Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Mulling Over Latent
With another high quality graphic I am taking another look at the DWLR situation with respect to the latent shift.
The black numbers are from the NASA budget and the red numbers are what should be leaving the surface if there were no DWLR. The red 390 minus the black 174 is the estimate of the DWLR intensity, 216Wm-2. If you add the red thermal flux, 54 to the red radiant flux 161 you get the same 216Wm-2 allowing for rounding. The red latent, 177Wm-2 is the value buggering up the simple budget issue. At first blush, I would say that latent is not contributing to the DWLR felt at the surface. That makes some sense as the water below the latent heat release would tend to block its return to the surface and enhance the convection of the clouds. In effect the energy released by condensation increase convection generating more condensation once things get rolling, thunder heads. Perhaps a bit simplistic, but not too far from the realm of possibility. Clouds are the caveat after all.
These are average values of course, so in the tropics, the numbers would be more than twice the values, but the ratios may be close to the same. At the poles, the numbers would be totally different.
Since the poles are much colder, the would benefit from the latent energy added to the atmosphere by the tropics.
The North pole, since it summer temperature can be above freezing, receive energy from the atmosphere and radiant interaction with the water vapor would help retain more of the heat gained both by solar and atnmospheric transit. In other words, the north pole shows what the expected greehouse effect should show. Looking at the satellite temperature trends from UAH, the north pole mid-troposphere is warming by 0.25C per decade and the northern pole stratosphere is cooling by -23C per decade. Just as advertised.
The Southern pole, since its temperature never gets above freezing, is not benefiting from the water vapor portion of the greenhouse effect and is lossing more heat than it gains from the atmospheric transit of tropical energy. By the UAH data, south pole mid-troposphere is cooling by -0.15 C per decade and the stratopshere is cooling by -0.55C per decade. That is a huge difference, data quality aside.
The ozone hole has been blamed for this difference, but the northern pole has a hole of its own forming. Chemicals, fluorcarbons mainly are blamed for ozone depleation and I have no doubt contribute to some degree. Something though is missing from the standard explanations. Possibly, low energy photons are not heathy medicine for ozone molecules. Possibly, some form of carbon dioxide at low temperatures in a stream of low energy photons is the issue. That is beyond my pay grade at the moment, but something is just not right.
In the southern polar atmosphere, the latent portion is near zero. Sometime earlier I had guestimate roughly 5 to 10Wm-2, but that is difficult to confirm.
If I ratio the radiant and thermal flux values down for the low average temperature of -50 C or 238K, using the S-B relationship I would get 182Wm-2 from the surface on average. That is 34 Wm-2 less than the average value of DWLR I had caluculated, so on average the southern pole should benefit by that amount from the atmospheric effect. That should maintain the average surface temperature. If the surface maintained, the mid-troposphere temperature should not be decreasing.
My theory of improved conduction/convection due to CO2 may be causing the reduced greenhouse impact, doesn't fully explain the degree of reduction of mid-troposphere temperature AND the stratospheric cooling. Not without some help from either ozone being impacted by some combination of increase low energy photons and/or chemical interaction with CO2 or carbonic acid in frozen ice crystals.
The frozen carbonic acid is something new I have been trying to look into without my luck so far. At the surface, it does appear to enhance surface conductivity which would be part of the Antarctic conductive feedback I believe is happening. Determining the degree of enhancement is not all that simple.
I am going to leave this open for more mulling. I need to get an idea of the at least one of the factors before I can even guess at the other or others, natural variability is always a potential factor.