Researchers find arctic may have had less ice 6000-7000 years ago

I love field work. I think any climate scientist that basically becomes a data jockey should be forced to go out and examine real world measurement systems and weather stations once a year so that they don’t lose touch with the source of the data they study. That’s why I’m pleased to see that scientists at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU ) did some good old fashioned field work to look at geologic residues of past climate.

What they found was intriguing. The arctic may have periodically been nearly ice free in recent geologic history, after the last ice age. It is clear from this that we don’t really know as much as some think they do about climatic and ice cycles of our planet.

From NGU:

Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.

Greenland

BEACH RIDGE: The scientists believe that this beach ridge in North Greenland formed by wave activity about 6000-7000 years ago. This implies that there was more open sea in this region than there is today. (Click the picture for a larger image) Photo: Astrid Lyså, NGU

”The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago. We still don’t know whether the Arctic Ocean was completely ice free, but there was more open water in the area north of Greenland than there is today,” says  Astrid Lyså, a geologist and researcher at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU).

Shore features

Greenland

ICE COVER: Today, at the mouth of Independence Fjord in North Greenland, drift ice forms a continuous cover from the land. (Click for a larger image) Photo: Eiliv Larsen, NGU

Together with her NGU colleague, Eiliv Larsen, she has worked on the north coast of Greenland with a group of scientists from the University of Copenhagen, mapping sea-level changes and studying a number of shore features. She has also collected samples of driftwood that originated from Siberia or Alaska and had these dated, and has collected shells and microfossils from shore sediments.

Greenland

SETTLEMENT: Astrid Lyså in August 2007 in the ruined settlement left by the Independence I Culture in North Greenland. The first immigrants to these inhospitable regions succumbed to the elements nearly 4000 years ago, when the climate became colder again. (Click for a larger image) Photo: Eiliv Larsen, NGU

”The architecture of a sandy shore depends partly on whether wave activity or pack ice has influenced its formation. Beach ridges, which are generally distinct, very long, broad features running parallel to the shoreline, form when there is wave activity and occasional storms. This requires periodically open water,” Astrid Lyså tells me.

Pack-ice ridges which form when drift ice is pressed onto the seashore piling up shore sediments that lie in its path, have a completely different character. They are generally shorter, narrower and more irregular in shape.

Open sea

”The beach ridges which we have had dated to about 6000-7000 years ago were shaped by wave activity,” says Astrid Lyså. They are located at the mouth of Independence Fjord in North Greenland, on an open, flat plain facing directly onto the Arctic Ocean. Today, drift ice forms a continuous cover from the land here.
Astrid Lyså says that such old beach formations require that the sea all the way to the North Pole was periodically ice free for a long time.

”This stands in sharp contrast to the present-day situation where only ridges piled up by pack ice are being formed,” she says.

However, the scientists are very careful about drawing parallels with the present-day trend in the Arctic Ocean where the cover of sea ice seems to be decreasing.

“Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today,” Astrid Lyså believes.

Inuit immigration

The mapping at 82 degrees North took place in summer 2007 as part of the LongTerm project, a sub-project of the major International Polar Year project, SciencePub. The scientists also studied ruined settlements dating from the first Inuit immigration to these desolate coasts.

The first people from Alaska and Canada, called the Independence I Culture, travelled north-east as far as they could go on land as long ago as 4000-4500 years ago. The scientists have found out that drift ice had formed on the sea again in this period, which was essential for the Inuit in connection with their hunting. No beach ridges have been formed since then.

”Seals and driftwood were absolutely vital if they were to survive. They needed seals for food and clothing, and driftwood for fuel when the temperature crept towards minus 50 degrees. For us, it is inconceivable and extremely impressive,” says Eiliv Larsen, the NGU scientist and geologist.

(hat tip to many commenters and emailers, too numerous to mention, but thanks to all)

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179 thoughts on “Researchers find arctic may have had less ice 6000-7000 years ago

  1. ”The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago.”
    And those who believe that the correlation between climate and solar activity is ‘obvious’ can compare with one reconstruction of solar activity [Usoskin et al.] at 4000-5000 BC:

    Low spots -> cold, remember.

  2. An interesting study, including the standard disclaimer:

    “Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today,” Astrid Lyså believes.

    Even good studies have to protect themselves from charges of going against the prevailing orthodoxy. Sad.

  3. The study suggests that the Arctic Ocean may have been ice free 6,000 years ago, but we know that can’t be true. The Independent wrote this summer “Scientists warn….for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-no-ice-at-the-north-pole-855406.html

    The Telegraph wrote The North Pole has become an island for the first time in human history

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/08/31/eaarctic131.xml

    And respected scientists corroborated for National Geographic “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],” David Barber, of the University of Manitoba

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080620-north-pole.html

  4. 6k to 7k years ago the Sahara was wet and green. I think the only deserts that expanded during that time was in the western USA (per some article I read years back).

    Yet the global warmers always show deserts expanding as a result of warming…..

  5. Leif,

    What is your point about sunspots? The graph you linked to showed very high sunspot activity 7,000 years ago.

  6. Leif Svalgaard (16:07:17)

    Leif, pardon my ignorance, but I’m missing your point. I haven’t seen a temperature reconstruction for that period of time, so I’m not getting what you’re driving at.

  7. Sorry Leon,

    ANTI-AGW Rant Begins.

    The “obvious conclusion” is that the laws of physics are unstable – they must have been different 6000 to 7000 years ago to allow the arctic ice to disappear without high levels of man-made CO2 – Golly.

    Obviously the polar bears must have been decimated at the same time due to the reduced ice – I suspect that the members of the Independence I Culture probably ate all the easy to catch starving and drowning polar bears.

    Of course once it got cold again, the bears would have proliferated and fattened up, becoming fierce and difficult to catch. Hence the subsequent retreat of the Independence I Culture from those inhospitable shores.

    The fact that these scientists can’t (draw and) state the obvious conclusions that 20th century warming is not UNPrecendented and have to tip their hat at the AGW Mantra is no longer sad – it is pathetic cowardice of the first order.

    Where’s their self respect.

    ANTI-AGW Rant Ends.

  8. Patrick Henry (17:15:38) :
    What is your point about sunspots? The graph you linked to showed very high sunspot activity 7,000 years ago.
    7000 years ago was 5000 BC …

    PearlandAggie (17:19:54) :
    I haven’t seen a temperature reconstruction for that period of time, so I’m not getting what you’re driving at.
    The post has two data points:
    4000-5000 BC: “The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago”
    2000 BC : “succumbed to the elements nearly 4000 years ago, when the climate became colder again”

  9. Patrick Henry (17:13:00) :

    Come, come now, that’s only the “popular media” (you missed the recent WWF press release BTW). There’s nothing in the “peer reviewed literature”.

    Tut tut tut
    Harumph harumph harumph

  10. Leif, slightly off topic, but I would love to know if you perceive a variation in the earths received solar wind as its orbital inclination drops to zero?

  11. Leif,

    The article said “than it was about 6000-7000 years ago” In geology speak, the “about” easily covers anywhere from about 3000BC to 7000BC. The sunspot graph is probably also of similar imprecision. I don’t think your assertion carries much weight.

  12. Ahh, I see your point, Leif.

    ~7000 years ago, sunspot activity was low, but the arctic seems to have been warm, while ~4000 years ago sunspot activity was high, but the arctic was cold.

    BTW, nice rifle she is carrying in that photo. I wonder if she kills polar bears should she need to? Maybe she is friends with Palin.

  13. Leif, far be it for me to suggest but it was obviously warmer at the time these sea edges were made. If that means it was earlier than the researchers think or your sunspot data is wrong than that is where logic leads. All you do is dismiss I don’t think you can be so sure.
    Can you answer me what differences to world temperature you feel fifty sunspots like a Dalton minimum versus an ‘averagish’ 50000 sunspot cycle would make to the climate? I know this isn’t accurate but it would give us some idea of where your coming from. You seem to feel that this thousand times difference is a pretty minor affair. We can all visualise the difference, so to go alongside that what do you say the temperature difference would be e.g Dalton’s 50 spots down ? degrees. Average 50000 spots up ? degrees. Ed.

  14. Anybody know how accurate that chart of historical sunspots numbers is likely to be? This is all I could find on it:

    11,000 Year Sunspot Number Reconstruction

    Do we really have precise enough measurements about sunspot numbers, arctic ice levels, or temperatures from 6,000 – 7,000 years ago to be able to make any meaningful correlations?

  15. Steve M had some rather interesting threads over a year ago, on the Quaternary and particularly Holocene history of the Northern shore of Greenland, and Ellesmere Island. Ice free conditions during the past million or even 10000 years can not be dis proven at this time.

  16. Patrick Henry (17:15:38) :
    What is your point about sunspots? The graph you linked to showed very high sunspot activity 7,000 years ago.

    Patrick Henry (18:29:28) :
    The article said “than it was about 6000-7000 years ago” In geology speak, the “about” easily covers anywhere from about 3000BC to 7000BC. The sunspot graph is probably also of similar imprecision. I don’t think your assertion carries much weight.

    If so, neither does yours. It is more likely that you overlooked the 2000-year difference between BC and BP.

    David Vermette (19:01:46) :
    Do we really have precise enough measurements about sunspot numbers, arctic ice levels, or temperatures from 6,000 – 7,000 years ago to be able to make any meaningful correlations?

    If the correlations support one’s pet theory then clearly the data is good. If not, then clearly the data is bad. The data is however not total garbage. It is unlikely that the timing is more than a thousand years off.

  17. Just an observation: Leif opens his mouth and he gets half a dozen questions in return. Not that this is a bad thing (it isn’t) and not that it doesn’t happen on plenty of other postings (it does), but I was just thinking…

    Wouldn’t it be great if more scientists took the time to talk to the general public like Leif does here? I mean, I have learned a ton of stuff from this blog and the presence of various scientists, though particularly Leif since he posts the most I think. It is always important, I think, that the public understand the research and that scientists are able to explain it in a way the man on the street can understand without overdiluting or being untrue to their work. Anyway, totally OT, but I thought I would post it.

  18. Leon Brozyna (16:14:02) : Even good studies have to protect themselves from charges of going against the prevailing orthodoxy. Sad.

    That’s exactly what I thought when I first read it too. However, even as I endorse that line of thinking, I also wonder if the AGW propaganda (surely the greatest in the world!) doesn’t have a tight grip on her too. Remember, many scientists like Dr. Meier have said that “well, since we are not able to account for it naturally, it must be man-made CO2.” There seems to be a leve of dissonance involved in the work. And I wonder what reasoning she would give apart from AGW that would fit her definition of the climactic forces at work today. But I am also open to the line of thinking that says that statement may also be not just KMA but also to make sure the grant-funding spigot stays on so they can continue researching.

  19. Edward Morgan (18:57:12) :
    If that means it was earlier than the researchers think or your sunspot data is wrong than that is where logic leads. All you do is dismiss I don’t think you can be so sure.

    If the correlations support one’s pet theory then clearly the data is good. If not, then clearly the data is bad. The data is however not total garbage. It is unlikely that the timing is more than a thousand years off.

    And I’m not dismissing because I’m sure. What I’m saying is that in order for you to maintain the sunspot-climate link, you will now had to add the extra assumption that this particular data is bad. It is usually a sign of a weakness in a theory that one has to add further assumptions as new data becomes available.

    Can you answer me what differences to world temperature you feel fifty sunspots like a Dalton minimum versus an ‘averagish’ 50,000 sunspot cycle would make to the climate?

    First, a Dalton minimum cycle didn’t have but 50 spots, but more like 15,000. So, no factor of a thousand. Perhaps you meant the Maunder Minimum?

    Second, TSI for a Dalton cycle was 1365.8, and for a modern cycle 1366.2. A difference of 0.03%. This, on its own, would cause a temperature difference of 0.03%/4 = 0.0075% of 300K = 0.02K.
    And 0.03K for the Maunder Minimum.

  20. Bobby Lane (19:30:21) :
    Wouldn’t it be great if more scientists took the time to talk to the general public like Leif does here?

    There has been some posts from Roy Spencer and Douglas Hoyt. A problem is that most scientists would be put off by the tone of some comments and feel that they have better thing to do than suffer the abuse. Most are not as thick-skinned as I am and are also too busy to take an interest. But it would be great.

    Another problem is that if two such participating scientists were disagreeing on something, their exchanges would rapidly become technical and incomprehensible to the majority of the readers.

  21. Right on about Leif. I was just wondering if I can get college credit. Is there a test? There have been times when I wanted to raise my hand and ask the teacher if I could go home now because my head hurts.

  22. But, but, I thought the WWF said that the Arctic hasn’t been this free of ice in a million years??

  23. I’m not surprised at the article’s conclusion of an ice-free arctic 6kybp.
    Rhodes Fairbridge had the same conclusion in the 1970s in his reconstruction of Late Holocene sea levels known as the Fairbridge Curve (sea level more than 2 meters higher than now 6kybp). Even the comment in the article that the Independence I Culture succumbed to cooling at 4000ybp is shown in the Fairbridge Curve. The first optimum of the interglacial lasted until around 2500BC (4500 ybp) according to Fairbridge and reached a maximum cool at 2300BC (4300 ybp). It warmed again by 3900 ybp (1900BC). Another independent paper recently showed similar results in Brazil (2 meters higher sea level around 6kybp).

    Reference: Fairbridge, R.W., Science 191 (4225) 359-359 1976

    When we get corroboration from several different and independent sources, the foundation for questioning the AGW modelers becomes stronger.

  24. Ron (20:02:22) :
    How are we measuring sunspots from 5,000 years ago? Is it, pardon the expression, “settled” science?

    Pretty much settled, although there are always some calibration issues. It works like this: When there are many sunspots, interplanetary space is full of tangled magnetic fields. These ‘scatter’ cosmic rays out of the solar system, so that fewer hit the Earth. When a cosmic ray hits the atmosphere it transforms some carbon 12 to radioactive carbon 14 and nitrogen 14 and oxygen 16 to radioactive beryllium 10. The former is taken up by trees and can be measured in tree rings. The latter deposited in ice on Greenland and Antarctica. From these ‘proxies’ one can deduce the cosmic ray flux and from the sun’s magnetic field and from that the number of sunspots. Pretty involved, but it works reasonably well.

  25. Well, either way about the sunspots, it’s a red herring for this discussion. The point was/is/should be, the poles were very warm before, and without AGW from man-made GHG. Unless we want to blame human intestinal methane production…? ;-)

  26. Leif,

    You are the one who threw in the 5,000 BC sunspot graph and the unsupportable correlation vs. the vague time frame of the article. Did Johnny Hart measure the sunspots 5,000 years ago?

  27. Normally when scientists adopt the wookie defense of “you wouldn’t understand it anyway” that means that they don’t understand it well enough to explain it.

    ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.
    Leonardo da Vinci

  28. Leif,

    First of all, I echo the accolades – Anthony does a good job of bringing in people who do science. You and others are patient with those of us who need our noses poked into the information. It’s kinda like the college classes I took that I liked. They were the grab the firehose, take a big drink, and don’t let go whatever you do types of classes. I didn’t always get the best grade, but the information I could put to use was awesome.

    I do need to point out an inaccuracy. It’s not your thick hide that keeps you coming back but your Scandinavian stubborness.

    Very seriously, thanks for your input, and that goes for the rest (or most of ya). I’m learning a bunch and enjoying the hell out of it.

    and yes there is a test. It’s called life.

    Mike

  29. Patrick Henry (20:36:50) :
    You are the one who threw in the 5,000 BC sunspot graph and the unsupportable correlation vs. the vague time frame of the article. Did Johnny Hart measure the sunspots 5,000 years ago?
    You still seem confused about 5000 BC and 5000 years ago.
    And Juerg Beer measured sunspots for 5000 BC.

  30. Hey guys,
    How about looking at the high angle of the tilt of the Earth’s axis at the time of the “Holocene Maximum”? (Around 8,000-4,000 YBP) It certainly plays a significant role both in the warmth of the northern hemisphere as well as the increased rainfall in the Sahara. Sunspots aren’t the whole story. During the Holocene Maximum Canadian forests extended north of the present day tundra line by about 300 miles (Bryson, 1965). Northern Hemisphere temperatures were estimated to be 3-5 degrees C warmer than present. The desert Southwest had increased monsoonal moisture as did the Middle East and Indus Valley. Sarnthein’s work back in 1978 showed that cold times are associated with increased desert while warm times show increased moisture and decreased desert. It took computer models to come up with the “Evidence” that deserts increase globally with increased warmth.
    For a really interesting picture of the world of the Holocene Maximum check out Brian Fagan’s The Long Summer.
    It’s nice to see research into the Holocene Maximum besides the Greenland Ice
    cores.

  31. ‘Science News This Week’ for Oct.18/08 has an article about Lonnie Thompson complaining about melting glaciers dissappearing his data. He says the Quelcaya glacier in Peru has melted back uncovering a 5 kya+ wetland from which 50 species of plants were recovered. Neither Dr. Thompson or the author of the piece, Janet Raloff seem to notice that they have disagreed with WWF and other unimpeachable climatic authorities. How far back does the “hockey stick” handle reach? If the beach ridge on N. Greenland is now above present sea level, has the sea level dropped or Greenland rebounded or both. Since the earliest writing dates from about 5.5 kya, the statement ‘not in recorded history’ is not wrong, just misleading.

  32. P Folkens (20:12:34) :
    according to Fairbridge and reached a maximum cool at 2300BC (4300 ybp).
    Right when there were supposed to be a maximum of sunspots in the 11,000-year reconstruction opposite of the ‘obvious’ correlation of many spots = warm. Or is this another case of bad data [because it contradicts the sunspot-climate connection]?

  33. Thanks for the explanation, Dr. Leif! Your explanation is clear enough so that even *I* can understand it. I can’t verify it, but I understand what you are saying. Thank you.

    Can you tell me what a confidence level of 68% UNcertainty in the data means?
    Is that the same as a 32% confidence level?

    Maybe I’m mixing up a couple of different data sets, but if one only has 32% confidence level, is that as to the magnitude of the sunspots, or the time correlation or both or what?

    Then again, as I mentioned before, it’s kind of a hijack of the thread’s point which is that it seems to have been warm in the recent past without significant human causation.

    Thanks!

  34. May I point out to the website http://www.climate4you.com/ of Prof. Humlum, and there to the chapter climate and history, where he gives a Greenland temperature diagram derived from ice core analysis:http://www.climate4you.com/images/SummitAndCulture.gif from a Science paper by Dahl-Jensen el al of 1998.

    It was indeed much warmer then. But still, glaciers did exist in Greenland then. So, even the sea level rise must have been moderate.
    Does the present research by NGU give any sea level estimates?

  35. Ron (21:40:00) :
    Thank you.
    You are welcome.

    Can you tell me what a confidence level of 68% UNcertainty in the data means? Is that the same as a 32% confidence level?
    I’m not sure what the context or data sets are. For a ‘normal’ distribution of data, 68% will lie within one standard deviation of the mean and 32% outside. But closer than that without the specific example I can’t come.

  36. Werner Weber (21:41:35) :
    May I point out to the website http://www.climate4you.com/ of Prof. Humlum, and there to the chapter climate and history, where he gives a Greenland temperature diagram derived from ice core analysis.
    It was indeed much warmer then.

    So, more data confirming warm = low sunspots back then.

  37. Patrick Henry (20:47:36) :
    Normally when scientists adopt the wookie defense of “you wouldn’t understand it anyway” that means that they don’t understand it well enough to explain it.

    Hmmm, contrast with:

    Ron (21:40:00) :
    Thanks for the explanation, Dr. Leif! Your explanation is clear enough so that even *I* can understand it. I can’t verify it, but I understand what you are saying. Thank you.

  38. “It’s nice to see research into the Holocene Maximum”

    Yes, or as I have learned to call it, the Holocene Optimum. It is as if modern climate science wants to hide the existence of this period from people, just as they seem to want to avoid talking about the MWP.

  39. Leif,

    I think you are the confused one. Your off the cuff comparison of the NGU date WAG vs. the Be10 graph produces completely different conclusions depending on the registration of the graphs. Shift them by 500 years and you reach a completely different conclusion.

    Carbon dating is not accurate within 1,000 years for a “6,000 year old” sample. (Stonehenge’s age was just demoted 1,000 years this summer.) Tree ring dating is problematic because there are no living trees that old. Be10 concentrations are affected by climate, weather and changes in the earth’s magnetic field which also impact cosmic rays. The NGU age estimate was clearly a WAG. It could easily be off by a couple of thousand years.

    You were attempting to draw a conclusion based on alignment of two data sets, both with error bars too great to have any significance. Shift the NGU age estimates by a small amount and your conclusion reverses polarity.

  40. So how did the polar bears survive? Oh i forgot its only man made climate change that kills them, natural changes are good for them.

  41. Polar bears are basically brown bears that selected white fur because it enabled them to catch more seals than brown fur does. Anything that helps an animal eat better will get selected in over time. If all the ice melts, the advantage of white fur goes away and animals with darker fur will probably survive better and white fur would be selected out.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if “polar bears” disappeared along with practically all other white coated animals (rabbits, owls, etc) during the last interglacial which was considerably warmer than this one has been, and then got selected back in during the last ice age. Remember that ice ages tend to last 10 times longer than interglacials (about 100K years for glacial periods, roughly 10K years for interglacials) so there is more time to select in a white coat than there is to select it out.

    My guess is that polar bears will probably survive this interglacial as we know them. This interglacial has been longer but cooler than ones in the past.

  42. Dr. Lief:

    wrote David Vermette (19:01:46) :

    Anybody know how accurate that chart of historical sunspots numbers is likely to be? This is all I could find on it:

    11,000 Year Sunspot Number Reconstruction

    From the link:
    DESCRIPTION:
    The series of reconstructed 10-yr averaged sunspot numbers with their 68% uncertainty.
    Years are given BP (before present), i.e. the calendar AD year, Yad, is related to the BP year, Ybp, as Yc=1950-Ybp.

    Does this mean that 30,000 suspots could be anywhere between say 15,000 and 45,000, and that 50,000 sunspots could be as low as say 25,000?
    Does it say that 1000 ybp might be 1500 ybp, or perhaps 6,000 ybp could be 9,000??

  43. Also, one other question (at the moment!)

    You seem to believe that sunspot activity does not affect earth’s climate in a substantial amount compared to GHG.

    Do you also believe that all solar variance (is that TSI?) is relatively immaterial?

    Thanks.

  44. Just a small correction to Leif Svalgaard’s comment concerning estimation of the cosmic ray flux.

    The primary production mechanism for carbon-14 (the radio isotope of carbon used in carbon dating) is not the transformation of carbon-12 to carbon-14. Rather it is the interaction between slow cosmic ray induced neutrons and nitrogen-14 to produce carbon-14 and a proton.

    However, Leif is absolutely right that measurement of carbon-14 in tree rings that have been independently dated using dendrochronology allows us to calculate the production rate of carbon-14 and therefore estimate the cosmic ray flux.

  45. Leif Svalgaard (16:07:17) :

    ”The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago.”
    And those who believe that the correlation between climate and solar activity is ‘obvious’ can compare with one reconstruction of solar activity [Usoskin et al.] at 4000-5000 BC:

    Low spots -> cold, remember.

    Leif,

    That’s an interesting graph. I wonder if there is a version that just shows the minimums?

  46. Warmer back then? No way! That can’t possibly be!
    The models and climate prophets say it isn’t possible. I think the proxy data is wrong, and thus needs to be adjusted.

  47. It’s so sad when scientists feel the need to qualify their results with statements like “Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today.” Astrid Lyså is a geologist, not a climate scientist. It would help if she said what she thought the climatic forces were 6000-7000 years ago and what she thought the forces are that seem to dominate today. Perhaps she is being very clever and the forces which seem to dominate today may not be climatic forces, but forces to conform for the sake of career or funding. Or the use of the word “seem” could imply she does not totally believe in the forces that seem to dominate today.

  48. Leif said:-
    “Another problem is that if two .. participating scientists were disagreeing..their exchanges would..become technical and incomprehensible to the majority of the readers”

    I have to confess that my vision goes swimmy at MOST the technicalities on here already!! :)

  49. Patrick Henry:) How old was that tree Anthony Watts reported on in a recent post a few months ago? It was in one of the Scandanavian countries, I thought it was definitely around 1,000 yo? Can’t remember to be honest.

    Generally:- Stonehenge may have been demoted by 1,000 years by recent analysis. However, there is ALWAYS a possibility that they have got it wrong somehow, it does happen you know. It is & always has been a fact of life that present generations seem to think that everyone before was as thick as two short planks! Yet, deeper & more careful scrutiny often reveals that our forefathers may have just been on to something! At 50 yoa I now see what my late father was on about when he used to laugh at some “modern” pronouncements! As a practicing (I will one day perfect the art) structural engineer I am astonished how even in this profession, fashion & attitude & thinking seem to change as knowledge increases, new practices are developed, systems & ways of doing things are changed over time, only to end up going back to something tried & tested years ago that worked but delivered as something new! I am sure it’s the same in science & climatology too!

    Shame about the qualification in the article but one can understand their position & as someone noted the need to “CMA”!

    Love this site. It’s so refreshing.

  50. I wonder how much confusion this difference BP-BC has caused? I just
    got reminded of when I first became aware of it, it was an article in
    Microsoft Encarta, swedish edition, that stated that the last ice age
    ended 9998 years ago, or something like that I don’t have it installed today.
    I was amazed, how could they state that so exactly? After some thinking
    I realised that the probable explanation was that the original article used
    the BC system, the last ice age ended 8000 BC, and some computer
    generated locale conversion had just added he current year to the BC
    value.

  51. Leif

    says: “If the correlations support one’s pet theory then clearly the data is good. If not, then clearly the data is bad.”

    So how do you feel about the data showing that CO2 levels measured directly in the atmosphere around 1940´ies was higher than CO2 levels today?
    Nobody i have seen can argue that the data is wrong. But the data does not fit into the so far normal view of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

    And then data are just thrown away. Yes, Becks data.
    How do you feel about that?

    The article of the present thread shows evidence that it was warmer 6-7000 years ago. In order to discrediet the solar role, do you then accept the fact that earth was warmer 6-7000 years ago?

    Finaly, you say that these findings from Greenland could not be 2000 years wrong, and/or that the solar readings canot be 2000 years wrong.
    Maybe so. But if you examine study after study of temperature graphs in the last many thousand years, you will se that the datings are in fact differing quite markedly. So they cant all be right. There must be quite some unsecurities in the datings.

    Here is a very nice collection of temperature/time studies:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

  52. I’d be interested in learning more about this “Independence I Culture,” as well as the “Saqqaq Culture,” which lived in southern Greenland at the same time. They both vanished at the same time, replaced, after a 600 year hiatus, by the “Independence II Culture” in the north and the “Early Dorset” in the south.

    There is plenty of archeological evidence for warm times and cold times in the Arctic. Very fascinating and difficult to verify (so far) is the slim evidence the Irish preceded the Vikings, during the MWP. (Google “Yarn Baffin Dorset.”)

    Over at Climate Audit, somewhere in the archives, is mention of a study of driftwood found on beaches similar to the one described in this post. It was found above so-called “permanent ice.” It had drifted across from Siberia, and dated from the MWP, with a bit from Roman times.

    The fact Hansen and Mann so blithely snoot the hard work of archeologists has always annoyed me. Mann couldn’t even leave his computer to go double-check his bristlecone pine data. Instead he wrote how much funding was required to double-check the data. Then McIntyre went and proved he could sip a Starbucks in the morning, go get cores from bristlecones, and be back for dinner.

    Hansen and Mann display a peculiar double standard. On one hand they say warming will be more pronounced in the arctic, but on the other hand they say proof of the MWP should be ignored, because it is more pronounced in the arctic. They call the MWP “local,” and to disprove the MWP they send some poor sucker to the jungles of Borneo to look at stalagmites.

    They themselves stay safely indoors, gazing with tunnel vision at their computers.

    Worst is the sense I get that they bully any scientist who dares disagree with them. I feel the archeologists mentioned in this post are walking on eggs, when I read:

    “However, the scientists are very careful about drawing parallels with the present-day trend in the Arctic Ocean where the cover of sea ice seems to be decreasing.

    “Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today,” Astrid Lyså believes.”

    If there is any funding to hand out, I think it ought go to archeologists who get out there and open our eyes with fresh data gathered from the field, rather than climate scientists afraid to leave their computors.

  53. Sorry Im off topic..

    http://gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/geomag/nmp/long_mvt_nmp2_e.php

    Does anyone know of any more recent magnetic north sites? This ones interesting : stating “Changes in the magnetic field characterized by an abrupt change in the secular variation have been named “(geo)magnetic jerks” or “geomagnetic impulses”. Six jerks of global extent have occurred during the past century: in 1901, 1913, 1925, 1969, 1978 and 1992. ”

    I wanted to do a little research into more current research:) I found another slightly more current nasa site but I would appreciate any credible sites additionally.. again, sorry for off topic.

  54. Stories like this are probably the reason why realclimate.org has a problem with a rather large number of geologists being skeptics.

  55. Another recent paper that shows a prolonged warm (+1-2K) period some 6000-7000 years ago as well as MWP and LIA based upon borehole data.

    http://www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/~shaopeng/2008GL034187.pdf

    Huang, S. P., H. N. Pollack, and P.-Y. Shen (2008)
    A late Quaternary climate reconstruction based on borehole heat flux data, borehole temperature data, and the instrumental record

    We present a suite of new 20,000 year reconstructions that integrate three types of geothermal information: a global database of terrestrial heat flux measurements,
    another database of temperature versus depth observations, and the 20th century instrumental record of temperature, all referenced to the 1961–1990 mean of the
    instrumental record. These reconstructions show the warming from the last glacial maximum, the occurrence of a mid-Holocene warm episode, a Medieval Warm Period (MWP), a Little Ice Age (LIA), and the rapid warming of the 20th century. The reconstructions show the temperatures of the mid-Holocene warm episode some 1–2 K above the reference level, the maximum of the MWP at or slightly below the reference level, the minimum of the LIA about 1 K below the reference level, and end-of-20th century temperatures about 0.5 K above the reference level.

  56. Leif, You could just as easily say you are making an extra assumption to confirm your theory specifically that the discovered shore edge was not caused by sea water.
    The only place nearly everyone including me on this site wants to go is where the facts lead.
    What does your temperature equation for the cycle comparison mean in real terms i.e temperature for a Dalton and temperature for an average cycle. Comparing 15000 spots with 50000 spots that’s 3 1/3 times as many. Ed

  57. Ron (00:46:25) :
    The series of reconstructed 10-yr averaged sunspot numbers with their 68% uncertainty. Years are given BP (before present), i.e. the calendar AD year, Yad, is related to the BP year, Ybp, as Yc=1950-Ybp. Does this mean that 30,000 sunspots could be anywhere between say 15,000 and 45,000,

    No, it means that the error bars are ‘one sigma’ meaning that there is a 68% chance that the true value is within an interval of the value given plus or minus the size of the error bar. Somewhere it might say [or show on the graph] what the error bar is. My guess would be 200. Say this is correct then there is a 68% chance that the true value [more precisely: the expected value] would be between 29,800 and 30,200.

    Ron (00:50:38) :
    You seem to believe that sunspot activity does not affect earth’s climate in a substantial amount compared to GHG.
    No, i do not believe that. You should have said “compared to all other causes”.

    Do you also believe that all solar variance (is that TSI?) is relatively immaterial?
    Yes, as far as the climate is concerned.

    Paul Dennis (01:14:26) :
    Just a small correction to Leif Svalgaard’s comment concerning estimation of the cosmic ray flux.
    [...] Rather it is the interaction between slow cosmic ray induced neutrons and nitrogen-14 to produce carbon-14 and a proton.

    I stand corrected

  58. This may be a silly, but looking at Lief’s example of sunspot reconstruction, I’m wondering the following concerning accuracy of reconstructions.

    Lief rightly points at correlation between sunspot number and temperature or lack thereof 6-7k ybp.

    I’m assuming that reconstruction is done by measuring radioactive beryllium 10 at different layers of ice. The further down you drill, the further back in time you go.

    Has anyone considered that during warmer periods such as 6-7k ybp, more ice melts than is “layed down”, essentially erasing those time periods from the record. Wouldn’t extended cold periods contain more data, and much of extended warm periods be missing?

    I.e. if the Arctic was ice free 6-7ybp, so for an extended period of time, then couldn’t there be extensive melting of ice on Greenland and/or Antarctica as the same time?

    Does anyone have a definitive answer as to whether something like this has ever been considered?

  59. I’ve been looking at the AIRS video of rising CO2 and thinking it looked somewhat like the ozone maps I’ve been checking every day, not that they may or may not be closely correlated, but they do have something in common. The Sun’s radiation produces carbon 14, an isotope of carbon that ends up in CO2. During minimums, CO2 with carbon 14 measures rise. During maximums, CO2 with carbon 14 decrease. My observation of ozone is that it also changes with Sun exposure, decreasing during the day, and recovering at night (how I don’t know). It has also been theorized that cosmic ray bombardment destroys ozone. So it is true that cosmic rays, solar wind decreases, magnetic field weakness, etc, can change the chemical makeup of CO2 in the atmosphere. Is it possible that the AIRS map has not differentiated between CO2-14 with CO2-12 or 13 and is actually measuring the Sun’s production of CO2-14 as cycle 23 ramped down and we are in a slumbering minimum?

  60. Patrick Henry (22:13:28) :
    Carbon dating is not accurate within 1,000 years for a “6,000 year old” sample. (Stonehenge’s age was just demoted 1,000 years this summer.) Tree ring dating is problematic because there are no living trees that old.

    The raw 14C counts have to be calibrated using samples of known age. Standard calibration curves are available, based on comparison of radiocarbon dates of samples that can be dated independently by other methods such as examination of tree growth rings (dendrochronology), deep ocean sediment cores, lake sediment varves, coral samples, and speleothems (cave deposits).

    The 2004 version of the calibration curve extends back quite accurately to 26,000 years BP. Any errors in the calibration curve do not contribute more than ±16 years to the measurement error during the historic and late prehistoric periods (0 – 6,000 yrs BP) and no more than ±163 years over the entire 26,000 years of the curve

    So 14C is quite reliable for 6000-7000 years ago.

    Be10 concentrations are affected by climate, weather and changes in the earth’s magnetic field which also impact cosmic rays.

    The bigger effect is that of the Earth’s magnetic field and rest assured that scientists are not complete morons, so this effect has been corrected for.

    The NGU age estimate was clearly a WAG. It could easily be off by a couple of thousand years.
    I don’t think you have any evidence for that.

    You were attempting to draw a conclusion based on alignment of two data sets, both with error bars too great to have any significance.
    I think the error bars in the ‘vertical’ direction is of most concern. The timing error is not ‘a couple thousand year’.

  61. Nick Yates (01:24:05) :
    That’s an interesting graph. I wonder if there is a version that just shows the minimums?
    Without trying to be facetious, can you not just put a big blob on each of the minima shown on the graph and just look at the blobs? or maybe I didn’t understand your question…

  62. Lansner, Frank (03:26:32) :
    So how do you feel about the data showing that CO2 levels measured directly in the atmosphere around 1940´ies was higher than CO2 levels today? And then data are just thrown away. Yes, Becks data. How do you feel about that?

    “If the correlations support one’s pet theory then clearly the data is good. If not, then clearly the data is bad.”
    I don’t really care what the CO2 levels were. What has that to do with the Sun and its influence?

    The article of the present thread shows evidence that it was warmer 6-7000 years ago. In order to discrediet the solar role, do you then accept the fact that earth was warmer 6-7000 years ago?
    At least in Greenland. There is also other evidence [from boreholes on the Ice] that this was the case, so no problem there. Why do you ask? And please don’t answer by saying that that disproves AGW, because that is an invalid argument. For it to be valid you would have to posit that AGW is the only cause of climate variability.

    Finaly, you say that these findings from Greenland could not be 2000 years wrong, and/or that the solar readings canot be 2000 years wrong.
    Maybe so. But if you examine study after study of temperature graphs in the last many thousand years, you will se that the datings are in fact differing quite markedly.

    Clearly if you go back far enough the timing errors get larger, but 6000 years is not far and we can count both tree rings and ice annual layers individually so timing errors are small for those methods.

    So they cant all be right. There must be quite some unsecurities in the datings.
    Yes, but not 2000 years for an age of 6000.

    But it comes down to this:
    If the data does not conform to your pet theory, your pet theory to be viable will now have to be extended with the additional assumption that the data is bad. This can go on indefinitely, but the more such extensions are needed the less likely your pet theory becomes.

  63. Dave (06:16:06) :
    I.e. if the Arctic was ice free 6-7ybp, so for an extended period of time, then couldn’t there be extensive melting of ice on Greenland and/or Antarctica as the same time?
    The ice that is used for 10Be work comes from the top of the ice caps at 12,000 [Antarctica] and10,000 feet [Greenland]. Up there it is always cold [I know, because I have spent six months there :-) ]. During the summer [i.e. the day] the very top few inches might partly melt to slush, but during the winter [i.e. the night] that layer freezes solid. The slush takes up air bubbles that scatter light, while the ‘night ice’ is clear. In this way annual layers build up that are easily counted. And none go missing, because at night everything is frozen.

  64. Leif,

    No one is saying that most scientists are “morons,” but they are often wrong.

    Having been through a graduate program in geochemistry with a an emphasis on isotope dating, my confidence in age claims by geologists is usually +/- about 20%. That range allows for any possible interpretation of the Be10/ice correlation.

    I am not arguing for or against sunspots as a cause of climate change, but the LIA is problematic to explain in the absence of another theory.

  65. For some, this ice-free Arctic Ocean phase 6-7,000 years ago isn’t all that unexpected. For people like William Ruddiman the advent of agriculture was the proximate cause of this warming. The hypothesis goes that once humans developed agricultural practices that they engaged in the first of the all-out wars against the environment, clearing the land and burning things down to make way for the hoe and sickle. This released large quantities of CO2 and other greenhouse gases which prevented another ice age. Perhaps the climate sensitivity for CO2 is so high that even the relatively small impact of early farmers caused this ice-free Arctic scenario!

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ruddiman

    Its a plausible hypothesis, and I imagine there is some truth to it. But I would almost imagine that impacts from humans would have been higher during a hunter-gatherer period than during the agricultural period. I would say this because a lot of hunter-gatherers seem to have used fire as a major environmental management technique (N. American prairies, Australia perhaps). It also hinges on a very large forcing from a small amount of CO2 and CH4 increase, which may not be plausible at all.

  66. Lief,

    “During the summer [i.e. the day] the very top few inches might partly melt to slush, but during the winter [i.e. the night] that layer freezes solid. The slush takes up air bubbles that scatter light, while the ‘night ice’ is clear. In this way annual layers build up that are easily counted. And none go missing, because at night everything is frozen.”

    Yes it is now…but what about 6-7k ybp if it was possibly significantly warmer during the summer months?

    Also, doesn’t ice flow down toward the coast? (i.e. calving is the result of this). I’m assuming it would flow down from 10,000 feet as well? Could this effect measurements?

    I haven’t had a chance to read through this paper, but I think it’s might be relevant

    http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/people/lev/g6jgrpub.pdf

  67. It is & always has been a fact of life that present generations seem to think that everyone before was as thick as two short planks!

    Which is a common misconception. They were just as intelligent as we are, but lacked the accumulated knowledge we now have. Just as we lack much of the knowledge they had, which is largely lost.

  68. To Leif:

    Frank: “There must be quite some unsecurities in the datings.”
    Leif: “Yes, but not 2000 years for an age of 6000. Leif:”

    Then howcome for example these measurements tell a little differnt story?

    1) Humlum, Ice-sheet Greenland / Dahl Jensen 1998:

    2) South Greenland, Kaplan 2002:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l2_qipisarqo.php

    3) Venezuela, 2004:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_cariacobasin.php

    These studies finds on the contrary that the whole period from around 3000 to 7000 years ago is warm. So, i dont understand how you can say without any compromise that there cant be these differences.

    And then you mention 3 times to me something about a “pet theory”. I dont know what your point is. If you can come up with something that supports that my opinions are merely “Pet theories”, it would be slightly more acceptable.

    Then you point out, that even though it was warmer 6-7000 years, this does not rule out AGW. I definetely agree! But this and the Medieval warm period does indeed show that the condition right now may not be as alarming as IPCC claims. And it shows that we have “come back” from much watmer conditions and thus these “point of no returns-scares” seems unfounded.
    This, you might not find interesting, but i do.

  69. Leif,
    You could just as easily say you are making an extra assumption to confirm your theory specifically that the discovered shore edge was not caused by sea water.
    The only place nearly everyone including me on this site wants to go is where the facts lead.
    What does your temperature equation for the cycle comparison mean in real terms i.e temperature for a Dalton and temperature for an average cycle generally. Comparing 15000 spots with 50000 spots that’s 3 1/3 times as many.
    Ed

  70. Leif, heres an example where results differ quite markedly from the three i showed you before. Just to show that YES, theres a timing problem between your solar irradiance graph and the article about warmth in Greenland – but still these results are quite different:
    South Africa:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_coldaircave.php

    Not to mention IPCC that does not think there has been any warmer periods in the last many thousand years.
    Therefore it certainly takes more just like that to rule out the sun as the temperature driver.

  71. Arctic ice is back to 1 STD of normal.

    and identical to 2002-2006

    Has Lewis Pugh made it to the North Pole yet?

  72. Comments from Piers Corbyn to Lord Monckton seem appropriate here.

    “The problem with the approach of Dr Chameides and others (eg Lockwood) is that even though they know (or should know) that very many weather phenomena – eg world temperatures and many river floods (eg as excellently researched by Will Alexander) – pretty well follow the magnetic (‘Hale’) cycle – 22yr – of the Sun they persist in examining effects related to an 11 year solar cycle of particle and light intensity. So obviously half the time the world temperatures etc and solar activity will move in opposite directions (and note there are many modulations of this including lunar effects). So looking over 3 solar cycles as he does will not indicate much which I suggest is why he chooses to do that rather than have a proper look at more data.

    The data is there so lets use it! ‘Conclusions’ of examinations involving single solar cycles or parts of single cycles do not in anyway undermine the massive evidence for solar effects. In fact they reveal either ignorance or a misleading approach on the part of researchers.

    1. In terms of smoothed out solar activity (or proxy thereof) over many decades there is very good correlation between solar activity and world temperatures

    2. In terms of shorter time scales the correlation between geomagnetic activity and temperatures is EXCELLENT over successive 22yr Hale periods (as a consequence of the magnetic linkage)

    3. The reason why 22yr geomagnetic activity beats everything is because that is a measure of particles actually reaching the right places on earth

    4. The main world temperature periodicity is the double sunspot 22yr period rather than 11 yrs

    So do not fall for solar particles alone as the driver of world temperatures, nor for Cosmic rays which also have to have an 11 year effect which is not observed in long data sets. Magnetic linkage effects are crucial

    The upshot of this is essentially that – and this is a simplified look and notwithstanding other modulations (of which CO2 is NOT one):

    a) Now we are in a very low particle but relatively good magnetic connectivity phase this still means cooling.

    b) When the sun moves into cycle 24 although particles will go up the magnetic connectivity factor will change to ‘poor linkage’ and still cause generally cooling; this trend will generally carry on to 2013

    c) Other modulation effects (eg lunar) in fact suggest a more general decline in smoothed temperatures to around 2030* – and there are other suggestions to continue beyond that from some Russians and others. (not withstanding sub-variations) {*stated at WeatherAction Press conference Sept 30th)

    Finally of course, as you frequently point out!, the above ideas are not complete but any amount of shortcomings in them do not give any support to the CO2 centred theory. The CO2 theory fails not because other theories might not have all the answers but because the CO2 theory has no answers and there is no evidence for it in the available data.

    All best Piers”

    I’m just going to add that I’ve looked at Piers stuff closely with his indexes for reading his charts correctly from his monthly forecasts and found that he can predict accurately from the sun and other factors six and twelve months in advance.
    Cheers, Ed.

  73. Patrick Henry (07:25:39) :
    Having been through a graduate program in geochemistry with a an emphasis on isotope dating, my confidence in age claims by geologists is usually +/- about 20%.

    Their own confidence [and mine] is considerably better:

    http://www.stratigraphy.org/chus.pdf

    Dave (08:32:15) :
    Yes it is now…but what about 6-7k ybp if it was possibly significantly warmer during the summer months?
    So, the slush would be an inch deeper. Now, you must understand that it is not that one stands in water up there. The ice underfoot is very cold and the slush is patchy and freezes when you have clouds [one out of three 24-hour periods], and everything is frozen solid during night [winter]. So the 10Be isn’t going anywhere but down.

    Also, doesn’t ice flow down toward the coast? (i.e. calving is the result of this). I’m assuming it would flow down from 10,000 feet as well? Could this effect measurements?
    The ice flows down first, then near the bottom it flows out. Takes hundreds of thousands of years [millions in Antarctica].

    Lansner, Frank (08:50:56) :
    These studies finds on the contrary that the whole period from around 3000 to 7000 years ago is warm. So, i dont understand how you can say without any compromise that there cant be these differences.
    The differences are not in the timing, but in regional temperatures, And if the whole time was warm then that incorporates the minimum in sunspots, which was my point.

    And then you mention 3 times to me something about a “pet theory”. I dont know what your point is.
    My point is that you [or anybody else] would tend to discard data that doesn’t fit. Timing errors, melting ice, what have you. This is just human nature.

    Then you point out, that even though it was warmer 6-7000 years, this does not rule out AGW.
    I’m at a loss as why AGW is always brought up [I did it just to say that it is irrelevant]. I have a feeling that almost anything people say is colored by their feelings towards AGW. This is not how to do science. Take them AGW-colored glasses off.

    Edward Morgan (08:55:14) :
    You could just as easily say you are making an extra assumption to confirm your theory specifically that the discovered shore edge was not caused by sea water.
    Well, shores are where the sea is.

    The only place nearly everyone including me on this site wants to go is where the facts lead.
    So, tell me where they lead?

    What does your temperature equation for the cycle comparison mean in real terms i.e temperature for a Dalton and temperature for an average cycle generally. Comparing 15000 spots with 50000 spots that’s 3 1/3 times as many.
    As I said: 0.02 degrees.
    The average sunspot covers 0.00001 of the Sun’s disk, so having 3.5 times as many doesn’t change the radiance of the Sun all that much.

  74. Lansner, Frank (09:28:25) :
    South Africa:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_coldaircave.php

    Therefore it certainly takes more just like that to rule out the sun as the temperature driver.

    As per the graph in the link you gave, the temperature was high around 1500, smack in the middle of the very deep solar Spoerer Grand Minimum. As I said, if the data fit one’s theory they are good, otherwise clearly bad. The data you showed fit mine, so are good, obviously.

    My point is that the oft repeated statement that it is obvious that the Sun is the main driver has little support when you begin to look at the data [and not just that subset that fits]. The usual response is to invoke all kinds of possible errors [timing errors, scientists not knowing what they are doing, "it's only regional', on and on the hand-wringing goes]

  75. Leif Svalgaard (10:11:53) :
    As per the graph in the link you gave, the temperature was high around 1500, smack in the middle of the very deep solar Spoerer Grand Minimum.

    And I clearly forgot to point out that the Oort minimum was during the MWP.

  76. So many questions:
    – Was the GRIP ice core uknown to science up to now?
    – However did the polar bears survive?
    – Why didn’t the methane escape into the atmosphere and kill the planet?
    – That crackpot Roy Spencer had been pointing this out for some time, how is it that he was right?

    Sorry, none of the above questions deserve an answer on account of they were asked by a skeptic.

    As for proof of solar influence, I haven’t read the whole thread yet, but uncharictaristically, I am with Lief on this one. Remember that summers were longer in the Arctic at this time, due to the changing eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit, Keplers second law, and precession of the seasons through the orbit.

    Also, the sun was more directly overhead at that time, due to a wobble in the Earth’s orbit, increasing not TSI but total summer solar insolation at high lattitudes/

    The real question this raises is where were the pile-on effects of this that we have been assured will come?

  77. This study is interesting, but by no means sensational. It is already known that most of the Greenland coast and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago was ice-free in the mid Holocene, i. a. from subfossil finds of Bowhead Whales and Walrus (which need open water). However there does not seem to be any beach ridges or subfossils on the north coast of Ellesmere land, northern Axel Heiberg land and some of the northernmost islands to the west, so a small area of summer ice may have survived there. As for the Greenland Ice, there is evidence that it retreated some tens of kilometers at this time.

    There is an intersting parallell to the paleoeskimos that died out about 4000 years ago. About a thousand years ago the Thule culture (direct ancestors of the Inuits) arrived in northwestern Greenland from the west. They subsequently spread and settled all around the northern and eastern coasts of Greenland during the MWP, but became extinct during the LIA. A few were still around in 1823 according to a british whaler, but when the next european expeditions reached eastern Greenland in the 1870′s they were gone. The inuits living at Scoresbysound now have re-immigrated during the (warm) 20th century.

    crosspatch:

    Polar Bears are older than the last interglacial. There is last interglacial fossil record from Svalbard and an early last glacial record from the Lower Thames.
    As for their surviving the last (much warmer) interglacial when the Arctic Ocean was very likely ice-free in summer, why not? Somehow it seems to be overlooked that Polar Bears do perfectly well around Hudson Bay and Baffins Bay which are always ice-free for several months in summer and autumn. What they do need is winter ice so they can hunt ringed seal. As a matter of fact they avoid areas of very thich multi-year ice, since this is to thick for the seals to make breathing holes, and is therefore a desert for a polar bear.

    Suzanne Morstad:

    Yes it is indeed well-known to anyone familiar with Quaternary paleoclimate that, generally speaking, deserts expand during cold periods and shrink during warm periods (it is not quite true, always and everywhere). To some extent this effect is probably reinforced by the fact that plants need more water when CO2 is low. However it is not considered politically correct to mention such things in public.

  78. Lansner, Frank (08:50:56) :
    Then how come for example these measurements tell a little differnt story? http://%5B…]cariacobasin

    The link you provided carefully left out a part of the data, here is a link that fills the gap:
    CARIACO BASIN SST RECONSTRUCTION (1221 to 1990):

    As you can see, again the Spoerer Grand Minimum stands out as being as warm as today, in spite of the extremely low solar activity.

    Again, this is regional, but, there was another region [South Africa] that showed the same, and here is another region [Torneträsk in Lappland] showing that is was warm during 1400-1600:

    and on and on.

    Again, none of these plots prove anything except that it is not obvious of clear or indisputable or [your favorite word], that solar activity is the main driver [or even just a significant player] in climate change

  79. Rather than taking a firm stand on solar impact on climate, a wise person or a true scientist might be willing to wait and make observations for the current “unprecedented” ;-) period of low solar activity.

    Watch the CO2 concentration curve diverge from the temperature curve and find reasons for the discrepancies from revered climate models of Hansen et al.

    Climate proxies are pathetic. Even the proxies that Leif uses should probably receive less deference than he appears to give them.

  80. Dr. Lief, thanks again!

    Anyway you look at it… isn’t it exciting? I hope that we all live long lives and we all know how this thing turns out. If I had it to do all over again, I think I would go into some branch of earth science.

    Just for the record, I hope that we turn to various forms of solar and wind for our energy needs regardless of the status of the AGW debate. There are lots of other great reasons to do it.

  81. Leif said, “The average sunspot covers 0.00001 of the Sun’s disk, so having 3.5 times as many doesn’t change the radiance of the Sun all that much.”

    Yes but as Piers Corbyn shows on slide 18 of 30 of his powerpoint lecture http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1CHMG_en-GBGB291&q=hale+cycle+corbyn&btnG=Search&meta= (see second one down in the search list) “World temperatures and solar particles move together astoundingly well when averaged over the double sunspot cycle” this factors in the Hale cycle.
    He goes on to say “When the IPCC include ‘solar variations’ they do not mean changes in particle and magnetic effect, they only mean light- which changes by 0.1% (cycle). The relative change in solar particle and magnetic effect in one solar cycle is 50,000 times larger”.
    Now its likely you will find other ‘evidence’ Leif but it would cost you too much to admit you were making it up? I mean you should know about this being a solar physicist. Come on. Ed.

  82. Leif,
    I meant by, “You could just as easily say you are making an extra assumption to confirm your theory specifically that the discovered shore edge was not caused by sea water.” that the ridges in the above article were caused by the sea you were disagreeing earlier saying with your graph that it wasn’t warm enough 6000 years ago. Ed

  83. Changing sea level isn’t simply a matter of the sun and sun spots. It is also affected locally by isostasy, for which one reason might be loss of ice loading. Thus, if areas that were previously ice loaded lose their ice, from melting and so on, the land will bounce back up. However, the effect is very slow compared with the duration of melting events. Hence, it will take many years for the land to rebound isostatically to allow for the loss of load. Norway is still uplifting rapidly following the loss of its ice sheet 10 ka or so ago; so is Scotland, although at a lower rate, and there are other examples.

    The effect is further complicated by the spatial dependence of what melts first and where, and where the water goes. Sea level change at the last termination was not steady and gradual, but came along in various spurts, caused by melting in different places and times. The advancing oceans also inundated areas in a non-linear way, depending where you were, so that some reconstructed sea level curves suggest generally a rise since the termination, whilst others show rises and gentle reversals, followed by another rise, and so on.

    So, what might this imply for the raised beaches found in Greenland, suggesting water where we might not have expected it, and even the possibility of a largely ice free Arctic Ocean at the time? Well, probably not so, actually, although the inference of what it does mean isn’t easy either. For one thing, Greenland is also still rebounding, and the rates of rebound were huge at times after the termination, 110m or so in parts of southern Greenland, not sure what the figures are for elsewhere. Hence, even if the climate was warm 6ka-7ka ago, and there had been a fair bit of melt, it woudn’t take much extra water near a gently shelving coast to make quite a bit of difference to the shoreline; similarly, it wouldn’t take much rebound to move the sea away again. The transgression doesn’t therefore require massive melting of the Arctic ice, let alone an entirely ice free Arctic; likewise, the regression doesn’t require a huge cooling and reforming of ice over the sea.

    So, an interesting set of results, but it doesn’t change that much when taken in the context of what’s already known about sea level changes around Greenland and the northern archipelago.

  84. Edward Morgan (09:50:05) :
    Phillip Bratby (11:51:08) :
    I would be interested in your thoughts on the statements re solar activity made by Piers Corbyn

    I’ll do this statements by statement [and give a grade A=good, B=mixed, C=poor]:

    1. In terms of smoothed out solar activity (or proxy thereof) over many decades there is very good correlation between solar activity and world temperatures
    Solar activity in the 1850-1870 period was not different from what it was in 1980-present, but the temperatures were, So C.

    2. In terms of shorter time scales the correlation between geomagnetic activity and temperatures is EXCELLENT over successive 22yr Hale periods (as a consequence of the magnetic linkage)
    This one is a D. First there is confusion as to what a Hale cycle is. One view is that it is two consecutive solar cycles [that is the usual view]. Another is that a Hale cycle extends from polar field reversal [at solar max] through the following polar field reversal and until the one after that [when the polarity change is the same as at the start of the cycle], thus from maximum until the maximum 22 years ahead. It is this definition that would make sense for ‘linkage’. Second, the EXCELLENT correlation is just hype, show me! I have looked at this for decades and would not have missed EXCELLENT correlations.

    3. The reason why 22yr geomagnetic activity beats everything is because that is a measure of particles actually reaching the right places on earth
    Muddled and factually incorrect. We have satellites [POES http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/index.html ] that measure the actual amount of energy in GigaWatt. These measurements go back 30 years and have proxies back 150 years and do not show a pronounced 22-year influence. [E.g. page 17-18 of http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS.pdf and also http://www.leif.org/research/POES%20Power%20and%20IHV.pdf ]

    Now there is a very subtle effect has has to do with a 22-year cycle in geomagnetic activity. It is discussed in detail on pages 53ff of http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf . A more modern plot can be found on page 10ff of http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-SPRG-2008.pdf
    The ovals show two time intervals [1977,1996] where observed and inferred solar wind parameters differ slightly. The small differences [see page 11] are due to the 22-year cycle in geomagnetic activity [which was ignored in the calculation of BV^2]. It is evident that this effect is small and transient and that it is highly unlikely that this hard-to-detect second order effect is the primary driver of climate. So, a C.

    4. The main world temperature periodicity is the double sunspot 22yr period rather than 11 yrs
    Stated without statistical confidence levels. An FFT power spectrum http://www.leif.org/research/PowerFFT-CET.png of Central England Temperatures since 1659 does not show a prominent peak at 22 years. There are [statistically insignificant at the 95% confidence level] peaks at 70, 25, 16, and 7 years. None at 22 or 11 years. Perhaps Basil can run a wavelet analysis of this. So far, a C.

    a) Now we are in a very low particle but relatively good magnetic connectivity phase this still means cooling.
    The good connectivity was in 1977 and 1996 [remember the two ovals on page 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-SPRG-2008.pdf ], so now we have ‘poor’ connectivity. Another C.

    b When the sun moves into cycle 24 although particles will go up the magnetic connectivity factor will change to ‘poor linkage’ and still cause generally cooling; this trend will generally carry on to 2013
    Muddled, the ‘connectivity’ that controls the 22-year cycle changes after the maximum, probably in 2013. So the connectivity we have now will not change for another 5 years. C again.

    c) Other modulation effects (eg lunar) in fact suggest a more general decline in smoothed temperatures to around 2030* – and there are other suggestions to continue beyond that from some Russians and others. (not withstanding sub-variations) {*stated at WeatherAction Press conference Sept 30th)
    Here we are in D territory.

  85. Edward Morgan (12:17:55) :
    “World temperatures and solar particles move together astoundingly well when averaged over the double sunspot cycle” this factors in the Hale cycle”
    As I just pointed out, the Magnetic 22-year cycle goes from max and not from min, so this is muddled.

    He goes on to say “When the IPCC include ’solar variations’ they do not mean changes in particle and magnetic effect, they only mean light- which changes by 0.1% (cycle). The relative change in solar particle and magnetic effect in one solar cycle is 50,000 times larger”.
    How is that for effect, wow! All he is saying is that solar activity varies by 50% [=50,000*0.1%]. It is like the difference between having 2 fleas versus 3 of them on the back of an elephant.
    Actually, the sunspot number varied from 1810 where it was zero to 1816 when is was 50, by an astounding 50/0*100% = infinite %. Beats even Corbyn’s 50,000 times as much.

    Now its likely you will find other ‘evidence’ Leif but it would cost you too much to admit you were making it up? I mean you should know about this being a solar physicist. Come on.
    Will let the readership judge this one on its merit.

  86. Nick O. (12:56:32) :
    Changing sea level isn’t simply a matter of the sun and sun spots. It is also affected locally by isostasy, for which one reason might be loss of ice loading.

    One might [and I shall] surmise that Astrid Lyså is well aware of this and either have compensated for it or judged it of minor importance. After all, since most of the ice on Greenland is still there, perhaps the isostatic rise was not so important.

  87. Turn over a new Leif,

    1) Here Leif I show you, take an average over the double sunspot cycle. Piers Corbyn shows on slide 18 of 30 of his powerpoint lecture how well this correlates http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1CHMG_en-GBGB291&q=hale+cycle+corbyn&btnG=Search&meta= (see second one down in the search list called ALARM)

    2) Leif you also said sunspot number varied (during Dalton’s minimum) “1810 where it was zero to 1816 when it was 50″ earlier in this thread he said something quite different “First, a Dalton minimum cycle didn’t have but 50 spots, but more like 15,000″, which is it Leif?

    3)Leif said “Another is that a Hale cycle extends from polar field reversal [at solar max] through the following polar field reversal and until the one after that [when the polarity change is the same as at the start of the cycle]” Its this one Piers is talking about. You did say this definition would make sense for linkage. So you sort of agree.

    4)The reason geomagnetic activity is an accurate gauge is it shows what’s getting through opposed to your satellite references which are outside the earth where the warming/cooling takes place.

    a)Your not talking about the same thing. The “relatively” good connectivity (you dropped that word) is there at the moment hence small changes get through well. You would need to study this a lot to get an understanding of what this means folks.

    b) Then linkage will change to poor because of the start of the sunspots this makes the linkage less sensitive so it will mean continued cooling as more sunspots will not be getting through. Its like they won’t be resonating so well. Like a musical instrument through a sound booth.

    c) No answer to that one Leif. Look out for the chill. Get yourself a new hat.

    Overall I give that 5 stars for me and an imaginary reality plane (not markable) for you with no stars obviously. You don’t believe in them. Ed

  88. Leif Svalgaard (13:30:00) :
    Edward Morgan (09:50:05) :
    Phillip Bratby (11:51:08) :

    I went to look at Corbyn’s ppt presentation [once I got a link] and i see that he does count the double cycle from max to second max, introducing his own definition of the Hale Cycle [which usually goes from min to second min - Hale did not know about the polar field reversals when he discovered the Hale Cycle]. This makes the muddle a bit lighter, but does alter the basic conclusion that the 22-year cycle is but a minor tweak. Slide 12 is telling: He notes that when the blue line goes up [locally] the red line goes down. Then by averaging two consecutive point you compensate for that and get the more impressive slide 13. But note that the compensating effect comes from blue and red varying oppositely, while on slide 13 they vary together. BTW, slide 13 could have been had with many variables with a secular variation, e.g. the U.S. population.

    He still has the ‘linkage’ wrong. E.g. b When the sun moves into cycle 24 although particles will go up the magnetic connectivity factor will change to ‘poor linkage’ and still cause generally cooling; this trend will generally carry on to 2013
    The ‘poor linkage’ will only kick in well past 2013 and not when we move into the next 11-yr cycle. I’ll have to admit that I was immediately put off by slide 2, that cherry picks 1998 [El Nino] as the starting point. On page 3 you find “ice age lengths follow solar magnetic links (26k and 43 k yrs)”. Discounting orbital changes with these periods. All in all, still a “C”. Now, remember you asked for my opinion.

  89. Carbon 14 variation is used as a proxie to obtain information concerning sunspots. As carbon 14 is used to date many objects, then is this not now an in-accurate method for dating obects due to sunspot variation?

  90. Leif:
    Says: “My point is that you [or anybody else] would tend to discard data that doesn’t fit. Timing errors, melting ice, what have you. This is just human nature.”

    Maybe so, but speak for yourself :-)

    Edward & Leif:
    My opinion is, that the solar activity is too good related to world temperatures for it to be coincidence. And some of the discrepancies Edward provides some part of answer to: Geomagnetics etc. Is there a good article that you could recommend?

    CO2 versus Sun:
    Neither the physics, the history, nothing work for the CO2 hypothesis.
    Some peoble will accept huge problems for the CO2 hypothesis and at the same time they are extremely demanding of every detail of the solar theory. Thats not honest science. We can call it pet-science.

    No, the CO2 hypothesis i can talk about for HOURS!! Its the most unfounded hypothesis in modern science and will be remebered as the biggest fiasko of science for centuries. The CO2 hypothesis need no other theories to flunk totally.

  91. Thanks Frank,
    Whatever Leif says I studied Piers closely and his forecasts work as he says once you factor in his indexes (its not like a normal forecast in that regard (it is an evolving science however). Yes an article on the current situation is to be found here http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1831 Enjoy! Ed.

  92. Thanks Frank,
    Whatever Leif says I studied Piers forecasts closely and they are accurate once you factor in his indexes it is a evolving science though. An article on this and the current situation is to be found at http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1831.

    Leif. That linkage thing is disturbed by the spots this is why it becomes not so good the more activity. You seem to be talking about some other linkage. This will mean a continued cooling as even though more activity less connectivity. Ed

  93. Edward Morgan (14:45:25) :
    2) Leif you also said sunspot number varied (during Dalton’s minimum) “1810 where it was zero to 1816 when it was 50″ earlier in this thread he said something quite different “First, a Dalton minimum cycle didn’t have but 50 spots, but more like 15,000″, which is it Leif?
    The sunspot number is not the same as the number of spots.
    The sunspot number is the number of spots [roughly divided by two] you will see on the Sun on a given day. The 50 referred to a day a maximum. The total number of spots for a cycle is quite different. Since a cycle lasts 4000 days @ 25 spots a day, then you would have 4000*25 = 100,000 spots if every spots only lived a day, but since a spot on the average lives several days [depending on the size, average about a week] the 100,000 goes down to about 15,000 spots.

    Lansner, Frank (14:59:07) :
    My opinion is, that the solar activity is too good related to world temperatures for it to be coincidence.
    Opinion is king.

    CO2 versus Sun
    What has CO2 to do with the Sun’s influence? Nothing! And why assume that it is the same people that will accept huge problems for the CO2 hypothesis and at the same time are extremely demanding of every detail of the solar theory?

    I have noticed a curious phenomenon: people stick together in the face of adversity. At times I’m confronted with people that are firm and ardent [even vitriolic] believers in cosmic rays being the driver, at other times it is something else, like now the 22-year variation of geomagnetic activity. These causes are often mutually exclusive [Corbyn even says so on page 3: "Cosmic rays NOT the driver"], yet the cosmic-ray-crowd doesn’t get up and protest and vice versa. As long as “it’s the Sun, stupid”, they don’t want to rock the boat.

    Edward Morgan (14:45:25) :
    a)Your not talking about the same thing. The “relatively” good connectivity (you dropped that word) is there at the moment hence small changes get through well. You would need to study this a lot to get an understanding of what this means folks.
    “relatively” is a weasel word, but the linkage is right now not relatively good, it is the worst it can be. It was good in 1954, 1977, 1996, and will be again in 2020. It seems that Corbyn, too, would have to study a lot to get this right.

    All this was clear and well-understood from studies by myself and others more than 30 years ago [ http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf page 53ff ]

  94. Leif Svalgaard (14:57:19) :
    He still has the ‘linkage’ wrong. E.g. b When the sun moves into cycle 24 although particles will go up the magnetic connectivity factor will change to ‘poor linkage’ and still cause generally cooling; this trend will generally carry on to 2013
    The ‘poor linkage’ will only kick in well past 2013 and not when we move into the next 11-yr cycle.

    Jeez, I can even be carried along by this. The linkage is right now the worst it can be [as it has been that for several years]. The ‘worseness” will taper off until 2013 and then good linkage will build up.

  95. Thanks for explaining what you meant Leif. 11 out of 12 major flooding events in the UK consecutively predicted might put a different light on it. I for one would get nothing out of this if I wanted to “stick together” I don’t want some fantasy. You both studied the sun for thirty years and completely disagree and you think nothing is wrong and probably wonder why we have doubts. I’ve looked at this for no more than a sporadic year. Results count. They are there you need to reappraise. Its been an interesting discussion. Ed.

  96. Edward Morgan (16:09:21) :
    Frank et al another article http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1771
    Corbyn has this exactly backwards. He says:
    “The changes in magnetic connectivity between the sun and the Earth are very important.[...]
    The sun-earth general set up we are now in is Odd to even Cycle (23 to 24) solar minimum transition. In these periods (which go on for a few years every 22 years or so) the Earth is most sensitive to small changes on the sun.”

    It is the transition from Even to Odd where the ‘linkage’ is important and creates the extra geomagnetic activity. You [and Corbyn] can learn more here: http://www.leif.org/research/Semiannual%20Variation%201954%20and%201996.pdf
    or here JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 101, NO. A12, PAGES 27,091–27,109, 1996
    The 22-year cycle of geomagnetic and solar wind activity
    Edward W. Cliver et al.
    Abstract
    The 22-year cycle in geomagnetic activity is characterized by high activity during the second half of even-numbered solar cycles and the first half of odd-numbered cycles.[...]

    The transition that is important is from Even to Odd. The reason is that the interplanetary magnetic field as seen by the Earth during such a transition has a small statistical tendency to point southward more often. During an Odd-to-Even transition there is the opposite tendency [i.e. to point northward more often].
    When the IMF points south it can connect with the Earth’s magnetic field [which is pointing north where the IMF hits it] and thus transfer energy and particles to the Earth. When the IMF points north it cannot connect [no linkage] and the Earth is effectively closed off from the solar wind and no [or much less] transfer occurs.

  97. Leif, Contact Piers and make a public bet with him and publish it on this site. That would show what you know. Your making it up. Admit it. You’ve strengthened my capacity to convey facts you didn’t move me at all. I’m free. Nasa profits on secrets I see you worked for them. Ed

  98. Edward Morgan (16:27:21) :
    Results count.
    People can guess right for the wrong reason. I take it that Corbyn is the main forecaster at the Met Office, since his track record is so good.

  99. Leif you have a habit of speaking the opposite. I’m done with my explanation. There is loads of stuff in the public domain that proves you wrong. The only reason your talking to this site is to change minds because its a fountain of truth about the true causes of temperature change. Your under threat. You wouldn’t waste your time on it otherwise. I suggest people do thorough research of their own and definitely don’t accept a statement just because of letters in front of a name. People are far more likely to agree with a Dr. This doesn’t mean there honest or right. You’ve blinded most people with a plethora of “information” that is beyond the cognition of a genius. We have all seen there are many challenges to you but you don’t give any of them any credit a big zero. This is too obvious you want to destroy anything and everything that isn’t AGW you have to and that’s where your stuck, it will be your undoing. Ed

  100. Leif, He beats the met office all the time six to twelve months in advance. They don’t look up. Perhaps you should to Piers. Ed

  101. For me this link between solar acticity and Incoming cosmic rays are convincing:

    For me this link between low cloud cover and cosmic rays/solar activite is convincing:
    1) http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/FOS/SvensmarkLowCloudComicRaySMALL.jpg

    2) http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/FOS/SvensmarkCosmicRay1700small.jpg

    So in my view we have an obvious connection between solar activity and low cloud cover.

    When you say “But the Spoorer minimum…”.. That’s no way enough to make me think that suddently there is not the connection shown in the links above?! Of course not.

    And yes, in many debates I have met peoble totally blind to see the extreme problems for the CO2 hypothesis, but at the same time extremely demanding when it comes to the SUN-theory. I often see a missing balance in things. But I do NOT say this about you, Leif, you clearly in no way discuss the CO2 hypothesis.

    So does anyone object the low cloud cover means primarly high albedo and thus cooling of the planet?

    Here finally il grande argument against the solar activity – world temperature link:
    “In the last decades the GISS temperature has risen more than can be explained by solar activity”

    Hmmm..

    Could this explain something:

    aha.. global temperatures has increased 0,30 degrees. Hmm in USA we know that temperatures have been adjusted 0,25 degrees Celsius up, corresponding to over 80% of the mentioned warming.
    So it seems that the solar-theory strong as it looks is rejected because it does not match the GISS temperature adjustings?
    In my view, the solar-theory is so strong that this mismatch between GISS temperatures and solar energy in the last decades, when giss made the adjustments, only shows that you can through out GISS temperatures.
    The GISS adjustments fails to correspond with solar activity and not vice versa.

    to the administrator: Its sometimes very hard to make a post, im not sure whats wrong.

  102. Meanwhile back at the farm, I wanted to reiterate my question concerning the AIMS data. Are they measuring overall CO2 or just CO2 12 and 13. If they are measuring overall CO2 they must consider that CO214 will increase during minimum. Leif, chime in if you see something I don’t have right. Anthony, you have emailed AIMS. Maybe you could ask? My hunch is that during the next maximum (assuming that the magnetic field strengthens), this AIMS map will show once again shades of green and tan instead of blooms of red.

  103. Edward Morgan (18:05:49) :
    He’s expecting a storm to hit the UK on or around the end of October. He’s not always right though.
    That is the point, isn’t it. If I predict a storm every day, I’ll never miss one. What is important to count are not the successes, but the failures.

  104. Frank. Lansner (17:09:48) :
    So does anyone object the low cloud cover means primarly high albedo and thus cooling of the planet?
    Piers Corbyn [who is right 11 times out of 12] says clearly on page 3 of his ppt that Cosmic Rays are not a primary driver. I happen to agree with him [by accident], but there is one. Now, what does Ed think?

  105. I had to skip down through the last couple dozen posts so I may have missed a mention of this already, but…this may connect with what is being discussed here.

    Being a student of Appalachian climate history, upon reading the questions over the 6000-7000 year ago dating, the possibilities of solar influence, etc., I remembered I had read a story earlier this year about a 7000-year-old cave stalagmite in West Virginia that geologists were using to interpret the climate situation in the region (and North America in general) during the time period being discussed here and subsequent periods.

    I just did a Google search and found an article at the Ohio University site: http://news.research.ohiou.edu/news/index.php?item=503 titled “New climate record shows century-long droughts in eastern North America–Weak sun created cool oceans, lowered rainfall seven times in 7,000 years” August 19, 2008.

    These geologists appear to be on board with the AGW group. While it starts out with the following…

    “A stalagmite in a West Virginia cave has yielded the most detailed geological record to date on climate cycles in eastern North America over the past 7,000 years. The new study confirms that during periods when Earth received less solar radiation, the Atlantic Ocean cooled, icebergs increased and precipitation fell, creating a series of century-long droughts.

    “A research team led by Ohio University geologist Gregory Springer examined the trace metal strontium and carbon and oxygen isotopes in the stalagmite, which preserved climate conditions averaged over periods as brief as a few years. The scientists found evidence of at least seven major drought periods during the Holocene era, according to an article published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.”

    …the article ends with “The climate record suggests that North America could face a major drought event again in 500 to 1,000 years, though Springer said that manmade global warming could offset the cycle.

    “Global warming will leave things like this in the dust. The natural oscillations here are nothing like what we would expect to see with global warming,” he said.

    “Though some climate and drought records exist for the Western and Midwest areas of North America, the eastern Appalachian region hasn’t been studied much to date, Rowe said. The research team plans to examine additional stalagmite records from West Virginia and Tennessee to paint a better picture of North American climate cycles.”

    If this may be of use here, one way or the other, you might want to check it out. Neat picture of the stalagmite too. I find it interesting that the information on the Sahara wet period, this Greenland period, and the Appalachian period all seem to be focusing around this same overall period in human history (including early cultures, etc.).

  106. Doing a little more looking at that 6,000-7000 years-ago period, climate change, cultures, and sea levels–I found this journal article on underwater archaeology findings along the Black Sea coast that might tie in as well.

    http://www.athenapub.com/12blksea.htm

    Here’s a bit of it…
    “Archaeological evidence allowing the reconstruction of settlements along the shores of the western Black Sea (and supporting the above premises) can be divided into three groups: submerged settlements; submerged harbor sites and systems, including anchors and anchor material; and remains of cargo and ships, the former including metal objects and amphorae, the latter including only a few smaller vessels in the Bronze Age.

    “Submerged Settlements: Surveys along the western Black Sea shoreline have led to the discovery of 10 submerged Eneolithic settlements, and at least 29 sites dating from the Bronze Age (fig.2). Most settlements that began their existence in the Late Eneolithic continued into the Bronze Age.

    “The submergence of the settlements probably resulted from variations in sea level caused by the weight of glacier movements deforming the earth’s crust. These variations, in turn, were caused by climatic instability, including warm/cold spells that led to glacial melting and sea level rise, or to ice accumulation and sea level fall.

    “During the Early and Middle Holocene, warmer periods led to the gradual submergence of the western Black Sea coast. At the end of the 5th millennium BC, the so-called New Black Sea Transgression caused the water to overflow parts of the mainland. During its second stage (mid-4th millennium BC) a 2-meter drop in sea level occurred.”

    Hmmmm…

  107. Michael C. (21:14:20) :
    These variations, in turn, were caused by climatic instability, including warm/cold spells that led to glacial melting and sea level rise, or to ice accumulation and sea level fall.

    “During the Early and Middle Holocene, warmer periods led to the gradual submergence of the western Black Sea coast. At the end of the 5th millennium BC, the so-called New Black Sea Transgression caused the water to overflow parts of the mainland. During its second stage (mid-4th millennium BC) a 2-meter drop in sea level occurred.”

    I read this as 6000 BP it was warm, but at 5500 BP is was colder

  108. Leif Svalgaard (06:36:35) :

    Nick Yates (01:24:05) :
    That’s an interesting graph. I wonder if there is a version that just shows the minimums?
    Without trying to be facetious, can you not just put a big blob on each of the minima shown on the graph and just look at the blobs? or maybe I didn’t understand your question…

    Leif,

    Sorry, I’m really not trying to annoy you (honest)!
    I was trying to see if the minimums were a closer match to the temperature record than that graph at first appears. It’s just a bit too dense to see easily. Anyway, thanks for providing us lower lifeforms with your insights, it is appreciated. By the way the Spörer minimum seems to be regarded as a period of lower temperatures from what I can find.

  109. Nick Yates (23:07:20) :
    By the way the Spörer minimum seems to be regarded as a period of lower temperatures from what I can find.
    I have shown several records that indicates a higher temperature, so show us yours. But this is not really my point. My point is that there are conflicting records and that it therefore is not ‘obvious that there is a correlation’.

  110. Leif,

    Don’t underestimate Piers Corbyn. Way back in college days at Imperial College I recall he was one of the most brilliant physics students in our year. Rather than follow the traditional PhD route, he went on to do his own (independent) thing in solar research and weather research and forecasting, at which he has proved very successful. The one thing you can say about him is that he is a free thinker and totally independent. Maybe you should get in touch with him and swap ideas. http://co2sceptics.com/contact.php or http://weatheraction.com/id2.html

    Regards

  111. F Rasmin (14:57:42) :
    Carbon 14 variation is used as a proxie to obtain information concerning sunspots. As carbon 14 is used to date many objects, then is this not now an in-accurate method for dating obects due to sunspot variation?

    Whilst carbon-14 production rates vary with cosmic ray flux it remains a very accurate way of dating objects. We have reconstructed carbon-14 production rates as a function of age using suitable material that can be dated by alternative methods. Good examples are tree rings which, for the more recent past can be dated using dendrochronology. By comparing the carbon-14 age with the dendrochronology age, and solving the radiometric decay equation we can estimate the initial carbon-14 in a tree ring sample at the time it grew. Other independent dating methods include, for example Uranium series dating.

    There is a rich and wide literature covering corrections for carbon-14 production rates.

  112. Pamela Gray (18:59:23) :

    “Meanwhile back at the farm, I wanted to reiterate my question concerning the AIMS data. Are they measuring overall CO2 or just CO2 12 and 13. If they are measuring overall CO2 they must consider that CO214 will increase during minimum. Leif, chime in if you see something I don’t have right. Anthony, you have emailed AIMS. Maybe you could ask? My hunch is that during the next maximum (assuming that the magnetic field strengthens), this AIMS map will show once again shades of green and tan instead of blooms of red.”

    I have also been looking at the breathing of CO2 in the AIRS data, particularly the animations: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/.

    It is not possible to measure ratios of CA14 to CA12 with the satellites. “What AIRS does is measure the infrared light emitted by carbon dioxide molecules.” Nuclear effects are tiny in the spectra of molecules and not detectable.

    The radioactive CA14 is a trace in the total CO2 of the atmosphere, so not to be worried about except for tree rings and such, where measurements are made in laboratories equiped with proper nuclear instrumentation.

    From wikipedia : 98.9% 12C is stable with 6 neutrons
    13C 1.1% 13C is stable with 7 neutrons
    14C trace and produced from Nitrogen

    a percentage of a trace is still a trace, even if it increases 100% it will still be a trace.

    So as long as the CO2 rises it will get redder.

  113. Leif Svalgaard (23:22:17) :

    I have shown several records that indicates a higher temperature, so show us yours. But this is not really my point. My point is that there are conflicting records and that it therefore is not ‘obvious that there is a correlation’.

    I agree the Spörer minimum is open to debate, but as there are no direct observations of the sunspots, I guess that’s not surprising. I don’t want to waste our time by playing graph tennis with you :-)
    We obviously have good observatiions from Maunder onwards. I believe that global temperatures show a fairly good correlation with the suns activity since then, and this appears as if it may continue. You’ve pointed out in the pasr how chaotic and unpredicatble the sun is, and that also applies to the earths climate. What is the chance of two independent highly chaotic systems just happening to align like this?

  114. Nick Yates (03:37:25) :
    What is the chance of two independent highly chaotic systems just happening to align like this?
    Well, it seems to me that they have been out of alignment the last 20 years or so. Or even more, if one accepts my argument that solar activity in the 1850-70s is no different from 1970-present.

    Let me explain where I’m coming from. In the early 1970s the only measurements of the ‘solar constant’ was those of Abbot dating back to 1913-1956 [or so]. Abbot claimed a 1-2% solar cycle variation of TSI. When Jack Eddy drew attention to the Maunder minimum [actually discovered by Spoerer, but the two Ms had a nicer ring to it] and linked it to the LIA, that linkage was widely accepted [including by me]. There was a correlation, a mechanism, and the numbers came out right [if you lower TSI by 1%, the temperature should go down by 1.0/4=0.25% of 300K = 0.8K]. Those are the criteria a scientist would ordinarily apply in order to accept a claim as reasonable [acceptance does mean that he thinks it is correct, only that it is a plausible working hypothesis worthy of consideration and further work]. At the time there was considerable doubt that Abbot’s result was correct, but the correlation with the LIA hinted that perhaps Abbot’s data was OK [the beginning of the terrible notion that one judges data by how well they fit one's ideas]. But even then, many scientists believed that the solar constant was indeed constant, to the point that when the first satellite measurements became available:

    Willson, R. C.; Hudson, H. S.; Frohlich, C.; Brusa, R. W.
    Science, vol. 234, Nov. 28, 1986, p. 1114-1117:
    “The first 5 years (from 1980 to 1985) of total solar irradiance observations by the first Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM I) experiment on board the Solar Maximum Mission spacecraft show a clearly defined downward trend of -0.019 percent/year. [...] The trend appears to be due to unpredicted variations of solar luminosity on time scales of years, and it may be related to solar cycle magnetic activity”

    it was seen as a surprise that there was a solar cycle variation. In any case, the variation was much smaller that Abbot’s claim by a factor of 10, so the claim that the LIA was caused by the lack of solar activity was clearly refuted observationally, because the numbers were not there anymore. So, as responsible scientists, people jumped ship [even Jack Eddy! who no longer believes that there is any solar influence]. Unfortunately, the cat was out of the bag, and could not be put back where it belonged.

  115. Two thoughts.

    I wonder what the CO2 levels were 7000 years ago.

    Also, in WWI there generals known as Chateau Generals who lived in splendor, comfortably behind the carnage of front lines. They claimed, or at least one of them did, that they did not want to have their view of things disturbed by the messiness of what they might actually see at the front. Sounds as though some of the scientists who rely solely on the climate models are following the same pattern. Maybe we should call them Chateau Scientists.

  116. Leif Svalgaard (06:39:57) :
    [acceptance does not mean that he thinks it is correct, only that it is a plausible working hypothesis worthy of consideration and further work].

  117. From Webster’s:

    ob·fus·cate
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈäb-fə-ˌskāt; äb-ˈfəs-ˌkāt, əb-\
    Function:
    verb
    Inflected Form(s):
    ob·fus·cat·ed; ob·fus·cat·ing
    Etymology:
    Late Latin obfuscatus, past participle of obfuscare, from Latin ob- in the way + fuscus dark brown — more at ob-, dusk
    Date:
    1577
    transitive verb
    1 a: darken b: to make obscure
    2: confuse
    intransitive verb
    : to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

  118. I have a question that maybe Lief can answer. Is it possible that solar irradiance is “cumulative”? By that I mean, while it varies by 0.1%, does the Earth “store” more heat in the oceans and on land through the strong sunspot cycles, and it could take a few years to see the effect of low sunspots? I’m sure it can’t be that simple when you also consider the effects of PDO and ENSO (and other ocean changes) as well. I know you can find correlation where there really isn’t any, but:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/scale:0.02/compress:12/from:1900/plot/hadcrut3vgl/compress:12/from:1900/scale:2/plot/jisao-pdo/compress:12

    When PDO is up, and sunspots are high, temperature goes up, when PDO is down and sunspots are low, temperature drops. The sunspot cycles seem to have been pretty strong as well, fitting in to my cumulative hypothesis, but then, CO2 may play a part as well.

    It must be tough to be a climate scientist…every theory out there seems to have a flaw somewhere. I suppose the answer will end up somewhere in the middle.

  119. Nick Yates (03:37:25) :

    “What is the chance of two independent highly chaotic systems just happening to align like this?”

    I have not become aware of such a study, i.e. of taking two independent highly chaotic systems and see whether they align with with some criterion for alignment.

    I have seen wave images in cloud formations. If I were in the ocean I could certainly record a sequence of waves ( e.g. hundreth highest) that could match such a cloud with some criterion.
    This as an illustration of how two completely independent chaotic systems might align if they have similar periodicity.

    On the other hand correlation is not causation. It can be that the chaotic sun behavior drives other variables which in the end influence earth’s climate, as is being attempted with the galactic cosmic ray and the magnetic fields model and experiments, for example.

  120. Phillip Bratby (00:19:57) :
    Don’t underestimate Piers Corbyn. [...] The one thing you can say about him is that he is a free thinker and totally independent.
    I don’t think I do. I only judged his work not the man. I have several good friends that I value, but who are totally wrong [IMHO}, David Hathaway comes to mind.

  121. Leif, Look I’ve done this before on loads of sites its the same old story. You haven’t checked Piers Corbyns forecasts or his results and certainly not his method its never been released. I said at the start you have to study his indexes to see what his percentages are. Now you haven’t done this and yet are sure he is exaggerating without a glance. Why don’t you actually check it out give it serious study and then be honest about what you found. I managed this your supposed to be bright. People here if they are looking for the truth on what really drives climate should check him out with an open mind. Einstein said you shouldn’t condemn without thorough research but of course he was a nice man. Far from giving people accurate and simple to understand explanations you endlessly dismiss scientific discoveries this is dangerous for the future of the openness of this site. Your nearly always the last voice in the room, I hope that by then you are talking to yourself.

  122. Edward Morgan (09:13:58) :
    Look I’ve done this before on loads of sites its the same old story.
    Perhaps there is a message there…

    You haven’t checked Piers Corbyns forecasts or his results and certainly not his method its never been released.
    Someone who will not publish his method deserves no scientific attention and has not made a scientific discovery. It would be like if NASA announced that they have incontrovertible proof that AGW is true, but will not show you the proof or how they got to it. Would you believe them?

    Why don’t you actually check it out give it serious study and then be honest about what you found.
    Studying indices and percentages compiled by the person making them [up?] does not seem to be a worthwhile thing to do, unless the method is explained. Serious study takes time, there are other things to spend that time on. Especially if the few morsels of the method [the 'linkage'] are wrong [i.e. not the way Nature works]

    Far from giving people accurate and simple to understand explanations you endlessly dismiss scientific discoveries

    In an earlier post I gave an accurate and simple [I can dumb it down more if needed] explanation of why Corbyn has it backwards:

    Edward Morgan (16:09:21) :
    Corbyn has this exactly backwards. He says:
    “The changes in magnetic connectivity between the sun and the Earth are very important.[..agreed..]
    The sun-earth general set up we are now in is Odd to even Cycle (23 to 24) solar minimum transition. In these periods (which go on for a few years every 22 years or so) the Earth is most sensitive to small changes on the sun.”

    It is the transition from Even to Odd where the ‘linkage’ is important and creates the extra geomagnetic activity. The reason is that the interplanetary magnetic field as seen by the Earth during such a transition has a small statistical tendency to point southward more often. During an Odd-to-Even transition there is the opposite tendency [i.e. to point northward more often].
    When the IMF points south it can connect with the Earth’s magnetic field [which is pointing north where the IMF hits it] and thus transfer energy and particles to the Earth. When the IMF points north it cannot connect [no linkage] and the Earth is effectively closed off from the solar wind and no [or much less] transfer occurs.

    What is your problem with this explanation? Is it not simple enough [it is accurate]? Specifically which point(s) is(are) causing you trouble? I would be, as is my wont, glad to elaborate in even simpler terms, if needed, and if it would do any good.

  123. Steve M. (07:47:15) :
    I have a question that maybe Leif can answer. Is it possible that solar irradiance is “cumulative”? By that I mean, while it varies by 0.1%, does the Earth “store” more heat in the oceans and on land through the strong sunspot cycles, and it could take a few years to see the effect of low sunspots?

    If the 0.1% is cumulative, why is the 7% enhancement we have in January [due to being closer to the Sun], not cumulative, or for that matter the full amount of TSI itself?

    The photons that come from the Sun do not carry a little flag that says “hey, I’m one of the 0.1%, please accumulate me and not the others”.

  124. Pingback: Polar Bears Sittin’ Pretty « Bob’s Bites

  125. Steve M. (07:47:15) :
    Is it possible that solar irradiance is “cumulative”?
    Another interpretation of your “cumulative” might be that is it not possible that when TSI is 0.1% higher, that that extra energy is also stored in the system together with the 99.9% other part?
    [for simplicity I ignore that only a fraction of TSI actually reaches the Earth]. The answer is that the 0.1% is indeed stored with the rest and does eventually increase the temperature by 0.1%/4= 0.025% of 300K = 0.08K. The keyword here is ‘eventually’. People are claiming that there are all kinds of lags in the system ranging from 0 to 60 years, take your pick [the one that supports your theory the best, obviously].

  126. Leif,
    So if you studied the charts and worked out the confidences all indexed and got consistent percentage hits then this would not indicate science?? I thought a top level scientist like you could work out that it did. Remember a lot of these predictions are made six to twelve months in advance.
    Piers has said he will release his technique once intellectual property issues have been resolved he’s not avoiding people like you there is really no need.
    I don’t believe a word NASA says. Your linkage thing is still missing the point.
    What are you going to change your story too next Leif I bet you said it would get warmer 10 years ago. What drives you, what about Africa, heat or eat grandma’s high food prices all based on lies. The green movement came out of the eugenics movement. Your disregard for the people of this planet on mass is disgusting.

  127. ‘The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.’
    US Weather Bureau report in 1922.
    So, what’s new?

  128. I really would like to know why all of the methane stored up in the Arctic, that is supposedly set to be released and doom the planet within the century did’t get released during the HO.

  129. moptop (14:01:51) :
    I really would like to know why all of the methane stored up in the Arctic, that is supposedly set to be released and doom the planet within the century did’t get released during the HO.
    This looks like a rhetorical question. I think you really do not want to know, because it would upset your beliefs, if there was a good explanation.
    One explanation might be that the Arctic was scoured clean by the ice and every is now buried deep under moraines and other debris. The organic stuff now in the Arctic has likely built up since the end of glaciation. Does this do it for you?

  130. Edward Morgan (15:43:22) :
    What’s was your prediction for the last ten years and what is it for the next?
    I’m in the prediction business for sunspots not for the weather [not even climate yet]. For the previous sunspot maximum my prediction was a sunspot number of 126 [observed 121], and for the next cycle my prediction [in 2005] was 75. A feature of my method [which is fully described and does not require poor people in Africa to pay me intellectual property royalties] is that the prediction gets better the closer we are to solar minimum, so the latest prediction [I made it up yesterday] is 71.

  131. So you don’t know what temperature it will be. I thought you knew everyone else was wrong.

    Are you going! March 8-10 2009

    “The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change will serve as a platform for scientists and policy analysts from around the world who question the theory of man-made climate change. This year’s theme, “Global Warming Crisis: Cancelled,” calls attention to new research findings that contradict the conclusions of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.”

    I’ll be watching for all the stuff I already said to you.

  132. Edward Morgan (17:58:52) :
    “The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change”
    is sponsored by ultra-conservative foundations, individuals, and Big Oil. Hardly an impartial forum, so I’m not going.

  133. Edward Morgan (17:58:52) :
    I’ll be presenting two papers at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco, 15-19 December.
    Are you going?

    —-

    Tuesday Afternoon 2
    1600 SH24A-01 MC 3022 Towards a Consensus View of the Heliospheric Magnetic Field Strength Since 1900
    E W Cliver, *L Svalgaard

    Friday Morning 1
    0800 SH51A-1593 MC Hall D Predicting Solar Cycle 24
    *L Svalgaard, K H Schatten

  134. Pingback: Researchers find arctic may have had less ice 6000-7000 years ago | Global Warming Skeptics

  135. Leif Svalgaard (06:39:57) :

    Well, it seems to me that they have been out of alignment the last 20 years or so. Or even more, if one accepts my argument that solar activity in the 1850-70s is no different from 1970-present.

    Let me explain where I’m coming from. In the early 1970s the only measurements of the ’solar constant’ was those of Abbot dating back to 1913-1956 [or so]. Abbot claimed a 1-2% solar cycle variation of TSI.

    I also agree with you that the TSI is not the best candidate for a driver of climate, but that is not what I was thinking of. I was thinking of the correlation between sunspots and climate/temperatures. I like the idea of the suns magnetic field effecting cosmic rays and cloud formation because it’s simple, and albedo would have a much greater effect than raw TSI. This is why I was interested in the mimumums in the original graph you showed with the holocence. I’m just guessing, but if the cosmic ray influence is important then perhaps the depth of the solar mimumims is more important than the strength of the maximums. I.e. once the suns magnetic field is strong enough to block most or all? of the cosmic rays that influence cloud formation, it does not matter how much stronger it gets. Again back to the original graph, the mimimums in the Holocence were not as low as the earlier or later mimimums. I admit I only had a cursory look at the later part of the graph but that seemed like the mimimums might fit later on as well. Thanks for humouring me!

  136. Nick Yates (00:55:15) :
    I also agree with you that the TSI is not the best candidate for a driver of climate, but that is not what I was thinking of. I was thinking of the correlation between sunspots and climate/temperatures. I like the idea of the suns magnetic field effecting cosmic rays
    Both changes in TSI and sunspots are manifestations of the Sun’s magnetic field and are strongly correlated with each other that either one of them can be used as a [very good] proxy for the other. Same goes for the [inverse] cosmic ray flux.

    and cloud formation because it’s simple, and albedo would have a much greater effect than raw TSI.
    The problem with this is that the albedo does not vary with the solar cycle [as TSI, SSN, and GCRs do]: http://www.leif.org/research/albedo.png

    if the cosmic ray influence is important then perhaps the depth of the solar minima is more important than the strength of the maximums. I.e. once the suns magnetic field is strong enough to block most or all? of the cosmic rays that influence cloud formation, it does not matter how much stronger it gets.
    All solar minima are of the same ‘depth’ [you can't get lower than zero] and the GCR flux is the same at all minima [apart from the very small 2nd-order effect having to do with the GCR drift related to the polarity of the Sun's field] because we are basically seeing the constant unmodulated flux at minimum. The blocking of GCRs is not complete. The solar modulation is only a small fraction of the total flux.

    Again back to the original graph, the minima in the Holocence were not as low as the earlier or later minima.
    What is shown is the 11-year averages, so the minima are not the normal solar minima, but the minima of the 200-yr Suess cycle, like in 1810 and 2020. Also there are uncertainties in the amplitude [more than in the timing], so a too close comparison of the details may not be very meaningful.

  137. Leif Svalgaard (03:21:54) :
    The beginning of the previous post should have been:
    Nick Yates (00:55:15) :
    I also agree with you that the TSI is not the best candidate for a driver of climate, but that is not what I was thinking of. I was thinking of the correlation between sunspots and climate/temperatures. I like the idea of the suns magnetic field effecting cosmic rays
    Both changes in TSI and sunspots are manifestations of the Sun’s magnetic field and are strongly correlated with each other that either one of them can be used as a [very good] proxy for the other. Same goes for the [inverse] cosmic ray flux.

    sure would be nice with a preview… [I know, it's not in the free version, etc]

  138. Leif Svalgaard (03:21:54) :

    Just one more question then I’ll stop bothering you!

    The problem with this is that the albedo does not vary with the solar cycle [as TSI, SSN, and GCRs do]: http://www.leif.org/research/albedo.png

    I see that graph was from an earlier article on wattsup, and I think it’s better in that context.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/

    All solar minima are of the same ‘depth’ [you can't get lower than zero]
    Depth was a bad choice of word on my part, duration would have been better.

    What is shown is the 11-year averages, so the minima are not the normal solar minima, but the minima of the 200-yr Suess cycle, like in 1810 and 2020. Also there are uncertainties in the amplitude [more than in the timing], so a too close comparison of the details may not be very meaningful.
    Again my mistake, although I still think there could be a correlation there if you apply a sort of low pass filter :-)

    Back to my question about about chaotic systems just so I’m sure I understand you. Are you saying that the cooler temperatures observed during the Maunder and Dalton mimimums, along with the late 20th century warming and increased solar activity are random chance? If the sun goes into a period of lower activity over the next few cycles, or into another Dalton minimum and global temperatures fall, that again it’s all random chance? Or are you just saying that you see no correlation at all between sunspot activity and the climate from the Maunder onwards? Thanks.

  139. Dear Sirs,

    Last autumn I was one of the press spokesmen for a symposium convened by HE Kofi Annan the former UN Secretary-General, and HE Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of European Commission. My co-press spokesmen for the symposium were Professor Robert Correll from Heinz III Centre, the lead Author of the Arctic Impact Report, IPPC and Distinguished Professor Jane Lubachenko the former President of AAAS.

    The anthropogenic global warming is serious problem for two reasons: its climatic impact through warmer climate and changing weather patterns. on laboratory the greenhouse (warming) property of carbon dioxide is extremely well established fact and its infrared (heat) radiation absorbing capacity unquestioned. In addition, carbon dioxide like sulphur oxides causes acidification which disrupts biological ecosystems.

    It is important to note the issue that the Arctic Ocean contains numerous deposits of methane clathrates. These deposits contain copious amount of methane and also carbon dioxide which are millions of years old. When the sea level had dropped towards the end of the last ice age many of these old deposits discharged into the atmosphere containing only carbon-12 and carbon-13 whereas the phenomenally cold oceans around world had almost insatiable capacity to mop up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This would easily lead into situation of carbon-14 dilution where the proportion of this substance appears less than the other two isotopes because its production due to cosmic rays occurs at relatively stable rates. The largest known carbon-12 and carbon-13 releasing seafloor crater from collapsed methane clathrates measures up to 950 sq km. This is a massive hole on the ground and all this material of fossil carbon had to go up in air rapidly decreasing the proportion of carbon-14 to the amount of carbon-12 and 13.

    For the authors of this article it is important to notice that ancient writings can be accurately dated when the characters, words and sentence constructions can be analysed. Most of the remaining ancient texts appear on stone-based materials. However, occasionally some early writings have been preserved in biomaterials. In China there is an example of writing on biomaterial that has been carbon-14 dated at age 8,700 years old, however, when the characters are known to be from period 2,700 BCC, there appears some 4,000 years missing. We believe this is due to carbon-14 dilution from the methane clathrate venting events whilst cold seas remained still good carbon sink and their bioactivity sedimented away all carbon indiscriminately.

    There are thousands of craters of variable sizes on the Arctic Ocean seabed as a result of depressurisation of sea bed during the ice age and the global warming that occurred towards the end of period inducing large releases of fully depleted carbon from the sea bed deposits. Therefore, there are factors that I would not account carbon-14 as reliable in the extreme North where these sources of ancient geocarbon were so predominant.

    I also would like to draw attention to the possibility of glaciations in Greenland producing significant ice sheet mass balance changes and this lifting up and drowning sea side due to isostatic rebound or land subsidence.

    Another important factor to bear in mind is the ice – volcano teleconnections and the possibility that the glaciation in Greenland could have been significantly contributed by fluctuations on volcanic out put on Mid-Atlantic ridge (Iceland – Jan Mayen section in particular). I have been advocating few experiments to check it out for the possibility of Mega-Surtsey event (the 1963 eruption that built new island south of Westmannajar, Iceland).

    If ice age(s) were driven by Mega-Surtsey like major outpourings of volcanic rocks there is a possibility that the Icelandic seas could have been very heated and thus contributing enormously to the pile up of snow in Greenland. We are planning a new ice core drilling through Greenland ice dome to its base to check it out whether the ice sheet was geothermally deposited. If so, then the pre-glaciation bio detritus under Greenland ice will show signs of carbon-14, impossibility if the ice were to be deposited over 500 kyr due to slow deposition by astronomic forcing (Milutin Milankovits).

    The geothermal heating and mineralisation is more recently come up as Apectodinium fern deposits (a plant that is native to the Amazon) grew in the vicinity of the North Pole. At the same time, the sediment core contains moraine drop stones which were carved out from the rocks by the moving glaciers and when the ice bergs then floated to the area where Apectodinium grew, the ice melted and the moraine drop stones got mixed into Apectodinium which requires constant +25C water temperature to grow. As Apectodinium was dated to Oligocene at 23 million years ago, it is now suggested that instead of Pleiostocene 2-3 million years, Greenland glaciations began further back in time Oligocene.

    We suggest that as the tropical athomospheric conditions around North Pole for Apectodinium and presence of ice bergs, the source of heat is geothermal and most likely explanation is Mega-Surtsey eruption around Iceland seas. Volcanic mineralisation of sea water also introduced tens and even hundreds of millions of years old radio minerals from the deep earth and therefore the timings could be totally unreliable. But if we detect any carbon-14 under Greenland ice dome on the pre-glaciation deposits, we have then proven beyond doubt that this carbon-14 got there because ice was piled up due to volcanic eruptions around Iceland – Jan Mayen section.

    Thus, the possibility of major ice – volcano teleconnection between the build up of volcanic deposits on the Iceland – Jan Mayen section of the Mid Atlantic Ridge and formation of Greenland’s ice dome needs urgently be checked out for the better understanding on the possible climate changes induced by anthropogenic global warming and its ice-volcano teleconnection.

    Yours sincerely,

    Veli Albert Kallio, FRGS

    Frozen Isthmuses’ Protection Campaign
    of the Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean

    albert_kallio@hotmail.com

  140. “This looks like a rhetorical question. I think you really do not want to know, because it would upset your beliefs, if there was a good explanation.
    One explanation might be that the Arctic was scoured clean by the ice and every is now buried deep under moraines and other debris. The organic stuff now in the Arctic has likely built up since the end of glaciation. Does this do it for you?” -Lief

    No it was not a rhetorical question. What happened to the organic stuff from the prior interglacials? The Eemian was warmer than this one, and there were interglacials prior to that, so in your model, then there would have been a store of methane for each warming up to the stuff that would have been left from prior to the glacial period. This methane would have shown up in ice cores. It is not there.

  141. BTW Lief, I really do want to know and I don’t have “beliefs” re climate change, I have suspicions, questions, and tentative conclusions, more like theories, on which I await further data collection. It seems like you are the one with “beliefs”, since you were so quick with a rationalization that really doesn’t make sense.

    OK, down to a simple question. Since the climate has fluctuated many times since the glaciations began, why haven’t we seen the spikes in methane predicted by the warm scaremongers in periods warmer than today in the Arctic?

  142. Veli Albert Kallio (12:41:37) :

    The anthropogenic global warming is serious problem for two reasons: its climatic impact through warmer climate and changing weather patterns. on laboratory the greenhouse (warming) property of carbon dioxide is extremely well established fact and its infrared (heat) radiation absorbing capacity unquestioned. In addition, carbon dioxide like sulphur oxides causes acidification which disrupts biological ecosystems.

    I have no doubt that CO2 is an efficient blocker of a band of IR wavelengths. In fact, it appears to be saturated except at the edges of the band. Therefore, additional CO2 shouldn’t have much effect.

    Do the laboratory studies include studying atmospheric convection? I’m not sure whether convection or radiation is more important, WUTW cuts into learning time, but if convection moves more heat vertically than does radiation, that would be interesting.

    Ocean acidification appears to be the latest issue touted by the AGW supporters. http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/acid.htm raises some interesting points about the subject, and http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003220.html shows plants and coral growing in a region of bubbling CO2 near Papua and New Guinea.

    Most of the SO2 stuff we deal with here has been in the stratosphere, we tend to look at low level SO2 as a pollution instead of a climate change issue.

  143. Nick Yates (11:12:06) :
    Just one more question then I’ll stop bothering you!
    You are no bother at all and it is a pleasure to share what I know [or think I know] with you [and the general readership].

    “The problem with this is that the albedo does not vary with the solar cycle [as TSI, SSN, and GCRs do]“
    I got the graph from Enric Palle [and Goode] whom I know quite well. They are working on a paper with their latest results up to this summer. Here is an email from Enric:
    Enric Palle to leif@leif.org
    date Wed, May 7, 2008 at 4:58 AM
    Hi Leif, I am just now writing up the paper. I will send you a draft once I have something readable if you want.
    —-
    The important thing about this graph is the red line [at one solar max, at a high value of the albedo] and the grey strip [at the next solar max, at a low value of the albedo] that shows that there is no 11-year solar cycle in the albedo. Real enthusiasts might counter, ‘ah, but maybe there is 22-year Hale cycle, or a 35-year Bruckner cycle, or a 33-year Ahluvalia cycle, or an 88-year Gleissberg cycle, or a 1500-year Bond cycle, or a 2300-year Halstett cycle’, or what have you, lots of possibilities, but hardly something to commit trillions of dollars to.

    Again my mistake, although I still think there could be a correlation there if you apply a sort of low pass filter :-)
    It is a favorite sport in this business to hunt around trying this, trying that, unless a desired outcome appears.

    Are you saying that the cooler temperatures observed during the Maunder and Dalton mimimums, along with the late 20th century warming and increased solar activity are random chance? If the sun goes into a period of lower activity over the next few cycles, or into another Dalton minimum and global temperatures fall, that again it’s all random chance?

    No discussion of correlations is meaningful unless the statistical significance of the purported correlation is estimated. Fundamental to this is the notion of ‘number of degrees of freedom’ [abbrev. df], see e.g. [ http://www.creative-wisdom.com/computer/sas/df.html ] which roughly is the number of ‘independent’ data points minus 1.

    If you have only two data points [x1,y1 and x2,y2] you can fit a straight line and the correlation coefficient is 1 – perfect correlation. But because the df is only 1, there is no statistical significance in the otherwise perfect correlation. Now, your statement: “the cooler temperatures observed during the Maunder and Dalton minima, along with the late 20th century warming and increased solar activity are random chance?” has three degrees of freedom. That is still not enough information, see the above link. So, yes, that could easily be just chance.

    Or are you just saying that you see no correlation at all between sunspot activity and the climate from the Maunder onwards?
    There is always some correlation if you have more than one data point; the question how significant it is depends on the df. If you had 400 years of data with every little wiggle present in two time series [even though there may be some scatter in the sizes, and perhaps a handful didn't match up] you would have a large number of df and one would have to accept the correlation as significant even if no mechanism is known or the claim is ridiculous on its face [like number of sunspots versus the last three digits of telephone numbers on page 417 of the phone book]. So, in the details are where the answer lies. and the details don’t match up very well. Take, for instance, the LIA. It began well before 1600, yet solar activity when Galileo [and others] observed the spots during the first three decades of the 1600s was high [possibly as high as today]. During the early 20th century, temperatures peaked well before solar activity did, etc. For each of these mismatches [that reduces the df] an explanation can be cooked up: the temperature data is unreliable, aerosols, volcanoes, etc. But for each ad-hoc extra special pleading you have to add, the significance drops. Careful studies, e.g. by Lean and Rind find that no more that 10% of the climate variability can be correlated with solar activity.

  144. moptop (14:18:42) :
    “One explanation might be that the Arctic was scoured clean by the ice and every is now buried deep under moraines and other debris.” [...]What happened to the organic stuff from the prior interglacials? [...]you were so quick with a rationalization that really doesn’t make sense.

    I can be slower in responding, if that would increase my credibility [my being less 'quick'] :-)
    The organic material in the Arctic that has build up when it was warm is scraped off by the advancing ice and buried under hundreds of feet of debris and moraines at lower latitudes. The Arctic is not a very efficient biomass producer [low sunlight, cold, dry] and the production of methane from decaying leaves etc, at mid and low latitudes is much higher. That, combined with a much larger area an mid/low latitude means that the additional methane was small compared to the methane produced by decaying biomass already present at mid latitudes. So, no conspicuous spikes are seen, as the additional methane simply drowns in the background.

  145. Leif Svalgaard (02:43:02) :

    You are no bother at all and it is a pleasure to share what I know [or think I know] with you [and the general readership].

    That’s very magnanomous of you.

    Take, for instance, the LIA. It began well before 1600, yet solar activity when Galileo [and others] observed the spots during the first three decades of the 1600s was high [possibly as high as today]. During the early 20th century, temperatures peaked well before solar activity did, etc. For each of these mismatches [that reduces the df] an explanation can be cooked up: the temperature data is unreliable, aerosols, volcanoes, etc. But for each ad-hoc extra special pleading you have to add, the significance drops. Careful studies, e.g. by Lean and Rind find that no more that 10% of the climate variability can be correlated with solar activity.

    It all goes to show that the climate is a complex thing, but whatever caused the LIA we at least know it was natural. Ultimately, the energy that drives our climate comes from the sun (barring some unknown glactic force). If, as you say, the direct correlation between the solar activity and the LIA is weak, then the question is what other natural variations exists on top of Solar variation that can explain the LIA or the Medieval Warm Period? I don’t expect you to answer that one :-)
    Until that is explained and backed up with good empirical evidence, then I don’t see how anyone can be sure that the late 20th century warming was both unusual and mostly due to C02. Thanks again.

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  147. “So, no conspicuous spikes are seen, as the additional methane simply drowns in the background.” -Lief

    This makes sense, but what doesn’t make sense is why are we expecting a huge spike that potentially can lead to mass extinction, if we have already experienced far greater warming in the Arctic than today just a few thousand years ago.

    “Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. Scientists aboard a research ship that has sailed the entire length of Russia’s northern coast have discovered intense concentrations of methane – sometimes at up to 100 times background levels – over several areas covering thousands of square miles of the Siberian continental shelf.

    In the past few days, the researchers have seen areas of sea foaming with gas bubbling up through “methane chimneys” rising from the sea floor. They believe that the sub-sea layer of permafrost, which has acted like a “lid” to prevent the gas from escaping, has melted away to allow methane to rise from underground deposits formed before the last ice age.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-the-methane-time-bomb-938932.html

    Why wasn’t this methane an issue in the past?

  148. moptop (04:25:12) :
    “Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures”
    Why wasn’t this methane an issue in the past?

    According to your own cite is was an issue in the past…

  149. Leif, you re-awakened my latent df knowledge. I completely get why the few correlations there are don’t pass the significance smell test regarding Sun and climate now that you have reminded me of df. Small sample size and few data points taken from those samples = low df. My research was done on a small sample size that compared the effects of a standard signal against a new type of steeply ramped and gated signal set at different narrow frequencies (resulting in the samples being their own control), but we repeated the measures over and over again, giving us pages and pages of data and a high df number.

    I would also bet that this low df problem cuts both ways in the climate debate, or it should. If AGW theory is also based on some correlations they found, they have the same problem. Very low df. That doesn’t delete the fact that some things happen (re: methane in the Arctic, CO2 absorbing properties in the lab). It is just that these smaller things and their measurements are buried in the larger and very noisy data.

  150. Pamela Gray (08:55:10) :
    Leif, you re-awakened my latent df knowledge. I completely get why the few correlations there are don’t pass the significance smell test regarding Sun and climate now that you have reminded me of df.[...] I would also bet that this low df problem cuts both ways in the climate debate, or it should.

    Good! Now we just have to get the remaining 99.999% to see the light too :-)

  151. “The amount of methane stored beneath the Arctic is calculated to be greater than the total amount of carbon locked up in global coal reserves..”

    This very likely didn’t collect since the glaciers most recently melted, as you claimed upthread in your just so story. Second, the context of the question was this warming that most recently occured in the Arcti 4000 years ago that was far greater than today’s warming. And the methane time bomb didn’t go off.

    It seems pretty obvious that, for this “time-bomb” to go off, a carbon sensitivity much higher than that which has been observed so far will be required. Prior to the recent era of glaciation, the Earth was much warmer than today, and the “time-bomb” didn’t go off.

    Third, your reply is snark, you caught me out in a bit of careless writing. Good for you. It doesn’t change the basic facts of the matter.

  152. moptop (11:09:59) :
    It seems pretty obvious that, for this “time-bomb” to go off, a carbon sensitivity much higher than that which has been observed so far will be required.
    No, suppose the Sun-Climate correlation is true, then extremely high solar activity could trigger the bomb as well, so the time-bomb has nothing to do with carbon sensitivity, just with warming, whatever causes it.

    Third, your reply is snark, you caught me out in a bit of careless writing. Good for you. It doesn’t change the basic facts of the matter.
    I can only go by what you write :-)
    And I don’t know what the basic fact is [see my comment a few lines up]. Maybe you mean that temperatures in the past were higher at times? This I think is a fact that is not disputed by any serious worker. So, I’m at a loss to what the ‘basic fact’ is.

  153. moptop (04:25:12) :
    “Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures”
    Just reading your earlier post. So, you are saying that the time-bomb did go off in the past?

  154. moptop (14:25:51) :

    BTW Lief [btw, it's Leif], I really do want to know … Since the climate has fluctuated many times since the glaciations began, why haven’t we seen the spikes in methane predicted by the warm scaremongers in periods warmer than today in the Arctic?

    Some geologists claim we have, it looks like Leif has picked up on that.

    Others report highly localized spikes that produce highly localized disasters, i.e. fish boats floating over a methane release essentially fall into the bubble and sink.

    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/afp/20031020/methane.html

  155. The original question was about 4000 years ago, when the Arctic was warmer than today. Why wasn’t the methane released then?

    No answer to this question except one that posited that all of the methane was trapped there during the Holocene since then, which is ridiculous. It is almost as if commenters are making it up as they go along.

    It will have to get a LOT warmer for this time bomb to go off and this catastrophic feedback event has to be filed under “extremely unlikely”, along with large comet strikes, Betelguese (yeah, I probably spelled that wrong) going supernova, gamma ray bursts in the celestial neighboryhood, attack by an extraterrestrial civilization, the kind of risks we all have to live with as members of the human race that can’t be assigned a probability of zero.

  156. moptop (15:40:00) :
    The original question was about 4000 years ago, when the Arctic was warmer than today. Why wasn’t the methane released then?
    I think the point was that it was warmer 6000-7000 years ago, and cold 4000 years ago, but we can just correct your 4000 to 6500 and continue from there.

    Your own quote said:
    “Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures”
    So, it has happened [assuming that your quote is meaningful] so it was at such times warm enough [and therefore can be again].

    Second, building up organic material in the Arctic is a slow process, 6500 years ago there may not have been much buildup yet.

    Third, perhaps the temperature 6500 years was just not high enough [maybe that one tenth of a degree to small], but as Al Gore will lecture you, THIS time it will be, so repent.

    It looks to me that your real argument is that because the methane was not released, it was not warm 6500 years ago.

  157. I didn’t read all the 170 posts up to this point, so someone may have made the observation I am now making:

    A raised beach on Greenland could just as well be caused by post glacial rebound of the crust (readjustment from the removal of ice load), which for instance in Stockholm amounts to an uplift of some 10 mm per year at present. I don’t know the rate of uplift in Greenland but it must have been, and probably still is, very significant. At the rate of the Stockholm uplift, 7000 years would cause a Holocene beach deposit to be raised by some 70 meters. On the other hand I cannot imagine that the NGU geologists wouldn’t have accounted for that.

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