A New And Effective Climate Model

The problem with existing climate models:

Guest post by Stephen Wilde

From ETH, Zurich - Climate model (Ruddiman, 2001)

Even those who aver that man’s activity affects climate on a global scale rather than just locally or regionally appear to accept that the existing climate models are incomplete. It is a given that the existing models do not fully incorporate data or mechanisms involving cloudiness or global albedo (reflectivity) variations or variations in the speed of the hydrological cycle and that the variability in the temperatures of the ocean surfaces and the overall ocean energy content are barely understood and wholly inadequately quantified in the infant attempts at coupled ocean/atmosphere models. Furthermore the effect of variability in solar activity on climate is barely understood and similarly unquantified.

As they stand at present the models assume a generally static global energy budget with relatively little internal system variability so that measurable changes in the various input and output components can only occur from external forcing agents such as changes in the CO2 content of the air caused by human emissions or perhaps temporary after effects from volcanic eruptions, meteorite strikes or significant changes in solar power output.

If such simple models are to have any practical utility it is necessary to demonstrate that some predictive skill is a demonstrable outcome of the models. Unfortunately it is apparent that there is no predictive skill whatever despite huge advances in processing power and the application of millions or even billions of man hours from reputable and experienced scientists over many decades.

As I will show later on virtually all climate variability is a result of internal system variability and additionally the system not only sets up a large amount of variability internally but also provides mechanisms to limit and then reduce that internal variability. It must be so or we would not still have liquid oceans. The current models neither recognise the presence of that internal system variability nor the processes that ultimately stabilise it.

The general approach is currently to describe the climate system from ‘the bottom up’ by accumulating vast amounts of data, observing how the data has changed over time, attributing a weighting to each piece or class of data and extrapolating forward. When the real world outturn then differs from what was expected then adjustments are made to bring the models back into line with reality. This method is known as ‘hindcasting’.

Although that approach has been used for decades no predictive skill has ever emerged. Every time the models have been adjusted using guesswork (or informed judgment as some would say) to bring them back into line with ongoing real world observations a new divergence between model expectations and real world events has begun to develop.

It is now some years since the weighting attached to the influence of CO2 was adjusted to remove a developing discrepancy between the real world warming that was occurring at the time and which had not been fully accounted for in the then climate models. Since that time a new divergence began and is now becoming embarrassingly large for those who made that adjustment. At the very least the weighting given to the effect of more CO2 in the air was excessive.

The problem is directly analogous to a financial accounting system that balances but only because it contains multiple compensating errors. The fact that it balances is a mere mirage. The accounts are still incorrect and woe betide anyone who relies upon them for the purpose of making useful commercial decisions.

Correcting multiple compensating errors either in a climate model or in a financial accounting system cannot be done by guesswork because there is no way of knowing whether the guess is reducing or compounding the underlying errors that remain despite the apparent balancing of the financial (or in the case of the climate the global energy) budget.

The system being used by the entire climatological establishment is fundamentally flawed and must not be relied upon as a basis for policy decisions of any kind.

A better approach:

We know a lot about the basic laws of physics as they affect our day to day existence and we have increasingly detailed data about past and present climate behaviour.

We need a New Climate Model (from now on referred to as NCM) that is created from ‘the top down’ by looking at the climate phenomena that actually occur and using deductive reasoning to decide what mechanisms would be required for those phenomena to occur without offending the basic laws of physics.

We have to start with the broad concepts first and use the detailed data as a guide only. If a broad concept matches the reality then the detailed data will fall into place even if the broad concept needs to be refined in the process. If the broad concept does not match the reality then it must be abandoned but by adopting this process we always start with a broad concept that obviously does match the reality so by adopting a step by step process of observation, logic, elimination and refinement a serviceable NCM with some predictive skill should emerge and the more detailed the model that is built up the more predictive skill will be acquired.

That is exactly what I have been doing step by step in my articles here:

Articles by Stephen Wilde

for some two years now and I believe that I have met with a degree of success because many climate phenomena that I had not initially considered in detail seem to be falling into line with the NCM that I have been constructing.

In the process I have found it necessary to propound various novel propositions that have confused and irritated warming proponents and sceptics alike but that is inevitable if one just follows the logic without a preconceived agenda which I hope is what I have done.

I will now go on to describe the NCM as simply as I can in verbal terms, then I will elaborate on some of the novel propositions (my apologies if any of them have already been propounded elsewhere by others but I think I would still be the first to pull them all together into a plausible NCM) and I will include a discussion of some aspects of the NCM which I find encouraging.

Preliminary points:

  1. Firstly we must abandon the idea that variations in total solar output have a significant effect over periods of time relevant to human existence. At this point I should mention the ‘faint sun paradox’:

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

Despite a substantial increase in the power of the sun over billions of years the temperature of the Earth has remained remarkably stable. My proposition is that the reason for that is the existence of water in liquid form in the oceans combined with a relatively stable total atmospheric density. If the power input from the sun changes then the effect is simply to speed up or slow down the hydrological cycle.

An appropriate analogy is a pan of boiling water. However much the power input increases the boiling point remains at 100C. The speed of boiling however does change in response to the level of power input. The boiling point only changes if the density of the air above and thus the pressure on the water surface changes. In the case of the Earth’s atmosphere a change in solar input is met with a change in evaporation rates and thus the speed of the whole hydrological cycle keeping the overall temperature stable despite a change in solar power input.

A change in the speed of the entire hydrological cycle does have a climate effect but as we shall see on timescales relevant to human existence it is too small to measure in the face of internal system variability from other causes.

Unless more CO2 could increase total atmospheric density it could not have a significant effect on global tropospheric temperature. Instead the speed of the hydrological cycle changes to a minuscule and unmeasurable extent in order to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. As I have explained previously a change limited to the air alone short of an increase in total atmospheric density and pressure is incapable of altering that underlying equilibrium.

2. Secondly we must realise that the absolute temperature of the Earth as a whole is largely irrelevant to what we perceive as climate. In any event those changes in the temperature of the Earth as a whole are tiny as a result of the rapid modulating effect of changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle and the speed of the flow of radiated energy to space that always seeks to match the energy value of the whole spectrum of energy coming in from the sun.

The climate in the troposphere is a reflection of the current distribution of energy within the Earth system as a whole and internally the system is far more complex than any current models acknowledge.

That distribution of energy can be uneven horizontally and vertically throughout the ocean depths, the troposphere and the upper atmosphere and furthermore the distribution changes over time.

We see ocean energy content increase or decrease as tropospheric energy content decreases or increases. We see the stratosphere warm as the troposphere cools and cool as the troposphere warms. We see the upper levels of the atmosphere warm as the stratosphere cools and vice versa. We see the polar surface regions warm as the mid latitudes cool or the tropics warm as the poles cool and so on and so forth in infinite permutations of timing and scale.

As I have said elsewhere:

“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the rate of energy transfer varies all the time between ocean and air, air and space and between different layers in the oceans and air. The troposphere can best be regarded as a sandwich filling between the oceans below and the stratosphere above. The temperature of the troposphere is constantly being affected by variations in the rate of energy flow from the oceans driven by internal ocean variability, possibly caused by temperature fluctuations along the horizontal route of the thermohaline circulation and by variations in energy flow from the sun that affect the size of the atmosphere and the rate of energy loss to space.

The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy differentials above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).

Additionally my propositions provide the physical mechanisms accounting for the mathematics of Dr. F. Miskolczi..”

http://www.examiner.com/x-7715-Portland-Civil-Rights-Examiner~y2010m1d12-Hungarian-Physicist-Dr-Ferenc-Miskolczi-proves-CO2-emissions-irrelevant-in-Earths-Climate

He appears to have demonstrated mathematically that if greenhouse gases in the air other than water vapour increase then the amount of water vapour declines so as to maintain an optimum optical depth for the atmosphere which modulates the energy flow to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. In other words the hydrological cycle speeds up or slows down just as I have always proposed.

3. In my articles to date I have been unwilling to claim anything as grand as the creation of a new model of climate because until now I was unable to propose any solar mechanism that could result directly in global albedo changes without some other forcing agent or that could account for a direct solar cause of discontinuities in the temperature profile along the horizontal line of the oceanic thermohaline circulation.

I have now realised that the global albedo changes necessary and the changes in solar energy input to the oceans can be explained by the latitudinal shifts (beyond normal seasonal variation) of all the air circulation systems and in particular the net latitudinal positions of the three main cloud bands namely the two generated by the mid latitude jet streams plus the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

The secret lies in the declining angle of incidence of solar energy input from equator to poles.

It is apparent that the same size and density of cloud mass moved, say, 1000 miles nearer to the equator will have the following effects:

  1. It will receive more intense irradiation from the sun and so will reflect more energy to space.

  2. It will reduce the amount of energy reaching the surface compared to what it would have let in if situated more poleward.

  3. In the northern hemisphere due to the current land/sea distribution the more equatorward the cloud moves the more ocean surface it will cover thus reducing total solar input to the oceans and reducing the rate of accretion to ocean energy content

  4. It will produce cooling rains over a larger area of ocean surface.

As a rule the ITCZ is usually situated north of the equator because most ocean is in the southern hemisphere and it is ocean temperatures that dictate it’s position by governing the rate of energy transfer from oceans to air. Thus if the two mid latitude jets move equatorward at the same time as the ITCZ moves closer to the equator the combined effect on global albedo and the amount of solar energy able to penetrate the oceans will be substantial and would dwarf the other proposed effects on albedo from changes in cosmic ray intensity generating changes in cloud totals as per Svensmark and from suggested changes caused in upper cloud quantities by changes in atmospheric chemistry involving ozone which various other climate sceptics propose.

Thus the following NCM will incorporate my above described positional cause of changes in albedo and rates of energy input to the oceans rather than any of the other proposals. That then leads to a rather neat solution to the other theories’ problems with the timing of the various cycles as becomes clear below.

4. I have previously described why the solar effect on climate is not as generally thought but for convenience I will summarise the issue here because it will help readers to follow the logic of the NCM.Variations in total solar power output on timescales relevant to human existence are tiny and are generally countered by a miniscule change in the speed of the hydrological cycle as described above.

However according to our satellites variations in the turbulence of the solar energy output from sunspots and solar flares appear to have significant effects.

During periods of an active solar surface our atmosphere expands and during periods of inactive sun it contracts.

When the atmosphere expands it does so in three dimensions around the entire circumference of the planet but the number of molecules in the atmosphere remains the same with the result that there is an average reduced density per unit of volume with more space between the molecules. Consequently the atmosphere presents a reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy photons that experience a reduced frequency of being obstructed by molecules in the atmosphere.

Additionally a turbulent solar energy flow disturbs the boundaries of the layers in the upper atmosphere thus increasing their surface areas allowing more energy to be transferred from layer to layer just as wind on water causes waves, an increased sea surface area and faster evaporation.

The changes in the rate of outgoing energy flow caused by changes in solar surface turbulence may be small but they appear to be enough to affect the air circulation systems and thereby influence the overall global energy budget disproportionately to the tiny variations in solar power intensity.

Thus when the sun is more active far from warming the planet the sun is facilitating an increased rate of cooling of the planet. That is why the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun although the higher levels of the atmosphere warmed. The higher levels were warmed by direct solar impacts but the stratosphere cooled because energy was going up faster than it was being received from the troposphere below.

The opposite occurs for a period of inactive sun.

Some do say that the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere makes no difference to the speed of the outward flow of longwave energy because that outgoing energy still has to negotiate the same mass but that makes no sense to me if that mass is more widely distributed over a three dimensional rather than two dimensional space. If one has a fine fabric container holding a body of liquid the speed at which the liquid escapes will increase if the fabric is stretched to a larger size because the space between the fibres will increase.

Furthermore all that the NCM requires is for the stratosphere alone to lose or gain energy faster or slower so as to influence the tropospheric polar air pressure cells. The energy does not need to actually escape to space to have the required effect. It could just as well simply take a little longer or a little less long to traverse the expanded or contracted upper atmospheric layers.

The New Climate Model (NCM)

  1. Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.
  2. Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation reduces, energy is lost to space faster.
  3. The stratosphere cools. Possibly also the number of chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere increases due to the increased solar effects with faster destruction of ozone.
  4. The tropopause rises.
  5. There is less resistance to energy flowing up from the troposphere so the polar high pressure systems shrink and weaken accompanied by increasingly positive Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.
  6. The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move poleward and the ITCZ moves further north of the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle increases due to the cooler stratosphere increasing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.
  7. The main cloud bands move more poleward to regions where solar insolation is less intense so total global albedo decreases.
  8. More solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as more ocean surfaces north of the equator are exposed to the sun by the movement of the clouds to cover more continental regions.
  9. Less rain falls on ocean surfaces allowing them to warm more.
  10. Ocean energy input increases but not all is returned to the air. A portion enters the thermohaline circulation to embark on a journey of 1000 to 1500 years. A pulse of slightly warmer water has entered the ocean circulation.
  11. Solar surface turbulence passes its peak and the Earth’s atmosphere starts to contract.
  12. Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation increases, energy is lost to space more slowly.
  13. The stratosphere warms. Ozone levels start to recover.
  14. The tropopause falls
  15. There is increased resistance to energy flowing up from the troposphere so the polar high pressure systems expand and intensify producing increasingly negative Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.
  16. The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move back equatorward and the ITCZ moves nearer the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle decreases due to the warming stratosphere reducing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.
  17. The main cloud bands move more equatorward to regions where solar insolation is more intense so total global albedo increases once more.
  18. Less solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as less ocean surfaces north of the equator are exposed to the sun by the movement of the clouds to cover more oceanic regions.
  19. More rain falls on ocean surfaces further cooling them.
  20. Ocean energy input decreases and the amount of energy entering the thermohaline circulation declines sending a pulse of slightly cooler water on that 1000 to 1500 year journey.
  21. After 1000 to 1500 years those variations in energy flowing through the thermohaline circulation return to the surface by influencing the size and intensity of the ocean surface temperature oscillations that have now been noted around the world in all the main ocean basins and in particular the Pacific and the Atlantic. It is likely that the current powerful run of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillations is the pulse of warmth from the Mediaeval Warm Period returning to the surface with the consequent inevitable increase in atmospheric CO2 as that warmer water fails to take up as much CO2 by absorption. Cooler water absorbs more CO2, warmer water absorbs less CO2. We have the arrival of the cool pulse from the Little Ice Age to look forward to and the scale of its effect will depend upon the level of solar surface activity at the time. A quiet sun would be helpful otherwise the rate of tropospheric cooling as an active sun throws energy into space at the same time as the oceans deny energy to the air will be fearful indeed. Fortunately the level of solar activity does seem to have begun a decline from recent peaks.
  22. The length of the thermohaline circulation is not synchronous with the length of the variations in solar surface turbulence so it is very much a lottery as to whether a returning warm or cool pulse will encounter an active or inactive sun.
  23. A returning warm pulse will try to expand the tropical air masses as more energy is released and will try to push the air circulation systems poleward against whatever resistance is being supplied at the time by the then level of solar surface turbulence. A returning cool pulse will present less opposition to solar effects.
  24. Climate is simply a product of the current balance in the troposphere between the solar and oceanic effects on the positions and intensities of all the global air circulation systems
  25. The timing of the solar cycles and ocean cycles will drift relative to one another due to their asynchronicity so there will be periods when solar and ocean cycles supplement one another in transferring energy out to space and other periods when they will offset one another.

26) During the current interglacial the solar and oceanic cycles are broadly offsetting one another to reduce overall climate variability but during glacial epochs they broadly supplement one another to produce much larger climate swings. The active sun during the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Modern Warm Period and the quiet sun during the Little Ice Age reduced the size of the climate swings that would otherwise have occurred. During the former two periods the extra energy from a warm ocean pulse was ejected quickly to space by an active sun to reduce tropospheric heating. During the latter period the effect on tropospheric temperatures of reduced energy from a cool ocean pulse was mitigated by slower ejection of energy to space from a less active sun.

Discussion points:

Falsification:

Every serious hypothesis must be capable of being proved false. In the case of this NCM my narrative is replete with opportunities for falsification if the future real world observations diverge from the pattern of cause and effect that I have set out.

However that narrative is based on what we have actually observed over a period of 1000 years with the gaps filled in by deduction informed by known laws of physics.

At the moment I am not aware of any observed climate phenomena that would effect falsification. If there be any that suggest such a thing then I suspect that they will call for refinement of the NCM rather than abandonment.

For true falsification we would need to observe events such as the mid latitude jets moving poleward during a cooling oceanic phase and a period of quiet sun or the ITCZ moving northward whilst the two jets moved equatorward or the stratosphere, troposphere and upper atmosphere all warming or cooling in tandem or perhaps an unusually powerful Arctic Oscillation throughout a period of high solar turbulence and a warming ocean phase.

They say nothing is impossible so we will have to wait and see.

Predictive skill:

To be taken seriously the NCM must be seen to show more predictive skill than the current computer based models.

In theory that shouldn’t be difficult because their level of success is currently zero.

From a reading of my narrative it is readily apparent that if the NCM matches reality then lots of predictions can be made. They may not be precise in terms of scale or timing but they are nevertheless useful in identifying where we are in the overall scheme of things and the most likely direction of future trend.

For example if the mid latitude jets stay where they now are then a developing cooling trend can be expected.

If the jets move poleward for any length of time then a warming trend may be returning.

If the solar surface becomes more active then we should see a reduction in the intensity of the Arctic Oscillation.

If the current El Nino fades to a La Nina then the northern winter snows should not be as intense next winter but it will nevertheless be another cold though drier northern hemisphere winter as the La Nina denies energy to the air.

The past winter is a prime example of what the NCM suggests for a northern winter with an El Nino during a period of quiet sun. The warmth from the oceans pumps energy upwards but the quiet sun prevents the poleward movement of the jets. The result is warming of the tropics and of the highest latitudes (but the latter stay below the freezing point of water) and a flow of cold into the mid latitudes and more precipitation in the form of snow at lower latitudes than normal.

So I suggest that a degree of predictive skill is already apparent for my NCM.

Likely 21st Century climate trend:

There are 3 issues to be resolved for a judgement on this question.

i) We need to know whether the Modern Warm Period has peaked or not. It seems that the recent peak late 20th Century has passed but at a level of temperature lower than seen during the Mediaeval Warm Period. Greenland is not yet as habitable as when the Vikings first colonised it. Furthermore it is not yet 1000 years since the peak of the Mediaeval Warm Period which lasted from about 950 to 1250 AD

http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/medieval-warm-period-rediscovered

so I suspect that the Mediaeval warmth now emanating from the oceans may well warm the troposphere a little more during future years of warm oceanic oscillations. I would also expect the CO2 levels to continue drifting up until a while after the Mediaeval Warm Period water surface warming peak has begun it’s decline. That may still be some time away, perhaps a century or two.

ii) We need to know where we are in the solar cycles. The highest peak of solar activity in recorded history occurred during the late 20th Century but we don’t really know how active the sun became during the Mediaeval Warm Period. There are calculations from isotope proxies but the accuracy of proxies is in the doghouse since Climategate and the hockey stick farrago. However the current solar quiescence suggests that the peak of recent solar activity is now over.

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

iii) Then we need to know where we stand in relation to the other shorter term cycles of sun and oceans.

Each varies on at least two other timescales. The level of solar activity varies during each cycle and over a run of cycles. The rate of energy release from the oceans varies from each El Nino to the following La Nina and back again over several years and the entire Pacific Decadal Oscillation alters the rate of energy release to the air every 25 to 30 years or so.

All those cycles vary in timing and intensity and interact with each other and are then superimposed on the longer term cycling that forms the basis of this article.

Then we have the chaotic variability of weather superimposed on the whole caboodle.

We simply do not have the data to resolve all those issues so all I can do is hazard a guess based on my personal judgement. On that basis I think we will see cooling for a couple of decades due to the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which has just begun then at least one more 20 to 30 year phase of natural warming before we start the true decline as the cooler thermohaline waters from the Little Ice Age come back to the surface.

If we get a peak of active sun at the same time as the worst of the cooling from the Little Ice Age comes through the oceanic system then that may be the start of a more rapid ending of the current interglacial but that is 500 years hence by which time we will have solved our energy problems or will have destroyed our civilisation.

Other climate theories:

Following the implosion of the CO2 based theory there are lots of other good ideas going around and much effort being expended by many individuals on different aspects of the climate system.

All I would suggest at the moment is that there is room in my NCM for any of those theories that demonstrate a specific climate response from sources other than sun and oceans.

All I contend is that sun and oceans together with the variable speed of the hydrological cycle assisted by the latitudinal movements of the air circulation systems and the vertical movement of the tropopause overwhelmingly provide the background trend and combine to prevent changes in the air alone changing the Earth’s equilibrium temperature.

For example:

Orbital changes feed into the insolation and albedo effects caused by moveable cloud masses.

Asteroid strikes and volcanoes feed into the atmospheric density issue.

Changing length of day and external gravitational forces feed into the speed of the thermohaline circulation.

Geothermal energy feeds into temperatures along the horizontal path of the thermohaline circulation.

Cosmic ray variations and ozone chemistry feed into the albedo changes.

The NCM can account for all past climate variability, can give general guidance as to future trends and can accommodate all manner of supplementary climate theories provided their real world influence can be demonstrated.

I humbly submit that all this is an improvement on existing modelling techniques and deserves fuller and more detailed consideration and investigation.

Novel propositions:

I think it helpful to set out here some of the novel propositions that I have had to formulate in order to obtain a climate description that complies both with observations and with basic laws of physics. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Other new propositions may be apparent from the content and/or context of my various articles

i) Earth’s temperature is determined primarily by the oceans and not by the air (The Hot Water Bottle Effect). The contribution of the Greenhouse effect is miniscule.

ii) Changes in the air alone cannot affect the global equilibrium temperature because of oceanic dominance that always seeks to maintain sea surface and surface air equilibrium whatever the air tries to do. Warm air cannot significantly affect the oceans due to the huge difference in thermal capacities and by the effect of evaporation which removes unwanted energy to latent form as necessary to maintain the said equilibrium.

iii) Counterintuitively an active sun means cooling not warming and vice versa.

iv) The net global oceanic rate of energy release to the air is what matters with regard to the oceanic effect on the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems and the associated cloud bands. All the oceanic oscillations affecting the rates of energy release to the air operate on different timescales and different magnitudes as energy progresses through the system via surface currents (not the thermohaline circulation which is entirely separate).

v) More CO2 ought theoretically induce faster cooling of the oceans by increasing evaporation rates. Extra CO2 molecules simply send more infra red radiation back down to the surface but infra red cannot penetrate deeper than the region of ocean surface involved in evaporation and since evaporation has a net cooling effect due to the removal of energy as latent heat the net effect should be increased cooling and not warming of the oceans.

vi) The latitudinal position of the air circulation systems at any given moment indicates the current tropospheric temperature trend whether warming or cooling and their movement reveals any change in trend

vii) All the various climate phenomena in the troposphere serve to balance energy budget changes caused by atmospheric effects from solar turbulence changes on the air above which affect the rate of energy loss to space or from variable rates of energy release from the oceans below.

viii) The speed of the hydrological cycle globally is the main thermostat in the troposphere. Changes in its speed are achieved by latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems and by changes in the height of the tropopause.

ix) The difference between ice ages and interglacials is a matter of the timing of solar and oceanic cycles. Interglacials only occur when the solar and oceanic cycles are offsetting one another to a sufficient degree to minimise the scale of climate variability thereby preventing winter snowfall on the northern continents from being sufficient to last through the following summer.

x) Landmass distribution dictates the relative lengths of glacials and interglacials. The predominance of landmasses in the northern hemisphere causes glaciations to predominate over interglacials by about 9 to 1 with a full cycle every 100, 000 years helped along by the orbital changes of the Milankovitch cycles that affect the pattern of insolation on those shifting cloud masses.

xi) Distribution of energy within the entire system is more significant for climate (which is limited to the troposphere) than the actual temperature of the entire Earth. The latter varies hardly at all.

xii) All regional climate changes are a result of movement in relation to the locally dominant air circulation systems which move cyclically poleward and equatorward.

xiii) Albedo changes are primarily a consequence of latitudinal movement of the clouds beyond normal seasonal variability.

ix) The faint sun paradox is explained by the effectiveness of changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle. Only if the oceans freeze across their entire surfaces thereby causing the hydrological cycle to cease or if the sun puts in energy faster than it can be pumped upward by the hydrological cycle will the basic temperature equilibrium derived from the properties of water and the density and pressure of the atmosphere fail to be maintained.

A New And Effective Climate Model

The problem with existing climate models:

Even those who aver that man’s activity affects climate on a global scale rather than just locally or regionally appear to accept that the existing climate models are incomplete. It is a given that the existing models do not fully incorporate data or mechanisms involving cloudiness or global albedo (reflectivity) variations or variations in the speed of the hydrological cycle and that the variability in the temperatures of the ocean surfaces and the overall ocean energy content are barely understood and wholly inadequately quantified in the infant attempts at coupled ocean/atmosphere models. Furthermore the effect of variability in solar activity on climate is barely understood and similarly unquantified.

As they stand at present the models assume a generally static global energy budget with relatively little internal system variability so that measurable changes in the various input and output components can only occur from external forcing agents such as changes in the CO2 content of the air caused by human emissions or perhaps temporary after effects from volcanic eruptions, meteorite strikes or significant changes in solar power output.

If such simple models are to have any practical utility it is necessary to demonstrate that some predictive skill is a demonstrable outcome of the models. Unfortunately it is apparent that there is no predictive skill whatever despite huge advances in processing power and the application of millions or even billions of man hours from reputable and experienced scientists over many decades.

As I will show later on virtually all climate variability is a result of internal system variability and additionally the system not only sets up a large amount of variability internally but also provides mechanisms to limit and then reduce that internal variability. It must be so or we would not still have liquid oceans. The current models neither recognise the presence of that internal system variability nor the processes that ultimately stabilise it.

The general approach is currently to describe the climate system from ‘the bottom up’ by accumulating vast amounts of data, observing how the data has changed over time, attributing a weighting to each piece or class of data and extrapolating forward. When the real world outturn then differs from what was expected then adjustments are made to bring the models back into line with reality. This method is known as ‘hindcasting’.

Although that approach has been used for decades no predictive skill has ever emerged. Every time the models have been adjusted using guesswork (or informed judgement as some would say) to bring them back into line with ongoing real world observations a new divergence between model expectations and real world events has begun to develop.

It is now some years since the weighting attached to the influence of CO2 was adjusted to remove a developing discrepancy between the real world warming that was occurring at the time and which had not been fully accounted for in the then climate models. Since that time a new divergence began and is now becoming embarrassingly large for those who made that adjustment. At the very least the weighting given to the effect of more CO2 in the air was excessive.

The problem is directly analogous to a financial accounting system that balances but only because it contains multiple compensating errors. The fact that it balances is a mere mirage. The accounts are still incorrect and woe betide anyone who relies upon them for the purpose of making useful commercial decisions.

Correcting multiple compensating errors either in a climate model or in a financial accounting system cannot be done by guesswork because there is no way of knowing whether the guess is reducing or compounding the underlying errors that remain despite the apparent balancing of the financial (or in the case of the climate the global energy) budget.

The system being used by the entire climatological establishment is fundamentally flawed and must not be relied upon as a basis for policy decisions of any kind.

A better approach:

We know a lot about the basic laws of physics as they affect our day to day existence and we have increasingly detailed data about past and present climate behaviour.

We need a New Climate Model (from now on referred to as NCM) that is created from ‘the top down’ by looking at the climate phenomena that actually occur and using deductive reasoning to decide what mechanisms would be required for those phenomena to occur without offending the basic laws of physics.

We have to start with the broad concepts first and use the detailed data as a guide only. If a broad concept matches the reality then the detailed data will fall into place even if the broad concept needs to be refined in the process. If the broad concept does not match the reality then it must be abandoned but by adopting this process we always start with a broad concept that obviously does match the reality so by adopting a step by step process of observation, logic, elimination and refinement a serviceable NCM with some predictive skill should emerge and the more detailed the model that is built up the more predictive skill will be acquired.

That is exactly what I have been doing step by step in my articles here:

Articles by Stephen Wilde

for some two years now and I believe that I have met with a degree of success because many climate phenomena that I had not initially considered in detail seem to be falling into line with the NCM that I have been constructing.

In the process I have found it necessary to propound various novel propositions that have confused and irritated warming proponents and sceptics alike but that is inevitable if one just follows the logic without a preconceived agenda which I hope is what I have done.

I will now go on to describe the NCM as simply as I can in verbal terms, then I will elaborate on some of the novel propositions (my apologies if any of them have already been propounded elsewhere by others but I think I would still be the first to pull them all together into a plausible NCM) and I will include a discussion of some aspects of the NCM which I find encouraging.

Preliminary points:

  1. Firstly we must abandon the idea that variations in total solar output have a significant effect over periods of time relevant to human existence. At this point I should mention the ‘faint sun paradox’:

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

Despite a substantial increase in the power of the sun over billions of years the temperature of the Earth has remained remarkably stable. My proposition is that the reason for that is the existence of water in liquid form in the oceans combined with a relatively stable total atmospheric density. If the power input from the sun changes then the effect is simply to speed up or slow down the hydrological cycle.

An appropriate analogy is a pan of boiling water. However much the power input increases the boiling point remains at 100C. The speed of boiling however does change in response to the level of power input. The boiling point only changes if the density of the air above and thus the pressure on the water surface changes. In the case of the Earth’s atmosphere a change in solar input is met with a change in evaporation rates and thus the speed of the whole hydrological cycle keeping the overall temperature stable despite a change in solar power input.

A change in the speed of the entire hydrological cycle does have a climate effect but as we shall see on timescales relevant to human existence it is too small to measure in the face of internal system variability from other causes.

Unless more CO2 could increase total atmospheric density it could not have a significant effect on global tropospheric temperature. Instead the speed of the hydrological cycle changes to a miniscule and unmeasurable extent in order to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. As I have explained previously a change limited to the air alone short of an increase in total atmospheric density and pressure is incapable of altering that underlying equilibrium.

  1. Secondly we must realise that the absolute temperature of the Earth as a whole is largely irrelevant to what we perceive as climate. In any event those changes in the temperature of the Earth as a whole are tiny as a result of the rapid modulating effect of changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle and the speed of the flow of radiated energy to space that always seeks to match the energy value of the whole spectrum of energy coming in from the sun.

The climate in the troposphere is a reflection of the current distribution of energy within the Earth system as a whole and internally the system is far more complex than any current models acknowledge.

That distribution of energy can be uneven horizontally and vertically throughout the ocean depths, the troposphere and the upper atmosphere and furthermore the distribution changes over time.

We see ocean energy content increase or decrease as tropospheric energy content decreases or increases. We see the stratosphere warm as the troposphere cools and cool as the troposphere warms. We see the upper levels of the atmosphere warm as the stratosphere cools and vice versa. We see the polar surface regions warm as the mid latitudes cool or the tropics warm as the poles cool and so on and so forth in infinite permutations of timing and scale.

As I have said elsewhere:

“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the rate of energy transfer varies all the time between ocean and air, air and space and between different layers in the oceans and air. The troposphere can best be regarded as a sandwich filling between the oceans below and the stratosphere above. The temperature of the troposphere is constantly being affected by variations in the rate of energy flow from the oceans driven by internal ocean variability, possibly caused by temperature fluctuations along the horizontal route of the thermohaline circulation and by variations in energy flow from the sun that affect the size of the atmosphere and the rate of energy loss to space.

The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy differentials above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).

Additionally my propositions provide the physical mechanisms accounting for the mathematics of Dr. F. Miskolczi..”

http://www.examiner.com/x-7715-Portland-Civil-Rights-Examiner~y2010m1d12-Hungarian-Physicist-Dr-Ferenc-Miskolczi-proves-CO2-emissions-irrelevant-in-Earths-Climate

He appears to have demonstrated mathematically that if greenhouse gases in the air other than water vapour increase then the amount of water vapour declines so as to maintain an optimum optical depth for the atmosphere which modulates the energy flow to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. In other words the hydrological cycle speeds up or slows down just as I have always proposed.

  1. In my articles to date I have been unwilling to claim anything as grand as the creation of a new model of climate because until now I was unable to propose any solar mechanism that could result directly in global albedo changes without some other forcing agent or that could account for a direct solar cause of discontinuities in the temperature profile along the horizontal line of the oceanic thermohaline circulation.

I have now realised that the global albedo changes necessary and the changes in solar energy input to the oceans can be explained by the latitudinal shifts (beyond normal seasonal variation) of all the air circulation systems and in particular the net latitudinal positions of the three main cloud bands namely the two generated by the mid latitude jet streams plus the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

The secret lies in the declining angle of incidence of solar energy input from equator to poles.

It is apparent that the same size and density of cloud mass moved, say, 1000 miles nearer to the equator will have the following effects:

  1. It will receive more intense irradiation from the sun and so will reflect more energy to space.

  2. It will reduce the amount of energy reaching the surface compared to what it would have let in if situated more poleward.

  3. In the northern hemisphere due to the current land/sea distribution the more equatorward the cloud moves the more ocean surface it will cover thus reducing total solar input to the oceans and reducing the rate of accretion to ocean energy content

  4. It will produce cooling rains over a larger area of ocean surface.

As a rule the ITCZ is usually situated north of the equator because most ocean is in the southern hemisphere and it is ocean temperatures that dictate it’s position by governing the rate of energy transfer from oceans to air. Thus if the two mid latitude jets move equatorward at the same time as the ITCZ moves closer to the equator the combined effect on global albedo and the amount of solar energy able to penetrate the oceans will be substantial and would dwarf the other proposed effects on albedo from changes in cosmic ray intensity generating changes in cloud totals as per Svensmark and from suggested changes caused in upper cloud quantities by changes in atmospheric chemistry involving ozone which various other climate sceptics propose.

Thus the following NCM will incorporate my above described positional cause of changes in albedo and rates of energy input to the oceans rather than any of the other proposals. That then leads to a rather neat solution to the other theories’ problems with the timing of the various cycles as becomes clear below.

  1. I have previously described why the solar effect on climate is not as generally thought but for convenience I will summarise the issue here because it will help readers to follow the logic of the NCM.Variations in total solar power output on timescales relevant to human existence are tiny and are generally countered by a miniscule change in the speed of the hydrological cycle as described above.

However according to our satellites variations in the turbulence of the solar energy output from sunspots and solar flares appear to have significant effects.

During periods of an active solar surface our atmosphere expands and during periods of inactive sun it contracts.

When the atmosphere expands it does so in three dimensions around the entire circumference of the planet but the number of molecules in the atmosphere remains the same with the result that there is an average reduced density per unit of volume with more space between the molecules. Consequently the atmosphere presents a reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy photons that experience a reduced frequency of being obstructed by molecules in the atmosphere.

Additionally a turbulent solar energy flow disturbs the boundaries of the layers in the upper atmosphere thus increasing their surface areas allowing more energy to be transferred from layer to layer just as wind on water causes waves, an increased sea surface area and faster evaporation.

The changes in the rate of outgoing energy flow caused by changes in solar surface turbulence may be small but they appear to be enough to affect the air circulation systems and thereby influence the overall global energy budget disproportionately to the tiny variations in solar power intensity.

Thus when the sun is more active far from warming the planet the sun is facilitating an increased rate of cooling of the planet. That is why the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun although the higher levels of the atmosphere warmed. The higher levels were warmed by direct solar impacts but the stratosphere cooled because energy was going up faster than it was being received from the troposphere below.

The opposite occurs for a period of inactive sun.

Some do say that the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere makes no difference to the speed of the outward flow of longwave energy because that outgoing energy still has to negotiate the same mass but that makes no sense to me if that mass is more widely distributed over a three dimensional rather than two dimensional space. If one has a fine fabric container holding a body of liquid the speed at which the liquid escapes will increase if the fabric is stretched to a larger size because the space between the fibres will increase.

Furthermore all that the NCM requires is for the stratosphere alone to lose or gain energy faster or slower so as to influence the tropospheric polar air pressure cells. The energy does not need to actually escape to space to have the required effect. It could just as well simply take a little longer or a little less long to traverse the expanded or contracted upper atmospheric layers.

The New Climate Model (NCM)

  1. Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.

  2. Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation reduces, energy is lost to space faster.

  3. The stratosphere cools. Possibly also the number of chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere increases due to the increased solar effects with faster destruction of ozone.

  4. The tropopause rises.

  5. There is less resistance to energy flowing up from the troposphere so the polar high pressure systems shrink and weaken accompanied by increasingly positive Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.

  6. The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move poleward and the ITCZ moves further north of the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle increases due to the cooler stratosphere increasing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.

  7. The main cloud bands move more poleward to regions where solar insolation is less intense so total global albedo decreases.

  8. More solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as more ocean surfaces north of the equator are exposed to the sun by the movement of the clouds to cover more continental regions.

  9. Less rain falls on ocean surfaces allowing them to warm more.

  10. Ocean energy input increases but not all is returned to the air. A portion enters the thermohaline circulation to embark on a journey of 1000 to 1500 years. A pulse of slightly warmer water has entered the ocean circulation.

  11. Solar surface turbulence passes its peak and the Earth’s atmosphere starts to contract.

  12. Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation increases, energy is lost to space more slowly.

  13. The stratosphere warms. Ozone levels start to recover.

  14. The tropopause falls

  15. There is increased resistance to energy flowing up from the troposphere so the polar high pressure systems expand and intensify producing increasingly negative Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.

  16. The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move back equatorward and the ITCZ moves nearer the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle decreases due to the warming stratosphere reducing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.

  17. The main cloud bands move more equatorward to regions where solar insolation is more intense so total global albedo increases once more.

  18. Less solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as less ocean surfaces north of the equator are exposed to the sun by the movement of the clouds to cover more oceanic regions.

  19. More rain falls on ocean surfaces further cooling them.

  20. Ocean energy input decreases and the amount of energy entering the thermohaline circulation declines sending a pulse of slightly cooler water on that 1000 to 1500 year journey.

  21. After 1000 to 1500 years those variations in energy flowing through the thermohaline circulation return to the surface by influencing the size and intensity of the ocean surface temperature oscillations that have now been noted around the world in all the main ocean basins and in particular the Pacific and the Atlantic. It is likely that the current powerful run of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillations is the pulse of warmth from the Mediaeval Warm Period returning to the surface with the consequent inevitable increase in atmospheric CO2 as that warmer water fails to take up as much CO2 by absorption. Cooler water absorbs more CO2, warmer water absorbs less CO2. We have the arrival of the cool pulse from the Little Ice Age to look forward to and the scale of its effect will depend upon the level of solar surface activity at the time. A quiet sun would be helpful otherwise the rate of tropospheric cooling as an active sun throws energy into space at the same time as the oceans deny energy to the air will be fearful indeed. Fortunately the level of solar activity does seem to have begun a decline from recent peaks.

  22. The length of the thermohaline circulation is not synchronous with the length of the variations in solar surface turbulence so it is very much a lottery as to whether a returning warm or cool pulse will encounter an active or inactive sun.

  23. A returning warm pulse will try to expand the tropical air masses as more energy is released and will try to push the air circulation systems poleward against whatever resistance is being supplied at the time by the then level of solar surface turbulence. A returning cool pulse will present less opposition to solar effects.

  24. Climate is simply a product of the current balance in the troposphere between the solar and oceanic effects on the positions and intensities of all the global air circulation systems

  25. The timing of the solar cycles and ocean cycles will drift relative to one another due to their asynchronicity so there will be periods when solar and ocean cycles supplement one another in transferring energy out to space and other periods when they will offset one another.

26) During the current interglacial the solar and oceanic cycles are broadly offsetting one another to reduce overall climate variability but during glacial epochs they broadly supplement one another to produce much larger climate swings. The active sun during the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Modern Warm Period and the quiet sun during the Little Ice Age reduced the size of the climate swings that would otherwise have occurred. During the former two periods the extra energy from a warm ocean pulse was ejected quickly to space by an active sun to reduce tropospheric heating. During the latter period the effect on tropospheric temperatures of reduced energy from a cool ocean pulse was mitigated by slower ejection of energy to space from a less active sun.

Discussion points:

Falsification:

Every serious hypothesis must be capable of being proved false. In the case of this NCM my narrative is replete with opportunities for falsification if the future real world observations diverge from the pattern of cause and effect that I have set out.

However that narrative is based on what we have actually observed over a period of 1000 years with the gaps filled in by deduction informed by known laws of physics.

At the moment I am not aware of any observed climate phenomena that would effect falsification. If there be any that suggest such a thing then I suspect that they will call for refinement of the NCM rather than abandonment.

For true falsification we would need to observe events such as the mid latitude jets moving poleward during a cooling oceanic phase and a period of quiet sun or the ITCZ moving northward whilst the two jets moved equatorward or the stratosphere, troposphere and upper atmosphere all warming or cooling in tandem or perhaps an unusually powerful Arctic Oscillation throughout a period of high solar turbulence and a warming ocean phase.

They say nothing is impossible so we will have to wait and see.

Predictive skill:

To be taken seriously the NCM must be seen to show more predictive skill than the current computer based models.

In theory that shouldn’t be difficult because their level of success is currently zero.

From a reading of my narrative it is readily apparent that if the NCM matches reality then lots of predictions can be made. They may not be precise in terms of scale or timing but they are nevertheless useful in identifying where we are in the overall scheme of things and the most likely direction of future trend.

For example if the mid latitude jets stay where they now are then a developing cooling trend can be expected.

If the jets move poleward for any length of time then a warming trend may be returning.

If the solar surface becomes more active then we should see a reduction in the intensity of the Arctic Oscillation.

If the current El Nino fades to a La Nina then the northern winter snows should not be as intense next winter but it will nevertheless be another cold though drier northern hemisphere winter as the La Nina denies energy to the air.

The past winter is a prime example of what the NCM suggests for a northern winter with an El Nino during a period of quiet sun. The warmth from the oceans pumps energy upwards but the quiet sun prevents the poleward movement of the jets. The result is warming of the tropics and of the highest latitudes (but the latter stay below the freezing point of water) and a flow of cold into the mid latitudes and more precipitation in the form of snow at lower latitudes than normal.

So I suggest that a degree of predictive skill is already apparent for my NCM.

Likely 21st Century climate trend:

There are 3 issues to be resolved for a judgement on this question.

i) We need to know whether the Modern Warm Period has peaked or not. It seems that the recent peak late 20th Century has passed but at a level of temperature lower than seen during the Mediaeval Warm Period. Greenland is not yet as habitable as when the Vikings first colonised it. Furthermore it is not yet 1000 years since the peak of the Mediaeval Warm Period which lasted from about 950 to 1250 AD

http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/medieval-warm-period-rediscovered

so I suspect that the Mediaeval warmth now emanating from the oceans may well warm the troposphere a little more during future years of warm oceanic oscillations. I would also expect the CO2 levels to continue drifting up until a while after the Mediaeval Warm Period water surface warming peak has begun it’s decline. That may still be some time away, perhaps a century or two.

ii) We need to know where we are in the solar cycles. The highest peak of solar activity in recorded history occurred during the late 20th Century but we don’t really know how active the sun became during the Mediaeval Warm Period. There are calculations from isotope proxies but the accuracy of proxies is in the doghouse since Climategate and the hockey stick farrago. However the current solar quiescence suggests that the peak of recent solar activity is now over.

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

iii) Then we need to know where we stand in relation to the other shorter term cycles of sun and oceans.

Each varies on at least two other timescales. The level of solar activity varies during each cycle and over a run of cycles. The rate of energy release from the oceans varies from each El Nino to the following La Nina and back again over several years and the entire Pacific Decadal Oscillation alters the rate of energy release to the air every 25 to 30 years or so.

All those cycles vary in timing and intensity and interact with each other and are then superimposed on the longer term cycling that forms the basis of this article.

Then we have the chaotic variability of weather superimposed on the whole caboodle.

We simply do not have the data to resolve all those issues so all I can do is hazard a guess based on my personal judgement. On that basis I think we will see cooling for a couple of decades due to the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which has just begun then at least one more 20 to 30 year phase of natural warming before we start the true decline as the cooler thermohaline waters from the Little Ice Age come back to the surface.

If we get a peak of active sun at the same time as the worst of the cooling from the Little Ice Age comes through the oceanic system then that may be the start of a more rapid ending of the current interglacial but that is 500 years hence by which time we will have solved our energy problems or will have destroyed our civilisation.

Other climate theories:

Following the implosion of the CO2 based theory there are lots of other good ideas going around and much effort being expended by many individuals on different aspects of the climate system.

All I would suggest at the moment is that there is room in my NCM for any of those theories that demonstrate a specific climate response from sources other than sun and oceans.

All I contend is that sun and oceans together with the variable speed of the hydrological cycle assisted by the latitudinal movements of the air circulation systems and the vertical movement of the tropopause overwhelmingly provide the background trend and combine to prevent changes in the air alone changing the Earth’s equilibrium temperature.

For example:

Orbital changes feed into the insolation and albedo effects caused by moveable cloud masses.

Asteroid strikes and volcanoes feed into the atmospheric density issue.

Changing length of day and external gravitational forces feed into the speed of the thermohaline circulation.

Geothermal energy feeds into temperatures along the horizontal path of the thermohaline circulation.

Cosmic ray variations and ozone chemistry feed into the albedo changes.

The NCM can account for all past climate variability, can give general guidance as to future trends and can accommodate all manner of supplementary climate theories provided their real world influence can be demonstrated.

I humbly submit that all this is an improvement on existing modelling techniques and deserves fuller and more detailed consideration and investigation.

Novel propositions:

I think it helpful to set out here some of the novel propositions that I have had to formulate in order to obtain a climate description that complies both with observations and with basic laws of physics. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Other new propositions may be apparent from the content and/or context of my various articles

i) Earth’s temperature is determined primarily by the oceans and not by the air (The Hot Water Bottle Effect). The contribution of the Greenhouse effect is miniscule.

ii) Changes in the air alone cannot affect the global equilibrium temperature because of oceanic dominance that always seeks to maintain sea surface and surface air equilibrium whatever the air tries to do. Warm air cannot significantly affect the oceans due to the huge difference in thermal capacities and by the effect of evaporation which removes unwanted energy to latent form as necessary to maintain the said equilibrium.

iii) Counterintuitively an active sun means cooling not warming and vice versa.

iv) The net global oceanic rate of energy release to the air is what matters with regard to the oceanic effect on the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems and the associated cloud bands. All the oceanic oscillations affecting the rates of energy release to the air operate on different timescales and different magnitudes as energy progresses through the system via surface currents (not the thermohaline circulation which is entirely separate).

v) More CO2 ought theoretically induce faster cooling of the oceans by increasing evaporation rates. Extra CO2 molecules simply send more infra red radiation back down to the surface but infra red cannot penetrate deeper than the region of ocean surface involved in evaporation and since evaporation has a net cooling effect due to the removal of energy as latent heat the net effect should be increased cooling and not warming of the oceans.

vi) The latitudinal position of the air circulation systems at any given moment indicates the current tropospheric temperature trend whether warming or cooling and their movement reveals any change in trend

vii) All the various climate phenomena in the troposphere serve to balance energy budget changes caused by atmospheric effects from solar turbulence changes on the air above which affect the rate of energy loss to space or from variable rates of energy release from the oceans below.

viii) The speed of the hydrological cycle globally is the main thermostat in the troposphere. Changes in its speed are achieved by latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems and by changes in the height of the tropopause.

ix) The difference between ice ages and interglacials is a matter of the timing of solar and oceanic cycles. Interglacials only occur when the solar and oceanic cycles are offsetting one another to a sufficient degree to minimise the scale of climate variability thereby preventing winter snowfall on the northern continents from being sufficient to last through the following summer.

x) Landmass distribution dictates the relative lengths of glacials and interglacials. The predominance of landmasses in the northern hemisphere causes glaciations to predominate over interglacials by about 9 to 1 with a full cycle every 100, 000 years helped along by the orbital changes of the Milankovitch cycles that affect the pattern of insolation on those shifting cloud masses.

xi) Distribution of energy within the entire system is more significant for climate (which is limited to the troposphere) than the actual temperature of the entire Earth. The latter varies hardly at all.

xii) All regional climate changes are a result of movement in relation to the locally dominant air circulation systems which move cyclically poleward and equatorward.

xiii) Albedo changes are primarily a consequence of latitudinal movement of the clouds beyond normal seasonal variability.

ix) The faint sun paradox is explained by the effectiveness of changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle. Only if the oceans freeze across their entire surfaces thereby causing the hydrological cycle to cease or if the sun puts in energy faster than it can be pumped upward by the hydrological cycle will the basic temperature equilibrium derived from the properties of water and the density and pressure of the atmosphere fail to be maintained.

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382 Responses to A New And Effective Climate Model

  1. Ohmygosh says:

    This seem well prepared

  2. twawki says:

    Wow great work gonna have to reread and digest!

  3. davidmhoffer says:

    Stephen Wilde;
    Wow. That’s a whole lot of issues that have been expounded upon by a whole lot of people in isolation pulled together into one package that makes logical sense.

    The piece that I didn’t see (my apologies if I missed it) was ice cover. Increased ice extent would effect albedo and the hydrologic cycle. Did you leave it out because you don’t think it significant?

  4. Gary Hladik says:

    Quite a lot to digest. I like the emphasis on the oceans. Water is the only so-called “greenhouse” gas that exists in three phases on the earth. Given the abundance of this compound, the differing properties of its phases, and the amount of energy involved in phase transistions, it’s intuitively plausible that the hydrological cycle could dominate the planet’s climate system.

  5. I think the first two points:
    1: Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.
    2: Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation reduces, energy is lost to space faster.

    are wrong, and hence the rest.
    The part of the atmosphere [the thermosphere] that expands and contracts is 1 centimeter thick [if at same pressure as at the surface] and contains 1/1000,000 the number of molecules, so has no measurable effect on point 2.

  6. jaypan says:

    Wow.
    However true or strong this model may prove, I am impressed to see how more and more contributors show up here and elsewhere, after the CO2 house of cards obviously fell apart.
    Real scientists are coming back on stage, overrunning the pseudo science we have been offered for too long.
    I’ll be happy and grateful to follow these discussions, wherever it goes, and get such a lot of insight. Thank you.

  7. meh says:

    Environmental lobby group International Rivers has condemned the emergence of trade in fake carbon credits and says the biggest source is hydroelectric power projects on the mainland.

    Under what is known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, industrialised countries can support projects that decrease emissions in developing countries and then use the resulting emission reduction credits towards their own reduction targets.

    But International Rivers says the CDM is “failing miserably and is undermining the effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol” because most of the emission reduction credits are fake and come from projects that do not reduce emissions.

    It says hydropower projects constitute a quarter of all projects in the CDM pipeline, and 67 per cent of these, or about 700 projects, are on the mainland.

    However, International Rivers says there has been no substantial jump in hydropower development to match the large number of supposedly new projects applying to generate CDM credits.

    The CDM recently withheld approval of carbon credits from numerous mainland dams and wind farms.

    Controversy over the Chinese dams recently led the European Climate Exchange (ECX), the world’s leading market for trading carbon credits, to renew its ban on large hydropower Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), which are carbon credits issued by the CDM executive board.

    The European Union is the biggest buyer of CERs, while China sells 70 per cent of the world’s CERs.

    Dams built before applications are made for carbon credits are deemed not to contribute to reducing carbon emissions and thus should not qualify to sell carbon credits. Such dams are called “business-as-usual” in the industry jargon.

    “There are blatant cases of hydro plants being business-as-usual, whereas other hydro projects seem to really require CDM credits,” Axel Michaelowa, a founding partner of the CDM consultancy Perspectives and a researcher at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, said.

    The accuracy of assessments of the eligibility of mainland dams for carbon credits is distorted by questionable data, Michaelowa said.

    “Many hydro plants in China use an artificially low utilisation rate for the calculation of their profitability. The regulators have also discovered some hydro projects reported a very low electricity tariff, lower than coal power plants and other hydro projects in the same province.

    “Such projects are now increasingly being rejected.”

    At a meeting of the CDM executive board in February, 38 mainland dams failed to get carbon credits. The board also decided to review 36 wind projects in China, Katy Yan, a campaign assistant with International Rivers, wrote in her blog.

    “These 74 projects hope to produce almost 38 million carbon credits by 2013,” worth about US$600 million, she said.

    “The problem is very serious,” Patrick McCully, executive director of International Rivers, said. “Dams are the largest single project type in the CDM. Almost all are likely projects that would have been built anyway regardless of receiving credits, meaning that any credits they generate are fake.”

    A World Commission on Dams report has set guidelines that determine whether a dam qualifies to sell carbon credits.

    By March 6, 16.32 million CERs had been issued for 132 dams, and China accounted for 71.52 per cent of the 653 large hydropower projects in the world that have been registered or are seeking registration under the CDM to sell CERs, according to International Rivers. A large hydropower project is defined as one with a capacity of more than 15 megawatts.

    On March 24, ECX announced it would renew its ban, imposed in 2008, on contracts with large hydro CERs, ECX market development director Sara Stahl said. “We have always excluded large hydro because it’s a grey area,” she said.

    Two types of carbon credits are traded on the exchange: CERs and EU allowances, which are carbon credits issued under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Since trading at ECX began in 2005, trading of carbon credits and related instruments has soared.

    Last year, the value of ECX’s trades surged 82 per cent year on year to €68 billion (HK$708.4 billion).

    ECX’s renewal of its ban on large hydro CERs came about after discussions with its members, which include more than 100 large multinational companies, this year, Stahl said. “We felt there were some legitimate criticisms,” she said. “Companies are nervous about it.”

    Michaelowa said there was concern that some Chinese dams had required the resettlement of the local population without proper compensation and about whether large hydro plants are sustainable.

    In December 2008, an International Rivers press release alleged that German utility RWE, one of the biggest carbon dioxide emitters in Europe, planned to buy carbon credits from the Xiaoxi dam in Hunan – which failed to meet World Commission on Dams guidelines – and that would be a breach of EU law.

    On a site visit, International Rivers found 7,500 people had been evicted to make way for the Xiaoxi dam without proper compensation, which violated the World Commission on Dams guidelines. Xiaoxi is one of at least 11 Chinese large hydropower projects from which RWE was buying credits. TUV SUD of Germany was auditor for the project.

    At a CDM executive board meeting in March, the board suspended TUV SUD from auditing hydro projects, as it had approved dams that were later found to have problems. Another carbon credit auditor, Korea Energy Management Corp, was partly suspended.

    “The fact that only a few of the projects validated by TUV SUD have been rejected is proof of the quality of TUV SUD’s activities,” Heidi Atzler, a TUV SUD spokeswoman, said.

    An RWE spokeswoman, Julia Scharlemann, said every CDM project in which RWE was involved was “thoroughly reviewed” by an independent auditor, and RWE adhered to German Emissions Trading Authority rules, which were more rigorous than CDM processes and the standards of other EU nations.

    RWE bought carbon credits only from projects approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, she added.

    Michaelowa admitted CDM’s process of approving dams was imperfect, with room for improvement, while McCully said the best solution would be to scrap the CDM and the whole concept of international carbon offsetting entirely.

    “If that is not possible, then ban hydropower from CDM,” he said.

  8. meh (21:19:54) :
    Environmental lobby group International Rivers has …
    And what has that to do with the topic at hand?

  9. Jeff Alberts says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:24:29) :

    meh (21:19:54) :
    Environmental lobby group International Rivers has …
    And what has that to do with the topic at hand?

    Nothing whatsoever. Why would the mods let it through?

  10. John F. Hultquist says:

    As a narrative summary of your ideas and the ideas of many others this posting has merit. As a “model” it lacks measured inputs, mathematical relationships, and specific outputs. When all of the above are cobbled together and you run it out 30, 60, 90 years what will you know? Will you be able to say London will have cool or warm summers during the 2070s? I don’t think so. This is like a high priced auto without a drive train – it may look elegant but it won’t go. Still, it is better than relying on CO2 to control all the stuff that the Earth systems do.

  11. magicjava says:

    I especially liked the inclusion of air pressure in your model. I’m really surprised how many people overlook that property.

    I’m wondering how well your model is at predicting the future. For example, will the world be warmer or cooler 10 years from now according to your model, and by how much.

  12. John Blake says:

    Dating from 2.6 million years-before-present (YBP), the current Pleistocene Era is characterized by periodic well-defined glaciations averaging 102,000 years, interspersed with remissions of median 12,250-years’ duration. Over the preceding 62+ million years from the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) Boundary defined by the Chixculub meteorite strike in Yucatan, five widely variable geological eras averaged some 14 – 16 million years, uniformly without cyclical ice ages.

    Atmospheric dynamics, solar cycles, Milankovic factors respecting Earth’s axial tilt, orbital eccentricity, equinoctial precession etc. remain constant in historical context and perspective. What varies over the long term are not impacts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, but the global disposition of continental landmasses due to “continental drifting”, plate tectonics.

    Once North and South American continents walled off eastern from western hemispheres, global atmospheric-ocean circulation patterns apparently lent themselves to regularly recurring chill phases. Over the next 10 – 12+ million years, continental dispositions will likely change so as to prevent continental glaciations for some hundred-million years. Meantime, we note that 500-million year pre-Cambrian ice ages entailed a “Snowball Earth” until tectonic forces moved fragmented landmasses into temperate zones.

    “Does the Earth have a climate?” asked Edward Lorenz in 1960. “The answer, at first glance obvious, improves on acquaintance.” Over geological time-spans, Earth in fact does not… since processes of punctuated equilibrium plus regression-to-the-mean are inherently subject to indeterminate fluctuations, any satisfactory climate model is bound to be quite local both in space and time. Go for it, in any case… but be aware that partisan political agendas will always mount hysterical ideological attacks on objective, rational conclusions at odds with preconceived attitudinal claims.

  13. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    One thing I like about Mr. Wilde’s New Climate Model is that it is more inclusive of the tremendous complexity of systems contributing to “climate” than the models used by climatologists.

    With their emphasis upon carbon dioxide, conventional climatologists have developed a dose/response relationship, reminding me of standard approaches in toxicology. Inputs due to solar variance/minimums & maximums, biological uptake of carbon dioxide and other factors are either ignored or calculated out of the model with a wave of the hand.

    I’m still rather partial to Henrik Svenmark’s theories regarding the influence of the sun’s magnetosphere on the earth during minimums, and I still think our sun is struggling to pull itself out of its rather historic minimum. I hear Leif coming up behind me…..

    At least on this blog, there is ample room for discussion and presentation of alternative ideas!

  14. pat says:

    This is the primary problem with models: the programmers keep static what they want to change. And then model, thus moving the static figure along a desirable course. If you did that in real life, you would be considered a fool. Congress does this all the time. “Raise taxes and government revenues will increase.” The fact that it does not after a year, seem oblivious. It is the same way with the idiots who are trying to convince us we must give them all aour money so they can save us.

  15. HarryG says:

    I would be interested in Erl Happs take on this.

  16. Richard G. says:

    My muse asks: why the search for a global temperature average? The search for an average is a fools errand. All climate is local. In ecological studies we speak of micro-climates. Climate zones are described in terms of biological communities, not temperature averages. The key is frost free growing periods. The plants growing on the north side of my home could care less about the south side of my home, let alone the southern hemisphere.

  17. I can see how you put this together, I would like to add a couple loose pieces to this puzzle, that will make it more realistic, for instance here;

    “”iv) The net global oceanic rate of energy release to the air is what matters with regard to the oceanic effect on the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems and the associated cloud bands. All the oceanic oscillations affecting the rates of energy release to the air operate on different timescales and different magnitudes as energy progresses through the system via surface currents (not the thermohaline circulation which is entirely separate).””
    ___________
    I would add that the 18.6 year Mn lunar declinational atmospheric tidal signal, modulates to some extent, the latitudinal positions of the Jet streams, as well as the energy balance and temperatures you suggest, as part of a natural weather generating thermostatic balancing mechanism.

    “”vi) The latitudinal position of the air circulation systems at any given moment indicates the current tropospheric temperature trend whether warming or cooling and their movement reveals any change in trend””
    ____________
    I agree but think that the Lunar declinational tidal driver, is also influencing as well but to what extent, you are not considering, and in order to be better at forecasting weather, and hence climate by extension, needs to be included in the process.

    “”viii) The speed of the hydrological cycle globally is the main thermostat in the troposphere. Changes in its speed are achieved by latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems and by changes in the height of the tropopause.””
    ____________
    It is just that I think the mechanism for this action can be found in the cyclic periodicity found in above mentioned Lunar declinational cycles. As patterns in Tornado, unusually heavy precipitation, drought, and hurricane production can be shown to come and go, with the Lunar declinational cycles.

    The rest is sound enough for initial testing IMHO, and wish you well on the outcome of investigations into how well your idea works. I am sure there are lots of others who will be adding their helpful comments as well.
    (My suggested revisions, in reviewing your ideas, Richard Holle.)

  18. magicjava says:

    P.S.

    Rereading my question about forecasting, I realize I wasn’t clear.

    I saw that the model makes predictions such as “If the jets move north, then it may warm” and “If the solar surface becomes active, the intensity of the AO will drop”

    But what I was wondering is if it’s possible to predict that the jets will move or the solar surface will become active.

    I know that we can predict sunspots to some degree. I don’t know about the jets. Do we have the ability to forecast these events to the accuracy needed by your model?

  19. davidmhoffer says:

    Pat:
    It is the same way with the idiots who are trying to convince us we must give them all aour money so they can save us>>

    you missed the finr print. They didn’t promise to save us, they primised to save the planet. If there’s any of “us” left that’s just a bonus. Or may be an irrittent.

  20. Richard G. says:

    My muse strikes again: When I was young I loved to build model airplanes. They looked so real that I was often tempted to try to make them fly. Alas they always crashed to earth and I learned a sad lesson: they were only models of the real thing. They never worked. Ever.

  21. jorgekafkazar says:

    Very interesting. The expansion of the atmosphere part raises a flag. There isn’t much of a 3D effect, as near as I can tell, and the gauntlet that photons have to run involves the same number of molecules. Or does it? There may be a small difference in resistance if higher temperatures in the ionosphere have an effect on outward radiation (despite the extremely low density) comparable to a charged grid in a vacuum tube.

    A good start, but needs some rethinking, IMHO. Are there any satellite radiation measurements that can confirm or establish parts of this model?

  22. Richard G. (22:16:44) :

    My muse strikes again: When I was young I loved to build model airplanes. They looked so real that I was often tempted to try to make them fly. Alas they always crashed to earth and I learned a sad lesson: they were only models of the real thing. They never worked. Ever.
    ___________________________

    Maybe the real critical things like weight distribution, proportional density, wing shape, response time of flaps and rudder, and engine power output, needed more consideration, modification?

  23. Dennis Wingo says:

    I was talking with a senior contractor to Oracle (the company) tonight at dinner and it seems that the ultimate climate model is a huge multi-tiered database with the science to tie it all together.

  24. jorgekafkazar (22:20:04) :
    The expansion of the atmosphere part raises a flag.
    With my usual subtlety I again note that that part is complete nonsense. It is not clear to me to what degree this is important for his model. Take away all the solar stuff and there may still be some substance left.

  25. jorgekafkazar (22:20:04) :
    The expansion of the atmosphere part raises a flag.
    With my usual subtlety I again note that that part is complete nonsense. It is not clear to me to what degree this is important for his model. Take away all the solar stuff and there may still be some substance left.

  26. Dennis Wingo (22:36:20) :
    ultimate climate model is a huge multi-tiered database
    What is a ‘multi-tiered’ database?

  27. John Wright says:

    @Richard G. (22:16:44) :
    “My muse strikes again: When I was young I loved to build model airplanes. They looked so real that I was often tempted to try to make them fly. Alas they always crashed to earth and I learned a sad lesson: they were only models of the real thing. They never worked. Ever.”
    It was a problem of scale. We were always told, “you can’t scale nature.” So the various constituting elements of the miniature have to be proportioned differently.

    My own muse is a bit more on topic: does Willis Eschenbach’s Thermostat Hypothesis (I think one of his first posts on WUWT) have any bearing on a model such as this?

  28. Roger Carr says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:24:29) : to meh (21:19:54) : Environmental lobby group International Rivers has …
    And what has that to do with the topic at hand?

    It is in there for the scatterbrains like me, Leif. I was struggling with the “topic at hand” from which I wanted to gain at least a glimmer of understanding — meh threw me a bone with “International Rivers” which I snatched (if only as a diversion) because it interested me, and therefore added one more tiny scatter to my brain, but perhaps, more importantly, an addition to my puzzle: What Makes AGM Run?

    I endorse these outliers in the mix of WUWT simply because they often do add dimension, and believe Anthony’s place would be the poorer without them.

  29. magicjava says:

    [quote Leif Svalgaard (22:48:11) :]
    jorgekafkazar (22:20:04) :
    The expansion of the atmosphere part raises a flag.
    With my usual subtlety I again note that that part is complete nonsense. It is not clear to me to what degree this is important for his model. Take away all the solar stuff and there may still be some substance left.
    [/quote]

    .
    Would you mind explaining your objection to this a bit more, for us laymen, Dr. Svalgaard?
    .
    As I understand it, extra heat causes air to rise. The reduced pressure at higher atmospheres causes the rising air to expand. The expanding air cools.
    .
    This is fairly common. It’s how clouds are formed.
    .
    So I’m wondering how this differs from what’s being presented in Stephen Wilde’s model.

  30. rbateman says:

    The presentation is interesting in that it follows through a series of oceanic and albedo effects. Do we have (or are we planning) any set of deep-ocean probes to determine the speed/temperature of the thermohaline currents?

  31. magicjava (22:54:43) :
    As I understand it, extra heat causes air to rise. The reduced pressure at higher atmospheres causes the rising air to expand. The expanding air cools.
    The air in the thermosphere that expands and contracts is only one millionth of the air in the troposphere and can therefore hardly control the radiative processes for the atmosphere as a whole.

  32. Al Gored says:

    CRS, Dr.P.H. (21:53:20) wrote: “One thing I like about Mr. Wilde’s New Climate Model is that it is more inclusive of the tremendous complexity of systems contributing to “climate” than the models used by climatologists.”

    I agree. It was an eye-opening education just reading it. So many moving parts. A fascinating far cry from the simplistic CO2 story.

    And its getting more interesting with the comments. John Blake (21:42:10) adds plate tectonics to the mix, plus another whole perspective.

    This blog just keeps getting more interesting! Thanks!

  33. rbateman (22:58:41) :
    Do we have (or are we planning) any set of deep-ocean probes to determine the speed/temperature of the thermohaline currents?

    We recently had a posting on that:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/29/atlantic-conveyor-belt-still-going-strong-and-will-be-the-day-after-tomorrow/#more-17910

  34. rbateman (22:58:41) :

    It seems that at least part of the ocean is being monitored.
    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/index.html

    Argo is a global array of 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measures the temperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean. This allows, for the first time, continuous monitoring of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean, with all data being relayed and made publicly available within hours after collection.

  35. rbateman says:

    What is a ‘multi-tiered’ database?

    Sounds like a bunch of database operations that all feed into ‘science’ database. In order to get the relations correct, it would first have to know what the correct science model is supposed to be.
    Or it’s a networked bunch of climate databases, each with it’s own slice of the climate facet pie, and they war it out for who wins at any given moment. The output would hopefully look like the end product: the climate. Each database has inputs and outputs to all other databases, and can go in any mess with it’s data.
    Sounds like fun.

  36. magicjava says:

    [quote Leif Svalgaard (22:49:30) :]
    Dennis Wingo (22:36:20) :
    ultimate climate model is a huge multi-tiered database
    What is a ‘multi-tiered’ database?
    [/quote]

    It’s the standard solution for large (enterprise-wide or bigger) applications. Rather than putting all the code into a single application, like, say, Microsoft Word does, code is split into “tiers”.

    There’s a Presentation Tier (example: A web browser), a Logic Tier (example: a web server), and a database tier (example: Oracle database).

    The multi-tier architecture is used when the number of people using the application is very large.

  37. bubbagyro says:

    I would like comment on a hypothesis which I call the “stiff earth shell” hypothesis. I mentioned this briefly in an earlier posting. It goes as follows (briefly):
    The earth’s solid crust is very thin compared to the volume of the rest of the globe. Much thinner, comparatively speaking, than an egg shell is to an egg. It is also stiff, compared to the molten mantle beneath. When the earth cools, the mantle must contract (2nd law), but the molten mantle, retaining internal heat, does not. Therefore, where tectonic plates collide, and one is subducted, it must be subducted faster as the crust shrinks. This would create faster fault slippage, for one thing, and more earthquakes. The converse, of course, would be true if the earth’s surface were to heat up allowing the thin crust to expand, leading to more failures, producing upwellings of lava to form volcanoes. So, this would be a modulating force to prevent short term heating of the surface, as more volcanoes would produce short term cooling from volcanic aerosols.

    Of course, this may only happen mostly on the 30% land surfaces, predominantly at lower elevations, I would think – not on water covered surfaces where the heat capacity of water would limit the cooling or heating of the crust, although any part of the affected plate that is land bound would still lever the whole plate to or fro.

    This may be one of the many attenuating mechanisms the earth uses to prevent wild swings when other cyclical drivers may be sinusoidally stacked.

    Comments? Is this likely to happen, or am I on thin crust?

  38. pat says:

    Oh. Another spelling test commenter. No doubt the smartest among us. lol

  39. magicjava (23:13:12) :
    Rather than putting all the code into a single application, like, say, Microsoft Word does, code is split into “tiers”.
    Not code, but data. So, again, what is a multi-tiered database?

  40. Doug in Seattle says:

    Joe Bastardi and some woman from the Union of Concerned Scientists had a “Climate Cat Fight” this evening on The Colbert Report. It was quite funny and even with Colbert’s silly antics Bastardi cleaned up.

  41. magicjava says:

    [quote Leif Svalgaard (23:05:06) :]
    magicjava (22:54:43) :
    As I understand it, extra heat causes air to rise. The reduced pressure at higher atmospheres causes the rising air to expand. The expanding air cools.
    The air in the thermosphere that expands and contracts is only one millionth of the air in the troposphere and can therefore hardly control the radiative processes for the atmosphere as a whole.
    [/quote]

    I see. Yes, that makes sense.
    .
    However, I didn’t notice Wilde’s model mentioning anything higher than the stratosphere, so perhaps we could get some clarification on whether he meant “the entire atmosphere up to the thermosphere and perhaps the exosphere”, or whether he had a more limited meaning of “atmosphere” in mind. I took what he said as the latter.

  42. It makes sense to talk about a multi-tiered application, or multi-teired access, but the database itself is not tiered. It can be distributed, which is different. The booze must have been flowing at Dennis’s dinner, because the ‘multi-tiered’ database is just sloppy usage.

  43. Friar says:

    Model?
    Where are the equations?
    The comments above in relation to model aeroplanes hit the nail on the head – Is this model simply to paint and decorate and look nice? Or is it to fly?
    If it is to fly then a great deal more work is required. So far it seems to be a model in the first sense only.

  44. magicjava says:

    P.S.

    The Oracle guy’s idea of a multi-tier climate application is actually not that bad at all. It would certainly be a big improvement over the bazzilon flat files and custom programs that the science currently uses.

  45. magicjava says:

    [quote Leif Svalgaard (23:27:49) :
    The booze must have been flowing at Dennis’s dinner, because the ‘multi-tiered’ database is just sloppy usage.
    [/quote]

    Probably. Plus, a sales guy will often have sloppy usage of terms even when they’re sober. And even when they’re a sales guy for a large technical company like Oracle.

  46. Steve Goddard says:

    Dennis Wingo (22:36:20) :

    Many calculations done in climate models could be done much faster with a huge multi-dimensional lookup table. However, the amount of memory required is prohibitive.

  47. Anu says:

    I once designed an automobile on paper – it looked great, accelerated strongly, was very affordable, and got over 100 mpg.

    Unfortunately, I forgot to include windshield wipers, and brakes.

    Luckily, nobody ever built it.

  48. M. Simon says:

    The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy differentials above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).

    I think it more likely to be the integrated response to the partial differentials which locally and over larger scales tend to equilibrium.

    http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2007/08/big-heat-pipe-in-sky.html

  49. M. Simon says:

    Improved formatting:

    The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy differentials above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).

    I think it more likely to be the integrated response to the partial differentials which locally and over larger scales tend to equilibrium.

    http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2007/08/big-heat-pipe-in-sky.html

  50. Al Gore's Holy Hologram says:

    The ONLY way to predict weather and climate changes is to have millions upon millions of data collecting bots in the air, on the surface, in the sea and also in space, that are all networked together and sending petabytes of data to extremely powerful networked servers to crunch through that data in real time to make predictions.

    BUT, four problems.

    1. The software necessary would need the very precise climate models. It would be even better if the software was intelligent and was able to study all the data and learn about how the climate works without biased humans getting in the way. The software itself could thus create an adapting climate model based on the petabytes of data it processes.

    2. We don’t have all those millions of sensors and what a mess it would be.

    3. We don’t have the processing power to crunch through petabytes of data in realtime or to power an artificial intelligent observer of the climate.

    4. We don’t have the network bandwidth for all those sensors to send petabytes of data on such a wide, massive scale.

    I must reiterate, this is the ONLY way to create a reliable climate model. Anything else is a human’s best guess.

  51. DirkH says:

    “Dennis Wingo (22:36:20) :

    I was talking with a senior contractor to Oracle (the company) tonight”

    Oracle guys will always tell you that a huge database solves the problem.
    (And when you’re foolish enough to build your continent-wide communication system on that basis and it falls straight over they’ll tell you to just add more servers… good luck…)

    Ask an IBM guy and he’ll tell you that a zzzzz-Server will do it best…

    Ask a GreenPeace guy and he’ll tell you civil disobedience and lots of donations will work best…

  52. GaryT says:

    Leif Svalgaard :

    You make sense in a world of nonsense. You must find a way to make sense to the populace. I think, and I guess, hope, that you know that the obsession on climate is futile. Someone needs to point this out. Monckton has tried and I laud his efforts. But someone has to stop this madness. It is consuming a larger portion of my life than is necessary. I don’t want to die knowing that a majority of my life was obsessed on a non entity.

  53. Dave F says:

    Sorry, only managed para. 1 & 2, so if point is made elsewhere, forgive me.

    The term ‘climate’ refers to an avergae of weather, or what we can expect the weather of an area to be, sorta.

    This entire term rests on the foundation of past experiences hitherto unquantified by dynamic models and supercomputers and satellites. We are in an era of unprecedented knowledge, so I would chill out a bit on the predictions of doom, but I digress.

    Let us assume that the tree ring proxies and direct readings of temperature from dinosaur anal bones gives us a real idea of what Celsius the past encompassed. Do we have current proxies to put them up against? Oh? What say you? We do?!?!?! Finally! We can settle this global warming business once and for all! What do our modern tree ring proxies say?! Oh, yes, I understand. The trees can’t breathe anymore, despite their continued growth, so no longer do they measure a consistent temperature.

    But, we have advances!! Yes, let us use our thermometers! We can do that for certain! Where are they?

  54. Martin Mason says:

    Very well done and good to see fresh thinking.

  55. 1. Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.
    2. Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation reduces, energy is lost to space faster.

    ..Every serious hypothesis must be capable of being proved false. In the case of this NCM my narrative is replete with opportunities for falsification if the future real world observations diverge from the pattern of cause and effect that I have set out.

    On falsification –

    Can you clarify what you mean by “Solar surface turbulence” and how it’s measured?

    How much would the Earth’s atmosphere expand? And where? Could we measure the change in density at the earth’s surface?

    What does “Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation reduces” mean?

    Do you mean there would be a measurable reduction in OLR? What kind of value over what time period?

  56. ..in the last comment I meant “measurable increase in OLR”

  57. GaryT says:

    I think that we are all a bunch of wussies. We don’t want to do anything because we were taught that the things we need to do were wrong. We were taught that they were un-American when they are in fact, very American.

    Legislatiting the weather? Someone has to stop this.

  58. Stephen Wilde says:

    Thanks for the comments so far including Leif’s.

    I am aware that this is just a tentative beginning. Something causes the polar oscillations to shrink and grow over decadal time periods. Many have suggested that the primary influence comes from above. I have made one suggestion, let others find an alternative if they can.

    I am content to rely on future real world climate developments and improvements in data collection to rebut, refine or even overturn the model proposed.

  59. wayne says:

    Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (23:51:09) :

    Be careful thinking that even then you could actually get an answer, remember this is an extrapolation into the future type of problem, the climate system is much like solving the traveling salesman problem with a thousand nodes or solving a non-NP problem. That is, even if you had all of the data, all of the equations of all of the interactions and all of the time in the world you still may not be able to EVER solve it. That is a problem in complexity theory itself.

    If you don’t know of ‘travaling salesman problem’ or ‘non-NP problem’, you probably would enjoy knowing of them, look them up.

  60. DavidB says:

    In several places the author uses the expression that such-and-such happens IN ORDER TO produce such-and-such an effect. Can he explain what he means? Is he implying that there is some ‘design’ built into the system? If not, he runs into the same problem as Lovelock’s Gaia: in the absence of some kind of natural selection among planetary systems, we have no reason to expect such a system to be self-regulating ‘in order to’ maintain conditions within a certain range.

  61. son of mulder says:

    I have 2 problems with this

    You say

    “1) When the atmosphere expands it does so in three dimensions around the entire circumference of the planet but the number of molecules in the atmosphere remains the same with the result that there is an average reduced density per unit of volume with more space between the molecules. Consequently the atmosphere presents a reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy photons that experience a reduced frequency of being obstructed by molecules in the atmosphere.”

    I say…. But this also means that the back radiation has a longer free path as well and because the atmosphere will be higher there is a risk of collisions for further out.

    There must be someone who has integrated over the whole atmosphere for 2 temperature states with constant CO2 and everything else to establish the theoretical veracity of your claim or not and the magnitude.

    2) You conclude from Miskolczi that “He appears to have demonstrated mathematically that if greenhouse gases in the air other than water vapour increase then the amount of water vapour declines so as to maintain an optimum optical depth for the atmosphere which modulates the energy flow to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. In other words the hydrological cycle speeds up or slows down just as I have always proposed.”

    I say this seems at odds with your statement “The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy differentials above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).”

    ie More CO2 = less water vapour = speeded up hydrological cycle. I don’t buy this as warmer air holds more water vapour but I would buy more water is in the form of more clouds and so higher albedo and more than offsets the water vapour effect?

  62. Spector says:

    I believe that Stephen Wilde’s top-down approach is much better way to obtain a true understanding of this problem. It has the sound of real science. Good work!

  63. MartinGAtkins says:

    To Leif Svalgaard

    I’m having trouble with this statement by the author.

    1. Firstly we must abandon the idea that variations in total solar output have a significant effect over periods of time relevant to human existence. At this point I should mention the ‘faint sun paradox’:

    We have discussed in the past whether TSI alone during long solar durational variability could be the driver of relatively strong climate impacts.

    After doing all the calculations that are reasonably possible, I had to concede that your position that TSI alone could not explain the MWP or the little ice age was built on sound ground.

    I’m having trouble grasping the concept of the ‘faint sun paradox’. The author gives the wikipedia as a starting reference but as usual, that source is contaminated with agenda driven drivel.

    On the face of it FSP appears to contradict the laws of thermal dynamics. Is the hypothesis built on sound physics or is it another scientific consensus?

    I’m interested the time the star has progressed early into it’s main sequence and is no longer adding mass through accretion.

    Do you have a reference I can use to advance my understanding that’s geared toward the theoretical concept rather than the complex calculations?

    Thank you for any help.

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

  64. TLM says:

    Gosh – where to start with this one…?

    The biggies here are:

    (iii) Counterintuitively an active sun means cooling not warming and vice versa.
    and
    (v) [re CO2 forcing causing back radiation of infrared] …since evaporation has a net cooling effect due to the removal of energy as latent heat the net effect should be increased cooling and not warming of the oceans

    Well if (iii) is correct then the less energy we receive from the sun, the warmer we get, and the more energy the cooler we get. How do I falsify that one? I know, lets compare a planet close to the sun, such as Mercury, with one that is far away such as Neptune. By this theory Neptune should be boiling hot and Mercury freezing cold. Hmm…

    It also blows out the Milankovitch Cycles as an explanation for the ice ages. This theory predicts (extremely accurately as it happens) that known variations in the orbit of the Earth bring us closer or move us further away from the sun creating really quite small changes in insolation. However, these small changes are enough to cause huge areas of the northern hemisphere to be covered in vast ice sheets.

    Sorry, I don’t buy (iii). You need to explain the mechanism in more detail.

    For (v) I would try an experiment involving a pan full of cold water. Above this I would put an infrared lamp. Now according to your theory the water should get colder due to evaporation as the heat from the infrared lamp hits the water.

    But if this were to happen then as soon as the water warmed a little under the lamp it would instantly cool due to evaporation and evaporation would stop. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the physical process. If the water does not get warmer then greater evaporation cannot occur. The greater evaporation only happens because the water is warmer! Sunshine (infrared, ultraviolet, and visible spectrum) all warm the sea – as anybody who has paddled in the water on a beach in the Summer and avoided doing so in the Winter will testify.

    Sure, evaporation (and re-emission of infrared radiation) will moderate the speed of the rise in temperature and eventually return it to a steady (but much higher) temperature – but rise it most definitely will.

    I could go on and on but I have a life to lead.

  65. stephen richards says:

    magicjava (22:54:43) :

    I’ll have a go at this one, Leif. The problem for most scientific lay people is that “physics is not about common sense”, as Einstein once said. Expansion of materiels requires kinetic energy ( the energy of movement) to create the molecular collisons which in turn force the expansion. In metal, for instance, the molecular structure is agitated by the increased flow of electrons which in turn cause the structure to vibrate and therefor expand. Its what makes an electric fire work. The energy creates collisions and therefore heat as well as movement. The total energy remains the same, of course. Conservation of energy law.
    In the upper atmosphere the molecules have so much space to move (low density environment) that collisions are much less probable and therefore expansion much less likely.

    STEPHEN.
    Makes a great debating point and I realise that you never intended it to be other than that. You have left open many issues which will need further investigation, experimentation and proof but, never-the-less at least you took the time and trouble to do something useful rather than slagging off your detractors.

  66. anna v says:

    I tend to agree with Leif that the stratosphere has too little mass to play the role it is given, whether expanding or contracting. It cannot be a driver.

    I also have, as Richard has, a soft spot for the, ignored by all climate players,, moon cycles . The tides in the ocean mixing waters twice a day close to land, and the atmosphere following the clockwork.
    Re: Richard Holle (Apr 6 22:08)
    Mainly because the moon phases and cycles play such a role in fishing sailing and agriculture in my part of the world.

    And folklore: it always rains on Good Friday because nature itself is weeping for Christ. It often does, in a land where a month without rain is not uncommon in spring. Easter is calculated as the first Sunday after equinox and after the next full moon.

    It is good though that other models are brought fourth to compete with the failed GCMs. I could see a neural net model a la Tsonis with these extra inputs . It would not need the stratosphere. Just the connections with the patterns of winds and currents.

  67. Stephen Wilde (00:58:02) :

    Thanks for the comments so far including Leif’s.

    I am aware that this is just a tentative beginning. Something causes the polar oscillations to shrink and grow over decadal time periods. Many have suggested that the primary influence comes from above. I have made one suggestion, let others find an alternative if they can.
    ___________________
    Have you looked to see if there is a correlation between the declination of the outer planets above, and then below the ecliptic plane, that would be influencing polarity of the solar wind as it goes by? Causing the switch in size, strength, polarity of the polar circulations? Or as Harry says you could just ask Erl Happ, (calm down Leif, I just asked is all.)

    HarryG (22:05:04) :

    I would be interested in Erl Happs take on this.

  68. Claude Harvey says:

    I think a “forked stick” would be about as useful as any of the predictive climate models I’ve seen to date.

  69. Roger Sowell says:

    RE multi-tiered database, we built a few to overcome processing speed issues. Instead of one massive database, the data is segregated into discrete databases, so that each database can be accessed simultaneously. With very large amounts of data, this speeds up the retrieval process so the number crunching / report generation steps can provide results in a meaningful time. Somewhat analogous to distributed processing.

    In one version, an executive module evaluates the data requirements, then sends requests out to each affected database, where data retrieval occurs. As data flows back up out of each database, the executive monitors the progress. When all the required data is available, the executive triggers the processing module. One variation has the processing module operate segmentally, rather than waiting for all the data to arrive.

    This was but one approach to solve the processing time problem presented by very large databases. One can make a fortune if one has a better idea in this area. Time is money, and especially so for database operations. Databases are growing very large very fast, so this is a hot topic. Very hot.

  70. BBk says:

    “iii) Counterintuitively an active sun means cooling not warming and vice versa.”

    I thought we just went through an extended period of inactive sun, but declining temperatures over the last decade? Is this model falsified already?

  71. Stephen Wilde says:

    TLM (02:31:17)

    All points familiar to me that I have dealt with before, for example:

    i) The more turbulent the solar energy flow the more the atmosphere is disturbed from the top of the stratosphere upwards which seems to increase the rate of energy loss to space. The entire atmosphere above the stratosphere and possibly the upper portion of the stratosphere itself is affected which seems to at least partially deal with the density based objections from Leif and others. Any change in net solar power output is relatively small as Leif says and being a seperate issue apparently incapable of explaining observed variability in the climate system.

    Bear in mind that the NCM does not rely on my solar suggestion. Any mechanism capable of affecting the size and intensity of the polar high pressure systems from above will suffice.

    ii) I’ve considered the issue of infra red on a water surface in considerable detail previously. Whatever happens the extra infra red cannot cause warming of the ocean body. Whether it actually causes enhanced cooling or is simply neutral doesn’t matter for the NCM. A neutral effect is sufficient. No one has proved that there is a net warming effect though there is speculation about a proposed ocean skin effect which is supposed to reduce the rate of energy loss from water to air. It has not been proved to be true.

    My NCM identifies the areas that must be resolved. The data is not currently available. Whatever the truth turns out to be the NCM will simply need refinement. At present it potentially explains a great deal, covers most if not all observed climate changes and broadly complies with the laws of physics subject to resolution of the issues raised about the solar effects on the atmosphere and infra red effects on the oceans.

    The suggestion that there are no solar effects seems to contradict observations and the suggestion that extra infra red warms the oceans on timescales that are meaningful is against logic given the net cooling effect of evaporation. However if either aspect can be resolved the NCM remains intact overall but needs refinement.

    The picture I have painted fits what we see. We just need to explain it more precisely than I can do at this point. It is a work in progress and I appreciate assistance but will not accept blind prejudices.

  72. GabrielHBay says:

    @Leif: Multi-tiered database? Hmmm… dunno what the standard definition would be, but would the following arrangement be disqualified?
    A primary set of data, the first tier. A second tier, containing additional data referenced to parameters contained in the first tier. A third tier, containing additional data referenced to parameters contained in the second tier… etc. etc. For me any grownup database is designed on this model, since commonality and maintenance of “additional” data can be optimized?

  73. magicjava (23:26:16) :
    “the entire atmosphere up to the thermosphere and perhaps the exosphere”, or whether he had a more limited meaning of “atmosphere” in mind. I took what he said as the latter.
    Except that it is the former that expands and contracts.

  74. Stephen Wilde (03:50:49) :
    but will not accept blind prejudices.
    Valid criticism is often classified as ‘blind prejudice’, especially when devastating.

  75. GabrielHBay (04:27:24) :
    A primary set of data, the first tier. A second tier, containing additional data referenced to parameters contained in the first tier. A third tier, containing additional data referenced to parameters contained in the second tier… etc. etc.
    This is a hierarchal database [the first databases created 50 years ago were of this kind - which are very efficient]. Oracle sells a relational database which as a defining characteristic has that it is ‘flat’. The ‘multi-tiered database’ just seems to be a commercial buzz-word with little or no substance.

  76. Stephen Wilde says:

    BBk (03:31:31)

    I think you will find that global temperatures have held up pretty well over the past decade despite the inactive sun and a strong La Nina a couple of years ago. Much puzzlement has been expressed as regards that.

    The La Nina reduced tropospheric air temperatures but the quiet sun may have mitigated the effect.

    Currently the tropics and the highest latitudes are warm despite the cold mid latitudes to give a high global temperature overall.

    Model not falsified as yet. In fact it is being confirmed as time passes although the precise mechanisms and chains of cause and effect remain open for debate.

  77. Curiousgeorge says:

    “Then we have the chaotic variability of weather superimposed on the whole caboodle.”

    It’s not just the above. It’s the entire non-linear dynamical complexity of the entire universe. This planet does not exist in isolation from the rest of the cosmos. So, if you really want to model the weather on our little speck of dust, you would need to create a computerized clone of the entire cosmos, which means accounting for all of the initial and boundary conditions as well as all feedback and feed-forward influences. Good luck with that. :)

  78. Ric Werme says:

    Can I play too?

    When the atmosphere expands it does so in three dimensions …. Consequently the atmosphere presents a reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy photons that experience a reduced frequency of being obstructed by molecules in the atmosphere.

    The expansion of the thermosphere is the largest change, but that’s near vacuum conditions. Even there if it impacts satellite orbits for, (wild guess) 100 km, that’s pretty small compared to the 6400 km radius of the Earth. Perhaps a better analogy is that a filter made out of several screens separated by some gap behaves the same if the gap is increased.

    Perhaps the horizontal stretching is enough for the small changes you need, but I think the killer is that the majority of the atmosphere, say the first 90%, undergoes far less expansion.

    Do you envision adding the math to your verbal framework? It would seem to me that once that’s done you’d have a model that manages to predict climate (averaged weather) without having to predict the weather along the way. I’d consider that a good thing, at least a useful alternative.

  79. Stephen Wilde says:

    curiousgeorge (05:35:55)

    I’m not sure we have to go quite that far :)

    As Leif is always telling us, issues of scale are highly relevant.

  80. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (05:17:20)

    Your comments are hardly ‘devastating’. If there is no solar effect on the strength of the polar atmospheric high pressure systems then another mechanism must be found. The overall NCM still holds. The latitudinal positions and relative intensities of all the air circulation systems do clearly respond to oceanic pressures from below and atmospheric influences from above. From that, all else follows. The precise mechanisms are not critical.

  81. Leonard Weinstein says:

    There were many good points made by the author, but there was too much effort to make a complete story, which was not justified at this point. I would suggest backing down on trying to be so complete, as the portions that seem to be wrong make the entire story less reasonable. Barometric pressure and local temperatures have been measures at large numbers of locations for a long time. This would give air density variation. Solar intensity has been observed in the form of spot number. The intensity of cosmic radiation (related to spot number) has been deduced from their interaction with the Earth going back much longer. There has not been shown to be a density variation of significance that correlates with average temperature variation (e.g, the recent high average temperature came from a small very hot area over the ocean and a small northern area, and more normal to even colder temperatures everywhere else, not global temperatures being warmer), and Solar activity has been shown to correlate very well with much of the long term (thousands of years time scale) global temperature trend.

  82. Pamela Gray says:

    Steven, the AO winter anomaly data has a fairly good correlation with ice build up and lower summer melt. This seems a much stronger argument than solar influences as the mechanism can be clearly understood. Of course there still needs to be an explanation of why the AO goes negative, or whether or not it has an oscillatory or random behavior pattern.

  83. Stephen Wilde says:

    ‘anna v (02:56:45) :

    I tend to agree with Leif that the stratosphere has too little mass to play the role it is given, whether expanding or contracting. It cannot be a driver.’

    It doesn’t need to be a driver. Merely involved in processes whereby the rates of energy release upward from the stratosphere can vary. The stratosphere seems to cool when the upper layers of atmosphere are warming and/or when the troposphere is warming. Since the mid 90′s it seems to have reversed the earlier cooling and is now warming slightly at a time of cooling upper atmosphere from the quiet sun and a cooling troposphere from a negative PDO.

    As far as I know there has never been uniform cooling or warming right through from surface to space so there is clearly a regulatory process involving the speed of upward energy transfer going on at some point between surface and space.

    My NCM proposes the stratosphere regulating the speed of energy flow from tropopause or thereabouts to space and the troposphere regulating the flow from surface to tropopause.

  84. Tom in Florida says:

    Stephen,
    Perhaps you could clear up a couple of things for me.
    1. #6 & #16. It is my understanding that the ITCZ moves with the Sun due to increases and decreases in insolation caused by the Earth’s axis tilt, moving northward in NH summer until the solstice and then back towards the equator in a well known pattern.
    2. You talk of jet streams moving. It is my understanding that the location of the jet streams are at the boundry of warm and cold air masses, the stronger winning the day and moving the stream north or south accordingly. What mechanism is used to make one of these air masses stronger than the other in order for the jets to move?
    Thanks

  85. Richard M says:

    I did not see any reference to the bio-sphere. Look at:

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/uoc-ruo032910.php

    May or may not be valid but the climate is very, very complex and I’m not sure how anyone can model it to the degree necessary to make policy decisions.

  86. Mike says:

    Don’t you just love a science article with no references to the existing literature?
    And it is like totally amazing that Steve has developed a new mathematical model without presenting a single equation. Wow!

  87. Stephen Wilde (05:58:28) :
    If there is no solar effect on the strength of the polar atmospheric high pressure systems then another mechanism must be found. The overall NCM still holds.
    A model is about mechanisms. You say that ‘solar’ is not critical. So, try to remove everything solar from your ‘model’ and see where you are. A good model eliminates all that is not essential so that the truly determining factors stand out and can be discussed. It is a favorite ‘trick’ [to use a word that climate 'science' has popularized] to load up a ‘model’ or ‘theory’ with extraneous elements in order to obscure the essential flaws and to erect enough straw men to fend of criticism for a long time.

  88. Stephen Wilde says:

    Tom in Florida (06:37:41)

    Hi Tom,

    1) I’m interested only in latitudinal movements beyond normal seasonal variation. It appears that during the LIA the ITCZ was nearer the equator than it is now. During the recnt warming spell the jets moved poleward. They have now moved back equatorward again.

    2) The equatorial air masses become stronger or weaker as they are warmed or cooled by variable rates of energy release from the oceans. The polar air masses become stronger or weaker as they are allowed to warm or cool by variable rates of energy release to space (unless someone has a better idea).

  89. Leonard Weinstein (05:59:16) :
    there was too much effort to make a complete story, which was not justified at this point. I would suggest backing down on trying to be so complete
    Often, when you try to explain everything, you end up explaining nothing, because there are just to many loose pieces.

  90. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leonard Weinstein (05:59:16)

    Fair points but I’d rather start with as complete a story as possible and then change it as necessary when more data is available.

    As regards density I’d say that total density stays much the same. What changes is density per unit volume which I propose affects energy distribution within the system.

    I’m resigned to the fact that it is going to take time for the thought behind all this to be fully appreciated. It is very easy for misinterpretations to be made by those who are newly considering the points made.

  91. Todd Tilton says:

    I googled on multi-tier database. It seems to be just a database used as the data tier in an n-tier architecture.

  92. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (06:52:35)

    Advice noted but not accepted. I think a solar influence is persuasive enough to include it.

  93. Stephen Wilde says:

    Mike (06:39:35)

    Where do I claim it to be a ‘science article’ or a ‘mathematical model’ ?

    It is a logical description of the processes that must be occurring in one form or another or to one degree or another to get long term observations to fit the basic laws of physics.

  94. Stephen Wilde says:

    Pamela Grey (06:09:41)

    Hi Pamela.

    Quite true but the ice build up follows the development of a negative AO so I have considered it a consequence rather than a cause.

    As you say, the cause of the AO changes is critical. The only evidence I see so far is solar. AO was largely positive whilst the sun was active from cycles 21, 22 and 23 and also during active cycle 19. It is now more negative whilst the sun is less active for cycle 24. It was also somewhat negative during relatively weak cycle 20. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is looking rather like evidence.

    However I do consider the oceanic effects far more substantial than the solar effects.

  95. Bob Tisdale says:

    Stephen Wilde: Just a couple of questions/comments to start. You wrote, “However that narrative is based on what we have actually observed over a period of 1000 years with the gaps filled in by deduction informed by known laws of physics.”

    Observed or reconstructed? Reconstructions of climate indexes can vary greatly, depending on the proxy and its location. Which reconstruction is correct? Example, the PDO:
    http://i40.tinypic.com/2vjbj91.png

    The graph is from this post:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/03/is-there-60-year-pacific-decadal.html

    You wrote, “The current models neither recognise the presence of that internal system variability nor the processes that ultimately stabilise it.”

    Please provide links to sources (papers or web pages) that support this.

    You wrote, “It is likely that the current powerful run of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillations is the pulse of warmth from the Mediaeval Warm Period returning to the surface…”

    Please define the period (years, decades, centuries) of “the current powerful run of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillations.” Please also document how you came to the conclusion that “the current powerful run of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillations is the pulse of warmth from the Mediaeval Warm Period returning to the surface”.

    You wrote, “The length of the thermohaline circulation is not synchronous with the length of the variations in solar surface turbulence so it is very much a lottery as to whether a returning warm or cool pulse will encounter an active or inactive sun.”

    In the above quote, are you referring to THC as the hypothetical 1500-year cycle or to the measured shorter-term, multidecadal and less, cycle?

    In closing, based on the title and your introduction, I was expecting to find a working climate model, one with outputs of simulations to show how your model is better than existing models. What I found was a discussion of factors you would include in your climate model. So your assumptions about your “model” are simply that, assumptions. This was disappointing. Or have I missed a link to the model itself?

  96. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ric Werme (05:46:20)

    I’m not a mathematician so I can’t go there.

    You say,

    “Perhaps the horizontal stretching is enough for the small changes you need, but I think the killer is that the majority of the atmosphere, say the first 90%, undergoes far less expansion.”

    but I’m not sure that is a killer point.

    Any expansion or contraction would change rate of flow and we clearly see changes in rates of flow at different levels because troposphere, stratosphere, and the upper layers never warm or cool in tandem.

    The climate observations suggest that however small the changes in the rate of energy flow they are enough to produce what we see.

  97. Curiousgeorge says:

    Stephen Wilde (05:53:08) :

    curiousgeorge (05:35:55)

    I’m not sure we have to go quite that far :)

    As Leif is always telling us, issues of scale are highly relevant.

    Probably not, but there are some more local issues that I think merit consideration. For example the biological impacts; and relevant to space, the 7300 tons or so of space borne matter that we gain annually – suppose that went up by a factor of 10 or 100 in a single year due to passage thru a cometary tail, etc.? I realize that much of this is completely unpredictable, but that is the nature of chaotic systems, is it not? :)

  98. Enneagram says:

    I insist they are losing money. There is a big commercial niche available for a “Climate modelling computer game”, hope now that “El Gordo” is involved in Google they will do it. Can imagine? : “Build your own Armageddon scenario”, be it a Global Warming or an Ice Age one, you can include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, gigantic CME reaching the planet…WOW!!!…there are a lot of possibilites, as scientific as any post normal science models from NASA, CRU or MET Office computer games, NOW in your PC o favorite video game console!!.

  99. Bob Tisdale says:

    Stephen Wilde (00:58:02): “Something causes the polar oscillations to shrink and grow over decadal time periods. Many have suggested that the primary influence comes from above. I have made one suggestion, let others find an alternative if they can.”

    Refer to Wu et al presentation “The Impact of ENSO on NAO Variability” for a starter:
    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/seminars/presentations/2004/Wu_COLA2004.ppt

    Their conclusions:

    “The observational evidence showed that NAO interannual variability is well correlated to ENSO variability in the tropical Pacific

    “The modeling studies demonstrate that the relation of ENSO and NAO is hidden in the seemingly white noise like NAO variability”

    Have you looked at ENSO, Stephen, for decadal correlations with AO/NAO and SAM?

  100. davidmhoffer says:

    On “multi-tiered” databases

    I’ don’t presume to speak for the Oracle techie who suggested this as I don’t know what exactly he was thinking, but there is merit in building a multiple tier object oriented database model. In fact that was what I initially thought climate models were, only when I started doing a lot of reading did I discover how simplistic they were.

    Let’s start with “object oriented”. By taking this approach you would be able to build “simple” models of specific things that have known inputs and outputs. For example, you could take each of the relationships described in the article above and create one model for each. Suppose you have a researcher who has figured out how to predict the position of the jet stream based on a certain set of factors and can build a model that uses those factors as input, and provides the position of the jet streams as output. Then you have a completely different researcher who has figured out based on the jet stream position, how to calculate average distribution of cloud cover. A different researcher still might have built a model that predicts ice coverage based on ocean heat content. What you do is build up a library of objects. You may even have more than one object that does the same thing. For example you might have a “Svensgaard” object for TSI and you might have a “Lean” object for TSI, though I’ve heard strong opinions expressed in this blog that the former is more accurate :-)

    The reason it is multi-tiered is to keep data separate from the objects themselves. Suppose you have several objects each of which uses temperature series as their input. You could then have in your data layer, a UHI temperature series, or GISS, or several. As the data gets updated, the output of the models gets updated at the same time. Now you have a tier of objects, and you have a tier of data.

    Now you can build more tiers by defining relationships between the objects. So if a researcher believes that jet stream position is a leading indicator of ice extent, she need not model either jet stream position or ice extent if those models already exist. She can simply build her theory and use the models to hindcast and forecast and see if it matches her theory. She could go crazy and postulate a relationship between TSI, OHC, jet stream position, and a dozen other factors and test it without researching all those other factors first. If she can prove her theory right, there is now a new object in the library that outputs predictions of ice extent. In essence, you can now build models comprised of models (objects) driven by data. You can change the data as new data becomes available, change the objects as new research becomes available to make them more accurate, and so on, without compromising the over arching models that people are building to understand the big picture.

    You do in fact need a very good DBA to put this together. Put it together wrong and performance and maintenance will be a nightmare.

  101. Stephen Wilde says:

    Richard M (06:37:43)

    I have seen that link and it refers to thinner clouds when the sun was fainter.

    That suggests a slower hydrological cycle back then. Confirmation of my proposition. No need to invoke the biosphere as a driver at all. Generally the activity level of the biosphere is a consequence and not a cause.

  102. Stephen Wilde says:

    curiousgeorge (07:30:50)

    Quite true but as I said in my article you can deal with those effects within my NCM in so far as they affect the system in one way or another.

  103. Stephen Wilde (07:03:55) :
    Advice noted but not accepted.
    You have this backwards. It is for you to try to make us accept your theory.

  104. Stephen Wilde (07:21:39) :
    Any expansion or contraction would change rate of flow
    This is the fundamental flaw.

  105. Stephen Wilde says:

    Bob Tisdale (07:17:79)

    Hello Bob,

    We have a past history of difficulties arising from our respective styles and use of language so I hope you will understand if I refrain from engaging with you here. It would probably derail the thread.

  106. Vincent says:

    The strangest prediction of all seems to be that cold or warm pulses from a thousand years ago can be predicted to “pop out” at specific times in the future.

    “20.Ocean energy input decreases and the amount of energy entering the thermohaline circulation declines sending a pulse of slightly cooler water on that 1000 to 1500 year journey.
    21.After 1000 to 1500 years those variations in energy flowing through the thermohaline circulation return to the surface.”

    Surely it is a mistake when talking about 1000 year journeys to imagine that the heat in warmer pulses remain intact for these lengths of time. I would guess that the second law of thermodynamics would make sure that these temperature anomalies don’t last that long.

  107. johnnythelowery says:

    Regarding the Amazon River/Solar connection….Brian Cox in the this BBC2
    part 3 of Episode 1 of ‘Wonders of the Solar System’ weighs in with this:

    http://www.youtube.com/redirect?username=AnonH5N1&q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DNi7dKceWbHc&video_id=eQSy4NFKZko&event=url_redirect&url_redirect=True&usg=RnZDlizVFYbZV57v-uuBRTdnOcE=

  108. Larry Geiger says:

    Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (23:51:09) :

    The ONLY way to predict weather and climate changes is to have millions upon millions of data collecting bots in the air, on the surface, in the sea and also in space, that are all networked together and sending petabytes of data to extremely powerful networked servers to crunch through that data in real time to make predictions.

    (I am not a scientist).
    This is not always true. Sometimes a simple formula will simply describe the interactions of millions upon millions of interacting agencies. Sometimes not. When I see the graphs of the glacial periods, each over 102,000 years, it looks pretty simple at that scale.

    Trying to model the system by looking at individual components over very short time periods may not be the best way to model climate. Maybe.

    We seem to be able to mostly agree on the long term cycles. Maybe the best way is to slowly refine what we know from the long term. We may never be able to make reliable predictions over a few years or decades. YMMV

  109. ICE says:

    Steven, to test your hypothesis you could consider a reverse situation:
    If expansion and contraction of the upper level of atmosphere regulates the escape of heath by radiation, than in exactly the same manner this expansion/contraction should regulate the incoming radiation. This would be than easily detectable effect on 1362W/m2.
    Leif Svalgaard or anyone else: is there such effect?

  110. Stephen Wilde says:

    Vincent (07:42:18)

    “Surely it is a mistake when talking about 1000 year journeys to imagine that the heat in warmer pulses remain intact for these lengths of time. I would guess that the second law of thermodynamics would make sure that these temperature anomalies don’t last that long.”

    It would be a mistake to assume that a temperature change caused by a change in insolation lasting some 500 years would entirely dissipate and have no effect on the temperature of the water that eventually comes out at the end.

    They don’t ‘pop out’. The ocean surface temperatures change gradually over time as the effect feeds through. I suspect that the gradual recovery from the LIA is from just that cause.

  111. TLM says:

    Stephen Wilde (03:50:49)

    I will leave your bizarre theory that higher insolation cools the atmosphere for others to discuss in detail if they want to. You are putting up a complex argument as a way of confusing a very simple issue. The energy budget of the atmosphere is such that if more solar energy finds its way in past the stratosphere, and is not immediately reflected back out by clouds or other reflective surfaces, then that energy will warm something up, and the generated heat cannot escape without the temperature of the atmosphere increasing. Period.

    Sorry, but you totally misunderstand the most basic of physical laws if you think that an increase in infra-red directed at the ocean will not warm it up, or that evaporation causes a “net cooling” or even has a “neutral” effect.

    The fact that evaporation from the sea increases is an indication that it is warming. As the water warms, the rate of evaporation increases. This causes a loss of heat from the surface of the water through phase change. In other words if you gave it a quick burst of heat (a.k.a. infra-red radiation) then this would warm the water and increase the rate of evaporation. This would then cool it back to its original temperature (there are other forces that contribute of course such as convection and radiation). However if those bursts of heat were to become more frequent or more intense then in order for the rate of evaporation to increase from the surface to counteract it, the kinetic energy of the water molecules (i.e. the water’s temperature) would need to increase.

    Over a “climatic” period of many years (rather than a “weather” period of hours or days) the amount of infra-red radiation reaching the sea will be relatively predictable assuming a static sun and an unchanging atmosphere. Seasonal, annual and even decadal variations would cancel each other out if measured over a long enough period. La Nina would counteract El Nino, PDO and NAO will cycle round and back again and so on.

    However, if the sun were to become less active (solar cycles) – or further from the earth (Milankovitch cycles) then the amount of infra-red hitting the ocean would reduce and the seas would cool. Sure, some years they would warm up and in other years they would cool down – but on average the trend would be inexorably cooler.

    Similarly if you change the composition of the atmosphere by introducing large quantities of a greenhouse gas that causes greater back-radiation of infra-red towards the surface of the surface from the air, then over a climatic period of time the seas will get warmer. Sure, in some years they would warm up and in other years they would cool down – but on average the trend would be inexorably warmer.

    The only questions are “when?”, “how fast?” and “how much?”. Lots of stuff to debate there, but your paper does not add to that debate because it is just so wrong in so many very fundamental ways.

  112. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (07:38:05)

    It’s not a fundamental flaw for the entire NCM. Just a ‘possible’ flaw in one component but which would have to be replaced by an alternative even if you are right.

    Do forgive me for daring to disagree with you. I made my decision when you failed to distinguish between two dimensional and three dimensional expansion in another thread. Hence my illustration of a fabric container allowing water through faster as it is stretched by expansion.

    Any porous material will become more porous if stretched to enclose a greater volume.

  113. Roger Knights says:

    Curiousgeorge (05:35:55) :

    … you would need to create a computerized clone of the entire cosmos, …

    Done!!! (Astrologically.) It would be amusing to see if this site’s predictions do better than the IPCC’s: http://weathersage.com/

  114. Bob Tisdale says:

    Stephen Wilde (07:14:23) : In reply to Pamela Grey you wrote, “As you say, the cause of the AO changes is critical. The only evidence I see so far is solar. AO was largely positive whilst the sun was active from cycles 21, 22 and 23 and also during active cycle 19. It is now more negative whilst the sun is less active for cycle 24. It was also somewhat negative during relatively weak cycle 20. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is looking rather like evidence.”

    Unfortunately, the data contradicts your “evidence”. There is no correlation between AO and sunspot numbers/TSI. The correlation coefficient for AO and sunspot numbers = 0.02.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/fkr5n6.png

    I believe we’ve been through this before on an earlier thread, Stephen.

  115. Richard M says:

    davidmhoffer (07:32:09) ,

    Thanks for the chuckle. When you mentioned “Svensgaard” I pictured a two headed scientist arguing with himself. Now, what about Svalmark?

    Stephen Wilde (07:33:07) :

    I have seen that link and it refers to thinner clouds when the sun was fainter.

    That suggests a slower hydrological cycle back then. Confirmation of my proposition. No need to invoke the biosphere as a driver at all. Generally the activity level of the biosphere is a consequence and not a cause.

    Well, you may be right, and then you may be wrong. If you are wrong your model is worthless and your effort wasted. Before you can determine if
    “biosphere is a consequence and not a cause”, you will need to understand this paper.

    I think it’s all going to get down to H2O (clouds, etc.) eventually with many varied drivers. You probably have some of the factors correct but it may take a lot more work to get ALL of them correct (while not adding in superfluous ones).

  116. bubbagyro says:

    Heat capacity of water and solids. The heat sink of the planet as a whole:
    Until we know the distribution of the heat sinks and their insulation from the atmosphere we will not find correlation demonstrable, because we do not know the lag times of various inputs of heat elements, nor how they are subsequently distributed. El Nino and La Nina, Sea Oscillations, etc. are mechanisms that utilize previously stored heat elements that are modulated in various ways. I would advance that, e.g., an active solar cycle may not demonstrate an effect for 5 or 10 or 20 cycles, so that we may find apparent correlation, but not true correlation. Until several or many are sinusoidally in phase, that is. Sort of like rogue ocean waves! Witness the multi-centennial large solar cycles that Milankovich, and now Lorraine Lisiecki and others have teased out of the record because a correlation from a side-effect of causality was apparently found. My point is that we will only ever be able to demonstrate “apparent” correlations that are coincidental according to chaos theory.

  117. Bob Tisdale says:

    Stephen Wilde (07:39:48) : You replied, “We have a past history of difficulties arising from our respective styles and use of language so I hope you will understand if I refrain from engaging with you here. It would probably derail the thread.”

    You’ve made statements and I’ve asked for documentation. I’ve asked other, simple questions. So, I will take you reply as, you have nothing to support the statements you’ve made that I quoted and you do not have answers to the simple questions I asked. Not good, Stephen.

  118. ICE (08:13:38) :
    If expansion and contraction of the upper level of atmosphere regulates the escape of heath by radiation, than in exactly the same manner this expansion/contraction should regulate the incoming radiation.
    is there such effect?

    Not that I know of.
    The thermosphere is equivalent to a layer of air one centimeter thick, so does not regulate the radiation in any measurable way. Expanding a 1 centimeter layer to two centimeter on top of a 10 km thick troposphere is what is supposed to control our climate. I don’t think this is the case. Some calculations as how this is done would seem in order.

  119. Stephen Wilde says:

    Bob Tisdale (08:46:04)

    Yes we did refer to that on an earlier thread and you took no note of my replies.

    A 50 year period is inadequate because of the lesser cycles and short term chaotic variability overlaying the longer term patterns.

    However even in your link AO was generally positive when sunspot numbers were relatively high from the 1970′s to 2000 which is as I say it should be.

    The main discrepancy during that short time span is a high sunspot number around 1960 when we had strong solar cycle 19 but the AO was negative. I would say that that was because cycle 19 was preceded and followed by weaker cycles and accompanied by a negative ocean phase. As you may recall I say that the ocean phases also have an effect so if you have a weak ocean phase when there are a lot of sunspots the lack of poleward pressure from the weak oceanic influence fails to take full advantage and allows the AO to remain stronger than it otherwise would be on the basis of solar activity levels alone. By AO being ’stronger’ I mean ‘negative’ because it is the negative phase that pushes the air circulation systems equatorward.

    If you can keep your points specific I may feel able to deal with them.

  120. Mr Wilde:

    You must be aware of the IPCC AR5 RCP models – representative concentration pathways?

    The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7282/full/nature08823.html

    Paper in Nature on how CO2 could not have been higher in the early geological past w.r.t the ‘early faint sun paradox’

    Rosing et al. No climate paradox under the faint early Sun. Nature 464, 744-747 (1 April 2010)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7289/full/nature08955.html

  121. Mike says:

    Stephen Wilde (07:07:25) :

    “Where do I claim it to be a ’science article’ or a ‘mathematical model’ ?

    It is a logical description of the processes that must be occurring in one form or another or to one degree or another to get long term observations to fit the basic laws of physics.”

    You have nothing. Nothing at all.

  122. Stephen Wilde (08:28:11) :
    I made my decision when you failed to distinguish between two dimensional and three dimensional expansion in another thread.
    You failed to make sense, is why. The thickness of the atmosphere compared to the radius of the Earth is so small that there is no difference between 2D and 3D, and the number of molecules remains the same. And the amount of air expanding/contracting is 1/1000,000 of the total atmosphere, so whatever influence that may have is too minute to worry about. As I said, this is the fundamental flaw.

  123. Robert of Ottawa says:

    This’ll require careful reading;

  124. magicjava says:

    [quote stephen richards (02:37:55) :]
    magicjava (22:54:43) :

    I’ll have a go at this one, Leif. The problem for most scientific lay people is that “physics is not about common sense”, as Einstein once said. Expansion of materiels requires kinetic energy ( the energy of movement) to create the molecular collisons which in turn force the expansion. In metal, for instance, the molecular structure is agitated by the increased flow of electrons which in turn cause the structure to vibrate and therefor expand. Its what makes an electric fire work. The energy creates collisions and therefore heat as well as movement. The total energy remains the same, of course. Conservation of energy law.
    In the upper atmosphere the molecules have so much space to move (low density environment) that collisions are much less probable and therefore expansion much less likely.
    [/quote]

    Understood. My response was (and still is) that it’s not clear to me that Wilde is talking about anything more than expansion taking place in the stratosphere and lower. At those levels of the atmosphere, expansion happens all the time as warm air rises.

    So I’d request that Mr. Wilde specifically say whether or not his model requires expansion of the entire atmosphere, including the thermosphere and exosphere, or if all that’s required is just expansion in the troposphere, tropopause, and stratosphere.

    I’d also like to know if his model requires a global expansion, like a ballon being blown up, or if multiple local expansions will do the trick. I’m not sure if the atmosphere at any layer expands and contracts like a balloon. But I’m 100% certain that local expansions happen all the time all over the world.

  125. Robert of Ottawa says:

    I think we should throw no variable out of this “NCM”. Thus, include the stratosphere, lunar effects and cosmic ray cloud seeding; their effect may be small but they may surprise us.

  126. Stephen Wilde says:

    TLM (08:24:20)

    Then I think you need to account for the faint sun paradox.

    And why CO2 changes never preceded temperature changes throughout the ice core history.

    Something prevented the Earth’s temperature from changing much at all despite a substantial increase in solar input.

    Your objections are wrong in so many fundamental ways that I would hardly know where to start even if I had the energy.

  127. DeNihilist says:

    DavidB (01:33:58) :
    A differing view on the state of physics:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2009/may/01-the-biocentric-universe-life-creates-time-space-cosmos

  128. Bob Tisdale says:

    TLM: You wrote, “Seasonal, annual and even decadal variations would cancel each other out if measured over a long enough period. La Nina would counteract El Nino…”

    First, the amplitude and frequency of El Nino events are not counteracted by the frequency and amplitude of La Nina events.

    Second, La Nina events are not the opposite of El Nino events. A La Nina event is an exaggeration of an ENSO-neutral state. That is, trade winds increase during a La Nina, decreasing cloud cover over the tropical Pacific, increasing Downward Shortwave Radiation, increasing Pacific Equatorial Current flow. This is how the Pacific Warm Pool is recharged after an El Nino event. It is also one of the reasons why ~25% of the global oceans warm during a La Nina event, (in addition to warming from the El Nino).
    http://i48.tinypic.com/2qamu88.png

  129. I just read this over for the first time. Great! I will need to study it more completely of course. My first reaction is more then positive because it makes sense and meet the criteria of falsification. Is this a true revolutionary Kuhnian shift? I can’t answer that yet but I can say it is going to be a great ride in the doing. Thank you Stephen Wild.

  130. magicjava says:

    P.S.

    Just to be clear about what I’m asking: Do thermals rising into the troposphere and stratosphere and expanding there due to lower air pressure qualify as the “expansion mechanism” in this model?

  131. Michael Ozanne says:

    “Leif Svalgaard (22:49:30) :

    Dennis Wingo (22:36:20) :
    ultimate climate model is a huge multi-tiered database
    What is a ‘multi-tiered’ database?”

    Well I architect Enteprise Business Intelligence solutions for a living. If I were tasked with doing this the overall solution would have the following bits :-

    Databases
    1 Stageing – A place to store the raw data
    2 Exceptions A place to store items in 1 that can’t be cleansed validated and forwarded to 3
    3 Climate Datawarehouse A place to store cleansed validated entries gleaned from 1. These entries will have been re-keyed with surrogate primary keys and rationally determined business keys, all missing values and keys discarded or marked as null. Logic embedded to allow management od slowly changing references and late arriving data
    4 Models Derivatives from 3 based on different assumptions, theories, modelling methods, and purposes. All null/missing values and keys fostered to unambiguous missing data missing key references
    5 Presentation Views over the models optimised for reporting/analytical performance

    SQL entities
    6 Set of procedures and functions to populate 1 from sources
    7 Set of procedures and functions to populate 3 from 1 and park exceptions in 2
    8 Sets of procedures functions and objects to populate 4 from 3
    9 Sets of procedures functions and objects to build 5 from 4

    In an industrial setting you would also expect
    10 Metadata Management tools to broker access to 5
    11 Reporting/Analytical tools that pull data from 5 via 9

    In our trade jargon 1 to 5 are the database layers or tiers 6 to 9 are the ETL layers or tiers, 10 is the metadata layer/tier 11 is the reporting layer/tier

    Possible in practice that additional layers/tiers might be added in the interest of getting the F**king thing to work right…

    In hardware terms there would be seperate server resources ( that might be clusters) to database management, ETL processing, Application management and user access. Sometimes these are helpfully referred to as tiers or layers too…

    In practical terms I ballpark estimated the land record raw data at about 4Tb, same again for the warehouse, the models should be aggregated so maybe 2Tb for them, can’t promise on the presentation layer as can’t tell how much of it could be kept virtual. Obviously as you started adding in sea records, Argo, Satellite and other sources these would add to the overall size. If you wanted image/blob storage as well then shares in disk manufacturers would be on the up….:-)

  132. Ryan says:

    This all seems overly complicated to me. The climate is one of three possibilities:

    “open loop” – it has no feedback mechanism and any change in energy levels will result directly in a change in temperature – this is more or less the position of Team AGW.

    “positive feedback loop” – inherently unstable with the smallest change leading to catastrohpic irreversible climate change. This is the “tipping point” theory, and we can throw this one out because in billions of years the Earth’s climate has been remarkably stable.

    “negative feedback loop” – this is the position held by most in Team skeptic and the most plausible since we know that the Earth’s clmiaet has been pretty stable since its first beginnings. The questions then becomes “how do we prove it?” and “just how stable is the negative feedback loop?”. The idea that the climate was not much different 3.5bn years ago when the sun had an output of 70% of what it is today suggests that it is pretty darn stable. Even wacking it with an asteroid the size of France and setting off multiple huge volcanic eruptions didn’t cause much long-term upset. What we need is a climate forcing event of known magnitude and a measurement of the clmiate change caused to be able to get a feeling for the gain in the negative feedback loop and hence a feeling for the sensitivity to other changes that might influence the climate.

  133. How to write a scientific paper:
    You start by putting the paper in context. Cite several papers [pro & con]. this shows that you are not working in a vacuum, but have knowledge of the field. Then you set out your analysis of the data/evidence or, if it is a new theory, your salient points and what data/evidence backs up your points. Which points are crucial and which are peripheral. What new experiments/data would further support/refute your theory. In other words, where the strong/weak points are. You end by highlighting where your theory differs from other work. Always stress the fundamental points and don’t overwhelm the reader with details that may or may not be relevant. Then write a 250-word abstract that summarizes your paper. Many readers won’t get past the abstract, so it has to be good and understandable.
    This method has been honed over centuries and has proven its value. The first ‘modern’ scientific paper along those lines was De Magnete by Gilbert published in 1600 AD. I’m holding a copy in my hand right now and it is amazing how modern it reads.

  134. magicjava (09:23:59) :
    At those levels of the atmosphere, expansion happens all the time as warm air rises.
    The crucial point is that the expansion/contraction you are talking about is a consequence of changing temperature. Stephen wants it the other way: the expansion/contraction is the cause of change of temperature. It is perhaps telling that Stephen has not clarified which part of the atmosphere he is talking about, although the statement that ‘the turbulent Sun causes the expansion/contraction points to the thermosphere’ where this is true.

  135. Stephen Wilde says:

    magicjava (09:40:26)

    For the purpose of my NCM I’m only referring to expansion caused by changes in solar activity.
    As Leif says that is most higher up where density is lowest and reduces as one goes down to lower altitudes. However an increase in the rate of energy loss to space has been observed as described here:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/AGU-SABER.html

    The expansion and contraction locally within the troposphere relates to the speed of the hydrological cycle which is a seperate issue.

  136. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:29:18)

    Not so. Temperature changes first then the expansion occurs but that seems to increase the porosity of the entire atmosphere. The outgoing longwave emissions face reduced resistance from the molecules in the atmosphere above them.

    A porous material becomes more porous as it expands to surround a larger volume.

  137. Curiousgeorge says:

    Stephen, it will be interesting to follow the development of your project, I hope you will keep us up to date on it.

    I don’t want to come across as a wet blanket, but just as a general comment on prediction (weather, climate, or otherwise ): If a prediction is made and believed then people will act on that prediction in order to change the predicted future in some manner if it is in their interest and power to do so. Thus invalidating the original prediction, and setting up some other possible future with a different ( and likely unknown ) set of probabilities and outcomes. I have some professional experience of this behavior in industrial settings, and it is not a trivial issue.

    This is one of the things that drives any number of “climate modification” proposals currently being considered, and why I tend to be very, very cautious and skeptical of anything that is justified by pleading the so-called “precautionary principle”.

    Let us not forget Niels Bohr’s admonition that prediction is very difficult, especially if it concerns the future. :)

  138. Henry Pool says:

    I think most of this theory boils down to the conclusion that global warming as such is not possible. I also came to that conclusion some time ago (with some help from Stephen! Thx.) but I still believe that some variation in warming and cooling is possible due to the variation in cloud formation caused by GCR. I note that Stephen makes no mention of this. Did I miss something? Do we still believe GCR is a factor in cloud formation or not? What is the consensus about that, here on WUWT?

  139. Andy Krause says:

    “The Oracle guy’s idea of a multi-tier climate application is actually not that bad at all”

    Oracle made a complete mess of the California DMV database. If they couldn’t handle that I wouldn’t let them near climate science data.

  140. DirkH says:

    ” Ryan (09:58:28) :

    This all seems overly complicated to me. The climate is one of three possibilities:

    “open loop” [...]
    “positive feedback loop” [...]
    “negative feedback loop”[...]

    It’s definitely a combination of all three, with different feedback strengths and time lags. That’s why you get the wild and as yet unpredictable local and temporal swings, like the El Nino spike in 1998.

    Skeptics and catastrophists differ in their estimation of the potential minima of the system. Catastrophists postulate a local potential minimum in the high temperature range and our CO2 emissions pushing the system over the potential wall towards this hypothetic local minimum, hence the “tipping point”. Skeptics posit that this scenario is unlikely and unproven and assume that the negative feedbacks are stronger than positive feedbacks.

    Are positive feedbacks possible at all? Yes; a heating up for whatever reason might drive the humidity up when there’s water available and that might improve the water vapour GH effect locally (it wouldn’t work in the Sahara). I as a skeptic would doubt that this effect lasts long as i think that Miskolczi’s theory indicates a subsequent balancing out of this effect.

    This would correspond to a fast positive feedback followed by a negative feedback with a longer lag time. Getting the feedback strengths and the time lags right would result in better prediction.

    The major problem of the conventional GCM’s is that they fiddle with the aerosols every time they get it wrong.

  141. Frank says:

    Stephen writes: “In the case of the Earth’s atmosphere a change in solar input is met with a change in evaporation rates and thus the speed of the whole hydrological cycle keeping the overall temperature stable despite a change in solar power input.” If this statement were always true, then the non-tropics would not warm every summer and cool every winter.

    Stephen writes: “During periods of an active solar surface our atmosphere expands and during periods of inactive sun it contracts.” Only the sections of the atmosphere that are warmed by an active solar surface expand when the sun is active. The troposphere can be warmed when visible and near-visible solar radiation increase, but the increase in visible and near visible radiation is only about 0.1% during a typical solar maximum. High energy particles increase dramatically during the sun’s active periods, but they only warm/expand the thermosphere where very little GHG can be found.

    Stephen writes: “When the atmosphere expands it does so in three dimensions around the entire circumference of the planet but the number of molecules in the atmosphere remains the same with the result that there is an average reduced density per unit of volume with more space between the molecules. Consequently the atmosphere presents a reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy photons that experience a reduced frequency of being obstructed by molecules in the atmosphere.” According to quantum mechanics, each molecule has a given probability of absorbing a photon of a given wavelength passing nearby. Absorption doesn’t change when the concentration of absorbers drop by a factor of 2X and the path length during which absorption increases by a factor of 2X. For a sphere, a 2X increase in path length produces an 8X increase in volume. But the earth’s atmosphere is not a sphere, it is a thin spherical shell surrounding a much larger earth. If R is the radius of the earth and h is the “height” of the atmosphere above the earth, the volume of the atmosphere (V) is given by:

    V = (4/3)*Pi*(R+h)^3 – (4/3)*Pi*R^3
    V = 4*Pi*R^2*h + 4*Pi*R*h^2 + 4/3)*Pi*h^3

    Since R>>h for the vast majority of the earth’s atmosphere, V can be approximated by 4*Pi*R^2*h. So when the volume of the atmosphere doubles from warming thus decreasing the concentration of absorbers by 2X, the path length of absorption will double. Total absorption of outgoing long wavelength radiation will remain constant.

    Stephen writes: “iii) Counterintuitively an active sun means cooling not warming and vice versa.” However, the coldest periods of the LIA took place during the Dalton and Maunder minimums.

  142. Stephen Wilde (10:33:56) :
    However an increase in the rate of energy loss to space has been observed as described here:
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/AGU-SABER.html

    You have completely misunderstood this. All the observations say is that when you heat something it increases the radiation from what is being heated. In any event the energy involved is extremely minute because the thermosphere is so thin.

    Stephen Wilde (10:38:11) :
    Not so. Temperature changes first then the expansion occurs</i<
    They go together without delay
    but that seems to increase the porosity of the entire atmosphere.
    Nobody [except you] claims such a thing. ‘Porosity’ is meaningless in this connection anyway. Perhaps a link to a paper claiming porosity of the entire atmosphere changes when the thermosphere expands might be useful.

  143. magicjava says:

    Thank you Stephen and Leif for your answers.

    Unfortunately for me, the behavior of the thermosphere as it interacts with the sun is a bit outside my area of understanding. So I’ll read the paper Stephen provided, sit back, and munch popcorn. ;)

  144. Michael Ozanne (09:49:47) :
    Well I architect Enteprise Business Intelligence solutions for a living. If I were tasked with doing this the overall solution would have the following bits :-
    You are describing a multi-tiered application or solution. The database itself has no tiers. Now, from an Oracle salesman’s point of view EVERYTHING is the database and that is why HIS database is so important and why you MUST buy it.

  145. stan stendera says:

    Fascinating post and comments. I have not made up my mind if I have “Wilde” birds or just wild birds on my birdfeeder.

  146. George E. Smith says:

    Most of the time at WUWT, I tend to briefly scan the “essay” or article; whatever you want to call what Anthony has posted for us to see; and if that immediately triggers any thoughts I think might be relevant, I tend to start writing. Once I get something down, It may force me to go back and reread the essay to clear up details. Quite often after I post, I find that others have already made all the observations I just spent time on.

    I also find that if I excerpt from somebody else’s post, either to try and explain (if possible) or maybe add on, or to dispute, that often doesn’t post till way beyond the original , so there is a lot of disconnect as one reads through the various posts.

    This time, I decided to not say anything, until I had read everything, including all the posts (so-far).

    The first thought that came to mind, is that when I was an early teener, and doing my first explorations of Elec& Mag, and Electronic circuits (Valves; or maybe to you, Vaccuum Tubes), I had learned enough mathematics to do all the usual elementary circuit calculations for AC circuits containing RLC components and Vacuum Tubes. Well I read a lot of interesting books.

    When I ran into some early discrepancies, between the simple theory, and some of the more arcane concepts; maybe transit time in valves, or cathode lead inductance; I decided to get serious.

    It should be possible I reasoned to mathematically describe the whole process, without any of the simplifying assumptions, and really find out what made things tick.

    Well needless to say, even with my quite restricted math skills at that age, I very quickly became embroiled in a hodge-podge of mathematical minutiae, that might even have been accurate; but gave absolutely no seat of the pants feel for what the hell was really going on.
    In retrospect, I realize that my attempt at a complete theory ov vacuum tube electronics, was like trying to hand draw a fractal object, like Mandelbrot Set or somesuch. I realized that my very simply described task of a complete theory, was quite impossible to achieve, and if it could be done; it wouldn’t be understandable as a whole. Small corners could probably be understood, and rendered quite useful. I decided that no matter how much my math repertoire might grow in the future, I would never be able to construct a complete theory of vacuum tube behavior, and it was of little use to the practical circuit designer even if possible.

    Well I feel the same way about climate. I wouldn’t ever be so bold as to propose that a completely chaotic, and also quite fractal system that is earth’s climate, could ever be accurately described; well in any way that was useful; which would imply some ability to predict future behavior.

    We can describe a lot about some systems that are in equilibrium; we can even describe how they might transition from one “state” to some other state; but one thing we know for sure about earth’s climate, is that nothing in it is in equilibrium. Neither static nor dynamic equilibrium exists in earth climate; and we know for sure that must be true, since weather represents a significant change of the system from one state to another; and does so, at all time, and space scales.

    The very rotation of the earth, which scans the solar blowtorch across earth’s surface, ensures that nothing ever reaches equilibrium.

    Today, I know pretty much what happens to a vacuum tube circuit as a result of cathode lead inductance; even wrote an IEEE paper on the subject (not published; but presented at a “meeting”). But that is really a small scrap of a totally intransigent problem.

    I find such niches in the climate puzzle that I feel comfortable talking about, with some degree of understanding; but I am not going to drive myself insane trying to understand the whole kit and caboodle.

    I am however quite confident; that Gaia knows exactly how it all works; and we will never match her laboratory measurement skills, no matter how big a computer we may set to work on the problem.

  147. Stephen Wilde says:

    Frank (11:16:34)

    i) I’m discussing changes beyond normal seasonal variation.

    ii) You are referring to raw energy output which I concede seems to have little effect. I am referring to solar surface turbulence.

    iii) I have difficulty with that proposition because like Leif you are suggesting a simple doubling which would be a response to a two dimensional situation such as elongating a tube with parallel sides where I concede you would be right. The Earth’s atmosphere does not expand in only two dimensions but in three so the distance between molecules increases disproportionately as one moves outward during the expansion process. The path length of aborption will not quite double and I see that you use approximations on the basis that Radius is so much greater than height

    “V can be approximated by 4*Pi*R^2*h.”

    The main valid point I see from you and Leif is that the approximation is good enough and the effect is too small to consider.

    Against that we have observational evidence that the polar high pressure cells do vary from influences above and until there is another explanation I’ll go with the solar/expansion idea but any idea that demonstrably works is good enough for me.

    iv) “However, the coldest periods of the LIA took place during the Dalton and Maunder minimums.”

    Quite so but only because, during the current interglacial low solar activity generally occurs around the same time as low rates of energy release from the oceans so that during the LIA the quiet sun was mitigating the effect of the cooler ocean surfaces. You need to re read parts of my article.

    So, if someone could provide a convincing non solar cause of changes in the polar atmospheric oscillations I’ll see if I can slot it in instead of solar but for the time being solar fits well enough on the basis of historical data even if we haven’t yet pinned it down adequately.

  148. Stephen Wilde says:

    Henry Pool (10:48:59)

    Thanks Henry. I did refer to the Svensmark cosmic ray idea in passing and have always been prepared to accept some truth in it. However my current view is that the albedo changes from shifting the cloud masses latitudinally beyond normal seasonal variation would be far greater.

  149. Stephen Wilde (11:57:21) :
    Against that we have observational evidence that the polar high pressure cells do vary from influences above
    What evidence? Link?

  150. Stephen Wilde (11:57:21) :
    I am referring to solar surface turbulence.
    And what would that be?

  151. AGW-Skeptic99 says:

    Stephan,

    Can you please use a different combination of words for “Modern Warm Period” that doesn’t reduce to the same acronym as Medieval Warm Period. The acronyms are confusing enough already. Late Twentieth Century Warm Period would be LTCWP, for example.

    Nice work.

  152. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (12:09:30)

    “They say the trend toward a stronger, tighter circulation around the North Pole could be triggered just as well by processes in the stratosphere as by those in the ocean.”

    http://www.washington.edu/newsroom/news/1999archive/12-99archive/k121699.html

  153. Al Gored says:

    Fascinating comments. I’m guessing that Mr. Wilde’s NCM just got more critical peer review than anything the Jones-Mann gang ever did.

    Global climate is sooooo much more complex than the simple CO2 fairy tale!

  154. Stephen Wilde says:

    AGW-Skeptic99 (12:18:44)

    Good point. I had to keep typing them in full for that reason.

    I’ll see how the general usage develops and adapt as necessary.

  155. Peter Miller says:

    Right or wrong, I think Stephen’s article clearly demonstrates that current climate models are using the equivalent of Grade 2 mathematics to solve something probably more complex than Einsteinian physics. In other words, these models should all put into the trash can, along with the ignorant/unscrupulous politicians who insist on financing them.

    Not surprisingly, the climate predictions of the Establishment are either wrong or forecast so far into the future that it is impossible to prove them wrong.

    Somehow – I don’t know why – but for climate forecasts, Stephen’s NCM seems a little more logical than relying on historic tree ring growth from strip bark bristlecone pines.

  156. Stephen Wilde (12:23:46) :
    “They say the trend toward a stronger, tighter circulation around the North Pole could be triggered just as well by processes in the stratosphere as by those in the ocean.”

    Sigh. Those changes are caused by upwards traveling Rossby waves that break in the stratosphere and then influence stuff below.

  157. Leif Svalgaard (12:44:47) :
    Sigh. Those changes are caused by upwards traveling Rossby waves that break in the stratosphere and then influence stuff below.
    Forgot a reference: http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/SEES/ozone/class/Chap_6/
    See section 4.

  158. Graham Green says:

    How refreshing to read this thought provoking piece.
    I bet Greenpeace have your name.

    The sad problem here is that the chattering classes cannot understand what is being said. Hansen and the Cake Science gang propose a ludicrously simple model which, although wrong, is easily understood.

  159. Stephen Wilde says:

    Al Gored (12:34:51)

    Yes and I’m grateful for that.

    Mostly positive with a few good suggestions and trenchant opposition only in relation to the two aspects where I know it might have to be adjusted as I have already accepted.

    The thing is that as regards the sequence of observed events leading to changes in tropospheric temperature trends and the cyclical poleward and equatorward shifts in the air circulation systems the NCM is pretty robust.

    We should be able to predict changes in global temperature trends from the net latitudinal position of all the air circulation systems and regional climate changes follow from those latitudinal shifts.

    Furthermore warm ocean surfaces really do send the air circulation systems poleward whilst changes in the intensity of the polar high pressure cells work in opposition to those oceanic effects.

    That is as good a starting point as anyone else has ever proposed, perhaps better.

  160. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard( 12:46:46)

    Interesting stuff. Thank you, I’ll digest it over time.

    However on first glance it doesn’t cover the question whether solar variability can affect the scale or speed of the various mechanisms and features described.

    Do you actually have a link that definitively addresses the point and clearly refutes it on the basis of actual data ?

    Theory is all well and good as you keep telling me but if you want to express certainty the burden is on you to demonstrate it.

  161. Vuk etc. says:

    Stephen Wilde (10:38:11) :
    “….A porous material becomes more porous as it expands to surround a larger volume.”

    Stephen I think you got this fundamentally wrong.
    Your idea of a ‘porosity’ is a function of density, so if you consider this layer of atmosphere as an expanding/contracting sieve, holes are so large in the relation to what got through the lover denser levels, that it would not make slightest difference.
    ICE (08:13:38) : made a good point, if there is such effect it should work in the opposite direction as well, i.e. change the incoming TSI in same proportion, which should produce large oscillations as measured at the ground level, but there is no sign of that.

  162. Anders L. says:

    Where is the model and what does it predict?

  163. Dan C. says:

    I’m not competent to comment on the merits of Stephen’s proposed model, but do have a few thoughts:

    Leif, you are probably right regarding the lack of effect from the exosphere expanding due to solar activity, but even I seem to be getting something you’re not. Thought experiment: have a group of 100 people stand in a circle around you shoulder-to-shoulder. Hold an AK47 horizontally, close your eyes, spin in a circle and empty the clip. Hit rate will be about 100%. Now take the same number of people, starting in a circle shoulder-to-shoulder around you, and have them walk directly away from you for 100 meters. Repeat the clip-emptying exercise and tally up your kills.

    With Stephen’s proposal, it would be more like having the group of people walk a pace away instead of 100 meters, so I agree there would not be much effect, but there would be some.

    But this begs the question of what mechanism exactly is responsible for the amazing stability of the earth’s temperature over time. I’m in process control and understand feedbacks pretty well. I certainly know what happens to a system when there are positive feedbacks that overwhelm the negative feedbacks (not pretty). Weak positive feedbacks, on the other hand, cause oscillations (climate?) that tend to center around a baseline. I believe that this is the essence of Miskolczi’s paper that has been referenced here, as well as Stephen’s proposal. Miskolczi’s argument (I think) is that CAGW proponents have to be out to lunch if they can believe water vapor is a negative temperature feedback EXCEPT when temperature rise is caused by CO2, in which case it magically becomes a positive feedback.

    Stephen’s changes in solar activity is a suggestion of what might be the strongest positive feedback that affects the earth’s temperature. It may not be correct, but I tend to prefer his top-down methodology of finding and accounting for the strongest influences first in building a workable hypothesis. Its an Occam’s razor approach that makes a lot more sense than what “Climate Science” appears to be currently doing.

    I do agree that the title is misleading. It should read “Assumptions to be used in building a new climate model”.

  164. Scott Lurndal says:

    Leif:

    While ‘tiered databases’ is not a term of art, one possible implementation is the so-called ‘federated’ database provided by IBM’s DB2. This can be considered to be a ‘database of databases’, in that one database is linked to one or more other databases in such a way that the upper tier (the initial DB2 instance) can aggregate data from the other databases without necessarily holding the data itself.

    Consider for example the following scenario:

    1) An oracle database that contains a table consisting of one row per USHCN or GHCN raw temperature measurement.
    2) A mysql database with a table consisting of one row per sea surface temperature measurement, along with meta tables for the measurement method (buckets vs. intakes etc).
    3) A SQL server database with a table containing one row per ARGOS buoy measurement.
    4) And so forth, each database is independent and managed by a different entity, but provides public access.

    Now, with a federated database such as DB2, a view (a pseudo table represented by a query) can be created combining columns from each of the aforementioned databases, or queries can be generated combining all the data without having to first replicate all the tables in the top level database.

    One could also use ‘create table as select’ type operations to create meta tables on the DB2 instance containing selected rows/columns from the federated databases.

    One could consider this a “tiered” database.

    (Note that DB2 will federate with all the above mentioned databases).

  165. Stephen Wilde (13:18:10) :
    Theory is all well and good as you keep telling me but if you want to express certainty the burden is on you to demonstrate it.
    It is theory to assume what you do. There has never been an empirical demonstration of the what you claim. I cannot prove a negative, like prove that never were any unicorns.

    Dan C. (13:29:29) :
    Repeat the clip-emptying exercise and tally up your kills.
    The point is that the expanding/contracting part of the atmosphere is 1/1000,000 of the whole, yet Stephen wants that to control the whole.

    Scott Lurndal (13:35:16) :
    Now, with a federated database such as DB2, a view (a pseudo table represented by a query) can be created combining columns from each of the aforementioned databases,
    That is just an implementation detail. Some relational databases are implemented by having a separate file for each column [makes it easy to add/remove columns]. The ‘multi-tiered’ was just a buzz-word [IMHO]. ‘Data’ and ‘Information’ are two very different things which are often confused. Data has no meaning in itself, being just bits. Information is the Meaning we attach to those bits. The information content being the surprise a bit gives you. Consider this anecdote to illustrate the difference: One day the first officer got bad news from home and was drunk and the ship’s captain entered into the logbook “today the first officer was drunk”. The next day, the first officer entered “today the captain was sober”.

  166. Sphaerica says:

    Sigh.

    Okay, you start by claiming that other models, which people have actually taken the time to implement in reality rather than in fantasy, have no predictive skill. This is a flat out lie. They do.

    You then outline, in extreme detail, the climate model that you feel would have great predictive skill, but for all of your effort, you don’t actually put your time into building it and proving your concept. You just throw it out there and expect people to believe in it, and people around here do. It’s oh so easy when you don’t have to do the hard part.

    I once read an article about a homeless woman from Korea who lived in Newark, NJ, and was actually, seriously building an ark (as in “Noah’s Ark”) in an abandoned lot, so she could sail back to Korea. Her plans included defensive lasers. It looked like a wonderful idea, and she’d even gone so far as to construct the frame. It showed the tremendous power of individual effort and ingenuity, while highlighting how worthless and ridiculous such efforts can be when founded on a seemingly strong but in fact flimsy foundation.

  167. Sphaerica says:

    You also misunderstand how models are constructed, what they are for, and what “hindcasting” is.

    Hindcasting is a way of validating a model, not changing or improving it. You start from some point back in time, so that you have a period of actual data (from then to the present) against which to compare the results of the model. If the two match well, then you know your model is accurate. If not, your model is inaccurate and needs improvement, but you do not improve it by simply applying actual measurements to force the model in line.

    Your statement that this is what is done by climate scientists is completely inaccurate.

  168. Bob Tisdale says:

    Stephen Wilde (09:15:56) : You replied with respect to the lack of corralation between the AO and Sunspots, “A 50 year period is inadequate because of the lesser cycles and short term chaotic variability overlaying the longer term patterns.”

    Your statement was very specific with respect to solar cycles. You wrote, “AO was largely positive whilst the sun was active from cycles 21, 22 and 23 and also during active cycle 19. It is now more negative whilst the sun is less active for cycle 24. It was also somewhat negative during relatively weak cycle 20.”

    Again the data contradicts what you’ve written:
    http://i40.tinypic.com/fkr5n6.png

    The AO and sunspot number were only in phase for two cycles. The rest of what you’ve written is incorrect. If you’d now like a longer-term comparison, here it is:
    http://i40.tinypic.com/2mc7eki.png

    It isn’t any better.

    You replied, “Yes we did refer to that on an earlier thread and you took no note of my replies.”

    I took note that you failed to accept that the data contradicts your belief of a correlation between sunspots and AO, and I’ve illustrated it again here in this thread because you mentioned it again.

    You replied, “However even in your link AO was generally positive when sunspot numbers were relatively high from the 1970’s to 2000 which is as I say it should be.”

    “[G]enerally positive”???? The correlation coefficient is 0.02, Stephen.

  169. Stephen Wilde says:

    Vuk etc (13:19:57)

    I’m not sure that I follow your first point. Any increase in porosity will let more out. The question then is whether any such changes produce an effect that is significant in changing the intensity of the polar high pressure cells. Since they do change intensity cyclically we need an explanation. Suggestions welcome.

    As regards the second point you have to remember that the return of energy reaching the surface is primarily affected by the speed of the hydrological cycle and by the extent of water penetration and some of the water penetration takes the period of the thermohaline circulation to resurface.

    Thus in the shorter term a variation in outward speed would have a free hand to alter the balance of the energy budget in the air from stratosphere upward. The issue is whether such variations in outward speed can be solar induced and then whether they affect the polar high pressure cells. Observations suggest that they do.

  170. I fail to even see the point in this exercise. This so called model, if indeed it qualifies as such, is based on far too many unfounded suppositions.

    The only thing we need be concerned with, is whether or not CO2 causes the atmosphere to warm?

    The answer of course is NO it does not.

    What else do we need to know?

    Climate Models will never be able to predict the unpredictable. It is impossible to consistently predict the flip of a coin even with a million super computers, yet there is only two possible variables involved,

    1. Which side the coin is on when you flip it.

    2. How hard you flip the coin.

    and only two possible outcomes.

    Heads or tails!

    It’s just climate change for Christ’s sake. We’ve only had our entire evolutionary existence to get used to it.

    As a species we should always be prepared for the onset of cooling or warming. That way we can stop wasting billions in taxpayers money on pseudo science and get on with more important things.

  171. Dan C

    You need help.

    I surely hope you are never given access to anything more dangerous than a toffee hammer.

    Your AK47 analogy is sick, god damn it!

    Where is the [snip] for that? Or am I the only one offended by such an analogy?

  172. DCC says:

    Seems like the bottom line is “there’s much work to be done.”

    As a geologist, I would like to see more modeling of oceanic circulation as the continents drift and mountain ranges come and go. We know enough about their positions to have a good start. If we can model paleoclimate as a function of landmass distribution and oceanic circulation, we have a huge leg up because they are obviously major factors affecting climate. That leaves a delta that needs additional fine-tuning for other factors. But I doubt that CO2 is one of them; the geologic record shows virtually zero correlation between CO2 concentration and climate.

  173. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:14:01) :

    “I think the first two points”
    are basically nonsense (forgive me for paraphrasing).

    Leif, you are completely correct about this.

  174. DirkH says:

    “Dan C. (13:29:29) :
    [...]
    around you shoulder-to-shoulder. Hold an AK47 horizontally, close your eyes, spin in a circle and empty the clip.”

    You got a funny approach to physics, kid…
    Don’t worry – it’ll go away once you stop watching “Saw” and “Hostel”.

  175. Legatus says:

    A problem:
    “Despite a substantial increase in the power of the sun over billions of years the temperature of the Earth has remained remarkably stable. My proposition is that the reason for that is the existence of water in liquid form in the oceans combined with a relatively stable total atmospheric density. If the power input from the sun changes then the effect is simply to speed up or slow down the hydrological cycle.”

    The problem, the atmospheric density has almost certainly gone down on average over time. The time I speak of is the time when the surface of the planet cooled enough that the planet itself was not contributing noticably to its atmospheric temperature, and when the atmosphere was substanially like it is now in composition (after all the volcanic crud had settled out and early plant life had created free oxegen). In short, there is considerable evidence that the atmospheric density used to be substantially higher on avarage than it is today.

    Data:
    There has been recent findings that show that earths magnetic field provides less protection against solor wind stripping away the atmosphere than was thought, scientists were suprised at how much was stripped away regularly. This, plus some stripping away from the gravitational effects of the moon, strongly suggests that the atmosphere formerly used to be denser than it is now.

    Micro bubbles found in deep polar ice cores of the ancient atmosphere (1-200,000 years ago) showed a higher atmospheric density than now, perhaps 2 atmospheres, also higher water vapor and CO2. Note that this is a reletivly short time period and I am not sure how accurate it is, however, scientists seemed to think that it was a relativly accurate representation of this ancient atmoshere.

    A relativly ingored evidence is the giant flying dinosaurs and dragonflies with 3 foot wingspans that existed in ancient times. The conventional explaination from non multidisciplinary scientists (those who never look beyond their own branch) is that the dinosaurs flew off cliffs, a ridiculous essertion since they would quickly die off when forced down at any non cliff, it would restrict them to such a small zone where they could fly and hence live that they would be non viable, it also does not explain the giant dragonflies. However, if we add the solar wind and moon slow stipping of the atmosphere, which show that atmosphere must have been denser in the past than now, a simpler and more logical explaination, that the giant flying critters could fly due to the denser atmosphere then extant, is warrented.

    In short, there is evidence that, going back in time, the atmosphere was more dense. This would to some extant conteract the smaller dimmer sun. Also, there is evidence that CO2 levels, on avarage, were much higher in ancient times than today, although how much effect that had on temperature is hard to tell, since these high CO2 levels did not stop any ice ages. All that CO2 did allow abuntanct plant and hence animal and other life on land and in the sea which must also have had some effect on climate if only by changing albedo. However, the two together, especially the higher atmospheric density, must have had some effect on heat retention of the earth system.

    Also, do we really know what a smaller dimmer sun was like? Was it’s solar wind stronger or weaker, what about magnetism, sunspots and solar activity, the effect of that different magnetism and sunspot activity on cosmic rays, etc? What about spectrum, did the sun put out the same or different types of energy than today, more or less infra-red, visible, ultraviolet, xrays, and what effect wuld that have on climate?

    In short, your idea that the temperature of the earth has been remarkably stable over times is correct, and the idea that water seems to dominate also looks correct, but the idea of a stable atmospheric density appears incorrect, and the ancient sun is a complete unknown that needs looking into.

  176. Frank says:

    Stephen your new look at climate modelling is commendable. I just hope that you can get the necessary finding to continue with this work given the current frenzied CO2 world. From the above comments some work still needs to be done.

    One of the issues that puzzle me with the current climate models is that they do not follow the protocols of numerical models used in other earth sciences such as hydrogeology for example. These models (I have more than 35 years experience running these) ideally require a historical record of long duration that is used for calibrating (fitting the data) for part of the record and then validating (checking the sim results with measured data) for the remaining part of the record. It seems to me that unless a climate model can both calibrate the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age and then validate the 20th and 21st Century true (un-manipulated) temperatures using all of the known influencing factors, it cannot be claimed that such a model is a representative simulation of earth’s climate.

    Currently climate models use ALL of the data (without validation) from the late 19th Century onwards and fudge fit the data using a number of “tuning” parameters. The results of course can look quite good but of course bear no relation to the causes of the actual changing climatic conditions.

    The whole human induced climate change belief and its doomsayers remind me very much about Copernicus (the skeptics) and Ptolomy (the IPCC et. al.). Ptolemy’s geocentric version of the solar system was supported by religious fervour and dogma together with a few high priests spelling out the “End is nigh” for the human race to believe otherwise. Any naysayers of course were at the time ceremoniously burnt at the stake. In the 21st Century they’re simply labelled as environmental criminals and “flat earthers”.

    When Ptolemy’s model of the planets didn’t quite fit with observations, he manipulated/ fudged his model to fit the observations. His model was totally wrong of course. The Sun turned out to be at the centre of the solar system not the earth and ironically it is also one of the main drivers of global warming (and cooling) in the geological history of the earth, including the 20th and 21st Century.

  177. Leif Svalgaard (12:44:47) :
    Sigh. Those changes are caused by upwards traveling Rossby waves that break in the stratosphere and then influence stuff below.
    Forgot a reference: http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/SEES/ozone/class/Chap_6/
    See section 4.
    ___________________________
    The article quoted does a very good job of describing of how Lunar declinational tidal action progresses, for the 27.32 day cycle of movement, they just never label it as “Lunar tides”. There is a similar patterns in over all global circulation as an over all 18.6 year and 18.03 year Saros cycle that shows up in the data. This feature alone can be used as a daily forecast, for the next 18 years, from the repeatability of the global circulation patterns driven by the moon’s tidal effects and modulated by the passing of the outer planets heliocentricly. Pattern recognition is a good thing, repeating patterns on repeating periods, are not hard to find. There are additional effects not yet considered, that when understood from their meaning in satellite data, will prove to be useful in both weather and climate forecasting.

  178. AlexB says:

    RE: Sphaerica (14:32:04) :

    “Hindcasting is a way of validating a model, not changing or improving it. You start from some point back in time, so that you have a period of actual data (from then to the present) against which to compare the results of the model. If the two match well, then you know your model is accurate. If not, your model is inaccurate and needs improvement, but you do not improve it by simply applying actual measurements to force the model in line.”

    In your first sentence you state “Hindcasting is a way of validating a model, not changing or improving it” and in your last sentence you state “If not, your model is inaccurate and needs improvement”. So then hindcasting is a method of improving the model.

    The process you have described is exactly using actual measurements to force the model into line. You continually re-iterate your model until it fits the past data. Therefore it is your data that is forcing your model into line. Hindcasting cannot then confirm how accurately your model approximates the real world. For the stock market you could easily construct a model through a few iterations that hindcasts very well. I can remember doing that exercise in undergrad. What do you expect the forecasting power of our models were? They were very poor, but how could that be? After all they fitted the past data perfectly.

    The important test of any scientific theory/model is that it predicts something new. Otherwise you are engaging in inductivism instead of deductivism. Hindcasting is just inductivism. For a model to be scientific it mast prove itself as being able to be correct in a deductive way. In other words for a completely new situation you should be able to deduce the outcomes correctly from your model. Look at the projections of the IPCC models. They continually have to be updated as the deductions they make are wrong and the new data produces a different induced model.

  179. johnnythelowery says:

    —————————————————————
    DeNihilist (09:32:16) :

    DavidB (01:33:58) :
    A differing view on the state of physics:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2009/may/01-the-biocentric-universe-life-creates-time-space-cosmos
    ————————————————————-
    DeNihilist:
    I nautighly suggested to Lief in a thread that the affect of the sun on the
    earth was perhaps from entanglement. That is, entangled particles, some
    how seperated (at birth) but now aggregated into balls the size of the earth and the sun, with entangled kindred particles aggregated into their opposite bodies, but remain entangled with each other. This is of course is ridiculous. But never the less, entanglement is a reality. So, it’s force is neglible…but if two particles are entangled at a distance of 7 miles, the distance is irrelevant and as affecting one affects the other virtually concurrently, and while the force between two particles can barely be measured; an aggregation the size of a planet……

    I didn’t arrive at my idea by the article in Discover Mag. or anyone’s idea but from the indication that the ‘sun did not shine for 3 hours’ in the gospels (14th of Nisan, AD 26 (?)) a suggestion to me that everything is connected. No room for religion here and sorry to bring it up.

    But……….entanglement would provide that connection. FYI. Not proposing anything. This can’t be true. But what the hell is entanglement? and how is it that one affects the other by way of a communication faster than light. Both notions are as rediculous as the other, but the latter appears to have been accepted as a reality. I know Discover is a ‘pop’ magazine. Anyway, for the sake of discussion I say this but also accept that it’s probably not worth discussing!

    Heres the blip from the Discover article:
    ‘………………In 1997 University of Geneva physicist Nicolas Gisin sent two entangled photons zooming along optical fibers until they were seven miles apart. One photon then hit a two-way mirror where it had a choice: either bounce off or go through. Detectors recorded what it randomly did. But whatever action it took, its entangled twin always performed the complementary action. The communication between the two happened at least 10,000 times faster than the speed of light. It seems that quantum news travels instantaneously, limited by no external constraints—not even the speed of light. Since then, other researchers have duplicated and refined Gisin’s work. Today no one questions the immediate nature of this connectedness between bits of light or matter, or even entire clusters of atoms………….’

    ————– ———————————————

  180. johnnythelowery says:

    Anthony: I’m in favor of the removal of Dan C (13:29:29) comments. Totally out of place here. Doesn’t represent the spirit of things here at all.

    =================
    DirkH (15:40:06) :

    “Dan C. (13:29:29) :
    [...]
    around you shoulder-to-shoulder. Hold an AK47 horizontally, close your eyes, spin in a circle and empty the clip.”

    You got a funny approach to physics, kid…
    Don’t worry – it’ll go away once you stop watching “Saw” and “Hostel”.

  181. Al Fin says:

    This is precisely the type of climate “model” that the science of climatology needs, in its current infancy. Such thought models can be turned into testable hypotheses — and can be falsified since they lack the quasi-reverence that is accorded to the “CO2 is ALL” theory of climate change.

    Orthodox climate modelers have failed miserably because they attempted to model a theory which had not been well thought out. Hence plenty of equations, but no content of any significance. GIGO GIGO GIGO

  182. Richard Holle (16:33:09) :
    driven by the moon’s tidal effects and modulated by the passing of the outer planets heliocentricly.
    Lunar [and solar tides] are measurable. The outer planets’ absolutely not, much too small. The tides are proportional to the mass divided by the cube of the distance. Jupiter is 25,000 heavier than the Moon, but is 2000 times further away, so the tides are 25,000/2000^3 = 0.000,003 times that of the Moon [that is 300,000 times smaller], completely negligible.

  183. sky says:

    Stephen Wilde is quite correct in pointing to evaporation from the oceans and the rate of the hydrological cycle as the pre-eminent regulator of surface temperatures on Earth in his conceptual “model.” The physics of that regulation, however, is misunderstood by many, whose concept of thermodynamics is confined to Stefan-Boltzman graybody approximations. What is essentially different about the oceans from a graybody is that energy absorption is entirely radiative, whereas emission is only partly radiative. On a NET climatic basis, more energy leaves the global ocean surface in the form of latent heat than in LW radiation and conduction/convection combined. Most models do not get this right and forget that IR is totally absorbed within the top fraction of a millimeter of the ocean, going largely into evaporating the surface skin. Unlike the situation on land, which can be well approximated as a graybody, it does NOT go into raising the temperature of the underlying layers. Moreover, the LW backradiation of from the atmosphere is largely a net null exchange, wherein the insolation thermalized near the surface brings the nearby air to close the same temperature. It no more “heats the surface” than exchanging checks with your wife increases household spending power.

  184. Claude Harvey says:

    Doesn’t everyone love watching the “big cats” in this global climate scientific cage spitting and hissing back and forth? At their technical conferences, I’m guessing they practice professional decorum to a flaw. On the pages of this blog, they slash and burn with wild abandon. This is a great site!

  185. Dug M says:

    Outstanding ……………

    One thing seems inconsistent.

    One aspect of the theory revolves about solar activity heating and expanding the atmosphere – thus making it easier to long wave radiation to escape because of the less dense molecule phenomenon. Seems wrong.

    Say the atmosphere is heated and expands. Look at a single cylinder originating from the surface of the earth and ending at the top of the atmosphere. The volume of this cylinder increases as the contents are heated and thereby expand. Note the diameter remains unchanged since there are neighboring cylinders doing the same expansion, thus constraining any expansion of the walls of the cylinder. Only the top moves – upward in our ‘heating’ example.

    The theory is that since the molecules are now further apart there are less collisions for escaping radiation to survive before reaching space, thus more outbound radiation happens. Not so, I suggest.

    There exist the same number of molecules in the cylinder, regardless of the volume. Regardless of their proximity to each other, there still exist the same opportunity for collisions by outbound radiation. think of it this way: the molecules are less densely packed, but the DISTANCE the radiation must survive to escape the cylinder has increased since the top surface of the cylinder has moved outward as the contents expanded.

    At least, that’s how i see it.

  186. Leif Svalgaard (19:03:11) :

    Richard Holle (16:33:09) :
    driven by the moon’s tidal effects and modulated by the passing of the outer planets heliocentricly.
    Lunar [and solar tides] are measurable. The outer planets’ absolutely not, much too small. The tides are proportional to the mass divided by the cube of the distance. Jupiter is 25,000 heavier than the Moon, but is 2000 times further away, so the tides are 25,000/2000^3 = 0.000,003 times that of the Moon [that is 300,000 times smaller], completely negligible.
    ___________________
    (brevity in loo of detail, where is the line?)Sorry the more words I leave out the less sense it makes, maybe putting them back will help?

    There is a discernible repeating pattern in the weather data, due to the Lunar declinational atmospheric tides that, also shows recognizable patterns of interference, that leaves the Earth homopolar effects mechanism, modulated electromagnetically from the effects of Earth passing through the concentrated magnetic field flux, extending from the sun out to that outer planet, that defines the pattern of magnetic field coupling of the solar wind into and through the magnetically permeable content of each planet. Resulting in Angular momentum and LOD changes, and driving an increase in the equator to pole voltage gradient, shifting poleward more positive ions than before, then just past peak EM coupling the system discharges back to close to average, by generating greater than normal precipitations, connected interactively and striving for total energy balance between them.

    In the research pages of text on my web site more detail can be found.

  187. Richard Holle (21:56:31) :
    magnetic field coupling of the solar wind into and through the magnetically permeable content of each planet. Resulting in Angular momentum and LOD changes,
    Well, putting them back in did not help. The solar wind does not couple to the Earth through magnetism. It would be rather O/T to discuss this here and now [it has been discussed many times before]. There are no changes in Angular Momentum or LOD related to the solar wind.

  188. maksimovich says:

    Leif Svalgaard (12:44:47) :

    Stephen Wilde (12:23:46) :
    “They say the trend toward a stronger, tighter circulation around the North Pole could be triggered just as well by processes in the stratosphere as by those in the ocean.”

    Sigh. Those changes are caused by upwards traveling Rossby waves that break in the stratosphere and then influence stuff below.

    SEPPÄALÄA ET AL 2009 suggests

    Ozone changes could affect stratospheric winds so that breaking of vertically propagating planetary-scale Rossby waves from the troposphere would be affected, this breaking could drive the downward propagation of NAM-like patterns which would ultimately be seen in the SAT. The resemblance of the NH ¢SAT patterns to the typical cell-like NAM pattern effects in the meteorological data used here and the similarity of model predictions of Rozanov et al. to the positive NAM SAT pattern perhaps indicates a common mechanism between the NAM and changes induced by geomagnetic variations. The origin of the annular mode patterns is not yet fully understood, although it is possibly linked to polar
    vortex strength [Baldwin et al., 2003

    The enhanced polar vortex restricts the annular or seasonal expansion or contraction of the high latitude stormtracks it tends to retain the ST in the higher latitudes in the SH in winter where there is interference in the competing periodicites and systems eg Trebneth 1986 2010.

    Ramanathan provides some interesting conjectures

    Cloud radiative forcing (CRF) is defined as the difference between the radiation budget (net incoming solar radiation minus the outgoing long wave) over a cloudy (mix of clearand clouds) sky and that over a clear sky. If this difference is negative clouds exert a cooling effect, while if it is positive, it denotes a heating effect. Five-year average of the cloud radiative forcing [1] is shown in Fig. 2. The global average forcing is about –15 to–20 W m-2 and thus clouds have a major cooling effect on the planet.

    The enormous cooling effect of extratropical storm track cloud systems
    Extra-tropical storm track cloud systems provide about 60% of the total cooling effect of clouds [2]. The annual mean forcing from these cloud systems is in the range of –45 to –55 W m–2 and effectively these cloud systems are shielding both the northern and the southern polar regions from intense radiative heating. Their spatial extent towards the tropics moves with the jet stream, extending farthest towards the tropics (about 35 deg latitude) during winter and retreating polewards (polewards of 50 deg latitude) during summer. This phenomenon raises an important question related to past climate dynamics. During the ice age, due to the large polar cooling, the northern hemisphere jet stream extended more southwards. But have the extra tropical cloud systems also moved southward? The increase in the negative forcing would have exerted a major positive feedback on the ice age cooling. There is a curious puzzle about the existence of these cooling clouds. The basic function of the extra tropical dynamics is to export heat polewards.

    While the baroclinic systems are efficient in transporting heat, the enormous negative
    radiative forcing (Fig. 2) associated with these cloud systems seems to undo the
    poleward transport of heat by the dynamics. The radiative effect of these systems is working against the dynamical effect. Evidently,we need better understanding of the dynamic-thermodynamic coupling between these enormous cooling clouds and the
    equator-pole temperature gradient, and greenhouse forcing.

  189. Stephen Wilde says:

    Let’s take a step back because most of the negative contributors here are missing the point.

    Contrary to what Leif suggests I do not ‘want’ any particular feature of the so called ‘model’.

    My description is based (as per Occam’s Razor) on the the simplest solution wherever real world observed phenomena appear to be offending the basic laws of physics. Two examples:

    i) It is clear that there is differential warming and cooling of the layers in the system. Troposphere, stratosphere and the upper layers of the air never warm or cool in tandem.The stratosphere seems to go in the opposite direction to the other two. Thus the simplest explanation is internal system variability in the rate of upward transmission of energy between the layers. Below the tropopause the behaviour of the oceans and the speed of the hydrological cycle will suffice but that won’t have much effect above the tropopause. Above the tropopause the only feasible cause of differential warming and cooling in seperate layers has to be differential responses to solar changes. It’s all very well asserting that that is impossible as per Leif and Frank but that gets us nowhere. If the simplest explanation is impossible then kindly come up with a plausible alternative.

    ii) Likewise with the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems. It is clear that the positioning varies over time and cyclically as a balance of influence shifts between oceanic effects from below and atmospheric effects from above. In accordance with that proposition the ocean surface temperatures change cyclically and the polar atmospheric oscillations change cyclically. As before, the ocean effects are not going to do much above the tropopause and indeed the polar oscillations appear to vary independently of the oceans. Occams’ Razor suggests a solar influence from above which, logically, can be linked to the differential warming and cooling of the layers above the tropopause.That is merely the starting point.If the simplest explanation is impossible then kindly come up with a plausible alternative.

    All I have done is fire a starting pistol. The finish line may or may not be where I have proposed it should be. However the further away from my proposals that it is necessary to go then the less likely it is to be right as per Occam’s Razor.

    Now, can anyone else cut it ?

  190. John A says:

    Here is my problem:

    To be taken seriously the NCM must be seen to show more predictive skill than the current computer based models.

    In theory that shouldn’t be difficult because their level of success is currently zero.

    From a reading of my narrative it is readily apparent that if the NCM matches reality then lots of predictions can be made. They may not be precise in terms of scale or timing but they are nevertheless useful in identifying where we are in the overall scheme of things and the most likely direction of future trend.

    For example if the mid latitude jets stay where they now are then a developing cooling trend can be expected.

    If the jets move poleward for any length of time then a warming trend may be returning.

    If the solar surface becomes more active then we should see a reduction in the intensity of the Arctic Oscillation.

    If the current El Nino fades to a La Nina then the northern winter snows should not be as intense next winter but it will nevertheless be another cold though drier northern hemisphere winter as the La Nina denies energy to the air.

    The past winter is a prime example of what the NCM suggests for a northern winter with an El Nino during a period of quiet sun. The warmth from the oceans pumps energy upwards but the quiet sun prevents the poleward movement of the jets. The result is warming of the tropics and of the highest latitudes (but the latter stay below the freezing point of water) and a flow of cold into the mid latitudes and more precipitation in the form of snow at lower latitudes than normal.

    So I suggest that a degree of predictive skill is already apparent for my NCM.

    The problem is that your predictions for the NCM are not falsifiable in time or space. There’s far too much wiggle room in the “degree of predictive skill” that you claim (and too much ambiguity in the term).

    If I read those claims correctly, then there’s not a single climate modeler out there (including the wretched Schmidt) who can’t make the same predictions as yours do.

    There’s no “If the current El Nino fades to a La Nina then…” language required if your model has any predictive skill. It should tell us when and by how much these phenomena will occur. The predictions should also be unique to your model and unambiguous.

    Otherwise all I can see are another set of vague claims that this or that climate phenomenon “are consistent with the model”

  191. Feet2theFire says:

    If this reminds me of anything, it would be the late theoretical physicist David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicate Order, in which he critiques science for its bottom up approach to understanding the universe. Bohm was thought of by some as the closest thing to Einstein his time produced.

    From his book:

    In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the “explicate” or “unfolded” order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders (Bohm, 1980, p. xv)

    And:

    Bohm noted of prevailing views among physicists: “the world is assumed to be constituted of a set of separately existent, indivisible and unchangeable ‘elementary particles’, which are the fundamental ‘building blocks’ of the entire universe … there seems to be an unshakable faith among physicists that either such particles, or some other kind yet to be discovered, will eventually make possible a complete and coherent explanation of everything” (Bohm, 1980, p. 173).

    Wikipedia sums up the concept with 9 points, the first 2 of which are:
    1.) That phenomena are reducible to fundamental particles and laws describing the behaviour of particles, or more generally to any static (i.e. unchanging) entities, whether separate events in space-time, quantum states, or static entities of some other nature.
    2.) Related to (1), that human knowledge is most fundamentally concerned with mathematical prediction of statistical aggregates of particles.

    These, taken with the last sentence in the previous quote sum up the approach of climatology, as I see it – that they approach it from the bottom up, certain that they can re-create and understand the entirety by predicting the aggregate of the particles in the atmosphere, and that in the end, they will be able to construct and atmospheric theory of everything.

    That seems – especially from his hubristic attitude – Mann’s attempt to bring all proxies and instrument data together, and that it would be the end-all and be-all of climate studies.

    The climate models certainly are built on the concept of “from the gazillion particles the entire atmosphere can be re-created inside a computer.”

    Bohm argued that primacy be

    given to the undivided whole, and the implicate order inherent within the whole, rather than to parts of the whole, such as particles, quantum states, and continua.

    and that

    “[t]he new form of insight can perhaps best be called Undivided Wholeness in Flowing Movement. This view implies that flow is, in some sense, prior to that of the ‘things’ that can be seen to form and dissolve in this flow”.

    Hardly anything we can have studied could be more aptly called a “Flowing Movement” as our climate. Applying Bohm’s approach would come up with something very close to this approach of Stephen Wilde, irregardless of whether every part of Wilde’s New Climate Model is perfectly true or not. As Wilde says, (if I understand him correctly) since it starts out from the top, from a vision of its whole, correcting parts of it does not destroy the entirety – only the way we approach that portion of it.

    There IS an inherent weakness in constructs whose whole is built from the pieces. And that is mainly that there soon becomes no whole of which those pieces really are a part – the whole gets lost in the territorial claims made by each part. And the parts fail to – in Bohm’s experience in physics especially – become a whole that makes the sense it is intended to. In other words, the parts contradict each other and researchers spin their collective wheels forever trying to get the parts to fit – which Bohm strongly implies will never happen, not until the whole becomes the construct into which the parts are then fitted.

    The whole gives a guide to what the parts will be and where they fit in.

    Climatologists will almost certainly argue that the “whole” in their studies IS climate. Yet none study it all; all break it into parts and then believe that they are re-constructing it via analysis of its parts. Such was (and is) the approach of theoretical physics, too – and the “schizoid” approach (my term not his) makes for a lot of little pieces of something that he basically asserts isn’t the right “something”, the right “whole.”

    So, whether Wilde here has pegged it – nailed what the whole is – or not, Bohm would approve of this approach. And Bohm would predict it will have greater understanding come out of it – and, like Wilde asserts – will be able to predict more consistently correct results.

    Nothing in climatology (that I see) is as embarrassing for the field than the strident assertions that such and such is going to happen to temps in the near future and then it not happen. The silliness with which such failures are defended is probably the only thing sillier than the strident nature of the predictions in the first place.

    Extrapolating a whole from parts – the CO2 in the stratosphere as Earth incubator being one of them – means that the parts REALLY have to be nailed AND COMPLETELY AND CORRECTLY UNDERSTOOD in order for the whole to eventually be apprehended.

    Without the whole as an overall guide, as Wilde and Bohm suggest, extrapolated wholes seem nigh on impossible to achieve. Bohm decried the state of physics, that its lack of a wholeness framework led to its piecemeal understandings and fragmented and disjointed concepts which did not (and still do not) fit together. Climatologists might not think that is the case in their filed, too, but nearly every part of it is contended by some major part of its adherents – regardless of the claim to “consensus” on anthropogenic global warming. (Even there, they are looking at only temperature as if that is the entirety of climate, so their own work indicts them.)

    I side with Wilde, even though I am certain that parts of what he has attempted will be shown to be in need of revision.

    .

  192. Michael Ozanne says:

    “Leif Svalgaard (11:23:51) :

    Michael Ozanne (09:49:47) :
    Well I architect Enteprise Business Intelligence solutions for a living. If I were tasked with doing this the overall solution would have the following bits :-
    You are describing a multi-tiered application or solution. The database itself has no tiers. Now, from an Oracle salesman’s point of view EVERYTHING is the database and that is why HIS database is so important and why you MUST buy it.

    Not going to argue a point about whether Oracle salesmen have been known to verbally jack off, thats a Bear-Catholic, Pope-craps-in-woods scenario…:-)

    You are essentially correct a relational database is essentially simple, records in tables that have constraints upon them and relations between them. A good database management system lets you use these artefacts to construct a solution to your requirement, a bad one gets in the way until you beat it into submission. So as far as I’m concerned a “multi-tier database” would be a particular achitectural design built to answer a requirement rather than a type of RDBMS. This applies no matter how shiny you’ve built it so federation, clustering, server partitioning, SAN’s, Data devices such as netezza, meta-linking to SOA’s or message brokers, etc etc are all solution techniques rather than definitions of a different type of database manager.

    OTOH the AS/400 integrated database did allow the use of physical file members below the file main member and logical files above it so it could be considered multi-tier to that extent……:-)

  193. TLM says:

    Stephen Wilde (09:28:51)
    Then I think you need to account for the faint sun paradox.

    Sorry? Where in your “model” do you discuss the “faint sun paradox”? You are just citing the last article you read in an effort to confuse the reader.

    At the time this was relevant the Earth’s entire system was totally different. Bigger oceans, different land-mass distribution, different atmospheric chemistry, different sea-water chemistry hotter core / mantle and so on. This was hundreds of millions of years ago, its relevance to the Earth’s current climate is zero.

    And why CO2 changes never preceded temperature changes throughout the ice core history.
    Why is this relevant? The ice ages were caused by variations in the Earth’s orbit, not by CO2. The latter may have had some impact in reinforcing the warming (positive feedback) but CO2 was not the primary cause.

    Your “model” seems to be a random collection of various studies you have read on this site. Take a step back and have a look at the bigger picture. it really is a lot simpler than even your model tries to describe.

    The problem for the climate models is not that they cannot predict the future, just that they cannot predict the near future, i.e. the next 5 to 10 years. What they can do, however, is predict a trend. I think a problem for the modellers is that they are probably trying to claim too much for their models.

    They are almost certainly predicting the correct “trend”, i.e. a gradually warming climate. What they cannot do is account for all the internal variability – and to be honest I think it is beyond any climate model to do that.

    Internal variability is by definition “weather”. Predicting chaotic variations in weather gets more difficult as the period of time increases. However, predicting a long term trend in the climate becomes easier as the period of time increases because the chaotic internal variations cancel each other out and the trend becomes clearer above the noise. If you do not understand that then you misunderstand the whole point of climate modelling!

    Ryan (09:58:28) :
    Even wacking it with an asteroid the size of France and setting off multiple huge volcanic eruptions didn’t cause much long-term upset.

    Er what?
    I presume you mean the Chicxulub impact. I suppose it depends on what you mean by “long term” and “upset”.

    About 17% of all families, 50% of all genera and 75% of species went extinct. It ended the reign of dinosaurs and opened the way for mammals and birds to become the dominant land vertebrates. In the seas it reduced the percentage of sessile animals by about 67%.

    Now I call that quite some “upset”. And the long term impact is, of course, a total and utter change in the dominant flora and fauna inhabiting the Earth, a probable major shift in plate tectonics, and a change in atmospheric chemistry that lasted at least several hundreds of years.

    Up to the point of this statement I had some sympathy with your comments – but I think you over-state your case!

    The thing that the climate modellers are trying to achieve is a prediction of the effect of adding billions of tons of CO2 to our atmosphere over the next hundred years – that is a human timescale of two or three generations. It is worth stating what they are not trying to achieve:
    1. Prediction of the weather and temperature over the next one, two or even ten years.
    2. Prediction of the climate over the next thousand years.
    3. Prediction of the climate over the next million years.

    Their major problem is that it is going to take another 10 or 20 years of empirical data for the trend to become apparent enough to “prove” that their models are correct – by which time it will probably be too late for us to do very much about it.

  194. Roger Carr says:

    George E. Smith (11:38:13) : Most of the time at WUWT, I tend to briefly scan the “essay” or…

    Beautiful piece, George! Thank you.

  195. Stephen Wilde says:

    Feet2theFire (01:53:43)

    “since it starts out from the top, from a vision of its whole, correcting parts of it does not destroy the entirety – only the way we approach that portion of it.”

    Exactly. Thank you.

    I want to provoke a new approach and provide the starting position. I do not claim a uniquely comprehensive degree of completeness, accuracy or correctness as regards every portion.

    We must start with what we observe the Earth system to actually be doing as a coherent whole and then fill in the blanks. Working up from data alone and having everyone concentrating on individual components and then defending their positions and pet theories tooth and nail has caused enough chaos and confusion.

  196. Ryan says:

    @DickH: It doesn’t really matter if the climate is sufficiently complex that it has parts which are open loop or positive feedback. In control loop theory if you have a negative feedback loop with enough gain it will override all the other influences.

    This is my point – we don’t need a complicated model of the earth’s climate because it is clear from historical data that the earth’s climate is in a powerful negative feedback loop which keeps the clmiate very stable, and we can find out all sorts of things about how this negative feedback loop responds to changes at its inputs by looking at past data.

    For instance, we can see that when the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs hit the earth it caused a lot of volcanic eruptions at the same time such as the one that created the Deccan. These events together would have released huge amounts of CO2 and particulates into the atmosphere, changing the climate. Nevertheless, we know that the climate before this event and the climate after this event were not so very different. So we can see that despite this huge step change in the climate system inputs the output settled back to the same equilibrium point. Thus there is a strong negative feedback loop and although the climate may have been influenced in many ways , open loop or positive feedback or whatver, this negative feedback loop is sufficiently powerful to override all of them bringing the climate back to its normal equilibrium – there were no tipping points that permanently damaged the climate. If we investigated this further we could get an idea of the response time of the negative feedback loop and its gain.

    Step changes to climate like El Nino or volcanic eruptions will impact climate for short periods because negative feedback loops take some time to recover to their equilibrium. furthermore, permanent changes to the climate system (such as the Sun’s output power changing) will have a permanent impact on the Earth’s climate (but negative feedback would suggest this impact not as great as it might at first appear).

    It follows from this we don’t really need to model the entire complexity of the Earth’s climate. All we are interested in doing is modelling the climate as a simple input/output control block, and these can be modelled by looking at their response to step changes in their input. Volcanic eruptions and meteorite strikes are perfect examples of step changes at the input. What we need to do now is simly investigate how big those step changes were and how the Earth’s climate responded to them.

    A modern hi-fi amplifier can be a complex system of feedback loops, but in the end what matters is how the output responds to a change at the input. You can get an idea of how an amplfier might respond to a change in its inputs by computer modelling every individual component in its design, but it is far easier and more reliable to simply measure the response on the real system.

    This 2-port approach is of course simple, but it is simple only if you realise that massive climate change has not been caused by massive impact to the Earth’s climate in the past – that there must be a negative feedback loop. Team-AGW is unwilling to admit that, so building a simple model from investigations of those step changes in climate is not something on their agenda. There is of course more grant money in modelling the complex rather than investigating the simple.

  197. Tenuc says:

    Thanks Stephen, for a very thought provoking piece. I don’t have the time at the moment to digest it, but here are my first thoughts.

    It is too early in it’s development for what you have posited to be called a NCM. I think a better term would be a new climate paradigm or premise.

    I think your broad ‘top down’ approach to the development of a new climate oscillation premise is more likely to bear fruit than trying to build it bottom up. The climate system is is driven by deterministic chaos and involves many non-linear over-lapping interdependent mechanisms. Scrutinising each separate bits in detail and hoping to understand the whole is not the way forward.

    More detail to follow when I have digested your ideas and read the comments.

    Thanks again for an insightful post.

  198. Sphaerica says:

    No, AlexB, you are dead wrong. Hindcasting is a test that helps to tell you whether or not your model is behaving accurately, but it is not also the source of the corrections. Those corrections must come from evaluating your understanding of the actual physical scenario that you are trying to replicate (not just the numbers and the results), and determining where you made mistakes.

    Simple example:

    Model for a toy car rolling down a hill is v=at, where v is velocity, a is acceleration per unit time, and t is time.

    You measure an actual toy car, and find out that the velocity evens out after a certain point. You look at the hill and realize that the slope is not constant, that the hill begins to level off near the bottom. You made a mistake in assuming that acceleration was constant. You measure the slope of the hill at various points, create an equation to describe that slope, modify your velocity equation to vary acceleration with position, and you get closer.

    But you’re still wrong. Then you realize that the car is going fast enough for air friction to affect the velocity, and friction also increases with velocity. You look that equation up in a manual on aerodynamics, run some easy “wind tunnel” tests with a little house fan, factor that in and find you are very close (close enough for your purposes).

    You used hindcasting to compare your model to the real world. You used that as an indicator that you needed to do more work. But you didn’t simply take the difference between the real world and your model and add a fudge factor.

    At no time did you simply take the effect that you wanted to achieve and retrofit it into your model. The comparison to the real world simply told you whether or not your model was accurate. The adjustments came from observing the real world, relating that to your knowledge of physics, and separately coming up something that made sense, not simply something that fit.

    Now let me ask you… where did you get this fabulous, unequivocal “knowledge” of modeling that you have? Did you take courses in college? Do you work professionally on models? Did you even bother to download the GISS GCM ModelE code and read it?

    Or did you just make assumptions that were convenient, and read what bloggers say about it, and then not only take their word for it, but spew it yourself as if it was gospel?

  199. TLM says:

    Ryan (03:28:46) :
    Right… I understand your point now. I still think your choice of the Chicxulub meteor is a difficult one to use as it so clearly had major and long lasting impacts over the time scales that current climate modellers are working on.

    What you are describing is the effect of a transient atmospheric event on the climate. If we use a less extreme example, such as a volcano, it is clear that the climate does work to bring itself back into equilibrium. However this does not require a negative feedback mechanism over all time scales. A volcano is a transient event. The CO2 it releases is quickly and easily absorbed by the oceans and by the biosphere. The dust falls out of the sky and sulphates are washed out as acid rain.

    What the climate modellers are trying to do is model the effect of a sustained and long lasting increase in the CO2 level above the ocean’s and biosphere’s natural ability to absorb it. Basically the consistent raised output of CO2 swamps the normal negative feedback ability of the climate causing a forced warming of the atmosphere.

    What we are talking about here is a feedback to warming not a feedback to CO2, sulphates or dust. In other words, a sustained warming of the climate triggers feedbacks that reinforce that warming. It really does not matter what the cause of the warming is.

    The fact that our climate swings backwards and forwards between extreme ice ages and warm inter-glacials as a reaction to quite modest but sustained changes in insolation shows this effect. We are not entirely certain of the magnitude of the positive feedbacks but it is fairly certain that the climate’s reaction to a sustained change in temperature is very different to its reaction to a transient change in atmospheric chemistry.

    Remember that most positive feedbacks do not lead to a tipping point. Most gradually decline to reach a new equilibrium, albeit higher than if there had been no feedback.

  200. Roger Carr says:

    Dan C. (13:29:29) : Hold an AK47 horizontally…

    It puzzles me that this analogy is considered offensive by anyone. It pictures exactly what Dan C means in a succinct manner.

  201. Stephen Wilde (23:33:51) :
    Above the tropopause the only feasible cause of differential warming and cooling in seperate layers has to be differential responses to solar changes. It’s all very well asserting that that is impossible as per Leif and Frank but that gets us nowhere.

    It is amazing that you can come up with this straw man. The thermosphere is strongly [fully even] controlled by the Sun. Nobody is doubting or denying that. Your error [and what we are pointing out] is that those changes in turn control the troposphere in any way.

  202. Dan C. says:

    I realize this thread is about done, but wanted to extend apologies to anyone I offended. Substitute “30-round paintball gun” and the analogy is still valid. I’d thought of that, but didn’t know if a paintball gun can fire 100 meters. It seemed to me that nobody was directly addressing Stephen’s point. That doesn’t mean he’s correct that atmospheric expansion caused by changes in solar activity is the primary positive feedback that drives climate change. I agree with Leif (who’s smarter than me, anyway) that the effect is likely too small to make a difference, but I don’t know.

    Nevertheless, like the analogy I was trying to make, Stephen offered up some easy-to-understand ideas on what might drive climate, which is important to those of us with a less sophisticated understanding than a lot of people that post here. Whether he’s currently right or not, his approach makes much more sense as a way to describe a chaotic system than what I’ve seen generally. In my mind, you have to start with the most important drivers and add only those additional factors necessary to describe the system.

    As far as I know, water vapor is the aerosol with by far the largest effect on climate. It’s apparent that the negative feedbacks from water in all its phases are much stronger than the positive feedback from water vapor as a GHG. It’s never made sense to me that the miniscule GH effect of CO2 can somehow overwhelm that and transform the effects of water vapor to a net positive feedback. That’s the main reason I think “climate science” deserves the scare quotes.

    It seems the main argument the alarmists have is that the earth’s temperature, contrary to all evidence, maintains itself in a steady-state equilibrium. At least in my field, there is no such thing. Thus the constant attempts to hide the decline, eliminate the MWP, etc. so that current warming can only be “explained” by CO2.

    I hope I’m understanding this right, but it looks like Stephen is attempting to describe a natural, non-steady-state system where temperature rises and falls are expected to happen, yet are centered around a long term average due to strong negative feedbacks, primarily from water. This is important because it kicks the legs out from under the warmists main argument.

  203. Dan C. (07:45:24) :
    This is important because it kicks the legs out from under the warmists main argument.
    A theory should rest on its own merits [if any] and not on how much it debunks someone else’s theory.

  204. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (07:24:57)

    Your constant references to the thermosphere constitute a straw man.

    Differential warming and cooling clearly occurs in the different layers of the atmosphere. I am not suggesting that the thermosphere controls the troposphere.

    I am suggesting that the solar effects cause different responses in each layer giving rise to irregularities in the energy flow from layer to layer.

    The stratosphere appears to cool down when the sun is more lively and warm up when the sun is less lively. that is the opposite of the response in the thermosphere.

    If the stratosphere cools then either less energy is coming up from below or more energy is going upwards.

    If the stratosphere is normally cooling during periods of an active sun then the most likely cause is faster energy loss upwards.

  205. DirkH says:

    ” TLM (04:53:25) :
    [...]
    ability to absorb it. Basically the consistent raised output of CO2 swamps the normal negative feedback ability of the climate causing a forced warming of the atmosphere.”

    I hear this “swamps the negative feedback” and “overwhelms the negative feedback” a lot from the AGW crowd. So they assume a strongly nonlinear negative feedback, essentially cut off at a certain amplitude. In an amplifier setting, that’s like limiting the negative feedback with – for instance – a Zener diode.

    Unfortunately i don’t know which physical mechanism should provide such a limit to the negative feedback(s). Any ideas?

  206. phlogiston says:

    Tenuc (03:45:54)

    I agree with your comments. Over the last few decades science has become equipped with powerful new technologies which have enabled important advances; however one downside has been that it has some scientific disciplines become bedazzled by this technology and consequently led on a reductionist wild goose chase. As Stephen’s article sets out clearly, climate science was dazzled by computing power and chased a dream of bottom up inductive Cartesian modelling of climate with general circulation models, following ever smaller cubic parcels of air and water explicitly – with little to show for it. Similarly, biomedical and pharmaceutical research is bedazzled by molecular genetics, has sequenced the genome of one or two humans and a handful of other species and invested trillions on very rigidly reductionistic bottom-up research into medicines and diseases – with the result of empty drug pipelines for the big pharma companies in spite of all this investment. By focusing only on the gene and molecule level, it screens for drugs on the assumption that humans are single celled organisms.

    I’m sounding like a grumpy old man again no doubt. Perhaps climate and the failure of C-AGW and the the GCMs will be the rock on which the reductionist science supertanker is shipwrecked. It would be good for science it it were.

  207. Stephen Wilde says:

    Dan C. (07:45:24)

    I didn’t see anything offesnsive in your initial example either and I appreciated the assistance.

    The effect I describe appears not to be capable of reduction to zero so it is unsafe to discard it until we know how much, if at all, the energy flow upwards through the climate system is affected.

    Something is causing what we observe by way of differential warming and cooling at different levels above the tropopause so start with the simplest option first.

  208. Stephen Wilde (08:09:48) :
    I am not suggesting that the thermosphere controls the troposphere.
    Your very first point was:
    “Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.”
    The only reasonable interpretation of this statement is that you are talking about the solar wind and its effect on the thermosphere. But, if you want to scratch that point of the list, then we have made some progress. If this is a straw man it was that from the beginning, no?

    The stratosphere appears to cool down when the sun is more lively and warm up when the sun is less lively.
    Just the opposite: more UV causes heating of the stratosphere.

  209. Ryan says:

    TLM: you are very wrong in much of what you have said, but I don’t have time to give a full explanation. However, a good start for you would be to udnerstand what a positive feedback realyl is and a clear explanation is given here:-

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

    you will see that positive feedback is always unstable, and since the earth’s climate has proven itself very stable despite cataclysimc events it cannot be governed by a positive feedback mechanism of any kind.

  210. Phil. says:

    Dug M (21:00:56) :
    Say the atmosphere is heated and expands. Look at a single cylinder originating from the surface of the earth and ending at the top of the atmosphere. The volume of this cylinder increases as the contents are heated and thereby expand. Note the diameter remains unchanged since there are neighboring cylinders doing the same expansion, thus constraining any expansion of the walls of the cylinder. Only the top moves – upward in our ‘heating’ example.

    Geometrically impossible, you’d need something more like the frustrum of a cone and in that case the diameter at the top changes as well as the height.

  211. Invariant says:

    Quick question to Leif: would it be possible to argue that cloud formation could increase in the night with cosmic rays? (In the night the energy argument that daylight has 10 million times more energy than cosmic rays becomes invalid because it is – yes – night!).

  212. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:40:43)

    I suppose it’s progress if you stop reading ‘atmosphere’ as ‘thermosphere’ :)

    You could just have said that the expansion of the atmosphere below the thermosphere is insignificant but then it still wouldn’t be zero would it ?

    I don’t think one can go abruptly from the sun controlling the thermosphere to it suddenly having a zero effect at some specific point. There has to be a graduated effect as density increases.

    Besides I’m not going for a direct solar impact but rather an effect on energy flows from layer to layer which is a more subtle process not properly investigated as far as I can find.

    Anyway I seem to recall the stratosphere having cooled during the late 20th century whilst the sun was in Modern Maximum mode. The warmists said that cooling was due to increasing CO2 reducing the energy flow from troposphere to stratosphere but I don’t think either of us accept that.

    Furthermore I think I’ve already referred you to a report that the stratosphere started warming a little as the sun got less active from the late 90s.

    Where does that leave your assertion about the effect of more UV ?

  213. Invariant (09:23:26) :
    would it be possible to argue that cloud formation could increase in the night with cosmic rays?
    The argument is not an energy-argument, so this would not make any difference. Enthusiasts may try to look for such an effect. That none have may indicate that even they don’t think there is one.

  214. Invariant says:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:20:46) :That none have may indicate that even they don’t think there is one.

    OK. I am just curious…

    :-)

  215. Stephen Wilde (10:18:46) :
    You could just have said that the expansion of the atmosphere below the thermosphere is insignificant but then it still wouldn’t be zero would it ?
    If we put the lower border of the thermosphere at 100 km, then the expansion of everything below that would be precisely zero.

    Where does that leave your assertion about the effect of more UV ?
    This has been established for decades. See e.g. http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2007-2/

    There has been a long-term [i.e. not solar cycle related] change in stratospheric temperature, attributed to chemical composition changes [and Global Warming, even]

  216. Invariant (10:36:07) :
    OK. I am just curious…
    Me too.

  217. Stephen Wilde (10:18:46) :
    Where does that leave your assertion about the effect of more UV ?
    A rather more accessible account is here:
    http://www.weather-climate.org.uk/02.php
    “The stratosphere defines a layer in which temperatures rises with increasing altitude. [...] This rise in temperature is caused by the absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun by the ozone layer.”
    More solar activity, more UV, thus …

  218. Feet2theFire says:

    @TLM (03:08:13) :

    The ice ages were caused by variations in the Earth’s orbit, not by CO2. The latter may have had some impact in reinforcing the warming (positive feedback) but CO2 was not the primary cause.

    I would dispute that what you state about the orbit is fact. It is a current hypothesis and only one of several. If that is the one you ascribe to, that is just one extra vote for that concept, not fact.

    Also:

    The problem for the climate models is not that they cannot predict the future, just that they cannot predict the near future, i.e. the next 5 to 10 years. What they can do, however, is predict a trend. I think a problem for the modellers is that they are probably trying to claim too much for their models.

    Not only can they not predict the 5-10-year future, they cannot even “predict” the past. About 3 years ago there was some silly MSM article in which they were happy as larks that they’d gotten their models down to two which would match the last 50 or so years. Unfortunately, each one only did half of the past – one up to a certain date, after which it failed, and then the other did the second half, but could not do the first. Why in heaven’s name they considered that anything but an embarrassment is beyond my “poor powers to add or detract.”

    And:

    However, predicting a long term trend in the climate becomes easier as the period of time increases because the chaotic internal variations cancel each other out and the trend becomes clearer above the noise. If you do not understand that then you misunderstand the whole point of climate modelling!

    Yes, but if they are using homogenized and non-time-rectified blends**, the basis for their projections are all watered down, averaged till the curves are almost flat (low SD) – so their projections will also be aimed at being in the vanilla range – and every sizable fluctuation will be an alarm going off. Their projections will be as flat as their blended past record.

    **I contend that the graphs of the proxies need to be time-rectified. The locations of the peaks and valleys on any one proxy graph will be based on the C14 dates mainly, which are approximates. Other proxies’ dating will be also approximate. If the dates come out a bit forward or backward of each other, the timing of the peaks and valleys don’t line up as they should – based on the reality the data was trying to represent: the temperature. If one trace slides 100 years relative to the other, they are out of phase – which isn’t what the reality was, but is what the graphs show. And if they are out of phase, then combining the two has a lot of canceling out and flattening of the curves. But such flattening will not have been true – just a result of the numbers. When all of the curves are out of phase – and I contend that they are – then peaks don’t exist. The Standard Deviations are all muted.

    I have wondered for a long time HOW anyone could think that a couple of degrees C can cause a Medieval Warm Period or a Little Ice Age. The temps in the Little Ice Age were more severely low than all the graphs show. I couldn’t make sense of that. I thought the numbers must be wrong. But it isn’t the raw numbers; it is the blending that just wipes out the extremes, high and low both.

    @Ryan (09:58:28) :

    Even wacking [sic] it with an asteroid the size of France and setting off multiple huge volcanic eruptions didn’t cause much long-term upset.

    I suggest you read up on the Younger-Dryas period and the Younger-Dryas Impact that is only recently being “discovered.” The Y-D was an anomalous and very sudden cold period in the late Pleistocene when the world was coming out of the last ice age, that lasted over 1,000 years. It appears it likely was caused by a cometary impact in the Great Lakes region or southern Ontario. It’s not an established fact yet, but the evidence is building.

  219. Feet2theFire says:

    On that non-time-rectified issue I mentioned, it is not enough just to shift each curve in toto forward or backward in time. The approximations in the dating means each entire time line has been stretched or compressed at various times – probably at many points. I posit that getting the peaks and valleys to line up is more important than having the timing of the overall curve matching up to the C14 dates, which are only approximates in the first place. Without lining up the peaks and valleys – which should be possible to recognize and align between proxy graphs – the SD just all gets moved closer to unity than the individual proxy graphs show. If that happens, the graphs stop showing the reality and they just show a flattened-out overall graph that just doesn’t match the real temperatures.

  220. TLM says:

    Ryan (08:57:53) :
    I suggest you read the articles you cite before you cite them.

    Exactly the effect I am talking about is explained in the first paragraph of your Wikipedia article:

    Positive feedback, sometimes referred to as “cumulative causation”, refers to situations where some effect causes more of itself. Under strong positive feedback, most systems quickly move to a limit state, where the limit is provided by external factors, or into some other new stable state where the positive feedback is somehow negated.

    No tipping point or instability is necessarily the result, it can simply settle at “some other new stable state”. Only a gain of more than 1 per cycle will create a runaway feedback. A gain of less than 1 will lead to a steady state.

    For instance, let us say a rise of 1c gives rise to positive feedback of 0.5c a year (an exaggerated amount just to make the point). The series would then run as follows:

    Year 1: 1c
    Year 2: gain of 0.50c
    Year 3: gain of 0.25c
    Year 4: gain of 0.125c
    etc

    As the term extends towards infinity the maximum temperature would be 2c. The formula being 1/(1-n) where n is the gain. In this case 1c/(1-0.5) = 2c.

    If the gain were 0.25c a year the formula would be 1c/(1-0.25) = 1.33c.

    Further on in the article it refers particularly to Climate feedback as follows:

    Within climate, it is important to remember that a positive feedback subsystem never acts in isolation, but is always embedded within the overall climate system, which itself is always subject to one very powerful negative feedback, the Stefan–Boltzmann law: that emitted radiation rises with the fourth power of temperature. Hence, on earth the gain of the overall system is always less than one, stopping the system from suffering runaway effects. While there may have been periods of time such as the exit from an ice age where the gain was greater than one, this has not lasted long enough for extreme effects such as the evaporation of the oceans as is believed to have happened on Venus.

  221. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:03:19)

    I wasn’t intending to deny the UV effect.

    I was just pointing out that despite that effect there was stratospheric cooling during a period of active sun and now stratospheric warming with a less active sun.

    You accept a long term stratospheric temperature trend (presumably downward) but attribute it to non solar causes. Others suggest the cause is more CO2 or variations in chemical composition (just speculation at this point) but whatever it is it more than offsets the UV effect.

    That would be fine and I would have accepted it had there not been a return to a slight warming trend since the mid 90s which is unlikely to have happened if the cause of the downward stratospheric temperature trend were other than solar.

    I am not aware of any non solar influence on stratospheric temperature trends that has reversed it’s effect sice the mid 90s which is around the time that solar cycle 23 started showing general weakening compared to the previous several cycles.

    On the basis of that apparent correlation and the absence of any non solar cause having gone into reverse I prefer the idea that in some way the change in solar activity levels is responsible and the simplest explanation is the one I have advanced but I remain open to sensible alternative suggestions of which there are precisely none.

    If the real world does not behave as expected then there is something wrong with the expectation. By your account the stratosphere should still be cooling from some unconfirmed long term cause. It isn’t, apparently.

    Despite your confidence the issue remains wide open.

  222. NickB. says:

    BUT…BUT…BUT!!!!!

    The bottom line is that CO2 is absolutely, positively, and without question, the single most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It acts very much like a control knob that determines the overall strength of the Earth’s greenhouse effect. Failure to control atmospheric CO2 is a bad way to run a business, and a surefire ticket to climatic disaster.
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/lacis-at-nasa-on-role-of-co2-in-warming/

    /sarcoff

    The oceans contain 1000 times the amount of energy the atmosphere does. Thinking that the behavior of the atmosphere controls the ocean is what we call in Economics fantastical thinking… the stringing together of multiple unlikely outcomes (in this case relationships) to support a preconceived and desired end result.

    It will be interesting to see what sticks and what doesn’t with Mr. Wilde’s work here, but it is a quite impressive effort with a lot of meat on its bones. Atmospheric expansion aside, the discussion on oceanic currents are of particular interest for me and, AFAIK, considered noise in the current GCMs. After all, they’re looking for CO2′s fingerprint – they know it’s there. Too bad objective statistical tests for correlation (see the VS thread on Bart’s blog or here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/14/new-paper-on/) between CO2 and temperature don’t seem to hold up. In my mind at least, the case that CO2′s effects are not capable of being totally and completely drowned out by bigger forces at play, has not been made and that is, for me, the null hypothesis.

  223. Stephen Wilde (11:51:44) :
    stratospheric cooling during a period of active sun and now stratospheric warming with a less active sun.
    Just goes to show that although the Sun has an effect, other effects [e.g. chemical changes or AGW] are larger. without having a physical cause, you cannot interpret changes over a few years. and, BTW, stratospheric warmings [the short-term ones] are caused by Rossby waves from the Troposphere breaking. Your whole scheme does not hang together at all. I gave you a recipe for how to write a scientific paper. Try it. Especially the crucial Abstract. Your next post should be the 250-word abstract explaining the salient point of your theory. If you cannot do that, then you are just piling on.

  224. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard ( 12:51:44)

    There you go again. Overegging your case and diverting attention by giving advice.

    Even if you are right it’s only a small part of the whole so you are not in a position to say that the whole scheme does not hang together.

    You clearly cannot seperate the solar effects from the other (supposed) effects so your own position is weaker than you admit. You don’t even know what those other supposed effects might be.

  225. Chris V says:

    Stephan-

    Have you tried running one of the available atmospheric radiation transfer codes (like MODTRAN) to see if (and by how much) an expanding atmosphere will effect outgoing radiation? There are others besides MODTRAN- and a few that can be downloaded for free.

    It seems to me that that should be your first priority.

  226. Matthew L says:

    DirkH (08:27:31) :
    No special mechanism is needed, just the inability of the Earth’s ecosystem to absorb the magnitude of the change in CO2.

    The carbon cycle absorbs a fairly constant amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. The main mechanisms are the conversion of CO2 and water into carbohydrates and oxygen via photosynthesis, and the solution of CO2 in bodies of water – oceans, lakes, reservoirs, rivers etc.

    The oceans and biosphere have shown themselves capable of absorbing more CO2 than is naturally produced, but unable to absorb quite as much CO2 as we are currently emitting. Hence the inexorable rise in CO2 measured at Mauna Loa.
    http://www.climate4you.com/GreenhouseGasses.htm#Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)

    The rate of absorption may increase slightly over time due to CO2 fertilisation effects – but it is very unlikely that this will rise sufficiently, or quickly enough to counteract our increasing outputs – particularly if we carry on cutting down the rainforests at the rate we are.

  227. AlexB says:

    RE: Sphaerica (04:28:43)

    Firstly if you re-read my post you will see that I have taken undergraduate courses in modelling and in my professional capacity I work on thermal modelling of laser welding and have worked on thermal modelling of aluminium reduction cells in the past.

    I never stated that there was a fudge factor involved. With my work on thermal modelling of laser welding I have gone through the exact hindcasting process that you described. Based on measured data that I had on a number of trials I first developed a simple conduction model, this wasn’t approximating my results well so I added convection, this still fell short of the mark so I took into account complex absorption of the weld plasma and then my model was a good approximation of the past data.

    That entire process was inductive. At no point have I used the model to deduce what would happen in a new situation and test it. That model is therefore not scientific. When a model becomes sufficiently complex it is not sufficient just to assume that because it was built using tested scientific theory and because it fits past data that it is correct. Complex models have complex interactions whose summations can be greater than the effects of the underlying theory and this has to be understood by people modelling complex systems.

    The model you describe is invalid as an example because in that particular case the physics has been well tested through deductive means and interactions are not significant and all major factors can be easily considered. That model has also been tested deductively by any number of laboratories around the world.

    It is not acceptable from an epistemological standpoint however to assume that because you can construct some macro models by using past data to induce what micro laws might control their behaviour that you can do this for all models. You certainly cannot do it for complex models. The practice of hindcasting remains unscientific because it circumvents deduction and, as has been widely discussed by the great philosophers of our time (e.g. Popper), just because induction works in some cases does not prove that it works in all cases and does not make it an acceptable scientific method.

    When I tested my welding model in a new scenario, it was wrong, despite being only based on deductively tested theories and fitting the past data very well.

  228. Stephen Wilde (13:24:30) :
    You clearly cannot seperate the solar effects from the other (supposed) effects so your own position is weaker than you admit. You don’t even know what those other supposed effects might be.
    By the same token neither can you, and that’s why they cannot be part of a serious model, that is all.

  229. phlogiston says:

    A very nice synthesis, thank-you Stephen – now I have no more excuse for not understanding any part of your climate model!

    A couple of questions from a quick look through the article. First to jump on the thermosphere thickness bandwagon. Leif’s point is understandable – thermosphere equivalent to 1 cm of sea level atmosphere. However this statement as it stands is not complete as an objection to your hypothesised “expansion and contraction” of the atmosphere and concomitant effect of this on rate of heat escape from the planet. However thin and evanescent the thermosphere is, it is the “gatekeeper” of planetary heat in the sense that 100% of radiated heat from the earth must pass through the thermosphere. So to argue for the insignificance of the thermosphere to radiative balance it is not sufficient to point to its small mass and number of molecules – one must accompany this with physics showing for instance the mean free path of photons between interactions with air molecules to be sufficiently long that the thermosphere will not significantly affect outgoing flux. What is the mean free path?

    This argument BTW is used to rescue C-AGW from the saturation hypothesis – that the narrow IR absorption band of CO2 is completely absorbed by a few tens of meters of air only, and that something like 50 ppm CO2 “saturates” the IR absorption – more CO2 has no effect. The counter to this is that CO2 repeatedly absorbs and re-radiates IR, so that heat energy as IR moves up the atmosphere by a kind of radiative diffusion. That CO2 absorption-re-radiation can occur is confirmed by the modus operandi of an industrial CO2 laser – the type that cuts 2-inch steel for instance. The “ser” in laser is stimulated emission of radiation – so CO2 clearly can absorb and re-radiate.

    So if heat is escaping by radiative diffusion (diffusive radiation?) then there is a mean free path. How long is this in the thermosphere? cm? m? km? This is the important parameter, not equivalent sea-level thickness per se. (It looks like Frank (11:16:34) addressed this issue).

    Perhaps the effect of an active sun creating turbulent boundaries between atmosphere layers (with greater surface area) might be equally or more important.

    Secondly, your treatment of thermohaline circulation (THC) and the picture of alternating pulses of warmer and colder water entering THC. I have a problem with this – water enters THC by downwelling at certain key locations – the Norwegian Sea is one of them. The reason and mechanism for downwelling is cooling combined with increased salinity associated with ice formation – linked to cooling. Only cold water can downwell – you cant push warm water down into cold. OK there might be small variations. But at ocean depths of one or more km – where most water and most climate heat resides – the huge gravitational pressure starts to dictate temperature – water converges near a temperature of minimum density. So I dont feel it is plausible to envisage parcels of significantly warmer water lurking at kilometer depths writing to re-emerge centuries later and exert an influence on climate cycles, global warming politics and blog debates.

    However I still strongly believe that the whole ocean including the deep ocean with the THC is a major climate driver. However I doubt that the mechanism is an alternating pipeline of warm-cold deep water. Bob Tisdale for instance probably has data that shows absence of evidence for such thermal structure in the deep ocean and would present it to refute your hypothesis. But I dont think your argument for a time-delayed role of THC requires thermal structure in the deep ocean – there are plenty of other ways that variability in THC could exist in response to solar-atmospheric dynamics. The rate of downwelling could oscillate. Thus the strength (and pattern) of deep currents could oscillate accordingly. As I have posted before, I have a hunch that the AMO is characterised by oscillations in the strength of the north Atlantic drift current caused originally by oscillations in the strength and volume of Norwegian Sea downwelling (and resultant Southstream deep current, the flip-side of the North Atlantic Drift). The Arctic ice melt -recovery cycle, currently a focus of attention, could be linked to this (recall the ~4deg C fluctuation of 100-150m deep Barents Sea water over a century cycle closely correlated with AMO).

    Now I’ll read the whole article in detail, an important “breath of fresh air” in the field.

  230. Frank says:

    Matthew says:

    “The oceans and biosphere have shown themselves capable of absorbing more CO2 than is naturally produced, but unable to absorb quite as much CO2 as we are currently emitting. Hence the inexorable rise in CO2 measured at Mauna Loa.”

    Sorry to have to pore cold water on this belief but a rise in CO2 at Mauna Loa is not evidence that the oceans can’t accommodate CO2. CO2 concentrations are now much lower than earlier in earth’s history. Up to 4000 ppm or more and the oceans were able to accommodate these levels. The evidence? – Huge thicknesses of oceanic limestone (calcium carbonate CaCO3) deposits formed from the conversion of CO2 to bicarbonate and then CaCO3 assisted by the biosphere.

    Remember also that Mauna Loa sits on a hot spot in the oceanic plate and the site is subject to surface and sub-surface volcanic activity (high CO2 emissions) in the region. Also a rise in temperature in these tropical waters causes CO2 expulsion from the oceans. Colder waters elsewhere on the other hand take up CO2.

  231. sky says:

    Upon fuller reading of the article, my earlier praise of Wilde’s recognition of the essential role of the oceans in regulating climate has to be tempered by his basic miscomprehension of thermohaline circulation. It does NOT, as he supposes, bring any replica of the globe’s past thermal history back to the surface ~1000yrs later. On the contrary, whatever warm, hypersaline water sinks below the surface because of its great density is mixed relatively quickly by winds into the upper layer of the ocean, where it transfers its heat to colder parcels by conduction. Despite its suggestive name, THC is NOT a consequential means of redistribution of thermal energy by advection/convection. That role belongs to the wind-driven global circulation.

  232. Richard G. says:

    George E. Smith (11:38:13) :…” but one thing we know for sure about earth’s climate, is that nothing in it is in equilibrium. Neither static nor dynamic equilibrium exists in earth climate; and we know for sure that must be true, since weather represents a significant change of the system from one state to another; and does so, at all time, and space scales”…
    __________
    Well put. I think that a lot of climate science that fixates on metrics and instrumentation suffers from the logical fallacy of ‘misplaced precision’.
    To talk of temperature in terms of +/- .01 deg. when my local temperature, measured on an instrument calibrated in 2 degree increments, might experience a temperature swing of 40-60 Deg. f during a 24 hour cycle is silly.
    There are far too many independent variables at play for us to be able to assign cause and effect. I see discussion of ocean temperature and evaporation rates without mention of relative humidity effecting evaporation and heat content. The climate system is far too complex and chaotic to be modeled or predicted. I don’t need instruments to tell me that in the desert, clear nights are colder than cloudy nights. When the sun goes down a dry atmosphere ‘traps’ very little heat. It is so obvious that water in all it’s phases dominates climate, driven by old Sol.

  233. Roger Knights says:

    @ Sphaerica (04:28:43) :

    Hindcasting can be used in a helpful way, to lead to a correct solution to the problem, as in your toy car example, where the right model is obtained eventually. It’s also possible to use modeling in a self-deluding, curve-fitting way, as in AlexB’s stock market example.

    Climate modelers haven’t reached the toy-car-solution stage, judging by their failure to anticipate the flat trend of recent years. They’re still engaged in what I call “hack ‘n hope heuristics.”

  234. Stephen Wilde says:

    phlogiston (16:06:41) and all other contributors.

    Thanks for many useful points.

    As stated before I see my description as merely a starting point for a different top down method for construction of a new type of model with, hopefully, some predictive power. Perhaps the thread title was a tad premature but it got the attention required to enable me to make progress.

    The real world appears to operate along the lines proposed but the precise mechanics need lots more investigation and I would be very surprised to have nailed the detailed subtleties of each process involved.

    I think the usefulness of my NCM lies in drawing together so many seperate but interlinked components to form a plausible coherent story from arrival to departure of solar energy.

    How that story will need to be amended from now on is not within my control and I propose to continue to observe, learn and amend as necessary.

    The various critical comments are most useful and I will consider them over time and compare those comments with real world events as they occur.

    Perhaps in a year’s time I will be able to present a revised version accommodating some of the objections raised here if evidence becomes available.

    In the meantime I will continue to test my ideas in blogs such as this with those who know much more than me about the individual components of the system.

    In that process some may find my persistence (perhaps obstinacy) irritating but it is all in a good cause.

    My special thanks to Leif, Bob Tisdale and others who have occasionally expressed frustration but who have continued to let me use their time, experience and intellectual firepower.

  235. David L. Hagen says:

    Stephen
    Interesting explorations. Look forward to how the climate compares with your predictions.
    Re:

    When the atmosphere expands it does so in three dimensions around the entire circumference of the planet but the number of molecules in the atmosphere remains the same with the result that there is an average reduced density per unit of volume with more space between the molecules. Consequently the atmosphere presents a reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy photons that experience a reduced frequency of being obstructed by molecules in the atmosphere.

    Suggest checking on the mean free path of radiation vis “reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy”.
    Compare warming atmosphere, lowers density, which increases atmospheric height, which increases radiative surface area of the earth.

    See Don Easterbrook’s sawtooth global temperature predictions. e.g.
    Where are we headed during the coming century?

    See Bejan’s predictions of global circulation based on equator-pole temperature difference. e.g. “Thermodynamic optimization of global circulation and climate”

  236. Stephen Wilde says:

    David L. Hagan (08:01:09)

    Thanks for the pointers and I’ll look into those matters.

    I agree that not only does the atmospheric height increase when the sun is active but also the tropopause rises during a warming spell and falls during a cooling spell. As Leif has said previously if it were down to an increase in TSI then the height at which radiative balance occurred would fall not rise hence my observation that what is effecting the changes in height is solar activity levels combined with the rate of energy release by the oceans and not raw solar power output.

    The same applies to all the other layer boundaries so the surface area at every boundary is variable and that must affect rates of energy transfer upwards as per my model. Leif is fixated on the thermosphere which rather misses the point in my opinion.

    The contentious issue is whether a portion of the rises and falls can be attributed to solar activity changes as well as changes in the rate of energy release by the oceans. That is where I disagree with Leif at present.

    The oceanic effect is always dominant but the fact is that on 500 year timescales (not necessarily on shorter time scales due to interference from lesser cycles and chaotic variability) the sun is less active as per the Maunder Minimum and at the same the oceans were independently releasing energy at a low rate. During the Maunder Minimum the jets were well equatorward compared to now as was the ITCZ and I have difficulty accepting that there was not a strongly negative AO at the same time. If there were a strong AO in the depths of the LIA then the weak solar activity causing the atmosphere to contract and intensify the polar high pressure cells would be a more likely explanation than saying the cooler ocean surfaces alone had that effect.

    After all if the ocean surfaces were cool then less energy was going up into the air to feed those high pressure cells. The solar quietude must be a candidate for intensifying those high pressure cells and pushing the jets equatorward at the time of weak oceanic opposition.

    Anyway that is my rationale for questioning Leif’s assertions despite his undoubted superiority in the field of solar studies.

  237. If solar input has ” no measurable” impact then why do you suggest that Milankovitch cycles cause glacials/ interglacials

  238. Stephen Wilde says:

    Colin Aldridge (16:10:47)

    It’s a matter of scale. Over 100,000 years there are significant changes but for periods relevant to our perception of climate the solar variations in raw power output seem to be negligible.

    I was obliged to take that view as a result of the researches of Leif Svalgaard and others whose most recent work has been steadily reducing the estimates of solar power output variability so if one needs to reflect solar variability at all it needs to be some element of solar influence other than raw power output.

    However if a suitable amplifying factor can be brought into play then that aspect can be reviewed. Depending on measurements the variations in insolation and thus albedo caused by latitudinally shifting cloud bands could be sufficient to enable one to re introduce solar power variability as a relevant factor but the measurements do not exist at present. Indeed that is a novel idea and no one else has so far has given much attention to the movement of the air circulation systems latitudinally beyond normal seasonal variability and the effects that might have on the overall energy budget.

    I think Leif looks more favourably on solely oceanic influences on climate over human timescales but I don’t feel able to go with that as yet because of the size of changes between ice ages and interglacials. I think there must be at least two factors interacting to achieve the necessary switches so that they offset one another to minimise climate variability during interglacials but supplement one another to increase climate variability during glacial periods. The climate records such as they are show huge differences in climate variability between glaciations and interglacials.

    I don’t see anything other than a solar and oceanic combination as remotely plausible on the scales required for such effects.

    Still, I’m open to sensible suggestions.

  239. Stephen Wilde says:

    Note also that the switch between ice ages and interglacials can just be a reflection of the distribution of energy within the system and not a reflection of the actual amoubt of solar power coursing through the system.

    The distribution of continental land masses would be the most substantial influence on that over geological time scales.

    We currently have a landmass distribution that favours ice ages 90% of the time.

  240. Richard G. says:

    Stephen Wilde (13:33:19) : After all if the ocean surfaces were cool then less energy was going up into the air to feed those high pressure cells.
    _________
    Stephen, keep in mind that weather wise, High pressure is associated with dry clear weather, low pressure is associated with wet stormy weather. The heat content of wet air is higher than dry air even as the temps may vary inversely. Weather systems in my view are driven by low pressure pulling inward not by high pressure pushing outward. The extreme examples are hurricanes and tornadoes.
    Good thought provoking article.

  241. Stephen Wilde says:

    Richard G. (11:07:08)

    Yes Richard, quite right.

    What happens globally is that warm ‘wet’ air in the tropics is pumped upward by convection and after a few flirtations with the mid latitudes one gets cold ‘dry’ air pumped downward at the poles.

    However the state of the stratosphere dictates how much is pumped back downward in the polar high pressure cells and how much is released to space and the state of the stratosphere (calm down Leif) appears to depend on how active is the solar surface at the time.

    Don’t shoot the messenger but that is how the real world seems to work on the basis of observations.

    As for the precise mechanisms I’ve made suggestions but am open minded as to alternatives. What one cannot do is deny the obvious.

  242. Henry Pool says:

    this is a quote from Wikipedia:
    “The amount of energy trapped by photosynthesis is immense, approximately 100 terawatts:[3] which is about six times larger than the power consumption of human civilization.[4] ”
    I looked this up after doing a lot of walking in forests lately, where I noticed that coolness surrounds you as soon as you step in, i.e. is is not only the shadow that brings this coolness. You can feel the trees and plants sucking away at the warmth from the atmosphere..
    A city like Johannesburg has no rivers, all water was brought from far away/.The landscape used to be semi desert or savannah but look at it now. It is green all over. I think there maybe similar places in USA (Las Vegas?) that used to have no vegetation, but humans brough a lot of vegetation. So now I have an explanation as to why humans are not really contributing much to global warming: as long as we surround ourselves with trees and plants where we live then we will “neutralize” our own existence to planet earth’s climate system.
    I don’t know what Stephen thinks of this?

  243. Stephen Wilde says:

    Hi Henry,

    I don’t know the quantities involved but it is true that successful human societies with enough wealth and space do often create a more diverse local environment than existed before.

    A wholly negative view of human activity is not really justified in my view.

  244. Tenuc says:

    Here’s a few thoughts, Stephen, regarding your excellent post.

    I’m not sure that the extra path length you posit during periods of solar maximum would be enough to change the rate of cooling. It could be that atmospheric turbulence in the boundary layers increases the surface area of the radiation zone, so energy released quicker.

    Another possible albedo changing effect is the presence of microscopic ice in the ignorosphere (mesosphere), which are very reflective as evidenced by noctilucent clouds. Worth a look at Earl Haap’s site and the paper here:-

    http://www.terrapub.co.jp/journals/EPS/pdf/5107_08/51070799.pdf

    Perhaps also worth looking at how the AO and the polar vortex interact and their relationship to solar cycle changes. Couple of bits here which may help?

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.shtml

    http://air.geo.tsukuba.ac.jp/~tanaka/papers/paper112.pdf

    Good luck with your model, it seems to be developing nicely.

  245. johnythelowery says:

    FRom this BBC2 documentary discusses a river that says there is a connection between the sun and something about sun spots. Rather unequivically. Start @ Minute 2:30….

    Wonders Of The Solar System, Episode 1 (Part 3/6)

    http://www.youtube.com/redirect?username=AnonH5N1&q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DNi7dKceWbHc&video_id=eQSy4NFKZko&event=url_redirect&url_redirect=True&usg=RnZDlizVFYbZV57v-uuBRTdnOcE=

  246. Stephen Wilde says:

    Yes johny, I saw that too.

    There are a number of reports that link fresh water flows around the world to levels of solar activity.

    In turn I would link that to latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems as combined solar and oceanic influences compete as described by me in my model and elsewhere.

    That latitudinal shifting and the potential for large consequent albedo changes represents the most fundamental omission from current climatology. The regular seasonal shifts are acknowledged but nothing further.

  247. johnythelowery says:

    Stephen: We’ll pick the trail over at the squiggly line thread. I’ve introduced
    Dr. Pablo Mauas’s work on several rivers in South America, over there. Oddly, in the paper Pablo is presenting on several rivers, he doesn’t mention this one in the documentary. Glad someone watched it though! The graphics are fantastic. but his talking is a little too simplistic though.

  248. Stephen Wilde says:

    johny

    Ok, if I want to participate substantively I’ll do it there.

    Here I will just point out that the effect based on my suggestion would be pretty variable being dependent largely on the way the individual river catchment areas are affected by those latitudinal air circulation shifts.

    I would expect some very good matches and some very poor matches which is exactly what we do see.

    Cheers.

  249. phlogiston says:

    Stephen

    The atmospheric part of your model – expansion / contraction and boundary turbulence in response to solar activity – presumably would be amenable to Monte Carlo computer simulation or something similar? Perhaps you could get a University to fund a PhD studentship on the topic.

  250. Stephen Wilde says:

    phlogiston (21:40:00)

    That would be nice. I’m open to offers :)

    In the meantime just watching real world events should be sufficient.

  251. Perhaps I’m getting the wrong end of the stick, please correct me if I am.

    However, in this 2008 article it seemed to me that Mr. Wilde was saying high solar activity leads to warming:

    Solar Energy, Ocean Cycles And Global Temperature (Stephen Wilde, May 2008)
    http://www.rightsidenews.com/20080521994/energy-and-environment/solar-energy-ocean-cycles-and-global-temperature.html

    “On the basis of the information in the public domain about solar cycles and the positive PDO it should have been blatantly obvious that the world would warm up without the need to speculate on a contribution from CO2 or anything else…I find Mr. [Alec] Rawls very helpful in illustrating the effect of time lags between solar input and oceanic oscillations…As Mr. Rawls points out…

    Active sun during cycles 21, 22 and the double peak of 23 plus positive PDO = significant warming. (1975 to 1998)”

    This implies high solar activity = warming. However, in

    A New And Effective Climate Model
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/06/a-new-and-effective-climate-model/

    “iii) Counterintuitively an active sun means cooling not warming and vice versa.”

    Thus is he now saying the opposite to previously; namely, solar activity leads to cooling? If so, how does the current statement of “solar activity leading to cooling” reconcile with the previous description of the last century’s temperature changes as described in the original, 2008 article?

  252. Stephen Wilde says:

    ClimateReview (20:19:05)

    Quite right. Well spotted.

    When new information becomes available I change my opinion. What do you do ?

    I anticipate further changes as more real world data accumulates.

  253. Many thanks, Stephen, for replying promptly to my question.

    Science, of course, is an evolution of thought and, if better evidence presents itself, then one must adapt to the situation.

    I believe you have created a new line of climate modeling here and am very intrigued about the possibilities of thought it presents. It is pretty “neat” and comprehensive in its explanation of the observed, physical evidence. The concepts are very believable and plausible indeed.

    However, if you have the time, could you explain how you would explain the last century’s of “warming” via your new solar-oceanic hypothesis? I based a lot of my climate change, revue movie on your, and others, previous hypothesis. I might have to go back to the drawing board…

    Cheers,
    ClimateReview
    Movie: http://www.climatereview.net

  254. Stephen Wilde says:

    ClimateReview (16:40:11)

    Thanks CR.

    I think the warming and cooling of previous centuries, indeed aeons, is down to that ever changing balance between oceanic influences from below and solar influences from above with the latitudinal position of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle altering as necessary to bring the system back towards equilibrium if either influence gets out of line.

    The longer the time scale the clearer the reality becomes because the very short term chaotic variability and the medium term cycle conflicts become less significant as the timescale increases.

    The weakest portion of my scenario at present is deciding on the relative scales of the solar and oceanic effects. Indeed it is that very issue that led to my change of opinion. It seems from the observational evidence that the potentially cooling effect of a more disturbed solar surface is greater then the warming effect of the very small TSI increase at such times and the oceanic effect is far greater than either.

    It is Leif Svalgaard’s contribution that has led me away from the idea that TSI changes have a major effect except on very long timescales of maybe 100,000 years or so and even then the internal system checks and balances seem to adjust enough to prevent a direct climate impact from TSI changes alone. I’ve already explained why I can’t yet go as far as Leif in excluding all solar influence. If someone can come up with another plausible (non solar) reason for differential warming and cooling of the layers from tropopause upwards then I could review that aspect.

    I like Bob Tisdale’s work too but I can’t seem to get him to extend his work to longer timescales so as to see the wider overview and in the meantime he picks away at my work with inconclusive short term and regionally limited data.

    I hope a small adjustment to your work will be sufficient rather than a return to the drawing board :)

  255. Stephen Wilde (04:11:24) :
    I can’t yet go as far as Leif in excluding all solar influence.>/i>
    But I don’t. I expect a 0.1K solar cycle effect, and some people even claim that they have found it.

  256. Stephen Wilde (04:11:24) :
    I can’t yet go as far as Leif in excluding all solar influence.
    But I don’t. I expect a 0.1K solar cycle effect, and some people even claim that they have found it.

  257. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (04:36:41)

    Thanks for that clarification.

    I appreciate that you think that apart from that 0.1K solar cycle effect, (and presumably larger effects over longer time periods) all observed climate variability can be accounted for by internal system variability.

    I’m almost persuaded by that point of view although you make no attempt to decribe how that could be achieved which is the approach I have adopted in my proposed NCM.

    Can you make any positive suggestions that would explain observations fully without any additional solar influence ?

    In particular the observed differential warming and cooling of the layers above the tropopause which doesn’t seem to be adequately accounted for by system variability from below. That is important because it would have some bearing on the size and intensities of the polar high pressure cells by altering the strength of the temperature inversion at the tropopause.

    I know that you have proposed some undefined and unquantified changes in chemical composition but such changes would themselves be solar induced would they not ?

  258. Gail Combs says:

    Stephen Wilde (04:11:24)

    Dr. Leif Svalgaard is looking at the total. However there is a larger variation in the UV

    Of the many trends that appear to cause fluctuations in the Sun’s energy, those that last decades to centuries are the most likely to have a measurable impact on the Earth’s climate in the foreseeable future. Many researchers believe the steady rise in sunspots and faculae since the late seventeenth century may be responsible for as much as half of the 0.6 degrees of global warming over the last 110 years (IPCC, 2001).

    ….The Sun’s affect on global warming can mostly be attributed to variations in the near-infrared and visible wavelengths of solar radiation. As previously stated, these types of radiation are absorbed by the lower atmosphere, the oceans, and the land. UV radiation, on the other hand, interacts strongly with the ozone layer and the upper atmosphere. Though UV solar radiation makes up a much smaller portion of the TSI than infrared or visible radiation, UV solar radiation tends to change much more dramatically over the course of solar cycles.

    The impacts of undulating UV solar radiation may be substantial. Since UV radiation creates ozone in the stratosphere, the oscillation in UV levels can affect the size of the ozone hole….” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/SORCE/sorce_04.php

    “…A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”: Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and a whopping 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996….
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/01/nasa-headline-deep-solar-minimum/

    “…The solar X-ray radiation varies more than other wavelengths during flares; thus solar X-ray irradiance measurements are relied upon for detecting flare events as well as used to study flare parameters. There is new information about the spectral and temporal variations of flares using solar irradiance measurements from NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) and the Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics, and Dynamics (TIMED) missions. For one, the improved measurement precision for the total solar irradiance (TSI) measurements by the SORCE Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) has enabled the first detection of flares in the TSI. These flare observations indicate a total flare energy that is about 105 times more than the X-ray measurements in the 0.1–0.8 nm range. In addition, solar spectral irradiance instruments aboard TIMED and SORCE have observed hundreds of flare events in the 0.1 nm to 190 nm range. These solar ultraviolet measurements show that the ultraviolet irradiance changes during flares account for 50% or more of the flare variations seen in the TSI, with most of the ultraviolet contribution coming from the ultraviolet shortward of 14 nm….” http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005JA011507.shtml

    Here is a long but very good look at ocean heat content. Remember the shorter the wavelength the further the energy penetrates the ocean… http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/ocean.html

    How the Oceans Get Warm
    Warming the ocean is not a simple matter, not like heating a small glass of water. The first thing to remember is that the ocean is not warmed by the overlying air.

    Let’s begin with radiant energy from two sources: sunlight, and infrared radiation, the latter emitted from the “greenhouse” gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and various others) in the lower atmosphere. Sunlight penetrates the water surface readily, and directly heats the ocean up to a certain depth. Around 3 percent of the radiation from the Sun reaches a depth of about 100 meters….

    The infrared radiation penetrates but a few millimeters into the ocean. This means that the greenhouse radiation from the atmosphere affects only the top few millimeters of the ocean….”

    How much high energy solar radiation makes it to the oceans past the oxygen and water, and how it varies over time I do not know, but it is a line of though that has probably been investigated and worth looking at.

    H2O in the form of clouds, ice and water with a healthy helping hand from the sun get my vote for the most probable major contributors to climate variation. Mankind’s 2 to 3% contribution to a minor gas measured at under 400 ppm just doesn’t pass the smell test.

  259. Stephen Wilde (05:40:40) :
    Can you make any positive suggestions that would explain observations fully without any additional solar influence ?
    Any complex system has internal variations. One could take it one step up and ask why the sun varies without additional external influence.

    In particular the observed differential warming and cooling of the layers above the tropopause which doesn’t seem to be adequately accounted for by system variability from below.
    Current models describe this well.

    I know that you have proposed some undefined and unquantified changes in chemical composition but such changes would themselves be solar induced would they not ?
    No, take CO2 for instance.

  260. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (05:55:06)

    I’ll take it that you have no positive suggestions then. Your suggestion of taking the question one step up is invalid. A very large complex system is likely to have an effect on a nearby small complex system especially if constantly bombarding it with variable flows of energy. The sun has no larger dynamic system nearby.

    Current models describe it by attributing a forcing effect to CO2 which is supposed to slow down the rate of energy transfer from tropospere to stratosphere thus cooling the latter. I thought you considered that to be wrong so why do you use the term ‘describe this well’ ? What has changed in the troposphere since the mid 90s to stop the stratospheric cooling and cause it now to start warming ? That is completely inconsistent with the models.

    Even CO2 is partially solar dependent. More solar energy increases the speed of processes in the biosphere and thus the carbon cycle and by warming the ocean surface reduces it’s ability to absorb CO2. And you were not referring to CO2 when you last mentioned the issue. As I understood you at the time you were referring to ozone reactions that are solar related.

  261. Stephen Wilde says:

    Gail Combs (05:49:52)

    Thanks, Gail.

    I’ve seen those before but drawing attention to them here is timely.

    Leif doesn’t have it all his own way and the major part of my attention is taken up sorting out the relative scales of influence and likely levels of probability of the numerous alternative propositions put forward by professional scientists of which he is just one.

  262. Stephen Wilde (07:47:41) :
    I’ll take it that you have no positive suggestions then.
    Can’t have positive suggestion for something not happening.

    Your suggestion of taking the question one step up is invalid. A very large complex system is likely to have an effect on a nearby small complex system especially if constantly bombarding it with variable flows of energy.
    What makes the flow variable? A variable sun. What makes the Sun vary? Internal fluctuations… since no larger system nearby…
    So you postulate internal causes for the Sun, but deny them on Earth….

    Current models describe it by attributing a forcing effect to CO2 which is supposed to slow down the rate of energy transfer from troposphere to stratosphere thus cooling the latter. I thought you considered that to be wrong so why do you use the term ‘describe this well’
    http://acd.ucar.edu/~randel/Garcia_Randel.pdf

  263. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:42:20)

    Looks like you are a hard wired warmist after all.

    That Garcia_Randel pdf deals with acceleration of the Brewer Dobson circulation under a forcing influence from more greenhouse gases. If you accept it then your protestations about not supporting AGW come to nought which explains your apparent obsession with the removal of the sun as a potential climate forcing agent.

    In fact that pdf makes my point perfectly. It proposes only an acceleration That might have been meaningful until the mid 90′s or even 2000 but no longer.

    It says nothing about real world events since then which, despite increasing ghgs, have gone into reverse with a cessation of stratospheric cooling and a return back equatorward of the air circulation systems.

    Thus there is indeed something happening and the models do not account for it at all let alone ‘well’.

    Oh, and yet another falsehood from you concerning that which I have said earlier. You have been making a habit of that strategy.

    I make it perfectly clear that I do propose considerable internal causes for the Earth.

    Where we differ is that I think the sun’s internal variability somehow manages to affect the Earth’s internal variability one way or another and we need to find out how it does so and then ascertain the scale of the effect as against the oceanic effect.

    Even if it is only 0.1C over a solar cycle and a little more over a 500 year period from LIA to date then that’s a good enough starting point for my NCM because all such solar variability needs to do is alter the size, position and intensity of the polar high pressure cells against an opposing force from oceanic variability. The sun doesn’t need to change the Earth’s temperature, merely force a redistribution vertically and horizontally within the system. We can leave oceanic variability to do the heavy lifting implied by an actual temperature change for the entire system.

    Remember that the temperature near the surface need not be a true reflection of total system energy content if there is variability at multiple levels from ocean depths to top of atmosphere. That surface temperature need only be a snapshot at a moment in time as the energy is redistributed within the system.

    That could be well within the power of even the small solar variations that you do accept.

  264. Stephen Wilde says:

    Furthermore all the phnomena investigated by Garcia_Randel would be better explained by changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle because that would accommodate both acceleration and deceleration of the Brewer Dobson circulation which the GHG forcing idea cannot.

  265. Stephen Wilde (14:30:43) :
    Where we differ is that I think the sun’s internal variability somehow manages to affect the Earth’s internal variability one way or another and we need to find out how it does so and then ascertain the scale of the effect as against the oceanic effect.
    You think so, but we should go with evidence and you have not provided any, other than your thoughts. And against mere thoughts no argument is effective. Your comments are also too loaded with unsubstantiated accusations to be taken seriously in a reasonable debate: “hard-wired”, “falsehoods”, etc.

  266. Stephen Wilde (14:51:37) :
    better explained by changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle because that would accommodate both acceleration and deceleration of the Brewer Dobson circulation
    It doesn’t really matter what regulates the B-D circulation. It is enough it is there. The ‘speed’ of a cycle is a non-physical use. Speeds are measured in meters/second, so what is in m/s the speed of your cycle? Sorry to be so hard-nosed on this, but unless these things are well-defined and quantified, there is nothing.

  267. Gail Combs says:

    Stephen Wilde and Dr Svalgaard,

    I saw this over on tips and notes, hopefully it will soon get its own post but thought you two would like a heads up. It looks like it might explain extra variation in the sun’s contribution to the climate via clouds.
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    enneagram (08:34:32) :

    Scientists discover surprise in Earth’s upper atmosphere
    The rate at which the solar wind transfers energy to the magnetosphere can vary widely, but what determines the rate of energy transfer is unclear.

    “We thought it was known, but we came up with a major surprise,” said Lyons, who conducted the research with Heejeong Kim, an assistant researcher in the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and other colleagues
    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/scientists-discover-surprise-in-101025.aspx
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    I also found this but the source is not great.
    “The second channel is corpuscular radiation, consisting of solar wind and space rays. Although transferring much less energy, it plays a key role in forming “space weather” – changeable conditions in space which depend on solar activity. Until recently, it was believed that “space weather” had nothing to do with ours, but that idea has been proved wrong.

    “Solar wind becomes more intense when the Sun is active. It sweeps space rays out of the solar system like a broom,” Zeleny points out. “This affects cloud formation, …Yury Zaitsev (author) is an expert from the Institute of Space Studies. ” http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6934

  268. Gail Combs (18:01:45) :
    Scientists discover surprise in Earth’s upper atmosphere
    The rate at which the solar wind transfers energy to the magnetosphere can vary widely, but what determines the rate of energy transfer is unclear.

    The amount of energy involved is of the order of a million times smaller than what we get from the ordinary light and heat, so is really irrelevant. And the ‘unclear’ bit is simply not the case. We know very well how this all works [have known it 30+ years]. In fact given the solar wind properties, we can calculate in exquisite detail what the magnetosphere’s response is. Here are some pointers:
    http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf see e.g. Figure 19 on page 38 [or 40]. A recent analysis shows the same:
    http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf Figure 6,

  269. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif, we all know your viewpoint but some of us respectfully disagree.

    Whether or not you think we are right to disagree is not relevant. You don’t have enough observational (as opposed to theoretical) evidence to resolve that issue.

    Having registered your beliefs ‘ad nauseam’ perhaps you could refrain from hijacking this thread into a discussion of the validity or not of your apparent certainty that solar variability is of no significant importance.

    If however you could make a positive suggestion as to alternative mechanism to account for observations then that would be welcome but I hold out no hope of that because you don’t even accept that the observations do differ from what we would expect from internal system variability on it’s own.

    If internal system variability on it’s own were sufficient as you seem to believe then the mechanisms and quantities involved would already have been substantially resolved with sound predictive abilities already arising from our models.

    That is obviously not happening so internal system variability is not enough on it’s own whether you acknowledge that or not.

  270. Stephen Wilde says:

    The ‘speed’ of the hydrological cycle would not be measured in terms of metres per second.

    Instead it is a composite of the rates of evaporation and condensation, melting and freezing and thus the average time that a water molecule remains in the air in vapour form, or in the ocean as a liquid or in ice and snow as a solid.

    No one has a clue so don’t expect me to come up with the ‘right’ numbers.

    The concept of the ‘speed’ of a natural cycle is nonetheless legitimate and in this case, in my opinion, it should be at the heart of climatology and it is essential to any calculation of the Earth’s energy budget but it remains woefully neglected.

  271. Stephen Wilde (01:17:40) :
    thus the average time that a water molecule remains in the air in vapour form, or in the ocean as a liquid or in ice and snow as a solid.
    A million years for ice in the Antarctic…

    Stephen Wilde (01:07:00) :
    the observations do differ from what we would expect from internal system variability on it’s own.
    Describe what you would expect.

  272. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (04:55:21)

    “A million years for ice in the Antarctic…”

    I suppose that’s a starting point :). And your next step would be ?

    “Describe what you would expect”.

    An obvious sequence of cause and effect from the depths of the oceans to the top of the atmosphere. The power of the oceans is so huge that nothing else internal to the system could confuse the signals to the extent we observe.

    A direct and clear relationship between the polar oscillations, the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems and the energy released by the oceans.

    A far less jumbled and confusing climate record. The difficulty obtaining clear correlations over all timescales suggests a substantial secondary force acting against the primary oceanic driver and there is no adequate internal force available.

    If you look again at my NCM you will see that by attributing an influence to the sun a large number of real world observations fit into a coherent overall picture going back into the last ice age and potentially back to the first formation of the oceans.

    If you think you can do better then be my guest.

  273. Stephen Wilde (07:08:20) :
    I suppose that’s a starting point :). And your next step would be ?
    You tell me as it is your ‘theory’. I think it is all hogwash. The hydrological ‘cycle’ is not a driver of the climate, rather it is the other way around.

    “Describe what you would expect”.
    An obvious sequence of cause and effect from the depths of the oceans to the top of the atmosphere. The power of the oceans is so huge that nothing else internal to the system could confuse the signals to the extent we observe.

    Vague had waving. Describe the ‘obvious’ cause.

    The difficulty obtaining clear correlations over all timescales
    Comes from you assuming there are relationships where there are not, so no wonder it is hard to find clear correlations.
    As I have said ‘ad nauseam’, you have no coherent theory, no clue [as you say], no cause and effect chain, no quantification, no nothing.

  274. Gail Combs says:

    Leif Svalgaard (18:18:49) :

    Gail Combs (18:01:45) :
    Scientists discover surprise in Earth’s upper atmosphere
    The rate at which the solar wind transfers energy to the magnetosphere can vary widely, but what determines the rate of energy transfer is unclear.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    The amount of energy involved is of the order of a million times smaller than what we get from the ordinary light and heat, so is really irrelevant. And the ‘unclear’ bit is simply not the case….
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Thank you Dr. Svalgaard, I will read those PDFs. You certainly can get a broad science education following this blog. I just wish I had the time to look into all of the info presented.

  275. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (07:34:48)

    “The hydrological ‘cycle’ is not a driver of the climate, rather it is the other way around.”

    I never said it was. It is simply part of the mechanism whereby the system seeks equilibrium when either the rate of energy flow from the oceans or the rate of energy loss to space varies.

    I don’t think you have read my stuff properly or looked at real world climate behaviour and until you do there is nothing more I can say to you.

  276. Henry Pool says:

    Henry@Leif

    So what was your opinion again about the correlations offered by Al Gore in “An inconvenient truth”?

    Henry@Stephen

    Sorry, I am not too glued up on the NCM but from what I can understand I can tell you that I am with you. What I can also tell you is that the weather here in South Africa has been extraordinary so far this year. We have had rain and/or overcast conditions almost non stop from the beginning of summer, which is a bit unusual for us. It is still raining now as I speak. If it carries on like this, I predict we will even have snow here during the winter. I am not sure if Fifa is going to like that….(world cup soccer!)

  277. Stephen Wilde (10:53:07) :
    I never said it was. It is simply part of the mechanism whereby the system seeks equilibrium when either the rate of energy flow from the oceans or the rate of energy loss to space varies.
    You have never said how anything works, so it makes it hard to understand and easy for you to defend [as there is nothing there]. for example: ‘part of the mechanism’. Which part? What mechanism?

  278. Stephen Wilde (10:53:07) :
    I don’t think you have read my stuff properly or looked at real world climate behaviour and until you do there is nothing more I can say to you.
    Perhaps Roy Spencer can enlighten you:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/23/new-book-from-dr-roy-spencer/

    “You see, climate researchers are rather myopic. They think that the only way for global-average temperatures to change is for the climate system to be forced ‘externally’…by a change in the output of the sun, or by a large volcanic eruption. These are events which occur external to the normal, internal operation of the climate system. But what they have ignored is the potential for the climate system to cause its own climate change. Climate change is simply what the system does, owing to its complex, dynamic, chaotic internal behavior”.

  279. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif, I have the utmost respect for you but I think your attacks on me and my ideas are misguided.

    You keep asserting that I have said things that I have not said and you insist on failing to understand what I do say.

    Your quote from Roy is yet another fine example.

    My climate description fully recognises the internal climate variability but from observations I cannot accept that there is not a degree of external forcing from solar variability. That is not an unreasonable position to take.

    As I said in a previous post:

    “Even if it (the solar effect) is only 0.1C over a solar cycle and a little more over a 500 year period from LIA to date then that’s a good enough starting point for my NCM because all such solar variability needs to do is alter the size, position and intensity of the polar high pressure cells against an opposing force from oceanic variability. The sun doesn’t need to change the Earth’s temperature, merely force a redistribution vertically and horizontally within the system. We can leave oceanic variability to do the heavy lifting implied by an actual temperature change for the entire system.”

    If it were an issue of internal variability alone then the oceans would be in absolute control and the climate response from sea surface changes would be clear and direct.

    In reality it is not clear and direct so a second force is required. Warmer sea surface temperatures sometimes send the air circulation systems poleward and at other times they fail to do so or the ocean effect is reduced.

    The obvious reason is a countervailing force from above which has an effect on the polar high pressure cells. Now I think it’s the sun that is doing it but you do not. So be it. Kindly do not trash everything I say on the basis of that minor difference of opinion.

    I have already asked you to explain how a force that is entirely internal to the system could cause the temperature of the stratosphere to move in the opposite direction to the temperature of the higher levels which is what we observe. The only way that can be achieved is by some cause from above altering the rate of energy loss to space. If the cause were solely internal to the system then the upper level temperatures would follow the lead of any temperature trend from below but they do not.

    At some variable height in the system there is a disjunction between forces acting from below and forces acting from above. If it is not solar related then I am happy to consider an alternative.

    Please limit your comments here to constructive rather than destructive contributions.

    An earlier poster referred to ‘hissing and spitting’ from the climate establishment. You are in danger of validating that comment.

  280. Stephen Wilde says:

    Henry Pool (11:09:54)

    Thanks for your support Henry. It’s quite difficult to assess how other readers react to a disgreement between me as a mere amateur and a highly skilled professional such as Leif.

    As regards your weather report the mid latitude jets in the southern hemisphere clearly continue to be well equatorward just like those in the northern hemisphere so you are getting more weather systems crossing the Cape region.

    That is occurring despite the recent El Nino which really ought to have pushed the jets more poleward if one goes by the precedents set by the El Ninos between 1975 and 2000.

    During the late 20th Century the El Ninos has a greater effect on the jet positioning than they do now and the only variable to have changed is the level of solar activity which appears to have coincided with a slight warming of the stratosphere (previously cooling) and an intensification of the inversion at the tropopause which then redirects more energy back downward in the polar high pressure cells.

    A quiet sun gives stronger polar high pressure cells which reduces upward transmission of energy whereas an active sun gives weaker polar high pressure cells which increases upward transmission of energy.

    Observations therefore fit my NCM.

    If observations stop fitting my NCM then I will accept defeat but only if a suitable adjustment to the NCM does not solve any such problem.

  281. Stephen Wilde (01:36:21) :
    but I think your attacks on me and my ideas are misguided.
    Attack is the wrong word. I merely state that you are not convincing me, and that your explanations are too vague to carry weight with me.

    You keep asserting that I have said things that I have not said and you insist on failing to understand what I do say.
    Simply because it is not clear what you say. I’m trying to make you express yourself better [but failing, evidently].

    I cannot accept that there is not a degree of external forcing from solar variability. That is not an unreasonable position to take.
    It is unreasonable to state that one ‘cannot accept’ something, when evidence [or the lack thereof] shows you that it is untenable. When the evidence does not go your way, you must accept that.

    If the cause were solely internal to the system then the upper level temperatures would follow the lead of any temperature trend from below but they do not.
    There are several reasons why there should be opposite trends:
    1) depletion of ozone, e.g. by CFCs
    2) increased CO2
    3) changing of upwards traveling planetary waves [which break and heat the stratosphere]

    Please limit your comments here to constructive rather than destructive contributions.
    Science progresses not by agreement, but by controversy. If you are seeking back-slapping yes-men, perhaps you should move to other blogs, a la RealClimate.

  282. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (07:35:21)

    “There are several reasons why there should be opposite trends:
    1) depletion of ozone, e.g. by CFCs
    2) increased CO2
    3) changing of upwards traveling planetary waves [which break and heat the stratosphere."

    Are you referring to opposite trends in troposphere and stratosphere or stratosphere and upper layers ? I referred to the latter.

    1) If one ignores anthropogenic CFCs (I am considering natural processes here) the main effect on ozone is solar.

    2) Increased CO2 warms the troposphere but cools the stratosphere and should also cool the higher layers but it doesn't seem to have much effect higher than the stratosphere and the higher one gets the greater the solar effect.

    3) I haven't heard about upwards travelling planetary waves unless you mean Rossby waves but they only deal with troposphere and stratosphere and not stratosphere and higher levels.

    Beside, which of those processes went into reverse from 1995 to 2000 to give the observed change in stratospheric temperature trends ?

    And note:

    i) "Attack is the wrong word. I merely state that you are not convincing me, and that your explanations are too vague to carry weight with me."

    I am not trying to convince you. I am trying to see whether you can convince me. So far you do not. Perhaps you could learn to use language that cannot be 'miscosntrued' as an 'attack' ?

    ii) "Simply because it is not clear what you say. I’m trying to make you express yourself better [but failing, evidently].”

    Looking back through the exchanges I do not find that credible. Your erroneous assertions are based on points that I made perfectly clear, often more than once.

    iii) “It is unreasonable to state that one ‘cannot accept’ something, when evidence [or the lack thereof] shows you that it is untenable. When the evidence does not go your way, you must accept that”.

    I ‘cannot accept’ on the basis of observational evidence which many others have also noted. Your point cuts both ways. My view is that currently the evidence to support either of us definitively is lacking but I and others find solar involvement persuasive. We must agree to disagree.

    iv) “Science progresses not by agreement, but by controversy. If you are seeking back-slapping yes-men, perhaps you should move to other blogs, a la RealClimate”.

    I have no problem with disagreement which is constructive. That is quite different to your suggestion that because we disagree on one issue then all else that I say is wrong. My NCM is not dependent on the solar aspect as long as an alternative mechanism can be proposed for the variability of the polar high pressure cells over multidecadal time periods. The rest of my NCM would remain in accordance with observations as many others here have acknowledged.

    Now, can we please get away from the personal tone. If you address my scientific points clearly and constructively we can make progress.

    I really want to know if ALL observations can be FULLY accounted for by internal system variability with NO influence from above via solar variability.

    I acknowledge doubt but find that a lot can be accounted for if the sun does have an effect. You do not agree. The burden is on you. To have your contention accepted you need a full climate description which covers all the observations dealt with by my description WITHOUT involving the sun at all.

    By all means go for it. That would be truly constructive.

  283. Stephen Wilde (08:25:32) :
    Are you referring to opposite trends in troposphere and stratosphere or stratosphere and upper layers ? I referred to the latter.
    Another example of your vagueness and inexactitude. So you are saying that stratosphere and upper layers have opposite trends for each other?

    I am not trying to convince you. I am trying to see whether you can convince me.
    Why should I? The world is full of people believing weird things. One cannot convince them of anything, only point out their errors.

    We must agree to disagree.
    This is not a question of disagreement. One can only disagree on reasonable things. No disagreement is possible on things that ‘are not even wrong’.

    I acknowledge doubt but find that a lot can be accounted for if the sun does have an effect.
    You have shown nothing that is accounted for. You have said that ‘if the sun is the cause of this or that then…’ That does not amount to accounting for anything. A tribe in deepest Africa claims that the beating of of tam-tam drums restores the sun when in a total eclipse.

    That would be truly constructive.
    Valid scientific criticism is destructive, not constructive.

  284. Stephen Wilde says:

    http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/5/0/53/_pdf

    “The evidence for the cooling trend in the stratosphere may need to be
    revisited. This study presents evidence that the stratosphere has been
    slightly warming since 1996.”

  285. Stephen Wilde (09:53:36) :
    This study presents evidence that the stratosphere has been
    slightly warming since 1996.

    Sure, the ozone is recovering a bit. My daughter-in-law, Signe, has something on that: http://www.leif.org/EOS/Nature/nature04746.pdf
    She is a good source for ‘inside’ info.

  286. Water lies at the heart of all climate discussions. If you want to learn something about its role, here is a good [recent] source:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009RG000301.pdf

  287. Stephen Wilde says:

    Interesting but begs the question.

    How do you know that the warming of the stratosphere is caused by the ozone recovery and not by the reduced solar activity after the peak of cycle 23 reducing the rate of energy loss to space ?

    Furthermore, how do you know that the ozone recovery is down to the Montreal Protocol and not the reduced solar activity causing reduced ozone destruction ?

    The fact is that throughout the period of high solar activity the ozone hole grew and the stratosphere cooled.

    As soon as the solar activity weakened from the mid 1990′s onward the ozone started to recover and the stratosphere started to warm.

    The issue is whether the temperature and ozone changes in the stratosphere were down to solar variability (my opinion) or anthropogenic CFCs (your opinion).

    Your entire climate overview to the effect that there has been no significant solar effect on the climate is down to your belief in the anthropogenic nature of the growth of the ozone hole which allows you to attribute the observed changes in the temperature of the stratosphere to internal variability (albeit anthropogenic).

    If we ignore human CFCs what then ? My description must prevail until someone finds an alternative.

    Can we ignore CFCs ?

    What is the evidence that the increase in CFCs was not simply coincidental with a far more powerful natural process ?

    Quite a can of worms.

  288. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The high natural variability in ozone abundances, due in part to the solar cycle.”

    “it is still uncertain whether this improvement is actually attributable to the observed decline in the amount of ozone-depleting substances
    in the Earth’s atmosphere.”

    Well well, there’s my answer.

    You really have no idea.

  289. Stephen Wilde (11:06:27) :
    As soon as the solar activity weakened from the mid 1990′s onward the ozone started to recover and the stratosphere started to warm.
    Solar activity is cyclic and decreases every cycle. A similar cycle might be observed in ozone [perhaps, with some good will, but it is weak], but is much smaller than the long-term trend. The ozone response to UV is immediate, no oceans to introduce convenient lags.

    What Signe says is that it is still unclear [but likely] that the decline in FlouroCarbons was effective [and indeed it is], but also that “Long-term trends are not expected from solar or volcanic activity”. Total ozone, CO2 emissions,temperatures, and circulation patterns are closely linked. By the end of the century, ozone levels are expected to be dominated by temperature, atmospheric dynamics and the abundances of trace gases, including water vapor [arising from a warmer planet], etc. You may claim ‘that you have no idea’, but Signe does.

    If we ignore human CFCs what then ? My description must prevail until someone finds an alternative.
    I just gave you a whole slew of ‘what elses’. The notion that ‘my description must prevail until someone finds an alternative’ is just silly [and not worthy of homo sapiens sapiens], apart from the fact that alternatives have been found already.

  290. Stephen Wilde (11:06:27) :
    your belief in the anthropogenic nature of the growth of the ozone hole which allows you to attribute the observed changes in the temperature of the stratosphere to internal variability (albeit anthropogenic).
    this is not only silly, but worse. As Spencer points out there is a “potential for the climate system to cause its own climate change. Climate change is simply what the system does, owing to its complex, dynamic, chaotic internal behavior.”. This has nothing to do with Man, the climate changed due to internal behavior before we were here, and will change after we are gone.

  291. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:46:54)

    In view of the doubts about the ozone destruction process expressed by Signe we should ignore the temperature consequences of more or less ozone for the moment.

    You introduced ozone in an attempt to explain away the inconvenient fact that the stratosphere cooled when the sun was more active and is now warming whilst the sun is less active.

    When the sun is more active the higher levels of the atmosphere warm up and the stratosphere cools.

    When the sun is less active the stratosphere warms as the higher levels cool.

    My challenge to you was to explain that on the basis of internal system variability alone.

    If internal system variability were the sole driving force then the higher levels of the atmosphere would generally follow the temperature trend of the lower levels. That does not happen.

    You mentioned three possible explanations but two of them relate to the troposphere/stratosphere differential alone which misses the point.

    The other explanation involved ozone but I pointed out to you that solar influences are paramount there and Signe goes along with that by admitting that it is uncertain whether the Montreal Protocol is the cause of the reducing ozone hole.

    You tried to explain away the problem for your theory (insignificant solar influence) caused by the stratospheric temperature trend apparently usually going in the opposite direction to that of the higher levels but so far have failed to do so.

  292. Stephen Wilde (13:18:36) :
    If internal system variability were the sole driving force then the higher levels of the atmosphere would generally follow the temperature trend of the lower levels. That does not happen.
    As always, by not specifying what you mean, e.g. by ‘higher levels’ it becomes nearly impossible to have a meaningful discussion. You did not answer my question, so now I’ll assume that by ‘higher levels’ you mean the thermosphere.

    Signe goes along with that by admitting that it is uncertain whether the Montreal Protocol is the cause of the reducing ozone hole.
    This is not a question about ‘admitting’ anything. All she is saying is that it is likely that the Protocol was effective [because the long term trends do match each other, e.g. her figure 1], but that there is no definite proof of that

    The thermosphere is most definitely largely controlled by the Sun. No doubt about that. The stratosphere only weakly, and the different variations are not tightly related [long-term trend in stratosphere, but not in thermosphere], and have no bearing on the climate. Because you do not quantify anything, your claims are without basis. If you would say “in the thermosphere since 1950 the long-term trend has been X K/year [citation], while in the stratosphere it has been -Y K/year [citation]” then we could discuss. Now you have nothing. Come back when you can make the above statement.

  293. Stephen Wilde says:

    ‘higher levels’ means everything from the top of the stratosphere upwards. I have made that clear previously.

    There is now another opportunity for you to be constructive. Are you aware of any data that displays the long term temperaure trends in all the layers above the top of the stratosphere from say 1950 onwards ? Not just thermosphere but also exosphere and mesosphere.

    I would not expect to see much of a long term trend in the thermosphere since 1950 because on average across cycles 19,20,21,22 and 23 the level of solar activity was pretty steady overall albeit at a higher level than before 1950 and at a higher level than since 2000.

    As one goes downward through the atmosphere I would expect to see a greater long term trend as the sustained historically high levels of solar activity had a cumulative effect on the lower, denser levels which would respond less quickly than the thermosphere to the increased solar activity. Such an effect would have continued for as long as it took for the lower levels to create a new equilibrium with the higher solar activiy levels.

    The variations from level to level cannot be tightly related because of the different densities responding differently to the solar input. Higher less dense levels respond faster than lower denser levels.

    Differential responses to solar variability at different levels would lead to variable temperature trends from layer to layer and ultimately would affect the rate at which energy moves from layer to layer and from Earth to space.

    If that then leads to changes in the strength of the temperature inversion at the tropopause (as it must) then the climate would indeed be affected because the intensity, size and location of the polar high pressure cells would be affected.

    Note again that none of this requires us to observe a solar induced temperature change for the system as a whole (though there may ultimately be some).

    To achieve the observed climate consequences a mere redistribution of energy in the system both vertically and horizontally is all we need and indeed that is exactly what we do see with the current warm anomalies at poles and in the tropics with cold anomalies in mid latitudes.

    My NCM fits real world observations because it was derived from such observations.

  294. Henry Pool says:

    Henry@Stephen

    I should tell you an observation that I have made. A few days ago it was clear skies and the max. temp. here (in Pretoria) rose to 27 degrees C which is normal for this time of the year. Yesterday it was overcast and rainy and the max temp. barely reached 14 degrees C.
    That difference or “anomaly” is 13 degrees C. I have often made this very same observation here. In summer that difference is even more spectular, maybe even up to 20 degrees C.
    Now, considering a global warming rate of 0.6 degree C per century seems quite rediculous to me when I compare this to my own observations that happen during a period of 48 hours or less. My observed ‘anomaly” here is perhaps not the same everywhere in the world but I expect it to be the same or more in the tropics and in terms of sheer surface area and volume the tropics and subtropics must be considered having the biggest impact on the temperature of the planet. In my opinion it is the clouds & cloudiness that determines the warming and cooling of the planet. A small change in any of the parameters that can be linked to the formation of clouds and overcast conditions will have an enormous cooling effect on earth. Since I started my own investigations I am totally not worried about global warming. However, now I have started getting worried about global cooling. My own observations confirm that we are more likely to freeze up then to become toast. I think we must find out exactly all the factors that influence the formation and maintenance of clouds – from the beginning (evaporation) till the end (precipitation). I remember vaguely that they did some research here trying to make clouds (with iodine?) but that was a long time ago. Do you know of any research on this?

  295. Stephen Wilde says:

    Henry, there’s lots of ongoing research on clouds but so far the complexities have defeated even the most advanced computer simulations.

    That’s one of several reasons why there is so little in the way of quantities in my work.

    Until the data becomes available the best I can do is create a plausible conceptual overview which matches observations without any clear abuse of the laws of physics.

    My continuing disagreement with Leif here is becoming centred on one such real world observation which, if substantiated, is contrary to his view but accommodated by mine.

  296. Stephen Wilde (02:05:03) :
    ‘higher levels’ means everything from the top of the stratosphere upwards. I have made that clear previously.
    There are 14 occurrences of ‘higher levels’ in this thread. None of them states that you mean mesosphere and above.

    There is now another opportunity for you to be constructive. Are you aware of any data that displays the long term temperaure trends in all the layers above the top of the stratosphere from say 1950 onwards ? Not just thermosphere but also exosphere and mesosphere.
    You claim that these layers had an opposite variation than the stratosphere so must have had such data already to make this claim. Show me the data, or withdraw the claim.

    historically high levels of solar activity
    except that cycle 20 was lower than cycle 23.
    had a cumulative effect on the lower, denser levels which would respond less quickly than the thermosphere to the increased solar activity.
    No, the air up there is so thin than there is no cumulative effect. To make such a claim you must tell me here, now, what the ‘response’ time is. Numbers.

    Higher less dense levels respond faster than lower denser levels.
    No. If you disagree, give response times [numbers] for the layers.

    My NCM fits real world observations because it was derived from such observations.
    If so, show me [numbers, cites, graphs] what these observations are. You started out by implying that you didn’t know of any.

    Let me reiterate:
    “Because you do not quantify anything, your claims are without basis. If you could say “in the thermosphere since 1950 the long-term trend has been X K/year [citation], while in the stratosphere it has been -Y K/year [citation]” then we could discuss. Now you have nothing. Come back when you can make the above statement.”

  297. Stephen claims “That is why the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun although the higher levels of the atmosphere warmed. ”

    From measurements of the drag on satellites since the 1960 there is compelling evidence that the density and temperature have steadily decreased in the thermosphere [a secular downwards trend], see e.g.
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2003JA010176.pdf or http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009JA014102.pdf

    Their conclusions:
    [2] Increasing concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, especially CO2, are expected to warm the troposphere and cool the stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. In the troposphere, CO2 is optically thick and traps infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface. In the stratosphere and above, CO2 is optically thin and emits infrared radiation to space, which cools these regions. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are expected to induce temperature decreases and a contraction of the upper atmosphere, resulting in a corresponding density decrease at a given height.
    [53] Our results are consistent with theoretical predictions of the response of the thermosphere to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, particularly with respect to the height and solar activity dependence of the density decrease. [...]
    [54] We conclude that the observed decrease in thermospheric density is probably real and that it is likely caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the lower thermosphere and below. In the thermosphere, there are relatively few (compared to the troposphere) other sources of climate change; our results largely account for the effects of the major source, solar EUV radiation.

    This is my destructive comment of the day.

  298. Stephen claims “That is why the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun although the higher levels of the atmosphere warmed. ”

    A more accessible account:
    http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0402/04atmosphere/
    “The highest layers of the Earth’s atmosphere are cooling and contracting, most likely in response to increasing levels of greenhouse gases”

    “report that the average density of the thermosphere has decreased by about 10 percent during the past 35 years. The thermosphere is the highest layer in the atmosphere, and begins at an altitude of about 90 kilometers [60 miles].”

    “Although the atmosphere is extremely thin in this region (the air at the Earth’s surface is a trillion times thicker), it is enough to exert a drag force on satellites, causing their orbits to decay slowly and ultimately resulting in a fiery disintegration at lower altitudes. By analyzing changes in the orbits of the selected objects, the scientists derived the yearly average density encountered by each object. After adjusting for other factors, the data from every object indicated a long-term decline in the density of the thermosphere.

    This decrease in density had been predicted by theoretical simulations of the upper atmosphere’s response to increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. ”

    ——

    Now, you can examine your ‘model’ again, and ask yourself: “is the behavior of the ‘higher layers’ really important? If you simply drop that part, does the rest hang together, or is the thermosphere [and solar influence] a ‘do or die’ thing for your model, or can you do without it.


  299. The New Climate Model (NCM)
    Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    You can learn more about thermospheric dynamics here:
    http://sisko.colorado.edu/ForbesWebSite_files/ThermosphereDynamics-JMSJ-2007.pdf

  300. Stephen Wilde says:

    “From measurements of the drag on satellites since the 1960 there is compelling evidence that the density and temperature have steadily decreased in the thermosphere [a secular downwards trend.]”

    The highest solar activity during the period 1950 to 2000 was during cycle 19 so it is quite possible that a small decline in thermosphere temperature would be observed over the period without that contradicting my assertion that generally a more active sun warms the thermosphere (but that is something you admit anyway).

    During that period of a generally warm thermosphere the stratosphere was showing a slow long term decline in temperature and that decline occurred within a period of more active sun.

    So you can play around with words but from 1950 to 2000 the more active sun gave a generally warm thermosphere whilst the stratosphere cooled.

    Then since the decline in solar activity began in the late 90′s the thermosphere cooled and the stratosphere began to warm.

    So we have prima facie evidence that the stratospheric temperature moves in the opposite direction to the thermosphere temperature and both change in a response to a change in the level of solar activity.

    I would be interested in evidence available concerning the concurrent changes in the temperature trends in the mesosphere and exosphere if you have it.

    I do not share your view that human CO2 emissions caused those temperature changes in the atmosphere because if it did then the reversal of trend as the sun became less active in the late 90s could not have happened, the continuing increase in GHGs would have swamped any solar effect.

    The use of the term ‘higher levels’ is quite specific and clear. As the term refers to multiple levels it is clearly not limited to the thermosphere. You had 14 opportunities to realise that.

  301. Henry Pool says:

    Henry@Leif

    this whole discussion about the various temperatures and cooling or warming rates of the upper and lower layers of the atmosphere seems to me totally pointless in view of what I said earlier i.e.
    it is the factors that govern cloud formation & overcast conditions that drive global temperatures. Furthermore, radiation (light) moves in straight lines and is not at all disturbed by any of the typical “layers” of the atmosphere. If it hits on a molecule, (whether gas or liquid or solid) then it is the typical spectrum of that molecule that determines whether the light (of a specific wavelength) is let through or whether it is mirrored back. There are no test results from experiments on whether or not CO2 causes more cooling or warming or what the net effect is and unless someone will sue the oil companies to research this, we will never know. Climate scientists will thus always have to come with reports that end in conclusions with words like: “probable” and “most likely”.

  302. Stephen Wilde (08:26:57) :
    Then since the decline in solar activity began in the late 90′s the thermosphere cooled and the stratosphere began to warm.
    All our measurements show that the thermosphere and the stratosphere cool together. Period. whatever the reason is, and CO2 sounds very reasonable. Especially since the what happens up above the stratosphere has nothing to do with climate in the first place, so one doesn’t need to adhere to AGW to accept this.

    I do not share your view that human CO2 emissions caused those temperature changes in the atmosphere
    This is not my view, necessarily, although consistent with the direct measurements.

    The use of the term ‘higher levels’ is quite specific and clear.
    No, your phrase includes the word ‘the’, which severs the connection: “That is why the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun although the higher levels of the atmosphere warmed.”
    without the ‘the’ this would have been clear, but as stated it was not, as the definite article implies that there might be something else called the ‘higher levels’. E,g, as in “Clouds are formed by the lifting of damp air, which cools by expansion as it encounters the lower pressures existing at higher levels in the atmosphere” in [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/122359/cloud-formation ], but now that you have admitted that you meant the thermosphere, it is clear. It was, however, like pulling teeth to get that admission out of you.

    But in the end it doesn’t matter. All the data we have, and all the theory we have show that the stratosphere and above cooled together.

    So, it is now for you to embrace the actual data.

    Henry Pool (13:02:53) :
    this whole discussion about the various temperatures and cooling or warming rates of the upper and lower layers of the atmosphere seems to me totally pointless
    It is indeed pointless, as it has nothing to do with our climate. It is, however, part of Stephens NCM.

  303. Stephen Wilde says:

    Henry,

    Agreed about the cloud aspect which is of course a part of the hydrological cycle as a whole. However that only involves the energy budget between surface and tropopause.

    I take your point about the radiative aspect from tropopause upward and have considered that for some time. The thing is that we have to be governed by observations and they show that the thermosphere, stratosphere, troposphere, exosphere and mesosphere all vary in their temperatures differentially over time. That is they do not always share the same direction or extent of temperature change so there is obviously variation in the rates of energy transfer from one to another. The temperature gradations between each layer change in the process.

    That is unlikely in a system where the variability is entirely internal as proposed by Leif. In such a system any temperature trends would be set up in the lower layers and progress upward through the higher layers in sequence. That does not happen.

    It is the temperature of each layer that dictates the rate at which that layer radiates upward but some process or processes other than simple radiation is or are causing those layers to vary their temperatures in relation to one another.

    I am open to suggestions as to how that happens but am not in doubt that it does happen.

    Leif has proposed that such variations are not due to solar variability. Instead he proposes CFC from human sources affecting the chemical reactions in the stratosphere involving ozone.

    He also proposes human CO2 affecting the rate of energy transfer from troposphere to higher levels.

    However, having relied upon two anthropogenic processes to explain observations he then goes on to say that human activity has no effect on climate. I find that inconsistent.

    In any event we are left with no adequate explanation as to why the higher levels appear to have temperature trends opposite to the stratosphere or as to why they happen to have swapped over just as the sun got weaker despite continuing increases in CO2.

    To my mind the sun has to be responsible unless a better explanation can be found. I am not inclined to rely on the CO2 explanation because that cannot have been responsible for the change of trend in the late 90s.

    Furthermore at the same time the polar oscillations began getting stronger and the mid latitude jets and all the other air circulation systems moved back equatorward.

    There must be a link between solar activity and all those observed events that occurred around the same time and which continue whilst the sun remains inactive.

    So we have:

    Stronger polar oscillations
    Jets moving equatorward
    Tropopause height falling
    Thermosphere cooling
    Stratosphere warming

    All occurring coincidentally with each other and the quieter sun despite the fact that CO2 continues to increase. Indeed all the opposite of what had gone before during the period of a more active sun and which had been attributed to anthropogenic causes.

    It doesn’t make sense.

    The climate establishment remains in denial over all those observations.

  304. Stephen Wilde (14:26:58) :
    In any event we are left with no adequate explanation as to why the higher levels appear to have temperature trends opposite to the stratosphere
    I have just shown you that the best data we have over 40 years show that the the trends are the same and not opposite. So, end of discussion.

  305. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (16:10:03)

    You agreed that the thermosphere is highly responsive to solar input and so warms when the sun is more active. The sun was highly active from 1950 to 2000 (The Modern Maximum).

    You agree that the stratosphere was cooling during that period.

    You then say that the thermosphere was actually cooling during that period of high solar activity. That may be so but only because the highest peak of solar activity was early in the period.

    You then use that unrepresentative and easily explainable slight fall in thermosphere temperatures to assert the opposite (cooling thermosphere during a period of active sun) of what you had previously accepted namely that an active sun warms the thermosphere.

    Now since the late 90′s we have the thermosphere cooling rather than warming and the stratosphere warming instead of cooling. Both changes occurring at the same time as the sun got weaker.

    Observations trump theory every time.

    And you think the discussion has ended ?

    Furthermore your reliance on anthropogenic causes for the observed temperature variations seems to reveal that you do believe in anthropogenic climate change. The trouble then is that the anthropogenic idea only holds up until the whole scenario went into reverse when the sun got less active.

    There is a clear case that needs answering properly and without evasion and logical convolutions.

  306. Stephen Wilde says:

    I’d still like to see data concerning the temperature trends in the mesosphere and exosphere during the period 1950 to 2000. Do you have it ?

    That information would be helpful in ascertaining where the disjunction lies between oceanic effects from below and solar effects from above. As far as my NCM is concerned it could be at any level but my best guess at the moment is at or near the top of the stratosphere. I suspect that those naturally solar induced ozone reactions are involved in some way. You have already agreed that ozone reactions have an effect on stratospheric temperatures but tried to explain observations by involving human produced CFCs which I think may be wrong.

  307. Henry Pool says:

    Henry@Stephen
    I am not sure now what data Leif is referring to (14:26:58) but what you say to me is in line with what I would expect, namely cooling (possibly) caused by CO2 by re-radiating some sunshine which would start from the top to the bottom (possibly causing more cooling on the top) and warming (possibly) caused by CO2 by re-radiating eartshine which would start from the bottom to the top (causing more warming in the lower levels?).

    I had a more detailed post about this elsewhere, maybe you have have seen it, I repeat that here anyway as it may give you a better understanding of what is happening:

    here is the famous paper that confirms to me that CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine:
    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

    they measured this radiation as it bounced back to earth from the moon. Follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom. Note that it already starts at 1.2 um, then one peak at 1.4 um, then various peaks at 1.6 um and 3 big peaks at 2 um.
    This paper here shows that there is absorption of CO2 at between 0.21 and 0.19 um (close to 202 nm):
    http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf
    There are other papers that I can look for again that will show that there are also absorptions of CO2 at between 0.18 and 0.135 um and between 0.125 and 0.12 um.
    We already know from the normal IR spectra that CO2 has big absorption between 4 and 5 um.

    So, to sum it up, we know that CO2 has absorption in the 14-15 um range causing some warming (by re-radiating earthshine) but as shown and proved above it also has a number of absorptions in the 0-5 um range causing cooling (by re-radiating sunshine). This cooling happens at all levels where the sunshine hits on the carbon dioxide same as the earthshine. The way from the bottom to the top is the same as from top to the bottom. So, my question is: how much cooling and how much warming is caused by the CO2? What is the net effect? How was the experiment done to determine this and where are the test results? (I am afraid that simple heat retention testing might not work here, we have to use real sunshine and real earthshine to determine the effect in W/m3 [0.03%- 0.06%]CO2/m2/24hours). I am also doubtful of the analysis of the spectral data, as some of the UV absorptions of CO2 have only been discovered recently. Also, I think the actual heat caused by the sun’s IR at 4-5 may be underestimated, e.g. the radiation of the sun between 4 and 5 um may only be 1% but how many watts/m2 does it cause? Here in Africa you can not stand in the sun for longer than 10 minutes, just because of the heat of the sun on your skin.

    Anyway, with so much at stake, surely, we actually have to come up with some empirical testing?

    If this research has not been done, why don’t we just sue the oil companies to do this?? It is their product after all.
    I am going to state it here quite categorically again that if no one has got these results, then how do we know for sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Maybe the cooling properties are equal to the warming properties or may be it causes cooling rather than warming….

    We know that Svante Arrhenius’ formula has long been proven wrong. If it had been right earth should have been a lot warmer. So I am asking: what is the correct formula? If you people are convinced that CO2 causes warming, then surely you must ask yourself the same question as I have been asking??
    I think it also very important that the experiments must be conducted in the relevant concentration range, i.e. 0.03% – 0.06%. You cannot use 100% CO2 in a test, and present that to me as a test result. Any good chemist knows that different concentration ranges in solutions may give different results in properties. In any case, those people who presented those 100% CO2 tests and results to their pupils used a simple globe lamp (representing the sun) and totally forgot about the cooling properties of CO2 (like I am claiming above here)

  308. Stephen Wilde says:

    Henry,

    Agreed overall that a lot more testing needs to be done and thought applied as regards CO2 which with human CFCs Leif seems convinced provides the explanation for observed temperature changes in the atmosphere. No different from a bog standard alarmist in fact.

    However I’m more interested in other explanations for the observations. If CO2 has any effect I think it is vanishingly small as against internal system variability.

    And there’s yet another inconsistency. Leif asserts that all the observed temperature changes can be accounted for by internal system variability but then goes on to deny that such internal system variability can swamp the anthropogenic effects. He actually says here in this thread that it’s all down to anthropogenic CO2 and CFCs but also contradicts that by saying that human activity is nothing to do with it.

    Total confusion and inconsistency on his part. If CFCs and CO2 are responsible as he says for the observed temperature variations in the atmosphere then that is AGW theory, QED.

  309. Stephen Wilde (01:51:58) :
    You agreed [...]
    “agreed” is the wrong word. Observations show [regardless of agreements and beliefs and wishes] that both the stratosphere and the thermosphere [and all layers between and higher] respond the same way to solar activity [warms], but that is not climate, because the response is cyclic. Climate-wise, all those layers have cooled the past half-century, and not because of decreasing solar activity, since the temperatures at successive solar minima have cooled. The main point is that those layers respond the same way, and not opposite to each other. People who study and model these things [with numbers, not hand waving] attribute the cooling to CO2. This sounds reasonable, because that is what physics would dictate.

    Now since the late 90′s we have the thermosphere cooling rather than warming and the stratosphere warming instead of cooling. Both changes occurring at the same time as the sun got weaker.
    I have provided you with papers with measurements. Why don’t you back up your claim similarly. Don’t forget that the stratosphere also is under the influence of decreasing CFCs [ozone hole recovering].

    Observations trump theory every time.
    NCM is theory, what I have provided are observations, so you may have a point there.

    If CFCs and CO2 are responsible as he says for the observed temperature variations in the atmosphere then that is AGW theory
    No, because the our sea level climate does not depend on what goes on up there where the pressure in 1/1000 to 1/1,000,000,000,000 of that at sea level.
    You use your standard trick of not being precise when you refer to ‘the atmosphere’. Climate happens in the troposphere, solar effects and trace gas effects happen in ‘the higher levels’.

    The exosphere is so thin that what happens there is irrelevant, but at any rate it follows the layer just below it. At http://www.leif.org/EOS/2007GL032809.pdf you can see [Figure 2] both the solar cycle variation and the long-term climate trend at the 400 km level.
    In the mesosphere temperatures have been decreasing since 1961:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, D00I06, 15 PP., 2009
    doi:10.1029/2009JD012377
    The situation is complicated a bit by the freezing out of H2O [yet another trace gas].
    So, again, all layers above the troposphere warm and cool together. The cyclic solar effects are superposed on a long-term cooling trend.
    This is the observational fact that trumps your NCM.

  310. Mesosphere:
    REVIEW OF MESOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE TRENDS G. Beig, et al. [1] In recent times it has become increasingly clear that releases of trace gases from human activity have a potential for causing change in the upper atmosphere. However, our knowledge of systematic changes and trends in the temperature of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere is relatively limited compared to the Earth’s lower atmosphere, and not much effort has been made to synthesize these results so far. In this article, a comprehensive review of long-term trends in the temperature of the region from 50 to 100 km is made on the basis of the available up-to-date understanding of measurements and model calculations. An objective evaluation of the available datasets is attempted, and important uncertainly factors are discussed. Some natural variability factors, which are likely to play a role in modulating temperature trends,are also brieffy touched upon. There are a growing number of experimental results centered on, or consistent with, zero temperature trend in the mesopause region (80–100km). The most reliable data sets show no significant trend but an uncertainty of at least 2 K/decade. On the other hand, a majority of studies indicate negative trends in the lower and middle mesosphere with an amplitude of a few degrees (2–3 K) per decade. In tropical latitudes the cooling trend increases in the upper mesosphere. The most recent general circulation models indicate increased cooling closer to both poles in the middle mesosphere and a decrease in cooling toward the summer pole in the upper mesosphere. Quantitatively, the simulated cooling trend in the middle mesosphere produced only by CO2 increase is usually below the observed level. However, including other greenhouse gases and taking into account a “thermal shrinking” of the upper atmosphere result in a cooling of a few degrees per decade. This is close to the lower limit of the observed nonzero trends. In the mesopause region, recent model simulations produce trends, usually below 1 K/decade, that appear to be consistent with most observations in this region.
    Citation: Beig, G., et al., Review of mesospheric temperature trends,Rev. Geophys., 41(4), 1015, doi:10.1029/2002RG000121, 2003

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Mesosphere-aw-47.pdf

  311. Stephen Wilde says:

    The stratosphere is currently warming. I gave you the link. That is an observational fact that supports my NCM.

    The thermosphere and the other upper layers are cooling due to a less active sun. If exosphere and mesosphere temperature trends go with the thermosphere then any disjunction is near the top of the stratosphere as I suspected.

    The thermosphere and the other upper layers showed a slight cooling trend during the 50 year period of observations because the solar activity peaked early in the period and declined slowly subsequently. However those layers had all warmed when solar activity shot up in cycle 19 and remained warm despite that small cooling trend throughout the period of observation until the solar activity reduced recently. Meanwhile the stratosphere cooled but only until the late 90s when the sun became less active.

    So we had a warmed set of upper layers for 50 years whilst the stratosphere cooled.

    We now have a cooling set of upper layers whilst the stratosphere is warming.

    As stated before this observation is not critical for my entire NCM. If this observation does not indicate differential warming and cooling then an alternative reason for the cycling of the polar oscillations needs to be found. There is currently no convincing suggestion on the table at present with many other scientists disagreeing with your theory about the absence of a significant solar influence.

    I cannot convince you and you cannot convince me. Lets leave it there and see what future data reveals.

  312. Henry Pool says:

    Henry@Stephen
    I do agree with Leif about the ozone hole recovering due to reduced CFC output. Ozone absorbs strongly in the whole UV region and the sun’s intensity is high here so more ozone will cause significantly more sunlight to be deflected (cooling more apparent in the upper atmosphere?).
    I honestly donot know about the CO2/.. Personally I find it difficult believe that the odd 70 ppm’s that were added since 1960 to the atmosphere are significant. Also, I have not seen any results from specific experiments that would prove to me that those 70 ppm’s are indeed significant. That is why I am asking specifically for test results in a designed experiment to be in the 0.03-0.06% range so we can see if those 70 ppm’s are indeed significant. I was stunned to find out that no one (especially in the petroleum industry) has done any research on this. I think somebody should just sue them just to get them off their butts and do that research. Surely, all we need to do is ask for a court order for the oil companies to give us that information? Is there not a new law that states that you must release all information concerning your (chemical) product and what influence it has on life? I am sure there is, and it obligates the company to do that research.

  313. Stephen Wilde says:

    “There are a growing number of experimental results centered on, or consistent with, zero temperature trend in the mesopause region (80–100km). The most reliable data sets show no significant trend.”

    That would suggest the point of disjunction between oceanic effects from below and solar effects from above at the mesopause.

    Suits me.

  314. Stephen Wilde (07:49:21) :
    The stratosphere is currently warming. I gave you the link. That is an observational fact that supports my NCM.
    Give me the link again. A warming might be due to the recovery of ozone due to decreasing CFCs, as Signe cautiously suggests.
    As I have demonstrated repeatedly in the recent posts, trace gases are the dominant source of long-term variability in the Stratosphere and above.
    Your NCM is not supported by anything. ‘Currently’, since yesterday? We would expect a slow positive solar cycle effect since the minimum in 2008. These short-term changes are not climate.

  315. Stephen Wilde (07:53:24) :
    “There are a growing number of experimental results centered on, or consistent with, zero temperature trend in the mesopause region (80–100km). The most reliable data sets show no significant trend.”
    Typical cherry picking. The very next sentence says: On the other hand, a majority of studies indicate negative trends in the lower and middle mesosphere with an amplitude of a few degrees (2–3 K) per decade.

    That would suggest the point of disjunction between oceanic effects from below and solar effects from above at the mesopause.
    Suits me.

    Suits me too: No oceanic effects above and no solar effects below. Good that you have now admitted that.

  316. Stephen Wilde says:

    “That would suggest the point of disjunction between oceanic effects from below and solar effects from above at the mesopause.
    Suits me.
    Suits me too: No oceanic effects above and no solar effects below. Good that you have now admitted that”

    But there would be a constant interplay between the two with the point of disjunction rising and falling cyclically with a consequent effect on the polar high pressure cells.

    “Stephen Wilde (07:53:24) :
    “There are a growing number of experimental results centered on, or consistent with, zero temperature trend in the mesopause region (80–100km). The most reliable data sets show no significant trend.”
    Typical cherry picking. The very next sentence says: On the other hand, a majority of studies indicate negative trends in the lower and middle mesosphere with an amplitude of a few degrees (2–3 K) per decade.”

    The further one goes from the point of disjunction either upward or downward the more apparent any trend will be. Thus no cherry picking. Both points are perfectly consistent.

  317. Stephen Wilde (08:27:19) :
    “Suits me too: No oceanic effects above and no solar effects below.”
    I should have made it clear that my remark was joking.

    You are evading the issues and presenting instead a straw man.
    Show me the link with stratospheric warming ‘currently’ and explain why that is not just the natural effect of less CFCs.

    You have completely evaded the main points:
    1) on climate time scales, the stratosphere and higher levels vary in harmony, not oppositely. The solar cycle effects are similar.
    2) trace gases play a large role in these layers
    3) differences in trace gases [CO2, CFCs, H2O] mean small differences in response

    The observations are at total variance with your NCM.

  318. Stephen Wilde says:

    Henry Pool (07:51:36)

    You’ve hit on a point I was expecting from Leif.

    The general rule is that more solar energy gives more ozone so the ozone hole should shrink when the sun is more active and vice versa.

    However we do observe the ozone hole growing when the sun is active and shrinking when the sun is less active which lends credence to the idea that we have been interfering with the natural processes with our CFCs

    On investigation I’ve found that it is somewhat speculative as to whether the ozone creation or ozone destruction processes are most energised by high solar activity.

    I’m not ready to formally propose anything at this point but what if an active sun energises the ozone destruction processes more than it energises the ozone creation processes ?

    Could it be that the rise and fall in our CFC output was just coincidental with natural changes from solar variability ?

    Just asking, but I haven’t found a conclusive answer as yet. If you have one then let me know.

  319. Stephen Wilde says:

    “We would expect a slow positive solar cycle effect since the minimum in 2008. These short-term changes are not climate.”

    Indeed, we would expect to see a slow weakening of the polar oscillations and a movement of the jets poleward as solar activity picks up PROVIDED there is enough energy coming out of the oceans to take advantage of the polar weakness.

    However we are in such a low minimum now that it will take a lot of extra solar activity to get a noticeable effect.

    I think we have quite a few years of a positive AO ahead of us.

    It’s weather in the short term and becomes climate depending on persistence.

  320. Stephen Wilde says:

    Whoops, I meant negative AO ahead of us.

  321. Stephen Wilde (08:47:29) :
    “We would expect a slow positive solar cycle effect since the minimum in 2008. These short-term changes are not climate.”
    You are wobbling all over the place. Where is the link I asked for?

    These are the salient points:
    1) on climate time scales, the stratosphere and higher levels vary in harmony, not oppositely. The solar cycle effects are similar.
    2) trace gases play a large role in these layers
    3) differences in trace gases [CO2, CFCs, H2O] mean small differences in response

  322. Stephen Wilde says:

    http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/5/0/53/_pdf

    “The evidence for the cooling trend in the stratosphere may need to be
    revisited. This study presents evidence that the stratosphere has been
    slightly warming since 1996.”

    The suggestion that this warming is a consequence of reduced human CFC output is a mere guess.

  323. Henry Pool says:

    Henry@Stephen
    You say: Could it be that the rise and fall in our CFC output was just coincidental with natural changes from solar variability?

    Not impossible.

    I did find a graph somewhere that showed a definite increase in ozone starting somewhere around the 2000′s, I think. It confirmed my suspicion that CFC’s have been almost eradicated. Also, there are human activities that actually produce ozone. That is why I concluded that the ozone hole must be decreasing
    and this will have an impact on the temperature of (the upper?) atmosphere.
    I must look for that graph again? I remember it also coincided with a higher earth albedo.

  324. Henry Pool says:

    Here is that graph on ozone.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?a=62
    Trend is defintely upwards since 1995 and holds steady upwards since 2000.
    Here is the graph on earth albedo
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/
    the trend is upwards from 1997 and seems to follow the same upward trend.
    There must be some correlation between these two parameters!

  325. Stephen Wilde (10:28:11) :
    “The evidence for the cooling trend in the stratosphere may need to be revisited. This study presents evidence that the stratosphere has been slightly warming since 1996.”
    The suggestion that this warming is a consequence of reduced human CFC output is a mere guess.

    Signe would also go along with the CFC suggestion, as such a trend is indeed expected. This sounds very reasonable. To suggest that it is solar related is countered by solar activity not following this trend.
    As she says: “Measurements of effective equivalent stratospheric
    chlorine (EESC, in parts per trillion; solid black line) through to 2005
    indicate that the Montreal Protocol and its amendments are succeeding in reducing atmospheric chlorine loading.”
    If we correct for volcanic activity and CFCs, all that is left is the cooling trend.
    You have no evidence that in general [as it must be if we are dealing with climate] the Stratosphere and the layers above behave oppositely as your model claims. But perhaps your ‘model’ doesn’t really need this assumption. If it does you are in trouble, or your model is only valid since 1994 in which case one would hardly call it s ‘climate model’.

    So, it is time for you to accept the verdict of the data.

  326. Henry Pool (12:41:36) :
    Here is that graph on ozone.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?a=62
    Trend is defintely upwards since 1995 and holds steady upwards since 2000.

    That is not global, but just for Antarctica. There is a reason for the trend:

    Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 1703-1726, 2009
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/1703/2009/
    Antarctic stratospheric warming since 1979
    Y. Hu and Q. Fu

    Abstract. In the present study, we show evidence of significant stratospheric warming over large portions of the Antarctic polar region in winter and spring seasons, with a maximum warming of 7–8°C in September and October, using satellite Microwave Sounding Unit observations for 1979–2006. It is found that this warming is associated with increasing wave activity from the troposphere into the stratosphere, suggesting that the warming is caused by enhanced wave-driven dynamical heating. We show that the Antarctic stratospheric warming has close correlations with sea surface temperature (SST) increases, and that general circulation model simulations forced with observed time-varying SSTs reproduce similar warming trend patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere. These findings suggest that the Antarctic stratospheric warming is likely induced by SST warming. …

    The polar regions are not driving climate.

  327. Here are the observational facts:
    1) more active sun, warming in stratosphere and above
    2) less active sun, cooling in stratosphere and above
    3) trace gases can temporarily alter these general situations, e.g. CFCs in stratosphere, H2O in mesosphere, and CO2 in thermosphere
    4) climate in troposphere acts upwards, e.g. through upwards traveling waves [leading to warming], wetter strato- and meso-sphere.

  328. Stephen Wilde says:

    ” To suggest that it is solar related is countered by solar activity not following this trend.”

    The stratospheric warming correlates with the weakening of solar activity since the peak of cycle 23. There have been other climate changes occurring around the same time which I drew attention to above. Several climate signals have gone into reverse since the mid 90s. If the reduced human CFCs are responsible for the stratospheric warming then those CFCs help to drive climate but you have previously denied that.

    ” It is found that this warming is associated with increasing wave activity from the troposphere into the stratosphere, suggesting that the warming is caused by enhanced wave-driven dynamical heating. We show that the Antarctic stratospheric warming has close correlations with sea surface temperature (SST) increases, and that general circulation model simulations forced with observed time-varying SSTs reproduce similar warming trend patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere. These findings suggest that the Antarctic stratospheric warming is likely induced by SST warming. ”

    Now that is constructive.

    I’ve been asking for some time for a possible alternative to the solar effect from above that could deal with the cyclical behaviour of the polar high pressure cells and this is first plausible one that I’ve seen.

    It also has the advantage of keeping Leif happy by keeping the process internal to the system.

    If appropriate I can slot it into my NCM in place of the assumed solar effects but for the moment I’ll just keep an eye on the incoming data before I make a decision.

    After all, a persistently warming stratosphere while the sun remains inactive would bring the solar proposition back into play. You can only go so far with the CFC proposition.

    To resolve the issue we need to compare the reaction of the polar high pressure oscillations to both solar activity levels and SST behaviour to see which gives the best fit.

    One problem is that the abstract refers to winter and spring so it might only be a seasonal phenomenon which would not be so useful.

    Another problem is that it doesn’t help so much with the Arctic Oscillation because the Arctic is surrounded mostly by land. We really need a mechanism that affects both poles.

    Of course there could be a combination of solar, CFC and SST influences on the stratosphere.

    And I’d like an answer to my question about ozone. Do we have any definitive evidence that the effect of higher solar activity is to increase the processes creating ozone more than it increases the processes destroying ozone ?

    I assume it is a given that a warmer stratosphere induces stronger (more negative) polar oscillations by increasing the strength of the inversion at the tropopause.. The issue is whether the stratospheric temperatures are affected by solar effects from above, internal system variability from below, CFCs or a mixture of all three (and maybe even something else).

  329. Stephen Wilde says:

    On further reflection:

    i) SSTs don’t work globally whatever happens above the southern oceans because from 1975 to 2000 there were lots of strong El Nino episodes yet the stratosphere cooled and the polar oscillations were very weak (positive) with the jets well poleward.

    ii) CO2 doesn’t work because the polar oscillations have strengthened and the stratosphere has warmed despite a continuing increase.

    iii) CFCs are a candidate but not if the stratosphere warms for much longer. They cannot be the primary climate driver.

    iv) That gets us back to solar again unless someone can produce a better idea. Ignore the warming then cooling upper atmosphere for the moment. The stratosphere cooled, the polar oscillations weakened (positive) and the jets moved poleward throughout the active solar spell. The stratosphere is now warming, the polar oscillations have strengthened (negative) and the jets have gone back equatorward with the less active sun. I wouldn’t bet on all that being coincidental.

  330. Stephen Wilde (15:32:31) :
    i) SSTs don’t work globally whatever happens above the southern oceans because from 1975 to 2000 there were lots of strong El Nino episodes yet the stratosphere cooled and the polar oscillations were very weak (positive) with the jets well poleward.
    Just showed that the polar oscillations have nothing to do with anything. They are accidental consequences. Not drivers.

    ii) CO2 doesn’t work because the polar oscillations have strengthened and the stratosphere has warmed despite a continuing increase.
    Because of declining CFCs

    iii) CFCs are a candidate but not if the stratosphere warms for much longer. They cannot be the primary climate driver.
    Nothing in the stratosphere is the primary climate driver, so that we agree on. As per Signe’s figure one, the effect of CFCs might peter out around 2050…

    iv)The stratosphere is now warming, the polar oscillations have strengthened (negative) and the jets have gone back equatorward with the less active sun. I wouldn’t bet on all that being coincidental.
    One shouldn’t go by bets or hunches, but on demonstrated physics and observations. The stratosphere is warming because of decreasing CFCs [and for next 5 years by increasing solar activity]. Tropospheric dynamics [polar oscillations, jets streams] travel upwards and drives changes in the stratosphere. Nothing solar here.

    I ask again [third time], is your model viable without a solar influence?

  331. Stephen Wilde (14:45:14) :
    The stratospheric warming correlates with the weakening of solar activity since the peak of cycle 23.
    Nonsense, since 1994 [the minimum before cycle 23], and weakening solar activity should cool the stratosphere.

    If the reduced human CFCs are responsible for the stratospheric warming then those CFCs help to drive climate but you have previously denied that.
    The stratosphere does not drive climate, climate drives the stratosphere.

    These findings suggest that the Antarctic stratospheric warming is likely induced by SST warming. ”
    Now that is constructive.

    As i said: climate drives the Antarctic stratosphere.

    this is first plausible one that I’ve seen.
    I’ve been saying this for months…

    After all, a persistently warming stratosphere while the sun remains inactive would bring the solar proposition back into play. You can only go so far with the CFC proposition.
    Until 2050. And you have the warming backwards: inactive sun means cooler stratosphere.

    And I’d like an answer to my question about ozone. Do we have any definitive evidence that the effect of higher solar activity is to increase the processes creating ozone more than it increases the processes destroying ozone ?
    Of course we have, but ‘definitive’ would not be operative here as you would automatically deny that the evidence is definitive.
    A ‘definitive’ article on ozone is this one http://www.leif.org/EOS/1999RG900008.pdf
    and Signe’s [of course :-) ].

  332. Stephen Wilde says:

    I’ll have a look at that ozone item over the next few days.

    The solar component is not critical provided one accepts that climate changes are a consequence of the cyclical latitudinal shifting of the air circulation systems.

    Warmer ocean surfaces send them poleward. Stronger,negative, polar oscillations send them equatorward.

    Cooler ocean surfaces cause them to draw back equatorward. Weaker, positive,polar oscillations cause them to pull back poleward.

    It is the interplay that creates climate shifts.

    It doesn’t matter what process dictates the cycling of the polar oscillations. Just insert the correct answer once known. That’s why I’ve been inviting alternative suggestions.

    I’m not sold on the CFC proposal because it can only cover a very short period of recent history so the behaviour of the upper atmosphere has to remain in the equation for the time being even if the correlations are askew for whatever reason.

    You can’t have climate driving the entire stratosphere whatever happens in the Antarctic because the state of the stratosphere must influence the state of the polar oscillations. That’s another chicken and egg issue of which there are several in the climate debate.

    The thing is that the temperature of the stratosphere will always have influenced the polar oscillations so we really need a scenario that predates CFCs. A warm stratosphere enhances the inversion at the tropopause and would enhance the polar oscillations. A cool stratosphere does the opposite.

    In the LIA the jets were well equatorward which suggests strong polar oscillations and a warm stratosphere but at that time the sun was relatively inactive just as today.

    In the MWP there is evidence that the jets were much further poleward which suggests weak polar oscillations and a cool stratosphere but at that time the sun was relatively active just as during the recent warm period.

    Thus on those timescales my solar proposal holds up and indeed it was informed by those observations.

    We have two examples when the active sun was accompanied by weak polar oscillations and two when the quiet sun was accompanied by strong polar oscillations.

    We have no occasions when an active sun was accompanied by strong polar oscillations or a quiet sun accompanied by weak polar oscillations.

    To have strong polar oscillations at a time of active sun you would also need a warmer stratosphere but it hasn’t been observed to happen.

    Attributing the absence of a warm stratosphere at a time of an active sun to CFCs might have been a mistake.

  333. Stephen Wilde says:

    I should make it clear that my analysis works only on timescales in excess of several decades. Ideally over 60 years to smooth out the effect of the main ocean cycles.

    On shorter timescales the background signal is overlain by chaotic variability and lesser solar and oceanic cycles.I’m sure one can find all sorts of contradicting examples on short timescales.

    For the period Mediaeval Warm Period to LIA to Modern Warm Period the signal is clear and I think it is also discenible in the lesser periods of quiet sun in the Dalton et al when again we saw a relatively quiet sun but a strong (negative) polar oscillation suggesting a warmer stratosphere.

  334. Stephen Wilde (23:28:30) :
    The solar component is not critical provided one accepts that climate changes are a consequence of the cyclical latitudinal shifting of the air circulation systems.
    Other way around: the shifts are a consequence of climate change

    because the state of the stratosphere must influence the state of the polar oscillations.
    Where does the must come from?

    What the AO does is to modulate the stratospheric ozone concentration. You can learn more about the AO here: http://jisao.washington.edu/wallace/ncar_notes/
    Especially section 6.

    we saw a relatively quiet sun but a strong (negative) polar oscillation suggesting a warmer stratosphere.
    You as usual have this backwards. An active sun means more UV and a warmer stratosphere.

    I should make it clear that my analysis works only on timescales in excess of several decades.
    Yet as ‘evidence’ you trot out a trend since 1994 [neatly explained by decrease of CFCs, so really irrelevant].

  335. Stephen Wilde says:

    The points of difference between us are now quite clear and neither can convince the other so there’s no point continuing.

  336. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 27, 2010 at 8:37 am
    The points of difference between us are now quite clear and neither can convince the other so there’s no point continuing.
    In ordinary science, it is precisely when the differences have become clear that it pays to continue, but if you already throw in the towel, I can accept that.

  337. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Thus one would expect the upward trend in the AO to lead to some ozone depletion, and this expectation is confirmed in figure 26.”

    Interesting.

    The AO was positive right through the warming period. The AO is usually positive during a period of active sun.

    That provides a mechanism by which the active sun would reduce ozone without needing CFCs to explain it.

    If ozone warms the stratosphere then less ozone will allow it to cool despite the active sun.

    I know you won’t agree so no need to respond.

  338. Stephen Wilde says:
    If ozone warms the stratosphere then less ozone will allow it to cool despite the active sun.
    But, I do agree that the AO provides the mechanism needed, no matter what the sun is doing. This is my whole point: there are enough internal variations that we don’t need the sun. So, we have finally reached the sought after agreement, so I guess you are correct: the thread can close.

  339. Henry Pool says:

    I was a bit out and I guess I lost you guys on the main argument but I just wanted to make a final point.
    a) we know ozone increased, due to the elimination of CFC’s. If we cannot use the antarctic data then perhaps this one?
    http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN=31685

    That is a 14% rise from 1995 to 2008

    b) we know that CO2 rose by 70 ppm or 0.007% during the past 50 years, that is about 6% over the same period 1995 to 2008

    These are two gases that would trap radiation from earthshine between 13 and 15 um, causing warming, bottum up.
    Both gases have spectra showing absorptions in the 0-5 um range meaning it also causes cooling by deflecting radiation from the sun. Said cooling would probably be more noticable from the top.

    Unfortunately we have no test results that would tell us what the net effect is of the cooling and warming of each gas. My best guess on that would be that the ozone is cooling slightly more than warming and that CO2 is slightly warming more than cooling. Taken together that would mean that the net effect of the increase in these gases is close to zero.

    I admit that this is just a rough estimate – but what do you expect from me if no one did any testing?

    That brings us back to where we were. ie. the sun, the cloud formation and what drives continuing overcast conditions.

  340. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (27/10/9.15)

    Save that we aren’t quite agreed that the AO is entirely internally generated but we can leave that until there’s more certain evidence.

    Thank you for the mental exercise. I’ll consider the sources provided and see if I can use any of the contents in an updated NCM.

    I’m happy to engage further with other contributors on other aspects.

  341. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 27, 2010 at 8:58 am
    The AO is usually positive during a period of active sun.
    A large part of your problem is your statements like the above that have no root in facts.
    From Figure 16 of http://jisao.washington.edu/wallace/ncar_notes/#6Change that I referred you to, we can get AO back to 1860. Here I have overlain that with the sunspot number. As you can see there is no correlation or similarity:
    http://www.leif.org/research/AO-and-Sunspots.png

    So I expect that you will never again claim: “The AO is usually positive during a period of active sun”. You can acknowledge that now and here. Now, if one parses your statement very closely there is ambiguity in it. The way a reasonable person would read it is as if it were: “The AO is usually positive during periods of active sun”. If you meant that one can find a period where that is the case amongst all the other ones where it is not true, then you can squeak by on that, but then the word ‘usually’ becomes a problem as it implies that most of the time your statement should hold, which it does not. So in any case, you are in trouble.
    But, being constructive, I’ll offer my overlay for your education, so we never need to go down that road again. Agreed?

  342. Stephen Wilde says:

    I appreciate the time you have put into that but I don’t think 1860 is far enough back to remove the obscuring effects of the lesser solar and oceanic cycles and chaotic internal system variability. I’ll go on a bit longer because you seem content to continue.

    We have seen the jet streams move poleward when the AO is positive so in the Mediaeval Warm Period we must have had a positive AO despite the more active sun because the jets seem to have been even more poleward then than at the peak of the Modern Warm Period (so far).

    The opposite for the LIA.

    A positive AO may well be associated with a cooler stratosphere on the basis of late 20th century observations if one discounts anthropogenic effects. That makes sense because a cooler stratosphere weakens the inversion at the tropopause so as to provide reduced resistance to upward energy transport which would allow the jets to move poleward.

    If a more active sun were to warm the stratosphere I would expect to see a negative AO from an intensified inversion at the tropopause with more equatorward jets and not a positive AO with more poleward jets.

    Remember too that the strength of the AO is also affected by oceanic behaviour. Warm oceans push extra energy into the air which can itself reinforce the AO. That point favours your internal variability idea but recent events cause me to doubt that the oceans are in sole control.

    Over the past year or so we have had a strong El Nino with a high global temperature overall but still the jets remained equatorward compared to the late 20th Century. The only natural change since we had similar El Ninos over the past 60 years is that then the sun was active and now it is not.

    If SSTs were in control the reaction of the jet streams and the AO to the recent El Nino would have been just the same as it was during the late 20th Century warming spell but it has been quite different. Thus I don’t see internal system variability as the sole explanation.

    Even in your overlay the correlation from 1970 to 2000 shows up and we see the start of the opposite correlation from 2000 to date.

    Solar cycles 19 and 20 could be said to cancel out with little effect on the AO.

    The single high solar cycle in the late 1800s would have little effect on it’s own and the period 1900 to 1940 is pretty stable for both AO and solar activity.

    I think I need to bear your data in mind but it is not conclusive either way.

    I note that you are content to rely on the AO (even without human CFCs) to regulate ozone and you seem to concede that the AO is powerful enough in that respect to dictate the temperature of the stratosphere.

    I am content with that too but there are implications.

    Firstly it means that the positive AO from 1950 or so to 2000 could have been enough on it’s own to cause stratospheric cooling by reducing the amount of ozone.

    Secondly the negative AO now could be the reason the ozone is recovering and the stratosphere warming.

    Thirdly that would allow a cooling stratosphere at a time of active sun if the AO is indeed rendered more positive by more solar activity.

    So we are back to the point that our discussion previously ended on. Namely whether or not the AO is entirely driven by internal system variability or whether there is some solar influence.

    Unless you can produce an overlay back to the peak of the Mediaeval Warm Period I prefer to keep an open mind especially since there are many reputable scientists who do not adopt your firm view.

    It would improve your overlay if you could also do a smoothed line for solar activity and just show that line with the smoothed AO line. It wouldn’t look anything like as discordant. However I suspect that for real impact you would need both smoothed lines over a 1000 year cycle.

    As I said previously much of my time is spent trying to sort out which scientist to believe.

  343. Stephen Wilde says:
    We have seen the jet streams move poleward when the AO is positive so in the Mediaeval Warm Period we must have had a positive AO despite the more active sun
    All you are saying is that clearly ["despite"] the AO has little if anything to do with the Sun.

  344. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    I note that you are content to rely on the AO (even without human CFCs) to regulate ozone and you seem to concede that the AO is powerful enough in that respect to dictate the temperature of the stratosphere.
    Of course. But note that the cause and effect is from the ground and up. Most of what happens in the stratosphere and above [apart from cyclical sunspot effects which go in the same direction - not opposite - everywhere] derives from the big dog [the climate in the oceans and the troposphere] wagging the tiny tail [the 1000 to 1000,000,000,000 times thinner upper atmosphere].
    There is no evidence of solar long-term changes in the AO. Keeping ‘an open mind’ and hoping for future data to show something is hardly something to build a NCM on.

  345. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    It would improve your overlay if you could also do a smoothed line for solar activity and just show that line with the smoothed AO line.
    The sunspot number is already smoothed to the same degree as the AO thick curves. There is simply no correlation. If you can produce AO for that past 2000 years, I
    ll be happy to overlay that with solar activity to show you even more starkly that there is no correlation [unless you claim that the correlation only exists up until 1860].

    Secondly the negative AO now could be the reason the ozone is recovering and the stratosphere warming.
    That is much more likely to be CFCs decreasing [as we know they are]. It would be nice if you would pay attention to actual data, rather than hand waving ‘could be’s.

  346. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm
    However, having relied upon two anthropogenic processes to explain observations he then goes on to say that human activity has no effect on climate. I find that inconsistent.
    That is because you do not pay attention. The processes explain changes in the stratosphere and above, but these layers have nothing to do with the climate in the troposphere. There is the consistency. You create an inconsistency by assuming that the human influence aloft controls the climate at sea level.

  347. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    I prefer to keep an open mind especially since there are many reputable scientists who do not adopt your firm view.
    Show me some papers from reputable scientists that state:
    “the AO is usually positive during a period of active sun”…

  348. Stephen Wilde says:

    I’ll take your posts in sequence as follows:

    i) The AO would have been positive in the MWP despite the active sun and negative in the LIA despite the quiet sun. On timescales of 500 to 1000 years there is therefore a prima facie negative correlation.

    ii) It cannot be a process only from ground up otherwise the recent El Nino would have had the same effect on the jets as did the El Ninos of the late 20th Century. Something has put a lid on the poleward migration of the jets and the only natural change has been the level of solar activity.

    iii) You need to smooth the solar cycles not just the sunspot numbers but it isn’t a long enough period anyway because of the disruptive effects of the lesser solar and oceanic cycles and natural chaotic variability.

    iv) There is no reason for the CFC explanation to be more likely since you have never established the true extent of natural ozone variability from AO variations. It is you who has jumped to an unwarranted conclusion.

    v) You appeared to link CFC changes to stratosphere changes and then to climate changes. I note that you think the stratosphere has no effect whatever. What, pray, does the tropopause do then ?

    vi) It wouldn’t be a NEW Climate Model if I were relying on others would it ? The fact that the AO would have been positive and thus stratosphere cooling in the MWP but then AO negative and stratosphere warming in the LIA has not been noticed or commented on before. I am using that observation as a base and comparing the implications with current events. Lo and Behold we had a cooling stratosphere, poleward jets and an active sun from 1950 ish to 2000 and now all three factors in reverse since 2000
    Go figure.
    I’d place more weight on that than a short run of data such as yours which is less accurate as one goes back.

  349. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 28, 2010 at 1:19 am
    i) The AO would have been positive in the MWP despite the active sun and negative in the LIA despite the quiet sun. On timescales of 500 to 1000 years there is therefore a prima facie negative correlation.
    Would have? Despite?

    Here is what actually happened:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Loehle-Temps-and-TSI.png

    No correlation on those time scales. Since your first point is now moot, the rest can be ignored [they are mostly wrong too, but irrelevant, so only serve to obscure things]

  350. Stephen Wilde says:

    I don’t think you can dispute that poleward jets occur with a positive AO and equatorward jets with a negative AO.

    Nor that a feature of warm periods is a poleward jet and a feature of cold periods is an equatorward jet.

    We’ve already agreed that TSI is not the issue, merely the level of solar activity and in relation to that I have to say that I am not confident about the validity of some of the reconstructions. I’d rather just keep an eye on ongoing developments.

    I’m puzzled that that you are taking such an intense interest in my material. I suppose it’s a compliment of sorts because you could just have ignored my ramblings. However I’m getting tired of repeating myself and would be grateful if you could desist having made your position entirely clear.

  351. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 28, 2010 at 6:40 am
    Nor that a feature of warm periods is a poleward jet and a feature of cold periods is an equatorward jet.
    We’ve already agreed that TSI is not the issue, merely the level of solar activity and in relation to that I have to say that I am not confident about the validity of some of the reconstructions. I’d rather just keep an eye on ongoing developments.

    The TSI reconstructions are really reconstructions of solar activity. What the data disputes is that AO [and the temperatures] are in any way correlated with solar activity.

    I’m puzzled that that you are taking such an intense interest in my material.
    I’m not interested per se in your material, just in setting the record straight as to what influence solar activity does/does not have. It may be an occupational hazard of mine, but unsubstantiated claims must be put down or at at least acknowledged by the claimants that they are unsubstantiated. That does not mean that they cannot be made, as long as we know that they are doubtful.

    However I’m getting tired of repeating myself and would be grateful if you could desist having made your position entirely clear.
    Well, I have already suggested that you stop repeating yourself. Accept that the data does not support your NCM and move on.

  352. Stephen Wilde says:

    “What the data disputes.”

    There is no data, just reconstructions from proxies with an uncertain level of accuracy. The tree ring proxy went haywire in the 1960s and was wrongley junked in favour of a misleading amalgam of methods to give a so called ‘hockey stick’. All proxies are suspect and more so the further back they go. Frankly I think your reconstructions are guided by bias but I’m just a cynic. The methods of recording sunspots now are so precise that many spots now recorded would never have been recorded several hundred years ago.

    Let’s just sum it up by saying that I find that the mechanisms needed to provide even a partial explanation of observations happen to diverge from that which the reconstructions might suggest and my approach to resolving the discrepancy is continuing observation of the real world with the likely mechanisms in mind.

    “That does not mean that they cannot be made, as long as we know that they are doubtful.”

    I have frequently expressed uncertainty, a willingness to adjust my model and openness to alternatives, you have not.
    Pots and kettles come to mind.

  353. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 28, 2010 at 9:26 am
    There is no data, just reconstructions from proxies with an uncertain level of accuracy.
    Yet you claimed: “i) The AO would have been positive in the MWP despite the active sun and negative in the LIA despite the quiet sun. On timescales of 500 to 1000 years there is therefore a prima facie negative correlation.”

    I have frequently expressed uncertainty, a willingness to adjust my model and openness to alternatives
    How about willingness to abandon your ‘model’ in face of no support ["There is no data"].

    you have not
    I have no model. What I say is that we have no support [as you say "no data"] for any solar influence on the climate, and especially not the unphysical way you imagine it works. I don’t buy your wishful thinking that the Sun must have an influence.

  354. Stephen Wilde says:

    When I’m ready to abandon the idea of a solar effect you’ll be the first to know.

    In the meantime I’m in good company. Very few are as far out on a limb as you are.

  355. Stephen Wilde says:

    Oh, and the concept of a zero effect from the sun on climate is itself a rudimentary model. All you can validly say is that in your opinion you haven’t yet found a demonstrable link.

  356. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 28, 2010 at 10:11 am
    All you can validly say is that in your opinion you haven’t yet found a demonstrable link.
    What I say is that nobody has demonstrated to my satisfaction that there is a link. Others may have a lower bar or be more willing to go with what they feel or believe rather than what the data shows. As you say there are lots of those.

  357. Stephen Wilde says:

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence :)

    Even the best data is wide open to interpretation.

    Imperfect data is fair game and may be ignored at will.

  358. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm
    Imperfect data is fair game and may be ignored at will.
    But beats physically invalid theorizing every time. If you ignore data that doesn’t fit, you can explain anything, but will not be taken seriously. This is what has happened to you here.

    A recent paper is a good illustration of how data helps understanding:
    Tides in the thermosphere directly linked to the troposphere
    The atmosphere has periodic oscillations that are driven by solar heating of the troposphere, the atmospheric layer closest to Earth’s surface, where weather patterns
    form. Scientists have now observed that one of these atmospheric tides, known as
    diurnal wave number 3 (DE3), propagates upward to reach the thermosphere. DE3 is a non-migrating diurnal tide, meaning that it has a frequency of a day but is not tied to local solar time. Instead, it has three wave peaks (wave number 3) that travel eastward around the circumference of the Earth.
    The extent of DE3 into the thermosphere had been predicted by models but has not been directly observed until now. Talaat and Lieberman used a wind imaging instrument on board a satellite to observe the DE3 pattern in the range of 90–270 kilometers above Earth’s surface. Their observations provide the first direct evidence that the DE3 tide provides a direct link through which the troposphere influences the thermosphere. This finding could help explain the origin of some previously observed oscillations in the plasma in the ionosphere. Understanding DE3 and other atmospheric tides is an important part of understanding atmospheric and ionospheric dynamics as a whole. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/
    2009GL041845, 2010). You can see it here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL041845.pdf

  359. Stephen Wilde says:

    Useful link.

    Most likely the level of solar activity speeds up or slows down the progression of such waves up through the atmosphere ?

    Such progression is never going to be constant in scale and speed at all times so there we have a variable which is entirely in accordance with my proposition and which could provide a suitable mechanism.

    You may recall that I accepted that energy is not propogated downward from thermosphere to troposphere. I only ever proposed changes in the upward speed of energy transfer from troposphere to space and then you went off at a tangent because radiative energy transfers are always at the same speed even though I never proposed that it was simply the speed of radiative transfer that changed.

    And I don’t think you are the best judge of whether I am being taken seriously. In fact the closer I get to the truth the less I am going to hear from anyone whose position has been potentially weakened. You seem to be an honourable if stress inducing exception :)

  360. Stephen Wilde says:

    “It is amazing that you can come up with this straw man. The thermosphere is strongly [fully even] controlled by the Sun.”

    Not so fully after all. The rate of upward energy transmission by non radiative means is also relevant as per my proposition.

  361. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 29, 2010 at 1:13 am
    Most likely the level of solar activity speeds up or slows down the progression of such waves up through the atmosphere ?
    Wishful thinking on your part. There is no evidence of that. And you confuse the wind structure of the thermosphere with its temperature.
    You may recall that I accepted that energy is not propogated downward from thermosphere to troposphere. I only ever proposed changes in the upward speed of energy transfer from troposphere to space
    And you are off on the ‘speed’ nonsense again. What is the upward speed? I have asked that many times. You have never given anything resembling an answer, except “not having a clue”. If you don’t know the speed, you don’t know and cannot assess the changes.

  362. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 29, 2010 at 1:13 am
    variable which is entirely in accordance with my proposition
    A valid theory should be falsifiable. What would falsify your NCM?

  363. Stephen Wilde says:

    From your link:

    “in order for tropospheric
    tides to transmit energy flux upward.”

    I think you need to apply more thought to the stuff you think you know. The essence of the article is that the diurnal coming and going of sunlight creates irregularities in the energy flow or flux from troposphere right up into the exosphere.

    It follows that similar effects must occur from any solar variability on all timescales.

    The mesosphere warms from sunlight on H2O molecues. The stratosphere warms from sunlight on ozone molecules. H2O and ozone react differently to solar input so you have yet another solar dependent mechanism for differential warming or cooling of the seperate layers right there.

    The net effect is to control the size and intensity of the polar high pressure cells with the effect on climate that I have described.

    My initial post gives a number of possible falsifications and I’m sure there are lots more.

    Let me know when you find one but don’t rely on so called ‘reconstructions’.

    Current real world observations only please.

  364. Henry Pool says:

    I am puzzled that anyone can think that the sun has no influence on climate. First of all, without the sun there would be no evaporation, no clouds and no cloud formation. Do you mean: its shine is always constant? that might be possible, but how would you explain that the ancients knew that there were sun cycles of 11 (?) years by which they could predict times of droughts? All that has now been proven is that it is the magnetic field of the sun that plays a role in cloud formation.

  365. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 29, 2010 at 9:35 am
    “in order for tropospheric tides to transmit energy flux upward.”
    I think you need to apply more thought to the stuff you think you know.

    What I’ve said and shown is that the troposphere [the dog] wags the thermosphere [the tail] and that what the tail does does not affect the dog.

    The essence of the article is that the diurnal coming and going of sunlight creates irregularities in the energy flow or flux from troposphere right up into the exosphere.
    It follows that similar effects must occur from any solar variability on all timescales.

    Again, weather and climate at the surface [the dog] influences all the higher levels [the tail]. But there is no evidence that that influence goes the other way.

    The net effect is to control the size and intensity of the polar high pressure cells with the effect on climate that I have described.
    This is the major flaw. There is no evidence of that. On the contrary, the polar vortices are consequences of the weather systems, not drivers of them.

    My initial post gives a number of possible falsifications and I’m sure there are lots more.
    You said:
    “narrative is replete with opportunities for falsification if the future real world observations diverge from the pattern of cause and effect that I have set out.”
    Since already the past does not conform to your ideas, falsification has already occurred. E.g. your claim that solar effects are opposite in the stratosphere and layers above, which we have already demolished. But ‘falsification’ must be specific and quantitative. And you have not given any specifics or numbers. And still refuse to [or lack the courtesy of] responding to my direct questions.

    I say again, your NCM does not hang together, is unphysical, and already falsified.

  366. Stephen Wilde says:

    Yes, Henry. Strange isn’t it ?

    Almost as if Leif’s life depended on it.

  367. Henry Pool says:
    April 29, 2010 at 9:37 am
    Do you mean: its shine is always constant? that might be possible, but how would you explain that the ancients knew that there were sun cycles
    They didn’t.

  368. Stephen Wilde says:

    “I say again, your NCM does not hang together, is unphysical, and already falsified.”

    I don’t think you are qualified to make that judgement.

  369. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 29, 2010 at 9:35 am
    The essence of the article is that the diurnal coming and going of sunlight creates irregularities in the energy flow or flux from troposphere right up into the exosphere.
    Yet, curiously, not one of your 26 points mentions that ‘essence’. Although the statement is essentially correct, it does not seem to be part of your model. And again shows how the dog wags the tail, and not the other way around.

    In view of your statement “As I will show later on virtually all climate variability is a result of internal system variability” I’m puzzled by your resistance to accepting the very same things, when I say it.

  370. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:29 am
    I say again, your NCM does not hang together, is unphysical, and already falsified.”
    I don’t think you are qualified to make that judgement.

    Who would be then?
    It doesn’t take much qualification to see the flaws, inaccuracies, and unphysical aspects [and I do have some expertise in that department].

    PS: you are still not responding to my questions.

  371. Stephen Wilde says:

    “In view of your statement “As I will show later on virtually all climate variability is a result of internal system variability” I’m puzzled by your resistance to accepting the very same things, when I say it.”

    ‘Virtually all’ means just that. I reserve a small part for solar induced changes in the rate of transport of energy up through the atmosphere to have an effect on the polar oscillations.

    The reason for that precaution is that the effect of an El Nino seems to differ when the sun is quiet as against when it is active. Something puts a lid on the ability of the El Nino to push the jets poleward when the AO is negative and on recent evidence (ignore your reconstructions) the AO is more negative when the sun is quieter. At such times the stratosphere is warmer with a stronger inversion at the tropopause. I see from an earlier comment that you are unaware of the effect of the practical consequences of the existence of that inversion. You are also unaware of the implications for climate of changes in the strength of that inversion.

    Our sole difference is whether there is a solar effect such as that yet on the basis of that minor disagreement you think you can trash everything I say.

    “Yet, curiously, not one of your 26 points mentions that ‘essence’. Although the statement is essentially correct, it does not seem to be part of your model. And again shows how the dog wags the tail, and not the other way around.”

    The list of 26 points is a summary of what we seem to observe. It does not go into the mechanisms behind each stage.

    The article you linked to is an example of the sort of mechanism within the atmosphere that could lead to the observed events. Thank you for drawing it to my attention. It does not imply that the dog ceases to wag the tail. We agree that that the net flow of energy is always upwards.

    My NCM does not suggest that the tail wags the dog. It does suggest that the tail has some effect on the dog’s balance. The size of that effect is open to debate. I have already said twice that the ‘tail’ does not need to change the global temperature, merely redistribute the energy in the troposphere to give colder mid latitudes via a more negative AO.

    You have previously accepted the power of the AO to act on the quantities of ozone and thus the temperature of the stratosphere. Even on your own account a long and powerfully positive AO such as we saw in the late 20th Century could have the power to reduce ozone enough to cool the stratosphere as per actual observations.

    Your preference for the CFC explanation instead is bizarre because you have no idea of the scale of the effect of the positive AO on ozone concentrations.

    I don’t think you are qualified to assess my NCM because I see that there are lots of points at which you appear to be confused. Anyway that is the judgement I have made.

  372. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:23 am
    solar induced changes in the rate of transport of energy up through the atmosphere
    There are no such demonstrated induced changes as you have not explained or quantified the rate of transport of energy [now it is rate, before it was speed, ...], so you are still not responding to my questions. And for the climate, it wouldn’t matter what happened anywhere once the energy has left the troposphere, anymore than what happens to a gun once the bullet has left the barrel. I have tried to engage in a scientific discussion and obviously failed to tease some science out of you.

    I don’t think you are qualified to assess my NCM because I see that there are lots of points at which you appear to be confused. Anyway that is the judgement I have made.
    I am indeed confused about several points because they are not explained or in the category of ‘not even wrong’, so it is hard to know what to make of them. Ordinarily, if this was a [peer-] review of your paper [assuming you wrote this up], then your refusal or inability to explain and clarify those points would alone be reason for not recommending publication.

  373. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:23 am
    the effect of the practical consequences of the existence of that inversion. You are also unaware of the implications for climate of changes in the strength of that inversion.
    You can learn more about the Earth’s radiation budget here: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page1.php and the following pages.

  374. Stephen Wilde says:

    From your link:

    “Earth’s Energy Budget
    Note: Determining exact values for energy flows in the Earth system is an area of ongoing climate research. Different estimates exist, and all estimates have some uncertainty.”

    All I am proposing is that each layer in the atmosphere behaves differently in response to solar input. That causes the energy flow from surface to space to vary differentially in each layer. Amongst other things that has an effect on pressure at the tropopause where the size and intensity of the polar oscillations is set. That size and intensity affects the energy distribution within the troposphere and so affects climate.

    Nothing said by me is inconsistent with anything you have produced. Indeed your links all contain bits of information that support my proposition.

    Since we are discussing the energy flows in general terms there is no need to discuss quantities or speeds. Indeed the science is currently too immature for such data to be available.

    All estimates have some uncertainty so kindly don’t dump on me the resposibility for doing what you chaps have so far failed to do.

    Adios.

  375. Henry Pool says:

    I made this summary for myself for future reference. Agreed that our sunshine has been fairly constant at 1360 W/m2/min. Total energy on earth is 1.73 x 10 power 14 kW/day. Let this amount be 100%.
    Energy consumed by plant life is ca. 0.023%. This falls below our accepted error and can (probably) be left out of the equation. The amount of direct heat on earth can be given by this equation:
    100 – energy deflected(ca. 30%) – energy used for evaporation (ca.23%) = (ca. 47%)
    What affects earth’s albedo?
    1) Positively: Clouds and cloud formation, mostly
    2) Positively: Volcanic activities
    3) Positively: more % Water vapor in the atmosphere,
    4) Positively or negatively, but % more or less constant: Oxygen, trace gases: ozone, methane &CO2 mostly.
    What affects evaporation?
    1) Negatively: Clouds and cloud formation, mostly
    2) Positively: Shallow waters caused naturally or by human activities such as putting up dams in rivers and making shallow pools & reservoirs for irrigation and water consumption. Shallow water easily heats up causing more evaporation.
    3) Negatively: Wind and the sun and moon’s position relative to earth. This causes more wave action which mixes colder water in from deep sea, this will cause less evaporation)
    4) Negatively: more % water vapor in the atmosphere
    5) Positively: evaporation itself causes more evaporation (difference in pressure causes wind and wind and heat together causes more evaporation)

    What causes more heat on earth and/or prevents heat from leaving earth?
    1) Decrease in earth’s albedo
    2) Decrease in evaporation (i.e negative factors affecting evaporation)
    3) Volcanic activities on earth, e.g. hot lava & hot waters
    4) Human activities (AHF), creating heat to move or to stay warm or cold
    5) Human activities, e.g. any process to produce energy or cooling causes more greenhouse gases: water vapor and carbon dioxide which trap long wave energy leaving earth.

    Which brings us back to: finding all factors that are involved in cloud formation.
    I think I must buy that book by Svensmark and see exactly what he says and what proof he has….

  376. Henry Pool says:

    5) Human activities, e.g. any process to produce energy or cooling causes more greenhouse gases: water vapor and carbon dioxide which trap long wave energy leaving earth.
    should be:
    5) Human activities, e.g. any process to produce energy or cooling or heating (including nuclear energy but excluding hydro-, wind-, solar- & tidal energy),
    that causes more greenhouse gases: water vapor and carbon dioxide which trap long wave energy leaving earth.

  377. Henry Pool says:

    Seems like everyone has gone to rest here.
    No worries, these last posts are just for myself.

  378. Stephen Wilde says:

    It’s ok , Henry. I think both myself and Leif have made our positions clear.

    No harm in collating as full a list as possible of the factors that might affect temperature and climate.

    My view though is that all the variables except sun and oceans are second or third order influences and can best be quantified once the solar and oceanic effects have been pinned down as far as possible.

  379. Henry Pool says:

    We are still experiencing a lot of cloudy (cooler) weather here in SA & rain. I should go and look if there are some records broken with precipitation so far this year.
    It made me think this:
    if clouds cause more energy deflected
    it also means less evaporation above water.
    There is a balance in that equation which keeps the energy coming onto land more or less stable.
    But if humans create more square area (shallow)waters that could mean more clouds (than normal 70/30 ratio) and eventually that could translate into cooling. Resulting from this: more ice and snow, could result into a chain reaction of global cooling?

  380. Henry Pool says:

    It maybe that the square area of water caused by humans is small compared to the oceans but the problem is that the waters are so shallow. It is as good as clouds already there, that water standing only a few meters deep. And then we have all the processes on earth that produce water vapor (there are a lot!)

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