Here’s a look at what black carbon does to radiation flux according to GISS, so it appears they are aware, but maybe not using the right numbers
This is for Asia, I’d really like to see Russia. Also see below the “read more” for an interesting experiment that Mike Smith of WeatherData Inc. did last year to show the effect of carbon on snow. It is a simple experiment that you can do at home. I wonder how much of that soot from Asia finds it’s way to snow at high latitudes?
And here is the article that has been making the rounds this week, h/t to Leif Svalgaard
Click for larger image Grant Stone, QCCCE
(PhysOrg.com) — A detailed analysis of black carbon — the residue of burned organic matter — in computer climate models suggests that those models may be overestimating global warming predictions.
A new Cornell study, published online in Nature Geosciences, quantified the amount of black carbon in Australian soils and found that there was far more than expected, said Johannes Lehmann, the paper’s lead author and a Cornell professor of biogeochemistry. The survey was the largest of black carbon ever published.
As a result of global warming, soils are expected to release more carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, which, in turn, creates more warming. Climate models try to incorporate these increases of carbon dioxide from soils as the planet warms, but results vary greatly when realistic estimates of black carbon in soils are included in the predictions, the study found.
Soils include many forms of carbon, including organic carbon from leaf litter and vegetation and black carbon from the burning of organic matter. It takes a few years for organic carbon to decompose, as microbes eat it and convert it to carbon dioxide. But black carbon can take 1,000-2,000 years, on average, to convert to carbon dioxide.
By entering realistic estimates of stocks of black carbon in soil from two Australian savannas into a computer model that calculates carbon dioxide release from soil, the researchers found that carbon dioxide emissions from soils were reduced by about 20 percent over 100 years, as compared with simulations that did not take black carbon’s long shelf life into account.
The findings are significant because soils are by far the world’s largest source of carbon dioxide, producing 10 times more carbon dioxide each year than all the carbon dioxide emissions from human activities combined. Small changes in how carbon emissions from soils are estimated, therefore, can have a large impact.
“We know from measurements that climate change today is worse than people have predicted,” said Lehmann. “But this particular aspect, black carbon’s stability in soil, if incorporated in climate models, would actually decrease climate predictions.”
The study quantified the amount of black carbon in 452 Australian soils across two savannas. Black carbon content varied widely, between zero and more than 80 percent, in soils across Australia.
“It’s a mistake to look at soil as one blob of carbon,” said Lehmann. “Rather, it has different chemical components with different characteristics. In this way, soil will interact differently to warming based on what’s in it.”
Provided by Cornell University
This from Brett Anderson’s AccuWeather Global Warming blog last year:
Here is a photo of fresh snow cover in my backyard over which I had tossed some eight month-old fireplace ash under a totally blue sky
Keeping in mind this demonstration is occurring just two days after the winter solstice (meaning the albedo effect is less than it would have been under clear skies in February or March), in just one hour, the greater melting in the ash-covered areas is already apparent:
After four hours, the ash-free area has a depth of 5.5 inches
At the same time, the ash-covered areas have a depth of about 2.5 inches. Multiple measurements were taken (note ruler hold about an inch in front of ruler) which yielded an average depth of 2.5 inches.
The areas without soot melt about 0.5 inches of snow during this 4-hour period while the soot-covered areas melt 3.5 inches.
For visual comparison purposes, note the ruler hole in the non-ash-covered snow above the shadow.
Even tiny amounts of soot pollution can induce high amounts of melting. There is little or no ash at upper right.. Small amounts of ash in the lower and left areas of the photo cause significant melting at the two-hour mark in the demonstration.
Any discussion pertaining to melting glaciers or icecaps must consider the accelerated melting caused by soot pollution in addition to any contribution from changing ambient temperatures.
Photos: Copyright 2007, Michael R. Smith
Mike Smith is CEO of WeatherData Services, Inc., An AccuWeather Company. Smith is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and a Certified Consulting Meteorologist.