NASA moves the goalposts on Solar Cycle 24 again


Animation courtesy Michael Ronayne. Click for larger, slower speed animation

NASA’s David Hathaway just recently updated his solar cycle prediction and has pushed cycle 24 into the future a little more once again. Though to read his latest update on 10/03/08 at his prediction page here, you wouldn’t know it, because the page is mostly tech speak and reviews of semi relevant papers.

However, there is one graphic, the familar one above, that has been updated and tells the story best. Michael Ronayne was kind enough to provide an animation (above) that shows the march of time as far as solar cycle 24 predictions go. With the latest update (static image here) the startup of solar cycle 24 has been pushed into 2009.

This isn’t the first time NASA has moved the goalpost. Back in March I did a story on NASA moving the goal post then, and since then they’ve moved the cycle ahead twice, once in April and again now in October.

NASA isn’t the only one having to update predictions, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has also had to make several adjustments to their graphic:


Animation courtesy Michael Ronayne. Click for larger animation

And there is more change in the current thinking on sunspots. As Michael Ronayne writes:

After ignoring sunspots for two and a half years the New York Times finally ran a story and BLOG posting on the current state of the Sun.

Sunspots Are Fewest Since 1954, but Significance Is Unclear
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/science/space/03sun.html

Climate and the Spotless Sun
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/climate-and-the-spotless-sun/

Details of the recent NASA reports on Ulysses and the Spotless Sun were minimal and the Times failed to mention NASA’s report that the Sun was dimming. The Times reporter speculated on possible connections between solar activity and Earth climate but such speculation was of concern to some Times readers who made their views know in the Dot Earth BLOG. Perhaps the Times should avoid controversial phrases such as “Little Ice Age” in the future. I decided to make a post on the Dot Earth BLOG about some of the graphic records I have been collecting of past SWPC and NASA sunspots predictions. Apparently my input was not fit to print because the moderator did not allow it to be posted to Dot Earth. Attached is the text of my submission to the New York Times. I thought the posting was quite balanced and am not sure what warranted it being rejected.

As you review the SWPC and NASA predictions, note that the outer envelope for the onset of Solar Cycle 24 for the SWPC Low Prediction (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/ssn_predict.gif) is January 2009, while the NASA prediction has been moved out to July 2009. Watch the two animations carefully and note where the changes were made in the NASA predictions.

I am writing a segment on Sunspot Predictions which will be posted in Wikipedia, at the following URL, when it is done:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunspot

It will be interesting to see when solar minimum actually occurs. I suspect that we will be in for a long wait. I will keep the above animations current as SWPC and NASA post their monthly updates.

Lots of scrambling going on to get in tune with the sun these days.

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218 thoughts on “NASA moves the goalposts on Solar Cycle 24 again

  1. Should they rename these graphs from “prediction” to “projection”, or perhaps even, “best guess”?

  2. And when they finally get it right as for start, they still don’t know how high it will go, and finally they don’t know when it will end.
    Like a recipe in the kitchen that doesn’t quite have the key ingredient, the models are missing something.

  3. I have watched as the 2nd graph slowly got undercut by the numbers coming in, and was wondering when they would react as the beachfront prediction house fell into the sea of noise. Sorry, NASA, we love you, but you need to rethink this whole thing.

  4. Michael Ronayne should email the entry to Andy Revkin at DotEarth. Sometimes the links get caught in a spam filter. I’ve found Andy Revkin to be a fair moderator, over there. Mike M. has a recent, telling, comment on the solar thread. Dee Norris has an entry on that thread, too.
    ======================================

  5. “the page is mostly tech speak and reviews of semi relevant papers.”

    Isn’t that what they do when they don’t have a clue about what is happening but want to convince people they are competent?

    I honestly think they don’t have the foggiest notion of what the Sun is going to do or why and they are in “I gotta protect my job and my reputation” mode.

    It is what it is, not what Dr. Hathaway says it will be. This just goes to show us that they don’t have it all figured out after all. Now the game is all about preservation of funding. Hmmm, maybe they can create a “solar crisis” and get a lot of federal funds to bail us out. I mean, how much does the US invest in the Sun? If we increased that investment in research maybe we could get it to do what we need it to do, right?

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  7. Nasa have been consitently wrong about this solar cycle.That graph looks way too steep. Looking foreward to the next ‘correction’ . Note how the peak of the graph is now considerably smaller than predicted. Deep minimum, deepest for 50 years.

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  9. Has anyone done stats on the correlations between solar-system-barycentre and solar patterns and past climate records?

    In layman’s language, I have a hunch that

    (1) you need to see the Sun in relation to all the planets – there is a centre of gravity to the whole system that can end up outside the Sun, and when that happens you have a lot of pull on the Sun, which is actually a good thing for generating solar irradiance and solar magnetic flux;

    (2) there is a strong correlation, reasonably verifiable, with records we already have of climate patterns in recent history – say back to the Roman Warm Period;

    (3) this is the prime missing link which will enable true longterm climate predictions – except that volcanoes, supernovae, and other human activities (not CO2 production) might also play in unpredictably.

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  12. Lucy Skywalker (02:45:16) :
    Has anyone done stats on the correlations between solar-system-barycentre and solar patterns and past climate records?
    Image you have a rod with two identical, heavy balls that can slide along the rod [say they have a hole in them through which the rod runs]. Now, slide the balls such that they are at opposite ends of the rod. The barycenter of this system is now halfway between the balls. Now slide one of balls a bit towards the middle. That will move the barycenter. That the barycenter moves will not ‘jerk’ the other ball [the Sun] around.
    See also my answer to Carsten at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/05/new-solar-cycle-not-packing-much-punch/

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  14. NASA/Hathaway is desperate for cycle 24 to be bigger than 23…still. I can see several examples of the sun having steep increases in activity, but not after long periods of quiet.

  15. Great animations. They are really helpful in understanding the situation.

    Cycle 23 is now at least 12 years, 3 months long. It is possible that August was the bottom of the cycle but we will have to continue watching for several more months to see if the cycle 24 spots increase and continue to outnumber cycle 23 spots.

    Solar cycle length theory indicates that we should move into a cooling period now given the above-normal length of this cycle (especially if it continues) but there may also be some lag (several years) before the full effects hit Earth’s climate.

  16. of course, when cycle 24 does finally rev up, they will claim that it’s exactly as they predicted all along… much like they do with their precious climate models.

    “Oh yes, the last decade of cooling..er…uhm…”non-warming” is well within modeled parameters as we’ve tuned…er…uhm… “improved” our modeling techniques.”

  17. It’s interesting how well this graph correlates with the measured cooling trend since 2001-2002.

    It’s amusing to see that there are scientists who think they can predict/project when the next upwards cycle will start. Maybe they would gain more credibility by applying their craft to something more reliable, like…hum…the stock market.

  18. The 3 year slip of cycle 24 ought to put a distinct signature on the climate models as to the proper level of solar contribution going foreward, assuming they don’t interpret the hell out of it.

  19. Leif (05:16:49) Surely that iron butterfly wing flapping would jerk the ball, no?

    Intuitively, it is tough to see that the barycenter moving doesn’t effect the sun. But then you say it does, the tidal effects, but they are so tiny as to be difficult to imagine effecting the earth. Still, might not they have some effect on the magnetic fields of the sun?
    =================================================

  20. Some questions for Leif.

    In the link Dee posted, a diagram indicates that the barycenter of the solar system can be as much as 2.2 solar radii from the sun’s center. Wouldn’t the changing barycenter of the solar system induce something akin to tides in the sun? If the barycenter is outside the sun, might it not result in something like spring tide, and perhaps more violent solar activity, than when the barycenter lies within the sun, thus neap tide and less violent activity?

  21. 12 yrs 3 mos later, tiny bubbles floating here and there, just makes it so hard to see if this is the bottom or not, the flux isn’t co-operating any better than the lack of fizz in the bubbly. Worst case #1 we simply follow the nice curve of F10.7 and that is 2010.somthing as bottom that leads or matches the sunspot bottom. Now just continue that nice arch on over and 50-75 is the next maxima worst case, so after 2015 it’s a 50-50 tossup Minimum or No Minimum.
    Worst case #2 we follow that F10.7 curve into a total dead flatline. Instant Minimum, just add ice & stir.
    I do know this: That F10.7 is making one heck of a pretty curve. Ain’t she a beauty!!

  22. We are venturing into the unknown as far as our knowledge of the sun’s effect on our climate. Perhaps this is another lesson on how consensus about how sunspots don’t affect our climate will be finally demolished. Just as consensus was wrong about plate tectonics, ulcers, bacteria, etc.

  23. The new “predictions” about the start of SC24 certainly aren’t predictions in the scientific sense.

    If you have a model for solar cycles, you make a prediction about the next cycle and see what happens.

    If the data does not match your prediction, you say your model is wrong and you go back to the drawing board. You don’t simply move your prediction forward 6 months.

  24. Just the usual adjustment of NASA’s computer models to comport with Nature. The real-life story of the computer model trio: Finagle, Bugerre and Diddle.

    The computer modelers continually get Ego on their face.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    BernardP (07:14:35) :

    “Maybe they would gain more credibility by applying their craft to something more reliable, like…hum…the stock market.”

    During the 60 Minutes segment on the market crisis, mention was made of the hiring of engineers and physicists to analyze and model market activity. The weakness in the resulting models was the inability to model human nature.

    Computer modelers have a real problem with Nature.

  25. Oh, and the DECADAL TREND has been dropping slightly.
    June = 0.131
    August = 0.129
    September = 0.128
    I did not store the data before June, so this is all I have for UAH data.
    John M Reynolds

  26. Robert Bateman (08:16:41) :

    With apologies to Leon Pober and Don Ho.

    Tiny Bubbles (slightly modified)

    Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
    In the Sun (in the Sun)
    Make me happy (make me happy)
    Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)

    Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
    Make me warm all over
    With a feeling that I’m gonna
    Love you till the end of time

    So here’s to the golden moon
    And here’s to the silver sea
    And mostly here’s a toast
    To you and me

    So here’s to the ginger lei
    I give to you today
    And here’s a kiss
    That will not fade away

  27. Katherine (08:11:17) :
    Wouldn’t the changing barycenter of the solar system induce something akin to tides in the sun?
    No, the barycenter as such would not create tides, but the planets individually. Jupiter creates a tide 0.5 millimeter high [that's 1/50 of an inch]. the next largest tide is due to Venus at 0.45 mm, and the other planets much smaller.

    kim (07:38:33) :
    Intuitively, it is tough to see that the barycenter moving doesn’t effect the sun.
    Maybe that is why so many people are attracted to that idea: they conflate barycenter movement with tidal effects. Tidal effects are there but minute beyond belief.

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  29. Leif,

    I know that you said Lean’s TSI data is (I’m paraphrasing) out of date. Some question for you.

    How were the TSI levels determined before we started measuring it? And what new proxy or method is being used that shows that the TSI only varies by about 1w/m2?

    Mark

  30. @ Dee Norris

    At least be content you can even mention Landscheidt’s name here. In ‘another’ blog es ist verboten.

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  32. I’m in the process of working on an alaysis to help shed light on the interaction between sunspot counts and solar cycle lengths with changes in temperature anomalies. I’ll let everyone know when I have it done. I’m getting close.

    In the meantime, UAH released the September anomaly – a bit higher this time around. My monthly comments/analysis are posted:

    http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/october-2008-update-on-global-temperature-uah/

  33. Pierre Gosselin (10:55:36) :

    ” Fairbanks coldest in 16 years…

    http://www.weather.gov/view/prodsByState.php?state=ak&prodtype=public

    In Colorado (east of the Rockies) looks like a good snow Friday & Saturday.

    While not at all unusual for this time of year, we always HATE snow this time of year, because it’s still warm enough that the snow is wet and HEAVY…

    and there are still leaves on most of the trees

    I call these early to mid-October snows “Branch Breakers”

  34. How were the TSI levels determined before we started measuring it?

    This IPCC graph has some names. Search for those and the trail should lead toward their work and more recent work.

    Looks like GISS model solar forcing isn’t trying to forecast solar behavior. Their diagram shows cycle data ending around 2000, so they might not have run models using the data from recent months.

  35. Predictions/projections can keep being adjusted; at some point, someone’s going to have to admit that, despite all the increased understanding we now have of the sun’s workings, we just don’t know enough. If the ideas put forth by Livingston/Penn bear up, we may have to take a serious look at the assumptions that have gone into these predictions. That and make sure we have some good warm winter clothing.

  36. Mark (09:55:34) :
    How were the TSI levels determined before we started measuring it? And what new proxy or method is being used that shows that the TSI only varies by about 1w/m2?

    This is a BIG topic. I’ll try. Back when Jack Eddy in the 1970s drew attention to the Maunder Minimum [MM] he also noted that it coincided with the Little Ice Age [LIA]. Abbot at the Smithsonian Institution had tried to measure the ‘solar constant’ [what we today call the TSI] during the first 50 years of the 20th century. He thought to have found that there was a solar cycle variation of TSI of 1-2 %. If during MM there were no spots that would mean that TSI would be 0.75% lower [half of the 1-2%]. Equating what goes in with what goes out, one can calculate that that would decrease the temperature by 0.75/4%=0.2%. Since the temperature of the Earth is 290K, the drop would be 0.2% of 290K=0.6K which seemed about right, so everything made sense.

    When we began to measure TSI by satellite we found that the solar cycle variation was ten times smaller than what Abbot had thought. This, of course, also meant that the temperature drop would only be a tenth as well, i.e. 0.06K, much too small. Thus arose the notion that to account for the LIA there had to be a ‘background’ component of TSI that had varied such as to make up for the missing variation of the sunspot-related part. So people put that into their TSI-reconstructions. Lean in her 2000 paper assumed a background that was computed from a 15-year running average of the sunspot number. Her calibration of this came from a study of ‘sun-like’ stars that seemed to show that a third of all such stars were in a MM [because they did not vary] while the rest showed a clear 7-15 year cycle [depending on the star]. Extrapolating their activity difference between ‘normal’ and MM type activity she could estimate the difference there ought to be between MM and normal times. In addition, her case was strengthened by the confirmation by Lockwood et al. in 1999 of a claim I had made twenty years earlier that the Sun’s magnetic field had more than doubled during most of the 20th century. That doubling would also provide an increasing ‘background’ TSI.

    During 2000-2008 further studies showed that the ‘sun-like’ stars were not really that. Most were more evolved than the Sun and one could really not extrapolate their activity to the sun with any confidence. The study by Lockwood et al. that showed a doubling of the sun’s ‘open magnetic flux’ was also in trouble, because I showed that the geomagnetic data used were incorrectly calibrated [so I was wrong too back in 1978] and re-analysis of the data by several groups including myself and Lockwood’s group showed that the was no doubling, that the Sun’s magnetic field now is just what it were 107 years ago. so the two pillars supporting the TSI ‘background’ have now fallen by the wayside. Furthermore, we have learned more about the distribution and form of the Sun’s magnetic field, also showing no background contribution to the TSI.

    Take away the rising background, takes away the rising TSI and we are back to a simple cyclical TSI rising and falling simply with the sunspot cycle. If Livingston and Penn are correct that the sunspots will disappear [be invisible] by 2015, it is possible that there were also simply invisible during the MM. We know from cosmic rays that the Sun’s magnetic cycle was still going, so possibly one might speculate that even during the MM, TSI was behaving as today.

  37. AnonyMoose (11:28:28) :
    Looks like GISS model solar forcing isn’t trying to forecast solar behavior. Their diagram shows cycle data ending around 2000, so they might not have run models using the data from recent months.
    They just use a simple extrapolation forward. Not too bad. Worse is that they use the obsolete Lean TSI backwards in time [with the pronounced rise during the first half of the 20th century]. This makes their solar forcing skewed in the sense that they implicitly can push some of the pre-1970 temp increase over on the Sun making the claim for AGW later on stronger…

  38. I wonder if my September 2009 WAG that I made (No, it is not even a SWAG) for the month that solar cycle 24 will end up being correct. Not that it matters much anyway. Seeing as how Jupiter is 7.79 x10^8 kilometers from the sun, I doubt a couple of solar widths (diameter = 1.4 x10^6 km) shift in the barycenter will have much of an affect on anything be it tides nor the magnetic field of the sun. Jupiter is so far away, that a single solar width closer is only 1/556th of the distance.

    John M Reynolds

  39. Katherine (08:11:17) :
    Wouldn’t the changing barycenter of the solar system induce something akin to tides in the sun?
    ——————————
    From the other forum I gathered that Dr. Svalgaard has moved here so I have to be very careful how to say this; but here it is:
    Dr. Svalgaard is correct in his assessment about tidal effect. However there is another aspect of the Sun’s movement about barycentre that should be looked into:
    There is possibility of significant and variable (over two loops) orbital solar axis precession. In case of a planet the ratio of the planet’s radius and its orbit radius is extremely small, the resulting gyroscopic effect of the planet’s rotation enables it to keep the rotation axis inclination to its orbit relatively constant. Since the Sun’s radius and its orbit’s radius have values of the same order, the possible result may be certain amount of its axis precession along its orbital path. Also, the planets gravitational forces act on the Sun at variable resultant angle in respect to the solar equatorial plane, adding to its axis precession. ( ? )
    As far as the sunspots periodicity is concerned I do not believe that movement around barycentre or tidal effect has any significance, but I would suggest an alternative view as shown at:

    http://solarcycle24com.proboards106.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=64

    and then make your own mind.

  40. Hi Leif Svalgaard

    Im new here, having just read your above article are you PRO-AGW?

    It’s just that SI must have been part of the warming process and contributed to the warming of the oceans since the last ice age on a gradual scale. [url=http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/irradiance.gif]SI[/url] accelerated the warming even more after 1950 to give the Earth a climate change.

    If it was not predominantly SI then what warmed the Earth CO2?

  41. jonk (11:25:38) :
    How have the planet induced tides been calculated?

    Recycling one of my answerss at ClimateAudit:
    “instead of me going through a long explanation, I’ll just refer to a good one at http://mb-soft.com/public/tides.html
    Working through the math one gets that the tides by the Moon on the Earth is 367 mm high [mm = millimeter = 1/25.4th of an inch]. Inserting values for the Sun and Jupiter one gets a tide 0.47 mm high. Put all the other planets where you want, their individual times will be less that this. Venus’ is almost as high as Jupiter’s. All together, the tidal effects are of the order of 1 mm. Compare this to the convective overturning of the photosphere in Texas-sized granules moving at 1-2 km/sec [that is 1000,000-2000,000 mm/sec] and you might be able to see that planetary tidal effects can be ignored. Of course, there are always people that have problems with numbers, so, think of a large truck running over an ant at 100 miles/hour. The effect of the ant on the trajectory of the truck is relatively much larger than the tidal influence of the planets on the matter of the Sun. This much was known to Isaac Newton in the 17th Century. BTW, the tides by Jupiter on the Earth is 1/500 of a millimeter [at closest approach]

  42. CO2Skeptic (12:13:45) :
    If it was not predominantly TSI then what warmed the Earth CO2?
    The Sun warms the Earth. Most of that heat [300 times as much as in the atmosphere] goes into the oceans which are the heat store of the climate system. Small changes in the circulations of the oceans might have a large climate effect. There are ocean-related weather/climate effects called El Ninos, for example. Just an example of how it is not an either TSI or CO2 question. There are many factors involved, even volcanoes from time to time. [they tend to cool the Earth].

  43. CO2Skeptic, the TSI increase contributed only about 0.15C to the temperature. The rest was from other factors like the ocean cycles. — John M Reynolds

  44. Leif, when are you going to update your research web site? I find it very useful as a good source of data.

  45. Thank you for that interesting link Leif. Intuitively, Jupiter’s mass didn’t seem like it would have much effect on the sun. It’s nice to have my thoughts backed up with solid calculations.

  46. Is it true that 4 billion years ago the solar constant was 80% of the present value and that it has been increasing linearly since then? (except for small fluctuations)

  47. Bob B (13:17:07) :
    Leif, when are you going to update your research web site? I find it very useful as a good source of data.
    The Sun changes so slowly…
    Which data are you most interested in?

  48. Sorry: The energy accumulated in the oceans….Came from????
    Dr Leif today has a radiant smile…….

  49. Leif Svalgaard (13:01:27) :

    CO2Skeptic (12:13:45) :
    If it was not predominantly TSI then what warmed the Earth CO2?
    The Sun warms the Earth. Most of that heat [300 times as much as in the atmosphere] goes into the oceans which are the heat store of the climate system. Small changes in the circulations of the oceans might have a large climate effect. There are ocean-related weather/climate effects called El Ninos, for example. Just an example of how it is not an either TSI or CO2 question. There are many factors involved, even volcanoes from time to time. [they tend to cool the Earth].

    Well we are certainly agreed on that.

    The only doubt in my mind is whether oceanic changes are enough on their own (all other possibilities being relatively minor and tending to cancel each other out most of the time) to cover all observed changes in global temperature trend from from Maunder Minimum to Modern Maximum.

    Since the sun needs to replenish the oceanic heat store it must have some relevance but apart from suggesting a link between oceanic and solar changes I cannot personally do any more good here and will just have to await the results of future real world observations.

    It would be good enough for my ideas if it turned out that the solar effect was insignificant and that the netting out of all the oceanic oscillations was enough in itself to explain all that we have observed.

    The Hot Water Bottle Effect could stand on it’s own without solar if need be but as a lifelong weather observer I believe I do see demonstrable links between solar changes and climate changes. It might not be enough for the hard nosed amongst us but plenty of researchers including Leif are still looking into it and that should be enough to resolve the issue in time.

  50. Pet Rock (14:19:53) :
    Is it true that 4 billion years ago the solar constant was 80% of the present value and that it has been increasing linearly since then? (except for small fluctuations)
    Basically yes. The standard statement is that the Sun 4.5 billion years ago was at 70% of present. There is very little doubt about that. Our models of the solar interior have been validated by helioseismology and neutrino measurements, so they are very ‘robust’ now. As always, you can find people with weird ideas, like a neutron star residing at the center of the Sun and such, but they are taken seriously.

  51. A small question on this chart:

    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.pdf

    You have spoken about an average solar cycle variation in TSI from peak to trough of each cycle of 1 W/m2. You have also said that the average change in TSI since the Maunder Minimum to the Modern Maximum was 1 W/m2. Thus every cycle recently has provided about 1 W/m2 more energy than every cycle during the Maunder Minimum (on average) unless I have misunderstood. And the effect is cumulative over time due to the storage ability of the oceans.

    The short term spikes clearly cover a wider range so we can ignore those but just compare the Leif 2007 periods of 1950 to 2000 and 1650 to 1700.

    Can you really be confident that the hugely different characteristics of TSI during those two periods did not have a significant effect on global temperature given the historical record of cold during the former and warmth during the latter ?

    Your chart Leif 2007 shows

  52. And that extra 1 W/m2 over and above the Maunder Minimum value has been fed into the system constantly on a daily basis over a lot of cycles.

  53. Pet Rock (14:19:53) : “Is it true that 4 billion years ago the solar constant was 80% of the present value and that it has been increasing linearly since then? (except for small fluctuations)”

    [url=http://books.google.com/books?id=Q12AaljGQvYC&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52&dq=4+billion+years+ago+the+solar+constant&source=web&ots=v7vciD3MUK&sig=6oyTYCNIe2thTaSQA_NFvjLeoUg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=14&ct=result#PPA57,M1]yes.[/url]

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  55. The 1W/m2 I don’t accept, but don’t have the abillity to deny, either. This is a variability in Solar Irradiance; wot abowt the magnetik fields and particals, guv?

    Also, irradiance is not the same as insolation, which is controlled by albedo, especially cloud cover.

    However, I do not expect to sea “global temperatures” to vary within 11 or 22 years; I reckon at minimum 60 years.

  56. Write this one down. I predict that in April of 2009 they will move the “goalposts” of the start up of that MIA cycle yet again. Exactly how many times does it take for some government agency to predict an event and, upon that event not happening over and over, then for people to ignore them. It will happen when it happens. What’s the obsession with prediction? And why isn’t there any mention of all this wonderful research and new data we are supposed to be getting from a ‘quiet sun’? Why don’t we just wait until is actually starts, sans predictions, and then start to talk about it? This is idle chatter from an idle government agency.

  57. Anonymoose,

    ModelE, does project an 11 year cycle in its “projections” Somewhere
    over at Lucia’s, she, JohnV, and I discussed this. Chapter 10 AR4. table 10.2
    ModelE and a couple others include a projected solar forcing. Most others
    ( coded as C) use solar forcing for 20th century only. At least that is the way,
    Lucia, John and I read the table. I believe that gavin confirmed this. When you look at graph “a”, on the page you linked you will see a dotted line for 2000 and beyond and a notes that says 11 year cycle assumed. The models only care about TSI. I leave it to Leif to explain to you the variability of TSI in the past ( on his view) and its impact on cooling and warming.

  58. Anthony, Check your email I just copied an unusual weather statement from the Fairbanks Alaska NWS. I some food for thought.

    Bill Derryberry

  59. Bobby Lane, they won’t wait that long. The predictions come at least quarterly now.

    Though I think it’s better to call these forecasts SWAGs: Sophisticated Wild A** Guesses.

  60. Leif,
    “The Sun warms the Earth. Most of that heat [300 times as much as in the atmosphere] goes into the oceans which are the heat store of the climate system. Small changes in the circulations of the oceans might have a large climate effect. There are ocean-related weather/climate effects called El Ninos, for example. Just an example of how it is not an either TSI or CO2 question. There are many factors involved, even volcanoes from time to time. [they tend to cool the Earth].”

    I consider this progress.

    Would you care to speculate as to whether El Nino’s are related to cloud cover which is in turn related to temperature in that part of the troposphere where ice clouds form?

    How is it that the outgoing long wave radiation as measured by satellites has increased over the period of record and could declining cloud cover be responsible?

  61. Stephen Wilde (15:47:31) :
    You have spoken about an average solar cycle variation in TSI from peak to trough of each cycle of 1 W/m2. You have also said that the average change in TSI since the Maunder Minimum to the Modern Maximum was 1 W/m2.
    No, half a Watt/m2/ And if Livingston & Penn are correct, no difference. See my post on that at New Solar cycle …
    Here it is again:
    Let me run this thought by you:
    TSI has several components. The one that varies with the solar cycle is actually the sum of two components: facular brightening and sunspot darkening. The facular brightening is caused by the broad magnetic fields surrounding the compact, and dark, spots. The brightening is about twice the darkening by spots, say +2 W/m2 with a darkening of -1 W/m2 for a total of +1 W/m2. Assume that Livingston and Penn are correct that the sunspot contrast is decreasing, possibly to the point of making the spots invisible, then the -1 W/m2 darkening would disappear. We know from cosmic rays that the magnetic field of the solar activity did not go away during the Maunder Minimum, so the facular brightening would still be there, maybe a bit weaker [the magnetic field field would be about half according to L&P], say half of the +2 w/m2, that is +1 W/m2 so TSI even during the Maunder Minimum would still show the familiar 1 W/m2 solar cycle variation, but now throughout the 400 year span. What would that do to your argument?

  62. “Leif Svalgaard (21:33:42) :

    Stephen Wilde (15:47:31) :
    You have spoken about an average solar cycle variation in TSI from peak to trough of each cycle of 1 W/m2. You have also said that the average change in TSI since the Maunder Minimum to the Modern Maximum was 1 W/m2.
    No, half a Watt/m2/ And if Livingston & Penn are correct, no difference. See my post on that at New Solar cycle …
    Here it is again:
    Let me run this thought by you:
    TSI has several components. The one that varies with the solar cycle is actually the sum of two components: facular brightening and sunspot darkening. The facular brightening is caused by the broad magnetic fields surrounding the compact, and dark, spots. The brightening is about twice the darkening by spots, say +2 W/m2 with a darkening of -1 W/m2 for a total of +1 W/m2. Assume that Livingston and Penn are correct that the sunspot contrast is decreasing, possibly to the point of making the spots invisible, then the -1 W/m2 darkening would disappear. We know from cosmic rays that the magnetic field of the solar activity did not go away during the Maunder Minimum, so the facular brightening would still be there, maybe a bit weaker [the magnetic field field would be about half according to L&P], say half of the +2 w/m2, that is +1 W/m2 so TSI even during the Maunder Minimum would still show the familiar 1 W/m2 solar cycle variation, but now throughout the 400 year span. What would that do to your argument?”

    If true, it wouldn’t help and if it were demonstrably true with no real world phenomena to cast doubt on it than I’d accept it until new evidence contradicted it.

    However it’s all rather speculative based on incomplete knowledge so I remain unconvinced and we do have inconvenient real world phenomena to complicate the position.

    Just looking at the difference on Leif 2007 between the periods 1650 to 1700 and 1950 to 2000 puts huge reservations in my mind.

    For readers who don’t want to search for it here it is again:

    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.pdf

    I’d like to hear from others as to whether or not they see a basic similarity in the overall shape of all the lines displayed. To my mind the similarities outweigh the differences and I cannot understand you arguing to the contrary.

    You accept that TSI pre satellite is unreliable and speculative but you feel confident enough to limit past variation to a very small figure.

    You accept the oceans might well have a highly significant role but do not accept my suggestion that we need to research any link between recently discovered oscillations, solar variation and the timing of global temperature changes.

    There is much in your position that I find illogical.

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  64. There is indeed much phenomena on the ground this year. Marked changes in plant and small animal behavior can be striking for those who are paying attention and observing, especially those involved in agriculture on a daily basis. The masses don’t notice it as much, being sourrounded by an artificial environment for the most part.

  65. Could be that the reason Hathaway’s model keeps failing him is that it isn’t prepared to accept data points or outcomes below that which we are accustomed to. The bottom keeps dropping out. That will mess up your projection curves.

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  67. Robert Bateman (04:20:09) :

    http://www.ips.gov.au/Solar/1/6

    Another chopped off graph, perhaps the predicitons of these folks likewise suffers from software that is truncating the data that lies unexpectedly below minimum.

    The bottom of that page says:

    Description of Prediction Technique

    “The prediction is based on the average of the last 8 solar cycles (Cycles 15 to 23). IPS will adjust this average cycle as the new cycle unfolds. To do this IPS has developed software for manipulating this predicted cycle. The difficulty is ensuring that adjustments are not made for short term variation, only for longer term cycle variation.”

    I would argue this technique doesn’t apply when the Sun is entering a period unlike cycles 15-23. :-)

    One brownie point for consistency, though.

  68. It occurred to me that a way to measure total solar influence, as opposed to the TSI radiation measurements, would be to have a large mass of similar composition to the earth, but without the complications of atmosphere and oceans, in earth orbit. Then we could measure the temperature variations in our large earthlike mass during changes in the sun. The moon comes close to being such a test mass, but when I went looking on the web for lunar surface temperature records, I came up empty. Has anyone seen anything on this?

  69. Stephen Wilde (00:47:37) :
    I’d like to hear from others as to whether or not they see a basic similarity in the overall shape of all the lines displayed.
    There are two features of the graphs that may be conflated. One is the obvious 11-year variation which is present in all of them. The other [and that is the important one] is the long-term trends. Imagine you filter out [remove] the 11-year variation. Then you are left with a horizontal straight line [no variation at all] for Leif2007 and with a curve that shows a significant climb from the LIA until today for Lean2000. This is the salient and all-important difference, and where the curves show their dissimilarity.

    You accept that TSI pre satellite is unreliable and speculative but you feel confident enough to limit past variation to a very small figure.

    I have many times in the past presented evidence for very limited variation of TSI and shall repeat some of that here:

    Line 1:
    The Total solar Irradiance (TSI) has several sources. The first and most important is simply the temperature in the photosphere. The hotter the sun, the higher the TSI. Some spectral lines are VERY sensitive to even minute changes in temperature. Livingston et al. has very carefully measured the line depth of such temperature-sensitive lines over more than 30 years spanning three solar cycles [Sun-as-a-Star Spectrum Variations 1974-2006, W. Livingston, L. Wallace, O. R. White, M. S. Giampapa, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 657, Issue 2, pp. 1137-1149, 2007, DOI; 10.1086/511127]. They report [and I apologize for the somewhat technical turn my argument is taking, but if you really want to know, there is no avoiding this], “that both Ca II K and C I 5380A intensities are constant, indicating that the basal quiet atmosphere is unaffected by cycle magnetism within our observational error. A lower limit to the Ca II K central intensity atmosphere is 0.040. This possibly represents conditions as they were during the Maunder Minimum [their words, remember]. Within our capability to measure it using the C I 5380A line the global (Full Disk) and basal (Center Disk) photospheric temperature is constant over the activity cycles 21, 22, and 23″. I have known Bill Livingston [and White] for over 35 years and he is a very careful and competent observer.

    Line 2:
    Since the 1960 we have known that the sun’s surface oscillates up and down [with typical periods of ~5 minutes]. These oscillations are waves very much like seismic waves in the Earth [caused by earthquakes] and just as earthquake seismic waves can be used to probe the interior of the Earth, they can be used to probe the solar interior. There are millions of such solar waves at any given time and there are different kinds (called ‘modes’) of waves. The solar p-modes are acoustic [sound waves] normal modes. You one can imagine a frequency increase with an increasing magnetic field, due to the increase in magnetic pressure raising the local speed of sound near the surface where it is cooler and where the p-modes spend most of their time. Of course one can also imagine higher frequencies may result from an induced shrinking of the sound cavity and/or an isobaric warming of the cavity. Another kind is the solar f-modes that are the eigenmodes of the sun having no radial null points [i.e. asymptotically surface waves; again I apologize for the technical mumbo-jumbo]. From the solar cycle variations of p- and f-modes [and we have now enough data from the SOHO spacecraft to make such a study] we now have an internally consistent picture of the origin of these frequency changes that implies a sun that is coolest at activity maximum when it is most irradiant. Now, how can that be? How can a cooler [overall, including the cooler sunspots, for instance, as the temperature of the non-magnetic areas of the sun didn't change {see line 1 above}] sun radiate more? It can do that, if it is bigger! The change in the radius of the Sun from minimum to maximum is about 1 km. Goode and Dziembowski (Sunshine, Earthshine and Climate Change I. Origin of, and Limits on Solar Variability, by Goode, Philip R. & Dziembowski, W. A., Journal of the Korean Astronomical Society, vol. 36, S1, pp. S75-S81, 2003) used the helioseismic data to determine the shape changes in the Sun with rising activity. They calculated the so-called shape asymmetries from the seismic data and found each coefficient was essentially zero at activity minimum and rose in precise spatial correlation with rising surface activity, as measured using Ca II K data from Big Bear Solar Observatory. From this one can conclude that there is a rising corrugation of the solar surface due to rising activity, implying a sun, whose increased irradiance is totally due to activity induced corrugation. This interpretation has been recently observationally verified by Berger et al. (Berger, T.E., van der Voort, L., Rouppe, Loefdahl, M., Contrast analysis of Solar faculae and magnetic bright points. Astrophysical Journal, vol. 661, p.1272, 2007) using the new Swedish Solar Telescope. They have directly observed these corrugations. Goode & Dziembowski conclude that the Sun cannot have been any dimmer, on the time steps of solar evolution, than it is now at activity minimum.

    Line 3:
    Foukal et al. (Foukal, P., North, G., Wigley, T., A stellar view on solar variations and climate. Science, vol. 306, p. 68, 2004) point out the Sun’s web-like chromospheric magnetic network (an easily visible solar structure seen through a Ca II K filter) would have looked very different a century ago, if there had been a significant change in the magnetic field of the sun supposedly increasing TSI. However, there is a century of Mt. Wilson Solar Observatory Ca II K data which reveal that the early 20th century network is indistinguishable from that of today.

    So, to summarize these:
    1. The base TSI is constant in the absence of magnetic fields
    2. Increased TSI is totally due to activity induced corrugations
    3. Early 20th century network is indistinguishable from that of today

    The net result is that if you take away solar activity, there is no background rise of TSI over time. This is the central point. On Lean2000’s plot the rise in the background is much bigger than the individual cycle variations and it is this rise that people see as correlated with temperature [the 'obvious' correlation]. Take away the rise and the correlation disappears. And that is where the graphs are different: no rise vs. a rise that is associated with a rise in temps.

    There is much in your position that I find illogical.
    [Sigh] I do not operate from a ‘position’ that must be defended, but rather present the solar evidence so that you and others can form your own opinion on what is going on. I do not object to your opinions only to the use of incorrect data whenever I see that.

    If true, it wouldn’t help and if it were demonstrably true with no real world phenomena to cast doubt on it than I’d accept it until new evidence contradicted it.
    In trying to parse and decipher your statement it sounds like you would use the LIA [the real world phenomenon?] as an argument against the possibility that Livingston and Penn might be correct. This is this kind of circular reasoning that I object to. It is akin to the argument that TSI must have been low during MM because of the LIA and therefore we build that in to our TSI-reconstruction to support the ‘obvious’ correlation with temps.

  70. I have been struggling to get to the actual influence of TSI at the surface of earth. It seems that knowing there is a 90W/m2 difference from our orbit and comparing the temperatures at the equator +/-23deg Latt. for Dec-Feb and Jun-Aug should give a temperature delta per watt ratio. This would eliminate land/sea differences of the hemispheres. I can’t find the data for that Latt at the UAH site, but I have seen graphs labeled uah_tropic_lt posted on this site. Anyone know where that data is? TIA

  71. Yesterday (6-Oct-2008) I posted this:
    The Space Weather Prediction Center has updated its plot of the Geomagnetic Planetary Index (Ap) for September – still very low. See “ISES Solar Cycle Ap Progression” chart at the bottom of this web page:

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/

    Today (7-Oct-2008) when I go to that link, the September data point has been removed. I wish I had taken a screen capture of it for reference. As I recall, it was slightly higher in value than the August point, but lower than the July point. I wonder what the new graphic will show when SWPC updates it again.

  72. Erl Happ (21:08:43) :
    Would you care to speculate as to whether El Nino’s are related to cloud cover which is in turn related to temperature in that part of the troposphere where ice clouds form?
    I don’t know what you mean by ‘related’. El Nino is the result of wind-driven Kelvin waves.

    How is it that the outgoing long wave radiation as measured by satellites has increased over the period of record and could declining cloud cover be responsible?
    It’s called ‘Global Warming’. An warmer world emits more long wave radiation.

    George Ismael (05:51:26) :
    Then we could measure the temperature variations in our large earthlike mass during changes in the sun. The moon comes close to being such a test mass, but when I went looking on the web for lunar surface temperature records

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2008ScienceMeeting/posters/SROCE_Wen.pdf

  73. George
    Good idea. athttp://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_kids/AskKids/moontemp.shtml
    The temperature on the moon varies from -387 Fahrenheit (-233 Celsius), at night, to 253 Fahrenheit (123 Celsius) during the day.

    No flywheel (the ocean). No atmosphere to dampen the swings. Average temperature minus -110°C

  74. Excuse me for being slow to the epiphany, but seems to me that the conveyor model worked fine for SC#19 when the magnetic field stayed strong (in Hathaway’s & Dikpati’s postdictive hindcasts? ;-).

    Sunspot group/conveyor mechanics or not, perhaps the magnetic dynamo relationship between solar & terrestrial weather becomes more intuitive when we look at Janssens’ spotless days evolution ( where the current trend suggests current solar activity easing back to levels typical of at least SC 10.

    I say “at least” because SC #10 is the beginning of Janssens’ datasets (1855 – just after the Dalton minimum & its contemporaneous terrestrial cool spell). If you are lurking Jan … I’m wondering what data exists that could give us a feel for the earlier solar cycles SC 1 – 9?

    ref:

    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html#Evolution

  75. Leif Svalgaard (06:49:25) :
    “An warmer world emits more long wave radiation.”

    A little problem in logic here. If the world warms by increasing the residence time of the energy in its oceans/atmosphere OLR should fall as it warms then recover to its original level when the warming has stopped. Incoming energy as watts per square metre times surface area is a constant and sets an upper limit on the energy that can be irradiated by the Earth (ignoring energy emanating from below the crust).

    Looking at the phenomena in another way, if the Earth is part absorber (which emits long wave) and part reflector (of some waves that are sent off to space without change in wave length, e.g. visible spectrum) then if that part which is reflector is diminished Outgoing Long Wave will increase because the total of radiation that is converted to the long wave form increases.

    Re ENSO Kelvin waves represent oceanic/ atmospheric process. They tell us nothing about the cause of the process. The Kettle boils. Bubbles rise to the surface but the bubbles are not the cause of the boiling.

  76. Leif:

    Thanks for that insight into the implications of Livingston & Penn’s prediction. Would one surmise – in pure terms of TSI – then that low sunspot activity of negligible faculae then could “dim” the sun more than a wholly spotless disc? Is this possible?

  77. Leif,

    There seems to have been a CME off the western limb. Looks like it is SCX23 area. Also STEREO Behind shows a possible SC24 spot coming in the north. If the CME is SC23 related does this mean we might see a longer SC23 the thought?

  78. Erl Happ (07:29:22) :
    “An warmer world emits more long wave radiation.”
    A little problem in logic here.

    People seems to delight in pointing out my deficiency in logic. I can only appeal to Stefan-Boltzmann’s law: S = a T^4.

    leebert (07:34:58) :
    Thanks for that insight into the implications of Livingston & Penn’s prediction. Would one surmise – in pure terms of TSI – then that low sunspot activity of negligible faculae then could “dim” the sun more than a wholly spotless disc? Is this possible?
    No. You cannot have sunspots without faculae, because faculae are partly a result of sunspot decay.

  79. Erl Happ (07:29:22) :
    ENSO Kelvin waves represent oceanic/ atmospheric process. They tell us nothing about the cause of the process.
    I said ‘wind-driven’ waves. There is the cause. Why do you ignore the cause of the process? Now, you may say that the wind is not the ‘ultimate’ cause, that something, call it ‘A’ must cause the wind, and then that something, call it ‘B’ must cause A, and in turn B must have its cause C, and then on to D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U, X, Y, Z, alpha, beta, gamma, …
    So, tell us, what causes the wind that causes the Kelvin waves that cause the upwelling that causes El Nino.

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  81. Jim Arndt (08:31:05) :
    If the CME is SC23 related does this mean we might see a longer SC23 than thought?
    Even if SC24 should start with a bang tomorrow, SC23 will linger on for another year, so still seeing SC23-related activity now is not unusual and should not cause any ‘re-thinking’ of SC23.

  82. ‘Today (7-Oct-2008) when I go to that link, the September data point has been removed. I wish I had taken a screen capture of it for reference. As I recall, it was slightly higher in value than the August point, but lower than the July point. I wonder what the new graphic will show when SWPC updates it again.’

    It’s back up again.

  83. Having some interest in interactions between the heliospheric current and planetary magnetospheres, I have come across some 16 year old numbers quoted in the New Scientist.
    Quote: “The open field lines are swept into the tail by the flow of the solar wind, increasing the density of energy stored there. At the typical voltage of 100 kilovolts, this process stores energy in the tail at a rate of about 10^12 watts. This is 10 per cent of the total power of the solar wind meeting the magnetosphere.
    In addition to storing energy in the tail of the magnetosphere, reconnection at the magnetopause drives electric currents in the ionosphere. The total current flowing can be estimated at 5 million amps, which, across a potential difference of 100 kilovolts, dissipates 5 x 10^11 watts.”
    My question to Dr. Svalgaard:
    – Are you aware of any more up to date numbers?
    – Although this amount of energy might be minute in comparison to the energy provided by TSI, my intuition tells me that a large part of it may be pulled down to the narrow polar regions of upper atmosphere. Thinking of analogy of “butterfly and a hurricane” is it possible that with its presence (not actual power) would interfere with air currents, in these for the Earth’s climate very sensitive regions, and thus provide climatic link to solar activity.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg13318114.500-when-the-solar-wind-blows-the-northern-lights-are-a-sign-ofthe-awesome-power-that-the-earth-receives-from-the-solar-wind-the-bigpuzzle-is-how.html

  84. vukcevic (12:20:46) :

    The total current flowing can be estimated at 5 million amps, which, across a potential difference of 100 kilovolts, dissipates 5 x 10^11 watts.”
    My question to Dr. Svalgaard:
    – Are you aware of any more up to date numbers?

    These numbers are trivial to compute from simple considerations. I did that way back in 1973. They don’t change magnitude since, although, of course, the total power varies from minute to minute. The power input to the ionosphere is ‘measured’ today in real time:

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/index.html

    and is several Gigawatt [with large variations]

    Although this amount of energy might be minute in comparison to the energy provided by TSI, my intuition tells me that a large part of it may be pulled down to the narrow polar regions of upper atmosphere. Thinking of analogy of “butterfly and a hurricane” is it possible that with its presence (not actual power) would interfere with air currents, in these for the Earth’s climate very sensitive regions, and thus provide climatic link to solar activity.
    The amount is small and doesn’t really get much below the ionosphere, so I don’t see this as a viable mechanism. The power input is just proportional to geomagnetic activity. See pages 18-19 of http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS.pdf so we know what the power has been for the past ~150 years. If you correlate geomagnetic activity with temps [and the kitchen sink], you are simply correlating the power input with these quantities.

  85. I finished my temperature correlation analysis on the combination of different periods of time within and subsequent to solar cycles, as well as amplitude and timing of sunspot counts. As I note in my write-up, there are a number of improvements that can be made to the analysis, but I found some interesting results that I thought may here may enjoy taking a look at.

    http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/solar-cycle-length-sunspot-count-and-temperature-an-insurance-pricing-analysis/

    I’d love to continue to refine this, and if anyone has opinions on additional parameters and where I can find good data to include, I’d be indebted.

    Joe Tritz
    The Idiot

  86. Leif Svalgaard (09:41:59) :
    “So, tell us, what causes the wind that causes the Kelvin waves that cause the upwelling that causes El Nino.”

    Upwelling causes La Nina, not El Nino – as far as I’m aware.

  87. Leif Svalgaard (08:47:26) :
    “People seems to delight in pointing out my deficiency in logic. I can only appeal to Stefan-Boltzmann’s law: S = a T^4.”

    On the contrary. I would be delighted if we could agree.

    Stephan- Boltzman offers no refuge.

    Let us consider an electrical radiator that generates heat via a resistor. We measure the radiation to the external environment. We then wrap it in an asbestos blanket (the greenhouse effect) and measure the radiation again. Radiation will be less. But, if we take account of the energy emitted over time it will gradually recover to the former level. Overall level of emission can not exceed energy supplied via the electrical cable that supplies the energy (the sun).

    Now, the greenhouse effect is posited to raise temperature via relentless increase in the heat absorbtion characteristics of the atmosphere . This is like adding thin layers of insulator one by one to the emitting surface. In this circumstance, if the insulator is really working, energy is indeed trapped, the temperature of the emitting surface will rise but as it does so radiation to the external environment falls.

    As energy is stored, less is emitted. When the body stops storing more energy (insulation factor constant) the emission may be at a different wave length due to th change in temperature but the overall level of energy emitted is limited by the amount supplied (watts per square metre from the sun).

  88. According to the late Dr. Theodor Landscheidt it is the sun that causes the El Nino events: http://www.john-daly.com/sun-enso/revisit.htm

    Dr. Landscheidt also made a prediction for a new Maunder Minimum around the year 2030.
    According his colleges it wil be called the “Landscheidt Minimum”.

    Also have a look at a South African study:
    Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water
    resource development* JOURNAL OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN
    INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERING
    Vol 49 No 2, June 2007, Pages 32–44, Paper 659
    It shows interesting graphics and conclusions (page 41-43)
    You can download the pdf file from: http://newsbusters.org/node/13731
    click on “Paper”
    I would really love to hear what Mr. Svalgaard thinks about their findings.

  89. Ben G (15:05:48) :
    Upwelling causes La Nina, not El Nino – as far as I’m aware.
    I guess you missed my correction.

    Erl Happ (16:49:25) :
    Let us consider an electrical radiator that generates heat via a resistor.[...]
    As usual, I cannot follow [perhaps somebody else would put it simpler words for me].
    It seems to me that what goes out must be a function of what comes in. A good description of the process may be found here:

    http://wind.mit.edu/~emanuel/geosys/node2.html#SECTION00020000000000000000

    and in chapters following.

  90. Erl Happ (16:49:25) :
    I said “It seems to me that what goes out must be a function of what comes in.”
    This figure (from the link i gave) illustrates what goes on quite nicely:

  91. Smokey!

    Dog-gone it anyway! What’s the status of the new improved WordPress complete with review pane, grammar, and spell check and smileys and all that stuff?

    I tire of getting bitten by my “one-handed southern, can’t form a sentence and type at the same time” dysgraphia.

  92. Garron, thanks. Yes, it should probably be labeled in a bit more of a qualified way. I probably won’t change that post, but if I refine it further and re-present it, I will be sure to qualify it to be at LEAST as clear as your comment! ;)

  93. When posting in the national media one must be politically correct. Challenging accepted journalistic dogma just is not going to be tolerated.

  94. Ron de Haan (17:30:01) :
    According to the late Dr. Theodor Landscheidt it is the sun that causes the El Nino events: http://www.john-daly.com/sun-enso/revisit.htm
    Does our ENSO-expert Erl Happ agree with TL’s mechanism and forecasts?

    Also have a look at a South African study:
    Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water
    resource development[...]
    I would really love to hear what Mr. Svalgaard thinks about their findings.

    This paper has been debunked many times in many places.
    E.g. see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3218 then go down to comments 93-103

  95. Diatribical Idiot (21:51:37) :

    Garron, thanks. Yes, it should probably be labeled in a bit more of a qualified way. I probably won’t change that post, but if I refine it further and re-present it, I will be sure to qualify it to be at LEAST as clear as your comment! ;)

    Ha! :)

    I hope you do change it. If I were to digg your post as is, the noise of such nitpicks will drown substantive discussion.

  96. Leif Svalgaard (17:57:45) :

    Humm, Just thinking that Earl is talking about the time factor, how long does it take the system to balance out. According to AGW, the stratosphere at first cools, as the LWR is absorbed by the CO2(radiator insulation) at lower levels. So I suppose it depends on what level of the atmosphere one measures the LWR?

    You and Earl seam to dance and spar, and somehow never quite get in the ring at the same time (:

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  98. David,
    As you suggest, the energy is supposedly trapped. It can not be emitted if it is trapped.

    Leif chooses to ignore the fact that there is an atmosphere between the Earth and the sun when he quotes Stephan Boltzmann. But greenhouse theory posits that the atmosphere acts as a heat reservoir. If the energy is truly held then the temperature of the Earth will rise while OLR measured at the limits of the atmosphere must fall by the amount of energy accumulated in the Earth system.

    When he wants to be obtuse, or to misunderstand, or to find the prose too expansive, or the argument hard to capture there is not much one can do.

    You can lead the horse to water but, if he doesn’t want to drink there is not a lot that can be done.

    Consider container A fed with water at a constant rate (solar radiation) delivering into container B (the atmosphere). Container B has a tap to deliver to waste (space). If the tap restricts the flow so that the level of the water in B increases, the flow to waste will reduce. (OLR to Space.)

    Why is this important? Because solar radiation falling on the Earth is constant. Outgoing LONG WAVE delivered from Earth to space is less than the energy flow from the sun. The difference is short wave reflected to space by clouds. OLW is not falling, its increasing. OSW must be decreasing. Why? There is only one answer to this. It’s because there is less cloud to reflect the short wave.

    And the loss of cloud is the reason why the Earth is warming. Cloud dynamics drive warming and they also drive ENSO.

    Every year, between May and September the land masses of the Northern Hemisphere heat up the atmosphere and cloud cover falls by about 3%, or 2% or 4%. By January the cloud increases again by 2% or % or 5% and just which way it goes depends upon the temperature in the ice cloud zone above 400hPa where short wave radiation excites ozone. So, ENSO is driven by the sun.

    We know that there is an inverse relationship between 200hPa temperatures and cirrus cloud density. Leif knows that too. But there are some things that you know that you can never say out loud.

  99. Lief:
    If the input has changed (from a slightly lower TSI (.5%) and a larger does of NUV(1.5%) what then does that do to change the stored energies in the various boxes on your diagram?
    I would highly suspect that some changes would be the result. Even if all that happens is a slight increase in Albedo, whether globally or in key latitudes, it should make for some type of climactic shift.
    How long ago and under what conditions relative to todays output from the Sun was that diagram constructed? Has MIT plugged in the latest data and re-ran it?

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  101. Re: Big Chill in Fairbanks:

    True, the first week in October has been cold, but nothing approaching record-setting:

    http://www.accuweather.com/us/ak/fairbanks/99701/forecast-climo.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=1&zipChg=1&metric=0

    Fairbanks, by the way, is one of my favorite places; I was stationed there for 18 months (Army) and left in January, 1971, 10 days before the lowest temp ever recorded in the U.S., -80 F, occurred at a place called Prospect Creek.

    Nothing quite as bracing as taking that first inhalation of -50 air!

  102. Pingback: Planet-x.com.au » Comment on NASA moves the goalposts on Solar Cycle 24 again by Erl …

  103. Erl Happ (01:05:14) :
    Because solar radiation falling on the Earth is constant. Outgoing LONG WAVE delivered from Earth to space is less than the energy flow from the sun. The difference is short wave reflected to space by clouds.
    If you look again [assuming that you had the courtesy to even do it earlier] at

    You can see that what goes out (70) is just what comes in (70), the remaining 30 never coming in [reflected out, so is not part of the radiative process]. Stefan-Boltzmann accounting wonderfully for the whole thing [see chapter 2 of that link], even predicting that the atmosphere should be the fourth root of the number 2 times warmer due to greenhouse effects [as indeed it is]. If you increase what comes in (say to 72) you get a GW of the atmosphere and the surface and the OLR also increases (to 72) to match what comes in (72). All your complicated [and frankly incomprehensible - to me at least] explanations of resistors and insulators and containers, etc, just obscures that very simple physics. So, it comes down to the question: ‘what drives the albedo’. The obvious answer is, as you have been able to see, that more clouds drives the albedo [possibly with minor contributions from aerosols and dust - e.g. volcanoes and Human activity], then why more clouds? Different people have different answers to that: GCRs, UV [you], more evaporation because of AGW [feedback] or because of heat from the oceans, more pollution, etc. To a certain degree this is a chicken and egg business, and I don’t think we know [at least I don't know - but there are lots of know-it-alls out there that would say things like QED].
    The way forward for the know-it-alls is to discuss [not just ramble] their various mechanisms openly [e.g. here in this forum]. For example, I would like the UV crowd to explain to the GCR crowd [not to me] why they [the GCRers] are wrong, and the GCR crowd to explain to the UV crowd why they are wrong, and so on.

    El Nino: what should be explained is the weakening of the wind, then the rest follows. You have not addressed that at all, just keep chanting the mantra that “it is the Sun”, which is no explanation, just a cry.

  104. Robert Bateman (01:24:19) :
    If the input has changed (from a slightly lower TSI (.5%) and a larger does of NUV(1.5%) what then does that do to change the stored energies in the various boxes on your diagram?
    TSI has not changed 0.5% and NUV is such a small fraction of the whole that a small change of NUV is insignificant.

    How long ago and under what conditions relative to todays output from the Sun was that diagram constructed? Has MIT plugged in the latest data and re-ran it?
    This diagram has been known for decades and there is little, if any, discussion about its validity. To a certain extent the details below the top horizontal lines are not important, only that outgoing is equal to incoming in the long run.

  105. Leif Svalgaard (07:41:43) :
    “You can see that what goes out (70) is just what comes in (70), the remaining 30 never coming in [reflected out, so is not part of the radiative process].”

    My point is that the ratios change. The quantities shown in the diagram are not written on tablets of stone.

    “El Nino: what should be explained is the weakening of the wind, then the rest follows. ”

    I can oblige. The wind is a consequence of air density differences due to temperature variations. Unfortunately the ‘ENSO theory crowd’ have not grasped that essential point and it seems to be lost on you too.

    EL NINO occurs when there is an increase in the standing cloud free area to the East of South America and California due to a rise in 200hPa temperatures (UV reacting with ozone). This lowers air density in the cloud free zone tending to draw air in from all directions including from the west. So, the trade winds slacken and the tropical waters consequently move more slowly to the West. In cloud free conditions the waters warm in situ. The slackening of the westward movement of surface waters across the equator means that the waters adjacent to South America warm to depth….or in conventional parlance, upwelling of cold waters is reduced. The centre of air convection moves from Indonesia to the dateline and air pressure in Tahiti drops relative to Darwin.

    The standing cloud fee zone adjacent to South America is just one of many in similar situations around the globe. All these ‘situations’ have in common the fact that cold waters are travelling equator-wards in the trade wind zone and there is a rain shadow effect from a continent to the east. This accounts for the ‘standing cloud free zone’.

    A warming event in the Pacific is not a singular thing. At the same time the same sort of warming events happen in both hemispheres in every ocean. For a warming event to occur the cloud free zone expands, as 200hPa temperatures increase, and for a cooling event to occur the cloud free zones contract.

    These simultaneous warmings are not due to ‘tele-connections’ or fairies in the bottom of the garden. They have in common a change in the interaction of solar influences with the upper troposphere.

    In 2008, 200hPa temperatures have almost returned to 1977 levels. That is because the atmosphere is extraordinarily compact and cool and that in turn is related to the lack of strength of the solar wind. Many scholars have pointed out the excellent correlation that exists between the aa index of geomagnetic activity, a measure of the strength of the solar wind, and terrestrial temperatures. A very compact atmosphere reduces the penetration of UV light. UV creates ozone and ozone absorbs UVB. The upper troposphere (500hPa to 100hPa) has significant ozone content. Its very cold temperature facilitates that. It also has significant water vapour content and forms ice clouds. Ice clouds deliver a lot of reflective bang for the specific humidity buck. In that way quite tiny amounts of water vapour have a very large effect on albedo. The change in specific humidity at 300hPa (highest point that it is measured) in the tropics is very small over long periods of time. (about 12% with no trend up or down 1948 to 2008). At minus 53°C (the temperature of the air at 200hpa) air has little capacity to hold moisture. Given the small variation in moisture content a change in temperature has a big effect on cloud density.

    Change in energy gain in low latitudes drives temperature in winter time at high latitudes and it is at high latitudes that the Earth has warmed.

    But, I have no expectation that this explanation will be welcomed any more than the 200 or more that have preceded it.

    It will be described as long winded and full of irrelevancies. You can’t cook a pudding without a few raisins.

  106. Leif
    “You can see that what goes out (70) is just what comes in (70), the remaining 30 never coming in [reflected out, so is not part of the radiative process].”

    The diagram does not address my point at all. It deals with energy flows which are due to the sum of all wave lengths.

    OLR from the Northern hemisphere has increased by 3.4% since 1948 and the southern hemisphere 2.3% since 1948.

    Temperatures have risen by much less than either figure over the same period.

    If less short wave is reflected long wave must increase.

  107. Dear Mr.Happ

    What happened years before the extraordinary 1997-98 “el nino”?, (which, by the way, was the pretext for all the GW hysteria). Perhaps Dr.Svalgaard could tell us if there was some peculiar solar phenomena in those years.

  108. Erl Happ (09:00:05) :
    My point is that the ratios change. The quantities shown in the diagram are not written on tablets of stone.
    Part of your problem is the imprecise wordings. What ratios? The 70/30? I did just discuss a case with 72/28, so your statement is vacuous. What have stones to do with the radiation budget?

    “El Nino: what should be explained is the weakening of the wind, then the rest follows. ”
    I can oblige. The wind is a consequence of air density differences due to temperature variations.

    Another problem is the use of non-standard [or confused] terminology. The quantity that determines the wind is the air pressure, not the air density.
    During El Niño the trade winds relax in the central and western Pacific leading to a depression of the thermocline in the eastern Pacific, and an elevation of the thermocline in the west. This has nothing to do with the rain shadows to the east of California and the Andes. Here is more information about El Nino http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/el-nino-story.html

    Erl Happ (09:11:02) :
    The diagram does not address my point at all. It deals with energy flows which are due to the sum of all wave lengths.
    This may be another example of terminology confusion. Because the earth’s effective emitting temperature is about 300 K whereas that of the sun is close to 6000 K, their two spectra have almost no overlap. So we may talk about shortwave and longwave radiation, without ambiguity. Perhaps this http://wind.mit.edu/~emanuel/geosys/fig2.2.gif is useful to make the distinction clear.

    That is because the atmosphere is extraordinarily compact and cool and that in turn is [...] A very compact atmosphere reduces the penetration of UV light. UV creates ozone and ozone absorbs UVB.
    Compact? “A very compact atmosphere reduces the penetration of UV light”. This is just nonsense. The ‘penetration’ depends on the number of molecules in the atmosphere and that number does not change.

    related to the lack of strength of the solar wind. Many scholars have pointed out the excellent correlation that exists between the aa index of geomagnetic activity, a measure of the strength of the solar wind, and terrestrial temperatures.
    There is no such correlation. Reconstruction of the aa-index back to 1845 [see e.g. page 14 of http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-SPRG-2008.pdf ] shows that aa-index during 1845-1870 was just as high [or actually a tad higher, if you do the numbers - but eyeballing works fine, too] as during 1980-2005. Many scholars have pointed out that the temperatures during those two periods are significantly different.

    Whatever merit your ideas may have, you diminish them by dragging in geomagnetic activity and the solar wind.

  109. Erl Happ (09:11:02) :
    OLR from the Northern hemisphere has increased by 3.4% since 1948 and the southern hemisphere 2.3% since 1948.
    Temperatures have risen by much less than either figure over the same period.

    First, when calculating temperature changes from OLR changes you must divide by 4 because of Stefan-Boltzmann’s law [that governs all of this], so the ~3% OLR change would result from a 3/4% temperature change which is 2 degrees. This is, if we assume that the albedo was the same, and to the extent that the temperature change is perhaps only half of the 2 degrees, we can conclude that the albedo has also changed [decreased]. I think the prevailing idea is that aerosols have something to do with this. Or clouds, or whatever. As you have stated, the Sun has stayed the same, so we can take that out of the equation, if you want.

  110. Leif,

    I wish to thank you and all those who provide discourse here. I am but a quisling in this arena, but I learn much just by reading through these comments. I only wish I had more time to engage in serious study in these areas, as I have found myself with an intense interest in these things.

    garron, I have updated my current post to put the word “Indicated influence” on the charts, along with a stronger caveat and explanation of such usage before I present the charts. I believe I am very public about the limitations of the analysis. At this point, it’s a model in infancy, though I think still worth sharing as food for thought.

  111. Adolfo Giurfa (09:55:38) :
    What happened years before the extraordinary 1997-98 “el nino”?, [...] if there was some peculiar solar phenomena in those years.
    There was a solar minimum a years before, but there is one every 11 years. Solar activity was picking up on its way to the maximum, but so it is every 11 years, so nothing special.

  112. “According to AGW, the stratosphere at first cools, as the LWR is absorbed by the CO2(radiator insulation) at lower levels. ”

    UAH, RSS and Aqua all together indicate this is not happening, and is inconsistent with GCMs.

    If empirical support exists for AGW it is well disguised.

  113. CO2, at STP, has an emissivity of 9*10^10-4 versus 0.94 for green leaves. The earth’s terrestrial surface radiates heat 1000 times more effectively than CO2.

    The emissivity of water is 0.58 or 60% that of the terrestrial surface. Water’s heat capacity is 50% greater.

    As Bob Tisdale’s graphs over at Jennifer’s have shown, the temps of the center of mass of the SO and global temps are the spittin’ image of each other.

    So AGW is bankrupt and irrelevant and is the only factor independent of the sun’s input, volcanism included.

  114. Erl Happ (09:00:05) :
    Change in energy gain in low latitudes drives temperature in winter time at high latitudes and it is at high latitudes that the Earth has warmed.

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUSPol.html

    shows South high latitude cooling since 1978

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUNPol.html

    shows North high latitude cooling 1978-1994, then a jump up and flat since.

    As far as I know it is the Night Temperature that has increased globally and not the Day Temperature. This is another interesting piece of the puzzle. Clouds at night?

  115. Erl Happ (09:00:05) :
    Change in energy gain in low latitudes drives temperature in winter time at high latitudes and it is at high latitudes that the Earth has warmed.
    moderator?

  116. Leif Svalgaard (13:04:14) :
    We need a decent time span to look at temperature.

    See a comparison of air temperature in the decade 1948 to1958 to the most recent decade here:

    Data from http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/Timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    You will observe that it is high latitude winter temperatures that have increased.

    On a daily basis the minimums are higher, and the minimum occurs at night and that is related to sea surface temperatures. High minimums in winter relate to less frosts and less ice.

    The climate shift in 1978 involved a dramatic increase in the temperature at 100hPa, 70hPa and 50hPa (the lower stratosphere) due to a jump in outgoing long wave radiation associated with loss of cloud cover. OLR reacts with ozone. Temperature at 100hPa in the tropics peaks strongly in mid year associated with the fall in cloud cover associated with the increase in global temperatures due to Northern Hemisphere warming in turn associated with the size of the land masses in relation to the sea. It can be safely concluded that the main driver of lower stratospheric temperature is outgoing long wave radiation. Those temperature peaks have decayed continuously since 1978.

    Thanks for the following comment:
    “we can conclude that the albedo has also changed [decreased]. I think the prevailing idea is that aerosols have something to do with this. Or clouds, or whatever. As you have stated, the Sun has stayed the same, so we can take that out of the equation, if you want.”

    So, there has been a change in cloud cover. (Less waffle would help). The usual relatively cloud free zones simply expand. These are the re-charge zones for tropical warming events.

    And the change in albedo is also clearly reflected in the jump in 200hPa temperatures in 1978. The relationship between 200hPa temperatures and cloud cover is well documented.

    And 200hPa temperature is clearly driven by the reaction of ozone to UV light.

    The amount of UV light that emanates from the sun as sunspots come and go is less important than the effect of the solar wind on the mass of the atmosphere over the tropics. I infer this change from observation of change in temperature in the tropics. If you don’t want to infer it and want to stick to your notion that the mass of the atmosphere over the tropics is invariable go right ahead. But, have the graciousness to admit that neither of us really knows.

  117. Leif
    For a bit of background data on the relationship between ENSO and the temperature of the Southern Hemisphere Oceans see http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/10/peruvian-coast-sst-anomalies.html

    The change in the temperature off the Peruvian coast, in the Southern Oceans and air temperature at high latitudes in winter have this in common. They all had a strong maximum in the 1940S, a minimum in the late 1970s and have risen strongly since. But, since 2003 they are all in decline.

    Now check this http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/SOIandSST1-20S.jpg

    and this

    The point I would make to you is that the flywheel of the Earths heat budget is the oceans of the southern hemisphere. After all, we know that due to orbital considerations irradiance is almost 7% stronger on January 3d, when the sun is over the tropic of Capricorn.

  118. Erl Happ (16:11:36) :
    effect of the solar wind on the mass of the atmosphere over the tropics. if [you think] the mass of the atmosphere over the tropics is invariable go right ahead. But, have the graciousness to admit that neither of us really knows.
    The mass [really the weight, but with gravity not varying...] of a column of air is given by the pressure it exerts, independent of its temperature. The pressure over the tropics is well-known, so we do know [or can know]. So central to your theory is that the pressure in the tropics should vary with the solar wind. This is a critical experiment. If it does not, your theory is wrong. If it does, it does not prove your theory right as the theory is not unique [there could be other mechanisms at play]. So, one cannot prove a theory, but one can disprove it. Back in the 19th century people looked at correlations between geomagnetic and solar activity and just about everything they could think of. If memory serves, no correlation with pressure was found. I’m not aware of anybody later having looked at this, but it should be an easy thing to check. Why don’t you?

  119. Erl Happ (16:53:23) :
    The point I would make to you is that the flywheel of the Earths heat budget is the oceans of the southern hemisphere.
    No need to make a point of the obvious, but from this the rest of your theory does not follow.

  120. Erl Happ (16:11:36) :
    So, there has been a change in cloud cover. (Less waffle would help). The usual relatively cloud free zones simply expand. These are the re-charge zones for tropical warming events.
    And the change in albedo is also clearly reflected in the jump in 200hPa temperatures in 1978. The relationship between 200hPa temperatures and cloud cover is well documented.

    That the albedo is changing and clouds too is not in doubt, but those facts do nothing to prove your specific theory as many other mechanisms could be claimed [even AGW for that matter].

    The heaping up of details just obscures the central point of your theory: the ‘compacting’ of the atmosphere by the solar wind. This point is amenable to an observational check. There are long records [Dutch, British] of meteorological data including air pressure. Find many stations, compile a composite data set and compare it with [correct] aa-index subject to rigorous statistical checks, and the point can be made.

  121. Leif Svalgaard (17:07:25) :
    “If memory serves, no correlation with pressure was found. I’m not aware of anybody later having looked at this, but it should be an easy thing to check. Why don’t you?”

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Boyles Law. Pressure volume and temperature are related.

    If the pressure rises and the temperature also rises and the volume is laterally adjustable but is at the same time vertically constrained by gravity, then the density of the material in the column affected by the increased pressure and temperature, will decrease. In the following diagram I show that part of the southern ocean that has the least albedo and the maximum irradiation in summer. Thats 10° to 20°S.

  122. Leif, It is apparent that a massive jump in both temperature and pressure occurred in 1978 at the start of solar cycle 21. Regardless of the actual dynamic of UV at the time the atmosphere became more penetrable.

    This was the origin of the Great Pacific Climate shift.

    We have a multivariate relationship in a column of air attached to a sphere by gravity. Its P,V and T.

    The strong relationship between aa and 200hpa temperature is indicative of the forces involved. That this is the case can be regarded as surprising given that V and P are also involved.

  123. ‘As far as I know it is the Night Temperature that has increased globally and not the Day Temperature. This is another interesting piece of the puzzle. Clouds at night?’

    Consistent layer or cheescloth with shrinking openings? There could be many means to achieve the same result. A roiled reflectivity during the day ( a dielectric filter that transmits equally in both directions) but at night reverses and lets far less out. It still fails to explain why daytime temps do not show the same increase because of higher retained temps during the night, but a photo activated inward reflectivity due to massive light pollution could be a game breaker. I have always detested the blasted things (overcrowded streetlighting) and the massive waste of precious energy they represent.
    Clouds of photonic pressure at specific wavelength, Leif.
    What could that do to upset the applecart?

  124. Erl Happ (18:08:50) :
    Boyles Law
    has nothing to do with it. The mass of the overlying atmosphere is determined solely by the number of molecules in the column. The total integrated weight of that column is the pressure. But what is important is actually just the number of molecules [as long as the gas is tenuous enough [which it is]]. So the pressure should be a strong function of [corrected] aa-index. This is the crucial test. As a sign of scientific integrity, you should declare up front that you drop your theory if there is no correlation [you can specify what level of significance you will consider: 95%, 99%, 99.9%, ...]. This is how it is done. During one of the meetings of the NASA/NOAA Sunspot Prediction Panel, I asked Dikpati if her theory could be saved if the sunspot number came out less than the current cycle. As a good scientist she said: “in that case, my model is wrong, and must be abandoned”.

    Erl Happ (18:26:22) :
    It is apparent that a massive jump in both temperature and pressure occurred in 1978 at the start of solar cycle 21.
    The minimum was in 1976. And if the start of a cycle is important there should be many such great climate shift, once every 11 years or so.

  125. Leif Svalgaard (20:22:23) :
    The mass of the overlying atmosphere is determined solely by the number of molecules in the column. The total integrated weight of that column is the pressure.

    In measuring the cosmic ray flux at the ground one finds that the flux varies with the hour-to-hour variation of pressure. This is because there are more molecules [more mass] for the CR to ‘penetrate’ before being measured when the pressure is higher. The CR flux does not vary with temperature, only with pressure [or equivalently: number of molecules].

  126. Leif and Erl, good heavens, this is interesting, but Leif, surely there is something more recent than Nineteenth Century measurements and comparisons. Surely we are now sensing things about the sun and the solar wind that were not measured back then.
    =====================================

  127. Leif
    Yes, the mass of the overlying atmosphere is determined solely by the number of molecules in the column.

    And the number of molecules will be a function of the kinetic energy of each molecule that determines the distance between them.

    As the temperature rises, so does the pressure. The molecules exert a force in all directions which results in an increase in the volume occupied. Part of the extra volume occupied will be vertical and part horizontal. So the number of molecules in each cubic meter diminishes in proportion to the horizontal component.

    The transition from the weak solar cycle 20 to the strong solar cycle 21 was unusually momentous. It takes a couple of years after solar minimum for the aa index to pick up. An El Nino event is a multi year occurrence. The full shift was not accomplished till the end of the El Nino of 1983, as the aa index peaked, well after sunspot maximum about 1980. In consequence sea surface temperatures in the tropics jumped to a new plateau 0.5 degrees higher.

    “In measuring the cosmic ray flux at the ground one finds that the flux varies with the hour-to-hour variation of pressure.”

    Pressure and temperature vary together, and the cosmic ray flux varies with the number of molecules in the way. So, you make my point for me.

  128. Why am I hearing a back and forth about nothing in Heaven or on Earth can possibly change the temperature of the Earth? Should I infer that since the Earth accreted and condensed X number of billions of years ago, that the global temperature has remained insignificantly constant?.
    The Ice Ages were nothing more than super thick polar caps with scorching deserts between them. Yes, no , mabye?

  129. Robert Bateman (22:16:32) :
    It’s subtle. But powerful nevertheless. The mechanism allows for a wide variation in temperature response depending upon the changing position of the continents and the orbital characteristics. If the sun were closer to the Earth in July rather than January the Earth would chill very considerably, perhaps even setting us up for an ice age.

  130. Erl Happ (21:50:08) :
    And the number of molecules will be a function of the kinetic energy of each molecule that determines the distance between them. As the temperature rises, so does the pressure
    Nonsense, the number of molecules in the air columns is constant no matter what the temperature is. Why do we have to discuss this? Read up on it, please. E.g. here: http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fw/prs/def.rxml
    The only thing that matters is the pressure. Low temperature is often associated with high pressure, if you want to find some association [e.g. Siberia in the winter], but the temperature is irrelevant, only the pressure matters for the number of molecules to absorb UV or whatever.

    The transition from the weak solar cycle 20 to the strong solar cycle 21 was unusually momentous. It takes a couple of years after solar minimum for the aa index to pick up. An El Nino event is a multi year occurrence. The full shift was not accomplished till the end of the El Nino of 1983, as the aa index peaked, well after sunspot maximum about 1980.

    I don’t know how to handle this. What you say is simply not true. The transition was not momentous. In terms of aa, the transition was lame. Aa came down from a strong high during 1974 in cycle 20 to a rather deep minimum in the solar maximum year 1980 [see page 14 of http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS.pdf ]
    The run of aa during cycle 20 from 1965 to 1970 mimics very much the run of aa during cycle 23 from 1996 to 2002, yet there was a super El Nino in 1998 and aa-maximum in 1974 was followed by the La Ninas 1974-1976.

    There was nothing solar or aa-wise to trigger the ‘great climate shift’ of 1978. The run of aa 1955-1965 was as pronounced as that of 1980-1987, yet 1955-1965 were years of cold. It simply does not hang together.

    But all of this is incidental. You did not see fit to respond to:
    “The mass of the overlying atmosphere is determined solely by the number of molecules in the column. The total integrated weight of that column is the pressure. But what is important is actually just the number of molecules [as long as the gas is tenuous enough [which it is]]. So the pressure should be a strong function of [corrected] aa-index. This is the crucial test. As a sign of scientific integrity, you should declare up front that you drop your theory if there is no correlation [you can specify what level of significance you will consider: 95%, 99%, 99.9%, ...]. This is how it is done. During one of the meetings of the NASA/NOAA Sunspot Prediction Panel, I asked Dikpati if her theory could be saved if the sunspot number came out less than the current cycle. As a good scientist she said: “in that case, my model is wrong, and must be abandoned”.”

    So I give you now a second chance [if still no response, there will be a third, 4th, 5th, ... chance]. So, the test is simple [and Kim, yes there are LOTS of recent data], do it and convince me. Fail to do it and leave your ideas tottering in a lurch.

  131. Robert Bateman (22:16:32) :
    Should I infer that since the Earth accreted and condensed X number of billions of years ago, that the global temperature has remained insignificantly constant?.
    You are pretty much correct. The Sun’s luminosity has increased by more than 30% over that time, which alone corresponds to a temperature increase of 24K, while the temperature, if anything, has decreased and in any event varied much less than 24K.

  132. Leif
    “As the temperature rises, so does the pressure”

    And on the annual scale that is exactly what happens as I show here:http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/Pressureand200hPatemperature.jpg

    And that is incontrovertible.

    “”Low temperature is often associated with high pressure”. That is also true but in an entirely different different scenario to what we are dealing with when we talk of the atmospheric column.

    “I don’t know how to handle this. What you say is simply not true. The transition was not momentous. In terms of aa, the transition was lame.”

    Beg to disagree and here is the data: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/aaand200hPatemp.jpg

    “So the pressure should be a strong function of [corrected] aa-index. This is the crucial test.”

    Disagree. The pressure and the temperature are together a strong function of the flux of ultraviolet which depends in part upon the aa index and in part upon other solar phenomena.

    Let me remind you that other factors are also involved. Volcanoes and the aerosols that they put into the stratosphere, precipitation events have their own dynamics. Change in specific and relative humidity affects cloud formation potential.

    I will not throw out the hypothesis on the basis of a false test. No amount of bullying or repetition will change that.

  133. Leif Svalgaard (23:16:06)

    Leif! I am spending too much time on WUWT — you are very much at fault! :)

    It appears we understand the gross mechanics required to maintain an environment for our biology.

    It seems evident that a similar environment could not exist elsewhere simultaneously.

    The possibility for similar biology would be pre-biology earth — time frames that you, Leif, could quantify/qualify.

    My initial reaction is, such opportunity never manifested or, if it did, it would have been a brief window.

  134. Leif (23:08:13) & Erl (00:27:17) As you’ve both seemed to have guessed, the mechanism by which the sun exerts its climate regulating effect is not simple, nor is it necessarily single. There are likely several, maybe even many, mechanisms involved. I’d suspect some different manner to be in effect as the geography and the atmosphere changed; even the ocean hasn’t been of constant composition, and the carbon cycle has responded variably, with biological feedbacks not staying constant. There are such a multitude of possibilities; one is that the uniformitarian principle applies only approximately. Sorry if the volubility is too voluminous.
    ===============================================

  135. Pingback: Planet-x.com.au » Comment on NASA moves the goalposts on Solar Cycle 24 again by kim

  136. You are pretty much correct. The Sun’s luminosity has increased by more than 30% over that time, which alone corresponds to a temperature increase of 24K, while the temperature, if anything, has decreased and in any event varied much less than 24K.

    In that case, a couple more K here or fewer there are even less significant. No catastrophe.

  137. Erl Happ (00:27:17) :
    “As the temperature rises, so does the pressure”
    And that is incontrovertible.

    Whatever you think the temperature is doing, the number of molecules in the tropics is directly given by the pressure. The pressure is weighing the molecules in the atmosphere. So that is the direct and simple measure.

    The transition was not momentous. In terms of aa, the transition was lame.”
    Beg to disagree and here is the data:[...]

    This graphs shows that there is no correlation. Even the simplest of measures [the average] shows this with average aa 1948-1978 being 23.5 and 1979-2008 being 23.7; the same despite ‘the great climate shift’.

    “So the pressure should be a strong function of [corrected] aa-index. This is the crucial test.”

    Disagree. The pressure and the temperature are together a strong function of the flux of ultraviolet which depends in part upon the aa index and in part upon other solar phenomena.

    The absorption of UV depends only on the number of molecules, i.e. the pressure [how the temperature varies is irrelevant for this]. It was aa that was supposed to regulate the ‘compactness’ of the atmosphere and thereby regulating the absorption of UV, so if the pressure does not correlate strongly with aa, the basic premise of the theory is falsified. And ‘in part upon other solar phenomena': what other phenomena? Even the source function of UVB varies inversely with solar activity. Let me repeat the central point: absorption depends solely on number of molecules which in turn is given by the pressure [usual caveats: dilute gas, etc].

    Let me remind you that other factors are also involved. Volcanoes and the aerosols that they put into the stratosphere, precipitation events have their own dynamics. Change in specific and relative humidity affects cloud formation potential.
    Yes all of these other factor are in play plus some others: ocean circulation, CO2 [some would claim], land-use, etc, and all these factors may simply be the whole thing with no help from the more molecules created [or moved into the tropics] by aa.

    I will not throw out the hypothesis on the basis of a false test. No amount of bullying or repetition will change that.
    A hypothesis is scientific if it can be falsified. I assume that by ‘false test’ you mean a test that did not produce the desired outcome. A ‘test’ in itself is not false unless fraudulent or sloppy. So, you are distancing yourself from the assertion that your theory is scientific. ‘Bullying’ seems to be necessary to elicit any response at all, so has it legitimate uses.

    So, I repeat: we have aa index [or equivalents] back to 1844, pressure data for tropical stations back to ~1850, so the crucial test can be performed on ~160 years of data. Expend some effort, collect the data, post the time series for audit, and let’s make the correlation test.

  138. kim (06:49:34) :
    Yes Kim, more than one variable is involved in determining surface temperature. We do well if we can list the top three and show how they interact.

    What is plain is that the Earth is heating variably by latitude and season, the tropics leads the way, ENSO drives tropical temperatures and involves very strong change in oceanic heat reserves.

    What is also plain is that the tendency to repeated warming events or repeated cooling events stays with us for 30 or 40 year periods.

    It is also plain that changes in cloud albedo relate to increasing upper troposphere temperature driven by UV impact on ozone in a regime of relatively constant specific humidity.

    The increase in OLR reveals a loss of reflectivity (albedo). That should tell us to start looking hard at where and why it is happening.

    Relatively cloud free areas are a constant feature of the recharge zones for tropical warming events on the East of the major oceans. The size of these cloud free areas expands in mid year and also between years. They expand when 200hPa temperatures rise. The relationship between cirrus density and 200hpa temperature is well documented.

    What I am trying to do is suggest the things that might drive upper troposphere temperature. Plainly, the intensity of short wave radiation is a factor. The other factor is a change in the density of the atmosphere over the tropics allowing UV to penetrate further. A third may be ozone content that depends upon humidity and perhaps other things. A fourth may be electromagnetic factors shifting neutral molecules that are entrained with accelerating non neutrals in the stratosphere. The double maximum at 1hPa is strong evidence of a geomagnetic affect. A fifth may be the presence or absence of nucleating particles or electric charge characteristics that affect cloud formation. All these are sun related.

    A sixth is the influence of the distribution of land and sea. A drop in cloud cover in mid year is much less influential than if it happens in January when the sun is over the bulk of the ocean.

    Throw in volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere and the whole dynamic changes.

    At a point where the atmosphere becomes super-humid like it did in 1998 a La Nina has its own cooling dynamic that can impose a cooling cycle for two or three years regardless of what the sun is doing.

    So there are three factors that have to do with Earthly stimuli.

    So, a call to correlate one single variable with upper troposphere or surface temperature and reject the hypothesis if the correlation is insufficient throws out the baby with the bath water. It’s willfully destructive, pedantic and overbearing and I am not impressed.

  139. Gary Gulrud (08:26:36) :
    This ENSO discussion is a great illustration of the ‘Tar Baby’ strategy.
    Yeah, I have tar all over my hands [and feet], having met that non-responsive Tar Baby so many times.

  140. Erl Happ (08:44:42) :
    What I am trying to do is suggest the things that might drive upper troposphere temperature. Plainly, the intensity of short wave radiation is a factor. The other factor is a change in the density of the atmosphere over the tropics allowing UV to penetrate further.
    You suggest a long list of possibilities. The way to make progress is to test the various possibilities, to the extent that they allow test [if they do not, they can be excluded without further ado]. I am suggesting one such test.

    So, a call to correlate one single variable with upper troposphere or surface temperature and reject the hypothesis if the correlation is insufficient throws out the baby with the bath water.
    What is thrown out is the importance of that one single variable, not the influence of ocean currents, AGW [if you are of that bent], and the multitude of other causes.

    It’s willfully destructive
    Indeed, as progress relies on destruction of wrong ideas.

    pedantic
    precision and attention to detail is a hallmark of good science

    and overbearing
    this untrue ad-hom I’ll let slide [my record and patience speak for itself]

    and I am not impressed.
    It is for you to impress us when you claim that the case is QED, not the other way around.

  141. Erl Happ (08:44:42) :
    You suggest a long list of possibilities. The way to make progress is to test the various possibilities, to the extent that they allow test [if they do not, they can be excluded without further ado]. I am suggesting one such test.

  142. If the Earth has less retained heat but is balanced by an increasingly luminous Sun, then the problem now becomes one of external source. Any negative change in input such as increased Albedo or decreased output from the Sun leads to irrecoverable loss to Earth’s global heat supply, unless the Sun becomes far more active in high times than it becomes inactive during low times. Which way is the balance now flowing in the Long Term and which way does it flow in the Short Term?
    Leif, you just made the argument for the Sun as the deciding factor.
    Somewhere along the way, we have to eat the cake.

  143. Leif (08:23:47) I took ‘false test’ to mean one which was not correctly designed to falsify the hypothesis, which might apply to your test. Please, all, let me be the intemperate one around here.
    =================================

  144. Items to think about: Pacific Ocean, “Ring of Fire” of magma activity, “Western Pacific Warm Pool”, cold Humboldt´s current from antarctica, cloud clover…
    The lack of sun´s heat=Antarctica, etc.

  145. kim (09:11:08) :
    I took ‘false test’ to mean one which was not correctly designed to falsify the hypothesis, which might apply to your test. Please, all, let me be the intemperate one around here.
    Looks simple enough to design a correct test:
    1. It is claimed that aa determines the absorption [actually the looser word 'penetration' was used, but unless that leads to absorption nothing matters] of UV [in the troposphere]
    2. The absorption by a medium depends on the number of molecules
    3. The number of molecules is given by the pressure,
    so the test would be to check if aa is strongly correlated with pressure. If it is not, then aa is not the dominant determinant of absorption of UV. So, we can lop that one off the list.

    If we back off and say, so what, aa is just a small part of the whole complicated picture, then one cannot make [as it was done] the statement that ‘the cooling is caused by a weaker solar wind’ or that the ‘great climate shift was due to an usual momentous solar cycle, wind or aa’. I’m perfectly willing to give everything in the kitchen sink a 5% role to play, it is the sweeping generalizations [and the QEDs] I caution against.

  146. Leif Svalgaard (08:23:47) :
    An atmospheric column is unrestrained in volume except via the gravitational force acting on the entire mass of the air around the globe and the balancing pressure of the sea of air around it. Column density is a function of P times T. As T increases P increases minutely. If the column were perfectly constrained P would increase directly in proportion to T.

    See:http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/PtimesT.jpg

    When the temperature and pressure increases over the latitudes 10°S to 20°S the molecules per cubic metre in the column above that latitude band must diminish as the column spreads laterally. That it spreads laterally is obvious given the very small response of P to T. So, density is largely a function of T.

    The temperature maximum at 1hPa in March and September is strong evidence of a solar wind effect on the penetration of short wave energy into the upper stratosphere. The greatest variability that occurs in the stratosphere may be observed in September. That should be expected because the strength of irradiance is strongest in January and the atmosphere and the ocean continues to warm into February-March. The relative effect of the geomagnetic influence on atmospheric temperature is therefore weaker in March. If one checks the degree of variation that occurs, month by month as one descends into the troposphere that same strong variability is evident in September. This is particularly anachronistic at 10°S to 20°S below 150hPa because September is when temperatures are at a seasonal low point.

    Now, we know that the coupling effect is a seasonal thing that occurs at the equinoxes. But the same atmospheric response can be expected when the intensity of the solar wind changes from year to year.

    Bullying is never productive. If anything it tends to promote withdrawal which may be your real objective. In my case it has the reverse effect.

  147. “this untrue ad-hom I’ll let slide [my record and patience speak for itself] ”

    Must you persist in smearing your critics so?

    Ad hominem arguments have two intelligible uses, one positive, one negative.

    The positive use characterizes the argument calculated to persuade by bringing an argument targeted to the adversary’s background or experience.

    The negative use characterizes a rebuttal whose sole force is some flaw in the person instead of his argument.

    Calling you ‘overbearing’ is indeed a criticism, but not one intended to persuade the interloper that your argument is, for that reason, false.

    Your colloquial sense, any perceived slur, is unreasonable.

    “Be you ever seeing and not perceiving, ever hearing and not heeding, lest you turn and be healed.”

  148. “The Sun’s luminosity has increased by more than 30% over that time, which alone corresponds to a temperature increase of 24K, while the temperature, if anything, has decreased and in any event varied much less than 24K.”

    And, in any event, less than half the energy ever reaches the ground. So 24K is not ‘as advertised’, useful beyond middle-school science. Non-tenured instructors beware.

  149. Erl Happ (09:44:08) :
    density is largely a function of T.
    An incoming UV photon does not know or care anything about density; all that matters to it is 1) the chance of hitting a molecule that can absorb it and 2) that chance depends only on the total number of molecules along the path of the photon. 3) The pressure is the weight of those molecules [no matter what the temperature is]. Analyze the above and tell me which one(s) of the three you have problems with.

    The temperature maximum at 1hPa in March and September is strong evidence of a solar wind effect on the penetration of short wave energy into the upper stratosphere. The greatest variability that occurs in the stratosphere may be observed in September. [...] If one checks the degree of variation that occurs, month by month as one descends into the troposphere that same strong variability is evident in September.
    As you do that direct measurements show that the maximum slowly change phase with height, in fact through the whole 360 degrees. It is not the ‘same’ maximum that persists at the ‘same’ phase all the way down.

    Bullying is never productive. If anything it tends to promote withdrawal which may be your real objective. In my case it has the reverse effect.
    ‘Bullying’ was your word. Insistence on accuracy and adherence to correct physics and constructively suggesting crucial tests are productive IMHO. I don’t want you to withdraw, I want you to back up your QED, if you can. And I take offense at having my ‘objective’ questioned or even being an issue.

  150. Gary Gulrud (09:49:23) :
    “this untrue ad-hom I’ll let slide [my record and patience speak for itself] ”
    Must you persist in smearing your critics so?

    I’ll let that slur slide too as it has no value with respect to the scientific debate we are trying to conduct.

  151. Gary Gulrud (09:49:23) If the medicine is going to be so unpalatable, he wants to be sure it is effective, before he swallows it.
    ========================================

  152. “my record and patience speak for itself”

    If this were one’s Academy, then patience follows reasonably from self-interest.

  153. “I’ll let that slur slide too as it has no value with respect to the scientific debate we are trying to conduct.”

    Yet you didn’t let it slide “too” since you felt the need to illuminate us with the news that you would let it slide. That would seem, by your own rule inferred from the above, to also have no value. Yet because of your quite bizarre announcement earlier that ad hom sometimes has positive value, your own rules are quite obscure.

  154. Leif Svalgaard (10:04:15) :
    Let’s put aside this argument about surface pressure in favour of considering pressure/density/photon penetration in the zone of interest. We are asking whether temperature peaks at 1hPa in March and September, that may be due to a geomagnetic influence, can be traced down into the troposphere thereby influencing cloud cover. We might as well look for a result on the moon as on the surface of the Earth with the bulk of the atmosphere lying well below the zone of influence of geomagnetic activity.

    We have about 1% of the atmosphere above 1hPa and some of it in carrying an electric charge making it susceptible to movement and perhaps carrying neutrals with it.

    We have perhaps 20% of the atmosphere above 200hpa including ozone which is a product of the energizing of oxygen and itself susceptible to being energized by particular wave lengths and also being influenced by humidity and temperature change.

    According to Wikipedia “when the sun is active with 50 or more sunspots, hard X-rays (wavelength < 1 nm) ionize the air (N2, O2).” So we have a separate dynamic altering the level of energizing radiation in various wave lengths that is in and out of phase with the solar wind.

    Geopotential height is a measure of pressure relating to altitude. It is used to infer wind strength. Wind strength relates to density considerations driven by temperature change. Geopotential height at some level of the atmosphere or other has been related to solar output in many papers. A quick search reveals plenty and you can do it for yourself so no sense quoting addresses.

    So, urging you to recognize that relationships between variables will correlate well at some times and not others due to the influence of uncontrolled ‘other factors’ I tender the graph at: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/GHMthlyTempandextremevarn.jpg

    The data relates to 1948-2008, 10°S to 20°S where albedo is least and irradiance greatest. It occurs to me that it would be worth checking relationships in other tropical latitudes and perhaps across the Pacific between Indonesia and South America.

    To derive “200hPa temp. extreme varn. 1948-2008” I take the figure for the coolest January from figure for the warmest January and so on for each month.

    To derive “200hPa varn. in Mthly GH” I show the monthly average for the entire period 1948-2008 with a base of zero for the month of minimum.

    To derive “200hPa extreme varn in GH 1948-2008” the difference between the highest and lowest monthly figure for GH in each month is recorded.

    Things I would point out.
    1. Extremes in temperature variation at 200hPa between the warmest month and the coldest month in the period 1948 to 2008 vary little across the year. There might be a slight fillip in September (circled). But, more importantly, the way monthly variation holds up as irradiance falls away in mid year strongly suggests a geomagnetic influence kicking in from June.
    2. The seasonal variation of geopotential height has a maximum in March rather than January and shows little effect from the generalized surface warming in mid year due to Northern hemisphere land masses. (the OLR effect is overwhelming at 100hPa and into the lower stratosphere).
    3. The extreme variations in geopotential height do not follow the pattern of irradiance variation but are plainly influenced by the increase in geomagnetic activity from June to September.

    I take this as excellent evidence of a geomagnetic derived solar influence on the upper troposphere that will feed into change in cloud cover.

    Lastly I would point out that upper atmosphere specific humidity responds poorly to changes in sea surface temperature. See:

    the 200hPa level has warmed strongly with a big jump in 1978. We ahev no measure of specific humidity at 200hPa but trends below that level suggest that specific humidity has not kept pace with the rise in temperature. A lot of the temperature increase since 1978 can be attributed to loss of cloud albedo.

    That this has occurred has already been inferred from the strong increase in outgoing long wave radiation (comments above).

  155. Erl Happ (18:54:14) :
    Let’s put aside this argument about surface pressure in favour of considering pressure/density/photon penetration in the zone of interest.
    We cannot put aside this argument as that is my main point of criticism [I have no qualms about clouds, albedo, ocean currents, whatever]. If you do not understand the physics of this, then there is little common ground. There is, of course, the possibility that your proposed mechanism isn’t really central to what you are trying to say [and that you will back off from it]. So, let’s go with that for the moment.

    We are asking whether temperature peaks at 1hPa in March and September, that may be due to a geomagnetic influence, can be traced down into the troposphere

    Although it is conceivable [and I think likely] that solar/geomagnetic activity has some influence in the mesosphere and even high stratosphere [certainly in the ionosphere/thermosphere], the seasonal variations further down are not due to geomagnetic activity, but to wave-driven internal dynamics of the atmosphere. We have discussed this earlier at length [at Climateaudit]. For your benefit I repost here:

    June 12th, 2008 at 9:16 pm
    70 (Erl): In my answer I rashly assumed that you were talking about the thermosphere where indeed solar activity is important. In re-reading your post I realize that you were referring to the middle and lower stratosphere. Mea culpa.
    The Semi-annual Oscillation (SAO) and Quasi-biennial Oscillation (QBO) in the stratosphere are produced mainly by dynamical processes, which are associated with the zonal circulation that dominates at, and is confined to, equatorial latitudes. And so is NOT solar activity related. You can learn more about those processes in http://www.ann-geophys.net/24/2131/2006/angeo-24-2131-2006.pdf
    I quote from the paper: “At low latitudes, the zonal mean zonal winds of the SAO peak in the upper stratosphere near 50 km with velocities of about 30 m/s, eastward during equinox and westward around solstice. These winds are equatorially trapped planetary waves (i.e., eastward propagating Kelvin waves and westward propagating Rossby gravity waves) that provide the wave forcing through critical level absorption and radiative damping. Plumb (1977), Plumb and Bell (1982) and Dunkerton (1985a), and others, further elucidated the properties of this mechanism. With the Sun crossing the equator twice a year, a semi-annual oscillation is generated through momentum advection from the summer to the winter hemisphere. The magnitude of this oscillation is small compared with observations (e.g., Meyer, 1970; Hamilton, 1986), and the theory for the QBO by Lindzen and Holton was therefore extended to also explain the SAO in the stratosphere (e.g., Dunkerton, 1979; Hamilton, 1986, Hitchman and Leovy, 1986). The planetary waves that are postulated to drive the equatorial oscillations in the stratosphere are largely dissipated there, and therefore cannot significantly affect the dynamics of the upper mesosphere. Lindzen (1981) had shown that in this region of the atmosphere, at higher altitudes, small-scale gravity waves (GW) can cause the seasonal variations of the zonal circulation to reverse; and Dunkerton (1982a) proposed this mechanism to explain the observed SAO above 70 km. Hitchman and Leovy (1986) provide a good discussion of the dynamical processes that generate the SAO in the stratosphere and mesosphere. They also discussed specifically the important role of the gravity-wave-driven meridional circulation.”

    See, especially Figure 8, that shows how the maxima slowly drift from month to month as we go deeper into the atmosphere, so that the March maximum at 95 km becomes the September maximum at 30 km, ending up as a weak November maximum at 15 km. The paper cited is a very nice recent satellite confirmation of something that has been surmised and hinted at for decades. [I'll spare you a long list of papers for now, some referred to in the abstract, especially Hitchman and Leovy (1986)].

    And as we have discussed so many times, the atmosphere is mainly heated from below: see e.g.
    Tropospheric clouds and lower stratospheric heating rates : Results from late winter in the Southern Hemisphere
    HICKE J.; TUCK A.;
    Aeronomy Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado,
    Abstract: Tropospheric clouds can impact the radiative heating of the lower stratosphere substantially, though their effect over a winter has been estimated by previous studies to be small. In this study clouds were incorporated into radiative transfer calculations by matching computations of outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) with collocated satellite observations of OLR. Narrowband (cm-1 resolution) heating rate calculations reveal that differences in clear and cloudy heating rates occur in the ozone 9.6 μm band, where radiation exchange with the lower surface dominates the heating rate terms. By reducing the temperature of the emitting surface, clouds can decrease the heating rate by 0.6 K d-1 (dθ/dt) at 450 K for single profile calculations and have the greatest impact when over the warm, open ocean. Monthly mean calculations in the Southern Hemisphere show regions where heating rates decrease (cooling rates increase) by 0.2-0.3 K d-1when clouds are added; these regions include areas that are equatorward of the sea ice edge but within the stratospheric polar vortex. Zonal mean heating rates display a maximum just poleward of the vortex edge during August and September 1994. Zonal monthly mean comparisons of the OLR-matched cloudy heating rates with those using a cloud climatology show that the climatology captures 50-75% of this decrease in heating rates compared to clear skies. [...]
    Journal of geophysical research 1999, vol. 104, noD8, pp. 9309-9324

    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1779154

  156. Everybody play nice please. This thread is getting out of hand. Now…I don’t care who started, who’s fault it is, and who’s trying to get the last word in. Consider this to be the last word on the subject.~charles the moderator.

  157. Jeez,
    I think that we have gone about as far as is permissible at this time. For me its back to the entrails to see what I can make of them. The evidence is in the data. It’s just a question of teasing it out.

    What I see in the data is consistent with albedo change in the tropics driving winter temperatures at high latitudes that rise and fall over 30 or 40 years (no magic in the number). It is not consistent with the AGW thesis.

    I can not agree with Leif’s thesis that the upper troposphere is heated solely from below. Paradoxically, the lower stratosphere is heated mainly from below exhibiting a very strong seasonal peak in July but the upper troposphere, below 150hPa, while it exhibits a small regular seasonal variation that is somewhat out of phase with surface variations, has a much larger variation than the surface on an inter-annual basis. At the critical latitude 10°S to 20°S the widest swings occur in March and September.

    Readers may like to compare 2008, with 2000, the last great La Nina year in the graph at:

    They should also remember that specific humidity in the upper troposphere has been in decline for 60 years. The current solar minimum has brought a deep minimum in 200hpa temperature and lots of cloud over the southern oceans. This will feed into cooler temperatures polewards of 50° Lat. in winter in due course.

    The message is that if you live in BC Canada and want to know what the coming winter is likely to bring, check last years sea surface temperature south of the equator.

  158. 10/09/2008 by Kevin VE3EN at 21:00

    Mt Wilson Drawing shows a sunspot
    In the Mt. Wilson drawing from today, they show a small sunspot . Click HERE to view the drawing. This one appears to be of Cycle 23 status based on the new magnetogram images coming in but it should be noted that 3% of sunspots during a cycle are reverse polarity compared to others of that same cycle. There is also a small plage that should belong to Cycle 24 as shown below.
    (you’ll have to go to solarcycle24.com and follow Kevin’s link ‘HERE’ for yourself).

    Catania’s white light image shows nothing as of right now.
    Once again, a small spot is seen at the low ebb of Solar Wind Velocity and Planetary A index.

  159. Ok, so the sunspecks that are forming at the ebb of Solar Wind Velocity and Planetary A Index are sector phenomenon, and the Corotating Coronal Hole is itself within a Sector with it’s own phenomenon. The sectors are either adjacent to the CCH sector or 180 degrees out (opposite side) from it??? I might then infer that as long as the Corotating Coronal Hole remains in existence, sunpecks are all we can expect. The CCH needs to disappear in order to progress out of the current deep minima if that is true, as the CCH is sapping the SC24 progress and at the same time preserving the SC23 longevity.
    We’re stuck in Lodi.
    Dadgum CCH is holding up the parade.

  160. Leif Svalgaard (00:27:05) :
    Thanks and that is understood. Its the coupling factor with the Earths magnetosphere at the equinox. You taught me that about 6 months ago. There is an interesting asymmetry which I imagine is related to the orbital influence as one can see at:

    Would you mind commenting on: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/LATEST/current_c2small.gif
    Is this pattern of activity typical of solar minimum. What is happening? Where are the poles located?

  161. Leif Svalgaard (00:27:05)
    Thanks Leif, that’s understood. March and September peaks in geomagnetic indices are due to strong coupling of the solar wind with the magnetosphere at the equinox.

    Interesting asymmetry noted in historical data: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/aaseasonal.jpg

    Its hard to imagine that this asymmetry would be due to an orbital factor unless there is an interaction with the degree of ionization of the atmosphere. Any thoughts?

  162. “I can not agree with Leif’s thesis that the upper troposphere is heated solely from below.”

    Indeed. The thesis depends on Beer’s or Beer-Lambert, originated in the 1790’s and reaching its present form in the 1850’s. While still used to approximate signal attenutation by astronomer’s, the notion that the cross-sectional area may be substituted for by an optical depth of some ill-measured unit length is inappropriate in its application to this discussion.

    Richard Feynman in “QED” (Princeton, 1985) elegantly explains the probabilistic nature of light’s interaction with electrons in matter. His example, developed in a sequence of lectures, is the reflection by glass (not perfect for this purpose, but one has to crawl before running, well before).

    The light reflected ranges from 0% to 16% to 0% to 16% to 0% as the thickness is increased in multiples of its wavelength.

    Of the energy reaching earth from the sun, the percentage reaching the surface never reaches 50%. In the IR, (40% of the total incident energy, 1% reaches the earth. Does that mean 1% was not absorbed?

    No, not at all. That energy has been absorbed and re-emitted many times over.

    No one bothers to establish the optical depth required for full cross-sectional coverage (at a given wave length) because using it would require a double integral and we know that competence is not required of atmospheric scientists.

    The thickness of layers in the atmosphere is indeed pertinent to your discussion, if ill-understood. That spectroscopy still relies on Beer’s is no argument.

  163. Erl Happ (05:04:11) :
    Is this pattern of activity typical of solar minimum. What is happening? Where are the poles located?
    Let me answer in reverse order:
    The North Pole is at the top, The South Pole is at the bottom.
    The different magnetic polarities on the Sun [and in the corona and the solar wind] are separated by sheets of plasma supporting an electric current [the magnetic fields on either side of a current point in opposite directions]. This is known as the Heliospheric Current Sheet. Here is an artist’s rendition [from the first drawing of that sheet by me back in the 1970s when we discovered it] of the shape of that current sheet: http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/helio.gif
    The [spiral] curving of the HCS is due to solar rotation. To support the current, the corona and the solar wind has a higher density in the sheet; that is what makes the streamers you see in the LASCO images bright. As the Sun rotates, you see the HCS in projection onto the sky move up and down.
    The ‘warping’ [or deviation from flat] of the current sheet is determined by a balance between the magnetic fields in the polar regions [that press the sheet down towards the equator] and the magnetic fields in the equatorial coronal holes [that press the sheet towards the poles]. At solar maximum, the polar fields disappears for a few years while they reverse, so there is nothing to press the sheet towards the equator and the HCS [and the streamers you see] extends all the way to the poles making the corona bright at all latitudes. At solar minimum when the equatorial magnetic fields fade, the strong polar fields press the HCS [and the streamers] all the way to the equator. You can see a nice example of this in Figure 2 of http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf that also explains the process in more detail. All this was figured out 30 years ago and has been confirmed by numerous direct spacecraft, e.g. Ulysses.
    At the current minimum, there has still been some SC23 activity up to the present day even, that keep the equatorial magnetic fields alive and well, while the polar fields have weakened to only about half of they have been in the last several previous cycles with the result that the HCS is not so ‘flat’ that it used to be at recent minima [or in the extreme case of 1954 - see Figure 2]. So, the current pattern is well-understood and has undoubtedly occurred many times in the past when similar conditions were found, so is not unusual [expect, perhaps, on a time scale of a single lifetime].

  164. In searching for the Sunspot 1004 as reported to have formed within the last 24 hrs (10/10/08) on Solar Cycle 24.com, I could not find a white light image of it. I did read the script on the Mt. Wilson drawing for today, it puts the last 6 mos in perspective:

    “2008, Friday the 10th of October, 14:30 ut, Seeing 2.5, J. Boyden
    The largest sunspot seen since April 4, 2008 was less than 2mm in size on a 425 mm
    image.

    That’s about enough to swallow Mars, but the Earth wouldn’t fit. Most of them wouldn’t handle the Moon, let alone Earth-swallowing sizes.
    Oh my.

  165. Dr. Svalgaard
    Thank you for the link:

    http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf

    I have had already casual look,I might learn more about some aspects of whole process (up to now relying on logic and intuition).
    I wonder is there anything you would be willing to add to:
    “Cross correlating sunspot number vs. IHV, they found that the IHV predicts the amplitude of the solar cycle 6-plus years in advance with a 94% correlation coefficient. We don’t know why this works,” says Hathaway. The underlying physics is a mystery. “But it does work”. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/21dec_cycle24.htm
    Thanks again

  166. Leif Svalgaard (11:44:55) :
    I marvel at your accomplishments in this field. A fantastic body of work. Thanks for taking the trouble to answer so comprehensively.

    Leif Svalgaard (12:40:54) :
    The article you cite is not relevant.

    The argument as to whether the climate models predictions of a warmer mid to upper troposphere over time and whether the data sets will support a conclusion one way or the other is immaterial. The CO2 hypothesis flawed. The notion that heat is dissipated from the surface via radiation is incorrect.

    What I see in the data sets is declining specific humidity since 1948 upwards of 700hPa (2.5km). Most of the weather action is below this level and water is the prime agent of heat transfer. At 10° to 20°South and at 1000hPa we have 16gr/kg and at 700hPa we have 4.1gr/kg of specific humidity. Average relative humidity drops from 80% at 1000hPa to 45% at 700hPa.

    So above 700hPa we have a pattern of uneven relative humidity across the tropics depending upon rain shadow effects, water temperature and evaporation rates. There are areas that support ice cloud formation and others that do not. The relatively cloud free areas simply expand and contract as the temperature rises and falls. This graph tells a story.

    But this is not a one way street as we see here:

    Above 700hPa cloud albedo is largely a function of air temperature.

    For the latitude 40°N to 40°S the relationship between surface temperature and that at 200hPa and 100hPa is shown at:

    I don’t think anyone looking at the data would support your assertion that the atmosphere is heated solely from the surface.

  167. Erl Happ (05:18:20) :
    I don’t think anyone looking at the data would support your assertion that the atmosphere is heated solely from the surface.
    The troposphere, not the atmosphere.

    vukcevic (02:53:51) :
    “Cross correlating sunspot number vs. IHV, they found that the IHV predicts the amplitude of the solar cycle 6-plus years in advance with a 94% correlation coefficient. We don’t know why this works,” says Hathaway. The underlying physics is a mystery. “But it does work”.
    Except when it doesn’t. And the coming cycle 24 is predicted from the IHV [or aa-index, doesn't matter which] peak in 2003 [one of the highest ever] to be of the biggest ever. So far, the Sun has not been very cooperative in that regard, and the correlation may very fail this time around. This is the usual problem with correlations that seem to work, but for which “we don’t know why this works”.

  168. Looks like some new cycle 24 activity at long last but I’m not qualified to say with certainty. Possibly another one on the far side just about to come into view behind this one, also.

  169. I can see both SC24 spots (1004) and one of them is larger than I have seen in 2 years. The F10.7 is risen a bit also. Projecting from an Orion 70mm F/9 w/Meade 26mm Super Plossl.
    You don’t have to squint or jostle the paper around to see these spots.
    They are being called SC24 activity by SolarCycle24.com

  170. Erl Happ (05:18:20) :
    The notion that heat is dissipated from the surface via radiation is incorrect.
    But nobody, to my knowledge, says that. Instead, the actual process is that the surface is heated by radiation and the troposphere above it is heated first by conduction and then by convection.

  171. Leif Svalgaard (08:28:45) :
    The troposphere acts as a dampener on surface temperature gyrations as can be seen by looking at the annual cycle at each different level. However, between years, the variation at 200hPa is about double that at the surface. This generalization applies to the tropics and is illustrated at http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/200hPadrivingsurface.jpg

    That sort of variation is not possible without the absorbtion of radiation from above or below. The stratosphere absorbs OLR and shows a strong temperature response in mid year. At 100hPa it seems to reflect the rate at which the Earth sheds heat due to the ozone response to OLR. This same response is not evident at 200hPa as, by now, I hope you realize, but just in case you don’t, here is the data.

    Leif Svalgaard (10:09:19) :
    Greenhouse theory posits the absorption of outgoing long wave ‘radiation’ by carbon dioxide with consequent atmospheric warming amplified by a supposed increase in atmospheric water vapour content.

    However, radiation, as a process of cooling begins where cooling via evaporation, by contact and convection slows (because unobstructed radiation becomes possible) and this is at at an elevation where water vapour content is both very small and rather invariable.

    Wherever long wave radiation is ‘difficult’, due to atmospheric density and composition, convection is active.

    A classic test, and evidence of failure, of greenhouse theory lies in the strong temperature response to OLR at 100hPa and the failure of this energy to propagate downward to 200hPa as can be seen in this data.

    So, with the sun driving temperature change via albedo modification and the sun settling into a quiescent period there is nothing to worry about on that front.

    And the cooling at 100hPa is excellent evidence that the store of warmth in the oceans is running down. We can trust the ozone reaction to OLR to tell us what is happening to the Earths heat budget.

  172. Pingback: Hot Link » Blog Archive » RSS, UAH: September was 0.1 °C warmer

  173. Pingback: State of the Sun - year end 2008: all’s quiet on the solar front « Watts Up With That?

  174. Pingback: State of the Sun for year end 2008: all’s quiet on the solar front - too quiet

  175. … we know squat all about the sun and just as much about what drives our climate … how comforting. Given the geological time frames involved it amazes me that we model things based on such small datasets. Who knows whether we are entering an new “Dalton Minimum” or even a new “Cryogenian Period” … its all an educated guess!

  176. NASA is a massive fraud from its inception. There exist two bodies of “knowledge”; one the “powers that be” have foisted upon the unwitting general population which bears no resmblance whatsoever to the true nature of the universe and two; raw reality that only those with a “need to know” have access to. Knowledge is power and therefore those who jealously covet power over the masses will never allow the absolute true body of knowledge to fall into their hands. There is no nuclear fusion taking place in the sun’s core. The basic structure of the sun consists of a massive, dense planetary core surrounded by a vast sea of liquid hydrogen. Above the liquid hydrogen sea is a gaseous hydrogen atmosphere encapsulated by the relatively thin photospheric plasma sheath. If you doubt this, please examine the highest resolution images of sunspots at this website http://www.astro.su.se/groups/solar/solar.html

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