What’s Absorbing The Sun?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In considering how the energy flows around the planet, I got to thinking about the amount of solar energy that is absorbed rather than transmitted by the atmosphere and the clouds. As with many other such questions, I turned to the wonderful CERES satellite data. Figure 1 shows what CERES has to say about the average amount of solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere.

Figure 1. Total amount of solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere on average on a 1° latitude x 1° longitude basis. CERES Data, Mar 2000 – Feb 2017.

As you can see, just under eighty watts per square metre of incoming solar energy doesn’t make it to the ground. Instead, it is absorbed in the atmosphere. This is a bit more than a fifth (22%) of incoming solar energy. It is also about the same amount of sunlight that is reflected by the clouds.

And Figure 2 below shows the same data, but this time showing the absorption as a percentage of incoming solar energy. Obviously, where there is more solar energy, more energy will be absorbed in the atmosphere. Showing the atmospheric absorption as a percentage of incoming solar energy removes that bias.

Figure 2. Total amount of solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere, as a percentage of incoming solar energy, on average on a 1° latitude x 1° longitude basis. CERES Data, Mar 2000 – Feb 2017.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love the surprises that come from turning a huge mass of numbers into a picture. Here is what is the surprise of the 64,800 individual 1°x1° gridcell calculations was for me. See the red areas? Those are the areas where the largest percentage of incoming solar energy is being absorbed.

Now, the absorption of solar energy in the atmosphere is due to “aerosols”. In the most general sense, this is a term for a variety of chemicals and elements which are held aloft in the atmosphere. Aerosols include things like sulfur dioxide from volcanic eruptions, salt crystals and molecules from sea spray, a variety of bacteria, and black carbon and hydrocarbons from fossil fuels and forest fires. A number of aerosols are human-generated. I’d kind of expected to see increased absorption near cities and industrialized areas of the northern hemisphere.

But none of that was the case. The surprise to me was, it looks like the red areas are from plant-generated aerosols. The Amazon rainforest, the tropical forest areas of Africa and Asia, the forested tropical islands of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, those were the main sources of aerosols.

And on the other hand, there is little vegetation in the arid areas of northern Mexico, the Sahara and Atacama deserts, Southern Australia, and southern Africa; or in the mountainous areas of the Rockies, the Andes and Himalayas; or in the polar areas of Greenland and Antarctica. These areas in greens and blues have clearer air, with less solar energy absorbed in the atmosphere.

Huh. Plant-based aerosols are the major player in terms of solar absorption. Go figure That would certainly not have been my first guess.

And this brings up another of those curious evolutions over time. Warmer surface temperatures generally mean more plants. More plants mean more plant aerosols. More plant aerosols mean more atmospheric absorption of incoming solar. More atmospheric absorption of solar means less solar energy making it to the ground. And finally … less solar energy hitting the ground means cooler surface temperatures.

And vice-versa, of course.

So the plants are affecting the amount of sunlight making it to the ground, with more sunlight making it through the atmosphere when and where plants are scarce and less sunlight making it through the atmosphere when and where plants are abundant …

Who knew? Likely somebody, but certainly not me …

Next, here’s the evolution over time of the amount of solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere:

Figure 3. Change over time of the absorption of solar energy by the atmosphere. Top panel is the raw data. Middle panel shows the repeating monthly changes. Bottom panel shows the residual signal after the seasonal component is removed. CERES Data.

There is a very slight drop over time in the absorption (a tenth of a watt per decade) which is not statistically significant (p-value 0.08). Overall, the data is surprisingly stable.

I also note that the El Nino/La Nina pump is clearly visible in the 2015-16 data. I showed in a paper called The La Nina Pump that there is an oddity about the La Nina pumping action. The La Nina pumping action is wind-driven, and it moves huge amounts of warm water first westward across the Pacific and from there towards the poles. The oddity is that it begins in November, lasts one year, and ends in the following November.

This same change is visible in the bottom panel above. In November 2015, the atmospheric absorption of solar energy peaked and began to drop. This drop ended in November of 2016, in parallel with the La Nina pumping action of that Nino/Nina episode.

Overall? I’d say what stands out is the stability, plus or minus half of a watt over the period.

w.

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210 thoughts on “What’s Absorbing The Sun?

  1. Willis,
    You may be pleased to know that James Lovelock, the Gaia author has similar thoughts to yours about the involvement of aerosols in climate. Here he is in The Guardian on 29 March,2010:
    “The great science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is.If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing. We haven’t got the physics worked out yet.”
    Good luck in your pursuit of the aerosols issue.

    • Solar absorption by aerosols is a second order effect relative to the solar energy absorbed by the liquid and solid water in clouds. Owing to the short period of the water cycle, averages over time periods of about a month or more are sufficient to consider the energy absorbed by the water in clouds a proxy for energy absorbed by water in the oceans, none the less, what we see in the plots and what’s called absorption by the atmosphere is where the clouds are most dense over the integration period of the data, which in this case is about 17 years.

      • co2isnotevil

        … what we see in the plots and what’s called absorption by the atmosphere is where the clouds are most dense over the integration period of the data, which in this case is about 17 years.

        I’m sorry, but that is not true at all. The graphics above do NOT show the same pattern as maps of cloud cover. For example, note in Figure 2 how absorption over the ocean is very even almost everywhere … and this is absolutely NOT true about clouds over the ocean.

        Best regards,

        w.

        • Willis,
          I think it just happens that the two are coincident. For example, desert areas have few clouds have little vegetation while rain forests have lots of vegetation and lots of clouds. I also see higher absorption along the inter-tropical convergence zone, which is also known to have a relatively higher proportion of clouds.

          If instead of plotting atmospheric absorption, you were to plot the average fraction of the surface covered by clouds averaged over the same 17 year interval and scale to the same colors, you would get pretty much the same result. You wouldn’t even need to go 17 years and the average across just a single year will be close.

          The evenness as seen in the plots is a consequence of the long term averages that make up the data in the plot.

          Consider it this way. The average fraction of the planet covered by clouds is about 66%. These clouds on average reflect about 42% of the solar energy, absorbing about 60% of the non reflected solar input allowing the remaining 40% to arrive at the surface. Note that 66% cloud coverage includes a significant fraction of partly cloudy skies.

          If we take 66%. multiply by the 58% not reflected times the 60% absorbed, the result is, .66 * .58 * .60 = .229, which is approximately the same as the 0.224 claimed as the fraction of incident solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere (which means absorbed by the water in clouds).

          • co2isnotevil said:

            Willis,
            I think it just happens that the two are coincident. For example, desert areas have few clouds have little vegetation while rain forests have lots of vegetation and lots of clouds. I also see higher absorption along the inter-tropical convergence zone, which is also known to have a relatively higher proportion of clouds.

            If instead of plotting atmospheric absorption, you were to plot the average fraction of the surface covered by clouds averaged over the same 17 year interval and scale to the same colors, you would get pretty much the same result. You wouldn’t even need to go 17 years and the average across just a single year will be close.

            Well, probably not. Here’s the cloud percentage. It’s quite different from absorption percentage. Note that e.g. the clouds are very prevalent over the Southern Ocean, but there is no excess solar absorption there. There are a number of other differences.

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/CERES-Cloud-Area-Percent.png

            Far from being coincident, the correlation of cloud area percentage and solar absorption percentage is only 0.14.

            Best regards,

            w.

          • In order to do an apples to apples comparison, the cloud fraction needs to be weighted by solar insolation. For example, 80% cloud coverage at the equator will absorb far more solar energy than 100% at the poles.

          • I see more correlation than you do. The red along the inter-tropical convergence zone, Africa and SE Asia are the same in both. The deserts of the SW US, Australia and N Africa are also evident in both plots.

            The sharp drop in clouds between the ocean and Antarctica seems suspicious to me. I know that from older sources of satellite data without near IR sensors, they have a hard time distinguishing between surface ice and clouds, especially sea ice and at night and polar nights can be quite long.

          • I recall seeing a paper maybe 5 -6 years ago about CO2 measurements of CO2 over the Amazon area and the Atlantic ocean near Equator using an instrumented aeroplane of the type used for survilence. I recall that the authors were surprised that the CO2 levels were higher in tropical areas (no burning of forest at the time) than over populated Europe or measurements on the observatory on the volcano mountain in Hawaii.
            By the way Australian Eucalyptus trees give off hydrocarbons which make them appear blue (as in Blue Mountains) this may appear to satellites as low absorption of sunlight. In fact the leaves of these threes tend to change colour after rain being more green and even with red on new growth.

          • Willis, I think co2isnotevil has a point. Cloud particles reflect/scatter visible light, but they absorb infrared (about half the total power of the incoming solar spectrum). I don’t think that’s in question. Plus, plant aerosols contribute to cloud particle nucleation. I think both of you have valid points — it isn’t a black/white question.

          • Not sure that is true. The pictures above show the effects of mountains ranges for example – which are not know to be particularly uncloudy. The Himalayas stand out clearly, as do the Rockies.

          • High mountains would have much less atmospheric mass above htem and so probably significantly fewer aerosols to absorb radiation

      • Excellent discussion, and I enjoyed the thread.
        If it’s not merely the clouds, then it must be something else contributing. What is different about that atmosphere than other areas? What aerosols are plants contributing? Maybe O2?
        Are the atmospheric gas concentrations different in these regions?

        • Could it be that this analysis is attributing conversion of solar energy to chemical energy (i.e. photosynthesis) to absorption by plant aerosols? Photosynthetic efficiency is maybe 1 or 2 percent, and the red areas on the map line up pretty well with the green belts of the planet.

    • Aerosol buildup from nucleation was reported by CERN CLOUD as measured when it actually was (wrongly) modeled. Svensmark definitely points to aerosol chemisty and CLOUD did say not enough was known. Svensmark has done actual aerosol expeiments.

  2. Good thing you do this for fun Willis. No mention of CO2 and a matter-of-fact dialog in the essay will get you no money on the grant circuit. Interesting observations. Thanks for sharing.

  3. “Overall? I’d say what stands out is the stability, plus or minus half of a watt over the period.”

    Therefore, during that period, the the increase in CO2 not changes in solar absorption by the atmosphere is the reason for global warming.

    (thought I would finish the thought)

    • ReallySkeptical, “during that period” the CERES data says there was no statistically significant trend in surface temperature. So I’m not sure what you are trying to explain.

      w.

      • Willis, the usual definition of aerosols includes water droplets, does CERES distinguish between such water aerosols and the rest? Thanks.

          • What’s up Allen? Water vapour is a GHG. Water droplets are aerosols. Both absorb radiation, and droplets also refract it. I am not sure if droplets reflect much. Someone here probably knows. Water droplets are ‘black’ to IR.

          • The closest thing to water vapor mentioned in this Aerosol wiki article is fog. This leaves open the question of whether solar absorption is predominately by aerosols or by water vapor (clouds), if water vapor and clouds aren’t technically considered part of aerosols.

            When I think of aerosols, it’s usually stratospheric, volcanic. How can near surface aerosol solar absorption be distinguished from stratospheric aerosol solar absorption in Willis’ analysis?

        • ReallyS

          Are you not getting Willis’ point? Absorption is about constant during the seventeen years. So is the temperature. The CO2 level is increasing rapidly. It has no effect on either, obviously. If it has an effect, it is not detectable.

          • Yeah, the none detectable co2 RGE strikes again,……

            The None detectable RGE and its back of a postage stamp phizzik’s.

            None detectable for 160 yrs,… the best ”hide & seeker” in post normal ”science”.

        • EdB, replying to Willis Eschenbach.

          No trend in temperature all the while CO2 went up suggests a lack of CO2 sensitivity. “The pause”.

          Rather, if there were no CO2 influence on Global Average Temperature, the “pause, plus today’s longer hiatus” would merely be another natural decline between 1998/2000-2005 short cycle peak, followed by a small but steady 30-year decline.

          Just like the decline that we found between 1945 and 1975.

          In previous short cycles, the declines were more obvious as overall global average temperatures rose from the 1650 low spot in the midst of the LIA. Now, with CO2 adding a very amount of temperature increase each year, these declines got flattened, and the rises on subsequent half-cycle GAT increases slight greater than otherwise expected with no CO2 influence.

      • Willis,

        Do you have a convenient link to the CERES surface temperature data available? I can’t find it on their site. You say there is “… no statistically significant trend…” in the CERES surface data; but is there a ‘best estimate’ warming trend and if so how close is this to statistical significance please?

        I ask because all the other surface data sets (GISS, HadCRUT4, NOAA, BEST) show statistically significant global warming between Jan 2000 and Feb 2017. See: http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html

        Of the TLT satellite sets, both UAH and RSS show ‘best estimate’ warming between those dates, with RSS very close to statistical significance (0.188 ±0.195 °C/decade (2σ)); though of course these are not surface data sets. Thanks.

  4. “Plant-based aerosols are the major player in terms of solar absorption. Go figure That would certainly not have been my first guess.”

    My first guess would be photosynthesis.

    If you say that the amount of sunlight absorbed by photosynthesis is insignificant, then I would say, to the extent that your opinion is true, that it is the current level of photosynthesis that is the problem.

  5. “More plants mean more plant aerosols”

    NASA says a 5% increase in clouds would cancel out all of global warming…

    If aerosols make clouds….and plants make aerosols….and the planet is greening

    …someone needs to crunch the numbers

    But isn’t overall humidity/water vapor going down?

    • The plant aerosols are water vapor? If so, since plants use less water with higher CO2 levels, thus a negative feedback to counter the extra plant growth.

    • “…a 5% increase in clouds would cancel out all of global warming”

      So would a 10% drop in the number of termites.

      The overall humidity. Can be represented by the ‘optical thickness’. Of. The atmosphere. Which is what we are really talking about. The optical thickness has been utterly constant for as long as NASA has been making measurements. That is why Miskolczi talks about it.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/08/comments-on-miskolczi%e2%80%99s-2010-controversial-greenhouse-theory/

      • Crispin in Waterloo saidith, to wit:

        The overall humidity. Can be represented by the ‘optical thickness’. Of. The atmosphere. Which is what we are really talking about. The optical thickness has been utterly constant for as long as NASA has been making measurements.

        Well now, I would think that iffen “overall humidity” can be represented by ‘optical thickness’, then is it not logical to assume that if the humidity concentration changes, ……. then the ‘optical thickness’ should also change?

        Anyway, lets “talk” humidity, ….. to wit:

        Quoted commentary by Willis Eschenbach, to wit:

        As I’ve mentioned before, I love the surprises that come from turning a huge mass of numbers into a picture. Here is what is the surprise of the 64,800 individual 1°x1° gridcell calculations was for me. See the red areas? Those are the areas where the largest percentage of incoming solar energy is being absorbed.

        [snip]

        The surprise to me was, it looks like the red areas (Figure 2) are from plant-generated aerosols. The Amazon rainforest, the tropical forest areas of Africa and Asia, the forested tropical islands of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, those were the main sources of aerosols.

        I did a “quick” check on those same red areas (Figure 2) and discovered that all of them are denoted as being “tropical” or “sub-tropical” ….. and which were also subject to extremely high ……. Monthly-Yearly Average humidity measurements (quantities).

        Is the above stated just a coincidence, ……. or does (especially high concentrations of) atmospheric H2O vapor (humidity) absorb/reflect any parts or portions of the incoming solar irradiance?

        Iffen, …. the Amazon rainforest and the tropical forest areas of central Africa show (Figure 2) “westward” floating, per se, contrails, ….. consisting of “plant-generated aerosols”, ……. then why doesn’t the similar areas of Indonesia, India, Papua New Guinea and western China also show similar “contrails” of said aerosols?

        • Sam sez:
          then why doesn’t the similar areas of Indonesia, India, Papua New Guinea and western China also show similar “contrails” of said aerosols?

          Good question.

    • What would be the result of the back radiation of the green light by plant leaves? In a tropical forest not a lot of solar radiation reaches the ground.

  6. “Now, the absorption of solar energy in the atmosphere is due to “aerosols”. In the most general sense, this is a term for a variety of chemicals and elements which are held aloft in the atmosphere.”

    Nonsense, it is mostly due to the near infrared absorption bands in water vapour. And is that 22% figure actually the sum of the absorption and the Rayleigh scattering?

    • So sayith did: Ulric Lyons

      Nonsense, it is mostly due to the near infrared absorption bands in water vapour.

      Ulric, I’m inclined to agree with you.

      This is what I just “posted” up above, to wit:

      Sam C ….. “ I did a “quick” check on those same red areas (Figure 2) and discovered that all of them are denoted as being “tropical” or “sub-tropical” ….. and which were also subject to extremely high ……. Monthly-Yearly Average humidity measurements (quantities).

      Is the above stated just a coincidence, ……. or does (especially high concentrations of) atmospheric H2O vapor (humidity) absorb/reflect any parts or portions of the incoming solar irradiance?

      Iffen, …. the Amazon rainforest and the tropical forest areas of central Africa show (Figure 2) “westward” floating, per se, contrails, ….. consisting of “plant-generated aerosols”, ……. then why doesn’t the similar areas of Indonesia, India, Papua New Guinea and western China also show similar “contrails” of said aerosols? ”
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/05/whats-absorbing-the-sun/#comment-2449780

  7. “Overall? I’d say what stands out is the stability, plus or minus half of a watt over the period.”

    That’s pause for thought. (pun)

  8. A few random observations of a beautiful and informative map (especially Fig. 2); thanks, w., for a true fusion of art and data.
    1. The plateaus and altiplanos of Tibet, Greenland, Antarctica, Colorado, SudAfrika, and the Andes run from 12 to 18 percent, averaging 15 percent, or about 2/3 of the global average. At a typical height of 700 mb, they’re above a third of the atmosphere, so the atmospheric absorption is somewhat proportional to the column depth of air above the terrain.
    2. The big red areas over the Amazon, Congo, and Indonesia mark out regions of lots of convective rainfall, which means lots of upward motion in the atmosphere. Those three locations mark the strongest pumping of the Haley circulation. Same for the nearby ocean areas, where the ITCZ shows up as a thinner red line (also lots of upward motion). That suggests to me that low level aerosols – plant stuff over land, salt spray over the ocean, and water vapor – is lifted into a vertically deep layer that can do plenty of absorption. There’s also lots of clouds – I don’t know how CERES factors that into absorption/reflection numbers.
    3. Likewise, around the Tropics of C and C, the dashed lines, over the oceans the absorption is less, since there’s subsidence that keeps the aerosols close to the surface.
    4. India and China sure have a lot of absorption, especially for their respective latitudes. Compare China with the eastern US, places with similar climates and rainfall. China has much more absorption. I wonder why.
    5. Canada, Siberia, and the southern Ocean are amazingly uniform at the global average. Go figure.

    • RE: China. That I found curious also. Given their industrialization and related pollution that might account for the aerosols? Any satellite datasets that show lower atmospheric ozone?

      • China has a massive black market problem with aerosols. It’s easily detectible and the authorities there started a crackdown in 2017 and ramped up again this year. The scale is massive and it’s mainly organized crime rings. Just do a search on “china black market cfc” and I am sure you will get enough background on the problem.

      • A great deal of it is from burning biomass badly. Black carbon from bad combustion has an enormous light absorbing power, over 600 times that of CO2. There is a great deal of lousy combustion going on throughout the large forests. Slash and burn. Agriculture is called that for a reason.

    • ” I’d kind of expected to see increased absorption near cities and industrialized areas of the northern hemisphere.

      But none of that was the case. ”

      Err, check out india and China.

    • Richard Keen,
      I agree that Willis is to be congratulated for the quality of his analysis and for providing us with Figure 2 in particular. I had similar thoughts to you that the detailed features of atmospheric absorption seen on the continents in Fig. 2 relate in part to altitude, but clearly this is not the case everywhere.

      Starting with the oceans:-
      1. The Southern Ocean between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle is typically coloured from light orange towards yellow (21%), whereas the Northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans between the tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle are typically coloured deeper orange (24%), a significant difference between the two hemispheres.
      2. In the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans the ITCZ is biased into the Northern hemisphere, this bias is not seen in the Indian Ocean, a difference caused by the effect of the Indian Ocean monsoon which pulls the locus of maximum atmospheric absorption to the north, onshore into India.
      3. In Indonesia the locus of maximum atmospheric absorption is back at the equator, but now located over the land masses.

      Looking at the effect of continental surface altitude:-
      1. The two major polar icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica both have low atmospheric absorption but notice that East Antarctica, which dominates with the lowest global values, also has much lower values than either West Antarctica or Greenland.
      2. In North America the part of the western Cordillera region centred on the desert state of Arizona and extending south into Mexico forms a region of low atmospheric absorption.
      3. In North Africa; The Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the Hoggar Mountains of Algeria, the Tibesti Mountains of Chad, the Aïr Mountains of Niger (faintly) and the Ethiopian Highlands can all be identified as regions of lower atmospheric absorption against the higher background values of the Saharan region.
      4. To the east in Asia; The Hijaz & Asir Mountains of western Saudi Arabia, the Zagros Mountains of Iran and the Hind Kush mountains of Afghanistan are all clearly identified.
      5. Finally north of the Himalaya is the Tibetan Plateau that has the lowest northern hemisphere values; this region is separated from the Mongolian Plateau to the north by the higher atmospheric absorption region of the Xinjiang trough and the Gobi Desert.

      Looking at the effect of continental surface altitude in the Southern Hemisphere the identifiable areas of low atmospheric absorption are not so clearly related to elevation:-
      1. In South America the Atacama Desert of Chile and the Patagonian region of Argentina both occur in areas of low atmospheric absorption on different sides of the Andes Mountains.
      2. In Southern Africa the Cape Province area of the Great Karoo, inland of the Great Escarpment, is clearly identified.
      3. Western Australia forms an identifiable area that includes, in the east, the Great Victoria Desert.

      The map that Willis has created for us is a chart of the atmosphere. It clearly combines both latitude features of global circulation, such as the ITCZ and the Asian monsoon, with elements that relate to zones of high elevation and therefore lower humidity.

      We can observe these effects of lower humidity related to elevation both in the Horse Latitudes under the descending limbs of the Hadley Cells (e.g. the Saharan massifs) and also in both Polar Regions where high elevation ice caps are located under the descending influence of the planetary Polar Vortices.
      On the poleward margin of each hemisphere’s Hadley Cell we can identify areas of Mediterranean climate, particularly in the southern hemisphere continents, but also in California and Morocco.
      The effects of mountain induced rain shadow can also be identified, both in the Andes (Patagonia) and also with the Himalayas (Tibet).

      Willis: I congratulate you on producing an analysis of satellite data that can clearly be used as a basis for the remote sensing classification of the world’s climatic zones.

  9. “And finally … less solar energy hitting the ground means cooler surface temperatures.” … not really!

    Only 2.5% of sun light make it to the surface of Venus, and temperatures there are not that low, if you will. It really should not matter where solar radiation is being absorbed, whether high up in the atmosphere, or below the water line (which is true for most solar radiation on Earth). The important question is rather where LWIR is getting emitted.

    Even more important however are clouds, and it seems funny how no one seems to understand.

    “This is a bit more than a fifth (22%) of incoming solar energy. It is also about the same amount of sunlight that is reflected by the clouds.”

    Right, clouds contribute the most part of Earths albedo. Assuming a 22% of 342W/m2 that would be 75W/m2 cloud albedo effect. This figure is much higher than what the IPCC likes to claim, like 44-50W/m2.

    Now clouds not just interfere with solar radiation, but also with terrestial LWIR. If clouds retain less LWIR than they reflect solar radiation, they will have a cooling effect obviously, and that exactly what is the IPCC states. The cloud “GHE” would amount to roughly 25-30W/m2, far less than the 75W/m2 named above.

    Weather data however tell a very different story. In real life average temperatures are always higher with clouds present, rather than with clear skies. And that is specifically true for low clouds in the tropics. Accordingly clouds will contribute >75W/m2 to the natural GHE.

    • “the higher atmospheric absorption region of the Xinjiang trough ”

      The Takla Makan desert (=”Xinjiang trough”) is an extremely dusty area, possibly the largest dust source of the Northern Hemisphere due to an abundant supply of fine materials from the surrounding mountains, extreme aridity and strong winds.

    • “Weather data however tell a very different story. In real life average temperatures are always higher with clouds present, rather than with clear skies. And that is specifically true for low clouds in the tropics. ”

      I have a hard time believing this. Perhaps at high latitudes where the warmth is imported from elsewhere.

      • No, that is NOT the reason. One would only put it that way, if physics were too complicated for a low IQ brain.

        What matters is where emissions go into space, or rather where they go unhindered into space. This defines the thermodynamic surface. On Venus this surface is very much defined by a very thick cloud layer. On top of this cloud layer Venus has just the temperature a perfect black body should have at that specific distance from the sun (~328K).

        Temperatures below that thermodymaic surface will then be largely determined by the adiabatic lapse rate. And yes, that is where the strong atmosphere and the high pressure on the firm surface come into play.

        However it is pivotal to understand, that if the clouds were removed, temperatures would fall off sharply on Venus, without a change in atmospheric pressure.

  10. All I know is that … ‘my people’ … come from the GREEN zone. And when we travel into the RED zones … my skin “absorbs” a LOT of solar energy. My demotoligist recommends an Urban sombrero for me. Nope. He says a ballcap is no good … gotta be a sombrero, amigo.

  11. “Warmer surface temperatures generally mean more plants. More plants mean more plant aerosols. More plant aerosols mean more atmospheric absorption of incoming solar. More atmospheric absorption of solar means less solar energy making it to the ground. And finally … less solar energy hitting the ground means cooler surface temperatures.”

    This sounds like more plants equal cooler temperatures. If more CO2 in the atmosphere leads to a greening of the planet does it follow that increased CO2 cools the planet?

  12. Given the global greening which is occurring it seems really surprising that plant aerosols are dropping slightly. What are your thoughts Willis?

  13. There was a recent WUWT story on clouds. That caused me to wonder how it is that Venus is so darn hot on the surface when it is shrouded in clouds.

    The following is pure conjecture.

    Clouds absorb as much energy as they transmit and reflect depending on the latitude, about a third for each effect.

    Absorbing energy will cause clouds to heat up. That will suppress convection. General atmospheric heating higher in the atmosphere will also suppress convection. Plus, clouds and atmosphere radiate toward the planet’s surface.

    It seems reasonable that, even if clouds and the atmosphere absorb energy which then doesn’t make it to the surface, the net result is that the surface becomes warmer for two reasons:

    1 – The surface will cool less because convection will be somewhat suppressed.
    2 – The surface will be somewhat warmed because of long wave infrared radiated downward by clouds and atmosphere.

    • The surface temperature of Venus is just about all due to two factors: density and composition. With a density of ~90 times Earth sea-level, and a composition of 95% carbon dioxide, it is the rare infrared photon that escapes. (Note that earlier Mariner and Venera flyby missions did indicate high temperatures from the IR emittance, but the actual surface temperature was not pinned down until the Venera 7 soft landing.) Convection is indeed suppressed, but not to an extreme extent. However, the upwelling from the surface does not reach into the upper troposphere like it does here, as the Venus troposphere is about three times as deep as ours. The composition also prevents the immense release of energy at the top of a convection column, carbon dioxide does not change phase at that altitude (even if it did, the energy released is quite a bit less than when water condenses).

      At altitude, temperature is still heavily influenced by composition. Where the pressure is close to Earth sea-level, the temperature is still a bit higher than a straight calculation based on the higher solar flux would seem to indicate. The difference is almost entirely due to a high concentration of aerosols at that level; the 50 kilometer level (where the pressure is ~ 1 bar) is right smack in the middle of the cloud deck. These aren’t our clouds, either. Venus only has ~ 20ppm of water in its atmosphere; these clouds are mostly composed of sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid.

      • … it is the rare infrared photon that escapes …

        That’s probably more due to the clouds and other atmospheric gases than due to CO2 which absorbs only in a few narrow bands.

        • I suspect it is few compared to the bombardment it gets sitting that close to the sun.

          CO2 having little effect other than “not condensing” like water does in the upper atmosphere. It just sits there as a hot gas.

        • I used to think that, too (that CO2 absorbs only in a few narrow bands). But given the much, much higher CO2 concentration compared to the 0.04% here on the Earth, and given the higher (approx. 90 times) overall pressure, the absorption bands are smeared sideways, so that the Venusian atmosphere is approximated as layers of black bodies which absorb and emit over almost all infrared (IR) frequencies. Molecular bands are composed of individual lines which are broadened by both the Doppler effect (higher temperatures mean higher molecular velocities) and by pressure broadening (when molecules are close to colliding, the energy levels are no longer the crisp, clearly defined ones of isolated individual molecules in empty space). And at higher temperatures, the wings of the molecular bands broaden, as the fraction of molecules in higher initial energy states E increases exponentially as the Boltzmann factor exp(-E/kT) where k is the Boltzmann constant.

          Here on the Earth, the extra absorption on doubling CO2 occurs not because the number of ground state (vibrational quantum number v=0) molecules increase (their lines are mostly saturated, and you can’t increase absorption much if it is already 99%), but because it nearly doubles the v=1 first excited state molecules which constitute only about 3% of all molecules, so their lines are not saturated, especially in the wings. You can see this in the MODTRAN computer-generated spectrum available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing . Doubling CO2 from 300 to 600 ppmv increases the area of the absorption ditch by only about 9%; this is the area between the green and blue curves, and corresponds mostly to absorption at 618 and 721 cm^-1 for the band origins, rather than 667 cm^-1 . For the energy level diagram of CO2, see the third diagram in the section “Spectral transitions” at http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com where you can see the energy level transitions from the bond-bending first excited state which is 667.4 cm^-1 above the ground vibrational state.

          Although the IPCC and the climate change hysterics have given computer models of the Earth’s temperature a bad name, the computer models for molecular absorption spectra are quite good, and it would be wrong and foolish to reject all models (the Ideal Gas Equation, PV=nRT, is a very good model, even though it does not predict the liquid state at low temperatures or the relative incompressibility of gases at pressures higher than 1000 atmospheres). Perhaps one of the best experts on molecular spectroscopy is Princeton’s William Happer, whose Wikipedia entry acknowledges his invention of sodium guide stars which have revolutionized the value of large, ground-based telescopes but nevertheless pans his views on climate change because he is a skeptic going against the 97% consensus; see https://en.wikipdia.org/wiki/William_Happer .

          • Oops, the link for William Happer should have read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Happer .

            I should also have noted that because both CO2 and H2O bands are not as smeared across in the Earth’s atmosphere, there are “windows” of relative transparency at certain IR frequencies. This is not the case for Venus, which is also covered by clouds of liquid sulfuric acid which also make the atmosphere approximated by black body layers which absorb and re-emit at all IR frequencies.

            It should also be noted that the homonuclear diatomic molecules N2 and O2 that make up 99% of our dry air do not possess permanent electric dipole moments, so they cannot and do not absorb or emit any significant IR radiation. So the climate change literature is wrong when it shows a very large amount of energy “emitted by the atmosphere” (e.g. in the Trenberth energy budget diagram). The total area under the MODTRAN modelled spectrum equals that of a 255 K Planck black body because we have equated the two areas and used the Stefan-Boltzmann law backwards to calculate that 255 K! The agreement between the two curves (actual spectrum closely modelled by MODTRAN – see the Fig. at http://climateaudit.org/?p=2572 which shows an actual satellite spectrum taken over Guam, and the 255 K Planck black body) is lousy at all but two frequencies where the curves cross.

            The calculation by Sir John Houghton of final escape of IR photons at 5 km altitude in the climateaudit link is all wrong, since it assumes that the Earth’s troposphere is closely modelled by Planck black body layers at all IR frequencies.

          • “So the climate change literature is wrong when it shows a very large amount of energy “emitted by the atmosphere” (e.g. in the Trenberth energy budget diagram).”

            Not at all. If you look at the spectrum taken above Guam you will notice that except for “the atmospheric window” where the radiation temperature is c. 300 K (=the sea surface temperature) the radiation temperatures varis from c. 215 to 280 K. This is because the radiation in these bands originate at various heights in the atmosphere where the temperature is lower.

          • You note the importance of the absorption in the 667.4 cm^-1 wavelength and in the Wikipedia links it shows the Plank curves at 20Km, which is above the tropopause (this being about 14km, but of course the height varies across the globe).

            Materially, it appears that none of the photons at this wavelength make their way down to the surface to be absorbed by the surface thereby warming the surface.

            See the following plot dealing with radiative transfer by height of the atmosphere. The dotted line at 14 Km denotes the tropopause.
            https://chiefio.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/stratosphere-radiation-by-species-1460.jpg

            One can see how CO2 in the 667.4 cm^-1 wavelength is really important above the tropopause from about 20 Km to over 60 Km. However, it is extremely material that no photons of these wavelengths are being back radiated to the surface.

            Note the gap between about 15 Km right down to the surface (0 Km) where there is no radiative transfers in the 667.4 cm^-1 wavelength band.

            Below the tropopause water vapour plays a role (one can see water vapour radiation touching the surface in narrow wavelengths), although the main energy transfers are conduction, convection, thermals, and evapo-transportation. It is only above the tropopause that CO2 plays a material role in transferring/carrying energy, which it does up to TOA where it is radiated away into the great void of space.

            From this plot it does not appear that CO2 plays any significant role in warming the surface.

          • There are lots of other GHG:s in the Venus atmosphere. For example CO, SO2, HCl and H2O (20 ppm of 65 atmospheres is a significant amount). Plus probably a lot of others we don’t even know about, such as various sulfur compounds and carbonyls.
            Also at such pressures even the 3,5 % nitrogen is a significant GHG due to collision-induced absorption.

    • Convection explicitly requires bulk transport of mass upward under buoyancy as an energy transport mechanism. For Venus, this would imply different fluids in a gaseous atmosphere. No large scale evidence of that on Venus. Radiative transfer is the mechanism of LW energy transport on Venus.
      (the lava lamp works because the wax and oil remain separated and have differing heat capacities. Similar with Jupiter and Saturn with ammonia and methane.)

      CO2 has a very strong absorption band centered at 4.2 microns. The high pressure broadening of Venus expands the absorption “wings” a bit to absorb 4.1 to 4.4 microns.

      Wein’s Displacement Law says:
      T = b/lambda(max) = 2.8977729(17)×10^−3 m⋅K / 4.1×10^-6 m = 673.9 K

      707 K = 433.6 deg C = 812 deg F.

      Very close to Venus observed surface temp.
      Coincidence?

  14. So you are saying that increased plant growth because of co2 will lead to a negative effect on the increased temperature caused by co2. What a wonderful world we live in!

  15. Remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols is quite difficult to interpret because water is included in the aerosols and the higher the relative humidity, the higher the water content of the aerosols. Thus aerosols in air masses with higher relative humidity take on more mass from condensed water and when the relative humidity is very high you get cloud/fog droplets/ice crystals that are dominated by water.

    My experience in reviewing lots of speciated particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size measurements from monitoring sites in Texas is that most of the dry mass (35% relative humidity) on average is dominated by smoke, dust, and sulfates (derived from sulfur dioxide gas), with only a small portion including other organic carbon (including bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and tiny broken bits of animal and plant matter), salt, and odd chemicals. The dust tends to be mostly from blowing dust which can be transported for thousands of miles from large dust storms and is dominated by silicon, aluminum, iron, and sometimes a little calcium. On rare occasions dust can include volcanic ash. All of this particle mass when suspended in the atmosphere will absorb some of the sunlight and I’m guessing it will absorb more sunlight when there is added water mass associated with higher relative humidities.

    NASA has monthly average maps of aerosol optical depth here and the high AOD areas are dominated by wind blown dust, smoke from forest fires and agricultural burning, as well as large amounts of human generated smoke in India and China:
    https://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/global-maps/MODAL2_M_AER_OD

    Unfortunately in a quick search I didn’t find any global AOD maps averaged over many years, although I have seen them in the past.

    NASA also has additional global maps here:
    https://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/global-maps

    • “Unfortunately in a quick search I didn’t find any global AOD maps averaged over many years”

      Here, 2000-2010:

      https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ContentFeature/Aerosols/images/aod_msr_200006-201005.jpg

      The big sources are the Sahel zone in Africa, Rub-al-Khali and Takla-Makan (but not Gobi!) deserts, the densely inhabited parts of India and China (including the Szechuan basin). These are all obvious.

      I am more mystified by the concentrations in Gulf of Guinea coast-Congo Basin, SE Amazonia and Indonesia. Widespread forest burning?

      • Thanks tty, that looks similar to what I remember seeing. The high AOD in the Gulf of Guinea coast-Congo Basin area is probably from agricultural burning and related forest fires as is the case with the weaker signatures in northwestern Brazil, southeast Asia, and Indonesia.

      • The Sahel is the playground for dry but dusty Harmattan winds. The chronically overcast Gulf of Guinea littoral is also densely populated by wood-burning peoples. Natural fires are very rare in tropical forests and there’s no one source for all natural aerosols. Very different species seem to produce similarly great optical depths.

    • Bryan
      Thanks for posting. Your comments as an experienced professional data analyst are much appreciated.
      Here are some more of my thoughts about Figure 2.

      A number of contributors to this thread have addressed the question – Is this cumulative plot a measure of aerosols (solid particulates), condensed water droplets (clouds), humidity (molecular water in its vapour i.e. gaseous phase) or a combination of all of these atmospheric components?

      I have always been interested in the process by which this planet can be cooled by thermal radiation passing from a solid ground surface directly through the semi-transparent window of the gaseous atmosphere and out into space and how this radiative cooling mechanism varies by both altitude and by latitude. The plot Willis presents in Figure 2 allows for an assessment to be made of these areas.

      The geological evidence of progressive planetary cooling over the course of the last 23 million years, since the start of the Miocene, is well documented. The global climatic change associated with the development of the high elevation surface of the Antarctic continental icecap and also the formation in the northern hemisphere of the high plateau of Tibet, are both regions that permit direct thermal radiation to space through a thin (low surface pressure) and dry (low humidity) atmosphere.

      Starting with East Antarctica; the coldest, driest and highest average elevation continental land mass on Earth, this is the region with the globally lowest Atmospheric Absorption values of 12%. The icecap is located under the descending dry air of the polar vortex; it has the thinnest overlying atmosphere with the greatest transparency that permits the most efficient direct cooling of the ground to space.

      West Antarctica and Greenland are also continental icecaps but with a lower atmospheric absorption of 18%. One possible explanation for this difference is that both of these icecaps experience marine influenced air masses and therefore have a higher snowfall accumulation than the dry ice desert of East Antarctica. But is it vapour humidity or solid aerosols that are being measured In Figure 2? Well we know that it snows a lot in Greenland, so we must now add ice crystals to our list of solid aerosols being detected and displayed.

      Next consider the Atacama Desert of Chile. The Atacama is the driest desert on Earth; it receives less measured precipitation than the ice desert of East Antarctica. The extreme dryness of the Atacama, located in the orographic induced rain shadow of the Andes, is further enhanced by the forced descent of the upper air at the poleward limit of the southern hemisphere Hadley Cell. The Atacama Desert therefore provides a convincing example of the importance of forced air descent in controlling the mid latitude locations of low atmospheric absorption. These are places, not associated with the polar vortex, that also permit the direct thermal emission from ground to space and are a critical thermoregulatory feature of our fast rotating planet. On Earth they form low latitude regions of enhanced radiative cooling that are not present and can never have formed on slowly rotating Venus, where the Hadley Cell instead extends unbroken from the equator to the Venusian poles.

      The Great Karoo of Cape Province in South Africa is “partly defined by its topography, geology and climate, and above all, its low rainfall, arid air, cloudless skies, and extremes of heat and cold.” The presence of this region of low atmospheric absorption on Figure 2 suggests that it is the low humidity of this area that is being detected rather than the low occurrence of aerosols.

      So what about the Saharan and Arabian Deserts? Both of these deserts are located under the influence of the descending limb of the northern hemisphere Hadley Cell and have generally high values of atmospheric absorption (24 to 27%) particularly in regions of low topographic elevation, for example the Chad Basin and the Rub’ al Khali (the Empty Quarter).

      So is this aerosol dust or perhaps high humidity? The Aerosol Optical Depth chart posted by tty shows dust in the Sahel and also the Empty Quarter, but what causes the dust to fly?

      During the course of my geoscience training I was fortunate to be involved as a student in a hydrological analysis of Sebkha Kelbia in central Tunisia. I well remember standing on a flat roof in Sousse one evening in March watching a major thunderstorm track east from the mountain peaks around Jebel ech Chambi. As the storm passed over the plain of Kairouan the lightning bolts from the convective cells burst down from the cloud base following the descending virga, the falling plumes of precipitation that evaporate before the water reaches the ground. As the falling rain evaporated in the hot low level air, the lightning bolts failed to strike the ground, instead they were forced to follow a curved U shaped track and re-enter the convective cloud layer above.

      This remains a vivid memory of the dramatic effect of high level humidity producing convective storms overlying low level dry desert air. In the Sahel, where convective summer storms associated with the northward track of the West African monsoon form aloft and also produce virga, here the descending air from these storms continues down below the zone of evaporation, and on reaching the ground, creates a surface dust storm or haboob. No moisture aloft means no convection and therefore no precipitation induced downdrafts, without which there would be no dust storms. Therefore we have in Figure 2 a commingling of these two possibilities, both upper atmospheric moisture and surface dust into a single measurement.

      So why do I consider mid latitude regions of high elevation and low atmospheric absorption, such as the Tibetan Plateau to be so important? The planetary cooling Earth has experienced during the last tens of millions of years leading up to the current series of ice ages shows us that our planet is vulnerable to the risk of cold death and not heat death. The idea that the Earth could ever become like Venus is simply not geologically possible. This is because it is the speed of planetary rotation that determines the latitude reach and locus of the poleward limit for the Hadley Cell. This mid latitude limit on a fast rotating planet means that appropriately located areas of high elevation can provide additional high atmospheric transparency “leak points” for venting heat from the solid ground directly into space.

      Slow rotating Venus, unlike Earth only has the two polar vortices that can ever have permitted direct planetary surface radiation to space. This is the reason why Venus experienced a “run-away greenhouse effect” and also the reason why the fast rotating Earth did not and still cannot. The fast rotation of the Earth ensures that, unlike Venus, the Hadley Cell is forced to descend in mid latitudes. This process of forced descent to the surface of upper atmospheric air creates a second zone where direct surface to space radiative cooling can occur on the Earth in addition to the two polar vortices. This rotationally induced pattern of atmospheric circulation permits the possibility that, throughout geologic time, tectonically created high elevation regions, such as the Tibetan plateau, can act as additional heat ventilation leak points that work in addition to the polar vortices and will enhance planetary surface to space radiation induced cooling.

      As an additional safety net planet Earth has an abundant supply of low pH buffered surface water (aka the salt water oceans). These oceans permit the geochemical mechanism that removes from the atmosphere the volcanically emitted gases CO2 & SO2 and through a process of lithic sequestration places them in the ground, thereby forming a safe repository of solid limestone and gypsum mineral rocks.

  16. My two cents.
    In November the Earth is speeding up in its orbit around the sun as it approaches perihelion. Currently perihelion occurs January 2. The moon though also is a player with its own tidal and orbital effects. This 3 body system appears unpredictable, like ENSO. But La Nina coming in on or about November is predictable as the orbital-spin momentum transfer induces the atmospheric (Southern Oscillation) pressure change to speed up the Trade Winds.

    Because the moon’s effects cannot be ignored in this effect, this is a much more complicated (chaotic) problem than Mars and predicting when Mars Global Dust Storms will occur due to its minor eccentricity orbit around the sun.

      • If ENSO cycles occurred with eclipse-like timing, the problemof ENSO timing would have been solved long ago. Simply determining Lunar and solar eclipses were figured out centuries ago.

        Solving the gravity/tidal interactions in conjunction with orbital eccentricity to understand ENSO Southern Oscillation pressure changes in its pseudo-periodicity is an NP hard problem.

        James Shirley at NASA/JPL has likely cracked the code on orbit-spin momentum transfers for Mars that predict when the thin atmosphere on Mars undergoes a pressure pattern shift to excite a global dust storm, as has just occurred.

        Earth is much more complex (an NP hard problem) due to the liquid ocean currents shifting mass and the moon pulling back on Earth (tidal forces). These team up to make ENSO timings appear chaotic within a range of years, but that the onsets when they occur are generally predictable. As Willis notes the La Nina onset is almost always in November.
        Which is when the Earth is speeding up as it approaches perihelion.

          • You made an extension to something out of the context of the topic. You put words in my mouth I did not utter. I did not talk of the relatively simple problem of predicting lunar or Earth occultations of the sun. The fault is yours.

          • No Joel, the orbits of the Earth, Moon, Sun is a three body problem. You said, ““This 3 body system appears unpredictable.” I showed you a prediction for 10 years from now. Not only the date and year, but if you want, I can get you the start and end time for any geographical location that will have the shadow of the moon cross it.

          • Joel was not referring to the actual orbits. He was referring to the wobbles of the planets, changes to the axial tilt, and changes in the precession. All of those can effect the climate. Everybody knew that except you David Dirkse . Please be more circumspect before you attack someone who knows more than you do.

          • Those “wobbles” are also predictable to a very high degree of accuracy. Ever heard of Milankovich?
            And please note astronomer point their telescopes based on the assumption that they know exactly in which direction an object will be at a given time, and exactly how that direction will change. And they manage to get sharp images.

          • DD,

            Joel is a scientist. You don’t even play one on a blog.

            Joel is also a great American who has served his country in uniform.

            Please state what are your qualifications for commenting here. Were your comments to stand on their own, there would be no need to ask.

            But, sadly, they don’t. Hence. inquiring minds want to know. What do you know?

        • Joel, might I suggest that a careful analysis of the ENSO timings ARE the solution to the NP hard problem, or 3 body problem you mention? The problem isnt “hard” for the system to solve!

    • “My two cents. … This 3 body system appears unpredictable.” One cent at most. Astronomy is a science, climastrology is not.

  17. Now, the absorption of solar energy in the atmosphere is due to “aerosols”.

    Do [a] aerosols or [b] water vapor absorb light in the highest proportion?

    Let me note that this is quite a different interpretation than the normal one, where a warm equatorial Pacific Ocean temperature is called “El Nino” and a cool ocean is called “La Nina”. This is a functional definition of the La Nina Pump, seen as starting when the ocean is warm and ending when the ocean is cool.

    Figure 5 shown below from ‘The La Nina Pump’ has the same indices – but without the solar part I had put forth several times in the comment sections in a graphic of mine, months before that article, in a different format:

    https://4k4oijnpiu3l4c3h-zippykid.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/standardized-nino-indices.png

    Willis has confused the effect for the cause by showing the ocean response to the real cause, the sun, and re-framing/re-naming it as the cause, the ‘La Nina Pump’, while ignoring the variable sun’s driving role.

    Every ENSO indice in his plot was also in my graphic, where I cross-correlated them all individually with solar cycle TSI over four cycles. The equatorial ocean clearly responds to solar cycle energy in a repeatable pattern, as seen in the data since 1979:

    https://s20.postimg.cc/kbxyfgthp/Cross_Correlations_of_Climate_and_Solar_Indices.jpg

    The La Nina pump is a misnomer of sorts, as it’s really riding solar cycle TSI, making the sun the real pump.

    • Sir, you can recommend people read the standard meteorology & oceeonography text books on the subject matter, before coming up with some new inventions!!!

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Who is the person you are referring to about coming up with new inventions?

        The la nina pump nomenclature is Willis’ invention. Did you criticize his new invention?

        Or are you criticizing me because you don’t like, or understand, or approve of how I’ve advanced understanding by including the real driver, solar activity, because I show ENSOs are more than just water sloshing around, like the standard text books say? Is that it?

  18. Willis,

    You said, “A number of aerosols are human-generated. I’d kind of expected to see increased absorption near cities and industrialized areas of the northern hemisphere.”

    It looks to me like your expected effect is present in SE China.

    • When I was trying to get an equation to estimate total (global) solar radiation for the northeast Brazil, I found overestimates along the north coast — sea spray affect of Albedo. Sea spray acts as condensation nuclei.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Perhaps the aerosol pollution around modern cities isn’t enough to make an effect at this scale. Whereas China and India are more of the dirty vehicle type pollution (though I wouldn’t think Northern China would be so red).

      I do see a red spot centred over Belgium and Germany. There’s a gentle slide of gradient over Russia from 21% to 24% too.

      There are a lot of interesting features within figure2.

  19. Willis asks:
    Who knew? Likely somebody, but certainly not me …
    Well the answer would appear to be Climate Scientists. After all they are the ones who put the satellite up in the first place. And the have been including the spatial patterns of aerosol distributions in global climate models since at least 2002. Have a look at “Predicting global aerosol size distributions in general circulation models” (https://doi.org/10.1029/2001JD001010 ) for more information. In addition the source code with the aerosol distribution can be found online as well for the GISS model.

  20. Okay Willis you started it . Now you will have to help finish this. It seems we need a life cycle diagram of aerosols now. They seem to be even more important than CO2. The climate scientists cant even agree on the % of human caused versus natural. I have seen a range of 25% to 51% for the anthropogenic emissions of aerosols.

    On another note. Take Nasa or Trenberth’s earth energy budget but forget about the figures for DWIR and the preposterous earth figure of emitting more than 100% of original solar. An equilbrium diagram can be drawn up without those 2 figures. I have worked backwards(from the hydrological numbers) on the evaporation figure of 86.4W/m^2 and verfied that it is indeed in the ballpark. The other 2 figures that we can be confident of reality ,is the initial solar of 340.3 and your figure 77.1 from Ceres on absorption of the solar by the atmosphere which is bang on the amount shown by NASA in their diagram. The other figure that CERES has meaured is outgoing LWIR. However for compete equilibrium it would have to be 240.4. However NASA gives 239.9 which means there is a 0.5 W imbalance shortfall which NASA is implying causes global warming. Do the CERES data support NASA’s deficit or is there an actual equlibrium?

    The last question is ? Are there any other figures in the energy budget diagram that are solidly based in real measurements or are the rest just estimates?

    • Alan,
      Again read the literature. Analysing the energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere is hard due to issues with calibration of the satellite’s sensors. However it would appear from
      https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00294.1
      that the CERES data shows a consistent energy imbalance of about 0.9 W/m^2 since the start of the century. The data itself can be found at
      https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/products.php?product=EBAF-TOA
      All of which provides direct evidence that the earth is warming.

      • The links you gave are general links to a website . Absolutely no details of what you are referring to. I am not doubting what you are saying, but I don’t have the time to research the website to confirm what you are saying. I would find it more useful if you did a cut and paste and posted that. Not trying to be rude but those websites are huge and navigating through them can be awkward.

        • Alex,
          Look at Fig. 9 in the paper that the first URL links to. It shows the energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere as measured by the CERES satellites since 2002. The raw data itself can be downloaded from the 2nd website.

          • The first link just takes me to the home page. Direct linking to the paper on google takes me to the same home page. Maybe you subscribe to ametsoc and can link directly to the paper. I don’t pay for information and prefer to get my knowledge for free.

      • Percy

        Accepting your other point, “warming” goes too far. If the energy is being converted to biomass, it is not warming, it is storing energy.

        • Crispin, excellent point. I’m always amazed how linear the thinking is on the warming. “Enthalpy”and thermodynamic “Work” seem never to get a mention nor the “Great Greening^тм”, which has definitely scared the Team into silence (or idiotic “explanations” of how bad it is) with an 18% increase in “leaf cover” and fattening of existing tree/shrub stock over the past 35yrs.

          Note, not only has the greening sequestered ~100Gt of carbon (a back of envelope calc I’ve presented a few times in comments a WUWT), but the greening is exponential and is an endothermic reaction.

        • The comment was meant for Alan. Thanks for the next link. I stand corrected. Ceres does mention errors. The possible errors are much larger than the alleged imbalance.

        • I will 1st quote the last paragraph of the paper by Trenberth that you site .

          “Yet, closure of the observed energy budget over the past 5 years remains largely elusive for interannual variations (Trenberth 2009; Trenberth and Fasullo 2010). While some of the previously missing energy is accounted for, substantial discrepancies between OHC and CERES at interannual time scales persist and are especially prominent during 2008/09. Thus, state-of-the-art observations and basic analysis are unable to completely account for recent energy variability at interannual time scales, since they provide either an incoherent narrative or imply error bars too large to make the products useful. Both TOA radiation and OHC datasets need to be improved further. A vital need exists for OHC datasets of at least seasonal resolution, with care taken to reduce spurious noise, if real variations in nature are to be adequately understood.”

          Also I will quote from a study 1 year earlier that says

          “Fluxes leaving Earth at the
          TOA are also well documented, although inherently less accurate
          with an uncertainty of ±4 Wm –2 on the net TOA ux that mostly
          stems from calibration errors on measurements of the outgoing
          uxes12,15. is uncertainty is almost an order of magnitude larger
          than the imbalance of 0.58 ±0.4Wm–2 inferred from OHC infor-
          mation1 ”

          https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260208782_An_update_on_Earth%27s_energy_balance_in_light_of_the_latest_global_observations
          (PDF) An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations.

          So no one knows whether the earth is in balance or not. The best anybody can do is to look at the raw CERES data. Even though the raw data has a large error factor , we can say that it shows no decrease in outgoing TOA IR over the satellite time period, as Willis has pointed out in separate articles on WUWT.

          • “So no one knows whether the earth is in balance or not.”

            Yes we do (know it’s out of balance) …

            https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png

            https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

            “It is shown that an ocean reanalysis with multivariate dynamical data assimilation features much better agreement with TOA radiation, and 44% of the vertically integrated short-term OHC trend for 2005–14 of 0.8 ± 0.2 W m−2 (globally) occurs below 700-m depth. Largest warming occurs from 20° to 50°S, especially over the southern oceans, and near 40°N in all ocean analyses. Earth’s energy imbalance (EEI) is estimated to be 0.9 ± 0.3 W m−2 for 2005–14.”

            https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0339.1

            And:

            “According to the most up-to-date estimates, the top 10 warmest years of the ocean (indicated by OHC change at upper 2000m) are all in the most recent decade after 2006, with 2015-2016 the warmest period among the past 77 years. The heat storage in the ocean amounts to an increase of 30.4×1022 Joules (J) since 1960, equal to a heating rate of 0.33 Watts per square meter (W m-2) averaged over the entire Earth’s surface— and 0.61 W m-2 after 1992. For comparison, the increase in ocean heat content observed since 1992 in the upper 2000 meters is about 2000 times the total net generation of electricity by U.S. utility companies in 2015.

            https://phys.org/news/2017-09-ocean-temperature-vital-revealing-earth.html

            [Another duplicate. .mod]

          • “(PDF) An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations.”

            Except that is not “in the light of the latest global observations”

            “So no one knows whether the earth is in balance or not.”

            Yes we do (know it’s out of balance) …

            https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png

            https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

            “It is shown that an ocean reanalysis with multivariate dynamical data assimilation features much better agreement with TOA radiation, and 44% of the vertically integrated short-term OHC trend for 2005–14 of 0.8 ± 0.2 W m−2 (globally) occurs below 700-m depth. Largest warming occurs from 20° to 50°S, especially over the southern oceans, and near 40°N in all ocean analyses. Earth’s energy imbalance (EEI) is estimated to be 0.9 ± 0.3 W m−2 for 2005–14.”

            https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0339.1

            And:

            “According to the most up-to-date estimates, the top 10 warmest years of the ocean (indicated by OHC change at upper 2000m) are all in the most recent decade after 2006, with 2015-2016 the warmest period among the past 77 years. The heat storage in the ocean amounts to an increase of 30.4×1022 Joules (J) since 1960, equal to a heating rate of 0.33 Watts per square meter (W m-2) averaged over the entire Earth’s surface— and 0.61 W m-2 after 1992. For comparison, the increase in ocean heat content observed since 1992 in the upper 2000 meters is about 2000 times the total net generation of electricity by U.S. utility companies in 2015.

            https://phys.org/news/2017-09-ocean-temperature-vital-revealing-earth.html

          • “(PDF) An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations.”

            Except that is not “in the light of the latest global observations”

            https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png

            https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

            https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0339.

            https://phys.org/news/2017-09-ocean-temperature-vital-revealing-earth.html

            [Another duplicate. .mod]

          • According to Lord Monckton, the net anthropogenic forcing as of 2018 (according to the IPCC) = 2.85 W/m^2 (includes 2/3 of negative aerosol forcing added back in). Because this supposed excess of heat each year isnt really increasing the air temperatures very much, all the alarmist climate scientists are saying that the heat is going to the oceans and eventually will come back to bite us. Trenberth ‘s famous “missing heat comment comes to mind”. I wanted to check the amount of actual heat flux that the alarmists scientists say is actually hiding in the oceans all this time. The time scale will be 1955 to 1998 because that is when the period of data that was analyzed ; ended for the important study done in 2004 and published in 2005.

            https://www.scribd.com/document/24701910/Ocean-Warming

            with Levitus et al on Warming of the World’s Ocean 1955-2003. That study was the 1st one to actually numerate the total amount of extra forced heat flux that the atmosphere dissipated(because of global warming) to either the oceans, melting of continental glaciers, heat permanently absorbed by the troposphere, Antarctic melting, melting of mountain glaciers, melting of northern hemisphere sea ice, and melting of Arctic sea ice.

            They give a figure detailing each of the above categories. The total of all categories is 17.3 x10^22 joules. By far the most important one
            is the ocean absorbed heat. The authors state that it is 83.8% of the total or 14.5 X 10^22 joules for the Zero to 3000 metre depth. We will call this the OHC%. Ocean heat content % This amount came from the studies of ocean plankton!!!!!! used as a proxy for ocean temperatures. This data is apparently stored in the WORLD OCEAN DATABASE (Conkright et al 2002). In the study they state that the period of 1957 -1990 is used as a reference period for their estimates. They have had to use estmates of the linear trend for 6 ocean areas covering the globe, presumably because even though their plancton datbases contain over 2 million data points, even that is not enough to cover all 6 parts of the oceans. of course they combine that with the old bucket and expendable bath thermograph measurements. These days all the researchers use the Argo buoy float data and the plancton based database seems to have been forgotten. It may be because of the following. I am not familiar with using plancton as a proxy for seawater temperatures as an after the fact historical measurement. However the following study says some very important things on the matter.

            https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/spo/FishBull/70-4/eppley.pdf

            “Temperature does not seem to be very important in the production of phytoplankton in the sea.”

            Nevertheless the author presses on to find a maximum temperature that sets an upper limit on plancton growth rates. In the study the limit on temperature seems close to 40C. It is not saying that the temperature of the water cannot exceed 40C; only that the plancton growth curve levels off after that. Using this kind of proxy to estimate sea temperatures is fraught with huge error bars, but the important point is that the supposed total of 17.3 x10^22 joules that was the result of 50 years of imaginary forcing has not gone away. Present day climate scientists are still using the OHC% figures today and the media are going along with this of course. However it is curious that over the years, the OHC% figure has crept up from 83.8% to 93% . However since the invention of the Argo float buoy data, no one talks about plancton heat studies anymore. My contention is that I will prove that the accumulated heat that was found from these studies was bogus anyway. The result will be that even though the alarmists will argue that that heat will eventually cause CAGW, they have no credible source for the amount of heat that was hidden away and they are increasingly desperate ( because of the ARGO float buoy data) to show that any modern day heat is being hidden away in the deep oceans.

            The 1st study mentioned above was where the breadcrumbs ended up in my search for the now often quoted “93% OHC% of the heat radiative imbalance in the atmosphere ends up in the ocean”. This is important for the following reason. When the UHA satellite temperature data set finally nails down that there is no atmospheric warming or very little, the alarmists will fall back on their 2nd line of defense “The oceans are warming because of CO2 back radiation and we will all die from this heat when it gets released to the atmosphere from its very long cycle of deep ocean currents and heat capacity”.

            So a study that can prove that the oceans are warming is important. Unfortunately for the alarmists, the ARGO ocean buoys are increasingly showing that the amount of heat increase in the oceans is so minimal as to be laughable with estimates of 400- 600 years for a 1C rise. The buoys came into existence after the top study was finished. However the 80% figure has persisted and even increased in time and every study on ocean temperatures now always quote the OHC% figure. Even though the ARGO buoys are hard to argue against for the alarmists, the oceans are so vast and deep; that they will say that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean and will some day come back to haunt us. Most ARGO floats are good for depths down to 2000 metres but the newer ones are now measuring down to 4000 metres. Every time the data comes back that there is no increase in heat for certain depths, the alarmists say that the heat has sunk even further down. That is why we skeptics will never be able to prove that the oceans are not hiding the heat because it is a perfect deep umeasurable sink for their heat global warming meme. The big problem for the alarmists is that it conflicts with the “Climate Change has already happened meme and is causing all our extreme weather events.” However my purpose here; is to show that mostly based on the top study above, the alarmists position of total heat flux hiding in the deep ocean doesn’t add up. As usual with one lie built on top of a 1000 lies, the whole meme breaks down when you really look at the data. We skeptics have 2 things on our side 1) the truth 2) there is no central body of alarmist central office coordinating all the lies so that they can fit together as 1 credible thesis of global warming. Michael Mann tries to do this but even he cant keep up with 1000’s of researchers and 100’s of organizations that every once in a while let the truth slip out or else present stats to counter the global warming groupthink.

            So Let us start from the beginning of my quest for the origin of the “80-93% of missing heat is in the oceans” figure and follow the breadcrumbs back to the top study. My quest began with a June 2017 released study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences called “Distinct global warming rates tied to multiple ocean surface temperature changes”. This was dealt with in a WUWT article on June 13, 2017. The bogus main graph of that study combines the plancton data mentioned above with computer generated data for the latest years along with Hadcrut4 data. This is the study that Anthony Banton is now referring to. The authors of that Chinese study DID NOT USE ARGO FLOAT DATA by itself. Instead they used the MET office Hadcrut 4 dataset which combines HADSST3 DATA(ARGO FLOAT DATA) WITH CRUTEM4 DATA. The CRUTEM4 data is land based data. This is preposterous. Since there are almost 4000 ARGO buoys floating in all the world’s oceans , why would you combine that data with land data to give you sea temperature data? One single reason.THE ARGO FLOAT BUOY DATA DO NOT SHOW THAT THE OCEANS ARE WARMING. The latest ARGO float data have shown that the oceans are warming in some places and cooling in others with the net result that

            “After an upward bump in April 2017 due to the Tropics and NH, the May SSTs show the average declining slightly. Note the Tropics recorded a rise, but not enough to offset declines in both hemispheres and globally. SH is now two months into a cooling phase. The present readings compare closely with April 2015, but currently with no indication of an El Nino event any time soon.”

            https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/ocean-cooling-resumes/

            The alarmists don’t like to mention the ARGO float data (Scripps dataset) because it contradicts their message. The Chinese study used computer simulations and land surface temperatures to analyze ocean temperatures????????????????????????????
            I then switched my attention to a 2016 NCAR study by Trenberth himself and referred to by Anthony Banton as proof of ocean warming. In that study Trenberth attempts to show ocean heat content as increasing. However Trenberth uses 8 different datasets to try to prove this including reanalysis data simulated by models!!!!!!!!!!. The really important data are the data from the ARGO floats (Scripps dataset) which Trenberth tries to dismiss with comments like. ” Von Schuckmann et al. (2014) show how the omission of the Indonesian region in Argo analyses can miss as much as a 20% increase in global sea level. but the Argo analyses contain a lot of noise, thought to originate mainly from mesoscale eddies and details of the thermocline and its changes over time.”

            What this has to do with ocean heat content is your guess. It is interesting that in Table 1 he gives the trends for the 8 different data sets except that the trend for the CERES data is missing. All in all even in the conclusions he says

            “For this period, the energy imbalance is estimated to be 0.9 ± 0.3 W m−2. This includes small contributions from the non-ocean climate system components [0.04 W m−2 for 2004–08 by Trenberth (2009), 0.07 W m−2 in the 2000s increasing from about 0.03 W m−2 in the 1990s by Hansen et al. (2011), and 0.03 W m−2 from 1993 to 2008 by Church et al. (2011)] and from the deep ocean [0.07 W m−2 (Purkey and Johnson 2010)] (although ORAP5 included a 0.015 W m−2 contribution from below 2000 m). The global OHC component 0–2000 m is assessed to be 0.8 ± 0.2 W m−2. ”

            So from the 8 data sets, 0.1 W /m^2 per year increase in ocean heat content is not something to worry about. Even more important is that the ARGO data set which shows the lowest overall warming over the 9 year period of 0.45W/m^2 +/- 0.1W/m^2 is dismissed because it contains a lot of noise. (See above). Don’t forget that this rate of increase of W/m^2 forcing is equivalent to 0.03C/ decade. So a 1C increase will take 333 years. And that is only the top 2000 metres. The oceans can absorb much more heat in lower depths which can reach 6 miles in some places.

            I then switched my attention to a 2016 NASA study that came out titled “Warming of the global Ocean : Spatial Structure and Water Mass trends”. I will dismiss that study by simply quoting from the study “To support the results from the observational datasets we analyze the Simple Ocean Data Assimilation reanalysis ……..SODA fills in the missing data by optimizing the model physics and forcing….”

            Then I switched to a 2015 study by Roemmich that is titled “Unabated planetary warming and its ocean structure since 2006”. While the 2015 study is paywalled, reporters did mention a 93% OHC%. In the study the authors mention “Global mean SST has increased by about 0.1 [degrees Celsius per] decade since 1951 but has no significant trend for the period 1998-2013.” It is interesting to quote Trenberth on commenting on the 2015 study ” It is disappointing that they do not use our stuff (based on ocean reanalysis with a comprehensive model that inputs everything from SST, sea level, XBTs and Argo plus surface fluxes and winds) ” ……”It is a nice paper but sad that oceanographers are slow to utilize all of the available information to produce better estimates. They seem to take pride in… “exclusive use of Argo” data with no use of anything else, including sea level.”

            So Trenberth believes that models will give a better estimate of sea water temperature than actual observations. Such is the sad state of climate alarmism today.

            WUWT covered this topic in 2016 in an article criticizing another study called “15 years of ocean observations with the global Argo array”. In that 2016 study Riser claimed the 90% OHC% figure. I should also mention NASA’s contribution to this topic.

            I ntracked down the report where the 93% OHC%(mentioned above) was used.
            https://www.carbonbrief.org/beneath-the-waves-how-the-deep-oceans-have-continued-to-warm-over-the-past-decade

            In the media article above; where Trenberth was quoted, it mentions his study in 2013. “Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content” Because of Trenberth’s penchant for using models I didnt bother reading much of his study. However he left an important breadcrumb. “Over the past 50 years, the oceans have absorbed about 90% of the total heat added to the climate system(Bindoff et al 2007).”

            In Bindoff’s lead author contribution to the IPCC Assessment papers of 2007, Bindoff does not mention the OHC% content, but the other IPCC report by Lead authors Monika Rhein and Stephen Rintoul do. They say 93% again. and they left 3 more breadcrumbs 1) by Domingues 2008(for studies from 0 to 700 metres, 2) Levitus 2012 for depths from 700-2000 metres and 3) Purkey and Johnson 2010 for 2000 metres to the bottom.

            Dominigues gives a total heat flux of 16+ or – 3 x 10^22 joules from 1961 to 2003 which is in the same ballpark of the 2004 Levitus study referenced in my 1st paragraph. But that figure only inculdes the top 700 metres.

            Levitus 2012 was dealt with by Willis Eschenbach in a devastating critique on WUWT.

            The Purkey and Johnson study left me another breadcrumb by saying ” Over the past few decades, roughly 80% of the energy resulting from this imbalance has gone into heating the oceans (Levitus et al. 2005)”

            So now we have worked our way back to the study that I referenced in the 1st paragraph. The Levitus study was actually finished in 2004 but not published till January 2005.
            So let us do the numbers . As you will recall in the 3rd paragraph above , the total heat content was 17.3 x10^22 joules. This a time period from 1955 to 1998. The total solar insolation assuming nearly constant of 340W/m^2 all during that time would be 2.35 x 10^26 joules based on a total earth surface of 5.1 x 10^14 m^2. This is 1358.38 times the amount of heat that got trapped ( according to the alarmists). or 3% per year. which works out to 10W/m^2 per year. Compare that to what Lord Monckton says is the present day alarmist figure of 2.85W/m^2 that is getting trapped , you can see that there is a big discrepancy. Since the total heat trapped figure was basically taken from plancton studies which are now all but forgotten because of their inaccuracies and modern day Argo buoys, it is no wonder that the alarmists do not tell you exactly how much heat is down in the Mariana trench (11000 metres deep) and elsewhere in the deep ocean hiding away. It is because they have no credible source for the amount.

            As a skeptic, I dispute their present day figure of earth energy imbalance of 2.85 W/m^2 especially since the CERES data give an imbalance of 0.58 W/m^2 with an uncertainty of the total outgoing TOA of + or – 4W/m^2. I would like somebody to prove the earth energy balance equation with the parts that have had exact measurements and the parts that are only estimates. NASA figures give 5 or 6 W/m^2 which are pure fantasy based on their diagram. I accept the solar input figure of 340 W/m^2 and the atmosphere absorption of 77.1 W/m^2 and the evapotranspiration figure of 86.4 W/m^2. The outgoing figure of 240 W/m^2 is in the ballpark but impossible to say if it is balanced or not with the solar input. All other figures are only estimates or are bogus. Any thoughts?

      • All measurements have an uncertainty. That is a fact of life. It is unusual to show them in Cli Sci. It is not an ‘error bar, it is showing the uncertainty about the measurement. That’s all.

    • Take Nasa or Trenberth’s earth energy budget… and
      So no one knows whether the earth is in balance or not.

      Alan, Trenberth & co have created real problems with their false view of reality.

      What is really ‘in balance’ when every temperature series is always either rising or falling? and for how long can any temporary balance really be maintained?

      Reality is sunlight is converted to heat at depth in the ocean, varying year-round with 1au TSI and with the solar cycle, ocean heat which then warms the air.

      The post question of ‘what is absorbing the sun?’ is best answered with the ocean.

      UAH global LT correlates with global SST at 97%, and with the tropics at 87%, meaning the air is mostly absorbing outgoing heat from the ocean, as well as absorbing incoming sunlight, and heat from land.

      The absorbed solar energy, the ocean heat, is always rising and escaping into the air, and if there isn’t enough incoming TSI/insolation energy over time, the equatorial ocean heat content depletes, causing OHC and SST to quickly fall. In 2014/15 I found HadSST3 warms and cools decadally at a certain level of incoming 1au TSI, 1361.25 W/m^2 SORCE TSI. The effect was demonstrated at the top of solar cycle 24 by equatorial ocean heat content, sea surface temperature data, and TSI:

      https://s20.postimg.cc/xvtzzwq0t/Fig_17_SC24_maximum_impact_on_OHC.jpg

      A true energy budget should be solar cycle based, over time, not static. Net solar cycle ocean warming is based on cumulative solar cycle energy, TSI. Cycle TSI has a repeating pattern on equatorial ocean heat content that affects all the other ocean indices, shown below in cross correlations over four solar cycles:

      https://s20.postimg.cc/kbxyfgthp/Cross_Correlations_of_Climate_and_Solar_Indices.jpg

      Warmists believe the earth was in radiative balance from 1850-1930, when the sun’s energy was declining. They blame CO2 thereafter for warming instead of rising solar activity. The red line at 94 sunspot number is equivalent to 1au SORCE TSI of 1361.25W/m^2:

      https://s20.postimg.cc/tk4xrif0t/Sun-_Ocean_warming-cooling.jpg

      On ‘balance’:

      OHC/SST = savings

      TSI = earnings

      OLR = spending

      Savings fall after low earnings and high spending, but if earnings are higher under lower or same spending, savings balance increases. Do the higher savings mean it’s ‘out of balance’?

      Since the climate business operates on an ~11-year solar earnings curve, where is the balance point of incoming solar? 1361.25W/m^2 SORCE TSI.

  21. This time an excellent graph by Willis! Gratulations…. The bottom graph of figure 3, the composite is the most important. It shows that the incoming solar radiation increased from year 2000 (in fact, since 1980, but this part is missing)…. increasing to a radiation absorption (received) peak in 2004. Very good. From 2004 peak on, the incoming radiation stays as plateau, slightly inclined downwards, this 0.5 W/m2 less absorption, because simply less Sun energy was
    incoming…. We may (the 62 year cycle) calculate the continuation of this downward trend, by 2030 another 0.5 W/m2 will have dropped off, making it a 0.75 W/m2 drop by about 2040…..
    This is exactly described in paper PART 8, Climate Pattern Recognition, see:
    http://www.knowledgeminer.eu/climate-papers.html …where you find more background
    on this development from 1600 AD to 2050 AD, here excellently demonstrated by Willis.
    The first 2 graphs of the figure 3 are also important: They show the varying incoming
    insolation, absorbed by the air, depending on the distance Sun to Earth (more absorption –
    the Sun is closer, less absorption the Sun in further away). There will be the “wise guys”, pointing to the TSI which does not vary in this absorption rythm… This is logical, because the TSI is a calculated value (never measured) for a theoretical FIXED distance of 150 mio km between Sun-Earth in space….but the Earth does not stay fixed, but the Earth meets this distance only during two days each year, one day in autumn, one day in spring, as the two first graphs show for 365 minus 2 days each year (of course, a little change in TSI-solar activity 2000 to 2017 might show in absorption, if large enough in number, but I bet this change is to minuscule to show…Willis could join the TSI and the bottom graph of figure 3 to see whether some correlation results or not, I doubt any visible correlation. JS

    • J.Seifert

      From yours and Lemke’s (2018) paper:

      “Present temperatures, since 2004 AD, as the 62-year cycle peak, will continue as plateau, which should even decline by 0.1-0.2°C until the plateau end in 2046 AD.”
      ________________________

      As of July 2018 all the global surface temperature data sets show statistically significant global warming from Jan 2004, while both the main satellite TLT data sets show ‘best estimate’ warming, with RSS closing in on 2σ significance. See: http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html

      That could hardly be described as a “continuing plateau”, could it? When would you expect a temperature downturn sufficient to suggest that a plateau or cooling will manifest itself post 2004?

      • ….. DW Rice,

        it is a nuisance to deal with people who do not read papers but only pick
        one little piece out of summaries….
        Please read the paper: It is all explained within the paper that temps have not dropped due to fiddling with measurement stations (Anthony wrote a large paper how warmistas have bent the temps upward by “airporterization”, stations placed next to the asphalt runway etc.) The UHI (urban heat island) effect is next, and also
        satellite measurements are continually revised upward by lowering measurements of previous decades…..An extensive study on the same subject with detailed
        photos of measurement locations in Japan is just a few weeks old (either on WUWT or on No- tricks Zone) ….. and reading just the name of “Cowtan” is sufficient not to open this link, because it guarantees pure trash…JS

        • J.Seifert

          If we can’t trust any of the global temperature data sets, whether surface or satellite, then how on earth do we ‘know’ whether it’s been warming, cooling or ‘plateauing’ since 2004? How can you confidently say it’s been ‘plateauing’ when you don’t yourself trust any of the temperature data sources? According to your own statements you have no way of knowing whether it’s been plateauing or not.

          In your paper you forecast future global temperature changes (cooling) to a tenth of a degree accuracy, yet here you are, claiming that no one can trust any of the global temperature data providers! If that’s the case, then how on earth would it ever be possible to confirm your own forecasts? Sorry to be a nuisance.

  22. “There areas in greens & blues have clearer air”

    = better quality breathing air ??
    = less polluted air ??
    = easier to see through ??
    = desirable air ??
    = less oxygen to breathe ??
    = more oxygen to breathe ??
    = why do we need trees ??

    If we are utilizing solar energy – does it matter is 1/5th is lost in the atmosphere ??
    Isn’t there so much that we could never use it all ??

    Q: Once Upon A Time was planet Earth smaller – as small as the existing continents – then water came about & like a dry sponge absorbing water the planet expanded & would this be from the core out ??

    Seeing as how planet Earth has been lush & fertile for billions of years plus – it stands to reason that mankind has been around for billions of years also – only that we eradicated ourselves – & oops … here we go again ??

    Interesting article.

  23. Some years ago, I house sat for a friend, a barrister who was away from home a lot, in exchange i swam in his pool.
    One day he rang me to say, “The carpet sellers have brought around a carpet for me to experience to see if I want to purchase it, go have a look & see what you think.”
    I was an old worn out rag, faintly gold in color, which belonged at the tip. “has he lost his senses ??”
    I had a swim & though I should have a better look, just incase I had missed something of the experience.
    I was afternoon, the back wall looking out was glass, as the afternoon sun touched the carpet it began to shine a gentle golden hue which grew until it was a thick lush grass, before long the air in the room was filled with translucent gold.
    How did this happen ??
    Years later I realised that the carpet was a semiconductor – hand made – most likely by a family of illiterate carpet makers somewhere in the Middle East.
    We do not have the knowledge to replicat this object today.

    [?? .mod]

  24. I remember someone posting about the Smoky mountains would have to be cleared for the air quality to meet some of the new regulations being proposed by the EPA at the end of Obama’s reign. Due to the high aerosol content being produced by the trees.

    James Bull

  25. Willis, you said
    Instead, it is absorbed in the atmosphere. This is a bit more than a fifth (22%) of incoming solar energy. It is also about the same amount of sunlight that is reflected by the clouds.

    I am a bit confused by the terms what we are talking about. Which is it?
    Are we talking about albedo + some energy that gets stuck in the atmosphere?

  26. You mean like:

    Concrete, asphault, automotive paint, oil covered water, tilled soil, polluted water, carbon soot?

    What I think is hilarious is that most solar panels absorb more heat than they produce in power and unlike foliage – or even concrete – they don’t actually reflect it back into space. We’ll literally heat the planet MORE with solar panels than with fossil fuels.

    • Yes prjindigo. Been saying this for years. If you want to heat the planet then plaster it with solar panels. The Stephan-Boltzmann equation says so.

  27. ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    .

    Global Warming – Did we Pass or Fail?

    A detailed analysis of global warming, in the different regions of the Earth.

    – The Arctic region

    – the Antarctic region

    – the Land

    – the Oceans

    This is one of the most important articles ever written about global warming.

    Can we save the Earth, and the human race?

    Have the 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius temperature limits, become irrelevant?

    https://agree-to-disagree.com/global-warming-did-we-pass-or-fail

    • One of the biggest (out of quite a few) logical fallacies at the core of the global warming alarmist narrative, is the:
      “we’re discovering it for the first time so it must be a new thing that never happened before”
      logical fallacy.
      This logical fallacy is at the core of numerous modern eco scares:
      -global cooling
      -global warming
      -ozone hole at Antarctica
      -acid rain
      -ionizing radiation effects
      -etc…

      Hint to scientists:
      If you, by means of better technology for measurement and detection, detect something for the first time, don’t automatically assume that the thing you are detecting never existed before you detected it. It probably did exist, for a very long time.

      If this “pass or fail” article is founded on this same “we’re discovering it for the first time so it must be a new thing that never happened before” logical fallacy, then it is invalidated at the very outset and not worth reading. Fail.

    • Sheldon Walker, your analysis is nonsense.

      You used surface temperature “data” since 1880,
      and carved it up into different regions.

      You have taken haphazardly collected data,
      and treated it as accurate to one decimal place.

      Most of the measurements were made with
      instruments that could not have had
      margins of error under +/- 0.5 degrees
      in a laboratory environment.

      A majority of our planet’s surface has no
      thermometer data, even today the
      numbers are still made up by bureaucrats
      predicted a lot of global warming, and
      want to be right.

      There is no way to verify or falsify their
      wild guess “infilling”.

      There were very few Southern Hemisphere
      temperature measurements before 1900,
      and few before 1940, outside of Australia.

      You have made the serious mistake of
      ignoring data quality before using the data.

      That’s anti-science.

  28. “the absorption of solar energy in the atmosphere is due to “aerosols”.” Not so, you are forgetting water vapour absorbs IR, and ~55% of solar energy is IR.

  29. When climate scientists are asked if man is affecting the climate, they can put their hand on their heart and say yes, even if , in truth, they know that a major part of the influence is deforestation, leading to a reduction in plant aerosols entering the atmosphere.

  30. There is something puzzling going on. Many people cannot seem to get it into their brains that nearly half of the heating effect of the Sun is in the near infrared and is not visible, and which water vapour absorbs considerable amounts of. This post only serves to reinforce the ignorance.

  31. What’s the source for claiming absorption is primarily due to aerosols? Obviously they have an effect, but as far as I’m aware water vapor is considered the primary cause of atmospheric absorption of solar radiation.
    If you check the RSS climatology you’ll see much of the spatial pattern is explained by water vapor.

    • In the stratosphere, O3 and O2 absorb the highest energies of UV, ie UVC and most of UVB.

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/Ozone_altitude_UV_graph.svg?download

      “Essentially all UVC (100–280 nm) is blocked by dioxygen (at 100–200 nm) or by ozone (at 200–280 nm) in the atmosphere. The shorter portion of this band and even more energetic UV causes the formation of the ozone layer, when single oxygen atoms produced by UV photolysis of dioxygen (below 240 nm) react with more dioxygen. The ozone layer itself then blocks most, but not quite all, sunburn-producing UVB (280–315 nm). The band of UV closest to visible light, UVA (315–400 nm), is hardly affected by ozone, and most of it reaches the ground.”

  32. Hmm, well, I think President Reagan had something to say along these lines. It is also rather well known in and around the old South of the USA, see: Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, for instance.

    That said, water clouds are also aerosols. These are the most visible and variable ones, too, at least where I live. Absorbers are emitters. Whether they’re net one or the other is conditional. Chemistry is also conditional, and sometimes extremely conditional.

  33. What I don’t understand, and perhaps someone can enlighten me here, is why so much attention is being paid to the atmosphere to begin with in this regard. Liquids don’t have absorption bands like gasses do, so the ocean absorbs all light that passes through the atmosphere and isn’t reflected off the surface, which to my understanding is most of it.

    Given our very shoddy understanding of ocean circulation and deep ocean temperature, and the fact that it has an enormous heat capacity while water vapour plays a major role in atmospheric regulation, doesn’t it make more sense that most of the short term variation in climate (by which I mean millennial scale) is due to the dynamics of the ocean? This is true empirically positively in terms of ENSO, negatively in terms of the failure of climate models and CO2 driver hypothesis generally, but also rationally in terms of the overwhelming difference in thermal masses involved.

    Am I missing something here?

  34. Is there any way you could normalize the data to remove the effect of the sun’s angle as a function of date? Or does this not even matter, since you are only considering the the absorption occuring within the atmosphere, and not re radiation from the ground?
    How should we be looking at this data with respect to the angle of the sun’s ray’s? Does the Sin of that angle matter here?

  35. How about a graph of total less (reflected + absorbed) over time? And question: would geographical distribution changes not create local “extremes” even the average and total stay the same?

  36. I am not sure what these data mean. The sentence “just under eighty watts per square metre of incoming solar energy doesn’t make it to the ground…this is a bit more than a fifth (22%) of incoming solar energy” suggests that the authors subscribe to a “flat-earth” model of the Earth as a flat disc, uniformly illuminated by a 1/4 of the actual insolation, 24 hours a day. This simple model is widely used in climatology, but of course it only provides time- and space-averaged values.

    Regarding the absorbtion by the atmosphere, it can only happen during daytime, so percentages should be OK. I just wonder whether they are computed from sound data. For example, instead of 24-hour averages, could we have data for 6 am to 6 pm of local time, or 9 am to 3 pm? Would there be any difference between 9 am to noon and noon to 3 pm?

    Thanks for providing us with a fascinating analysis.

  37. Would you be willing to admit the possibility that the high rates of atmospheric absorption of solar energy over eastern mainland China might, in fact, be caused by the thick milky brown layer of low clouds that often covers the entire region during certain times of year due to particulate pollution from industrial activity? You often see this milky brown mass dispersed and blown far out into the Pacific ocean. There is no way that isn’t causing the high rates of absorption as per your map, in my humble opinion.

  38. Plants transpire water to the atmosphere causing cooling.
    So more CO2 leading to more plants to more transpiration cooling is a negative feedback of CO2.
    In the Carboniferous the evolution of trees and the spread of plants and trees over the continents, dramatically cooled the climate.

    • Yes, RuBisCO is one of those words like “photosynthesis” that scientists find awkward to mention since their existence runs counter to established CAGW alarmist dogma.

      The spread of plants on land also transformed the continents from being largely arid to being covered by humic soils. (The mineral part of soils were present thanks to the extensive Cryogenian glaciations grinding up rocks into silicate particles which later formed the basis – together with CO2-fueled plant activity to make soil.) By bringing soil and transpiration to the continents, plants also brought the hydrological cycle itself inland. This is a major example of the operation of the Gaia principle. Life shapes the earth to its own advantage. Some might think that we humans are an exception to this rule. But we are not. CO2 enrichment of the biosphere is the best thing that has happened to it in millions of years.

  39. “This is an insanity.” He mumbled, sighed quietly, exhaling into the hot air. Not that anybody could have heard him even if he talked at a decent volume. He might have yelled, but 50ft away, ear covers on, the nearest worker wouldn’t have heard him above the din of moving the Burner. They most likely say the same thing a hundred times a day. It was honest work, good paying work for a young man without much education in Brazil.

    He wasn’t as ashy as some, being a controller, but everywhere close to him, the other workers, and the path behind him. Like God himself had taken a God sized brush and just made a line 200 meters wide, miles long. Flattening everything with its bristles, then leaving charcoal black in its passing down through the brilliant green of the Amazon.

    Using fire to fight fire. Or fire to fight heat. Burning it all down.

    “Thanks Willis.” It was a blessing and a curse. Everybody said it.

    Because of Aerosols. They were making the Earth warm. Not Co2. Not man. G-Damned Nature.

    And to stop it, they needed to stop the source. That means the Amazon. And the Congo.

    And if they burn it, like firing off a volcano, they also lowered the temperature fast. Then they kept it from coming back by stopping the one thing that absorbed the most sunlight and turned everything on its head. So the World is saved. And the World is ruined. After years trying to preserve the rainforests, they found they need to destroy them.

    “Insanity” he repeated. Then creeped the Burner forward.

      • Hey Phil!

        It’s just a joke on the main heating element being aerosols and not CO2.

        The Amazon is a basically neutral for O2 or CO2 production/use, due to the total number of animals and related decomposition living in. Often it is net balance. There are many papers on this: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-amazon-river-carbon-dioxide-emissions.html just to pick one quickly out of the interwebs.

        The oceans can handle all Oxygen production needed for a significant portion of time in the future. Did the calculation years ago – and if we removed all of the trees we still would have enough production, and large enough reserves, to handle all of the animals oxygen needs for tens of thousands of years. Might need to revisit that. Ha!

        Have a great day man.

  40. One very important question needs to be clarified here for myself and many others I’m sure. What is the definition we should use to clearly specify the state of water (H2O) in the atmosphere? I’ve seen too many discussions mix non-visible vapor with visible clouds. And of course there is rain where the term ‘condensing water vapor’ is quite different to the condensation of water vapor to form a cloud but the use is mixed like spaghetti and ice cream.

    What is water vapor: Seems that the general consensus is that if you can’t see it LWIR has no effect on it even though it’s there as can be determined by dew point and other methods.

    What is haze: Well, you can see it as a result of scattering of visible light. How much energy is being absorbed by the SWIR being scattered? Is LWIR from the ground heating it thus the parcel of air it’s suspended in?

    What should a low lying visible cloud be called that you can still see thru and looks like a puff of cigar smoke? Do you call it water vapor or liquid? Would you call it sky fog or water vapor or liquid? Should the water vapor already condensed to form a large well developed cloud be called water or water vapor? If you want to call it water can I pour a shot of bourbon in a glass of it?

    What is it called at the psychometric boundary layer where the water vapor is invisible to LWIR and the human eye but starts to condense into a visible “sky fog”, but now visible then absorbs LWIR energy such as say 100+ F temp ground emission but emits at say 60 F emission temp. How much is retained in the forming cloud? Is there some form of pulsation effect where the H2O is in a state of condensation but in doing so immediately goes onto a state of evaporation? Would this be a state of super-heat and supersaturation at the same time?

    What a boundary layer …… H2O starts to condense and releases sensible heat but that causes it to become visible and now absorb a portion of the LWIR energy hitting it? How thick/deep/high could this process become? Would the process develop over 10 feet or 100 feet or could it grow to hundreds of feet? Would it be visible as light gray or develop into a higher density appearing dark in color?

    Anyway, it would be nice to establish standard terms meaning the same thing/phase. Just make sure it is used across the board. Perhaps use the terms; “the invisible elephant” and the “white elephant” and the “liquid elephant”. As it is now it seems the pink elephant we need to see is obscured from view and water IS the elephant in the room.

    I don’t know the answers, but the fact that I post this comment is that I have a few questions on the matter.

    • One more thought along the lines of “What is water vapor” and “What is condensation” is that there doesn’t seem to be agreement as to what an aerosol is.

      Hell, let’s just toss in some vague temperature numbers and a bucket full of watts/sq meter and average it all together and get some useless number that will hide the fact that little is really known but will sound really smart.

      But Willis has been doing a good job of rocking the boat. Observations of his success comes within the comments in most of his posts. He sees what some others don’t want to see and shares it with us. Just looks at the data. Imagine that.

  41. The article gave me a flashback. Many years ago (20?) I read an article that proposed that intensive farming and thereby clear cutting of forests in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the end of the little ice age

  42. This is very lovely – we have decided that plants control climate – via their modulation of solar input.

    I asked this some recently and have re-opened my Dropbox account.
    At the end of this link is a pdf (~6.6MB) of some screenshots I took from the NASA JPL OCO2 gallery of about 10 months ago.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8n1zceskj0c1h8d/OCO2%20-%20Copy.pdf?dl=0

    It shows large CO2 anomalies where we see CERES with large solar anomalies in exactly the same places – i.e. where all the plants are.

    Why is the CO2 gathering above the plants. Surely if it came from fossil fuel burning AND that CO2 was causing Global Greening, that is The Very Last Place(s) on Earth where it should be.

    Now it gets REALLY interesting if you visit the OCO gallery..
    https://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries/gallerydataproducts/

    Where has all the CO2 gone?
    Why is there no CO2 above the forests where it was previously?
    Hello NASA – any comment?

    To my mind it absolutely stinks.

    It trashes the whole notion that increasing CO2 levels are coming from the burning of fossil fuels.

    It gets worse, because it supports my notion, since year dot of posting on here, that the CO2 is coming from the soils of this planet – especially soils that are rich in organic content.
    The sorts of soils that are much sought after by farmers and wars have been fought over them since time immemorial. The mostest worstest bit being, why is there no obvious CO2 coming from the farming regions apart from probably China and India.
    There should be.

    Reason being why the CO2 is all above the big forests, The Last Remaining Places on Earth with high organic soils and also why the world is greening in all those places.
    The CO2 is coming from their soils- its release being promoted by nitrogen (and sulphur) oxides – released around the world as a by-product of burning the fossil fuels.
    Nitrogen and sulphur being THE primary Liebig Limiters for all plants and microbial growth on this world.

    I finally found the link after thinking it had been deleted, read this and laugh/cry/be amazed/think
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/1403483/British-acid-rain-helps-our-trees-says-Norway.html

    BUT – huge amounts of nitrogen is being thrown at the World’s farmland, deliberately and on purpose by the farmers – not just a little bit sprinkling down from rain-showers and after the stuff has travelled around the globe and falling into the ocean on the way.

    Get my drift..
    The farmland soils of this world have been *seriously* eroded, they *should* be releasing CO2 and are not.

    Cut through the hype, the cherry picking, the confirmation bias and self-delusion.
    Look around at the people all around you.
    Fat. Diabetic. Riddled with auto-immune problems. Cancerous. Demented. Stunted growth – especially among the womenfolk (Abe Lincoln was 6 feet 4 inches tall and NOT especially tall amongst his peers)
    All diseases that were unknown a century ago……

    Before we get into the mental problems leading to garbled politics and science of which Climate Science is the latest in a series of panic attacks and hasty ill-conceived over-reactions – to otherwise trivial problems and quite often make the problem even worse.

    What changed to effect almost everyone on the planet, if not the food?

    We actually are in some very deep shit here.
    NASA knows it, how could they possibly not – and are hiding it.

    Ehrlich was correct but he let his prediction become sensationalised and anyway, how do YOU expect his prediction to pan out…
    …….Doom laden TV adverts telling you to listen out for sirens blaring then go hide under the table when they do?
    …….Weary old tramps leading horse and carts down dirty streets, stopping at houses with crosses painted on the doors while moaning endlessly ‘Bring out your dead’

    Must try harder……

  43. Willis ….. just a question. You say in your article that solar energy is absorbed by aresols. When I look at your graphs, the highest absorption is in areas with the most humidity, like jungles, …. whereas, deserts, like the southwest US, have little to no humidity and very little atmospheric absorption. Granted, I know nothing about this, but do you include water vapor as an aresol? Could water vapor be playing a strong role here?

    The reason I ask is I’ve always heard that aresols reflect solar energy, hence why we see a cooling following a volcanic eruption. It would seem to me that energy absorbed vs energy reflected would result in two very different scenarios. Absorbed energy would participate in the energy budget of the atmosphere, where as reflected would not. I recall your earlier postings that note how cloud formation decreases input into the system over the tropical ocean …. hence, very little absorption taking place, more reflection. Whereas, over these land masses, water vapor does not reach levels to form clouds as happens over the ocean, thus the water vapor instead absorbs energy.

    Thoughts?

  44. Fig.2 looks is very impressive, but the important picture is Fig. 1. The globe receives 340.2 W/m² (Average 200101…201712, all sky ) from the sun and absorbs 241.1 W/m². The surface absorbs 163.9 W/m², the atmosphere 77.2 W/m². There are several contributions to the absorption by the atmosphere:
    Clouds; 4.4 W/m²; (Difference AS minus CS)
    UV; 20.4 W/m²; (6% of SolarIn)
    Water vapor; 46.3 W/m²; (13,6% of SolarIn)
    CO2; 2.2 W/m²; (0,67% of SolarIn)
    Aerosols: 3.9 W/m²
    The absorption by aerosols is the difference between the total and the sum of the individual contributions. Please correct me if am wrong.

  45. @Joachim Seifert

    My results show that it did start cooling around the beginning of the new millennium.

    Looks like ca. -0.2K since then. It is not much.

    Click on my name to read my final report on this. I would be glad to hear your opinion on this.

    Interestingly, the drop in global T coincides with a general increase in ozone (& peroxides, N-oixdes) TOA.

    • Henry, I stayed with the peak at 2000 AD and the emerging plateau since 2000 for
      quite some years. Just out from the numbers of this particular one peak it is hard to
      set it clearly onto either 2000 or 2004…. Norman Page set it onto 2004 and the plateau starts from there on….. I did the following: The peak is a 62 year cycle peak – taking 2004 and numerically set the 62 yr-peak years for 5,000 years into the past, by retrieving GISP2, Alley 2004 (it is in BC/AD), drawn on millimetric paper the GISP2 numbers and the 62 year cycle peaks are clearly visible. The 62 year cycle distances fit better with the peaks placed onto 2004 then placed onto 2000…..
      see it yourself….. The plateau starting 2004 is slightly at a warmer level than the plateau starting 2000.
      I will go onto your page and have a look. For now, just explaining the start of either the 2000 or the 2004 plateau.

      • Joachim
        Thanks!
        I did not mention it in my final report, but I am not excluding a ca. 62 year cycle due to a combination of
        solar
        &
        lunar
        &
        earth&planets

        influences

        which becomes apparent in the global ocean temperature,

        even though,

        it was not picked up a lot by previous investigators,
        e.g.
        http://virtualacademia.com/pdf/cli267_293.pdf
        tables II and III
        who favor the 87 year GB cycle which I also identified, especially in global Tmax
        [T max is a good proxy for incoming energy}

        The oceans have much more mass than the atmosphere, therefore, in the end, that temperature (SST) is the determining factor in global T

        On its turn, the SST of the oceans is dependent on the amount of UV it gets, mostly, and also IR,

        coming through the atmosphere.

  46. A very interesting article, as always! Thank you Mr. Eschenbach.

    In considering how the energy flows around the planet, I got to thinking about the amount of solar energy that is absorbed rather than transmitted by the atmosphere and the clouds.

    I wonder what percentage of the total absorbed energy goes into a certain area. It’s still hard to guess from the – excellent – graphics. Maybe contour lines could help? Something like: half of the absorbed energy is absorbed inside the grey contour lines. And the area covered is just X percent of the globe.

    Best regards,
    a loyal lurker…

  47. As Harald Lesch says:

    One should not be surprised that the cat has holes in the fur where the eyes are.

    But that there are cats.

  48. Willis
    I imagine that solar insulation and radiation dominates warming of the planet from external sources. How much role does the electrical current created by the earth’s magnetic field moving through the solar magnetic field and the warming caused as this current flows from pole to pole through the main conductive medium, the oceans?
    JimC

  49. This post is a great demonstration of human psychology. Someone as bright as Willis having a total blind spot to the main cause of the absorption being studied, and then creating a narrative around aerosols. This is a common kind of behaviour among the greatest climate experts. And the most interesting part is how they handle it when corrected. Conceding is very rare.

    • Ulric Lyons said:

      This post is a great demonstration of human psychology. Someone as bright as Willis having a total blind spot to the main cause of the absorption being studied, and then creating a narrative around aerosols. This is a common kind of behaviour among the greatest climate experts. And the most interesting part is how they handle it when corrected. Conceding is very rare.

      I’m happy to concede and change my mind when the facts change … what do you do?

      However, due to your ugly habit of making accusations without quoting what you are objecting to, I have no idea what you think is the “main cause of the absorption being studied”. Different people have proposed a variety of causes, all of which likely cause some percentage of the absorption. Yes, some must be due to the Asian “brown cloud”. Yes, some must be due to smoke. Yes, some must be due to other factors.

      But which one are you calling the “main cause”?

      Quotation, please.

      Regards

      w.

      • The facts won’t change, but you neglected the main fact, which I have already mentioned, and so did PaulS at #comment-2449644. So that’s mighty strange that you have no idea what I think.

        • Ulric Lyons

          So that’s mighty strange that you have no idea what I think.

          Yep, it’s mighty strange that it’s not all about you, and that there actually are people who don’t track your every thought …

          However, strange as it might seem, I still have no idea what you claim is the “main cause of the absorption”. A link would be of value.

          w.

          • Ulric
            it seems to me that you and most people here do not understand what absorption is?
            in the wavelengths areas where absorption takes place, the molecule starts acting like a little mirror, the strength of which depends on the amount of absorption taking place inside the molecule. Because the molecule is like a perfect sphere, 62,5% of a certain amount of light (radiation) is send back in the direction where it came from. This is the warming or cooling effect of a gas hit by radiation.
            Unfortunately, in their time, Tyndall and Arrhenius could not see the whole picture of the spectrum of a gas which is why they got stuck on seeing only the warming properties of a gas. (closed box experiment)
            If people would understand this principle, they would not singularly identify green house gases (GHG’s) by pointing at the areas in the 5-20 um region (where earth emits pre-dominantly) but they would also look in the area 0-5 um (where the sun emits pre-dominantly) for possible cooling effects.
            For comprehensive proof that CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine,

            http://w.astro.berkeley.edu/~kalas/disksite/library/turnbull06a.pdf

            note fig.6 bottom.

          • it seems to me that you and most people here do not understand what absorption is?

            Actually based on your description Henry it is you who does not understand absorption.

            in the wavelengths areas where absorption takes place, the molecule starts acting like a little mirror, the strength of which depends on the amount of absorption taking place inside the molecule.

            The molecule does not act like a mirror. For example CO2 absorbs a photon of 15 microns which excites an internal vibration of the molecule.

            Because the molecule is like a perfect sphere, 62,5% of a certain amount of light (radiation) is send back in the direction where it came from. This is the warming or cooling effect of a gas hit by radiation.

            None of the light absorbed is reflected in any direction. In fact if it were acting as a perfect sphere (and not absorbing) you still wouldn’t get the 62.5% back reflection (check out RayleighMie scattering).
            http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/imgatm/mie.png
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840708/bin/nihms180302f1.jpg

          • Hopefully most people here have now fully grasped that it is water vapour rather than aerosols doing most of the solar absorption, in the near infrared region of the solar spectrum. As the chart shows. Why drag your heels over it? it’s like a child that resents being told off.

          • @Ulric
            obviously, the red areas are the areas where %wise the highest amount of clouds [always] are.
            Also remember that there is a paper out from Trenberth where he calculated that ozone is absorbing almost 25% of all [energy] that is being absorbed by the atmosphere. That is a substantial amount; I am not sure if it includes the peroxides and n-oxides, also being formed TOA by the most energetic particles coming from the sun. I think he forgot about those..
            [looking at the peroxides’ spectrum you can figure out that it does the same as ozone and you will find more peroxide in the so-called ozone hole. It is most probably formed there preferentially from the OH radicals]

            @PhilipM
            Yes, that is an important paper and you should keep the link somewhere to prove that the various GH gases (ozone, water, methane, CO2) also cool the atmosphere by deflecting certain radiation off from earth.
            Essentially they used the dark side of the moon as a mirror to see what is bouncing off from earth into space, at least for a small portion of the sun’s spectrum.
            So the rays went:
            sun-earth-moon-earth

          • Ulric Lyons said:

            Willis has deleted one of his comments.

            A gentleman man would ask, “Willis, did you delete one of your comments?”. To which I’d reply “Heck, no, which one is gone?”

            At that point, I’d likely add something like “I can’t remember ever deleting one of my comments. I suppose it might have happened, but I sure don’t remember ever doing that. It would be unsportsmanlike and dishonest.”

            So how about I’ll pretend you actually were polite enough to ask? Can’t let ugly reality be a total straitjacket, after all … and you’ll note my strong denial, and we can proceed in at least relative amity?

            In friendship,

            w.

          • Willis, whenever you that ‘ugly’ word it’s invariably you getting ugly. I made a minor mistake and soon corrected it. You have not corrected the fundamental and major error in your post.

          • Ulric Lyons said

            Willis, whenever you that ‘ugly’ word it’s invariably you getting ugly.

            Yep. It’s called “karma”. When folks try to bite me, I bite back. However, re-read what I wrote. In your case, I bit back using humor …

            I made a minor mistake and soon corrected it.

            Say what? You made a very ugly accusation, that I had secretly deleted one of my posts. Not that my comment had somehow been deleted, but that I had done it. That is not a “minor mistake”, that is nasty innuendo.

            There is only one way to correct that, and it is not (as you seem to think) to announce that you were wrong about the facts.

            The only way to correct your nasty innuendo is to apologize, which you have not yet done.

            You have not corrected the fundamental and major error in your post.

            If you took the trouble to QUOTE WHATEVER YOU ARE BABBLING ABOUT, I could respond to that. As it stands I have no clue what you think is the “fundamental and major error”.

            And given your most unpleasant accusation, I have absolutely no interest in finding out what you think it is. Go bother someone else … you’ve burned your bridges with me on this topic.

            w.

  50. @joachim seifert

    I did make a small correction in my final report to include the 62 year cycle observed in SST.
    it is most probably due to a combination of solar, lunar and planetary influences.
    I think there will be a paper of Ian Wilson about it soon, as well.

  51. Willis says
    So the plants are affecting the amount of sunlight making it to the ground, with more sunlight making it through the atmosphere when and where plants are scarce and less sunlight making it through the atmosphere when and where plants are abundant …

    Who knew? Likely somebody, but certainly not me …

    Henry says

    Looking at minimum temperatures (last 40 years) I was stunned about the results in Tandil, ARG. I found that minimum T was substantially dropping there, i.e. a decline, whilst Tmax was rising, almost at the same pace but with a positive incline. I subsequently found out that in this area in Argentine, they chopped all the trees. On a massive scale.

    In Las Vegas, where they turned the desert in an oasis during the past 40 years, I found exactly the opposite happening.

    I can give you the results, if anyone is interested.

  52. Willis,
    “Now, the absorption of solar energy in the atmosphere is due to “aerosols”. In the most general sense, this is a term for a variety of chemicals and elements which are held aloft in the atmosphere. Aerosols include things like sulfur dioxide from volcanic eruptions, salt crystals and molecules from sea spray, a variety of bacteria, and black carbon and hydrocarbons from fossil fuels and forest fires. A number of aerosols are human-generated. I’d kind of expected to see increased absorption near cities and industrialized areas of the northern hemisphere.” ( Willis Eschenbach).
    I was perusing an article: Myhre, G., Myhre, C. E.L., Samset, B. H. & Storelvmo, T. (2013) Aerosols and their Relation to Global Climate and Climate Sensitivity. Nature Education Knowledge 4(5):7
    The graphic presented, shows MODIS aerosol optical depth which broadly coincides with the data presented in Figs 1&2 of your article. However, the Myhre graphic includes a breakdown of aerosol components that purports to include anthropogenic sources concomitant with the observations (source: https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/aerosols-and-their-relation-to-global-climate-102215345 ). I think your article broadly anticipates this, but I have to wonder why the clear periodicity you observed appears to have gone unnoticed in Myhre etal. Is it a signal to noise problem which buries plant aerosols among the various atmospheric detritus? or were they simply not looking for it to begin with? I would be keen to hear your thoughts as the article makes what appears to be a straightforward case for complex mixed modalities that seem far from stable.
    Disclaimer: I am an Archaeologist, this is not my field of expertise, but I am genuinely curious as the ramifications of climate changes over time and how they occur do have implications for my discipline.
    Cheers

    • Thanks, MalH. Regarding your question, I suspect that Myhre&Myhre have simply removed the annual variation from the data.

      w.

  53. Willis, you should probably adjust for atmospheric density and thickness as well as insolation. The atmosphere extends further due to centripetal force at the equator moreover the equator is gravitationally higher above the centre of mass than the poles, this creates a force gradient poleward. This probably doesn’t affect aerosols directly but might explain drift patterns. What about water? According to my direct measurement water vapor has a huge effect on how much energy reaches the ground. The solar energy data for my place indicates that clear day received energy varies 2-5% depending on humidity. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the Simpson desert has one of the lowest absorbtion on your chart and it has very low humidity. To look at aerosols you will have to adjust for water vapor.

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