Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stratosphere temperature data support scientists’ proof for global warming

30.11.2004


A new interpretation for temperature data from satellites, published earlier this year, raised controversy when its authors claimed it eliminated doubt that, on average, the lower atmosphere is getting warmer as fast as the Earth’s surface.

Now, in another study headed by the same researcher to be published Dec. 15 in the Journal of Climate, direct temperature data from other scientists has validated the satellite interpretation. A team headed by Qiang Fu, a University of Washington atmospheric sciences associate professor, earlier examined measurements collected from January 1979 through December 2001 by devices called microwave-sounding units on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites. Different channels of the microwave-sounding units measure radiation at different frequencies, providing data for different layers of the atmosphere.

In the case of the troposphere, the layer from the surface to an altitude of about 7.5 miles, where most weather occurs, it was believed there had been less warming than what was recorded at the surface. However, Fu’s team determined the satellite readings of the troposphere were imprecise because about one-fifth of the signal actually came from a higher atmosphere layer called the stratosphere, which for the last few decades has been cooling several times faster than the troposphere has been warming. The group devised a method to remove the stratosphere signal from the satellite data and was left with results that closely matched the warming at the surface. That work was published in May in the journal Nature.



However, critics contended the method overcompensated for the cooling effects of the stratosphere and thus overstated the amount of warming in the troposphere. The criticisms did not appear in peer-reviewed journals. In the new study, Fu and Celeste Johanson, a UW atmospheric sciences graduate student, used direct stratosphere temperature measurements to examine the contamination from the stratosphere in the satellite channel that measures troposphere temperatures. They also used the same data to evaluate their method for removing the stratosphere contamination. The data they used came from scientists at NOAA and the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in England.

Using the direct stratosphere temperature trend profiles from 1979 through 2001, Fu’s team found that the stratosphere contamination in the satellite channel measuring the troposphere amounted to about a minus one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade. They used their new method to remove the contamination, leaving an influence from the stratosphere of less than one-hundredth of a degree on troposphere temperature trends. The results match closely with what would be expected from the Fu team’s new interpretation of satellite data. "These results are consistent with the results that the Nature paper gets," Fu said. "It is an independent check of the problem because we used completely independent data sets. The independent observations agree with our conclusions, and that’s quite powerful evidence."

The Fu team’s work indicates the troposphere has been warming at about two-tenths of a degree Celsius, or nearly one-third of a degree Fahrenheit, per decade. That closely resembles measurements of warming at the surface, something climate models have suggested would result if the warmer surface temperatures are the result of greenhouse gases.

The findings are important because, for years, satellite data inconsistent with warming at the surface have fueled the debate about whether climate change is actually occurring.

If contamination of troposphere signals by those from the stratosphere isn’t taken into account for the last 25 years, Fu said, estimates of how much warming actually occurred in the troposphere during that time would be off by 40 percent to 70 percent.

Vince Stricherz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht How is climate change affecting fauna in the Arctic?
22.05.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Sea level as a metronome of Earth's history
19.05.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>