Climate variability and energy balance. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

Climate variability and energy balance. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

By Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD.CV english and españolResumeInterdisciplinary Skills applied in the line of research presented.- Index for all analyses published. – Shares and Feedback at LinkedIn. Registered in pdf At ResearchGate: DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.33706.11203


I think that we, as specie, are so used to adapt the environment to our needs that “we” might become the last living specie in the entire ecosystem identifying external interferences in our humanised local environment. It is like trying to identify the hottest day of the summer being all time at home with an air-conditioner keeping 22 Celsius.

Only when our local humanised environment gets affected by an uncontrollable change we start thinking that something must be going on. How hot has to be the day when the air-conditioner is not enough… I am afraid of that if external changes are strong enough to interfere into local ecosystems it means that the forces involved are strong enough to interconnect separated systems reflecting the need for a globalization in order to rebalance unstable situations.
The rest of the living species on earth are more sensitive to environmental changes than us. They feel the environment. If there is any evidence of that other living species are changing in the last decade in their live cycles, reproductive viability, capacity of adaptation, migration routes and timing and that there is a change in the survival success between already settled species I would be more than alert about something global being going on.
My theory (sorry if I am terribly wrong or confused in my approach) is that the energy balance between planet’s surface and atmosphere could be getting unstable. I believe water plays a major role transferring energy between systems and I wonder if the atmosphere is getting charged with more water/pressure than it used to (defined by the Vapour Pressure Deficit, I used this parameter to research about the moisture contain of airborne pollen in the atmosphere vs aerodynamic properties). An increase in atmospheric temperature would lead to an expansion in volume, lowing pressure and increasing capacity to retain water. This situation would be also affected by the increasing amount of aerosol in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic and natural sources and the drop nuclei properties of such particles. So I wonder if the alteration in the distribution and availability of the masses of water in the terrestrial surface plus the enhanced capacity of retaining water by the atmosphere could start changing in any way (shape, direction, strength, …) the connections between atmospheric cells redistributing energy across the globe. This idea has been used about changing currents in the oceans, what do you know about same approach for the atmosphere?

Basically I see the role of water in our environment as Lithium in our batteries. The energy carrier of the environment. Water has potential energy in its three different stages as gas, liquid and solid. The potential energy carried in the structural properties of water intervene in all the processes of our environment. Physical, chemical and biological processes. The transformation from one stage to another keeps moving the energy cycle at the same time that distributes energy all over the environment. Deserts depend on energy availability same as our devices depend on battery supply if there is no electricity socket available. And, the daily cycles of the sun creates interruptions of energy supply with no element accessible to retain and transport energy during sun absence as effectively as water does.

The sun could be comparable to what electricity would do with our batteries (more efficiently actually). Thus, the cycle of energy carried by water gets recharged by the sun. The hardware would be the physical features in our environment which do not take energy actively for processing, meanwhile the software would be in the form of all those processes transforming resources actively (thus consuming energy such as plants in photosynthesis). Here we would have an Operative system defined by physical, biological, chemical and thermodynamic laws and applications with defined roles. Climate ultimately would be the alterations generated in the atmosphere as part of the process for transforming and transferring energy using water as the carrier. Would that make sense?

If you like the subject take a look at this article. “Global warming slowdown linked to cooler Pacific waters”.

This article ends with: “Over the period that the authors analysed, observations showed a continued trapping of heat in the Earth’s climate system, despite the temporary slowdown in surface warming, and an important question that the paper does not address is where this energy has gone. Almost certainly it is in the deep ocean.

Well, I would like to see data about Vapour Pressure Deficit. More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would induce an increased capacity of having water in the atmosphere trapping heat. This would seem as a logical mechanism for resilience against global temperature raising variations since atmospheric water would absorb heat consuming energy thus maintaining temperature values. However, more water in the atmosphere would increase the atmospheric potential energy load that triggers and charges atmospheric events. Any thoughts on this?

Follow up info can be found below in the comments section.

About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Data policy The products processed by "Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD" are made available to the public for educational and/or scientific purposes, without any fee on the condition that you credit "Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD" as the source. Copyright notice: © Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD 2013-2019 orcid: and the link to its source at diegofdezsevilla.wordpress or permanent DOI found at Reearchgate. Profile and verified scientific activity also at: Should you write any scientific publication on the results of research activities that use Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD products as input, you shall acknowledge the Diego Fdez-Sevilla's PhD Project in the text of the publication and provide an electronic copy of the publication ( If you wish to use the Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD products in advertising or in any commercial promotion, you shall acknowledge the Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD Project and you must submit the layout to Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD for approval beforehand ( The work here presented has no economic or institutional support. Please consider to make a donation to support the means for making sustainable the energy, time and resources required. Also any sponsorship or mentoring interested would be welcome. Intellectual Property This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage:! For those publications missing at the ResearchGate profile vinculated with this project DOIs can be generated on demand by request at email: d.fdezsevilla(at) **Author´s profile: Born in 1974. Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my work previous to 2013 as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After 12 years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, in 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my own line of research. In the current competitive scenario, in order to demonstrate my capacities instead of just moving my cv waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I decided to invest my energy and time in opening my own line of research sharing it in this blog. In March 2017 the budget reserved for this project has ended and its weekly basis time frame discontinued until new forms of economic and/or institutional support are incorporated into the project. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this platform and at LinkedIn has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my achievements and that the Intellectual Property Rights generated with the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in similar lines of research. **Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome as well as any approach exploring professional opportunities.** In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2019, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects, don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access and DOIs found at the Framework and Timeline page and ResearchGate. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2018. Filling in or/and Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at ***
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24 Responses to Climate variability and energy balance. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

  1. As far as I know, any other greenhouse gas than water vapor gets its relevance in climate by their combined effect on trapping heat however, water vapor is the one which its content in the atmosphere is unidirectionally dependent on the effect of the other greenhouse gases (heating the atmosphere and enhancing moisture content capacity) and the one playing a mayor role in climatic events.

    So it seems to me that there are triggers and then it is the effect triggered.
    Temperature might remain the same in a mass of air if it induces the process of transforming water into vapor as this is a heat consuming event. So you might have more water vapor in exchange for keeping temperature by absorbing heat (atmospheric resilience to temperature changes I would suppose. At least it is how nature does it with animals). Instead of having temperature as a measure for the potential energy storaged in the atmosphere responsible for climatic events, this energy would be absorbed and kept active for release by the water vapor present in the atmosphere. Temperature would not be the one reflecting changes.
    If the masses of air playing a major role in climatic events are those charged with moisture, I suppose it would be worthy to look at the changes in moisture content as the effect triggered. Water vapor is the only greenhouse gas which presence does not induce the increase in concentration of other greenhouse gases yet its concentration is highly dependent on the concentration of the other greenhouse gases. And that is why I would like to know a little bit more about any approach taken by any research in this direction. Some how, ideally, my point goes towards identifying an indicator of the energy charge of the atmosphere responsible for the mechanics of the weather. And I would take water vapor as a start. Any thoughts?


  2. Three links related with the subject of Water vapor and weather events;
    October 3, 2013. Water vapor in the upper atmosphere amplifies global warming, says new study.
    A new study shows that water vapor high in the sky and the temperature at the Earth‘s surface are linked in a “feedback loop” that further warms our climate.
    For well over 100 years it has been known that increased emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide will warm the planet. As the lowest layer of the atmosphere, called the troposphere (surface to ~7 miles), is warmed, the air becomes more humid because warmer air holds more water vapor. This “tropospheric water vapor feedback” approximately doubles the initial warming caused by carbon dioxide.

    The new study shows that in addition to the well-understood tropospheric water vapor feedback on climate change, there is also a significant amplifying feedback associated with water vapor in the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere that extends to ~30 miles above Earth‘s surface. This “stratospheric water vapor feedback,” although hypothesized by previous studies, has remained elusive to quantification.

    The new results suggest that the stratospheric water vapor feedback may be an important component of our climate system. The researchers estimated that at a minimum this feedback adds another ~5-10% to the climate warming from the addition of greenhouse gases, and is possibly substantially more than this amount._______________________________

    Click to access Extreme_Weather_Factsheet_Compendium.final7.19.13.pdf

    Responding to Extreme Weather and Climate Events. Adaptation Strategies and Information Needs.
    The following case study series is based on workshops in six communities that have experienced extreme events, including floods, storms and derechos, sea level rise and storm surge, drought, and unseasonable frost.

    In the past 60 years, 34 of 39 floods were related to a meteorological phenomena termed “atmospheric rivers.” These narrow bands, a few hundred kilometers wide and two thousand kilometers or more long, transport water vapor from the tropics toward the poles. Projected increases in rainfall frequency and intensity associated with atmospheric rivers increases flood risk. __________________________________

    Dec 6, 2013. Atmospheric rivers in changing climate.
    Atmospheric rivers are impressive, intermittent circulation features in mid-latitude regions of the globe that can cause disastrous floods if they smash against mountainous terrain. While discovered by meteorologists and long feared by hydrologists they have only recently come to the broader attention of climate scientists. In a new letter published in Environmental Research Letters, Lavers et al investigate atmospheric rivers reaching the British Isles in the context of climate change. They consider these potentially devastating meteorological features in present and future climate model scenarios, and walk through possible mechanisms that could cause them to strengthen.
    In their seminal paper, over a decade ago, Zhu and Newell [2] using global meteorological data, recognized atmospheric structures in the lower troposphere (below 1–2.5 km) consisting of ‘rivers’ of narrow, (a few hundred kilometers wide and several thousand kilometers long) filament bands that transport large amounts of moisture (typically vertically integrated water vapor of more than 2.5 cm liquid equivalent) with maximum wind speeds of more than 10 m s−1, poleward and across subtropical boundaries. Atmospheric rivers are observed mainly in winter in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere. They are also reported in the southern hemisphere when they crash against the Andes of South America [3]. Meteorologists associate atmospheric rivers with winter storms and their warm sector precipitation.
    Hydrologists noticed that the most devastating floods occur when atmospheric rivers hit the coast perpendicular to the mountain ranges and rain out above the snowline (see [5] for an overview). These extreme precipitation events, together with the lifted snowline, often cause devastating floods in major river basins (e.g. California’s Russian River). Warner et al [6] estimates that the top 50 observed floods in the US Pacific Northwest were due to atmospheric rivers. But atmospheric rivers are not confined to the Eastern Pacific coastline alone. More recently it was shown that in the North Atlantic along the western European seaboard they are responsible for eight of the top ten extreme daily precipitation events, and can be seen as far inland as Germany and Poland [7].
    Key in understanding atmospheric rivers is their correct identification. The rivers are confined to only small stretches of any given longitude. Consequently, instead of partitioning the atmospheric moisture transports using the Reynolds type eddy representation, in Zhu and Newell’s formulation [2] of atmospheric rivers the filamentary structure is assessed by separating maximum moisture fluxes from broad flux. Because of their length and intensity, atmospheric rivers play a dominant role in the total meridional transport of latent heat and therefore the general circulation. In fact, for meridional transports at middle latitudes, the rivers dominate the total flux of moisture and account for nearly all of the transport across the subtropical boundary. Atmospheric rivers occur in the warm sector of cyclonic systems in the storm track regions. And the rivers are crucial for the eddy meridional moisture transport, which is controlled by the interactions between stationary subtropical anti-cyclones and transient eastward-propagating baroclinic waves [8].

    Overall, the meteorology and hydrological impacts of atmospheric rivers are well understood, whereas not as much effort has been put towards understanding atmospheric rivers in the context of a changing climate. This is surprising given that after each catastrophic flooding event, questions are raised as to whether this event was due to global warming.


  3. Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr. Blog
    Search Results for: water vapour
    Several posts addressing the role played by Water vapor in climate.


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  5. Pingback: Resilience in our environment. | diego fdez-sevilla

  6. Pingback: Exploring the effects of humanly generated factors in the role played by Solar activity in the climate. | diego fdez-sevilla

  7. Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming – Solomon et al. (2010) “Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.” Susan Solomon, Karen H. Rosenlof, Robert W. Portmann, John S. Daniel, Sean M. Davis, Todd J. Sanford, Gian-Kasper Plattner, Science 5 March 2010: Vol. 327 no. 5970 pp. 1219-1223, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182488. []

    An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy – Trenberth (2009) “Planned adaptation to climate change requires information about what is happening and why. While a long-term trend is for global warming, short-term periods of cooling can occur and have physical causes associated with natural variability. However, such natural variability means that energy is rearranged or changed within the climate system, and should be traceable. An assessment is given of our ability to track changes in reservoirs and flows of energy within the climate system. Arguments are given that developing the ability to do this is important, as it affects interpretations of global and especially regional climate change, and prospects for the future.” Kevin E Trenberth, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2009, Pages 19–27, []


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  9. “Unsolved Mystery: Earth’s Ocean Abyss has Not Warmed”
    Tue, 10/14/2014 – 2:47pm by NASA

    The cold waters of Earth’s deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

    “The sea level is still rising,” Willis noted. “We’re just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.”

    In the 21st century, greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, just as they did in the 20th century, but global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases. The temperature of the top half of the world’s oceans — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.

    Many processes on land, air and sea have been invoked to explain what is happening to the “missing” heat. One of the most prominent ideas is that the bottom half of the ocean is taking up the slack, but supporting evidence is slim. This latest study is the first to test the idea using satellite observations, as well as direct temperature measurements of the upper ocean. Scientists have been taking the temperature of the top half of the ocean directly since 2005, using a network of 3,000 floating temperature probes called the Argo array.

    Landerer also is a coauthor of another paper in the same journal issue on 1970-2005 ocean warming in the Southern Hemisphere. Before Argo floats were deployed, temperature measurements in the Southern Ocean were spotty, at best. Using satellite measurements and climate simulations of sea level changes around the world, the new study found the global ocean absorbed far more heat in those 35 years than previously thought — a whopping 24 to 58 percent more than early estimates.

    Both papers result from the work of the newly formed NASA Sea Level Change Team, an interdisciplinary group tasked with using NASA satellite data to improve the accuracy and scale of current and future estimates of sea level change. The Southern Hemisphere paper was led by three scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA.

    NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.

    For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities in 2014, visit:

    For more information on ocean surface topography from space, visit:

    More information on NASA’s GRACE satellites is available at:

    For more information on the Argo array, visit:


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