More IPCC Inadequacies And Failures: Precipitation

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

 

The recent article by Philip Lloyd about long-term precipitation patterns referenced the record from 1766 for England and Wales. It reminded me of my doctoral thesis defense before a committee chaired by Professor C.G. Smith of Keble College Oxford. After about 2 hours of questions Smith said,

“I don’t know what the procedures are at the University of London, but with the approval of the Committee I am going to tell the candidate the thesis is acceptable. I am doing this because there are issues we need to discuss, and I want the candidate to answer without the trepidation of a candidate.”

We then had a three-hour discussion about long-term records and relationships to various mechanisms. Smith was involved with the 1766 record because of his work on the Radcliffe Meteorological Station. He also worked with Manley on the Central England Temperature record.

Some of the discussion centered on the problems of measuring rain and snow. Another issue evolved from a challenge in the thesis defense about a spectral analysis of long-term precipitation. It showed a distinct 22-year cycle, and I related it to sunspot data. Some Committee members wanted it removed, but I resisted, and it remained.

Limited Focus

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up to prove that human CO2 was causing life-threatening global warming. As a result, they made the focus CO2 and temperature for everyone, including most skeptics. They ignored the benefits of warming and the fact that cooling is a much greater threat to flora, fauna, and therefore humans. Worse, they ignored the fact that variation in precipitation is a much greater threat as droughts and floodings attest.

The IPCC know droughts are a problem because they exploited the threat by incorrectly claiming warming will cause more droughts. This is counter-intuitive because higher air and water temperatures will result in more evaporation and higher atmospheric moisture content, more clouds, and more rain. The IPCC said that warming caused more evaporation when it suited their argument. When it was determined that there is an upper limit to the temperature increase from increasing CO2 (Figure 1) they claimed, incorrectly, that water vapor creates a positive feedback.

clip_image002

Figure 1

The contradiction in their claim is because they also argued that the amount of water vapor humans add to the atmosphere is of no consequence. However, they claim that 95% of the temperature increase since 1950 is due to human addition of CO2. If humans caused the temperature increase, then they are responsible for increased evaporation and higher atmospheric water vapor. This selective application of principles is just one proof of the political objective of their science.

Lack Of Data

The data to create the models and predict the weather or the climate is inadequate for temperature, it is even worse for precipitation. With temperature, they assumed that the record of one station was representative of a 1200km radius region. I urge people to draw a 1200km radius circle around any location and determine the unreality of that claim. The lack of precipitation data is a much bigger problem. First, there are fewer stations measuring precipitation as an August 2006 Science report from Africa explains. The headline says,

“No one can predict the heavy summer rains (monsoons) that bring the Sahel back to life each year.”

 

They explain,

“One obvious problem is a lack of data. Africa’s network of 1152 weather watch stations, which provide real-time data and supply international climate archives, is just one-eighth the minimum density recommended by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Furthermore, the stations that do exist often fail to report.”

The 2007 IPCC Report noted in Chapter 8 that,

In short, most AOGCMs do not simulate the spatial or intra-seasonal variation of monsoon precipitation accurately.

It is important to note that most think monsoons only occur in the Indian subcontinent, but they are a specific pattern of climate with a very distinct wet and dry seasons.

Second, temperature varies spatially, but not as much as precipitation. There are two forms of precipitation patterns. 1. Frontal precipitation that is primarily associated with the warm air overrunning retreating cold air along what is called the Warm Front of a mid-latitude cyclone. The associated cloud comprises different levels of stratus (layer cloud) with extensive precipitation (Figures 1 and 2). The precipitation is steady and falls over a large area for a prolonged period. What my father called “a good soaking rain.”

clip_image004

Figure 1 The Mature stage of a mid-latitude cyclonic system.

clip_image006

Figure 2 Cross sections through warm and cold front.

2. The second form of precipitation comes from convective cells that create cumulus (heap cloud) that yield showers (Figure 3).

clip_image008

Figure 3 Cumulus (Cu) clouds that can develop to Cu+, Cb and produce showers

The amount of precipitation and distribution is extremely variable. Any Midwestern farmer can tell you about the neighbor getting rain on one section, and they get nothing. In most parts of the world, you would require a rain gauge at least every kilometer to get even a crude measure of the amount of precipitation. A standard summer forecast in regions where cumulus develops is, “Clear in the morning, clouding over in the afternoon, a chance of showers and thundershowers in the evening.”

Mechanisms

A very important function of these clouds is the transfer of heat from the surface through evaporation and condensation. Normally evaporation is combined with transpiration from plants as evapotranspiration. Here is the IPCC (2007 Report) admitting their lack of ability in this area.

For models to simulate accurately the seasonally varying pattern of precipitation, they must correctly simulate a number of processes (e.g., evapotranspiration, condensation, transport) that are difficult to evaluate at a global scale.

The IPCC state in AR5 that they try to offset the combination of a lack of data and methodology by parameterization but it is much more difficult for precipitation, if not impossible compared to temperature

The simulation of precipitation is a more stringent test for models as it depends heavily on processes that must be parameterized.

But it is much more limited than that.

In addition to issues related to resolution and model complexity (see Section 9.6.3), errors and uncertainties arise from observational uncertainty in evaluation data and parameterizations (see Box 9.3), choice of model domain and application of boundary conditions (driving data).

The magnitude of observational uncertainty for precipitation varies with region, which is why many studies make use of several estimates of precipitation.

It leads them to this conclusion.

In summary, confidence in precipitation change averaged over global land areas is low for the years prior to 1950 and medium afterwards because of insufficient data, particularly in the earlier part of the record.

The blunt truth is we know little about the Carbon Cycle and even less about the Water Cycle (Figure 4). Maybe that is why I could not find a Water Cycle diagram in AR5.

clip_image010

Figure 4

The IPCC further confuse and divert from possible understanding by misrepresenting tree rings, one of the best possible indicators of precipitation levels and variation over time. The advantage is they link across the division between instrumental and historic record. The hockey stick exploited this, but for the wrong reason. The history of tree ring research illustrates other issues and problems.

Leonardo Da Vinci showed an interest in tree rings, but A.E. Douglass produced the first climate-related studies. An astronomer, Douglass established the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona. His interest involved dendrochronology, originally used as an absolute dating method. He began looking at the connection between sunspots, tree growth and weather. Ellsworth Huntington used Douglass’ work to study droughts and civilizations in south central Asia as I wrote about here. Most agree that tree ring width is a function of total environmental conditions. According to Lamb, H.C.Fritts author of “Tree Rings and Climate” (1976) said a tree was “a ’window’ through which a certain complex of climatic behavior is converted into a ring width.”

While this accommodates the spatial differences in important growth controlling factors, there is a certain threshold transcends in which one them all. It is demonstrated in the concept of a “wilting point”. Plants extract water from the ground through osmotic pressure in their root systems. When the water content in the soil reaches the wilting point, it means that even though there is water still in the soil the plant cannot obtain it, and the plant begins to wilt. So, at a certain point, precipitation, or rather lack of it, becomes the dominant factor in all situations. Vladimir Koppen understood this when he established the concept of “effective precipitation” in his climate classification system. No rain, no plant growth.

The data I used for the spectral analysis came from daily records of precipitation events. The 22-year peak was related to drought spells. This matched with the work of Douglass and others like Mitchell et al., (1979) who published “Evidence of a 22-year Rhythm of Drought in the Western United States Related to the Hale Solar Cycle since the 17th Century.”

 

Figure 5 shows one reconstruction of the pattern produced as a result of these works.

clip_image012

Figure 5

 

The Dalton Minimum is evident between 1800 and 1840. The drought periods marked by the H vary in length because the 22-years is an average. I did not extend this graph but used it to warn Canadian and northern US farmers about the potential drought that came in the late 1980s.

A recent article by Kimball et al., claims a link between droughts and El Nino. This is not surprising because Labitzke and Van Loon produced several papers showing the relationship between sunspot cycles and El Nino in the late 1980s. The authors do not reference any of the material mentioned by me in this article. Is it because they cannot have a natural cause explanation? Could the source of funding have influenced what they looked at and the conclusions they reached? They acknowledge,

This work was supported by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-2), which funded NOAA research grant NA14OAR4830100

A possible cause is related to cloud cover, which varies with the Cosmic Theory. The problem is the IPCC does not even mention the Cosmic Theory because it is outside its mandated definition. Even if it is included, the database is completely inadequate to reach any conclusions, but that hasn’t stopped them claiming the following in the Summary For Policymakers (SPM)

“Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones and wild fires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability (very high confidence).”

This is a statement they can’t even make, let alone with very high confidence. I make that determination based on the lack of evidence and knowledge of mechanisms acknowledged in their Working Group I Report, The Physical Science Basis. In defining the terminology the IPCC says,

The IPCC Guidance Note on Uncertainty defines a common approach to evaluating and communicating the degree of certainty in findings of the assessment process. Each finding is grounded in an evaluation of underlying evidence and agreement. In many cases, a synthesis of evidence and agreement supports an assignment of confidence, especially for findings with stronger agreement and multiple independent lines of evidence.

The projections about increasing extreme weather are as wrong as all the IPCC projections. Despite this, they are determining policies, damaging lives, economies, and entire social structures. The claims about more and more severe droughts are particularly troubling because humans have an inherent fear of droughts and their impact on food supply. But this fits with the new narrative of threats to water and food supply.

Here is Lester Brown, renowned leader of the band playing that tune in “Global threat to food supply as water wells dry up, warns top environment expert.” It is a tune he has sung for a couple of years, in 2013 he said,

“…although “peak oil” has been extensively written about in recent years, it is peak water that is the real threat to our future.” Peter Gleick of Heartland skulduggery fame created the term “Peak Water.” He explained, “The term peak water has been put forward as a concept to help understand growing constraints on the availability, quality, and use of freshwater resources.”

There was no “peak oil” and there is no “peak water” unless the situation is artificially created.

The IPCC focus on CO2 and temperature was political. While focusing on human causes of climate change, they ignored the one variable, precipitation, so critical to human existence. Now they are trying to shift the focus away from temperature to precipitation. It can’t work because there are even fewer precipitation data and less knowledge about the mechanisms.

Advertisements

67 thoughts on “More IPCC Inadequacies And Failures: Precipitation

  1. Dr. BaIl states “I urge people to draw a 1200km radius circle around any location and determine the unreality of that claim.” Unless you are in the polar regions or the Sahara, you do not even have to draw a 600 km radius to determine the unreality of that claim. But we all know climate scientists are not interested in reality anyway.

    • The 1200 km claim comes from a 1987 paper published by Jim Hansen. In it he plotted the pairwise correlation of measured air temperatures between climate stations, worldwide.

      The 50% correlation occurred at about 1200 km separation.

      As I recall, there were six plots, high-, medium-, and low-latitude for each hemisphere. There was a very large amount of scatter, with more scatter at high latitude (relying on memory here).

      But in any case the 1200 km is an empirical estimate, not an assumption. The scatter is so large, though, that the 1200 km correlation should not be applied uncritically.

      There’s also the problem of large systematic errors in the temperature measurements, but that’s another issue.

      • So for medium latitudes, observations from Phoenix, AZ can be substituted for Jackson Hole, WY?

        Why am I not surprised?

      • Hans Erren – though this graph is nice, I don’t think it is an example of what is needed here. The correlation you show here is in time. What we want it the correlation as a function of distance.

      • Hans Erren – though this graph is nice, I don’t think it is an example of what is needed here. The correlation you show here is in time. What we want it the correlation as a function of distance.

        Actually you want both at the same time. And it will vary by terrain. A terrain with lots of microclimates will have less correlation. A terrain without microclimates will have more correlation – in both time and distance.

        Peter

      • Note that it appears that Vienna was as warm in the 1780s as it is today.

        Note also Hohenpeissenberg and Basel were as warm in the 1920s as today.

        Whilst temperatures appear to have risen in the 980s and paused in 2000, one can see many periods in the past when temperatures were approximately as warm as today.

        To me, that looks a fairly stable record (with much short term variability) and today’s temperatures do not appear alarming.

      • Goombayah:

        “So for medium latitudes, observations from Phoenix, AZ can be substituted for Jackson Hole, WY?

        Why am I not surprised?”

        My understanding is that the 1200km figure is used to justify filling in for missing data. No doubt there is plenty of data for these two locations to prevent the substitution you fear. I’m still not convinced that the homogenization practices in these data sets are all that good, but they are not as bad as your question presumes.

    • jayhd,

      “But we all know climate scientists are not interested in reality anyway.”

      Um, not to be picky, but I’m thinking Mr. Ball may not agree ; )

  2. Even if it is included, the database is completely inadequate to reach any conclusions
    Yet, people continue to make all kind of unfounded conclusions about climate and solar variations….

    • lsvalgaard November 4, 2015 at 11:36 am “Even if it is included, the database is completely inadequate to reach any conclusionsYet, people continue to make all kind of unfounded conclusions about climate and solar variations….”

      Just like they do with climate and CO2.

    • If the sun has no effect on the planets past or future regimes, then why do we employ solar researchers ?
      So they can tell us things that happened 8 minutes ago ?

      • Dumb question.
        The Sun influences the geo-space environment of the Earth and our space-based infrastructure to a very large degree, but its influence on weather and climate at the surface is barely [if at all] measurable.

      • It was supposed to be a dumb question, they tend to get the quickest responses.

        Did you just say the sun is not in fact a variable star, and the variations wouldn’t affect us at the surface, but only the space “weather” ?

      • Continuing with dumb questions.
        The Sun is indeed a variable star, but the variations are too minute to have any measurable clear influence on the lower terrestrial atmosphere where we live. The funding situation for my research area would improve immensely if I were wrong. Unfortunately, the funding agencies seem to agree with me and funding is correspondingly puny…

      • Not sure I agree about the sun’s lack of influence on the weather at my place, Leif. Living in various places around Australia, in my 61 years I cannot recall very many occasions when the maximum temperature on any calendar day occurred at night. And when we remember the AGW alarmists are afraid of a long-term change in temperature of just 2 or 3 degrees C, (against annual changes of up to 100 deg C, & diurnal changes of over 40 deg), surely the slight variations in the long-term output of the sun can have a significant role in that small change in temperature?

      • The Sun does vary and the variation is reflected in a varying temperature, but by less than one-tenth of a degree. And as far as day and night are concerned, when you have night, the Sun is shining somewhere else where it is day, so the day-night cycle is not important for the climate.

      • The Sun is indeed a variable star, but the variations are too minute to have any measurable clear influence on the lower terrestrial atmosphere where we live.

        It’s probably more accurate to say we haven’t successfully measured the sun and global temperature over a long enough period time to ascertain anything when we’re near the noise floor for both…

        The satellites that were supposed to measure the TSI were an abysmal failure. They didn’t last long enough, and they were way off in results.

        Science and space programs fail OFTEN. Get used to it. Eventually they arrive at a better truth but it takes a long time sometimes.

        Peter

  3. Taken for the words, it does not say anything of the future or courses.
    “Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones and wild fires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability (very high confidence).”
    In the context it is however very easy to connect it to a future climate altered to the worse by humans.
    To put focus on precipitation is a piece of cake. We don’t need any stinking data.
    The less data the more models that’s harder to refute.

  4. Nerd/pedant alert (although this site is a delight for nerds):
    A pleasure to read that last sentence. So few people understand the concept of countable nouns, or that data is the plural of datum.
    Made my day.

    • It’s not nearly that simple. ‘Data’ can be treated as a collective noun. In fact, given that it is often the subject of statistical analysis, I would say that people should be careful to treat it as a collective noun when statistical analysis is invoked.

      If I am doing statistics, a datum is meaningless; I will treat ‘data’ as a collective noun. If I am surveying, a datum is highly meaningful; I will treat ‘data’ as a plural of ‘datum’.

      British and American style guides tend to agree that collective nouns like audience, committee, and data can be construed as either singular or plural, according to whether the word is perceived as a unit or as individual items. link

      Here are examples from the AP Stylebook:

      The data is sound.
      The data have been carefully collected.

  5. Do these Climate Change Doom Prognosticators live in a bubble, never watching even the evening news or even observing the changes in temperature, rain, dew, weather as they drive to and from their fortified bubbles? Look at any weather map on the evening news. Temperatures vary by as much and even more than 5 Degrees F over an area with a 10 mile radius and the numbers almost seem random rather than logical. Rain fall usual varies by as much as 5 inches and sometimes as much as 18 inches in that same circle of interest. And all they use is the “official” NWS numbers taken at the corrupted airport for the record.
    Even more astonishing is something I just found out. I recently bought a Netatmo Weather station. It has an App for your PC, Tablet or Smartphone. While using it I discovered the Weather map of Netatmo users. https://www.netatmo.com/weathermap – look at the data. Having once been an Instrumentation Technician, I verified the calibration on my station – the numbers are ALWAYS different than the “Official” numbers. Often by amounts that seem unreasonable (like more than 5 degrees or 6 inches and I only live about 2 miles from the NWS station) – But I know mine are correct. How can they predict anything with garbage input like they are using?

  6. Dr Ball:

    I would suggest including a box (with web link) that includes the IPCC mission up at the top, right under the “Limited Focus” heading. Some added emphasis might be needed, but not much. IMO, although if we can say that IPCC is all about chasing “human-induced climate change”, seeing it in their own words would b e far better.

    I suggest this because, for years now I’ve heard people say things about the IPCC mission, but it’s clear they’ve not read it; by doing so one should be able to see that the IPCC was directed to pursue the whole “human-induced,” thus what they do is a fait accompli…

  7. Tim Ball:
    While focusing on human causes of climate change, they ignored the one variable, precipitation, so critical to human existence. Now they are trying to shift the focus away from temperature to precipitation. It can’t work because there are even fewer precipitation data and less knowledge about the mechanisms.

    James McGinn:
    I agree with Tim that the IPCC’s shift in focus from temperature to precipitation is, from a scientific perspective, a non-starter. In other words, I agree that it does (will not) bolster their larger scientific argument. Instead it will, from a scientific perspective, make their message even more convoluted than it already is. But they are not concerned with science. It is just a means to an end for them. They are concerned about governing.

    The reason they are shifting to drought (precipitation) is because that is where the political wind is blowing. The droughts that have emerged over the last 20 years are proving to be unusually persistent.

    According to my theory as the world continues with this nonsensical obsession with CO2 the droughts are going to get worse. Sometimes it takes catastrophe for people to to have the motivation to root-out the real problem. Eventually meteorology’s archaic notions about storm origins (storm theory) will come into focus and be revealed as the blatant nonsense that they are, and some real scientific progress can be made in what is now an intellectually dead discipline.

    Why Wind Farms Cause Drought
    http://wp.me/p4JijN-1RV

    James McGinn
    Solving Tornadoes
    Solving Drought

    • Wind farms don’t cause droughts. If you disagree, the onus is on you to show convincingly, using real world data, that they do cause droughts.

      • Time will tell. Wind farms are being constructed at increasing rates. Ten years from now I suspect we will have two or three times as many as we do currently. If my theory is correct that would mean that the droughts will persist and even get worse. We will see.

        Unfortunately it also means that farmer suicide linked to drought which have become epidemic in some parts of the world–in India the number is in the thousands–will also continue.

        In my opinion the onus is on the people that manufacture and sell them and on the meteorological community that has endorsed them.

        I am just a simple science theorist.

      • Actually I think that wind farms might indeed contribute to drought.

        We here in NE Oregon have suffered through almost unremitting droughts since the insane powers who be paid for vast wind farms, the most extensive on earth.

        Could just be a coincidence, but bears watching and study, IMO.

      • Gloateus:
        Actually I think that wind farms might indeed contribute to drought. We here in NE Oregon have suffered through almost unremitting droughts since the insane powers who be paid for vast wind farms, the most extensive on earth. Could just be a coincidence, but bears watching and study, IMO.

        James McGinn:
        According to my theory the energy of storms does not come from convection, as meteorologists believe, but from jet streams. Vortices, that are essentially tributary extensions of/from the jet stream, deliver this energy in the form of low pressure–causing uplift and rain. However, in order to achieve this the vortice needs a smooth boundary layer (between moist air and dry air) in the middle and lower levels of the atmosphere. These boundary layers are, essentially, the pathways that allow/facilitate the down-growth of the vortice. Smoothness, length, and continuity of the boundary layer are essential to a vortice actually achieving this down-growth. Wind turbines destroy the smoothness, length, and continuity of the boundary layer, thus making storms unlikely.

        Meteorologist have a taboo against discussing storm theory. When it comes to this subject they are as bad or worse than climatologists are on the subject of AGW. (Trust me, I’ve tried.)

        Even though I live just south of Oregon, in Nor Cal, I wasn’t aware there was a drought in Oregon until recently. So I did what I do whenever I hear of a region that has drought, I Google wind farm maps for the region. And I have to admit I was surprised. As you suggest, there are a lot of wind farms in Oregon.

        Another one that I just came across recently is New Zealand. Same thing, drought, wind farms etc.

        My perspective is unique in that I was not even considering drought when I developed this theory. I was addressing tornadoes. One of the mitigation measured I theorized (but was actually rather dismissive of at first) was wind farms. I had read that they had expanded three or four fold in NW Texas and SW Oklahoma in the last few years. And so, when I read that there was a unprecedented tornado drought in tornado alley this last spring I started to more and more warm up to the idea that wind farms could have a significant impact on storm mitigation (causing rain drought also). Since then I’ve been doing research in other parts of the word, India, China, Brazil, Australia. Same thing.

        The story gets pretty bad in some cases. I’ve been reading of drought related suicides in India. And in China whole towns are being relocated due to drought. There are many farmers that swear that the climate has changed with the introduction of wind farms. But the “experts” don’t listen to them.

        Unfortunately I think it’s going to get a lot worse before the public begins to notice.

        If you are a farmer I advise doing whatever you need to do to get access to water. You can’t depend on rainfall.

    • Tango, a similar thing is happening across the ditch in New Zealand. Authorities are making great pronouncements from on high warning east coast (on both islands) farmers to prepare for extreme drought this austral spring/summer. Like all natural events El Nino is showing similar cards to past events but with a variation or two on the basic theme. Yes we have had a preponderance of stronger than normal prevailing winds (from the west) that can lead to drought along the east coast, but this has been mixed up with mid-Tasman Sea lows that have delivered heavy periods of rain, in particular to the North Island east coast. We are also experiencing southerly flows that reach up from Antarctica and deliver snow to medium altitudes in both islands. Not unusual for El Nino either around here.

      They way I look at it for the east coast of the North Island, drought (let alone ‘extreme drought’) is looking less likely over the next six months. Some parts of the South Island east coast however will still be vulnerable to drought because they never really recovered from last summer, so it won’t take much to put them back in deficit.

  8. Actually Labitzke and Van Loon did not deal much with the troposphere, mainly with the stratosphere; and I don’t recall any paper of theirs that had anything to do with sunspots and el Nino.

  9. I don’t doubt CO2 and other GHGs affect the energy balance meanwhile I concede that we still have much to learn about the impacts due to clouds (most especially CuNi) and the water cycle. Thus far there is little evidence of positive feedbacks. Negative feedbacks while thus far unproven are not at this time subject to serious challenge. Chances our we will eventually deem the feedbacks negative.

  10. When a pound of water evaporates it absorbs 970 Btu/lb of water from its surroundings, 284.3 Wh. Contrast that with the 2 W/m^2 RF of CO2, the 0.24 Btu/lb of dry air. Simply observe and consider how summer showers cool the air. That’s how sweat cools the body, how those moist sweat bands function, how a canvass water bag cools the contents, how a typical roof top evaporative (swamp) cooler works, and those massive industrial wet cooling towers, their plumes of pure condensing water vapor confused for pollution. It’s all laid out by the psychrometric properties of moist air.

    • Nicholas Schroeder:
      When a pound of water evaporates it absorbs 970 Btu/lb of water from its surroundings, 284.3 Wh.

      James McGinn:
      I think you get this number with reference to steam, which is a very different process. Also, evaporation is difficult to measure since the dryness and amount of electric charge (static electricity) are the more important factors. Also, steam is a gas and evaporate is still liquid, miniature droplets.

      The tendency to confuse steam and evaporate is incredibly common.

      • Reference a psychrometric chart. When water evaporates into dry air it moves 950 to 1,100 Btu/lb depending on the area of the graph. Trane has an interactive program on their commercial web site. Go ask an HVAC engineer.

      • James

        You are mistaken on this point. Evaporate is not liquid it is in fact vapor. Evaporation is (by definition) the process of changing from a liquid to a gas.

        Water vapor and steam are the same thing. The term steam is often used to indicate hot vapor, but there is no defined difference. For example, the water vapor in a low pressure turbine, is called steam even though the temperature may be only 50° F (10°C).

        The latent heat of vaporization varies only slightly with pressure, therefore the value that Nicholas gave (970 BTU/lb or 2670 kJ/kg) is valid for normal atmospheric pressure and all processes occurring near the surface. At 13,000 ft (4,000 m) the latent heat is about 990 BTU/lb (2730 kJ/kg), only a 2% difference.

        Dryness will effect the rate of evaporation (lbs or kg per hour), but has no relation to the amount of energy absorbed per unit of mass.

      • Latent heat of evaporation is pretty close to [2501-(Temp C * 2.44)] Joules per gram.

  11. Some years ago on our grain farming property located in central western Victoria in Australia’s SE I had a very strong feeling from my 30 plus years of farming our property that one part of a large field always got less rain than the remainder of the field.
    The specific field or “paddock” to Australian farmers was located on a large open almost dead flat terrain that extended for roughly 50 or more kilometres across in both directions.

    There were only a few trees located near a farm house which itself was a couple of hundred metres distant and well outside of the paddock’s border fenceline.
    Nor were there any significant clump of trees of more than an odd shelter line around a farm anywhere within about ten kilometres of the field
    The field was square and very close to two kilometres long on each side with an acreage of 400 hectares / 990 acres.
    It was flat as in Flat and level with any changes in elevation less than a couple of metres across the field
    There are no obstructions, fence lines or significant soil changes across the entire field.
    On a clear night the individual street lights of our nearest town, Horsham can clearly be seen across the 17 kilometres of dead flat terrain

    I placed a grid of 13 rain gauges across the field in about April, the end of our autumn, “fall” to Americans, and near the beginning of our winter and before it was sown to the usual cereal crop in the May / June period.

    I walked that paddock every week until the end of September and measured and recorded the rainfall in each rain gauge.
    There was a consistently less and lower rainfall recorded in one corner of the field, the corner of the field I had that same gut feeling about after farming it for some 30 plus years, which covered roughly around 20% of the field in total.
    I changed gauges around and tried a number of things to check if this decrease was due to some factor in my measuring system but the rainfall decrease remained when checked against the rainfall as recorded by the gauges in the other major part of the field.

    My records are gone now but from memory that winter season’s rainfall, our main rainfall period here in SE Australia was somewhere around the 150 to 180 mms for that period I measured those gauges.
    However, that lower measured rainfall section of the field was by the end of the period, some 25 mms down on the rest of the field.
    Which when looking at grain crop yields, made a fairly large difference to the yields and therefore to income.

    As I have noted above, there are no trees upwind of any sort within 2.5 kilometres of this area and then only a few shelter trees around a couple of distant farm houses, no changes in soil types, no variations in terrain, no forests and etc upwind for at least some 15 kilometres away.
    There is nothing I could find that would account for this rainfall deficiency in this area of the field when it was compared to the rest of the field. It was there and I suspect that rainfall deficiency when measured against other very close locations always had been there.
    I have no idea of how far this variation in rainfall extended outside of the field or what direction it extended in.

    I know of only one other experiment that also tried to measure changes in rainfall across a field and that was in Western Australia on I believe a 40 acre sized field.
    Even on such a small area there was found to be quite significant and apparently permanent variations in rainfall from one location to another in that field, similar to that which I had found on our much larger field.

    Sure this is a micro version of the vast regions that the weather stations are suposedly representing but it shows the futility of trying to project the precipitation and no doubt temperature, humidity and etc across vast distances all based on what is being measured in a few square metres at a single station.

    It also shows the futility of trying to extend the trends in temperatures, precipitation and etc when a station and its instruments are moved even very short distances, a few hundred metres even, away from where its original measurements were taken.
    As for “adjusting ” the stations data to account for any moves and changes, from my own personal experience in doing this exercise of variations in rainfall across a average sized field for this part of the world, the “adjusters” don’t even know in most cases except where parallel stations have been run for a few years, what they have to adjust for as they have never measured what the changes are or likely to be.

    A 1200 km radius around a station;
    The weather conditions and climate data from 1.129 million square kilometres being measured by a station that gives accurate readings for only a hundred or so metres radius around itself.

    Yeh!
    Right!
    sarc/

    • ROM,

      “I know of only one other experiment that also tried to measure changes in rainfall across a field and that was in Western Australia on I believe a 40 acre sized field.
      Even on such a small area there was found to be quite significant and apparently permanent variations in rainfall from one location to another in that field, similar to that which I had found on our much larger field.”

      The implications are . . vast. Thanks for sharing that.

    • One of my friends in Saskatchewan had a similar experience. He attributed it to the presence of a valley.

      As Dr. Ball says:

      Any Midwestern farmer can tell you about the neighbor getting rain on one section, and they get nothing. In most parts of the world, you would require a rain gauge at least every kilometer to get even a crude measure of the amount of precipitation.

      Amen.

      • Thunderstorms can be very localised also. The first year we bought the farm we had a humdinger of a thunderstorm. Our dam spillway was overflowing into my newly planted vegetable garden so I was out in the rain with a shovel doing what I could to divert the water. The neighbour’s dam lost its face. We had about two inches in two hours. A mile away people seeing the creeks overflowing assumed one of the dams in our valley had collapsed since they had no rainfall whatsoever.

    • Here in California we definitely have micro deserts (I’m sitting in one now as I type this). There are a multitude of factors including but not limited to topography (and distance from topo features), innate air flow patterns, surface albedo, vegetation cover, etc, etc. I can point out places where over the distance of a couple of miles the biome transitions from the “classic” California oak savanna to sage scrub to outright Joshua Tree / creosote bush desert.

    • Very interesting. I’m wondering if there are any differences in prevailing winds and whether or not there are any geologic factors that determine prevailing winds. Altititude and proximity to other wind flow factors?

      Just some thoughts.

      Very interesting.

  12. The major global C/CO2 reservoirs (not CO2 per se, C is a precursor proxy for CO2), i.e. oceans, atmosphere, vegetation & soil, contain over 42,000 Pg (Gt) of C/CO2. Over 90% of this C/CO2 reserve is in the oceans. Between these reservoirs ebb and flow hundreds of Pg C/CO2 per year, the great fluxes. For instance, vegetation absorbs C/CO2 for photosynthesis producing plants and O2. When the plants die and decay they release C/CO2. A divinely maintained balance of perfection for thousands of years, now unbalanced by mankind’s evil use of fossil fuels.

    So just how much net C/CO2 does mankind’s evil fossil fuel consumption add to this perfectly balanced 42,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C/CO2? 3 Gt C/CO2. That’s correct, 3. Not 3,000, not 300, 3! How are we supposed to take this seriously?

  13. Mr. Ball writes,

    “When it was determined that there is an upper limit to the temperature increase from increasing CO2 (Figure 1) they claimed, incorrectly, that water vapor creates a positive feedback.”

    If seems to me that if water vapor creates a positive feedback to warming temps, then any warming would result in an inevitable spiraling up (and up) of temps and water vapor . . since there’s plenty much water in the oceans to continue that feedback loop of; water vapor causing more warming, and warming causing more water vapor, till the atmosphere is saturated.

    But the atmosphere is far from saturated, so it’s logically impossible to my mind, that such a feedback loop really exists.

    • In the real world evaporating water vapor and cloud albedo serve as huge negative feedbacks. IPCC AR5 gives clouds a net RF of -20 W/m^2, ten times as much cooling as CO2’s 2 W/m^2 of heating. But mankind is not responsible for water vapor and clouds so out of the GCMs and off the table goes natural water vapor!

      • “IPCC AR5 gives clouds a net RF of -20 W/m^2, ten times as much cooling as CO2’s 2 W/m^2 of heating.”

        Yeah, a funny thing happened on the (fantasy) world’s way to saturation of the atmosphere . . some of the water vapor turned from clear to white, and the feedback loop was revealed to be just an illusion (with a matching illusion in a fantasy world that starts with a saturated atmosphere, and spirals down in temps as water vapor and CO2 is removed).

        But why let reality-land get in the way of profitable illusions, if you’re a psychopathic gang of criminally insane “world leaders”, with a hankerin’ to play God?

  14. I request the author [since I stated my work on fluctuations in precipitation, radiation, met parameters, onset dates from 1973]: before we go in to hydrological cycle based on IPCC’s hypothetical global warming [now they are shy of using global warming and instead using global climate change wherein climate is is not one met parameter but a combination, see climate normal books], let us ask IPCC what is the percentage contribution of global warming component to global temperature raise; human activity includes emissions as well non-emissions; global temperature also include other factors not related to human activity; wherein majority of them are either local or regional in nature. Once this, global warming component in quantitative terms, we can look in to its impact on nature or other met parameters.

    Thanks

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  15. 1200 km? Try 7 km. I live in Regina Sk a city of about 200,000. My sister lives in the Noth end while I live in the south end. In the summer it is not uncommon to talk to her on the phone and she will comment on the amount of rain coming down while it is dry as a bone where I am!

    • I live in an orographically favored location featuring coast live oak / bay laurel / Douglas Fir / Coast Redwood transitional forest, with chaparral breaks. I drive down slope to an area where I do business, a distance of just over one mile, and find myself in an area where native vegetation consists of short grass, tumble weeds, the odd stunted clump of sage scrub plus plenty of non vegetated substrate.

Comments are closed.