Timing Is Everything

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

My theory about the climate is that the global temperature is regulated in large part by the timing and strength of the daily appearance of tropical clouds and thunderstorms. I hold that when the tropical temperatures are higher, that the cumulus cloud field and associated thunderstorms forms both earlier and more strongly. This cools the surface by reflecting sunshine back into space and thus capping the possible temperature increase.

In my last post, TAO Sea and Air Temperature Differences, I discussed an oddity. The oddity is that the daily cycle of sea-air temperature differences is virtually identical for some 7,000 miles (11,000 km) along the Equator all across the Pacific. Here’s the main graph from that post.

temp diff anomaly sst minus air TAO buoys

Figure 1. Daily cycle of anomalies of differences between sea temperatures and air temperatures at eight equatorial TAO buoys.

I found this quite surprising, and I said so in the post. In response, a commenter claimed that the reason for this Pacific-wide equality was obvious, viz (emphasis mine):

The answer is quite simple! It’s been well-known for many decades among geophysical professionals that the heat capacity of water is much greater than that of air, resulting in generally negative air-sea temperature differences. The shape of the diurnal cycle of those differences is governed by the rate of heat transfer between ocean and atmosphere, modulated In the tropics by a characteristic diurnal pattern of cloud cover. PhD theses require more than a rehash of known processes. … Since the diurnal cycle of solar radiance is uniform throughout the narrow tropical zone and since the specific heat of water and air is virtually constant, that the diurnal cycle of air-sea temperature differences varies uniformly with longitude is not particularly noteworthy scientifically.

I always get a laugh out of the passion and certitude with which some anonymous commenters express their unsupported opinions. In this case, I thought “Say what? The diurnal cycle of solar radiation in the tropics is NOT uniform, not even near to it.” How do I know this? Well, because I’ve invested lots and lots of hours studying things like the TAO buoy dataset, including the downwelling solar data … plus, of course, I lived for twenty years in the tropics. Nothing like having experience as a foundation to build on and improve with endless study …

In any case, I have to thank the commenter. He spurred me to look further at the question of the differences in the surface solar radiation at the various locations. And as always, natural data contains surprises.

To begin with, on a 24/7 average, the amount of solar energy striking this group of equatorial buoys varies from lows of about 248 W/m2 at the two lowest buoys, up to the highest buoy reading of about 284 W/m2. Thus, the buoy with the most sunlight has about 15% more sunlight than the two buoys getting the least sunlight. Not uniform at all.

Here’s the next oddity. The two buoys with the least sunlight striking the surface are at the opposite edges of the Pacific, and thus at opposite temperature extremes. One is the TAO buoy at 95°W off of Ecuador (Spanish for “Equator”), in the coolest Pacific equatorial water. The other is the TAO buoy at 165°E, near Papua New Guinea in the warmest Pacific water. One averages 248.4 W/m2 of sunshine at the surface; the other averages 248.8 W/m2 of sunshine … virtually identical. Hmmm … Figure 2 shows the situation:

downwelling solar energy at the surface.png

Figure 2. Downwelling solar energy flux at the surface, in watts per square metre (W/m2).

The small red squares on the Equator at the east and west edges of the Pacific are the location of the buoys with the least surface sunlight. Figure 2 shows CERES data. Note the good agreement between the CERES derived surface dataset and the TAO buoy data, with the gray-colored lines showing the recorded value from the TAO buoys of 248 W/m2.

So where is the difference between the warm and cold buoy sunshine? Well, as I’ve said from my first explanation of tropical thermal regulation, it’s in the timing and strength of the emergence of the daily cloud cover. To illustrate this I’ve subtracted the downwelling solar energy flux at the coolest-water buoy from that at the warmest-water buoy. Figure 3 below shows that result. Positive values mean more sun at the warmer location.

differences in solar at 95W and 165E.png

Figure 3. Daily cycle of the differences between 24/7 average downwelling solar energy at the cool and warm edges of the equatorial Pacific. Both buoys are on the Equator. The buoy at 95°W is in the cool area off of South America. The buoy at 165°E is in the Pacific Warm Pool off of Papua New Guinea north of Australia. Positive values mean more sunshine at the warm buoy. Solar data taken at ten minute intervals.

Figure 3 reveals that in the warm area, there’s more sunshine in the early morning. But then around nine or ten in the morning, the clouds and the thunderstorms start to come on strong at the warmer buoy. This cuts down both the noon and the afternoon sunlight in the warmer regions.

Nor are these small swings. They are plus or minus about forty watts per square metre, which is a lot of energy.

There are several interesting aspects of this. The first is that although the total solar energy reaching the surface is the same in both locations, they are at very different temperatures. Curious.

The next is the large difference in the amount and timing of the clouds. At the warm buoy, there is much greater cloud coverage starting about 9 AM, as evidenced by the much smaller amount of sunshine being allowed in compared to surface sunshine at the cool buoy. This agrees with my theory regarding thermal regulation via cloud cover.

Next, think about how this relates to Figure 1 above. Figure 1 shows that all the buoys have nearly identical daily changes in sea-air temperature differences (∆T). Whatever physical processes might explain those identical cycles, clearly it is NOT from some imaginary “uniform diurnal cycle of solar radiance”. Solar radiance at the different buoys shows a large inter-buoy variation, both in the total amount of incident sunshine and in the timing of the sunshine.

Finally, remember that this is the average timing. On warmer days, the clouds form earlier and more densely, and the reduction in sunshine is greater. On cooler days, the clouds form later and more scattered, and more sunshine comes in. This process cools the warm days and warms the cool days … what’s not to like?

TAO average warm and cool days warmest buoy

Figure 4. Average surface air temperature changes on warmer and colder days at the TAO buoy at 165°E on the Equator.

Always more to learn …

Regards to everyone,

w.

THE USUAL REQUEST:  When you comment, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS THAT YOU ARE DISCUSSING. I can defend my own statements. I can’t defend your memory of some statement you think I made at some unknown time and place. Please quote what you are talking about—it makes conversations possible and prevents misunderstandings.

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111 thoughts on “Timing Is Everything

    • Rt = k x [1.0 + 0.8 x (n/N)] x [1.0 -0.2 x t]/0.1 x (RH)1/2
      Rt = global solar radiation
      n/N = observed — sunshine hours– (n) and day length (N) in hours
      k = latitude & season factor
      t = observed/average, rainy days
      RH = Relative Humidity, %
      S = n/N =1 – f1 – f2
      F1 = a x Exp [-0.25 x (a)1/2]
      A = [Cl + Cm + Ch]/8 – low (Cl), medium (Cm) & high (Ch) clouds in Octas
      F2 = 0.02 +0.08 x Cos 4φ up to 45o latitude and -0.08 for beyond 45o latitude
      Rt = a + b x Lo + c x L + d x h + c x R1/3
      Lo = longitude, L = latitude & h = height of a place; R = Rainfall, mm [used in northeast Brazil]
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • If you wish to educate people this is not the way to do it. By all means write the maths but an explanation would be nice.

      • Chris Norman — Thank you
        The presentation is self explanatory — how relative humidity, cloud cover, rainfall and global solar radiation and bright sunshine hours relate.
        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Alan Tomalty — F1 is the total cloud factor and F2 is the latitude correction factor.
        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy – January 28, 2018 at 3:59 pm

        The presentation is self explanatory — how relative humidity, cloud cover, rainfall and global solar radiation and bright sunshine hours relate.

        Even if your equation “parameters” are “self-explanatory” to a very limited number of individuals, …… what good are they?
        The “cell size” for any calculation would be extremely small, like a few acres or less, and therefore of no practical use in composing a local or regional “picture”.
        Yours is an even more complex problem than what the …… local/regional Average Temperature calculating “expert” climate scientists have been “spinning-their-wheels” at attempting to solve.
        One can calculate a “snapshot” of a dynamic process, …… but by the time one finishes their calculations, many of the parameters “driving” said dynamic process have changed, (and most probably never to repeat in concert again), …… thus relegation one’s “calculations” to the equivalent of ………. last week’s News story.

  1. Not only do storm cells reflect incoming radiation and shade the surface. The convective uplift physically transports heat laden water vapour to high altitudes where radiative heat loses are large and rapid.
    CIMSS has amazing satellite footage of this process happening in real time.
    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic.php

    • “…to high altitudes where radiative heat loses are large and rapid.”
      No, what you are seeing is heat loss due to the adiabatic process (air rising and cooling adiabaticly). Radiative heat loss at the top of the cloud is basically constant (and minor) regardless of the cloud top height. This is proved because, if you notice the cloud top temperature, it is colder at the center of the cloud than at the edge. The convection rises (tallest/coldest) at the center and spreads out to the edge…and sinks (warms) due to the adiabatic process as well.

      • Radiative heat loss at altitude for these moisture laden air masses occur subsequent to condensation.

      • Condensation releases a huge amount of energy, but in spite of this, the falling rain is cool to cold, and the air of the downdrafts is likewise very cool compared to the temp of the air that formed the storm to begin with.
        T-storms cause a huge amount of heat to be transported aloft to where it can radiate away to space.

      • IN Florida, we have daily thunderstorms in the rainy season.
        And every day, the coldest temps for the 24 hour period occur during the storms, or nearby where downdrafts are occurring.
        And stronger storms cause the temp to be lower at the surface.
        Every record low temp in Florida during this part of the year occurred during a severe thunderstorm.

      • JKrob. I don’t think you quite understand what ‘adiabatic process’ means. Go back and check your basic physics!

      • “JKrob. I don’t think you quite understand what ‘adiabatic process’ means. Go back and check your basic physics!”
        HAH! Now that is funny right there. Since I’m so misinformed about the adiabatic process (rising air cools, descending air warms), please, teach us all the ‘proper’ mechanics of the adiabatic process…with references of course.

        • ” Since I’m so misinformed about the adiabatic process (rising air cools, descending air warms)”
          But that’s not what “adiabatic” means! In fact, it’s pretty much the exact opposite.
          http://www.definitions.net/definition/adiabatic+process
          “An adiabatic process is a process occurring without exchange of heat of a system with its environment. ”
          Generally, one would say of an adiabatic process that “expanding air cools” and “compressed air heats”. The classical example being compressed air being pumped into or out of a tank.

    • Following this line of thought, do we have measurements over large thunderheads or supercells quantifying the amount of energy transfer via long-wave radiation? As I see it, a parcel of air rising in a thunderhead is cooling due to the drop in pressure, but this cooling is less than a dry parcel of air due to the latent heat as water vapor condenses into microscopic droplets. Heat can be removed to surrounding air via mixing, but I don’t see that as the primary mode, since these clouds have very well-defined margins. If there was substantial mixing of air, the edges of the clouds would be less defined. That leaves radiation as the primary mode of heat transfer.

      • “Following this line of thought, do we have measurements over large thunderheads or supercells quantifying the amount of energy transfer via long-wave radiation?”
        Google Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR). This is measured from space on satellite platforms. It is always greater under clear skies and least at the tops of deep convection. This is obvious because the tops of deep convection are cold due to the adiabatic cooling process and clear skies are nearly transparent to LWIR. therefor, it is *not* deep convection that ‘dumps heat into space’ but clear skies.

        • “This is obvious because the tops of deep convection are cold due to the adiabatic cooling process and clear skies are nearly transparent to LWIR. therefor, it is *not* deep convection that ‘dumps heat into space’ but clear skies.”
          Adiabatic cooling is due to the lower pressure and greater volume, and doesn’t actually get rid of any energy. The only way to remove energy from the atmosphere is to radiate it into space. The deep convection moves the energy up to the higher altitudes where it _can_ get an unblocked view of space and radiate into that nice 4K heatsink. It also removes the various other atmospheric components which will absorb and re-radiate the energy, some of it back down.

    • Willis – any thing you want to add to Mr. Nelson’s comment and its subs? As a pilot who has flown through storm cells (too often), this makes a lot of sense, but I don’t have the resources to study it.

  2. From my gliding experience I know that the time of initiation of thermal activity and subsequent cloud formation is strongly dependent on the atmospheric lapse rate at the time and location and also the existence and height of any temperature inversions.
    Maybe there are some consistent differences in the atmospheric conditions along the equator that are responsible for the difference in cloud formation times.

  3. So, it seems as if there is some force or process acting to harmonize atmosphere/sea-surface temperature differences across a vast swath of ocean.
    I wonder if, given the fact that the fluid boundary between the two should be pretty efficient at transferring heat from the ocean to the atmosphere, whether the instantaneous rate of that heat transfer is kept constant over a broad area by continuous micro-advections. Perhaps the turbulent air layer nearest the sea surface acts to redistribute air so that each air parcel absorbs heat, on average, no quicker than the surrounding parcels. This would mean that the ocean does not simply leak heat to the atmosphere through pinholes but can only disgorge it en masse in quasi-quantized bursts, thus helping to form the convection cells that give rise to Willis’ cloud model.

    • That turbulent air layer you mention… could the turbulence be caused by waves?
      And, as the surface area of the interface between the air and sea increased rapidly with wave-height … could this be a further cause of changes in sea/air thermal conductivity across that boundary?
      Could the effect of lensing of the sea surface by waves, where patches just below the surface receive pulses of concentrated sunlight, thus heating the water above ambient and increasing evaporation?

    • At the equator, the air temperature is generally higher than the ocean temperature. Heat is transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere regardless, but it is in the form of latent heat, borne upward by water vapour.
      Willis doesn’t need me to put words in his mouth but as an overview I think he is providing evidence of one of the primary forms of temperature regulation ( negative feedback ) on our planet. Ocean surface heating drives evaporation which drives convection which carries heat to altitude where clouds form. Clouds block and therefore limit the further surface warming caused by the sun and reflect a great deal of solar energy back to space. Additionally, clouds are condensed water. The latent heat of vapourisation is gone. Radiated in every direction, from the altitude of the clouds , not the surface, with a commensurately greater amount of its heat energy escaping to space.

  4. With respect, as a keen photographer back in the day of manual cameras, a cloud can reduce the amount of light hitting the subject not by an insignificant 15% but by a factor of 4!!!!!
    Its obvious that cloud albedo has a massive impact and dwarfs everything else in the tropics.

    • I still remember old school photography. here is the page from wikipedia
      An elaborated form of the sunny 16 rule is to set shutter speed nearest to the reciprocal of the ISO film speed / setting and f-number according to this table:[3][4]
      Tessina with exposure guide plate from the 1960s. At that time, DIN 21 was equivalent to ASA 80. After 1983, DIN 21 was ASA 100.[5] On this guide plate, DIN 21 uses f/16 and 1/125, consistent with Sunny 16.

      Rolleiflex TLR exposure guide
      Aperture Lighting conditions Shadow detail
      f/22 Snow/sand Dark with sharp edges
      f/16 Sunny Distinct
      f/11 Slight overcast Soft around edges
      f/8 Overcast Barely visible
      f/5.6 Heavy overcast No shadows
      f/4 Open shade/sunset No shadows
      Add one stop Backlighting n/a

      • I shot and processed a boatload of b&w film in college as the head photographer of the school paper. I miss the days of manually adjusting exposure on the camera and darkroom. The dslr’s today and a few simple clicks of software isn’t very much of a challenge.

    • I rode a motorcycle through Toronto in May 2016. It got so dark during a rainstorm I did believe the sun had set. I was surprised when we rode out of the northeast of Toronto into clear skies – and saw the sun was still clear of the horizon. I refer to that leg of the trip as taking two days to duck-walk my bike through Toronto, which had road construction seemingly everywhere, and no bypasses.

    • Great lesson Willis
      I guess It would be helpful to have moisture measurements. At least fore a PhD investigation.

      • Agreed. Much more likely to be due to some fundamental physical process taking place in the atmosphere.
        I suggest an examination of the gravity related theories of Cotton, Nokolov & Zeller may prove useful.

    • Gnomish.
      Your yellow curves are a nice addition to the graph – seriously nice! Have you considered adding hysteresis?
      At the equator solar insolation operates in two modes either on (from 6am to 6pm aka daytime) or off (from 6pm to 6 am aka nightime).
      As I understand it Willis’s cloud regulation hypothesis is that the daytime insolation is reduced by a time dependent generation of shielding cumulus clouds leading to a local minima on his graph at 2 pm.
      These same clouds dissipate at night. So the nightime local maxima at 9pm is the point at which the convective cloud engine stops working and the direct cooling effect of clearing skies takes over before the predawn recovery begins (no, I don’t know why the recovery inflection occurs before dawn).

      • Willis,
        You have mentioned elsewhere the dawn wind, is this an easterly or a westerly wind?

      • My thought also, it is a well known phenomenon with regard to frost sometimes melting in the morning.

      • Philip Mulholland January 28, 2018 at 3:43 am

        Willis,
        You have mentioned elsewhere the dawn wind, is this an easterly or a westerly wind?

        Philip, the “dawn wind” is an example of a “terminator” wind. The “terminator” is the line between day and night, which moves across the earth.
        Now, night is cold, air is heavy. Day is warm, air is light. Light air rises and heavy air comes in to replace it. And as a result, terminator winds always blow from dark to light. Always.
        SO … the dawn wind blows from the west towards the sun in the east, and the dusk wind blows towards the sun in the west.
        The moon also has a terminator wind, as I discussed in “Sailing on the Moon-Wind” …
        Best of the day to you,
        w.

      • So the dawn wind is another example of a surface high density air current.
        Very interesting.
        Thanks Willis,

    • @ Gnomish – I was looking at January temperatures in Morocco the other day – the peak temperatures on land – as opposed to over water – arrive between 1.30pm and and 2.30 when they start to fall back again. I suspect your peak at 12 noon is earlier than it would actually be if there were no transfer of heat by water vapour etc.

    • The yellow warming curve makes sense, it should be a response to the cosine dependence of insolation, the night-time shouldn’t be a sinusoid though, it should be a monotonic decay from dawn to dusk.

  5. I’ve seen your theory for years and have been impressed. It looks right and has evidence that it explains.
    So I’ve thought about it and have a couple of questions.
    1) I am curious as to why the effect of clouds is so uniform.
    Surely there ought to be an effect relating to the colour of the clouds and the colour of the sea they obscure.
    2) Choppy seas have a different angle of reflection than millponds. That seems like it should have an effect on this mechanism.
    Have you looked for these complications?

    • To address #2, I believe the irregular topography of seas would be nearly impractical to legitimately quantify by any means.

  6. Willis,
    Have you run your theory past some relevant scientists ?, seems like the first thing one would do.

      • I meant in the real world, following the scientific method.
        This is what scientists do all the time, they don’t hide theories in blogs.

        • “I meant in the real world, following the scientific method.This is what scientists do all the time, they don’t hide theories in blogs.”
          This is the scientific method. Where you present your work is irrelevant, so long as you show your data and methods. What is a “scientific journal” other than a paper blog with a good editor?

      • Paul,
        Why is Willis avoiding the global scientific community by limiting himself to a discredited site in need of a “good editor” ?

      • “discredited site “
        He isn’t posting on SkS, or Climate Reality…
        So your comment is totally mis-guided WTF and, as always.. has no merit.

    • Sure. I will look it over. I will need $20,000 and will give you a timeline and list of deliverables.
      We will need a data agreement and a written publication plan.
      Develop an RFP, and I will get my contracts people to look it over, and review my proposal including budget.

  7. Willis, doesn’t fig 1 argue against your theory? since the water temps are different at each buoy the cloud response should be different which should lead to a different pattern of heating and cooling. which we see in fig 3. but this difference is not reflected in fig 1. which is very strange. it suggests an error or an order of magnitude difference between fig 1 and 3 such that the energy in fig 3 is insignificant in fig 1. very strange in light of the shape of the curve in fig 1.

  8. “Say what? The diurnal cycle of solar radiation in the tropics is NOT uniform, not even near to it.”
    =====
    agreed. huge diff at the surface depending on cloud cover which varies greatly by temp/season/longitude. so why is fig 1 so consistent independent of location?

    • But the SI is Uniform at TOA, it is the Reaction to it that is not constant, did you see the point made by Bernard January 27, 2018 at 9:21 pm.

  9. As timing is everything, the overriding role of water vapour is quite obvious, and therefore the density and distribution of condensation kernels very important. I think that Eschenbach’s hypothesis is very well explaining the basics of the self regulating atmosphere which to me reminds me of a living entity.

  10. Mr Eschenbach, you say
    “Here’s the next oddity. The two buoys with the least sunlight striking the surface are at the opposite edges of the Pacific, and thus at opposite temperature extremes. One is the TAO buoy at 95°W off of Ecuador (Spanish for “Equator”), in the coolest Pacific equatorial water. The other is the TAO buoy at 165°E, near Papua New Guinea in the warmest Pacific water. One averages 248.4 W/m2 of sunshine at the surface; the other averages 248.8 W/m2 of sunshine … virtually identical.
    There is a major Logic problem with this statement.
    If the Solar Irradiance is almost identical how is the Ocean “Hotter” at 165°E?
    There must be another method of Heat transport for this to happen, do the prevailing currents bring the warmth from the where the SI is 284 W/m2?

    • A C Osborn January 28, 2018 at 2:34 am: “If the Solar Irradiance is almost identical how is the Ocean “Hotter” at 165°E?
      There must be another method of Heat transport for this to happen (…)”
      WR:
      (1) Trade Winds are blowing from east to west. The warmest part of the surface waters, the upper part, is blown to the West Pacific
      (2) Because of (1), in the East the disappearing surface water is replenished from below: oceanic upwelling. In the deep ocean the water has a temperature just a little bit above zero degrees Celsius. The to the surface upwelling water is cold and the process as a whole is cooling the surface of the Eastern Pacific. Well visible on temperature maps.
      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/431px_width/public/10-Year-Average-Sea-Surface-Temperature-Map.png?itok=N3QpZHCE

    • When I visited Ecuador I was told that the Humbolt current runs up the coast carrying cool water from the Southern ocean.

      • Actually, it’s not the Humboldt Current. It’s the ceaseless transport of warm Pacific equatorial water to the west from the ceaseless trade winds, combined with the increased heat transport by the El Nino/La Nina pump, that causes the warmest Pacific water to pile up at the western edge.
        w.

  11. I also asked a question on your previous post on this subject.
    A C Osborn January 25, 2018 at 2:07 am
    Mr Eschenbach, one thing I have noticed on the Air/Sea Difference Graph is the the lowest one actually goes Negative 4 times, ie the Air is Warmer than the Sea?
    Is that correct?
    If it is correct it must mean that the Air is not moving the heat away from the surface as quickly as you would expect.

  12. Let’s analyze the current polar vortex pattern in the lower stratosphere. Please see that in the west the isobars from the Western Arctic reach the north of the USA. That is why the Arctic air already starts to reach to the Northen USA. The circulation in the stratosphere has an impact on the jet stream. The difference between these levels is 100 hPa. However, the high speed of wind in the polar vortex and the stability of the circulation pattern in the stratosphere force the circulation in the tropopause. In the tropopause, the influence of water vapor (warmer air) is mixed with the influence of stratospheric ozone. Ozone particles are heavier than air and they fall from the upper layers of the stratosphere near the polar circle. Water vapor as lighter than air rises to the tropopause above the equator.
    http://files.tinypic.pl/i/00957/79bhpp1pc2hh.png
    http://files.tinypic.pl/i/00957/xeeroe8l6tvx.png

  13. Willis :
    ( I won’t repeat the views you express in your theory at the top of the page. Consider it read)
    Totally agree. It is a view that I have held for some years now and suspect applies across the globe, not only in the tropics; but elsewhere but perhaps complicated by other factors.
    I suggest that much of this can be explained by reference to the thermodynamics of the Rankine Cycle, coupled with the facts that gaseous water is lighter than dry air and that large energy levels of the latent heat are involved.
    Initially the incoming radiation warms the sea surface due to the specific heat of water. Then evaporation takes place which absorbs the energy by latent heat at constant temperature with far greater energy involved.
    Next the lower density of the gaseous water forces it upwards. (This being an additional factor to that of normal convection). The energy required to raise this water is provided by the latent heat which dissipates partly into the atmosphere and partly into the potential energy due to rising, with the final height determined by the energies involved.
    In fact this is what is happening in a steam engine and comprises the boiler and piston part of the cycle. I will ignore the condenser/ feed pump/ heater bits as not relevant here.
    So, essentially we have very large energies being transported upwards, some of which reaching the Tropopause, oblivious of CO2 etc. which balance the radiation inputs and have considerable influence on those inputs due to the Albedo and Emissivity properties involved. Making the whole system one of Chaotic complexity which currently cannot be solved with use of linear equations.
    I suspect I am teaching you to suck eggs here Willis; so apologies. Maybe, however others could find it interesting.
    All in all I found your article fascinating as it provided many factual jigsaw pieces which appear to fit into my overall concept.
    My thanks and regards.

    • I agree with Willis and with your take on it. I would only add to your steam engine analogy that any additional heat input to the system, whether from the sun or derived from simplistic CO2 assumptions can only make the engine run a little faster. It cannot unbalance the system to the upside as the heat rejection capacity (space) is infinite.

      • Is there a heat source generated by your “simplistic CO2 assumptions” that doesn’t come from the sun?

      • No. Any additional heat resulting from CO2 would only be by delaying heat loss from the system. I believe it is minimal and balanced quickly and efficiently by negative feedback .

    • I even think that the process cannot be solved by differential equations because somebody has to do experiments on the atmosphere to get the correct constants and many variables that would be required before arriving at the correct differential equations. These experiments on the atmosphere would have to be so extensive as to risk the atmosphere itself. Obviously impossible, so I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for these differential equations. The day that weather forecasters can forecast the weather a year in advance to even 60% accuracy is the day when I will start believing in climate computer models of the globe.

  14. How does the solar angle, which obviously varies from +90 to 0 to -90 degrees, figure into Figure 3?
    Also, do any of the bouys have actual sky-cameras to verify the cloud cover?

  15. I am totally in favour of each individual being free to come up with “my theory”, so well done Willis. However if you want a serious scientific examination of your theory you must also be decent enough to accord the same right to everyone else with a personal theory. I therefore respectfully suggest that the theories of Doug Cotton and Nikolov and Zeller be accorded the same respect. Otherwise you would appear to be playing politics and not genuine scientific enquiry.
    Surely that is what you have accused the “enemy” of doing.
    Remove the plank from your own eye first please.
    I’ll be happy to debate ANY scientific theory ON ITS MERITS here (and without being rude and insulting) but you really should treat them all the same otherwise you don’t just run the risk of being hypocrites but prove you are in fact the same.

    • Badger:
      You want the theories of Mr Natural Fiber and N&Z to be examined? Very well.
      Their theories have the weight force of the atmosphere continually transferring power to the surface.
      High school physics tells us that mechanical power transfer is force integrated over distance — for constant force, it is force times distance.
      The weight force of the atmosphere is not moving the earth’s surface, so the distance is zero. Since the distance is zero, the power transfer is zero.
      So their theories have been examined, and found to be completely invalid.
      Done.

      • But … many people find the theory of N&Z makes sense, and your dismissal is very much like the dismissal meted out to climate skeptics.
        The bottom of the Grand Canyon is significantly warmer than the rim, and this follows the lapse rate. Are we to believe that this lapse rate is due to greenhouse gases, and that greenhouse gases cause the temperature change in the Grand Canyon, with its paucity of water vapor? Pressure correlates well with temperature change and elevation at the GC; greenhouse gas presence does not.

      • Don:
        The complete refutation of “atmospheric pressure effects” is truly as simple and basic as I have explained. The APE advocates really do not understand high school physics.
        You get the common negative lapse rate (temperature decreasing with altitude) when the air is (primarily) heated from the bottom and (again, primarily) cooled from the top, as in your example of the Grand Canyon, with the sun warming the surface, which transfers some of that energy to the air at the bottom.
        You get a positive lapse rate, called a temperature inversion, when the air is (primarily) cooled from the bottom, as can happen at night, especially in isolated valleys when the humidity is low and the surface can radiate to a substantial height. The surface is colder than the air, so the air transfers heat from the bottom to the surface by conduction. Antarctica has a months-long temperature inversion every winter.
        The pressure effect hypothesis cannot explain any of these observations, and as I have pointed out, completely fail the most basis analysis of power transfer.
        Again, done.

      • Sorry Ed, but once again we often hear that climate skeptics don’t understand high school physics, so it seems to me there are a lot of different takes on what constitutes good physics. I don’t think the pressure theory of the lapse rate negates any of the local effects such as you describe.
        So then the top of any snow-free high altitude (preferably on a flat plateau) heated by the sun would warm the surrounding air and be warmer than the valley that’s in partial shadow?
        At the GC, why would the bottom be warmer than the top, unless the sun directly illuminated both sides as well as the bottom at the same time? Why wouldn’t the rim, which is flatter and receives sunlight more directly, be warmer than the bottom?
        My sense is that you’re right, in a way, and that N&Z are also right. It’s my experience that we really do get caught up in paradigms and can’t see through them, and that it takes an extraordinary amount of open-mindedness to understand something that our paradigms tell us must be wrong. Isn’t that the problem with the alarmists? Maybe the skeptics are a little guilty of this too; maybe it’s just human nature.

      • Ed: Not to beat this off-topic horse too much, but I don’t think N&Z say that pressure transfers power to the surface– or even anything close to that.
        So have you really examined their theory?

      • Don:
        I’ve spent far more time on the N&Z papers than they deserve –it’s like staring at a train wreck.
        They are far vaguer than they should be about their claimed effect, but they do say it’s a pressure effect, and a “compression” effect. If that is not what they really mean, it’s even worse — they are not even proposing an actual physical mechanism.
        I have taught at the university level, and I have no hesitation in saying that I would reject these outright as undergraduate papers — they are that confused. And not just in this area; their mathematical/statistical analysis is just as bad.
        There are many things that knowledgeable observers can disagree on, such as the knock-on effects of slight increases in IR absorbing gases.
        But the definition of mechanical work and resulting power transfer is not one of them. All of the engineering work of the last two centuries is based on the fundamental analysis I gave above. If you think that could be wrong, you should never be getting into a car or plane. N&Z really don’t understand this basic scientific concept.

  16. Just out of curiosity Willis ….. have you considered the depth of the water at each bouy? I ask this because your data notes sameness at the bookends (possibly shallower water), both of which are different from the middle (possibly deeper water). ….. just thinking along the lines that SW rad penetrates water, and thus depth may play a role. Cheers

    • I asked the same question on his previous post.
      But the shallower water should be warmer, not cooler.

  17. Willis, Great article. Would the buoys position in their time zones be enough to impact the averages? Is the sun at the same angle at 9AM in each time zone? Along those lines, I noticed the time zone near 165 E at the equator is actually contorted to allow for the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. While 165 E physically belongs in the +11 time zone , much of the area is +12.

    • Unrepresented, I’ve used true local times rather than time zones for my graphs (i.e. noon is when the sun is directly overhead). This allows direct comparison between sites.
      w.

      • Willis:
        I would be curious if the variation in local noon time over the year — as represented by the analemma — makes any difference in the analysis. The difference between “fast” and “slow” noons is over half an hour.

        • Thanks, Ed. I didn’t mess with the analemma. It’s only ± 15 minutes peak to peak, most of the time much smaller. I just used the actual longitude to determine the local time offset (not the time zone but the angular distance in hours and minutes) from GMT.
          w.

  18. Willis you recently commented at my recent post which also addresses equatorial atmospheric patterns at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/01/11/solar-cycles-and-the-equatorial-trough-an-alternate-conceptual-model/:
    “I kept looking and looking for a cross-correlation analysis, or an R^2 value, or a p-value, or … well … any kind of a statistical analysis.
    Instead, all I found was a lot of waffle about things sorry,…, but this is not impressive in the slightest. We invented statistics for a reason—to avoid your type of ‘but they look alike’ claims.
    Nor did I find anything about the effects of autocorrelation on statistical analysis … but then given that there’s no statistical analysis, I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising.”
    I did respond by pointing to a related paper in peer review which contained all of that, and in any case there was some interesting cross correlation work in that piece at Figure 3 as well. I wonder if your concerns were consistently applied, or do you hold yourself to a different standard? I looked and could not find any of those statistical features in this piece.
    I think such components would be merited. Are they in a peer review journal paper in progress? I recommend you develop an actual novel theory and prove it via accurate predictions. That’s the best standard for all who practice science to strive for. If it’s not novel, as the comment you opened with by anonymous has demonstrated, and if you can’t make a prediction, it’s “not impressive in the slightest”.

    • Mike, against my better judgment, I just went back to your post. I find nothing in the thread, which goes like this:
      Mike Wallace January 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm Edit
      Will, I have left all of that out of this post for interests of focus, but if you will be patient, as I have been, the meal will eventually arrive in the form of a peer reviewed publication and my dissertation, both hopefully sooner rather than later.

      Willis Eschenbach January 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm
      Mike Wallace January 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Will, I have left all of that out of this post for interests of focus, but if you will be patient, as I have been, the meal will eventually arrive in the form of a peer reviewed publication and my dissertation, both hopefully sooner rather than later.

      Ah, thanks … well, hopefully sooner.
      w.

      The discussion ended there.
      WHICH IS WHY I ASK THAT PEOPLE QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. Sorry, but you just got your vote cancelled with me. Not impressed in the slightest. You tried to bust me for not noticing some comment of yours somewhere different, not inline in response to our discussion. And you didn’t even have the common courtesy to link to it.
      Go bother someone else. Seriously, I’m not interested. You got me to go on a snipe hunt for your claimed “related paper in peer review” and I found nothing. Fool me once, my fault. I don’t have time in my life to screw around with people like you fooling me a second time.
      Good bye,
      w.

      • Sorry I would like to stay on track. In a manner related to both my post and this one, here is a way to catch up. I do have a paper in review and it does contain extensive treatments of the material you demanded. I need to leave something for both that paper and my dissertation after all.. But in order to get back on the same page with any who favor those demands you made at my post, which I share, here is a link to a related post of mine.
        http://www.abeqas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SignificanceTestingGOPpH9.png
        It overlapped with some material I submitted to various geochemistry journals but currently is dormant, pending federal acknowledgement of massive omissions of pH data. 😀

  19. “So where is the difference between the warm and cold buoy sunshine? Well, as I’ve said from my first explanation of tropical thermal regulation, it’s in the timing and strength of the emergence of the daily cloud cover. To illustrate this I’ve subtracted the downwelling solar energy flux at the coolest-water buoy from that at the warmest-water buoy. Figure 3 below shows that result. Positive values mean more sun at the warmer location.”
    Willis:
    I would suggest that the answer to the above lies in the subtleties in the diurnal wind/pressure fields across the equatorial Pacific.
    Complicated to say the least!
    “Diurnal and Semidiurnal Variations of the Surface Wind Field over the Tropical Pacific Ocean”
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.451.1753&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    • Thanks, Toneb. I fear that I’m not a huge fan of dividing climate phenomena into “causes” and “effects”. I prefer to think instead in terms of a “chain of effects”. So for example, surface temperatures control cloud initiation times, but once initiated, clouds control the surface temperature. Except when they can’t, in which case the continuing temperature increase causes thunderstorms. These, once initiated, can drive surface temperature below the initiation temperature.
      So between surface temperature and the clouds, which is the cause, which is the effect?
      About all we can say is that solar energy is at the root of all of these chains of effects …
      w.

  20. “My theory about the climate is that the global temperature is regulated in large part by the timing and strength of the daily appearance of tropical clouds and thunderstorms. I hold that when the tropical temperatures are higher, that the cumulus cloud field and associated thunderstorms forms both earlier and more strongly. This cools the surface by reflecting sunshine back into space and thus capping the possible temperature increase.”
    One has surface temperature of ocean and air surface temperature of the ocean.
    And it seems surface of ocean controls clouds.
    At noon and clear skies one gets most solar energy absorbed by ocean, but when sun is at say 30 degree angle you less sunlight absorbed by ocean but the top layer ocean is heated more- top layer of ocean absorbs more and less absorbed at lower depth.
    I would also guess that diffused sunlight [more clouds and/or more atmosphere the sun travels thru] is more adsorbed at top layer of ocean water.

  21. Well done Willis et al.
    WUWT- Where climate science gets shaken and stirred.
    How unsettling that is.

  22. Willis: “Always more to learn …”
    Could not agree more. Or to put it another way, the science is not settled.
    Very interesting post.

  23. “My theory about the climate is that the global temperature is regulated in large part by the timing and strength of the daily appearance of tropical clouds and thunderstorms”
    Isn’t this more of an “opinion”? Perhaps a “conjecture”. With a little more work and a bit of evidence it could well progress to “hypothesis”.
    Not sure it gets to “theory” yet.

    • I am sure that it does not come close to theory. If only Willis would walk the walk. I have a dim memory of a discussion with him at another blog site half a decade ago. I was sharing why I was a skeptic and my commitment to work on a Ph.D. to advance and I suggested he do likewise. The rest is a small parcel of pHistory as my earlier comment suggests.

      • Mike Wallace

        In reply to:“My theory about the climate is that the global temperature is regulated in large part by the timing and strength of the daily appearance of tropical clouds and thunderstorms” Isn’t this more of an “opinion”? Perhaps a “conjecture”. With a little more work and a bit of evidence it could well progress to “hypothesis”. Not sure it gets to “theory” yet.
        I am sure that it does not come close to theory.

        I have put forth a host of scientific evidence from a variety of sources to back up my ideas about how things work.
        Rather than dispute even one item of that, Mike, you go off on whether in your exalted opinion it is a “theory” or merely a hypothesis or a wild conjecture … bad news. If that’s all you’ve got, you lose.
        Next, I would say that I have more evidence for my claims than do the folks who believe in the CO2 theory.
        But whether it’s called a theory or a hypothesis, I’ve laid it out clearly, and I’ve provided lots of evidence to back it up.

        If only Willis would walk the walk. I have a dim memory of a discussion with him at another blog site half a decade ago.

        I don’t have a microscope handy, but you’d need one to see how little I care about just how dim your memory might be. All of that is an ad hominem attack. You can’t find anything wrong with my claims, so you diss me for not pursuing a PhD … miss the point much?
        My goal is, and has been, to affect the ongoing discussion about the climate. In that, I’ve been very successful. My words and ideas have been quoted everywhere from the New York Times to the Sydney Herald to Nature magazine to the Climategate emails, and lots beside. I’ve held long discussions, both on-line and in person, with leading climate scientists.
        Not only that, but I’ve put my ideas out here in the public marketplace where anyone can blast holes in them … and neither you nor anyone else has been able to show that my underlying idea of thermoregulation via the timing and strength of emergent climate phenomena has any flaws. To the contrary, I have found support for my ideas on many sides.
        So go ahead, Mike. Whine about whether it’s a “theory” or a “hypothesis”. Complain that I’m not following your path to a PhD. Just don’t be surprised when you don’t get much traction with that kind of nonsense. Around here, we’re interested in scientific objections …
        Regards,
        w.

    • Boff, the following posts all required lots of work and they contain lots of evidence from a variety of datasets. After you READ EVERY ONE, please come back and tell me again how I need to put in more work, and point out just where I need to amass more evidence …
      w.
      The Thermostat Hypothesis 2009-06-14
      Abstract: The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at a equilibrium temperature.
      Plankton Cause Hurricanes! Urgent Action Required! 2010-08-15
      When people say that we understand the unbelievably complex climate system well enough to project scenarios out a hundred years, I point out that new things are being discovered every week. The latest scientific finding is that plankton cause hurricanes. I know it sounds like a headline in The Onion,…
      Which way to the feedback? 2010-12-11
      There is an interesting new study by Lauer et al. entitled “The Impact of Global Warming on Marine Boundary Layer Clouds over the Eastern Pacific—A Regional Model Study” [hereinafter Lauer10]. Anthony Watts has discussed some early issues with the paper here. The Lauer10 study has been controversial because it found that…
      The Details Are In The Devil 2010-12-13
      I love thought experiments. They allow us to understand complex systems that don’t fit into the laboratory. They have been an invaluable tool in the scientific inventory for centuries. Here’s my thought experiment for today. Imagine a room. In a room dirt collects, as you might imagine. In my household…
      Further Evidence for my Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis 2011-06-07
      For some time now I’ve been wondering what kind of new evidence I could come up with to add support to my Thunderstorm Thermostat hypothesis (q.v.). This is the idea that cumulus clouds and thunderstorms combine to cap the rise of tropical temperatures. In particular, thunderstorms are able to drive…
      It’s Not About Feedback 2011-08-14
      The current climate paradigm believed by most scientists in the field can be likened to the movement of balls on a pool table. Figure 1. Pool balls on a level table. Response is directly proportional to applied force (double the force, double the distance). There are no “preferred” positions—every position…
      Estimating Cloud Feedback From Observations 2011-10-08
      I had an idea a couple days ago about how to estimate cloud feedback from observations, and it appears to have panned out well. You tell me. Figure 1. Month-to-month change in 5° gridcell actual temperature ∆T, versus gridcell change in net cloud forcing ∆F. Curved green lines are for…
      Wrong Again … 2011-10-11
      Like anyone else, I’m not fond of being wrong, particularly very publicly wrong. However, that’s the price of science, and sometimes you have to go through being wrong to get to being right. Case in point? My last post. In that post I looked at what is known as “net…
      A Longer Look at Climate Sensitivity 2012-05-31
      After I published my previous post, “An Observational Estimate of Climate Sensitivity“, a number of people objected that I was just looking at the average annual cycle. On a time scale of decades, they said, things are very different, and the climate sensitivity is much larger. So I decided to…
      Sun and Clouds are Sufficient 2012-06-04
      In my previous post, A Longer Look at Climate Sensitivity, I showed that the match between lagged net sunshine (the solar energy remaining after albedo reflections) and the observational temperature record is quite good. However, there was still a discrepancy between the trends, with the observational trends being slightly larger…
      Forcing or Feedback? 2012-06-07
      I read a Reviewer’s Comment on one of Richard Lindzen’s papers today, a paper about the tropics from 20°N to 20°S, and I came across this curiosity (emphasis mine): Lastly, the authors go through convoluted arguments between forcing and feed backs. For the authors’ analyses to be valid, clouds should…
      Observations on TOA Forcing vs Temperature 2012-06-12
      I recently wrote three posts (first, second, and third), regarding climate sensitivity. I wanted to compare my results to another dataset. Continued digging has led me to the CERES monthly global albedo dataset from the Terra satellite. It’s an outstanding set, in that it contains downwelling solar (shortwave) radiation (DSR), upwelling solar radiation (USR), and most…
      A Demonstration of Negative Climate Sensitivity 2012-06-19
      Well, after my brief digression to some other topics, I’ve finally been able to get back to the reason that I got the CERES albedo and radiation data in the first place. This was to look at the relationship between the top of atmosphere (TOA) radiation imbalance and the surface…
      The Tao of El Nino 2013-01-28
      I was wandering through the graphics section of the TAO buoy data this evening. I noted that they have an outstanding animation of the most recent sixty months of tropical sea temperatures and surface heights. Go to their graphics page, click on “Animation”. Then click on “Animate”. When the new…
      Here there be Dragons 2013-02-04
      I was reflecting tonight about emergent phenomena, and how one thing about emergent phenomena is their unpredictability. I’m in the process of writing up a post on emergent phenomena in climate, so they’ve been on my mind. I got to thinking about something I saw thirty-five years ago, a vision…
      Emergent Climate Phenomena 2013-02-07
      In a recent post, I described how the El Nino/La Nina alteration operates as a giant pump. Whenever the Pacific Ocean gets too warm across its surface, the Nino/Nina pump kicks in and removes the warm water from the Pacific, pumping it first west and thence poleward. I also wrote…
      Slow Drift in Thermoregulated Emergent Systems 2013-02-08
      In my last post, “Emergent Climate Phenomena“, I gave a different paradigm for the climate. The current paradigm is that climate is a system in which temperature slavishly follows the changes in inputs. Under my paradigm, on the other hand, natural thermoregulatory systems constrain the temperature to vary within a…
      Air Conditioning Nairobi, Refrigerating The Planet 2013-03-11
      I’ve mentioned before that a thunderstorm functions as a natural refrigeration system. I’d like to explain in a bit more detail what I mean by that. However, let me start by explaining my credentials as regards my knowledge of refrigeration. The simplest explanation of my refrigeration credentials is that I…
      Dehumidifying the Tropics 2013-04-21
      I once had the good fortune to fly over an amazing spectacle, where I saw all of the various stages of emergent phenomena involving thunderstorms. It happened on a flight over the Coral Sea from the Solomon Islands, which are near the Equator, south to Brisbane. Brisbane is at 27°…
      Decadal Oscillations Of The Pacific Kind 2013-06-08
      The recent post here on WUWT about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has a lot of folks claiming that the PDO is useful for predicting the future of the climate … I don’t think so myself, and this post is about why I don’t think the PDO predicts the climate…
      Stalking the Rogue Hotspot 2013-08-21
      [I’m making this excellent essay a top sticky post for a day or two, I urge sharing it far and wide. New stories will appear below this one. – Anthony] Dr. Kevin Trenberth is a mainstream climate scientist, best known for inadvertently telling the world the truth about the parlous…
      The Magnificent Climate Heat Engine 2013-12-21
      I’ve been reflecting over the last few days about how the climate system of the earth functions as a giant natural heat engine. A “heat engine”, whether natural or man-made, is a mechanism that converts heat into mechanical energy of some kind. In the case of the climate system, the…
      The Thermostatic Throttle 2013-12-28
      I have theorized that the reflective nature of the tropical clouds, in particular those of the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) just above the equator, functions as the “throttle” on the global climate engine. We’re all familiar with what a throttle does, because the gas pedal on your car controls the…
      On The Stability and Symmetry Of The Climate System 2014-01-06
      The CERES data has its problems, because the three datasets (incoming solar, outgoing longwave, and reflected shortwave) don’t add up to anything near zero. So the keepers of the keys adjusted them to an artificial imbalance of +0.85 W/m2 (warming). Despite that lack of accuracy, however, the CERES data is…
      Dust In My Eyes 2014-02-13
      I was thinking about “dust devils”, the little whirlwinds of dust that you see on a hot day, and they reminded me that we get dulled by familiarity with the wonders of our planet. Suppose, for example, you that “back in the olden days” your family lived for generations in…
      The Power Stroke 2014-02-27
      I got to thinking about the well-known correlation of El Ninos and global temperature. I knew that the Pacific temperatures lead the global temperatures, and the tropics lead the Pacific, but I’d never looked at the actual physical
      Arctic Albedo Variations 2014-12-17
      Anthony has just posted the results from a “Press Session” at the AGU conference. In it the authors make two claims of interest. The first is that there has been a five percent decrease in the summer Arctic albedo since the year 2000: A decline in the region’s albedo –…
      Albedic Meanderings 2015-06-03
      I’ve been considering the nature of the relationship between the albedo and temperature. I have hypothesized elsewhere that variations in tropical cloud albedo are one of the main mechanisms that maintain the global surface temperature within a fairly narrow range (e.g. within ± 0.3°C during the entire 20th Century). To…
      An Inherently Stable System 2015-06-04
      At the end of my last post , I said that the climate seems to be an inherently stable system. The graphic below shows ~2,000 climate simulations run by climateprediction.net. Unlike the other modelers, whose failures end up on the cutting room floor, they’ve shown all of the runs ……
      The Daily Albedo Cycle 2015-06-08
      I discussed the role of tropical albedo in regulating the temperature in two previous posts entitled Albedic Meanderings and An Inherently Stable System. This post builds on that foundation. I said in the latter post that I would discuss the diurnal changes in tropical cloud albedo. For this I use…
      Problems With Analyzing Governed Systems 2015-08-02
      I’ve been ruminating on the continuing misunderstanding of my position that a governor is fundamentally different from simple feedback. People say things like “A governor is just a kind of feedback”. Well, yes, that’s true, and it is also true that a human being is “just…
      Cooling And Warming Clouds And Thunderstorms 2015-08-18
      Following up on a suggestion made to me by one of my long-time scientific heroes, Dr. Fred Singer, I’ve been looking at the rainfall dataset from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Here’s s the TRMM average rainfall data for the entire mission to d…
      Tropical Evaporative Cooling 2015-11-11
      I’ve been looking again into the satellite rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM). I discussed my first look at this rainfall data in a post called Cooling and Warming, Clouds and Thunderstorms. There I showed that the cooling from th…
      How Thunderstorms Beat The Heat 2016-01-08
      I got to thinking again about the thunderstorms, and how much heat they remove from the surface by means of evaporation. We have good data on this from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellites. Here is the distribution and strength of rainfall, and thus …
      The Warmer The Icier 2016-02-25
      A WUWT commenter emailed me with a curious claim. I have described various emergent phenomena that regulate the surface temperature. These operate on time scales ranging from minutes to hours (e.g. dust devils, thunderstorms) to multi-decadal (e.g. Atlantic Multidecadal …

  24. In reproducing here some of my comments on his previous thread, Willis merely perpetuates his amateurish misconception that in writing “the diurnal cycle of solar radiance is uniform throughout the narrow tropical zone” I was referring to local surface insolation. This despite the fact that I had pointed out earlier that:

    The shape of the diurnal cycle of those [air-sea] differences is governed by the rate of heat transfer between ocean and atmosphere, modulated In the tropics by a characteristic diurnal pattern of cloud cover.

    Nothing presented here even begins to contradict my assertions. In fact, they are reinforced here by the finding that “although the total solar energy reaching the surface is the same in both locations, they are at very different temperatures.” To those with serious scientific grasp of air-sea interactions, there is nothing new or “curious” about that.

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