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More trouble in the tropical troposphere

25 May 2022 | Science Notes

If you’ve seen our video Big trouble in the Tropical Troposphere (and if you haven’t, a very stimulating 20 minutes awaits you) you will know that ground zero of global warming isn’t on the ground at all, it’s about 15 km above the equator in the troposphere over the tropics. This is where every climate model ever run says the warming from greenhouse gases should be strongest and fastest. Thankfully there is data covering that region from both satellites and weather balloons although we don’t expect government agencies to make any effort to let you see what it shows because it doesn’t match what models predict. And now, h/t No Tricks Zone, we have learned of yet another data base developed using an even larger library of weather balloon records that shows temperatures up there today are about where they were in the late 1980s. Dang.

The new data set gets the quaint title RHARM, which stands for Radiosounding HARMonization, and it might be the cause of more than a little RHARM to the climate models that insist that part of the atmosphere should be heating up at accelerating rates. Instead the middle layer of the tropical troposphere (at 300 millibars pressure, which correlates with about 9 km up) looks like this:

This chart shows temperatures right in the centre of the expected warming hotspot. The black and blue lines are older data sets for comparison with the new orange RHARM line. They’re all pretty close and they all say there’s hardly any warming going on. A few years ago when John Christy and Ross McKitrick checked the data against the models they showed that in the tropical 300 mb layer every single climate model over-predicted warming. And interestingly in the new paper the graph for the Northern Hemisphere also shows hardly any warming since the late 1990s:

The temperatures rose prior to 2000 then flattened out just as CO2 emissions began accelerating. That’s 20 years with almost no warming in the place the models say it should be going gangbusters. Small wonder a few climate scientists are starting to warn their colleagues that they have to start thinning out the model pack and getting rid of the ones that run too hot. Which, unfortunately, is all of them. So we’re not holding our breath.

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