A pertinent climate question

Reposted from Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on March 28, 2021 by curryja | 

by Michel de Rougemont

Not so innocent as it looks, a pertinent question is asked by Judith Curry on Twitter:

How much of a change in cloudiness would it take to account for the 0.53 W/m2 increase in TOA radiative forcing since 2003?

She asks it in relation with a recent article accepted for publication on Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing (Kramer et al., 2021).

Abstract. “Changes in atmospheric composition, such as increasing greenhouse gases, cause an initial radiative imbalance to the climate system, quantified as the instantaneous radiative forcing. This fundamental metric has not been directly observed globally and previous estimates have come from models. In part, this is because current space‐based instruments cannot distinguish the instantaneous radiative forcing from the climate’s radiative response. We apply radiative kernels to satellite observations to disentangle these components and find all‐sky instantaneous radiative forcing has increased 0.53±0.11 W/m2 from 2003 through 2018, accounting for positive trends in the total planetary radiative imbalance. This increase has been due to a combination of rising concentrations of well‐mixed greenhouse gases and recent reductions in aerosol emissions. These results highlight distinct fingerprints of anthropogenic activity in Earth’s changing energy budget, which we find observations can detect within 4 years.”

This question touches a central point of climate science because it cannot be an experimental science in which one can play with parameters in isolation from each other. Only a few limited ongoing instrumental observations and palaeolithic reconstructions may serve to try to distinguish natural from anthropogenic processes, in particular radiative forcing processes. However, most of this job, if not all of it, takes place in silico.

The question can also be formulated in a more general way:

Is it at all possible, at global scope and by instrumental observations, to distinguish the causes of radiative forcing difference of 0.53 W·m-2 over a time period of 15 years?

To the cloudiness suggestion:

  • From a simple, two-layer energy balance budget it can be estimated that, all other things remaining constant, a 1% increase in cloudiness (which amounts to approx. 66% overall) may induce a temperature increase of 0.54 °C at the Earth surface and of 0.45 °C at the top of atmosphere (TOA)
  • Without consideration for any system feedback, a radiative forcing of 0.53 Wm-2 would induce a temperature rise of 0.11 °C at the surface, and 0.18 °C at TOA.
  • To obtain a same temperature increase, thus to respond to a forcing of 0.53 Wm-‑2, it would take a change in cloudiness by 0.27 % for the surface, or by 0.4 % for the TOA.
  • Is cloudiness, or change of cloudiness, measurable with such accuracy and precision at the aggregated global scope? What was it in 2003, and in 2018?

From an overall energy balance perspective:

  • In general, and to simplify, modelers estimate all incoming and outgoing heat fluxes, and let any remaining quantity warm or cool the oceans, thus reporting a so-called accumulated ocean heat or “heat content anomaly”.
    According to NASA, over the 1993–2019 period, a heat flux anomaly of 0.36 to 0.41 Wm-2 for the first 700 m of depth would have accumulated. Over time, other heat release periods should also occur so that the imbalance does not let us boil or freeze for ever (it never did).
  • Over this time period of 26 years, this heat flux would have implied a temperature change to a well homogenized 700-meter water column of 0.10 to 0.11 °C, a hard to measure change.
  • A question, similar to the previous one, arises regarding instrumental observation: is it at all possible to measure such heat accumulation precisely, accurately, and at the aggregated global scope (by localized temperature monitoring or any other valid method)?

In all these evaluations, errors will have to be taken into account; those arising from instrumental imprecisions and inaccuracies, those that are embedded in the data massaging process (averaging over time and locations), and systemic ones deriving from incomplete and imperfect model designs, their parametrization and simplifications.

Said differently: the resulting balance sheet of any model should entail an account for garbage; but it appears that it is at the same time the energy accumulating in oceans. The NASA-Goddard simplified representations does not show any; others (Trenberth, Fasullo, & Kiehl, 2009) show an “net absorbed” of 0.9 W·m-2 or the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) indicates a “Surface imbalance” of 0,6 ±0.17 W·m-2 (one appreciates the margin precision). However, taking into account all potential errors, the true range of validity of this imbalance may well be of the order of hundreds of percent, thus challenging the narrative of a ticking time bomb accumulated in the ocean depths.

One final question must be addressed to the climate science community: will the heat accumulated in the oceans ever be realized by the surface climate?


Kramer, R. J., He, H., Soden, B. J., Oreopoulos, L., Myhre, G., Forster, P. M., & Smith, C. J. (2021). Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(e2020GL091585). https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL091585

Trenberth, K. E., Fasullo, J. T., & Kiehl, J. (2009). Earth’s global energy budget.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90(3), 311–323. https://doi.org/10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1

About the author:

Michel de Rougemont, chemical engineer, Dr sc tech, is an independent consultant. www.mr-int.ch
In his activities in fine chemicals and agriculture, he is confronted, without fearing them, to various environmental and safety challenges.
He published a book ‘Réarmer la raison‘, on sale at Amazon, and an essay ‘Entre hystérie et négligence climatique‘ (both in French only).
He maintains a blog blog.mr-int.ch,, a site dedicated to the climate climate.mr-int.ch, as well as one on biological control in agriculture biologicals.mr-int.ch
He has no conflict of interest in relation with the subject of this paper.

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March 30, 2021 6:06 am

0.53 Wm-2….?

For comparison’s sake what is the estimate for a fart in a windstorm?

Reply to  M.W.Plia
March 30, 2021 6:22 am

That’s a difficult question. What is the flatulent creature? At what velocity is the pressurized gas escaping? Are there any solids or liquids entrained in the effluent stream? What are the component gases and their fractions?

Reply to  SMC
March 30, 2021 11:16 am

“fart in a windstorm”

That’s where gay rainbows come from..

comment image

Last edited 11 days ago by fred250
Reply to  M.W.Plia
March 30, 2021 11:16 am

far more

Last edited 11 days ago by fred250
March 30, 2021 6:11 am

To calculate a feedback, a kernel is multiplied by the change in the variable of interest, typically normalized by the change in global mean surface temperature. – NCAR

Then take away the number you first thought of….

Joe - non climate scientist
March 30, 2021 6:15 am
  • “From a simple, two-layer energy balance budget it can be estimated that, all other things remaining constant, a 1% increase in cloudiness (which amounts to approx. 66% overall) may induce a temperature increase of 0.54 °C at the Earth surface and of 0.45 °C at the top of atmosphere (TOA)

My sole question – Do we really have the instruments able to measure a 1% change in cloudiness?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Joe - non climate scientist
March 31, 2021 9:57 am


March 30, 2021 6:38 am

I’m confused. A 1% increase in cloudiness, which amounts to 66%overall? 66% of what? I need to follow the link as I find this confusing.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Nelson
March 30, 2021 7:02 am

Average cloud cover fraction of Earth is 66.7%.

John Tillman
Reply to  Pat Frank
March 30, 2021 8:10 am

Depends upon what optical depth threshold you chose.


Larger than 0.1 and average cloud cover is lower. If you include subvisible cirrus clouds, the value is higher.

Pat Frank
Reply to  John Tillman
March 30, 2021 5:57 pm

0.67 is global average cloud fraction provided by the MODIS A-train satellite data.

It’s typically the fraction against which climate models are evaluated.

MODIS Gobal Cloud Fraction.jpg
Reply to  Pat Frank
April 4, 2021 12:05 pm

Don’t you have to integrate, as there are dark clouds and wispy clouds?

Reply to  Nelson
March 31, 2021 3:24 pm

To get at the issue of more or less incoming solar energy due to cloudiness, there is help from the global research center at ETH Zurich. The brightening/dimming dataset shows over time there have been periods of cooling and warming due to changes in solar radiation at the surface because of changes in atmospheric cloud optics.

For example, this results shows the best measured continents:comment image
Figure 2. Changes in surface solar radiation observed in regions with good station coverage during three periods.(left column) The 1950s–1980s show predominant declines (“dimming”), (middle column) the 1980s–2000 indicate partial recoveries (“brightening”) at many locations, except India, and (right column) recent developments after 2000 show mixed tendencies. Numbers denote typical literature estimates for the specified region and period in W m–2 per decade. Based on various sources as referenced in Wild (2009).

An overview of this research and findings is at

Reply to  Ron Clutz
April 4, 2021 12:07 pm

Communist China (which is the huge China – Taiwan is small) and India are heavy users of coal, perhaps increasing?

March 30, 2021 6:39 am

which we find observations can detect within 4 years.”

Is the English language being raped here, or is she just a drunken slut hanging out with the frat boys? Either way, someone’s getting screwed through the ears here.
Or did the climastrologists find themselves an oracle, with news from the future four years hence?
This truly is much worse than we ever could imagine….

Reply to  paranoid goy
March 30, 2021 7:06 am

French article translated.

Reply to  JamesD
March 30, 2021 7:22 am

Is the Kramer paper a French one ???
It’s from it’s abstract.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 30, 2021 7:25 am

…which, we find, observations can detect within 4 years

set “we find” between comma seems to be more correct….

Kevin McNeill
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 30, 2021 10:13 am

When you’re writing scientific bullwaffle punctuation is of no import.

Reply to  Kevin McNeill
March 30, 2021 11:51 am

That wasn’t the point.

Reply to  paranoid goy
March 30, 2021 4:15 pm

Michel is the masculine form, Michelle is the feminine….

Reply to  DMacKenzie
April 4, 2021 12:13 pm

There are exceptions, and pronunciation varies.

Names get confusing. And corrupted locally, for example:

  • out in Iowa the town of Monticello is pronounced in Anglo fashion, not Italian as in Thomas Jefferson’s estate. (I don’t know the origin of the name, most settlers there were from northern Europe well over a century ago, English is the standard language there today.)
  • the town of Pouce Coupe in northeast BC is pronounced in Anglo fashion by outsiders (like the car body format), some French speakers add the missing accent on the final e to match the French for cut thumb, locals say Pouce Coupee (I don’t know why).
Nick Schroeder
March 30, 2021 6:39 am

Radiative forcing is the current version of caloric, phlogiston, luminiferous ether, spontaneous generation, humors, four elements……………

For the radiative greenhouse effect to function as advertised the SURFACE of the Earth must upwell/radiate “extra” energy as a near ideal Black Body.
I have demonstrated by experiment, the gold standard of classical science, how/why this is not possible.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 30, 2021 8:15 am

According to the hypothesis, we should soon be able to tan at night.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 30, 2021 8:22 am

Can leeches be used to suck this radiative forcing away ??

Maybe progressive people who want to be colder will fund a start-up company to work on this?

Farquahar Knell
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
March 30, 2021 11:30 pm

Indeed it is, Nick; the concept of minuscule radiative forcing from a cold, gaseous atmosphere as the potential doom factor for civilization has all of the hallmarks of the most spurious “scientific” prognostications of the past, just like phlogiston, the humours, the miasma theory of disease etc.
For the radiative greenhouse effect to function as advertised, it is also necessary to believe, as the climastrologists appear to do, that our atmosphere operates as a black body, that there is no difference between condensed matter (solids and liquids) and gases, and that therefore it is perfectly valid to use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to calculate theoretical heat transfers between surface and atmosphere. They believe this despite the fact that even the most superficial study of radiation basics would reveal to them that it’s all about SURFACES. The radiative intensity between gases at low temperature differentials is negligible, and described by the Schwarzschild equation, not S-B. I cannot find an equation, or even anyone’s attempt to derive an equation, for the radiative impedance of a mixed gaseous environment with only fingerprint spectrum absorption to a black/grey body radiating across the full far-infrared spectrum, as earth’s surface does.
It seems to me that these jokers need to go back to school. But who is qualified, or inclined, to teach them the truth, if anyone actually does know it, rather than this corrupted version of science that has enabled them to gain so much unwarranted political/economic/media attention and traction?

Gordon A. Dressler
March 30, 2021 6:45 am

From the Kramer, et.al, 2021, abstract quoted above:
“These results highlight distinct fingerprints of anthropogenic activity in Earth’s changing energy budget, which we find observations can detect within 4 years.”

So, when humans clear cut forests in Brazil and burn the resulting debris (after it dries out, of course) how do those observation satellites and wonderful “radiative kernels” applied to their data enable distinguishing the anthropogenic fingerprints on the released CO2 from that activity against, say, the CO2 released from a 100,000 acre forrest fire that was initiated by a lightening strike?

Also, do the “radiative kernels” account for the changes in Earth’s “energy budget” that is due to the undisputed fact that Earth’s surface has progressively increased in vegetative leaf coverage by more that 10% in the just the last 40 years, something climate scientists have claimed is mostly due to increasing atmospheric CO2 levels?

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 30, 2021 7:02 am

I have seen one study that attempted to assess the changes in albedo due to the reflectance of the additional flora. I don’t remember the amount, but it was an increase of what is reflected back to space.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 30, 2021 7:17 am

These kernels are fine for performing forward calculations, I suppose, i.e. assume a change in the independent variable and then calculate its effect. But attribution calls for an inverse solution and then non-uniqueness becomes an issue, which is the issue you raise.

Can a person look at the surface temperature kernel versus atmospheric long-wave temperature kernel in this figure, and convince me we can sort out which drives which? I suspect the albedo kernel looks very similar.

Last edited 11 days ago by Kevin kilty
Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Kevin kilty
March 30, 2021 8:08 am

Dr Kilty,

I’m not familiar with the term “kernel “. Is that the climatologists’ way of saying “data set”? Second, do these kernels represent a specific time period? And third, if the answer to the prior question is “yes”, would one be able to see the tropospheric hot spot be comparing two LW air temperature kernels?

Presuming this is all real data, if the answer to the third question is “no”, the modeling folks would have some explaining to do.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 30, 2021 12:08 pm

In my interpretation of the above article, “radiative kernel” = data manipulation.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 31, 2021 10:05 am

From what I can tell, kernel == constrained model of a single process

Climate models consist of multiple kernels running in time-sync.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 30, 2021 8:42 am

These kernels sound like nuts to me

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Redge
March 31, 2021 5:26 pm

A kernel is also a part used in sanders, which would explain why the climate alarmists are being such Chicken Littles.

March 30, 2021 7:01 am

Clouds are not clouds, there are at different hights and quality.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 30, 2021 7:39 am

Yes. And all quite different in their capacity to warm or cool near- surface temperatures.

Cliff Mass gives a good overview of clouds types & effects at his blog (look up his name).

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 30, 2021 10:52 am

The National Weather Service has a great website with Cloud information. Here is a link to the cloud type page:
There are additional pages on cloud formation and types.
It is useful to look at the information and ask yourself is there any way to model the clouds and their impact on the climate without using a fudge factors.

Reply to  Gordon
March 30, 2021 11:30 am

I don’t ask me, but I answer, it will not be possible to model that correct.
Thx. for the link !comment image

I miss NLC

Last edited 11 days ago by Krishna Gans
D Boss
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 31, 2021 7:42 am

For a fantastic view of an extremely wide variety of cloud types, thicknesses, layers etc, watch this cockpit video of a corporate jet from Bora Bora to Tahiti, to Honolulu:


The amazing cloud views start at 10:00 and run until 40:00 in the video. Having views out the windscreen of a Gulfstream GIV-SP gives a much more vivid picture of clouds than one normally gets from the ground or a passenger aircraft.

No one with half a brain can watch this sequence demonstrating only a glimpse of the wide variety and quality and intricacy of clouds and tell me with any certainty that they can measure the global cloud contribution to the energy balance within 1/2 watt per square meter!

Or accurately “model” cloud behavior regards overall climate. The first leg of this flight was about 150 nm, and the second leg covered about 550 nm until it cuts to night time. Yes it’s a small sample, but it viscerally demonstrates what Joni Mitchell refrained: “I really don’t know clouds at all”.

Kevin kilty
March 30, 2021 7:04 am

Now ask a related question. What is the average of energy (fuels, foods, electricity) dissipated per unit area of a modern city compared to 0.53 Wm^{-2}? It’s surprisingly close.

Clyde Spencer
March 30, 2021 7:46 am

Once again, had Kramer or NASA reviewers used the proper protocol for reporting a measurement, they would have cited 0.5 ± 0.1 instead of 0.53 ± 0.11 W/m2. They are implying that they measured the downwelling to an order of magnitude greater precision than is justified by the rules of the use of significant figures.

Incidentally, Kopp (2011):

The most accurate value of total solar irradiance during the 2008 solar minimum period is 1360.8 ± 0.5 W m−2

Therefore, Kramer is claiming a precision (± 0.11 W/m2) in the anthropogenically-induced increase in radiative forcing to be an order of magnitude greater than what is accepted for the total solar irradiance. Additionally, the magnitude of the claimed increase is identical to the uncertainty in the total solar irradiance. That seems to me to be a very weak case for anthropogenic influence!


Last edited 11 days ago by Clyde Spencer
pHil R
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 30, 2021 9:45 am

Even better, the TSI “established in the 1990s” was 1365.4 ± 1.3 W m−2, while “(t)he most accurate value of total solar irradiance during the 2008 solar minimum period” is1360.8 ± 0.5 W m−2, which is significantly lower than the precision of the firs established TSI. Wonder what “the most accurate value of total solar irradiance” will again be a few years from now.

Reply to  pHil R
March 30, 2021 11:25 am

Many of their other fluxes would have ± values FAR MORE than 0.5W/m²

This attributed value is a load of mixed horse and bull manure with some pig and chicken s**t mixed in.

Last edited 11 days ago by fred250
March 30, 2021 8:02 am

An increase in the earth’s surface temperature leads to an increase in the rate of evaporation of water from the earth’s surface, which in turn leads to an increase in the rate of cloud formation and thus to an increase in the overall volume of clouds.

The process of cloud formation, i.e. the release of heat through condensation at altitudes above most greenhouse gases, is a significant source of radiative heat losses in the earth’s energy budget, approx 85 W/m2.

Thus if there are more clouds, it is not just the increase in cloud surface area that causes a negative feedback, it is also the increase in the rate of cloud formation (and dissipation), related to higher rates of evaporation from the surface, that causes an additional negative feedback.

Is this second source of negative feedback considered in the above discussion?

Reply to  dh-mtl
April 4, 2021 1:15 pm

But do those clouds persist, as apparently IPCC thinks in the positive feedback theory, or dissipate as well – by precipitation of course?

Clouds are moved by wind – prevailing is from the west, precipitation often occurs on upwind mountain slopes. How far downstream is a question, Chinook winds on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains result from air being dried out by precipitation on the west slopes then adiabatically heating up as it descents down the east side. Why is the Amazon so wet while northern Africa so dry? Why are the Andes so dry? (There’s a theory that recent growth of the snow cap on Mount Kilmanjaro results from more evaporation of Atlantic Ocean water due change in currents – the mountain is waaay downwind of the Atlantic.)

March 30, 2021 8:10 am

Increasing sunshine amounts have certainly been one factor that has lead to warmer springs here in England over the last 50 years.
But l suspect its not the only answer to the warming. A other factor l also believe that has happen is that there has been a shift in the weather patterning during the springtime. With a increase in Mid Atlantic highs ridging up over europe or even moving over to europe. Which draw up warm air from the south. Rather then having northern blocking drawing cooler air from the north. This change has been noticeable in the last 15 to 20 years.

Reply to  taxed
March 30, 2021 8:26 am

In Berlin, Germany, at the end of the 60th, we had a shift from continental to a more atlantic climate, that may be true for the northern part of Germay too, or even over all in Germany.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 30, 2021 9:46 am

This week is going to show just what a difference to where the high pressure is sitting can make. At the moment western europe is enjoying very warm spring temps. Thanks to a area of high pressure sitting over europe and drawing up warm air from N Africa. But by the end of the week this high will give way to one sitting over the northern Atlantic. Which will replace the warm air with colder air from the north and in doing so it will drop the temps by 10C to 15C. You don’t need CO2 to warm a climate, just a shift in weather patterning

Reply to  taxed
March 30, 2021 9:57 am

comment image


Roger Huff
March 30, 2021 8:35 am

Me, looking at constantly changing, multilayered clouds out the window of a 12 hour transpacific flight: Hmm, impossible to measure the clouds or anything like ‘cloud coverage’ so obviously they’re just making up the ‘data’ and using it in a Hayekian “pretense of knowledge”.

March 30, 2021 8:47 am

The “average” temperature of the planet surface is controlled by the Albedo of the planet. The albedo of 70% of the planet is .06, and the Albedo of clouds is .5 to .9. It should occur to any reasonable person that cloud cover controls the average temperature of the planet.

What controls cloud cover ? Well, the amount of cloud-forming water vapor in the atmosphere…7% more above water per degree temperature increase.

So what controls long term average cloud cover? Well…average sea surface temperature controls that. And average sea surface temperature changes slightly on a multidecadal swings, and more so on about approximate 1100 year cycles, except researchers have a habit of reversing cause and effect when evaluating proxies.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 30, 2021 2:48 pm

All cloud is formed by atmospheric cooling. There would be no cloud if water vapour was not a radiative gas.

The simple fact that the average radiative temperature of Earth being 255K is sufficient to condemn the concept of the “greenhouse effect” to bin 13. That alone implies most of the OLR released is going to produce persistent ice crystals high in the atmosphere, which form persistent reflective cloud until it descends to the level where it will vaporise. If the conditions of the atmosphere changes so that more OLR is released from the atmosphere then there will be more cloud formed and less sunlight making it to ground level.

Reply to  RickWill
March 30, 2021 3:44 pm

“There would be no cloud if water vapour was not a radiative gas.”

I thought it was air pressure reduction leading to cooler air going up, until condensation then ice crystals formed.

Reply to  EdB
March 30, 2021 10:08 pm

Without radiative cooling the atmosphere ends up in an isothermal state. Simply because the only way it can gain or lose heat is from contact with the surface. The pressure gradient falls exponentially rather than linearly to satisfy the barometric condition and gas law.

Under isothermal conditions, the vapour pressure of water will be constant so it will not undergo the phase changes observed in the current atmosphere. Hence no cloud formation.

Most of the mixing that occurs in the troposphere on Earth is the result of diabatic processes in the atmosphere – top being cooler than the bottom, which can only occur if the atmosphere can lose heat or gain heat without surface contact. For example, deep convection requires a dry zone above a level of free convection to produce the convective potential. The dry zone is created through radiative cooling resulting in ice deposition or water condensation.

Reply to  RickWill
March 30, 2021 4:05 pm

Huh? There would be clouds even if water vapor wasn’t a radiative gas….because there would still be convection, and the lapse rate would still cause temperatures to decrease with altitude as the molecules bounce their way upwards against gravity, or climb by convection. Eventually water vapor would reach a condensation temperature. The greenhouse effect is partly because those clouds are warmer than outer space and the surface sees maybe 0 C instead of -270 C to radiate heat to…..somewhat overly simplified to fit onto 2 sentences.

March 30, 2021 8:49 am

This global worming is a pretext and a timely warning of an impending ice age!
How come, you may ask?
Arctic ice melting has released huge quantities fresh water, with additional large volumes flowing in from the great Arctic rivers. In coming decades even minor cooling in the arctic region (fresh water is lighter, floats on the top of heavier salty water and freezes easier), will result in rapid expansion of winter ice, and all of it may not melt in the summer months. Increased albedo as a positive feedback will drive into further cooling. At the point when the rivers estuaries are year-round ice locked, the ice will rapidly advance over land.
It happened in the past, and will happen again with a little help from Milankovic cycles. 

Reply to  Vuk
March 30, 2021 10:08 am

Russian are getting ready or a propaganda video of some kind of well made film studio effect.

Last edited 11 days ago by Vuk
March 30, 2021 8:51 am

“To obtain a same temperature increase, thus to respond to a forcing of 0.53 Wm-‑2, it would take a change in cloudiness by 0.27 % for the surface, or by 0.4 % for the TOA.”

Strange. CERES gives a deltaCRE/deltaCAF of -0.2 W/m2/%Cloud Area Fraction

March 30, 2021 9:25 am

Once upon a time, there was an international cloud project, someone with more infos about ?

March 30, 2021 11:23 am

Curry seems to be posing leading questions intended to make her readers draw inferences about the paper which she has not substantiated.

Changes in cloudiness are already accounted for the author’s methodology. Curry has not shown that they failed to account for them adequately.

Reply to  Weekly_rise
March 30, 2021 11:28 am

It’s not a Curry paper, btw.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 30, 2021 11:42 am

Understood. In case my comment above is unclear, Curry asked a leading question on Twitter, which prompted this article posted to her blog (and now reposted to WUWT). Nowhere has Curry or anyone else actually shown that changes in cloudiness have not been adequately accounted for by Kramer, et al.

Last edited 11 days ago by Weekly_rise
Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Weekly_rise
March 30, 2021 2:51 pm

You need to go read the accessible Supplement to the Kramer et al paper.
Keep in mind they are calculating IRF from clear-sky radiative fluxes.

Focus on Supplement Page 5, SA1.3 Uncertainty in the cloud masking term.

The pertinent statement the authors make is:

“With these limitations, we assume the LW cloud masking is equivalent to the masking of IRF from CO2 perturbations in this study, which is the dominant GHG driver over the observed period being evaluated. “

You know what happens when these climate dowsers simply “ass u me”?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 30, 2021 7:45 pm

Funny thing is, they seem to treat “clear sky” as being “no H2O”

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  fred250
March 30, 2021 8:05 pm

The climate models would probably be pretty accurate if the Earth was a perfect blue sky ball with no clouds. Clouds are and always will be why the climate models will never be able to get it right for a number of reasons related to water vapor, convection, cloud formation, and precipitation from those clouds.

Farquahar Knell
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 31, 2021 12:21 am

They have to use clear-sky fluxes, because they know that clouds/water vapour are so massively more significant than CO2 that they could never pretend to isolate a signal for their obsessively hated CO2.
I just went outside and pointed my IR thermometer at various points in the sky.
Outside air temp: 23C
Cumulus clouds between about 3,000 and 5,000 ft: 14C – 18C
Clear sky: -4C – -10C

Even then, much of the “heat” in the clear sky will be contained in the 60%+ humidity around here at the moment.

The reason that the clouds are registering as reasonably warm is that the tiny droplets of condensed water actually operate as miniature black bodies and provide a measurable degree of impedance to upwelling radiation from the earth; unlike the clear sky, in which water vapour provides a minor impedance and the other gases contribute only trivial obstruction.

If these people actually believe that a high, cold sky is somehow “heating” – i.e. adding heat – to the earth’s surface, then I have a very nice Sydney Harbour Bridge I can sell them at a surprisingly reasonable price.

March 30, 2021 11:50 am

The animation below shows how low clouds form in the southeast Pacific. La Niña will return.

Last edited 11 days ago by ren
March 30, 2021 2:35 pm

Earth has an average radiation temperature of 255K. That means OLR is being predominately released by water vapour high in the atmosphere to deposit as ice crystals. If the OLR is 240W/sq.m and heat of deposition is 2800J/g then there will be 300g of reflective ice being formed every hour. It will remain ice until it slowly descends from about 9000m to to 6000m.; all the time reflecting sunlight.

How could the “greenhouse effect” ever get traction. It is so fundamentally flawed.

To bed B
March 30, 2021 2:55 pm

There is 170 W/m2 emitted by the upper troposphere and higher. Just a rough back of envelope using an average of 240 K temperature and warming by a fifth to 240.2K should increase the outgoing by almost 0.6W/m2.

Just think of the upheaval to economies based on such a small change to the atmosphere, which should be more robust or fluctuations in the climate would be much more extreme.

Pat Frank
March 30, 2021 5:39 pm

Of the ∼1360 W/m^2 of total insolation, about 340 W/m^2 make it through the stratosphere. Of that 340 W/m^2 some is absorbed, about 100 W/m^2 globally is reflected back to space by clouds and about 245 W/m^2 make it to the surface.

Just looking at clouds, 0.53 W/m^2 represents about 0.5% of that 100 W/m^2. So, ball park estimate is 0.5% change in cloud cover, assuming a linear relationship between clouds and reflected flux.

Satellite estimates of cloud are good to about ±10-15% — 20 to 30 times larger than the minimally required resolution. There’s no way one could observe or measure a 0.5% change in cloud cover.

Reply to  Pat Frank
March 30, 2021 7:52 pm

The 1360W/sq.m is the average at zenith; it ranges from 1320 at aphelion to 1420 at perihelion. That drops to 340W/sq.m when area averaged across the globe. The peak ground level insolation is maybe 1100W/sq.m. I have seen just over 1000W/sq.m recorded over a tropical ocean at zenith.

On average clouds reduce surface insolation by 3W/sq.m/cloud% but reduce OLR by about 1.5W/sq.m/cloud%. The net is 1.5W/sq.m/cloud%. So to 0.5W/sq.m would require around 0.3% increase in cloud.

March 30, 2021 11:59 pm

Solar wind magnetic activity dropped again in March 2021.comment image

Coach Springer
March 31, 2021 6:55 am

the total planetary radiative imbalance.” Is there naturally some kind of stasis where the word “balance” is apropos instead of the current implied anthropogenic “imbalance”?

April 4, 2021 12:00 pm

radiative kernels” say what?

Good question.

OTOH, I hang my hat on the stability of climate in warmer periods like MWP.

(Since IPCC agree that there is a limit to the effect that CO2 can have on average climate temperature but theorize runaway warming from a positive feedback loop involving evaporation.

IOW, level of CO2 then and now does not matter, only temperature.

Reply to  Keith Sketchley
April 4, 2021 12:03 pm

Or to put it another way, since earth climate has been stable within small limits for roughly 20 millennia, there must be compensating factors.

Reply to  Keith Sketchley
April 4, 2021 12:03 pm

Clarifying: ‘compensating mechanisms’.

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