Questions posed and Answers offered on an other friendly blog instigated some thinking & doing over here. Thanks to straight-forward shell code with clear directions over there (copyleft), anyone can start working with the same (official-type) data & go from there. Of note to users of MS-Windows interested in replicating along – invest a few minutes getting appropriate applications installed by following the directions here. The playing field will seldom be level, and they (climate.biz types) do tend to have the better gear, but we will use their same data, with message activated on the concourse of our fine minds.
My plan here is to stay within rational bounds, clearly in the context of real materials under real conditions as a better approach to physics, as much as possible. Looking at each of the disciplines – chemo – atmo – electro – hydro – magneto – thermo – geo – and then some, using whatever pigments we need to paint this elephant at least somewhat realistically. As geothermal was presented for study, geo first, thermal second, and then go from there, wherever the evidence leads.
One of the problems inherent to with working average sizes is that they fit precisely no-one. How big is an average mountain? How deep is an average lake? How high is the average cloud? Oh, wait, clouds are what in this model – Albedo? As if E = ‘sun light’, as all there is to it; as if steady-state system present; as if assumptions about the m parts of this puzzle are suitably approximate.
Quote from over there:
“The southern hemisphere has a higher absorption fraction, higher net insolation, more water and lower elevation. It has every advantage to be hotter than the northern hemisphere and yet it is not, it is 15.6322 °C (North) – 14.3295 °C (South) = 1.3 °C cooler. How come?
Who can solve this mystery?”
Initial response was “A simplistic answer = combination of greater heat capacity and effects from evaporation”, followed by some factoids and possible details for consideration. Well, comments came in for a couple of days and from many directions, of which some will be addressed later on in this article. Meanwhile, busy over here with drilling down into the data, forming comparisons, charting results, checking findings against reputable and publicly available resources – an update was posted over there, opening up another whole bunch of possiblilities to play on, soon – but for here.now, desimplistification is under way. Starting over again from 0,0 let the fun and games begin:
Next, slice the globe into several segments. Choosing 15° segments by Latitude yields 12 parts with 6 each north and south of the equator. Plotting output as before, pairing segments of norths with souths using same colour for both, pops this out:
Of interest to note: variety of crossover points – of what significance may they be?
Moving on, here are the results of preliminary processing, same method as before, showing averages of elevation, near surface air temperature, proportion of water and land surface.
Below are side by each comparison of related segments, (6’s are polar regions, 1’s equatorial, by example). It was a real surprise to see the northern-most segment is declared as water – since ? ~60% is ice-covered year round while the southern-most is declared as land – since it is ~100% ice covered year round. One might ask – what do ‘albedo’ and ‘absorption factor’ refer to in all this? Later for that but for now, looking at similarities and differences among the pairs:
How’s that for some delicious dichotomies? Expressed in another way:
OK now, so what does all this slicing it up tell us? Antartica is way bigger than commonly thought to be, for one thing. Mainly though, it suggests that there’s more going on here than simply sun, sand, and surf. It appears water does moderate air temperatures and that elevation tends to steepen the gradient. It also appears that earth is bottom heavy and quite wet overall.
There’s something about working in square meters, then imposing that over volume, in real materials – working with a plane given magical properties of ‘infinite’ extents. As if. Those technical maths are great fun – calculus , statistics, all of it, but often are flat earth arithmetic in yet a different mode. Comparisons made so far were of sections as roughly equidistant by Latitude from the Equator, comparing so far northerly to so far southerly, and then around and to meet.
Weather systems do that too, east to west, west to east. Ocean curents though, hot and cold ones, run along northward and southward – water often circulates orthogonal to weather systems. For having things make sense, comparing apples to oranges can be useful but fish to bicycles, not so much. Apples to apples to flats & crates of apples is the next part. As observed, apples can often be found to follow a rather spherical shape, in nature. Many other shapes are possible, oblate to ellipsoid to oval, but spherical will have to do for this moment. Moving the flat circle (2d model) to spherical globe ( 3d model), will help to show the parts differently and so the whole too, differently.
Comparison by equality of size rather than by equality of distance. Circle magic now: M=2πRh, where 2r=R; describes M, Area of Segment. Now, we have surface Area by length and width. Incorporating elevation data for the height component gives Volume to work with.
When talking ‘per square metres’, how many metres are being talked? This Globe: spins, rotates, travels, travels with/shares orbital path with close companion, and interacts with most every other body in the solar system, (considered to be, somehow, outside the earth system). Outside the earth system – think on that for a minute or three – are we really aside from the universe here? How is solitarily or isolated in any way realistic?. As if a ‘wall of infinitesmal thickness’ present.
The water componenet lacks depth values (Volume) for now, but this shows more water south than north and more land north than south – except the polar regions, of which the south pole shows a huge volume difference. Two dichotomies by two materals, for that double-dichotomy goodness. Can it be that antartica acts as like a counter-weight on a shaft does?
Shown a different way:
Comparing volumes – land : water – is necessary for determining specific and relative heat capacities, qualities and quantities. Will be adding that eventually soon – for absorption factor, albedo, and insolation values to be better described, with definitions challenged or amended as appropriate. Hopefully, anyone else doing this exercise will confirm that the arithmetics do check out, as they look to me to be correct to within a few percentages, so far.
More to come soon: forgive & remember, paxrat.
quiet is relative