New study claims to confirm water vapor as global warming amplifier – but other data says no

Just because something is said to be an amplifier doesn’t mean it actually is doing so, plus other datasets don’t show an increase in water vapor.  See below. Also, you gotta love the big burning ball of hot they included with the press release.

From the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Scientists suggest that water vapor will intensify future climate change projections

This is a color enhanced satellite image of upper tropospheric water vapor.

MIAMI – A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues confirms rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere – a key amplifier of global warming – will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades. The new study is the first to show that increased water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere are a direct result of human activities.

“The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water vapor in the upper troposphere,” said Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the UM Rosenstiel School and co-author of the study.

To investigate the potential causes of a 30-year moistening trend in the upper troposphere, a region 3-7 miles above Earth’s surface, Soden, UM Rosenstiel School researcher Eui-Seok Chung and colleagues measured water vapor in the upper troposphere collected by NOAA satellites and compared them to climate model predictions of water circulation between the ocean and atmosphere to determine whether observed changes in atmospheric water vapor could be explained by natural or man-made causes. Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.

 

IMAGE: This is an illustration of annual mean T2-T12 field that provides a direct measure of the upper-tropospheric water vapor. Purple = dry and Red = moist.

Greenhouse gases raise temperatures by trapping the Earth’s radiant heat inside the atmosphere. This warming also increases the accumulation of atmospheric water vapor, the most abundant greenhouse gas. The atmospheric moistening traps additional radiant heat and further increases temperatures.

Climate models predict that as the climate warms from the burning of fossil fuels, the concentrations of water vapor will also increase in response to that warming. This moistening of the atmosphere, in turn, absorbs more heat and further raises the Earth’s temperature.

###

The paper, titled “Upper Tropospheric Moistening in response to Anthropogenic Warming,” was published in the July 28th, 2014 Early Addition on-line of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The paper’s authors include Chung, Soden, B.J. Sohn of Seoul National University, and Lei Shi of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, North Carolina.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/07/23/1409659111.abstract

Full paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/07/23/1409659111.full.pdf

Supporting Information: http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2014/07/23/1409659111.DCSupplemental/pnas.201409659SI.pdf#nameddest=STXT

Abstract

Water vapor in the upper troposphere strongly regulates the strength of water-vapor feedback, which is the primary process for amplifying the response of the climate system to external radiative forcings. Monitoring changes in upper-tropospheric water vapor and scrutinizing the causes of such changes are therefore of great importance for establishing the credibility of model projections of past and future climates. Here, we use coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations under different climate-forcing scenarios to investigate satellite-observed changes in global-mean upper-tropospheric water vapor. Our analysis demonstrates that the upper-tropospheric moistening observed over the period 1979–2005 cannot be explained by natural causes and results principally from an anthropogenic warming of the climate. By attributing the observed increase directly to human activities, this study verifies the presence of the largest known feedback mechanism for amplifying anthropogenic climate change

Significance

The fact that water vapor is the most dominant greenhouse gas underscores the need for an accurate understanding of the changes in its distribution over space and time. Although satellite observations have revealed a moistening trend in the upper troposphere, it has been unclear whether the observed moistening is a facet of natural variability or a direct result of human activities. Here, we use a set of coordinated model experiments to confirm that the satellite-observed increase in upper-tropospheric water vapor over the last three decades is primarily attributable to human activities. This attribution has significant implications for climate sciences because it corroborates the presence of the largest positive feedback in the climate system.

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

I note this graph from their SI, the trend seems tiny, and one wonders if they have done all the appropriate orbital drift corrections that people often like to mention about Christy and Spencer:

wv_trend_upprtropo_figS1

Fig. S1.Decadal trends of observed brightness temperatures as a function of time span for (A) HIRS channel 12 (T12), (B) MSU channel 2 (T2), and (C)MSUchannel 2–HIRS channel 12 (T2–T12). Years specified on abscissa denote the end year of time period starting from 1979. Error bars denote ±2 SE of the linear trend.

However, this dataset below of relative humidity, from reanalysis of in-situ radiosonde measurements (not from remote sensing) suggests water vapor has not been on the increase in the upper troposphere, nor in the middle, nor in the lower troposphere.

Atmospheric Relative Humidity from NOAA ESRL data:

NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericRelativeHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage[1]

Relative atmospheric humidity (%) at three different altitudes in the lower part of the atmosphere (the Troposphere) since January 1948 (Kalnay et al. 1996). The thin blue lines shows monthly values, while the thick blue lines show the running 37 month average (about 3 years). Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA). Pre-1973 data from the United States is not homogeneous according to Elliot and Gaffen (1991). See also data description by Kalnay et al. (1996). Last month shown: June 2014. Last diagram update: 12 July 2014.
Click here to download the raw data used to generate the above diagram. Use the following search parameters: Relative humidity, mb, 90N-90S, 0-357.5E, monthly values, area weighted grid.

Specific Humidity (the ratio of the mass of water vapor in air to the total mass of the mixture of air and water vapor) also shows no increase in the upper troposphere. In fact it shows a down-trend, opposite of what would be expected from a water vapor feedback amplifying mechanism.

Atmospheric Specific Humidity from NOAA ESRL data:

NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericSpecificHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage[1]

Specific atmospheric humidity (g/kg) at three different altitudes in the lower part of the atmosphere (the Troposphere) since January 1948 (Kalnay et al. 1996). The thin blue lines shows monthly values, while the thick blue lines show the running 37 month average (about 3 years). Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA). Pre-1973 data from the United States is not homogeneous according to Elliot and Gaffen (1991). See also data description by Kalnay et al. (1996). Last month shown: June 2014. Last diagram update: 12 July 2014.
Click here to download the raw data used to generate the above diagram. Use the following search parameters: Specific humidity, mb, 90N-90S, 0-357.5E, monthly values, area weighted grid.

h/t to Ole Humlum at http://climate4you.com/GreenhouseGasses.htm#Atmospheric%20water%20vapor

Interestingly, the 300 mb level (~9-10km above the surface), is the level most commercial airlines fly. Some folks worry that all that water vapor coming from those jet engines each day might have an effect on the upper troposphere, and I’m not talking about the “Chemtrail” loonies. I wonder if their remote satellite sensing was tuned to deal with that?

Contrails-NASA-Langley-Research-Center-1024x809[1]

Satellite image of jet contrails over the southern U.S. on January 29, 2004. Credit: Langley Research Center

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Jimbo

No global warming for over 16 years. That is the amplification at work I suppose.
Other deadly amplification at work.
Arctic temperature
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
Arctic sea ice extent
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
It’s getting worse everyday, much worse than I ever imagined, and we must act now!

Transport by Zeppelin

The IPCC states –
8.6.2.3 What Explains the Current Spread in Models’ Climate Sensitivity Estimates?
In AOGCMs, the water vapour feedback constitutes by far the strongest feedback followed by the (negative) lapse rate feedback.
Because the water vapour and temperature responses are tightly coupled in the troposphere models with a larger (negative) lapse rate feedback also have a larger (positive) water vapour feedback.
=====================================================
Negative lapse rate feedback has not occurred according to RSS data, and you can’t have one without the other!
Temperature Mid Troposphere – Tropics (-25,25) Trend = 0.085 K/decade
Temperature Lower Troposphere – Tropics (-25,25) Trend = 0.103 K/decade
http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html

PhilCP

Funny how the first graphs are plotted. The y axis is not the data for that year, but for a data period ending that year. It doesn’t say the duration of the time period. If it’s 10 years, the latest value is for 1995-2005, which is terribly old, especially when you remember the last mega ElNinio of 1998, which must have made the tropospheric humidity go bonkers

Jimbo

If they actually DID find an increase in the satellite data, one wonders how much of it is actually from ‘feedback” and how much of it is simply added moisture due to water vapor in jet exhaust?

Even if they DID find an increase, surface global warming is at a hiatus for over 16 years. It’s not responding, it is a dead parrot. It’s all a mess, poorly understood, and modeled to death.

Abstract
Possible Climatic Effects of Contrails and Additional Water Vapour
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-51686-3_8
===============================
Abstract
Modeled impacts of stratospheric ozone and water vapor perturbations with implications for high-speed civil transport aircraft
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/95JD00196/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

William Abbott

Louis Frank, et al, at the University of Iowa observed a continuous flux of small comets entering the atmosphere. Comets big enough to appear on the images taken from the Dynamics Explorer Satellite, later confirmed by observations from the NASA Polar Spacecraft and ground-based telescopes detailed in a paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research, March 2001 Space Physics.
It would be interesting to consider the water vapor being continually added to the upper atmosphere by these small comets. But it would be hugely disruptive to a lot of “settled” science.
http://smallcomets.physics.uiowa.edu/

Jimbo

Did I hear hotspot? Heh, heh.

Chas

Of course the outcome states that only manmade carbon is essentially the cause, and it cannot be explained by natural forces. So let’s forget the fact that solar cycles and solar activity have a far stronger correlation to weather than any existing carbon climate models and let’s all support the obvious end-game here – a UN regulated global climate tax.

KRJ Pietersen

Anthony’s diligence in offering reportage on all these “It’s worse than we thought” papers is to be commended. I must admit, I rarely get beyond the first paragraph, but it’s good for the historical record.
I have to tell you all that the underground bunker I’m planning for the impending climate catastrophe is still very much at the concept stage, so if any of you are further ahead than me in terms of implementation then my family and I will be very grateful to receive your hospitality.
I’m still torn between the vision of a proper bunker or something more akin to Noah’s Ark.
Difficult choices. I wonder what Dana Nuccitelli would advise?

Jared

I am pretty sure if you used these models you could show that global human population rise is not natural and solely the artifact of increased CO2. Junk parameters in = junk results out. Those Godlike Models have temps still going up up and away while real world temps have flatlined, it is amazing how they think some junk parameters = proof. I am going to make a Model to predict the hypotenuse and I will use the formula 2A2 + B2 = C2. When the results in the real world do not work out I will call skeptics of my Model and formula deniers and change the real world results in my favor.
When will these scientists understand the parameters in their formula are wrong? The feedbacks in the real world do not match the parameters in their formula, hence the reason real world temps have remained flat while their formula says it should be accelerating even faster than it was in the 1990’s. Junk in, junk out. Fix the equation because it is incorrect, how many years must pass before they understand this?

dccowboy

Again and again, it’s ‘models all the way down’.
If reality doesn’t confirm your hypothesis, models certainly will.

dccowboy

Jimbo says:
July 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm
If they actually DID find an increase in the satellite data, one wonders how much of it is actually from ‘feedback” and how much of it is simply added moisture due to water vapor in jet exhaust?
Even if they DID find an increase, surface global warming is at a hiatus for over 16 years. It’s not responding, it is a dead parrot. It’s all a mess, poorly understood, and modeled to death.
——————————–
It’s not dead, Sir, it’s sleeping!

tgasloli

They used “climate models” to “show” that CO2 can be the only cause for increased moisture. The same old nonsense of using climate models to prove what the climate model assume. Another FAIL by government funded science research.

Pamela Gray

We have had a series of El Nino driven evaporation events over the study time period. That they used climate models to study volcanic and solar influence confirms to me they did not consider evaporation from El Nino events. This appears to me to be another case of climate scientists dismissing weather pattern variations that have long term oscillations. I also question whether or not adequate measures were obtained in order to determine normal variation. Was one of the scientists a meteorologist? Was one of the scientists a statistician? These two disciplines are absolutely central to these investigations.

As soon as i see the stock-in-trade emotive images i switch off such Madison Avenue inspired diatribe

If they have managed to detect a water vapour feedback trend (although they leave off nearly 10 years of the latest data), which would be expected, this paper therefore suggests that at least in the short term, the tropical tropospheric vapour feedback is not as important as assumed by the models.

There is a very strong negative feedback mechanism when humidity increases. It is called clouds. No model I know of handles the effect of clouds adequately.
Here is an observation: “The cause of Climate Change is still up in the air.”
http://lenbilen.com/2012/02/02/the-cause-of-climate-change-is-still-up-in-the-air/

Any increase in land surface and sea surface temperatures will result in more water vapor in the lower atmosphere. There have been none of these.
More water vapor in the atmosphere will make the energy transfer from the surface to the Tropopause faster. Models that they use, are based on BS and yield garbage results. Computer generated results are no replacement for real facts based on observed results. pg

Jimbo

This alleged co2 induced positive water vapour feedback has NEVER overwhelmed the system. Negative feedback exists too, that is why we are here commenting. I think we need to forget this shite.

Jimbo

We are here for a reason. Carry on typing and don’t worry about water vapour overheating your neighborhood. Dangerous co2 induced warming is based on garbage. Water vapour induced dangerous warming does not exist.

Science Daily – 2 February 2014
Nature can, selectively, buffer human-caused global warming, say scientists
Can naturally occurring processes selectively buffer the full brunt of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities? Yes, says a group of researchers in a new study.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140202111055.htm
——————————-
Abstract
C. I. Garfinkel, D. W. Waugh, L. D. Oman, L. Wang, M. M. Hurwitz. Temperature trends in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere: Connections with sea surface temperatures and implications for water vapor and ozone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2013; 118 (17): 9658 DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50772
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50772

William Abbott says:
July 28, 2014 at 3:57 pm
======================================
I remember reading an article, likely in SA, about 20 years ago which proposed a similar thought that this is in part how the Earth gained it,s water mass.

Jimbo

Let me be clear. Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, but it has not and will not cause dangerous warming today, tomorrow or in 2100. It never has.
Co2 is a greenhouse gas. Without it we would be freezing chaps. We are here today and alive. This is a con job.

IPCC – Climate Change 2007: Working Group I
Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second-most important one. ”

“New study claims to confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier – but other data says no”
Ain’t settled science great?

jmorpuss

Anthony here is a link to the shadowing effect created by contrails http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/artificial-weather-revealed-post-9-11-flight-groundings
How long would co2 say aloft ? http://ci.coastal.edu/~sgilman/770lecwatersalt.htm

Katherine

The change illustrated in their Fig. S1.Decadal trends of observed brightness temperatures as a function of time span is laughable! With those error bars, the changes could just as well be strongly negative and they would still be within the error bars drawn. Any supposedly detected change is swamped by noise—just like the claim of CO2 heating the atmosphere.

Tom in Florida

“The fact that water vapor is the most dominant greenhouse gas underscores the need for an accurate understanding of the changes in its distribution over space and time.”
There it is. The money request. I knew it would be in there somewhere.

[snip if you have something to say, say it and show your work, citations, etc. rather that just a “Mosher says so” No more drive by from you, sorry. – Anthony]

Weird…. Anthony you compare reanalysis data to actual observed values.
Reanalysis derives from models
REPLY: next you’ll tell me I deny weather forecast models. Sheesh. Reanalysis of data in a model is one thing, forecasting using models 3-5 days in advance (where they can constantly be verified and improved, as has been done for years) is another. I use and accept both of these daily. Forecasting years in advance in a highly chaotic system and not being able to verify the output for years, then improve it based on skill/performance is something else. I don’t accept that and neither should you. This is why: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/cmip5-73-models-vs-obs-20n-20s-mt-5-yr-means11.png
Do you actually have a point here Mr. Mosher? No, I don’t think you do. – Anthony

Jimbo

Observations are terrifying. Model experiments are even worse, we must act now! The MODEL evidence is clear, and we must help the grand children. It’s all for the littleuns.

Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.

Abstract
Water vapor in the upper troposphere strongly regulates the strength of water-vapor feedback, which is the primary process for amplifying the response of the climate system to external radiative forcings. Monitoring changes in upper-tropospheric water vapor and scrutinizing the causes of such changes are therefore of great importance for establishing the credibility of model projections of past and future climates. Here, we use coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations under different climate-forcing scenarios to investigate satellite-observed changes in global-mean upper-tropospheric water vapor……

Tom In Indy

Man-Made Global Water Vapor Up!
Man-Made Global CO2 Up!
Global Surface Temperature FLAT!
This paper debunks the CAGW Hypothesis!

Alcheson

They have to know what the natural variability is before they can say with any credibility that the increase is due to man. They are basing their results on models, models which so far have shown very little skill. The most they can reliably say at this point, is that some of the increase in water vapor in the troposphere measured over the past 30 years (if real) MAY be due to human influence, and depending on what it does to cloud cover, may either act to cool the earth or possibly to enhance the green house effect. However, since the warming has stopped so far this century, this would suggest the warming influence is either insignificant or is possibly slightly negative.

TRG

The question which always comes into my mind on the water vapor feedback mechanism is: If 1 deg C of warming can trigger the water vapor feedback warming, wouldn’t it already have been triggered by some other cause? One deg C is well within natural variation, so why doesn’t any upward fluctuation in temperature move the water vapor to whatever its natural limit is with respect to warming. After all, water vapor induced warming could provide its own feedback. This has never made sense to me.

Sigurdur

“Skeptical Science Syndrome” continues to rear its ugly head. The used models, which have not been validated, to come to a conclusion which is not born out by observation.
And they think they have discovered something? About the only thing they have discovered is another case of “Skeptical Science Sydrome”

Latitude

the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces…..
…and yet we know enough about natural forces to predict the future
head wall…………

From the abstract:
Our analysis demonstrates that the upper-tropospheric moistening observed over the period 1979–2005
Why, does a paper published in 2014, ignore nearly 10 year’s worth of data? More importantly, the most RECENT 10 years of data?

Katherine says:
July 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm
The change illustrated in their Fig. S1.Decadal trends of observed brightness temperatures as a function of time span is laughable! With those error bars
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yikes! Thanks for pointing that out. We’re so used to garbage papers that don’t include error bars that I’ve ceased looking for them. Anyone who missed it, scroll back up and take a look. The error bars are there, and they essentially invalidate the paper all by themselves.

Greg Goodman

“Here, we use coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations under different climate-forcing scenarios to investigate satellite-observed changes in global-mean upper-tropospheric water vapor.”
So they used a climate model to confirm what climate models are right.
Circularity?

Bill Illis

The ENSO is the main driver of global water vapor levels. This chart is the precipitable column water vapor (in the total atmospheric column versus at the specific upper troposphere level but this is the more accurate measure of what is predicted). The ENSO is the main driver in terms of variability so all these climate science water vapor studies need to be perused to see how they are taking advantage of the ENSO conditions at the beginning and end of the record they are studying.
http://s29.postimg.org/6ohfbap4n/ENSO_PCWV_1948_to_June14.png
(Note water vapor took a big jump last month). This PNAS study starts in neutral/La Nina conditions in 1979 and ends in neutral/El Nino conditions in 2006. But why end in 2006?
So how does PCWV compare to the IPCC forecasts. Off by a mile. In this chart, I’ve also added in the RSS satellite water vapor measure which is being updated every month now. Very similar in the overlap period to the NCEP Reanalysis data shown in the previous chart.
http://s10.postimg.org/dpntgg5ux/ENSO_PCWV_IPCC_AR5_June14.png
And then let’s compare surface temperatures of Hadcrut4 to what global warming science and the climate models have assumed (7.0% increase in water vapor per 1.0C increase in surface temperatures – the Classius Clapeyron Relation). 2.4% per 1.0C is the actual value to date (the lower troposphere is a little higher at 4.0% per 1.0C but then they have a lower temperature increase than Hadcrut4). So no one should be able to show that the actual data supports the theory.
http://s28.postimg.org/sqwgzuyvx/Hadcrut4_vs_PCWV_CC_Relation_May14.png
If we used 2.4% per 1.0C as the water vapor feedback, the temperature increase per doubling of CO2 would fall from 3.25C per doubling to 1.5C per doubling. That is why this measure is important.

Bill H

Let me get this straight.. Along comes a group of clowns playing with models and they exclaim that it must be CO2 causing that rapid increase in H2O vapor that our models say is present.. But reality shows there is no such increase… They are so busy playing with themselves they forgot to check with the earth and reality before making their gloom and doom predictions…
Has our academic scientific community fallen so far from reality that they are useless? The Organ is playing send in the clowns and I fear they are already in the house and they are scrambling about to try and light a fire.
Forgive me, but the last week of endless gloom and doom exaggerations and outright lies from these people is killing me.. Honor and Integrity is now a thing of the past..

Does anyone here seriously consider that airplanes change upper tropospheric water vapor levels more than factors affecting global temperature do? The above satellite photo appears to me to show that cirrus type clouds concentrate their formations to where jetliners fly, possibly at the expense of elsewhere. I see jet contrails spreading out into cirrus-type clouds only when I see overhead or nearby weather conditions causing cirrus-type clouds to form on their own.
What about the fact that increase of greenhouse gases *cools* the atmosphere above largely-roughly the 400 millibar level? It is possible to add enough greenhouse gases to reverse the cooling of the 400 millibar level to warming, but the 300 millibar level will still continue to cool with more greenhouse gases. I state this on a global basis, because the tropics, at least within 15-20 degrees or so of the equator, have had the 300 millibar level holding close to steady. (Models of predicting global warming to a catastrophic extent are being shown to fall short, because these models have been predicting a hotspot of tropical upper troposphere warming, which has hardly and very weakly [at best] happened.)

Curious George

Water exists in the atmosphere as a gas (vapor), liquid (fog, rain), or solid (ice, snow). The study apparently concentrated on water vapor, which is a primary greenhouse gas, they don’t mention liquid or solid water – clouds – which has an opposite effect. Any specific reason for that omission?

Greg Goodman

“Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.”
Do their computer models of volcanic impacts show this? A 0.5K drop TLS subsequent to each eruption, rather than a steady decline not related to volcanic events.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=902
or this? An increase in SW entering the lower atmosphere following major eruptions.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=955
If not, their models are seriously failing to model the effects that volcanoes have on climate and any conclusions they are drawing from them are invalid.

RCM

I was amazed and amused when the first claims of CO2 of a pollutant came out. How clever, I thought. The enemy of true pollutants had been defeated, and so the army of activists needed a new enemy or else the army must disband and the Generals lose their jobs. In CO2, I thought, they had found an enemy who could never be defeated as long as mankind drew breath.
Now, when the army of true believers is slowly learning that they have been fighting a mythical enemy, a new enemy is sighted on the horizon!’

RoHa

See! The upper troposphere hot spot exists! They’ve got full colour photographs of it, and it’s glowing red! Before long it will come down and GET us!
We’re doomed, I tell you! Doomed! DOOOOOOOOOMED!

Since the beginning of the global warming scare, the alarmist predictions have been that humidity — both relative and specific — would increase. The reason is simple: a warmer world would result in more evaporation.
Has this happened?
No. Both relative humidity and specific humidity have gone down. Thus, the model-based alarmist predictions are wrong, as usual.
[Referring to Donald Klipstein’s comment above, regarding the 400 mB level, we see that at that altitude specific humidity has been falling sharply.]
Question: Given that none of the alarmist predictions have ever happened, when will they finally admit that their runaway global warming scare was a false alarm?

Greg Goodman

Donald L. Klipstein says:
July 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm
Does anyone here seriously consider that airplanes change upper tropospheric water vapor levels more than factors affecting global temperature do? The above satellite photo appears to me to show that cirrus type clouds concentrate their formations to where jetliners fly, possibly at the expense of elsewhere. I see jet contrails spreading out into cirrus-type clouds only when I see overhead or nearby weather conditions causing cirrus-type clouds to form on their own.
====
The immediate contrail is both emitted water vapour plus condensation triggered by the depression caused by the wings. I have seen a jet fly over and it looked like a four engined plane at first. but then I realised two of the contrails were from the wing tips.
Later, in the half hour that follows and, as you say, when conditions close to cloud forming anyway, there can be a general formation of cloud along the plane’s track. This formation of persistent cloud is probably more to do with cloud nucleation around the other particulate and sulphate aerosols emitted by the plane than to water vapour of combustion.
Most commercial flights are in the stratosphere, not the troposphere for as much of the flight as possible.

KevinK

“Greenhouse gases raise temperatures by trapping the Earth’s radiant heat inside the atmosphere.”
Ah, yes the old “trapped heat” simplistic explanation again, sigh. No engineer with any accomplishments joined to their name EVER speaks of “trapping” heat. I’ve learned how to create heat (from electrical or chemical or nuclear energy), and I’ve learned how to “pump” heat (into or out of an enclosure), and I’ve learned how to slow down the velocity of heat (insulation),and I’ve learned how to speed up the velocity of heat (copper heat sinks), and I’ve learned how to absorb heat and convert it into electricity (Peltier junctions). But I must have missed the lecture in thermodynamics about “trapping heat”. And all the application notes from manufacturers about how to use their products to “trap heat”. Engineers that routinely think that they have “trapped heat” either get fired or promoted into management.
Oh, but they are trapping “radiant heat”, yes, I must have missed that when studying Maxwell’s equations that explain how EMR (Electromagnetic Energy, i.e. IR light) gets “trapped”. Cracking a dusty old textbook I see the refractive index, a measure of the velocity at which light travels through a material. I do not see a “radiative resistance” term. Of course light travels the fastest in a vacuum, but in air it travels at a velocity of ~ 1/1.000293 (refractive index of a vacuum divided by the refractive index of air). Yes, I can see now how “radiant heat” that is traveling at 99.97 % of “full speed” has been “trapped”, or can I ?????
It is in fact possible to measure the speed of light in air with an interferometer, and it does vary (slightly, way out in the 6th and 7th digit) when the temperature, pressure and humidity changes. Research “Edlen’s equation” for the details of an empirical model (yes models are useful, and this one has been “verified”).
Cheers, Kevin.

Greg Goodman says:
July 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm
So they used a climate model to confirm what climate models are right.
Circularity?

Uh, “Circlejerkularity”.
/grin

David L. Hagen

Anthony
You might also have fun with air traffic graphs. e.g.,
Aviation more adequately accounts for global temperature change since 1940 then do earthbound CO2 concentrations, furthermore aviation and ships account for recently stalled warming and new trend towards cooling by Dr Chris Barnes Bangor Scientific and Educational Consultants
Contrast
Air-traffic moratorium opened window on contrails and climate 8 August 2002 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news020805-7

Travis’s team compared the average daily high and low temperatures over North America from 11 to 14 September 2001, with climatic records from 1977 to 2000, matching the weather over those three days with similar weather in September from historical records.
They found that the difference between daily high and nightly low temperatures in the absence of contrails was more than 1 oC greater than in the presence of contrails. Comparing the three-day grounding period with the three days immediately before and after, the impact was even larger – about 1.8 oC.

Rud Istvan

This study is a classic example of hide the pea. Please folks, archive recorded history, as Warmunist assertions morph like in Orwell’s novella 1984. The CMIP3 and CMIP5 models have UTrH roughly constant. See final AR4 Black Box 8.1 for confirmation. They cannot disappear that no matter how much IPCC now tries to hedge in AR5.
So this new study purports to show that UTsH increased. Maybe, maybe not. But in any event not as much as constant UTrH requires. Which means the ‘positive’ water vapor feedback cannot be as strong as warmunists insist including AR4 and AR5. My present comment point is only that unless it also observationally increased as much as AR4 said instant UTrH required, all CMIP3 models are still provably falsified to statistical ‘certainty’ (95%) by the now undeniable pause.
Plus, an alternative Eschenbach governor/regulator explanation is at hand. (The recent blogosphere semantics of that are an irrelevant dispute not worthy of any posts whatsoever.) It is worth commenting that Willis’ logic was originally proposed by Lindzen of MIT back in 2001 IIRC? His original peer reviewed paper was titled An Adaptive IRS? What Willis has done is provide additional subsequent empirical support. Kudos to both. A very simple ‘outsider’ judgement.
Or maybe not…
But still on the right track through this murky climate jungle.

SAMURAI

The CAGW hypothesis entirely depends on CO2’s induced warming creating a “runaway positive feedback loop” involving water vapor.
Without this water vapor induced “runaway positive feedback loop”, the CAGW hypothesis is dead, as CO2’s forcing effect of 3.7 watts/M^2 is only capable of reaching a GROSS Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of around 1.1C by 2100. If the negative feedbacks from increased ocean evaporation (a cooling effect), which leads to increased cloud cover (a cooling effect) from this CO2 forcing are factored into Earth’s energy balance equation, then NET ECS becomes around 0.5C by 2100….
In addition to global Relative Humidity and global Specific Humidity trends, which show NO increasing trend in atmospheric water vapor, NASA’s NVAP Project also shows no increasing trend in water vapor concentrations:
http://nvap.stcnet.com
The CAGW grant hounds will do absolutely ANYTHING before admitting there is no empirical evidence showing water vapor concentrations are increasing. As long as the CAGW grant hounds can wave some flawed pal-reviewed paper showing water vapor is increasing, they feel they’ll NEVER wave the white flag of surrender, which is why bogus papers like this one are absolutely essential to keep “The Cause” going…
Once the CAGW grant whores finally admit there is no increasing trend in water vapor, the CAGW hypothesis is dead and buried, because the MAXIMUM amount of ECS just based on CO2’s logarithmic forcing is 1.1C, which isn’t anything to worry about and about…