Sunday, April 17, 2011

More on the Greenhouse Effect

I just added this Java Applet from the University of Colorado to play with. Clouds are the main question marks in the General Circulation Models followed by the oceans. My look at the simple radiation models is considered not that big an issue. Still, the models assume that nonlinear forcings are less than 10% of the total forcing that impacts climate change. Looking at the period 1910 to 1940 in the surface temperature record, I am not so sure the less than 10% estimate is all that great. Since the big El Nino of 1998, things have started slowing down as far as warming. The apparent lack of warming is probably due to the nonlinear forcings doing more of their thing than normally observed.

The change in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is probably a major part of the stalled warming. But the PDO just moves heat around. You can't just say, "It's the PDO Stupid!", without showing some mechanism for improve heat loss that may have a longer period cooling impact. So if it is just an oscillation, what goes around comes around, everything averages, there is no longer term impact on temperature. It looks likely to me that Tropopause had the potential to have longer term impact than it is generally give credit. Hey! It's my theory. I just have to find a way to show that there is more to it than most folks think. So before I start in on all the neat radiative balance things the Tropopause can do, I figure we can play with this neat model and see what it may be missing.

With this little animation you can add only a few clouds. The average cloud cover is around 70% with big variation by season except of desert areas. The little animation also shows little red balls that bounce around a little in the lower atmosphere, but have clean shots to the surface pretty often. There are very few of those clean shots in reality. The atmosphere gets thicker optically to the red balls at lower altitudes, so there is really much more bouncing around. So it is kind of a childish animation that tends to over emphasis the impact not showing the reality. It does show a little bouncing around in the middle atmosphere. Since my programming and drawing skills suck, I will try to type my way through my thoughts with the next post.

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