Has Charles Dickens shaped our perception of climate change?

Note: This essay originally appeared last January on The Air Vent. Given our current winter, it as just as prescient now as it was then, so I’m reposting it here. Thanks to Verity Jones and Charles the Moderator for bringing it to my attention – Anthony

Guest post by Tony Brown

Charles Dickens. Victorian winters. A Christmas Carol. Ice fairs on the Frozen Thames. Cold Cold Cold Cold Cold. Dickens has irrevocably moulded the climate views of generations of Anglo Saxon peoples as TV, Films and plays all promote his image of icy winters in that era. Is this view of Dickens winters correct? We take a look at his life through the prism of climate.

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth England on Feb 7th 1812.

1812 overall was a very cold year in the UK -the early part of the winter was especially bitter over Europe, marked by Napoleons retreat from Moscow, as illustrated in this painting by Adolph Northen.

http://wapedia.mobi/en/Napoleon’s_invasion_of_Russia

“The air itself,” wrote a French colonel, “was thick with tiny icicles which sparkled in the sun but cut one’s face drawing blood.” Another Frenchman recalled that “it frequently happened that the ice would seal my eyelids shut.” Prince Wilhelm of Baden, one of Napoleon’s commanders, gave the order to march on the morning of Dec. 7, only to discover that “the last drummer boy had frozen to death.”

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44099-2004Aug5.html )

Napoleons’ Grand Armee of 600,000 was reduced to 200,000 by bitter weather and war, in an event of such significance that it inspired Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture whilst Leo Tolstoy put the 1812 campaign at the heart of his novel War and Peace,

Back in Britain, during 1812 the Dickens Family moved to Hawk Street, Portsmouth. And in 1813 to Southsea (adjacent) 1814: Brother Alfred born and died September.

In 1814 the River Thames froze over and the last ever frost fair was held. This was partly through changing weather conditions, but also because the nature of the river was altered when the old London Bridge was demolished and river flow increased

During that cold February in 1814 London experienced the hardest frost it had known in centuries. Though the fair lasted for only four days it was made memorable by an elephant, which was led across the river below Blackfriars Bridge. The print below shows how raucous some of the festivities became. The winter of 1813/14 was 4th coldest in the Central England Temperature record (which commenced 1660) at 0.43C

 

Your browser may not support display of this image.

http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/the-last-frost-fair-on-the-thames-river/

The first frost fair was held in 1608. The most famous -lasting several months- was in 1684 (much the coldest year in CET at -1.17C) The link below leads to a promotional poster of that event.

http://www.she-philosopher.com/gallery/frostfair.html

1815: Family move to St Pancras London as John Dickens (father) is posted back by Navy. 1816: Sister Letitia born.

1816 was known as the year without a summer, snow fell very late and the summer never recovered. The winter proceeding it was severe. A volcanic eruption (Tambora: East Indies) disrupted wind patterns and temperatures greatly, affecting depressions, which tracked further south than usual, making the UK very cold and wet for the summer and beyond. In September the Thames had frozen and snow drifts remained on hills until late July.

1817: John Dickens is posted first to Sheerness then Chatham Dockyard in Kent. Family move to Chatham. 1819: Sister Harriet born.

1819-20: Severe winter. -23c was recorded at Tunbridge Wells. This was the 21st coldest winter in CET at 1.43C 1820: Brother Frederick born.

Decadal CET average 1810-1819 8.798C. The coldest decade since 1690-1699. Charles Dickens experienced six white London Christmases in the first nine years of his life. Truly his formative years were especially cold and signified a return to the Little Ice Age conditions which had been somewhat mitigated in previous decades.

1821: Dickens begins school. 1821: Late May saw snow in London, probably the latest snowfall there until 2nd June 1975. 1822: John Dickens recalled to London. Settle at Camden Town.

In his book ‘Climate History and the Modern world’ Hubert Lamb wrote of 1821/2 (and 1845/6) ‘The warm water of the Gulf stream spread itself beyond its usual bounds to the coast of Europe.’ This winter was the 16th warmest in the CET record at 5.80C.

The overall CET for the year was 10.05C the warmest for over 40 years.

1822-23: Severe winter, ice on the Thames by late December. February 8th saw a great snowstorm in Northern England. People had to tunnel through the snow.
1823 27th coldest winter in CET at 1.53C

1823: Family moves to 4 Gower Street North. Mrs. Dickens attempts to start a school without success. 1824: Dickens sent to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory. Father arrested for debt and sent to Marshalsea Debtors Prison where he is joined by wife and younger children. Charles lodges with family friends and spends a terrible year working at Warren’s Blacking, a shoe polish factory.

1825: Father retires from Navy, receives an Admiralty pension and Charles is sent to school-previously he had a very limited formal education

1825: Snow fell in October in London. A very windy time, with gales doing damage.
1826: Another warm year at 10.07C mean average
1827: Family evicted for non-payment of rates. Dickens goes to work at Ellis and Blackmore’s Solicitors then Charles Molloy’s Solicitors. Birth of Brother Augustus.

1828: Father works as a reporter for the “Daily Herald” newspaper.

1828 22nd warmest ever winter at 5.73C and also marked the warmest overall year for 45 years at 10.30C

1829: Family move to 12 Norfolk Street, Fitzroy Square. Dickens works as a freelance reporter at Doctor’s Commons.

1829: A cold year at a mean average of 8.16C. Continuous frost throughout January. The summer was wet, and quite cold. Over an inch of snow fell in early October, although where isn’t certain, most likely to be London. 6 inches fell in London and the South in late November. Northerly and Easterly gales damaged ships.

Decadal CET 1820-29 9.35C-in terms of the UK a comfortable decade
1829-30: Severe winter. Continuous frost from the 23rd to 31st December, 12th to 19th January, and 31st January to 6th February. Ice on the Thames from late December to late January. Some places completely blocked. 25th December 1830 was cold, with -12c recorded in Greenwich. 1.13c was 13th coldest winter in CET.

1830: Admitted as a reader at the British Museum.

1831: Begins work as a reporter for “The Mirror of Parliament” edited by his uncle J.M. Barrow. 1832: Reporter at the “True Sun” newspaper. Illness prevents him attending auditions at Covent Garden.

1834: Becomes reporter on the “Morning Chronicle” and meets Catherine Hogarth. Takes rooms at 13 Furnival’s Inn, Holborn.

Second warmest ever winter at 6.53C which marked the start of the warmest year overall for 100 years at 10.47c

1835/6: Snowy winter in Scotland. Snow lasted well into March, with 8 or 9 feet of snow being reported in parts! This trend continued for a number of winters, with a lot of snow in Scotland. From early winter, December, to late winter, March, snow was a problem. There were considerable accumulations, becoming common throughout the winter. Snow fell widely, but mostly in the North of Scotland, where accumulations were very large, right through until April

1835: Becomes engaged to Catherine Hogarth.

1836-37 was another snowy winter in the series, with heavy falls of snow in January. Blizzards began in late February, and lasted into March. Transport was severely disrupted, and harvest damaged by harsh frosts. This series of winters was severe, and notable, especially for Scotland, but very bad elsewhere also.
October 1836, snow reached depths of 5-6 inches, very unusual.

25th December 1836, roads impassable, snow depths reached a staggering 5-15 feet in many places, and most astonishingly, drifts of 20-50 feet!

1837: Birth of first child Charles, on 6th January. Moves to 48 Doughty Street. Visits France and Belgium.

1837-38: Murphy’s winter. Patrick Murphy won fame and a small fortune from the sale of an almanac in which he predicted the severe frost of January 1838 (a 2 month frosty period set in with a light SE wind & fine day with hoar frost on the 7th (or 8th) January). 20th January saw temperatures as low as -16c in London, accepted as the coldest recorded here of the 19th century. -20 recorded at Blackheath, and -26c at Beckenham, Kent. The temperature at Greenwich was -11c at midday! The Thames froze over. 20th coldest at 1.40c

1838: Second child Mary born.

1838: Snow showers on 13th October, possibly in London and the South.

1839: Resigns editorship of “Bentley’s Miscellany”. Third child Kate born. Moves to 1 Devonshire Place, Regent’s Park.

Decadal 1830-39 9.216C.a very mixed decade with some notably cold winters but also the second warmest ever in CET, illustrating the huge variability in British winters.

1841: Fourth child Walter born. Declines an invitation to be Liberal parliamentary candidate for Reading. Granted the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh on 29th June.

1841 29th coldest winter at 1.60c
1842: Visits America plus Canada. December as a whole was the 7th warmest in CET at 7.2c.

1843 Dickens began A ChristmasCarol in October 1843, and completed the book in six weeks with the final pages written in the beginning of December while suffering from a cold, walking at night in a feverish state through the streets of London and drawing inspiration from all he saw. As the result of a feud with his publisher over the meager earnings on Martin Chuzzlewit, Dickens declined a lump-sum payment for the tale, chose a percentage of the profits in hopes of making more money thereby, and published the work at his own expense. High production costs however brought him a mere £230 rather than the £1,000 he expected – and needed, as his wife was once again pregnant (wikipedia)

Dickens purpose in his characterisation was to bring back the good cheer of traditional Chrismases, a notion which had been fading for decades-in this he was assisted by the enthusiasm for the festivities shown by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Dec 1843- the month of publication-exceptionally mild, 5th warmest in the CET record at 7.4C

Dickens would describe Scrooge in the city on a Christmas morning, watching inhabitants “scraping the snow from the pavements in front of their dwellings, and from the tops of their houses: whence it was a mad delight to the boys to see it come plumping down into the road below, and splitting into artificial little snowstorms” Films and Tv adaptations ever since have depicted this bitter weather which ironically didn’t happen during the year of publication!

1844: Fifth child Francis born. Breaks with previous publishers Chapman and Hall and moves to Bradbury and Evans. Lives in Genoa, Italy. 1844/5 26th coldest winter in CET at 1.50c

1845: Visits Rome with Catherine. Sixth child Alfred born. In ‘Climate history and the Modern world’ Lamb wrote of 1845/6 (and 1821/2) ‘the warm water of the Gulf stream spread itself beyond its usual bounds to the coast of Europe’

18th warmest winter in CET at 5.77c

1846: Becomes Editor of the “Daily News”. Resides in Lausanne and then Paris.

1847: Returns to London. Birth of Seventh child Sydney. Travels to Switzerland again

1847 31st coldest winter in CET at 1.70c

1848: Death of Sister Fanny 1849: Eighth child Henry born.

1849: April, great snowstorm hit Southern England. Coaches buried in drifts. Notably late snowfall.

1840-49 Decadal CET 9.03c

1850: Ninth child Dora born. Founds the Guild of Literature and Art with Bulwer-Lytton to help writers and artists who have fallen on hard times.

1851: Catherine ill and is treated at Malvern, Worcestershire where Dickens visits her. Death of Father and baby Dora. Family move to Tavistock House.

1851-53: The first of these winters saw heavy snowfall in Scotland. The North of Scotland saw the first of the heavy snow. The railway from Aberdeen to the South was badly affected, but was kept open. Blizzards caused deaths. The storms stopped near the end of January

1852: Tenth child Edward born.

1852-53 was severe particularly in February. Low temperatures and heavy snowfall lasted well into March.

1853: Holiday in Boulogne. Visits Switzerland with Wilkie Collins.

1855: Joins Administrative Reform Society. Family move to Paris from October

1856: Returns to England to live at Gad Hill Place, Chatham, Kent.

1857: Hans Christian Andersen visits Dickens at Gad’s Hill. The Danish author of fairytales such as The Ugly Duckling first visited England in June 1847. He was a guest of the Countess of Blessington, who attracted the cream of Europe’s intelligentsia to her gatherings. It was at one of these assemblies that Andersen was introduced to Dickens, whom he worshipped, calling him “the greatest writer of our time”. Dickens, who reciprocated the admiration, visited him at his lodgings the following month. Discovering that Andersen was not in, he left him a parcel containing 12 presentation copies of his books. A cordial correspondence developed between the two and Andersen returned to England for a fortnight as Dickens’s guest at Gad’s Hill in the summer of 1857. (one of the warmest in the CET record at 16.53c)

Before his arrival, Andersen had written to Dickens promising: “I shall not inconvenience you too much.” But it was an invitation that Dickens would soon regret. The Danish man of letters, a tall, gaunt and rather ungainly character, extended his visit to five weeks. Dickens dropped polite hints that he should leave, but they were, perhaps, too subtle. After he finally left, Dickens wrote on the mirror in the guestroom: “Hans Andersen slept in this room for five weeks — which seemed to the family AGES!”

Dickens subsequently based Uriah Heep on Andersen-The character is notable for his cloying humility, obsequiousness, and general insincerity.

1858: Separates from his wife. Embarks on a provincial reading tour.

Decadal 1850-59 9.162c

1860: Katey Dickens marries Charles Collins. 1863: Charity readings at the British Embassy in Paris. Death of Walter Dickens in India.

1863 21st warmest winter at 5.73c

1865: 9th June, involved in a serious railway accident at Staplehurst, Kent with Ellen Ternan. 1867: Begins a reading tour of the U.S.A. 1868: Leaves New York for England. 1869: Reading tour broken off because of illness.

1869 /70 saw Britain’s warmest ever winter at 6.77c.

1860-69 9.30C Decadal; the second warmest decade in Dickens life

1870: January, twelve farewell readings in London. 9th March, received by Queen Victoria.

Charles Dickens dies June 9th 1870

Conclusions and Ruminations;

Dickens life demonstrates the extraordinary variability of the British winters during that era, when the coldest and warmest winters in the CET records can be juxtaposed. Generally there are few examples of constant cold winters year after year-the LIA was becoming much more sporadic than it had been several centuries earlier, when bitter cold weather appears to have been the norm. To put this era into perspective mature English people might be surprised to learn they lived through a much colder winter than Dickens ever experienced. 1962/3 at -0.33C was the third coldest in the entire CET record compared to Dickens coldest year 1814 at 0.43c, the fourth coldest in the record. (1962/3 was a bit of a one off-Dickens experienced a greater number of relatively cold winters)

HH Lamb, (in ‘Climate, History and the Modern World’), says: “Indeed, the descriptions of ‘old-fashioned’ winters for which Charles Dickens became famous in his books may owe something to the fact – exceptional for London – that of the first nine Christmases of his life, between 1812 and 1820, six were white with either frost or snow.”

 

http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/metinfo/snowxmas.htm#G

(As can be seen, a White Christmas in London is a very rare event)

Lamb also points out that the decade from 1810 to 1819 was the coldest in England since the 1690s. The following table was originally published in ‘London Weather’, and updated by booty.org

Your browser may not support display of this image.

http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/metinfo/snowxmas.htm#G

Natural cycles can be clearly seen in operation as the first very cold decade of Dickens’ life was replaced by several decades of relative warmth before the climate deteriorated again after his death in 1870. There was an extraordinarily low point of 7.42C CET overall in 1879 (the third coldest year in the entire record) with the 7th coldest winter at 0.70c, followed by a cold 1880’s decade at 8.87c –the coldest since Dickens birth, signifying a return to LIA conditions.

Curiously this climatic trough in 1880 is the exact point from when GISS commenced their temperature records, a fact which has been commented on in additional articles by Tony Brown (shown in the references at the end of this article)

1870-79 CET 9.08C 1880-89 CET 8.87C


 

To the surprise of no one -except it appears the IPCC and National Governments- temperatures have subsequently risen from this considerable climatic trough and the 1880/89 decade of cold has not been matched since.

Additional articles on Giss records from 1880.

Three long temperature records in USA. Author: Tony Brown

This article links three long temperature records along the Hudson River in the USA. They illustrate that a start date of 1880 (Giss) misses out on the preceding warm climatic cycles and that UHI is a big factor in the increasingly urbanised temperature data sets from both Giss and Hadley/Cru

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/triplets-on-the-hudson-river/#comment-13064

Three long temperature records from Europe. Author: Tony Brown

In examining these records from Europe the climatic variability prior to the Giss records of 1880 are again shown, demonstrating that no one should be surprised when temperature readings commencing from a trough of the Little Ice Age subsequently rise again in our own era.

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/invisible-elephants/

References used in the Dickens article;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/weather/article5391955.ece

 

http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/metinfo/snowxmas.htm#G

http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/metinfo/snowxmas.htm

This very readable version of his life

http://www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/charlesdickens.html

http://www.mantex.co.uk/ou/aa810/dickens-02.htm

(Time line with places he visited)

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142 thoughts on “Has Charles Dickens shaped our perception of climate change?

  1. Not sure I can agree with the diagram showing the LIA from 1480 to 1880. I thought it was accepted to be in the period 1640 to 1740.

  2. Climate fluctuations through old eyewitness accounts instead of computer “models”
    It’s called SCIENCE, people.
    [sarc]
    [d]
    no, leave the sarc on I am so sick and tired of “educated” idiots trying to ruin my life.

  3. This really is a nice article and it certainly makes for an extremely big nail in the coffin of the Anthropogenic Climate Change doctrine.

    We are currently breaking cold records in Europe that were set in in the 18th century.

    We are measuring temperatures for a very short period of time and it is simply to arrogant for words to ignore the collected data from the past.

    It’s our sun, our oceans and volcano’s that make our weather not the anthropogenic emissions of CO2.

  4. Wikipedia, probably with some editing by William Connolley, says:

    [The LIA] is conventionally defined as a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries, though climatologists and historians working with local records no longer expect to agree on either the start or end dates of this period, which varied according to local conditions. It is generally agreed that there were three minima, beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, each separated by intervals of slight warming.

  5. Most excellent piece. Unfortunately for us all, Scientists these days tend to be highly specialized and as a general rule are not particularly concerned with Literature or History. Indeed History and Literature are generally considered less valuable subjects and are less taught today than previously. Because of ignorance amongst the population, Charlatans like Mann, Hansen etc can get away with their ridiculous claims. Bring back Renaissance man!

    Which is a shame. Why should a physicist for example have any I think it illustrates perfectly the problem we have with highly specialized scientists working in obscure and isolated fields.

  6. Sorry about leaving the raggedy bits on the post above!

    [Ah, but one cannot edit a post which is not clarified! 8<) Robt]

  7. Us (and Canadian) Skeptics are regular people who dropped the university system when the greenies took over. I majored in Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and minored in Philosophy.
    We. are. Fed. Up. To. The. Point. Of. Violence.
    I will go back for my Degrees when the system unf#$ks it self.
    [d]

  8. The main lesson I take from that narrative is the way that cold winters can quickly segue into warm winters and back again within a generally cool period globally as compared to the late 20th century

    Applying what we know about recent climate events such a changeable climate would be a consequence of more meridional jet stream flows with the longitudinal position of the main troughs and peaks varying over the years so that sometimes the UK (and every other mid latitude location in each hemisphere) experienced a period of anomalous northerly and/or easterly winds and at other times anomalous southerly and / or westerly winds.

    So the key would appear to be the degree of meridional jetstream waving about (loopiness) and from historical records the greater the meridionality of jet stream movements the cooler the global climate and when jetstream positioning is less meridional the global climate seems to be warming.

    That seems to fit a scenario whereby in a warming world the tropics and subtropics expand to push the jets poleward and reduce their ability to move about meridionally.

    In contrast a cooling world involves the tropics and subtropics contracting to allow the jets more room to wave about meridionally.

    In my opinion the extent of meridional movement can be affected either by a change in the size of the polar vortex (solar induced) at the surface or by a change in the rate at which previously captured solar energy is released by the oceans which can itself expand or contract the tropics and push against the then current influence of the polar vortex.

    So more meridional jets (cooling) can be caused either by a larger solar induced polar vortex (inactive sun) or by a lower rate of energy release from the oceans (negative ocean cycles).

    Less meridional jets (warming) can be caused either by a smaller polar vortex (active sun) or by a faster rate of energy release from the oceans (positive ocean cycles).

    Sometimes the top down solar effect will supplement the bottom up oceanic effect and sometimes it will offset it hence the confusing lack of direct correlation for either forcing unless the ever changing balance between the two separate forcings is properly quantified over time.

    Thus far no climate researcher or model has ever expressed latitudinal jet stream positioning as a function of the balance between the two separate (solar and oceanic) influences.

    The solar influence on the size of the polar vortices would appear to be a consequence of solar particle effects on ozone chemistry above 45 km which I have explained in more detail elsewhere.

  9. Joe Bastardi’s latest European forecast:

    CORE OF COLD PUSHES SOUTHEAST NEXT 5-7 DAYS BUT RELOADING FURTHER BACK NORTHWEST THREATENS NEW SEVERE COLD FOR NORTHWEST DEC 14-20.
    Winters core will push further southeast this week and while its cold to start in the northwest, it does get milder for the late week, even above normal a few days over Ireland and much of the northern part of the United Kingdom

    However this is not the end. The pattern is very similar Dec 14-23 to Jan 1-10 last year. If you remember, major cold engulfed much of China, the eastern US and Europe to open the new Year and another round of major cold appears to be lurking in the longer term in the areas in Europe that have suffered the last 2 weeks. I think what we are seeing here is the evolution southeast of the core of cold so for the heart of winter, it is where it will be later this week into part of next week, but enough blocking continues to pull this cold back so another round of UK covering snow and cold may be in the works the 15th, perhaps all the way to around Christmas. The lack of the true flip ( the warming coming is an island of warmth in the sea of cold) means this is likely to be the coldest December for the northwest since, well, we have to go back a long long time.

    In the meantime, but the weekend the cold of the worst cold will be into the south of Europe ( relative to normal) with the core swinging from southern France into the Balkans by early next week as the northwest warms. Again I do not have the time to post on this the way I would like too, but felt this big ticket shift back and forth of extreme cold is something I should warn you about.

    Side note: On the free site I have issued the Monday morning global ice report a day early to clear up any issues about the US based NSIDC reports. I explained this in an earlier post, but believe as sure as the sun rises in the east that in spite of an appearance of them running a bit low, it is a question of interpretation and calculation. Above all, I want to make sure that right or wrong, I speak to the truth as I see it, and after their email to me, I see exactly what they are saying and will make sure they are referenced as yet another objective tool to use in this debate, which to me, is what this is truly all about. I would have re-done this quicker, but was out of town.

    For the record, I do believe alot of the people in this great climate debate are honest brokers, even some of my most harsh critics. In any case, if we let it play out, we will get our answer over the coming years, as long as we can continue to look at all the data in an objective manner.

    In the meantime, some of the things I have been saying to look for from a few years ago are showing up. Does it mean I am right? Not yet. But it does mean I have a chance to be right, and at the very least, argue for an open mind. I think the rationale person would say yes. The start of a post nino fall in the earths temp and some of the intrusions of cold into areas that 10 years ago had people saying cold would not show up like this any more, make my argument one that is more palatable than one that says, that by growing colder, its a sign its growing warmer.

    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=accuweather

  10. Well, the 1940s were supposedly warm, yet the Russian winters were not any more pleasant for the invading Germans, who were stopped in their tracks while they were encroaching on Moscow. The German soldiers who made it through that winter in spite of their inadequate equipment and clothing were given a medal, which they referred to as “the order of the frozen meat” (Gefrierfleischorden).

  11. Interesting read and a good article.
    I do have a beef with the quoting of temps to two or three decimal places however. It’s not feasible that measurements were taken as accurate to that degree 200 yrs ago and it is not realistic to quote any calculated figures (averages) to a level significantly (i.e. 1000 times) different to the measured values! I realise that it is necessary for ‘effect’ – 8.749C is indeed different to 9.459C or whatever – but when you boil it down to measurement accuracy (perhaps 1C if we are lucky?) – it’s a little over the top. Just my opinion – we knock the ridiculous warmists and the IPCC for inaccuracy and doing the same thing, do we not?

  12. According to WAG Environment Minister Jane Davidson, aka “Cancun Jane”, the current “cold snap” is just one more example of “extreme weather” due to “climate change”. She also says: “There is a clear scientific case that the change in climate is being caused by the behaviour of humans and that the rate of change has increased significantly over the last 200 years and since the Industrial Revolution.”

    http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/articles/environment/101203climatechange/?lang=en

    So, never mind all this LIA business; we warmed up due to the Industrial Revolution. Jane said so. I wonder if she could feel climate change as she flew to Cancun?

  13. There was an English cricketer in the 80’s called Richard Ellison – a medium fast bowler, decent fieldsman and a decent lower order batsman. He could have been a top notch climate ‘scientist’. One of his contemporararies was an old Cambridgan – Derek Pringle. Derek was also a pretty decent medium fast bowler and on a good day could get a few runs. Derek writes, these days, for The Times. He makes the odd appearance on TMS” Test March Special”. I have spent my last 10 years working on oil rigs and ,as a contribution to the general good of mankind, trying to teach my very good friends from accross the pond the parallel universe that is cricket. Anyway Derek’s nickname for Richard was “plank”. Or was it ” Planck”? Either way. Richard asked Derek one day: “Why do you call me plank (Planck)?” To which Richard replied: ” Exactly”.

  14. IIRC , and I might not , my readings of history led me to think that the LIA started in the 14th century and lasted into the 19th . Of course there were warm periods during that span as well as cold ones .

  15. Gordon Bennett!
    TMS – “Test Match Special”.
    Not: “Test March Special”. There are hares for that sort of thing.

  16. I don’t think I can believe any of this. You rely solely on the instrument record and written accounts, there is not a tree ring used at all, unless you use Mike’s Nature trick and graft some tree ring data on to this how can we trust it?

  17. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    The solar influence on the size of the polar vortices would appear to be a consequence of solar particle effects on ozone chemistry above 45 km which I have explained in more detail elsewhere.
    Except that the size of the polar vortex is determined by the atmospheric circulation at mid- and lower latitudes where “solar particles” usually don’t go.

  18. Gordon Bennett squared. Richard didn’t reply to Richard’s question:Derek did.

    Sorry about that Anthony and Mods. I’ve been on a bl**dy oil rig for 3 months and have just managed to sequester my CO2 quota in carbonated beverages… By the way, alcohol is a pretty efficient carbon sink? Is it not?

  19. “Mike says:
    December 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm
    Well, the 1940s were supposedly warm, yet the Russian winters were not any more pleasant for the invading Germans.”

    It depends where the peaks and troughs are located longitudinally when the jets become more meridional.

    When the jets are more meridional I suggest that the globe is cooling because cloudiness and albedo increase (due to more equatorward jets) at the same time as the transport of energy from equator to poles becomes more efficient due to that very meridionality pumping more warmth to the poles for faster ejection to space.

    However the longitudinal position of the peaks and troughs of that more meridional jetstream moves over time to give extremes of warmth and cold in different locations in different seasons but overall with a gradual global net cooling effect.

    It is well accepted that with poleward jets and a more positive polar vortex the air above the poles becomes more isolated and subject to more intense cooling but what does not seem to be generally recognised is that that isolation of the air at the poles reduces the efficiency of heat loss to space and is therefore typical of a warming period rather than a cooling period because it limits the rapid interchange between equatorial and polar air masses.

    The more meridional the jets and the more negative the polar vortex the faster the globe can cool. We may see warmer poles and cooler mid latitudes but those warmer poles are throwing energy into space faster than solar energy is entering the oceans because more meridional jets also create more clouds and higher global albedo to reduce energy input to the oceans.

    Find what causes more (or less) meridional jetstream positioning and there you have the answer to the question as to how and when the globe shifts from net warming to net cooling.

    I have provided my suggestions elsewhere. If anyone has better ideas please share them.

  20. @steven richards
    > Not sure I can agree with the diagram showing the LIA from 1480 to 1880.
    > I thought it was accepted to be in the period 1640 to 1740.

    You’re confusing the LIA (Little Ice Age) with the Maunder Minimum. LIA was a period of cool climate and the MM (1645-1715) was a 70-year period where very few sunspots were observed (but solar sunspot cycle activity continued according to other proxy records, such as carbon-14).

    Although MM occurred during the LIA, it may surprise you to know that there is still no widely accepted theory which proves the connection between dimming sunspots and cool climate.

  21. I found this paragraph interesting.

    1816 was known as the year without a summer, snow fell very late and the summer never recovered. The winter proceeding it was severe. A volcanic eruption (Tambora: East Indies) disrupted wind patterns and temperatures greatly, affecting depressions, which tracked further south than usual, making the UK very cold and wet for the summer and beyond. In September the Thames had frozen and snow drifts remained on hills until late July.

    Is anyone aware of northern hemisphere meteorological records that might exist from the early 1800’s. Pressure pattern records, ENSO, AMO and PDO if available would be invaluable.

  22. Ah yes, the romanticized historical winters imagined of the good old days.

    Dashing through the snow
    In a one-horse open sleigh…

    Followed by being arrested for having an unsuitable off-road vehicle on public roads (metal runners damaging the road surface, no brakes etc, maybe without the required reflective markers), for animal cruelty (making the poor beast work in the cold, and run through snow!), and (depraved?) indifference to human life or similar (traveling at high speed with no helmets, no seatbelts, they’ll find something).

    The news coverage of the trial with the protesting PETA supporter(s) will be memorable. Nice sign: Flog people, not horses!

  23. Leif,

    We resolved part of that issue previously.The solar particles themselves do not need to penetrate to mid and lower latitudes to have their effect. If the effect is primarily in high latitudes I am content with that.

    There appear to be various solar/atmosphere reactions above 100km that produce a downward flux of materials which affect ozone quantities above 45km oppositely to the solar UV effect on ozone quantities below 45km. The effect may well be most pronounced at high latitudes because charged particles are involved and they are directed in at the poles by the magnetic field lines.

    However I see that you have now introduced a new issue namely that the polar vortex is ‘determined’ by atmospheric circulation at mid or lower LATITUDES.

    That would be logical from your perspective because you have said that you believe all climate change to be a consequence only of internal system variability generated from the bottom up.

    I take issue with that and suggest that the polar vortex is also affected by solar induced ozone chemistry changes leading in turn to atmospheric circulation changes at HIGH latitudes at levels above 45km.

    If you disagree then you need to specify how the size of the polar vortices at the surface can vary as much as they appear to do from observations. It is generally accepted that the models fail to explain the scale of observed variability on the basis of the current assumptions (which you seem to share).

    I suggest that the scale of observed polar vortexvariability is enhanced (and sometimes offset) by a top down high latitude effect centred on the poles and which is directly related to the variable mix of particles and wavelengths from the sun acting on ozone quantities above 45km.

    My contention can be falsified if the observed rise in ozone quantities above 45km between 2004 and 2007 fails to be sustained after 2007.

  24. Before you get too carried away by Frost Fairs, remember that although it was undoubtedly colder in the 1600’s and 1700’s in London, that was not the only factor enabling the Thames to freeze – in those days the river was broader, shallower, and more slowly flowing because it had natural banks rather than the present artificial embankments.

  25. jimmi-
    The Thames was a sewer for London as well, pollution making it “thick and slow”
    It has not been forgotten, but thats why so many artists documented it.
    I t moves faster these days, and I would be wary of skating on it.
    [d]

  26. Kev-in-UK says:
    December 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I think the point of all the extra decimal places is not to imply that the original measurements were that precise, but to avoid distorting them even further with rounding.

    Whether it actually accomplishes anything is another matter, but I think that’s the reason.

  27. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm
    That would be logical from your perspective because you have said that you believe all climate change to be a consequence only of internal system variability generated from the bottom up.
    This is particularly true of the polar vortex.

    It is generally accepted that the models fail to explain the scale of observed variability on the basis of the current assumptions (which you seem to share).
    I think I showed you models that had excellent agreement with observations.

    My contention can be falsified if the observed rise in ozone quantities above 45km between 2004 and 2007 fails to be sustained after 2007.
    Not precise enough. E.g. for how long? thru 2008, 2009, 2010, 2030?

  28. About 50 years before that, it had began the secularization of science, positivism, the encyclopedists, the freemasons, the metric system, the 400 degrees circle, the square angle of 100 degrees,…all intended to alienate man from traditional symbols that convey truth, an effort of the insurgent financial elites to desacralize the world in order to achieve today´s “global governance”.
    They “liberated” us, women and men, changed working hours “for the better”(no family gatherings anymore),etc.,etc. They, finally tried to cheat the world with the idea of the “global warming”; however, their “achilles heel” remains the same, in the same place, and their eternal and repeated defeat is still waiting for them, as always, around the corner. “Don´t ask, don´t tell”: You are a number. Get your implanted ID chip for FREE!

  29. Thanks for the links, the Armagh barometric records are getting close to what I was looking for but what I thought might be interesting to research was if there were records available that might approach the current NAO or AO records.

    The article eluded to recordings of unusual troughs/winds around the Tambora eruption. If there were records of blocking highs, unusual troughs or depressions during the Dalton we might be able to match them with SST’s of the era (if available) to see if a pattern is emerging with low solar EUV output. The 1880 area is also very interesting which also experienced low solar output.

  30. Enneagram says:
    December 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm
    desacralize the world in order to achieve today´s “global governance”.
    Global governance has in the past always been administered [rather successfully] through [sacred] religion.

  31. History Channel has a documentary “Little Ice Age, Big Chill” that laid out most of the effects of cold during this period, including multiple (over 100) famines from crop failures, plagues made worse by flea infested rats going indoors to get out of the cold, whole European villages wiped out by glacier advances and “witches” killed for causing the catastrophes when Heavenly pleas failed. Shows what real cold can do. Just ignore the ending were they try to blame any future icing on AGW.

  32. Geoff. I do know of weather records kept by a doctor in Natchez MS during the very late 1700’s and first quarter of the 1800’s. During the year w/o a summer the region was blasted with a never ending drought and above normal temps. Stuck weather pattern as it was. This was followed by an earlier than normal autumn freeze and a bitter winter.

    Link of Interest Perhaps

    The climate of early 19th century Mississippi

    Robert D. Erhardt Jr., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, AL

    Two outstanding weather records kept at Natchez, Mississippi from 1798 to 1819 are analyzed. In general, the climate appears distinctly cooler than modern values.

    The average annual temperature for the era is 18°C, which is 1°C lower than 1961-90, and 0.5°C colder than 1884-1903, the coldest subsequent 20-year period of record.

    The early 1810’s are remarkable for cold and wet conditions. Temperatures reached a nadir circa 1813, simultaneous with a well-marked wet period from 1812-1814. However, the famous “Year Without A Summer” of 1816 in New England was hot and dry in the Deep South.

    Early 19th Century rainfall at Natchez averaged 84% of modern values. Wet (dry) periods occur inversely with warm (cold) periods.

    Analysis of frost data imply a much shorter growing season. Some early autumnal and late vernal frost dates are unequaled in later years.

  33. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Solar output in the 1880s was not lower than 1900-1933 and cycle 20. See e.g. Figure 7 of http://www.leif.org/research/2009JA015069.pdf

    Doesn’t have to be lower. All 3 periods correspond with cool periods, all periods also low in solar output. But that is only one part of the puzzle with oceanic and atmospheric oscillations still to be resolved. The PDO in my opinion being the largest driver.

  34. Since Charles Dickens is the lead for this story, I would like to recommend another literary source. “The Frozen Thames” by Helen Humphreys (2007) is a great chronicle of the 40 times that the river froze over between about 1100 and the present. In 40 vignettes she describes the people and the times of these events — the experiences of both ordinary and important people who found themselves on the frozen river. The book is fascinating reading and puts a human face on our ever-changing climate.

  35. Geoff Sharp says:
    December 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm
    Doesn’t have to be lower. All 3 periods correspond with cool periods, all periods also low in solar output.
    Point is that cool periods are not always times with low solar output e.g. it was colder during 1850-1870 with solar output on par with what is has been the past several cycles. Connecting 1880s with cold is just playing the cherry-picking coincidence game.

  36. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm
    “”Find what causes more (or less) meridional jet stream positioning and there you have the answer to the question as to how and when the globe shifts from net warming to net cooling.””

    Reply; several times I have tried to tell you about the lunar declinational atmospheric tides, and how the 18.6 year Mn period causes the movement of the location of the jet streams. No reply is given, just like the moon was not there at all! How long will it take for people to admit that the moon is locked in a tidal dance with the Earth, and the atmosphere and oceans are being sloshed around. Almost everyone will quote the “regularity of the ocean tides” and how they are predictable years in advance.

    The same is true of the atmospheric tides, they produce and maintain the Rossby wave patterns and the jet streams. To not take advantage of these cyclic patterns in assembling long range forecasts of the weather, made no sense to me so I looked at what it would take to generate a natural analog forecast from the historic data base.

    http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx

    Gives you the daily forecast maps it produces for the last 3 years and the next 3 years, granted it is only for the USA, but it is a start.

    http://research.aerology.com/aerology-analog-weather-forecasting-method/

    Should give you the background to look at how it all works IMO.

    http://research.aerology.com/improving-long-term-forecasting/

    The above are my comment on how I think these ideas can be incorporated into the current forecasting methods.

    Just a thought, Richard Holle

  37. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Point is that cool periods are not always times with low solar output e.g. it was colder during 1850-1870

    The trend in winter CET graph which is the most important (low EUV having its biggest affect on the winter NAO/AO) very closely follows the sunspot record. The difference from 1870 to now is about 0.5 – 1 deg. As previously stated the PDO being the stronger driver with the AMO also being relevant to the CET record. Solar activity over SC21,22,23 looks slightly higher than the period you mention.

    All the factors have to be in place, the PDO, AMO looks to be one of the few oscillation’s that are not sunspot defendant recently, but solar output may be responsible for some modulation.

    Winter CET HERE.
    SIDC SSN HERE.

    Connecting 1880s with cold is just playing the cherry-picking coincidence game.

    You call it it cherry picking, I would just say a line of research. PDO reconstructions also show a deep low around 1880. The reconstruction is based on tree rings so I am not convinced, but worth pursuing.

  38. Geoff Sharp says:
    December 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm
    Solar activity over SC21,22,23 looks slightly higher than the period you mention.
    Remember that solar activity after 1945 is ~20% artificially too high…

  39. Mom2girls says:
    December 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks for the link. The report shows that America experienced a similar temperature trend as London from 1800 to 1900. Interesting that USA summer was hot and dry in the 1816 summer suggesting a strong La Nina perhaps? A similar pattern is observed in Australia with high temp records set in the late 1880’s showing that different parts of the globe can experience extremes during times of low EUV. Russia’s very hot summer showed us how this works this year with a severe blocking high.

  40. Stephen Wilde I hope you continue your quest. You are on to something. You may be wrong in some of the details, but you are on to something nonetheless.

    You may have to deal with the Establishment along the way. Doesn’t matter. Keep on.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  41. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Remember that solar activity after 1945 is ~20% artificially too high…

    Hence the need for the Layman’s Sunspot Count. (one of the reasons)

  42. Geoff Sharp says:
    December 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm
    “Remember that solar activity after 1945 is ~20% artificially too high…”
    Hence the need for the Layman’s Sunspot Count. (one of the reasons)

    The Layman’s count is misconceived and has no calibration [besides eyeballing] and is thus junk.

  43. December 5 2:49

    Although MM occurred during the LIA, it may surprise you to know that there is still no widely accepted theory which proves the connection between dimming sunspots and cool climate.
    —–
    Why would this be a surprise today? The Team has made it acceptable for this lack of honest reflection in the paid climate “scientific” business groups (I hesitate to call it climate science) at havens of high learning, and professional associations, to be ignored, if not vilified. Wake up! You are either being duped (doped) or participating in the duping (doping). Looking at your statement, it appears to be the later.

  44. Further to Bruce Cobb (2:20 pm), Ms Davidson is wrong on two counts:
    # She ignores the LIA.
    # Whether human fossil fuel use (if that’s what she means by “behaviour of humans”) is now a significant climate driver or not, it could not have influenced the climate before circa 1940.

    Both facts are acknowledged by both sides of the issue.

    Government members in Australia are the same: willfully ignorant (‘..my scientific advisors tell me etc..’), liars or both — the bleedin’ obvious I suppose.

  45. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    The Layman’s count is misconceived and has no calibration [besides eyeballing] and is thus junk.

    Incorrect again, The Layman’s Count is calibrated via the pixel counting method. The new SDO 4096 x 4096 images use a 333 pixel threshold to determine if a group is countable. Wolf also used a threshold which is unknown so it is impossible to calibrate exactly to his standard, but we think we are close. The Layman’s Count is currently running about 25% below the SIDC and also reflects the current trends in F10.7 flux better than other counting methods. When comparing Wolf’s reconstruction of the Dalton Minimum the Layman’s count is a much closer fit.

    Your problem is that you recognize the modern count is too high but then write off a method which produces a lower count based on Wolf’s principles. Maybe you could come up with a better method?

  46. Environment Minister Jane Davidson, aka “Cancun Jane”, the current “cold snap” is just one more example of “extreme weather” due to “climate change”.

    That would make her another loon from Cancun, or a Cancoon.

    I wonder if she really believes this? The real Cancoon is David Cameron and his trusty band of huskies, so she may just be selling the Cameroon line. Incidentally, I don’t know if he has noticed, but Cameroon no longer has to go to Scandinavia to play with his huskies.

    .

  47. Today is Monday 6 December 2010. The temperature outside at 07:44 GMT is -4C.
    We have had sub zero nights here in Milford Haven for three weeks now.
    Unprecedented!

  48. I said:

    It is generally accepted that the models fail to explain the scale of observed variability on the basis of the current assumptions (which you seem to share).

    Leif replied:

    “I think I showed you models that had excellent agreement with observations.”

    Please remind me of that evidence because elsewhere I read that the jetstream shifting could not be adequately explained by the models yet the jetstream positioning has to be linked to the size of the polar vortices. I don’t see how one can be well modelled but not the other.

    Richard Holle said:

    “several times I have tried to tell you about the lunar declinational atmospheric tides, and how the 18.6 year Mn period causes the movement of the location of the jet streams. No reply is given, just like the moon was not there at all! How long will it take for people to admit that the moon is locked in a tidal dance with the Earth, and the atmosphere and oceans are being sloshed around. Almost everyone will quote the “regularity of the ocean tides” and how they are predictable years in advance.”

    I haven’t ignored those comments, Richard. It’s just that I’m looking at the longer term cycling from MWP to LIA to date and I don’t yet see how the moon could arrange that. On shorter timescales such as 18.6 years the moon may well have a modulating effect on everything else that is going on but just as Bob Tisdale’s ENSO work fails to make the necessary leap to the longer term cycling so does the lunar aspect unless I have missed something.

    According to the records that are available only the solar changes match the relevant timescale adequately albeit imperfectly (which is most likely a result of separate internal ocean cycling).

  49. “Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm
    Geoff Sharp says:
    December 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm
    Doesn’t have to be lower. All 3 periods correspond with cool periods, all periods also low in solar output.

    Point is that cool periods are not always times with low solar output e.g. it was colder during 1850-1870 with solar output on par with what is has been the past several cycles. Connecting 1880s with cold is just playing the cherry-picking coincidence game.”

    It is necessary to also factor in oceanic behaviour that can either supplement or offset solar effects. The ocean cycles are not always in phase with the solar variations for example highly active solar cycles 18 and 19 were offset by a negative phase of the PDO so that the full effect of the late 20th century high levels of solar activity did not kick in for the tmperature of the troposphere until the PDO also went positive in the mid 70s to supplement cycles 21, 22 and 23.

    Additionally it is becoming clearer that low solar activity is also associated with more ‘loopiness’ in the jets as they move more equatorward and swing about more latitudinally. The peaks and troughs of those loops then shift around over seasons and years to sometimes give anomalous warmth and sometimes anomalous cold in the same regions during a period of overall net cooling.

    No cherry picking necessary. One just needs an appreciation of how other factors can supplement, offset or disguise (regionally) the background solar induced trends.

  50. Kev

    I agree with y0u entirely about figures being used to three decimal places, you might have detected in the article a desire to be meticulous in using ‘official’ figures, combined with a British irony that there is absolutely no way we can that be precise.

    In fact that is precisely the theme of a series of articles I am writing. The first is here.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/14/little-ice-age-thermometers-%e2%80%93-history-and-reliability/

    The second article is in preparation and looks at the absurd precision we place on data never intended to have that precision-accuracy to around a degree is the most we can hope for.

    George said

    “… The book is fascinating reading and puts a human face on our ever-changing climate.”

    It is that last phrase that I continually write about-our climate has been ever changing to periods around as warm as now and much colder. We should be very thankful it is where it is. Ingrained in the bureaucrats mind however-especially the Met office and IPCC-is this notion that it was relatively constant until we influenced it.

    I have a vast database of records and observations that is partly kept here

    http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

    If anyone has access to further ones please let me know either through these pages or direct privately.

    Tonyb

  51. Geoff Sharp says:
    December 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm
    Solar activity over SC21,22,23 looks slightly higher than the period you mention.

    Leif replied:
    Remember that solar activity after 1945 is ~20% artificially too high…”

    I’d like a bit more information on this. It has been accepted for some time that cycles 17 through to 23 taken together constituted a historic high in solar activity. I am aware though that over time Leif has referred us to a number of ‘revisions’ that significantly reduced the amplitude of the variations as against those initially estimated by Lean and others.

    I am somewhat concerned about the validity of such revisions and would appreciate a fuller description of the reasons why they were thought to be necessary and/or appropriate.

    The Livingston Penn phenomenon of reducing sunspot contrast has also been used in support of a suggestion that in reality solar output continues as normal in the background despite the lack of visible sunspots at times such as during the Maunder Minimum.

    The impression I am gaining is of efforts to remove the significance of solar variability in a similar fashion as evidence of the MWP was removed or ignored to create the so called hockey stick.

    I would welcome explanations that would dispel such unworthy thoughts.

  52. Slighhtly Ot, but we now know that Cancun is a farce – the Uk has sent John Prescott as a representative.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11888012

    For those unaware, Prescott is the most vacuous politician ever given ministerial office. He was a union shop sreward who was given high office because he could bully the unions. He was mainly known for:

    Owning two gas guzzling Jaguars
    Eating all the pies
    Smacking dissenters on the chin with his fist
    Sh***ing his secretary
    Knowing nothing about his brief (his department)
    Mangling the English language to such a degree that there were great debates in the media as who what, exactly, he had just said.

    Prescott’s knowledge of climate, science, industry and economics is, well, zippo, nil, nada, nothing. His contribution will be utter confusion and chaos. So in some respects, perhaps he is the perfect choice.

    So what happened at Cancun, John? “Well, er, your knows these folks kinda spoken funny anit were diffricult to understood em — but, hey, those pies woz nice….”

    .

  53. Richard Holle says:
    December 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Reply; several times I have tried to tell you about the lunar declinational atmospheric tides, and how the 18.6 year Mn period causes the movement of the location of the jet streams.

    Lets explore this Richard. Do you have supporting data that supports your view, I am open to your ideas, but need more. The data should in theory should correlate with the AAO, AO and NAO?

  54. Thanks for this thoroughly informative and fascinating article which chimes for me.
    As an antipodean of European extraction with strong cultural and familial roots in the ‘Old Country’, as my parents referrred to the UK despite their own antipodean births, my dad enjoyed reciting Dickens and introduced me to his writing as a small boy. Later in life, awareness of social changes in the recent past made me realise just how important Dickens’ writing was in improving the lot of the very poor in the UK. Growing up in an environment where one had to travel quite a distance to experience snow and then only during the depths of winter, white Christmasses here in England have held a certain Dickensian fascination, particularly in areas where the architecture has remained largley unchanged since those days. The fascination wears off quite quickly as one deals with icy roads, slippery footpaths, extreme cold, non-delivery of essential items and one also becomes very grateful for modern central heating, double glazing, thermal outerwear and an excellent heater/demister in one’s car! Weirdly, even the Brit Minister for Transport has no idea about proper winter auto tyres!

  55. Leif Svalgaard said to Geoff Sharp:

    “Your problem is that you recognize the modern count is too high but then write off a method which produces a lower count based on Wolf’s principles. Maybe you could come up with a better method?”

    Given the admitted difficulty in establishing exactly how Wolf would have observed recent cycles as compared to those of the Maunder Minimum perhaps we should stop trying to come up with ‘better methods’ because any such ‘better method’ is bound to be biased towards the individual researcher’s preconceptions and preferred outcome and so is unlikely to be any ‘better’ at all and more likely worse.

    Just recognise and accept that solar activity was indeed in some significant respects different to that which has been observed recently and that however that variation is measured whether by sunspot numbers or isotope analysis there were indeed associated climate differences too and that those climate differences were also observed at other times when the sun appeared to be less active.

    As for the occasions during cool periods when warmth was noted and vice versa I see no problem in accounting for that by proposing a degree of independent oceanic variability and regional variability in the longitudinal positions of the peaks and troughs as the ‘loopier’ jets of a quiet sun period shifted position over time.

    The key evidence to me is that in the late 20th century when warming and an active sun was observed the jets were pushed slowly poleward into a narrower less ‘loopy’ band around the poles. Now that the sun is less active the jets are all over the place just as they were in the cooling mid 20th century and presumably also in the LIA, the Dalton and in every other cooling period that ever occurred at a time of less active sun.

    Can anyone find evidence of jets up around Greenland for any length of time in the LIA or jets persistently down around Gibraltar in the MWP ?

    Viking settlements in Greenland in the MWP clearly show that the jets were introducing warmth up there during the MWP and ships logs during the LIA show the jets frequently far more equatorward than they are now or were during the MWP.

    That is good prima facie evidence for the solar link and as yet I see no good evidence that the apparent link is spurious yet there seem to be so many researchers apparently desperate to discredit any such link on the basis of speculation, second guessing past masters such as Wolf and ‘adjusting’ data as they think fit.

  56. All in all, despite a plethora of graphs and figures, scientific postulating and “state-of-the-Art” computer modelling, climate does what it does, does what it’s always done, and will continue to do the same regardless of our theories, religions, beliefs and inevitable stupidity. Sometimes it’s warm, sometimes it’s cold. Whatever it is, chances are sooner or later it’ll be the opposite. What’s the point in all this tomfoolery? It just winds people up, causes resentement, and also causes humanity to do stupid things in the forlorn hope that it’ll change something. It never does, eventually the status quo is recovered, naturally, and we forget what all the fuss was about in the first place. Leave the climate alone, it’s not in need of repair.

    Que sera, sera.

  57. @PolicyGuy
    > Wake up! You are either being duped (doped) or participating in the
    > duping (doping). Looking at your statement, it appears to be the later.

    Hey, stifle the rhetoric. I was merely correcting your misconception that LIA and MM were one in the same. The date range for LIA are a bit fuzzy but it’s generally agreed that it spanned from the 15th to the 19th century. There were 3 “grand minima” of sunspot activity during the LIA: Spoerer (1450–1540), Maunder (1645-1715) and Dalton (1790–1820). Were these minima the cause of the coolling or just coincidences? There is still an on-going debate about this.

    So, if I’m being duped, please enlighten me. What is the name of the widely accepted theory (or name of the scientist) that explains in scientific terms why climate must cool down during these minima. It must also explain why the LIA was also cool outside of the three grand minima.

    Yes, there are many theories floating around to explain this. But the point I was making is that none of these have withstood the rigors of scientific examination and been widely accepted, even among climate skeptics. Forget the warmists.

    I suspect there is a connection, but the exact mechanism causing it has not been discovered.

  58. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Geoff Sharp says:
    December 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm
    Solar activity over SC21,22,23 looks slightly higher than the period you mention.

    Leif replied:
    Remember that solar activity after 1945 is ~20% artificially too high…”

    I’d like a bit more information on this. It has been accepted for some time that cycles 17 through to 23 taken together constituted a historic high in solar activity. I am aware though that over time Leif has referred us to a number of ‘revisions’ that significantly reduced the amplitude of the variations as against those initially estimated by Lean and others.

    Stephen says:
    “I am somewhat concerned about the validity of such revisions and would appreciate a fuller description of the reasons why they were thought to be necessary and/or appropriate.”

    You raise some great questions in this post, my research also suggests the modern count is different to past records. I am of the opinion that there is more than one artificial step in the SSN record, there is some controversy and perhaps hidden data in the older records that does not add up. Waldmeier in 1945 does look to add a large step in the record but the reason is not clear. Some say he introduced a new weighting system to the sunspot counting method that radically boosted the numbers, but I have also found evidence that Wolfer introduced this weighting system many years before Waldmeier. Wolfer did not have a Wolf like threshold and counted every speck, I have also had personal communication from a high ranking person in the SIDC stating that Wolfer in the late 1880’s used a telescope with twice the resolution of the original Wolf telescope. So Wolfer has a new counting method and maybe a new telescope, but he introduced the 0.6 scaling factor to bring his figures back to the Wolf standard which he cross checked for about 17 years. Waldmeier in an observatory report over the 3 observatories in operation during 1968 reported 3 150 mm telescopes with no mention of the original 80mm Wolf telescope, he also initiated a new way of classifying sunspot groups that may be responsible for the 20% jump at 1945. I have also set up a Wolf style telescope along with something approaching the modern telescope, and the resolution difference is beyond reproach.

    So you can see the Sun is a messy place, but I think there is no doubt we are counting more spots today than what Wolf reconstructed for the Dalton Minimum.

    The Livingston Penn phenomenon of reducing sunspot contrast has also been used in support of a suggestion that in reality solar output continues as normal in the background despite the lack of visible sunspots at times such as during the Maunder Minimum.

    The Livingston & Penn theory in my opinion is total junk science. It is pseudo-science confirmed by those that should know better. When bad science is used to bolster failed predictions it gets even worse. Lets look at the detail.

    L&P have a valid method of recording the magnetic strength of a “sunspot”. But in reality all they have done is measure more specks which drags down the overall magnetic value of the cycle. Everyone is aware we have more speck activity right now, so why bother measuring every speck? I have measured every group of SC24 that makes the grade using a simple contrast measurement not unlike the L&P method, I measure the whole group as a whole and do not measure every pore. The magnetic strength of SC24 has been increasing for the last 12 months and yesterday region 1131 set a new record for magnetic strength. This area is a minefield and could I suggest you read my debunking of the L&P method HERE.

    I think we are on the same page, the jet stream changes via low solar activity is certainly worth investigating.

  59. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm
    Stephen Wilde says:
    December 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    ………………
    You are partially correct
    Mr. Wild is correct in that ionised ozone in the polar vortex is a very important factor.
    Dr. Svalgaard is correct in that the size of the polar vortex is determined by the atmospheric circulation at mid- (and not lower!) latitudes.
    There are two more factors, ignored by ‘the experts’, one affecting ionised ozone the other the atmospheric circulation at mid-latitudes.
    I am attempting to put all four together into a more complex system, which might explain why one winter is partially different to another.
    Winters are the key, the summers are relatively flat affair if you exclude two 20 year periods: 1680-1700 and 1990- 2010.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET3.htm

  60. Geoff Sharp says:
    December 5, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    Incorrect again, The Layman’s Count is calibrated via the pixel counting method. The new SDO 4096 x 4096 images use a 333 pixel threshold to determine if a group is countable.
    What is missing is the justification of just that particular value. This is called a calibration.

    Wolf also used a threshold which is unknown so it is impossible to calibrate exactly to his standard, but we think we are close.
    “think we are close”. Based on what? Furthermore, everybody starting with Wolfer up to today agree that Wolf’s counting is wanting and that there should be no threshold.

    When comparing Wolf’s reconstruction of the Dalton Minimum the Layman’s count is a much closer fit.
    Wolf [and the 'Layman"] did not observe during the Dalton minimum and the sunspot number back then is uncertain by at least a factor of two, so the statement is nonsense.

    Your problem is that you recognize the modern count is too high but then write off a method which produces a lower count based on Wolf’s principles. Maybe you could come up with a better method?
    Wolf’s principles are no good. All spots must be counted. Wolfer came up with the better method in ~1880.

    Stephen says:
    “I am somewhat concerned about the validity of such revisions and would appreciate a fuller description of the reasons why they were thought to be necessary and/or appropriate.”

    http://www.leif.org/research/SIDC-Seminar-14Sept.pdf

    Geoff Sharp says:
    December 6, 2010 at 3:58 am
    Waldmeier in 1945 does look to add a large step in the record but the reason is not clear. Some say he introduced a new weighting system to the sunspot counting method that radically boosted the numbers
    The reason is very clear, he introduced the weighting scheme.

    but I have also found evidence that Wolfer introduced this weighting system many years before Waldmeier.
    There is no such independent evidence, on the contrary there is direct evidence that Wolfer did not use the weighting scheme: we simply go back to check on drawings made at Mount Wilson what the size of the spots were on days where Wolfer and Brunner record that precisely one group with one spot was counted. From this one can see that the count [of one spot] was made regardless of the size of the spot – e.g. on November 21, 1920.

    Wolfer did not have a Wolf like threshold and counted every speck, I have also had personal communication from a high ranking person in the SIDC stating that Wolfer in the late 1880′s used a telescope with twice the resolution of the original Wolf telescope.
    One must count everything. Wolfer repeatedly states that he always used the original Wolf telescope [which still exists and is being used the continue the sunspot series by RWG in Switzerland. Wolf himself stopped using that telescope [because he was often on travel] and in the later years used a smaller handheld telescope. To compensate for the lower resolution of the smaller scope, Wolf multiplied all his counts by 1.50.

    So Wolfer has a new counting method and maybe a new telescope, but he introduced the 0.6 scaling factor to bring his figures back to the Wolf standard which he cross checked for about 17 years.
    The Wolf standard refers to when Wolf used the standard telescope. Wolf when using the smaller telescope multiplied his counts by 1.5 to match the values to the original standard.

    Waldmeier in an observatory report over the 3 observatories in operation during 1968 reported 3 150 mm telescopes with no mention of the original 80mm Wolf telescope
    The other telescopes were used for other observations and the original 64x telescope was used by Wolfer, Brunner, and Waldmeier for the sole purpose of counting the sunspot number. Waldmeier states in the observatory reports that “in der >i>althergebrachten Art wurden an dem Fraunhoferschen Fernrohr von 8 cm Oefnnung bei 64facher Vergroesserung the taeglichen Anzahlen von Fleckengruppen und der einzelnen Flecken gezaehlt.” [as in the previous way the daily number of spot groups and single spots were counted with the Fraunhofer telescope having 8 cm aperture and 64 times magnification - i.e. the original telescope].

    I think there is no doubt we are counting more spots today than what Wolf reconstructed for the Dalton Minimum.
    Because the modern counts are aligned with Waldmeier’s scale [both use the same reference station - Locarno], the modern counts are 20% to higher up to about the year 2000. Since then SIDC is running about 12% lower than what Waldmeier would have counter. We know this latter fact because Waldmeier’s assistent [H. Keller, who actually did most of the counting] is still with us and is still counting, still using the original telescope. In addition, the fit made by Wolfer to the original Wolf scale is faulty and all Wolf’s numbers before 1882 but be increased by another 20%. We can cross-check all this by using the effect sunspots have on the amplitude of the diurnal variation of the direction of the compass needle. The bottom line is that the official sunspot number before 1882 should be increased by 40%, between 1882 and 1945 by 20%, and after 2000 reduced by 12%. I’m giving a talk on this at the forthcoming AGU meeting [Dec.17th]. [*sigh* what a guy]

  61. BTW, Rudolf Wolf died this day [Dec. 6th] 117 years ago in 1893. He continued observing [with his handheld telescope] from his room window until the end of October, 1893.

  62. Leif Svalgaard said to Geoff Sharp:

    Connecting 1880s with cold is just playing the cherry-picking coincidence game.

    You call it it cherry picking, I would just say a line of research. PDO reconstructions also show a deep low around 1880. The reconstruction is based on tree rings so I am not convinced, but worth pursuing.

    Forget about 1958 onwards, what caused the warming and cooling prior to that date.

  63. vukcevic says:
    December 6, 2010 at 5:14 am
    Winters are the key, the summers are relatively flat affair if you exclude two 20 year periods: 1680-1700 and 1990- 2010.
    You should not just exclude things that don’t fit. They are usually signs that you are wrong to begin with.

  64. Robuk says:
    December 6, 2010 at 5:53 am
    You call it it cherry picking, I would just say a line of research. PDO reconstructions also show a deep low around 1880.
    [sigh] temperatures around 1880 were higher than before and after.

  65. Thank you Leif and Geoff for a lot of background information on sunspot counting.

    However as I see it all the debate as to numbers skirts around the essential issue which is simply that SSNs do wax and wane over time in tune with variations in the sun’s output and although TSI varies little there are larger variations in the mix of particles and wavelengths.

    The precise degree of waxing and waning may well be unimportant if the climate system is sufficiently sensitive to the waxing and waning that does occur.

    Thus we do have spells when the sun is less active and cooler Earth climates pop up during such times more often than they are likely to do from chance just as when the sun is more active warmer Earth climates pop up more more often than would be expected from chance alone.

    So, in the end, there is no point in a debate akin to ascertaining the number of angels that could fit on the head of a pin.

    The reality seems to be that some aspect of solar variability does have an effect on the size of the polar vortices and consequently on the latitudinal positioning of the jets and that aspect of solar variability is sometimes offset by and sometimes supplemented by oceanic behaviour.

    So the behaviour of the jets reflects the balance between top down solar effects and bottom up oceanic effects at any given moment.

    The importance of that is that the behaviour of the jets also dictates total cloudiness, global albedo and the amount of solar energy that can penetrate the oceans to result in climate effects at a later date.

    All observed climate changes are simply a function of the change of position of a particular region in relation to the ever shifting air circulation systems above.

    The system smooths out and eventually eliminates global temperature changes so as to maintain an equilibrium between sea surface and surface air temperature.

    The primary natural response to any attempt at temperature disruption is always negative and sufficiently scaleable to have dealt with all but the most violent natural disruptions and even then over time the effects of such disruptions are eventually dissipated.

    More CO2 just results in a miniscule unmeasurable adjustment to the natural climate system. Natural swings are far far greater than anything CO2 could ever achieve.

    Anyway, the 1880s do seem to have been on the cool side:

    1880s 13.73 56.71
    1890s 13.75 56.74
    1900s 13.74 56.73
    1910s 13.72 56.70
    1920s 13.83 56.89
    1930s 13.96 57.12
    1940s 14.04 57.26
    1950s 13.98 57.16
    1960s 13.99 57.18
    1970s 14.00 57.20
    1980s 14.18 57.52
    1990s 14.31 57.76
    2000s 14.51 58.12

  66. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 7:10 am
    The reality seems to be that some aspect of solar variability does have an effect on the size of the polar vortices and consequently on the latitudinal positioning of the jets and that aspect of solar variability is sometimes offset by and sometimes supplemented by oceanic behaviour.
    “reality” and “seems” hardly belong together. You have provided no evidence for your “reality”. Lots of repetitive claims, but no ‘reality’.

  67. You have provided no evidence for your “reality”.

    There is lots of ‘evidence’ but of a persuasive nature rather than definitive proof due to the inadequacy of past data collections.

    It won’t be long, though, before the position becomes clear. Modern data collection methods just need a little longer to acquire what we need.

    Do you think it is just coincidence that the jets began to loop about more just as the sun changed its behaviour ?

    And that they looped about more in the mid 20th century, and during the LIA ?

    And that each time they loop about more we see a more negative AO ?

    Such observations are as valid as detailed data collections because they give a clue to inter relationships between different features of the climate system. They tell us where to look for more detailed data.

  68. vukcevic says:
    December 6, 2010 at 8:22 am
    most decisive and important is NAP
    Which is undocumented, unsubstantiated, and physically implausible, so just yet another of hundreds of claims.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 8:29 am
    Modern data collection methods just need a little longer to acquire what we need.
    Do you think it is just coincidence that the jets began to loop about more just as the sun changed its behaviour?

    “what we need” sounds like you are fishing with some confirmation bias. And ‘Absolutely’ coincidences. BTW, You evaded my question as the the falsification of your claims.

  69. While Dickens’ childhood Christmases may have helped shape his story, I think he simply found the bitterly cold, bleak London Christmas Eve was much more effective in conveying Scrooge’s, well, scroogeihsness, and the Cratchetts’ spirit than a warm, 45 degree (F) Christmas. The opening scene with Cratchett toiling over the books with the sinlge lump of coal weakly smoldering in the stove is one of English Literature’s most evocative passages. Similarly, the cold and dark bed chamber of Scrooge is obviously metaphorical, wouldn’t work nearly as well if it were warm and stuffy.

  70. Geoff Sharp says:
    December 6, 2010 at 1:48 am

    “”Lets explore this Richard. Do you have supporting data that supports your view, I am open to your ideas, but need more. The data should in theory should correlate with the AAO, AO and NAO?””

    The best way I have come up with to show the relationship is the use of visual satellite movies, I do not at this time have the assets to do the job, but the idea is to overlay the position of the moon on the surface of the Earth for each frame of the satellite movie so as to show the relative movement of the center of the tidal effect with the response of the atmosphere.

    http://agora.ex.nii.ac.jp/digital-typhoon/archive/monthly/

    If you could view movies like these for the entire globe with the position of the moon imposed upon the surface where it was overhead, the effects would be viewable.
    In the Pacific basin the flow patterns are spread wide due to the topographical effects of the Himalayan mountains.

    When the westerly flow crosses the Andes and Rockies the lunar atmospheric declinational tidal effects are enhanced on the lee side, and it affects the heat distribution of the North Atlantic, enhances the precipitation of both North and South America, most noticeably in the Amazon rain forests. In the North Atlantic the much wilder turbulence (than seen in the Pacific basin) gives the zonal flow patterns or the alternating much more looping meridional flow enhanced patterns as the four fold pattern of declinational modulation goes through its phases.

    The problems then with forecasting the UK weather and Northern Europe is a result of the overlapping of the turbulent folds in the atmosphere, that give pulses of the still unmixed various surges of warmth, wet, cold, dry air masses that are in the process of mixing as they cross the coastline. If I (or some one with access were to look) had access to satellite photos in an animated format like the above linked, mentioned movies, for the European areas and the North Atlantic, the 30 year long run of photos with the superimposed lunar positions could be seen clearly in phase with the NAO.

    Just as the 18 year Saros cycle can be seen to repeat in the pacific movies, they would be more easily seen in the North Atlantic because of the enhanced effects by the long string of both mountain chains, allowing the enhanced deflection of the resultant tidal patterns.

    I have had this dream of getting the visualization of these effects for some time now. I am retired and time is available, but lack of funds do not allow me to be able to do this yet. As a result I have hoped to find a way to effectively “get er done” by finding someone already at work in this field with the resources to do this project. Stuck on a slow dial up connection (16 to 19kbps noisy connection at the farm) the transfer of large data sets is impossible for me at this time.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    If you look at the peaks in the temperatures here after September 2010, you will see how they match the lunar declinational culminations (stronger for primary Northern declinational bulges, and weaker for secondary tidal bulges at Southern culminations) response to the surges of warmer air mass coming in from the North Atlantic deflected up along the coast of Greenland.

    Max North September 2
    South September 15
    North September 30
    South October 12
    North October 27
    South November 9
    North November 23
    South December 6
    North December 21

    Sorry for not being able to make graphic comparisons for you on short notice, as it should be my responsibility to show my own proof of my assertions. Tallbloke has a lot of Representative graphics on his web site that could be used to show the longer term relationships more clearly.

  71. Thanks TonyB for the fine post, and comprehensive references. The poet and writer J.W.von Goethe (1749-1832), who was interested in atmospheric processes, called the early 1800s the “Cold Epoche”.

  72. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 6, 2010 at 8:52 am
    Which is undocumented, unsubstantiated, and physically implausible, so just yet another of hundreds of claims.

    Undocumented?
    Smithsonian Institution has all what is need to know.
    I spent lot of time digging it out, so I am not going to splash it all over the place until whole work is completed, and I am in no hurry.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP.htm

    Unsubstantiated, and physically implausible?
    Bernoulli’s Hydrodynamique is still valid, unless you know otherwise.
    Hundreds?
    It is more like thousands, if you include all those ‘peer review’ papers, most of which will be if they are not already long forgotten.
    Dosvidaniya.

  73. vukcevic says:
    December 6, 2010 at 10:25 am
    I spent lot of time digging it out, so I am not going to splash it all over the place until whole work is completed, and I am in no hurry.
    Then you keep quiet until then [as is normal, decent scientific practice]

    Bernoulli’s Hydrodynamique is still valid, unless you know otherwise.
    But has nothing to do with the magnetic ‘effect’.

  74. val majkus says:
    December 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Quadrant Online has a couple of interesting articles:
    Sceptics losing clarity
    by Peter Smith

    There should be another article entitled :

    Peter Smith losing clarity :-)

  75. There are a lot of climate and economic inferences that can be gleaned by taking a close look at the popular 19th century prints produced by Currier and Ives. (see for example: http://currierandives.net/).

    I notice winter scenes showing people ice skating where today the ice is not normally thick enough and farmers with teams of horses pulling a sleigh where today the snow cover is not sufficient to justify that expense. I also notice the number of chimneys in the larger homes, implying just how many fireplaces had to be used for heating.

  76. I said:

    “My contention can be falsified if the observed rise in ozone quantities above 45km between 2004 and 2007 fails to be sustained after 2007.”

    Leif Svalgaard asked:

    “Not precise enough. E.g. for how long? thru 2008, 2009, 2010, 2030?”

    I reply:

    If the increasing ozone trend above 45km during the period of quiet sun fails to be maintained whilst the sun remains relatively quiet then I would be looking at the issue in more detail. The peaks and troughs of individual solar cycles could confuse the signal so ideally I would like to see a couple of complete solar cycles and see whether the trend is maintained. After all, the cooling of the mesosphere when the sun was more active lasted for several solar cycles so we are looking for multidecadal trends not short term spikes and troughs.

    However we should get a good indication of ozone sensitivity above 45km if we can compare ozone quantities in that region between the recent cycle minimum and the forthcoming cycle 24 peak. I’m sure lots of people will be watching it closely without my encouragement.

  77. The Buck Wheat

    Thanks for the link. Some of the prints seem ‘idealistic’ in much the same way as ‘pull my finger’ at 9.44 observes that A Christmas Carol works better as a metaphor for the bleakness of Scrooges soul than the greater reality of depicting London in mild wet weather.

    I also wonder how many of the images were fired by the undoubtedly very cold first few decades of the 19th Century.

    An intriguing archive which I will look through in more detail, thank you.

    tonyb

  78. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 6, 2010 at 10:36 am
    …….
    But I am not your ‘normal common garden scientist’, come to think of it, I am not a scientist at all. I post it as insurance, just in case I fall under No.11 bus.
    I never said that NAP is magnetic, GMF is the Arctic’s stratosphere ‘boyo’. This is the CET, on this line gmf is not the train driver, only a passenger.

  79. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 11:08 am
    If the increasing ozone trend above 45km during the period of quiet sun fails to be maintained whilst the sun remains relatively quiet then I would be looking at the issue in more detail.
    Is different from being ‘falsified’.

    The peaks and troughs of individual solar cycles could confuse the signal so ideally I would like to see a couple of complete solar cycles and see whether the trend is maintained. After all, the cooling of the mesosphere when the sun was more active lasted for several solar cycles so we are looking for multidecadal trends not short term spikes and troughs.
    Would put falsification some 20 years in the future… And I thought the solar cycle response was the signal. The mesosphere does not have a memory of several cycles, only a few months at best.

    However we should get a good indication of ozone sensitivity above 45km if we can compare ozone quantities in that region between the recent cycle minimum and the forthcoming cycle 24 peak.
    And what should we look for, precisely?

  80. vukcevic says:
    December 6, 2010 at 11:28 am
    I post it as insurance, just in case I fall under No.11 bus.
    I never said that NAP is magnetic, GMF is the Arctic’s stratosphere ‘boyo’. This is the CET, on this line gmf is not the train driver, only a passenger.

    The person who gets the honor of a discovery is not the one that makes the discovery, but the one who convinces the garden scientists of it. So far you have done nothing in that regard.

  81. “The mesosphere does not have a memory of several cycles, only a few months at best”

    A period of net increase or decrease in ozone quantities could extend for as long as the sun was active or inactive enough to drive the changes. That means multiple cycles just as during the late 20th century tropospheric warming trend which was spread across cycles 18 to 23 with a likely pause during cycle 20.

    “And what should we look for, precisely?”

    The trend in ozone quantities above 45 km

  82. “However we should get a good indication of ozone sensitivity above 45km if we can compare ozone quantities in that region between the recent cycle minimum and the forthcoming cycle 24 peak.”
    “And what should we look for, precisely?”

    I would expect to see a slight decrease in ozone amounts above 45km between the solar minimum and the solar maximum. That would follow the observed increase which occurred during the decline to solar minimum that appears to have been caught in the data highlighted by Joanna Haigh. If cycle 25 were to be another weak cycle I would expect to see a small increase in ozone above 45km from the minimum of cycle 24 to the minimum of cycle 25.

    Mind you one need not wait until then to falsify my hypothesis. I’ve previously given you a whole range of phenomena that could falsify it such as a poleward shift of the jets whilst the sun remained relatively quiet and the PDO remains negative.

    Can you find evidence of jets up around Greenland for any length of time in the LIA or jets persistently down around Gibraltar in the MWP ?

  83. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 11:52 am
    “The mesosphere does not have a memory of several cycles, only a few months at best”
    A period of net increase or decrease in ozone quantities could extend for as long as the sun was active or inactive enough to drive the changes.

    What does that mean? As long as the sun is active, the ‘ozone quantities’ [whatever that is] will keep going up and up? This requires a memory. And what determines ‘active’ and ‘inactive’? Say, the SSN goes to 150 and stays there for 100 years, will O3 keep increasing all 100 years, then SSN goes to 130 and stays there for the next 100 years. Will O3 then keep decreasing for the next 100 years?
    The only thing that makes sense is that the O3 concentration varies directly with the SSN [with only a very short lag - weeks].

    “And what should we look for, precisely?”
    The trend in ozone quantities above 45 km

    Should it follow the solar cycle up and down?

  84. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm
    I would expect to see a slight decrease in ozone amounts above 45km between the solar minimum and the solar maximum. That would follow the observed increase which occurred during the decline to solar minimum that appears to have been caught in the data highlighted by Joanna Haigh. If cycle 25 were to be another weak cycle I would expect to see a small increase in ozone above 45km from the minimum of cycle 24 to the minimum of cycle 25.
    And if this does not happen, your hypothesis is falsified? The opposite is not true: if it does happen, there could be other explanations: a tribe in darkest Africa has the idea that beating tam-tam drums during a solar eclipse restores the sun, so far it has never failed.

  85. vukcevic says:
    December 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    Mr Wilde & Dr Svalgaard
    Does size of the ozone hole matter to your discussion?

    The standard enthusiast reply is that something else must have intervened, it is after all a complex system with oceans, magnetic passengers, etc.

  86. vukcevic says:
    December 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm
    Just testing. You are right. It is only intervention since records began in 1950. I suspect someone pulling repeadetly emergency cord.
    Or pulling your leg. As Feynman used to say “the easiest one to fool is oneself”.

  87. “And if this does not happen, your hypothesis is falsified? The opposite is not true: if it does happen, there could be other explanations.”

    Of course, but it would not be falsified. Anyone is free to search for alternative explanations.

    However the more often and/or longer the ozone trends behave as I would expect then the more solid my hypothesis would become in the absence of alternative explanations.

  88. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 3:02 pm
    “And if this does not happen, your hypothesis is falsified? The opposite is not true: if it does happen, there could be other explanations.”
    Of course, but it would not be falsified.

    It cannot be falsified?

  89. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 11:52 am
    A period of net increase or decrease in ozone quantities could extend for as long as the sun was active or inactive enough to drive the changes.
    What does that mean? As long as the sun is active, the ‘ozone quantities’ [whatever that is] will keep going up and up? This requires a memory. And what determines ‘active’ and ‘inactive’? Say, the SSN goes to 150 and stays there for 100 years, will O3 keep increasing all 100 years, then SSN goes to 130 and stays there for the next 100 years. Will O3 then keep decreasing for the next 100 years?
    The only thing that makes sense is that the O3 concentration varies directly with the SSN [with only a very short lag - weeks].

    “And what should we look for, precisely?”
    The trend in ozone quantities above 45 km

    Should it follow the solar cycle up and down?
    ================

    I never got answers to these…

  90. “Mr Wilde & Dr Svalgaard
    Does size of the ozone hole matter to your discussion?”

    On mulltidecadal timescales I would expect the size of the ozone hole to be broadly linked to solar activity but on short timescales there are many other phenomena that could interfere.

    Leif asserts that just because solar activity is similar to that near the beginning of the 20th century then global temperatures should be the same. That proposal is similarly flawed because there is more energy in the system now after a long period of poleward jets and more solar input to the oceans. It will take some time for ocean heat content to decline to that earlier level so as to produce a similar tropospheric temperature from the same level of solar activity.

    Similarly a difference in any number of other variables could alter the short term ozone response to a given level of solar activity.

    Leif suggests that short term variability disproves the existence of longer term cause and effect and says that all observed (admittedly imperfect) correlations between solar activity and climate are wholly coincidental.

    To me, that is flawed logic.

  91. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm
    Leif asserts that just because solar activity is similar to that near the beginning of the 20th century then global temperatures should be the same. That proposal is similarly flawed because there is more energy in the system now after a long period of poleward jets and more solar input to the oceans. It will take some time for ocean heat content to decline to that earlier level so as to produce a similar tropospheric temperature from the same level of solar activity.
    Various estimates puts the time constant at 5-10 years.
    Back in the 1830-1870s solar activity was as high as in the 1970-2010s, yet temps are very different.

  92. Leif Svalgaard asked

    “As long as the sun is active, the ‘ozone quantities’ [whatever that is] will keep going up and up?”

    Hardly. You do understand the concept of balance ?

    There will always be a point where ozone is generated as fast as it is destroyed and vice versa. Just as the Earth’s temperature settles at a point of equilibrium between energy received and energy lost so will there be a point of equilibrium between ozone created and ozone destroyed. That point of equilibrium will change over time and the level of solar activity will be a factor in the equation. Thus a more or less active sun will only have an effect until a new equilibrium is achieved.

    “And what should we look for, precisely?”
    The trend in ozone quantities above 45 km
    Should it follow the solar cycle up and down?

    Well the data highlighted by Haigh suggests that the ozone trend above 45km rises when the sun is quiet and falls when the sun is active thus giving the reverse sign solar effect within the system that is required for the jets to go poleward when the sun is more active and equatorward when the sun is less active.
    Poleward jetstream shifting of the scale observed requires a net cooling stratosphere globally and equatorward shifting requires a net warming stratosphere globally. Furthermore that effect has to supplement (and not offset) the UV effects on ozone below 45km so as to achieve the scale of jet stream shifting actually observed. The models cannot accommodate the observed scale of jet stream shifting without a supplemental mechanism. When the sun is more active there needs to be a top down mechanism pulling the jets poleward at the same time as the UV warming below 45km pushes the jets poleward. The models cannot reproduce reality from just the conventional explanation which is simply the UV warming effect below45km pushing the jets poleward.

    Such measurements above 45km have never previously been made. That is why Haigh and many others are surprised at the discovery of a possible reverse sign effect. However my hypothesis requires it and anticipated it. If it is shown not to exist then that would be a falsification but something else would be required to achieve a similar effect.

    I await discovering whether changes in ozone trends above 45km can be discerned at the level of individual solar cycles. I suspect that it will require multiple cycles for a clear signal to emerge above the effects of other shorter term variables.

  93. “Various estimates puts the time constant at 5-10 years.
    Back in the 1830-1870s solar activity was as high as in the 1970-2010s, yet temps are very different”

    I don’t see that such short estimates reflect observations. At the level of single ENSO events I would go along with 5 to 10 years, for example the maximum Arctic ice melt in 2007 was 9 years after the 1998 El Nino.

    At the level of PDO events the complete cycle is around 60 years and that would take a lot longer to add to or subtract from the ocean heat content.

    At the level of changes from MWP to LIA to date there is yet another even longer cycling. I suspect that to implicate the thermohaline circulation which takes 1000 years or so and which nearly fits that periodicity.

    So there are at least three timescales to consider and the idea that 5 to 10 years is sufficient is laughable.

  94. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm
    “As long as the sun is active, the ‘ozone quantities’ [whatever that is] will keep going up and up?”
    Hardly. You do understand the concept of balance ?

    I just took you at your statement:
    Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 11:52 am
    A period of net increase or decrease in ozone quantities could extend for as long as the sun was active or inactive enough to drive the changes.

    There will always be a point where ozone is generated as fast as it is destroyed and vice versa.
    Yes, and the reaction time for that is less than a year.

    The models cannot reproduce reality from just the conventional explanation which is simply the UV warming effect below45km pushing the jets poleward.
    Conventional explanation has nothing to do with UV, but relies on upwards-traveling planetary waves. Get your facts straight.

  95. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm
    So there are at least three timescales to consider and the idea that 5 to 10 years is sufficient is laughable.
    You confuse time scale with cycle length. E.g. it does not take 1000 years to warm the oceans. As a rough guide, the more tenuous something is, the shorter is the time scale. In the upper atmosphere it is short.

  96. “There will always be a point where ozone is generated as fast as it is destroyed and vice versa.
    Yes, and the reaction time for that is less than a year.”

    All that means is that it takes less than a year for a new equilibrium to be reached. It says nothing about the causes of a continually developing disequilibrium over time. If the sun is constantly creating a disequilibrium then your point is worthless.

    “The models cannot reproduce reality from just the conventional explanation which is simply the UV warming effect below45km pushing the jets poleward.
    Conventional explanation has nothing to do with UV, but relies on upwards-traveling planetary waves. Get your facts straight”

    The conventional explanation is that when the sun is active the extra UV warms the stratosphere most at the equator so that the tropopause falls at the equator relative to the height of the tropopause at the poles and the jets are pushed poleward via a reduction in height of the equatorial troposphere but an expansion at the surface.

    I received this from Joanna Haigh and suggest you read her material.

    “I published an article (Science 1996) which showed poleward shifts of the jets in response to higher solar activity, but that was in a model in response to UV increases. We subsequently found a similar pattern of response to solar activity in observational data (J.Clim 2005).”

  97. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Back in the 1830-1870s solar activity was as high as in the 1970-2010s, yet temps are very different.

    We don’t seem to be getting the point through. Solar cycle strength is one factor with ocean oscillations being another. You say there is a big difference in temperature over the two periods but the CET winter record only shows around 0.5 deg C. The 1970-2010 period includes a super El Nino along with a positive PDO, the 1830-1870 period is likely to be a positive PDO but is strength along with El Nino strengths is unknown. Bob Tisdale’s graph of the AMO data is showing the oscillation is much weaker during the earlier period.

    On the whole the two periods are showing similar temperature trends, this is encouraging.

  98. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm
    If the sun is constantly creating a disequilibrium then your point is worthless.
    The solar cycle operates slower than on a one year scale.

    The conventional explanation is that when the sun is active the extra UV warms the stratosphere most at the equator so that the tropopause falls at the equator relative to the height of the tropopause at the poles and the jets are pushed poleward via a reduction in height of the equatorial troposphere but an expansion at the surface.
    So now, the jets are controlled from the equator and not from the poles…

    Geoff Sharp says:
    December 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm
    You say there is a big difference in temperature over the two periods but the CET winter record only shows around 0.5 deg C.
    Half of the AGW claimed change.

  99. As Geoff says, the point is just not getting through to Leif. I have a similar problem with Bob Tisdale.

    Both are focused on short term phenomena ( say, apples) whereas I am focused on long term phenomena (pears).

    Both exist and are supplementary to each other but Leif and Bob just concentrate on the apples and deny that the pears exist at all.

    Fortunately the point is getting across to lots of others.

    We clearly see some sort of solar variability on a 1000 year timescale peak to peak from MWP to LIA to date.

    The thermohaline circulation takes around 1000 to 1500 years.

    Ships logs and regional climate histories show that the jets were substantially nearer the equator in the depths of the LIA as compared to the MWP or today So there is a 1000 year cycling there too.

    To achieve such jetstream shifting it is unavoidable that one also needs to see a change in the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere so that has to have a 1000 year periodicity too to match the jetstream shifting.

    So the logic is inescapable. The solar variability over 1000 years peak to peak changes the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere in order to shift the jets. The jet shifting then alters regional climates especially in the middle latitudes and also alters energy input to the oceans by changing total cloudiness and albedo.

    The oceans add their own modulating effect and are sometimes in phase with the solar effect and sometimes out of phase with it.

    All that is consistent with observations and exists over and above the shorter term solar and oceanic cycling noted by Bob and Leif.

    There is no contradiction. All they need to do is make the imaginative leap and realise that there is more going on than is comprised in their relatively narrow specialities.

    It happens. We just need to identify the mechanism. It has to be a matter of ozone reactions above 45km in response to solar variability. That does not mean that I am blind to alternative explanations but such alternatives have to fit the observations better.

  100. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:04 am

    You are on the right track, but forget about a 1000 year solar cycle. Nature refuses to work within rigid frameworks. The solar cycle is complex, which most can’t comprehend, but can I suggest you read my paper which may be of help.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask. (here or private)

  101. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:04 am
    We clearly see some sort of solar variability on a 1000 year timescale peak to peak from MWP to LIA to date.
    Specifically I objected to your mechanism: solar protons creating NOx destroying ozone in the polar night thereby modifying the polar vortex controlling the polar jets. This is a short-term process [that, as we have seen, does not work].
    About the 1000 years scale: it is amazing that people who deny that Earth can have internal cycles on that time scale, happily accept that the Sun has them. Our reconstructions of solar activity do not support such long-term cycling [and there is also there no mechanism].
    Statements like ” It has to be a matter of ozone reactions” are not science, but preconceived beliefs.

  102. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:04 am
    Fortunately the point is getting across to lots of others.

    Here is a very recent paper on waves and the polar vortex:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, D00N06, 17 PP., 2010
    doi:10.1029/2010JD014125
    Abstract:
    Gravity wave activity in the Arctic stratosphere and mesosphere during the 2007–2008 and 2008–2009 stratospheric sudden warming events
    Brentha Thurairajah et al.
    We report Rayleigh lidar measurements of nightly temperature profiles in the 40–80 km altitude region and 30 min relative density profiles in the 40–50 km altitude region at Chatanika, Alaska (65°N, 147°W) in December, January, February, and March over two winters (2007–2008, 2008–2009). We characterize the gravity wave activity in terms of the measurements of buoyancy period and relative density fluctuations and estimate the gravity wave potential energy density. We compare these measurements with measurements at Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (67°N, 51°W) and Kühlungsborn, Germany (54°N, 12°E). We use satellite and global meteorological data to analyze the synoptic structure of the stratospheric vortex and the Aleutian anticyclone, the planetary wave activity, and the mean winds. Major stratospheric warmings with displacement of the vortex and splitting of the vortex occurred in 2007–2008 and 2008–2009, respectively. We find a positive correlation between the gravity wave activity in the upper stratosphere and the winds in the stratosphere at all three sites. During January and February 2008, we attribute the lower average potential energy density (1.6 J/kg) at Chatanika (relative to 4.7 J/kg at Kangerlussuaq and 2.6 J/kg at Kühlungsborn) to the blocking of gravity waves by the lower winds in the Aleutian anticyclone, while the higher value at Kangerlussuaq (where the winds are similar in strength to those at Kühlungsborn) may reflect stronger sources of gravity waves. During February and March 2009, we attribute the lower average potential energy density (1.1 J/kg) at both Chatanika and Kühlungsborn to the seasonal decrease of the middle atmosphere winds. In general the gravity wave activity is lowest when the wind is weak at the lowest altitudes. We compare the gravity wave activity and winds in these winters at Chatanika with the winter of 2003–2004, when an extreme warming event occurred resulting in an elevated stratopause and major reduction of gravity wave activity. We find that the 2004 warming had a stronger influence on the gravity wave activity.

  103. “Specifically I objected to your mechanism: solar protons creating NOx destroying ozone in the polar night thereby modifying the polar vortex controlling the polar jets. This is a short-term process [that, as we have seen, does not work].”

    I have moved on from that with your assistance. During the course of our discussions a number of sparate mechanisms for ozone destruction at higher levels came to light so I have shifted my position to accommodate the composite effect of all the available mechanisms. However in the end it boils down to a change in ozone levels under the forcing effect of varying levels of solar activity.

    “About the 1000 years scale: it is amazing that people who deny that Earth can have internal cycles on that time scale, happily accept that the Sun has them. Our reconstructions of solar activity do not support such long-term cycling [and there is also there no mechanism].”

    Well I’ve accepted internal Earth cycles on that timescale or longer by involving the thermohaline circulation so that criticism does not apply to me. As regards the sun we have the period 1600 to 2000 to go on and I don’t think anyone avers that the MWP was characterised by 1600 A.D. levels of activity so we can take it that the MWP was characterised by a higher level of activity just like today so that gives us 800 years or so.
    Then the isotope data suggests similar solar cycling further back so why the reluctance to deny any evidence of solar cycling on such timescales ?

    You are happy to accept Earthly cycling of such a length but yet deny it to the sun ?

    The idea that we must have a mechanism before making any attempt to interpret the implications of observations seems to me to be bizarre. People knew fire burned skin and acted accordingly long before they knew of the mechanism as to how burning occurred.

    The fact is that on the basis of many observations (current and historical) the jets respond not only to oceanic surface temperatures but also to levels of solar activity which appear to affect the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere. You may not accept that, you are entitled to your disbelief, but you do not have enough data or knowledge to provide alternative explanations for what we see yet you feel qualified to pass judgement ?

    “Here is a very recent paper on waves and the polar vortex:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, D00N06, 17 PP., 2010
    doi:10.1029/2010JD014125″

    That paper is dealing with short term events that influence the waving about of the jets. It does not deal with the long term phenomenon of shifting the average latitudinal position of the jets over multiple decades or centuries. Apples and Pears. Planetary waves = short term variability. Solar variations and temperature changes above the tropopause shift the long term average position of the jets upon which planetary waves then impose a separate level of variability.

    Tell me, why do you think the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th century and why has it now ceased to cool despite the quieter sun ?

    Your answer should not involve CO2 because CO2 levels have continued to rise throughout and therefore could not have caused the change in trend.

    Tell me, why do you think that the data highlighted by Haigh unexpectedly shows increasing ozone above 45km despite the quieter sun ?

    Falling CFCs are one possibility but I am doubtful that that is the whole story.

  104. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 7, 2010 at 5:53 am
    we can take it that the MWP was characterised by a higher level of activity just like today so that gives us 800 years or so.
    In spite of the Oort Grand Minimum in 1050-1080?

    Then the isotope data suggests similar solar cycling further back so why the reluctance to deny any evidence of solar cycling on such timescales ?
    The isotope data does not suggest cycles. Grand minimum occur at random. See Figure 2 of http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL040142.pdf

    Tell me, why do you think the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th century and why has it now ceased to cool despite the quieter sun ?
    CFCs seems a good explanation. My daughter-in-law Signe has some thoughts on that: http://www.leif.org/EOS/Nature/nature04746.pdf

  105. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 7, 2010 at 6:45 am
    “reluctance to deny ”
    The Sun is a simpler place than the Earth. This is a common occurrence in the Universe: heat something up enough and all complexity disappears into the random motions of superheated gas.

  106. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 7, 2010 at 4:32 am
    Stephen Wilde says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:04 am
    Fortunately the point is getting across to lots of others.

    Here is a very recent paper on waves and the polar vortex:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, D00N06, 17 PP., 2010
    doi:10.1029/2010JD014125
    Abstract:
    Gravity wave activity in the Arctic stratosphere and mesosphere during the 2007–2008 and 2008–2009 stratospheric sudden warming events
    Brentha Thurairajah et al.
    ..We use satellite and global meteorological data to analyze the synoptic structure of the stratospheric vortex and the Aleutian anticyclone, the planetary wave activity, and the mean winds. Major stratospheric warmings with displacement of the vortex and splitting of the vortex occurred in 2007–2008 and 2008–2009, respectively.
    ~
    Aleutian anticyclone
    Just did a quick google search and found this to be interesting. Just looking at the times of year that an “aleutian anticylones,” can form.

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS400US401&q=Aleutian+anticyclone

  107. “Not sure I can agree with the diagram showing the LIA from 1480 to 1880. I thought it was accepted to be in the period 1640 to 1740.”

    Stephen,
    The accepted, Pre Mannian, time frame for the LIA was 1315-1805. You highlighted some of the coldest decades; but overall, many anthropologists and paleo-climate scientists use they year 1315 as the year when things began heading south. Much has been written about the LIA as a regional event confined to Europe. But, the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand, tropical glaciers in South America, as well as long term precipitation patterns in North America and the Sub-tropics reveal a correlation that is global in nature.

    One of the problems when dealing with climate events on a global scale is that not all areas can be treated equally. The tropics, for instance, never really warmed or cooled per se. But the precipitation patterns surely did. Parts of the Southern Hemisphere actually warmed, while droughts and floods plagued Asia. All-in-all, the Northern Hemisphere cooled much more than did the Southern Hemisphere, as the SH is mainly made up of water. The coldest decades of the LIA (1630-1710) coincided with seasonal weather extremes in much of the NH. For instance, in 1666 the UK had a blistering hot dry summer (brought on by a blocking high pressure system over Scandanavia). The hot dry northeasterlies helped spread the devastating London Fire of Sep 1666. The following winter, however was so cold that the great oak trees of the Midlands split. A few years later, devastating gales hit the UK and North Sea. It appears that in a cooling climate, weather extremes are the norm.

  108. Another aspect of the MWP that anthropolgist Brian Fagan looked at was precipitation patterns – especially in the tropics and subtropics. While Europe, basked in warm and relatively calm climate from AD800-AD1300, the tropics and sub-tropics had periods of devastating droughts. From South and Central America to the Desert Southwest of the US, to Northwest Africa, droughts were the normal during this period.

  109. “In spite of the Oort Grand Minimum in 1050-1080?

    The isotope data does not suggest cycles. Grand minimum occur at random. See Figure 2 of http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL040142.pdf

    Looking at your chart in Fig 2 I see little impact from the short Oort Minimum but nice deep minima at 55AD for the Dark Ages and 1500 for the LIA.

    Going further back reveals a wavelike pattern albeit not a specially neat one but lack of neatness does not falsify the basic assertion that solar activity has a cyclic nature.

    Add in the coarseness and susceptibility to other influences of the proxy record and there could well be a more regular cycling than the chart suggests.

    As for Signe’s thoughts I have some hopes that recent ozone hole behaviour is about to stir up a hornet’s nest. See Anthony’s latest post on that.

    It’s strange, Leif, but every new bit of data seems to help with my hypothesis.

  110. JP said

    “The accepted, Pre Mannian, time frame for the LIA was 1315-1805.”

    There were two phases of the LIA punctuated by a long warm period in between so perhaps they ought to be considered as separate incidents.

    The second phase started around 1530 and ended in 1698 with the cold point probably around 1601. However as you observe there were numerous warm periods even within the predominantly cold ones. The period around 1730 was broadly comparable to today.

    Our average mean temperature has largely increased due to warmer winters rather than hotter summers. This warming trend can be observed throughout the CET record from 1660 (although there are numerous reverses throughout the record)

    The warming didn’t start in 1880 when Giss began their measurements-James Hansen measured from a dip from the previous decades.

    tonyb

  111. JP

    You are right to observe that warmth sems to bring a settled climate. Cold on the other hand seems to bring our biggest storms-contrary to the theories.

    tonyb

  112. JP,

    I agree with all that you say. The dates are not critical because of the modulating effects of the oceans and the fact that as the loopier jets wave around areas will be both anomalously warm and anomalously cold at different times as the peaks and troughs drift about longitudinally within the enhanced latitudinal range.

    All the observed regional climate changes (within the undoubtedly global effects) are a simple consequence of those regions constantly changing their positions in relation to the shifting air circulations above.

    Net changes in overall global temperature are pretty much an irrelevance and imperceptible in the face of the natural solar and ocean induced season to season changes.

    Nonetheless the net effect of loopier jets is more extremes just as you say but with overall net cooling.

  113. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Point is that cool periods are not always times with low solar output e.g. it was colder during 1850-1870 with solar output on par with what is has been the past several
    cycles. Connecting 1880s with cold is just playing the cherry-picking coincidence game.

    1850 to 1870 doesn`t very active to me.

  114. Stephen Wilde says:
    December 7, 2010 at 7:29 am
    but lack of neatness does not falsify the basic assertion that solar activity has a cyclic nature.
    A real cycle has a cause. Random wiggles also go up and down.

    It’s strange, Leif, but every new bit of data seems to help with my hypothesis.
    I have never met an enthusiast who thinks otherwise. It is called ‘confirmation bias’. And BTW, I still don’t know what your hypothesis is, except that it can never be falsified: there are always enough obscuring factors to leave the basics untouched of reality.

  115. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 7, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Robuk says:
    December 7, 2010 at 8:05 am
    1850 to 1870 doesn`t look very active to me.
    Look at slides 13, 14, and 19 of http://www.leif.org/research/Does%20The%20Sun%20Vary%20Enough.pdf
    or better read the whole thing.

    So the eyeball observations were wrong in the maunder minimum and the Dalton minimum, we are taking about sunspots we can actually see at that time, nothing else, then we compare these with the temperature of the day, nothing else.

    Whether its TSI or something unknown, two very cold periods in recent history coinsided with very low sunspot counts seen with the human eye, no proxies to cloud the issue. Today we are experiencing extreme cold again with a visibly low sunspot count. If you do not know the cause of the past warmings and coolings you cannot discount the sun link.

  116. Robuk says:
    December 7, 2010 at 8:05 am
    Today we are experiencing extreme cold again with a visibly low sunspot count. If you do not know the cause of the past warmings and coolings you cannot discount the sun link.
    Extreme cold climate? 2010 one of the hottest on record [weather is not climate]. And of course: “if you don’t know anything, everything is possible”, but we tend to go with what we know, shouldn’t we?

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