Daily Archives: November 23, 2012

The IPCC has oversimplified the issue of uncertainty….

Judith Curry. Reasoning about climate uncertainty.  Climatic Change (2011) 108:723–732. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0180-z

Abstract: This paper argues that the IPCC has oversimplified the issue of uncertainty in its assessment Reports, which can lead to misleading overconfidence. A concerted effort by the IPCC is needed to identify better ways of framing the climate change problem, explore and characterize uncertainty, reason about uncertainty in the context of evidence-based logical hierarchies, and eliminate bias from the consensus building process itself.

Regional climate model biases exposed….

Jan Kysely´, Eva Plavcova. Biases in the diurnal temperature range in Central Europe in an ensemble of regional climate models and their possible causes. Climate Dynamics (2012) 39:1275–1286. DOI 10.1007/s00382-011-1200-4

The study examines how regional climate models (RCMs) reproduce the diurnal temperature range (DTR) in their control simulations over Central Europe. We evaluate 30-year runs driven by perfect boundary conditions (the ERA40 reanalysis, 1961–1990) and a global climate model (ECHAM5) of an ensemble of RCMs with 25-km resolution from the ENSEMBLES project. The RCMs’ performance is compared against the dataset gridded from a high-density stations network. We find that all RCMs underestimate DTR in all seasons, notwithstanding whether driven by ERA40 or ECHAM5. Underestimation is largest in summer and smallest in winter in most RCMs. The relationship of the models’ errors to indices of atmospheric circulation and cloud cover is discussed to reveal possible causes of the biases. In all seasons and all simulations driven by ERA40 and ECHAM5, underestimation of DTR is larger under anticyclonic circulation and becomes smaller or negligible for cyclonic circulation. In summer and transition seasons, underestimation tends to be largest for the southeast to south flow associated with warm advection, while in winter it does not depend on flow direction. We show that the biases in DTR, which seem common to all examined RCMs, are also related to cloud cover simulation. However, there is no general tendency to overestimate total cloud amount under anticyclonic conditions in the RCMs, which suggests the large negative bias in DTR for anticyclonic circulation cannot be explained by a bias in cloudiness. Errors in simulating heat and moisture fluxes between land surface and atmosphere probably contribute to the biases in DTR as well.

Click here for full paper (Open Source).

Cardin (D-Md) seeks to turn “climate change” into money…

The idea that “climate change” can be stopped by government funding is something out of the twilight zone. Reading closely, the proposed bill seeks to turn government funding into pork.

Senator Cardin on Nov. 14 submitted an amendment to S. 3525 which seeks to create a “‘Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Program,” which will require EPA to issue grants totaling $50 million for each year from 2013 through 2017 “for the purpose of increasing the resiliency or adaptability of the water systems to any ongoing or forecasted chances (based on the best available research and data) to the hydrological conditions of a region of the United States.”

Entities eligible to seek the grants include community water treatment works, water systems, storage and transport systems and floodwater runoff management infrastructure.

The amendment seeks to set aside funds “exclusively to assist in the planning, design, construction, implementation, operation, or maintenance” of projects that address water conservation, efficiency, enhance watershed management, support the adoption of advanced water treatment technologies, modify or replace existing systems and “not further exacerbate stresses on ecosystems or cause redirected impacts by degrading water quality or increasing net greenhouse gas emissions.”

US Intermountain West hydroclimate highly complex, variable

Erika K. Wise. Hydroclimatology of the US Intermountain West. Progress in Physical Geography. 2012 vol. 36 no. 4 458-479. 

The semi-arid US Intermountain West is characterized by complex hydroclimatic variability, influenced both by topography and by atmosphere and ocean processes operating over a large range of time and space scales. Understanding climate–hydrology interactions has become increasingly important as demands on water resources grow from both within and beyond the region, particularly in light of projected climate changes. This paper reviews key atmospheric and oceanic controls that impact the Intermountain West’s water supply, how those controls vary over multiple timescales, the tree-ring record of hydroclimatic variability in the region, projected climate change impacts, and research needs for the future. Water availability in the Intermountain West is largely influenced by interrelated atmospheric features that include the strength and position of the Pacific subtropical high, the intensity and geographic location of the Aleutian low, the latitude of the westerly storm track, and teleconnections such as the Pacific North American pattern and the El Niño−Southern Oscillation system. The tree-ring record of pre-instrumental conditions in the Intermountain West indicates that there have been droughts in the past that were more severe than those experienced in the historical record. Climate model projections of future moisture-related changes, including decreased snowpack and changing seasonality of precipitation, may exacerbate strain on the region’s water supply. Advances in climate modeling and in our understanding of climate variability over multiple time and space scales would improve capacity for water resource management in the Intermountain West.

Click here for full paper (fee).


Stratospheric aerosol inject has no benefits, but great risks…

The idea that aerosol injection into the stratrosphere will cool the planet, but not have other negative consequences to human health and the environment is rather silly when the overall energy balance and subsequent climate dynamic is still poorly understood. There are simply no benefits to it, yet it using the planet as a giant experiment….

Mike Hulme. Climate change: Climate engineering through stratospheric aerosol injection. Progress in Physical Geography, 36(5) 694–705. DOI: 10.1177/0309133312456414

In this progress report on climate change, I examine the growing literature dealing with the proposal to engineer global climate through the deliberate injection of aerosols into the stratosphere. This is just one of a wide range of technology proposals to geoengineer the climate, but one in particular which has gained the attention of Earth System science researchers and which is attracting wider public debate. I review the current status of this technology by exploring a number of different dimensions of the proposal: its history and philosophical and ethical implications; how it is framed in public discourse and perceived by citizens; its economic, political and governance characteristics; and how the proposed technology is being researched through numerical modelling and field experimentation. Unlike many other geoengineering interventions, stratospheric aerosol injection has no additional societal co-benefits: its sole raison d’etre would be to offset planetary heating caused by rising concentrations of greenhouse gases. The deployment of such a technology would have profound implications for the view humans have of themselves in relation to the non-human world.

Click here for the full paper (fee).


A problem with total solar irradiance (TSI) measurements…

I ran across this discussion of total solar irradiance and why TSI measurements from the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment [SORCE] are problematic……worth reading…..click here and click here.

Looks like the satellite rocket ran out of gas or released is payload too low……