Loss of reflectivity in the Arctic doubles estimate of climate models

Jan 18, 2011
As the planet's snow and sea ice cover shrinks, global warming is intensified to a degree greater than models have predicted, new research shows. Credit: Mark Flanner

A new analysis of the Northern Hemisphere's "albedo feedback" over a 30-year period concludes that the region's loss of reflectivity due to snow and sea ice decline is more than double what state-of-the-art climate models estimate.

The findings are important, researchers say, because they suggest that Arctic warming amplified by the loss of reflectivity could be even more significant than previously thought.

The study was published online this week in Nature Geoscience. It was funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, with data also culled from projects funded by , the Department of Energy and others.

"The cryosphere isn't cooling the Earth as much as it did 30 years ago, and climate model simulations do not reproduce this recent effect," said Karen Shell, an Oregon State University atmospheric scientist and one of the authors of the study. "Though we don't necessarily attribute this to global warming, it is interesting to note that none of the climate models used for the 2007 International Panel on Climate Change report showed a decrease of this magnitude."

The cryosphere is the collective portion of the Earth's surface where water is in solid form and includes , snow, lake and river ice, , ice sheets and frozen ground. Most of these frozen areas are highly reflective, and "bounce" sunlight back into the atmosphere, keeping the Earth cooler than it would be without the cryosphere.

But as temperatures warm, ice and snow melts and reflectivity decreases, noted Shell, an assistant professor in OSU's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

"Instead of being reflected back into the atmosphere, the energy of the sun is absorbed by the Earth, which amplifies the warming," Shell said. "Scientists have known for some time that there is this amplification effect, but almost all of the climate models we examined underestimated the impact – and they contained a pretty broad range of scenarios."

As part of the study, Shell, lead author Mark Flanner of the University of Michigan, and their colleagues compared cryosphere changes between 1979 and 2008 in 18 different to changes in actual snow, ice and reflectivity measurements of the same period. They determined that mean radiative forcing – or the amount of energy reflected into the atmosphere – ranged from 4.6 to 2.2 watts per meter squared.

During the 30-year study period, cryosphere cooling declined by 0.45 watts per meter squared. The authors attribute that decline equally to loss of snow and sea ice.

"Some of the decline may be natural climate variability," Shell said. "Thirty years isn't a long enough time period to attribute this entirely to 'forcing,' or anthropogenic influence. But the loss of cooling is significant. The rate of energy being absorbed by the Earth through cryosphere decline – instead of being reflected back to the atmosphere – is almost 30 percent of the rate of extra energy absorption due to carbon dioxide increase between pre-industrial values and today."

The "albedo" or reflectivity process is simple, scientists say, but difficult to measure on a broad scale. The reflectivity of ice and snow is obviously much greater than that of darker, unfrozen ground, or open sea water. But researchers also have discovered that variations in the snow and ice result in different albedo impacts.

For example, pools of melted water on top of sea ice can have significantly less reflectivity, which in essence may speed up the warming and possibly melting of that sea ice.

"While the current group of models underestimates these Northern Hemisphere cryosphere changes, new models will be released this year that will have better representations of snow and ice," Shell said. "This study will help climate modelers improve the new generation of models to better predict the rate of cryosphere and albedo decline in the future."

Explore further: NASA sees Typhoon Matmo making second landfall in China

More information: The paper is called "Radiative forcing and albedo feedback from the Northern Hemisphere cryosphere between 1979 and 2008."

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User comments : 126

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Royale
4.1 / 5 (13) Jan 18, 2011
Yes! No Q_C comment yet! Although I suppose he'll say that NASA and the DOE are wrong now too, because he's so much wiser.
jscroft
1.9 / 5 (24) Jan 18, 2011
Well, let's see... NASA and DOE are agents of Government, which has a vested policy interest in supporting AGW claims. So there's an inherent conflict of interest here.

You might claim that all persons involved are such saints that this conflict has no actual EFFECT... but that doesn't make it go away, now, does it?

Of course, virtually ALL climate "science" in the U.S. is underwritten by politicians who have a vested interest in the outcome, and performed by scientists whose livelihoods depend on their arrival at the "right" conclusions. Odd how that works, ain't it?

Not that any of this stands ON ITS OWN as a refutation of AGW. But if it doesn't arouse the skeptic in you just a TEENSY little bit, you might consider sitting out the coming ice age--or will it be the Deluge?--in a secure position in the fast food industry.
Royale
4 / 5 (20) Jan 18, 2011
Weak man. Weak.
Riddle me this Batman; if the government has such a vested interest in fudging the numbers, why did we hear the most about AGW during Bush's reign?
Obviously Mr. Oil had a vested interest in saying it was wrong, right?
If that's the case then why didn't the government cover it up as you and Q_C would want us to believe?

I also love how you mention Ice Age. I've never read anything that says we can't ever have an Ice Age again, so you should really stop using that example. An even worse one I hear all the time is when it is 20 degrees outside, people say 'so much for global warming eh?' That honestly doesn't even merit a response from me. If people are that dumb I don't bother acknowledging their statements.
geokstr
2 / 5 (21) Jan 18, 2011
Hey, no problem, they'll just tweak the computer model, and claim they really did mean 2035 all along.
Parsec
3.6 / 5 (17) Jan 18, 2011
Hey, no problem, they'll just tweak the computer model, and claim they really did mean 2035 all along.

Clearly, additional data, including direct measurements of the reflectivity changes and other new science will be used to tweak the models. I am puzzled why this would be worth mentioning, except as a joke, or maybe you just do not understand what a model is?
Parsec
3.2 / 5 (18) Jan 18, 2011
@iscroft - ok I will bite. Why does the Government has a vested policy interest in supporting AGW claims? As long as I can remember the Gov. has debunked and discarded the science in order to deny AGW to the best of their ability. The EPA had to be taken to the Supreme Court to force it to regulate greenhouse gases, and then they dragged their feet for 3 years until they were absolutely up against the wall and Congress refused to address the issue.

What evidence to you have of this claim? What evidence do you have of the slanderous claim that scientists are engaging in a conspiracy to create bogus science to line their own pockets?
Caliban
2 / 5 (8) Jan 18, 2011
These new assesments may go some distance in explaining this latest bit:

h(DELETEME)ttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1346936/The-sun-rises-days-early-Greenland-sparking-fears-climate-change-accelerating.html

fixer
3 / 5 (10) Jan 18, 2011
Personally, I took this article at face value, but then I live in Au and it ties in nicely with the spate of floods we are having.
This may seem simplistic to some, but then I don't blame the government for everything.
jyro
4 / 5 (8) Jan 18, 2011
conserve, innovate, prepare for climate change
Throughout time the only constant related to climate is change. Even if man causes climate change, it's going to happen no matter what we do. The rest of the world won't cooperate.
rwinners
2.8 / 5 (12) Jan 18, 2011
Of course, virtually ALL climate "science" in the U.S. is underwritten by politicians who have a vested interest in the outcome, and performed by scientists whose livelihoods depend on their arrival at the "right" conclusions. Odd how that works, ain't it?/q

Oh come on. Our representatives in government are under the sway of big money. What big money? Energy! Does anyone thing that the energy companies are behind the global warming issue? I just don't get this whole line of reasoning.
ted208
1.9 / 5 (23) Jan 18, 2011
The AGW gloomsday project continues to be widely acclaimed by select group of AGW academics and professionals who have a financial stake in the continuation of phony temperature data, crappy modeling (garbage in = garbage out) and the scare mongering climate change hoax that is starting to unravel, backfire and fall flat on it's sad face. The truth is out so called climatologist, social(ist) engineers, the UN and professional doomsayers are proven wrong EVERY TIME! They fudge data & have no valid science or ability to forecast 6 months away never mind 90 years.

These days any climate alarm headlines pushed in the news media are suspect and generally disbelieved by all but the party (IPPC) faithful or the 1984 crowd.

Disgusting weak regurgitated reporting that leaves a bad taste in any honest persons mouth!
rwinners
2.8 / 5 (11) Jan 18, 2011
q/The AGW gloomsday project continues to be widely acclaimed by select group of AGW academics and professionals who have a financial stake in the continuation of phony temperature data, crappy modeling (garbage in = garbage out) and the scare mongering climate change hoax that is starting to unravel, backfire and fall flat on it's sad face./q

What select group and what is their financial interest?
geokstr
2 / 5 (21) Jan 18, 2011
What select group and what is their financial interest?

Well, let's see, just off the top of my head:
1) algore, who was on pace to become the first billionaire failed presidential contender until all this started to unravel
2) Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC, enmeshed in a major financial ethical scandal concerning AGW
3) any Democratic politician, who is well aware of where his base is buttered
4) any "climatologist", who knows that "studies" that don't back AGW also don't attract the showers of grant money and earmarks
5) the leaders of every environmental organization in the known universe, who count on apocalypsism bringing oodles of donations to fight off the Trogs
6) Jeffrey Immelt, head of GE, which is heavily invested in carbon credit trading schemes, and who uses his "news" subsidiaries NBC and MSNBC to push AGW alarmism
7) every tinhorn dictator of a third world toilet hoping to get a hefty chunk of the wealth distribution being bandied about

Need some more?
geokstr
2.1 / 5 (21) Jan 18, 2011
And while only #4 is made up of "scientists", apparently you must think they are immune to financial motivations and incentives, because they would much rather be poor and unknown, I guess. Following the money must only apply to shills of Exxon, in your mind.

And who is dangling those financial carrots in front of the scientists? Why, the other 6 I listed above, that's who.
Howhot
3.4 / 5 (17) Jan 18, 2011
This is an incredible story. Scientists are reporting that actual real-life measurements of CO2, green-house gases, global temperature rise, weather extremes and climate change are much larger than computer models predicted. Man-made GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT A HOAX; and it is progressing much faster than we (as in scientist with computer models) predicted.

ted208 says blaw-blaw-blaw "are proven wrong EVERY TIME!". And "Disgusting weak regurgitated reporting that leaves a bad taste in any honest persons mouth!"

Ted208 is just a environmental propagandist arguing the delusional point of view that "la-la-la the extreme 120F heat, drought, flood is just an illusion created by the Socialists". You make me sick you POS.
geokstr
1.8 / 5 (19) Jan 19, 2011
Oh, and I forgot the Manns and Joneses and Hansens and many, many others, money or not, who have staked their entire reputations and careers on AGW being totally correct.

Did you know that Mann got 2.4 MILLION from the Stimulus legislation?
Howhot
3.1 / 5 (15) Jan 19, 2011
Geokstr and his 7 political bullet points he wishes were true. 1) algore ... nuff said.
geokstr
2.1 / 5 (19) Jan 19, 2011
And Hownot has no real answer to those bullet points, even the ones about the scientists, so instead he resorts to the usual juvenile scatological insults.

Did you even read past 1) algore...

No? Why am I not surprised?
Howhot
3.1 / 5 (15) Jan 19, 2011
Here is the thing about this article that the ANTI-GLOBAL-WARMING (AGW) want you to believe is not true. All the models that predict nasty global warming (like a Soylent Green 2100). They are worst.
Howhot
2.9 / 5 (15) Jan 19, 2011
geokstr; Yes I did read beyond step one, here;
1) Full of it.
2) Who cares.
3) Full of it.
4) Full of it.
5) ???? Trogs??
6) True. So what.
7) Yeah me.

Parsec
3.7 / 5 (19) Jan 19, 2011
geokstr - you are like the guy who has cancer claiming that the doc's only motivation for diagnosing you with it is to rob you of your money for treating it.

Willful ignorance and blindness to the data in front of you displays your extreme bias. You are not being skeptical. You are being pigheaded.

Why don't you quit attacking the messenger's (thousands of them), and address the message?
Howhot
3 / 5 (14) Jan 19, 2011
"During the 30-year study period, cryosphere cooling declined by 0.45 watts per meter squared. The authors attribute that decline equally to loss of snow and sea ice"
A LOSS of snow and ice means warming. Whatever you would like to attribute the snow and sea ice loss to; every bit of science points to man-made-global-warming (MMGW). You know as a science guy, I feel like "I'm just the messenger,please listen" but seriously, there is a lot that needs to be done to kill CO2. We will need to engineer the atmosphere.
Skepticus_Rex_
2.5 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2011
The article is ridiculous, I have read WUWT and, if you tilt the graph by 20 degrees, divide the data results by the gravitational effect of planet x , add cloud cover, and of course its an El Nina which explains all the 'extreme' weather :) you find that very clearly global ice cover is increasing and the ice is getting thicker! Otside my window it's a bit frosty...to Mr Watts that's proof, and I believe him more than the ecofascists at Hadcrut..remember Climategate?
The fact that some of the Hudson Bay is still ice free is due to those ecoweenies using green biofuel and polluting the river. I have links somewhere byt Physorg won't let me use them.
rgwalther
3.4 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2011
You know as a science guy, I feel like "I'm just the messenger,please listen" but seriously, there is a lot that needs to be done to kill CO2. We will need to engineer the atmosphere.


'Engineer the atmosphere' is a definition of madness. It is time to kill the messenger.
DKA
2.2 / 5 (9) Jan 19, 2011
The people who read this are so dumb! no wonder GW will get worst. Only dumbs could create a planet where GW gets out of control. They are the cause. So of course, they can't be expected to do anything smart about it.
Claudius
2.3 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2011
Here's something to ponder:

If we could somehow burn all the fossil fuels completely into the atmosphere, the amount of CO2 released would be no higher than it has been in the far past when the fossil fuels were sequestered. Was there a runaway greenhouse effect in the distant past? If so, why does Earth not resemble Venus?

This whole thing is blown way out of proportion.
Ricochet
3.2 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2011
@howhot - So, I suppose the fact that the global climate conditions have almost exactly followed the eb and flow of the Sun's natural cycles has nothing to do with it? The fact that the sun has periods where it radiates less or more based on its cycle couldn't possibly have anything to do with the global rise and fall of temperatures, could it? Naw! There's no possible way that additional radiation from the Sun could POSSIBLY cause the planet to heat up more than we're used to! NO WAY, NO HOW!
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (15) Jan 19, 2011
Here's something to ponder:

If we could somehow burn all the fossil fuels completely into the atmosphere, the amount of CO2 released would be no higher than it has been in the far past when the fossil fuels were sequestered. Was there a runaway greenhouse effect in the distant past? If so, why does Earth not resemble Venus?

This whole thing is blown way out of proportion.
The earth is not steady state. CO2 is one driver of the climate system, other factors were not the same, least of which being the arrangement of the continents and ocean currents.
madrigal
2.8 / 5 (6) Jan 19, 2011
Ricochet- temperature and the solar cycles showed an approximate correlation until the 1970's. Since then there has been no correlation.
Claudius
2.1 / 5 (16) Jan 19, 2011
James Hansen recently said he thought global warming such a severe threat that there should be a global dictatorship similar to the one in China to address it.
(Washington Times: China-style dictatorship of climatologists)

I think it is time to step back and really re-assess this whole AGW scheme for what it is.
madrigal
3 / 5 (8) Jan 19, 2011
claudius- I see you gave me one star for the above. It is a fact, do you just give one stars for reasoning or for your agenda?
TehDog
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2011
The article is ridiculous, [snip] I have links somewhere byt Physorg won't let me use them.


I lol'ed, and gave you 5 :)
Claudius
2 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2011
From Yahoo News:

"Climate change study had 'significant error': experts"

Scientist Scott Mandia forwarded to AFP an email he said he sent to Hisas ahead of publication explaining why her figures did not add up, and noting that it would take "quite a few decades" to reach a warming level of 2.4 degrees Celsius.
"Even if we assume the higher end of the current warming rate, we should only be 0.2C warmer by 2020 than today," Mandia wrote.
"To get to +2.4C the current trend would have to immediately increase almost ten-fold."
jscroft
2.9 / 5 (10) Jan 19, 2011
@Royale:

If the government has such a vested interest in fudging the numbers, why did we hear the most about AGW during Bush's reign?


Ah, yes. I see what you're saying. President Bush was obviously not a member of Government.

Obviously Mr. Oil had a vested interest in saying it was wrong, right?


Wrong.

If that's the case then why didn't the government cover it up as you and Q_C would want us to believe?


'Cause maybe your premise is false?

I also love how you mention Ice Age.


Brilliant, neh?
jscroft
2.6 / 5 (12) Jan 19, 2011
@Royale (con't):

I've never read anything that says we can't ever have an Ice Age again, so you should really stop using that example.


I've never read anything to suggest you didn't find your high school diploma in a Cracker Jack box, either, but I'm giving YOU the benefit of the doubt, am I not?

An even worse one I hear all the time is when it is 20 degrees outside, people say 'so much for global warming eh?'. That honestly doesn't even merit a response from me. If people are that dumb I don't bother acknowledging their statements.


Well... maybe just this once, right genius?
jscroft
2.8 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2011
@Parsec:
@jscroft - ok I will bite. Why does the Government has a vested policy interest in supporting AGW claims?

Because such claims provide a useful basis for the massive expansion of Federal power into the space currently occupied by individual liberty and the rule of law.
As long as I can remember the Gov. has debunked and discarded the science in order to deny AGW to the best of their ability. blah blah EPA blah Supreme Court blah regulate greenhouse gases blah Congress blah blah.

And who brought the suit before the Supremes? Why, various state governments and environmental groups who will all enjoy a massive windfall of Federal dollars as a result of the Court's decision!
What evidence to you have of this claim? blah blah slanderous blah conspiracy blah bogus blah blah?


If you have to ask, you really haven't been paying attention. Why don't you go talk it over with your buddy @Royale?
Claudius
2.3 / 5 (15) Jan 19, 2011
Because such claims provide a useful basis for the massive expansion of Federal power into the space currently occupied by individual liberty and the rule of law.


Actually, it's worse than that:

"The nation's most prominent publicly funded climatologist is officially angry about this, blaming democracy and citing the Chinese government as the "best hope" to save the world from global warming. He also wants an economic boycott of the U.S. sufficient to bend us to China's will."

-Washington Times: China-style dictatorship of climatologists
jscroft
1 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2011
@Caudius: Racist.
ubavontuba
1.9 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2011
I can't help but notice this study avoided data from the past few seasons, wherein the cryosphere has seen significant recovery. That is, the icecaps have expanded (particularly, the northern icecap).

Why is that?

@soulman:

Instead of playing your childish downranking game, why don't you present an argument? Or, are you afraid of the ubavontuba?
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2011
I can't help but notice this study avoided data from the past few seasons, wherein the cryosphere has seen significant recovery. That is, the icecaps have expanded (particularly, the northern icecap).

Why is that?


That statement is very, very difficult in terms of quanification, and probably best left until or unless there is a solid value that can be assigned. As it stands, Some increase in Antarctica is offset by loss to the western shelf, glaciers continue their retreat, Greenland continues to lose ice, and the Northwest Passage is ice free.

Also, you might have a look at the article I linked to above, for more bad news re: additional cryospheric loss unsuspected until now.
madrigal
4.1 / 5 (9) Jan 20, 2011
Ubavontuba- You do know that we are approaching the lowest GLOBAL ice extent....ever...don't you?
h(DELETE)ttp://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
madrigal
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2011
To clarify I should say 'ever recorded'.
ubavontuba
1.6 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2011
That statement is very, very difficult in terms of quanification, and probably best left until or unless there is a solid value that can be assigned. As it stands, Some increase in Antarctica is offset by loss to the western shelf, glaciers continue their retreat, Greenland continues to lose ice, and the Northwest Passage is ice free.
Well, the London Times disagrees:

http:/www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7086746.ece

Also, you might have a look at the article I linked to above, for more bad news re: additional cryospheric loss unsuspected until now
I did. I particularly noticed the comments. A self-described Greenlander stated the sun doesn't rise over the icesheets there, but over barren mountains. If he's right, then there's more to the story. Perhaps the weight of the new ice is causing Greenland to subside?
ubavontuba
1.5 / 5 (17) Jan 20, 2011
Ubavontuba- You do know that we are approaching the lowest GLOBAL ice extent....ever...don't you?
Squiggly lines on a graph, made by AGW alarmists. This NOAA National Ice Center graph disagrees:

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/sea_ice_only.jpg

And, according to this handy-dandy TOTAL ICE graph, we see a similar result.

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/ims_data.jpg

And surely, you're not going to tell me the picture of Great Britain in this article is of a non-reflective surface:

http:/www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html
Caliban
3.8 / 5 (9) Jan 20, 2011
Well, the London Times disagrees:

http:/www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7086746.ece


Well, gorsh, I suppose that they would know, huh?

I did. I particularly noticed the comments. A self-described Greenlander stated the sun doesn't rise over the icesheets there, but over barren mountains. If he's right, then there's more to the story.


I missed the comments, but, even if that's true, you understand that it doesn't necessarily affect anything. Or do you mean to say that these are the Mountains of the Edge of the World?

Perhaps the weight of the new ice is causing Greenland to subside?


What "new ice" is that? Citations, please!

Caliban
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 20, 2011
Squiggly lines on a graph, made by AGW alarmists. This NOAA National Ice Center graph disagrees:

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/sea_ice_only.jpg


It does no such thing. Doesn't even map back 12 months. What it does show is that extent of sea ice was still less than some of the previous years in the sample. You get a point for exactness, though.

And, according to this handy-dandy TOTAL ICE graph, we see a similar result.

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/ims_data.jpg


Nearly indistinguishable. So, your point?

And surely, you're not going to tell me the picture of Great Britain in this article is of a non-reflective surface:



And surely, you are not going to tell us that this snow cover is going to last season-to-season?

That would be only slightly more surprising than if it persisted for much longer than week-over-week.


Caliban
4.1 / 5 (8) Jan 20, 2011
And lastly, as I said earlier, your statement is very difficult to quantify, as you no doubt noticed when you went rushing to your archive to find some circumstantial evidence to back your claim.

Were you unable to find any good news down south? Or atop mountain high?

Your ice map graphs were nice, but they only recorded ice extent over the last five years, a period during which sea ice extent has been in known decline.

And like it or not, your Times article photo of the UK ominously shrouded in snow, still only depicts short-lived weather, regardless of some bloke's claim that it heralds the beginning of a new "mini ice-age".

You're exhibiting all the symptoms of er...shall we say, "wishful thinking"?
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2011
Well, gorsh, I suppose that they would know, huh?
It's a reputable lay source. Do you have a problem with it?
I missed the comments, but, even if that's true, you understand that it doesn't necessarily affect anything.
It totally affects the claim in the article of the sun rising over the "icecaps."
Or do you mean to say that these are the Mountains of the Edge of the World?
Don't be snide. They're just mountains.
What "new ice" is that? Citations, please!
Didn't you see my references in my following post?

Here's the most relavant one. It's a graph of northern hemisphere ice. Notice 2010 is higher than 2007:

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/ims_data.jpg

And images from 2007 and 2011:

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/ARCHIVE/EuAsia/2007/ims2007019_asiaeurope.gif

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/ARCHIVE/EuAsia/2011/ims2011019_asiaeurope.gif
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2011
It does no such thing. Doesn't even map back 12 months. What it does show is that extent of sea ice was still less than some of the previous years in the sample. You get a point for exactness, though.

Nearly indistinguishable. So, your point?
They show the maximum for 2010 was at or above the previous four years, and the minimum was above 2007 and 2008.
And surely, you are not going to tell us that this snow cover is going to last season-to-season?

That would be only slightly more surprising than if it persisted for much longer than week-over-week.
It'll accumulate in/on the glaciers. Otherwise, it's seasonal. But as I've shown, even seasonally adjusted, the snow and ice has increased in the past year.
Caliban
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2011
Didn't you see my references in my following post?

Here's the most relavant one. It's a graph of northern hemisphere ice. Notice 2010 is higher than 2007:

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/ims_data.jpg

And images from 2007 and 2011:

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/ARCHIVE/EuAsia/2007/ims2007019_asiaeurope.gif

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/ARCHIVE/EuAsia/2011/ims2011019_asiaeurope.gif


I did look at those links, and responded to them in both of my posts. I would ask if you read them, but it appears from your comment that you didn't.

So where does that leave us? I'm no fan of going in circles.

ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (11) Jan 20, 2011
And lastly, as I said earlier, your statement is very difficult to quantify, as you no doubt noticed when you went rushing to your archive to find some circumstantial evidence to back your claim.
This only serves to show that claims of LESS ice and snow are equally as unquantifiable.
Were you unable to find any good news down south? Or atop mountain high?
Sure.

http:/www.cpom.org/research/djw-ptrsa364.pdf

http:/www.springerlink.com/content/a3581383141m4126/

http:/news.discovery.com/earth/himalayas-glaciers-shrink.html

Your ice map graphs were nice, but they only recorded ice extent over the last five years, a period during which sea ice extent has been in known decline.
You looked at 'em backwards then. Look at the dates on the maps.
Caliban
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 20, 2011
It'll accumulate in/on the glaciers. Otherwise, it's seasonal. But as I've shown, even seasonally adjusted, the snow and ice has increased in the past year.


I'm not 100% sure about this, but I don't believe that there are currently any ice fields in the UK that can properly be called glaciers. Year-round snow in some mountain gullies/ravines, but no glaciers.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2011
And like it or not, your Times article photo of the UK ominously shrouded in snow, still only depicts short-lived weather, regardless of some bloke's claim that it heralds the beginning of a new "mini ice-age".
I didn't claim otherwise.
You're exhibiting all the symptoms of er...shall we say, "wishful thinking"?
Naw. You're ignoring the data.
I did look at those links, and responded to them in both of my posts. I would ask if you read them, but it appears from your comment that you didn't.
Ignoring the data is not responding to the data.
So where does that leave us? I'm no fan of going in circles.
At an impasse, I suppose. Get back to me when you're willing to get serious about the data.
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 20, 2011
I'm not 100% sure about this, but I don't believe that there are currently any ice fields in the UK that can properly be called glaciers. Year-round snow in some mountain gullies/ravines, but no glaciers.
Ah, aren't you just a cutie?

Stop playing with your strawmen dolls now, and return to the subject at hand. The northern icecap and snowcap have grown since 2007.
Caliban
4.8 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2011
Were you unable to find any good news down south? Or atop mountain high? Sure.

http:/www.cpom.org/research/djw-ptrsa364.pdf


From 2006 -hardly quantifies current status, now, does it?

http:/www.springerlink.com/content/a3581383141m4126/


From 2007. Ditto previous.

http:/news.discovery.com/earth/himalayas-glaciers-shrink.html


You've posted this one before. At least a little more recent -published May, 2009. It applies to the "rugged western corner" of the Himalayan Plateau, and doesn't really quantify the amount of increase, much less in proportion to the ice loss suffered by the rest of the regions glaciers. Plus almost two years ago since it was published, much less when the research was concluded.

Your ice map graphs were nice,[...]You looked at 'em backwards then. Look at the dates on the maps.


Ice extent was less overall than two of the years, and only showed an increase over mean in two weeks ending in last October.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (8) Jan 20, 2011
From 2006 -hardly quantifies current status, now, does it?

From 2007. Ditto previous.

You've posted this one before. At least a little more recent -published May, 2009. It applies to the "rugged western corner" of the Himalayan Plateau, and doesn't really quantify the amount of increase, much less in proportion to the ice loss suffered by the rest of the regions glaciers. Plus almost two years ago since it was published, much less when the research was concluded.
Where are your counter references? If you can't counter mine, they stand - unchallenged.

Anyway, you do know that California has had two heavy weather years in a row now, right? In fact, this year, the snowpack is around 200% of normal (Mt. Shasta is in California).

http:/www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2010/122810snow.pd
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2011
Ice extent was less overall than two of the years, and only showed an increase over mean in two weeks ending in last October.
What are you looking at? I provided two maps. One from 1-19-07 and one form 1-19-11. Toggle 'em back and forth.
Caliban
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2011
I'm not 100% sure about this, but I don't believe that there are currently any ice fields in the UK that can properly be called glaciers. Year-round snow in some mountain gullies/ravines, but no glaciers.
Ah, aren't you just a cutie?

Stop playing with your strawmen dolls now, and return to the subject at hand. The northern icecap and snowcap have grown since 2007.


No strawman -I said that the snowcover in the UK(image of which you linked to, I suppose as evidence of the coming "mini ice-age)was unlikely to last for more than a couple of weeks.

You responded that you expected it would build up on glaciers and icefields or some such. If you were referring to something else, then you are guilty of a non-sequitur.

But let's skip all that goofy hair-splitting. The real point here is that you haven't any citation to back up your claim after the beginning of october, last year. It remains to be seen that sea-ice extent increased through 2010.
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (15) Jan 20, 2011
No strawman -I said that the snowcover in the UK(image of which you linked to, I suppose as evidence of the coming "mini ice-age)was unlikely to last for more than a couple of weeks.

You responded that you expected it would build up on glaciers and icefields or some such. If you were referring to something else, then you are guilty of a non-sequitur.
It is a strawman, as is your underhanded innuendo that I've suggested we're headed into a "mini ice-age."

I referenced the Great Britain image to show that sea ice isn't the only highly reflective surface. Snow cover is equally as reflective.
But let's skip all that goofy hair-splitting. The real point here is that you haven't any citation to back up your claim after the beginning of october, last year. It remains to be seen that sea-ice extent increased through 2010.
Are you blind then? Or, are you a chatbot?

It's got to be one or the other, as you've clearly not been able to view the map references I've provided
Caliban
4 / 5 (8) Jan 20, 2011
Where are your counter references? If you can't counter mine, they stand - unchallenged.


Your citations are outdated, and can't be said to accurately reflect current conditions. Not my problem.
Your himalayan glacier article only applied to a portion, and included no overall mass balance info, and therefore again is insufficient, and again, not my problem.

Anyway, you do know that California has had two heavy weather years in a row now, right? In fact, this year, the snowpack is around 200% of normal (Mt. Shasta is in California).


Yes, yes -I live up the coast only a few ticks from California. You do realize that increased snowpack for the last two years means exactly nothing? You do know that last year, there was so little snowfall in BC that all of the big snowsport resorts were pretty much shut down?

You're again mistaking weather for climate.

ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2011
Your citations are outdated, and can't be said to accurately reflect current conditions. Not my problem.
Your himalayan glacier article only applied to a portion, and included no overall mass balance info, and therefore again is insufficient, and again, not my problem.
Still no counter references? What evidence then do you have to support your objections? None?

My references continue to stand then, unchallenged.
Yes, yes -I live up the coast only a few ticks from California. You do realize that increased snowpack for the last two years means exactly nothing? You do know that last year, there was so little snowfall in BC that all of the big snowsport resorts were pretty much shut down?
So where do you think all that snow on the 7 Mt. Shasta glaciers goes? Does it just disappear?
You're again mistaking weather for climate.
And you're mistaking climate for seasonal glacier growth.

You seem to have difficulty remaining on topic. Why is that?
Caliban
4.2 / 5 (6) Jan 20, 2011
And please allow me to clarify -the reason I say that your outdated and/or less-than-meaningful citations are not my problem, is because I'm not the one contradicting this article. That would be you -and therefore the burden of proof also lies with you.

I will go so far as to grant that the extent of the sea ice, as represented in the two graphs you cited, is greater than it was for two of the four years preceding -but it is also LESS than two of those years, as well. So while it is at somewhat greater extent than the "least ever recorded" , it is in fact "approaching the least ever recorded", as madrigal put it.
Caliban
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2011
So where do you think all that snow on the 7 Mt. Shasta glaciers goes? Does it just disappear?


It may very well all runoff as meltwater, maybe with a little extra, to boot. Perhaps you forget the extra-warm California summers of recent memory. I haven't seen any data on that, so I couldn't say one way or the other with any confidence. Do you have any?
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (9) Jan 20, 2011
And please allow me to clarify -the reason I say that your outdated and/or less-than-meaningful citations are not my problem, is because I'm not the one contradicting this article. That would be you -and therefore the burden of proof also lies with you.
I've provided references that fit within the timeframe relevant to the article, and beyond.

The burden of countering my references rests with you. If you can't counter them with more current references, just admit it.

Or, I might just as easily demand that you prove the article is still relevant, as it's three years out of date.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (9) Jan 20, 2011
I will go so far as to grant that the extent of the sea ice, as represented in the two graphs you cited, is greater than it was for two of the four years preceding -but it is also LESS than two of those years, as well. So while it is at somewhat greater extent than the "least ever recorded" , it is in fact "approaching the least ever recorded", as madrigal put it.
If it's "growing" it isn't "approaching the least ever recorded" as it's obviously responding in the opposite. And obviously, if it continues to grow, it is approaching the GREATEST extent ever recorded. Or, it might just oscillate between the two extremes (as would be expected).
ubavontuba
1.2 / 5 (13) Jan 20, 2011
It may very well all runoff as meltwater, maybe with a little extra, to boot. Perhaps you forget the extra-warm California summers of recent memory. I haven't seen any data on that, so I couldn't say one way or the other with any confidence. Do you have any?
Last summer was one of the mildest California summers on record.
rproulx45
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2011
Oh, and I forgot the Manns and Joneses and Hansens and many, many others, money or not, who have staked their entire reputations and careers on AGW being totally correct.

Did you know that Mann got 2.4 MILLION from the Stimulus legislation?


Why exactly does this bother you so much? It's not your money(it never was) and the fact of global warming has been established, so the "career goals" have been justified. It's their money, they print it, it says on the note "federal reserve note", it has nothing to do with you. Where is it better spent?
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (13) Jan 20, 2011
I hate to interrupt this earth shaking debate between the 'warmists' and the 'deniers', but I have a question that's not related to that debate.

I have a strong suspicion that the order of magnitude they suggest here is a little off. If the albedo is changed that much by ice, then wouldn't that make it even harder for us to explain the end of the ice ages? This huge change in the albedo of snow/ice just doesn't seem to add up with other factors that we are reasonably sure of.

I can't believe that you warmists are so willing to accept this claim that ALL of the models are off by such a huge amount. I bet some of the model groups will have something to say about this study.

As I've said before, when you get results that are way different than what you expected, go back and check your work. I find it hard to believe that everyone else is wrong and these people just 'figured it out'. lol
rwinners
5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2011
"I have a strong suspicion that the order of magnitude they suggest here is a little off. If the albedo is changed that much by ice, then wouldn't that make it even harder for us to explain the end of the ice ages? This huge change in the albedo of snow/ice just doesn't seem to add up with other factors that we are reasonably sure of."q/

Nothing is the same as 1 million, or even 100K years ago. The earth's tilt changes, the sun's output varies, the plates move, eruptions occur, and the weather changes. Is the weather a factor unto iteslf? The new factor is man's carbon footprint. And according to science, it deserves inclusion and consideration. How much is what the debate is about.
There is a lot of 'personal business' involved in this debate. Just watch the weather and draw your own conclusion.
I'm in my 60s and I have. Weather is getting more violent, which I understand to be the influence of more energy in the atmosphere.
It's ok with me if you understand differently.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2011
I have a strong suspicion that the order of magnitude they suggest here is a little off. If the albedo is changed that much by ice, then wouldn't that make it even harder for us to explain the end of the ice ages? This huge change in the albedo of snow/ice just doesn't seem to add up with other factors that we are reasonably sure of.
THere were multiple reasons for the various ends of ice ages, primarily ascribed to Milankovitch cycles.

Having less sunlight to begin with makes the entrance into Ice Ages, easier. Again, different reasons, similar mechanisms.
I can't believe that you warmists are so willing to accept this claim that ALL of the models are off by such a huge amount. I bet some of the model groups will have something to say about this study.
When we get new data, we integrate it into the models. That's why we so often say, "ah, we got it wrong."
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 20, 2011
If it's "growing" it isn't "approaching the least ever recorded" as it's obviously responding in the opposite. And obviously, if it continues to grow, it is approaching the GREATEST extent ever recorded. Or, it might just oscillate between the two extremes (as would be expected).


Lot of "ifs' in that statement. Which don't establish anything. An increase during a single year, which may yet be reversed, doesn't constitute a trend, but I see that you intend to, and in fact have, adopted a position on one side of the "half-empty/half-full" interpretation of data, which is not debate, but mere stonewalling.

We started this debate with regard to just how much this change in cryospheric albedo was currently affecting climate as a function of current extent -or, at least I did.
For this reason, your citations have all been almost entirely out-of-date, anecdotal, or of questionable value in adding substance to your position.

No reasonable debate can proceed on this basis.
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2011
Lot of "ifs' in that statement. Which don't establish anything.
Perhaps you can't count? There are two "ifs," and only one is a qualifier.
An increase during a single year, which may yet be reversed, doesn't constitute a trend,
We're now in our third year of increasing ice.
but I see that you intend to, and in fact have, adopted a position on one side of the "half-empty/half-full" interpretation of data, which is not debate, but mere stonewalling.
I don't chose sides. I follow the facts.
We started this debate with regard to just how much this change in cryospheric albedo was currently affecting climate as a function of current extent -or, at least I did.
I only made the observation the study avoided data from the past few seasons, wherein the cryosphere has seen significant recovery.

cont...
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2011
For this reason, your citations have all been almost entirely out-of-date, anecdotal, or of questionable value in adding substance to your position.
They totally support my position. You've even admitted it yourself (in regard to the graphs).
No reasonable debate can proceed on this basis.
That you won't admit you can't provide any counter references is your dishonesty. Therefore, the unreasonableness in this debate is also yours.
madrigal
4 / 5 (4) Jan 21, 2011
Ubavontuba- `you say that this is the third year of increasing ice yet as far as the Arctic is concerned December was the lowest ice extent and area recorded (some parts of the Hudson Bay are still ice free!), the Antarctic is well below recent years ice area and, globally, we are heading towards the lowest ice area recorded. (All information from Watts up with That's very good Sea Ice page.)
Skepticus_Rex_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 21, 2011
If you take the ice charts from his holiness's web site then stand on your head..then you can see the ice levels are increasing!
rgwalther
2.3 / 5 (7) Jan 21, 2011
An even worse one I hear all the time is when it is 20 degrees outside, people say 'so much for global warming eh?' That honestly doesn't even merit a response from me. If people are that dumb I don't bother acknowledging their statements.

The problem with all fanatics is their lack of a sense of humor. I use the 'so much for globlal warming' as a joke similiar to 'hot/cold enough for you' that I first heard from my grandfather in the early '50s. I feel certain that my granddad heard it from his granddad.
Climate fanatics are very similar to religious zealots. Those who laugh at the fanatics 'dogma' are blashphemers who must be burned at the stake.
Lighten up, sometimes the weather is funny. Fanatics never are.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 21, 2011
For this reason, your citations have all been almost entirely out-of-date, anecdotal, or of questionable value in adding substance to your position.
They totally support my position.
That doesn't mean your position has any substance.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (13) Jan 21, 2011
Weather is getting more violent


The data doesn't agree wtih that. There is a measure of storm activity called the ACE. It's kept by the NCDC (national climatic data center). According to them, the past four years have been exceptionally quiet in terms of storm frequency and storm strength. The ACE record only goes back 40 years, as that is the extent of satellite records. The ACE index has been sharply declining for the past 4 years and 2010 set a new record low.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (12) Jan 21, 2011
If ice loss is having a bigger effect than they thought, then the warming we have had for the past century needs to be re-attributed. The warming we see is what it is, so if a larger portion of it has been caused by an increase in albedo, then that means a smaller portion of the warming has been caused by other factors. It means that something (water vapor, co2, solar flux, etc) needs to be adjusted down in exchange for the higher effect of ice loss.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 21, 2011
If ice loss is having a bigger effect than they thought, then the warming we have had for the past century needs to be re-attributed. The warming we see is what it is, so if a larger portion of it has been caused by an increase in albedo, then that means a smaller portion of the warming has been caused by other factors. It means that something (water vapor, co2, solar flux, etc) needs to be adjusted down in exchange for the higher effect of ice loss.
Well, no. A drop in albedo means that there is more sunlight being converted into IR. If it was jsut an increase in IR you'd see an increase in escaping IR at the upper atmosphere. We see a decrease in albedo and a decrease in IR, that's fingerprinting. CO2 is soaking up the additional IR from the drop in albedo. It is a feedback involved in the mechanism of CO2, not apart from CO2.
GSwift7
1.5 / 5 (10) Jan 21, 2011
Okay, so what is the temperature rise for the past 100 years? How much of it is caused by each factor? You can't have it both ways. If the feedback effect from albedo is double what they thought it was, then something else has to give, unless you're going to say that the planet is warmer than we think. The loss of ice is something that's already happened, so it doesn't just affect prediction of the future. It also has to be factored into our current situation and the past 100 years.

sorry for the confusion of the terms albedo increase and decrease. you know what I meant though.
rgwalther
2.8 / 5 (5) Jan 21, 2011
Well, no. A drop in albedo means that there.
Who in the hell is 'Al Bedo'?
Skepticus_Rex
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 22, 2011
If you take the ice charts from his holiness's web site then stand on your head..then you can see the ice levels are increasing!


Having fun "underscoring [your] rear" again, sockpuppet of MikeyK? Thought so.

As to the article, I am glad that they mentioned this:

"Thirty years isn't a long enough time period to attribute this entirely to 'forcing,' or anthropogenic influence.
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (15) Jan 22, 2011
Ubavontuba- `you say that this is the third year of increasing ice yet as far as the Arctic is concerned December was the lowest ice extent and area recorded (some parts of the Hudson Bay are still ice free!),
Dude, the Arctic Sea Ice maximum is measured in March, not December. Just because ice is increasing, doesn't mean every single icy channel is going to be filled by December.
the Antarctic is well below recent years ice area and, globally, we are heading towards the lowest ice area recorded. (All information from Watts up with That's very good Sea Ice page.)
Did you not even LOOK at my references? Would you really dispute places like Cambridge and the NOAA National Ice Center? Seriously?

Here's some really cool (pun intended) reports:

http:/www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global-snow/

http:/www.natice.noaa.gov/pr_20100930_nic_2010_sea_ice_minimum.html?session-id=0ff676949219779ad66dd4088b958fb5
ubavontuba
1.5 / 5 (16) Jan 22, 2011
That doesn't mean your position has any substance.
Yes, it does. My references come from highly regarded and often irrefutable sources. You've provided no counter references. Therefore, my position has substance, whereas yours does not.
GuruShabu
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 23, 2011
The conclusion is simple!
All models BEFORE this one were wrong!...:)
So, we need to study our planet BEFORE we reach ANY conclusion.
Stop scaring people just because you will receive a grant to support GW.
FrankHerbert
5 / 5 (3) Jan 23, 2011
Hey, no problem, they'll just tweak the computer model, and claim they really did mean 2035 all along.

Clearly, additional data, including direct measurements of the reflectivity changes and other new science will be used to tweak the models. I am puzzled why this would be worth mentioning, except as a joke, or maybe you just do not understand what a model is?

GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2011
Well, no. A drop in albedo means that there is more sunlight being converted into IR. If it was jsut an increase in IR you'd see an increase in escaping IR at the upper atmosphere. We see a decrease in albedo and a decrease in IR, that's fingerprinting. CO2 is soaking up the additional IR from the drop in albedo. It is a feedback involved in the mechanism of CO2, not apart from CO2.


That's deceptively wrong. You're wish rather than reading. When the surface absorbs sunlight, it HEATS the surface. The main mechanism for energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere is conduction/convection (64%). Look up the Energy Budget of the Earth. There are many graphics available from many sources. You are DEAD WRONG about this one, and in the case of fingerprinting, it's the opposite, since 64% of it is not through IR radiation.

I got tha 64% number from the NASA energy budget estimate.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (6) Jan 24, 2011
That's deceptively wrong. You're wish rather than reading.
Certainly not the case.
When the surface absorbs sunlight, it HEATS the surface. The main mechanism for energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere is conduction/convection (64%). Look up the Energy Budget of the Earth. There are many graphics available from many sources. You are DEAD WRONG about this one, and in the case of fingerprinting, it's the opposite, since 64% of it is not through IR radiation.
You do know that heat and IR are one in the same, right?

Secondly, fingerprinting is the discernable effect that different forms of energy input leave behind. Increases in CO2 leave a distinct "fingerprint" of influence by warming the troposphere and cooling upper layers of the atmosphere.
GSwift7
2.2 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2011
You do know that heat and IR are one in the same, right?


No they aren't. Heat is the vibration of molecules. It is kinetic energy and can exist in solid materials that are totally opaque to IR.

IR is a wavelength of light. It is not kinetic energy.

Look it up.

No wonder you don't understand half the research papers we talk about.

Comic books indeed. lol. (reference from another thread where he made fun of someone else)
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2011
No they aren't. Heat is the vibration of molecules. It is kinetic energy and can exist in solid materials that are totally opaque to IR.

IR is a wavelength of light. It is not kinetic energy.

Look it up.

No wonder you don't understand half the research papers we talk about.

Comic books indeed. lol.

Ok, now you're getting snarky and showing deep ignorance. Heat in a molecule is kinetic energy, that kinetic energy comes from the absorption of photons of energy. In this instance, when the visible light strikes the ground it is not reradiated as visible light, or reflected. It is captured, excites the atom, and is then re-emitted as blackbody, or IR radiation.

The IR then strikes the CO2 molecules exciting the molecule and becomming heat once again.

In regards to CO2 spectra and albedo, captured IR is heat. Less Ice, less visible light reflectivity, which means more IR emission which means more heat.

Is that clear or are we going to continue nitpicking?
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2011
Ok, now you're getting snarky and showing deep ignorance


No, I'm using the correct definition of heat and IR radiation. You are wrong.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2011
Heat is the state of an object:

"Heat - A form of energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules and capable of being transmitted through solid and fluid media by conduction, through fluid media by convection, and through empty space by radiation"

IR radiation is a method that heat can be transfered from one solid object to another. IR radiation is a form of light. It isn't heat until it is absorbed by something. They are totally different things.

That's why you can use a vacumn flask to insulate something; because heat can't be transfered by conduction through a vacumn.
GSwift7
1.9 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2011
It is captured, excites the atom, and is then re-emitted as blackbody, or IR radiation


There you go, being deceptive again. MOST of the energy absorbed by the surface is not radiated back out as IR radiation. MOST of the energy is released through direct contact by conduction (direct transfer of molecular momentum by contact). IR is only a VERY SMALL part of the equation. On the order of 10% of the budget.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) Jan 24, 2011
There you go, being deceptive again. MOST of the energy absorbed by the surface is not radiated back out as IR radiation. MOST of the energy is released through direct contact by conduction (direct transfer of molecular momentum by contact). IR is only a VERY SMALL part of the equation. On the order of 10% of the budget.
IR is heat in wave form. This is a simple fundamental that you are completely ignoring or perhaps unaware of. Second, yes, conduction and convection are the primary movers of heat. They are not the primary generators of heat. Heat is generated by the direct input and absoprtion of energy. Decline in albedo increases IR absorption, it also increases the amount of energy in the system that is spread by conduction and convection. Conduction and convection are the spread, not the retention of energy and are completely irrelevant when discussing albedo rammifications because there isn't more matter to conduct or convect to.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2011
Go read the paper.

htp://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1062.html
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 24, 2011
Any increase in IR emission from the surface is dwarfed by conductivity and convection. This isn't a co2 signature as you state, but rather a sign that the models are fundamentally wrong in a major way. I say this study is probably BS, since it flies in the face of 100 years of climate research. I think that's unlikely. Maybe they need to make some adjustment, but double sounds a bit dubious to me.

No thanks. I'm not paying $18 to read it. I'll stick to the abstract until they release in in a way that's free to the public.
Skeptic_Heretic
2 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2011
I say this study is probably BS, since it flies in the face of 100 years of climate research.
No it doesn't.
No thanks. I'm not paying $18 to read it. I'll stick to the abstract until they release in in a way that's free to the public.
It's free, go read it.
GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
IR is heat in wave form


That's absurd and it's incorrect. That's like saying that convection is light in solid form. Heat cannot exist in a vacumn. IR is a form of light. Heat is a physical property. They are mutually exclusive concepts. They obey totally different laws of physics. The two terms describe totally different concepts, though many people confuse them.

lol, on page 9 of the suplimental material there's a graph showing land albedo, sea albedo and then combined. shouldn't they have averaged them rather than added them? That doesn't seem right.

P.S. No it's not free. The supplimental material pdf is free, but the paper isn't.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2011
P.S. No it's not free. The supplimental material pdf is free, but the paper isn't.
PS I linked the whole paper and the suppliment from Nature's publication of said paper. A hardcopy costs 18, there paper is fully available online.

IR is heat in wave form

That's absurd and it's incorrect.
No it isn't.
That's like saying that convection is light in solid form.
Convection is the movement of molecules in a liquid or gas, not vibration due to energy content.
Heat cannot exist in a vacumn.
Nothing exists in a vaccuum, including energy be it in potential or kinetic form.
IR is a form of light. Heat is a physical property.
Heat is vibration due to energy content. IR is the energy that is emitted by this vibration. Heat is a colloquial for IR. You're not going to be able to understand a physical systems paper on radiative forcings if you don't understand how energy transform operate on a molecular level.
GSwift7
2 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
Your link takes me to the page where they ask for $18 to get the whole thing. The only thing there is the abstract. I tried the link here and the one in your PM
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2011
Your link takes me to the page where they ask for $18 to get the whole thing. The only thing there is the abstract. I tried the link here and the one in your PM
Must be because I'm on an EDU network at the moment. Do you want a copy of the paper?
GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
Nothing exists in a vaccuum, including energy be it in potential or kinetic form


That's getting into philosophy. A true vacuum is theoretically impossible in the Universe, but I was talking about a space with no physical particles. Light can and does travel in space where there are no particles. Heat does not. It must change to IR radiation to travel across an 'empty' space.

Yes, your organization must have a membership to the Journal. The page I see when I try to bring it up offers an organizational membership as an option. That's what you have.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2011
That's getting into philosophy.
No, that's the definition of vaccuum.
A true vacuum is theoretically impossible in the Universe, but I was talking about a space with no physical particles.
What exactly is a physical particle, do you mean non-virtual?
Light can and does travel in space where there are no particles. Heat does not. It must change to IR radiation to travel across an 'empty' space.
Light and heat are different subclassifications of electromagnetic energy, which is what we're talking about here.
GSwift7
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
do you mean non-virtual


yes. Virtual particles like a photon don't have a temperature.

Light and heat are different subclassifications of electromagnetic energy


Light is, but heat is not. Heat is the motion of atoms. It is measured by temperature. You can infer an object's temperature by measuring the frequency of the IR radiation it gives off, but it's not the same thing.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2011
Light is, but heat is not. Heat is the motion of atoms. It is measured by temperature. You can infer an object's temperature by measuring the frequency of the IR radiation it gives off, but it's not the same thing.
Heat is most certainly the same thing.

When you excite the electrons of an atom with electromagnetic energy that produces the vibration which is called "heat", that "heat" is a measure of the content of electromagnetic energy. The less energy you contain, the colder you are.

And photons certainly do have a temperature, see Planck's Law.
GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
what about the graph on page 9 of the suplimental materials pdf? Did you look at that one? I seriously wonder if that's not an error. If I'm understanding it correctly, they are measuring an average surface flux over an area. When you combine the land and ocean, you don't just add them together. It would seem to me that you'd want to average them as weighted averages of the whole, rather than just add them together. I mean, isn't that in units of energy per square meter?
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2011
what about the graph on page 9 of the suplimental materials pdf? Did you look at that one? I seriously wonder if that's not an error. If I'm understanding it correctly, they are measuring an average surface flux over an area. When you combine the land and ocean, you don't just add them together. It would seem to me that you'd want to average them as weighted averages of the whole, rather than just add them together. I mean, isn't that in units of energy per square meter?
I'm not sure where you're seeing that they summed them.
There are 3 figures there.

#1 Land Snow: component
#2 Sea Ice: component
#3 Land snow and sea ice: weighted average of components
Then the orangle line, which is the smoothed results of #3.
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 24, 2011
lol, okay. Time for a class on reading graphs?

Let's take a specific point on the graph, besided the fact that the legend says "Snow + Sea-Ice" they actually did add them on the graph too.

Look at the big 1985 dip.

Land and Snow = about -.39?
Sea-Ice = about -.15?

Snow and Sea Ice = about -.5 to -.6?

That looks like addition to me. I think that's a bit misleading, or a mistake. And yes, the units are in W/m^2, so a weighted average should be used I think.

Again, I don't trust these people, since their conclusions seem to say that ALL the models are wrong in a major fundamental way. You know I don't have as much faith in the models as some people, but I'm not willing to just throw them all into the crapper just because these people say so.
GSwift7
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
I think you gotta really look closely at a study with results that are so much of an outlier. I can't believe you are actually debating me on this one. And the whole IR = heat thing is just making my brain hurt.

Oh, okay on the photon temperature thing. I spoke hastily. That's a matter of semantics though, as the 'temperature of a photon' is really a hypothetical math term, and not necessarily a real world representation of the concept of temperature. It's a bit of a mis-nomer really.
GSwift7
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
You can google the following and pick the first thing on the list if you don't understand that the "temperature of a photon" is just a construct of math and really only represents the photon's equivelant energy if it was turned into heat by being absorbed by an object.

google this:

What is meant when one says that the temperature of the cosmic background radiation is 3K?
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2011
lol, okay. Time for a class on reading graphs?

Let's take a specific point on the graph, besided the fact that the legend says "Snow + Sea-Ice" they actually did add them on the graph too.
After you read the report come back and apologize for saying this, I won't hold it against you.
And the whole IR = heat thing is just making my brain hurt.
This is why physicists and engineers don't talk much if they don't have to.
"temperature of a photon" is just a construct of math and really only represents the photon's equivelant energy if it was turned into heat by being absorbed by an object
And what ahave I been saying
What is meant when one says that the temperature of the cosmic background radiation is 3K?
It means that the equivalent energy of the photon is being emitted by an object(s) at a temperature of 3 degrees celsus above absolute zero, no google necessary.

Now tell us what it means when the temperature fo light is measures at 5000K
GSwift7
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 24, 2011
After you read the report come back and apologize for saying this, I won't hold it against you


Okay, you I plan to read the full report. If I see something that tells me why they are adding those numbers, then I'll owe you an apology. They are adding them though. I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean, but they did. Maybe it's meant to be interpreted in some other way, for some other purpose than what it appears.

As to the temperature of light question:

What it means when physicists talk about the tempearature of light is that the wave form of the light is representative of the light given off by an object of a certain temperature. It means that it peaks at a certain frequency and has a certain overall magnitude. It is not meant to imply that the light itself has a temperature. The equivelance to temperature is only a artefact of the Boltzman equation.
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 24, 2011
that was supposed to have said:

Okay, you 'know' I plan to read the full...
ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (11) Jan 24, 2011
@SH:

GSwift7 is correct.

"...heat is energy transferred from one body or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact when the systems are at different temperatures."

http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat

"Infrared radiation is popularly known as "heat" or sometimes known as "heat radiation", since many people attribute all radiant heating to infrared light and/or all infrared radiation to heating. This is a widespread misconception, since light and electromagnetic waves of any frequency will heat surfaces that absorb them."

http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared

Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2011
What it means when physicists talk about the tempearature of light is that the wave form of the light is representative of the light given off by an object of a certain temperature. It means that it peaks at a certain frequency and has a certain overall magnitude. It is not meant to imply that the light itself has a temperature. The equivelance to temperature is only a artefact of the Boltzman equation.
Correct. So each photon of energy will carry with it a specific potential increase in heat. For calculating radiative forcing budgets, the two can be dealt with equally as convection and conduction will operate at a fixed ratio from input to output because they are dependant on a fixed quantity for purposes of calculation. So I don't question your understanding of the two, you are correct. But since convection and conduction are going to be at a fixed ratio, and that ratio is calculable, what is the only mobile object int he scale for radiative forcing>?
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2011
For calculating radiative forcing budgets, the two can be dealt with equally as convection and conduction will operate at a fixed ratio


That's not true either. The radiative energy output is determined by the temperature of the object in question and surface area. Radiation and conduction do not operate as a fixed ratio. Conduction changes vastly as a result of wind speed, air pressure, humidity, wetness of the ground and several other factors. Conduction can change by several orders of magnitude. I'd sure like to know where you got the idea that radiance and conduction can be treated as a fixed ratio. Source please? In fact, just the differences in air temp can change the rate of conductance by an order of magnitude, while radiance from the ground depends only on ground temp.
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2011
If you're still a bit confused about the difference between heat and IR radiation, let me give you an illustrative example of how they differ.

Heat will only transfer from a warmer object to a cooler object. If the ground is cooler than the air, then heat goes from the air to the ground. However, even if the ground is cooler than the air, the ground still gives off IR radiation. There are HUGE fundamental differences between IR and heat. They are not equivelant in any way. That is misleading and totally wrong.

In my example here, you can see that IR and conductance are NOT a fixed ratio. Depending on which is cooler and which is warmer, it can even change from a positive to a negative ratio. They couldn't be farther from a constant ratio. That is totally wrong.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2011
That's not true either. The radiative energy output is determined by the temperature of the object in question and surface area. Radiation and conduction do not operate as a fixed ratio. Conduction changes vastly as a result of wind speed, air pressure, humidity, wetness of the ground and several other factors. Conduction can change by several orders of magnitude. I'd sure like to know where you got the idea that radiance and conduction can be treated as a fixed ratio. Source please?
So what object is the Earth going to conduct or convect to when you're talking about global temperature? Conduction and convection are for matter contact heat transferrence. If there is nothing to make contact with, there is no conduction or convection, only radiation.

Is that a bit more clear? I understand where I've been vague above, but how exactly are conduction or convection going to remove heat from the planetary sphere?
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2011
When you are talking about climate, you aren't talking about the Earth as a whole. You are only talking about the atmosphere. The temperature of the Earth as a whole only changes by a very small amount over time, even at geological time scales. In fact, it has been cooling since it first formed, and is still cooling from when it was a molten ball of liquid rock (or so the theory goes). You can't isolate the Earth's atmosphere as a black body as you are suggesting. Short term variations in the atmosphere can be absorbed internally as well as radiated out to space. On short time scales, it can't be treated as a closed system, and on a VERY long time scale it's cooling.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2011
You can't isolate the Earth's atmosphere as a black body as you are suggesting.
I'm not, I'm isolating the entirety of the global climate system from space. We're talking solar influx into the global system. On short timescales we can treat the earth as a closed system, the more accurate models actually do this.
GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2011
No you can't treat the atmosphere as a closed system. One of the biggest questions in the models is in regard to heat transfer into and out of the deep ocean. The energy density of liquid water is, after all, hundreds of times greater than the energy density of air.
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2011
If you're talking about the Earth in terms of a tiny little speck floating in the void of space, then there's no such thing as global warming at all. The "globe" is cooling. The extremely thin whisp of gas that's clinging to it may change temperature a little bit on short time scales, but it stays almost constant in general. For millions of years now, the atmosphere has stayed in the VERY narrow range of temperature that allows water to remain liquid, solid and gas on the surface. That's a VERY constant atmospheric temperature/pressure.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2011
In the big picture, I'd be more concerned if there was a pressure trend rather than a temperature trend. They don't even talk about what the long term record of air pressure is. Air pressure has huge implications in terms of climate and it's just a standardized parameterization in the models. There's not even an effort to reconstruct the pressure over the geological record. I still say that we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. We're working with climate models that are the equivelant of models of the universe that have the Earth at the center and place the stars on a two dimensional sphere.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2011
In the big picture, I'd be more concerned if there was a pressure trend rather than a temperature trend. They don't even talk about what the long term record of air pressure is. Air pressure has huge implications in terms of climate and it's just a standardized parameterization in the models. There's not even an effort to reconstruct the pressure over the geological record. I still say that we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. We're working with climate models that are the equivelant of models of the universe that have the Earth at the center and place the stars on a two dimensional sphere.
A truly inspiring point of view.

Venus, which is often cited as an example of a runaway greenhouse effect, is an excellent example in this regard:

"The atmospheric pressure at the surface of Venus is about 92 times that of the Earth, similar to the pressure found 910 metres below the surface of the ocean."

http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2011
Just an aside, and from the same source:

"Despite the harsh conditions on the surface, the atmospheric pressure and temperature at about 50 km to 65 km above the surface of the planet is nearly the same as that of the Earth, making its upper atmosphere the most Earth-like area in the Solar System, even more so than the surface of Mars. Due to the similarity in pressure and temperature and the fact that breathable air (21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen) is a lifting gas on Venus in the same way that helium is a lifting gas on Earth, the upper atmosphere has been proposed as a location for both exploration and colonization."

It looks like George Lucas' Cloud City concept isn't far off the mark. Venus and the fictional Bespin even look similar (see the pictures in the articles)!

http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bespin