Radiation, radiative imbalance

This thread is for discussion of molecular radiation and atmospheric radiative imbalance.

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Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

‘Accuracy, Precision, and One Watt per Square Metre’ Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach I’ve been investigating one of my favorite datasets in the last few days, the CERES satellite-based top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation dataset. In particular, I’ve taken month-by-month global and hemispheric averages of the data. The dataset consists of observations of three variables—downwelling solar radiation, upwelling longwave (infrared) radiation, and upwelling shortwave radiation (reflected sunlight). From these I derive a further dataset. This is the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) imbalance. It is calculated as downwelling solar minus upwelling (reflected) solar minus upwelling longwave. That gives a fascinating look at the overall radiation picture. I got to thinking about this because of a curious claim in a recent paper published in Nature Climate Change entitled Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods ([see pdf link below]). I did love the whole concept of “model-based evidence”, but that wasn’t what caught my eye. It was this statement (emphasis mine): “[…] Here we analyse twenty-first-century climate-model simulations that maintain a consistent radiative imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere of about 1 W m−2 as observed for the past decade” Anyhow, here’s some news regarding that claim of a consistent… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

Most important climate topic – only 2 comments.

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)

For the record, in the context of upcoming CCG posts: ‘Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 C global warming could be dangerous’ James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Paul Hearty, Reto Ruedy, Maxwell Kelley, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Gary Russell, George Tselioudis, Junji Cao, Eric Rignot, Isabella Velicogna, Blair Tormey, Bailey Donovan, Evgeniya Kandiano, Karina von Schuckmann, Pushker Kharecha, Allegra N. Legrande, Michael Bauer, and Kwok-Wai Lo (2015/16) Web page http://survivorbb.rapeutation.com/viewtopic.php?f=183&t=2729 PDF http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/3761/2016/acp-16-3761-2016.pdf 3.8.3. Climate simulations with modified forcings; “… Global temperature becomes an unreliable diagnostic of planetary condition as the ice melt rate increases. Global energy imbalance (Fig. 15b) is a more meaningful measure of planetary status as well as an estimate of the climate forcing change required to stabilize climate. Our calculated present energy imbalance of ∼ 0.8 W m−2 (Fig. 15b) [see link below] is larger than the observed 0.58 ± 0.15 W m−2 during 2005–2010 (Hansen et al., 2011). The discrepancy is likely accounted for by excessive ocean heat uptake at low latitudes in our model, a problem related to the model’s slow surface response time (Fig. 4) that may be… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
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Richard C (NZ)