The Cloud Radiative Effect, Take Two

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Well, in my last post I took a first cut at figuring the cloud radiative “feedback” from the CERES dataset. However, an alert commenter pointed out that I hadn’t controlled for the changes in solar radiation. The problem is that even if the clouds stay exactly the same, if the solar radiation increases, the net cloud radiative effect (CRE) increases due to increased reflection … and I hadn’t thought about that, had I? Dang … so my post was wrong.

So, to control for solar radiation, I did a multiple linear regression. The dependent variable was the net CRE, and the independent variables were the surface temperature and the solar radiation. As you might expect, this gave smaller results than my first analysis. I believe that this method is correct, but I’m always willing to be shown wrong. Not happy to be … but willing to be.

change in cloud radiative effect per one degree goodFigure 1. Net CRE as a function of surface temperature, after controlling for solar radiation. The gray lines are contour lines at zero W/m2 per °C. I suspect that the blue around Antarctica is an artifact due to the presence of the sea ice edge. 

Note that there are several areas in the tropical oceans which have a strong negative change in radiation with respect to temperature. These are the areas of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zones, about ten degrees both north and south of the Equator. It is in these areas that much of the regulation of global temperature takes place, by means of the combined effect of cumulus clouds and thunderstorms.

In addition, there is a large area of the Southern Ocean where the clouds oppose the temperature rise.

The area of clouds off of the coast of California and northern Mexico is an area of persistent stratus that also strongly opposes warming. (See here for a discussion of this location in the literature).

Finally, I note that the global average change in net cloud radiation for each degree of surface warming is positive, at 0.7 W/m2 per degree. On reflection, it seems to me that we need to compare that to how much we’d expect the cloud radiation to increase if the surface temperature goes up by 1°C.

And I don’t know the answer to that … still pondering on that one.

Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that the radiative effect of clouds is only the beginning of a long list of ways that clouds cool the surface. These include:

• Physically transporting heat from the surface directly to the upper troposphere where it radiates easily to space. Since the heat is transported either as latent heat, or as sensible heat inside the thunderstorm tower, it doesn’t interact with the large amount of water vapor, CO2, and other GHGs in the lower atmosphere.

• Wind driven evaporative cooling. Once the thunderstorm starts, it creates its own wind around the base. This self-generated wind increases evaporation in several ways, particularly over the ocean.

a) Evaporation rises linearly with wind speed. At a typical squall wind speed of 10 mps (20 knots), evaporation is about ten times higher than at “calm” conditions (conventionally taken as 1 mps).

b) The wind increases evaporation by creating spray and foam, and by blowing water off of trees and leaves. These greatly increase the evaporative surface area, because the total surface area of the millions of droplets is evaporating as well as the actual surface itself.

c) To a lesser extent, surface area is also increased by wind-created waves (a wavy surface has larger evaporative area than a flat surface).

d) Wind created waves in turn greatly increase turbulence in the boundary layer. This increases evaporation by mixing dry air down to the surface and moist air upwards.

e) Because the spray rapidly warms to air temperature, which in the tropics is often warmer than ocean temperature, evaporation also rises above the sea surface evaporation rate.

• Wind driven albedo increase. The white spray, foam, spindrift, changing angles of incidence, and white breaking wave tops greatly increase the albedo of the sea surface. This reduces the energy absorbed by the ocean.

• Cold rain and cold wind. As the moist air rises inside the thunderstorm’s heat pipe, water condenses and falls. Since the water is originating from condensing or freezing temperatures aloft, it cools the lower atmosphere it falls through. It also cools the surface when it hits. In addition, the falling rain entrains a cold wind. This cold wind blows radially outwards from the center of the falling rain, cooling the surrounding area.

• Increased reflective area. White fluffy cumulus clouds are not tall, so basically they only reflect from the tops. On the other hand, the vertical pipe of the thunderstorm reflects sunlight along its entire length. This means that thunderstorms shade an area of the ocean out of proportion to their footprint, particularly in the late afternoon.

• Modification of upper tropospheric ice crystal cloud amounts (Lindzen 2001, Spencer 2007). These clouds form from the tiny ice particles that come out of the smokestack of the thunderstorm heat engines. It appears that the regulation of these clouds has a large effect, as they are thought to warm (through IR absorption) more than they cool (through reflection).

• Enhanced nighttime radiation. Unlike long-lived stratus clouds, cumulus and cumulonimbus generally die out and vanish as the night cools, leading to the typically clear skies at dawn. This allows greatly increased nighttime surface radiative cooling to space.

• Delivery of dry air to the surface. The air being sucked from the surface and lifted to altitude is counterbalanced by a descending flow of replacement air emitted from the top of the thunderstorm. This descending air has had the majority of the water vapor stripped out of it inside the thunderstorm, so it is relatively dry. The dryer the air, the more moisture it can pick up for the next trip to the sky. This increases the evaporative cooling of the surface.

Finally, since they are emergent phenomena that only arise where the surface is warmer than its surroundings, clouds and thunderstorms preferentially cool mainly the warmer areas in a way which is not well represented in bulk averages. In other words, the averages of the bulk measurements of say temperature and relative humidity in a gridcell containing thunderstorms gives little idea of the high-speed movements of massive amounts of energy which are taking place.

Anyhow, that’s take two on the CRE … I’m still ruminating on what I can learn from the CERES data, it’s far from mined out.

Best to all,

w.

 

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80 thoughts on “The Cloud Radiative Effect, Take Two

  1. Willis,
    Your list of mechanisms that cool the surface (such as Cold rain and Cold wind) add energy to the atmosphere. Condensation in clouds adds a LOT of energy to the air. Of course, you maintain that this energy is more easily transmitted to space, which I believe is true. Just a semantic use of the term “surface”. I guess the question would be how much more efficient is the radiation of energy from the upper atmosphere as a result of this added ‘heat’ as compared to the decrease in radiation from the surface due to its loss of ‘heat’. Oh, and sorry for the use of the term ‘heat’ as a synonym for temperature increase or energy.

  2. Willis says: “On reflection, it seems to me that we need to compare that to how much we’d expect the cloud radiation to increase if the surface temperature goes up by 1°C.”

    Hi Willis. Haven’t you answered your own question in the preceding sentence?

    “Finally, I note that the global average change in net cloud radiation for each degree of surface warming is positive, at 0.7 W/m2 per degree. “

    So comparing the 0.7W/m^2 to the 0.7W/m^2 seems to be a bit of a “Tada” moment.

  3. This is getting to be funny. Every now and then (but amazingly frequently…), Willis sits down for a few hours and actually does effective science on a CAGW (or what ever we’re calling it this week) topics of interest.

    Geez – if I was one of the hoard of IPCC enthusiastic fools, this would be downright embarrassing. I sure wouldn’t want my mom to know I was so ineffective that some guy named Willis sits in his den and does more and better work than my entire IPCC crowd of hundreds of scientists, economists, psychologists, train engineers, tree surgeons, etc does in 4-5 years.

    Keep up the good & interesting work, Willis.

  4. Willis, I believe you might have missed one important radiative effect that I believe dominates the short term balancing act that water in its many forms contributes as the planets heat governor. You came close when you mentioned the effect of “Physically transporting heat from the surface directly to the upper troposphere . . . ” in latent heat and sensible heat, where it can be radiated out to space . . . but the pertinent question is how? How does water carry and then very rapidly radiate a disproportionate amount of energy back to space as compared to other gases?

    I believe you are right on the money concerning latent heat. Water does have an enormous heat capacity, but when you take into account the massive energy consumed during phase transitions, the enthalpy of vaporization, ” 40.65 kJ/mol, is more than five times the energy required to heat the same quantity of water from 0 °C to 100 °C (cp = 75.3 J K−1 mol−1) (WIKI). Likewise, the enthalpy of fusion of water and enthalpy of sublimation are far greater for water than for any other naturally circulating gas or liquid, (except perhaps ammonia). For water these numbers tell the whole story:
    Melting: -79.7 cal/g, -330,000 J/kg
    Evaporation: -597.3 cal/g, -2,500,000 J/kg
    Sublimation: -677.0 cal/g, -2,830,000 J/kg
    Freezing: +79.7 cal/g, +330,000 J/kg
    Condensation: +597.3 cal/g, +2,500,000 J/kg
    Deposition: +677.0 cal/g, +2,830,000 J/kg

    Those enormous amounts of energy are absorbed by water at the sea surface, then water physically transports the energy up to the first cloud layer where condensation occurs.

    So what did you miss? Well, in addition to cooling the gases around it, I believe the very process of condensing gives off IR radiation. Likewise when sufficient energy is still contained in the liquid water droplets that are billowing higher and higher into the cloud tower – when these water droplets hit the second layer of the atmospheric ocean and freezing occurs, then a second massive round of energy release occurs. So I believe thunderheads must glow even brighter at their pinnacle because of all the IR radiation that is given off by these phase transitions.

    I first suspect that IR energy is directly given off by the phase transitions when I saw IR images of Sandy from space at night. The fact that there was “detail” in the images suggested to me that some clouds were actively irradiating (condensing and freezing) while others not so much. The second clue came when I watched the lecture by Gerald Pollack explaining his theory of liquid crystal water. During that explanation he mentions that water droplets take in IR energy to form the thin liquid crystal layer on their surface. So my thought was, if the process works one way, why not the other. Once the water is transported to a layer where the structure that it finds itself in can no longer support its current physical state, it must give off the energy to change state the same way it got it.

    I believe the bottom layer of clouds (condensation) and the layer that forms the “anvil” in thunder clouds (freezing) are powerful IR radiation sources and glow quite brightly. In addition all of the electrical energy that the liquid crystal layer creates is rapidly released in ENORMOUS amounts in the form of lightning. . . visible light . . . brighter than the brightest sunlight.

    What do you think?

  5. Your mention that clouds are emergent phenomena leads to one more way clouds lose heat from the climate system. Systems with nonlinear emergent pattern export entropy. With cloud this means heat loss to space. The system’s own entropy decreases on account of the emergent structure. This is one aspect of Ilya Prigogine’s nonlinear thermodynamics.

  6. Don’t trees have the same effect on land surface temperatures as clouds have on the oceans. When land was covered by enormous woods most of the solar radiation did not reach the surface because it was absorbed by the leaves what makes day temperatures colder and keeps night temperatures warmer.Clouds also form more easily over forest what makes the effect even bigger. Cutting down these big extensions of forest ( ship building) must have had a some influence on temperature. Great Britain had nearly no forest left because of this.

  7. What is measured by the CERES dataset?
    What does it not measured?

    You have shown us (I think) the gridded slope of the best fit through 120 months of CERES, land, and SST data. How good it the fit for each grid cell?

    Could we see a sample of cross plots at a selection of grid cells on a North-South traverse, say along longitude 180 or 150W or 150E. every 10, 12, or 15 deg latitude?

  8. I also forgot to mention the additional theory that perhaps once cloud dropets form they become IR ‘sinks’. That is that they absorb a disproportionate amount of IR energy to form the “liquid crystal” layer that also creates their surface charge. This surface charge is what keeps clouds “organized” and billowing. So not only do clouds have a higher visible light albedo because they are natural white light prisms, but they are also IR “scavengers” and prevent IR from penetrating to the surface. What sort of make sense is that a disproportionate amount of the radiation that they give off during condensation is either radiated disporportionately out to space (because of the high concentration of water vapor ascending vertically below the condensation event) or is absorbed to form the liquid crystal layer by the droplets immediately adjacent to them. Only the droplets on the top surface of the billowing cloud actually have their IR irradiance propagate unrestricted to space. Any IR irradiation given off in any direction other than UP is “scavenged” by water’s HUGE energy capacity in the IR portion of the spectrum.

  9. DONV,
    I have a pet theory that the dust paricles in the water droplets are actually the IR radiators, which is why they promote condensation. I believe the dust particles function very much like the doping elements in plastic scintillators.

  10. When the USAF flew planes above and below the cloud deck taking simultaneous measurements,they found that clouds were absorbing different amount of energy than theory said they should. And I’m not talking about a few tenths of a W/m^2 here or there. More like a couple of dozen W/m^2

    Anyone interested in this subject really needs to read this paper.

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/cess.pdf

  11. I find the discussion of this, and Willis’s first take: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/03/the-cloud-radiative-effect-cre/#more-95082 fascinating and informative, and I cannot help but compare this against the story that Popular Science has closed its comments because “debating science is dangerous”: http://joannenova.com.au/2013/10/popular-science-stop-comments-because-debating-science-is-dangerous-readers-are-dumb/#more-30899

    Here this delightful discussion is speeding development and ideas along, and we’re all learning something, including Willis, who is giving us a prime example of what science is all about… while over there in consensus-land… well, there’s just nothing. No thought, no open-mindedness, no science in any form.

    I mean, heck, if you want SCIENCE, it’s clear where you have to be.

    A huge thank you, Willis, for demonstrating so clearly how a true scientist thinks and behaves and advances, and also why debate and discussion is so very important, and fun, and educational, and exciting, etc. I’m loving this. :)

  12. Thank you tallbloke for the link.
    1. I wonder if anyone has taken an IR spectrum of the top of large cumulonimbus in the tropics. This should give some credence or falsify my pet theory that dust particles are acting as radiators..
    2. In my pet theory I would expect dust in water droplets, heated by condensation of water vapor and conduction, to act like black body radiators, allowing some wavelenghs to bypass the many adsorption bands of water, especially in the longer wavelengths.

  13. Otsar: You’re welcome. Some more discussion of Mie scattering and cloud optical oddities here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/alistairmcd-aerosols-cause-warming/

    “Mie solved Maxwell’s equations for a plane wave so the assumption of constant ‘Mie asymmetry factor’ is correct only when light first enters a cloud. Also, substantial direct backscattering at the upper cloud boundary is ignored yet it has an opposite dependence on droplet size than diffuse scattering. Therefore, above a threshold ‘optical depth’, pollution causes a reduction of albedo, another form of AGW. So, at the very least, the IPCC’s predictions of CO2-AGW should be reduced by a factor of about three, possibly much more if ‘cloud albedo effect’ heating explains most recent warming.”

    Along with Roy Spencer’s new post we can be sure clouds will e keeping us guessing for some time to come.

  14. If you wish someone to look over your theories, stats viewpoint, I’m happy to collaborate.

    David

  15. Willis
    Compliments on your explorations.
    To separate out cause and effect, may I suggest exploring the time lag between solar insolation and surface temperature. This should vary annually with latitude from south to north. See
    Key Evidence for the Accumulative Model of High Solar Influence on Global Temperature David R.B. Stockwell
    Stockwell finds Pi/2 (90 deg) or 2.75 year lag between the 11 year solar cycle and surface temperatures. I expect similar lags from annual variations varying with latitude with opposite phase between northern and southern hemispheres. That will also give you N-S graduations in the lag magnitude. Are there corresponding variations in your cloud radiation effects with phase lags during the year?

  16. Willis,
    I believe there may be some benefit in expanding your examination of “emergent phenomena”. It is not just clouds that can be viewed in this way but also the breakaway of surface airmasses as their Raleigh number is exceeded each dawn and intermittently during the day.

    The Raleigh Bernard circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar tropospheric convection cells could be compared to film running through an old 35mm projector. It runs smoothly past the sound pick up (near the tropopause) but stutters past the projection gate frame by frame (air masses breaking away from the surface during the diurnal cycle).

    This circulation, including the transport of water vapour, is the primary mechanism for transporting energy high above the level of maximum IR opacity, where it is then radiated to space.

    Increasing the concentration of radiative gases in the atmosphere will decrease the Raleigh number for airmass breakaway and increase the general speed of tropospheric convective circulation.

    Increasing the concentration of radiative gases in the atmosphere will increase radiative cooling at altitude, and decrease the time to airmass subsidence.

    Increasing the speed of tropospheric convective circulation will increase the speed of mechanical energy transport from the surface.

    PS. – You mentioned the high altitude ice clouds causing warming claim. It is worth re-examining those papers. The proposed warming mechanism was ice crystals reflecting IR back to the troposphere, reducing radiative cooling of airmasses at altitude, increasing the time to subsidence, slowing the speed of tropospheric convective circulation and decreasing the speed of mechanical energy transport from the surface. I think you may be able to see why those papers had to be quietly forgotten ;-)

  17. I admire your efforts, but the following isn’t found in any meteorology text book.

    “The air being sucked from the surface and lifted to altitude is counterbalanced by a descending flow of replacement air emitted from the top of the thunderstorm. This descending air has had the majority of the water vapor stripped out of it inside the thunderstorm, so it is relatively dry.”

  18. The real problem with all this completely logical conjecture is that it will never penetrate the unreasoning dogma of the climate CAGW religion . . . primarily because this theory begins with the assumption that the system is constantly striving to “balance” the energy imbalance. And that therefore, when you integrate underneath the instantaneous energy transfer curve on a second by second basis you don’t come up with a “temperature average”. Even CERES data set is an “average”. The energy released in any given thunderstorm, heck even during one lightning strike is never factored into the “average”. The bottom line is “average air surface temperature” is a terrible indicator of the earths net energy balance act, even when measured, then averaged, and homgenized and averaged again. A better measure would be to integrate the area under the curve on minute by minute basis of the relative humidity at each of the three layers of the atmospheric ocean for any given reporting period.

    Look again at the picture at the top of WUWT! See the clouds? See the very very bright reflection off the clouds? See the huge thunder head? See the shadow it casts? What would this picture look like in the IR? Can you get any meaningful measure off of such a picture when you consider that it is actually a motion picture and that the reason for that thundercloud is that the atmospheric ocean in that particular location is very much “unbalanced” and is in the process of rebalancing.

    I believe that unfortunately all Willis has done here is create a map, through careful billiant mathematical analysis that show the average distribution of thunder storms across the globe.

  19. Good post. Thank you.

    I liked your list of mechanisms whose quantitative effects are poorly characterized. Skeptics are accused on not knowing “the science” (or “the physics”) but you are adept at highlighting physical processes known to exist that are poorly known.

  20. Otsar: Intersting theory. I agree that in order for condensation to occur in a “supersaturated system” some sort of seed is necessary to trigger droplet formation, but I think that dust is not as large a player as energetic particles bombarding the planet from outer space are. Look at Willis’s map. The Sahara generates more atmospheric “dust” than any other large land mass IMHO. Yet just to it’s west you see a large “blue” area? What’s going on there? Yet lower dust generated clouds represented by the thunderstorms coming off of the west of South America have much higher IR. Why the disparity?

  21. You analysis relates indirectly to another point that has been troubling me and that’s the use of anomalies. The affect of a temperature change from -41 to -39 is extremely different from say -1 to 1 deg. Same hold true for everything else. Raise the temps, raise the evaporation. Raise the winds, raise the evaporation. Dry downdrafts, and so on. As you pointed out the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zones have a different effect than say the Arctic. Not too many thunderstorms there.

    They tried to compare the amount of energy they claim is absorbed by the ocean to what the temperature effect would be if released to the atmosphere. How about the reverse? How much would the ocean temps rise if it absorbed the present atmospheric temp increase”? Negligible I bet.

    Low tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic? Dust from Africa causing it? Wonder if that is accounted for in the models? Jet Stream, upper air jets. TS Karen is getting blown apart. So many interacting pieces that aren’t being accounted for.

  22. Willis has gone where no “climate scientist” has been before.

    Admitted he goofed… and tried to fix it !

    Well done Willis. :-)

    Other climate scientists should learn this from you, at the very least.

  23. Bill 2 says:

    “I admire your efforts, but the following isn’t found in any meteorology text book…”

    I wouldn’t know, since I have not read every meteorology text book like you have. But the explanation makes perfect sense to me.

    A thunderstorm produces rain. That is the majority of the water vapor that is stripped out.

    If there is a problem with the description given, please identify the problem. Don’t just appeal to a vague authority that cannot be easily checked by readers.

  24. The sun’s local noon zenith angle at any location of the earth can change as much as 47 degrees over parts of the year. Suppose we break the dataset up into months of similar noon zenith angle and calculate the CRE vs Temp effect

    If the CERES dataset is binned into months, then, based upon the Analemma
    November, December, January, belong to the Southern set,
    May, June, July, belong to the Northern set,
    August, September, October belong to the Autumnal set
    February, March, April belong to the Vernal set.

    With these four sets, you should get 30 points (3 months/yr X 10 years) for each grid cell to calculate the Figure 1 map based upon solar inclination. It would be interesting if the R^2 got better or worse than using the whole year for the least squares fit. You are getting more consistent solar illumination on each grid cell, but you are also getting less of a temperature range to calculate the slope.

    Autumnal Set and Vernal Set ought to be similar for the tropics and maybe even the temporate zones. But not necessarily. A contra indicator is that we get hurricanes in the Autumnal set but not the Vernal set.

  25. DonV says:
    October 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    Don I discuss some of the energy transfer here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/03/the-cloud-radiative-effect-cre/#comment-1435512

    Heavy rain at 1″ per hour is 15,924 W/m^2 of surface area. Kind of a lot…

    I was thinking about how much more surface area the cloud top must have to radiate away enough energy to balance the 15,924 W/m^2 of heat released during heavy (1″ per hour) rain. I only assumed condensation to a liquid, used a typical water droplet diameter of 0.02mm, and cumulonimbus water content of 2g/m^3. Given that, the cloud top “surface” should radiate at around 31 W/m^2. This indicates the surface area needs to be about 515x the size of the 1 m^2 that is raining at 1″ per hour to dissipate that much heat. So if it is raining that fast on 1m^2, the cloud radius at the top would have to be 12.8m so support that much energy dissipation (assuming no GHG above that). Actually, if the storm was this big, freezing would be occurring, and at 50,000 feet the temperature would be more like -57°C, and radiation would only be around 12W/m^2 of cloud “surface” and the storm diameter ratio would go to 20x. At that level, there is only about 10% of GHG’s above the storm, I didn’t account for this either.

    droplet dia 0.02 mm
    droplet radius 0.01 mm
    droplet area 0.001256637 mm^2
    droplet area 1.25664E-09 m^2
    droplet volume 4.18879E-06 mm^3
    droplet volume 4.18879E-15 m^3
    droplet volume 4.18879E-09 cm^3
    Cumulonimbus g/m^3 2
    n droplets/m^3 477464829.3 per m^3
    surface area all droplets 0.6 m^2
    W/m^2 at 0°C H2O IR emission 309.3445884
    Watts/m^3 185.6067531
    surfaces on m^3 6
    watts per surface 30.93445884
    w/m^2 raining 1″/hr 15924
    surface area of cloud top 514.765753 m^2 per m^2 rain
    cloud top radius 12.80058703 m per m rain

    Just a first shot at estimating radiation from cloud tops. It depends very much on a lot of factors – I just used some averages and assumed 0°C.

  26. After reading the first post on this subject (The Cloud Radiative Effect (CRE)) and now the follow-up, I must comment on some things I read. First, one thing from the original, first post.

    “…they [clouds] warm the surface by increasing the downwelling longwave radiation.”

    For the most part, except for fog, clouds in the sky are colder than the surface. The cloud base is usually several thousand feet above the surface at the LCL (Lifted Condensation Level) – the level at which the temperature has cooled due to lift to reach saturation. A colder surface cannot warm a warmer surface. Now, cloud cover will prevent cooling (and it takes very little [thin] cloud cover to stop the surface IR from radiating out to space) but it cannot ‘add’ warmth to the surface below it when it is colder than that surface.

    Now, on to The Cloud Radiative Effect, Take Two. In it, Willis states:
    “[clouds] Physically transporting heat from the surface directly to the upper troposphere where it radiates easily to space.”

    This seems to state that (for example) an 85 deg. parcel of air at the surface, when lifted to the upper troposphere (let’s just presume a cumulonimbus & say the tropopause), will radiate out to space as still an 85 deg. parcel of air which, of course, is entirely untrue. Remember a few *very* important things;

    1) As parcels are lifted by whatever reason, they cool (loose IR energy) due to expansion. At first, they cool at the dry adiabatic rate until they reach the LCL (see above), then they cool at the slower moist adiabatic rate…but they are still cooling as long as they are warmer than their surroundings which, in the tropics, is usually only a few degrees.
    2) The tropopause is very, very, very cold (especially in the tropics).
    3) The tropopause is where those surface parcels reach equilibrium with their environment (the same temperature) so they stop lifting & spread out horizontally.

    Once the cloud parcels are at equilibrium with their environment, there is no ‘excess’ energy to radiate out to space. That is why on the NOAA OLR (Outgoing Longwave Radiation) web pages from satellite observations, the largest amount of OLR is in clear sky (ground is warmest) & the least is where there are thunderstorms (tops are coldest).
    Clouds, in whatever shape or form, emit IR at whatever temperature the level of the cloud is at. This is especially evident with cumulus clouds. If you were to observe the vertical tower with an IR imager, you would see a thermal gradient up the side of the cloud with warmest at the base & coldest at the top and the top growing colder as it grows higher.

    Now, another statement from Willis:
    “Since the heat is transported either as latent heat, or as sensible heat inside the thunderstorm tower, it doesn’t interact with the large amount of water vapor…”

    What?!?!? Latent heat doesn’t interact with water vapor??? Latent heat is *because* of water vapors transition to either a liquid or solid. How can it not…interact…with water vapor?? Heat is transported vertically as sensible heat with latent heat added on as condensation occurs.

    “Delivery of dry air to the surface.”

    All of this is basically true but what was left out was that the descending air is warming at the dry adiabatic rate as it falls which counteracts the cooling issue.

    Now, some statements made by DonV:
    “Well, in addition to cooling the gases around it, I believe the very process of condensing gives off IR radiation…”

    Right – that is the latent heating from condensation.

    “Likewise when sufficient energy is still contained in the liquid water droplets that are billowing higher and higher into the cloud tower – when these water droplets hit the second layer of the atmospheric ocean and freezing occurs, then a second massive round of energy release occurs…”

    No, the process of condensation from lift, as well as the associated release of latent heat, is a continuous process regardless if the process is going from gas to liquid, liquid to solid or gas to solid. It’s all as seamless, continuous process in a towering cumulus cloud.

    ‘So I believe thunderheads must glow even brighter at their pinnacle because of all the IR radiation that is given off by these phase transitions.”

    No, as the parcels are lifted higher into the atmosphere, they cool & get ‘dimmer’ (less IR energy) not warmer & ‘brighter’ (more IR energy).

    “I first suspect that IR energy is directly given off by the phase transitions when I saw IR images of Sandy from space at night. The fact that there was “detail” in the images suggested to me that some clouds were actively irradiating (condensing and freezing) while others not so much.”

    Well, yes, the lower (warmer) clouds *do* radiate more IR than the higher (colder) cloud tops and, yes, there will be ‘detail’ in the imagery. Active convective clouds do not have flat tops. Even the so-called ‘flat-tops’ of thunderstorms can have convective detail from strong, persistent updrafts & overshooting tops which, due to inertia, overshoot the tropopause but then fall back down to the equilibrium level with the rest of the cloud mass…which is very, very, very cold with very, very, very little IR energy to radiate out to space compared to all that is below it.

    I believe you are getting confused by the color enhancement that is sometimes used in the IR satellite imagery. Remember, digital satellite imagery are just numbers from 0-1024 (0 = coldest, 1024 = warmest). They can make any number be any color and usually, if they want to ‘enhance’ a certain feature (thunderstorms, for example), they make the warmest (lowest) clouds a grey scale (dark to light) then, at some level, shift to different colors, usually transition from blue to green to yellow to red with red being coldest because that associates the colder cloud tops with the stronger storms *HOWEVER* do not try to associate any specific color with an actual temperature unless you have the look-up table to go by. You can get fooled to thinking the ‘reds’ are warmest when in fact they are the coldest.

    Cheers,
    Jeff
    NOAA/NESDIS

  27. Hi Willis,

    temperature change may affect cloud cover, but cloud cover change also effects temerature.

    How do you separate cause and effect ?

  28. Not being a scientist, most of this discussion is beyond my ability to comprehend. But one thing is very clear, this is REAL peer reviewed science, not the crap that they pass off at the IPCC. Open and honest give and take without too much ego getting in the way.

  29. JKrob says:” All of this is basically true but what was left out was that the descending air is warming at the dry adiabatic rate as it falls which counteracts the cooling issue.”

    It’s always colder after a mid-afternoon summer/tropical thunderstorm. A lot of heat goes up in the form of warm moist air and the only thing that comes back down is drier cooler air plus cold rain so what is the counteraction?

  30. JKrob,
    Has anyone actually scanned a cumulonibus from top to bottom, from the side, with a wideband IR spectrometer? Mapped a cumulonimbus from the top and from the bottom for the wavelengths present?
    I would appreciate the link.

  31. Bill 2 says:
    October 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    As dbstealey says at 7:59 pm, “If there is a problem with the description given, please identify the problem. Don’t just appeal to a vague authority that cannot be easily checked by readers.
    Because at least 2 of us don’t see in your comment at 6:55 what you seem to think is clear.

    From the following link:

    http://www.exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=112&detID=2633

    “As the clouds rise into the colder atmosphere, the water droplets come together and get bigger and heavier. Finally they will begin to fall. As they fall, they pull air with them. This is called a downdraft. ”

    and . . .
    “The thunderstorm downdraft can bring a gust of cool air to the Earth’s surface. This is called a gust front.”

    Drawing here:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/tstorms/wind.htm

  32. “Cutting down these big extensions of forest ( ship building) must have had a some influence on temperature. Great Britain had nearly no forest left because of this.”
    A lot was burned down much earlier, from the Bronze Age, to be used as grassland for sheep, goats, cows and farm land. Not long ago in Norway 90% lived in the districts living of this land. Today 90% is living in the towns and we have today have 100% more wood mass than we had aprox 100 years ago.

  33. Willis,
    Have you ever thought about the hygroscopic effects of exposed salt on the ground, and cloud formation of (e.g., lack of). The areas of exposed salt are: Lake Uyuni, Bolivia; Great Salt Lake, Death Valley (+other areas in Nevada and Utah); Lakes Eyre, Frome, and Torrens, in Australia; The Dry Valleys of Antarctica (are probably dry because any snow falling there dries out (melts) because of ground salt); The Kavir of Iran; northern Algeria; parts of Marokko; East African Rift lakes (Magadi,etc), Quattara Depression, Egypt; Baluchistan in Pakistan, etc, etc.

    You see, these dry and very salt locations are also those areas of the terrestrial earth that are lowest in elevation (probably due to mineral corrosion – i.e., dust formation by the aggressive salt). I guess some of the fine salt particles find their way into the above atmosphere and prevents droplet formation – very little rain…?
    All the best MH

  34. Good health to you Willis. My hope this night is for people all over the world to know how science is practiced. It’s mastered in the way that you have demonstrated with this post. Once we learn to say “I may have made an error on my previous calculation” and then invite our colleague’s to comment as you have done here, knowledge progresses.

    Gods speed and may the wind remain at your back.

    Doug Sherman

  35. @AndyG55

    I think he made a model and had it peer reviewed and improved it based on the feedback received. I call it ‘science’.

    @Fred Souder says:

    “Condensation in clouds adds a LOT of energy to the air. Of course, you maintain that this energy is more easily transmitted to space, which I believe is true.”

    Well, it is all transmitted to space eventually. Every last Joule. So we are really investigating the retention of energy at some point in the vertical scale until it is effectively radiated into space. That is why they use of the concept of a ‘height’ at which the heat effectively leaves us forever. A change in GHG’s like water vapour changes the ‘effective height’ which is an average, and thus may miss the ‘punch through’ of a rising thunderhead that creates instead a very bright spot of IR far above the supposed average altitude. Does thunderstorm punch-through dominate heat loss, or GHG’s providing insulation?

    It is worth considering the comments on this subject made by Prof Adrian Bejan, the author of numerous heat transfer textbooks. His comment with regard to the efficiency of rising heat columns (which form naturally if there is spot heating below) is that the vertical transport of heat energy takes place at the maximum efficiency possible, never going faster upwards at a speed that induces turbulent flow. Thus the centre rises faster than the space immediately around it which in turn is faster than the space around that, etc, until the toroidal flow is a cell large enough (governed by the viscosity of the air) to break into concentric cells with opposing flows. That happens in a hurricane which is why as it passes over, it rains like hell for a while then stops, only to be repeated in waves hour after hour. Each rainfall is a cell connected to the others on its outer surface.

    Bejan’s point is that discrete cells form naturally and operate at their most efficient possible heat transport rate. If the surface warms slightly, the column is slightly larger in diameter and it dumps the heat upward more efficiently because everything within the system is moving vertically as efficiently as possible. Where this not the case, large thunderstorms would not cool more efficiently than small ones.

    The model of this is two horizontal plates, the lower one being heated from below, and a convective medium moving heat from the lower to the top, colder plate. When the plates are near each other, as is the case when looking at the atmosphere in cross section, cells develop automatically with connected toroidal flows, and they dump heat as efficiently as possible to the cold plate. Heating the bottom plate slightly more does not result is a much warmer region immediately above the bottom plate. It just increases the heat flux rate to the plate above. If the temperature is varied a lot, the cell structure adjusts into square, hexagonal and other patterns. It is amazing and he explains the math involved. The fact that the top plate is cooled by IR radiation into space is irrelevant. It is just how things work on the case of a planet.

    Bejan said that the problem was so simple to solve it was not even interesting.

    Anything that adds heat to the bottom increases the efficiency of heat transport. Because clouds are a complication, they strongly affect several aspects how the heat gets to the surface or not. Myself, I am holding out that Svensmark is correct about clouds and Bejan is correct about self governing heat transport mechanisms. Together they show the Earth has a strong self-governing, damped temperature regulating mechanism that is happy to stabilize for long periods at any average temperatures from a balmy Arctic to a frozen Virginia. The real controls are outside the system.

  36. JKrob:

    Jeff, thank you, you just made my day right at the top of your comment. Sure appreciate all of the details and a better ways to word such subjects (my weakness).

  37. Willis – (1) You ask “On reflection, it seems to me that we need to compare that to how much we’d expect the cloud radiation to increase if the surface temperature goes up by 1°C.“. Maybe the figure given by Wentz may help:
    Wentz et al, Science 13 July 2007: Vol. 317 no. 5835 pp. 233-235 DOI: 10.1126/science.1140746

    https://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5835/233.abstract

    Climate models and satellite observations both indicate that the total amount of water in the atmosphere will increase at a rate of 7% per kelvin of surface warming. However, the climate models predict that global precipitation will increase at a much slower rate of 1 to 3% per kelvin. A recent analysis of satellite observations does not support this prediction of a muted response of precipitation to global warming. Rather, the observations suggest that precipitation and total atmospheric water have increased at about the same rate over the past two decades. “.

    There was confirmation of the 7% figure on ABC(Australian Broadcasting Corporation)’s Catalyst program on 4 July 2013: “By studying over 8,000 rain gauges across the world, Australian scientists have confirmed that extreme rainfall events have also been intensifying. That means we’re getting more water from a big storm than we would have 30 or 40 years ago. Around 7 percent more per degree rise in temperature.“.
    [I don't have a link, the text was emailed to me, but Susan Wijffels was on the program, so the figure is reliable. See https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2012/Apr/NR-12-04-02.html. There should be a paper by Durack and Wijffels somewhere.].

    (2) I still think you are very wrong in your basic assumptions (see my comments on your previous thread). You say “ I suspect that the blue around Antarctica is an artifact due to the presence of the sea ice edge.“. It was that blue around Antarctica that caught my attention then. I think it is a symptom of your error, and that you are probably finding a seasonal effect not a feedback.

  38. This week’s New Scientist magazine vol. 220, no. 2937, 5 October 2013, has a special report on climate outcomes in the wake of the IPCC report, plus an editorial and a couple of very short articles that are also on the climate. One of those short articles (on page 17) is about the large fall in CO2 emissions in what was the USSR after the collapse of communism. The article does not actually say that all we need now is a collapse of capitalism and the global warming problem will be solved!

    The other short article, Climate Science Tweaked, on page 6 is more relevant to Willis’s post on clouds – but comes to the opposite conclusion. The final paragraph states:

    Clouds are also a menace. In 2007, it was uncertain whether clouds cooled or warmed the planet overall. “We now believe that they are a positive feedback on temperature,” says Piers Forster of the University of Leeds, UK. “Their warming effect will intensify with global warming.”

    I wonder what Willis Eschenbach makes of the claim that clouds have a positive feedback effect on temperature?

  39. “…problem is that even if the clouds stay exactly the same, if the solar radiation increases, the net cloud radiative effect (CRE) increases due to increased reflection”

    What about if the oceans warm or cool over long periods (e.g. decades) due to their slow equilibrium response to forcing? Wouldn’t this also mean the net cloud radiative effect would change during this time over the oceans, due to increased/decreased heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere?.

  40. JKrob says:

    Jeff, thank you for the feedback. I learned a lot from your discussion and it was very informative and welcomed. Thanks for the education.

    However, I noted several things in your discussion that do not jibe with my own observations what I see when I watch a storm, and my own knowledge of what I know happens in cooling towers and water based evaporators.

    First things first:

    “A colder surface cannot warm a warmer surface.” This statement by itself is essentially true. But I believe you are missing something important. . . . while the laws of thermodynamics state that NET energy balance between a cold radiator and a warmer radiator will have the warmer radiator transferring net energy to the colder – 1) it does NOT mean that radiation does not OCCUR in the opposite direction. The cooling of one black body radiator at a lower level to a cooler state MUST create an IR signature that indicates its black body temperature. You are correct that as you ascend into a cloud this IR signature changes as the temperature changes. But at each incremental foot up, the droplets of water that are cooling and radiating this energy DO NOT care whether they are radiating towards a warmer body or the colder layer of water droplets above them or the very very cold of outer space. They simply radiate! What is REALLY important is whether these radiating water droplets are warmer than the AIR around them. They MUST BE IR brighter if they can be SEEN with an IR imager. So 2) the NET transport of energy between clear dry air, and water vapor, droplet, ice saturated air is orders of magnitude greater in favor of the later. So yes at 1000 feet ASL a thunder cloud is transferring energy out at that level because the water at that level is initially warmer, but gives up an enormous amount of energy as it phase transitions. 3) Any radiative energy that shines back down from just cooled water droplets to warmer water vapor saturated air coming up must be simply absorbed and added to the upwelling water vapor energy content. Any that radiates up throught the cloud does also, but instead into water droplets. And any that are close to the clear edge radiate to outer space or, if we had one, our tuneable IR camera. And finally 4) I believe the “continous process” you speak of is the loss of sensible heat, not latent heat. Latent heat loss occurs at one temperature/pressure transition. It is discontinuous and often quite sudden. Sensible heat loss, the cooling of water droplets or water vapor or ice crystals AFTER phase transition can be continuous and does most likely occur throughout the transport of water up through a cloud, but it is orders of magnitude lower than latent heat loss.

    Now you also state:
    “Clouds, in whatever shape or form, emit IR at whatever temperature the level of the cloud is at. This is especially evident with cumulus clouds. If you were to observe the vertical tower with an IR imager, you would see a thermal gradient up the side of the cloud with warmest at the base & coldest at the top and the top growing colder as it grows higher.” Again, parts of this statement are essentially true, but they are also combined with pure conjecture. More importantly the combined statement it ignores the important salient point I raised in my statement of theory. At each elevation the standard black body radiation curve must match the local temperature of whatever molecules are present. I posit that when water, 1) first as vapor, then 2) as water droplets, then 3) as ice crystals are present at any given elevation, the local black body temperature that creates the local IR signature will ALWAYS be greater than when compared to clear air. Hence water is serving as an energy transport medium. Second, it is not the IR signature spectrum that is important (the IR signature spectrum is what indicates the local black body temp), rather it is the INTENSITY of RADIATION at that signature that tells whether a significant energy loss is occurring. You mention “No, as the parcels are lifted higher into the atmosphere, they cool & get ‘dimmer’ (less IR energy) not warmer & ‘brighter’ (more IR energy).” By “dimmer” and “brighter” what I believe you mean is that the whole black body radiation curve shifts to longer and longer wavelength, where the outer tropopause has the coolest IR signature. But again, relative to what? If ice crystalizaion or sublimation is occuring then it MUST have a greater INTENSITY at that local IR signature when compared to normal cooling of the surrounding nitrogen or oxygen gases, (very little CO2 at this level, too heavy). The evidence for this would be a comparative IR picture, comparing the normal IR signature INTENSITY of the normal lapse rate of a low relative humidity clear air column side by side to the same IR signature INTENSITY of a storm cloud. My theory is that at the level at which condensation is occuring and then again at the elevation where most of the freezing is occuring you will see an very large difference in the IR radiation INTENSITY at that particular IR black body signature spectrum. You will also see a somewhat less intense IR radiation signal that is still significantly greater than clear air that is due to sensible heat loss, because water has a higher heat capacity than air.

    And finally you state:
    “No, the process of condensation from lift, as well as the associated release of latent heat, is a continuous process regardless if the process is going from gas to liquid, liquid to solid or gas to solid. It’s all as seamless, continuous process in a towering cumulus cloud.” This statement does not match what I SEE from the side of a towering thunder cloud. I SEE a discontinuous process. I SEE at least two distinct layers. I SEE a layer where water vapor has formed into water droplets. Therefore the evidence from my eyes tells me that at that layer condensation is rapidly occuring, Therefore, I presume that the local temp and pressure at that layer must have created the conditions for supersaturation, and therefore at that layer and NOT BELOW IT one might expect to see greater IR intensity at whatever local black body radiation temperature might be. Next, I only SEE cloud billowing up from below. What I don’t SEE is a uniform and sudden appearance of cloud all the way from the first layer up to the second! Therefore I SEE condensation only where water vapor has “punched” through the already saturated cloud, (where no further condensation is occurring) but where local conditions still favor the liquid phase of water not the gaseous phase or the solid phase. The P and T conditions that favor condensation occur all the way up to where I SEE what I believe to be the next “layer”, which is where now the conditions favor freezing and ice crystal formation – the anvil “head” of the thundercloud. When that occurs, again compared to what energy is contained in the black body radiator surround each droplet to ice transition, the NET IR radiation HAS to be from the phase transition event OUT to the local air and hence its IR radiative INTENSITY at that local black body radiation spectrum MUST be higher than when compared to clear dry air.

    At this point, I will repeat what “otsar” asked: “Has anyone actually scanned a cumulonibus from top to bottom, from the side, with a wideband IR spectrometer? Mapped a cumulonimbus from the top and from the bottom for the wavelengths present?”
    And I will add, How does that spectrum with intensity variation compare to clear dry air? If such a “picture” exists, I would like to see it. That kind of “picture” would show me the data and give me a clearer understanding of the processes.

    Finally, I am NOT “confused by the different color enhancements made”. The picture I saw had no such enhancements (at least that is what the description claimed). And what I noticed about the picture was the very blackness of the ocean around the storm. This to me indicated that the INTENSITY of the OLR signature for the “balancing act” is significantly greater for clouds and the water cycle than for non-water GHG processes.

    Again, respect to you Jeff, Tallbloke, otsar, etc. and Willis for this discussion. Educate me some more. I love this discussion.

  41. Bill 2 … excerpts from a number of “meteorology” articles below. But is it even necessary to have their confirmation?Simple common sense tells us air generally dries with altitude, and that cooler drier air is pulled into the storm and drawn thru the downdraft to the surface. Anyone who has experienced a thunderstorm has seen and felt the cooling and significant reduction in humidity as the storm collapses and passes :

    “Eventually the water droplets and ice crystals in the clouds become so large that they can no longer be supported by the uprising air mass, and they begin to fall forming rapid downdrafts on the leading edge of the cloud. In the mature stage of thunderstorm development updrafts and downdrafts operate side by side within the cloud. This is the most dangerous stage of a thunderstorm because of the high winds accompanying the downdrafts, the heavy rain, as well as thunder, lightning, and possible hail and tornado development. Eventually the cloud reaches the dissipating stage as the downdrafts drag in so much cool dry air that it prevents further updrafts of warm moist air. With lack of updrafts of warm moist air, the cloud begins to dissipate and eventually it stops raining. ”

    “The second stage is the mature stage of development. During the mature stage warm, moist updrafts continue to feed the thunderstorm while cold downdrafts begin to form. The downdrafts are a product of the entrainment of cool, dry air into the cloud by the falling rain. As rain falls through the air it drags the cool, dry air that surrounds the cloud into it. As dry air comes in contact with cloud and rain droplets they evaporate cooling the cloud. The falling rain drags this cool air to the surface as a cold downdraft”

    “Recall that as precipitation builds within a cumulonimbus cloud, it eventually generates a downdraft. Well, as the downdraft travels downward and exits the base of the cloud, the precipitation is released. A rush of rain-cooled dry air accompanies it. When this air reaches the Earth’s surface, it spreads out ahead of the thunderstorm cloud–an event known as the gust front. The gust front is the reason why cool, breezy conditions are often felt at the onset of a downpour.”

  42. @DonV

    You commented to JKrob

    >First things first:
    >>“A colder surface cannot warm a warmer surface.” This statement by itself is essentially true.

    There is frequently confusion about the difference between a cold object heating a warmer object by conduction and energy exchange by radiation. It is frequently raised in debates about heat transfer and the root problem is how science is taught in high school (badly and incompletely and with poor retention).

    Radiation from all objects transfers heat to all other bodies all the time whether they are they same temperature or not. Conduction is another matter entirely. It may surprise people to know that their skin is cooled by the walls of their house by conduction through air, though the energy moved is tiny.

    Cold objects cannot warming a hot object by conduction, but they certainly radiate energy towards them in an unequal fashion, eventually gaining more from the hot object than they lose in return.

    What you said is correct – plus some sensible things far above.

  43. Rising packets of warm (and moist) air do not heat the atmosphere. What they do is equalize the air temperature. An atmosphere in equilibrium is isothermal at 5˚C. (lowering the surface temperature).

    The wet lapse rate is 5˚C/km and the dry lapse rate is 6.5˚C/km. Hence water vapor is a negative feedback.

    It really is that trivial.

  44. When a cold object radiates towards a warmer object, the warmer object does not get warmer still. This point seems to be misunderstood by all but about two or three commenters here. When “Heat Transfer” occurs, the object to which the heat is transferred gets WARMER! It is a rule, deal with it. Heat goes from warm to cool, not the other way, even though radiation occurs from all matter above absolute zero.

    Willis, please read all about enthalpy. I would happily lend you my Thermo text from good old U of M, just ask. Also read about Availability, a key concept not at all intuitive.

    And by the way, heat of vaporization/condensation appears with no change in WATER temperature, but a large transfer of heat between water and air.

  45. DonV,
    I tried this gedanken experiment to have a look at an aspect of my pet theory.
    1. Take a Plank type hohlraum. (a cavity within a black body radiator as described by Max Plank, and a with Plank radiation distribution)
    2. Take a water droplet with a particle of carbon within it and place it in the hohlraum.
    3. Cool the hohlraum.
    a. I would expect the carbon particle to be a better black body radiator than water, I would expect it to radiate and absorb electromagnetic radiation, in this case it would mostly radiate until it is in radiation equilibrium with the walls.
    b. The water, I would expect would transfer its energy to the carbon particle by convection and conduction and not be as efficient a radiator as the carbon particle.
    c. Some of the wavelengths are re-adsorbed by the water within its adsobtion bands; the energy again being transferred to the carbon particle and being re-radiated in a portion of the spectrum where there are no water adsorption bands until equilibrium with the walls is reached.
    4. Heat the hohlraum above the water boiling point.
    a. I would expect the particle to adsorb electromagnetic radiation that got past the adsorption bands of water.
    b. If the walls are sufficiently hot, the water will evaporate away from the carbon particle. The carbon particle will maintain somewhat constant temperature until the water is gone, in the mean while adsorbing more efficiently because of the larger temperature difference with the walls, then, when all of the water is gone, the carbon particle will equilibrate more rapidly with the walls.
    5. Cool the hohlraum below the water dew point.
    a. Some water molecules will stick to the carbon and remain there, (they had been sticking and leaving.) The energy will be radiated to the walls more efficiently than water does by itself.
    b. This process will continue until a water droplet with a carbon particle in it is re-formed and is in equilibrium with the walls.

    Why does this matter in the overall scheme of things? (My pet theory of why dust particles are important to transient phenomena)

    1. I suspect it matters in emergent or transient phenomena where phase changes are involved, because it alters the rate of equilibrium and allows some of the energy to be radiated to space, or adsorbed before it hits the surface.
    2. I suspect that within a rapidly rising cumulonimbus the dust particles will radiate past the adsorption bands of water, enabling the cloud to lose energy more rapidly, somewhat counteracting the heating of the surrounding air, and thereby altering the lapse rates.
    3. This is why I was curious if anyone had looked at a cumulonimbus with a wide band IR spectrometer.
    Sorry about my English.
    Everyone reading this please find problems with the idea.

  46. Even though tropical thunderstorms transport heat upward from the surface, it appears to me that the tropical tropopause level does not get rid of that heat by net radiation. This air is colder there than troposphere and stratosphere air elsewhere, and appears to me as gaining heat as a result of radiation. So where is the heat lifted from the surface going if this air is gaining heat once it hits the tropopause? It appears to me that a little bit is radiated away on the way up, and the remainder is radiated away as this air descends elsewhere in the world.

  47. So… trying to understand it simply, since I’m a simple guy …
    As temperature increases, increased evaporation causes increased clouds, causing increased reflection causing a tendency to decrease the temperature. As the temperature decreases, the cloud cover decreases, decreasing the reflection causing a tendency to increase the temperature. Overall, it keeps the temperature of the Earth in a fairly comfortable, extremely livable temperature range! Sounds an awful lot like what the thermostat in my house does.

    I think I learned about this cycle in the 4th grade about 60 years ago. It’s nice to know things haven’t changed that much …

  48. otsar:
    “I tried this gedanken experiment to have a look at an aspect of my pet theory.”
    I’ll be brief, not trying to necessarily throw cold water on you pet theory but by just reading through point 3 it seems you have never heard of phonons, near field, far field, form factors, what happens with mid IR at the water/air interface. My suggestion, read a little about the physics you are trying to speak of, you have radiation radiating from a solid particle within a liquid and you might read to make sure your pet theory is at least planted on solid ground. I won’t do that digging myself but on the surface it seems you may have some basic problems.

  49. The non-radiative negative feedbacks of clouds appear to me as considered (however inaccurately or otherwise) by IPCC-favored scientists as part of the lapse rate feedback, which is widely considered as being a significant negative one. Some of any inaccuracies may be in negativity of this feedback (or feedback set) increasing as greenhouse gases increase.

  50. Wayne,
    I kept it as simple as I could so as not to cause the reader to become catatonic and still put the bare essentials of an idea across. Actually I do know a little bit of what I am talking about. One of the things I do during a typical day is I fire electrons of different energies at solid surfaces and analyse the emitted Auger electrons(AES) and EM (EDS,WDS) radiation to determine atomic composition and distribution while sputtering away the atomic layers. One of the other things I do is irradiate surfaces with IR and look at the transmitted and adsobed wavelengs to determine molecular structure(FTIR.) The other thing I do is irradiate surfaces with Al Ka radiation and analyse the emitted electrons to determine elemental composition and bond energies(XPS). I do this to solve problems in thin films and surfaces. In the past I developed sensors for electron inertial confinement fusion experiments. I got the idea from how Thallium doped NaI scintillators operate.
    The particle within the droplet is far more complex than I have let on, and is well beyond my capabilities on all levels.
    On a macroscopic scale I still think it would be interesting and more tractable to look at the emission spectra from a cumulonimbus from all sidesg.

  51. The parallel post referred to above, as noted by Bishop Hill:

    http://euanmearns.com/ipcc-ar5-unprecedented-uncertainty/#more-138

    Together with fellow climate blogger Dr Clive Best, I have spent several months this year analysing the impact of cloud cover on variance of the surface temperature record and we have two papers under review on this topic [6,7]. The conclusion of both studies is that Earth’s climate can be simply modelled using combined cloud cover and CO2 variance (with no feedbacks) pointing to an equilibrium climate sensitivity close to 1.3?C.

  52. Let me clear up some confusion created by my not so clear explanation of my theory. I will do so by simply stating what I believe to be facts without explanation. I believe my proposed addition to Willis theory is cohesive with these facts:

    1) Water is the smallest naturally occurring stable gaseous, molecule that is abundant on the planet. Naturally occurring oxygen and nitrogen are diatomic and therefore both are almost twice as big as a water (H20 mw18,N2 mw28, O2 mw32) (Hydrogen and Hellium are smaller but not anywhere near as abundant.) CO2 at a whopping 44 mw is HUGE and is considered a trace gas even at the scary concentration of 400 ppm. (mw = molecular weight)

    2) When compared to all of the other gases CO2 is by far the most dense. CO2 in its pure undiluted state is so dense you can pour it into the other naturally occuring gases and those gases will float on top of it until dilution occurs and they become well mixed. (This is classically illustrated with the chem prof pouring a beaker of CO2 down a trough filled with burning candles and showing them allsequentially going out.)

    3) When compared to all the other gases, gaseous water is the least dense. But water is also:
    a) the “stickiest”,
    b) the most chemically active, and
    c) the only naturally occuring gaseous molecule that exists in our atmosphere in all three of it phases, NATURALLY. (Or perhaps that should be four phases? Liquid crystal?)

    4) Water when it condenses (or freezes) in our atmosphere will initially condense in its pure state. But very quickly it will “scavenge” other molecules out of the atmosphere. When it first forms, a tiny water droplet has a neutral pH of 7, but very quickly it will scavenge and ionize CO2 (and/or SO2) out of the surrounding gas molecules and quickly become a little acidic.

    5) The following is the order of DECREASING effectiveness of heat transfer between any two liquids or gases: a) conduction, b) convection and finally c) radiation.

    6) By FAR the vast majority of excess heat energy on the earth is TRANSPORTED laterally and vertically from areas of excess heat to areas that are cooler, by water in one of its three states. This is because neither of the other two abundant gases in the atmosphere N2 and O2 exist in either their liquid or solid states, like water does. Water efficiently absorbs excess heat by changing phase, then conveniently transports that heat upward, releasing it when it changes phase back again. This “packaging” of heat not only transports it vertically, but also quite conveniently for us, laterally.

    7) The vast majority of this bulk transport of heat energy occurs through conduction (molecules continuously bumping into each other) and natural convection (molecules being swept up in winds carrying them collectively vertically and laterally away from their original location). More importantly, the vast majority occurs through the evaporation, transfer and then condensation of water.

    8) Radiation as a heat transfer method is the least efficient. But it is also the ONLY method of heat transfer when conduction and convection are not possible, like into the vacuum of space.

    9) The energy “carriers” during radiative heat transfer are quantas of electromagnetic energy – photons. Photons have no mass – they are just quanta of energy. All molecules above 0 degrees K have internal energy stored as potential energy (electronic, vibrational, rotational) or kinetic energy (translational). Molecules general come to equilibrium with the other molecules surrounding them by transferring energy through collisions, and by absorbing the photons that are occasionally given off spontaneously or during molecular collisions.

    10) The “temperature” of a gas or liquid is generally measured with an instrument that experiences its own internal visible physical, or electronic excited state change as a result of physical contact (conduction) with that gas or liquid.

    11) Temperature is a way to measure enthalpy but is not the same as enthalpy.

    12) Temperature is a way to measure entropy but it is not the same as entropy.

    13) And finally temperature is a way to measure the natural free energy available called “Gibbs free energy” but it is not the same as Gibbs free energy. Energy is measured in Joules, temperature is measure in dimensionless units called “degrees”, and the world hasn’t yet agreed on the measuring scale concerning these “degrees” (K, R, C, F!)

    14) The change in energy given off or taken in between two temperature states of a gas (or liquid) system is by the relationship: E=m*Cp*DeltaT. E is “heat energy” or enthalpy, m is mass and Cp is heat capacity.

    15) The relationship between Temperature, Enthalpy and Entropy is given by the reltionship:
    Delta G = Delta H – T * Delta S where G is the Gibbs free energy in the system, H is the enthalpy and S is the entropy.

    16) All molecules above 0 degrees K (or R) have sufficient “energy” to be able to radiate sufficient quanta of their energy so that one can measure their “black body” temperature. But “black body” doesn’t apply to well to molecules like N2 and O2 and CO2 that have big transparent windows in their electromagnetic spectrum. If a tungsten filament is heated up it creates a black body spectrum that covers a very wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This makes it easy to determine the “Temperature” of the filament by measuring its “Color”. If one of these gases is heated up it creates a very spiky spectrum where only the quanta of energy that correspond to vibrational, rotational, and electronic excited states are given off. Conversely it is only at these distinct quanta in the spectrum that the vast majority of energy transfers from molecule to molecule occur – by radiation.

    17) All molecules radiate. But to transfer energy by any means including radiation, the Gibbs free energy equation must be obeyed, its a fact. This means that although radiation occurs from a cool body to a hot body, the radiation that is absorbed by the hot body from the cool body DOES NOT WARM IT UP – it does not change it’s temperature. It might slow down the natural cooling of the warm body if it were not there, but it can’t effectively increase the enthalpy of the already warm body. Conversely the warm body as it radiatively cools can and does warm a cooler body near it until they are in equilibrium, at which point they both cool together.

    Finally, we had a wicked thunderstorm here yesterday afternoon, that flooded a part of my basement. One inch of rain fell in a less than 10 minute deluge! While it was coming towards us, I made the observation again of the two distinct layers of the clouds and noted that all of the energy contained in this storm that was transported within the water from somewhere south of us in the Gulf of Mexico or perhaps as far away as the Pacific Ocean, was transported above that first distinct layer at the bottom of the clouds. Not only was it a gusher, but it was VERY electrically active as well. And it boggles my mind just how much energy that storm represented!

    otsar: I am thinking about your thought experiment. I’ll get back to you when I have had some time to noodle on it.

    Michael D Smith:
    “(very little CO2 at this level, too heavy) What makes you say that?”

    I admit, that is conjecture on my part. Until I see data to prove otherwise, I believe that storm clouds make excellent “scrubbers”. Within the vertical tower of a fully formed thunder head several factors are present that I believe very effectively reduce the local concentration of CO2. throughout the cloud but especially at the very top. 1) VERY LARGE volumes of water in the form of very small droplets condense devoid of CO2. 2) CO2 rapidly dissolves into these droplets because of the very high surface area and very turbulent mixing. 3) CO2’s density gives it a vertical distribution pattern that works against it over large vertical distances. 4) CO2 is already a trace gas and is not present in the atmosphere “in excess”, therefore it’s local concentration can easily be altered LOCALLY by such a large and energetic event such as a thunderstorm.

  53. Excuse me otsar, you wrote that in such very simple terms I mistaken it for someone maybe needing a pointer to to be sure. Thats why I suggested. Sound like you have the experience to handle the complexities in that area fine. Good luck and I’ll re-read it a bit deeper later.

  54. DonV, read your comments a second time, all of them, and I’m impressed, especially like your 1-17 summary, reads like the summary of a td statistical mechanic course right down the line. Kudos. One thing ignored even by Jeff at NOAA is the matter of the area about a thunderstorm and mass conversion. Once being a sailplane pilot long ago you get a real “feel” what large clouds actually do. They velocity of updrafts inside are very large and all of that mass also has to descend in like manner to respect the mass conservation but that descent is over a much larger area outside the cloud or storm, usually about three times the radius making the descending velocity one ninth the velocity of the updraft inside. And guess what, that is very generally what you feel in a plane looking at the variometer.

    I feel most of the radiation is not right at the small footprint of the storm but over some nine times that area with a like one ninth the temperature differential so the net radiation is the same and there I think even Jeff thinks of it a bit incorrect. Ponder on that. Most storms of large size you can feel 30 miles away though the storm itself is but ten. So really all of the ejection of radiation increase does not have to just be strictly from the clouds, the humidity is much drier and so less self-absorption, clean shot to space of that half.

  55. ” Now, cloud cover will prevent cooling (and it takes very little [thin] cloud cover to stop the surface IR from radiating out to space) but it cannot ‘add’ warmth to the surface below it when it is colder than that surface.”

    OMG here we go again with rewriting (misreading) the second law of thermodynamics.

    I’m not going bother repeating the endless explications of this fallacy but it’s not surprising we’re in the mess we are with climate science if NOAA insiders are going to come out in public with such basic misconceptions, proudly waving their credentials.

  56. “This means that although radiation occurs from a cool body to a hot body, the radiation that is absorbed by the hot body from the cool body DOES NOT WARM IT UP – it does not change it’s temperature. It might slow down the natural cooling of the warm body if it were not there, but it can’t effectively increase the enthalpy of the already warm body.”

    Why “might slow down”. Is it optional? If there is a finite exchange of radiation it will slow it down compared to its not being present.

    It is good to state this clearly like that and recognise that it is a slowing of cooling that happens.

    However, if a system is in thermodynamic equilibrium with steady state losses and gains of energy in balance, and then an additional back radiation from a cooler body is added, it will change the energy flows and the system will find a new equilibrium in which the hot body is at a higher temperature than it was previously due to the slower cooling (heat loss).

    In this sense the radiation from the colder body results in the hotter body becoming warmer.

    Does the talk of Gibbs free energy , entropy and enthalpy change any of this? I don’t think so.

  57. “…but it cannot ‘add’ warmth to the surface below it when it is colder than that surface.”
    It’s the sun that adds the warmth. The colder clouds slow down the rate at which is disperses.

  58. “Finally, I note that the global average change in net cloud radiation for each degree of surface warming is positive, at 0.7 W/m2 per degree. On reflection, it seems to me that we need to compare that to how much we’d expect the cloud radiation to increase if the surface temperature goes up by 1°C.

    And I don’t know the answer to that … still pondering on that one.”

    Trying to untangle cause and effect when it works in both directions is an infernal problem. Look at Roy Spencer’s post here on CERES:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/satellite-and-climate-model-evidence/

  59. Greg says, “Why “might slow down”. Is it optional? If there is a finite exchange of radiation it will slow it down compared to its not being present.”

    Your only criticism is my poor choice of one word? Dang! I have to be far more particular in my editing of my off- the-cuff comments! The reason I wasn’t absolutely certain, was that I am not that familiar with ALL of the IR signature spectra of all possible radiators and and radiation receivers. If the cool body radiates at wavelengths that are transparent to the warm body “receiver” then NO SLOW DOWN will occur.

  60. DonV, Greg:

    What seems lost in so much of the speaking of “a cooler object can warm a warmer object” is that when speaking of any radiation downward from a cooler body being the atmosphere depends hugely on the exact spectrum signature as I think donv was referring, in so many words. co2 frequency lines from the sky cannot “warm” the surface, that is increase in the temperature, drive entropy backwards, for the source is cooler than the target unless the clouds are literally warmer than the surface.

    But here we are speaking of clouds an their spectrum signature is nearly a full spectrum or black body spectrum but the height of the radiances of that cloud spectrum are still smaller than radiances in the spectrum of the source (where the clouds get their energy in the first place, from the surface at night) which is also nearly a full spectrum (following the Planck curve). So greg, if you do have warmer clouds in comparison the amount of loss will decrease but this is not “warming” which carries a literal rise in instantaneous temperature from t0 to t1. That does not happen. What happens is the difference between the two cases of t0-t1 will be smaller, the cooling was not as great and that is not “warming”.

    In co2’s case the line spectrum is not full spectrum but the spectrum of the surface is close to full, and any energy from the co2 in the cooler sky is going to immediately re-radiate at the surface in a full spectrum manner and there will be no significant difference t0-t1 due to matter’s ability (non-gas, a solid or liquid) to re-emit in lines not the same as the input lines of incoming co2 IR. That gets a bit into near and far fields at surface interfaces where no thermalization occurs. Some of the surface’s radiation will match co2 lines but that is just resonance stasis at the clouds temperature in those specific lines. DonV, is that pretty close to what you were referring to speaking of not knowing exactly the spectrum signatures, source and target? Not too good at wording such topics so interpret the words a bit if necessary. Still learning so all input or ways to wrod better is appreciated.

    I guess much of misunderstanding is in the words used to describe “warming” as compared to “an increase in the averaged temperature” since and AT (an averaged temperature) is not a T (a temperature) and neither is an anomaly which can be either a T minus a T, or, an AT minus an AT.

  61. Wayne says “. . . .”

    You said it pretty clearly, although my original perspective did not include any mention of the solid surface of the land. The only “solid” I was thinking of was ice way up in the stratosphere. Most of my thinking, and consequently my statements were pertaining to gas-to-gas radiative transfers, in this regard I was basically indicating that, for example, CO2 has IR absorbtion bands that do not overlap with water vapor’s IR absorbtion bands. And water vapor has far more of the IR spectrum covered than CO2 does. So were one gas might absorb IR photons being emitted by the land, photons given off in those same bands “see” a clear shot right out to outer space, and an IR spectrometer in space will measure that emission and not be able to distinguish if it is coming from the land or from CO2 “retarding” it’s transmission..

    ALL OF THAT is vastly different from the energy absorbtion, transport and then release by water’s phase transitions. CO2 undergoes NO PHASE TRANSITION in its delay of radiative heat transfer. Therefore, it doesn’t really CARRY heat energy radiated into it for a very far distance before it immediately experiences a collision with one of the other more abundant gasses – N2, O2 or H2O – and that heat energy is transferred to that gas molecule.

    Most of my discussion has been focussed on the HUGE amounts of energy coming from the sun, that are actively transported around the globe in the atmosphere by water in one of it’s three states (four states?) and then actively radiated back out to space by the vertical transport to the top of the atmosphere. My theory is that the process is simply:

    – Sun radiatively heats water in ocean,
    – Liquid water CONDUCTS and CONVECTS excess heat to its surface where
    – Warm ocean water evaporates (excess heat is ‘captured’ in latent heat of vaporization)
    – Warm water vapor is lighter than all other naturally occurring gasses so rises vertically rapidly and entrains other gasses as it does so – and as it rises it CONDUCTS heat to those gasses, they CONVECT and begin to cool.
    – Captured excess heat in water vapor CONVECTS rapidly up to elevation where PvsT change causes supersaturation
    – Portion of capture heat in water vapor CONDENSES at first cloud layer.
    *This phase transition results in first large RADIATIVE release of heat back to outer space beginning at this layer.
    – Water vapor not initially condensed continues to rise and as is evidenced by cloud “billowing” continues to condense into liquid droplets all the way up to the next cloud layer.
    *Each phase transition event results in a large continuing RADIATIVE release of captured heat back to space.
    – Eventually water vapor plus entrained water droplets that have cooled rise to an elevation where PvsT causes both freezing and direct deposition (opposite of sublimation) of water into ice crystals.
    *This final phase transition results in the next large RADIATIVE release of heat back to outer space.
    The results of all of this ACTIVE TRANSPORT of energy and subsequent RADIATIVE release of that energy back to space is the condensation (deposition and freezing) of water and its subsequent return back to the ocean as cool water.
    The cool water mixes with warm and heat is CONDUCTED and CONVECTED back into the cool water. Governor cycle complete.
    ALL of this process results in the return of the ocean and surface to a moderate 15 degrees C average temperature over time.

    It is in complete agreement with what Willis is postulating – that the water cycle serves as the earths energy governor, and adds the emphasis that most of the heat transported during this process is carried in water’s latent heats of vaporization, condensation, and deposition, and that this heat’s release into the upper atmosphere is accompanied by direct IR radiation of that heat to space.

    This theory attempts to explain how the earths temperature can swing 10-20 even 30 degrees in a given day and will still never get into a runaway, catastrophic OVERHEATING that the CAGW croud laments will happen someday! It DOES NOT attempt to explain the drifts of the earths variation in surface air temperature of less than 1 degree over decades and centuries. It DOES attempt to conclusively illustrate that the hand wringing, consternation and excessive caterwahling/worrying about 1 degree “climate change” is just the Chicken Little clucking of fools.

  62. Thanks for the reply Don,

    Been out of pocket but will read in detail and get back soon. This is a very important area of discussion of the water/energy transport and I have been concentrating on this area during the last couple of years. I read what you have been saying looking for something to disagree with, and so far, I find nothing to complain about of any importance. Give me a moment to read your last comment slowly, I see many points you say and I just nod my head in agreement. Those are being overlooked in current climate science completely or you rarely hear of them.

    For instance you say,
    “– Portion of capture heat in water vapor CONDENSES at first cloud layer.
    *This phase transition results in first large RADIATIVE release of heat back to outer space beginning at this layer.”

    I agree. That can be seen at the silky gray bottoms of cumulus clouds and I’ve literally been there, accidentally, I was nearly sucked up into on of those building clouds that ended up being a roaring thunderstorm thirty minutes later. You could definitely feel all of the energy release there. That day at the ground it was 100F and at 4000 ft altitude outside of the clouds it was a cool 80F at altitude, but just under that cloud, misty, and it was HOT! Felt like 110F and totally saturated like you were in a steam bath. Oh, and the incredible upward suction under those clouds, the variometer was pegged upward at 1200 ft/min, wish I knew the actual rate, and it was all I could do to keep out of it, full flaps, side-slipping, and lowering the nose till I approached red-line all of the way across the flat bottom. That one cloud was over a two miles across.

    I take it that is your “first cloud layer” of condensation.

  63. Hi DonV,

    Paragraph one containing “water vapor has far more of the IR spectrum covered than CO2 does”, check.
    Paragraph two, “CO2 undergoes no phase transition”, agree, to me it has become apparent that co2 has zero real role due to it’s lack of phase transition. It has a relatively small role in the resonance within the lower atmosphere to add to temperature than with zero co2 concentration but all major lines are saturated until TOA is approached. That is, along the lines like adding black to already black doesn’t make it “blacker”.
    You seem to feel it is all in water and it’s transitions of state and the solar input, I agree.
    “– Warm water vapor is lighter than all other naturally occurring gasses so rises vertically rapidly and entrains other gasses as it does so – and as it rises it CONDUCTS heat to those gasses, they CONVECT and begin to cool.”
    Keep track of the volume:mass ratio as these packets of moist air rise, not only are they getting cooler but they are also occupying more volume up to the first-condensation level. That seems an important aspect and is part or all of why cumulus clouds “stay together” and roll from top to bottom for long periods. That is, why do those clouds have “edges” at all while the energy is being released.
    The only thing I see for you to consider is in the radiation portion. You seem to be trying to answer all effects as if all effects occur just within the cloud itself. Here we differ a bit. Water droplets are near-black-body and the thick cloud is totally opaque to all IR from within except at edges. But that additional radiation does make a much larger area, I said earlier a guess of about nine times larger, and it makes the entire area about those clouds or storms warmer but not as great as within the clouds themselves. The greater area disperses that energy to a much larger area. This warmer-by-a-few-degrees surroundings is dryer, stripped of the humidity and due to the dryness upward radiation is not as much re-absorbed (the clear shot to space). See, I am including the ~9 times larger area around the cloud as having a large play in this process. All matter is radiating at its local temperature but its path length varies depending on the local humidity. Does that make some sense?
    See, if area is brought into play, which I hear no mention, then you no longer need the concept of “IR bright” cloud tops and that is what Jeff was complaining about and I agree with him there. All matter radiates at its temperature and the very top, if tall, are very cold. But it says nothing about the much larger area about being not “IR bright” but just “IR brighter” than without the cloud, and all around the cloud where the cloud can be “seen” (the form factor). That only takes a degree or two difference to move that same quantity of energy to space, the same effect is diluted in so many words.

  64. Sorry Don, the HTML format dropped all of the paragraph breaks for some reason, didn’t mean it as one huge paragrph! :)

  65. Wayne, Since this post is not part of the main page I don’t know whether you will ever read it, but I would like to reinforce one more important point that I failed to add concerning energy transport in water droplets in clouds. It basically has to do with the concept that water droplets experience the creation of a “liquid crystal” phase from their outer surface inwards that creates an organized “skin” that has higher order and therefore requires energy to form. This “skin” enables water droplets to “skip” across the surface of a calm pool of water. The whole concept of the “liquid crystal” phase is the theory of Dr. Gerald Pollack, UW professor of bioengineering. We don’t even realize it but we see evidences of “liquid crystal” water in every-day things like gellatin and our bodies take advantage of it in a variety of ways including the thin layer of gel like material that makes every blood cell slippery. If you want to spend an absolutely fascinating hour watch this video, and pay particular attention to the discussion of liquid crystal water and its ability to self-organize instead of just diffuse and randomly disperse in clouds:

    So if newly condensed water droplets in a cloud are IR sponges and will readily absorb IR to form “liquid crystal” skins and in so doing separate charge and become little batteries, as Dr. Pollacks theory suggests . . . . then a large portion of the IR generated by the release of energy in condensation above the “condensation layer” just goes in charging up the water droplets, keeping them organized, and carrying their energy higher and higher until excessive ionization or something like freezing creates a massive discharge of huge amounts of energy in the plasma of a lightning strike!

    I’ve never read about EXTREMELY short lived radiation events (lightning) contributing to the overall energy balance because how do you integrate under THAT curve or “average” that? Yet lightning happens in every major thunder storm each and every day across the globe! And for the most part, water makes it all possible.

    Regarding the energy transfer that is occuring outside of clouds, I hadn’t thought of that. I guess it didn’t occur to me because I was so focussed on the condensation that is visible to me. Path length, before reabsorbtion, determined by local concentration and therefore RH does make sense.

    Thanks for your replies.

  66. Hi DonV, I’m here, and do appreciate the time and link, but about a quarter of the way through watching it I realized that this is where I had heard before of liquid crystals, I have watched that in the past and will listen yet again. Pollack sounded familiar. Interesting topic and I’ll think through your thoughts again, any info on water properties is always pertinent. We’ll probably cross later threads so I might comment more to you there on this, if asked not to be OT then on an open thread. (problems with my ISP, spotty right now)

  67. @ DonV,

    Thank you for your very interesting posts/comments on this thread. I don’t know how I missed this leading article or how I stumbled upon it today b ut found your comments most informative.

    I hope that you will comment here at WUWT again as I believe that the thermostat hypothisis and thunderclouds/storms are going to get a lot of review in the near term and you are very much an asset in the discussion.

    Thanks again for your contribution.

  68. I have to comment again as this article/lead posting and comments were of such interest that I read it all again in its entirety.

    Thanks to all who contributed.

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