Why the poles matter

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by bwilson4web, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    The climate models indicate polar temperatures increase faster than world-wide temperatures. They are the 'canary in the coal mine.' But polar warming has the unexpected effect to increasing the number of cold events in the lower 48 states:
    [​IMG]

    As shown in the figure, as the Arctic warms, there are larger excursions of cold, Arctic air to lower latitudes. At the same time, the displaced cold air leads to incursions of warm, moist air into the polar regions. We often see this when there are cold air incursions in the continental areas while Alaska and Greenland report local warming events. These slow sea ice formation leading to more exposed, dark sea surfaces to absorb sunlight during the summer.

    These frequent winter cold snaps are used by climate deniers to claim there is no global warming. The irony is the frequency and severity are a by-product of Arctic warming. What about Antarctica?

    Antarctica has no connected, continental surfaces but a circumpolar sea current that helps corral Antarctic air. Yet there is evidence of sea ice shelves being warming by ocean currents. It makes sense that Antarctic warming is more of an ocean phenomena.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  2. AzWxGuy

    AzWxGuy Weather Guy

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    Just a couple of things I want to say on the subject. The poles are generally colder than the remaining surface area of the globe due primarily to angle of incidence of solar radiation. Solar rays arriving more perpendicular to the surface (equator regions) result in greater surface heating. As the angle of incidence increases toward the poles, more and more solar radiation is reflected back out to space. The poles, being generally colder, are also snow and ice covered which also reflects more sunlight that may be incident upon it. And in the polar winter continuous darkness, minus any local cloud cover, a surface air mass is further cooled by conduction with the radiationally-cooled ground. Land masses tend to have colder air masses than ocean areas due to these processes. Ocean currents transport vast amounts of heat energy around the globe. Due to this constant circulation, the mean temperature of a surface air parcel will be higher and more homogeneous over ocean areas than land areas at a given latitude. There are considerations given for moisture content of the air, and the mixing of air masses along frontal zones which will release latent heat of condensation and deposition or take up heat in the process of vaporization. You can see this when working out the heat budget equation. This natural cycle is continuous and is generally only influenced by astronomical alignments. If you zoom in close enough on a daily, or diurnal, temperature cycle, you will notice more or less a sinusoidal pattern. This sine wave shape is also present in the annual temperature cycle for a given point and altitude anywhere on the globe. Various other atmospheric properties will also show this annual sine wave variability, either driven by thermal characteristics as in this case or other natural cycles such as the photosynthesis effect on the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance. The point here is that these cycles approximate a sine wave shape in annual variability. Now, to the crux. A curious thing happens when you change the shape of one part of the sine wave. Say you add in some warming during the warm cycle. There will be an almost equal and opposite change noted in the following cold cycle. An electrical engineer can work out current flows in a circuit by considering the various constructive and destructive contributions brought on by phase relationships between the source alternating current and interactions with certain components in the circuit. Generally it is observed that the interaction of two constructive waves will be additive and result in a higher amplitude resultant wave in the positive phase section of the sine curve. We should also notice the equal and opposite change that results in the negative phase section. In this example the circuit is closed, so there are only small losses due to resistance. I mention a closed circuit because although generally closed (due to the near vacuum of space) our planetary energy budget is open to outside influences and is only somewhat conservative. This example is analogous to our atmosphere in that a change in one part of the sine wave curve, say some warming in the warm phase (constructive addition) will cause a almost equal and opposite change on the cold side. Warmer during the warm period and colder during the cold. The same will be true in the case of transitory atmospheric waves (which are also sinusoidal) as they progress around the globe. As the amplitude of these atmospheric sine waves increase, their speed of movement decreases, the temperature contrast across a frontal zone will increase, and the strength (measured by wind velocity and precipitation accumulation) of the storms in the frontal zones will increase. This is what I am seeing. It isn't equal over the entire surface of the earth because of other cyclic effects that constructively or destructively interact. Cycles we probably don't even know about yet or are on a time scale that we can't detect or measure. I personally can't argue completely in favor of human-caused climate change because my Scientific Method must include an A - B comparison which we just can't do. But I have been watching all of this for over 40 years now, and there does appear to be some support for the conclusions we have reached thus far. A strengthening in the warm and cold phases. We can see an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over time, and perhaps consider the contributions from other greenhouse gas emissions such as methane as well. It would seem wise to reduce or eliminate anything we do that releases more carbon dioxide, tidy up our extractive processes such as fracking, and increase the amount of arable land given over to tropical and mid-latitude forests. And then look for measurable changes to direct our future endeavors. Sustainable living. Those are my thoughts on the subject.
     
  3. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Active Member

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    I really wanted to read all of your comments.......but my eyes got squirrley about a third of the way through.

    Long posts really are easier to read if they are formatted just a bit.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    ^ Yes, please: a lot of meat in there, but I've got to come up for air every so often.

    I keep thinking about Greenland: that it's ice/snow covered, but areas can thaw, expose bare/dark ground, start collecting heat much more efficiently, and this can rapidly accelerate once started.
     
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    AzWxGuy still has 10 hours to reformat his post to make it readable, before the default edit window closes. I'll wait until he does ...
     
    #5 fuzzy1, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    If I weren’t tumb typing, I’d extract some suggestions. Just can not do it ‘thumbing.’

    Bob Wilson
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    . . . on the subject.

    The poles are generally colder than the remaining surface area of the globe due primarily to angle of incidence of solar radiation. Solar rays arriving more perpendicular to the surface (equator regions) result in greater surface heating. As the angle of incidence increases toward the poles, more and more solar radiation is reflected back out to space.

    The poles, being generally colder, are also snow and ice covered which also reflects more sunlight that may be incident upon it. And in the polar winter continuous darkness, minus any local cloud cover, a surface air mass is further cooled by conduction with the radiationally-cooled ground. Land masses tend to have colder air masses than ocean areas due to these processes.

    Ocean currents transport vast amounts of heat energy around the globe. Due to this constant circulation, the mean temperature of a surface air parcel will be higher and more homogeneous over ocean areas than land areas at a given latitude.

    There are considerations given for moisture content of the air, and the mixing of air masses along frontal zones which will release latent heat of condensation and deposition or take up heat in the process of vaporization. You can see this when working out the heat budget equation. This natural cycle is continuous and is generally only influenced by astronomical alignments.

    If you zoom in close enough on a daily, or diurnal, temperature cycle, you will notice more or less a sinusoidal pattern. This sine wave shape is also present in the annual temperature cycle for a given point and altitude anywhere on the globe.

    Various other atmospheric properties will also show this annual sine wave variability, either driven by thermal characteristics as in this case or other natural cycles such as the photosynthesis effect on the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance. The point here is that these cycles approximate a sine wave shape in annual variability. Now, to the crux.

    A curious thing happens when you change the shape of one part of the sine wave. Say you add in some warming during the warm cycle. There will be an almost equal and opposite change noted in the following cold cycle. An electrical engineer can work out current flows in a circuit by considering the various constructive and destructive contributions brought on by phase relationships between the source alternating current and interactions with certain components in the circuit.

    Generally it is observed that the interaction of two constructive waves will be additive and result in a higher amplitude resultant wave in the positive phase section of the sine curve. We should also notice the equal and opposite change that results in the negative phase section. In this example the circuit is closed, so there are only small losses due to resistance. I mention a closed circuit because although generally closed (due to the near vacuum of space) our planetary energy budget is open to outside influences and is only somewhat conservative. This example is analogous to our atmosphere in that a change in one part of the sine wave curve, say some warming in the warm phase (constructive addition) will cause a almost equal and opposite change on the cold side. Warmer during the warm period and colder during the cold.

    The same will be true in the case of transitory atmospheric waves (which are also sinusoidal) as they progress around the globe. As the amplitude of these atmospheric sine waves increase, their speed of movement decreases, the temperature contrast across a frontal zone will increase, and the strength (measured by wind velocity and precipitation accumulation) of the storms in the frontal zones will increase. This is what I am seeing.

    It isn't equal over the entire surface of the earth because of other cyclic effects that constructively or destructively interact. Cycles we probably don't even know about yet or are on a time scale that we can't detect or measure. I personally can't argue completely in favor of human-caused climate change because my Scientific Method must include an A - B comparison which we just can't do.

    But I have been watching all of this for over 40 years now, and there does appear to be some support for the conclusions we have reached thus far. A strengthening in the warm and cold phases. We can see an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over time, and perhaps consider the contributions from other greenhouse gas emissions such as methane as well. It would seem wise to reduce or eliminate anything we do that releases more carbon dioxide, tidy up our extractive processes such as fracking, and increase the amount of arable land given over to tropical and mid-latitude forests. And then look for measurable changes to direct our future endeavors. Sustainable living.

    Those are my thoughts on the subject.

    Hopefully I've preserved your original intent by cutting it down into paragraph chunks. Some terms are misleading wrong (i.e., "astronomical alignments".) Your speculation about cycles includes some very strange assertions as if a cycle can not have a 'DC bias' (to use an electrical term.) An AC cycle can ride on a DC base. Regardless, I have a suggestion, an introductory course:

    The good way to understand climate change is to study the arguments of the deniers and have the climate science facts and data. This course is a good start. In my case, I studied mechanical engineering including thermodynamics. My college training makes it much easier to understand what is happening.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  8. AzWxGuy

    AzWxGuy Weather Guy

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    Thanks, Bob. I'm such a lazy cus. It was a stream of consciousness sort of thing. Very little editing...

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    As an electrical engineer myself, I should point out that you are spot-on here. DC offsets and drifts (or labeled 'zero sequence' in three-phase power analysis) must be accounted for, and often make mincemeat of any "... almost equal and opposite change noted in the following ... cycle" expectations.
     
  10. wxman

    wxman Active Member

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    Don't really follow you here. As @bwilson4web mentions in post #1, temperatures in the polar regions are increasing relatively more than in the tropics (polar amplification). Thus warming is being added to the cold side of the long wave in effect. This has the expected effect of decreasing the velocities of upper air flow generally. However, it's not uncommon to have upper flow deamplify into "zonal flow" regimes, i.e., essentially zero wave amplitude.

    In my opinion, it doesn't follow that the amplitude of the upper flow will increase under a weak flow regime. Thus, I'm still not convinced that upper flow is getting/will get "wavier" as polar amplification strengthens.
     
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