Accuracy, Precision, and One Watt per Square Metre

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I’ve been investigating one of my favorite datasets in the last few days, the CERES satellite-based top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation dataset. In particular, I’ve taken month-by-month global and hemispheric averages of the data. The dataset consists of observations of three variables—downwelling solar radiation, upwelling longwave (infrared) radiation, and upwelling shortwave radiation (reflected sunlight). From these I derive a further dataset. This is the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) imbalance. It is calculated as downwelling solar minus upwelling (reflected) solar minus upwelling longwave. That gives a fascinating look at the overall radiation picture.

I got to thinking about this because of a curious claim in a recent paper published in Nature Climate Change entitled Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods (paywalled). I did love the whole concept of “model-based evidence”, but that wasn’t what caught my eye. It was this statement (emphasis mine):

There have been decades, such as 2000–2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend (a hiatus period). However, the observed energy imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere for this recent decade indicates that a net energy flux into the climate system of about 1 W m−2 (refs 2, 3) should be producing warming somewhere in the system (refs 4, 5). Here we analyse twenty-first-century climate-model simulations that maintain a consistent radiative imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere of about 1 W m−2 as observed for the past decade. [References are listed at the bottom of this post.]

Anyhow, here’s some news regarding that claim of a consistent TOA imbalance, from the CERES satellite dataset:

global top-of-atmosphere radiation

Figure 1. CERES satellite-measured top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation levels, starting in January 2001. Numbers on the horizontal axis are months. Shown are the solar energy entering the system (red line), solar energy leaving the system (dark blue line) and longwave (infrared) energy leaving the system (light blue line). The overall monthly imbalance at the TOA is shown at the bottom in purple. The 12-month running average for each variable is shown as a thin line. Curiously, the variations in upwelling longwave are about 6 months out of phase with the downwelling radiation. All radiation values are positive. TOA Imbalance is solar less reflected solar less outgoing longwave, i.e. inflow less outflow. Twelve-month averages vary too little for the changes to be visible at this scale. 

Now, there are a number of things of interest in this chart. The first is the fact that while the seasonal variations are fairly large, tens of watts per square metre, the annual variations are so small. At this scale we can hardly see them. So let’s expand the scale, and take a more close-up look at just the variations in the overall TOA energy imbalance (purple line at bottom of Figure 1). Figure 2 shows that result.

toa imbalance ceres datasetFigure 2. Closeup of the overall energy imbalance. Horizontal scale is months. Narrow line shows running centered 12-month averages of the TOA imbalance data. All radiation values are positive. TOA Imbalance is solar less reflected solar less outgoing longwave, i.e. inflow less outflow.

Here, we can begin to see the small variations in the 12-month running average. However, the average itself is around five watts per square metre … not good. That much out of balance is not credible.

This shows the difference between precision and accuracy. You see that the measurements are obviously quite precise—the 12-month running average only varies by about three-quarters of a degree over the whole period.

However, in absolute terms they’re not that accurate, we know that because they don’t balance … and it’s very doubtful that the earth is out of balance by five watts per square metre. That’s a very large amount, it would be noticed.

Now, I’ve previously discussed how James Hansen deals with this problem. He says:

The precision achieved by the most advanced generation of radiation budget satellites is indicated by the planetary energy imbalance measured by the ongoing CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) instrument (Loeb et al., 2009), which finds a measured 5-year-mean imbalance of 6.5 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009). Because this result is implausible, instrumentation calibration factors were introduced to reduce the imbalance to the imbalance suggested by climate models, 0.85 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009).

As a result, Hansen used the Levitus data rather than the CERES data to support the claims of a ~ one watt per square metre radiation imbalance. However, all is not lost. The precision of the CERES data very good. In Figure 2 we can see, for example, how one year’s TOA radiation imbalance  is different from another. So let’s expand the scale once again, and take an even closer look at just the 12-month running averages, for all four of the radiation measurements shown in Figure 1.

anomalies 12 month averages ceres datasetFigure 3. An even closer look, this time at just the tiny variations in the 12-month running averages of the CERES data as shown in Figure 1. All radiation values are positive. TOA Imbalance is solar less reflected solar less outgoing longwave.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

The first thing I noticed is the precision of the measurements of the downwelling solar radiation (red line). As you might expect, the sun is quite stable, it doesn’t vary much compared to the variations in reflected solar and upwelling longwave radiation. And the observations reflect that faithfully. So it seems clear that their instruments for measuring  radiation are quite precise.

Next, I noticed that the change in the imbalance (purple) is more related to the change in reflected solar (dark blue) than to the variations in upwelling longwave. I’ve highlighted the reflected solar (dark blue) in the graph above. This is confirmed by the correlation. The R^2 between TOA imbalance and reflected solar is 0.67; but between TOA imbalance and upwelling longwave, R^2 is only 0.07.

This seems like an important finding, that the imbalance is mostly albedo related, and that because of variation in the albedo, the variations in the reflected solar energy were on the order of ± three tenths of a watt within a few years.

Finally, I am once again surprised by the overall stability of the system. Twelve-month averages of all three of the variables (the TOA balance, reflected solar, and upwelling longwave) are all stable to within about ± 0.3 watts per square metre. Out of a total of 340 watts per square metre going each way, that’s plus or minus a tenth of one percent … I call that extremely stable. Yes, with a longer sample size we’d likely see greater swings, but still, that’s very stable.

And that brings me back to the quotation from the paper where I started this post. They say that there is

a consistent radiative imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere of about 1Wm−2 as observed for the past decade …

Now, according to their references [2] and [3], this claim is based on the idea that the excess energy is being soaked up by the ocean. And this claim has been repeated widely. I’ve discussed these claims here. The claims are all based on the Levitus ocean temperature data, which shows increasing heat in the ocean. Here’s my graph of the annual forcing needed to give the changes shown by Levitus in ocean heat content:

annual forcing into out of the oceanFigure 4. Annual forcing in watts per square metre needed to account for the energy going into or coming out of the ocean in the Levitus data. Data is for the top 2,000 metres of water. Note that despite average values being used, both by Hansen and also in the study under discussion, neither the mean nor the trend are statistically significant. Further discussion here.

For current purposes, let me point out that Figure 4 shows that in order for the ocean to gain or lose the energy that is shown in the Levitus data, it requires a very large year to year change in the amount of energy entering the ocean. That energy has to come from somewhere, and it has to go to somewhere when it leaves the ocean. Since the solar input is about constant over the period, that energy has to be coming from a change in either the upwelling longwave or the reflected solar … and we have precise (although perhaps inaccurate) data from CERES on those. Fortunately, the lack of accuracy doesn’t matter in this case, because we’re interested in the year to year changes. For that all we need is precision, and the CERES data is very precise.

So … let me compare the forcing shown by the Levitus ocean heat content in Figure 4, with the CERES data. Figure 5 shows the difference.

anomalies levitus 12 month averages ceres datasetFigure 5. Forcing given by the Levitus ocean heat content data, compared to the CERES data shown in Figure 3.

As you can see, they have a couple of big problems with their claims of a consistent 1 W/m2 imbalance over the last decade.

First, it is contradicted by the very data that they claim establishes it. There is nothing “consistent” about what is shown by the Levitus data, unless you take a long-term average.

The second problem is with the Levitus data itself … where is the energy coming from or going to? While the CERES TOA imbalance is not accurate, it is very precise, and it would certainly show a fluctuation of the magnitude shown in the Levitus data. If that much energy were actually entering or leaving the ocean, the CERES satellite would surely have picked it up … so where is it?

I’ve discussed what I see as unrealistic error bars in the Levitus data here. My current comparison of Levitus with the CERES data does nothing to change my previous conclusion—the precision of the Levitus data is greatly overestimated.

Finally, the idea that we have sufficiently accurate, precise, and complete observations to determine the TOA imbalance to be e.g. 0.85 watts per square meter is … well, I’ll call it premature and mathematically optimistic. We simply do not have the data to determine the Earth’s energy balance to an accuracy of ± one watt per square metre, either from the ocean or from the satellites.

Best regards to all,

w.

MY OTHER POSTS ON THE CERES DATA:

Observations on CERES TOA forcing versus temperature

Time Lags In The Climate System

A Demonstration of Negative Climate Sensitivity

DATA:

CERES data: Unfortunately, when I go to verify it’s still available, I get:

The Atmospheric Science Data Center recently completed a site wide redesign.  
It is possible that the page you are looking for is being transitioned.  Please try back later.
If the page you have requested is still not available, it may have been renamed or deleted.
It is recommended that you use the Search interface on the ASDC Web Site to find the information you were looking for.

Since I got there via the aforementioned “Search interface on the ASDC Web Site”, I fear we’re temporarily out of luck.

[UPDATED TO ADD] I’ve collated the global and hemispheric monthly averages from R into a “.csv” (comma separated values) Excel file available here.

Levitus data

REFERENCES FOR THE NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE ARTICLE:

2. Hansen, J. et al. Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications.
Science 308, 14311435 (2005).

3. Trenberth, K. E., Fasullo, J. T. & Kiehl, J. Earth’s global energy budget.
Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 90, 311323 (2009).

4. Trenberth, K. E. An imperative for climate change planning: Tracking Earth’s
global energy. Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain. 1, 1927 (2009).

5. Trenberth, K. E. & Fasullo, J. T. Tracking Earth’s energy. Science 328,
316317 (2010).

 

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158 Responses to Accuracy, Precision, and One Watt per Square Metre

  1. Nice study ,but over too short a time period.

    [REPLY—I'd like a longer period as well. But sadly, that's the longest consistent measurement of the three crucial variables (upwelling and downwelling solar, and upwelling longwave) from the same platform that I can find. If you know of a longer one, I'd love to see it. -w.]

  2. Joe says:

    Willis, will you please stop doing sciency stuff and get with the program? It is because they say it is, not because the numbers add up!

    All we can hope is that (a) nature refuses to play along – which will mean lots of people suffering – or (b) some of the up-coming generation of scientists aren’t already so brainwashed that they’ll pick up on the holes you keep poking!

  3. bit chilly says:

    another fantastic piece of forensic work.it is disturbing that the climate “scientists” themselves either do not analyse the data as thoroughly as yourself,or just plain ignore it.

  4. scarletmacaw says:

    The solar and reflected solar would be greatest when the Earth is closest to the sun in the NH winter. The upwelling longwave would be greatest when the land is warmest, in the NH summer. So it’s not surprising the two are 6 months apart.

  5. scarletmacaw says:

    BTW, nice refutation of the Levitus error bars.

  6. joshv says:

    I am not sure why, over the long term, we’d expect this energy imbalance to be anything other than zero. Even the physics of CO2 absorption spectra merely dictates that the energy is just trapped in the atmosphere for a bit more time, but over the long term, as much must leave as came in.

  7. What would the findings be if solar irradiance were to drop by .2% and albedo were to increase by just 1%.
    The answer would be different from what is shown in the sample presented in this article.

    Still this is a good article.

  8. Greg Goodman says:

    As always you have an eye for spotting this kind of inconsistency. Nice work.

    As always I have to rail against the use of simple running means , especially when looking for correlations on a comparable timescale.

    See examples of distortion here:
    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/triple-running-mean-filters/

    In the past you’ve used a gaussian filter which would be better, though I would recommend the triple running mean here to better remove the 12m cycle.

    This is not pedantic when comparing signals like your figure 3. I’m not saying it is distorted since I have not done it with a different filter but choosing a better filter would be preferable than wondering whether it is doing something silly.

    Best. Greg.

  9. Anton Eagle says:

    Game… set… match. Nice job.

  10. Michael D says:

    If, as Hansen says, “instrumentation calibration factors were introduced to reduce the imbalance to the imbalance suggested by climate models” then of course no one must ever quote this data as evidence that validates the climate models. The quoted average imbalance is meaningless; seasonal variations may be useful.

    This “high precision, low accuracy” observation is tantalizing – I’m sure the scientific team would love to figure out what the root cause is and have thus audited the original instrument calibration records in great detail.

  11. steveta_uk says:

    Even if the CERES hardware is extremely accurate, how much confidence is there that it is capturing all energies at all wavelenghts? For example, if it was missing part of the UV spectrum the reflective figures could be low by about the 4-5 W/m2 mark.

  12. Greg Goodman says:

    In the last few days I’ve been wanting to see what the cropped off cosine that is the input to Artic region looks like when convoluted with linear feedback’s impulse response (decaying exponential) looks like.

    A mental estimation was something very similar to the upwelling longwave line in figure 1.

    Now as to why there is a residue of 5W before they start introducing fiddle factors derived from what the “knew” the answer was before looking at the data…

    Reflected measured by satellite must be basically specular reflection. What happens when the satellite is looking into the rising sun reflected on open water or areas of melt-water? Does the radiometer get its protective flap closed to prevent it getting ‘blinded’ ?

    I’ve had the idea for a while, that I have not had the opportunity to investigate, that direct reflection at low incidence is not being correctly measured (not modelled).

    The time that this affects the satellite will be small but it is happening 24/7 during long periods in polar regions.

    Could this explain the 5W paradox?

  13. Mike Smith says:

    Willis, can’t we stop dicking around with all these models and statistics and just find the missing heat already! How hard can that be?

    Seriously, nice work!

  14. Greg Goodman says:

    “Since I got there via the aforementioned “Search interface on the ASDC Web Site”, I fear we’re temporarily out of luck.”

    Damn. Since you have a copy, maybe you could make it available somewhere (WUWT for example).

    [Done. I've collated it from R into an Excel spreadsheet, available here as a .csv (comma separated values) file. -w]

  15. Polly says:

    Another great article. Thanks!

    One little typo: the caption for figure 1 has the wrong colors listed for the various lines.

    [Fixed, thanks. -w.]

  16. joshv says:
    August 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I am not sure why, over the long term, we’d expect this energy imbalance to be anything other than zero. Even the physics of CO2 absorption spectra merely dictates that the energy is just trapped in the atmosphere for a bit more time, but over the long term, as much must leave as came in.

    No one, including myself, expects the long term to be anything other than zero. Basic considerations of physics require that.

    The question has always been, how much does it vary in the short run? For me, the surprise was not just that the TOA balance doesn’t vary on an annual basis by more than ± 0.1%.

    The additional surprise was that neither upwelling solar nor upwelling longwave varied by more than ± 0.1% year-to-year. Remember that the variable portion of the albedo is controlled by things as ephemeral as ice and clouds and wind, all of which are changing daily … and yet every year, they average out to within a tenth of a percent.

    Amazing.

    w.

  17. Aphan says:

    JoshV

    “I am not sure why, over the long term, we’d expect this energy imbalance to be anything other than zero. Even the physics of CO2 absorption spectra merely dictates that the energy is just trapped in the atmosphere for a bit more time, but over the long term, as much must leave as came in.”

    People who know how physics work understand that. But the general public probably doesn’t, and I believe some scientists are banking on the public’s stupidity. They just keep pretending to conduct experiments that somehow prove that heat/energy is building up on this planet to the point where it will eventually throw the earth into chaos and cook us all.

    They tell the public that the atmosphere of this planet is a “blanket” that acts more like a plastic film of Saran Wrap and holds in all the energy, or vents very little of it back into space. Since the earth’s atmosphere does NOT work that way, and the “missing heat” is sending up red flags, they must now find a way to claim that it is staying HERE on the planet somewhere…anywhere…it’s just hiding. And the ocean is the perfect fall guy.

  18. Randall Harris says:

    There must be a third form of energy being emitted by the earth for which we have not taken into account. Someone needs to find this mysterious radiated form of energy. ;-)

  19. coaldust says:

    Wow. Uh, WOW. Just WOW.

    The satellite measurements suggest trapping 5 W/m^2, this is regarded as implausible. SO MODELS ARE USED TO CALIBRATE THE MEASUREMENTS!?!

    Complete and utter baloney. That’s not science. That’s fudge factors. The CERES data should be thrown out. It is very precisely measuring something that is completely useless.

  20. Aphan says:

    Willis, can I ask you a possibly stupid question?

    Why is it, that in all the discussions/studies/comments I’ve read about ocean heat, there NEVER, EVER seems to be even a mention of the fact that the core of this planet is HOT….FREAKING HOT…and that any “heat” in layers of the ocean below what can be heated by the sun/surface air temps, MIGHT actually be coming from BELOW the ocean’s floor?

    It’s a basic scientific principle that heat RISES. Right? It doesn’t “sink” does it? It can be dragged deeper into the oceans by colder currents, but it cannot “hover” in some kind of magical Tupperware layer at a certain, mostly static layer. If it CAN, please tell me how! :)

    Why is it that I NEVER, EVER hear any of the “leading oceanic experts” even remotely suggest that the undersea volcanic/thermal vents (the ones we DO know about-not to mention the staggering number of them we most likely DO NOT know about yet) spew the exact same amounts of CO2 into the water (and methane and debris and energy) that surface volcanoes do into the AIR? Is it not the most obvious question/theory (thank you Occam) that the OCEAN’S internal factors ARE MOST LIKELY raising the acidity, and heat, and CO2 levels in the OCEANS themselves? And that since CO2 and methane are gaseous, they RiSE to the surface of the ocean, and are then added to the ATMOSPHERE??

    WHY….please explain to me, a humble, simple, uneducated fool what the scientific method is/was that determined that “volcanic output” as applied in scientific models does NOT include or factor in or even suggest underwater volcanic output at all? Are scientists so oblivious that it only counts as being “added to the atmosphere/Earth system” if they can SEE it happening on land or explain it coming from ABOVE the surface?

  21. Aphan says:

    Randall-I know! Right?

  22. Nice work in the right direction.

    Is the data consistent with more reflection since 2000?

    If so I suggest it is due to more global cloudiness from those more loopy jets with longer lines of air mass mixing. The Svensmark hypothesis would not be necessary on that basis though it may have some effect.

    Hence oceans cooling and the recharge phase of ENSO being apparently a somewhat weak affair compared to the late 20th century period of active sun and reduced cloudiness.

  23. rgbatduke says:

    Willis, something is not right, unless I’m losing my mind (always possible). The Earth’s orbit is quite eccentric. Aphelion is 152,000,000 km, perihelion is 147,000,000 km. The relative variation of TOA insolation must therefore by \Delta I = (P_s/4\pi R_p^2 – P_s/4\pi R_a^2 ). The Luminosity of the sun P_s = 3.85 x 10^26 Watts. Hence, 1418 W/m^2 at perihelion, 1326 W/m^2 at aphelion, \Delta I = 92 W/m^2. This is a roughly 7% annual variation. This is perhaps consistent with your top curve IF one does a whole lot of processing that is not described in your article. Is this just dividing by 4, the ratio between \pi R_e^2 and 4 \pi R_e^2? If so, precisely how are the other numbers measured/computed? In particular, how do they measure the reflected component compared to the LWIR fraction, given overlap in the spectra and a substantial geometric component to the former? How do they manage to measure this all over the globe? What are the error bars? Finally, there is a very interesting asymmetry between the TOA (averaged) reflected fraction, the TOA (averaged) insolation, and the TOA (averaged) LWIR that I’m trying to make sense of but failing.

    It has the counterphase oscillation of outgoing LWIR compared to TOA insolation that in and of itself makes little sense since the TOA insolation is 7% higher at perihelion but outgoing LWIR is perhaps 3% lower, with the opposite true at aphelion. This SHOULD be related to albedo variations — it is difficult to imagine it being anything else — and hence should show up in the total reflection, but the reflection curve is phase lagged to be the same general (inverse) shape but IN phase with insolation. That strikes me as being almost impossible — it makes no sense. Reflection should produce an immediate, matching (or only slightly lagged) variation of outgoing LWIR, not an inverted variation shifted by six months!

    I have a hard time seeing how there can be a reflection peak in phase with the insolation that doesn’t produce a similar shaped trough in the LWIR. This is one of the things I find very puzzling about the entire radiative balance issue. TOA insolation is varying by 7%. Albedo is varying far less (assuming that they are even getting this right, where I have my doubts as the Earthlight project was not finding mean albedo to be flat over 60 month stretches when it was running and I’m very skeptical that it is flat now). Outgoing LWIR is varying far less. The phases make no sense, and the amplitudes don’t add up in a way that I can explain offhand. This is the entire “Earth is warmest in aphelion” problem all over again, but the graphs above show the Earth as “warming” (in radiative imbalance) during perihelion, which just plain makes no sense. How can it be cooling with a positive radiation imbalance? Insolation is peaking, albedo is also peaking, global average temperature (reflected in LWIR) is at a minimum (already senseless, note well) but this senselessness is interpreted as “missing heat”? How about “numerical or computational error” instead?

    I’m far from convinced that CERES has the precision or coverage to resolve missing heat, and would very much like to see some sort of quantitative explanation for the counterphase oscillations (as opposed to heuristic ones asserting different fractions of land vs ocean, which in the end have to add up in the imbalance as well).

    rgb

  24. Lester Via says:

    What about the radiant energy that is converted to chemical energy by photosynthesis. If that
    exceeds the heat energy released by both burning fuels and the slow oxidation of decaying plant life, couldn’t that be responsible for at least part of hidden energy?

  25. bw says:

    Albedo, surface albedo, high angle ocean albedo, low angle ocean albedo, high cloud albedo, low cloud albedo, ice albedo, biological albedo, etc, etc, etc.
    Changes in albedo over monthly, decadal, century, millenial and longer time scales. Yes, albedo overwhelms all other energy balance variables on any time scale, including diurnal.

    You are starting to see the importance of the choice of Y-scale ranges on your charts. It is tempting to “zoom in” to “better see” what you are trying to see, but Figure 1 is the best view for telling the “big picture” on a global basis. Now add realistic error estimates and everyone can see and judge for themselves the microscopic influence of the CO2 variable compared to albedo.

    Fig 2 has a good Y-scale range, or +/- 50 watts would be better.
    The following charts should be held at Y-scales that are about 10 times the error estimate, or about +/- 10 watts. Holding Y-scale ranges at fixed values allow easier magnitude comparisons.

    Humlum also has plots of OLR over longer time scales.

    This report deserves commendation, and is the basis for a more comprehensive story, along with the earlier research on variable sensitivity with latitude.

  26. Gail Combs says:

    steveta_uk says: @ August 30, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Even if the CERES hardware is extremely accurate, how much confidence is there that it is capturing all energies at all wavelenghts? For example, if it was missing part of the UV spectrum the reflective figures could be low by about the 4-5 W/m2 mark.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    FWIW:

    EVE: Measuring the Sun’s Hidden Variability
    …explains Tom Woods, a solar physicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder. “If you want to get a good look at solar activity, you need to look in the EUV.”…..

    When the sun is active, solar EUV emissions can rise and fall by factors of hundreds to thousands in just a matter of minutes. These surges heat Earth’s upper atmosphere, puffing it up and increasing the air friction, or “drag,” on satellites. EUV photons also break apart atoms and molecules, creating a layer of ions in the upper atmosphere that can severely disturb radio signals.

    To monitor these energetic photons, NASA is going to launch a sensor named “EVE,” short for EUV Variability Experiment, onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory this winter.

    “EVE gives us the highest time resolution and the highest spectral resolution that we’ve ever had for measuring the sun, and we’ll have it 24/7,” says Woods, the lead scientist for EVE. “This is a huge improvement over past missions.”…..

    MORE:

    Quick Facts: Solar Dynamics Observatory/EUV Variability Experiment (SDO/EVE)

    Launch date: February 11, 2010
    LASP Instrument

    The EVE instrument is designed to measure the solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) irradiance. The EUV radiation includes the 0.1-105 nm range, which provides the majority of the energy for heating Earth’s thermosphere and creating Earth’s ionosphere (charged plasma). This wide spectral range requires the use of multiple channels. Some key requirements for EVE are to measure the solar EUV irradiance spectrum with 0.1 nm spectral resolution and with 20 sec cadence. These drive the EVE design to include grating spectrographs with array detectors so that all EUV wavelengths can be measured simultaneously. Another key requirement for EVE is to measure the EUV radiation with an accuracy of 25% or better, thus on-board calibration channels are included to go with underflight calibration experiments to be conducted during the SDO mission.

    The primary objectives of the EVE instrument are to:
    * Specify the solar EUV spectral irradiance and its variability on multiple time scales
    * Advance current understanding of how and why the solar EUV spectral irradiance varies
    * Improve the capability to predict the EUV spectral irradiance variability
    * Understand the response of the geospace environment to variations in the solar EUV spectral irradiance and the impact on human endeavors

    Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES)
    The CERES experiment is one of the highest priority scientific satellite instruments developed for NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS). The first CERES instrument was launched in December of 1997 aboard NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), CERES instruments are now collecting observations on three separate satellite missions, including the EOS Terra and Aqua observatories and now also on the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) observatory.

    CERES products include both solar-reflected and Earth-emitted radiation from the top of the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface. Cloud properties are determined using simultaneous measurements by other EOS and NPP instruments such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Visible and Infrared Sounder (VIRS)…..

    I do not think CERES is actually looking at EUV, that is for the EVE instrument (2010).

  27. Mark Bofill says:

    I’m throwing an idea out there that just occurred to me without doing the math (big mistake I know). Is the net balance of the number of living organisms on the planet increasing? I’d expect them to store energy while alive, and mostly I’d think that energy would have ultimately come from the Sun.
    How many insects are there? Microbes? Other things I’m not thinking of? are populations increasing? How much energy per lifetime do they store, how much do they release as heat, how much stays organized for awhile on death? There are probably clever ways to get upper and lower bounds on this that I’m not aware of.
    This said, I certainly don’t think it comes out to 5 Wm-2, but it has to be ~something~, right?

  28. Mark Bofill says:

    Ah, I see Lester had the same idea.

  29. bkindseth says:

    Willis, you discussed accuracy and precision. The one thing that has bothered me is that measuring incoming short wave radiation from basically a point source and measuring outgoing long wave diffused radiation and reflected radiation is like comparing apples and oranges. Do you feel that the difference between these relatively large numbers can be determined to a fraction of a percent?

  30. Mark Bofill says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

    More CO2 does lead to greater total biomass, up to some point. What the long-term effect on equilibrium CO2 more transient (at least) biomass may be is presently not known & may not be precisely or accurately calculable.

    Science really doesn’t know what the depth, so to speak, of all the carbon sinks on the planet might be.

  31. Skiphil says:

    Great piece, but I’m still stuck on the Hansen quotation about re- “calibrating” CERES data with a climate model. So they have (what I’m sure are amazing) satellites providing data of around 6+ W m-2, which does not seem credible, so the figure is “adjusted” to 0.85 W m-2 based on a model….. how exactly does anyone ***know*** what the correct figure should be? This seems like arrant guesswork and ad hoc-ery.

  32. Clive Best says:

    It occurs to me that the diurnal thermal stresses caused by the heat expansion of land surfaces daily followed by night-time cooling and contraction – must consume significant amounts of energy. Rocks expand and crack. Likewise solar tides ebb and flow in the ocean. Perhaps not all of this energy can end up as thermal energy to radiate to space – some of it must end up in gravitational potential energy.

    Maybe it is 5 watts/m2

  33. Mark Bofill says:

    milodonharlani says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:40 am
    ————-
    No, I was talking energy, not CO2. Chemical energy specifically.

  34. Gail Combs says:

    Another point. According to the NASA articles I linked to, CERES instruments are on three satellites so I would think they are sampling not measuring the whole earth. That should introduce a whole heck of a lot more error.

  35. Mark Bofill says:

    milidonharlani,

    My idea goes more like this – a leaf on a living tree is illuminated by X W/m-2. Perhaps (0.01)*X W/m-2 is consumed in photosynthesis. This energy is chemically stored, who knows how much for how long, depends on the fate of the leaf and the tree I guess. But if the number of living things is increasing, there’s an energy imbalance there that has to be satisfied.

  36. Greg Goodman says:
    August 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

    “Since I got there via the aforementioned “Search interface on the ASDC Web Site”, I fear we’re temporarily out of luck.”

    Damn. Since you have a copy, maybe you could make it available somewhere (WUWT for example).

    Done. I’ve collated it from R into an Excel spreadsheet, available here as a .csv (comma separated values) file, and updated the head post.

    -w

  37. eco-geek says:

    Five Watts per square meter Imbalance for five years is the equivalent of 25 Watts per square meter in a single year which seems to be about 7% of downwelling. Yes, it does seem unlikely all that additional heat energy is still hanging around. If it was we would be suffering from lots of global warming. Of couirse it has been getting colder since 2005 so an opposite imbalance should show from 2005 onwards.

    It is interesting to note that the Global Average Temperature Records from what ever source show much much greater short term variation than does the imbalance and therefore we can conclude that the former are not caused by the latter. Are the long term average trends in temperature related to the trends in imbalance? They certainly should be, if not then these trends in temperature are dominated by other factors than radiation imbalances.

  38. Lester Via says:

    As Gail points out, it is unlikely that CERES is measuring the whole earth. If this is the case, then hot spots generated by forest fires will likely be missed (or ignored). The radiant energy released by forest fires is stored chemical energy originating from photosynthetically absorbed sunlight.

  39. HaroldW says:

    “Curiously, the variations in upwelling longwave are about 6 months out of phase with the downwelling radiation.”
    Willis, why do you find this curious? Solar will increase as Earth nears the sun, peaking in January at perihelion. Longwave should (in general) increase with surface temperature, which peaks in July.

  40. rgbatduke says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Willis, something is not right, unless I’m losing my mind (always possible). The Earth’s orbit is quite eccentric. Aphelion is 152,000,000 km, perihelion is 147,000,000 km. The relative variation of TOA insolation must therefore by \Delta I = (P_s/4\pi R_p^2 – P_s/4\pi R_a^2 ). The Luminosity of the sun P_s = 3.85 x 10^26 Watts. Hence, 1418 W/m^2 at perihelion, 1326 W/m^2 at aphelion, \Delta I = 92 W/m^2. This is a roughly 7% annual variation. This is perhaps consistent with your top curve IF one does a whole lot of processing that is not described in your article. Is this just dividing by 4, the ratio between \pi R_e^2 and 4 \pi R_e^2?

    The total variation (as you point out) is 96 W/m2 at TOA. However, if you average it over every time the satellite passes over that spot, day and night, you get a quarter of that variation. That is 24 W/m2 … which is also the variation shown in Figure 1.

    I assume that rather than a theoretical value, this is the actual average value of the measurements for each given spot, some of which will be zero because it’s night-time when the satellite whizzes by.

    More later, you raise a number of interesting issues.

    w.

  41. Greg Goodman says:

    http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/science_information.php?page=EBAFclrsky

    Monthly and climatological averages of TOA clear-sky (spatially complete) fluxes, all-sky fluxes, and cloud radiative effect (CRE), where the TOA net flux is constrained to the ocean heat storage.

    click this link >>> Data Quality Summary

  42. coaldust says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Wow. Uh, WOW. Just WOW.

    The satellite measurements suggest trapping 5 W/m^2, this is regarded as implausible. SO MODELS ARE USED TO CALIBRATE THE MEASUREMENTS!?!

    Complete and utter baloney. That’s not science. That’s fudge factors. The CERES data should be thrown out. It is very precisely measuring something that is completely useless.

    Egads, no, that’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Precision is valuable even if the accuracy is relatively low. Overall, the measurements balance to within 1.5% or so. You are right that we shouldn’t use the models to calibrate the instruments … but never throw out good data, that’s a sin.

    w.

  43. george e. smith says:

    Well the only problem that I have with this analysis, is that it is very well known, by anyone who can read, that the TSI is about 1362 W/m^2 averaged over the year, with about a 0.1% p-p variation over the 11 year solar cycle; not 350.

    So clearly, none of these “data” in figure 1 were actually MEASURED by anyone, anywhere, anyhow, anytime; there is no method of doing so.

    So the data is all contrived, derived, devised, revised whatever.

    They aren’t going to get real results, unless they actually measure the real values.

    And it’s getting really tiresome, reading all these contrived model representations.

  44. Greg Goodman says:

    Harold: “Longwave should (in general) increase with surface temperature, which peaks in July.”

    It’s not just temperature (which does not peak in July in SH ) albedo is more important since it can vary more in %age terms that absolute temperature ( on the Kelvin scale).

    I think one major factor will be albedo (reflectivity) change in the Arctic. Low reflectivity also means high emissivity. As Arctic ice retreats in the NH summer there will be a large increase in emitted IR from open water and melt-pools.

    This is the negative albedo feedback alarmists ignore when wailing about “tipping points”.

  45. Toto says:

    Can this analysis be done by latitude bands? And also by land/ocean? The lateral heat transfers would complicate the conclusions, but it would still be interesting.

  46. george h. says:

    So, I guess the ocean sink must have been full of dishes back in the 1980′s.

  47. Greg Goodman says:

    George: TSI is about 1362 W/m^2 averaged over the year, with about a 0.1% p-p variation over the 11 year solar cycle; not 350.

    Try to keep up George, 1362 is straight-on instantaneous peak, averaged out over 24h across all the surface you get to divide by 4 , see above.

    However, from the graph, I would eyeball the average line at around 345 and 1362/4=340.5

    That’s a difference of about 5W/m2 …

  48. Aphan says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Willis, can I ask you a possibly stupid question?

    On my planet, the only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask …

    Why is it, that in all the discussions/studies/comments I’ve read about ocean heat, there NEVER, EVER seems to be even a mention of the fact that the core of this planet is HOT….FREAKING HOT…and that any “heat” in layers of the ocean below what can be heated by the sun/surface air temps, MIGHT actually be coming from BELOW the ocean’s floor?

    The reason is that the amount of heat coming to the surface from the core of the earth is relatively small, on the order of a tenth of a watt per square metre when averaged over the planetary surface. We see hot magma coming from volcanoes, and hot water coming from hot springs … but how many of those are there? You can go for thousands of miles without encountering either one, so the average, even including suboceanic venting, is small when averaged over the 5.11E+14 square metres of earth’s surface …

    You are correct that it does play a part in the oceanic circulation, however. But again, it’s small. Here’re the numbers. Consider the deepest ocean, say the bottom thousand metres.

    One watt per square metre will heat one cubic metre of seawater by one-third of a degree C per year … so for the thousand deepest metres of the ocean, one watt will heat it by 0.0003°C per year. But we only have a tenth of a watt from geothermal, so that will warm the bottom thousand metres by …

    0.00003°C per year = 0.03°C per thousand years.

    So even on the timescales of oceanic overturning, which are one or a few thousands of years, geological heat is a third-order effect. That’s why although it is real, it is usually ignored in discussions of the climate fluctuations.

    w.

  49. Londo says:

    Climate science is very much like the deep oceans. If you try get to the bottom of it, it’s likely to crush you. Beware of the inquisition Willis but thank’s for a great post.

  50. Mark Bofill says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

    It’s not necessarily the number of living things that matters, but the total biomass.

    A recent hypothesis posits that life develops to solve certain organic chemical energetic conundra on a rocky planet with volcanism & an ocean (if not elsewhere as well), via carbon fixation.

    http://phys.org/news/2012-12-life-inevitable-paper-pieces-metabolism.html

  51. Charlie A says:

    @ George Smith.

    1362 W/m^2 is the TSI onto the _disk_ of the earth. When you take into account day and night and the spherical shape rather than a disk you end up with a factor of 4.

    The ca. 350 W/m^2 is is average isolation per square meter of earth’s surface.

  52. Lester Via says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:09 am

    What about the radiant energy that is converted to chemical energy by photosynthesis. If that
    exceeds the heat energy released by both burning fuels and the slow oxidation of decaying plant life, couldn’t that be responsible for at least part of hidden energy?

    Actually, the best you can do is break even, it all goes back to heat. Solar electromagnetic radiation is converted into a variety of forms of energy—chemical (via photosynthesis), thermal (via absorption), latent (via evapotranspiration), mechanical (via motion of wind and oceans).

    At the end of the day, however, it all turns back into heat. The only question is, how long is “the day”? If the wind blows sand up onto a high ledge, it could sit there for a thousand years. Once it falls back down to the ground, however, the stored potential energy is turned back into heat.

    For organic materials, the process is generally faster. When a plant is eaten by a deer, it is turned into heat to keep the deer warm, plus mechanical energy moving the deer around … and the mechanical energy of course quickly turns into heat.

    w.

  53. Mark Harvey aka imarcus says:

    Scarlet Macaws comment…….
    The solar and reflected solar would be greatest when the Earth is closest to the sun in the NH winter. The upwelling longwave would be greatest when the land is warmest, in the NH summer. So it’s not surprising the two are 6 months apart.

    Quite right, for a concise explanation, refer to John Kehr’s book An Inconvenient Skeptic. Outgoing Longwave Radiation is related to earths surface temperature, not incoming radiation, and that’s governed by NH insolation!

  54. oMan says:

    Agree with the physics explains the stability over time. Albedo and other macro phenomena are comprised of quintillions of exchanges of photons across the whole system all the time. No wonder it is always driving so powerfully toward equilbrium. If, instead, we only had a once-a-year settling of accounts –like tectonic plates doing a re-set– the instability would be such that we wouldn’t be here to marvel about it all.

  55. BillyV says:

    Using the models to calibrate the satellite is like the story of the factory whistle blower and the local store selling clocks. In the morning on the way to work, the whistle blower walks by the clock store to see what time it was and to set his watch. The clock maker ran around and set his clocks on the basis of the factory whistle sound at noon. This works OK for a while until someone from outside their environment shows them the possible growing error.

  56. Mark Bofill says:

    milodonharlani,

    says:
    August 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Mark Bofill says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

    It’s not necessarily the number of living things that matters, but the total biomass.

    Sorry, I misunderstood you. I see what you’re saying now.

  57. EternalOptimist says:

    I suppose we have to thank ‘the team’ for bringing a whole new generation of acolytes and hobbyists to a subject they would probably never have heard about otherwise.
    They probably would be sad to know that many (including me) would rather listen to Willis than to them.

  58. Michael D says:

    One would expect a slightly negative balance. Gail’s energy in the extreme UV (apparently not measured by Ceres) would enter the atmosphere unobserved, transform to heat, and get measured on the way out. Similarly energy from gravitation (tides and contintental drift), cosmic rays, micro-meteorites, internal residual heat, etc. would be missing from the “in-box” but measurable in the “out-box” as thermal radiation. It is hard to imagine the Earth radiating much outside of the wavelengths measured by Ceres.

  59. Mark Bofill says:

    Meh, I think biological / chemical energy storage is probably short by a couple of orders of magnitude.
    From here (http://news.mongabay.com/2006/1013-fsu.html) I get phytoplankton storing about 63 terrawatts per year, so order of 10^13. W/m-2 incident on the earth per year ought to be around 10^17 Wm-2, even given that a 5 W/m-2 ‘imbalance’ is about 1.5% of total energy, this still isn’t close.
    Oh well. :)

  60. coaldust says:

    Willis says:
    Egads, no, that’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Precision is valuable even if the accuracy is relatively low.

    I grant that high precision is good for detecting changes, but if the absolute measurement is desired, accuracy is required. Since the accuracy is suspect, the CERES data should not be used for anything that requires an absolute measurement (until proper calibration can be done). This is what I meant when I said that data should be thrown out.

    It appears the hockey team wants to use the CERES data for absolute measurements, i.e. TOA power measurements. They should be dinged hard for this, but they seem to be Teflon coated.

  61. george e. smith says:
    August 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Well the only problem that I have with this analysis, is that it is very well known, by anyone who can read, that the TSI is about 1362 W/m^2 averaged over the year, with about a 0.1% p-p variation over the 11 year solar cycle; not 350.

    So clearly, none of these “data” in figure 1 were actually MEASURED by anyone, anywhere, anyhow, anytime; there is no method of doing so.

    These are AVERAGES, george … and part of the time the downwelling solar energy is zero. In addition, they are measured on per square metre, not perpendicular to the sun, but perpendicular to the surface of the earth..

    As a result, the inexorable math means that the average of your actual measured sunshine values 24/7 will be a quarter of the instantaneous value …

    w.

  62. NZ Willy says:

    I’ve consistently posted that satellite data can be used only comparatively and not absolutely, because ground-based observations are needed to callibrate the satellite readings. Hansen’s quote that “Because this result is implausible, instrumentation calibration factors were introduced to reduce the imbalance to the imbalance suggested by climate models, 0.85 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009).” is yet another illustration of that — but note that in this case, the calibration was done not to ground-based observations, but to “climate models” — in other words, a complete nonsense. This is where Trenberth’s Missing Heat is, between the ears of the climate scientists.

  63. Lester Via says:

    Willis,

    regarding your 12:42 pm post:

    I was thinking more along the lines of wood and other organic products that become sequestered. We build wooden structures intended to last a hundred years or more rather than let trees die and rot. Peat bogs sequester organic materials for millions of years to produce the coal we burn today – a process that still occurs. Are there any similar endothermic reactions associated with marine organisms that can sequester solar energy for geologically long time spans?

  64. NZ Willy says:

    To Clive Best: I see you’ve quoted “gravitational potential energy”. Don’t go down that road, it leads nowhere. Gravitational potential energy is a fudge factor, like entropy, like dark matter, like dark energy. Don’t go there.

  65. george e. smith says:

    “””””……Willis Eschenbach says:

    August 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    george e. smith says:
    August 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm…….”””””””

    Well Physics operates in real time.

    And in real time, 350 W/m^2, even directly overhead, will not cook an egg; will barely melt ice for that matter.

    But 1362 W/m^2 will cook an egg.

    On average, tropical storm Sandy didn’t do much damage over its lifetime; just some cherry picked times and places.
    Nor did the Hiroshima Atom Bomb for that matter.

    Averages, never produce the same result as the sum of the effects of the real values.

    You can’t evaluate the atmospheric reflected upward solar spectrum energy at midnight; only in daylight, so who cares what the midnight value is.

    That is what is wrong with “Climate Science”.

    They say climate is the average of weather; it isn’t, it’s the long term integral of the weather, and those two do not differ simply by a factor of 4.

  66. Don K says:

    Greg Goodman says:
    August 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Reflected measured by satellite must be basically specular reflection. What happens when the satellite is looking into the rising sun reflected on open water or areas of melt-water? Does the radiometer get its protective flap closed to prevent it getting ‘blinded’ ?
    ==============================
    Greg — this looks like the kind of stuff you have to work with for a long time to really understand for a given system. As I happen to know from a youth misspent hanging out in dingy computer rooms in the 1960s, solar reflections from the ocean, etc ARE a problem for some satellites in high altitude orbits that are trying to see a lot of the Earth. But I get the impression from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clouds_and_the_Earth's_Radiant_Energy_System) that Ceres instruments — of which there have been/are several in orbit — don’t look at the whole visible surface, but instead are scanned over a limited range left/right or fore/aft of straight “down”. Planetary coverage presumably is achieved by the platform’s continuous travel. The Aqua satellite — which is one of the CERES platforms — seems to be in a 98 degree orbit (82N to 82S) at about 600km altitude. I would guess that they do something special during the short periods when the satellite is directly between the sun and the Earth’s surface. It’s not so clear what they do about reflections from tilted surfaces like some icefields or ocean swells. But I’m sure they understand and try to deal with the problems.

  67. Steven Mosher says:

    NZ Willy says:
    August 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm
    I’ve consistently posted that satellite data can be used only comparatively and not absolutely, because ground-based observations are needed to callibrate the satellite readings.

    ###########################################

    Lets see.

    What does CERES instruments measure.

    1. Incoming SW at the TOA.
    You measure the incoming solar at the top of the atmosphere.

    2. Upwelling SW. this would be the SW that never reaches the ground.

    3. Upwelling IR.

    To view the calibration activities just look. But before that understand that for some measures a calibration to “ground measures” isnt even the correct thing to do. For example, if you are measuring the SW that enters the atmosphere at the top.

    http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/DP_workshop/pres/priestley.pdf

  68. Steven Mosher says:

    ################################################
    Also, I might be instructive to list the actual dataset that was used.

    The amount of processing involved in a final product can be rather large.

    See page 19

    http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss/documents/meetings/2011/AMS_Seattle_2011/Oral/AMS_0111_CERES_4C-1-1.pdf

  69. Michael D says:
    August 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    One would expect a slightly negative balance. Gail’s energy in the extreme UV (apparently not measured by Ceres) would enter the atmosphere unobserved, transform to heat, and get measured on the way out.

    That was my thought as well … but the balance is positive, not negative. What CERES accounts for as leaving the planet is smaller than just the measured incoming sunshine.

    w.

  70. clivebest says:

    Gravitational potential energy is a fudge factor, like entropy, like dark matter, like dark energy. Don’t go there.

    Yes you are probably right about that one …. but I am now trying to work out another effect.
    Photons from the sun exert a radiation pressure on the earth of around 10^-5 newtons/m2. That force ends up increasing very slightly the earth’s net distance from from the sun. Work is done – energy is consumed. I expect it is completely trivial but still worth an estimate.

  71. Dan Hughes says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    ” One watt per square metre will heat one cubic metre of seawater by one-third of a degree C per year … ”

    I think maybe the units aren’t quite right here Willis. As stated in terms of a flux, we need to know the area over which the flux operates in order to get the change in energy content of the material. If the cubic metre of seawater is in a container that’s 1.0 square metre over which the flux obtains by 1 metre in length, for example, is different from a container that’s 0.01 square metre over which the flux obtains by 100 metre in length. Really extreme containers can be constructed because it’s a continuum all the way down.

    Those Joules are tiny things, aren’t they.

  72. NZ Willy says:

    Clive: I expect Earth’s orbit is responsive to all forces, gravitational (large) and photonic (tiny). To clarify my previous point, avoid “gravitational energy” notions — nothing wrong with “gravitational potential”. The point is that gravity and energy are completely separate, so keep them that way. Also, gravity does not gravitate — that is more sloppy thinking. Keep your models and equations discrete and crisp — good for your models, good for your head. Am I allowed one more pointer — photons do not interact with anything in mid-flight. Avoid all models which say they do, blind alleys every one of them. Photons are perfect relics of their point of origin.

  73. Marshall says:

    Willis Eschenbach answers thus:
    “Actually, the best you can do is break even, it all goes back to heat. Solar electromagnetic radiation is converted into a variety of forms of energy—chemical (via photosynthesis), thermal (via absorption), latent (via evapotranspiration), mechanical (via motion of wind and oceans).”

    ‘At the end of the day, however, it all turns back into heat. The only question is, how long is “the day”? If the wind blows sand up onto a high ledge, it could sit there for a thousand years. Once it falls back down to the ground, however, the stored potential energy is turned back into heat. For organic materials, the process is generally faster. When a plant is eaten by a deer, it is turned into heat to keep the deer warm, plus mechanical energy moving the deer around … and the mechanical energy of course quickly turns into heat.’

    Wait, let’s suppose the excess energy received by the earth is converted to plant life (say trees). Sure, some of this energy would be released if the trees are burned — but not all of it (second law of thermodynamics). And not all (very much not all) trees get consumed by fire.
    Isn’t the difference an increase in entropy (3rd law)?

  74. David Douglass says:

    Four years ago Bob Knox and I published a paper “Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance” Go to http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/Douglass_Knox_pla373aug31.pdf
    We discuss the Ceres data and most of the things that Willis mentioned — some in more detail. We even address Response Time (Section 5.3) and “temperature in the pipeline”.(section 5.4)

    Nothig has happened since then to change our conclusions

    David Douglass

  75. Aphan says:

    Will-
    (Much thanks for previous answer and I ask for your continued patience as I clarify and re-ask)

    You said: “The reason is that the amount of heat coming to the surface from the core of the earth is relatively small, on the order of a tenth of a watt per square metre when averaged over the planetary surface”.

    Add to that this-(quote from NOAA website)-”The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water, yet more than 95 percent of the underwater world remains unexplored.”

    So, to me, what you seem to be saying, is that Scientists ONLY measure the amount of heat “coming to the surface from the core of the earth” that is on LAND…ABOVE….WATER. Since that “surface area-LAND” only covers approx 29% of the “earth’s surface” then they are only measuring 29% of the geothermal heat being introduced into the land/sea/air environment , and then averaging that “small amount” over the planetary surface. Correct? Don’t hesitate to tell me I’m wrong.

    If I’m right, then they are either oblivious to, or ignoring, 71% of geothermal heat that is actually coming to the surface of this planet!!!!(or stopping at mid point to hover/hide lol)

    We didn’t DISCOVER that underwater (ocean) thermal vents even existed until the late 1970′s. Since then, vents have been found in which the water coming out of the vents is around 400 degrees Celsius! They produce “supercritical” fluids, pumping 24/7, that is highly acidic. They percolate where tectonic plates move against each other and spread.

    And the heat coming from the vents isn’t all there is….there is evidence now that what scientists thought was NOT POSSIBLE at such depths and such pressures-violent “pyroclastic activity” where lava and debris actually rockets out and up into the water! Such an “eruption” , one categorized to be as big as Pompeii, took place under the Arctic ICE in 1999, according to researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Mass.

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=81bb2fd3-63f1-476f-b0be-f48c0dc90304
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gRI87Fyr-TpE6OBYfAcYxFKSXRJg
    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1541

    The mid-ocean ridge system is something like 80,000 km-long! If there this much volcanic/tectonic/hydrothermal activity in just the 5% of the ocean NOAA considers to be “explored”-can you postulate for me what “most likely” exists (in IPCC terms) on the unexplored remaining 95%?

  76. RockyRoad says:

    Your sleuthing is bearing fruit, Willis.

    However, maybe the “overall stability of the system” you find interesting is, much like their fudged, model-driven one-watt-per-square-meter radiation imbalance (and the supposed source of invisible, nowhere-found heat), another of Hansen’s “implausible, instrumentation calibration factors” that are applied to keep the system stable, because “everybody” knows, just knows it is!

    I wouldn’t trust these government data-gathers any farther than I could toss them. And once you bring this to their attention, don’t be surprised if they don’t have to suddenly “homogenize” the data to make it fit their world view.

    (Ooops…I’ve let the cat out of the bag, haven’t I?)

  77. Max Hugoson says:

    Willis, back in ’07 I was doing work with the public version of the CERES data, and had to develop a method to “demodulate” the color graphics into real numbers, to obtain an overall average outflow, inflow, etc. I did, after a months struggle. I noted 3 watt to 10 watt net inward as a typical value, month to month. At first I had my “polarities” reversed, and I thought it was major “global cooling” going on, and was wondering what massive conspiracy had it being ignored.

    Thanks to the kind interface with Dr. Spencer, I got “turned around” and found it was a 3 to 10 watt per square meter INWARD flux (net). Of course, I was concerned: This would mean AWG was real and substantial. I woefully admitted my agony to Dr. Spencer, and he quickly sent me some papers and info, and noted the “baseline calibration problem”. Saying something like, “The CERES data set is good for ‘trends’ and relative comparisons, but CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be used as an “absolute value” at this point.”

    I’m pleased that that conclusion has NOT changed, and that you have found “the usual suspects” vainly trying to make a “silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. (Isn’t that and amazing ancient reference to a problem which still persists?)

    Max

  78. RockyRoad says:

    Randall Harris says:
    August 30, 2013 at 10:48 am

    There must be a third form of energy being emitted by the earth for which we have not taken into account. Someone needs to find this mysterious radiated form of energy. ;-)

    You’re in luck Randall–since the “heat” is fudged, you can fudge any explanation you want.

    There’s nothing easier than a good fantasy.

  79. MarkUK says:

    I love the way Willis makes sense of stuff, cheers.

  80. george e. smith says:
    August 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Well Physics operates in real time.

    And in real time, 350 W/m^2, even directly overhead, will not cook an egg; will barely melt ice for that matter.

    But 1362 W/m^2 will cook an egg.

    Not sure what your point is here, george. While I’d love to have 2-minute measurements for the whole world, we don’t have that. Instead, we have what the satellite measures when it flies over. Sometimes it is 1362 W/m2 … and sometimes it’s half that and sometimes it is zero.

    Now, if you don’t want to use averages, then you are in the wrong field of science—climate is defined as the average of weather.

    So just what would you suggest I do?

    w.

  81. Green Sand says:

    What I am sure is a daft question, but how do we know the m/2 at the TOA?

    IIRC the TOA height/diameter/m/2 is not a constant either globally or hemispheric (season)? So how do we account for such changes? Are we sure we know what m/2 we are relating energy inputs/outputs to?

  82. Michael D says:

    YesWillis, the was my point. Thanks for clarifying it.

  83. ThinkingScientist says:

    George E. Smith, is this you?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_E._Smith

  84. Duster says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Lester Via says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:09 am

    What about the radiant energy that is converted to chemical energy by photosynthesis. If that
    exceeds the heat energy released by both burning fuels and the slow oxidation of decaying plant life, couldn’t that be responsible for at least part of hidden energy?

    Actually, the best you can do is break even, it all goes back to heat. Solar electromagnetic radiation is converted into a variety of forms of energy—chemical (via photosynthesis), thermal (via absorption), latent (via evapotranspiration), mechanical (via motion of wind and oceans).

    At the end of the day, however, it all turns back into heat. The only question is, how long is “the day”? If the wind blows sand up onto a high ledge, it could sit there for a thousand years. Once it falls back down to the ground, however, the stored potential energy is turned back into heat.

    For organic materials, the process is generally faster. When a plant is eaten by a deer, it is turned into heat to keep the deer warm, plus mechanical energy moving the deer around … and the mechanical energy of course quickly turns into heat.

    “How long is the day?” is a really intriguing question. When you reckon that at least most oil and certainly all coal are in fact only now seeing the next dawn, that “day” can be 10s or 100s of millions of years in length. If most photosynthesis goes on in the oceans, then a lot of sunlight is falling to the ocean floors as organic ooze and staying there. I doubt it would account for much of the imbalance you outline so elegantly though. Great read.

  85. Greg Goodman says:

    GE Smith: “They say climate is the average of weather; it isn’t, it’s the long term integral of the weather”

    That is a very good way of expressing it. I did not realise that was what you meant by your earlier statement.
    Now how does that relate to Willis’ TOA data. How should this be done in the context of what you are saying?

  86. Ref: Fig 3

    I’d expect reflected solar and upwelling longwave to be negatively correlated for obvious reasons, but eyeballing the graph, they look to be positively correlated. Is this an orbital effect or what?

  87. Greg Goodman says:

    Don K “The Aqua satellite — which is one of the CERES platforms — seems to be in a 98 degree orbit (82N to 82S) at about 600km altitude. I would guess that they do something special during the short periods when the satellite is directly between the sun and the Earth’s surface. ”

    Thanks Don. So that orbit with essentially downward looking instrumentation means that it will NEVER measure surface reflection from low incident angles. It is not correctly measuring reflected SW and therefore will produce a net warming imbalance.

    Roy Spencer is quoted above as saying it is only suitable for measuring trends etc. but even that is thus in doubt. The effect of the larger annual swing and lower minimum of Arctic ice coverage will not be correctly assessed as the level (and hence the change) in direct reflection is not even measured. Only conditions showing diffuse reflection are measured.

    Sea water that would normally absorb almost all incoming solar will reflect as much as 90% at angles of incidence less than 10 degrees: conditions that can be found in polar regions for several months of the year.

  88. Lester Via says:

    An estimate of the fuel value of an acre of biomass can be found at http://web.anl.gov/PCS/acsfuel/preprint%20archive/Files/21_2_NEW%20YORK_04-76_0021.pdf.
    Using their annual yield estimate of 450 million BTUs per acre one can estimate the solar energy that has been sequestered by the biomass and, consequently cannot show up as upwelled radiation.

    450 million BTUs per acre corresponds to 111,193 BTU per square meter or 117 megajoules per square meter. Assuming a growing period of 6 months this equates to an average power of 7.5 Joules per second per square meter or 7.5 watts per square meter. Unless I have miscalculated (certainly won’t be the first time) this is in the ballpark of the missing energy – at least over land areas.

    Although, as Willis explained earlier, all the sequestered energy will eventually show up as heat when released, but, as in most agricultural crops, that will not happen the same place the energy sequester took place but is likely be released in a highly populated area – such as an Urban Heat Island. What will that do to the methods being used by those attempting to account for the missing energy?

  89. Greg Goodman says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    August 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Ref: Fig 3

    I’d expect reflected solar and upwelling longwave to be negatively correlated for obvious reasons, but eyeballing the graph, they look to be positively correlated. Is this an orbital effect or what?

    ==========

    If you said explicitly what you regard as “obvious” someone may be able to explain your paradox. This has already been discussed to some extent.

  90. paulhan says:

    Another excellent piece of lateral thinking, Willis. That said, I’m kind of with Lester Via and Mark Bofill with regards to the extra energy.

    According to other satellites, the Earth’s vegetative matter has increased by 6% since satellite records began. When trees die off they don’t break down immediately and release their trapped energy, which is how dendrochronologists are able to go back thousands of years with measurements. We have Carbon Dioxide mixing with Calcium Carbonate in oceans and forming limestone which could last millions of years.

    80% of all living matter is said to be bacteria. Although the bacteria itself wouldn’t last very long, what it leaves behind could very well last a long time. Given all the living “stuff” on Earth, I’m kind of surprised it only takes 5W/m^2 to sustain it all.

  91. Solar reflection is mostly due to clouds, and while clouds vary in their reflectivity, clouds that reflect incoming solar upward will also reflect outgoing LWR downward.

  92. Gary Pearse says:

    I may be re-asking one of rgb’s kaleidoscope of questions. Are we measuring only the vertical movement of energy in and out? The sun’s energy at low angles to the sphere of the TOA would result in some reflection away from the instrument that would go unnoticed and similarly higher reflection in higher latitudes of the surface of the planet and the cloud surfaces. In essence this translates into a smaller effective disk area receiving the energy than the pi(radius)^2 of the earth that we “spread” the incoming solar over. If this is correct, I don’t find 6 or 7 watts/m^2 imbalance such a surprise.

  93. stevefitzpatrick says:

    Willis,
    Very nice post. Informative and clear. Thanks.

  94. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Willis, and Aphan -
    Question: is there significant variability in heat transfer from the earth’s interior? Otherwise, am I assuming correctly that in any case, regardless of the observed range of variability (if it obtains at all), that it cannot have a detectable effect on ocean temps? It’s my (limited) understanding that heat moves within the Earth’s mantle, which is of a plastic consistency, not rigidly solid, by convection.

  95. Milwaukee Bob says:

    george e. smith says:
    August 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    They say climate is the average of weather; it isn’t, it’s the long term integral of the weather, ….

    So George, describe the climate outside your window right now, without using any weather terms.

    Just kidding! Last thing I would ever do is disagree with you. You are far more intelligent, experienced/knowledgeable in math and practiced in the “climate” arts than I am. However, logically your above statement lacks completeness and THAT is typically … what is wrong with “Climate Science”.

    Of course, climate is the whole of weather over space and (as you said) time. But space (or defined area) cannot be left out. And no, of course you cannot “average” the whole of weather into climate. The components of weather are – diverse, different – whatever term you want to use. For example, you cannot “average” temperature and humidity together. It would make any sense. That’s the fallacy of “global” climate. It doesn’t exist except in some imaginary sense. No one can describe it without “averaging” one or more components of weather.

    But quite often, if not all the time, “Climate Change” is defined/promoted by the AGW crowd as a negative change in “the average” of a single component of weather! (or it is used as proof of climate change.) That is another thing that is wrong with climate science. “They” average some components of “current” weather (ignoring a lot of others) then compare it to the “modeled” average (or the average of some antiquated records) of the same components at an earlier time and call it – “Climate Change” when they don’t match.

    So the first thing one should do when entering into a discussion about “climate” is get clarity on exactly what climate (or the whole of weather over what time and what space) is or isn’t. (At least for that particular discussion.) But whatever one agrees climate is, it still must be the average of the components of the integral, because it is – over some time, no matter how short, and some space, no matter how small. Or it isn’t climate, it’s just – weather. And we know the components of weather over a particular space are subject to change – over time. And the only way to describe the “climate” over that space, is to……….. :)

  96. eyesonu says:

    Willis, as always, a thought provoking post. Good discussion in the comments. As usual I continue to add to my vast wealth of useless (unmarketable) knowledge. ;-)

  97. Gail Combs says:

    Mark Harvey aka imarcus says: @ August 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm
    …for a concise explanation, refer to John Kehr’s book An Inconvenient Skeptic….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    John Kehr came to mind as soon as I started reading this thread. As an engineer he makes a lots of sense and has a gift for explaining things. I would suggest:
    The Earth’s Energy Balance: Simple Overview (It deals with Trenbreth’s Energy Cartoon)

    The Difference between “Forcing” and Heat Transfer

    Temperature Dependence of the Earth’s Outgoing Energy

    And these background articles:
    Part 1: Radiative Heat Transfer – Overview

    Part 2: Radiative Heat Transfer – Medium 1/2

    Part 3: Radiative Heat Transfer – Medium 2/2

    Misunderstanding of the Global Temperature Anomaly

    The illustrations for his book are:
    Chapters 1-3
    Chapters 4-5
    Chapters 6-7
    Chapters 8-10
    Chapter 11
    Chapter 12: The Earth’s Atmosphere
    Chapters 13-14

    Even if you do not read his book they are certainly worth looking at.

  98. Dave Wendt says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    “So even on the timescales of oceanic overturning, which are one or a few thousands of years, geological heat is a third-order effect. That’s why although it is real, it is usually ignored in discussions of the climate fluctuations.”

    have you ever seen this paper

    http://www.ocean-sci.net/5/203/2009/os-5-203-2009.pdf

    Geothermal heating, diapycnal mixing and the abyssal circulation
    J. Emile-Geay1 and G. Madec2,

    Abstract. The dynamical role of geothermal heating in abyssal circulation is reconsidered using three independent arguments. First, we show that a uniform geothermal heat flux close to the observed average (86.4 mW m−2) supplies as much heat to near-bottom water as a diapycnal mixing rate of ∼10−4 m2s−1 – the canonical value thought to be responsible for the magnitude of the present-day abyssal circulation. This parity raises the possibility that geothermal
    heating could have a dynamical impact of the same order….

    ….For strong vertical mixing rates, geothermal heating enhances the AABW cell by about 15% (2.5Sv) and heats up the last 2000 m by ∼0.15◦C,reaching a maximum of by 0.3◦C in the deep North Pacific. Prescribing a realistic spatial distribution of the heat flux acts to enhance this temperature rise at mid-depth and reduce it at great depth, producing a more modest increase in overturning than in the uniform case. In all cases, however, poleward heat transport increases by ∼10% in the Southern Ocean. The three approaches converge to the conclusion that geothermal
    heating is an important actor of abyssal dynamics, and should no longer be neglected in oceanographic studies…”

  99. Bert Walker says:

    Willis will you post your “R” data, R code and any CRAN packages you use?

  100. Greg Goodman says:

    Philip Bradley says:

    Solar reflection is mostly due to clouds, and while clouds vary in their reflectivity, clouds that reflect incoming solar upward will also reflect outgoing LWR downward.

    ===

    Then it probably matters where the clouds are. Majority of solar comes into the tropics and is unidirectional. Out-going happens everywhere and it covers 4 pi steradians.

    Tropics don’t have winter.

    The initially ‘odd’ phase relationship is probably a reflection of N/S land ration and perihelion = NH winter.

    I have not tested with numbers but my reading of phase in the graph did not make it seem paradoxical.

  101. Mark Bofill says:

    paulhan says:
    August 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Another excellent piece of lateral thinking, Willis. That said, I’m kind of with Lester Via and Mark Bofill with regards to the extra energy.

    well, I was toying with the idea, but the trouble is I don’t think the numbers add up.
    How many watts over the entire surface of the earth per year? I thought 10^17ish earlier but I think I made an error and that’s too low. But even if that’s right, if cyanobacteria stores 450 TW and phytoplankton stores 63 TW, we aren’t in the ballpark by a couple of orders of magnitude.
    Still, I could be wrong, I often am. :)

  102. ATheoK says:

    “Gail Combs says: August 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Mark Harvey aka imarcus says: @ August 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm
    …for a concise explanation, refer to John Kehr’s book An Inconvenient Skeptic….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    John Kehr came to mind as soon as I started reading this thread. As an engineer he makes a lots of sense and has a gift for explaining things. I would suggest:
    The Earth’s Energy Balance: Simple Overview (It deals with Trenbreth’s Energy Cartoon)

    Even if you do not read his book they are certainly worth looking at.

     
    Careful Gail; your organizational skills are showing.
    Keeping those organized files and knowledge on your desktop is perhaps a tad selfish? Surely there are plans to establish a blog page where your accumulations of carefully filed knowledge gets released for some recreational exercise?
     
    If not, why not? As months have passed, your ability to reach deep and pull relevant detailed information with proper attribution and links has gone past apparent to impressively obvious. An organized index of topical references is wealth beyond imagination.
     
    Can we visitors to WUWT nominate persons for moderation positions? e.g. Gail Combs as reference moderator managing reference pages? This is the kind of enterprise that starts small and works towards large; large enough that WUWT ‘spins’ off wordpress enterprises? Please note Anthony, your reference pages are extremely useful and worthwhile, but still cause one to search for and collate references, links and knowledge. They’re great reference pages but are not topical index references.
     
    Knowledge is the kind of thing people pay cash for. Instead of charging a heady price for access to identified references, charge a small fee, $dollar, Euro, two bits, four bits, or a yearly open access. Perhaps share some of the income with Gail and other volunteers?
     
    In a way, I’m a little envious. I’ve spent hours searching for tidbits I’ve read in the past, collated them, wrote up a small comment or wrote nothing and closed all tabs. I saved nothing for those hours of work, except for knowledge in that gray matter ethereal existence where a person’s knowledge resides and perhaps a PDF or two. It appears, to me, that Gail has worked smarter and efficiently; especially as time progresses.
     
    Just saying…
    (and hopefully causing others to think similarly)

  103. John Moore says:

    We hear that the heat is going deep into the ocean, but…j

    A question: Levitus data goes to a depth of 5000m. However, ARGO only samples to 2000m.

    Where are the measurements coming from for depths below 2000m?

  104. bw says:

    31556926 seconds per year at 1 watt is 31.5 MJ
    Seawater density is 1030 kg per cubic meter times specific heat of 3993 joules per kg-Kelvin
    Thats 4.11 MJ per Kelvin
    31.5/4.11 is 7.66 Kelvins
    Adding 1 watt per square meter adds enough energy to raise one cubic meter of seawater by 7.66 degrees in one year. Seawater in the tropics has a very low albedo.

    For land, granite to a depth of 0.1 meters has 2700 kg, times 800 Joules per kgK is 2.16 MJ/K
    31.5 MJ/2.16 MJ/K equals 14.6 Kelvins. Thats if all 1 W per square meter is absorbed, but granite albedo is 0.33 so only 2/3 is absorbed. Still, about 10 Kelvins after one year.

  105. Keith Minto says:

    Green Sand,

    Here is a pdf of the pmod composite going back to 1978, seeming to pulse along with the sunspot number ftp://ftp.pmodwrc.ch/pub/data/irradiance/composite/DataPlots/comp06_d41_62_1302.pdf

    Seems to be decreasing, but that could be an uncorrected artifact of satellite variation.

    More reading here.

  106. Retired Engineer John says:

    Willis, regarding your discussion with Aphan, there was a post on the internet where a Robert van der Hilst of MIT did a measurement of the Earth’s internal temperature and found it to be 6,650 F. The article appeared in the March 30 issue of the journal Science. I don’t think that the scientist worked with the climate but he was quoted as saying “From their measurements, the scientists estimate that about one-third of the heat that radiates from Earth’s surface into the atmosphere—estimated to be 42 terawatts—comes from our planet’s core.”
    http://www.livescience.com/7239-earth-temperature-hot.html

  107. ATheoK says:

    “Gary Pearse says: August 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I may be re-asking one of rgb’s kaleidoscope of questions….”

     
    What a wonderful succinct description of ‘rgbatduke’s’ comment; 

    “rgbatduke says: August 30, 2013 at 11:08 am
     
    The Earth’s orbit is quite eccentric.
    –Aphelion is 152,000,000 km,
    –perihelion is 147,000,000 km.
    The relative variation of TOA insolation must therefore by be?
    –\Delta I = (P_s/4\pi R_p^2 – P_s/4\pi R_a^2 ).
     
    The Luminosity of the sun P_s = 3.85 x 10^26 Watts.
     
    Hence,
    –1418 W/m^2 at perihelion,
    –1326 W/m^2 at aphelion,
    –\Delta I = 92 W/m^2.
     
    This is a roughly 7% annual variation. …”

     
    rgbatduke’s comment blows past easy understanding for me when reading en bloc. As I illustrate with part of rgb’s comment, I have to break it down to components so I can work through the process without getting cross-eyed; I do this often for many of the technical articles and comments as I never understand the climsci insistence on en bloc single spaced writing, or worse the climsci team’s insistence on massive disjointed disconnected ramblings posing as official research. N.B., no amount of dissection or organization improves many of their writings.
     
    Kaleidoscope, http://arbrealettres.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/kaleidoscope2.jpg
     
    Similar to Willis’s response to rgb, I was puzzled about the averaged averages regarding earth’s changing insolation, orbit, wobble, orbiting altitude of Ceres in relation to atmosphere, IR atmospheric processing delay, if any, in exiting our atmosphere ; when rgb dropped his kaleidoscope of questions. This puzzled ATheoK needs time to sort out and think about Willis’s article and many questions raised following the article. This isn’t digestible, to me, with one gulp.
     
    Great article Willis! As all too often, your insight, effort and detail makes one wonder just where in blazes is research along these veins done by the ‘inside experts’?
     
    Steve Mosher, thank you for the comments and links. I’ve added them to the pile I want to digest while thinking this over.
     
     
    Hey, where did the ‘preview’ option go? I liked that choice. Is it causing too much bandwidth with WP?

  108. Annual average net radiation and Annual average net cloud radiative forcing.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Clouds/clouds6.php

    The Sahara and Arabian deserts are large net +ve radiators. That is they lose more heat than they gain.

  109. RACookPE1978 says:

    Hmmmn. On the actual measured “accuracy” of their “assumptions” about their radiation data…

    This copied from the “Summary” of just one peer-reviewed source of measured radiation data over several years at the same spot near the equator: Only 9% repeatability between yearly data? And two months were only 6% different!

    Yet Hansen insists they need to “change the measurements” to fit the model to two decimal places.

    Summary

    In addition to global solar radiationE ↓ g , the hourly diffuse componentE ↓ d incident on a horizontal surface has been measured from February 1993 to January 1995 at a meteorological station in tropical West Africa. The measured diffuse solar irradiance data was corrected for shadow band effects. The monthly mean diurnal variations of diffuse solar irradiance obtained for identical months in the two years have been compared and found to be generally consistent. The corresponding monthly mean hourly values ofE ↓ d for identical months in 1993 and 1994 agreed to within 9% while yielding correlation coefficients greater than 0.960. In addition, the monthly mean daily totals ofE ↓ d for identical months were found to agree mostly to within 6% and showed virtually the same annual variations in both years. The monthly mean daily total values of diffuse solar radiation for most months in the two years ranged between 7.94 MJm−2d−1 and 10.50 MJm−2d−1. The monthly mean of daily hourly maximum values ofE ↓ d obtained for identical months in the two years have been discussed in relation to the dominant atmospheric conditions during these months. The results been presented here have been compared with those of some investigators within and outside the Africa region.

    From Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics
    1999, Volume 69, Issue 3-4, pp 223-230
    On the annual and monthly mean diurnal variations of diffuse solar radiation at a meteorological station in west Africa

    M. G. Iziomon,
    T. O. Aro

  110. george e. smith says:

    “”””””…..Greg Goodman says:

    August 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Philip Bradley says:

    Solar reflection is mostly due to clouds, and while clouds vary in their reflectivity, clouds that reflect incoming solar upward will also reflect outgoing LWR downward.

    ===……””””””

    Well clouds, are either water droplets or ice crystals, so both are quite transparent to the visible solar spectrum. So they do not “reflect” solar spectrum energy. They transmit it, and scatter it into a wide angle essentially isotropic angular distribution. After going through just three water droplets, the ray direction is quite unpredictable.

    As for ground emitted LWIR, the clouds also do not “reflect” LWIR radiation. They completely absorb it in about 50 microns of water/ice thickness, that 2/1000ths of an inch. Then the water of the clouds, either solid or liquid, reradiates a thermal spectrum that is dependent on the local Temperature of the clouds, and once again, that is isotropic.

  111. george e. smith says:

    “””””……Milwaukee Bob says:

    August 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    george e. smith says:
    August 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    They say climate is the average of weather; it isn’t, it’s the long term integral of the weather, ….

    So George, describe the climate outside your window right now, without using any weather terms……”””””

    Well the climate outside my window (it’s dark at 2120) is exactly what you would expect to get after around 4.5 billion years of earth weather, and geology, and biology.

    Pretty nice and highly habitable.

    The weather is CAVU except its dark, and also windless. We don’t have stars in the Sunnyvale CA night sky, so can’t comment on those.

    Our forest fire worry worts say we have unusual droughts. No they aren’t unusual, Ca is a natural desert State. The airlines park all their excess air liners, ready to put back into service, once the Obama Economy Recovery finally kicks in; at the Mojave airport in socal, because it is dry, so they don’t corrode away.

  112. RACookPE1978 says:

    ATheoK says:
    August 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    http://catalogx.ensmp.fr/Files/ESRA11res.pdf

    THE EUROPEAN SOLAR RADIATION ATLAS
    Vol. 1: Fundamentals and maps
    K. Scharmer and J. Greif 2000

    Has a good solar primer in its nbr 2 and nbr 3 chapters. Shows the grpahs of these equations, their derivations, and the geometry involved in what rgb and Willis have written. Chapter 4? Less usefull: It is about example of the solar radiation data plots that the ESRA CD produces if you buy it.

    No – No, you can’t “get it” from these equations above immediately and easily, but they are understandable. Earth goes around sun, but at different distances. Energy available at top of atmosphere – before it gets absorbed or reflected or changed – depends on how far from the sun the earth is on any given day.

    Once you get to the average earth at the top of atmosphere, you have to get through the atmosphere. Could be reflected, absorbed, or bounced back and forth a little bit. The length of atmosphere you have to penetrate to get to the surface depends on how in the sky the sun is, which depends on what day of the year it is (how much declination there is) and how far above the horizon the sun is at that moment, and what latitude you are at. So, at noon on the equinox (Sept 20, March 20) the sun is high in the sky, and the declination is near 0.0, but you still get less solar energy at polar latitudes than near the equator. (Did you notice the above “average” solar radiation ignores ALL of these inconvenient “facts”? ) But, at noon at Dec 21 or June 21, the declination is higher, and at the same location on earth (same latitude as before) you would get less radiation on the surface. But, on both of those days, you are nearer or further! from the sun than on the equinoxes, so the top-of-atmosphere radiation has changed even more. Go earlier in the day (near dawn) and there is much more air mass, more radiation lost in the atmosphere. Set nearer sunset, same thing: more air mass, less radiation available.

    Go higher in latitude, and the average height of the sun every day changes: This is one more term to throw in: the latitude correction for a flat surface like the ocean, ice, or a plate on the ground.

    It changes every day, at every latitude, at every time of day. But remember, Hansen wants just one correction – from his models TO the data! – for all of the world for all latitudes, for all days of the year, for every hour of the day!

  113. Keith Minto says:

    george e. smith says:
    August 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Well clouds, are either water droplets or ice crystals, so both are quite transparent to the visible solar spectrum. So they do not “reflect” solar spectrum energy.

    Nice little interactive for you, george.

  114. george e. smith says:

    @Keith Minto.

    I have ray traced the rain drop many times. I also have ray traced a monofilament fishing line under water. Lots of fishermen think that fluorocarbon leaders, have low visibility for fish compared to nylon leaders, so they aren’t spooked from your fly.

    It’s nonsense. The fluorocarbon index isn’t near that of water, though closer than nylon.

    So the leader blocks the overhead sun, leaving a shadow zone behind it. But the light transmitted through the leader is focused into a bright line near the leader in that otherwise shadow zone.

    A highly practical fly fisherman sits under water in rivers, with scuba, and video camera, and has taken video movies, of that flashing line image of the sun, running up and down the leader, and yes the trout spook off it.

    The reflections shown in your action flick are simply 2-3% or so regular Fresnel reflections, but the 97-98% transmitted light is focused by the droplet into a very wide angle image of the sun, so most of the transmitted light is converted from a near collimated beam into a strongly focused beam, that then expands into a highly diverging beam, and can then hit another droplet. So the “rainbow condition” does not tell the full story, it is the strong focusing of the transmitted light that is responsible for the wide angle scattering.

    We can’t post pictures here or else I could show you what an actual ray traced sun image looks like in a rain drop, or cloud droplet.

  115. george e. smith says:

    “”””””……ThinkingScientist says:

    August 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    George E. Smith, is this you?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_E._Smith……””””””

    NO. my middle E is for Edward. I know people who know both of us. You might find something browsing around the University of Auckland website, but they have it fairly well hidden.

  116. The initially ‘odd’ phase relationship is probably a reflection of N/S land ration and perihelion = NH winter.

    Difficult to say from Fig 3. It looks like the graphed lines have been compressed horizontally as they are shorter than the x axis, and the title says 60 months data which is what is shown on the x axis.

  117. Joseph Adam-Smith says:

    Talking of watts/sq metre, read an article in Telegraph re wind power stations in UK. One power (joke) plant,capable of producing 5.6 megawatts, was producing 6kw. Yes, 6 kw. at the same time, another was producing MINUS 10kw. And, wait for it, at the same time,another was producing MINUS 80kw. Yes,taking power out of the grid. Hope people didn’t want water for tea/coffee

  118. ThinkingScientist says:

    George E Smith.
    Thanks for the response, appreciated.
    I think I found you. It was the salt water fly fishing reference that probably clinched it…
    As you post under your real name I was curious about your background, because your comments about the actual insolation, not averages, (and other commenters elsewhere) are getting my attention in trying to unravel some of the correct physics. I am very concerned by the 255K is proportional to 1365/4 therefore GHE =33K argument as I think it is non-physical.

    A point you didn’t mention about fluorocarbon, which I found out the hard way! As a youth I fly fished a lot, nylon leaders being the only available then. I stopped fishing for a while, but in later life have fished again. Switched to fluorocarbon leaders, attempted to trim loose end from hook with teeth (as I was accustomed with nylon) and now have permanent notch in tooth to remind me that fluorocarbon is very hard!

  119. Merovign says:

    Model-based evidence? Is that like speculation-based fact?

  120. Dreadnought says:

    Great stuff, Willis!

    If I understand this article correctly, it seems to me that this is a fairly strong refutation of the SkS kidz’ meme du jour that “there is an energy imbalance in the climate system equivalent to 4 Hiroshima bombs exploding every second…, and that energy is finding its way into the deep oceans”.

    Am I correct in that understanding, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?!

  121. Patagon says:

    Photosynthetic efficiency of plants range from 0.1 to 8%. That is the proportion of shortwave radiation that is converted into biomass. I don’t know what are the values for the ocean, but surely part of that downwelling solar radiation is converted into biomass. I don’t know whether that have a measurable impact in the radiation balance.

  122. Trond A says:

    rgbatduke says:
    August 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

    …I have a hard time seeing how there can be a reflection peak in phase with the insolation that doesn’t produce a similar shaped trough in the LWIR….

    First the relation between The insolation and the reflection; the reflection is an immediate respons to the insolation, so that these two curves are in phase should not be surprising. The difference between perihelion an aphelion is not so big that it effects the total continuos picture.

    Since the insolation differs a bit (because of the orbit) it is interesting that the outgoing LWIR has a smilar but lagged pattern.

    The insolation and the reflection starts with a high peak, so I guess this must a perihelion phenomenon, and at this time of the year it is high summer in the southern hemisphere, the start of january. Most of the land masses are in the nothern hemisphere, more ocean in the southern. Would it not be more light reflected from land and more absorbed by the sea in general due to the heat capacity of the ocean? Well, the summer in the southern hemisphere is when the earth is in perihel, and it is now the sea is heated there. At least a certain lag of outgoing LWIR must be expected, wouldn’t it?

  123. eyesonu says:

    Merovign says:
    August 31, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Model-based evidence? Is that like speculation-based fact?

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

    ROFLMAO

    Quote of the day

  124. tallbloke says:

    Willis,
    Your plot shows downwelling solar at the TOA to be varying by around +/-10W/m^2 over the seasonal cycle.
    The shape of the Earth’s orbit is elliptical, with the Sun near one focus.
    As a result, Earth’s distance from the Sun (center-to-center) varies with mean values of 147,098,074 km at perihelion (closest) to 152,097,701 km at aphelion
    Difference is 4,999,627 which is 7.48% of the average Earth-Sun distance.
    Radiation from the Sun drops off with the inverse square law.
    At average Earth distance and average solar irradiance we receive ~1361.5 according to TIM/SORCE
    Therefore the Downwelling solar at TOA will vary by 37.24W/m^2 over the year or +/-18.6W/m^2

    Is the discrepancy due to some attenuation of the solar signal above TOA that the source for your figures accounts for? If so there must be some interesting energy-chemistry dynamics going on up there, because this is a huge amount of energy.

    Thanks

    TB

  125. Don K says:

    Greg Goodman says:
    August 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Don K “The Aqua satellite — which is one of the CERES platforms — seems to be in a 98 degree orbit (82N to 82S) at about 600km altitude. I would guess that they do something special during the short periods when the satellite is directly between the sun and the Earth’s surface. ”

    Thanks Don. So that orbit with essentially downward looking instrumentation means that it will NEVER measure surface reflection from low incident angles. It is not correctly measuring reflected SW and therefore will produce a net warming imbalance.
    ==========================
    Yep, That’s pretty much what I’m currently thinking also. But it’s such an obvious issue that it seems improbable that it has been overlooked. Not that there isn’t a lot of questionable “science” in the field of climate science, but simply overlooking low angle radiation seems pretty odd even for a bunch of folks who genuinely don’t seem to know what they are talking about much of the time. There’s probably something I/we don’t know or haven’t thought through.
    ==========================
    Sea water that would normally absorb almost all incoming solar will reflect as much as 90% at angles of incidence less than 10 degrees: conditions that can be found in polar regions for several months of the year.
    ==========================
    I’ve seen charts that show a fairly sharp breakover from absorbtion to reflection between incidence angles of 40 and 50 degrees for both water and ice. For water at least, that fits well with what I observe when I approach pools of rainwater. Initially, I see reflections of objects beyond the pool. When I get close, the reflections fade fairly abruptly (reduced reflection I assume) and objects under the surface become visible. I’ll try to remember to check the situation for ice the next time we have an ice storm.

  126. tallbloke says:

    Ah, just spotted you’ve got the 1361/4 to get your 340.

  127. Bob Greene says:

    I have a minor quibble with the term imbalance and energy budget. They give the impression that we know a heck of a lot more than we do. The energy is perfectly balance. We don’t know all the buttons to sort so that we can come up with a closed energy balance. This is like something I heard in at quantum mech course: the hydrogen atom has solved its wave equation, we can only come up with poor approximation. Until we get better handles on energy balances, climate science is but a poor estimate

  128. Joe says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    To view the calibration activities just look. But before that understand that for some measures a calibration to “ground measures” isnt even the correct thing to do.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————–
    (my bold)
    Possibly not.

    However, when you’re collecting data that you wish to use (or is likely to be used) to verify a model, calibrating that data to the model output is absolutely, unequivocably, and without question, the wrong thing to do.

  129. Phil. says:

    Don K says:
    August 31, 2013 at 4:10 am
    Greg Goodman says:
    August 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    ==========================
    Sea water that would normally absorb almost all incoming solar will reflect as much as 90% at angles of incidence less than 10 degrees: conditions that can be found in polar regions for several months of the year.
    ==========================

    It’s important to get terminology correct as otherwise misunderstandings can arise, the angle of incidence never gets less than 10º, the angle of incidence is measured relative to the normal.

    I’ve seen charts that show a fairly sharp breakover from absorbtion to reflection between incidence angles of 40 and 50 degrees for both water and ice. For water at least, that fits well with what I observe when I approach pools of rainwater. Initially, I see reflections of objects beyond the pool. When I get close, the reflections fade fairly abruptly (reduced reflection I assume) and objects under the surface become visible. I’ll try to remember to check the situation for ice the next time we have an ice storm.

    Try it wearing polaroids too there’s a big difference in the behavior of the two polarisations, for example at the Brewster angle (53º) all of the p-polarised light is absorbed so all of the reflected light you see is s-polarised. At an angle of incidence of 80º about 30% of p is reflected whereas about 55% of s is reflected.

  130. Big Don says:

    I’m in the same boat as Clive in being stuck on Hansen’s introduction of calibration factors to set the measured imbalance to about 1 W/m^2 (0.85) to match the level “suggested by models”, then for others to cite output of their models based on the “measured” data. Reminds me of an analogy one of my professors used to describe a similar situation: It’s like walking out the back door with a basket of eggs, going around the house, setting the basket on the front porch, walking back around the house, coming back in through the back door, walking through the house to the front door, opening it up, finding the basked and enthusiastically proclaiming “Gee, there really is an Easter Bunny!”.

  131. Richard M says:

    A slight imbalance is one factor that could explain the recovery from the LIA. All it takes is a small, consistent imbalance to produce the 300+ years of warming we have seen. The energy gets stored in the oceans and is released in uneven quantities over many ENSO cycles.

    In addition, ENSO itself leads to imbalances of short term periods that would tend to hide the long term trend. When +PDO conditions exist the added release of heat would increase the OLR and during -PDO conditions the imbalance would reverse and energy would be stored in the oceans.

  132. Bill Illis says:

    Like many of the other satellite systems like ERBE, GRACE, the Cryosats, Sea Level monitors, it appears CERES just not provide the level accuracy required to do the job. The data has to get tuned/rewritten to what the result that is desired/expected. Not good enough in my opinion and, technically, irresponsible.

    But what we can say is that we can only track energy accumulating on Earth at 0.5 W/m2/year.

    But we are supposed to be seeing is +2.1 W/m2/year (direct anthro/GHG forcing), plus +1.4 W/m2/year (feedbacks given a 0.7C temp increase) less a term which has not really been outlined very well to date but pops up every now and again nonetheless —> Less a term -?.? W/m2 Radiative Feedback (the more the Earth warms, the faster the radiation is emitted by the Earth, something like real physics is actually based on and seems to apply everywhere in the universe except black holes).

    So,

    0.5 W/m2/year = 2.1 + 1.4 – ?.? = 2.1 + 1.4 – 3.0.

    With an extra 3.0 W/m2/year of energy escaping from the Earth, the equation balances. Climate science has gone out of its way to avoid talking about this negative radiative feedback. It completely destroys the proposition that temps increase 3.0C per doubling of course.

  133. Green Sand says:

    Keith Minto says:
    August 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Many thanks for the info, will have a read

  134. bobl says:

    I have long considered the “Other factors” question. A few people here have questioned whether life can absorb that energy and Willis is wrong here, some of that energy used to turn simple chemicals into complex compounds does not get converted back to heat, it gets buried and turns into coal or oil or calcium carbonate and a bunch of other compounds. But there are also other energy absorbers, for example while storms shift heat, but they also convert heat into motion and electricity. I calculate that the heat loss due to the kinetic energy of rainfall hitting the earth alone lies between 0.3 and 2 Watts per square meter. This is a significant fraction of 5 Watts. This energy is not returned as heat, it is expended into the gravitational and planetary rotation systems. Raindrops at terminal velocity hitting the earth is not the only kinetic energy, Wind drag, and event ocean thermal expansion and contraction expend energy into the kinetics of our planet. If you take the sum of all the wind energy on the planet I’d wager that it’d be pretty large, since a small windmill can extract maybe 2-300 watts out of a square meter when the wind is blowing. Not all wind is thermal though, how much is converted from heat I’m not sure, but I’d wager it’s a substantial fraction of 5W per square meter.

    I actually think the imbalance of 5 Watts per square meter when taking account of all the kinetic losses is quite reasonable.

  135. Dr. Bob says:

    May I make a request? I am color challenged and find reading graphs that are in color difficult. If you can add dots/dashes, squares, circles or anything to help us challenged by colors to discern which line is which, that would be appreciated. I get what is going on from the text, but it would be easier to understand quickly if I didn’t have to physically identify the line with the legend.
    Thanks
    Bob

  136. bobl says:

    PS, I might add that lightning comes from heat and its expended as other than heat to some extent, waves also expend kinetic energy, but they are probably an end effect of wind drag anyway (same energy in a different form).

  137. Matthew R Marler says:

    David Douglas: Four years ago Bob Knox and I published a paper “Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance” Go to http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/Douglass_Knox_pla373aug31.pdf
    We discuss the Ceres data and most of the things that Willis mentioned — some in more detail. We even address Response Time (Section 5.3) and “temperature in the pipeline”.(section 5.4)

    Thank you for the link to your paper.

    Willis Eschebach, thanks again for a good post. It would probably be worthwhile for you to respond to David Douglas: acknowledge priority or highlight differences, or both.

    About this: I did love the whole concept of “model-based evidence”, but that wasn’t what caught my eye.

    Have you given any thought to the models built-in to the “measuring” instruments? It is hard to find any “evidence” that is not “model-based.” What you have is a great range of models from simple (Pythagorean theorem) to complex (Newton’s laws plus the law of gravitation are sort of “moderately complex”), some better tested than others. Even the use of a tape measure depends on a concept of the manufacturing process; more so for laser and acoustic range-finders. Consider, for example, the “evidence” that a set of CERES numbers were collected at the time and place claimed in the data set; then, to repeat myself, the claim that they are somewhat similar to what they claim to measure.

  138. Matthew R Marler says:

    Willis Eschenbach: Actually, the best you can do is break even, it all goes back to heat.

    Some is stored in biomass for extremely long periods of time. The part that we call fossil fuels we are turning back into heat, but much remains in soil and at the bottom of the ocean. Even in the presence of recurrent forest fire there is net accumulation across centuries. Some fraction of the stock persists in houses and furniture.

  139. Tim Ball says:

    This issue is one I wrote about in this article:

    http://drtimball.com/2011/reflected-sunlight-shines-on-ipcc-deceptions-and-gross-inadequacies/

    In the article I quote Erhard Raschke of the University of Hamburg from an article titled “How well do we compute the insolation at TOA in radiation climatologies and in GCMs.”

    Raschke wrote,
    “Solar radiation is the prime source for all processes within our climate system. Its total amount, the total solar irradiance (TSI) reaching the top-of-atmosphere (TOA), and its variability are now quite accurately known on the basis of multiple satellite measurements and extremely careful calibration activities (Fröhlich and Lean, 2004)… Computations, therefore, should be relatively easy.”

    However, he shows there is no agreement. He compared 20 models and their input values for TOA (Figure 1), He concludes,
    “…it can be speculated that such different meridional profiles of the solar radiative forcing at TOA should also have impact on the computed atmospheric circulation pattern, in particular when simulations over periods of several decades to several centuries are performed. Therefore, related projects within the World Climate Research Program should take appropriate steps to avoid systematic discrepancies as shown above and to estimate their possible impact on the resulting climate and circulation changes.”

    In my article you will see a diagram Raschke produced comparing the range of error for each computer model. It is another illustration of why the models don’t agree and don’t work.

  140. Peter Taylor says:

    Something to throw in here NASA used to have a data set of TOA fluxes as well as mid troposphere and surface…called the FD data set, and this goes back through two decades when it was clear to see the TOA effect of reflected short wave – which tallied also with the cloud changes from the ISCCP data….for the decades of warming, 1980-2000, it was clear to see the fall in reflected SW. ISCCP showed a 4% reduction in reflective low level cloud over this period. Since 2001, the cloud bounced back by 2% and has remained stable.
    These changes dwarf the computed effect from CO2 – roughly by 4:1, hence the figure I gave in my book ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’ of a natural component of about 80%.

    a further point: whilst recently reviewing discussions around the computer codes that convert the TOA forcing from CO2 to watts at the surface…..I noted that the SW flux of visible light DROPS significantly – by 0.5 watts per square metre….due it seems to CO2 absorbing SW radiation. I was not aware of this……has anyone looked into it? That is a lot of energy NOT going into the ocean.

  141. Nic Lewis says:

    Willis,

    An excellent post, thank you for providing it. I certainly agree that the CERES data is extremely useful.

    You cite Loeb et al 2009, but not Loeb et al 2102: Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty (Nature Geoscience). I think it is an interesting and useful paper. Available here: http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~sgs02rpa/PAPERS/Loeb12NG.pdf

    Recognising, as you have, that TOA measurements are precise and consistent, but lack sufficient absolute accuracy, Loeb et al. use 0-1800 m ocean heat content data (I think from Lyman, at PMEL) to calibrate the CERES data.

    Loeb et al 2012 arrives at a mean TOA radiative imbalance of 0.5 +/- 0.43 W/m2 over 2001-2010. That figure is consistent with estimates based purely on in situ ocean etc. measurements – perhaps a little below the average. It is certainly below what Trenberth claims. Using IPCC AR5 forcing estimates, it is consistent with equilibrium/effective climate sensitivity being about 1.8°C – or rather lower if the AR5 estimates of aerosol forcing turn out to be still excessively negative deespite being much lower than the AR4 estimates.

    There is another paper, Stephens et al 2012: An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations (also Nature Geoscience) that uses a similar approach and comes up with a marginally higher TOA imbalance estimate of 0.6 W/m2 over 2005-10, when Argo ocean data was available. It is also well worth looking at. See http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~tristan/publications/2012_EBupdate_stephens_ngeo1580.pdf

    If you have any comments on these two papers I would be interested to know.

  142. Gary Pearse says:

    As always, Willis, you bring much to the scientific table using real data and a remarkably unerring logic. As an engineer, with all the confounding issues involved – angle of incidence reflection losses in higher latitudes on TOA, clouds and the land surface, other factors – biochemical, kinetic, even endothermic chemical weathering of rocks – 6 watts/m^2 is not an imbalance at all. I realize they try to correct for all these unmeasured energy details for their finished data, but from an engineer’s perspective, to think they have a meaningful residual when they are finished is pure rubbish (which of course even your title expresses neatly). Were I to be trying to sort all this out, I would, like you, be amazed how close they come to a balance. It tells me there is a balance. Certainly over the long term strings of positive and negative balances occur.

  143. Stephen Wilde says:

    Does CO2 absorb incoming solar shortwave and having done so is it then constrained from accepting even more energy from upward longwave?

    Note that solar shortwave penetrates the ocean surface far better than does longwave so intercepting incoming shortwave and replacing it with radiated longwave could overall reduce the net thermal effect on the oceans from incoming sunlight.plus any downward lomgwave from GHGs.

  144. Berényi Péter says:

    CERES_EBAF-TOA_Ed2.7 data from March 2000 to February 2013 (13 full years) are available from http://ceres-tool.larc.nasa.gov/ord-tool/jsp/EBAFSelection.jsp

    Unfortunately the documentation says:

    “Despite recent improvements in satellite instrument calibration and the algorithms used to determine CERES TOA radiative fluxes, a sizeable imbalance persists in the average global net radiation at the TOA from CERES satellite observations. As in previous versions of EBAF (Loeb et al. 2009), the CERES SW and LW fluxes in EBAF Ed2.7 are adjusted within their ranges of uncertainty to remove the inconsistency between average global net TOA flux and heat storage in the Earth–atmosphere system, as determined primarily from ocean heat content anomaly (OHCA) data.”

    Which means, curret version of NET TOA radiation imbalance dataset is contaminated, that is, next to useless. Anyway, here it is.

    2000.208 6.9745
    2000.292 2.0835
    2000.375 -5.8146
    2000.458 -9.7721
    2000.542 -7.832
    2000.625 -4.3578
    2000.708 -0.1842
    2000.792 2.2183
    2000.875 4.1848
    2000.958 5.9972
    2001.042 9.5239
    2001.125 9.0422
    2001.208 7.8282
    2001.292 1.1767
    2001.375 -5.9905
    2001.458 -8.7872
    2001.542 -8.0322
    2001.625 -5.5352
    2001.708 0.4253
    2001.792 1.4714
    2001.875 3.6441
    2001.958 5.1613
    2002.042 7.8922
    2002.125 8.4031
    2002.208 7.285
    2002.292 0.9009
    2002.375 -5.6008
    2002.458 -10.0329
    2002.542 -9.9545
    2002.625 -6.1461
    2002.708 -0.5951
    2002.792 2.8104
    2002.875 3.7323
    2002.958 5.4567
    2003.042 7.1765
    2003.125 8.6104
    2003.208 6.7166
    2003.292 1.3293
    2003.375 -6.3683
    2003.458 -9.5625
    2003.542 -8.7051
    2003.625 -4.2349
    2003.708 0.1104
    2003.792 1.8631
    2003.875 3.7047
    2003.958 5.3542
    2004.042 8.204
    2004.125 8.8297
    2004.208 5.7515
    2004.292 2.0141
    2004.375 -6.7303
    2004.458 -10.8667
    2004.542 -7.8504
    2004.625 -4.6196
    2004.708 0.3932
    2004.792 1.8006
    2004.875 4.0071
    2004.958 6.7491
    2005.042 7.641
    2005.125 7.9716
    2005.208 6.67
    2005.292 1.0863
    2005.375 -4.7086
    2005.458 -10.1034
    2005.542 -9.5618
    2005.625 -5.2517
    2005.708 0.0892
    2005.792 1.6977
    2005.875 3.4561
    2005.958 6.4844
    2006.042 8.0788
    2006.125 8.7262
    2006.208 6.9068
    2006.292 1.9731
    2006.375 -4.6429
    2006.458 -9.6121
    2006.542 -9.1509
    2006.625 -5.3122
    2006.708 0.0773
    2006.792 1.5125
    2006.875 4.2012
    2006.958 5.6588
    2007.042 6.5037
    2007.125 8.5991
    2007.208 6.1116
    2007.292 1.7488
    2007.375 -6.0941
    2007.458 -9.1899
    2007.542 -8.9325
    2007.625 -5.2988
    2007.708 -0.957
    2007.792 2.0842
    2007.875 3.2598
    2007.958 4.6298
    2008.042 8.0599
    2008.125 8.3011
    2008.208 7.7134
    2008.292 1.533
    2008.375 -4.8795
    2008.458 -9.1839
    2008.542 -8.1607
    2008.625 -3.54
    2008.708 -0.1311
    2008.792 2.9623
    2008.875 3.447
    2008.958 6.7473
    2009.042 8.3706
    2009.125 9.3778
    2009.208 7.9245
    2009.292 1.7404
    2009.375 -4.968
    2009.458 -8.0428
    2009.542 -8.7639
    2009.625 -4.8269
    2009.708 -0.5369
    2009.792 1.8617
    2009.875 2.9589
    2009.958 5.9788
    2010.042 6.1916
    2010.125 7.7567
    2010.208 6.0063
    2010.292 1.9205
    2010.375 -6.2315
    2010.458 -10.0205
    2010.542 -9.28
    2010.625 -5.7674
    2010.708 -0.4305
    2010.792 1.774
    2010.875 2.8114
    2010.958 5.5093
    2011.042 8.2175
    2011.125 8.0628
    2011.208 7.1592
    2011.292 1.9948
    2011.375 -4.7526
    2011.458 -10.0156
    2011.542 -9.0773
    2011.625 -5.1099
    2011.708 -0.6739
    2011.792 3.3087
    2011.875 3.8373
    2011.958 4.682
    2012.042 8.3742
    2012.125 10.5136
    2012.208 6.7817
    2012.292 2.3536
    2012.375 -4.6701
    2012.458 -9.2219
    2012.542 -8.3659
    2012.625 -4.4028
    2012.708 -0.1318
    2012.792 2.8506
    2012.875 4.4281
    2012.958 6.7845
    2013.042 6.5136
    2013.125 8.1878

  145. Robert Bissett says:

    I second what Dr. Bob says
    (August 31, 2013 at 7:47 am), being also in the color-challenged set.
    The colors red, yellow, bright blue, and black give you four choices and
    if dashed give four more. Green is good but not with red. I cannot
    tell apart your blue and cyan(?)
    thanks
    Bob

  146. Steve Keohane says:

    Thanks Willis for another great discussion.
    I have wondered about the apogee/perigee differential that rgbatduke brought up. I somehow came up with the same 7% difference in solar input. It always seemed to me that the SH should have the more extreme seasons, with its summer pointed toward the sun at perigee and its winter away from the sun at apogee. Yet the seasonal differences seem to be tempered by the dominance of ocean there. I wonder what effect the recent intrusion of more sea ice from the south will have.
    Look forward to your “more later”, Willis.

  147. Berényi Péter says:

    Well. You have data for 58 months, between January 2001 and October 2005, Willis. I do not know the exact data source you have obtained it, but it obviously differs from net TOA imbalance given in CERES_EBAF-TOA_Ed2.7. I suppose yours is closer to the radiative imbalance actually measured by satellites, because the “corrections” applied in 2.7 relative to your dataset (based on OHC to make it “consistent” with it) are much noisier than the original. That is, they have destroyed precision to improve (an imaginary) accuracy using an unrelated and noisier data source.

    Anyway, here are their “corrections” to be subtracted from raw data in watts-per-square-meter:

    2001.042 5.1891
    2001.125 4.9288
    2001.208 4.6438
    2001.292 5.0623
    2001.375 4.7435
    2001.458 4.6112
    2001.542 4.3682
    2001.625 4.6252
    2001.708 4.7817
    2001.792 5.0286
    2001.875 5.7329
    2001.958 5.1387
    2002.042 4.8298
    2002.125 4.4789
    2002.208 4.4900
    2002.292 4.8251
    2002.375 4.7208
    2002.458 4.5819
    2002.542 4.7915
    2002.625 4.2741
    2002.708 4.2031
    2002.792 4.6616
    2002.875 5.0487
    2002.958 5.3563
    2003.042 4.9105
    2003.125 4.9026
    2003.208 4.9044
    2003.292 4.6307
    2003.375 4.8333
    2003.458 4.7595
    2003.542 4.8151
    2003.625 4.2619
    2003.708 4.0666
    2003.792 4.9849
    2003.875 5.3563
    2003.958 4.8828
    2004.042 5.4760
    2004.125 5.0993
    2004.208 4.0905
    2004.292 4.6529
    2004.375 4.5833
    2004.458 5.1237
    2004.542 4.8224
    2004.625 4.3746
    2004.708 4.3698
    2004.792 5.1434
    2004.875 5.8979
    2004.958 5.6669
    2005.042 5.6670
    2005.125 4.7104
    2005.208 4.6480
    2005.292 4.6027
    2005.375 4.6106
    2005.458 4.4864
    2005.542 4.2788
    2005.625 4.0807
    2005.708 4.1388
    2005.792 5.1723

  148. 1sky1 says:

    The “counterphase” behavior of outgoing LWIR relative to TOA is not as mysterious as it might appear to theoreticians. It is the result of most of the land mass–which heats to higher levels than the oceans–being in the Northern hemisphere. Summer there happens to occur near aphelion in the current stage of Milankovitch cycles. As seen in satellite measurements, the global average temperature thus persistently peaks when TOA insolation is near its nadir.

  149. george e. smith says:

    “”””””……Phil. says:

    August 31, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Don K says:
    August 31, 2013 at 4:10 am
    Greg Goodman says:
    August 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    ==========================
    Sea water that would normally absorb almost all incoming solar will reflect as much as 90% at angles of incidence less than 10 degrees: conditions that can be found in polar regions for several months of the year.
    ==========================

    It’s important to get terminology correct as otherwise misunderstandings can arise, the angle of incidence never gets less than 10º, the angle of incidence is measured relative to the normal…….””””””

    Well what you read in the textbooks, is not always what you observe in the real world/universe/whatever.

    According to regular Fresnel polarized reflectance theory, the total reflectance is almost constant from zero angle, up to about the Brewster angle, which as Phil says is about 53 deg (for light incident from the air side) 36 deg 52′ for incidence from the water side. The cognoscenti, of course recognize those two angles, as the angles in a 3-4-5 Pythagorean right triangle.

    Now in the real world, you will only observe those values of reflectance, if the water surface is horizontal, aka “flat”.

    Fat chance in open polar waters.

    If the wave normal, tilts towards the sun, the incidence angle is reduced, and the reflectance will drop, if it previously was larger than the Brewster angle. But what gose up, must come down, so the wave has a back side tilted away from the sun, thereby increasing its reflectance.
    However, if you look at the geometry of the back side reflectance, and typical wave patterns, you will realize, that the back side reflected light, does not necessarily escape.

    At the increased incidence angle, the reflected ray, can still be directed downwards, rather than upwards, and in either case, there is another forward wave slope immediately behind it, to capture some of that backside reflected light.

    Consequently you can show, that wave action, always increases the water absorption for low altitude light sources. So you tend to not see very high reflectance from non flat seas.

  150. Berényi Péter says:
    August 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

    CERES_EBAF-TOA_Ed2.7 data from March 2000 to February 2013 (13 full years) are available from http://ceres-tool.larc.nasa.gov/ord-tool/jsp/EBAFSelection.jsp

    Unfortunately the documentation says:

    “Despite recent improvements in satellite instrument calibration and the algorithms used to determine CERES TOA radiative fluxes, a sizeable imbalance persists in the average global net radiation at the TOA from CERES satellite observations. As in previous versions of EBAF (Loeb et al. 2009), the CERES SW and LW fluxes in EBAF Ed2.7 are adjusted within their ranges of uncertainty to remove the inconsistency between average global net TOA flux and heat storage in the Earth–atmosphere system, as determined primarily from ocean heat content anomaly (OHCA) data.”

    Thanks, Berenyi. I’d just found that dataset myself, and had been wondering why the difference. I couldn’t disagree more with that approach. It seems to me that what they should do is just do the very best job they know, with no ad-hoc adjustments to match Hansen’s figures. That’s bogus, it makes their dataset mostly worthless when they do that.

    They make no bones about it, they come right out and say that at present it’s stepped on to squeeze the error down to the 0.85 W/m2 from Hansen’s paper of nearly a decade ago now … their justification is here.

    Pathetic attempt to shore up the “consensus” …

    w.

  151. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Willis, On return from GB, here is part of the answer to the accuracy problem.
    The merging of these results looks subjective and it could have a large bias.
    http://www.geoffstuff.com/The%20problem%20-solar%20irradiance.JPG

  152. Jean Parisot says:

    What is the spectral range of the CERES sensor?

  153. richard verney says:

    george e. smith says:

    August 31, 2013 at 3:28 pm
    /////////////////////

    And what about DWLWIR?

    DWLWIR is omnidirectional and therefore some of this would be striking the ocean at a low glancing angle (grazing angle).

    Water is a very good absorber of LWIR (about 50% of it is fully absorbed within just a few microns), but does it reflect any LWIR at low glancing angles?

  154. Willis say:

    One watt per square metre will heat one cubic metre of seawater by one-third of a degree C per year … so for the thousand deepest metres of the ocean, one watt will heat it by 0.0003°C per year

    This is not right. One Watt is one Joule per second. Since the heat capacity of water is 4.2 J/(g*K), one gram of water is heated one degree in 4.2 seconds, or one cubic meter in 4.2 million seconds. By multiplying with the number of seconds in a year (60x60x24x365), you will see that one cubic meter will heat more than 7 degrees in a year.
    However, this does not change the conclusion; it is will only be 0.007 degrees for a thousand meter water column, which is negligible.

  155. george e. smith says:

    “””””…….richard verney says:

    September 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

    george e. smith says:

    August 31, 2013 at 3:28 pm
    /////////////////////

    And what about DWLWIR?

    DWLWIR is omnidirectional and therefore some of this would be striking the ocean at a low glancing angle (grazing angle).

    Water is a very good absorber of LWIR (about 50% of it is fully absorbed within just a few microns), but does it reflect any LWIR at low glancing angles?…..””””””

    Well what about it ? If it is reflected, it simply makes another shot at escaping to space, or getting re-absorbed by the atmosphere.

    If it is absorbed (what means “fully” absorbed?); either it is or it isn’t, then it heats the very surface layer resulting in enhanced prompt evaporation, which results in return of most of the energy to the atmosphere; not conduction to oceanic depths.

  156. dscott says:

    Hmmm, when does subtracting one orange from one apple yield a half of a pineapple? I don’t think these results are valid given the different types of radiation being conflated to be the same via their energy content. Why? The absorption band is different for different gases and certainly between that of Water Vapor, liquid water, Oxygen, Nitrogen and CO2.

    This is like conflating enthalpy and temperature, they are related but definitely not the same. Which brings up an issue I like to continually point out that the measurement of heat (Q) in the atmosphere CANNOT be made in degrees C, K, F or R as they are only a partial measure of Q only BTU/# (or its SI equivalent) is the real total measure of Q. Temperature is NOT heat it is only a partial component of Q. Which is probably why they can’t find the missing Q in the oceans because they don’t take into account the latent heat of fusion and vaporization. There is more Q (BTU/#) transferred during the change of state than merely recordable temperatures rises or falls. It takes 144 BTU/# to turn one pound of water into ice and visa versa, and it takes 970 BTU/# to turn boiling water to steam and visa versa. Whereas it only takes 180 BTU/# to raise the temperature from 32F to 212F. You see the problem here? Natural observable temperature changes only account for less than 20% of the measurable heat energy transfers.

    As a scientist, Hansen is an incompetent boob for not properly determining the change in Q. Temperature is merely a correlative result of the energy transfer process and is in no way proportional to the actual energy level to be measured or quantified.

  157. Keith says:

    Nicely done as usual Willis!

    Something that I don’t think I’ve seen (it may be out there somewhere, but it’ll take some doing) is an attempt to resolve the Earth’s radiation budget, not in W/M2, but in Watts. That is, TOTAL energy incoming minus TOTAL energy outgoing ACROSS THE GLOBE (then dividing by area to get W/M2 if desired).

    Dividing incoming solar by 4 and measuring outgoing radiation at a point, as Trenberth has done, leads to a whole load of assumptions (about clouds, ice/snow reflection and general albedo), rounding, averaging and, therefore, error. I suspect that only by calculating figures for the globe as a whole can we get accurate figures. Sure, getting the measurements isn’t easy, but the shortcuts have led us to searches for “missing heat” that, as Willis’ work on tropical thunderstorms and cumulus formation has suggested, might not even be there.

  158. Ross says:

    If the Net imbalance between incoming and outgoing is 2Watts/sq Metre, might this be the energy absorbed by chemical processes?
    Its not carbon sequestering. but Energy sequestering.

    Total Photosynthetic production: 1500 to 2250 x10^12 Watts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetic_efficiency
    Earth Area: 510,072,000sq kms = 510×10^12 m2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth
    So Energy Absorbed: 1500/510 to 2250/510
    or between 2.94 to 4.41 Watts/sq Metre.
    What is Net Energy absorbed? (Less respiration of all living things)
    (But even respiration involves much of the energy being stored in animal biomass)
    We know: Biomass is increasing (Plants grow, diatoms become sediment)
    So if half the energy may be stored, maybe up to the imbalance of 2 Watts/sq metre.
    As well, many other chemical process on earth also absorb energy.
    (Such as carbonates precipitating into sediments etc)
    I haven’t seen this noted anywhere.

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