Evidence of a Lunisolar Influence on Decadal and Bidecadal Oscillations In Globally Averaged Temperature Trends

Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts

sun-earth-moon-520
Image from NASA GSFC

Many WUWT readers will remember that last year we presented evidence of what we thought was a “solar imprint” in globally averaged temperature trends.  Not surprisingly, given the strong interest  and passion in the subject of climate change and global warming, our results were greeted with both praise and scorn.  Some problems were pointed out in our original assessment, and other possible interpretations of the data were suggested.  Some WUWT readers have wondered whether we would ever follow up on this.

We have been quietly working on this, and having learned much since our initial effort, are as persuaded as ever that the basic premise of our original presentation remains valid.  We have tried out some new techniques, and have posted some preliminary trials on WUWT in the past few months, here, and here.

However, questions remain.  Since a lot of bright and capable people read WUWT, rather than wait until we thought we had all the answers, we have decided to present an update and let readers weigh in on where we are at with all of this.  We have, in fact, drafted a paper that we might at some point submit for peer review, when we are more comfortable with some of the more speculative aspects of the matter.  What follows is taken from that draft, with some modification for presentation here.

For those that prefer to read this in printed form, a PDF of this essay is available for download here

Introduction

Evidence of decadal and bidecadal variations in climate are common in nature.  Classic examples of the latter include the 20 year oscillation in January temperature in the Eastern United States and Canada reported by Mock and Hibler [1], and the bidecadal rhythm of drought in the Western High Plains, Mitchell, Stockton, and Meko [2], and Cook, Meko, and Stockton [3].  Other examples include a bidecadal (and pentadecadal) oscillation in the Aleutian Low, Minobe [4]; rainfall and the levels of Lake Victoria, East Africa, Stager et al. [5]; and evidence from tree rings along the Russian Arctic, Raspopov, Dergachev, Kolstrom [6], and the Chilean coast, Rigozo et al. [7].

Evidence of decadal or bidecadal oscillations in temperature data, however, especially upon a global scale, has proven to be more elusive and controversial.  Folland [8] found a spectral peak at 23 years in a 335 year record of central England temperatures, and Newell et al. [9] found a 21.8 year peak in marine air temperature.   Brunetti, Mageuri, Nanni [10] have reported evidence of a bidecadal signal in Central European mean alpine temperatures.  But the first to report bidecadal oscillations – of 21 and 16 years – in globally averaged temperature were Ghil and Vautard [11].  Their results were challenged by Eisner and Tsonis [12], but were later taken up and extended by Keeling and Whorf [13, 14].

No less unsettled is the issue of attribution.  Currie [15], examining U.S. temperature records, reported spectral peaks of 10.4 and 18.8 years, attributing the first to the solar cycle, and the latter to the lunar nodal cycle.  In the debate over the bidecadal drought cycle of the Western High Plains, Mitchell, Stockton, and Meko [2] concluded that the bidecadal signal was a solar phenomenon, not a lunar one.  Bell [16, 17] and Stockton, Mitchell, Meko [18] attributed the bidecadal drought cycle to a combined solar and lunar influence, as did Cook, Meko, and Stockton [3].  Keeling and Whorf [13], working with globally averaged temperature data, reported strong spectral peaks at 9.3, 15.2, and 21.7 years.  Eschewing a simpler combination of solar and lunar influences, they proposed a complex mechanism of lunar tidal influences to explain the evidence [14].

The past decade has seen only sporadic interest in the question of whether decadal and bidecadal variations in climate have a solar or lunar attribution, or some combination of the two.  Cerveny and Shaffer [19] and Treloar [20] report evidence of tidal influences on the southern oscillation and sea surface temperatures; Yndestad [21, 22] and McKinnell and Crawford [23] attribute climate oscillations in the Arctic and North Pacific to the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle.  But interest in discerning an anthropogenic influence on climate has largely eclipsed the study of natural climate variability, at least on a global scale.  There continue to be numerous reports of decadal or bidecadal oscillations in a variety of climate metrics on local and regional scales, variously attributed to solar and or lunar periods [3-7, 10, 19-27], but little has been done to advance the state of knowledge of lunar or solar periodic cycles on globally averaged temperature trends since the final decade of the 20th Century.

Besides the shift in interest to discerning an anthropogenic influence on global climate, the lack of agreement on any kind of basic physical mechanism for a solar role in climate oscillations, combined with the apparent lack of consistency in the relation between solar cycles and terrestrial temperature trends perhaps has made this an uninviting area of research.  The difficulty of attributing temperature change to solar influence has been thoroughly surveyed by Hoyt and Schatten [28].  In particular, there are numerous reports of sign reversals in the relationship between temperature and solar activity in the early 20th century, particularly after 1920 [28, pp 115-117].  More recently, Georgieva, Kirov, and Bianchi [29] surveyed comprehensively the evidence for sign reversal in the relationship between solar and terrestrial temperatures, and suggested that these sign reversals are related to a long term secular solar cycle with solar hemispheric asymmetry driving the sign reversals.  Specifically, they argue that there is a double Gleissberg cycle in which during one half of the cycle the Southern solar hemisphere is more active, while during the other half of the cycle the Northern solar hemisphere is more active.  They argue that this solar hemispheric asymmetry is correlated with long term terrestrial climate variations in atmospheric circulation patterns, with zonal circulation patterns dominating in the 19th and early 20th century, and meridional circulation patterns dominating thereafter (see also [30] and [31]).

In our research, we pick up where Keeling and Whorf [13, 14] leave off, insofar as documenting decadal and bidecadal oscillations in globally averaged temperature trends is concerned, but revert to the explanation proposed by Bell [16] and others [3, 18], that these are likely the result of a combined lunisolar influence, and not simply the result of lunar nodal and tidal influences.  We show that decadal and bidecadal oscillations in globally averaged temperature show patterns of alternating weak and strong warming rates, and that these underwent a phase change around 1920.  Prior to that time, the lunar influence dominates, while after that time the solar influence dominates.  While these show signs of being correlated with the broad secular variation in atmospheric circulation patterns over time, the persistent influence of the lunar nodal cycle, even when the solar cycle dominates the warming rate cycles, implicates oceanic influences on secular trends in terrestrial climate.  Moreover, while analyzing the behavior of the secular solar cycle over the limited time frame for which we have reasonably reliable instrumental data for measuring globally averaged temperature should proceed with caution, if the patterns documented here persist, we may be on the cusp of a downward trend in the secular solar cycle in which solar activity will be lower than what has been experienced during the last four double sunspot cycles.  These findings could influence our expectations for the future regarding climate change and the issue of anthropogenic versus natural variability in attributing climate change.

In our original presentation, we utilized Hodrick-Prescott smoothing to reveal decadal and bidecadal temperature oscillations in globally averaged temperature trends.  While originally developed in the field of economics to separate business cycles from long term secular trends in economic growth, the technique is applicable to the time series analysis of temperature data in reverse, by filtering out short term climate oscillations, isolating longer term variations in temperature.

For the mathematically inclined, here is what the HP filter equation looks like, courtesy of the Mathworks

The Hodrick-Prescott filter separates a time series yt into a trend component Tt and a cyclical component Ct such that yt = Tt + Ct. It is equivalent to a cubic spline smoother, with the smoothed portion in Tt.

The objective function for the filter has the form

Figure0

where m is the number of samples and λ is the smoothing parameter. The programming problem is to minimize the objective over all T1, …, Tm. The first sum minimizes the difference between the time series and its trend component (which is its cyclical component). The second sum minimizes the second-order difference of the trend component (which is analogous to minimization of the second derivative of the trend component).

For those with an electrical engineering background, you could think of it much like a bandpass filter, which also has uses in meteorology:

Outside of electronics and signal processing, one example of the use of band-pass filters is in the atmospheric sciences. It is common to band-pass filter recent meteorological data with a period range of, for example, 3 to 10 days, so that only cyclones remain as fluctuations in the data fields.

(Note: For those that wish to try out the HP filter on data themselves, a freeware Excel plugin exists for it which you can download here)

When applied to globally averaged temperature, the HP filter works to extract the longer term trend from variations in temperature that are of short term duration.  It is somewhat like a filter that filters out “noise,” but in this case the short term cyclical variations in the data are not noise, but are themselves oscillations of a shorter term that may have a basis in physical processes.

This approach reveals alternating cycles of weak and strong warming rates with decadal and bidecadal frequency.  We confirm the validity of the technique using a continuous wavelet transform.  Then, using MTM spectrum analysis, we analyze further the frequency of these oscillations in global temperature data.  Using sinusoidal model analysis we show that the frequencies obtained using HP smoothing are equivalent to what are obtained using MTM spectrum analysis.  In other words, the HP smoothing technique is simply another way of extracting the same spectral density information obtained using more conventional spectrum analysis, while leaving it in the time domain.  This allows us to compare the secular pattern of temperature cycles with solar and lunar maxima, yielding results that are not obvious from spectral analysis alone.

Using the Hodrick-Prescott Filter to Reveal Oscillations in Globally Averaged Temperature

We use the open source econometric regression software gretl (GNU Regression, Econometrics, and Time Series) [34] to derive an HP filtered time series for the HadCRUT3 Monthly Global Temperature Anomaly, 1850:01 through 2008:11 [35].

Figure1

Figure1 - click for larger image

Figure 1 is representative output in gretl for a series filtered with HP smoothing (λ of 129,000).  In the top panel is the original series (in gray), with the resulting smoothed trend (in red).  In the bottom panel is the cyclical component.  In econometric analysis, attention usually focuses on the cyclical component.  Our focus, though, is on the trend component in the upper panel, and in particular the first differences of the trend component.  The first differences of a trend indicate rate of change.

By taking the first differences of the smoothed trend in Figure 1, we obtain the series (in blue) shown in Figure 2, plotted against the background of the original data (gray), and the smoothed trend (red).

Figure 2 - click for larger image

Figure 2 - click for larger image

What does this reveal?  At first glance, we see an alternating pattern of decadal and bidecadal oscillations in the rate of warming, with a curious exception circa 1920-1930.  We will return to this later.  Concentrating for now on the general pattern, these oscillations in the rate of warming are representations, in the time domain, of spectral frequencies in the temperature data, with high frequency oscillations filtered out by the HP smoothing.

As evidence of this, Figure 3 presents the result of two Morelet continuous wavelet transforms, the first (in the upper panel) of the unfiltered HadCRUT3 monthly time series, and the second (in the lower panel) of results obtained with HP smoothing.

Figure3

The wavelet transforms below a frequency of ~7 years (26.4 ≈ 84 months) are visually identical; the HP filter is simply acting as a low pass filter, filtering out oscillations with frequencies above ~7 years, while preserving the decadal and bidecadal oscillations of interest here.  In the next section, we investigate these oscillations in further detail, supplementing our results from HP filtering with MTM spectrum analysis, and a sinusoidal model fit.

Frequency Analysis

Figure 4 is an MTM spectrum analysis of the unfiltered HadCRUT3 monthly global temperature analysis.

Figure 4 - click for larger image

Figure 4 - click for larger image

A feature of MTM spectrum analysis is that it distinguishes signals that are described as “harmonic” from those that are merely “quasi-oscillatory.”  In MTM spectrum analysis a harmonic is a more clearly repeatable signal that passes a stronger statistical test of its repeatability.  Quasi-oscillatory signals are statistically significant, in the sense of rising above the background noise level, but are not as consistently repeating as the harmonic signals.

The distinction between harmonic and quasi-oscillatory signals is well illustrated in Figure 4 by the two cycles that interest us the most – a “quasi-oscillatory” cycle with a peak at 8.98 years, and a “harmonic” signal centered at 21.33 years.   Also shown are a harmonic, and a quasi-oscillatory cycle, of shorter frequencies, possibly ENSO related.  The harmonic at 21.33 years in Figure 4 encompasses a range from 18.96 to 24.38 years, and the quasi-oscillatory signal that peaks at 8.93 years has sidebands above the 99% significance level that range from 8.53 to 10.04 years.  These signals are consistent with spectra identified by Keeling and Whorf [13,14].

Figure 5 is an MTM spectrum analysis of the HP smoothed first differences.

figure5

Figure5 - click for larger image

The basic shape of the spectrum is unchanged, but it is now well above the background noise level because of the HP filtering. Attention is drawn in Figure 5 to four oscillatory modes or cycles because they correspond to the four strongest cycles derived from using the PAST (PAleontological STatistics) software [36] to fit a sinusoidal model to the HP smoothed first differences.

Shown in Figure 6, the sinusoidal fit results in periods of 20.68, 9.22, 15.07 and 54.56 years, in that order of significance.  These periodicities fall within the ranges of the spectra obtained using MTM spectrum analysis, and yield a sinusoidal model with an R2 of 0.60.

Figure6

Figure6 - click for larger image

Discussion

The first differences of the HP smoothed temperature series, shown in Figure 2 and Figure 6, show a pattern of alternating decadal and bidecadal oscillations in globally averaged temperature.  From the sinusoidal model fit, these cycles have average frequencies of 20.68 and 9.22 years, results that are consistent with the MTM spectrum analysis, and with spectra in the results published by Keeling and Whorf [13, 14].  But to what can we attribute these persistent periodicities?

A bidecadal frequency of 20.68 years is too short to be attributed solely to the double sunspot cycle, and too long to be attributed solely to the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle.  There is indeed evidence of a spectral peak at ~15 years, which Keeling and Whorf combined with their evidence of a 21.7 year cycle to argue for attributing the oscillations entirely to the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle.

But our evidence indicates that the ~15 year spectrum is much weaker, is not harmonic, and probably derives from the anomalous behavior of the spectra circa 1920-1930, something Keeling and Whorf could not appreciate with evidence only from the frequency domain.  Especially in light of the evidence presented below, and because the bidecadal signal is harmonic, and readily discernible in the time domain representation of Figure 2 and Figure 6, we believe that a better attribution is the beat cycle explanation proposed by Bell [16], i.e. a cycle representing the combined influence of the 22 year double sunspot cycle and the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle.

As for the decadal signal of 9.22 years, this is too short to be likely attributable to the 11 year solar cycle, but is very close to half the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle, and thus may well be attributable to the lunar nodal cycle.  Together, the pattern of alternating weak and strong warming cycles shown in Figure 2 and Figure 6 suggest a complex pattern of interaction between the double sunspot cycle and the lunar nodal cycle.

This complex pattern of interaction between the double sunspot cycle and lunar nodal maxima in relation to the alternating pattern of decadal and bidecadal warming rates is demonstrated further in Figure 6 with indicia plotted to indicate solar and lunar maxima.  Since circa 1920, the strong warming rate cycles have tended to correlate with solar maxima associated with odd numbered solar cycles, and the weak warming rate cycles with lunar maxima.

Prior to 1920, the strong warming rate cycles tend to correlate with the lunar nodal cycle, with the weak warming rate cycles associated with even numbered solar cycles.  The sinusoidal model fit begins to break down prior to 1870.  Whether this is a reflection of the poorer quality of data prior to 1880, or indications of an earlier phase shift, we cannot say, though the timing would be roughly correct for the latter.  But the anomalous pattern circa 1920, when viewed against the shift from strong warming rate cycles dominated by the lunar nodal cycle, to strong warming rate cycles dominated by the double sunspot cycle, has the appearance of a disturbance associated with what clearly seems to be a phase shift

These results agree with the evidence mustered by Hoyt and Schatten [28] and Georgieva, Kirov, and Bianchi [29]  for a phase shift circa 1920 in the relationship between solar activity and terrestrial temperatures.  However, we can suggest, here, that the supposed negative correlation between solar activity and terrestrial temperatures prior to 1920 rests on a misconstrued understanding of the data.  As can be seen in Figure 6, the relationship between the change in the warming rate and solar activity is still positive, i.e. the warming rate is peaking near the peaks of solar cycles 10, 12, and 14, but at a much reduced level, indicative of the lower level of solar activity during the period.  Indeed, for much of solar cycle 12, and all of solar cycle 14, the “warming” rate is negative, but the change in the warming rate is still following the level of solar activity, becoming less negative as solar activity increases, and more negative as solar activity decreases.  Still, there is a strong suggestion in Figure 6 of a phase shift circa 1920 in which the relationship between solar activity and terrestrial temperatures changes dramatically before and after the shift.  Before the shift, the lunar period dominates, and the solar period is much weaker.  After the shift, the solar period dominates, and the lunar period becomes subordinate.

Speculating

To this point, we believe that we are on relatively solid ground in describing what the data show, and the likelihood of a lunisolar influence on global temperatures on decadal and bidecadal timescales.  What follows now is more speculative.  To what can we attribute the apparent phase shift circa 1920, evident not just in our findings, but as reported by Hoyt and Schatten [28] and Georgieva, Kirov, and Bianchi [29]?  While the period of data is too short to do more than speculate, the periods before and after the phase shift appear to be roughly equivalent in length to the Gleissberg cycle.

Since 1920, we’ve had four double sunspot cycles with strong warming rates ending in odd numbered cycles.  Prior to 1920, while the results are less certain at the beginning of the data period, there is a reasonable interpretation of the data in which we see four bidecadal periods dominated by the influence of the lunar cycle.  These differences may be attributable to the broad swings in atmospheric “circulation epochs” discussed by Georgeiva, et al. [30], characterized either predominantly by zonal circulation, or meridional circulation.  With respect to the period of time shown in Figure 6, zonal circulation prevailed prior to 1920, and since then meridional circulation has dominated.  These “circulation epochs” may have persistent influence on the relative roles of solar and lunar influence in warming rate cycles.

While the role of variation in solar irradiation over the length of a solar cycle on the broad secular rise in global temperature is disputed, we are presenting here evidence primarily of a more subtle repeated oscillation in the rate of change in temperature, not its absolute level.  As shown in Figure 2 and Figure 6, the rate of change oscillates between bounded positive and negative values (with the exception circa 1920 duly noted).  Variations in solar irradiance over the course of the solar cycle are a reasonable candidate for the source of this variation in warming rate cycle.  As WUWT’s “resident solar physicist”, Leif Svalgaard, has pointed out, variations in TSI over a normal solar cycle can only account for about 0.07°C of total variation over the course of a solar cycle.  The range of change in warming rates shown in Figure 2 and Figure 6 are at most only about one-tenth of this, or about ~0.006°C to ~0.008°C.  If anything, we should be curious why the variation is so small.  We attribute this to the averaging of regional and hemispheric variations in the globally averaged data.  On a regional basis, analysis [not presented here] shows much larger variation, but still within the range of 0.07°C that might plausibly be attributed to the variation in TSI over the course of a solar cycle.

So variations in solar irradiance over the course of the solar cycle are a reasonable candidate for the source of this variation in warming rate cycle.  At the same time, the lunar nodal cycle may be further modulating this natural cycle in the rate of change in global temperatures.  As to the degree of modulation, that may be influenced by atmospheric circulation patterns.  With zonal circulation, the solar influence is moderated and the lunar influence dominates the modulation of the warming rate cycles.  With meridional circulation, the solar influence is stronger, and the warming rate cycles are dominated by the solar influence.

At this writing, we are in the transition from solar cycle 23 to 24, a transition that has taken longer than expected, and longer than the transitions typical of solar cycles 16 through 23.  Indeed, the transition is more typical of the transitions of solar cycles 10 through 15.  If the patterns observed in Figure 6 are not happenstance, we may be seeing an end to the strong solar activity of solar cycles 16-23, and a reversion to the weaker levels of activity associated with solar cycles 10-15.  If that occurs, then we should see a breakdown in the correlation between warming rate cycles and solar cycles at bidecadal frequencies, and a reversion to a dominant correlation between temperature oscillations and the lunar nodal cycle.

Interestingly, there was a lunar nodal maximum in 2006 not closely associated with the timing of decadal or bidecadal oscillations in globally averaged temperature.  This could be an indication of a breakdown in the pattern similar to what we see in the 1920’s, i.e. the noise associated with a phase shift in the weaker warming rate cycles will occur at times of the solar maximum, and the stronger warming rate cycles will occur at times of lunar nodal maximum.

Repeating, there appear to be parallels between our findings and the argument of Georgieva et al. [29] of a relationship between terrestrial climate and solar hemispheric asymmetry on the scale of a double Gleissberg cycle.  Solar cycles 16-23, associated as we have seen with increased solar activity, and strong correlations with the strong terrestrial warming rate cycles of bidecadal frequency, represent 8 solar cycles, a period of time associated with a Gleissberg cycle.

While the existence of Gleissberg length cycles is hardly challenged, their exact length and timing is subject to a debate we will not entertain here at any length.  Javariah [37] on the basis of the disputed 179 year cycle of Jose [38] believes that a descending phase of a Gleissberg cycle is already underway, and will end with the end of a double Hale cycle comprising solar cycles 22-25.

While it is true that solar activity, as measured by SSN, is already on the decline, we would include the double Hale cycle 20-23 in the recent peak of solar activity, and not necessarily expect to see the bottom of the current decline in solar activity that quickly.

The issue here can perhaps be framed with respect to Figure 7 below:

figure7

Figure7 - click for larger image

Assuming we are on the cusp of a downward trend in solar activity that began circa 1990 according to Javariah, and will decline, say, to a level comparable to the trough seen in the early 1900’s, will it be a sharp decline, like that seen at the beginning of the 19th Century, or a more moderate decline like that seen at the beginning of the 20th Century?  A naïve extrapolation might be to replicate the more gradual decline seen during the latter half of the 19th Century, suggesting a gradual decline in solar activity through solar cycle 31, i.e. for most of the 21st Century.  And based on the prospect of a phase shift in the pattern of decadal and bidecadal warming rate cycles, the bidecadal cycle would come to be dominated by the influence of the lunar nodal cycle, and the influence of the solar cycle would be diminished, leading at least to a reduction in the rate of global warming, if not an era of global cooling.

This is a prospect worthy of more investigation.

Finally, while we readily concede that multidecadal projections are at best little more than gross speculation, in Figure 6 we have carried the sinusoidal model fit out to 2030, and in Figure 8 we use the sinusoidal model of rate changes to project temperature

Figure 8 - click for larger image

Figure 8 - click for larger image

anomalies through 2030.  Assuming a simple projection of the sinusoidal model of rate changes persists through 2030, there would be little or no significant change in global temperature anomalies for the next two decades.

Looking carefully at the sinusoidal model, what we are seeing projected for 2010-2020 are a return to conditions similar to what the model shows for circa 1850-1860, with the period 1853-2020 representing a complete composite cycle of the four combined periods of oscillation.  That is, 1853 is the first point at which the sinusoidal model is crossing the x-axis, and at 2020 the model again crossing the x-axis and beginning to repeat a ~167 year cycle.  In terms of solar cycle history, that corresponds to a return to conditions similar to solar cycles 10-15, with another phase shift reversing the phase shift of ~1920.  If these broad, long term secular swings in solar activity and global atmospheric conditions and temperature anomalies are not random, but reflect solar-terrestrial dynamics that play out over multidecadal and even centennial time-scales, then the early 21st Century may yield a respite from the global warming of the late 20th Century.

Conclusion

There is substantial and statistically significant evidence for decadal and bidecadal oscillations in globally averaged temperature trends.  Sinusoidal model analysis of the first differences of the HP smoothed HadCRUT3 time series reveals strong periodicities at 248.2 and 110.7 months, periodicities confirmed as well with MTM spectrum analysis.

Analyzing these periodicities in the time domain with the first differences of the HP smoothed HadCRUT3 time series reveals a pattern of correlation between strong warming rate cycles and the double sunspot cycle for the past four double sunspot cycles.  Prior to that, with a phase shift circa 1920, the strong warming rate cycles were dominated by the timing of the lunar nodal cycle.

We suggest that this reversal may be related to a weaker epoch of solar activity prior to 1920, and that we may on the cusp of another phase shift associated with a resumption of such weakened solar activity.

If so, this may result in a reduction in the rate of global warming, and possibly a period of global cooling, further complicating the effort to attribute recent global warming to anthropogenic sources.

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[30]  Georgieva, K. Kirov, B.  Tonev, P.  Guineva, V.  Atanasov, D.  Long-term variations in the correlation between NAO and solar activity: The importance of north–south solar activity asymmetry for atmospheric circulation.  Advances in Space Research.  2007; 40(7): 1152-1166.

[31]  Georgieva, K.  Solar dynamics and solar-terrestrial Influences.  In:  Maravell, N. ed.  Space Science: New Research.  New York: Nova Science Publishers.  2006;  p. 35-84.

[32]  Hodrick, R.  Prescott, E.  Postwar US business cycles: an empirical investigation.  Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.  1997.  29(1): 1-16. Reprint of University of Minneapolis discussion paper 451, 1981

[33]  Maravall, A. del Río, A.   Time aggregation and the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Banco de España Working Papers 0108, Banco de España.  2001.  Available: http://www.bde.es/informes/be/docs/dt0108e.pdf[34] Cottrell, A., Lucchetti, R.  Gretl User’s Guide.  2007.  Available: http://ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu/pub//gretl/manual/en/gretl-guide.pdf

[35]  Brohan, P.  Kennedy, J.  Harris, I.  Tett, S.  Jones, P.  Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1860.  Journal of Geophysical Research.  2006; 111: D12106, doi:10.1029/2005JD006548.  Data retrieved at: http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/

[36]  Hammer, Ø.  Harper, D.  Ryan, P.  PAST: Paleontological Statistics Software Package for Education and Data Analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica.  2001; 4(1): 9pp. http://palaeo-electronica.org/2001_1/past/issue1_01.htm

[37] Javariah, J.  Sun’s retrograde motion and violation of even-odd cycle rule in sunspot activity.  2005; 362(4): 1311-1318.

[38]  Jose, P.  Sun’s motion and sunspots.  Astronics Journal.  1965; 70: 193-200.

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233 thoughts on “Evidence of a Lunisolar Influence on Decadal and Bidecadal Oscillations In Globally Averaged Temperature Trends

  1. I did not have time to go through it throughly yet but I wondered how you ensured that the “bandpass filter” does not introduce ripples into the data. When a applying window function to a high frequency data set it inevitably creates some ripples.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_function for examples of what windowing can do to data. You end up with side lobes. How did you test to ensure that the oscillations you observe are real and not induced by spectral leakage?

  2. I’ve done a little of this kind of analysis before and have found some of the same repeating cycle timelines.

    They seem to be slightly off the timelines one would expect with the solar cycle.

    I don’t know if there is a mathematical theorem to describe this but perhaps one should actually expect the spectral analysis peaks to be slightly off the solar cycle timelines.

    Instead of an 11 year peak, maybe the strongest peak is at 9 years. Maybe the Hale cycle peak is at 18.6 years rather than 22. If one is trying to detect a signal from 11-year peak to 11-year peak of the cycle, this signal will be less strong than an offset of (3/4 of the peak) to peak.

    The problem is the length of the solar cycles are not regular so there will be some drift in the off-set idea timelines. I’ve found the biggest cycle in the temperature series actually occurs at 25 years.

    Just to illustrate, I did this chart before on Sunspot Numbers.

    I think the main point is that the solar cycle influence on temperatures may not show up exactly at the timelines expected with this kind of analysis.

    I have another paper you might want to look at (this comes from before tree-rings took over his research).

    http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/MannLees1996.pdf

  3. Wow! This is serious. I’ve got some things I just have to do outside – weeds, garden, horses – real, sun, wind, weather things. But this is the sort of post that resonates with me so as someone once said, “I’ll be back.”

  4. What a paper! I also need more time to read it. Morlet is spelled without “e” before “let”.

    Jeremy, if they actually did Morlet transform, it is based on a Gaussian-modulated plane waves. The Gaussian is the smoothest localized distribution: its Fourier transform is another Gaussian with width determined by a saturated “uncertainty relation”.

    I wouldn’t call Gaussians – either in frequency or time coordinates – “ripples”. They’re very different from rectangular windows etc. For purely periodic time series, the Morlet transform always reduces the amplitudes for “wrong” frequencies (by the Gaussian factor): it can never enhance them which seems to solve your worry about the fake ripples.

  5. In this piece, given its controversial nature, I wouldn’t side step oceanic oscillations as the source of global temperature change (both the noise and the trend). I would then speculate what affect the lunisolar source would have on these oscillations. It is too much of a leap for me to contemplate a direct route from temperature to lunisolar and leaves the paper open to harsh, and in my mind, deserved criticism.

    Here is a mild one. It is possible that the lunisolar source is going in and out of phase with oceanic oscillations, and you have identified that phenomenon. Nature’s cycles go in and out of phase with each other all the time and present false correlations to those who study these cycles. Have you done that here?

  6. One problem with an kind of analysis looking for periodic effects is that a-periodic effects like volcanoes can serious mess with and impede efforts to identify cycles in the data. If you lag by about 7 or 8 months and multiply by −2.216 or −2.948 the AOD data here:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/tau_line.txt

    Will give you a good volcano signal.

    If you analyze the data ~after~ removing volcano effects, solar and others should be more clearly visible.

  7. Tho variations in TSI have been dismissed as insignificant in global temperature variation, figure 7 seems remarkably similar in amplitude (at this scale) with that variation.

  8. In first paragraph “greeting” should be “greeted”.

    My first impression also was how do you factor in other known cycles (PDO, etc.). Or, better, how do you account for them. At least you should discuss them.

  9. My initial impression of the HP filter is that it is very simplistic. As lambda-> inf, you get back L_t, the least-squares best regression line, while lambda=0 gives back your data y_t. In general, aren’t you going to get back something akin to alpha*y_t+(1-alpha)*L_t for alpha (in [0,1]) some function of lambda?

    There doesn’t seem to be anything in the filter that addresses the cyclic nature of the data. It’s just a smoothing filter. Also, I am concerned about the analysis of the first differences of the trend component. The filter, after all, penalizes those differences. So in effect, you first adjust those differences in some way you think is appropriate (by playing with lambda), then you analyze them. Seems like a potential alorithmic “conflict of interest” if there is such a thing.

  10. Well done fellows!

    “…HP filter works to extract the longer term trend from variations in temperature that are of short term duration…somewhat like a filter that filters out “noise,” but in this case the short term cyclical variations in the data are not noise, but are themselves oscillations of a shorter term that may have a basis in physical processes.”

    Wish we could tatoo this to the foreheads of statisticians.

    “the HP smoothing technique is simply another way of extracting the same spectral density information obtained using more conventional spectrum analysis, while leaving it in the time domain.”

    Insightful. Halfway thru and believe a second or third reading will be required.

  11. Figure 7 is the open door to oceanic oscillating cycles as either a criticism if you ignore this essential piece, or an opportunity to talk about these issues in your speculation section, as the graph looks very SSTish familiar.

  12. Good gawdamighty. I meant figure 6, but let me double check again….yes, figure 6. I should just stop posting till I recover from a really good party last night.

  13. “I wouldn’t side step oceanic oscillations as the source of global temperature change (both the noise and the trend).”

    Oceans are, I believe, greatly misrepresented in many calculations of both temperature and CO2. While ocean surface (say to 300m) responds quickly to surface changes, the great bulk of the ocean will respond much more slowly. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the vast bulk of ocean water is *still* recovering from the LIA in temperature. But the recovery will be in hundredths of a degree per decade. Same with CO2 content. If you have a surface layer that changes 1 degree, you have a certain change in dissolved CO2. But if you have a million times more volume of water than changes only a hundredth of a degree, you have a greater overall change in dissolved CO2. And you can have a situation where the upper layers are cooling, gaining CO2 and the abyssal plains still warming and losing CO2.

    Say you have a situation where the surface is warm for several centuries (MWP), then you cool for a few centuries (LIA) … I believe the deep oceans cool slowly in response albeit very slowly. Now things warm up as they have now and the deep responds to that too, but it has only been about a century.

    Surface temperatures are now cooling and we see lower SST anomalies but is the surface still warmer than the average surface temperature over the time taken for the deep ocean to respond? If so, then the deep oceans are still warming. If not, then the deep will begin cooling. I speculate that it can take several centuries for the deep ocean to respond completely to a change in surface temperatures and if the surface were to increase 1 degree in a step change and remain there solid as a rock, it would take more than a century for the entire ocean to adjust to that. So if the surface increased, we could see increasing CO2 for several hundred years until that process is complete. This would tend to be supported by the great lag between temperature chance and CO2 response.

    Now in relation to this article … I believe the surface is more responsive to these changes but there should be a considerable damping impact from the deep. The deep acting as a giant “heat capacitor” connected to the surface through a resistance that represents the relative exchange between the deep and surface layer waters.

    Cyclical changes in winds can greatly change that “resistance” by increasing or decreasing upwelling from deep water to the surface. What you might be observing is changes in heat exchange from deep ocean to surface in response to cyclical wind pattern changes.

  14. As already noted, removing the volcanic noise signals would be helpful.

    And as noted by Pamela Gray, if you’re looking for some plausible way for lunar cycles to couple with temperature cycles, tidal/temperature interactions might be responsible for cyclic changes in ocean circulation that periodically change the mixing of deep and surface water. This should effect the temperature noise, but not the long-term trend – that is, it might easily mask GHG warming for periods like the last decade ;-)

  15. I’ll repeat here my initial comments on an earlier version of this post they sent to me:

    In general, there is a bit too much cyclomania for my my taste. And I would EXPECT the 11-yr cycle in TSI to have a clear signal [as some people actually do find] and not a ~22 year variation. In addition, the lunar period remains unexplained. There must be 2000 such papers out there. You paper looks like number 2001.

    As you point out the real problem is where the 0.07 K TSI related variation is [although many people claim they see an 11-year variation]. My main point is really that there are just too many studies that show contradictory results and , but all with overwhelming statistical significance.

  16. I’m short of time right now, so I’ll just take a quick stab at responding to Pamela about ocean influences. The ocean currents are merely part of what distributes the energy received from the sun. Atmospheric circulation plays a part too. I don’t see where we are ignoring either. But those are — to use terms from my field of study — endogenous influences, not exogenous influences. If you say that the decadal and bidecadal oscillations in temperatures are “caused” by oscillations in ocean currents, that still begs the question of causes the oscillations in ocean currents. Doesn’t it? Besides vulcanism, the only exogenous forces I can think of are lunar and solar. (OK, somebody is going to interject the anthropogenic as exogenous, but that should be a linear process, not an oscillating one.) Vulcanism is surely important as a climate variable, but it is too random to account for the relatively predictable decadal and bidecadal changes in the rate of temperature change.

    For sure, you will see SST’s in what we are analyzing, as they are part of HadCRUT3. But even if we focused only on SST’s, the question would remain: what causes decadal and bidecadal oscillations in the rate of change SST’s?

    Basil

  17. Gentlemen, you’re on the right track by examining the ROC of the secular sunspot level. That’s where one finds coherence with terrestrial temperatures. You might be on the wrong track, however, in taking HADCRUT3 anomalies as good, consistent estimates of “global average temperature.” Their constructed time-series has highly peculiar features that show up in cross-spectrum analysis with other indices. I realize that there is no other viable alternative if one seeks the longest such series, but a note of caution might be sounded in your splendid presentation. And the length of the series is what determines the statistical confidence of all spectral analyses at a given resolution. Since you chose high resolution, a note on the expected high variability would help.

    My understanding of the “beat” frequency is the difference frequency that shows up as the signal “envelope” when two near-frequency narrow-band signals are superimposed, rather than some intermediate between the two. Also, readers might benefit by an earlier identification of the Hale cycle with the bidecadal double sunspot cycle. I nitpick here only to be helpful in your laudable project.

  18. Oh, and if I am correct in my hunch, what one would see is a “ringing” after a major change such as warming from the LIA or cooling from the MWP. And the longer the period of stability after the change , the more the “ringing” would damp out over time as teh deep sea adjusts to the surface stability. In other words, the longer things are stable, the more they tend to remain stable but when an instability is introduced, I believe things can fluctuate widely until the entire system adjusts to the new condition. So warming in 1998 was not as intense as warming in 1933. Cooling now might not be as much as the early 1970’s. Figure 8 seems to reflect the same response I would expect but for different reasons. That is, unless the solar and lunar influences are impacting tidal and wind patterns that affect winds and upwelling.

  19. Bill Illis (08:01:37) :

    I’ve done a little of this kind of analysis before and have found some of the same repeating cycle timelines.

    They seem to be slightly off the timelines one would expect with the solar cycle.

    I don’t know if there is a mathematical theorem to describe this but perhaps one should actually expect the spectral analysis peaks to be slightly off the solar cycle timelines.

    Instead of an 11 year peak, maybe the strongest peak is at 9 years. Maybe the Hale cycle peak is at 18.6 years rather than 22. If one is trying to detect a signal from 11-year peak to 11-year peak of the cycle, this signal will be less strong than an offset of (3/4 of the peak) to peak.

    The Hale cycle is at ~22. The lunar nodal cycle is at 18.6. I think the strong peak at ~9 years is most likely a reflection of the lunar nodal cycle. There is a lot of literature on how the lunar nodal cycle, driving tidal forces, could influence SST’s. Keeling and Whorf tried to attribute all of the variation to the lunar nodal cycle. We don’t think that works. The 20-21 year peak, which is also strong, is too long for that. It is not readily accessible, because it was published in a proceedings volume, not in a journal, but the papers by Bell (see #’s 16 and 17 in the reference list) argue for a “beat cycle” from combining the two influences. I think that is where the answer lies, as far as explaining the ~9 and ~20.5 year cycles go, and why we do not see things matching up exactly with an 11 year cycle.

    Basil

  20. Since endogenous sources have such strong effects (they create the wide swings and oscillations in noise everyone is so willing to disregard and remove from the data), it seems plausible to me that I would also look for endogenous sources for the trends as well. ESPECIALLY since the noise DETERMINES the statistical trend. Remember, the trend is not data, it is statistical analysis. Therefor the noise cannot be separated from the trend in terms of source, at least not on Earth. The only way one would be able to do that is find some terrestrial planet similar to Earth but without its endogenous features and see what the Sun does to surface land temperatures. If a trend is identified similar to the statistical analysis of the noise here on Earth, I would contemplate such an exogenous factor as the Sun causing a trend that is overlayed by endogenous noise.

  21. WUWT
    As much fun as it has been Digging For H2o on Mars, I would have preferred Seeding The planet and moon/s with a number of elemental enviromental (ground and atmopspheric) sensors such as to record an iindependant planetary record during this solar minimum.

    It is always instructive to back away periodically and survey a larger view of the landscape upon which we search for reality. Dr. Leonard Weinstein has provided such a view (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/22/limitations-on-anthropogenic-global-warming/) with cogent descriptions of the scope and the temporal validity of the state of knowledge to date. My apreciation to Dr. Leonard Weinstein

    In the spirit of the larger view, I commend the wide readership of WUWT to digest an offering by
    Michael Crichton regarding the socio/political landscape on which the world of science must navigate. If you find the master of fiction an ironic choice for commentary on the subject of global warming, I invoke the words of my literature prof, “Irony makes life real”. Mr. Chrichton bluntly describes what we are up against.
    Mr. Chrichton can be found here; http://sharpgary.org/ItsAboutTimeToo.htmlhttp://sharpgary.org/

    For all you number crunchers out there,
    Timo Niroma of Finland constructs an exhaustive analysis of our suns behavior over time. It is incredible what a creative mind can do with a 9 month winter. Bravo Timo Niroma. Right or wrong, Mr. Niroma makes (for me) a compelling case for the astrophysical aspects of the larger solar system that we call Home, and the cumulative effects on our sun. I do not find any conflicts vis a vis Niroda-Svalgarrd, only the degree of precision. Ultimately, I suspect, Dr. Svalgaard will be vindicated as will Timo Niroma.
    Timo Niroma can be found here; http://sharpgary.org/ItsAboutTimeToo.html
    Enjoy

  22. what we are seeing projected for 2010-2020 are a return to conditions similar to what the model shows for circa 1850-1860, with the period 1853-2020 representing a complete composite cycle of the four combined periods of oscillation. That is, 1853 is the first point at which the sinusoidal model is crossing the x-axis, and at 2020 the model again crossing the x-axis and beginning to repeat a ~167 year cycle.

    From eyeballing Figure 2, the 1853 anomaly was about -0.35°C, an from Figure 8, it will be about +0.35°C. +0.7°C/1.67 centuries = +0.42°C/century. In http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/20/dr-syun-akasofu-on-ipccs-forecast-accuracy/ Dr. Aksofu describes a model based on a linear recovery from the Little Ice Age plus a multi-decadal oscillation does a good job describing temperature history. “The linear increase has a rate of ~ +0.5°C/100 years,” a decent match.

    Akasofu took the multidecadal oscillation and fit it to the PDO, you took it and fit it to luna and solar effects. Neither group included the CO2 trend in analysis and results, though Akasofu suggests its current effect might be +0.1°C/century simply because the IPCC projects (predicts?) a +0.6°C/century warming.

    You have a decent match with Akasofu’s work, and one I think is worth mentioning in your paper and in the references. Next project – look for lunisolar influences that drive the PDO. :-)

  23. Lots of people have computed power spectra [even fancy ones with wavelets, maximum entropy, etc] of the sunspot series, filtered or unfiltered.

    Here is the FFT spectrum based on yearly SSNs with the start of the series varying from 1700 by 1 year [1700, 1701, 702, ...] up to some twenty years later to see what the end effects are [wavelets get you around that]:

    Using monthly resolution [and no shifting] one gets:

    (the blue curve is the ‘12.5’-month smoothed monthly SSN which just shows how the smoothing removes the power around 1 year.)

    The 22-yr ‘cycle’ and in particular the 18.6-yr cycle are very weak compared to the ~11 year cycles. There are really no solar quantity that has a significant variation on the Hale-cycle scale. The various asymmetries with a 22-yr period are second order effects that would seem to cause second order effects in climate too compared to the first-order effect of the 11-yr cycle. This is my biggest problem with this: ‘where is the 11-yr cycle that is expected: 0.07 degrees? and that countless other papers find.

  24. On Leif’s point, that there are “2000 papers” out there reporting cycles of these kinds, that’s true. But you can count on one hand, by my reckoning, the number of papers that deal with these cycles in the global temperature data. The papers that Leif is talking about are all the papers finding these periodicities in tree rings, varves, and other climate proxies, or if in temperature data, then most likely data that is regional in nature, or limted to SST’s, and not global. Our paper is more like #4 or #5, in a series that starts with Ghil and Vautaurd, the dispute by Tsonis and Eisner, and the further development by Keeling and Whorf. Since the latter is now more than a decade past, and we’re approaching nearly two decades since the original Ghil and Vautaurd, I think our work is relevant just to see how things look with one to two more decades of data.

    Beyond that, our putting a time dimension to the cycles, and not just measuring their frequencies, is, we believe, worthy of reporting.

    As to Leif’s expectation that the impact of TSI should be seen in an 11 year cycle, and not just a 22 year cycle, we’re suggesting that the lunar tidal influence that Keeling and Whorf saw is modulating or interfering with the “decadal” solar signal. I don’t doubt that the physical processes that Keeling and Whorf, and others, have postulated for a lunar tidal influence on SST’s are partly at work here. I think that is what the ~9 year signal represents. Whereas Leif likes to point out that the Sun is “messy,” so is terrestrial climate. And when you have 9/11 and 18.6/22 year cycles both influencing terrestrial climate, there is bound to be some “messiness” in how they interact, or interfere, with each other.

    As to the studies showing contradictory results, I think Leif overlooks the “pattern” in these “contradictory” results. If the contradictions were purely random, Leif’s point would be stronger. But their seem to be “runs” in the results, with periodic sign reversals. Again, this has been thoroughly surveyed by Hoyt and Schatten and Georgieva et al. Rather than dismiss the results as contradictory, if the contradictions are somehow systematic, it is relevant to ask whether or not there is an explanation for the systematic nature of the contradictions (i.e. one sign dominating prior to 1920, and another sign dominating after 1920). Georgieva and her collaborators may not be right in their answers (solar hemispheric asymmetry on a double Gleissburg scale that leads to terrestrial atmospheric circulation “epochs,” but at least they are asking the right questions. It may be coincidence, it may be random, or it may be relevant, but the way in which the weak/strong warming cycles shift between timing dominated by lunar and solar periodicities at around the same time as the solar sign reversal shift of the 1920’s (cf. Figure 6) is what it is.

  25. Anythony Watt and Basil Copeland apply statistical tricks which I don’t understand much of and trust less. Lief Svalgard, as always, and despite being praised by name in the post, makes a valid point when he complains of ‘cyclemania’.

    But they may be right. This is evidence is cosistent with basic physics. After the heat of sun the next most powful influence on the earth’s atmosphere is the forces of gravity exerted by the earth and the moon.
    Combined and mediated by the next biggest influence, the oceans.

    Lunisolar influence, the answer to AGW hoax.

  26. Leif Svalgaard (12:21:45) :
    This is my biggest problem with this: ‘where is the 11-yr cycle that is expected: 0.07 degrees? and that countless other papers find.

    I addressed part of this in my previous reply. The 11-yr cycle gets “messed up” by the influence of the lunar nodal cycle.

    As to the “expected 0.07″ degrees, we can get much closer to that in regional temperature variations. I do not have the results handy right now, but I’ve done the same kind of analysis we did here with HadCRUT to the 9 regional US NCDC datasets. I’ve even presented some before here in dialogs with Leif, where I think the decadal variation was on the order of 0.04 degrees. (I’ll see if I cannot dig that up.) Lots of regional variability gets “averaged out” in the global series. Of course, once you start working with regional datasets (like say CET), you often find yourself with completely different periodicities because of the strong influence of atmospheric circulation on regional whether patterns. In a sense, for the solar periodicity, we have the best chance of finding it, it seems to me, in the global data. But the amplitude of the signal is attenuated by the averaging of climate on a global scale.

  27. John S. (11:01:11) :

    Gentlemen, you’re on the right track by examining the ROC of the secular sunspot level. That’s where one finds coherence with terrestrial temperatures. You might be on the wrong track, however, in taking HADCRUT3 anomalies as good, consistent estimates of “global average temperature.” Their constructed time-series has highly peculiar features that show up in cross-spectrum analysis with other indices. I realize that there is no other viable alternative if one seeks the longest such series, but a note of caution might be sounded in your splendid presentation.
    This is a point well taken. It has been a while, but back when we started all of this, we were using annual data. We applied the method to both HadCRUT and GISS. While there were some notable differences, the basic decadal and bidecadal signals were comparable, as I recall. We might well want to look into that again, at some point.

  28. Very interesting article. However, I feel that because the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is so important to the temperature record, we must address its influence on the cycles that you have found. ENSO is a radiative oscillation, particularly during the 86/7 and 97/8 events. The long-term effects of these events dominate sea surface temperature in the NW Pacific, S Pacific, Indian, and N Atlantic Oceans. I have shown this here:

    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/ten-questions-for-alarmists-about-the-el-ninosouthern-oscillation/

    These long-term step changes can be attributed only to ENSO, so if these step changes are influencing the determined cycle lengths, then there is a problem with the analysis. I also assume that ENSO (not just its after-effects) has a significant impact on the cycle lengths. If this is the case then your analysis suggests that solar/lunar cycles drive ENSO, and that’s a complex case to make.

  29. Good job, gentlemen! This looks like it is the result of a lot of hard work.

    So, what exactly is the mechanism that you propose by which lunisolar effects influence temperatures? Is it a lunisolar influence on atmosphere and ocean circulation (which would influence the amounts of energy released from the ocean to the atmosphere over time)? If so, how does that work?

    I think I understand your cycle detection analysis, but I am unclear on the mechanism being suggested.

  30. It might be instructive when trying to connect the extra terrestrial causes of climate change from the terrestrial to start by removing the influences of volcanic activity on the recorded signal.

  31. I’ll contribute a little bit to your 1920 change, Anthony.
    Observatoire de la Paris reports increased spots per group since 1920.
    That would be a solar change.
    Solar facinates me.
    Weather fascinates me even more.
    Could you explain for me, in West Coast terms, what the change from meridonial to zonal will mean for us in California?
    I am thinking that it means the storms/fronts will come from due west instead of primarily SW and NW. Would that be correct?

  32. I doubt anyone here seriousy believes that sunspots per se drive climate. Indeed, there’s little evidence of a ~11yr cycle in earthly temperatures, except at some (primarily SH) stations. Sunspots are merely a convenient indicator of the activity of that nuclear dynamo we call the Sun. It’s the total activity of our star, not just the TSI, that seems to make an sizable impact through little understood mechanisms. Complex dynamic systems can respond in complicated modes, including harmonic and sub-harmonic ones. The mysterious absence of a ubiquitous 11-yr cycle is no proof positive of lack of solar influence at shorter or–in particular–longer cycles. Even Svalgaard’s crude “power spectra” (actually FFT periodograms with only 2 degrees of freedom, computed as if the sunspot record was periodic ) show considerable “power” at much longer periods, well below the Hale frequency. That’s where I suspect the solar influence really lies. The physical mechanism, of course, is presently unknown.

  33. Next-to-last ppg: “…we seem to BE on the cusp…”? Sorry to be a “nit-n*z*”… all I’m qualified for.

    Thanks, Basil! Thanks Anthony!

    Best,
    Frank

  34. Pamela Gray: You wrote, “the graph looks very SSTish familiar,” referring, I assume, to the “1st Differences Smoothed HadCRUT3 Global Monthly Anomaly” curve.

    I would think that curve should look “SSTish familiar”. In effect, the 1st Derivative of HadCRUT3GL is a scaled, very noisy NINO3.4 signal. It’s why a scaled running total of NINO3.4 SST anomalies reproduces the underlying curve of the HadCRUT3GL.

    The graph is from this post:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/reproducing-global-temperature.html

  35. I’ve been reading your wonderful site for some time, and wonder how any projections can be accurate if they do not account for the artificially high readings provided by improperly sited sensors?
    It seems that temperature readings have been skewed to the high side. Is there a multiplier, for instance all temperatures recorded on land for the past ten years should be reduced by 10%?

  36. Basil:

    My strong reservations about HADCRUT3 should by no means be taken as any endorsement of the GISS global anomaly series. Both of these indices, which are indiscriminate in their reliance on urban stations throughout much of the world and shuffle anomalies from an ever-changing set of stations into their yearly compilations, are unsavory data “sausages,” to use John Goetz’s memorable term. Only world-wide averages from a fixed set of UHI-uncorrupted stations can provide an unbiased, consistent estimate. There’s a striking difference in trend and other low-frequency spectral content between such proper averages and the widely-advertised “global anomaly” indices.

  37. If neither the Sun nor the tidal forces acting upon the Earth drive it’s climate, than the climate is nothing more than complex ocillations about a median line.
    Accepting that, the Ice Ages are nigh impossible, unless the Sun is going DOWN the H/R diagram instead of up it, or the Earth has not yet finished cooling off from it’s formation and is doomed to be a cold rock. Like Mars.
    It’s like the expanding/contracting Universe battle, which has it’s own cycles.

    I will not knock anyone who tries to solve the enigma of climate, simply because there are precious few answers.
    I will agree that catastrophic doomsday prediction models have for too long taken up too much time, and kept us from making progress.

  38. Pamela Gray @08:38:40

    Yes, I can see that the ocean oscillations, or “sloshing-abouts” could be an independant driver, giving their motion is determined to a large extent by the dimensions of the bowls in which they slosh. Lunar would be a big driver of these sloshings, but they would be modulated by the resonant frequencies of these bowls.

    It is thus possible that the major lunar cycles would not appear in ocean activity (except for tides, natch) but some little ones could be amplified. I just don’t know enough or have the time to persue this, but without being a “climate scientist” I still have the capacity to apply logic to physical phenomena

  39. I agree with Leif’s skepticism of “cyclomania” but we all accept the “cyclomania” of tide tables. There are also tides in the atmosphere; it is not so unreasonable that there would be lunar effects showing up in “global” temperatures. The problem with “global” measures is that they average out all, and competing, influences.

    OK, following is my Necessary Standard Reasonable Statement:

    The climate is complex , the strengths, and even mechanisms, of the various influencing factors, are not well understood. Worse still, the actual observational data is of a limited duratiobn and of dubious reliablity.

    We just don’t know.

  40. Basil (12:37:58) :
    As to the studies showing contradictory results, I think Leif overlooks the “pattern” in these “contradictory” results. If the contradictions were purely random, Leif’s point would be stronger. But their seem to be “runs” in the results, with periodic sign reversals.

    The ‘runs’ come about because solar, geophysical, and atmospheric phenomena are not random. but have what in my field is called ‘high positive conservation’ also known as high autocorrelation, so once you get a high there is a good chance that the next data point is also high [at least for a while]. This also decreases the statistical significance very much as the number of independent data points is greatly diminished by high autocorrelation.

    The solar/geomagnetic connection with weather/climate is as everybody knows and old one. I’m just now reading from by Ninth edition of Encl. Britt [1878] vol XVI that you have to look for Terrestrial Magnetism is the article about Meteorology where they list [page 179 ff] all the things varying with the sunspots/geomagnetic activity: pressure [Archibald (not that A), Baxendell, Chambers, and so up the alphabet], rainfall [Lockyer, Meldrum, Wex, Stewart, Dawson, Hunter, ...], winds and storms [Meldrum, Poey, Jeula, ...], temperature [Baxendell, Smyth, Airy, Stone, Koeppen, ...]. The conclusion of the article [which was established wisdom in 1878] was that “the sun heats us most when there are fewest spots on its surface”, and then finishes: “This conclusion will not, however, be strengthened if we examine the subject with greater minuteness”. Talk about British understatement :-) not to be outdone by the opposite opinion stated in the ‘General Conclusion’ on page 181: “On the whole we may conclude that the meteorological motions and processes of the earth are probably most active at times of maximum of sunspots and that they agree with magnetical phenomena in representing the sun as the most powerful on such occasions, although the evidence derived from meteoology is not so conclusive as that derived from magnetism.”

    Not much has changed in the intervening 130 years, it seems. I’m just the reviewer on a paper submitted to a well known journal about the application of continuous wavelet transforms to sunspots and global as well as regional temperatures which concludes that “the recent warming trend can no longer be explained by the level of solar activity”, so it seems that we have not made much progress.

  41. Thanks for all the comments and observations. I’ll be addressing some more of them after spending a bit of time watching a movie with the wife.

    For those, though, who are a bit unsure of what to make with the HP filter and smoothing, let me assure you that it isn’t the source of the cycles. Those are in the raw data itself. If it helps, pair up Figure 4 with the upper panel of Figure 3, and Figure 5 with the lower panel. Figure 4, and the upper panel of Figure 3, are the raw HadCRUT3 data in all its unfiltered glory. The same basic spectral pattern, in the low frequency data, i.e. the 20.33 and 8.93 yr spectra, are present in both, before and after filtering. The pattern over time of the Morlet transform, at a period of greater than ~2^7 months, i.e. the bottom portions of each panel in Figure 3, are the same. We’ve just filtered out most of the shorter periods.

    Astute observers may note, however, that an ENSO likely signal at 4.5 years is there even after filtering. In the Morelet diagrams, that is approximately equal to a value of 2^5.75 months, so if you can visualize a horizontal line on the Morlet transforms at a vertical value of ~5.75, i.e. a little below 5.5, you’ll see that even in the bottom panel of Figure 3, we are picking up the signal at 4.5 years.

    Now, just a parting speculation. What’s the source 4.5 year “ENSO cycle,” and where is it in Figure 6? Well, could it just be half of the 9 year cycle? Could the 4.5 year ENSO cycle be a harmonic of the 18.6 yr lunar nodal cycle?

    More later.

    Basil

  42. Mind boggling stuff – but I can keep things more in perspective when I see this image of the relative sizes of sun, earth and moon rather than your image.

  43. John S. (15:11:01) :

    Basil:

    My strong reservations about HADCRUT3 should by no means be taken as any endorsement of the GISS global anomaly series. Both of these indices, which are indiscriminate in their reliance on urban stations throughout much of the world and shuffle anomalies from an ever-changing set of stations into their yearly compilations, are unsavory data “sausages,” to use John Goetz’s memorable term. Only world-wide averages from a fixed set of UHI-uncorrupted stations can provide an unbiased, consistent estimate. There’s a striking difference in trend and other low-frequency spectral content between such proper averages and the widely-advertised “global anomaly” indices.

    Have you read the WUWT post on “Comparing the 4 Data Sets”. If so have you seen this plot of the 4 data sets since 1997.

    It seems the satellite measurements are also influenced by the exact same UHI problems.

  44. King of Cool (16:46:34) :
    but I can keep things more in perspective when I see this image of the relative sizes of sun, earth and moon rather than your image.

    And even more so if the distances were to scale, which would put the Earth about 215 inches = 18 feet over to the right…

  45. I’m traveling at the moment and have very limited Internet access, but I wanted to address Jeremy’s question in the very first comment.

    When Basil introduced HP filtering to me last year, I asked the same question: could this be an artifact?

    So some tests were run on the algorithm with the same variables used and some datasets there were white noise and well as some pseudo-random generated data to see if we’d get the same periodic outputs.

    None were seen, even though I fully expected too see some because I’ve seen similar sorts of behavior in actual electronic bandpass circuits. I was initially very skeptical of the HP filter algorithm, mainly because of its economic roots.

    But it seems to have done the job here without intorducing artifacts of its own.

  46. Bob Tisdale (14:58:22) :

    Pamela Gray: You wrote, “the graph looks very SSTish familiar,” referring, I assume, to the “1st Differences Smoothed HadCRUT3 Global Monthly Anomaly” curve.

    I would think that curve should look “SSTish familiar”. In effect, the 1st Derivative of HadCRUT3GL is a scaled, very noisy NINO3.4 signal. It’s why a scaled running total of NINO3.4 SST anomalies reproduces the underlying curve of the HadCRUT3GL.

    Except that the chart she’s looking at, Figure 6 (after she corrected her self), has much of the “noise” you are talking about filtered out. The first differences you would get from the unfiltered HADCRUT3 global series are going to be in the bottom panel of Figure 1, the so-called “cyclical” portion of the HP algorithm. So I would expect to see the “noise” of NINO3.4 in the data that we’ve filtered out.

    In a sense, this brings us to where we parted ways on the discussion of the PDO. ENSO probably impacts this out to a decade or so, but beyond that, we’re looking at something else. If you remember the periodograms I did on NINO3.4, there wasn’t a strong signal at a bidecadal frequency like we’re seeing here, or in PDO for that matter. In any event, the point is not that ENSO doesn’t matter. Obviously it does. As I mentioned in my last post, the 4.5 year cycle, which is likely associated with ENSO, may be present in the 9 yr cycle (as a harmonic), and all of this may go back to the lunar nodal cycle, and the solar cycle.

  47. Thought provoking.
    I suspect there is more to be learned with some examination of the harmonics and resonance. There is probably some things to be learned when a positional analysis of the orbital mechanics is included. This may or may not be significant, but it is interesting. I think it is worth pursuing at least for a while, understanding that there are a multitude of rabbit paths that you could find yourself lost in.

  48. A post such as this manages to only further depress me re my scientific ignorance! However, I do have one very salient point…It seems that all the switched on solar experts have seriously cool, often Scandinavianish, names such as Svalgaard, Niroma, Shaviv and Svensmark. I’m sorry but ‘Copeland’ and ‘Watts’ just doesn’t cut it! If you guys want to be taken seriously, and have me blindly believe everything you post, I suggest a change to something like, say, ‘Copesgaard’ and ‘Watsimonen’.

  49. When you get the time, could you explain what it will mean for Western US Climate going from Meridonial to Zonal?

  50. And on a average distance in orbit scale, the tidal force of the Moon & Sun are felt equally on Earth. i.e. – same net effect.

  51. My only comment would be that you seem to be searching for “the one true cyclical number” when a function might be a better fit.

    Think of an engine with an old flyball governor and a slightly varying load. It gives 4 “chuffs” per rotation and the rotation rate oscillates around (oh) 1000 rpm -/+ 200 but not quite in a sin wave (the varying load of – call it grain in the mill – causing variations in when the governor slows and causes a speed up… but with a general oscillation about the set point based on the governor formula).

    Bottom line is that you have a “chuf” spectral component and a “governor oscillation” spectral component and a wheat irregularity spectral component and your best fit might well be to a function that is the integrated result of those three oscillations. A sin wave whose frequency changes in a long time frequency sin wave… that might itself not be quite a sin wave.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea what math to use to pull that kind of thing out of a data signal…

    In particular, the 18 year lunar modulating a 176 ish year solar influence (and perhaps further modulations by things like ocean harmonic frequencies at 30 or 40 ish years).

    Looking for “a frequency” would hide this kind of structure and give confusing results as the dominant frequency seems to drift around with different samples.

  52. John Finn (17:27:20):

    You write:”It seems the satellite measurements are also influenced by the exact same UHI problems.”

    Cute, but no cigar. The problems with HADCRUT and GISS anomalies are egregiously evident well before the satellite era, which began with temperatures in a deep trough. Everybody has pulled into line (aside from normative offsets) with MSU data in the last few decades.

  53. “frequencies above ~7 years”

    Just a nitpick, but as you intend to publish: 7 years is a cycle length, not a frequency. The equivalent frequency is ~0.14 year to the minus 1.

  54. Want to see a solar signal in earth temperature data?

    This raises a lot of questions such as why the 11 year signal is almost always absent. Landscheidt did state a good reason but I have not been able to confirm it: solar flares avoid the solar maximum.
    If true this means they split into two periods.

    Another thing: what you don’t see often seems as important, such as deep nulls in data. Example, the 33 year C12 signal in tree data, rarely in earth data but a deep null is.

  55. Leif Svalgaard (16:29:22) :

    I’m just the reviewer on a paper submitted to a well known journal about the application of continuous wavelet transforms to sunspots and global as well as regional temperatures which concludes that “the recent warming trend can no longer be explained by the level of solar activity”, so it seems that we have not made much progress.

    That’s interesting wording — the recent warming trend “can no longer be explained by the level of solar activity.” So once it could? Actually, this sounds a lot like Lockwood and Frohlich. Does the paper you are reviewing add anything to what they did?

    Leif, I hope you realize that there are two different questions here about the role of solar activity on terrestrial temperatures. If you will, take a look again at Figure 1. One question is whether solar has contributed to the long centennial scale rise in global temperatures we see in the figure. That is not the connection we are examining. Ours is much more modest. If you look at the smoothed red line in Figure 1, you’ll see an undulation or waviness to the overall upward trend. To better illustrate what I’m referring to, here’s an image that zooms in on a portion of the upward trend:

    We’re not attributing the overall upward trend to a lunisolar influence. We’re attributing the waviness you see, the increasing and decreasing of the rate of change, to a lunisolar influence. At least, that’s where the “decadal” and “bidecadal” signal is present.

    Is that much clear? This is where our evidence is strongest, and the claims rather modest.

    Now, the sinusoidal model also has a 54 yr cycle in it, and whatever that cycle represents, and whatever physical processes it reflects (if it is real) likely plays into the long centennial rise in the temperature trend. When we fit the four strongest cycles in a sinusoidal model, like shown in Figure 6, we can crudely replicate the 20th century increase in temperatures, and when we carry this out into the future, we get what is represented in Figure 8. Now we’re deep into speculation territory. Will the sinusoidal pattern of Figure 6 actually unfold according to the equation? Who knows? And why would there be these longer cycles, and how might they be attributed to solar influence? If we knew the answer to that, we’d not be speculating about it on a blog, we’d be quick to try to publish the answer “in a well known journal.” The best answer we’ve come up with — the references to Georgieva, Javariah, and Jose — needs a lot of work, and we know it. But the first half of the paper, and the attribution of the decadal and bidecadal changes in rate of change to a lunisolar influence, is, in my view at least, pretty solid.

    Basil

  56. Basil (20:05:01) :
    Does the paper you are reviewing add anything to what they did?
    I have probably already said too much :-) so you’ll have to wait until it is out [if ever...]. Might make a post. In the meantime here is a similar paper that is out:

    ‘Enhanced wavelet analysis of solar magnetic activity with comparison to global temperature and the Central England Temperature record’
    Robert W. Johnson
    Abstract:
    “The continuous wavelet transform may be enhanced by deconvolution with the wavelet response function. After correcting for the cone of influence, the power spectral density of the solar magnetic record as given by the derectified yearly sunspot number is calculated, revealing a spectrum of odd harmonics of the fundamental Hale cycle, and the integrated instant power is compared to a reconstruction of global temperature in a normalized scatterplot displaying a positive correlation after the turn of the twentieth century. Comparison of the spectrum with that obtained from the Central England Temperature record suggests that some features are shared while others are not, and the scatterplot again indicates a possible correlation.”
    Received 17 February 2009; accepted 18 March 2009; published 16 May 2009.
    Citation: Johnson, R. W. (2009), Enhanced wavelet analysis of solar magnetic activity with comparison to global temperature and the Central England Temperature record, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A05105, doi:10.1029/2009JA014172.

    I have to confess that people are becoming cleverer and cleverer writing uninformative abstracts :-)

    We’re not attributing the overall upward trend to a lunisolar influence. We’re attributing the waviness you see, the increasing and decreasing of the rate of change, to a lunisolar influence. At least, that’s where the “decadal” and “bidecadal” signal is present.

    I think the paper I just cited is concerned with the same thing, and I was also only thinking about the short-term cycles, mainly because I don’t think there is a long-term solar trend over the past 300 years.

    But the first half of the paper, and the attribution of the decadal and bidecadal changes in rate of change to a lunisolar influence, is, in my view at least, pretty solid.

    The decadal and bidecadal climate swings have been known and documented for a long time. I can even find mention in the 1878 Encl Britt. article I mentioned.

    That there are such cycles are not in doubt, that they associated with solar and lunar cycles is another matter, and association is not …

    One way people get out of this bind is to use wording like my friend the late Gerard Bond preferred: “we ascribe the decadal trend to solar …” This is different from claiming to have shown a causal connection. Then you can have your cake and eat it, too. Should there be such a connection, you can take credit, and should it fizzle, you can say that you never really claimed to show such a connection…

  57. A note on word usage: In the context of this article I view “secular” to mean “long term” and so, this
    . . . “In our original presentation, we utilized Hodrick-Prescott smoothing to reveal decadal and bidecadal temperature oscillations in globally averaged temperature trends. While originally developed in the field of economics to separate business cycles from long term secular trends in economic growth, . . .” (p.3, pdf)
    would seem to include a redundancy.
    The same issue is on page 13: “. . . If these broad, long term secular swings in solar activity and global atmospheric conditions and temperature anomalies are not random, . . .”

    As for a substantive comment I will echo Joseph @ (13:29:25) regarding the mechanisms that might be at work. Someone else said the two big considerations are the solar input, gravity, and I will add Earth rotation. Ocean basins are not shaped like soup bowls and the timing of the flows must be influenced by their actual 3-d character. This brilliant insight won’t lead you anywhere but I think it is important.

  58. A few questions
    1. Can you please tell me what physical requirement there is to do a derivative of temperature? Why is the rate of change of temp so important?
    2. Why filter data to be fed to a FFT
    Filter noise and you may see signal where there is none.
    Dont filter noise and you will see grass, but any repetitive frequencies will be visible above the grass.
    A comparison of filtering methods on hadcrut temperatures:

    HP filtering seems ver similar to averaging!

    A month or so ago I posted some examples of FFTs on temperature data (UNFILTERED!)
    Many places averaged, Hadcrut and GISS

    Many places individually.

    Note that there is no common 11 year cycle.
    Also note the poor precision at the multi-year end. ALL FFTs suffer with this problem Most temperature records are less than 2048 samples, and only a few reach 4096. This gives periods of at best 21.3 22.8 24.4 26.3 , 56.9 68.3 85.3 years. There is no way of improving this as there simply is no data.

    Could you explain why you propose a 22 year cycle driven from the 11 year solar cycle. What possible physical proprety of the 11 year cycle creates 22 years without the 11 year causing any tempreature effects?

  59. I’ve never seen natural data presented like the wavelet transforms. Beautiful bifurcation, I wonder if some of the higher frequency modes are quantization errors.

    I’m in the middle of restoring a 1984 CJ7, and I like the transform pattern so much I’m considering using the filtered pattern as the flames on my hood, with the requisite log scale on the passenger fender, and the years across the front of the hood. I would be the ultimate offroader climate geek… I’ll do it in shades of “AGW orange” with “windmill silver” on a charcoal gray (carbon) background. Now where do I get one of those little indicator panels that grows leaves when I floor it and feed the plants?

  60. I’ll buy the claim that “the recent warming trend “can no longer be explained by the level of solar activity.”” The ‘recent warming trend’ is explained by deteriorating satellites and ground sensor stations. When will we see analysis of the impact of bad sites on the temp record? The AGW tea leaf readers are poring over the garbage coming out of the system as prophetical gold.

  61. Like Bill I’m surprised that such an analysis is being discussed on the surface temperature that Anthony has done so much to show is unreliable. Perhaps a more relevant cycle than something like TSI would be the electoral cycle that makes more/less funding available to relocate weather stations.

  62. ian (18:49:57) :
    It seems that all the switched on solar experts have seriously cool, often Scandinavianish, names such as Svalgaard, Niroma, Shaviv and Svensmark.

    Except Shaviv is certainly not Scandinavian (Hebrew?), and Niroma is Finnish. Scandinavia consists of Sweden, Denmark and Norway only. So you are left with only 2 Danish names in that list. Both good names :-)

    Having said that, I am much impressed by this thought provoking article that I have read once, but will have to read several times more. Many thanks to Basil & Anthony. You continue to stir my brain.

  63. When ascribing solar activity to climate, and looking for the effects, it reminds me of the granulator I was assigned to on a night shift. There was a control knob to raise or lower the temperature of the sugar being dried. You could turn the knob up or down, and see no effect. No effect, that is, until you waited long enough. 15 minutes later, you then knew you had corrected or overcorrected the temp. The mass of the thing was at play. The temp rise or fall due to turning the knob up or down would continue for some time.

  64. Carsten

    Shaviv is indeed from Israel – thought i’d just sneak him in – however ad verbatim from wiki:

    Scandinavia[1] is a historical and geographical region in northern Europe that includes, and is named after, the Scandinavian Peninsula. It consists of the kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark;[2] some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland and Iceland…

    The consensus is wrong…I’m claiming Niroma!
    Best wishes, ian

  65. This is seriously impressive. If there is huge warming bias in say 1940+ data, would this produce slightly steeper increases and slightly shallower decreases? Probably negligible (but if not, what would this do to the periodicity?)

  66. King of Cool (16:46:34) :

    Well, in defense of the image we used, we ascribe relatively equal influence to lunar and solar, so there you have it. ;)

  67. Leif Svalgaard (21:20:49) :

    ‘Enhanced wavelet analysis of solar magnetic activity with comparison to global temperature and the Central England Temperature record’
    Robert W. Johnson
    Abstract:
    “The continuous wavelet transform may be enhanced by deconvolution with the wavelet response function. After correcting for the cone of influence, …, and the integrated instant power ….

    I have to confess that people are becoming cleverer and cleverer writing uninformative abstracts :-)

    I was feeling pretty inadequate – am I supposed to know what a “cone of influence” is for something I’ve only seen as a 2-D plot? However, when I got to “integrated instant power” I felt a lot better and quit trying to make sense of the abstract. Power is inherently an instantaneous quantity, like temperature and integrated power is just energy. I think I’ll pass on the whole paper.

  68. Michael D Smith (21:33:48) :

    I’ve never seen natural data presented like the wavelet transforms. Beautiful bifurcation, I wonder if some of the higher frequency modes are quantization errors.

    I’m in the middle of restoring a 1984 CJ7, and I like the transform pattern so much I’m considering using the filtered pattern as the flames on my hood, with the requisite log scale on the passenger fender, and the years across the front of the hood. I would be the ultimate offroader climate geek….

    Cool. Instead of this image, may I suggest the first one I saw, also Basil’s, at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/09/22/new-cycle-24-sunspot/ . It shows sun spot numbers over time and the periodicities really stand out.

  69. bill (21:24:59) :

    A few questions
    1. Can you please tell me what physical requirement there is to do a derivative of temperature? Why is the rate of change of temp so important?

    The original impetus to do this was a classic one of science: curiosity. It all started with just using HP as a smoothing algorithm. My background is in economics (environmental economics, switching to that after earlier majoring in earth sciences), and in economics rate of change is everything, and “first differencing” a data series also often used to achieve stationarity. So it was a “natural” thing to do. When I saw that pattern, I ran it by Anthony, and the rest is history.

    But I don’t understand your hostility (that may be too strong, so substitute whatever word is appropriate to describe your criticism) here. Climate warms and it cools. Science is interested in that. Warming and cooling implies rate of change. So the quest is to understand that. Plus, FFT’s signify changes in rate of change. What else do you think the spectral peaks in a temperature series signify?

    On that…

    A month or so ago I posted some examples of FFTs on temperature data (UNFILTERED!)
    Many places averaged, Hadcrut and GISS

    Many places individually.

    http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/84/hadcrutnhshlsgiscetssna.jpg

    I remember you posting an FFT of CET, and encouraging you to do HadCRUT. I missed these, but I guess you took my advice, and then some. Nice.

    Could you explain why you propose a 22 year cycle driven from the 11 year solar cycle. What possible physical proprety of the 11 year cycle creates 22 years without the 11 year causing any tempreature effects?

    You must not be reading closely enough. There is no 22 year cycle. The bidecadal cycle is shorter than it would be if attributed solely to the Hale cycle, so we think it is being modulated by the lunar nodal cycle. This is even more the case at the decadal frequency. As you know, a lot of recent solar cycles have been shorter than 11 years. But the primary decadal signal in the temperature series is at 9 years, which is too short to be attributed — or ascribed — solely to solar, so again we think the lunar nodal cycle is involved.

    As to why there would be a stronger solar influence at the bidecadal frequency than the decadal frequency, that is an open question. Since you’ve brought it up, I might refer you to:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/6/10811/2006/acpd-6-10811-2006-print.pdf

    As Leif mentioned, there must be a couple of thousand papers finding climate cycles on decadal and bidecadal frequencies. In not a few of them, the bidecadal signal is found, but not the decadal signal. For example, take a look at:

    http://www.adv-geosci.net/13/25/2007/adgeo-13-25-2007.pdf

    A quote:

    It has been observed that the 11-year periodicity is not
    always present in climatic records, and where the signal is
    apparent it is often seen at lower amplitudes than those of
    the 22-year cycle (D’Arrigo and Jacoby, 1992; Molinari et
    al., 1997; White et al., 1997).

    Let me ask you: given a couple of thousand papers now finding these kinds of signals, especially a bidecadal signal, in climate series, to what would you ascribe this bidecadal pattern?

    Seriously, lunar has been proposed, solar has been proposed, and a combination of the two has been proposed. What do you propose?

  70. bill (21:24:59) :
    What possible physical proprety of the 11 year cycle creates 22 years without the 11 year causing any tempreature effects?

    Which is also my primary objection to ascribing the signal to solar influence.

  71. As Leif reminds us in the reference to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and as a wise man said long ago, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Perhaps we should modify that to “There is nothing new about the sun.” Here is a remarkable (to me) image from one of the two Bell papers we cite:

    The “beat” in the beat cycle has a period of 111 years. We have weak evidence (statistically significant, but weak in how short the time period is) for a ~57 year cycle in Figure 5. A harmonic?

    I’ll post up an excerpt from the Bell paper later. Maybe when I can get around to it, I’ll scan it.

  72. You only look at temperature changes, but how will the lunar tidal influences effect these? There seem to me some suggestions that the tidal influences on the oceans may the affect the ocean circulation and thus can possibly effect the temperature. But what about the tidal influences on the atmosphere itself, these can possibly effect air pressure changes and thus changes in the weather patterns. Are there any time series pressure datasets available? You might want to look at these as well.

  73. Basil (05:29:44) :
    The original impetus to do this was a classic one of science: curiosity.

    but by filtering you’ve gone one step away from reality already.

    It all started with just using HP as a smoothing algorithm.
    did you look at the plot for smoothing I gave – HP (which has always meant high pass to me!) is very similar to doing an average. Only some of the higher frequencies are removed.

    On that…
    A month or so ago I posted some examples of FFTs on temperature data (UNFILTERED!)

    But there is all the data that your plots had but without the filtering. So why filter?

    You must not be reading closely enough. There is no 22 year cycle. The bidecadal cycle is shorter than it would be if attributed solely to the Hale cycle, so we think it is being modulated by the lunar nodal cycle.

    Sorry, I agree there is a peak on my plots between 22.75 and 24.4 years – so not solar related then. But if Wiki is to be believed:
    The lunar nodes precess rather quickly around the ecliptic, completing a revolution (called a draconitic or nodical period, the period of nutation) in 6793.5 days or 18.5996 years (note that this is not the saros eclipse cycle).

    then it is not the lunar nodal cycle

    But the primary decadal signal in the temperature series is at 9 years, which is too short to be attributed — or ascribed — solely to solar, so again we think the lunar nodal cycle is involved.

    somewhaer between 8.98 and 9.23 years on hadcrut. But does not show on my averaged data which shows a peak at 7.76 years (approx)

    Let me ask you: given a couple of thousand papers now finding these kinds of signals, especially a bidecadal signal, in climate series, to what would you ascribe this bidecadal pattern?

    Do yo mean bidecadal to be 22.5 years(approx)?
    I have no Idea!!!!

    But can you answer a question I posed on another thread about why there is a sharp dip in CO2 at the end of July each year?

  74. Ric Werme (05:19:30) :
    Michael D Smith (21:33:48) :
    “I’ve never seen natural data presented like the wavelet transforms.

    If I may make a plug for the beautiful wavelet plot here:

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

    Basil (05:29:44) :
    lunar has been proposed, solar has been proposed, and a combination of the two has been proposed.

    The phasing of the cycles is important, and is often where the correlations break down. And could help distinguish between lunar and solar. The lunar phase is absolutely predictable and its spectral response should be very sharp, while the solar cycle is a lot more variable and has a fuzzy response. A well known technique using the phase is ‘Chree Analysis’ [see e.g. http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/~tohban/wiki/index.php/Chree_Analysis_for_Flares ] which will bring out a signal if the phase is known [which is the case for both the lunar and solar case]. Many of the ‘2000’ papers use this technique as well.

  75. Here’s a little amusement:

    Do you want to listen to temperature? (or any spreadsheet data)

    Try this
    create a spreadsheet
    in col 1 put an incrementing series starting at 0 with increment of 150e-6 (150us) (a starting figure – try others)
    in col 2 paste just the hadcrut (or whatever) temperatures
    save the sheet as a .csv file from the save as menu
    go here and get csv2wav.exe (nothing to do with me so don’t blame me if it wipes out your puter – mines ok still!!
    place the exe on your desktop and drag and drop the csv file onto it.
    You will now find a .wav file with same name as the spreadsheet in the spreadsheet directory. (the progamme is quick and has no visual interface! So you’ll not see much
    You should now be able to listen to about .25secs of temperature.

    More importantly if you have audio analysis software you can now investigate the signal.

  76. I would cross check with the Coriolis and resultant trade winds (which have measured historical oscillations) to rule out this potential driver on the undulating graphs you show. If trade winds (and the resultant oceanic affects of leaving warm water in place or blowing it away) are correlated with temperature, we at least have a mechanism for that part of the puzzle. Of interest would be the driver or mechanism behind the Coriolis itself (http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fw/crls.rxml) and whether or not a reasonable lunisolar connection can be made there. From that point on, you must explain the variation of the Coriolis trade winds. Is is lunisolar? What makes trade winds blow relatively harder in some decades but not in others? Is that lunar? Then show it with data. Is it solar? Then show it with data. Or could it be an endogenous oscillating pendulum swing that builds energy, and then releases it, in a somewhat irregular chaotic self-perpetuating system?

    And that is the main issue I have with your paper. You do not explore all the other oscillations that could be happening to the beat of the same drummer (oscillations are happening everywhere and they are likely to oscillate together from time to time) during the period of study. In other words, you must try to disprove your theory by at least trying to eliminate these other drivers with data to back it up. It may indeed be that the ultimate source of energy is lunisolar, but the ultimate source of the variation is in our own backyard.

  77. Digital filtering is usually done to reveal something to the eye in the time domain. There’s abolutely nothing wrong with that, if the frequency response characeristics of the filter are known and are well-behaved. The reason for choosing HP over some moving average for low-passing is twofold: the lack of phase-delay and distortion due to sidelobe “leakage,” which in the case of MAs is alternately positive and negative. Well-designed digital filters do not “create” cycles, they simply change the amplitude and phase.

    FFTs produce a Fourier series decomposition of the data record under the assumption that the record repeats itself indefinetely, i.e., is itself periodic. Geophysical records are not generally periodic and the “periodicities” shown by FFTs are not generally stable. In the case of stochastic data, the “power” estimates provided by FFTs scatter at any frequency as a chi-squared variable with only 2 degrees of freedom. No competent time-series analyst relies upon such unstable estimates to draw any inferences about the real world. Bona fide power-spectrum estimation should not be confused with FFT analysis. And the results of either analysis are mathematically produced at equally-spaced intervals of frequency. That’s the variable relative to which the concept of power density makes sense and the Parseval Theorem applies. Displaying the results as a function of period is a quaint sign of lack of basic grounding.

    I’m off to more serious matters. Have a good weekend, everybody.

  78. Basil:
    I’ll assume you are correct.
    My question: What will be the effect of going from a meridonial to a zonal climate system (i.e. – what will it look like?) ???
    What will change, jet streams? Storm patterns? Ocean currents?
    You can take the Pacific Northwest, for example.

  79. rbateman (10:49:18) :

    Basil:
    I’ll assume you are correct.
    My question: What will be the effect of going from a meridonial to a zonal climate system (i.e. – what will it look like?) ???
    What will change, jet streams? Storm patterns? Ocean currents?
    You can take the Pacific Northwest, for example.

    All of the above? Well, the two phases of the PDO come to mind as an example, and pretty much implicate all of the factors you cite. I would associate the warm phase of the PDO with stronger zonal circulation, and the cool phase with stronger meridional circulation. With the latter, I would think there would be more, or more frequent, Rossby waves in the polar jet stream.

    Another explanation:

    The long-term dynamics of the atmospheric pressure fields over the Northern hemisphere during the last 90 years are characterised by the alternation of approximate 30-year periods (“circulation epochs”) with relative dominance of either zonal or meridional atmospheric circulation (Dzerdzeevski 1969; Girs 1971; Lamb 1972; Lambeck 1980).

    The first type, zonal circulation, is characterised by increasing intensity of the zonal circulation at all latitudes and pole-ward shift of the wind intensity maximums. The circulation is accompanied somewhat by a decrease in the overall range of surface-air temperature between the equator and poles and by an overall increase in the mean global surface-air temperatures. Ocean-surface temperatures tend to increase in high latitudes. The second type, meridional circulation, is characterised by weakening in zonal circulation, shift of the main atmospheric streams toward lower latitudes, and overall decrease in global temperature (Lamb 1972). Both easterly and westerly winds increase during the zonal type of circulation and both decrease in the periods of the meridional type of the circulation (Lambeck 1980).

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/Y2787E/Y2787E03.HTM

  80. This post made me remember Gerald S. Hawkins´”Stonehenge Decoded”; thousand of years ago that monument showed all sun and moon cycles.
    Perhaps back then they were confronting also “interesting times” as now.

  81. Any chance you are going to make some of the input data for your graphs and transforms available for re-use and re-processing? As a fan of signal processing I was very interested to see your use of wavelet transform and harmonic analysis. I would be equally interested to see treatments of power vs. phase in the spectra, as well as the effects of different windowing functions.

    Interesting path here. Not a weather scientist at all, but once it gets treated as a waveform I can get all over it!

  82. (Hopefully Constructive) Comments for Basil & Anthony – regarding wavelet methods:

    1) You really need to put the cone of influence on the wavelet plots. For most natural time series mostly-everything outside of it is misleading (since it is based on untenable assumptions). Personally, I don’t even plot the outside stuff; the convention of plotting it has more to do with looks than realism. For those who like including outside stuff, there is the option of delineating boundaries clearly (to appease more conservative members of the audience, such as diligent journal referees).

    2) It is worth noting that I’ve seen statisticians cringe at the notion of applying filters before applying wavelet analyses (since wavelet methods are inherently multi-scale).

    3) If you are comfortable with wavelet methods, consider abandoning other less-informative spectral methods and working with cross-wavelet methods. This is a way to investigate multi-scale phase relations in a manner that delivers visually unambiguous answers.

    4) This is a more general note: A lot of wavelet plots that show nothing-of-interest get published, possibly because they look cool (and possibly in some cases because editors don’t know how to read them).

    Btw: Your references look familiar and I’ve pursued similar investigations.

    – – –
    Ric Werme (05:12:19) “[...] am I supposed to know what a “cone of influence” is [...]? However, when I got to “integrated instant power” I felt a lot better and quit trying to make sense of the abstract. Power is inherently an instantaneous quantity, like temperature and integrated power is just energy.”

    This is a different kind of “power” – and “instant” is used since integration can be over time or timescale (in the half-plane). Semantics – indeed.

    – – –
    Re: Pamela Gray (08:50:11)
    You’re making a good deal of sense here.
    Nonlinear approaches (like cross-wavelet & cross-recurrence methods) provide one way to (at least attempt to) go after the conditioning (assuming there actually are relationships for conditioning to mask).

  83. John S. (11:01:11) “My understanding of the “beat” frequency is the difference frequency that shows up as the signal “envelope” when two near-frequency narrow-band signals are superimposed, rather than some intermediate between the two. [...] I nitpick here only to be helpful in your laudable project.”

    I picked up on that as well – and chalked it up to a (not-so-clear) reference to the harmonic mean – i.e. twice the positive sideband (or axial period), as opposed to the negative sideband (or beat period).

  84. Nice work Basil and Anthony, it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

    I would interested to see how fig. 6 would look if you went back a bit further and included the Dalton period. This would give you a better overall picture of the trends without leaving out a major part of the cycle.

    Your speculation of the coming cycles being more like the early 1900’s may prove to be a weakness if we do experience another Dalton type event in the upcoming cycle (most likely IMO).

    As a point of interest there is also another cycle that lines up quite closely with your 20.69 and 9.23 yr frequencies. The orbital path of the Sun and the Planetary cycles in the background which control the Sun’s orbit also correlate.

  85. The 56 year cycle is interesting. In his book ‘Stonehenge Decoded’ Gerald S Hawkins observer that Lunar eclipse cycles were not exactly 18.6 years but more like 18.6, 18.6 and 19 which gave the number of ‘Aubrey holes’, 56. This led Hawkins to postulate the Stonehengers were tracking eclipses.

  86. “A bidecadal frequency of 20.68 years is too short to be attributed solely to the double sunspot cycle, and too long to be attributed solely to the 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle.”

    Still working thru your fine paper but, for whatever its worth, note that the period of alternate Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions and oppositions is about 20 years and that of Jupiter’s orbit is rather similar to the Schwabe cycle’s.

    Also, while some are obsessed about an absence of TSI and solar cycle signatures I’d like to reiterate that these proxies as measures of solar activity are less than ideal. TSI does not measure solar radiation’s intrinsic energy and the intensity of radiation seems to vary over a period of multiple Schwabe cycles as well as during a secular cycle.

  87. Paul Vaughan (18:33:47) :

    Fine comments, Paul. My take on them…

    1) We’re not attributing any statistical significance to the wavelet transforms. They are shown merely to demonstrate the before and after effect of the HP transform, and they do that just as well without the cone of influence. In any case, the PAST software we use doesn’t offer that feature, which I recognize is a serious limitation to more substantial work with wavelet transforms. For future work, do you have an particular PC based package (doesn’t have to be Windows, I’m good with Linux too) you would recommend? Actually, I’m interested in any good packages that do not just wavelet transforms, but FFT’s and other sorts of time series analysis.

    2) I’ve seen the same reaction, and I think it is not without some reason. In this case, though, we did the MTM spectrum analysis on both the unfiltered and the filtered data, to show that the same underlying pattern is there in both.

    A little history here. When I first suggested the use of HP filtering here on WUWT to smooth out temperature trends, its novelty, and the fact that originated in economics, seemed to make a lot of people uncomfortable applying it to temperature trends. Then, when I saw the pattern of decadal and bidecadal rate changes in the first differences, there was a lot of concern over whether that was an artifact of the processing, or whether it was a real property of the data series. With good reason — think “Mann” here — there is a lot of concern over the use of novel methods. So we’ve got to show that the results are real, and not just an artifact of the processing.

    And “the results” that really matter, in our view, are the first differences of the smoothed series. I.e., the blue series in Figure 1, again in red in Figure 6. Leif keeps on about how there is nothing really novel in what we’ve done. I beg to differ. It is at least novel in the way the data is presented in the time domain, graphically, if nothing else. If not, if what we’re showing here has been done before, with globally averaged temperature trends, I wish Leif, or someone, would show me specifically when and where. I think our bibliography is a testament to a good faith effort to place what we’ve done in the context of “the relevant literature.”

    At times, I’ve thought this should just be presented as a “methodology” paper, rather than as one claiming some new insight into the debate over a solar-climate influence. But the methodology, while useful, and I think novel, is also trivial. Unlike a lot of “methods” we are seeing in climate science papers — now think “Steig” — our results can be replicated literally in a minute or two by anyone with access to software that does HP smoothing.

    I think what led us to go ahead and go beyond just methodology was noting the apparent phase reversal, at least as related to lunar and solar periods, in the data. We hoped, by showing this, to perhaps stimulate some discussion of what this might mean (if anything). But, as before, the method itself, for all its novelty, is for many a distraction, and we haven’t gotten to the discussion I hoped to see. Perhaps the most positive aspect of the discussion, from my perspective, is Leif’s reference to “Chree analysis.” So I plan to explore that, and see if it yields any further insight into what we’re seeing in Figure 6.

    Meanwhile, back to your comments…

    3) Repeating what I asked earlier, what software would you recommend, here for doing cross-wavelet analysis?

    4) Again, the wavelets were not really intended to be the focus of the paper. But, with better software, and more advanced methods, maybe they could become more informative, and useful.

    On your reference to recognizing some of the sources, would you care to reveal which? If you prefer, you can email me at “blcjr2 at gmail dot com.”

    On your reply to John S. about the “beat cycle” I earlier posted a link to a Figure from the paper that first proposed this solution. Here it is again:

    Thanks for the comments. They are helpful, and appreciated.

    Basil

  88. gary gulrud (03:35:14) :
    TSI does not measure solar radiation’s intrinsic energy
    There is no such thing as ‘intrinsic energy’

    and the intensity of radiation seems to vary over a period of multiple Schwabe cycles as well as during a secular cycle.
    There is no evidence for that over and above the fact that solar activity itself [as measured by any and all the usual indices does the same. What is the fuzzy concept of ‘intensity’? One simply adds up the total energy, which is what TSI is.

  89. Some real world effects of the 18.61 year Lunar Nodal Cycle:

    http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/60/6/1251

    http://ansatte.hials.no/hy/climate/EmneValgt041122.pdf

    Also when looking dividing the 18.612941 into the 208 year DeVries cycle there is less than a 1% difference. This “could” be related to the Mayan drought cycle.

    The Dalton Minimum ended in 1820 even though sunspot cycle 6 (1810-1823) was very low and the 2nd longest since sunspot cycle 4. Cycle 7 did not start to ramp up until 1826 and then was very low overall. The 18.61 year Lunar Nodal Cycle could partially explain why the Dalton Minimum ended when it did and why the Dalton Minimum did not follow the sunspot cycle and why the Dalton Minimum appeared to be a northern hemisphere event.

  90. Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts,

    I am about to submit a paper for peer-review
    that confirms that Lunar/Solar tides are, at least in part, responsible for the onset of El Nino events.

    Unfortunately, I cannot discuss the details of this paper until it passes peer-review, other than to say that results of the paper support the contention that tidal-dissipations in the deep ocean must play an important role in determining the amount of up welling of cold bottom water, which in turn must play a pivotal role in regulating sea-surface temperatures.

  91. “crosspatch (11:06:02) :

    Oh, and if I am correct in my hunch, what one would see is a “ringing” after a major change such as warming from the LIA or cooling from the MWP. And the longer the period of stability after the change , the more the “ringing” would damp out over time as teh deep sea adjusts to the surface stability. In other words, the longer things are stable, the more they tend to remain stable but when an instability is introduced, I believe things can fluctuate widely until the entire system adjusts to the new condition. So warming in 1998 was not as intense as warming in 1933. Cooling now might not be as much as the early 1970’s. Figure 8 seems to reflect the same response I would expect but for different reasons. That is, unless the solar and lunar influences are impacting tidal and wind patterns that affect winds and upwelling.”

    I believe you’re too short-term there.

    If you look at the various interglacials, starting with the Holocene & moving towards today, they appear to oscillate between optima & little ice ages with the intensity of the swings stabilising, so I would expect this optimum to be of a lower intensity than the MWP & so on back to the last ice age. Exactly the ringing you refer to.

    DaveE.

  92. “John S. (11:01:11) :

    My understanding of the “beat” frequency is the difference frequency that shows up as the signal “envelope” when two near-frequency narrow-band signals are superimposed, rather than some intermediate between the two. Also, readers might benefit by an earlier identification of the Hale cycle with the bidecadal double sunspot cycle. I nitpick here only to be helpful in your laudable project.”

    You are correct about beat frequency. Say you have 2 cycles of lengths A Greater than B years, the beat cycle is 1/(1/B – 1/A) years

    So for 2 cycles of 10 & 8 years you get 1/(1/8 – 1/10) = 40years beat cycle.

    DaveE.

  93. “Basil (11:23:16) :

    The Hale cycle is at ~22. The lunar nodal cycle is at 18.6.”

    This gives a beat cycle of ~120 years.

    DaveE.

  94. Further, given the cycle times I’ve noted, I’d expect to see cycles of ~16, ~26 & ~60 year cycles.

    DaveE.

  95. “gary gulrud (03:35:14) :
    TSI does not measure solar radiation’s intrinsic energy

    There is no such thing as ‘intrinsic energy’

    TSI is measured via a photon count. TSI may be converted to ‘total energy’ assuming a spectral contribution of discrete wavelengths.

    Solar faculae, ionospheric depth and the absence of solar flaring(as well as the weakness of the solar wind, not part of TSI) are all at historic minima during the era of direct measurement.

    The solar spectrum has never been redder. All this while TSI is ‘normal’.

    By ‘intrinsic energy’ simply means a photon’s energy varies with its wavelength and the sensors establishing TSI do not measure this value; they sort photons into categories-IR, UV, etc.- only.

  96. Jim Powell (06:24:47) :
    Also when looking dividing the 18.612941 into the 208 year DeVries cycle there is less than a 1% difference. This “could” be related to the Mayan drought cycle.

    DaveE (09:59:36) :
    The Hale cycle is at ~22. The lunar nodal cycle is at 18.6.”
    This gives a beat cycle of ~120 years.

    DaveE (10:34:42) :
    Further, given the cycle times I’ve noted, I’d expect to see cycles of ~16, ~26 & ~60 year cycles.

    The cyclomania gets worse and worse, can Vuk be far away, or ‘nobrainer’, or Scafetta?

  97. gary gulrud (10:41:24) :
    “There is no such thing as ‘intrinsic energy’””

    TSI is measured via a photon count. TSI may be converted to ‘total energy’ assuming a spectral contribution of discrete wavelengths.

    By ‘intrinsic energy’ simply means a photon’s energy varies with its wavelength and the sensors establishing TSI do not measure this value; they sort photons into categories-IR, UV, etc.- only.

    Not at all. That is not how TSI is measured. TSI is measured by letting solar radiation enter a cavity and fall upon a black surface thus raising the temperature of the surface which is measured by measuring the amount of electric current that balances the temperature rise, more here:

    http://physics.nist.gov/Pubs/TN1421/electrical.html

    Solar faculae, ionospheric depth and the absence of solar flaring(as well as the weakness of the solar wind, not part of TSI) are all at historic minima during the era of direct measurement.
    The solar spectrum has never been redder. All this while TSI is ‘normal’.

    The solar shortwave radiation from flares, etc, is measured by TSI, and the solar wind has nothing to do with anything, not being ‘radiation’ and having an energy density very many orders of magnitude below the last decimal point of TSI. Stop spreading this nonsense. You have done it before and I have corrected you before.

  98. gary gulrud (10:41:24) :
    “There is no such thing as ‘intrinsic energy’”

    TSI is measured via a photon count. TSI may be converted to ‘total energy’ assuming a spectral contribution of discrete wavelengths.

    By ‘intrinsic energy’ simply means a photon’s energy varies with its wavelength and the sensors establishing TSI do not measure this value; they sort photons into categories-IR, UV, etc.- only.

    A better description of the SORCE/TIM instrument is here:

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/instruments/tim/tim_concept_op.htm

    The TEF [or whatever that concept is - Total Energy Flux, or something] is bunk in this discussion. Show us a single science paper using that concept. I don’t know of any, so am curious [and I would really want to know].

  99. “Leif Svalgaard (10:59:40) :

    Jim Powell (06:24:47) :
    Also when looking dividing the 18.612941 into the 208 year DeVries cycle there is less than a 1% difference. This “could” be related to the Mayan drought cycle.

    DaveE (09:59:36) :
    The Hale cycle is at ~22. The lunar nodal cycle is at 18.6.”
    This gives a beat cycle of ~120 years.

    DaveE (10:34:42) :
    Further, given the cycle times I’ve noted, I’d expect to see cycles of ~16, ~26 & ~60 year cycles.

    The cyclomania gets worse and worse, can Vuk be far away, or ‘nobrainer’, or Scafetta?”

    I have a great deal of respect for you Leif but I find this post disingenuous to say the least.

    Why are you so cyclophobic?

    DaveE.

  100. Yes of course TSI is measured in the way LS describes and so makes no distinction as to the spectrumof the e/m radiation: or what changes in the spectrum might mean for the earth, ocean and atmosphere system.

    As for cycles I am extremely wary of them, not just because correlation is not causation, which everybody knows and then goes off and try to show causation by speculating upon a possible mechanism: but most of all because modern computing power allows endless comparisons to be made and so throws up all kinds of apparent correlations.

    Only look here and see the constant analysis of trend lines covering a few years and which are then held up to be confirmation or refutation of some notion or another.

    Yes something happened to the sun nearly twenty years ago wrt its radio emissions compared with sunspots. What does it mean? I don’t know and nor I suspect does anyone else. We have only been measuring radio emissions for about fifty years and sunspots for a few hundred.

    We have no way of knowing whether this is unusual, usual or an occasional event which happens sometimes. It might be due to the music of the spheres or the current North Korean bomb test which didn’t work, again. Or even the frequency with which LS posts here. Who knows.

    Oh its lots of innocent fun, please correlate and analyse the frequency of sunspot postings here with reported sunspots.

    It is less funny when politicians bet our money on it.

    To be serious we have two problems.

    The first is the assumption that you can somehow by elaborate computer driven statistical analysis derive an indication of some important causative relationship over a very short period of time.

    That leads to Gamblers Ruin, whether you try it out on a mechanical system such as a roulette wheel or a non mechanical one such as the Gee Gees. It is the wise man who owns the wheel or makes the book and the foolish ones who try to cock a snook by betting against the wise man.

    As bankers and their analysts have discovered yet again.

    The second problem is lies, damned lies and statistics: it is all too easy to read into statistical data what you want to see and not what the data actually says. Not such a problem with genuine natural philosophers, they can go back to the drawing board, but a serious problem when politicians and propagandists misuse the data to support some fashionable objective or another.

    A true natural philosopher should be a sceptic and to any who aspire to this I recommend a study of the arts of stage magical illusion because it shows why scientists, who always try to analyse the trick backwards, and always fail, are ill equipped to deal with this mumbo jumbo.

    Because everybody who thinks themselves well educated and analytical always falls for the illusion: and tries to work it out. And gets it wrong.

    And if anybody wants to try I am happy to play cards with them for money. But don’t expect me to tell you why I keep winning.

    Or indeed if LS wants to know what the sun is going to do I would be happy to read my major arcana, the Tarot Picture Set and mine are the genuine BP Grimaud and over two hundred years old, for him. If he crosses my palm with silver of course. And if my prediction is not as good as his, and of course I am confident it will far superior, but if in the event it is not better than his, no money refunded I am afraid.

    Rule one you know.

    Rant over.

    Kindest Regards.

  101. Regarding Beat frequencies & the possible intensities.

    Try sitting between 4 Merlin piston engines or 4 Conway gas turbines balancing the revs to minimise beat.

    In the Conway situation. I can assure you that it can be physically painful when you get close to optimum.

    DaveE.

  102. DaveE (12:00:12) :
    Why are you so cyclophobic?
    Partly because cycles are too ‘seductive’ and also because really complex systems rarely show true cycles. If there is a true cycle, there is a very powerful way of proving it even if the signal is VERY small, and I haven’t seen that happen yet in climate studies. There is a lunar 25-hour cycle in geomagnetic activity which is so small that it normally cannot be seen in the data, but Kreill showed 150 years ago that by keying the geomagnetic data to the very precise timing of the Moon, that the tides raised by the Moon in the ionosphere has a detectable signal [not of a magnitude that makes any difference to anything]. I have not seen a convincing case of that in weather/climate. But you need MANY instances of the cycle in order to dig the signal out of the noise. For climate/solar activity we don’t that [yet]. Perhaps in a 1000 years we’ll be able to show some [now] hidden cycles. I have been in this field a LONG time and know the literature back even longer and [almost] every time a cycle has been announced with great fanfare it has fizzled. I have been victim to such myself. [google the 'vorticity area index']

  103. DaveE (12:00:12) :

    I have a great deal of respect for you Leif but I find this post disingenuous to say the least.

    Why are you so cyclophobic?

    Did you really mean “disingenuous?” I hope Leif is not really trying to be insincere. He is, however, notably cynical on the matter of cycles, and would probably acknowledge that.

    I think William Burroughs, in “Weather Cycles — Real or Imaginary?” provides a better model of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the various arguments for cycles.

    On beat waves and cycles, I have a spreadsheet at school in which I’ve played around with various combinations of lunisolar cycles. On a priori grounds, I would think that the most likely combination would be either ~9 (half the lunar nodal cycle) and ~10-11 (Schwabe cycle), or 18.6 (the full lunar nodal cycle) and 10-11 (Schwabe cycle). But these do not account for the ubiquitous pattern of bidecadal climate cycles the way a combination of 18.6 and 22 would. When I get to school, I’ll look at it again.

  104. Leif Svalgaard (12:47:44) :
    There is a lunar 25-hour cycle in geomagnetic activity which is so small that it normally cannot be seen in the data,

    For the nit-pickers: tides are usually semi-diurnal and so it this one, but it depends on the solar day to do its magic as there has to be ionization in the ionosphere too. So, even VERY small effects can be picked up if one knows the phase. We have the same situation in helioseismology where each wiggle is keyed to precise ‘l’ and ‘m’ numbers in the spherical harmonics expansion. We can pick up oscillations of the order of 1 millimeter per second, which would ordinarily be completely lost in the 500 meter/sec ‘roiling’ of the solar photosphere.

  105. Pamela,

    I’m not ignoring you. I’m wrestling with the concept of how we would “prove” (or falsify) that the decadal or bidecadal cycles in global temperature are “caused” by ocean current cycles which are themselves likely driven by the same exogenous sources we’re attributing the temperature cycles to. For example, in the post I did on the PDO, I recall both a bidecadal and even a pentadecadal cycle in the PDO and NPI. Does that mean these are “causing” the cycles we’re seeing in global temperature? Or is it not more likely that these are just different manifestations of a common external (or exogenous) driver (or drivers)?

    Or, suppose we could definitely link the decadal signal in global temperature trends to ENSO. So? What is driving ENSO? I’m sure we can cross-correlate cyclical variation global temperature with a variety of different climate variables. But you understand as well as I do that this doesn’t “prove” causation. It merely establishes association, possibly driven by common forces.

    What are those common forces? Besides lunar and solar, what other candidates are there for the ultimate cause?

  106. Basil, I am referring to your efforts to outline the mechanisms along with your correlations. It substantially weakens the paper and opens it to severe criticism if you cannot pair your implication with a mechanism. The paper would be stronger if you can describe oceanic affects on land temperatures (a fairly well accepted mechanism) and then explore whether or not oceanic oscillations are endogenous or exogenous driven. There are several endogenous hypothesis for oceanic oscillations and variations. You would do well to summarize these and then propose an exogenous mechanism that needs further study. Or else the conclusion, implied or not, appears to be grasping for straws.

  107. “A better description of the SORCE/TIM instrument is here:”

    Where do you think I got my information. Your pedantry may buffalo some but not us engineers.

    TEF?

  108. gary gulrud (14:30:22) :
    “A better description of the SORCE/TIM instrument is here:”
    Where do you think I got my information. Your pedantry may buffalo some but not us engineers.

    The TIM instrument contains four Electrical Substitution Radiometers (ESRs) to measure incident solar power (see ‘The Concept of Electrical Substitution Radiometers’ below). A NIST-calibrated precision aperture in front of each ESR defines the area over which sunlight is collected. The ratio of radiant power to aperture area gives the TSI, generally expressed in units of watts per square meter [W/m2]. The TIM reports 4 TSI values per day, each an average of the 50-second cadence measurements the instrument acquires when the Sun is observed.

    In its normal operational mode, a TIM shutter is cycled 50% open and 50% closed every 100 seconds throughout the orbit. This provides a direct measurement of the incident solar irradiance. Measurements of dark space during the eclipsed portion of each orbit correct for background thermal contributions of the instrument internals. Periodic calibrations of the TIM electrical servo system track the stability of the instrument gain.

    The four TIM ESRs provide redundancy and the capability to track degradation. As the primary ESR is exposed to unfiltered solar radiation, the absorptance of the ESR changes due to solar exposure. Intermittent and simultaneous measurements of the Sun with the primary and a lesser-used ESR track the solar exposure dependent changes in the primary ESR. Ground-based data processing corrects for such instrument degradation in released data. The TIM instrument shows better stability than any other spaceborne TSI instrument to date. The TIM is following a classic exponential degradation of sensitivity, presumably due to a slight brightening of its absorptive interior surfaces, and is expected to ultimately change in sensitivity by only 160 ppm.

    The basic theory of ESR detectors is based on the measurement of electrical power to maintain constant detector temperature as incident radiation is modulated. Two identical sensors, one active and one used as a thermal reference, are housed in the same environment and maintained at the same temperature. The sensors have a very high and accurately-known absorptance in order to efficiently collect incident radiation, so that nearly all photon energy incident on the detector is converted into heat. A constant amount of Joule heat is supplied to the reference sensor by a resistive heater circuit, elevating this reference sensor to some temperature. The active sensor is actively driven to this same temperature by a servo system that determines the electrical power necessary to heat it via its resistive heater. This thermally balances the two sensors at the reference sensor’s temperture, and requires similar electrical heater power to each sensor in the absence of any incident light. When radiation is then allowed to fall on the active sensor, such as when that sensor’s shutter opens, a corresponding amount of electrical heat to that sensor must be reduced in order to maintain constant temperature. This reduction in electrical heat to the active sensor is equivalent to, and effectively “substituted” by, the radiant energy incident upon it. By knowing this electrical heating to a high accuracy, the incident radiation is measured to similarly high accuracy.

    —–

    The above from the source quoted. Nothing about photon count, dividing into IR, visible, UV, etc. Nothing about “TSI may be converted to ‘total energy’ assuming a spectral contribution of discrete wavelengths”. TSI simply measures the total radiation of all wavelengths. Who are you trying to fool this time?

    TEF was your acronym for something a while back, I believe. Perhaps you just copy-pasted something without looking at it or understanding it. To refresh your memory:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/15/the-oceans-as-a-calorimeter/

    15/04/2009
    gary gulrud (10:20:32) :
    TSI, again? OOOhhh NOoooooo!!!!!!
    Why, why, why not TEF? Just once?

  109. Leif, my comparison of the 18.6 cycle to the DeVries cycle was over the top. However, my link to the study of long-term biomass in the Barents Sea by Dr. Yndestad appears to be very solid.

    I used Loehle’s temperature reconstruction and compared the 18.61 cycle to it. The temperature reconstruction does not show the Dalton Minimum but I think that there is a great deal of evidence that shows the minimum taking place in Europe. The timing of the 18.61 cycle and the end of the Dalton Minimum makes the 18.61 cycle a possible cause.

  110. Jim, you may have, with probably greater than a 50% chance, discovered a concurrent timing of completely unrelated events. Unless you have a mechanism. There are perhaps 1000’s of cycles that might also correlate to the end of the Dalton Minimum. Very few have any connection regarding mechanism. What is yours? If you can’t come up with one, your “possible cause” cannot be taken seriously and must be grouped with the 1000+ other cycles that just happened to correspond to the end of the Dalton Minimum.

  111. Jim Powell (16:23:04) :
    Leif, my comparison of the 18.6 cycle to the DeVries cycle was over the top. However, my link to the study of long-term biomass in the Barents Sea by Dr. Yndestad appears to be very solid.
    Tides can control biomass [just general statement as I have not the inclination to investigate]. And the mixing of ‘over-the-top’ and ‘solid’ stuff reminds me of the comment by a true believer of psychic things when she was told that the famous Uri Geller [spoon bender] was caught in cheating: “so what if he was cheating at that time, the 90% rest of the time it was ‘solid’ “

  112. I understand this has been a holiday weekend (in the US), but I have not received an answer to my question above (13:29:25,05-23-09), so I will repeat my question:

    “So, what exactly is the mechanism that you propose by which lunisolar effects influence temperatures? Is it a lunisolar influence on atmosphere and ocean circulation (which would influence the amounts of energy released from the ocean to the atmosphere over time)? If so, how does that work?

    I think I understand your cycle detection analysis, but I am unclear on the mechanism being suggested.”

    Without a proposed mechanism, this is just a fishing expedition. Is this really all you have?

  113. Pamela Gray (16:36:13) :
    Jim, you may have, with probably greater than a 50% chance, discovered a concurrent timing of completely unrelated events. Unless you have a mechanism.

    People find these cycles all the time. Here is a recent example:

    http://www.leif.org/research/EOS/2008GL036880.pdf

    The mechanism seems to be the large tides near the Kuril Islands. Had I been a reviewer of this paper it would not have passed. They find that “in the 3rd and 5-th (10-th, 11-th and 13rd) year
    after the maximum diurnal tide, mean-PDO takes significant
    negative (positive) value”. This seems to contradict the ~30-year PDO cycles we hear about. But such is the fate of cycle papers.

  114. Basil and Anthony,

    This is nice work. I would suggest a confirmation of the result using a second as independent as possible dataset, even an imperfect confirmation from RSS or UAH could add a lot of weight. If not that perhaps a different version of the SST data.

    It would probably reveal the same results and would give a level of comfort about the data processing prior to being published by hadcrut.

    Good stuff though even an improperly corrected dataset would be robust (my new favorite word) to this method.

  115. Pamela, your point is well taken. I’ll keep looking.

    Leif, the man has a doctorate in his field and does an extensive mathematical analysis. Chill out.

  116. Jim Powell (19:45:12) :
    Leif, the man has a doctorate in his field and does an extensive mathematical analysis. Chill out.
    Whom are you referring to?

  117. Basil (12:49:38) :

    I apologise unreservedly to Leif. Disingenuous was probably the wrong word.

    However, considering the cycles that can be irrefutably detected, (~24Hr day & ~365.25 day annual), it seems unlikely that the other cycles present & beats of those cycles have no effect.

    I already indicated that I expect ~16, 26, 60 & 120 year cycles. Also beats of beats to lesser degrees.

    DaveE.

  118. DaveE (20:27:06) :
    I apologise unreservedly to Leif. Disingenuous was probably the wrong word.

    The apology would have value without ‘probably’, but I have a thick skin [one must that that to hang out here] and tend to pay back in the same coin.

  119. Joseph (18:36:51) :

    I understand this has been a holiday weekend (in the US), but I have not received an answer to my question above (13:29:25,05-23-09), so I will repeat my question:

    “So, what exactly is the mechanism that you propose by which lunisolar effects influence temperatures? Is it a lunisolar influence on atmosphere and ocean circulation (which would influence the amounts of energy released from the ocean to the atmosphere over time)? If so, how does that work?

    I think I understand your cycle detection analysis, but I am unclear on the mechanism being suggested.”

    Without a proposed mechanism, this is just a fishing expedition. Is this really all you have?

    Well, there are two proposed mechanisms. The first is solar, and the variation in TSI associated with the solar cycle. The second is the lunar nodal cycle, and the tidal forces associated with it. The latter may be merely modulating the rhythm of the cycles, or may also contribute to the variation in temperature through a process along the lines proposed by Keeling and Whorf.

  120. Jeff Id (19:10:47) :

    The satellite data is going to be too short in duration to pick up the multidecadal pattern. So I just did a quick analysis of ERSSTv3, and came up with the following:

    Basically identical.

    I’ve also been looking at the US climate division regional data. A couple of examples:

    Leif should note the range of values here: roughly -.02 to 0.02, or about 0.04C, compared to his computed maximum of .07C on the basis of average variation in TSI.

    The method, I believe, is robust. ;)

  121. Basil (06:06:37) :
    Leif should note the range of values here: roughly -.02 to 0.02, or about 0.04C, compared to his computed maximum of .07C on the basis of average variation in TSI.

    It would then be of interest to plot the variation and TSI on the the same graph as time series and on another as a scatter plot with a correlation coefficient (R^2-value).

  122. Basil (06:06:37) :
    The method, I believe, is robust. ;)

    so is the correlation between children’s reading ability and their shoe size, and between the size of US population and global temperature since 1850…

  123. Basil (16:44:22) :
    You say:
    “Now, just a parting speculation. What’s the source 4.5 year “ENSO cycle,” and where is it in Figure 6? Well, could it just be half of the 9 year cycle? Could the 4.5 year ENSO cycle be a harmonic of the 18.6 yr lunar nodal cycle?”

    I want to echo several comments that emphasize the role of ENSO in global climate change and point to the mechanism of its operation. The 4.5 year cycle is just double the QBO cycle that has an average period of 27.1 months. Sea surface temperature in the tropics varies with 20hPa temperature in the stratosphere over the equator, the usual measure of the of the QBO dynamic. Tropical warming events occur at this frequency, with about half reaching sufficient intensity to be recorded as El Nino events. As temperature falls in the upper tropical stratosphere more ozone finds its way downwards from the zone of creation to the zone of conservation (characterized by low temperature and low humidity). In the upper troposphere more ozone equates to higher temperature and less cloud with no change in irradiance but more radiation actually reaching the surface. The sea surface warming occurs anywhere between 35°N and 35°S depending upon the time of the year.

    The QBO in the stratosphere is ultimately driven by the QBO in solar activity via the effect of the polar vortexes on ozone concentration in the global stratosphere and upper troposphere. A weakening vortex allows ozone concentration to build. A weakening vortex is indicated by rising temperatures at all levels of the atmosphere, with the greatest increase in temperature at high latitudes.

    End of the day, if you don’t have a mechanism you don’t have an argument.

    Basil (13:30:23) :
    “Or, suppose we could definitely link the decadal signal in global temperature trends to ENSO. So? What is driving ENSO?”

    Answer: the effect of geomagnetic activity and ionizing solar radiation on the relative depth of the atmosphere at the equator, vis a vis the winter pole.

    Observational evidence: A sudden stratospheric warming in the winter hemisphere is always associated with cooling of the equatorial stratosphere and warming of the tropical ocean in the summer hemisphere.

    Pamela Gray (14:27:36) :
    “It substantially weakens the paper and opens it to severe criticism if you cannot pair your implication with a mechanism. ”

    Exactly. I would go so far as to say that the paper is so weakened by the lack of a plausible mechanism as to reduce its utility to zero. The problem is that the AGW proposition is plausible, even though there is no evidence at all that the upper atmosphere is warming as hypothesized.

    Leif’s reaction is indicative. It is a pity that he does not have the curiosity to inquire as to why the tropics cools and warms and the globe along with the tropics. I would have thought that his facility with physics and mathematics would have taken him further in the exploration of ocean and atmospheric dynamics. If he can detect the influence of the moon on geomagnetic activity he is more than part way along the track of describing how the sun determines the level of upper troposphere cloud cover and therefore surface temperature.

  124. erlhapp (10:01:19) :
    Leif’s reaction is indicative. It is a pity that he does not have the curiosity to inquire as to why the tropics cools and warms and the globe along with the tropics.

    Except that I have looked VERY carefully at this, in particular at your purported ‘mechanism’ [covering hundreds of postings here at at CA], and have found the mechanism(s) wanted in the extreme, especially your misconceptions about ozone and about the variability of the temperature changes in the upper troposphere. Your counterargument has always been that careful statistical and mathematical analysis will always fail compared to the eyeballs of an enthusiastic believer of having discovered that atmospheric physics as understood and taught today is wrong.

  125. If the conclusion is that tides might have something to do with the large scale circulation, and that any such variation might combine with solar variability to cause quasi-cycles in temperature, then I would be hard-pressed to disagree!

    But what’s the take-home message of all this?

  126. Leif Svalgaard (07:55:12) :

    Basil (06:06:37) :
    The method, I believe, is robust. ;)

    so is the correlation between children’s reading ability and their shoe size, and between the size of US population and global temperature since 1850…

    Did you understand that all I was referring to was “method” of extracting the signal and presenting it in the time domain, not whatever it means? I was not referring to any “correlations” as being robust, hence the remark comes across as little more than a cheap shot.

    BTW, thank you for suggesting “Chree analysis.” I think it will prove to be useful and interesting.

  127. Basil (11:15:54) :
    Did you understand that all I was referring to was “method” of extracting the signal and presenting it in the time domain, not whatever it means? I was not referring to any “correlations” as being robust, hence the remark comes across as little more than a cheap shot.

    I don’t do ‘cheap shots’, at least not intentionally. I meant that a method cannot be ‘robust’. It is what it is: a mechanically fixed procedure [unless just eyeballing] with suitable error bars or ‘significance limits’. The interpretation or ‘the result’ can be robust, IMO. Perhaps I should have paid attention to your little smiley, indicating to me that you didn’t mean it literally.

  128. Basil (11:15:54) :
    Did you understand that all I was referring to was “method” of extracting the signal and presenting it in the time domain…

    My two examples were actually carefully chosen. The first one referring to a case of a real causative agent behind the seemingly meaningless correlation, name ‘age’. Both reading ability and show size increases with age, so they are indeed meaningfully connected. The second example on a longer time scale may be important and physical too. If you remove population growth due to other reasons there may be a component directly related to temperature [failing crops, famine, war, etc as results of low temperatures and generally causing a decrease of population]. So, instead of a cheap shot, there were some hidden truth in my examples.

  129. -
    Basil (05:20:47) “[...] cone of influence [...] software we use doesn’t offer that feature”

    You can plot the cone-of-influence in Excel – (& then just superpose it).


    Basil (05:20:47) “[...] what software would you recommend, here for doing cross-wavelet analysis?”

    I use Excel. When I need higher-quality wavelet graphs, I use S-Plus.
    (SPSS is very nice for other graphics, but not for contour plots.)
    [Note: R is free - and it does most of what S-Plus does. I hear (from R-fanatics) that there are tons of routines on the net for free download.]


    Basil (05:20:47) “On your reply to John S. about the “beat cycle” [...]“

    Clarification (just in case – since terminology does vary across disciplines):
    Negative Sideband = Beat Period = A*B / (A-B)
    Positive Sideband = Axial Period = A*B / (A+B)
    Harmonic Mean = 2*(Axial Period)
    …where A & B are 2 periods of interest.


    Basil (05:20:47) “[...] wavelet transforms. They are shown merely to [...]“

    Your specific use of wavelets in this paper was effective, but it did leave me wondering why you proceeded to then abandon them in favor of less-informative ‘classical’ spectral methods later in the paper.

    Note: You didn’t really ‘need’ the wavelet plots, but once you presented them you ‘blew your cover’ – i.e. you left yourself wide open to questions about why you didn’t use the superior method later in the paper. [Perhaps this is more of an administrative (procedural politics) tip than an academic one.]


    Basil (05:20:47) “But, as before, the method itself, for all its novelty, is for many a distraction, and we haven’t gotten to the discussion I hoped to see.”

    I hear you. Straying from “convention” triggers an “administrative response”. Sometimes I plan for battle; other times I go-with-the-flow to save time for higher priorities.

    Choosing to see the positive:
    The focus on methods might be better than harsh attacks on interpretations & conclusions.


    Basil (05:20:47) “On your reference to recognizing some of the sources, would you care to reveal which?”

    I plowed through well over 1000 articles while pursuing something similar to what you’ve done here, but I can’t afford (at this time) to launch a discussion of so much literature. Perhaps we can pick away at it over time as related WUWT threads arise.

    Note:
    Discussions of this nature are most productive if strung out over a long period of time. Lately WUWT has been setting a blistering pace; sometimes I wish the pace at which articles appear would slow down when longer (& interesting) articles appear ….but I ran online forums for long enough to know that screws up other priorities…


    Basil, Anthony:
    Laudable work gentlemen – brave, front-line pioneers in the emerging online-knowledge society.

    – – –
    ninderthana (07:44:55) “[...] Lunar/Solar tides are, at least in part, responsible for the onset of El Nino events.”

    I’ve been taking an increasingly serious look into this recently – very interesting stuff…

    – – –
    Re: erlhapp (10:01:19)
    Does the *North* Polar Vortex exhibit any very brief anomalies like clockwork near the NH winter solstice? [By 'brief' I mean less than ~a month - and I mean 'like clockwork' literally (to within a window of ~1 month).]

  130. Should have included this on “beats”:
    A > B
    Alternately (in order to not have to make this requirement), one can substitute |A-B| & |A+B|.

  131. Congratulations on producing a very interesting analysis Anthony.

    By a different method, here is another one which uses some cycles with not dissimilar values amongst others.

    The 5 cycles have periods of 201, 59.3, 21.0, 10.3 and 9.11 years.

  132. Paul Vaughan (13:45:23) :
    Re the North Pole and its anomalous warming. Very hard for me to see what you are driving at here. For a visual indication of the anomalies I look at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/ or http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/index.shtml.

    If I want data on atmospheric temperature I go to: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    The effect of a winter stratospheric warming on the tropical stratosphere was well illustrated in January-February 2009. A small warming event has just occurred taken place in the Antarctic stratosphere. The result in terms of temperature reduction is apparent at 1hPa over the equator. It is not apparent at 30hPa. The conventional notion that these events are driven by atmospheric waves driven by tropical convection puts the cart before the horse. But, if you want to believe that the Earths temperature is determined by trace gas content you have to maintain that this is the case.

    Leif Svalgaard (11:40:24) :
    Nothing shakes my confidence in your evaluation or leads me to question your motives more than your refusal to acknowledge that temperature in the upper troposphere at 200hPa exhibits a bit more than double the range of variation that is seen at the surface.

    Do you recognize that if upper troposphere temperature rises ice cloud density and cloud albedo is affected?

    Do you recognize that tropical sea surface temperature varies on QBO time scales?

    Do you recognize that ‘dynamical influences’ in the upper tropical stratosphere determine ozone content in the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere?

    Readers may judge for themselves whether Leif’s assertions are warranted if they have a look at http://www.aero.jussieu.fr/~sparc/News11/QBOWorkshop.html

    This is an area where Leif should not be dragging his heels. If he is not aware he should start reading.

  133. Paul Vaughan (13:45:23) :

    Clarification (just in case – since terminology does vary across disciplines):
    Negative Sideband = Beat Period = A*B / (A-B)
    Positive Sideband = Axial Period = A*B / (A+B)
    Harmonic Mean = 2*(Axial Period)
    …where A & B are 2 periods of interest.

    Hi Paul, forgive my ignorance, but why is the Negative/Positive Sideband terminology defined in this way? If you look the M2-S2 beat in terms of a simple double-sideband modulation, the carrier is at the harmonic mean but the upper/lower sidebands are symmetric are at +/- delta and (both) represent the envelope (at half the beat frequency as usually defined).

  134. erlhapp (17:07:44) :
    Nothing shakes my confidence in your evaluation or leads me to question your motives more than your refusal to acknowledge that temperature in the upper troposphere at 200hPa exhibits a bit more than double the range of variation that is seen at the surface.

    Do you recognize that if upper troposphere temperature rises ice cloud density and cloud albedo is affected?

    Do you recognize that tropical sea surface temperature varies on QBO time scales?

    Do you recognize that ‘dynamical influences’ in the upper tropical stratosphere determine ozone content in the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere?

    All these things are true and are not in doubt. What has not been shown is that these things have anything to do with solar activity, in particular the mechanism you push forward. That the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of conventional atmospheric physics. All the models agree on that, as I have shown you repeatedly.

  135. Re: oms (17:18:17)

    As clarified:
    A*B / |A-B| & A*B / |A+B|

    Can you define M2, S2, & delta precisely?

    – – –
    Re: erlhapp (17:07:44)
    Clarification: I’m wondering if you know of anything ‘funky’ (& substantial) that happens reliably [every year, not just 2009] with the (north) polar vortex around the winter solstice (NH) ….and if you do, can you recommend a few variables that capture it? (& maybe links?)

  136. Leif Svalgaard (18:04:39) :
    “All these things are true and are not in doubt.”

    Hey, that’s an advance.

    “That the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of conventional atmospheric physics.”

    Can we be more specific? “Conventional atmospheric physics”. All the models?

    What’s the mechanism?

    “in particular the mechanism you push forward”.

    What is the mechanism that I push forward? Are you suggesting that atmospheric waves that are driven by convection in the tropics drives the QBO? Do these atmospheric waves drive the variation in temperature above the poles?

    Did you notice this statement in the reference to the SPARC workshop:

    “Observational and modelling results were shown documenting tropical wave driving of the QBO. The observed wave amplitudes indicate that Kelvin and Rossby-gravity waves do not deposit sufficient momentum to drive the QBO when tropical upwelling is considered. The implication is that a broad spectrum of gravity waves is responsible for a large fraction of the forcing of the QBO. Unfortunately, gravity wave observations are inadequate to confirm this hypothesis.”

    As against this hypothesis we have the confirmation that ozone levels in the stratosphere vary with the flux in radiation and geomagnetic activity. This is the vital element that makes any conjecture as to the origin of the somewhat amplified QBO at 10°N to 10°S quite irrelevant. The most direct and and largest manifestation of the QBO in atmospheric temperature is to be found in the Antarctic vortex. The strength of the vortex modulates the flow of compounds from the mesosphere that erode ozone. The strength of the southern vortex by comparison with the northern is the reason why we have “The Southern Oscillation”.

  137. I am reminded of that cute little waterfall sculpture of the water spout pouring into the bucket, which eventually tips over and spills the water out in a somewhat regular oscillating manner. In fact it would be easy to adjust the bucket and spigot in some way to make this oscillation occur more chaotically. However, the water pump used to create this flow does not vary. It is a steady state pump. Its pumping power does not change with the tipping of the bucket. The water pump is the steady state exogenous source, the sculpture and way in which the water flows through it is the endogenous variation of the constant energy source.

    The analogy isn’t perfect but I was led to ponder it when someone posted earlier that if the 24 day cycle and the 365 day cycle were sources of much variation, then other cycles could be too. However, the Earth is the source of variation of both the 24 day and 365 day cycle, not the Sun. So too the bucket, not the electrical current.

  138. Paul Vaughan (18:17:56) :
    Re: oms (17:18:17)

    Can you define M2, S2, & delta precisely?

    M2, S2 are the semidiurnal tidal components, and delta is the deviation from the harmonic mean (just a usual convention for Fourier analysis of sidebands, which I am more familiar with; sorry I should have tried to use the html &delta).

  139. erlhapp (18:44:55) :
    “All these things are true and are not in doubt.”
    Hey, that’s an advance.

    No, because they were never disputed in the first place.

    What’s the mechanism?
    Upwards traveling waves: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/full/453163a.html
    “In fact, the troposphere is a playground for a large array of westward- and eastward-propagating waves that are constantly clambering up into the stratosphere. Forty years ago, this was recognized5 as being key to the QBO mechanism. Each type of wave has a different personality. Buoyancy waves (internal gravity waves) travel in all directions; they are just like the waves on the ocean, but internal to the atmosphere. Near the equator, the vorticity waves (Rossby waves) travel slowly westward. In addition, there is a class of ‘half waves’ (equatorial Kelvin waves) that lean against each other across the equator; they travel rapidly eastward.

    When any of these waves drifts upwards and encounters a stratospheric jet going in the same direction, it deposits its momentum just shy of the jet maximum, which has the effect of coaxing the jet downwards in a slow but continuous manner; this led to the first complete description6 of the QBO mechanism. Meanwhile, waves that travel in the opposite direction are not blocked but can scramble all the way to the top of the climbing frame, thereby starting a new jet in their direction, which then slowly descends. The upshot is that the roughly 2-year period of the QBO on Earth is governed more by the strength of the wave flux, and the size and shape of the stratosphere, than by the rate of rotation or revolution of the planet.”
    The ‘first complete description’ is by Plumb, here: http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0469/34/12/pdf/i1520-0469-34-12-1847.pdf
    A simpler version is here: http://ugamp.nerc.ac.uk/hot/ajh/qbo.htm
    and more here:

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Cambridge/techprogram/paper_92249.htm

    “in particular the mechanism you push forward”.
    What is the mechanism that I push forward?

    I have tried to get you to be precise and concise enough and produce a coherent view, but it has been hard. The closest I can get is that direct heating of the minute amount of ozone by the minute amount of UV that survives the path in the stratosphere has something to do with it, but it is not clear how you envision that to work ans the energy involved is so minute. Another, unrelated it seems, part of your ‘mechanism’ is the ‘compaction’ of the atmosphere by the solar wind, something that I think does not happen [after having studied the subject for 40 years].

    We have this exchange regularly. Someone ought to compute the power spectrum [after suitable HP-filtering, of course] and figure out what the recurrence period is. Perhaps a 278 part of the DeVries cycle will fall out of the analysis in a natural and robust manner. Note the physically attractive number 278, being twice the reciprocal of the fine-structure constant, connecting the theory nicely with quantum mechanics and other good stuff.

    Keep going around this is not productive, as it seems we are on the umpteenth trip.

  140. Pamela Gray (18:47:34) :

    “However, the Earth is the source of variation of both the 24 day and 365 day cycle, not the Sun. So too the bucket, not the electrical current.”

    Nice analogy but like many a simile it should not be forced too far.

    The bucket is the stratosphere and its nature depends firstly upon the irradiance and the flux of magnetized particles that emanate from the sun and secondly the Earths changing magnetic field, the origin of which is a matter for continuing debate. There is a theory that a dynamo effect is involved in the rotation of the Earths molten core that drives the Earths’ magnetic field. There is also the very strong possibility that a dynamo effect determines the distribution of the plasmasphere/neutral atmosphere between the equator and the poles depending of course upon orbital influences. Leif taught me about the influence of the changing strength of the coupling between the magnetosphere and the solar wind producing peaks of geomagnetic activity at the equinoxes. I believe its called the “Svalgaard Mansurof effect”.

    The dynamo effect in the atmosphere affects surface atmospheric pressure and consequently, the strength of the vortex. This should not be too strange a concept to a solar physicist.

    The bucket is a malleable thing.

  141. erlhapp (20:28:36) :
    Leif taught me about the influence of the changing strength of the coupling between the magnetosphere and the solar wind producing peaks of geomagnetic activity at the equinoxes. I believe its called the “Svalgaard Mansurof effect”.

    No, that is another effect that has to do with the magnetic field lines from the Sun being linked [reconnected] very directly to the terrestrial polar cap magnetic field, so such an extent that every little wiggle [even on the order of minutes all the way up to decades] in one is directly visible in the other, The equinoctial maxima [actually, mostly solsticial minima] are due to quite other mechanism(s).

  142. Leif Svalgaard (20:27:34) :
    Re “the mechanism I push.”

    You say: “The closest I can get is that direct heating of the minute amount of ozone by the minute amount of UV that survives the path in the stratosphere has something to do with it, but it is not clear how you envision that to work ans the energy involved is so minute. Another, unrelated it seems, part of your ‘mechanism’ is the ‘compaction’ of the atmosphere by the solar wind, something that I think does not happen [after having studied the subject for 40 years].”

    No, I don’t think you are at all up to date. It was your suggestion that it could be the flux in ozone that is responsible and I agree and thank you for the suggesttion. See: erlhapp (20:28:36) :

    Can we get back to your statement that:

    “That the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of conventional atmospheric physics.”

    My counter statement is that: ” the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of change in ozone content on QBO time scales due to a slackening of the Brewer Dobson convection that alters the flow of ozone between the upper and lower stratosphere.”

    Then let us focus on the acknowledged relationship between strength of radiation and geomagnetic activity on the one hand and stratospheric ozone levels on the other. We can skip the gravity wave hypothesis as irrelevant.

    Or will you push the proposition that all temperature variation in the stratosphere is the result of phenomena originating in the troposphere. Let’s be very plain about what we are saying.

  143. erlhapp (20:57:21) :
    No, I don’t think you are at all up to date. It was your suggestion that it could be the flux in ozone that is responsible and I agree and thank you for the suggesttion. See: erlhapp (20:28:36) :
    I don’t think so, and if you have misinterpreted [seized on] a clumsy statement of mine, that is for you. It is not my view.

    My counter statement is that: ” the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of change in ozone content on QBO time scales due to a slackening of the Brewer Dobson convection that alters the flow of ozone between the upper and lower stratosphere.”
    This is a blanket statement with no compelling evidence, but with enough buzzwords to bamboozle the unwary.

    Then let us focus on the acknowledged relationship between strength of radiation and geomagnetic activity on the one hand and stratospheric ozone levels on the other.
    This we have gone over so many times that there is no need to do it again, especially since is not relevant for the issue at hand. But in a different thread and context we can take that up [again].

    We can skip the gravity wave hypothesis as irrelevant.
    I don’t think we should. The very latest and best analysis of the waves is this [soon to be published] paper http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/5623/2009/acpd-9-5623-2009-print.pdf . I quote from the introduction:
    “It is widely accepted that the phase descent of alternating tropical easterlies and westerlies is driven by atmospheric waves of both global scale (equatorial wave modes like Kelvin, equatorial Rossby, Rossby-gravity, or inertia-gravity waves), as well as mesoscale gravity waves.”

    Let’s be very plain about what we are saying.
    That would help, but more than just ‘plain’, ‘correct and concise’ would be even better.

  144. Leif Svalgaard (20:45:13) :
    My apologies. Here is the quote from Climate Audit at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2534 where you explained the effect.

    The influence of the psi-angle gives rise to a semiannual variation with minima near the solstices when the solar wind sees the strongest geomagnetic field. Figure [2.5] shows the variation of the am-index [left] and then of the so-called Svalgaard-function S(psi) = [1 + 3 (cos(psi))^2]^(-2/3) as functions of Universal Time [UT] and time of year [the month]. When we try to extract solar conditions from geomagnetic variations, we need to remove the effect of this purely terrestrial effect. In addition to the Svalgaard-function modulation there are other [generally smaller] effects [to be discussed later] that give rise to semiannual variations. In fact, these variations were discovered ~150 years ago, and we are still [heatedly] debating what causes them, and not everybody agrees with the above.

    Heated debate. It’s with us still.

  145. Leif

    Sidestep if you will but the question remains:

    “That the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of conventional atmospheric physics.”

    This assertion needs explanation.

    Lets note:
    1. The variation is on the QBO time scale.
    2. These variations are amplified 2-3 times in parallel with sea surface temperature.
    3. The extent of amplification increases between 300hpa and the tropopause.
    4. The amplification appears to be greatest where relatively stationary high pressure cells exist.
    5. In general, sea surface temperature and 200hPa temperature begins to rise at the point where 20hPa temperature over the equator starts to fall.

    REPLY:
    Erl, Leif. Let’s give it a rest for a few days. – Anthony

  146. erlhapp (22:20:18) :
    Sidestep if you will but the question remains:
    “That the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of conventional atmospheric physics.”

    It is not side stepping, the question was mooted by showing that the transfer of energy is upwards by waves, but if I must rub it in:

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0407/0407074.pdf

    “all state-of-the-art general circulation models predict a positive temperature trend that is greater for the troposphere than the surface. This predicted positive trend increases in value with altitude until it reaches a maximum ratio with respect to the surface of as much as 1.5 to 2.0 at about 200-400 hPa”

  147. erlhapp (22:20:18) :
    Sidestep if you will but the question remains:
    “That the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of conventional atmospheric physics.”

    And more on waves creating this difference:
    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L03702, doi:10.1029/2006GL027918, 2007
    Tropical tropopause climatology as observed with radio occultation measurements from CHAMP compared to ECMWF and NCEP analyses
    M. Borsche, G. Kirchengast, and U. Foelsche1,
    [6] Temperature variability found in RO data in the tropics in the height range 10 km to 25 km including the tropopause region, can be associated with equatorial planetary waves and internal gravity waves. Randel and Wu [2005] and Tsai et al. [2004] have investigated equatorial Kelvin waves with CHAMP and SAC-C RO data and found typical characteristics such as the eastward phase tilt and typical wavelengths and amplitudes. It was found that in
    general temperature fluctuations due to Kelvin waves amount to about ±2 K in the tropopause region [Tsai et al., 2004] but for single events they can reach up to more than ±10 K [Randel and Wu, 2005].

    This is not a big problem that ‘needs explanation’, and your particular ‘explanation’ is not energetically viable. To show that your mechanism is viable, you have to present a detailed calculation of energy flux and latent heat balance, etc, and show that your particular mechanism does indeed supply the energy where it is need and when it is needed, and then, to boot, show where all the other mechanisms go wrong.

  148. Re: oms (19:55:49) & (19:56:37)

    Ok – I think I know the convention of which you are speaking. So, for example, the harmonic mean of 18.6a & 22.2a is 20.24117647a and if a wave with that period was being modulated by a wave with a period of 229.4a, then 18.6a would be the positive sideband and 22.2a would be the negative sideband. The symmetry is only seen with frequencies (not with periods). In this example: 0.049404243/a +- 0.004359198/a. Am I talking your language now? [Note: a = annum.]

  149. Re: Pamela Gray (18:47:34)
    Nice example – but rethink whether the sun plays a role in Earth days & years.

  150. Leif,
    The waves you speak of have a frequency that is reckoned in days whereas the QBO has on average frequency since 1948 of 27.1 months.

    The GCM’s do predict an increase in upper troposphere temperature on a scale of decades. The lack of evidence of this particular one way warming phenomenon is reckoned to be strong evidence that the GCM’s are faulty. The paper you cite is irrelevant to a discussion of why atmospheric and sea surface temperature varies on the QBO timescale.

    Between 1948 and 1980 stratospheric temperature rose strongly, most particularly in the southern hemisphere and since that time it has fallen steadily. As it has done so, surface pressure off Argentina has gradually risen weakening the tendency for the trades to periodically falter. The ‘bucket’ to use Pamela’s terminology, is changing shape on a time scale much longer than the QBO and certainly the time scale of wave activity.

    Anthony, I will respect your wishes. I ban myself from further contribution for three days.

  151. I suppose you know the work of Silvie Duhau? I ran a quick search on your site and got no hits so at risk of teaching grandma to suck eggs

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003SoPh..213..203D

    If you follow that link through the author name and then through the next page through the author query link you will find a list of Duhau’s publications

    You may find something that tickles your fancy!

    jh

  152. Has anyone ever investigated the effect the other planets may have on the earth’s weather? Jupiter orbits the sun in about 11.9 years – pretty close to the 11 year sunspot cycle. Saturn orbits every 29.5 years. Mars every 687 days.

    Just a thought…

  153. erlhapp (01:38:21) :
    The waves you speak of have a frequency that is reckoned in days whereas the QBO has on average frequency since 1948 of 27.1 months.
    The paper you cite is irrelevant to a discussion of why atmospheric and sea surface temperature varies on the QBO timescale.

    The paper says:
    Abstract
    The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) of the zonal mean zonal wind is one of the most important processes in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere in the tropics. Influences of the QBO can even be found at mid and high latitudes. It is widely accepted that the phase descent of alternating tropical easterlies and westerlies is driven by atmospheric waves of both global scale (equatorial wave modes like Kelvin, equatorial Rossby, Rossby-gravity, or inertia-gravity waves), as well as mesoscale gravity waves.

    —–

    If we ignore this and chase straw men, no progress can be made. And I agree with Anthony that trying to hijack this thread is not fruitful.

  154. Paul Vaughan (23:34:08) :

    Re: oms (19:55:49) & (19:56:37)
    Ok – I think I know the convention of which you are speaking.

    Paul, thanks for your reply. I was not being clear. My question was about the origin of the positive-negative/axial-beat terminology.

    So, for example, the harmonic mean of 18.6a & 22.2a is 20.24117647a and if a wave with that period was being modulated by a wave with a period of 229.4a, then 18.6a would be the positive sideband and 22.2a would be the negative sideband.

    And adding to the confusion, the beat frequency would have a period of 229.4a/2 = 114.7a.

    As far as this paper is concerned, it’s also important to be clear about what is modulating what (no matter what the convention). If 18.6a and 22.2a waves are beating in the sense of the tides (linear superposition) then you will observe the 22.24a harmonic mean modulated by the beat cycle, but spectral analysis should reveal the two distinct peaks. If you have the two waves modulating each other through some sort of nonlinear coupling, then you can have the sum and difference frequencies and all products thereof.

    So, without a clear mechanism in mind, it’s easy to get lost in a forest of lines (so to speak).

  155. Evidence of a Lunisolar Influence on Decadal and Bidecadal Oscillations In Globally Averaged Temperature Trends
    Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts

    and

    Leif Svalgaard (21:20:49) :
    ‘Enhanced wavelet analysis of solar magnetic activity with comparison to global temperature and the Central England Temperature record’
    Robert W. Johnson
    Abstract:
    “The continuous wavelet transform may be enhanced by deconvolution with the wavelet response function. After correcting for the cone of influence, the power spectral density of the solar magnetic record as given by the derectified yearly sunspot number is calculated, revealing a spectrum of odd harmonics of the fundamental Hale cycle, and the integrated instant power is compared to a reconstruction of global temperature in a normalized scatterplot displaying a positive correlation after the turn of the twentieth century. Comparison of the spectrum with that obtained from the Central England Temperature record suggests that some features are shared while others are not, and the scatterplot again indicates a possible correlation.”

    I recruited the help of a highly esteemed statistician on some of the research reports I prepared, for obvious reasons. To quote him:

    Statistics are analogous to obese people with beautiful facial features skinny-dipping up to their necks. If you obscure most of the unwanted data, what’s left looks great.
    You obviously put a lot of work into this. It looks great! I sincerely hope it works out.

  156. Tim Clark (13:34:20) :
    I recruited the help of a highly esteemed statistician: “it looks great! I sincerely hope it works out.”

    seems a very non-committal comment with little substance…

  157. Svalgaard (07:02:18) :
    The paper you cite in Leif Svalgaard (22:43:15) in relation to “That the temperature variations in the upper troposphere are larger than at the surface is a result of conventional atmospheric physics.” and also “why atmospheric and sea surface temperature varies on the QBO timescale” .

    David H. Douglass1*, Benjamin D. Pearson1 and S. Fred Singer2 1. Dept of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627 2. Science & Environmental Policy Project and University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903
    Abstract
    As a consequence of greenhouse forcing, all state-of-the-art general circulation models predict a positive temperature trend that is greater for the troposphere than the surface. This predicted positive trend increases in value with altitude until it reaches a maximum ratio with respect to the surface of as much as 1.5 to 2.0 at about 200-400 hPa. However, the temperature trends from several independent observational data sets show decreasing as well as mostly negative values. This disparity indicates that the three models examined here fail to account for the effects of greenhouse forcings.

  158. Trigonometric identities readily show that if two sine-waves of unit amplitude but different angular frequencies are added together, the result can be expressed as 2cos(Bt/2)sin(At/2), where B is the difference frequency and A is sum frequency. The envelope beat frequency is B/2. The line spectrum, however, consists only of the two original frequencies, without any sidebands. This is what applies to “oms” example of M2 and S2 tidal components.

    Far more intriguing than the question of beats is the supposed interaction between the lunar node cycle and the Hale cycle. The former is strictly periodic, whereas the latter is not. No doubt both cycles exist, but is that what decidedly nonperiodic temperature records really show? There’s no evidence presented here in MTM spectra that shows the periodic 18.6 lunar cycle, which should really stand out in any “harmonic” analysis. One sees only the 21.33yr spectral peak. Given the limited frequency even of MTM analysis, that’s close enough to the nonperiodic Hale cycle to suggest a possible connection. But, more than a just a similarity of period is required to demonstrate that connection, which might be in the form of period-doubling characteristic of some nonlinear system response to solar sunspot cycle. That seems a more promising avenue of investigation than trying to connect it to the lunar nodes.

  159. erlhapp (17:41:39) :
    This disparity indicates that the three models examined here fail to account for the effects of greenhouse forcings.

    The models are not really good at all time scales and the data seems to show that on the time scale of long-term global warming they don’t do too well [no surprise]. The main point is that it is not surprising that there should be a larger variation at altitude than at the surface. Even on very general physical grounds one would expect that the effect of almost anything would increase in amplitude when the density decreases [crack a whip to see which end of the whip moves fastest]. Another point is that your mechanism is not unique in the sense that it is the only one that can provide a semblance of explanation. And finally, your basic premise is ‘backwards': it is not the QBO that is the cause of the variations at the surface, but the variations at the surface that are the cause of the QBO as Plum figured out so long ago. The main criticism of your hypothesis is that it is not energetically viable. You have to show by physical calculation that the energy received and absorbed is sufficient to produce the variations seen. It is the proposer of a mechanism that has that burden, not the opposer having the burden of showing that it doesn’t work.

  160. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L03702, doi:10.1029/2006GL027918, 2007
    Tropical tropopause climatology as observed with radio occultation measurements from CHAMP compared to ECMWF and NCEP analyses
    M. Borsche, G. Kirchengast, and U. Foelsche
    find that
    “Temperature variability found in RO data in the tropics in the height range 10 km to 25 km including the tropopause region, can be associated with equatorial planetary waves and internal gravity waves”

    It is not useful just to pile up papers that aren’t read anyway. We have been down that road before. We have tried to focus on a very narrow issue to find out what the deal is about that one, and invariably it ends up with a scatter shot of unrelated ['yeah, but how about this one, then..."] items and the focus is lost.

    But since we down that road, let me repeat “It has been shown by Lindzen and Holton (1968) that the QBO is a wave driven circulation with waves of eastward as well as westward phase velocity playing an important role. After the theory for global scale wave modes developed by Matsuno (1966) had been confirmed by the observations of Wallace and Kousky (1968) for equatorial Kelvin waves and Yanai and Maruyama (1966) for Rossby-gravity waves, in a later work Holton and Lindzen (1972) demonstrated that the forcing by those global scale equatorial waves modes would be sufficient for driving the QBO and could fully explain the observations” [M. Ern and P. Preusse, 2009].

    Upwards travelling waves are it! both from theory and from observations. This fact has to taken as the starting point for any serious investigation. If not, we are playing games.

  161. Leif Svalgaard (19:02:36) :
    I relish this more conversational tone. What I write in this post should not be seen as a demand for answers or explanations. It is intended to shed some light on the source of what may appear to you to be obstinate and objectionable behaviour on my part.

    The morphology of the historical change in temperature in the stratosphere between the poles and the equator tells a story. The amplitude of the variation is much greater at the pole and it is in sync with tropical sea surface temperature change. Temperature change at the pole exhibits variations within the cyclical swing (not seen at the equator), the variation is greater at the southern pole than the northern despite the notion that landforms (N. Hemisphere) are responsible for high latitude wave generation, the extent of the warming during a sudden stratospheric warming is such that wave breaking can not supply the energy for the warming that is observed. The entire winter hemisphere stratosphere actually warms during a sudden stratospheric warming. The amplitude of the temperature variation diminishes from pole to within 10° of the equator and as it does so a gradual and incremental smoothing of the variations occurs. All this indicates to me at least that the energy comes from the poles and the wave is progressively dampened and dissipated as the equator is approached.

    Add to this the observation that warming at the pole is accompanied by cooling at the upper limits of the stratosphere over the equator and where are we? The change at the equator is a top down phenomenon and its reach is dependent upon the amplitude of change at the pole.

    Indeed, the notion that temperature variation in the stratosphere is wholly driven by planetary scale waves arising in the troposphere is, in my view, insupportable. Until the Pope delivers an encyclical on the matter I will speak freely. In truth, not even the Pope would stop me.

    I will concede that the temperature variation between 10°N and 10°S is a product of the interaction between the force applied at the pole and the atmosphere itself, including planetary waves, and it may be these that are responsible for the observed amplification at these latitudes. But the timing and the impetus originates at the pole on the the QBO time scale.

    The issues are: What is the force (forces) that drives the polar vortex? How is it that vortex temperature can change so much over thirty year and longer time scales? Can that type of change be internally generated? Why does the vortex change on the QBO timescale? Why are summer temperatures falling in Antarctica as winter temperatures rise? Why is vortex change accompanied by a change in surface pressure, especially in the eastern Pacific off Chile? What governs change in the level of stratospheric ozone? How much of the observed change in temperature in the stratosphere is the result of change in ozone concentration? Why does part of the tropical troposphere present a mirror image of temperature change in the stratosphere? Which part? When?

    The Arctic Oscillation is a product of vortex dynamics and recognized as such. This Oscillation changes European climate.

    The concern at the end of the day is the timing and direction of change of sea surface temperature in the tropics and implications of change in the tropics for temperature change at high latitudes (global temperature if you like). The issue as to whether the QBO is internally or externally driven is at the heart of the matter of the cause of “naturally driven climate change”.

    The paper from Douglas et al shows that the conventional wisdom, as embodied in the GCM,s does not cut the mustard. It’s back to the drawing board for the IPCC, (or should be). The issue of how change in the stratosphere affects the troposphere, cloud cover and sea surface temperature is the gorilla in the room.

    The relation to this thread is that the 27.1 month variation in the QBO is precisely half the 4.5 year cycle that turns up in the statistical analysis. SST varies increases each 27.1 months on average and about half of the instances reach El Nino magnitude.

  162. At the risk of embroiling myself in an interminable debate, the idea of heat transport by gravity waves of any kind seems far fetched. Such waves may account for most of the variability of temperatures near the tropopause, but they scarcely provide an explanation of temperature levels and secular changes thereof. After all, gravity wave motion is simply a coherent oscillation of the medium and mass transport by radiation stress is a weak second-order effect that becomes significant only during wave breaking. The appeal to density arguments–the lesser the density, the greater the effect– simply does not apply to heat transport. Certainly the strongest temperature cycle at the tropical surface, where most of the thermalization of solar radiation takes place, is the diurnal cycle. That cycle gets gradually extinguished as density decreases with height above the surface, becoming barely detectable in the stratosphere.

  163. Re: erlhapp (05:16:00)
    Where can I find daily-resolution arctic oscillation index data [going back in time as far as possible]?

    Re: John S.
    Thank you for all of your valuable comments.

  164. Paul Vaughan (11:44:01) :
    Can’t help with that request but thought I would throw in an authoritative meteorologists view of the AO. This is from:
    R. W. Higgins, A. Leetmaa, and V. E. Kousky. Relationships between Climate Variability and Winter Temperature Extremes in the United States
    available at: http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0442(2002)015%3C1555%3ARBCVAW%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    ” The dominant mode of variability in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) extratropics is the AO, which Thompson and Wallace (1998, 2000) have shown to be the primary mode of wintertime variability on timescales ranging from intraseasonal to interdecadal. The AO incorporates many of the features of the associated, more localized NAO (e.g., Walker and Bliss 1932; van Loon and Rogers 1978; Hurrell 1995) but its larger horizontal scale and higher degree of zonal symmetry render it more like a surface signature of the polar vortex aloft. The NAO may be viewed as the regional expression of the AO in the Atlantic sector (Wallace 2000). Thompson and Wallace (1998) showed that the AO accounts for a substantially larger fraction of the variance of NH surface air temperature than the NAO.

    The AO is marked by opposing fluctuations in barometric pressure over the polar cap region and the midlatitudes (Fig. 3 ), together with opposing fluctuations in the strength of the westerlies at subpolar and subtropical latitudes (Thompson and Wallace 1998, 2000). It has far reaching effects on winter weather over the United States, Europe, and Asia, and it appears to amplify with height from the troposphere into the lower stratosphere (Thompson and Wallace 2000). Over the past 30 years it has exhibited a pronounced trend (Thompson and Wallace 1998) that has favored milder winters over Europe, Siberia, eastern Asia, and the contiguous United States. At present there is not a consensus in the climate community on whether this trend is a forced response (e.g., to changes in the radiative forcing) and/or natural variability. ”

    The construction of the index seems to require some mathematical facility. What about going back to first principles and compare 30hPa temperature at 90-80°N with that over the equator. Or perhaps surface pressure in the same locations.

    But bear in mind that the arctic vortex is only active in NH winter and the dynamics of the northern hemisphere is very much complicated by the presence of large land masses. The centers of downdraft activity are multiple. For much of the time the vortex does not reach the surface in the Arctic.

    Even better, to capture the variability across both hemispheres add the data for the NH to the SH.

    It appears to me that meteorology is a pattern recognition exercise that could be improved if there were a better understanding of the basic dynamics of the climate system. At the moment nothing is hampering progress more than the requirement to imagine that all sorts of change is a response to greenhouse gas forcing of atmospheric temperature. Witness the observation that completes the quote above.

    How important is the southern hemisphere in generating weather and climate change? As a matter of interest we have a warming happening over Antarctica http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/01mb6590.gif

    and change in 200hPa geopotential height showing the location of the warming areas at: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z200anim.shtml

    with a spike in the SOI showing the change of surface pressure relationship between Tahiti and Darwin at: http://www.eldersweather.com.au/climimage.jsp?i=soi

  165. Paul Vaughn:

    I’m grateful that somebody found my hastily written comments comprehensible, let alone useful. In my 18:35:48 post, the critical concept of frequency RESOLUTION in relation to MTM analysis was never fully transmitted from my mind to the keyboard. Glad to see that your error-correcting codes are working well on the noisy channel of my typing skills.

  166. John S. (09:37:32) :

    At the risk of embroiling myself in an interminable debate, the idea of heat transport by gravity waves of any kind seems far fetched. Such waves may account for most of the variability of temperatures near the tropopause, but they scarcely provide an explanation of temperature levels and secular changes thereof.

    Insofar as you believe the gravity/planetary waves are responsible for driving/modulating anything due to energy flux/dissipation, it isn’t strictly necessary for them to carry out the heat transport on their own. If the wave is interacting with a mean flow, it only needs to speed up/slow down the mean flow to have an effect on the net heat transport.

    Certainly the strongest temperature cycle at the tropical surface, where most of the thermalization of solar radiation takes place, is the diurnal cycle. That cycle gets gradually extinguished as density decreases with height above the surface, becoming barely detectable in the stratosphere.

    I don’t think the solar heating usually sets up radiating diurnal gravity waves, but I could be wrong.

  167. Erl Happ (16:43:07) :
    At the moment nothing is hampering progress more than the requirement to imagine that all sorts of change is a response to greenhouse gas forcing of atmospheric temperature. Witness the observation that completes the quote above.
    This is a clear straw man designed to appeal to the lowest instincts of human behavior. The upwards travelling wave theory completely explaining the QBO and related phenomena was put forward long before the current greenhouse scare. It is just that almost every paper nowadays has the obligatory reference to climate change, even some of mine: line 309 of http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-writeup.pdf

  168. oms:

    But my whole point is that wave radiation stress can be, at best, merely a second-order effect upon net transport and not the principal driver, as some here seem to suggest. Even that second-order effect tends to be oscillatory in nature, following the wave grouping.

    Meanwhile, I was by no means suggesting that the diurnal temperature cycle sets up gravity waves. I was merely providing a counterexample to the over-reaching claim that “the effect of almost anything would increase in amplitude when the density decreases.”

    Let’s not belabor this miscommunication.

  169. John S. (20:18:27) :

    But my whole point is that wave radiation stress can be, at best, merely a second-order effect upon net transport and not the principal driver, as some here seem to suggest. Even that second-order effect tends to be oscillatory in nature, following the wave grouping.

    And my only point was that you can “drive” an oscillation in a flux without driving the entire flux. It is somewhat analogous to your example of a traveling wave which actually involves very little net mass transport.

    My reply was only to clarify and was not in any way meant to belabor!

  170. John S. (20:18:27) :
    But my whole point is that wave radiation stress [...]
    Let’s not belabor this miscommunication.

    there is no such thing as ‘wave radiation stress’. The waves are not of radiation but of air carrying heat and moisture. The whole thing is moot since it is accepted science [and I agree for whatever that is worth] that upwards travelling waves account for the QBO. To challenge that requires a MUCH more detailed and convincing argument than the temperature variations with height seem to increase with altitude and that they therefore must be related to solar activity, as their behavior is not a surprise within conventional meteorology. Perhaps some of the meteorologists here can comment on this? Anthony himself, perhaps?
    I’m loath to spend too much time trying to assemble a bunch of links [other than I already have] to document this, as the counterargument[as I have seen before on CA] will simply be that accepted atmospheric science is all wrong in the first place, so the effort will be in vain from the outset.

  171. Leif Svalgaard (21:33:10) :

    there is no such thing as ‘wave radiation stress’. The waves are not of radiation but of air carrying heat and moisture.

    Leif, it is not uncommon in the literature to refer to Reynolds stresses associated with the propagating wave. These are what deposit the momentum into the mean flow (c.f. Lindzen and Holton). Also, the passing of many waves in the medium is sometimes conceptually (and mathematically) treated as a radiative transfer. I assumed that was what John S. was referring to.

  172. Re: Erl Happ (16:43:07)

    Erl, Your comments have been instrumental in helping me identify FAKE CO2 “DATA”. Thank you sincerely.

  173. Leif Svalgaard (20:14:14) :
    “every paper nowadays has the obligatory reference to climate change”.

    And there is nothing wrong with that because the climate does change. The parameters that determine the climate actually change.

    The debate is about the nature of those parameters.

    What is wrong is the assumption that greenhouse forcing is the parameter responsible. There is no evidence that the increase in so called greenhouse gas actually warms the atmosphere. The GCMs embody that assumption and predict warming of the upper tropical troposphere. No such warming is seen. Nor is there any other form of evidence.

    I am not setting up straw men and appealing to the most basic human instincts. I am observing that the reference to ‘radiative forcing’ implies a certain mode of causation i.e. ‘greenhouse ‘ that is hypothetical.

    I further observe that variation in the degree of tropical warming due to the relative frequency and intensity of tropical warming events is the sort of ‘climate change’ that is in no sense hypothetical. Nor is the link with temperature change in the tropical stratosphere and in the polar region of the winter hemisphere hypothetical.

    In my view we would get further and faster in the quest to determine how and why climate changes if we looked for the drivers of the climate change that we observe.

  174. Leif Svalgaard (21:33:10) :
    “it is accepted science [and I agree for whatever that is worth] that upwards travelling waves account for the QBO. To challenge that requires a MUCH more detailed and convincing argument than the temperature variations with height seem to increase with altitude and that they therefore must be related to solar activity, as their behavior is not a surprise within conventional meteorology.”

    ‘Accepted science’ also countenances the notion that an increase in trace gas concentration materially warms the atmosphere.

    That temperature variation at 200hPa is two to three times that at the surface is observed fact. I have never suggested that this accounts for the QBO.

    What I have said is that variation in temperature at the winter poles shows a QBO of a much greater magnitude than at the equator and this same variation can be observed to propagate from pole to equator over an interval of time and as it does so the amplitude of the temperature variation diminishes to about 10° of the equator and then it amplifies.

    I have also observed that the variation in temperature at the pole is a function of the strength of the polar vortex and that this, together with the change in ozone concentration that actually produces the change in temperature depends upon the sun.

    Does this behaviour indicate a failure to comprehend, just sloppiness, or is it a debating technique in a ‘game’ whereby one must be seen to win every time, whatever it takes?

  175. John S. (18:35:48) :

    Your comments are appreciated. But rather than rule out the lunar nodal cycle completely, just because we do not see an 18.6 year cycle, why couldn’t it be involved as a harmonic, of half or even one-fourth the total cycle? There is a very strong “harmonic” (here in quotes, to refer to the MTM terminology for the black flat peaked spectra) at 4.5, which is close to 1/4 the lunar nodal cycle. Maybe that is the dominant influence.

    But I do agree that there may well be something at work in the Hale 22yr cycle, i.e. some solar influence over a 22 year cycle, that is not yet known or understood. Leif, of course, is skeptical: there is nothing that could influence terrestrial climate in the 22yr cycle that is not already present in the 11yr cycle. But this ignores all the “anomalous” evidence to the contrary. For example, in an earlier post, I quoted one paper as saying

    It has been observed that the 11-year periodicity is not
    always present in climatic records, and where the signal is
    apparent it is often seen at lower amplitudes than those of
    the 22-year cycle (D’Arrigo and Jacoby, 1992; Molinari et
    al., 1997; White et al., 1997).

    In that vein, I’m playing around with “Chree analysis” of the cycles shown in Figure 6 above. A first look:

    Also referred to as “Superposed Epoch Analysis,” the center of the chart represents “key events,” here either a lunar nodal cycle maximum declination, or a solar cycle peak. The temperate rate of change is plotted against those key events for 60 months prior, and 60 months after.

    The strongest association has been in the last four odd numbered solar cycles. Even numbered solar cycles do not show an obvious association. Their is also a pretty clear bell shape associated with the lunar nodal maxima.

    I’m still pondering this. It seems clear to me, though, that this is consistent with “the 11-year periodicity is not always present in climatic records, and where the signal is apparent it is often seen at lower amplitudes than those of
    the 22-year cycle”
    .

  176. Erl Happ (04:36:33) :
    In my view we would get further and faster in the quest to determine how and why climate changes if we looked for the drivers of the climate change that we observe.

    Very true [as a tautology is], but we should look in the right places and stick to correct physics and make sure that the energy involved is sufficient, and finally that the statistics is significant.

  177. oms (23:55:51) :
    Leif, it is not uncommon in the literature to refer to Reynolds stresses associated with the propagating wave.
    My problem was not with ‘stress’ and waves, c.f. the ‘introduction’ of a paper of which I’m coauthor [ http://www.leif.org/research/ast10867.pdf ], it was the combination with ‘radiation’ that was not right as I don’t think your reading of John S matches what he had in mind. Perhaps John could clarify?

    These are what deposit the momentum into the mean flow (c.f. Lindzen and Holton). Also, the passing of many waves in the medium is sometimes conceptually (and mathematically) treated as a radiative transfer. I assumed that was what John S. was referring to.

  178. Leif, thank you thank you for the link on the QBO. I downloaded the paper and will be reading it (with a self-made glossary I am creating for all the acronyms and concepts referred to in the body of the paper). I have been looking for just this kind of explanation that goes beyond the tradewind-Coriolis connection and into the details of the variation drivers. You are a treasure.

  179. A fundamental, but perhaps important, question regarding orbits, solar activity, and long-term temperature records.

    The 11.3 year sunspot AVERAGE period is well-known, but I understand that many different similar periods have been calculated. Regardless of the calculation – why are we “demanding” that a single sunspot/solar period be “created” for this complex solar system, and that single “average” period be assumed valid for all temperature/climate records since the 1100’s?

    That is,
    1 – Assume that sunspots reflect some measure of the sun’s activity.

    2 – Plot the actual count of spots recorded, and derive – NOT a single period or static-period, but an irregular, flucuating, bouncing ACTUAL record that is NOT a simple sine wave or even a sum of 3 or 4 or 12 sine waves. Let the plot be whatever it actually was. Yes – This makes the “math” harder, but it will make the comparision against other predictions much easier.

    3 – Then go back to the 10 purely periodic orbital bodies that “might” (or might not) be affecting the irregular sunspot record, and compare the sum of their UNCHANGING influences to some baseline. (I grant that Uranus, Neptune, or even Mercury, and certainly Pluto are not likely to matter much. Triton? 8<)

    If a "simple" 11.3 year period is off by even a little bit, after 200 years it will be off a significant amount. After 800 years it will be either worthless, misleading, or contrary to what actually happened. So don't try to use anything "simpler" than the actual record.

  180. Erl Happ (04:59:45) :
    ‘Accepted science’ also countenances the notion that an increase in trace gas concentration materially warms the atmosphere.
    This is again the appeal to the lowest instincts. ‘Accepted science’ is Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Maxwell’s equations, Napier-Stokes Equations, and the like.

    Does this behaviour indicate a failure to comprehend, just sloppiness, or is it a debating technique in a ‘game’ whereby one must be seen to win every time, whatever it takes?
    Your behavior indeed suggests a mixture of both.

  181. Leif Svalgaard (06:56:52) :
    oms (23:55:51) :
    These are what deposit the momentum into the mean flow (c.f. Lindzen and Holton). Also, the passing of many waves in the medium is sometimes conceptually (and mathematically) treated as a radiative transfer. I assumed that was what John S. was referring to.
    should be deleted from my previous post. Copy-n-paste sometimes leaves junk around.

  182. Basil (06:24:12) : Please tak a look at these FFTs
    There is no 22 year cycle. If there were then it would show as somewhere between 21.3 and the start of the 24.4 (don’t have the plots to hand!) The 21.3 and the 24.4 peaks are not a 22year peak

    In Europe there is a 7.76 year peak. In michegan and minesota data there may be an 11 year peak.

    The TSI measurement is simply a black box with a small shutter and a thermometer. Open the shutter for a fixed time when facing the sun close the shutter and measure the temperature rise. Assuming all radiation at all frequencies entering gets absorbed by the black box then there is no other solar effect that can heat the earth. The TSI data shows no significant 22year cycle.
    The instrument

    http://www.academiaraetica.ch/pdf/symposien/YSC_abstracts_pdf/6_YSC_Fehlmann.pdf

    Can you excite oscillation in a system tuned to a frequency from a higher frequency? I do not think so – ie. an 11year period cannot cause oscillation in a 22 year tuned system (at least that’s what logic and a circuit simulator says).

  183. Leif Svalgaard (06:48:00) :
    Erl Happ (04:36:33) :
    In my view we would get further and faster in the quest to determine how and why climate changes if we looked for the drivers of the climate change that we observe.

    Erl, summarize in one paragraph [200 words] what your suggested mechanism is. This is the constraint many scientists have to live with when submitting an abstract to a journal or meeting. Experience shows that it is possible to fit the description of a valid theory into such a small space once the inevitable fuzziness and obscuring details have been slashed away.

  184. Leif,
    Despite the apparent acrimony let me thank you for your presence, persistence and resourcefulness. Life would be less interesting if people made a point of agreeing with each other all the time. I don’t understand much of it but I do enjoy your explanation of the utility of the geomagnetic record. In this respect I will second Pamela’s evaluation.

    At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mslp-jja-djf.png
    you will see global maps of sea level pressure. Would you care to speculate why pressure is so much lower in the high latitude Southern Ocean and Antarctica than it is in the Arctic or over Siberia?

  185. bill (08:30:07) :

    Can you excite oscillation in a system tuned to a frequency from a higher frequency? I do not think so – ie. an 11year period cannot cause oscillation in a 22 year tuned system (at least that’s what logic and a circuit simulator says).

    Yes, you can. Imagine exciting a pendulum by slightly modulating the length at twice the natural frequency.

  186. Erl Happ (09:23:55) :
    Despite the apparent acrimony
    As I have said on occasions, I pay back in the same coin.

    Would you care to speculate why pressure is so much lower in the high latitude Southern Ocean and Antarctica than it is in the Arctic or over Siberia?
    No, speculation is not too useful for such things. We have models and physics to deal with this. But you avoided my suggestion:

    “summarize in one paragraph [200 words] what your suggested mechanism is. This is the constraint many scientists have to live with when submitting an abstract to a journal or meeting. Experience shows that it is possible to fit the description of a valid theory into such a small space once the inevitable fuzziness and obscuring details have been slashed away.”

  187. oms (09:37:43) :
    Yes, you can. Imagine exciting a pendulum by slightly modulating the length at twice the natural frequency.
    Describe [or plot] the result of your imagination.

  188. Leif Svalgaard (09:18:10) :
    Summarise in one paragraph:

    The solar wind and irradiance are jointly influential in changing the distribution of the mass of the atmosphere between the winter pole and the equator influencing the strength of the winter vortex, polar atmospheric temperature at all levels, the ozone content of the stratosphere and the height of the zone of ozone creation in the tropical stratosphere. As temperature falls in the tropical stratosphere, more ozone drifts down into the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere, warming occurs, ice cloud density is affected and the sea warms in response to enhanced solar radiation. This is observed to occur on the timescale of the QBO which manifests both at the equator and the winter pole. Prediction is complicated by a variable lag in propagation and the dynamics of ozone descent in the tropical and subtropical atmosphere that is much affected by seasonal influences. Vortex activity is stronger in the south than the north and this is reflected in the degree of variability of temperature on all time scales. The peak of solar driven warming activity of recent times occurred in the early 80’s. Polar temperatures have fallen steadily since that time reflecting weakening solar activity and a strengthening winter vortex. The tendency to experience strong El Nino events is diminishing. There has been a gradual increase in surface atmospheric pressure in the south east Pacific since 1983.

  189. Leif Svalgaard (10:10:18) :

    oms (09:37:43) :
    Imagine exciting a pendulum by slightly modulating the length at twice the natural frequency.
    Describe [or plot] the result of your imagination.

    Here are some lecture notes along the same principle, where the support of the pendulum is oscillated at twice the resonant frequency:

    http://ocw.mit.edu/NR/rdonlyres/967D06D1-3698-4C6D-B028-2FC9FF4BB4A9/0/lecnotes6.pdf

    An analogous situation occurs with internal gravity waves as well.

  190. oms (10:51:41) :
    An analogous situation occurs with internal gravity waves as well.
    But on a much different time scale that 11 or 22 years. I don’t think the example is applicable. And there is nothing on the Sun that creates 22-year periods from 11-year cycles or vice versa. The double-period Hale cycle is not a cycle or oscillation at all [cycles or oscillations require as for the pendulum a restoring force], but just a shorthand for the polarity change which in turn is just a consequence of Joy’s law [we think] that there is a small tilt of the axis connecting the opposite polarities of the two main spots of a sunspot group.

  191. Erl Happ (10:12:29) :
    Summarise in one paragraph
    Slashing away the fluff here is what remains:

    As temperature falls in the tropical stratosphere, more ozone drifts down into the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere, warming occurs, ice cloud density is affected and the sea warms in response to enhanced solar radiation.

    I didn’t see any reference to mechanisms or physics in the rest. If you can find any, add it to the above and we’ll go from there.

  192. Today I have time only for the briefest of clarifications, rather than a debate.

    To oms: There’s no disagreement here on the potential for momentum transfer by wave groups to mass flows generated by other mechanisms. Indeed, the nonlinear effect of what is widely termed “radiation stress” in gravity wave studies is the generation of a “wave drift” in the direction of propagation, wherein the particle wave orbit is no longer closed. Flotsam carried onto a beach by breaking waves provides the most commonly observed strong example. With non-breaking waves the effect is very much weaker. What disagreement there is stems from your assumption that it was I that was positing the notion of this being a primary heat transfer mechanism. That dubiuos honor belongs to someone else.

    To Leif: Radiation stress refers to the “wave drift” of gravity waves, not to thermal radiation (see above). Air carrying heat and moisture aloft is usually called moist convection, rather than upward wave propagation.

    To Basil: I don’t wish to discourage you from investigating the periodic lunar nodes, but the evidence so far is virtually nonexistent, the mere coincidence of the presumed fourth harmonic found at 4.5 years notwithstanding. Two suggestions come to mind. 1) Truncate the temperature record to match the nearest integer mutiple of the lunar mode cycle and perform a bare bones DFT analysis to see what harmonics really stand out. 2) Look for relationships between temperature and sunspot records at the lowest frequencies (below the Hale) that seem to modulate the latter. That’s where spectrum analysis shows the most power in the temperature record.

  193. John S. (12:16:18) :
    To Leif: Radiation stress refers to the “wave drift” of gravity waves, not to thermal radiation (see above).
    A good example of different jargon. To ‘radiate’ can, of course, also just mean to propagate in a certain direction. It is, in such interdisciplinary discussions, so important to stay away from narrow ‘lingoism’. Admittedly, that is hard at times.

  194. How easily subtopics get muddled on a blog!

    Re: Leif Svalgaard (11:46:47) :
    I brought up the example as a reply to bill (08:30:07) to illustrate how a tuned oscillator (electrical or otherwise) can be excited at its first subharmonic frequency. The behavior only depends on the fact of modulating a parameter in the differential equation for the oscillator.

    In the solar cycle example, there is no need for the 22 y subharmonic to be created on the Sun. If the 11-yr cycle affects the earth through some arbitrary mechanism, then at least in principle the black box 11-yr oscillator can be excited at second order at a 22-yr period.

    On the other hand, if the 11-yr cycle has no detectable effect on the earth system, then we probably shouldn’t be looking too hard for its 22-yr subharmonic.

    John S. (12:16:18) :
    I also assumed you were referring to the Reynolds stresses. The “primary heat transfer mechanism” argument seems to be a misunderstanding or confusion with someone else (although your Stokes drift example CAN lead to some interesting fluxes).

  195. Leif Svalgaard (13:14:59) :

    It is, in such interdisciplinary discussions, so important to stay away from narrow ‘lingoism’. Admittedly, that is hard at times.

    Agreed. We also have to navigate the ‘lingoscape’ in citations keeping in mind the fields in which they were published!

  196. Jim Powell (19:45:12) “Leif, the man has a doctorate in his field and does an extensive mathematical analysis. Chill out.” / Leif Svalgaard (20:26:12) “Whom are you referring to?”

    I believe Jim was referring to Harald Yndestad.

    – –
    Pamela Gray (07:10:06) “Leif, thank you thank you for the link on the QBO. I downloaded the paper and will be reading it [...] “

    Pamela, can you clarify which link (of the many links Leif has provided) impressed you so much?

    Was it this one? …

    M. Ern and P. Preusse (2009). Wave fluxes of equatorial Kelvin waves and QBO zonal wind forcing derived from SABER and ECMWF temperature space-time spectra. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions 9, 5623-5677.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/5623/2009/acpd-9-5623-2009.pdf

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/5623/2009/acpd-9-5623-2009-print.pdf

    – –
    Erl Happ (09:23:55) “At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mslp-jja-djf.png
    you will see global maps of sea level pressure. Would you care to speculate why pressure is so much lower in the high latitude Southern Ocean and Antarctica than it is in the Arctic or over Siberia?

    Do I see part of the answer in a link provided by Leif? …

    Timothy E. Dowling (2008). Music of the stratospheres. Nature 453, 163-164.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/full/453163a.html

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/pdf/453163a.pdf

    “[...] semiannual oscillation (SAO) [...] Earth’s SAO is driven by the different response to surface heating between the ice of Antarctica and the surrounding ocean [...] The influence of the QBO and SAO on Earth’s weather cannot be overstated. They modulate seasonal activity, [...], the strength of the polar vortex, the mixing of atmospheric trace species, [...]. Because the portfolio of eastward waves is distinct from that of westward waves, the eastward and westward phases of the QBO are different. The big news is that this asymmetrical, long-period response has now been observed in the stratospheres of three planets.” / “Fifteen-year oscillations in Saturn’s equatorial stratosphere bear a striking resemblance to the shorter-term oscillations seen on Earth and Jupiter — akin to notes played on a cello, a violin and a viola.”

  197. Paul Vaughan (16:52:58) :
    “Do I see part of the answer in a link provided by Leif? …”

    Yes, no doubt about it at all. Especially: “they modulate seasonal activity, [...], the strength of the polar vortex, the mixing of atmospheric trace species, ”

    But the big issue is what initiates all this. Is it planetary waves driven by convectional and topographical influences and god knows what (all very mysterious), or is it the sun via change in irradiance and geomagnetic activity influencing the strength of the vortex and thereby the mixing of trace species that erode ozone…….the species that ‘cool the atmosphere’ to use Thayer’s terminology.

    Observing the variation in high latitude temperature since 1948 I would say we are on a descent that began about 1983 and the cycle appears to be about 100 years in length. I don’t see internal variability modes as capable of producing that. It’s more likely related to the interplanetary magnetic field. In other words tropical warming episodes vary in strength over very long time scales.

  198. Leif,
    I did not avoid your suggestion as you can see. But there is a time lag introduced by the moderation process. Your request appeared as I posted a comment, and it appeared above the comment looking as if I had ignored the request. Not so, as you see.

    The first phenomena that you choose to cut out as ‘fluff’ pertains to the connection between ozone concentration in the stratosphere and solar activity. This may suit you but not me. There is plenty of literature supporting this connection including this talk:http://physics.oulu.fi/toiminta/kollokviot/2008-04-10_rodger.pdf, this symposia:http://envisat.esa.int/workshops/envisatsymposium/sessions/15b.htm
    This paper: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/5936/1/Luetal_2006JD007864_JGR_NORA.pdf
    Here: http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/COSPAR02/01724/COSPAR02-A-01724.pdf
    and most recently supporting the notion that the influence is continuous and very influential in determining mass density and trace gas variations on all time scales at: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL035745.shtml The Implications are elaborated in a talk that appears here:http://www.aero.org/conferences/itmr/2009proceedings.html

    Lots of fluff around the place.

    I must confess to be learning as I go along and some of the stuff I write I would modify or eliminate today but here is my non peer reviewed point of view: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/solar-warming-solar-cooling/ and also: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/the-atmosphere-dancing-in-the-solar-wind-el-nino-shows-his-face/

    There is also the question of how the variability that is observed relates to the direction of climate change in the recent past and what is to be expected. Cut it out and much of the purpose of the exercise disappears. Hardly fluff I would think.

    I would regard the stuff that you retain as non controversial. The linkages can readily be supported by observation of atmospheric and sea surface temperature.

    Here is an example from recent literature where others notice the terrestrial linkages observed: http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/12141/2009/acpd-9-12141-2009.html

    Unfortunately, the writers have the thing upside down. It is presented as a “teleconnection” of ENSO as if ENSO was the driver. The input driving the system is solar as the references cited above amply demonstrate. As long as the prevailing orthodoxy can maintain that ENSO is an internal oscillation of the climate system no progress will be made in understanding the sources of solar driven climate change. You are very much a part of that orthodoxy.

    Your use of the word ‘fluff’ to describe elements of what I wrote provokes the following observation. “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  199. Leif,
    I did not avoid your suggestion as you can see. But there is a time lag introduced by the moderation process. Your request appeared as I posted a comment, and it appeared above the comment looking as if I had ignored the request. Not so, as you see.

    The first phenomena that you choose to cut out as ‘fluff’ pertains to the connection between ozone concentration in the stratosphere and solar activity. This may suit you but not me. There is plenty of literature supporting this connection including this talk:http://physics.oulu.fi/toiminta/kollokviot/2008-04-10_rodger.pdf, this symposia:http://envisat.esa.int/workshops/envisatsymposium/sessions/15b.htm
    This paper: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/5936/1/Luetal_2006JD007864_JGR_NORA.pdf
    Here: http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/COSPAR02/01724/COSPAR02-A-01724.pdf
    and most recently supporting the notion that the influence is continuous and very influential in determining mass density variations on all time scales at: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL035745.shtml The Implications are further explained in a talk that appears here:http://www.aero.org/conferences/itmr/2009proceedings.html

    I must confess to be learning as I go along and some of the stuff I write I would modify today but here is my point of view: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/solar-warming-solar-cooling/ and also: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/the-atmosphere-dancing-in-the-solar-wind-el-nino-shows-his-face/

    There is also the question of how the variability that is observed relates to the direction of climate change to be expected. Cut it out and much of the purpose of the exercise disappears. Not fluff at all.

    I would regard the stuff that you retain as non controversial. The linkages can readily be supported by observation of atmospheric and sea surface temperature.

    Here is an example from recent literature where others notice the terrestrial linkages observed: http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/12141/2009/acpd-9-12141-2009.html

    Unfortunately, the writers have the thing upside down. It is presented as a “teleconnection” of ENSO as if ENSO was the driver. The input driving the system is solar as the references cited above amply demonstrate. As long as the prevailing orthodoxy can maintain that ENSO is an internal oscillation of the climate system no progress will be made in understanding the sources of solar driven climate change. You are very much a part of that orthodoxy.

    Your use of the word ‘fluff’ to describe elements of what I wrote provokes the following observation that I see as fair under the circumstances: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  200. Erl Happ (10:12:29) :
    What I call ‘fluff’ starts out with this:
    The solar wind and irradiance are jointly influential in changing the distribution of the mass of the atmosphere between the winter pole and the equator influencing the strength of the winter vortex, polar atmospheric temperature at all levels, the ozone content of the stratosphere and the height of the zone of ozone creation in the tropical stratosphere.
    This is not a mechanism or physics, but a just a statement of what you believe and as such is fluff compared to the following statement that has some connection with a mechanism. Similarly for the stuff following that one statement.

  201. erlhapp (19:03:47) :
    As long as the prevailing orthodoxy can maintain that ENSO is an internal oscillation of the climate system no progress will be made in understanding the sources of solar driven climate change.
    Perhaps there is no progress to be made if [or because] the sun is not a major driver in the first place. To overcome orthodoxy [also known as well documented and generally accepted knowledge by knowledgeable people as 'science'] you need to have very strong and compelling arguments and evidence. If and when you have that, orthodox science changes on a dime [plate tectonics, dark energy, general relativity, quantum mechanics are examples of complete paradigm changes that only took a few years to play out]. If your arguments and evidence are weak or unphysical the idea will struggle for centuries without ‘progress’, as the solar/climate ‘connexion’ so clearly demonstrates.

  202. bill (15:21:53) :

    I can in no way use a simulator to generate subharmonics! Tried modulating the capacitance of a tuned circuit at 2x its fundamental. Tried introducing energy via diode etc, etc. but no fundamental build up.

    Hm that’s curious. How did you configure the circuit and how did you handle the modulation of the capacitor?

    Thanks for the simulator link. I might give it a try too!

  203. Leif Svalgaard (21:48:03) : …

    No. Plate tectonics – and every other advance in fundemental science! – was rigorously, dogmatically, almost religiously opposed by conventional wisdom for decades. BY the very people sho dominated teh field.

    The “change” – Looooong after he died! – came about ONLY when another “outside expert” was able to use NEW technology (undersea sonar surveys) to plot the ridges and slopes underwater. Conventional geologist were dragged kisking and screaming to the theory – definitely not “on a dime” in peer-reviewed literature.

    Cite any fundamental change in science that happened from within the field, going all the way back to Tycho and Copernicus: The “experts” (by definition!) in each field have been proven wrong by the very nature of theat “fundamental change”. And no “inside expert” ever predicted nor promoted the changes that affected his or her own field .

    At best, we can accept that the university-approach of plodding and conventional analysis paid by years of re-analysis of “conventional wisdom” validates (engineering-level approximations) of conventional theory.

  204. Leif Svalgaard (21:48:03) :

    In truth, what we are looking at is not fundamental theory yet, but a pattern. And potential – but very important – subtle data BEHIND and between the observed pattern.

    For example, using your earlier example of continental drift, we have observed the coast lines of the Eastern US seaboard, Weste Europe, West Africa, and East side of south America. They “sort of” match – but we are looking at data that (may OR may not) reveal the underwater continental shelves (which DO closely match – but cannot say WHY the plates move nor HOW they “float” on a not-yet-discovered mantle.

    We have not (yet) found equivilent traces of the Atlantic ridge, the near-continuous earthquakes there, spreading magma layers, and increasing deposits of underway dirt on ever-older layers of spreading seabed. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR YET with respect to climate change over periods of centuries. (Over tens of centuries, orbit changes seem to dominate.) Sorry, but we cannot give you a 200 word summary – though I’d really like to! – just as he could not theorize the “why” of mantle and crustal movements in 1924. Nor of mountain and underwater canyon relationships. Yet.

    But, please note that “something” is continuously twisting the PDO and other ocean-dominated oscillations every 35 some-odd years. There might be something INSIDE the sun’s circulating current and magnetic patterns doing it – where the sun changes the earth’s received radiation … something else happens over differing decal-long cycles and heat sinks -> something else changes the air and currents.

    Don’t know yet.

    Fundamentally, ALL of the climate reactions must go back to the original equations as you indicated above. Right now, no group of equations can explain the not-quite-random-but-not-regular cycles we are getting. The system is too large, too chaotic.

    Or we must accept “…and (sometimes) miracles occur. And (sometimes) they don’t occur.” That method has also been used to explain everything in the past.

    8<)

  205. Robert A Cook PE (12:31:53) :
    No. Plate tectonics – and every other advance in fundemental science! – was rigorously, dogmatically, almost religiously opposed by conventional wisdom for decades. [...]
    The “change” – Looooong after he died! – came about ONLY when another “outside expert” was able to use NEW technology (undersea sonar surveys) to plot the ridges and slopes underwater.

    I’ll have to say ‘No’ to your ‘No’. What was opposed was ‘Continental Drift’ [which would still, rightly, be opposed today], namely the notion that the continents plow through the ocean floors. Once the correct notion, sea floor spreading, was found, conversion was swift. The same with all the other examples. There is, of course, some truths to the notion that progress happens because old scientists die.

    “but we cannot give you a 200 word summary “
    Except that I asked one of those who professes to KNOW, one that has the will ‘to see’.

    In the end, we have to go by what we find, demonstrate, and therefore, in a sense, ‘know’, rather than hypothesizing that it could be this or that or whatnot, if we could only figure out how this or that or whatnot does what we so fervently want this or that or whatnot to do.

  206. bill (15:21:53):

    Spare yourself more frustration. Linear systems NEVER exhibit harmonic or subharmonic response, no matter how one sets up the paramters. Such response is the exclusive province of nonlinear systems, particularly those exhibiting chaotic behavior. The response of some chaotic systems can even be primarily subharmonic.

    Looks like this thread is dead, aside from the interminable debate. Adios, amigos!

  207. John S. (18:13:20) :

    Spare yourself more frustration. Linear systems NEVER exhibit harmonic or subharmonic response, no matter how one sets up the paramters

    If his simulator is allowing him to modulate the capacitance in a time-dependent fashion, isn’t that different from a linear system?

  208. John S. (18:13:20) :
    Not dead John. The interminable debate helps to highlight the issues. For me, its back to the historical data, to trace the change in the parameters that influence atmospheric circulation, cloud cover and albedo. There is plenty to keep me busy in the historical record.

    The present state of our understanding of ‘natural’ climate change is indicated by the lack of agreement in the models that predict ENSO events.

    Some of these models reputedly take note of tropical stratospheric temperature. Some take note of the state of the polar vortexes. None, so far as I know attempt to incorporate planetary wave activity.

    Most are currently predicting an El Nino event. The fact that none predicted the now receding La Nina we can forget for the moment. Are they right now? This is the puzzle.

  209. erlhapp (20:39:42) “The interminable debate helps to highlight the issues.”

    Agreed.


    erlhapp (20:39:42) “For me, its back to the historical data, to trace the change in the parameters that influence atmospheric circulation, cloud cover and albedo.”

    I’ll be interested to hear your insights in the days ahead.

    Question:
    Does anyone construct global dayside-nightside temperature-contrast time series?


    erlhapp (20:39:42) “The present state of our understanding of ‘natural’ climate change is indicated by the lack of agreement in the models that predict ENSO events.”

    Well-said.

  210. erlhapp (20:39:42) :

    Some of these models reputedly take note of tropical stratospheric temperature. Some take note of the state of the polar vortexes. None, so far as I know attempt to incorporate planetary wave activity.

    Why wouldn’t a GCM, which includes both fluid flow and vorticity, automatically incorporate Rossby waves?

  211. “The above from the source quoted. Nothing about photon count, dividing into IR, visible, UV, etc. Nothing about “TSI may be converted to ‘total energy’ assuming a spectral contribution of discrete wavelengths”. TSI simply measures the total radiation of all wavelengths. Who are you trying to fool this time?”

    Sorry, Leif, I have not had time to return until now. The four sensors, the radiometers, are those assigned to the categories I noted as their site describes in the data sheets, e.g., sigma for the UV sensor is 12-24%.

    Putting the principles into less technical English so that anyone can understand is a boon not an imprecision. Look up ‘irradiance’. Your “scientists'” use of ‘energy’ is an imprecise use of the term.

  212. gary gulrud (23:51:05) :
    Sorry, Leif, I have not had time to return until now. The four sensors, the radiometers, are those assigned to the categories I noted as their site describes in the data sheets, e.g., sigma for the UV sensor is 12-24%.
    You must be looking at something else. Perhaps provide a link to what you think are the data sheets. The four radiometers measure the same thing and are multiple to provide redundancy and degradation measurements, and are not measuring different pieces of the spectrum.

    Putting the principles into less technical English so that anyone can understand is a boon not an imprecision. Look up ‘irradiance’. Your “scientists’” use of ‘energy’ is an imprecise use of the term.

    To refresh your memory of who used ‘energy':
    gary gulrud (10:41:24) :
    TSI is measured via a photon count. TSI may be converted to ‘total energy’ assuming a spectral contribution of discrete wavelengths.

    There is usually no confusion [unless deliberate] between power and energy [the latter simply power integrated in time over area]

  213. oms (23:39:16) :
    “Why wouldn’t a GCM, which includes both fluid flow and vorticity, automatically incorporate Rossby waves?”

    Beyond my knowledge. I do know however that GCM’s can not predict ENSO events so if they do include waves its not helping them get the right answer.

    Paul Vaughan (21:19:21) :
    Does anyone construct global dayside-nightside temperature-contrast time series?

    Paul, most of the data I see is aggregated to monthly values. I then calculate a running 12 month average so as to smooth out seasonal effects.

    Daily data is hard to get and hourly data even harder, and the period only very recent. But airports have it. I imagine that you would have to compile it station by station. The NOAA is compiling data from round the world and doing an excellent job of making it available quite cheaply.

    “I’ll be interested to hear your insights in the days ahead.”
    What an invitation?

    Sea surface temperature variation coincides with 200hPa temperature variation.

    The main driver of 200hPa temperature change is ozone content.

    When the pole warms the sea warms at 20-40° latitude in the summer hemisphere. It may also coincidentally warm near the equator but frequently the warming begins in the Pacific off Chile at 20-40°S and this leads Nino 1+2 and the entire equatorial region.

    I imagine that 20hPa temperature reflects ozone content. Peaks in 20hPa temperature between 10°N and 10°S can be seen to order peaks in 200hPa temperature between 10° and 40° of the equator in both the north and the south with a slight lag in the northern hemisphere on about half the occasions. After 1990 and prior to 1960 there is a lag of up to a year in the peak of 200hPa temperature between the equator and 20° latitude due to the time it takes for water that is warmed between 20° and 40° to feed into the equatorial region but between 1960 and 1990 there is coincidence.

    The rise in sea surface temperature after 1978 was much greater between 20-40°S than closer to the equator. Monitoring SST in the ENSO 3.4 region is a complete waste of time. The action is elsewhere.

    20hPa temperature over the equator is currently approaching minimum. Over the last 20 years SST at 20°N to 20°S has peaked when 20hPa temperature over the equator reaches its minimum. So, on that basis, the current warming should be brief. However, a swift increase in solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity might reduce that lag. There is strong warming happening off California, the atmosphere is pretty well wrung out by the La Nina and the rise in temperature in mid year should be strong.

    Here is a longer perspective. As the tropical ocean continues to cool 20hPa temperature over the equator will climb due to reduced transport of water vapour into the stratosphere and the gyrations in 20hPa temperature will increase in amplitude. That will give rise to greater variation in 200hPa and sea surface temperature. However, the ocean will cool like it did in the 1970’s with ever stronger cooling events. The tendency to extreme El Nino warming events will continue to diminish. Sea surface atmospheric pressure off Chile began to rise in 1978 as it did over Antarctica and after 1990 atmospheric pressure began to rise in the Arctic. There is no sign of those trends reversing.

    If the solar influence that drives the the strength of the winter vortex and ultimately the ozone content of the stratosphere continues to weaken then the vortex will strengthen, the stratosphere will cool at mid to high latitudes and warm at low latitudes. Surface temperatures will fall at high latitudes as the supply of warm water from the tropics becomes less warm.

  214. “You must be looking at something else.”

    The SORCE site.

    “To refresh your memory of who used ‘energy’”

    nearly all photon energy incident on the detector is converted into heat

    Obviously, if their TIM detector were responsible for their accuracy to six(or thereabouts) decimal places and TSI units were joules per area there would be no need but backward compatibility to offer Watts/m^2.

    I can believe they accurately measure radiation pressure not energy. I’ve seen estimates for UV energy down 12%, and solar faculae are responsible for upper visible region as well. The description of function is not rigorous.

  215. gary gulrud (10:19:16) :
    “You must be looking at something else.”
    The SORCE site.

    Link, please. You must be confused between the TIM and SIM instruments.

    I can believe they accurately measure radiation pressure not energy.
    They measure the heating [temperature] of the detector by the solar radiation, that is the energy absorbed. Then convert to power using known aperture size and sampling cadence.

    The description of function is not rigorous.
    I don’t think you know what you are talking about. The LASP description is very rigorous. I have just repeated [copy-paste at times] what they state.

  216. Here are some notes about the lunar nodal cycle. I’ve extracted them from my paper, “The Sun’s role in regulating the Earth’s climate” published recently in the Journal of Energy and Environment paper (VOLUME 20 No. 1 2009).
    By way of introduction, here is the Abstract of my paper:
    This paper introduces this thesis:
    The Sun-Earth system is electromagnetically, magneto-hydrodynamically and gravitationally coupled, dominated by significant non-linear, non-stationary interactions, which vary over time and throughout the three-dimensional structure of the Earth, its atmosphere and oceans. The essential elements of the Sun-Earth system are the solar dynamo, the heliosphere, the lunisolar tides, the Earth’s inner and outer cores, mantle, crust, magnetosphere, oceans and atmosphere. The Sun-Earth system is non-ergodic (i.e. characterised by continuous change, complexity, disorder, improbability, spontaneity, connectivity and the unexpected). Climate dynamics, therefore, are non-ergodic, with highly variable climatological features at any one time.
    A theoretical framework for considering the role of the Sun in relation to the Earth’s climate dynamics is outlined and ways in which the Sun affects climate reviewed. The forcing sources (independent variables) that influence climate processes (dependent variables) are analysed. This theoretical framework shows clearly the interaction effects between and amongst the two classes of variables. These seem to have the greatest effect on climate dynamics.
    Climate processes are interconnected and oscillating, yielding variable periodicities. Solar processes, especially when interacting, amplify or dampen these periodicities producing distinctive climatic cycles. As solar and climate processes are non-linear, non-stationary and non-ergodic, appropriate analytic methodologies are necessary to reveal satisfactorily solar/climate relationships.
    In this context, the Lunar Nodal Cycle is but one of the solar variables (arising from the Sun’s gravitational field) that has to be understood in order to understand fully the many ways by which the Sun regulates the climate of the Earth.
    The lunar nodal cycle and climate.
    The 18.6 year lunar nodal cycle (LNC) tidal periodicity has a pervasive role in climate change. It is the period of a full rotation of the Moon’s orbital plane around the ecliptic, the geometric plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. It is the clearest tidal signal in the thousands of time series analysed.
    The LNC encodes information about the Moon, Earth, Sun geometry that relates to tidal extremes, at least at high latitudes. It defines how the angle of the Moon’s orbit to the Earth’s equatorial plane combines with, or partially cancels out, the tilt in the Earth’s axis. From the perspective of an observer on the Earth, during the LNC the Moon moves along a northern latitude about ten degrees from a position about 18.5 degrees north of the equator to one that is 28.5 degrees, which it reaches after 18.6 years.
    The regular sequence of eclipses is a result of the regular, highly predictable rotation of the plane of the Moon’s orbit round the Earth. It has been known since ancient times that eclipses occurred in regular predictable cycles of a little more than 18 years. This period is known as the Saros cycle.
    Mazzarella and Palumba (1994) point out that bistable modes of oscillation with respect to time are well known in physical and engineering systems and have been extensively studied. This research from Physics and Engineering demonstrates that a sinusoidal force applied to any dynamic system induces sinusoidal periodicities in the system. Accordingly, the LNC induces bistable sinusoidal periodicities in the atmosphere (pressure, temperature and rainfall) and the ocean (temperature and sea level). The sinusoidal, highly stable 18.6 year LNC has a distinctive and significant effect on the Earth’s climate dynamics.
    The elongated tidal bulge necessarily continues to be aligned with the Moon as Figure 2 shows. The bulge moves to the northern (and southern) latitudes as the Moon moves northwards because of the LNC, being the furthest north it can get to at the 18.6 yr point. This last happened on September 16, 2006. Even though the amplitude of the LNC is at most 5 cm, a small tide over a long period has great power. The ocean currents generated by the northward movement of the tidal bulge, in conjunction with the rotation of the Earth through the bulges in the normal manner creating our experience of the tides, brings warmish equatorial water to the Arctic accelerating the warming that had being going on there because of other forms of solar activity as discussed below.
    The LNC has maximum effect at higher latitudes, resulting in higher sea levels at these latitudes. It creates tidal currents resulting in diapycnal mixing, bringing the warmer equatorial waters into the Arctic. The LNC is therefore a major determinant of Arctic climate dynamics, influencing long term fluctuations in Arctic ice. As a result, it is a key driver of European climate. Da Silva and Avissar (2005) showed that LNC is unambiguously correlated with the Arctic Oscillation since the 1960s. The authors explain how the LNC tidal forces contribute significantly to the regulation of the Arctic Oscillation, which is a major driver of climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere.
    Complex interaction effects between the lunar nodal cycle other solar variables and climate.
    The joint effects of the LNC and other solar variables illustrate that solar variables may interact to produce significant climate events, in this case the melting of the ice in the Arctic and higher sea surface temperatures at northern latitudes. In 2006 the LNC jointly with other solar activity during the preceding ten years provide an adequate explanation for the observed recent Arctic warming.
    1. Camp and Tung (2007c) established for the first time as statistically significant that the warm ENSO (i.e. El Niño) warms the Arctic. Moderate to very strong El Niño events occurred in the following years since 1972: 1972/3; 1977/78; 1982/83; 1986/88; 1991/92; 1993/94; 1994/95; 1997/98; 2002/03; and 2004/05. The El Niño event which began in early 1997 and continued for about one year was one of the strongest ever recorded, both in terms of sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific and atmospheric circulation anomalies reflected in the Southern Oscillation Index. The last El Niño event started in September 2006 and lasted until early 2007, occurring at precisely the same time as the peak of the LNC..
    2. Camp and Tung (2007a and 2007b) also revealed the surface pattern of warming caused by the Sun. Amongst other things, polar amplification is shown clearly with the largest warming in the Arctic (treble that of the global mean), followed by that of the Antarctic (double). Surprisingly, the warming over the polar region occurs during late winter and spring.
    3. Camp and Tung (2006) found that there is a significant relationship between polar warming and the sunspot cycle.
    4. Soon (2005) showed a statistically significant relationship between solar radiance and Arctic-wide surface air temperatures. Solar Cycle 23 peaked during 2000/01, having been preceded by the unusually strong 1997/98 El Niño.
    5. Shirochkov et al (2000) report that the extent of Arctic sea ice is largely a function of solar variability. The extent of Arctic sea ice varies directly with all measureable indices of variable solar activity. Specifically, solar wind plays a notable role in the variation of the extent of Arctic sea ice.
    6. The ice-albedo (i.e. reflectance) effect will amplify the increased melting of the sea ice resulting from the interaction of El Niño, solar irradiance and the LNC on the Arctic. The increased expanse of ocean warms further as it absorbs more solar irradiance. This will lead to more warming and more sea ice will melt. So the process would continue unless something intervened. Recent observations show Da Silva and Avissar (2005) showed that the LNC accelerates this warming processes. These processes enable a larger volume of liquid water to respond to the tidal forces. In addition, the changes in ocean stratification that follow improve the mixing efficiency.
    Since the Moon’s orbit is elliptical, there is a point when the Moon is closest to the Earth (the perigee) and a point where it is furthest (apogee). It is to be noted that the perigee (and therefore the apogee) is not constant. Both vary, largely because of the perturbing effect of the Sun. There is a 40 percent difference between the lunar tidal forces at the perigee and the apogee of the Moon’s orbit. The Moon moves faster at the perigee, and slower at the apogee. This means that tidal currents quicken as the Moon approaches the perigee of its orbit. They are slower at apogee. The Arctic Oscillation (AO) is regulated by the solar cycle in a non-linear manner. Heightened and weakened solar activity activates the large Rossby and Kelvin waves. The effects of these waves on atmospheric circulation are intensified by the creation of Ozone during times of increased solar activity. The AO is stronger with more zonal circulation over mid-latitudes, especially in the European-North Atlantic sector, and more variable during the peak of the solar cycle.
    The AO is also regulated by the peak 9.3 year and 18.6 year LNC tidal oscillations. The processes by which the effect occurs are different from those of variable solar activity. The tidal oscillation impacts on atmospheric circulation and on the large Rossby and Kelvin waves. It also impacts on the churning of the oceans. Nevertheless, the two solar processes interact amplifying each other’s contribution. The AO has a key role in Northern Hemisphere climate variability and its behaviour is largely the result of the interaction of the solar cycle and the 9.3 and 18.6 year LNC tidal oscillations. Berger (2007) found that solar modulation of the NAO is amplified by tidal cycles. He found that there is non-linear resonance between solar cycles and tidal cycles, especially the LNC and the perigean tidal cycle the effect of which is to amplify solar modulation of the NAO.
    References:
    Berger, W. H., 2007. Solar modulation of the North Atlantic Oscillation: Assisted by the tides? Quaternary International, 188, 24-30; doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.06.028.
    Camp, C. D., and Tung, Ka-Kit, 2006. The Influence of the Solar Cycle and QBO on the Late Winter Stratosphereic Polar Vortex. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences in press.
    Camp, C. D., and Tung, Ka-Kit, 2007a. Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean difference projection, Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 34, L14703, doi:10.1029/2007GL030207..
    Camp, C. D., and Tung, Ka-Kit, 2007b. Solar Cycle Warming at the Earth’s Surface and an Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity, submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research, and published by the University of Washington on Ka Kit Tung’s departmental website,

    http://www.amath.washington.edu/research/articles/Tung/journals/solar-jgr.pdf

    Camp, C. D., and Tung, Ka-Kit, 2007c. Stratospheric polar warming by ENSO in winter: a statistical study, Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 34, L14809, doi:10.1029/2006GL03028521..
    Da Silva, R. R., and Avissar, R., 2006. The impacts of the Luni-Solar Oscillation on the Artic Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L22703, doi:10.1029/2005GL023418,2005.
    Goldreich, Peter, 1972. Tides and the Earth-Moon System, Scientific American, 226, 4, pps 42-52.
    McCully, J. G., 2006. BEYOND THE MOON A Conversational, Common Sense Guide to Understanding the Tides. World Scientific, Singapore.
    Mazzarela, A. and Palumbo, A., 1994. The Lunar Nodal Induced-Signal in Climatic and Ocean Data over the Western Mediterranean Area and on its Bistable Phasing, Theoretical and Applied Climatology 50, 93-102.
    Shirochkov, A. V., Makarova, L .N. and Volobuev, D. M., 2000. The arctic sea ice extent as a function of solar variability, presentation to the first conference of S-RAMP (Solar- Terrestrial Energy Program, 1990-1997 Results, Applications and Modeling Phase; A fiveyear (1998-2002) effort to optimize the analysis of data obtained during the Solar-Terrestrial Energy Program, 1990-1997). The conference was held at Sapporo, Japan, October 2-6, 2000. See http://www.kurasc.kyoto-u.ac.jp/s-ramp/abstract/s18.txt
    Soon, W. W.-H., 2005. Variable solar irradiance as a plausible agent for multidecadal variations in the Arctic-wide surface air temperature for the past 130 years, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L16712, doi:10.1029/2005GL023429.

    NOTE: THE JPG IMAGES FOR FIGS 1 & 2 WON”T COPY
    Figure 1 follows:

    Figure 1. The Lunar Nodal Cycle
    The diagram is adapted from Goldreich (1972), page 49
    The Sun’s gravitational field makes the Moon’s Earthly orbit swivel around in a clockwise manner, over a cycle of 18.6 years, with respect to the plane of the Earth’s orbit, the ecliptic. The Moon moves with respect to the ecliptic up and down a northerly latitude throughout the LNC. This arises because the Earth is titled on it axis and inclined away from the Sun and because the Moon’s orbit is tilted a little relative to the ecliptic, It is as if the Sun strives to pull the plane of the Moon’s orbit into its own plane, the ecliptic. But there is an alternate motion at right angles to the applied force, resulting in a revolution of the pole of the Moon’s orbit around the pole of the ecliptic.

    Figure 2. Alignment of the tidal bulge (greatly exaggerated) with the Moon during the LNC
    The diagram is adapted from McCully (2006), Illustration 3-3, page 33 As the Moon moves in a northerly direction during the LNC, approaching a maximum of 28.5O, so does the tidal bulge.

    Here is the Abstract of a relevant paper only just published. The paper is:
    Yasuda, Ichiro (2009) “The 18.6-year period moon-tidal cycle in Pacific Decadal Oscillation reconstructed from tree-rings in western North America”, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L05605, doi:10.1029/2008GL036880, 2009.
    The Abstract reads:

    Time-series of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) reconstructed from tree-rings in Western North America is found to have a statistically significant periodicity of 18.6- year period lunar nodal tidal cycle; negative (positive) PDO tends to occur in the period of strong (weak) diurnal tide. In the 3rd and 5th (10th, 11th and 13rd) year after the maximum diurnal tide, mean-PDO takes significant negative (positive) value, suggesting that the Aleutian Low is weak (strong), western-central North Pacific in 30 50_N is warm (cool) and equator-eastern rim of the Pacific is cool (warm). This contributes to climate predictability with a time-table from the astronomical tidal cycle.

  217. Richard Mackey (19:23:31) :
    Here are some notes about the lunar nodal cycle. I’ve extracted them from my paper, “The Sun’s role in regulating the Earth’s climate” published recently in the Journal of Energy and Environment paper (VOLUME 20 No. 1 2009).

    What did the reviewers have to say about the paper? Did you have to clarify points or strengthen/soften the tone here and there?

  218. Leif: that is a fair question and I can summarize the situation along these lines.

    Reviewers made these major criticisms:
    The draft tends to ‘gild the lily’ regarding the thesis that the Sun affects our climate. More specifically, my draft did not include:
    • Any critical evaluation of the papers cited but seems to accept any reported finding as valid, often without reflecting the qualifications or hesitations of the original author(s). My draft appears to treat all the published papers cited as having equivalent and high validity.
    • Any papers reporting disconfirming findings or arguments about Sun/climate relationships;

    Additionally, my draft covered too broad a canvass and is therefore too thin at many critical points.

    However, there was general acknowledgement that the thesis of the paper – that one has to consider the totality of the ways in which the Sun might potentially affect our climate and any interactions between them, – was a useful contribution and worth publishing, given the above shortcomings. The general view seemed to be that the paper makes a good case for this thesis on the basis of the science cited, the analysis outlined and the framework introduced.

    Inclusion of the statement:
    “The maturity and degree of corroboration of science reviewed in this paper is variable. This is indicated to some extent by reference to publications which corroborate and/or develop the specific area under consideration. However, this paper does not evaluate the overall quality and/or durability of findings drawn upon to present overall conclusions.”

    went some way towards meeting the criticism that I treat all papers cited as if they are of equally high veracity.

    There was also criticism of my labouring of the ideas of “ergodicity” and “nonergodicity”.

    I had the privilege of discussing “ergodicity”, “nonergodicity”, and “randomness” with Demetris Koutsoyiannis at the EGU 2009 in Vienna in April.

    I think the gist of his argument is that randomness, entropy and the principles of thermodynamics are enough to explain phenomena; we don’t need the ideas of “ergodicity” or “nonergodicity”, whatever these might be considered to mean in the real world in which we live. I feel he is probably right and that I went a bit overboard on the use of the idea of “non-ergodicity by Douglass North who most likely was using it figuratively or metaphorically, not in any technical way.

    There was also criticism that I didn’t adequately deal with the very different nature of the all variables I talked about (whether independent or dependent).
    This criticism was dealt with by inclusion of this paragraph:
    “The variables are not of the same logical category. Some are one dimensional such as temperature, pressure, atmospheric angular momentum and measures of solar output whereas others are systems of equations or in more complex instances, best represented as mathematical models.”

    [In case some one says systems of equations are mathematical models, I should say that I meant by 'mathematical models' something more than just systems of equations (which are, of course, mathematical models); something more elaborate, perhaps ensembles of systems of equations, including numerical simulations].

    I suppose the general view was that on balance it was worth publishing as it does a reasonable job of bringing attention to the need to consider the totality of solar phenomena in relation to our climate, if one is to answer in a valid way, the question “Does the Sun affect climate?”

    The totality of solar phenomena is:
    • the variations in the quantity, intensity and distribution over the Earth of the solar output, including electromagnetic radiation, matter and the Sun’s electromagnetic field;
    • the variable gravitational force the Sun exerts on the Earth, the Moon and the Moon and the Earth as a system; and
    • interactions between these processes.

    From my point of view, I am aware of the paper’s shortcomings, but I do think it has merit. In addition, putting all that together as a hobby on top of the demands of a fulltime job, family and everything else in my own time at my own cost, is a big challenge and there is a limit to what one can do in a reasonable time.

    I hope others find my paper a useful stimulus to their forward thinking on this subject.

    I hope the debate about climate and the Sun will shift from the preoccupation with one or another variable, e.g. UV, Infrared, galactic cosmic rays, solar wind, electromagnetism, gravitation, to the consideration of the totality of all solar variables in relation to the totality of all climate variables and to all the interaction effects and in relation to time lags. Then we can have sensible discussions about the reasons for our planet’s climate dynamics.

    Richard

    PS: Earlier drafts had mistakes I had to correct, exaggerated statements I had to deleted, missed some papers worth citing that I had to read and cite, muddled confusions I hope I’ve cleared away and instances of serious misunderstandings I had to overcome, amongst (many) other things.

  219. Richard Mackey (04:49:34) :
    Reviewers made these major criticisms:
    The draft tends to ‘gild the lily’ regarding the thesis that the Sun affects our climate.

    I would add that you lean too much on Camp and Tung for the solar end. The lunar tides at least has the energy budget to have an influence, while the solar variation does not. My main criticism is that the whole field is too ‘disconnected’, having all kinds of different findings piled on top of on another. The usual method in a valid endeavor is the build on other’s results, but I see very little of that here [other than saying that others also find some relations]. Until that happens this field has not gotten off the ground.

  220. Pitched at a nice, introductory level:

    Benjamin F. Chao (2004). Earth rotational variations excited by geophysical fluids. International Very Long Base Line Interferometry (VLBI) Service (IVS) 2004 General Meeting Proceedings, p.38-46.

    html:

    http://ivs.nict.go.jp/mirror/publications/gm2004/chao/

    http://ivscc.gsfc.nasa.gov/publications/gm2004/chao

    pdf:
    ftp://ivscc.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/general-meeting/2004/pdf/chao.pdf

    Note: The graphics are lousy on the html pages.

    – –
    Overview with a treasure chest of references:

    R.S. Gross (2007). Earth Rotation Variations – Long Period. In: T. Herring & G. Schubert (eds.) Treatise on Geophysics, Volume 3, Geodesy, pp. 239-294.
    ftp://euler.jpl.nasa.gov/outgoing/EarthRotation_TOGP2007.pdf

    – –
    Towards simplicity:

    1.
    Harald Schmitz-Hubsch & Harald Schuh (1999). Seasonal and short-period fluctuations of Earth rotation investigated by wavelet analysis. Technical Report 1999.6-2 Department of Geodesy & Geoinformatics, Stuttgart University, p.421-432.

    http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/gi/research/schriftenreihe/quo_vadis/pdf/schmitzhuebsch.pdf

    Brilliant wavelet images – very high quality.
    Very nice writing – crystal-clear explanations.
    Worthy of thorough, comprehensive consumption, top-to-bottom.

    2.
    Y.H. Zhou, D.W. Zheng, & X.H. Liao (2001). Wavelet analysis of interannual LOD, AAM, and ENSO: 1997-98 El Nino and 1998-99 La Nina signals. Journal of Geodesy 75, 164-168.

    http://202.127.29.4/yhzhou/ZhouYH_2001JG_LOD_ENSO_wavelet.pdf

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu//abs/2001JGeod..75..164Z

    3.
    D. Zheng, X. Ding, Y. Zhou, & Y. Chen (2003). Earth rotation and ENSO events: combined excitation of interannual LOD variations by multiscale atmospheric oscillations. Global and Planetary Change 36, 89-97.
    (sorry – no free link found so far)

    – –
    Also noteworthy:

    Zhou YH, Yan XH, Ding XL, Liao XH, Zheng DW, Liu WT, Pan JY, Fang MQ, & He MX (2004). Excitation of non-atmospheric polar motion by the migration of the Pacific Warm Pool. Journal of Geodesy 78, 109-113.

    http://www.shao.ac.cn/yhzhou/ZhouYH_2004JG_PM_Warmpool.pdf

    http://202.127.29.4/yhzhou/ZhouYH_2004JG_PM_Warmpool.pdf

    – – –
    Important – Note to barycentre (& solar) enthusiasts:
    Beware the hazards of
    confounding.

  221. “I don’t think you know what you are talking about.”

    I have company. “absorptance” from their discription is Beer’s Law nomenclature, not Thermal Physics. The Law was developed at the end of the 18th century to aid astronomers in finding the absolute magnitude of stars from the apparent magnitude knowing the path through the atmosphere.

    The law is naive, ‘absorptance’ includes reflectance and scattering, all causes for the diminution of the signal. What and how measurement takes place is not specified in your “cut and paste”. Most of the discussion is taken up by efforts to maintain a reference and working detector.

    Your credulity regarding the understanding of other scientists is charming.

  222. I would agree with you, Lief, that the field of research about relationships between the Sun’s behaviour and our climate is disconnected. I can’t say whether this disconnectedness is any more or less pronounced than other areas of scientific research.

    I do know that research in many areas of scholarship (ie not only science and mathematics) is noticeably tunnel vision and hostile to outsiders.

    A dynamic builds up largely through conditions of employment, promotion and funding for professionals to become better and better at less and less. Employees don’t have the luxury of spreading their wings. Publish as much as possible, get cited as much as possible, get on funding gravy trains and stay there as long as possible are the dynamics throughout most areas of scholarship, probably most professions. Professionals doing well in their area of specialization tend to close ranks against outsiders; multidiciplinarians are seen as jacks of all trades and masters of none, despised jackals coming to take away goodies from the hard working specialists. Worse still, specialist professionals will join ranks to gang up on their common enemy – the generalist who dares to challenge the specialists’ cherished paradigms and certainties. Once the outsider has been repelled the specialists resume their research programs within their narrow specialisms with the understanding that they won’t encroach on each other.

    I note that Leif’s criticism that “the whole field is too ‘disconnected’, having all kinds of different findings piled on top of on another. The usual method in a valid endeavour is the build on other’s results, but I see very little of that here [other than saying that others also find some relations]” has been made before, most noticeably by one of the great minds of modern solar physics, John Wilcox, (see http://wso.stanford.edu/images/people/wilcox.html ) with whom Leif worked closely in his earlier years.

    In 1973 John Wilcox wrote:
    “An appreciable influence of solar activity on the weather is not widely accepted, and it is not in everyday use for forecasting purposes. The literature on the subject tends to be contradictory, and the work of the authors tends to be done in isolation. It is often difficult to compare the claims of one author against those of another. Many times an author starts from scratch, rather than building on the work of his predecessors in the classical pattern of science. A widely accepted physical mechanism has not yet emerged.”

    I thought it would be helpful to our understanding of this situation and of interest to the millions who frequent WUWT to reflect just a little on some history of the field so as to better understand this enduring problem of disconnectedness.

    The first major scientific effort to relate solar variability to climate was William Herschel’s two papers in 1801. At the time he was 63 and was acknowledged by all as Europe’s most distinguished Astronomer. He had held the appointment of the King’s Astronomer since 1782, was a Fellow of the Royal Society, which had awarded him the prestigious Copely Medal in 1781.

    I have studied his papers and am writing a short paper about his work.
    His two Sun/climate papers were careful, meticulous, full of qualifications and bubbling with excitement – as his papers to the Royal Society often were. They were first rate pieces of work. He had available Adam Smith’s huge tabulation of wheat prices. Adam Smith’s 1776 book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, included details of English wheat prices over 562 years from 1202 to 1764 compiled in the most careful manner. In contrast to this data, Herschel had rather flimsy solar activity data and he knew this.

    William Herschel’s language is wonderful!

    He wrote:
    “Since light and heat are so essential to our well-being, it must certainly be right for us to look into the source from whence they are derived, in order to see whether some material advantage may not be drawn from a thorough acquaintance with the causes from which they originate.”

    His observations showed that sometimes the Sun had more spots than others, sometime it had no spots. He concluded that the Sun’s output of ‘light and heat’ increased with the number of sunspots. He went over observational records since 1610 and identified five periods longer than two years in which no spots had been recorded. He reasoned that with no spots the Earth would receive less ‘light and heat’ and therefore be cooler.

    Herschel reasoned that if the climate cooled in response to diminished ‘light and heat’ from the spotless Sun, the wheat harvest would be reduced and accordingly, the price of wheat would rise. He further reasoned that the effect of variable solar output on vegetation would be similar to the tidal effect of the Sun and the Moon. That is, that in some parts of the world the tides are very high and very low and that the tidal phenomena vary around the world over time and in relation to latitude and longitude. He pointed out that even though there were these great variations, the tidal phenomena are universally the result of a single principle, the variable gravitation of the Sun and the Moon, as Newton had shown.

    Herschel applied his test to the five lean periods by tabulating the price of wheat for these periods.

    Herschel found, and reported to the Royal Society that, roughly speaking, the price of wheat in England was highest when sunspots were absent. He summed up his argument in this way:
    “The result of this review of the foregoing five periods is, that, from the price of wheat, it seems probable that some temporary scarcity or defect of vegetation has generally taken place, when the Sun has been without those appearances which we surmise to be the symptoms of a copious emission of light and heat.”

    Members of the Royal Society mocked him mercilessly. One member, Henry Brougham, then aged 25, who in October 1802 launched the Edinburgh Review, which was to become one of the most influential British magazines of the 19th century, made William Herschel the target of his mockery.
    In January 1803 in the second issue of the Edinburgh Review Brougham made his most vindictive of all comment about Herschel’s theory of a relationship between variable solar activity and the price of wheat. Henry Brougham wrote:
    “To the speculations of the Doctor on the nature of the Sun, contained in the last volume [of the Transactions of the Royal Society], we have many similar objections but they are eclipsed by the grand absurdity which he has committed in his hasty and erroneous theory concerning the influence of the solar spots on the price of grain.”

    Sir Joseph Banks, the President of the Royal Society, implored William Herschel to ignore the ‘darts’ of Henry Brougham, assuring William that “….nothing can affect and overturn truths and discoveries founded on experience and observation.”

    Henry Brougham would rise far in politics becoming Lord Chancellor and Baron Brougham in 1830, receiving a second peerage 30 years later.

    Interestingly, Pustilnik and Yom Din 2004 reported their analysis of records of the price of wheat in England from 1259 to 1702 in relation to the established sunspot record. They found that Herschel was right: the price of wheat was high in medieval England during periods when there were hardly any sunspots, and low during solar maxima.

    The following year Solar Physics published a second paper by the two authors extending their analysis to wheat prices in the US during the 20th century (Pustilnik and Yom Din 2005). The authors recorded their surprise, finding a relationship between numbers of sunspots and the price of wheat, just as Sir William hypothesised. The authors did not expect to see a sunspot connection due to modern technologies that make crops more robust in unfavourable weather, globalised markets, and the massive economic disruption that occurred during the two world wars. They reasoned that these factors should have cancelled out any variation in the data attributable to a sunspot effect. They surmise that the effect persists because 70% of US durum wheat grows in one part of North Dakota, where localised weather conditions could be expected to have a dramatic impact on total production.

    Jumping to the 19th Century, the topic of the Sun causing climate change was fashionable and main stream. William Jevons, who became a famous Economist, Logician and Statistician, claimed that variable solar activity was responsible for almost everything that changed on the face of the Earth. He introduced the idea of business cycles into our economic language: he attributed them to the Sun’s activity cycles.

    Towards the end of the 19th Century governments around the world were setting up national meteorological agencies. At that time, meteorologists were keen to understand weather and climate and devoted scarce resources to the search for explanations of the phenomena they were employed to predict. They embraced solar explanations.

    In 1898, one of the world’s leading meteorologists of the day, Professor Bigelow, wrote:
    “That there is a causal connection between the observed variations in the forces of the Sun, the terrestrial magnetic field, and the meteorological elements has been the conclusion of every research into this subject for the past 50 years.”
    See here, for example: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9E0DE4DB1631E733A2575BC2A9669D946797D6CF (aka http://tinyurl.com/odr8um )

    In the 1920s and 30s when it was still respectable for Government agencies to examine Sun/climate relationships, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology published two papers reporting that the Sun regulated our climate. One published in 1925 concluded that “The year 1914 was the culmination of what was in all probability the worst drought in Australian history” and attributed the drought to the weakness of Sunspot Cycle No. 14. In the other, published in 1938, the Bureau concluded:
    “A rough generalisation from the winter rainfall over northern Victoria would suggest that when the new solar cycle begins with a rapid rise to a definite peak then the heaviest rains are in the early years, but when the solar activity begins more gradually and takes four or more years to reach a low or moderate maximum, then comparatively poor seasons may be expected in the early part.” (Details can be found in my paper, Mackey 2007, available here:
    http://www.griffith.edu.au/conference/ics2007/pdf/ICS176.pdf )

    The low amplitude forecast for Solar Cycle 24 is that it will be the same as Solar Cycle 14. On the basis of the BoM’s early research this suggests another Federation drought for Australia beginning in the next year or two and poor seasons in northern Victoria. I wonder if the BoM of today would take this hypothesis seriously enough to allocate scarce resources to it.

    In 1972, the distinguished scientist, Edward Bowen (see http://www.science.org.au/academy/memoirs/bowen.htm ) reported that in relation to these two BoM reports (see Bowen, 1975): “Other workers (Deacon and Das, private communication) have since extended these data to the 1950s, that is, for another 30 yr, and the relationship stands up”.

    Dr Bowen also reported that the march of the high and low pressure systems around the poles as a result of solar activity first identified by the BoM in the 1920s could be used to improve the accuracy of long term weather forecasting.

    A couple of generations after the pioneering research of the 1920s, the government meteorological agencies seem to have been lobotomised: explanatory-type research was generally prohibited and those that dabbled ostracised. Weather bureaux concentrated on getting good measurements of meteorological variables and forecasting by statistical analyses of them. Even research into the major oceanic/atmospheric oscillations, which are usually the proximal cause of weather, was heavily discouraged by the mandarins who controlled the weather bureaux.

    Neville Nicholls, an Australian scientist employed for most of his professional life in Australia’s BoM who pioneered the BoM’s study of ENSO, pointed out that the BoM’s management took many decades of convincing before acknowledging in the 1990s that ENSO was a worthwhile subject of study for meteorological purposes (see Nicholls 2005).

    Interestingly, Nicholls also reports the following:
    “Throughout the atmospheric sciences in the middle decades of the twentieth century, climatology was “neither respected nor valued” (quoting from P. J. Lamb, “The Climate Revolution: A Perspective”, Climate Change, Vol 54, 2002, pps 11 – 28). According to Kenneth Hare, “only the old, the halt, and the infirm could be appointed to the climatological branch; the able-bodied men were expected to be forecasters” (quoting from F. K. Hare, “Dynamic and Synoptic Climatology”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol 35, 1955, pps 152 – 162). Climatology was regarded as “mere book-keeping….. to be posted to the climatological branch of a national weather service was like being made an intelligence officer, or a lighthouse keeper; it was a terminal appointment” (quoting from F. K. Hare, “The Concept of Climate” Geography, Vol 51, 1966, pps 99 – 110)”.

    As I read the history of national weather services, after WWII management had a very narrow focus of operational meteorology. Unlike the earlier period, there was no interest in trying to understand the phenomena, there was little interest in long term predictions and any attempt to think outside the square of management’s paradigm was to risk dismissal. Management was not strategic, but obsessed with operational agendas. The persistence of this ingrained thinking may help explain the refusal of national weather services in Australia, the UK, the USA, Canada and NZ to resume research about Sun/climate relationships. In contrast, the national weather services of Russia and Japan maintain active and highly effective research programs in this field.

    In 1972 one of the world’s leading meteorologists, Andrei Monin, wrote:
    “The greatest attention should be devoted to the question of whether there is a connection between the Earth’s weather and fluctuations in solar activity. [emphasis in original]. The presence of such a connection would be almost a tragedy for meteorology, since it would evidently mean that it would first be necessary to predict the solar activity in order to predict the weather; this would greatly postpone the development of scientific methods of weather prediction. Therefore, arguments concerning the presence of such a connection should be viewed most critically.”

    By the time Jack Eddy published his papers in the mid 1970s about the role of the Sun, the field was no longer fashionable and Eddy’s thesis suffered a fate not unlike William Herschel’s.

    Nevertheless science marches on! An increasing quantity and quality of papers continued to be published supporting the hypothesis that the Sun regulates our climate.

    A NASA organised conference in 1973 (at which Leif Svalgaard presented a significant paper) surveyed the entire area of Sun/climate research. The conference proceedings (Bandeen and Maran, 1975) outlined a framework which could guide future research. It included solar radiation, solar plasma and the Sun’s electromagnetic field and the complex structures created by solar activity in the Heliosphere (itself one of those structures) which could have climate consequences.

    In 1978 NASA published a comprehensive review of Sun, climate and weather relationships (Herman and Goldberg 1978). John Wilcox wrote the following in his foreword to the book:
    “’A growing mass of evidence suggests that transient events on the Sun affect our weather and long-term variations of the Sun’s energy output affect out climate Solar terrestrial exploration can help establish the physical cause and effect relationships between solar stimuli and terrestrial responses. When these relationships are understood, science will have an essential tool for weather and climate prediction.’ This paragraph, written by Robert D. Chapman as part of a proposal for a fiver-year plan fro Solar Terrestrial Programs in NASA, is an indication of the present status of Sun-weather/climate investigations.”

    It is to be noted that neither NASA publication addressed the role of the Sun’s gravitational field in the regulation of the Earth’s climate.

    The developments in solar physics during the 1970s and 80s must have greatly aggravated the meteorologists’ nightmares so eloquently described by Andrei Monin.

    Within a few years two prominent meteorologists, John Houghton (UK) and Bert Bolin (Sweden) joined the evil Maurice Strong to create the hideous, post-modern Golem of AGW/GHGs that is now on the cusp of destroying the world’s advanced democratic societies and sophisticated economies, as Maurice Strong originally and publicly intended.

    For the meteorologists, the deal with Maurice Strong was that solar physics hypothesis would be buried so that meteorology would not become subservient to solar physics, but rather would be positioned to be indispensible to the governments of the world thus assuring meteorology a permanent place on the funding table of benevolent governments. In return, the meteorologists would give Strong’s environmental global domination agenda a veneer of scientific respectability with some plausibly sounding science and the elaborate climate computer-based models that meteorologists developed for their craft.

    Returning to solar physics for the moment, the two NASA publications mentioned above provided a framework, which if followed, would end the disconnectedness in Sun/climate research reported by Lief and by John Wilcox more than 35 years before.

    Inexplicably, the framework is ignored by some prominent solar physicists.
    Thus the two distinguished solar physicists, Mike Lockwood and Claus Frohlich, ignore it totally in their mischievous papers published by the Royal Society in 2007/08.

    These papers ignore the substantial findings about the role of the Sun’s plasma output and numerous heliospheric topology variables in generating the Earth’s climate dynamics (heliospheric variables include heliospheric structures (Heliospheric Current Sheet structure (inclination; homogeneity; thickness; current density); the Interplanetary Magnetic Field structure; open and closed fluxes; solar wind, Coronal Mass Ejections, Solar Proton Events; interplanetary counterparts of CMEs; Alfvenic waves; magnetic field directional turnings; pressure balanced structures; magnetic ropes and clouds (chilarity); and corotating interaction regions); solar polarity (dipole to multipole); solar hemispheric asymmetries; solar-terrestrial magnetic field orientation (parallel, antiparallel); solar-terrestrial orientation; Helioid; and Helioid-Geoid orientation. For an entrée into this world of science see the university website of Brian Tinsley, Professor of Physics at the University of Texas, Dallas:
    http://www.utdallas.edu/nsm/physics/faculty/tinsley.html )

    Lockwood and Frohlich ignore completely the established findings about the role of the gravitational fields of the Sun and the Moon in the regulation of the Earth’s climate. Because of this and other glaring errors in their papers, the Royal Society should not have published them. But not only did the Royal Society publish them, the Royal Society triumphantly editorialised that the papers prove that “the Earth’s surface air temperature does not respond to the solar cycle” and, as if Henry Brougham was still writing for the Royal Society, the blurb on the website of the Proceedings of the Royal Society states in relation to the Lockwood and Frohlich papers, the truth about global warming! The sun is not a factor in recent climate change!

    Why would two of the world’s leading solar physicists author papers so blatantly incomplete? Why would a once esteemed scientific society make such a blatantly false announcement? As is usually the case, when lies are told it is inevitably the teller of the lies who is the most deceived. It is most unfortunate in the extreme that there is no one in the Royal Society (or in any leadership position in science in the UK, Australia or the USA) of the calibre and integrity of Sir Joseph Banks who was able to minimise the rabid nonsense of Henry Brougham.

    More recently on May 7, 2008 as WUWT recently listed, NASA issued a press release quoting NASA’s Robert Cahalan, Head, Climate & Radiation Branch with news that “about 1,361 watts per square meter of solar energy reaches Earth’s outermost atmosphere during the sun’s quietest period. But when the sun is active, 1.3 watts per square meter (0.1 percent) more energy reaches Earth.” “This TSI measurement is very important to climate models that are trying to assess Earth-based forces on climate change,” Robert Cahalan said. There is no mention at all of established relationships between other solar variables and climate. It is as if NASA has dementia and all the work in the above mentioned NASA publications of 1978 and 1975, which has in the intervening 30 years advanced enormously, is lost to NASA’s corporate memory. Why is this?

    It is customary in scientific research when trying to understand some phenomena to consider all relevant variables that might have a role and which a scientist can investigate. It is customary when doing so to use the notions of independent and dependent variables,
    (see http://www.viswiki.com/en/Dependent_and_independent_variables )

    Yet this way of thinking is totally absent in the science of climate dynamics; it is scarcely used in the study of solar-terrestrial relationships. Why is this?
    If it was fully utilised in these two fields of inquiry the disconnectedness noted by Lief (and before him by John Wilcox) might finally vanish.

    References:
    BANDEEN, W. R. and MARAN, S. P., 1975. Symposium on Possible Relationships between Solar Activity and Meteorological Phenomena Proceedings of a Symposium held November 7 8, 1973 at the Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt Md.: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA SP 36.
    Bigelow, F. H., 1898. “Solar and Terrestrial Magnetism in their relations to Meteorology”, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau, Bulletin No. 21. [quoted by Wilcox 1975].
    Bowen, Edward G., 1975. “Kidson’s relation between sunspot number and the movement of high pressure systems in Australia” paper in Bandeen and Maran 1975 pps 43 – 45.
    Brougham, Henry, 1803. “Art. XV. Observations on the two lately discovered Celestial Bodies By William Herschel, L.L.D. F.R.S. From Phil. Trans. RS 1802”. Edinburgh Review Vol 1 pps 426 – 431, January 1803.
    Herman, John R., and Goldberg, Richard A., Sun, Weather, and Climate National Aeronautics and Space Administration 1978.
    Herschel, W., 1801. “Observations tending to investigate the Nature of the Sun, in order to find the Causes or Symptoms of its variable Emission of Light and Heat; with Remarks on the Use that may possibly be drawn from Solar Observations”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, pps 265 to 301; Read April 16, 1801.
    Herschel, W., 1801. “Additional Observations tending to investigate the Symptoms of the variable Emission of the Light and Heat of the Sun; with Trials to set aside darkening Glasses, by transmitting the Solar Rays through Liquids; and a few Remarks to remove Objections that might be made against some of the Arguments contained in the former Paper”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, pps 354 to 363; Read May 14, 1801.
    KIDSON, E., 1925. Some Periods in Australian Weather. Research Bulletin No. 17 Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne.
    Lockwood, M. and Frohlich, C. 2007 “Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature” Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences June 2007.
    See http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/content/h844264320314105/fulltext.pdf
    Lockwood, M. and Fröhlich, C. 2008. Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature. II. Different reconstructions of the total solar irradiance variation and dependence on response time scale Proc. Roy. Soc. A, 464 (2094) , 1367-1385 , 2008.
    Lockwood, M. 2008. Recent changes in solar outputs and the global mean surface temperature. III. Analysis of contributions to global mean air surface temperature rise Proc. Roy. Soc. A, 464 (2094), 1387-1404, 2008.
    Mackey, R., 2007 Rhodes Fairbridge and the idea that the solar system regulates the Earth’s climate. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 50 (Proceedings of the 9th International Coastal Symposium), 955 – 968. Gold Coast, Australia.
    Monin, Andrei, 1972. Weather Forecasting as a Problem in Physics. MIT Press. [quoted by Wilcox 1975].
    Nicholls, N. 2005. “Climatic Outlooks: from revolutionary science to orthodoxy” a chapter in Sherratt, T., Griffiths, T., and Robin, L. A Change in the Weather – Climate and Culture in Australia. National Museum of Australia Press 2005.
    Pustilnik, L. and Yom Din, G., 2004. “Influence of solar activity on state of wheat market in medieval England”, Solar Physics, v. 223, Numbers 1-2, pps 335-356.
    Pustilnik, L. and Yom Din, G., 2005. “Space Climate Manifestation in Earth Prices – from Medieval England up to Modern U.S.A.” Solar Physics v 224 Numbers 1-2, pps 473-481.
    QUAYLE, E. T., 1925. Sunspots and Australian Rainfall. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria New Series, 37 Part 2, 131 143.
    QUAYLE, E. T., 1938. Australian Rainfall in Sunspot Cycles. Research Bulletin No. 22 Bureau of Meteorology Melbourne.
    Wilcox, J. 1975. “Solar Activity and the Weather” paper in Bandeen and Maran 1975 pps 25 – 38.

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