Three Clocks

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to wandering through the three main datasets that make up the overall CERES data, and I noticed an odd thing. The three main datasets are the all-sky downwelling solar, upwelling reflected solar, and upwelling longwave radiation, measured in watts per square metre (W/m2). Here are those three datasets:

ceres three main datasets actualFigure 1 the three main datasets that make up the CERES all-sky data. Note that as you’d expect, total input (solar ~340 W/m2) equals total output (100 W/m2 reflected plus 240 W/m2 radiation).

What I’d never noticed before is that the three datasets are all running on different clocks. One peaks in December, one peaks in January, and one peaks in July. Not only that, they all have different cycles of rising and falling … go figure.

A word of foreshadowing. I have no particular point to make in this post. Instead, it is a meander, an appreciative inquiry into the components of the shortwave (solar) and longwave (thermal infrared) top-of-atmosphere radiation. And at the end of the day, I suspect you’ll find it contains more questions and wonderment and curiosities than it has answers and insights. So hop on board, the boat’s leaving the dock, there’s a forecast of increasing uncertainty with a chance of scattered befuddlement … what’s not to like?

First, the solar input. Although a lot of folks talk about the “solar constant”, over the course of the year the sun is anything but constant. Because the Earth’s orbit is not circular, annually the Earth moves closer and further from the sun. This gives an annual change of about 22 W/m2, with a high point in early January and a low point exactly six months later in early July. So that’s one clock—peaks in January, bottoms out in July, six months rise, six months fall.

top of atmosphere solar radiation ceres global actual loessFigure 2. Downwelling solar. Top panel shows actual data. Middle panel shows the regular seasonal variation. The bottom panel shows the residual, calculated as the data minus the seasonal component. Horizontal gold dashed lines show ± one standard deviation of the residual data. This range encompasses about 2/3 of the data. Vertical dashed and dotted lines show January (dashed) and July (dotted).

The sun, of course, is very stable, so the actual variation looks just like the seasonal variation. Note that the standard deviation of the residuals is only about plus or minus a tenth of a watt, which is a variation of about 0.03%, three hundredths of one percent of the size of the signal. In passing, the cyclical variation of about ± 0.03% you see highlighted by the blue line in the bottom panel is the TSI (total solar irradiation) variation associated with the sunspot cycle … but I digress, if one can do that while aimlessly meandering …

The next dataset, reflected solar, is on a slightly different clock. While reflected solar naturally varies with the strength of the sun, it actually peaks in December rather than January.

top of atmosphere reflected solar ceres global actual loessFigure 3. Reflected (upwelling) solar. Top panel shows actual data. Middle panel shows the regular seasonal variation. The bottom panel shows the residual, calculated as the data minus the seasonal component. Horizontal gold dashed lines show ± one standard deviation of the residual data. This range encompasses about 2/3 of the data.  Vertical dashed and dotted lines show January (dashed) and July (dotted).

To me, this is a very curious signal. To start with, it is at a minimum in August, and a maximum in December. So it rises quickly for four months, then falls for eight months, and repeats. Odd.

In addition, it’s curious because it is so stable. Of the three datasets (downwelling solar, reflected solar, and longwave), the reflected solar is the only one that is unconstrained. The downwelling solar is basically fixed. And the upwelling longwave is physically constrained—in the long run (although not the short run) what goes out is limited by what goes in.

But the variations in reflected solar, both geographical and temporal, are not fixed. Given the varying annual snow, ice, and cloud cover in the polar regions, plus the varying tropical cloud cover, plus the differences in clouds over the extra-tropical areas, there’s nothing obvious that constrains reflected sunlight to be the same, year after year … and yet, as Figure 3 shows, the standard deviation of the residuals is only half a watt per square metre, that’s plus or minus half a percent. And that means that 95% of the months are within one watt of the seasonal average to me. To me, that’s a wonder.

Finally, here is the longwave. Upwelling longwave is basically a function of temperature, so it peaks in the northern hemisphere summer. Of the three datasets, longwave varies the least over the course of the year.

top of atmosphere upwelling longwave ceres global actual loessFigure 4. Upwelling longwave radiation. Top panel shows actual data. Middle panel shows the regular seasonal variation. The bottom panel shows the residual, calculated as the data minus the seasonal component. Horizontal gold dashed lines show ± one standard deviation of the residual data. This range encompasses about 2/3 of the data.  Vertical dashed and dotted lines show January (dashed) and July (dotted).

Again, we see only a small variation in the residuals, only ± half a watt per square metre, or about ± 0.2%, two tenths of a percent of the size of the signal. And again the signal is not symmetrical, with the peak in July and the minimum five months later in December. So globally, longwave rises for seven months, then drops for five months.

Having looked at that, I got curious about the strange shape of the seasonal variations in the reflected solar. So I decided to take a look at the latitudinal variations in the solar, reflected solar, longwave, and albedo.

area weighted simple toa radiation by latitudeFigure 5. Top of atmosphere (TOA) radiation by latitude. Area weighted. Note the units are terawatts (10^12 watts) per degree of latitude. Area-weighting is done using the official CERES latitude areas, which are for an oblate spheroid rather than a sphere. It makes no visible or numerical difference at this scale, but Gavin Schmidt busted me for not using it, and he’s right, so why not use the recommended data? The radiation in W/m2 is averaged for each degree of latitude. That average value is multiplied by the surface area of the degree of latitude (in square metres / ° latitude). The square metres cancel out, and we are left with watts per degree of latitude. 

You can see the increased reflection from 0-10°N of the Equator. This is the sunlight reflecting from the massed cumulonimbus of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). These tropical thunderstorms of the ITCZ provide the power driving the global equator-to-pole circulation of the atmosphere and the ocean. The increased reflection from 0-10°N is important because of the strength of the incoming sunshine. Half of the incoming TOA solar energy strikes the planet between 25°N and 25°S.

It’s also clear that the albedo in the southern polar regions is much higher than that of the northern polar regions. To investigate the effects of that difference on the radiation datasets, I decided to re-do Figure 5, the radiation by latitude, and look at the differences between June and December. Figure 6 shows June (darker of each pair of lines) and December (lighter lines) for the TOA solar, reflected, and longwave radiation.

area weighted jun dec toa radiation by latitudeFigure 6. As in Figure 5 (without albedo), but for June and December. For each pair of lines, the darker of the pair is the June data, and the lighter is the December data. The dotted blue line is the reverse (north/south) of the light blue line, and is shown in order to highlight the difference in reflected solar near the poles.

OK, so here we finally can see why the shape of the reflected solar data is so wonky. In December, there is much more solar reflection from the Antarctic region, with its very high albedo. December reflections at 70°S are about 500 TW/°. On the other hand, in June at 70°N the reflections are much smaller, only about 350 TW/°. As a result, when these regions swing into and out of view of the sun, we get large differences in reflected sunlight.

But the real surprise for me in Figure 6 was the upwelling longwave. The downwelling and reflected solar profiles are quite different from June to December … but to my shock, the upwelling longwave hardly changes at all. Say what? Heck, in the extra-tropical southern hemisphere there’s almost no difference at all in longwave radiation over the year … why so little change in either hemisphere?

And that, to me is the joy of science—not knowing which bush hides the rabbit … or the tiger.

Finally, Figure 7 shows the TOA net radiation imbalance. This is the downwelling solar energy, less what is reflected, less what is radiated.

top of atmosphere toa imbalance ceres global actual loess

Figure 7. Net top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation imbalance. Note that this is an anomaly, because there is a known error of about a 5 W/m2 difference in the incoming and outgoing CERES radiation data. So while we can use it for trends and standard deviations, it cannot tell us if there is an overall persistent imbalance in the TOA radiation. Positive values show the system gaining energy, and negative values show it losing energy. Panels as in previous figures, showing the data (top panel) along with the seasonal and residual components of the signal.

I see that this has the reverse of the four-month rise, eight-month fall pattern of the reflected data. The TOA imbalance falls for four months, and then rises for eight months.

Once again, however, the most surprising aspect of this net imbalance data is the amazing stability. There is no trend in the data, and the standard deviation of the residuals is only a bit above about half a watt per square metre.

Remember that this is a system that is moving huge, unimaginable amounts of energy, with average downwelling total surface radiation of half a kilowatt, and peak surface solar insolation of about a kilowatt. More importantly, it is a system with the significant albedo variables being nothing more solid than the ephemeral, seasonal, mutable phenomena of clouds, wind, snow, ice, and vegetation.

In such a system, it is something eminently worthy of study that over the thirteen years of the CERES dataset, for reflected solar and upwelling longwave, 95% of the months are within one watt/m2 of the seasonal average. Within one lousy watt! We assuredly do not know all the reasons why that might be so …

Anyhow, thanks for coming along. Looks like the weather forecast for the voyage was about right. 

All the best to each of you,

w.

Standard Proclaimer: If you disagree with something that I or anyone has said, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS that you disagree with. Only then can we understand what it is you object to.

[UPDATE]:

DATA AND CODE: The code is in a zipped folder here. Unzip it and put the individual files into the workspace. You’ll also need the CERES TOA data in the same workspace (WARNNG: 230 Mbytes). The main file is called “Three Clocks.R”, I think it’s all turnkey.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Radiation, Radiative Imbalance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

99 Responses to Three Clocks

  1. Alcheson says:

    Willis, to me clearly looks like a case of a Negative feedback system. The mutable phenomena of clouds, wind, snow, ice, and vegetation would seem to act in a way that preserves an equilibrium balance. Who would’a thunk-it? Makes you wanna bet that the feedbacks to CO2 induced warming are also net negative.

  2. charles nelson says:

    Standard Proclaimer: If you disagree with something that I or anyone has said, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS that you disagree with. Only then can we understand what it is you object to.

    The phrase I disagree with is…

    Net top of the atmosphere.

  3. Brad says:

    Awesome post! Sure to get a variety of good responses, just what a true scientist should be asking his students. Instead of what we currently have, with professors TELLING everyone what to believe. It is not settled….

  4. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Then there’s the Kelvin temperature variation….. assuming that the Earth is at 288K, or 288.7K now….that’s 0.7/288.7 or roughly a quarter of a percent change that everyone has everyone all in a huppabout.

  5. Willis Eschenbach says:

    charles nelson says:
    March 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    The phrase I disagree with is…

    Net top of the atmosphere.

    Ummm … the satellite is flying around above the top of the atmosphere, measuring the radiation going down and coming up … if you don’t like “net TOA radiation”, what would you call the net of the radiation entering and leaving the system as measured by satellite?

    w.

  6. Joel O'Bryan says:

    The system Willis describes has run through at least 1.53 Trillion diurnal cycles (365.25 x 4.2 Billion) since the earth’s basic atmosphere and water surface formed more than 4.2 Billion years ago (actually, probably more since the earth’s rotation has been slowed by tidal interactions since then).

    1.5×10^12 cycles is a long, long time for natural bio-geo-chemical dampening-feedback systems to evolve to an equilibrium. It allows us to breath that wonderful combination of 78% N2, 21% O2, 0.93% Ar, and 0.04% CO2 and some variable amount of H2O vapor (“vapour” for our AUS, NZ, and UK friends). So, I doubt 0.06% to 0.08% CO2 will give this system little if any trouble adjusting since it’s been much higher in many times in past and terrestrial and aquatic life obviously flourished. ANd it’s that stubborn ECS and inertia that the modelers just can’t seem to grasp. My guess is if they keep training their computer models they will figure it out in about 4.2×10^9 years, too.

  7. eyesonu says:

    “So hop on board, the boat’s leaving the dock, there’s a forecast of increasing uncertainty with a chance of scattered befuddlement … what’s not to like?”

    ====

    That was a most interesting voyage. Seemingly without a destination yet very interesting and insightful. Never lost nor trapped in ice.

    As always Skipper, great work! There is quite a bit to consider from your results. Maybe much more than meets the eye at first glance.

  8. William McClenney says:

    “Several features of the last interglacial/glacial transition resemble the recent temperature and precipitation trends They are:

    “I) Preferential warming of the low latitudes.
    2) Increasing meridional temperature gradient.
    3) Increasing precipitation in cold season in the high northern latitudes (which supposedly also accompanied the ice build-up in MIS 5d).
    4) Cooling of the northern North Atlantic with simultaneous warming of the equatorial one.

    “While some of the above features may be due to the increase of man-made greenhouse gases, they may also indicate that the natural redistribution of shortwave radiation is already affecting the ongoing climate change (Kukla et al., 1992). However no increase of ice volume, nor a decrease of mean sea level have yet been observed. So even if not completely counter balanced by future impact of man-made greenhouse gases, the natural shift toward cooler climates in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere would be still many millennia ahead. Another point to consider is that the orbitally caused seasonal insolation changes, although qualitatively similar, are less expressed than in the last interglacial. Their amplitude is closer to the exceptionally long Holsteinian interglacial (MIS 11).”

    http://geolines.gli.cas.cz/fileadmin/volumes/volume11/G11-009.pdf

    Perhaps a 4th clock?

  9. eyesonu says:

    The upwelling longwave in your Figure 6 is interesting.

  10. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Probably the most interesting – and important – curve is that of the residuals in Fig 7. The mean is exactly centred on 0 watts/sq m. So on that basis over that period the earth never lost or gained energy. Desirable would be Fig 8, showing (a) a linear regression of the residuals, and (b) the results of a F….. harmonic separation of components making up the residuals (just like separating the various tidal elements). Sorry – forgot the word but it starts with ‘F’.

  11. Eric Worrall says:

    Very strong supportive evidence for your emergent phenomena theory of climate I would think. The Earth dumps as much heat as it absorbs.

  12. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dudley Horscroft says:
    March 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Probably the most interesting – and important – curve is that of the residuals in Fig 7. The mean is exactly centred on 0 watts/sq m. So on that basis over that period the earth never lost or gained energy.

    Thanks, Dudley. Actually, not so. Figure 7 shows an anomaly, because there is a known difference of 5 W/m2 between the totals of the incoming and outgoing radiation … so the CERES data can’t help us determine if the earth is gaining or losing energy. I’ll clarify that in the head post.

    Regards,

    w.

  13. Joel O'Bryan says:

    Sorry – forgot the word but it starts with ‘F’.
    ===========================
    Fourier, as in Fourier transform: to transform a time series domain data set into a frequency series domain data set (frequencies, phases).

  14. michael hammer says:

    The first post “Alcheson” makes the point – negative feedback. The variable is Earth’s temperature which adjusts itself to maintain balance between incoming and outgoing radiation. However the further point to make is that the time constant of this feedback is clearly very short – at very most a year or two (because the excursions of the residual from zero are of short duration). That means all these claims of stored up warming, ‘even if we stop emitting tomorrow the earth will keep warming for hundreds of years’ is not supported by the experimental data. That means that even if all the warming since 1950 was due to CO2 (with none due to other causes or biased adjusting of the record) the total impact of the half doubling to date is at most 0.7C. Thus the further rise in temperature by 2070 (when CO2 is predicted to be 560ppm) would be a further 0.7C. Thats a little short of the 3C predicted and clearly not in the catastrophic catagory. Of course the probability that all the warming since 1950 is due to CO2 is pretty small given that even warmists now admit to a significant “natural” component plus of course the lack of warming for the last 17 or so years while CO2 has continued to rise.

  15. eyesonu says:

    Willis,

    I’m looking at a map of the earth in one open tab and your Figure 6 in another. Trying to understand the upwelling longwave 20S to 20N July and Dec. Primarily focused around 5N to 10N. Something has my attention but I’m not sure what it is.

    Maybe Bob Tisdale can take a look and tell me if I’m seeing signal of ocean surface temps or Sahara desert.

  16. charles nelson says:

    At what height is the TOA?
    Or is it defined by pressure?
    Does the height of the TOA vary between poles and equator?
    Does the height of the TOA vary with different atmospheric conditions.
    Is the up/down welling radiation measurement the same above a massive cloud bank as it is above a cloudless desert? Or above an ice sheet as compared to the Amazon? Or above a hurricane as compared to an ocean high?
    Is the ‘upwelling’ radiation the same over the Sahara Desert in July as it is over Antarctica?
    How many Ceres satellites are there?
    How long does it take it/them to observe the entire planet?
    What is its resolution?

  17. James Bull says:

    Thank you Willis it was a very interesting trip and I and others have found out much and understand there is so much more to learn.
    That is one of the things with wanting to know things you find that the more you learn the more you find you don’t know unless you;re a “claimit” scientist when everything is settled and known.

    James Bull

  18. Coldlynx says:

    Very good post.
    Figure 5 and 6 have the latitude at y-axis. If You change that to an area scaled latitude y-axis will the figures show even more how important the tropics are compared with high latitudes for the energy balance of the earth.

  19. Mike Flynn says:

    Willis,

    I note you have not responded to charles nelson. You used the words “TOA radiation imbalance.” As the TOA seems to be incapable of rigorous definition, any attempt to use it in calculations seems a bit silly. The TOA looks like a Warmist fabrication to ensnare the gullible. I may be wrong, of course, but the prospect of something that by definition would appear to have almost zero mass either absorbing or radiating significant amounts of energy appears dubious at best.

    So what definition of TOA have you used?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  20. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    “”charles nelson says:
    March 8, 2014 at 10:02 pm
    “The phrase I disagree with is…Net top of the atmosphere.”

    Ummm … the satellite is flying around above the top of the atmosphere, measuring the radiation going down and coming up … if you don’t like “net TOA radiation”, what would you call the net of the radiation entering and leaving the system as measured by satellite?””

    —————————————-

    I’m not a scientist but I also have some concerns about the validity of TSI data.
    There are some issues with the satellites being in low Earth orbit about 90,000 km below the geocorona.
    Orbiting in the exosphere, the altitude above the lower boundary of the thermopause can range from 200-450km, depending on solar activity.

    It is my understanding that the exosphere exhibits emission gains and absorption losses.
    Infrared is emitted along with a lot of visible light and high energy ultraviolet is absorbed.

  21. Roy Clark says:

    The CERES data are presented in a rather deceptive format.

    The incident and reflected solar flux terms reported by CERES are spherical area averages. These have little or no relationship to the energy transfer processes that determine the Earth’s climate. The sun only illuminates the local surface during the day and the clouds can only reflect incident sunlight. Only the LWIR flux is continuously emitted to space. There is no equilibrium average, just a dynamic flux balance. Most of the Earth’s surface is water and the sun heats the oceans below the surface. About half of the solar flux is absorbed within the first meter. Another 40% is absorbed from 1 to 10 m depth and the balance is absorbed within the first 100 m.

    The oceans can only cool at the surface through a combination of moist convection and net LWIR emission. In good round numbers, the net LWIR emission is around 50 W.m^-2 and the rest of the cooling is by moist convection. The evaporation and LWIR flux exchange are limited to a very thin surface layer. The cooler water from the surface then sinks and cools the bulk ocean layers below. The evaporation depends on the humidity gradient and the wind speed.

    Outside of the tropics, the oceans accumulate the solar heat in summer and fall and release it winter and spring. At mid latitudes, this can easily be the equivalent of 40 days of full summer sun stored and released. Within the equatorial ocean gyre currents, the solar heating exceeds the evaporative cooling until the water reaches the ocean warm pools. Here the wind driven evaporation balance plus net LWIR flux balances the tropical solar flux at an average wind speed near 5 m s^-1 and a surface temperature near 30 C. The diurnal fluctuation in the surface temperature also depends on the balance between the solar flux and the wind speed.

    The moist air is the working fluid of the atmospheric heat engine that transports the heat up through the atmosphere where the water condenses. Most of the CERES LWIR emission is just the water band emission from the middle troposphere. As the surface temperatures change, the peak emission band moves up and down in altitude. The troposphere also stores and releases heat on a daily and seasonal time scale.

    The CERES data is basically the energy balance measured for the cold reservoir of the atmospheric heat engine. The Earth’s climate is determined mainly by [angular] momentum transport (ocean and troposphere) through a gravitational field. Small changes in LWIR flux are fully coupled the heat capacity of the climate thermal reservoirs. They cannot be separated out. There is no climate ‘equlibrium’, just a lot of heating and cooling of large thermal reservoirs.

    The next thing to do is to take a walk through the ocean evaporation data analyzed by Lisan Yu and coworkers at Woods Hole [http://oaflux.whoi.edu/publications.html] and have a good look at the effect of the wind speed. How does the ocean evaporation contribute to the CERES data? How does the LWIR flux from a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration change anything? It certainly does not heat the oceans below the surface. It just disappears deep into the noise of the wind driven evaporation.

  22. Peter Miller says:

    The Earth obviously has to have a natural thermostat mechanism, which usually functions very well. At least it has since the last ‘Snowball Earth’ ended about 650 million years ago.

    Of course, there have been the occasional ice ages, whose existence we really cannot explain. We are currently in a relatively rare and short lived interglacial of the current ice age, which began around 2.65 million years ago. Obviously, something goes a little awry with the thermostat from time to time.

    Without this thermostat, evolution of life on Earth would have been impossible. I think the Ceres data demonstrates how well the thermostat is working right now.

    It also helps demonstrate how overstated alarmist theories are in regards to rising carbon dioxide levels. Our climate is much less sensitive to rising CO2 levels than the purveyors of Thermageddon would like us to believe, part of the reason for this is our natural thermostat.

  23. Manfred says:

    Joel O’Bryan says:
    March 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm My guess is if they keep training their computer models they will figure it out in about 4.2×10^9 years, too.

    Did you use the numerals ’42′ deliberately, on purpose ?
    If so, they will have fogotten the question and will, true to form, start devising models to rectify the omission.
    Douglas Adams, a man before his time!

  24. 4TimesAYear says:

    “Once again, however, the most surprising aspect of this net imbalance data is the amazing stability”
    What I’ve been saying…our planet is wonderfully balanced. :)

  25. Gareth says:

    How far back does the outgoing LWIR data go? Is there any evidence to support the theory that CO2 has trapped IR energy and reduced the amount being radiated into space?

  26. Nullius in Verba says:

    Data and code?

    I knew that the clouds moderated the seasonal swings considerably, and I knew that the variation at TOA was less than at the surface, but I didn’t realise things were *that* stable. It almost looks from figure 6 as if the summer and winter TOA emission temperatures at temperate latitudes should be the same.

    I’ve been trying to eyeball-integrate the difference between those summer-winter upwelling longwave graphs, convert back to W/m^2, and then turn that into a temperature difference. I got about 10 W/m^2 difference for the northern hemisphere gap, which corresponds to about 2 C difference in blackbody emission temperature. I could easily be a factor of 2 or 3 out, but am I an order of magnitude out?

    Fascinating!

    I think a large part of the stability of the reflected radiation is due to cloud feedback. (You certainly know about the equatorial cloud thermostat, so I’m no doubt teaching grandma to suck eggs, here.) Where you get cold air descending you get high pressure and clear skies, and the sunny weather warms things up. When warm air rises it’s usually laden with moisture picked up from the surface, forms clouds, and cuts off the sunlight, cooling things down. The feedback tends to push the temperature at the typical cloud-forming altitude towards the condensation point for water, and the temperature of the surface is therefore pushed towards a somewhat higher temperature because of the adiabatic lapse rate.

    Of course, if temperature was all there was to it, we’d expect the warmer parts of the world to be permanently blanketed in cloud! But it’s also tied to the convective rise and fall of the air, so it’s actually a feedback on temperature *gradients*. In warmer areas the rising air has to go higher before it’s cold enough to condense, and the gap between cloud and surface has to be larger, giving a bigger adiabatic gap.

    Maybe. I’m not sure. Clouds seem like a difficult problem.

  27. goldminor says:

    Note the sharp drop around Aug/Sept of 2003. That coincides with a tiny La Nina on the Multi Enso, which happens to sit right in the middle of a long stretch of El Nino. I note that in 2011 the upwelling long wave moves sharply upward for 1 month then tapers off for the next 3 months. I had moved into the mountains in mid April that year. All the way through to the end of May of 2011, the temps where I was at did not rise above 50Fdaytime until close till the end of May. I was located in a cold spot, though. The next year 2012 was somewhat similar except the cold broke earlier and there was a more normal spring.

    Look at the upwelling LW minus seasonal. That is a perfect match to the Multivariate ENSO Index. It shows the cooling in early 2000s, and then the long warming which follows, with the dip between 2008/09.
    I take it that the upwelling mass in the ITCZ zone creates a bow in the atmosphere that splits the push on the atmosphere from centrifugal force of the spin of the Earth? That then forces the energy of the system north and south? I see that the albedo diagram explains why the southern pole is more important to what is now taking place at the two poles.

  28. RichardLH says:

    Willis: Very nice and quite surprising as you say.

    You might like to have a look at how well Fig 4 corresponds to the measured temperature data sets as well. They appear to have quite a close relationship which one would expect as one rises so the other does. A validation of the result as presented.

    http://climatedatablog.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/hadcrut-giss-rss-and-uah-global-annual-anomalies-aligned-1979-2013-with-gaussian-low-pass-and-savitzky-golay-15-year-filters-1979-on.png

  29. Col Mosby says:

    Off subject, but what could one glean from examination of the global warming curve over the past decades for which plausible data exists and what one would expect it to be, given a variety of
    climate sensitivity estimates? If atmospheric CO2 mass has a log relationship with temps, why
    do folks believe the slope/shape of warming during the 1980-1998 time period graphs make any sense, especially when claimed that CO2 induced warming is the only temp change occurring?

  30. Highly interesting post Willis, Thanks. Could a fourth clock be the “roughness”of the ocean surfaces. For example: More powerful trade winds as is the mantra of the day (humor) causing less sun radiation reflection.

  31. lgl says:

    Figure 7 might give some the false impression that high ENSO means the system is losing energy (negative imbalance around 2010) but that’s just because of the delay between the energy input and output.
    http://virakkraft.com/Rad-TOA.png

  32. JP Miller says:

    Dare I say Willis’ work suggests Gaia? And wouldn’t it be weird/ wonderful if it turns out Gaia is the reason CO2 makes little difference? The “save our planet” types needn’t have worried. Our planet is pretty good at saving itself.

  33. D.Cohen says:

    I was struck by the slight but distinct downward trend in the minimums of the top graph of Figure 4, the upwelling long-wave radiation at the top of the atmosphere, (it also seems to be present in the maximums, perhaps to a lesser extent). This long-wave radiation is heat radiation leaving the earth, so wouldn’t its value go up and down as the average temperature of the earth’s surface and all levels of the atmosphere increased and decreased? If in fact it is a reasonable proxy for the average temperature of the thin film of material — on a planetary scale — covering the planet’s rocky core, this graph suggests there is definite global cooling, not just a “pause”.

  34. JKrob says:

    Willis,
    “But the real surprise for me in Figure 6 was the upwelling longwave. The downwelling and reflected solar profiles are quite different from July to December … but to my shock, the upwelling longwave hardly changes at all. Say what? Heck, in the extra-tropical southern hemisphere there’s almost no difference at all in longwave radiation over the year … why so little change in either hemisphere?”

    To me, it is fairly obvious – the northern hemisphere is mainly land so there is a large surface temperature difference from winter to summer but in the southern hemisphere, it is mainly ocean so the surface temperature difference will be fairly small. However, even in the northern hemisphere, the Pacific & Atlantic ocean area would moderate the northern hemispheric signal. The small slices of South America, Africa & Australia are not enough to impact the total southern hemispheric LWIR signal.

    Jeff

  35. johnmarshall says:

    This 340W/m2 is not TOTAL irradiance but part of same. Total solar radiation is 1370W/m2. As measured in space and easily calculated. See one of Joseph Postma’s papers with all calculations clearly shown.(A Discussion of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect).

  36. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Willis. Something new to learn every day!

  37. Rhoda Klapp says:

    How does the CERES data account for glancing solar, that part of insolation which reflects away from the sun?

  38. Kristian says:

    Willis,

    I really like these data presentations of yours. Kudos. The purest form of science. Simply observing what nature is telling us, then loosely ponder what it might mean and how it might fit together with other parts of the picture. More questions than answers. Let the data do the answering. There are lots of answers in just describing the data, like you do here.

  39. Kristian says:

    It’s the preconceptions, the a priori assumptions, that end up ruining this pure form of science.

  40. FYI, WTF:

    “If an inappropriate TOA flux reference level is used to define satellite TOA fluxes, and horizontal transmission of solar radiation through the planet is not accounted for in the radiation budget equation, systematic errors in net flux of up to 8 W m2 can result. Since climate models generally use a plane-parallel model approximation to estimate TOA fluxes and the earth radiation budget, they implicitly assume zero horizontal transmission of solar radiation in the radiation budget equation, and do not need to specify a flux reference level. By defining satellite-based TOA flux estimates at a 20-km flux reference level, comparisons with plane-parallel climate model calculations are simplified since there is no need to explicitly correct plane-parallel climate model fluxes for horizontal transmission of solar radiation through a finite earth.”

    Loeb, Norman G.; Kato, Seiji; Wielicki, Bruce A.
    Journal of Climate, vol. 15, Issue 22, pp.3301-3309

  41. Bengt Abelsson says:

    Energy in equals energy out. No surprise.
    An analogy, two houses, identical but for thickness of insulation, each heated with 5 kW.
    Heat losses, through walls and roof, will be 5 kW in both houses, but inside temperature will be different.
    The key question is how CO2 is affecting the “insulation” of our home. Not very much, I think.

  42. Bill_W says:

    Too bad we don’t have CERES data since 1980. Now we have to wait to get another
    10-15 years data – hopefully when temperatures are going up or down. The nice stable CERES data makes sense with the relatively flat temperature profile since 2000 or so. But it will be great to have data when temperatures are not flat.

  43. Richard M says:

    One thing that might be useful is to look at the SH albedo over time. We know the SH sea ice has been expanding and it might be interesting to see if that has been caught by CERES. My idea that it is SH sea ice that drives long term glaciation events would require some energy to be lost due to expanding sea ice.

  44. Joe Born says:

    What Kristian said.

  45. Tom in Florida says:

    “First, the solar input. Although a lot of folks talk about the “solar constant”, over the course of the year the sun is anything but constant.”

    I understand what you mean and see that you go on to explain but on it’s own the statement seems to imply that the sun changes over the course of the year when you actually mean the amount of energy received from the sun due to orbital changes. I often see the two used interchangeably in comments which seems to confuse those that do not follow the subject closely. One should remember to make a clear distinction between the two.

  46. Philip Mulholland says:

    In December, there is much more solar reflection from the Antarctic region, with its very high albedo.

    Here’s an Apollo-17 Mission: December 1972 photograph to show that:-

    NASA Photo ID: AS17-148-22742 File Name: 10075946.jpg
    Film Type: 70mm Date Taken: 12/07/72
    Title: View of the Earth seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon
    Description:
    Most of Australia (center) and part of Antarctica are visible in this photo of a three-quarters Earth, recorded with a 70mm handheld Hasselblad camera using a 250mm lens.
    Subject terms:
    Apollo 17 Flight Apollo Project Earth (Planet) Earth Observations (From Space) Onboard Activities Photography

  47. Kirk c says:

    Willis,
    I’m also very surprised at the fig 6 results. Totally unexpected!
    It would be interesting to see the same graph for june and December with only two variables. That is ; total down welling ( incoming -reflected) and total upwelling. This should show the location of the major flux transfer latitudes in the total transport system.

  48. Kate Forney says:

    Mr. Eschenbach,

    I always enjoy your articles, and try very hard to make time to read them — thank you for taking the time and expending the effort to research and write them.

    Very much off-topic, I hope you are feeling well after your heart surgery some months back. If I may ask a question (and I hope to not be asking you to repeat something you’ve explained elsewhere that I missed): some days or weeks before your surgery, you mentioned taking a heart stress-test and knocking it out of the park with your technique of exhaling deeply — a technique I have been practicing, with some success. In retrospect, do you think that you possibly defeated the purpose of the test, in a way, as it was calibrated for more typical breathing patterns?

    I ask this because I have some suspicion about medically-recommended metrics such as cholesterol, blood pressure and the obviously flawed Body Mass Index, which must be at best only rough guides, yet doctors seem to hesitate little in recommending powerful medications in the hope of adjusting observed values, with what seems to be an incomplete, at best, understanding of the underlying process. As you seem to have a flair for understanding natural processes and their measurement and modelling, I would be grateful for any insight you might care to share.

    Thank you very much.

    Kate

  49. Nylo says:

    michael hammer says:
    March 8, 2014 at 11:22 pm
    The first post “Alcheson” makes the point – negative feedback. The variable is Earth’s temperature which adjusts itself to maintain balance between incoming and outgoing radiation. However the further point to make is that the time constant of this feedback is clearly very short – at very most a year or two (because the excursions of the residual from zero are of short duration). That means all these claims of stored up warming, ‘even if we stop emitting tomorrow the earth will keep warming for hundreds of years’ is not supported by the experimental data. That means that even if all the warming since 1950 was due to CO2 (with none due to other causes or biased adjusting of the record) the total impact of the half doubling to date is at most 0.7C. Thus the further rise in temperature by 2070 (when CO2 is predicted to be 560ppm) would be a further 0.7C. Thats a little short of the 3C predicted and clearly not in the catastrophic catagory. Of course the probability that all the warming since 1950 is due to CO2 is pretty small given that even warmists now admit to a significant “natural” component plus of course the lack of warming for the last 17 or so years while CO2 has continued to rise.

    Michael, I think you are absolutely spot on here. Well said!

  50. ssat says:

    Note that this is an anomaly, because there is a known error of about a 5 W/m2 difference in the incoming and outgoing CERES radiation data.

    With no trend over 13 years while CO2 upward trend continues, this suggests that the measurement error is a miscalculation and that the TOA anomaly is identical to the true TOA imbalance.
    And if so, the variables for increasing CO2 are (decreasing) average emissivity and (increasing) average radiating height with the latter causing higher BOA temperatures due to lapse rate.

  51. Tom in Florida says:

    Kate Forney says:
    March 9, 2014 at 7:28 am
    “I ask this because I have some suspicion about medically-recommended metrics such as cholesterol, blood pressure and the obviously flawed Body Mass Index, which must be at best only rough guides, yet doctors seem to hesitate little in recommending powerful medications in the hope of adjusting observed values, with what seems to be an incomplete, at best, understanding of the underlying process. ”
    ==========================================================================
    If I may give you some insight I developed as a former physician recruiter. Keep in mind this is not every single doctor but the general practice of AMA trained MDs is to treat the symptom first. Kind of like continuing to put speedy dry on a wet floor without first turning off the spigot. I have found that DOs, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, are trained in a different approach which is to focus on the cause first. Please do not confuse these fine doctors with homeopaths or herbal medicine. I have had similar experiences as you with MDs (again not all) who want to immediately prescribe a medication. I now seek out DOs and use them unless one is not available.
    I want to say once again, this is a general statement and not a criticism of individual MDs.

  52. Thanks, Willis. A fantastic day-trip into little-explored oceans of knowledge.
    Does your CERES data analysis reveal a new cycle?
    “it rises quickly for four months, then falls for eight months, and repeats.”

  53. David C. Greene says:

    This is an excellent presentation, a rarity in current “scientific” discourse. I can only add another question: Is the radio-thermal energy that drives volcanoes and geysers so insignificant that it is not part of this discussion?

  54. Froggy says:

    Willis,

    Always enjoy and look forward to reading your posts on WUWT (including this one).
    But in this analysis you remain silent on how you have computed the “seasonal component” for all 3 datasets (filtering, average removal, curve fitting, modelling?). Details matter greatly when looking at small residuals from large signals…
    Nevertheless, I always learn new and important “data facts” from your posts, such as: the long term (>10 years) variations of the solar constant are around 1/5th of a W/m2.

    Many thanks

  55. Nylo says:

    Willis, I know of another popular climate change related graphic which goes up and down during the year, but for different lengths of time: that of the CO2 at Mauna Loa. It peaks in May, and bottoms in October. That’s 7 months up, followed by 5 months down. Very similar to the upwelling radiation cycle, which is 7 months up, 5 months down, but with the changes 2 months after, July and December instead of May and October.

    Now, looking at your graphic, the 5 months in which CO2 goes down in Mauna Loa are the 5 months in which the seasonal component of the upwelling radiation cycle is above 0 W/m2. Despite we are told that the annual variation of CO2 is mostly due to the cooling and warming of southern oceans, releasing and taking CO2, this seems to suggest something else. CO2 is reduced when the upwelling radiation is highest. And upwelling radiation is highest when the planet is hotter. Although the southern oceans do cool and warm in opposite cycles to that of the rest of the planet, their cycle is not 5 months up – 7 months down, and the peaks are NOT happening in May and October. So it looks to me that the biosphere’s photosinthesis cycle is much more important for the CO2 cycle than the cooling and warming of southern oceans.

    Now there is an interesting thing about the CO2 cycle in Mauna Loa that I observed a long time ago. We all know that CO2 is increasing at an increasingly faster rate. This is logical, because we are increasing our CO2 emissions all the time. But I wondered if this was happening in the same way at all times of the year. Given that we have increased our emissions throughout all the year (the increase of our emissions between May-October is similar to the increase between October-May), we should see a similar effect through the year. I.e. if we are now gaining about 1,5 ppm more per year than we were at the beginning of Mauna Loa measurements (we used to gain 1 ppm in the 50′s and we are now gaining between 2 and 2,5 ppm per year), this should mean roughly 0.85 higher increase during the months it increases (October-May) and about 0.65 lower reduction during the months it reduces (May-October). But we don’t see that. The CO2 reduction between May-October is still the same that it used to be in the 50′s: around 5 ppm. It is the increase from October-May the only one that is changing, from around 6 ppm then to around 7.5 ppm now.

    How is it possible that, despite we are sending a much greater ammount of CO2 to the atmosphere between May and October than we did in the 50′s, the ammount of CO2 in the atmosphere in those months is still reducing in the same ammount as it did in the 50′s, whereas the CO2 increase from October to May has indeed changed quite a lot? The only logical explanation is that the biosphere has kept up to the game in those months, which are the months of NH greening. We are sending a lot more of CO2, but the plants are sequestering it also a lot more… during the time of the year that they can do it: May-October. Plants so far have kept up to the game during their season, the problem is the limited ammount of time during the year that they can do so.

  56. piercello says:

    Missing word:

    “To investigate the effects of that difference on , I decided to re-do Figure 5,”

    located in the ¶ just prior to fig. 6.

    Another nice post, with particularly fine clarity in the captions accompanying the figures. Well done!

    [Thanks, fixed the lacuna, much appreciated. w.-]

  57. 3x2 says:

    Mike Flynn says: March 9, 2014 at 1:14 am
    Willis,
    I note you have not responded to charles nelson. [...]

    What you need to keep in mind is that the ‘net’ might well be international but people are not. Time differences alone account for responses or lack thereof but don’t forget that people also have lives outside WUWT. Willis could be out on a picnic with his family right now for all I know.

    I remember someone, years ago when I was one of the first to post under a particular article, suggesting that some of us need to ‘get a life’. The assumption was that I was hanging around on WUWT at some silly hour waiting to post. Truth was that it was 8am on a lovely English Autumn (Fall) morning. I would not have expected a response from Anthony as it was probably way after midnight in California and he was probably in bed fast asleep.

    Grab an “international clock app”. Willis in California, JoNova in AUS. You elsewhere.

  58. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Willis

    I really need to save and share your Figures 5 and 6 but please turn them 90 degrees left putting the Latitude on the bottom, and add a new left axis scale 0-100 for the Emissivity. Then remove the “times 10″. I want it to match other sorts of presentations of input and output and temperature such as those in Lord Monckton’s hotspot paper (which are relevant to your observation). Obviously I have no way to reproduce them myself.

    The findings (plural) are very interesting and your observations about them appear valid.

  59. John A says:

    Willis,

    Can you explain why the reflected solar peaks before the incoming solar and bottoms out after the incoming solar (figure 1). It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for me…

  60. O. Olson says:

    I love this stuff. And to Willis’ credit I understand nearly all of his posts even without the benefit of a university degree.
    But just for the sake of clarity, in the paragraph above Fig. 6 I assume you meant “June” and December?

    “, I decided to re-do Figure 5, the radiation by latitude, and look at the differences between July and December. Figure 6 shows July (darker of each pair of lines) and December (lighter lines) for the TOA solar, reflected, and longwave radiation.”

    “Figure 6. As in Figure 5 (without albedo), but for June and December. For each pair of lines, the darker of the pair is the June data, and the lighter is the December data. The dotted blue line is the reverse (north/south) of the light blue line, and is shown in order to highlight the difference in reflected solar near the poles.”

    [Good catch, thanks, fixed. -w.]

  61. Willis Eschenbach says:

    3×2 says:
    March 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Mike Flynn says: March 9, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Willis,
    I note you have not responded to charles nelson. […]

    What you need to keep in mind is that the ‘net’ might well be international but people are not. Time differences alone account for responses or lack thereof but don’t forget that people also have lives outside WUWT. Willis could be out on a picnic with his family right now for all I know.

    True dat … in any case, I responded to Charles the first time he posted. He appeared to object to the term “net TOA radiation”. I invited him to propose an alternative term. He hasn’t done so.

    Instead, he posted the following list of questions:

    At what height is the TOA?

    Or is it defined by pressure?

    Does the height of the TOA vary between poles and equator?

    Does the height of the TOA vary with different atmospheric conditions.

    Is the up/down welling radiation measurement the same above a massive cloud bank as it is above a cloudless desert? Or above an ice sheet as compared to the Amazon? Or above a hurricane as compared to an ocean high?

    Is the ‘upwelling’ radiation the same over the Sahara Desert in July as it is over Antarctica?

    How many Ceres satellites are there?

    How long does it take it/them to observe the entire planet?

    What is its resolution?

    Now, I’m happy to answer questions. On the other hand, I’m not about to do Charles’s homework for him. I’m definitely not going to answer questions to which Google knows the answer. That’s Charles’s job. And answering meaningless questions is of no interest to me.

    In any case, Mike, I didn’t respond to Charles because in my opinion, he’s not looking for answers, he’s looking to nit-pick. I get literally hundreds and hundreds of comments on my posts. So as I read them, I’m constantly doing triage—is the comment worth a long answer, worth a short answer, or not worth answering?

    Charles started out in the second category with his first comment, and I gave him a short answer. His second comment was clearly in the third category. I don’t have either the time or the interest 1to spend my time picking nits and parsing vague questions and arguing about the meaning of “is”. Look at the list of Charles’s questions … let’s take this one:

    Is the up/down welling radiation measurement the same above a massive cloud bank as it is above a cloudless desert?

    Say what? That question not only doesn’t have an answer, it’s far too vague to have a meaning. Radiation measurements are different everywhere … so yes, all types of radiation measurements are different above cloud bank X and above desert Y. But so what? Radiation measurements are different everywhere. That’s not a question designed to advance understanding.

    More importantly, it’s not a question I’m going to be drawn into discussing. Those kinds of meaningless questions are in the third triage category—not worth answering.

    Your question, on the other hand, was worth a long answer … hey, it’s a subjective scale.

    w.

  62. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says:
    March 9, 2014 at 9:17 am

    @Willis

    I really need to save and share your Figures 5 and 6 but please turn them 90 degrees left putting the Latitude on the bottom, and add a new left axis scale 0-100 for the Emissivity. Then remove the “times 10″. I want it to match other sorts of presentations of input and output and temperature such as those in Lord Monckton’s hotspot paper (which are relevant to your observation). Obviously I have no way to reproduce them myself.

    The findings (plural) are very interesting and your observations about them appear valid.

    Crispin, while I’m generally accommodating in these matters, I’m gonna pass on this one. That’s a big pile of work. I know because I had them the other way, the way you want, and I was very unhappy with them. The problem is that in our heads, north is up and south is down. So they just didn’t read right, they didn’t convey the message I wanted to convey.

    So after writing all of the code to do it horizontally, I rewrote it all to swap the axes, change the limits and intervals on the axes, move and reposition all of the text … like I said, a chunk of work, and one I’m going to pass on reversing.

    Perhaps you could just ask your readers to tip their heads 90° to the side to read my graphs? …

    Regards and regrets,

    w.

  63. Willis Eschenbach says:

    To those asking for data and code, yeah, yeah, I know. The problem is that it’s a right snarl, not fit for human consumption. I’m beating it into shape, I’ll post it up in a bit.

    w.

  64. John Law says:

    Willis, it looks like you and the IPCC are on different planets!

  65. fhhaynie says:

    I think you would find such plots more informative if you did them by region rather than as global averages. Work with the polar regions where solar input of energy is being delivered by wind and water, and OLR is being restricted by the least amout of water vapor and possibly (but not likely) by CO2.

  66. Something’s not quite right here Willis – or it could be something wrong somewhere else, of course.

    Fig. 2 “Top Of Atmosphere(TOA) Solar Radiation” is shown to vary, during the year, from approx. a bit more than 350 to a bit less than 330 W/m². But in my book TOA Solar Radiation should be 4 times as much, namely an average of ca. 1368 W/m².
    Just ask the boys who insist on dividing the Solar Constant by 4 so they can average it all so that as long as we accept that to be right, we’ll never find out what really happens. – But that’s another story – which we have touched on before.
    I have only glanced at other comments so far and somebody may have mentioned this already.

  67. Matthew R Marler says:

    fhhaynie: I think you would find such plots more informative if you did them by region rather than as global averages. Work with the polar regions where solar input of energy is being delivered by wind and water, and OLR is being restricted by the least amout of water vapor and possibly (but not likely) by CO2.

    That would be nice, but too much of the reflected sunlight is not reflected straight up If it can be done at all it requires solving a complicated set of simultaneous equations as in a CAT scan — but measurements of different regions are made hours apart. That’s my understanding — please correct me if I am wrong.

    Willis, another interesting read. Thanks.

  68. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Nylo, I do love to see other people actually doing work and reporting the results. My comments follow:

    Nylo says:
    March 9, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Willis, I know of another popular climate change related graphic which goes up and down during the year, but for different lengths of time: that of the CO2 at Mauna Loa. It peaks in May, and bottoms in October. That’s 7 months up, followed by 5 months down. Very similar to the upwelling radiation cycle, which is 7 months up, 5 months down, but with the changes 2 months after, July and December instead of May and October.

    True dat …

    Now, looking at your graphic, the 5 months in which CO2 goes down in Mauna Loa are the 5 months in which the seasonal component of the upwelling radiation cycle is above 0 W/m2. Despite we are told that the annual variation of CO2 is mostly due to the cooling and warming of southern oceans, releasing and taking CO2, this seems to suggest something else. CO2 is reduced when the upwelling radiation is highest. And upwelling radiation is highest when the planet is hotter. Although the southern oceans do cool and warm in opposite cycles to that of the rest of the planet, their cycle is not 5 months up – 7 months down, and the peaks are NOT happening in May and October. So it looks to me that the biosphere’s photosinthesis cycle is much more important for the CO2 cycle than the cooling and warming of southern oceans.

    Most folks think the variations in CO2 are mostly from NH biosphere variations, not sure where you got the idea it’s temperature variations.

    Now there is an interesting thing about the CO2 cycle in Mauna Loa that I observed a long time ago. We all know that CO2 is increasing at an increasingly faster rate. This is logical, because we are increasing our CO2 emissions all the time. But I wondered if this was happening in the same way at all times of the year. Given that we have increased our emissions throughout all the year (the increase of our emissions between May-October is similar to the increase between October-May), we should see a similar effect through the year. I.e. if we are now gaining about 1,5 ppm more per year than we were at the beginning of Mauna Loa measurements (we used to gain 1 ppm in the 50′s and we are now gaining between 2 and 2,5 ppm per year), this should mean roughly 0.85 higher increase during the months it increases (October-May) and about 0.65 lower reduction during the months it reduces (May-October). But we don’t see that. The CO2 reduction between May-October is still the same that it used to be in the 50′s: around 5 ppm. It is the increase from October-May the only one that is changing, from around 6 ppm then to around 7.5 ppm now.

    Hmmm … the data is here. Your claim is that increase in CO2 has grown, but the decrease in CO2 has not grown.

    To investigate your claim, I calculated the changes from May to October, then from October to May … I get the following for the 56 years of the record.

    Period of CO2 decrease, May-Oct —
    Mean decrease: -5.6 ppmv from October to May
    Change over 56 years: – 0.23 ± 0.27 ppmv, p=0.25, not statistically significant

    Period of CO2 increase, Oct-May —
    Mean increase: 7 ppmv from October to May
    Change over 56 years: + 1.7 ± 0.2 ppmv, p =1.2e-7

    So my data agrees with yours, which is always good.

    How are we to understand this? You say:

    The only logical explanation is that the biosphere has kept up to the game in those months, which are the months of NH greening. We are sending a lot more of CO2, but the plants are sequestering it also a lot more… during the time of the year that they can do it: May-October. Plants so far have kept up to the game during their season, the problem is the limited ammount of time during the year that they can do so.

    I don’t see that the plants are “sequestering it also a lot more”. Total global sequestration has undoubtedly increased, but plant sequestration (annual decrease in CO2) has stayed about the same.

    Seems to me that to come to any conclusion about this oddity, you’d need to do the full analysis, which involves the exponential decay of the excess CO2. See my post here regarding the question.

    I’ve never looked at the effect of the exponential decay on the seasonal swings, or how that is affected by seasonal swings in CO2 emissions, or how that is related to the seasonal swings in the ocean temperatures … and without that, I’m not willing to hazard a guess as to what the implications of the oddity you point out might be. It might simply reflect a constant annual plant uptake (no change in decrease) combined with a steady increase in emissions.

    Interesting stuff, thanks, I attach the R code I used …

    w.

    co2url="ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt"
    co2file="MLO CO2.txt"
    
    download.file(co2url,co2file) # get data
    
    co2raw=read.fwf(co2file,skip=72,header=FALSE,widths=c(4,4,12,12,12,12,7)) # read data
    head(co2raw)
    co2=ts(co2raw[,5],start=c(1958,3),freq=12) # make time series
    plot(decomp(co2)) # plot data analysis
    themonths=co2raw[,2]/1
    
    themays=which(themonths==5)
    theocts=which(themonths==10)
    thelength=length(themays)
    octminusmay=co2[theocts]-co2[themays] 
    mayminusoct=co2[themays[2:thelength]]-co2[theocts[1:(thelength-1)]]
    plot(octminusmay,type="o")
    plot(mayminusoct,type="o")
    
    lm(octminusmay~seq_along(octminusmay))$coeff[2]*56 # trend
    summary(lm(octminusmay~seq_along(octminusmay)))$coefficients[2,2]*56 # trend uncertainty
    
    lm(mayminusoct~seq_along(mayminusoct))$coeff[2]*56 # trend
    summary(lm(mayminusoct~seq_along(mayminusoct)))$coefficients[2,2]*56 # trend uncertainty
    
    mean(mayminusoct)
    mean(octminusmay)
    

    … should be turnkey, but no guarantees ...

  69. fhhaynie says:

    Mathew,
    In the dark of winter, there is no direct solar input of energy to the surface to be reflected. The energy is being delivered by currents of air and water. The radiative transfer of energy is all toward space. In summer, the direct radiation from the sun is mostly reflected out to space because of the low angle. The rate of change in skin surface temperature (SST) is a pretty good measure of the amount of radiation absorbed by the frozen surface. The difference between the black body radiation from the surface and OLR at TOA is a measure of the “green house effect” of water vapor, clouds, and possibly CO2.

  70. RACookPE1978 says:

    Hmmmn.

    To focus on specific questions:

    1.

    First, the solar input. Although a lot of folks talk about the “solar constant”, over the course of the year the sun is anything but constant. Because the Earth’s orbit is not circular, annually the Earth moves closer and further from the sun. This gives an annual change of about 22 W/m2, with a high point in early January and a low point exactly six months later in early July. So that’s one clock—peaks in January, bottoms out in July, six months rise, six months fall.

    I am very willing to be corrected, but I have long understood that the true solar TOA value is
    TOA (day-of-year) =TSI*(1+0.0342*(COS(2*3.141*((DOY-3)/365))))

    Where TSI = 1361 Watts/m^2 per Lief’s latest note to us here at WUWT) and
    the 2*pi/365 formats the cosine curve into Excel’s radian format.

    Maximum is 3 January at 1410 watts/m^2
    Minimum is 5 July at 1314 watts/m^2.

    Given that both the maximum and minimum are rather “slow” changes, obviously January is “high” over a period of a slowly changing peak of about 4 weeks, and July is the minimum at the same slowly changing 4 week “low point.”

    1A. Earth’s albedo: Almost all of the earth’s land surface is in the northern hemisphere, which is being irradiated according to the solstices’ variation points: “Zero” on March 22 and Sept 22 (or thereabouts) and maximum southern tilt on Dec 22 (southern end exposed to the sun) and June 22 (northern end exposed to the sun.) Note that these dates “ALMOST” – but not quite! – mimic the minimum and maximum solar exposures! (The change from peak northern and southern hemisphere exposure and peak TOA values is said to be an important part of the overall cycle changes that cause Ice Age buildups.)

    2. Although sunlight at TOA is a geometric function of declination angle and the earth’s tilt and year-long rotation period, the “heat absorbed” and the final earth temperature (proportional to the re-radiated long-wave radiation measured at CERES) is going to be more like the daily earth temperature record.

    And, each day, the earth’s actual hourly temperature repeats that same cycle: Maximum NOT at maximum solar exposure (12:00 noon) and minimum at least solar exposure (24:00 or 0:00 hours) but maximum slightly afternoon (14:00 hours) and minimum just before dawn at 4:00 – 5:00 AM). The hourly temperature change is most definitely NOT a simple sine or cosine wave differential from the easy solar cycle!

    Now, “translate” each of 24 hours into a 12 month cycle.

    For the north, final temperatures will be most like the “land” temperatures we recognize above. Maximum solar exposure in late June at latitude +23.5 degrees, and, naturally, one “hour” later (or 2/24 months later) would be Mid-July to early August for maximum temperatures in the north, right? Maximum land temperatures => maximum long-wave radiation outbound, right?

    Now, for the soutehrn end.

    The maximum solar exposure is 22 December, but maximum solar oputput – the +1.5% increase above in TOA value above – occurs slightly later on 3 Janury.

    But, of all the land area down south, South America and Africa are themselves in the northern hemisphere for a good part of their land mass. (Africa in particular – the Equator cuts under the Sahara; India is all northern hemisphere, and as much as I hold the OZZIES and NEZZIES in high regard, neither is very large. And almost NO southern land mass has any ice caps except the few Andes peaks.) Thus, Antarctic’s total ice area (at sea ice maximum) is 14.0 (land area) + 3.5 (ice shelves) + 19.5 (sea ice) = 37.0 Mkm^2 of reflective surface. At minimum sea ice, 14.0 Mkm^2 + 3.5 + 3.5 Mkm^2 = 21.0 Mkm^2 of sea ice down south.

    Larger than all of the rest of the southern land areas combined.

    To compare, up north, at minimum, sea ice is about 3.0 Mkm^2 (all above 78-80 north latitude) and 14.0 Mkm^2 at maximum, all above 72 north latitude. (At maximum, there is a bunch of land ice as well.) The Great Lakes, Baltic Ocean, Bering Straits, etc. But much, much less northern ice in all.

    So, total land area in the southern hemisphere = 35 Mkm^2 of “land” albedo at 0.30 and 37.0 Mkm^2 of “ice albedo” at 0.83 (at maximum sea ice) and about 21.0 “ice” albedo (at minimum sea ice). Total southern hemisphere area = 514 Mkm^2.

    Thus, would you not “expect” the southern hemisphere to “reflect” this tremendous mismatch in solar heat storage? That 475 difference in ocean albedo od 0.065 plus its thermal inertia would keep the southern land hemisphere very, very slow to respond to solar exposure changes.

    Thus, I would almost question the CERES results if they did not have different cycles at different peak times.

  71. RACookPE1978 says:

    John A says:
    March 9, 2014 at 9:25 am (replying to)

    Willis,

    Can you explain why the reflected solar peaks before the incoming solar and bottoms out after the incoming solar (figure 1). It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for me…

    The rotating sphere but slowly titling-back-and-forth-3D geometry under a slowly changing solar exposure at TOA is a bit complex, but there is no particular reason why the reflected energy should ever peak near the yearly radiation TOA dates.

    Let’s look at the 22nd of each month, starting on Dec 22.

    Dec 22, day-of-year = 357. Radiation at TOA high at 1406 watts/m^2, but NOT yet at its maximum. Earth’s tilt at a maximum towards the south pole, but southern sea ice at 10.4 Mkm^2 is not yet at its minimum. (Total southern ice about 28.0 Mkm^2, edge of southern sea ice in 2013 about -62.9 degrees south.) Northern sea ice and much of its northern land ice is still in the dark nearly all of every 24 hours.

    Jan 22, day-of-year =22. Radiation past its peak at 1405 watts/M^2 -> still very high. Earth’s tilt reducing towards zero, but still strongly to the south pole. Northern sea ice all in the dark, northern land ice about 50-50 in the dark all the time. Southern sea ice not yet at its minimum in 2013 at 4.6 Mkm^2, total southern ice = 22.1 Mkm^2; edge is at latitude -65.9.

    Feb 22, day-of-year = 53. Radiation at TOA decreasing from its peak at 1391 watts/m^2 but still above the yearly average value of 1361. Northern sea ice is just beginning to see some daylight once each day at noon. Northern sea ice still increasing (land ice area about the same as before) at 15.3 Mkkm^2 (2012 data). Southern sea ice near its minimum for the year at 3.9 Mkm^2, total southern sea ice also near minimum (obviously) at 21.4 Mkm^2, edge of southern sea ice about -66.4 latitude.

    Mar 22, day-of-year = 82. Radiation down to near “yearly average” at 1371 watts/m^2. Earth’s tilt = 0, Northern and southern hemispheres getting equal hours of sunlight at last. Northern sea ice nearing its maximum now (much later than southern sea ice’s minimum date!) at 15.1 Mkm^2 at latitude 70.5 north. Northern land ice melting in temperature latitudes, still strong further north across Canada and Siberia and Alaska. Further south, northern land areas beginning to green up and grow darker. Southern sea ice growing now 5.5 Mkm^2, total southern ice = 23.0 Mkm*2, edge of southern sea ice at – 65.5 latitude.

    April 22, day-of-year = 113. Radiation continues to decrease towards mid-summer minimum at 1347 watts/m^2. Tilt going towards the north pole. Northern sea ice just past its maximum, now at 14.1 Mkm^2, with a southern edge at 70.9 latitude. Most of the northern land ice is melted, some remains in the Arctic shores. Southern sea ice is increasing, now 8.3 Mkm^2, total southern ice = 25.8 Mkm^2, edge = -64.0 south latitude but it is still getting considerable solar exposure every day.

    May 22, day of year = 143. Radiation at TOA now down to 1326 watts/m^2. Northern sea ice decreasing from 12.6 Mkm^2, northern edge = 71/9 latitude, almost no land ice at all across Siberia and Canada. Southern sea ice increasing, now at 11.66 Mkm^2, total southern ice now 29.2 Mkm^2, but much of the southern ice is not exposed to the sun most of the day. Maximum sun elevation at the edge of southern sea ice at latitude -62.3 is only 7.2 degrees at noon.

    June 22, day-of-year = 174. Radiation still decreasing, but near its low point at 1315 watts/m^2. Northern sea ice decreasing at 10.2 Mkm^2, edge at latitude 73.7 degrees north, but it is exposed all day. No northern land ice to speak of. Southern sea ice increasing, now at 14.8 Mkm^2, total southern ice = 32.3 Mkm^2. Maximum earth tilt AWAY from the southern sea ice, but the edge of that southern sea ice = -60.8 latitude and the solar elevation at noon = 5.7 degrees, so some energy is still being reflected in the southern hemisphere.

    July 22, day-of-year = 204. Radiation at TOA is past its lowest point, but just barely at 1317 watts/m^2. More importantly, northern sea ice albedo is now near its yearly low due to melt ponds, acculumated dirt and soot, and the lack of much fresh snow since May. Judith Curry’s measurements show mid-summer northern sea ice albedo at only 0.46 over June-July, far down from the mid-winter maximum of 0.83 albedo. Thus, both northern sea ice and northern ocean water at low solar elevation angles are nearly the same this timeof year! Northern sea ice is still exposed to 24 hours of sun, but its edge is at 76.3 latitude and is headed north rapidly as area decreases, at noon the sun is now only 33.2 solar elevation angle, northern sea ice area = only 7.4 Mkm^2. Southern sea ice increasing, and sun’s tilt is coming back towards the south pole, but is still to the northern hemisphere. Southern sea ice = 17.3 Mkm^2, total southern ice = 34.8 Mkm^2 with an edge at -59.7 degrees latitude. SEA at noon is now 10.0 above the horizon, and that angle will continue to increase.

    22 Aug, day-of-year = 235. TOA radiation up to 1330 watts/m^2 but it is still below the yearly average. Northern sea ice now down to only 5.2 Mkm^2 in 2012, edge at latitude 78.5. Highest SEA now only 21.7 degrees at noon. Southern sea ice now up to 19.03 Mkm^2, total southern ice = 36.5 Mkm^2 at latitude -59.0 latitude, so both are nearing their maximum for the year, but are not yet at it. Southern sea ice at the edge is now getting 19.3 SEA degrees above the horizon.

    Sept 22, day-of-year = 266 – the most intersting day of the year! Radiaiton at TOA is now close to the yearly average: 1352 watts/m^2. Northern sea ice at its yearly minimum – in 2012 that was 4.0 Mkm^2 ice extents. Maybe a little bit of northern land ice, but very, very little. Earth’s tilt back to 0.0, both poles exposed to 12 hours of sun, both get 12 hours of darkness. Southern sea ice approaching its maximum at 19.6 Mkm^2, total area = 37.1 Mkm^2, edge of the southern sea ice = -58.7 latitude in 2013. Southern sea ice is has 30.7 solar SEA at noon, Arctic sea ice now only has 10.7 SEA at noon. Thus, at noon, the “newly melted” Arctic ocean surface is exposed to only 108 Watts/m^2 at sea level; but every meter of that 1.9 million “excess” Antarctic sea ice (excess over the yearly “normal” in September) is exposed to 501 Watts/m^! A 5 to 1 ratio of Antarctic to Arctic exposure per square meter on the same day of year!

    Oct 22, day-of-year = 296. The earth’s tilt is to the south, moving more towards the south pole every day. Northern land ice is increasing, but northern sea ice is in darkness even at noon at latitude 76.2 at a total of 7.4 Mkm^2. Southern sea ice is still near maximum (at maximum on some years) at 18.7 Mkm^2 sea ice, 36.2 total ice, with a sea ice edge at latitude -59.1. At noon, even though the Arctic sea ice is in the dark, the southern sea ice is sees 42.0 degrees SEA, and received a total 723 watts/m^2 at noon. At that SEA, 128 watts are absorbed by the sea ice, and 595 watts are reflected back into space to cool the planet. Regardless of how much (or how little) Arctic ocean water is exposed by melting sea ice from the “normal” there is no sunlight to heat the ocean water, and cooling increases because of greater open ocean evaporation, convection losses, and radiation losses.

  72. Doug Jones says:

    Crispin in Waterloo wrote:

    I really need to save and share your Figures 5 and 6 but please turn them 90 degrees left putting the Latitude on the bottom, and add a new left axis scale 0-100 for the Emissivity.

    A simple trick (not found in Nature)- open the image in a new window, then ctrl-alt-(left arrow).

    ctrl-alt-(up-arrow) to return to normal.

  73. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Well, friends, here’s the results of the cleanup:

    DATA AND CODE: The code is in a zipped folder here . Unzip it and put the individual files into the workspace. You’ll also need the CERES TOA data in the same workspace (WARNNG: 230 Mbytes). The main file is called “Three Clocks.R”, I think it’s turnkey.

    I’ve added this to the head post.

  74. DonV says:

    Willis, Looking at this data what struck me was that it looks a lot like sound does on an oscilloscope. Unfortunately it is filter sound. It is only the sound put out by the sub-sub-sub woofer. If the weather engine is set up to self-regulate on a day or even hourly time scale, that “sound” is the real music that is being played out every day, that would have all the interesting bits in it. That is the sound that shows just how self-stabilizing the whole climate system is. If we had a musical picture of the hourly, daily, monthly and then annual symphony we would most likely see regular oscillation that continuously self corrected and therefore really CAN’T go into thermaggedon by 1% changes in the contribution by a gas farter in the back row named CO2.

  75. Willis Eschenbach says:

    DonV says:
    March 9, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Willis, Looking at this data what struck me was that it looks a lot like sound does on an oscilloscope. Unfortunately it is filter sound. It is only the sound put out by the sub-sub-sub woofer. If the weather engine is set up to self-regulate on a day or even hourly time scale, that “sound” is the real music that is being played out every day, that would have all the interesting bits in it. That is the sound that shows just how self-stabilizing the whole climate system is. If we had a musical picture of the hourly, daily, monthly and then annual symphony we would most likely see regular oscillation that continuously self corrected and therefore really CAN’T go into thermaggedon by 1% changes in the contribution by a gas farter in the back row named CO2.

    Thanks, Don. For that, you might look at my studies of the TAO buoy data, which in some cases is every two minutes (although mostly either every 20 mins or hourly). Here’s a graphic from one of the studies, showing what happens at the TAO buoys when the mornings are either warmer or cooler than average for that buoy. Note that when the days start out warmer than average, they end up cooler than average, and vice versa.

    ORIGINAL CAPTION: Figure 2. Average of all buoy records (heavy black line), as well as averages of the same data divided into days when dawn is warmer than average (heavy red line), and days when dawn is cooler than average (heavy blue line) for each buoy. Light lines show the difference between the previous and the following 1:00 AM temperatures.

    My studies of the TAO buoy data include:

    The Tao That Can Be Spoken

    TAO/TRITON TAKE TWO

    Cloud Radiation Forcing in the TAO Dataset

    Best regards,

    w.

  76. Konrad says:

    Willis,
    I have a question. (good news, it’s not related to “crazy” experiments ;-)

    Figure five shows a peak in surface albedo and reflected solar SW at the ITCZ, just where the cloud thermostat hypothesis says there should be a peak. However the up-welling LWIR trace also shows a corresponding dip. This is not what I would have expected.

    Standard NASA energy budgets show 90% of absorbed energy leaving the planet as OLR from the atmosphere. This is typically a slow process, with full circulation in tropospheric cells taking weeks. I would have expected the up-welling LWIR curve to have been smoother.

    Is up-welling LWIR directly measured by CERES satellites or is it inferred by subtracting reflected SW from incoming TSI?

  77. James Smyth says:

    because there is a known difference of 5 W/m2 between the totals of the incoming and outgoing radiation … so the CERES data can’t help us determine if the earth is gaining or losing energy.

    I don’t understand this. If the difference is known, why can’t we determine the gain/loss?

  78. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Konrad says:
    March 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Willis,
    I have a question. (good news, it’s not related to “crazy” experiments ;-)

    Good news indeed, and good to hear from you.

    Figure five shows a peak in surface albedo and reflected solar SW at the ITCZ, just where the cloud thermostat hypothesis says there should be a peak. However the up-welling LWIR trace also shows a corresponding dip. This is not what I would have expected.

    Standard NASA energy budgets show 90% of absorbed energy leaving the planet as OLR from the atmosphere. This is typically a slow process, with full circulation in tropospheric cells taking weeks. I would have expected the up-welling LWIR curve to have been smoother.

    Is up-welling LWIR directly measured by CERES satellites or is it inferred by subtracting reflected SW from incoming TSI?

    Let me start with the easy question. Upwelling LWIR is indeed measured rather than inferred.

    However, the relationship between the two (reflected sw and lw) is complex. It depends on the kind of clouds. Hang on, let me make a chart … hot off the presses, I haven’t looked at this one.

    As I mentioned … more questions than answers …

    w.

  79. Willis Eschenbach says:

    James Smyth says:
    March 9, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    because there is a known difference of 5 W/m2 between the totals of the incoming and outgoing radiation … so the CERES data can’t help us determine if the earth is gaining or losing energy.

    I don’t understand this. If the difference is known, why can’t we determine the gain/loss?

    James, good question, sorry for my lack of clarity.

    The difference is only approximately known because we have nothing to gauge it against. IF we assume that the actual imbalance is less than one W/m2, then the error would be between about four and about six W/m2.

    As a result, in Figure 7 I show the TOA imbalance as an anomaly about the mean, rather than the absolute value as in Figures 2 thru 4.

    w.

  80. gymnosperm says:

    “but to my shock, the upwelling longwave hardly changes at all. Say what? Heck, in the extra-tropical southern hemisphere there’s almost no difference at all in longwave radiation over the year … why so little change in either hemisphere?”

    I submit that the reason is most upwelling longwave comes from the oceans, and more so in the southern hemisphere, as a part of a subcycle between the surface and the atmosphere with an energy budget equal to TSI. The photon food fight basically is its own sun, and the other one can go where it will between the tropics.

  81. gymnosperm says:

    “its own sun” (as long as daddy keeps paying the bills)

  82. Willis Eschenbach says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    March 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    … I am very willing to be corrected, but I have long understood that the true solar TOA value is
    TOA (day-of-year) =TSI*(1+0.0342*(COS(2*3.141*((DOY-3)/365))))

    Where TSI = 1361 Watts/m^2 per Lief’s latest note to us here at WUWT) and
    the 2*pi/365 formats the cosine curve into Excel’s radian format.

    Maximum is 3 January at 1410 watts/m^2
    Minimum is 5 July at 1314 watts/m^2.

    That’s a very interesting formula, RA. The actual results of the formula are very close to the CERES values.

    > TSI=1361 # W/m2
    > DOY=c(1:365) # days of the year, from 1 to 365
    > dailyTSI=TSI*(1+0.0342*(cos(2*pi*((DOY-3)/365)))) #calculates TSI for all days
    > jan=1:31 # first 31 days are january
    > jul=jan+182 # july is same, a half year out
    > mean(dailyTSI[jan]) # Jan avg per formula
    [1] 1405.849
    > max(theresult[,"Data"])*4 # Jan per CERES
    [1] 1404.245
    > mean(dailyTSI[jul]) # July avg per formula
    [1] 1315.902
    > min(theresult[,"Data"])*4 # July per CERES
    [1] 1315.415 

    As you can see, the CERES data agrees closely with your heuristic formula.

    Thanks,

    w.

  83. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Willis,
    Your observed different seasonality of solar radiation, reflected solar and outgoing longwave is no mystery. It is expected.

    Solar radiation peaks in January because of earth’s perihelion is on January 3. Reflected solar peaks in December because winter in the Northern Hemisphere starts on December 21. More snow coverage in North America, Russia, Europe and more Arctic sea ice coverage. Snow and ice reflect solar radiation. It’s summer in Antarctica but the ice sheet doesn’t melt because the temperature is negative 3 C.

    Outgoing longwave IR peaks in July because of dry season in the tropics, which peaks in July at the equator. Tropics is warmer than Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It gives emits more longwave IR and dry season is warmer than wet season.

  84. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Willis,
    BTW winter in NH and Arctic sea ice peak in February but Antarctic sea ice bottoms in February. While in December there’s already snow coverage in NH and Antarctic sea ice coverage is still high. Overall NH plus SH, there’s more snow and ice in December than February.

  85. Konrad says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm
    ————————————
    Willis,
    Thank you for the chart.
    When I “spin” that planetary map averaging along lines of latitude, a distinct band over the ITCZ appears -
    http://i61.tinypic.com/20zcner.jpg

    However from the original chart, it appears geographical patterns are having a strong influence in this region.

    More questions as you say.

  86. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dr. Strangelove says:
    March 9, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Willis,
    Your observed different seasonality of solar radiation, reflected solar and outgoing longwave is no mystery. It is expected.

    Right, the science is settled. Got it.

    Outgoing longwave IR peaks in July because of dry season in the tropics, which peaks in July at the equator. Tropics is warmer than Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It gives emits more longwave IR and dry season is warmer than wet season.

    As usual, life is a bit more complex than we might like …

    As it turns out, there is no clear “peak” in the tropical TOA outgoing longwave IR in July. In fact, July is the lowest of the surrounding months.

    Next, the CERES data doesn’t show a “dry season” in July. The amount of upwelling clear-sky surface radiation that is absorbed by the atmosphere varies with the water content of the atmosphere. As you might imagine, the more water, the greater the percentage of radiation absorbed.

    Given that, here’s the absorption data for the tropics:

    As you can see, the tropical atmosphere is indeed dry in July (low absorption) … but it’s much lower in January.

    Or I suppose you might be claiming that tropical rainfall peaks in July … it’s actually quite variable, island by island:

    In general, however, the wettest months in the tropics (23.5°N/S) are Jan-Feb-Mar, not July …

    Folks, if you haven’t actually run the numbers, might I suggest that questions might be better than heartfelt but ungrounded assertions that what we see is “expected” …

    Regards,

    w.

  87. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Willis
    I followed your mistake blindly. Yes longwave peaks not in July but in March-April and October-September. These are the months when northern and southern tropics are both in dry season. July is peak at the equator. But north and south of the equator have larger area than the equator itself.

    Sorry for my carelessness since I looked at the charts in just a few minutes.

  88. Nylo says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Most folks think the variations in CO2 are mostly from NH biosphere variations, not sure where you got the idea it’s temperature variations.

    When I first did that analysis some years ago (the no-change in the CO2 reduction between May and October whereas October-May increase has changed a lot), I showed it in some alarmist site, which I cannot remember now but was probably Real Climate, in a comment to a related post. My claim that it was probably the biosphere absorbing more CO2 than before was replied back saying that I was wrong, that the biosphere does indeed absorb more CO2 in those months than the rest of the year, but that the bulk of the reduction came from the cooling of the Southern Oceans and the CO2 uptake that comes with it. Which, to me, makes no sense, because if the SO were starting to uptake more CO2 than in the past, we would see the effect all the year. But I let it die at the time.

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm
    I don’t see that the plants are “sequestering it also a lot more”. Total global sequestration has undoubtedly increased, but plant sequestration (annual decrease in CO2) has stayed about the same.

    I don’t follow you here. If annual decrease in CO2 during May-October stays about the same, but we are emitting more than before in those months, then necesarily “something” is absorbing more to counter our increased emissions during those months. And this something only works between the months of May and October, as we don’t observe the same countering of the effect the rest of the year. This “something” may not be the NH plants… but then what else could it be, that would only increase the CO2 uptake during those months and not during the rest of the year?

  89. ssat says:

    Willis, my apologies, in my post at March 9, 2014 at 7:51 am I did not put the intended question mark at the end. With that, you will see that I wonder about the calibration adjustment that has been made to bring the TOA imbalance into the realms of believability. It is the absence of a trend that is bothering me. If there was an increasing imbalance then we could conclude that this was to be expected if increasing CO2 was cause. If there was a decreasing trend then that would suggest that it is not. Between those two lies the possibility that increasing CO2 has a neutral effect. If that is the case then perhaps the calibration adjustment should be one that centres the ‘imbalance’ at zero?

    I then go on to extrapolate perhaps a step too far, but hey, I’m a sceptic.

  90. aaron says:

    “Southern Oceans and the CO2 uptake that comes with it. Which, to me, makes no sense, because if the SO were starting to uptake more CO2 than in the past, we would see the effect all the year. But I let it die at the time.”

    The intake is constant, but may vary by component. The output is what is trending. The two most likely sinks are bio and ocean (and ocean bio). Do we have good numbers on ocean emissions? My guess would be that with the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, the atmoshpere is already close to equalibrium so the ocean emits less during that phase of the CO2 cycle to reach equalibrium.

  91. eyesonu says:

    Konrad says:
    March 10, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm
    ————————————
    Willis,
    Thank you for the chart.
    When I “spin” that planetary map averaging along lines of latitude, a distinct band over the ITCZ appears -
    http://i61.tinypic.com/20zcner.jpg

    However from the original chart, it appears geographical patterns are having a strong influence in this region.

    More questions as you say.

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

    With reference to both comments above and related links by Willlis and Konrad above and also mine @ March 8, 2014 at 11:37 pm.

    Is there a lot of reflection from the Sahara region and is there a lot of reflection from cloud formation in the areas of the downwind regions of all those islands in SE Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, etc) and would the Pacific trade winds pushing warm water into/through these islands set up a localized (from a global view point) effect along the 5N to 10N band? I don’t know much about the geography of those Islands but high mountains/elevation could lead to cloud formation on the lee sides. Multiply by a few thousand miles and it could be substantial.

    It may be neat to break that narrow band apart to see what effect is involved here. I would venture to suggest that land geography along this band plays and important role in the questions I had (in my mind) while observing Fig 6 in the head post.

    Questions, questions, questions!

  92. eyesonu says:

    Further to my comment above, not to be overlooked but not included in my comment would also include Willis’ emergent phenomena. Is there a lack of or lesser extent of ocean currents in/around the northern and western Indian ocean ( that would help flush out warmer waters) which would allow the surface temps to increase that would trigger the earth thermostat in this region that would cause higher cloud reflection that shows up in Fig 6 ? Northwest Indian ocean water looks like it could be in a “trap” in a sense.

    These presentations by Willis cause me happy anguish. That anguish being that now I have to divert much time and thought from more pressing issues to my brains “need to know”. It’s a happy anguish indeed.

  93. 1sky1 says:

    Roy Clark says:
    March 9, 2014 at 1:25 am

    “There is no climate ‘equlibrium’, just a lot of heating and cooling of large thermal reservoirs.”

    Spot on, Roy! Getting people to recognize that–along with the dominant role of evaporation in transfering heat to the atmosphere–is a real challenge. Nothing interferes with comprehension of real-world surface climate variations more than the simplistic “radiative greenhouse” paradigm.

  94. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Nylo says:
    March 10, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t see that the plants are “sequestering it also a lot more”. Total global sequestration has undoubtedly increased, but plant sequestration (annual decrease in CO2) has stayed about the same.

    I don’t follow you here. If annual decrease in CO2 during May-October stays about the same, but we are emitting more than before in those months, then necesarily “something” is absorbing more to counter our increased emissions during those months. And this something only works between the months of May and October, as we don’t observe the same countering of the effect the rest of the year. This “something” may not be the NH plants… but then what else could it be, that would only increase the CO2 uptake during those months and not during the rest of the year?

    Ah, I see what you are saying. Yes, you are right. However, I don’t think the effect is as strong as you indicate. The values drop for 5 months and increase for 7 months. ASSUMING that CO2 emissions are constant year-round, that would necessarily give an increase which is about 40% greater than the decrease.

    However, the emissions aren’t constant … they peak in the NH winter (Dec-Jan). US data here.

    Also, you’d need to look at the temporal pattern of the increases. Suppose that October is increasing faster than May. This would have the effect of keeping the drop more stable while increasing the rise … as we’ve seen. And for the US, October emissions are indeed increasing faster than May emissions. Don’t know what the world is doing …

    What you point at is an interesting finding. However, we can only determine how unusual it is by looking at the expected changes from the changes in trend. I’ve done that by taking the regular seasonal signal and adding it to the loess trend. This will show us what happens when there is no change in the seasonal cycle

    First, here is what we’d expect given the changing trend in CO2 for the increasing portion of the cycle, from October to May.

    As you can see, and as you’ve said, that’s what we’d expect.

    Next, here’s the part you find unusual, the decrease from May to October. Again I show expected and actual.

    For this one, we really don’t have enough data to decide if this is unusual. The problem is the runup from 1991 to 2001 … if that were to happen again, and there’s no reason it wouldn’t, then the changes would be well within the 95% CI of the expected changes.

    So … as in many things of this nature, we simply don’t have the data yet to decide if anything unusual is happening.

    Thanks for an interesting question,

    w.

  95. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Willis,
    I developed the equations to determine TOA reflected solar radiation as a function of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and Arctic and Antarctic sea ice coverage.
    Albedo of sea ice at surface is 0.7 convert this to albedo at TOA
    (0.7 x 200 + 77) / 340 W/m^2 = 0.64
    Albedo of snow at surface = 0.9 convert to albedo at TOA
    (0.9 x 200 + 77) / 340 W/m^2 = 0.76

    TOA reflected solar radiation is determined by solving these equations
    R = S/A (a1 As + a2 Ai + a3 An)
    An = A – As – Ai

    Where: R = TOA reflected solar radiation, S = TOA solar radiation, A = earth surface area = 510 million km^2, As = Northern Hemisphere snow cover, Ai = Arctic and Antarctic sea ice cover, An = area not covered by NH snow and sea ice, a1 = albedo of snow = 0.76, a2 = albedo of sea ice = 0.64, a3 = albedo without NH snow and sea ice = 0.26

    At minimum R in September
    S = 330 W/m^2
    Ai = 22 million km^2
    As = 6 million km^2
    Solving the equations, R = 93 W/m^2

    At maximum R in December
    S = 350 W/m^2
    Ai = 23 million km^2
    As = 35 million km^2
    Solving the equations, R = 109 W/m^2

    The results are consistent with CERES data in Figure 3

  96. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Willis
    I developed this equation to determine TOA longwave radiation as a function of seasonal temperature in Northern and Southern Hemispheres (including the tropics)

    L = e o (Tn^4 + Ts^4)/2

    Where: L = TOA longwave radiation, e = effective TOA emissivity = 0.631, o = Stefan-Boltzmann constant, Tn = ave. temperature in Northern Hemisphere, Ts = ave. temperature in Southern Hemisphere

    At maximum L in September
    Tn = 291 K
    Ts = 283.5 K
    Solving the equation, L = 244 W/m^2

    At minimum L in December
    Tn = 282 K
    Ts = 288 K
    Solving the equation, L = 236 W/m^2

    The results match CERES data in Figure 4

  97. Brian H says:

    Where are the horizontal dashed gold lines? Noseeum.

  98. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Brian H says:
    March 23, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Where are the horizontal dashed gold lines? Noseeum.

    Bottom panel, above and below the zero line …

    w.

Comments are closed.