Stratospheric water vapor decline credited with slowing global warming

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:18 PM GMT on January 29, 2010

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After a steep rise in global average temperatures in the 1990s, the 2000s have seen relatively flat temperatures, despite increasing levels of CO2 emissions by humans. This reduced warming may be partially due to a sharp decrease in stratospheric water vapor that began after 2000, according to research published yesterday in Science by a team of researchers led by Dr. Susan Solomon of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder. Water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas capable of significantly warming the planet, and its potency is much higher when it is located in the lower stratosphere where temperatures are extremely cold. Greenhouse gases located in cold regions of the atmosphere are more effective at heating the planet because they absorb heat radiation from the Earth's relatively warm surface, but then re-emit energy at a much colder temperature, resulting in less heat energy lost to space. Even though stratospheric water vapor can exist at concentrations more than 100 times lower than at the surface, the 10% drop in stratospheric water vapor since 2000 noted by Solomon et al. acted to slow down global warming by 25% between 2000 - 2009, compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.


Figure 1. Stratospheric water vapor in the tropics, between 5°S - 5°N, as measured by the HALOE instrument on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), between 1993 - 2005. The bottom portion of the plot shows the lower stratosphere, just above where tall thunderstorms are able to transport water vapor into the stratosphere. A strong yearly cycle is evident in the water vapor, due to the seasonal variation in heavy thunderstorms over the tropics. Once in the lower stratosphere, the waver vapor takes about 1.2 years to travel to the upper stratosphere, as seen in the bending of the contours to the right with height. Note that beginning in 2001, very low water vapor concentrations less than 2.2 parts per million by volume (ppmv) began appearing in the lower stratosphere, due to substantial cooling. Image credit: Rosenlof, K. H., and G. C. Reid (2008), Trends in the temperature and water vapor content of the tropical lower stratosphere: Sea surface connection, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D06107, doi:10.1029/2007JD009109.

The observations
We haven't been able to observe water vapor in the stratosphere very long--accurate global measurements only go back to 1991, when the HALOE instrument aboard the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) began taking data (Figure 1). Stratospheric water vapor showed an increase of about 0.5 parts per million by volume (ppmv) during the 1990s. But after 2000, a sudden drop of 0.4 ppmv was observed, and this decrease has persisted into 2009. To see how these changes impacted the amount of global warming, Solomon et al. fed the observations into a specialized high-resolution model that computed the change in heat from the fluctuating water vapor levels. They found that the increase in stratospheric water vapor in the 1990s led to about a 30% increase in the amount of global warming observed during that decade, and the decrease of 0.4 ppmv since 2000 led to a 25% reduction between 2000 - 2009.

How water vapor gets into the stratosphere
The stratosphere has two main sources of water vapor: transport from the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) via tall thunderstorms, and the chemical breakdown of methane gas into water vapor and carbon dioxide. With regard to greenhouse effect warming, transport of water vapor by thunderstorms is the most important source, since this mechanism delivers water vapor to the lowest part of the stratosphere, where temperatures are coldest and greenhouse gases are more effective at warming the climate. There is a limit as to how much water vapor that can enter the stratosphere via thunderstorms, though. Temperature decreases with altitude from the surface to the bottom of the stratosphere, where they begin to rise with height due to the solar energy-absorbing effect of the stratospheric ozone layer. As moisture-laden air rises in thunderstorms towards the lower stratosphere, it encounters the atmosphere's "cold point"--the coldest point in the lower atmosphere, at the base of the stratosphere. Since the amount of water vapor that can be present in the atmosphere decreases as the temperature gets colder, and moisture being transported to the stratosphere must traverse through the "cold point" of the atmosphere, the air gets "freeze dried" and loses most of its moisture.


Figure 2. The departure from average of tropopause temperature (dark line) and Sea Surface Temperature (light dashed line) for the tropical Pacific Ocean between 10°S - 10°N, from 1981 - 2007. The tropopause is the bottom boundary of the stratosphere. The SST data is for 139°W - 171°W longitude, and is from the NOAA Optimal Interpolation v2 data set. The tropopause data is from balloon soundings, for the region 171°W - 200°W. The SST is plotted so that the anomalies increase as one looks down. Note that prior to about 2000, tropopause temperatures and SSTs increased and decreased together, but that beginning in 2000 - 2001, a sharp climate shift occurred, and the two quantities became anti-correlated. The sudden drop in tropopause temperature in 2000 - 2001 caused a sharp drop in stratospheric water vapor. Image credit: Rosenlof, K. H., and G. C. Reid (2008), Trends in the temperature and water vapor content of the tropical lower stratosphere: Sea surface connection, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D06107, doi:10.1029/2007JD009109.

Why did stratospheric water vapor drop in 2000?
Tall thunderstorms capable of delivering water vapor into the stratosphere occur primarily in the tropics, particularly over the Western Pacific, where a huge warm pool with very high Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) exists. In 2000, this region experienced a sharp increase in SST of 0.25°C, which has remained consistent though the 2000s (Figure 2). Coincident with this increase in SST came a sharp drop in the "cold point" temperature of the tropopause--the lower boundary of the stratosphere. This reduction in "cold point" temperature meant that less water vapor could make it into the stratosphere over the Tropical Pacific, since more thunderstorm water was getting "freeze dried" out. Did global warming trigger this increase in Pacific SST, resulting in cooling of the "cold point" and less water vapor in the stratosphere? Or was it random variation due to some decades-long natural cycle? This key question was left unanswered by the Solomon et al. study, and observations of stratospheric water vapor don't go back far enough to offer a reasonable guess. One factor arguing against global warming having triggered a negative feedback of this nature is that prior to 2000, increases in Western Pacific SST caused increases in "cold point" temperatures--behavior opposite of what has been seen since 2000.

If global warming has triggered the decrease in stratospheric water vapor seen since 2000, it could mean that the climate models have predicted too much global warming, since they don't predict that such a negative feedback exists. On the other hand, if this is a natural cycle, we can expect the recent flattening in global temperatures to average out in the long run, with a return to steeper increases in temperature in the coming decades. Climate models currently do a poor job modeling the complex dynamics of water vapor in the stratosphere, and are not much help figuring out what's going on. Complicating the issue is the fact that about 15% of all thunderstorms capable of delivering water vapor into the stratosphere are generated by tropical cyclones (Rosenlof and Reid, 2008), and tropical cyclones are not well-treated by climate models. We also have to factor in the impact of stratospheric ozone loss, which acts to cool the lower stratosphere. This effect should gradually decrease in future decades as CFC levels decline, though. The stratosphere is a devilishly complicated place that can have a significant impact on global climate change, and we are many years from understanding what is going on there.

References
Romps, D.M., and Z. Kuang, "Overshooting convection in tropical cyclones", Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36 (9): L09804 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037396

Rosenlof, K. H., and G. C. Reid (2008), Trends in the temperature and water vapor content of the tropical lower stratosphere: Sea surface connection, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D06107, doi:10.1029/2007JD009109.

Portlight Haiti update
Paul Timmons, who directs the Portlight.org disaster-relief charity that has sprung up from the hard work and dedication of many members of the wunderground.com community, was interviewed by NBC yesterday. The reporter doing the story is planning to follow the Portlight-donated goods to Haiti and interview the people with disabilities that receive the donations. It is uncertain when the story will be aired, but I'll try to give everyone a heads-up.

Next post
My next post will probably be Tuesday (Groundhog's Day), when I plan to discuss Phil's forecast for the rest of winter. I'll throw in my two cents worth, too.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting calusakat:
If we used the methodology of todays climatology folks in our medical research, millions would be dying from horribly bad drugs. Thalidomide here we come. BTW...Thalidomide did not, necessarily, kill, it mostly caused horrible defects in the children born to mothers who used it.

Mediocrity is alive and well in the world of climatology.

So very sad.



As a DES daughter, I am always considering that science/medicine is not perfect. With time, changes happen. What we once believed as gospel may in fact be at best fraudulent at worst, harmful.

We spent so much time on global warming/climate change in grad school. I am convinced global warming, as a belief system, is more political than not. Forty years down the road, the general population will be as familiar with is as they now are with something like The Population Bomb.
Member Since: August 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 171
147. Hey Chicklit, can you take some full moon pics and post them. I am afraid DFW, TX misses out tonight, as it's 33F and overcast!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Hey Patrap, that synopsis of what Portlight Strategies does was very nicely put together, and I love their patch.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785

This map, produced by scientists at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, shows the 10-year average (2000-2009) temperature anomaly relative to the 1951-1980 mean. The largest temperature increases are in the Arctic and the Antarctic Peninsula. Image Credit: NASA/GISS



2009: Second Warmest Year on Record; End of Warmest Decade
01.21.10




Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade -- due to strong cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean -- 2009 saw a return to near-record global temperatures. The past year was only a fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest year on record, and tied with a cluster of other years -- 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 -- as the second warmest year since recordkeeping began.

There's always an interest in the annual temperature numbers and on a given year's ranking, but usually that misses the point, said James Hansen, the director of GISS. There's substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycle. But when we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find that global warming is continuing unabated."

January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record. Throughout the last three decades, the GISS surface temperature record shows an upward trend of about 0.2C (0.36F) per decade. Since 1880, the year that modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely, a clear warming trend is present, though there was a leveling off between the 1940s and 1970s.

The near-record temperatures of 2009 occurred despite an unseasonably cool December in much of North America. High air pressures in the Arctic decreased the east-west flow of the jet stream, while also increasing its tendency to blow from north to south and draw cold air southward from the Arctic. This resulted in an unusual effect that caused frigid air from the Arctic to rush into North America and warmer mid-latitude air to shift toward the north.

"Of course, the contiguous 48 states cover only 1.5 percent of the world area, so the U.S. temperature does not affect the global temperature much,' said Hansen.

In total, average global temperatures have increased by about 0.8C (1.4F) since 1880.

Thats the important number to keep in mind, said Gavin Schmidt, another GISS climatologist. In contrast, the difference between, say, the second and sixth warmest years is trivial since the known uncertainty -- or noise -- in the temperature measurement is larger than some of the differences between the warmest years."

Decoding the Temperature Record

Climate scientists agree that rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap incoming heat near the surface of the Earth and are the key factors causing the rise in temperatures since 1880, but these gases are not the only factors that can impact global temperatures.

Three others key factors -- including changes in the sun's irradiance, oscillations of sea surface temperature in the tropics, and changes in aerosol levels -- can also cause slight increases or decreases in the planet's temperature. Overall, the evidence suggests that these effects are not enough to account for the global warming observed since 1880.

El Nino and La Nina are prime examples of how the oceans can affect global temperatures. They describe abnormally warm or cool sea surface temperatures in the South Pacific that are caused by changing ocean currents.

Global temperatures tend to decrease in the wake of La Nina, which occurs when upwelling cold water off the coast of Peru spreads westward in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. La Nina, which moderates the impact of greenhouse-gas driven warming, lingered during the early months of 2009 and gave way to the beginning of an El Nino phase in October that's expected to continue in 2010.

An especially powerful El Nino cycle in 1998 is thought to have contributed to the unusually high temperatures that year, and Hansens group estimates that theres a good chance 2010 will be the warmest year on record if the current El Nio persists. At most, scientists estimate that El Nino and La Nina can cause global temperatures to deviate by about 0.2C (0.36F).

Warmer surface temperatures also tend to occur during particularly active parts of the solar cycle, known as solar maximums, while slightly cooler temperatures occur during lulls in activity, called minimums.

A deep solar minimum has made sunspots a rarity in the last few years. Such lulls in solar activity, which can cause the total amount of energy given off by the sun to decrease by about a tenth of a percent, typically spur surface temperature to dip slightly. Overall, solar minimums and maximums are thought to produce no more than 0.1C (0.18F) of cooling or warming

In 2009, it was clear that even the deepest solar minimum in the period of satellite data hasnt stopped global warming from continuing, said Hansen.

Small particles in the atmosphere called aerosols can also affect the climate. Volcanoes are powerful sources of sulfate aerosols that counteract global warming by reflecting incoming solar radiation back into space. In the past, large eruptions at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines and El Chichon in Mexico have caused global dips in surface temperature of as much as 0C (0.54F). But volcanic eruptions in 2009 have not had a significant impact.

Meanwhile, other types of aerosols, often produced by burning fossil fuels, can change surface temperatures by either reflecting or absorbing incoming sunlight. Hansens group estimates that aerosols probably counteract about half of the warming produced by man-made greenhouse gases, but he cautions that better measurements of these elusive particles are needed.

Data Details

To conduct its analysis, GISS uses publicly available data from three sources: weather data from more than a thousand meteorological stations around the world; satellite observations of sea surface temperature; and Antarctic research station measurements. These three data sets are loaded into a computer program, which is available for public download from the GISS website. The program calculates trends in temperature anomalies -- not absolute temperatures but changes relative to the average temperature for the same month during the period of 1951-1980.

Other research groups also track global temperature trends but use different analysis techniques. The Met Office Hadley Centre, based in the United Kingdom, uses similar input measurements as GISS, for example, but it omits large areas of the Arctic and Antarctic, where monitoring stations are sparse.

In contrast, the GISS analysis extrapolates data in those regions using information from the nearest available monitoring stations, and thus has more complete coverage of the polar areas. If GISS didn't extrapolate in this manner, the software that performs the analysis would assume that areas without monitoring stations warm at the same rate as the global mean, an assumption that doesn't line up with changes that satellites have observed in Arctic sea ice, Schmidt explained. Although the two methods produce slightly different results in the annual rankings, the decade-long trends in the two records are essentially identical.

"There's a contradiction between the results shown here and popular perceptions about climate trends," Hansen said. "In the last decade, global warming has not stopped."
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From Dr Jeff's post

"We are forced to make critical decisions regarding our future using tools inadequate for assessing the degree of risk, unfortunately."

Excuse me? Forced like at the point of a gun or altered (falsified) data?

Hogwash.

We are not forced to make decisions based on information generated by admittedly inadequate tools.

It's called The Church of the IPCC and AGW. It is not science, it is rationalization.

If we used the methodology of todays climatology folks in our medical research, millions would be dying from horribly bad drugs. Thalidomide here we come. BTW...Thalidomide did not, necessarily, kill, it mostly caused horrible defects in the children born to mothers who used it.

Mediocrity is alive and well in the world of climatology.

So very sad.
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portlight.org

Portlight Strategies...

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...most of the equipment we distribute is donated by institutions, individuals, and families. We never charge recipients, and our budget is raised entirely from individuals and small businesses.

Portlight Stratgies, Inc. - a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization created by people with disabilities for the purpose of building personal and community empowerment.
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Hi Wunderfolk.
Big Moon tonight.
Link
Congrats to Portlight for being at the right place at the right time.
Evidently, there are more amputees in this disaster than in any in recent recorded history. And guess what? Disabled people are what Portlight is all about.
I hope its light shines as strong as this brightest moon of 2010.LADocHelpingAmputeesinHaitisays'keepitcoming'
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Well, here in North Central TX, we had about 2.4" of rain, winds, thunder/lightning, thankfully no severe weather. It is windy, cold, overcast and about 34F here in Arlington, TX. Does anyone have a 75F day that I can borrow please?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting P451:
Eh, nothing on NBC news. It's about orphans being flown to Utah from Haiti. Nothing else.

Let me know if you guys know when Paul might be on TV in the coming days. I can vidcap it for yas.

Btw. orphanes gets flyed out to europe aswell.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Quoting Seastep:
Forgot to congratulate you on the Saints, Pat.

What a game that was. Good to see you guys there after all these years.

Nice SI cover, too.


Ruh, roh. Hope the jinx isn't on...

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
The Saints and their Fans are Way Excited Seastep,thanks a million.

nola.com

If I was a wealthy man,I'd be there.

But were happy many are going from the Who Dat Nation,the Season Ticket Holders Lottery was Weds here.

Some folks got 2 Tickets for $800 a piece.

All total the Org and Fans got 17,000 so far.
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Forgot to congratulate you on the Saints, Pat.

What a game that was. Good to see you guys there after all these years.

Nice SI cover, too.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Does anyone know if they plan to extend shuttle missions if they scrap Ares?

I was really looking forward to seeing that Ares V.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting Patrap:
More Americans know the last 2 American Idol winners but most havent a clue we've been constructing the ISS since Nov 98.

Imagine that..

The ISS Cupola and last large segment is Launching from KSC Jan 7th.



The Cupola is the Windowed segment for a 360 view





Too bad it appears the USA won't have a launch vehicle to send up there after September 16, 2010.

Link
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
atmo....however, I will put my face on a sign on the donkey's rear-end...if it will bring in donations for Portlight....I've been called worse, and, I'm sure some on here would love to see that....no skin off my rhinoplasty'd nose.....

:)

Please Donate to Portlight!!!!!!
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Obama Puts Government on Low-Carbon Diet
President Obama ordered the government today to reduce energy use -- cutting everything from the electricity used in office buildings to the petroleum used in fleet vehicles -- in an effort to slash its greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2020.

"As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient," Obama said in a statement. "Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift federal energy expenses away from oil and towards local, clean energy."
http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/01/29/29greenwire-obama-puts-government-on-low-carbon-diet-53501. html
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Quoting atmoaggie:

Are we allowed to take pictures of it with a sign showing the names of a couple of certain favorite wunderbloggers'?

Just trying to show a fun angle of having a baby miniature donkey available at all times...


FOR HOW MUCH??? MONEY TALKS, BUSTER!!

"100 PERCENT OF THE PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT PORTLIGHT."
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Quoting P451:


Probably some sleet mixed in.

To my knowledge even the heaviest snow is only going dark green ~35dbz.

Any returns yellow and better is going to be ice/sleet.

That image, the feathered out appearance, shows that the whole northern portions are likely snow.




Must be mixed...snow isn't supposed to reflect all that well.

And it surely is a wet, heavy snow...but 50 is a bit too much.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
I caution using those radar site model snow forecasts from the Earl Barker page. They are limited to the 10:1 ratio and don't account for higher snow to liquid ratios which would make totals higher.
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Drew Brees Bobble-head Sale
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8358
Saranac Lake, Adirondack Regional Airport
Lat: 44.39 Lon: -74.2 Elev: 1706
Last Update on Jan 29, 3:51 pm EST

Fair

-3 °F
(-19 °C)
Humidity: 48 %
Wind Speed: Vrbl 7 G 17 MPH
Barometer: 30.06" (1022.8 mb)
Dewpoint: -18 °F (-28 °C)
Wind Chill: -17 °F (-27 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8358
Quoting NRAamy:
atmo....can you feel my arm, coming all the way from Southern Calif, to box you on your ears?

;)

Owwwwwwww. Stop that.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
atmo....can you feel my arm, coming all the way from Southern Calif, to box you on your ears?

;)
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Are we allowed to take pictures of it with a sign showing the names of a couple of certain favorite wunderbloggers'?

Just trying to show a fun angle of having a baby miniature donkey available at all times...


+1
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8358
Quoting atmoaggie:

They are downwind of the deeper stuff...more coming in, there. (NE of Searcy)


yeah I saw, and Poplar Bluff Missouri reports heavy snow
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8358
Quoting NRAamy:



Soon to be on the Portlight Auction: a baby miniature donkey!!!!

Are we allowed to take pictures of it with a sign showing the names of a couple of certain favorite wunderbloggers'?

Just trying to show a fun angle of having a baby miniature donkey available at all times...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting tornadodude:
Jonesboro Arkansas is reporting heavy snow as well

They are downwind of the deeper stuff...more coming in, there. (NE of Searcy)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
121. Boca
There is sure a lot we DON'T know...so jumping on bandwagons is not a good idea. Pro or con global warming.

If global warming has triggered the decrease in stratospheric water vapor seen since 2000, it could mean that the climate models have predicted too much global warming, since they don't predict that such a negative feedback exists. On the other hand, if this is a natural cycle, we can expect the recent flattening in global temperatures to average out in the long run, with a return to steeper increases in temperature in the coming decades. Climate models currently do a poor job modeling the complex dynamics of water vapor in the stratosphere, and are not much help figuring out what's going on. Complicating the issue is the fact that about 15% of all thunderstorms capable of delivering water vapor into the stratosphere are generated by tropical cyclones (Rosenlof and Reid, 2008), and tropical cyclones are not well-treated by climate models. We also have to factor in the impact of stratospheric ozone loss, which acts to cool the lower stratosphere. This effect should gradually decrease in future decades as CFC levels decline, though. The stratosphere is a devilishly complicated place that can have a significant impact on global climate change, and we are many years from understanding what is going on there.
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Climate sceptics distract us from the scientific realities of global warming

Is the goal of climate sceptics to lead us into greater scientific truth – or merely to sow doubt about the temperature record?

When you peruse the many sceptic arguments against man-made global warming, you find a tendency to focus on a narrow piece of the puzzle while ignoring the broader picture. This narrow focus serves as a useful distraction from the scientific realities of global warming.

A recent example is the campaign to sow doubts about the US temperature record. To achieve this, an army of volunteers traversed the US photographing weather stations. Pictures were posted on surfacestations.org, showing weather stations positioned near heated buildings, air conditioners and other sources of artificial heat.

Each new photo was greeted with a clucking of tongues and a sense of reaffirmation among sceptics that global warming was largely the product of suspect temperature data. "How do we know if global warming is a problem if we can't trust the temperature record?" asked Anthony Watts who runs the sceptic blog Wattsupwiththat.

Never mind that the Greenland ice sheet is losing ice at an accelerating rate. That Antarctic ice loss is also accelerating, including east Antarctica which until late 2009 was thought too cold and stable to lose ice. Arctic sea ice is melting, sea levels are rising and glaciers are retreating. These and many other physical realities of global warming are well documented in the peer-reviewed literature. However, to some, the accumulated body of empirical data is no match against the persuasive power of a well-framed photograph.

The photos were compiled into a single report by Watts and published by the Heartland Institute, a thinktank that funds climate sceptic activities. For good measure, infrared photos were included to visually drive the point home. Using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's own classifications, Watts divided the weather stations into five categories. Well-sited stations, positioned well clear of roads, buildings and other heated surfaces, were given a rating one or two. Poorly sited stations, positioned in proximity to warming influences, were ratedthree, four or five. Most weather stations fell into the poorly sited categories. Watts suggested poor siting could contribute a warming of at least 1-5C to individual stations.

Full
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jan/27/climate-sceptics-global-warming
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032



Soon to be on the Portlight Auction: a baby miniature donkey!!!!
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Jonesboro Arkansas is reporting heavy snow as well:

view Yesterday's Weather
Jonesboro Municipal Airport
Lat: 35.83 Lon: -90.65 Elev: 269
Last Update on Jan 29, 2:53 pm CST

Heavy Snow Freezing Fog and Breezy

23 °F
(-5 °C)
Humidity: 88 %
Wind Speed: NE 23 G 29 MPH
Barometer: 30.09" (1019.2 mb)
Dewpoint: 20 °F (-7 °C)
Wind Chill: 7 °F (-14 °C)
Visibility: 0.25 mi.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8358
Quoting largeeyes:
If that is indeed snow it would have be near whiteout conditions, 2-3" an hour?

The amount would depend on the ratio...not remembering how to figure it out at the moment...

But, yeah, it would have to be whiteout conditions if 45 to 50 dBz-worth of snow is coming down...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Surface is getting drier with all this northerly wind. Should be interesting to see how far evaporative cooling can drop it.

New Bern, North Carolina (Airport)
Updated: 3:54 PM EST on January 29, 2010
40 °F
Partly Cloudy
Windchill: 32 °F
Humidity: 49%
Dew Point: 22 °F
Wind: 13 mph from the NNE
Wind Gust: 18 mph
Pressure: 30.30 in (Rising)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 1 out of 16
Clouds: Few 11000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 16 ft

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If that is indeed snow it would have be near whiteout conditions, 2-3" an hour?
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Quoting atmoaggie:

That would be a good expectation.

But KSRC (Searcy, AR) is about to get that higher reflectivity area and has been reporting snow, when there is anything to report, and has been since 8:30 this morning.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KSRC/2010/1/29/DailyHistory.html

Guess we'll see soon enough.


Good friend of mine lives in Knoxville, TN. It's snowing there now.
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Quoting largeeyes:
at I'd lay money that's sleet....

That would be a good expectation.

But KSRC (Searcy, AR) is about to get that higher reflectivity area and has been reporting snow, when there is anything to report, since 8:30 this morning.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KSRC/2010/1/29/DailyHistory.html

Guess we'll see soon enough.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
I'm not sure if this had made national news or not, but the Governor of Florida has said that no more Hatians can be brought to Florida hospitals.

I think this was actually a good call by the Gov. since they were planning to bring 50 per day for an unknown amount of time.

Link
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More Americans know the last 2 American Idol winners but most havent a clue we've been constructing the ISS since Nov 98.

Imagine that..

The ISS Cupola and last large segment is Launching from KSC Jan 7th.



The Cupola is the Windowed segment for a 360 view



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
at I'd lay money that's sleet....
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So far, none of this:



has apparently produced any severe WX:
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Water vapour caused one-third of global warming in 1990s, study reveals

Experts say their research does not undermine the scientific consensus on man-made climate change, but call for 'closer examination' of the way computer models consider water vapour

Scientists have underestimated the role that water vapour plays in determining global temperature changes, according to a new study that could fuel further attacks on the science of climate change.

The research, led by one of the world's top climate scientists, suggests that almost one-third of the global warming recorded during the 1990s was due to an increase in water vapour in the high atmosphere, not human emissions of greenhouse gases. A subsequent decline in water vapour after 2000 could explain a recent slowdown in global temperature rise, the scientists add.

The experts say their research does not undermine the scientific consensus that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activity drive global warming, but they call for "closer examination" of the way climate computer models consider water vapour.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/29/water-vapour-climate-change
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Quoting P451:


Hmmm. Well, I will check in tonight to see. And then if not maybe someone can find out for certain and I can go ahead and vidcap the piece for you guys.



Thanks p451...we appreciate it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Last report from Little Rock was snow...so this is probably all snow north of there.

Not common to see a 50 dBz snow...

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
I thought some might be interested in this item. I did not realize how long this had been in process and or how much progress had been made. Clickable links on the side for additional info. Have a good weekend all :) out

Space station coming together
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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