    The point is this: There is actually very little ozone in the troposphere. But, the exception that occurs at high latitudes is very influential. I am describing a dynamic situation. The more interesting scripts do involve some character starting to behave in a way that is unexpected. Call him the independent variable, the villain of the piece or the only greenhouse gas that matters a hill of beans. That works.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 6:35 pm
    Re: “And still “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble” is nonsense
    in the context as there is no water in the stratosphere. Perhaps you also mean to say something else here.”

    No I don’t mean to say something else and Yes, trace amounts of water vapour get into the stratosphere and its perhaps partly responsible for the low levels of ozone in the stratosphere over the equator where the splitting of the oxygen molecule is most active. As I mentioned the tropopause is forced up to 18-20km at the equator due to uplift of water vapour and the consequent erosion of ozone. Ozone is responsible for the temperature inversion at the tropopause. However, in the night zone in winter the temperature inversion rises from say 8 km to 45 km and this has dramatic consequences in generating a coupled circulation that varies in strength according to the flux in its ozone content. The uplift depends upon the presence of ozone as an OLR absorber.

    I did not identify ‘ozone’ because it rarely gets a mention as a greenhouse gas and I wanted to get people to consider the layering effect and the response in the troposphere when that greenhouse gas (of which there is very little in the troposphere) gets incorporated due to the coupling of the circulation at very high latitudes.

    But whether water vapour gets into the stratosphere or not is immaterial to the argument. There is not much water in the troposphere at the pole either and that is what allows ozone to persist and do the damage so far as cloud cover is concerned. I could have left that bit out except I wanted people to recognize that the stratosphere is warmer at the poles than at the equator, it is still warm in winter when there is no light and that is when we see the greatest swings in temperature and that in turn is due to the phenomenon of the coupled circulation. All this is important to the explanation of why temperature evolves as it does, the subject of the next post.

  34. erl happ says:
    August 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm
    And still “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble” is nonsense as there is no water in the stratosphere.

  35. jorgekafkazar says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: “Erl said: “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble….”…”

    This sounds like nonsense to me. Gases mix, don’t dissolve into each other…

    CO2 and ozone are both soluble in water, I have a bottle of CO2 dissolved in water in my refrigerator. Rain is water. If there’s more rain in the tropics, we’ll see a higher concentration of CO2 at the poles. Sounds like sense, to me.

  36. jorgekafkazar says:
    August 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm
    CO2 and ozone are both soluble in water, I have a bottle of CO2 dissolved in water in my refrigerator. Rain is water. If there’s more rain in the tropics, we’ll see a higher concentration of CO2 at the poles. Sounds like sense, to me.
    Except there is no water in the stratosphere.

  37. jorgekafkazar says:
    August 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm
    CO2 and ozone are both soluble in water, I have a bottle of CO2 dissolved in water in my refrigerator. Rain is water. If there’s more rain in the tropics, we’ll see a higher concentration of CO2 at the poles. Sounds like sense, to me.
    Except that there is no water in the stratosphere.

  38. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm
    ‘There’s no water in the stratosphere”.

    You are out on a limb here Leif:

    We are talking trace amounts of water vapour, ice and water too. According to some: Water vapor in the stratosphere has two main sources. One is transport of water vapor from the troposphere which occurs mainly as air rises in the tropics. The other is the oxidation of methane which occurs mostly in the upper stratosphere.

    Average temperature in the upper stratosphere climbs above freezing point. What is the daytime maximum and how far down does that zero maximum extend?

    Vapor is chemically available as is ice. There’s always a little warming and cooling going on. Ice sublimates straight to vapour.

    Google has this:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/shindell_05/

    Reaction of Ozone and Climate to Increasing Stratospheric Water Vapor

    By Drew Shindell — May 2001

    The abundance of water vapor in the stratosphere affects ozone, surface climate, and stratospheric temperatures. Increases in stratospheric moisture that have been observed for the past several decades may therefore have important consequences.

    Here is a nice collection http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/papers-on-stratospheric-water-vapor/, including this overview:
    Overview of the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II Water Vapor Observations: Method, Validation, and Data Characteristics – Rind et al. (1993) “Water vapor observations obtained from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II) solar occultation instrument for the troposphere and stratosphere are presented and compared with correlative in situ measurement techniques and other satellite data. … …minimum water vapor values of 2.5–3 ppmv in the tropical lower stratosphere, with lower values during northern hemisphere winter and spring; slowly increasing water vapor values with altitude in the stratosphere, reaching 5–6 ppmv or greater near the stratopause; extratropical values with minimum profile amounts occurring above the conventionally defined tropopause; and higher extratropical than tropical water vapor values throughout the stratosphere except in locations of possible polar stratospheric clouds.”

    If you keep this up I might have to revise my perceptions about ‘red herrings’.
    It’s not important. Can we get back to the thesis?

  39. erl happ says:
    August 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm
    Water vapor in the stratosphere has two main sources. [...]
    Can we get back to the thesis?

    Your thesis [as you laid it out] is this:
    Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there. [...]
    Remember that temperature descends all the way from the bottom to the top of the atmosphere

    So, ozone is taken up by liquid water. If there is not enough liquid water, ozone concentration increases. Finally you seem to believe that the temperature decreases [descends?] all the way from the surface to the ‘top’ of the atmosphere [including the 1000 degree thermosphere?].

  40. erl happ says:
    August 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm
    Can we get back to the thesis?

    Your thesis [as you laid it out] is this:
    Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the ozone attains a higher concentration there. Since ozone warms the atmosphere, the coldest part is warmed the most. Makes sense?

  41. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: (several times)
    Ozone is soluble in water
    There is no water in the stratosphere. Just [precious little] ice and water vapor.

    +++++++
    Part of my work is measuring particles from domestic combustion devices and there is a great deal of water vapour produced combusting nearly all fuels. Particles are often thought of as being ‘solid’ but floating droplets of, say, creosote, are sticky particles if the creosote is cooled. In order to determine what is being emitted from combustion we cool the smoke and condense the vapours into particles just as they would condense when entering the atmosphere. This is done in a diluter which simultaneously reduces the concentration of particles to something that instruments can cope with counting.

    In this process, hot water vapour cools and condenses producing numerous small droplets of water. They are not necessarily visible like (the mis-named) ‘steam’ one sees above a kettle mouth. The problem is they get counted as ‘particles’ because they are particles and at least some of them are above 0.1 microns in diameter making them detectable by a visible laser – but I don’t care about them. They mess up the particle count so we dilute the sample using dry air which reduces the dew point to a low value and the H2O remains in a vapour state while cooling.

    My point is that transparent-to-the-eye air can have a great deal of water in it, not in the form of water vapour. Even at high altitude, droplets do not necessarily freeze but can remain supercooled, and do not have to evaporate, depending on lcoal conditions. It is often mistated that air contains water vapour and cloud/rain drops only. Visible light readings of cloud cover from satellites do not give an accurate assessment of all cloud cover because all the water droplets below 0.1 microns are invisible in normal light. The CLOUD experimenters probably did not measure sub-0.1 micron water droplet formation because everyone forgets about it and looks for ‘clouds’.

    Regions around visible clouds contain such small water particles. GCR’s cause the formation of very small cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) with a slight charge on them such that they avoid each other longer than is normally the case (they get larger by collisions which overcome the charge). Again, this is a large quantity of water not in the form of vapour, and not large or concentrated enough to look like a ‘cloud’. They absorb CO2 and remove ozone, but are counted as ‘water vapour’, being the name assigned to all H2O content of an air sample.

    It seems unlikely these water particles absorb and emit LWIR in the same manner as water vapour molecules but I have not seen anything written about this property. The common and incorrect assumption is that if it is not visible as ‘cloud’ it is in gaseous form.

  42. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Leif, I know you like to be a man of few words but can you make your point in a less obscure fashion?

    Do you want to contest the point that:
    1. The stratosphere is warmest at the poles? Then go here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/
    2. The polar stratosphere in winter cools with increasing elevation then look at figure 8 here:http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf
    3. The stratosphere and the troposphere are coupled in a single monolithic circulation in winter and this affects surface temperature? Then go here: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAS-3321.1 or simply examine figure 1 and 2 in the post above or look at chapter 10 in the reference I give in point 2.

    Is the coldest part of the stratosphere, that part in the polar night, warmed the most? Not at all. I wrote:” the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there. That greenhouse gas absorbs long wave radiation from the planet. This sets up a convective circulation within the polar night that spins the greenhouse gas rich air away from the pole towards the margins of the polar night.”

    But the temperature does change dramatically while the area is dark. For the Arctic see this: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Regardless of the concentration of ozone in the polar night, it is there, it warms by absorbing OLR and a coupled circulation occurs with the consequence that surface pressure is lowered on the margins of Antarctica and at 50-60° north as ozone is driven into the troposphere and it warms. This circulation is pretty well perennial in the Antarctic and very rarely stalls. It is the coldest parts of the polar stratosphere that sinks into the troposphere.

    We know that the concentration of ozone is always in a state of change at the pole due to the activity of the night jet so there is nothing static about this at all. Its a highly dynamic system. And we also know that the temperature of the stratosphere over the southern pole has changed dramatically over time reflecting change in ozone content. See figure 3 above. There is nowhere else in the stratosphere that it changes so much. See the variability at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/

  43. erl happ says:

    Leif
    Re: “Finally you seem to believe that the temperature decreases [descends?] all the way from the surface to the ‘top’ of the atmosphere [including the 1000 degree thermosphere?].”

    What I wrote was: Remember that temperature descends all the way from the bottom to the top of the atmosphere within the polar night.

    And I am modelling a two layer atmosphere, not three or four. The thermosphere is outside the polar night zone I would have thought.

    Hey, lets cut to the chase. Do we have a mechanism for cloud cover change or not and if not why not?

  44. kim says:

    Unseen vapors rise,
    Quiet equatorial.
    Poles apart convect.
    =============

  45. Joel Heinrich says:

    And under the influence of the wind that blows towards the equator we might see a pattern of sea surface temperature like this: (Figure 2)

    Sorry, but this is just so wrong. At the demonstrated latitudes at surface level the wind blows from the equator. Most often exactly to the opposite direction as depicted. We are now having some nice weather here in Germany (50° N) because the wind is blowing warm, subtropical air from the south to the north.

  46. Espen says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    Except there is no water in the stratosphere.

    There has been an increase in stratospheric water vapor, and the El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions are likely causes. This also means that the stepwise stratospheric cooling seen e.g. here: http://www.ssmi.com/data/msu/graphics/tls/plots/sc_Rss_compare_TS_channel_tls_v03_3.png (note that the warming due to the volcanoes are followed by a decrease to below the previous temperature) may have been caused partly by these volcanoes (so that stratospheric cooling “proves” AGW theory is not as well-supported as many advocates claim).

    See: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016%3C3525%3AAGSOVE%3E2.0.CO%3B2#h1

  47. erl happ says:

    Welcome Kim,

    The solar wind blows,
    The atmosphere shifts equator-ward, cooling aloft.
    Expect clear skies in southern seas and the westerlies to roar.

  48. Bomber_the_Cat says:

    erl, I am asked to imagine a series of so many unlikely or impossible things that in the end I was sure I was imagining what you were imagining.
    I had an immediate problem, ‘the first 10 km of the atmosphere has no greenhouse gas’. Is this the ‘lower’ part of the atmosphere or the upper part of the atmosphere – not explicit – so I assume you mean the lower 10km. But then I am told “In the lower layer there is water vapor”. As Leif has said, water vapour is a greenhouse gas, so I am lost already. If you wish to chain together a long list of imaginary events for a thought experiment it is helpful to be clear at each step. I couldn’t get to the end because of frustration.
    I hope the winemaking is doing better.

    Steve Mosher, CO2 is opaque to CO2? Shame on you!
    As Cementafriend says, CO2 only absorbs in specific wavelength bands, and within those bands the concentration and path length determine whether it is opaque or not. Over most of the infrared spectrum, CO2 is transparent.

  49. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 12:40 am
    The thermosphere is outside the polar night zone I would have thought.
    The thermosphere extends from 80 to 500 km. The atmosphere is in the dark up to 575 km in the polar night. Anyway, Your thesis seems to be:
    ozone is taken up by liquid water. If there is not enough liquid water, ozone concentration increases. Ozone is a greenhouse gas and thus heats up the atmosphere where there is no liquid water.
    There is no liquid water in the stratosphere, thus your argument fails right there.

  50. Pascvaks says:

    There’s something very missing in this batch of wine. It is too coy.

  51. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    I do not like “thought experiments” because they are usually so divorced from reality that they are often misleading in ways that cannot be known. However, I interject at this point in this discussion in hope of helping by asking all sides to consider a point raised by Crispin in Waterloo at August 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm .

    Erl Happ says there is sufficient liquid water in the stratosphere to enable significant solution of ozone.
    Leif Svalgaard says there is no liquid water in the stratosphere.
    The point of dispute is the meanings of “sufficient” and “no”.

    But the post from Crispin in Waterloo provides information that may resolve the dispute. In it he says;
    “My point is that transparent-to-the-eye air can have a great deal of water in it, not in the form of water vapour. Even at high altitude, droplets do not necessarily freeze but can remain supercooled, and do not have to evaporate, depending on lcoal (sic) conditions. It is often mistated that air contains water vapour and cloud/rain drops only. Visible light readings of cloud cover from satellites do not give an accurate assessment of all cloud cover because all the water droplets below 0.1 microns are invisible in normal light.”

    Perhaps the impasse of Erl Happ and Leif Svalgaard would be overcome by consideration of the possibility of microdroplets in the stratosphere as is suggested by Crispin in Waterloo. If so, then the discussion could consider the degree of ozone solution which is possible instead of the ‘all or nothing impasse’ which now exists.

    Is the degree of ozone solubility possibly significant (as Erl Happ suggests) or certainly negligible (as Leif Svalgaard asserts) if such microdroplets exist in the stratosphere? The answer would depend on the amount of liquid water in such microdroplets which may possibly exist in the stratosphere. So, can an empirical and/or theoretical upper bound be applied to that amount?

    Richard

  52. erl happ says:

    Joel Heinrich says:
    August 21, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Joel, the counter westerlies at altitude blow opposite to the surface winds. The cloud that is affected is mid to high altitude, not surface cloud.

    Bomber_the_Cat says:
    August 21, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Walks into the room, drops the bomb and walks out. Aptly named. No doubt this behavior gives you a feeling of superiority.But why not ask for clarification?

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 4:08 am
    “There is no liquid water in the stratosphere, thus your argument fails right there.”

    No, your wrong. The argument does not ‘hang’ on the presence of water vapour in the stratosphere’ at all. It would make not the slightest jot of difference were there no water in any form in the stratosphere. The dynamics of the coupled circulation at the poles does not depend upon their being an enhanced level of ozone in the polar stratosphere from whatever cause. It depends upon the relative presence or absence of a long wave absorber (ozone) in an atmospheric column that, like the troposphere, gets colder with altitude through the troposphere, AND the bulk of the stratosphere. So in exactly the same way as convection occurs in the troposphere with say the release of latent heat of condensation, the warming of the polar atmosphere by ozone promotes a convectional circulation that encompasses the entire atmospheric column. That’s why it is referred to as being a ‘coupled’ circulation of the troposphere and the stratosphere.

    And that is the crux of the matter.

    You fall short of acknowledging the effect of the coupled circulation (that manifestly exists) on temperature, geopotential height, surface pressure, relative humidity and cloud cover on the margins of the circulation.

    So your comment is deficient in both observation and logic.

    But, is there an enhanced level of ozone in the polar stratosphere? It depends primarily upon the strength of the night jet which is most active under a high pressure regime. That is when the Arctic and the Antarctic Oscillation Indexes are negative and at this moment we have that situation. So, there is currently a large core of low ozone values above the poles as we see here:http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_o3mr_30_nh_f00.gif and here http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_o3mr_30_sh_f00.gif

    When polar pressure is low, the night jet is weak and ozone builds up in the polar stratosphere driving a stronger coupled circulation. That has the effect of lowering surface pressure on the margins of the circulation and incidentally reducing cloud cover.

  53. Dixon says:

    I must admit to being a little lost…but you probably don’t need “liquid water” in the stratosphere to ‘lose’ ozone. Solids would be just as good: Polar Stratospheric Clouds.
    As Crispin in Waterloo pointed out, there a whole load of physico-chemical stuff happening with real-world combustion systems (including the atmosphere) and things get pretty messy. It’s one of the reason the rate constants for the chemistry are so hard to pin down accurately, and last time I looked (admittedly 20 years ago :) the gas phase stuff was hard enough, without invoking heterogenous pathways which inevitably play a major role (in the lab stuffing up the experiment, and out in the real world, doing what they’ve always done).
    Steven Mosher: surely the UV absorption from ozone is what’s warming things up in the stratosphere, CO2 is small fry?
    But back to the thesis: Erl, it sounds like you are trying to come up with a mechanism for changes in cloud cover and invoking ozone in the stratosphere? Doesn’t that sort of reasoning come down to which comes first: chicken or egg? The climate system is coupled every way you look – the longer the timescale, the harder it is to factor in all the relevant processes, the shorter the timescale, the more likely you think some change is significant when it’s not. But the killer question remains “Are human emissions of CO2 doing (or going to do) something so bad we need to reduce our emissions of CO2 right now?”.

  54. Dave Springer says:

    Green Sand says:
    August 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    “Many people with more comprehension than I have stress that: Water vapor is THE greenhouse gas.”

    Gases and liquids are both fluids. Liquid water has all the properties that distinguish greenhouse gases from non-greenhouse gases. The biggest differences in greenhouse properties between water vapor and liquid water is that the liquid phase is opaque to all frequencies of thermal radiation where the gas phase has a bunch of non-absorptive holes in it. The other big difference is there’s more water in just the first meter of the ocean than there is in the entire column of air above it.

    So long as the earth is 70% covered by a 4000 meter deep liquid ocean with an unfrozen surface that ocean itself does all the heavy lifting when it comes to greenhouse warming.

    Since this article is about thought experiments think about running a GCM where the earth has all the same greenhouse gases but has no ocean. Imagine that continents cover 100% of the surface. I firmly believe that such a world would become frozen from pole to equator within just a few years. The first winter snowfall would never melt in the spring due to high albedo reflecting away all the sunlight and this would rapidly advance towards the equator with each passing winter.

    It’s the global ocean that keeps the earth above freezing not the atmosphere! The atmosphere is a bit player on a water world where its most significant contribution is merely establishing a surface pressure that raises the boiling point of water well above its freezing point so that a liquid ocean has a 100C temperature range in which it can remain liquid.

  55. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 6:15 am
    The argument does not ‘hang’ on the presence of water vapour in the stratosphere’ at all. It would make not the slightest jot of difference were there no water in any form in the stratosphere.

    First of all: you are not talking about water vapor, but liquid water. It is nonsense to say that ozone is soluble in water vapor [which was my original point]. So if you think what you said was not nonsense, then you imply that you are talking about liquid water.

    This is what you said:
    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there.”

    Here you assert that the higher concentration of ozone there is due to it being dissolved in liquid water elsewhere.

    “That greenhouse gas absorbs long wave radiation from the planet. This sets up a convective circulation within the polar night that spins the greenhouse gas rich air away from the pole towards the margins of the polar night.”

    Here you say that the higher concentration of ozone brought about by the lack of liquid water sets up a circulation.

    “Remember that temperature descends all the way from the bottom to the top of the atmosphere within the polar night and this promotes convection throughout the entire profile. In fact the two layers act as a coupled circulation.”

    Here you say that the temperature decreases all the way from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. ‘Top’ includes the thermosphere where the temperature even in the deep polar night is above 500 K. If you by top of the atmosphere mean the top of the stratosphere, then we are in contraction with yourself when you claim that there is a temperature inversion at the tropopause.

    Your way out is to remove the statements I just cited, then as you now claim “it would make not the slightest jot of difference were there no water in any form in the stratosphere”. That is all.

  56. erl happ says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    August 21, 2011 at 5:43 am
    Lots of good common sense in that comment but we should not get hung up on this water vapour thing.

    I have put forward a conceptual exercise. It is obviously not a description of reality. Neither Leif or anyone else can not dismiss the exercise on that basis but it seems that they think its the virtuous thing to do. I guess it represents a failure to engage, to wonder.

  57. erl happ says:

    Leif:
    Good ol Wikipedia:

    Polar stratospheric clouds are classified into three types Ia, Ib and II according to their chemical composition.

    Type I clouds contain nitric acid and water.
    Type Ia clouds consist of crystals formed from nitric acid and water.
    Type Ib cloud droplets additionally contain sulfuric acid and are present in the form of supercooled ternary solution.
    Type II clouds consist of water ice only.

    I’m told they deplete ozone.

  58. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:38 am
    I have put forward a conceptual exercise. It is obviously not a description of reality.
    such exercises are useful if they contain enough of reality to be meaningful, otherwise they are futile.
    I notice that you fail to engage and respond to my analysis of 7:06 am.

  59. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 am
    I’m told they deplete ozone.
    Not by the ozone being dissolved by the clouds [and still existing inside the water].

  60. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 am
    Good ol Wikipedia:
    Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), also known as nacreous clouds (pronounced /ˈneɪkrɪəs/, from nacre, or mother of pearl, due to its iridescence), are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters (50,000–80,000 ft). They are implicated in the formation of ozone holes;[1] their effects on ozone depletion arise because they support chemical reactions that produce active chlorine which catalyzes ozone destruction, and also because they remove gaseous nitric acid, perturbing nitrogen and chlorine cycles in a way which increases ozone destruction.[2]

    Not by dissolving the ozone into the clouds. When you cite, don’t omit the essential point.

  61. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 am
    I’m told they deplete ozone.
    Here is an animation of how the nitric acid+water crystals destroy ozone

    Not by the ozone being water soluble.

  62. erl happ says:

    Dixon says:
    August 21, 2011 at 6:48 am
    “Doesn’t that sort of reasoning come down to which comes first: chicken or egg? The climate system is coupled every way you look ”

    Not when you are looking at a dynamic that seems to take 130 years to run a cycle in the southern hemisphere and about thirty in the northern. And not when its an open system that is influenced by the solar wind.

  63. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:06 am

    You persist in criticizing me because the model that I put forward is not a proper representation of reality.

    Go for it. It does you no credit.

    But think of this. In the industrial generation f ozone it is necessary to first dry the air by reducing its temperature to minus 80°C. Does that air contain any more or less ‘water’ before or after?

    In any case its a perfiddling and irrelevant point, and not something to use to invalidate the observations in relation to pressure, geopotential height and relative humidity on the margins of the coupled circulation or the importance of the night jet in controlling ozone in the polar stratosphere.

  64. Just The Facts says:

    erl happ says: August 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    According to some: Water vapor in the stratosphere has two main sources. One is transport of water vapor from the troposphere which occurs mainly as air rises in the tropics. The other is the oxidation of methane which occurs mostly in the upper stratosphere.

    Espen says: August 21, 2011 at 2:19 am

    There has been an increase in stratospheric water vapor, and the El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions are likely causes. This also means that the stepwise stratospheric cooling seen e.g. here: http://www.ssmi.com/data/msu/graphics/tls/plots/sc_Rss_compare_TS_channel_tls_v03_3.png (note that the warming due to the volcanoes are followed by a decrease to below the previous temperature) may have been caused partly by these volcanoes (so that stratospheric cooling “proves” AGW theory is not as well-supported as many advocates claim).

    See: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016%3C3525%3AAGSOVE%3E2.0.CO%3B2#h1

    The spikes in the lower stratosphere temperature record certainly correlate well with the drop in Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation associated with the El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions:

    And the stepwise nature of the changes is visually apparent and apparently well recognized, e.g. “Stepwise changes in stratospheric temperature”:

    http://europa.agu.org/?uri=/journals/gl/98GL51534.xml&view=article

    There appears to be ample evidence that Volcanoes release a lot of water vapor, i.e.; “Water vapor constitutes 70 to 95 percent of all eruption gases.”

    http://volcanology.geol.ucsb.edu/gas.htm

    and “A frost point hygrometer designed for aircraft operation was included in the complement of instruments assembled for the NASA U-2 flights through the plume of Mount St. Helens. Measurements made on the 22 May flight showed the water vapor to be closely associated with the aerosol plume. The water vapor mixing ratio by mass in the plume was as high as 40 x 10–6. This compares with values of 2 x 10–6to 3 x 10–6outside of the plume.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/211/4484/823.abstract

    Additionally there does appear to be research that shows “a stratospheric cooling in regions of H2O increase, of magnitude similar to that due to stratospheric ozone loss indicating a significant additional cause of observed stratospheric temperature decreases. Radiative forcings are derived and it is found that global average radiative forcing due to stratospheric water vapour changes probably lies in the range 0.12 to 0.20 Wm(-2)decade(-1). This could have more than compensated for the negative radiative forcing due to decadal ozone loss.”

    http://cel.webofknowledge.com/InboundService.do?SID=N18eGOad4FOh1mIa21f&product=CEL&UT=000166291200047&SrcApp=Highwire&Init=Yes&action=retrieve&SrcAuth=Highwire&customersID=Highwire&mode=FullRecord

    This paper found that “Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1219.full#ref-3

    Here is a stratospheric water vapor time series

    based on NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory balloon program:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ozwv/wvap/

    The program measures Water Vapor Vertical Profiles in three locations, including Boulder, Colorado;

    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ozwv/water_vapor/Boulder_New/

    Lauder, New Zealand;

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=LDR&program=wvap&type=vp

    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ozwv/water_vapor/Lauder_New/

    and Hilo, Hawaii:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=HIH&program=wvap&type=vp

    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ozwv/water_vapor/Hilo_New/

    This paper, “Stratospheric water vapor trends over Boulder, Colorado: Analysis of the 30 year Boulder record”;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JD015065.shtml

    notes that there is a “well-examined but unattributed 1980–2000 period of stratospheric water vapor growth. Trends are determined for five 2 km stratospheric layers (16–26 km) utilizing weighted, piecewise regression analyses. Stratospheric water vapor abundance increased by an average of 1.0 ± 0.2 ppmv (27 ± 6%) during 1980–2010 with significant shorter-term variations along the way. Growth during period 1 (1980–1989) was positive and weakened with altitude from 0.44 ± 0.13 ppmv at 16–18 km to 0.07 ± 0.07 ppmv at 24–26 km. Water vapor increased during period 2 (1990–2000) by an average 0.57 ± 0.25 ppmv, decreased during period 3 (2001–2005) by an average 0.35 ± 0.04 ppmv, then increased again during period 4 (2006–2010) by an average 0.49 ± 0.17 ppmv. The diminishing growth with altitude observed during period 1 is consistent with a water vapor increase in the tropical lower stratosphere that propagated to the midlatitudes. In contrast, growth during periods 2 and 4 is stronger at higher altitudes, revealing contributions from at least one mechanism that strengthens with altitude, such as methane oxidation. The amount of methane oxidized in the stratosphere increased considerably during 1980–2010, but this source can account for at most 28 ± 4%, 14 ± 4%, and 25 ± 5% of the net stratospheric water vapor increases during 1980–2000, 1990–2000, and 1980–2010, respectively.”

    No conclusions, just a bunch of info and lots more to be learned.

  65. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:59 am

    If there is water there I imagine it will dissolve ozone in exactly the same way as at the surface. We might pretend that we know what is happening but at the end of the day its all theory.

  66. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 8:39 am
    You persist in criticizing me because the model that I put forward is not a proper representation of reality.
    I’m criticizing your statements that are incorrect in the situation at hand, namely that ozone is dissolved in water in the stratosphere and that that is the cause of the circulation. Just remove those statements and move on.

  67. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I say: I have put forward a conceptual exercise. It is obviously not a description of reality.

    You say: Such exercises are useful if they contain enough of reality to be meaningful, otherwise they are futile.

    What is the point of the conceptual exercise relating to a two layer atmosphere with all the greenhouse gas in the second layer? Yes, a conceptual exercise, not a description of reality as some, including Leif, the Bomber and Pascvacs would like to pretend, and they dismiss the exercise on that basis. Hey guys, relax. Pretend you are at the pictures.Come along for the ride.

    Here is my point: Consideration of my posited two layer atmosphere hints at the relative efficacy of ozone and carbon dioxide as greenhouse gases.

    Consider the mid latitudes. Despite the fact that we get lots of water vapour and cloud with 380ppm CO2 in the troposphere declining to 250ppm at the 25km elevation in the stratosphere, nevertheless we see a temperature inversion from 100hPa or 10km upwards. That inversion (the tropopause is its start) is due to the presence of ozone. It creates the stratosphere. Just how good is all that water vapour, cloud and CO2 as an absorber of long wave radiation from the Earth when the addition of a mere 2-15 ppm of ozone can produce this temperature inversion that we know as the stratosphere? And what difference will it make if the level of CO2 were to double? Well we can work that out too, because there is no evidence that the presence of ozone above 100hPa makes one jot of difference to the temperature of the air below the tropopause. We get this big heating effect from 2-15ppm ozone. At 380ppm isnt CO2 pretty well represented already?

    There is obviously a down-welling effect from the stratosphere but it is completely ineffective in changing the temperature profile. The influence of convection is too strong a countervailing force. See: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/the-gaping-hole-in-greenhouse-theory/

    Consider that at elevations below the middle stratosphere the temperature inversion is due mainly to ozone absorption of long wave radiation from the Earth, not UVB or very short wave radiation from the sun. The presence of oxygen ensures that all the very short wave radiation is absorbed in the upper stratosphere. So ozone is not created in the lower stratosphere, it drifts down and its concentration gradually diminishes with elevation into the upper troposphere with the increasing presence of water vapour/ice/water droplets, that limits its persistence the most dramatic illustration of that being at the equator (generally acknowledged but not by Leif).

    So, it must be concluded that ozone is doing a much better job of absorbing OLR than CO2 or water vapour. No doubt Leif could do some calculations to tell us the energy that is absorbed according to the energy available in the spectral bands that are absorbed. He is very good at that sort of thing.

    Consider the temperature of the atmosphere within the polar night. No short wave radiation there, no UVB and the temperature of the stratosphere is driven solely by ozone absorption of long wave radiation from the Earth. It can be observed that ozone concentration is directly related to air temperature and geopotential height. At the moment with a very active night jet, ozone is depleted and the core is very cold: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t30_sh_f00.gif

    But the point of this little post is that that absorption of long wave radiation in the polar stratosphere is sufficient to set up a circulation of the entire column of the so called troposphere (where is the tropopause when temperature declines with altitude all the way to 5hPa?) and the stratosphere together so that ozone descends into the troposphere at 60-70° south where it so heats the troposphere (75% of the atmosphere) that we see the lowest surface atmospheric pressure on the entire planet. The CO2 and the water vapour are there all the time but the ozone makes this extraordinary difference. And it is this ozone in the troposphere (distributed equator-ward by the high altitude counter westerlies) that alters cloud cover.

    And here is the critical bit. The amount of ozone over the pole and the strength of the coupled circulation is highly variable. Historical variability can be judged according to the strength of the north westerly winds that respond to the difference in the atmospheric pressure between 30°south latitude and 60°south latitude. Look here for the observational record in relation to wind http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/fletcher.htm

    We have to go back to 1880 to see the wind strengths we have today. Increasing wind speed since about 1920 represents a loss of cloud cover because both wind speed and cloud cover are related to the change in pressure on the margins of Antarctica.

    By the way, if your interest is ENSO the trades and the westerlies vary together.

    Finally, in relation to the cloud cover dynamic in the subtropics: When the surface in the subtropics heats by one degree Celsius the air at 200hpa in the upper troposphere, where there tends to be a lot of fine cirrus cloud, warms by three degrees. Which is chicken and which is egg? I leave it to you to work that one out.

    Early in my explorations of the atmosphere I noticed that there is a long wave radiation signature in the stratosphere over the south east Pacific where the water is very cold and little heat is lost via evaporation. That told me that the lower stratosphere is a test bench for greenhouse theory. Take ozone and put it into the troposphere and you must lose cloud. Vary the amount of ozone introduced to the troposphere over time and you have a climate forcing.

  68. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 8:44 am
    If there is water there I imagine it will dissolve ozone in exactly the same way as at the surface.
    There is no water there. There are crystals formed from nitric acid and water: HNO3+3H2O, and they do not dissolve ozone. What happens can be seen here: http://www.shsu.edu/~chemistry/ESC440/psc.gif
    Your imagined process is not what happens.

  69. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm
    ……. produce a graph that on the X-axis has solar activity and on the Y-axis pressure.

    I have a different one, but then the AGW people wouldn’t wish to see the connection.

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

    Oceans absorb energy, currents move it along, heat is realised at a cooler time and place, and the atmospheric pressure responds.

  70. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am
    I’m criticizing your statements that are incorrect in the situation at hand, namely that ozone is dissolved in water in the stratosphere and that that is the cause of the circulation. Just remove those statements and move on.

    I’d say that’s nit picking.

    “and that that is the cause of the circulation” You misread me.

    What I said was: “That greenhouse gas absorbs long wave radiation from the planet. This sets up a convective circulation within the polar night that spins the greenhouse gas rich air away from the pole towards the margins of the polar night.”

  71. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 9:16 am
    I’d say that’s nit picking.
    The truth is never not picking.

    What I said was: “That greenhouse gas absorbs long wave radiation from the planet. This sets up a convective circulation within the polar night that spins the greenhouse gas rich air away from the pole towards the margins of the polar night.”
    You only get the circulation if there is a difference in concentration which you claimed was caused by ozone being dissolved in water. So, i did not misread you. Let me quote again:
    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there. That greenhouse gas absorbs long wave radiation from the planet. This sets up a convective circulation within the polar night that spins the greenhouse gas rich air away from the pole towards the margins of the polar night. Remember that temperature descends all the way from the bottom to the top of the atmosphere within the polar night and this promotes convection throughout the entire profile.”

    You have a chain of inferences, each step depending on the previous one.

  72. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

    “You only get the circulation if there is a difference in concentration ”

    I would suspect that the fall of temperature with altitude through the stratosphere would also assist.

    But, this is something worth discussing. I do not profess to know the ins and outs of why this circulation is as strong as it appears to be and, in the case of Antarctica persists all year even though the temperature gradient in summer is the reverse of that in winter (stratosphere warms with increasing elevation).

    The manifestation in the troposphere is the cells of increased geopotential height at 200hPa and lower surface atmospheric pressure. These are evident in both hemsipheres all year round.

    I don’t know that anyone could tell you why the coupled circulation behaves as it does. There is a bit to be learned in this respect. Its absolutely unique in the atmosphere.

    But I do suspect that night jet activity is somewhat diminished in the summer hemisphere especially in the Arctic and this does set up a gradient of increasing ozone polewards of 60° of latitude and that would help.

    Certainly the short term variations in stratospheric temperature occur in the Arctic in winter but the months of high variation in temperature represent a longer period in the southern hemisphere.

    Come to think of it, the few occasions where the circulation appears to stall completely happen in winter. At any rate, that is when the big variations in temperature occur. Perhaps the meteorologists could chip in with their knowledge of what they call ‘blocking highs’.

    I wonder if anyone has data on ozone in the Arctic troposphere over time?

    Time for bed.

  73. benfrommo says:

    We do have a way to measure the Arctic influence on the climate of most of the N. Hemisphere (north of 20 degrees.)

    This is typically referred to as the Arctic Osciliation. I would look at whether ozone concentrations in the arctic regions correspond to the AO index and how. This would be a verifiable method to see if your theory is sound in any fashion. The graphs you show are basically causes of various levels of the AO and how it pulses. It is curious that recent cool phases of the AO and the lower ozone concentration in the arctic seem to correlate so to speak.

    And even if there is a correlation there, remember causation is so much more difficult. I think you hinted at this earlier, but does the tail wag the dog or does the dog wag the tail? I think until you figure that part out, the thought experiment is really besides the point.

    Then there is always the issue that Leif brings up…how does the fact that as temperatures drop ozone becomes more water soluble and how does this work up in the stratosphere? The process does not seem well described to me. Maybe Leif and myself are just both bothered by the way its described or what not, but I can not quite put my finger on why that description bothers me so much. The fact that there is so little water in any form in the stratosphere is probably what bothers me the most about the description.

  74. Just The Facts says:

    erl happ says: August 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I wonder if anyone has data on ozone in the Arctic troposphere over time?

    Here’s one source;

    http://www.temis.nl/

    and this paper has several time series through 2005;

    http://instaar.colorado.edu/arl/pdf/A_Review_of_Surface_Ozone.pdf

    This paper is also pertinent to the discussion:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/10721/2011/acpd-11-10721-2011.pdf

  75. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 10:07 am
    I would suspect that the fall of temperature with altitude through the stratosphere would also assist.
    Except that the temperature does fall with altitude through the stratosphere, not even during the polar night:

    From 20 km and up, the temperature increases.

    There are interesting things going on, but they are not consequences of the scenarios you imagine. There is benefit to be close enough to reality that you capture the essential features and incorporate them in a ‘theory’. If you are not, the theory is not of interest.

  76. eyesonu says:

    This has been a heavy discussion. I love it! I had to read the article twice to fully (well almost fully) grasp what Erl was trying to convey. After reading the discussions I will now have to read it all again, as inquiring minds need to know!

    From what I seem to understand, Erl has presented a hypothesis for global variations in weather/wind patterns emanating from the polar region as a result of pressure/temp differentials. I’ll leave the details to others to sort, but the hypothesis seems to be supported. I myself often break out / isolate certain concepts from a complex set of variables only to show a possible effect that one could have.

    But the truth is, this discussion is above my pay grade. I will now once again meet with a representative of BEER.

    [The moderators quickly note that no BEER has been harmed in the moderation of this thread. Unfortunately. Robt]

  77. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 10:50 am
    correction:
    erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 10:07 am
    I would suspect that the fall of temperature with altitude through the stratosphere would also assist.
    Except that the temperature does NOT fall with altitude through the stratosphere, not even during the polar night:

    From 20 km and up, the temperature increases.
    The white line indicates where [rare] clouds may form.

  78. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I say: I would suspect that the fall of temperature with altitude through the stratosphere would also assist.
    You say: Except that the temperature does NOT fall with altitude through the stratosphere, not even during the polar night:

    1. The current year is exceptional. It reflects a negative AO and AAO, high surface pressure at the poles
    2. If one averages data for the entire period 1948-2011 you see figure 8 in the document at: http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf where the temperature falls with altitude through to 10hPa. (30km)
    3. An average tells us nothing about the extremes that occur within the most active period in winter.
    4. The essence of the circulation is that it varies on daily and monthly time scales so, if you reallay want to assess its variability you need to look at daily time scales.

  79. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    1. The current year is exceptional. It reflects a negative AO and AAO, high surface pressure at the poles
    No, every year shows the same thing. Here are the last 11 years:

    [...]

    4. The essence of the circulation is that it varies on daily and monthly time scales so, if you reallay want to assess its variability you need to look at daily time scales
    The plots shown are daily values.

  80. erl happ says:

    benfrommo says:
    August 21, 2011 at 10:24 am

    “This is typically referred to as the Arctic Osciliation. I would look at whether ozone concentrations in the arctic regions correspond to the AO index and how. This would be a verifiable method to see if your theory is sound in any fashion. The graphs you show are basically causes of various levels of the AO and how it pulses. It is curious that recent cool phases of the AO and the lower ozone concentration in the arctic seem to correlate so to speak.

    And even if there is a correlation there, remember causation is so much more difficult. I think you hinted at this earlier, but does the tail wag the dog or does the dog wag the tail? I think until you figure that part out, the thought experiment is really besides the point.”

    Exactly.

    So, here is how it works. When the AO is positive we have a regime of low pressure at the pole and relatively high pressure in the mid latitudes. What happens?

    Observation 1 from the historical record: Stratospheric temperature at 10hPa varies inversely with sea level pressure in the Arctic. Pressure rises, temperature falls.
    Observation 2. It can be observed that in the Arctic stratosphere, locations that have enhanced ozone content are warmer and exhibit increased geopotential height.
    Observation 3. This relates to the troposphere. When surface pressure falls in the Arctic or the Antarctic the atmosphere warms at the top of the stratosphere and cools in the troposphere. When surface pressure rises, the top of the stratosphere cools and the troposphere warms. It seems that increasing pressure is aligned with a tendency for the atmospheric column to descend bringing ozone rich air down below 100hPa. In the polar regions the surface is the source of outgoing long wave radiation therefore increasing the density of the net of ozone molecules that intercept this radiation. In other parts of the globe the upper troposphere tends to be the source of most outgoing long wave radiation, the implications of that seeming to be lost on greenhouse theorists.(just an aside, couldn’t help myself).
    Observation 4. When surface pressure falls at 80-90S it falls almost as strongly at 60-70° south.

    Why is it so?

    1. The night jet depends directly upon polar surface pressure. As pressure falls less erosive nitrogen oxide descends into the top of the stratosphere. Consequently ozone levels increase. The coupled circulation carries more ozone into the troposphere at the margins of the circulation, and it warms causing cloud cover to diminish. More solar radiation gets to the surface which warms.
    2. The polar easterlies collapse.
    3. The south westerlies prevail all the way from 30°north latitude to the pole.

    It appears that the coupled circulation is enhanced as soon as the upper stratosphere warms. This provokes a strong sea surface temperature response. You can see this for yourself if you plot the AO index against sea surface temperature at 50-60° north latitude. Data source for Sea surface temperature here:http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    Is this plain?

  81. erl happ says:

    Benfromo,
    You will notice that there is no reference to water vapour in the stratosphere in that reply. So, if that particular point of confusion is still of concern, take it up with Leif .

  82. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm
    You will notice that there is no reference to water vapour in the stratosphere in that reply.

    So you retract:
    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there.”

  83. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    So you retract:

    Good morning Leif
    That statement relates to a phenomenon that may or may not be real. It is not necessary to the argument so feel free to ignore it.

    The chemistry that you describe for depletion of ozone in the high latitude stratosphere is not the complete story either. Do you want to retract that? I am referring to your post at :
    August 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

    The process that you refer to may participate in spring in the Antarctic but it has no bearing on the ozone depletion that we see here in the middle of Northern Hemisphere summer that is evident here:

    And the process that results in this sort of depletion when polar pressure is high is of far greater importance than the chemistry that you describe.

    This sort of debating technique is unproductive. Can we rise above it?

  84. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” Richard S Courtney says:

    August 21, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Friends:

    I do not like “thought experiments” because they are usually so divorced from reality that they are often misleading in ways that cannot be known. However, I interject at this point in this discussion in hope of helping by asking all sides to consider a point raised by Crispin in Waterloo at August 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm . “””””

    So Crispin in Waterloo suggest that micro-water droplets are possible even at the low pressures of the Stratosphere, and they might not freeze either.

    This begs the question, is either of these things possible ? May I suggest that each of them may be possible.

    Well Leif raised the spectre of 1000 deg (izzat K or deg C) temperatures in the thermosphere. So at what altitude, does the Temperature rise to around zero deg C again, so that freezing need not occur ?

    So what about that evaporation at such altitudes. Enter (possibly) the surface tension of water, and the resulting excess internal pressure. As every Physics 101 student knows, the internal excess presure inside a water droplet, or inside a bubble in water, is 2t/r, where t is the surface tension in Newtons per metre, and r is the bubble radius. So at some small droplet radius, the surface tension can provide enough inward pressure to stop evaporation from occurring.
    Surface tension arises, because at the surface there no longer are molecules above to provide an outward attractive force, so the intermolecular inward forces, seek to minimize the surface area, and at a small enough radius, can presumably raise the required escape velocity to the point where evaporation is either absent or greatly reduced.

    So I believe that the existence of liquid water micro-droplets, as described by Crispin in Waterloo seems entirely plausible. I am sure that some enterprising young Physics student can research the value for the surface Tension of water, and investigate the escape velocity at above zero (non-freezing) temperature, and determine the critical droplet radius that could avoid evaporation as well.

  85. erl happ says:

    George,
    Since we are following this red herring, here is a genuine query from a person with no pretension to understand the stuff you are talking about:

    How does the relationship between surface pressure and boiling point fit into that analysis. When using an Ebulliometer to measure alcohol one must know the boiling point of water and the boiling point of the fluid containing the alcohol. The temperature at which water boils varies with atmospheric pressure that depends on altitude and the day of the week.

    Put the question another way: At what atmospheric pressure will ice sublimate directly into the atmosphere and how do we describe that “particle” that it sublimates to. Will that “particle” interact with either the oxygen atom or the ozone molecule.

  86. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm
    That statement relates to a phenomenon that may or may not be real. It is not necessary to the argument so feel free to ignore it.
    If it is not necessary, you shouldn’t waste the reader’s time with irrelevant nonsense.

    The chemistry that you describe for depletion of ozone in the high latitude stratosphere is not the complete story either.
    It is not my story. It is the accepted explanation for the depletion.

    The process that you refer to may participate in spring in the Antarctic but it has no bearing on the ozone depletion that we see here in the middle of Northern Hemisphere summer that is evident here [...]
    And the process that results in this sort of depletion when polar pressure is high is of far greater importance than the chemistry that you describe.

    You ascribed the depletion to ozone being dissolved in water. That was what I objected to.

    This sort of debating technique is unproductive. Can we rise above it?
    Sure: remove the statements that are not necessary or dead wrong. Then you have risen above being unproductive. I have suggested that already:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:06 am
    Your way out is to remove the statements I just cited, then as you now claim “it would make not the slightest jot of difference were there no water in any form in the stratosphere”. That is all.

  87. benfrommo says:

    George and Erl,

    I am not sure the presence of water is what bothers me in the stratosphere. I am simply doubting whether ozone can and will dissolve in water as you say to a large enough extent to make a difference as stated.

    Is the theory possible? I am not going to debate that without more data. The correlation study would be the first thing I would do as I hinted at in my first post….you have shown that the process follows certain other known processes. This is rather well done and I do note that the next step you should do is a correlation study between ozone concent in the deep arctic (80N+) and the actual AO. I don’t think I was clear on what I meant there, but your reply was very detailed and actually cleared up the issues I thought of there.

    As far as the AO goes, the correlation between AO and “the other greenhouse gas” or ozone is crucial as a starting point. I don’t think that is the only thing you have to chart against, I just think its probably the most important at this time.

    But having said that, I have book-marked your blog and will be looking forward to further reading on this subject. Just haven’t had time to do much more then look into detail on ozone. You learn something new everyday especially how ozone dissolves in higher quantities for longer periods of time the lower the temperature of water gets….Interesting stuff to say the least.

    But that is probably why it seems like I am being so nit-picking. In reality, I think the truth of your thought experiment is based on that paragraph about water solubility of the greenhouse gas. There are just too many assumption you make in that paragraph that are not written out. That paragraph in other words is the cornerstone of your thought experiment. Without that paragraph and without it being beyond reproach, its rather weak.

    I think you misunderstood the second part of my post: I will go to into this on my next post. Please do not take it as nit-picking. As I said, I found this article very interesting and its only the most interesting articles I check references and do my own research to figure out the issues. I have been tough on other authors as well, and its because I either enjoy their work or the article just grabs my attention. This article is one of those probably because I am so interested in the AO.

  88. benfrommo says:

    Reposting the paragraph for reference:


    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there.”

    The problem goes back to the fact that I think someone pointed out that this particular paragraph is the cornerstone of the thought process here. If you take that out, every single statement after that is rather irrelevant by itself. That is why it might seem like a very nasty game of semantics, but in the end, this is the key to your cornerstone so to speak. In a thought experiment, the individual details which you simplify are not as important (such as you stating that water is not a greenhouse gas in this thought experiment.) That part is irrelevant. But the key parts of the reasoning are very important, and as the cornerstone, this paragraph is crucial to get right.

    I will admit: I think you are onto something, but I also think there is more to it then you think here and that this paragraph might be slightly wrong to what is going on. This correlation is interesting, but I wonder if the cause and effect is really there or if you just found a correlation. This is the problem as I see it.

    Let me play Devil’s advocate and explain a little more clearly what I was talking about in reference to the AO and issues with the correlation…..

    If you look at ozone, the answer is probably there, but from what I can tell we obviously we all know that ozone goes back and forth from O2 to O3 (and vice versas) everytime its struck by UV. During the winter at the arctic, this process stops and so the ozone is kept in a constant state where it does not break down nor does it create more of itself. So therefore, even if dissolved in water (or not as the case may be), there is only so much ozone at any particular time at the arctic and this is the result of UV being the catalyst so to speak. But what if this correlation you seemed to have found is just part of another process? The ozone would be transferred to other parts of the globe farther to the south in this same process and although your data with the stratosphere seems correct, the correlation is nothing more then a coincidence and has nothing to do with cause and effect.

    As I said, if you move ozone out of the arctic regions during the night, there is no way for it to reform until the next Spring/Summer. So lower concentrations of ozone which result from “big pulses of the Arctic Oscilliation” might just be a small part of this. Or perhaps ozone is moved farther North as is the case when the AO is rather weak….and this is what causes this correlation as the pressure ridges impact areas farther north.

    This means that during the winter the arctic loses a portion of its ozone layer when the AO pulses strongly and loses not a lot when it pulses weakly. The fact that you found this stratosphere connection is interesting, so look into that if the ozone connection does not work out.

    Having said all that, I want to add this: It is a very interesting theory and I for one am looking forward to more discussion on a subject such as this. Please don’t take this personally. This is one of the most interesting things I have thought about in awhile. The connection between the AO and Ozone is something I never even considered, and even if it turns out to be false, you at least advanced science by coming up with a theory that can either be proven or disproven, and once its disproven (or not) science will be that much better off for it.

    The other issue is that we will understand ozone much better once we understand the exact process of how ozone moves around. I hope that helps to put this into perspective. I wanted to be clear that I am not trying to be difficult, but rather that the paragraph that is the cornerstone of your work needs some attention.

    This paragraph is key to everything after it, so that is why it might seem like I am nit-picking it (And I think Leif is doing the same for similar reasons.) The thesis as you put it is based on this paragraph. Not sure how else to explain why its so important, but that is it.

    One thing I do want to add while I think about it:

    For the purpose of this thought experiment, the greenhouse gas properties of water can be ignorred for it. This is not as crucial as say the solubility statement which is important to get right.

  89. erl happ says:

    benfrommo says:
    August 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm AND August 21, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for your careful effort to explain your approach to this phenomenon. I have just posted the briefest possible explanation of what I have to contribute on the no 4 thread and I will do it here as well because I think it will help to explain the dynamics as I see them. You will see no mention of water vapour.

    The phenomenon called the annular mode of inter-annual variability in climate is observed to relate to cloud cover via its effect on the temperature of the troposphere.
    The annular mode depends upon the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere at high latitudes.
    The strength of the coupled circulation as it relates to the loss of surface pressure at 60-70° south latitude is observed to vary with atmospheric pressure over Antarctica that affects the ozone content and the temperature of the stratosphere.
    The interchange of atmospheric mass between Antarctica and the rest of the globe depends upon external influences including the solar wind.
    Prediction: As atmospheric mass returns to Antarctica stratospheric ozone levels will fall, the coupled circulation will weaken, atmospheric pressure will rise at 60-70°south, cloud cover will increase in the southern hemisphere and it will cool. If the same phenomenon is observed in the Arctic, the northern hemisphere will also cool.

    As is ever the case when one attempts the briefest of possible explanations that something gets missed out. And so far as you are concerned it is the most important bit. The variation in ozone content of the stratosphere at both poles is known to depend upon the rate of ingress of nitrogen compounds from the mesosphere via the night jet. When surface pressure at the pole increases the night jet is more active, and ozone gets depleted.

    So, the whole mechanism of the Arctic Oscillation is based on the relationship between surface pressure at the pole vis a vis the mid latitudes ( 50-60°north). In practice it is polar pressure that is important. High AO means low polar atmospheric surface pressure. That involves reduced night jet activity, less nitrogen oxides from the mesosphere, more ozone in the stratosphere, a warmer stratosphere, reduced pressure at 50-60°north and more ozone entering the troposphere reducing cloud cover.

    The important thing to note is that the entire thing depends upon polar pressure. That in turn is externally driven vy the solar wind….see part 4.

  90. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    “This sort of debating technique is unproductive. Can we rise above it?
    Sure: remove the statements that are not necessary or dead wrong. Then you have risen above being unproductive. I have suggested that already:”

    As I have already said the following paragraph could be removed and it would not affect the exposition one jot.

    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there.”

    But as to whether it is true or not, that is another question entirely and on present evidence I reckon it might well have more than a grain of truth in it. H2O has many forms.

    For the record: The ozone content of the polar stratosphere is primarily a function of polar atmospheric pressure as it affects the influx of oxides of nitrogen from the mesosphere.

  91. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    1. The current year is exceptional. It reflects a negative AO and AAO, high surface pressure at the poles
    No, every year shows the same thing. Here are the last 11 years:

    The graphs you relay on show no detail. What they confirm is that temperature does fall into the stratosphere to more than 25Km in elevation.

    If you want a better resolution you get better data as I did for my figure 8. The point is that to all intents and purposes there is no tropopause. The profile favours convection and the profile varies over time.

    Nit picking.

  92. erl happ says:

    Leif,
    Just a thought. What is it that depletes ozone above the equator right up to 16-18km in elevation. Presumably the H2O there is in the form of ice? If the ice can deplete ozone at a temperature of minus 80°C in the troposphere why can it not do the same in the stratosphere at the same temperature?

  93. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm
    As I have already said the following paragraph could be removed and it would not affect the exposition one jot.
    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there.”

    Yet you resist removing it and keep trying to defend it.

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 12:23 am
    The graphs you relay on show no detail. What they confirm is that temperature does fall into the stratosphere to more than 25Km in elevation.
    They show the data at every height and every day. All the detail you need. And they show that temperature increases from 25 km up contrary to your claim that the temperature falls all the way to the top of the atmosphere.

    Nit picking.
    Necessary to remove the chaff and get to the wheat [if there is any].

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 6:09 am
    What is it that depletes ozone above the equator right up to 16-18km in elevation. Presumably the H2O there is in the form of ice?
    for the zillionth time: it is not H2O that depletes ozone anywhere. Here is the current understanding of ozone depletion:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/ozone/2006/

  94. benfrommo says:

    I do not think he was saying that H20 depletes ozone. I think the assertion was that H2 O holds onto the ozone in a dissolved state and that this is why levels are lower around the equater (or even just farther south) where there is theoritically more H2O in the water state due to higher temperatures. The issues with this are very relevant though and this is my issue with the dissolved and/or solubility question.

  95. benfrommo says:
    August 22, 2011 at 10:54 am
    I do not think he was saying that H20 depletes ozone. I think the assertion was that H2 O holds onto the ozone in a dissolved state and that this is why levels are lower around the equater (or even just farther south) where there is theoritically more H2O in the water state due to higher temperatures. The issues with this are very relevant though and this is my issue with the dissolved and/or solubility question.
    The reason ozone is lower in the equatorial lower troposphere is that ozone is destroyed by solar UV which is stronger in the tropics. This whole water thing is pure nonsense and has nothing to do with ozone depletion or concentration.

  96. Myrrh says:

    The reason ozone is lower in the equatorial lower troposphere is that ozone is destroyed by solar UV which is stronger in the tropics. This whole water thing is pure nonsense and has nothing to do with ozone depletion or concentration.

    ? Doesn’t UV create ozone?

    It’s the chlorine that destroys it, isn’t it?

    Which according to this http://www.sciencemag.org/content/290/5497/1756.abstract is enhanced by the presence of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) particles in the polar stratospheric clouds.

    Here ozone creation:

    “In the stratosphere, ozone is created primarily by ultraviolet radiation. When high-energy ultraviolet rays strike ordinary oxygen molecules (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms, known as atomic oxygen. A freed oxygen atom then combines with another oxygen molecule to form a molecule of ozone. There is so much oxygen in our atmosphere, that these high-energy ultraviolet rays are completely absorbed in the stratosphere.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Ozone/ozone_2.php

  97. erl happ says:

    Leif, you say
    “The reason ozone is lower in the equatorial lower troposphere is that ozone is destroyed by solar UV which is stronger in the tropics. This whole water thing is pure nonsense and has nothing to do with ozone depletion or concentration.”

    The tropopause is where temperature stops falling with increasing altitude. The mid latitude tropopause is about 10km up. The equatorial tropopause can be seen here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_MEAN_ALL_EQ_2009.gif

    As you can see its about 15km up.

    As I understand it temperature stops falling with altitude in the 10-15km range because of the absorption of outgoing radiation from the atmosphere by ozone.

    Now, what’s this stuff about solar UV destroying ozone between 10km and 15km in the tropical upper troposphere? I assume that reference to the ‘lower’ troposphere was just a typo.

  98. erl happ says:

    Leif,
    I wonder what is destroying the ozone here, and at this time of he year, middle of summer?

    Does your UN report cover this phenomenon?

  99. erl happ says:

    Leif,
    The substance of this post resides in the three diagrams. Why not address the substance of the post.

    Here is the essence of it:

    1. 200hPa temperature and GPH dynamics reflect the activity of the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere.
    2. Sea surface temperature anomalies reflect the same dynamics.
    3. The increase in the temperature of the polar stratosphere, higher at the highest levels. How will this affect the coupled circulation, the evolution of surface pressure at the margins of Antarctica and sea surface temperature?

    Is this a no-go area for you?

  100. Myrrh says:
    August 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm
    ? Doesn’t UV create ozone?
    It’s the chlorine that destroys it, isn’t it?

    UV both creates and destroys ozone, see Figure 5 of

    http://www.ozonedepletion.info/education/ozone.html#C

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    As I understand it temperature stops falling with altitude in the 10-15km range because of the absorption of outgoing radiation from the atmosphere by ozone.
    And yet you claim the temperature decreases all the way to the top of the atmosphere…

    I assume that reference to the ‘lower’ troposphere was just a typo.
    Yeah, should be ‘higher’

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm
    Does your UN report cover this phenomenon?
    I linked to that report for your education, so go study it carefully.

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm
    The substance of this post resides in the three diagrams. Why not address the substance of the post.
    the whole post is build on the assumption that ozone is depleted by being dissolved in water.

    1. 200hPa temperature and GPH dynamics reflect the activity of the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere.
    Trivial point, such has been known for decades, e,g, the the Brewer-Dobson circulation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewer-Dobson_circulation. Can you point us to links that dispute that are such couplings?

    2. Sea surface temperature anomalies reflect the same dynamics.
    another trivial point. Can you point us to links that dispute this?

    3. The increase in the temperature of the polar stratosphere, higher at the highest levels. How will this affect the coupled circulation, the evolution of surface pressure at the margins of Antarctica and sea surface temperature?
    I’m sure the atmospheric circulation models have answers for that. Can you point us to links that dispute that is such an effect?

    In short, the only things that are ‘original’ [but wrong] are
    1) ozone depletion is caused by it being dissolved in water
    2) the temperature falls all the way to the top of the atmosphere
    3) geomagnetic activity controls the pressure at the surface

  101. erl happ says:

    Leif
    3/10 Fail
    Failure to engage with the question.

  102. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm
    Failure to engage with the question.
    You failed to show there is a valid question. Why should I waste time on something you have not demonstrated is worth spending time on? So, indeed, failure to waste time.

    From the other thread:
    Exposition: Teach me.
    1) formulate the message; simple and sweet.
    2) stick to the message; don’t pile up incidentals.
    3) accept that your readers are your judge and [occasional executioner]. If you don’t get your point across [assuming there is one] it is your fault, not theirs.

  103. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm
    3. The increase in the temperature of the polar stratosphere, higher at the highest levels.
    From this analysis:

    http://www.arl.noaa.gov/documents/JournalPDFs/RandelEtal.JGR2009.pdf

    we learn:
    Temperature changes in the lower stratosphere show cooling of 0.5 K/decade over much of the globe for 1979–2007, with some differences in detail among the different radiosonde and satellite data sets. Substantially larger cooling trends are observed in the Antarctic lower stratosphere during spring and summer, in association with development of the Antarctic ozone hole.

    So, what was your question again?

  104. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: August 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm
    Your paper is irrelevant. And that people can write such papers without any mention of the increase in the temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere between 1948 and 1978 as seen in figure 3 above amazes me.

    I am well aware I am wasting my time with you when you are in wrecking mode, but for any other more reasonable soul passing by the data above will confirm that episodic spikes in temperature are opposite in sign between the poles and the equator. That should at least start them asking why, and by the way, upper stratospheric temperature is inversely related to surface pressure.

  105. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm
    I am well aware I am wasting my time with you when you are in wrecking mode
    Science is always in wrecking mode. The things that are left standing when the dust settles represent progress.

    but for any other more reasonable soul passing by the data above will confirm that episodic spikes in temperature are opposite in sign between the poles and the equator.
    Explain how your ozone dissolved in water regulates this. It is not enough just to pile up unrelated and random throw-aways, like “by the way, upper stratospheric temperature is inversely related to surface pressure.”

    The upward spikes [stratospheric warmings] are caused by upwards travelling planetary waves and are well modeled, e.g. http://www.leif.org/EOS/2010GL045756.pdf

  106. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm
    but for any other more reasonable soul passing by the data above will confirm that episodic spikes in temperature are opposite in sign between the poles and the equator.
    This seems to be a well-known phenomenon with a known cause, e.g.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/2263/2011/acpd-11-2263-2011.html

    for this event:

    A ground rule is science is to be versed in current literature on one’s subject.

  107. erl happ says:

    I want to leave a note to thank all who contributed. I have just re-read all the comments and I want to leave you with some impressions, partial as they must be, about the topic of the post, how the debate was conducted and how things might be improved.

    What I set out to do was to point out the importance of the atmospheric circulation in the polar regions in determining cloud cover at all latitudes. Secondly I wanted to suggest (and the evidence is there in figure 3) that the circulation will change the climate over time as the concentration of ozone changes. For this circulation, ozone is like oxygen to a fire. Take away the oxygen and the fire dies. Deplete the ozone in the polar circulation and the circulation comes to a halt. The cloud returns and the globe cools.

    This phenomenon is entirely unrecognized in climate science. Leif implied otherwise at August 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm. But, he is dead wrong. Why does he do this? Why does he derail the discussion with interjections of supposed great moment and hammer away as he does? Who knows? Perhaps he sees himself as a gatekeeper. But in acting in this fashion he makes it very difficult to extract whatever germ of value there might be in the discussion. Unfortunately there is too much point scoring and one-up-man-ship and many people live in fear of being shown up. Nobody wants to be wrong. So, this sort of behavior kills debate.

    In my estimation there is no way that processes that are internal to the climate system could change ozone content in the Antarctic stratosphere to produce the temperature variation seen in figure 3. There is no parallel in the Arctic. The flux in H2O from the tropical oceans is plainly a bit player that sits at the other end of a long table. The increase in the temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere has been accompanied by an enduring but reversible decline in atmospheric pressure across half the southern hemisphere. The Antarctic circulation hammers away summer and winter despite the ozone depletion that it engineers in sending ozone into the troposphere. Is this process of ozone depletion recognized in climate science? No.

    Very few people know what the coupling of the circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere involves. The NAM and the SAM are just letters of the alphabet. No-one remarks the link with 200hPa GA heights in the troposphere or the connection with cloud cover and sea surface temperature. These were the big unknowns that could have been explored in this thread.

    Why does the temperature of the polar stratosphere vary as it does? Because of the variation in the supply of an erosive chemical from the mesosphere, oxides of nitrogen usually referred to as NOx coming in via the night jet. You can see it as a core of low ozone values immediately above the pole here:http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_o3mr_30_nh_f00.gif

    The source of much useful data on the stratosphere is here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/

    Is there any literature on it? Very little.

    Does the core of ozone values vary over time? Yes. And it is a simple function of change in surface pressure as the atmosphere shifts to and from the pole.You must ask yourself what causes that? Others have linked GA to the ozone content in the stratosphere. I look directly at surface pressure but perhaps that is one extra step away in the chain of causation and too far removed. Still others have linked GA to the AO. Did anyone know that? Yet others have linked GA to changes in the circulation of the winds. It’s all part of the big picture.

    I want to thank in particular benfromo who, though he wrestled with the notion that water/water/vapour/ice or whatever form of H2O might have been important to the system, (being unfamiliar with the role of NOx) realized and bravely stuck his neck out in stating the importance of the link between ozone and the Arctic Oscillation. He is on the track. He helped me to get the message across.

    For myself, if I am to post again, I will confine the post to one or two diagrams and half a page of notes. Slowly, slowly catchee monkey!

    To those who leaped to my defense over the ‘water in the stratosphere’ thing, thank you. You knew a lot more than I did. Had Leif been a bit more precise about what he was on about, things might have been different. Water and nitrogen together make Nitric acid. Perhaps he could have volunteered that.

    That is the trouble with an interdisciplinary discussion. And it is precisely the reason why people should try to be helpful rather than corrosive.

    So I will thank Leif too (for diligence) and for the future I will take up his suggestion:

    1) formulate the message; simple and sweet.
    2) stick to the message; don’t pile up incidentals.
    3) accept that your readers are your judge and [occasional executioner]. If you don’t get your point across [assuming there is one] it is your fault, not theirs.

  108. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 23, 2011 at 9:23 am
    This seems to be a well-known phenomenon with a known cause
    Here is that paper: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/6325/2011/acp-11-6325-2011.pdf

  109. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: August 23, 2011 at 9:36 am

    And what might “this” be?

  110. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: August 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

    “The upward spikes [stratospheric warmings] are caused by upwards travelling planetary waves and are well modeled, e.g. http://www.leif.org/EOS/2010GL045756.pdf

    Here is the abstract:
    Multi‐decadal variability of sudden stratospheric warmings
    in an AOGCM
    S. Schimanke,1 J. Körper,1 T. Spangehl,1 and U. Cubasch1
    Received 6 October 2010; revised 10 November 2010; accepted 23 November 2010; published 4 January 2011.
    [1] The variability in the number of major sudden
    stratospheric warmings (SSWs) is analyzed in a multi‐century
    simulation under constant forcing using a stratosphere
    resolving atmosphere‐ocean general circulation model.
    A wavelet‐analysis of the SSW time series identifies
    significantly enhanced power at a period of 52 years. The
    coherency of this signal with tropospheric and oceanic
    parameters is investigated. The strongest coherence is found
    with the North Atlantic ocean‐atmosphere heat‐flux from
    November to January. Here, an enhanced heat‐flux from
    the ocean into the atmosphere is related to an increase in
    the number of SSWs. Furthermore, a correlation is found
    with Eurasian snow cover in October and the number of
    blockings in October/November. These results suggest that
    the multi‐decadal variability is generated within the oceantroposphere‐
    stratosphere system. A two‐way interaction
    of the North Atlantic and the atmosphere buffers and
    amplifies stratospheric anomalies, leading to a coupled
    multi‐decadal mode. Citation: Schimanke, S., J. Körper,
    T. Spangehl, and U. Cubasch (2011), Multi‐decadal variability of
    sudden stratospheric warmings in an AOGCM, Geophys. Res. Lett.,
    38, L01801, doi:10.1029/2010GL045756.

    This science is corrupt. It takes no cognizance of the Arctic Oscillation, also called the Northern Annular mode which relates to the variation in polar pressure in relation to elsewhere. The AO or NAM governs night jet activity and the coupled circulation of the troposphere and the stratosphere in affect giving rise to the primary controls on ozone in the stratosphere.With ozone varies GPH, stratospheric temperature, surface pressure on the margins of the Arctic and sea surface temperature.

    This is the team at work. Your team.Take this garbage elsewhere.

    And, while you are at it take the UN report on ozone. It also takes no cognizance of the basic parameters that drive the ozone content of the polar stratosphere..

  111. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: August 23, 2011 at 9:23 am

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm
    but for any other more reasonable soul passing by the data above will confirm that episodic spikes in temperature are opposite in sign between the poles and the equator.
    This seems to be a well-known phenomenon with a known cause, e.g.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/2263/2011/acpd-11-2263-2011.html

    for this event:

    A ground rule is science is to be versed in current literature on one’s subject.
    ===========================================================
    This paper bears no resemblance to the phenomena at all.

    The temperature response increases with elevation in the polar atmosphere and at the equator. It varies in each case strictly with atmospheric pressure. It is described quite adequately in terms of the NAM or the Arctic Oscillation.

    The paper represents either an attempt at deliberate obfuscation or else a poverty in observation and analysis. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt but you should know better.

    A ground rule in the science that I observe is that one starts with observation of phenomena and you try not to miss the fundamentals.

  112. erl happ says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: August 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm
    I am well aware I am wasting my time with you when you are in wrecking mode
    Science is always in wrecking mode. The things that are left standing when the dust settles represent progress.

    but for any other more reasonable soul passing by the data above will confirm that episodic spikes in temperature are opposite in sign between the poles and the equator.

    You ask:

    Explain how your ozone dissolved in water regulates this. It is not enough just to pile up unrelated and random throw-aways, like “by the way, upper stratospheric temperature is inversely related to surface pressure.”

    Hey, for the zillionth time, H2O in whatever form is a bit player in the control of stratospheric ozone. The primary control is the activity of the night jet, NOx from the mesosphere and the coupled circulation that wastes ozone into the troposphere.

    This debating tactic is very worn. It is fundamentally dishonest.

  113. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    Hey, for the zillionth time, H2O in whatever form is a bit player in the control of stratospheric ozone. The primary control is the activity of the night jet, NOx from the mesosphere and the coupled circulation that wastes ozone into the troposphere.
    H2O is not a player at all in this, but was the corner stone of your argument. I notice that you did not comment on the paper I directed you to.

    This debating tactic is very worn. It is fundamentally dishonest.
    This is not a debate, but an attempt to educate. And insults are not welcome [although eventually expected - probably escalating from this point on]

  114. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm
    And, while you are at it take the UN report on ozone. It also takes no cognizance of the basic parameters that drive the ozone content of the polar stratosphere.
    Perhaps you should consider that you could be very wrong and all the scientists that produce what you call ‘garbage’ and ‘corrupt science’ know what they are talking about.

  115. erl happ says:

    Leif:
    “H2O is not a player at all in this, but was the corner stone of your argument. ”

    Just according to you. The fact that one paragraph follows another can never be taken to infer that the latter is always a consequence of the former. All paragraphs prior to the first graph were intended as a description of a hypothetical scenario. You chose to represent them as my description of reality. Your inferences are unsupportable.

    “I notice that you did not comment on the paper I directed you to.”

    Be happy to. Which one? The UN report? Was it on the other thread?

  116. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    Just according to you.
    So, you retract it as not being essential.
    You did, however, connect the sentences to indicate that they were consequences of the first. Now, you may also retract that and state that your statements are just a random collection of verbiage:
    “Now, let’s imagine that the greenhouse gas is water soluble. That part of the atmosphere that contains the least water is within the polar night because it is coldest, so the greenhouse gas attains a higher concentration there. That greenhouse gas absorbs long wave radiation from the planet. This sets up a convective circulation… etc.

    “I notice that you did not comment on the paper I directed you to.”
    Be happy to. Which one? The UN report? Was it on the other thread?

    You did, finally, calling it ‘corrupt’ or ‘garbage’. Does not sound as a rational response.

  117. erl happ says:

    Leif
    From http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/shindell_05/

    Upper atmospheric temperature and water changes have been observed for several decades, but at only a very few locations. High up in the stratosphere, from 30 to 50 km above the ground, the measurements show increasing water vapor and a very large, global cooling trend of 3° to 6°C (5° to 11°F) over recent decades.

    The climate model reproduces the temperature trends only when stratospheric water vapor also increases. The satellite observations of temperature and water vapor are reasonably consistent with the model results (Figure 1), making us more confident that we can calculate their trends correctly. Water vapor breaks down in the stratosphere, releasing reactive hydrogen oxide molecules that destroy ozone. These molecules also react with chlorine containing gases, converting them into forms that destroy ozone as well. So a wetter stratosphere will have less ozone.

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