How Much Sunlight Actually Enters The System?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

There’s a new study in PNAS, entitled “Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice” by Pistone et al. Let me start by registering a huge protest against the title. The sea ice is varying, it isn’t “vanishing”, that’s just alarmist rhetoric that has no place in science.

In any case, here’s their figure 4B, showing the decrease in albedo from the “vanishing” sea ice:

vanishing ice fig 4 bFigure 1. Graph from Pistone2014 showing CERES albedo data (green, solid line) for the ocean areas of the Arctic.

The authors say:

Using the relationship between SSM/I and CERES measurements to extend the albedo record back in time, we find that during 1979–2011 the Arctic darkened sufficiently to cause an increase in solar energy input into the Arctic Ocean region of 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2, equivalent to an increase of 0.21 ± 0.03 W/m2 averaged over the globe. This implies that the albedo forcing due solely to changes in Arctic sea ice has been 25% as large globally as the direct radiative forcing from increased carbon dioxide concentrations, which is estimated to be 0.8 W/m2 between 1979 and 2011.

The present study shows that the planetary darkening effect of the vanishing sea ice represents a substantial climate forcing that is not offset by cloud albedo feedbacks and other processes. Together, these findings provide direct observational validation of the hypothesis of a positive feedback between sea ice cover, planetary albedo, and global warming.

So … how are they going about making that case?

Let me start by saying that looking at albedo as they are doing is a very roundabout and inaccurate way of handling the data. The CERES dataset doesn’t have an “albedo” dataset. Instead, they have a dataset for downwelling solar, and another dataset for upwelling solar. The problem is that when the numbers get very small, the values of the calculated albedos get more and more inaccurate. Albedo is reflected solar divided by downwelling solar. So when you get down to where there’s almost no sunshine, you can get things like a gridcell that averages 0.2 W/m2 of incoming sunlight over some month, and reflects 0.4 W/m2 … giving us an impossible albedo of 2.0 …

It’s not clear how Pistone et al. have handled this issue. The way I work around the problem is to calculate the average upwelling reflected sunlight for the Arctic ocean area, and divide that by the average downwelling sunlight for the Arctic ocean area. This gives me an overall average albedo. I get slightly different numbers from theirs, and I am unable to replicate their results. However, I do get about the same trend that they get over the period, a decrease in the albedo of about 1.5% per decade. However, I don’t particularly trust those albedo numbers, averages of ratios make me nervous.

For this reason, I use a different and simpler measure, one which Pistone et al. mention and quantify as well. This is the actual amount of sunlight that makes it into the climate system. The authors call this the “total solar energy input”, and I will follow the practice. And qualitatively, my results agree with theirs—the amount of sunlight absorbed by the arctic has indeed increased over the period of the CERES data, 2000-2013. Figure 2 shows both the clear-sky and the all-sky arctic total energy input:

total solar energy input arctic oceanFigure 2. Increase in solar energy input to the Arctic ocean areas, 2000-2012. Clear sky in black, all sky in red. Units are area-weighted watts/m2.

In addition to the overall trend in all sky solar input (green line), you can see the peak in energy input in 2007, with the high solar input corresponding to very low ice areas. Overall, Figure 2 shows an even greater increase in energy input than Pistone2014 have estimated over the entire period. They report an increase in Arctic solar energy input over the ocean of 0.21 W/m2 over 32 years … and the CERES data shows an increase of 0.3 W/m2 per decade.

So we’ve established that their first claim, of increasing solar energy input to the Arctic ocean area 2000-2012, is true, and perhaps even underestimated. And this is quite reasonable, since we know the sea ice has decreased over the period … but what about their second claim? As you may recall, this was (emphasis mine):

The present study shows that the planetary darkening effect of the vanishing sea ice represents a substantial climate forcing that is not offset by cloud albedo feedbacks and other processes. Together, these findings provide direct observational validation of the hypothesis of a positive feedback between sea ice cover, planetary albedo, and global warming.

The CERES data agrees that the increase in solar energy input from reduced ice cover is not counteracted by Arctic clouds … nor would I have expected it to be counteracted by clouds in the Arctic. As I have discussed, well, more than once, the main climate control system is in the tropics. So if this increase in absorbed energy were counteracted by clouds, my hypothesis is that it would happen be in the tropics. I’ll return to this in a moment.

First, however, they’ve claimed that their results establish the existence of “a positive feedback between sea ice cover [and] planetary albedo”. Since the planetary albedo controls the total solar energy input to the globe, let’s take a look at the same data as Figure 2, total solar energy input, but this time for the entire planet …

total solar energy input globalFigure 3. Available solar energy at the top of atmosphere (red) and total solar energy input to the globe (blue), 2000-2012. Units are area-weighted watts/m2.

So their claim of increased solar energy input to the Arctic from reduced sea ice is true … but their claim that there is “a positive feedback between sea ice cover [and] planetary albedo” is falsified by the CERES data. The total solar energy input (blue line above), and thus the planetary albedo, is amazingly stable over the time period. There is no feedback at all from the changes in the ice.

To illustrate the stability, Figure 4 shows a breakdown of the total solar input data (blue line above). It’s divided into panels that from top to bottom show the data itself, the seasonal pattern, the trend, and the residuals of the global solar energy input:

loess decomposition global solar energy inputFigure 4. Decomposition of the solar energy input signal into trend, seasonal, and residual components. Red scale bars on the right indicate the relative scale of the individual panel. Units are area-adjusted W/m2.

I’ve written before about the amazing stability of the climate system. This is another example. In the past people have objected that the system is forced to be stable, because over time, energy out must generally equal energy in.

But the global solar energy input, the amount of the available solar energy that actually makes it into the climate system, is under no such constraint. There is nothing that it must balance to. Solar energy input is a function of the albedo, which is determined by clouds, snow, ice, vegetation, and wind, and all of these are constantly varying in all parts of the planet … and despite that, the swings of the trend are no greater than ±0.3 w/m2 over the period. The maximum monthly deviation from the seasonal average is a mere one W/m2, and the standard deviation of the residuals (data minus seasonal) is half a watt/m2.

So … how does it happen that we have a strong increase in solar energy input in the Arctic, but the global energy input stays the same?

Well … as I mentioned above, the tropics. Over the period 2000-2012, during which the Arctic received increased solar energy input, here’s what’s happened in the tropics:

total solar energy input tropicalFigure 5. Total solar energy input, all skies, tropics. Units are area-adjusted W/m2

As I hypothesized, the control is happening in the tropics. Pistone et al. note that the Arctic solar input is going up because of decreased sea ice … but they did not notice that at the same time, the tropical solar input is going down because of increased clouds. And the net sum of all of the changes, of more energy being absorbed in the extra-tropical areas and less energy being absorbed in the tropics, is … well … no change at all for the globe. It all averages out perfectly, with little change in either the monthly, annual or decadal data.

Coincidence? Hardly.

This is about as neat a demonstration as I can imagine in support of my hypothesis that the system is not ruled by the level of the forcings—instead, it is regulated by a system of interlocking emergent climate phenomena. A number of these phenomena operate in the tropics, and they have a curious property—the warmer the planet gets, the more that they cut down on the incoming solar energy.

So at the end of the day, we find that the claim of the authors that increased solar input to the Arctic is connected to the planetary albedo to be true … except that it is true in exactly the opposite of the direction that they claimed. When more energy is absorbed in the Arctic, less energy is absorbed elsewhere.

In closing, I want to highlight what it was that got me interested in climate science to begin with. I wasn’t interested in finding out why the global temperature had changed by something like ± 0.3°C over the 20th century.

Instead, I was interested in finding out why the global temperature had only changed by ± 0.3°C over the 20th century. I was amazed by the stability of the system, not the fact that it had varied slightly. So let me close with a graph showing the total global solar input residuals, what remains after the seasonal cycle in total solar input is removed.

global solar energy input seasonal cycle removed

Figure 5. Residual total solar input after the seasonal cycle is removed. Dotted lines show the inter-quartile range. Smooth curve is the loess trend line.

The monthly deviation from the seasonal cycle is tiny. Half the months are within a third of a W/m2 of the seasonal average … a third of a watt, to me that’s simply amazing.

Now, you might disagree with my hypothesis that the planet is thermoregulated by emergent climate phenomena such as thunderstorms, El Nino, and the PDO.

But the stability shown in the above graphs surely argues strongly for the existence of some kind of regulatory system …

My regards, as usual to everyone.

w.

AVISO: If you disagree with what I or anyone says, please quote the exact words you disagree with. It allows everyone to understand exactly what you are objecting to.

DATA AND CODE: You’ll need the CERES data (227 Mb) , the CERES surface data (117 Mb) and two support files (CERES Setup.R and CERES Functions.R) in your R workspace. The code is Arctic Albedo.R, it should be turnkey.

[UPDATE]

Well, y’all will find this funny, I assume … following up on the question of the net effect of the loss of the sea ice that came up below in the comments, I decided to see what was happening with the upwelling longwave. We’ve established that the loss of the ice increases the total solar energy input … but what about the energy loss via longwave? (Yr. humble author slaps forehead for not thinking of this sooner …)

arctic solar input and longwave trends

As you can see, the change in solar energy input is more than offset by increased losses … so the net effect of the melting sea ice is a net energy loss of 0.05 W/m2 per decade.

Note again the stability over time. Note also that this part of the system is not constrained by any need for solar input and longwave output to be stable, or to have the configuration they have. The average solar input is 30 W/m2, and the average longwave loss to space is 63 W/m2 … and despite the marked changes in ice cover over the period, they’ve only changed about 1% per decade over the period …

Gotta love the climate, always more surprises … 

w.

[UPDATE II] 

Some folks have said that there is a problem with my area-weighting, so let me explain exactly what I did.

The data exists in 180 latitude bands. The center of the bands start at -89/5° (south) and end up at 89.5° (north). To area-weight the data, we want to adjust the results for each gridcell by the area.

What we want to do is adjust the results to give what you would get if they had the size of the average gridcell. Now the area is proportional to the cosine of the mid-latitude. So what we do is multiply each gridcell result by

area of the gridcell / area of the average gridcell

This give each gridcell the value it would have if it were of average size. The effect of tiny gridcells is reduced, and the effect of large gridcells is increased.

Now, what is the average cell size? Well, if we integrate Cos(x) from zero to pi/2, we get 1. So the average gridcell size is 1/(pi/2) = 2/pi ≈ 0.637.

As a result, the weighting factor by which we multiply the gridcell value is, as you recall:

area of the gridcell / area of the average gridcell

which is equal to

cosine of the gridcell midlatitude / 0.637

Once you’ve multiplied the data by those weighting factors, you can compare them directly, as they are all adjusted to the average gridcell size.

The way to test if you’ve done this correctly is to see if the plain vanilla average of the newly-weighted dataset is correct. For example, see the average available solar (~340 W/m2) and solar input (~240 W/m2) values in Figure 3. They are simple averages of weighted data.

Note that there are two ways to do the weighting.

The first is to do all calculations (trends, etc) using the unadjusted variables. Then to get an average, you use what is called an “weighted mean”, which weights the data on the basis of gridcell area as it calculates the average.

The other way to do it is the way I described above, which converts all of the data to what an average sized gridcell would show. Once you’ve done that, you no longer need to do an area-weighted average, because the data itself is weighted. This means that you can use a normal average, and compare things like trends directly.

So … what I do to check my work is to compare the normal mean of the area-weighted data, with the weighted mean of the original data. They should be the same, and that is the case in this analysis.

Finally, an area-weighted mean uses different weights, where the sum of all of the weights is 1. This allows you to calculate the weighted mean as the sum of the product of the data and the weights. These weights are different than the weights I used to area-weight the data itself. These weights which do not sum to 1. However, the end result is the same.

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richardscourtney

Willis:
That is interesting. Thankyou.
Richard

cynical_scientist

Reduced ice in the Arctic also has an effect on the amount of LWR emitted, especially in the earlier part of winter. Liquid water is a much stronger source of thermal radiation than snow or ice.
This isn’t albedo; it happens when the sun ISN’T shining. Nevertheless it is a significant opposing forcing resulting directly from reduced ice cover in the Arctic which seems not to have been taken into account.

David in Cal

The science here is beyond me. However, what about Antarctic sea ice? I believe that Antarctic sea ice extent has expanded by almost the same amount as Arctic sea ice has shrunk. So, would the planetary impacts of northern and southern albedo changes cancel out?

Again and again these researchers seem to run into the enemy of any investigator – Expectation Bias. They want to find support for a particular view, so they do – and ignore everything else.

Sam Martin

Thanks Willis. I am sure you have covered it previously somewhere but how do you see the top of atmosphere energy imbalance? I loosely understand that the Ceres data shows an imbalance of 6 w/m2 which has been somehow been “adjusted” to 0.6 to make it more sensible. In a stable system constrained by emergent phenomenon there wouldn’t be a consistent imbalance would there? The top of atmosphere imbalance seems to be the last refuge of proponents of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (and I suppose the deep ocean) ps my grandma would be a Ferrari. Sam.

R. Barrow

Willis, Simply elegant! Have you any notions as to a mechanism that would communicate a drop in albedo from polar zones to the tropics that would raise the albedo there?

Willis said:
“Solar energy input is a function of the albedo, which is determined by clouds, snow, ice, vegetation, and wind, and all of these are constantly varying in all parts of the planet …”
Clouds (often the result of air mass mixing and thus wind) are the fastest and largest variable in my opinion.
Total global cloudiness decreased when the sun was active (an external forcing element) and increased when the sun became less active according to the Earthshine project.
It is global cloudiness that determines the proportion of solar input that can enter the oceans to drive the climate system and global cloudiness appears to respond to solar influences on the general air circulation.
Willis is correct, though, that whatever internal forcing elements try to disrupt the system energy content then the air circulation will change so as to alter albedo as necessary in a negative system response.
That is the essence of my New Climate Model which I have been boring you all about for some time.
I’d like Willis’s comment on one important issue.
If there is a negative system response to forcing elements as proposed by the thermostat hypothesis then what sets the temperature that the system responses work back towards?
It cannot be GHGs because the thermostatic mechanism negates their effects does it not ?
I did set out my own opinion on that in an earlier thread and would appreciate Willis’s perspective.

Finn

I think, what a lot of th thermageddon crowd don’t get, is how long the planet and life on it has been around. If the system was privy to extreme feedback, and a cascading increases in temperature. Without an extraterrestrial influence. (not alien, jus of planet, you know lik the sun) It would have cooked a long long time ago. Some planets do get cooked, no doubt. But not on their own, and we are not an extraterrestrial forcing, or are we…

RichardLH

“Instead, I was interested in finding out why the global temperature had only changed by ± 0.3°C over the 20th century. I was amazed by the stability of the system, not the fact that it had varied slightly.”
Which argues for the case that the overall system has many, competing, negative feedback systems that serve to flatten out any imbalance to a nearly constant state.

johnmarshall

Isn’t ”downwelling” also affected by albedo? Sounds like you arguing for the GHE.

Konrad

Willis,
asking how much energy enters the system is the correct approach.
SB calculations give the wrong answer.
Empirical experiments give the right answer –
http://i61.tinypic.com/2z562y1.jpg
Did I inadvertently mention the the cat got to the last Oreo? A quick scrape and it should still be ok.
Come to the dark side Willis. I have cookies.
You want to be smartest guy in the room? Funny thing. I want you to be that too.

richardscourtney

johnmarshall:
At February 18, 2014 at 2:59 am you write

Isn’t ”downwelling” also affected by albedo? Sounds like you arguing for the GHE.

No sensible person disputes the greenhouse effect (i.e. the GHE). The debate concerns the existence and magnitude of a putative enhanced GHE which is known as anthropogenic global warming (i.e. AGW).
If you read his above article then you will see Willis clearly argues that global temperature is constrained by effects of emergent properties of the climate system and, therefore, any AGW would be indiscernible.
Richard

How about some albedo increase over Antartica due to the positive trend of sea ice downthere balancing part of the albedo decrease over the Arctic? Did you check those data as well?

RichardLH

richardscourtney says:
February 18, 2014 at 3:09 am
“No sensible person disputes the greenhouse effect (i.e. the GHE).”
As performed under laboratory conditions.
The impact and relevance of that work on a Global scale when weighed against other competing factors has yet to be determined accurately.

R. Barrow asked:
“Have you any notions as to a mechanism that would communicate a drop in albedo from polar zones to the tropics that would raise the albedo there?”
Latitudinally shifting jets and climate zones resulting in longer lines of air mass mixing around the globe.
More cloud free mobile polar high pressure cells (as per Marcel Leroux) pushing the whole air circulation system equatorward to produce more wind and cloud in the tropics

richardscourtney

RichardLH:
At February 18, 2014 at 3:09 am I wrote

No sensible person disputes the greenhouse effect (i.e. the GHE). The debate concerns the existence and magnitude of a putative enhanced GHE which is known as anthropogenic global warming (i.e. AGW).
If you read his above article then you will see Willis clearly argues that global temperature is constrained by effects of emergent properties of the climate system and, therefore, any AGW would be indiscernible.

At February 18, 2014 at 3:20 am you have replied saying

“No sensible person disputes the greenhouse effect (i.e. the GHE).”

As performed under laboratory conditions.
The impact and relevance of that work on a Global scale when weighed against other competing factors has yet to be determined accurately.

Please explain the nature and purpose of your reply to my post.
Richard

Thanks, Willis.

Ed_B

Fascinating stuff. I’m no climate scientist, I am a physicist (or at least I was until I realised I had to earn a living), but the one thing I know about the global climate system is that it is a complex and non-linear system and will therefore show chaotic behaviour. Indeed the whole genesis of chaos theory was the empirical observation that a crude computer climate model was very sensitive to tiny changes in initial conditions.
Flipping the question from “why is the climate changing” to “why is it so stable” is profoundly significant.

gopal panicker

On the Greenhouse effect…More than a century ago…Angstrom…the pioneer of spectroscopy…said that the infrared absorption of CO2 was saturated…meaning adding more will not have any effect…he was the expert on the subject…not Arrhenius..the father of the unfortunate term Greenhouse effect…the effect of the atmosphere on surface temperatures on earth should be called the Moderating effect…without the atmosphere it would be roasting by day and freezing by night…very comfortable on average though !

Crispin in Waterloo

I agree that there is a net increase in the Arctic. It seems to me to be a bit of an oversight for the authors not to mention the reduction in the Antarctic.

Bloke down the pub

At low angles of incidence, I suspect calm water will reflect more incoming radiation than would dirty ice. So long as the Chinese are putting large amounts of particulates into the atmosphere, It’s possible that open water will result in cooler temps than would ice cover.

charles nelson

Maurice Ewing was of the opinion that reduced Arctic sea ice would permit extra heat (bourn from the equator by the North Atlantic currents) to be released into the polar winter darkness and be lost to space. He saw sea ice loss as a precursor to a cooling phase.

RichardLH

richardscourtney says:
February 18, 2014 at 3:32 am
“Please explain the nature and purpose of your reply to my post.”
I was agreeing with you but clarifying that the case that GHGs cause a warming effect has only ever been confirmed (as opposed to suggested) under very limited, laboratory conditions.
The true, wider, picture is still uncertain.

Edim

““No sensible person disputes the greenhouse effect (i.e. the GHE).”
As performed under laboratory conditions.”
Not even under laboratory conditions – even under laboratory conditions you have to have a similar system. That means a surface cooled multimodally (with the non-radiative fluxes dominating) and an atmosphere that can only cool radiatively to space.

Stephen Richards

Pistone2014 Where’s the credit for Broke :)) ‘british joke’
RichardLH; The argument is that a GHE exists and that is reasonable. Your argument is also correct it that the effect is ‘minimised’ by other climate effects.

milodonharlani

Any trivial decrease in Arctic albedo is more than offset by the increased albedo from greater sea ice extent in the Antarctic. Since ice there extends farther toward the equator than in the Arctic, the effect is greatly enhanced beyond just the area covered.

richardscourtney

RichardLH:
Thankyou for your clarification at February 18, 2014 at 4:16 am.
Richard

GregK

There’s a bit of Gaia Hypothesis in this.
Not tree hugging mystical Gaia but self -regulating feedback Gaia which tends [seems?] to keep environmental conditions within fairly narrow bounds.
Occasionally things get out of whack, for instance the snowball [or slush ball] earth around 650Ma, but generally things stay within bounds that favour the survival of critters.

RichardLH

Stephen Richards says:
February 18, 2014 at 4:25 am
“Your argument is also correct it that the effect is ‘minimised’ by other climate effects.”
To an extant that the data has yet to determine with any scientific accuracy worth considering. The data set is WAY too short and too sparse to draw real definitive conclusions yet.

Bill Illis

A 0.3 W/m2/decade increase in total solar energy trend over the Arctic which represents 6.7% of the Earth’s surface is not exactly important. The math says a global impact of 0.02 W/m2 which would imply something like 0.004C to 0.01C temperature impact per decade.

Willis, very interesting.
What result do you get when you cumulate the data in the last chart, effectively integrate the input?

Angech

The Antarctic albedo area wise is much vaster than the Arctic because it includes the ice on the land (? as big as the Arctic) as well as the sea ice, both of which reflect. However the sun is further away and the amount of light/ heat to be reflected is up to 6 percent less .
That is probably why there is so much more land and sea ice down South.
This heat differential in the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere is rarely talked about and most effects are instead put down to having more land surface in the northern hemisphere when it is really a combination of both.
This would make a good topic for you or Anthony, Willis.
A side effect of this would have been that the Little Ice Age should have been a lot worse in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps that’s why Gergis went so wrong

tty

Occasionally things get out of whack, for instance the snowball [or slush ball] earth around 650Ma, but generally things stay within bounds that favour the survival of critters.
If it hadn’t we wouldn’t be here.

“Vanishing” like in an illusion, a magic trick. Like when David Copperfield vanished the Statue Of Liberty. The ice is really still there like Lady Liberty. Pistone should try and get some practice before attempting to do adult tricks.

KRJ Pietersen

Thank you Willis. It’s particularly timely to have an article on this topic. Northern hemisphere sea ice area is currently at 12.773 million sq/km. It’ll need to go some in the next few weeks if it’s going to reach the record smallest satellite-era maximum of 14.64 million sq/km set in 2006 and 2011.
Of course this doesn’t tell us anything much in isolation, but a new record low maximum will be newsworthy, and will definitely be “yet more proof of CAGW” for those that choose to think so. I can already picture the screaming headlines in the newspapers…

chris y

Great post, Willis.
I wonder if the authors looked at outgoing longwave intensity. With less sea ice cover, the higher Arctic surface temperature associated with open ocean should result in an increased longwave emission intensity over the Arctic.
A side issue from the paper’s Figure 4- I wonder why the authors think that NASA GISS has measured Arctic surface temperatures…

Leonard Weinstein

I would like to correct some misunderstandings some have shown. Albedo on the Earth refers to the reflection fraction of incoming sunlight. Ice and snow have a relatively high albedo, and thus reflect a lot of incoming sunlight, while water has a very low albedo and absorbs most of the sunlight. However, once energy is absorbed and the surface is at a particular temperature, the controlling factor for long wave radiation out is not albedo (which refers to the short incoming sunlight wavelengths), but is due to the emissivity at the local temperature. The emissivity of ice and snow are almost the same as water at near the same temperature (and both are over .98). During winter at the polar regions, sunlight is very small to absent, so heat loss by radiation is about the same for water, ice, and snow. Conduction and convection are a different effect, but I am specifically referring to radiation only here.

John West

“This is about as neat a demonstration as I can imagine in support of my hypothesis that the system is not ruled by the level of the forcings—instead, it is regulated by a system of interlocking emergent climate phenomena.”
I’m not convinced they’re interlocking, but otherwise agree. In the current example the tropics don’t block more because the arctic is absorbing more, the arctic absorbs more because it’s warmer and the tropics block more because it’s warmer. The “feedbacks” whether positive or negative is in response to temperature not changes in heat flux per se or changes in other regions.
I’ve been following your hypothesis for some time now. I find it eloquent and well substantiated by data. I like to think of it as emergent phenomena acting as a kind of “climatological latent heat” which by the way is no more nonsensical than “trapping heat” or “heat content”. What bothers me is that this idea of climate governing hasn’t been seized upon and found its way into the peer-reviewed literature. What am I missing? Is this already an “understood you” element of climate that everyone in climate science knows and doesn’t need to say out loud? Has it been said in peer-reviewed literature and somehow been repressed or buried in the cluster-[self-snip]? Is it considered weather therefore not applicable to climate directly? What?

Steve from Rockwood

Another great post from Willis.
I can’t help but wonder if the earth was so sensitive to Arctic ice melting we would have been doomed a long time ago.

William Astley

In support of:
milodonharlani says:
February 18, 2014 at 4:26 am
Any trivial decrease in Arctic albedo is more than offset by the increased albedo from greater sea ice extent in the Antarctic. Since ice there extends farther toward the equator than in the Arctic, the effect is greatly enhanced beyond just the area covered.
William:
It is curious that the media and the warmist scientific band wagon team have ignored the sudden increase in sea ice in the Antarctic. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png
What is the physical cause of the sudden increase in Antarctic sea ice and what is the physical cause of the sudden changes to the jet stream?
Global warming. Nah – no change in planetary temperature in 17 years.
Has anything else changed? Yup – http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_4096_4500.jpg

Hi Willis. Another good posting from you that tells me you are watching “them”. So thank you for being there. How far off you are from calling out “Check Mate” I do not know but I hope I am still around when that time comes.
There is one little thing thou that niggles me quite a bit, Your Figure 2 which shows both the clear-sky and the all-sky arctic total energy input, i.e.:
“Total Solar Energy Input, Ocean Only, N of 60˚N Clear Sky (black) and All Sky (red)”
It clearly states: “N of 60 ˚N” and I must assume that means North of 60˚ North.
Well my problem is that some 73 years ago I was born a few minutes to the North of 60˚ N and in those days that was nowhere near the “Arctic Circle” which used to be the most southerly “marker” or border for the ‘Arctic’ part of the globe. That far south (60˚N) there is always some daylight hours even during the middle of the winter. – And the summers could have some very hot days or even weeks. During the summer of 1947, for one example, there were some people trying to fry eggs on the bare pavements in the streets of Oslo, Norway. (That was during the first bout of “Global Warming by CO2” idiocy)

cba

Nicely done Willis,
Have you thought about breaking the data down by hemisphere and by season so as to try to determine what is going on with the SH summer experiencing substantially more TSI with mostly ocean (low surface albedo) is so close in T outcome with the NH summer (with somewhat less TSI) and far more land mass (much higher surface albedo)? I’m under the impression that there is not a tremendous amount of heat flow between the two hemispheres yet there is not substantial differences between SH & NH temperatures. That would suggest perhaps the cloud cover is working overtime in the SH to try to bring about parity in total absorbed energy.

Jean Parisot

Where is the contribution from millimeter frequencies considered?

Bill from Nevada

[snip – Slayers stuff – Bill you’ve been warned many times about posting this. Fair warning: if you continue you’ll find yourself in the permanent troll bin – Anthony]

Bill from Nevada

The link I have to the abstact of the paper it’s easy to check on quotes from papers if somebody forgets to link properly obviously, by just copying and searching whatever the quote is but still
here it is:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2011JCLI4210.1?journalCode=clim

milodonharlani

William Astley says:
February 18, 2014 at 6:00 am
Spot on, so to speak!
Or spotless record.
Leif may be along soon to tell us we’re nuts.

Resourceguy

Once again, climate science involves ignoring the AMO effects in order to sell a another model.

Bill from Nevada

As can be seen very clearly in the last line of the excerpt THE REASON for there not being as much light in the sky is the amount of water.
When the fundamental multiplier of your story is going backward from what you claimed,
and the reason is the identical thing that throttles the sunlight itself,
the attempt at calling it a respectable guess is far, far, in the past.
Nobody respects mathematicians who can’t get the right answers,
Nobody respects physicists whose loopy stories sound like a drunk clown in a B movie.
Nothing the Green House Gas theory people put forward as their postulation for light handling by the atmosphere, has been even within the realm of ”I’m really not laughing in your face, I’m really taking this seriously as atmospheric energy science.”

Bill from Nevada

It occurred to me people who aren’t familiar with the story don’t realize one of the fundamental, underlying tenets of Green House Gas Weather hence Climate Control,
is their absolute reliance on water multiplication in the atmosphere. When you can’t predict the water correctly as a Green House Gas Climate Control theorist,
it’s over.

Gail Combs

Ed_B says: @ February 18, 2014 at 3:38 am
Fascinating stuff. I’m no climate scientist, I am a physicist (or at least I was until I realised I had to earn a living), …
Flipping the question from “why is the climate changing” to “why is it so stable” is profoundly significant.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
That first statement has my physicist husband cleaning off his keyboard and monitor. (He became a technical writer)
You are correct, ” “why is it so stable” is profoundly significant.” It means there are significant negative feedbacks. What is incredible is how stable the Holocene has been compared to other glaciations. graph
(Thank You Willis, for bring one of those feedbacks to the attention of the world with your paper.)