Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More on the missing heat -- for Global Change

One current problem in climate science is to understand where the missing heat energy is. The amount of carbon dioxide we've added to the atmosphere in the last twenty years years should have increased the conversion of solar UV energy to terrestrial IR energy, essentially "forced" another fraction of a degree's increase in surface AAT, but it hasn't. The most probable reason is because increased ocean turbulence has driven heat deeper into the ocean than our models expected. This latest news article suggests another reason, likely concurrent with the first, that we've underestimated the amount and effect of sulphate aerosols from recent volcanic eruptions.

This finding is compatible with the general effect we find each year with our own regular classroom project of replicating the Lean and Rind 2008 and 2009 methodology, and updating the data and model, and, in point of fact, the authors of the new paper use the same basic statistical technique.

There's a link to the actual paper in the news article, but it's behind the Nature paywall. I have a list of such articles I'll need our librarians to get for us this semester.

In the meantime, here's the news article.


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