Study: Black carbon aerosol forcing may be an important factor affecting the snow & ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere

A satellite image shows pollution over eastern China in February 2004. The pollution, consisting mostly of soot and sulfate particles, was created from coal and wood burning and persisted throughout the winter.

A satellite image shows pollution over eastern China in February 2004. The pollution, consisting mostly of soot and sulfate particles, was created from coal and wood burning and persisted throughout the winter.

We’ve had several essays here at WUWT  on the role of Black Carbon soot and its role in affecting surface albedo. Anyone who has ever witnessed “dirty snow” knows that it tends to melt faster than white snow under sunlight because the black carbon on top absorbs more solar energy than the base white snow does. There’s even been some simple citizen science demonstrating this effect in your own back yard. Most of the western world’s industrialization has shifted to China due to environmental regulation, and as we know, China hasn’t paid much attention to pollution control as seen by the satellite photo at right and the many photos we’ve seen from the ground showing air pollution in China, for example, in Beijing.

While this paper is based on a modeling of black carbon interaction with the atmosphere and albedo, the premise is fairly straightforward, and wouldn’t likely have as many variables as many long term climate models. I think it is worth considering because unlike some long term climate models, we also have observational feedback that suggests black carbon is a real problem. The good news is that is a much easier problem to solve as conventional pollution control is a mature technology.

In the recently published Fahey et al,  from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where they did atmospheric sampling over a four year period, the lead author said, “This study confirms and goes beyond other research that suggested black carbon has a strong warming effect on climate, just ahead of methane.”

Then there was Lau et al from NASA, another modeling study which suggests that Soot is having a big impact on Himalyan temperature – as much or more than GHG’s

This new paper from Lee and Kim says similar things using different methods.

Radiative effect of black carbon aerosol on seasonal variation in snow depth in the Northern-Hemisphere  

Woo-Seop Lee, Maeng-Ki Kim

Abstract

In this research, we studied the effects of black carbon (BC) aerosol radiative forcing on seasonal variation in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) using numerical simulations with the NASA finite-volume General Circulation Model (fvGCM) forced with monthly varying three-dimensional aerosol distributions from the Goddard Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport Model (GOCART). The results show that atmospheric warming due to black carbon aerosols subsequently warm the atmosphere and land surfaces, especially those over Eurasia. As a result, the snow depth in Eurasia was greatly reduced in late winter and spring, and the reduction in snow cover decreased the surface albedo. Our surface energy balance analysis shows that the surface warming due to aerosol absorption causes early snow melting and further increases surface-atmosphere warming through snow/ice albedo feedback. Therefore, BC aerosol forcing may be an important factor affecting the snow/ice albedo in the NH.

DOI 10.1007/s13143-013-0021-2

================================================================

Indeed, spring snow cover in Eurasia seems to be down markedly according to this plot from Rutgers Snow Lab:

sonw_anom_eurasia

Source: http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=0&ui_region=eurasia&ui_month=2

I don’t have access to the new Lee and Kim paper, but I do have access to some stunning examples of black carbon existing where it should not, in Greenland:

Meltwater stream flowing into a large moulin in the ablation zone (area below the equilibrium line) of the Greenland ice sheet. (Image courtesy Roger J. Braithwaite, The University of Manchester, UK via GISS)

Of course images like this one at left showing water tumbling down a huge moulin are being held up with gloom and doom scenarios that say Greenland’s Ice is melting “faster than expected” and we’ll get six feet of sea level rise from it along with a 10-15°F temperature rise by the year 2100.

Perhaps. But, moulins have existed since Greenland had ice, they are just part of the natural landscape and processes. They aren’t “new” to our time.

One of the photos we don’t often get to see was also circulated in the email, by somebody who lives in Greenland and knows what this is really all about.

It’s a real eye opener:

Image from National Geographic online slide show – Photo: James Balog – click for more

He writes:

In the winter a huge among of snow are accumulated on the Ice (2-3 meters, sometimes more) and we are not talking about 1 or 2 square-miles, it’s about 100.000′s of square miles (up to 1 million) on the Westside of the Ice cap and a similar picture on the Eastside… when the melting season starts in april-sep… the meltwater has to go somewhere, and for sure it goes downhill in huge meltwater rivers.

The black stuff on the bottom of the lakes is carbon dust and pollution in general… but not from one year, but several decades (the topographical conditions don’t change from year to year). On a flight over the Ice Cap a sky clear day, you can see hundreds of huge lakes with the black spot on the bottom.

Here in Kangerlussuaq, on the edge of the Ice Cap, we have several burst from edge-lake, all the water (millions of tonnes) in the river passing through the settlement in a day or two.

The Vikings (Eric the Red) is about Medieval warm period…. the Hockey-stick mystery!!!

Med venlig hilsen

Svend Erik Hendriksen

And in that same Nat Geo collection that the photo above came from, you can see this photo also:

From National Geographic: At the bottom of an ice canyon, cryoconite—fine brown and black dust carried by wind—spatters the edges of sutured crevasses, places where meltwater flooded massive cracks in the ice and then froze. Photo: James Balog

h/t to Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. for the Lee and Kim paper.

[UPDATE] I trust that Anthony won’t mind if I add some more information about black carbon, from the EPA.

black carbon 2000The figure above shows the location of the sources of BC emissions globally.

black carbon emission sources 2000Note the large differences between US and global sources. Domestic/residential, from the use of coal and wood for heating and cooking, is only 3.6% of the US emissions, but it is a full quarter of the global emissions. Going the other way, transport (mainly diesel vehicles) is more than half the US total, while it’s about a fifth of the global total.

Regards to all,

w.

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58 Responses to Study: Black carbon aerosol forcing may be an important factor affecting the snow & ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere

  1. Alec, aka Daffy Duck says:

    I’ve been a ‘soot guy’ for a very long time. My dad managed a ski area 40miles down wind from Pittsburgh in the 50’s early 60’s. We lived in an apartment above the lodge; lodge at the top of the mountain. I remember the snow color in Spring. It is that which lead me to know that CO2 was not the driver the kooks were claiming.

  2. frank says:

    This information is crucial, although i suspect this comment will be censored.

    Dane Wigington’s Censored Interview on Geoengineering
    http://aircrap.org/dane-wigingtons-censored-interview-geoengineering/336826/

  3. Manfred says:

    In addition to radiative warming, the albedo effect of black carbon on snow and ice is estimated at 0.13 W/m2 (Bond et al 2012).
    http://www.igbp.net/images/18.4910f0f013c20ff8a5f8000200/black-carbon-Fig9.jpg

    However, the effect on arctic multiyear ice should be much higher.

    1. Black carbon is almost entirely concentrated in the northern hemisphere
    2. Black carbon concentration is much higher on multi year ice than on younger ice or snow.
    3. “Soot deposition increases surface melt on ice masses, and the meltwater spurs multiple radiative and dynamical feedback processes that accelerate ice disintegration,” according to NASA scientists Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Larissa Nazarenko.[76] As a result of this feedback process, “BC on snow warms the planet about three times more than an equal forcing of CO2.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_carbon

    -> Multiply 0.13 W/m2 by a factor of about 2 (due to 1.). by a factor of perhaps 3-10 (due to 2.) and by factor of 3 (due to 3.) and add about 0.97 W/m2 for the radiative effect:

    and you get an effective forcing of 3.3-8.8 W/m2 for the albedo effect on multi year ice, by far the highest anthropogenic forcing.

  4. Box of Rocks says:

    What about dust particles….

  5. Petrossa says:

    Need to worry anymore, they will be gone anyway says the ever so trustworthy Geophysical Research Letters http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50214/abstract
    Irriversible loss. Gone forever. Never to return. Not ever. They know this for sure. So let it soot away :)

  6. Greg Goodman says:

    Someone should start looking at the periodic changes in Arctic ice coverage, and using ALL the data not just one day per year.

    The following plot shows rate of change. It has a promentent cycle that I estimated by eye to be 5.42 years, as a single cycle.
    http://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/ddt_arctic_ice.png

    When I did a full spectral density analysis it’s humming with cyclic peaks.
    http://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/nh_ice_area_anom_chirp.png

    my estimate of 5.4 would be nearer 5.5.
    The 4.38 and 5.5 peaks are a resonant pair that would result from an interaction of the 2.44 peak with 21 years, so not surprises that the amount of ice is realted to solar activity.

    The rest of the peaks are worth a full article, so I’ll get to write that up.

  7. Silver Ralph says:

    Manfred.
    1. Black carbon is almost entirely concentrated in the northern hemisphere.
    __________________________________

    Is that why ice is expanding in Antarctica, and not in the Arctic?

    .

  8. Justthinkin says:

    Well there is one thing right; we can control this real pollution with current technology,not pixie dust and unicorn farts.But then I guess actual solutions don’t get the biggie grants :):).

    “frank says:

    March 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

    This information is crucial, although i suspect this comment will be censored.
    If you want something censored,Frank,try SkS.

  9. Steven Mosher says:

    black carbon comes from humans. everybody knows that the amount is just a trace.
    Also, the climate is so complex and giant that humans cannot have any effect whatsoever.
    Plus look at this study. They used Models! and anomalies! has to be bogus.
    /sarc off

  10. Pathway says:

    If there is no statistical warming in at least 17 years and black carbon is leading to warming then should we conclude that the earth is actually cooling and only black carbon is keeping it in neutral?

  11. Alec, aka Daffy Duck says:

    Silver Ralph: “Is that why ice is expanding in Antarctica, and not in the Arctic?”

    Hmmm, a better question might be: Is that why global warming isn’t global, but mostly the northern half of the northern hemisphere???
    Enquiring minds want to know!

    RSS’s Lower troposphere, Click on ‘history’,
    also Region Global, North Pole, South Pole
    http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_monthly.html?type=trend&channel=tlt

  12. Latitude says:

    While this paper is based on a modeling of black carbon interaction with the atmosphere and albedo
    =======
    are they sure this is all black carbon?

    Most of the dust in Greenland comes from the Gobi, which is famous for it’s black dust…..

  13. Mac the Knife says:

    Black Snow Drifts
    The black soils of Minnesota illustrate this ‘black carbon effect’ each winter. Minnesota has large farming areas with black soils, remnants of the original prairies. During the winter snow storms, wind sweeps parts of black soil fields clear of snow and carries some of the black soil dust along to the low pressure eddies behind accumulating snow drifts. The black soil falls out onto the down wind face of the snow drift, along with accumulating wind blown snow. During the spring melt(s), the melting snow drifts become nearly black on the surface as the snow/ice melts just below that layer. As the soil dust doesn’t ‘melt’, it gets more concentrated on the snow surface with each melt, until all of the underlying snow has melted and the soil dust is returned to the local soil.
    MtK

  14. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..
    Radiative effect of black carbon aerosol on seasonal variation in snow depth in the Northern-Hemisphere …..”””””

    So an “aerosol” is some sort of goop in the atmosphere; right ? I can assure you, that all the black dust water droplets, all over my car sitting out there in my driveway, are NOT “aerosols”, and moreover they are not doing any radiative forcing of anything.

    So why are we seeing all these pictures of soot on the snow/ice in a science paper about “aerosols” and “radiative forcing” What are the accepted SI units of “radiative forcing”.

    One thing that is clearly visible in those Greenland photos, is that ice is definitely not as reflective as is fresh snow.

    Everybody knows that when you are making surface irradiance calculations, if the sun is at an angular elevation (A) that the irradiated surface area increases as 1/sin(A) so the average surface irradiance is proportional to sin(A) , so at 30 degrees, sun elevation, the irradiance is half of the zenith value; well plus the increases air thickness attenuation of course; so the polar sun at low sun elevations can’t melt snow.

    Well not quite so fast. We’ve all seen, at least in pictures, arrays of tilted solar collectors tilted up so their normal points at the sun, so they receive the normal TSI, less atmospheric attenuation dose of irradiance. And they space those tilted panels so they don’t cast shadows on each other.

    Well you see, snow is not exactly flat, like ice is for example. Snow has multifacets pointing in all directions, and wouldn’t you know it, those facets that happen to be tilted up in the right direction can also get a full dose of normally incident solar radiation, head on. So for THAT facet of the snow surface, there is no obliquity factor to be applied, the facet gets it full 1362 W/m^2 less air mass and scattering losses, so in fact except at surface grazing angles, where the air thickness is very great, it is almost as good as the sun overhead, and that facet most assuredly will melt, and the water will trickle down into the snow, and refreeze. So it is like the moulin effect; on average the whole surface will not instantly melt; but some fraction of it will most certainly melt, and that captured solar energy, simply creates better optical situations for increased absorption of solar energy. which accelerates the melting.

    So anyone who thinks that a snowball earth can persist indefinitely unless some massive GHG calamity comes along, just doesn’t have a good mental image of how direct sun radiation melts snow, and a snowball earth without open liquid water to evaporate, will not remain a snowball for very long , but will turn into an ice block earth, which is far less reflective.

  15. Bruce Cobb says:

    OMG, our black carbon is heating the planet, and melting all the snow and ice! We know this because a model said so, and all models are correct and scientific. The climate is a delicate creature, and our eeevil ways have thrown it out of balance. Right Mosh?

  16. Doug Proctor says:

    “Dirty” snow shows up when significant melting or lublimation has occurred. Snow does not fall dirty except right by the source of pollution. Additonal snow covers up dirty snow and removes the forcing for additional melting/sublimation.

    The albedo differences between dirty snow and clean snow WHEN THEY HAVE JUST FALLEN are much less than the albedo differences between cloud types and the additive effects of cloud frequenies. I doubt very much that we know the facts of these factors well enough to determine carbon soot effects …. except at a modeling level.

    Snow fall frequency would be important in the effects of carbon-coloured snow. So would clear skies.

    Any study that did not take these two factors into account will fail to estimate the impact carbon soot tainted snow will have on snow and ice melt.

  17. Rhoda R says:

    I can see where anything dark on the snow/ice (soot, dust, etc.) will cause it to melt faster — it’s something we’ve all seen at one time or another but I don’t understand why this automatically assumed to be a warming factor. Seems that if an insulating ice/snow cover is removed that the substrate will cool off faster. What have I missed?

  18. arthur4563 says:

    Before anyone crucifies the Chinese for producing soot, in addition to everything we use,
    I must point out that China’s energy strategy is a whole lot more impressive than our own (South Carolina excepted). They are looking to put online over 600 nuclear reactors in the coming
    decades and plan over 1600 by the turn of the century. And they can build those reactors themselves, thank you, with no assistance needed from the West. And build them far cheaper
    than we can. The Chinese have outproduced the West in practically everything except
    perhaps mindless arrogance. and will, in all likelihood, based on past experience, outperform the West in producing clean power as well.

  19. Mike Smith says:

    I too am inclined to think that black carbon will impact the snow at and close to the poles. I’m open minded but skeptical of its role in global temperatures.

    In any event, let’s assume black carbon is Really Bad Stuff and we need to reduce/mitigate it. My question is… what proportion of this particulate matter is man-made versus naturally occurring through volcanoes and such like?

    We need a clear answer before we can evaluate the cost effectiveness of any proposed action.

  20. Ian W says:

    Latitude says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    While this paper is based on a modeling of black carbon interaction with the atmosphere and albedo
    =======
    are they sure this is all black carbon?

    Most of the dust in Greenland comes from the Gobi, which is famous for it’s black dust…..

    It has to be anthropogenic carbon – you cannot tax the Gobi desert

  21. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Mike Smith says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    … In any event, let’s assume black carbon is Really Bad Stuff and we need to reduce/mitigate it. My question is… what proportion of this particulate matter is man-made versus naturally occurring through volcanoes and such like?

    I’ve added an update with at least some of this information to the head post.

    w.

  22. DD More says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

    black carbon comes from humans. everybody knows that the amount is just a trace.
    Also, the climate is so complex and giant that humans cannot have any effect whatsoever.

    From – Black carbon concentration in a Greenland Dye-3 Ice Core

    We have determined the black carbon concentration in Greenland Dye-3 ice core samples covering the time period from about 3380 to 100 years before present. The average concentration found is 1.53 μg of black carbon per 1 kg of ice.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/92GL01904/abstract;jsessionid=88197218B524E29BAAFEB082CF064549.d01t02?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

    Looks like 1.53 ppb, a bit less than our present CO2 concentration. Yes would be considered a ‘trace’.

    Also –

    The researchers looked at ice cores covering the period 1788 to 2002. Ice cores from before about 1850 show most soot came from forest fires. They found that the older soot samples contained vanillic acid, an indicator of burning conifer trees. But since then, soot in the snow has increased several times over due mainly to industrial emissions. Soot concentrations peaked in 1906-1910 and remained high for decades.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6939633.stm

    From the Scripps Institute: Saharan and Asian Dust, Biological Particles End Global Journey in California
    Besides dust, aerosols can be composed of sea salt, bits of soot and other pollution, or biological material. Bacteria, viruses, pollen, and plants, of both terrestrial and marine origin, also add to the mix of aerosols making the transcontinental voyage.The researchers’ analysis of winter storms in 2011 found that dust and biological aerosols tend to enhance precipitation-forming processes in the Sierra Nevada.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/01/dusts-excellent-global-adventure-ends-in-californias-sierra-nevada/

    Looks like our greatgrand parents did the most changing.

  23. higley7 says:

    Do they include the fact that when the sea ice melts, the carbon is gone from that area. In other words, a significant portion of the carbon is only effective for one season. And, is the carbon added as a layer or embedded as it should be?

  24. vukcevic says:

    As most of regulars already know, as a mental diversion, I often look at data searching for correlations, which often turn out not to have an acceptable physical explanation. The Arctic is no exception; here is the Arctic summer atmospheric pressure and the Equatorial Atlantic SST
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AEc.htm

  25. Manfred says:

    Silver Ralph says:
    March 7, 2013 at 10:29 am
    Manfred.
    1. Black carbon is almost entirely concentrated in the northern hemisphere.
    __________________________________

    Is that why ice is expanding in Antarctica, and not in the Arctic?
    ————————————————————

    Could be the main man made reason, another indication could be the growing glaciers in New Zealand and the Southern Andes.

  26. crosspatch says:

    Shouldn’t the oil well fires of Kuwait have pumped more black carbon into the atmosphere than we have seen in a very long time? Is there any direct obvious evidence of that event?

  27. rpielke says:

    See also

    Strack, J.E., R.A. Pielke Sr., and J. Adegoke, 2003: Sensitivity of model-generated daytime surface heat fluxes over snow to land-cover changes. J. Hydrometeor., 4, 24-42. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-251.pdf

    Strack, J., R.A. Pielke Sr., and G. Liston, 2007: Arctic tundra shrub invasion and soot deposition: Consequences for spring snowmelt and near-surface air temperatures. J. Geophys. Res., 112, G04S44, doi:10.1029/2006JG000297. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-309.pdf

  28. Jimbo says:

    Below one of the images above its says in a paragraph:

    “…….black stuff on the bottom of the lakes is carbon dust and pollution in general… but not from one year, but several decades…………”

    Also note the sides of the ice, you will see dark streaks. I don’t know what that is.

    I don’t want to dwell on soot too much this evening as it has been covered time and time again. Just don’t forget the Asian haze in the Himalayas as well as ‘Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos’ (Hansen et. al. 2004).

  29. Justthinkin says:

    “Rhoda R says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm
    I can see where anything dark on the snow/ice (soot, dust, etc.) will cause it to melt faster — it’s something we’ve all seen at one time or another but I don’t understand why this automatically assumed to be a warming factor. Seems that if an insulating ice/snow cover is removed that the substrate will cool off faster. What have I missed?”

    Well Duh, Rhoda. You forgot to ask for your grant!!!! Get with the pogr…err….program.

  30. Berényi Péter says:

    Good to know we have a simple geoengineering technology at hand once the next ice age kicks in and snow starts to accumulate over the Fennoscandian and Laurentide region. Before it gets a mile thick, we just have to spray it with sooth & all manner of things will be well.

  31. Jimbo says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

    black carbon comes from humans. everybody knows that the amount is just a trace.
    Also, the climate is so complex and giant that humans cannot have any effect whatsoever.
    Plus look at this study. They used Models! and anomalies! has to be bogus.
    /sarc off

    Forget the models, are you denying the photographic evidence using your own eyes? Come on now! Do the experiment at home. Stick you head out of the window and sprinkle soot on the white stuff from the past and later compare to adjacent area.

  32. Goode 'nuff says:

    Politburo of the Communist Party of China: “Let’s see, your government owes us?? trillions. What was the subject??”

  33. Anthony Watts says:

    Mosher at 10:57 am

    Gee Mosh, you really have turned into a smug commenter recently. You are starting to sound like Mann. Did you shave your head and grow a goatee since I saw you last?

  34. Ray C says:

    Will we ever know how many aerosols there are, and if they cool or warm the atmosphere?

    http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_16960891

    “The silt particles are larger, and not only can they scatter sunlight, but they also absorb it,” Kok said. “On balance, the silt particles have more of a warming effect than the clay.”
    If Kok’s theory of how dust shatters is correct, he believes that climate models may now be underestimating the amount of silt that is blown into the atmosphere relative to the amount of clay, and therefore underestimating the possible warming effects of a dust storm.
    For every particle of clay, there may be two to eight times more silt than what these climate models assume,” he said.

    http://sitemaker.umich.edu/jasperkok/files/kok2011_pnas_scalingtheorydustpsd.pdf

    “Because clay aerosols produce a strong radiative cooling, the overestimation of the clay fraction causes GCMs to also overestimate the radiative cooling of a given quantity of emitted dust.
    On a global scale, the dust cycle in most GCMs is tuned to match radiative measurements such that the overestimation of the radiative cooling of a given quantity of emitted dust has likely caused GCMs to underestimate the global dust emission rate.”

    Underestimate the global dust emission rate!! ??

    All that extra, unaccounted for, dust adding fertilising the oceans for extra plankton growth and yet more aerosols!!
    Aerosols onto which water vapour condenses to liquid as soon as it can!

  35. Manfred says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 7, 2013 at 10:57 am
    black carbon comes from humans. everybody knows that the amount is just a trace.
    Also, the climate is so complex and giant that humans cannot have any effect whatsoever.
    Plus look at this study. They used Models! and anomalies! has to be bogus.
    /sarc off
    ————————————–

    Another useless and untrue attack.

    Black carbon is – compared with CO2 – easy to capture and easy to dispose of. The cost / benefit ratio is totally different.
    Mc Kitrick presented about this in WattupwithThat TV.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/23/the-next-video-from-wuwt-tv-dr-ross-mckitrick/

    As pretty obviously the little warming since the little ice age was beneficial to mankind, there is still a very good reason for a reduction which is severe damage to public health..Black carbon is a mass killer.

    This map shows shortening of life expectancy in months due to air polution of which black carbon is a main contribution. In Germany the range is 9 – 36 monts !! Diesel vehicle filters alone are estimated to increase life expectancy by 2 months.
    http://images.derstandard.at/20050218/grafik.gif

    Sceptic Freeman Dyson has long argued for a reduction of soot:
    http://www.thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/Shale-Gas_4_May_11.pdf

    It should be hard to find a climate sceptic who would not argue for a reduction of black carbon under these circumstances. It may, however, reduce the need to reduce CO2 emissions or may make part of the climate industry and lobby redundant.

  36. tckev says:

    I wonder how well this fits with another report – Solar irradiance modulation of Equator-to-Pole (Arctic) temperature gradients: Empirical evidence for climate variation on multi-decadal timescales
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S136468261200288X

  37. Mac the Knife says:

    Ian W says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    It has to be anthropogenic carbon – you cannot tax the Gobi desert

    Priceless!
    MtK

  38. stuart L says:

    I wonder if any has ever plotted global snow extent (by year) against global average temperatures it would be interesting to see any correlation

  39. frank says:
    March 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

    “This information is crucial, although i suspect this comment will be censored.”

    Hello Frank. I listened and watched the whole 28.03 minutes of this censored interview and still don’t know who “They” are. “They” have been doing this for 60 years, and “They” are living in bunkers, so it won’t affect them. Please let us know who ‘They” are that are releasing this methane through “geoengineering”. Maybe I missed something in this interview. I sure would like to know who “They” are so that we can initiate a drone strike on them and eliminate this problem. -Phil

  40. cotwome says:

    In this image it’s not black carbon but dust, and appropriate for this post, from the ‘MODIS website’ image of the day.:

    “In late February, 2013, a layer of winter sea ice covered most of the northern Caspian Sea, while dust and sediment colored the waters a greenish-tan hue.”

    http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/individual.php?db_date=2013-03-07

  41. half tide rock says:

    I am more concerned with the yellow snow. Can someone model that for me? There are way too many woods creatures around here.

  42. hsaive says:

    NASA GEOS-5 satellite time lapse shows sulfer and black carbon from US forest fires are funneled to high latitudes and esp. to Greenland.

    [NOTE: Link changed to go directly to NASA video rather than third-party site. -w.]

  43. halftiderock says:

    I live in Maine the deer and turkey population is out of control. Someone should model the albedo change of yellow snow, deer pellets, effect of snow compression by turkey tracks and what the turkeys do to lighten the load. Our experience tells us to not eat the yellow snow, the pellets are not blue berries and stay out of the turkey…. maybe that!

  44. hsaive says:

    [Sorry, chemtrails, HAARP, etc. are against site Policy. — mod.]

  45. No response from Frank or Dane Wigington about this urgent censored video message, I just want to know who “They” are. You referred to “They” uncountable times without data about who “They” are. (response post #2) – Phil

  46. gymnosperm says:

    Just like everyone seems to think carbon dioxide just sits in the atmosphere like an automobile windshield, this model presumes carbon (and loess) just sits on the top of snow and ice and absorbs radiation. It would, except that it is continually being reburied by new snow and by spindrift.

    I’m far more worried about the dioxin and vinyl chloride from burning all our old computers and cell phones in bonfires to smelt out the precious metals. Rather than blame China we might want to check ourselves for exporting our dirty footprints.

  47. David Cage says:

    Great so we have spent billions when this was known to be a major factor in 1958 to my certain knowledge and the fact that removing SO2 would have a small step impact temperature rise by the early sixties but both factors were ignored and the engineers who pointed this out but were to them just their dogsbody measuring and data collection box fixers ignored.

  48. phlogiston says:

    Slightly OT, this is an interesting new paper about stratospheric sulfur particles – apparently they are from volcanos, not us:

    H. Jesse Smith
    Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/grl.50263 (2013).
    The stratosphere contains a large inventory of aerosol particles. These aerosols are composed largely of sulfuric acid droplets, the precursors of which originate in the troposphere. Thus, the question has been asked whether anthropogenic emissions of sulfur-containing compounds such as sulfur dioxide have contributed substantially to the aerosol content of the stratosphere. Neely et al. report that changes in the concentration of stratospheric aerosols during the period from 2000 to 2010 were caused mostly by moderate volcanic eruptions and that the large increase in SO2 emissions from China and India had no significant impact on it. They also conclude that the middle and upper stratosphere (which contains the bulk of the ozone layer) was not measurably affected by increased anthropogenic emissions of SO2 from Asia during that interval.

  49. johnmarshall says:

    Antarctic and Arctic are completely different. The Arctic ice is easily melted by ocean current changes that are affected by the AMO/PDO. The Antarctic is a continental ice mass with an average height around 6000ft so automatically around 15C cooler than the Arctic and no warm ocean currents to melt it. Antarctic sea ice is kept cool by the cold circumpolar current.

  50. Kip Hansen says:

    The BC Gigagrams world map shows clearl;y where th BC comes from: China, India, Malayasia and ex-Soviet-block Eastern Europe.

    We all knew anout Chindia, but the last one is rather enlightening….

  51. tckev says:

    How many millions of tons of vehicle tires are ground down every year just by people driving. Some gets to the polar regions? Also this may be why as less people smoke, the amount of asthma still rises.
    Just wondering.

  52. Crispin in Waterloo but actually in Jakarta says:

    @Manfred

    “and you get an effective forcing of 3.3-8.8 W/m2 for the albedo effect on multi year ice, by far the highest anthropogenic forcing.”

    I didn’t want to quote the whole of your first post though my comment relates to the whole thing. There is a basic error being made by Hansen et al with regard to the BC in multiyear ice. It is completely true that old ice contains more BC and dust than new ice, but it is completely untrue that it changes the albedo and forcing as much as is shown by the calculation. The calculation given (which is not yours it is a citation). The BC and dust accumulate steadily. Only if it melts does it appear as shown in the ice canyon photograph. They speak while mixing two unmixables: the mass of BC and the age of the ice, then the change in albedo of the ice (showing a picture of melted ice, not ice) and the mass of BC.

    It has the air of scienciness but not so much truthiness. It only takes 1 cm of snow to turn 8 metres of dirty old ice completely white on top where it counts. When old ice melts the BC accumulates into a darker haze and solar absorbing layer, but the letter of the claim is that there is a change in the way the BC works all year’, basically. Consider that the claim is BC is a forcing (a constant forcing) because the ice ‘is dirtier that it was’ inside. But this forcing is only evident when the ice is actually melting which it was going to do anyway (because it is summer) so it melts a bit faster.

    When the weather is cold, or turns cold again, then the ice would not melting because of heat, it is not sitting there ‘dirty in the sun’ because it has a layer of new snow over it.

    This entire calculation of forcing is messed up with misconceptions and misdirections. Go stand on a frozen lake. Do you see lots of dirt on the top? No, it has to be melting before it ‘accumulates’ into a meaningful layer. Lots of forcing because it is black. If it gets cold again, it is quickly turned completely white on the top surface with a slighty dusting of frost or snow. End of the forcing abberation.

    This albedo matter needs to be reanalysed from ground zero.

  53. OldUnixHead says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Mike Smith says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    … In any event, …

    I’ve added an update with at least some of this information to the head post.

    w.

    Thanks for the update.

    I noticed that the units of the Global and US EPA pie charts are different (not that that changes the shapes of the pies).

    If I did my conversion correctly,

    (0.64e+6 tons_UScontribution) * (9.0718e+5 grams per 1 US ton) / (1e+9 grams / Gg) gives

    ~580.6 Gg

    for the US contribution (vs the 7600 Gg for the world)

    Just providing an apples v apples comparison.

    -OldUnixHead

  54. OldUnixHead says:

    Well, phoo on my last entry. Trying again to get the formatting right.

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Mike Smith says:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    … In any event, …

    I’ve added an update with at least some of this information to the head post.

    w.

    Thanks for the update.

    I noticed that the units of the Global and US EPA pie charts are different (not that that changes the shapes of the pies).

    If I did my conversion correctly,

    (0.64e+6 tons_UScontribution) * (9.0718e+5 grams per 1 US ton) / (1e+9 grams / Gg) gives

    ~580.6 Gg

    for the US contribution (vs the 7600 Gg for the world)

    Just providing an apples v apples comparison.

    -OldUnixHead

  55. David says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 7, 2013 at 10:57 am
    =============================
    Sad to see a man turn into a mocking troll, casting out general strawman attacks in a mocking manner. Do you understand that those who do not accept the C in CAGW are a very diverse group? They, are everybody else. Stop your nonsense. Feel free to say that, I note how some here are sceptical of models if they disagree, but not if they support their asssertion. That is ok to say, but really still quite mindless, as the reasons behingd that may vary from much greater understanding, to prejudice on the individual.

    You have been well answered in several posts, but, as usual, I suspect you will not engage in actual conversation. Also, please consider that particulates do not increase the worlds food supply while reducing our water use, a known affect of CO2, without which we would all die.

  56. Ranger Joe says:

    I believe there’s a correlation between Mao’s Great Leap Forward in 1959 to industrialize China in 5 years…to prove that superior Communism could out-compete the Free World…and the slow melting of the polar ice from loss of albedo. Chinese soot has been found on polar snow and tundra vegetation. The burning of soft dirty coal in inefficient power plants and backyard iron furnaces form the infamous Asian Brown Cloud that has been seen over NJ by NASA satellites. The peasant farmers melted down their cookware and farming tools and burned their huts in the primitive furnaces under the guns of the Red Guard. It resulted in the man-made famine that starved 45 million people to death.

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