Author Archives: pielkeclimatesci

About pielkeclimatesci

Research Scientist, University of Colorado

Roger Pielke Sr. is now on Twitter!

You can now follow Roger on Twitter. You can find him at @RogerAPielkeSr

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

2012 Climate Science Weblog in Review by Dallas Jean Staley – A Guest Post

I hope all of our readers have a great 2013, and I hope you enjoy reading the stats for 2012.  You can follow our publications at our research website.  Thanks for all your support over the years!  The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 440,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 8 years for that many people to see it. Roger Pielke Sr.’ blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

CO2 As A Carbon Fertilizer For Plants – Effects On Surface Global Temperatures” By Luigi Mariani

Today, we have a guest post by Luigi Mariani who is Senior Agrometeorologist with experience in applied meteorology, climatology and mathematical modeling of agro-ecosystems at the Università degli Studi di Milano. It starts as follows

Figure caption– Two examples of heroic vegetation in urban areas. On the top the grass Portulaca oleracea L. and on the bottom the tree Ulmus pumila L. (pictures taken in Milano – Italy).

CO2 as carbon fertilizer for plants – effects on surface global temperatures

By Luigi Mariani

Many things have increased almost monotonously after the end of the Little Ice Age (not only the atmospheric level of CO2 but also the global population, the agricultural production, the solar activity, the global plant biomass, the number of cows and so on). This writing reports some reflections on the effects of terrestrial plant biomass increase on global climate and has been written in order to request suggestions and critics.

The colonization of terrestrial environments by vascular plants began during the Cambrian, about 500 millions of years ago (at that time CO2 levels were 20-30 times the present values) and it is possible to hypothesize an active evolution of plant associations which modified the environment in order to maintain their dominant presence in a growing number of habitats, until a coverage of the main part of the terrestrial areas during warm (greenhouse) phases. Taking into account the Liebig’s law of the minimum it is possible to think that this expansion was locally limited by the availability of chemical elements (first of all nitrogen and phosphorous) but the only real global constraint against the expansion of vegetation has been probably represented by the advent of the glacial periods, from the carboniferous glaciation (380 millions of years ago) until the 15 Pleistocene glaciations (last 2.5 millions of years).

In order to interpret the global vegetation expansion a key element is represented by the homeostasis which is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition of properties like temperature or pH ( The homeostasis is fundamental for vegetation, natural and cultivated, in order to achieve its final aim which is the reproduction. Clearly homeostatic are for example the effects of closed canopies which maintain stable values of soil temperature (avoiding excesses, negative for roots and microbial activities) and exert a stabilizing effect on the atmospheric canopy layer (limiting evapotranspirational losses and favor the stomatal uptake of CO2 released by soil microbial activities).

The above-mentioned processes are active at microscale but relevant effects on macroscale are present due to the close coupling mechanisms among scales. A naive expression of this phenomenon is the daisyworld example with a planet that rules its albedo changing the % of black and white daisies, an example that pertains to the Gaia hypothesis ( Moreover a similitude could be established with the ENSO syndrome, where a boundary layer phenomenon (the abrupt warming of oceanic surface) triggers deep convection propagating El Niño signal to the free atmosphere of the whole planet (ITCZ, Hadley cell, Westerlies, monsoons are affected and the final result is, for example, given by the abrupt global warming of 1998).

After these general presuppositions I’d like to list the following elements:

1) simulations made with the low resolution spectral GCM Puma show that a world completely covered in vegetation would be much warmer – many degrees – compared to a desert world (the work is Planet Simulator: Fraedrich et al, 2005. Green planet and desert word,– By the way this simulation takes into account the following effects of vegetation on climate: surface albedo, surface roughness and soil hydrology.

2) obviously the Fraedrich’s et al work doesn’t take into account the mesoscale effect on cloud coverage which are relevant on global climate because water vapor recycled from evapotranspiration is the main component of the continental precipitation. These effects were  analyzed by

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2001: Influence of the spatial distribution of vegetation and soils on the prediction of cumulus convective rainfall. Rev. Geophys., 39, 151-177.

Pielke, R.A. Sr., J. Adegoke, A. Beltran-Przekurat, C.A. Hiemstra, J. Lin, U.S. Nair, D. Niyogi, and T.E. Nobis, 2007: An overview of regional land use and land cover impacts on rainfall. Tellus B, 59, 587-601.

Pielke, R.A. and R. Avissar, 1990: Influence of landscape structure on local and regional climate. Landscape Ecology, 4, 133-155.

4) paleo-atmospheric ice core measurements show an increase of the global ecosystem productivity for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) vs. Pre Industrial Holocene (PIH) of about 25 / 40% and  model simulations give  a coherent value of +30%. This increase is probably referred only to terrestrial ecosystems because the marine ones show only marginal variations  in the transition from LGM to PIH (Prentice I.C., Harrison P., Bartlein P.J., 2011. Global vegetation and terrestrial carbon cycle changes after the last ice age, New Phytologist (2011) 189: 988–998 – see comments at

5) simulations of ancient cereals productions (Araus et al., 2003. Productivity in prehistoric agriculture: physiological models for the quantification of cereal yields as an alternative to traditional Approaches, Journal of Archaeological Science 30, 681–693) show  that the transition of CO2 from pre-industrial 275 ppmv to 350  ppmv increase by 40% the cereal production (and with them, I guess, the production of many natural or cultivated C3).

6) the abovementioned increases of vegetation productivity are questioned by authors that hypothesize a limitation due to other nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous (Korner C. 2006. Plant CO2 responses: an issue of definition, time and resource supply. New Phytologist 172: 393–411). Nevertheless a relevant global plant biomass increase is stated by satellite data (global net ecosystem productivity from 1982 to 1999 by 6% -> Source: Robert Simmon, NASA Earth Observatory, based on data provided by the University of Montana Numerical Simulations Terradynamic Group (NTSG).

7) a diagram of NASA earth observatory  shows that the GW is largely terrestrial (

8) a metrics suggested by Roger Pielke Sr. to look at the energetic role of vegetation is represented by the moist enthalpy (alias equivalent temperature). For example daytime temperatures are generally reduced over crops during the growing season (even with lower albedo) but the moist enthalpy is higher. See in particular:

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, and J. Morgan, 2004: Assessing “global warming” with surface heat content. Eos, 85, No. 21, 210-211.

Davey, C.A., R.A. Pielke Sr., and K.P. Gallo, 2006: Differences between near-surface equivalent temperature and temperature trends for the eastern United States – Equivalent temperature as an alternative measure of heat content. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 19.32

Fall, S., N. Diffenbaugh, D. Niyogi, R.A. Pielke Sr., and G. Rochon, 2010: Temperature and equivalent temperature over the United States (1979 . 2005). Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.2094.

A possible deduction from such evidences is that when CO2 increases, also plant biomass grows, so:

1. More water vapour is input so that the latitudinal transport of energy toward the poles is enhanced and also enhanced is the greenhouse effect

2. the global albedo is decreased (the albedo of a desert is higher than that of a ground covered with vegetation).

3. soil water reservoir is emptied faster, so summer drought begins earlier and the H/LE ratio is also increased; on the other hand mesoscale precipitation is enhanced by vegetation, with a decrease of H/LE.

As a final result of this causal chain the H term of the surface energy balance is emphasized and accordingly an increase of air temperature is measured by ground weather stations, giving rise to the general deduction that CO2 could give a positive feed-back on surface global temperatures acting as “fertilizer” for plants.

Two main questions comes from this reasoning:

1. it is possible to have an idea of the significance and of the overall relevance of this phenomenon?

2. Do IPCC GCM simulations take into account the increase in plant biomass, which probably took place in the last 150 years?


Comments Off

Filed under Climate Change Forcings & Feedbacks, Guest Weblogs

Brief Response To Dr. Gerhard Kramm By Nicola Scafetta

Herein I will give a brief response to Dr. Gerhard Kramm’s response to my first reply to his comment on my latest publication:

N. Scafetta, “A shared frequency set between the historical mid-latitude aurora records and the global surface temperature” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, in press. DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.10.013. 

I believe that Kramm is simply missing the point of my argument.

In his reply Dr. Kramm showed a picture prepared by Solanki which for convenience I report below again. 

The above figure clearly shows that the solar record closely matches the temperature record. Similar results are present in numerous papers that I have authored since 2006 and by numerous papers by other authors as well. 

For convenience I show here again one figure discussed in one of my latest works which is similar to Kramm’s figure, that compare the temperature record since 1600 against the empirical temperature signature of the solar forcing alone by taking into account the heat capacity of the climate system, which in Solanki’s figure was not taken into account:  

N. Scafetta, “Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change,” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71 1916–1923 (2009), doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2009.07.007.

Both figures clearly suggest that most of the warming observed from the Little Ice Age of the 17th century to recent times can be associated to solar variation alone. As the figure shows, this would be true also for the last decades if the ACRIM total solar irradiance satellite composite is used in the model, given the fact that the ACRIM composite ( ) presents an upward trend from 1980 to 2000 and a downward trend since 2000. The ACRIM pattern may be indicative of a 60-year modulation in the solar activity, which would explain the two 60-year cycles observed in the climate system since 1850.

Of course, I have never claimed that the sun explains 100% of the observed warming since 1900. From the above figures it is evident that about 50-80% of the observed 1900-2000 warming can be related to the Sun, while the leftover may have alternative causes such as anthropogenic GHGs and urban heat island (UHI) and land use change (LUC) effects, where the UHI and LUC contributions may still be present in the data because of the limitations of the mathematical algorithms presently used to filter them out. 

Thus, it is clear that the data show the existence of a very good correlation between solar records and temperature patterns for numerous centuries up to now, as shown in the above two figures. 

Kramm seems to argue that, despite such a good correlation, a strong solar contribution to the observed climate changes needs to be rejected because he claims there is no enough energy in the solar variations to explain the observed climate change.

I am sorry, but I still believe that Kramm is criticizing my works without reading them first.      

In fact, it is overwhelmingly clear in my work that I am arguing about the existence of an ADDITIONAL climate forcing which is related to solar/astronomical changes: a forcing that is not currently included in the climate models adopted by the IPCC. Essentially I am not talking only about a direct solar irradiance forcing, which is the only thing Kramm is thinking about.

My paper makes it overwhelmingly clear that I am referring to an additional solar/astronomical forcing that would directly act on the cloud system through a modulation of the cosmic rays and/or of the electric properties of the top atmosphere. I am referring in particular to the works by Kirkby, Svensmark and Tinsley, as referenced in my paper.

This cloud modulation effect would be mostly modulated by a modulation of the magnetic properties of the heliosphere and magnetosphere (shown below), which can be driven by the solar variation and planetary motion. Indeed, contrary to what many people think, the Earth is not moving in an empty space environment, as the figures below clearly show.


In my paper I show that if this astronomical forcing modulates the cloud system in such a way that the albedo oscillates with amplitude of just 1-2%, this can explain most of the observed climate change also from an energetic point of view. The data show the existence of such modulation in the cloud cover and in the periods of solar dimming and brightening.

Indeed, in my paper I prove that if a solar change is accompanied with equivalent oscillations of the albedo by 1-2%, the climate sensitivity to solar changes would increase by 10 times relative to the climate sensitivity to solar irradiance alone. This would be more than enough to satisfy Kramm’s perplexities. In my paper I also prove that even if the total solar irradiance is perfectly constant, but other related solar forcings cause an albedo oscillation by 1-2%, this too may be sufficient to explain the temperature oscillations.

The exact physics about the mechanisms involved in these phenomena is still unknown. That is probably why Kramm does not find it in his textbooks and current GCM papers. In my opinion, Kramm’s comment suggests that he does not accept the idea that, after all, the science might be still not settled.

Essentially, in my paper I am arguing that the climate on the Earth can be influenced by what is known as Space Weather that alters the electric and magnetic properties of the Earth space environment (shown in the figure below). The Space Weather can be influenced by the Sun and by the planetary motion. The Space Weather then alters the climate by activating a set of mechanisms that slightly modulate the cloud system in such a way that we have periods with a little bit more (less) cloud cover that cause a cooling (warming) at the surface. Because these forcings are quasi cyclical we have a climate that approximately presents the same cycles and patterns that we find in the solar system.


Comments Off

Filed under Climate Change Forcings & Feedbacks, Guest Weblogs

Response From Nicola Scafetta On His New Paper on Astronomical Oscillations and Climate Oscillations.

Roger A Pielke Sr asked me to respond to a comment sent to him by Gerhard Kramm of the University of Alaska on my recent paper

N. Scafetta, “A shared frequency set between the historical mid-latitude aurora records and the global surface temperature” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, in press. DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.10.013.

Kramm’s final argument is that “Since the sunspot number may be considered as an indication for the sun’s activity, this weak correlation does not notably support Scafetta’s hypothesis.”

I believe that Dr. Kramm may be not really familiar with the topics addressed in my paper. The issue is complex and I will try to respond, but only a detailed study of my papers and of the relevant scientific literature can fully satisfy an interested reader.

In brief, Dr. Kramm argument is based on a total solar irradiance model based on the sunspot number record proposed by Schneider and Mass in 1975, that is 36 years ago! This proxy reconstruction claims that solar activity is practically constant plus a 11-year cycle. Because such a reconstruction does not resemble the temperature record in any way, Kramm concluded that it does not support Scafetta’s hypothesis.

I fully agree with Kramm that the solar irradiance reconstruction proposed by Schneider and Mass in 1975 does not support my hypothesis. However, Kramm did not appear to have realized that the solar irradiance reconstruction proposed by Schneider and Mass in 1975 is considered today to be severely obsolete.

Reconstructing the past total solar irradiance is not an easy task: there exists only proxy reconstructions not direct measurements. What people today know is that the sunspot record by alone is not an accurate representation of the solar activity and of the heliosphere dynamics.

The figure below shows some of the total solar irradiance reconstructions proposed during the last 15 years. Other records exist.

Figure:  Several proposed total solar irradiance (TSI) proxy reconstructions. (From top to bottom: Hoyt and Schatten, 1997; Lean, 2000; Wang et al., 2005; Krivova et al., 2007.)

As it is evident from the figure, different models have produced different solar irradiance reconstructions. And all of them differ from Schneider and Mass’ model adopted by Kramm to criticize my paper.

Even the total solar irradiance records obtained with satellite measurements are not certain. At least two possible reconstructions have been proposed: the PMOD (top) and the ACRIM (bottom) TSI satellite composites.


In my past papers I have analyzed the relation between some of the above reconstructions and the climate records in great details and what I got, for example in

N. Scafetta, “Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change,” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71 1916–1923 (2009), doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2009.07.007.

is summarized in the following figure


The figure shows the climate signature of the solar component alone against a reconstruction of the climate since 1600. Since 1980 I am adopting TSI reconstructions based on ACRIM and PMOD. The matching with the climate records is quite good for 400 years which includes the last 40 years if we use the ACRIM TSI composite. The temperature, though, presents an additional 0.2-0.3 oC warming that is probably the real net anthropogenic contribution (GHG+Aerosol+UHI+LUC+errors in combining the temperature records, etc) since 1900.

The figure above shows that the climate is mostly regulated by solar changes. However, the matching is not absolutely precise. The reason, in my opinion, is that the TSI proxy reconstructions proposed are not sufficiently accurate yet and there may be additional natural forcings.

So, in my more recent papers I have studied the oscillations of the solar system regulated by planetary orbits which very likely are the first cause external forcings acting on the sun and the heliosphere. Very likely, the Sun and the heliosphere oscillate in the same way and the Earth’s system will likely resonate with those oscillations too.

In my recent paper

N. Scafetta, “Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications”. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 951–970 (2010), doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2010.04.015

I address the above issues and I found that indeed the climate system is characterized by the same oscillations found in the astronomical oscillation driven by planetary and lunar harmonics with major periods at 9, 10-10.5, 20 and 60 years.

In my latest paper

N. Scafetta, “A shared frequency set between the historical mid-latitude aurora records and the global surface temperature” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, in press. DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.10.013

I show that also the mid-latitude historical aurora records since 1700 are characterized by the same frequencies of the climate system and of the planetary system with major periods of 9, 10-10.5, 20 and 60 years. The mid-latitude historical aurora records represent a direct observation of what was happening in the ionosphere and give us an information complementary to the one that can be deduced from the sunspot record alone. The mid-latitude auroras from Europe and Asia, together with other available records from North America and Iceland reveal an interesting oscillating dynamics: Northern and Southern aurora records, which should be understood relative to the magnetic north pole not the geographical one, present a complementary 60 year cycle, for example, that matches the 60-year cycle observed in the temperature as suggested in the figure below


Figure:   (A) The 60 year cyclical modulation of the global surface temperature obtained by detrending this record of its upward trend shown in Fig.1. The temperature record has been filtered with a 8-year moving average. Note that detrending a linear or parabolic trend does not significantly deform a 60-year wave on a160-year record, which contains about 2.5 of these cycles, because first and second order polynomials are sufficiently orthogonal to a record containing at least two full cycles.  On the contrary, detrending higher order polynomials would deform a 60-year modulation on a 160-year record and would be inappropriate. (B) Aurora records from the Catalogue of Polar Aurora <55N in the Period 1000–1900 from 1700 to 1900 (Krivsky and Pejml, 1988). (B) Also depicts the catalog referring to the aurora observations from the Faroes Islands from 1872 to 1966. Both temperature and aurora records show a synchronized 60-year cyclical modulation as proven by the fact that the 60-year periodic harmonic functions superimposed to both records is the same. This 60-year cycle is in phase with the 60–61 year cycle associated to Jupiter and Saturn: see Figs.6 and 7.

Silverman (1992),

for example, showed the 60-year cycle complimentary pattern in the Faroes and Iceland aurora records in this figure.


 Where the 60-year cycle in the Faroes is negative correlated to the 60 year cycle in the temperature while the 60-year cycle in Iceland is positive correlated to the 60 year cycle in the temperature from 1880 to 1940. The same complementary dynamics exists between the mid-latitude European/Asian auroras (which are explicitly studied in my paper) and the American New England auroras (which occupy a northern region relative to the magnetic north pole despite their geographical latitude) for the 1800-1900 period.

This dynamics suggests harmonic changes in the physical properties of the magnetosphere and ionosphere, and upper atmosphere in general, that appear to be directly linked to astronomical oscillations. That may also suggest a change in the magnetosphere/ionosphere sensitivity to incoming cosmic ray flux, which can regulate the cloud system. Thus, my paper shows that a complex astronomical harmonic forcings of the upper atmosphere very likely exists and very likely alters the electric properties of the atmosphere which are known to be able to regulate the cloud system as discussed by Tinsley and Svensmark.

My hypothesis is that the Earth’s albedo is likely oscillating with the same frequencies that we found in the solar system and the temperature at the surface cannot but follow those oscillations too. In the paper, I show that such hypothesis fits the records that we have showing cycles in the cloud system and in the solar dimming and brightening patterns, also from an energetic point of view.

For example a recent paper by Soon et al. (Variation in surface air temperature of China during the 20th century ASTP 2011, showed  a very good correlation between the 60-year cycle in the temperature record (in this specific case referring to China) and the sunshine duration cover in Japan, which may be due to a cloud cover oscillation.


Figure:  Annual mean China-wide surface air temperature time series by Wang et al. (2001, 2004)  from 1880 to 2004 correlated with the Japanese sunshine duration of Stanhill and Cohen (2008) from 1890 to 2002 (from Soon et al. 2011).

Other references referring to cloud and sunshine oscillations are in my paper which presents a 60-year cycle.

In fact, in my paper I have argued that small oscillations of the albedo equal to 1-2% may induce climate oscillations compatible with the observations.

The final result of my paper is summarized in the following figure


Figure:  Astronomical harmonic constituent model reconstruction and forecast of the global surface temperature.(A) Four years moving average of the global surface temperature against the climate reconstructions obtained by using the function F1(t)+P1(t) to fit the period 1850–2010 (black solid) and the period 1950–2010(dash),and the function F2(t)+P2(t)  to fit he period1850–1950(dots). (B) The functions P1(t)  and P2(t) represent the periodic modulation of the temperature reproduced by the celestial model based on the five aurora major decadal and multidecadal frequencies. The arrows indicate the local decadal maxima where the good matching between the data patterns and the models is observed. Note that in both figures the three model curves almost coincide for more than 200 years and well reconstruct and forecast the temperature oscillations.

The figure clearly shows that my harmonic model based on astronomical/lunar cycles, which is depicted in full in B, can reconstruct and forecast with a good accuracy the observed climate oscillations. For example, in B the harmonic model is calibrated during the period 1850-1950 and then it is shows to forecast the climate oscillations (in red) observed from 1950 to 2011. The model is also calibrated during the period 1950-2011 and it is shown to forecast the climate oscillations from 1850 to 1950. The upward trend in A in part produced by the longer solar trending as shown in a figure above and has not been added to the harmonic model yet. Indeed, by looking at the forecasting results in the above figure B I need to say that they perform far better than the IPCC general circulation models, which have never succeeded in forecasting anything.

Of course, I do not claim that my last papers respond to all questions and all related issues. On the contrary, many issues emerge and remain unexplained. This is perfectly normal in science, which is full of mysteries that wait to be explained. Also, my harmonic model may require other frequencies, for example the ocean tides are currently predicted with 35-40 harmonic constituents, while I used only four frequencies in my current model.

However, the merit of my present work, I believe, is to stress the importance of the natural variability of the climate, which has been mostly ignored by the IPCC 2007 modeling, and to show that climate variability is made of an important harmonic component very likely linked to astronomical oscillations and, therefore, the climate can in principle be forecast within a certain limit.

Also an anthropogenic component appears to be present, of course, but because the IPCC models do not reproduce the climate natural variability, those models have significantly overestimated the anthropogenic component by a very large factor between 2 and 4, as explained in my papers. This indirectly implies that the IPCC warming projections for the 21st century need to be reduced by a corresponding large factor. Moreover for the next 30 year the climate may remain steady instead of warming at the rate of 2.3 oC/century as predicted by the IPCC. Longer forecasts may require the addition of longer cycles not yet included in the current work. 

About the criticism of Dr. Kramm based on Schneider and Mass work in 1975, that is a 36-year old work, I cannot but stress that it is based on a severely poor understanding of the present knowledge. Indeed, Dr. Kramm does not seem to have spent much time reading the relevant scientific literature since 1975 and, in particular, my papers with their numerous references. It is evident that it is inappropriate criticize a work without even reading it or trying to become familiar with its topics and arguments which go far beyond the sunspot number record alone. But, apparently, not everybody understands such an elementary logic.

Comments Off

Filed under Guest Weblogs

Schedule Of Presentations At The Third Santa Fe Conference On Global and Regional Climate Variability, October 31-November 4, 2011

This promises to be an interesting Conference. The Schedule is presented below. [the formating is not set clear but the titles and presentors should be clear enough]. This meeting will have a diverse set of viewpoints presented.


The Third Santa  Fe Conference on Global and Regional Climate Variability, October 31-November 4, 2011

Schedule of Presentations 

Monday Morning, October 31, 2011
Registration and continental breakfast ……..7:20-8:20
Welcome: Duncan McBranch, LANL, Deputy Principal Associate Director    ………………………………………………   8:20-8:30
Introduction: Petr Chylek ……………………..8:30-8:40
M-I: Models, Forcing, and Feedbacks  (Chairs: Jerry North and  V. Ramaswamy)
M-1: P. Huybers (Harvard) Regional Temperature Predictions from a Minimalist Model   8:50-9:10
M-2: J. Curry (Georgia Tech) A Critical Look at the IPCC AR4 Climate Change Detection and Attribution   9:10-9:30
M-3: R. Lindzen (MIT) Climate v. Climate Alarm   9:30-9:50
M-4: A. Tsonis (Wisconsin) A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts   9:50-10:10

Discussion   10:10-10:25
Coffee and Refreshment   10:25-10:55
M-II: Aerosols and Clouds  (Chairs: Hans von Storch and Jon Reisner)  
M-5: P. Rasch (PNNL) Exploration of aerosol, cloud and dynamical feedbacks in the climate-cryosphere system   10:55-11:15
M-6: D. Rosenfeld (Hebrew U Jerusalem) Number of activated CCN as a key property in cloud-aerosol interactions   11:15-11:35
M-7: W. Cotton (CSU) Potential impacts of aerosols on water resources in the Colorado River Basin………………….…..11:35-11:55
M-8: B. Stevens (Max Planck Institute) The Cloud Conundrum   11:55-12:15

Discussion   12:15-12:30

Monday Afternoon, October 31
M-III: The Arctic (Chairs: Peter Webster and William Lipscomb)
M-9:  I. Polyakov (U Alaska) Recent and Long-Term Changes in the Arctic Climate System   2:00-2:20
M-10: J. Sedlacek (ETH Zurich) Impact of a reduced sea ice cover on lower latitudes   2:20-2:40
M-11: S. Mernild (LANL) Accelerated melting and disappearance of glaciers and ice caps.   2:40-3:00  
M-12: D. Easterbrook (Western Washington U) Ice core isotope data: The past is the key to the future   3:00-3:20

Discussion   3:20-3:35
Coffee and Refreshment     3:35-4:05

M-IV: Models, Forcing, and Feedbacks  (Chairs: Anastasios Tsonis and Anjuli Bamzai)
M-13: J-S von Storch (Max Planck Institute) Dynamical impact of warming pattern     4:05-4:25
M-14: Q. Fu (U Washington) Warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus observation   4:25-4:45
M-15: S. Schwartz (BNL) Earth’s transient and equilibrium climate sensitivities   4:45-5:05
M-16: R. Salawitch (U Maryland) Impact of aerosols, ocean circulation, and internal feedbacks on climate   5:05-5:25
M-17: N. Andronova (U Michigan) Climate sensitivity and climate feedbacks ………………………………………………..5:25-5:45
Discussion   5:45-6:00

Poster Session P-I  (with Refreshment)   6:00-8:00
Poster Session P-I
Monday, October 31
Chairs:  Graeme Stephens, Roger Davis, and Brad Flowers
Tim Garret, U Utah
Will a warmer Arctic be a cleaner Arctic?
H. von Storch, A. Bunde,
Inst. of Coastal Res., Germany
Examples of using long term memory in climate analysis
P. Chylek, C. Folland, et al
LANL, UK Met Office
Observed and model simulated 20th century Arctic temperature variability: Anthropogenic warming and natural climate variability
K. McKinnon, P. Huybers, Harvard U
The fingerprint of ocean on seasonal and inter-annual temperature change
Anthony Davis, JPL
Frontiers in Remote Sensing: Multi-Pixel and/or Time-Domain Techniques
Christopher Monckton
Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?
H. Moosmuller, et al
Desert Res. Inst., U Nevada
A Development of a Super-continuum Photoacoustic Aerosol Absorption and Albedo Spectrometer for the Characterization of Aerosol Optics
H. Inhaber, Risk Concept
Will Wind Fulfill its Promise of CO2 Reductions?
M. Chen, J. Rowland, et al
Temporal and Spatial Patterns in Thermokarst Lake Area Change in Yukon Flats, Alaska: an Indication of Permafrost Degradation
M. Kafatos, H. El-Askary, et al
Schmid College, WMO
Multi-Model Simulations and satellite observations for Assessing Impacts of Climate Variability on the Agro-ecosystems
C. Xu, et al, LANL, NCAR
Toward a mechanistic modeling of nitrogen limitation on vegetation dynamics
H. Hayden, U Connecticut
Doing the Obvious: Linearizing
L. Hinzman, U Alaska
The Need for System Scale Studies in Polar Regions
X. Jiang, et al, LANL, NCAR
Regional-scale vegetation die-off in response to climate Change in the 21st century

Tuesday Morning, November 1
Registration and continental breakfast   7:30-8:30
T-I: Models, Forcing and Feedbacks  (Chairs: Peter Huybers and Joel Rowland)
T-1: V. Ramaswamy (NOAA GFDL) Addressing the leading scientific challenges in climate modeling,   8:30-8:50
T-2: P. Webster (Georgia Tech) Challenges in deconvoluting internal and forced climate change   8:50-9:10
T-3: H. von Storch (Institute for Coastal Research, Hamburg) Added value generated by regional climate models   9:10-9:30   
T-4: A. Solomon (U Colorado) Decadal predictability of tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean temperature trends   9:30-9:50
Discussion     9:50-10:05
Coffee and Refreshment   10:05-10:35
T-II: Observations (Judy Curry and Manvendra Dubey)
T-5: S. Wofsy (Harvard) HIAPER Pole to Pole Observations (HIPPO) of climatically important gases and aerosols   10:35-10:55
T-6: R. Muller (UC Berkeley) The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Land Results     10:55-11:15
T-7: R. Rohde (Berkeley Temp Project) A new estimate of the Earth land surface temperature   11:15-11:35
T-8: F. Singer (SEPP) Is the reported global surface warming of 1979 to 1997 real?   11:35-11:55
T-9: J. Xu (NOAA) Evaluation of temperature trends from multiple Radiosondes and Reanalysis products   11:55-12:15
Discussion   12:15-12:30

Tuesday Afternoon, November 1
T-III: Cosmic Rays, and the Sun  (Chairs: Don Wuebbles and Anthony Davis)
T-10: P. Brekke (Space Center, Norway) Does the Sun Contribute to climate change? An update   2:00-2:20
T-11: G. Kopp (U Colorado) Solar irradiance and climate   2:20-2:40
T-12: A. Shapiro (World Radiation Center, Davos) Present and past solar irradiance: a quest for understanding     2:40-3:00  
T-13: B. Tinsley (U Texas) The effects of cosmic rays on CCN and climate     3:00-3:20
Discussion   3:20-3:35
Coffee and Refreshment   3:35-4:05

T-IV: Aerosols and Clouds (Chairs: William Cotton and Daniel Rosenfeld)
T-14:  J. Vernier (NASA Langley) Accurate estimate of the stratospheric aerosol optical depth for climate simulations     4:05-4:25
T-15: J. Coakley (Oregon SU) Knowledge gained about marine stratocumulus and the aerosol indirect effect   4:25-4:45
T-16: G. Stephens (NASA JPL) Clouds, aerosols, radiation, rain and climate   4:45-5:05
T-17: J. Augustine (NOAA) Surface radiation budget measurements from NOAA’s SURFRAD network   5:05-5:25
T-18: G. Jennings (Ireland National U) Direct Radiative Forcing over the North East Atlantic …………………….5:25-5:40
Discussion   5:40-5:55
Banquet   6:30-8:00
B-1: Judy Curry (Georgia Tech) The uncertainty monster at the climate science-policy interface
B-2: Anjuli Bamzai (NSF) Global and regional climate change research at NSF: Current activity and future plans

Wednesday Morning, November 2
Registration and continental breakfast   7:10-8:10
W-I: Weather, Climate, and Arctic Terrestrial Processes (Chairs: Larry Hinzman and Cathy Wilson)
W-0: T. Schuur (U Florida) Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon Research Coordination Network ………………8:10-8:30
W-1: H. Epstein (U Virginia) Recent dynamics of arctic tundra vegetation: Observations and modeling   8:30-8:50
W-2: E. Euskirchen (U Alaska) Quantifying CO2 fluxes across permafrost and soil moisture gradients in arctic Alaska   8:50-9:10
W-3: D. Lawrence (NCAR) High-latitude terrestrial climate change feedbacks in an Earth System Model   9:10-9:30   
W-4: D. Wuebbles U Illinois) Severe weather in a changing climate     9:30-9:50

Discussion   9:50-10:05
Coffee and Refreshment   10:05-10:35
W-II: The Arctic  (Chairs: Qiang Fu and Keeley Costigan)
W-5: M. Flanner (U Michigan) Arctic climate: Unique vulnerability and complex response to aerosols   10:35-10:55
W-6: R. Stone (NOAA) Characterization and direct radiative impact of Arctic aerosols: Observed and modeled   10:55-11:15
W-7: M. Zelinka (LLNL) Climate feedbacks and poleward energy flux changes in a warming climate   11:15-11:35
W-8: G. De Boer (U Colorado) The present-day Arctic atmosphere in CCSM4   11:35-11:55
W-9: R. Peltier (U Toronto) Rapid climate change in the Arctic: the case of Younger-Dryas cold reversal     11:55-12:15

Discussion   12:15-12:30
Wednesday Afternoon, November 2
W-III: Arctic and Global Climate Variability (Chairs: Igor Polyakov and Sebestian Mernild)
W-10: G. North (Texas A&M) Looking for climate signals in ice core data   2:00-2:20
W-11: T. Kobashi (National Inst Polar Research, Tokyo) High variability of Greenland temperature over the past 4000 years   2:20-2:40
W-12: M. Palus (Inst Comp Sci, Prague) Phase coherence between solar/geomagnetic activity and climate variability     2:40-3:00  
W-13: N. Scafetta (Duke U) The climate oscillations: Analysis, implication and their astronomical origin   3:00-3:20

Discussion …………………………………3:20-3:35
Coffee and Refreshment …………………3:35-4:05
W-IV: Greenhouse Gases, Aerosols, and Energy Balance (Steve Wofsy and James Coakley)
W-14: M. Dubey (LANL) Multiscale greenhouse gas measurements of fossil energy emissions and climate feedbacks   4:05-4:25
W-15: C. Loehle (Nat Council for Air Improvement) Climate change attribution using empirical decomposition     4:25-4:45
W-16: R. Davies (U Auckland) The greenhouse effect of clouds: Observation and theory   4:45-5:05
W-17: V. Grewe (Inst Atmos Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen) Attributing climate change to NOx emissions   5:05-5:25
Discussion………………………………. 5:25-5:40
Poster Session P-II……………………5:40-7:00
Poster Session P-II

Wednesday November 2, 2011
Chairs: Mark Flanner, Hans Moosmuller, and Dave Higdon
Chris Borel-Donohue,
Air Force Institute of Technology
Novel Temperature/Emissivity Separation Algorithms for Hyperspectral Imaging Data
R. Stone, J. Augustine, E. Dutton,    NOAA, Earth System Res. Lab.
Radiative Forcing Efficiency of the Fourmile Canyon Fire Smoke: A Near-Perfect Ad Hoc Experiment
Fred Singer,
Are observed and modeled patterns of temperature trends ‘Consistent’? Comparing the ‘Fingerprints’
Brian A Tinsley,
University of Texas at Dallas
Charge Modulation of Aerosol Scavenging (CMAS): Causing Changes in Cyclone Vorticity and European Winter Circulation?
A. V. Shapiro, et al, World Rad. Center, Davos, Switzerland
The stratospheric ozone response to a discrepancy of the SSI data
M. Palus, et al, Inst. of Computer Science, Prague, Czech Republic
Discerning connectivity from dynamics in climate networks
Mark Boslough, SNL
Comparison of Climate Forecasts: Expert Opinions vs. Prediction Markets
C. Gangodagamage, et al
Clustering and Intermittency of Daily Air Temperature Fluctuations
in the North-Central Temperate Region of the U.S.
Michael LuValle,
OFS Laboratories
Suggested attribution of Irene’s flooding in New Jersey (2011) via statistical postdiction derived from chaos theory
A. Winguth, et al.,
University of Texas, Arlington
Climate Response at the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum to Greenhouse Gas Forcing – An Analog for Future Climate Change
David Mascarenas, et al
The development of Autonomous Mobile Sensor Nodes for CO2 Source/Sink                 Characterization
Richard Field, Paul Constantine, and Mark Boslough, SNL
Statistical Surrogate Models for Estimating Probability of High-Consequence Climate Change
Steve Schwartz, BNL
Earth’s transient and equilibrium climate sensitivities

Thursday Morning, November
Registration and continental breakfast   7:30-8:30
Th-I: Theory, Experiment, and Observations (Chairs: Brian Tinsley and Nick Hengartner)
Th-1: J. Curtius (Frankfurt U) Atmospheric aerosol nucleation in the CLOUD experiment at CERN   8:30-8:50
Th-2: E. Dunne (U Leeds) The influence of ion-induced nucleation on atmospheric aerosols in CERN CLOUD experiment   8:50-9:10
Th-3: W. Hsieh (UBC) Machine learning methods in climate and weather research   9:10-9:30
Th-4: C. Essex (U Western Ontario) Regime algebra and climate theory   9:30-9:50
Discussion   9:50-10:05
Coffee and Refreshment   10:05-10:35
Th-II: Atlantic Ocean and Climate (Chairs: Anastasios Tsonis and Nicola Scaffeta)
Th-5: M. Hecht (LANL) A perspective on some strength and weaknesses of ocean climate models…………………10:35-10:55
Th-6: L. Frankcombe (Utrecht U) Atlantic multidecadal variability – a stochastic dynamical systems point of view ………10:55-11:15
Th-7: S. Mahajan (ORNL) Impact of the AMOC on Arctic Sea-ice variability …………………………..11:15 11:35

Th-8: P. Chylek (LANL) Ice core evidence for a high spatial and temporal variability of the AMO…………………. 11:35-11:55

Th-9: M. Vianna (Oceanica, Brazil) On the 20 year sea level fluctuation mode in Atlantic Ocean and the AMO   11:55-12:15

Discussion   12:15-12:30

Thursday Afternoon, November 3

Th-III: Climate Change and Vegetation (Chairs: Michael Cai and Thom Rahn)
Th-10: N. McDowell (LANL) Climate, carbon, and vegetation mortality   2:00-2:20
Th-11: D. Gutzler (UNM) Observed and projected hydroclimatic variability and change in the southwestern United States     2:20-2:40
Th-12: C. Allen (USGS) Tree mortality and forest die-off response to climate change stresses at regional to global scales   2:40-3:00
Th-13: J. Chambers (LBL) Carbon balance of an old-growth Central Amazon forest   3:00-3:20
Discussion   3:20-3:35
Coffee and Refreshment   3:35-4:05
Th-IV: Climate Change and Economics (Chairs: Richard Lindzen and John Augustine)
Th-14: T. Garrett (U Utah) Thermodynamic constrains on long-term anthropogenic emission scenarios   4:05-4:25
Th-15: C. Monckton   Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective?   4:25-4:45
Th-16: D. Pasqualini (LANL) Does the climate change the economy? An investigation on local economic impact   4:45-5:05
Th-17: M. Boslough (SNL) Using prediction market to evaluate various global warming hypotheses   5:05-5:25
Discussion     5:25-5:40      

Friday Morning, November 4
Registration and continental breakfast   7:30-8:30
F-I: Observations (Chairs: Steve Love and Brad  Henderson)
F-1: A. Davis (NASA JPL) Cloud and aerosol remote sensing: Thinking outside the photon state-space box   8:30-8:50
F-2: H. Moosmuller (DRI U Nevada) Aerosol optics, direct radiative forcing, and climate change   8:50-9:10
F-3: N-A Morner (Paleogeophysics, Stockholm) Sea level changes in the Indian Ocean: Observational facts   9:10-9:30   
F-4: O. Kalashnikova (NASA JPL) MISR decadal aerosol observations   9:30-9:50
Discussion     9:50-10:05
Coffee and Refreshment   10:05-10:35
F-II: Models, Forcing, and Feedbacks  (Chairs: Tim Garrett and Chris Essex)
F-5: D. Lemoine (U Arizona) Formalizing uncertainty about climate feedbacks   10:35-10:55
F-6: P. Knappenberger, Short-term climate model projected trends of global temperature and observations   10:55-11:15
F-7: C. Keller (LANL) Solar forcing of climate: A review   11:15-11:35
F-8: W. Gray (CSU) Recent multi-century climate changes as a result of variation in the global ocean’s deep MOC   11:35-11:55
F-9: C. Folland (UK Met Office) Global surface temperature trends from six forcing and internal variability factors   11:55-12:15
Discussion   12:15-12:30
Conference ends   12:30


Comments Off

Filed under Climate Science Meetings

Global Annual Radiative Imbalance Relative To The Interannual Radiative Imbalance

The seminal paper

Ellis et al. 1978: The annual variation in the global heat balance of the Earth. J. Geophys. Res., 83, 1958-1962

provides an effective framework to assess the relative magnitudes of the global annual average radiative forcing relative to the interannual global average radiative forcing. 

As evident in the figure from their paper, the variation within the year is ~27 Watts per meter squared.  These number certainly could have been updated since their 1978 paper (and I welcome e-mails that provide an updated interannual top of the atmosphere radiative imbalance), but we can use to compare with estimates of the annual global average radiative imbalance predicted by the multi-decadal global model predictions.

Jim Hansen provides a succinct summary in his communication to me in 2005 (see)

Contrary to the claim of Pielke and Christy, our simulated ocean heat storage (Hansen et al., 2005) agrees closely with the observational analysis of Willis et al. (2004). All matters raised by Pielke and Christy were considered in our analysis and none of them alters our conclusions.

The Willis et al. measured heat storage of 0.62 W/m2 refers to the decadal mean for the upper 750 m of the ocean. Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean. The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2, includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.

If we use the 0.85 W/m2 at the end of the 1990s as the estimate for the magnitude of global warming (as predicted by the GISS model), this is about  3% of variation in the global average radiative imbalance during the year. This explains why it is so difficult to skillfully measure this quantity as it such a small fraction of the variations within the year.  It also explains (as everyone seems to agree with) that natural climate variations can result in large enough interannual variations in the top of the atmosphere radiative imbalance that we need to look at longer time periods.

We can do that by assessing the observed and the modeled accumulation of heat over multiple years.  I have posted on this a number of times in the past; e.g. see my most recent in

Comments On the British Met Office Press Release “Pause In Upper Ocean Warming Explained”

Since an radiative imbalance of 0.85 Watts per meter squared corresponds to 1.38 x 10  **23 Joules per decade, as discussed in

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335.

the global warming signal should eventually emerge even in the intrannual data.

Recent analyses, however, which present the intrannual variations in the radiative imbalance do not show a radiative imbalance of the magnitude reported by Jim Hansen, such as in the figure by Josh Willis in

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55.


Figure 1 in

R. S. Knox, David H. Douglass 2010: Recent energy balance of Earth  International Journal of Geosciences, 2010, vol. 1, no. 3 (November) – In press doi:10.4236/ijg2010.00000

The recent paper

C. A. Katsman and G. J. van Oldenborgh, 2011: Tracing the upper ocean’s ‘missing heat’. Geophysical Research Letters.

unfortunately, does not present the model’s intrannual variations.

My recommendations to move forward on this include:

1. The multi-decadal global modelling groups should present their intrannual variations of the global average radiative imbalance for each year of their predictions.

2. The observed intrannual global average radiative imbalance should be made available in real-time, as are other climate metrics, such as as sea ice (e.g. see), and the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies (see and see).

With this added information, we would be able to come closer to resolving the real magnitude of global warming over decadal and longer time scales.

Comments Off

Filed under Climate Change Forcings & Feedbacks