Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
Thunderstorms are one of my main interests, so I read up on a study by some Harvard researchers that has been receiving all kinds of attention in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, it’s another “could, might, possibly, chance of” study. The YaleGlobal Online blog of the venerable Yale University quotes the Christian Science Monitor as saying:
Summer Thunderstorms Could Be Punching New Holes in Ozone Layer
Harvard study looking at conditions in the lower stratosphere, where the ozone layer resides, suggests a link between climate change and amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching Earth’s surface
“Could be” punching new holes in the ozone layer? “Suggests a link”??
The paper is called “UV Dosage Levels in Summer: Increased Risk of Ozone Loss from Convectively Injected Water Vapor”, by James G. Anderson et al. (Paywalled here, hereinafter Anderson 2012). Here’s their money graph, showing the how high the water vapor reaches into the atmosphere over the US.
Figure 1, from Anderson2012. Original caption says: Fig. 1(B) Observations of water vapor in the summertime over the US show numerous occurrences in the range of 10 to 18 ppmv reaching pressure altitudes deep into the stratosphere.
So why is there a possibility that it might happen that there could be a chance of a risk of danger from thunderstorms injecting water into the stratosphere as they’ve been doing since forever? Or as they trumpet it in the title of their study, why are they sure that there is an “Increased Risk of Ozone Loss”?
Well, here’s their claim:
Were the intensity and frequency of convective injection to increase as a result of climate forcing by the continued addition of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, increased risk of ozone loss and associated increases in UV dosage would follow.
Yes, and were I to win the lottery as a result of increasing good luck caused by the continued addition of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, increased risk of money wastage and associated increases in hangovers would follow …
I can’t tell you just how much I despise this kind of fear-mongering. At one time, this kind of scientific investigation of the atmosphere would have been presented honestly, but these days, any finding is justification for alarmism.
But wait, hold it. In this case, the alarmism may be justified by the large increase in the dampness of the stratosphere due to warming. After all, their calculations say that when water hits the stratosphere, all kinds of terrible things happen And they say that the stratosphere will get wetter as the world warms. And since the world has been warming over the last century or two, there must be evidence of the increase in dangerous stratospheric water vapor due to the warming … and in fact, their paper says:
There are a number of important considerations associated with the issue of convective injection of water vapor inducing chlorine activation and catalytic removal of ozone over mid-latitudes of the NH in summer. First is the fact that a remarkably dry stratosphere characterizes the current climate state.
Wait … what?
The world has been warming for centuries, and yet the stratosphere is “remarkably dry”?
Go figure, the climate is a mysterious beast. But it’s not nearly as mysterious as the logic of AGW alarmists. Despite a couple of centuries of warming having left the stratosphere “remarkably dry”, they claim warming might could possibly suddenly reverse course and cause the stratosphere to get wetter instead, and in turn that has the opportunity of maybe increasing the chances of making ozone holes, and thus it just might/could/conceivably/chance of/possibly cause an increase in skin cancer. And the best part is that, like a Hollywood movie, their contestant for the Booker Prize is “based on a true story”!
Yeah, I’m terrified. I think I’ll go out and invest in sunscreen futures right now … can’t be too careful, you know.