State of the Sun for year end 2008: all’s quiet on the solar front – too quiet

The NOAA Space Weather Prediction center updated their plots of solar indices earlier today, on January 3rd. With the exception of a slight increase in the 107 centimeter radio flux, there appears to be even less signs of solar activity. Sunspots are still not following either of the two predictive curves, and it appears that the solar dynamo continues to slumber, perhaps even winding down further. Of particular note, the last graph below (click the read more link to see it) showing the Average Planetary Index (Ap) is troubling. I thought there would be an uptick by now,  due to expectations of some sign of cycle 24 starting up, but instead it continues to drop.

Meanwhile, the Oulu Neutron Monitor shows a significant up trend, reaching levels not seen in over 30 years. According to an email I received from Dr. David Archibald, GCR flux has indeed increased:

oulu-neutron-graph-123108

Oulu Neutron Monitor Data, plotted by David Archibald with prediction point added. Data source: University of Oulu, Finland

Svensmark is watching this closely I’m sure.

Looking at the SWPC graph below, it appears that we are in uncharted territory now, since the both the high and low cycle 24 predictions (in red) appear to be falsified for the current time frame. No new cycle 24 predictions have been issued by any solar group (that I am aware of ) in the last couple of months. The last time NASA made a change was in October 08. The question now seems to be, are we seeing the beginning of a cycle skip, or a grand minima? Or is this just an extraordinary delay for cycle 24 ?

Solar cycle 24: where are you?


h/t to Russ Steele

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233 Responses to State of the Sun for year end 2008: all’s quiet on the solar front – too quiet

  1. Fred says:

    There seems to have been a flurry of minor sunspots over the last few days:

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots/

    REPLY: True. But they are so small, one questions if they would have been seen, of if seen, noted 100+ years ago. – Anthony

  2. kim says:

    Old Sol is winking at our folly for believing the carbon dioxide nonsense.
    =============================================

  3. kim says:

    I still think August ’08 was the minimum, and would be interested in an update of Bill Livingston’s measures of the magnetism of the few spots we get.

    Anthony, maybe if you hammer a piece of gold to the mast someone will spy the spout of Cycle 24. She’s gotta be out there somewhere.
    =====================================

  4. Bill Marsh says:

    Fred,

    That may be more related to the coronal holes facing the earth than sunspot activity. Coronal hole CH 355 is currently facing the earth as well as a rather large one near the south pole. Solar flux continues to putter along at just below 70 (near the theoretical minimum around 65.4 or so).

    Is there anything out there that shows the % of low level cloudiness over the last 10 years or so. If Dr Svensmark is right we should be seeing a small increase in low level cloudiness since late 2005 in response to the increase in GCR? Around 2% or so would be enough to account for the present cooling, although I’m not sure if we can measure that magnitude of increase/derease.

  5. Emmanuel ROBERT says:

    Sunspots : on a very strictly statistical point of view, the blue line (I guess the 12 monthes average) still can reach both of the red lines.
    On a geophysical point of view, it seems totally impossible. We can hardly expect the sun to kick its activity from nearly 0 sunspots to 30 or 50 during the 6 next monthes – january begins very quietly.
    Happy new year, and once more congrats for this blog, it is one of my every days reading.

  6. Clark says:

    I really hope NASA and whoever else is making predictions doesn’t just kick the SC24 prediction down the road another 6-9 months.

    If they are using the scientific method for solar function, then the right way to do it is to explain that the model used to generate the previous prediction is falsified. Then, either develop a new hypothesis on which to base a prediction, or wait for more data to come in.

    At this point, their models have been falsified 3-4 times over, and they ought to just acknowledge they have no functional model for what’s going on in the sun. That’s more honest then simply tweaking things so that the start is six months hence.

  7. crosspatch says:

    The official sunspot number has still been zero over the past several days so those micro-spots don’t seem to count for anything. Or are they simply magnetic anomalies and not even spots?

  8. crosspatch says:

    I also noticed that the neutron count has been on a nearly linear ramp up since July.

  9. vukcevic says:

    If you may be inclined to believe that solar activity and climate are linked, inclined to believe that a new Dalton minimum is on the way see:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
    As for the past see:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined1650.gif
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif
    more on http://www.vukcevic.co.uk

  10. vukcevic says:

    If you may be inclined to believe that the solar activity meters, inclined to believe that a new Dalton minimum is on the way see:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
    As for the past see:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined1650.gif
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif
    more on http://www.vukcevic.co.uk

  11. anna v says:

    The last with any number was 1009, a while ago. No new numbers in the link above.

  12. Alex says:

    Those spots aren’t even visible, they make tiny tims look like fully-fledged solar maximum spots.

  13. Stan Jones says:

    Well, the one ‘prediction’ that is looking scarily accurate is the “Livingston and Penn paper: ‘Sunspots may vanish by 2015′” story you covered in June.

  14. PaulHClark says:

    I have been trying to get up to speed on the Gleissberg cycle and came across this which I found of interest as the conclusion seems to be coming right and there is a notable link with SST and the Gleissberg Cycle (I think Bob Tisdale has hinted at such a link on his blog in the past).

    http://virtualacademia.com/pdf/cli267_293.pdf

    We are broadly at Gleissberg Minimum now.

    Also of interest – to me at least – is that 2x Gleissberg is correlated with Spoerer, Wolf, Maunder and Dalton. Dalton was 2x Gleissberg years ago.

    Note also the links with precipitation – I need to do more work on whether the correlations highlighted still hold. Others may already know better.

  15. Les Francis says:

    Every time I look at that comparison of the top ten spotless days since 1901, I notice that 1911,1912 and 1913 were all low sunspot years. We have had 2007 and 2008 in that list and maybe 2009 will be the same.

    I suspect that 2009 needs to go spotless similar to 1913 before the start of calling solar minimum’s – or is that too simple an argument?

    One coincidence is that the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century occurred in 1912 at Novarupta /Katmai Alaska

  16. Werner Weber says:

    to Fred:
    ‘flurry of sunspots over the last few days’
    The sunspots indicated in http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots/
    seem to be a summary over the last year or so, the last sunspot number given was 1009, and that spot disappeared on Dec 12 2008 over the sun’s horizon.

    general comment:
    The main question is, what would be the amplification factor, leading to cooling at periods of a quiet sun?
    The JGR paper discussed previously in the Huffington post story: “Inter-annual Variations In Earth’s Reflectance” by Pallé et al 2009 does not seem to indicate a significant albedo change in recent years, which one would have expected, especially for 2008. But one should look at the error bars, and do the data include 2008?
    Some solar physicists (Solanki, Lockwood, Froehlich) argue that in addition to TSI increases during solar cycles, there is a general increase of the ‘open magnetic flux’ of the sun, and this is supposed to be a proxy for long term TSI increases which happened since the end of the Maunder minimum.
    Leif Svalgaard questions these claims – and he has good reasons.
    A 0.5 Celsius global temperature increase since the end of the Maunder Minimum around 1700 up to around 1950 is estimated and attributed to a more active sun.
    This means a 2 W/m2 additional forcing, yet per spherical m2 (per m2 surface of the earth), which translates to 8 W/m2 TSI increase since then. TSI variations bewteen minimum and maximum of recent solar cycles are 1.5 to 2 W/m2. Something is missing.

  17. John Finn says:

    Every time I look at that comparison of the top ten spotless days since 1901, I notice that 1911,1912 and 1913 were all low sunspot years

    Which were followed by global warming for the next 30 years. Ok – I accept that a switch to a warm PDO was at least partly responsible. But doesn’t this suggest that the sun has far less influence than many posters here seem to think.

    Another example: The Dalton Minimum does not appear to have been any colder than several other periods in the 19th century. The DM cooling actually began at least a decade before the ‘low’ DM solar cycles.

  18. Steve Brown says:

    Meanwhile, the press in the UK continues to produce rubbish like that given in the article linked below:-
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1104772/Amazing-discovery-green-algae-save-world-global-warming.html

  19. M White says:

    OT but for those interested in this type of thing

    AMUNDSEN OMEGA 3 SOUTH POLE RACE

    http://www.amundsenomega3southpolerace.com/

    The race started today.

  20. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Anthony says: “No new cycle 24 predictions have been issued by any solar group (that I am aware of ) in the last couple of months.”

    Prof. C. de Jager in the Netherlands Journal of Geosciences predicts for cycle 24 to have a maximum sunspot number of 68 ± 17 to be reached only in 2014.

    Plot that on your graph. It looks quite plausible. I keep on mentioning this paper since nobody seems to take notice, even not Leif.

    REPLY: Do you have a link to the paper? Sometimes things just get lost in the volume of comments here. – Anthony

  21. Penguin says:

    In determining the low point of SC-23/24 it may also be possible to use TSI data. The TSI showed a steady drop until 20080726 at a value of 1360.7601. Since this time it has been slowly increasing in line with 70cm flux. The TSI data I used is from http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data/tsi_data.htm
    Unfortunately this data only goes back to Feb 2003 so it’s not possible to make comparisons from previous cycles.

    From the TSI data, one can possible conclude we are already 5 months into the next cycle which does not help with NASA’s forcast since the general rate of increase should place us at a monthly SSN of ~ 25. My guess is that rather than SC-24 being slow to start, a more likely scenario is that it’s simply going to be a very small cycle of lower amplitude than the forcast.

    In line with Anthony’s comments on the AP index it would now seem more likely for a grand solar minimun type event.

    Interesting times ahead …!

  22. Brian Johnson says:

    I shall await George Monbiot’s view. Then Hansen’s. Then Mann’s. Finally Al Gore’s.

    After all, they know Everything!

  23. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Clark (00:59:16) :
    You’re right of course.
    But it’s not easy for a prestigious institution, which has stubbornly insisted the science is settled, to admit they may be completely wrong. And you can’t blame them for playing “let’s wait and see” awhile longer, just to be on the safe side.

    As it stands, it’s a stand-off between the CO2 theory and the solar theory – with the momentum shifting to the solar theory side. Once it becomes clear the sun is indeed the main driver, one of these prestigious institutions is going to have to be the first to out themselves, and then the whole house of cards will come crashing down.

    Already more and more scientists are outing themselves – revealing that they are now SCEPTICS. Indeed for some it is beginning to get uncomfortably cold in that climate closet.

  24. OT Rising sea level

    I need a little help from you, dear readers. Could someone explain to me and other visitors to the blog (or point to appropriate sources) what is the real cause of the sea level rising? Or what are the plausible answers to the question?

    1) ice melting
    2) rising water temperature (resulting in increasing water volume)
    a) due to accumulated solar energy
    b) due to warming coming from sea bottom (vents, increased mantle convection, volcanoes, etc)
    c) other reasons (biological, mineral – more dust in seas, etc)
    3) Earth shrinking due to decreasing Earth angular velocity
    4) ?

    Thanks,
    Przemysław Pawełczyk (P2O2)

  25. twawki says:

    Unfortunately this is not just an intellectual debate but millions of lives are at risk. Unless we factor in the likelihood of coming cold into climate change scenarios regardless of which camp we are in then we are being grossly irresponsible.

  26. gary gulrud says:

    “The TSI showed a steady drop until 20080726 at a value of 1360.7601.”

    Is this the value at the Earth? We are now at closest approach. Ditto that for radio flux, which is flatlined lately.

    Otherwise, I have a similar feeling: The first Tiny Tims appeared July and Sept. 2006! We are near minimum, give or take, but 24 is going to disappoint.

    Dr. de Jager, an eminent astrophysicist, is in his late eighties so his forecast does not likely indicate a novel approach.

  27. Bob B says:

    Anthony, I think predictions from Hathaway were updated 12/8/08

    http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/RHESSI/napa2008/talks/MonI_Hathaway.pdf

    At this conference:

    http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/RHESSI/napa2008/pts.php

    REPLY: Well I wonder why he never put it on his public page here:

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

  28. Alan the Brit says:

    Some years ago, a witty individual tried to define the science & art of structural engineering ( we sadly do not have the prestige that non UK countries enjoy but that’s another long story), that definition was that “structural engineering was the art & science of trying to analyse forces we do not fully understand, distributing them into materials whose qualities we do not fully appreciate, all dressed up to look as though we know what we’re talking about!” Does that sound familiar to any other branch of the scientific/engineering world?

    There are so many cycles involved in solar science, the gleissberg cycle, the Suess Cycle, Schwarbe, with periodicities ranging from 11 years, 22 years, 88 years, 200 years, & even 2300 years, & there are so many correlations with these to global events on earth, that I suspect the same principle applies to the definition of astrophysics & climate science! Every time some “expert” makes a claim to have solved the riddle, nature does her best to humiliate them by doing the complete opposite to what was predicted, they then scurry around to find an excuse as to why their model got it wrong & what will happen next after they tweak it around for a while! I am personally certain that the Sun drives climate change on all scales, that we don’t really understand how & why “climate” changes work, we just think we do, we know that on long term scales orbital mechanics drive ice ages, but we don’t really know for sure what happens, why sometimes cooling is slow, & sometimes it is quite rapid, alarmingly so sometimes, eg evidence that frozen mammoths still had food in their mouths when they froze although that may be a myth but I am open minded. Solar variations play their part, whether to cool or warm us into the bargain to change the cycle from cold to warm to cold again, etc, but we still don’t really know how it all fits together. There are just theories as to how it all works that seem to fit the curve.

    The point is that nature is failing to play to the tune of the climate models & solar predictions, etc. There must be a rethink & a small element of honesty & humility brought into the debate (the one that isn’t over) for the sake of the human race. Technology will eventually solve our earthly problems, up to & including energy solutions, Dilithium Crystals or not!

  29. hunter says:

    Pierre,
    The problem with AGW is not the sun. It is that the AGW promoters have misrepresented the role of CO2 from the start, and have relied on garbage data and subjective algorithms to ‘prove’ their point.

  30. nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) says:

    All the signs are pointing to grand minimum….maybe the last for a very long time, It looks like after this grand minimum we will enter a true modern maximum like the medieval warm period, which had no grand minima for over 200 years. IF it does happen I expect many of the solar cycle predictors taking up a new line of work.

  31. MC says:

    Hansen does’nt know what he’s doing. He’s like the King with no cloths on. Everbody knows he’s naked and laughs behind his back but says nothing to him.

  32. MattN says:

    So. Is #24 still going “just like they predicted”?

    What a laugher that was…

  33. DR.M.A. Rose says:

    Looking at David Archibalds graph of Oulu Neutron Monioring, are there any records of precipitation that can be correlated to it? After all Cosmic rays are supposed to generate more clouds, hence on average there should be more rain / snow. I keep seeing references to increased precipitation in the Arctic region since the sudden cooling in early 2008 and wondered if this triggered by increasing cosmic rays.

  34. Bill Illis says:

    GISS’s ModelE climate model has built in an increase of about 0.1C over time for solar activity increase. My guess is they have dropped this to 0.0C now with the lower activity of today going by what they had built in in the early 1900s.

  35. Basil says:

    crosspatch (01:10:10) :

    “I also noticed that the neutron count has been on a nearly linear ramp up since July.”

    I’m sure Leif will provide a dose of skepticism to Archibald’s prediction of the maximum for CRF. But I’d be more impressed with Leif if he’d acknowledge that CRF has stayed at a plateau longer than he’s expected. In one of our many past discussions, I remember him scoffing at one of Archibald’s predictions, and stating that CRF had begun to decline. Well, shortly thereafter, it began to rise again. Truth be told, it has just meandered up and down for the past few months, though the overall trend has been slightly positive.

    I think we’re in uncharted territory, as far as direct observation of these things is concerned. It certainly looks like SC23 is all but dead, and that SC24 is spitting and sputtering in an effort to get started. I don’t really see a basis for how high DA is projected CRF to go, and if there is any pickup in SC24, then CRF probably peaked in November or December. But if SC24 continues to struggle out of the starting gate, all bets are off.

  36. Ric Werme says:

    Stan Jones (01:45:54) :

    Well, the one ‘prediction’ that is looking scarily accurate is the “Livingston and Penn paper: ‘Sunspots may vanish by 2015′” story you covered in June.

    No – that prediction is contingent on there being sunspots. The “fade from view” part is all about the temperature and hence contrast across the sunspot becoming less and less due to weaker magnetic fields interferring less with convection. The magnetic signature will still be there.

    If there are no sunspots, the predictions can neither be tracked nor verified.

    The main WUWT reference is http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/livingston-and-penn-paper-sunspots-may-vanish-by-2015/

  37. Dave says:

    I am not a scientist, so please forgive my ignorance, but I would like to ask two questions. I hope someone can answer them for me.

    Firstly, I saw from some graphs, that artic sea ice was growing rapidly through the end of 2008. And then in December 2008, the charts I saw seemed to show a plateau, they stopped growing.

    Can anyone explain this to me? How can sea ice stop growing in the artic in December? Presumably the graphs I saw cover the whole artic, and if the total level stops growing, then on average there must be some places of build up and some where it is melting? But melting in December?

    http://www.nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

    The other thing I dont understand is that we seem to have a globe where most of the temperatures are steady or falling, with the exception of Siberia, which is a bit of a hot spot. There is controversy about the recording of temperatures on the ground in Siberia, but apparently satellite technology seems to be confirming warming there too.

    How is Siberia defying the trend and warming?

    Thanks in advance for any answers from a confused layman.

  38. I note that the graphic is updated as of Jan 03 2009, but the last “dot” – that represents the data point for December, I assume – is not on the Jan 01, 2009 axis line, but is positioned at a point corresponding to “Dec 01, 2008″, not Dec 31, 2008.

    Until December’s 1.2 sunspot reading, the graphic actually looks like the sun “is trying” to go back up (solar flux levels were “sort of” increasing as well from Aug through Nov) … But then Dec hit and the light switch went to “off”.

    The related plot comparing number of sunspots per month for the previous minimum is also instructive: gradually, the number of clear days per month was declining from August through Nov, but then December’s 28 clear days is way back high again. (Literally, December’s plot of “number of clear days” is off the chart – the whole plot comparing red (current cycle 23-24 minimum) to blue (cycle 22-23 minimum) can’t be plotted at the previous scale.)

  39. Plot (from solar cycle 24 web site) comparing cycle 22 – 23 minimum to cycle 34 – 24 minimum:

    http://www.solarcycle24.com/graphs/sunspotgraph.gif

    Note how poorly even NASA’s (Dr Davis Hathaway) re-re-revised solar cycle 24 graphs looks compared to actual activity:

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/ssn_predict_l.gif

  40. Steven Hill says:

    I wish I knew for sure about this, I’d be selling and moving to Florida if this is the case. Energy costs will bankrupt anyone up north if we have zero temp. and Obama’s / Hansen’s CO2 plan.

  41. Tim C says:

    [moderator: If the following is useful, feel free to show it directly as an inline graph -- timc]

    I put a graph together a few days ago, where it might be a useful way of looking at sunspot minima.
    http://www.gpsl.net/data/ssn_mins_tnc1a.png

    The data is the contiguous daily sunspot record over the past 160 years (days without data before that). It is done by segmenting the record at the approximate solar maximum, then counting zero sunspot days for the whole max through min to max.

    This gets around the human artificial count the zeros on earth year, which does not fit well with minima.

  42. David Smith says:

    Anthony, here’s David Hathaway’s Powerpoint presentation from December 2008. It covers both current conditions and the various prediction methods:

    http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/RHESSI/napa2008/talks/MonI_Hathaway.pdf

    I was surprised by the total irradiance slide (slide #4 or #5), which shows current total irradiance as the lowest “on record” (which I believe is about 30 years).

    I wish we also had the commentary he offered during the presentation, which no doubt offered much more detail.

  43. Stephen Wilde says:

    Dave,

    It seems trhat the Arctic ice is being compacted by winds at the same time as it has pretty much covered all the readily available open water.
    The limited open water at this stage is what keeps most of the different yearly trends at much the same level of ice cover at this time of year.
    Later on there is often a bit of a breakout of ice into less landlocked seas and the strength of that breakout determines the maximum cover for the season.
    If ice is currently being compacted then it might cover a slightly smaller area but will be denser and less easy to melt next season.

    The Siberian (relative) warmth has been caused by the northerly trend in western europe becoming a southerly trend in Siberia. That is caused by the distribution of weather systems.
    Siberia is now becoming cooler.
    Warm air being pumped into Siberia for any length of time in winter is not a good thing for total planetary warmth. Effectively it is an acceleration of heat loss as the warm air advected into Siberia loses heat rapidly in the darkness.
    Some think that it will encourage the growth of northern high pressure systems which tend to be associated with colder weather once they get established.

  44. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Anthony,

    Here is the link to the Journal’s site where an abstract can be downloaded for free http://www.njgonline.nl/
    Click on: “Solar activity and its influence on climate.”

    Prof de jager is a compatriate and one of very high standing in the Netherlands and beyond.

    He was director of the Utrecht Observatory, founder and first director of the Utrecht Space Research Laboratory, and founder of the Astrophysical Institute of Brussels Free University and general secretary of IAU (International Astronomical Union), president of COSPAR (Intl. organization for co-operation in Space Research) and president of ICSU (Intl. Council for Science). He founded and was first editor of the journals `Space Science Reviews’ and ‘Solar Physics’.

    http://www.cdejager.com/about/

  45. matt v. says:

    It would appear to me that the AUSTRALIAN SPACE WEATHER AGENCY forecast is closer to reality than the local’s. They don’t see a significant change until July. I tend to agree as I have said the same per past posts

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

  46. Jonathan says:

    Re Chris Schoneveld’s post, the Netherlands Journal of Geosciences can be found online, and seems to have a special edition devoted to climate change. Abstracts are available online, but full text needs a subscription, which my university doesn’t have.

    However he seems to have posted a copy at his website.

  47. fred says:

    @Dave 1/4/09 – 6:53:14
    The explanation for the sideways motion of the graph is that the graph is showing areas with at least 15% ice and this is partly determined by wind and currents. For a rough example 100 sq mi with 15% ice might have the same amount of ice as 50 sq mi with 30% ice after the wind pushes some ice into a smaller area. Just because the number of square miles decreased doesn’t mean the ice has decreased.

  48. fred says:

    @Dave 1/4/09 – 6:53:14

    As regards Siberia, just like there is always a drought somewhere and floods somewhere else, this is weather. It may be tied to the PDO or North Atlantic, or it may be tied to the oscillations that caused the Arctic ice to decrease. I’m not a climatologist, but from my readings on climate and experience with math in other fields I’m convinced we just don’t know enough to tease these kind of details out of the data.

  49. Anne says:

    David Hathaway from Nasa’s NSSTC gave a pitch in early December, including the 2 Flux transport model: high (175) and low (75) predictions. Also mentioned Geomagnetic (135) and Polar Field Strength (75) predictions.

    http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/RHESSI/napa2008/talks/MonI_Hathaway.pdf

    Significant to me is his closing statement:

    “Cycle 24 may help to distinguish between these models. We should know by the end of 2010.”

    Refreshing that, unlike the climate modelers, this NASA scientist recognizes his models’ limitations.

    Anne

  50. stephen richards says:

    Dave (06:53:14) :

    This is the Joe Bastardi (accuweather.com) view of the Russian warmth.

    IN the multiyear sense, its the warmth of the north atlantic and north pacific, which is a well known factor as it was back in the 30s-40s and 50s

    shorter term same blocking that is sending the brutal cold to our side

  51. Ed Scott says:

    Vin Suprynowicz covers the Polar Ice Cap alarmists alarmism.
    —————————————————————————-
    ‘Greenland and the polar ice cap are melting’Commentary

    http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/37058614.html

    Yes, the mechanism of global warming is well-established. It’s primarily solar, and has nothing to do with the tiny amount of “greenhouse gas” mankind produces.

    What’s not well-established is any ability to predict whether the globe will be warmer or cooler in three years, let alone 30 or 300.

    It’s all about seizing control of (and eviscerating) the economic advantages of the Western nations…if the alleged problem were simply and cheaply solved, how could they get any traction for their real Luddite agenda?

    Solar, windmills and geothermal are vastly more expensive (poverty-inducing) and environmentally hazardous (when you consider the backup battery farms and transmission lines they’ll require) than anything we’ve got now. They’re tax-devouring make-work scams.

    Only collectivists consider they have any moral right to criticize the “profligacy” of those who create enough wealth to use whatever they can buy on the free market, in any way they choose, whether it be “energy,” land or long underwear. Collectivists are would-be thieves. They simply lack the courage to pull out a gun and deprive the “profligate fat cats” of their wealth directly — they prefer to hire bully-boys in government uniforms to do the job for them, under the sanctified cloak of “shared sacrifice.”

    If the greens choose to use less energy, God bless them. Let them go squat around some jungle fire in loincloths, eating half-cooked monkey meat. But somehow, this prospect does not appear to please them. Somehow, they will be happy only if they can impose energy-deficient poverty on me.

  52. DB2 says:

    DR.M.A. Rose (06:11:04) asked :
    “Looking at David Archibalds graph of Oulu Neutron Monioring, are there any records of precipitation that can be correlated to it?”

    You might want to check out this paper on clouds and cosmic rays by Harrison and Stephenson:
    Empirical evidence for a nonlinear effect of galactic cosmic rays on clouds
    http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/77543w3q4mq86417/fulltext.pdf

    They found, for example, a 19% increase in overcast days when there was a high cosmic ray flux (above 360,000 neutron counts per hour). A increase in low clouds would increase albedo.

  53. Ed Scott says:

    Has the old adage of climate change come true? Has the nether place frozen over?
    From the Huffington Post?
    ————————————————————-
    Mr. Gore: Apology Accepted

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harold-ambler/mr-gore-apology-accepted_b_154982.html

    You are probably wondering whether President-elect Obama owes the world an apology for his actions regarding global warming. The answer is, not yet. There is one person, however, who does. You have probably guessed his name: Al Gore.

    Mr. Gore has stated, regarding climate change, that “the science is in.” Well, he is absolutely right about that, except for one tiny thing. It is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind.

    REPLY: We covered that story here, see the next post down. – Anthony

  54. Stephen Fox says:

    On Siberia, remember it is enormous. Russia and perhaps western Siberia have been unusually warm, but in the East temperatures plummeted during December, almost as low as -60C (-90F), which I understand to be a thirty year event. Similarly extreme cold has been affecting Alaska, as low as -50F.

    It will be interesting to see how all this averages out, with the usual reservations about the quality of observation that Anthony has worked so hard to highlight.

  55. vukcevic says:

    lgl (05:29:49) :
    If you are right then this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Carbon14_with_activity_labels.svg
    is wrong.

    Thanks for the note. Well spotted, my numbers are from NASA
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?old=200112065794
    as quoted
    Oort Minimum (1010-1050)
    Wolf Minimum (1280-1340)
    Spoerer Minimum (1420-1530)
    Perhaps someone should edit Wikipedia

  56. Ed Scott says:

    BOINC! BOINC! You are allowed.
    ————————————————–
    Your Idle Computer Could Help Calculate Global Warming

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=your-idle-computer-could-help

    Climateprediction.net allows researchers to parcel out simulations to computers that are online but not being used to full capacity

  57. TomT says:

    In reference to sea levels. They have always risen and fallen through out history. The exact mechanisms for it are complex and there is no one single answer.

    Back in the past oceanographers knew that sea levels rose and fell but assumed land stayed at a constant level so they used the land levels to figure out what ancient sea levels where. Geologists knew that land rose and fell in elevation and assumed that sea level was constant so used sea level as a measure of land rise and fall. Of course you can see where this is going. Since neither is a constant neither is a good marker for tracking.

    It looks like climatologists are back about a hundred years in that they assume land levels are constant and only the sea rises and falls. It seems to be much the same mistake that was made with CO2. The reality is what is going on is much more complex than that and no one single thing is the answer. Given that temperatures have fallen over the last 10 years you would logically assume that sea level was going back down.

    After all the contention is that rising temperatures causes sea levels to rise. So the reverse would logically happen if temperatures fell.

    One last thought on this. Melting sea ice is not going to cause the sea levels to rise or fall. As an actual test of this you can do at home take a clear glass of water and put 1 or 2 ice cubes in it. Note the level of the water. Now wait for the ice to melt. You should note that the water level doesn’t change.

  58. vukcevic says:

    nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (05:54:48) :
    All the signs are pointing to grand minimum….maybe the last for a very long time, It looks like after this grand minimum we will enter a true modern maximum like the medieval warm period, which had no grand minima for over 200 years. IF it does happen I expect many of the solar cycle predictors taking up a new line of work.

    Geoff, If my equation
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif
    has anything to do with reality you could be right. One interesting aspect on the graph is that a block of two GM (separated by 120yrs) is followed by 250yrs free block. I hope most of us are around to witness the next GM (if it is coming?) around 2030-40.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
    There are many sceptics (their views I do respect), but these equations say, “this is too much to be a coincidence”.
    My motto: ‘the nature is adverse to a coincidence, it is ruled by a cause and the consequence’.

  59. Robert Bateman says:

    I believe Solar Cycle 24 is submerging according to the ideas presented in this paper:
    LONG-TERM SOLAR CYCLE EVOLUTION: REVIEW OF RECENT
    DEVELOPMENTS
    I. G. USOSKIN and K. MURSULA
    And it’s following in the same pattern as I have laid out in this page:

    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/DeepSolarMin.htm

    If ANYONE can tell me why I should not expect SC24 to follow in the footsteps
    of SC5 as I have laid out in the graph on that page, I would really like to hear all about it.

    Seriously, all you learned science people out there.
    Tell me why I am wrong.

  60. crosspatch says:

    “All the signs are pointing to grand minimum”

    I would say it would be premature to reach that conclusion. Notice that Hathaway left many caveats in his presentation and that is probably prudent and I agree with his assessment that “we will know by the end of 2010″ which is still some time off.

  61. About the Oulu GCR counts:
    Here is the count from another polar station [Sanae in Antarctica]:
    http://www.puk.ac.za/opencms/export/PUK/html/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/sanaenm_e.html
    If anything a decrease.

    The station with the least influence of the Earth’s field is Thule almost right at the northern magnetic pole

    Thule data can be found here:
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/~pyle/bri_table.html
    and a graph here: http://www.leif.org/research/thule-cosmic-rays.png

    Some numbers for Thule:
    1965 1 4674
    1965 2 4652
    1965 3 4668
    1965 4 4700
    1965 5 4703 <=== max
    1965 6 4663
    1965 7 4642
    1965 8 4635
    1965 9 4625
    1965 10 4647
    1965 11 4675
    1965 12 4674
    and
    2008 1 4566
    2008 2 4561
    2008 3 4544
    2008 4 4542
    2008 5 4553
    2008 6 4554
    2008 7 4570
    2008 8 4594
    2008 9 4622
    2008 10 4630
    2008 11 4645 <=== max
    2008 12 4641 [estimate]
    not up to 1965 levels

    There are even indications that the primary cosmic ray intensity may be decreasing:
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/reprints/2007bieber.pdf
    That link also contains a good discussion of all the factors involved in long-term cosmic ray assessment.

    And BTW, Oulu counts have stopped increasing:
    2008 Jan 6592
    2008 Feb 6576
    2008 Mar 6577
    2008 Apr 6586
    2008 May 6578
    2008 Jun 6582
    2008 Jul 6598
    2008 Aug 6636
    2008 Sep 6658
    2008 Oct 6678
    2008 Nov 6704
    2008 Dec 6702

    I warn against based wide ranging conclusions on data from a single station. Long-term stability is hard to achieve. One really has to look at many stations. Luckily there are many stations: ftp://ftp.bartol.udel.edu/pyle/NMWorld.gif

    and globally, GCRs are not at an all-time high, but just where they should be for an odd-even cycle transition. The only thing a bit out of the ordinary is that this minimum is ‘wider’ than the several previous ones and the sharp-peaked GCR curve is less sharp.
    NOAA keeps track of many global indices, including the GCR neutron monitor count here http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/solar_indices.html
    It stands today at 100.1% of ‘usual minimum value’

  62. Lee Kington says:

    Reviewing the potential climate temperature scenarios. Temperatures get colder as you go down the list.

    1) A cooling similar to that from 1945 to 1978.
    2) A cooling similar to that of 1879 to 1916
    3) A Dalton minimum type event
    4) A Maunder minimum type event

    In brief and not all inclusive statements this is how I see those potentials.

    1] Due to the way Solar Cycle 24 is behaving and the state of the PDO and the ENSO I think we will be colder than the 1945 – 1978 cooling.

    2] If Cycle 24 pans out to be a cycle of moderate or greater activity then the cooling may be similar to this period. However, I think we will be colder. Over one year ago I said that 2008 would be a year of historic numbers of spotless days. I have also stated that 24 will be very weak. Some predict an amplitude as low as 75. I feel that 40- 45 is more realistic.

    3] Although not a certainty, a Dalton type event is more and more becoming the most likely scenario. It is uncanny how close the activity of Cycles 22 and 23 have mimicked Cycles 3 and 4 just prior to the Dalton. I currently feel the activity of Solar Cycle 24 will be much like that of Cycle 5.

    4] The only way I see us coming close to a Maunder type event is if 24 comes as a total dud and and then Cycle 25 is almost totally inactive as well. Then we might come close to a Maunder type event but would be slightly warmer unless another influence (major volcanic eruption, etc) occurred during the same period.

  63. Steve Keohane says:

    Alan the Brit (05:37:40) I remember an article about the mammoths in Siberia, may have been NG, late 50s early 60s, perhaps. An expedition had found ‘fresh-frozen’ mammoths, that had apparently been frozen constantly for many thousands of years. If I remember correctly, they even ate some of the meat, I don’t recall if it was curiosity or low rations that led to that. The closest I could find on Google was National Geographic – Jun 1962, Vol. 121, No. 6 had an article on mammoths, but I don’t know if that is the article about the frozen mammoths.

  64. kim says:

    Basil (06:32:55)

    Leif’s got your dose of skepticism at 07:32:37, today, on the Ambler thread.
    =========================================

  65. @TomT

    Thank you for your remarks. I have gotton no data so I asked. The more so I read someone’s whining recently about rising sea levels and how pacific islands are sinking in the waters due to human induced CO2.

    Sea level can be measured from satellites and this way it brings “absolute” data against the sea versus land (and vice versa) “relativism”.

    I thought about land ice of course. :) Melting floating ice does change nothing as far as water level is concerned.

    Thanks, P2O2

  66. Basil (06:32:55) :
    I don’t really see a basis for how high DA is projected CRF to go, and if there is any pickup in SC24, then CRF probably peaked in November or December. But if SC24 continues to struggle out of the starting gate, all bets are off.

    GCR [or CRF] modulation is not a big mystery. There is a fairly uniform [at least in our neighborhood] interstellar CRF. It is uniform because the galactic magnetic field scrambles and mixes the GCRs from many sources. What we measure cannot be higher than that. Solar modulation of the CRF happens mainly because of the scattering by ‘interaction regions’. These occur because solar wind with different speed [from coronal holes and CMEs] is emitted in the same direction [due to solar rotation] thereby catching up with slower wind emitted earlier [27 days ago] in that direction. The effect of this ‘catching up’ is a region of compressed and tangled magnetic field which is what scatters the GCRs. A cosmic ray coming in from afar will on average encounter ~50 of these regions before reaching us and thus has a good chance of being scattered. That number [50] varies with the solar cycle: it is much larger due to random CMEs near solar maximum.

    The CRF was recovering through 2007 until about October. Then [actually a bit before, but there is a delay in getting this through the heliosphere] a significant coronal hole developed causing solar wind near the solar equator to be emitted alternatively at 350 km/s and 700 km/s for the next several months. The effect of that is a clear 27-recurrent pattern in the modulation that you can see so clearly in the CRF data. The modulation ‘takes away’ GCRs so it shows as a series of dips. the upper envelope of the dips is modulated less and shows the ‘real’ flux. When the coronal holes and high-speed streams abated this fall, the modulation went away and we are back to the ‘normal’ minimum flux. The story is that there are [rather well-understood] reasons for the variation of the CRF and that the observed variation is not uncharted territory. As we can’t have less modulation than no modulation, there is no physical basis for a future, significant increase of the CRF. And, indeed, the monthly mean CRF has already starting its decline commensurate with a [statistical] solar minimum sometime last summer [August perhaps].

  67. Slicer says:

    Anthony. I see the comments of “would it have been seen 100 years ago” and what not. I got a strange idea? How about when these tiny-tims are found why not “use” the old ways and try to image it?

    I do not pretend to know how difficult this would be but it would be a interesting experiment I think. It would lead to a greater understanding of the maunder minimum I think no?

  68. Patrick Henry says:

    During the 1990s, temperatures rose quickly and people were quick to explain that as proof that CO2 was causing global warming. During the current period, temperatures are falling and people are quick to associate that with sunspots.

    Both temperature trends were more likely due to ocean patterns. Be careful not to make the same mistakes, in reverse.

  69. Lee Kington (10:36:22) :
    Temperatures get colder as you go down the list.
    1) A cooling similar to that from 1945 to 1978.
    2) A cooling similar to that of 1879 to 1916
    3) A Dalton minimum type event

    We don’t have good temperature records for the ‘Dalton minimum’, but what we have [Central England, Ireland, Central Europe] shows that the time of the Dalton minimum was a time with generally higher temperatures than the 30 years on either side of the ‘minimum’. Even if about a decade was hit with cold due to large volcanic activity [Mayon, Tambora, ...]. Without the volcanoes, the Dalton minimum would have been significantly warmer. So, the ‘folklore’ about minimal solar activity and low temperatures doesn’t hold up very well. The really cold period during the 1900th century came in the 1840s and 1850s when solar activity was up to levels typical of the past 20 years.

  70. Lars Kamél says:

    Many climate alarmists seem to claim that cosmic rays have no trend and thus cannot explaining climate change. The measurements show that cosmic ray intensities indeed have changed. From 1960’s to 1990’s there was a decrease. And global warming. Thereafter more cosmic rays have reached our atmosphere. And there has not been much global warming. How long will they be able to ignore the fact that the combination Sun+cosmic rays have a large impact on our climate?

  71. kim says:

    Leif (10:25:50)

    What’d I tell you about the shape of the peak of cosmic rays? Or did I tell you that about the solar sourced ones?
    ==================================

  72. Robert Bateman says:

    “We will know by 2010″
    How is that any different that “We will know by 2009″ or
    “We will know by 2008″.

    If, after 2-1/2 years of this, the general idea has not sunk in, it never will.
    Like a gambler at the slots or the craps table, it’s the next handle pull or toss of the dice will be decisive.
    It never comes, the control of the game is external.
    And that is the only thing you will know by 2010.
    Cycle 24 is an avalanche victim.

  73. Steven Hill says:

    So, Leif is totally against the sun theory….I’ll mark that one down. Thanks for the input. I am making a serious decision on if I should move South or not.

    Gore says Florida will be underwater and others say were in for a extended cold period. Who is correct? Maybe nothing will happen?

  74. Richard Sharpe says:

    A lot of this reminds me of the search for the gene(s) for IQ. After a lot of investigation it has become clear that there is no single (or even a small number of) gene(s) that control IQ. More likely there are hundreds of genes contributing to IQ.

    So it would seem that climate has multiple causes, and one cannot simply point to the sun or CO2 …

  75. Robert Bateman says:

    Slicer:
    The spots drawn by Catania Astrophysical Obs. for 08/21, 08/22 and 09/11
    were not sucessfully imaged by them. Mt. Wilson on those same dates with a seeing of 4 out of 5 on the Bortle Scale did not draw them or image them.
    If the drawings of Catania from those days are expanded out, they would fill my large TV screen, and the spots drawn are pinpricks.
    SIDC counted them.
    Mt. Wilson Solar Tower has been at it since 1912. They did not draw them.
    So, 100 years ago, those specific spots on those days would NOT have been counted.

  76. Steven Hill says:

    So, what do sun spots do? Cause cancer? Radio interference? Nothing, it’s just random activity that we waste money on watching?

  77. Lars Kamél (11:28:51) :
    the fact that the combination Sun+cosmic rays have a large impact on our climate?

    Is not a ‘fact’, but a weakly supported contention

  78. kim (11:30:32) :
    What’d I tell you about the shape of the peak of cosmic rays? Or did I tell you that about the solar sourced ones?

    I forgot. Tell us all again.

  79. Dave says:

    Well thanks for the replies.

    I am not sure about the explanation of winds compacting the area of ice. The area of ice is so huge that there should be an equal amount of wind and current compacting the ice as there is spreading it out.

    I will ponder more on the explanations of a warm siberia.

  80. Wally says:

    “Lars Kamél (11:28:51) :
    Many climate alarmists seem to claim that cosmic rays have no trend and thus cannot explaining climate change. The measurements show that cosmic ray intensities indeed have changed. From 1960’s to 1990’s there was a decrease. And global warming. Thereafter more cosmic rays have reached our atmosphere. And there has not been much global warming. How long will they be able to ignore the fact that the combination Sun+cosmic rays have a large impact on our climate?”

    About 150 years. Any model is going to have to work through many normal oscillations in the climate to see if one cycle data holds up and was not just lucky. Accurate Cosmic Ray data is relatively new as is accurate global temperature data. Normal climate cycles appear to my untrained eye to be on the the order of thirty years. The sunspot modelers have a good length of record but they still have to match up against an iffy temperature record and have to take into account normal climate fluctuations due to the oceans.
    A warm period with low sunspots may still match the model if it would have been warmer with high numbers of spots. It takes a lot of data to sort this sort of thing out.

  81. Robert Bateman says:

    Leif: I am trying to find some Tribal Elders in my area or No. CA who have passed down lore of what the climate was like here in the early 1800’s.
    Seeing that the only ones here in that time were fur trappers and the Spanish Missions besides the Indians, it’s time to talk to them.
    Early indications are that it was a LOT colder than it is now. Our records here go back to 1850’s.

  82. crosspatch says:

    “eg evidence that frozen mammoths still had food in their mouths when they froze although that may be a myth but I am open minded.”

    “I remember an article about the mammoths in Siberia, may have been NG, late 50s early 60s, perhaps. An expedition had found ‘fresh-frozen’ mammoths, that had apparently been frozen constantly for many thousands of years.”

    That is one of the mysteries I have often wondered about. If you look at the areas where these mammoth remains are being found, you see that they are buried in permafrost mainly in Siberia and many carbon date to 40k years ago. Now 40K ya would have been during the last glaciation. For that mammoth to be buried there, that area could not have been permafrost at the time. But 40K years ago is a time where one would expect that area to be under a mile of ice. How do you find a mammoth with undigested food in its stomach what died at a time when there should have been no food there at all? It is just another indication that leads me to believe that we have possibly seen some shifts in the geographic pole. Maybe this is due to changes in mass distribution due to ice building up or creation of large lakes or the emptying thereof or who knows what. It just seems to me that we have seen some huge swings in climate over time that may be more due to shifts in the location of the North rotational pole.

  83. Lars Kamél (11:28:51) :
    The measurements show that cosmic ray intensities indeed have changed. From 1960’s to 1990’s there was a decrease. And global warming. Thereafter more cosmic rays have reached our atmosphere.

    This is what the measurements show [at a station that is not influenced by the changing magnetic field of the Earth]:
    http://www.leif.org/research/thule-cosmic-rays.png
    and here is another one:
    http://www.puk.ac.za/opencms/export/PUK/html/fakulteite/natuur/nm_data/data/sanaenm_e.html
    and this one:
    http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRayFlux3.png

  84. edcon says:

    I wonder if Leif Svalgaard is considering a revision to his cycle 24 predictions or at what point may that happen?

  85. Robert Bateman (12:21:55) :
    what the climate was like here in the early 1800’s.
    The volcanic eruptions would certainly take a bite out of the warmth. My point was to compare the Dalton Min with the 30 years before and after, when solar activity back high.

  86. Why not fight back says:


    So, what do sun spots do? Cause cancer? Radio interference? Nothing, it’s just random activity that we waste money on watching?

    @StevenHill:

    What does your car’s speedometer do? It doesn’t make the car go fast. It doesn’t make your car stop. Why bother watching it?

    It should be obvious now: Your car’s speedometer correlates very tightly with the speed of your car. Sunspots correlate very tightly with other (more important) mechanisms in the sun: When there are many spots, the sun is generally brighter, emits more X-rays, emits more 10.7cm radio waves, causes larger aurorae, repels cosmic rays, etc etc etc.

    It would be nice if we had a record of all those measurements over the last 500 years, but we don’t for obvious reasons. Instead, sunspots are a handy proxy for the solar cycle because people have been noticing those strange dots on the sun for hundreds of years and writing down their observations. And we know now that sunspots correlate very well with all the other parts of the sun that have scientific value.

    [CORRECTED FORMATTING, PLEASE DELETE PRIOR]

  87. voodoo says:

    Przemysław Pawełczyk (P2O2) (04:23:15) :

    You were interested in rising sea levels. This site had a good post on that recently:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/05/satellite-derived-sea-level-updated-trend-has-been-shrinking-since-2005/

  88. edcon (12:25:17) :
    I wonder if Leif Svalgaard is considering a revision to his cycle 24 predictions or at what point may that happen?

    Since the solar polar fields have already been involved in making cycle 24 there is not much that can change. The polar fields have been very steady. Since my prediction [of 75] back in 2005, the polar fields have weakened a tiny bit, leading to a prediction that now stands at 71, but since that is not statistically different from 75, I do not foresee any change in my prediction. With emerging SC/24 flux, the polar fields are expected to weaken further, but that is just the normal way to their reversal, so no changes to the prediction.
    If SC/24 falls below, say, 65, my method will not be a very good predictor, although one can argue that it did forecast a low cycle. We don’t really know what the ‘error bar’ is on this one. If SC/24 is high, my method doesn’t work and is useless for prediction.

  89. Robert Bateman says:

    If neither the Sun nor anything else affects the climate on Earth, then there is little point in making predictions, recording weather, sunspots, studying ocean currents & temps, etc.
    If the only thing this is about is how long a satellite will last in orbit, then make them cheaper and mass produce them.

  90. Pierre Gosselin says:

    More cold for Europe
    http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp4.html

  91. L Nettles says:

    Cooling anecdote of the day

    Birdwatcher makes fruitless journey to Norway only to find snow bunting in her garden
    A birdwatcher who made a fruitless journey to Norway to see a rare snow bunting, returned home to Britain only to discover one of the species had landed on her garden fence.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4060327/Birdwatcher-makes-fruitless-journey-to-Norway-only-to-find-snow-bunting-in-her-garden.html

  92. Bobby Lane says:

    Call it smart marketing that when I read the words: “Solar cycle 24 where are you?” that I had a very strong urge to say:

    “Ohhhhh-ver heeeeere” in, if you could not tell, Scooby-Doo’s rather shaky voice. However, I doubt even a box of Scooby Snacks could coax out Cycle 24.

  93. David Archibald says:

    Ah, Dr Svalgaard, just as Al Gore gave us a timeline by which he could be totally discredited, so have you, but a much shorter one. You state that neutron counts have peaked. So if neutron counts have peaked by your reckoning, any further rise from here means that you are a discredited element, to borrow a term from the Marxist lexicon. Let’s see. The recent monthly high of the Oulu count was November 08 with 6704. We’ll give a latitude of 5, so that a count of 6710 or more means that you are totally discredited. Over the last two years, Oulu has been rising by an average of 10 per month, so we shouldn’t have to wait long.

    Re your claim that it was colder 30 years either side of the Dalton Minimum, you know you are telling porkies, to put it politely. That subject was covered in my first climate paper, in Figure 2 – on my website http://www.davidarchibald.info with the title “Solar Cycles 24 and 25 and Predicted Climate Response” dating from 2006.

  94. Steven Hill says:

    Robert…

    Only man and CO2 is destroying the planet! In 1977 they were yelling ice age, ice age! Now they are yelling CO2 and heat wave. I wish the heat wave was here in Ky. It’s all a bunch of hype if you ask me and I’m betting on the sun activity being the driver here. I look for 10+ cold years coming to a planet near you.

  95. Jim Powell says:

    How much heat would it take to cause a .34 cu mile of excess water flow out of Yellowstone Lake since Dec 27?

  96. gary plyler says:

    Solar wind flux and galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux are not really related (except for the solar modulation of GCR due to the solar wind effect on the size of the heliosphere and heliosheath).

    Solar wind particles, 95% are protons and 4% are alpha particles (electrically charged because they do not have the necessary electrons to make them hydrogen or helium atoms) are travelling at 0.1 to 0.3 percent the speed of light. This is slow enough to get trapped by the earths magnetic field, directed to the polar regions, and make a good light show called the aurora.

    Galactic cosmic rays, 87% are protons and 12% are alpha particles, but are traveling at 42 percent the speed of light and blast through the earths magnetic field like a hot knife through butter. They then interact with atoms in the atmosphere and voila, we have the Svensmark effect.

  97. Robert Bateman (12:47:26) :
    If neither the Sun nor anything else affects the climate on Earth, then there is little point in making predictions, recording weather, sunspots, studying ocean currents & temps, etc.

    Studying the weather and climate may teach us something about the dynamics of the climate system, so that is a valid reason [for studying the Earth, not for studying the Sun]

    If the only thing this is about is how long a satellite will last in orbit, then make them cheaper and mass produce them.

    There will be a human presence in space and we need to learn how to forecast space weather well ahead of that. Of course, we could mass produce humans too, but somehow that does not seem such a good alternative to me…

  98. RoyfOMR says:

    OT but another gem from the UK King of the politically incorrect, Jeremy Clarkson who puts some of the blame for increased use of ambulance services on the “politically motivated weather forecasting” of the Met Office!

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/jeremy_clarkson/article5374360.ece

  99. Robert Bateman says:

    Steven: I am feeling the cold. It’s getting into the teens here.
    5 years ago when I moved here the 20s in January was the bad stuff.
    Now I fully expect to feel single digit soon.
    It’s been a downhill slide since 2006.
    The only thing that has changed is the Sun.
    The people in thier insulated cities are not yet aware of it.
    The folks out in the country side are fully aware of the changes.
    And the changes go far beyond just mere thermometer readings.

  100. Mary Hinge says:

    TomT (09:58:24) :
    One last thought on this. Melting sea ice is not going to cause the sea levels to rise or fall. As an actual test of this you can do at home take a clear glass of water and put 1 or 2 ice cubes in it. Note the level of the water. Now wait for the ice to melt. You should note that the water level doesn’t change.

    Strictly speaking the level depends on how long after the ice has melted. Immediately after melting the level will have fallen due to the cooling of the water by the ice. As the water returns to its original temperature so does the level.

  101. David Archibald (13:02:23) :
    The recent monthly high of the Oulu count was November 08 with 6704.
    Ah, actually December with 6702.
    Moscow had November with 9601 and December with 9556…
    If seems to me that the statement that is discredited is your attempt at being biblical: “It is written, and it shall be: Oulu neutron count is at an all time high and going higher.”

    We’ll give a latitude of 5, so that a count of 6710 or more means that you are totally discredited.
    The question [which you did not answer] was when you would be discredited and if that would cause you to drop your ideas [of course if won't]. But, I’m not making any predictions, except saying that your 6900 will not happen.
    You call it a ‘prediction’. I call it a wild and unfounded guess, even above simple extrapolation: http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA16.png

    Over the last two years, Oulu has been rising by an average of 10 per month, so we shouldn’t have to wait long.
    Well, maybe, considering that it and Moscow are now decreasing. And it is not about Oulu per se, but about the global average cosmic ray count, which is also not rising any more.

    my first climate paper, in Figure 2 – on my website – “Solar Cycles 24 and 25 and Predicted Climate Response” dating from 2006.
    Was that the one that was dubbed “The Worst Climate Paper of All Time”? or is one of the later ones a stronger candidate? http://n3xus6.blogspot.com/2007/02/dd.html

  102. doug janeway says:

    Recently, according to NOAA and Hathaway,

    “Evidence is mounting that the deep solar minimum of 2008 is coming to an end; we can expect a livelier sun in 2009.”

    This is their evidence:

    “Old Solar Cycle 23 peaked in 2000 and has since decayed to low levels. Meanwhile, new Solar Cycle 24 has struggled to get started. 2008 is a year of overlap with both cycles weakly active at the same time. From January to September, the sun produced a total of 22 sunspot groups; 82% of them belonged to old Cycle 23. October added five more; but this time 80% belonged to Cycle 24. The tables have turned.”

    So, let me understand, 24 cycle sunspots, mostly invisible without a magnetogram image, are turning the tables? What about the GCR, Ap, flat 107 cm RFP and all other indications that we are experiencing unusual times with the sun? Can’t they just admit they are wrong like they were with all their projections? If they are so confident that we will be blazing into 2009, why don’t they make even more defined projections?

    I know the answer to that, but it points up the fact that they really do not know much at all. They were wrong in every projection made beforehand, not candid enough to admit it, and just smart enough not to open mouth and insert foot anymore.

  103. Brooklyn Red Leg says:

    Without the volcanoes, the Dalton minimum would have been significantly warmer. So, the ‘folklore’ about minimal solar activity and low temperatures doesn’t hold up very well.

    Historical data that seems to indicate that at least as far back as the Dark Ages Cooling, there has been significant volcanic eruptions on or about the same time as major Cooling. These also apparently coincide with Solar minima, if we use the Wolf, Sporer, Maunder and Dalton minima as references. ‘Folklore’ it apparently is not.

    Dark Ages Cooling – Massive volcanic eruption of Krakatoa what was once one island (its now Jakarta and Sumatra)

    Little Ice Age – Increased volcanic activity that coincides with solar minima.

    http://www.ees1.lanl.gov/Wohletz/Krakatau.htm

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/206/4425/1402

  104. Mark says:

    One question for those of us not to informed…if this cycle doesn’t kick up again and soon, what implications will that have on Mother Earth?

  105. Patrick Henry says:

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska: Frigid temperatures forced organizers of the U.S. Cross Country Championship sprint race to cancel the event Saturday. Race organizers hoped to hold the sprint races on Sunday, if the cold snap that has gripped much of Alaska for the past week loosens its grip a bit. Forecasters, however, said the bitterly cold weather was expected to continue.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/01/04/sports/SKI-US-Cross-Country-Championship.php

  106. Robert Bateman says:

    The Mass of Humans is not going to be pleased to learn that in hard times, when cold descends around them, that science is not the least bit interested in them.
    They are going to even less amused when they are handed a dog-chasing-tail story.
    They will support you as long as they perceive that you truly care about them, and that you are working for the beneift of mankind in general.

  107. Leif Svalgaard (13:53:44) :
    Fixing my italics…
    David Archibald (13:02:23) :
    The recent monthly high of the Oulu count was November 08 with 6704.
    Ah, actually December with 6702.
    Moscow had November with 9601 and December with 9556…
    If seems to me that the statement that is discredited is your attempt at being biblical: “It is written, and it shall be: Oulu neutron count is at an all time high and going higher.”

  108. Edward Morgan says:

    Dave Archibald, Hooray!

  109. Mark (13:56:03) :
    One question for those of us not to informed…if this cycle doesn’t kick up again and soon, what implications will that have on Mother Earth?
    Not much, except homing pigeons and other birds will have somewhat improved navigation.

  110. King of Cool says:

    Dave (12:14:21) See also:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12394

    which confirms that Siberia has been warming in recent times but discusses the role of the Arctic Oscillation as a factor.

    I have also noted from the Cryosphere comparison maps since they have been including snow cover that cover over Siberia compared to Canada is very patchy. (Not sure that 2009 has been added into their year block yet)

    I would also consider geothermal activity as I am sure that there is activity in Eastern Siberia which has one of the earth’s tectonic plates running right through it:

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh

    Also look into the Siberian Traps which refer to an igneous area of past volcanic activity running EW through the Eurasian Plate.

  111. Jeff Alberts says:

    MC (06:04:31) :

    Hansen does’nt know what he’s doing. He’s like the King with no cloths on. Everbody knows he’s naked and laughs behind his back but says nothing to him.

    Actually plenty of people have been saying things to him, shouting them at him, even, he just doesn’t care.

  112. Ric Werme says:

    Steve Keohane (10:49:54) :

    Alan the Brit (05:37:40) I remember an article about the mammoths in Siberia, may have been NG, late 50s early 60s, perhaps. An expedition had found ‘fresh-frozen’ mammoths, ….

    The only decent frozem mammoth reference I’ve come across is in my 2016: The [Next] Year without a Summer. Part of what I quote is “when we dug it out still farther we found that in its fall it had not only broken several bones, but had been almost completely buried by the falls of earth which tumbled in on it, so that it had suffocated.” The food still in its mouth had autumn seeds, so it may have wound up frozen in permafrost.

    There’s no need for “flash freezing” ala Whitley Streiber and the “The Day after Tomorrow.”

  113. len says:

    After watching this comedy play out since Rio and being amazed at the political manouvers of Maurice Strong (he should have got the Nobel) … and recently interested once again after the AGW crescendo reached a peak of ridiculousness last winter, I am convinced of the following.

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/
    http://ozwx.plasmaresources.com/wilson/Syzygy.pdf

    We are entering a 30 to 40 year Grand Minimum, not quite the Maunder quality, maybe more like Dalton … where the barycentric tides are slightly disrupted by a couple planets not pushing us over the edge. It will still be amazing if AGW can keep the faith in the face of that. I’m sure they have a couple of political moves left but I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they are involuntary twitches or if we get a couple more years of climate comedy.

  114. Robert Bateman (10:14:51) :

    If ANYONE can tell me why I should not expect SC24 to follow in the footsteps
    of SC5 as I have laid out in the graph on that page, I would really like to hear all about it.

    SC4 and SC23 are indeed very similar but do differ in one major area. The amount of angular momentum for both cycles is very close as is the timing but SC5 experienced the 1st phase and was then followed up with a 2nd phase in SC7 before recovering in SC8. We are now experiencing the 2nd (optimal, SC20 didnt quite make it on phase 1)) phase and there doesnt look to be a 3rd stage of any strength as the momentum is weakening as we leave the trough of strength which ran from 1280-2010. My next project will be to graph this strength using a most aligned days of N+U+J+S, hoping that I can attain all the relevant data, which if successful should prove the theory beyond doubt.

    Another area of interest that doesnt seem to be touched by science yet is what causes the “tipping point” to grand minima and why does it lasts at least 2 cycles, and what triggers the process to start back to normal. I suspect this time around it will all be unmasked expecting some unusual results in the solar polar strength and polarity.

  115. tarpon says:

    Maybe it’s time to ponder why the Earth switched to alternating ice ages around 5 million years ago, and continues this cold-hot cycle today. If you look at the geologic temperature graphs, it’s as if the ice ages just started up, slowly at first, and with each temperature swing became more pronounced. The change in temperature has seemed to hit some sort of a limit … As cold as it gets, and as warm as it gets.

    A few hundred years of man’s knowledge is meaningless to a 4.5 billion year old planet.

    Could it be the sun burns so brightly that it exhausts all it’s easy to consume fuel and needs 100,000 years to recharge the reservoirs? And then uses that accumulated fuel up in the next 10-12,000 years?

    All of this ice age change occurred without man being around in any significant way. If here is one thing certain in all the climate disaster sitcom, there will be another ice age, it’s just a question of when. And that’s regardless what is rationed or what the tax rates are.

  116. MattN says:

    Every day that passes proves what genius Landscheidt was. He freakin’ nailed this decades ago.

  117. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard (14:19:44) :

    Mark (13:56:03) :
    One question for those of us not to informed…if this cycle doesn’t kick up again and soon, what implications will that have on Mother Earth?
    “Not much, except homing pigeons and other birds will have somewhat improved navigation.”

    And the loss of accumulated heat from the oceans to a cooling atmosphere, leading to more La Nina’s and less El Nino’s, less transfer of heat to northern latitudes via oceanic currents, colder, northern hemisphere winters, generally cloudier but drier skies, cooler summers, and the increased likelihood of largescale volcanic activity.

    Lunar perigee occurs Jan 10th within 16 hours of full moon, near max declination and only a few weeks after earth perihelion. About the biggest chance of some volcanic action this year. I hear Yellowstone has been pretty active these last few days.

    Good thing those birds have better navigation Leif as a lot of them have been heading further south than usual.

  118. davidgmills says:

    Lief you say: “My point was to compare the Dalton Min with the 30 years before and after, when solar activity back high.”

    Well how could we do that in any precise manner? If there is anything Anthony has taught us on this board, it is not to trust surface temperature measurements.

  119. Glenn says:

    Leif
    “And BTW, Oulu counts have stopped increasing:
    2008 Jan 6592
    2008 Feb 6576
    2008 Mar 6577
    2008 Apr 6586
    2008 May 6578
    2008 Jun 6582
    2008 Jul 6598
    2008 Aug 6636
    2008 Sep 6658
    2008 Oct 6678
    2008 Nov 6704
    2008 Dec 6702

    I warn against based wide ranging conclusions on data from a single station.”

    I’d warn you about making statements based on one month difference of a small percentage of an increasing amount, but it wouldn’t do any good.

  120. len says:

    For the Ice Age crowd out there … it looks like we have a couple millenia yet (~4000 before ice pushes the foundations out from under the Sears Tower. The Holocene looks like most other interglacials and there is a paper out there (is it on this site?) that says we have a long way to go before we hit a tipping point. Maybe as we get closer to the next Glaciation in the Ice Age (Quatenary Period) we live in that follows the Milakovitch Cycle almost in lock step … then one of these events will push us over into … repopulating the lush Sahara ;)

    But not so fast. Some cycle analysis shows we will get one more Medieval Type ‘Grand Maximum’ or warming before we need to relocate. On the other hand it is something to ponder because there is some evidence that when it does turn and ‘tipping points’ are reached it is not a slow process. Maybe not as ridiculous as ‘Day After Tomorrow’ but it appears it goes from wheat fields to ice fields in a decade or so … thus some evidence that some areas experienced ‘flash freezing’ where mammoth mentioned earlier.

    … every time I go through this discertation it tightens up a bit :D

  121. David Archibald (13:02:23) :

    Thanks for the link to your paper….the Dalton temperature readings from Oberlach Station are certainly interesting. We all know there are many players that affect temperature and its not a matter of matching EVERY sunspot peak with a corresponding temperature peak.

    BTW here is my prediction for the coming 3 cycles based on angular momentum….looks a lot like the graph you display in your paper.

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/files/2008/12/ultimate_graph2all.jpg

  122. Bob Tisdale says:

    PaulHClark: Your comments above and in a prior post said I hinted at a link between the Gleissberg Cycle and SST. I had to Google it, because I couldn’t recall making such a claim. My only use of Gleissberg Cycle was in a post “NINO SST (Not Anomaly) – Part 2”.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/08/nino34-sst-not-anomaly-part-2.html

    In it, I was discussing a long-term oscillation (approximately 80 years) that appears in the difference (delta T) between NINO3.4 SST (not anomaly) and global and hemispheric absolute temperatures. An example of the graphs:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/11lok5h.jpg
    Note that I used the polynomial trend line to help illustrate the oscillation, not as a predictive tool.

    My reference to the Gleissberg Cycle was: “The only natural oscillation I know of with a frequency of that length is the Gleissberg Cycle, a solar cycle. But I know so little about the Gleissberg Cycle I would not even venture to comment. Also, what shows in the graph could simply be an underlying oscillation with a length that approximates that of the Gleissberg Cycle. The oscillation is apparent and noteworthy, though.”

    I hope that clarifies things.

    Also refer to my note near the current end of the earlier thread, “PaulHClark: Thanks for the linked paper. I’ll take a more detailed look after I’m done with the post I’m preparing, but at first glance, it appears in that 2000 paper Yousef is using a version of TSI that’s obsolete.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/31/2008-ends-spotless-and-with-266-spotless-days-the-2-least-active-year-since-1900-portends-cooling/

  123. tarpon (15:09:02) :

    Could it be the sun burns so brightly that it exhausts all it’s easy to consume fuel and needs 100,000 years to recharge the reservoirs? And then uses that accumulated fuel up in the next 10-12,000 years?

    Ice ages correlate very nicely with the Milankovitch 100,000 cycle which is basically a change to the earths orbital shape (from round to elliptical) caused by the Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter and Saturn. I have read that the elliptical orbit can vary the Earth’s solar input by upto 30%. We are in the round orbit position now but not far off declining slowly to our next ice age in around 100,000 years.

    So there are 2 factors….1 controlling the distance to the Sun and the other controlling the output of the Sun, both by the same source in my opinion.

  124. Glenn says:

    Leif,

    my first climate paper, in Figure 2 – on my website – “Solar Cycles 24 and 25 and Predicted Climate Response” dating from 2006.
    “Was that the one that was dubbed “The Worst Climate Paper of All Time”? or is one of the later ones a stronger candidate? http://n3xus6.blogspot.com/2007/02/dd.html

    Can’t get that url to load, can you find another?
    I found this one, but doubt it is what you had in mind.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/09/ten-of-the-worst-climate-research-papers-a-note-from-cohenite/

  125. Ellie in Belfast says:

    davidgmills (15:30:57) :
    It is possible to look at individual sites – the raw data from Ireland and England (CET) show that there was a slight warming during the period, contrary to what might be expected. I reckon the strong influence of the Altantic (and prevailing Westerlies) is a good reason, although increased cloud could also play a role.

    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgxfh8sf_0fgg6rjqz

    At least one of the sites (Armagh) is well sited and generally well regarded, although there are some months missing in 1828-1830.

  126. Jeff L says:

    I think many posters have made good points on the correlation between grand solar minima & colder climates. I also think Leif makes some good points of why the solar physics doesn’t necessarily support a physical mechanism for this correlation – and at the very least poking some holes in Svenmark’s hypothesis (both in this discussion & others). BUT, what I don’t see is many posters taking the other sides comments seriously – many are just clinging to their pet hypothesis (…. not unlike clinging to CO2 hypothesis because it fits ones political views … that is not good science.) Both sides are making some valid observations – what is needed is a hypothesis that works with all observations – such as some sort of link between solar cycle & ocean cycles (I am just throwing that out there – I don’t that there is) & that the ocean cycles – with ocean’s huge heat content – is driving climate cycles.

    Just food for thought, anyone care to take it to the next level ??? Any good hypothesis for testing amongst the posters???

  127. cmblake6 says:

    I may have had access to those astronomical events, but obviously I hadn’t needed to. I do find myself HIGHLY amused by the clue-clubbing involved here. My theory has always been, since the beginning of this Gorebot scam, that it was indeed only a scam. How, pray tell, could sending money to algore possibly do anything anyway? Hype it up, con the public, make a freaking fortune off a scare tactic. Which is then proven false, and we had BOTH POTUS candidates spouting the drivel.

  128. crosspatch says:

    “Could it be the sun burns so brightly that it exhausts all it’s easy to consume fuel and needs 100,000 years to recharge the reservoirs? And then uses that accumulated fuel up in the next 10-12,000 years?”

    I doubt it but one thing that could happen might be something along the following. Our sun is a variable star. The rate at which it fuses hydrogen may not be constant over time. It might burn a little hotter causing the sun to expand a little which also increases radiative pressure against gravitational collapse and might then act as negative feedback to moderate the fusion which then slows down until the sun cools (it takes anywhere from 10K to 100K years for energy from the core to reach the surface in the form of photons depending on various people’s estimates) and contracts enough to ramp up the fusion again.

    In other words, the reactions in the sun might not be perfectly steady but might oscillate around an average. As it takes so long for the sun to shed energy once it is created, an increase in fusion would take tens of thousands of years to reach the surface. Some estimate it can take a million years for photons to get from core to surface.

    Imagine there is some amount of hydrogen fusion going on. Heat builds up in the radiative zone. As the radiation increases, it acts against gravitational collapse and as more energy is added to the radiative zone the sun would expand a little and the result would be a cooling (dimming) of the surface. Also pushing against gravitational collapse might act to moderate the reaction in the core which would then slow. This would result in less energy being added to the radiative zone and the sun gradually shrinking a little and the surface brightening.

    There is evidence that the sun increased in apparent diameter during the Maunder minimum. There is also evidence that the sun contracts slightly during solar maximum and expands slightly during minimum. So maybe what we see on the surface is the opposite of what is going on inside the sun. Increased fusion increases radiation pressure increasing the diameter of the sun resulting in less energy per unit of area on the solar surface since that fresh energy doesn’t get to the surface for some many (tens?) thousands of years, there can be significant variation between what is apparent and the surface and what is going on inside and might be quite opposite.

  129. Bob says:

    Leif said (11:28:18) :

    We don’t have good temperature records for the ‘Dalton minimum’, but what we have [Central England, Ireland, Central Europe] shows that the time of the Dalton minimum was a time with generally higher temperatures than the 30 years on either side of the ‘minimum

    With large numbers of his troops tied down in Spain, Napoleon decide to invade Russia in 1812 with an Army of 500,000 men and although he defeated the Russians at the battle of Borodino in 1812 and took Moscow he was forced to retreat due to weather, costing him most of his army and marking the beginning of the end.

    Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow is a legendary military disaster. While historians and military buffs note the toll the Russian winter took on La Grande Army, few if any appreciate the role solar activity, or the lack of it, played in one of the great military reversals in history.
    Geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian to become a NASA astronaut, and who served as mission specialist on the Apollo 14 lunar mission, writes in the Down Under newspaper the Australian that “the rout of Napoleon’s Grand Army from Moscow was at least partly due to the lack of sunspots.

    The Dalton Minimum was a period of low solar activity, lasting from about 1790 to 1830, history tells us it was extremely cold. Tambora erupted in 1815, Mayon erupted in 1814. I believe the effects of these eruptions lasted for about 2 or 3 years. It appears the eruptions played a minor part in the cooling which began approximately 25 years prior.

  130. Bruce says:

    Leif Svalgaard: ” shows that the time of the Dalton minimum was a time with generally higher temperatures than the 30 years on either side of the ‘minimum’”

    Except the 5 or so deep troughs which were significantly lower than any troughs in the 30 years before.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/72/CET_Full_Temperature_Yearly.PNG

    The coldest ever month in the CET was January 1795 with a mean temperature of -3.1°C

    Dalton Minimum was 1790 – 1830

    So Leif, I disagree with your claim.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/CR_data/Daily/HadCET_act.txt

    There were 3 7.xx years in the Dalton Minimum. The closest 7.xx before and after the DM were 1698 and never.

  131. Bruce says:

    Oops. 1860 was a 7.89. Still, the point stands. No 7.xx years in the CET for 90 years before and 30 years after.

  132. King of Cool says:

    Dave (12:14:21), there could also be effects from solid particles from real human made pollution such as the Chinese brown cloud:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/earthandsun/brown_cloud.html

    There have been studies that show a similar cloud for the USA affects Arctic Ice albedo and one from Industrial Europe could affect Siberia.

    Perhaps an analysis of Siberian winter v summer surface temperature anomaly trends might show something.

    If true, it also means that humans indeed are influencing global climate and renewable energy might be the go – unless of course all present power stations and other soot producers are fitted with scrubbers that prevent solid emissions.

  133. Robert Wood says:

    Typo alert:

    Isn’t that the 10.point.7 cm flux, or is there also and important 107 cm fluz?

    Now I will ocntinue readint the psot and commetns.

  134. Robert Wood says:

    Hi there again. I haven;t finished reading the post, but have read to the query about the start of cycle 24.

    Unless I am mistaken, … Leif (?), cycle 24 has started, by definition. The number of cycle 24 sunspots are outnumbering the number of cycle 23 susnpots. We have seen teh occasional cycle 24 spot since August, but no cycle 23 spots.

    So, does this mean a weak cycle 24?

  135. Leon Brozyna says:

    Just a couple picky points:

    The data that’s been plotted by SWPC is only through November; while they’ve updated the database to include December values, this information hasn’t yet been included in their graphs. Raw data for the graphs shown at –

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt

    It appears, from looking at that first graph, that the predictions for the start of SC24 seem to be based on an assumption that the period for single digit values would only last a single year, as happened in 1996. So far single digit values have appeared for two years now, with December’s values dropping again after rising slightly for two months, well below predictions. [I could have some fun here and say that 2009 has been a spotless year but then I'd sound like a bad scientist trying to line up research monies.]

    The predictions for the 10.7cm values seem to be bearing up well, with December’s values again up slightly and remaining within the predicted range.

    What’s most interesting about the Ap plot doesn’t show on the graph since it only starts from Jan 00. The value for December of 2 is the lowest monthly value in the database since its start in Jan 91.

    This year should be really interesting for the solar scientists. Who knows, they may make some new discoveries if the sun continues acting in this manner.

  136. Robert Wood says:

    Fred @ 23:43:51:

    These sunspecks and spot are not “obver the past few days. Rather, the past few months. Check out spaceweather.com.

    They also display a holograph which shows the far-side of the Sun. There was potentially a sunspot a few days ago on the far side, but if it was, it didn’t endure the traverse.

  137. George M says:

    Leif Svalgaard (14:19:44) :

    Mark (13:56:03) :
    One question for those of us not to informed…if this cycle doesn’t kick up again and soon, what implications will that have on Mother Earth?
    Not much, except homing pigeons and other birds will have somewhat improved navigation.

    Leif:

    I rarely disagree with you, but there is a much larger community outside the climate/solar which depends on knowledge of the state of the ionosphere, which in turn depends on accurate sunspot prediction and data, and more importantly, their dependable presence. They are the high frequency radio users, who range from Ham Radio operators to Voice of America broadcasters. Also, the military maintains a large HF radio system for the event of loss of satellite channels due to whatever cause. Lately, all have been experiencing a lot of trouble trying to maintain worldwide radio circuits during the unusually low and long minimum.

  138. Robert Wood says:

    OK Finished the article and read half the comments.

    I assert that we are in cycle 24, which, so far, is a very weak cycle. The Sun is quiescent; not a lot of internal turbulance, which would create sun-spots. It may be a weak, long cyle.

    If we have a couple more of these, then we will notice a “global temperature” drop of not 0-.5 – 1.0 Centigrade, but 1 – 2 Centigrade.

  139. Lee Kington says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:28:18) :

    We don’t have good temperature records for the ‘Dalton minimum’, but what we have [Central England, Ireland, Central Europe] shows that the time of the Dalton minimum was a time with generally higher temperatures than the 30 years on either side of the ‘minimum’. Even if about a decade was hit with cold due to large volcanic activity [Mayon, Tambora, ...].

    With respect, I must disagree. 15 years either side of the Dalton were warmer than any time during the Dalton itself. Tambora (1815) did not erupt until the Dalton was almost at its depth. Prior to that there had been a steady and continuous decline in temperatures for about eight years. There is a 1.2 -1.3 degree difference between temperatures just prior to Tambora and those ten year later (outside of the Dalton).

  140. Wally says:

    The CET data does not appear to mean much as far as the Dalton minimum. Using the link (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/CR_data/Daily/HadCET_act.txt) for the data. The average temperature for all the CET data (monthly) is 9.22, for the 40 years before the Dalton minimum (1750 to 1789) it was 9.05, during the minimum (1790-1830) it was 9.09 and for the 40 years after (1831-1870) 9.19. The trend shows a slight warming in temperature over the time period involved, but no minimum due to the Dalton minimum.

  141. Fred says:

    Werner Weber (02:37:26) :

    to Fred:
    ‘flurry of sunspots over the last few days’
    “The sunspots indicated in http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots/
    seem to be a summary over the last year or so, the last sunspot number given was 1009, and that spot disappeared”

    I’m not an astronomer, but why would an image labeled “4 Jan 09″ be anything but an image of the Sun on 4 Jan 09? That is, why would it be a summary? Although I can’t make out any number higher than 1009.

  142. Bruce says:

    3 of the coldest 13 CET years were in the DM.
    5 of the coldest 25 CET years were in the DM.

    Year Temp
    1740 6.84
    1695 7.25
    1879 7.42
    1698 7.63
    1694 7.67
    1692 7.71
    1814 7.75 DM
    1784 7.83
    1688 7.83
    1675 7.83
    1816 7.87 DM
    1860 7.89
    1799 7.89 DM
    1684 7.92
    1697 8
    1782 8.01
    1855 8.02
    1838 8.05
    1674 8.08
    1691 8.13
    1829 8.16
    1892 8.17
    1812 8.2 DM
    1888 8.22
    1665 8.25
    1786 8.25
    1845 8.26
    1887 8.27
    1673 8.33
    1742 8.36
    1853 8.37
    1823 8.38 DM

  143. Wally says:

    The 15 years before and after the Dalton minimum based on the averaged CET monthly records were the same to 0.1 C. There are bigger differenced using the yearly data, but whether the time is 40 years before and after or 15 years, the Dalton minimum is not a minimum in the CET temperatures.

  144. old construction worker says:

    Volcanoes, MWP and Little Ice Age

    ‘Until recently, global temperatures were more than a degree Fahrenheit warmer when compared to the overall 20th Century mean. From August of 2007 through February of 2008, the Earth’s mean reading dropped to near the 200-year average temperature of 57 degrees. (See Long-Term Chart Below.)’
    Besides the text’s prediction (?) the graph tells a story.
    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm
    According to this gentlemen volcanoes and solar radiation (lower left corner of graph) cause the Little Ice Age, but if you look a the graph you will notice temperature started dropping some x year before the volcano activities. Then at the bottom of Little Ice Age there were some more volcanoes activities as well as when temperatures were rising to our present day.
    What does this all mean? Some volcanoes cause cooling, while others cause warming? Your guest is as good as mine.
    But one item jumps out. No volcano activities at the top of MWP.

  145. Bruce says:

    Darn … I missed marking 1829 as a DM above.

  146. crosspatch says:

    Bruce, I would wondering what they were using to measure temperature in 1659 to any degree of accuracy since Daniel Fahrenheit didn’t invent the modern thermometer until 1709 and didn’t invent his temperature scale until 1724. The Centigrade scale wasn’t invented until 1742. So exactly what were they measuring temperature with 50 years before the invention of the thermometer (thermoscope at that time).

  147. Bruce says:

    The two coldest Julys 1816, 1802 were DM (1695 tied 1802 but it was MM).
    The coldest September 1807 (tied with 3 other years in the MM)
    2nd coldest October
    3rd coldest November
    Tied for 3rd coldest December
    Coldest January

    etc etc

  148. Roger Carr says:

    Those following rainfall may like to check this note from Australia:
    Gulf Country see’s its heaviest rain in years
    Paddy Aicken
    href=”http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/gulf-country-sees-its-heaviest-rain-in-years/10713″>Weatherzone

  149. Roger Carr says:

    That’s: Weatherzone
    (I keep losing my anchor reference.)

  150. Bob Tisdale (15:55:22) :

    … In it, I was discussing a long-term oscillation (approximately 80 years) that appears in the difference (delta T) between NINO3.4 SST (not anomaly) and global and hemispheric absolute temperatures. An example of the graphs:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/11lok5h.jpg
    Note that I used the polynomial trend line to help illustrate the oscillation, not as a predictive tool.

    —–

    The 80 year cyclic curve you highlighted matches very closely with the 78 year temperature cycle we have been experiencing: But the oscillation is directly reversed: peaks at the coolest years of the past 150, and low points at the times (1930-1945 and 1990-2005) when temperatures have been about 1/2 of obne degree higher than baseline.

    IF (big “if”) you can determine the link, you may have determined a foundation of the climate “problem” that the political “scientists” are trying to foist down our throats with trillions of new taxes and wasteful “energy policies”

  151. the_Butcher says:

    It’s snowing right now in London, UK.

  152. David Archibald says:

    The Ap Index is now the lowest it has been in living memory. The Index started in 1932. One interesting thing is that Hathaway in his latest prognostication used the aa Index to following solar max correlation to derive an estimate for Solar Cycle 24 of about 50, putting one of his predictions near where Clilverd has been for years. The aa Index and the Ap Index are very similar. It should be borne in mind that the average solar cycle amplitude for the last 8,000 years is only 30. It was warmer than now over that period as a whole due to higher insolation for the Northern Hemisphere. Insolation at 65 degrees North has declined by 50 watts per square metre from the peak of 525 watts eleven thousand years ago. According to the people who model these things, we are on the cusp of plunging into the next ice age, which will reach its full development 20,000 years from now.

  153. davidgmills (15:30:57) :
    Leif you say: “My point was to compare the Dalton Min with the 30 years before and after, when solar activity back high.”
    Well how could we do that in any precise manner? If there is anything Anthony has taught us on this board, it is not to trust surface temperature measurements.

    We use the meager measurements we have, but your argument cuts two ways: Some people are claiming the Dalton Min was cold; don’t they heed Anthony’s teachings?

    George M (18:15:58) :
    Leif Svalgaard (14:19:44) :

    Mark (13:56:03) :
    “if this cycle doesn’t kick up again and soon, what implications will that have on Mother Earth?”
    Leif: “Not much, except homing pigeons and other birds will have somewhat improved navigation.”

    They are the high frequency radio users .. etc
    I had originally a statement about that [I have been supported by the Air Force who wants to know about sunspots, etc], but then deleted it as I wanted to stick with “Mother Nature” [i.e. no technology stuff]. Perhaps I misinterpreted the Nature bit, but out here in Northern CA, that kind of language is usually used by tree-huggers that don’t think technology…

    Glenn (16:09:59) :
    http://n3xus6.blogspot.com/2007/02/dd.html
    Can’t get that url to load, can you find another?
    I just tried it, works good. I can try to embed it: click here

    Lee Kington (18:34:14) : and others
    The discussion of Dalton min temps goes back to a post by nobwainer, who first claimed that there was a 40-year cold interval in CET during the DM and then made the claim more specific: “If you want to get pedantic about it it clearly shows a cooling from late 1770’s to late 1820’s…thats more than 40 years.”
    So, I simply calculated the numbers:
    The CET average for 1750-1777 [late 1770s] was 9.036C, for 1778-1828 [late 1820s] it was 9.101C, and for 1829-1860 is was 9.071C. Pedantry clearly shows that your 40-year period was warmer than the intervals before and after it. One can argue that the errors may be larger than the differences, but that cuts both ways.
    The DM would have been even warmer had it not been for the volcanoes. Quoting single years or max and mins etc is not climate.
    The fact is that we do not have good evidence that the DM was colder than the surrounding 30-year climate intervals.

    Wally (18:44:09) :
    The CET data does not appear to mean much as far as the Dalton minimum. [...] no minimum due to the Dalton minimum.
    I wish that everybody would do like Wally and just do the numbers.

    Robert Wood (18:00:35) :
    cycle 24 has started, by definition?.
    There is no agreed upon definition of when a cycle starts

    The number of cycle 24 sunspots are outnumbering the number of cycle 23 susnpots. We have seen the occasional cycle 24 spot since August, but no cycle 23 spots.
    If you look at page 4 of http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf you may see why I agree with you that cycle 24 is here. It is still a weakling. From that alone we cannot deduce that it will stay weak. We have other indicators that point to a weak cycle.

    So, does this mean a weak cycle 24?
    see above

  154. Robert Bateman says:

    Well that’s some interesting stuff:
    1st, the Sun expands during Minimum and drowns out the sunspots.
    The the Earth starts cooling, contracting, the crust buckles under the strain and off pop the volcanoes, rubbing salt into the wounds.
    Nice.
    I am fully convinced that there are those who will not learn a thing from this episode of sunspot dimming, due to the fact that they have closed thier minds of to the possibility that the very Star which warms our planet cannot possibly do anything to vary our climate.
    I expect this sort of stuff from politicians.

  155. Leon Brozyna (18:02:53) :
    The predictions for the 10.7cm values seem to be bearing up well, with December’s values again up slightly and remaining within the predicted range.

    The reason 10.7 bears up so well is that it is plotted incorrectly. It should have started [when the first plot was made] at its minimum value of 65 flux units, but due to a clerical error the scale starts at 60 instead of 65. I have pointed that out several times, but errors cannot be corrected.

    Here are excerpts from an email exchange
    leif@leif.org to _NWS NCEP SEC Cycle24 Prediction Panel
    date Sun, May 11, 2008 at 5:55 PM
    subject: Our prediction graph of f10.7 is clearly wrong
    1) f10.7 should not go down to 60 at minimum
    2) the maximum value [even fro the high prediction] is clearly lower than that for cycle 23.
    Can we not have the graph corrected?

    Reply on Tue, May 13, 2008 at 3:47 PM:
    Leif, Yes, the f10.7 should not go down to 60. Our forecast minimum limit is 65. However, this requires a change in a product and I’m not ready to take that task on at this time. Changing products within the NWS can be a very time consuming, difficult task. However, if one were to complain about a product to the proper authorities, one might be able to prompt action. You’ll find a feedback form on our website.

    ——

    needless to say, i didn’t manage to get the plot corrected and now it looks pretty good :-)

  156. Mike McMillan says:

    davidgmills (15:30:57) :
    Lief you say: “My point was to compare the Dalton Min with the 30 years before and after, when solar activity back high.”
    Well how could we do that in any precise manner? If there is anything Anthony has taught us on this board, it is not to trust surface temperature measurements.

    It isn’t the measurements that we don’t trust, it’s the adjustments.

  157. crosspatch says:

    “I am fully convinced that there are those who will not learn a thing from this episode of sunspot dimming, ”

    It remains to be seen if there will be anything of significance to be learned. To assume that this minimum will be something extraordinary is at this point a leap of faith and not based on science because it could well pick up tomorrow and all this talk of a “grand minimum” evaporate.

    It is just too soon to tell and anyone saying otherwise is talking through their pants. We just have to wait and see and we aren’t going to know anything with any certainty for about another year or so.

    I guess that goes against our modern human nature these days. It is hard for people to accept that there are things that just can’t be known and simply have to unfold on their own. We are so used to “experts” who seem to have everything figured out that we become uncomfortable with the notion that nobody knows. This often then results in people who “predicted” what turns out to be the correct outcome being touted as some kind of expert when they did no better than guess correctly.

    We just have to wait and see what happens and keep our eyes on the data.

  158. Bruce says:

    Leif: “Quoting single years or max and mins etc is not climate”

    Kind of like averaging the life of star … sure 99.999% of the time it was quite livable to be an earth distance away, but those Nova years averaged in were no cause for alarm (except for everyone dying).

    Averages don’t necessarily tell us everything that happens.

    An exceptional number of extremely cold months and years IS climate.

    Why did 11 of the 15th coldest CET years occur during the MM or DM?

    Year Annual Minimum
    1740 6.84
    1695 7.25 MM
    1879 7.42
    1698 7.63 MM
    1694 7.67 MM
    1692 7.71 MM
    1814 7.75 DM
    1784 7.83
    1688 7.83 MM
    1675 7.83 MM
    1816 7.87 DM
    1860 7.89
    1799 7.89 DM
    1684 7.92 MM
    1697 8 MM

  159. Glenn (15:32:26) :
    I’d warn you about making statements based on one month difference of a small percentage of an increasing amount, but it wouldn’t do any good.
    http://www.leif.org/research/DavidA16.png shows the changes for the two stations Oulu and Moscow. Thule shows the same pattern. My point was just that there is no justification for claiming that the CRF is still increasing, but it probably wouldn’t do any good.

    David Archibald (20:12:04) :
    One interesting thing is that Hathaway in his latest prognostication used the aa Index to following solar max correlation to derive an estimate for Solar Cycle 24 of about 50
    No, he claims ~95, not 50. On slide 34.

    we are on the cusp of plunging into the next ice age, which will reach its full development 20,000 years from now.
    meaning a decrease of temperature of 0.00035 degrees/year. Scary, eh?

  160. Bruce (21:04:25) :
    1814 7.75 DM [Mayon]
    1816 7.87 DM [Tambora]
    The two coldest years of the DM was due to volcanic activity. I thought that was clear enough.

  161. Leif Svalgaard (21:26:30) :
    Bruce (21:04:25) :
    1814 7.75 DM [Mayon]
    1816 7.87 DM [Tambora]
    The two coldest years of the DM was due to volcanic activity. I thought that was clear enough.

    And even with these two record-cold years, the DM average is warmer than the two bracing 30-year periods. Would you care to guess how much warmer the DM would have been had these two years been ‘normal’?

  162. MC says:

    David Archibald (20:12:04) :

    The Ap Index is now the lowest it has been in living memory. The Index started in 1932. One interesting thing is that Hathaway in his latest prognostication used the aa Index to following solar max correlation to derive an estimate for Solar Cycle 24 of about 50, putting one of his predictions near where Clilverd has been for years. The aa Index and the Ap Index are very similar. It should be borne in mind that the average solar cycle amplitude for the last 8,000 years is only 30. It was warmer than now over that period as a whole due to higher insolation for the Northern Hemisphere. Insolation at 65 degrees North has declined by 50 watts per square metre from the peak of 525 watts eleven thousand years ago. According to the people who model these things, we are on the cusp of plunging into the next ice age, which will reach its full development 20,000 years from now.

    David, Can you expand on the insolation and the resulting effect. I’m not understamding fully.

    I’m sure many of us may be wondering.

  163. Roger Carr says:

    Ric Werme (14:40:02): “The only decent frozem mammoth reference I’ve come across is in my 2016: The [Next] Year without a Summer. Part of what I quote is “when we dug it out still farther…”

    Steady, Ric! This is the kind of fact which causes severe tooh fractures (I like believing in Tooth Fairies… And Santa Claus…).

  164. Bruce (21:04:25) :
    Year Annual Minimum
    1814 7.75 DM
    1784 7.83

    Some people count 1784 still part of DM [nobwainer's 'late 1770s to late 1820s']. The next year on your list after Mayon is 1784 which was caused by the Laki (Grimsvotn) eruption http://star.arm.ac.uk/preprints/437.pdf [thanks Ellie]

  165. Jeff Alberts says:

    The reason 10.7 bears up so well is that it is plotted incorrectly. It should have started [when the first plot was made] at its minimum value of 65 flux units, but due to a clerical error the scale starts at 60 instead of 65. I have pointed that out several times, but errors cannot be corrected.

    for some reason I’m picturing Leif with a big forehead, fantastic hair, a great tan, and plans for an Interossiter ;)

  166. Jeff Alberts says:

    It isn’t the measurements that we don’t trust, it’s the adjustments.

    It’s both. Many sites are so badly placed the measurements from them really should be discarded.

  167. RobJM says:

    I have a theory about volcanic warming if anyone is interested.

    Its based on the injection of SO2 into the statosphere causing cloud/precipitation nucleation that results in loss of water vapor from the stratosphere. (a boom and bust cycle of temp) this causes stratospheric cooling (after the initial warming) leading to increased efficiency of tropical convection. Increased convective efficiency leeds to greater rainfall and a drying out of the atmosphere, leading to less clouds and increased short wave absorption followed by warming. It all happens under negative feedback since humidity has a negative correlation with temp. The effect could last decades!

    Of course if a volcanic eruption was more steam based then this would put more water vapor in the stratosphere and have a double whammy cooling effect.

    Does anyone else know why the stratosphere temp has such a good (negative) correlation with tropospheric temps?

    Also did anyone notice the last time the PDO went negative was also the last time the Arctic passages opened?

    Cheers

  168. George E. Smith says:

    The discussions regarding the “Svensmark Effect”, and cosmic rays, and claims that there is no increase in earth albedo, and still other claim that cloud cover hasn’t changed, and then we have th neutron flu observations. All these arguments are in support of the contention that the 0.1% peak to peak change in solar constant over a typical sunspot cycles; all to convince us that the sun plays no role in earth climate.

    Does this sound like the claims that cigarette smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.
    A lifelong friend recently retired from a full professorship in pediatrics and behavioral pshychology at the University of Miami; where he worked closely with the U of M medical school.

    He says the evidence that that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer is more conclusive than the evidence that sex causes children.

    I’ve got the same feeling about the case against Dr Svensmark’s hypothesis.

    So there is no change in global cloud cover. I would consider it to be more truthful to say that there is no way to measure gloabl cloud cover. I’ve watched a lot of clouds moving across the skies; coming and going, and i’ve observed massive changes in lcuds in just a few minutes. Now I know no way in compliancew with the laws of physics, to get an earth satellite around the globe in much less than an hour and a half. If my memory serves me, the hum frequency that plagues inertial navigation systems has an 84 minute period, which is also the period of a pendulum with a length equal to the earth radius; so that must also be the minimum orbital period, at the earth’s surface.
    So just how are you going to monitor (how about integrate) cloud changes that happen very much faster than the orbital period of any monitoring satellite.

    So without a complete global mesh of satellites in different orbits like the GPS satellite system, I remain to be convinced that satellite monitoring of either cloud cover, or earth albedo is possible.

    Now I am willing to grant that they may be able to monitor cloud cover, within the mandatory 3:1 climate modelling (Playstation video games) fudge factor; which renders and actual observations “consistent with the predictions of GCM models”. But how about an accuracy of say 1/10th percent, similar to the solar constant p-p cycling with sunspots.

    Sorry I just don’t believe it. And albedo changes are only part of the situation. Those same cloud variations (which aren’t observed) also manifest their presence, and their effect of cooling or warming, by means of changes in global precipitation. The non-scientist may not have automatically linked precipitation with the presence of clouds; but they go hand in hand.
    Once again; I suggest people check out the paper by Wentz et al in July 2007 SCIENCE journal. Wentz by the way is with Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) in Santa Rosa california. Their paper is entitled “How much More Rain will Global Warming Bring?”

    Their satellite observations showed that a one degree C rise in global surface temperature results in a 7% increase in total global evaporation; and a 7% increase in total atmospheric water content; and a 7% increase in total global precipitation. The Playstation modelers actually agreed with Wentz as far as the 7% increase in evaporation and total atmospheric water but they disagreed on the total precipitation. According to their models the total global precipitation for a 1 deg C rise, is between 1 and 3 %; not 7%. Now there we have the obligatory 3:1 fudge factor; but more significantly; as much a a 7X disparity from real actual live world observations.

    “Hello ! Earth to Playstation; we like to have our total global precipitation equal to our total global evaporation. ” It is quite discomforting to contemplae having the oceans over our head, rather than stay where they are. They must match over time; and you want to claim a 7X factor difference from observation ? “Fiddlesticks !”

    Now Wentz didn’t mention that a 7% inctrease in global total precipitation might suggest that there was an increase in precipitable cloud cover of around 7% (of precipitable clouds). Now that could manifest itself as increased cloud area (not seen) or increased cloud water density; or perhaps longer persistence time of the water bearing cloud. But whichever composite of tyhose effects woud suggest a similar level of reduction in ground level insolation due to optical density of those clouds; maybe a 7% increase or thereabouts.

    Now as much as I don’t believe we can measure cloud cover from satellites; I surely don’t believe we can measure total global cloud cover from the ground; given that about 73% of the ground is actually the oceans..

    So forgive me if I ROFLMAO at the claims that Dr Svensmark’s conjecture is not supported by cloud observations.

    The amount of total ground arriving solar energy doesn’t have to change much with cloud modulation. to wipe out any GHG effects.

    To me, the Wentz et al SCIENCE paper is a landmark observation of a key ingrediaent of how the ocean/cloud system regulates the global temperature; no matter what efforts are made to change it; either up, or down.
    Svensmark’s cosmic rays and solar charged particles that are affected by sunspot related solar magnetic fields by rearranging the latitudinal distribution of arriving energetic particles; cam shift those particles from the colder polar regions; where water vapor is in short supply, to the warmer tropics where ther is plenty of water vapor to nucleate clouds on charged particle showers (or volcanic ash, or aerosols.
    Anything that facilitates cloud formation results in cooler temperatures, since the clouds can form with lower water vapor content, on suitable nucleation centers.
    Things that inhibit cloud formation (like clean air) force a temperature rise because more surface temperature (and evaporation) is required to create the proper cloud cover that temperature regulation requires.

    So to me; you don’t have to hit somebody betweent he eyes with a 2 by 4 to get them to understand why Dr Svensmark;s thesis looks extremely plausible.

    Compared to that concept; the 150 year old wild guess by Arrhenius, that CO2 controls the temperature is laughable.

    And yes if you think you can convince me that we can actually measure cloud cover; feel free to enlightn all of us.

    And yes; please make sure that your method conforms to the laws of sampled data systems; in particular the Nyquist Criterion; and don’t forget those five minute cloud appearances, and disappearances..

    Spend some time on your back out in a farm meadow watching the clouds come and go; it’s very instructive.

  169. Walt says:

    I realize that anecdotal weather reports are not quantifiable, and therefore rank next to useless, but the discussion of temperatures on either side of the Dalton minimum made me think of the harshest winter the New York City area went through — the Winter of 1779-80. There’s a book by weather historian David M. Ludlum that discusses various things about The Hard Winter, but the extensive freezing of all the waterways around New York sticks out. While it’s probably not a great measuring stick for winter temperatures, traveling by foot 12 miles from Long Island to Stamford Connecticut over the iced over Long Island Sound will stick in memory. The waters from Staten Island to Manhattan were frozen over to the extent that cannon and hundreds cavalry and provision laden sleighs were able to be moved for reinforcements. You see, Washington’s men made skirmish attacks of Staten Island after making their way over the frozen ice from New Jersey. Ludlum’s book is “Early American Winters: 1604-1820.”

  170. len says:

    I mapped out all the minima, correlated them to the Jose cycle (Jupiter predominates … I like simple and it’s good when doing IPCC style science ;) ), and then with a couple of other clues like Landscheidt suggesting a phase change in the Gleissberg cycle that would allow for another ‘optimum’ about 2500 … I predict …

    We are entering a Grand Minimum which I’ll put at the solar minimum of 2010 for 30 years of good chill. Then there will be other minima interspersed with weak maxima in 2180 and 2370 and then the phase change and a 100 years of balmy weather in 2500. Then a weak Grand Minima in 2720 and finally a Sporer Minimum (send the Vikings home) quality ‘Grandiose Minimum’ in about 2900. I suggest we call that one the Archibald Minimum since it will be the one that drives us into the arms of the next phase of the Milankovitch cycle … 100,000 years of glaciation.

    So we have 900 years to figure out how to move to the Sahara in an orderly fashion :D

  171. Michael Ronayne says:

    There may be a problem with the way in which SWPC/NOAA is calculating the monthly Ap values which they are reporting. The international standard for the monthly Ap values are published by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) which are contained in the following dataset which extends back to January 1932:
    ftp://ftp.gfz-potsdam.de/pub/home/obs/kp-ap/ap_monyr.ave

    NGDC/NOAA also has a dataset which reports monthly Ap values back to January 1932 which has some data duplication errors and are not in agreement with the GFZ values in all cases. I have reported these problems to the NGDC/NOAA staff who are addressing these issues:
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/GEOMAGNETIC_DATA/INDICES/KP_AP/MONTHLY.DAT

    Starting with August 2004 the Ap values reported by SWPC/NOAA are at variance both the official GFZ values and those reported by NGDC/NOAA for almost every month. Generally the SWPC/NOAA Ap values are lower.
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt

    The Ap monthly values reported by GFZ, NGDC/NOAA and SWPC/NOAA are integers. If you look at the following SWPC/NOAA graphic they are displaying the Ap values as fractions. Something is clearly wrong.
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/Ap.gif

    I have reported these observations to NGDC/NOAA so let’s see what they have say. The NGDC/NOAA staff has been very responsive to problem reports.

    Mike

  172. Bruce says:

    Leif, “The two coldest years of the DM was due to volcanic activity.”

    So you say. The 3rd coldest January in the CET was in 1814. Since Mayon did not erupt until February 1st, you can’t blame it on Mayon can you?

    It may have been on course for a very cold 1814 without a volcano.

    As for 1816 … Tambora erupted in April 1815. 1815 was the 140th coldest so I wouldn’t blame volcanoes for cooling 1815 since it didn’t cool.

    Maybe you are suggesting a 1 year lag in volcanic effects … but that would mess up one of those years for your argument wouldn’t it?

  173. KuhnKat says:

    Dave,

    think of the arctic ice cap as a bowl of ice cubes with slush surrounding it. Although at times it DOES freeze into large slabs, the movement of the wind and ocean tends to crack all but the thickest sections.

    Remember, the area-extent difference is based on the fact that there is unfrozen area between chunks. When NASA says the wind is changing the size, they mean that the chunks are being pushed together and the slush is being pushed against/between the chunks. This will probably result, as previously mentioned, in a thicker, more melt resistant cap.

  174. tallbloke says:

    len (15:34:49) :

    “… every time I go through this discertation it tightens up a bit :D”

    Don’t forget to run the spellcheck….

  175. anna v says:

    Somebody asked for the direction of a new type of model for climate.

    Let me talk with an example about chaos.

    Take a lake, and there is wind over it. Waves rise. An observer in the lake or on the beach starts recording the wave variables: number of waves, height of waves, type of waves ( longitudinal or vertical) and depending on the conscientiousness, x,y,z,t
    Can he make a model that will tell him the time the highest wave ( every seventh wave in some folklore, every thirteenth in another) will arrive, by using the well known differential equations of fluid dynamics and boundary conditions? The answer is NO. The reason is because there are more than one set of differential equations and their variables are coupled. It is a chaotic system, the way climate is. Oh, you can observe that the bigger the diameter of the lake , the larger the waves, the stronger the wind, the larger the waves, smaller waves follow a large wave etc etc. Man has a pattern recognizing machine in his head and will find patterns and correlations in any chaotic system. That does not mean that the patterns have predictive strength for the behavior of a particular wave. And it is a particular wave we are discussing here about the path of our realized climate.

    All these, the ocean current oscillations, the sun variations ( yearly too) the storm variations, albedo, etc ….. are each an input with its own differential equations and variables all coupled and interconnected each pushing and pulling on the same variables to give what we observe as weather and climate.

    Nevertheless, the very recent theory of chaos has made pathways in understanding and even predicting chaotic systems’ behaviors. In the ” Don Easterbrook’s AGU paper on potential global cooling 29 12 2008″ thread, I linked to a chaos related model by Tsonis et al.

    Here are the links again

    A. Tsonis et al have tried to model the climate with a neural network, the paper can be found here http://www.nosams.whoi.edu/PDFs/papers/tsonis-grl_newtheoryforclimateshifts.pdf

    A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts
    Anastasios A. Tsonis,1 Kyle Swanson,1 and Sergey Kravtsov1
    Received 5 April 2007; revised 16 May 2007; accepted 15 June 2007; published 12 July 2007.
    [1] We construct a network of observed climate indices in
    the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective
    behavior. The results indicate that this network
    synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
    those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a
    steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices,
    the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new
    climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with
    significant changes in global temperature trend and in
    ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the
    great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence
    for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a
    state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this
    mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of
    synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of
    the size and complexity of the climate system.
    Citation: Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007),
    A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, GeophysRes. Lett., 34, L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288

    They use “the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North
    Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the El Nin˜o/Southern Oscillation
    (ENSO), and the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO)”

    a discussion here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2223

    and links here since the climate audit ones do not work

    http://www.uwm.edu/~aatsonis/

    A good exposition of the use of neural nets in climate is here:

    http://www.uwm.edu/~aatsonis/BAMS_proofs.pdf

    So IMHO this is one of the future modeling directions.

    Another could be to try and make an analogue model of the climate, on the lines of the old time analogue computers: build a computer with coupled electronic modules each representing a specific differential equation. Those computers were orders of magnitude faster than digital in solving differential equations.

  176. len says:

    Thanks tallbloke,

    I noticed that just as I hit ‘submit’ …

    Thanks for noticing …

  177. As I have shown on another thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/31/2008-ends-spotless-and-with-266-spotless-days-the-2-least-active-year-since-1900-portends-cooling/#comment-69293 any affect from volcanic eruptions is minor and short term. It seems ridiculous to suggest that periods of grand minima do not cause cooling, does that mean we right off the entire little ice age or simply put it down to volcanoes. Likewise do we ignore the last cooling period around SC20 (also caused by the same action that causes grand minima) where “scientists” were worried of the return of an ice age. And I suppose we are all dreaming that we are experiencing colder temperatures right now…some reality needs to be kept in check.

  178. Brooklyn Red Leg says:

    Robert Bateman wrote:

    1st, the Sun expands during Minimum and drowns out the sunspots.
    The the Earth starts cooling, contracting, the crust buckles under the strain and off pop the volcanoes, rubbing salt into the wounds.
    Nice.

    From what I’ve been able to uncover so far (noting that I am not a scientist, I’m a historian) is that the Plasma Universe model supports this very type of scenario. Our weather and many other factors of human life (volcanoes, earthquakes) are tied to the Earth’s magnetosphere interacting with the Sun’s. At least from a layman’s perspective its common sense. Kinda like how if the NYSE goes into the toilet, the Tokyo and UK stock market feel it.

    I am fully convinced that there are those who will not learn a thing from this episode of sunspot dimming, due to the fact that they have closed thier minds of to the possibility that the very Star which warms our planet cannot possibly do anything to vary our climate.
    I expect this sort of stuff from politicians.

    Of course not since history teaches us that politicians are only interested, generally, in amassing more wealth and power for themselves. We’re little more than peasants to most of them and they ‘know better’.

  179. David Archibald says:

    Re MC, it is too complicated to explain without graphs. Try Loutre and Berger, 2000, “Future climate changes: Are we entering an exceptionally long interglacial?” They are loony warmers, but they give enough data for you to figure it out.

    Of course Dr Svalgaard is right. The prospect of an ice age in some distant future is nothing to a warmer, whose head would be full of visions of oceans of boiling acid due next week. But I can come up with a scare story that might affect some of us alive at the moment, and you could try scaring your children with it. Rahmstorf 2003 noted that the Dansgaard-Oeschger events in the last glacial period came along at very regular intervals. As he noted: “like a precise clock”. That regular interval is 1,470 years. Each event would be a rapid warming followed by a gradual cooling. In the Holocene, there is a similar 1,470 year period called Bond events. But these are rapid cooling events, evidenced by ice rafting in the Atlantic. When was the last Bond event? It was 1,400 years ago during the Dark Ages. So, we have about seventy years to go, on average, for this normally precisely timed event to come along. All we can do is try to enjoy ourselves as much as possible in the meantime.

  180. Lee Kington says:

    Leif:
    Quoting single years or max and mins etc is not climate.
    The fact is that we do not have good evidence that the DM was colder than the surrounding 30-year climate intervals.

    Again with respect. You are correct that data from single years are not climate. I don’t know of anyone who would claim so. But then, neither is a decade, or three decades, or ten decades overly indicative of the overall climate and climate trends. As humans decades and centuries mentally mean something to us due to the fact or their relationship to our life span. In a geological sense they are, for the most part, meaningless. How can I say that?

    I am not aware of any study that has indicated or proven that the climate has in the recent past reached or exceeded the Holocene Maximum. (Please feel free to correct me if I am in error.) Since that time the climate has warmed and cooled. The long term overall trend since the Maximum is cooling. No one has proven me wrong on that point.

    If you remove most of the minor and medium level oscillations in temperature from the data a plot of each glacial period and interglacial shows that the Holocene is behaving exactly (close enough) as previous interglacials. Now we are talking about spans of geological time that have significant meaning.

    Good evidence that the Dalton was warmer then periods just prior to and after the event? We apparently are not going to agree. To me it is not logical, nor is there solid evidence, that the climate will experience a warming during one or more weak solar cycles. Nor, sans a strong influence from elsewhere, can the earth experience cooling during a strong solar cycle. I know of no one who boils water by turning the burner off.

    It appears to me, from your contributions elsewhere, that you have a tendency to discount the attending consequences of solar activity or lack of it. (I apologize if I have misinterpreted your statements.) Again with the logic; it does not seem to me that the climate system needs to be hyper-sensitive in order to react or reflect a change in solar input. It MUST react. A reduction in radiation means some level of cooling. Cooling means the atmosphere must shed H2O content. Increased precipitation means an increase in foliage, in some areas an increase in albedo (ice, snow, etc). All three (and not limited to) of them result in additional cooling. An increase in solar input generates the reverse.

    I will hold to this….

    We have a current negative PDO state and an AMO that will be neutral to negative at the end of Cycle 24? With the PDO negative the ENSO should be predominantly presenting a La Nina (additional cooling in the NH). If solar 24 and 25 are both weak (amplitudes of 40 – 70) the next positive PDO will be cooler than positive PDOs of the recent past. Warming after Solar 25 will be slow (minimal) and somewhat neutralized by a negative AMO.

    I could be wrong. The exciting thing is that although I am getting long in the tooth… I should live to see most of what transpires. I believe that man, man’s science, is about to learn some valuable lessons. Again, I respect your opinion and accept the fact that you and I disagree. Time will soon determine a winner, a draw, or reveal a greater mystery.

    Pi R not square, nor round, but rather….. digested.

  181. E.M.Smith says:

    Steven Hill (11:53:59) :
    I am making a serious decision on if I should move South or not.
    Gore says Florida will be underwater and others say were in for a extended cold period. Who is correct? Maybe nothing will happen?

    Move to just north of Orlando. Highest spot in the state (about 200 feet). If Gore is right, you get beach 10 to 20 miles away. If we get a cold period, you have a nice home in a relatively warm place with beach 50 miles away. In both cases you have Disney World, Universal, and a host of other great things to live near!

  182. John Finn says:

    Alex

    Good evidence that the Dalton was warmer then periods just prior to and after the event?

    The cooling was well under way long before the DM cyles began. There were other periods during the 19th century which were just as cool. What evidence is there that the climate during the DM is anything more than ‘internal oscillations’.

    There might be one plausible argument for a DM cooling effect but so far – nobody ‘s made it.

  183. John Finn says:

    Apology – I addressed the previous to ‘Alex’ when it shoud have been ‘Lee’.

    Sorry about that.

  184. tallbloke says:

    David Archibald (01:34:29) :

    “Rahmstorf 2003 noted that the Dansgaard-Oeschger events in the last glacial period came along at very regular intervals. As he noted: “like a precise clock”. That regular interval is 1,470 years. Each event would be a rapid warming followed by a gradual cooling. In the Holocene, there is a similar 1,470 year period called Bond events. But these are rapid cooling events, evidenced by ice rafting in the Atlantic. When was the last Bond event? It was 1,400 years ago during the Dark Ages. So, we have about seventy years to go, on average, for this normally precisely timed event to come along.”

    Well, maybe not all that precisely timed:

    “Bond et al. (1997) argue for a climate cyclicity close to 1470 ± 500 years in the North Atlantic region.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1500-year_climate_cycle

    So it could have been coincident the Maunder Minimum – Little ice age as easily as a future event. Cycles with the sort of periodicity you are talking about are rarely “precisely timed”, because there are many shorter scale cycles which may be in or out of phase with them. if it did coincide with Maunder Minimum, this may help explain the extra depth and longevity of that minimum in comparison to the other minima which coincide with the 180 year Barycentric oscillation induced ‘retrograde sun’.

  185. E.M.Smith says:

    And yes if you think you can convince me that we can actually measure cloud cover; feel free to enlightn all of us.

    As a guess: How about geosync orbit with a simple albedo variation metric? For the poles you could use one of those very elongated orbits used by high latitude spy sats; again with a whole world view albedo measure. I’m not sure how to tell snow from clouds though…

  186. Fran Manns, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Ontario) says:

    Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of believing and contributing to the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.
    Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high, making seawater a great ‘sink'; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
    Correlation is not causation to be sure. The causation has been studied, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome.
    Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy – the cosmic rays – liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.
    As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
    Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
    Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
    That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
    The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that. In addition, although the post 60s warming period is over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat.
    Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.

  187. Bob B says:

    Tallbloke, I can’t find the abstract right this minute but I know I read a paper by Rahmstorf which did an analysis which showed the 1470yr cycle had a peried accurate to 2%

  188. Chris Schoneveld says:

    TomT (09:58:24) says: “Geologists knew that land rose and fell in elevation and assumed that sea level was constant so used sea level as a measure of land rise and fall.”

    Ha, ha. I am a geologist and I have never heard of this. In geology there has always been the concept of relative sea level. “Relative” meaning with respect to the local dry land, recognizing that sea level at a certain location is a consequence of both local isostatic movement of the land (tectonic or glacial) and global eustatic sea level.

    TomT says also: “Melting sea ice is not going to cause the sea levels to rise or fall. As an actual test of this you can do at home take a clear glass of water and put 1 or 2 ice cubes in it. Note the level of the water. Now wait for the ice to melt. You should note that the water level doesn’t change.”

    Tom, This blog is a contender for the best science blog. Are you sure you have to explain all this?

  189. Charles says:

    Looks like the UK metoffice has laid down the gauntlet predicting 2009 to be one of the ‘warmest’ years on record. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20081230.html

    I think this simply will not wash with the general public

  190. tallbloke says:

    Bob B (05:01:40) :

    Tallbloke, I can’t find the abstract right this minute but I know I read a paper by Rahmstorf which did an analysis which showed the 1470yr cycle had a peried accurate to 2%

    From the wiki page I linked:

    * ≈1,400 BP (Bond event 1) — roughly correlates with the Migration Period Pessimum (450–900 AD)
    * ≈2,800 BP (Bond event 2) — roughly correlates with the Iron Age Cold Epoch (900–300 BC)[9]
    * ≈4,200 BP (Bond event 3) — correlates with the 4.2 kiloyear event
    * ≈5,900 BP (Bond event 4) — correlates with the 5.9 kiloyear event
    * ≈8,100 BP (Bond event 5) — correlates with the 8.2 kiloyear event
    * ≈9,400 BP (Bond event 6) — correlates with the Erdalen event of glacier activity in Norway,[10] as well as with a cold event in China.[11]
    * ≈10,300 BP (Bond event 7) — unnamed event
    * ≈11,100 BP (Bond event 8) — coincides with the transition from the Younger Dryas to the boreal

    I’m sure you don’t need me to do the maths to see that many of the intervals are way more than 2% different to 1400 years. Some as much as 60% different.

  191. Ken Hall says:

    “If the greens choose to use less energy, God bless them. Let them go squat around some jungle fire in loincloths, eating half-cooked monkey meat. But somehow, this prospect does not appear to please them. Somehow, they will be happy only if they can impose energy-deficient poverty on me.”

    Absolutely. I do not see Al Gore going without. and as for the climate protesters at various airports and coal power stations, many of them used old inefficient buses and some even flew to the protests. Just because they sit in their own filth at their protest camps, it doesn’t mean that they are green!

    I am not forcing anyone to use more energy, They should not force me to use less.

    It is time for some sanity, After all, only in “AGW world” can the massive increase in polar bear population get them put on the threatened species list!

  192. Brooklyn Red Leg says:

    It is time for some sanity, After all, only in “AGW world” can the massive increase in polar bear population get them put on the threatened species list!

    ::snicker::

    Yea, nothing like bemoaning an apex predator becoming ‘extinct’. Wonder if those same people will try and reason with a polar bear to keep from being its lunch.

  193. crosspatch says:

    “Geologists knew that land rose and fell in elevation and assumed that sea level was constant so used sea level as a measure of land rise and fall.”

    Actually, land rises and falls every year seasonally. January/February it bulges at the south pole, then works its way across Indonesia in Spring and as the ice melts at the North Pole, the land actually rises as mass is transferred to the South Pole. Geoff Blewitt of the University of Nevada, Reno has shown using GPS that the crust of the Earth deforms seasonally. The exact amount of deformation would depend on the amount of mass transferred from North to South pole and where you are measuring the deformation. Deformation at high latitude tends to be in the Z axis and deformation at the equator in the X and Y axis with the surface being “pulled” toward the area of increased mass. This area would start at the pole in January/February, make its way quickly across South America to the Antarctic reaching maximum in in July/August and then continue moving across Indonesia back up to the Arctic again and basically rotates around the Earth as mass moves back and forth from pole to pole.

    An increasing amount of ice difference between summer and winter would increase the amount of crustal deformation. You can read more about it here with registration or subscription:

    A New Global Mode of Earth Deformation: Seasonal Cycle Detected.

    I would imagine it would be quite different when we have maximum ice at the South pole and minimal ice in the Arctic as we had in 2007. In no case can one rely on a gauge sitting on the ground to measure sea height. You are going to get noise that is greater than the annual change in sea level from the normal seasonal crustal deformation as mass moves from one pole to the other over the course of the year.

  194. http://www.physorg.com/news150397996.html

    Volcanoes Cool The Tropics, Say Researchers
    January 5th, 2009 in Space & Earth science / Earth Sciences

    This is Mount Bromo, an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia. Credit: Paul Krusic, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Climate researchers have shown that big volcanic eruptions over the past 450 years have temporarily cooled weather in the tropics—but suggest that such effects may have been masked in the 20th century by rising global temperatures. Their paper, which shows that higher latitudes can be even more sensitive to volcanism, appears in the current issue of Nature Geoscience.

  195. George E. Smith says:

    “” E.M.Smith (04:28:09) :

    And yes if you think you can convince me that we can actually measure cloud cover; feel free to enlightn all of us.

    As a guess: How about geosync orbit with a simple albedo variation metric? For the poles you could use one of those very elongated orbits used by high latitude spy sats; again with a whole world view albedo measure. I’m not sure how to tell snow from clouds though… “”

    Well E.M., I evidently didn’t make my point very well. With any satellite , you cannot monitor 100 % of the earth surface 100% of the time, and clouds come and go at very fast rates compared to earth rotation.

    Yes in principle a set of geosynchronous orbit satellites in appropriate orbits might see more of the globe simultaneously if not very accurately, particularly at the grazing incidence rims. Even polar orbit satellites have their limitations because of the 23 1/2 degree earth axis tilt. It is inherently impossible to maintain an orbit that constantly flies over both poles; well not impossible if you have a continously powered satellite that can change orbit constantly.

    Likewise, geosynchronous orbits react to the earth’s CG, and not to its surface rotation (except as a perturbation) so they too must wander. But even if you can get good albedo readings, and as you say discriminate snow from clouds; how to you simultaneously monitor the transmission losses to the ground through such clouds, not being able to view the whole thing from under the clouds . All sky cameras have only limited coverage, lots of optical distortions to correct for.

    It’s amazing that modellists can wax poetic about the feedback enhancement of CO2 absorption of IR but just don’t even think about the feedback mechanisms of changes on the sun, both small Solar constant variations (0.1%), and far more significant magnetic and cosmic ray interventions.

    The cosmic ray influence on cloud formation is itself irrefutable; at least it is to any nuclear physicist who ever heard of the Wilson Cloud Chamber; and even bacteria can influence cloud seeding, as was found back East when individual water droplets from rain were foud to be contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, that had multiplied inside a falling raindrop that the bacterium was probably responsible for nucleating.

    Water will condense on any surface that is larger than zero size; but free water molecules absent a substrate, are reluctant to coalesce into droplets.

    I’m not sure that that is related to the 2T/r excess internal pressure due to surface tension; but then I am not sure it isn’t either.

  196. Jeff Alberts says:

    Geoff Blewitt of the University of Nevada, Reno

    A very unfortunate name… 8^)

  197. Bob B says:

    Tallbloke, this was the paper I was talking about:

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Journals/rahmstorf_grl_2003.pdf

    “An analysis of the GISP2 ice core
    record from Greenland reveals that abrupt climate events
    appear to be paced by a 1,470-year cycle with a period that
    is probably stable to within a few percent;”

  198. Bill P says:

    Leif,

    What is the primary function and service of the solar cycle prediction panel? In other words, who, primarily, benefits from their predictions?

    Are you on this panel?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  199. Bill P says:

    (Also) Leif, WRT:

    …And, indeed, the monthly mean CRF has already starting its decline commensurate with a [statistical] solar minimum sometime last summer [August perhaps].

    A graph from one of your papers demonstrates the characteristic of any two successive cycles to overlap (beginning of one with tail-end of the previous). I just wondered why 23 and 24 above are shown as non-overlapping. Are these data sketched in only after the fact?

  200. Bill P says:

    L.Nettles, I liked your story “A birdwatcher who made a fruitless journey to Norway to see a rare snow bunting, returned home to Britain only to discover one of the species had landed on her garden fence.”

    Not that uncommon. I know of a Norse solar physicist who turns up in Golden, Colorado every now and again.

  201. Brian Hall says:

    About the mammoths: when very young (~50 yrs ago) I remember reading a hypothesis that was very compelling. A huge ‘bleb’ of superheated air and gas was pushed up to the top of the atmosphere, where it cooled and contracted. At some point, it ‘broke through’, and fell onto the surface in Siberia. It was super-cooled, and flash-froze the mammoths in mid-munch. Around the outer fringes of the fall site, out-flowing super-hurricane winds shredded the landscape, flora, and fauna. An example found was frozen pieces of sabre-tooth tiger, amidst a variety of other debris.

    Dramatic imagery, anyway. And it covers a few major questions, like, “How DO you freeze a mammoth in a matter of a few seconds? So fast that the cells are unburst by large ice crystals (the ” Birdseye” effect)?”

  202. Bill P (18:44:00) :
    What is the primary function and service of the solar cycle prediction panel? In other words, who, primarily, benefits from their predictions?
    Are you on this panel?

    Yes, I’m on the panel. The primary reason for having a panel is to forecast the solar cycle for planning purposes for satellite orbits and shielding. A secondary reason [evil tongues claim it is the primary reason :-) ] is so that the insurance companies that insure satellites can base the premiums on a ‘government’ backed risk factor [the solar cycle strength] without the fear of being sued for setting premium too high. That is why the government [and the insurance lobbyists] wants a high solar cycle [=maximum risk=maximum premium].

    A graph from one of your papers demonstrates the characteristic of any two successive cycles to overlap (beginning of one with tail-end of the previous). I just wondered why 23 and 24 above are shown as non-overlapping. Are these data sketched in only after
    I’m not sure what you are referring to. My plot of the transition [page 4 of http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf ] clearly shows the overlap.

  203. anna v says:

    George E. Smith (15:54:35) :

    “” E.M.Smith (04:28:09) :

    And yes if you think you can convince me that we can actually measure cloud cover; feel free to enlightn all of us.

    As a guess: How about geosync orbit with a simple albedo variation metric? For the poles you could use one of those very elongated orbits used by high latitude spy sats; again with a whole world view albedo measure. I’m not sure how to tell snow from clouds though… “”

    Well E.M., I evidently didn’t make my point very well.

    Albedo is being measured, in interesting ways, copying the link from another thread

    http://climatesci.org/2009/01/02/new-jgr-paper-inter-annual-variations-in-earths-reflectance-by-palle-et-al-2009/

    “The overall reflectance of sunlight from Earth is a fundamental parameter for climate studies. Recently, measurements of earthshine were used to find large decadal variability in Earth’s reflectance of sunlight. However, the results did not seem consistent with contemporaneous independent albedo measurements from the low Earth orbit satellite, CERES, which showed a weak, opposing trend. Now, more data for both are available, all sets have been either re-analyzed (earthshine) or re-calibrated (CERES), and present consistent results. Albedo data are also available from the recently released ISCCP FD product. Earthshine and FD analyses show contemporaneous and climatologically significant increases in the Earth’s reflectance from the outset of our earthshine measurements beginning in late 1998 roughly until mid- 2000. After that and to date, all three show a roughly constant terrestrial albedo, except for the FD data in the most recent years. Using satellite cloud data and Earth reflectance models, we also show that the decadal scale changes in Earth’s reflectance measured by earthshine are reliable, and caused by changes in the properties of clouds rather than any spurious signal, such as changes in the Sun-Earth-Moon geometry.

    We have to wait until a copy of the paper gets on the net somehow.

  204. jeez says:

    So, Anna V, what I was taught 30 years ago about water keeping the temperature of the Earth livable for humans may actually be true. Cool, I mean warm, but not too warm.

  205. Roger Carr says:

    Farewell, America… we really didn’t mean to take you down with us…

    “Australia exports coal and sets atmospheric carbon dioxide goals so large as to guarantee destruction of much of the life on the planet.”

    Professor James Hansen has written an open letter to Barack Obama
    The Australian

  206. helvio says:

    Sometimes people talk about sunspots being so small they wouldn’t be spotted 100 years ago. So, why can’t we replicate the observational methods of 100 years ago, and use the number of sunspots observed in that way as a qualitative measurement of Sun’s activity? Maybe people could consider only those spots larger than a given size.

    By the way, when we see graphics on the number of sunspots vs time for the last ~400 years, are they considering the increase in accuracy of these observations (i.e. the ability of seeing smaller spots with better instrumentation)?

  207. Peter Taylor says:

    Dave – further on the Siberian front, if you can track the jetstream from any sources that will give you access to its behaviour these last few months, (( I check it in real-time but don’t know if backdated graphics are available), you would see that it moved south and developed an easterly shift in the standing wave – so when England was getting dumped on in the summer by the upwave, the downwave got as far as the Arabian gulf and the upwave headed into Siberia via Kazakhstan – as others then say, dumping heat in a place where it would then be lost to space in the winter. This warming caused many ducks and geese to delay their migration west to Britain. The jetstream has shifted again, getting compressed by blocking high pressure systems over Iceland and directing warm air from the Atlantic into Labrador (which should be warmer now than normal), and also split with a flat line into Spain. In Britain we don’t get the warm westerly moisture laiden air, instead the cold dry air from northern Europe is drawn westward and Britain is freezing (-10C last night).

    The jetstream shifted significantly in the summers of 2007 and 2008 (with record torrential rain in the UK), and I was waiting for the ‘blocking highs’ to appear this winter (CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW A HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM DEVELOPS OVER ICELAND IN WINTER WHEN IT IS DARK AND COLD?) – as these pressure systems mark the transition to a cold-phase North Atlantic Oscillation (we’ve had a warm phase coincident with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation for the past 20 years). But more intriguing, work by Drew Shindell at NASA points to these shifts in the jetstream being caused by changes in the solar flux of UV radiation affecting the polar vortex – AND – paleo-ecological evidence points to a long-term shift of this type during the Maunder Minimum.

    I have been trying to get our MetOffice to study this stuff!!!

  208. Tex says:

    Didn’t read every comment above, so this may have already been mentioned…but Hathaway appears to have revised his prediction on 1/5/09. It appears that he has reduced the predicted peak to around 105 and has moved the peak out to late 2012/early 2013.

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

  209. Bill P says:

    Thanks, Leif.

    “…the government [and the insurance lobbyists] wants a high solar cycle [=maximum risk=maximum premium].”

    Must be Big Business with the boom in telecommunications satellites.

  210. TonyB says:

    Peter Taylor

    You have touched on a number of things that I had intended to ask questions about. As a fellow Brit living a few miles away from the Met office in the ‘mild’ South West I am missing the warm wet westerly winds my geography master taught me about in the year…well let’s not go into that just now…

    At present we are having a cold winter due to cold easterlies. The last two summers we had wet weather due to the position of the jet strream. Two Christmases ok we had a big high pressure which caused a long cold dry foggy spell which stopped snow falling in the alps (creating a scare about AGW threatening ski resorts)

    If a high pressure moves slightly the winds change direction to a warmer/colder position. If we have an altlantic depression we get mild wet days and most notably mild nights and mild winters. In this respect has anything changed over the centuries? Arent the same things to blame/praise according to how good/bad our weather was. Our weather is famously variable as the Hadley 1660 figures -unsmoothed-demonstrate.
    http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/menken_hobgoblin.jpg

    I saw a study of winds written around 1940 looking at patterns from 1860 to 1940 demonstrating they had notably changed and were causing mild weather over the western hemisphere.

    So the question is-when we look at climate are we merely looking at a linked series of random weather events coupled with an unpredicable jet stream which, depending on how the cards fall on the table, might mean the weather is average, or warmer than normal, or cooler than normal, or wetter/drier/windier than normal, but that doesnt make it ‘abnormal’ because of co2.

    I’m inclined therefore to see climate as a long series of weather events rather than something that is somehow independent of the weather events that created it. Over a long period of time -even someones average life span- it tends to even itself out as the following table shows.

    Someone born in Britain in 1660 and living to 70- Average annual temp 8.87c
    Some one in 1670 and living to 70 Average annual temp 8.98
    1680 9.01
    1690 9.05
    1700 9.19
    1710 9.21
    1720 9.17
    1730 9.14
    1740 9.04
    1750 9.03
    1760 9.08
    1770 9.10
    1780 9.07
    1790 9.12
    1800 9.15
    1810 9.13
    1820 9.14
    1830 9.12
    1840 9.10
    1850 9.14 (Start of the famously reliable Hadley global temperatures)
    1860 9.17
    1870 9.21
    1880 9.30
    1890 9.39
    1900 9.40
    1910 9.46
    1920 9.497
    1930 9.60
    1940 9.70 (projected to 2009)
    1950 9.76 a bit of a guess and assumes current trends continue
    1960 9.83 a wild guess and assumes current trends continue

    I decided to call people born in the period from 1660 to 1880 as ‘LIA Everyman’ in as much they lived part of their lives during the little ice age, and those born from 1890 to the present day as ‘UHI Everyman’ (although no adjustments have been made to correct UHI Everyman’s tendency to exaggerate temperatures)

    So even through much of the Little ice ages temperatures during someones life span were barely 0.5C different to today. Not something we’d even notice-especially in our famously variable climate!

    TonyB

  211. helvio (07:13:06) :
    So, why can’t we replicate the observational methods of 100 years ago, and use the number of sunspots observed in that way as a qualitative measurement of Sun’s activity?
    We can and we do and we try to compensate for the difference the best we know.

    Peter Taylor (07:28:50) :
    work by Drew Shindell at NASA points to these shifts in the jetstream
    Shindell used what we today consider to be an obsolete reconstruction of the Total Solar Irradiance and the conclusion is therefore no longer valid.

  212. anna v says:

    Peter Taylor (07:28:50) :

    (CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW A HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM DEVELOPS OVER ICELAND IN WINTER WHEN IT IS DARK AND COLD?) -

    I can point to the anomalies link http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-081228.gif, and the animation at the bottom of http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/.

    4 degrees C extra, considering that the higher up atmosphere is much cooler might do it?

    I have been hypothesizing geothermal sources, but I suppose confluence of southern storms around iceland might give a similar pattern ( I do not know enough to guess).

  213. George E. Smith says:

    “” anna v (21:12:49) : “”

    Anna, I’m familiar with the “earthshine” concept for measuring earth albedo. Yes ingenious (maybe), but when I consider all the gremlins that can beset such a measurement method; I tend to want to say that it appears to be consistent with the obligatory 3:1 fudge factor of all climate modelling models.

    So what do we know about the spectral emittance of the moon’s surface; as a function of the moon’s “lunography” ?. What do we know about the angular distribution of the moon’s spectral reflectance; again as a function of the lunography ? What do we know about the time variations of the earth’s spectral albedo as a function of both geography and also variations in clouds ? What do we know about the angular distribution pattern of the earth’s spectral albedo ?

    So we have some partial region of the earth illuminated at some oblique angle by the sun; scattering light both in angular space and spectral space, with geographical cloud variations so that part of that radiation falls on some partial region of the moon, reflecting back in some complex spectral and spatial distribution to either an extra-atmospheric satellite, or perhaps returning to earth through some other variable atmospheric transmission window.

    Well you get my point. Earthshine is not unlike tree rings or ice cores or coral reefs, as a proxy for what is being accurately modelled by that real system called planet earth.

    The earth is continuously making measurements of how much electromagnetic radiation it wants to emit into outer space, in order to prevent a planetary melt down; and what we really want to know is what the hell the earth thinks is the correct amount to report.

    Earthshine is like asking your bookmaker’s gardner’s wife, for a tip on the big race this weekend.

    But that refeerence you cited, seems to be saying that during the period (recently) when the earth temperature stood still, the earthshine didn’t show much cloud cover variation in albedo. Well I might say one could have predicted such a result; but I’m glad somebody is trying to measure such things. Perhaps one day we will get to the end of the claims that cloud cover is not chjanging and having no effect ont eh earth’s climate; which by inference absolves the sun from any responsibility either.

  214. anna v says:

    George E. Smith (11:23:21) :

    I agree that there are too many convolutions intervening, but it is interesting that they are hitting the problem from many sides:

    There is a previous article by the same authors, http://www.iac.es/galeria/epalle/reprints/Palle_etal_EOS_2006.pdf
    and they are using not only earthshine but also satellite measurements and ground cloud measurements to estimate albedo.

    For fun, I guestimated from the figure the values of albedo and derived a temperature and posted it on a previous thread. There is heating and then there is a steady state.

    The Palle plot is also in
    http://www.leif.org/research/albedo.png
    with the temperatures either atmoz http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/02/27/4-global-temperature-anomalies-say-the-same-thing/

    or junkscience ihttp://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/MSUvsRSS-m.html

    I used the toy model at http://junkscience.com/Greenhouse/Earth_temp.html to turn albedo to temperature and got much greater swings in amplitude ( not surprisingly) than measurements.

    Normalizing on the atmoz anomaly plot for of 2005, I get, starting from 1984, (accuracy not so hot, estimated by eye)

    -1.3 C 1984
    -1.46
    -0.80
    -0.63
    -1.13
    -0.47
    -1.17
    -0.15
    -1.13
    -0.01
    0.44
    2.69 1998
    0.83
    0.83
    0.83
    0.5
    1.15
    -0.96 2004
    0.35 2005

    I am waiting for the next years albedo values :).

  215. maksimovich says:

    Leif Svalgaard10:01:11) :

    “work by Drew Shindell at NASA points to these shifts in the jetstream
    Shindell used what we today consider to be an obsolete reconstruction of the Total Solar Irradiance and the conclusion is therefore no longer valid.”

    Indeed neither TSI or f10.7 are valid proxies for UV reconstructions as they do not capture the required frequencies for photochemical amplification or attenuation.(eg Rozanov)

    Much the same for GCR and “averaging” where there are widespread discrepancies between neutron monitors and both balloon and satellite observations and latitude attenuation eg Bazilevskaya et al

    http://cc.oulu.fi/~usoskin/personal/SSR_Baz_2008.pdf

  216. Glenn says:

    Got a new sunspot! Lower right hand.

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/mdi_igr/1024/latest.html

    Viewed (timestamped 2009/01/07 00:00)

    I watched this on magnetogram since earlier today.

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/javagif/gifs_small/20090107_0000_mdi_mag.gif

    Remember, you heard it here first. Get it while it’s hot.

  217. Richard111 says:

    Is that a small spot (two?) at about 4 o’clock near the limb?

  218. Leon Brozyna says:

    The sun’s still spotless after 25 days. Last night’s sunspeck appears to have been a too short-lived event to be worthy of official notice.

    In other news, I hear Hathaway has come out with a new forecast. Sure hope they can do an update on what’s now showing at SWPC’s graphs. They’re showing an embarrassing disconnect between the old forecast and the current situation.

  219. Sergio da Roma says:

    Leif Svalgaard 10:25:50 04/01/2009

    There are even indications that the primary cosmic ray intensity may be decreasing:
    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/reprints/2007bieber.pdf
    That link also contains a good discussion of all the factors involved in long-term cosmic ray assessment.

    In that article was reported an evident cosmic rays decreasing in geographic south pole. What about the north pole? Any monitoring there, I suppose…but it could be a relevant question in relation to possible long term climate effects of cosmic rays in artctic areas.

  220. Sergio da Roma (04:11:14) :
    “There are even indications that the primary cosmic ray intensity may be decreasing [...]”

    In that article was reported an evident cosmic rays decreasing in geographic south pole. What about the north pole? Any monitoring there,

    Thule is near the northern magnetic pole: http://www.leif.org/research/thule-cosmic-rays.png

  221. Bob Tatz says:

    YAHP : Yet Another Hathaway Prediction…
    ( ok, every few years: YAHP, YAHP, YAHP…. )

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/ssn_predict_l.gif

    I sometimes think he should replace the backdrop of the sun with a crystal ball.

    He’s still picking a max of 100 sunspots so Lief has not quite convinced him.

    Regards,
    Bob

  222. Tex says:

    Beat you by almost exactly 24 hours Bob. It looks like they corrected the January 2008 on the graph to say January 2009, but its the same prediction graph.

  223. Bob Tatz says:

    Yes, Tex, I know it’s been discussed but now we have a new acronym.

    You have to say it fast, although I don’t know how it’d sound with a drawl.

    YAHP

    Regards,
    Bob

  224. Glenn says:

    Richard111 (00:52:31) :

    “Is that a small spot (two?) at about 4 o’clock near the limb?”

    Not anymore. But look just up to around 3 oclock near the edge, looks like someone scratched the surface. Get it quick though before it gets cold.

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/mdi_igr/1024/latest.html

  225. Sergio da Roma says:

    Thank you Leif for your replay. I’m sorry but I have still a little doubt. In that article I noted a big difference between MacMurdo and the south pole. Thule is at about 78 degree N. I was interested about that, because I guess CR could be a very different effect on climate over the poles in comparison to the lower latitudes covered by oceans. What do you think about that? Is it possible that GCR anisotropy originated by IMF has opposite configuration and trends over the north pole?

    Thank you in advance

  226. Sergio da Roma (04:10:59) :
    I noted a big difference between MacMurdo and the south pole. Thule is at about 78 degree N.
    The latitude that is important is the magnetic latitude, not the geographic one. Thule sits at something like 89 degrees [changes a bit with time].

    I was interested about that, because I guess CR could be a very different effect on climate over the poles in comparison to the lower latitudes covered by oceans. What do you think about that? Is it possible that GCR anisotropy originated by IMF has opposite configuration and trends over the north pole?
    It shouldn’t matter where we are as far as real changes in GCRs are concerned. The thing is a bit of a mystery. I mentioned it mainly as an illustration of why one should not hang too much on what a single stations shows.

  227. George says:

    NEW SUNSPOTS: For the second time this week, a sunspot is coalescing on the surface of the sun. The spot’s high latitude and magnetic polarity identify it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24; its appearance continues a recent trend of gradually intensifying new-cycle solar activity. The spot is growing rapidly and may soon provide a nice target for backyard solar telescopes.
    From – http://www.spaceweather.com

  228. Harvey Bloom says:

    I have been concerned and following the lack of sunspots and lower than predicted.
    As of today (1/31/2009) – I think that we’ve had 328 consecutive days without sunspots.
    If anyone has contrary info, I’d appreciate it.
    Links from
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/science/space/03sun.html; http://spacescience.com/;

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