There might possibly could be a chance of danger! Thunderstorms!

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Thunderstorms are one of my main interests, so I read up on a study by some Harvard researchers that has been receiving all kinds of attention in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, it’s another “could, might, possibly, chance of” study. The YaleGlobal Online blog of the venerable Yale University quotes the Christian Science Monitor as saying:

Summer Thunderstorms Could Be Punching New Holes in Ozone Layer

Harvard study looking at conditions in the lower stratosphere, where the ozone layer resides, suggests a link between climate change and amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching Earth’s surface

“Could be” punching new holes in the ozone layer? “Suggests a link”??

The paper is called “UV Dosage Levels in Summer: Increased Risk of Ozone Loss from Convectively Injected Water Vapor”, by James G. Anderson et al. (Paywalled here, hereinafter Anderson 2012). Here’s their money graph, showing the how high the water vapor reaches into the atmosphere over the US.

Figure 1, from Anderson2012. Original caption says:  Fig. 1(B) Observations of water vapor in the summertime over the US show numerous occurrences in the range of 10 to 18 ppmv reaching pressure altitudes deep into the stratosphere.

So why is there a possibility that it might happen that there could be a chance of a risk of danger from thunderstorms injecting water into the stratosphere as they’ve been doing since forever? Or as they trumpet it in the title of their study, why are they sure that there is an “Increased Risk of Ozone Loss”?

Well, here’s their claim:

Were the intensity and frequency of convective injection to increase as a result of climate forcing by the continued addition of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, increased risk of ozone loss and associated increases in UV dosage would follow.

Yes, and were I to win the lottery as a result of increasing good luck caused by the continued addition of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, increased risk of money wastage and associated increases in hangovers would follow …

I can’t tell you just how much I despise this kind of fear-mongering. At one time, this kind of scientific investigation of the atmosphere would have been presented honestly, but these days, any finding is justification for alarmism.

But wait, hold it. In this case, the alarmism may be justified by the large increase in the dampness of the stratosphere due to warming. After all, their calculations say that when water hits the stratosphere, all kinds of terrible things happen And they say that the stratosphere will get wetter as the world warms. And since the world has been warming over the last century or two, there must be evidence of the increase in dangerous stratospheric water vapor due to the warming … and in fact, their paper says:

There are a number of important considerations associated with the issue of convective injection of water vapor inducing chlorine activation and catalytic removal of ozone over mid-latitudes of the NH in summer. First is the fact that a remarkably dry stratosphere characterizes the current climate state.

Wait … what?

The world has been warming for centuries, and yet the stratosphere is “remarkably dry”?

Go figure, the climate is a mysterious beast. But it’s not nearly as mysterious as the logic of AGW alarmists. Despite a couple of centuries of warming having left the stratosphere “remarkably dry”, they claim warming might could possibly suddenly reverse course and cause the stratosphere to get wetter instead, and in turn that has the opportunity of maybe increasing the chances of making ozone holes, and thus it just might/could/conceivably/chance of/possibly cause an increase in skin cancer. And the best part is that, like a Hollywood movie, their contestant for the Booker Prize is “based on a true story”!

Yeah, I’m terrified. I think I’ll go out and invest in sunscreen futures right now … can’t be too careful, you know.

w.

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108 Responses to There might possibly could be a chance of danger! Thunderstorms!

  1. Well ever since thunderstorms began in the 1960’s, I’m sure they might have punched a few holes in the possible ozone layer………….sarc

  2. Kiwisceptic says:

    Brilliant! As usual Willis Eschenbach delivers another devastating smack down to CAGW alarmist ‘logic’! What is it with these people? Thank you Willis, that serves as my ‘Friday Funny’!

  3. Babsy says:

    Boomers are beautiful and awe inspiring. Just don’t get too close…

  4. Alexander K says:

    As another Kiwi sceptic, ditto, ditto, ditto!

  5. Pamela Gray says:

    Where in the hell are they getting the money to do this research and whose pockets are being sucked dry? If it’s our money and is being handed out by elected politicians any and all should be promptly removed from office via vote. If Al Gore is funding this, bleed him dry. The entertainment value is supreme!

  6. RoHa says:

    A chance of danger?

    We’re doomed!

  7. Rud Istvan says:

    There is another devastating technical response to this speculation from my almamater. Tstorms create precipitation. That reduces UTH, reducing the positive water vapor response, which is much more powerful than ozone. Plus this precipitation’s latent heat left behind in the upper troposphere has a much better shot at radiating out as cooling OLR. Bottom line is that Tstorms cool. We know that down here in Florida in summer. Fancy theorizing about secondary possible ozone effects may win PhDs, but cannot change basic physics. Harvard needs to get outdoors more often.

  8. Well, someone had to come up with a new explanation for why the ozone holes haven’t gone away yet since the Montreal Protocol.

  9. Wagathon says:

    Reminds me of the widely trumpeted warning earlier this year that here in the US it was in fact essentially unavoidable that we would face a global warming period better known as summer.

  10. JJ says:

    Thx for the heads up on this, Willis.

    So, the official ‘global warming’ facts we have to date include:

    1) ‘Global warming’ causes strasospheric cooling – So says the IPCC. Emphasizing the importance of this aspect of ‘global warming’ theory, CAGW nut and WikiBully William Connolley says: “One of the strongest predictions of global warming is that the stratosphere will *cool* …”

    2) Stratospheric cooling causes stratospheric drying – so says Bill Randel, who heads the atmospheric chemistry division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder. “Colder temperatures freeze out water vapour that might otherwise have entered the stratosphere.”

    3) Stratospheric drying is also caused by fewer towering thunderstorms injecting less water vapor into the stratosphere – So says Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That tidbit was part of the explanation for her 2010 paper which found that:

    4) The extreme drying of the stratosphere caused by ‘global warming’ causes ‘global cooling’ – This is the fig leaf that Susie’s 2010 paper threw over the fact that ‘global warming’ has been AWOL for more than a decade. It was the excuse du jour prior to Chinese aerosols.

    And now from the CAGW Dept at Harvard University, we have James Anderson telling us that:

    5) Global warming causes more towering thunderstorms that inject more water into the stratosphere, causing it to become wetter, which destroys the ozone layer.

    Summing this all up, we get the following:

    The ‘global warming’ that isn’t happening because of the ‘global cooling’ that is caused by the stratospheric drying that is caused by the stratospheric cooling that is caused by the ‘global warming’ that isn’t happening causes fewer towering thunderstorms which causes stratospheric drying which causes ‘global cooling’ which explains the missing ‘global warming’ that (even though it isn’t happening) causes more towering thunderstorms which causes stratospheric wetting which is punching holes in the ozone layer so we are all going to die.

    And these morons wonder why we are sceptical of their claims …

  11. Ally E. says:

    I think this is part of their scheme to demonize water vapour. Hydrogen cars work. They’re a million times better than electric “toy” cars and the Universe will never run out of fuel. But we weren’t supposed to find an answer that looks good, works well and isn’t going to collapse from underneath us – you know, like wind power and solar power are already collapsing – so now they have to stop us from succeeding. Hydrogen cars emit air and water and that’s it, so one of those has to be banned. They’re prepping for the future.

    And I totally agree with you, Willis, this stupid fear-mongering is totally disgusting. This SHOULD be against the law.

  12. frozenohio says:

    Yeah, and I could possibly chit a gold brick first thing in the morning – talk about desperate. Cripes.

  13. Justthinkin says:

    O..M..G.. We just went through TWO t’storms in the last 45 minutes. It is night here now,but will it be safe to go out at 6AM????? How will I sleep? Could we get one of these “esteemed scientists” to come up here to Northern Canada to explain how what little ozone we have left is only melting some of the hail stones,and not all?(BTW…what is that refreshing smell in the air?) And I want the exact date that t’storms started going above 35,000ft into the stratosphere? I know along the eastern Rockies back to at least 1985,we used to fly around them,as a CC-130(Herc) can’t outclimb them above 42,000ft AGL.

  14. petermue says:

    So warming is cooling and now wet is dry?
    What a crazy world.

  15. Peeved says:

    Is there any sign of more seriousness and discipline in the academic literature on this topic? Now and then I read a good, objective paper, but most often it’s this alarmist crap, building on the false assumptions of one hundred others.

  16. Peeved says:

    This is a little off topic, but speaking of storms and water vapor… Does anyone know of a paper that addresses the effects of all the H2O that is spewed into the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion? 1 to 2 water molecules are released for every CO2 molecule when fuels are burned. Is this significant enough to affect precipitation, partially accounting for the increased precipitation over the last century?

  17. Mike McMillan says:

    They shot down the Boeing SST way back when because it would be injecting water vapor into the stratosphere and destroying the ozone layer, though I doubt a zillion years of SST flights could do as much destroying as one big thunderbumper.

    I also doubt a zillion years of destroyed ozone layer could irradiate me with as much UV as the circular CFL that lights up my computer lab. My brother has a $2 white plastic thermometer in his basement sitting about 5 ft from a curly bulb, and the plastic facing the light has turned yellow after a couple years. The sides away from the light are still white (pristine, sustainable, etc).

  18. Ally E. says:

    From my earlier comment: “Hydrogen cars emit air and water and that’s it, so one of those has to be banned.” To be precise, they emit oxygen and water (not air and water). Point is, it might be a little early for them to try and ban oxygen.

    Let’s face it, they’re pushing it trying to make water look bad, but that’s all they’ve got to work with to stop a future of hydro-cars and possibly even a working civilization. Wot a shocker!

  19. timetochooseagain says:

    Presumably if a warming troposphere is supposed to moisten, a cooling stratosphere should get drier-right?

    BTW their hypothesis seems a moot point given they have not shown evidence there’s been any increase in thunderstorm activity. Probably because such evidence does not exist.

  20. Ally E. says:

    Peeved says:

    August 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    This is a little off topic, but speaking of storms and water vapor… Does anyone know of a paper that addresses the effects of all the H2O that is spewed into the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion? 1 to 2 water molecules are released for every CO2 molecule when fuels are burned. Is this significant enough to affect precipitation, partially accounting for the increased precipitation over the last century?

    *

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. 97% (there’s that figure again) of ALL CO2 is produced by NATURE. Nature wins hands down on CO2 production and therefore any related precipitation. Our meagre 3% is doing diddly-squat.

    Given that it’s so abundantly produced naturally kind of makes one realize it ought to be there.

  21. James Mayo says:

    How soon we forget the extraordinary pioneering documentary that laid the foundation for this brave new paper, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”.

    All the way back in 1978 they were aware of the devastating potential effects of extreme weather events and how meatballs and marinara were linked to vast holes in the ozone layer. Of course the acidification of the stratosphere from the marinara also led to acid rain and dramatically decreased the pH of the ocean leading to coral bleaching and species eradication.

    If not for the CFC ban implemented by the Montreal treaty these meatballs might have grown to epic proportions with disastrous consequences. If a single meatball were to fall on Guam the entire island might suddenly capsize sending off mega ultra modoki tsunamis ™ throughout the Pacific Ocean which we all know would reverse the poles and we would be left with human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together and mass hysteria.

    /sarc

    The graph posted above really bugs me. How does making a scatter plot cherry picking 2001, 2005, and 2007 provide evidence of anything? Also the graph ranges from an altitude of ~48,500 feet to ~59,000 feet while the stratosphere lies from 31,000 feet to 158,400 feet. So they’ve narrowed the range, expanded the units, and deliberately selected a color and spot size to obscure the earlier years overlap. If that is their “money” graph I’d hate to see the rest of it.

    I’d like to include my own graph of what this looks like in the real world:

    |
    |
    |
    | ,
    |
    |
    |
    ——————————————-
    See that tiny comma on the 4th row? You may have missed it thinking it was a speck of dust on the screen, clean your monitor and look again. That is all this hyperventilating is about, a mote in the eye.

    Any chance someone can look up exactly how many readings and how much coverage they actually had in the raw data? Maybe even find a graph with some error bars on how accurate that ppm measurement is and what adjustments they had to make to calibrate the sensor over the pressure and temperature differences. I can’t wait for the post-post-normal science era to begin so we can finally dismiss these hyperventilating loons and strip away all their grants for publishing something so useless.

    JM

  22. intrepid_wanders says:

    Peeved, you might be new here, but here is one of Willis’s seminals:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/07/further-evidence-for-my-thunderstorm-thermostat-hypothesis/

    Yeah, don’t send you kids to Harvard…

  23. intrepid_wanders says:

    James Mayo,

    Ah, but Princeton on the other hand have some useful papers:
    https://athens.indymedia.org/local/webcast/uploads/frankfurt__harry_-_on_bullshit.pdf

  24. jorgekafkazar says:

    Lightning and thunder and hail! Oh, my! More evidence of the scientific, moral, and intellectual bankruptcy of modern academia, desperate for grant money, scraping the bottom of the barrel for feeble pretexts for maintaining the global warming fairy story.

  25. Eyal Porat says:

    And I was taught that the Ozone is created by lightning… go figure.

  26. Miso Alkalaj says:

    Warmists might eventually guess right

    Repeatedly debunked by measurements, yet the climate change threat still persists: global warming is causing more frequent and more intensive extreme weather events! The frequency and intensity of hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. has actually decreased during the 1975-2005 period – but now, after global temperatures have started to decline and global warming became climate change, this is likely to happen.
    The frequency and intensity of many extreme weather events roughly follows the changes in temperature gradient between the cold polar and the warm equatorial air: the lager the difference over a shorter distance, the more frequent and violent will become tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
    Polar air is relatively dry and therefore has a relatively low thermal capacity. On the other hand, equatorial air is wet and has a high thermal capacity. So, when the climate warms – for whatever reasons – the polar air warms faster than the equatorial layers, the gradient decreases and therefore the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events decreases. Which is exactly what has been happening during the 1975-2005 warming period.
    However, now we may be entering a cooling period. When climate cools – for whatever reasons – polar air cools faster than equatorial air, the gradient increases and extreme weather events become more frequent and intensive.
    I have recently seen some AGW propagandist on CNN regurgitating the “climate change – extreme weather” con. And we might actually experience more intensive extreme weather events in the near future. You can bet that IPCC et al. will use every opportunity to point out how right they were.

    miso

  27. Surely this is good news. Ozone is a greenhouse gas a thousand times stronger than CO2.

  28. Urederra says:

    Climate scientists are like ostriches, they believe that if they report something for first time it is because it never happened before.

  29. Bill Tuttle says:

    Eyal Porat says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm
    And I was taught that the Ozone is created by lightning… go figure.

    That’s the Bad Ozone — Good Ozone is formed above the tropopause.

    When the flying rainbow unicorn ponies fart gold dust into the stratosphere, the Ozone Fairy waves her magic wand and turns all the dust into ozone. She misses some, though, and that errant gold dust why noctilucent clouds sparkle.

  30. son of mulder says:

    This article suggests that there increase in UV stabilized in the mid 90’s and increase occurred in mid to high latitudes, so doesn’t track CO2 increase (and AGW by its definition) and seems impervious to tropical thunderstorm activity.

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/uv-exposure.html

    It also says southern hemisphere has been getting cloudier, why is that?

  31. karabar says:

    Peeved: Here is something that may allay your fears. In the Ivar Giaever video he says that 800 million autos on the planet increase the CO2 concentration by the same amount as burning, in a large hermetically sealed room, wait for it…ONE match. If you calculate the volume of a sphere (4/3 pi r3) with a diameter of 12,750 km, and subtract that from the volume of a sphere about 40 km more in diameter, then adjust for the change in density at altitude, you will find that the 5 Gt of CO2 supposedly produced has the same result as one match in a year in a room of 10,000 m3. So I suspect that with you in the same situation only a partial exhale would result in the same magnitude of water vapour. (in a year). INSIGNIFICANT, don’t ya reckon?

  32. Gail Combs says:

    Peeved says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    This is a little off topic, but speaking of storms and water vapor… Does anyone know of a paper that addresses the effects of all the H2O that is spewed into the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion? …..
    _____________________________
    Yeah the Relative Humidity has fallen at all levels measured http://i38.tinypic.com/30bedtg.jpg

    Oh and do not forget the paper showing cloud levels are FALLING goes along with the cool is warm and wet is dry.

    Global Warming May Be Held Back By Falling Cloud Levels

    The heavens are literally falling, scientists have claimed. Researchers have discovered that Earth’s cloud cover has been gradually dropping for the past 10 years, lowering the height between the sky and the ground.

    Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand analysed heights of the Earth’s clouds from 2000-10 and discovered that cloud levels over the Earth are falling. For their analysis, they used the multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) instrument on Nasa’s Terra spacecraft.

    Researchers discovered that the height of the clouds had declined by close to 1 percent over the decade by between 100ft and 130ft (30-40 metres). They believe that reduction in cloud height would allow the earth to cool more efficiently. This reduction in height reduces the surface temperature of the planet and potentially slows the effects of global warming…..

    So there you have it folks, Scientists have just proved Chicken Little is correct, the sky is falling….

  33. Jahl says:

    This might be the next money spinning project after climate change wears out. After all that boat is already getting a bit leaky.

  34. DirkH says:

    Ally E. says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm
    “I think this is part of their scheme to demonize water vapour. Hydrogen cars work. They’re a million times better than electric “toy” cars and the Universe will never run out of fuel. But we weren’t supposed to find an answer that looks good, works well and isn’t going to collapse from underneath us – you know, like wind power and solar power are already collapsing – so now they have to stop us from succeeding. Hydrogen cars emit air and water and that’s it, so one of those has to be banned. They’re prepping for the future.”

    A few years back BMW lent some of their hydrogen ignition engine prototypes to Hollywood celebrities, with a sticker saying “Don’t park in enclosed parking spaces if you don’t want an explosion” as the tanks, like all H2 tanks, leaked a few molecules all the time.

    They have since given up on H2 ignition engines. Fuel cells are as usual, very fickle, just around the corner, and as usual, just a tiny bit too expensive. And you have the problem of not being able to ramp up power quickly, so no fun drive… maybe if you install a heavy ultracap bank as a buffer.

    If you want to use hydrogen, throw a few carbon atoms into the mix and synthesize Methane a.k.a. NatGas. No leakage, and all your cars exhaust contains is healthy H20 and healthy CO2.

  35. Willis Eschenbach says:

    My thanks for all the comments. I note the following:

    Atmospheric ozone recovering in mid-latitudes, report shows
    August 30, 2006

    Concentrations of atmospheric ozone — which protects Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation — are showing signs of recovery in the most important regions of the stratosphere above the mid-latitudes in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, a new study shows.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news76167284.html#jCp

    Recovering. Not falling prey to thunderstorm-caused holes. Recovering.

    Eyal Porat says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    And I was taught that the Ozone is created by lightning… go figure.

    You were taught correctly, which is why there is excess ozone in the tropics.

    w.

  36. Stephen Richards says:

    Eyal Porat says:
    August 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm
    And I was taught that the Ozone is created by lightning… go figure.

    That’s the Bad Ozone — Good Ozone is formed above the tropopause

    Yes, Ozone is an unstable O3 molecule which when it encounters an elemental atom (C, Z, Na etc) splits to form CO² etc, leaving one radical O. In the stratophere there tends not to be a lot of elemental atoms but in the troposphere there are. O radicals can be very dangerous for us useless humans and so the UN may later choose to inject lots of radicals into the troposphere to reduce this pollution/contamination. /sarc off

  37. Stephen Richards says:

    Willis

    wish I could get to Anthony’s BBQ to meet you. The nostalga would flow along with the beer.

    Great review, criminally crude and useless piece of ‘science’ by these Yale cretins.

  38. Probably more than you want to know about UV, ozone, aerosols and clouds at the link below,

    This caught my attention.

    The
    impact of aerosols on midlatitude ozone was
    greatest in the early 1990s after the eruption
    of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 (Figure 3.3). The
    observed decrease in Northern Hemisphere
    column ozone in 1993 agrees with chemical
    dynamical models that include these effects
    (WMO, 2003, 2007). The same models predict
    that the aerosols from Mt. Pinatubo should
    have produced a significant decrease in ozone
    over midlatitudes of the Southern Hemisphere,
    but no effect has been seen in either satellite
    measurements or ground measurements at
    stations such as Lauder, New Zealand.

    Like sea ice, when I see a difference between northern and southern hemispheres in some effect that is supposed to be global. It makes me think the real cause is some regional anthropogenic (or perhaps natural) effect.

    http://downloads.climatescience.gov/sap/sap2-4/sap2-4-final-ch3.pdf

  39. Eric H. says:

    A little off comment but the ozone hole scare related to CFCs has always confused me. Usually just a south pole phenom., this last year we saw a hole open up over the Arctic which if I remember correctly can be explained by unusually low temps causing ozone to interact with chlorine and destroy the ozone. The chlorine, per the reports that I read, was left over CFCs which are still present in the atmosphere. My questions: 1) Were the ozone holes ever observed prior to the introduction of CFCs in the atmosphere? 2) Can we determine the source of the chlorine that causes ozone destruction and holes? (man made or naturally occurring)
    From where I sit, the ozone hole scare of the 70’s and 80’s and the resulting ban of CFCs was the catalyst for the current call to regulate CO2.

  40. rogerknights says:

    There was a thread on this paper here a week ago at:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/26/climate-change-off-in-the-ozone/

  41. mfo says:

    This is the article in the Harvard Gazette-
    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/07/concerns-about-climate-change-health/
    “In my mind, this is not just a broad public health issue,” Anderson said. “This is about actually being able to step out into the sunlight………”
    Mann better start wearing a hat like Hansen. Can’t be too careful :o)

  42. Bob Layson says:

    Instead of possible, potential, mayhap future danger why do they not consider the present reality. Is the level of ultra-violet light reaching the Earth’s surface increasing?

  43. Alan the Brit says:

    Nice piece Willis. You sure you’re not British as your sarcasm is wonderful!!! :-)

    There is still that old chessnut about how they don’t know that the hole in the ozone layer, which isn’t a hole, wasn’t there all the time? As said many moons ago, as a structural engineer, people see cracks in their houses that they’ve only just observed or noticed, when the cracks have often been there for donkey’s years!

    Any risk of skin cancer, (well at least in the UK) increasing stems less from more UV penetrating the atmosphere due to wicked man’s CFCs destroying the ozone layer, & more to do with fashion! Everytime the Sun comes out here the yoof take their clothes off & expose themselves to the Sun without adequate protection, coupled with the fact that foreign holidays have increased exponentially since the 1960s when the ordinary man & or woman in the street discovered Spain & got access to travel & cheaper flights, & the medical profession became more knowledgeable at the same time!!!! First rule of Toxicology, the poison is in the dosage, the very essence of modern medicine & innoculation! :-)

  44. tadchem says:

    Lightning + oxygen = ozone.
    Red sprites and blue jets are lightning – in the stratosphere – above thunderstorms.

  45. PaddikJ says:

    Whether or not (and it def. appears not) summer thunderstorms are injecting water into the stratosphere, to whatever end, Willis does an admirable job of punching holes in this latest bit of sloppy, speculative, warmer pseudo-science. That and JJ’s

    JJ says:
    August 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    hilarious summation of warmer confusion & contradictions makes this one one for the scrapbook.

    I do have one semi-technical question: Their “money graph” seems to show no change in stratospheric hole-punching from 2001-2007 (although some colors obscure others and it’s hard to be sure). If that is indeed the case, how would they know those conditions are/are not normal?

  46. Kaboom says:

    This again confirms that global weirding is mostly caused by global weirdos and happens largely on paper.

  47. DavidA says:

    But increased UV means more output from solar energy panels – a negative feedback!

  48. Tony says:

    As a pilot I have never seen a thunderstorm higher than the tropopause so I doubt there is any significant effect on the Stratosphere.

  49. Jim D says:

    “warming for centuries”… compared to the warming we would have in the next century? Think about the relative amounts before dismissing that.

  50. Peridot says:

    What I wonder is why it took so long to think of a way to link ‘Climate Change’ to ‘Holes in the Ozone Laye” since the CFCs tale has died.

  51. hell_is_like_newark says:

    Doesn’t lightning create ozone? So wouldn’t more thunderstorms increase the ozone layer?

  52. Nerd says:

    “Yeah, I’m terrified. I think I’ll go out and invest in sunscreen futures right now … can’t be too careful, you know.”

    —-

    Do that and you get severe vitamin D deficiency… which greatly increases risk of getting any one of about 18 different types of cancers including melanoma…

    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/

    Oops.

  53. R Barker says:

    Quoting the Harvard Gazette article:
    Although they had worked since the mid-1980s to investigate ozone depletion in the Arctic and Antarctic, by the early 2000s, Anderson’s team had turned its attention to climate studies, ……..

    Gotta go where the money is! And with only one data point (cluster) there is plenty of room to speculate.

  54. john says:

    Yale Endowment Invests in Maine Wind Power Project

    http://news.yale.edu/2011/03/03/endowment-invests-maine-wind-power-project

    This is the project:

    http://www.themainewire.com/2012/03/developing-king-wind-project-cited-congressional-investigation/

    Note: Angus King is now running for retiring Olympia Snowe’s seat. More on King and Cashman later.

    John M.

  55. Just an engineer says:

    Wow! Based on this “new” discovery, it’s really fortuitous the space shuttle was eliminated before it drove mankind into extinction!

    /sarc (for the clueless)

  56. anarchist hate machine says:

    Can someone explain to me *how* CFCs actually get into the atmosphere? They’re heavier-than-air molecules that don’t rise.

  57. Rogelio Diaz says:

    This is a milestone! The Brisbane Times would normally NEVER publish a skeptic view. Well apparently they have done a complete turnaround
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/climate-change-science-is-a-load-of-hot-air-and-warmists-are-wrong-20120801-23fdv.html
    This paper is distributed for free during the afternoon in the city.. a lot of people will read this
    The Weather in Eastern Australia has been way way cooler than normal for months now. Not due to “global cooling” but normal southern angle of winds from Antartctica which happens from time to time.. totally normal

  58. Twodogs says:

    My grandfather’s dog, Fred, used to shiver before the onset of storms, however i now realise that it was the implication of global warming that was really make him shake like a snivelling coward. My bad!

  59. Alan Watt, CD (Certified Denialist), Level 7 says:

    Stephen Richards says:
    August 3, 2012 at 1:11 am

    … O radicals can be very dangerous for us useless humans and so the UN may later choose to inject lots of radicals into the troposphere to reduce this pollution/contamination. /sarc off

    Do they have any left? I thought they had already injected all their radicals into the IPCC.
    /rim-shot

  60. Michael Schaefer says:

    Food for thought:

    a. Every barrel of jet fuel produces three (!) barrels of water when burned.

    b. World’s daily jet fuel consumption in 2008 (last year availlable) was 5269 THOUSAND barrels a day.
    http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?product=jet-fuel&graph=consumption

    c. 5, 269,000 barrels of jet fuel translate into 15,888,000 barrels of water daily.

    d. Discounting 15 percent for start and climb to cruising altitude will leave 13,504,000 barrels of water per day.

    e. Calculated in tonnes this gives 2,200,000 tonnes of water per day – EVERY DAY – only by burning jet fuel in the upper troposphere.

    f. 2,200,000 tonnes x 365 =803,000,000 Tonnes of Water / Water vapor per year.

    g. 803,000,000 Tonnes of Water – that’s 803 MILLION TONNES of water vapour EVERY YEAR from burning Jet fuel injected into the upper Tropopause – and it’s STILL very dry up there.

    g. How dry would it be up there with all the water vapour from burning Jet fuel removed?

    Bon Appetit!

  61. Steve in SC says:

    Penn and Teller were right.
    Ban DHMO!!!!!!

  62. commieBob says:

    Most blue sky research will be worthless. That’s the price we have to pay to get the good stuff which then becomes engineering or medicine.

    People, especially scientists, should not take science so seriously.

  63. Gary Pearse says:

    “..injection of water vapor inducing chlorine activation and catalytic removal of ozone over mid-latitudes of the NH in summer.”

    You notice that they are careful to not upset their confreres in the “halogenated-carbon kills ozone” folks of yesteryear by making a token hat tip to chlorine. We can’t have ozone holes being created naturally. Hey, and the convective lifting of water vapor is going to lift something else, too… you guessed it, lightning-produced ozone, probably in much greater concentration than chlorine!

    Also, the medical use of ozone that may have some benefits in small doses has been killed by the same crowd- even though the refreshing feel to the air after a thunderstorm is partly the coolness of the air and partly the ozone. Cheez…it’s natural stuff, lighten up.

  64. Gail Combs says:

    Eric H. says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:16 am

    A little off comment but the ozone hole scare related to CFCs has always confused me. Usually just a south pole phenom., this last year we saw a hole open up over the Arctic which if I remember correctly can be explained by unusually low temps causing ozone to interact with chlorine and destroy the ozone. The chlorine, per the reports that I read, was left over CFCs which are still present in the atmosphere. My questions: 1) Were the ozone holes ever observed prior to the introduction of CFCs in the atmosphere? 2) Can we determine the source of the chlorine that causes ozone destruction and holes? (man made or naturally occurring)
    From where I sit, the ozone hole scare of the 70′s and 80′s and the resulting ban of CFCs was the catalyst for the current call to regulate CO2.
    _______________________________
    The ozone scare was another HOAX designed to ban CFCs. Dupont’s patent was running out and the replacement chemical (new patent) was not as good.

    What no one in the MSM ever mentioned was the active volcanoes in the Antarctic and Arctic also pump out Chlorine. link

    …. for the sake of argument, let’s assume that CFCs do contribute 7,500 tons of chlorine to the stratosphere annually. How does this compare with natural sources? Ocean biota inject 5 million tons of chlorine into the atmosphere annually; biomass burning, 8.4 million tons; volcanoes, 36 million tons; and evaporation of seawater, 600 million tons – for a total of almost 650 million tons per year. The amount of chlorine injected into the atmosphere from natural sources is hundreds of thousands of times greater than the amount of chlorine allegedly released by the breakdown of CFCs in the stratosphere!

    However, Rowland et al. claim that almost none of this natural chlorine reaches the stratosphere be-cause it is “rained out.” This is a preposterous claim. As readers can attest, it doesn’t rain all the time in all places, and, as a matter of fact, there are many places on Earth where it barely rains at all. How is the chlorine washed out of the atmosphere in these regions?….

    The ozone depletion theorists allege that Mt. Erebus, an active volcano in Antarctica, does not now spew out as much chlorine as stated in The Holes in the Ozone Scare and that its emissions do not reach the stratosphere. This ignores two basic facts pointed out by the French volcanologist Haroun Tazieff: In Antarctica the stratosphere is very low (5,000 meters) and Mt. Erebus reaches a very high altitude (4,000 meters) so that its volcanic emissions indeed reach the stratosphere….

    …..as Polish scientist Zbigniew Jaworowski showed definitively, based on studies of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident, chlorine and other heavy elements do reach the stratosphere.(6)

    An interesting fact is that CO2 in the atmosphere also combines with water to form Carbonic Acid aka Acid Rain. link

    Also from that website All Aboard the Climate Gravy Train – the pay scale for Climate Scientists vs the rest of us.

  65. wilt says:

    Michael Schaefer wrote: 803 MILLION TONNES of water vapour EVERY YEAR from burning Jet fuel injected into the upper Tropopause.
    I don’t know in a quantitative respect how this translates into an increase of stratospheric water vapour, but if it is a significant contribution we should perhaps start to subsidize long-distance flights. Fly away – and global warming flies away as well!

  66. tckev says:

    So to summarize –
    THE SKY IS FALLING!

  67. Frank K. says:

    ” The YaleGlobal Online blog of the venerable Yale University…”

    Willis – at your link to YaleGlobal, you’ll find many more bizarre alarmist articles. Here are some of the “headlines” at the site:

    – Huge Arctic Fire Hints at New Climate Cue
    – Multitude of Species Face Climate Threat
    – World’s Sixth Mass Extinction May Be Underway
    – Global Warming Blamed for Heavy Snowstorms, Record Floods
    – A Quick Fix for Climate Change?

    Check out the last one for some truly wacky geoengineering ideas proposed by supposed “scientists”…yikes!

  68. adolfogiurfa says:

    Wasn´t it the other way around?. Those gadgets for producing ozone in our homes & offices work with electricity…More “Hollywood science”, as Prof.Abdusamatov said abot GW?

  69. Tamara says:

    A Harvard study appearing in a Yale blog!!!! Global warming really is the end of the world as we know it.

  70. _Jim says:

    Hmmm … no one poster has interjected on the possible influence a ‘quiet’ sun may/can have on the creation or rate of creation of ozone … consider then this the first such interjection …

    .

  71. Gail Combs says:

    PaddikJ says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:48 am

    …..hilarious summation of warmer confusion & contradictions makes this one one for the scrapbook.

    I do have one semi-technical question: Their “money graph” seems to show no change in stratospheric hole-punching from 2001-2007 (although some colors obscure others and it’s hard to be sure). If that is indeed the case, how would they know those conditions are/are not normal?
    ________________________________
    Another case of lying by omission.

    Think. What happen in 2007 to 2009? Why the solar minimum between cycle 23 and 24. Graph

    New Scientist: What’s wrong with the sun?

    ….So why does solar activity have these effects? …
    Since 2003, spaceborne instruments have been measuring the intensity of the sun’s output at various wavelengths and looking for correlations with solar activity. The results point to the sun’s emissions of ultraviolet light. “The ultraviolet is varying much, much, much more than we expected,” says Lockwood.

    Ultraviolet light is strongly linked to solar activity: solar flares shine brightly in the ultraviolet, and it helps carry the explosive energy of the flares away into space. <b?It could be particularly significant for the Earth's climate as ultraviolet light is absorbed by the ozone layer in the stratosphere, the region of atmosphere that sits directly above the weather-bearing troposphere.

    More ultraviolet light reaching the stratosphere means more ozone is formed. And more ozone leads to the stratosphere absorbing more ultraviolet light. So in times of heightened solar activity, the stratosphere heats up and this influences the winds in that layer. “The heat input into the stratosphere is much more variable than we thought,” says Lockwood….

    We used to think that the sun’s output was unwavering….

    (Enter Steven Wilde)

    And another article this time from NASA.

    NASA: Solar Wind Loses Power, Hits 50-year Low

    “The average pressure of the solar wind has dropped more than 20% since the mid-1990s,” says Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “This is the weakest it’s been since we began monitoring solar wind almost 50 years ago.”

    “The solar wind isn’t inflating the heliosphere as much as it used to,” says McComas. “That means less shielding against cosmic rays.”

    In addition to weakened solar wind, “Ulysses also finds that the sun’s underlying magnetic field has weakened by more than 30% since the mid-1990s,” says Posner. “This reduces natural shielding even more.”

    Unpublished Ulysses cosmic ray data show that, indeed, high energy (GeV) electrons, a minor but telltale component of cosmic rays around Earth, have jumped in number by about 20%.

    Physics Review: Focus: Ozone Layer Burned by Cosmic Rays

    Cosmic rays may be enlarging the hole in the ozone layer, according to a study appearing in the 13 August print issue of PRL. Researchers analyzed data from several sources, and found a strong correlation between cosmic ray intensity and ozone depletion. Back in the lab they demonstrated a mechanism by which cosmic rays could cause a buildup of ozone-depleting chlorine inside polar clouds. Their results suggest that the damage done by cosmic rays could be millions of times larger than anyone previous believed and may force atmospheric scientists to reexamine their models of the antarctic ozone hole…

    Atmospheric scientists have proposed that ultraviolet light breaks down CFCs, releasing active chlorine, which tears apart ozone molecules. But during the months when ozone depletion is greatest, giant clouds of ice particles–so-called polar stratospheric clouds–block the ultraviolet rays. Experts have not completely solved this piece of the ozone destruction puzzle…

    SIGHHhhh perhaps they have not managed to link evil mankinds CFCs to the Cosmic Ray/ ozone destruction correlation because they are barking up the wrong tree. (better make sure it is not the tree is not struck by lightening)

  72. imoira says:

    I don’t know whether this is cause for alarm but I’ve just eaten a scrambled egg and I fear that it might have come from an ozone layer. It looked vaguely like the graph.

  73. Gail Combs says:

    Michael Schaefer says:
    August 3, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Food for thought:….
    g. How dry would it be up there with all the water vapour from burning Jet fuel removed?
    ___________________________
    The Relative Humidity has been falling since 1978: RH GRAPH vs (height in mb)

    Ain’t it a pain when the real world data shoots the heck out of your nice mankind bashing theory?

  74. Ian W says:

    To be totally picky about this. The thunderstorms cannot penetrate the stratosphere. It is impossible by definition.

    The troposphere (Wiki: “The word troposphere derives from the Greek: tropos for “turning” or “mixing,”) is the part of the atmosphere that is affected by convection and mixing.

    The tropopause is the boundary between the convective mixing lower atmosphere and the stratosphere.

    It follows that if the thunderstorms go higher then the top of their mixing becomes the tropopause.

    Indeed this is what happens. In mid latitudes the tropopause is around 30,000 ft at the poles it is sometimes below 20,000ft and at the equator with the extreme convection in the Hadley cells it can reach above 60,000ft. (A good diagram here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AtmosphCirc2.png ) Anyone who believes that the various layers of the Earth’s atmosphere are dead flat immutable surfaces at fixed altitudes does not understand meteorology. There can be large Rossby waves form in these surfaces usually propagated from below in the troposphere leading to the wave ‘breaking’ and causing a ‘Sudden Stratospheric Warming’ event as the polar vortex is forced to a halt or even reverse.

    Perhaps Harvard is a little overrated?

  75. Gibby says:

    When I read the title of the original article my first thought was, “Ok, but don’t thunder and lightning pretty much go hand in hand and doesn’t lightning create ozone?” Then I read the comments and I guess that there are just too many individuals that understand chemistry here and we somehow missed the memo that what we know is all wrong.

  76. NileQueen says:

    What we should be researching is how to capture the lightning’s energy for use as electric power. :-)

  77. Bryan Mulder says:

    AGW is based upon computer models, which mathmatically predict the future. Kids complain that math is hard; computers do, too, so the AGW proponents make it easier by ignoring water vapor in their long term models. Water is a powerful heat-transfer medium. While it takes one calorie of heat energy to warm one gram of water by about one degree, it takes hundreds of calories of heat to evaporate one gram of water. This heat is transferred from the Earf surface to the upper troposphere as water vapor (mass transport, not infrared radiation) thus it bypasses the “blanket” of “greenhouse gases” (whose effects occur mainly in the troposphere, because that is where the most dense gases are, due to gravity; above the troposphere, gases are under lower pressure), in the process, transferring enormous amounts of heat to the stratosphere, where it then can freely radiate as infrared, through the less dense “greenhouse” blanket, to the extreme cold of space.
    Now some alarmist says that water gets even higher than the upper troposphere… Likely it always has… So the models of the AGW idiots are even more wrong for improperly accounting for the heat transfer effects of water in the atmosphere… Let alone the fact that water vapor has a significant infrared absorption spectra… Yet this particular ozone alarmist seems miss the true significance of a “wetter” stratosphere: there are even more forces for stabilitiy in the climate of the Earf than the AGW folks have considered.

  78. Gail Combs says:

    Frank K. says:
    August 3, 2012 at 5:59 am

    ” The YaleGlobal Online blog of the venerable Yale University…”

    Willis – at your link to YaleGlobal, you’ll find many more bizarre alarmist articles….

    Check out the last one for some truly wacky geoengineering ideas proposed by supposed “scientists”…yikes!
    ___________________________
    What did you expect? Yale is in Tassachusetts, and as I was proudly told when living in Tassachusetts, “Massachusetts is the home of the foremost Marxist scholars in the world”

    We were told very bluntly IPCC Official: “Climate Policy Is [About] Redistributing The World’s Wealth”

    Thursday, 18 November 2010 13:16
    Neue Zürcher Zeitung
    Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.
    [Thank you to No Tricks Zone for listing this link.]

    How come we who are providing that wealth are never asked?

    It seems that the Academics have decided they know what is best for all of us.

    A free presentation given on April 30, 2012 at 101 Thomas Bldg. on Penn State’s University Park Campus to a live audience.
    At the 1:57 mark,

    “PSU expert” Peter Buckland says “[Penn State is] arguably the most powerful institution in the state of Pennsylvania, maybe more powerful than the state government, because it can just tell the state government to go away all the time. When you have a university that powerful, the statement that you know like …climate change is real, we have people that tell us that it is real, and we have to take meaningful action, that pushes other institutions to do things. And it will push the political conversation some. If you have coalitions of every major research university in the country, saying that and broadcasting it very clearly and then embedding it in everything they do, it will change the civil-, it will change the society.”

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2012/07/april-2012-remarkable-statement-by-penn.html

    …In his new book, Death of the Liberal Class, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges argues that the failure of President Obama to represent the interests of his supporters is just another example of a quickly dying liberal class. In the book, Hedges explains how the five pillars of the liberal class — the press, universities, unions, liberal churches and the Democratic Party — have become corrupt.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/20/chris_hedges_obama_is_a_poster

    Well I guess that explains the attack on US Christians by the liberal press for breaking away from the Democratic party. /sarc Chris Hedges has not made the obvious connection between the bankers, transnational corporations and “the Liberal Class” not much of an investigative journalist in MHO. Because it is not as if that connection was not well known. Heck Robert Minor’s cartoon is even in WIKI!

    Another description:

    1911
    A political cartoon drawn by cartoonist Robert Minor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1911 made an unusual statement. Minor’s cartoon portrays a bearded, beaming Karl Marx standing in Wall Street with Socialism tucked under his arm and accepting the congratulations of financial luminaries J.P. Morgan, Morgan partner George W. Perkins, a smug John D. Rockefeller, John D. Ryan of National City Bank, and Teddy Roosevelt – prominently identified by his famous teeth – in the background. Wall Street is decorated by Red flags. The cheering crowd and the airborne hats suggest that Karl Marx must have been a fairly popular sort of fellow in the New York financial district.
    http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/cosmic_cointelpro_1911.htm

    “…the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.” ~ David Rockefeller, June, 1991, Bilderberg Conference, Baden, Germany link

    If that quote is true it explains much doesn’t it?

  79. BigWaveDave says:

    For anyone who thinks that man’s contribution to water vapor in the atmosphere is siginificant, I suggest looking at Tuvalu on Google Earth, and zooming out.

  80. timetochooseagain says:

    Gail Combs says: “Yale is in Tassachusetts”

    Um, no, Connecticut.

  81. Gail Combs says:

    timetochooseagain says:
    August 3, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Gail Combs says: “Yale is in Tassachusetts”

    Um, no, Connecticut.
    ___________________________
    OOPS I was thinking of Haaaavard.

  82. Jim G says:

    According to ucar.edu lightning produces nitrogen oxides which in the presence of sunlight and other atmospheric compounds PRODUCES ozone which ends up in the troposphere. What am I missing? Is this analysis talking about a supposed net negative due to moisture at high altitudes? But according to Ian W the moisture cannot attain that altitude. So, what’s the story? Seems like thunderstorms woud INCREASE ozone, so the non-existent global warming that is causing (really not) all this is good?

  83. D. J. Hawkins says:

    anarchist hate machine says:
    August 3, 2012 at 5:06 am
    Can someone explain to me *how* CFCs actually get into the atmosphere? They’re heavier-than-air molecules that don’t rise.

    You are the victim of a common misconception regarding the behavior of gas molecules. While it is certainly true that a balloon filled with helium will float to the top of your living room ceiling, this observation conflates the behavior of a mass of molecules (bulk property) with that of an individual molecule. An individual He atom has no more tendency to head for the ceiling than it does for the front door. It’s movement is governed by local temperture and the Boltzmann energy distribution function.

    Consider the following. Imagine a room, the size of the vehical assembly building at Kennedy Space Flight Center. Further imagine we could hermetically seal the room and limit heat transfer. Note that O2 is mass number 32 and N2 is mass number 28. For gases at ideal conditions, density is proportional to mass number. One atmosphere at room temperature is close enough to ideal for all practical purposes. If you were to return to the room in a month, or six months, do you imagine that you would find all the O2 at the bottom of the room, and all the N2 at the top? If you had a SCUBA tank sitting on the shelf for a year or so, would you have to shake it to remix the O2 and N2?

  84. kwinterkorn says:

    As an old Harvard Grad, I am appalled and embarassed by much that comes out of that formerly great university that pretends to be serious science, philosophy, economics, or other intellectual endeavor. Yet the thought that both Harvard and Yale might be in the same state remains beyond tolerable for me. That would be too much self-adulating sophomorism in one place.

    Fortunately, Yale is one state to the south, namely in Connecticutt (New Haven).

  85. AJB says:

    Hmm … methane or water vapour?

  86. gringojay says:

    Some agree with Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen who popularized ozone first going back a few decades:
    “I’m lost in the ozone again.
    I’m lost in the ozone again.
    Tell me about it now…
    One drink of wine, two drinks of gin…
    and I’m lost in the ozone again. ”
    ? Are some contemporary reports befuddling due to ruminations of scientists who were “down to seeds & stems again” like The Commander once was?

  87. Ian W says:

    Jim G says:
    August 3, 2012 at 10:22 am
    According to ucar.edu lightning produces nitrogen oxides which in the presence of sunlight and other atmospheric compounds PRODUCES ozone which ends up in the troposphere. What am I missing? Is this analysis talking about a supposed net negative due to moisture at high altitudes? But according to Ian W the moisture cannot attain that altitude. So, what’s the story? Seems like thunderstorms woud INCREASE ozone, so the non-existent global warming that is causing (really not) all this is good?

    Hi Jim, not exactly. Say the storms in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) reach up to 70,000ft – and this is not uncommon – then 70,000 is the top of the troposphere. The troposphere is the name for the convective layers of the atmosphere. Thunderstorms look not unlike the surface of water boiling over single burner. The stratosphere does not have a precise flat surface. It is a nice concept to have an atmosphere that is in discrete fixed layers but in reality the boundaries are very fuzzy with swirls, dips and troughs, waves and breaking waves.

  88. Stephen Wilde says:

    It apears that from 2004 to 2007 (at least) ozone increased above 45km but decreased below 45km.

    That has put quite a spanner in the works since it suggests the possibility that conventional climatology assumes an incorrect temperature response in parts of the atmosphere when the sun is active or inactive.

    It may be that the stratosphere and mesosphere cool naturally when the sun is active and warm naturally when the sun is inactive. The reverse of the established view but critical in my opinion to cause the observed effect of zonal jets when the sun is active and meridional jets when the sun is inactive.

    As Gail Combs notes, I have gone into that issue in considerable detail previously.

    I await updated data for the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere from 2007 to date though the effect may be temporarily less pronounced during the buildup to the max of cycle 24.

    We really need to await the next minimum to get more useful data and if cycle 25 is another weak one then that will also help with the diagnosis.

    Of course, if I am right, then that stuffs the CFC based ozone theories too :)

  89. john says:

    Speaking of Harvard…

    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/11/harvard-to-become-largest-institutional-buyer-of-wind-power-in-new-england/

    There are tie in’s with Yale regarding the players mentioned at my earlier post…john says:
    August 3, 2012 at 4:42 am

  90. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ian W says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    … The troposphere is the name for the convective layers of the atmosphere.

    Thanks, Ian. I fear your definition is not correct. The usual distinction between the troposphere and the stratosphere has to do with the temperature lapse rate, and not the turbulence. The tropopause, the area between the troposphere and the stratosphere, is where the temperature of the atmosphere stops dropping with altitude.

    From the NSIDC:

    TropopauseThe boundary layer between the troposphere and stratosphere, where an abrupt change in temperature lapse rate usually occurs. It is defined as the lowest level at which the lapse rate decreases to 2 °C km-1 or less, provided that the average lapse rate between this level and all higher levels within 2 km does not exceed 2 °C km-1.

    Note that there is absolutely nothing in there about turbulence.

    w.

  91. “…a possibility that it might happen that there could be a chance of a risk of danger…”

    Now that is just plain funny.

    But there could be, ya know?

  92. Ian W says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm
    Ian W says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    … The troposphere is the name for the convective layers of the atmosphere.

    Thanks, Ian. I fear your definition is not correct. The usual distinction between the troposphere and the stratosphere has to do with the temperature lapse rate, and not the turbulence. The tropopause, the area between the troposphere and the stratosphere, is where the temperature of the atmosphere stops dropping with altitude.

    From the NSIDC:

    TropopauseThe boundary layer between the troposphere and stratosphere, where an abrupt change in temperature lapse rate usually occurs. It is defined as the lowest level at which the lapse rate decreases to 2 °C km-1 or less, provided that the average lapse rate between this level and all higher levels within 2 km does not exceed 2 °C km-1.

    Note that there is absolutely nothing in there about turbulence.

    w.

    Willis, there is – but it is indirect almost begging the question. If there is water vapor present the lapse rate will not decrease to 2 °C km-1 or less. So it is another way of saying the top of the convective atmosphere as that is where the water vapor transport has stopped.

    ;-)

  93. Eli Rabett says:

    While the tropopause is defined by the temperature profile, it is a property of the tropopause that it is convective because temperatures decrease with altitude, and a property of the stratosphere that is is not (very)convective because since temperatures increase with altitude there is a built in inversion. Indeed the name stratosphere comes from the fact that the system is stratified. So yes, Willis is right, but so is Ian.

    BTW, does anyone question the fact that a wetter stratosphere will decrease ozone concentrations because of catalytic destruction of ozone by HOx cycles as in
    H2O + hn –> HO + HO (photolysis) or
    O(1D) + H2O –> HO + HO

    HO + O3 –> HO2 + O2
    HO2 + O3 –> HO + 2O2
    ———————————
    2O3 –> 3 O2 net

  94. Dave Worley says:

    The masthead of WUWT appears to show a strong convective column penetrating, and perhaps damaging the ozone layer.

    I suggest that this violent and aggressive act be photoshopped out so that impressionable young folks don’t think that Anthony condones such behavior.

    Do it for the protection of the children.

  95. First is the fact that a remarkably dry stratosphere characterizes the current climate state.

    That is nonsense – the amount of water vapor is what defines the stratosphere.

    Below the tropopause, water vapor cools the atmosphere. Water vapor is why the atmosphere gets cooler with height.

    Above the tropopause, the atmosphere gets warmer with increasing height because there is not enough water vapor to help it loose heat.

    It is the amount of water vapor that defines the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. The assumption of their paper that anything could change the amount of water vapor in the stratosphere is complete nonsense.

    They assume that the base of the tropical stratosphere is 200K at 90 mb. While those are representative values, they are the result of thunder clouds, not a barrier that limits how high thunder clouds rise. Their “conclusion” that

    there is a growing realization that convective moistening occurs in the lower stratosphere over the central United States during the summer

    shows a lack of understanding of the processes involved.

    Their paper states that,

    18 ppmv water … represents a reasonable estimate of the initial water vapor mixing ratio following convective injection

    but they fail to observe that at that temperature and pressure, 18 ppm represents 100%RH over ice (Hyland & Wexler approximation) or that that chlorine catalyzed ozone destruction requires the presence of ice crystals .. which is why 18 ppm is important and why it is a limiting value. At 5ppm and 90mb, 100%RH is at 192K .. but the paper says that the reaction is catalyzed at 198K.

    There is another point, and I think this is an error – the paper says

    the Arctic lower stratosphere is marginally colder than the mid-latitude lower stratosphere over the US in summer

    In Alaska, the typical stratosphere temperature is more than 10K warmer “than the mid-latitude lower stratosphere over the US in summer”. Only about 20 days a year are colder. In Antarctica, the winter stratosphere does get quit a bit colder, but the summer stratosphere is also warmer. This is because (or perhaps, proof that) thunderstorms are what make the tropopause so cold.

    Willis, I read your response to Ian W. What you are missing is that adding water (either vapor or ice) to the “stratosphere” will cause it to get colder (due to increased radiation losses). Since the local temperature gradient changes from “increasing with height” to “decreases with height”, the height of the tropopause increases according to the definition you quoted. The point is that the change in the number of water molecules is what causes the “abrupt change in temperature lapse rate”.

  96. DDP says:

    If any thunderstorm does punch a hole in the ozone layer, it’s simply finding an escape route to avoid the level of stupidity.

  97. Stephen Wilde says:

    Robert Clemenzi said:

    “Below the tropopause, water vapor cools the atmosphere. Water vapor is why the atmosphere gets cooler with height.

    and:

    Above the tropopause, the atmosphere gets warmer with increasing height because there is not enough water vapor to help it lose heat.”

    I like those statements because they introduce a new way of looking at the tropopause which helps me to explain how the system works.

    The conventional view is that the stratosphere warms with height because of the presence of ozone reacting with incoming solar radiation.

    Now Robert suggests that the stratosphere warms with height due to the (relative) absence of water vapour and I think there is a way of looking at the situation that could make both assertions true.

    If there were no water vapour then ozone would be in control with little atmospheric overturning / convection. The upward temperature profile would simply follow ozone densities from ground up and since ozone rich air is no lighter than air without ozone there would be relatively little convective overturning.

    The vertical temperature profile from the ground up would then depend upon the balance between ozone creation and ozone destruction at any given height and if one were to change ozone densities on the way up the atmosphere would be stratified accordingly in terms of the vertical temperature profile.

    As regards water vapour the fact is that water vapour is less dense than the surrounding air (unlike ozone rich air) so convective overturning begins and will reach as high as necessary to enable condensation to remove almost all the water vapour.

    So the tropopause height is determined by the height that the water vapour needs to rise in order for it to be stripped out by condensation.

    So, tropopause height depends upon the quantity of water vapour in the troposphere AND the amount of ozone in the air immediately above the height that the water vapour can reach.

    In effect the buoyancy of water vapour pushes the tropopause upwards against the restraining influence of stratified ozone quantities and the tropopause is at whatever height the thermal effect of ozone overcomes the thermal effect of water vapour.

    That fits my New Climate Model perfectly because one needs to vary tropopause height differentially between equator and pole in order to allow the climate zones to shift latitudinally poleward or equatorward beneath the tropopause.

    So I say that the tropopause height, being dependent on the outcome of the balance between the thermal effects of ozone above the tropopause and water vapour below the tropopause, is influenced by the oceans from below (which change the rate at which water vapour is released) and the sun from above (which changes the amount of ozone differentially at different levels above the tropopause).

    Therefore tropopause heights would vary naturally all the time due to the ever shifting balance between oceanic and solar thermal effects.

    Now, the oceans have greatest effect at the equator and the sun has greatest effect at the poles so what we have is a constant variation in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles. It is that constant variation that allows latitudinal climate zone shifting and that in turn controls the rate at which energy flows from surface to space.

    There is the thermostatic control of Earth’s equilibrium temperature.

  98. As aircraft emissions has come up. I’ll point out that particulate emissions from aircraft have increased massively since WW2. Particulate emissions from surface sources (classified as aerosols by climate science) are know to have substantial effects on precipitation and temperatures. But we know almost nothing above the effects of particulate emissions from aircraft. What little research that has been done shows aircraft emissions are much more persistent in the atmosphere than those from surface sources, and presumably therefore have a greater effect on the climate.

    While we have scrubbed most of the emissions from coal fired power stations, it simple isn’t feasible to do this for aircraft.

  99. jjfox says:

    Re:Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 3, 2012 at 1:06 am
    You were taught correctly, which is why there is excess ozone in the tropics.
    …………………………………………..

    Willis, This source:
    http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/e/ozone/normalozone.htm#gl

    shows the highest mean total ozone concentrations to be found at mid and high latitudes for all months of the year. The tropics consistently have low concentrations.

    I wonder what accounts for the difference in reporting?

  100. Eli Rabett says:

    jjfox says:
    August 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Willis, This source:
    http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/e/ozone/normalozone.htm#gl

    shows the highest mean total ozone concentrations to be found at mid and high latitudes for all months of the year. The tropics consistently have low concentrations.

    Two reasons

    1. More UV strikes the atmosphere in the tropics resulting in lower ozone
    2. Transport via the Brewer Dobson circulation in the stratosphere

    http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/~lizsmith/SEES/ozone/class/Chap_6/index.htm

    Go to Section 3.

  101. Gunga Din says:

    Eric H. says:
    August 3, 2012 at 2:16 am
    A little off comment but the ozone hole scare related to CFCs has always confused me. Usually just a south pole phenom., this last year we saw a hole open up over the Arctic …
    ==========================================================================
    The ozone hole was never a “hole” but a thinning of the ozone layer over one or the other of the poles. It was and is a seasonal occurence. The “hole” switches poles depending on which pole is receiving sunlight.
    When the ozone hole was being hyped the “horror” of it would switch back and forth.

  102. jjfox says:

    Re: Eli Rabett says:
    August 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for the link Eli, but I was already aware of that webpage and Brewer Dobson circulation.

    What I wanted to know was why the source Willis cites reports latitudinal ozone concentrations that were so different than the observations I linked to
    Since visiting the site for Willis’ source I see that they are reporting modeled ozone concentrations and not observations. No wonder they do not agree. Go figure.

  103. Eli Rabett says:

    jjfox says:
    August 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    What I wanted to know was why the source Willis cites reports latitudinal ozone concentrations that were so different than the observations I linked to
    Since visiting the site for Willis’ source I see that they are reporting modeled ozone concentrations and not observations. No wonder they do not agree. Go figure.

    It’s not what you think. The figures you pointed to were color coded maps of ozone column density, e.g. the amount of ozone between the ground and the TOMS instrument. The ones that Willis pointed to were the mixing ratio as a function of altitude and latitude. You can get an idea of how that reconciles the two links by looking at Fig 4.18 (looks like Willis) and Fig. 4.20 (looks like jj) at

    http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/WEBOPS/eps-pg/GOME-2/GOME2-PG-4ProdOverview.htm

  104. Ian W says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    August 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm
    As aircraft emissions has come up. I’ll point out that particulate emissions from aircraft have increased massively since WW2. Particulate emissions from surface sources (classified as aerosols by climate science) are know to have substantial effects on precipitation and temperatures. But we know almost nothing above the effects of particulate emissions from aircraft. What little research that has been done shows aircraft emissions are much more persistent in the atmosphere than those from surface sources, and presumably therefore have a greater effect on the climate.

    While we have scrubbed most of the emissions from coal fired power stations, it simple isn’t feasible to do this for aircraft.

    This is not true.

    Considerable and successful efforts are being made by the major aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturers to reduce emissions of all types: SOx, NOx and CO2. The emissions are directly related both to fuel burn and the quality of the fuels. Both Airbus and Boeing have reduced emissions considerably. Engines are now more than 20% more efficient even than those available at the turn of the century in 2000 – and far quieter too. This is the reason both Airbus and Boeing order books are so full; airlines need to reduce fuel burn and are replacing their old aircraft at an increasing rate. Per revenue passenger seat the fuel consumption of the modern Airbus and Boeing aircraft is in excess of 120 miles per gallon. Unlike road or rail, this fuel economy requires no infrastructure to be maintained between departure point and destination and air travel is also hugely safer than surface transport. Once the distance is greater than around 300 miles, air travel is far more efficient in fuel than any other kind of transport, and is faster and safer.

  105. Eli Rabett says:

    Particulate emissions are only one part of the problem. Another is formation of contrails by ice particles, however, this can be minimized by sending the planes on optimized routes

  106. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    August 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Particulate emissions are only one part of the problem. Another is formation of contrails by ice particles, however, this can be minimized by sending the planes on optimized routes

    Contrails are a problem for you, Eli? Perhaps you could tell us why contrails are a problem, and why we’d want to minimize them. Serious questions … I’m confused here. I’ve always heard claims that contrails cool the planet. I’d have guessed you’d support that … what am I missing?

    w.

  107. Mason P Wilson, Jr, Ph.D retired professor of Thermodynamics and a weatherman in service says:

    A few years ago I presented a lecture about Global Warming that is posted on my friend Dr. Russell Wilcox’s blog. You might want to share it with your readers.

    http://forthegrandchildren.blogspot.com/2009/03/best-global-warming-discussion-ever.html

    [Moderator's Note: Thank you, Dr. Wilson. I took the liberty of making a few edits to your comment for clarity. -REP]

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