Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Peer reviewed study in Science confirms lack of certainty about human effects on climate due to lack of data on aerosols. Hansen cited this in 2013 and crash of NASA satellite to study aerosols in 2011

1/24/14, "Climate Effects of Aerosol-Cloud Interactions," ScienceMag.org
"Science 24 January 2014Vol. 343 no. 6169 pp. 379-380 DOI: 10.1126/science.1247490
"Aerosols counteract part of the warming effects of greenhouse gases, mostly by increasing the amount of sunlight reflected back to space. However, the ways in which aerosols affect climate through their interaction with clouds are complex and incompletely captured by climate models. As a result, the radiative forcing (that is, the perturbation to Earth's energy budget) caused by human activities is highly uncertain, making it difficult to predict the extent of global warming (1, 2). Recent advances have led to a more detailed understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions and their effects on climate, but further progress is hampered by limited observational capabilities and coarse-resolution climate models. 

Author Affiliations
  1. 1The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.
  2. 2University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia.
  3. 3University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1640, USA.
  4. 4National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA."

2013 Hansen statements on lack of aerosols data including mention of 2011 satellite crash:

Page 1, Scientists note lack of scientific data on aerosols makes it impossible to accurately interpret global climate:

Jan. 15, 2013, “Global Temperature Update Through 2012, 15 January 2013,” Columbia University, J. Hansen, M. Sato, R. Rudy

(page 1, parag. 3): “The approximate stand-still of global temperature during 1940-1975 is generally attributed to an approximate balance of aerosol cooling and greenhouse gas warming during a period of rapid growth of fossil fuel use with little control on particulate air pollution, but satisfactory quantitative interpretation has been impossible because of the absence of adequate aerosol measurements 3,4.”…
(page 1): “Summary. …”The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slowdown in the growth rate of the net climate forcing"….


Page 6 details problem predicting future “climate change” referenced on p. 1 above, ie lack of data on aerosols, and that the one US satellite designed to measure them crashed on takeoff:

page 6, last parag. of report under sub-head, “Climate Change Expectations”

The one major wild card in projections of future climate change is the unmeasured climate forcing due to aerosol changes and their effects on clouds. Anecdotal information indicates that particulate air pollution has increased in regions with increasing coal burning, but assessment of the climate forcing requires global measurement of detailed physical properties of the aerosols. The one satellite mission that was capable of making measurements with the required detail and accuracy was lost via a launch failure, and as yet there are no plans for a replacement mission with the needed capabilities.4″


Press links re: NASA climate satellite crashes in 2009 and 2011. 2011 satellite (referenced by Hansen) was specifically to study aerosols:

“Perhaps that’s why the loss hurts most, because Glory “was directed very specifically at the place where our knowledge was weakest, he said.”…”A tragedy for climate science.”…”an area that desperately needs more study.”…

3/4/11, “Raze of Glory: NASA Earth-Observing Climate Satellite Fails to Reach Orbit,” Scientific American, John Matson
“A launch malfunction sent the Glory satellite crashing into the ocean, almost exactly mimicking the 2009 loss of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory.“…
2011 crash of aerosols mission "a tragedy for climate science:" 
3/6/11, “Nasa crashes hit geoscience efforts,” AFP, News24, Washington

A pair of costly satellite crashes have dealt a major blow to Nasa’s earth science efforts just as the US space agency faces scrutiny from Congress over whether climate science should be part of its focus at all.

The $424m Glory satellite to monitor aerosols and the sun’s power plunged into the Pacific on Friday shortly after launch, just two years after a similar satellite to study carbon dioxide in the atmosphere met the same fate.

“The loss of the Glory satellite is a tragedy for climate science, said Bruce Wielicki, senior scientist for earth science at Nasa’s Langley Research Centre.”…...via The Hockey Schtick


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