According to a new study led by the ICM-CSIC, this could lead to a destabilisation of the global climate system, an intensification of storms in specific areas, and an acceleration of ice melting at the poles.
INSTITUT DE CIÈNCIES DEL MAR (ICM-CSIC)
Researchers at the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona have found that global warming is accelerating the water cycle, which could have significant consequences on the global climate system, according to an article published recently in the journal Scientific Reports.
This acceleration of the water cycle is caused by an increase in the evaporation of water from the seas and oceans resulting from the rise in temperature. As a result, more water is circulating in the atmosphere in its vapour form, 90 per cent of which will eventually precipitate back into the sea, while the remaining 10 per cent will precipitate over the continent.
“The acceleration of the water cycle has implications both at the ocean and on the continent, where storms could become increasingly intense. This higher amount of water circulating in the atmosphere could also explain the increase in rainfall that is being detected in some polar areas, where the fact that it is raining instead of snowing is speeding up the melting”, explains Estrella Olmedo, the leading author of the study.
The work also shows that the decrease in the wind in some areas of the ocean, which favours stratification of the water column, i.e. water not mixing in the vertical direction, could also be contributing to the acceleration of the water cycle.
“Where the wind is no longer so strong, the surface water warms up, but does not exchange heat with the water below, allowing the surface to become more saline than the lower layers and enabling the effect of evaporation to be observed with satellite measurements”, points out Antonio Turiel, also an author of the study. In this sense, Turiel adds that “this tells us that the atmosphere and the ocean interact in a stronger way than we imagined, with important consequences for the continental and polar areas”.
Satellites are key for oceanographic studies
To carry out the study, researchers analysed ocean surface salinity data –which is measured by satellites-. Unlike subsurface salinity data -obtained with in situ instruments- the satellite data allowed them to detect this acceleration of the water cycle and, for the first time, the effect of stratification over very large regions in the ocean. According to them, this is due to the ability of satellites to measure data continuously, regardless of environmental conditions and the accessibility of different areas of the ocean.
“We have been able to see that surface salinity is showing an intensification of the water cycle that subsurface salinity does not. Specifically, in the Pacific we have seen that surface salinity decreases more slowly than subsurface salinity and, in this same region, we have observed an increase in sea surface temperature and a decrease in the intensity of winds and the depth of the mixing layer”, details Olmedo.
These findings are the result of the use of algorithms and other data analysis products that the Barcelona Expert Center (BEC), attached to the ICM-CSIC, has been generating in the recent years from the SMOS space mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), designed to acquire observations of ocean salinity, which is essential for understanding ocean circulation, one of the key factors in understanding global climate.
This circulation basically depends on the water density, which is determined by its temperature and salinity. Therefore, changes in these two parameters, however small they may be, can end up having important consequences on the global climate, which makes it key to monitor them closely.
For this, Turiel concludes that “ocean models must standardise the assimilation of satellite salinity data, since the information they provide complements in situ data, and this is crucial, especially at the current time of climate crisis, where changes are occurring much faster than before”.
METHOD OF RESEARCH
SUBJECT OF RESEARCH
Increasing stratification as observed by satellite sea surface salinity measurements
Evaporating water takes a lot of energy. Have they done an energy balance to see if their theory is even feasible?
Are you asking that to a mathematician specialist of “signal and image processing, retrieval algorithms and fusion methods applied to remote sensing” and a “physicist specializing in remote sensing, turbulence, sea surface salinity, water cycle, sea surface temperature, sea surface currents, and chlorophyll concentration” (well, from turbulence to chlorophyl concentration, rather than physicist, the chap should call himself an encyclopedist…)? Are you expecting any answer?
(quotes from the web pages of first two authors at their institution. The next two authors are not known at the institution and I decided not to dig any deeper)
Don’t need models to explain simple natural self regulating cycle
Too simple. You cannot turn that into a PhD (or pHD?) thesis.
Don’t you bet on it.
One of the most notable and knowledgeable commentators here, soon to be 92 and not seen here for couple of years, I used to address as big G, real name George E. Smith wrote two page PhD dissertation on the CCD imaging sensors that has revolutionised photography and got him share of the 2009 Nobel prize in physics.
Big G if you are still around we all miss your contribution and sense of humour.
‘Statistics is a numerical origami’ : George E Smith
How unfortunate to have won the Nobel in 2009, the same year that they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama – this before Obama had done a single thing. Obama went on to authorize the killing of dozens of innocent civilians with cruise missiles.
George’s PhD dissertation was three pages long according to George himself. Wikipedia has it at 8 pages. So I got his dissertation – it’s one title page and two pages of text. The next time I need to find something out, I’m not going to Wikipedia, it’s junk, I’m going to ask you, Vuk.
George’s posts were always interesting. I miss him too.
Even very small changes can have huge consequences..! It is true in chaos theory, assuming you have no insight into the many variables at play. “Climate science” loves to copy-paste this idea. The problem is, thereby it contradicts the notion of a “settled science”. I mean you can’t have it both ways.
Anyway, the water cycle is surprisingly resilient and does not behave like models predict. Rather than relative humidity remaining constant, it has declined as temperatures went up. WV feedback accordingly does not materialize as intended an even the “hot spot” is missing. In fact there are plenty of really stupid mistakes the “science” has made over the water cycle..
“Rather than relative humidity remaining constant, it has declined as temperatures went up.”
Seldom noted is that absolute humidity remains constant. (Seldom seen, but I have seen some measurement data which shows this.)
I was always puzzled why relative humidity should go up. It struck me that relative humidity might stay constant, I could not see what might drive relative humidity to go up. I would have expected absolute humidity to go up. If relative humidity is constant and the temperature goes up, absolute humidity must, perforce, go up to maintain the ratio balance of % water and saturation. But that did not happen either.
“Curiouser and curiouser” said Alice.
All else being equal, increased convection should cause relative humidity of the atmosphere as a whole to increase, since we have high humidity at ocean level and low humidity at top of troposphere. But a slight increase in convection of humid surface air could cause more clouds and rainfall and surface cooling a day or two later…
This indicates you are not aware of how deep convection works
The RH at the tropopause in high CAPE regions cycles between 100% and much lower in a matter of hours to days:
Same location going from 20% RH to 100% RH within a few days
Surface humidity at the same location when the top of the tropopause is at 100% is only 77%.
Where does all that water come from when a cumulonimbus anvil forms? The upper tropopause becomes saturated.
“Humidity” meaning absolute humidity is about 20,000 ppm at sea level and less than 20 ppm at top of troposphere. RH can be 100% at either altitude. I understand CAPE and skew-T diagrams quite well, thank you.
But your reference was to relative humidity:
As I pointed out, the upper troposphere regularly reaches 100% now; each time cloudburst occurs. It cannot get higher than it already is.
”..high humidity at ocean level and low humidity at top of troposphere” is what I clarified….
Once again, we find that phrase “. . . this could lead to . . .”
Buying a lottery ticket could lead to one becoming a millionaire.
There you have it.
Just replace could/will with hasn’t/isn’t and you get something closer to the truth of what they’re saying.
Hmmm…. I wonder.
To start, I was skeptical about measuring salinity using remote sensing. A little internet search reveals that it is an accepted technique. As revealed, *IF* you have an outside measurement of the water temperature. The satellite measures a Brightness Temperature, so you need an absolute temperature as well. Note that you cannot use a second satellite for the temperature measurement, as that is just the Brightness Temperature all over again. Then it is noted, not unexpectedly, that accuracy falls off with colder water. Also noted is that the wavelength used only samples the top 1-2 cm of water. Maybe things are getting a bit sketchy, but we will go with it, and see where this takes us.
OK, so we are left with our best measurements in the tropics. Well, that is fine with me because a lot of the climate/solar radiation action is in tropics.
So why why increase in the salinity?
In the tropics, you get evaporation morning to midday, then clouds, then the famous afternoon rains. So the seawater salt content gets increased every day and diluted back down every day. So how do they measure a running salt build up??????
Afternoon clouds and rain!
In the morning they measure the increase in salinity sunrise to early afternoon. Then they call it a day as the clouds build up and halt observation of the sea surface.
They only observe the salinity increase.
Then the next day, they start by re-calibrating their baseline so as not to observe that salinity levels dropped since they stopped looking yesterday. then they do it all over again.
Nothing like results driven research.
From the paper on how long it takes to determine “acceleration” in the water cycle :
Bangs head on desk … once.
Reading slightly further :
Bangs head on desk … repeatedly …
“Ouch” … “Ouch” … “Ouch” … “Ouch” …
The Comment of the Day!
“Ouch” … “Ouch” … “Ouch” … “Ouch” …
For the rest of the study we use model data because it provides better sampling of the salinity than the Argo data.
Oh My Gawd!
And this got past “peer review” . . . of course!
That’s academia-speak for “the measurements showed nothing so we used some notional numbers of our own making..”
“Argo provides one of the most accurate and comprehensive means of observing global ocean temperature and salinity changes. ” UCAR
Argo floats are good enough to measure average global ocean temperature
changes of 0.001°C. Should be good enough average salinity to +/- a pinch of salt.
ARGO instruments are not certified for accuracy in situ. Instead, Factory accuracy is assumed to carry forward for transported and deployment equipment.
In spite of ocean life growing and living on ARGO floats, or after the floats are cleaned by maintenance crews, ARGO instruments are assumed to be spot on accurate…
Never mind that the maintenance crews replace instruments, without checking viability or tracking both instruments side by side to identify instrument differences.
Changes of ARGO 0.001°C should be bounded by immense error bars.
The replaceable subsystems in Argo will be calibrated to standard interface values for each section, which makes them replaceable in the field without recalibrating the whole system. Standard industry practice for decades, so unless you have any real sources for that assertion of error bars, I think we can discount it…
My thermometer goes to .00001…so there!
Then why not use the ARGO data directly, instead of “assimilating” it into a model ?
Yes, having a regular set of (month, latitude, longitude, depth, salinity) interpolated values may be easier to work with than an irregularly spaced (and timed) set of empirically measured data transects, but that still doesn’t allow you (plural, including the authors of the paper) to loftily label the first option as “data”.
It is very strange (. . . well, maybe not) that an Institute presenting a peer-reviewed (no less!) article in the journal Scientific Reports (no less!) on the subjects of the “water cycle” and “the global climate system” makes absolutely no mention of clouds and their effects.
Believing that may have been just an artifact of the above article just presenting some extracts of the full paper, I actually downloaded a PDF version of the entire paper (directly available at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-10265-1.pdf ) and did a word search . . . only to find, quite unbelievably, over the paper’s nine pages not a single hit on the words “cloud” or “clouds”.
Clouds are a main driver of variability in Earth’s albedo, which in tune is a main driver for how much solar energy reaches Earth’s lower atmosphere and surface, which in turn is the key driver of Earth’s hydrological cycle. Therefore, anyone think that clouds just might be important in understanding the climate system of Earth?
It is precipitation from clouds, as indicated in the WUWT graphic posted above (outside of) the article, that is a key portion of closing the water cycle.
Yet another nail-in-the-coffin-demonstration of the uselessness of today’s peer review process.
Agreed Gordon, here’s a cross post from another thread this AM
Not for you but for newbies:
“The primary radiation equation is Q=kSo(1-Albedo)x[T^4]….and So, the solar constant, has been very “constant” since we started measuring it reasonably accurately a century ago. However the planet’s albedo averaging 0.3 is controlled daily and weekly between 0.1 for ocean and about 0.7 for clouds….by the approximate 65% cloud cover of the planet itself.
Cloud cover in turn is controlled by the 7% increase in water vapour above the ocean per degree of temperature increase, and the very random whorls of rising and falling troposphere as influenced by the Coriolis forces of a rotating planet.”
I was about to make the same observation but wisely checked first to see if anyone else had already done so. Thanks Gordon. You saved me the trouble. Sadly, the negative feedback effect of cloud formation on “global warming” rarely gets a mention.
Climate Seancers models have ignored clouds for the past 50 years
Pinker (Pinker et al 2005) using satellite data showed solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth decreased from 1960 to 1990 (cooler period) and increased from 1983 to 2001 at a rate of 0.16 watts per square meter (warmer period).
The climate worriers pressurised Pinker to make a statement that her paper should not be construed as being against the cause.
We know the Holocene has had periods when temperatures were warmer than today and trees could grow much higher up the mountain and much closer to the poles. We also know that the recent 3 Ma are the coldest of the last 200 Ma. So why has this never been a problem for the planet and the creatures that live on it? And if it has an effect it must be cooling because Earth has been cooling for the last 50 Ma.
“And if it has an effect it must be cooling because Earth has been cooling for the last 50 Ma.”
Ahhhh . . . you might want to check out the glacial-interglacial (aka stadial-interstadial) cycles that have occurred on Earth over the last 2.6 million years or so, with periods ranging from 40 Kyr to 100 Kyr.
My guess is that changes in wind velocity has a greater impact on evaporation than miniscule changes in temerature.
Evaporation pan equations are well researched and extendable to large bodies of water and include simple wind velocity and RH factors.
One of hundreds of papers:
“Unlike subsurface salinity data -obtained with in situ instruments- the satellite data allowed them to detect this acceleration of the water cycle and, for the first time, the effect of stratification over very large regions in the ocean. According to them, this is due to the ability of satellites to measure data continuously, regardless of environmental conditions and the accessibility of different areas of the ocean.”
What is missing here is a comparison of in situ instruments and the satellite measurements. Satellite measurements for temperature are backed up with weather balloon measurements.
These researchers don’t indicate how they calibrated their readings and how they compare to more direct methods.
This does not mean they are wrong but it does mean they are sloppy with methodology. Models are only worthwhile if they are found to reflect direct observations. I wouldn’t trust their results.
Oops, I missed the link to the paper. After perusing it I found: “However, there are significant differences in the trends observed by satellite (SSS) as compared to those observed by in situ and model (NSS). For the rest of the study we use model data because it provides better sampling of the salinity than the Argo data.”
They admit divergence from in situ observations but they decide to use model findings because they consider it data. I assume that it also fit into their narrative better – tree rings anyone?
The final paragraph, bold italics mine: “For this, Turiel concludes that “ocean models must standardise the assimilation of satellite salinity data, since the information they provide complements in situ data, and this is crucial, especially at the current time of climate crisis, where changes are occurring much faster than before”.”
LOL. When is “before?” And how fast were changes occurring then? And if you think the current climate situation is a “crisis,” when exactly in the last 400 years was it NOT in crisis in terms of storms, floods, droughts, and heat waves? During the Little Ice Age?
This obsession with “climate crisis” as a stand-in phrase for the unwarranted disapproval of fossil fuels is getting worn out.
Must be nice living in a child’s world. Lots of folks seem to these days.
i.e. A care-free land where thermodynamics is some distant ‘thing’ way waaaaaay out there on the horizon of total No Concern,
Where you have unlimited energy and can use it over and over and over again.
Just a BoE tell me that to evaporate one kilogram of water would require cooling one cubic metre of air by over 3,000 degrees Celsius
How does that work (in real world – not in kindergarten world)
I have no time for this nonsense
Bullshit. The oceans warm or cool the atmosphere, not the other way around. Vastly higher mass, vastly lower specific heat.
METHOD OF RESEARCH: Computational simulation/modeling
In other words the excrement of an intact adult male bovine animal.
“algorithms & other data analysis product”
AKA—smoke & mirrors
“global warming is accelerating the water cycle, which could have significant consequences on the global climate system”.
Acceleration of the water cycle removes a lot of energy from the system, as the extra latent heat of evaporation is transported upwards and released as clouds form then escapes to space. So acceleration of the water cycle is a negative feedback. In other words, there will not be as much warming as the models claim. (If this study is correct).
Quick question: What percent of the latent heat that is released when clouds form escapes into
space- for clouds formed @ 10k’, for 30k’+ thunderstorms & larger hurricanes/typhoons? With the
obsession over CO2, not much is discussed about clouds’ contribution to climate. Thanks in
All the surface heat input to tropical ocean leaves via latent heat that results in OLR high in the atmosphere – typically ranging between 200 and 280W/sq.m. In warm pools at the limiting temperature of 30C, the incoming surface solar is around 200W/sq.m and all leaves as latent latent heat that would produce 7mm/day of precipitation if there was no mid level convergence. Warm pools in open ocean are convergenis zones so their precipitation exceeds 7mm/day – meaning the nearby divergent zones have less than 7mm/day.
Table 1 in the linked paper provides surface and ToA energy data for tropical moored buoys in ocean warm pools in all three tropical oceans:
Thanks for your reply. That means there is a lot of NRG kicked out into space that
can’t wend its way to the poles. It’s been a “burning” question I’ve had for quite a
There’s a good answer from RickWill already, but I’ll add:
I don’t know the percent that is lost to space, but much or most of the cycle occurs in the tropics, and my understanding is that every evening in the tropics the hot moist air from the ocean surface rises through the clouds and condenses right at the cloud-top. As a result, most of the latent heat does escape to space. Someone else may be able to put a % on it.
Correct – and the negative feedback is even evident in their own charts, which I have compared in the attachment.
The surface salinity change is clearly the inverse of the surface temperature change. Their own charts contradict their speculation that increasing surface temperature increases surface salinity.
Total atmosphere water column cannot exceed 70 over a monthly average. Once TPW reaches 45mm, cyclic deep convection sets in and at 65mm, the sunlight is reduced to the point where surface heat fluxes are zero – at 30C surface temperature. This limiting temperature is controlled solely by the atmospheric mass (local surface pressure) and the properties of water. It would take an extraordinary amount of CO2 to substantially alter the mass and the sea surface temperature limit.
A Google Scholar search for ‘Wijffels salinity’ comes up with a number of useful papers, such as
Ocean salinities reveal strong global water cycle intensification during 1950 to 2000 – url https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=wijffels+salinity&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&t=1651394284762&u=%23p%3DzfuTFUYRxAMJ
And if it has an effect it must be cooling because Earth has been cooling for the last 50 Ma.
Evaporation cools the water. An increase in the rate of evaporation will increase this rate of cooling.
These “scientists” have not identified a “danger” from “global warming”, instead they have documented one of the reasons why “global warming” can never be a problem.
The water cycle is one of the strongest of the negative feedbacks that prevent temperatures from rising more than a tiny amount.
Note that they have not actually observed the water cycle, just surface salinity. The rest is just alarmist guesses.
There are two charts in the paper that contradicts what the authors are trying to point out.
I have copied the two charts and placed them together to highlight my point. The temperature increase of the surface over the 7 year period is almost the inverse of the salinity increase. Very clear that increasing surface temperature has caused a reduction in surface salinity.
The reason for this is that ocean surface is temperature controlled with very powerful feedback. When ocean surface warm, the evaporation slows down because more cloud forms and reduces surface solar input. The feedback is so powerful over tropical oceans that it provides a sharp temperature limit of 30C with usually less than 1C overshoot for a few weeks.
It is also worthwhile noting that the northern latitudes are warming and the southern latitudes cooling. This is consistent with the long term trend in ocean ToA solar input as perihelion moves ever later than the austral summer solstice.
All these models mean nothing to me in the face of life thriving for billions of years. We’ve been warned that the current 420 ppm CO2 is close to the tipping point, while ignoring the 6000 ppm (15 x higher) during dinosaur time. We’ve been warned that sea levels rising a foot or two will kill corals, ignoring that corals survived the several hundred foot rise of the last 10-20,000 years. Current temperatures are dangerously high, in spite of Roman and late Bronze Age temperatures being higher. We’ve been warned of so many things which are tame compared to historical levels, and I am really tired of it.
Well said. I don’t know if there are more examples, but I’m going to make these three items the starting point of a record that basically starts “If Climate Science warns that ” xxx “then why did the Earth survive ” yyy?” Well, I’m sure I can make it a little smoother than that.
It is certainly going to be accelerated in E. Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska this week. Typically the height of the spring tornado season comes in May and this year that is likely to be no different. Already above the mean this year.
You folks down in Oklahoma keep your eye out for flash flooding because your likely to get an extreme amount of precip this week. When that sandy soil get saturated the unexpected raging torrents come in unexpected places.
Global rainfall has increased, and this is likely, but it isnt much, and WV over land isnt increasing, so it might just be coastal rain fall increase, because RSS WV over the oceans has increased.
Living in a cold and dry world with more a 1/3 of global land area as deserts.
Last time Earth warmed by significant amount, the Sahara desert was mostly grassland.
Somehow humans lived thru it, without people playing on computers.
All I see are pluses if, IF the world really does keep warming. To me the satellite and surface measurements look like they are reaching a peak, like back in 1940, and will likely start a 70 year long drop of about a degree C.
I hope I’m wrong and CO2 is a warm blanket, as the world needs more warmth and more precipitation.
I really get tire of this #FakeScience. Can these people get a real job and please give up to trying to find a solution to a Non Existent Problem?