The current US drought is not a surprise.

Guest post by David Archibald

A large part of the US is currently in drought. A recent paper by Springer et al – “Solar forcing of Holocene droughts in a stalagmite record from West Virginia in east central North America” – analysed the Sr/Ca ratios and C13 values in a Holocene stalagmite from east-central North America. Their work “demonstrates solar forcing of droughts in east-central North America on multiple time scales. Droughts typically occur during solar minima when SST in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are comparatively cool. These SST anomalies cause migration of the jet stream away from east-central NA, yielding decreased meridional moisture transport and reduced convergence over east-central NA.”

Futhermore: “The 210-year period coherency in the BCC-002 Sr/Ca andd13C time series is evidence that the de Vries solar irradiance cycle has significant effects upon moisture levels in east-central NA.”

So, to predict the onset of de Vries cycle droughts in North America, all we have to know is when the last de Vries cycle started. That was in 1798 at the beginning of the Dalton Minimum. 210 years after 1798 makes 2008, which happens to be the end of Solar Cycle 23 and the beginning of Solar Cycle 24. Solar activity has been quite weak since 2008, so everything is happening on schedule.

That is shown in the following figure of the annual average temperature of Providence, Rhode Island:

The periods of the Dalton Minimum (Solar Cycles 5 and 6) and the current Eddy Minimum (Solar Cycles 23 and 24) are shown as blocks. Gleissberg maxima and minima from a paper by Peristykh and Damon are shown as down-facing red arrows and up-facing blue arrows respectively. The next Gleissberg maximum should be around 2043, which agrees with a projection of solar activity by Fix (2011, in press).

Separate to the de Vries cycle-based projection of climate, the onset of a cold period is confirmed by application of Friis-Christensen and Lassen theory, shown above on the temperature record of Providence, Rhode Island.

Drought has an obvious agricultural impact, but this will be compounded by lower average temperatures and a shorter growing season.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) stated that “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Whether or not we are aware of previous de Vries cycle events, we are going to experience them and their consequences anyway, but knowing means that should not be a surprise.

Links to papers cited:

http://www.geo.wvu.edu/~kite/SpringerEtAl2008GRLpaper.pdf

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/BinWang07-d/PeristykhDamon03-Gleissbergin14C.pdf

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62 thoughts on “The current US drought is not a surprise.

  1. The Damon paper you cite as evidence for the Friis-Christensen&Lassen theory explicitly disavows that speculation [in para 63]:
    “Friis-Christensen and Lassen have used variations of solar cycle length to explain the total 20th century warming. As has been noticed by Damon and Peristykh [1999] this is again equivalent to climate change forcing by variations of the Gleissberg cycle activity timescale. This not only requires excessive solar forcing by the Gleissberg cycle but also repetitive global warming of similar magnitude in the past 300 years which is not in accord with paleoclimatological data.”

  2. Reply to Andrew Russell says:
    April 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I thought it was George Santayna who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Interesting philosopher: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/523188/George-Santayana

    /pendant mode OFF :-)

    You are right, but so is David Archibald

    http://www.google.ch/search?q=Those+who+don%E2%80%99t+know+history+are+destined+to+repeat+it.&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a

  3. We did see a significantly deeper and longer solar minimum then average between cycle 23 and cycle 24, but there is a lot to disagreement between those who argue that TSI fell a tiny amount during the minimum and that the minimum will have a negligible effect upon climate and those who argue that while TSI did only fall a small amount the higher energy wavelengths fell 10 percent or more and that this could have a much greater impact upon our climate. Furthermore there was a much longer than normal increase in cosmic rays striking the earth during the minimum. There is a theory that the increase in cosmic rays could also affect the climate.

    The next 11 to thirteen years will prove one way or the other which camp is correct on the solar front. In the meantime, AGW has turned out to be a massive case of bad science followed up by even larger amounts of fraud. I will enjoy eating popcorn while the alarmists go down in flames.

  4. Leif, I think you are grasping the last straw.

    Dependence of the Earth’s climate on the Solar activity and Solar cycles has been demonstrated in so many ways and so many times that any reasonable person would at least allow such a possibility. You don’t seem to be able to admit it.

    P.S. Re: being confused. Recent discovery of the super-massive cluster of galaxies on the edge of the infrared telescopic vision that, according to the Big Bang explanation of the red shift, must be no older than 780 million years but could not have formed in less than 6 billion years according to the tenets of the same dogma — one more nail in the coffin of your favorite creationists’ creation.

  5. Can you tell me what the graph of Providence temperatures is supposed to explain? If I look at it, I see a variety of vague cycles imposed upon a trend that has risen maybe 2ºC in 160 years. I would have thought this was prima facie evidence of substantial warming since the pre-industrial period.

  6. When last up in the Dakotas, I noticed that the road side trees were dying. I was informed that these anti-dustbowl lines, often 20 miles in length had reached the end of their natural age.They were also planted along field borders. And no one saw to maintain these small but important barriers.

  7. mct says:
    April 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Providence is up there amongst that regional carbon trading initiative. They are fixated on carbon dioxide when they are going to get whacked by a de Vries minimum. It is just hilarious.

  8. If these cycles do have an effect on weather, would it be useful to compare the weather of 1800/1 to 2010/11?

    In China, 1800, there were great floods. 2010 there were great floods.

    Coincidence?

  9. In hopes of adding to this discussion, I’d like to present something Timo Niroma wrote sometime around 2001 here:
    “The 200-year sunspot cycle is also a weather cycle”

    If we take the Schove estimates of the maximum magnitudes (R(M)) from the period 1500-1750 and the measurements from 1750, we get (the rounding for exact centuries done only to make the general picture clear):

    1410-1500 ? cold (Sporer minimum)
    1510-1600 107 warm
    1610-1700 61 cold (Maunder minimum)
    1710-1800 114 warm
    1810-1900 95 cold (Dalton minimum)
    1910-2000 151 warm
    2010-2100 ? cold?
    So the supercyclic rise is a very long process, maybe a 1000- or a 2000-cycle or even longer. The Sun seems to be much more irregular than we ever have imagined. The historical data seem to show that the 200-year oscillation has been there at least since 200 AD. The even centuries seem to be have been cold, odd ones warm, not to the accuracy of year, but in the average anyway

    I’m sure some of you have seen his work, while some of you have not.
    Some of it is difficult to wade through, but his theories are interesting to read.
    Niroma also mentioned some other studies, regarding a 200 year cycle:

    Zhukov and Muzalevskii (Soviet Astronomy 13, 1969) have run several autocorrelation analysis based on the Schove series of data. The longest of these analysis, from 214 BC to AD 1947, has the highest spectral density at 200.4 years. From the smaller, but more reliable data from AD 850 to AD 1947, they got a value of 201.5 years. The former is 16.89 and the latter 16.99 Jovian years. My 201.4 years equal 16.98 Jovian years.

    Peter Brockwell and Richard Davis have in their book “Time Series: Theory and Methods”, 1987, (page 357) derived an autoregressive minimum AIC model for the Wolf numbers between 1770 and 1869 and got a value for the WN (white noise) as being 202.6 years or 17.08 Jovian years.

    Houtermans, Suess, and Munk (Effect of Industrial Fuel Combustion on the Carbon-14 Level, in “Radioactive Dating and Methods”, IAEA, 1967) have found a 200-year cycle. Neftel, Oeschger, and Suess (Secular Non-random Variations of Cosmogenic Carbon-14, in “Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters” 56, 1981) have in their 6000-year long study found a 202-year cycle. H. E. Suess has in two articles in 1980 (Schove 1983) considered a 203-year cycle as the most significant supercycle in eight millennia of Bristlecone history. M. Stuiver in Pepin et al.: “The Ancient Sun”, 1980, has found a radiocarbon cycle of 202 years since AD 700.

    Because 17 Jovian years equal 201.65 Earthly years, it is a good candidate for a supercycle.

    Cole has two values, 190 and 196 years, but these I inspect later. Dansgaard et. al (Climatic record revealed, in Turekian: “The Late Cenozoic Glacial Ages”, 1971) have found a 175-180 year cycle in the Greenland ice-cap since AD 1200, and a 380-year cycle in earlier times.

    I had also a weak correlation near 180 years. May it be that this supercycle oscillates between 180 and 220 years?

    After having remarked that according to Eddy there is a 180-y interval between the Maunder and Sporer minima, Paul Damon remarks (Solar Induced Variations of Energetic Particles at one AU, in White: “The Solar Output and Its Variation”, 1977): “Damon, Long, and Grey (J. Geophys. Res. 71, 1966) showed that the best sinusoidal fit to the delta data for the Little Ice Age had a period of 200 y… using the Blackman-Tukey Fourier analysis. For the time from 0 to 2000 y [BP], 182-y periodicity is observed.”

    In the above-mentioned Kiral article (“Autocorrelation and Solar Cycles”) there are several peaks between 177 and 222 years, which is in good agreement with my observations. A most interesting result comes from the Yunnan group, China (Yunnan Observatory: A Recompilation of our Country’s Records of Sunspots Through the Ages, in “Chinese Astronomy” 1, 1977), which states that there is a peak periodicity between 165 and 210 years

    Enjoy

  10. This is a fscinating post. I’ll let Messrs Archibald & Svalgaard battle out the details.

    Deja vu. We are talking about the big shiney thing in the sky here. The thing essential for life on Earth, that gives us 100% of our naturla light, 99% of our natural heat energy, & possess 99.9% of the mass of the Solar System, & Earth has a mere fraction of 0.1% of the mass of the Solar System. So if TSI only varies by 0.1% throughout a Solar Cycle, how is this too little to explain the lack of potential for it to effect our climate? Is this not just economies of scale? I have already read papers that suggest a trigger level within that small variation which appear plausible.

  11. The length of the solar cycles affects precipitation totals, so regions experiencing drier conditions during longer solar cycles are going to suffer droughts, while opposing regions experience an abundance of precip.
    Every regions has it’s own quirks, so the key point is to know what that history is, to learn from it. The other part of the equation is to know what solar cycle length to expect. We can exist without satellites, not so without adequate crops.

  12. As the problems with the ‘hockey stick’ have shown paleoclimate reconstructions are not a credible source to argue that specific cycles exist. Certainly not for cycles of over a century in length when many other factors come into play and can swamp any small solar/ocean cycle influence. This seems to be the cause with the Rode Island data, it shows some ‘periodic’ variation, but that is dwarfed by the underlying warming trend.

    While the Springer et al paper may show some corellation between paleoclimate records for the N.E. US and hypothesized solar cycles it seem odd to be adducing this as evidence for the role of solar cycles in the drought in the South West of the 48. They are different climate areas with different influences and modulating factors.

    There is a further problem with the claim that the drought is within natural variation and is therefore nothing to do with any climate change. Climate change may not cause events that are outside the normal range, but it may alter the probability of such ‘normal’ variations. It introduces a probability bias, so that rather like weighted dice, its not the occurance of double sixes that raises suspiscions, they are a ‘natural’ result of throwing two dice, but if they are occuring more than 1/36 times then the bias is present.

  13. Frosty says:
    April 18, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Wouldn’t it be nice if every weather station had 210 years of data?
    Wouldn’t it be almost as nice if certain Climate Scientists had not lost precious station data prior to 1895?

  14. My deep concern is that so much effort is being directed at trying desperately to prove the AGW hypothesis that little or no effort is being directed at other possible causes, i.e. solar cycles. As seems likely the AGW hypothesis will be debunked in the next few years by real world data if not science. Should we slip into a prolonged cooling period the world is totally unprepared due solely to the fixation of governments on AGW. Our CSIRO is not researching food crops in anything other than a warming world where by and large production will be easier. Growing long season crops in short cooler summers will be much more difficult.

  15. Why not draw the “temperature predicted from solar cycle length” across the whole graph? There must be a function for it if you’re drawing conclusions like this.

    I’m not sure what you’re seeing here. The arrows don’t match anything, nor do I see anything resembling a 210 year cycle.

  16. David Archibald says:
    April 18, 2011 at 12:40 am

    David, whilst it might be ‘hilarious’ that Providence is “fixated on carbon dioxide”, that doesn’t mean that comparing temparature there – by itself – to solar cycles in your mind means anything. Sorry.

  17. So, the sun has created the drought and not the changing circulation patterns hmmmm.
    Lack of precipitation is a solar event?
    Current precipitation patterns seem to be following the path of glaciation.

  18. ClimateForAll says:
    April 18, 2011 at 1:44 am

    [snip]
    1410-1500 ? cold (Sporer minimum)
    1510-1600 107 warm
    1610-1700 61 cold (Maunder minimum)
    1710-1800 114 warm

    So what does this tell us about the Little Ice Age.

  19. Look at the drought map of the US again. La Nina is known to cause those areas to be hotter than normal and drier than normal. The ENSO page has some information about that. La Nina years are also known to be more active hurricane years in the Atlantic. It just so happens that the main areas under a drought are the ones that hurricanes love to go toward. Although hurricanes do a lot of damage, they also do a lot of good. (It has also been my experience with hurricanes that the air smells cleaner after they pass. So in addition to being drought busters, hurricanes are air cleaners too.)

  20. The drought in the US south and south-east is a standard La Nina impact.

    This La Nina has acted exactly as the impact maps predicted with extremely wet conditions in the greater Indonesia and Indian Ocean areas, extreme lack of rain and cloud at the International dateline, cold south-east Asia, very cold north-west North America (the snow still has not melted), wet in equatorial South America, wet on the west-coast of Africa, drought in the US south and south-east.

    Still another month of these conditions to go.

  21. Well that explains why we had a near record drought in south central Texas in 2008-2009 and are in a drought again now. La Nina is the usual suspect.

  22. Drought begets drought (and wet begets wet). Every frontal system for the last few months traversing Texas/Oklahoma doesn’t develop significant rain until it passes into wetter, drought-free areas to the north or east.

    Rainfall is very often a balancing, regional/local act between rising and descending air. Dry land produces relatively dry surface air that is heavy & promotes subsidence, and then that provides wet, adjacent regions (w/lighter, more humid air) with energy for uplift and rainfall.

  23. Wade says:
    April 18, 2011 at 5:29 am

    “Look at the drought map of the US again. La Nina is known to cause those areas to be hotter than normal and drier than normal. The ENSO page has some information about that. La Nina years are also known to be more active hurricane years in the Atlantic. It just so happens that the main areas under a drought are the ones that hurricanes love to go toward. Although hurricanes do a lot of damage, they also do a lot of good. (It has also been my experience with hurricanes that the air smells cleaner after they pass. So in addition to being drought busters, hurricanes are air cleaners too.)”

    Every time there’s a drought here I hope for a hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast and push rain bands 150 miles inland to Austin. Hurricane rain bands don’t often make it this far inland so it’s doubly unlikely but one can always hope. La Nina years are almost always drought years and El Nino brings flooding. One drought-busting downpour about 4 years ago brought 19 inches of rain in 24 hours. Ya gotta love Texas. If you don’t like the weather one day just wait cause it’ll change. Just the other day we had almost 50F change from daytime high temp to nightime low (89F/42). Forty degree day/night difference aren’t unusual at all and neither are less than 10 degree swings. I’m just glad that ass kicking tornado outbreak in NC wasn’t around here. The storm system began here a few days earlier. Lots of thunder/lightning but only about a half inch of very badly needed rainfall. I don’t think we’ve had more than a few inches altogether so far this year. Very very dry.

  24. I am going to have to disagree with your hypothesis. The sited study is for West Virginia, yet West Virginia has no drought impacts currently on your drought map so I see that study actually not supporting your hypothesis of a solar link to current drought patterns.

    Current drought patterns are firmly established in the south central US – I think you need a different hypothesis to explain this. I think it is also important to consider the record snows on the west coast (Sierra Nevadas) , near record snows in the Northeast (Boston, NYC etc) & heavier than normal snows in most of the north & central Rockies (see http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/snotelanom/basinswen.html ) & develop a hypothesis that explains all those observations across North America. I have some ideas on this association but nothing I have had time to research to make a statement of the linkages here.

  25. The mindset of Western countries in the last 25 years has been much worse than merely forgetting the past. We have been inventing a new past designed to suit the purposes of the ruling class. It’s not just Mike’s Nature Trick; the same fantastic retrofit occurs in all areas of science and culture.

  26. The mindset of Western countries in the last 25 years has been much worse than merely forgetting the past. We have been inventing a new past designed to suit the purposes of the ruling class. It’s not just Mike’s Nature Trick; the same fantastic retrofit occurs in all areas of science and culture.

  27. All I know is that much of the Southern Central Plains has just experienced the driest continuous 4 months since the beginnings of the Dust Bowl in the 1920’s.
    The final result of this current drought (which is apparent and obvious) won’t be pretty.
    One can travel around the wheat growing areas of western Kansas, for instance, and see that most of the shelter belts have been ripped out as farmers try to plant every square foot available to them, largely in response to Congressional/USDA crop subsidy edicts.
    Many farmers even drill their wheat out a foot or so into the edges of dirt country roads to increase their planted acreage.
    Others have switched their fields to corn in order to capitalize on the food- as- fuel markets, even though corn is a much less productive crop in their region.

    Wheat crops took an ominous turn for the worse in Oklahoma 2 yrs ago.
    Now, I have never seen so much wheat look so poor at this time of year.

    Perhaps our nation will be spared the coming famines, for surely the poorest food- importing nations will not be spared.

  28. Alexander Feht says:
    April 17, 2011 at 11:25 pm
    Dependence of the Earth’s climate on the Solar activity and Solar cycles has been demonstrated in so many ways and so many times that any reasonable person would at least allow such a possibility.
    But there is such a dependence, all of 0.1 degree. This has been observed by many, claimed be many more, and expected and explained theoretically.

    aaron says:
    April 18, 2011 at 6:44 am
    Leif, is paleoclimate data capable of showing a 30 year warming like now?
    The authors of the paper that Archibald cites would not state what they did in paragraph 63 if the data is not capable of showing what they claim.

  29. David, When I read your article I nearly choked up my breakfast, I laughed so hard. The current drought monitor map you posted shows drought in the southern areas of the US. But Providence RI is in the North East. And the data you gave for Providence is temperature, not precipitation. The current map you posted does not show RI having drought conditions. In that area, Precipitation and warmth normally go hand in hand, not the other way around… in other words, rain up there brings the heat.
    Next, it is well known that the current US drought conditions in the Southern US is related to the current La Nina. In fact, up in New England, ENSO also plays a role on weather. El Nino years tend to be warmer and wetter and La Nina years the opposite. If anything, you might try to find a solar / ENSO link like Landscheit… you already have the little arrow to data scheme that he used to use.

  30. That’s not an answer. I’ve seen many more over-statements in papers. Note, the statements is that it is “not in accord” with paleo data. It does not say this nullifies the hypothesis. This is an offhand remark of no value.

  31. Further to Luther and others commenting on dust bowl conditions, I can recall reading in a National Geographic in the mid 60s that the Great Plains (or related area) was regarded as semi-desert by those on the Oregon trail, land unsuitable for growing anything. Only a change of climate (precis of NG’s words) brought enough rain into the region to make agriculture feasible. Are we now seeing a reversal of that climate change and reversion to semi-desert conditions???

    IanM

  32. aaron says:
    April 18, 2011 at 7:42 am
    Note, the statements is that it is “not in accord” with paleo data. It does not say this nullifies the hypothesis.
    In most of science when the data is not in accord with the hypothesis, that is normally seen as falsification of the hypothesis.

  33. Considering the comment of small solar changes of 0.1% being of little affect is hard to swallow. The sun is so massive relative to our position to it that one tenth of one percent change in solar output is a significant amount of energy when applied to the variable lengths of time in this discussion.

    AGW zealotry is only about money and emotions. Can’t eat money…, but it will buy a cup of hot soup soonly (will also the price rise too). Low this morning is nine degrees below normal with plenty of frosty whiteness. But, that is just the weather that is killing the buds on my fruit trees. :)

  34. @ Ian L. McQueen

    “the Great Plains (or related area) was regarded as semi-desert by those on the Oregon trail”

    Could you get a specific reference (vs the general NG reference) ? – as that would be helpful to all.

    The Oregon trail was most active in the mid 1800’s, when global temperatures were colder than now on pretty much any global temp data set you might find. In contrast, the dust bowl era may have been close to the same as today , temp-wise, depending on whose reconstruction you look at. So the question is do the very dry plains conditions signal anything about where we are heading global temp-wise or is plains precip uncorrelated with global temps? If any one has the data to make this cross-plot, it would probably be of interest to most readers.

  35. izen says:
    April 18, 2011 at 2:15 am

    There is a further problem with the claim that the drought is within natural variation and is therefore nothing to do with any climate change. Climate change may not cause events that are outside the normal range, but it may alter the probability of such ‘normal’ variations. It introduces a probability bias, so that rather like weighted dice, its not the occurance of double sixes that raises suspiscions, they are a ‘natural’ result of throwing two dice, but if they are occuring more than 1/36 times then the bias is present.

    Assuming you do have a weighted set of dice, you need a lot of data to detect that, depending on how much the weighting affects the probability of a given number. Let’s say a given set of dice is weighted to produce double sixes 1/18 of the time rather than 1/36 of the time. How many measurements would it require to conclude with better than 50% confidence that the dice are loaded? The answer (according to an online statistics calculator, which I hope I’ve used correctly) is 89 measurements.

    And that’s a much simpler problem with much less variability than the actual climate. How many years of measurements are necessary to conclusively prove that the probability of drought in a given region has been impacted by climate change? I dare say it’s many times more than what we actually have.

    I’m not arguing that temperature increases have no effect on drought in principle, just that our measurement set is not large enough to reject the null hypothesis that recent drought is within the range of natural variability. It’s true that we can’t reject the positive hypothesis either, but we need a whole lot more real observational science (versus unverified computer models) to be done before you can convince me we need drastic action to be taken.

  36. In the 1819-1820 Long Expedition report, the southern High Plains (aka Dust Bowl) was described as being dry and suitable at best for grazing. In the late 1840s, the Abert and Marcy expeditions found more moist conditions. The 1850s through about 1865 were again very dry, with some increasing dampness into the mid 1870s, followed by droughts. The 1950s were drier (in terms of reported precipitation) than the 1930s for the southern plains and central Texas. Prior to the 1930s, precipitation in the area appears to have been more evenly distributed through out the year, before shifting to the current “seasonal” pattern in the 1910s-1930s.

    Sources include the Long, Abert and Marcy reports (available from many libraries or on line), Cunfer’s “On the Great Plains”, Cleveland and Stahle “Texas Drought Record Reconstructed” as well as materials from Las Vegas, NM, Santa Fe, NM, Albuquerque, NM, the Dodge City, KS newspaper, the Tascosa, Texas newspaper, and other archival materials.

  37. Very interesting post, and undoubtedly longer term solar cycles exist, but I think it should be kept in mind that this does not in any way remove the existence of forcings other than solar cycle, and indeed, solar forcings along do not account for 20th century warming, and these relatively new forcings (i.e. anthropogenic GH gases and related feedbacks), might actually now be the dominant over solar cycles. A quote from one of the papers sited in the post states:

    “Unfortunately,
    the required estimates of the solar irradiance at
    the level of 1% are too high to explain the terrestrial
    temperatures for a time period since mid-seventeen century
    exclusively by solar forcing according to observations and
    models provided by solar physics [Sofia et al., 1979; Sofia,
    1998]. The difficulty of such ‘‘simplistic’’ approach was
    emphasized again by Reid [1991] who noted that solar
    variability might not be the only contributor to climate
    change but ‘‘the growing atmospheric burden of greenhouse
    gases may well have played an important role in the
    immediate past’’.

    So, yes, longer term solar cycles are quite interesting and worthy of note, but should not be seen as an “either/or” answer when put up against the possibility of anthropogenic factors in climate forcings.

  38. Bruce says:
    April 18, 2011 at 8:44 am
    John (Finn)-The Sporer date-range looks a tad late.

    I was referring to the fact that there were 2 warm cycles and 2 cold cycles between 1410 and 1800. This is a period commonly known as the Little Ice Age. If high solar activity was responsible for warming in the 16th and 18th centuries then it’s not really a Little Ice Age is it? Of course it’s possible that solar activity has very little to do with temperature shifts other than the ~0.1 deg over the solar cycle

  39. Once again: Wriggle matching without the necessary and difficult – but have been done – maths. No matter the observations, once the calculations are done, there isn’t enough solar energy available from any of the gauzy solar mechanistic proposals suggested here to drive recent warming or cooling. But El Nino, La Nina and decadal oscillation calculations do have energy available to be such a driver.

  40. beng April 18, 2011 at 5:54 am :

    Drought begets drought (and wet begets wet). Every frontal system for the last few months traversing Texas/Oklahoma doesn’t develop significant rain until it passes into wetter, drought-free areas to the north or east.

    I’m not sure you know how ‘precip’ works east and west of the I-35 corridor in Texas – have you recently seen a map of historic rainfall amounts for Texas (there is a reason why things ‘green up’ heading into East Texas)?

    Any coincidence that the Gulf of Mexico also straddles this line – as it is extend to the south?

    (Hint: It involves a predominantly south wind transporting, a rich, moist airmass from the GOM.)

    .

  41. The long term interactions between the inner solar system center of mass following the center of the sun around the SSB, and the corresponding perihelion of the outer planets counterbalancing the COM of the sun can be seen in the electromagnetic effects seen in the solar and geomagnetic field strengths.

    http://research.aerology.com/natural-processes/solar-system-dynamics/

    The perihelion point for Jupiter was on the 30th of March, and has been gradually moving away from the sun. As the resultant magnetic coupling is decreasing so is the field strength from (-)pole to (+)equator, with the mixing of the lower ion content air mass in the mid-latitudes there develops a band of neutral air mass that behaves the way Main stream meteorology says it does all of the time [with out consideration for the ion charges in the air masses and their habit of changing the nebulized droplet particle size and density of the clouds.]

    So to see a trend in the widening of the dry inactive band of neutral air that gives rise to droughts, when not moved around enough in latitude to allow precipitation fronts driven by ion charge gradients, is to be expected. It happens every time the 18.6 lunar declinational cycle goes from a Maximum extension ~28.8 degrees from the equator [as in 2005 with attendant strong tropical storms] toward this point where the declinational angle at culmination is close to 23.5 degrees off of the equator.

    The drought effect will strengthen and continue as long as the mostly zonal flow continues across the area, when the lunar declinational tidal pattern shifts to a more meridional flow pattern as the solar and lunar declination are ~same in mid summer and mid winter the stream of dry air will move accordingly and wet and dry areas will overlap better and the average rainfall/month/week/day balances out again.

    The good news is that these declinational patterns repeat well enough to be used as a long term forecast. The maps posted on my site have been generated from the past 6558 day cycles when the solar activity level was much higher, the global circuit ion flux was higher then and you can clearly see the frontal boundaries interacting in the same process [now as then] just that the point where the edge of the ion charges is separated and not conflicting or participating in assisting in rapid depolarization precipitation patterns at this time under these conditions.

    What you are left with in these droughty areas is just plain old condensational rain.
    but great at heating the surface underneath [minimum cloud coverage] so after noon small thermals popcorn is all you get. You need a tidal air mass with temperature, moisture, AND strong ion charge gradient to get heavy rain snow and flash floods.

    The problem with road killed deer is they don’t realize there is a vehicle behind the head lights till it is too late.

    Legend is the look on their face as the truth hits them. Looks a lot like CAGW’s today.

  42. Gang? I hate to be Cpt Buzzkill(actually I enjoy the hell out of it), but that is not a drought for Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona and western Kansas. Thats just how it be like naturally. Now I will admit, east Texas ain’t usually that dry, given that, I don’t really see the desert west of America having a drought.

  43. Holle, are you suggesting that your mechanism has energy potential higher than Earth’s internal oscillations to drive such weather pattern variations? Exactly how much energy is available in your air masses that are some degree greater than the energy potential available in oceans to affect said weather systems? And please show comparative calculations.

  44. 2hotel9 says:
    April 19, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Thats just how it be like naturally. Now I will admit, east Texas ain’t usually that dry,..

    I grew up in east Texas, and trust me, the Houston County area is always dry. We used to say,’It hasn’t rained in so long, the word ‘rain’ seems foreign to our lips.”

  45. Pamela Gray says:
    April 19, 2011 at 6:23 am

    The lunar declinational tides in the atmosphere, and the oceans are the drivers of the “Earth’s internal oscillations”, coupled with the shifts in the solar wind speed and density because the North/South movement of the moon/earth system is driven by the oscillations in the polarity of the magnetic fields of the solar wind, as the magnetic poles of the sun rotate in the same 27.32 day period. The lunar response to the solar field is to impart tidal forces into the atmosphere that ends up driving the meridional flow surges and developing the periods of Rossby wave generation and jet stream Variation.

    The ion drivers coupled on top of the air mass movement is what drives the spring uptick in tornadoes and severe weather, the monsoonal flows, and past mid summer, the discharge drives the generation of the hurricanes, and sets the timing for the pattern of the occurrence in the cyclonic turbulence, that runs on top of the annual increase and decrease of ion current that powers the hurricanes and monsoonal flows.

    With out the moon, the weather on Earth would be rather boring, no frontal systems, condensational rain only, and a slow season shift that would be set to the equinox timing and not drift much. The lunar declinational tides are most of the power behind the weather, Coriolis effects are a net loss to the system.

    The phase shift in the declinational tides [18.6 year period] and the solar tides combined with the shifting interference with the long term lunar phase [19 year metonic period] drift in timing, gives rise to the “Earth’s internal oscillations” across the ocean basins and the surges in the mid-latitude zonal winds and the trade winds along the equator, are a combined product of the outer planet conjunctions inductive surges into the ion flux modulation of the solar wind driven ion shifts at the declinational culminations of the moon.

    The SOI , PDO, QBO, and all of the other alphabet soup of secondary effects are a result of the dynamics between the inner and outer planets harmonic periods interacting with the lunar declinational tides 27.32 day periodicity.

    The amount of power available is enough to drive the weather as it exists, and the resistive component of the zonal wind flow interacting with the surface shifts the LOD physically as well as the solar wind fields directly inductively driving the core, mantel, crust, and ionosphere, in phase with the shifts in solar wind polarity, that is also driving the lunar declinational movement that is dampened by the tidal interactions with the Earth at all levels.

    The part of the weather driving effects not directly affected by the moon are the radiative input from the sunlight reaching the Earth, the thermal drivers of vertical convection, although the ion induction effects the resultant albedo because of the interactions of the outer, inner planets, and the moon change the droplet size of the nebulized moisture in clouds along with the Gama ray background levels from outside the solar system.

    It is like asking how much of the power of the engine of your car is affecting the movement of the car down the road. All except known losses with in the system, that results in the force available at the tire / road interface.

    Just my opinion, for what its worth, I don’t have number.
    Richard Holle

  46. Well as far as numbers the Moon’s counterbalancing effects around the Earth moon barycenter moves the center of mass of the entire Earth above and below the ecliptic plane between 800 to 1600 Kilo meters as well as closer and further from the sun ~1200 kilo meters every 27.32 days. which is about the same as the gravitational attraction of Jupiter moves the earth/moon system’s orbit out from the sun as we lap it almost every 13 months.

  47. I’ll give ya that, CFA! East Texas is dry, just not as dry as west Texas. And compared to New Mexico and Arizona it is a veritable rainforest. Well, raingrass, at least.

  48. Continuing with the previous meme, an example demonstrating why precip patterns are what they are vis-a-vis the I-35 corridor (the east Texas – ‘west’ Texas divide as it relates to precipitation):

    Example of the initiation of thunderstorms along/near the I-35 corridor with dryline and cold front convergence –

    Time/date: 19 Apr 2011, 1935z – 2100z
    RADAR image: http://oi53.tinypic.com/2l9tfme.jpg

    Surface conditions: http://oi52.tinypic.com/3021id1.jpg

    Images courtesy http://vortex.plymouth.edu/nids.html and http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/surface/ respectively.

    .

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