'First Light' Taken by NASA's Newest CERES Instrument, includes stunning "blue marble" image

NPP satellite photo

Western Hemisphere + web view | + hi-res image Eastern Hemisphere + web view | + hi-res image

A ‘Blue Marble’ image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012. + go to feature

The doors are open on NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite and the newest version of the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is scanning Earth for the first time, helping to assure continued availability of measurements of the energy leaving the Earth-atmosphere system.

The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.

CERES shortwave data visualization

Thick cloud cover tends to reflect a large amount of incoming solar energy back to space (blue/green/white image), but at the same time, reduce the amount of outgoing heat lost to space (red/blue/orange image). Contrast the areas that do not have cloud cover (darker colored regions) to get a sense for how much impact the clouds have on incoming and outgoing energy. Credit: NASA/NOAA/CERES Team

*** Click either image to enlarge it ***

CERES longwave data visualization

In the longwave image, heat energy radiated from Earth (in watts per square meter) is shown in shades of yellow, red, blue and white. The brightest-yellow areas are the hottest and are emitting the most energy out to space, while the dark blue areas and the bright white clouds are much colder, emitting the least energy. Increasing temperature, decreasing water vapor, and decreasing clouds will all tend to increase the ability of Earth to shed heat out to space. Credit: NASA/NOAA/CERES Team

CERES arrived in space Oct. 28, 2011, carried by NASA’s newest Earth-observing satellite, the recently renamed Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, or Suomi NPP. Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, NOAA and the Department of Defense.

Instrument cover-opening activities began on the instrument at 10:12 a.m. Eastern time Jan. 26, an operation that took about three hours. The “first light” process represented the transition from engineering checkout to science observations. The next morning CERES began taking Earth-viewing data, and on Jan. 29 scientists produced an image from the scans.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see the CERES FM-5 instruments on Suomi NPP begin taking measurements. We’re continuing the legacy of the most accurate Earth radiation budget observations ever made,” said CERES project scientist Kory Priestley, of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

“It has taken an incredible team of engineers, scientists, data management and programmatic experts to get CERES to this point,” he said.

NASA instruments have provided the scientific community unprecedented observations of the Earth’s climate and energy balance for nearly 30 years. The first CERES instrument was launched in 1997. Before that, the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) did the job beginning in 1984.

Langley Research Center has led both the ERBE and CERES experiments and provided stewardship of these critical climate observations.

For 27 years without a break, the instruments collectively have returned a vast quantity of precise data about the solar energy reflected and absorbed by Earth, the heat the planet emits, and the role of clouds in that process.

“CERES monitors minute changes in the Earth’s energy budget, the difference between incoming and outgoing energy,” said CERES principal investigator Norman Loeb, of Langley Research Center.

“Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean, raises sea level, and causes increases in atmospheric temperature,” Loeb said. “Amassing a long record of data is important in order to understand how Earth’s climate is changing in response to human activities as well as natural processes.”

How It Works

In addition to observing changes in Earth’s radiation budget, scientists are also monitoring changes in clouds and aerosols, which strongly influence Earth’s radiation budget.

“Clouds both reflect sunlight and block energy from radiating to space,” Loeb said. “Which of these two effects dominates depends upon the properties of clouds, such as their amount, thickness and height.”

“As the Earth’s environment evolves, cloud properties may change in ways that could amplify or offset climate change driven by other processes. Understanding the influence of clouds on the energy budget is therefore a critical climate problem.”

The four other CERES instruments are in orbit on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites.

Overall Mission

The five-instrument suite on Suomi NPP collects and distributes remotely sensed land, ocean, and atmospheric data to the meteorological and global Earth system science research communities. The mission will provide atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity sounding, land and ocean biological productivity, cloud and aerosol properties, total/profile ozone measurements, and monitor changes in the Earth’s radiation budget.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Suomi mission for the Earth Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program provides the satellite ground system and NOAA provides operational support. Suomi NPP commissioning activities are expected to be completed by March.

NASA Langley manages the CERES experiment with additional contracted support from Science Systems and Applications, Inc. The TRW Space & Electronics Group in Redondo Beach, Calif., now owned by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, built all of the CERES instruments.

MORE INFORMATION

› Suomi NPP Mission

› CERES page

› Q&A With CERES Principal Investigator

Michael Finneran

NASA Langley Research Center

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

This is a good reminder that no matter how much we focus on wavelengths of light that are blocked by GHGs, there are still large windows where heat from the ground can radiate into space when high clouds don’t get in the way.

Replicant

Great images. Makes you wonder if Hansen really can find his 0.58 Watts from the long wave image?

George E. Smith;

Wonderful to see they are back on the air, and ready to prove that clouds cause global warming.
No matter how “The Team” tries to skin this cat, the incontrovertible fact is that ANY and ALL clouds, whether thick or thin, high or low STOP SUNLIGHT (AKA SOLAR ENERGY) from reaching the deep ocean storage sites, which are those vast bluey areas. Less collected and stored solar energy leads to a cooler earth; same as a reduction in TSI does. Yes that cloud captures solar energy does heat THE ATMOSPHERE but the subsequent isotropic emission from the atmosphere, still goes half to space, and half earthwards; result is STILL a NET LOSS of solar energy.
The redistribution of the surface emitted LWIR is just a red herring.
More clouds, less captured solar energy, earth cools, clouds precipitate moisture, and dissipate, more solar energy reaches the surface, surface warms up, more water evaporates, more water forms more clouds, more clouds blocks more solar energy, surface cools down.
A perfect negative feedback loop that REGULATES THE SOLAR ENERGY CAPTURED BY PLANET EARTH.
And I might add that since in general the bulk of the atmosphere will be colder than the surface, so there can’t be a net “heat flow from atmosphere to surface. There CAN be LWIR emission to the surface; but the bulk of that is stopped in the oceanic surface film and simply evaporates more water; it doesn’t get transported to the deep ocean storage depths (700 metres or so).
But I’m happy, they have their tools back on the air; just wish they wouldn’t start off by assuming the indefensible.
And without the Raleigh scattering which is also a blue light loss of solar energy from the surface, that “blue marble” would just be a black marble, like it is made of obsidian.

EJ

We have data for earth’s lw emmisions for the last 25 years?
Where are the analyses in the IPCC?

FergalR

Isn’t there a satellite that was built but never launched which was supposed to be stationed at a Lagrange point where it could constantly monitor the Earth’s albedo?

Alan S. Blue

The photos are amazing.
I’d be very interested in seeing the simultaneous examination of just one area with a variety of cloud covers – from both the ground-looking-up and CERES looking down.
A miniscule number of experiments would seem like it would really lock down a raft of arguments.

Julian Flood

Load the Western Hemisphere, zoom in and look at the Gulf of Mexico. See the mouth of the Mississippi and the curious way the clouds avoid the area where the waters of that great and polluted river spill into the sea?
Why do you think that is? It almost looks as if something about the water is dissolving the clouds.
JF

dp

The first picture is classic Naked Earth. It’s nearly cloud-free. It looks hot, barren, and parched. Coincidence, Treberth’s missing heat, or cherry picking? We report, you decide. But don’t forget – composite images – all make believe stuff. Like models. There is no intelligence in these photos – use your own.

One of the things to keep in mind regarding clouds reflecting incoming energy and increasing the apparent sky temperature for radiation from the surface is that the clouds move. And they move largely in response to the diurnal surface temperature fluctuation.
It’s a very difficult/impossible to “prove” that the nett effect is a moderation of extremes at the particular location. For the simple case of arid surface heating, the upwelling of warm air displaces clouds which notionally increases the capacity of the surface underneath to radiate heat when the sun is low above the horizon or when it’s night. That case is however too simple. It ignores horizontal movement of air either as prevailing wind (initiated by a perturbation elsewhere) or caused by the surface heating the air. Air doesn’t just expand vertically when heated. 😉 The upwelling itself results in a loss of surface heat which reduces (slightly) the rate at which heat is lost by radiation to space.
The CERES team have done a good job in getting all the image together in a relatively-short time. It’s not exactly a snapshot. In 3 hours, the sun has moved across 45 degrees of longitude. Surface that had been cooling when the “snapshot” started is already subjected to a nett warming (sans clouds/aerosols/particlates) within 3 hours. The composite image represents a snapshot of individual areas at some time during the 3 hours, not an “average” of any sort.
Just some caveats, not a criticism of CERES. I do think it odd that there’s a big “hole” in the picture of the Arctic itself, given the polar orbit of Suomi NPP.
BTW: Some of Trenberth’s missing heat may be in those warm currents entering the Arctic regions from the Atlantic and Pacific.
P.S. I got stuck decyphering “The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.”

George E. Smith; says:
February 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm
George, you make good points about the clouds blocking incident solar radiation. In fact carbon dioxide and methane etc do likewise, thus having a cooling effect. (I will no longer call these GHG.)
But any radiation from either water vapour or carbon dioxide etc (which are at significantly colder temperatures than the surface) will have a lower peak frequency than the peak frequency being emitted by the warmer surface. (Wien’s Displacement Law says peak frequency is proportional to absolute temperature.)
If the temperatures are very close (which usually only happens within a few metres of the surface, then there can be some overlap of the two spectral distributions and thus a small amount of conversion of thermal energy. But if there is no significant overlap (generally when temperature differences exceed 20 to 30 degrees it seems) then there is no significant conversion to thermal energy. WIthout additional thermal energy there can be neither a slowing of the cooling of the surface, nor an increase in the rate of warming thereof.

Barry Elledge

It does seem that at least in principle a satellite or ensemble of satellites could measure the incoming and outgoing radiant energy of the whole earth, and directly determine the energy budget of the planet. The warming or cooling of the earth thereby might be directly calculated independent of climate models. The chief problem of such measurements is the familiar one of determining a small difference between two large numbers. But the precision and accuracy achievable by modern instruments might be enough to tell cooling from warming.
Anyone know why this isn’t being attempted? Is the incremental net (purported) absorbed energy simply too small?

George E. Smith;

“”””” FergalR says:
February 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm
Isn’t there a satellite that was built but never launched which was supposed to be stationed at a Lagrange point where it could constantly monitor the Earth’s albedo? “””””
Seems an impossible geometry problem to me. There is no point in space where you can constantly look at the ENTIRE SURFACE of the earth; and clouds as some people may have noticed, do move around and come and go.
I wonder why nobody ever seemed to have thought to put a full earth field of view camera on every single one of the GPS satellites, and have them point to the earth at all times and record continuously.

The very first Blue Marble image, the one with America and the most viewed in recent years, is a fake.
http://omnologos.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/nasas-blue-marble-2012-is-a-fake/
Looks like somebody at NASA then decided they couldn’t fool everybody, so the Africa Blue Marble was released, a composite like the previous one but at least looking the way it should.

I’m with George E Smith.Well said George
Here is my entry point: Quote: ” Increasing temperature, decreasing water vapor, and decreasing clouds will all tend to increase the ability of Earth to shed heat out to space.”
Bull.
Look at the third photo. Lots more infrared energy being emitted from the winter (northern) hemisphere than the summer (southern) hemisphere. And the energy comes from cloud free zones because they correspond to high pressure cells of descending and warming air (compressing like a bike pump). These cells form preferentially in the winter hemisphere. See the monthly evolution of surface pressure at http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/jra/atlas/eng/indexe_surface11.htm
The energy is emitted from these high pressure cells, not because of the absence of ‘energy trapping cloud’ but because the energy is generated by compression and is available to be emitted.
Conversely, at the equator heat is lost by decompression as the air rises driven by the release of latent heat. So, very little radiation in the equatorial zone, not because clouds are trapping heat but because there is very little radiation to trap.
Simpletons.
Cloud cools. Currently the atmosphere is becoming more humid and gaining more cloud after several decades of deficiency. See: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Precipitable+Water&level=2000&lat1=-90&lat2=90&lon1=0&lon2=360&iseas=0&mon1=0&mon2=11&iarea=0&typeout=2&Submit=Create+Timeseries

A physicist

Apropo purely of astronomical instruments that are astonishingly beautiful and fun, WUWT folks might want to look for a time-lapse YouTube video titled “VLT (Very Large Telescope) HD Timelapse Footage“, by the Chilean astronomer/photographer/artist Niko Bustos.
Bustos’ time-lapse videos are hugely popular among physics-and-astronomy graduate students … we are lucky to be alive in a era of such incredible scientific instruments.
No tricks, no politics, just pure beauty. And yes, those are real lasers. Have fun! 🙂

Lawrie Ayres

Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean, raises sea level, and causes increases in atmospheric temperature,” Loeb said. “Amassing a long record of data is important in order to understand how Earth’s climate is changing in response to human activities as well as natural processes.”
As soon as I read this I knew this NASA project is designed to prove Hansens Theory. Loeb has simply assumed that an increase in GHGs will have a positive effect and he discounts the ability of the earth to self regulate. Do we now have to assume that any data from this satellite which does not support the AGW will be lost or adjusted until it does?
If we are suspicious it is because past experience says we must be. Pity.

John Marshall

So called greenhouse gasses cannot block radiation but adsorb it and simultaneously emit it at a lower frequency due to the energy reaction. This fools people into thinking that the theory of GHG’s is correct since the emitted energy is outside the expected ‘adsorbed’ range. The claims that the missing LIR proves this theory are wrong.

Even Phil Plait had to correct himself on this…the America picture is NOT the Western Hemisphere, rather a part of it rather brutally distorted so as to look like the whole hemisphere. It’s more fake even than a SkS graph.
I strongly recommend you change the caption or remove the fake altogether. As I said the image with Africa is correct instead.

David, UK

“Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget due to increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases warms the ocean, raises sea level, and causes increases in atmospheric temperature,” Loeb said.
And there’s the propaganda quote. The honest version would be: “Any imbalance in Earth’s energy budget for whatever reason warms or cools the ocean, raises or lowers sea level, and causes changes in atmospheric temperature.”

johanna

Gorgeous pics. Thank you.
But, as soon as people start talking about measuring ‘the Earth’s energy balance’, it reminds me of people talking about measuring the average temperature of the planet.
Absurd in concept and impossible in execution.
What balance? Balance implies stasis.

gnarf

Weird pictures…North America and Africa are bigger than on earth pictures taken from some distance.
Compare with these classical “pictures” (the link comes from WUWT page) or with Google Earth for the matter of proportions:
http://www.intelliweather.com/imagesuite_specialty.htm
You can see entire Africa, and at least half Europe, North and South America at the same time.
Maybe these are pictures from low altitude with a very wide angle lens (fisheye). As a result, there seem to be way less ocean than in reality.

Chas

– Julian Flood ” See the mouth of the Mississippi and the curious way the clouds avoid the area where the waters of that great and polluted river spill into the sea”
Thanks for pointing this out – I stumbled on a UNESCO review of studies on of oil films to reducing water evaporation from reservoirs:
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0007/000700/070035eo.pdf
What can be acheived depends on wind speed. However experiments in rice paddys showed increases in water temperature ~7-8 centigrade at midday on cloudless days. [Original page 37] and talking of a C18 C22 mixture it says “Since 1960 [The mixture] has been applied extensively by farmers to warm the water in rice nurseries.”
Of course, if oil films reduce the cloud cover too , then we have a virtuous(?) circle.

wermet

dp says: February 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm

The first picture is classic Naked Earth. It’s nearly cloud-free. It looks hot, barren, and parched. Coincidence, Treberth’s missing heat, or cherry picking? …

Please remember that these images are from mid-winter in the northern hemisphere. It’s not green here now, but kind of gray and brown, just like it is in the middle of every winter. So, my best reasoning leads me to conclude — this is coincidence based on the activation time of the instrument. (Now if we keep seeing nothing but gray/brown images, then I will change my conclusion to cherry picking.)
Check back in 3-4 months to see if the image has “greened-up” a bit.

Adam Gallon

On the “Eastern Hemisphere” image, what are the grey, vertical striations? Cloud or an artifact of the image’s creation?

mkelly

Suomi means Finnish. So why is it called “Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP.”

Reblogged this on MOTEK.

Andrew30

Where clouds are relecting energy back to space the scale goes up to 1063 (full cloud).
Where the Earth is radiating enengy back to space the to scale goes up to 387 (no cloud).
So each pixel of full cloud reflect up to 1063 and the max possible outgoing with no cloud is 387.
Clouds appear to reflect far more per pixel than the Earth radiates.
IF we use the MAX for both, then the area under the clouds is radiating 387 towards the clouds. IF 100% of that radiation is reflected Back to the Earth then the area Under the clouds is receiving a value of 387.
The area Not under the clouds is receiving 1063.
Under cloud with 100% reflected back to Earth 387 would be the Maximum reaching the surface.
Clear sky 100% incomming to Earth 1063 would be the Maximum reaching the surface.
Clouds appear to Reduce the Maximum reaching the surface by 63%.
Clouds appear to Cool the earth.

jeanparisot

Given what we know from the historic record about the cyclical nature of our climate, aren’t we going to need 200-300 years of energy balance data?

AlanG

Why are they wasting money on satellites? CAGW is based on computer models which prove warming beyond doubt ;-). Real data is just going to confuse people. Nice pictures though.

Lots of clouds

Steve Keohane

George E. Smith; says: February 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm
George, many good points I agree with, but I want to step back to something that seems even more fundamental to this energy balance thingy. And I notice erl happ says:February 4, 2012 at 12:45 am touches on it. I too noticed the higher emitting NH as well, combining that with the AMU global temperature plot, is further confirmation of a simple theory that has been bothering me for some time. The max global temperatures occur in July, when the planet is furthest from the sun, least annual energy hitting earth, but the obliquity points the NH is more toward the sun. Therefore, IMO, it seems the most important factor in warming the earth is how much sun hits ground, something with more mass than air, and is not water. The clouds alter what’s coming and going, but it seems that if sunlight doesn’t hit the ground, there is not much to play with.
Bernd Felsche says: February 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm
P.S. I got stuck decyphering “The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.”

This grabbed me as well. It seems to assume the energy budget is understood, and we don’t want badly appended future data. Somehow, I can’t believe the former, and hope for the latter.

Chris Wright

Didn’t Lindzen use the CERES data over the last decades to show that the IR emissions directly contradict AGW?
Chris

Ian W

Lawrie Ayres says:
February 4, 2012 at 1:39 am

I too was wondering when the first ‘adjustments’ would be announced.

LazyTeenager

John Marshall says
So called greenhouse gasses cannot block radiation but adsorb it and simultaneously emit it at a lower frequency due to the energy reaction.
—-/–
Uhhhh? What “energy reaction”. John this is just story telling. The emission spectrum of the atmosphere has been measured over and over again from pole to pole. It says you are wrong.
I’ll also wager that IR fluorescence life times are too long compared to the gas kinetic collision rates and so any radiation absorbed by a CO2 molecule is transferred to the bath gas instead of being immediately reemitted.

Jason Joice M.D.

“As the Earth’s environment evolves, cloud properties may change in ways that could amplify or offset climate change driven by other processes. Understanding the influence of clouds on the energy budget is therefore a critical climate problem.”
In other words, we know clouds are a huge influence on climate, but we really understand much about that yet and we certainly don’t have the data to properly attribute cause and effect. But we are just going to blame GHG’s for everything.
I mean seriously, how can they not even consider that the clouds are the driver? As to what drives clouds, well, it could be GCR’s or any other number of unknown factors. Who knows? Everyone of the CAGW crowd needs a lesson in cause/effect.

Gnarf – glad you’ve noticed it too. Africa is actually more or less the right size.
Adam – the whitish stripes are the reflection of the sun rays on the ocean. Remember those pictures are composites and the satellite always transits at around 1pm local time.

Owen

They’ll use the data from the satellite to ‘prove’ global warming, even if they have to manufacture it. Excuse my cynicism but NASA hasn’t done real climate science for decades. Why should they start now. But, if the evidence becomes overwhelming that C02 has no effect on the energy balance, expect the satellite to have a malfunction and go dark.

The satellite was named Suomi after meteorologist Verner E Suomi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verner_E._Suomi

jeanparisot

(That earlier Jean comment was me, forgot there is another Jean, hereabouts.)
Steve,
I asked Dr. Brown about the influence of the ovoid nature of the earth vs a sphere in a recent thread discussing the earth energy model, add the increased land area to that issue.

Richard M

The picture of Africa is also clearly a fake. It may be a big continent but it doesn’t take up nearly 1/2 of one hemisphere.

RACookPE1978

Neither image is taken from a point “over the equator” … which is correct in its own way, but then, NASA’s implied statement that the “circle” of the image shows one hemisphere of the earth is incorrect.
Satellites move “up and down” with respect to the equator based on their original launch point and direction of original launch – assuming no mid-orbit maneuvering is done. So, it is reasonable for a low-earth orbiting satellite to be showing images that are NOT symmetric about the equator. So, to correct, the first image – the one showing a “magnified” northern hemisphere focused on the US and Canada – needs to be adjusted based on the actual range – the distance from the camera point to the earth’s surface.
As shown above, it is not showing an entire hemisphere.

a reader

FergalR
The satellite you are referring to is the Trianna renamed DSCOVR which was to launch in 2001 when it was “cancelled by George Bush” according to the conspiracy theororists among the warmists at Realclimate. It was to set at L1 Lagrangian point and transmit data from the same side of the earth continuously. Being so far from the earth enabled it to observe fully 1 hemisphere continuously. Apparently it is still in storage but being refurbished. Popsci had an article on it a few months ago called, “Who killed the Deep Space Climate Observatory?”

Alberta Slim

“NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Suomi mission…”
Does that mean that Hansen is going to be allowed to “adjust” the results to his liking??
Or, is this data going to bypass him and provide authentic data?
Or, am I missing something?

RACookPE1978

I am more troubled by the way that this elaborate NASA-GISS controlled presentation mimics Hansen’s Mercator projection up towards the poles.
The Radiation “IN” budget on a per-square-kilometer basis is
TWICE a function of the cosine of latitude (the first being the decreasing angle of the sun at maximum elevation with respect to the ground, the second function being the increasing length of atmosphere being penetrated by the sun’s rays. For example, there can be as much as 11 standard atmosphere masses (thickness) at 80 north between on observer and the sun as the there is at the equator.)
PLUS the 23.44 degree angle of the earth (a direct function of the day of the year at any location)
PLUS the distance of the earth from the sun (again changing by the season but by a different function of the day-of-the-year). At no time of the year is radiation “IN” ever the “average” of a stationary disk in a perfect vacuum of space being uniformly radiated as a black body.
Radiation “OUT” budget on a per-square-kilometer basis is NOT a function of latitude or time of year or angle of the sun. (This is because the radiation “out” is always perpendicular to the earth’s spherical surface.) Radiation “OUT” is, to a lessor degree, a function of latitude but only because the atmosphere is substantially shorter at the poles than at the equator: thus, at the poles, there is less air mass between the surface and space than at the equator.
The earth’s albedo and emissivity can be also approximated on an annual basis. But those continuous but predictable changes argue even more strongly against the CAGW’s simple flat-earth theory of a uniformly steady radiative heat equilibrium of a black body in space.

Note to those who think the images to be “fake”:
Read the NASA description of how the images are composed and the altitude of the perspective.
When standing outdoors, you can’t see the whole hemisphere. When flyin at 10 km altitude, you don’t see the whole hemisphere.
I’ll leave it as an exercise in geometry for the more courageous readers to determine what lowest altitude provides a complete hemispheric view.

Guinganbresil

One thing I have noticed is that almost all of these energy plots use the surface of the Earth as the frame of reference… I know were are standing on it, but it seems to me that the sun is the largest contributor to energy budget (yes, I know the politically correct answer is CO2…)
I saw a plot once here that was close: Thermostat Hypothesis, but it only looks at a small set of data (one year, local noon.) To really see if there is overall cloud adaptive effect, a multi-decadal trend should be analyzed… Oh well, I won’t hold my breath (bowing to the the Algore and reducing my carbon footprint…)

Bernd – when presented as “Hemisphere” the America image _is_ a fake (and I really don’t understand why the WUWT guys haven’t corrected the caption yet!). Likewise when presented as a “Blue Marble”.
And example of a real Blue Marble and hemisphere is of course the Apollo 17’s
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/image/planetary/earth/apollo17_earth.jpg
Instead of projecting it in a fake globe NASA could’ve presented the image as it would have appeared as a part of a “blue marble”. Note in fact how different the Africa picture is.

Just some more measurements to be thrown out since they don’t match the computer models.

wsbriggs

“The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth’s energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.”
Hmmm, so if we weren’t getting the correct values before, they’d “correct” them to be the same? I would like to understand the differences between the before and after with available raw data thank you very much.

Phil.

Bernd, the reason that the Arctic is not shown on the map is that it’s winter! You can’t reflect sunshine from where the sun isn’t shining.

A physicist

Lawrie Ayres says: As soon as I read this I knew this NASA project is designed to prove Hansen’s Theory. … if we are suspicious it is because past experience says we must be.

Ayres, it is apparent to many folks here on WUWT that NASA has been “in the tank for Hansen” for the past 30 years.
So if we assume (as logically we must) that NASA remains “in the tank for Hansen” during the next 30 years — continuing NASA’s corrupt partnership with the US/DoD and with every other space-faring nation in the world — then what should we foresee will be their corrupt findings?
That’s EASY! Space observations in of the future will simply affirm Hansen’s present “Big 7” predictions:
A1/P1 Satellite altimeters will affirm the prediction of accelerating sea-level rise, and
A2/P2 Satellite gravitometry will affirm the prediction of accelerating ice-mass loss, and
A3/P3 Satellite photography will affirm Arctic ice-cap loss and polward biome migration,
A4/P4 Satellite radiometry (solar) will affirm the prediction of stable solar output, and
A5/P5 Satellite radiometry (terrestrial) will affirm the prediction of radiative energy imbalance, and
A6/P6 Satellite telemetry (from ARGO) will affirm the prediction of warming oceans, and
A7/P7 Satellite spectrophotometry will affirm the prediction of a warming particle-laden atmosphere.
Obviously it will be necessary for all the civilian space scientists in the world, and every space-faring military agency too, to collaborate in the Hansen-affirming conspiracy of coming decades. To say nothing of all the ground-based scientists who will have to be recruited, indoctrinated, and coordinated too!
To the extent that this worldview proves true, please let me say that I for one find it thrillingly encouraging, that humans are capable of this level of international cooperation, on the grounds that no student of history would ever have believed that a conspiracy of this literally global scale and scope could succeed so well and for so long.