NCAR spots the “transistor effect” – Small solar activity fluctuations amplify to larger climate influences

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/images/blankyear/midi512_blank_2001.gifhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/Transistor_npn.svg/581px-Transistor_npn.svg.pnghttp://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect16/full-20earth2.jpg

Some months back, I mentioned that I felt the sun-earth connection was much like a transistor. This new NCAR study suggests this may be the case where small solar variances are amplified in the earth atmosphere-ocean system.

From EurekAlert

Small fluctuations in solar activity, large influence on the climate

Sun spot frequency has an unexpectedly strong influence on cloud formation and precipitation

Our sun does not radiate evenly. The best known example of radiation fluctuations is the famous 11-year cycle of sun spots. Nobody denies its influence on the natural climate variability, but climate models have, to-date, not been able to satisfactorily reconstruct its impact on climate activity.

Researchers from the USA and from Germany have now, for the first time, successfully simulated, in detail, the complex interaction between solar radiation, atmosphere, and the ocean. As the scientific journal Science reports in its latest issue, Gerald Meehl of the US-National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and his team have been able to calculate how the extremely small variations in radiation brings about a comparatively significant change in the System “Atmosphere-Ocean”.

Katja Matthes of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, and co-author of the study, states: „Taking into consideration the complete radiation spectrum of the sun, the radiation intensity within one sun spot cycle varies by just 0.1 per cent. Complex interplay mechanisms in the stratosphere and the troposphere, however, create measurable changes in the water temperature of the Pacific and in precipitation”.

Top Down – Bottom up

In order for such reinforcement to take place many small wheels have to interdigitate. The initial process runs from the top downwards: increased solar radiation leads to more ozone and higher temperatures in the stratosphere. “The ultraviolet radiation share varies much more strongly than the other shares in the spectrum, i.e. by five to eight per cent, and that forms more ozone” explains Katja Matthes. As a result, especially the tropical stratosphere becomes warmer, which in turn leads to changed atmospheric circulation. Thus, the interrelated typical precipitation patterns in the tropics are also displaced.

The second process takes place in the opposite way: the higher solar activity leads to more evaporation in the cloud free areas. With the trade winds the increased amounts of moisture are transported to the equator, where they lead to stronger precipitation, lower water temperatures in the East Pacific and reduced cloud formation, which in turn allows for increased evaporation. Katja Matthes: “It is this positive back coupling that strengthens the process”. With this it is possible to explain the respective measurements and observations on the Earth’s surface.

Professor Reinhard Huettl, Chairman of the Scientific Executive Board of the GFZ (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres) adds: “The study is important for comprehending the natural climatic variability, which – on different time scales – is significantly influenced by the sun. In order to better understand the anthropogenically induced climate change and to make more reliable future climate scenarios, it is very important to understand the underlying natural climatic variability. This investigation shows again that we still have substantial research needs to understand the climate system”. Together with the Alfred Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research and the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum the GFZ is, therefore, organising a conference “Climate in the System Earth” scheduled for 2./3. November 2009 in Berlin.

###
Meehl, G.A., J.M. Arblaster, K. Matthes, F. Sassi, and H. van Loon (2009), Amplifying the Pacific climate system response to a small 11 year solar cycle forcing, Science, 325, 1114-1118.
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186 Responses to NCAR spots the “transistor effect” – Small solar activity fluctuations amplify to larger climate influences

  1. Curiousgeorge says:

    Dominos. Or could it be “sensitive dependence on initial conditions”? Interesting.

  2. timetochooseagain says:

    This basically just confirms Nir Shaviv’s “calorimeter” paper. It isn’t Earth shattering but it’s good to see that the solar influence is being looked at in a more sophiticated manner. Up until now it’s just been “The GCM’s don’t show it, so it doesn’t exist.”

  3. Mark Bowlin says:

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see the standard disclaimer at the end: “Although this research indicates alternate influences on the climate, it doesn’t change the fact that Mark’s pickup truck is responsible for the death spiral of the arctic.”

  4. Tom in Florida says:

    “This investigation shows again that we still have substantial research needs to understand the climate system”.

    Yes we do indeed. Are you listening Al?

  5. DaveE says:

    Mark Bowlin (13:39:36) :

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see the standard disclaimer at the end: “Although this research indicates alternate influences on the climate, it doesn’t change the fact that Mark’s pickup truck is responsible for the death spiral of the arctic.”

    Yep, you just missed it…

    In order to better understand the anthropogenically induced climate change and to make more reliable future climate scenarios, it is very important to understand the underlying natural climatic variability.

    :-P

    DaveE.

  6. Mark Bowlin says:

    Dave E.

    Rats. I thought there was promise in this one.

  7. Retired Engineer says:

    Hah! I knew that extra UV had to do something.

    I suspect it has a lot to do with interactions of cyclic patterns on the Earth, because we don’t see a regular pattern (about 11 or 22 years) of swings in the climate. So, depending on the state of the PDO, a bunch of other stuff, and the number of birds on the roof, sunspots change things. Sometimes.

    The debate isn’t over, it’s hardly begun.

  8. pyromancer76 says:

    This makes intiutive sense to me. I look forward to (real) scientists and engineers weighing in. Leif, what are your thoughts?

    Have Prof. Richard Huettl of the GFZ, Alfred Wegener IPMP, Senckenberg RI, and the Natural History Museum invited contributors from WUWT? If not, can we contribute to send a few “delegates”?

  9. DaveE says:

    Mark Bowlin (13:57:21) :

    Actually Mark, there is promise & what they say is true.

    The better understand(ing of) the anthropogenically induced climate change from understand(ing) the underlying natural climatic variability, may lead them to the conclusion that the former is insignificant.

    DaveE.

  10. Steve Hempell says:

    Mark Bowen: Dave E

    Here is your disclaimer I think
    Last sentence of paper:

    “This response also cannot be used to explain recent global warming because the 11-year solar cycle has not shown a measurable trend over the past 30 years.”

  11. P Walker says:

    Tom in Florida : (13:40:45) – ” substantial research ” requires substantial funding .

  12. jae says:

    Wow! Interesting work.

    Add the possible cosmic ray effects and “iris” effects, and maybe we don’t really need CO2, anymore.

    “interdigitate” is a new one for me.

  13. Michael says:

    Looks like a flux capacitor

  14. Stephen Wilde says:

    An interesting post because it is a look at the Earth energy flow system as a coherent whole which is just what I have been doing for the past 18 months.

    However it goes along with the predomimant current view in both warmist and sceptic camps that the driving forces originate in the air.

    My view is that that is not possible. The oceans control the air at all times.

    There are the following objections to this post:

    1) There is no clear 11 year climate cycle which must follow from the proposition that there is amplification of the sunspot variations in each cycle.
    Leif Svalgaard’s points about the smallness of solar variability on that time scale are convincing to me. It takes a run of several weaker or stronger cycles to make a significant difference to total energy input to the oceans such that a background warming or cooling trend can be established and even that is frequently hidden behind a complex oceanic variability with cycles operating separately in each major body of water and often supplementing or offsetting each other and solar variations.

    2) They correctly refer to changed circulations in the air bur fail to note that the most significant such shifts follow and do not lead oceanic changes. For example the main observed shifts in global temperature trends and the shifts in the latitudinal position of all the air circulation systems always follow the 25 to 30 year shifts in the phase of the oceans (especially the Pacific – usually referred to as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation).

    3) Just as with the AGW warmers they rely on a positive feedback. In this case they call it ‘positive back coupling’ as opposed to the water vapour feedback process of the warmers. The trouble is that all observations show that the climate system is always sharply negative otherwise the long term stability we see would have been lost long ago.

    All the above problems and many others can be dealt with by noting the simple real world observation that it is the oceans which change the rate at which energy is released to the air and that drives everything else we see in terms of weather and both global and regional climate shifts.

    I don’t see anyone seriously denying either the PDO phase shifts or the climate response. There are similar climate responses to individual ENSO events but they are less easily discernible amongst the background chaotic variability of weather.

    Nor do I see any evidence that climate changes happen first and the oceans follow.

    I really cannot understand the persistence of the view that all one has to do is change something in the air to change the Earth’s climate. Any warmist or sceptic ideas that rely on that proposition are being discredited daily by ongoing observations.

  15. Jeff in Ctown says:

    OK, well how do we rationalize this with the fact that the sun was much weaker when it was young. If 0.1% has that much effect, how much effect does 1% or 10% have (I don’t know how much weaker it was, but read an article here about it a week or so ago)?

  16. Peter says:

    Yet another reason to put a hold on all carbon legislation, bin the current GCM models, and start from scratch collecting good data and building models openly verified on empirical evidence.

  17. Stephen Wilde says:

    It’s not a ‘transistor effect’

    It is a ‘resistor effect’ as I explained in another thread:

    “Solar energy is always entering and leaving the oceans. The amount of energy contained by the oceans is simply a function of how long the oceans slow down the release of the energy received. The longer it is retained the higher the ocean energy content and the higher the temperature. If the solar energy were passing through the oceans with no delay at all then there would be no heat energy in the oceans, the oceans would have long ago frozen solid or would have been evaporated to space because there would be no hydrological cycle either.

    I have no difficulty envisaging that the oceans themselves (possibly over very long time scales in a number of overlapping cycles) vary the speed of transmission of solar energy through those oceans before it is released to the air. If the ocean temperature is a function of the speed of transmission of energy (rather than the absolute quantity of that energy) then that largely decouples the small solar variations from climate changes except over even longer periods of time (several centuries).

    A constant current through a resistor will result in different amounts of heat being produced depending on the efficiency of the resistor.

    There is no need for the oceans to be ‘holding’ any energy. All they need to do is accelerate or decelerate the release of energy to the air and that results in temperature changes largely independent of solar variations.

    The higher the input and the lower the output the higher will be the ocean energy content and thus the temperature at any given time and vice versa.

    Furthermore when the oceans release energy faster as in El Nino conditions the air warms but the oceans are in the process of losing energy unless it is being replaced even faster.

    Faster release of energy to the air implies that the oceans have become a less effective resistor and less heat is produced within the oceans. Slower release of energy to the air implies that the oceans have become a more effective resistor and more heat is produced within the oceans.

    But the air warms as the seas cool and the air cools as the sea warms”

  18. David Ball says:

    This is old, so if anyone can shed further light , I am open to it: A.E. Douglas showed that prairie drought cycles followed solar cycles pretty closely. Correlation isn’t causation, but sometimes it is. Great post Anthony, and I like the transistor analogy, but was wondering if, due to the mitigating capacity of the oceans, it would be more like a resistor? Once again, I am open to correction. This can be a humbling website to those of us who are smart enough to know we are dumb. All humans are dumb, but what scares me most are people who are too dumb to know they are dumb.

  19. Tenuc says:

    Retired Engineer (13:57:30) :
    “Hah! I knew that extra UV had to do something.”

    Me too… Although I suspect this is only one small piece of the jigsaw. The effect of varying solar ion stream, changing magnetic field, degree of cosmic ray bombardment etc. must also have an effect on our chaotic climate system.

    Much more work to be done before we can even get close to understanding climate, let alone predicting what will happen in the future. This shows a ‘time-out’ is needed before G8 agree to global Cap & Trade.

  20. DaveF says:

    The article states “Nobody denies its influence on the natural climate variability….”

    I seem to have seen it stated categorically on many occasions that the sunspot cycle couldn’t possibly have any effect on the climate. Usually stated in a curt and dismissive manner!

  21. Lance says:

    And I thought it was CO2!!!

    When is all said and done, and we get the ‘alarmism’ out of this BS, we will find that we knew very little about what/how our climate is affected. Maybe this whole AGW issue will at least put forward many articles that will all contribute to the overall knowledge and get down to some REAL climate issues and how and why they occur.

  22. FatBigot says:

    It was worth reading this article just to enjoy “interdigitate” (And to learn that NASCAR does things other than race cars).

  23. Hank says:

    Thank goodness we have a new metaphor – the transistor. That damn greenhouse metaphor is so 19th century.

  24. Stan says:

    “This can be a humbling website to those of us who are smart enough to know we are dumb. All humans are dumb, but what scares me most are people who are too dumb to know they are dumb.”

    Hang on ….. I know I’m dumb – does that mean I’m smart?

    Me ‘ed ‘urts.

  25. Allen63 says:

    Because of “inertia” (heat capacity) in the system, temperatures do not follow an 11 year cycle, I find. However, the actual temperature cycle can be reproduced fairly closely since roughly 1850 using only “sunspot variability” (mechanism unknown) and volcanic eruptions as drivers — according to a simple physical model I created for my own edification.

    So, I am open minded to studies like this one because they support what I tentatively believe plausible. Still, they may be wrong to a greater or lesser degree for all I know.

  26. Ron says:

    “Small fluctuations in solar activity, large influence on the climate”

    “In order to better understand the anthropogenically induced climate change”

    One almost gets the impression that the researchers are covering their PC tracks as the two statements suggest great potential for obvious contradictions. After all if they stand behind their research, the enevitable conclusion is that the measure of the anthropogenic componet of the recent warming would have to be diminished as a result. . .possibly significantly.

    In this case it really is a zero sum calculation.

  27. Smokey says:

    FatBigot (15:54:36):

    Not NASCAR, NCAR!

    But you already knew that, Mr Prestidigitator.

  28. Retired Engineer (13:57:30) : ‘Hah! I knew that extra UV had to do something.’
    Tenuc (15:16:26) : “Me too… Although I suspect this is only one small piece of the jigsaw. The effect of varying solar ion stream, changing magnetic field, degree of cosmic ray bombardment etc. must also have an effect on our chaotic climate system.”

    That’s my thought, too. I’m especially interested in the swings in ionosphere temperature. Though extremely diffuse, the temperatures therein range from 500°K to 1500°K from solar minimum to solar maximum, a 28-to-1 swing relative to radiative capability. I’ve wondered about the similarity to a triode previously:

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=99&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=jorgekafkazar&start=45

    11 Mar 2009 07:42 pm: “It’s almost like in a triode, where small changes in the voltage of the grid have an amplified effect on the total current, cathode to anode. The analogy breaks down rather quickly, but it’s still intriguing.”

  29. Snowguy716 says:

    I found this post to be very interesting. I am beginning to wonder if changes in solar radiation have a significant effect on the PDO. I’ve looked at PDO reconstructions from the past 300 or so years and I’ve noticed that the intensity of PDO cycles tends to positively correlate with stronger solar activity. It would make sense, then, that the PDO was unusually negative at mid-century and unusually positive towards the end.

    I would assume, then, that the intensity of the PDO will greatly diminish as we enter a period of relative quiet from the sun. Without some other effect (like large volcanic eruptions in the tropics), El Niños and La Niñas will become weaker over time as well.

  30. Mark Hugoson says:

    Calling Dr. Svensmark…Dr. Svensmark to the operating room… STAT!

  31. Geoff Sharp says:

    Are you reading this part clearly Leif? Shoots holes in your argument on another thread.

    “In order for such reinforcement to take place many small wheels have to interdigitate. The initial process runs from the top downwards: increased solar radiation leads to more ozone and higher temperatures in the stratosphere. “The ultraviolet radiation share varies much more strongly than the other shares in the spectrum, i.e. by five to eight per cent, and that forms more ozone” explains Katja Matthes. As a result, especially the tropical stratosphere becomes warmer, which in turn leads to changed atmospheric circulation. Thus, the interrelated typical precipitation patterns in the tropics are also displaced.”

    Its plainly not all about TSI minor variances.

  32. a jones says:

    Nope. You have to be really smart to realise how dumb you are.

    Part of the human condition I am afraid.

    Kindest Regards

  33. Queen1 says:

    FatBigot,
    My eyes did the NASCAR thing too, but then they do something with your nickname every time that makes me shake my head and go, “Huh?” Happens every time; you’d think my brain would learn.

  34. Mike Ramsey says:

    Creative ideas are always logical in hindsight. This is some great research.

    Mike Ramsey

  35. Mike Jonas says:

    I was getting ready to be the party pooper as I read the article, but was then delighted to find it greeted here with a liberal dose of caution, even cynicism.

    Stephen Wilde – Thank you for those two posts, you have said it all (well, nearly all) and saved me a lot of time.

  36. M. Simon says:

    Stephen Wilde (14:53:21),

    I see electrical engineering is not your strong point.

    1. What you are looking for is capacitance not resistance.
    2. A fixed resistor at constant current delivers a fixed amount of heat. Resistors are 100% efficient in converting electrical power to heat. P = I^2 * R

  37. M. Simon says:

    As to the transistor analogy:

    Bipolar, MOSFET, JFET, IGBT, or something else?

    any idea what the gm is? And if bipolar, the beta or alpha. And what is the alpha cut off frequency? And if we are going to get really picky how about the Noise Figure as applied? And just to go totally obscure on you – the Miller effect.

  38. DaveE says:

    Stephen Wilde (14:53:21) :

    A constant current through a resistor will result in different amounts of heat being produced depending on the efficiency of the resistor.

    Being a sceptic doesn’t make me accept bad science!

    Depending upon what you mean by heat…

    1) Energy. the energy dissipation will be the same, no matter what.
    2) Temperature. Yes, varying efficiency of energy dissipation will lead to different temperatures. (A good heat sink will dissipate energy more efficiently and at a lower temperature)

    This is why the use of the correct terminology is so vital. Heat ain’t energy, it’s the transfer of energy.

    Incidentally, the heating would be the same in both above scenarios, only the temperature would change.

    DaveE.

  39. Steamboat McGoo says:

    re: Stephen Wilde (14:53:21) :

    “A constant current through a resistor will result in different amounts of heat being produced depending on the efficiency of the resistor.”

    What? That statement makes no sense.

  40. Robert Wood says:

    Steve Hempell (14:19:42) :

    “This response also cannot be used to explain recent global warming because the 11-year solar cycle has not shown a measurable trend over the past 30 years”

    I like the insoucience of this statement.

    But over 300 years? And over the past two years?

    However, it allows the authors to keep the funding coming

  41. stumpy says:

    So some acceptance of the amplified solar influence paleo-climate data has always indicated.

    Its a move in the right direction. No indiacation of the aplification factor though, but if its 5-10x than co2 becomes a small bit player.

    This highlights:
    A) Climate models are simply force fitted and have no predictive skill
    B) The anthropogenic influence is exaggerated
    C) We know far to little to make financially damamging decisions yet

  42. suricat says:

    Nice to see a post on my favourite subject of sunspots, UV and climate bias Anthony.

    Guys, it isn’t a transistor effect, a resistor effect, or even a thermistor type reaction. If I would offer an electronic equivalent name it would be an atmospheric ‘band pass filter’ that periodically accentuates ocean temperatures.

    BTW. I liked the NASCAR pun. Those guys probably are just as well equipped in the tech field to deal with climate.

    Best regards, suricat.

  43. cbullitt says:

    What? The Sun has something to do with Earth’s temperature? Preposterous! Sacrilege!
    Oh, thought this was real climate. Bwuhahahahaha.

  44. D.T. says:

    Additional info from the same place:

    National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

    News Release, August 27, 2009

    Scientists Uncover Solar Cycle, Stratosphere, and Ocean Connections

    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/solarcycle2.jsp

  45. The first thing I learned in college, fresh out of high school, is just how massively “dumbed down” EVERYTHING was that I had been taught previously – not the fault of my excellent teachers, because if they didn’t “dumb it down”, of course, the teaching of it would take far too much time. And that’s the problem today – everyone thinks “science” has the “answers” when actually, we haven’t even begun to ask the proper questions, especially for a subject as insanely complex as climate…

  46. Berry R says:

    It’s interesting how studies that seem to contradict or at least modify major tenants of the “consensus” on AGW pay lip service to the concept. Here’s another example. A study finds that the heat waves that have been plaguing California and much of the rest of the west lately are caused by increased humidity. The water vapor comes from increased warmed in a section of the ocean and prevents heat from escaping into space at night. What causes the increased ocean warmth and thus the humidity? Well, AGW, obviously.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090825151008.htm

    Having read a lot of things like that, I get the feeling that a substantial portion of scientists working in the area are playing a bit of a double game. They publish stuff that chips away at the margins of the AGW hypothesis and then add a sentence or two at the end to get past peer review at the more politicized scientific venues.

  47. rbateman says:

    Ok. The oceans and atmosphere are both emitters and collectors, depending on what the Solar Activity is doing (wild guess).
    So the sunspot activity runs the base, the FUV runs the collector, making for an NPN allowing everything else to enter freely, but not leave so freely.
    When the sunspot is low, the FUV low and the NUV runs the collector on the PNP allowing more to escape than enters.
    I was waiting for the explanation as to the PNP or NPN functions that the Sun/Oceans/Atmosphere play. So I made one up.
    Somebody that knows this stuff please make a proper model.
    I’d like to learn how this works.

  48. rbateman says:

    suricat (18:14:07) :

    Bandpass is what I thought about many months ago, but the experts say no way, Jose. Cannot happen. Maybe it does, resistor, transistor, diode, whatever.

  49. Kevin Cave says:

    So, to summarise…

    “It’s the sun, stupid!”

    ;)

  50. Kevin Kilty says:

    I agree with Anthony. This is a transistor-like effect. In a transistor a small variation in current input to one port results in a large variation in current flow on another port. Or, a small energy modulation controls a large energy flow.

    In this case there is a small variation in ultraviolet that modulates a much larger flow in the visible portion of the spectrum where the ocean picks up most of its heat. It is almost like a phototransistor controlling an iris (not the floral type) or something.

  51. Paul Vaughan says:

    Berry R (19:13:19) “Having read a lot of things like that, I get the feeling that a substantial portion of scientists working in the area are playing a bit of a double game. They publish stuff that chips away at the margins of the AGW hypothesis and then add a sentence or two at the end to get past peer review at the more politicized scientific venues.”

    Good observation.

  52. Dave L says:

    This is a computer model simulation study. What does it prove/disprove?

  53. Jimmy Haigh says:

    I wouldn’t call it a transistor effect – I would call it a ‘valve’ effect. Do you remember those beautiful glorified lightbulbs in the backs of old wirelesses? These things were works of art. The last time I looked at a transistor it looked like a glob of… well, something disgusting which I wouldn’t like to mention.

    Feast your eyes on this lot!…

    http://www.r-type.org/

  54. Gene Nemetz says:

    Steve Hempell (14:19:42) :

    Mark Bowen: Dave E

    That last statement is likely talking about the 11 year cycle not solar effect per se. Piers Corbyn also does not like to use the 11 year cycle.

  55. Gene Nemetz says:

    Small solar activity fluctuations amplify to larger climate influences

    Nir Shaviv has hypothesized this before :

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/02/nir-shaviv-solar-fluctuations-are.html

  56. Pofarmer says:

    This is a computer model simulation study. What does it prove/disprove?

    This, by itself, may not prove, disprove anything. But, what it does, is give a testable hypothesis that is at variance with the CO2 theories bandied about and has the advantage of actually making sense.

  57. anna v says:

    Add the following to the soup of UV induced effects:

    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/0702_planktoncloud.html
    It’s almost hard to believe, but new NASA-funded research confirms an old theory that plankton can indirectly create clouds that block some of the Sun’s harmful rays.

    ……

    The researchers were also surprised to find that the DMS molecules completely refresh themselves after only three to five days. That means the plankton may react to UV rays quickly enough to impact their own weather. Toole and Siegel were surprised by the lightning-fast rate of turnover for DMS.

  58. Gene Nemetz says:

    WUWT post on Nir Shaviv’s amplifying solar activity :

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

    comment from Nir Shaviv at that post :

    Nir Shaviv (00:01:06) : (4/17/2009)

    Lief also further said (at 03:42) that he doesn’t see the 11-year cycle in the satellite data. Well, the data barely covers a cycle, and it so happens that with the exception of the 1997 super el-niño, there is a clear trend which is consistent with the data: 1994-1995 low rate @ solar minimum, 2001-2002 high rate @ solar maximum, and 2007-8 low rate again at solar minimum. Of course, there is a lot of short term variability, but the signal is there.

    (bolds by me)

  59. Gene Nemetz says:

    Kevin Kilty (20:29:40) :

    This link may be helpful :

    http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter

  60. savethesharks says:

    This research is headed in the right direction….and makes damn good intuitive sense.

    Slowly…..slowly….uncovering a complex web of slight solar variability magnified in the huge vat of energy storage of our planet: the Oceans.

    Anthropogenic forcing wha??? Huh? What is that?

    In less than 20 years it will be relegated to the annals of sham science and taught only for fun.

    The REAL term here that should be used here is “anthropogenic pollution”.

    And THAT problem is regularly being thrown under the rickety tie-dyed AGW bus.

    When does anyone hear Al Gore or anyone else talking about the huge trash gyre in the Pacific?

    Or about disastrous overfishing?

    Or pointing out that the worst environmental disaster sites are outside the US borders….specifically China and India.

    Yeah China the Pac NW really is appreciative of the huge amounts of mercury and other poisons you send their way through the hydrologic cycle!

    All of these FIXABLE problems….drowned in an orgy of demonizing CO2 and cap and trade.

    They need to give up on their AGW cult and either snap out of it or collectively drink the arsenic-laced punch….because THE OCEANS AND THE SUN HAVE IT.

    The research that is the subject of this thread is encouraging progress.

    I really appreciate all of the great minds on this site. Enlightening info. I keep coming back for more.

    [And Stephen Wilde, your lyrical posts are spot on. Keep it up.]

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  61. Paul Vaughan says:

    anna v (21:27:58)
    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/0702_planktoncloud.html

    Great story – thanks Anna.

  62. Brandon Dobson says:

    Imagine the hypothetical trial by the US Chamber of Commerce on global warming…

    Perry Mason calls James Hansen to testify.

    “Are you aware of the study by Gerald Meehl in which extremely small variations in radiation brings about a comparatively significant change in the System “Atmosphere-Ocean?””

    Hansen: “No sir, I am not. This study has not been peer-reviewed by appropriate warmists.”

    Mason: “Meaning…?”

    Hansen: “RealClimate has yet to weigh in on the findings.”

    Burger approaches for cross-examination. “Did you call for Nuremburg-style trials for skeptics?”

    Hansen: “No sir. I called for burning at the stake.”

    Burger: “Is this not the antithesis of the scientific method?”

    Hansen: “Everyone knows the science is settled, so this sun thing can’t be right. Haven’t you seen those pictures of fluffy polar bears on melting ice?”

    Mason: I call Al Gore to the stand. “Isn’t the sun’s influence on climate rather inconvenient?”

    Gore: “No comment.”

  63. rbateman says:

    Nir Shaviv (00:01:06) : (4/17/2009)

    There was once a swirling imaging controversy. The assumption was that since an imager in a light polluted city had a ceiling of light above, there was a limiting magnitude imposed by the light dome where no more faint signal could be integrated.
    Until it was proven wrong. The Noise does not block the faint signal, because the faint signal is riding on top of the noise. The high noise to signal ratio means that an inordinate amount of integrations is required to go fainter, not that it is impossible. The challenge was destructive interference by the heavy light dome.
    With other things happening concurrently with Solar Min/Max times, there is noise.
    But, I see the signal too. It’s riding on top.

  64. tallbloke says:

    Stephen Wilde (14:53:21) :

    There is no need for the oceans to be ‘holding’ any energy. All they need to do is accelerate or decelerate the release of energy to the air and that results in temperature changes largely independent of solar variations.

    In order to be releasing energy at different rates at different times the oceans have to be holding it in the first place, unless they are simply a conduit for the variability of the incoming energy, which observation shows they are not.

  65. Juraj V. says:

    This response also cannot be used to explain recent global warming because the 11-year solar cycle has not shown a measurable trend over the past 30 years.”
    There is no recent global warming, temperature trend for last 30 years is basically flat.

  66. Paul Vaughan says:

    Meehl, G.A.; Arblaster, J.M.; Matthes, K.; Sassi, F.; van Loon, H. (2009). Amplifying the Pacific Climate System Response to a Small 11-Year Solar Cycle Forcing. Science 325, 1114-1118.

    “Though the solar-forced eastern equatorial SST anomalies shown here are about half the amplitude of those associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, they are relevant for understanding decadal timescale variability in the Pacific.”

  67. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Juraj V. (23:34:51)

    Don’t worry about that “politically correct” statement intended to clarify that the authors are clever enough to avoid constituting a threat to alarmists; other solar variables show a trend.

  68. tallbloke says:

    I think a better electrical analogy is that of a resistor with a solar panel and a capacitor in circuit.

    The sun heats the resistor through the solar panel (sea surface mixed layer) which dissipates it’s heat into the ocean, and when the sun goes quiet, the the capacitor discharges (el nino) due to the lowered resistance of the cooled down resistor. The ocean releases it’s heat energy slowly, losing net energy until the sun gets active again.

    The atmospheric processes described by this study may be second order effects which modulate the level of insolation to the solar panel/sea surface.

  69. “In order to better understand the anthropogenically induced climate change and to make more reliable future climate scenarios, it is very important to understand the underlying natural climatic variability. This investigation shows again that we still have substantial research needs to understand the climate system”.

    There’s masterly wording. Hint of genuflection still in place, but “substantial research” still needed now to separate out the natural from the AGW. Seamless, no loss of face.

    Looks like this is the way the juggernaut of Science will wriggle through the turnabout.

  70. Stephen Wilde says:

    M. Simon (17:05:45)
    I’m not an electrical engineer so terminological advice is happily accepted. As regards the resistor idea I did say that the oceans are apparently variable in the level of resistance they offer to the flow of solar energy through them. If that makes them a capacitor then that’s fine by me.

    DaveE (17:13:33)
    Agreed, I should have referred to temperature and not heat. Generally I do avoid the use of the word ‘heat’ these days but I slipped up there.

    Steamboat McGoo (17:14:14)
    I am suggesting that the thermal dissipation effect of the oceanic resistor is variable over time. I could have made that clearer in the sentence you refer to but it is mentioned elsewhere.

    Kevin Kilty (20:29:40)
    If the UV is doing the driving it is a transistor (or valve) effect. If the oceans are doing the driving it is a resistor (or is it capacitor ?) effect. I’m open to persuasion but I have already said why I am doubtful about the UV effect being in control on anything less than century timescales.

    tallbloke (23:31:09)
    Yes, after posting I felt unhappy about the use of the word ‘holding’.
    The oceans only slow down the passage of solar energy through them rather than ‘holding’ energy but in a sense the energy is being ‘held’ for a very short time as the slowdown occurs. The length of delay is miniscule but enough to lengthen the wavelength and produce a rise in temperature. Solar shortwave comes in but only longwave goes out. The conversion process must raise the temperature of the material that causes the wavelength change and most of it is water, not air. As soon as the solar input varies then so does the amount of energy flowing through so ‘holding’ in the usual meaning of the term does not happen as you correctly point out. However it is not the amount of energy flowing through that matters most on timescales of less than centuries. Instead it is the variable level of resistance offerred by the oceans taken as a whole at any given moment. If this proposition adequately decouples oceanic temperature variability from solar variability on time scales of less than centuries then a lot of problems are solved. But am I right ?

  71. Stephen Wilde says:

    tallbloke (23:31:09) :

    “Stephen Wilde (14:53:21) :
    There is no need for the oceans to be ‘holding’ any energy. All they need to do is accelerate or decelerate the release of energy to the air and that results in temperature changes largely independent of solar variations.

    tallbloke:
    In order to be releasing energy at different rates at different times the oceans have to be holding it in the first place, unless they are simply a conduit for the variability of the incoming energy, which observation shows they are not.”

    Applying a bit more logic there is more to be said on the above points.

    I’ve dealt with the ‘holding’ issue as regards the ongoing flow of solar energy through the oceans but clearly that cannot be the whole story. The ocean bulk has over time (since the oceans first formed) acquired a certain average base energy content which keeps the oceans in liquid form but which is not readily involved in the ongoing energy flow from sun to sea to air.

    The oceans have acquired that base energy by long term retention of solar and geothermal input but what we see is little affected by the ongoing energy throughput in the upper levels. That base energy is clearly ‘held’ on a long term basis and it is very difficult to change it on timescales of less than millennia. Probably only very long term solar changes caused by orbital variations can have much effect and I suspect that is where the ice ages become relevant.
    Certainly changes in the air alone are not going to change that base energy level and yet the temperature of the ocean bulk will have a profound modulating effect on both the water and the air above it.
    Now, nothing in nature is constant so there will always be interactions between that lower water, the water which is affected by solar input (beyond the evaporation layer), the water in the evaporation layer and the air above.

    I suspect that those interactions within the oceans are the ones that periodically effect oceanic phase shifts causing variable rates of energy release to the air on multidecadal time scales and that is where we should be looking for the real climate driver.

  72. Stephen Wilde says:

    “tallbloke (00:44:04) :

    I think a better electrical analogy is that of a resistor with a solar panel and a capacitor in circuit.

    The sun heats the resistor through the solar panel (sea surface mixed layer) which dissipates it’s heat into the ocean, and when the sun goes quiet, the the capacitor discharges (el nino) due to the lowered resistance of the cooled down resistor. The ocean releases it’s heat energy slowly, losing net energy until the sun gets active again.

    The atmospheric processes described by this study may be second order effects which modulate the level of insolation to the solar panel/sea surface”

    A couple of problems with that:

    1) Whatever happens in the sea/surface mixed layer appears to involve an increase in the evaporation rate whenever more energy is added and there is a constant background flow of energy from water to air so dissipation downward from that layer appears to be negligible.

    2) El Nino and La Nina events are not aligned with active or quiet periods of solar activity, Indeed they are as often in opposition to changes in solar activity. 1940 to 1975 the oceanic cycles were opposing an active sun. 1975 to 2000 they were supplementing an active sun. Now we have a quiet sun supplementing negative ocean cycles.

    3) The oceanic effect on air temperatures is far far bigger than solar effects so the solar changes are insignificant in comparison for periods of less than several hundred years. At most the solar variability just provides a background trend behind the changes induced by the oceans.

    I do agree however that the article at the head of this thread is more likely dealing with second order events which can supplement or offset the primary oceanic driver. I have already conceded that point as regards the Svensmark hypothesis.

  73. bill says:

    Stephen Wilde (14:33:50) : and others
    What TSI the oceans do not reflect they absorb. Absorption takes place from top down UV penetrates to ~40m being converted to heat all the way from 0 to 40m. At 40m there is little of the UV left and therefore little heat produced. The solar radiation is not slowed (other than the by the optical properties of the ocean slowing from light speed to just under. It is converted to heat mainly and biomass (ignoring the surface evapouration)

    There is no way of converting biomass in the ocean back to heat (it can change CO2 absorption, or albedo perhaps). So the only way of slowing the UV radiation of TSI down is by retaining the heat it produces. This heat is spread out over depths of 0 to 40m. Somehow you are suggesting that this heat is stored over one or more solar cycles and is released during TSI minima (storage time at least 5 years. As I asked on another thread – what real physical means is at your disposal to retain this heat? Somehow you have to get heat from perhaps 20m down to much lower depths – away from the churning of the surface layers, and then keep it there until it is required to emerge 5 years later.

    And please give up on the resistor analogy as others have said you do not seem to understand electronics. The power dissipated in the resistor creates the heat (I^2*R or V^2/R). The operating temperature is determined by the thermal resistance to the heat sink (air). If you dissipate 1 watt in a 1 watt rated resistor it will reach probably 55C above ambient (de-ratings usually begin at 70C reaching zero allowable dissipation at 125C – surface mount Rs)

    A resistor does not store heat – remove the input and the resistor begins to cool immediately rate limited by the thermal resistance.

    Ozone depletion started in 1970s and levels of ozone fell by 6% by 1992 check this plot Global Total Ozone Change here:
    http://www.theozonehole.com/
    You will notice that there are NO peaks of ozone corresponding to the solar cycle. OR if present are significantly less than the man made dip.
    this is interesting
    http://www.theozonehole.com/climate.htm
    More on next post.

  74. bill says:

    The other links
    http://www.theozonehole.com/ look around!
    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/
    This last one has 2 little plots showing ozone peak during 1988 and 2002
    However, 1988 does not correspond to a peak of tsi
    tsi peaks (start of tsi decline) are 1992 and 2002
    or looking at the peak flattening off from the rise 1989 an 2000

    And the peaks are significantly less than the ozone depletion drop.

    So the 6% increase in ozone cannot be said to have increased ozone significantly. The o3 depletion is much more significant.

  75. tallbloke says:

    Stephen Wilde (02:23:32) :

    I’ve dealt with the ‘holding’ issue as regards the ongoing flow of solar energy through the oceans but clearly that cannot be the whole story…

    …The oceans have acquired that base energy by long term retention of solar and geothermal input…

    …there will always be interactions between that lower water, the water which is affected by solar input (beyond the evaporation layer), the water in the evaporation layer and the air above…

    …I suspect that those interactions within the oceans are the ones that periodically effect oceanic phase shifts causing variable rates of energy release to the air on multidecadal time scales and that is where we should be looking for the real climate driver.

    Which is pretty much what I’ve been saying. Multiple interactions between multiple strata on multiple timescales. The heat from the solar input, most of which is absorbed and released from the top ~50m mixed layer on shortish timescales (daily, seasonal, quasi biannual,) accounts for most of the throughput. However, in my case study ~2.5% of the incoming energy between 1993-2003 got mixed further down into the next ~700m of ocean and was retained according to the calcs I did which Leif Svalgaard verified. Some of this escapes between solar cycles in the bigger el nino’s.

    Most of the rest will escape during runs of low solar cycles when the sunspot count is averaging laess than ~40, and during the negative phases of the ~60 year ocean cycles which imperfectly but convincingly (to me and some others) correlate with phases in cyclic planetary motions and the concomitant reversals in earth’s length of day.

    There was an accumulation of heat energy in the ocean between the bottom of the mixed layer and the thermocline from ~1935 to 2003 during the 8000 year high in solar activity. Now we have gone over a peak and according to Josh WIllis, the cheif ARGO data scientist, there has been a ‘slight cooling’ since 2003.

    Below the thermocline, the water is cold and changes temp only slowly from there to the sea bed by ~4C, but this is the vast majority of the bulk of the ocean, and it contains a vast but very slowly changing amount of energy, depending on deep penetrating vertical currents, seabed volcanism, and other geothermal energy from radioactive material overturning at varying depths below the crust. The magnitude of the variability in these variables is not known, but might be important, and also seem to be linked to solar/planetary motion.

    So we are mostly in agreement, just arriving at the same place from different angles.

  76. Louis Hissink says:

    What?

    You mean that the Solar-Earth connection is electrical?

  77. Louis Hissink says:

    following on from my previous, assume the Earth as a leaky capacitor, in circuit with the Sun and Solar System, think about Faraday motors, Plasma, and you should find enough tools to explain things differently to that of our Victorian predecessors who only knew of gravity.

  78. bill says:

    tallbloke (03:03:58)
    Below the thermocline, the water is cold and changes temp only slowly from there to the sea bed by ~4C, but this is the vast majority of the bulk of the ocean, and it contains a vast but very slowly changing amount of energy,

    OK lets assume the vast bulk of the ocean changes from 4degC to 5degC. This will require a phenomenal input of energy.

    We no have 5degC water sitting at 700m. How is this going to change the temperature at the surface after 15 years?
    There is no heat pump to pump this vast store of energy up to a higher temperature. There is no vortex tube to separate the hot molecules from the cold. So if the 5 degC water surfaces then the world surely cools? Unless it surfaces at the poles!
    If you look at the ocean as a solid block with one side of the block dissipating energy to give a temperature of 4 deg C and the other receiving energy to cause a stable 17Deg C then if the 4 changes to 5 the 17 will change to almost 18degC. This I can understand. But this requires the surface to be tightly coupled with the depths. This has problem that the cold side is not radiating heat (where will it go?) so will tend to equalise with the hot side
    this is not happening. The cold stays were it is and the waters above stay happily warmer i.e. the warm less dense floats on the cold more dense

    As far as i am aware energy can only be store in water in the form of heat or motion. I do not understand how TSI can be converted to deap sea currents. This leaves heat as the storage. The ocean is cold low down and as far as I can see there is no simple way of pumping the lower cold to an upper hot.
    Can you explain please the TSI storage mechanism of deep ocean? Thanks

  79. tallbloke says:

    Stephen Wilde (02:36:20) :

    1) Whatever happens in the sea/surface mixed layer appears to involve an increase in the evaporation rate whenever more energy is added and there is a constant background flow of energy from water to air so dissipation downward from that layer appears to be negligible.

    Depends what you mean by negligible. My calcs showed that only 2.5% of the incoming energy was retained below the surface mixed layer 1993-2003. Which sounds negligible but amount to 14X10^22J which is enough to make the ocean expand 5400km^3 as observed by the satellite altimetry. That amount of energy would increase the temperature of the top 700m of ocean by 0.15C on average. This figure is consistent with a rise in SST of ~0.3C and the observed fairly linear dropoff of temperature from surface to thermocline.

    I have at least attempted some quantification and cross correlation, even if there is a good deal of uncertainty in the data.

    Bill asks how the heat gets down there. According to well known AGW proponent oceanographer James Annan, tidal action and vertical currents account for this. It is well known that very cold water from the deep upwells off the south american west coast during la nina. I invite him to think about what this cold water from the deep is replaced by.

  80. TonyB says:

    Reading through the highly diverse threads currently running here, it must be apparent to even the most partisan that with regards to climate science we don’t know far more than we do know.

    Tonyb

  81. tallbloke says:

    Louis Hissink (04:18:47) :

    following on from my previous, assume the Earth as a leaky capacitor, in circuit with the Sun and Solar System, think about Faraday motors, Plasma, and you should find enough tools to explain things differently to that of our Victorian predecessors who only knew of gravity.

    Sounds great. Any coherent theories on offer?

  82. Jim Hughes says:

    D.T. (18:54:05) :

    Additional info from the same place:

    National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

    News Release, August 27, 2009

    Scientists Uncover Solar Cycle, Stratosphere, and Ocean Connections

    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/solarcycle2.jsp

    The title is misleading since they haven’t uncovered anything that wasn’t already known or used before, long range forecast wise.

  83. Tim Clark says:

    Dave L (20:37:27) :
    This is a computer model simulation study. What does it prove/disprove?

    It proves that computers, depending on the programming assumptions, can be both pro- or anti-AGW.

    bill (02:42:11) :
    There is no way of converting biomass in the ocean back to heat (it can change CO2 absorption, or albedo perhaps).

    You need to bone up on your physiology. Organisms convert solar energy into stored molecular energy. Upon death, the energy is indeed released, unless the organism has been granted eternal life. Perhaps to be be reabsorbed by another organism for a period, but indeed it is released. Have you ever been around a compost pile? If there wasn’t degradation, all water bodies would eventually be thick stew.

  84. Sandy says:

    So the ‘voltage’ is the constant(ish) insolation.
    The collector current is how much heat gets through to the tropical ocean (to all depths).
    The ‘base voltage’ with the high amplification is the amount of ITCZ Cu-Nims. High ITCZ activity both reflects incoming heat but also strips heat from the tropical ocean surface to redistribute. Low activity allows high salinity warm water to sink while surface waters are blown over by easterly trades.
    The ‘cap’ to these ITCZ Cu-Nims is the temperature inversion at the tropopause but they punch a long way into the stratosphere by sheer vertical momentum.

    I find it credible that relatively little energy in the stratosphere could seriously affect Willis’s heat-pump.

  85. Barry R. says:

    Off Topic I know, but interesting. Study of Urban Heat Island effect in Athens. Mentions in passing that UHI can raise city temperatures up to 10 degrees above surrounding countryside. I think that attempts to make cities more livable are going to give us some useful data on the causes and magnitude of UHI.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827101217.htm

  86. Pofarmer says:

    This is going to be interesting . For the very first time there are instruments in place, that might, just might, be able to measure how the sun and the oceans and the atmosphere interact to produce earths climate. If the sun stays relatively dormant, it will be most interesting to see how Ocean currents and temperatures react. Almost as fun as it will be to watch the warmists spit and sputter and try to explain the sun away.

  87. Stephen Wilde says:

    “bill (02:42:11)
    And please give up on the resistor analogy as others have said you do not seem to understand electronics. The power dissipated in the resistor creates the heat (I^2*R or V^2/R). The operating temperature is determined by the thermal resistance to the heat sink (air).

    I’ll give up on the resistor analogy if a clearer expression of your opinion justifies it.

    The sun provides the ‘current’ in the form of solar shortwave radiation, the oceans provide the ‘resistor’ which either reflects away, converts to latent heat by evaporation or absorbs all that solar energy. With the oceanic resistor it is the lengthening of wavelength which results from slowing down that generates heat energy whereas in the case of a normal resistor it is the reduction in voltage which results from slowing down. We can disagree about the meaning of ‘slowing down’ but in the oceans the lengthening of wavelength does occur and in a resistor the reduction in voltage does occur. The power lost by both those processes has to remain in the system somewhere and I suggest heat energy in both cases. In both the resistor itself and the surrounding air in one case and in both the water and in the air above in the other.

    That part of the solar energy which is absorbed (and neither reflected away nor evaporated away) is dissipated as heat and the air above the oceans determines the operating temperature, or rather the speed of the hydrological cycle does and that in itself is highly variable.

    So, it looks like a resistor to me and I don’t currently understand your objection.

    It doesn’t have to be an exact analogy, analogies never are exact, merely a useful way of envisaging the processes behind the real world observations.

  88. Ron says:

    A few points:
    1. The change toal solar irradiance is double the frequently quoted 0.1%. The composite ACRIM record reached a value of 1368.3 w/m2 in 1979 and fell to 1365 in 1984 – a range of 0.24%.
    http://www.climatedata.info/Forcing/files/BIGw02-sunspots-and-solar-irradiance.gif.gif
    2. Cosmic radiation varies by about 60% over a solar cycle.
    http://www.climatedata.info/Forcing/files/BIGw04-sunspots-and-cosmic-radiation.gif.gif
    3. To show the effects of Milankovitch cycles values of radiation are generally quoted for 65N in July. The variation in whole earth/whole year radiation due to these cycles is much smaller, 0.7 % maximum and less for most cycles. This change is enough to drag the earth out of an ice age or send it into one.
    http://www.climatedata.info/Forcing/files/BIGw01-milankovitch—cycles.gif.gif

    In other words, there is evidence that solar cycles are more “powerful” than the 0.1% figure suggests and also that small changes in radiation can have big effects.

  89. Stephen Wilde says:

    Actually in the case of the air and the oceans it does not seem to be the air above the oceans on it’s own that determines the operating temperature.

    As demonstrated by the oceanic phase shifts the oceans have an additional property of periodically changing the rate at which they release energy to the air. They are unlike a normal resistor as regards that facility.

    The answer to that lies in the internal mechanisms of the oceans and tallbloke has been having a stab at that. Not all the heat energy is promptly and neatly ejected by the oceans in obeisiance to all those standard theories and graphics that ignore oceanic variability altogether.

  90. Stephen Wilde says:

    “tallbloke:
    Most of the rest will escape during runs of low solar cycles when the sunspot count is averaging less than ~40, and during the negative phases of the ~60 year ocean cycles which imperfectly but convincingly (to me and some others) correlate with phases in cyclic planetary motions and the concomitant reversals in earth’s length of day.”

    Energy release from the oceans would be highest during positive ocean cycles because that is when the resistor effect weakens and energy is released faster to the air. Negative ocean cycles occur when the resistor effect strengthens which slows down the release of energy so the air cools but ocean energy content increases (subject to solar input remaining high enough).

    Otherwise your ideas seem logical and I look forward to future verification or otherwise. Something makes the oceans behave the way they do and their behaviour is fundamental to climatology. No one seems to have any better ideas at the moment having ignored the oceans as climate drivers since CO2 was chosen as the favoured culprit about 20 years ago.

  91. Hank says:

    If we’re going to be skeptical, Is it really that certain that sunspots are the thing behind the little ice age? I think I’ll take a wait and see attitude on the sunspot thing – which is not to say I’m not watching with great interest while I wait.

  92. Gene L says:

    This was actually published in SCIENCE???
    Gosh, those editors and peer reviewers must be slipping… After all, isn’t the science supposed to be “settled”? :-)

  93. Pamela Gray says:

    Yes, the Earth can readily be seen as leaky in terms of its heat budget. And there are several potential leaks. There is direct reflection of short wave radiation, hot air vents with and without clouds, polar escape, etc. These all have their own chaotic but short-term predictable method of allowing heat to escape our atmosphere and get lost in space. We are very fortunate that the Sun is such a steady partner. It keeps this old tire, with all its leaks, fairly filled up so that it keeps working. I think we should be focusing on the very many ways that heat is lost to space first. Then we can more fully understand how the Sun keeps us from getting a cold flat tire.

  94. David Ball says:

    Hmm. No response to A.E.Douglas, and poor bill can’t seem to get his mind around anything other than Co2 driven warming ( like many pro-AGWr’s). Admitting you don’t know can be very difficult. I know that none of us knows, as TonyB (04:47:12) succinctly pointed out. Stephen Wilde, I like your “resistor” analogy and had not seen your reference to it in the thread that you mentioned, but will give credit where credit is due. Judging by the responses, perhaps the resistor analogy is a closer approximation than some other explanations. Just curious as to Anthony’s thoughts on the resistor idea.

  95. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Stephen Wilde (02:36:20) :

    1) Whatever happens in the sea/surface mixed layer appears to involve an increase in the evaporation rate whenever more energy is added and there is a constant background flow of energy from water to air so dissipation downward from that layer appears to be negligible.

    tallbloke:
    Depends what you mean by negligible. My calcs showed that only 2.5% of the incoming energy was retained below the surface mixed layer 1993-2003″

    When I said ‘negligible’ I was just referring to the surface region involved in evaporation. There is another layer below that which is more effectively penetrated by solar energy and the deeper that energy gets the more easily it can be diverted away from the surface by ocean movement. I think that most of the energy retained by the oceans for any length of time would be in that deeper layer.

    I have no reason to doubt your figures.

  96. bill says:

    Stephen Wilde (06:09:30) Perhaps these links will help

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/ohmmic.html
    http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-167950.html

    Electrons in a wire do not travel at the speed of light but the electrical signal does. The voltage wave is not delayed by the resistor significantly.

    Heat is generated “instantly” that a voltage is presented across the resistor.

    the oceans provide the ‘resistor’ which either reflects away, converts to latent heat by evaporation or absorbs all that solar energy.
    resistors do not reflect nor do they have latent heat – but I’ll let that pass

    oceanic resistor it is the lengthening of wavelength which results from slowing down that generates heat energy whereas in the case of a normal resistor it is the reduction in voltage which results from slowing down.
    Slowing down – no
    conversion of UV to heat which then radiates as LW IR is not slowing down both electromagnetic waves travel near light speed (slower in water of course).
    The power lost by both those processes has to remain in the system somewhere and I suggest heat energy in both cases.
    There is no loss in conversion of UV to heat – what goes into the ocean as UV gets absorbed and generates heat (Just as the TSI instrument on the satellite does) This heat radiates in the long wave infra red (this is what is picked up by thermal imaging cameras which are sensitive to a range of frequencies and by satellite radar sensors). This heat stays in the system for as long as the thermal resistance allows (a thermos flask has a very high thermal resistance and will keep contents at constant temperature – A heat pipe has an ultra low thermal resistance as it is patially a fluid transport system – liquid boils in the hot end travels down the tube to condense at the cold end to be wicked back as a liquid to the heat, berillium oxide is a very low thermal resistance, solid heat conductor and was often used in power RF transistors)
    The flow of currents in the ocean will be complex – water will conduct heat (not great) convect heat (better) or can move transfering its heat load elsewhere. It can vapourise removing quantities of heat as in the heat pipe with rain providing the return path of the liquid.

    Considering the ocean to be a resistor does not add to the understanding of TSI to ocean heat storage in my opinion.

    And I still cannot see how you are going to get all that energy stored as heat at 4degC to heat the surface at 17 degC.

    tallbloke (04:44:55) :. It is well known that very cold water from the deep upwells off the south american west coast during la nina. I invite him to think about what this cold water from the deep is replaced by

    That cold water will be replaced by whatever water is close by which could be hotter or cooler. Assume it is hotter, then that cool water at the next upwelling will also be hotter. And all this hotter and cooler water intermingling will surely make the deep oceans as warmer. So why does it stay at 4C? Is there a loss of heat down there somewhere?

  97. tallbloke says:

    Stephen Wilde (06:09:30) :

    I’ll give up on the resistor analogy if a clearer expression of your opinion justifies it.

    I think we should give up on it anyway, and consider the earth to be the complex varied place it is.

    There has been far too much simplifying, homogenising, averaging and smoothing going on already without us adding to it.

  98. Julian Flood says:

    What is this transistor of which you speak? The grid of the triode which controls the great surges of energy is actually the low level cloud over the oceans. tweak that and you can vary climate. Cosmic rays, variation in solar energy, aerosol pollution, farming pollution and dust, oil pollution of the ocean surface reducing aerosol production, all these are connected to the grid. Tiny change in, large change out: amplifier.

    Whippersnappers can google ‘thermionic valves’ …

    JF

  99. Paul Vaughan says:

    tallbloke (04:44:55) “Bill asks how the heat gets down there. According to well known AGW proponent oceanographer James Annan, tidal action and vertical currents account for this. It is well known that very cold water from the deep upwells off the south american west coast during la nina. I invite him to think about what this cold water from the deep is replaced by.

    Well-said.

  100. Paul Vaughan says:

    D.T. (18:54:05)
    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/solarcycle2.jsp

    “”The Sun, the stratosphere, and the oceans are connected in ways that can influence events such as winter rainfall in North America,” says NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl, the lead author. “Understanding the role of the solar cycle can provide added insight as scientists work toward predicting regional weather patterns for the next couple of decades.””

    Note the timescale he sets.

  101. tallbloke says:

    Ron (06:18:15) :

    A few points:
    1. The change toal solar irradiance is double the frequently quoted 0.1%. The composite ACRIM record reached a value of 1368.3 w/m2 in 1979 and fell to 1365 in 1984 – a range of 0.24%.

    With you all the way Ron. See recent posts here about Nicola Scafetta (member of ACRIM team) and my debate with Leif Svalgaard about PMOD and TSI.

  102. woodNfish says:

    Stephen Wilde: 3) Just as with the AGW warmers they rely on a positive feedback. In this case they call it ‘positive back coupling’ as opposed to the water vapour feedback process of the warmers. The trouble is that all observations show that the climate system is always sharply negative otherwise the long term stability we see would have been lost long ago.

    Stephen, would you please explain positive and negative feedbacks more fully for me? And why or how our climate system is always sharply negative?

    Thanks in advance.

  103. lgl says:

    There’s a big problem with this hypothesis. The large volcanic eruptions early 80s and 90s reduced the stratospheric temperature significantly a few years after.

  104. Nogw says:

    If this resistor analogy it is generalized it would take us to an electrical climate, which is involved anyway, as before raining clouds discharge its electricity. Then vegetation when present changes local weather, increasing precipitation (facilitating discharges?). Trees have also a capacitance…and so on.
    The sun is involved here too in many ways.

  105. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Stephen Wilde (14:53:21) :

    A constant current through a resistor will result in different amounts of heat being produced depending on the efficiency of the resistor. “””

    Well sorry Stephen; if it’s a “resistor”, and you are using that term in its strict electrical sense; then of course it is 100% efficient in converting electric current flow into thermal energy (“heat”)

    If it is less than 100% efficient; it could be some as yet un-named higher orderelectrical effect; but then it isn’t resistance is it ?

    And if you buy this “transistor” analogy, which I don’t for a minute; the equivalent circuit is much more complex than a resistor; and non-linear too.

    The whole idea is a red herring; as Leif has pointed out the approximately 0.1% P-P range of TSI over the solar cycle, can explain but about 0.072 deg C change in mean global surface temperature.

    There are NO earth situated processes, that are acting on that 0.1% TSI change; and “amplifying” it into some larger surface temperature change.

    There are other SOLAR processes occurring at the same time; which may be causing ADDITIONAL CHANGES on earth; such as magnetic field disturbed cosmic ray flux affecting cloud cover; but in no way are those processes “amplifying” the effect of TSI change.

    A jet airliner taking off from an airport does not “AMPLIFY” the road noise of a passing car; it contributes additional noise from a completely different source.

    George

  106. Stephen Wilde says:

    bill (08:33:22)

    I am beginning to see the technical points that you take issue with but it doesn’t detract from the basic submission.

    If the oceans convert ALL the UV to longwave then that is just like a resistor that converts ALL the energy entering it to heat energy so that nothing comes out the other side. So what, it’s still a resistor.

    I know a resistor does not reflect energy nor convert energy to latent heat but the ocean does. I was implying that the resistor analogy only applied to the energy left over after those processes had drawn off the vast bulk of the energy from the sun.
    TSI as a whole becomes irrelevant. It is only the solar energy that gets past the evaporating region near the water surface that adds to the ocean energy content. It is the degree of variation in that energy alone that matters and not the variation in TSI as a whole. As it happens the variability in the class of solar energy that can enter the water to the requisite depth is much higher than that of TSI as a whole but leave that for another day.

    I take the slowing down point but it isn’t essential and I have seen it described elsewhere as a slowing down of the energy flow through a resistor but no matter.

    In any event you say this:

    “conversion of UV to heat which then radiates as LW IR is not slowing down, both electromagnetic waves travel near light speed (slower in water of course)”

    I know that all electromagnetic radiation always travels at near the speed of light whatever the wavelength. That is directly analogous to the current entering and the current leaving a resistor. Both travel at the same speed going in and coming out despite the reduction in voltage. It is only whilst the energy is travelling through the resistor that the idea of slowing down becomes valid even if not technically accurate. Anyway you do accept that the speed is reduced in the water which is all that I am saying. The speed difference is miniscule but reflects the ongoing conversion of energy from shortwave to longwave and the consequent release of heat within the water.

    The point is that energy entering the oceans from the sun is converted from shortwave to longwave thereby generating heat (more vibration of the water molecules ) and the oceans then vary the rate of supply of that longwave into the air and in the process the ocean heat content varies independently of solar input. Thus, critically, the issue of ocean heat content can be decoupled from solar variations and all the protestations about the inadequacy of solar variations to account for observed climate changes come to nought.

    You correctly say this:

    “The flow of currents in the ocean will be complex – water will conduct heat (not great) convect heat (better) or can move transfering its heat load elsewhere. It can vapourise removing quantities of heat as in the heat pipe with rain providing the return path of the liquid.”

    It is that variability within the oceans and within the hydrological cycle that changes the rate of energy release to the air on multidecadal timescales. I propose that additionally such oceanic variability is capable of swamping solar variations in energy supply over considerable timescales.

    The degree of such oceanic variability is sufficient to account for all observed climate change so far observed without involving CO2. The sun just provides a much longer term background trend.

    The oceans are best described as a variable resistor.

  107. Mike Abbott says:

    Geoff Sharp (16:38:09) :

    Are you reading this part clearly Leif? Shoots holes in your argument on another thread.

    I don’t need to defend Leif (he is more than capable of defending himself), but I have read nothing in this press release that “shoots holes” in anything Leif has ever argued. First of all, you are basing your claim on a press release about a study that nobody has actually read yet. WUWT readers frequently jump to conclusions based on articles about studies (as opposed to the studies themselves) and I have pointed this out previously. Secondly, the findings of the study are based entirely on computer simulations. The “evidence” they present is the output of computer models. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Third, Stephen Wilde has already raised some serious concerns about their theory. Critical analysis of their actual methodology will likely raise more.

    The researchers have proposed an interesting mechanism for solar amplification, but until it is proven by actual data, it is just an interesting and maybe promising theory. One final question: Are Svensmark’s theory and the one described in this article mutually exclusive?

  108. Stephen Wilde says:

    George E Smith (10:56:33)

    Thank you.

    I see that if the oceans have 100% efficiency in dealing with the incoming solar energy which gets deep enough then the oceans cannot be a variable resistor but they would still be analogous to a resistor.

    Attention then has to shift to the variability of the limited quantities of energy in the limited wavelengths that do get deep enough combined with the variable rate of release of that energy to the air and the time scales involved.

    More thought required but I still think there is something in it as a result of observed oceanic behavioiur.

  109. Ron de Haan says:

    pyromancer76 (14:01:15) :

    “This makes intiutive sense to me. I look forward to (real) scientists and engineers weighing in. Leif, what are your thoughts?

    Have Prof. Richard Huettl of the GFZ, Alfred Wegener IPMP, Senckenberg RI, and the Natural History Museum invited contributors from WUWT? If not, can we contribute to send a few “delegates”?”

    I am interested to go, I am in Germany during that time

  110. Stephen Wilde says:

    I think I can square the circle.

    The oceans may not be a variable resistor in so far as the level of resistance is concerned but they are a resistor.

    The effectiveness of the oceanic resistor in building up or dissipating ocean energy content depends on a very variable rate of energy release to the air.

    The oceans may be 100% effective at converting the energy they do receive to longwave IR but they vary greatly as to how long they can hold on to it.

    That is where the apparent disjunction arises between the smallness of solar variability and the much larger swings in ocean energy content and global air temperatures.

  111. Invariant says:

    I have followed the discussion at this site for some time now, and I must say that I am very impressed by all the different viewpoints and the quality of the discussion! I am not at all an expert in the climate science; in particular I have very limited experience with the different climate models and schools. However, I have a Ph. D. and M.Sc. in Physics and also a degree in Electrical Engineering, so I could possibly be to some help to improve the excellent analogies you have suggested in this thread. First, please take a look at the heat equation that describes heat conduction in a solid:

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

    A couple of years ago I worked with a commercial simulator that simulated all sorts of thermodynamic and fluid mechanic phenomena, and I learned that some quite complex analytical solution to the heat equation can be used as an analogy even if much more complicated heat transfer phenomena take place. In its simplest form this equation has exactly the same solution as the charging of an electrical capacitor, namely

    T(t) = T1 + [T0 – T1] exp(-t/tau)

    Here T is temperature, t is time, T0 the initial temperature, T1 the final temperature and tau the time constant. What is interesting here is the time constant tau. For ordinary heat conduction this time constant is proportional to

    tau ~ V * k * cp / lambda

    Here V is volume, k heat conductivity, cp specific heat capacity and lambda the thermal conductivity. This can be seen by the analytical solution of the heat equation in the Wikipedia link above. What does this mean, and how is it related to this thread? I have a few comments:

    1. I very much agree with the viewpoint of Stephen Wilde that it is the oceans control the air at all times. The reason is simple. If we assume good mixing of heat in the oceans, it is obvious that the heat stored in the oceans is much larger than the heat stored in the air.
    2. Then it follows also, as given by the tau equation that it takes much longer time to change the temperature of the ocean, the thermal mass (V * cp) is huge for the oceans compared to the air.

    Thus it seems that there is a perfect analogy between the oceans and an electrical capacitor, based on the analogy between heat conduction in a solid and more complicated heat transfer phenomena like thermally driven natural/free convection. Note that in a more complicated case, like the heating of a fluid in a closure, one may observe many different time constants taking place simultaneously, but I am brave enough to postulate that in most cases there is one predominant process taking place, and that the analogy with the electrical capacitor is thus always meaningful. In particular, the tau equation for the time constant is extremely useful. Now, the interesting question is what is tau for the oceans? Possibly extremely difficult to calculate, but I guess it must be many years. So, if we go into another period with little solar activity, it may take quite some time before the oceans starts to cool significantly. [The supercomputers should better calculate cooling of the oceans than heating of the air.]

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    [I know that heat conduction in a solid is a very trivial case, but the analogy can sometimes be most useful]

  112. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Mike Abbott (12:33:57)

    Mike, let’s keep in mind the social context in which these authors operate. (For example, what does one need to be doing in that field to be taken seriously by peers?)

    Read between the lines here:

    “With the help of increased computing power and improved models, as well as observational discoveries, we are uncovering more of how the mechanisms combine to connect solar variability to our weather and climate.” – Meehl.
    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/solarcycle2.jsp

    These guys aren’t playing all their cards at once. The funding train might easily be persuaded to outlast their careers.

  113. Stephen Wilde says:

    “woodNfish (10:37:57) :

    Stephen Wilde: 3) Just as with the AGW warmers they rely on a positive feedback. In this case they call it ‘positive back coupling’ as opposed to the water vapour feedback process of the warmers. The trouble is that all observations show that the climate system is always sharply negative otherwise the long term stability we see would have been lost long ago.

    Stephen, would you please explain positive and negative feedbacks more fully for me? And why or how our climate system is always sharply negative?

    Thanks in advance”

    Too far off topic for this thread but if you want to raise the question in my section at climaterealists.com I’ll have a go.

    Note however that I’m just an enthusiastic amateur and my main function is to address the issues that would occur to an educated lay person. If I come up with something novel in the process then that will be largely fortuitous.

    And you can always Google for the work of Roy Spencer who is good on that aspect of things.

  114. pyromancer76 (14:01:15) :
    Leif, what are your thoughts?

    “This response also cannot be used to explain recent global warming because the 11-year solar cycle has not shown a measurable trend over the past 30 years.”

    Folks, I have been away for a week [at the IAGA 2009 Scientific Assembly in Sopron, Hungary] so have fallen behind a bit. I’ll try to catch up. My talk is on my website.

  115. Invariant says:

    A better explanation of the analogy is provided by MIT

    “The time constant tau is in accord with our intuition, or experience; high density, large volume, or high specific heat all tend to increase the time constant, while high heat transfer coefficient and large area will tend to decrease the time constant.”

    http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FALL/thermodynamics/notes/node129.html (Equation (18.18) is the most important)

    Now, I wonder whether our spinning earth may have a large number of different thermal masses, all with different time constants, and that another analogy, “the forced oscillator” may be useful. Obviously the earth is a dissipative system, but still there may be natural oscillations that can be sustained with very little effort. As the sun (until very recently) oscillates with a period of ~11 years, the characteristic intrinsic oscillations of our earth may be steadily disturbed. That’s why we cannot observe a regular pattern between the solar activity and the climate. Try to watch a forced oscillator and you will easily understand what I mean. However, when the external oscillator force disappears (as happens these days), it may be easier to observe (but not predict) the oscillations intrinsic our earth.

  116. David Ball says:

    Wow, it’s great being ignored. Thanks everyone. Invariant (13:21:28), great post. bill(08:33:22) has done a lot of hand waving and tried to marginalize the analogy, yet has presented no better ideas. Typical. Never once has anyone mentioned that this is supposed to represent the atmosphere perfectly, just a loose idea of what it behaves like over all. In general it is a good analogy. Without a doubt, it is a very complex system. No illusions about that. I can see why so many people are lurkers and do not contribute to the conversation.

  117. “The ultraviolet radiation share varies much more strongly than the other shares in the spectrum, i.e. by five to eight per cent, and that forms more ozone” explains Katja Matthes.”

    Thus is the standard nonsense. UV is 105 W/m2 vs. total TSI 1361 W/m2. 7% [mean of 5 and 8] of UV is 105*0.07=8 W/m2. TSI only varies 1.5 W/m2, and UV is but a small part of TSI.

  118. Invariant says:

    Sorry guys, typing error in the equations for the time constant,

    tau ~ V * rho * cp / lambda

    Here V is volume, rho is density, cp specific heat capacity and lambda the thermal conductivity. I have two more observations,

    1. The transient heat transfer (convective cooling or heating) provided by MIT is actually a more realistic analogy as is describes convection which is more important for the fluid in the oceans and the air.

    2. In the analogy provided by MIT, both the resistor and the capacitor is needed to calculate the time constant tau=R*C. Thus, the best analogy is both a capacitor and a resistor! So in a sense you were all correct.

    http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FALL/thermodynamics/notes/node129.html

    Sorry for the confusion.

  119. Invariant says:

    I am sorry, there is a typing error in the equation for the time constant,

    tau ~ V * rho * cp / lambda

    Here V is volume, rho is density, cp specific heat capacity and lambda the thermal conductivity. I have two more observations,

    1. The transient heat transfer (convective cooling or heating) example provided by MIT is actually a more realistic analogy as is describes convection which is more important for the fluid in the oceans and the air.

    2. In the analogy provided by MIT, both the resistor (R) and the capacitor (C) is needed to calculate the time constant tau=R*C. Thus, the best analogy is both a capacitor and a resistor! So in a sense you were all correct.

    http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FALL/thermodynamics/notes/node129.html

    Sorry for the confusion.

  120. Jim Arndt says:

    Leif Svalgaard (15:21:34) :

    “Thus is the standard nonsense. UV is 105 W/m2 vs. total TSI 1361 W/m2. 7% [mean of 5 and 8] of UV is 105*0.07=8 W/m2. TSI only varies 1.5 W/m2, and UV is but a small part of TSI.”

    Leif you say UV varies 8w/m2 but then say TSI only varies 1.5w/m2??? I am a little confused by that statement when you have a starting number and it is 8w/m2 either it varies by that or it does not. Can you be more clear, does UV vary 8w/m2 or 7% or 1.5w/m2?

  121. suricat says:

    rbateman (20:05:06) : 27/08/2009.

    “Bandpass is what I thought about many months ago, but the experts say no way, Jose. Cannot happen. Maybe it does, resistor, transistor, diode, whatever.”

    Apologies for the time lag. ‘UV A’ (longest UV wavelengths) enters via the ‘visible light window’. ‘UV B’ (medium UV wavelengths) is on the edge of this window and is hampered by the ozone population in the stratosphere (ozone is also generated by UV and soft X-rays). The window blind is fully pulled down for ‘UV C’ (shortest UV wavelengths). Thus, in theory, the components of solar insolation to the surface include UV A and some UV C, but these also vary in intensity and tend to be directly proportional with sunspot propensity.

    The average effect of UV absorption at the surface? Well at such a short wavelength, with its high energy level, the usual effect is to break some molecules, liberate a few electrons and (as we’ve all been warned) alter DNA. However, its effect on water and ice seems a bit different. Water and ice are almost invisible to UV. The path to extinction in pure water (or ice) for IR is about 3m, for the visible spectrum it’s about 70m (for the blue end, but the red end is less), but for UV it’s up to 700m. This is only an ‘off the top of my head’ analysis, so don’t quote me on it.

    An important point to note here is that if no ‘catastrophic’ absorption of UV takes place, the energy degradation of the UV insolation component will be only ‘low grade’ and most likely take the form of thermal energy.

    I can only see this as a ‘notch (or band pass) filter’ for UV solar insolation into an ocean depth (or ice). If OLR, or cloud cover, is included then the model changes from one of solar insolation to GHE (greenhouse effect). I thought this blog thread covered solar insolation. I don’t know where the transistor idea came in on the ‘front cover’.

    PS. This thread has moved on a lot. I need to catch up.

    Best regards, suricat.

  122. Geoff Sharp says:

    Mike Abbott (12:33:57) :

    Geoff Sharp (16:38:09) :

    Are you reading this part clearly Leif? Shoots holes in your argument on another thread.

    I don’t need to defend Leif (he is more than capable of defending himself), but I have read nothing in this press release that “shoots holes” in anything Leif has ever argued. First of all, you are basing your claim on a press release about a study that nobody has actually read yet. WUWT readers frequently jump to conclusions based on articles about studies (as opposed to the studies themselves) and I have pointed this out previously. Secondly, the findings of the study are based entirely on computer simulations. The “evidence” they present is the output of computer models. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Third, Stephen Wilde has already raised some serious concerns about their theory. Critical analysis of their actual methodology will likely raise more.

    The researchers have proposed an interesting mechanism for solar amplification, but until it is proven by actual data, it is just an interesting and maybe promising theory. One final question: Are Svensmark’s theory and the one described in this article mutually exclusive?

    As stated Mike the discussion was on another thread.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/18/scafetta-on-tsi-and-surface-temperature/#comment-179258

    The main point I was discussing is that there is more to the Sun/Earth climate link than 0.1% TSI variations that Leif continually states. Different bands of the UV spectrum vary by differing amounts greater than the 0.1% over the cycle and that all is not known in this area, also the Svensmark theory has to be considered (separately).

    Leif has stated the science is settled in this area….I disagree.

  123. Invariant says:

    I think I have exactly the same point of view as “tallbloke (06:51:04) ” in another thread (below). If a small change in the behaviour of the sun could result in an amplified effect in our climate (transistor hypothesis), I still think that the huge thermal mass of the oceans may delay things significantly. There are many interesting suggestions like increased cloud coverage, but still the heat must be dissipated from the oceans, one way or another, to reduce the temperature here. The classical Science paper by Friis-Christensen, K Lassen – Science, 1991 shows this “tau = R*C” delay.

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/files/documents/Solar%20Cycle%20-%20Friis-Chr_Lassen-.pdf

    ===================================
    Original post by “tallbloke (06:51:04) ”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/01/message-in-the-cloud-for-warmists-the-end-is-near/

    “There is as much heat capacity in the top 2.5m of the ocean as there is in the entire atmosphere. Western Europe is kept warmer in winter not just due to the gulf stream, but the deflection of wind patterns southwards round the Rockies, then north eastwards to europe, picking up heat from the mid atlantic as it goes.

    The ocean heats the atmosphere much more than the atmosphere heats the ocean, because longwave IR from the atmosphere doesn’t penetrate the ocean, just evaporates the surface. The ocean is heated by the sun, loses 170W/m^2 into the atmosphere, and stores the heat it can’t lose at the time due to atmospheric reflection and low temp diffs lower down towards the thermocline.”

  124. maksimovich says:

    Leif Svalgaard (15:21:34) :

    “The ultraviolet radiation share varies much more strongly than the other shares in the spectrum, i.e. by five to eight per cent, and that forms more ozone” explains Katja Matthes.”

    “Thus is the standard nonsense. UV is 105 W/m2 vs. total TSI 1361 W/m2. 7% [mean of 5 and 8] of UV is 105*0.07=8 W/m2. TSI only varies 1.5 W/m2, and UV is but a small part of TSI.”

    The maximum sensitivity of the upper stratospheric temperature response is of
    about 0.16K per 1% change in solar radiation at 205 nm eg Hood and Zhou, 1998.

  125. Philip_B says:

    Berry R,

    Thanks for the link (duplicated below) about California heatwaves, which documents a phenomena I have noticed here in Australia as the cause of very hot days and nights.

    However, note the following quote,

    Humidity is the key ingredient forming muggy nighttime heat waves. That same humidity usually provides some daytime relief by stoking afternoon cloud formation. The authors note that in the 2006 event, however, and to a lesser degree in the next largest 2003 event, the convection that usually triggers afternoon cooling was stifled.

    You can’t ‘stifle’ convection. It’s a basic physical process. The cause of reduced cloud formation has to be reduced humidity in the column of air above the Earth;s surface, ie the humidity which caused the extreme heat must be in a thin band near the surface.

    Changes in Pacific surface temperatures can’t produce the phenomena of a thin band of humidity near the surface in California and the cause is highly likely to be irrigation together with a lack of wind to distribute the humidity away from the surface.

    I’ll be charitable and assume the authors merely got it wrong. Rather than conclude they deliberately avoided anthropogenic irrigation as the cause of the heat waves, as that would be too controversial (heretical?) a conclusion in the current political climate .

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090825151008.htm

  126. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard (15:21:34) :

    “Thus is the standard nonsense. UV is 105 W/m2 vs. total TSI 1361 W/m2. 7% [mean of 5 and 8] of UV is 105*0.07=8 W/m2. TSI only varies 1.5 W/m2, and UV is but a small part of TSI.”

    If your numbers are right that equation might work if we are considering the full UV spectrum. But it does not apply if we are looking at specific wave lengths which make up that spectrum.

  127. Philip_B says:

    From wikipedia about the 2006 California heatwave,

    The most severe death toll was in California, principally in the interior region.[22] By the end of July, when the sweltering heat in California subsided, but the number of confirmed or suspected heat-related deaths climbed to 163 as county coroners worked through a backlog of cases.[1] A report from California Climate Change Center published in 2009 determined that the heat caused two to three times the number of deaths estimated by coroners in seven California counties. [23]

    By July 25, California authorities documented at least 38 deaths related to the heat in 11 counties. Temperatures reached 110–115 °F (43–46 °C) in the central valley of California July 23–24.

    So it seems the heat was concentrated in the agricultural areas and irrigation levels would have been particularly high to protect crops during the heatwave.

    It would be interesting to see a more detailed breakdown of the extreme heat, but I doubt we will, because if I am right about irrigation as the cause, then it would undermine the AGW ‘consensus’.

    Note, the period would have undoubtably have been very hot without the extra humidity from irrigation. However, irrigation would appear to be the additional factor causing the record temperatures.

  128. Kevin Kilty says:

    Leif Svalgaard (15:21:34) :

    “Thus is the standard nonsense. UV is 105 W/m2 vs. total TSI 1361 W/m2. 7% [mean of 5 and 8] of UV is 105*0.07=8 W/m2. TSI only varies 1.5 W/m2, and UV is but a small part of TSI.”

    Do I understand that when UV increases, then some other portion of the total spectrum decreases? This is the only way I can see that UV varying by 8W/m^2 is consistent with TSI varying by only 1.5W/m^2.

  129. _Jim says:


    Philip_B (18:49:47) :

    You can’t ’stifle’ convection. It’s a basic physical process. The cause of reduced cloud formation has to be reduced humidity in the column of air above the Earth;s surface,

    Meteologically speaking, yes, via a cap or ‘capping inversion’ can inhibit convection. We have this condition quite often in Tejas (boundary layer quite warm and moist, but no convection). Perhaps this mechanism is not at play in this circumstance either?

    Per Wikipedia on the subject: “A capping inversion limits the vertical development of clouds (convection)”
    .
    .
    .

  130. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thanks to my critics here I can now refine my propositions as follows:

    1)The oceans behave similarly to an electrical resistor in that they receive solar shortwave energy, convert it to infra red longwave and generate a higher temperature in the process because that infra red longwave is then represented by greater vibration of the water molecules.

    2)The oceans behave unlike an electrical resistor in that they can retain that energy within themselves by moving the energy around between oceanic molecules for very variable lengths of time before it is released to the air above.

    3)That retention of energy is merely part of the one way flow of energy from sun to sea to air to space and so the energy cannot be ‘held’ in the conventional sense because a reduction in incoming energy will immediately alter the balance between incoming and outgoing energy and any surplus in the oceans will start to decline.

    4) The oceans do not slow down the speed of electromagnetic energy but they do slow down the transmission of that energy through the Earth system by altering the rate at which it is released to the air.

    5)The oceans behave like a capacitor in the way they can build up and release a ‘charge’ of heat energy to the air above.

    6) The oceans behave unlike a capacitor in that instead of smoothing out the flow of power they instead introduce large discontinuities in the flow by intermittently accelerating and decelerating the flow of energy into the air.

    7) It is the irregularity in the release of the flow of solar energy to the air that creates the apparently large discrepancy between the very small solar variability and the much larger energy budget changes observed in climate change.

    8) The oceans do not ‘amplify’ solar variability in the usual sense because no increase in total energy can be effected. Instead, the oceans create their own discontinuities in the flow of solar energy through the Earth system and that involves both amplification and suppression of the solar signal rather than simple amplification.

    9) Once the oceans introduce such discontinuities in the energy flow then the only way the Earth system can remain stable is for the air circulation systems to make opposing (negative) adjustments. It must be successful in doing so or we would have no oceans.

    Suggestions for further refinement will be welcomed.

  131. Jim Arndt (16:05:09) :
    “This is the standard nonsense. UV is 105 W/m2 vs. total TSI 1361 W/m2. 7% [mean of 5 and 8] of UV is 105*0.07=8 W/m2. TSI only varies 1.5 W/m2, and UV is but a small part of TSI.”

    The article said [try to actually read some of this stuff]: “”The ultraviolet radiation share varies much more strongly than the other shares in the spectrum, i.e. by five to eight per cent, and that forms more ozone” explains Katja Matthes.”

    So, the researcher claims that UV varies 5-8% [call it 7%]. Of the 1361 W/m2 that is TSI, the part below 400 nm is called UV [the part below the UV band is inconsequential] and is 105 W/m2. For this to vary 7%, it must vary 105*7/100 = 8 W/m2, but the total [TSI] only varies by 1.5 W/m2.

    Kevin Kilty (20:02:33) :
    Do I understand that when UV increases, then some other portion of the total spectrum decreases?

    Of course not. I was pointing out that the statement by the article that UV varies 5-8% is incorrect. The variation of UV can be no larger than (total variation of TSI = 1.5 W/m2)/(amount of UV=105 W/m2) = 1.5/105 = 1.5% and is actually less as some of the total variation is not in the UV.

    maksimovich (17:08:02) :
    The maximum sensitivity of the upper stratospheric temperature response is of about 0.16K per 1% change in solar radiation
    What has that to do with anything?

  132. Invariant says:

    I have a quetion for Dr Svalgaard.

    Let us assume that the average magnitude of the heat energy transfer from the sun is more or less constant over the last centuries. Now if we further assume that although the exact physical mechanism is not yet known, the sun earth relationship can be viewed as a forced oscillator. Think of the analogy with pendulum or an electrical oscillatory circuit that is being externally driven. In a forced oscillator, it is important to know the resonance frequency of the system being driven but also the frequency of the external driving force. Now, let us assume that the earth’s eigenfrequency (if such a notion is at all meaningful) is somewhat shorter than 11 years. Then it will follow that the earth will tend to store more heat during shorter sun cycles as an oscillator oscillates better when is being driven closer to its resonance frequency. May this explain the Science paper by Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) where longer cycles tend to have a cooling effect? If this is the case, may we see a somewhat larger temperature decrease during the Eddy Minimum the next couple of years than previously expected from studying heat transfer from the sun only? (assuming that this is constant)

    [Obviously the earth may have many different resonant or eigenfrequencies, but still the analogy above may be useful to cover the most predominant effects.]

    [[Surely the forced oscillator is a toy model]]

  133. Sandy says:

    “You can’t ’stifle’ convection. It’s a basic physical process. ”
    In a lab maybe, but weather will set up temperature inversions with height (air temp. goes up with increasing height for a thousand feet or more), which indeed stifle convection and lead to cloudless heat-waves.

  134. Invariant (01:31:36) :
    the sun earth relationship can be viewed as a forced oscillator.
    To have an oscillation, you must have a restoring force. What is the restoring force?

    May this explain the Science paper by Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) where longer cycles tend to have a cooling effect?
    The paper is bogus. Direct observation shows the opposite effect, if any [most likely there is none]. http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

  135. Invariant says:

    Thanks Dr. Svalgaard,

    I am very unfamiler with climeate research but I am fairly skilled with analogies. (like in Feynman Lectures on Physics!) Thus I cannot easily suggest what may be the origin of a restoring force, but maybe someone with insight into climate cab help me? See the harmonic oscillator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_oscillator#Damped_harmonic_oscillator

    I see that you are not fond of the 1991 Science paper, but could you try to explain, by using simple analogies, what is wrong with their approach?

  136. Invariant (03:19:37) :
    I see that you are not fond of the 1991 Science paper, but could you try to explain, by using simple analogies, what is wrong with their approach?

    Let me explain my graph http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf
    You van measure the length of a cycle in two ways: from min to min or from max to max. The blue curves show the cycle lengths measured the two ways [hence the two blue curves], with the cycle length plotted at the midpoint of each cycle. One can now calculate the average temperature for each cycle and plot the same way. this gives you the pink curves. The 2nd Figure shows the lack of correlation between the temperature and cycle length [pink circles]. One can try to remove the trend from the temperature curves. That gives you the green curves.
    So, basically there is no correlation. Now, if you smooth the data enough you will always get a correlation. Image you compute the mean length and temperature for the first half of the data and for the last half. That gives you two data points, through which you can draw a line with correlation coefficient 1. If you don’t go this extreme, but smooth a bit less, you don’t get this perfect correlation, but still way more than for the raw [real] data. F&L smooth over 50 years. Since that would exclude the last 25 years, they change the smoothing [in the end don't do any at all] for these years only, to be able to have ‘modern’ points. This is bad science. As I showed, the raw data don’t show any effect.

  137. Geoff Sharp says:

    Leif Svalgaard (00:35:50) :

    Kevin Kilty (20:02:33) :
    Do I understand that when UV increases, then some other portion of the total spectrum decreases?

    Of course not. I was pointing out that the statement by the article that UV varies 5-8% is incorrect. The variation of UV can be no larger than (total variation of TSI = 1.5 W/m2)/(amount of UV=105 W/m2) = 1.5/105 = 1.5% and is actually less as some of the total variation is not in the UV.

    Leif is being less than honorable with his answer and is fully aware of what is really going on here. He is stating values related to the total UV content of the TSI value. UV is made of many components, some having more influence on the climate than others (much to be learned). The different components vary substantially and are not observed at the higher level (total UV).

    One component of the UV value will be lost in the overall UV count due to the numerous components, but might be the key to the Sun/Earth link.

  138. Philip_B says:

    but weather will set up temperature inversions with height (air temp. goes up with increasing height for a thousand feet or more), which indeed stifle convection and lead to cloudless heat-waves.

    A temperature inversion during a humidity induced heat wave would require the air to be even hotter at altitude.

    I very much doubt this occurs.

  139. Invariant says:

    Thank you for taking the time to explain all this, Dr. Svalgaard, I really appreciate it! As you know I have not studied the climate at all, but I think it is fascinating to follow the lively discussion we have today. Regarding the Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) paper I think we can roughly divide the different climate scientist into four separate “schools”, that is one can state,

    1. a strong correlation,
    2. a weak correlation,
    3. no correlation, or
    4. no evidence.

    for a correlation between solar cycle length and temperature anomaly. Before your answer I think I was more in favour of alternative 2 or 4 than 3 which seems to be your point of view. Maybe there is a weak or maybe tiny correlation but that the data we have is insufficient to give a significant result?

    A couple of years ago I studied natural convection in some detail and also read the paper by Lorenz (1963) about deterministic nonperiodic flow

    http://www.cc.uoa.gr/~pji/nonlin/lorenz.pdf

    Lorenz demonstrated that only tiny modifications of the initial conditions may alter the resulting periodic motion significantly. I know such sensitive phenomena can be used in an argument to prove or disprove anything, but let us assume that there actually is (although we do not have significant data to support this yet) a very weak correlation between the solar cycle length and temperature anomaly. Then, since the climate is sensitive (Lorenz, 1963) then this may be amplified (transistor analogy!) in cases where the cycle becomes very long. This is just a wild guess, and I will have to think about your point of view before I make ip my mind. Nonlinear phenomena are very complex!

  140. Geoff Sharp (04:54:51) :
    He is stating values related to the total UV content of the TSI value.
    As was the article. There was no mention of any particular wavelength region, instead: ““The ultraviolet radiation share varies much more strongly than the other shares in the spectrum, i.e. by five to eight per cent, and that forms more ozone” explains Katja Matthes.”

    There are wavelength regions ["shares" to use her word] that vary several hundred percent, but when you don’t specify the precise region the whole is clearly meant.

  141. Invariant (06:02:04) :
    Maybe there is a weak or maybe tiny correlation but that the data we have is insufficient to give a significant result?
    If there is a correlation at all, it is opposite of what F&L claimed [and the main problem with their paper was the inappropriate analysis]. A negative result ['no correlation'] can be highly significant. Anyway, if their is insufficient data, then the ‘finding’ should not be used at all.

  142. bill says:

    Some of my replies below may be inconsequential. But some of your statements are just not valid! Sorry!

    Stephen Wilde (00:27:51) :
    1)The oceans behave similarly to an electrical resistor in that they receive solar shortwave energy, convert it to infra red longwave and generate a higher temperature in the process because that infra red longwave is then represented by greater vibration of the water molecules

    The solar input is converted to heat. Heat generates long wave IR.
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/wien.html#c3 (excellent stuff have a look)
    20C is equivalent to 9885.72nm is equivalent to 30612.2449GHz
    4C is equivalent to 10456.43nm is equivalent to 28690.47619GHz

    2)The oceans behave unlike an electrical resistor in that they can retain that energy within themselves by moving the energy around between oceanic molecules for very variable lengths of time before it is released to the air above.
    Conduction is fast. The oceans can retain heat by moving it away from somewhere where it can dissipate otherwise it is simply in balance with heat loss vs energy input. If 5deg C water is surrounded by 4degC water the two are continually try to equalise – in a static (is this possible?) situation there will be a continual transfer of energy across the 4/5C boundry creating a graduated 5C to 4C gradient. As time progresses this boundary will grow in width until all the water is at the average temp.

    3) ok
    4) ok (just about)
    5)The oceans behave like a capacitor in the way they can build up and release a ‘charge’ of heat energy to the air above.
    Capacitors store and release energy continually. If the voltage on the capacitor is less than the voltage feeding it (via an impedance) the capacitor will store energy. should the voltage feeding it fall below the capacitor terminal voltage the capacitor will discharge and loose energy. Your termonology seems to suggest a sudden release of energy to the air – this will not be the case.
    If a capacitor is discharged then fluctuations in the charging voltage will not extract energy from the capacitor unless those fluctuations fall below the voltage to whic the capacitor is charged. All that will happen is that the energy flowing INTO the capacitor will rise and fall. With sea temperature if a hot day inputs energy to the sea and raises the surface layer to 20C then the next sun is occluded and the air temp falls below 20C the small amount of energy in the sea surface will momentarily keep the air warmer. Your single capacitor ocean will not work this way!

    6) The oceans behave unlike a capacitor in that instead of smoothing out the flow of power they instead introduce large discontinuities in the flow by intermittently accelerating and decelerating the flow of energy into the air.
    This is just simply incorrect the energy is always in balance at the surface. You still have not said how water heated from 4C to 5C at depth in the ocean is going to heat the air at 17C above.

    7) It is the irregularity in the release of the flow of solar energy to the air that creates the apparently large discrepancy between the very small solar variability and the much larger energy budget changes observed in climate change.
    see 6 response

    8) The oceans do not ‘amplify’ solar variability in the usual sense because no increase in total energy can be effected. Instead, the oceans create their own discontinuities in the flow of solar energy through the Earth system and that involves both amplification and suppression of the solar signal rather than simple amplification.
    How?????

    9) Once the oceans introduce such discontinuities in the energy flow then the only way the Earth system can remain stable is for the air circulation systems to make opposing (negative) adjustments. It must be successful in doing so or we would have no oceans.
    explain using scientific principles please.

  143. Stephen Wilde says:

    Geoff Sharp (04:54:51)

    I tried to get at that point a while back but the replies were unhelpful. Either I was failing to get the point across or there was ‘avoidance’.

    We all know that total TSI varies very little.

    Of the TSI a lot gets reflected in the air or obstructed before it gets to the ocean surface. Of the portion that gets to the ocean surface much is reflected by the ocean surface and another portion fails to get past the region involved in evaporation.

    Only a tiny portion of TSI actually gets deeply enough into the ocean to make any difference to ocean energy content and some wavelengths are more successful than others.

    If one identifies the tiny proportion of the limited number of specific wavelengths that are able to affect ocean energy content we must find that it is only a tiny part of TSI.

    So, if the oceans do what they do with, say, only 1% of TSI then the value of TSI itself is irrelevant. 99% of it has no effect on ocean energy content.

    Then if that 1% is subject to a greater level of variation than the variation seen in TSI the effect on the oceans will be greater than one would expect from the TSI variations.

    Which wavelengths are most successful at getting below the evaporative layer and how much do they vary ?

    Leif says that the variation in that 1% cannot exceed the variation in TSI.

    That’s as maybe. I don’t think it needs to nor is it ever likely to. If the relevant 1% (or whatever) doubles or halves then that change is not going to make much dent on,say, 1.5% of TSI but it is going to double or halve the effect on the ocean energy budget. I’m not a mathematician so if that’s wrong I’m sure someone will say so and explain why for my benefit and that of passing readers.

    I don’t propose that it does double or halve. Small changes could set a new temperature trend.
    In fact all it needs to do is provide a long term global trend in the background which is what we actually see. The oceans themselves do all the rest.

  144. bill says:

    During the time that UV has been measured by satellites there have been 2 peaks of TSI

    If there was a significant increase in UV during TSI peaks then these would show up on the satellite data:
    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/
    Thishas 2 little plots showing ozone peak during 1988 and 2002
    However, 1988 does not correspond to a peak of tsi
    tsi peaks (start of tsi decline) are 1992 and 2002
    or looking at the peak flattening off from the rise 1989 an 2000

  145. Stephen Wilde says:

    Bill (08:43:53)

    Thanks for that. I can see how to make it clearer and more technically precise. The capacitor analogy was not mine. I was just seeing whether it could be worked in.
    The point you miss is the real world observation of oceanic phase shifts at 25 to 30 year intervals.
    There is a clear change in the rate of energy release by the oceans.

    Here is the revised effort having abandoned the capacitor analogy:

    Thanks to bill I can now further refine and simplify my proposition as follows:

    1) The oceans behave similarly to an electrical resistor in that they receive solar shortwave energy, convert it to heat which generates infra red longwave and causes a higher temperature in the process because that infra red longwave is then represented by greater vibration of the water molecules.

    2) The oceans behave unlike an electrical resistor in that they can retain that energy within themselves by moving the more energetic water molecules around within the oceans for very variable lengths of time before their energy is released to the air above.

    3) That retention of energy is merely part of the one way flow of energy from sun to sea to air to space and so cannot be ‘held’ in the conventional sense because a reduction in incoming energy will immediately alter the balance between incoming and outgoing energy and any surplus in the oceans will start to decline.

    4) The oceans do not slow down the speed of electromagnetic energy (except to a small degree while it is in the water) but they do significantly speed up and slow down the transmission of that energy through the Earth system by altering the rate at which it is released to the air. We have observed that in the multi decadal oscillations such as the phase shift seen in the Pacific every 25 to 30 years when the ocean surfaces switch from net warming to net cooling of the air above.

    5) It is that irregularity in the release of the flow of solar energy to the air that creates the apparently large discrepancy between the very small solar variability and the apparently much larger energy budget changes observed in climate change. It is currently unclear why or how it happens.

    6) The oceans thus create their own irregularities in the flow of solar energy through the Earth system and that involves both amplification and suppression of the solar signal. The size of the amplification or suppression is related to the characteristics of the oceans and that can change over time. The low level of solar variation can only ever provide a background trend.

    7) Once the oceans introduce such discontinuities in the energy flow then the only way the Earth system can remain stable is for the air circulation systems to make opposing (negative) adjustments. It must be successful in doing so or we would have no oceans. I have described that process in general terms elsewhere but to be brief:

    i) When the oceans release energy faster the air pushes energy to space faster thus limiting the warming of the air.

    ii) When the oceans release energy more slowly the air tries to pull more energy
    from the oceans thus trying to limit the cooling of the air.

  146. Invariant says:

    Dear Dr. Svalgaard,

    I can understand your concern about the Friis-Christensen and Lassen paper
    (1991) – in particular since it is now cited 473 times according to Google Scholar. What the future may bring is not easy to tell, but surely the paper must be regarded as seminal in the discussion the last two decades. In my career as a scientist and engineer I have learned the hard way that one has to distinguish between what is possible to calculate and what is not possible to calculate. I have this beautiful quote from the Norwegian author Jens Bjørneboe that reveals this clearly,

    ”Man vet hvor en planet befinner seg om tolv år, fire måneder og ni dager. Men man vet ikke hvor en sommerfugl vil være fløyet hen om et minutt.”

    — Jens Bjørneboe

    This leads us to another butterfly-effect that is the famous and elegant metaphor introduced by Lorenz,

    “When our results concerning the instability of nonperiodic flow are applied to the atmosphere, which is ostensibly nonperiodic, they indicate that prediction of the sufficiently distant future is impossible by any method, unless the present conditions are known exactly. In view of the inevitable inaccuracy and incompleteness of weather observations, precise very-long-range forecasting would seem to be non-existent.”

    — Edward N. Lorenz
    http://www.cc.uoa.gr/~pji/nonlin/lorenz.pdf

    Most likely both the oscillations inside the sun and the oscillations in our climate are dominated by unpredictable buoyancy forces of the same nature as described in the famous Lorenz paper. Then what chance do we have to predict the climate? My initial analogy with a forced oscillator may not be so helpful either. In particular as most intrinsic oscillations in the sun and the oceans are obviously highly nonlinear. In software we can simulate such nonlinear oscillators with high precision. For example we can learn that tiny a butterfly can prolong the period of a relaxation oscillation indefinitely, just like the “transistor effect” proposed in the latest issue of Science by Meehl et al.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/325/5944/1114

    But this cannot be used to predict anything; it is time yet again to mention that climate simulations lag so far behind experimental evidence that no one would blame you for believing that the two main sets of people that determine your climate future are living on two planets in separate solar systems light years away.

    “True knowledge is when one knows the limitations of one’s knowledge.“

  147. If one draws a sphere around the earth and its atmosphere , Stefan-Boltzmann/Kirchhoff specifies the mean temperature over that sphere as a function of the millionth of the sky subtended by the sun at around 6000k and the all the rest at near 0 . It works out that objects in our orbit are constrained to be about 1%21 the temperature of the sun . It is a mistaken notion that average absorptivity/emissivity ( gray value ) will affect that ratio . I have this basic function now implemented in several Array Programming Languages on my http://CoSy.com and would love to see someone translate it into more common languages like Mathematica or MatLab . It currently handles any angular distribution of gray value , eg , differences between day and night sides , or latitude . I am extending the function to full spectra so that the extreme any lumped spectral distribution ( 1.0 correlated with the sun ) could produce , or the calculated effect of some delta in CO2 saturation .

    ( The above would be rejected as gibberish on a realityDenier blog ; their talent sure ain’t basic physics . )

    A couple of major points :
    Lumped earth/atmosphere temperature is linear with sun temperature . Any nonlinearities within this envelope must cancel by this boundary . Any discussion of “runaways” and “feedbacks” macht nichts . The SB/K equation has held up to at most a few percent of earth/sun temperature ratio . The idea that we are at some particular ratio where some nonlinearity occurs is non-sensical .

    It’s useful to keep in mind that the total change in temperature we’ve seen a century is only about 1%300 = 0.33% . I’m delighted that the sun is that constant .

  148. Stephen Wilde (08:44:34) :
    Leif says that the variation in that 1% cannot exceed the variation in TSI.
    The fundamental error that people commit is to express variation as a percentage. What matters is the variation of the actual amount of energy involved. For TSI that is 1.5 W/m2. For UV the variation is about 0.3 W/m2, for the very energetic part less than 0.03 W/m2. While the relative variation in % gets larger as we go towards shorter wavelengths, the actual energy we get gets smaller and smaller, so it matters not much what the variation is. It is like basing the credit worthiness of someone by the variation of loose change in his pocket rather than the value of his house.

  149. Invariant (11:57:00) :
    I can understand your concern about the Friis-Christensen and Lassen paper (1991) – in particular since it is now cited 473 times according to Google Scholar. What the future may bring is not easy to tell, but surely the paper must be regarded as seminal in the discussion the last two decades.
    It will be held up as a warning of how easily people will go along with bad science as long as it supports their views. Perhaps AGW is another example. And this without even reading the paper. In the F&L paper they say [from memory] that “solar activity might influence climate, and since it is well-known that the size of a cycle depends on its length [not always so, actually], then we can use the length as a proxy for the size”. Then they go on working with the length [heavily smoothed to boot]. Good science would not use a proxy for something if that something is directly available.

  150. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (12:24:06)

    It doesn’t matter how small the variation of the actual amount of energy involved is if it is sufficient to establish or maintain a trend.

    The fundamental error that people commit is to deny the significance of small differences in a situation that relies on balance.

    If someone cannot sell his house his loose change becomes critical to survival.

  151. David Walton says:

    Small matter, but I would argue that vacuum valves make better analogues than transistors since they have slower and smoothed step responses that stem from greater inter-electrode impedance storage factors and the electron propagation physics of the materials used.

    One might consider the ocean as an inter-electrode capacitance and the atmosphere an emitter inductance.

    Vacuum valves also can have mulitiple elements that affect operation including heaters, grids, accelerators and suppressors.

    Add a selected gas to the tube and heck, that might make for a possible climate model.

    (Oh, just kidding.)

  152. Invariant says:

    > It will be held up as a warning of how easily people will go along with bad science as long as it supports their views.

    My definition of real science is when people do not know what they are trying to discover, because if they knew they would not need to discover it. Basically real scientists do not know what they are doing! So I think you are a little too hard on this Friis-Christensen and Lassen paper (1991). This field of science is probably not very well understood either, and to suggest new mechanisms in a “trial and error” manner can always be useful I think. For example if not only the amplitude but also the frequency is important, which is most common in the field of signal processing, then they would have made a major discovery. [This would, for example, make sense if the sun/earth is a forced oscillatory system.]

  153. Invariant says:

    > One might consider the ocean as an inter-electrode capacitance and the atmosphere an emitter inductance.

    Cool! Then we have both a capacitance (C), an inductance (L) and a resistance (R). A system without dissipation is not possible (2.nd law of thermodynamics) so there must obviously be a large resistance in the system. Could someone please calculate the resonant frequency of this harmonic oscillator? Please us this table to see suitable analogies,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_oscillator#Equivalent_systems

  154. Invariant (13:24:15) :
    So I think you are a little too hard on this Friis-Christensen and Lassen paper (1991).
    There are well-established rules and methods for doing science, and if a paper violates those, it is bad science.
    The rules in question are:
    1) don’t use a proxy for the real thing, if you have the real thing
    2) don’t smooth one part of the data one way and another part differently [and if you do anyway, go to pains to explain why]
    3) don’t calculate correlation coefficients on smoothed data with overlapping smoothing windows.

    Any paper that violates those rules is bad and should be judged harshly. That the paper was published in Science was a failure of our peer-review system.

  155. Stephen Wilde (12:39:21) :
    If someone cannot sell his house his loose change becomes critical to survival.
    Hardly relevant. He can always sell his house if the price is low enough [it will surely exceed his loose pocket change].

  156. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Leif Svalgaard (13:59:09) :

    Stephen Wilde (12:39:21) :
    If someone cannot sell his house his loose change becomes critical to survival.
    Hardly relevant. He can always sell his house if the price is low enough [it will surely exceed his loose pocket change.”

    I meant in the sense that the capital in the house is not accessible in the same way that 99% or more of TSI has no effect on the ocean energy content.

  157. Mike Abbott says:

    Let me put a few things into perspective about the NCAR study. Those of you who think it is another nail in the coffin of AGW theory are sadly mistaken and I’m a skeptic myself. (Actually, I’m a skeptic’s skeptic; I’m skeptical of claims made by both sides of the debate.) Do you know anything about the lead author, Dr. Gerald Meehl? He has been a Contributing Author or Lead Author on every IPCC assessment report including AR4 (2007.) He is one of the IPCC’s leading climate model experts. On February 8, 2007, he summarized AR4 and warned of the perils of AGW in an address to the U.S. House of Representatives. (See http://www.ucar.edu/oga/pdf/meehl_testimony%202-07.pdf) Significantly, his theory of solar amplification in the Pacific climate system was well under development at that time, as the references in his current paper demonstrate.

    In short, Dr. Meehl is a well-established AGW proponent and Insider. As noted in an earlier comment, the last sentence of his paper states that his theory “cannot explain recent global warming because the 11-year solar cycle has not shown a measurable trend over the past 30 years.” (By the way, he cites Lean, 2005 for this.)

    At first blush, the NCAR study may appear to be the “smoking gun” the skeptics are seeking but, on the contrary, I predict it will be hailed by the AGW community for making an important incremental improvement to current GCMs and for resolving nagging inconsistencies between the models’ projections and observational data in the Pacific climate system. In other words, AGWers will claim that the models will become more accurate and credible because of Dr. Meehl’s work.

  158. Stephen Wilde says:

    Speaking of oscillations I said this in another thread:

    “If ANY variability is present in the flow of energy from the sun it will be compounded when it interacts with the inevitable variability in a fluid surrounding the bulk of a planet and the more of that fluid the better.

    Once an imbalance exists (and of course it always does) then oscillations in the flow of energy will be set up within the receiving fluid.

    The issue then is as to how large those oscillations can get. I propose that the size of the oscillations is not significantly dependent on the variability of the sun. Rather it is primarily dictated by the properties of the air and the oceans or more particularly by the circulation systems in each.

    One could liken it to the resonance qualities of a tuning fork.

    So despite the solar variations of only 0.05K (or whatever it might be) the system adopts whatever scale of oscillation it’s internal characteristics are tuned to produce and we see in the real world just how much larger than the solar variation it can become.”

  159. PaulA says:

    Advanced apology for my ignorance on this topic, but the capacitor analogy captured my attention.

    Since sunspots can last for months, then suddenly dissappear. Are we seeing a charge/discharge cylce causing the amplification. Slow build up, fast release.

    Like a capacitor can the oceans be charged(energy build up) by the 1% variance for a period of time, such that the sudden removal of the variance, would release the energy at a shorter period of time but have a larger effect.

    Perhaps the 1% variance is causing small changes to one or more “processes” over time. At the sudden absence of the variance, the “processes” would then snap back to it’s previous state. Like a driver whose steering is off by only 1degree would correct at a steeper angle upon realizing he is off course.

    By “processes” I mean a catchall for anything that can be affected by the variance. Guess that means “Everything under the sun”. :)

  160. Stephen Wilde (14:37:13) :
    I meant in the sense that the capital in the house is not accessible in the same way that 99% or more of TSI has no effect on the ocean energy content.
    The 99% contributes to ~99% of the heat content.

  161. Invariant says:

    >Any paper that violates those rules is bad and should be judged harshly. That the paper was published in Science was a failure of our peer-review system.

    Fortunately the entire paper is available here so everybody can judge themselves.

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/files/documents/Solar%20Cycle%20-%20Friis-Chr_Lassen-.pdf

    I just read thought the paper once more now, and my point of view is that the hypothesis that long cycles may have a cooling effect has not been falsified experimentally yet. Fortunately we have a very long cycle now, so we may be able to falsify the hypothesis if the temperature does not drop significantly in the next couple of years. On the other hand, if the temperature starts to drop significantly, I suspect that “your nightmare paper” may be more popular than ever before. Obviously, it’s not possible to prove a theory,

    No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.

    — Albert Einstein

    However, if the Danish hypothesis is not falsified during the Eddy Minimum then we may see a similar event in science as the famous test of Einstein’s theory in 1919

    http://www.arkivverket.no/webfelles/manedens/jan2009/sol.html

    Assuming that a future experiment reveals that both the amplitude and the frequency matters, I agree that they should have avoided using the frequency as a measure of the amplitude. This would surely have made most signal processing engineers upset too.

  162. Invariant says:

    > Since sunspots can last for months, then suddenly dissappear. Are we seeing a charge/discharge cylce causing the amplification. Slow build up, fast release.

    In physics this is called a relaxation oscillator

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

    Note that during the charging phase the oscillator is very sensitive for external forces. So the lack uf sunspots may extend or shorten the charging phase significantly.

  163. Nogw says:

    Stephen Wilde (14:47:51) :
    propose that the size of the oscillations is not significantly dependent on the variability of the sun. Rather it is primarily dictated by the properties of the air and the oceans or more particularly by the circulation systems in each
    Here you will find those oscillations:

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/Y2787E00.HTM

    and at Google:

    http://books.google.com.pe/books?id=q3mGCiLjkBIC&dq=Climate+change+and+long-term+fluctuations+of+commercial+catches:+the+possibility+of+forecasting

  164. Retired BChe says:

    As a licensed “ham”, I think this talk about the earth-sun system being analogous to an electronic circuit, with resonant oscillations, is a bit off-base. I seriously doubt that we know enough about the system to even attempt to calculate the resonant frequency. Remember that there are plenty of other energy storage systems besides electrical capacitors. A hot water bottle put in bed is one, and if you put a blanket on the bed, it will take longer to cool off. It seems to me that the earth’s energy balance is like a process responding to a controller with derivative action: that is, if there is an imbalance, it tries to control the move off set point with a proportional response; but if that does not correct things soon, the derivative action kicks in with an ever-increasing response. The fact that we don’t have big global runaways of more than a degree or so in a long period of time illustrates this point. We just don’t know how the controller works for our world. I do want to make one point about the ocean transferring energy to the atmosphere. This can only happen by radiation or conduction in situations where the water happens to be hotter than the air above it. I don’t know what percentage of the ocean or what percentage of time this is the case, but I think most of the heat transfer is by evaporation, which cools the ocean slightly and increases the water vapor in the atmosphere. Then when the water vapor condenses to rain, it gives up that heat to the atmosphere. Since the ocean has so much more heat content than the atmosphere, it acts as a huge flywheel to prevent rapid climate changes.

  165. Invariant (15:11:10) :
    I agree that they should have avoided using the frequency as a measure of the amplitude. This would surely have made most signal processing engineers upset too.

    They did that because using the amplitude gave the result that the temperature [and BTW, they used only Northern Hemisphere] preceded the sunspot numbers, i.e. we can predict solar activity from Earth’s climate. They do have some hand waving about geomagnetic activity being a better measure for solar activity than the sunspot number, but then why not use that as your measure?

  166. Invariant says:

    > They did that because using the amplitude gave the result that the temperature [and BTW, they used only Northern Hemisphere] preceded the sunspot numbers, i.e. we can predict solar activity from Earth’s climate.

    Exactly! Thanks for all the helpful comments Dr. Svalgaard, this site is surely the most civilised place where different viewpoints can be discussed in a peaceful way! Yes, it is complete nonsense that temperature should somehow affect solar activity. But assuming that it is not nonsense and neither a coincidence that a long cycle seems to precede both weak cycles and a temperature drop, the actual effect should then be nearly instant compared to the slow transients usually observed in climate change. [Basically they “changed” the process from being more than instant to being just instant!]

    However this is a little counter-intuitive due to the huge thermal mass of the oceans. But maybe the thermal mass is not that large after all and that it is only the upper part of the oceans that is relevant, then the “tau=R*C” time constant may be in the order of ~30 years meaning that we should see a significant drop after ~ 3 years. I think the Wolf number has been surprisingly low for nearly 3 years now, so we should expect a significant temperature drop any day now. If this does not happen the hypothesis may be falsified.

    We surely live in interesting times.

  167. Invariant (23:05:27) :
    so we should expect a significant temperature drop any day now. If this does not happen the hypothesis may be falsified.
    F&L have that covered too. Their hypothesis cannot be falsified, because if temps stay high we just have proof of AGW overpowering F&L, and if not, we have direct proof of F&L overpowering AGW. Any other result will just be a combination of the above two extremes.

  168. Invariant says:

    Good point. The climate is so complex that any hypothesis can never be tested nor falsified. The big question then is whether climate research really science then? To summarize we

    1. cannot observe the climate sufficiently accurately to feed a climate model with initial conditions,
    2. cannot simulate the climate due to the limited computing power and the butterfly effect,
    3. cannot test or falsify a climate model or hypothesis due the overall complexity of the system, and our limited ability to isolate the different contributions to climate change.

    We can assume that we may actually see a temperature drop the start of this century exactly as we saw in the previous century when Titanic unfortunately hit the ice berg. But we can only think “here we go again” and suspect that something fishy is going on but scientific evidence is not possible at this point.

  169. Stephen Wilde says:

    Stephen Wilde (14:37:13) :
    I meant in the sense that the capital in the house is not accessible in the same way that 99% or more of TSI has no effect on the ocean energy content.
    Leif Svalgaard:
    The 99% contributes to ~99% of the heat content

    I need clarification of that in view of previous comments about how little energy reaches the surface. I initially only used the 1%/99% ratio as an illustration and not as a fact.

    There cannot be 99% available to affect ocean energy content after:

    Reflection from the atmosphere, absorption and re radiation by the atmosphere, reflection from the ocean surface, absorption by the ocean surface and then convection, evaporation and re radiation from the ocean surface.

    Just what proportion of TSI actually gets below the region of ocean surface involved in evaporation ?

  170. Invariant says:

    > Retired BChe (19:15:48)
    > I do want to make one point about the ocean transferring energy to the atmosphere. This can only happen by radiation or conduction in situations where the water happens to be hotter than the air above it. I don’t know what percentage of the ocean or what percentage of time this is the case, but I think most of the heat transfer is by evaporation, which cools the ocean slightly and increases the water vapor in the atmosphere. Then when the water vapor condenses to rain, it gives up that heat to the atmosphere.

    Although I spent nearly 10 years working with a commercial multiphase flow simulator I never became an expert. Too many subtle phenomena like bubbles and droplets and various phase transitions that counter-intuitively were altered by temperature and pressure transients. Nevertheless my hunch is that the description of BChe (19:15:48) seems accurate; it is evaporation that is the major heat transfer from the oceans to the air. But this is a slow process. Changing the overall temperature of the oceans from T0 to T1,

    T(t) = T1 + [T0 – T1] exp(-t/tau),

    may take very long time due to the large value of the time constant tau for the oceans. Thus the analogy with a huge flywheel that prevents rapid climate changes seems very useful.

  171. Stephen Wilde says:

    I have been known to suggest that the circulations in the oceans represent a very large slow flywheel and the circulations in the air a very small fast flywheel.

    However I suspect it is the oceanic flywheel that is responsible for driving climate by altering the rate of energy release to the air then the air circulation flywheel acts very quickly to negate or minimise the oceanic effects.

    The size of the oceanic flywheel also explains why solar variability is insufficient to drive climate changes on it’s own except over long time scales. The smallness of solar variability extends such time scales even more.

    So, the ocean flywheel would prevent rapid climate changes from solar variability except that the solar variability is so small that that function of the oceans is hardly needed.

    However the power of the ocean flywheel is two edged. Small changes in the oceans seem to produce changes in the rate of energy emission to the air which then cause the small air flywheel to respond very quickly just as we see in the way the air circulation systems all shift latitudinally in response to oceanic phase shifts at 25 to 30 year intervals.

    I really don’t see why it is a problem for some to accept that all the global air temperature changes we have observed can be accounted for by oceanic behaviour.

    There need be no significant change in the temperature of the planet if energy is just being shunted at differing rates between the two main components of water and air.

    Thus we can obtain the climate changes we observe without any need to postulate a direct link with solar variability.

    It is the physical properties of the oceans and air which dictates the size of any oscillations within the system. Not necessarily anything to do with the sun at all except for the provision of the initial energy content and the setting up of a long term background trend.

  172. Kevin Kilty says:

    Leif Svalgaard (00:35:50) :

    Kevin Kilty (20:02:33) :
    Do I understand that when UV increases, then some other portion of the total spectrum decreases?

    Of course not. I was pointing out that the statement by the article that UV varies 5-8% is incorrect. The variation of UV can be no larger than (total variation of TSI = 1.5 W/m2)/(amount of UV=105 W/m2) = 1.5/105 = 1.5% and is actually less as some of the total variation is not in the UV.

    OK, thanks Leif. The differing ways that we use English sometimes makes it difficult to identify a hypothetical statement versus a factual one. I had interpreted your statement regarding 8 W/m^2 as factual when you meant it to be hypothetical.

  173. Neo says:

    If it is a ‘transistor effect’, then all you need is a “Miller effect” capacitor.

  174. SteveSadlov says:

    This brings a whole new level of meaning to the overshoot and ringing analogies.

  175. Invariant says:

    Hi Stephen Wilde,

    I suspect that there may be some good physics in your flywheel analogy. First a flywheel has two types of energy, potential (P= mgh) and kinetic (K=½ mv²), and energy dissipation due to friction with air which may be either laminar or turbulent. Second, there is a beautiful analogy with both a thermal system and an electrical RLC circuit. Finally the thermal analogy of your flywheel covers the nifty fact that the oceans may be modelled as a system with a large thermal mass and the air as a system with a small thermal mass. [This is more than an analogy!] What is fascinating is that although the different analogies are completely different, the understanding and the equations are nearly the same.

  176. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thanks Invariant.

    I think several of my ideas meet both observations and the basic physics better than the current models. Even the couple ocean/atmosphere ones.

    The critical observation behind everything I say is that the air circulation systems always move latitudinally after the oceanic phase change at 25 to 30 year intervals.

    So far I seem to be the only person treating both phenomena as part of a single process and trying to explore the logical implications of that.

    I have found that those logical implications fit very well with what we actually observe throughout the climate system.

  177. Invariant says:

    A little off-topic but the most brilliant scientist we have alive today is probably Freeman Dyson. He is looking through the equations and has a clear understanding of the underlying physics – see New York Times:

    “What Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga were doing was stylistically different, but it was all “fundamentally the same.””

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/magazine/29Dyson-t.html

    He also said about climate models,

    “The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world we live in.”

    He is probably right.

  178. I think the distinction between climate and mean global temperature needs to be emphasized .

    Mean temperature is very tightly constrained by Stefan-Boltzmann/Kirchhoff to a quite precise relationship with the sun’s effective temperature . Climate is complex chaotic engine constantly driving to satisfy that balance . From the perspective of mean temperature the details of how climate gets the job done is no more necessary to understand than the particular paths of molecules in a gas are to it’s mean temperature .

    I get the impression that many of the climate models fail to connect themselves to the SB/K constraints . Until that is done , and done correctly ( incorrect statements of SB/K abound ) it will be impossible to claim any science is settled .

  179. Zeke the Sneak says:

    tallbloke (04:47:50) :

    Louis Hissink (04:18:47) :

    following on from my previous, assume the Earth as a leaky capacitor, in circuit with the Sun and Solar System, think about Faraday motors, Plasma, and you should find enough tools to explain things differently to that of our Victorian predecessors who only knew of gravity.

    Sounds great. Any coherent theories on offer?

    ———

    I am not an acquaintance of Louis Hissink, but I do follow his blog:http://geoplasma.spaces.live.com/

    Pertinent to this discussion would be “Global Warming in a Climate of Ignorance” here:

    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=aapprbh6

    It would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

    Zeke the Sneak

  180. George E. Smith says:

    “”” The second process takes place in the opposite way: the higher solar activity leads to more evaporation in the cloud free areas. With the trade winds the increased amounts of moisture are transported to the equator, where they lead to stronger precipitation, lower water temperatures in the East Pacific and reduced cloud formation, which in turn allows for increased evaporation. Katja Matthes: “It is this positive back coupling that strengthens the process”. With this it is possible to explain the respective measurements and observations on the Earth’s surface. “””

    This suggests the discovery of a new weather/climate phenomenon, where more precipitation results from less clouds.

    If increased amounts of moisture are transported to the equator (where it is presumably hotter) that would seem to argue for more moisture retention in the atmosphere, so less prcipitation.
    I would expect that the more precipitation; which results from more evaporation caused by increased mean global surface temperature (see Wentz et al July-7 2007 SCIENCE), would occur at cooler latitiudes; or alternatively at higher altitudes ove land; the monsoons for example.

    I do agree with the part that increased precipitation will dissipate the rain bearing clouds, and let more solar energy reach the surface, so that it warms again to yeild more evaporation. But that is the negative feedback cooling part of the water cycle that maintains earth’s temperature range.
    The water vapor (from evaporation) produces the positive feedback warming (yes water vapor is a GHG; the most important one); and the subsequent cloud formation; (liquid and solid water), produces the negative feedback cooling via albedo enhancement, and ground level solar blocking. The combined effects of evaporation and precipitation (which must balance over time), maintain the cloud level that supports the earth’s mean temperature range. CO2 just watches from the sidelines.

    George

  181. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Stephen Wilde (08:44:34) :

    Geoff Sharp (04:54:51)

    I tried to get at that point a while back but the replies were unhelpful. Either I was failing to get the point across or there was ‘avoidance’.

    We all know that total TSI varies very little.

    Of the TSI a lot gets reflected in the air or obstructed before it gets to the ocean surface. Of the portion that gets to the ocean surface much is reflected by the ocean surface and another portion fails to get past the region involved in evaporation.

    Only a tiny portion of TSI actually gets deeply enough into the ocean to make any difference to ocean energy content and some wavelengths are more successful than others.

    If one identifies the tiny proportion of the limited number of specific wavelengths that are able to affect ocean energy content we must find that it is only a tiny part of TSI. “””

    I have no idea who wrote the above; or if it is joint authorship. If someone is citing someone else’s posting; it can be helpful to use some delimiter to identify who wrote what. In ordinary English Grammar that is often accomplished by using quotation marks (S/he said this” phooey !”)

    I use this “”” Phooey ! “”” just to make it plainly obvious.

    But as to the above writings by whomever; the observations are quite false.

    First off, starting from a solar “constant” value of about 1366 W/m^2 in the mean earth orbit; by the time it reaches the surface it is about 1000 W/m^2, and that is for cloudless skies; so perhaps 25% is absorbed my the atmosphere (or scattered), and maybe 20% is due to water vapor, in the 750nm-4.0 micron region of the solar spectrum. So I wouldn’t call 25% “a lot”
    Then there is this statement:- “”” Of the portion that gets to the ocean surface much is reflected by the ocean surface and another portion fails to get past the region involved in evaporation. “””

    This is wrong on both counts. Water has a solar spectrum diffuse reflection coefficient of about 3%; it is only 2% for normal incidence. nobody would call 3% reflectance loss “much”.
    Then there is that final other portion that doesn’t get past the surface “skin” that is involved in evaporation. Well the UV part of the spectrum is already highly attenuated before it reaches the surface, and yes it is absorbed relatively quickly, but the part of the spectrum that contains 99% of the ground level insolation penetrates readily into the se water; so in fact the bulk of the ocean incident solar energy IS captured in the ocean and converted to heat content of the ocean’s upper layers.

    The very strong surface (skin) absorption of the ocean is reserved for the long wave IR emissions from the atmosphere (or clouds).

    So it is quite incorrect to depict the oceans as the repository for only a small amount of the solar energy incident on the earth’s surface; they in fact collect most of it.

    George

  182. Geoff Sharp says:

    George E. Smith (17:48:01) :

    Then there is that final other portion that doesn’t get past the surface “skin” that is involved in evaporation. Well the UV part of the spectrum is already highly attenuated before it reaches the surface, and yes it is absorbed relatively quickly, but the part of the spectrum that contains 99% of the ground level insolation penetrates readily into the se water; so in fact the bulk of the ocean incident solar energy IS captured in the ocean and converted to heat content of the ocean’s upper layers

    Interesting read George….if I am reading you correctly you are describing a part of the UV spectrum, if so would you happen to know what part of the UV spectrum is doing all the “work” ?

  183. Invariant says:

    Combining “Retired BChe (19:15:48)” and “George E. Smith (17:22:43) we can state:

    “The water vapor (from evaporation) produces the positive feedback warming (yes water vapor is a GHG; the most important one); and the subsequent cloud formation; (liquid and solid water), produces the negative feedback cooling via albedo enhancement, and ground level solar blocking. The combined effects of evaporation and precipitation (which must balance over time), maintain the cloud level that supports the earth’s mean temperature range. Most of the heat the ocean is transferring to the atmosphere is due to evaporation, which cools the ocean slightly and increases the water vapor in the atmosphere. Then when the water vapor condenses to rain, it gives up that heat to the atmosphere.”

    We can only add that the air temperature transients are faster as the thermal mass in the air is small compared to the thermal mass in the oceans.

  184. In France we have such theory with a french geophysist (ancient IAGA secretary) and others ancients men who follow ALBERT NODON (1862-1934) observations with the electric activity of the Sun since 1950. We have a graph that compares pluviometry with aa-indice and solar cycles from 1950 to 1998.

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