Saturday, July 28, 2007

The effect of solar radiation variation on the climate of the Earth

Mikhail I. Budyko's article, "The effect of solar radiation variation on the climate of the Earth," published in 1969 was one of the first theoretical investigation of the ice-albedo feedback mechanism; i.e., the more snow and ice, the more solar radiation is reflected back into space and hence the colder Earth grows and the more it snows. Budyko notes that over the last 200 million years the temperature difference between the poles and the equator was comparatively small compared what it is today. He says that during that time there were no "zones of cold climate."

He and his group at the Main Geophysical Observatory at Leningrad found that over the period from the end of the 19th century until 1940 there was a rise in the average temperature of the Earth of 0.6° C. From 1940 until the mid1950's there a fall in temperature of 0.2° C.

One major purpose of the article was to provide quantitative analysis of how to explain the variation of glaciation in the Quaternary Period. n his analysis Budyko considers some exogenous variations in Qp due to factors such as changes in the characteristics of Earth's orbit or variation in the transparency of the atmosphere due to volcanic dust.and the endogenous changes in the average albedo for the Earth. Here we examine the latter.

A large part of solar energy coming to the Earth from the Sun is reflected by the climatic system and goes back to space. This energy does not heat the Earth. When the reflective capability of climatic system is larger, climate is cooler. The value of albedo A is the ratio of solar energy flux reflected by the climatic system to the total solar irradiation flux.

The value of A changes with time and for the last tens of years it is ~ 0.3. Albedo is dimensionless value but using S one can find flux of solar energy reflected by climatic system.The energy-balance equation for the Earth’s climatic system has the form πr2 •S•(1 - A) + WE = 4πr2σTE4, where r is the Earth’s radius, S is the solar irradiance (constant) at the distance of 1 a.u., A is the spherical albedo of the Earth, WE – the heat-flux power entering the climatic system from the interior of the Earth, σ is the Stefan—Boltzmann constant, and TE is the effective (radiative) temperature of the climatic system. The left-hand side of the equation is the energy flux that heats the climatic system, whereas the right-hand side corresponds to the heat flux escaping from the system into the interplanetary space.The mean power WE of the heat flux coming from the interior of the Earth to the climatic system is on the order of 1013 W This value is lower by, approximately, four orders of magnitude than the energy flux arriving at the Earth from the Sun. Therefore, we may ignore the quantity WE in equation and to write it in the form

S•(1 - A)/4 = σTE 4, πr2 •S•(1 - A) + WE = 4πr2σTE4,

Satellite-based observations performed starting from 1978 have shown that the solar irradiation is S = 1366 W/m2 and negligibly (smaller than by 0.1 %) varies with time (The corresponding variation of TE attains, approximately, 0.07 °C.) Thus, we may assume that S = const. The spherical albedo A is the variable quantity. Its present-day value is assumed to be equal to 0.3 For the indicated values of S and A, the effective temperature is TE = 254 K, or –19 °C. This temperature characterizes the total amount of the thermal energy emitted by the climatic system per unit time into the interplanetary space. The corresponding power of the heat loss by the Earth for the infrared radiation emission into space is 236 W/m2. This value is in good agreement with the results of satellite observations.

The effective temperature TE = −19 °C corresponds to the atmosphere temperature at the altitude of ~ 5.5 km. At this altitude, the atmosphere mass is divided into approximately equal parts. This fact indicates that in the infrared range, the atmosphere is the basic emitter of the climatic system.

The main climatic parameter characterizing the Earth’s climate is the global air temperature Ts near the Earth surface. This temperature determines water evaporation from the Earth’s surface, cloudiness, and rainfall, atmosphere dynamics, ice-cover area, etc.

Using the simple two-layer model of the global radiation balance, we can relate the temperature Ts of the model to the temperature TE. According to this model one of the layers is concentrated in the troposphere at an altitude of h ~ 5.5 km, whereas the other is situated near the Earth surface. The heat is transferred from the more heated layer near the Earth surface, which has the temperature Ts, to the less heated one residing at the altitude of h ~ 5.5 km and having the temperature TE. In accordance with the Stefan—Boltzmann law, we can write the energy-balance equation for this two layer system in the form.

S•(1 – A – k)/4 = σ(Ts 4 − TE4), or S• (1 – A – k)/4 = σTs 4(1 -- TE4/Ts4).

Here, the dimensionless factor k features the mean absorptive capability of the atmosphere with respect to the solar radiation. This factor is not constant, and its present-day value is, approximately, 0.26.

The temperatures TE and Ts vary in phase with each other.Therefore, the dimensionless parameter TE / Ts entering intothe relationship characterizes the structure of the climatic system in itself rather than the energy fluxes circulating within the system. Therefore, we may assume that this parameter is almost invariable with time. In this case and for S = const, the temperature Ts and the Earth climate depend on two variable quantities, namely, on the global albedo A and the mean absorptive capability k of the atmosphere. As the observations show the value of A changes with time and k is practically constant.

From 1985 till 2000 the gradual decrease of global cloud coverage and albedo were observed. The value of this decrease was ~ 6 % and solar energy flux reflected back to space decreased at ΔF ≈ (6) W/m2. Since 2000 the values of global cloud coverage and albedo became to increase slightly.

Therefore we can see the change to Albedo that balances the radiative equations is in the area of 6 w/m2, the forcing response of GHG being 2.4 w/m2.

This Equivalent to 2% increase in solar irradiance, a factor 20 more than typical maxima to minima variations. This brings some interesting questions.

1) Reversibility suggests natural variations.
2) GCM do not show such variations.
3) What is the climatic impact? Recent warming.


Budyko, Mikhail I., "The effect of solar radiation variations on the climate of the Earth," Tellus vol. 21, (1969) pp. 611–619.

E. Palle, P.R. Goode, P. Montanes-Rodriguez, S.F. Koonin, “Can
Earth’s albedo and surface temperature increase together?,” EOS, 2006,
vol. 87, No. 4, pp. 37, 43.

A.S. Monin, A.A. Berestov, “New about climate,” Vestnik RAS, 2005,
vol. 75, No. 2, pp. 126-131 (in Russian).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dancing with the Stars,skirting the issues on Solar Variance.

There has been much discussion on the recent paper by Lockwood and Froelich on the ability of solar variance to alter the energy balance of the earth,.The primary failings of the paper is to address the mechanisms and the variation of the climate drivers such as UV and higher energy spectra that are the causes of climate variability.

Reliance of the PMOD reconstructions and the “steady state’ solar models of Lean et al which use data of dubious quality and uncertified radiometers such as TIM, which failed its NIST as recently as December bring substantial questions on the “reality of truths” promulgated by these authors.The skiting of the coupling mechanisms by these left footed dancers sees the flows of the dress of the graceful ballerina(pictured)divested as they "square the circle"using some interesting "Enron school of accounting methodologies".Fortunately they will reduced to "yesterdays newspaper"status after the Zveniiorrod Symposium New Insights into Solar-Terrestrial Physics in November.

There are a number of flawed assumptions on the adequacy of GCM models to accurately reflect the exogenous variable forcing’s such as solar. The assumed parameters of solar variance are normally based on the visible wavelength oscillations or the seasonal oscillations of TSI and vertical energy transport through some simplistic equations. Measurements and analysis is usually undertaken on 1 or 2 parameters and the simplistic models used in GCM do not reflect the observations or indeed the rapid changes in the external energy budget by transformation of species.

GCM are also inadequate in modeling climate variability and T for predicting global climate patterns. Inadequacies are seen in the assimilation of chemical parameterization due to the different physics of chemical thermo diffusion and new chemical reactions that are observed due to exogenous forcings such as galactic and solar radiation across all spectrums.

The failure of GCM models to identify the secondary and tertiary energy variables (photochemical) sees Lipschitz continuity becoming unstable due to these small energy inputs. Therefore as the models are sensitive to initial conditions, assimilation of these chemical parameters and inverse solar variance is a necessary component for climate models.

In Simplistic terms the reconstructions consider the sun to be a heat engine that has an on/off switch with oscillations from each state .In reality there are three states on/off/ and both

The “heat engine” of the Sun is closely related to convective and radiation transfer of free energy in the solar interior, which proceeds basically at low Mach– Alfven numbers,i.e., at a relatively small involvement of the magnetic field. The solar “dynamo” in this sense is a product rather than prime cause of solar activity. The latter in this broader meaning is understood as a fundamental property of a star with relatively small variability of energy release and transfer in its interiors against the background of much greater steady energy flux supported by nuclear fusion processes in gravitationally confined core of the Sun. From this point of view the phenomena considered on the Sun are an example of a complex self-organization in a non-equilibrium open physical system with the fluxes of free energy and mass. The “magnetic degree of freedom” from this standpoint is subordinate and controlled by other, more powerful global processes. However, locally in some areas and at some time intervals this degree of freedom can be predominant over others, which is the case during flares. Here, we deal with all manifestations of well-known general laws of physics, characteristic for nonlinear processes with dissipation.

There are a number of ways the sun effects climate.
-A change in the solar constant of (wavelength) irradiance output.
-Changes in ultraviolet irradiance that modulates temperature, atmospheric chemistry, and climatic dynamics such as precipitation and cloud formation .
-Indirect and indirect influences by solar radiation and cosmic radiation(galactic)
-Changes in magnetic and gravitational constants(solar).

The solar activity in all its manifestations is subject to regular and irregular chaotic variations in quite large ranges of amplitudes, durations, and other characteristics that have revealed themselves some way in the time intervals under analysis. This general rule does not exclude coronal mass ejections and flares, sunspots etc which represent with respect to each other not the cause and effect (sometimes, such an unjustified assumption is made),but rather two observable manifestations of a single dissipative process related to an increased transport of free energy from the interiors of the Sun outwards into its upper atmosphere and heliosphere and dispersal into space and the solar system. This free energy is redistributed in thermal, magnetic, kinetic, gravitational, and radiation forms, their relative fractions being changed from event to event depending on the situation determined by the boundary conditions and initial state.

The second important remark can be made that any adequate description of physics of the processes involved is possible only taking into account the transport of energy, momentum, and mass in considered open systems with their complex space-time structure of corresponding flows. In this case the conceptions of equilibrium and stability of isolated system can serve as useful idealization only in the simplest cases, as well as models of replenishment from above, below, or from side of the considered segment. In general, the main difficulty is that there are no sufficient observational data in order to separate such isolated system and thus to localize the consideration of causes and effects.

The sun belongs to the class of stable stars, and the radiation output does not vary by more then several parts of one percent. Much phenomena in the earths atmosphere , magnetosphere and in the interplanetary space are highly changeable. This paradox is explained by the fact that although solar energy is originally produced in the form of radiation energy, it subsequently undergoes a series of transformations, a result it transfers energy to the terrestrial environment in different species and energy levels.

Solar energy is radiated into space in two forms,as electromagnetic radiation energy over a wide range of wavelengths,and as kinetic and thermal energy of the solar wind plasma.The former freely propogates through interplanetary space, and only undergoes some changes in the atmospheres of the earth and other planets.In contrast to this the solar wind plasma energy is continually transferred from one form to another,The most effective process of energy conversion takes place within the interplanetary shocks,in magnetic barrier regions,and in magnetic field reconnection layers.

We can now observe four mechanisms that affect the global climate.

1. Extraterrestrial drivers,
2. The global atmospheric electric circuit,
3. Atmospheric dynamics and chemistry,
4. Synthesis of atmospheric processes,

(1) Extraterrestrial drivers. The electromagnetic radiation output from the Sun is wavelength dependent and varies on the time scale of minutes during solar flares to recurring sunspot activity with the solar rotation period 26-28 days, the solar cycle 11 years, and the solar magnetic cycle 22 years. While the total solar irradiance varies by 0.1 % from minimum to maximum solar activity, the solar fluxes in the UV and X-ray spectral bands vary from 10 % up to a factor100, respectively. The radiation in the UV is absorbed by atmospheric molecular oxygen and ozone, and thereby influences the radiative balance of the stratosphere, which affects its thermal and dynamical structure and the climate on the Earth. The radiative balance of the stratosphere and the mesosphere may also be influenced by atmospheric chemical composition changes associated with the precipitation of energetic electrons which are accelerated in the solar corona or in interplanetary co rotating interaction regions. These co rotating interaction regions of the solar wind are particularly well developed during minimal solar activity and produce recurring bursts of high energy electrons with the solar rotation period 26-28 days.

Energetic charged particles from the Sun are accelerated in the solar corona during solar flares or in the co rotating interaction regions and constitute part of the solar wind. The magnetic field of the heliosphere scatters the background cosmic ray flux and results in a decrease of secondary neutron production in the atmosphere during maximum solar activity. The strongest variability of energetic charged particles exhibits a burst like structure on the time scales of minutes to days, and is associated with radio blackouts, Forbush decreases, and large geomagnetic field variations, which are often used as a proxy measure for particle precipitation. Since energetic charged particles are guided along the geomagnetic field lines, their atmospheric effects are latitude dependent and strongest in the polar regions. High energy electrons can be accelerated in the magnetosphere and precipitate during geomagnetic storms down to the thermal ionospheric plasma at middle and high latitudes.

(2) Global atmospheric electric circuit. Many of the observational parameters of solar terrestrial relationships are connected to the global atmospheric electric circuit and its current density variability, which influences cloud microphysical properties. It is hence important to develop an integrated model of the global atmospheric electric circuit with many of the possible influences included according to their relative contributions. To lend further credibility to the global circuit concept, it is intended to set up a global network of atmospheric electric field measurements, supported by regional and local arrays of measurement instruments to determine spatial charge structures and temporal aeroelectric disturbances. The atmospheric electrification has an effect on cloud microphysical properties. Experimental studies of ultrafine particle formation from ions and the increase of collection rates of ice nuclei from particle electrification in supercooled clouds are needed to determine a hierarchy of models. The models consider microphysical mechanisms in clouds, their radiative properties and the significance for electrically modulated cloud effects on climate.Electrical discharge phenomena above thunderstorms are known as transient luminous events,

(3) Atmospheric dynamics and chemistry. The ionised plasma component of the atmosphere reflects space weather phenomena on time scales of minutes to many decades associated with the highly variable output of the Sun. The electromagnetic radiation and energetic charged particles from the Sun result in atmospheric chemistry changes with a strong influence on the radiative budget of the various ionospheric layers in the C, D, E, and F region, which influence the energy balance, the heat transfer, the momentum transport, and the propagation of travelling disturbances such as gravity and planetary waves in the atmosphere.

(4) Synthesis of atmospheric processes. To address the impact of solar variability on the Earth’s weather and climate, it is intended to develop general circulation models which include not only the troposphere and the stratosphere but extend up to the mesosphere and the lower thermosphere. While the troposphere and stratosphere are essential to study the dynamical response to solar radiation variability, chemical processes in the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere associated with Lyman-α and energetic charged particle precipitation require an extension of global circulation models above the mesopause. The coupling of global circulation models with interactive ocean models and sophisticated radiation schemes makes it possible to describe the radiative transfer of the solar spectrum from the UV to the near infrared. Such models are useful, e.g.for distinguishing the different roles of UV and cosmic ray induced oceanic low cloud cover, and especially for the investigation of solar variability and its influence on the climate of planet Earth.

When we can resolve the radiative properties of these mechanisms and incorporate them into coupled models then we will know the accuracy of the GCM to predict the future and not before.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Evolution and energy transformation in the Biosphere

As we previously showed Vernadsky postulated the biosphere regulates the transformation of energy on the planet.

The Biosphere is devoted to calculations on the fraction of total solar energy used by photosynthesizing organisms to produce biomass. In the context of these calculations Vernadsky argues that it is an inherent characteristic of the biosphere that living matter is distributed on the Earth’s surface in a way that solar radiation is completely captured. In order to optimize the utilization of solar energy and to create a sufficient surface, green biomass appears in different forms in different biotopes. On land, plants have to develop three-dimensional structures in order to create a sufficiently thick film for optimal use of solar radiation. In oceans, primary production is dominated by phytoplankton because it can easily distribute over the depth of the photic zone.

Arguments against solar variance is on the basis of minimal changes to the overall energy transfer in the sun-earth coupling, however the changes are dominant in the spectra that are transformers of cellular growth i.e. the biosphere attenuation and amplification.

The extensive scientific discussion of global warming causes a natural wish to relate this process to possible changes in the amount and dynamics of terrestrial and oceanic vegetation. Does this process influence variations in the amount and diversity of plants? Plausible yes, from a metrological perspective. However this is a subset of the total ecosystem and has less importance then either biogeochemical, or biologic parameters.

In 1961, (the paradox of the plankton) Hutchinson posed his classic question: "How is it possible for a number of species to coexist in a relatively isotrophic or unstructured environment, all competing for the same sorts of materials?"

Hutchinson gave the particular example of the phytoplankton, from which the paradox is named. Most species of phytoplankton are autotrophic, requiring light, CO2 and about 17 mineral elements, not all of which will be limiting in any particular waters. Yet considerably more species than implied by this can coexist, although in a continued state of increasing and decreasing populations in self organization away from equilibrium in response to environmental and competitive changes ranging from seconds to centuries.

Changes to absorption and emission of nutrients are also responsive to changes in both the type and spectra of radiation, these inhibit some populations and enhance others.Indeed what we can see is the ecological communities of microflora, changing rapidly to meet their changing levels of nutrients and energy is a Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction diffusion mechanism.

Recent work by two theoretical ecologists (Huisman & Weissing, 1999; 2001),has shown that competition for resources by as few as three species can result in long-term oscillations, even in the traditionally convergent models of plankton species growth. For as few as five species, apparently chaotic behavior can emerge. Huisman and Weissing propose these phenomena as one possible new explanation of the paradox of the plankton, in which the number of co-existing plankton species far exceeds the number of limiting resources, in direct contradiction of theoretical predictions. Continuously fluctuating species levels can support more species than a steady, stable equilibrium distribution.

Their results show that external factors are not necessary to maintain non-equilibrium conditions; the inherent complexity of the "simple" model itself can be sufficient.
The publication of dubious 'catastrophic 'predictions for the oceans ability to maintain its biological role of atmospheric moderation are simply "creationist wastepaper" the ability of biogenic adaptability is already genetically available "banked for a rainy day so to speak". Been there done that, got the T-shirt and the DNA!

The high proportion of duplicate genes within plant and algae genomes is indicative of a high rate of retention of duplicate genes (Lynch and Connery, 2000). Gene duplications contribute to the establishment of new gene functions, and may underlie the origin of evolutionary novelty. Duplicate genes can exist stably in a partially redundant state over a protracted evolutionary period (Moore and Purugganan, 2005). A half-life to silencing and loss of a plant gene duplicate is estimated at 23.4 million years such that remnant duplicate genes, which can be reactivated by environmental conditions to encode calcification within coccolithophores under “ancestral” conditions representative 60 Ma, appears reasonable.

The theory of self-organization and adaptivity has grown out of a variety of disciplines, including thermodynamics, cybernetics and computer modelling.. Self-organization can be defined as the spontaneous creation of a globally coherent pattern out of local interactions. Because of its distributed character, this organization tends to be robust, resisting perturbations. The dynamics of a self-organizing system is typically non-linear, because of circular or feedback relations between the components. Positive feedback leads to an explosive growth, which ends when all components have been absorbed into the new configuration, leaving the system in a stable, negative feedback state. Non-linear systems have in general several stable states, and this number tends to increase (bifurcate) as an increasing input of energy pushes the system farther from its thermodynamic equilibrium.

To adapt to a changing environment, the system needs a variety of stable states that is large enough to react to all perturbations but not so large as to make its evolution uncontrollably chaotic. The most adequate states are selected according to their fitness, either directly by the environment, or by subsystems that have adapted to the environment at an earlier stage. Formally, the basic mechanism underlying self-organization is the (often noise-driven) variation which explores different regions in the system’s state space until it enters an attractor. This precludes further variation outside the attractor, and thus restricts the freedom of the system’s components to behave independently. This is equivalent to the increase of coherence, or decrease of statistical entropy, that defines self organization.

In the case where the self-organizing system does not reach an equilibrium, the solution is less obvious. The Belgian thermodynamicist Ilya Prigogine received a Nobel Prize for his investigation, starting in the 1950s, of that problem. Together with his colleagues of the “Brussels School” of thermodynamics, he has been studying what he called dissipative structures. These are patterns such as the Brusselator, which exhibit dynamic self-organization. Such structures are necessarily open systems: energy and/or matter are flowing through them. The system is continuously generating entropy, but this entropy is actively dissipated, or exported, out of the system. Thus, it manages to increase its own organization at the expense of the order in the environment. The system circumvents the second law of thermodynamics simply by getting rid of excess entropy. The most obvious examples of such dissipative systems are living organisms. Plants and animals take in energy and matter in a low entropy form as light or food. They export it back in a high entropy form, as waste products. This allows them to reduce their internal entropy, thus counteracting the degradation implied by the second law.

Indeed as we see here the evolutionary memory is a further complication in the "Paradox of the Plankton"

The analysis of DNA sequences from tiny green algae have provided new insights into the mystery of how new species of plankton evolve—and further highlights their critical role in managing the global cycling of carbon. These findings, by a group led by the DOE Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI); the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; and the Pierre & Marie Curie University, were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Ocean-dwelling phytoplankton from the genus Ostreococcus emerge at the primitive root of the green plant lineage, dating back nearly 1.5 billion years. Today, these microscopic, free-living creatures, among the smallest eukaryotes ever characterized, barely a micron in diameter, contribute to a significant share of the world’s total photosynthetic activity. These “picophytoplankton” also exhibit great diversity that contrasts sharply with the dearth of ecological niches available to them in aquatic ecosystems. This observation, known as the “paradox of the plankton,” has long puzzled biologists.

Plumbing the depths of molecular-level information of related species, genomics offers a novel glimpse into this paradox. The researchers compared the genomes of two Ostreococcus species, O. lucimarinus and O. tauri, and saw dramatic changes in genome structure and metabolic capabilities.

“We found several striking features of genome organization,” said DOE JGI’s Igor Grigoriev, the PNAS paper’s senior author.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Climate model prediction advanced Nasa model G

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