A possible correlation between the Southern Oscillation Index and the Solar Ap Index

I was pointed to this graph by an email from WUWT reader Phil Ravenscroft and I’m reposting it here for discussion.

soi-ap-index

Click for a larger image

While the correlation looks plausible, it seems almost too good. Since the email tip for this graph did not include the source data files, I was ready to dismiss it.

UPDATE: my first impression was the correct one – see comments

But in doing my own research, I found myself being led back to late John Daly and his references to Theodor Landscheidt in this page. While I don’t put much stock in Landscheidt’s barycentric theories, I’ve never known John Daly to pursue a wild hare. Looking further, in the peer reviewed literature, there is this paper:

Connection between ENSO phenomena and solar and geomagnetic activity (PDF) by M A. Nuzhdina, Astronomical Observatory of Kiev National T. Shevchenko University, Kiev, Ukraine in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (2002) 2: 83–89. European Geophysical Society.

I find this passage interesting:

The analysis of planetary fields of pressure shows that they
are connected both with the 11-year and the 22-year solar cycles
(Wagner, 1971). The atmospheric barometric centers,
Icelandic and Aleut depressions, Pacific, Siberian, Azores
anticyclones in the northern hemisphere, displace close to
the maxima of 11-year solar cycles. The Azores and Icelandic
barometric centers tend to displace on the east close
to the maximum of a solar cycle (Herman and Goldberg,
1978). The clockwise circulation, connected with Azores anticyclone,
causes passat winds in the north-east direction.
The response of barometric formations at the midday regions
of the Earth (namely, recess or filling of cyclones or
strengthening or destruction of anticyclones) depends upon
tbe sign of the magnetic field of the sunspot which is crossing
the central meridian of the Sun (Nuzhdina and Barkova,
1983). Spontaneous phenomena of solar activity (solar
flares) and crossings by the Earth of an IMF sector boundary
are accompanied by changes of atmospheric pressure and
cyclonic activity in some regions Mustel, 1972; Roberts and
Olsen, 1973; Herman and Goldberg, 1978). A low-pressure
region in the gulf of Alaska is more significant, when the
IMF is directed away from the Sun, than towards (Wilcox,
1978).

The authors conclude:

– QB and QA oscillations in ENSO data are coherent with
the same oscillation in Ap-index and Wolf number data. 5.3-year oscillation is coherent in ENSO and Wolf number data.

– In our opinion, cyclic dynamics of ENSO phenomena
are due to solar activity and geomagnetic variations.
It is background long-period variations on which high frequency
oscillations are imposed.

This is an interesting concept and worth further discussion. My goal in posting this is to have our team of WUWT readers take a good hard look at this and see if the SOI – Ap graph has any merit.

I’m traveling today, so have at it. Please, please, keep on topic. Lately people have just been posting random links and OT’s.

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169 thoughts on “A possible correlation between the Southern Oscillation Index and the Solar Ap Index

  1. The paper at the first external link [John Daly site, Landscheidt’s paper] doesn’t carry a date that I could find. Maybe I missed it. Seems about the year 2000 by looking at the dates of the references. Any ideas or anything more recent?
    Also, Landscheidt claims to have been converted to this phenomenon by Nigel Calder, while before thinking that only the motions of the solar system mattered. The point Anthony referred to.

    I haven’t gotten to the second paper yet. That will have to wait until Friday. Sleep awaits.

  2. I’d agree that this does look too good to be true.

    Any idea where these measurements came from?

    According to the pdf, it came from INTERNET!, but that seems a bit broad.

  3. I’m a bit skeptical, too. The graph looks good, all right, much better than some “the-peaks-almost-match” charts that turn out to be like “94% of all homicides occur within two weeks of a full or new moon.” Still, it’s worth looking into. Even “worth blogging about.”

  4. I don’t know where the data is coming from, but the yellow curve is not the Ap index. Looks like some kind of normalized or manipulated version. E.g. the sharp dip at month 813 [that makes for the good correlation with SOI] is not in the Ap index. Beware of correlations that are ‘too good’, or people claiming almost perfect match.

  5. Just at first glance, and knowing nothing much about it, this graph appears to be telling us the SOI turns on a proverbial dime. That seems highly implausible.

  6. Gosh, I really think you are getting it all wrong. As with CO2 and temperature, you’ve got the correlation backwards. Everybody knows that solar Ap lags the SOI.

  7. The analysis of planetary fields of pressure shows that they
    are connected both with the 11-year and the 22-year solar cycles
    (Wagner, 1971). The atmospheric barometric centers,
    Icelandic and Aleut depressions, Pacific, Siberian, Azores
    anticyclones in the northern hemisphere, displace close to
    the maxima of 11-year solar cycles. The Azores and Icelandic
    barometric centers tend to displace on the east close
    to the maximum of a solar cycle (Herman and Goldberg,
    1978). The clockwise circulation, connected with Azores anticyclone,
    causes passat winds in the north-east direction.
    The response of barometric formations at the midday regions
    of the Earth (namely, recess or filling of cyclones or
    strengthening or destruction of anticyclones) depends upon
    tbe sign of the magnetic field of the sunspot which is crossing
    the central meridian of the Sun

    Extremely interesting. I maintain if the term ‘climate change’ means anything, it means the high and low pressure systems that cause the world’s weather move poleward or equatorward and intensive or weaken.

    The reference above says the pressure systems move according to the solar cycle and strengthen/weaken in direct response to the magnetic orientation of individual sunspots. If true, WOW! Forget about solar irradiance, because it means the sun directly (not indirectly through heat) controls our weather (if true).

  8. Took NOAA’s SOI index values here

    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/GEOMAGNETIC_DATA/INDICES/KP_AP/

    and BOM (Australia) SOI index values here

    ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/home/ncc/www/sco/soi/soiplaintext.html

    and the Ap index here

    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/GEOMAGNETIC_DATA/INDICES/KP_AP/
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/GEOMAGNETIC_DATA/INDICES/KP_AP/MONTHLY.DAT

    (file description in MONTHLY.FMT)

    Could not reproduce the results. Ap-SOI R2 < 0.01. SO no correlation whatsoever. R2 of both SOI indices for the period 1932-2009 was 0.934

    The Ap temporal variations appear (by eye) similar to the ones shown here

    Please check, I could easily have made a mistake …

  9. In the graph above, the 1939/40/41/42 El Nino appears as the dip from months ~100 to ~160 when it should be more toward ~81 to ~125. The 1981/82 El Nino appears centered near month 639, when it should run from ~595 to ~617, And the 1997/98 El Nino above occurs around month 813, when it should run from ~770 to ~800. So the SOI has been shifted (lagged) as far as I can tell.

    And those specific El Nino dips do NOT appear on Leif’s AP Index graph.

    Leif, if you’ve got the AP Index data in monthly format, I’ll plot it with the SOI.

    Regards

  10. The concept is one that I have entertained. So, the chart is interesting to me on that account. Like others have posted, the fit may be “too good to be true”. Anyhow, I never did more than “thought experiments”.

    It will be interesting to see if the above chart stands up to community scrutiny.

  11. The SOI does seemed determined to remain positive at the moment, almost inspite of the more neutral readings from other ENSO factors. The correlation had crossed my mind and am fascinated if somethng showed up. They’re sailing on Lake Eyre, which just indicates that we’ve had a reasonable “wet” season in ENSO effected regions of Australia.

  12. It would be interesting if one you math experts could come up with a variation between the two and then on top of that one with a comparison to periodic CO2 levels. It might show a link or it might show just how much of a non factor just one GHG is to the system. Establishing two links might be adding errors or just isn’t a good match of historic data.

    If this were a fingerprint and I were a defense attorney I would advise my client to plea bargain.

  13. There is a QBO in solar activity with an average period of 27.1 months. This is the second most important variation on the sun after the sunspot cycle.

    Sea surface temperature in the tropics is related very directly to the QBO in the stratosphere. The QBO in the stratosphere is linked directly to temperature variations at the poles which are in turn related to the aa index of geomagnetic activity. The Arctic Oscillation, surface temperature and wind patterns in both hemispheres are affected.

    Essentially, the basic parameters of the climate system that drive responses in all those little grid squares in the climatic models are not stable. They depend upon the sun.

    The story is here: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/solar-warming-solar-cooling/

    Looking at it again I realize that for many readers it will be long and complex but I try to cross all the T’s and dot the I’s. There will be more to come as I understand it better.

    From the paper:

    Conclusion

    Solar activity has weakened the vortex in both hemispheres. Periodic change in 200hPa temperature in response to changing ozone content and changing short wave radiation change ice cloud density and prevalence. This drives the Southern Oscillation. By and large it is the sea that stores energy and transports it to higher latitudes producing warmer winters. Ultimately sea surface temperature depends upon the Quasi Biennial Oscillation in ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind. The change in the solar QBO is responsible for the waxing and waning of the Southern Oscillation as it changes between El Nino and La Nina dominance.

    Implications

    Since warmer winters provide a longer growing season recent increase in winter temperature at high latitudes must be regarded as beneficial. That warming process is now reversing. If the sun descends into a deep minimum of ultraviolet and magnetic activity, all earth species will suffer.

    The notion that carbon dioxide has caused a temperature increase is not supported by the climate record or observation of temperature dynamics beneath the tropopause. Limiting carbon emissions will do nothing to stem the course of solar driven climate change.

    Modelling that begins with the assumption that influential parameters like ozone concentration, upper troposphere temperature and cloud cover are unaffected by solar activity, or that conditions in the troposphere are unaffected by QBO dynamics is devoid of value and has no utility whatsoever.

  14. I’d like to know if the full cycle of the PDO, around 60 plus years, fits historically within six solar cycles. Do we even have enough data to see if there is a fit going back in time?

    The reason I ask is that if we can find something that alternates from one solar cycle to the next, like the shape of the peaks of cosmic rays, then alternating phases of the PDO, from warm to cool and back again, would each contain one solar cycle of one type and two solar cycles of the other type. It’s a nice little potential mechanism, but fails if the solar cycles and the PDO are not in synchrony.
    =====================================

  15. I don’t know much at all about Landscheidt, but I do know that the history of science contains many instances where someone notices correlations but cannot come up with a good explanation. The barycentric model seems a little far out to me as far as gravitational cause and effect, but who knows what is going on magnetohydrodynamically.

    Alfred Wegner was not the first to notice how the continents matched up, but he pushed the correlation farther than anyone. He could not come up with a mechanism, but the mechanism that was finally found now comprises one of the best proven theories in science.

    Immanuel Velikovsky was a crackpot, but he noticed a lot of exceptions that probed the rule of uniformitarianism and are now being treated with real scientific interest. No, no competent scientist hypothesizes that Venus was a comet, but there is evidence that comet Encke or its fragments may have affected the earth within the cultural memory of man if not in written Chinese history.

    Hannes Alfven said words to the effect that physicist pronounce their theories, but the universe does not behave that way. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the electromagnetic properties of the universe.

    “Dark Matter” is hypothesized to comprise some 90% of the universe, but we have no idea what it is.

    Correlation is not proof, but only a fool dismisses it, IMO.

  16. Could this also have bearing on the NH? The squirrelly jet stream has gone South yet again, and I recall another article along these lines that showed some correlation to the jet stream.

    BTW: If I were in the Mid West/Great Lakes area, I’d forget about removing my snow tires just yet…

  17. I’ve wondered about these connections before, but if memory serves, there have been different series used to establish correlations. Thus it is important that those of us (not including me) who are most handy with data and most hard headed in their use dig deep.

    Would it be useful to use sunspot series instead of the AP index as a second way of looking at the issue?

    Assuming for the sake of argument that there might be a connection between solar activity and the SOI, can anyone knowledgeable on the subject make an informed guess as to what might have happened to the SOI when the sun was cooler than it would be during “normal” 11 and 22 year cycles, e.g., during the Dalton minimum in the early 19th C, or the less pronounced minimum in the early 20th C?

  18. Also, if the proxy historically for solar minima is C14, and C14 varies according to cosmic rays, that is evidence that solar minima vary the cosmic rays impacting the earth, and hence, possibly cloudiness and temperature.
    ============================================

  19. Bob T / Jos

    I think that Phil Ravenscroft’s SOI is the NCAR (Standardized Tahiti — Standardized Darwin) SOI where the standardizing is done using the approach outlined by Trenberth (1984).

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/catalog/climind/soiAnnual.html

    Data here:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/catalog/climind/SOI.signal.annstd.ascii

    I graphed this and it appears identical (it also is lagged by about a year to the Ap index).

    Now, I had a quick look, but as it’s late here in Aus and I can’t look for a different version of the Ap Index (that maybe Phil used) – there are some out there. Maybe Leif will know of different versions… (By the way, Leif’s graph appears to be the data from NGDC.NOAA that Jos linked to above).

    cheers

  20. No no no. This is a hoax.

    The obvious failing is two fold :
    1) The allignment of the graphs is too perfect. Looking at the graphs, I could never believe that there would be such a perfect allignment.
    2) If there is a correlation, then there must be a lag, of at least a few years. Water has tremendous heat capacity, and any solar influence would have a few years delay. That graph is just too perfectlt alligned to be real.

    If it is genuine, then the AGW hoax has just technically ended.
    (not necessarily policially ended !!)

    But this is not real.

  21. Well, I am not impressed.

    1)There is a much higher frequency in the oscillations of the mauve curve than the yellow curve.

    2) The yellow curve has more oscillations than the curve provided by Leif (13 versus 9) so they can not be the same curve

    3) a spaghetti type effect is induced on the eye by the many small oscillations in each large one. If I had the tools I would try a fourier analysis or some such, to get some solid numbers to compare between the two curves.

    That as far as presentation.

    Now on more insidious grounds. If one has two oscillating sinusoidal behaviors it is easy to manipulate them to coincide in some peaks and troughs. It is also easy to get fortuitous coincidences.

    I will again go to my example of wave trains in water. Take two similar size lakes and let the same amplitude wind blow on them. The wave trains of the two lakes will be highly correlated with some lags or forwards of the plots, even if one lake is in Geneva and the other in the US. Similar initial conditions and similar context make for correlations but in no way for causation. It is the effect of having the same differential equations entering the problem.

    Now, in my view, there is a better probability that the fluid dynamics of the sun induced plasma is governed by similar equations as the heat inputted in the oceans than that the yellow curve is driving the mauve curve. That is, I need more proof from data.

    Let me clarify: A theory is not needed to be able to say that the sun will come up tomorrow. Long human data gathering allows to make this prediction without any theory. If the above accumulation of data can be shown to predict what the ENSO or the PDO behavior will be in the future, then it will be evident that the theory is missing but there is predictability in the accumulation of data.

    Just these specific curves shown here are not very convincing, for me.

  22. In Solar Activity Controls El Niño and La Niña, Theodor Landscheidt’s
    Fig 3 under Distribution of El Niños within subcycles of the sunspot cycle since 1610
    shows a strong similarity to Alexander’s Fig. 2 “Characteristics of the periodic sequences of river flow at representative dam sites. The double sunspot cycle is diagrammatically superimposed”
    which correlates frequency of river flow intensity in southern Africa with the 22 year double solar cycle.
    See: Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development, Alexander et al. Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering, Vol. 32 49 Number 2 June 2007 pp 32-44 PDF file

    (Here is an objection to Alexander’s work: <a href=”http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=10&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wrc.org.za%2Fdownloads%2Fwaterwheel%2Fmar-apr07%2FLetter%2520p%252011-13.pdf&ei=csvxSZe-DpX2Mdmg5K0P&usg=AFQjCNENGAG4g_KQ-DJwV0u2Ic38r6UE5Q&sig2=pt0V7nEjyxsKkT939s_pRwIs Climate Prediction Flawed?)

  23. So whattya think, Leif, of this latest from Erl? It looks pretty interesting to me, but, you know, I’m fairly naive.
    ==============================

  24. The referenced figure was made using the Hadcet data set, and using Spectral analysis. The Input is the error from the liner estimation of the temperature from 1659-2008. A run was then made to look at temperature variations in the 10 year period range. This involved blocking out the freq. not only above the 0.12 freq., but also lower ones between 0.003 and 0.06 cycles/yr. This allowed a better look at the ~10 year period cycles, as shown in T_est_03.

    The top illustration shows both the unfiltered and filtered temperature, and sunspot activity plotted below. It would appear that the 10 year solar cycle is reflected in some way to the temp., and existence of a strong correlation. A more detail analysis of this would be interesting in the future, as well as the North Atlantic cycle.

  25. anna v (07:05:18) :

    Let me clarify: A theory is not needed to be able to say that the sun will come up tomorrow. Long human data gathering allows to make this prediction without any theory. If the above accumulation of data can be shown to predict what the ENSO or the PDO behavior will be in the future, then it will be evident that the theory is missing but there is predictability in the accumulation of data.

    This is the inductive method. It is not quite correct, though, to say that a theory is not involved. Induction is just a method to prove a theory. That the will rise every morning is a theory, or hypothesis, about nature. It just happens to be one that has long been established through the inductive method, so we forget that it is a theory.

    All theories involve predictions. Theories are proven, or subjected to falsification, by one of two methods: induction, or deduction. In some cases, the theories are ill considered, so that the supposed predictions that “prove” them do not really do so.

    While I do not have a lot of “faith” in GCM’s, I’ve never understood the criticism that the output of a GCM is not a “prediction.” Yes, it is. But it is a deductive prediction, or hypothesis, not an inductive one. Predictions from GCM’s are of the sort that “if this, and this, and this…are true, then this (the output) is true.” The big problem with GCM’s, as I see it, is that they are so complex that there is almost an infinite source of possibilities for logical errors. In other words, if the prediction of a GCM should pan out, that could easily be a coincidence, and doesn’t really vindicate the model.

    I would add, here, that “model” is just a synonym for “theory,” “hypothesis,” or “prediction.”

    When you say “the theory is missing” you simply mean that you do not understand the nature of a relationship, not that the relationship isn’t real, true, or valid. If some physical condition can be consistently shown to predict something, the fact that you cannot explain the connection with known physical science doesn’t mean the relationship is not real. And the relationship itself is a theory; one just doe not understand the why of the theory.

    I see this confusion in Lief’s reluctance to acknowledge a solar influence on climate. The evidence for climate variations on a scale that matches solar variation is voluminous. But since we do not have a “theory” to explain the relationship, Lief is skeptical of it. But if you are able to believe that the sun will rise without a theory, simply on the basis of inductive observation, how is that different from my belief that the sun influences climate, on the basis of inductive observation?

  26. I tried looking at some of this a while back, except I was looking at the Bz component of the IMF vs the SOI, and it had a tantalizing similarity, but I could never quite get it to match closely enough to want to go further with it. There seemed to be times when the correlation “switched signs” so to speak, perhaps due to the sun’s polarity reversing? I am not a statitstical kind of guy so I never went anywhere with analyzing cyclical behavior or possible lags. I believe there is a potential correlation there…but figuring out the causation to go with the correlation would be another big step to have to make.

  27. Kim,
    If one takes the trouble to sum the monthly values of the Southern Oscillation Index for each solar cycle and graph the resulting values you will see that the trend to cooling begins with solar cycle 23. Cycle 24 is headed to the downside of the big dipper. Moreover, there is a two to three cycle oscillation in the summed values.

    As Anna V requires, though the theory may be obscure “there is predictability in the accumulation of data”.

    So far as the theory is concerned: All that is required for the S.O.I. to show consistent cooling is for there to be an increase in the strength of the polar vortex which mixes nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere and depletes ozone. Ozone is carried into the upper troposphere in high pressure cells and when it increases in concentration (failure of the vortex) a tropical warming event is produced. The presence of ozone causes warming and loss of highly reflective ice cloud. The warming and cooling processes begin in subtropical latitudes where the near stationary high pressure zones exist.

    The strength of the Polar vortex depends upon electromagnetic attraction and repulsion of the charged particles in the atmosphere. As these move, the neutrals are carried along. Particles can be held in tension by electromagnetic forces over long periods of time. We are not talking flares or sunspots here.

    A weakening of the vortex produces an immediate increase in ozone content, stratospheric temperature over the pole and a coincidental cooling of the tropical stratosphere at all levels. Think about that. The strange thing is that equatorial sea surface temperature rises at the same time. Its easier to understand the rise in sea surface temperature in the in-feed zone for tropical waters at 30° latitude.

    Strong solar activity weakens the vortex by shifting the atmosphere from the pole towards the equator. Surface atmospheric pressure falls at the pole and rises at the equator. Weak surface pressure is associated with slowing or stalling of the vortex.

    Of course the Southern Vortex is an all year party whereas the northern vortex is a winter only affair. Hence the ‘Southern Oscillation’ and its influence worldwide.

  28. My apologies: Leif, not Lief. I knew I should have proofread that posting. My fingers are hard-wired to type “i before e, except after c.”

  29. In comparing such series, Nicola Scafetta has identified two major time constants: 0.4 years and > 8 years.
    See:
    Nicola Scafetta, “Comment on “Heat capacity, time constant, and sensitivity of Earth’s climate system’ by Schwartz.” In press on J. Geophys. Res. (2008). PDF

  30. Basil (08:16:07) :
    and Kim:

    There is a tribe in darkest Africa that inductively believes that the beating of tam-tam drums during a solar eclipse restores the Sun. It has in their experience never failed as surely as the Sun rises tomorrow.

    It is not the lack of a mechanism or a theory that leaves me skeptical, it is the poor and shoddy ‘evidence’ provided by the thousands of correlations that people have cranked out over the past 400 years. And this includes Erl’s.

  31. Basil (08:16:07) :
    My apologies: Leif, not Lief. I knew I should have proofread that posting. My fingers are hard-wired to type “i before e, except after c.”

    Neither ‘either’ nor ‘neither’ follow that rule…

  32. Leif Svalgaard (09:04:04) :
    Basil (08:16:07) :
    and Kim:
    “It is not the lack of a mechanism or a theory that leaves me skeptical, it is the poor and shoddy ‘evidence’ provided by the thousands of correlations that people have cranked out over the past 400 years.

    To wit, the very topic of this thread…

  33. While I would be interested in further articles on this subject, SOI and planetary correlations, I have a less controversial one as well:

    The AMO does really seem to be going negative and though this has implications for Arctic sea ice formation I’m interested in the prospects for corn belt drought.

    Here on the northern margin we had two ‘normal’ years of precipitation following the PDO flip. We now have ‘drought’ conditions or so the local media is persuaded.

    With the AMO flipping we are slated to suffer another climate change so I’m inclined to take their alarm to heart.

    D’Aleo might certainly have something to say here.

  34. In the paper cited above: “Solid earth geophysicists assume that ENSO may possibly be physically connected with seismic events in the Pacific bottom (Walker, 1988, 1995)”
    Could it be a possible contributor to increase sea temperatures plate tectonics and underseas volcanic or magma activities, as under the pacific warm pool, caused by changes in Ap index?

  35. I went hunting for the graph, rather than the data. I think I found the graph in a now-deleted article “Text: El Nino – the kid had a magnet in his pocket all along” from Peter Ravenscroft, 19.04.09 at http://www.pool.org.au/text/peter_ravenscroft/el_nino_the_kid_had_a_magnet_in_his_pocket_all_along but had to access it through
    <A href=”http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:JOsz7S2R6HYJ:www.pool.org.au/text/peter_ravenscroft/el_nino_the_kid_had_a_magnet_in_his_pocket_all_along+soi+ap+index+1932&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=usGoogle cache copy

    The text does point at some sources. However, the first comment implies there may be good reason that people are having trouble understanding the details in the graph: “Wrong graph. Article needs to be junked. Cannot delete for some reason”

  36. Leif,
    If you were to acknowledge that the variation in the temperature of parts of the upper troposphere is about double that at the surface and that it is due to firstly the variation in ozone content and secondly the variation in the incidence of UVB and thirdly the variation in OLR, your comment about shoddy correlations would have more credibility with me. But, you choose to deny that reality and the consequences for upper troposphere cloud density, and so for me, your credibility is compromised.

    There is theory and there is reality and it looks to me as if you are stuck with a theory relating to the causation of variation in atmospheric temperature and you prefer to stick with it. Unfortunately your theory precludes the mode of interaction between the Sun and the Earth that I describe.

    The rich generosity of the one liner!

    And so, to bed.

  37. gary gulrud (09:11:06) :
    Perhaps conditions similar to those of the 1929-30 economic depression’ s droughts are repeaiting.
    In SA we are having a prolonged summer time and you are having a prolonged winter time; it seems :cold waters less evaporations, less clouds, clearer skies more transparent to heat loss, in NA case, and warmer days during daylight for us in SA. Were not suppose to be appearing those Svensmark’s clouds by now?

  38. Thanks Leif and Arnost for the data. So here are two comparison graphs with the AP Index and SOI datasets. I had to scale the SOI to provide any worthwhile comparison. The equation is on the graphs.

    Here’s the AP Index and Scaled SOI without filtering:

    And here’s the same data with 12-month running-average filters:

    I don’t see any correlation. None at all.

    Regards

  39. erlhapp (09:31:33) :
    If you were to acknowledge that the variation in the temperature of parts of the upper troposphere is about double that at the surface and that it is due to firstly the variation in ozone content and secondly the variation in the incidence of UVB and thirdly the variation in OLR

    As usual, you connect two unrelated things. The variation is observed, so no problem there. The cause you postulate is wrong, however. The standard atmospheric models predict a larger variation at height, so no need to look for extraneous and inoperative other causes. The troposphere is not heated from above, but from below. The amount of ozone there is too minuscule to cause any direct heating, but since ozone is a powerful greenhouse gas it helps [minutely] along with the other GHGs in keeping us warm. But we have gone over this so many times that further elaboration seems tedious.

  40. Anthony:
    Please, please, keep on topic. Lately people have just been posting random links and OT’s

    I would second this. It seems that people all too often just use this forum to post and promote their own pet theories instead.

  41. “In SA we are having a prolonged summer time and you are having a prolonged winter time; ”

    I’m barely conversant here, but it seems with PDO positive comes barrelling in from the temperate Pacific right across mainland US. With PDO negative, it consists as well in a northern leg sweeping into Canada and connecting with the southern leg roughly in the corn belt.

    A blocking high pressure setup southwest of Alaska prevents earlier linkage.

    Now the negative AMO alters this somehow so that the SW drought experienced last year moves eastward. Perhaps a blocking High over the Rockies, beats me.

  42. Charged particles and clouds. What’s so hard to believe about that? Granted, conclusive research is still wanting, but on its face, relationships between non terrestrial factors, which then affect distribution and density of charged particles, which then affect cloud formation, is completely plausible. An area crying out for research money.

  43. Beyond AnonyMoose: Is Climate Change linked to geomagnetic changes led to this 2001 paper Connection between ENSO phenomena and solar and geomagnetic activity by M. A. Nuzhdina, Astronomical Observatory of Kiev National T. Shevchenko University, Kiev, Ukraine
    ABSTRACT
    Connections between El Ni˜no – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena and indices of solar activity and geomagnetic disturbance were investigated. Spectral analysis of the ENSO-data was carried out. Oscillations with periods of about 11–12, 5–6, 2–3 years were found. Correlative and cross-spectral analysis was carried out to estimate connections between ENSO data, and solar and geomagnetic indices. Functions of coherency and phase were calculated.

    Fascinating. It looks like there is something going on there.

  44. If the graph is showing a real phenomenon, does it mean that the Southern Oscillation and the other oscillations are actually being advanced through their phases by the changes in the solar wind? How else could the relationship be so consistent? My guess would have been that the various oscillations are governed by internal forces that are subject to external modulation only over longer time frames, as the earth’s average temperature warms or cools say. But this graph gives a different picture, where the course of the oscillations is being pushed along “in real time” as it were.

  45. Leif,
    “The standard atmospheric models predict a larger variation at height”.

    I would be pleased to see a reference or two. Nice to know the mechanism etc.

    A quick check reveals that, at the equator, the atmosphere dampens the amplitude of temperature variation so that it is smaller at all levels up to 500hPa than at the surface. Above 400hPa the interplay of forces that promote an August maximum from OLR in place of an April-May maximum at the surface determines the issue. The reaction of ozone to OLR is a critical dynamic determining the amplitude of the range between 400hPa and 100hPa. The impact of ozone in determining atmospheric temperature at all levels between 200hPa and the upper stratosphere is the crux of the QBO variation. The QBO can be traced in temperature data, wind, ozone content and other trace constituents.

    This is the reason for the correlation between solar activity and climate found by the Berlin Group including Karen Labitzke whose work in this area and also in combination with Harry Van Loon I have never seen you reference or acknowledge. There is a bigger story.

    There is plenty of data. What is required is a unifying theory.

  46. erlhapp (10:33:46) :
    “The standard atmospheric models predict a larger variation at height”.
    I would be pleased to see a reference or two. Nice to know the mechanism etc.

    I have in the past given you several. do I really have to dig those up again and again? To stray further from the topic? How about you commenting on the specific Figure we have before us?

    There is plenty of data. What is required is a unifying theory.
    But we have plenty of theory too, and some even based on sound physics.

  47. I wonder whether this “corrugation correlation” is the result of a spreadsheet formula error copied down an entire column. A few thoughts:

    (a) A form of independent peer review is needed as early as possible in the development of a paper, experiment, or model.

    (b) Incestuous peer review panels full of yes-people brought in for a last minute look-over are a waste of time.

    (c) We need to spend less money on fabulous models, more on truly independent peer review. Science has moved on; the old methodology doesn’t work anymore. Only early, disinterested peer review can save Science.

  48. Just looking at the graphs, it looks pretty suspicious so I am skeptical.

    I am currently developing some spectral analysis software for geophysical data that, if applied to these data, might actually be fairly enlightening as to their nature & relationship to each other & other related datasets.

    It will be a few months before I am ready to post anything on this topic however.

  49. The “magnet in his pocket” article mentions these as data sources (although does not state that the graph was created from those):

    The Ap index is a measure of the general level of geomagnetic activity over the globe for a given (UT) day. It is derived from measurements made at a number of stations world-wide of the variation of the geomagnetic field due to currents flowing in the earth’s ionosphere and, to a lesser extent, in the earth’s magnetosphere. The official values for Ap (and other related indices of geomagnetic activity such as the three-hour Kp index) are calculated by the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam Adolf-Schmidt-Observatory for Geomagnetism, D-14823 Niemegk (Germany), and are available from

    http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/pb2/pb23/GeoMag/niemegk/kp_index/

    with near real-time “quicklook” values and definitive values updated twice a month (once during the days 16-20 with the first 15 days of the current month and once during the days 1-5 with the second half of the previous month).

    The SOI is the atmospheric pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. It is all explained by the weatherman at:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/glossary/soi.shtml

    Since these two graphs fit like fashion model’s hand in her own glove, it seems likely that magnetic field shifts are driving El Nino and La Nina.

  50. erlhapp (10:33:46) :
    I would be pleased to see a reference or two. Nice to know the mechanism etc.
    I have in the past given you several. do I really have to dig those up again and again?

    Here is one example:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1114867v1

    Why don’t you do some research to see what other people say about the temperature variations. This is a well known phenomenon and there must be lots of papers on that. If you are halfway correct, most papers should express puzzlement at this unexplained result…

  51. Well I too found the match of those two graphs to be quite striking.
    But I am also quite ignorant of exactly what Southern Oscillation Index or Ap Index are, so the thesis is quite meaningless to me.
    I’m generally suspicious of the word “index”, as the only such term known to me is the “refractive Index” of optical materials; which is simply the ratio of two velocities; that of light in a medium, and the value of (c) which is defined exactly.
    The graphs as plotted show a striking match at certain time intervals, but one cannot see how the finer detail matches up.
    So (a) I don’t even know what I am looking at, and (b) in view of Leif’s remarks, I become suspicious of the validity of the data.

    Those are not a very stable platform on which to try and construct a cause and effect relationship. But I am reading all your comments and explanations; once again this one seems to have lit up the statisticians.

    But I still don’t see the proof that frogs become stone deaf when you cut off all four of their legs

    Unfortunately, the web has become too easy a vehicle for all the leg pullers out there; I think I will sit this one out.

    George

  52. When reading above of “correlations too good to be true,” and “poor and shoddy ‘evidence’,” I immediately thought of Al Gore’s ice core correlations of temperature and carbon dioxide.

  53. Alan Cheetham (10:39:54) : “…I have explored some interesting connections between the temperature trends and Earth/Sun magnetic phenomena -see: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/EarthMagneticField.htm

    Interesting, Alan. Looking at the diagram

    makes me wonder (1) what effect, if any, does the interaction of varying solar wind and CME’s with the Earth’s magnetic field have on the average temperature of the night sky? (2) Is the night sky temperature assumed constant with time in the models? (3) If so, at what point in the solar cycle was the temperature (or pattern thereof) measured?

  54. Baker studied the correlation between SOI and solar cycles:
    Exploratory Analysis of Similarities in Solar Cycle Magnetic Phases with Southern Oscillation Index Fluctuations in Eastern Australia
    ROBERT G.V. BAKER, Division of Geography and Planning, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia. Email: rbaker1@une.edu.au

    Geographical Research, Volume 46 Issue 4, Pages 380 – 398, DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIER (DOI) 10.1111/j.1745-5871.2008.00537.x About DOI

    ABSTRACT

    There is growing interest in the role that the Sun’s magnetic field has on weather and climatic parameters, particularly the ~11 year sunspot (Schwab) cycle, the ~22 yr magnetic field (Hale) cycle and the ~88 yr (Gleissberg) cycle. These cycles and the derivative harmonics are part of the peculiar periodic behaviour of the solar magnetic field. Using data from 1876 to the present, the exploratory analysis suggests that when the Sun’s South Pole is positive in the Hale Cycle, the likelihood of strongly positive and negative Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values increase after certain phases in the cyclic ~22 yr solar magnetic field. The SOI is also shown to track the pairing of sunspot cycles in ~88 yr periods. This coupling of odd cycles, 23–15, 21–13 and 19–11, produces an apparently close charting in positive and negative SOI fluctuations for each grouping. This Gleissberg effect is also apparent for the southern hemisphere rainfall anomaly. Over the last decade, the SOI and rainfall fluctuations have been tracking similar values to that recorded in Cycle 15 (1914–1924). This discovery has important implications for future drought predictions in Australia and in countries in the northern and southern hemispheres which have been shown to be influenced by the sunspot cycle. Further, it provides a benchmark for long-term SOI behaviour.

    KEYWORDS
    Southern Oscillation Index • sunspot cycle • Hale Cycle • Gleissberg charting • rainfall patterns • drought prediction • climate change

    Nicola Scafetta & B. J. West show correlation between solar cycles and surface temperature:
    Nicola Scafetta and Bruce J. West, “Is climate sensitive to solar variability?” Physics Today, 3 50-51 (2008). PDF

    Bob Tidsale’s 12 month running-average graph of the AP- index appears similar to Scafetta’s figure on p 51.

  55. Basil (08:12:39) :

    I am probably prejudiced and think that “theory” means a “mathematical theory” that can be based back on axioms, not a simple hypothesis or logical inductive reasoning.

    Otherwise I do not disagree with your statements.

  56. erlhapp (08:13:29) : “Ozone is carried into the upper troposphere in high pressure cells. . . ”

    Did I miss something? Does air not descend in high pressure cells?

  57. David L. Hagen

    Anthony seemed to be using this as an ‘open thread’ and would be checking it occasionally. I was just giving a heads up.

    Yes, he did ask to stay on topic, but then he also asked for a certain gravitas which I didn’t believe I was interrupting.

  58. jorgekafkazar (11:40:04)
    “[...] makes me wonder (1) what effect, if any, does the interaction of varying solar wind and CME’s with the Earth’s magnetic field have on the average temperature of the night sky? (2) Is the night sky temperature assumed constant with time in the models? [...]“

    I’ve been waiting for weeks to see someone mention something like this. A theme for dozens of WUWT threads….

  59. A few people have made comments about fine-details & high-frequencies in the context of “wiggle-matching”.

    Suggestion:
    Pause to consider what the fields of chaos & fractal geometry are all about. Coupling is distinct from synchronicity. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity exists.

    Whether or not it is easy we have got to wrap our heads around the variability of parameter estimates with scale. (This is a hard-learned lesson that has been hammered like thunder in some disciplines.)

  60. Leif,
    “Here is one example:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1114867v1

    No mention of any mechanism there. I do remember you quoting that article before. Another particularly useless modeling study with no mention of the parameters that are built in.

    John F. Hultquist
    Mid latitude high pressure cells connect the lower stratosphere with the troposphere bringing air from above towards the surface. The result is an enrichment of mid latitude air with ozone from the stratosphere at altitudes above about 400hPa.

    Polar highs connect the mesosphere with the surface. They are very low in ozone content. They are rich in nitrogen oxides that destroy ozone. They mix air into the stratosphere and condition the ozone content of the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere. These vortexes change in strength on QBO time scales i.e. 27.1 months average but almost an even two years in late cycle 23.

    The relationship between the aa index of geomagnetic activity and the erosive activity of the Antarctic vortex has been established by Hood and if you are interested I can find the reference.

    George E. Smith
    Want to understand climate? you need to bone up on these two indices. The S.O.I. simply reflects the timing of warming events in the tropics. Its the SO in ENSO. That is El Nino Southern Oscillation.

  61. Taking Leif’s data for AP and SOI data from
    ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/home/ncc/www/sco/soi/soiplaintext.html
    And doing a FFT on both gives this output

    Note that an FFT will show frequencies/periods and will therefore show a correlation of effects of SOI to AP or Ap to SOI. If SOI lags AP by less than the repetition rate of AP then this will show up on SOI as a peak at the same rate (phase of data is lost in the FFT)
    The AP has 11 year cycle (to the accuracy of a 1024 pt FFT)
    The SOI index has nothing near.

    The SOI FFT MAY show a repetition of between 2 and 9 years idicated by a raise in the “noise” level over that period.

  62. Basil (08:16:07) :
    My apologies: Leif, not Lief. I knew I should have proofread that posting. My fingers are hard-wired to type “i before e, except after c.”

    Leif:
    Is that pronounced “life” or “leaf” ?

  63. “”” erlhapp (16:02:56) :

    George E. Smith
    Want to understand climate? you need to bone up on these two indices. The S.O.I. simply reflects the timing of warming events in the tropics. Its the SO in ENSO. That is El Nino Southern Oscillation. “””

    Well actually, I’m not that interested in “climate” or “climate science”; Meteorology maybe; but the only “Climate” issue that is of much concern to me is what controls the temperature range of this planet.

    And I already know the answer to that; it’s the water. Water is the most abundant “greenhouse gas” by far, and is responsible for the earth not being a frozen rock. But water; unlike ANY OTHER GHG exists in all three phases in the atmopshere, and in the liquid/solid phases in the form of clouds, water produces a cooling influence; so all by itself water keeps the earth in a stable temperature range by simply adjusting the amount of cloud cover as other system variables change.

    So long as those oceans remain there; and the laws of physics don’t change; we can neither raise nor lower the temperature of this planet very much even if we wanted to.

    And if we could; where would YOU set the thermostat knob ?

    But I’m glad that there are people who worry about El Nino, and ENSO, besides my favorite meteorologists; but I wish some of them would learn some physics; it would be so much help to them; and it would be wonderful if the Universities that taught “climate science” or “climatology” included the general theory of sampled data systems in their freshman year. Maybe then the Japanese equivalent to our National Academy of Sciences, would not describe their work as akin to “ancient astrology”.

    George

  64. Bob Tisdale (09:38:31) :

    Thanks Leif and Arnost for the data. So here are two comparison graphs with the AP Index and SOI datasets. I had to scale the SOI to provide any worthwhile comparison. The equation is on the graphs.

    Here’s my pathetic effort. I didn’t scale the SOI to match the AP but I did invert it so the warm phase of the SOI was in sync with elevated AP numbers. I think I might use both our methods and see if we can massage a fit.

  65. There are lots of little correlations in climate with all these different indices (solar, ocean, winds, pressures, global warming theory inputs).

    The correlations appear very strong sometimes and then the correlations go away.

    I think you should always start with “is there a real physical explanation for this correlation” – what is the physical explanation for the AP index to impact the SOI.

    Well, the SOI is just the difference in atmospheric pressure between Darwin and Tahiti. There is no logical reason why the AP index should impact this measure. Maybe there is one but I can’t see it.

    When we examine the SOI and ask why does it provide an indicator of the ENSO (in fact, the Southern Oscillation is part of the name for the ENSO), the difference in pressures provides an indication of how the winds over the ENSO regions will behave – pressure and temperature differentials determine winds which helps determine the ENSO so there is a physical explanation.

    The next thing one needs to do is examine the actual numbers. I can’t tell you how many times I have read this paper or saw that chart and then downloaded the actual data and found the actual data takes you to a completely different conclusion.

    The next thing one needs to do is check whether the correlation continues throughout time at a sufficient level. The correlations come and go so one needs to go back in time as far as possible to see if the correlation continues.

    For the SOI versus the ENSO, oh yeah, the correlation seems to always be very strong throughout the entire record. They are slightly off-track for small periods of time but not much.

    I always look first for the physical explanation and then see where the real actual numbers go and then see whether the correlation continues throughout the available record. If it doesn’t pass all of these tests, it should go in the recycle bin.

  66. Anna V wrote: “Now, in my view, there is a better probability that the fluid dynamics of the sun induced plasma is governed by similar equations as the heat inputted in the oceans than that the yellow curve is driving the mauve curve.”

    Wow. That is objective, hard, HARD truth.

    Well said, as always, Anna.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  67. erlhapp (16:02:56) “ the aa index of geomagnetic activity and the erosive activity of the Antarctic vortex has been established by Hood and if you are interested I can find the reference.”

    I looked but haven’t found this but I am reading the material on your Climate Change site with Wolk. Also, have read a little of the material on your personal home site. So, thanks for your answer (above) and if you find the thing by Hood, great. John

  68. gary gulrud (12:19:40) :

    > Don’t want to feed panic but swine flu story is breaking big.

    Yeah, ever since I first heard about the 1918 “Spanish” flu on Upstairs, Downstairs I’ve been looking out for a repeat. The Avian flu doesn’t seem to have caught on because it needs a mutation to be active in people’s cooler lungs. There may be other blockers, I rather expected the Avian flu to have made the jump a couple years ago.

    At the beginning phases of a disease outbreak there’s so little known about ease of transmission, virulence, etc that speculation runs rampant. We’ll have to watch it for the next couple of weeks. A good site to monitor is http://cdc.gov/flu/swine/investigation.htm

    I read “The Great Influenza” a couple years ago and was amazed at how many people and military bases in New England were involved. The strain may have evolved in Kansas, another surprise! The book is too long, but does have a lot of worthwhile information.

  69. David L. Hagen (12:36:26) :
    gary galrud
    I don’t see any correlation between swine flu with solar cycles or southern oscillation index. Please post on the National Enquirer etc.

    Um, in modest defense of Gary, there is a historical correlation of plagues with solar minimums and cold events (especially Bond Events). These are presumed to be due to cold, but given what we know now, I’d also suspect that increased cosmic rays might well increase mutation rates of viruses.

    Just heard on the news that this particular swine flu is a never seen before combination of bits of swine, bird, and human flu. (Not in itself unusual in that flu is prone to lots of mutation and gene swapping between species). Usually, though, it’s just one bit at a time. This one (from first reports) is more like a 4 way cross. A bit odd… and remember that the killer Spanish Flu epidemic was in 1918, just after a very low solar AP period…

    It would be interesting to plot the occurance of epidemics vs solar cycles and SOI…PDO, etc. Not a far fetched thing at all, just looking for where the “pin action” finally settles down…

  70. Re: bill (16:03:03)
    Keep in mind that these are non-stationary time series (so FFT isn’t going to reveal everything that might be of interest).

    Re: Bill Illis (18:07:16)
    I hope you pause to consider the possibility of lurking conditioning variables (some of which may act as simply as a mere switch).

  71. Bill Illis (18:07:16) :

    Well, the SOI is just the difference in atmospheric pressure between Darwin and Tahiti. There is no logical reason why the AP index should impact this measure. Maybe there is one but I can’t see it.

    I used both our methods and there is a casual correlation but nothing to submit for peer review. Even if it were stronger I would first be looking at some bias in one or both the data sets. Possibly orbital. It’s no where near as good a fit as the one Anthony posted. Perhaps they found the same casual relationship and weaved a little data magic.

  72. When I see one of these MS Excel plots with the default horizontal gridlines in place, the default gray background, vertical text direction on the x-axis, a title caption that more or less repeats the y-axis label, and the dreaded “mauve” and yellow series colors, it often signals that the author is not experienced at analyzing data, and is liable to have made one or more errors. This common format results from using the “Line” rather than “XY” chart format in Excel and then having to delete an unexpected data series. Since the author is probably not proficient at graphing data in MS Excel, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they simply plotted the wrong data, perhaps one original data set and a transformed version, rather than the two independent data sets they intended.

    Yes, it’s an indirect measure, but my experience in reviewing many papers for publication has been that when the authors haven’t put much thought or effort into how their graphics are created and presented, then it is often the case that they haven’t put much thought or effort into how their data was collected and analyzed either.

  73. Bob Tisdale (09:38:31) :
    Thanks Leif and Arnost for the data. So here are two comparison graphs with the AP Index and SOI datasets. I had to scale the SOI to provide any worthwhile comparison. The equation is on the graphs.

    Here’s the AP Index and Scaled SOI without filtering:

    And here’s the same data with 12-month running-average filters:

    I don’t see any correlation. None at all.

    Thanks Bob, would it be possible to show a comparison again, but with a 5 year lag between these two. IMHO there does appear to be some correlation but it lags. I suspect that a percentage of the changes in Solar AP have an near immediate effect on the southern oscillation index but the remainder seems to go into hiding for about five years.
    Thanks again

  74. John F. Hultquist (21:10:24) :
    The Hood paper relates production of nitrogen oxides to Energetic Particle Precipitation events but has some very interesting points in relation to solar and ENSO connections.

    http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/SPARC/SPARC2008GA/Oral/day3_Hood.pdf

    Recently it was realized that production is continuous, is modulated by the solar wind and influences ozone via the polar night jet.

    Periodic Modulations in Thermospheric Composition by Solar Wind High Speed Streams
    Crowley, G.; Reynolds, A.; Thayer, J.; Lei, J.; Paxton, L.; Christensen, A.; Zhang, Y.; Meier, R.; Strickland, D.
    American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008, abstract #SA21B-1550
    We report on periodicities observed in the column density ratio, ΣO/N2, correlated with periodicities in solar wind speed and Kp index. The recently discovered solar-terrestrial connection between rotating solar coronal holes and mass density variations in the Earth’s thermosphere by Lei et al. (2008) and Thayer et al. (2008) prompted this study and has led to further insight regarding the thermosphere response to periodic high-speed solar wind streams and recurrent geomagnetic activity. In particular, ΣO/ N2 ratios, measured by the Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) instrument flown on the TIMED satellite, demonstrate strong 9 and 7 day oscillations in 2005 and 2006, respectively, that are well correlated with the solar wind speed and Kp index. More importantly, the ΣO/ N2 ratio response peaks at high latitudes, as opposed to the mass density response being global, indicating that vertical winds are active at the higher latitudes while lower latitudes experience primarily thermal expansion.

  75. Leif Svalgaard (11:07:39) :
    I see that the worthy Jim E Hansen and Gavin A Schmidt are listed as joint authors in the pantheon of warmers sheltering together in the reference you cite at:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1114867v1”

    Do you have anything from anyone whose work is grounded in observation rather than ideology. I do assure you that I read very widely but I see no reference to the amplified variation of temperature between 400hP and the tropopause and its relation to ozone content and the solar QBO. Given the importance of this phenomenon in modulating cirrus cloud and solar radiation I would have thought you would have given it more attention. But perhaps you are not interested in finding the connection between solar variability and surface temperature.

    But don’t worry about references, tell me in your own words what is responsible and why it is inconsequential.

    And don’t tell me this is OT because in fact it is absolutely central to this thread.

  76. MartinGAtkins: You wrote, “I didn’t scale the SOI to match the AP but I did invert it…”

    Keep in mind that the original graph in this post, the graph that started all discussion, did not invert the SOI.

  77. Paul Vaughan (22:55:10) :
    Re: bill (16:03:03)
    Keep in mind that these are non-stationary time series (so FFT isn’t going to reveal everything that might be of interest).

    Not sure what you are saying here.
    An FFT:
    a pure sine wave with a period of 11 year will produce a narrowpeak at the 1 year interval – no other peaks will be produced
    a pure sine wave with a period of 11 year mixed with a large amount of noise will produce a narrowpeak at the 1 year interval and many randomly placed peaks either side (caused by the noise)
    A pulse at 11 year interval will produce a peak at 11 years plus sucessively lower peaks at 2, 3, 4, etc intervals (depends on shape of pulse.
    A sinewve with an average period of 11 year but which varies from 8 to 14 years randomly will produce a board peak centred exactly at 11 year.
    2 FFTs of signal each of 11 year repetition rate one with a peak that occurs in year 6 (for example) and the other that has the peak in year 12 (for example) will (within the limits of a low sample FFT) produce the same peak at 11 years – the phase of the signal is not material to the FFT output.

    My FFTS show the ap with a STRONG peak at approx 11 years
    The SOI has NO peak NO Broad peak and NO raised noise level centred on 11 years. It can therefore be asserted that there is no influence of AP on SOI that is not below the noise level.

    Kelvin Kubala (04:08:56) :

    Thanks Bob, would it be possible to show a comparison again, but with a 5 year lag between these two. IMHO there does appear to be some correlation but it lags…

    See my FFT explanation above .

    My original post:
    Bill (16:03:03) : …

    Note that an FFT will show frequencies/periods and will therefore show a correlation of effects of SOI to AP or Ap to SOI. If SOI lags AP by less than the repetition rate of AP then this will show up on SOI as a peak at the same rate (phase of data is lost in the FFT)
    The AP has 11 year cycle (to the accuracy of a 1024 pt FFT)
    The SOI index has nothing near.
    The SOI FFT MAY show a repetition of between 2 and 9 years indicated by a raise in the “noise” level over that period
    I would add that there is NO raise in noise level around the peak of the AP

  78. I’m presently working on a website tying together many independent researchers’ theories. This ties in well with the barycenter theory and Oliver Manuel’s neutron core model of the Sun. The barycenter cycle appears to cause the magnetic neutron core of the Sun to flip every eleven years. We are presently in an extremely rare situation where the barycenter follows tightly to the surface of the Sun for an extended period of time, thus the solar neutron core is not being tugged by gravity to flip. The effect will likely last longer than a weaker event during the Maunder Minimum.

    It will be another month or so before the web pages are published, but I’m giving a heads up if others are interested in starting a parallel inquiry.

  79. Bob Tisdale (04:40:03) :

    >> MartinGAtkins: You wrote, “I didn’t scale the SOI to match the AP but I did invert it…”

    >Keep in mind that the original graph in this post, the graph that started all discussion, did not invert the SOI.

    The problem with understanding our climate is that it’s walking to and from that school where it was uphill in both directions.

  80. Sorry folks, I blew it!

    The graph is too good to be true, as several suspected, but it took me a while to track what I had done wrong. I picked an Excel grapher that does not allow the different graphs to cross. When you read the numbers, they are OK, but it squashes the lower trace down, so that it inevitably looks a far better than it is in reality.

    Back to the drawing board. I tried to recant in all directions, but did not realise this one had run away. There is some sort of a fit, at least between the very big El Nino’s, the low SOI numbers (when there are several in a row), and the low Ap Index numbers, but it is not nearly as good as the incorrect graph that starts this thread suggests.

    Andrew Guentner picked the problem exactly. Who needs peer review, this lot works fine. Blunder and you are shot from the sky in short order. Thanks Andrew.

    Thanks anyway, Anthony, and again. apologies all.

    Peter Ravenscroft

    Peter Ravenscroft.

  81. Here’s an example of extracting a repetative signal from a noisy environment
    A pure sine wave – no distortion and no noise is shown for comparison
    the Noisy signal has both random amplitude noise and random frequency modulation applied.

  82. Bob Tisdale (04:40:03) :

    Keep in mind that the original graph in this post, the graph that started all discussion, did not invert the SOI.

    Fair enough. When I eyeballed the graph it look like that is what had been done. Of course that means that they casually correlate in the opposite direction.

    I feel a new theory is about to be born.

  83. Bill – Take a look at

    This shows the Hadcet data and sunspot activity, using spectral analysis.
    The top illustration shows both the unfiltered and filtered temperature, and sunspot activity plotted below. It would appear that the 10 year solar cycle is reflected in some way to the temp., and existence of a strong correlation.

  84. How many long range ENSO forecasters are amongst this group? And if so how many long range forecasts have you made and from how far out. And what methodology do you consider if you do not heavily rely upon space weather ? Which I do.

  85. Kelvin Kubala: You asked, “Thanks Bob, would it be possible to show a comparison again, but with a 5 year lag between these two.”

    Here’s the unsmoothed data with the AP Index lagged 60 months:

    And here it is smoothed with a 12-month filter with the AP Index lagged 60 months:

    We can lag and invert and filter all you want, but we’re not going to get those two signals to correlate, as far as I can see.

  86. MartinGAtkins: You wrote, “Fair enough. When I eyeballed the graph it look like that is what had been done. Of course that means that they casually correlate in the opposite direction.”

    But the AP Index data used in the original graph is in question. Maybe it was the AP Index data was inverted originally, but using the data provided by Leif, there is no correlation–raw or inverted.

    Regards

  87. David Thomson (05:39:01) :

    I’m presently working on a website tying together many independent researchers’ theories. This ties in well with the barycenter theory and Oliver Manuel’s neutron core model of the Sun. The barycenter cycle appears to cause the magnetic neutron core of the Sun to flip every eleven years. We are presently in an extremely rare situation where the barycenter follows tightly to the surface of the Sun for an extended period of time, thus the solar neutron core is not being tugged by gravity to flip. The effect will likely last longer than a weaker event during the Maunder Minimum.

    It will be another month or so before the web pages are published, but I’m giving a heads up if others are interested in starting a parallel inquiry.

    This might be interesting to watch…..will the poles change polarity like they have in the previous 200 years?

    My research suggests we are in for a weak Dalton type event…I would be interested to see your data explaining a Maunder plus event.

  88. erlhapp (04:29:11) :
    I see no reference to the amplified variation of temperature between 400hP and the tropopause and its relation to ozone content and the solar QBO.
    I wouldn’t expect you to, that was the whole point, as there isn’t any. Try to research if there is any other explanation out there [there is]. Surely there must be lots of research done on the amplified variation, or are you trying to tell me that nobody has ever noticed this before?

  89. Personally, I like the barycentric theory originated by Jose and advanced by Landscheidt. I like direct physical causation.

    On Geoff Sharp’s site

    http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/2009/04/11/new-angular-momentum-graph/

    there is a curious post by Oliver K. Manuel for a paper he wrote

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0510/0510001.pdf

    and his site is referenced

    http://www.omatumr.com/

    I’m not sure if I buy the clothed neutron star theory for our sun but hey, how long ago would the theory galaxies wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the formation of massive black holes early in the Universe’s history pulling matter together have been ignored until the physical evidence became irrefutable. Then there’s the web ob dark matter and dark energy with normal matter being the exception …

    On the other hand, the idea of the lighter surface of our sun being pulled around by the planets relative to its denser core (like the moon tugs Earth’s oceans) changing the regional magnetic field and solar activity is I think … solidifying the Solar Barycentric Tidal Theory.

    Personally, I see most other theories as adjuncts to the action (172 year cycle) of the barycenter.

    I agree the specific graph here is suspect. Maybe the author will come forward.

  90. David Thomson (05:39:01)
    Geoff Sharp (07:49:22)
    len (08:03:42)

    Didn’t notice David’s comment and Geoff beat me to the submit button.

    I guess there’s a general consensus we are in a ‘Grand Minimum’?

  91. Well, bully for Peter R. His credibility rises rather than sinks.
    ======================================

  92. Peter Ravenscroft (06:06:35) :

    There is some sort of a fit, at least between the very big El Nino’s, the low SOI numbers (when there are several in a row),

    Bob Tisdale is the one to brief you better on this but I’ll throw my two penny worth in. El Nino and SOI are measuring much the same thing. SOI is a measure of Sea Level Pressure (SLP) between Tahiti and Darwin. El Nino’s measures Sea Surface Temperature (SST) at the Pacific Equator.

    If you invert the SOI and match it up with Nino 3.4 you should get a tight fit.

  93. And I think Erl’s theories are broader than Leif’s objections to them. We know climate regulation is not a simple matter. Surely there is enough power there to nudge the coupled pendulums of the oceanic oscillations.
    ===========================================

  94. Peter Ravenscroft (06:06:35):
    The graph was never a goer. The relationship between these two indices depends upon additional variables. But, there is a relationship between tropical temperature and the solar wind that is well documented. The problem is to understand how it works. It is complex and I don’t understand the half of it but here is a start.

    What is happening in the stratosphere is very relevant to what happens in the troposphere. See the story on my blog “The atmosphere dancing in the solar wind, El Nino shows his face.”

    At solar minimum there is very little geomagnetic activity testifying to a weak solar wind and low intensity short wave radiation. It is generally considered that the intensity of short wave radiation is the main determinant of ozone concentration above 200hPa. (yes, 200hPa not 100hPa). However, the true situation is otherwise:
    • In the tropics under low to intermediate level solar activity like pre 1978 and post 2005 there is an inverse relationship between sea surface temperature and temperature in the lower stratosphere. High sea surface temperature indicates high levels of evaporation. Moisture is carried into the stratosphere degrading ozone and lowering temperature from 100hPa upwards.
    • A La Nina cooling event of varying intensity marks solar minimum.
    • Under surface cooling, ozone levels above 200hPa increase and with the increase in ozone temperature responds strongly to change in incoming Ultraviolet B and outgoing radiation from the Earth.
    • A warmer upper troposphere has less ice cloud which allows more radiation to reach the surface.
    • A weak level of ionising radiation results in a very compact atmosphere and dramatically reduced satellite drag. Such an atmosphere reacts strongly to slight increases in ionising radiation.
    • The solar wind impacts the atmosphere only to the extent that the degree of ionisation allows. But at solar minimum when the aa indix is minimal coronal hole transition affects temperature at 100hpa. It changes on solar rotation time scales. (Rasmusson). You wont hear this from Leif.
    • There is evidence that solar wind activity shifts the atmosphere from the poles towards the equator changing surface pressure and affecting the strength of the polar vortex.
    • The polar vortex is antagonistic to ozone concentration reducing it as the air from the vortex is mixed into mid latitude air.

    All these factors affect the parameters of the Earths climate system. From close scrutiny of the available data I observe that a strong tropical warming event occurs with the onset of increased sunspot activity even though the geomagnetic indices continue to decline. So, your correlation will be poor at that time.

    The reverse effect appears after solar maximum. The atmosphere is heavily ionised and strongly reactive to the solar wind. After solar maximum tropical warming events are predictable from the aa (or Ap) index of geomagnetic activity.

    A collapse in sunspot activity at solar maximum induces a tropical cooling event. Climatology (the average of recent decades) reflects this.

    A collapse of sunspot and geomagnetic activity in late cycle produces the solar minimum cooling event. But minima never look the same as our experience of the recent transition confirms. So, the extent and duration of this cooling event will also vary. The SOI index tends to rise from May onwards as the sun exits the southern hemisphere. You think the La Nina is ending but you are not looking at the deseasonalised cycle, you are looking at a seasonal cycle.

    So, it’s a complex story and not amenable to telling via a graph with just two axis. But this is the way that many an investigation begins.

    A moment of introspection: So much of climatology is driven by green ideology and the misconceptions are so widespread and pervasive that one begins to sound like a radical subversive as soon as one opens ones mouth.

  95. Jim Hughes (07:25:57) :
    Jim, tell me how it’s done. There is many a farmer who would like to know.

  96. David L. Hagen

    I didn’t bring up swine flu for discussion, just intended to alert our peripetaeic blogger. An article or two of his seems each week to attend these alerts from commenters.

    Today the story has exploded and could be a useful topic.

  97. J. Bob (07:02:53) :
    Bill – Take a look at http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_03-0KLEO.gif
    This shows the Hadcet data and sunspot activity, using spectral analysis.
    The top illustration shows both the unfiltered and filtered temperature, and sunspot activity plotted below. It would appear that the 10 year solar cycle is reflected in some way to the temp., and existence of a strong correlation.

    I think you are seeing the effect of all the filtering applied to the CET data.

    There are peaks at
    .065 = 15.4 years
    .078 = 13.3 years
    .088 = 11.4 years
    .105 = 9.5 years

    the 11.4 years may be the solar cycle but is a good 1/3rd the peak of 15.4 years

    I have plotted CET SSN and about 20 other places (averaged) on the image below.
    The averaged data show absolutely no 11 year cycle, The CET shows a small peak.
    The only common periodic evend between sunspot number and the averaged data is at 14.4 years and that is well into the relms of noise.

    In the averaged FFT there are definite peaks appearing around 2.3 years, 3.6 years, 7.76 years 18 and 31 although these 2 are hitting the resolution limits of the FFT.

    From all this I would suggest that there is no effect of solar cycle SSN or TSI on temperature.

    Some places out of the 20 averaged do have peaks arond the 11 year mark but most do not,

  98. erlhapp (08:52:25) :
    …But, there is a relationship between tropical temperature and the solar wind that is well documented. …

    If you can point me at monthly tropical temperature records of about 100years length and minimal missing data then I will FFT those and see if there is an 11 year cycle.

    Thanks

  99. “From all this I would suggest that there is no effect of solar cycle SSN or TSI on temperature.”

    To repeat an old saw, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. Lassen has already established an anticorrelation of SS cycle length and terrestrial temperature. “No effect” is hyperbolic.

    TSI should be eschewed in favor of TEF. SSN is only one proxy for solar activity and its relation to TEF isn’t established in your investigation. As Mr. Vaughn has linked in an earlier thread, there are multidimensional tools that might be better suited to chaotic phenomena, the FFT isn’t necessarily revealing.

  100. erlhapp (08:52:25) :
    What is happening in the stratosphere is very relevant to what happens in the troposphere.
    Things go the other way: from the surface and up.
    Wave motions are a principal mode of energy transfer in the atmosphere from the surface and upwards. So important are these processes that a special session has been dedicated to then at an upcoming scientific congress:
    IAGA 2009, 11th Scientific Assembly, Sopron, Hungary:
    “DC.01. Atmospheric coupling processes in the equatorial region
    Convective processes occurring in the equatorial atmosphere play important roles in the various upper layers of the atmosphere owing to a spectrum of waves they generate at lower levels. A variety of field experiments conducted over Indonesia, India and Brazil has demonstrated the role of tropical convection in the dynamical coupling of atmospheric and ionospheric regions over the tropics. Radio occultation experiments performed on LEO satellites have yielded useful information on tropospheric and stratospheric gravity waves originating from various sources. A number of rocket experiments performed in India have led to quantification of gravity wave contributions to the middle atmospheric SAO and QBO. GCMs have begun to address gravity wave effects by resolving them in high spatial and temporal scales. This symposium aims to address the recent advances made in our understanding of the generation and propagation characteristics of small-, intermediate-scale and large-scale wave motions generated in the lower and middle
    atmosphere. Papers that deal with electrical processes of lower atmospheric origin that produce noticeable transient effects in the mesosphere are also solicited”

  101. gary gulrud (11:03:43) :
    To repeat an old saw, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. Lassen has already established an anticorrelation of SS cycle length and terrestrial temperature. “No effect” is hyperbolic.

    But absence of evidence is not evidence either. Lassen’s work is critically flawed and has been soundly rejected.

    Why don’t you simply see for yourself:

    http://leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

    If anything there is a [not statistically significant] positive correlation.
    In this field people persist citing the same old flawed results as long as they fit their purpose.

  102. gary gulrud (11:03:43) :
    “But absence of evidence is not evidence either. Lassen’s work is critically flawed and has been soundly rejected.”

    Why don’t you simply see for yourself:

    A condensed version is here:

  103. gary gulrud (11:03:43) :
    TSI should be eschewed in favor of TEF. SSN is only one proxy for solar activity and its relation to TEF isn’t established in your investigation. As Mr. Vaughn has linked in an earlier thread, there are multidimensional tools that might be better suited to chaotic phenomena, the FFT isn’t necessarily revealing.

    Have you figures for TEF or a plot – its not something I have come across.

    I assume you are suggesting that tef is not sychronised or time related to tsi?

  104. bill (10:27:17) :
    “From all this I would suggest that there is no effect of solar cycle SSN or TSI on temperature.”

    It seems that you are basing this conclusion on just FFT.

    Re: bill (05:32:44) & (06:52:36)
    I appreciate your understanding of FFT – & your contribution to this discussion. I’m also conveying that I wouldn’t stop at FFT because I am (generally) curious about details and willing to use tools that cast light from a great variety of other directions.

    – – –
    Bob Tisdale (07:28:30)
    “We can lag and invert and filter all you want, but we’re not going to get those two signals to correlate, as far as I can see.”

    I have an algorithm that checks all of the (standard) possibilities. Based on its output, your assessment is (basically) correct.

    Whatever relationship may exist involves lurking conditioning variables &/or complexity (i.e. nonlinearity). Most investigators’ patience runs out when the going gets that thick – (managerial instincts kick in strongly, shutting down the investigation…. for many scientists with a lot of really interesting things on-the-go, this is just time-management …and no one should take it personally or be dissuaded…..)

    – – –
    I want to thank Anthony for running this thread. It caused me to track down & compare a lot of variants of the various indices. The exercise has been an eye-opener and I now have new ideas for overcoming old roadblocks. The exercise was time-consuming, but well-worthwhile.

  105. Bill I agree 8-12 data points/cycle are not the best so I’ll re-run the graph using the monthly data, and see what falls out. Since we have a non-linear system here, changes of the output frequency (temp) are not unusual in the presence of a constant input freq (sunspot count). The 50 some year cycle was noted in a posting I made here a couple of days ago on this thread.

  106. Leif Svalgaard (11:22:03)

    Things go the other way: from the surface and up.
    Wave motions are a principal mode of energy transfer in the atmosphere from the surface and upwards.

    Interesting, Temperature Sprites. This sounds familiar somehow but I can’t remember most of what I hear on this topic, leaking hydrogen in direct cooled stator occupies my mind for the most part.

  107. bill (10:34:24) :
    There is no 11 year signal. A tropical cooling event occurs at both minimum and maximum.

    There is a QBO signal in temperature and ozone concentration at the equator between 12°N and 12°S at all levels upwards of 200hPa. This has an average periodicy of 27.1 months for data after 1948. That periodicy is derived from changes in the polar vortex and it propagates towards the equator with a variable lag that increases towards the end of each solar cycle.

    Because the warming of the ocean depends upon what happens in mid latitudes where the ozone concentration is greater these is a partial disconnect in the timing of tropical warming events.

    There is another source of variation in the timing of the stratospheric QBO and warming events measured in the tropics and that is the fact that the solar wind affects the atmosphere according to the degree of ionisation. That depends upon short wave radiation. The solar wind (or geomagnetic activity) is not synchronized with peaks in short wave radiation.

    In this circumstance statistical analysis will deny causation. There is no substitute for detailed examination of data and the identification of cause and effect.

  108. Leif Svalgaard (08:00:25) :
    erlhapp (04:29:11) :
    I see no reference to the amplified variation of temperature between 400hP and the tropopause and its relation to ozone content and the solar QBO.

    I wouldn’t expect you to, that was the whole point, as there isn’t any. Try to research if there is any other explanation out there [there is]. Surely there must be lots of research done on the amplified variation, or are you trying to tell me that nobody has ever noticed this before?

    My reply:
    There is a reference to amplified variation but the cause is not identified.
    If the amplified variation has been noticed it seems to be kept very quiet. I suspect it’s the elephant in the room that people can not afford to acknowledge.
    With reference to this phase. “the whole point, as there isn’t any”. I suggest that you actually have a look for yourself.
    But how am I to receive this? “Try to research if there is any other explanation out there [there is].” Am I to be looking for an explanation for something that does not exist or am I to infer that you are aware of the variation and the cause of the variation but you want to keep it quiet?

    Leif Svalgaard (11:22:03) :
    Are you telling me that the QBO in the stratospheric temperature, wind and ozone content is driven by change in the troposphere?
    Are you telling me that the QBO in the southern polar vortex is driven from the troposphere?
    Are you aware that there are two schools of thought on this?
    This is an absolutely critical issue.

  109. erlhapp (17:07:32)
    “In this circumstance statistical analysis will deny causation.”

    I’m not convinced that this is exactly what you meant to say – and it’s not clear to which statistical methods you are referring…

    …but I get your point about the need to properly account for conditioning variables – sounds like a lot of work for the (open) system you are studying, particularly given the constraints on data acquisition.

  110. Paul Vaughan (15:38:50) :
    I appreciate your understanding of FFT – & your contribution to this discussion. I’m also conveying that I wouldn’t stop at FFT because I am (generally) curious about details and willing to use tools that cast light from a great variety of other directions.

    We are looking at real world systems here. You have temperature, TSI, and time. Apart from plotting temp vs TSI Theres not a lot more I can think of (TEF may be different but no one has poinred out the data for this (or for that matter described its difference from TSI)).
    You obviously can think of other treatments of this data – perhaps you would care to enlighten me. Thanks.
    erlhapp (17:07:32) :
    There is no 11 year signal. A tropical cooling event occurs at both minimum and maximum.

    There is no real 22 year cycle evident in the averaged FFTs either.

    There is a QBO signal in temperature and ozone concentration at the equator between 12°N and 12°S at all levels upwards of 200hPa. This has an average periodicy of 27.1 months for data after 1948. That periodicy is derived from changes in the polar vortex and it propagates towards the equator with a variable lag that increases towards the end of each solar cycle.

    Surprisingly the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) could be showing up in the averaged FFTs (it does not show up in CET (too far north!) – there is a raising of noise level around 2.25 years. However the NAO (north atlantic oscillation) also shows peaks at 2.5 and 2.7 years! and surprisingly do not show up on the CET FFT

  111. bill (12:35:13) :
    “Have you figures for TEF or a plot – its not something I have come across.”

    There is no such index as the TEF. Supposedly it includes besides TSI, cosmic rays, solar wind, magnetic fields, potential energy, relativistic energy, angel wings beating, you name it. All of these are such a minute addition to TSI that they are off to the right somewhere way off the last decimal of TSI. TEF is a totally meaningless concept.

    erlhapp (17:30:29) :
    I suspect it’s the elephant in the room that people can not afford to acknowledge.
    There are no conspiracy here. What nonsense!

    Am I to be looking for an explanation for something that does not exist or am I to infer that you are aware of the variation and the cause of the variation but you want to keep it quiet?
    No, the phenomenon is real, has a well understood explanation, just go and look for it. It gave a pointer with references. Do a Google search. Nobody want to keep anything quiet.

    Leif Svalgaard (11:22:03) :
    Are you aware that there are two schools of thought on this?
    This is an absolutely critical issue.

    There is a sound scientific school of thought and perhaps all kinds of weird and strange ideas which we don’t need to take seriously.

  112. Paul Vaughan (17:55:27) :
    RE: erlhapp (17:07:32)
    “In this circumstance statistical analysis will deny causation.”

    Let me try again.

    Firstly, in terms of interval the solar change does not run to a consistent interval.

    Secondly, in relation to the solar stimulus the heating episodes in the tropics depend upon what is happening to the atmosphere and that depends upon two variables only one of which is reflected in the geomagnetic indices. These two variables are firstly ionising irradiance and secondly geomagnetic activity driven by the relationship between the Earths magnetic field (itself changing) and the the solar wind which is a bundle of interesting variables in itself.

    When you look at the Earth system you find that the change in ozone that propagates from the poles does so in such a way as the interval of time between stimulus in the polar vortex and response at low latitudes is variable depending upon the stage of the solar cycle. The warming event is also dependent in its timing on change in cloud cover in the subtropics. It does not always manifest at the same latitude.

    The interval of time between stimulus and response is variable and we are a long way short of accounting for all the variables when we plot the SOI against the AP index.

    I am no statistician. But I know that when something depends upon a variable that is not accounted for the baby frequently gets thrown out with the bath water.

  113. Leif,
    Don’t be coy. Please give me two or three words for that Google search that you have obviously found to be revealing.

  114. erlhapp (22:12:06) :
    Please give me two or three words for that Google search that you have obviously found to be revealing.

    I don’t do Google searches. I read the relevant scientific literature. I have already given you a pointer. Follow some of the references. Or simply Google ‘gravity waves SAO’ or ‘gravity waves QBO’ ; what is so hard about coming up with that yourself?

  115. Leif,
    erlhapp (17:30:29) :
    “I suspect it’s the elephant in the room that people can not afford to acknowledge”.

    You say: “There are no conspiracy here. What nonsense!”

    I am not suggesting a conspiracy. Just blind spots due to rigid ideology conditioning the way people look at things. For instance, if greenhouse theory is an article of faith it is very hard for people to see alternative explanations for things. They will not even look at the atmospheric temperature data to see how far up the warming extends. So, their conception of the way things work is never challenged by observations that don’t conform with their view of the world.

    I am surprised at the number of people who assume that the mid to upper troposphere is warming because of their understanding of radiative theory. But, it is not warming at all in those places where outgoing radiation is strongest. The only case of long term upper atmosphere warming occurs in those high latitude locations where there is no sunlight for some months of the year and it is during the period of the long night that the warming occurs.

  116. erlhapp (22:29:49) :
    I am not suggesting a conspiracy. Just blind spots

    “If the amplified variation has been noticed it seems to be kept very quiet. I suspect it’s the elephant in the room that people can not afford to acknowledge. [...] cause of the variation but you want to keep it quiet?

    Keeping this quiet against better knowledge is not just a ‘blind spot’…

  117. Leif,
    OK. Gravity waves. Fairies in the bottom of the garden. Supposedly responsible for the QBO in the stratosphere and sudden stratospheric warmings.

    One word. Unphysical.

  118. Leif Svalgaard (20:43:01) :
    There is no such index as the TEF. Supposedly it includes besides TSI, cosmic rays, solar wind, magnetic fields, potential energy, relativistic energy, angel wings beating, …

    Thanks for that Leif
    Perhaps if you had monthly amplitudes for the angels wing beats I could incorporate them into an FFT!

  119. Re: bill (18:17:54)

    2 places to start:

    1) Wavelet analysis

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/01/26/wonderful-world-of-wavelets/

    http://www.ecs.syr.edu/faculty/lewalle/tutor/tutor.html

    http://paos.colorado.edu/research/wavelets/

    http://www.ce.umn.edu/~foufoula/papers/efg_022.pdf

    2) Recurrence methods

    http://www.recurrence-plot.tk/

    http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lizb/rps.html

    Leif gives a nice example of an application of the former in a univariate scenario:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Asymmetric%20Rosenberg-Coleman%20Effect.pdf

    There are also windowed versions of FFT, but of course results vary with window-parameters.

    Time-integrated cross-correlation analysis is another useful tool. (One can produce informative timescale-lag correlation-color-contour plots that convey information about periodicity. The beauty of the method is its intuitive simplicity.)

    All of these methods can avalanche mountains of information on an investigator, particularly since there are variations on methods (each with its own benefits & drawbacks).

    If nature only threw stationary sine waves at us, wide-window FFT would be enough. The main point is that spatiotemporal heterogeneity exists and that regardless of the set of methods employed (there are others), there is often important information to be gained by exploring the sensitivity of parameter estimates to scale variations across space & time.

    Going a step further:
    Cross-recurrence & cross-wavelet methods are useful for investigating nonlinear relationships & synchronicity. The latter depend on the use of complex (& hypercomplex) numbers. (See the various websites for details.)

    – – –
    erlhapp (22:01:47)
    “[...] when something depends upon a variable that is not accounted for [...]“

    The more quantitative you can be in nailing down the details of the conditioning variables, the lighter your (currently complex verbal) communication-burden will become. I wish you endurance, penetrating insight, lots of accurate data, & resilience in your investigations of these complex phenomena.

  120. Leif Svalgaard (22:28:25) :
    Let me interpret the situation as it stands.

    We agree that there is an amplified variation of temperature above 400hPa and it is associated with the QBO, however caused.

    Is that correct?

    Paul Vaughan (01:40:34) :
    “I wish you endurance, penetrating insight, lots of accurate data, & resilience in your investigations of these complex phenomena.”

    No one could wish for more than that. I thank you for your generosity. From the description of the data handling tools that you possess it seems that you are the right man for the job.

    I suggest you have a close look at the phenomena of “sudden stratospheric warmings” and associated changes in surface atmospheric pressure at the poles by comparison with the Equator. An excellent source for atmospheric data is here: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    Please read this: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/the-atmosphere-dancing-in-the-solar-wind-el-nino-shows-his-face/

  121. Leif
    You ask, “What do you know about physics?”

    I know a lot about the dynamics of the climate system from diligent, painstaking analysis of a mountain of climate data. I base what I say on what I observe. A fine understanding of the physics of a part of the whole will only get you so far.

    Apart from that I have resilience, and perhaps it is just as well.

    I believe that the answers we seek will be found via an examination of the existing record. There is enough data of acceptable quality already there.

  122. Bill – Check out Figure T_est_05 shows this longer wave, with about a 50 year period.

    This looks close to your 57 yr wave, both from the sun and the Hadcet data. It also has a fairly strong amplitude. It also shows that there is a peaking about the year 2000. This peaking around the year 2000 of this and other wave would suggest that the recent warm up could be due to the re-enforcement of several waves such as the 50 and 10 year wave.

  123. Paul Vaughan: You wrote, “I have an algorithm that checks all of the (standard) possibilities. Based on its output, your assessment is (basically) correct.”

    Can your algorithm pluck out repeats in signals?

    ENSO events create Rossby and Kelvin waves. Some have been reported to linger in the Pacific SST records for over a decade. I would assume they’d rattle around all the oceans also, effecting climate and global temperatures longer than one would expect. With that in mind, I went looking to see if ENSO signals repeat in the global temperature anomaly record. (Not a repeat in the NINO SST records, but in the global temperature anomaly records: GISTEMP, for example.) The timing of the El Nino events, large and small, should give them a “fingerprint” of sorts. I believe with my poor statistics and signal processing I was able to coax two ENSO “echoes” (for lack of a better word) out of the global temperature anomaly data: the first was 24 months later and the second was 44 months from the original events. All the events lined up. My abilities in those fields are so poor I won’t write up my methods. Give me a few hours and I’ll give you a link to a better explanation, though.

  124. Paul Vaughan: I’m going to put off posting any more discussion of those repeated ENSO signals. I want to study it more. What I found was probably just a product of my poor signal processing capabilites.

    Regards

  125. Re: Bob Tisdale (13:52:54) & (15:59:11)

    These topics are of interest. There may be occasion to discuss this further moving forward.

    Bob: “Can your algorithm pluck out repeats in signals?”

    Loosely speaking, yes – and if some particular features of a dataset roused suspicions about some particular pattern, I could adjust the algorithm to look for that pattern (or for a class of patterns) without too much trouble.

    – – –
    Re: erlhapp (03:51:24)

    Thanks for pointing me towards some interesting data. This is a complex area into which to venture, so I may wait until a time when I can get really serious about it before I have an intense go at it, but I can comment now that I’ve seen enough of the literature on this to mark it “audit-worthy”.

  126. Charles, my train of thought expressed logically I hope, I’m trying to envision how ozone warming may be reducing despite ozone volume increase – i.e. is the reduced energy input a bigger factor than increased energy output of recovering ozone?
    The factors I can think of that may be important:
    Reduced solar UV and proton emission aids ozone recovery (in comb. with other factors) but the reduced UV radiation reduces ozone warming.
    Less energy reaching the surface due to reduced TSI and increased ozone means less upward IR.
    Less WV in the upper atmosphere due to reduced convection means less strato cloud that would also aid ozone recovery but contribute to cooling.

    Just another angel wingbeat?
    (excuse my L plates)

  127. bill: By all means verify what I’ve said, may I suggest however using academics without vested interests.

    Leif is not an academic, is an AGW apologist and is not above rank falsehoods.

    “TEF is a totally meaningless concept.”

    “Lassen’s work is critically flawed and has been soundly rejected.”

  128. Leif Svalgaard (07:15:28) :
    Leif,
    Thank you for the references the former of which was new to me. Some notes follow that I hope will be of interest.
    Huang remarks on the association of the westerly phase of the QBO with the ‘El Nino’. My own observations are based on data for the period since 1948. Tropical warming events (SST 20°N to 20°S) are indeed associated with the QBO (and therefore also the SOI) but not always with the Westerly phase. I think that there are reasons for that relating to speed of propagation and centre of warming not always being in the same hemisphere or same latitude.

    The QBO is strongest at 20hPa. The QBO is present in 20hPa temperature data at all latitudes right through to the poles. At the equator it looks like a sine wave but at the pole more like a bolt of lightning. If it were the other way round my instinct would be that it propagated from the equator to the Poles.

    The greatest amplitudes in the 20hPa thermal variation is found at the poles.
    The QBO temperature change is associated with change in ozone concentration and is to my mind strictly a product of change in the polar vortex. The vortex contains no ozone. It contains nitrogen oxides from the mesosphere that erode ozone. The propagation of temperature between the poles and about 15° of latitude involve a gradual dampening of the temperature variation. In the equatorial zone, where the propagation zones merge, it is amplified.

    The propagation is fast in the upswing of the solar cycle and slows appreciably in late cycle. This is a striking phenomenon. It can be observed by manually tracing across the peaks.

    Tropical warming events and peaks in 20hPa temperature at the equator are strikingly conjunctional, especially prior to 1991. Since 1948 there have been 28 peaks in 20hPa temperature. On 11 occasion’s peak sea surface temperature was experienced during troughs rather than peaks in 20hPa temperature. All eight instances of peak sea surface temperature after 1991 have occurred in troughs in 20hPa temperature.

    The period of the QBO oscillation after sunspot maximum in cycle 23 has been close to 24 months. It looks as if sea surface temperatures may have already peaked for the current cycle of the equatorial QBO which peaked about eight months ago. There is some chance that they might increase until September because the trough in 20hPa temperature is still to come and there are bodies of warming water still moving towards the equator from about 30°S.

    Another reason to think that there is more warming to come over the next few months is that peak sea surface temperature 20°N to 20°S is currently associated with peak temperature of NH waters in northern hemisphere summer.

    It is of interest to discover that some predictions of ENSO use the expected wind anomalies at 30mb and 50mb to forecast the strength and timing of the event.

    There is nothing chaotic or noisy about this aspect of the climate system. You could argue I suppose that ENSO is an internal oscillation of the climate system and it causes the stratospheric QBO with the greatest change in upper atmosphere temperature occurring at the poles. But, in my book you need to look harder at the evidence.

    A note for Bob Tisdale: Repeating ENSO signals have a physical basis in the regularity of the period of the stratospheric QBO

  129. Peter Ravenscroft (06:06:35) :
    Sorry folks, I blew it!

    The graph is too good to be true, as several suspected, but it took me a while to track what I had done wrong. I picked an Excel grapher that does not allow the different graphs to cross.

    Peter, IMHO you did not blow it, Microsoft did. Why? They regularly ship user hostile software. Little land mines scattered for you to step on. You were just their latest victim. Yeah, you ought to have understood your tools better before using them, but I spent a couple of decades supporting MS software in companies and I couldn’t keep up with their bug lists, mis-feature lists, user hostile behaviours, etc. So if a guy who was employed full time in I.T. can’t find “issues” as fast as Microsoft can create them, how can the typical consumer?

    So don’t feel too bad and don’t let it stop you from continuing your line of enquiry. Just next time think about using a different product for your first cut comparisons ;-)

    For those MS supporters who think I’m over stating this: In NT Server (yeah, a while ago, but I’m out of the field now so my stories will be old…) there was a ‘memory leak’ such that the server would gradually mark all of it’s memory as in use even when it wasn’t. The end result was that the server would gradually run worse and worse until it hung, frozen, shutting down the whole work group using that server. A major telco where I worked at the time had the “process” that every Friday we were to reboot every single server so that they wouldn’t hang the whole company mid week of week 2. It took MS forever to fix this egregious bug.

    In comparison, a Unix server (BSD on a PC) at another company had been running for a couple of years steady when I decided we needed to shut it down because the power supply fan needed replacing and was running way slow. Yes, the hardware wore out before the software needed a reboot. THAT is quality software.

    I could list other bugs, misfeatures, and traps in Excel but I won’t. It’s too painful… But just consider the “feature” that bit you: A graph selection that changes the presentation of the data so that the two graphs will not cross and does not tell you this in a pop up when you select it. I’m sure the typical person who picks a graph does not expect it to change the data being graphed so that the graph looks better but does not represent the actual data.

    So yeah, you were the captain of this ship and take responsibility for steering into the dock, but someone else sold you a boat with the rudder wired backwards some of the time …

  130. Bob Tisdale (07:28:30) :
    Here’s the unsmoothed data with the AP Index lagged 60 months:
    http://i44.tinypic.com/rsdm2o.jpg

    I spend most days looking at a lot of charts, trying to see the tiny pattern that makes a trade profit or gives tiny heads up before something falls apart. No, it isn’t mathematical, but yes, it works well (though it takes a while to get the brain trained…). To the extent this translates to non-stock non-price data, what I see in this chart is:

    There seems to be a rough positive correlation of SOI to AP until AP approaches a peak then it looks like SOI has a breakdown and plunges in a downward spike when AP nears / hits a local high. Tracks 1937-1944, breaks 44-45, 47; tracks 48-52, breaks53; tracks 54-64, breaks 65 and 67; tracks until 72, breaks 73/4 (then SOI seems to ring until a break / dip in 79); tracks to 83, breaks 84; tracks weakly to 87, then breaks 88; tracks a bit low to 98, breaks 99; tracks to 2006 with a spike that recovers to a break in 2008.

    This fine structure is similar to what happens with stock prices. They rise for a while, then at a peak have a sudden breakdown, followed by a return to the rising pattern with underlying business cycle activity. It is one of the things that a trader watches for. It is encoded in the wisdom to “buy the dips” and “take profits early”. In other words, a break in a rising trend is a chance to buy in cheaply, not sell; and a rising trend is not to be trusted since it will have a price break at some point (often after a nice smooth run up for a while).

    Now maybe I’m just a one trick pony trying to use a hammer to drive screws in, but I’d go looking for some kind of breakdown process. Similar to a high voltage circuit in a TV that has the picture wink out every so often when a corona discharge zaps away the stored charge and the cycle repeats. (Or when folks have significant gains in stocks and start putting trailing stop loss orders behind their positions so that a momentary dip can turn into a cascade of selling…)

    And here it is smoothed with a 12-month filter with the AP Index lagged 60 months:

    This will remove the fine structure of a fast break, yet a large strong break can bleed through the average. What I see in this chart is tendency to non-correlation that is an artifact of the large breaks bleeding through the average to cause a spurious non-track over a longer time period that ought to be seen as a breakdown spike. It would be interesting to ‘peak clip’ the breakdown dips and / or use a longer time period average to mask them better and see if the correlation goes up.

    FWIW, this is why trend following averaging indicators fail to work in stock trading. A faster cycle breakdown takes out your profits before you can react with your trending indicator. (i.e. the day trader shorts you to death before your moving average or MACD says to sell). Oddly enough, it also tells you how to win: IF you have a stop loss order (to get a fast response) have it close. You want to sell out quick in a down spike. IF you don’t, then use the dip to buy, not to sell. “Double down” the bet in a Grand Martingale when the dip inflects upward (‘buy if touched order”) as long as the longer cycle is in your favor (this only really fails at the longer cycle inflection, but you get several short cycle wins with it for each long cycle inflection that loses, so net the strategy works. Even though in truly random games of chance like roulette it is a losing strategy).

    Also, FWIW, several of those breakdown spikes in SOI happen to be in or near years with stock market collapses. Coincidence? …

  131. gary gulrud (07:50:47) : At last, someone points out the obvious and it gets past moderation. Thank you. He has been… petulant in other places and people cave because of his esteemedness.

    Erl – Ulric sends regards and I say – love your stuff.

    There are three of us in this office who frequent WUWT and one said recently-

    “anyone checked out how the total june anomalies look when graphed” he meant extract all the june data from the CET record and graph it. Interesting.

    Bob Tisdale (13:52:54) : Forecasters call those “lookback periods” some are numbered in months and some in years. When they work they are amazing.

  132. Terry Ward (12:26:31) :
    At last, someone points out the obvious and it gets past moderation.
    “TEF is a totally meaningless concept.”

    Normally one should not feed the trolls, but perhaps I have been reading the wrong literature. So, find me a couple of peer-reviewed papers discussing the meaning and usefulness of TEF.

    “Lassen’s work is critically flawed and has been soundly rejected.”
    It should be obvious to the sharp-eyed people here that there are severe flaws in the Lassen et al. papers. For once, one can simply repeat the analysis [without the dubious heavy smoothing] as in http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf . The rejection is succinctly discussed here:

    EOS, TRANSACTIONS AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, VOL. 85, NO. 39, doi:10.1029/2004EO390005, 2004

    Pattern of Strange Errors Plagues Solar Activity and Terrestrial Climate Data

    Paul E. Damon
    University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

    Peter Laut
    Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

    Abstract

    The last decade has seen a revival of various hypotheses claiming a strong correlation between solar activity and a number of terrestrial climate parameters. Links have been made between cosmic rays and cloud cover, first total cloud cover and then only low clouds, and between solar cycle lengths and northern hemisphere land temperatures. These hypotheses play an important role in the scientific debate as well as in the public debate about the possibility or reality of a man-made global climate change. Analysis of a number of published graphs that have played a major role in these debates and that have been claimed to support solar hypotheses shows that the apparent strong correlations displayed on these graphs have been obtained by incorrect handling of the physical data. The graphs are still widely referred to in the literature, and their misleading character has not yet been generally recognized. Readers are cautioned against drawing any conclusions, based upon these graphs, concerning the possible wisdom or futility of reducing the emissions of man-made greenhouse gases.

  133. E. M. Smith,

    Go ahead and bash Microsoft all you want, but you’re off on this one. Peter simply picked the wrong type of graph. No harm no foul. Blaming Microsoft for Peter’s mistake is just poor analysis – something we’re all tired of seeing from the “other side,” so let’s not do it ourselves.

  134. Leif Svalgaard (13:17:54) :

    Terry Ward (12:26:31) :
    At last, someone points out the obvious and it gets past moderation.

    I was not trolling about TEF.

    I was trolling about your seeming AGW apologism and your overt derision and covert censorship. The closer I approach retirement the more I rail against blinkered dismissal of opposing views based solely on an unwillingness to break the chains of habit and think outside of self constructed boxes.

    Given the power to do so, you always get any reply that disturbs your world view snipped. For someone who is all over Internet, on forums and discussion groups, and unhesitatingly and frequently offers third party rebuttal of a point of view that you refuse to put any effort into other than to offer scorn and to poke fun at, your energy and omnipresence is nothing short of remarkable for someone presumably busy at work. Your focus on the sun is commendable purely because you are a good solar scientist but your quoting from, and using as a shield, 100 year old papers that “prove” cyclomaniacs are mad if they attempt to present a system based on what you deem to be Astrology is as bad as the CO2 crowd claiming that 100 year old science works for them and we should all just fade away.

    I have been shown something that you have not considered, that, with readily available tools (which you, no doubt, can access superior versions of and have staff, or interns, to delegate to the task) can be seen by this layman and you, and anyone, could repeat. There are definite alignments of the planets that, somehow (I am not claiming to know how) have cyclical effects upon the sun and, subsequently, upon weather/climate here. The solar system is exactly that, a system. Taking one element apart from that whole is inelegant and smacks of agenda.

    Your treatment of “cyclomaniacs” (on CA for instance) appears rude, dogmatic, recidivist and haughty. It does not become you to dismiss without further investigation, by yourself, with a software orrery (The Sky from Software Bisque for example), those planets that cannot have gravitic, tidal or barycentric (or any other “alchemical”) effect on sol yet do, most emphatically, have repeating, cyclical, strong and predictable force of some kind with regard to this planet’s variables.

    Just because someone had not the wit, skill or equipment to discern those relationships over a century ago, yet had the ear of their peers and the establishment sufficient to publish findings and just because currently “eminent” scientists are too lazy, too frightened or too arrogant to re-investigate a phenomena does not mean that those relationships are not present.

    You could have taken a fresh look when the opportunity arose. Many people were saying similar things yet you chose the paths of ridicule and of asking for remarks to be snipped. Yet it is as plain as day that, viewed from the sun, planetary configurations that repeat in a cycle and can be utilised for prediction, are anathema to you. This does not mean that those theories are wrong. In fact, several people make a very good living from long range weather forecasting based upon those very principles and the farmers, market speculators, supermarket managers and holiday firms (to name a few) who rely upon those private forecasts are no fools and observe high success rates or they would drop them like a hot potato. The astroclimatologists may hold proprietary knowledge close to their chests (the withholding of which from society I do not agree with for many more reasons than the rather obvious and delightful one that would put egg on many faces) because of the arduous extraction of signal from noise that they all had to perform, but let us not demean their investigations without commensurate application.

    We all appreciate the time you spend educating us in the ways of the solar sleuth. Your reciprocation would be equally well received if you were to investigate, for example, extreme weather events and then plot the orbital bodies’ (all of them) positions and vectors at those times to see the similarities. I do, however, expect you to skirt this issue as you have previously. Probably with snide remarks such as “rev up your orrery” and “angel wings beating”. Prove me wrong.

  135. re Terry Ward.
    Hear! Hear! I too think Leif is a covert (and very patronising) AGW supporter.

  136. ” Your reciprocation would be equally well received if you were to investigate, for example, extreme weather events and then plot the orbital bodies’ (all of them) positions and vectors at those times to see the similarities. I do, however, expect you to skirt this issue as you have previously. Probably with snide remarks such as “rev up your orrery” and “angel wings beating”. Prove me wrong.”

    What did your last slave die of, TW??
    He does have a career and a salary to justify, who do you think Lief is? Jim Hansen?

  137. Pattern of Strange Errors Plagues Solar Activity and Terrestrial Climate Data

    This load of manure was taken apart at CA a couple of years back, more unabashed duplicity.

  138. Terry Ward (03:47:05) :
    I was trolling about your seeming AGW apologism and your overt derision and covert censorship.[...] Given the power to do so, you always get any reply that disturbs your world view snipped. [...]
    I have been shown something that you have not considered [...]
    The astroclimatologists may hold proprietary knowledge close to their chests …

    First, what has AGW to do with the Sun? Second, I have the best ‘credentials’ in the anti-AGW realm as I have been permanently banned from tamino’s site because of my opposition to AGW.

    The planetary theories can be what they are and people can believe what they want. I do not object to that. Only when a specific physical mechanism is brought forward that is wrong [in the sense that it either violates physical laws or is not energetically viable] do I point out the failing of that mechanism. An example is the Angular Momentum idea. Another is electric currents from the planets, or neutron stars at the center of the Sun. My objection is not censorship in any form, to wit the endless postings on these ideas.

    My world view in this regard is simply physical science. And all I present [and represent] is just my own view on the viability of the ideas promoted. Typically, a posting sequence goes like this: poster A presents some ‘perfect’ correlation and claims that mechanism B perfect explains what goes on and if just everybody would accept it, the face of physics would be changed forever. I point out why, in my opinion, the mechanism does not work, or the correlation is not so perfect. A gets upset and rebuts. I patiently explains in more detail why I think the mechanism cannot work. A gets more and more upset, and so it goes, until the moderator decides that this has gone on for long enough.

    And the ‘secrets’ of planetary influences that ‘you have been shown’ are not science unless they are discussed openly.

  139. Leif Svalgaard,

    I have heard about how you have jumped somewhat to the forefront within the solar field but I had no idea about your attiude toward certain things. Like the planetary effects upon space weather. And I use the latter since it describes their influence better.

    So am I to assume that you think it is impossible to forecast certain specific events from well out in time ? As in a forecasted time period of days to a week and from months out or even further ?

    And I have done the latter and gone on record within the science communty. I look forward to hearing your response.

  140. Jim Hughes (05:59:40) :
    So am I to assume that you think it is impossible to forecast certain specific events from well out in time ?

    There are two kinds of forecasts:
    1) general, statistical forecast. E.g. I’ll predict that next summer will be warmer than last winter outside of the tropics. I’ll predict that space weather at the next solar maximum will be stormier than at this solar minimum.
    2) specific, particular forecasts. E.g. that solar cycle 24 maximum will 75, or that a solar flare will occur on May 11, 21:34 UT, 2012.

    Some orthogonal to this distinction is the forecast based on physical theory or on statistical correlation.
    1) The prediction of SC24 max at Rmax=75 is based on physical theory coupled with the observation that the polar fields are as weak as they are. This is a specific prediction based on current data supported by sound theory.
    2) Since statistically weak cycles occur in groups, one can make a statistical prediction that SC25 will be weak too.

    Statistical prediction could turn out wrong without invalidating the correlation [it was only statistical, after all]. Physical predictions cannot afford to be wrong, as that will invalidate the theory [or at least show it is incomplete and needs amendment].

    On time scales:
    Solar cycle predictions can be made on the time scale of one cycle for physical forecasting, but no longer. Since solar activity often has a lifetime exceeding solar rotation period, predicting that activity will recur in 27 days is pretty, but not after 10×27 days. Since the same active region often gives rise to several flares, predicting a heightened flare probability for a few days after the first flare is also a reasonable forecast.

  141. Leif Svalgaard (09:27:10) :

    There are quite a few recent cycles that happened quite comfortably on there own in the brief history of our sunspot knowledge, SC12, SC14, SC16 and the infamous SC20. Your logic of SC25 being a low one is scant of any real understanding of what drives the Sun, and is a probability case at best. This is not good enough.

    There are lots of cases of more than 2 low cycles in a row in the last 400 years, would you like to predict SC26?, not a chance I suspect….

  142. Geoff Sharp (06:04:26) :
    would you like to predict SC26?, not a chance I suspect….
    Statistically it would be low too, but with less probability, of course. I don’t have a cultist’s certainty here.

  143. Leif Svalgaard (16:41:03) :

    I don’t have a cultist’s certainty here.

    Resorting to ad hominem will not help your cause. If you don’t know…. you don’t know.

  144. Leif, Thank you for your response but I still did not get a direct feel for what you believe is possible , forecast wise. As in what is possible to forecast from way out. Example… I forecasted that a Cycle 24 group would show up in the SH on December 10th, or be present quite a while back.

    And only one Cycle 24 SH group had been seen prior to this as you might know. And a Cycle 24 group did emerge in the SH on December 11th. I could also give you other similar examples like for late 2006 which was made well out in advance.

    And I’ve also been talking about a June increase for the past several weeks with some people within the meteorological community because some of them believe in the space weather forcing connection to the ENSO. And I have said that this will be the largest level of activity since March 2008.

    So I want to know is a forecast like this good enough to some extent or do you want to hear specifics like flare strength, sunspot location, and total etc….

    And please keep the criteria for my own forecasts on the same playing field level as someone like yourself. When it comes to specific forecast details. But I am also unaware if you make these types. Thanks in advance.

  145. Geoff Sharp (06:26:05) :
    Resorting to ad hominem will not help your cause. If you don’t know…. you don’t know.
    I think you are the one with a cause. And you don’t know either. Except you claim you know. I take a dim view of such claims.

    Jim Hughes (07:24:03) :
    I don’t know how long beforehand you made that forecast. If it more than 6 months I would either be impressed or dismiss it as a fluke. If less, that might be possible in rare cases [with not too much other activity - imagine there were 2 new spots every day] as there are precursors to spots: recurrence [spots occur in the same place], intensification of magnetic field, etc. As an example look at the first Figure in http://leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf showing the interplanetary magnetic field [blue line marked B]. Note that in the rotation prior to all major flares there was a spike in B. I actually predicted ][a month ahead] the famous Halloween storm in 2003, and the big flares in 2005 and 2006.
    Forecasting with too many false positives is useless. If I predict the “Big One” in San Francisco every week for years on end, the population soon tires of the weekly wholesale evacuation of the City.

  146. Merrick (13:31:22) :
    E. M. Smith,

    Go ahead and bash Microsoft all you want, but you’re off on this one.

    Thank you I will. But I’m not “off”. I said it was “user hostile” and it is. There are trivial ways it could be made user friendly and they are not done. The Microsoft pattern of behaviour would predict they will leave it hostile for a long time to come. That is just poor human factors design.

    Peter simply picked the wrong type of graph. No harm no foul. Blaming Microsoft for Peter’s mistake is just poor analysis –

    IFF I had asserted that Microsoft drew the wrong graph, you would be right, but my complaint is about the ease with which MS lets you step on land mines. I’ve spent far too much of my life supporting software (from MANY makers) to accept a bad user interface as “no problem”. It is a problem. It is harm and it is foul. In physical products you get sued if someone chops of fingers because your product snapped shut unexpectedly and there was no warning. In MS land it’s called normal.

    something we’re all tired of seeing from the “other side,” so let’s not do it ourselves.

    I am a software professional. I’ve written production code for over 20 years. I’ve supported software from most major makers on everything from PC class to supercomputers. I’ve managed software development groups including a compiler tool chain and a user oriented product that got 4 software patents (and that was both the groups writing the software and the software QA group). I think I’m qualified to render a professional opinion of the quality of a user interface.

    Now maybe I’m spoiled, since I spend most of my time on one of the best platforms in the business from a UI point of view, but then again, maybe measuring against the best available is exactly how it ought to be done… So no, this is not a ‘poor analysis’ it is a straight forward observation of the limitations of a product and it’s failure to “measure up” to what the competition provides in a specific aspect: It is not user friendly. (And I stated exactly what MS could have done to make it friendly. – a simple “are you sure you want this bahaviour?” prompt. Basically, built in prompting documentation of the often unexpected behaviour.)

    So yes, Peter is responsible for picking the wrong graph, but no, Microsoft is not free of blame. They made this user interface such that at least one other poster stated that it is the usual error folks made. “That happens a lot” is one of the key hallmarks of a design fault and it ought to be fixed as quickly as possible. I know, I’ve managed groups that did exactly that kind of repair work. When folks regularly put the car in reverse instead of forward, we add a reverse lockout… for a reason. And product liability law (for everything other than software, it would seem) has clearly stated that the bad UI design is the fault of the manufacturer.

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