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Unforced variations: Sep 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 September 2020

This month’s open thread on climate science topics. Things to look for – Arctic sea ice minimum, boreal wildfires and the Atlantic hurricane season – you know, the usual…

231 Responses to “Unforced variations: Sep 2020”

  1. 151
    Killian says:

    Dear @ClimateofGavin and #DavidArcher, did I not TELL you?

    https://twitter.com/ErikSolheim/status/1307634368391806981?s=09

  2. 152
    Western Hiker says:

    Global warming and the wildfire debate?
    Too often it revolves around statistics, with each side finding stats to bolster their case.
    The science is straightforward!

    “Plants transpire more rapidly at higher temperatures because water evaporates more rapidly as the temperature rises. At 30°C, a leaf may transpire three times as fast as it does at 20°C.”

    “A plant cannot continue to transpire rapidly if its water loss is not made up by replacement from the soil.”

    “The volume of water lost in transpiration can be very high. It has been estimated that over the growing season, one acre of corn (maize) plants may transpire 400,000 gallons (1.5 million liters) of water. As liquid water, this would cover the field with a lake 15 inches (38 cm) deep. An acre of forest probably does even better.”

    https://tinyurl.com/y6nvt8x7

  3. 153
    Western Hiker says:

    California, August, 1950 – 2020:

    PDSI: – 0.36 /decade
    Precipitation: – 0.02” /decade

    ———

    How could such an insignificant trend in precipitation account for such a decisively negative PDSI trend?
    The answer is clear:

    Temperature: + 0.4F /decade

    https://tinyurl.com/y3zry56c

    https://tinyurl.com/yyk5uqtp

    https://tinyurl.com/yxebol6s

  4. 154
    Western Hiker says:

    Whoops. Here is the link to the PDSI trend:

    https://tinyurl.com/y5w5k4kz

  5. 155
    patrick027 says:

    Never mind what I said about H2O opacity in the stratosphere – see looking up from tropopause in Modtran…

  6. 156
    patrick027 says:

    … So O3 and CO2 would together shift the color a little bit from blue to green for upward radiation, going from tropopause to TOA…

  7. 157
    patrick027 says:

    … in clear sky

  8. 158
    Western Hiker says:

    #136 Russell

    CO2 makes up a small portion of the air around us. When hot enough and more concentrated, and viewed with an IR camera, the ‘airshine’ it emits looks just like a thick fog:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ehk6_Wl3S2Q

  9. 159
    Western Hiker says:

    Another look at ‘airshine’

    https://tinyurl.com/y5qdr2wv

  10. 160
    Chuck says:

    dhogaza says:
    18 Sep 2020 at 11:12 PM
    KIA lies again …

    …and again, and again, and again.

    I’m sure the fires out West are having a devastating effect on an already dire situation:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nature-up-close-the-massive-decline-of-bird-populations/

    I don’t know if anybody has an update on the declining bird population but where I live, this Spring I really didn’t hear any song birds like I normally do. I’m generally tuned in to the sounds of nature because it’s a good indication that a particular season is starting or ending. The song birds were noticeably absent this Spring.

  11. 161
    jb says:

    Knumbskull in America (KIA) says:

    117 – JB
    “Oh, here’s an idea. Read the Green New Deal Resolution that was introduced in the House of Representatives.” Why? It was VOTED ON in the Senate, and not one Senator voted for it – not even the sponsors!!

    Ah, now we see more artful lying. Lies of omission – but lies nonetheless. Three dem senators voted against it – the rest voted “present” in protest of Moscow Mitch forcing the vote. Those other dem senators support the policy. So, there’s why.

    I still fail to see why the mods tolerate your excrement.

  12. 162
    Vendicar Kahn says:

    Re: 159 “Airshine”

    Neither of the video’s you link to show “airshine”.

    If you can find one, that may be useful.

  13. 163
    Russell says:

    149 :

    “if you want to see the world with IR, chose your frequency with a little care.
    I note there are IR cameras that operate at different wave bands … including … 7-12 microns… do note that I entirely ignore the presence of this IR Window in my comment @122 …Given the reasons behind my comment @122, simplification of the situation every time trumps reality in its full complexity.”

    Thank you for making your position so perfectly unclear.

    The 7-12 micron band is called the thermal infrared because cold and warm things at earthly temperaures — ~ 250 to ~ 350 K , radiate in that band.

    Since black is not a color, and optical depth is a quantifiable thing, germanium lenses and narrow band gap imaging chips can render enough shades of grey, to produce black and white IR video displays as vivid as false color.

    And considerably less confusing , when used to look for escaping plumes of IR opaque gases like methane , witness this spectacular B&W image of a gas well leak:

    Kudos to John Tyndall for making all this clear back when the only available thermal IR optical material was rock salt , and doing so without recourse to naming invisible colors, which saved his readers time, as it is hard to agree on the names of things no one can see.

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2015/12/infrared-ink.html

  14. 164
    Russell says:

    158

    “Airshine” and “fog” indeed. It’s not the air that’s shining in the tailpipe videos you link.

    There’s a thousand times more CO2 in auto exhaust than the atmosphere, and besides its vastly higher IR optical depth, it owes its high IR emissivity to being hundreds of K hotter than ambient.

    Here’s a brief steampunk tutorial :

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2014/10/climate-wars-salt-talks.html

  15. 165
    Western Hiker says:

    Russell, #164

    Please read what I wrote more carefully.
    Again, “CO2 makes up a small portion of the air around us. When hot enough and more concentrated, and viewed with an IR camera, the ‘airshine’ it emits looks just like a thick fog”

    You: “There’s a thousand times more CO2 in auto exhaust than the atmosphere…”
    Me: A thousand times more CO2 means it’s more concentrated, right?
    You: “it owes its high IR emissivity to being hundreds of K hotter than ambient.”
    Me: The emissivity of CO2 is independent of temperature. ‘Intensity’ is probably the word you’re looking for.
    In any case, ‘hundreds of K hotter than ambient’ is ‘hot enough’, don’t you think?

    Of course I’m aware that ‘airshine‘ is not a real word and sounds goofy, but if the shoe fits?
    SWIR is emitted by gasses in the sun, LWIR is emitted by a variety of gasses/solids in the atmosphere.
    Sunshine/Airshine.

  16. 166
    Russell says:

    165
    WH, it’s a relief to know you’ve figured out ” that ‘airshine is not a real word and sounds goofy”, but to avoid a replay please review :

    “LWIR is emitted by a variety of gasses/solids in the atmosphere.”

    As the atmosphere’s principal components, N2 , O2, and Ar, are not vibrationally active, 99.97 % of the air cannot and does not emit or absorb thermal IR, which is why greenouse gases that can and do are so important.

  17. 167
    MA Rodger says:

    The Accumulative Cyclone Energy for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season has now climbed above ACE=100 meaning that for the first time on record (since 1851-on) there have been five consecutive years with ACE>100.
    Previously there had twice been four consecutive years of ACE>100, these 1891-94 and 1998-2001. As the years either side (1890 & 1895) were low on the ACE-count and also for other potential early runs of consecutive ACE>100, this is not a stat that can be influenced by the less reliable data of the early years of the record.

  18. 168
    MA Rodger says:

    Russell @164,
    Within the web page you link to, I wonder about your description of the denialist James Delingpole as being “a very low Whig.”
    Delingpole is surely a very deep Tory (a Tory being originally a toff Irish bushwhacker) and thus also troublesome type but such Tories are usually considered to be the antithesis of any Whig.
    Yet a Whig was a rebellious Scot from the Lowland wilds of the south, so perhaps “a very low Whig” would place the fractious Delingpole much further south, perhaps down in southern England which is indeed where you would find him. Mind, I would still brand the twit a posh bushwhacker being far to scatter-brained to be considered ‘rebellious’.

  19. 169
    Western Hiker says:

    Russell, #166
    “As the atmosphere’s principal components, N2 , O2, and Ar, are not vibrationally active, 99.97 % of the air cannot and does not emit or absorb thermal IR, which is why greenouse gases that can and do are so important.”

    Right, and yet this statement is still correct, isn’t it? –
    “LWIR is emitted by a variety of gasses/solids in the atmosphere.”

    * (Other than I forgot to include liquid water)

  20. 170
  21. 171
    Guest (O.) says:

    How the oil industry made us doubt climate change
    https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-53640382

    And a podcast:

    How They Made Us Doubt Everything
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000l7q1/episodes/player

  22. 172
    Russell says:

    168 Holy Whig History, Mr. Roger, the Whiggamores of the pre-Jacobite border wars should not be confused with the Whigs of post-Enlightenment British and American politics. By the time the Reform Act came along, Charles Darwin was reckoned a very high Whig indeed.

    169
    “Right, and yet this statement is still correct, isn’t it? –
    ‘LWIR is emitted by a variety of gasses/solids in the atmosphere.'”

    No: it is hazardous in the extreme to characterize as correct a statement that is zero point zero three per cent true.

  23. 173
    Western Hiker says:

    #172

    Bill: “There are two pennies in the jar.
    Ted: “Yes, but there are 98 dimes. so your statement is only 2% correct.”

    Huh?

  24. 174
    Russell says:

    170,171

    Hi Naomi.

  25. 175
    nigelj says:

    This seems quite interesting on the future of the antarctic ice sheet under different warming scenarios: “The hysteresis of the Antarctic Ice Sheet”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2727-5

  26. 176
    patrick027 says:

    I’ve been working on some adjustments to my color guesstimates, but first… re 108 Philippe Chantreau
    If we could see infra-red, I imagine that the GH effect would cause an ambient “glow” of IR light, most intense close to the surface, and decreasing in intensity with altitude, until reaching a threshold altitude. With an increase in GH effect, I expect that the glow would intensify and the threshold altitude would increase. What I can’t quite put in words is what happens at the threshold altitude.

  27. 177
    patrick027 says:

    … I believe what you’re refering to is the concept of an effective emitting level, which, by analogy with the Sun, is a vertical position that is representive of the Earth’s own photosphere…

  28. 178
    patrick027 says:

    Imagine the opacity is produced by many opaque particles; they are blackbodies, absorbing whatever light reaches them and emitting according to their temperatures.   For each, you see a cross-sectional area source of radiance.  You can’t see all of them because the closest ones hide some of those farther away, etc.  The more densely packed or bigger they are, the less far you can see, and so the light you see matches temperatures closer to you.

    Generally the size of the blackbodies depends on the material/substance they represent, frequency, and pressure and temperature (via line broadening, and the ratios of different energy states).

    You need to be able to see temperature variations in order for there to be a net radiant flux of heat through where you are; it has to look brighter in one direction than it’s opposite.  If it is transparent where you are, the flux passing by you depends on conditions somewhere else (and there can be no net radiant heating or cooling at your location).  Adding opacity gives the material influence on the radiation, and the potential to radiantly warm or cool.  At a certain point, increasing opacity hides the temperature gradient and so everything looks the same where you are; there is no net flux. 

  29. 179
    patrick027 says:

    … That’s a partial summary of what will be parts iii, iv, and v? of a tutorial I’ve been working on…

  30. 180
    patrick027 says:

    … PS, more generally, there can also be ‘little mirrorballs’ (scattering cross sections) – in this case consider the reflections (and reflections of reflections…) of blackbodies. Also they may vary with direction and polarization, but that’s not of much concern here…

  31. 181
    patrick027 says:

    … anyway, a distribution of all the blackbody cross-section area that you can see is called an emission weighting function*, and looking down from space, that would be the Earth’s photosphere.

    caveat: emission weighting function* may be defined for a single direction; for a whole hemisphere of directions up or down, you have to weight by the cosine of the angle from vertical and integrate over solid angle.

  32. 182
    patrick027 says:

    Anyway, due to various potential nonlinearities (Planck function not linear over temperature, temperature not linear over optical path,…?), the temperature of the centroid of the emission weighting function won’t necessarily match the brightness temperature of the radiance or irradiance – even at just one frequency.

    The concept of an effective emission/radiating level most easily applies for a greybody atmosphere, where the opacity is constant over the thermal IR band…

  33. 183
    patrick027 says:

    The net upward LW (thermal IR) flux at any level, in the global time average for an equilibrium climate, must combine with the net upward convective flux (which is approximately 0 above the tropopause) to balance the net downward SW (solar UV, visible, solar IR) flux.

  34. 184
    patrick027 says:

    … and so the divergence of the net upward LW flux (increasing with height), which is LW cooling, must balance the solar heating and the convergence (decrease with height) of the upward convective flux (convective heating).

  35. 185
    patrick027 says:

    re 178 patrick027 – there are a few unstated caveats in all that, in case anyone wants to get nitpicky (ie. wouldn’t the closer objects look bigger? Well that matches up with contributing to a larger range of directions reaching your pupil…)

  36. 186
    Al Bundy says:

    Western Hiker and Russell,
    When a conversation degrades to searching through and parsing previously selected with nary a thought to parsing…

    …you ain’t discussing diddly except random chance and word twisting.

  37. 187
    Al Bundy says:

    BPL: Don’t just make stuff up, John. It’s too easy for people to check.

    AB: Don’t be silly, BPL. It is abundantly clear that making shit up is extremely effective, especially if idiots repeat the lie in order to promote it (though the repeater is actually failing while whining about something as irrelevant as “actual” truth).

    The inflection point is where “winning” becomes more “valuable” than “truth”. We passed that point a few years ago, which makes your comment just plain sad, unfortunately

  38. 188
    Chuck says:

    Killian says:
    20 Sep 2020 at 8:48 AM
    Dear @ClimateofGavin and #DavidArcher, did I not TELL you?

    >>>Yeah, I’m interested as to Gavin’s thoughts on that disturbing video. All of those abandoned fracking wells are spewing CH4 and adding to the toxic mix.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-09-17/abandoned-gas-wells-are-left-to-spew-methane-for-eternity

    I guess you could call this “Armageddon Warp Speed” in honor of Donald Trump. Does anybody have any cheerful scenarios they want to throw out there?

  39. 189
    Russell says:

    182

    if you go to: the integrated satellite data feed global map

    www earth.nullschool.net

    and click on the word EARTH on screen, and switch through the Particulates channels, you can see the complicated and dynamic structure of emissivity variation in some detail

  40. 190
    Guest (O.) says:

    Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/22/climate/climate-change-future.html

  41. 191
    Barry Finch says:

    @176 patrick027 “With an increase in GH effect, I expect that the glow would intensify”. No. You have that backwards. With an increase in the IR-active “greenhouse gases (GHGs)” in Earth’s troposphere less radiation is emitted to space so you (in space) would see the glow lessen, not intensify. If you are going for detail in your cartoon (I wouldn’t) then the surface glow does not lessen (its radiation band is “atmospheric window”)). Then as surface-air warms that’s when all glows intensify but the troposphere glow doesn’t reach its original intensity because the surface glow intensity exceeds where it started before the GHGs were increased and the average glow must be 240.1 w/m**2 for Earth. If the average glow is 240.1 w/m**2 then ecosphere cools, if the average glow =240.1 w/m**2 then it’s the baby bear porridge.
    ——
    Off topic note: Not accurate to 0.1 of course, but Karina v.S. et al claim the DIFFERENCE has that accuracy 0.12.

  42. 192
    Barry Finch says:

    I don’t know what the weird formating mess is about but anyway
    If average glow less than 240.1 w/m**2 ecosphere warms
    If average glow greater than 240.1 w/m**2 ecosphere cools
    Average glow is now 239.23 according to Karina v.S. et al and using absorbed sunshine as 240.1

  43. 193
    Killian says:

    Re 175 nigelj: This seems quite interesting on the future of the antarctic ice sheet under different warming scenarios: “The hysteresis of the Antarctic Ice Sheet”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2727-5

    As I’ve been saying for over a decade: Multi-meter SLR, long-tail and long-term existential risks. One choice: Rapid decarbonization via rapid, massive reductions in consumption achieved via localization and simplification.

    Regenerative Governance and Regenerative Design.

  44. 194
    Killian says:

    Here’s something actually worth discussion:

    https://twitter.com/hausfath/status/1309206537999585280?s=20

    Please tell me how you square that curve with anything but rapid simplification and Regenerative Governance. There is no currently existing economic system that can handle that.

  45. 195
    Mr. Know It All says:

    194 – Killian
    “Please tell me how you square that curve with anything but rapid simplification and Regenerative Governance. There is no currently existing economic system that can handle that.”

    A hint to the answer you are looking for: we are not going to “simplify” and live like the ancients. Ain’t happening. ;)

    The only economic system that can handle our needs is free market capitalism. All others that have been tried have failed, and always will.

    Trump mentioned a good start in his 2020 SOTU address – the trillion tree initiative, to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and make wood. Let’s ramp it up. Everybody plant some trees soon.

    In your linked twitter, Bill Gates tweeted that we need innovation across all sectors to get on a path to net-zero emissions.

    https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1309147157040111616

    Free market capitalism has always produced the best and fastest innovation. Now if we could just get Bill to apply some innovation to stop Windows 10 from spying on us, and perhaps if Google had the innovation needed to make the most recent email appear at the top of the list instead of the bottom (what idiot thought that up?), then we’d be on the way to making some progress. ;)
    mkia

  46. 196
    Mr. Know It All says:

    194 – Killian
    “Please tell me how you square that curve with anything but rapid simplification and Regenerative Governance. There is no currently existing economic system that can handle that.”

    A hint to the answer you are looking for: we are not going to “simplify” and live like the ancients. Ain’t happening. Can you imagine young people today who run to a safe space to cry when they hear an opinion they don’t like, out working the soil to grow their own food? Laughable. ;)

    The only economic system that can handle our needs is free market capitalism. All others that have been tried have failed, and always will.

    Trump mentioned a good starting point in his 2020 SOTU address – the trillion tree initiative, to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and make wood. Let’s ramp it up. Everybody plant some trees soon in honor of our greatest President.

    In your linked twitter thread, Bill Gates tweeted that we need innovation across all sectors to get on a path to net-zero emissions.

    https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1309147157040111616

    Free market capitalism has always produced the best and fastest innovation. Now if we could just get Bill to apply some innovation to stop Windows 10 from spying on us, and perhaps if Google had the innovation needed to make the most recent email appear at the top of the list instead of the bottom (what idiot thought that up?), then we’d be on the way to making some progress. ;)
    mkia

  47. 197
    MA Rodger says:

    I see HadCRUT has posted for August 2020 with an anomaly of +0.74ºC, a little up on the anomaly of the previous three months May-July (which spanned +0.68ºC to +0.71ºC) but below the Jan-Apr anomalies (which spanned +0.80ºC to +1.01ºC).

    August 2020 is the 2nd warmest August on the HadCRUT record, sitting below August 2016 (+0.79ºC) and above August 2015 (+0.74ºC), 2015 (+0.72ºC), 2017 (+0.71ºC), 2014 (+0.68ºC), 1998 (+0.60ºC) & 2018 (+0.59ºC).

    August 2020 has the =22nd highest anomaly in the all-month HadCRUT record.
    The 2020 year-to-date average anomaly sits 2nd in the ranking tabled behind 2016. To gain the “warmest year” accolade from 2016 would require the Sept-Dec average to top +0.735ºC, so a little higher than the average over then last four months May-Aug which averaged +0.71ºC. And to slip to 3rd below 2015 would require Sept-Dec to average below a rather chilly +0.63ºC.

    …….. Jan-August Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.88ºC … … … +0.80ºC … … … 1st
    2020 .. +0.83ºC
    2017 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.68ºC … … … 4th
    2019 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.74ºC … … … 3rd
    2015 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.76ºC … … … 2nd
    1998 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.54ºC … … … 9th
    2010 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.56ºC … … … 7th
    2018 .. +0.58ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 5th
    2014 .. +0.57ºC … … … +0.58ºC … … … 6th
    2002 .. +0.55ºC … … … +0.50ºC … … … 14th
    2005 .. +0.53ºC … … … +0.53ºC … … … 8th

    A graphic showing monthly ‘global’ anomalies over the last decade for HadCRUT, GISS, NOAA, BEST SAT and UAH & RSS TLT is here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’).

  48. 198
    nigelj says:

    Mr KIA @196

    “Trump mentioned a good starting point in his 2020 SOTU address – the trillion tree initiative, to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and make wood. Let’s ramp it up. Everybody plant some trees soon in honor of our greatest President.”

    Was this wishful thinking or is the federal government actually going to provide some funds? Either way, planting trees will only ever be a small part of the solution because theres just not enough spare land. Check the maths. Its another Trump delusion like all the others.

    Thinking of trees, when is you federal governmnet going to clear all the dead wood out of the huge federally owned forests in California where most of these forest fires are located? That dead wood makes the fires worse (along with climate change). :-)

    See how much I know? Its because I dont waste my time reading crap like Breitbart.

  49. 199
    Victor says:

    Mister KIA: “The only economic system that can handle our needs is free market capitalism. All others that have been tried have failed, and always will.”

    The free market system also failed, in case you didn’t notice. What remains of it is being propped up by a set of humongous loans that will never be repaid — unless “extend and pretend” can be sustained indefinitely.

    Your notion of socialism is a caricature, based on right-wing dogma. Socialist governments in China and Vietnam are succeeding. Venezuela was a huge success until their oil revenues dried up, an unexpected development that had nothing to do with socialism. Maduro continues to have widespread support because the principal concern of his socialist government is the welfare of the people, including those on the lowest economic rung. Venezuelans and Cubans are suffering due to the huge pressures placed on them for years by the US government. I lived for months in “communist” Yugoslavia, under Tito and found it to be the best country I’d ever lived in: no beggars, no slums, no fear of reprisals for speaking freely.

    Socialism is about placing the needs of the majority above the ambitions of the wealthy few. Capitalism is about the opposite. I’d rather live in a country where the great majority are well paid, well fed and healthy than a country riddled with beggars and homeless people. Wouldn’t you?

  50. 200
    Adam Lea says:

    167: I’m not convinced that statistic means anything in the context of a changing climate. The 1998-2001 period was adjacent on both sides to significant El Nino years which suppressed Atlantic hurricane activity. There has been no comparable El Nino event from 2016-2020, the last big one was in 2015. We are about due an El Nino, so if one develops over the next few months, expect next year’s hurricane season to be quiet.