Wednesday, March 17, 2010

All the News?

I read my dead-tree Science magazine later than the news comes out, so I only became aware of this article during the last few days. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why there hasn't been a news storm about it.

The link I gave gives only a tidbit, the rest behind a subscription wall. There's a bit more explanation here.

The article is the most comprehensive discussion so far on the role of water in the stratosphere. The take-home is that the concentration of water in the stratosphere has decreased significantly during the last decade, which has kept things cooler than they might otherwise be.

My next question is how the water gets into and out of the stratosphere, which the paper is a bit vague about. That's fine; it's not the topic of the paper, and I'm sure the question has occurred to the authors of the paper and others. The source seems to be in the tropics, but I'd like to know more details, which I suspect aren't known.

This is a really, really important finding, helpful in understanding the processes of climate change. So I'm wondering why there has been so little news coverage on it. I guess it's because it 1) doesn't fit with any of the denier arguments and 2) nobody has picked a fight about it.

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