Snow albedo and CO2

Tom Wysmuller here:

raising the point that sunlight being shortwave radiation is not trapped by CO2 or water vapor. That is known but when snow albedo is taken into account the reflected energy on its way up will pass through the increased CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere. CO2 and water vapor trap the lower frequency infrared radiation. Sunlight bouncing off snow is not infrared and is not trapped. In the video he talks about increased snowfall with a more open Arctic Ocean. Solar plus increased albedo would seem to be a negative feedback. For those suggesting that the open Ocean absorbs more solar, it does. But where does it store that? A lot of it is emitted to the atmosphere in the same year, as infrared. The polar regions are where other heat goes to escape through the top of the atmosphere. A little more heat probably isn’t going to make much difference. It may help with more precipitation formation.



Atlantic Arctic Ocean Salinity

Freshwater can exist under sea ice at around 0 C. Without much salt it is less dense and will float on warmer saline ocean water. It has been described as protective, aiding the existence of the ice. I am of the opinion that sea ice mostly melts from below. Record warm Arctic air temperatures are not necessarily the driver of sea ice loss. I think it’s more the result of variable warm ocean water intrusion from the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean. Sea ice loss may be a significant cause of the record warm Arctic air temperatures. Sea ice does slow down the ocean’s venting of heat to the atmosphere.

Saline Ocean

Most of the attacks on climate science are coming from libertarians…

Quick reference guide on global warming from the New York Times:

“Why do people question climate change?”

“Most of the attacks on climate science are coming from libertarians and other political conservatives who do not like the policies that have been proposed to fight global warming.”

We got top billing. I was hoping the government would throw some money my way to grow some trees. I am in favor of a small increase the gasoline tax. I am pro-nuclear like Hansen. Yet, I think the technology of renewables has been rolled out too early in some cases that hasn’t accomplished so much yet cost considerable sums of money. I am not in favor of ethanol subsidies, but many hippies and some Greens agree with me. On the big issue of a carbon tax, a small one placed directly on the fuels for the sake of simplicity, with no refunds for anyone. Sorting out refunds will be political and involve another layer of bureaucracy.

The libertarians rarely get elected to any offices. Why we’d think this small minority could cause so many problems, I can’t figure that one out.

Sensitivity tied to natural variability

The climate is sensitive to changes. If it was not, all the charts including long time frames would show horizontal lines. That it is sufficiently sensitive causes natural variability. The PDO went negative over a decade ago for some nonrandom reason. As we don’t know what that reason was, we could call it a cycle. Call it natural variability as many have, or noise. If there was a pause, the climate was sensitive to something that offset CO2. If there is a current acceleration, it’s still sensitive to something complimenting CO2 or if you prefer, can no longer hold CO2’s effects back. If we allow variable sensitivity we then allow variable natural variability. We change the control variable as we did, and the reaction is a tiny fraction of what is expected. It that case studies are done looking at large circulations to explain that. Those circulations too are claimed to be sensitive to changes. Cooling circulations were caused by CO2. Or some claim it’s a background of noise and cooling circulations will certainly reverse. A background of noise means the climate sometimes is not sensitive to changes, but I claim it is. Or it might mean its sensitivity is variable and sometimes hypersensitive. Variable natural variability might be this:
The Indian Pacific Warm Pool mostly sits there insensitive to anything. Its natural variability goes dormant. As the pool builds it becomes more sensitive to factors that would collapse it and start an El Nino. It does collapse and likewise the natural variability is let out and observed because the IPWP was highly sensitive to changes for a time. The ENSO region has variable natural variability because of variable sensitivity.

A post of mine here:

New presentation: Society of Petroleum Engineers

Kyle Swanson on climate variability and climate sensitivity

More comments on this by Swanson:

Climate variability and climate sensitivity are flip sides of the same coin.

Picture an equatorial ocean. In the morning not to much is happening but then the sun rises and its solar power start to work on the surface. We go from low variability and sensitivity to high variability and sensitivity. The water that didn’t evaporate earlier now is more sensitive and starts an upwards circulation as vapor. An ocean is probably one of the most stable things I can think of with its vast thermal reserves. This switched on variability as the sun rises I’ll describe as a war between the stable and the agile unstable. I’ll say the earlier boring average stable surfacewater synchronizes and evaporates. It goes from low correllation to high correllation and forms an updraft of water vapor. We could say if there was a weaker correllation, we’d get a weak updraft or none at all. Perhaps what I am trying to do is apply Swanson’s observation to smaller parts of the climate. The climate as a whole would seem to have to deal with the ocean’s thermal mass. We could ask are the oceans included in his observation? He may have been referring to the global average temperature (GAT). I think that the GAT is highly sensitive to what the oceans do. Perhaps the ocean suface is highly sensitive but the rest of it isn’t. I guess this post is work in process.

Climate variability and climate sensitivity are flip sides of the same coin

I see I was wrong about what Swanson wrote when I posted here:

New presentation: Society of Petroleum Engineers

“…all else being equal, climate variability and climate sensitivity are flip sides of the same coin.” is what Kyle Swanson wrote. Which I now think means when climate sensitivity is high, so is natural variability. I had thought that when one was high the other was low. If the climate is sensitive to solar changes for instance, it would seem reasonable it also would be sensitive to the warming effects of CO2. Same goes for land use changes, and volcanoes I suppose. This would also seem to mean that low climate sensitivity means low natural variability. Perhaps it is saying, if we can change something a lot it naturally has high natural variability. (To use a comparison, fighter planes have high variability because their designed stability approaches neutral. They can change direction quickly.) It is so easy to change it is the opposite of stable. I have argued that the Earth has a stable climate because of the vast thermal reserves of its oceans. It would have low natural variability and I suppose have low sensitivity to the effects of CO2.  What would change my thoughts about it being stable? Temperature excursions, but not so much in just the global surface temperature. Something big would have to occur with the oceans.

I’ve tried to find if there has been disagreement about this:

“A climate that is highly sensitive to radiative forcing (i.e., responds very strongly to increasing greenhouse gas forcing) by definition will be unable to quickly dissipate global mean temperature anomalies arising from either purely natural dynamical processes or stochastic radiative forcing, and hence will have significant internal variability. The opposite also holds”

There doesn’t seem to be much except a bit about the climate having higher sensitivity to some things.


Extreme weather in Minnesota

Date from:

Days with high of 90 F or above Twin Cities

Seems to be a bit of an upward trend. However, I don’t see decades like the 1930s occurring later. Minnesota is about as far away from the Oceans as one can get and could be argued to be more sensitive to a changing climate. 100 F is possible as is – 30 F.

Days with a low of 0 F or lower Twin Cities

Date from:

Seems to be a slight downward trend. A break around 1980.