“Even doubling or tripling the amount of CO2′ will have ‘little impact’ on temps”

https://i0.wp.com/www.health-safety.co.za/images/signs/ww15big.gif

From New Zealand Climate Science

Professor Geoffrey G Duffy
DEng, PhD, BSc, ASTC Dip., FRS NZ, FIChemE, CEng

Dr. Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University  of Auckland, NZ. Duffy received the New Zealand Science and Technology Silver Medal, in 2003 from The Royal Society of New Zealand.  And has published 218 journal, peer-reviewed papers and conference papers including 10 patents and 62 technical reports.

Duffy’s full bio is here: http://www.ecm.auckland.ac.nz/staff/ggd

Climate is always changing, and always will.  There are seasons.  There are day-night (diurnal) cycles.  At any one location, heat energy from the sun varies during the day.   Energy from the sun is affected by local conditions and clouds.   Heat absorption depends on whether it impacts water or land … and even then, the type of land (desert, forest, snow covered land), or the layout of the land (continental masses, or islands surrounded by seas).  In some parts of the world temperatures are climbing on average, and in some areas they are dropping.  Warming is not occurring everywhere at once and hence ‘global warming’ is a misnomer.

So what are the key players in ‘Climate Change’?  The major driver is the sun.  Warming depends on the sun.  Cooling is due to the lack of sun’s energy.  Radiant energy enters the earth’s atmosphere.  Air (on a dry basis) consists mainly of nitrogen 78.08% and oxygen 20.94%.  Of the 0.98% remaining, 95% of that (ie 0.934%), or almost all is the inert gas argon.  Carbon dioxide CO2 is a trace.  It is less than 400ppm (parts per million) or 0.04% of all the atmosphere (on a dry basis).  Surprisingly, less than a fifth of that is man-made CO2 (0.008% of the total), and that is only since the beginning of the industrial era and the rapid increase in world population.

The atmosphere however is not dry!  The next major constituent of air apart from oxygen and nitrogen is water, as a vapour and a condensed liquid. The atmosphere is comprised of about 1-3% water vapour [At 20°C and 100% humidity there is 0.015kg water/kg air or 1.5%: at 50% Humidity, 0.008kg water/kg air or 0.8%: and in warmer climate at say 30°C, 100% humidity, 0.028kg water/kg air or 2.8%].  Water vapour condenses to form clouds and it is by far the most abundant and significant of the greenhouse gases.  Water accounts for about 95% of the greenhouse effect.  The main atmospheric ‘intermediary’ between the sun and earth is water, and thus it dictates the behaviour of the earth’s climate. Without water vapour in particular and other greenhouse gases in the air in general, the surface air temperatures worldwide would be well below freezing.  The sun clearly must be a much bigger influence on global temperatures than any of the greenhouse gases, even water and CO2.  Carbon dioxide is about 1/60 of water in air!!   It clearly is not the major player even though it is wise to minimise man-made emissions like particulate emissions, and CO2 and other gases where practically possible.

Variable and unstable weather conditions are caused by local as well as large-scale differences in conditions (wind, rain, evaporation, topography etc).  They naturally induce either warming or cooling locally, regionally, or worldwide.  We all have experienced how on a cloudy/sunny day that clouds strongly affect our sensations of both heat and light (infrared energy and visible light).  Clouds do several things!   The atmosphere may be heated by clouds by emitting latent heat of condensation as water vapour condenses.  But clouds can both heat the atmosphere by reducing the amount of radiation transmitted, or cool the atmosphere by reflecting radiation.  So of all the affects that can influence heating and cooling in the atmosphere and on earth, clearly water is the main greenhouse ‘gas’.  Other greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide CO2, methane CH4, oxides of nitrogen etc) are 1/60 to 1/30 smaller in both quantity and effect.  So with all ‘greenhouse gases’ including water, human activity accounts for only minute amounts, just 0.28% of the total greenhouse gases.  If we exclude the key one, water, then human activity would only account for about 5.53% of the total greenhouse effect.  This is minute in the total picture whatever way we look at it.

Unfortunately a lot of estimates and predictions are strongly based on theoretical computer models. Many now even trust models and their ‘theoretical results’ more than actual measurements and facts from reality. Computer analysis requires that the earth be ‘cut’ into small, separate areas (actually volumes), each being analysed for heat input/outputs and other gas/vapour fluxes.  Even so the computational analysis domain size (basic computer grid elements) is huge, 150km x 150km by 1km high, with the current computer power.  It is so large that the effects of even the very large clouds are not individually included; and that includes clouds in our visual horizon.  The spatial resolution is therefore very poor.  Supercomputers cannot give us the accuracy we need.   Modellers therefore use parameters: ‘one factor fits’ all, for each of the domains (a kind of a ‘fudge factor’).  This is sad, as water as vapour in clouds is 30 to 60 times more significant than other minute amounts of other greenhouse gases.  Clearly climate simulations and thus predictions can be in serious error unless the actual cloud effects are well defined in the models.  It is not only the number and spacing of the clouds in that 150 square kilometre area, but also cloud height effects, and cloud structure.  These factors are not accounted for at all.  Typhoons are still not represented in most models.  Many tropical storms and local intense rain downfalls say in a 50km radius cannot be ‘seen’ by the models. Volcanic eruptions and large forest fires are extremely difficult to model. These emit enormous tonnages of small particulate matter that have immense shielding effects and interactions in the atmosphere. The slow diffusion of the smoke on windless days, and the more rapid turbulent dissipation on windy days are both very difficult to model or predict.   We are simply ‘not there yet’ in the simplest events.

The inter-zonal effects of such larger-scale movements like the Gulf stream, or the El Nino–El Nina patterns, are not really greatly understood, and virtually impossible to model.  The ‘noise’ (random fluctuations) in the results from the computer models is often greater than the magnitude of the computer readout results themselves!  It is really surprising why model computer-forecasts are trusted for periods of say 30 – 50 or so years, yet weather forecasts are often very inaccurate even over a 2 or 3 week period.  A good model should be able to ‘predict even the recent past’.  The fact that these models cannot, clearly shows that we should shift our thinking and trust away from computer models to longer-term analysis of actual data, and to understanding the real physical mechanisms and processes (the ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ factors).  Someone has said; “if tomorrow’s weather is inaccurately modelled and predicted, how can we pretend to predict long-term climate changes?”

Linearising short-term, random fluctuations in weather changes and temperature changes is scientifically untenable (weather and climate changes should be studied over very long periods if reliable trends are to be discerned).  Much credence is given to the ‘hockey-stick effect’ of temperature data (upward swing in mean temperature over just the last decade or so) proposed and adopted by the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).  Nations have grabbed this and are using this to base their policies for actions on global warming effects, and the implementation of controls on carbon-based emissions by carbon taxing.  The very computer programme that gave IPPC those results was recently rigorously tested by inputing random numbers, and the computer-generated readout gave the same upward data trend with this meaningless input.  This makes a mockery out the IPPC report and subsequent actions.  Of course IPPC cannot admit to that now, as their report has been regarded as ‘gospel’ by many nations.  In stunning direct contrast, actual data (not idealistic models) from remote sensors in satellites have continuously measured the world’s temperature and have shown that the trend in the warming period ended in 2001.  Actual satellite measurements show that the temperature has dropped about 0.60°C in the past year, when compared to the mean recorded 1980 temperature.  Observations from the Hadley Centre show that global temperature has changed by less than 0.050°C over the past decade!  Also 1998 was distinctly warmer than 2006 because of the El Nino event.  Why can’t we believe actual accurate data?

A man-made ‘greenhouse’ does not create new heat.   A man-made ‘greenhouse’ can only increase the residence time or hold-up time of heat just like a blanket.  Likewise in the atmosphere, the ‘greenhouse effect’ acts as a mechanism to smooth out fluctuations or rises and falls in temperature (that is advantageous).  It is a dampener!  It cannot be a dominant factor for global temperature change.  It is the sun that gives the heat energy and drives temperature change.  Simply, if the sun’s energy decreases, then the ‘global’ temperature will fall; with or without any greenhouse effect (and vice-versa).

But we must also consider the location of the effects.  The surface of Earth is 70 % water.  Water has a far greater heat carrying capacity than land; or even the atmosphere itself.  Most of the incoming heat from the sun is absorbed by the seas and lakes (simply because they occupy 70% of the world’s surface area).  When we compare that with land masses, a lower proportion of heat is reflected from watery zones to participate in the greenhouse effect.  The greenhouse effect is mainly a phenomenon of the land surface and the atmosphere because land masses lose most of the heat they receive during the day by the action of overnight radiation.  To multiply that effect, the atmosphere loses heat rapidly out into space by rainfall, convection and radiation, despite the greenhouse effect.  So the large surface area of water over the world and the heat storage of water, are far more significant than any atmospheric greenhouse effect.   The oceans really control the transport of water vapour and latent heat changes into the atmosphere (latent heat is heat needed to convert water-to-vapour, or conversely is given up when vapour goes to water), and this is far more significant than sensible heat changes alone (non changes in the state of water).

The seas take a long time to warm up or cool down when compared to land.  This means the storage of total heat by the oceans is immense.   As mentioned, heat energy reaching the land by day is soon radiated back out into space at night.  But there are also zonal differences!  The sun’s energy at the equator is consistent all year round, and in this region the larger proportion of surface area happens to be the ocean water.  The dominant heat loss is primarily at the poles with each pole alternating as the main loser of heat.  As a result there are severe cyclical variations in temperature with the seas and ice caps having the dominant effects in energy changes and hence temperature effects. If the erroneously-called, ‘global warming’ was occurring now we should see it now.  Oceans would be expanding and rising; in fact over the past two years, the global sea level has decreased not increased.  Satellites orbiting the planet every 10 days have measured the global sea level to an accuracy of 3-4 millimeters (2/10 inch inches) [see sealevel.colorado.edu].  Many glaciers are receding but some are increasing.  Glacial shelves at the poles melt and reform every year because there are periodic seasonal changes; these alone show dramatically just what changes can occur from summer-to-winter-to-summer again and again.  Dramatic changes?  Yes; but they are perfectly normal and to be expected.

It is also important to highlight that CO2 is not a pollutant.  It is vital for plant, tree, and food-crop growth.  The basic principle of equilibria shows that when A and B make C and D, then C and D will react to form more A and B.  Hence, as CO2 is produced, it will ‘react’ to produce more oxygen and cellulosic carbon through the well-known chlorophyllic process. Tree, plant, and food-crop production goes up markedly.  With low amounts of CO2 in the air we would have severe food crop deficiencies.  This process occurs with plankton too.  But over and above this chemical-biochemical reaction is the simple physical equilibrium process of solubility.  As the seas cool, more CO2 dissolves in the water, and CO2 in the air reduces (and vice-versa).

Other extremely important insights can be gleaned from the ice-core record.  If CO2 was the main contributor to climate change, then history would reveal that the levels of CO2 would precede the mean temperature rise around the globe.  In fact it is the opposite!  Increases in CO2 have always lagged behind temperature rises and the lag involved is estimated to be 400 to 800 years. The core samples show that there has never been a period when CO2 increases have come before a global temperature increase.  Any recent apparent temperature upward trend cannot be linked to CO2 increases.  There is no physical evidence to support that.  In fact there is the high probability that the more likely explanation of an overall warming trend is that we follow the ‘recent’ Little Ice Age, 400-600 years ago. There was also a Mediaeval Warm Period (MWP) that preceded that too!

The heat from the sun varies over a number of solar cycles which can last from about 9.5 years to about 13.6 years (the main one is the cycle of 11 years).  The earth also has an irregular orbit around the sun. These and other effects like the gravitational effects of the planets of the solar system, combine to affect the sun’s magnetic field. Solar fares and sunspots affect the amount of heat generated from the sun.  In fact, there is an excellent correspondence in general warming on earth with increased sun spot activity.  The graphical correlation of sun-spot activity and the earth’s mean temperature changes is quite amazing.   It appears that the activity of the dominant ‘heat supplier’ (the sun) has a far greater affect on weather (and therefore climate change) than any traces of atmospheric gases.

It is also interesting to note that NASA’s Aqua satellite system has shown that the earth has been cooling since 1998.   This corresponds with measurements from the Argos sub-ocean probes that the ocean is cooling.  This is in stark contrast with the proposals from many ‘climate alarmists’.  The solar effect is huge and overwhelming and there must be time delays in absorbance and build up in energy received by earth and ocean masses.  But the warmer the Earth gets, the faster it radiates heat out into space. This is a self-correcting, self-healing process.

The sun directly drives the El Nino–El Nina current motions that drive temperature changes world-wide.   The sun sets up evaporative cycles, drives larger air and water currents or cycles, and changes weather patterns and therefore climate change.  The varying degrees of lag and out-of-phase changes cause periodic oceanic oscillations.  The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO cycle) turns from warming to cooling depending on the net warming or cooling effect of the sun. This occurs quite rapidly.  From about 1975 to 2000 there was a strong El Nino warming period (a positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).  Now there is a La Nina period, and this has a cooling or decrease in warming (negative PDO).  In essence the ENSO and PDO switching is caused directly by the sun. Also there are similar periodic oscillations in other oceans (Atlantic and the Arctic oceans).

The panic to do something about climate change has led to some unrealistic and unsustainable actions.  For example, Bio-fuels from grain will greatly increase food prices and roughly 30 million people are expected to be severely deprived.  The USA will use up to 30% of the annual corn crop for alcohol production for vehicles alone.  Ethanol production requires energy too to make it economically.  The actual cost/liter is much the same as other liquid fuels, but the liters/kilometer consumed by vehicles is much higher than petrol, and well-meaning motorists will have to use far more ethanol.  Just one tank full of ethanol for an SUV is obtained from enough corn to feed one African for a year. Worldwide the ethanol plant subsidies in 2008 will total $15 billion.  A 2008 study on bio-fuels has shown that the CO2 emissions will actually double if carbon-rich forests are cut down.

Well, what about all the latest pictures, videos and TV programmes on climate change?   Yes, there is a lot happening!  Weather patterns are changing in many parts of the world and some catastrophic events seem to point to the earth warming.  Even over our lifetime we have observed many weather pattern changes where we live.  But what we observe (the ‘effect’) in a relatively small time-span cannot honestly be connected directly to any supposed ‘cause’ without investigating all the mechanisms that cause change.  It is so easy to grab onto the notion that the increase in fossil-fuel burning and subsequent growth in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is directly the major cause.  Even from season to season we see snow and ice-covered mountains thaw, and massive areas of the Antarctic ice shelf melt, but in just 6 or so months they are restored.  We are not alarmed at these annual changes!  So why can’t we see that climate changes occurring all over the world now (not as big as these dramatic annual changes) are simply similar but on a larger time-scale.  We have the ice-core and sea-bed core evidence at least to show us that this has happened in recent centuries.  These are in harmony as to changes in CO2 with time and variations in temperature over time.  There is no indication that one causes the other!   History also tells us that there have been significant cooling periods over the last 1,000 years.

Climate and local weather is forever changing.  Sure we must minimise pollution of our air and water systems with obnoxious chemical and particulates, and not treat them as ‘sewers’.  But even doubling or trebling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.

CARBON DIOXIDE CO2
BEST ESTIMATES OF THE LOCATION of CO2  as carbon (C)

Giga tonnes Gt (BILLION tonnes)
Atmosphere                                                   750 Gt
Oceans – surface                                       1,000 Gt
Oceans –  intermediate / deep                  38,000 Gt
Vegetation (soil, detritus)                             2,200 Gt
41,950 Gt

Annual EXCHANGE of CO2

Ocean surface – Atmosphere                              90 Gt
Vegetation – atmosphere                                     60 Gt
Between Marine biota and Ocean Surface          50 Gt
Oceans( surface-to-deep)                                  100 Gt
Human emissions* (coal, oil, nat. gas)        6 Gt  <2% 306 Gt

Advertisements

204 thoughts on ““Even doubling or tripling the amount of CO2′ will have ‘little impact’ on temps”

  1. “Carbon dioxide CO2 is a trace. It is less than 400ppm (parts per million) or 0.04% of all the atmosphere (on a dry basis). Surprisingly, less than a fifth of that is man-made CO2 (0.008% of the total), and that is only since the beginning of the industrial era and the rapid increase in world population.”

    Imagine that!!!

  2. Were Dr. Duffy and George Bush separated at birth? ;)

    Reply: I guess ear references are allowed ~ charles the moderator

  3. Seriously, Dr. Duffy’s post is quite impressive. There has been studies by other scientists relating to the saturation of CO2 in the atmosphere but the AGWers seem to rely on their computers to predict that CO2 drives the ever increasing temperatures up. I can’t quite believe their virtual reality scenario.

  4. Actually, I wasn’t commenting about ears but the striking facial resemblance.

    Reply: Hey I make mistakes ~ charles the moderator

  5. Well, that about covers what I have read and think about Man Made Climate Change….

    There is no climate change that man has caused.

    It’s that big large orange ball in the sky.

  6. “less than a fifth of that is man-made CO2 (0.008% of the total)”

    Go into your favorite text editor and type a period, then print the page. That’s about .008% percent of the total (depending on font size).

    Please explain to me how that little dot is going to cause the rest of the page to burst into flames.

  7. I admire the courage of Dr. Duffy. I hope he has tenure. I expect that the usual crowd of AGW promoters will be writing off his article as another Exxon-financed denier/delayer piece written by a non-climate scientist.

    Since I do not expect the major media to carry this article, I thank you Anthony for doing your part in making the truth available through your blog.

  8. Actually, degrees K doesn’t make sense either, I think it’s simply a missing decimal point.

    REPLY: degree symbols ° got transmogrified somehow, fixed now – Anthony

  9. (Duffy)
    The heat from the sun varies over a number of solar cycles which can last from about 9.5 years to about 13.6 years (the main one is the cycle of 11 years). The earth also has an irregular orbit around the sun. These and other effects like the gravitational effects of the planets of the solar system, combine to affect the sun’s magnetic field. Solar fares and sunspots affect the amount of heat generated from the sun. In fact, there is an excellent correspondence in general warming on earth with increased sun spot activity.
    We have been over this before, but the barycenter and planetary tides mechanisms do not operate on the Sun. This is bad science [not even that, actually, pseudo-science, rather], and detracts from whatever merit the article may otherwise have.

  10. I think it is 20 degrees(symbol) C. That is standard atmosphere, standard temperature pressure. With his education, one the first things you have to learn is 20 C dry and wet, which is which, and what it means when you solve engineering problems.

  11. How much heat loss do the Ice Age Glaciers at their hight represent?

    If the Oceans dropped 200 feet and all that water was water vapor before it was precipitated out into SNOW ( not just water – you have to add both the heat of vaporization and the heat of fusion ) – then what is that heat loss?

    Has anyone noticed that on a cold winter day you are cold indoors, despite the room being the same temp as in the summer? What is the effect of cooling off the upper atmosphere to its ability to transmit heat into space more efficiently?

    I like his point about typhoons – they move enormous amounts of heat into space – and they are not modelled.

  12. David Segesta (13:41:55) : Must be some typos here;
    “At 200C and 100% humidity there is 0.015kg water/kg air … and in warmer climate at say 300C”

    I think the “0” before the “C” was supposed to be a degree symbol.

    REPLY: Fixed thanks, pasting somehow killed the ° symbols. -Anthony

  13. As Leif points out, there is a “Hmmmm” moment in this article….but short of sending out multiple copies of Roy Spencers book, this is the best primer on climate I’ve seen to send out to my liberal arts friends who walk around clutching Al Gore’s book to their chests while hinting that I am an uninformed fossil… or worse.
    I’m passing it around with an evil grin attached…..
    cdl

  14. David Segesta (13:41:55) :

    Must be some typos here;
    “At 200C and 100% humidity there is 0.015kg water/kg air … and in warmer climate at say 300C”

    Where is it 200C or 300C ?

    It should read 20°C or 30°C, assuming I got the degree symbol right, &deg;, assuming I got the ampersand symbol right.

    Oh, there’s one I can cut & paste,

    20°C or 30°C

    Then there is the text where they use lower-case o , e.g. 20oC. Argh. I generally just say 20C or 293K or 68F and that seems to work okay.

  15. I guess it’s just me, but this article just sounds like a regurgitation of everything us AGW skeptics have been saying – he’s not adding anything new, not even a new perspective (at least from my super skimming of it).

  16. Off topic, but interesting BBC article about Carbon capture & storage:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7584151.stm

    You won’t be able to read most of the article if you haven’t got a subscription, but here’s a New Scientist article saying Stone Age man held off an ice age by releasing greenhouse gases from farming and land use change.

    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/mg19926721.600-the-ice-age-that-never-was.html?feedId=climate-change_rss20

    Absolute nonsense of course.

  17. Hi Leif,

    You said:

    We have been over this before, but the barycenter and planetary tides mechanisms do not operate on the Sun.

    I wouldn’t doubt you on anything solar related, but this seems disingeneous to me in face of SIM correlations and (correct) predictions WRT sunspot numbers, ENSO events etc. I watched these unfold and they are spookily accurate to date. I guess that it could be a coincidence, but it sure seems to me that such analyses have predictive power. We shall no doubt have to wait and see, but I am curious to know what it would take for you (and others) to accept that there may be something to this after all. To date, I see 10 years of climate predictions and 4 ENSO events correctly predicted, which is pretty impressive (especially the ENSO events – years in advance is significantly better than any other system). Of course, they can be said to be somewhat vague, but what climate/weather prediction is not?

  18. Hmmmm, Stephen Wilde, I visit your Site constantly and I think you are right!
    But this is what it’s all about….getting the PROPER, ACCURATE, stories out there to inform and explain how much of a Hoax AWG is….A number of People here stated that they were going to tell their Friends…Yes, and tell the One’s especially on the Fence. You will not convince the True Lieberals…They are TOTALLY on Emotions, no common sense!! Al Gore and Consensis need to be knocked down..

  19. Funny thing, the sun represents only about 0.001% of the entire sky when we look up. How could anything so small have any influence on our climate..

  20. Neil Fisher (15:57:23) :
    To date, I see 10 years of climate predictions and 4 ENSO events correctly predicted, which is pretty impressive (especially the ENSO events – years in advance is significantly better than any other system). Of course, they can be said to be somewhat vague, but what climate/weather prediction is not?

    The problem is that the Barycenter/Tides/SIMS, etc [I will call them BTSs from now on] are not unique in their predictions. There are many other ‘solar’ mechanisms that their adherents claim have predictive power and many have predicted that with a less active sun, we should get some cooling. Since BTSs are unphysical [the energy is not there, there are no forces, the tides are 1 millimeter high, etc] one would prudently go with one of the physically plausible models if one were to entertain the solar influence idea.
    It reminds me of this anecdote: In deepest Africa there is a tribe that claims that beating of tam-tam drums during a solar eclipse will restore the Sun. They are spookily accurate: in fact, their method has never failed.

  21. Having lived in Auckland, NZ for a couple of years I am absolutely amazed that a Kiwi has come out and relied on science and observation in this debate. Generally Kiwis are all about feelgood symbols and looney left wing politics. It all about the “vibe”, even more so than Canadians. (Gross generalisation but fun!)

    Leif Svalgaard has identified a weakness in the article and there were other typos (eg. “IPPC”). They do detract, but having said that it was a good summation of many issues in terms lay people, like me, can understand.

  22. In all the Anglosphere countries, except India, global warming is becoming a hot political issue – amongst the political class, not the people. New Zealand is most advanced, with the labour government trying to push through parliament an ugly climate control bill, or whatever it is called.

    But, as in Britain and Australia, the people are saying: “Hang on, you want energy to be even more expensive?”.

    We have a federal election coming up in Canada where the opposition “Liberal” party is running on a $14 billion tax grab under the excuse of saving the planet. They call it the Greenshift, whereby good honest hard-earned green money is shifted from your pocket to the state coffers.

  23. Leif said: “We have been over this before, but the barycenter and planetary tides mechanisms do not operate on the Sun. This is bad science [not even that, actually, pseudo-science, rather], and detracts from whatever merit the article may otherwise have.”

    If by before you mean the “Astronomical Society of Australia” post, then you haven’t shown this is pseudo-science, only that you disagree. Others, including Ian Wilson, held positions that this is science. Maybe not a well established theory, but it seems there is either a correlation of multiple events, or the AU journal and peer-review process isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. That seems to be effectively what you are saying.

    “We present evidence to show that changes in the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate are synchronized with changes in its orbital motion about the barycentre of the Solar System. We propose that this synchronization is indicative of a spin–orbit coupling mechanism operating between the Jovian planets and the Sun.”
    http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/138/paper/AS06018.htm

    Professor Duffy pointed out some bad science, and it is curious you didn’t comment on that, on a blog that is concerned with AGW. You don’t even say whether there is any merit at all in this post’s article at all. Could you explain the science behind your comment below concerning the cause or mechanism for why big cycles start out with a bang, or is you comment based on a “well it always seemed to happen that way in the past” observation?

    “The big [cycles], they start out with a bang. One month, there may be none, the next month they may be all over the place,” Svalgaard told New Scientist.”
    http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn14652-suns-face-virtually-spotfree-for-months.html

  24. Leif: “It reminds me of this anecdote: In deepest Africa there is a tribe that claims that beating of tam-tam drums during a solar eclipse will restore the Sun. They are spookily accurate: in fact, their method has never failed.”

    If that really is a good anecdote, then replace the beating of the tam-tams with an unintelligent source or force, and explain the correlation.

  25. Michael Hauber (16:23:33) :

    Funny thing, the sun represents only about 0.001% of the entire sky when we look up. How could anything so small have any influence on our climate..

    I suppose if one were to throw out the distinction of radiative heat produced by .001% of empty sky versus .001% of thermonuclear sky (the sun) that would be a relevant point. I don’t think anyone would disagree that it gets colder when the sun is down or covered.

    Also, what is the capacity for CO2 to store heat versus water vapor versus the other common elements and compounds in the atmosphere?

  26. Glenn (16:46:03) :
    the AU journal and peer-review process isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. That seems to be effectively what you are saying.
    Peer-review seems to have failed for many AGW-papers too, wouldn’t you say? Or maybe the peers also have an agenda…

    Could you explain the science behind your comment below concerning the cause or mechanism for why big cycles start out with a bang, or is you comment based on a “well it always seemed to happen that way in the past” observation?

    The straw man you trot out is easy to deal with [you could have done it yourself]. Here is the argument:

    Assume that all cycles have the same length, say 11 years. Assume that maximum comes about halfway through the cycle, after 5 years. A large cycle with 200 ‘spots’ at maximum will then have an average growth rate of 200/5 = 40 spots/year [coming out with a bang]. A small cycle with 50 spots at maximum will have a growth rate of 50/5 = 10 spots/year [coming out with a whimper].

    Detailed dynamo models can do better, they predict that stronger cycles are shorter, and that their maximum comes earlier than halfway. This just makes the growth rate even faster [more BANG].

    In addition to this argument, observations also show that big cycles start with a BANG, so we may have some confidence that there is something to it.

  27. A fine Executive Summary for “the science is not settled” position. Now if someone would just present a copy to Senator McCain…

  28. Glenn (16:53:02) :
    If that really is a good anecdote, then replace the beating of the tam-tams with an unintelligent source or force, and explain the correlation.
    [sigh] Correlations don’t need to be explained as they are not necessarily causations,

  29. Craig D. Lattig (14:39:39) :

    As Leif points out, there is a “Hmmmm” moment in this article….but short of sending out multiple copies of Roy Spencers book, this is the best primer on climate I’ve seen to send out to my liberal arts friends who walk around clutching Al Gore’s book to their chests while hinting that I am an uninformed fossil… or worse.
    I’m passing it around with an evil grin attached…..

    I think Lucy’s http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Curious.htm is a much better thing to give to environmentalists. It covers more terrain, has good links, and is written by an environmentalist.

  30. Glenn (16:46:03) :
    Professor Duffy pointed out some bad science, and it is curious you didn’t comment on that, on a blog that is concerned with AGW. You don’t even say whether there is any merit at all in this post’s article at all.

    That is because the question whether on physical grounds the BTSs make sense have nothing at all to do with AGW. I speak of what I [think I] know and leave the rest to whomever has an interest in that.

  31. Leif Svalgaard (16:39:15) : It reminds me of this anecdote: In deepest Africa there is a tribe that claims that beating of tam-tam drums during a solar eclipse will restore the Sun. They are spookily accurate: in fact, their method has never failed.

    Yet science also proceeds using similar logic. Don’t want to get all meta here but I doubt there are many models that haven’t been “proven” by statistical correlation to experiment. Until a better explanation is provided the tribe is behaving and believing reasonably.

    I tend to agree that small effects (like BTSs, as you call them) are unlikely causes but any correlation to surface features still tickles curiosity and until it can be shown to be purely coincidence, they can’t be ruled out.

    By “better” explanation, I of course mean something that can be demonstrated to work as well as the drum beating method vs. a purely logical argument.

  32. Leif:
    the AU journal and peer-review process isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. That seems to be effectively what you are saying.
    “Peer-review seems to have failed for many AGW-papers too, wouldn’t you say? Or maybe the peers also have an agenda…”

    I haven’t seen any AGW papers from the AU journal, so I couldn’t comment on whether peer-review has failed or they are following an agenda. However, I see no correlation in the IPCC models and reality, other than their
    drawing a target around the arrow in the side of the barn and calling it prediction.

    Could you explain the science behind your comment below concerning the cause or mechanism for why big cycles start out with a bang, or is you comment based on a “well it always seemed to happen that way in the past” observation?

    “The straw man you trot out is easy to deal with [you could have done it yourself]. Here is the argument:”

    I don’t see where I provided a strawman. I simply asked you about what you were quoted as saying. A strawman is an attack on a false position of your opponent. You either said what NewScientist claimed or you didn’t. If you didn’t, it’s not my fault. Seems you have no problem with it, though. So did you answer my question about mechanism below?

    “Assume that all cycles have the same length, say 11 years. Assume that maximum comes about halfway through the cycle, after 5 years. A large cycle with 200 ’spots’ at maximum will then have an average growth rate of 200/5 = 40 spots/year [coming out with a bang]. A small cycle with 50 spots at maximum will have a growth rate of 50/5 = 10 spots/year [coming out with a whimper]. ”

    I’m not going to assume anything, especially that cycles all have the same length. And an average certainly can not be used to determine whether a cycle “comes out with a bang”. Perhaps you have a different perception of what that phrase means, though. Rate can change during an ascending cycle and still be a big or mediocre cycle. This depends on cycle length, which I’m sure you are aware. I asked you for the cause of your claim, and this ain’t it.

    Detailed dynamo models can do better, they predict that stronger cycles are shorter, and that their maximum comes earlier than halfway. This just makes the growth rate even faster [more BANG].

    So are these models based on a known and understood mechanism?

    In addition to this argument, observations also show that big cycles start with a BANG, so we may have some confidence that there is something to it.

    I didn’t see the argument. I saw a theoretical cycle of a certain length and a certain amount of spots, an unsupported claim of models, and a “it’s always happened that way in the past” correlation.

    The next cycle could start out with a bang (say your 40 spots a year), you would (it appears) predict a “big” cycle, then max out after a year, and your prediction would be wrong. Is that not possible? If not, why not? What is the mechanism?

    Looking at these cycles, I don’t see where one could predict the peak (big one) based on the upslope.

  33. Leif: “[sigh] Correlations don’t need to be explained as they are not necessarily causations,”

    Double sigh. Science progresses by observing correlations. You’ve done it yourself: “In addition to this argument, observations also show that big cycles start with a BANG, so we may have some confidence that there is something to it.”

  34. Ric Werme (17:22:04) :
    I think Lucy’s http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Curious.htm is a much better thing to give to environmentalists. It covers more terrain, has good links, and is written by an environmentalist.
    As long as she doesn’t pollute it with BTS [as she was considering].

    DAV (17:41:12) :
    Yet science also proceeds using similar logic. Don’t want to get all meta here but I doubt there are many models that haven’t been “proven” by statistical correlation to experiment. Until a better explanation is provided the tribe is behaving and believing reasonably.
    Granted that much science is done in order to explain some new phenomenon that has been observed, but some of the grandest theories were not. Einstein’s General Relativity [and even Special Relativity, as he claims that he did not know about the Michelson-Morley experiment] and Dirac’s relativistic quantum mechanics were not, but on the other hand predicted brand-new stuff, never dreamed off before.

    I tend to agree that small effects (like BTSs, as you call them) are unlikely causes but any correlation to surface features still tickles curiosity and until it can be shown to be purely coincidence, they can’t be ruled out.

    ‘Scientific Relativism’ – that every theory is good as any other – is false. And in science, nothing can be ruled out, but to be ‘ruled in’, theories have to mesh with the existing corpus of existing theories or uniquely explain something observed that has no explanation within existing paradigms. [I don’t want to go too Meta, either; so, perhaps, enough about the philosophy…]

  35. Until I see some Proof that this is anything more than opinion, I’ll have to assume that everything, else, he said was just opinion, also.

    What makes is worse is, after several years of studying this I’m 99.9% convinced that the above statement is NOT true.

  36. Yikes, the part that I need to see the proof on is this:

    For example, Bio-fuels from grain will greatly increase food prices and roughly 30 million people are expected to be severely deprived.

  37. Robert Wood, I believe you have misread the Canadian Liberal ‘The Green Shift’ (not to be confused with Green Shift Inc, who is suing the Liberal Party over use of the name) plan.

    The Green Shift is a plan to tax fuel use in combination with wide reaching income tax cuts that should help lessen the impact to citizens.

    Their plan seems pretty sound, you increase taxes on fuel use, you send rebates to income earners and seniors, you destroy the manufacturing and energy sectors and they move all their jobs off shore, price of good increase causing the central bank to increase rates widening the unemployment fall out as people lose their businesses and homes, and when nobody can afford anything . . . voila . . . no more CO2 problem.

    As you can tell, I won’t be voting Liberal thanks to ‘The Green Shift’.

  38. Glenn (18:13:06) :
    Maybe it is just because English is not my mother tongue, but since you wrote: “the AU journal and peer-review process isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” I interpreted that to mean peer-review in general, otherwise I would have expected: “the AU journal and its peer-review process…” On the other had the “isn’t” is maybe a sign that could be interpreted to mean that its wasn’t intended.

    I don’t see where I provided a straw man.
    Since the question did not start a new paragraph, I interpreted it as being a continuation of the general criticism of me within the first half of the paragraph.

    A straw man is an attack on a false position of your opponent.
    I interpreted your question [and the use of “Well, ..” as an attempt to cast doubt on my statement of our understanding of the growth of the cycle, relegating it to the same status of the correlations that I don’t support.

    So did you answer my question about mechanism below?
    I’m not going to assume anything

    This sounds very nice, but seems to be intended to cast doubt on somebody that does make simplifying assumptions to illustrate the point [the physicist who starts out “assume a spherical cow of uniform density” when trying to explain something to farmer Jones…]

    Rate can change during an ascending cycle and still be a big or mediocre cycle. This depends on cycle length, which I’m sure you are aware. I asked you for the cause of your claim, and this ain’t it.

    Just after the calculation of the average rate, I, of course, relaxed the assumptions and pointed out that a more sophisticated treatment is possible.

    So are these models based on a known and understood mechanism?
    A ‘model’ in my use of the word is an encoding of our understanding of a physical process [‘known’ is too big a word] so my answer here is a qualified yes.

    I didn’t see the argument. I saw a theoretical cycle of a certain length and a certain amount of spots, an unsupported claim of models, and a “it’s always happened that way in the past” correlation.
    See, it is as I suspected, an attempt to show that I too just rely on past correlations.

    The next cycle could start out with a bang (say your 40 spots a year), you would (it appears) predict a “big” cycle, then max out after a year, and your prediction would be wrong. Is that not possible? If not, why not? What is the mechanism?

    [sigh] almost anything is “possible” [is it possible that the lottery ticket I just bought will bring me untold riches? – certainly, but I’ll not bank on it, or rather: my creditors won’t]. The question is: “it is plausible?”.

    The following paper may give you a feeling for the answer to that question:
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 381, Issue 4, pp. 1527-1542, 2007 [also at http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.2258 ]
    Solar activity forecast with a dynamo model
    Jie Jiang, Piyali Chatterjee and Arnab Rai Choudhuri1
    ABSTRACT
    Although systematic measurements of the Sun’s polar magnetic field exist only from mid-1970s, other proxies can be used to infer the polar field at earlier times. The observational data indicate a strong correlation between the polar field at a sunspot minimum and the strength of the next cycle, although the strength of the cycle is not correlated well with the polar field produced at its end. This suggests that the Babcock-Leighton mechanism of poloidal field generation from decaying sunspots involves randomness, whereas the other aspects of the dynamo process must be reasonably ordered and deterministic. Only if the magnetic diffusivity within the convection zone is assumed to be high (of order 10^12 cm2/s), can we can explain the correlation between the polar field at a minimum and the next cycle. We give several independent arguments that the diffusivity must be of this order. In a dynamo model with diffusivity like this, the poloidal field generated at the mid-latitudes is advected toward the poles by the meridional circulation and simultaneously diffuses towards the tachocline, where the toroidal field for the next cycle is produced. To model actual solar cycles with a dynamo model having such high diffusivity, we have to feed the observational data of the poloidal field at the minimum into the theoretical model. We develop a method of doing this in a systematic way. Our model predicts that cycle 24 will be a very weak cycle…

    The important sentence is this one:
    “the Babcock-Leighton mechanism of poloidal field generation from decaying sunspots involves randomness, whereas the other aspects of the dynamo process must be reasonably ordered and deterministic”. Namely that the start of a cycle must be reasonably ordered and deterministic. This bears on your “you would (it appears) predict a “big” cycle, then max out after a year, and your prediction would be wrong”, in the sense that the orderly and deterministic start of the cycle would make that unlikely [and that is all we can say].

    Looking at these cycles, I don’t see where one could predict the peak (big one) based on the upslope
    If you look at the red curve, maybe you can see it better. The first two cycles are, perhaps, easier.
    Or compare a really small cycle
    http://www.dxlc.com/solar/cycl12.html
    with a large cycle http://www.dxlc.com/solar/cycl19.html
    Some of the ‘jitter’ you see that looks like ‘false starts’ that fizzle are just left-over stuff from the previous cycle. We can tell from the magnetic polarities if a ‘spurt’ is really new-cycle spots or old-cycle remnants.

    The main point is that we think we know why there is such a difference in slope [e.g. see the paper that I cited] and why we think that we can use the slope in predicting the next cycle. Do I have to say that this is a difficult business and that prediction is hard? On the other hand, we are not stumbling in the dark either, and there are good physical reasons for why we think as we do, and that it is not based on just coincidences and not-understood correlations.

  39. Glenn (18:18:04) :
    Double sigh. Science progresses by observing correlations. You’ve done it yourself: “In addition to this argument, observations also show that big cycles start with a BANG, so we may have some confidence that there is something to it.”
    No, you misunderstand how science works. What I cited was the observation of a prediction coming from our understanding of the process.

  40. Pingback: Ravalli County News » Blog Archive » “Even doubling or tripling the amount of CO2′ will have ‘little impact’ on temps”

  41. From the original article: It is really surprising why model computer-forecasts are trusted for periods of say 30 – 50 or so years, yet weather forecasts are often very inaccurate even over a 2 or 3 week period.

    This is something that was one of my primary beefs about the global circulation models when I first started studying up on AGW in January. It seemed completely unreasonable to me to expect that solving the Navier-Stokes equation from unknown boundary conditions on a fixed-size grid that’s obviously too large to deal with turbulence could produce any kind of non-garbage answer. However, in thinking further about the problem, it seems to me that the situation may well be analogous to making statements about an ensemble average using thermodynamics without having to solve the wave equations for every particle that makes up the system. In other words, it may be possible/reasonable to predict macroscopic trends without being able to model all the microscopic details. Mind you, I’m still not sold on the validity of the GCMs, especially given our limited knowledge of how to model water vapor, but the possibility of developing a reasonable long-term model does not seem as far-fetched as it once did.

  42. Hi Kum,

    Re Bio-Fuels impact on food prices.

    Check out
    http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-346-W.pdf
    http://www.fao.org/righttofood/publi08/Right_to_Food_and_Biofuels.pdf
    http://www.bioenergy-business.com/index.cfm?section=lead&action=view&id=11236
    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5h0RVoVwPFlD8MXLYyQbxHamr9NYw
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7331921.stm

    Obviously if Governments direct TAX subsidies to create an industry that inefficiently turns food into fuel – there will be those who suffer.

    IMO, without tax subsidies the scale of bio-fuels would be very much reduced.

  43. Leif said:

    Since BTSs are unphysical [the energy is not there, there are no forces, the tides are 1 millimeter high, etc] one would prudently go with one of the physically plausible models if one were to entertain the solar influence idea.

    OK, thanks for replying – I wish there were more such as yourself willing to edu-macate us plebs. ;-) I shall continue to keep an eye on this, as I have for the last decade or so – it’s nothing if not interesting (to me, anyway)!

  44. Mark Nodine (20:05:43) :
    However, in thinking further about the problem, it seems to me that the situation may well be analogous to making statements about an ensemble average using thermodynamics without having to solve the wave equations for every particle that makes up the system. In other words, it may be possible/reasonable to predict macroscopic trends without being able to model all the microscopic details.
    I would strongly agree with Mark. We have the same problem in Astro- and Solar physics. A good example is the evolutionary track in the Hertzprung-Russell diagram of a star. We can calculate the variations over millions, even billions of years of the size, temperature, and luminosity of stars from their mass and chemical composition. Or at the other end of the time-scale, simulate the explosion and implosion of supernovae.
    For all this to work, we need to know the physics and the boundary conditions. It should, of course, be granted that an evolving star or an exploding supernova is actually a much simpler system than the Earth’s climate. But the task does not seem impossible.

  45. OT:

    Also a quote

    “Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director General Jacques Diouf agrees.

    He says it is incomprehensible that “$11bn-$12bn (£5.6bn-£6.1bn) a year in subsidies and protective tariff policies have the effect of diverting 100 million tonnes of cereals from human consumption, mostly to satisfy a thirst for vehicles”.

    link is http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7435439.stm.

    I wonder if James Henson will call for the “CEOs of Bio-Fuel Companies” to be tried for “crimes against Humanity” refer to http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/23/fossilfuels.climatechange

    The un-intended consequences of poorly thought out AGW based policies are coming home to roost.

    Is this the Precautionary Principle at work? Act without evidence in case something bad happens.

    Doctors have a principle “First do no harm” that I wish that our politicians would adopt.

  46. Leif: “No, you misunderstand how science works. What I cited was the observation of a prediction coming from our understanding of the process.”

    I believe I understand how science works well enough. You cited nothing, Leif. Nor was prediction in what you claimed: “In addition to this argument, observations also show that big cycles start with a BANG, so we may have some confidence that there is something to it.” That is not a reference to a prediction come true.

    Cite some predictions, and let’s see them come true. If they don’t, according to scientific methodology, your theory is falsified, or at least on very shaky ground. The NASA guy has made two or three, and they haven’t come to pass yet. In the meantime, why haven’t you simply provided the cause for your claim of “big cycles start with a bang”?

  47. GISS Surface Temperature Analysis
    Global Temperature Trends: 2007 Summation
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/

    Having read the above summation, a maunder minimum would seem to be the best thing that could happen right now. Not because it might cool the earth but simply for the timely testing of the GISS model and the settling of many arguments.

    FTR, I find the above summary a bit contradicting WRT the stated almost nil forcing of SI compared to GHG and yet they still include SI as an input to their short term climate forecast.

  48. Leif, would you speak to coronal holes? The k-index indicated stuff from a recurring coronal hole put a ding in Earth’s magnetosphere Wednesday night enough to open up some radio frequencies and create some northern lights. In fact, its been dinging us everytime the hole rotates into view. This time the ding was greater. It takes about 36 hours for a coronal hole event to reach us. With solar wind up, would we be getting some cosmic ray hits that would result in higher counts here on Earth? Also, where is this coronal hole? Aren’t they supposed to be near the poles during minimums? Does the stuff that comes out of them bend around to give us a direct hit? And finally, how are holes different from CME’s?

  49. Leif: “On the other hand, we are not stumbling in the dark either, and there are good physical reasons for why we think as we do, and that it is not based on just coincidences and not-understood correlations.”

    Fine, but that doesn’t mean that correlations alone are pseudo-scientific.
    Your good physical reasons do not seem to be ironclad, either. A model or a theory explains and predicts the actions of what you call good physical reasons. There is no “I think” in science, there is either support or falsification. So until you are able to understand and predict with accuracy the behavior of the Sun, I suggest you not come down so hard on those that observe correlations and admit to not knowing the underlying mechanism, as does Ian Wilson’s AU paper. He didn’t identify a mechanism for example as “planetary tides”, you did. At least the abstract reads “However, we are unable to suggest a plausible underlying physical cause for the coupling.”
    But I see nothing pseudo-scientific in “We present evidence to show that changes in the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate are synchronized with changes in its orbital motion about the barycentre of the Solar System”, assuming that this evidence is observable. What I would call pseudo-science is to make claims about cause or mechanism and predictions or models from that
    knowledge be wrong.

  50. Glenn (20:44:01) :
    why haven’t you simply provided the cause for your claim of “big cycles start with a bang”?
    I think I did that in my post of: Leif Svalgaard (19:32:01)

  51. Michael Hauber (16:23:33) said this…….
    “Funny thing, the sun represents only about 0.001% of the entire sky when we look up. How could anything so small have any influence on our climate..”
    ———————————————————–

    Which is a perfect example of perception as opposed to reality…. The sun is percieved to be small… But it is actually huge… Thus it’s effects are substantial.

    Now what he is trying to parallel, is the small amount of CO2 in the Atmosphere versus effect…. However, CO2 is a small portion of the Atmosphere… Not an apparent smallness of effect because of distance. But a real difference…. CO2 is at small percentages and is insignificant.

    The next argument he would introduce would be that Cyanide is poisonous at minute quantities…. Wrong again as per the explanation above… This goes to toxicity. Cyanide in reality has certain physiological properties that are real, known and has a huge Actual metabolic effect…. So it isn’t a small effect but instead a large effect.

    CO2 has no large and measurable effect….. Otherwise the empirical evidence would support it without a doubt with overwhelming Observations of effect.

    CO2’s effect on climate must be modeled in order for the Flawed Hypothesis of AGW to continue it’s shambling existence…. Cyanide needs no modeling to prove it’s toxicity. You gasp, turn blue and fall down.

    Just thought I’d reiterate, Actual from apparent, Real from Fantasy.

  52. Pamela Gray (20:47:36) :
    It takes about 36 hours for a coronal hole event to reach us. With solar wind up, would we be getting some cosmic ray hits that would result in higher counts here on Earth?
    Because the solar wind speed is higher in the hole than next to it, as the sun rotates, wind of different speeds are emitted in the same direction, where the fast wind then runs into the slow wind and compresses the material [and tangles up its magnetic field]. It are those compression regions that turn away cosmic rays, so a strong recurrent hole will result in a [small, a few percent] recurrent variation of the cosmic ray flux. You see that here: http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/COSRAY/days.htm

    Also, where is this coronal hole? Aren’t they supposed to be near the poles during minimums? Does the stuff that comes out of them bend around to give us a direct hit?
    Here you can see both the polar coronal hole [the North pole is tipped towards up, so we see that one better]: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/eit_195/512/

    The high-speed stream does not come out the polar hole [although there is some ‘bending down’]. It comes from the dark area near the equator [a little bit south] and a bit to the right of the center.

    And finally, how are holes different from CME’s?
    Yes, very much so. A CME is kind of the opposite of a coronal hole. coronal holes are areas in the corona where the density is very low [hence their darkness] basically because the stuff that was in the middle of the coronal holes has left the Sun.
    A CME cmoes from a region of high-density coronal matter tied up and trapped in a sort of magnetic ‘hang-mat’. If the magnetic field that holds up the matter becomes perturbed it may ‘snap’ and expel the matter. This can be directly seen: the trapped stuff [called a ‘filament’] begins to vibrate and shake for minutes or even hours before ‘blowing’. The stuff is connected magnetically to the sun and as a long ‘tongue’ intrudes into the ambient solar wind and further compresses it. The end effect of this hitting the Earth is almost the same as that from a normal solar wind compression region I talked about first: magnetic storms, aurorae, cosmic rays variations, energetic particles, etc.

  53. Glenn (21:12:02) :
    but that doesn’t mean that correlations alone are pseudo-scientific.
    Yes if the correlations have an unphysical component. The sun feels no forces in its orbital motion about the barycentre of the Solar System [except for the insignificant tidal forces] and can thus not be coupled to anything, so correlating with what it cannot be coupled with is pseudo-science.

    Your good physical reasons do not seem to be ironclad, either.
    ‘Seem” ? I would like you to give a detailed critique of Jiang et al.’s paper before making such a statement. And, again, there is nothing ‘ironclad’ in science.

    There is no “I think” in science, there is either support or falsification.
    Complete bunk! I have been a scientist for 40 years and know hundreds of scientists personally. Science is a lot less objective than you think [no pun]. Each scientist forms his/hers own view of the evidence and forms a personal opinion which governs what he/she believes or thinks [or whatever equivalent word you want to use – cogitate, perhaps] about the subject. Things are not black and white. Even after, what some would consider falsification, others still cling to their beliefs.

    So until you are able to understand and predict with accuracy the behavior of the Sun, I suggest you not come down so hard on those that observe correlations and admit to not knowing the underlying mechanism
    So until you are able to understand and predict with accuracy the behavior of the Climate, I suggest you not come down so hard on those that observe correlations and admit to not knowing the underlying mechanism

    “We present evidence to show that changes in the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate are synchronized with changes in its orbital motion about the barycentre of the Solar System”,
    to my knowledge, no such evidence exists. I have been studying solar rotation for decades and no such variations have been observed.

    —-

    I also recognize that no arguments of any kind can rock the faith of a true believer [in scientific relativism], but it is my nature to try anyway.

  54. Graehme, let’s fact check him. 100 million tonnes would be 3 Billion, 928 Million bushels.

    That’s bushels of cattle feed.

    People, poor or otherwise, don’t eat Field Corn. Cattle eat field corn. They are, in turn, eaten by Rich Americans, Europeans, and Asians. In fact, we don’t really export corn to Africa. We didn’t when corn was $.04/lb; and, we don’t now that corn is $0.10/lb. That’s the main reasons I can’t see poor Africans harmed.

    If, however, we Wanted to we could always plant the 34 Million Acres that we’re, currently paying farmers Not to Plant.

    Anyhoo, when we reach our goal of fifteen billion gallons of ethanol from corn we will be using about 5 Billion bushels (out of a crop of about 13 Billion bushels. However, we will get back the feeding ability of about 2 Billion bushels in the form of Distillers Grains, a cattle feed that is superior to corn.

    So, here’s the deal. We’ll use about 23% of a crop that we don’t export to Africa, anyway; and, we’ll retain the ability to produce much more than that if the market desires, just by planting the land that we’re currently paying farmers NOT to plant.

    I could say a lot more, but it’s getting late and I’ll spare you, other than to say I have a hard time trusting someone’s opinion on a subject I know little about when they pontificate, authoritatively (and, incorrectly,) on something I do know a little about.

  55. So until you are able to understand and predict with accuracy the behavior of the Sun, I suggest you not come down so hard on those that observe correlations and admit to not knowing the underlying mechanism
    So until you are able to understand and predict with accuracy the behavior of the Climate, I suggest you not come down so hard on those that observe correlations and admit to not knowing the underlying mechanism

    was what was intended. That one cannot do something perfectly does not in itself validate any old other idea. If I postulate that CO2 ‘seems’ to be the course of all evils, you would not come down hard on me if I admitted to not knowing the underlying mechanism unless you were able to understand and predict with accuracy the behavior of Climate, right? That is at least how I read your statement.

  56. Glenn (20:44:01) :
    Cite some predictions, and let’s see them come true. If they don’t, according to scientific methodology, your theory is falsified, or at least on very shaky ground. The NASA guy has made two or three, and they haven’t come to pass yet.

    Here is a citation of my prediction:
    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 32, L01104, doi:10.1029/2004GL021664, 2005.
    Sunspot cycle 24: Smallest cycle in 100 years?
    Abstract:
    Predicting the peak amplitude of the sunspot cycle is a key goal of solar-terrestrial physics. The precursor method currently favored for such predictions is based on the dynamo model in which large-scale polar fields on the decline of the 11-year solar cycle are converted to toroidal (sunspot) fields during the subsequent cycle. The strength of the polar fields during the decay of one cycle is assumed to be an indicator of peak sunspot activity for the following cycle. Polar fields reach their peak amplitude several years after sunspot maximum; the time of peak strength is signaled by the onset of a strong annual modulation of polar fields due to the 7.25 degree tilt of the solar equator to the ecliptic plane. Using direct polar field measurements, now available for four solar cycles, we predict that the approaching solar cycle 24 (2011 maximum – we are probably off by a year here) will have a peak smoothed monthly sunspot number of 75 ± 8, making it potentially the smallest cycle in the last 100 years.
    —-

    So far, that prediction looks pretty good, in contrast to that of the NASA ‘guys’ you mentioned. We shall see shortly, if I know what I’m talking about.

  57. Mark Nodine (20:05:43) :
    ============
    However, in thinking further about the problem, it seems to me that the situation may well be analogous to making statements about an ensemble average using thermodynamics without having to solve the wave equations for every particle that makes up the system. In other words, it may be possible/reasonable to predict macroscopic trends without being able to model all the microscopic details.
    ============

    I think this depends on whether climate is chaotic just like weather. Mandelbrot seems to have shown this: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=396

    I think the fact that many aspects of climate tend to display LTP / scale-free behavior is also indicative of it being fundamentally chaotic and thus not predictable.

  58. Leif,
    I know you are at odds with Tilmari at http://solarcycle24.com/ global warming exchanges, but is it quite out of the question that magnetic/electrical influences from the giant planets rather than gravitational are the cause of coincidences with Jovian cycles and climate variations/cycles that he records over millenniums?

  59. Leif Svalgaard (17:12:26) :

    Assume that all cycles have the same length, say 11 years. Assume that maximum comes about halfway through the cycle, after 5 years. A large cycle with 200 ’spots’ at maximum will then have an average growth rate of 200/5 = 40 spots/year [coming out with a bang]. A small cycle with 50 spots at maximum will have a growth rate of 50/5 = 10 spots/year [coming out with a whimper].

    Detailed dynamo models can do better, they predict that stronger cycles are shorter, and that their maximum comes earlier than halfway. This just makes the growth rate even faster [more BANG].

    In addition to this argument, observations also show that big cycles start with a BANG, so we may have some confidence that there is something to it.

    well if we have but 10years to a cycle and 5 are turned “on”
    assuming 100 to 200 spots….. this is a bang…..
    if we have 5 spots for the 5 years “on” this is a whimper…….
    you don’t have to graft it or be a PHD to get that.
    Hey the sun is a burning device built to power up this earth and
    works like one that goes into low off times by flickering out
    like a candle at the end of the wick/wax. then starts back up
    like a cold engen detuned. it’s there in the sun spot numbers from
    1749 till now. I can’t believe my eyes as I looked at the minimum’s ( Dalton )
    one predictor that is not talk about here is the holy bible.It says
    ” They will flee the cold north ” well maybe it is here and now, that this will
    come to pass. Jetzt und hier!!!!!

    Leif keep up the good work and keep an open mind too.

    passing the word … warn thy people!

  60. Mark Nodine (20:05:43) :
    “However, in thinking further about the problem, it seems to me that the situation may well be analogous to making statements about an ensemble average using thermodynamics without having to solve the wave equations for every particle that makes up the system. In other words, it may be possible/reasonable to predict macroscopic trends without being able to model all the microscopic details.”

    The kicker is “may”. I’d like some mathematical proof that even though the GCMs produce things that look like real weather patterns, that the averages of these are in fact representative of future climate and will correspond with the real climate.
    At first glance this seems reasonable but is it really? I suspect this should be amenable to a mathematical proof but I’ve not seen any discussion on this. Is this assumption just lightly made because it sounds so reasonable?
    This also raises the possibility that it may be possible to model the macroscopic trends without going in to the microscopic details(GCMs) which perhaps may be more fruitful, along the lines of the thermodynamics example.

    One other point: AFAIK the GCMs do model hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones. I once heard Manabe give a seminar on GCMs in 1971during my meteorology course and he said his model was giving trouble in that it generated too many hurricanes and not enough typhoons. When asked about this (we all were puzzled by this as they are the same weather phenomena) he clarified by saying that they were occurring at the wrong frequencies in different places.

  61. Anthony,
    an excellent paper/presentation on the whole concept of greenhouse gas effects, strong on logic, common sense. Why not send it to the major media outlets and see if any of them pick it up. Test how much control the climate warming lobby exerts

  62. Can someone tell me why a small force (like CO2) can have a large effect in climate science, while the rest of the universe has to obey the laws of thermodynamic, ie
    1st law, energy cannot be created or destroyed, aka every action has an equal and opposite reaction. therefor a small force like CO2 cannot create a large effect.
    2nd law, entropy must always increase, ie law of diminishing returns. for instance climate scientists think that the system is dominated by positive feedbacks. This is the same a saying I made a perpetual motion device, it cannot exist.
    Le Chatelier’s principle, a system at equilibrium will resist any forcing, aka any system at equilibrium must produce negative feedback.

    Positive feedback can only occur when something snaps back to equilibrium after the system resisted a force. for instance the energy that produces a nuclear explosion (the classic positive feedback) was stored as a form of negative feedback during a supernova.

  63. I’m always a little reticent to post on here as I am not a scientist and a little slow on the uptake generally, but one of the things I often see quoted is that correlation does not imply causation. Can anyone tell me if it works the other way around – i.e. does non-correlation prove non-causation?

    I’m sure the answer will be “not necessarily” but I thought I’d ask anyway.

    Also, given that man’s contribution to CO2 levels is relatively small compared to the natural and has varied considerably over time – from none at all to around 3% now (possibly more during the period 1940-1970?) could someone explain why it is that whenever I see a plot of temperature against CO2 it is always the temperature anomaly against total CO2? Should it not be temperature anomaly against CO2 anomaly? Would it not make sense to strip out the naturally occuring element before we plot temperature rise against CO2 rise? I’d be interested to see how such a graph pans out given that man’s CO2 emissions rose fastest during a period when temperature fell (1940-1970), but temperature appears to rise fastest at a time when the increase in mans emissions slowed.

    Or maybe we should strip out mans contribution to CO2 and see how temperature increase pans out against naturally occuring CO2 levels?

  64. I never could believe that a mouse’s f*rt in the middle of a ten acre field would ruin the crop.

    (A first class article in an excellent website!)

  65. That bloke who reckons he’s going to kayak to the North Pole (hee, hee). His blog is removing ALL comments that are not supportive. Steven Goddard, yours has gone, and so have all three of mine. Just posted one now asking this question – invite others to do the same.
    http://polardefenseproject.org/blog/

  66. Julian (00:24:40) :
    but is it quite out of the question that magnetic/electrical influences from the giant planets rather than gravitational are the cause of coincidences with Jovian cycles and climate variations/cycles that he records over millenniums?
    In a conducting plasma magnetic/electrical changes propagate with the Alfven speed, somewhat analogous to the sound speed in air. The solar wind is ‘supersonic’ in the sense that it moves away from the sun 11 times faster than the Alfven speed, i.e. 11 times faster than magnetic/electrical changes can propagate towards to sun. It is like swimming upstream at 1 mph in a river flowing downstream at 11 mph: you’ll never get upstream.

    Tim Lindt (00:40:53) :
    well if we have but 10 years to a cycle and 5 are turned “on”
    assuming 100 to 200 spots….. this is a bang…..
    if we have 5 spots for the 5 years “on” this is a whimper…….
    you don’t have to graph it or be a PHD to get that.

    Well, apparently Glenn doesn’t get it, as he claims I have not made my case and explained this so he can understand it.

    one predictor that is not talked about here is the holy bible
    Mathew 7:7 says it well.

  67. Pingback: Man Made Global Warming Debunked, « The Guerrilla Capitalist

  68. The basic mechanism described by Mr Duffy was previously set out in my article

    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1041

    which has appeared worldwide and has had over 10,000 readings on the Co2sceptics site alone.

    Various sentences are virtually identical save for a few cosmetic changes and his title:

    Climate Change- The Real Causes

    appears to be just a rewording of my title:

    Global Warming and Cooling- The Reality.

    Whilst I am happy that anyone might wish to use my material I do think there should be proper attribution.

  69. I just heard on the radio news that they are now trying to say that smog contributes to global warming and has been largely overlooked as a forcing. Oi! — John M Reynolds

  70. What kum dollison is not saying is that as the price for corn goes up, farmers are switching crops to the more profitable corn feed stocks for the biofuels. Then the supply of these other grains and cereals goes down, so the price goes up.

    Furthermore I disagree with his calculation as he does not account for the fuel needed to harvest the feed stock for biofuel, further increasing the total amount of feed stock needed be grown to break even nor is he allowing for crop rotation and other good farming practices.

    I did an analysis of several of the alternative fuels as part of a local effort to stop the construction of industrial wind-turbines here in the Catskills and will try to dig up the article I wrote for the local paper.

    Note: I apologize if I got your gender incorrect.

  71. I guess it’s just me, but this article just sounds like a regurgitation of everything us AGW skeptics have been saying – he’s not adding anything new, not even a new perspective (at least from my super skimming of it).

    ================

    The important thing is that he’s saying it. Nobody pays attention to us.
    Him, they might.

  72. Just because correlation does not prove causation is not evidence that correlation never is indicative of something deeper.

  73. Neil Fisher (15:57:23) :

    Hi Leif,

    You said:

    We have been over this before, but the barycenter and planetary tides mechanisms do not operate on the Sun.

    I wouldn’t doubt you on anything solar related, but this seems disingeneous to me in face of SIM correlations and (correct) predictions WRT sunspot numbers, ENSO events etc. I watched these unfold and they are spookily accurate to date. I guess that it could be a coincidence, but it sure seems to me that such analyses have predictive power. We shall no doubt have to wait and see, but I am curious to know what it would take for you (and others) to accept that there may be something to this after all. To date, I see 10 years of climate predictions and 4 ENSO events correctly predicted, which is pretty impressive (especially the ENSO events – years in advance is significantly better than any other system). Of course, they can be said to be somewhat vague, but what climate/weather prediction is not?

    My problem with BTSs include:

    1) We’ve beaten this to death once before. It’s a mass of fetid flesh.

    2) Objects orbit others based on gravitational attraction (and various relativistic complications). That’s dependent on mass and distance.

    3) Well layered spherical masses can be modeled as points.

    4) Objects distorted by tides cannot be modeled as points. This is used to good effect in near polar Earth orbits.

    5) Barycenters do not have mass.

    6) I’m rather fond of the statistical links between sunspot cycles and Jupiter, even though articles like http://personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspots.html have to abuse the data to come up with the links.

    Barycenters are just a mathematical convenience and are probably quite useful if you are dealing with point-like objects and keep in mind that a barycenter is not a physical object. They are not necessary for any orbital calculations and I’m sure they fall apart when used with anything that looks like a tide.

    Still, if barycentric hypotheses can be used successfully for predictions, they’re useful. Instead of arguing here with WordPress’s abysmal search technology, your time would be better spent coming up with a prediction for the next 20-100 years and putting it on a web page for all to see. I’d be glad to add it to http://wermenh.com/climate/ . While orbital dynamics are chaotic in all but a few trivial systems, the Solar System can be predicted with great accuracy for the several thousands or millions of years, so 20-100 is easy. Then we could get back to sitting back and enjoying watching the show.

  74. Some evidence to support my earlier posts, then I’ll give it a rest:

    Global Warming and Cooling- The Reality (Wilde)

    Climate Change-The Real Causes (Duffy)

    The presence of the sun must be a much bigger influence on global temperatures than the greenhouse characteristics of CO2 on it’s own. (Wilde)

    The sun clearly must be a much bigger influence on global temperatures than any of the greenhouse gases (Duffy)

    The greenhouse effect, as a whole, may smooth out rises and falls in temperature from other causes (Wilde)

    the ‘greenhouse effect’ acts as a mechanism to smooth out fluctuations or rises and falls in temperature (Duffy)

    The greenhouse effect is mainly a phenomenon of the land surface and the atmosphere (Duffy)

    The greenhouse effect is mainly a phenomenon of the land surface and the atmosphere (Wilde)

    The strongest sunlight reaching the Earth is around the Equator that is primarily oceanic. The equatorial sun puts heat into the system year in year out whereas loss of heat is primarily via the poles with each alternating as the main heat loser depending on time of year. (Wilde)

    The sun’s energy at the equator is consistent all year round, and in this region the larger proportion of surface area happens to be the ocean water. The dominant heat loss is primarily at the poles with each pole alternating as the main loser of heat. (Duffy)

    I believe that ENSO switches from warming to cooling mode depending on whether the sun is having a net warming or net cooling effect on the Earth. Thus the sun directly drives the ENSO cycle and the ENSO cycle directly drives global temperature changes. Indeed, the effect appears to be much more rapid than anyone has previously believed (Wilde)

    The sun directly drives the El Nino–El Nina current motions that drive temperature changes world-wide
    ( Duffy)

    The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO cycle) turns from warming to cooling depending on the net warming or cooling effect of the sun. This occurs quite rapidly

    (Duffy)

    there are similar periodic oscillations in other oceans such as the Atlantic and the Arctic (Wilde)

    Also there are similar periodic oscillations in other oceans (Atlantic and the Arctic oceans). (Duffy)

    When we compare that with land masses, a lower proportion of heat is reflected from watery zones to participate in the greenhouse effect. (Duffy)

    more of the incoming heat is absorbed by water as compared to land and a lower proportion is reflected to participate in the greenhouse effect (Wilde)

    The heat from the sun varies over a number of solar cycles which can last from about 9.5 years to about 13.6 years (the main one is the cycle of 11 years). The earth also has an irregular orbit around the sun. These and other effects like the gravitational effects of the planets of the solar system, combine to affect the sun’s magnetic field. Solar fares and sunspots affect the amount of heat generated from the sun
    (Duffy)

    The heat from the sun varies over a number of interlinked and overlapping cycles but the main one is the cycle of 11 years or so. That solar cycle can last from about 9.5 years to about 13.6 years and appears to be linked to the gravitational effects of the planets of the solar system combining to affect the sun’s magnetic field which seems then to influence the amount of heat generated and incidentally affects the number of sunspots (Wilde)

  75. Professor Duffy has logically and methodically covered the big picture. The notion that CO2 content of the atmosphere might be responsible for the pattern of temperature decrease and then equally strong increase that has been seen at high latitudes in both hemispheres, in winter, since 1948, does not add up. There has been little change in temperature at mid latitudes and a slight increase in the tropics in summer. He points to the importance of warming and cooling events and the tropical ocean in these words:

    Let us recognize common sense when we see it. Lets look at the data for the different latitudes and hemispheres and be a little analytical. ‘Global temperature’ is a big distraction. Polewards of 40° latitude radiation exceeds insolation. Between 40°N and 40°S energy gain from the sun exceeds that radiated. Energy is picked up by the tropical ocean and moved to high latitudes. If there is a gain in th energy absorbed in the tropical ocean it shows up as an increase in temperature at high latitudes.

    Here is the model that explains the variation. Imagine yourself standing out in a blizzard with an electric blanket wrapped around your middle and you will get the general idea. What we have to do is to explain the fluctuation in energy supply to the part of the body inside the blanket. A moments reflection will reveal that the answer must have something to do with changing cloud cover, i.e. albedo.

    The link between the sun and changing albedo in the tropics must be explained if we are to rid ourselves of this monkey on the back. Outgoing long wave radiation varies directly with the Southern Oscillation index. El Nino events involve a fall in OLR as the tropical oceans absorb energy while La Nina events involve a loss of stored energy and a fall in sea surface temperature. These warming and cooling events are experienced right across the tropics. The Pacific happens to be the most dramatic manifestation because it is a very large ocean and the effect of the near conjunction of Tierra Del Fuego and the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Let’s focus on the big picture and not get distracted in argument about peripheral details, The barycentre notion is one of these.

    La Nina’s commonly occur at sunspot maximum. This overwhelms any effect from changing irradiance. Irradiance changes very little over long periods of time. the two aspects of solar activity that change strongly over time are ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind.

    The answer lies not in knowing more about the sun. It lies in knowing a lot more about how the atmosphere reacts to variations in solar output.

  76. Heres the Duffy quote that did not appear on cue:

    The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO cycle) turns from warming to cooling depending on the net warming or cooling effect of the sun.

    The dominant heat loss is primarily at the poles with each pole alternating as the main loser of heat. As a result there are severe cyclical variations in temperature with the seas and ice caps having the dominant effects in energy changes and hence temperature effects. >

  77. Dee, any corn farmer will tell you that total fuel used for planting, cultivation, harvesting, etc. is less than 8 gal/acre. In as much as, an acre, after accounting for distillers grains, yields about 700 gallons of ethanol the ” energy needed to grow” argument loses a lot of steam.

    And, again, we only row-crop 250 million acres (out of 1.2 billion arable acres. – We used to rowcrop 400 million acres in the U.S.) That means we have 150 million acres formerly row-cropped land lying fallow, or used for light grazing.

    Dee, 70% of the most poverty-stricken in the world are subsistence farmers. These are the people that have suffered the most from the subsidized crops grown in the U.S. and Europe. Five Dollar Corn, if their governments will allow them to sell it, and export it, might cure more malnourishment in the 3rd world than all the “poverty programs, combined.

    Bottom line: Field Corn has gone up a nickel/lb. and there is, according to a recent stufy from Stanford University, between 1.0, and 1.2 Billion Acres of Abandoned Farmland in the World.

    Dee, there are Tremendous amounts of money involved in outcome of this. It is really not all that hard to get articles published, even in the “prestigious” journals if the money is right. One needs to be Very careful in choosing the “heroes” in this particular case.

  78. At http://arxiv.org/abs/0806.2833 Schüssler explains why the correlation between growth rate and solar cycle size works:

    A robust correlation between growth rate and amplitude of solar cycles: consequences for prediction methods
    Authors: Schüssler, R. Cameron M.
    Publication Date: 06/2008, ApJ accepted
    Abstract
    We consider the statistical relationship between the growth rate of activity in the early phase of a solar cycle with its subsequent amplitude on the basis of four datasets of global activity indices (Wolf sunspot number, group sunspot number, sunspot area, and 10.7-cm radio flux). In all cases, a significant correlation is found: stronger cycles tend to rise faster. Owing to the overlapping of sunspot cycles, this correlation leads to an amplitude-dependent shift of the solar minimum epoch. We show that this effect explains the correlations underlying various so-called precursor methods for the prediction of solar cycle amplitudes and also affects the prediction tool of Dikpati et al. (2006) based upon a dynamo model. Inferences as to the nature of the solar dynamo mechanism resulting from predictive schemes which (directly or indirectly) use the timing of solar minima should therefore be treated with caution.

  79. @Kum

    I didn’t disagree with your conclusions regarding Africa. I don’t disagree with your statements on abandoned farm land.

    The fuel usage per acre which you quote is for pure petro-diesel, not bio-diesel blend. Forget trying to harvest corn using ethanol. I hear the farmers at the local Mom’s Diner grumble about fuel per acre all the time and I buy a great deal of hay for my own horse.

    Crop derived bio-fuels would not be cost competitive without the massive government subsidies. There may be better solutions in the pipe, but it always comes down to energy out < energy in. In a cooling world, the energy needed to grow the feeder stocks will get higher (or more likely the return will get lower and lower).

    The technology exists to feed the world, provide clean water, what is missing is the funding. Another reason NOT to support AGW is the money spent on trying to prevent it is basically thrown away when it can be used to for better, nobler purposes.

  80. Ranting Stan (02:10:06)
    Non-correlation does not prove non-causation.

    You are unlikely to observe linear correlation between weight and radius of ballbearings but you’ll see it if you test with radius cubed. But radius and weight are certainly related. More subtle relationships will be less easily revealed.

    If naturally occurring CO2 can be assumed constant its presence or absence will not affect an estimate of correlation. The appearances of plots are just that, presentational matters.

  81. “The answer lies not in knowing more about the sun. It lies in knowing a lot more about how the atmosphere reacts to variations in solar output.”

    Money quote.

  82. Gary Gulrud (07:47:57) :
    “The answer lies not in knowing more about the sun. It lies in knowing a lot more about how the atmosphere reacts to variations in solar output.”
    Money quote.

    Except that two factors play a role:
    1) the reaction [if any] is at or below the noise-level and is therefore not of practical significance
    2) the Sun varies less than thought only a few years ago

    So, the answer lies not in knowing more about the sun or of how little the atmosphere reacts to variations in solar output, but in understanding the internal oscillations of the system and the interplay between atmosphere, ocean, lithosphere, and biosphere [including man]. Using ‘solar influence’ as a dumping ground for what we can’t ascribe yet to something else [as has been done ever since Giovanni Battista Riccioli first did this is 1651] has not proven very fruitful.

  83. Here is some information about the ‘global cooling crisis’ in the mid 1600s:
    http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/currentunder/honours/history/general/9resources/parker_2.pdf
    and the search for causes:
    In search of causes
    § Opinions of Hermann of Hesse (stars), Increase Mather (comets), Raymundo Magisa (volcanoes), Giovanni Battista Riccioli (sunspots) § Observations of Christopher Scheiner (1626) and Johannes Hevelius (1642-4) and the ‘Sunspot Minimum’ (1643-1715).
    The fatal cycle: volcanoes plus sunspot minimum -> solar cooling -> more ‘El Niño’ events (1640, 1641, 1647, 1650) -> more volcanic eruptions

    We have not progressed a lot in the intervening 350 years…

  84. “Five Dollar Corn, if their governments will allow them to sell it, and export it, might cure more malnourishment in the 3rd world than all the “poverty programs, combined.”

    Last year’s $5 dollar corn is a significant cost for a family living on $1 per day. They have to have something to sell in return at comparative advantage.

    This year corn planted was down 6% because more acreage went into wheat and soy (acreage available for more rice is limited) as their prices have skyrocketed with worldwide shortages (rice as well). These, along with rice are superior foodstuffs in terms of calories, nutrients and variety of preparations.

    This year corn is already over $7 and should soon turn higher as cool weather lowers yields on the remaining fields not destroyed by flooding.

    Meanwhile, here in the cornbelt, gas extended with ethanol remains 10% more expensive per mile than petrol at the pump.

    Just this year two ethanol plants preparing to go online suspended operation in ND. They would have lost money and their investors saw no end to that prospect.

    Ethanol is crashing due to market forces and government can only exacerbate the trend.

  85. Ranting Stan: I always enjoyed looking at the long-term graph of the monthly change in CO2. It clearly resembles the NINO3.4 anomaly curve (and most other variables impacted by ENSO) in its rises and falls. There are lots of studies that discuss the link between ENSO and CO2. Just so happens I’m finishing up a post on it. I’ll throw up a link when I’m done. Might not be till this evening.

  86. Dee, the difference between petro-diesel, and bio-diesel is somewhere between 0%, and 10% fuel efficiency, depending on the engine, and circumstances. In other words, as regards EROEI of biofuels, it’s insignificant. And, yes, ethanol-powered farm equipment would work just fine. An ethanol-optimized tractor will give comparable (if not better) performance to a diesel tractor.

    As for profitability, even at today’s corn prices the ethanol refineries are making a profit selling ethanol at $2.20/gal. The price of Wholesale Unleaded, today, is $2.70.

    BTW, it looks like Bluefire, and the other “Municipal Waste to Ethanol” technologies will come in at less than $1.50/gal.

    Also, you might ask yourself this question. “What would the price of gasoline be if we weren’t using over 600,000 Barrels/Day of Ethanol. At least one major Wall Street Firm thinks you would be looking at an Extra $.50/gal. What would that add to the cost of a box of corn flakes?

  87. Leif,

    I agree with your comments about the planetary gravitic effects. Don’t those gravitic tides affect earths orbit though, adding some more eccentricity to the orbit and thus affecting solar irradiance?

  88. Professor Duffy has expressed regret at his inadvertent failure to attribute so I’ve agreed that his article is unobjectionable on the basis that he acknowledges my input.

  89. Gary, I’m not going to use up any more of Anthony’s bandwidth arguing biofuels. I did want to point out that the part of the author’s article that dealt with something I was familiar with was Very Suspect.

    As for your comment; you’re entitled to your own opinions, But, Not your Own Facts. Corn, today, is about $5.25 bu at the elevator.

    http://ncga.ncgapremium.com/index.aspx?mid=28566

    As for “mileage,” it’s Very Complex. Most cars will get Better Mileage on a Twenty, or Thirty Percent Blend of Ethanol than on a Ten Percent Blend. Having said that, the “average” car will give up about 1.5% mileage on e10 vs gasoline, but straight gasoline will cost about 3% more.

    Ethano isn’t “crashing.” We’re using more every day, despite the fact that Big Oil, and the Meat Industry is trying hard to kill it every day.

  90. Ranting Stan (02:10:06) : could someone explain why it is that whenever I see a plot of temperature against CO2 it is always the temperature anomaly against total CO2? Should it not be temperature anomaly against CO2 anomaly?

    An anomaly is simply the value of a series after subtracting out a constant representing some reference period. From a graphical standpoint, it results in shifting the graph up and down, or alternatively, in changing the labels on the y-axis while leaving the shape of the curve the same. So graphing an anomaly against a total is pretty much the same thing from the standpoint of eyeballing the data as using two anomalies or two totals.

    In practice, people use the temperature anomaly because it’s readily available and gives some sense of how unusual the current temperatures. The four different temperature series use different reference periods, so their anomalies have different magnitudes even if the actual temperatures are identical.

  91. Bob Tisdale,
    Just wondering if the satellite temperature data could be graphed showing the earth in three separate regions, north, south and central? I have a feeling that such a graph might show something unexpected.
    Thanks,
    Mike Bryant

  92. Bill Marsh (08:50:07) :
    I agree with your comments about the planetary gravitic effects. Don’t those gravitic tides affect earths orbit though, adding some more eccentricity to the orbit and thus affecting solar irradiance?
    No, they do not, as it is the barycenter that moves around. Here is a plot [from Alexander’s paper] showing what the distance [and also the TSI] between the sun and the Earth should be according to BTS: http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA10.png and here is what is actually observed [in terms of TSI: the black curve]: http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA11.png with the data points from the previous figure added in [the red dots]. As you can see, the observed TSI does not match the BTS prediction. BTW, you might be able to discern some VERY small wiggles in the black curve [e.g. one near the top in 1993]. Those are the variations caused by solar activity. Note how utterly insignificant [like 50-100 times smaller] they are compared to the regular march of the sine-wave due to the smoothly varying sun-earth distance.

  93. I for one have had enough of the the smug, arrogant, condescending and boorish Lief Svalgaard.

    Lief is always right. Nobody may question his right to be right. Lief knows the sun and the sun knows Lief.

    Lief adds nothing to any discussion, except to ensure that Lief’s right to be right is respected.

    Proof, justification, implications, explanations, etc, are nowhere to be found.

    As an engineer, I find it difficult to tolerate this degree of sanctimonious science.

  94. Can’t we just admit that, as humans, we don’t really know everything about our impact on the environment? Maybe we can just play it safe and drive a little less, in case all the paid-off scientists are wrong (cough..cough…bogus science reports saying that cigarettes are “healthy” half a century ago)

  95. NOAA released their Sept sunspot graph. They truncated the left side of the red curves slightly, but those prediction high and low lines are unchanged otherwise that I can see.

    John M Reynolds

  96. Leif,

    Please, how does the author’s point morph into your own? Because he didn’t provide the itemized list?

    “So, the answer lies not in knowing more about the sun or of how little the atmosphere reacts to variations in solar output, but in understanding the internal oscillations of the system and the interplay between atmosphere, ocean, lithosphere, and biosphere [including man].”

    BTW, I am on a Palin binge and can’t get back.

  97. jmrSudbury (11:17:14) :
    NOAA released their Sept sunspot graph. They truncated the left side of the red curves slightly, but those prediction high and low lines are unchanged otherwise that I can see.
    They, of course, need to move the red curves to the right, but since it is an official product, they cannot do that without excessive bureaucratic hassle. so expect the curves to be more and more silly in the future until the Panel makes another prediction [if ever].

  98. Gary Gulrud (11:28:41) :
    Please, how does the author’s point morph into your own? Because he didn’t provide the itemized list?
    I don’t know what you mean and why it matters. I used his phraseology and added what I consider important. Namely that the Sun is not a player, no matter how badly we want him to be [for many disparate reasons].

  99. Namely that the Sun is not a player, no matter how badly we want him to be [for many disparate reasons].
    There you go again, Leif, with your anti-sun ideology. Sorry, not buying it. You sure talk a good game, though.

  100. Here are some correlations I’ve noticed:

    In the fall, bears go into hibernation. Winter follows. When bears come out of hibernation, winter ends. Therefore, bears hibernating causes winter.

    First cell phones went into use in 1977. Each cell phone generates heat. Cell phone usage has gone up with global temperatures. Therefore, cell phone usage is the cause of global warming.

    Isn’t science wonderful? With such a small investment in facts, one can reap a rich reward.

    And on small things having a big impact:

    I don’t have to worry about that little train down the track. It is really, really tiny so I can just take my time moving my car off the track…

  101. Bruce Cobb (12:55:39) :
    There you go again, Leif, with your anti-sun ideology. Sorry, not buying it. You sure talk a good game, though.
    It is not fair to call it ideology. It is the result of 40+ years of study of this and of familiarity with hundreds of scientific papers purporting this or that [or no] claim.
    Now, tell me why you are not buying it?

  102. Jack Simmons (13:10:06) :
    I don’t have to worry about that little train down the track. It is really, really tiny so I can just take my time moving my car off the track…
    Naaw, just stay put and let the train pass under your car…

  103. Kum,
    Just one little thought about those poor subsistence farmers in Africa who would benefit from $5/bu corn: what do you think subsistence farming means? These are not people with the infrastructure, technology, water resources or capability of producing exportable crops. As it is, their farming/land-clearing methods are resulting in desertification of the environment. If $5/bu corn would save them, they’d already be selling it to us (though I’m sure their governments would reap the rewards, rather than the actual farmers). It isn’t global warming or fat Westerners that are causing the poverty that afflicts these people, it is a complex mix of regional conflicts, corrupt governments, and the chaos left over from Imperialism. If the Africans want to sell me some nice thick, juicy wildebeest steaks, I’ll be happy to lift them out of poverty.

  104. Tamara, I will agree that those African farmers have many problems, starting with terrible governance in many cases. I was just trying to make the point that whether we feed corn to cattle and sell the beef to rich Koreans, or whether we extract some of the starch for ethanol before we feed the protein to the cattle, and Then sell the beef is Not one of them.

  105. Oh dear. My first comment here is censored because I had the bad taste to question the beLiefs of those who beLief that the sun has no influence on climate.

    Sorry, Anthony – I was a fan.

    I’m an AGW skeptic (with qualifications to justify my position).

    Censorship amongst ourselves is not a real good idea.

    REPLY: Actually no it wasn’t censored, it’s just that none of the other moderators wanted to make a decision on it, and it bumped up to me. I’ve been offline a lot today and now have just gotten back to it. I made the decision to allow it. It is online now. – Anthony

  106. Jack Linard, at this point you haven’t been censored, just temporarily embargoed for when Anthony has time to answer.

    charles the moderator.

  107. kum
    True, that isn’t the problem. And, it may be that $5/bu corn isn’t really a problem, at least not in the U.S. Corn already has industrial uses other than ethanol, so it’s really just a matter of expanding corn’s utility. But, people (a.k.a. the marketplace) should have the ability to choose, to some extent, how they spend their hard earned money. My choice is to be able to purchase meat and chicken to put on my family’s table. If the two choices are: 1) Eat meat, or 2) the salvation of the planet, I will take the salvation of the planet. Most rational people would. The ethanol debate isn’t about just finding another use for corn. It is about government (and world government) mandated and subsidized use of food stuffs to produce biofuels in a misguided bid to save us from ourselves. I am paying my government to increase the price of the meat on my table in order to save me from a trace gas that may or may not be warming the planet by a degree or so (which is consistent with the post-ice age warming rate). Frankly, that chaps my hide.
    Also, you have mentioned that the people in developing countries are not affected by our use of corn for ethanol, because we don’t export corn to them. But what about the foodstuffs that they are using in their own countries to produce biofuels (soybeans, beets, sugarcane, etc.)? Do you also argue that this does not affect food prices in developing countries (serious question. If there is a reason, I’d like to know it.)? Was it just ignorance that has led to rioting? Is it a concern that there are regimes who would deem it much more satisfying to sell ethanol to Western nations rather than feed their own people?

  108. Leif,

    I share your view that gravitational influences would have no direct effect on the Earth’s climate systems.

    However I have seen it suggested that the combined gravitational effects of the planets in the solar system will move the barycentre of the solar system around and that the position of the barycentre in relation to the position of the sun will have an effect on the sun’s inner workings and result in changes in output possibly linked to the observed solar cycles.

    Would you go along with that ?

  109. Pingback: What sort of global weather system would develop if the Earth stopped turning?

  110. Stephen Wilde (15:28:38) :
    the position of the barycentre in relation to the position of the sun will have an effect on the sun’s inner workings and result in changes in output possibly linked to the observed solar cycles.
    Would you go along with that ?

    No, I would not, for reasons that I have stated here several times [the main one being that the sun is following a geodesic in a curved space and feeling no forces]. IMHO, hitching your writings [and Duffy’s by extension] to BTS effects diminishes the paper.

  111. “Outgoing long wave radiation varies directly with the Southern Oscillation index. El Nino events involve a fall in OLR as the tropical oceans absorb energy while La Nina events involve a loss of stored energy and a fall in sea surface temperature”

    Erl,

    I was puzzled by the above and wonder whether it is the right way round.

    El Nino releases energy stored in the ocean to the atmosphere so there should be a rise in OLR and a decrease in stored energy (unless the sun is in an active phase and still adding energy faster than it is being released).

    Vice versa for La Nina which holds energy back from the atmosphere with a fall in OLR and an increase in stored energy (unless the sun is in a quiet phase and unable to add energy faster than it is still being released.

    Quite correct that it is a matter of overall system balance as Leif has said rather than any necessary substantial solar variation but in a highly sensitive ocean regulated system very small solar changes could indeed have a significant effect over enough time. Each phase of the PDO is 30 years so 60 years or nearly six solar cycles for a full PDO cycle which could throw up sizeable variability from small slow solar changes.

    Remember too that there are a lot of square metres on Earth’s surface so even a change in irradiance of one unit or less per square metre will multiply up to a sizeable amount of energy.

  112. “Stephen Wilde (15:28:38) :
    the position of the barycentre in relation to the position of the sun will have an effect on the sun’s inner workings and result in changes in output possibly linked to the observed solar cycles.
    Would you go along with that ?

    Leif Svalgaard
    No, I would not, for reasons that I have stated here several times [the main one being that the sun is following a geodesic in a curved space and feeling no forces]. IMHO, hitching your writings [and Duffy’s by extension] to BTS effects diminishes the paper.”

    My wording differs from Duffy’s to the extent that my article does not rely on any particular cause for the solar cycles. All my article requires is that there are solar cycles and historically there have been observed real world correlations over several centuries.

    My curiosity on the point arises from this item which seems able to make reasonable predictions on the basis of planetary influences on solar behaviour. I dont pretend to know the definitive position myself.

    http://personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspots.html#intro

  113. If two patterns are in harmony then there is a very high likely hood of a physical connection, since without a connection the two waves will move out of phase. So if A and B are in harmony then either A causes B or B cause A or C cause A & B. If a pattern on the sun is in harmony with a patten on the earth then there must be a physical connection.

    By the way, is there any comments on why a small CO2 forcing can have a large effect in clear violation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics?

    Or why a system driven by positive feedbacks (as climate is often described) is actually a description of a perpetual motion device, clearly impossible.
    Cheers

  114. Mike Bryant: Sorry, but I don’t have time today to create graphs that I won’t be using at my blog. But here’s a link to the RSS MSU data broken down by latitude. http://www.remss.com/pub/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_1.txt
    And here’s a link to the UAH MSU data that’s also broken down by latitude:
    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt
    I’m surprised you haven’t been able to find the comparison graphs by doing a google image search. They should be out there. I know I’ve seen them.

  115. Stephen Wilde (16:00:21) :
    My curiosity on the point arises from this item which seems able to make reasonable predictions on the basis of planetary influences on solar behaviour. I dont pretend to know the definitive position myself.
    http://personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspots.html#intro

    I do not see a table with “post-dictions’ of past cycles and their errors or skill score [maybe I just missed it in the mass of numbers] and the only real prediction I can find is for cycle 24 to be 30-60 with maximum in 2014. As I have said before, there are other theories [e.g Cliverd et al. based on different ‘cyclomania’:

    Predicting Solar Cycle 24 and beyond
    Authors: Clilverd, Mark A.; Clarke, Ellen; Ulich, Thomas; Rishbeth, Henry; Jarvis, Martin J.
    (British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, Cambridge, UK);
    Publication: Space Weather, Volume 4, Issue 9, CiteID S09005
    Publication Date: 09/2006
    Origin:
    DOI: 10.1029/2005SW000207
    Abstract
    We use a model for sunspot number using low-frequency solar oscillations, with periods 22, 53, 88, 106, 213, and 420 years modulating the 11-year Schwabe cycle, to predict the peak sunspot number of cycle 24 and for future cycles, including the period around 2100 A.D. We extend the earlier work of Damon and Jirikowic (1992) by adding a further long-period component of 420 years. Typically, the standard deviation between the model and the peak sunspot number in each solar cycle from 1750 to 1970 is +/-34. The peak sunspot prediction for cycles 21, 22, and 23 agree with the observed sunspot activity levels within the error estimate. Our peak sunspot prediction for cycle 24 is significantly smaller than cycle 23, with peak sunspot numbers predicted to be 42 +/- 34. […]

    or a maximum in the [wide] range 8-76.]

    that predict similar numbers, therefore a ‘hit’ cannot be taken as unique support for any of these.

    At any rate, I missed the skill score statistics that shows that this method works. All ‘prediction’ methods claim a high success rate, otherwise they would not have been brought forward, but clearly they cannot all be correct, so a mere claim that it works cannot be taken as evidence that ‘this is it!’.

  116. RobJM (16:06:18) :
    If two patterns are in harmony then there is a very high likely hood of a physical connection, since without a connection the two waves will move out of phase. So if A and B are in harmony then either A causes B or B cause A or C cause A & B. If a pattern on the sun is in harmony with a pattern on the earth then there must be a physical connection.
    Absolutely. This was the [correct] argument a hundred years ago for a connection between sunspots and geomagnetic storms. But show me the pattern in the climate that is in harmony with a pattern in the Sun. Now, there is a little twist. There are LOTS of such patterns and LOTS of people that claim them. The problem is that these people do not agree as to what and when. If they all did [as they now agree on the harmony patterns of sunspots and magnetic storms – there is no debate any more] then we would not have this discussion. So, you will have to show why your patterns are superior to anybody else’s patterns.

  117. Leif, I am sure that you have explained this before. Although in general, I agree with your statement >> BTW, you might be able to discern some VERY small wiggles in the black curve [e.g. one near the top in 1993]. Those are the variations caused by solar activity. Note how utterly insignificant [like 50-100 times smaller] they are compared to the regular march of the sine-wave due to the smoothly varying sun-earth distance.<< However, the other problem is that I thought that TSI was greater in the time when the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, as indiacted by your graph where December is greater than June. In that CO2 is well mixed, then shouldn’t global warming in the southern hemisphere be greater than northern hemisphere? The IPCC indicate such a small portion of the W/m^2 proves manmade global warming. That difference, in your graph, is so small, and yet, it is the actual and proven cause of recent global warming per IPCC. After all, the GCM’s which also prove global warming, in description, have a thermal barrier at the tropics. However, CO2, being nearly an ideal gas, is dispersed through atmosphere relatively evenly; except; it is noted, and accepted, that it is somewhat less concentrated in the polar regions, due to the known temperature relationship for water and gas phases. Could you provide the same insights to this difference of TSI in the cycle you graphed, and the IPCC claims for southern versus northern hemispheres? I mean, after all if the sine wave is smoothly varying and the southerm hemisphere receives such an appreciable amount more than the northern, what explanation will explain the difference that the southern is cooler than the northern? I would say that it is the difference between the amount of land versus ocean in the respective hemispheres. However, with evaporation, the thermal capacity of water is much greater than soils, due to the fact that the triple point of water is 0C at standard temperature and pressure. I wonder how one can use W/m^2 as a standard in a system where the main GHG is water which has a 1:273 ratio for comparing actual heat of water (ocean) versus water vapor (GHG). Yet one of the admitted weaknesses, therefore one of the weaknesses of the proof, is that GCM’s either do not do water cycles ( a single lumped parameter) or cannot model water cycles if they try. Further, these same models are promoted as being able to do regions, less that their grid size, and determine whether it will be drought or flodd up to 100 years in the future. With what you have posted on TSI, what would it take to accept/prove the claims stated above? If the claim is that the southern hemisphere has more water, and yet shows less temperature increase than the northern hemisphere, is this not proof, at least indirect proof, that water is actually a negative feedback, rather than a positive one? Futher, one the principle reactions is that mass that heats, expands; and for air systems, this means that the tendency on the atomic and molecular level is to rise, taking heat and mass upwards where it can release the energy in our system. This is a conservative approach. Also, in that air under conditions of boundary, the most energetic atoms/molecules, on a empirical basis, are the ones that tend to rise upward (outward in a compressed cylinder), which means that the atoms/molecules that exit are in a state of higher energy than those remaining in that state. That temperature, all things being equal as the IPCC have claimed, is a good measurement of heat/energy in the earth system means this approach is an even more conservative approach..this is based on how the IPCC justify their computation and recognition of climate sensitivity. Yet, this claim by the IPCC appears to fail a most cursory examination. Could you provide some insight with respect to TSI?

  118. Tamara, the other Major Ethanol-producing country is Brazil. They make ethanol from sugar cane grown in the southern/central parts of the country. The Cerrano where they grow soybeans has, according to their government, 150 Million Acres of fertile land lying fallow. Their government has stated that they could replace every drop of gasoline in the U.S. and never cut down a tree, or fail to feed a single Brazilian.

    Stanford Univ. states that their are 1.2 Billion Acres of Abandoned Farmland in the World.

    Tamara, with all the noise of Gas Prices going up, and Down, and Speculation, etc. etc. keep one thing in mind. Many really smart oil analysts think that around 2011 the world is going to start running very short on Oil. Even now, Exports from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Nigeria, among others, are Declining.

    Add to that the fact that production from our own North Slope, and Gulf of Mexico is Declining, and that the U.K., China, and Indonesia are now Importers rather than exporters, and you might get a glimpse of the problem developing.

    In short, Tamara, the main argument for forcing the Energy companies to develop biofuels is Not grounded in Climate. If it was, believe me, I’d feel the same as you.

  119. John F. Pittman (17:24:29) :
    Could you provide some insight with respect to TSI?
    Most of your long comment on the difference between the Northern/southern Hemisphere I do not know any good answers to. My hunch [like yours] is that the different distributions of Land/Sea is crucial. When we try to evaluate the impact of TSI, we must remember that what actually matters is not TSI, but what is left after the albedo has taken its cut. And the albedo over Sea and Land [and the cloud cover] is different. This all is taken into account, or so the modelers tell us, so I guess there should be no mysteries. Perhaps somebody more qualified that I on this, could take it from here…

  120. Though you do not know a good answer, perhaps as I do when looking at phenomena, you could comment on the orders of magnitude as you did for TSI. After all, with a 1:273 lever against and using temperature for climate sensitivity and the very physical reaction of gas to excitement by an energy source (sun or CO2 enhancement), how can one take these account and say there is a positive feedback? When I showed using a twice conservative approach even ignoring this 1:273 ratio, that the feedback is negative you would reply >> we must remember that what actually matters is not TSI, but what is left after the albedo has taken its cut. And the albedo over Sea and Land [and the cloud cover] is different. This all is taken into account, or so the modelers tell us, so I guess there should be no mysteries<< So I show that it is about 1000 times (273 x 4, if not 273 x 2 x 4 = 2000 times more), 3 orders of magnitude unlikely, very much like your TSI. You reply with a albedo that has been measured IIRC varying about +/-10% for +/- 3 SD for all changes from frigid to much warmer than present. However, using your graph where it is 110 units of 1365 (average) which is a 8% and we compare 10% x .3 (land/ocean ratio) we get 3% with a relative linear trend since the IPCC used delta Temperature to compute sensitivity, and an 8% that has land and water. But since I like conservative approaches, soil has a typical water content of 30%. Now our value goes to 1% with this linear IPCC delta. But it does not stop there. Soil, and especially soil with water has a good insulating affect of about 2.6. My favorite example of this, is that where I live, dogs dig under bushes into the dirt to cool themselves; you could look up insulating properites od common elements. Anyway, 1%/2.6 = 0.4%. So now we are about an order of magnitude less for the albedo effect. Note that this effect also is coupled with the 1:273, and transpiration is noted by the IPCC. So the effect of water, regardless of the IPCC assumptions decrease this 0.4% versus 8%. So that it approaches two orders of magnitude, if the change in water vapor is significant. It is, as can be determined from physcometric charts when you compare say desert versus the USA south east. As this approaches 2 orders of magnitude less, does it not approach the difference in TSI that you corrected (or took them to task, as they may believe)??

  121. John F. Pittman (18:46:22) :
    does it not approach the difference in TSI that you corrected (or took them to task, as they may believe)?
    John, I cannot follow you. What is your point? Instead of guessing, I’ll try to describe my point of view [which is what I know].
    Currently, there is a large difference [~100 W/m2] between TSI in January [when we are closest to the sun] and July [farthest away]. The climate system adjusts to this recurring disparity in ways that depend on the distribution of Sea and Land. Complex systems don’t adjust instantaneously and perfectly everywhere, although on the average things will balance out quite well. If you add very small perturbations [solar activity] to the signal, the effect of these will be hard to distinguish from the imperfections of the adjustment. That is why we don’t see a big solar cycle effect. Over long periods of time, the Earth’s orbit changes and the annual wave in TSI changes accordingly [the Sea/Land distribution also changes, perhaps on even longer time scales] giving rise to glaciations or other major climate changes because the changes in TSI are much larger than those associated with the solar cycles (~1 W/m2).
    The players in the adjustment process are the Land/Sea distribution, oceans currents, salinity changes, volcanoes, and the biosphere [I may have left a few out].
    This process has gone on for eons, and will continue for eons. Sometimes these adjustments takes just decades and at all times the system is in continuous flux around its equilibrium.
    I mentioned that TSI changes are built in to the climate models, but as far as I know, just as fixed boundary conditions [using a ‘typical’ average TSI]. I don’t know if this makes sense, but I do also don’t know that it does not. One thing I have asked the modelers [e.g. Gavin Smith] to do is to ‘crank up’ the TSI and/or its annual variation and/or the superposed solar variation and in this way run some ‘sensitivity’ test runs, but to no avail.
    I have in general a low opinion of IPCC because of its political control and [perhaps] goals, but I don’t really have an opinion on the AGW issue, except perhaps that [coming from a cold country] I think warm is better than cold.

  122. Stephen Wilde
    Re: I was puzzled by the above and wonder whether it is the right way round.

    Thanks for the question. Can I ask you to look at my admittedly unorthodox explanation of the phenomena in post of today on the Svalgaard 8 thread on Climate Audit.

    Alternatively look at: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/bulletin_tmp/figt1.shtml

    There is nothing internal about the ENSO oscillation. Tropical warming events are generalized and not confined to the Pacific and they involve a fall in outgoing long wave radiation. The energy is absorbed by the ocean where it raises temperatures. It can not be both absorbed and emitted. A warming event is the result of a fall in albedo. Density and spread of cirrus cloud in the tropics varies inversely with 200hPa temperature. Temperature at 10-11km altitude is driven directly by the sun with an amplitude of variation much greater than at the surface. There is appreciable ozone at 200hPa and enough water vapour to form multi branching microscopic ice crystals that have a high reflectivity value. Both ozone and ice will heat with an increase in incoming solar radiation. There is a much greater variation in ultraviolet light than total solar irradiance.

    So, cirrus cloud comes and goes with the change in relative humidity at 200hPa. Tropical albedo is about 24% with about a 6% decrease over south east Asia during an El Nino event. Of course, ‘an El Nino event’ is a parcel of variable proportion and so too will be the change in albedo.

  123. I have the essentially same POV, as far as I can tell. However, I do not assume that GCM’s are correct. Rather the opposite. My point above that you did not follow was that the average +50 W/m^2 occurred in the southern hemisphere, with the northern hemisphere at an average of -50 W/m^2 with respect to each other for the 100 W/m^2 difference. A quick estimate from the IPCC is 7.5 W/m^2/degree K for the current temperature difference of the average temperature versus the black body earth which translates to 2.3 K difference between the Northern and Southern hemisphere. I agree with that there are sea land distributions. My point is that: in that models are said by the modellers do a poor job of the water cycle; and from the known physics +50 W/m^2 and a delta T of about .3K (NH average – SH average), when it should be opposite sign and larger; these indicate that assuming the GCM’s are correct is shown to be a bad assumption, based on the TSI data you provided, the known differences of the SH versus the NH, and what the modellers themselves say.

  124. John F. Pittman (06:46:49) :
    I have the essentially same POV, as far as I can tell. However, I do not assume that GCM’s are correct.

    I must be singularly inept in explaining my view. I have made no assumption about GCMs being correct. What I was suggesting was a stringent test of their ability to model the impact of TSI correctly. And I suspect they will fail.

    the average +50 W/m^2 occurred in the southern hemisphere, with the northern hemisphere at an average of -50 W/m^2 with respect to each other for the 100 W/m^2 difference.
    but six months later, it is the other way around, so whatever difference it made would be reversed six months later and symmetry would be restored, no?

  125. No, you were not inept. I misunderstood.

    Yes, it will. But that is the time when albedo changes should be greatest. I agree about the restoration by the cycle. Thanks for helping clarify my thinking.

  126. Erl,

    Thanks for your reply.

    There seems to be an imprtant issue here regarding the ENSO mechanism which may impact on my ideas.

    Would you agree to an exchange of private emails so that I can decide whether wahat you say should affect my pronouncements?

    I can be contacted on wilde.co@btconnect.com

    Stephen

  127. Leif,
    I will avoid the B word but wouldn’t the sun’s motion on its geodesic distort the magnetic field far from the sun versus the field near the geodesic? TIA

    P.S.
    I learned geodesic from an another poster but can’t spell his name yet.

  128. statePoet1775 (14:38:57) :
    wouldn’t the sun’s motion on its geodesic distort the magnetic field far from the sun versus the field near the geodesic?

    The geodesic has to do with gravity not magnetic fields, so the answer is “no”, and distorting a magnetic field far from the sun does not seem to be an efficient way of making spots on the sun…

  129. Leif,
    Thanks. I guess I should ask a neutron star expert about how a magnetic field behaves in differently warped space.

  130. More on Ian WIlson’s article from ABC, for those who haven’t read the full article:

    “For many years scientists have recognised an apparent connection between the strength of sunspot activity and the movement of the sun in relation to solar system’s barycentre, which is driven by the combined gravitational forces of Jupiter and Saturn.
    But no one has been able to explain the connection.
    “There are really only two possible interactions, and neither of them is feasible,” Wilson says.”

    Read more at

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/07/02/2292281.htm?site=science&topic=energy

  131. statePoet1775 (17:17:06) :
    I guess I should ask a neutron star expert about how a magnetic field behaves in differently warped space.
    whatever her answer, it would hardly have application to the weak gravitational fields found in the solar system which is the case I was referring to.

    Glenn (17:19:13) :
    from the blurp: “They say that when the sun’s orbital motion changes, so too does its equatorial rotation rate, which provides strong circumstantial evidence that there is a spin-orbit coupling mechanism operating between Jupiter and Saturn and the sun.”
    Except that no variation of the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate has ever been clearly demonstrated. I would be glad to comment on any claim to the contrary if provided with a link.

  132. Leif Svalgaard (18:11:02) :

    Glenn (17:19:13) :
    from the blurp: “They say that when the sun’s orbital motion changes, so too does its equatorial rotation rate, which provides strong circumstantial evidence that there is a spin-orbit coupling mechanism operating between Jupiter and Saturn and the sun.”

    How can the equatorial rotation rate change? For that to happen, you need a torque, and in a gravitational system, the best way to do that is with a difference in the gravitational attraction between the “left” and “right” sides. As far as I know, stars aren’t lumpy enough for that.

  133. Leif Svalgaard (18:11:02) :
    … whatever her answer, it would hardly have application to the weak gravitational fields found in the solar system which is the case I was referring to.

    Well, I guess my half bake thought was that the magnetic lines of force might get wrapped around the sun or twisted because of the different geodesics they propagate through. I was not thinking of sunspots. Reminds me of my adolescence too much.

    Thanks for your patience, Leif

  134. Leif:
    “Except that no variation of the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate has ever been clearly demonstrated. I would be glad to comment on any claim to the contrary if provided with a link.”

    Don’t know what weight “clearly” demonstrated has here, I’m just going on
    Ian WIlson’s AU article that assumes the equatorial rate is not constant.

    “The Role of the Sun in Climate Change By Douglas V. Hoyt, Kenneth H. Schatten” on page 193 graphs “faster” and “slower” rates.

    Another, “We have found the existence of a statistically significant 17-yr periodicity in the solar equatorial rotation rate.”
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17116387

    I’m sure you are aware of more than this, but my opinion is that not much of
    anything about the Sun has been “clearly demonstrated”.

  135. A paper [by usually reputable people whom I know personally] that may come closest to ‘demonstrating’ a long-term variation is:

    Long-term variations in solar differential rotation and sunspot activity
    J Javaraiah
    L Bertello
    R K. Ulrich

    ABSTRACT:

    The solar equatorial rotation rate, determined from sunspot group data during the period 1879-2004, decreased over the last century, whereas the level of activity has increased considerably. The latitude gradient term of the solar rotation shows a significant modulation of about 79 year, which is consistent with what is expected for the existence of the Gleissberg cycle. Our analysis indicates that the level of activity will remain almost the same as the present cycle during the next few solar cycles (i.e., during the current double Hale cycle), while the length of the next double Hale cycle in Sunspot activity is predicted to be longer than the Current one. We find evidence for the existence of a weak linear relationship between the equatorial rotation rate and the length of sunspot cycle. Finally, we find that the length of the current cycle will be as short as that of cycle 22, indicating that the present Hale cycle may be a combination of two shorter cycles.

    SUGGESTED CITATION:
    J Javaraiah, L Bertello, and R K. Ulrich, “Long-term variations in solar differential rotation and sunspot activity” (2005). Solar Physics. 232 (1-2), pp. 25-40.

    You can see it at:
    http://repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4114&context=postprints

    You can also link to their figure that shows how the equatorial rotation supposedly has varied: http://www.leif.org/research/SolarRotRate.png

    You will, I’m sure, agree that this is pretty flimsy. Not the ‘strong evidence’ that I at least would require in order to overthrow Einstein’s Equivalence Principle.

    Just like with sun/weather-climate relations there are scores of such papers all showing flimsy ‘evidence’ with all kind of periods from day-to-day, 154 days, 1.3 years, 7 years, 11 and 22 years, etc. None of them convincing. I’ll certainly agree with you when you say that “my opinion is that not much of anything about the Sun has been “clearly demonstrated”” and therefore I cannot accept the ‘evidence’ of Wilson et al.

  136. I forgot to draw attention to the final statement of their abstract: Finally, we find that the length of the current cycle will be as short as that of cycle 22, indicating that the present Hale cycle may be a combination of two shorter cycles.
    sort of indicative of the uncertainty of the whole thing.

  137. Leif,
    Wouldn’t this be a clear demonstration of rotation rate variation?

    “The equatorial rotation rate shows a systematic variation within each cycle. The rate is higher at the beginning of the cycle and decreases subsequently. Although quite small, the variation of solar differential rotation with respect to Zürich sunspot type was found. ”
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/u0q85tv07532q253/

  138. Glenn (21:29:54) :
    Wouldn’t this be a clear demonstration of rotation rate variation?
    “The equatorial rotation rate shows a systematic variation within each cycle. The rate is higher at the beginning of the cycle and decreases subsequently. Although quite small, the variation of solar differential rotation with respect to Zürich sunspot type was found. ”

    No, not IMHO. First, only three cycles were studied [=low statistical significance]. Second, the small changes they find are not of the kind that Wilson needs, namely a 179-year cycle, if I understand him correctly. Over the 11.86 year period of Jupiter, Saturn can be all over the place. He can not take any old variation as evidence. It has to be a specific and unique kind. I have to admit that I have only seen his abstract: I’m not going to pay $35 to read a paper that is in conflict with General Relativity. When Wilson came out with the paper, he was saying “I have irrefutable evidence that blah blah blah, but because of Intellectual Property Issues I cannot show it to you”. That kind of put me off, right there. If you have his paper, maybe send it to me.

    The ‘finding’ also conflicts with our flimsy finding in http://www.leif.org/research/ast10867.pdf [Figure 1 does not show any such jump at the start of each cycle]. Typical of relationships that are on unsure ground and not generally accepted. If you continue your search you can find scores of such papers. I have read most of them over time as they came out. We have measured the solar rotation rate very carefully at Wilcox Solar Observatory (WSO) at Stanford since 1976 and see no systematic variation. I was one the builders of WSO and a preliminary paper describing the instrument, the data, and the results can be found at http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1980ApJ…241..811S
    Subsequent data up to the present fully corroborate the early results. It just so happens that I am kind of an expert on this :-)

  139. Leif, you said that “no variation of the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate has ever been clearly demonstrated.”

    I believe that my refs and yours show that rotation rate has been observed to vary. Here’s a couple more:

    “The degree of the equatorial acceleration of the surface differential rotation is also found to have undergone the same 100 year periodic modulation during the same interval, reaching a minimum at cycle 14, a maximum at cycle 17, and a minimum at cycle 21 in antiphase with the modulation of M.”

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/112447180/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    “The equatorial rotation rate, increases with time or decreasing magnetic activity during the declining phase of solar cycle 23.”

    http://www.noao.edu/staff/rhowe/disk2k8b/data/2008/agu08/rk.pdf

  140. Glenn (23:36:15) :
    Leif, you said that “no variation of the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate has ever been clearly demonstrated.”

    I thought if was evident that the meaning was the no variation of the kind needed to explain the effect has been clearly observed. I elaborated on that like this:

    ” Second, the small changes they find are not of the kind that Wilson needs, namely a 179-year cycle, if I understand him correctly. Over the 11.86 year period of Jupiter, Saturn can be all over the place. He can not take any old variation as evidence. It has to be a specific and unique kind.”

    A offered a link to the claimed variation at http://www.leif.org/research/SolarRotRate.png
    to show how poor the correlation was.

    One of your examples claimed:
    “The equatorial rotation rate shows a systematic variation within each cycle. The rate is higher at the beginning of the cycle and decreases subsequently. ”
    The new one from Howe says:
    “The equatorial rotation rate, increases with time or decreasing magnetic activity during the declining phase of solar cycle 23.”

    Can’t you see that these are contradictory? and that therefore no “clear demonstration” has been made?

    I’m sure you can find many more such contradictory claims and, perhaps, with judicious selection further your case…

  141. European politicians running round like headless chickens claiming that the end of the world is nigh!! – should be forcibly sat down and made to read this article.

    Man-made global warming the new ‘orthodoxy’ replacing conventional belief. So many more immediate and pressing problems to address, but therein is the reason. Like Putin’s adventures in Georgia to deflect the populace away from economic and social inertia at home. So we Europeans are led down the garden path, towards global warming hysteria, leading our thoughts away from the real issues.

    The End of the world barring a super volcano or a massive meteorite, or total Armageddon is not nigh!(maybe)

  142. As I see it:

    1) There is a clear correlation between climate and solar cycle activity and length over centuries

    2) Statistically a relationship appears to exist between the planets and the sun which enables solar cycle lengths to be estimated some time in advance.

    3) Leif has kindly indicated which mechanisms cannot cause the observed link

    4) It would be wrong to ignore the connection just because we have not yet nailed the cause.

    5) We can make rough and ready climate predictions from observing solar behaviour even if the cause of the link is not known especially if we combine solar behaviour wiuth multidecadal oceanic oscillations as per my various articles at CO2sceptics.com

  143. Stephen Wilde (06:15:52) :
    1) There is a clear correlation between climate and solar cycle activity and length over centuries
    If this first point does not hold, then the other ones don’t matter. So, let’s start with this one. About 150 years before the Maunder minimum, there was another solar Grand Minimum, the Spoerer minimum [named after Gustav Spoerer, who is the real discoverer of the Maunder minimum]. The Spoerer minimum was even ‘deeper’ than the Maunder minimum, yet there was no Little Ice Age then. If anything, the temperature had a local maximum during the Spoerer minimum. So, I’m not so hot on the ‘clear correlation’.
    There are different ways you can try to ‘rescue’ the correlation:
    like time delays, bad data, Government cover-up, etc, but then it ceases to be ‘clear’.

  144. Stephen Wilde (06:15:52) :
    2) Statistically a relationship appears to exist between the planets and the sun which enables solar cycle lengths to be estimated some time in advance.

    If this weren’t true then the rest of the points don’t matter. So, once again, show me the relationship. The weasel word ‘appears’ may be indicative. Either there exists a statistically significant relationship based on solid data or it is just smokes and mirrors that give the appearance of a relationship. In science we often use a different weasel word when we are not sure. We would say: “the data suggest a relationship”, or “we suggest that blah, blah, blah”. This leaves the door open for a graceful exit, should it be needed, but also means that the jury is still out.

  145. Stephen Wilde (06:15:52) :
    Dropping points 1) and 2) is AGW neutral. The ‘correlations’ and their statistical ‘significance’ are independent [or should be(!) if we want to be scientifically honest] of whether one adheres to AGW or not [if not, then one is not honest about it as ideology becomes the driver].

    Now, it is perfectly OK to state “I believe that the Sun is doing it”. The problem comes when one tries to use one’s belief to determine policy and thereby impact on others. Or, rather, that changes the issue from a scientific one to a political one. There is nothing wrong in letting political ideology drive policy, as long as one realizes that that is what it is and not is not trying to hide behind science.

  146. Leif,

    Pointing to the Spoerer minimum to discredit all subsequent correlations is merely a debating point. As you say there is the issue of lag, inadequate records then and length of that minimum and overall I am inclined to ‘believe’ the correlations from LIA onwards. However the current global temperature response to the quietening sun since the peak of cycle 23 seems pretty persuasive unless it goes into reverse pretty soon without a reactivated sun or a strong El Nino. That will be a real test.

    As regards the planets and the sun the jury is indeed out from my viewpoint since I don’t really need it for my ideas. I was curious about your view on the link that I provided. It seems that the chap concerned has been predicting a 13 year cycle 23 for some time on the basis of statistics from solar and planetary movements. Even he accepts that his ideas are tentative and that he is not sure why there seems to be a connection.

    I note your views and your knowledge base but even you cannot know more science than has yet been discovered or ascertained.

    If the statistical correlation continues to be useful then it should be taken seriously. Observations always trump models and theories, even mine.

  147. Leif:
    “One of your examples claimed:
    “The equatorial rotation rate shows a systematic variation within each cycle. The rate is higher at the beginning of the cycle and decreases subsequently. ”
    The new one from Howe says:
    “The equatorial rotation rate, increases with time or decreasing magnetic activity during the declining phase of solar cycle 23.”

    Can’t you see that these are contradictory? and that therefore no “clear demonstration” has been made?”

    No, each article relates to behavior associated with specific solar cycles.
    The variations in rotation rate observed to occur *in relation to* cycles may seem contradictory, but it isn’t at all clear that is the case. Regardless, we are not talking about a simple association between rotation rate and solar cycle, but only whether solar equatorial rotation rate varies.

    Whether or not you don’t think observed variations are “of the kind necessary” or that the planetary orbits are “all over the place”, doesn’t mean
    that there is no association. Many things are all over the place, and often there is no simple correlation of associated events, especially when multiple variable factors are involved. Take the weather for instance.

    Leif, that the physical reasons have not been found doesn’t mean that the association found is wrong or violates relativity or standard models. If there is a reason, the effect on Earth as well as the Sun from dynamic spin-orbit coupling mechanisms are likely to be complex and subtle to observation.

  148. Stephen Wilde (10:14:03) :
    Pointing to the Spoerer minimum to discredit all subsequent correlations is merely a debating point.

    I don’t do ‘debating points’. There are not ‘subsequent correlations’, there should be only one correlation which should include whatever data we have. There was a Spoerer minimum, temperature was higher then, there was a Maunder minimum, temperature was lower then, there was a Modern maximum (1940s), temperatures were higher then, there is a Modern decline [the last 30 years], temperatures has been higher [and the last couple of years can’t be called ‘climate’ yet]. On top of all that there is volcanic activity [e.g. Tambora].

    I am inclined to ‘believe’ the correlations from LIA onwards.
    I call that cherry picking. So, you would believe that the higher temperatures since the 1980s are due to the [unquestionable] decline in solar activity that we have had? solar activity didn’t start declining yesterday.

    However the current global temperature response to the quietening sun since the peak of cycle 23 seems pretty persuasive unless it goes into reverse pretty soon without a reactivated sun or a strong El Nino. That will be a real test.

    Not at all. If the PDO etc are due to internal oscillations that are now going towards a cooler regime, the fact that the Sun is also quiet is just a coincidence. There is no test here. Even if it goes the other way and temperatures jump up, you could still say “Oh that is just AGW overwhelming the Sun”, again no test. It is all belief. Correlations are not causation, so without mechanisms there can be no test. If a correlation persists long enough and its statistical significance thereby is strengthened enough one might at some point be forced to accept the correlation as a sign of an underlying mechanism [that we just don’t understand yet], but the correlations are poor and have only a few degrees of freedom [like 5 or 6 data points]. This is due to something that used to be called ‘positive conservation’ and now more often is referred to as ‘autocorrelation’. A classic example is the sunspot cycle. If you observe the Sun every day, then in the course of a cycle you accumulate 4000 data points. How many of these are independent? Or equivalently, what is the ‘number of degrees of freedom’? The answer is 20, and the reason is that if the sunspot number today is high it was also high yesterday and will be high tomorrow, too.

    As regards the planets and the sun the jury is indeed out from my viewpoint since I don’t really need it for my ideas.
    That was my original point. To hitch your ideas to the planetary influences weakens your paper [or was it Duffy’s :-) ] and ideas. All I said was that it “detracts from whatever merit the article may otherwise have”, without commenting negatively on those other merits.

    If you want to combat AGW, the Sun is a poor co-combatant. There are much better arguments against [or for, as your belief goes] AGW, rooted in physics [some even mentioned in your/Duffy’s article].

  149. Glenn (10:29:10) :
    we are not talking about a simple association between rotation rate and solar cycle, but only whether solar equatorial rotation rate varies.
    No, it has to vary the right way. Suppose it varied from day to day would you call that strong empirical support for spin-orbit coupling? Actually, solar physicists once thought [Howard and Harvey, 1970] that there were such very large day-to-day variations. Our research at Stanford [that I referred to earlier] showed that those variations were spurious [cause by scattered light and other instrumental defects]

    BTW, the ‘solar equatorial rotation rate’ is a misnomer. What is measured is not solar rotation, but winds in the solar atmosphere. One of your references [by Howe] uses the correct term: ‘zonal flows’. There are flows in the solar atmosphere just like there are the ‘trade winds’ in the Earth’s. These flows have little to do with the rotation of the Sun, and at any rate are found far from the places where solar activity is generated.

    If there is a reason, the effect on Earth as well as the Sun from dynamic spin-orbit coupling mechanisms are likely to be complex and subtle to observation.
    And yet Wilson calls it “strong circumstantial evidence”, and that is my problem with the whole thing. I will grant all kinds of subtle, negligible, hard-to-observe effects, but I object to foist those upon the public as ‘strong evidence’. The public deserves better.

  150. I wish our moderator could be persuaded to correct on the spot trivial typos when urged to do so by the poster. Howard and Harvey 1070 should be Howard and Harvey 1970, of course.
    This would conserve bandwidth.

    [Reply by John Goetz: Your comment above seems mildly irritated, as if the several moderators on this site just aren’t moving fast enough for you. However, I would like to point out that your post with the typo had not yet been seen by a moderator (probably because it is Sunday afternoon and most of us are busy doing other things) and had yet to even be approved. That said and speaking for myself, I don’t as a matter of practice correct any typos unless specifically asked in a comment awaiting moderation. Then, when I do correct the typo, I delete the comment asking for the correction, thus saving a minuscule amount of bandwidth. ]

  151. Leif,

    Solar activity hit a peak at the top of cycle 19. Since then there has been a slow decline which is now accelerating.

    Throughout the 30 years you refer to the sun was historically very active. Throughout that period there was warming. In my view it was adding heat throughout and cannot be ignored.

    Since we take different views on that 30 year period there is nothing more either of us can say to persuade the other. Only time and research will resolve the issue.

  152. [Reply by John Goetz: Your comment above seems mildly irritated, as if the several moderators on this site just aren’t moving fast enough for you….]
    Not irritated at all [and thanks for correcting the typo]. It is just that in the past, i had been told that it was the policy of the blog not to correct anything even if asked for immediately by the author, and I just went by that assumption [the first three letters of that word are appropriate for that]. Good to know that the policy has changed. Keep it up. Thanks.

    [Reply by John Goetz: It may still be Anthony’s policy, and this is where the moderators may exhibit some inconsistency. When a correction is requested, it does take some time – not a huge amount – to locate the comment needing modification. Then the change must be made in the editor and the comment updated. When Anthony was moderating this site on his own, I can understand why he did not want to spend any more time than necessary on that type of activity. Now that there are other moderators helping him out, you are sure to see some inconsistency in how each of us deal with comments. We do our best, but it is going to happen.]

  153. It is usually a judgment call on the part of the moderator. Not all procedures are so granually quantified.

    ~ charles the moderator.

  154. Stephen Wilde (11:36:32) :
    Solar activity hit a peak at the top of cycle 19. Since then there has been a slow decline which is now accelerating.

    Throughout the 30 years you refer to the sun was historically very active. Throughout that period there was warming. In my view it was adding heat throughout and cannot be ignored.

    Did I ignore that? What is problematic is that the Sun was not extraordinarily active the last 30 years. Cycles 11 and 10 were as active as the most recent cycles 22 and 23, and even cycle 19 was probably less active than cycle 4 [in the 1780s]. See, e.g. Nature 436, E3-E4 (28 July 2005) | doi:10.1038/nature04045;
    Climate: How unusual is today’s solar activity?
    Raimund Muescheler Fortunat Joos2, Simon A. Mueller & Ian Snowball

    So the activity-declining sun can hardly be blamed for the 30 years of heat as that kind of heat should have been present during cycle 10-11 and 4-5 as well [which it was not]. This is what I meant by saying that the correlations are lousy. But surely, the Sun is not the only source of climate variability, as more research and data will eventually show.

  155. Leif,

    If you read my articles you will see that I postulate that increased or decreased solar activity will normally only have a global temperature effect if it is sufficiently in phase with the average global state of all the oceanic oscillations whether negative or positive globally.

    I tend to the view that such a combination would swamp all the multitude of other potential variables because most of those other variables operate to counteract one another.

    It would be useful to know what the state of those oscillations was during those other cycles you mention but since that is not realistic we can only observe what happens from now and see whether my description of the solar/oceanic combination continues to fit developments as they occur.

    My articles also take the view that solar cycle length is the main factor as regards solar variation and this link suggests a reason for the Spoerer and Maunder minima having different outcomes:

    http://www.lund.irf.se/workshop/abstracts/abstract_poster_miyahara.pdf

    Additionally a positive set of oceanic oscillations could well counteract a period of solar minimum.

  156. Stephen Wilde (12:47:55) :
    If you read my articles you will see that I postulate that increased or decreased solar activity will normally only have a global temperature effect if it is sufficiently in phase with the average global state of all the oceanic oscillations whether negative or positive globally.

    My articles also take the view that solar cycle length is the main factor as regards solar variation […]
    Additionally a positive set of oceanic oscillations could well counteract a period of solar minimum.

    In view of the uncertainties and poor data involved, it is quite reasonable to speculate on different causes and interactions. We do it all the time, that is how fresh ideas get injected into the mix, but what is quite wrong to do is to play down [or simply omit] that these are just speculations or postulations [or ‘views’]. Neither Duffy’s nor your [I take it – as Duffy’s apparently is just a slight rewording of yours :-) ] articles are honest about the speculative aspects. Instead it is claimed in no uncertain terms that The major driver is the sun and The solar effect is huge and overwhelming, and THAT is my problem with them. And it ought to be clear that we are not talking about the effect of turning off the Sun and all the silly comments related to that, but about minute variations of solar output convolved with natural oscillations of the system, etc. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard people say “so, you don’t think it is the sun! try to turn it off and see what you get! you d*** f***!”.

  157. Leif:

    If there is a reason, the effect on Earth as well as the Sun from dynamic spin-orbit coupling mechanisms are likely to be complex and subtle to observation.

    “And yet Wilson calls it “strong circumstantial evidence”, and that is my problem with the whole thing.”

    You seem intent on creating the appearance that Wilson has proposed a mechanism, a physical reason(s) for the observed associations. He didn’t in the abstract of his AU paper, “However, we are unable to suggest a plausible underlying physical cause for the coupling”, nor did he in the ABC news article, “”It is one thing to show an association and quite another to show cause and effect. We have to be very careful, but we will know in a few years,” he says.”

    Again, observing, testing and making predictions based on associations is not pseudo-scientific. The association can be falsified, just as a theory that
    includes physical mechanisms can be falsified.
    Your problem with this has been with the physics (violates relativity), with the science (pseudo-science without mechanism) and with the lack of “clear demonstration” of the observations and the association itself. Sounds like you just don’t like it. But can this paper have been this bad and ever passed peer-review? Or as I suspect, what Wilson says is true, that researchers have seen connections before and that he did show evidence of a correlation and is looking for the reason, and that in my book is science being practiced.
    You seem to want more “clear” evidence, but again I have no idea how to quantify that. Is there clear evidence that CO2 increases in the atmosphere leads to a warming planet?

  158. Stephen Wilde (12:47:55) :
    Additionally a positive set of oceanic oscillations could well counteract a period of solar minimum.
    Adding in more variables just further decreases the number of degrees of freedom. This is irrespective of if the new conditions are correct or not, but as long as all we have to go by are correlations without mechanisms, the thing that matters is the ‘number of degrees of freedom’. If that number drops too low [say below 10] the whole thing could well be spurious. Anyway, you don’t see these considerations in the media, so perhaps a blog like this might be useful as a counterweight against the ‘science is settled’ mentally [which is equally prevalent in declaring “the sun is the driver of climate”].

  159. Glenn (13:38:58) :
    Sounds like you just don’t like it. But can this paper have been this bad and ever passed peer-review?
    In my book there is no such thing as ‘not liking it’. What the data demonstrates and theory explains is what you go with. One without the other is just speculation [which may or may not be true].
    And, yes, bad papers often pass peer review. Weren’t Mann’s hockey stick papers peer reviewed?

    Is there clear evidence that CO2 increases in the atmosphere leads to a warming planet?
    Many peer reviewed papers say so. Nobel prize winners say so. But none of those make it therefore true.
    What is true, IMHO, is that CO2 does heat the planet. The only question is how much? A temperature increase of+0.000001 degrees is also a heating of the planet, so your question is ill-posed. A better question would be if there is evidence that increasing CO2 will put the Earth in peril? I don’t think so, but you are welcome to disagree, because at this point it is politics and not science.

  160. Glenn (13:38:58) :
    he [Wilson] did show evidence of a correlation…
    Have you seen his evidence? As I have confessed before, I haven’t, because he wouldn’t send it to me unless I payed $35. If you have seen his evidence and have his paper, would you please send it to me at leif@leif.org . If you haven’t seen the paper and his evidence, how can you say that he did show such evidence … that is just hearsay, then.

  161. Lief,

    My articles are clear that I am expressing an opinion even if one can extract emphatic sentences and quote them out of context.

    Not much point putting forward an opinion so cautiouly that no one considers it seriously.

    Wasn’t it Hansen himself who justified his approach by pointing out that no one would have taken him seriously unless he had got down from the fence ?Sauce for the Goose etc.

    At least I also provide suggestions as to how my ideas could be shown to be wrong by future real world changes.

    I am content to agree with you that the science is certainly not settled and given time I am sure the competing assertions will be whittled down by real world data

    It’s a shame that new thought on the subject is more often appearing in blogs such as this rather than amongst the members of the scientific establishment but I think that is now changing.

  162. Stephen Wilde (15:09:15) :
    My articles are clear that I am expressing an opinion even if one can extract emphatic sentences and quote them out of context.
    Not much point putting forward an opinion so cautiouly that no one considers it seriously.

    So said Chicken Little :-)

    Then Duffy did add something to his plagiarism of your articles: there is not a single ounce of caution about what is the driver of climate in ‘his’ article, and that is really what I was commenting on. Not really on yours. Shame on me, I took your word for Duffy’s just being essentially yours (so didn’t go to the trouble of checking you on this)

  163. Stephen Wilde (10:14:03) :

    Pointing to the Spoerer minimum to discredit all subsequent correlations is merely a debating point. As you say there is the issue of lag, inadequate records then and length of that minimum and overall I am inclined to ‘believe’ the correlations from LIA onwards. However the current global temperature response to the quietening sun since the peak of cycle 23 seems pretty persuasive unless it goes into reverse pretty soon without a reactivated sun or a strong El Nino. That will be a real test.

    Perhaps. Don’t forget the correlation with the PDO, especially in the last year or so.

    I’m pretty content with a link between solar activity and climate, but when Leif points out how weak the potential links are I remember how little I know. As for the upcoming test, be sure to include the PDO, all other known and plausible links, and most of all include the unknown links, especially the real ones. :-)

  164. Dear Dr Watts- I have recently sent out letters outlining my ideas on climatology. This might even be considered a theory.Have you a postal address so I could send you a copy, if you are interested? Dr B.A.Sanson
    dental surgeon
    Whangarei
    New Zealand

    REPLY: If it is review you seek, why not outline it here first. The group of people that frequent this forum can tell you right away if the ideas have merit. – Anthony

  165. basically climate is controlled by the solar wind which varies over the surface of the sun. Strong solar winds impact the earths atmosphere closing over the polar atmosphere limiting heat escape in the winter and to a less extent limiting solar irradiance in summer, hence creating a smaller ice melt. Total yearly ice melt drives sst either warmer or cooler depending on its size. Sst drives the global climate. Hemispheric bias occurs because of the earths orbital inclination to the solar systems invariant plane. The earth tends summer in the suns northern hemispheres solar wind and winter in the in the suns southern hemispheres solar wind. Since about 1975 the solar southern hemisphere has dominated, the a positive phase of pdo. this is a brief outline without the supporting graphs etc. sincerely bruce.

  166. Bruce Sanson (19:26:10) :
    The earth tends summer in the suns northern hemispheres solar wind and winter in the suns southern hemispheres solar wind.
    Apart from summer/winter reversed in NZ from Calif., there is a factual error in your statement. The Earth is South of the solar equator from December 7 to June 7 and North of the solar equator from June 7 to December 7. In fact, just today, the Earth is as far North as it can go (all of 7 degrees). You may ponder if that does something to your idea.

  167. Leif,

    Thanks for that. However, since I’m not expecting disaster from human causation I don’t think the Chicken Little comment is valid in relation to me. Could well have problems from natural causation though.

    Ric,

    Point taken but if you read what I say you will see that I say that PDO and ALL the oceanic oscillations globally at any point in time need to be averaged out and combined with any variation in the solar signal to ascertain what the global temperature trend is likely to be.

    The diagnostic indicator of warming or cooling at any particular time is the position of the jet streams and the relative dominance of the high pressure systems either side of the jet streams.

    My view is that the scale of the combined solar/oceanic driver swamps all other influences over time but that there are many other global and local processes that work to stabilise the changes in either direction caused by the solar/oceanic driver.

    Furthermore I believe that it is the oceanic oscillations that amplify and suppress over multidecadal time periods the relatively small but often cumulative solar variations.

    Time will tell.

  168. Bruce,

    I’m not sure that ice melt could be a cause rather than a consequence of SST variations. After all it is warm sourthern water flowing into the Arctic Circle that keeps open water at or around the North Pole in varying amounts. The Antarctic melt is much less variable because the south pole is on a continental land mass.

    To my mind the elephant in the room is the past solar insolation stored in the oceans and being released only intermittently via the positive and negative phases of the multidecadal oceanic oscillations.

    You have correctly noted the power of SST in changing the temperature of the atmosphere up or down but personally I think you have placed the cart before the horse.

  169. Leif, I appreciate that the the hemispheric variation is only a couple of weeks but I don’t need palm trees in Greenland. The hemispheric temperature difference over 33 yrs is only approx. 0.25 degrees C. I did talk from the northern hemisphere perspective on an American site-sorry. As for ice melt being an affect, I charted melt from the cryosphere today site and it looks far more like a driver than a recipient of temperature.

  170. Bruce Sanson (23:45:31) :
    I appreciate that the hemispheric variation is only a couple of weeks
    I do not understand what you mean by that, but if you are happy with it …

  171. Just one question for the brilliant minds on this blog,
    The Little Ice Age ended abruptly about 1850, what started the warming.

  172. Rob,

    It might have been something to do with this but Leif disagrees:

    I do agree with Leif to the extent that TSI may well not be an adequate explanation on it’s own but it looks pretty suspicious even if the historical variance has been overstated.

  173. Stephen Wilde (12:50:46) :
    It might have been something to do with this but Leif disagrees:

    I do agree with Leif to the extent that TSI may well not be an adequate explanation on it’s own but it looks pretty suspicious even if the historical variance has been overstated.

    This is indeed ‘junk science’. Keep showing old, outdated plots. Not even Judith Lean believes that old plot anymore. She even agrees that no long-term variation has been detected. See her slide on page of her presentation at SORCE in 2008:
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2008ScienceMeeting/doc/Session1/S1_02_Lean.pdf

    Her conclusion about the contributions of the different sources of TSI:
    5-min oscillation ~ 0.003%
    27-day solar rotation ~ 0.2%
    11-year solar cycle ~ 0.1%
    longer-term variations not yet detectable – ……do they occur?

    Thus, bottom line: The variations that we thought [10-20 years ago] were present are no longer thought to be so. Lean [with Wang] updated the old useless 2000 reconstruction in 2005, and now she even acknowledges that THAT one is not correct. You can see the evolution of the thinking about TSI over the last 20 years here: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.pdf and here: http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-LMSAL.pdf [page 20].

  174. According to page 20 all the reconstructions bear a similar shape and all appear to show greatest activity during the recent warming. The only difference is in the amount of variation.

    Who is to say that the current estimates are any more accurate than those of 20 years ago? All are based on a collection of assumptions.

    It’s simply a matter of climate sensitivity not a complete absence of a solar signal.

    As I’ve already said the oceans could achieve the necessary amplification or suppression of even a small solar signal over periods of 60 years covering a full positive and negative PDO cycle spread across nearly six solar cycles.

    Additionally there are also a lot of square metres on the planet surface let alone around the outside of the atmosphere. An apparently small solar signal can be partly a result of choosing such a small area subdivision. Multiply it up to planet size and there’s a sizeable amount of heat energy involved however much one tries to minimise any solar signal.

    I think one has to start from observations and subject to lags due to say oceanic reactions to solar changes there is enough correlation between solar cycle behaviour and changes in global temperatures to persuade me that the issue must be recognised and given due weight.

    Of course others may disagree.

  175. I am sorry for not making myself clear. The southern hemisphere ice form period is approx. march 22 – september 22 making it inside the solar S.H. march 22 -june 7, then the solar N.H. june 7 – september 22. This makes it 2 weeks longer in the solar N.H. But the period of maximum variability of ice form is at the end of the ice form cycle – firmly within the solar N.H. time frame.
    Please check the “spaceweather.com” site to check the coronal hole induced high velocity solar winds which occurred august 10 and 18 2008 then compare dates to their effects on ice formation (S.H.) at this time at the “cryosphere today” site. Interestingly shortly afterwards the induced early ice melt appeared to effect a change in the daily SOI viewed at the Australian site ENSO WRAP UP.

  176. Stephen Wilde (14:38:54) :
    According to page 20 all the reconstructions bear a similar shape and all appear to show greatest activity during the recent warming.
    First of all, the old reconstruction should be discarded. It does not matter what they show. The recent reconstruction show about equal activity during intervals around 1780s, 1850s, and 1990s.

    The only difference is in the amount of variation.
    but isn’t that the all-important difference? Does it not matter if the amount is 0.0000000000000000001% versus 10%?

    Who is to say that the current estimates are any more accurate than those of 20 years ago? All are based on a collection of assumptions.

    The people making the estimates say so. They [we] carefully update the ‘assumptions’ all the time in view of what we learn. The recent ones are really better than the old ones. This is not just assumptions.

    Turning this around, if all are based on a collection of assumptions, then they cannot be taken as strong evidence that the sun has changed its output, so your observational support falls away.

    Multiply it up to planet size and there’s a sizeable amount of heat energy involved however much one tries to minimise any solar signal.
    One is not trying to ‘minimise any solar signal’. One is trying to assess how big it is, without the built-in bias that lies in the phrase ‘trying to minimise’. Trust me, solar physicists would be motivated to maximise [if anything] the solar signal, as it will make their field all that more important, with funding, prestige, etc.
    And, multiplying up does not change the relative proportions of the change wrt the total, it is still only 0.1%

    there is enough correlation between solar cycle behaviour and changes in global temperatures
    this is precisely the point. What correlation? and with what significance? Oh, I’m well aware of the hundreds of correlations that are claimed, but select from all those, the ONE that you think is compelling enough for you to make the above statement. and we can discuss that one in detail.

  177. Leif,

    You ignore my point about the amplifying/suppressing role of the oceans over nearly six solar cycles. Even longer time scales could be involved due to the time it takes for an initial change in trend to work through all the oceans.

    If climate sensitivity is high as a result of oceanic amplification or suppression then a small solar variation is not a problem.

    There is no other source of energy other than the sun unless one includes geothermal flux or undersea volcanic activity (which I don’t).

    I have mentioned elsewhere that going back to 1960 all the changes in global temperature change correlate with a combination of long or short solar cycles as modulated by the prevailing positive or negative oceanic oscillations at the time. I have seen data that takes the correlation back to 1900 but cannot recall where.

    I do not seek to try and persuade at this point. I am content to wait for more changes in trend to see whether the correlation continues to hold.

  178. Stephen Wilde (15:42:51) :
    You ignore my point about the amplifying/suppressing role of the oceans over nearly six solar cycles. Even longer time scales could be involved due to the time it takes for an initial change in trend to work through all the oceans.
    No, I’m not ignoring that point. It means that the swings in climate are really controlled by the oceans [which I have no problem]. The article at the very top of this post, does not mention that driving role of the oceans at all, but treats the oceans just as a passive recipient of solar heat, moving it around a bit. All this is a far cry from “The solar effect is huge and overwhelming “. I’m confident that several hundred of years from now when we have amassed enough data, that we can finally beat down the noise and prove that the tiny solar variations do have a minuscule effect after all.

  179. Thanks Leif, we are not far apart. It’s a shame that Duffy confused the issue.

    The reason I insist on including the sun as well as the oceans is that the sun is the initial source of the energy so solar variations over time should have a significant role in dictating the power or weakness of the oceanic component.

    I think it may turn out that solar variations alone are of greater influence than you currently believe but that is only intuition on my part and we will have to wait and see.

  180. Stephen Wilde (02:40:57) :
    I think it may turn out that solar variations alone are of greater influence than you currently believe but that is only intuition on my part and we will have to wait and see.
    We cannot base policy and the teaching of children on ‘intuition’; this is where we part ways.

  181. All scientific propositions start from observations interpreted by intuition which directs the initial investigations. Open mindedness as to the outcome is, however, essential.

    There is no implication for public policy or the teaching of children as far as I am concerned since I am neither a politician or a teacher.

    If your mind is closed then indeed we must part ways.

  182. Stephen Wilde (13:00:02) :
    All scientific propositions start from observations interpreted by intuition which directs the initial investigations. Open mindedness as to the outcome is, however, essential.
    This is not how science works. The outcome must fit into the current mainstream paradigm to be generally accepted. Open mindedness has nothing to do with it. Now and then [but very rarely] does the outcome trump the paradigm and a scientific revolution takes place and the paradigm is replaced by a new paradigm, which serves as dogma until the next revolution. 99.9% of what scientists do is within the current dogma [paradigm] as is proper.

    There is no implication for public policy or the teaching of children as far as I am concerned since I am neither a politician or a teacher.

    See the discussion about solar influence on this thread:
    https://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/an-inconvenient-youth/

  183. moderators – I’m misusing your generosity but I did it again:

    There is no implication for public policy or the teaching of children as far as I am concerned since I am neither a politician or a teacher.

  184. Leif: unfortunately for you, the bulk of climate models developed in the 50s and the 60s where I do not think there was such a large ecological lobby, as you call it. They didn’t change physics since then, and the predictions are still of the same type: warming.

    stephen: there have been numerous studies about the effect of the sun. Thay all conclude that solar activity can explain fluctuation around the increase of temps observed today, but not the increase itself!

  185. Flanagan,

    I’m not aware of any convincing assessment of the quantitative difference between fluctuation around the increase in temperature observed (until recently) and the increase itself.

    Over time, fluctuations up or down combine to become any underlying trend whether it be warming or cooling.

    It is the scale of the contributing factors that is important and I take the view that human CO2 is an insignificant player for reasons set out extensively in my articles at CO2sceptics.com

    In comparison ocean and sun are hugely powerful with all other variables being minor though numerous and having the overall effect of approximately cancelling each other out.

  186. Interesting points. Can you provide references to the above statements so I can investigate further? Thanks in advance

Comments are closed.