How Clouds Think About Climate Change

Does the earth modify its surface in response to warming?

by Willis Eschenbach

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Figure 1. Tropical thunderstorms are characterized by tall cloud towers. The average altitude of the cloud tops is therefore a measure of the number and strength of the thunderstorms in the area. Colors show average cloud top altitude, with the red areas having the most and largest thunderstorms, and the blue areas almost none. The gray contour lines show sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of 27°, 28°, and 29°C, with the inner ring being the hottest.
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Figure 2. Available solar energy after all reflection from clouds, atmosphere, and the planet’s surface. The numbers are 24/7 averages.
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Figure 3. Scatterplot of available solar energy versus liquid sea surface temperature. Blue dots show the results for each 1° latitude by 1° longitude gridcell. Yellow/red line is 160-point full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) Gaussian average. The part of the data where the average SST above 27°C is highlighted in red
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Figure 4. Gridcell by gridcell correlation of available solar energy and surface temperature. Blue box show the tropical area discussed below (130°E — 90°W longitude, 10°N/S latitude).
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Figure 5 Scatterplot of the sea surface temperature versus the rainfall in the equatorial Pacific area shown by the blue box above (130°E — 90°W, 10°N/S). The blue dots show results from the TAO moored buoys in the blue box. The red dots show gridcell results from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite rainfall data and Reynolds OI sea surface temperatures. Graphic from my post Drying The Sky
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Figure 6. Scatterplot of 1° x 1° gridcell annual average ocean-only thunderstorm evaporative cooling on the vertical axis, in watts per square metre (W/m2) versus 1° x 1° gridcell annual average sea surface temperature on the horizontal axis. Evaporative cooling amount is calculated from the rainfall — it takes ~ 80 W/m2 for one year to evaporate a metre of rainfall. Graphic from my post, How Thunderstorms Beat The Heat
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Figure 7. Scatterplot, available solar energy minus evaporative cooling, versus sea surface temperature from 40°N latitude to 40°S latitude. Because it is only the middle latitudes the ocean doesn’t get much cooler than 15°C.
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Figure 8. Available solar energy after albedo and evaporation losses. TRMM data only covers from 40° N to 40°S latitude.

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Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.

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