New Total Solar Irradiation (TSI) baseline value – solar min measured lower in 2008

From a new paper by Dr. Greg Kopp and Dr. Judith Lean, new finding on the solar minimum TSI in 2008:

The most probable value of total solar irradiance representative of solar minimum is 1360.8 ± 0.5 W m−2, lower than the canonical value of 1365.4 ± 1.3 W m−2 recommended a decade ago. This new value, measured by SORCE/TIM, is validated by irradiance comparisons to a NIST‐calibrated cryogenic radiometer in the new TSI Radiometer Facility. Uncorrected scattering and diffraction are shown to cause erroneously high readings in non‐TIM instruments.

That’s lower by 4.6 watts per square meter. This may mean that many climate models will have to be reinitialized if it is decided that this value they derive from SORCE is more accurate than the value established previously.

Figures 1B, 1C and 1D from the paper: The average of three different reported composites (ACRIM, PMOD, and RMIB) adjusted to match the SORCE/TIM absolute scale. The grey shading indicates the standard deviation of the three composites. (c) Irradiance variations estimated from an empirical model that combines the two primary influences of facular brightening and sunspot darkening with their relative proportions determined via regression from direct observations made by SORCE/ TIM. (d) The daily sunspot numbers indicate fluctuating levels of solar activity for the duration of the database.

By way of a forcing comparison to this suggested revision, according to NOAA ESRL:

The total effective climate forcing for all GHGs including CO2 and ozone (O3) from the beginning of the industrial revolution in 1750 to the year 2000 is 2.63 watts per square meter.

So a change of 4.6 watts per square meter to the old baseline TSI is more than double the total GHG forcings. (Averaged over the earth’s curvature, it works out to about 0.85 watts per meter*) That’s still not chump change. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out in models. It is important to note this caveat from their abstract:

TIM’s lower solar irradiance value is not a change in the Sun’s output, whose variations it detects with stability comparable or superior to prior measurements; instead, its significance is in advancing the capability of monitoring solar irradiance variations.

Improved measurements of sun to advance understanding of climate change

From Eurekalert: WASHINGTON—Scientists have taken a major step toward accurately determining the amount of energy that the sun provides to Earth, and how variations in that energy may contribute to climate change.

In a new study of laboratory and satellite data, researchers report a lower value of that energy, known as total solar irradiance, than previously measured and demonstrate that the satellite instrument that made the measurement—which has a new optical design and was calibrated in a new way—has significantly improved the accuracy and consistency of such measurements.

The new findings give confidence, the researchers say, that other, newer satellites expected to launch starting early this year will measure total solar irradiance with adequate repeatability – and with little enough uncertainty – to help resolve the long-standing question of how significant a contributor solar fluctuations are to the rising average global temperature of the planet.

“Improved accuracies and stabilities in the long-term total solar irradiance record mean improved estimates of the sun’s influence on Earth’s climate,” said Greg Kopp of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) of the University of Colorado Boulder.

Kopp, who led the study, and Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C., published their findings today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The new work will help advance scientists’ ability to understand the contribution of natural versus anthropogenic causes of climate change, the scientists said. That’s because the research improves the accuracy of the continuous, 32-year record of total solar irradiance, or TSI. Energy from the sun is the primary energy input driving Earth’s climate, which scientific consensus indicates has been warming since the Industrial Revolution.

Lean specializes in the effects of the sun on climate and space weather. She said, “Scientists estimating Earth’s climate sensitivities need accurate and stable solar irradiance records to know exactly how much warming to attribute to changes in the sun’s output, versus anthropogenic or other natural forcings.”

The new, lower TSI value was measured by the LASP-built Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) instrument on the NASA Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) spacecraft. Tests at a new calibration facility at LASP verify the lower TSI value. The ground-based calibration facility enables scientists to validate their instruments under on-orbit conditions against a reference standard calibrated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Before the development of the calibration facility, solar irradiance instruments would frequently return different measurements from each other, depending on their calibration. To maintain a long-term record of the sun’s output through time, scientists had to rely on overlapping measurements that allowed them to intercalibrate among instruments.

Kopp said, “The calibration facility indicates that the TIM is producing the most accurate total solar irradiance results to date, providing a baseline value that allows us to make the entire 32-year record more accurate. This baseline value will also help ensure that we can maintain this important climate data record for years into the future, reducing the risks from a potential gap in spacecraft measurements.”

Lean said, “We are eager to see how this lower irradiance value affects global climate models, which use various parameters to reproduce current climate: incoming solar radiation is a decisive factor. An improved and extended solar data record will make it easier for us to understand how fluctuations in the sun’s energy output over time affect temperatures, and how Earth’s climate responds to radiative forcing.”

Lean’s model, which is now adjusted to the new lower absolute TSI values, reproduces with high fidelity the TSI variations that TIM observes and indicates that solar irradiance levels during the recent prolonged solar minimum period were likely comparable to levels in past solar minima. Using this model, Lean estimates that solar variability produces about 0.1o Celsius (0.18o Fahrenheit) global warming during the 11-year solar cycle, but is likely not the main cause of global warming in the past three decades.

###

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 38, L01706, 7 PP., 2011
doi:10.1029/2010GL045777

A new, lower value of total solar irradiance: Evidence and climate significance

Greg Kopp
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Judith L. Lean
Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D. C., USA

The most accurate value of total solar irradiance during the 2008 solar minimum period is 1360.8 ± 0.5 W m-2 according to measurements from the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) on NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) and a series of new radiometric laboratory tests. This value is significantly lower than the canonical value of
1365.4 ± 1.3 W m-2 established in the 1990s, which energy balance calculations and climate models currently use. Scattered light is a primary cause of the higher irradiance values measured by the earlier generation of solar radiometers in which the precision aperture defining the measured solar beam is located behind a larger, view-limiting aperture. In the TIM, the opposite order of these apertures precludes this spurious signal by limiting the light entering the instrument. We assess the accuracy and stability of irradiance measurements made since 1978 and the implications of instrument uncertainties and instabilities for climate research in comparison with the new TIM data. TIM’s lower solar irradiance value is not a change in the Sun’s output, whose variations it detects with stability comparable or superior to prior measurements; instead, its
significance is in advancing the capability of monitoring solar irradiance variations on climate-relevant time scales and in improving estimates of Earth energy balance, which the Sun initiates.

Received 7 October 2010; accepted 30 November 2010; published 14 January 2011.

Citation: Kopp, G., and J. L. Lean (2011), A new, lower value of total
solar irradiance: Evidence and climate significance, Geophys. Res.
Lett., 38, L01706, doi:10.1029/2010GL045777.

See the paper here (PDF)

big h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard

* UPDATE: from ClimateWatcher in comments:

The TSI averaged over the earth’s surface area and the amount not reflected to space:

1/4 ( 1 – a ) * S

1/4 – the ratio of circle through which radiation passes to the surface are of sphere.
a – albedo ( let’s use 0.3 even though nobody knows for sure)

So the comparison should be

0.25 * 0.7 * 4.6 W/m^2

or about 0.85 W/m^2

That’s still not negligible but not a doubler.

Interesting to note that 0.85 W/m^2 was the amount the earth was supposedly
out of balance by per Hansen and Trenberth.

Given the uncertainty in Solar constant, albedo and mostly thermal emission,
there’s no way anyone really knows if the earth is out of balance or not.

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66 Responses to New Total Solar Irradiation (TSI) baseline value – solar min measured lower in 2008

  1. rushmike says:

    Hmmm, lower TSI, yet global temperatures keep increasing…hmmmm

    REPLY: Wrong conclusion, see the caveat. This is a baseline recalibration, though TSI was lower during solar minimum as it always is. – Anthony

  2. Theo Goodwin says:

    Hooray! Some real science on a measurement regime that feeds into global warming calculations. This is the first such work in the last thirty years. Now, if only the same could be done for the measurement regimes used on sea, land, and in the atmosphere. Then maybe we could get some trustworthy data. Climate science is hardly more than a newborn and the so-called scientists baying like wolves about the disaster of AGW should weaken their outrageous claims to bring them in line with actual evidence. Climate science as practiced by Hansen and friends is the apotheosis of hubris.

  3. Ray says:

    Strange, I have not seen a solar irradiance anomaly graph yet. Those are so trendy these days. But the best part is that you get to choose your average.

  4. etudiant says:

    Excellent!
    Science advances with improved data. This new instrument seems a real step forward.
    It would be helpful to place comparable emphasis on the in orbit stability of the instrument, which is not mentioned much in the report.
    Given the controversies that have arisen from adjustments to both terrestrial as well as orbital instrument readings relevant to monitoring the earth and the atmosphere, a stable TSI measurement is very much needed.
    Separately, the difference from prior measures of TSI is about 4x the stated error range for the prior estimate. It would be useful to do a postmortem to analyze why the error was underestimated so substantially.

  5. This sounds encouraging. Some real empirical science. Once we have another 30 years or so of data then maybe we can draw some real conclusions.

  6. TerryS says:

    Re: rushmike

    Hmmm, lower TSI, yet global temperatures keep increasing…hmmmm

    Hmmm, increased CO2 yet global temperatures remain stable…hmmmm

  7. RobJM says:

    CAGW folks claim that a 3.7 watt/m2 forcing causes a 3-4deg C rise in temp.
    The graph above shows that a forcing of about 1W/m2 over a solar cycle causes a temp increase of only 0.1deg C, or a sensitivity 10 times smaller than CAGW.
    The main driver is cloud cover, as determined by the ERBE data.

  8. Poptech says:

    I think it is time to stop taking paper recommendations from Leif,

    “Using this model, Lean estimates that solar variability produces about 0.1o Celsius (0.18o Fahrenheit) global warming during the 11-year solar cycle, but is likely not the main cause of global warming in the past three decades.”

  9. ClimateWatcher says:

    So a change of 4.6 watts per square meter to the old baseline TSI is more than double the total GHG forcings.

    Not so.

    The TSI averaged over the earth’s surface area and the amount not reflected to space:

    1/4 ( 1 – a ) * S

    1/4 – the ratio of circle through which radiation passes to the surface are of sphere.
    a – albedo ( let’s use 0.3 even though nobody knows for sure)

    So the comparison should be

    0.25 * 0.7 * 4.6 W/m^2

    or about 0.85 W/m^2

    That’s still not negligible but not a doubler.

    Interesting to note that 0.85 W/m^2 was the amount the earth was supposedly
    out of balance by per Hansen and Trenberth.

    Given the uncertainty in Solar constant, albedo and mostly thermal emission,
    there’s no way anyone really knows if the earth is out of balance or not.

    REPLY: Ah, excellent point if that calc is accurate. I’ll be happy to add this as a caveat. – Anthony

  10. Molon Labe says:

    Does this mean they’ve found the missing heat?

  11. ClimateWatcher says:

    The comparisons of forcing elements are not equal of course.

    IPCC likes to throw everything into one pot
    solar, CO2, O3, Sulfates, Black Carbon.

    But they are not strictly comparable, even though we pretend so.

    While we average solar over a sphere, many processes,
    snowmelt for example, are more effected by the peak insolation,
    not the diurnal or seasonal average.

    CO2 emits to space in the stratosphere, while H2O emits from the troposphere.

    Not all forcings are created equally in the mythical forcing calculation.

  12. Amazing!! This is really breaking news.

  13. Anything is possible says:

    Interesting, but not surprising, that there is a clear correlation between TSI and sunspot activity, which varies in the range of 1-2 W/m2 between minima and maxima.

    The next question is whether there is a negative feedback caused by increased cloud formation owing to more Cosmic Gamma Rays interacting with condensation nucleii during periods of low solar activity…..

    If, as is beginning to look likely, we are entering a period of prolonged minimum solar activity, then the next 20-30 years promise to be very instructive indeed.

    Let’s hope their are enough climate scientists prepared to remove their heads from the sand and attend the “lecture”.

  14. Shevva says:

    Its been dark so long that when you see a pin prick of light at the end of a tunnel it can be blinding.

    Long live the scientific method gone missing these past 10 years. Hopefully the sums add for either side of the debate.

  15. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    It is in error to only use TSI to evaluate the sun’s influence on earth’s climate.

  16. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    rushmike says:
    January 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Hmmm, lower TSI, yet global temperatures keep increasing…hmmmm

    No. Wrong. Earth’s temperature does not continue to increase. It is in error to determine what is happening in global temperature trend at this moment. Global mean temperature is now biased by the El Nino that ended in May 2010. One needs to wait until the current La Nina has bottomed out to get a nore accurate guage on trend.

    In any case, we can all conclude that there has been no statistically significant warming for 16 years. It was 15 years but you can add 1 year on since nothing statistically significant happened since it was 15 years 1 year ago.

  17. Geoff Sharp says:

    If the new TSI data is correct it now aligns with the EUV values recorded over the past minimum showing a decline in the base level. The plot thickens.

  18. u.k.(us) says:

    “Using this model, Lean estimates that solar variability produces about 0.1o Celsius (0.18o Fahrenheit) global warming during the 11-year solar cycle, but is likely not the main cause of global warming in the past three decades.”
    ==========
    O.K., but brings a transistor to mind. ??

  19. kuhnkat says:

    It is a recalibration that changes the number for the insolation for the models and energy balance equations?

    Does this mean that Trenberth’s energy never made it to the earth?

    If not, please include a dummies guide for this dummy.

  20. Brian W says:

    The earth has no energy balance. The sun is the only forcing and obviously the k&t diagram is a load of nonsense since the numbers are meaningless! Science is lost.

  21. Geoff Sharp says:
    January 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    If the new TSI data is correct it now aligns with the EUV values recorded over the past minimum showing a decline in the base level. The plot thickens.
    The data does not allow this conclusion.

    Quote: “Disagreement among overlapping observations, as apparent in Figure 3, indicates undetected drifts that suggest the TSI record is not sufficiently stable to discern solar changes on decadal time scales.

  22. Stevo says:

    “So a change of 4.6 watts per square meter to the old baseline TSI is more than double the total GHG forcings”

    Good try, but no. 2.63*2=5.26. 5.26 is more than 4.6, not less. You also seem not to know that to calculate the solar forcing, you need to divide the change in TSI by 4, because solar radiation falls on half of a rotating planet, and then multiply by 0.7 to account for the fact that 30% is reflected. So now we have not 4.6 but 0.805W/m². That’s quite a lot less than the greenhouse gas forcings. And finally you seem not to have understand that this is not even a forcing, even though you manage to quote the bit about “TIM’s lower solar irradiance value is not a change in the Sun’s output”.

    I think you have to really want to be wrong to get that much wrong in such a short article.

  23. Werner Weber says:

    This new baseline value of 1360.8 Watt/m2 solar intensity was seen since long in all SORCE data. The question was, where is the calibration problem, with the old satellite data which give 1365 W/m2 or the new ones, delivered by SORCE. Or are there real shifts in solar intensities from minimum to minimum? Only then this would have consequences for the climate. I guess, Leif would insist that there are no such solar intensity changes from one solar minimum to the next.
    It is interesting to note that Old Abbot’s terrestrial data, taken between 1923 and 1954, give the baseline value of 1357 W/m2. Not bad for those guys from Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Maybe Abbot’s data are trustworthy, after all?
    See http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/solar/solarirrad.html#abbot

  24. Werner Weber says:
    January 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    I guess, Leif would insist that there are no such solar intensity changes from one solar minimum to the next.

    What I would say [a bit more conservatively] is that such changes have not been demonstrated. Accepting that SORCE/TIM has the best calibration one can intercalibrate with the other instruments. E.g. with PMOD that was the one showing a decrease this past minimum. Greg Kopp and I looked at this early last year and with this result:
    http://www.leif.org/research/PMOD%20TSI-SOHO%20keyhole%20effect-degradation%20over%20time.pdf

  25. Bill Illis says:

    Climate Watcher’s formula above is correct for the solar forcing in watts/m2.

    And then if one calculated the temperature impact using the Stefan-Boltzmann equations, it would only be about a 0.15C difference.

    So the Earth’s average surface temperature is 14.35C instead of 14.50C. Noone really knows what this number is anyway so it doesn’t matter particularly.

    It will not result in the climate models having to make major adjustments since there is already a very wide margin in what the models simulate the Earth’s average temperature to be. The range is literally from 16.0C to 13.0C according to some data that lucia put together.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/temperatures_absolute.jpg

  26. mike g says:

    Now, for all you “electric universe” imbeciles, integrate that 1360 W/m^2 over a sphere with a radius of 93 million miles. All that energy is coming from where?

  27. richcar 1225 says:

    Regardless of the mechanism of the sun’s influence on climate, the study of the reconstructed temperatures from an ice core taken from the Altai Glacier demonstrate a twenty year lag between sunspot activity and temperature change.
    http://www.science20.com/news_releases/siberian_altai_ice_cores_say_sun_drove_preindustrial_temperature_changes
    If we take 1990 as the beginning of sunspot decline which is still continuing then we might expect temps to start declining in 2010 and continue for at least twenty years. Tropospheric temps have declined .7 degrees since a year ago. Although the Altai ice core reconstruction can only account for 50% of the recent warming due to sunspots, it turns out that the temperature increase at that location is twice the global average.

  28. HaroldW says:

    First off, second the comment from Climate Watcher; the forcing value is equivalent power density averaged over the whole earth and an entire day, rather than the peak value directly below the sun.

    Second, I’m a bit surprised that Dr. Lean expects any change in model responses from the new, lower irradiance value. As far as I can tell, the models are concerned with changes over time; I don’t think they rely on the absolute value. There will be a small change in the sensitivity to albedo, equal to the fractional change in irradiance, but that’s only 4.6 / 1360 which is less than half a percent. Anyone have an idea why she thinks this is a significant change to GCMs? I can understand that more precise measurement of the variations in irradiance will be useful (but again I doubt these are very different from the prior best-estimates).

  29. Tom in Florida says:

    When I read the following: “TIM’s lower solar irradiance value is not a change in the Sun’s output, whose variations it detects with stability comparable or superior to prior measurements; instead, its significance is in advancing the capability of monitoring solar irradiance variations.”, I said to myself, “I wonder how long it will take to see a post from a believer that will ignore the statement and claim that TSI is lower but temps are higher seemingly to prove AGW.

    Low and behold, it was the very first post!

  30. Anything is possible says:

    richcar 1225 says:
    January 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    “If we take 1990 as the beginning of sunspot decline which is still continuing then we might expect temps to start declining in 2010 and continue for at least twenty years.”

    _____________________________________________________________

    Why take 1990? Sunspot numbers remained above their long-term average right up until the solar minimum in 2008-9. The Sun’s failure to come out of that minimum is really the first indication that things are changing.

    As I see it, the sunspot decline is very recent phenomenon – 18 months to 2 years, at best.

    If your 20-year lag theory is correct, it may be that the real “fun” won’t start until 2030…..

  31. u.k.(us) says:

    mike g says:
    January 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm
    Now, for all you “electric universe” imbeciles, integrate that 1360 W/m^2 over a sphere with a radius of 93 million miles. All that energy is coming from where?
    =====
    Bluetooth or WiFi, even us imbeciles’s know that.
    Don’t know about “electric universe”, but I have electric.

  32. rawdog says:

    I am not a climate researcher, and not a scientist at all though I have a technical background.

    What I don’t understand is why the error limits of the ten year old 1365.4 +/-1.3 Watts/m^2 is so exclusive of the mean of the new figure of 1360.8 +/- .5 Watts/m^2. If these error limits given are actually 1sigma limits then the new mean is actually 4.6/1.3 = 3.5sigma outside of the older mean according to the error analysis of the earlier measurement….. And yet the claim is made that the sun’s output is not changed, but the new measurement is merely more accurate?

    If this is true, why is the error analysis of the older measurement so innacurate? Isn’t it more reasonable to assume the sun’s radiance is variable and has changed?

    rawdog

  33. Darren Parker says:

    We’ve already established cloud cover as the primary climate driver. How does TSI and GCR affect cloud cover. We need data!

  34. joe says:

    why would you even trust their data at this point? who reports it, NASA? too many crooks and liars in the mix….

  35. richcar 1225 says:

    anything is possible said:
    “Why take 1990? Sunspot numbers remained above their long-term average right up until the solar minimum in 2008-9. The Sun’s failure to come out of that minimum is really the first indication that things are changing.”
    Cycles 21 and 22 were fairly even but cycle 23 (2000-2001) declined from approximately SSN 160 (cycle 22, 1990) to about 110. Cycle 24 maybe about 60. The decline started from cycle 23 and has since accelerated.
    Pray for GHG forcing. It might just be a coincidence but but the 1998 and 2010 El Ninos are 20 years from cycle 21 and 22 maximums. At any rate I do not believe we can expect a super El Nino for awhile.

  36. Gary wilson says:

    When TSI is mentioned with respect to climate the fairly small changes are described as not enough to give rise to significant climate change. What I have not seen is any reference to spectral changes in solar radiation. Earths albedo should be wavelength dependent. Could it be that even though TSI remains constant spectral changes lead to much higher variations in albedo. This could explain the apparent link between sunspots and climate.

  37. Nick says:

    Studies such as this could signal a generational change in climate science.

    I wouldn’t expect any of the “Old Dogs” to attempt any “New tricks” by getting involved in using the Sun as a baseline from which to work. The “Old Dogs”, I beleive, maybe too far committed with their existing dogma’s to be able to promote they’ve learnt “New Tricks” for anyone to be able to take them seriously.

    I certainly wont.

    Through their actions the “Old”Dogs” have already proven to be more leaders of faith based and emotive argument, using circumstantial and missleading information the majority of time which corrupts anything that may of value. :-)

    Using the Sun as a baseline for study may introduce some new blood into the field.

    From there the science may develop and, hopefully, mature.

  38. Eric Barnes says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm
    Werner Weber says:
    January 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    I guess, Leif would insist that there are no such solar intensity changes from one solar minimum to the next.

    What I would say [a bit more conservatively] is that such changes have not been demonstrated.

    Leif, Your statement seems subjective. What evidence is there that the minimum has had no variance through time?

  39. Anything is possible says:

    richcar 1225 says:
    January 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    “Cycles 21 and 22 were fairly even but cycle 23 (2000-2001) declined from approximately SSN 160 (cycle 22, 1990) to about 110. Cycle 24 maybe about 60. The decline started from cycle 23 and has since accelerated.”

    ____________________________________________________________

    Fair point, but Solar Cycle 23 was still above-average (ranking about 9th. strongest) as compared to all 23 cycles. So the “decline” was really only relative to the strong cycles 21 & 22.

    Essentially, just a quibble over data interpretation. I don’t disagree with your conclusions.

  40. Eric Barnes says:
    January 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm
    Leif, Your statement seems subjective. What evidence is there that the minimum has had no variance through time?
    Figure 1b has a grey band of uncertainty. The variation of observed TSI at minima falls within that band, hence as the paper itself states: “Disagreement among overlapping observations, as apparent in Figure 3, indicates undetected drifts that suggest the TSI record is not sufficiently stable to discern solar changes on decadal time scales.”.

  41. John Kehr says:

    I am curious how much the solar cycle has influenced Bastardi at AccuWeather to make the bet for the coming decade. It is brave to bet on a decade, but if the solar cycle truly is a major player and the current cycle is a bust, then he will clean up on the bet. This next decade will be an interesting one.

    Personally I think once the cooling starts, it is going to be much greater than 0.2C in a decade.

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2011/01/bastardi%E2%80%99s-wager/

  42. rushmike says:

    John Kehr,
    ‘Once to cooling starts’- hmmmm well temperatures continue to increase. Lets balance out those ENSO peaks and troughs over a five year period and plot against sunspot numbers, and for fun lets add the PDO………WOW!! Since 1980…Even mor WOW!!
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1930/to:2010/mean:60/plot/jisao-pdo/from:60/to:2010/scale:0.1/mean:60/plot/uah/from:1930/to:2010/mean:60/offset:0.2/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1930/to:2010/scale:0.0005
    and some people on this site still think temperatures are cooling (wasn’t 2010 tied as warmest despite the sharp La Nina in the 2nd half of the year (from June/July)?) Hmmmm

  43. davidmhoffer says:

    Stevo says:
    January 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm
    “So a change of 4.6 watts per square meter to the old baseline TSI is more than double the total GHG forcings”
    Good try, but no. 2.63*2=5.26. 5.26 is more than 4.6, not less. You also seem not to know that to calculate the solar forcing, you need to divide the change in TSI by 4, because solar radiation falls on half of a rotating planet,>>>

    Wel;, if you are going to lecture others about math, at least get your own right. You divide the TSI by 4 because it falls on 1/2 the planet? LOL. Try you divide by 2 for half the planet and then again to account for curvature of the earth face as presented to the Sun.

    and then multiply by 0.7 to account for the fact that 30% is reflected. So now we have not 4.6 but 0.805W/m². That’s quite a lot less than the greenhouse gas forcings.>>>

    Is it now. Really? The classic number quoted by IPCC et al is 3.7 w/m2 for doubling of CO2 over the base line of 1750 AD. Of course they neglect to mention that after 260 years of fossil fuel use, CO2 has only gone up about 40%. Wait, no, don’t multiply 0.4 x 3.7 you will get too low a number! CO2 is logarithmic so once you figure out how to do that you should be at about 2.5 w/m2. But wait! The IPCC also neglects to spell out the fact that they aren’t modeling based on SURFACE temps, they are modeling based on the “effective black body” temperature of earth. That’s about -20 degrees C while the surface temperature of the earth is more like +15, or so the IPCC says. To get to a surface number you have to use THEIR ratio of 3.7/5.5*forcing at effective black body. So now, at surface, we’re talking in the range of 1.7 w/m2. So, the change in TSI measurement is about 50% of the modeled forcing from CO2.

    And finally you seem not to have understand that this is not even a forcing, even though you manage to quote the bit about “TIM’s lower solar irradiance value is not a change in the Sun’s output”.>>>

    It isn’t a forcing? Does the Sun’s radiance heat the planet or doesn’t it? If we’re going to argue about how much “forcing” CO2 causes in w/m2, then it has to be compared to other energy sources that cause changes in the amount of w/m2 that the earth receives from them and the amount that the earth radiates to space. Call it what ever you want, forcing is a lousy term for either. In this case the correction to base line appears to be in the same rough magnitude as change supposedly from CO2.

    And don’t even get me started on this mythical “average” temperature of earth or the equally mythical “average” energy flux at earth surface from any source. That calculation is like taking the total number of bikinis being worn at any given time on earth and dividing by the area of the earth surface in order to estimate how many bikini clad women there at any given time, on average, at the North Pole. I suggest it is identical to the average number of bikini clad men at the North Pole. I don’t know for certain, Sports Illustrated always does their bikini shoot someplace not cold. And there aren’t any bikini clad men in those shots either. Odd that.

  44. Will the figures in Trenberth’s famous diagram have to be altered? 1362 seems to be about the new average figure, divide by 4 and we get 340.5 instead of Trenberth’s 342 w/m^2 insolation which is used in nearly all the diagrams.

    Ahh, I see SORCE puts in the altered figure and this important caveat:

    To determine long-term changes in the Sun’s output, which may have time scales extending much longer than the 11-year solar cycle, the TSI climate record requires either very good absolute accuracy or very good instrument stability and continuous measurements. To date, no TSI instrument has achieved the necessary absolute accuracy, and the TSI record relies on measurement continuity from overlapping spacecraft instruments (see TSI Database Figure below).

    I’d like a reminder of Scafetta’s position. I know he was hot under the collar about the splicing used between different satellite datasets and I’d trust him on the whole.

  45. Eric Barnes says:

    Leif, you have a great sense of humor.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    Figure 1b has a grey band of uncertainty. The variation of observed TSI at minima falls within that band, hence as the paper itself states: “Disagreement among overlapping observations, as apparent in Figure 3, indicates undetected drifts that suggest the TSI record is not sufficiently stable to discern solar changes on decadal time scales.”.

  46. rbateman says:

    HaroldW says:
    January 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    The GCM’s are not radically altered by the lower TSI baseline, to the extent that they will still spit out the same bad climate forecasts, as long as they are fed with tampered surface station data.
    Cities and municipalities will continue to be mal-advised as to weather preparations.

  47. Matt G says:

    The GHG’s 2.63 watts per square meter versus the 0.85 w/m2 reaching the ocean surface is far more similar when comparing both over land, but miles apart when over ocean. Despite these values quoted as supposed to cause more warming from GHG’s, when the planet doesn’t show this because of this mistake. About 71 percent of the planets surface of the 2.63 w/m2 when going back out to space only contacts the skin layer of the surface.

    The 0.85 w/m2 reaches upwards to around 100m ocean depth, so comparing these two as comparable energy values to the planets energy budget is very wrong. This is the main reason why the planet is not complying to the calculations of computer models. That is why SWR has many orders higher influence then LWR with energy exchange compared, with the difference easily 200,000 times greater just to water compared with the atmosphere. This is so important because the ocean controls the temperatures of our atmosphere.

    Likely a mistake also which should lead to a future change to the supposed 33c greenhouse effect theory. Why you wonder this is because the ocean in this context should also be treated as by far the biggest greehouse contribution of the planet. The greenhouse effect can’t be calulated just using the atmosphere it also needs the energy content processes involved with the oceans to achieve a correct value. The energy retained in the oceans makes the planet warmer and contributes significantly towards the greenhouse effect. (not only with water vapour, but also energy consistantly supplied like central heating to the atmosphere) Take away the ocean, but maintain the same atmospheric content and the greenhouse effect of 33c would be significantly reduced.

  48. It would be great to have a solar page here, like the Sea Ice page and the sea level rise / SST pages. Including basic astrophysics links too. And though I may query his broad-brush rejection of EU, who better to do a solar page here than Leif.

    (I think EU has important material even though I too query some of it. I would love to see nuanced studies and comments, looking at bits of evidence, rather than trench-warfare attitudes. For instance, IMHO it’s worth looking at planetary craters as the results of electrical discharges rather than mechanical impacts. Here’s a video study of Mars – also look at Mercury in this light)

  49. Tommy says:

    @rushmike
    “Hmmm, lower TSI, yet global temperatures keep increasing…hmmmm”

    Why is it so hard for you pro AGW people to understand that there is a lag between solar activity, and that you need a prolonged period with lower solar activity for the effect to truly be seen?
    During the last decades we have had the strongest solar cycles on average in over 8000 years. Even the weakest cycles in last decades have been pretty high in activity.
    It is only in recent years that we have entered a deep grand minimum, so you cannot expect a immediate drop in global temperatures. But either way we already see some changes and global temps have started dropping like a rock since this summer.
    Some of us who think sun is driver actually predicted the change in weather patterns seen over last years with jet streams moving more south, which is in exact contradiction to what should happen according to AGW theory.

    It will probably take another decade before the full effects start to be seen.

  50. Economic Geologist says:

    Anthony – I second Lucy’s request for a Solar Page, like your Sea Ice Page (which I think is great). Is there any chance you could make that happen? Thanks for all your excellent work keeping WUWT going!

  51. Jon says:

    That does it; after years and years of procrastinating, I am going to buy a snowblower when they go on sale in a couple of months.

  52. Doug Proctor says:

    The revision of total solar irradiance by 4.5 W/m2 (actually, 1.25 W/m2 on a whole-earth area average) goes to the bogus basis of certainty in the IPCC and CO2 claims of certainty.

    Let’s use Trenbeth as an example. Trenbeth worries about a “missing” 0.85 +/- 0.12 W/m2: what IS the actual uncertainty? Annual orbital eccentricity and seasonal variation in albedo of +/- 7.7 W/m2 and 8.9 W/m2 at a planetary scale. Albedo variation at a local or climatic zone basis, considering monsoons, hurricanes and such, must be as great. Absorption due to variations in aerosols (themselves a function of preciptitation or humidit) is another factor. The end result is an annual variation of > 16.6 W/m2.

    The calculation of an “average”, mean, median or mode is not time dependent, but as insolation and albedo (and others) are time-dependent, whatever shakes out over time is NOT and CANNOT be a simple, constant number. When Trenbeth and others look for or blame events on such things as a “missing” 0.85 +/- 0.12 W/m2 you must shake your head. The Earth’s climate is dynamic, not static in the moment or linearly changing in time.

    The “noise” of the system is far greater than the claimed precision with which the climate scientists measure the parts. There is momentum and feedback going on to give us the stability we see. Anyone who exists outside his ivory condo knows this: at night it is cold, and during the day, warm, and warmer without clouds than with, except (often) at night. Feedback is huge. But is the feedback perfect to < 1 W/m2? And if it is, at what time level?

    The averaged insolation now is calculated at 340.2 W/m2. It remains a mathematical construct of planetary variations by place and time. A 1.0 W/m2 amount is 0.29% difference. Measurement error is said to be 0.125 W/m2. Albedo measurements must be no better per measurement, but because the albedo changes often (estimated at 15-20% annually, with no multi-year component known to my understanding) , it cannot be said to be a constant, but a variation within limits (+/- 8.8 W/m2). The error of what is "missing", when viewed as part of a larger calculation, has to be much larger than +/- 0.85 W/m2.

    Our desire for accuracy and precision is beyond what the natural world is giving us. We are looking for – and funding, and making legislation for – a signal much smaller than the noise because we assume that all the natural variations average out over short periods of time into a static constant.

    Here we have an example of how poor our are: the insolation value changes by 1.15 W/m2, but climate change models have an effect of global proportions at the "missing" 0.85 W/m2 level. A long-term albedo change of 1% is 1.0 W/m2. The annual albedo change is (max-min) 17.7 W/m2 (+/- 4.4 W/m2, a rough estimate of range). What IS the long-term albedo? Unknown, as pointed out in a post above. 0.296 or 0.3 are two common numbers, separated by 1.4 W/m2. Trenbeth (and others) plants his flag in shifting sand.

    We are quibbling over, as I wrote in a longer post elsewhere, the type of boots on the feet of gnats on the head of a pin. The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle applies at a macro-scale here. We can know what the climate is (a snapshot of weather, really) but not where it is going (except in general sense). Or we can know where it is going today precisely (momentary trends) but not where it is precisely (due to its wide variation). But not, to the level of precision and accuracy portrayed, both at the same time.

    The temperature record, as well as that of precipitation, is the same. To those who feel that variations average out, consider why we have weather and not climate: local and time differences matter. There is nothing to say that the differences average out over one year, two years or 60. A dynamic system has its own rythmns: if we want to see evidence of CAGW, what we measure and claim as "the anthropogenic footprint" must be a significant part of the rolling variation not just measurement error.

  53. stephan says:

    rusmike check amsu satellite temps way down BELOW anomaly hmmmm plesae stop lying you have been caught out for the record LOL

  54. steven mosher says:

    rbatemen.

    ‘The GCM’s are not radically altered by the lower TSI baseline, to the extent that they will still spit out the same bad climate forecasts, as long as they are fed with tampered surface station data.”

    The input files for GCMs do not include surface station data.

  55. nicola scafetta says:

    This paper is interesting, but there are some points that need to be clarified.

    1) What it is done is to recalibrate the TSI satellite composite record on TIM measurements. This gives a 4-5 W/m^2 lower level for the solar constant. If this is correct, it is further evidence that the current climate model are extremely uncertain and that the apparent agreement with the temperature data is due to an ad hoc calibration of the models.

    2) The hypothesis made on the paper is that TIM record is accurate. However, there may be the possibility that TIM sensors are less sensitive than the other satellite measurements. For example, even after a correction on ACRIM3 record acknowledged in the paper, ACRIM3 is still above TIM.

    3) It is not just the level of TIM that it is lower. TIM record is also smoother than the other records (ACRIM3 and VIRGO). This would suggest that TIM is less sensitive and it has its own sensitivity problems.

    The above analysis of TIM is essentially the work of Dr. Greg Kopp, it is very interesting and addresses some major solar activity measure problems people are having. Now, let us see the contribution of Lean to this paper. Here it is where I have some problem.

    4) Lean is not an expert in satellite measurement; she has made a TSI proxy model that is plotted in the figure. The TSI proxy model by Lean seriously diverges from all TSI satellite measurements, as evident in Fig 3b of the paper. Lean proxy model does not show any trend at all during the last 30 years, which appears quite unphysical. The reason why this model does not show any trend is that it uses faculae and sunspot assuming that the solar background irradiance is constant. Evidently, in this way all solar minima, when no significant sunspots nor faculae are observed, appear all equally leveled by construction!

    5) Lean is very careful in ignoring other papers (including mine) on the solar irradiance records and solar effect on climate. My papers are quite fair in acknowledging the existence of a still unsolved controversy about the trend of TSI. This controversy refers mostly to the NIMBUS7 record during the ACRIM gap (1989-1992) that has been severely altered downward by the VIRGO group to get their composite, which does not show any significant trend during the last 30 years.

    6) The reason why people have believed in the VIRGO satellite composite which is made of significant alteration of the published satellite records is because VIRGO composite (once the published TSI records are appropriately altered) appears to better agree with Lean TSI model (Frohlich C. and J. Lean, GRL). This makes a circular reasoning argument.

    7) However, Lean model still fails to reproduce even the latest satellite records. In particular, there is a wide agreement among the TSI experimentalist that the minimum in 2008 is significantly lower than the minimum in 1996. This behavior is not seen in Lean’s model, as the figure of above shows.

    8) Lean appears to ignore that, as published in my paper (Scafetta and Willson, 2009), the experimental team of Nimbus7 have rejected the Virgo presumed corrections as incompatible with the physics of the instruments and that Nimbus7 is compatible with other TSI proxy models.

    9) Consequently, it cannot be ruled out that TSI increased from 1980 to 2000 and decreased afterward. I discuss these issues in my own papers (for example Scafetta 2009, 2010 J. Atm. and Solar.-Terr. Phys) that would imply that the sun contributed significantly to the current warm period between 1970 and 2000.

    10) Lean’s climate model is just a regression of the forcings against the temperature. This model in unphysical because the climate system processes the forcings, such as the TSI. Lean’s model simply ignores the heat capacity of the climate system, which would induce a gradual change. In the case of the Sun this would imply a slow response of the climate to solar increase, as seen since the LIA and the 1900. Thus, the solar effect signature on climate may present trends even when it is constant if previously it was rising. These things are elementary physics and are extensively explained in my papers and in all climate model papers.

    11) Thus, the conclusion that the sun did not contribute the warming from 1980 to 2000, as concluded in the paper, is questionable. It is based on the assumption that solar activity is constant during the last 30 year and that climate responds with zero heat capacity to radiative forcing.

    References about papers are found in
    http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/

    and here at

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

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/14/dr-nicolas-scaffeta-summarizes-why-the-anthropogenic-theory-proposed-by-the-ipcc-should-be-questioned/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/04/new-scafetta-paper-his-celestial-model-outperforms-giss/

  56. Squidly says:

    I’m a little confused (nothing new). I keep seeing people trying to manipulate this calculation of things like:

    Good try, but no. 2.63*2=5.26. 5.26 is more than 4.6, not less. You also seem not to know that to calculate the solar forcing, you need to divide the change in TSI by 4, because solar radiation falls on half of a rotating planet…

    This doesn’t seem correct to me at all. I don’t profess to know much about this particular problem, however, I can say that I do distance calculations for GeoIP addresses problems, and the formula’s that I use for this are nothing so simplistic as they account for the curvature of the earth. One such common (simple) formula is d=sqrt((x2-x1)2 + (y2-y1)2), while other, more accurate get much more complex. I am not understanding this “divide by 4″ approach. Seems to me, that the calculation in question here is even more complex than even my simple distance calculations. I picture a light bulb illuminating a large ball bearing. Just take a look at the reflection. That doesn’t appear to me to be a such a simple calculation.

    Perhaps I am missing something important here (wouldn’t be the first time).

  57. Squidly says:

    Other common calculation formula

    Law of Cosines (spherical) | cos(b) = sin(a)*sin(c) + cos(a)*cos(c)*cos(B)
    Law of Sines (spherical) | sin (B)/sin(b) = sin(A)/sin(a) = sin(C)/sin(c)

    ARCCOS[ SIN(LAT1)*SIN(LAT2) + COS(LAT1)*COS(LAT2)*COS(LONG2-LONG1) ]

    Or what I typically use:

    distance = ( Earth Radius ) * arccos ( cos (90 – lat2) * cos (90 – lat1) + sin (90 – lat2) * sin (90 – lat1) * cos (lon2 – lon1) )

    Am looking for my more fancy dandy earth formula (as earth is not a perfect sphere), but I can’t seem to find it, I don’t profess to be a mathematician by any means, just your typical dingbat programmer (I don’t do GCM’s, but I can tell you a whole lot about GCM’s that the GCM worshipers would rather you didn’t hear). ;-)

  58. Poptech says:

    Dr. Scafetta, I look forward to seeing you criticism published so we can heed a more balanced conclusion to this paper.

  59. gnarf says:

    Little question for climate gurus here. I have read everywhere that sun could not be responsible for temperature increase we experienced, because sun irradiance does not change enough. It is between 1360 and 1363 w.m-2

    It gives a 0.22% variation. Assuming the temperature of earth is not so far away from a black body law…it is Tearth=constant*radiation^0.25
    So if the radiation changes 0.22% then Tearth should change 0.05%

    0.05% of 288K is 0.15 degrees. For me it is not negligible as the global warming measured is often around 0.3degrees.

    I do not understand why sun radiation change is not at all included in the “models”. How can they remove this input while it could be responsible for half the warming observed?

  60. Carla says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    ..Quote: “Disagreement among overlapping observations, as apparent in Figure 3, indicates undetected drifts that suggest the TSI record is not sufficiently stable to discern solar changes on decadal time scales.“
    PMOD TSI: SOHO keyhole effect, and possible degradation over time
    http://www.leif.org/research/PMOD%20TSI-SOHO%20keyhole%20effect-degradation%20over%20time.pdf
    nicola scafetta says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm
    ..3) It is not just the level of TIM that it is lower. TIM record is also smoother than the other records (ACRIM3 and VIRGO). This would suggest that TIM is less sensitive and it has its own sensitivity problems.
    ~
    Thank you for the comments.

    Hue Stun we have a problem.

    All this data seems a little ‘cloudy,’ to me. Huh obscurred by clouds.
    Another one bites the dust, and another ones gone..

    Time to get back on this.
    “Direct evidence for prolonged magnetic reconnection at a continuous
    x-line within the heliospheric current sheet”

    HCS reconnection occuring along the gravity cone .. sounds like a winner. The reconnection events providing the booster to the gravitational aspect.

  61. Mike Ramsey says:

    “Lean’s model, which is now adjusted to the new lower absolute TSI values, reproduces with high fidelity the TSI variations that TIM observes and indicates that solar irradiance levels during the recent prolonged solar minimum period were likely comparable to levels in past solar minima.”

    Given how unusual the latest solar minimum was, I find this statement astounding.

     Mike

  62. Mike Ramsey says:
    January 17, 2011 at 6:42 am
    Given how unusual the latest solar minimum was, I find this statement astounding.
    I don’t think the latest solar minimum was all that unusual:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Historical%20Solar%20Cycle%20Context.pdf

  63. George E. Smith says:

    So that means the 1353 W/m^2 value that we used to use in the late 1950s and early 60s was not so far out of whack.

    What is irritating about this new value; is that we still don’t know anything about how far out of whack the old 1353 number was.

    If this was measured outside the earth’s atmosphere; then what is this talk about scattered light all about. Are they saying that their instrument scatters light or used to; and now they have fixed that; or is their scattering by material between the sun and the earth.

    In any case what matters is what is seen by one square metre of the earth’s surface (outside the atmosphere) since that is the amount that is operated on by the atmospheric processes.

  64. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” Squidly says:
    January 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm
    I’m a little confused (nothing new). I keep seeing people trying to manipulate this calculation of things like: “””””

    Squidly. What it is that you are missing is simply that the area of a circle is pi.r^2, while the area of a sphere is 4.pi.r^2.

    So the sun illuminates a circular area, which total is spread over one hemisphere, and the other hemisphere receives nothing; wso the average receipt for the whole earth surface is simply 1/4 of the amount that falls on the circular intercept area. Unfortunatel the earth responds in real time to the instantaneous solar flux; and not to the average, since earth does not have infinited thermal conductivity. And since the Temperature-Energy relationship is highly non-linear; then working with averages gives the wrong result. The illuminated part of the earth surface gets very much hotter than it would if it received 1/4 of that amount continuously; and if it gets much hotter, it also radiates much more LWIR radiant energy, and so it cools faster than their average rate says. The earth’s hottest dryest deserts are it principal thermal cooling mechanisms. The polar regions do very little cooling of the earth.

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