Monday, January 1, 2018

CO2 Science - Blue team: "Pruitt, it's certain as certain gets! It's the physics! Don't you know???

Considering that ridicule is a mainstay of the Republican approach to denying climate science, and since CO2 understanding has come under the most unhinged attacks that are based on misrepresenting what scientists have learned, along with paranoia laced arguments from incredulity, it's important to clearly explain where our understanding comes from.

That's why after a review of climate science historyI believe the first points the Blue Team should make clear is that "Atmospheric CO2 Science" is as certain as certain gets !

To accomplish that, explain where our greenhouse gas understanding comes from.  Namely intensive atmospheric studies made by no nonsense Air Force atmospheric scientists.  

Nature doesn't play tricks like people do, through careful study scientists have revealed one natural secret after another.  Why in the world would atmospheric radiative transfer physics be any different?  On top of all that, many nations studied greenhouse gases independently (we are talking about military secrets back then!) and all those experts came up with the same answers.

In this exercise I've combed through the Air Force Cambridge Research Lab's official history, and pulled out highlights of their atmospheric research.  It's all frustratingly vague, no hyperlinks here, still it is the official USAF record and offers some tantalizing hints to early Air Force Atmospheric Studies.  

Keep in mind this research took a century's worth of increasing fundamental understanding and evolved it into a thorough understanding of our atmosphere, its components and their physical properties and behavior within our atmosphere's real environment.  

I can be certain of this, even if I'm not an expert, because of all the functioning modern marvels that would have been impossible without that understanding being correct!  Not to mention it's crazy to think thousands of scientists, technicians and others couldn't unravel our atmosphere's fundamental physics, consider all the other puzzles solved this past century.

I share the following quotes in the hope some may find them a useful tool for digging up more information about early atmospheric studies.  Incidentally, such atmospheric research wasn't confined to the USA, Australia, USSR and others, were also resolving this fundamental physics in order to get on with achieving mastery over weaponry, which they certainly did.  

Chronology From the Cambridge Field Station to the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory 1945 - 1985
Air Force Geohysics Laboratory, Hanscom Air Force Base
Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

March 1947  -  The Air Material Command established an Atmospheric Laboratory in the Engineering Division of Watson Laboratories in Red Bank, New Jersey.

June 5, 1947  -  First Army Air Forces research balloon launched.

February 1948  -  The Atmospheric Laboratory at Watson Lab was redesigned Lab Geophysical Research Division - new mission plan was written up.

May 26, 1950  -  First successful experiment launched by AFCRL on an Aerobee rocket took measurements of the solar constant.

April 6, 1951  -  The Upper Air Research Observatory was established, located at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico.

April 6, 1951  -  Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) became operational

August 1, 1951  -  ARDC takes jurisdiction of Hanscom Field - Cambridge Research Center becomes landlord of Hanscom Field.

Christian Science Monitor  "Probing Earth's Secrets"-  June 28, 1951
7 article feature on the work of the Geophysics Research Division - by Robert C. Cohen

September 1957  -  The Photochemistry Laboratory created artificial airglow through the use of sodium released at 88,000'

Thermal Radiation Laboratory and the Photochemistry Laboratory

May 27, 1959  -  The original seven-inch sphere was launched on a rocket to measure atmospheric density.

July 1960  -  Project Firefly got underway, using chemical releases to explore upper atmosphere properties.

November 1960   -  AFCRL (Air Force Cambridge Research Lab.) initiated a program of laser research using a ruby laser oscillator.

February 23, 1961  -  ARCRL made the first direct measurements of atmospheric density between 70 and 130 miles altitude.

November 1961  -  Four-year research effort to demonstrate the feasibility of long-range, air-ground VHF ionospheric scatter communications was completed.

March 1962  -  The Arcas-Robin rocketsonde system for high-altitude meteorological soundings went into operations.

Spring-Summer 1962  - Project Fish Bowl  "high altitude nuclear test observations... Aircraft support consisted of four KC-135's, three for studying thermal and optical emissions, and one for measuring atmospheric and ionospheric effects.
Marked first time that a Michelson interferometer was operated successfully on a aircraft.

December 1962  -  A C-130 aircraft was specifically instrumented by the University of California's Visibility Laboratory for AFCRL program in atmospheric visibility.

The Storm Radar Data Processor tested successfully for use in displaying wind intensities within tornadoes at various altitude.

January 1963  -  AFCRL started an Ozone Network to measure vertical ozone distribution over North America.

AFCRL placed in operation a shock tube for measuring the absolute spectral line Intensities of elements forming the sun and stars.

October 31 1963  -  The final launch of Project Firefly took place from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.  In this extensive series of rocket flights begun in the summer of 1960, chemical releases were utilized to study various properties of the atmosphere.  Dense electron clouds formed by chemical releases created an artificial ionosphere for the transmission of VHF radio signals. Chemical trails also served as tracers for measuring winds, temperatures, and densities.

An AFCRL rocket-borne quadrupole mass spectrometer made the first measurements of the ion and neutral composition of the D-region, which open the way to a new understanding of this layer of the atmosphere.

December 1963  -  Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) camera system went into operation on TIROS VIII satellite.  By automatically rectifying and digitizing satellite cloud pictures, the system greatly speeded up their processing.

A C-130 aircraft instrumented for cloud physics research.

January 1964  -  AFCRL placed its newly developed laser spectrograph in operation.

Summer 1964  -  Warm cloud and fog studies (project Cat Feet) started at Otis Air Force Base.

January 1965  -  AFCRL successfully aimed pulsed laser beam to a reflective satellite (LARGO, S-66) and then captured the beam's reflection on a photographic plate, marking the debut of satellite laser geodesy.

January 1965  -  Series of ballon flights began which measured moisture concentrations in the stratosphere.

Summer 1965  -  A new 6.6 meter ultraviolet vacuum spectrograph was installed at AFCRL for studies of the molecular structure of atmospheric gases.

November 1965  -  ARCRL assumed responsibility for the operation of NASA's Wallops Island facility.  The radars were used for observations of atmospheric conditions associated with clear air turbulence.

March 30 , 1965  -  The OVI-5 satellite launched on this date measured radiation across the spectrum from the ultraviolet to the far infrared (0.2 -30 microns).

Winter 1966  -  AFCRL's U-2 aircraft used for high-altitude meteorological observations since the late 1950's was withdrawn for another mission.

May, 1967  -   The reinstrumentation of on of AFCRL's KC-135's as a fully-equipped flying infrared laboratory was completed

July 27, 1967  -  The Air Force satellite OVI-86 was launched.  It carried an AFCRL interferometer with a thermoelectrically cooled detector to permit more sensitive infrared measurements.

March, 1968  -  reorganization - Upper Atmosphere Physics Laboratory is renamed the Aeronomy Laboratory

August 1968  -  Rocket-borne experiments were launched from Brazil to measure the latitude variation in meteor flux.  The program used new techniques to overcome background contamination.

November 1968  -  A compilation of a complete set of atmospheric absorption line parameters was begun at AFCRL.

1969  -  First applications of the Fourier Fast Transform Techniques to Michelson interferometric spectroscopy, reducing computer time by two orders of magnitude.

Summer 1970  -  AFCRL closed its Haven Acres site for measurements of small-scale meteorological phenomena - new site opened at Donaldson, Minnesota, in 1971.

October 1970  -  A new balloon-borne gas laser measured the size distribution of aerosols at high altitude.

January 31, 1971  -  AFCRL's Optical/Infrared Flying Laboratory made radiometric and spectral measurements of the plume of the Apollo 14 rocket booster during launch (repeated with Apollo 15)

December, 1971  -  A chemical decoy system to protect aircraft from heat-seeking missiles was flight-tested.

An initial version of the optical/infrared (OPTIR) computer code was developed.  It was designed to estimate the effects of nuclear detonations on optical/infrared detections systems.

1971  -  The report, "Earth Sciences Applied to Military Use of Terrain" was published... among topics discussed: Multi-spectral photography and thermal infrared imaging procedures.

October 16, 1972  -  The Satellite Meteorology Branch received the first pictures from the NOAA-2 satellite.  The combination of infrared and visual images transmitted permitted significant advance in satellite assessment of cloud cove.

Summer, 1973  -  Joint AFCRL/English experiments conducted to study turbulent transport of momentum and heat throughout the atmospheric boundary layer.

December, 1973  -  AFCRL developed a cloud-free, light-of-sight model to assist the development of weapons systems using optical, infrared, and laser sensors

January, 1974  -  The Optical Physics Division published a report on atmospheric transmittance for carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and deuterium fluoride laser systems.

July, 1974  -  Stratospheric Environment Project launched.  Its goal was to provide data needed by the Air Force in order to write environmental impact statements for the operations of the B-1 and F-15 aircraft.  { If nothing else it shows that all layers of the atmosphere were thoroughly studied.  This data is real, pretending there's some profound flaws in their understanding is nothing less than a bias driven disconnect from physical reality and human abilities.}

September 1974  -  Three rocket probes from the Woomera Range in Australia extended the measurements of the infrared sky background (the HI-STAR Program) to the Southern Hemisphere.

November 1974  -  The Air Force announced Realignment and Reduction Actions.  As part of these Action, the Air Force directed that the geophysics research then being conducted at the Cambridge Research Laboratories (AFCRL) be transferred to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

November, 1975 - The NASA Atmospheric Explorer (AE-E) satellite was launched.  It carried an AFCRL-designed spectrometer composed of 24 individual collimating grating monochrometers.  

... and the list goes on.  I'll end this little exercise in 1975, at page 65 of 90, since the really interesting fundamental understanding happened during this earlier period - everything else has been built upon them accurately nailing down that fundamental understanding.  
Above quotes taken from:
From the Cambridge Field Station to the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory 
Chronology, 1945 - 1985
Air Force Geohysics Laboratory, Hanscom Air Force Base
Bedford, Massachusetts, USA


NIST 'Combs' the Atmosphere to Measure Greenhouse Gases
From NIST Tech Beat: October 29, 2014 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
MODTRAN is an atmospheric radiative transfer model developed by Spectral Sciences Inc. and the US Air Force Research Laboratory.  It has been extensively validated and serves as a standard atmospheric band model for the remote sensing community.

This page looks like a fun tool, for those who have the understanding.
And those of us who don't, aren't in any position to second guess the experts, cut it out already.

(previously published February 21, 2016 at WUWTW)

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