https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=245558 The attached table shows polar satellite (MSU) atmospheric temperature patterns posted on UAH covering 29.5 years. Note the LT contrast between the north polar and south polar regions, a 1.3 oC rise vs. a 0.2 oC loss. While the northern third 0.8 oC rise vs. southern third 0.2 oC rise is less striking it involves much more of the planet’s surface. MT contrasts are at least as dramatic. The Earth’s surface is 71% water. Land distribution is asymmetric with 2/3 in the northern hemisphere. People are even more unequally distributed with 2/3 living on the northern third of the planet. People generate heat in their activities, but estimated total heat generation is less than 1/7 that needed to account for the temperature rise seen. One must rely on radiation imbalance to explain this rise. Kiehl & Trenberth used 0.31 albedo to estimate solar net radiation. A fall of 0.0038 in albedo is enough to raise Earth’s temperature by 0.393 oC. If this fall is mainly in the top third of the planet, it generates a regional temperature rise. Part of such an albedo fall is mediated by the observed loss of snow, albedo, 0.8, in the Arctic. A few weeks ago, I visited a 36 year old Santa Barbara County (California) winery. Our guide was a native of the area and commented about how evening temperatures have been falling in the last few years as Pacific air moves in. The addition of a number of local wineries has clearly lowered the albedo and changed the weather. World population has grown 53% in the last 29 years (http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/worldpop.html). Increased human food and beverage cropping can easily be indicted for the rest of the falling albedo. How do we decide whether lower albedo is a major culprit or at least a serious player in climate change? We can obtain data from our polar orbiting satellites and test the proposition directly. Lower albedo means less sunlight reflection, easily detected by visible light reflection measurements from satellites. Changes in satellite infrared spectra of Earth-based radiation quantify changes in the outgoing part of the balance. The essential need is to ask and answer the balance question. We should expand the Kiehl & Trenberth model to one that takes regional surface temperature and atmospheric conditions into account. Planetary asymmetries must be used in modeling radiation balance. One look at maps of the polar areas makes this point. The north and south poles differ markedly in many ways. They both receive direct sunlight above 66.5 degrees latitude for only six months. Antarctic albedo exceeds 0.8 all year. Arctic albedo is high mostly when there is no sunlight. Antarctic mountains and snow depth make it much colder and hence less radiative than the arctic region. Models need to take such factors into account. The most difficult variable to model is cloud effect. Clouds raise albedo during the day and block Earth radiation into space both day and night. I will add two other possible bases to this thread in the next few days.