Observations made during the 1987 El Niño show that in the upper range of sea surface temperatures, the greenhouse effect increases with surface temperature at a rate which exceeds the rate at which radiation is being emitted from the surface. In response to this 'super greenhouse effect', highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a
thermostat, shielding the ocean from solar radiation. The regulatory effect of these cirrus clouds may limit sea surface temperatures to less than 305 K.

The NASA Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), flying aboard multiple satellites, is providing new insights into the climate system. Monthly averaged clear-sky and cloudy sky flux data derived from the ERBE are used to assess the impact of clouds on the Earth's radiation balance. This impact is examined in terms of three quantities: longwave,
shortwave, and net cloud forcing. Overall, clouds appear to cool the Earth-atmosphere system.

Records of hemispheric average temperatures from land regions for the past 100 years provide crucial input to the debate over global warming.

The study of climate and climate change is hindered by a lack of information on the effect of clouds on the radiation balance of the earth, referred to as the cloud-radiative forcing. Quantitative estimates of the global distributions of cloud-radiative forcing have been obtained from the spaceborne Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) launched in

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30 Oct 2012

I start this blog on climate politics as tropical superstorm Sandy expends its fury on the eastern coast of the US. The satellite imagery shows the movement of the gathering storm as it builds and breaks over land, bringing with it massive destruction and massive upheaval in the wealthiest and most powerful nation of the world.