Revisiting the Mystery of Stratospheric Cooling

This paper claims that stratospheric cooling is the work of “greenhouse gases”. Saying: “An extended satellite temperature record and the chemistry‐climate models show weaker global stratospheric cooling over 1998–2016 compared to 1979–1997.”

Figure 1 from the paper. Time series of global monthly mean temperature anomalies (K) for the period 1979–2016 for the data sets andaltitude ranges stated in thefigure. Anomalies are shown relative to a baseline of 1979–1981. The number of individualensemble members plotted for each model is shown in the legend. The multimodel mean is shown in thick purple.Note that only the CESM1(WACCM), GEOSCCM, ULAQ-CCM, and UMUKCA-UCAM models include the radiative effectsof volcanic aerosols over the hindcast period in the refC2 experiment. Note the UK Met Office SSU data set is shown as6-month averages. (a) SSU channel 3 (~40–50 km). (b) SSU channel 2 (~35–45 km). (c) SSU channel 1 (~25–35 km). (d) MSUchannel 4 (~13–22 km). SSU = Stratospheric Sounding Unit.

Of course, the authors, being biased towards the universal boogeyman of CO2, had only one thing on their minds. But a recent essay by Dr. Tony Phillips suggests the lower solar activity has cooled the thermosphere, which could in turn aid the cooling of the stratosphere:

Above: Layers of the atmosphere. Credit: NASA

 


From the plain language description of the publication:

A previous analysis by Thompson et al. (2012, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11579) showed substantial differences between satellite‐observed and model‐simulated stratospheric cooling trends since the late 1970s. Here we compare recently revised and extended satellite temperature records with new simulations from 14 chemistry‐climate models. The results show much better agreement in the magnitude of stratospheric cooling over 1979–2005 between models and observations. This cooling was predominantly driven by increasing greenhouse gases and declining stratospheric ozone levels. An extended satellite temperature record and the chemistry‐climate models show weaker global stratospheric cooling over 1998–2016 compared to 1979–1997. This is due to the reduction in ozone‐induced cooling from the slowdown of ozone trends and the onset of ozone recovery since the late 1990s. There are larger differences in the latitudinal structure of past stratospheric temperature trends due to the effects of unforced atmospheric variability. In summary, the results show much better consistency between simulated and satellite‐observed stratospheric temperature trends than was reported by Thompson et al. (2012, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11579) for the previous versions of the satellite record and last generation of chemistry‐climate models. The improved agreement mainly comes from updates to the satellite records, while the range of simulated trends is comparable to the previous generation of models.

The paper: Revisiting the Mystery of Recent Stratospheric Temperature Trends

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018GL078035?af=R

Open access PDF here: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/2018GL078035

Abstract

Simulated stratospheric temperatures over the period 1979–2016 in models from the Chemistry‐Climate Model Initiative are compared with recently updated and extended satellite data sets. The multimodel mean global temperature trends over 1979–2005 are −0.88 ± 0.23, −0.70 ± 0.16, and −0.50 ± 0.12 K/decade for the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU) channels 3 (~40–50 km), 2 (~35–45 km), and 1 (~25–35 km), respectively (with 95% confidence intervals). These are within the uncertainty bounds of the observed temperature trends from two reprocessed SSU data sets. In the lower stratosphere, the multimodel mean trend in global temperature for the Microwave Sounding Unit channel 4 (~13–22 km) is −0.25 ± 0.12 K/decade over 1979–2005, consistent with observed estimates from three versions of this satellite record. The models and an extended satellite data set comprised of SSU with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit‐A show weaker global stratospheric cooling over 1998–2016 compared to the period of intensive ozone depletion (1979–1997). This is due to the reduction in ozone‐induced cooling from the slowdown of ozone trends and the onset of ozone recovery since the late 1990s. In summary, the results show much better consistency between simulated and satellite‐observed stratospheric temperature trends than was reported by Thompson et al. (2012, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11579) for the previous versions of the SSU record and chemistry‐climate models. The improved agreement mainly comes from updates to the satellite records; the range of stratospheric temperature trends over 1979–2005 simulated in Chemistry‐Climate Model Initiative models is comparable to the previous generation of chemistry‐climate models.

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134 thoughts on “Revisiting the Mystery of Stratospheric Cooling

    • No. Lower solar activity means less UV radiation. Which means less heat produced by absorption by ozone in the stratosphere. Less solar activity should result in more stratospheric cooling in recent years, not less.

      The same for CO2 (and H2O). More GHG means a greater heat loss by radiation from a higher altitude with higher radiation temperature.

      There is clearly something we don’t understand going on in the stratosphere.

      • There is clearly something the modellers don’t ( or won’t ) understand.

        https://climategrog.wordpress.com/uha_tls/
        https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/uha_tls.png

        Look at channel 4 ( lower stratosphere ) . Most of their models totally fail to capture ( or grossly underestimate ) the effects of the two major stratovolcanoes that erupted during that record. Indeed they are THE major features in a fairly boring dataset, yet they seem unconcerned that models fail to reproduce this but carry on as though model tuning means something anyway.

        There is not “trend” it was two step changes occurring once the transient effects in the other direction had subsided. The step nature of this change is acknowledged, yet they come back with yet another paper based on “everything is a trend and is caused by anthropogenic emissions of GHG”.

        The cooling of the lower stratosphere probably indicates it was blocking less solar and letting more energy into the lower climate system.

        If your model fails to capture the key events in the record, don’t bother publishing about the “trend” and what your model may or may not attribute it to. GIGO, no cookie.

        • MODS: why don’t images show as images any more. Is this still fallout from the breakage that happened about a month back ( like loss of post-post editing ) ?

          Do we need to as IMG HTML tags now ?

          • Not a mod, but in my experience, some discussion software packages occasionally render some off domain images as links instead of images. I’ve seen this mainly on Word Press suites. Dunno what is used here.

        • compared to the period of intensive ozone depletion (1979–1997). This is due to the reduction in ozone‐induced cooling from the slowdown of ozone trends and the onset of ozone recovery since the late 1990s.

          The “intense ozone depletion” was due to the sulphate aerosols of the two major stratospheric eruptions in that period. The slow, weak “ozone recovery” is due to the lack of any similar events since. Again, nothing to do with “trends” , stop trying to trick the eye by drawing straight lines through every dataset you can find. There were two STEP changes in TLS, not “trend”.

          Fitting trends is a trick to shore up a preconceived conclusion as to what the cause is before you even analyse the data.

          • There looks to be two or three model runs which come somewhere near to capturing the TLS changes. Pull then out of the spaghetti pot and have a look at how what they produce for surface warming ( preferably SST, not a non-physical land+sea “average”).

          • SOCOL3 and ULAQ-CCM seem to be the best models around Mt P. , as far as I can see through the spaghetti, they do less well at El Chichon. Need singling out for closer inspection.

            ‘model mean’ is a total failure. Stick a load of different colours paints in a pot , blend together and you get a muddy , crap coloured sort of brown, you do not end up the “best” average result. Same thing happens with model output.

        • Bingo, blasting more that 30 million metric tons of SO2 into the stratosphere in the 80’s & 90’s just might cause a change in stratospheric chemistry.

      • The aspect you do not acknowledge is during the solar minimum the magnetic shield is less and cosmic radiation seeds more clouds.

      • The reason it’s misunderstood is that climate scientists who have drunk the Kool Aid (CO2/warming) refuse to look at other reasonable possibilities. These data are fully consistent with the contention that major ozone layer thinning from 1979 (actually, 1975) to 1998 was due not to CO2, but to chlorine photodissociated on PSCs from anthropogenic CFCs until this was stopped by the Montreal Protocol in the 1990s. The evident persistence of ozone layer thinning (i.e., lower stratospheric temperature) is due to chlorine’s catalytic destruction of ozone and chlorine’s long residence time in the atmosphere.

    • “It’s the sun, stupid.” I object to being called stupid, especially by someone stupid enough think they can resume climate in 4.5 words !

      Nice try, stupid.

  1. What differences are there between the other climate models and those with chemistry in their name ?If the differences are relevant why are they not included ?

      • Greg, thank you for responding
        So the changes in the chemistry of the atmosphere must not be of a sufficient magnitude for others to include in their models or are they limited by the size of the program and are not able to add the equations describing the chemistry ?
        I guess that since this paper is focused on the upper atmosphere then the chemistry becomes a significant factor.

        • It does not mean that other models do not account for chemistry. They may or may not include “parameters” ie assumptions and guestimates of the effects of such changes. Much like they do will most of the key factors that their “science based” models can not model at all.

  2. To this layman top graph (a) 40-50km has a nice oscillating wave … eye balling the waves’ peaks and valleys seem to match solar cycle

  3. Okay, I have what might be a really stupid question.

    But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so here’s my question:

    How is temperature measured in the stratosphere?

    The air up there is pretty thin, compared to air in the layer below it. Are the METHODS of measuring “temperature”, then, the same, and, if not, then how can we be sure that the methods are comparably measuring the same phenomenon?

    • I believe that Dr. Roy Spencer is your man
      He is the principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

    • A good question deserves a good reply.
      The stratosphere may be too thin for conventional measurements. Recently, we had a couple of posts on the thermosphere, where things are way too thin for conventional measurements.
      So what gives? First things first:
      there are several definitions of what we call “temperature”, derived from principles we learn in Physical Chemistry. The most important around here are the thermodynamic temperature and the kinetic temperature.
      1) The thermodynamic temperature is derived from the functioning and theoretical behavior of the Carnot Cycle heat engine. This is the temperature we use in our day to day life.
      2) The kinetic temperature is based on the kinetic theory of gasses and is useful when the gas gets too hot or too thin for the thermodynamic temperature to be meaningful.
      Here is a link to a basic description of kinetic temperature which also shows how it relates to the thermodynamic temperature.
      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Kinetic/kintem.html

      Lower stratosphere is measured by UAH, like the troposphere, the rest I do not know.
      I have seen references to stratosphere temperature measurements using Raman lidar, so that would measure the molecular speed directly.

      • Interesting that the study paper made no mention of the UAH lower stratosphere data. Since the UAH temperature datasets are the only ones that both sides trust, if you arent using UAH temperature data, you are using bogus data when it comes to global temperatures. SO I CALL THIS STUDY BOGUS.

        • Interesting that the study paper made no mention of the UAH lower stratosphere data.

          Evidently you didn’t read the paper or look at the graph!

          “Temperatures in the lower stratosphere are measured by the MSU4 (from 1978–2005) and the AdvancedMicrowave Sounding Unit channel 9 since 1998. This channel has a weighting function that peaks at around 17 km with main contributions from the layer 13–22 km. We present results from the NOAA/STARMSU4/AMSU-A version 4.0 (Zou et al., 2006), the Remote Sensing Systems v3.3 MSU4/AMSU-A (Mears et al.,2011; Mears & Wentz, 2009), and the UAH (University of Alabama in Huntsville) v6.0 MSU4-AMSU data sets(Christy et al., 2003), which all cover 1979–2016 (see, e.g., Seidel et al., 2016 for a recent detailed comparisonof MSU4 data sets).”

    • from wiki
      “Tropospheric and stratospheric measurements
      From 1979 to 2005 the microwave sounding units (MSUs) and since 1998 the Advanced Microwave Sounding Units on NOAA polar orbiting satellites have measured the intensity of upwelling microwave radiation from atmospheric oxygen. The intensity is proportional to the temperature of broad vertical layers of the atmosphere, as demonstrated by theory and direct comparisons with atmospheric temperatures from radiosonde (balloon) profiles. Upwelling radiance is measured at different frequencies; these different frequency bands sample a different weighted range of the atmosphere.[17] ”
      etc.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements

    • Radiation temperature of oxygen, the same as satellite temperature measurements in the troposphere. So, yes it is measured in exactly the same way.

    • “How is temperature measured in the stratosphere?

      MSU and AMSU like the article says

      it is “measured’ Same way ‘temperature’ is “measured” by UAH.

      It’s not. it’s estimated using physics, statistics, and adjustments

      A microwave sounding unit is used. (MSU or AMSU)

      1. The sensor records DIGITAL COUNTS roughly the brightness of the EMR reaching the satellite.
      2. Using the theory of raditive physics ( A MODEL) you solve an inverse transmission problem.
      basically, you observe brightness X at the sensor, then you work out backwards what the temperature of a molecule (say oxygen) at height Y had to be to result in the brightness measured at the sensor.

      hmm a simple example using bullets,

      imagine a bullet hit you at 1 m/sec, if you know the muzzle velocity is 100 m/sec, calculate the distance to the gun . Well you observe the brightness at the sensor and then solve the inverse problem: whats the temperature of the molecules that emitted this radiation. In doing this physics you have to account for forward and back scattering and absorbtion by ACTIVE gases in the atmosphere: like H20 or any other gas (c02) that is active for the frequency. you are looking at.

      Pro tip? Satellite data assumes the TRUTH of radiative physics.. the core physics
      of AGW. Like satillite data? Then you have to accept radiative physics. no sky dragons
      can use satellite data and be logically consistent.

      3. You then have to calibrate the digital counts– prior to launch you calibrate in the lab but after
      launch this stuff always changes. So you have to adjust. This can be tricky and involves statistical
      models. in some cases the calibration curves are non linear so you get different answers depending
      on your assumptions.

      4. once you have adjusted for calibration and sensor drift you have to do a variety of other
      adjustments. MSU and AMSU take measurements twice daily. and they measure different parts
      of the earth at different times. So you have to use a model or statistics to adjust the temperaures
      to the local noon. if you passed over a patch of earth at 8am you adjust it to what you estimate
      the temperature will be at noon.
      5. But you are not finsihed because satillites drift so you have to adjust the diurnal adjustment for
      drift.
      6. Then you have to stitch togther a bunch of different satillites:

      FOR TLT here is the mess

      https://granthaminstitute.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/global-t-fig-3.gif?w=500&zoom=2

      Oh, ya then you need to do infilling where there are satellite gores.

      • Steven..
        your nice ‘bullet’ example demonstrates a whole lotta things…
        1. You are confusing bullets with photons (I blame James T Kirk. Really I do)

        2. Your moving bullet, by slowing down, has changed wavelength. That is NOT what you say you are looking for.

        3. How many ‘guns’ are there in the atmosphere, yet you know which one fired the bullet you caught.

        4. You are looking for oxygen atoms firing bullets yet claim that oxygen is not an ‘active gas’

        5. You say the stratosphere is cooling. As per how Boltzmann (The Authority to which you are appealing) described his physics, that would increase the flow of radiant energy from Troposphere to Stratosphere. = energy loss = cooling. All other things being equal. Remember, The Carnot Engine *always* has an exhaust, even if its whereabouts is not obvious

        6. But you say yourself, things are not equal, so, You Adjust Them.
        You make stuff up to suit the theory. And you test the theory in A Model. And if the model gives the ‘wrong answer’, it gets adjusted.
        What could *possibly* go wrong.

        My radiation example:
        You go to your bedroom and paint the ceiling black instead of the delicate off-white colour chosen by your wife/girlfriend/mistress
        Does this make the room warmer?

        Of course, your mistress would affix a mirror to the ceiling. It would reflect easily 97%+ of The Radiation.
        Would that make you even warmer?
        (It may make *her* warmer but via a different mechanism and also so she can keep an eye on the gun under the pillow – for her use in case you start ‘making things up’)

        btw – hope your foot gets better soon

        • Oh noes, please tell me you didn’t put a Photon Torpedo through your foot.

          Monty Python says you did…….

        • Steven..
          your nice ‘bullet’ example demonstrates a whole lotta things…
          1. You are confusing bullets with photons (I blame James T Kirk. Really I do)

          The point of the bullet example is to show you how the roblem is worked inversely.
          If you want the actual algorithm its in the ATBD, or you can just write your own.
          Next

          2. Your moving bullet, by slowing down, has changed wavelength. That is NOT what you say you are looking for.
          Again, you miss the point. The point is this you measure the BRIGHTNESS at the sensor
          and you use a physical model to INFER the temperature at the source

          3. How many ‘guns’ are there in the atmosphere, yet you know which one fired the bullet you caught.

          Dude you still miss the point. Satellite do not drop thermometers into the atmopshere
          to measure the temperature. They measure radition emitted and work backwards using
          a model to INFER the temperarure. In the Same way, ( working inversely using physics)
          that you would solve the bullet problem
          2 Features
          A) working inversely
          B) using a model

          4. You are looking for oxygen atoms firing bullets yet claim that oxygen is not an ‘active gas’
          Never claimed oxygen wasnt active. the raditaive transfer code is the key.
          With the frequencies involved here H20 is the only active gas. again look at the code

          5. You say the stratosphere is cooling. As per how Boltzmann (The Authority to which you are appealing) described his physics, that would increase the flow of radiant energy from Troposphere to Stratosphere. = energy loss = cooling. All other things being equal. Remember, The Carnot Engine *always* has an exhaust, even if its whereabouts is not obvious
          Wrong. try again

          6. But you say yourself, things are not equal, so, You Adjust Them.
          You make stuff up to suit the theory. And you test the theory in A Model. And if the model gives the ‘wrong answer’, it gets adjusted.
          What could *possibly* go wrong.
          Wrong. I am DESCRIBING WHAT THE ALGORITHMS DO.
          For example. the sensor is calbrated in the lab. After launch it is re calibrated.
          dont like that, you are an idiot
          The sensor mesaures location X at noon in one year but due to drift it measures
          at 1230 the next year. the algorithms adjust for this. They have to or you get
          BIAS.
          The satillite sensor heats up and degrades. You adjust for this.

        • Not too complicated, just read the code. its pretty easy.
          Plus, long ago I had to work with radiative transfer codes as part of the job.

          ya, the physics you all deny is EXACTLY the same physics
          used to measure temperature using satellites
          AND
          used to design sensors and stealth aircraft

          FFS, the discoveries that USAF made about the stratoshere ( and its relation to AGW)
          where made back in the 50s.

  4. “which could in turn aid the cooling of the stratosphere”
    The actual NASA plot shown in the article resolves that. In the blue plot, it shows the difference between solar max and min (toward left). The difference is mostly gone at 100 km; it is a feature of the high thermosphere.

    There isn’t a mystery of stratospheric cooling. GHG’s impede passage of IR. So more GHG shields the surface from the coldness of space. And it shields the stratosphere from the warmth of the surface.

    • Channel 4 is showing 24 years of flatline in trend, imo. Yet over that period of time an additional 47 ppm of CO2 has been added in. That doesn’t say much for the ability of CO2 in affecting stratospheric temp change given the many short upswings over that 24 year time span.

      I get the impression that the stratosphere cooled in step with the warming of the globe. There are other forces which are causing temp shifts, obvious by the intermittent spikes upward

      • The bumps are caused by the two large eruptions: El Chichon and Mt Pinatubo, as are persistent and sudden drops following the bumps.

        Solid material drops out pretty quickly, within a few months, sulphate aerosols remain in suspension for a few years, destroying ozone. Once they are washed out the lower stratosphere is less opaque, warms less and allows more radiation into the lower climate system.

        That accounts for most of the late 20th c. warming that we are all supposed to be crapping ourselves over.

        In short , natural variability, not CAGW.

      • “Yet over that period of time an additional 47 ppm of CO2 has been added in. That doesn’t say much for the ability of CO2 in affecting stratospheric temp change given the many short upswings over that 24 year time span.”

        Yet this is denizens fave measure (the coldest outlier of all the tropospheric temp series)….

        https://southstcafe.neocities.org/uah_tlt_1806.png

        That’s over 0.2C rise (linear trend) in that time.

        CO2 doesn’t act alone else the trend would be a monotonous rise.

        There is still natural variation … in this case until the 15/16 Nino it was a long period of -ve PDO/ENSO.

          • My apologies.
            However I note that on Ch4 the multi-model mean also shows a near-enough flat-line in trend from ~’94 to 2010 (as far as it goes).

          • Retired UKMO meteorologist tries to pass off a clearly-identified lower troposphere graph to represent the stratosphere…priceless.

      • The GHE does not affect, in the longer term, total LW radiation to space. That has to continue to match solar input. The surface has to warm, because with some frequency bands impeded, more must be omitted from the others – the atmospheric window.

      • ” If you can not explain the major features of a dataset , don’t claim to be able to explain the “trend”.”
        Why not? The fact that some feature can be explained doesn’t mean that other things can’t happen. In fact your plot explains the bumps quite well; known volcanic eruptions. The fact that volcanoes can’t explain the trend (which is clearly visible) doesn’t mean that the explanation of the bumps is invalid.

        • Nick: “The fact that volcanoes can’t explain the trend (which is clearly visible)”

          Declaring something a “fact” does not make it so. There are two step changes clearly attributaable to the volcanic events. Here is what NCAR say about it:

          the stratospheric changes are not monotonic, but more step-like in nature; note that stratospheric temperatures have been relatively constant over the recent decade 1995-2005.

          https://www.acom.ucar.edu/Research/Highlight/stratosphere.shtml

          I quoted a paragraph in my article on this that I linked above.
          https://climategrog.wordpress.com/uah_tls_365d

          If you wish to ignore the bumps and the step changes accompanying them you can fit a straight line. That does not make it a “fact”. The obsession in climatology of fitting straight lines to everything is simply due to an a priori assumption that they know what the cause is and that fitting such a model is meaningful. It is not.

          Like I said above, if you cannot explain the main features of a dataset, do not pretend you can explain the “trend”. Like NCAR recognise: the changes are not monotonic they are step-like. Two 0.5deg C steps. Once you recognise that, there is no “trend”.

          Models attempt to explain the bumps ( and generally fail ) . Maybe one or two produce some post eruption cooling. They merit closer inspection. The others must be rejected.

      • The “bumps” are due to (volcanic) particles in the stratosphere. These absorb incoming sunshine and are heated by it and radiate more or less as black bodies, thereby heating the stratosphere, and cooling the surface by absorbing some of the incoming light (which would otherwise heat the ground) and radiating it away into space as LWIR.

        Any particles in the stratosphere have the same effect, so one conceivable explanation for the slower cooling might be that more planes are flying above the tropopause and injecting soot particles and ice crystals into the lower stratosphere.

    • A simpler case to consider is that of a clump of gas (e.g. nitrogen) at a certain temperature. Introduce some CO2 (or any GHG) at the same temperature. What happens? The temperature of the clump starts dropping, because now it is radiating.

      • It starts dropping faster. Contrary to what people believe nitrogen (and other non-GHG gases) do radiate in the IR band, though with low intensity and very broad-band. While a single molecule does not have any energy levels in the IR-band colliding molecules and molecules coming close enough to perturb each other can radiate IR, though the probability is low.

    • Thanks for clearing that up, Nick. The reason for stratospheric cooling AND tropospheric warming is the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases, which I assume, you agree, is CO2. Got it! It is so simple, I don’t even know why we still take observations! Do you? They only seem to get in the way of this super simple understanding of the atmosphere, and then require so many wasted man hours to go back and change those silly observations to fit what we know must be the truth! It is even more annoying that all of that adjustment only results in a slightly better agreement and not a strong agreement between models and observations.

      It is sooo clear now that reality has outlived its usefulness. Sure, there was a time when we thought that reality was important, and we took great care to examine and quantify it. Man, we were fools! Now we see that reality is just getting in the way of what we know is right! What a stupid universe that dares to be more complex than we think it should be! Doesn’t the universe know who we are? Doesn’t it realize that we have computer models?!

      Thanks for helping me see the light, Nick!

    • I agree that the stratosphere cooling is almost certainly due to increased GHG. However this cooling should not have slowed down in recent year as it has done. It is the reason for this that is mysterious.

      The cooling effect of GHG:s in the atmosphere is due to the fact that in the central part of the absorption bands the atmosphere is so opaque that the altitude where radiation into space occurs is actually above the tropopause.

      In the stratosphere temperature increases with altitude, and therefore the radiation temperature of the outgoing radiation also increases, cooling the stratosphere (and of course, the Earth as a whole).

      This effect which weakens the effect of increasing GHG is very rarely mentioned explicitly. Wikipedia even shows the radiative forcing at the tropopause instead of the top of the atmosphere to hide it:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing#/media/File:ModtranRadiativeForcingDoubleCO2.png

      • “However this cooling should not have slowed down in recent year as it has done. It is the reason for this that is mysterious.”

        From the paper ….

        “An extended satellite temperature record and the chemistry‐climate models show weaker global stratospheric cooling over 1998–2016 compared to 1979–1997. This is due to the reduction in ozone‐induced cooling from the slowdown of ozone trends and the onset of ozone recovery since the late 1990s.”

    • I thought space was NOT cold on the sun side of Earth. So, what are “greenhouse gases” doing on the sun side? And it seems confusing that there is a warm side of Earth facing the sun, getting quite a bit of radiation (which would seem to tend towards a great amount of heating), while there is also cooling on the sun side — heating AND cooling at the same time? (again, confusing)

      • Space is always very cold (3 K) in all directions except towards the sun, which is a quite a small part of the whole sky. There it is 5600 K.

      • And the Earth is always both heating, from sunlight, and cooling from IR being radiated away to the very cold space. These two balance quite closely, though not perfectly at any particular point in time, which is the reason Earth is always either warming or cooling very slightly.

        And strictly speaking Earth is actually radiating away a little more energy than it receives from the sun, since there is also about 0.1 W per square meter of geothermal heat produced by radioactivity.

    • If the stratosphere is heated by “the warmth of the surface” would you mind explaining why the temperature of the stratosphere increases with altitude?

  5. If a 200F pot of food is left on the table in a room that is 50F and another 200F pot of food is left on the table in a room that is 80F which pot reaches 100F temperature first? Pretty straight forward, then, add a insulated box around the pot in the 50F room. Not so straight forward.

  6. It seems to be the Sun. There is not much thermal energy in the very short ultraviolet wavelengths, but the question of when the lower atmosphere and Earth’s surface may start to cool may soon be answered.

    We presently see a concurrent comparable decrease in the long (10.7 cm microwave) wavelength solar flux at Earth, even though Earth’s distance from the Sun is decreasing now. Earth will reach Perihelion on January 4, 2019. Earth reached Aphelion on July 6, 2018. Note that the measured F10.7 solar flux has stayed below 70 sfu throughout the month of September: http://www.solen.info/solar/

    • Solar has been reducing for decades. Let us know when you see the cooling. “It seems to be the Sun” is jumping the gun at this point.

      The thermosphere is irrelevant, it’s known to heated by the sun and this pretty obvious from graph in the article. Total red herring.

    • The multi-model mean for the lower Strat, also is “virtually unchanged” – so it seems it’s not “Something for you physicists to ponder”, as it meets the model’s physics expectations.

  7. “the slowdown of ozone trends and the onset of ozone recovery since the late 1990s”

    The sun became less active in the late 90s and ozone above 45km increased whereas it was expected that with a quieter sun there would be a reduction in ozone throughout the vertical column.
    As I have been saying for some years now the data shows that, with the quieter sun, ozone in the lower stratosphere is increasing above 45km and above the poles but decreasing below 45km and over the equator.

    “A reverse sign solar effect in the mesosphere (active sun causing cooling and quiet sun causing warming) has been discovered by Dr. Joanna Haigh who found that despite the quiet sun the amount of ozone in the mesosphere has been increasing with, presumably, a warming effect in the mesosphere.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7316/full/nature09426.html

    a significant decline from 2004 to 2007 in stratospheric ozone below an altitude of 45 km, with an
    increase above this altitude. During a solar storm up to 70% of the ozone in the mesosphere can be
    destroyed with a sizeable temperature effect. So the temperature of the mesosphere will vary oppositely to the level of solar activity. Cooling when the sun is more active and warming when the sun is less active.”

    So, as per my hypothesis, the reverse sign ozone effect above 45km feeds down through the descending polar vortex in the stratosphere so as to alter the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles to force a change in jet stream meridionality.

    It is ozone in the lower stratosphere that sets the height of the tropopause so these observed changes account for the change in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles which is now giving us more meridional jets, increased global cloudiness and a cessation of the earlier warming trend.

    I described the mechanism here:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

    Interesting how this issue is relevant to so many recent posts on this site.

  8. 99% of the atmospheric molecules are below 32 km.

    Without molecules what do hot, cold, heat, energy even mean?

    Just what, exactly, contains that energy being “measured” in the stratosphere?

    • The molecules of course. What else?

      Even a single molecule has a temperature.

      What makes the stratosphere different is that the density is so low that heat transport is predominantly radiative, while in the troposphere it is predominantly convective.

      • “…while in the troposphere it is predominantly convective.”

        According to RGHE theory it’s 100% radiative.

          • Speaking of the K-T diagram.

            I’ll plow this plowed ground and beat this dead horse yet some more. Maybe somebody will step up and ‘splain scientifically how/why I’ve got it wrong – or not.
            Radiative Green House Effect theory (TFK_bams09):
            1) 288 K – 255 K = 33 C warmer with atmosphere, RGHE’s only reason to even exist – rubbish. (simple observation & Nikolov & Kramm)
            But how, exactly is that supposed to work?
            2) There is a 333 W/m^2 up/down/”back” energy loop consisting of the 0.04% GHG’s that traps/re-emits per QED simultaneously warming BOTH the atmosphere and the surface. – Good trick, too bad it’s not real, thermodynamic nonsense.
            And where does this magical GHG energy loop first get that energy?
            3) From the 16 C/289 K/396 W/m^2 S-B 1.0 ε ideal theoretical BB radiation upwelling from the surface. – which due to the non-radiative heat transfer participation of the atmospheric molecules is simply not possible.
            No BB upwelling & no GHG energy loop & no 33 C warmer means no RGHE theory & no CO2 warming & no man caused climate change.

            https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6443501424587395072

          • In TFK_bams09 Trenberth says the emissivity of the oceans is 0.97. That means that 97% of the energy leaving the ocean surface is by LWIR radiation.

            Consider the substantial non-radiative heat transfer processes at the turbulent water/air interface.

            0.97 for the oceans is simply not possible.

          • “0.97 for the oceans is simply not possible”

            Indeed. The Earth would be all extreme desert if that was correct. About half of the total heat loss from the surface is evapotranspiration, and all that water has to be evaporated from the surface, mostly the ocean. I suppose Trenberth et al. get around that fact by claiming that it is the famous back radiation which does all the hard work.

          • “You wouldn’t think that those two little skinny arrows in the middle are actually a lot bigger than those two fat ones to the right, would you?”
            No, you wouldn’t. And they aren’t. The atmosphere is convectively stable, and net heat transport is small. 15 W/m2 is a small proportion of 239, and like the latent heat component, actually can’t transfer it very far (it rains mostly from low altitude).

          • “1) 288 K – 255 K = 33 C warmer with atmosphere, RGHE’s only reason to even exist – rubbish. (simple observation & Nikolov & Kramm)”

            Exacly you are spouting rubbish.
            If by “Nikolov & Kramm” you mean the gravity alone causes the +33K excess over S-B.

            This:
            “Physical nature of the atmospheric ‘greenhouse effect’: According to Eq. (10b), the heating mechanism of planetary atmospheres is analogous to a gravity-controlled adiabatic compression acting upon the entire surface. This means that the atmosphere does not function as an insulator reducing the rate of planet’s infrared cooling to space as presently assumed [9,10], but instead adiabatically boosts the kinetic energy of the lower troposphere beyond the level of solar input through gas compression. ”

            From: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/new-insights-on-the-physical-nature-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect-deduced-from-an-empirical-planetary-temperature-model.php?aid=88574

            That being the case then we have perpetual energy in our gift.
            Just compress something and it will remain permanently hot!
            Marvelous, who would have believed it?
            Nikolov, Zeller and Kramm and any naysayer without common sense needing confirmation to their bias it seems.

            No. Once the atmosphere was compressed by gravity its work was done.
            It’s a “one-shot” event.
            No work is done in keeping a gas compressed.
            Or else go out and buy some compressed gas canisters and use them to heat your house through the winter. It’ll be a lot cheaper than gas/electric.

          • “The atmosphere is convectively stable, and net heat transport is small. 15 W/m2 is a small proportion of 239, and like the latent heat component, actually can’t transfer it very far (it rains mostly from low altitude).”

            And those 80 W/m2 of latent heat (which is considerably more than the LWIR flow from the surface) are transported away from the surface by…..convection.

            And what does it matter how high it is transported? It is net flow, so it does not come back to the surface but goes away into space. It would presumable be possible to show convective heat flow as two-way gross flows like for LWIR, but then the LWIR would probably be virtually invisible in comparison since both descending air and rain/snow are very far from absolute zero.

          • In TFK_bams09 Trenberth says the emissivity of the oceans is 0.97. That means that 97% of the energy leaving the ocean surface is by LWIR radiation.

            No it doesn’t, it means that the ocean emits 97% of the energy which would be emitted by a black-body at the same temperature.

            Consider the substantial non-radiative heat transfer processes at the turbulent water/air interface.

            0.97 for the oceans is simply not possible.

            Your failure to understand what emissivity is invalidates this conclusion. (As of course do the measurements)

    • And by the way energy of course also exists without any molecules at all.

      When you stand in sunshine energy is transmitted from the sun to you by photons, but it only turns to heat when absorbed by the molecules in your skin.

      • Space hot or cold?
        At our orbital distance, 1,368 W/m^2 has an equivalent temperature of 394 K, 121 C, 250 F.
        That’s why the ISS has a redundant pair of ammonia refrigerant chillers.
        Without an atmosphere the earth would be hotter not colder as per RGHE theory.
        255 K assumes the 30% albedo remains after the atmosphere is gone.
        Wow, is that way wrong!!!
        W/o atmosphere no snow or ice or water or vegetation or clouds. The earth would be much like the barren dusty moon, albedo 0.12.
        That real w/o averaged temperature comparable to the 255 K would be 270 K.

        • “Wow, is that way wrong!!!”

          Exactly my thoughts on reading your comment.

          “At our orbital distance, 1,368 W/m^2 has an equivalent temperature of 394 K, 121 C, 250 F.”
          “Without an atmosphere the earth would be hotter not colder as per RGHE theory.”

          Just more ignorance worn as a badge.
          1368 W/m^2 is the diectly measured Solar intensity at TOA.
          NOT that impinging in the Earth’s surface (absent reflected via albedo).
          The Earth is a sphere not a disc and as such that number has to be divided by 4.
          The TSI that is available to be absorbed by the planet is ~ 340 W/m^2.
          Which does indeed compute to 255K (albedo of 1) via SB…..
          33K lower than we experience as an average global temp with our atmosphere.

          https://atmos.washington.edu/2002Q4/211/notes_greenhouse.html

          • Among other things the divide by 4 model is really^4 dumb.
            https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6369927560008212481

            342 = 279 K not 255 K.

            1,368/4=342*.7=239 plus S-B BB = 255 K.

            An albedo of .3 w/o atmosphere is unreasonable.

            W/O atmosphere 1,368/4=342*.88=301plus S-B BB = 270 K.

            Besides, w/o atmosphere the earth would be about 390 lit side, 190 dark side, average 290 much like the moon.

            The 288-255=33 is garbage.

            Lose the snark.

          • “Among other things the divide by 4 model is really^4 dumb.”

            Staggering!
            (Mind I did say “wearing ignorance as a badge”)

            Right … 1370 w/m^2 is the TSI as measured at TOA. Correct?
            At exactly perpendicular incidence.
            The Earth is a sphere and at any point in time the Sun will only be perpendicular at local noon at the local equinox.
            (That leaves out all points N/S of 23.5 deg).
            At the edges (terminator) it will be on the horizon.
            Ergo W/m^2 at those points is not anything like the W/m^2 at the former.
            Then we have the side in darkness.
            You know, when the sun doesn’t shine = 0 W/m^2
            The sum is 1370/4 W/m^2 = ~ 340 W/m^2
            Or is your sky-dragon still flying?

            Area of a cicle = pi x r^2
            Area of a sphere = 4 x Pi x r^2
            r is the same for both and pi is a constant.
            Result of area circle/area of sphere = 1/4.

            For reference – if really are that “dumb”……

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_constant

            “The Earth receives a total amount of radiation determined by its cross section (π·RE²), but as it rotates this energy is distributed across the entire surface area (4·π·RE²). Hence the average incoming solar radiation, taking into account the angle at which the rays strike and that at any one moment half the planet does not receive any solar radiation, is one-fourth the solar constant (approximately 340 W/m²)”

          • “Among other things the divide by 4 model is really^4 dumb.”

            Staggering!
            (Mind I did say “wearing ignorance as a badge”)

            Right … 1370 w/m^2 snthat measurd at TOA. Correct?
            At exactly at perpendicular ncidence.
            The Earth is a sphere and at any point in time the sun will only be perpendicular at local noon at the local equinox.
            At the edges it will be on the horizon.
            Ergo W/m^2 at those points is not w/m^2 at the former.
            Then we have the side in darkness = 0 W/m^2
            The sum is 1370/4 W/m^2 for the impinging TSI (minus reflected) = 340 W as an average for each square metre of Earth’s surface, on a continuous basis.

            Area of a cicle = pi x r^2
            Area of a sphere = 4 x Pi x r^2
            r is the same and pi is a constant.
            Result of area sphere/area of circle = 4.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_constant

            “The Earth receives a total amount of radiation determined by its cross section (π·RE²), but as it rotates this energy is distributed across the entire surface area (4·π·RE²). Hence the average incoming solar radiation, taking into account the angle at which the rays strike and that at any one moment half the planet does not receive any solar radiation, is one-fourth the solar constant (approximately 340 W/m²)”

          • “The Earth receives a total amount of radiation determined by its cross section (π·RE²), but as it rotates this energy is distributed across the entire surface area (4·π·RE²). Hence the average incoming solar radiation, taking into account the angle at which the rays strike and that at any one moment half the planet does not receive any solar radiation, is one-fourth the solar constant (approximately 340 W/m²)”

            Oh, so I suppose that solar radiation is like spray paint, then, as it distributes perfectly evenly around the globe, when coming in ONLY on a hemisphere. One spherical slice just freezes (right?), and waits for the next spherical slice to fill up, and then those two slices freeze simultaneously, while the next slice fills up, and so on and so on, until a perfect coating of radiation is achieved around the whole globe, like spray paint. That’s what dividing by 4 would mean, as I see it.

            That light doesn’t just spray on, while the globe rotates.

            Hence, dividing by four is a bore.

          • “Oh, so I suppose that solar radiation is like spray paint, then, as it distributes perfectly evenly around the globe, ”

            It’s an energy balance problem … for the whole globe.
            It’s a calculation of that energy being absorbed over the surface of a sphere. The Earth.
            So as an analogy, yes it is.

            “Hence, dividing by four is a bore.”
            Just the required physics.
            But yes, physics does seem to be a “bore” for many on here. At least the empirical stuff.

          • But, as stated before, there are only two days of the year when that “magic” 342 watts/m^2 x 24 hours actually occurs.

    • Nick Schroeder asked the question that I think motivated my first question.

      The “temperature” of a dense gas seems somehow a different accounting than the “temperature” of not-dense gas. How can we compare “temperatures” of gases that are of vastly differing densities? — are we overlooking some things in such a comparison? Are we measuring molecular motions in both thin and dense gases? What are we NOT measuring with this metric? A few molecules with the same “temperature” as a dense swarm of molecules would somehow seem to have more energy.

      Does one molecule really have a “temperature”? Does one atom? Where does the concept break down?

      • “The “temperature” of a dense gas seems somehow a different accounting than the “temperature” of not-dense gas.”

        No.

        • No, okay. Let’s explore deeper, using my ignorance to further illuminate why.

          In a dense substance, particles are packed closer together — there are more of them in a given volume. At a given temperature, these densely packed particles are jiggling around in relatively close proximity to one another, compared to particles in a less dense material.

          Particles in a less dense material are spaced farther apart — there are fewer particles per given volume, and yet they jiggle enough that they have the same average energy as the average energy of more closely packed particles in the dense substance.

          It seems that, in the less dense substance, there would be less damping of energy-defining motion than in the more dense substance, where the closer packing of particles would be canceling out some of the adjacent particle’s motion in such a way as to maintain the average motion of the collection.

          In the dense substance, on the other hand, that energy of particle motion does not get checked as much by surrounding particles, and so each particle, individually, would seem to have more energy per particle than than a particle in the dense substance.

          What’s wrong with the reasoning there. Fix it.

      • A substance contains energy in the form of kinetic motion of the molecules. More motion, more energy. A substance does not contain heat.

        Heat is energy in motion, e.g. Btu/h – from hot/high energy to cold/low energy. Cold to hot w/o added work is not possible. If it were there would be refrigerators w/o power cords. I haven’t seen any. You?

        Temperature is a comparative measure of energies. Two substances at the same temperature have the same kinetic energy. At 100 C the molecules in water have a lot of motion. The heavy mercury in the thermometer has less motion, but same energy.

        Specific heat (energy) capacities: water, 1.0 Btu/lb – F – air, 0.24 Btu/lb – F.
        When one is sizing heat exchange equipment for a power plant one had better know the difference. And how & what happens to that cubic foot at 5,280 feet compared to sea level.

        • ” Two substances at the same temperature have the same kinetic energy.”

          A “substance” does not have an energy.
          Energy per molecule ? What are you saying here , in scientific terms. Please clarify.

          • What he may have meant is that temperature is a measure of kinetic energy per molecule per degree of freedom.

          • A temp = B temp, A temp = C temp, B temp = C temp.

            Water molecules, MW 18, will have a lot of motion at 100 C.

            Mercury molecules, MW 200, will have little motion at 100 C.

            KE = 1/2 m v^2

            m goes up v goes down for same KE.

            A substance does not contain heat. Heat is a process not property.

        • Think of the energy contained in a neutron star. There is essentially zero motion in those neutrons given gravity is holding them so tight. So zero motion, yet the temperature would be defined as trillions of degrees.

  9. Why do we only hear about “The models say this”or T hat”. What about the observed facts before the new age chrystal balls can smooth, alter, re-interprete them.

    If modeling is so good what about using them to forecast the weather over the next two weeks, a bit further than the present two to three days, but as they can tell us what will happen 100 years ahead, that should be a easy task.

    MJE

  10. “This cooling was predominantly driven by increasing greenhouse gases and declining stratospheric ozone levels”

    This statement is presented as if it were a fact. Which it’s not; it’s interpretation based on GHE theory.

    That’s the trouble with climate science. Classic cart-before-horse methodology.

  11. Of course, the authors, being biased towards the universal boogeyman of CO2, had only one thing on their minds. But a recent essay by Dr. Tony Phillips suggests the lower solar activity has cooled the thermosphere, which could in turn aid the cooling of the stratosphere:

    Actually they had more things than CO2 on their minds, since they included O3 and ‘solar variability’. So they had included the effects discussed by Phillips.

    • Do you have a citation for that? It would mean that verification of models is also impossible. It probably means nothing more that the well-known truism that “All models are wrong”. (But doesn’t mean they are not useful. I use and review FE and FD models in my day job most of the time.)

  12. ” But a recent essay by Dr. Tony Phillips suggests the lower solar activity has cooled the thermosphere, which could in turn aid the cooling of the stratosphere:”

    err no.

  13. “An extended satellite temperature record and the chemistry‐climate models show weaker global stratospheric cooling over 1998–2016 compared to 1979–1997. ” What does raw weather balloon indicate?

  14. Well, this is an interesting thread, but let’s get focused.

    The surface cannot BB radiate 396 W/m^2 of upwelling LWIR.

    That means the 333 W/m^2 up/down/”back” loop has no source of energy for the GHGs to absorb/re-radiate/warm the atmosphere. (By reflecting away 30% of the ISR the atmosphere cools the earth.)

    No CO2 warming means no man-caused climate change.

    All of the related discussions & debates become moot.

    And everyone involved in the climate change/CAGW circus will have to go find something productive to do.

    Maybe rewrite 30 years worth of erroneous crap.

    • “The surface cannot BB radiate 396 W/m^2 of upwelling LWIR.”

      Well it is doing as that 396 = sigma x T^4
      T = 289K
      QED
      And at TOA 340(1-0.3) = 238 = sigma x T^4
      T = 255K

      We are 33/34K warmer than the energy provide by the Sun at Earth’s surface.

      “”The surface cannot BB radiate 396 W/m^2 of upwelling LWIR.”

      Well it is doing as that 396 = sigma x T^4
      T = 289K
      QED
      At TOA 340(1-0.3) = 238 = sigma x T^4
      T = 255K

      We are 33/34K warmer than the energy provide by the Sun.

      “That means the 333 W/m^2 up/down/”back” loop has no source of energy for the GHGs to absorb/re-radiate/warm the atmosphere. (By reflecting away 30% of the ISR the atmosphere cools the earth.)”

      No, no matter how many Sky-dragons you try to shoot – that is the GHE.
      The source of energy is the Sun (of course) being re-radiated back from GHGs in the atmosphere. Such that the Level that 255K now is is kilometers up in the atmosphere from where the LR is pinned. Such that a DALR will exist from there to the surface.

      “All of the related discussions & debates become moot.”
      Only by way of your hand-waving sky-dragon slayering is it my friend.

      No, no matter how many Sky-dragons you try to shoot that is the GHE.
      The source of energy is the Sun (of course) being re-radiated back from GHGs in the atmosphere. Such that the Level that 255K now is is kilometres up in the atmosphere from where the LR is pinned. Such that a DALR will exist from there to the surface.

      “All of the related discussions & debates become moot.”
      Only by way of your hand-waving sky-dragon slaying is it my friend.

      Try “The Science of Doom” for the (non Sky-dragon slaying) science.
      Oh, and you could always buy and use an IR thermometer and point it up at a clear sky at night.

      “Maybe rewrite 30 years worth of erroneous crap.”
      The Nobel awaits!

  15. Well, don’t everyone jump in at once. This is not a trivial point.

    Another thread on LinkedIn sent me off for albedo research.

    The oceans have a very low albedo, 0.06. That means the oceans absorb almost all the energy hitting it. That raises the temperature.

    Kirchoff said that absorptivity equals emissivity. That means a surface cannot emit more than it absorbed. Basic conservation of energy. That says nothing about a surface emitting less than it absorbed.

    It is intuitively obvious that a significant amount of energy leaves the ocean surface by non-radiative processes. Because of this non-radiative heat transfer participation of a contiguous media, i.e. atmospheric molecules, an emissivity of 0.97 for the oceans or the surface is not possible.

    The IR instruments that measure upwelling LWIR use thermocouples and thermopiles which have temperature/mv characteristics. Temperature is measured, power flux is inferred by assuming an emissivity.

    And assuming 1.0 is assuming way wrong.

    • Again indicating that you don’t have a clue as to what emissivity is!
      A emissivity of 0.97 means that the emission of thermal radiation is 97% of what a Blackbody at the same temperature would emit. The measured emissivity of sea water in the FIR wavelength range is in the range of 0.94-0.98.
      As far as Kirchoff’s law is concerned it applies in the same wavelength range, it’s inappropriate to equate the visible range absorptivity with the IR emissivity. Also it applies in the case of equilibrium so the temperature of the body has adjusted to balance total incoming energy with outgoing energy.
      The value for albedo of sea water you quoted is for solar irradiation not FIR so it doesn’t tell us anything about FIR emissivity. If it did of course it implies an emissivity of 0.94.

  16. One would think that should one wrongly critique the oh-so-sacred RGHE theory one’s in-box would overflow with angry, animated and detailed scientific rebuttals.

    So, what shall one assume from the thundering silence?

    1) (Tsurf – Ttoa) = R * ISR * (1-albedo)

    This ubiquitous heat transfer equation totally describes Tsurf, the earth’s surface temperature. Ttoa, top of atmosphere (molecules cease at 32 km) is a function of altitude. R’s is also a function of altitude, i.e. thickness. Note that GHG’s are not included since their 0.04% contribution to R is negligible.

    For instance, at the equator where the atmosphere is thicker R increases as does Tsurf. Note also at the equator where ISR is high and albedo low Tsurf increases. It’s hot at the equator.

    At the poles where the atmosphere is thin R is low, ISR is low (tilted axis) and albedo high (ice, snow, clouds), Tsurf will be very low.

    At points in between simply insert appropriate values for R, ISR, albedo and Ttoa, turn crank and voila – T surf.

    Interesting albedo site: http://www.climatedata.info/forcing/albedo/

    Q=U A dT – the climate’s easy button.

    • Sort of. The biggest problem with the “ubitiquous” radiaiton equilibrium problem (and most importantly) with those “physicists” who pretend all of its implifications needed to derive the blasted thing, are the simplifications needed to “derive it”.

      Discussing each term requires a full paper though.
      Unfortunately, discussing each limitation and assumption behind each term requires (several) textbooks.

      The “reference site” for albedo is typical of the simplifications:

      Surface            Range of Albedo
      
      Fresh Snow         0.80 to 0.90
      Old/Melting Snow   0.40 to 0.80
      Desert Sand        0.40
      Grassland          0.25
      Deciduous Trees    0.15 to 0.18
      Coniferous Forest  0.08 to 0.15
      Tundra             0.2
      Ocean              0.07 to 0.10
      

      Using those values, well-intentioned as they may be (and few are well-intioned in the political world of climate catastrology) yields the simplified catastrophic memes the writers need for their budgets. Their alarms.

      For example, the albedo for sea ice (not “melted snow” ) varies from 0.83 (January – April), down to 0.42 ( late July) and bounces back up to 0.83 (October-December.)
      The albedo of water varies with wind speed (higher winds lower the albedo of water struck by direct radiation, which absorbs more energy from the sun), with the direct-to-diffuse ratio of the incoming light, with the solar elevation angle of the sun (direct radiation). The albedo of water under direct radiation varies from 0.06 up to 0.48. Thus, in the arctic summer, for many days of the year for many (not all!) hours of the day, the albedo of sea ice and the albedo of open water are nearly equal.
      But, the albedo of water irradiated by diffuse radiation is nearly independent of the solar elevation angle, yet increases with wind under diffuse radiation for winds above 10 m/sec. Many days of the year with low winds and high cloud cover, the diffuse albedo of open water and the early spring of albedo of sea ice are as far apart as 0.83 and 0.067!

      And those are two examples of the simplifications. 0.07 – 0.10 is simply the wrong albedo almost all of the time across the arctic, but adequate for mid-daylight-only approximations for latitudes below 60 degrees. Granted, most of the earth’s surface is between 60 north and 60 south latitudes.

  17. “Thermosphere Climate Index” …. I note a funky relationship here, something about sunspot cycles….

  18. I think Patrick J. Wood is correct. Solar cycles affect the amount of ozone in the atmosphere. The less ozone in the atmosphere, the more sunlight hitting earth’s surface, in turn to be magnified by the greenhouse effect. More ozone results in a larger fraction of sunlight being absorbed in the upper atmosphere and re -radiated in all directions. THIS fraction of sunlight is NOT magnified by the greenhouse effect.

    Gavin Schmidt, at “Realclimate”, tried to explain why there should be a stratospheric cooling effect here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/why-does-the-stratosphere-cool-when-the-troposphere-warms/

    “…In the case of the Earth, the solar input (and therefore long wave output) are roughly constant. This implies that there is a level in the atmosphere (called the effective radiating level) that must be at the effective radiating temperature (around 252K). This is around the mid-troposphere ~ 6km. Since increasing GHGs implies an increasing temperature gradient, the temperatures must therefore ‘pivot’ around this (fixed) level. i.e. everything below that level will warm, and everything above that level will cool.”

    I don’t think the explanation made logical sense. I think James Shearer’s posts #9, #11.#15 etc. were correct. The whole “global warming implies stratospheric cooling” meme is nonsense.

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