For a scientific analysis of Climate Change see — Climate forcing our future is cold — — ref628
Data from long-term Climate Studies indicate that we are nearing the end of a long warm period — We are heading for the next Ice Age — Perhaps a Little Ice-Age as researched by Dansgaard, Oeschger and Bond as rapid climate fluctuations that occurred 25 times during the Last glacial period
Investigating solar activity, earthquakes, astrophysics and weather — ref634
Greenhouses gases are absolutely essential, we would be around 30 degrees Celsius colder without them. Carbon Dioxide is essential for agriculture. Dihydrogen Monoxide (H2O) is also essential — even more so than CO2 — But they are a remarkable combination.
Our current Climate arises from a gap in the Absorption Specta of the Greenhouse “Gases” combined with Cloud Formation —
The result is an Energy Balance as illustrated here — two versions, from many —
They differ — is one one of them correct — the IPCS (United Nations) or a Tennesee College !
Let’s now look at the Physics — remember each day and night of 24 hours the Earth is exposed to Solar Energy averaging about 330 Watts/Metre squared)
The increase in temperature is due t nnn
Note that — For 1 deg C rise at 300 deg C the power radiated rises around 4 times faster than the Temperature rise.
o The IPCC Grenhouse Effect — A better explanation by Stephen McIntyre — ref602
o The Real Greenhouse Effect!
o Other feasible Correlations
o Real Pollution
o Past Climates – indicating spike changes in Global Temperature.
o Climate Scepticism – Is the UN’s IPCC fit for purpose?
o Solar Energy
o Appendix 01 – The Global Context
We seem to have lost touch with reality.
The Physics has been replaced by mathematical Modelling — The same delusion gave rise to the 2008 economic mess, when clever mathematician created schemes to reduce risk. The Bankers didn’t understand the maths and it would seem that the mathematicians did not understand banking.
A short history —
The Physics tells us:
The atmosphere has changed dramatically since the Earth was created.
Earth’s atmosphere now contains about 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 0.9 percent argon — The remaining 0.1 percent consists of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, ozone and water vapor. As we live in an atmosphere with temperatures at above and below the freezing point of pure water this remarkable molecule is persists as a gas, a liquid and ice.
The percentage of water vapor in air varies based on temperature. The percent of water vapor in the cold Arctic and Antarctic (and highest Alpine regions) may reach as low as 0.2 percent while the warmest tropical air may contain up to 4 percent water vapor. At a 100 percent saturation level, water vapor condenses to form water drops. If the water drops become large enough, rain falls. Smaller water droplets appear as clouds or fog. Below saturation, the percentage of water vapor in the atmosphere is usually reported as relative humidity.
Water vapor, not carbon dioxide, is the Earth’s most critical greenhouse gas. Besides the Sun, water vapor ranks as the second source of Earth’s warmth, accounting for about 60 percent of the warming effect. Water vapor captures and holds warmth from the ground and carries that warmth into the atmosphere.
Water vapor moves heat from the equator toward the poles, distributing heat across the globe. Heat absorbed by water molecules provides the energy for evaporation. That water vapor rises into the atmosphere, carrying the heat up into the atmosphere.
As the water vapor rises, it eventually reaches levels where the atmosphere is less dense and the air colder. As the heat energy of the water vapor is lost to the surrounding colder air, the water vapor condenses. When enough water vapor condenses, clouds form. Clouds reflect sunlight, helping cool the Earth’s surface.
The IPCC Greenhouse Effect — ref603 — ipcc-explains-the-greenhouse-effect
To balance the absorbed incoming energy, the Earth must, on average, radiate the same amount of energy back to space. Because the Earth is much colder than the Sun, it radiates at much longer wavelengths, primarily in the infrared part of the spectrum (see Figure 1).
Much of this thermal radiation emitted by the land and ocean is absorbed by the atmosphere, including clouds, and reradiated back to Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect.
The glass walls in a greenhouse reduce airflow and increase the temperature of the air inside. Analogously, but through a different physical process, the Earth’s greenhouse effect warms the surface of the planet. Without the natural greenhouse effect, the average temperature at Earth’s surface would be below the freezing point of water. Thus, Earth’s natural greenhouse effect makes life as we know it possible.
However, human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests, have greatly intensified the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming.
The two most abundant gases in the atmosphere, nitrogen (comprising 78% of the dry atmosphere) and oxygen (21%), exert almost no greenhouse effect. Instead, the greenhouse effect comes from molecules that are more complex and much less common. Water vapour is generally claimed to be the most important greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second-most important one. Methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and several other gases present in the atmosphere in small amounts also contribute to the greenhouse effect.
In the humid equatorial regions, where there is so much water vapour in the air that the greenhouse effect is very large (xxx — check), adding a small additional amount of CO2 or water vapour has only a small direct impact on downward infrared radiation.
However, in the cold, dry polar regions, the effect of a small increase in CO2 or water vapour is much greater. The same is true for the cold, dry upper atmosphere where a small increase in water vapour has a greater influence on the greenhouse effect than the same change in water vapour would have near the surface.
Adding more of a greenhouse gas, such as CO2, to the atmosphere intensifies the greenhouse effect, thus warming Earth’s climate.
The amount of warming depends on various feedback mechanisms. For example, as the atmosphere warms due to rising levels of greenhouse gases, its concentration of water vapour increases, further intensifying the greenhouse effect. This in turn causes more warming, which causes an additional increase in water vapour, in a self-reinforcing cycle. This water vapour feedback may be strong enough to approximately double the increase in the greenhouse effect due to the added CO2 alone.
Additional important feedback mechanisms involve clouds. Clouds are effective at absorbing infrared radiation and therefore exert a large greenhouse effect, thus warming the Earth. Clouds are also effective at reflecting away incoming solar radiation, thus cooling the Earth. A change in almost any aspect of clouds, such as their type, location, water content, cloud altitude, particle size and shape, or lifetimes, affects the degree to which clouds warm or cool the Earth.
Some changes amplify warming while others diminish it. Much research is in progress to better understand how clouds change in response to climate warming, and how these changes affect climate through various feedback mechanisms.
Comment much clearer than the IPCC — but is it correct?
For a part of each day the Earth is heated by energy radiated by the Sun, and is discarding heat at all times.
Fig462 Heat retention – Greenhouse Effects Source
Over recent decades the Earth has been discarding slightly less energy than it receives – see Energy Imbalance. So the Earth has been accumulating heat from the Sun, mostly stored in the Oceans, though not uniformly.
NASA measured the imbalance during 2005-2010 at 0.58 ± 0.15 W/m² – The average radiation incident on the Earth is around 342 W/m².
The Solar and Earth (at Surface) Radiation Spectra are shown in CCE471. We can see the Solar Spectrum but the Earth Spectrum is beyond the range of human vision.
The associated radiation spectra are shown in Fig144:–
The main constituents of the Earth’s atmosphere, Oxygen & Nitrogen (99% +) are more or less transparent to both spectra.
The main heatsinks for Solar energy are the Oceans — and they are dominant source of heat re-radiation to Space — clearly via the Atmosphere.
The Atmosphere can absorb radiation — The Absorption characteristics of the Atmosphere at the Surface is shown in Fig252b
CCE252b The width of the Transmission Window – ie. radiations not absorbed by CHGs – varies with both Altitude and Latitude
As the temperature of the Earth increased the Radiation Spectra moved into a “Window” in the Absorption Spectrum — so that at the temperature reached the daily energy input and the output balanced — THis is the so-called Greenhouse Effect.
It is not clear what is the current analyses (2019) of the International Panel on Climate Change — I cannot find what their current web-site claims re Green Effect.
I assume they still use the NASA Energy Flow diagram, shown here:–
But you co not get radiation reflected by an open window!
Another version of the Earth’s Energy Budget (They are all greatly simplified) is shown in Fig461.
Clearly Cloud Cover has a major part on incoming and outgoing radiations. Overall Cloud cover is remarkably consistent. We note that in Fig60 a change in Temperature seems to follow from a change in Cloud Cover.
The atmosphere is our connection to the Sun and Space.
It is a whirl of Radiation and the thermodynamics of matter. The link between them is the capability of certain molecules to absorb and emit radiation. These are the Green-House Gases (GHGs).
The main GHGs are CO2 (0.04% and rising), and Water Vapour present along with the Air in varying amounts, generally 1-4%.
GHGs have two basic energy functions:
1. They warm (& cool) the Atmosphere
2. They help to discard during each 24 hours via the Cooling Window (along with reflected Solar Radiation) about the same amount of energy received from the Sun in that time, thus maintaining the Earth’s average temperature levels
The “Cooling Window” passes the Blue Spectrum shown in Fig144, mainly from the Oceanic Heat Sink.
So most of Energy Radiated goes immediately into Space, the remaining “hot” molecules exchange heat at the ambient atmospheric temperature and reproduce the shape of the radiation spectrum — the Blue Spectrum shown in Fig144 and sent heat into Space — repeating rapidly but leaving the bulk of the Atmospheric (Oxygen and Nitrogen) Molecules at nnn
The Absorption characteristics of the Atmosphere at the Surface is shown in Fig252b
CCE252b The width of the Transmission Window – ie. radiations not absorbed by CHGs – varies with both Altitude and Latitude
This is shown below but with a linear scale for wavelengths.
CCE470 R591 H2O & CO2 Absorption Spectra
Fig427c A to C is the radiation window if no water vapour present, as occurs at higher altitudes see Fig425. The Photon Energies are given by Constant/λ, so the radiation energies around D are less than 1/3 of that at A.
CCE425 Air contents V altitude
CCE450 Global Water Vapour
The linear axis and other adjustment re. Altitude and Latitude, help to clarify that a large proportion of the IR energy from the Surface and Lower Troposphere goes directly to Space. The IPCC estimate of about 10% seems very low – and thus any related back-radiation correspondingly high.
We see that much of the radiation is outside the Cooling Window. Thus the Global temperature has to increase to produce enough radiation through the Cooling Window to balance the Energy Budget.
A crucial point is that as the main part of the radiation, peaking at around 10 microns, is released to space, the remaining heat energy will reform to again peak at the 10 microns, thus enhancing the released radiation.
If WV or CO2 increase the rates of heating and cooling the Atmosphere will both increase – and cooling occurs for the full day
What is missing on the Web is data on how the increasing CO2 affects the Absorptions at the limits of the the Cooling Window.
The extremes of temperature on our Moon are much larger than on Earth, though it is the same distance from the Sun. Each side is exposed to the Sun for 8 times longer than an Earth day, and of course it does not have the heat buffering due to the Oceans, etc. However, there may be a Diurnal element to the Greenhouse Effect.
The measured IR Spectrum seems to confirm the effectiveness of the Cooling Window, centered on a wavelength of 10 Microns.
The main conclusion is that the radiation temperature of the Earth, with the generally persistent Cloud Cover, fits in with the cooling window of the absorption characteristics of WV and CO2 – what could be called The Greenhouse Vent.
There is a clear correlation between Global Cloud Cover and the Global Atmospheric Temperature Anomaly.
There is an urgent need to explain the spikes of extreme cold and extreme climates implied in the Proxy Records – see “Past Climates”
ref870 — Climate References
Literally hundreds of Web-Sites and several “learned” and unintelligible books have been perused – but to quote the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: ”
“Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door where in I went.”
Climate – Scepticism
Science has rescued us from the worst aspects of superstition.
What is understood here by the term science is a mixture of investigating the unknown along with fuller understanding of topics that are of interest to us. The techniques and personnel have merged into technology with mutual benefit. We are at a stage of scientific understanding and the development of technology that we can now contemplate controlling aspects of Climate.
The “United Nations” have a wonderful set of aspirations – most yet to be realised. One excellent move was the creation in 1988 of a means of co-ordinating and publishing work on the Science of Climate – It was named the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” – the IPCC.
It is a prestigious body and thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC – on a voluntary basis, as authors, contributors and reviewers. None of them is paid by the IPCC.
The IPCC does not carry out its own original research, nor does it do the work of monitoring climate or related phenomena itself. The IPCC bases its assessment on the published literature.
It has a hierarchical editing process and the format and contents of the “Assessment Reports”, are determined by a group of “Lead Authors”. The Secretariat oversees and manages all activities.
In order for its conclusions to communicate beyond Scientists, it publishes recommendations in the form of an Summary for Policy Makers – which assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.
The Summary for Policy Makers is subject to line-by-line approval by delegates from all participating governments – such as the UKs Chief Scientist.
The IPCC viewpoint is that there is Climate Change due to Human Activities – mainly the burning of fossil fuels.
Many supporters of this belief have urged action against those who seek to express doubts about this viewpoint – Sceptics or Deniers. They accuse the Sceptics of being motivated by rewards (funding!) from Vested Interests.
Science always seeks the most convincing explanation of the nature of the physical world – however, Scientist have a living to make and a reputation to build – and of course, as human beings, are subject to various influences – ambition, fear of contradiction, whatever.
A notable case against a sceptic was that of Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie Soon, a (part-time) scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. It is reported that he obtained $1.25m in funding from companies such as Exxon Mobil and the industry group American Petroleum Institute.
Willie Soon did not declare the source of his funding in at least 8 of his publications – but there does not seem to be a straightforward ethical standard of disclosure.
Of course important Science needs to be funded – see US Government Funding . This report notes “Climate Change poses risks to many environmental and economic systems, including agriculture, infrastructure, and ecosystems.”
And continues: “Federal law has periodically required the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to report on federal climate change funding. Funding for climate change activities reported by OMB increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010, and is organized in a complex system“.
There does not seem to be an audit of private climate research funding.
Greenpeace have reported that Koch Brothers have sent at least $79,048,951 to groups denying climate change science since 1997 – not a huge sum compared with the US Government Funding mentioned above
In any case, are businesses not entitled to protect their interests by ensuring that all relevant facts and opinions are available.
People do change their convictions, such as the former Sceptic Richard A Muller Richard A Muller ,
Professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, he stated: “I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”
He continued: “By far the best match was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice.”
Professor Muller adds: “ It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly sceptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my scepticism about them hasn’t changed.
Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming. The number of hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up; likewise for intense tornadoes. Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice ….
Sceptics and their supporters (such as GWPF) have expressed concern over such matters as suppression of the publication of Sceptic articles.
The evidence for this is a bit blurred – but this is an area where there may never be Transparency.
Another aspect – The Director General of CERN in 2011 prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from the CLOUD (“Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets”) experiment – click:
Recall that the remit of the IPCC is to review Climate Science Publications – thus the work of All Scientists should be subject to the same critique.
Though NASA excels, very little of the stuff published on the Web is directly useful towards confirming the CO2 assertion or contradicting it. The IPCC with its passive roles is presently unsuited to focussing on the on-going threat of Climate Change. It needs a more positive remit!
Solar Energy – Source
Comments – To firstname.lastname@example.org please.
Past & future Climates
There is general acceptance that the major Ice Age/Warm Period recurrences are due to the Milankovich Cycles. The most drastic effect would be that a change to the Earth’s Tilt Angle would result in the melting of the vast Frozen Water Stores in Antarctica and Greenland.
CCE366b Denmark disappears if the Ice melts – and London!
Abrupt changes are apparent in the Proxy temperature records
It has been suggested that such a “spike change” could release very cold water if the vulnerable Arctic Sea rapidly melted – and that this could stop the Gulf Stream. If true a tipping point for North Atlantic Climates!
The Weather/Climates are complex, and mathematical insights indicate that there
are patterns, such as “Trade Winds”, that are understood – but we will never be able to predict the awfulness of when and where the next hurricane will hit the East Coast of the USA
We need to investigate these spikes. They may actually be larger than recorded as the Ice Records are subject to low-pass filtering. These spikes may be manifestations of Dr Mann’s much criticised “hockey stick” tipping point!
We are of course very concerned about an increase in temperature of the Lower Troposphere, as this is where we live (No clear increase since circa 2000). An increase in Atmospheric Temperature raises the Energy Levels that drive the Weather, with the potential for more Energetic violent storms.
In addition to the obvious Atmospheric Pollution, there is what we dump in the Rivers, the Seas, Derelict Areas and Landfill.
CCE56 China Smog
Fish constitute the most polluted food we eat, with up to 85,000 of new chemical produced since the Industrial Revolution found in their bodies – from “What a fish knows” by Jonathan Balcombe.
Although CO2 has been declared to be a pollutant by the Supreme Court of the USA, it is both essential to life and for our relatively benign atmospheric temperatures.
Of course the burning of Fossil Fuels gives of noxious emissions in varying amounts.
Pollutant Nat. Gas Oil Coal
CO2 117,000 164,000 208,000
CO 40 33 208
NOx 92 448 457
SO2 1 1,122 2 ,591
Particulates 7 84 2,744
Source: EIA, DOE – Kg of Air Pollutants per 10˄12 Joules of Energy
Unfortunately Renewables are generally intermittent.
Thus it would seem that in the foreseeable future we should seek to use the lesser polluting Natural Gas, invest in developing Thorium Reactor power plants and continue research on Fusion-powered plants.
A later addition to this section will consider the Acidification (Reduced Alkalinity) of the Oceans from the CO2 released from the total Reservoir, as shown here:
Fig463 Carbon Reservoirs Source
Amounts given are in billions of metric tons.
Other possible correlations:
There are correlations for the increase in Global Temperatures and CO2
There is also strong evidence that changes to the Global Cloud Cover is the main cause of Global Temperature Changes.
Correlations between possible cause and implied result have also been contradictory.
CCE178 This one implies correlation, but not recently.
CCE360 The Milankovitch Factors
CCE328 The Night Light
CCE315 Many Climates
Each day vast amounts of heat reaches the Earth, and each day and night-time much the same amount leaves the Earth. The Oceans hold the bulk of the heat from the Sun, but the atmosphere is the channel through which it heats and then cools. An attempt to calculate the difference between In and Out heats to account for the recent temperature rise of 0.1 deg. Celsius per decade is given below.
The tropics collect most of the heat from the Sun and the ocean currents and weather processes distribute this heat. Thus cloud cover over the Tropics has a major role in controlling the heat reaching the surfaces – this cover, over the period Dec1997- Dec2011, correlates well with the hiatus in Global Temperature Rise. This hiatus has occurred whilst Carbon Dioxide levels continue to rise – So cloud patterns are the more plausible explanation for the periodic variations in global temperatures.
Pollution which is a major problem:
• China is expanding coal-fired stations and using the most polluting coal – it uses virtually no renewable energy.
• Germany, after spending €23.6 billion this year on Green Subsidies, will build 10 coal-fired power plants over the next two years.
• Thus it would seem that in the foreseeable future we should seek to use Natural Gas, invest in developing Thorium Reactor power plants and continue research on Fusion-powered plants.
The ever escalating burning of fossil fuels is causing dreadful conditions for many of our fellow humans. The following photograph shows dense smog with various pollutants in the North China Plain.
CCE56 China Smog
A typical problem, according to the Public Health England agency of the Department of Health: More than one in 12 deaths in the prosperous inner London borough of Kensington is attributable to air pollution, specifically the tiny particles of soot emitted by diesel engines.
A major public concern is the fear that rising Carbon Dioxide levels will cause irreversible damage to our Climates, with the risk of runaway temperatures, and unprecedented very violent weather events – perhaps the dreaded Tipping Point.
The Supreme Court of the USA has declared Carbon Dioxide to be a Pollutant, though it is essential to Life on Earth.
A number of happenings affect the weather – El Nino, etc. Climate is a measure of the average patterns of variation in temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological variables in a given region over long periods of time. The standard averaging period has been 30 years, though this may need to be reviewed if the Climate is changing faster than in pre-industrial times.
The basic facts are that total Solar Radiation incident on the Earth is more or less constant at 1366*DA = 17.5*1E16 W, where DA is the disc area.
The Warming of the Earth is the result of re-emitting around 0.5W/sqm less than it is receives.
The world’s total electricity generating capacity is around 4.5E12W (2007 figures) which is expected to increase by 1.7% each year to rise to 7E12W by 2035 according to EIA.
The IEA estimates that, in 2013, total world energy consumption was about 4E20 joules, equal to an average power consumption of 1.23E13W
Our Sun’s radiation has the capability to heat the Earth to much higher temperatures. The Moon is at roughly the same distance as Earth from the Sun. It does not have an atmosphere, it has no seas; the Lunar day is 13 ½ Earth days. It’s maximum temperature gives an indication of the heating power of the Sun and the protection afforded by our atmosphere – the Moon’s surface can reach 396 deg. Celsius (123 deg. C), with the “dark side of the Moon” dipping to 120 Celsius.
So, although we are rightly concerned about the potential for serious Global Warming, the temperature could also go much lower. This has happened many times.
The climates of the Earth are diverse and their complexities are described in interesting but overwhelming detail by the official body on Climate Change – The IPCC.
Due to the tilt of the Earth recurrent mini-climates are experienced as the Earth moves round the Sun. London, for example, is at latitude 52 deg., but in real terms this is a mapping convention valid only in Mid-Spring & Mid-Autumn. In Summer London moves South to experience a Florida-type Spring, and in Winter it is up towards an Arctic-type autumn. In Summer Florida has had a dalliance in a “Tropical region”.
So, the higher latitudes have these recurrent periods (Summers) for plant growth which help to make these regions viable for habitation. Thus parts of the Earth become warmer and then colder as the year progresses, but the overall heat content of the Earth can change only very slowly.
People have learned to live in many of our climates and in most parts of the World.
The Earth formed with the Sun 4.6 billion years ago. At this point, it was nothing more than a molten ball of rock surrounded by an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. Because the Earth didn’t have a magnetic field to protect it yet, the intense solar wind from the young Sun blew this early atmosphere away.
As the Earth cooled enough to form a solid crust (4.4 billion years ago), it was covered with active volcanos. These volcanos spewed out gasses, like water vapor, carbon dioxide and ammonia.
Light from the Sun broke down the ammonia molecules released by volcanos, releasing nitrogen into the atmosphere.
It wasn’t until the evolution of bacteria 3.3 billion years ago that really changed the early Earth atmosphere into the one we know today.
During the period 2.7 to 2.2 billion years ago, these early bacteria – known as cyanobacteria – used energy from the Sun for photosynthesis, and release oxygen as a byproduct. They also sequestered carbon dioxide in organic molecules.
In just a few hundred million years, this bacteria completely changed the Earth’s atmosphere composition.
The Earth’s atmosphere is currently composed of the following molecules: nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (1%), and then trace amounts of carbon dioxide (now 0.040%), neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, xenon, ozone, iodine, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.
Lower altitudes have Water Vapor which can be as high as 4%.
CO2 is stored as follows: nnn
Distant past climates were experienced when the continents were positioned differently and thus with different ocean currents, etc. So for our concerns, it would be more appropriate to study the more recent climate changes. However here I will be focusing on the current weather and the major factors that are changing or are variables – I refer to the escalating carbon dioxide levels, water vapour which commonly changes between 1 & 4 %, and clouds. Other factors such as the Gulf Stream, El Nino etc; and the Jet Stream seem to have effects in terms of years but with long term unpredictability.
The ocean currents and the sometimes violent weather systems distribute heat and non-saline water to enable agriculture. The statistics in the latest IPCC Report indicate that there is not yet an increase in the most violent storms.
Convection in both the oceans and the atmosphere distributes the mainly tropical heat over the surface. The resulting winds are a mass movement of all of the associated molecules and as the Earth is rotating (at a steady rate) this movement is affected by Coriolis Forces, strongest at the Equator. The overall effect is to create complex and often violent weather patterns, including the high level Jet Streams.
ATMOSPHERE, HYDROSPHERE, LITHOSPHERE & CRYOSPHERE
These are the major elements of the climatic processes.
The Atmosphere Schematic: Temperature stratification of the atmosphere.
Note the reduction of atmospheric pressure and temperature with altitude
The blue line is the atmospheric pressure which gives an indication of the density of molecules at different heights
For 1 cu. m of air the density at a given altitude would be P/RT, where R is a constant
Space Shuttle Endeavour appears to straddle the stratosphere and mesosphere in this photo. The orange layer is the troposphere.
Typical Troposphere scene
The effects of cloud cover on temperature are a familiar experience. Without cloud cover in an area the temperature drops sharply at night whereas with clouds the temperature drop is noticeably more moderate. On the other hand in the daytime in the summer with no clouds the temperature goes much higher than it does when there is a cloud cover.
The effect of clouds on surface temperature is also the net effect of three things:
• Their greenhouse effect of absorbing and re-radiating downward the thermal radiation of the Earth’s surface,
• Their reflecting back down the thermal radiation from Earth’s surface
• They may deter the convection processes that enable warm air to rise
The effect of clouds depends upon their type and the time of day, and especially if there is significant movement between day and night-times.
Typical reflectance values for snow (blue), bare soil (black), forest canopy (pink), and cirrus (red) and stratus (green) clouds as a function of wavelength (micrometers).
Note that the Reflectance of Clouds is much less for the re-radiation wavelengths.
The influence of clouds is unpredictable but major. The following figure shows various predictions by IPPC.
The Earth’s weather system is largely as the result of the peak heating that is incident on the tropical zone. The current hiatus in Global Warming coincides with a period during which cloud cover in the Tropics was, on average, around a steady 61%.
It is notable that that the average cloud covers over this dominantly important band of the spherical Earth can remain steady for many years. Clearly Cloud Cover is a major influence on the Climate of the Earth – what are the factors that control our cloud cover?
The bulk of the energy involved in the daily heating and cooling of the Earth is from the Oceans. Convection in the oceans distributes the mainly tropical heat over the surface. The top 150 meters is active in storing heat.
Heat flows constantly from its sources within the Earth to the surface. Mean heat flow is 0.065 W/m2 over continental crust and 0.1 W/m2 over oceanic crust.
This averages 0.03 percent of solar power absorbed by the Earth.
Changes in the radiant temperatures of 5 surface-cover types, observed during a 24-hour thermal cycle. From F.F. Sabins, Jr. “Remote Sensing”
The Cryosphere stores water in the forms of ice and snow, mainly in the Antarctic and Greenland. If there was significant melting the Ocean levels would rise by about 70m, flooding most of the major cities. The Arctic has sea ice which is exposed to the warm Gulfstream, varies in size a lot but does not affect the ocean level. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows from west to east around Antarctica. It keeps warm ocean waters away from Antarctica, enabling that continent to maintain its huge ice sheet.