Where Is the Top Of The Atmosphere (TOA)?

Watts Up With That?

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

On WUWT, Bob Tisdale recently examined the disparity of results between IPCC models in No Consensus: Earth’s Top of Atmosphere Energy Imbalance in CMIP5-Archived (IPCC AR5) Climate Models”and wrote that

“There are astonishing differences in the modeled estimates of the past, present and future imbalances and the three components that make up the top of the atmosphere (TOA) energy budget.”

There were several earlier studies, but the supposed accuracy improved after satellite data became available. Rossow and Zhang did a study similar to Tisdale in a 1995 article titled, “Calculation of surface and top of atmosphere radiative fluxes from physical quantities based on ISCCP Data sets 2. Validation and first results.”

Our validation studies suggest that the specification of cloud effects is no longer the dominant uncertainty in reconstructing the radiative fluxes at the top of atmosphere and at the surface. Rather cloud property…

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