Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hopefully, a Simple Guide to Explaining Global Warming

We all know that cloud covers at night results in higher temperatures. In Oregon where we get weather from Jet Streams from Southeast Asia and Alaska. The recent cold spell and snow resulted from Jet streams from Southeast Asia which went up to Alaska and down through Western Canada and into Oregon and Northern California and Nevada. Then the high pressure off Oregon dissipated allowing the moisture laden Southeast Asia Jet stream to come over Oregon to give us rain and night temperatures about over 35 degrees F warmer and those states east of us to suffer much lower temperatures and snow. Yes, warming near the equator which has a more direct line to the SUN does affect us too. The direction of the wind and ocean currents affect our weather enormously.

That is how we get hurricanes, droughts, and floods depending on the direction of the wind and currents. El Nino happens when the current which normally which goes from west to Asia reverses due to heating in the oceans in Southeast Asia. That is the reason that many of the high mountains in Asia, South America, and Africa have their glaciers melting for the first time over 2,000 years ago. The glaciers are normally replenished with snow, but if it rains due to warmer climates, it melts faster.

Bolivia is expected to suffer severely due increasing water shortages as are China, India, Africa, South America, USA, and many other countries. No country is absolutely safe because climate is produced from moving air and ocean currents. During El Nino, almost all the sea life off the shores of the Galapagos dies due to a lack of nutrients which comes from Antarctica with cold water which supports a critical food chain plankton.

Buried on page A-29 of today's New York Times was the news item with other short summaries with the neutral title "Weather Device Also Tracks Greenhouse Gas" a boring title not read by most readers of the Times. I saw the implication immediately. I was shocked this device was not put up decades earlier.

Because our oceans are huge and provide lots of water evaporation at only a small increase in temperatures, the water vapor in the air due to warming has an equal effect as carbon dioxide in warming the earth. So as the temperature increases on earth, water will become a greater influence on warming.

The thin air in the Arctic and Antarctica and Greenland with ozone depletion and warming has resulted in a huge melting and breakup of glaciers and sea ice.

I still cannot believe that the Climate scientists are using average temperatures to tell people about global warming! Because of how our weather is strongly influence by what happens in the equatorial oceans and Arctic/Antarctica where water temperatures have gone up five degrees or more and air temperatures by comparable amounts. What is not in the "official" climate reports is that politicians have a strong influence on what goes into the report. They left out the data on glaciers melting and breaking up at a much greater extent than predicted only a few years ago.

One good result of the climate talks is the agreement that we would compensate countries that decrease their rate of depleting their forests for farming and lumber. If the Amazon Rain Forest is gone, we are done too!

China and India have an extremely great stake in reducing global climate change because they have essentially depleted their aquifers and the Himalaya Mountain glaciers would not provide drinking and agriculture water anymore. China is doing more than any other country except the European Union in finding alternatives to petroleum based fuel. But they are using coal to a large extent as the Bush/Cheney did in our country. They doubled the yearly increase in carbon dioxide release!

Jim Kawakami, December 16, 2009, posted at

Increased Rate of Ocean Evaporation and Resulting Increased Water Vapor Evaporation from Ocean Combined with Carbon Dioxide Increase Powerful Climate Warming Combination

Published: December 15, 2009

A satellite instrument designed to improve weather forecasts has provided a wealth of data on the flow of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, scientists said Tuesday.

The data also verified a mechanism in which rising temperatures increase the rate of ocean evaporation, and the increased water vapor, also a potent greenhouse gas, raises the earth’s temperatures further.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder — called AIRS for short — aboard NASA’s orbiting Aqua spacecraft measures temperature and cloud cover by recording infrared emissions across the entire globe twice a day. The data helps meteorologists predict major storms.

More careful analysis of the data, collected since the satellite’s launching in 2002, has also revealed levels of carbon dioxide, methane, ozone and other gases in the midtroposphere — the atmosphere between 3 and 7 miles above the earth’s surface.

“In essence, we’re videotaping the atmosphere and its constituents,” Thomas Pagano, the instrument’s project manager, said at a news conference in San Francisco during a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Carbon dioxide does not mix evenly in the troposphere, the scientists said. This allows them to track movement of the gas to see where it ends up, and predict whether oceans can continue to absorb much of it.

Carbon dioxide from factories, car travel and other human activity is believed by most scientists to be driving the warming of the planet. Levels of carbon dioxide in the air are currently approaching 390 parts per million, up from roughly 280 in the preindustrial age.

But the carbon dioxide itself only accounts for about a third of the increased trapping of heat on earth.

Using the AIRS data, Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, looked at the El NiƱo cycle of warming and cooling waters in the tropical Pacific.

As expected, water vapor increased when waters were warm and fell when temperatures cooled, and the measurements fit closely with climate models previously developed by scientists.

Thus, warming from rising carbon dioxide should also lead to increased water vapor and additional warming, doubling the warming effect of the carbon dioxide.

“Water vapor is really not much of an uncertainty anymore,” Dr. Dessler said.

Other heat-trapping gases like methane and ozone, also measured by AIRS, are known to contribute to global warming as well.

* Climate Crackdown: UN Bars Friends of the Earth and Other Environmental Groups from Climate Talks *

The crackdown around the UN climate talks in Copenhagen is intensifying. Earlier today the United Nations suspended several mainstream environmental groups and barred members from re-entering the conference. Organizations targeted include Friends of the Earth, Tck Tck Tck, Avaaz, World Vision and Via Campesina. Democracy Now! caught up with Nnimmo Bassey, the
prominent Nigerian environmentalist, just as he was being removed by security from the conference.


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