back to article Events in stratosphere can affect Earth's entire climate

Events high in the upper atmosphere can cause massive shifts in the behaviour even of deep ocean currents, according to new research. "It is not new that the stratosphere impacts the troposphere," says Reichler, says Thomas Reichler, senior boffin on the team which discovered the effects. "It also is not new that the …

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  1. Robert E A Harvey
    Headmaster

    Sorry?

    Why is anyone surprised by this?

    Had you told me there was no such linkage I would have been very doubtful and demanded serious evidence.

    1. hplasm
      Unhappy

      Re: Sorry?

      Haven't you heard- the 'official' view is that the sun and sky have no relation to Climate Change TM.

      Is all down to CO2.

      1. boltar Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Sorry?

        "Haven't you heard- the 'official' view is that the sun and sky have no relation to Climate Change TM."

        Why does it always have to be either-or in these sorts of arguments? Of course the sun effects the climate FFS. But that doesn't mean that there are no other climate drivers such as CO2. And do you seriously think climate researchers don't take the sun into account? If so perhaps then perhaps you should publish a paper about it, maybe you could even get a nobel prize! Whats stopping you?

        1. hplasm
          Gimp

          Re: Sorry? Whats stopping you?

          I don't do religious pamphlets.

          1. boltar Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Sorry? Whats stopping you?

            "I don't do religious pamphlets."

            A pamphlet for or against? I mean really , if thats the best comeback you can think up...

  2. I think so I am?
    Holmes

    See Icon

    See title

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cherry picking quotes

    If the plan is to cherry pick quotes from the news release I offer:

    “If we as humans modify the stratosphere, it may – through the chain of events we demonstrate in this study – also impact the ocean circulation,” he says. “Good examples of how we modify the stratosphere are the ozone hole and also fossil-fuel burning that adds carbon dioxide to the stratosphere. These changes to the stratosphere can alter the ocean, and any change to the ocean is extremely important to global climate.”

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cherry picking quotes

      Mere claptrap to protect funding from the politically connected warmists who control funding. If you just stick to the facts, you grants dry up. If your grants dry up, you can't publish. If you can't publish, you perish.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cherry picking quotes

        @AC 11:54. I know a few people working in the field at doc and postdoc level and let me assure you that your comment is completely inaccurate.

        1. Grikath
          Thumb Down

          Re: Cherry picking quotes

          A lovely cherry pick indeed..

          Now, pray tell, how would go about "influencing the stratosphere" ?

          Curious minds want to know, as for as far as I can tell that particular feat outclasses even the most outlandish SF concepts.

          1. Tim Parker

            Re: Cherry picking quotes

            'A lovely cherry pick indeed..

            Now, pray tell, how would go about "influencing the stratosphere" ?'

            ..perhaps you could start by not quoting something that wasn't said, and actually reading the quote. Just a thought.

          2. TimePilot84
            Alien

            Re: Cherry picking quotes

            HAARP! I knew it was a weather dominator all along!

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Norman123

    1. Who funded the study makes a lot of difference. No info. on this.

    2. Are stratospheric changes free from fossil fuel burning and other man generated greenhouse gasses?

    3. Are 97% of climate scientists less smart than the 3% doubters?

    4. How long before the ice caps melt and the burning starts?

    5. Profit is good, LIFE is much better. What good is money when life is destroyed?

    1. Fading Silver badge
      Stop

      Some answers......

      1 - As with all studies the funding shold be irrelevant but seldom is.

      2 - Yes - not many fossil fuels get burned in the stratosphere - difficultly in getting the powerplants up to that height.

      3 - Ahh the Doran survey 97% meme - (Figure from “The Consensus on the Consensus” – M Zimmermann- Peter Doran's graduate student) where a survey went out to 10,256 with only 3146 responses that was reduced to 77 "Expert active climate researchers" of which 75 agreed with some weak pro AGW statements (data from http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/what-else-did-the-97-of-scientists-say/ ) So are 75 "Expert active climate researchers" less smart than the other 2? Difficult to quantify but I'd supect the sample size is too small for any conclusion to be reached.

      4 - Every summer.

      5 - "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die." - Mel Brooks. I suspect whose profit and whose life is the defining aspects (Food prices soaring as arable land being used for biofuel - how many deaths? How much money has been wasted on the CAGW nonsense that could have been used to provide disease free water to millions? )

  6. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    So..is it going to snow this winter or not?

    :D

    1. hplasm
      Happy

      @ Andrue

      Yes.

  7. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Pint

    Evidently

    Launching LOHAN into the stratosphere will result in the consumption of quite a number of beers (by those directly involved and those celebrating the event), causing the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as well as a reduction of grain for use as food. The latter will result in famine, causing reduction of manpower to maintain crops, arable land area will decrease and in some places turn to desert, exacerbating the effects.

    More desert area will cause changes in wind and rainfall, and this again will lead to changes in ocean currents and the polar ice caps.

    As the world gets hotter, more beer will be consumed, causing a snowball effect.

  8. Silverburn
    Boffin

    So popping off a few nukes in the high atmosphere is still ok, right...?

    http://www.john-daly.com/bigbangs.htm

  9. bill 36

    I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

    You just need to read this and then take a balanced view

    http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com/

    There are enough boffins out there whose measurements and experiments are enough to cast doubt on the C02 hysteria.

    This is from the Danish National Space Institute and worth a read

    http://www.space.dtu.dk/English/Research/Research_divisions/Sun_Climate.aspx

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

      DNSI - right up there with the Swiss Navy, the Palauan Air Force and the greatly feared Bhutanian Land Domination Task Force.

      1. bill 36
        Happy

        Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

        Is this good enough for you? Since the Danes are only good at making bacon

        http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-11/news/31322407_1_climate-change-nasa-scientists-gavin-schmidt

      2. hplasm
        Devil

        Re: Swiss Navy

        Don't forget the Ass. of All Knowing Anonymous Cowards!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

        "DNSI - right up there[....]"

        May I offer a clue as to why you might wish to re-evaluate your previous statement?

        Greenland.

      4. Pedigree-Pete
        Happy

        Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

        Don't leave out the BeNeLux Mountain Rescue Squad :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

      If that first site constitutes balance, god help us all.

      Amongst the usual half baked pseudo conspiracy theories, i really enjoyed the suggestion (I guess written last year) that Arctic Ice was increasing - how's that prediction working out? Most of the rest of the site consists of nuggets of fact spun into wild assertions that a trivial amount of digging proves false.

      By all means take a balanced view, but that's going to mean reading more than tin-foil hats monthly.

    3. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

      No. There really are not enough. There is now no doubt whatsoever that climate change is being caused by man made emissions of CO2.

      The only thing we don't know is exactly how much of the rapidly accelerating global warming might be due to natural cycles. Looking at known geological and meterological history versus the massive changes in the last decades tells us that likely almost all of it of it is due to man made changes to the climate.

      However there is a very small chance statistically that natural cycles might be playing a more significant part than is generally believed by scientific experts.

      1. bill 36
        Mushroom

        Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

        And there are 49 ex Nasa scientists who clearly disagree with your assertion that "there is no doubt whatsoever"

        I'm really interested in why they are all wrong

        1. Steven Roper
          Trollface

          Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

          You can't argue with them bill.

          It's like a religion. You can posit all the science under the sun, but the followers of Mother Earth have their faith and don't set much store in mere evidence.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

          Of course you aren't interested in why they are wrong - because that would involve thinking, and that might hurt.

          If I said that 49 ex premier league footballers thought that Sir Francis Bacon authored Shakespeare's plays, it would be about as relevant as a rag bag of administrators and astronauts views on climate change. Of course when (and we are waiting) these 49 publish some argued, peer reviewed refutations of the current science, they deserve a hearing, but not before.

          1. bill 36
            Thumb Up

            Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

            "Of course you aren't interested in why they are wrong - because that would involve thinking, and that might hurt"

            Classic!

            you can always rely on the faithful to get personal when the going gets tough.

            But i will give you this little snippet of information to make you think.

            I depend on snow to make a living. There is a huge worldwide snow sports industry absolutely focused on climate change and the reasons for it, me included. It's in our best interests to understand the climate and the reason for change and that, in a nutshell, is why we look at ALL the evidence and keep an open mind.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

            On Monday 24th September at 15:15 an anonymous coward said, "...it would be about as relevant as a rag bag of administrators and astronauts views on climate change"

            There are in fact 13 doctorates that I could see on that list with over 310 years of science and experience between them. To label them as "a rag bag of administrators and astronauts" is somewhat dismissive.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 13 doctorates that I could see on that list with over 310 years of science

              I agree it's dismissive to label them as "a rag bag of administrators and astronauts". However, unless their doctorates and experience are directly related to climate science (such as it is), they are not all that relevant to a discussion on the status and reliability of climate science.

              Now, I do have a doctorate and over 20 years of research experience in physics - albeit not in climate science. But I do have access to the scientific literature because of where I work; so I can read the climate science papers when (and if) I want to - although understanding a paper in my own field to any degree can take anything from a few hours to weeks, and those outside my field take longer. I cannot even keep up with the literature in my own field, so I have to cherry pick from interesting titles appearing in the many tens of not-irrelevant papers appearing in my selected RSS feeds every day.

              I'll leave it up to you readers to judge what this means about the understanding of the science by others - non-specialist scientists, astronauts, administrators, reporters, internet commenters, and all the rest.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 13 doctorates that I could see on that list with over 310 years of science

                On Monday 24th September at 17:41 an anonymous coward said, "I agree it's dismissive to label them as "a rag bag of administrators and astronauts". However, unless their doctorates and experience are directly related to climate science (such as it is), they are not all that relevant to a discussion on the status and reliability of climate science."

                Whilst I fully appreciate what you are saying with respect to the relevancy of their considered opinion to the GW debate, is there really anything wrong with their request that NASA limit its stance to what can be empirically proven?

                As an aside and especially as you have 20 years of research experience in physics I would be interested to hear any opinion you may hold with respect to solar forcing and whether, in terms of climate science, this can now be considered settled, open, or anywhere in-between.

                PS. One of my kids said that if you, and I quote, "...works at CERN you can get him a signed photo of Brain Cox" ;))

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: opinion you may hold with respect to solar forcing ...

                  OK, well I'm not a climate scientist, but if you really want to hear my judgement, it is this:

                  "Obviously" (based on simple physical models) the incident solar flux will directly affect the temperature of the environment. Equally "obviously" (based on simple physical models), increasing CO2 levels helps the atmosphere retain heat. Thus, simplistically, both an increase in solar flux or in CO2 would be expected to increase global temperatures.

                  But the climate/ecosystem is a complex system, with a vast array of complicated feedback mechanisms, so the simple pictures may not hold; although for these two cases, the idea that they do not to some degree or other hold seems far fetched.

                  Regarding solar forcing (ie incident solar flux), as I recall there is pretty established paleoclimate data showing how orbital variations resulting in less/more incident solar energy lead to lower and higher average temperatures; the same holds (although perhaps to a lesser extent) for CO2 levels.

                  As a final note, we can do little about what the sun decides to throw in our direction, or about the orbital variations the earth naturally suffers. We can (at least in principle) do something about the amount of CO2 we are throwing into the atmosphere - but "in-principles" are worthless when it comes to what human systems actually do in practice : cf "the tragedy of the commons".

        3. hplasm
          Happy

          Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

          Bill- they don't think much of MS products...

        4. RICHTO
          Mushroom

          Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

          Presumably that's why they are no longer at NASA.

          Every single scientific representative to the UN from every country in the world agrees that global warming is at least party a man made problem....There simply is no credible doubt anymore.

          1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
            Paris Hilton

            Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

            "Presumably that's why they are no longer at NASA.

            Every single scientific representative to the UN from every country in the world agrees that global warming is at least party a man made problem....There simply is no credible doubt anymore."

            Your fallacy is lending so much credence and credibility to so-called authorities. At one time authorities told us the world was flat, the Earth revolved around the Sun, you could buy your relative's way out of Hell, and my grandmother swears killing spiders in the house brings about bad things.

            To your quick dismissal of these 49 ex-NASA scientists, I find it equally reasonable to presume this small group of scientists left or were pushed out of NASA merely because of their stance against the ruling "consensus" of AGW. Considering various schemes to commit world governments to the behest of a single ruling body and the prolific ideology of wealth redistribution, I am not at all surprised that scientific representatives to the UN are preaching the End of the World and that we must all repent by way of de-industrialization (or something damn near it.)

            While I fail to accept the size of a group is by any means a measure of its credibility, given that the natural state of Man is tyranny and not freedom, I tend to err on the side of the lesser voices who take the more difficult stance to question authority than those who take the easy route to simply accept the "consensus."

            Paris, man-caused warming.

            1. RICHTO
              Mushroom

              Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

              Its complete garbage by people with no expertise in Climate change - and who were mostly adminstrators:

              http://www.skepticalscience.com/NASA-climate-denialist-letter.html

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

        You MAY have a point but you talk such S**T about everything else that essentially no-one believes ANYTHING you post

        1. RICHTO
          Mushroom

          Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

          Almost all my posts are factual and verifiable. :-}

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

            "Almost all my posts are factual and verifiable"

            Ha,Ha,Ha - best post from you ever !

  10. Wombling_Free
    Boffin

    IIRC

    Russian scientists discovered this back in the eighties, showing a link between solar activity -> troposphere/stratosphere->ocean currents->climate. Of course it was ignored by the West, because it was clearly communist propaganda.

  11. Scott Pedigo
    Trollface

    The Nuclear Angle

    Lewis neglected to mention that Nuclear Power Plants are immune to changes in the stratosphere, and therefore inherently safe, and we should build more of them.

  12. Battsman
    Pint

    Not sure this is a good example of rabid Page denialism...

    I read the article and for once it didn't sound to me like Page was intentionally cherry picking and jump from point A to point C without basis. In fact, the statements: "Thus it could be that with the new stratospheric effect added to climate forecasts, periods of flat temperatures like the one seen over the past decade - or even of some cooling, perhaps - might be forecast accurately, presumably against a general long-term upward trend due to increased atmospheric carbon." sound down right rational.

    From my perspective, if adding stratospheric effects improve models and help explain variance between model prediction and real world observations - well, isn't that the purpose of paying for atmospheric science research in the first place?

    [Beer Icon because I wish it was Friday already]

  13. mochiguman
    Megaphone

    It's not their idea

    Check this movie, which was made in 2008 - Denmark. Those people noticed that the main climate change factor is in fact the solar wind, which of course has the influence on top layers of earths atmosphere.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_Mystery

    Anyway, good to know that US scientists finally acknowledged the facts!

  14. Red Bren
    Trollface

    4,000 years worth of supercomputer simulations

    They used computer models? Everyone knows computer models can't be trusted, unless they give you the results you're looking for...

    1. Ron 6
      Devil

      Re: 4,000 years worth of supercomputer simulations

      I concur, unless you can prove the simulation is formally correct, uses the correct numbering (fixed/float/etc.), and has valid input data the results are GIGO (garbage-in/garbage-out or garbage-in/gospel-out.) That iss on top of it being an 'initial value problem' where the chosen initial values (including the date I'd think) may change the final results.

      I don't think any climate model has ever been submitted to formal analysis nor do I think the people does those models know what formal methods are (in the computer science sense.)

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: 4,000 years worth of supercomputer simulations

        You think they've never run the models with different initial values to see what effect that has? they just never thought of doing that?

  15. Geoff Campbell
    WTF?

    "presumably against a general long-term upward trend due to increased atmospheric carbon"

    Who are you, and what have you done with Lewis Page?

    GJC

  16. ZootCadillac
    Facepalm

    This paper is a nonsense

    Reichler believes a very small tail is wagging a very big dog ( which is to do with mass I won't go into here) and has confused his cause & effect. They have primed the models to get the results they want so that they can attribute cause to atmospheric conditions and therefore an anthropogenic one as opposed to the more likely answer that the huge mass and stored energy of the oceans drives what is happening in the troposphere.

  17. Joe Gurman

    Brilliant p.r. writer

    Wonder if anyone at Utah knows that "4,000 years worth of supercomputer simulations of weather" is not the same thing as "supercomputer simulations of 4,000 years' worth of weather."

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.

    When it produces the results you want to hear.

    Will remember that next time you write an article criticising it.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.

      Personally I rather think this is another indication that our climate models remain basically unreliable, and therefore should not be the basis for policy.

      Reducing our fossil fuel burn is still sensible though, as burning coal releases radioactives into the atmosphere and oil has so many more uses than just burning it.

      Gas is less useful, so we can burn that but it won't last all that long compared to coal.

      Energy poverty is however very bad for everyone, killing people indirectly (and even directly), so we absolutely must not force that on the population.

      The Grid are shitting bricks over our current energy policy, repeatedly pointing out that we are heading for disaster if current targets are met, and they'd know!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.

        So what should we use as a basis for policy with respect to climate change? Surely all policy is based on models, whether its a simple model that says 'tomorrow will be the same as today' or 'this trend will continue' or 'reducing smoking by n% will reduce lung cancer by y%'. And no model is ever perfect because the world and people are inherently unpredictable. When you cross a road you have a model in your head of how fast you can walk and how fast the bus heading towards you is travelling. Now there are uncertainties - you don't know how fast the bus is travelling to the nearest mph, you don't know how awake the bus driver is, you don't know how good his brakes are. But these uncertainties don't stop you making a decision based on the model.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Oh, suddenly you like climate modelling.

          I'm saying that we shouldn't be using 'climate change' as a policy driver at all, because we simply do not know enough to make reliable predictions.

          By comparison to our current climate models, the other models you mentioned there are extremely good, giving results many orders of magnitude more reliable, precise and accurate.

          However, we do know that the oil is going to run out relatively soon (and long before that it's going to become ruinously expensive), we do know that the other emissions (not CO2, the NOX, SOX etc) from most fossil fuels are toxic to humans, plants and animals and so it is clear that we should be reducing our reliance and the absolute amount of those burned.

          It's just that CO2 is not the reason why, and thus (for example) replacing tungsten lighting with mercury-based is not a sane idea.

  19. bugalugs

    blows my mind

    to think gravity alone holds all the gas atoms in our atmosphere to our little iron ball.

    props2gravity

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