NZCLIMATE & ENVIRO TRUTH NO 92
JANUARY 31st 2006
I have been awarded a
scholarship to study at The Beijing Climate Center for the first two
weeks in March. This is something of a surprise as I am a well known
sceptic and I celebrate my 84th birthday, now, in China. I originally
submitted a comprehensive research programme, but do not expect to
carry it out in two weeks. Maybe somebody will take it over. As you
might expect, I wish to study the reliability of their temperature
records, and the possible influence of urban development. My wife is
coming and I will take a fortnight's holiday, so the newletter will be
silent in the month of March.
THE GLOBAL WARMERS
The enthusiasts for
"Climate Change" seem to be dividing into two (comparative) extremes.
The "moderates" have to deal with actual practical politics and the
"extremists" have no limits on their claims and demands.
"moderate" is Sir Jonathon Porritt who spoke here last week. He
tries hard to be practical, and he confessed, that inspite of pressure
to do so, he refrained from recommending to the audience that each one
of them should immediately sell their car and buy a bike.
At the complete
extreme we have James Lovelock, whose latest (so far unpublished) book
asserts that it is now too late, that universal human extinction is
inevitable. So we need not bother any more. Let's enjoy ourselves while
we still can.
This split has been
occasioned by the virtual collapse of the Kyoto Protocol, which was, in
any case a politicians cop-out, as it was admitted that the changes it
specified, though economically damaging, would have such small
effects on the climate that they are undetectable. It has now
suffered from the discovery that trees emit methane, so can
they be used for "mitigation"
official extremist, Sir David King, has recently promoted a study
claimimg that the Greenland ice cap will melt and inundate us all. He
ignores the well-authenticxated cyclic nature of Arctic tempertures,
and the reputed growth of the Antarctic ice cap, which is much bigger
Then we have Jim
Hansen, who thinks that reducing the use oi motor vehicles is a
practical policy, but is being sat upon by NASA for saying so. Perhaps
they will bring back the horse.
Finally, what about
this interesting discovery.
Mario Aguilera or Cindy Clark
For Release: January 26, 2006
|Enhanced aerosol concentrations increase
the amount of thermal energy emitted by many Arctic clouds, according
to scientists supported by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Atmospheric
Radiation Measurement (ARM) program. In research published in the
January 26 issue of Nature magazine, lead author Dan Lubin of Scripps
Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego,
and Brookhaven National Laboratory scientist Andrew Vogelmann conclude
that the increase significantly affects the Arctic energy balance.
"The Arctic is showing the first unmistakable signs of climate
warming caused by human activities, in the form of rapidly retreating
and thinning sea ice," Lubin said. "This rapid climate change in the
Arctic may have profound implications for both fragile ecosystems and
unique modes of human habitation. Our study illustrates how human
activity can influence Arctic climate in more than one way, by changing
the way clouds warm the climate, in addition to the carbon dioxide
increases. It is also another example of human industrial activity's
surprising impact on remote polar regions, the most famous example
being the Antarctic 'ozone hole' discovered in the mid-1980s."
In a process
known as the first aerosol indirect effect, enhanced aerosol
concentrations cause the droplets in a cloud to be smaller and more
numerous within a cloud of fixed water amount. This study found that
this process can make the clouds more opaque and emit more thermal
energy to the surface.
Scientists believe that the warming of the Arctic climate and
decreases in the area and thickness of sea ice are caused by greenhouse
gas warming. The Arctic region also experiences large periodic influxes
of aerosols originating from the industrial regions to the south. Using
data from the DOE ARM Climate Research Facility in Barrow, Alaska,
Vogelmann and Lubin determined that enhanced aerosol amounts can make
clouds emit more thermal energy to the surface. In an aerosol-cloud
process, increased aerosol concentrations cause the cloud droplets to
become smaller and, within clouds of fixed water amounts, more
abundant. Vogelmann and Lubin discovered that this process makes many
clouds more opaque and emit more thermal energy to the surface, by an
average of 3.4 watts per square meter, which is comparable to that by
increased greenhouse gases.
"Before this study, we didn't really know how this process
would affect emission of thermal energy from the cloud to the surface,"
Vogelmann said. "It's now clear that it contributes significantly to
warming at ground level."
Because sunlight is generally weak in the Arctic, the clouds,
via their emission of thermal energy, normally exert a net warming on
the Arctic climate system throughout most of the year, except briefly
during the summer.
"We focused on thin, single-layer clouds that are close to the
surface, with temperatures that would favor them containing liquid
water," said Vogelmann. "Arctic researchers recently discovered that
liquid water largely governs Arctic cloud radiative properties during
spring and summer, with liquid water being found in clouds at
temperatures as low as -34 degrees Celsius."
"We have concluded that the aerosol-cloud process—called the
first aerosol indirect effect— operates in the clouds we studied, and
results in a greater downward thermal emission from the cloud,"
Vogelmann said. "Its contribution to the surface warming is comparable
to that by the so-called greenhouse effect."
The key to understanding the thermal impact of this
aerosol-cloud effect lays in the long-term measurements made at the DOE
ARM Climate Research Facility, which has an extensive suite of
sophisticated instruments for measuring the surface energy balance and
atmospheric properties. These data were used with aerosol measurements
made next door by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) Climate Modeling and Diagnostics Laboratory. Six years of data
were used to determine the impact of aerosol on Arctic clouds and the
surface thermal energy budget.
The research was supported by DOE's Office of Biological and
# # #
You should know that
the early climate models gave such extreme future predictions that most
peopl;e would not believe them. So they welcomed with open arms a
series of papers which showed that sulphur-induced aerosols could cool
the climate. They could then use these to fudge the models to fit the
global average temperature record from weather stations (but not its
hundreds of papers in the literature showing how sulphur-induced
aerosols cool the climate. This is the first time they are supposed to
warm the climate. If it is general most of the models will have to be
abandoned. .Perhaps it only works in the Arctic, where they have a hard
job explaining why it warms there and cools over the Antarctic.
The Mayor of Wanganui,
Michael Laws, has complained that Met Office temperatures for his town
are too cool. The Met Service say they always measure at the airport.
Not so, as the instruments from Wellington airport were moved to
Kelburnm, in the centre of town, some years ago.
I have pointed out for
years that weather stations are for local use only, and were never
intended to provide a global average. They were all originally in towns
or ports and it was only in the 30s that they stared moving them to
airports. This is the probable reason why the "average temperature"
fell between 1940 and 1978. It picked up since as the airports were
surrounded by buildings (but not much at Wanganui). Mr Laws has been
promised a special city thermoneter but it would not help to provide a
fair global average.
75 Silverstream Road
Phone/Fax 064 4 9735939
"It's not the things you don't know that fool you.
It's the things you do know that aint so"