Saturday, October 03, Posted by Economics Corner Felt the tremor on the 30th Sept and was shocked at the extent of the earthquake as I am just living on the 6th floor. I realised that it was a 7. One cannot help but think about how natural disasters might affect Singapore. I suddenly recalled the following article on natural disaster - a special edition for Earth Day written by Keith Emuang:
Calder's Updates, May 3, "The Sun makes fantastic natural experiments" Henrik Svensmark says, "that allow us to test our ideas about its effects on the Earth's climate". Most dramatic are the events called Forbush decreases.
Ejections of gas from the Sun, carrying magnetic fields, can suddenly cut the influx of cosmic rays coming to the Earth from exploded stars. According to the Svensmark hypothesis, cosmic rays seed the formation of low clouds, so there should be a reduction in the Earth's low cloud cover in the aftermath of a Forbush decrease.
With the right tracking skills, the Copenhagen team confirmed all their expectations about the Forbush decreases. Combined data for the five strongest Forbush decreases since show a loss of fine aerosols from the atmosphere, especially about 5 days after the cosmic ray minimum red curve.
The first of the graphics shows a temporary shortage of fine aerosols, chemical specks in the air that normally grow until water vapour can condense on them, so seeding the liquid water droplets of low-level clouds.
The remaining three graphs display the observable loss of the clouds that would have been seeded if the aerosols had survived to do their job. Three different kinds of satellite observations tell the same story. Cosmic rays continuously promote the formation of micro-clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules, but initially these are far too small to be detectable by remote observation.
After growing routinely over a number of days the invisible specks floating in the air influence the normal colour of sunlight as seen from the ground, by scattering away its violet light.
Conversely, a shortage of fine aerosols after a shortage of cosmic rays should make the Sun appear abnormally bright in at the violet end of the spectrum. As the graphs above show, all of these observational data sets showed much the same pattern of events after the strongest Forbush decreases sincenamely a decrease in liquid water clouds that reached its lowest point six to nine days after the minimum count of cosmic rays.
As for the magnitude of the impact on cloud cover, it was huge.
The water remains there in vapour form, but unlike cloud droplets it does not block sunlight trying to warm the ocean. From solar activity to cosmic ray ionization to aerosols and liquid-water clouds, a causal chain appears to operate on a global scale.
Although they are too short-lived to have a lasting effect on the climate, the Forbush decreases dramatize the cosmic climate mechanism that works more patiently during the year solar cycle.
When the Sun becomes more active, the decline in low-altitude cosmic radiation is greater than that seen in most Forbush events, and the loss of low cloud cover persists for long enough to warm the world. That explains the alternations of warming and cooling seen in the lower atmosphere and in the oceans during solar cycles.
And the overall increase in solar activity during the 20th Century implies a loss of low clouds sufficient to explain most of the "global warming".
Noor van Andel,climategate. It has been proposed that galactic cosmic rays may influence the Earth's climate by affecting cloud formation. If changes in cloudiness play a part in climate change, their effect changes sign in Antarctica.
Satellite data from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment ERBE are here used to calculate the changes in surface temperatures at all latitudes, due to small percentage changes in cloudiness. The results match the observed contrasts in temperature changes, globally and in Antarctica.
Evidently clouds do not just respond passively to climate changes but take an active part in the forcing, in accordance with changes in the solar magnetic field that vary the cosmic-ray flux.
Cloud tops have a high albedo and exert their cooling effect by scattering back into the cosmos much of the sunlight that could otherwise warm the surface. But the snows on the Antarctic ice sheets are dazzlingly white, with a higher albedo than the cloud tops.
There, extra cloud cover warms the surface, and less cloudiness cools it. Satellite measurements show the warming effect of clouds on Antarctica, and meteorologists at far southern latitudes confirm it by observation. Greenland too has an ice sheet, but it is smaller and not so white.
And while conditions in Greenland are coupled to the general climate of the northern hemisphere, Antarctica is largely isolated by vortices in the ocean and the air. The cosmic-ray and cloud-forcing hypothesis therefore predicts that temperature changes in Antarctica should be opposite in sign to changes in temperature in the rest of the world.
This is exactly what is observed, in a well-known phenomenon that some geophysicists have called the polar see-saw, but for which "the Antarctic climate anomaly" seems a better name.
See Cosmoclimatology Professor Henrik Svensmark, Today the Royal Astronomical Society in London publishes online Henrik Svensmark's latest paper entitled "Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth".
After years of effort Svensmark shows how the variable frequency of stellar explosions not far from our planet has ruled over the changing fortunes of living things throughout the past half billion years.
Appearing in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, It's a giant of a paper, with 22 figures, 30 equations and about 15, words.Only as the downpour began did the darkness from , feet of thunderstorm above us bring the very special light-show to an end.
and heart-stopping power and beauty. I witnessed one of Nature’s most powerful land-based weather phenomena last week — a derecho. Accuweather’s online definition: I will never tire of Nature’s.
A thunderstorm is a rain shower during which you hear thunder. Since thunder comes from lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning.
A thunderstorm is classified as "severe" when it contains one or more of the following: hail three-quarter inch or greater, winds gusting in excess of 50 knots ( mph), tornado.
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