‘First Light’ Taken by NASA’s Newest CERES Instrument, includes stunning “blue marble” image

NPP satellite photo

Western Hemisphere + web view | + hi-res image Eastern Hemisphere + web view | + hi-res image

A ‘Blue Marble’ image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012. + go to feature

The doors are open on NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite and the newest version of the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is scanning Earth for the first time, helping to assure continued availability of measurements of the energy leaving the Earth-atmosphere system.

The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.

CERES shortwave data visualization

Thick cloud cover tends to reflect a large amount of incoming solar energy back to space (blue/green/white image), but at the same time, reduce the amount of outgoing heat lost to space (red/blue/orange image). Contrast the areas that do not have cloud cover (darker colored regions) to get a sense for how much impact the clouds have on incoming and outgoing energy. Credit: NASA/NOAA/CERES Team

*** Click either image to enlarge it ***
CERES longwave data visualization

In the longwave image, heat energy radiated from Earth (in watts per square meter) is shown in shades of yellow, red, blue and white. The brightest-yellow areas are the hottest and are emitting the most energy out to space, while the dark blue areas and the bright white clouds are much colder, emitting the least energy. Increasing temperature, decreasing water vapor, and decreasing clouds will all tend to increase the ability of Earth to shed heat out to space. Credit: NASA/NOAA/CERES Team

CERES arrived in space Oct. 28, 2011, carried by NASA’s newest Earth-observing satellite, the recently renamed Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, or Suomi NPP. Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, NOAA and the Department of Defense.

Instrument cover-opening activities began on the instrument at 10:12 a.m. Eastern time Jan. 26, an operation that took about three hours. The “first light” process represented the transition from engineering checkout to science observations. The next morning CERES began taking Earth-viewing data, and on Jan. 29 scientists produced an image from the scans.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see the CERES FM-5 instruments on Suomi NPP begin taking measurements. We’re continuing the legacy of the most accurate Earth radiation budget observations ever made,” said CERES project scientist Kory Priestley, of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

“It has taken an incredible team of engineers, scientists, data management and programmatic experts to get CERES to this point,” he said.

NASA instruments have provided the scientific community unprecedented observations of the Earth’s climate and energy balance for nearly 30 years. The first CERES instrument was launched in 1997. Before that, the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) did the job beginning in 1984.

Langley Research Center has led both the ERBE and CERES experiments and provided stewardship of these critical climate observations.

For 27 years without a break, the instruments collectively have returned a vast quantity of precise data about the solar energy reflected and absorbed by Earth, the heat the planet emits, and the role of clouds in that process.

“CERES monitors minute changes in the Earth’s energy budget, the difference between incoming and outgoing energy,” said CERES principal investigator Norman Loeb, of Langley Research Center.

“Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean, raises sea level, and causes increases in atmospheric temperature,” Loeb said. “Amassing a long record of data is important in order to understand how Earth’s climate is changing in response to human activities as well as natural processes.”

How It Works

In addition to observing changes in Earth’s radiation budget, scientists are also monitoring changes in clouds and aerosols, which strongly influence Earth’s radiation budget.

“Clouds both reflect sunlight and block energy from radiating to space,” Loeb said. “Which of these two effects dominates depends upon the properties of clouds, such as their amount, thickness and height.”

“As the Earth’s environment evolves, cloud properties may change in ways that could amplify or offset climate change driven by other processes. Understanding the influence of clouds on the energy budget is therefore a critical climate problem.”

The four other CERES instruments are in orbit on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites.

Overall Mission

The five-instrument suite on Suomi NPP collects and distributes remotely sensed land, ocean, and atmospheric data to the meteorological and global Earth system science research communities. The mission will provide atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity sounding, land and ocean biological productivity, cloud and aerosol properties, total/profile ozone measurements, and monitor changes in the Earth’s radiation budget.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Suomi mission for the Earth Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program provides the satellite ground system and NOAA provides operational support. Suomi NPP commissioning activities are expected to be completed by March.

NASA Langley manages the CERES experiment with additional contracted support from Science Systems and Applications, Inc. The TRW Space & Electronics Group in Redondo Beach, Calif., now owned by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, built all of the CERES instruments.
MORE INFORMATION

› Suomi NPP Mission
› CERES page
› Q&A With CERES Principal Investigator

Michael Finneran
NASA Langley Research Center

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96 Responses to ‘First Light’ Taken by NASA’s Newest CERES Instrument, includes stunning “blue marble” image

  1. Ric Werme says:

    This is a good reminder that no matter how much we focus on wavelengths of light that are blocked by GHGs, there are still large windows where heat from the ground can radiate into space when high clouds don’t get in the way.

  2. Replicant says:

    Great images. Makes you wonder if Hansen really can find his 0.58 Watts from the long wave image?

  3. George E. Smith; says:

    Wonderful to see they are back on the air, and ready to prove that clouds cause global warming.

    No matter how “The Team” tries to skin this cat, the incontrovertible fact is that ANY and ALL clouds, whether thick or thin, high or low STOP SUNLIGHT (AKA SOLAR ENERGY) from reaching the deep ocean storage sites, which are those vast bluey areas. Less collected and stored solar energy leads to a cooler earth; same as a reduction in TSI does. Yes that cloud captures solar energy does heat THE ATMOSPHERE but the subsequent isotropic emission from the atmosphere, still goes half to space, and half earthwards; result is STILL a NET LOSS of solar energy.

    The redistribution of the surface emitted LWIR is just a red herring.

    More clouds, less captured solar energy, earth cools, clouds precipitate moisture, and dissipate, more solar energy reaches the surface, surface warms up, more water evaporates, more water forms more clouds, more clouds blocks more solar energy, surface cools down.

    A perfect negative feedback loop that REGULATES THE SOLAR ENERGY CAPTURED BY PLANET EARTH.

    And I might add that since in general the bulk of the atmosphere will be colder than the surface, so there can’t be a net “heat flow from atmosphere to surface. There CAN be LWIR emission to the surface; but the bulk of that is stopped in the oceanic surface film and simply evaporates more water; it doesn’t get transported to the deep ocean storage depths (700 metres or so).

    But I’m happy, they have their tools back on the air; just wish they wouldn’t start off by assuming the indefensible.

    And without the Raleigh scattering which is also a blue light loss of solar energy from the surface, that “blue marble” would just be a black marble, like it is made of obsidian.

  4. EJ says:

    We have data for earth’s lw emmisions for the last 25 years?

    Where are the analyses in the IPCC?

  5. FergalR says:

    Isn’t there a satellite that was built but never launched which was supposed to be stationed at a Lagrange point where it could constantly monitor the Earth’s albedo?

  6. Alan S. Blue says:

    The photos are amazing.

    I’d be very interested in seeing the simultaneous examination of just one area with a variety of cloud covers – from both the ground-looking-up and CERES looking down.

    A miniscule number of experiments would seem like it would really lock down a raft of arguments.

  7. Julian Flood says:

    Load the Western Hemisphere, zoom in and look at the Gulf of Mexico. See the mouth of the Mississippi and the curious way the clouds avoid the area where the waters of that great and polluted river spill into the sea?

    Why do you think that is? It almost looks as if something about the water is dissolving the clouds.

    JF

  8. dp says:

    The first picture is classic Naked Earth. It’s nearly cloud-free. It looks hot, barren, and parched. Coincidence, Treberth’s missing heat, or cherry picking? We report, you decide. But don’t forget – composite images – all make believe stuff. Like models. There is no intelligence in these photos – use your own.

  9. One of the things to keep in mind regarding clouds reflecting incoming energy and increasing the apparent sky temperature for radiation from the surface is that the clouds move. And they move largely in response to the diurnal surface temperature fluctuation.

    It’s a very difficult/impossible to “prove” that the nett effect is a moderation of extremes at the particular location. For the simple case of arid surface heating, the upwelling of warm air displaces clouds which notionally increases the capacity of the surface underneath to radiate heat when the sun is low above the horizon or when it’s night. That case is however too simple. It ignores horizontal movement of air either as prevailing wind (initiated by a perturbation elsewhere) or caused by the surface heating the air. Air doesn’t just expand vertically when heated. ;-) The upwelling itself results in a loss of surface heat which reduces (slightly) the rate at which heat is lost by radiation to space.

    The CERES team have done a good job in getting all the image together in a relatively-short time. It’s not exactly a snapshot. In 3 hours, the sun has moved across 45 degrees of longitude. Surface that had been cooling when the “snapshot” started is already subjected to a nett warming (sans clouds/aerosols/particlates) within 3 hours. The composite image represents a snapshot of individual areas at some time during the 3 hours, not an “average” of any sort.

    Just some caveats, not a criticism of CERES. I do think it odd that there’s a big “hole” in the picture of the Arctic itself, given the polar orbit of Suomi NPP.

    BTW: Some of Trenberth’s missing heat may be in those warm currents entering the Arctic regions from the Atlantic and Pacific.

    P.S. I got stuck decyphering “The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.”

  10. Doug Cotton says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    February 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    George, you make good points about the clouds blocking incident solar radiation. In fact carbon dioxide and methane etc do likewise, thus having a cooling effect. (I will no longer call these GHG.)

    But any radiation from either water vapour or carbon dioxide etc (which are at significantly colder temperatures than the surface) will have a lower peak frequency than the peak frequency being emitted by the warmer surface. (Wien’s Displacement Law says peak frequency is proportional to absolute temperature.)

    If the temperatures are very close (which usually only happens within a few metres of the surface, then there can be some overlap of the two spectral distributions and thus a small amount of conversion of thermal energy. But if there is no significant overlap (generally when temperature differences exceed 20 to 30 degrees it seems) then there is no significant conversion to thermal energy. WIthout additional thermal energy there can be neither a slowing of the cooling of the surface, nor an increase in the rate of warming thereof.

  11. Barry Elledge says:

    It does seem that at least in principle a satellite or ensemble of satellites could measure the incoming and outgoing radiant energy of the whole earth, and directly determine the energy budget of the planet. The warming or cooling of the earth thereby might be directly calculated independent of climate models. The chief problem of such measurements is the familiar one of determining a small difference between two large numbers. But the precision and accuracy achievable by modern instruments might be enough to tell cooling from warming.

    Anyone know why this isn’t being attempted? Is the incremental net (purported) absorbed energy simply too small?

  12. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” FergalR says:

    February 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Isn’t there a satellite that was built but never launched which was supposed to be stationed at a Lagrange point where it could constantly monitor the Earth’s albedo? “””””

    Seems an impossible geometry problem to me. There is no point in space where you can constantly look at the ENTIRE SURFACE of the earth; and clouds as some people may have noticed, do move around and come and go.

    I wonder why nobody ever seemed to have thought to put a full earth field of view camera on every single one of the GPS satellites, and have them point to the earth at all times and record continuously.

  13. The very first Blue Marble image, the one with America and the most viewed in recent years, is a fake.

    http://omnologos.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/nasas-blue-marble-2012-is-a-fake/

    Looks like somebody at NASA then decided they couldn’t fool everybody, so the Africa Blue Marble was released, a composite like the previous one but at least looking the way it should.

  14. erl happ says:

    I’m with George E Smith.Well said George

    Here is my entry point: Quote: ” Increasing temperature, decreasing water vapor, and decreasing clouds will all tend to increase the ability of Earth to shed heat out to space.”

    Bull.

    Look at the third photo. Lots more infrared energy being emitted from the winter (northern) hemisphere than the summer (southern) hemisphere. And the energy comes from cloud free zones because they correspond to high pressure cells of descending and warming air (compressing like a bike pump). These cells form preferentially in the winter hemisphere. See the monthly evolution of surface pressure at http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/jra/atlas/eng/indexe_surface11.htm

    The energy is emitted from these high pressure cells, not because of the absence of ‘energy trapping cloud’ but because the energy is generated by compression and is available to be emitted.

    Conversely, at the equator heat is lost by decompression as the air rises driven by the release of latent heat. So, very little radiation in the equatorial zone, not because clouds are trapping heat but because there is very little radiation to trap.

    Simpletons.

    Cloud cools. Currently the atmosphere is becoming more humid and gaining more cloud after several decades of deficiency. See: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Precipitable+Water&level=2000&lat1=-90&lat2=90&lon1=0&lon2=360&iseas=0&mon1=0&mon2=11&iarea=0&typeout=2&Submit=Create+Timeseries

  15. A physicist says:

    Apropo purely of astronomical instruments that are astonishingly beautiful and fun, WUWT folks might want to look for a time-lapse YouTube video titled “VLT (Very Large Telescope) HD Timelapse Footage“, by the Chilean astronomer/photographer/artist Niko Bustos.

    Bustos’ time-lapse videos are hugely popular among physics-and-astronomy graduate students … we are lucky to be alive in a era of such incredible scientific instruments.

    No tricks, no politics, just pure beauty. And yes, those are real lasers. Have fun! :)

  16. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean, raises sea level, and causes increases in atmospheric temperature,” Loeb said. “Amassing a long record of data is important in order to understand how Earth’s climate is changing in response to human activities as well as natural processes.”

    As soon as I read this I knew this NASA project is designed to prove Hansens Theory. Loeb has simply assumed that an increase in GHGs will have a positive effect and he discounts the ability of the earth to self regulate. Do we now have to assume that any data from this satellite which does not support the AGW will be lost or adjusted until it does?

    If we are suspicious it is because past experience says we must be. Pity.

  17. John Marshall says:

    So called greenhouse gasses cannot block radiation but adsorb it and simultaneously emit it at a lower frequency due to the energy reaction. This fools people into thinking that the theory of GHG’s is correct since the emitted energy is outside the expected ‘adsorbed’ range. The claims that the missing LIR proves this theory are wrong.

  18. Even Phil Plait had to correct himself on this…the America picture is NOT the Western Hemisphere, rather a part of it rather brutally distorted so as to look like the whole hemisphere. It’s more fake even than a SkS graph.

    I strongly recommend you change the caption or remove the fake altogether. As I said the image with Africa is correct instead.

  19. David, UK says:

    “Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean, raises sea level, and causes increases in atmospheric temperature,” Loeb said.

    And there’s the propaganda quote. The honest version would be: “Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget for whatever reason warms or cools the ocean, raises or lowers sea level, and causes changes in atmospheric temperature.”

  20. johanna says:

    Gorgeous pics. Thank you.

    But, as soon as people start talking about measuring ‘the Earth’s energy balance’, it reminds me of people talking about measuring the average temperature of the planet.

    Absurd in concept and impossible in execution.

    What balance? Balance implies stasis.

  21. gnarf says:

    Weird pictures…North America and Africa are bigger than on earth pictures taken from some distance.

    Compare with these classical “pictures” (the link comes from WUWT page) or with Google Earth for the matter of proportions:
    http://www.intelliweather.com/imagesuite_specialty.htm
    You can see entire Africa, and at least half Europe, North and South America at the same time.

    Maybe these are pictures from low altitude with a very wide angle lens (fisheye). As a result, there seem to be way less ocean than in reality.

  22. Chas says:

    - Julian Flood ” See the mouth of the Mississippi and the curious way the clouds avoid the area where the waters of that great and polluted river spill into the sea”
    Thanks for pointing this out – I stumbled on a UNESCO review of studies on of oil films to reducing water evaporation from reservoirs:
    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0007/000700/070035eo.pdf

    What can be acheived depends on wind speed. However experiments in rice paddys showed increases in water temperature ~7-8 centigrade at midday on cloudless days. [Original page 37] and talking of a C18 C22 mixture it says “Since 1960 [The mixture] has been applied extensively by farmers to warm the water in rice nurseries.”
    Of course, if oil films reduce the cloud cover too , then we have a virtuous(?) circle.

  23. wermet says:

    dp says: February 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    The first picture is classic Naked Earth. It’s nearly cloud-free. It looks hot, barren, and parched. Coincidence, Treberth’s missing heat, or cherry picking? …

    Please remember that these images are from mid-winter in the northern hemisphere. It’s not green here now, but kind of gray and brown, just like it is in the middle of every winter. So, my best reasoning leads me to conclude — this is coincidence based on the activation time of the instrument. (Now if we keep seeing nothing but gray/brown images, then I will change my conclusion to cherry picking.)

    Check back in 3-4 months to see if the image has “greened-up” a bit.

  24. Adam Gallon says:

    On the “Eastern Hemisphere” image, what are the grey, vertical striations? Cloud or an artifact of the image’s creation?

  25. mkelly says:

    Suomi means Finnish. So why is it called “Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP.”

  26. Andrew30 says:

    Where clouds are relecting energy back to space the scale goes up to 1063 (full cloud).
    Where the Earth is radiating enengy back to space the to scale goes up to 387 (no cloud).

    So each pixel of full cloud reflect up to 1063 and the max possible outgoing with no cloud is 387.
    Clouds appear to reflect far more per pixel than the Earth radiates.
    IF we use the MAX for both, then the area under the clouds is radiating 387 towards the clouds. IF 100% of that radiation is reflected Back to the Earth then the area Under the clouds is receiving a value of 387.
    The area Not under the clouds is receiving 1063.

    Under cloud with 100% reflected back to Earth 387 would be the Maximum reaching the surface.
    Clear sky 100% incomming to Earth 1063 would be the Maximum reaching the surface.

    Clouds appear to Reduce the Maximum reaching the surface by 63%.

    Clouds appear to Cool the earth.

  27. Jean says:

    Given what we know from the historic record about the cyclical nature of our climate, aren’t we going to need 200-300 years of energy balance data?

  28. AlanG says:

    Why are they wasting money on satellites? CAGW is based on computer models which prove warming beyond doubt ;-). Real data is just going to confuse people. Nice pictures though.

  29. Steve Keohane says:

    George E. Smith; says: February 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm
    George, many good points I agree with, but I want to step back to something that seems even more fundamental to this energy balance thingy. And I notice erl happ says:February 4, 2012 at 12:45 am touches on it. I too noticed the higher emitting NH as well, combining that with the AMU global temperature plot, is further confirmation of a simple theory that has been bothering me for some time. The max global temperatures occur in July, when the planet is furthest from the sun, least annual energy hitting earth, but the obliquity points the NH is more toward the sun. Therefore, IMO, it seems the most important factor in warming the earth is how much sun hits ground, something with more mass than air, and is not water. The clouds alter what’s coming and going, but it seems that if sunlight doesn’t hit the ground, there is not much to play with.

    Bernd Felsche says: February 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm
    P.S. I got stuck decyphering “The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.”

    This grabbed me as well. It seems to assume the energy budget is understood, and we don’t want badly appended future data. Somehow, I can’t believe the former, and hope for the latter.

  30. Chris Wright says:

    Didn’t Lindzen use the CERES data over the last decades to show that the IR emissions directly contradict AGW?
    Chris

  31. Ian W says:

    Lawrie Ayres says:
    February 4, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I too was wondering when the first ‘adjustments’ would be announced.

  32. LazyTeenager says:

    John Marshall says
    So called greenhouse gasses cannot block radiation but adsorb it and simultaneously emit it at a lower frequency due to the energy reaction.
    —-/–
    Uhhhh? What “energy reaction”. John this is just story telling. The emission spectrum of the atmosphere has been measured over and over again from pole to pole. It says you are wrong.

    I’ll also wager that IR fluorescence life times are too long compared to the gas kinetic collision rates and so any radiation absorbed by a CO2 molecule is transferred to the bath gas instead of being immediately reemitted.

  33. Jason Joice M.D. says:

    “As the Earth’s environment evolves, cloud properties may change in ways that could amplify or offset climate change driven by other processes. Understanding the influence of clouds on the energy budget is therefore a critical climate problem.”

    In other words, we know clouds are a huge influence on climate, but we really understand much about that yet and we certainly don’t have the data to properly attribute cause and effect. But we are just going to blame GHG’s for everything.

    I mean seriously, how can they not even consider that the clouds are the driver? As to what drives clouds, well, it could be GCR’s or any other number of unknown factors. Who knows? Everyone of the CAGW crowd needs a lesson in cause/effect.

  34. Gnarf – glad you’ve noticed it too. Africa is actually more or less the right size.

    Adam – the whitish stripes are the reflection of the sun rays on the ocean. Remember those pictures are composites and the satellite always transits at around 1pm local time.

  35. Owen says:

    They’ll use the data from the satellite to ‘prove’ global warming, even if they have to manufacture it. Excuse my cynicism but NASA hasn’t done real climate science for decades. Why should they start now. But, if the evidence becomes overwhelming that C02 has no effect on the energy balance, expect the satellite to have a malfunction and go dark.

  36. The satellite was named Suomi after meteorologist Verner E Suomi

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verner_E._Suomi

  37. Jean Parisot says:

    (That earlier Jean comment was me, forgot there is another Jean, hereabouts.)

    Steve,

    I asked Dr. Brown about the influence of the ovoid nature of the earth vs a sphere in a recent thread discussing the earth energy model, add the increased land area to that issue.

  38. Richard M says:

    The picture of Africa is also clearly a fake. It may be a big continent but it doesn’t take up nearly 1/2 of one hemisphere.

  39. RACookPE1978 says:

    Neither image is taken from a point “over the equator” … which is correct in its own way, but then, NASA’s implied statement that the “circle” of the image shows one hemisphere of the earth is incorrect.

    Satellites move “up and down” with respect to the equator based on their original launch point and direction of original launch – assuming no mid-orbit maneuvering is done. So, it is reasonable for a low-earth orbiting satellite to be showing images that are NOT symmetric about the equator. So, to correct, the first image – the one showing a “magnified” northern hemisphere focused on the US and Canada – needs to be adjusted based on the actual range – the distance from the camera point to the earth’s surface.

    As shown above, it is not showing an entire hemisphere.

  40. a reader says:

    FergalR
    The satellite you are referring to is the Trianna renamed DSCOVR which was to launch in 2001 when it was “cancelled by George Bush” according to the conspiracy theororists among the warmists at Realclimate. It was to set at L1 Lagrangian point and transmit data from the same side of the earth continuously. Being so far from the earth enabled it to observe fully 1 hemisphere continuously. Apparently it is still in storage but being refurbished. Popsci had an article on it a few months ago called, “Who killed the Deep Space Climate Observatory?”

  41. Alberta Slim says:

    “NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Suomi mission…”
    Does that mean that Hansen is going to be allowed to “adjust” the results to his liking??
    Or, is this data going to bypass him and provide authentic data?
    Or, am I missing something?

  42. RACookPE1978 says:

    I am more troubled by the way that this elaborate NASA-GISS controlled presentation mimics Hansen’s Mercator projection up towards the poles.

    The Radiation “IN” budget on a per-square-kilometer basis is
    TWICE a function of the cosine of latitude (the first being the decreasing angle of the sun at maximum elevation with respect to the ground, the second function being the increasing length of atmosphere being penetrated by the sun’s rays. For example, there can be as much as 11 standard atmosphere masses (thickness) at 80 north between on observer and the sun as the there is at the equator.)
    PLUS the 23.44 degree angle of the earth (a direct function of the day of the year at any location)
    PLUS the distance of the earth from the sun (again changing by the season but by a different function of the day-of-the-year). At no time of the year is radiation “IN” ever the “average” of a stationary disk in a perfect vacuum of space being uniformly radiated as a black body.

    Radiation “OUT” budget on a per-square-kilometer basis is NOT a function of latitude or time of year or angle of the sun. (This is because the radiation “out” is always perpendicular to the earth’s spherical surface.) Radiation “OUT” is, to a lessor degree, a function of latitude but only because the atmosphere is substantially shorter at the poles than at the equator: thus, at the poles, there is less air mass between the surface and space than at the equator.

    The earth’s albedo and emissivity can be also approximated on an annual basis. But those continuous but predictable changes argue even more strongly against the CAGW’s simple flat-earth theory of a uniformly steady radiative heat equilibrium of a black body in space.

  43. Note to those who think the images to be “fake”:

    Read the NASA description of how the images are composed and the altitude of the perspective.
    When standing outdoors, you can’t see the whole hemisphere. When flyin at 10 km altitude, you don’t see the whole hemisphere.

    I’ll leave it as an exercise in geometry for the more courageous readers to determine what lowest altitude provides a complete hemispheric view.

  44. Guinganbresil says:

    One thing I have noticed is that almost all of these energy plots use the surface of the Earth as the frame of reference… I know were are standing on it, but it seems to me that the sun is the largest contributor to energy budget (yes, I know the politically correct answer is CO2…)

    I saw a plot once here that was close: Thermostat Hypothesis, but it only looks at a small set of data (one year, local noon.) To really see if there is overall cloud adaptive effect, a multi-decadal trend should be analyzed… Oh well, I won’t hold my breath (bowing to the the Algore and reducing my carbon footprint…)

  45. Just some more measurements to be thrown out since they don’t match the computer models.

  46. wsbriggs says:

    “The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.”

    Hmmm, so if we weren’t getting the correct values before, they’d “correct” them to be the same? I would like to understand the differences between the before and after with available raw data thank you very much.

  47. Phil. says:

    Bernd, the reason that the Arctic is not shown on the map is that it’s winter! You can’t reflect sunshine from where the sun isn’t shining.

  48. A physicist says:

    Lawrie Ayres says: As soon as I read this I knew this NASA project is designed to prove Hansen’s Theory. … if we are suspicious it is because past experience says we must be.

    Ayres, it is apparent to many folks here on WUWT that NASA has been “in the tank for Hansen” for the past 30 years.

    So if we assume (as logically we must) that NASA remains “in the tank for Hansen” during the next 30 years — continuing NASA’s corrupt partnership with the US/DoD and with every other space-faring nation in the world — then what should we foresee will be their corrupt findings?

    That’s EASY! Space observations in of the future will simply affirm Hansen’s present “Big 7″ predictions:

    A1/P1 Satellite altimeters will affirm the prediction of accelerating sea-level rise, and

    A2/P2 Satellite gravitometry will affirm the prediction of accelerating ice-mass loss, and

    A3/P3 Satellite photography will affirm Arctic ice-cap loss and polward biome migration,

    A4/P4 Satellite radiometry (solar) will affirm the prediction of stable solar output, and

    A5/P5 Satellite radiometry (terrestrial) will affirm the prediction of radiative energy imbalance, and

    A6/P6 Satellite telemetry (from ARGO) will affirm the prediction of warming oceans, and

    A7/P7 Satellite spectrophotometry will affirm the prediction of a warming particle-laden atmosphere.

    Obviously it will be necessary for all the civilian space scientists in the world, and every space-faring military agency too, to collaborate in the Hansen-affirming conspiracy of coming decades. To say nothing of all the ground-based scientists who will have to be recruited, indoctrinated, and coordinated too!

    To the extent that this worldview proves true, please let me say that I for one find it thrillingly encouraging, that humans are capable of this level of international cooperation, on the grounds that no student of history would ever have believed that a conspiracy of this literally global scale and scope could succeed so well and for so long.

  49. AJStrata says:

    Everyone should note how CERES explodes the idea of modeling the Earth’ energy budget as a homogenous black or grey body. Also, NASA built the S/C, NPOESS (now JPSS) is in charge of the program. The original “N” in NPP was for NPOESS.

    FWIW

  50. Bernd – when presented as “Hemisphere” the America image _is_ a fake (and I really don’t understand why the WUWT guys haven’t corrected the caption yet!). Likewise when presented as a “Blue Marble”.

    And example of a real Blue Marble and hemisphere is of course the Apollo 17′s

    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/image/planetary/earth/apollo17_earth.jpg

    Instead of projecting it in a fake globe NASA could’ve presented the image as it would have appeared as a part of a “blue marble”. Note in fact how different the Africa picture is.

  51. Phil. says:

    The images are from a perspective of ~7900 miles or approximately one radius above the surface, sketch it yourself and see how much of a sphere you’ll see.

  52. H.R. says:

    A physicist says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:05 am
    … something… something… next 30 years… big list… lotsa typing…
    Obviously it will be necessary for all the civilian space scientists in the world, and every space-faring military agency too, to collaborate in the Hansen-affirming conspiracy of coming decades. To say nothing of all the ground-based scientists who will have to be recruited, indoctrinated, and coordinated too!
    … something… on and on…”

    ==================================================================
    Massive conspiracy needed? According to the Climategate 1.0 release it only took one programmer to fudge the data. Obviously fudging data does not take a massive conspiracy.

  53. Darren Potter says:

    Said by Alberta Slim: “Does that mean that Hansen is going to be allowed to “adjust” the results to his liking??”
    Yes, and it means Taxpayers just funded another “Toy” for Hansen play with.

  54. GOES East and West show good images of clouds from far away (geostationary satellite):
    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/FULLDISK/GEIR.JPG
    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/FULLDISK/GWVS.JPG
    GOES Full Disk page is at http://www.goes.noaa.gov/goesfull.html

  55. iya says:

    “Clouds both reflect sunlight and block energy from radiating to space,” Loeb said. “Which of these two effects dominates depends upon the properties of clouds, such as their amount, thickness and height.”

    How can they still be so vague, when the data is so obvious:
    Over the tropics, clouds reflect 500-1000W shortwave, while blocking 100-300W infrared.
    They could easily quantify it over the entire globe and see that the net effect of more clouds has to be cooling.

  56. Ric Werme says:

    Bernd Felsche says:
    February 4, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I’ll leave it as an exercise in geometry for the more courageous readers to determine what lowest altitude provides a complete hemispheric view.

    Cool question! The answer is not infinite, as the Earth’s atmosphere refracts light some a bit (so at sunrise and sunset, the Sun’s upper limb is actually below the horizon by a fraction of a degree). Hmm, I lost my memory of the refraction amount, I could dig it out of my program that computes sunrise/sunset times,

    I’ll figure it out some day.

  57. Marko of Helsinki says:

    @mkelly said: “Suomi means Finnish. So why is it called “Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP.”

    Not to be pedantic, but actually Suomi means Finland in the Finnish language.

  58. Ric Werme says:

    Richard M says:
    February 4, 2012 at 6:34 am

    The picture of Africa is also clearly a fake. It may be a big continent but it doesn’t take up nearly 1/2 of one hemisphere.

    Of course its a fake – what electronic astronomical photo hasn’t gone through a huge amount of processing?

    In this particular case, please check out http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/viirs-globe-east.html and list in detail each item of fakery and explain why it should not have been done.

    Then explain why the raw field of view, just a scan of a line sweeping across the surface of the Earth under the satellite’s track, would be the One True Way to display the data. Include comments on how contrast and color should be processed to create the strip.

    From the web page:

    The Suomi NPP satellite is in a polar orbit around Earth at an altitude of 512 miles (about 824 kilometers), but the perspective of the new Eastern hemisphere ‘Blue Marble’ is from 7,918 miles (about 12,743 kilometers). NASA scientist Norman Kuring managed to ‘step back’ from Earth to get the big picture by combining data from six different orbits of the Suomi NPP satellite. Or putting it a different way, the satellite flew above this area of Earth six times over an eight hour time period. Norman took those six sets of data and combined them into one image.

    Using a basketball you can get a good idea of how far away the Suomi NPP satellite is from Earth. Take a basketball that has a diameter of 10 inches (about 25 centimeters) and say that’s ‘Earth.’ (For the record, Earth has a diameter of about 7,926 miles (about 12,756 kilometers)).

    So to get the same view of Earth as the VIIRS instrument aboard the Suomi NPP satellite, hold the basketball five-eighth of an inch (about one-and-a-half centimeters) away from your face.

    The actual swath width of the Earth’s surface covered by each pass of VIIRS as the satellite orbits the Earth is about 1,865 miles (about 3,001 kilometers). On the basketball that’s about two and one-third inches (about six centimeters).

  59. Robert Austin says:

    iya says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Yes, a very graphic illustration that modulation of incoming short wave solar radiation by the reflectivity of clouds dominates modulation of outgoing long wave radiation by clouds.

  60. ferd berple says:

    Amazing assumption, that the areas under the clouds are not orange because the clouds are blocking heat from leaving the earth.

    More likely they are not orange because the clouds are blocking the heat from the sun reaching the earth. Only those areas without clouds are able to heat up and show the orange color.

    The problem is that climate science assumes albedo is 0.3, which is a nonsense of averaging. Since radiation is a 4th power function, this leads to a huge error in the energy calculations.

  61. ferd berple says:

    A physicist says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:05 am
    Obviously it will be necessary for all the civilian space scientists in the world, and every space-faring military agency too, to collaborate in the Hansen-affirming conspiracy of coming decades.

    Those who were alive at the time will recall the shift in NASA policy shortly after the moon landings. From studying space NASA changed to studying “near earth”. Every year a case had to be made for the money spent. Saving the earth was the obvious choice.

    No conspiracy was required. Simple budget pressure. It was all too easy to say we should not be spending money on space with all the problems back home. The bigger the problems at home, the more budget money it attracted. The more money the problem attracted, the more incentive to paint the picture larger and larger to keep the funding flowing.

    In the end funding, not CO2 is the true driver of AGW and climate change. For every doubling in funding, we have seen an increase of 0.6-3.0C in projected warming. That is called the climate sensitivity. Now that funding is decreasing, the projections for warming are also decreasing as a result.

  62. Mac the Knife says:

    ferd berple says:
    February 4, 2012 at 10:28 am
    “In the end funding, not CO2 is the true driver of AGW and climate change. For every doubling in funding, we have seen an increase of 0.6-3.0C in projected warming. That is called the climate sensitivity. Now that funding is decreasing, the projections for warming are also decreasing as a result”

    Indeed! Cause and effect.

  63. Ric Werme – please explain how a basketball viewed from 1.5cm would look like a globe.

  64. These are beautiful images, but I ask you, “What’s missing?”

    Night.

    (Kudos to Bernd Felsche @ 11:59 for the catch.)

    The maps are color coded in W/m2. Really?
    At a single point in time? No. Half the map should be night.

    Is it a 24 hr average heat flux? First off, it should say so. Secondly, the second image (reflected incoming solar energy) peaks at 1063 W/m2. Considering that the maximum solar incidence is 1363 +/- 4 W/m2, 1063 W/m2 that cannot be squared with a 24 hr average anywhere on the planet.

    My best guess is that these maps are readings at local solar noon, and therefore speak to less than 10% of the energy flux during the entire day. But it is a guess, because I don’t see the basis stated here.

    Is the time frame for the second and third map the same? It is implied so. The cloud patterns look like they are within hours if not minutes of each other.

    These maps are playing right into the wrong headed approach of “divide solar insolation by 4” to study climate. A day-night cycle is essential for a temperature lapse rate in the atmosphere.

    The maps will make great wall paper. But don’t bet the farm on what the number mean just yet.

  65. John Trigge says:

    If, as Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says, “Remember those pictures are composites and the satellite always transits at around 1pm local time.”, how are they measuring and accounting for the ‘balance’ from the night side of the Earth whilst measuring the day side? Nothing incoming at night but wouldn’t there be a lot of outgoing energy?

    As there are heat sources other than the sun on/in the Earth (e.g. volcanoes, industry), is this included in the ‘balance’? Or is the focus of this still to denigrate heat-trapping gases as per:

    “Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean, raises sea level, and causes increases in atmospheric temperature,” Loeb said.

    And, where is Australia in the hemispheric images? I’m feeling lost and left out.

  66. John Trigge – those aren’t hemispheric images. that’s obvious to all by now but it’s ben impossible to convince the WUWT crew to change their misleading caption.

  67. bruce says:

    The pictures of the western and eastern hemispheres …is the gulf of Mexico really that large? Why would there be distortions from a photograph?

  68. DesertYote says:

    A physicist says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:05 am
    ###

    Sure, if you stomp on the data hard enough. RE dis-GRACE!

  69. Ric Werme says:

    Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    February 4, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Ric Werme – please explain how a basketball viewed from 1.5cm would look like a globe.

    It’s hard to get your eye that low, and the view would be a lot more useful if you used a basketball-sized globe. I assume the basketball reference was because the basketball is a standard size.

    A better comparision is to the International Space Station (ISS). Note that “The Suomi NPP satellite is in a polar orbit around Earth at an altitude of 512 miles (about 824 kilometers).” The ISS is only 250 mile/400 km up. Photos from there are adequate to show an entire large hurricane, but not enough to see the entire USA without several orbits over it. You’ve seen many photos from the ISS – you can see the curvature of the Earth and can infer that the Earth is indeed something close to a sphere.

    Recall:

    The actual swath width of the Earth’s surface covered by each pass of VIIRS as the satellite orbits the Earth is about 1,865 miles (about 3,001 kilometers). On the basketball that’s about two and one-third inches (about six centimeters).

    So if you could look at a 25 cm globe from 1.5 cm above it, you could see the curvature of the horizion very easily. BTW, if you bring a straightedge (the exit information card works fine!) on a commercial flight, and hold it on the window so it appears tangent to the horizon, you can see that the horizon is curved. 10 km is 2.5% percent of the way up to ISS height. Not much, but enough.

    A few decades ago when my father was planning a house in Plymouth, New Hampshire, we wanted to know what kind of view there would be, in particular, if we could see Mt Washington, the highest mountain in the American northeast. Besides the obvious tree climbing, I used a small telescope and a plastic relief USGS topgraphic map to try to get a sense of what we would see. I concluded we probably couldn’t see Mt. Washington, and it turned out to me the case. Someone who lived a couple hundred feet higher can see it, so we were close.

    Something like a dental inspection mirror is a good way to get a view, but the telescope and tripod provided a view that was easier to share.

  70. Ric Werme says:

    Oh – I forgot to mention – the perspective of the eastern image is is what you would see if you were about 8,000 miles (one Earth diameter) above the Eastern Hemisphere (Madagascar to be more precise). In basketball-sized globes, that would correspond to the view you’d see from 10 in/ 25 cm away.

    So you can see a whole continent, but not a whole hemisphere.

  71. Thank you Ric. That much, I understand. But still, in no way even a reconstruction of multiple passes would make America look like it’s occupying the whole hemisphere of a globe (apologies for not having made that clear, in my reply above).

    Take for example this pic of the ISS, and Earth with Italy, likely taken from a Space Shuttle

    http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-118/hires/s118e09467.jpg

    Italy occupies a large part of the picture, still the perspective gives away the fact that Italy is a tiny piece of the larger Earth, that more than a “marble” looks like a giant ball one’s flying very close to.

    This is all missing from the America picture above, that is more likely to be seen as a fish-eye look out of a satellite’s camera. Note how the construction of the Africa picture, where the distortion is minimal (a true picture would have shown Antarctica, I suspect), is explained in detail at NASA’s site, and the America one not at all.

    ps glad to see we agree that the caption is wrong

  72. Agile Aspect says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    February 4, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I’ll also wager that IR fluorescence life times are too long compared to the gas kinetic collision rates and so any radiation absorbed by a CO2 molecule is transferred to the bath gas instead of being immediately reemitted.

    ;—————————————————————————

    This occurs for the asymmetric stretch of CO2 at 4 microns – and not for the wagging of CO2 in and out of the plane at 15 microns.

    And the fluorescence only occurs between CO2-CO2 collisions with an extremely small efficiency.

    Note, nitrogen absorption occurs around 4 microns as a result collision induced absorption (where the collision induces the dipole moment.)

    In fact, rotational collision induced absorptions by oxygen and nitrogen are important mechanisms in the atmosphere (given their relative abundance.)

  73. Ian Cooper says:

    A physicist on Feb 4th at 1.19a.m.

    that was an excellent link to the You Tube video from Cerro Paranal. I live about another 20 degrees south of that latitude so those views are the ones that we enjoy from here over the course of a year. The central bulge of the Milky Way rising and setting is something that you have to travel south of the equator to really appreciate. So too the Magellanic Clouds seen in several sequences circling the south celestial pole in a clockwise fashion.

    The part that is of real relevance to this thread are the images revealing the sub-visual clouds seen streaking across the bottom of several of the fields of view. The clouds aren’t visible to the naked-eye but can be detected with long exposures on film or digital cameras. They show up orange in colour, not because of man-made light pollution but because they are so high that they are still getting the last incidences of sunlight refracting onto them well after the end of astronomical twilight.

    I first encountered the sub-visual clouds back in May 2004 whilst photgraphing one of the two Duelling (naked-eye) Comets that were in our sky at the time, C/2002 T7 LINEAR. In what looked to be a clear sky the camera recorded bands of orange cloud across the area where the comet sat. This high cloud preceeded an approaching front but was too thin to be recorded on IR satelitte images over New Zealand at the time.

    Being an amateur astronomer I have more than a casual interest in cloud cover. I have notoiced that even the best satelitte images, obviously manipulated, don’t give the complete story as far as clouds are concerned.

    In my part of N.Z. we have just had our 6th worst January for cloud, and February has started with 5 hours sunshine in 5 days! There seems to be something about Great Comets in our sky that attracts bad cloud cover. The worst January in the 84 year record for here was when Comet McNaught graced our skies in 2007, and now we have just had Comet Lovejoy’s brilliant traverse of the south celestial pole coincide with more cloud than we prefer! Correlation is not causation so I won’t blame the comets. It would be nice if things would return to the situation we had for Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp in ’96 & ’97!

    For my location in N.Z. 2011 had the least sunshine hours for any year since the Pinatubo affected years of 1991-2-3. Is anyone doing a study on the influence of the Chilean Volcano Puyehue on the the southern hemisphere? I know that Puyehue’s output was nothing compared to Pinatubo, and the type of eruption was also very different, but the amount of material that I recorded in the lower atmoosphere back during our winter must have had some effect?

    Cheers,

    Coops

  74. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” Doug Cotton says:

    February 4, 2012 at 12:01 am

    George E. Smith; says:
    February 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    George, you make good points about the clouds blocking incident solar radiation. In fact carbon dioxide and methane etc do likewise, thus having a cooling effect. (I will no longer call these GHG.)

    But any radiation from either water vapour or carbon dioxide etc (which are at significantly colder temperatures than the surface) will have a lower peak frequency than the peak frequency being emitted by the warmer surface. (Wien’s Displacement Law says peak frequency is proportional to absolute temperature.) “””””

    Well Doug, I have pointed out in the past that H2O, O3, and CO2 ; all GHGs do have significant absorption bands in the incoming solar energy spectrum. The water ones are most prominent beginning somewhere in the 700-750 nm region, and continuing out beyond 4.0 microns.
    For a 6,000 Kelvin black body source, peaking at about 500 nm (Wien law) 98% of the energy lies between 250 nm (peak/2), and 4.0 microns (8 x peak), with just 1% beyond each end.
    Now for the solar TSI, it is not really tru BB by the time you get to the surface, since the UV end of the spectrum is somewhat BB anomalous, and a lot of that 250 nm region solar energy doesn’t reach the ground, because of O3, and O2 as well.

    CO2 has several bands in the solar spectrum, one of which overlaps a water band, at I believe it is 2.17 microns. Now overlaps does not mean coincides.
    Phil has pointed out that the detail molecular spectral lines of CO2 and H2O are separate, though the bands overlap.
    But it is important to remember that these absorption and emission bands ARE NOT thermal spectra. They are characteristic molecular resonance spectra, and the wavelengths absorbed or emitted are essentially Temperature independent; which is the hallmark of Thermal spectra (Temperature dependence via Wien/Planck) .
    The Occupancy of these molecular excited states may be frequency dependent, but the energy levels aren’t so neither are the absorption and emission spectral lines.
    Hence LWIR emission downward from the atmosphere, we are told by the “experts” cannot be thermal BB like spectra, that are Wien dependent; they must consist ONLY of the molecular species characteristic resonance lines.

    We are told that the atmosphere main gases cannot radiate, so the only radiant emission from the atmosphere, is GHG spectral lines which must be spontaneous emissions from GHG molecules, which got into the excited state via collisions with non-GHG molecules (which are in the majority).

    So the downward emission of LWIR from clouds or the atmosphere cannot be Temperature dependent as to the source Temperature; but must depend ONLY on the emitting GHG species.

    Well that is if you believe that neutral mono or diatomic (homo) molecules cannot radiate IR Thermal spectra.

    I’m NOT a believer of that theory, although I admit, that because gas molecular densities are low, so that the atmosphere isn’t even vaguely a black or gray body (absorber), the absorption/emission per molecule is likely quite low, and it IS a thermal (Temperature depopendent) spectrum, and the fundamental Physical cause is the accelerations of electric charges in the atom/molecule while it is undergoing shape distortion during molecular collisions.
    Typical atmospheric main gases have nuclei that are about 3675 times as massive as their electron clouds, sine p/e is 1836, and n/e is 1837 mass ratios, and most of those atoms, have one neutron per proton. So the KE and the momentum is all in the nuclei, which is why the charge distribution must distort while two molecules are in collision governed pretty much by Newtonian dynamics (way sub relativistic velocities in CM space), and ordinary Coulomb repulsion forces. The accelerated charge radiation is a consequence of Maxwell’s equations; likely first described by Heinrich Hertz. So it is classical physics and not quantum mechanics (so I’m told by folks who know much more than I do.

    But in any case I do like the idea of a FEEDBACK LOOP where the feedback is applied to the REAL driving source/force which is THE SUN.
    Talking about “feedback” via LWIR re-emission to the surface, is like connecting a feedback loop to the dial illumination lamp; or something else that is outside the energy SUPPLY loop.

  75. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” Steve Keohane says:

    February 4, 2012 at 4:56 am

    George E. Smith; says: February 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm
    George, many good points I agree with, but I want to step back to something that seems even more fundamental to this energy balance thingy. And I notice erl happ says:February 4, 2012 at 12:45 am touches on it. I too noticed the higher emitting NH as well, combining that with the AMU global temperature plot, is further confirmation of a simple theory that has been bothering me for some time. The max global temperatures occur in July, when the planet is furthest from the sun, least annual energy hitting earth, but the obliquity points the NH is more toward the sun. Therefore, IMO, it seems the most important factor in warming the earth is how much sun hits ground, something with more mass than air, and is not water. The clouds alter what’s coming and going, but it seems that if sunlight doesn’t hit the ground, there is not much to play with. “””””

    Steve it seems to me, that the sun, being about a 1/2 degree divergence near point source, ALWAYS illuminates about 1/2 of the earth surface; actually slightly more than one half if you want to get pedantic, because of that 1/2 degree solar angular diameter, and the atmospheric refraction near sunup, and sundown.

    The earth could suddenly start rotating about an equatorial axis through zero and 180 degrees, and it wouldn’t make any difference; the sun would still always illuminate a hemisphere.
    And as many have noticed, about 70+ % of “The Ground” is actually “The Ocean”.

    And if you look where most of the sunlight hits you see there is decidedly more ocean, so I would venture that at least 75% of ALL the solar energy, ends up in the tropical oceans. The absorptance of the oceans is much higher than that of the “Ground”. about 97-98% versus something maybe as low as 50% or less. for the ground.

    But the earth (Ocean/ground) must capture the solar energy BEFORE we need to consider how it gets distributed via atmospheric thermal processes and LWIR radiations.

  76. Ric Werme says:

    Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    February 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you Ric. That much, I understand. But still, in no way even a reconstruction of multiple passes would make America look like it’s occupying the whole hemisphere of a globe (apologies for not having made that clear, in my reply above).

    I don’t know what altitude would make the “lower 48″ fill the field of view. Wouldn’t be a difficult calculation – take width of US, divide by circumference, multiply by 360 for the arc it takes up. Oh what the heck, about 3000 miles, divive by 24000, (1/8), multiply by 360, so 45 degrees. cos(22.5) = r/(r + h), I get 330 miles, 525 km. Sounds low, yeah – the swath width of what VIIRS sees is 1865 miles from 512 miles up. Then again, I’m sure they don’t use horizon-to-horizon swaths. So maybe I’m right.

    Take for example this pic of the ISS, and Earth with Italy, likely taken from a Space Shuttle [Yeah - you can see part of the tail/rudder.]

    http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-118/hires/s118e09467.jpg

    Italy occupies a large part of the picture, still the perspective gives away the fact that Italy is a tiny piece of the larger Earth, that more than a “marble” looks like a giant ball one’s flying very close to.

    This is all missing from the America picture above, that is more likely to be seen as a fish-eye look out of a satellite’s camera. Note how the construction of the Africa picture, where the distortion is minimal (a true picture would have shown Antarctica, I suspect), is explained in detail at NASA’s site, and the America one not at all.

    I’ve studiously ignored the “photo” from the western hemisphere, I don’t know what or if the geometry is realistic. Like everyone else, I still compare everything to 35 mm photography. For the Africa photo, recreating a view from 2 Earth radii up, I calculate the view subtends 39° (sin(half angle) = r/(r + 2r) = 1/3, half angle = 19.5° That would require a 28+ mm lens to take it all in. (Handy table at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angle_of_view )

    If it’s meant to be from an altitude low enough to avoid a lot of water, then not only would there be some “fisheye” distortion but the curvature of the Earth would add to the bulging effect because the “sub camera” point would be so much closer than the horizon.

    Note that shot of Italy was likely taken with something that approximates a normal view, that would be about a 50 mm lens.

    We probably have very few, if any, astronaut photos that could show the US like that. The shuttle never got higher than Hubble (347 miles, and at the the astronauts commented on the view). Apollo astronauts were minutes from reentry, and probably had the cameras long stowed.

  77. Oakden Wolf says:

    For Barry Elledge, regarding Earth’s energy balance:
    It does seem that at least in principle a satellite or ensemble of satellites could measure the incoming and outgoing radiant energy of the whole earth, and directly determine the energy budget of the planet. The warming or cooling of the earth thereby might be directly calculated independent of climate models

    Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997. John E. Harries, Helen E. Brindley, Pretty J. Sagoo & Richard J. Bantges,
    Nature 410, 355-357 (15 March 2001) | doi:10.1038/35066553

    Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present. Jennifer A. Griggs and John E. Harries, Proc. SPIE 5543, 164 (2004); doi:10.1117/12.556803

    Spectral signatures of climate change in the Earth’s infrared spectrum between 1970 and 2006. Claudine Chen, John Harries, Helen Brindley, Mark Ringer.

  78. tom s says:

    mkelly says:
    February 4, 2012 at 4:16 am
    Suomi means Finnish. So why is it called “Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP.”

    I believe this may be named after an old Prof of mine at Madison WI, one of the Godfather’s of satellite meteorology…in fact I’m right!

    NASA Renames Earth-Observing Mission in Honor of Satellite Pioneer01.25.12 Verner Suomi
    Credit: University of Wisconsin News
    › Larger image NASA has renamed its newest Earth-observing satellite in honor of the late Verner E. Suomi, a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin who is recognized widely as “the father of satellite meteorology.” The announcement was made Jan. 24 at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in New Orleans.

  79. Julian Flood says:

    Chas says:
    February 4, 2012 at 3:36 am
    - Julian Flood ” See the mouth of the Mississippi and the curious way the clouds avoid the area where the waters of that great and polluted river spill into the sea”
    Thanks for pointing this out – I stumbled on a UNESCO review of studies on of oil films to reducing water evaporation from reservoirs:
    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0007/000700/070035eo.pdf
    What can be acheived depends on wind speed. However experiments in rice paddys showed increases in water temperature ~7-8 centigrade at midday on cloudless days. [Original page 37] and talking of a C18 C22 mixture it says “Since 1960 [The mixture] has been applied extensively by farmers to warm the water in rice nurseries.”
    Of course, if oil films reduce the cloud cover too , then we have a virtuous(?) circle.
    unquote

    I reckon it’s the Kriegesmarine Effect: if you can find it then see “Global Warming in the 20th Century: An Alternative Scenario” which I posted on Judith Curry’s blog when she asked for alternative ideas about global warming.

    Enough light oil flows down the rivers of the world to coat the ocean’s surface every two weeks. It’s good to see the effects shown so graphically by the Ceres image.

    JF

  80. Steve Keohane says:

    George E. Smith; says: February 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm
    I can agree with what you say George. I see the land as being different than the oceans. Perhaps more dynamic on a diurnal scale, heating more rapidly than water, and giving it up at night more rapidly, especially in drier climates.

  81. Ric Werme says:

    Julian Flood says:
    February 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Load the Western Hemisphere, zoom in and look at the Gulf of Mexico. See the mouth of the Mississippi and the curious way the clouds avoid the area where the waters of that great and polluted river spill into the sea?

    Instead of the oil the other posters have suggested, it could be simply cold water coming down from the midwest. Warm water in the rest of the Gulf would be evaporating faster than cold Mississippi water, and there will be less convection over river water.

  82. david says:

    Perhaps I am wrong, but aren’t those contrails just south of the great lakes? If so there are lots in that area. Perhaps someone could exlpain.

  83. Larry in Texas says:

    Is there any way of merging the composite images into one image so that it can be one jpg? I’d like to put this image on my desktop, it looks pretty cool.

  84. Ric – I have problems with the America pic, not the Africa one. Therefore there’s nothing we disagree about.

  85. tallbloke says:

    EJ says:
    February 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm
    We have data for earth’s lw emmisions for the last 25 years?
    Where are the analyses in the IPCC?

    Have a look at this analysis of earlier CERES data vs ARGO data and you’ll see why they don’t want to go there. The net imbalance is a slight LOSS of energy from Earth’s climate systems over the last 8 years, depending on whose rehash of the ARGO data you believe.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/working-out-where-the-energy-goes-part-2-peter-berenyi/

  86. Ric Werme says:

    david says:
    February 5, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Perhaps I am wrong, but aren’t those contrails just south of the great lakes? If so there are lots in that area. Perhaps someone could explain.

    Those caught my eye too. They might be streaks of snow left by snow squalls from a couple events (two sets of parallel streaks).

  87. Steve Keohane says:

    Larry in Texas says: February 5, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Is there any way of merging the composite images into one image so that it can be one jpg? I’d like to put this image on my desktop, it looks pretty cool.
    Here you go, I reduced it to about 1800 X 900 pixels, ~700Kb

    http://i44.tinypic.com/xat7ix.jpg

  88. lisparc says:

    Reblogged this on lisparc.

  89. beng says:

    ****
    Ric Werme says:
    February 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    A few decades ago when my father was planning a house in Plymouth, New Hampshire, we wanted to know what kind of view there would be, in particular, if we could see Mt Washington, the highest mountain in the American northeast. Besides the obvious tree climbing, I used a small telescope and a plastic relief USGS topgraphic map to try to get a sense of what we would see. I concluded we probably couldn’t see Mt. Washington, and it turned out to me the case. Someone who lived a couple hundred feet higher can see it, so we were close.
    ****

    I use my topographic relief maps to figure which mountains I’m seeing when I’m driving locally. Just bend the map so the eye can view as close as possible, looking in the proper direction. Very often, it’s not the mountain (or the part of it) that I had previously thought.

  90. Smokey says:

    Steve Keohane,

    Thanks, your photoshop ability is second to none. And that pic shows how difficult it is to factor in cloud albedo in models. The planet is self-regulating, which is why there has never been runaway global warming. The temperature limits are within definite parameters – and we are currently on the cool side. Warmer would certainly be better [with no downside; the biosphere has thrived during globally warmer periods].

    But the real threat is another LIA – or worse. Gore, Mann, and the rest of the AGW propagandists have got it exactly wrong. The fact that they refuse to admit that is due to the taxpayer loot they’re pocketing in return for spreading their false alarmist propaganda. They are selling out the human race for filthy lucre. Reprehensible, self-serving, and dishonest:

    Email #3408, 2008, from Phil Jones: “I’d like the world to warm up quicker, but if it did, I know that the sensitivity is much higher and humanity would be in a real mess!

    Jones would gladly condemn a large swath of humanity to eco-disaster and death – if it supported his debunked belief system. Could these climate charlatans be any more despicable? And Michael Mann is the worst of a bad lot. He even makes Phil Jones sound almost reasonable.

  91. Dave A says:

    “Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean,”

    Isn’t this pretty much backwards? Doesn’t the ocean warm the air not vice versa? Wouldn’t extra heat from the air be contained in evaporation not rising ocean temps? Or am I missing something?
    WUWT?

  92. Julian Flood says:

    Ric Werme says: [re cloud discrepancy in Gulf]

    quote
    Instead of the oil the other posters have suggested, it could be simply cold water coming down from the midwest. Warm water in the rest of the Gulf would be evaporating faster than cold Mississippi water, and there will be less convection over river water.
    unquote

    Good thinking, Boy Wonder. Interesting — a testable theory, because we probably have a record of the sea temperatures. A testable theory about climate — whatever next?

    JF

  93. pnmnm says:

    “The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.”

    “Hmmm, so if we weren’t getting the correct values before, they’d “correct” them to be the same? I would like to understand the differences between the before and after with available raw data thank you very much.”

    The statement is meant to explain that the new NPP CERES instrument will provide a record of data that has been measured and analyzed in the same fashion as that developed from the preceding CERES instruments. That is the consistency.

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