This chapter explores the seasonal cycle in the evolution of ozone and its influence on the temperature of the stratosphere and surface atmospheric pressure. Maps of the distribution of ozone have been accessed here. Alternatively, the average distribution of ozone can be inspected here. Animated maps showing the circulation of the atmosphere at the moment and in the past can be found here.
Below we see the evolution of ozone at 50 hPa on a ten day interval from September 2014 till March 22nd 2016.
We can see that ozone partial pressure peaks in spring. At this time localized zones deficient in ozone appear in high latitudes that are more severe in the southern hemisphere than the northern hemisphere.
OZONE DISTRIBUTION TEMPERATURE AND WIND
The temperature of the air and the direction of the wind is closely tied to the distribution of ozone. This is apparent if we compare the next three maps. Over Antarctica the wind circulates in a clockwise direction at 70 hPa on 24th October 2015 . A band of rapidly circulating, ascending warm, ozone rich air surrounds a trough of relatively quiet descending, extremely cold air over the continent itself. In the mid latitudes the air is cold and relatively quiescent.
THE VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF OZONE
Compare the diagram above with the diagram below that shows total column ozone in Dobson units on the same day, 24th October 2014. It is plain that the direction of the wind and the distribution of ozone is closely related.
The diagram below shows ozone at 100 hPa. Notice the very similar distribution of ozone to that seen in the diagram above.
The next two diagrams should be very closely compared. They show NOx (a destroyer of ozone) and ozone at 100 hPa. Plainly, NOx present in the troposphere attenuates the ozone content of the stratosphere over a wide band of latitudes about the equator. Water vapour is also involved. Chief zones of ascent are over the Amazon, the Congo and south east Asia.
Below we have Nox at 50hPa over Antarctica on 24th October.
We see below that there is a close relationship between NOx at 50 hPa (above) and ozone at 50 hPa (below).
Below we have ozone at 1 hPa indicating a wide band of partially depleted ozone over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean associated with the descent of air from the mesosphere. The extent of depletion of ozone at this altitude relates more to the very low ozone content of mesospheric air than the tiny amounts of NOx in mesospheric air. The ozone depletion is nothing compared with than at 50 hPa and at 100 hPa. Depletion at the lower levels is apparently related to entrainment of NOx with ozone in the ascending circulation associated with polar cyclone activity.
The lesser depletion of ozone at 1 hPa that occurs due to the incursion of mesospheric air is a function of high atmospheric surface pressure in winter promoting a descending circulation. At 1 hPa we see that this conditions the ozone content of more than half the hemisphere through to latitude 30° south. The ozone depleted air at 1 hPa overlies ozone rich air below giving rise to a cone shaped area of descent within a ring of ozone rich air.
It is apparent that the ascent of NOx from the troposphere plays a large part in determining the concentration of ozone in the lower stratosphere. NOx deplete ozone in the tropics and also over Antarctica in spring.
Plainly it is the distribution of ozone in the stratosphere that determines the synoptic situation in high latitudes that will in turn influence the rate of ascent of NOx from the troposphere.
The movement of the air in high latitudes tends to preserve the distribution of ozone in the vertical plane , a product of uplift outside the vortex and descent within it.
CHANGE IN OZONE OVER TIME
Now lets compare the distribution of ozone at 50hPa on the 24th October in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
It is apparent that the distribution and the density of ozone varies strongly from year to year. In the main it is attenuated or enhanced simultaneously in both hemispheres. This is evidence of vigorous homogenisation in the horizontal domain. Perhaps there is a similar rate of depletion via the rate of influx of mesospheric air over the poles despite the differences in the seasons and surface pressure relations . There is a strong tendency for ozone density to be elevated in high latitudes across the Pacific Ocean in both hemispheres. The natural zone for uplift in winter is the ocean. Cold land masses, especially in Siberia and East Asia, and outstandingly in the case of the Antarctic support the formation of high pressure cells where the air descends. These high pressure zones tend to be ozone deficient.
At 60-70° south ozone results in ascent from the surface to 10 hPa. Geostrophic balance (what goes up near the pole must be balanced by something coming down somewhere else) requires descent in high pressure cells bringing ozone into the troposphere where warming is associated with increased geopotential height and loss of cloud cover as described here.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OZONE AND SURFACE PRESSURE
In the 1920’s the inventor of the Dobson Spectrophotometer, Gordon Dobson noticed that total column ozone maps surface pressure. Low pressure cells generated in high latitudes have fewer molecules in the atmospheric column because the upper portion is ozone rich, warming the air due to the absorption of infra-red radiation from the Earth itself. The reduction in density aloft overcompensates for the coldness and density of the air at the surface resulting in a zone of low surface pressure. This is a high latitude phenomenon that accounts for the zone of very low surface pressure on the margins of Antarctica as seen below on 14th August 2015.
To assist comparison white lines have been drawn on the margins of the area with elevated NOx at 50 hPa as seen top left. Those lines were then superimposed on the diagrams showing atmospheric pressure and the distribution of ozone. NOx is entrained with ozone and air from over the continent in an ascending circulation.
It is evident that the distribution of ozone is not co-extensive with the distribution of NOx. In fact NOx is uplifted with ozone but more on the inside of the circulation, closer to the pole than with the body of ozone rich air. That annular ring of NOx is co-extensive with a ring of depleted ozone values at 50 hPa over the continent where the air will be relatively cold and dense. In the conjunction of ozone rich low density air and ozone poor high density air we have the polar front that gives rise to the polar arm of the jet stream. An essential feature of the front is the uplift of erosive NOx to create an ozone hole in the lower stratosphere, starting in August, well before the return of the sun, a situation that is unique to Antarctica. Geography ensures that there is no continuous ring of low surface pressure related to ozone maxima surrounding the Arctic. Rather, the northern hemisphere exhibits elevated total column ozone over the north Pacific and North Atlantic, the former more dominant producing a very lopsided and discontinuous circulation.
IMPLICATIONS OF THIS ANALYSIS
Because the distribution of ozone determines atmospheric pressure via the generation of polar cyclones it follows that change in the ozone content of the air changes the balance of surface pressure between high latitudes and the mid latitudes. This is the essence of the Arctic Oscillation and its more localized Western European manifestation the North Atlantic Oscillation. A similar situation awaits discovery in the North Pacific.
The Arctic Oscillation is an influential factor determining whether the mid latitudes of East Asia, North America and Western Europe will experience warm moist westerlies from the tropics or cold dry easterlies of polar origin. In general when ozone varies in concentration near the poles it drives shifts in atmospheric mass that change the planetary winds. The planetary winds, together with cloud cover establish the temperature regime at the surface.
It follows that in order to understand surface climate and its evolution over time we need to understand the forces that condition the concentration and distribution of ozone in the global atmosphere. Those forces work their mischief in the most exaggerated fashion from mid winter to spring in high latitudes. The surface temperature record is indelibly stamped with extreme temperature variability in mid winter as described here. This then is the origin of the cycles of natural weather variation and climate change over decades and centuries. It is change by this cycle that has been wrongly attributed to anthropogenic influences.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
There is a body of work that is being presented here, as a blog. Very unusual. It follows a carefully planned logical sequence. You can access all the chapters in this ‘treatise’, in reverse, at: https://reality348.wordpress.com
1 HOW DO WE KNOW THINGS? The virtue of taking in the broadest possible view using our own senses rather than relying on the opinions of others.
2 ASSESSING CLIMATE CHANGE IN YOUR OWN HABITAT Employing reanalysis data and a spreadsheet to take the long view
3 HOW THE EARTH WARMS AND COOLS-NATURALLY. A top down mode of causation is described. This mode of change is capable of explaining variations in both the short and long term in both directions, both warming and cooling. It can explain warming in one place and simultaneous cooling in another. In short it is very well adapted to explain the climate changes that we observe from daily through to centennial time scales ……. and to do so, exclusively and completely.
HERESY AND ORTHODOXY. Some impromptu observations on the inexplicable entanglement of science and politics. On exercising control, suppression of ideas, the nature of propaganda and ‘results oriented behaviour’ that is antagonistic to the interests of humanity in general.
IN THANKS TO STEPHEN WILDE. Some off the cuff comments on the nature of the atmosphere and climate science directed to a man who struggles earnestly in that same field of endeavour.
IT’S SIMPLE SIMON. A brief, impromptu exploration of the nature of the atmosphere.
4 THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE STRATOSPHERE. A re-examination of the nature of the troposphere and the stratosphere via a study of the lapse rate of temperature with elevation as it varies with latitude. Lots of heresy here.
5 THE ENIGMA OF THE COLD CORE POLAR CYCLONE. A cyclone cannot come into existence in the absence of a warm low density core. In short the polar cyclone is cold below and warm above. Ozone kick starts and then accelerates the circulation of the air in a fashion that is more vigorous than is possible anywhere else on the globe. An investigation of the agent that is responsible for natural climate change on all time scales……arguably the only form of climate change that the surface temperature that is consistent with the surface temperature record.
6 THE POVERTY OF CLIMATOLOGY. There is a palpable disconnect between observation and theory. Surface temperature is linked to geopotential height increases that are common from the surface to the 200hPa level in turn linked to change in the ozone content of the air…….as yet unrealized in academic and meteorological circles. Does this represent simply a failure to think things through, or something more sinister? The signature of ozone variability is date stamped into the tropical sea surface temperature record.
7 TEMPERATURE EVOLVES DIFFERENTLY ACCORDING TO LATITUDE. A brief survey that establishes the diversity that exists in the nature of the way temperature changes at different latitudes. On the face it, completely inconsistent with greenhouse theory.
8 VIOLATILITY IN TEMPERATURE. In George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’ that gave rise to the Lerner and Loewe musical ‘My Fair Lady’, Henry Higgins declares that he can tell where a person comes from according to the accent in their speech. Equally, it is possible to detect the origin of temperature change, natural or otherwise, via a close study of the evolution of temperature over time. This is a critical chapter. It identifies the signature of the mode of natural climate change that is written into the temperature record. It points to origin and causation. Unfortunately, nobody looks.
9 MANKIND IN A CLOUD OF CONFUSION Coming to grips with the true nature of the atmosphere rather than the fairyland version promoted by climate science.
THE ARCTIC STRATOSPHERE SO COLD TODAY. An impromptu investigation of the forces active in the Arctic stratosphere.
10 MANKIND ENCOUNTERS THE STRATOSPHERE The evolution of the planetary winds and temperature at the surface of the Earth is intimately associated with flux in surface pressure wrought by ozone heating in high latitudes.
11 POPULATION, SCARCITY AND THE ORGANIZATION OF SOCIETY. What is the most desirable temperature regime for humanity? What would we prefer?
12 VARIATION IN ENERGY INPUT DUE TO CLOUD COVER. An investigation of the relationship between cloud cover and surface temperature
13 THE PROCESSES BEHIND FLUX IN CLOUD COVER. Change in cloud cover is manifestly a major mode of natural climate variation. This is basic stuff. Here is where the investigation should begin.
14 ORGANIC CLIMATE CHANGE. Focus on natural processes that account for surface temperature change. Heating of the vast land masses of the northern hemisphere in northern summer reduces global cloud cover and as a result the temperature of the Earth peaks in July when the Earth is furthest from the sun. In July solar radiation is 6% weaker than in January. In January the sun is overhead the most extensive stretch of the global oceans, the south Pacific, the Indian, the Atlantic and the enormous Southern Ocean. At this time atmospheric albedo, via cloud cover, peaks. This has not always been the case and nor will it be the case in future.
15 SCIENCE VERSUS PROPAGANDA. If we want to understand the climate system we need to be concerned with both the input and the output side of the energy flows. The singular focus on the output side of the energy equation and the constant promotion of ‘greenhouse theory’ is the result of uni-dimensional thinking that is realms away from the real world. This does not represent rational problem solving behaviour. Some remarks on greenhouse theory and the inappropriate use of a single statistic to monitor a global average temperature.
16 ON BEING RELEVANT AND LOGICAL. When one looks at climate change by latitude there is very marked diversity in the warming/cooling according to the time of year. Here we look at climate change by the decade at different latitudes to escape the gyrations associated with short term oscillations. The interest in this chapter is to ascertain if there is a generalized warming that is like a groundswell, underpinning the whole. That is what would be expected under the greenhouse scenario. The upshot: If it’s there, it’s either insignificant or completely overwhelmed by other influences.
17 WHY IS THE STRATOSPHERE WARM This is a question of fundamental importance. Mainstream climate science says it’s due to the interception of short wave solar radiation. But this cannot explain the warming of ozone rich air in the polar atmosphere during the polar night when contrasting atmospheric density produces the most intense response in terms of wind strength. It can’t explain why the air above Antarctica is warmer than the icy surface below. It can’t explain the strengthened jet stream in winter. It’s inconsistent with the way that the stratosphere drives the generation of polar cyclones and produces the greatest fluctuations in surface temperature across the surface of the globe in the depth of winter.
18 THE OZONE PULSE SURFACE PRESSURE AND WIND Traces the flux of ozone partial pressure by latitude across the annual cycle as it depends upon the uplift of NOx and water from the troposphere and the descent of ozone deficient air from the mesosphere. These inflows determine the ozone content and temperature of the stratosphere against a relatively stable background of short wave ionizing radiation responsible for photolysis and the creation of ozone. Change in surface pressure across the globe results via the variation in the intensity of polar cyclones in the winter hemisphere. These cyclones owe their warm cores to ozone. A broad interactive zone between 8 and 15 km of altitude exhibits extreme variations in air density giving rise to Jet Streams. Meteorologists trace the development of the weather that is so generated at the 250hPa pressure level. Identifies the origin of the Antarctic Ozone Hole.
19 SHIFTS IN ATMOSPHERIC MASS. Describes the origin of change in the planetary winds and cloud cover. Looks at the historical evolution of the distribution of atmospheric mass by the decade. Identifies the source of natural climate change as shifts in atmospheric mass consequent upon of change in the ozone content of the Antarctic stratosphere.