Lapse rate changes

i-13b9de5afb984b9d1ebb83b6c94e4565-t-xsect-2080-2000.png Look at my nice picture. It shows a height-latitude zonal mean of (modelled) temperature, a difference of two 20 year means: 2080-2099 minus 2000-2019. This is for the far-future but we’ll pretend its a rough proxy for the present day trends, suitably scaled, shall we.

If you’re at all familiar with the “lapse rate problem” you see the familiar: that (at least in the tropics) the upper atmosphere gets to warm far more than the surface: up to 5 oC compared to about 2.5. The reverse is true in the arctic, the antarctic is nearly isothermal except for the top which is probably ozone hole recovery.

But… the degree of warming depends on where you look. If you’re looking at 500 hPa, ie the mid-level, even the tropics are only a bit warmer at the surface. If you’re using MSU data to try to understand this, then its hard to know exactly what you’d be seeing, because the MSU integrates over a broad range of atmospheric layers. This was prompted by Inels comment today from Singer in an old post no-one will ever read again.

Comments

  1. #1 Luboš Motl
    2007/09/26

    Dear William, your comments are just fog. First, it is not enough for the surface to be “just a little bit faster” in warming. The surface must actually be way slower because this is what the greenhouse models predict.

    [The surface has to warm slower, yes (where did you get your “just a little bit faster” quote from?). By about a factor of 1.3 I think -W]

    Second, it is completely irrelevant how MSU integrates or doesn’t integrate. The clearest way to construct the two pictures is to use models – where you apparently agree that they predict the hot spot – and the CCSP’s HadAT2 radiosonde data on the observational side.

    [Its not the CCSP’s; its the Hadley Centres HadAT2. Thats what “Had” stands for -W]

    Then you face neither of your problems, you obtain two pictures

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/08/greenhouse-warming-wrong-altitude-and.html

    and they simply don’t look like twins [Lubos is a silly person]

    Interesting pictures. They aren’t on the same height or colour scales. But what time scales are they on?

    More importantly, we know that there are large problems with the tropical sondes – Sherwood et al. showed this back in 2005. You can’t just use them without qualification, as I’m sure the CCSP will tell you -W]

  2. #2 Bruno
    2007/09/26

    I think I saw this about 20 years ago at the Museum of Modern Art, although I don’t recall any scale markings. I couldn’t make any sense of it then, either, although it does vaguely resemble a turtle’s head.

  3. #3 Luboš Motl
    2007/09/27

    William, it’s funny that you use the simple verse “Lubos is a silly person” whenever I write something that is both important for the problem as well as completely indisputable.

    [No, I use it for incivil irrelevancies. This one is irrelevant, but civil, so you’re OK -W]

  4. #4 Luboš Motl
    2007/09/27

    Concerning your timescale question, both pictures show the increase of temperature averaged over long timescales of order decades and they should certainly coincide if the model were correct. What you write is pure fog.

    [Hi Lubos. Thats a teensy bit vague. Could you say *which* decades exactly? Are they the *same* decades for both pictures?

    I see you haven’t yet realised the problems with the sondes. Read Sherwood et al -W]

  5. #5 san quintin
    2007/09/27

    Hi William
    As Lubos won’t talk to me over at his blog (he’s banned me) I hope I can ask you. I suggested that if Monckton, Lubos etc were right about the failure of AGW theory then they should publish in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. If they turned out be right, then the Nobel Prize awaits. I even suggested a couple of journals (GRL, JGR etc). Lubos replied that they wouldn’t get published because the journals are all run by left-wingers. When I suggested that he was paranoid and that this sounded like an excuse not to be able to get rubbish published, Lubos banned me. My question is: are all journals left-wing? Or just those that Lubos and Monckton can’t get published in.

    [You cant be doubting Lubos’s correctness, can you? Meanwhile, GRL has published some wacky stuff recently, even Singer got in, so it cant be that bad. Lubos knows full well that he has nothing that would get past PR. In fact, he has nothing original at all – unlike McI, who is at least doing new things, Lubos is only recycling other peoples stuff -W]

  6. #6 san quintin
    2007/09/28

    Hi William
    yes, I agree with you about McIntyre….he’s got some great ideas. It’s only a shame that the mutual distrust between him, and many of the climate scientists is so low….I’m sure that both groups could learn from each other and push the research. It’s also a shame that he clearly has an agenda….there’s so much rubbish from the sceptics (Monckton, Lubos, Bellamy etc) which is crying out for auditing, yet this lot seem to get off scot-free on CA.

  7. #7 SomeBeans
    2007/09/28

    You think McI is doing new, interesting things? He seems to mainly throw up “graph chaff” that an enthusiastic audience cheer whilst not really understanding what’s going on. Please feel free to tell me why I’m wrong…

    John V.’s version of GISTEMP (featuring in the thread’s at CA) was rather nice. I suspect McI could have done it long ago, but he knew what the answer would be and as far as he was concerned it wasn’t the right one.

    [I’m no great fan of McI; but he has done stuff that has been published, and was indeed worthy of publication. Unlike most of us his blog is mostly about work he has done. Much of it is just fiddling, and if some of his stuff worked as well as he gives the impression Im sure he would have tried to get that published too.

    Meanwhile, the Lubos’s of the world are just recycling trash from elsewhere -W]

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