Nils-Axel Mörner: Arctic Environment by the Middle of this Century

Guest Post by Ric Werme

Gulf Stream flow forced to the south  by rotational acceleration

Figure 7. At around 2040-2050 the extrapolated cyclic behavior of the observed solar variability predicts a new Solar Minimum with return to Little Ice Age climatic conditions.

Nils-Axel Mörner, best known for his career of studying sea level and sea level records, reported in the April 2011 issue of the journal Energy & Environment that:

At around 2040-2050 we will be in a new major Solar Minimum. It is to be expected that we will then have a new “Little Ice Age” over the Arctic and NW Europe. The past Solar Minima were linked to a general speeding-up of the Earth’s rate of rotation. This affected the surface currents and southward penetration of Arctic water in the North Atlantic causing “Little Ice Ages” over northwestern Europe and the Arctic.

At the time I thought this was a bit of a reach, and still do, but it fits in well with:

Mörner claims

During the Spörer, Maunder and Dalton Solar Minima, Arctic water was forced southwards all the way down to Mid-Portugal and the adjacent land areas experienced “Little Ice Ages” (Mörner, 1995, 2010). At the same time, however, the Gibraltar and NW Africa experienced warm events. This North-South opposed climate conditions are well understood in terms of differential distribution of current flow-masses along the northern and southern branches, respectively, of the Gulf Stream (Mörner, 1995, 2010).

While he mentions Svensmark’s “brilliant new theory,” Mörner refers to changes in the Earth’s rotation rate due to changes in the solar wind. I have a lot of trouble with that. I’m more comfortable with changing rates due to build up of seasonal snow and ice at high latitudes. Nevertheless, Mörner explains:

Due to the changes in rotation, the oceanic surface current system is forced to respond (Figure 1). As a function of this, the Gulf Stream alters its main distribution of water along the northern and southern branches, and simultaneously cold Arctic water can, at the speeding-up phases of Solar Minima, penetrate far down along the west coasts of Europe creating Little Ice Age environmental conditions (Figure 2).

Note this is a regional change, any global effects will like be much milder.

As for the timing of all this:

The date of the New Solar Minimum has been assigned at around 2040 by Mörner et al. (2003), at 2030-2040 by Harrara (2010), at 2042 ±11 by Abdassamatov (2010) and at 2030-2040 by Scafetta (2010), implying a fairly congruent picture despite somewhat different ways of transferring past signals into future predictions.

The onset of the associated cooling has been given at 2010 by Easterbrook (2010) and Herrara (2010), and at “approximately 2014″ by Abdassamatov (2010). Easterbrook (2010) backs up his claim that the cooling has already commenced by geological observations facts.

At any rate, from a Solar-Terrestrial point of view, we will, by the middle of this century, be in a New Solar Minimum and in a New Little Ice Age. This conclusion is completely opposite to the scenarios presented by IPCC (2001, 2007) as illustrated in Figure 3. With “the Sun in the centre”, no other conclusion can be drawn, however.

While the official home for the article is at Energy & Environment, a non pay-walled version is at

H/t to David L. Hagen

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161 thoughts on “Nils-Axel Mörner: Arctic Environment by the Middle of this Century

  1. I honestly hope that we don’t see another Little Ice Age, at least in my and my children’s lifetime. The prospects are chilling (said in all seriousness).

  2. I await tyhe day when the CAGW’ers will then say the reduction in CO2 was the driver of this colder weather.??!

  3. Sorry but it won’t happen, there will be too many off shore wind turbines around the uk, the vibrations from which will prevent the build up of ice. Most people think that the UK government is stupid to be building these turbines but you will see, it’s all part of the plan, almost.

  4. It is doubtful that I can stick around until 2050 to observe this new ice age. Maybe it can arrive in a more timely manner, for me. However, failing either of the above – can a real mechanism between solar minimums and climate on Earth be shown? The explanation given in this post is still a bit of a reach for me, also.

    Regardless, this reasoning says nothing about AGW and the adherents there of can simply say the onset of catastrophic warming is just being delayed.

  5. Some say the world will end in fire
    Some say in ice.
    From what I know of man’s desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But now, til slumbering Helios wakes
    ’tis ice will rime the fields and lakes.

  6. Thats why many westernised countries are rushing to install some form of cap and trade, carbon tax or ETS. It will get cold.

  7. First claims by the (C)AGW-pushers that Energy & Environment is not a real peer-reviewed science journal thus this can be completely ignored as unscientific nonsense, shall be arriving in 4… 3… 2…

  8. Now—following the risk theory of AGWists, otherwise known as “giving the planet the benefit of the doubt”— would be the time for those in temperate zones to plan for any forthcoming little ice-age: constructing more power-stations; preparing for walled and even roofed orchards; designing intensive, multi-storeyed, hydroponics farms; ensuring that roads, bridges and other infrastructure can withstand ice; and so on.
    Unfortunately, I suspect that, with so many alleged scientists, along with the compliant journalists and credulous politicians, maintaining a belief in the conjecture that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide cause floods as well as droughts, coolth as well as warmth, and more storms as well as fewer, our gullible leaders will blame any ice-age, even as lakes and rivers freeze, on “the big polluders” (as our Australian Prime Minister calls them). Instead of mitigation, politicians will do even more to reduce our capacity to engineer projects to keep humanity warmed and fed.

  9. I notice increasing commentary on this point of a solar based cooling. A lot of us have been following this for several years. Now its reaching the point of actuation.

    So the point becomes which direction of adaptation do we follow? My preference would be to plan for the effects of the cold. These impacts are so much more damaging.

    To governments here and afar I would suggest that we immediately stop trying to over price carbon for political purposes and instead ask what you can do to buffer the impacts of crop failures due to cold. If its coming, and it looks more and more like it is, isn’t the prudent step to prepare for that result, instead of taxing people to death in the name of the Carbon villan?

    Where are our environmentalist friends when we need them most?

  10. I blame Global Warming! It’s caused everything else hasn’t it? I mean absolutely everything! Smallpox, measles, polio, malaria, volcanoes, earthquakes, asthma, AIDS, banking failures, economic failures in Europe (PDREU), the list is endless! The science is irrefutable, alledegedly. :-))

  11. Agree with other commenters that Ice is Bad.

    Interesting though the parallels between the CAGW debate and the debate on Copernican vs Ptolmic solar system.
    The CAGW (Ptolmic) theory puts the Earth at the centre of the universe, and requires increasingly dubious and complex adjustments to the core theory to keep its results within spitting distance of past events, and it is incapable of handling new data. It is a very poor predictor.
    The Svensmarkian theory put the Sun at the centre, and is simple and elegant, and completely capable of handling new information and also doesnt demand to be the one and only theory, theres room for other things in that model.
    Are we witnessing another geocentric to heliocentric shift, with the UN playing the role of the Church?

  12. Change in rotation speed and the wobbling, even though very little may have influence on the ocean currents and thus even be one of the major drivers we are looking for. One thing is obvious, CO2 is not one. CO2 is only the driver of taxation, invented and used by politivians.

  13. The earth is decelerates each time Al Gore takes his enormous mass up in that private jet of his. The earth accelerates each time he comes back down to earth. It’s a “conservation of angular momentum” thing that has nothing to do with solar activity. Big Al is diverting the Gulf Stream! We can stave off this predicted “Little Ice Age” by keeping The Goracle at high altitude. It will be tough duty, but I believe Al is the man for the job and there are tremendous benefits for the rest of us.

  14. I think there would be more influence in the Earth’s spin rate due to major subduction zone quakes. We have seen the quake in Indonesia in 2004, now the quake in Japan. Both of these have acted to speed up the rotation of the Earth.

  15. I see no problems.
    The new ice age [little/big/minuscule] will arrive.
    We will be well prepared, the country will be awash in massive amounts of bird choppers (but no birds).
    After the initial storms (during which the blades have to be “feathered” to avoid damage, and hence generate nothing) the wind steadies. Then drops to nothing. Large amounts of people slowly die from the cold. Larger amounts starve.
    Sounds like a “green” utopia.
    They’ll all be tucked-up in their universities and parliaments.
    Until we arrive.

  16. Jumping from one extreme hypothesis of the Arctic free ice, to another the LIA setting in Europe is just a plain nonsense. So it is projected date of the new solar minimum. Any hypothesis should at least be supported by some of the available past data, and none of the above appears to be so. Data based on reliable sources for the future climate suggest moderate cooling:

    and for solar activity projection Dalton type minimum:

    The new phoney battlefield:
    Catastrophic Global Warming vs. Catastrophic Global Cooling
    Carbon Dioxide vs. Sunspots.
    Enjoy the fun !

  17. My layman’s thoughts; if the MASS of ice increases at the poles, earth rotation must increase?
    (mass loss from equitorial waters.) What then melts the ice?

  18. Um.. Will it be called the “Mörner Minimum” ?

    Interesting parallels with Copernicus etc as well stated by RichyRoo2001.

  19. As I understand it, the Japanese earthquake changed the speed of the earth’s rotation. I wonder if this will impact the coming minium?

  20. So if this is true, we will have to stop wasting fossil fuels, as our grandchildren will need them 50 years from now to heat their homes.

    OMG, just like the warmistas say!

  21. RichyRoo2011: July5, 10:58pm
    I thoroughly agree. We will shortly find emissaries from the UN moving from town to town, and village to village burning AGW non-believers at the stake.
    Whereas the act of “moral justice” should go some way to offsetting the lowering temperature, the said emissaries will have to self-flaggelate themselves every evening, to atone for all the carbon released during the holy “cleansing” rituals.
    Life will not be easy, when you are engaged in the pious service of Gaia, and conducting her will.

  22. Right – the ocean pattern makes a lot of sense and explains why ice floes and polar bears could be seen off the coast of Scotland in the previous Little Ice Age. My hypothesis for the mechanism though would be different and would fall around persistent negative NAO conditions driving northerly winds down from the Arctic and down the Eastern side of Iceland and down the North and Irish Seas – this would counteract and work against the North Atlantic Current, disrupting it to some extent. While the main impacts would be felt in Europe and Eastern North America, I would think global temperatures would average out quite a bit lower as a result of the cooling across the North Atlantic. An increased temperature gradient on the Eastern Atlantic would make for some potent low pressure systems at times too.

  23. RichyRoo2011 says:
    July 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm yes, Ptolemaic vs Copernican! And what else? The pagans worshiped the sun and were resigned to their fate under it’s power, before the Theologians came along and preached humanity in control of its destiny…by repentance and doing good works….bonfire of the vanities and all that. We are cast as the pagans professing unrestrained fatalism, even if not all of us worship the sun.

  24. Solar wind affecting earth’s rotation and causing a LIA……….hmmm, I’m not at all sure about that I’m afraid. Now if he’d referred to a solar minimum causing changes in cloud cover and albedo then I might have been with him. This article seems a little cranky IMHO.

  25. Needs a reality check.
    1. How big are the earth’s rotational changes causes by solar wind changes: I am betting zero
    2. How big a rotational change is it going to take to affect ocean curents: I am going to bet humongous

  26. Interesting, very interesting, not very funny but very interesting. The UN and governments will if this report in correct be telling us that they may have got it wrong. CO2 is not the cause of AGW but it is cooling the world down and still want to tax us. It will be called AGC ‘c’ for cooling.

  27. @RichyRoo2011

    Interesting theory; except I would suggest that the CAGW (Ptolemic) theory puts man at the centre of the universe as it is only man-made CO2 having any effect and only man-legislated laws can adjust the system back to “normal”. The Earth is clearly incapable of looking after itself with natural feedbacks etc.

  28. Does this mean that the IPCC will not be needed any more?

    Maybe, if we ask them nicely, the army of hangers-on will stay in the job and redirect their talents to combating Global Cooling.

  29. I think Nils-Axel Mörner could well be right, although I think his timing of 2040 is way too late (we are already starting to see both NH and SH weather patterns shifting as our climate system returns to ‘cool mode’). Paradoxically, I think this will result in the combined polar/temperate zones becoming less cold on average, with increased precipitation and more snow at lower latitudes.

    The other effect I expect to see is an increase in warming in the ITCZ, as Earth’s cooling system becomes less efficient in these latitudes and the system tries to restore N/S temperature differentials. As far as climate science is concerned, cooling will become (is becoming?) the new warm…

  30. I think the (very slight) increase in the Earth’s rotation that Dr Morner talks about would be caused by sea level fall. It’s a conservation of angular momentum argument.

  31. Global warming caused Julia Gillard? actually, no, just simple human indulgence, in a grab for power as she stabbed her former leader in the back, then became a born again green carbon warrior to get green support to keep her in power. Global Cooling, bring it on and lets see her spin on that, if she lasts much longer as the most hated (useless) PM in living memory!! She and her party was going to get a cool reception from voters at the next election anyway!

  32. (Nils-Axel Mörner): At around 2040-2050 we will be in a new major Solar Minimum. It is to be expected that we will then have a new “Little Ice Age” over the Arctic and NW Europe.

    My own very rough educated guess …

    *if* we have entered a 25-30 year cooling micro-cycle it could reach out to 2030-ish.

    *if* after that there is a corresponding 25-30 year warming micro-cycle it could reach out past 2060-ish.

    *if* after that there is a corresponding 25-30 year cooling micro-cycle it could reach out past 2090-ish.

    *if* the prediction by Nils-Axel Mörner of a 2040-2050 Solar Minimum is true, it will serve to tamp down the latter half of the warming cycle 2030-2060. And will enhance the following cooling perhaps to epic levels (“a new “Little Ice Age” over the Arctic and NW Europe“). This LIA would occur at least a decade after his stated prediction though.

    Hey this is fun! I’m a climatologist now. And I won’t be here to be held accountable either. :-)

  33. A change in the Earth’s rotation would affect ocean circulation but how is it proposed that changes in the solar wind could affect the Earth’s rotation?

    One could get just the same effect on the ocean currents from changes in surface air pressure distribution changing the prevailing wind directions.

    That seems a far more fruitful area for investigation. Several are currently proposing just such top down solar effects.

    As regards Svensmark’s cosmic ray idea I’m more inclined to think it is a matter of solar induced changes in the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere.

    I’m currently out on a limb with that though because I require a cooling stratosphere and mesosphere when the sun is active and warming of those layers when the sun is less active. However that is the only way to get the observed effects on the surface pressure distribution. If the polar air masses are to expand at a time of less active sun then the stratosphere at the poles has to warm in order to suppress upward energy flow at the poles thereby causing the polar air masses to spread horizontally.

  34. —well, this will probably see a flood of immigrants from Europe into Africa. That’ll make a change!

  35. We need not worry about the threat of a new Little Ice Age. All those coal fired power stations the Chinese are building will save us by increasing the green house effect. Hang on, I forgot that the latest “research” shows that the Chinese power stations are pumping out particles that reflect the sunlight back into space. Hence the lack of warming over the past decade.

    Therefore the world must obviously continue with the present policy of curbing CO2 emissions. That will save us from the terrible threat of having runaway global warming and a little ice age at the same time. Whatever the question the answer is still the same!


  36. The likelihood of this happening is zero, as radiative forcing during Solar minnimum drops by around 0.2 w/m2, far less than the forcing increase due to increased Greenhouse gasses.

  37. What I want to know is, will we be able to put enough CO2 into the atmosphere in time to counteract this cooling, especially if the climate sensitivity is only 1.5 deg. C per doubling?

    no sarc…this time :-(

  38. What is all this about the earths rotation rate? Is that something lost in translation? Crazy Talk? Can that really happen in such a short period of time?

  39. Well, I’m skeptical; I’ll wait and see. Of course, we will be told that this cold spell is due to global warming.

  40. The idea that a solar minimum will bring us into a little ice age is fantasy. Neglecting the rise in greenhouse gases is foolhardy and leads to dumb conclusions such as this “paper” makes. We’ll see who turns out correct in the coming decade, a lot of “cooling” predictions by a good many people who should know better. I fully expect the world to continue warming, with the consequence of egg on certain faces.

  41. I presented Morner’s theory to a warmist blog and they accused me of being sarcastic.

  42. Does this mean we will be able to add polar bear meat to our future barbeque summers?

  43. There is an article currently making the rounds that “asian pollution” is to blame for “slowing global warming.” So, would cleaning up that pollution be a good thing, or a bad thing?

  44. “…First claims by the (C)AGW-pushers that Energy & Environment is not a real peer-reviewed science journal thus this can be completely ignored as unscientific nonsense, shall be arriving in 4… 3… 2…”

    Added to that will be the “Well, they also predicted Global Cooling back in the 70’s, and that never happened, either.”

    Still, there does seem to be an increasing call in the science community about the POSSIBILITY of Catastrophic Global Cooling. They’re just not sure who to blame, yet…

  45. Aha, the Icy End of Times called for by 2008 or so has been postponed. Now the Icy End of Times is projected for the middle of this century and this time it’s for certain!
    Anthony, it is wee bit to far into the future. So everyone will have forgotten this little fantasy by, well, the weekend. Try projecting the Icy End of Times for say 2014, that would work for three years, no?

  46. RichyRoo2011-

    According to my history of science text, the first known, recorded theory of Heliocentrism was by Aristarchos of Samos in the third century BC. He put the visible planets in their correct order of distance from the sun. He also estimated the sidereal Earth year at 365+1/152 Days in the notation of the time and which is accurate to less than 10 seconds. Smart bloke.

    Would be quite handy for the world if we could get him back and start working on the question of climate forcings and feedbacks.

    It was not until 1800 years later that science overcame the Ptolmic dogma of geocenticism and that was made possible by the invention of the telescope and the scientific discipline of observational astronomy, et al

    Let us hope it doesn’t take civilisation 1800 years to sort out climate science.

  47. Yet another forecast based on the Gleisberg and De Vries cycles. But without knowing the driver of these cycles it is impossible to use them for forecasting because they do not always follow the same pattern. If they did have this knowledge they would realize we are already in a solar grand minimum that will end in 30 years.

  48. Policyguy

    “So the point becomes which direction of adaptation do we follow?”

    I work at a power station in the UK that has vital systems freeze during the last winter, and we were unable to run. This spring and summer, we have been placing permanent shielding around vital plant to protect it from freezing winds, and hold in some of the heat generated by pump motors etc.

    We have yet to spend a penny preparing for global warming. It is funny how companies that that rely on actual climatic evidence to prepare for the future are investing in fighting against colder times. I wonder what preparations are being put in place at airports such as Heathrow?

  49. Minor update dept. Things look more clear at 0800 EDT than they did around 0015. One bullet point above got turned around by deleting other text and not fixing what was left. Fixed now with

    discussions at ICCC #6 about more coming cold winters and realizing that some people were quite familiar with the paper, e.g. Nicola Scafetta but some were not (I gave Bill Gray my copy)

    Originally I said Scafetta was not familiar with the paper, in fact, he knew all about it and the paper I link to is one of the references for this paper.

    Another reference is to Don Easterbrook’s presentation at ICCC #4 in Chicago last May, links to that include and a recent comment here are:

  50. Some Solar scientists are now projecting a quiet sun for several decades and possibly for the next several sun cycles after the current sun cycle #24 peaks in 2013. Consequently there are a growing number of climate researchers and scientists who like their predecessors did in the 1970’s, are again projecting another Ice Age like the Maunder Minimum. I am not one of those. I do see a cooler climate period coming up for the next 20-30 years caused by SST cooling but not a significant ice age like the period from 1650-1725 when sun spots virtually disappeared. If the lack of sun spots and lower solar output was the cause of our global cooling during the ice age then it must follow that this happens at other times when the sun is also low in sunspot activity like at all minimums and our climate should warm up when the sunspot activity is high[ at maximums ]. This did not happen. Solar cycle # 19 had the highest number of sunspots [190 yearly mean and monthly mean of 253 in October 1957] during late 1950’s and early 1960’s.This should have translated to the biggest temperature spike during the last 100 years if the theory is valid. Yet there was only a minor global temperature spike from an anomaly of -0.252 in 1955 to-0.075 during the solar max in 1957.
    An analysis of the past 13 solar cycles going back some 144 years showed that global temperatures [hadcrut3gl] dropped during only 6 of the 13 minimums and rose only during 6 solar maximums. So the hypothesis that reduced solar sun spot numbers is an indicator of lower solar output which then results in lower global temperatures is still questionable. During the latter stages of cycle # 23 we had very low number of sun spots yet the global temperature anomalies although flat in terms of increase from 1998-2008, they were at record highs levels.
    It seems to me that our climate does not correlate with sun spot activity at all but follows more the cycles of Enso, SST [as indicated by AMO and PDO, NAO and AO.]

  51. I find it hard to believe that shortening the day by a second or two would have any changes on climate. Much less the major changes predicted here.
    I also find it hard to believe that the solar wind could have any impact on the earth’s rate of rotation. The speed up in rotation during cold spells is caused by water, in the form of ice, accumulating at the poles.

  52. Warming, cooling – who cares? The Church of Climate Change with its Vatican at the UN, is now positioned to enforce unelected world government no matter what happens with the climate. If it’s cooling, the warmer bits will have to be taxed and rationed to pay for mitigation in the cooler bits. And to think, I spent the first 50 years of my life thinking that environmentalism was about protecting the environment. Silly me.

  53. Patrick Davis says:
    July 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    “That’s why many westernised countries are rushing to install some form of cap and trade, carbon tax or ETS.”

    No. They’re rushing to increase taxes because they’re broke…

  54. The driest desert on the planet UNDER SNOW (btw:don´t forget snow=water). Weren´t we in a GLOBAL WARMING ERA according to the IPCC?:

    A few months ago, during SH summer, the famous AG visited south america to “lecture” on GW and the disappearence of glaciers on the Andes and its most terrible consequences: The lack of drinking water and the danger of drought in the amazon basin.

  55. Here again, one must always look for the first encountered change agent to explain a change in state. During long minimums, several natural weather pattern oscillations can occur. Not through cause and effect mind you, but just because the former has a rather metronome cadence and the latter a rather more unpredictable chaotic cadence.

    I always recommend looking at these natural weather pattern oscillations and their underlying oceanic and atmospheric oscillations as the primary natural intrinsic agent of change before I would link external or anthropogenic causes.

    Once again, the null hypothesis says that an external or anthropogenic cause must have a greater, stronger mechanism than an intrinsic natural agent of change in order to reject the null hypothesis. If the two are equal, the null hypothesis stands.

  56. Tony;

    Have you considered the effects of the recent strong earthquakes in Japan, Chile, even reaching as far back as the Sumatra-Andamen to be the cause of the Earth’s accelerated rotation?

    All three of these quakes led to an actual shortening of days. Something on the order of a few milliseconds, but it was caused as the average distance from center of mass decreased due to the tremors themselves.

    Just something to consider when you’re trying to figure out why the Earth is turning faster recently.

  57. . I believe that the cooling during the Mini Ice Age was not entirely due to solar sunspot changes alone, but was possibly caused by other cosmic events not yet fully researched and understood [like perhaps our solar system passed through some different interstellar medium containing unique or varying cosmic dust or particles. Could this section of interstellar gas of higher concentration of cosmic dust or debris have the same effect as sulphur dioxide particles from volcanic dust in our atmosphere today?
    Our sun and our solar system are currently moving through a cloud of interstellar gas. We are currently immersed in a” local fluff” cloud which is of a very low density. While not fully investigated yet , is it possible that our local “fluff” cloud could periodically pass through more denser sub parts containing grains of dust and special particles from past interstellar shock fronts[major cosmic explosions and out bursts] or unique dust and debris from tails of major comets . These could alter also the flux of solar photons reaching our mesosphere and, cause a variation in the flux of charged particles reaching our atmosphere and thus change the global electrical system which could alter our weather periodically, like the little ice age
    The solar wind shields the Earth from most interactions with low density interstellar gases and clouds but what happens when there are periods of very solar wind and low flux? I realize that I am only speculating here but so is the argument that low solar sunspots definitely cause Little Ice Ages.

  58. matt v. says:
    July 6, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Of course the sunspot number vs temp correlation is a bit dubious – but we cannot know the time lag between significant solar forcing changes and the observable climate changes. It may be expected that some high forcing variables could cause a change in a few years or that minor forcing changes take a few decades to be ‘observable’. But in any event, the time lag must be there and must be significant – you don’t heat a few billion kilometres of water up by tenth of a degree overnight! Even those with outdoor swimming pools in warm countries know that it takes weeks to warm up from the change from spring to summer months. The converse is true as the summer fades into autumn, your pool feels ‘warm’. The earth is no different to a swimming pool – just that it’s bloody big and takes a long time to warm up and cool down – so in effect, the sea probably acts as a ‘smoothing’ filter for any significant solar changes – and the signal of these would probably be lost altogether if they are short lived or small variation events. The point being that such small changes would still have an actual effect, but it would be difficult to observe contemporaneously. So, in the context of the fairly warm/high sunspot activity solar cycles of late -the cumulative effect on the oceans would be a very slight temp rise.

  59. Mörner refers to changes in the Earth’s rotation rate due to changes in the solar wind
    It is highly unlikely that there is such a connection. This reminds me about the debate a century ago about the origin of the craters on the Moon. Volcanologists who knew about volcanoes could clearly see that the craters were not volcanic so were favoring the impact theory [of which they knew little]. Astronomers who knew little about volcanoes would favor the impact theory. I.e. people often ascribe effects to causes about which they knew but little.

  60. Well, if a little ice age really does occur, then I say we blame Al Gore and his ilk for it. See, if he hadn’t harangued us into cutting carbon emissions, we might have been able to keep things a little warmer. But thanks to the AGW crowd, we’re all going to freeze. And I friggin hate winter so this is a nightmare scenario for me. I was actually looking forward to some global warming. =-(

  61. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 6, 2011 at 7:02 am
    Astronomers who knew little about volcanoes would favor the impact theory.
    correction: ‘would favor volcanoes’, of course.

  62. RE: Marc Wilson:

    Absolutely correct: Climate affects LOD but LOD has NO effect on climate. Claims that it does are sheer nonsense, and a disgrace to WUWT. –AGF

  63. Up in central Australia at a camp by the last shrinking permanent waterhole after the long drought, the aboriginal tribe is sitting around the campfire all grumbling about the whitefella’s global warming when one young blackfella turns to the Witch Doctor and asks if he thinks it will be a cold wet winter this year at long last. All eyes turn expectantly to the WD who doesn’t have a clue but quickly replies he’ll need to spend a couple of days out in scrub reading all the signs. That satisfies the tribe so next morning he treks off all day to the highway to the closest servo (gas station) and the lone phone box and rings up the Bureau of Met down south in the big smoke for a long range weather forecast. There’s a 60% chance of it comes the reply and reasonably satisfied he treks off back to the tribe and tells them they’d best get busy gathering and hunting in preparation for a move to higher ground. A week or so goes by and the question arises again around the campfire about whether he still thinks the big move is on. Again the WD reckons he needs a couple of days out in the bush and so back to the highway he treks all day to ring the BoM again. This time it’s a 75% chance so back he goes and gets the tribe to redouble their efforts and gather what remaining food and firewood they can in readiness for the expected move soon. Another week or two and the same questions from the tribe and again he’s off to ring the BoM. This time the answer is that the BoM is almost 100% sure but being a bit of a skeptic about their degree of certainty he asks how can they be so sure. Easy comes the reply, because all the blackfellas are on the move up north. Damn those bloody climate changin’ whitefellas and their feedback effects!

  64. We have had somewhat short, but brutally cold, winters the last few years here in NC. Well, brutally cold for NC, I know that’s mild for you mid-westerners. My gas bills already top $200 in Dec-Feb, adn I certainly do not own a McMansion…

  65. matt v said:

    “It seems to me that our climate does not correlate with sun spot activity at all but follows more the cycles of Enso, SST [as indicated by AMO and PDO, NAO and AO.]”

    Climate correlates well with sunspot activity on the timescales of MWP to LIA to date but not so well on shorter timescales.

    I think the reason is that on shorter timescales the ocean cycles dominate.

  66. The little sheep at The Weather Channel claim all the current weather disasters are a result of global warming: floods, drought, tornadoes, etc, etc. How do they keep a straight face when presenting such garbage? Must be a genetic mutation of brain function that is shows up in lack of logical reasoning.

  67. The jet stream, as a major contributor in atmospheric coupling to the lithosphere, has a significant interannual effect on LOD, about two ms’ worth. Sunspot cycles have a decadal and secular effect, and if the solar wind turns out to have any, it would be by way of atmospheric coupling or ice mass variation (=sea level fluctuation). The correlation between sun spots and the Parana River indicates adequate grounds for a sunspot/LOD correlation, though it might be difficult to tease out such an effect amid all the noise (but for all I know it has already been done–at least attempted).

    Someone really does need to treat this LOD problem but it’s not a one man job, and I fear the best experts would hesitate to get their boots muddy. I ain’t no expert here. –AGF

  68. You’ll note that these anti-AGW predictions of solar minima also take about 40 years to falsify. Can’t they at least predict something that can be falsified in 10 years?

  69. “The past Solar Minima were linked to a general speeding-up of the Earth’s rate of rotation”

    Please could you provide references to explain this statement?

  70. MAttN;
    There’s a wee trick I read in an architectural mag some years ago I’ve used to great effect ever since. Get a small fan, ideally one designed for vertical operation, and use it in a corner of your largest room. (More than one room is better, of course.) Aim it upwards, forcing mixing of cool floor air and warm ceiling air. The room will feel much more comfortable, and your heating (or cooling) system will have to work much less to maintain the thermostat at your preferred setting. The built-in version uses a hollow column in the corner, but that’s just a minor improvement.

    You can get up to 40% reduction in heating/cooling costs. Really significant, for a fairly small investment in fan and electricity (est. 10-20¢/day) .

    (If the fan isn’t a “vertical” type the bearings will burn out if it’s angled too sharply upwards, so just angle it slightly, aimed at at corner, possibly with a sloped deflection surface if you want to increase efficiency.)

  71. Back a few hundred million years ago, when a day was only 23 hours long, diurnal temperature extremes would have been lower, which I suppose would constitute a different climate. So LOD variation of hours rather than dozens of milliseconds would indeed affect the climate–over the aeons. –AGF

  72. I think Nils should stick to sea levels analysis – that’s his forte and where most of his credibility lies. His LIA stuff feels a little hinckey to me.

    As for a new LIA, I’d leave that to the scientists who are evaluating current and past solar maxs/mins and their implications, plus analysts of PDO’s, MDO’s, ENSO’s, etc..

    I do remember an engineering magazine I was reading in the early 70s that said reducing sulfur dioxide from industrial emissions would result in an increase in world temperature, which made sense at the time. The U.S. then scrubbed out black soot (which heats the earth) and reduced sulfur dioxide (which cools the planet). The net result? No idea (neither does the IPCC). There’s an historic environmental to-an-fro there and I don’t know what it implies for temperature. Similarly, China’s hell-bent-for-leather development of coal with it’s attendant black soot and aerosol generation for the next 30-40 years could either exascerbate or dampen global warming that will occur. Who knows?

    I do know one thing – the 60’s and 70’s were frakkin’ cold when I grew up. Miserably cold. Since then, it ain’t been a cake walk, but one or two degrees off the savage lows of those winters mean a lot. Don’t want to go back there. You don’t want to either.

  73. I predict just as homo sapiens from Africa replaced Neandertal man in Europe after the last ice age…… homo superiorensis from Africa will do the same to etc after the next ice age.

  74. While the study is an interesting read, the only thing I take away, is the danger of taking any action, based on current knowledge. We must resist the unreasoned urge to “do something now”, panic of the AGW convinced. Until we know whether to zig to the left or zag to the right, we run the risk of self inflicted injury.

    There are prudent actions which apply to either scenario, such as increasing granary storage capacity, energy reserves, cold and hot hybrid seeds. Of course, agenda free, research and projections, would aid our decision processes immensely, but I guess we will have to make do… without. What a criminal shame! GK

  75. Jerry from Boston says:
    July 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Yeah, all that soot can reduce the ice albedo and melt it at the same time the air is cooling–sort of like what we’re seeing now. They built a dirt road to get to Chacaltaya which hastened its demise. –AGF

  76. A general comment on little ice ages and climate change:

    The resonse of mobile life forms to seasonal weather changes or longer term climate change has usually been migration. But the next time that the climate does change to significantly warmer or cooler, we’d have to worry a bit about how flightless animals would be able to migrate past all the fences, roads, towns and cities that we have put in their way, poor little sods!

    And you might also have to worry a bit about how the big species (us) would manage it, given the political and national boundaries that we have put in our own way.

    Right now there are about 350 million people in Mediterranean North Africa, a significant number of whom, having suddenly found themselves in uncomfortable circumstances, are keen to get onto leaky boats and make their way across the Mediterranean to the North side. And the 350-odd million on the north side have found this so disturbing, that they have clubbed together to bomb the hell out of the people that they perceive to be the cause of the discomfort that is causing this human migration.

    So how much more disturbing would it be, if the well heeled 350-odd million on the north side of the Med. (not to mention another 70-odd million on the north side of the Canadian/US border) found an arctic wind at their backs, frozen rivers, crop failures, roads and vehicles buried under snow and cities grid-locked by snow and ice, and decided to move rather more desperately southwards?

    Sub-saharan Africa and the Mexican border might start to look like the promised land.

    And as a geologist, I think it is more likely to be a change for the cold, and am not entirely sure that this would be gradual enough for comfort.

    It bears thinking about.

  77. I am struggling to link LOD with any meaningful overall climate change (in terms of net radiation budget and temp increases). The LOD is irrelevant to total incoming solar radiation hitting the earth – in net terms it will remain the same whether the earth spins twice as fast or half as fast? The main difference a LOD change would be (I presume) in the length of time sunlight heats a particular patch of the earth, affecting the amount of ocean and atmospheric heat absorption and convection, etc – which I can see would affect local climate and local weather but not really global as the overall real energy budget remains the same? Or am I missing something?

  78. onion2 says:
    July 6, 2011 at 4:29 am
    I fully expect the world to continue warming, with the consequence of egg on certain faces.

    Like it’s been warming for the last 13 years? Oh, wait …

  79. I do not yet see actual evidence supporting the following 3 theories:

    1) significantly shorter LOD causes global climate cooling
    2) significantly shorter LOD caused by reduced solar winds during grand solar minimums
    3) a grand solar minimum has already started

    I still do not see a plausible mechanism between grand solar minimums and cooling climate on Earth. Though I must say the discussion at these kind of posts do stimulate some excellent scientific comments.


  80. Ah – on a minutes reflection on my last post – perhaps the best we can say is that a longer day will result in greater diurnal temp variation and a shorter day, less diurnal temp variation – so actual climate/weather patterns would obviously be affected, e.g. more thunderstorms in summer from a longer day evaporating more water, colder winter nights, etc – so yes, I can see climate being different – but still not the actual average global surface temps ?

  81. A G Foster says:
    July 6, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that LOD has no impact on climate. If there were a significant change to the LOD, say decreasing to 12 hours or increasing to 48 hours, then this would have an impact on circulation patterns. I was just saying that the change we are looking at is on the order of a second or less.

  82. As a “warmist”, I welcome that “skeptics” are predicting cooling. If, in decadal timescales, it doesn’t happen, will you all accept you are wrong? If it does happen, in decadal timescales, AGW is wrong and scientists will, I feel sure, admit it. Following which, the politicians will have to follow suit.


  83. In other words, the article is junk but parts of it might fit in well with sowing confusion amoung the public.

  84. The Conservation of Angular Momentum is an even stronger physical law than Cconservation of Mass-Energy. It is the heart of quantum mechanics.
    If the earth’s rotation is faster in a colder period, it can only be because the moment of inertia about the axis of rotation has changed. Solar wind cannot accomplish this. Only redistribution of the earth’s mass can change it’s moment of inertia.

  85. Changes in the Earth’s rotation would be expected if the polar ice caps grew larger, keeping more mass near the center of rotation and speeding up the spin. How this connects with solar wind, I do not see, except for the cosmic wind/solar wind competition.

  86. John B says:
    July 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

    As a “warmist”, I welcome that “skeptics” are predicting cooling. If, in decadal timescales, it doesn’t happen, will you all accept you are wrong? If it does happen, in decadal timescales, AGW is wrong and scientists will, I feel sure, admit it. Following which, the politicians will have to follow suit.

    John [B]

    – – – – – – –

    John B,

    That is contrarily consistent with the below.

    And, I welcome the IPCC AGWers predicting warming even if in decadal timescales it is not happening. In a similar vein, I welcome a lack of a reduction in the disturbing high level of uncertainty that that IPCC AGWers use to claim it can warm significantly by CO2.


  87. KEV-IN UK
    You make some interesting points about the possible existence of time lag factors between solar change s, ocean SSTchanges and atmopheric temperature changes . What this lag factor is, no one , to the best of my understanding has documented this with any accuarcy or proven the exact mechanism.
    I find it still interesting that during the Maunder minimum between say 1650-1700 when there were no sunspots and theUK temperatures were cooling that both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were actually warming rather than cooling as shown by these two tree ring reconstructions of AMO and PDO. So I think the cooling of the atmosphere back then was perhaps caused by factors other than the lack of sun spot activity and the oceans were doing their normal warming cycle which ultimately warmed up our climate by 1750.

  88. Leif Svalgaard July 6, 2011 at 7:02 am
    “Mörner refers to changes in the Earth’s rotation rate due to changes in the solar wind
    It is highly unlikely that there is such a connection.”
    Given that LOD varies, Climate varies and Solar parameters vary, what do you propose as the cause and consequence, and how would you statistically validate that?

    Morner’s model may be testable by computer simulation of atmospheric & ocean flows with LOD. e.g., see the 2009 dissertation:
    Ensemble Simulations of Atmospheric Angular Momentum and its Influence on the Earth’s Rotation by Timo Winkelnkemper.
    Winkelnkemper includes “solar” (but not the indirect solar impacts such as solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays influencing clouds.
    Some other papers that look interesting, see:
    Papers on global warming and Earth’s rotation, Posted by Ari Jokimäki on May 25, 2011 e.g.

    Spectral analysis of geomagnetic activity, global air temperature, Earth’s rotation rate and zonal circulation, when smoothed from secular trend and periods shorter than 23 years, shows a concentration of energy around the 60-year period explaining more than 80% of the entire variance. This information has enabled the set-up of a cascade physical model that integrates the Sun-atmosphere-Earth system as a single unit and ties solar corpuscular radiation to global warming through Earth’s rotation and atmospheric circulation. Our results suggest that changes in geomagnetic activity, and in the Earth’s rotation, could be used as long- and short-term indicators, respectively, of future changes in global air temperature.

    A. Mazzarella, “The 60-year solar modulation of global air temperature: the Earth’s rotation and atmospheric circulation connection”, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Volume 88, Numbers 3-4, 193-199, DOI: 10.1007/s00704-005-0219-z

    The Sun’s Role in Regulating the Earth’s Climate Dynamics Richard Mackey, Energy & Environment, V.20, N.1 – 2 / January 2009

    The Sun-Earth system is electromagnetically, magneto-hydrodynamically and gravitationally coupled, dominated by significant non-linear, non-stationary interactions, which vary over time and throughout the three-dimensional structure of the Earth, its atmosphere and oceans. The essential elements of the Sun-Earth system are the solar dynamo, the heliosphere, the lunisolar tides, the Earth’s inner and outer cores, mantle, crust, magnetosphere, oceans and atmosphere.

  89. David L. Hagen says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:35 am
    Given that LOD varies, Climate varies and Solar parameters vary, what do you propose as the cause and consequence, and how would you statistically validate that?
    That things very does not mean that one is causing the others. For the specific item here, it is clear that the LOD varies because of circulation of air and water that change the moment of inertia of the system. The solar wind energy input is many, many, many orders of magnitude smaller than that of the direct solar radiation. The papers you reference do not specifically calculate the results of solar wind influence on LOD.

  90. Interesting conjecture, but it is just that. Also, why do so many insist on taking extreme positions on these things in that everything must solar related? We’ve got 40% more CO2 now than we did during the last “Little Ice Age”. It isn’t all the sun, or all CO2, or all the oceans, or all aerosols, or all volcanoes, but rather a mixture of forcings that go into making up the complex and chaotic climate.

  91. Kev-in-Uk says:
    July 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

    To put it in simplified terms. The sun heats the earth more at the equator than at the poles. Through a variety of mechanisms, this causes air and water to move from the equator towards the poles. Because the earth is spinning, this poleward movement is twisted, resulting in things like the jet stream and ocean currents. If the earth was spinning faster, the twisting would be more pronounced. If it was spinning slower, it would be less pronounced. Thus the location and strength of these various currents and flows is at least partly dependant on the speed of the earth’s rotation. Changing the LOD by a few mS, or even a few hundred mS is not going to be enough to noticebly change these patterns.

  92. Tom Davidson says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

    If there were some mechanism that could transfer the energy of the solar wind to the angular momentum of the earth, then it could affect the LOD. However I can’t think of any such mechanism. Even if there were, the energy in the solar wind is so small compared to the energy stored in the earth’s angular momentum that it would take billions of years to have a noticeable impact.

  93. Re; Mike @ July 6, 2011 at 9:46 am
    “In other words, the article is junk but parts of it might fit in well with sowing confusion amoung the public.”

    No, there is no confusion here, just honest debate and discussion. We are trying to understand something.

    The “other side” of this debate long ago decided they knew everything and open discussion and honest debate ended in favor of propaganda and agenda.

    Which one more closely resembles the scientific method to you?

  94. “” Mörner refers to changes in the Earth’s rotation rate due to changes in the solar wind. I have a lot of trouble with that. “”
    Yeah, me too.
    More solar activity warmer earth, faster rotation, due to less ice at poles and Earth’s ability to produce electric currents ,magnetic field as water is much better conductor than ice is..

    More ice at earths poles less conductivity because ice is not a good conductor. I had a tech article on this posted on another site..

    More ice change in eccentricity more elliptical orbit hmm every thing slows down.

    Gotta run

  95. John B says:
    July 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

    If it does happen, in decadal timescales, AGW is wrong and scientists will, I feel sure, admit it.

    Once again, you sneak in the false implication that all “scientists” agree with AGW. Some do… however, many notable scientists DO NOT! To add further insult, you imply that skeptics are not scientists. Perhaps it is time for you to move your comments over to a site, with your “kind” of scientists. Here we are mainly concerned with the scientific method, NOT your pseudo- scientific superstars. GK

  96. Enneagram says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Enneagram respondinig to:
    John Whitman says:
    July 6, 2011 at 9:30 am

    UN´s FAO found a reliable source for forecasting fish catches (the results of a study undertaken under contract to FAO by Professor Leonid B. Klyashtorin of the Federal Institute for Fisheries and Oceanography, Moscow, Russian Federation) based in the LOD :
    See graph in page 50:

    – – – –


    Thanks for your comment.

    I very very briefly looked at the abstract, conclusion and certain LOD parts of the paper you referenced. Based on my brief view it appears that the paper does not say that changes in the ACI (Atmospheric Circulation Index) are caused by LOD. It seems to says ACI varies in somewhat the same way with similar periodicity.

    Do you get from the paper that LOD of the very small amounts they talk about causes the significant observed changes in the ACI?


  97. onion2 says:
    July 6, 2011 at 4:29 am
    I fully expect the world to continue warming, with the consequence of egg on certain faces.

    I fully expect you to become a very angry AGW sceptic some day.

  98. I think the term” ice age” referring to the period of the Maunder Minimum needs clarification. Using the UK Central England temperature data, the average of all winter [dec/jan/feb] seasonal temperature values during most[41 years] of Maunder Minimum period [1660-1700] was 3 deg C. The maximum winter temperature was 6.3 deg C and the minimum was -1.2 deg C. The winter CET temperature for 2011 was 3.1 deg C and for 2010 it was 2.43 deg C. During the Maunder minimum about 50% or 22 winters were warmer than the recent CET 2010 winter temperature of 2.43 C. So it was not ice age all the time.

    By these numbers UK is already having “ice age” like winters now but the solar sunspots number is around 40+, not zero but increasing. So ice age level kind of temperatures can happen during non ice age periods and the cause may not be zero sunspot activity but possibly other factors as well.
    Another example; the coldest year for UK/CE was 1740 at 6.84 deg C. The winter temperature was
    -0.4 C or the 2ND coldest winter on record. This was at solar cycle with the 1738 annual sunspot number at 111, 1739 @ 101 and 1740@ 73, a very active solar cycle and hardly supportive of coldest “ice age” temperature in UK

  99. Ironically earth quakes are said not to influence global climate yet are strong enough to influence earth rotational speed which then can affect world climate by effecting the ocean circulations. But of course it is easier to blame man.

  100. matt v said:

    “the coldest year for UK/CE was 1740 at 6.84 deg C. The winter temperature was
    -0.4 C or the 2ND coldest winter on record. This was at solar cycle with the 1738 annual sunspot number at 111, 1739 @ 101 and 1740@ 73, a very active solar cycle and hardly supportive of coldest “ice age” temperature in UK”

    It is necessary to take into account the ocean cycles which can either be supplementing or offsetting the solar effect.

    Also the greater meridionality of the jets with changing longitudinal positions for the various loops in the jet will cause very different seasons regionally from on year to another.So it is quite possible for a south westerly wind to penetrate into UK and Europe in a proportion of winter seasons despite a negative AO, AMO and a quiet sun.

    The opposite also applies as perhaps for the example given in 1740.

  101. @unPC

    “Warming, cooling, it’s all the same. Liberals will use anything that comes to hand to justify an increase in government power:

    I am not an American but I think you are being unfair to liberals. When Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the power of “the military-industrial complex” I doubt if he had liberals in mind. If you look at the history of the world in recent decades you can find plenty of examples of right-wing politicians in different countries who increased state power.

    The important thing is to hold our politicians to account so that they do not get too powerful irrespective of whether they are on the right, left or centre of the political spectrum.


  102. What then is a `real `peer reviewed journal? How naive can people get? Many controversial papers get through because they are reviewed by people of the same persuasion who belong to the same prayer wheel circle of which IPCC is a good example. Morner is an extremely well-informed scientist with a wealth of experience that most warmistas lack.

  103. Being born in 1956 and fighting the beast, I likely won’t still be around to see this if it happens. On one hand this lucky for me, I guess, but on the other hand it sure would be interesting to watch.

    Mortality sucks. I want to live long enough to learn about everything that happens from now on. :)

  104. Here is Mazzarella’s 2008 paper: Solar Forcing of Changes in Atmospheric Circulation, Earth’s Rotation and Climate Adriano Mazzarella, The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2008, 2, 181-184

    An increase in solar corpuscular activity causes a deceleration of zonal atmospheric circulation which, like a torque, causes a deceleration of the Earth’s rotation that, in turn, causes a decrease in sea surface temperature.

    Note particularly Fig. 7 that shows an inverse relationship between Length Of Day (LOD) and sea surface temperature (SST) etc. with R=0.97.

    Decadal variations in geophysical processes and asymmetries in the solar motion about the Solar System’s barycentre Nikolay Sidorenkov, Ian Wilson, and Anatoly Khlystov, Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 12, EGU2010-9559, 2010

    We find that the observed changes in the specific mass of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets closely correspond to the specific mass variations that are needed to explain the “decadal-long” fluctuations in LOD (Sidorenkov, 2009).

    See Nikolay Sidorenkov’s book: The Interaction Between Earth’s Rotation and Geophysical Processes

    For an analysis of Dutch winter scenes including those during the Little Ice Age, see:
    Les scènes hivernales dans la peinture du Siècle d’or hollandais Alexis Metzger et Martine Tabeaud

    Here is Scafetta’s 2010 review on causes of Climate including solar: Climate Change and its Causes, Nicola Scafetta

  105. David L. Hagen says:
    July 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    Here is Mazzarella’s 2008 paper [...] Note particularly Fig. 7 that shows an inverse relationship between Length Of Day (LOD) and sea surface temperature (SST) etc. with R=0.97.
    All his data sets have been heavily smoothed and then correlated. This drives up the R-value to become nonsense.

  106. NASA/JPL-Université Paris Diderot – Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris find air temperature varies with Length of Day:
    NASA Study Goes to Earth’s Core for Climate Insights

    “Our research demonstrates that, for the past 160 years, decadal and longer-period changes in atmospheric temperature correspond to changes in Earth’s length of day if we remove the very significant effect of atmospheric warming attributed to the buildup of greenhouse gases due to mankind’s enterprise,” said Dickey. . . .one possibility is the movements of Earth’s core might disturb Earth’s magnetic shielding of charged-particle (i.e., cosmic ray) fluxes that have been hypothesized to affect the formation of clouds. This could affect how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back to space and how much is absorbed by our planet.

    Dickey, Jean O., Steven L. Marcus, Olivier de Viron, 2011: Air Temperature and Anthropogenic Forcing: Insights from the Solid Earth. J. Climate, 24, 569–574. doi: 10.1175/2010JCLI3500.1

  107. RE: David Hagen, Note particularly Fig. 7 that shows an inverse relationship between Length Of Day (LOD) and sea surface temperature (SST) etc. with R=0.97.

    Note particularly not to confuse Corellation with Causation.

    In this case, Causation probably exists, but the reverse of what is intended by the paper! Higher SST implies expanded water and expanded average radius and higher angular moment of inertia. Therefore, higher SST will CAUSE the rotational speed to slow down — by a leap second or two per year.

    We are talking about a 4 millisecond in range in the length of the day over the entire 20th century (see his Fig. 3). This is 1 part in 20 million.

    Who here believes that a change in the rotation rate of the Earth by 1/10,000,000 can have any measurable, let alone significant, effect on global circulation patterns?

    Did skepticism take an extended vacation this week?

  108. John Whitman :
    It forecasts fish catches due to changes in sea temperatures; for example: it is a well know fact that when along the SA coasts sea water is cold there is a good time for anchovy catches; then LOD relates to changes in TEMPERATURES. What is worth mentioning is that this study comes from the same IPCC´s UN and it has a very practical and down to earth method which perfectly works for fishermen all over the world. If fishermen were to rely on IPCC forecasts would inmediately abandon its use; then IPCC´s well promoted Global Warming or, worse, undefined “climate change” has no practical use whatsoever but to fool those who naively believe in it.
    This humble LOD based graph without any publicity at all, deprived of fanatics and “Gurus”, without any banks sponsoring it, works, and there you can see how temperatures will be, up to the year 2100.

  109. David L. Hagen says:
    July 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm
    NASA/JPL-Université Paris Diderot – Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris find air temperature varies with Length of Day
    And they have cause and effect reversed of some of the other ‘papers’ you quote.

  110. Parl Vaughan posted on this subject some time ago. LOD, SOI, and sea surface temperature go hand-in-hand with GLAAM, Global Average Angular Momentum. The obvious explanation is that easterly winds blowing along the equator subtract from the earth’s angular momentum and increase the LOD. Also these winds are associated with the La Nina phase of the SOI, so sea surface temperatures are cool. When the winds drop (El Nino) the earth’s rotation speeds up again. There may be external influences acting to synchronize the ocean cycles (I believe there are), but these LOD changes are well explained by conservation of angular momentum.

  111. Pamela Gray says:
    July 6, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Pamela – OT… You were looking for ‘real’ huckleberry wine, in a comment to another post.
    Try these folks, up near FlatHead Lake MT.

    I sampled a bottle of theirs a few years back and really liked it… but haven’t been back that way since. Your comment had me wracking the ‘wheres and whens’ of my random access memory. It seems to get more random every year… MtK

  112. Robert Stevenson says:
    July 6, 2011 at 8:38 am
    “I predict just as homo sapiens from Africa replaced Neandertal man in Europe after the last ice age…… homo superiorensis from Africa will do the same to etc after the next ice age.”

    Both senarios are most unlikely. Ice ages take a while to start and give plenty of time adapt or to move south to warmer climes if you are an adventurous type. If this is not the case, how did Neanderthal DNA get into the modern gene pool???

  113. I would not worry australian PM Gillian Gillard will save the world buy destroying australia with a carbon tax this sunday 10th our time she will address australia on all TV channels to tell us how she will destroy us please if you can log onto our TV channels 10 .9.8.2 please please please log onto these channels we need the world to help discredit our left wing fascist labour goverment thank you we need all your help

  114. Stephen Rasey says:
    “Did skepticism take an extended vacation this week?”

    At last! Somebody here with some common sense!

  115. Tenuc – Ice ages take a while to start – wrong – check your facts – Ice Ages normally start in a couple of years from the norm. Look at now – world cooling – sun going on strike – all we need is a big volcano to erupt. Bingo. Albedo effect. Forget you ‘ little Ice Age ‘ . It’s the big one that’s coming. Every 11,500 years. Guess how long since the last.

  116. Paul says:
    July 7, 2011 at 4:29 am
    It’s the big one that’s coming….
    Though you are looking for fun, that would be too much. We sincerely expect your guesses are wrong.. :-)

  117. Mark Wilson,

    “If there were some mechanism that could transfer the energy of the solar wind to the angular momentum of the earth, then it could affect the LOD. However I can’t think of any such mechanism.”

    No Mark, the angular momentum of the Earth does not need to change. In fact, the principle agent that is diminishing the Earth’s angular momentum is the tidal drag of the moon. The main point is that angular momentum is the product of 2 terms – mass and angular velocity. All that needs to happen to reduce the Earth’s angular velocity is to move some mass further from the centre of rotation, even though the total angular momentum would not have changed at all. It is a fact that small variations in the height of the atmosphere at low lattidudes could transfer sufficient mass along the axis of rotation to alter the angular velocity of the planet to some extent. The only question is whether changes in solar wind could have that effect.

  118. R. Gates says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 am
    We’ve got 40% more CO2 now than we did during the last “Little Ice Age”.

    That’s a wild speculation.

  119. Mark Wilson says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:37 am

    John B says:
    July 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

    If on decadal timescales, the earth fails to warm, would you be willing to admit that you are wrong?

    Absolutely! (but see the more recent post of UAH temperatures)

    G. Karst said “Once again, you sneak in the false implication that all “scientists” agree with AGW. Some do… however, many notable scientists DO NOT! To add further insult, you imply that skeptics are not scientists.

    No, I said that if warming stops, really stops, scientists will stop supporting the idea of AGW, even those who currently support it. Scientists should be driven by the data.

    Yes, skeptics are not scientists, in the main, because most people aren’t scientists.

  120. We must distinguish between angular momentum and moment of inertia. Mark Wilson meant to say moment of inertia, which is reversibly variable according to the planets current shape, while the angular momentum transferred to the moon through tidal friction is irreversible. It is true that angular momentum may be transferred reversibly between the lithosphere, hydropshpere and atmosphere, but the sum of their momentum added to that of the moon, is constant. The earth can only slow down due to tidal friction, but it speeds up and slows down all the time due to fortnightly zonal tides, the jet stream and other atmospherica phenomenon (seasonal and interannual), melting grounded ice, and probably core/mantel coupling (plus a host of minor contributors).

    The abstract to Mazarella’s piece remains nonsense, and is unfortunate: LOD has no short term effect on climate–it is affected by climate. Neither could SST affect LOD without an equivalent and readily observal sea level change, and of course there is none. Thermal heating of the deep ocean is a potential, long term contributor to sea level rise, but with LOD holding steady in spite of tidal deceleration, we have added evidence for little sea level rise.

    But could there be a direct or inverse correlation between SST and LOD? Certainly, by either of at least two mechanisms, atmospheric coupling and ice melting. When grounded polar ice melts it slows the earth down and spreads cold freshwater over some portion of the ocean surface, lowering SST short term. If floating ice melts at the same time, SST will increase over a longer term due to decreased albedo, causing a delayed long term inverse correlation like that described by Mazarella.

    The funny thing about LOD as that few of the supposed processes of GW should cause it to decrease, but it does anyway. Tidal friction causes a deceleration of 2.3ms/century. GIA causes an acceleration of about .6ms/century, leaving a deceleration of 1.7ms/century. But since the advent of the atomic clock, when earth rotation could be measured instantaneously, rotation has gone up and down but stayed nearly level over the long haul. The longer this goes one, the more difficult it becomes to ascribe it to core/mantle coupling rather than the ice mass balance of the globe. That is, the ice isn’t melting as fast as it’s growing, just like the sea level experts are trying to tell us. –AGF

  121. John B: skeptics are not scientists

    Now that statement begs a host of questions and observations. Let’s look at the Wiki definition of scientist and (for argument) engineers and scientific skepticism

    A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method.[1] The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science.[2] This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word. Scientists perform research toward a more comprehensive understanding of nature, including physical, mathematical and social realms.

    An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical and practical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, safety and cost.[1][2] The word engineer is derived from the Latin root ingenium, meaning “cleverness”.[3]
    Engineers are grounded in applied sciences, and their work in research and development is distinct from the basic research focus of scientists.[2] The work of engineers forms the link between scientific discoveries and the applications that meet the needs of society.[1]

    Scientific skepticism is the practice of questioning the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence or reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing “the extension of certified knowledge”…..
    Scientific skeptics believe that empirical investigation of reality leads to the truth, and that the scientific method is best suited to this purpose. Considering the rigor of the scientific method, science itself may simply be thought of as an organized form of skepticism. This does not mean that the scientific skeptic is necessarily a scientist who conducts live experiments (though this may be the case), but that the skeptic generally accepts claims that are in his/her view likely to be true based on testable hypotheses and critical thinking.
    Scientific skeptics attempt to evaluate claims based on verifiability and falsifiability and discourage accepting claims on faith or anecdotal evidence. Skeptics often focus their criticism on claims they consider to be implausible, dubious or clearly contradictory to generally accepted science. Scientific skeptics do not assert that unusual claims should be automatically rejected out of hand on a priori grounds – rather they argue that claims of paranormal or anomalous phenomena should be critically examined and that extraordinary claims would require extraordinary evidence in their favor before they could be accepted as having validity.
    From a scientific point of view, theories are judged on many criteria, such as falsifiability, Occam’s Razor, and explanatory power, as well as the degree to which their predictions match experimental results. Skepticism is part of the scientific method; for instance an experimental result is not regarded as established until it can be shown to be repeatable independently.[6]

    So to be a scientist, one must use the scientific method. I note in passing there is no mention of “post-normal scientific method”.

    Also in the definition of scientist, the activity to find solutions to practical problems seems to fall into the realm of the engineer. So when it comes to proposals to fight CAGW, engineers, not scientists, ought to be in the driver’s seats. [Question: what percent of the IPCC are engineers?]

    Now let’s consider Scientific Skepticism, something that is “part of the scientific method”. “Sceience itself may be … thought of as an organized form of skepticism.” Can you be a scientist and not be a skeptic at the same time? If you are not a skeptic, you are only masquerading as a scientist.

    To close the circle, indeed all scientific skeptics need not be scientists. Many, a great many, are people trained in engineering. Engineers must always be skeptical of their own work. To double check for errors, for it is drilled into them in training that errors cost time, money and sometimes lives. Engineers are always trying to find a better, easier, less costly way to deliver the solutions to problems that meet the needs of society.

    If it takes an engineer to point out a error of a scientist, such as the Causation of LOD in Mörner above, that is skepticism at its best.

    Stephen Rasey, Ph. D.
    B.Sc. Geophysical Engineering
    Ph. D. Mineral Economics (Operations Research)
    Colorado School of Mines.

  122. Edim says:
    July 7, 2011 at 7:31 am
    R. Gates says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:19 am
    We’ve got 40% more CO2 now than we did during the last “Little Ice Age”.

    That’s a wild speculation.

    Hardly. Pretty much solid data right from the ice cores from both Greenland and Antarctica.

  123. What was there around to produce CO2 in little ice ages and ice bound land? Lush growth feeding a large ecosystem all breathing out CO2?

  124. @Stephen Rasey

    You really shouldn’t cherry pick half a sentence. Your entire post was based around you quoting me saying “skeptics are not scientists”. But what I actually said was, “skeptics are not scientists, in the main, because most people aren’t scientists”. Completely different meaning.

  125. @ John B
    Either way, you were implying the intersection of (scientists) and (skeptics) was an empty set. Whereas I was saying true scientists should be a wholy enclosed subset of skeptics.

    If you had said, “Some skeptics are not scientists,…” I would agree, but it would be a statement of little value.

  126. Leif et al.
    I linked to those LOD papers to prompt some thinking, to show the range of issues being considered, and different cause versus effect proposals. Now to sort out the magnitude and validity of each.
    I particularly find promising the inverse relationship between SST and LOD.
    With time/frequency being our most accurate measurement system (at least parts per 10^16), I would think that variations in LOD would be a good long term proxy for changes in average global “temperature”, winds, icecaps etc.
    Thanks Leif for the note on averaging vs R^2.

    On Mick’s question above, – salt water is a VERY good absorber of electromagnetic radiation – about inversely proportional to frequency. Thus the NAVY’s use of very low frequency long wave pulses to communicate with submarines. Microwave Ground Penetrating Radar is very rapidly absorbed.

  127. David L. Hagen says:
    July 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm
    salt water is a VERY good absorber of electromagnetic radiation – about inversely proportional to frequency.
    The solar wind is not electromagnetic radiation…

  128. David L. Hagen says:
    July 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm
    variations in LOD would be a good long term proxy for changes in average global “temperature”, winds, icecaps etc.
    Nobody contests that. The nonsense is that changes in LOD cause the climate effects. It is the other way around [which nobody should doubt]. And to top off the nonsense is the notion that the solar wind controls the LOD.

    A G Foster wrote (July 7, 2011 at 10:45 am) “The longer this goes one, the more difficult it becomes to ascribe it to core/mantle coupling rather than the ice mass balance of the globe. [...] –AGF”

    tallbloke take note.

    Hydrology is a function of absolutes, not “anomalies”.

  130. A 40% increase of a trace gas that is an order of magnitude or more below the next most prevalent Greenhouse Gas is not going to make a splash in the equation, any more than the gravity of Mars (as it approaches perihelion) is going to outdo the tug of the moon on the tides.
    For that, you need some sort of as yet undiscovered physics, which is nowhere in evidence, either measured or implicated by observation. The Greenland and Antarctic Ice Cores do not implicate CO2 as a driver of Ice Ages or Interglacials, they do just the opposite. For that matter, there is no historical literature correlation to even mount a good suspicion. Dang, that’s about as close to absolute zero as it gets.
    You got a “what if” with CO2.

  131. David L. Hagen, thanks for the list of article links to sort through.

    Do you see any problems with Morner’s figure 2?

  132. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    The solar wind is not electromagnetic radiation…

    While I agree with this fact, it should also be noted that sea water is a most excellent absorber of particle radiation also. Only the elusive neutrino really escapes its clutches. Water – is truly an amazing substance, both in the atmosphere and in Earth’s natural reservoirs. GK

  133. I am not happy with positive changes to the rotational rate of the earth since rotation decays due to tidal friction. But an increase of ice mass at the south pole will reduce the rate of rotational decay. (Which I suppose can be counted as a positive movement).

  134. I do believe Mörner is mistaking correlation and causation, much as AGW proponents have done for many years. I also think it is a very easy mistake to make. It illustrates how complex a mechanism the climate really is. Like a machine with a million moving parts, every new viewpoint reveals a part of the mystery without providing a conclusion, only more questions.

    One should also not assume there is a single answer to the puzzle. The reality is that there are likely many different drivers of Earth’s climate, some connected and some independent, each with its own corresponding cycle. This will make almost any actual causal relationship seem imperfect, as at times some cycles will cancel out others.

    At one time, it seemed reasonable to infer an AGW-like causation from the correlation between temperature and CO2, though now we know that it is more often temperature which drives CO2. A causal relationship of LOD to changes in climate is likewise possible, but is more likely the opposite of what this article suggests.

    The correlation between solar activity and climate appears even stronger than the CO2 correlation, and certainly Earth’s atmospheric temperature cannot affect solar activity, nor can any other terrestrial aspect, therefore the direction of causation seems obvious. Yet, without knowing the mechanism, this cannot be claimed with certainty. It is equally possible that a common factor is affecting both properties independently. That does not mean we should not search for such a mechanism.

    I believe that the search for the engine of Earth’s climate is crucial, and that no honest effort to that end should be scorned. However we should also cautious about jumping too quickly to conclusions which could strand us on yet another dead end path, as happened with AGW.

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