Study finds wind speeds rose over world's oceans

Mar 24, 2011 By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , AP Science Writer

During the last quarter-century, average wind speeds have increased over the world's oceans, as have wave heights, generating rougher seas, researchers reported in a study published online Thursday.

Since faster winds cause more evaporation, the increase could lead to more in the air, compounding any increase from global warming and providing added moisture for rain. Generally, that means a higher chance for rainfall.

Researchers led by Ian Young of Swinburne University of Technology in Australia report in the journal Science that over a 23-year period, average wind speed over the oceans rose by 0.25 percent per year.

The proportion of increase in wave height was less than for wind speed, the researchers noted, while the increase for extreme winds was more than for average winds.

The researchers said the higher winds aren't necessarily the result of global warming.

But Eugene S. Takle, director of the program at Iowa State University, and not part of Young's research team, noted that evaporation rises with higher wind speeds, so the result would be more moisture in the air even without global warming. And the warming shown in many studies would also increase .

Just two years ago, Takle and colleagues published a study of wind speeds over land showing a decrease, rather than the increase Young's team found in its measurements from satellites and buoys. Young studied satellite records from 1985 to 2010, though records for 1990-91 were not available because of satellite problems.

"I don't think these results provide a clear contradiction to our findings of declining over land, since measurements are made in different environments," said Takle.

He noted that the day-to-night changes in temperature are different over land than over water and the boundary layer - the portion of the atmosphere that most closely interacts with the surface - is generally thicker over land than water.

Explore further: Lava from Hawaii volcano picks up speed

More information: http://www.sciencemag.org

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NotParker
1.1 / 5 (7) Mar 24, 2011
"compounding any increase from global warming"

Translation: This could explain any claimed warming without the need for CO2, but I'll lose my grant if I say it explicitly.

Those who genuinely wish to explore this further could look for articles on "pan evaporation". Scientists are puzzled as to why pan evaporation has changed. An increase in wind speeds or an increase in sunshine hours could be some of the explanations.

"Pan evaporation, an indicator of potential evaporation, has decreased during the last several decades in many parts of the world. This trend is contrary to the expectation that global warming will be accompanied by an increase in terrestrial evaporation, known as the pan evaporation paradox."

ht_delete_tp://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2004/2004JD004511.shtml

Openmindedness and skepticism are healthy. Those who insist "the science is settled" are always wrong.
Parsec
3.8 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2011
"compounding any increase from global warming"

Translation: This could explain any claimed warming without the need for CO2, but I'll lose my grant if I say it explicitly.

Openmindedness and skepticism are healthy. Those who insist "the science is settled" are always wrong.

I agree that Open Mindedness and skepticism are healthy. However, I would also point out that scientific progress is completely blocked without depending on the prior 'settled' science because it means always continuously starting fresh.

But more to the point, what would cause an increase in wind velocity? This is likely caused by changes in temperature gradients, which is likely caused by global warming. It is an unproven link, but this certainly shouldn't be taken as evidence that global warming isn't happening.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 24, 2011
The "settled science" often blocks newcomers with new ideas.

"Wind results from a horizontal difference in air pressure and since the sun heats different parts of the Earth differently, causing pressure differences, the Sun is the driving force for most winds."

More bright sunshine hours, due to cleaner air caused by changes in cooking fuels and cleanup of industry would be one suggestion.

Sunshine hours are up 4% in the UK since 1929 (when more weather stations started measuring).

In Japan, bright sunshine hours are up 10% during the 20th century.

Many other countries show rises in bright sunshine hours.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2011
Those who insist "the science is settled" are always wrong.
The science of how babies are made is settled.
the Sun is the driving force for most winds
The Sun shines on all of Earth equally. The driving force for most winds is the differing properties of the Earth's surface and atmosphere at different locations, which differentially affect the rates at which solar heat penetrates to the surface and is absorbed there.
cleaner air caused by changes in cooking fuels and cleanup of industry
Where? The air over Europe and NA may be cleaner than in recent past; the air over Asia, Africa, and SA is surely dirtier now and in all likelihood getting progressively dirtier with every passing year.
Wolf358
not rated yet Mar 25, 2011
Increase in kinetic energy stored in the system. We're letting more energy in and less out. It has to go _somewhere_. Although it's nice to see the data, it sure isn't a surprise.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Mar 25, 2011
The Sun shines on all of Earth equally.


No it doesn't. Thats why we have seasons in the NH and SH. And that why the SH winter is at the time of the NH summer.

And because of clouds and aerosols there have been significant decadal changes in bright sunshine reaching the earth.

For example Japan now recieves 10% more bright sunshine than it did in 1900. The UK is up 4% since 1929.

There is a lot more energy in bright sunshine than sunshine diffused and blocked by clouds.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2011
No it doesn't.
For the especially thick, I guess I'll qualify the obvious: the sun shines on all of Earth equally over any given latitude and time of day.
because of clouds and aerosols there have been significant decadal changes in bright sunshine reaching the earth
That's what I said. The Sun isn't the driver; the changing properties of Earth's surface and atmosphere are the driver. And those changes are not in the same direction everywhere; like I mentioned already, air over the developing world has been getting progressively dirtier even as air over the developed world gets marginally cleaner.
There is a lot more energy in bright sunshine than sunshine diffused and blocked by clouds.
Depends on the type of clouds, and on the time of day. Low-lying cumulus clouds cool the surface during the DAY. High cirrus clouds actually warm the surface during the DAY. All types of clouds warm the surface during the NIGHT.
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Mar 25, 2011
the sun shines on all of Earth equally over any given latitude and time of day.


False.

Some places are cloudier than others. Clouds reflect sunlight back into space before it can impart up to 1000 Watts per square meter into the ocean and onto land.

The difference between clouds and bright sunshine can be 200, 300 or 400 Watts per square meter depending on lattitude longitude and time of day/year.

Thats a huge amount of energy.

air over the developing world has been getting progressively dirtier even as air over the developed world gets marginally cleaner


Marginally????? How ignorant.

The air quality is vastly superior compared to the beginning of the 20th century -- and even compare to the 1940s and 1950s.

"Coal smoke, in particular, has been recognized as a pollution problem in England and elsewhere in Europe for centuries, since at least 1500."

Killer smog Donora Pennsylvania 1948
Killer Smog London 1952

ht_delete_tp://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/smog.aspx
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Mar 25, 2011
Some places are cloudier than others.
That's a property of the atmosphere, not the Sun. Again, the Sun is not the driver. The changing properties of atmosphere and the planet's surface are the driver. How many times must I repeat it before it sinks in?
Marginally????? How ignorant.
Yes, marginally. In the last 2-3 decades, the improvement in the developed world has been marginal. And even despite that improvement, lots of places in the developed world still suffer from severe air pollution and smog events (e.g. Japan, and some locations in US such as Los Angeles or Houston.) It's pointless comparing current trends to "beginning of 20th century", never mind the 1500s. Global economic development has been accelerating exponentially throughout the 20th century, and still is today.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Mar 25, 2011
The Sun is the driver. The orbit of the earth modulates how much energy reaches parts of the earth depending on the time of year and day.

Clouds reflect some of the energy back to space.

Yes, marginally. In the last 2-3 decades, the improvement in the developed world has been marginal.


Nonsense.

"In Canada ... Emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) declined by about 54%, mainly due to reductions from base metal smelters which were down 72% and fossil fuel-fired electricity generating utilities which decreased by 45%.

Since the addition of the Ozone Annex to the agreement in 2000, Canada has been able to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by a third in the southern and central Ontario and southern Quebec transboundary region defined under the agreement.

As of 2010, the U.S. national Acid Rain Program has reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide by 67% from 1990 levels.

ht_delete_tp://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2011/14/c2544.html
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2011
The Sun is the driver.
The Sun's output remains relatively constant; it fluctuates only by small fractions of a percent from top to bottom of solar cycles. It's not the driver of any modern climate change.
The orbit of the earth modulates
Also not the driver. The orbit of the Earth is not changing.
Clouds reflect some of the energy back to space.
And some of the energy emitted from the ground into space, they reflect back to the ground. The clouds are indeed subject to change as part of the overall climate change.
Nonsense.
By the '90s, emissions were already dramatically lower than, say, in the 50s or 60s. And they couldn't even be compared to the violent smog events caused by coal burning in places like London and New York, in the 19th century. Cutting already small emissions of the 90s by another 50% constitutes a marginal improvement in the grand scheme of things.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2011
By the '90s, emissions were already dramatically lower than, say, in the 50s or 60s.


Nonsense.

"The Acid Rain Program was established under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and requires significant emission reductions of SO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the electric power industry."

"The largest single-year reduction (20 percent) occurred in the first year of the ARP, between 1994 and 1995. The second largest single-year reduction (16 percent) occurred most recently between 2008 and 2009."

Data is here:

ht_delete_tp://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progress/ARP09_3.html

And they couldn't even be compared to the violent smog events caused by coal burning in places like London and New York, in the 19th century.


You mean London in the 1950s don't you?

ht_delete_tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smog_of_1952

I do appreciate your attempts at make yourself look even dumber than usual.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2011
The Sun does drive the climate.

Sometimes the earth receives 1000W/sqm, sometimes nothing depending on season, time of day, clouds, cleaner air.

Mt Pinatubo's eruption dropped temperature .5C due to SO2 injected into the atmosphere and then the temperature went backup after the SO2 fell to earth over a couple of years.

The USA alone cleaned more SO2 out of the atmosphere since 1990 ... which is when the slight noticable warming started. And then ended after the clean air act worked.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2011
You mean London in the 1950s don't you?
No, I mean London in the 19th century. Not to detract from the events of the 1950s...

http://en.wikiped...g#London
The Sun does drive the climate.
You somehow (and I suspect, rather skillfully) managed to miss the words "modern" and "change" in the phrase "modern climate change".
The USA alone cleaned more SO2 out of the atmosphere since 1990 ...
...than what? More than China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, etc. have added and continue to add since then?
Nonsense.
I tried to explain the theory to you, at a level you might understand. I tried to provide you with the data, which shows unambiguous signature of AGW.

But you have predetermined your opinion long before any information was presented, and looks like nothing will change your mind. Looks like talking to you is about as pointless as talking to marjon/ryggesogn2. I give up.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2011
Admit it. You are a denier. No matter how much proof I offer you, you stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and chant the CO2 mantra. Cults do that to brainwash their disciples. You are a good cult member, but a lousy scientist.