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Archive for December 2019

lowcloudsLOWCLOUDS2

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE KAUPPINEN & MALMI 2019 HYPOTHESIS  [LINK] THAT THE THEORY OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE HAS FALSELY ATTRIBUTED WARMING TO RISING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION WHEN MOST OF THE WARMING CAN BE EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF ALBEDO LOSS FROM A DECLINE IN LOW CLOUD COVER. 

 

FIGURE 1: LOW CLOUD COVER 1983-2008 [SOURCE]

 

FIGURE 2: HIGH CLOUD COVER 1983-2005 [SOURCE] 

 

FIGURE 3: TROPICAL LOW CLOUD & TEMPERATURE 1983-2011 [SOURCE] 

FIGURE 4: GLOBAL WARMING ABOVE & BELOW LOW CLOUDS 1979-2019COMPARE-TRENDSCOMPARE-TSTAT

 

FIGURE 5: CORRELATIONS: CO2 FORCING AND TEMPERATURE 1979-2019 

 

FIGURE 6: KAUPPINEN & MALMI FIGURES 2&3

 

  1. The Kauppinen & Malmi 2019 paper (KM2019) [LINK] with the provocative title “NO EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FOR THE SIGNIFICANT ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CHANGE” (SIC), uses recently published satellite data for low cloud cover (Figure 1) along with HadCRUT4 global surface temperature data to display a visual correlation between temperature and low cloud cover (Figure 6).  Obvious departures from the correlation are  explained in terms of the 1991 Mt Pinatubo eruption (temperature too low) and the strong 1998 El Nino (temperature too high) and concludes that declining low cloud cover, and not rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, explains global warming.
  2. Based on the charts of overlaid temperature and low cloud cover data shown in Figure 6 (See Figure 2 and Figure 3 in the source document [LINK] ), the authors claim that the observed warming trend in surface temperature is explained by declining low cloud cover and not by rising atmospheric CO2. The rationale for the low cloud effect is that clouds reflect incoming solar radiation and that therefore rising cloud cover causes cooling and declining cloud cover causes warming. The decline in low cloud cover in the study period 1983 to 2008 is well established in the ISSCP datasets [LINK] and is displayed above in Figure 1. A relationship between low cloud cover over and temperature over the tropics is presented in the Climate4You blog [SOURCE] and is displayed in Figure 3 above. It shows rising temperature in the tropics coincident with declining low cloud cover and appears to be consistent with the KM2019 finding that the declining low cloud cover (LCC) causes warming globally and not just in the tropics. The causation rationale is that clouds reflect incoming solar radiation and thus lower surface temperature.
  3. It is noted however, that correlation between time series source data do not always imply causation and that when they do, no information about the direction of the causation can be inferred from these data. For example, in {McCoy, Daniel T., et al. “The change in low cloud cover in a warmed climate inferred from AIRS, MODIS, and ERA-Interim.” Journal of Climate 30.10 (2017): 3609-3620} the authors find that warming surface temperatures have caused a decline in low cloud cover over sub-tropical regions in the same period of study as the KM2019 paper. The reverse causation is suggested in the Somerville 1985 paper in which he finds that CO2 induced global warming is self correcting because warming increases cloud formation and clouds reflect sunlight back into space. {Richard Somerville, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego}. 
  4. An added complication is that in the instrumental record, global warming is found mostly in nighttime daily TMIN and not in daytime daily TMAX  {Related posts [LINK] [LINK] }. G. Kukla, PD Jones, and others (Kukla 1993) describe this apparent anomaly in terms of low cloud cover that reflects solar radiation upward and the earth’s long wave radiation downward. At night, with no solar radiation to reflect upward, the net effect of low clouds is warming by reflecting terrestrial radiation downward. The relationship between low cloud cover and warming is therefore more complicated than the reflection of solar radiation upward.
  5. The significant claim of the KM2019 paper relating to AGW is that since the observed warming in surface temperature can be explained in terms of declining low cloud cover, no meaningful role for atmospheric CO2 concentration is possible and that therefore, the correlation between low cloud cover and surface temperature proves the falsehood of AGW theory. In this post, we test this KM2019 hypothesis that by comparing the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global mean surface temperature below low clouds (HadCRUT4 surface temperature) with the corresponding relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global mean temperatures in the lower troposphere above low clouds (UAH). The study period is constrained to 1979-2018 by the availability of UAH satellite data for lower troposphere temperatures.
  6. The results are displayed in Figure 4 and Figure 5 above. Figure 4 displays the rate of warming in the study period for each calendar month labeled 1=January to 12=December along with the strength of the regression in terms of the T-statistic for both the surface temperature below low clouds (HAD) and the lower troposphere temperature (UAH) above low clouds. The warming rate is seen to be much stronger under low clouds than above low clouds. This result is consistent with the low cloud effect assumed in the KM2019 paper.
  7. The further conclusion in KM2019  that the observed warming during a time of decreasing low cloud cover proves the CO2 effect in AGW to be false is tested in Figure 5. If this KM2019 finding is correct, we would expect to find that temperatures below low clouds (HAD) would be relatively unrelated to atmospheric CO2 concentration but that temperatures above low clouds (UAH) would show a stronger correlation. What we see in Figure 5, however, is the exact opposite. Correlation of surface temperature below low clouds have a stronger correlation with Ln(CO2) {the natural logarithm of atmospheric CO2 concentration} than do lower troposphere temperatures above low clouds. In case of detrended correlations, though all values are generally very low, values above DETCORR=0.2 are statistically significant and are found only in the HAD surface temperatures below low clouds. These data are inconsistent with the KM2019 finding that the warming trend during a time of declining low cloud cover proves CO2 forcing of surface temperature to be false.
  8. An additional consideration is that cloud albedo is not just in low clouds but also from high clouds that have the greater cooling effect along with stratospheric aerosols. No declining trend in high clouds is evident in the data (Figure 2) that appear to show only cyclical variations. In light of these considerations, the emphasis on low clouds in the KM2019 analysis appears to be a form of data selection bias.
  9. CONCLUSION: The data show that the relationship between measures of AGW and low cloud cover is more complicated than implied by the KM2019  paper and that the correlation of warming above and below low clouds with atmospheric CO2 concentration are inconsistent with the interpretation of the data in the KM2019 study. As a reference, the cloud page in the climate4You blog [LINK] may contain more useful information on the interpretation of ISSCP cloud cover data than the relatively simplistic analysis contained in KM2019. Atmospheric water vapor content, low clouds, high clouds, and their combined surface temperature effects are more complicated and these effects vary regionally.

sea-ice

CNN: November, 2019: It’s all quite devastating! 

Documenting the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice

[LINK TO SOURCE DOCUMENT]

  1. The Arctic is heating twice as fast as the global average. Sea ice is rapidly shrinking, changing the delicate composition of one of the world’s most pristine ecosystems and the traditional way of life that indigenous communities have preserved for hundreds of years. What happens in the Arctic has far-reaching consequences, altering global weather patterns and endangering coastal communities, but for many people these problems are out of sight and out of mind.
  2. For those who explore the planet’s northernmost reaches, these problems have become a harsh reality. CNN spoke to three photographers and filmmakers who have made it their mission to document an evolving Arctic landscape — for the sake of raising awareness, for the sake of highlighting the individuals fighting to save it, and for the sake of posterity.
  3. Faces on the frontlines of climate science: Esther Horvath is currently drifting through Arctic sea ice aboard German research icebreaker the RV Polarstern as part of what has been billed as the largest polar expedition ever undertaken by humankind. As a photographer and the communications manager of the MOSAiC expedition, a €140 million scientific mission comprising 19 nations, the Hungarian sailed into the Arctic Ocean to document the unknown faces on the frontlines of climate science.
  4. “Who are the scientists? They deliver this crucial information for all of us,” she says. “This is what I’m extremely interested in; to show climate change stories through the eyes of scientists, showing how they live in such an extreme, remote location.”
    Captain Stefan Schwarze and Lutz Peine First officer on the bridge of Polarstern on October 2, 2019. Photographer Esther Horvath is onboard the Polarstern as part of the year-long MOSAiC expedition.
  5. Over the course of the next year, the Polarstern and Horvarth will drift, locked in sea ice, from north of the Siberian coast, through the central Arctic then southwards. Six hundred experts on rotation across six legs are conducting experiments, taking measurements from deep beneath the ice to high up into the atmosphere to assess how the Arctic is changing, and how that impacts the Earth’s climate. “With this expedition, scientists will be able to create much better models, which may be extremely important for politicians and decision makers,
  6. Horvath followed the years of preparations which led to the MOSAiC expedition finally departing in September 2019. As well as documenting the crew, from biogeochemists to balloon operators, she is also photographing nature in all its majesty, including polar bears taking an interest in the expedition. “If I can make this human connection between the audience and the scientists who live and work in this remote location, I hope that I can raise more awareness,” she adds.
  7. Capturing nature’s last stand: Martin Hartley recounts a climate horror story from February 2018, when an area of sea ice pulled away from the floating ice pack off the northern coast of Greenland. It was winter and should have been a stable time of year for sea ice, but images showed it drifting back towards the North Pole, exposing mile upon mile of Arctic Ocean below. “That’s never happened before,” he says, concern in his voice.
  8. Hartley says the melting ice is also making the North Pole a harder place to explore on foot. Historically, surface expeditions could depart from land in certain places within the Arctic Circle and walk on to sea ice to journey to the pole. Now, Hartley says, ships are being used to venture further and further into the Arctic Ocean in search of stable ice on which to disembark. Expeditions carry thick waterproof immersion suits should they fall through the ice, or if they are forced to swim between ice floes. Reaching the North Pole is becoming harder on foot, says Hartley (the last successful expedition from land was in 2014).
  9. “Water rules out most North Pole expeditions — 99.9% of them, anyway,” Hartley says. The last people to successfully trek from land to the North Pole were Americans Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen in 2014. Hartley has traveled to the Arctic Ocean since 2002. Now he’s preparing to return in 2020 for his most ambitious expedition yet. With the help of NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Space Agency, Hartley will be searching north of Greenland for the last multi-year ice, a rapidly shrinking percentage of Arctic ice that survives the summer. Multi-year sea ice is more resistant to melting and better at insulating the cold atmosphere from the warmer ocean water.
  10. Hartley is to photograph what he calls “ice sentinels,” where multi-year sea ice has been pushed up into hulking monoliths. “It’s magnificent and peaceful and you cannot help but be affected by this ice,” Hartley says, “(it’s) like something out of a fairy tale.” Hartley will travel with guides and scientists to take ice samples and leave satellite trackers on ice sentinels to chart them drifting and melting away.
    “There’s a lot of risk involved,” he says. “But the risk of not at least trying, to me, is almost a moral sin.”
  11. The social and geopolitical implications of ice loss is Maya Craig’s line of inquiry. An American photographer and filmmaker, Craig is embarking on a documentary feature about a changing Arctic across multiple countries. “Receding sea ice is impacting countless communities across the Arctic, and stakes are high as nations vie for control of newly accessible shipping routes and resources,” she explains. “I’m honing a grouping of stories that weave a portrait of the changing Arctic as diminishing sea ice gives way to newly open ocean.”
  12. In the summer of 2019, Craig traveled to the Native Village of Savoonga on St Lawrence Island, part of Alaska in the Bering Strait, to interview its president Delbert Pungowiyi, who is a vocal advocate for the island’s Yupik people. “Historically the Bering Sea around St Lawrence Island was frozen 9-10 months each year, while today it freezes for just a few months,” she explains. “The villages subsisted primarily by ice hunting whale and walrus, which is increasingly less viable and putting their entire way of life in peril.
  13. Craig also spent time on the Healy, a US Coast Guard (USCG) vessel and the only US icebreaker operating in the Arctic, documenting the life of the coast guards and scientists on board. “Ice breakers are essentially the infrastructure of the Arctic,” she explains, comparing them to roads and bridges. “Even as the sea ice recedes more, ice breakers are required for consistent operation and can make year-long operation viable.” Russia has built 14 new icebreakers since 2013 according to a USCG report, and there are plans to increase shipping traffic through Russia’s Arctic coast tenfold by 2024.
  14. How nations will fare in the race for resource exploration and extraction, cargo transportation and tourism in the Arctic is a major outstanding question for the 21st century. And even while summer sea ice remains, it cannot be ignored. “It’s all quite devastating,” she adds. “The fact that by mid-century it’s expected that in summer months there will be no ice at all in the Arctic Ocean — this is a huge, historic milestone

 

A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THIS ASSESSMENT OF ARCTIC SEA ICE 

  1. CLAIM: “Sea ice is rapidly shrinking, changing the delicate composition of one of the world’s most pristine ecosystems and the traditional way of life that indigenous communities have preserved for hundreds of years“.  COMMENT: The sea ice extent in the Arctic undergoes a seasonal cycle with a very large range that varies from 50 to more than 100 years of year to year changes [LINK] . The issue here is the relatively very small seasonal minimum sea ice extent in September that sustains an apocalyptic fear that AGW climate change will reduce the September minimum sea ice extent to zero to deliver an ice free Arctic in that month that is thought to be able to accelerate the rate of warming by way of an albedo loss feedback mechanism. The so called “Ice Free Arctic” fear has been invoked repeatedly since 1999 with failed forecasts of an ice free Arctic in September listed in a related post [LINK] .  The evidence presented that relates year to year changes in September minimum sea ice extent to AGW climate change is that they are consistent with climate model predictions. However, a very different evaluation is implied by the observational data that show no evidence that year to year changes in September minimum sea ice extent is related to AGW [LINK] [LINK] .
  2. CLAIM: Scientists sailed into the Arctic Ocean to document the unknown faces on the front lines of climate science. COMMENT: There is more truth in this sentence than was probably intended by the authors. From the very inception of the modern version of AGW climate change since Hansen 1988 (as distinct from the original theory of Callendar 1938), climate science has steadfastly held that all observed sea ice melt events in the Arctic are caused by changes to atmospheric composition due to fossil fuel emissions and that they can and must be attenuated by reducing and eventually eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Though these relationships are seen in climate models, the data have not cooperated and so since the 1990s, repeated and alarming forecasts of an ice free Arctic in September, of catastrophic methane release, of runaway feedback warming due to albedo loss, and of catastrophic losses in the mass balance of the Greenland Ice sheet  have failed to materialize. So dismal has been the performance of climate science in this arena, that climate scientists have developed a language of making predictions without making a commitment to the prediction as in the sentence “I am not saying that there will be a catastrophic methane release in the Arctic any time soon but only that there is a possibility of such catastrophic event and it could initiate a cataclysmic runaway global warming (Dr. Peter Wadhams) [LINK] . In terms of predictions and evaluations of events in the Arctic, climate science, though armed with sophisticated climate models, have performed very poorly and this poor  performance of climate science in the Arctic is succinctly stated in the source document above when the Arctic is described as “the unknown faces on the front lines of climate science“. In other words, the Arctic is where the we-know-it-all climate science ends and the mystery begins. 
  3. CLAIM: Climate scientists are taking measurements from deep beneath the ice to high up into the atmosphere to assess how the Arctic is changing, and how that impacts the Earth’s climate. With this expedition, scientists will be able to create much better models, which may be extremely important for politicians and decision makersCOMMENT: This claim accurately describes and thereby exposes a fatal flaw in climate science research. In climate science the research question is not constructed for objective scientific inquiry such that the absence of the effect being tested for as the null hypothesis; but rather the suspected effect is itself the null hypothesis that portends catastrophic consequences and it remains for climate science researchers only to determine just how bad its going to be. Here for example, the research question is not whether the Arctic is changing and whether the changes can be attributed to AGW climate change and not whether the findings will have policy implications for politicians and decision makers; but HOW the Arctic is changing and HOW that impacts Earth’s climate and HOW important these results are for politicians and decision makers. In other words, assume the worst and frame research questions and design the research agenda to just how bad things are and how catastrophic the climate impacts that are expected to create an overwhelming motivation for politicians and decision makers to take climate action.
  4. CLAIM: A climate horror happened in February 2018, when an area of sea ice pulled away from the floating ice pack off the northern coast of Greenland. It was winter and should have been a stable time of year for sea ice, but images showed it drifting back towards the North Pole, exposing mile upon mile of Arctic Ocean below. “That’s never happened before“.  COMMENT:  This claim exposes the extreme atmosphere bias of climate science. More evidence is exposed here that climate science research is not unbiased scientific inquiry but contains a heavy bias for the finding that all bad things are climate impacts and an overriding bias that all ice melt events are driven by AGW climate change by way of surface warming caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. Ultimately all observed changes are found to be catastrophic and interpreted as an impact of fossil fuel emissions – thus leading to the required conclusion that the changes observed can and must be attenuated with climate action in the form off emission reduction.
  5. CLAIM: Melting sea ice is making the North Pole a harder place to explore on foot. Historically, surface expeditions could depart from land in certain places within the Arctic Circle and walk on to sea ice to journey to the pole. Now, ships are being used to venture further and further into the Arctic Ocean in search of stable ice on which to disembark. Expeditions carry thick waterproof immersion suits should they fall through the ice, or if they are forced to swim between ice floes.  COMMENT: As in CLAIM#4 above, the atmosphere bias and the prior null hypothesis that all ice melt events in the Arctic are ultimately caused by fossil fuel emissions and that they can therefore be controlled or moderated by emission reduction form the overriding context in which all observed changes are interpreted. In the context of the ice melt alarms raised in claims #4 and #5 it is noted that the absolute atmosphere bias of climate science makes it impossible for them to consider other sources of heat that could melt sea ice. In related posts it has been shown that the Arctic is a very geologically active region of the planet not unlike the Ring of Fire in the Pacific [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] and that the observed changes in September minimum sea ice extent cannot be related to AGW temperature rise because the required correlation is not found in the data [LINK] . The specific claim that even winter sea ice (in February) is melting due to CO2 forcing of surface temperature exposes an extreme form of bias and circular reasoning in climate science such that even at a time of year when the Arctic does not see the sun, sea ice melt events are attributed to an enhancement of solar radiation heating due to a carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere attributed to fossil fuel emissions. The atmosphere bias in climate science is so strong that it makes it impossible to consider the impact of geothermal heat even when CO2 forcing is not possible.
  6. CLAIM: Russia has built 14 new icebreakers since 2013 according to a USCG report, and there are plans to increase shipping traffic through Russia’s Arctic coast tenfold by 2024. How nations will fare in the race for resource exploration and extraction, cargo transportation and tourism in the Arctic is a major outstanding question for the 21st century. And even while summer sea ice remains, it cannot be ignored. COMMENT:  Climate science has presented no scientific argument that relates Arctic ship traffic to AGW such that ship traffic in the Arctic should be considered an undesirable AGW variable. Yet, the science of climate science appears to be opposed to the idea of growing ship traffic in the region whether by way of technological ship innovations or by way of ice melt. This oddity is just one of many that appears to use AGW climate change as the science that backs up old environmental activism now rationalized in terms of AGW. This relationship is consistent with the view that AGW climate science serves to rationalize and revitalize radical environmentalism of all colors in search of a reason why.
  7. CLAIM: By mid-century it’s expected that in summer months there will be no ice at all in the Arctic Ocean — this is a huge, historic milestone. COMMENT: A black mark in the science of AGW climate change is its obsession with the ice free Arctic idea and its long history of failed ice free Arctic predictions described in a related post [LINK] . The forecast of an ice free Arctic in September of “mid century” is likely derived from a published paper that makes a forecast of an ice free summer in the Arctic at sometime between 2044 and 2067. In the related post cited above it is shown that the seasonal cycle was used as the model of ice melt in the forecast and that significant differences between the seasonal cycle and year to year changes make the comparison impossible [LINK]The mid-century ice free Arctic forecast follows a long list of failed ice free Arctic forecast fear mongering activism including the high profile “the Arctic is screaming” alarm of 2007. Not much credibility remains for climate science in this area of what is still being presented as science.