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The Energy Balance and the Greenhouse Effect: 1 of 3

In the previous article I explained the Earth’s energy balance in terms of NET energy transfers. I was surprised by the response that this did not explain the Greenhouse Effect (GHE). It actually explains the GHE in a simpler manner than any other method. Just to be clear, this site fully supports the GHE of the atmosphere of 33 °C. Without the atmosphere moderating the energy coming from the sun, the surface would vary between a blistering hot and deadly cold. The GHE takes that energy and evens it out.

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The Earth’s Energy Balance: Simple Overview

The idea behind an energy balance is the conservation of energy. All the energy that enters a system (the Earth for instance) must go somewhere. In the case of the Earth, most of the energy is leaving the Earth. The small amount of energy that does not leave is used (absorbed). For example plants use the suns energy to drive photosynthesis. So for the Earth as a whole the energy balance looks like this.

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Cargo Ships: Politics, Money and lots of Pollution

Standards for fuel and car emissions have been in place for a long time now.  As happens in most situations the law of diminishing returns is in play.  That means that each additional gain costs more for a smaller gain than the one before.  What normally happens in politics is that an idea gets into […]

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GHCN V3 Update and Comparison

On Nov 22nd I found a problem with 3 of the months of the new GHCN V3 anomaly data available from the NCDC. It appears that the problem was caused by data being missing for certain years for particular months. This led to the data being offset and this caused the set difference stated for the data to be incorrect. As pointed out by other sites this is the type of quality control that is painful to miss.

Now that the problem has been corrected it is possible to take a look at the difference between V2 and the new V3. The results are also interesting, but for a different reason, especially if someone were Skeptical about the goals of the new version. Here is the annual difference between the sets from 1880-present.

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Global Temperature vs. Global Anomaly

Most times the temperature data that is used to show Global Warming is only anomaly data. That is the difference from the average temperature. Anomaly data is useful for many reasons because it allows different sources to combine in an easy way.

There is one important limitation of data presented in this manner. It fails to show the type of variation in temperature that happens on a yearly basis, much less the variation that takes place over time. Few people realize that the global temperature varies between 12-16 °C every year.

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Problems with the NCDC Global Temperature Data

Update Nov 24th: It appears that they have updated their site and the errors have disappeared. The initial report is that they had the data mis-aligned. Since I have the original and now the updated I will be reviewing this.

I have been looking at tweaking the blended temperature set that I have been using. My intent has been to replace the Hadley data with the NCDC data (Global, Land & Sea). While I was looking through the data I found some bizarre discrepancies. The problem might be due to the presentation, but so far I have not found another source to get their data, so I cannot verify this.

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The Difference between “Forcing” and Heat Transfer

This is a continuation of the series on Radiative Heat Transfer (RHT).  The purpose of the series is to use normal life experiences to explain RHT.  In this article I will explain the difference between “forcing” and the transfer of energy.  They seem similar, but they are different. A useful situation to explain the difference […]

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Breiðamerkurjökull: The Glacier that must not be named.

I realized that the next Harry Potter movie is coming out this week. An article on this glacier is a perfect tribute. While few people worry about saying the name Voldemort, I dare someone to try to say this name in public. So here is my tribute to things that must not be said. :-)

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2010: Will NOT be the hottest year.

While not official until the year is over, I am officially projecting that 1998 will retain the record for the hottest year. Both years have many factors in common. A strong AMO and El Nino were active at the beginning of each year. It should have been a pretty easy thing for 2010 to take the record. 1996-1997 were cooler than 2008-2009.

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Global Temperature Update: Nov 2010

Monthly update to the global set I use that is a combination of the more popular sets of data. The excel file is available for anyone to download and use.

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