Hydroclimatology and Solar Explorations


A better way to model hydroclimate?

Greenland seems special in the above two satellite-anchored images. At left, for an example month of 1979, it stands out because a wall of almost continuously strong vertical wind jets surrounds its coast [1]. At right, Greenland perches like a lighthouse, above a fog of CO2 which appears to un-controversially emerge from the ocean each May [2].

Until global climate models including the Community Climate Model, can accurately simulate the vitality of geostrophic representations featured in [3] and the above examples, I think there is a better way to model hydroclimate. The left featured image and below adapted from another post introducing a hydrospheric manifold term, show that even vintage hydrologic multistate multiphase calcs [4] can emulate the latent heat modulated convection of the atmosphere under climatic variations. Their approach to fracture growth and healing based on mass and energy changing states of fluids seems plausible to apply from some perspectives.

Again the building blocks appear to have the long term potential to match the vitality of our our monthly atmospheric convection. When this capacity grows, the seasonal April wind surge across the Northern Hemisphere will be recognized more widely, to induce a bloom of CO2 from ocean upwelling that circulates around the planet. The satellite data featured at the top already appear to support that as well. And so does this from a previous post, more or less. It at least shows high velocity dark patches around the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica and I am eager to develop long term representations to compare to other upwelling and cooling southern hemisphere topics that I’ve covered in the recent past:

Three different Aprils for winds and divergence of latent energy. Randomly chosen years, yet each is an average for that year’s April.

I can venture these dark patches are Rossby waves, uniquely fingerprinted. I’d be interested to learn of any available climate models which have simulated seasonal wind and energy and upwelling patterns with comparative fidelity. I don’t think any such models exist, but I’m always interested to learn if one does. After all, if you cannot capture winds right, then not only will your climate simulations be entirely deficient, you also will never be able to adequately account for our atmospheric CO2 mass balance (within the atmosphere and via carbon cycle sources and sinks). And if you cannot simulate those accurately, you have no basis in using a global fossil fuel emissions driven climate model for prognostic or any other purposes.

So as always, researchers are supposed to be interested in better data and better models. In most fields of science and engineering, that is the case. In the fields of climate change and virus circulation (with the exception of [3] it seems), not so much. A worthy climate model advancement might be to work from this information to invert the coverage for the ocean’s geostrophic layer below. This can be argued simply because as noted often here, strong winds across bodies of water induce upwelling along the margins (coasts). The winds are strongest in the Northern Hemisphere over spring months such as April. Then, again as the overturning and churning settle down in May, the upwelled dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) degasses. Accordingly the winds of our surface can be considered as a seasonally driving boundary of the ocean. That’s not controversial or original for me to say it, but it is clear that the climate change models we commonly hear of don’t capture this with any fidelity to observations

Ocean upwelling is often noted along coasts source royalty free
just a schematic of upwelling around coasts in red, provenance unknown

Instrumentally based ocean pH depth maps of these areas would without question help to show patterns of upwelling and downwelling that align with the inverted convection in which the base is at the top (because of winds). Here’s an older example of the depth profile for several parameters including pH as the “dark horse”. These signatures vary considerably between stable, upwelling, and downwelling areas, but so far as this data appears to show, the instrumental pH has a nice alignment with the dissolved oxygen. I have written about that in a post about dissolved inorganic carbon, and of course many other references, including [5] are available for further exploration of this broad topic.

The NOAA World Ocean Database collection of pH values that were measured with glass electrode meters is the dark horse but still runs neck and neck with the the standardized dissolved oxygen (stdz O) parameter with depth.

Any coupled climate and ocean model would be expected to at least capture the condition of dissolved oxygen. And that pattern with depth can point to upwelling and/or downwelling, just as instrumentally measured ocean pH, or even simply pelagic temperature can.

Recall that the featured image at the top represents the satellite integrated observation of seasonally enriched (May) atmospheric CO2, due to upwelling and related exsolution of dissolved CO2 and other gases. The annual May plume appears to be real. Accordingly again, current models might improve if they focused on capturing this seasonal and distinctive pattern of a May CO2 bloom with great fidelity. These are clearly related to the associated winds. The models would hopefully get this connection down with some confidence if possible.

Model Challenge: If any global circulation model (GCM) can simulate this actual seasonal pattern of carbon dioxide emergence and dissipation, that would be important to share. It’s equally important to share the models which cannot. I’m going to speculate that currently, none can achieve this skill.

CAUTION repeated viewings will reinforce your incipient notion that almost all of the CO2 in our atmosphere comes from wind-driven ocean upwelling.

It would be awesome if readers could simply download the supporting reference to this animation, which is [2] below. Unfortunately, the taxpayer funded study is paywalled.

It doesn’t make sense, because NASA, the sponsor of the work, posts many items, even old items with vague disclaimers, that claim the opposite of what [2] signifies. For some reason, this seasonal satellite CO2 work hasn’t been publicized by its NASA host or any media or lawmaker or investment-climate-czar ever. Accordingly, I am making my copy of this JPL publication available for FREE to any who request. You don’t even have to contribute to the tip jar, but I might move faster in that case. 😀 If you can’t bring yourself to reach out here, consider utilizing your local library or emailing NASA directly.


[1] Image developed by Wallace, extracting surface vertical winds from

[2] Pagano, T.S., Olsen, E.T., Chaine, M.T., Ruzmaikin, A., Nguyen, H., and Jiang, X. 2011. Monthly Representations of Mid-Tropospheric Carbon Dioxide from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder. Proceedings Volume 8158, Imaging Spectrometry XVI; 81580C (2011)
Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2011, San Diego, California, United States


[4] A. Chaudhuri, H. Rajaram, H. Viswanathan, G. Zyvoloski, and P. Stauffer 2009 Buoyant convection resulting from dissolution and permeability growth in vertical limestone fractures GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L03401, doi:10.1029/2008GL036533, 2009

[5] Rykaczewski, R. and Checkley Jr., D.M. 2008 Influence of ocean winds on the pelagic ecosystem in upwelling regions PNAS 105 5 1965-1970

image in body of post: Background: Wallace post on hydrospheric manifold. Insert: from [2]

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