Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Warming due to the asteroid?

As Guido has pointed out, Vladimir Shaidurov of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the co-winner of Russia's most prestigious scientific "State Prize" from 2004 and the director of the Computer Modelling Institute of his academy, proposed a new explanation of the recent warming at a meeting at the University of Leicester in the U.K.

The biggest stone is nothing else than the Tungus meteorite that landed in Siberia on June 30th, 1908. By changing the concentration of ice crystals in the upper layers of the atmosphere, it damaged the structure of high altitude clouds in the mesosphere that normally reduce the amount of energy that reaches the surface of the Earth.

According to this theory, the nuclear tests in the atmosphere between 1940 and 1980 played the opposite role than the meteorite and contributed to cooling. Shaidurov predicts that the warming will start to decelerate.

The Reference Frame is not able to identify or check the right answer but agrees with Shaidurov's thesis that water causes most of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere - the crucial role played by water was already known 150 years ago to the Irish scientist John Tyndall - which is why water should always be the primary compound found in the atmosphere to be looked at.

More details can be found e.g. in this preprint:

Although Shaidurov could be viewed as a climate skeptic in the sense that he is convinced that carbon dioxide is not primary, he reprints the hockey stick graph in his preprint.


  1. Shaidurov's thesis of high clouds disturbance is a fairy tale that only the naives of the Reference Frame find plausible. Any three year old kid who had spend one minutes looking at the sky knows clouds are not paintings on the celling of the sky. The clouds are not static but move and evolve constantly. Any disturbance in the heaven will quickly fade away in a short time period, and could not have lasted a hundred years.

    The water vapor in the atmosphere is engaged in a very active circling cycle with the main water body of the earth. In average a water molecule just evaporated into the sky may come down as precipitation or condensation in just 18 days.

    Water is indeed one of the most important factor in any sounding climate model. But most Global Warming Climatologists think the contribution of water can be neglected because water does not stay in the atmosphere for long (only 18 days). Such logic is very strange and very silly. It is like arguing that a prison's safety guards are virtually none-exist just because they change guards every half hour instead of every half day. But believe it or not, the consensus of the climate scientists is that they agree with that logic.

    Most people fail to realize that the net effect of green house gas is NOT causing the surface of the earth to warm up. The net effect is actually cooling! It is because the dorminate way the surface get rid of the heat is through direct heat exchange with its immediate surroundings, through water evaporation and air convection, not through radiation. And once the water water and hot air brings the heat to high atmosphere, they need to unload the heat there. And the only way to dissipate heat in high atmosphere, is through RADIATION. It can not radiate the heat into space in an efficient way, unless there is an abundant amount of green house gas. Therefore, if there is no green house gas, then the high atmosphere would be as warm as the ground, and so the ground would be much hotter since it is unable to dissipate heat through convection and evaporation.

    See a more detailed discussion here.

    So, is the ground temperature warming up or cooling down? My belief is the data is so unreliable that we can't draw conclusion either way. But if the warming is true, the cause is is de-forestation caused by human activities. Less forest means less water evaporation, and a less active water cycle and less water vapor in the air. And so less cooling.


  2. Dear Quantoken,

    An interesting idea!

    Best wishes,

  3. Just to be sure: my nickname in slow comments is Lumo, but I am always flattered by those who attempt to immitate me. ;-)

  4. See http://logictutorial.com/occam.html for more discussion, of Vladimir Shaidurov's "Silver Cloud" theory of global warming particularly in the context of Occam's Razor.

    The "clouds" being referenced aren't cumulus, dear quantoken. They are more atomic than colloidal and appear in the mesosphere, 50km plus high. They ain't puffy and they don't float by - they are actually closer to a tint "painted" on the sky quite uniformly, since you mention it. It never hurts to read the actual article (which the above URL at logictutorial.com points to).

    Right or wrong, it's a fascinating theory that highlights very interesting features in the accepted data. Almost as fascinating is the degree of agreement between the political Left and political Right to ignore this story - although every rumor of an asteroid with a gnat's chance of grazing earth is trumpeted by all news sources.

    In my experience, when Right and Left are in agreement on any issue, neither has thought the issue through, and both are almost certainly wrong.