Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by austingreen, May 11, 2012.
Climate forecasting: A break in the clouds : Nature News & Comment
I want to make a computer model of God.I have no idea what she's like.
But what the hell,I can get it predict lottery numbers.
If it predicts climate I can probably get a million dollar grant.
That seems like a very unhelpful attitude.
Many of the skeptics that you seem to follow, do not like the current climate models because they do not model the effects of clouds well. This research is exactly in that vein.
If clouds and oscillations like AMO are modeled better that is worth billions of dollars to governments. Better knowledge of AMO could have predicted the Russian heat wave in 2010 and helped mitigate some of the bad consequences. If SO2 from increased coal power is reducing rainfall in India, the Indian government may provide more regulations to put scrubbers on the power plants, and switch to fuels other than coal. The research is important, and satellites can provide much good data. Unfortunately the rocket carrying satellites meant to help study aerosols blew up last year. I hope we put another up into space to help understand these processes.
Several operational satellites are 'retriving' atmospheric aerosol depths, though the GLORY would have done a much better job. NASA has plans for another (ACE), but I don't know its funding status.
I agree with AustinG that this will continue to be a very useful research area. Lacking the better look-down satellite, people are doing a better job with the available data. This I think was the point of the nature news item quoted firstly.
I do not agree with those who believe that cloud effects are wholly misunderstood or (worse) willfully excluded from current climate models. However, the relative uncertainty of their effect remains large.
If aerosols as cloud-condensation nuclei were largely controlled by extraterrestrial ionizing radition, a persistent 11-year cycle would be seen in cloud cover. A few authors have written enthusiatically about this (perhaps Mojo will remind us of their names) but is just has not panned out as an hypothesis
Do cosmic rays set the earth’s thermostat? | Ars Technica
A persistent 11-year cycle in global cloud cover would be a very difficult thing to miss in this era of freely available remote sensing data. The ground-based weather stations logging fractional sky cover by clouds extends much further back than the 1960's.
Separate names with a comma.