Clouds are moving higher, subtropical dry zones expanding, according to satellite analysis

Scripps-led study confirms computerized climate simulations projecting effects of global warming

From the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO

Global cloud patterns are shown. CREDIT Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Global cloud patterns are shown. Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego-led research team analyzing satellite cloud records has found that the cloudy storm tracks on Earth are moving toward the poles and subtropical dry zones are expanding. Cloud tops are also moving higher in the atmosphere.

The record confirms computer climate models that have predicted these changes to have taken place during the past several decades as a consequence of the accumulation of societally generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“What this paper brings to the table is the first credible demonstration that the cloud changes we expect from climate models and theory are currently happening,” said study lead author Joel Norris, a climate researcher at Scripps.

With the simultaneous roles clouds play in cooling and heating the planet – reflecting solar radiation back to space but also trapping solar energy in their structures – clouds are among the most important variables in climate.

Their complex behavior has been one of the biggest areas of uncertainty for scientists attempting to understand current climate and forecast future trends.

Inconsistent satellite imaging of clouds over the decades has been a hindrance to improving scientists’ understanding. Records of cloudiness from satellites originally designed to monitor weather are prone to spurious trends related to changes in satellite orbit, instrument calibration, degradation of sensors over time, and other factors.

When the researchers removed such artifacts from the record, the data exhibited large-scale patterns of cloud change between the 1980s and 2000s that are consistent with climate model predictions for that time period, including poleward retreat of mid-latitude storm tracks, expansion of subtropical dry zones, and increasing height of the highest cloud tops. These cloud changes enhance absorption of solar radiation by the earth and reduce emission of thermal radiation to space. This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

The researchers drew from several independent corrected satellite records in their analysis. They concluded that the behavior of clouds they observed is consistent with a human-caused increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and a planet-wide recovery from two major volcanic eruptions, the 1982 El Chichón eruption in Mexico and the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. Aerosols ejected from those eruptions had a net cooling effect on the planet for several years after they took place.

Barring another volcanic event of this sort, the scientists expect the cloud trends to continue in the future as the planet continues to warm due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

###

The study, “Evidence for Climate Change in the Satellite Cloud Record,” appears July 11 in the journal Nature. Researchers from University of California Riverside, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Colorado State University are co-authors. NOAA, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and NASA supported the research.

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110 thoughts on “Clouds are moving higher, subtropical dry zones expanding, according to satellite analysis

  1. It’s amazing what you can find when you delete all the data that contradicts what you’re trying to find.

      • These are wimpy spots (even the big one), Per http://www.spaceweather.com this morning, “Sunspot 2564 poses a slight threat for M-class solar flares. ” And 2564 isn’t the largest of the spots. Whether or not a sunspot erupts is not so much determined by its size, but by it developing a complex magnetic field.

      • I had to clean my 23″ monitor to find two of them…
        Wowsi, maybe.
        What is the precautionary principle for a minor sunspot turning towards Earth? Shield wires, houses, offices, and factories?

      • It is not particularly size of the spot as much as the size and intensity of umbra and penumbra, which are not necessarily visible on the above type of image, but most important is the number of groups visible (SGN).
        As an indicator here is the average annual SGN for the last 6 years
        2010 1.61
        2011 4.62
        2012 4.90
        2013 5.56
        2014 6.38
        2015 4.76
        “precautionary principle” even for the largest sunspots – none required. Solar flairs and CMEs are not predictable, but even with the strongest earth-directed burst (which are extremely rare) sign of the incoming magnetic polarity may eliminate all but the minor effect. In general, only satellites and space probes are designed with the precautionary measures included.

    • Phil B: “It’s amazing what you can find when you delete all the data that contradicts what you’re trying to find.”
      Yes, that was the first thing that caught my eye:

      When the researchers removed such artifacts from the record, the data exhibited large-scale patterns of cloud change between the 1980s and 2000s that are consistent with climate model predictions for that time period …

      So once they have “corrected” the data to fit the model, they are “consistent” with model projections.
      Maybe one day someone will correct a model to fit the data rather than the other way around.

      These cloud changes enhance absorption of solar radiation by the earth and reduce emission of thermal radiation to space. This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

      Well that positive feedback would lead to every faster warming and is not very “consistent” with hiatus in global warming which has occurred since the end of their study period.

      • I was under the impression that cloud formation releases latent heat and increases albedo, both processes to cool the surface.

      • Maybe one day someone will correct a model to fit the data rather than the other way around.

        With respect Sir, I think this is what they themselves supposed to have done. They created a new model that should explain (or fit) the data. The model explains part of the data as artifacts. What comes as not-a-surprise, is that the artifacts are of course mitigating rest of the model-data disagreement – as if there was a confirmation bias all the time. Of course, I have a bias of my own. I’m not that impressed by words like ‘be consistent with’. There are huge problems on science built on thinking that consistency with preoccupation is everything one needs.
        So where is the tropical hotspot?

      • Those darned artifacts will ruin a good narrative every time!
        I foresee an entire cottage industry (read: tax dollar funded grant/boondoggle) churning out all manner of “new” studies wherein those pesky ole data points that stubbornly refuse to prove that we should all panic in the streets (until wealth is sufficiently redistributed) will be “removed” because they are mere artifacts.
        Get out your check books and hold on!

    • It’s amazing what you can find when you delete all the data that contradicts what you’re trying to find.
      Well done Phil B. In all my years of perusing the web, this short simple statement is one of the best most accurate I have ever read.

      • My first thought was that if clouds actually are migrating toward the poles, those poles would be cooling as a result. As I understand things, sea ice and ice caps would grow more rapidly. I believe we call know what those consequences would be.
        Please correct my thinking if it is in error.

        • It is true that more clouds over the Arctic reduce the incoming insolation, resulting in a slower melting. This is not the main reason for ice ages, however. They come from orbital cycles.

      • I disagree with the comments that clouds at the poles should cause cooling.
        In general the earth absorbs heat from the sun near the equator and expels it near the poles via up welling radiation. A low humidity clear sky near the poles allows most gray body radiation from the ice/oceans/land to emit directly to space. Clouds at the poles would interfere with that process and the poles would warm thus melting the ice faster. And in a general sense, that is what we’ve seen over the last 40 years:
        http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.global.png

      • greg, I am persuaded by the scientists at AARI that Arctic ice extents are a function of fluctuating water temperatures and salinity, along with insolation. Changes in Air temperatures and circulations result from ocean and solar effects, not the other way around.
        [If so, What is the AARI, and what is their ocation/contact info? .mod]

      • Ron, I assume the AARI is the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute?
        http://www.aari.ru/ (I don’t read russian)
        I’m afraid I don’t know about their work, but it would be very strange that clouds reducing insolation would have a bigger effect on the ice than the clouds preventing upwelling radiation from getting to space. After all significantly more energy is upwelling to space than energy coming in from the sun (at the poles). Much of the upwelling radiation absorbed by the clouds will be back-radiated to the ice surface where it will cause sublimation.
        I guess it is possible you’re right (they’re right) in the summer.
        Almost no way in the winter(s). Almost all the ice is above the arctic circle (or below the antarctic circle), so there is no insolation to speak of during the ice growth seasons.

      • Thanks for your comments, greg. It prompts me to better organize my thoughts. It seems we agree that Arctic clouds reduce insolation when the sun is shining. That is why AER pays close attention to the Arctic Oscillation (air circulation). When air pressures over the Arctic are lower, more summer clouds occur, with slower ice melting expected.
        As you say, in the Arctic winter, clouds can not have a shading effect, only a radiative warming. But consider this. Cloud radiation can be ~2 W m^2 while the ocean is pushing out 200-400 W m^2 during wintertime. In addition, the air is so cold and dry, clouds tend to be thin and lacking in optical depth. It seems that in the scale of things, radiative forcing is minuscule in proportion to operations of the tropospheric heat engine.
        When it comes to Arctic ice extents, that key factors are still the 3 Ws: Fluxes in Water, Wind and Weather.

    • “It’s amazing you can find you delete all the data that contradicts you’re trying to find.”
      The above data-adjusted quote is consistent with our model indicating no words in the English language start with “w”.

      • The earth’s poles do diddley squat as far as cooling the earth by radiating to space. Thermal radiation tends to go as the fourth power of the Temperature.
        So it is the earth’s hottest driest desert regions in North Africa and the middle East that are cooling the earth, in some places at nearly double the planetary mean whereas some of the polar regions only radiate at about one sixth of the global mean rate.
        So nyet on polar cooling.
        G

        • So nyet on polar cooling

          Nyet on the nyet. Rough order of magnitude shows the poles lose more than they get most if not all of the year, depending on clouds.
          They also dump heat collected from 1,000’s of miles away, while deserts lose most of their heat locally. So yes, that is critical too, but
          “All cooling matters!”
          Also, dew points play a major role in later night cooling or lack there of.

    • Don’t you just love it when they print these geometrically distorted “photographs”.
      Why not print two photos from polar orbit satellites as they fly over the pole (or near it, so that the equator is on the horizon.
      Then we will see just how much tropical clouds there really is.
      G

      • Who knew the had a satellite that was cylindrical and completely encircles the earth on the equator, so it can snap a picture in a thousandth of a second to show the real cloud cover, before it moves.
        g

      • Now I have actually flown (myself) up in the clouds. No not a cloud layer, nor broken clouds; but scattered clouds, and I could have taken panoramic photographs that showed continuous 360 degree solid cloud cover all around me from horizon to horizon.
        But actually, while I was flying under VFR rules totally above that scattered cloud layer, at 7500 feet, I could see that there was no more than 10% total area cloud coverage. But when I located the place I was going to, and there was this whacking big ” hole ” that I ducked down through to get below the clouds, I was for a few seconds surrounded by wall to wall solid cloud; I just wasn’t in it.
        And then down below was the Rockford Illinois air port where I was headed from St Louis for the Rockford Experimental Aircraft Association Fly in. I was flying a low wing Piper Cherokee, I believe it was. Quite fun with the autopilot doing much of the work.
        G
        So bottom line is those polar region clouds, are not nearly as dense as they look in that fauxtograph. Those fine blue lines are actually vast wide open sky spaces.

  2. Subtropical dry zones are expanding? Really.
    That’s why semi-arid zones are becoming greener and greener.
    That’s why wheat and rye prices went through the floor.
    Oh, I get it. They research another planet, called Cackademia.
    Meanwhile, planet Earth is dealing with the epizootic outbreak of Brown Little Mushrooms.

    • The subtropical dry zones may be moving north. This also means the tropic-ward boundary is getting wetter and greener. The same applies to the far north, where vegetation is increasing.

    • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html
      National Geographic News
      Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change?
      “Desertification, drought, and despair—that’s what global warming has in store for much of Africa. Or so we hear.
      Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.
      Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall.
      If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities.
      This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago.
      [..]”
      So yes, it is greening. Another interesting aspect of the article is that the climate models predicted “Desertification, drought, and despair”, yet the greenign is “supported by climate models” which (they claim) predict it. The answer of course is that there are dozens of climate models that predict a wild range of outcomes, so no matter what happens “they” will be able to claim that models predicted it. Regrettably, all the models are completely useless[*] but none of their proponents are yet willing to consider that as even a possibility.
      [*] Having made the assertion, maybe I need to provide support: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/08/inside-the-climate-computer-models/

      • During the Holocene optimum The Sahara was green. It was only as it cooled that the population was driven to the Nile by drought, and became the excess population that was put to work doing stuff like building pyramids.
        Maybe there was a reason those folk focused their worship on the sun, rather than CO2.
        The Bible contains some odd references to lands being green that are now brown. Or, they are odd until one checks records and realizes they are talking about the Minioan Warm Period. (For ex

      • (To continue: Abraham and Lot decided to part when their herds grew too big, and Lot got the better land, which was east of the Jordan River and no longer “better land”).
        During the Roman Warm Period the Romans build fine bridges that stand to this day, over rivers that are now bone dry.
        One interesting thing I’ve read involves the fact that the switch from wet to dry, or from dry to wet, is not that gradual. It happens very quickly. I like to contemplate what would occur today if the Sahara suddenly greened. Would there be a mass migration, or would some agra-giant grab it all?

      • Caleb, you are absolutely right. One can also point out that agriculture developed in modern-day Iraq, of all places. A warmer world would be a greener one. How the climate Cassandras arrived at their prediction of widespread drought has always baffled me.

      • One interesting tidbit about desert “greening.” The Arabian deserts turning lush green is an eschatological sign of the coming apocalypse. It’s right there in the Koran!

      • Michael, in their minds, hot equals dry. So they tuned the models to produce the output they expected.

  3. between the 1980s and 2000s“. That was a period of warminng, just like the 1910-1940 period. Maybe it was the cloud changes that caused the warming, not the warming that caused the cloud changes. The study did not cover the earlier warming period or the intervening cooling period of course (no satellites) so we cannot tell which is cause and which is effect.

  4. It is always key to have a model between the observations and the conclusions. Then things are pretty straightforward as models cannot assume what you did not install in them as assumptions.

  5. This result doesn’t confirm anything about the cause of late 20th century warming. They only confirm a match between observation and modeling where an increase in forcing (whether late 20th century warming was caused by increased CO2 or by the high level of solar activity at the time or by something else) leads to higher altitude cloud formation, further to the north. Can’t have much confidence in that finding either, when the authors lie about the implications.

  6. So one can assume with natural warming this would also happen?
    They assume attribution causes it, even though we’ve not seen the attribution warming.
    And aerosols again, they have no clue about aerosols, the question is HIGHLY uncertain.
    Again not a shred of uncertainty mentioned.
    Besides they have claimed every outcome possible, this is just another catch for the wide cast climate net.
    More models. With models you can predict every outcome and boom, you were right

  7. The article says “several independent corrected satellite records” — no meaningful results could be achieved from such data
    when clouds are expanding horizantally and vertically, it creates cooling as the sun’s energy reaching the earth passing through clouds is reduced over wider areas.
    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  8. Really? The Water Vapour Convective Cooling System…you know, the one we’ve been telling you about for all these years?…you’ve finally found it? Well done Climate Scientists, now go ask Mummy if she’ll post your latest efforts on the fridge door.

  9. Sun is in condition to test maunder minimum cooling theory. Watch the excuses flow for cold that don’t include the sun, appear over the next year or so.

    • 1. Polar Vortex
      2. Slowing ocean current.
      3. La Nina
      They’ve already been trying on several excuses. Ultimately, they’ll say they were wrong about global warming, but what we really have is CAGC, and that they told us so back in the ’70s. Of course the solutions to global cooling will continue to be right out the Marxist handbook.

  10. Looking at the crappy previews Nature let us see of the graphs, their “extended data figure 3” shows that they are playing the old game of removing the AGW ‘forcings’ to show that models tuned to match the calibration period don’t match climate if you remove half of the inputs, therefore AGW must be ‘real’.
    This is a logical fallacy that a highschool student should be able to spot.
    There are many different sets of fiddle factors which could reproduce the calibration period as well as those which modellers chose. Some of which would doubtless reproduce the hiatus better than the over sensitive models.
    For example if they did not under-estimate the magnitude of the volcanic forcing the models would be less sensitive to both volcanic and GHG forcing and would produce less erroneous warming since Y2K.

  11. Is there ever going to come a time when these so-called scientists (i.e. computer gamers) get outside into the real world and actually collect solid data for future generations to work with. Sitting on their backsides endlessly rehashing poor data from the past tells us nothing.
    It reminds me of the game called Wordsearch. You have a finite number of letters and you have to find the greatest number of words that can be created from those letters. Much the same as finding the greatest number of so-called scientific papers from a finite data pool.
    The difference is that in Wordsearch you cannot change the letters at will to make more words. In science, when you run out of answers apparently you just change the data to make new ones.

  12. The earth has gone through many changes since the beginning and there are many factors that play a part in the climate. Just like the Pacific ocean getting warmer I believe that is caused by the radiation leaking from Japan. Radiation is hot is it not so water is only going to cool it some. So you really need to put all the facts to get the results that are correct. Troubleshooting you take out one fact at a time to see if that fact is what is causing the problem. So you must start with them all no matter how small or what it is.

    • Kathleen Jones :
      “Just like the Pacific ocean getting warmer I believe that is caused by the radiation leaking from Japan”…
      The Pacific ocean is cooling off now, (at least for the last 5 months or so), so maybe they switched off the Japanese water heater, or maybe the Aleutian Eskimos are dumping surplus ice cubes into the Pacific to cool it down… which would you guess?

  13. Someone tell me if I am wrong- I recall seeing an article a long time ago, claiming cloud tops were getting LOWER, and that was due to climate change. Anyone recognize that, and why would the opposite also be bad?

    • The higher the clouds get, the lower their density and water content (which is still about 100% H2O) and the colder they get and the hotter they make the surface.
      So those high Noctilucent clouds up in the stratosphere are the mot deadly heating clouds that we get.
      It has nothing whatsoever to do with a hot humid day leading to a balmy (but still cooling) evening with high altitude clouds forming as the lower humid air slowly rises up to the dew point altitude. And those high wispy clouds at night are not the cause of it getting much colder down here by early dawn tomorrow morning. Some people have even suggested that the lack of sunshine at night is th reason it gets cold in the morning; clouds or no clouds.
      G

  14. When is the warming supposed to start , I’m freezing my brass monkeys off and it’s supposed to snow tomorrow . If it does no doubt it will be unprecedented (=40 years) someone burn some coal please .

  15. ‘The researchers drew from several independent corrected satellite records in their analysis.’
    Several? Torturing data seems a popular activity.
    One wonders why we borrow money from the Chinese to put up satellites and then just makeup “data.” Maybe people who think the moon landings were faked aren’t as goofy as we thought.

    • Well we know that. How do you get a snapshot of the entire 360 degree earth surface, with the clouds over the night time region being as bright as the clouds over the daylight region.
      They really know how to photo-shop; those studiers !
      g

  16. “Records of cloudiness from satellites originally designed to monitor weather are prone to spurious trends related to changes in satellite orbit, instrument calibration, degradation of sensors over time, and other factors.”
    That is factually incorrect.
    1)The geostationary weather satellites have been on orbit since the early 1970’s and do not experience *any* changes in their orbits
    2) the infrared calibration is extremely stable over time because the calibrations are done in real-time comparing between the coldness of space (space-look) and the heat of an onboard calibrated ‘blackbody’ heat source.
    3) if there are any instrument degradation, it is compensated in real-time by the calibration process
    4) “other factors”…..??? Please be specific

  17. C’mon, folks, give the global warming Chicken Littles a break. Instead of the sky falling, it’s supposedly rising. (THAT should make them happy!) Seriously, though… Florida is still above water, the ice caps are growing… There’s got to be *something* for them to point to justify their fear of rising CO2 levels. Gee… before, most of these same folks were — justifiably — fretting over starvation and deforestation. (By the way, that deforestation they used to talk about is PART OF THE REASON CO2 LEVELS ARE RISING. (Caps for the dunces’ benefit.)) So, now that we have all this CO2 to spare, let’s get on a planting binge. Plants LOVE the stuff. We can increase our food supply and air quality at once.
    Not interested? Maybe that’s because there’s so much MONEY involved in carbon credit schemes and global warming studies grants.

  18. Wishful thinking on their part. The fact is that since 2005 the AO has become more negative (expanding polar vortex) on balance which means the climatic zones have started to move more toward the equator not the poles.
    Also in association with a more -AO is a tendency for the atmospheric circulation to feature a greater meridional atmospheric circulation which in turn is associated with greater cloud coverage which on balance will cause global cooling especially if low cloud coverage increases.
    With prolonged minimum solar conditions now establishing themselves once again the AO should keep trending more negative rather then positive the opposite of what AGW theory has predicted and cloud coverage should increase not only in response to a more -AO but also due to cosmic rays which will be on the increase , and evidence does indeed suggest an increase in cosmic rays does promote greater cloud coverage.
    Two solar parameters which are needed to make this occur in my opinion are cosmic ray counts in excess of 6500 per minute and EUV counts 100 units or less. These values were attained recently during the recent spotless sunspot streak and should return and be in place going forward as solar activity continues to weaken at least through year 2020, and with a good possibility solar cycle 25 will be weaker then weak solar cycle 24.

  19. 2009 0.800 -0.672 0.121 0.973 1.194 -1.351 -1.356 -0.054 0.875 -1.540 0.459 -3.413
    2010 -2.587 -4.266 -0.432 -0.275 -0.919 -0.013 0.435 -0.117 -0.865 -0.467 -0.376 -2.631
    2011 -1.683 1.575 1.424 2.275 -0.035 -0.858 -0.472 -1.063 0.665 0.800 1.459 2.221
    2012 -0.220 -0.036 1.037 -0.035 0.168 -0.672 0.168 0.014 0.772 -1.514 -0.111 -1.749
    2013 -0.610 -1.007 -3.185 0.322 0.494 0.549 -0.011 0.154 -0.461 0.263 2.029 1.475
    2014 -0.969 0.044 1.206 0.972 0.464 -0.507 -0.489 -0.372 0.102 -1.134 -0.530 0.413
    2015 1.092 1.043 1.837 1.216 0.763 0.427 -1.108 -0.689 -0.165 -0.250 1.945 1.444
    2016 -1.449 -0.024 0.280 -1.051 -0.036 0.313
    AO INDEX values on a monthly basis from 2009 – present.

  20. Inconsistent satellite imaging of clouds over the decades has been a hindrance to improving scientists’ understanding. Records of cloudiness from satellites originally designed to monitor weather are prone to spurious trends related to changes in satellite orbit, instrument calibration, degradation of sensors over time, and other factors.
    When the researchers removed such artifacts from the record, the data exhibited large-scale patterns of cloud change between the 1980s and 2000s that are consistent with climate model predictions for that time period, including poleward retreat of mid-latitude storm tracks, expansion of subtropical dry zones, and increasing height of the highest cloud tops. These cloud changes enhance absorption of solar radiation by the earth and reduce emission of thermal radiation to space. This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.
    The researchers drew from several independent corrected satellite records in their analysis. They concluded that the behavior of clouds they observed is consistent with a human-caused increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and a planet-wide recovery from two major volcanic eruptions, the 1982 El Chichón eruption in Mexico and the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. Aerosols ejected from those eruptions had a net cooling effect on the planet for several years after they took place.

    What scientists mean when they say…

    “The agreement with the predicted curve is excellent” …good” …satisfactory” …fair.”
    Fair. Poor. Doubtful. Imaginary.
    “As good as could be expected considering the approximations made in the analysis.”
    Non-existent.

    “They concluded that the behavior of clouds they observed is consistent with…”
    The data can be massaged to not contradict our preconceived notions.

  21. Sulfate aerosols have been reduced during the period of this study as a result of attempts to reduce acid rain.
    Would this not be a more likely explanation of changing cloud patterns than CO2 effects?

  22. These cloud changes enhance absorption of solar radiation by the earth and reduce emission of thermal radiation to space. This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

    WTF???
    The warming over the past 35 years has been something like 25% of what the models predicted. How the hell could a process supposedly predicted by those same models exacerbate global warming if the warming was a small fraction of the model prediction???

  23. Note the three instances of the conspicuous absence of the “middle man”, inserted for completeness by me in the brackets:
    “This exacerbates global warming [which we assume without evidence is] caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.”
    “the behavior of clouds they observed is consistent with a [warming climate which they assume without evidence is the result of] human-caused increase in greenhouse gas concentrations”
    “as the planet continues to warm due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations [which is the assumed-without-evidence cause of the warming].”
    Incredible how the warmists expect us to automatically accept, or even fail to see, their giant unsupported leaps that always end up with AGW as the culprit.

  24. AGW predicts everything… drought and despair, greening of deserts in the very same area. It’s all bad. More cold and snow, less cold and snow, more droughts and flooding. Is there no end to what this evil co2 can do? It’s all predicted. Whatever happens they can bring to the table as proof.
    CAGW didn’t predict any thing of the sort with cloud changes. It would have been an issue years ago, when aggh, the Great American Dought. And it never stopped. Even when the dust bowl years were brought up. Then, like now, CAGW has a pocketful of excuses. Don’t worry CAGW the drought in the west will be back. You can pick up right where you left off. No doubt you’ll be talking about the clouds then too. Did the clouds make the ” worst every drought” in the west too? It’s amazing how they kept talking about the drought and then suddenly they weren’t.
    Why do they seem to think Europe is going to get colder all of a sudden? And so what. Doesn’t the world have a fever ?

    • Why do they think Europe is going to get colder?
      I suppose someone noticed the AMO turning negative. Cheep magicians for profit.

  25. Man, that’s a whole lot of conclusion and assumption mixed together from a few removed artifacts and given an air of authority by name dropping a few government and government supported agencies already looking for bias confirmation through confirmation bias. Science is more modest than this.

  26. A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego-led research team analyzing satellite cloud records has found that the cloudy storm tracks on Earth are moving toward the poles and subtropical dry zones are expanding. Cloud tops are also moving higher in the atmosphere.
    =
    Once again Mr Jourdain is surprised that he was using prose all the time… How about rapid mode of circulation consequence? shhhh

  27. Nice they do not know how to model clouds and surely do not model the effects of cosmic wind on cloud cover, they have clouds being a product of the climate rather than a product and an independent factor. This means that their conclusions are reactions not real modeling. Again, models are not science.

    • Specially when they block solar energy from reaching the deep oceans to get stored as heat until we need it sometime later (much later).
      I hate it when climate “studiers ” bandy about the word “albedo”, when they really mean cloud reflection coefficient, which really isn’t a reflection at all, since clouds are mostly water, which reflects about 2% of solar spectrum radiation at normal incidence, or about 3% integrated over 180 degree incidence angle. It is actually multiple refractive scattering by water droplets or ice crystals that turn the collimated sunlight beam into a near perfect diffuse energy distribution.
      And the word they use “albedo” sounds awfully similar to the word “Albedo” which means the total solar spectrum energy returned to space (as solar spectrum energy) for the ENTIRE planet.
      G

    • I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
      From up and down, and still somehow
      It’s cloud illusions I recall
      I really don’t know clouds at all

  28. The record confirms computer climate models that have predicted these changes to have taken place during the past several decades as a consequence of the accumulation of societally generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    ____________________________
    Wow – computer climate models
    have predicted these changes
    to have taken place.
    Predicted futures, done and out. Translated from academic – could it be
    “The record confirms computer climate models that have predicted these changes to take place during the past several decades.”

  29. Or simply common
    “The record confirms computer climate models that have predicted these changes to occurr / happen during the past several decades.”

  30. Plain common too,
    who needs
    climate models
    when
    theory already said
    what study lead author Joel Norris, a climate researcher at Scripps meant to say.

    • Clouds are NOT dry. They are almost 100% wet, save for some microbes that they condense on.
      g

      • Ice crystals are H2O whether that water is liquid or solid does not alter the fact that visibly radiation is 98% transmitted, and LWIR is about 98% absorbed.
        G

      • George: It’s hard for me to wrap my head around this. Water in ice form seems to me to reflect light differently than clearer liquid water. Anyway – thank you for clarification. Since I do not know, I will take your word for it.

  31. To get accurate models you need all the facts no matter how small it is. Watch Earth from space p1080 on Youtube. It shows how every factor plays a part on how our earth works.

  32. I am not sure, and maybe I am wrong too, but from what I read here in the comments I see a considerable blindness.
    According to this article, and the way it explains the situation, is not very difficult to conclude that the main claim is a self stub by the AGW cabal..
    For once it shows that the memo from the AGW high priests like Joneses and company is ignored.
    The memo that asks that no one fucks up with GW as it stands (naturally).
    These guys with this new approach have fucked very badly.with that memo.
    The claimed evidence that all this new AGW explanation holds on, it does not leave room any more for any consideration of any natural GW.
    What ever warming there was in the 20th century, in natural terms, has no any significance, and for lack of better word is with even less significance for the present and the future to come, as according to the evidence claimed here it did not seem to have had any impact in the long background climatic trend of cooling, it seems to have been only a small bursting bubble.
    The pattern of a natural significant global warming is the opposite of the one considered here.
    In a global warming period, a natural one, the humidity and water does not tend to move towards the polar regions. And it is not consistent with desertification or subtropical drought expansion.
    SO WHAT WE LEFT HERE IS EITHER AN AGW OR A COOLING TREND PATTERN.
    Still strangely enough a scenario of an AGW, a benign one, a not run-away one can afford to contemplate the possibility of such as described above, the humidity and water moving towards the polar regions or some kind of a similar pattern that shows that to a degree, but in same time must satisfy the null-hypothesis requirement, which in this case will be that no further desertification or a subtropical drought expansion is happening. as that means only one thing…….. a natural cooling trend……
    You see even in this article, observation versus computer simulation projections is partially compared only with the humidity and water movement and direction, not the subtropical drought expansion,,,,,,,, the later is ignored as far as I can tell, in that comparing.
    IS NOT CLEARLY CLAiMED THAT COMPUTER SIMULATION OR MODELS DO PROJECT SUBTROPICAL DROUGHT TOO.
    There could not be any AGW of any king contemplated if the long term desertification continuing, no matter what.
    AGW as claimed here means extra warming in tropics, extra humidity increased from tropics……and even when contemplating that most of that extra humidity (due to the anthropogenic effect) will move towards the polar regions due to a further increase in differentiation of temps between tropics and polar regions, still some of that extra humidity will add to subtropics and make these places less droughty……..and more wet…….
    According to this latest claim the question is simply framed as: Is climate an AGW one or is climate natural still and in a cooling trend…..there is no much room left for any other contemplation.
    AGW still fails badly, especially when considering under this claim that the new climate equilibrium under AGW scenario means a new path, a new one towards a glaciation due to more warming due to the extra warming of the tropics, completely contrary to natural one.
    For once these guys should stop screaming sea level rise as that is not possible under this new scientific “revelation” of AGW….
    cheers

  33. Everything I ever needed to learn I learned in kindergarten.
    Like how to look up at the clouds, and see all kinds of things.

  34. 2000-2016 Cloud fraction animation. Whiteouts in around 2013/14/15
    maybe Svensmark’s cosmic rays :p

  35. “When the researchers removed such artifacts from the record, the data exhibited large-scale patterns of cloud change between the 1980s and 2000s that are consistent with climate model predictions for that time period, including poleward retreat of mid-latitude storm tracks, expansion of subtropical dry zones, and increasing height of the highest cloud tops. These cloud changes enhance absorption of solar radiation by the earth and reduce emission of thermal radiation to space. This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.”
    _________________________________________
    No clouds at all over all mid-latitude subtropical dry zones
    and increasing height of the highest cloud tops
    reduces emissions of thermal radiation to space.
    This exacerbates global warming caused by
    human-caused increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.
    _________________________________________
    Move along, no consistent logic here to see.

  36. The whole article is a red herring. Why? They don’t state what magnitude/ sensitivity this supposed shift in clods is associated with. 1 deg/doubling ? 4 deg/doubling? There are very few that would argue that sensitivity is zero. So ones personal thought on sensitivity may be consistent with their observations but not consistent with a catastrophic scenario but their press release narrative is written to suggest it must be catastrophic & you are to blame.

  37. “This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.”
    Really, so it should be WORSE then predicted, then right? Luckily, observation ALWAYS trumps theory, or hypothesis! We have not seen this exacerbated global warming signal, so what the hell are they talking about? FAIL!

  38. I have lived in the tropics for 7 years, nothing much ever changes here. It gets dry then it clouds then you get rain. If someone were to snapshot pictures of clouds when it were best to take pictures of clouds that might show some kind of trend that were completely negligible.

    • nothing much ever changes here. It gets dry then it clouds then you get rain. If someone were to snapshot pictures of clouds when it were best to take pictures of clouds that might show some kind of trend that were completely negligible.

      I noticed this with my local weather, we got a lot of cumulus clouds in the afternoon, but by night they cleared up. In Florida in the early 80’s we’d get thunderstorms in the afternoon, but it’d clear up later.
      That is adaptive feedback. The entire sky, except right around the Sun, is cold, any clouds slows that radiative cooling. But what’s invisible is as air temps near dew point, air temp cooling at night slows, another adaptive feedback.
      The average change in entropy between max and min temp over about 2,500,000 daily station records/year over the decade or so (off the top of my head) is 9,000kJ/kg
      If my math is right, all of the Co2 surface forcing is about the same as 1 kg of air, just one.

      • It’s 2016 and they are still doing the same thing. Generally after 3 pm they build enough to rain out. A strong haze in the morning usually indicates thunderstorms by noon to 1 pm.

  39. Over the last 5 years I have been unable to wear my trousers on my hips. This is no doubt due to the expansion of my belly. I now wear my trousers much higher than I once did. Expansion causes things to rise; and I have the data to prove it.

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