Steering climate´s course (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)
Arctic Amplification has introduced feedback effects associated with temperature, water vapour and clouds. Changes in the surface albedo feedback—the increase in surface absorption of solar radiation when snow and ice retreat— are the ones often cited as the main contributor. What I am researching about are the mechanisms provoking those changes in albedo. I am looking at the implications of having the Arctic circulation not “Amplifying” but “Absorbing” increases in water vapour due to atm CO2, triggering; early snowfalls in central Asia, Arctic ice cover meltdown and oceanic increases in salinity and ultimately, the origin of atmospheric blocking patterns and possibly, the pause in T raise.
Arctic and Antarctic circulations behave in a very different way due to its particular asymmetries as consequence of their land/ocean thermal contrasts and Ocean circulation.
All the oscillations considered in atmospheric circulation, PDO, OA, AMO, Solar activity… move around pivoting points. These pivoting points make the impact from those oscillations close to neutral in a long time scale.
We can see that by looking at the gene pool in the evolution of the biological environment which we see today. An environment which has evolved closely thanks to environmental resilience absorbing perturbations originated from those oscillations.
Without resilience, the severity of the variations associated with the oscillations would have not allowed genetic evolution to grow in such a close divergence as we have seen. The climate through latitudes has suffered variations but the global climate has allowed species to develop closely instead of perishing without time for adaptation inducing the generation of new branches of genetic divergence.
Two major components are working side by side in our planet. Passive mechanisms driven by thermodynamic forces transferring energy between components of the ecosystem and, Active processes absorbing, transforming and storing energy throughout biochemical processes.
Consequently, two postures rise in the debate from these two mechanisms:
Are thermodynamics defining the state which allow life to evolve in a changing climate? or, Are biotic systems the ones which develop against thermodynamic fluctuations taming the weather?
I understand the point of view from which, when considering the players in our environment defining the planet’s climate, the proportional relativity between the magnitudes of energy that are being managed, “solar flux” and “oceanic thermohaline circulations”, those are too big to consider that they might be affected by changes in atmospheric composition triggered by anthropogenic activities.
However, from my point of view, what we are facing is the challenge to understand not how much energy and the source required to change the course of such a big ship “from outside”, but rather, to just move the steering wheel, or affect the engine performance or interfere with the rudder.
The course of a tanker in the middle of the Ocean will be defined by the engine’s performance and the resilience to change direction by corrections made through the steering wheel and the rudder, against mayor variations in forces such as oceanic currents and winds. So the factors implicated in altering the course of a tanker can be found due to intentional manoeuvrability suited to follow the path chosen or, mayor variations in external forces overcoming the engine’s power and the resilience of the rudder to absorb those perturbations.
If we consider the climate’s course as the one of a large ship, we can take “Solar flux” and “Oceanic thermohaline circulations” as the major external forces. And then, our “environment” as the engine powering the capabilities for resilience in our “atmosphere” to absorb the variations from such external forces.
Exerting a “constant pressure” over the environment due to land cover changes, or, the composition of the atmosphere (due to GHGs), could potentially affect the status of neutrality gained against natural oscillations through environmental resilience, like a constant flow of water drops erodes a rock.
So I believe that Land Cover and Atmospheric composition (gases and aerosols) might be the key features here “steering our climate”, like a hydraulic system transmitting and amplifying force between steering wheel and rudder. Altering their composition might affect their level of performance. Thus, decimating its functionality might weaken its capacity to absorb those perturbations triggered by “oscillations” in “the currents” being generated either from Solar activity, adiabatic processes or thermohaline circulation.
One of the strongest and more visual synergistic interaction between Land cover and atmospheric circulation can be seeing over the Amazons and easily compared with the Sahara dessert.
Furthermore, another synergistic interaction can be observed between the composition of the atmosphere and its thermodynamic behaviour (also see link1, link2 and link3) similarly to the thermohaline circulations in the Oceans.
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(This post is part of a more complex piece of independent research. I believe that the hypothesis that I have presented in previous posts in this blog (here, here and here) could help to understand present and possible future scenarios in atmospheric circulation. However, this is an assessment based on observation which needs to be validated throughout open discussion and data gathering. So please feel free to incorporate your thoughts and comments in a constructive manner.
Any scientist working in disciplines related with the topics that I treat in my blog knows how to judge the contribution that my work could potentially add to the state of knowledge. Since I am in transition looking for a position in research, if you are one of those scientists, by just acknowledging any value you might see from my contribution would not only make justice to my effort as independent researcher, but ultimately, it will help me to enhance my chances to find a position with resources to further develop my work.
If you feel like sharing this post I would appreciate to have a reference about the place or platform, by private or public message, in order for me to have the opportunity to join the debate and be aware of the repercussion which might generate d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com)
For anybody interested in the posts related with this discussion here I leave you those more relevant in chronological order (there are comments bellow some of them. Please check them out):
- New theory proposal to assess possible changes in Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on October 21, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-k3
- Why there is no need for the Polar Vortex to break in order to have a wobbling Jet Stream and polar weather? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on November 14, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-mt
- Gathering data to make visible the invisible (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on December 22, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-pN
- State of the Polar Vortex. Broken? From 29 Nov 2014 to 5th Jan 2015 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla). Posted on November 29, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-o7
- Probability in the atmospheric circulation dictating the Weather (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on January 15, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-rm
- Meteorological Outlook Feb 2015 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on February 7, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-sU
- Revisiting the theory of “Facing a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. Posted on February 10, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-to