Yearlong MAGIC climate study launches

October 1, 2012 by Karen Mcnulty Walsh
Brookhaven scientist Ernie Lewis and one of the mobile SeaTainer units now installed aboard the Horizon Spirit, a 272-meter cargo ship that will take atmospheric measurements during a yearlong cloud/climate study.

(—A Horizon Lines container ship outfitted with meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory will begin taking data today for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models. The study, a collaborative effort between DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program Climate Research Facility and Horizon Lines, marks the first official marine deployment of the second ARM Mobile Facility, AMF2, and is likely the most elaborate climate study ever mounted aboard a commercial vessel.

"We are very grateful to Horizon Lines for giving us the opportunity to install our research equipment aboard the Horizon Spirit," said lead investigator Ernie Lewis, an atmospheric scientist at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Horizon Spirit makes a roundtrip journey from Los Angeles to Hawaii every two weeks, which allows for repeated measurements over the same transect at different seasons.

"Collecting data on a wide range of atmospheric conditions over an entire year, including the transitions among cloud types along this particular route, will give us a large amount of data to help refine and validate models of Earth's ," Lewis said.

The project-dubbed MAGIC, for the Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds, where GPCI is a project comparing results from the major -will take place through September 2013.

"We are excited to deploy the AMF2 sensors and the infrastructure that supports them on the Horizon Spirit. This represents the culmination of four years of hard work in designing, building and preparing to deploy aboard an ocean going vessel," said AMF2 Technical Operations Manager Michael Ritsche, an at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory.

Horizon Spirit’s route from Los Angeles to Hawaii (dashed line) lies adjacent to the GPCI transect that is used to compare climate models (solid line), which also contains specific locations used for other modeling efforts (labeled points). The color scale representing the annual average percentage of low-level cloud cover over the region shows that the route is ideal for assessing the effects of changing cloud conditions.

Clouds and climate

Low marine boundary layer clouds over the ocean exert a large influence on Earth's climate through reflection of sunlight and by mediating interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean, Lewis explained. However, global climate models have difficulty accurately representing these clouds and the transitions among their different types. Extensive data collection from a marine environment with variable cloud cover could significantly improve these models.

Horizon Spirit's route crosses just such a region, making it ideal for assessing the effects of changing cloud conditions. This region is important to a wide range of climate models included in the GPCI project.

"Horizon Spirit's route from Los Angeles to Honolulu lies almost on top of the GPCI line, providing a great opportunity for extensive data collection," said Lewis. "We approached Horizon about working together on this project with the idea that our equipment could be installed on the ship with no disruption of their ordinary operations."

"Horizon Lines is happy to cooperate in the year-long MAGIC project to improve climate modeling," said Pete Strohla, Vice President of Operating Services at Horizon Lines. "Our hope is that better understanding of climate change will facilitate more accurate weather forecasting, which in turn will help our industry plan safer and more fuel-efficient vessel routes."

A group from Argonne in charge of the deployment has spent the past nine months preparing the instruments and optimizing their performance for shipboard data collection. Many instruments, including an aerosol observing system developed by Brookhaven scientists, are housed in three modified 20-foot SeaTainer cargo containers designed for mobile deployment. Other instruments include radars that are mounted to tables designed to maintain stable "vision" despite the inherent rolling of the ship's deck as it plies the waves. All of these instruments were installed aboard the Horizon Spirit while it was in port in Los Angeles in September, with final preparations made while en route to Hawaii and back.

"Altogether, the AMF2 comprises a suite of instruments to measure properties of clouds and precipitation, aerosols, and infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light, as well as meteorological and oceanographic conditions," Lewis said. "These ship-based measurements can provide much more detailed information than can be determined from satellites, and these data will prove a valuable addition to other measurements that have been made in marine conditions, albeit for much shorter periods, for many of these quantities."

The science team-which includes researchers from DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in addition to Brookhaven, as well as collaborators from NASA, Stony Brook University, and a range of other universities and private consultants-is anxiously anticipating the data that will arise from this endeavor.

"In the end, these data will greatly enhance our understanding of clouds, aerosols, Earth's energy and water balance, and the interactions among them in the marine environment, providing an unequalled dataset for evaluating and improving climate models. Our data, which will be placed in the ARM Data Archive, will be made available to anyone who is interested."

Explore further: Clouds' effect on sunlight energy at Earth's surface depends on the wavelength of light

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1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 01, 2012
This is yet another AGW-related scam, a colossal waste of time and money. I'd guess that most of the "climate models" they hope to validate were (in essence) rigged to begin with, so none of what will be learned/contrived will be believable. Incessant fraud in the scientific huckster community has conditioned us to expect rigged study after rigged study after rigged study.

And we wonder why research funding is drying up? Maybe the non-scientist money-producers are not so stupid after all??
not rated yet Oct 01, 2012

Isn't that Rossi's 1 Megawatt Ecat shown in the picture above.

Now we finally know who purchased it.

2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 01, 2012
Absolutely. Now the scientists at Brookhaven are in on the scam to steal your money.

"This is yet another AGW-related scam" - ScooTard

You should tell your space alien friends. Maybe they can help you with something a little more convincing than your tinfoil cap.

"And we wonder why research funding is drying up?" - ScooTard

There is no doubt. You have had it right all along. The Martians have taken all of America's money. Fort Knox is empty. It's content was beamed out and replaced with gummy bear replica gold during the early days of the Carter Administration.

3 / 5 (4) Oct 01, 2012
My point of view is that the incessant denier chaff showing up here would disappear entirely if AGW was resulting in no political proposals (for example, "carbon credits" or related proposed taxes) that would affect local or global economies. The deniers could care less about the environment or the Earth except where it might affect their pocketbooks negatively. If they could just be allowed to continue plundering the planet without being held financially responsible, AGW would not matter to them at all; in fact, if it helped them plunder the planet even more effectively, they would be all for it (as in the melting Arctic ice cap making oil/gas exploitation economically feasible in the Arctic)!
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 01, 2012
LariAnn is quite correct in the assessment of the vast immorality in the Conservative Political ideology held by the Denialists.
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 01, 2012
My point of view is that the incessant denier chaff showing up here would disappear entirely if AGW was resulting in no political proposals (for example, "carbon credits" or related proposed taxes) that would affect local or global economies.

Some of us are old enough to have lived through the spotted owl scam, and also the Alar scam.
But before that was the global cooling scam, then it was the global warming scam, then the global warming scam was rebranded as "climate change", but now the climate change scam is becoming widely known as the AGW scam.

Knee-jerk, money-grabbing, people-be-damned scams - every one of them.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2012
Wow, these Americans scientists certainly are scam artists.

Why are they permitted to live in America?
1 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2012
Wow, these Americans scientists certainly are scam artists.

Why are they permitted to live in America?

Because America has the best mechanism(s) in place for hucksters to operate and prosper under the color of science.
And to call them scientists is a joke.

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