New paper links cosmic rays, clouds, and temperature

This new paper shows what appears to be a link between Forbush descreases and terrestrial temperature change shortly afterwards. It is a short time scale demonstration of what Svensmark is positing happens on a longer climate appropriate time scale as the solar magnetic field changes with long periods. I’ve covered the topic of Forbush decreases before, and thus I’ll draw on that for a refresher.

The definition at Wikipedia:

A Forbush decrease is a rapid decrease in the observed galactic cosmic ray intensity following a coronal mass ejection (CME). It occurs due to the magnetic field of the plasma solar wind sweeping some of the galactic cosmic rays away from Earth.

Well we have that going on in a dramatic way right now [Feb 19th, 2011], it’s been going on since late yesterday. See the Oulu neutron monitor (a proxy for cosmic rays) graph:

You can monitor it live on the WUWT solar page here.

Nigel Calder reports of a new peer reviewed paper from the Institute of Physics in Belgrade, Serbia which demonstrates a link between such Forbush events and the increase in the diurnal temperature range averaged across 184 stations in Europe. It is quite compelling to read.

Europe: diurnal temperatures after Forbush decreases

A. Dragić, I. Aničin, R. Banjanac, V. Udovičić, D. Joković´, D. Maletić and J. Puzović, “Forbush decreases – clouds relation in the neutron monitor era”, Astrophysics and Space Sciences Transactions, 7, 315–318, 2011.

Nigel Calder writes:

It was published on 31 August and the full text is available here http://www.astrophys-space-sci-trans.net/7/315/2011/astra-7-315-2011.pdf  It’s typical of the pathetic state of science reporting that I still seem to have the story to myself ten days later.

The focus was on the “natural experiments” in which big puffs of gas from the Sun block some of the cosmic rays coming from the Galaxy towards the Earth. The resulting falls in cosmic ray influx, called Forbush decreases, last for a few days. The game is to look for observable reductions in cloudiness in the aftermath of these events. The results are most clearly favourable to the Svensmark hypothesis for the Forbush decreases with the largest percentage reductions in cosmic rays. Scientists keen to falsify the hypothesis have only to mix in some of the weaker events for the untidiness of the world’s weather to “hide the decline”.

The Serbs avoid that blunder by picking out the strongest Forbush decreases. And by using the simple, reliable and long-provided weather-station measurements of temperature by night and day, they avoid technical, interpretive and data-availability problems that surround more direct observations of clouds and their detailed properties. The temperatures come from 184 stations scattered all across Europe (actually, so I notice, from Greenland to Siberia). A compilation by the Mount Washington Observatory that spans four decades, from 1954 to 1995, supplies the catalogue of Forbush decreases.

Dragić et al. Figure 5

The prime results are seen here in Dragić et al.‘s Figure 5. The graphs show the increase in the diurnal temperature range averaged across the continent in the days following the onset of cosmic ray decreases (day 0 on the horizontal scales). The upper panel is the result for 22 Forbush events in the range 7−10%, with a peak at roughly +0.35 oC in the diurnal temperature range. The lower panel is for 13 events greater than 10%. The peak goes to +0.6 oC and the influence lasts longer. It’s very satisfactory for the Svensmark hypothesis that the effect increases like this, with greater reductions in the cosmic rays. The results become hard (impossible?) to explain by any mechanism except an influence of cosmic rays on cloud formation.

To be candid, these results are much better than I’d have expected for observations from a densely populated continent with complex weather patterns, where air pollution and effects of vegetation confuse the picture of available cloud condensation nuclei. Svensmark’s team has emphasised the observable effects over the oceans. Now the approach taken by the Belgrade team opens the door to similar investigations in other continents. Let a march around the world’s land masses begin!

Physicist Luboš Motl also writes about the new paper:

What have they found? If they take all Forbush decreases, the effect is insignificant. However, if they compute the average of the largest Forbush decreases, they find a substantial increase of the day-night temperature difference by as much as a Fahrenheit degree around 3 days after the event [reference to Figure 5 above].

A higher day-night temperature difference indicates that the number of clouds is smaller – because clouds cool the days but heat up the nights a little bit, and thus reduce the temperature difference – which is in agreement with the cosmoclimatological expectation: the Forbush decreases makes the galactic cosmic rays disappear for some time (because of some massive, temporarily elevated activity of the Sun).

I think it’s both simple and clever to look at the day-night differences because the overall noise in the temperature is suppressed while the signal caused by the clouds is kept. Just to be sure, it’s obvious that clouds do reduce the day-time differences but that doesn’t mean that they preserve the day-night average. At typical places, they cool the days more than they heat up the nights.

For me, this paper begs replication and confirmation. The problem they have with the European data set is that it is noisy which required the averaging. Here in the USA though, there’s a dataset that may work even better, and that’s from the recently completed U.S. Climate Reference Network operated by the National Climatic Data Center. While that network is too new to be useful yet for long term climate studies, the care that was taken for station siting placement, accuracy of sensors, data resolution, and quality control make it a perfect candidate for use in replication of this effect.

These stations were designed with climate science in mind. Three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation are made at each station, insuring continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations. The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades. Stations are monitored and maintained to high standards, and are calibrated on an annual basis.

The data is of high quality, so any new study looking for this effect may not even need to do the DTR averaging done by Dragić et al. to see the effect if it is real.

The logged USCRN data is now available online here http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/observations.htm The February Forbush decrease event I highlighted at the beginning of this post might make a good starting point.

I see a paper on this in the near future, maybe even in Dessler record time.

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140 Responses to New paper links cosmic rays, clouds, and temperature

  1. Interstellar Bill says:

    Dessler’s rapid publication is solely because he’s on the Team.
    You, however, spread viscious ideas of cosmic rays letting CO2 off the hook.
    No matter how much actual data you have,
    you cannot be allowed to publish ideas the Team abhors.

  2. Peter Ward says:

    So this is to do with night-time temperature changes as a result of cloud cover changes? That’s interesting, as I seem to recall that some (most?) of the annual average temperature increases of the last 50 years are more to do with increasing the minimum temps than increasing maximum ones. Am I right, and if so is it relevant here?

  3. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    It will be necessary, to cement this theory, to detail the time it takes from galactic cosmic ray-induced cloud condensation nuclei (GCR-CCN) to grow into light-scattering diameters. Please keep in mind that as the CCN grow, they start shading/reflecting the higher frequency light first. This point seems to be universally overlooked. I can’t find a single paper dealing with it. First the (highly variable) EUV is shaded, then the (variable) UV, then (almost unvarying) visible, then (near-constant) infrared.

    Puffy white clouds are only those we see with visible light which is part of reality. It is fairly easy to envisage transparent water vapour as a ‘cloud’ as far as IR is concerned. Now, add to your mental list of phenomena ‘scattering clouds’ that are visible only in UV light. Once this is accepted, you will be able to plot a shorter delay to the formation of UV-visible clouds, a medium delay visible clouds, and a longer delay to those droplets that interfere with long wave radiation.

    The paper above deals with temperature as if the clouds are all visible at once. The analysis of the delay should be plotted with multiple frequency sets which interact with different diameter CCN.

  4. Luther Wu says:

    Waiting for a response from The Team…
    (I’m not really waiting, their actions have led me to consider them hopelessly incompetent and/or corrupt and not worth listening to.)
    How’s that for a parenthetical sarc tag equivalent?

  5. Adrian Smits says:

    Now this appears to be solid science begging for attempts at replication! If it holds up…….we have our smoking gun..

  6. Katabasis says:

    So when will the editor be resigning?

  7. Bloke down the pub says:

    Having recently had solar pv panels fitted on my house, I’ve been paying more attention than usual to the strength of sunlight reaching us. I found Crispin in Waterloo’s comments interesting as they sort of fit my own observations.

  8. HankH says:

    Dessler asserts that the only thing that affects cloud nucleation is temperature. Svensmark put fourth the theory that cosmic galactic rays (CGR) can produce cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) through a process known as gas to particle conversion. The CERN CLOUD experiment proved the CCN formation mechanism of Svensmark’s theory and now this new paper from the Institute of Physics puts fourth real world observation that changes in GCR’s affect temperature.

    While the paper bypasses cloud observation for good reason, it is known that CCN’s produced from GCR’s can participate in cloud nucleation in two modes – direct and via coagulation. They can also scatter solar radiation via Rayleigh scattering at certain wavelengths. However the scattering effect is considered to be too small to affect temperature directly so there must be another, more powerful mechanism than Rayleigh scattering to account for this paper’s results.

    If one connects the dots drawn by Svensmark, CERN, and the Serbs, the picture forming is clouds. If it can be proven directly, it will overturn Dessler’s unidirectional hypothesis, validate Svensmark’s theory, and add robustness to Spencer bidirectional hypothesis.

    I sense we are just one paper away from making Dessler and the Team rather unhappy.

  9. Max Hugoson says:

    Geez guys! MEMORY, history, keep things CONNECTED – LOOK AT THIS –

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/svensmark-forebush.pdf

    What we have here (SUN), is a serious Fay-lie-error to COMMUNICATE! (That’s a Cool Hand, Luke…what they said to Luke Skywalker, Star Wars II)

    Max

    PS: All light hearted!

  10. “I see a paper on this in the near future, maybe even in Dessler record time”

    For those who would like to replicate (or falsify) results of Dragić et al., here are some relevant (and independent) datasets in easy-to-download machine readable form:

    Neutron monitor data for MCMURDO, NEWARK, SOUTH POLE & THULE
    USCRN/USRCRN data (U.S. Climate Reference Network / U.S. Regional Climate Reference Network)

    Both datasets have hourly resolution, simple text processing scripts are sufficient to parse them.

  11. tallbloke says:

    Peter Ward says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:18 am
    So this is to do with night-time temperature changes as a result of cloud cover changes? That’s interesting, as I seem to recall that some (most?) of the annual average temperature increases of the last 50 years are more to do with increasing the minimum temps than increasing maximum ones. Am I right, and if so is it relevant here?

    I think this is probably partly due to ‘rural stations’ getting a countryside UHI effect from modern irrigation practices. The increases humidity elevates night time minimum temperatures.

  12. Tony McGough says:

    Very, very neat. Use long-established observations (weather stations, neutron fluxes) made by observers who had nothing to do with the Climate Wars; subtract highs from lows; correlate against the Forbush discontinuities; and Bob’s your Uncle.

    Masterly. The subtractions neatly separate the weather from the climate; the data is long-published and anyone may repeat the correlations. The correlation looks good; now the debate will be the mechanism. Roll on the Cloud experiments Phases II, III, …

  13. Mac the Knife says:

    The paper by A. Dragić, et.al. strikes solid but preliminary support (too early to say ‘confirmation’, me thinks) for Svensmark’s hypothesis regarding Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) effects on terrestrial cloud formation, especially when combined with the CERN – CLOUD experimental results. They demonstrated a straight forward path to assess solar induced variations in atmospheric GCR intensity on our earthly Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR) – Brilliant! Another piece of the puzzle, that seems to ‘fit’!

    One still has to posit the question “What else could it be?” The increase in DTR also directly correlates with large solar Coronal Mass Ejections. Is there a direct means of energy transfer from CMEs or some other secondary linkage that could be causing the positive pulse in DTRs?

    This is exciting news and certain to be unsettling to the ‘settled science’ proponents! A few more pixels on the ever expanding map of human knowledge are being colored in…..

  14. R. Gates says:

    This is a very interesting paper and a very clever way indeed of trying to pin down the GCR/Cloud connection. It will be interesting to see if other global temperature data can be used for additional studies. One statistical study that could be easily done, and be directly related to solar cycles, would be to do a similar DTR analysis during the 1 year period around the top of solar cycle and compare it to the same locations during the 1 year period at the bottom. As GCR’s vary between these two periods by usually greater than the 7% threshold mentioned in this study, you should see a noticeable difference in the DTR deviation between periods.

    But to a point Peter Ward asked:

    “as I seem to recall that some (most?) of the annual average temperature increases of the last 50 years are more to do with increasing the minimum temps than increasing maximum ones. Am I right, and if so is it relevant here?”

    Entirely a different issue. A global atmospheric water vapor levels have increased, plus the additional greenhouse gases, you’d expect more downwelling LW at night, when the minimum temperatures are usually recorded. More LW at night=higher night time (aka minimum) temperatures.

  15. A. C. Osborn says:

    Where is Svensmark’s Scientific Nobel Prize?
    Isn’t it interesting that the Non IPCC scientists are the ones that are finding supporting evidence for Svensmark?

  16. John Whitman says:

    A. Dragić, I. Aničin, R. Banjanac, V. Udovičić, D. Joković´, D. Maletić and J. Puzović, “Forbush decreases – clouds relation in the neutron monitor era”, Astrophysics and Space Sciences Transactions, 7, 315–318, 2011.

    – – – – – – – – –

    Dragić et al,

    Your paper will be interesting to consider. Thank you.

    It is good to see the study of the climate system diversify beyond 20+ years of IPCC CO2 myopia.

    John

  17. Dave says:

    @ Crispin in Waterloo, thanks for that contribution. I’m not a climate or physical science scientist, but your remarks strike me as pointing to an avenue for advancement.

  18. The number of cases is still very small [22 and 13]. Of interest is that [upper panel of Figure 5] that there is a statistically significant response [3 sigma according to the error bar], three days before the FD. Perhaps we can use the temperature in Europe to forecast FDs…

  19. Molon Labe says:

    Do they account for a change in the day’s weather conditions when looking at DTRs? That is, say, a front moving in or out during the day?

  20. Stephen Wilde says:

    I prefer a slightly different explanation.

    The arrival of the pulse of energy from the sun COOLS the atmosphere above 45km allowing the tropopause to rise, surface air pressure systems to shift slightly more poleward than they otherwise would have done thereby enlarging the subtropical high pressure cells and allowing more solar energy into the oceans.

    At this juncture merely a short term pulse of extra energy which will have only a temporary efect due to the generally low level of solar activity.

    It might slow down the background cooling effect of the quiet sun for a few days or weeks.

  21. Stephen Wilde says:

    I should have mentioned that over the European area the subject of this particular paper the effect would be to shift the mid latitude jets poleward or equatorward and thus alter cloudiness over the areas where measurements were taken.

  22. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    HankH says:

    >Dessler asserts that the only thing that affects cloud nucleation is temperature.

    Well that certainly is not what cloud researchers think. The temperature can be varied across a wide range including far below zero and no CCNs are produced, and it can be quite high and they form. What is needed (normally) is a particle! I mean, this has been known for ages. Even ice formation is known to need something upon which get started. Even heard of super-cooled water? The superheating of a cup of water in a microwave that blasts into steam all at once when it is disturbed is a well-known urban danger. Inside hurricances there is a dearth of particles because they are washed out and supersaturation is the order of the day.

    Dessler and others should read a little more, that’s all.

    CCN form on molecules and especially particles. Simple as that. The First Nations people in Canada and the USA used carefully timed grass fires to induce precipitation during droughts by studying the sky and determining when to send up the particles. That is what I mean by ‘known for ages’. Rain drops normally form one particles.

    Temperature affects the formation but the whole point about GCR’s forming particles is that in conditions when CCN are not efficiently forming, GCR’s can induce formation of slightly smaller than normal CCN’s. They take longer to develop into droplets that interact with visible light (making clouds that can be photographed from a satellite). An noted above, they are first ‘visible’ in the UV, meaning Raleigh Scattering first takes place in the UV before the visible. Why? Because the longer the wavelength, the larger the particle has to be to lose transparency. For visible light is is about 0.1 microns in diameter.

    >Svensmark put fourth the theory that cosmic galactic rays (CGR) can produce cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) through a process known as gas to particle conversion.

    In fairness, it is condensation, not conversion. Condensation takes place on something. Absent that, it is a super-saturated gas, a condition that is very common in the atmosphere.

    >While the paper bypasses cloud observation for good reason, it is known that CCN’s produced from GCR’s can participate in cloud nucleation in two modes – direct and via coagulation.

    This needs nuancing: the droplets large enough to scatter light are all produced by coagulation. As they have a slight similar charge when produced, they tend to avoid each other in collisions for longer than CCN’s before they are condensed onto particles. This means they last longer in the nanoparticle state than regular CCN’s. There is a paper clearly explaining this which I read last year so it is a ‘known’.

    >They can also scatter solar radiation via Rayleigh scattering at certain wavelengths.

    Very importantly, and ignored I think, is that the reacting frequency drops with time as the particles grow (meaning the time after the Forbush Event). If the delay was plotted v.s. frequency (and particle size) this effect should be more detectable than the authors seem to think thus far. i.e. for events below a 7% change.

    >However the scattering effect is considered to be too small to affect temperature directly

    Says who?? That statement certainly needs better support, especially when the effect has been so clearly demonstrated without bothering to first separate the effect by light frequency. Even with all the frequencies above visible ignored, and without breaking the response time into say 4 or 5 frequency groups, the Svensmark Effect is clearly visible.

    >If one connects the dots drawn by Svensmark, CERN, and the Serbs, the picture forming is clouds. If it can be proven directly, it will overturn Dessler’s unidirectional hypothesis, validate Svensmark’s theory, and add robustness to Spencer bidirectional hypothesis.

    Agreed. The clouds are clearing.

  23. Steven Mosher says:

    “A higher day-night temperature difference indicates that the number of clouds is smaller – because clouds cool the days but heat up the nights a little bit, and thus reduce the temperature difference – which is in agreement with the cosmoclimatological expectation: the Forbush decreases makes the galactic cosmic rays disappear for some time (because of some massive, temporarily elevated activity of the Sun).”

    That should be a simple matter to test. I’ll need to look at the stations they used. Some report variables related to cloudiness.

  24. Steven Mosher says:

    People should also note the physics that this relies on

    ” if cloudiness is high in the daytime,
    more sunlight is reflected back to space and the daily tem-
    perature maximum is lowered; in the nighttime, less infrared
    radiation from the earth surface is emitted into outer space
    and the daily temperature minimum is increased. ”

    Yes, the same radiative physics which explains why cloudy nights are warmer ( back scatter)
    also predicts that increased C02 warms the planet.

    Which is why the GCR hypothesis is complementary to AGW, not orthognal

  25. Steven Mosher says:

    tallbloke:

    “I think this is probably partly due to ‘rural stations’ getting a countryside UHI effect from modern irrigation practices. The increases humidity elevates night time minimum temperatures.”

    Seriously. Have you looked at the stations in question and the amount of irrigation done in the area?

  26. Mike Edwards says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm
    …Of interest is that that there is a statistically significant response [3 sigma according to the error bar], three days before the FD…

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that solar wind disturbances arrive at the Earth between 2-4 days after they leave the Sun – ie. do the original solar disturbances also have a direct/immediate electromagnetic effect on the Earth’s atmosphere?

  27. tallbloke says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm
    the GCR hypothesis is complementary to AGW, not orthognal

    If the GCR hypothesis is correct, AGW is pretty much superfluous to an explanation for late C20th warming. GCR hypothesis explains increased cloudiness since 2000. I don’t think the AGW hypothesis does too well there.

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    Seriously. Have you looked at the stations in question and the amount of irrigation done in the area?

    No. I’ve read some articles by people who have though.

  28. Baa Humbug says:

    Can we expect to see this in the urban dicxtionary?

    Desslered; to be desslered: Rushed through in an inordinately quick time. Often for nefarious purposes. Hurried along; to be rushed; to be hurried.

    e.g. “I hope my application is desslered through”. “Stop desslering me, I’m moving as quickly as I can. The legislation was desslered through the senate.

  29. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    ………..
    Hi Mosher
    Perhaps you are hearing echo of the voice in wilderness.
    Most of GCR end up in polar, while only the strongest get through in the equatorial regions. If Svensmark is correct that the CR increase cloudiness, than largest effect will be at poles. Since GMF is weakest when solar is strongest (because the Arctic’s and solar magnetic fields have a negative correlation)

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC9.htm

    as well as the Earth’s field is considerably stronger then heliospheric, than increase in cloudiness will be higher when the GMF is weaker, as it is case now, exactly opposite to what Svensmark suggests.
    Increased albedo in the arctic autumn, winter and spring, has no effect (low or no insolation +high albedo from ice and snow), but higher cloudiness will act as a ‘reflecting blanket’ keeping arctic warmer and shortening the sea ice formation season.
    In the summer’s daytime, albedo will reduce Arctic warming, but only in the areas which are not covered with ice or snow.
    Result: weaker GMF- more cloud- warmer polar circle region; hence good correlation between changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and global temperature

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

    but this is a reverse of the Svensmark’s albedo hypothesy
    Speculative, but possible if CR indeed increase the cloud formation to any degree, but that is not a certainty..

  30. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    You were quite skeptic to Svensmarks Forbush paper in 2009. I reread the thread today:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/a-link-between-the-sun-cosmic-rays-aerosols-and-liquid-water-clouds-appears-to-exist-on-a-global-scale/

    Your main criticisms were that Svensmark used too few Forbush Decreases (FD) and that a medium FD should also be visible in the data. It seems that those two issues have been resolved by Dragic et al. They use 22 medium level FDs and 13 stronger FDs (figure 5), both with significant response on Diurnal Temperature Range.

    The thing you find, apparently, most intriguing in this paper is a downward spike in the upper panel of fig 5. Well that down spike sure is interesting, but what about looking a little further to the right in that same figure? What about those two big, upward, bumps? Do they address, in your opinion, any of those issues you had with Svensmarks Forbush paper?

  31. RiHo08 says:

    Yesterday afternoon, sitting in the last upper seat in the stadium, I could see clouds: high level almost stationary, and low level cloud clumps moving slowly casting us in sunlight and then overcast and then sunlight again. I could see for miles this phenomenon, maybe 20 miles or so (flat earth). I wondered, ” how can one model; ie use mathematics & physics principles to incorporate the warming clouds- high level, and low level cooling clouds I was seeing?” There were clouds to adsorb surface long wave radiation, but breaks between low clouds to radiate (through a window?) to space; everything coming and going. Solar short waves were being reflected and absorbed. With pencil and paper I was unable to come up with a model for what I was observing. Anyone with an idea? It was a remarkably beautiful day.

  32. Adrian Smits says:

    Steve Mosher” Yes, the same radiative physics which explains why cloudy nights are warmer ( back scatter)
    also predicts that increased C02 warms the planet.

    Which is why the GCR hypothesis is complementary to AGW, not orthognal”

    That all depends if the extra clouds cause overall warming or cooling!

  33. Leif: The number of cases is still very small [22 and 13]. Of interest is that [upper panel of Figure 5] that there is a statistically significant response [3 sigma according to the error bar], three days before the FD. Perhaps we can use the temperature in Europe to forecast FDs…

    Leaving out your last sentence there, Leif, I wonder if there really is have something that needs to be looked at. Thanks. Something emitted from the Sun BEFORE a Forbush event???

    Tallbloke? Vuk? Now Leif’s nailed some evidence, can we have your wild imaginations brainstorming?

  34. tallbloke says:

    Hi Lucy,
    Brian Tinsley might have a few ideas. Basically, when the Sun erupts, stuff changes at Earth distance ~8 minutes later, with the heavy stuff arriving a few days later.

  35. davidmhoffer says:

    Peter Ward says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:18 am
    So this is to do with night-time temperature changes as a result of cloud cover changes? That’s interesting, as I seem to recall that some (most?) of the annual average temperature increases of the last 50 years are more to do with increasing the minimum temps than increasing maximum ones. Am I right, and if so is it relevant here?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    tallbloke says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:18 am
    I think this is probably partly due to ‘rural stations’ getting a countryside UHI effect from modern irrigation practices. The increases humidity elevates night time minimum temperatures.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    This is not just one thing, it is multiple things, but let’s not miss the very basic physics. For any given temperature at equilibrium there must be radiative balance in which the total energy flux (P) in watts/m2 can be calculated for any temperature (T) where T is in degrees Kelvin as:

    P=(5.67 times 10 to the power of -8) times (T raised to the power of 4)
    or
    P=5.67*10^-8*T^4

    If one considers (for example) a day time high of say 30C (303 K) and a night time low of 15C (278 K) how many watts of “forcing would it take to raise the temperature one degree C? Answer:

    From 30C to 31C would require an additional 6.34 watts/m2
    From 15C to 16C would require an additional 5.44 watts/m2

    In other words, since it takes 0.9 watts/m2 MORE “forcing” to raise the day time high one degree than it does the night time low, for any forcing that is uniform, night time lows SHOULD rise more than day time highs. By extension:

    Winters should warm more than summers.
    High latitudes (arctic, antarctic) should warm more than tropics.

    NASA/GISS, HadCrut, etc all show that this is in fact what has happened over the last 150 years or so. While the global “average” has gone up about one degree, the tropics have warmed very little, and so have summers. Most of the warming is at night time lows, in winter, at high latitudes. Which is [why] this whole cockamamee debate should NEVER have gotten traction in the FIRST place!

    Add to that the fact that CO2 is LOGARITHMIC!!!! If we get a supposed 3.7 watts/m3 from CO2 doubling (the number the IPCC uses) then, to squeeze one more single degree out of CO2, we would have to increase from our current 400 PPM to 800 PPM. It took almost ONE HUNDRED YEARS of burning oil as fast as we could to get from 280 PPM to 400 PPM. If we DOUBLE…no, let’s say we TRIPLE our consumption of fossil fuels… it would take us another THREE HUNDRED YEARS to get JUST ONE MORE DEGREE.

    And that “one degree” would be an average… in the tropics almost nothing, in the summer almost nothing, and day time highs, almost nothing.

    I propose a survey of all polar bears to ask this question:

    If when you are hibernating it drops to -32C at night instead of -40C, but during the summer the hottest days hit +15.5 degrees instead of 15 degrees, would you give a SH*T? We could ask all the tigers in the jungles if the average temperature goes from 30 degrees to 30.1 degrees if they give a SH*T either.

    The fact that this debate ever started is shamefull.

  36. DanDaly says:

    Forbush events, as well as high-speed solar wind, may also contribute to weather/climate by changing atmospheric pressure.
    Solar Wind Changes Atmospheric Pressure over South Korea

    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/26989/

    “Il-Hyun Cho and buddies at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute in Daejeon, say they have the first evidence that the solar wind can influence the sea-level atmospheric pressure at mid latitudes.
    These guys searched through space weather records from 1983 to the present looking for times when the solar wind speed exceeded 800 kilometres per second. That’s a stiff breeze that occurs very rarely, less than 0.1 per cent of the time. They found twelve of these high speed events, nine of which were accompanied by a Forbush decrease..
    Cho and co then used records from 76 meteorological stations around South Korea to study how the atmospheric pressure at sea level changed during these events.
    Sure enough, they found, on average, a small increase in pressure just after each high speed solar wind event. They reckon a fast solar wind increases the pressure by 2.5 hectoPascals. To put this in context, atmospheric pressure at sea level is about 1000 hPa.”

  37. Phil's Dad says:

    Mr Mosher is right in one sense when he says (September 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm) “Which is why the GCR hypothesis is complementary to AGW, not orthognal(sic)”

    The effects (if the hypothesis is correct) of GCR would work along side the effects of the various components of AGW to “share the load” as it were. In other words what GCR has done, AGW need not have done to produce the fraction of a degree of industrial and post-industrial age warming actually observed.

    I remain unconvinced that they are not in reality orthogonal as I have yet to see evidence that the GCR effect would not operate independently of any part of AGW but that is something I am prepared to be proved wrong about.

    The kicker here is only that, if the GCR thing turns out to be all it seems, policies to reduce CO2 etc. will be far less useful than some believe (though sadly no less expensive).

  38. ROM says:

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to temper the hailing of the Serbian paper as a potentially important item in the climate debate and to give recognition to the Brazilians and Russians who predated the Serbian paper by some 16 years .
    The Brazilian / Russian equivalent of the Serbian paper on Forbush Event’s effects on rainfall over the Amazon Rain forest was already done way back in 1995.
    Of course in 1995 it was already becoming not at all fashionable or politically correct to go against the then increasingly powerful vested interests of the IPCC / CRU / GISS climate science cabal that were promoting anthropogenic CO2 as the be all and end all cause of the coming CAGW so this paper was unfortunately confined to the climate science trash bin.
    Unfortunately the Brazilian / Russian paper is behind the usual springerlink paywall [ GRRRR!! ] so only the abstract is available to the public.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/662166078h432877/

    IL NUOVO CIMENTO C
    Volume 18, Number 3, 335-341, DOI: 10.1007/BF02508564
    Rainfalls during great Forbush decreases
    Yu. I. Stozhkov, J. Zullo, I. M. Martin, G. Q. Pellegrino, H. S. Pinto, G. A. Bazilevskaya, P. C. Bezerra, V. S. Makhmutov, N. S. Svirzevsky and A. Turtelli

    Abstract
    The changes of rainfall values during great Forbush decreases recorded by the low-latitudinal neutron monitor of Huancayo (47 events from 1956 through 1992) were examined. The data on precipitations were taken from the State of São Paulo and from the Amazonian region, Brazil. As a rule, the data from more than 50 meteorological stations were used for each events. The main result is the following: during strong decreases of cosmic-ray flux in the atmosphere (great Forbush decreases) the precipitation value is decreased. The effect of rainfall changes is seen more distinctly if wet seasons are considered.

  39. Carla says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    Leif: The number of cases is still very small [22 and 13]. Of interest is that [upper panel of Figure 5] that there is a statistically significant response [3 sigma according to the error bar], three days before the FD. Perhaps we can use the temperature in Europe to forecast FDs…

    Leaving out your last sentence there, Leif, I wonder if there really is have something that needs to be looked at. Thanks. Something emitted from the Sun BEFORE a Forbush event???

    Tallbloke? Vuk? Now Leif’s nailed some evidence, can we have your wild imaginations brainstorming?
    ~
    A call for wild imaginations..
    How about a bump in the HCS from neg. to pos. just before the CME?
    Which may have been travelling with a coronal windstream or something.

  40. Konrad says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm
    “Yes, the same radiative physics which explains why cloudy nights are warmer ( back scatter) also predicts that increased C02 warms the planet.”

    But not the whole planet, and therein lies one of the biggest problems with the AGW hypothesis. Cloud at night and increases in CO2 can slow the rate of cooling over land. However the oceans have been incorrectly included in the surface area of the planet that is effected by backscattered LWIR. Liquid water which is free to evaporatively cool does not exhibit the same response to LWIR as other materials.
    The Dragić et al. Paper shows increased t-min in response to increased cloud cover over land only.

  41. Bengt A says:
    September 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm
    It seems that those two issues have been resolved by Dragic et al. They use 22 medium level FDs and 13 stronger FDs (figure 5), both with significant response on Diurnal Temperature Range.
    Actually not. As most of the signal seemed to be in the 13 strong ones. If you subtract those out of the 22 overall, there is nothing significant left.

    What about those two big, upward, bumps? Do they address, in your opinion, any of those issues you had with Svensmarks Forbush paper?
    See above.

  42. davidmhoffer says:

    oops… I meant 288 not 278 K in my math above. But I used the right numbers in calculating the w/m2. Lomg story short, CO2 isn’t significant, never was. the only way it could be is if the rest of the climate system was INCREDIBLY sensitive to changes from CO2… or anything else for that matter.

    Which we know it isn’t.

  43. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    If you subtract those out of the 22 overall, there is nothing significant left.
    Sorry, I overlooked that they were already disjoint. Still, it would be of interest to see the variation for the weaker ones less than 7%. The power of a superposed epoch analysis includes that you can show all cases on the plot, not only the mean. That makes it clear what the spread is. An example is Figure 4 of http://www.leif.org/research/Semiannual-Comment.pdf

  44. Bengt A says:
    September 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm
    It seems that those two issues have been resolved by Dragic et al. They use 22 medium level FDs and 13 stronger FDs (figure 5), both with significant response on Diurnal Temperature Range.
    They also show that FD less that 7% have no effect. This might mean that comic ray variations have no effect except the 25 times in 40 some years that the FD was above 7%. Hardly strong support.

  45. Carla says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    A call for wild imaginations..
    We have enough of those already. How about a call for cool, considered, correct, skeptical science? Precious little of that around, it seems.

  46. HankH says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says: (September 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm)

    Thanks for your added clarifications.

    In fairness, it is condensation, not conversion. Condensation takes place on something. Absent that, it is a super-saturated gas, a condition that is very common in the atmosphere.

    Actually, we’re talking about two different processes. Nucleation mode particles are principally produced by gas-to-particle conversion (GPC). Accumulation mode particles are principally produced by heterogeneous condensation (coagulation). When referring to the initial formation of nucleation mode particles via GCR’s, I believe GPC to be an acceptable term.

    Says who?? That statement certainly needs better support, especially when the effect has been so clearly demonstrated without bothering to first separate the effect by light frequency.

    I’m not certain what the significance of “without bothering to first separate the effect by light frequency” is. Rayleigh scattering is highly sensitive to frequency relative to the particle size as it is inversely proportional to the fourth exponent of the wavelength. If the effect is being demonstrated without separating by frequency, it suggests to me that you’re referring to a mixed air column which is a mixture of Rayleigh and Mie scattering sized molecules and particles that would indeed be less spectrally selective as an aggregate.

    My reasoning in my statement, which I didn’t bother to qualify and might have better stated, is that most air molecules in the atmosphere scatter light energy via Rayleigh scattering. Add in some nucleation mode particles and I don’t see where they substantially change the reflectivity (backscatter) of the air column. Changing the air column density would indeed increase backscatter but are the changes in the air column resulting from GCR CCN’s enough to be significant? I don’t think so. However we’re just talking about the properties of the particles prior to cloud nucleation (their initial particle properties). The relationship of temperature, cloud nucleation mechanisms and thresholds, and cloud albedo is where it gets real interesting and scientists like Dessler and Spencer and Svensmark take sides.

    I agree that Dessler needs to read more. Svensmark and Spencer have a mounting body of evidence in their favor. Besides, the notion that Dessler puts forward of unidirectionality in a chaotic system just doesn’t make sense to me at a fundamental level. This is the nonsense tipping points are made from.

  47. Steven Mosher says:

    Well folks,

    I’m ready to test any real hypothesis about these events with hourly data from 206 pristine
    CRN stations. ( need to see how many actually have records for this day)
    ( fricking mountain of data)

    Which hypothesis do you all want to test about the feb 11th 2011 event.

    Do you expect cloudiness to decrease?
    how about rain?
    How big of an effect are you expecting to see?

    What number will make you change your mind?
    I’m not going to put a bunch of work into this unless some believers lay down a hypothesis.

  48. Steven Mosher says:

    Vuk.

    When you have a testable hypothesis talk to me.

  49. Steven Mosher says:
    September 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm
    Which hypothesis do you all want to test about the feb 11th 2011 event.
    Since it is smaller than the 5% threshold one would expect no effect.

  50. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Lief: The reason for the lack of a result below 7% was not because it is not there – it was not detectable in the chaos, as explained in the text. I congratulate him for not claiming it is there, only saying it is to onoisy to detect.

    He also suggests looking a) over the oceans and b) using a land base not so known for complex weather patterns. My own c) is in the note below.

  51. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    M.A.Vukcevic says:

    >Increased albedo in the arctic autumn, winter and spring, has no effect (low or no insolation +high albedo from ice and snow), but higher cloudiness will act as a ‘reflecting blanket’ keeping arctic warmer and shortening the sea ice formation season.

    ++++++++++

    The reflectivity from the top of Arctic clouds reaching sunlight is very high because of the low incident angle, just as at the surface. They are not only insulating things in the dark.

  52. Mac the Knife says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm
    This might mean that comic (sic) ray variations have no effect except …..”

    Leif – Your Freudian slip is showing……

  53. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    HankH says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    >Actually, we’re talking about two different processes. Nucleation mode particles are principally produced by gas-to-particle conversion (GPC). Accumulation mode particles are principally produced by heterogeneous condensation (coagulation). When referring to the initial formation of nucleation mode particles via GCR’s, I believe GPC to be an acceptable term.

    ++++++++++++++

    I need to think about that for a while. GTP occurs in the presence of particles, certain gas molecules (H2S) and GRC’s and I am sure a buncha other things, but not in pure water unless it gets really cold (not sure what the lower limit is).

    About the light frequency thing. I am actually mystified why this is not taken more seriously. A ‘cloud’ is not something that only occurs as a visible light phenomenon. You look at the sky, you see clouds. They are white because they are scattering all the visible light spectraand we can see some of it.

    If you could see ultraviolet light, you would see a lot more clouds because before the particles are large enough to interfere with and scatter visible light, they do the same thing with shorter wavelengths. And all rain drops start of well below the visible light scattering size.

    Have a look at what is meaasured as ‘cloud cover’. It is 100% visible light. But the TSI is measured as the total incoming radiation. So is the reflection from the clouds, and the outgoing radiation. People have tried looking at the variation in TSI (everything) and visible clouds (selective reflection). You get my point? They are mixing apples and oranges.

    The global albedo is measured at all frequencies by satellite, and instead of analysing what is reflected in terms of the particle sizes in the atmosphere below, the ‘global cloud cover’ is only made in the visible spectrum. Makes no sense. What UV light gets reflected is quite possibly bouncing off particles that are transparent to visible light and are recorded as ‘clear sky’. As UV is highly variable it matters whether or not the Earth is being shaded by clouds of UV-interactive particles.

    So is there a GRC-temp delay because of visible light clouds formed well after the UV-visible clouds have formed? Which is more important? The analysis presented does not look for this. In fact no one does. Clouds are counted only if they are visible to our eyes – hardly a fair measure of the totality of what arrives from the Sun.

    The change in temperature takes place without reference to the clouds, they are just temperature measurements. Now suppose instead of looking for ‘visible clouds’ as the explanation, and when, one looked for the particles that were formed by GRC, then time the growth of the particles and look for ‘invisible clouds’ which should scatter EUV and UV. These should show up on the TSI count (which is segregated by frequency) and temperature, to the extent that they form part of TSI reaching the ground.

    In short, clouds are treated in all the papers as if they exist on their own – that they are not in fact the product of particle size and a man-detectable sub-set of the total frequency range of radiation. Meanwhile everything else is split into sectors and absorption lines and given all sorts of detail.

    The invisible UV-opaque clouds are there but we can’t see them. In the case of FB events, there are effects on insolation at the ground before any clouds are visible. With ‘regular’ clouds there is always a particle mix, so I am suggesting that FB events are a good place to look for a vast number of nanoparticles, growing together, detectable as they interfere with progressively lower frequency radiation.

  54. bushbunny says:

    I see they are waking up are they, or turning a blind eye.? Go to the Arabian deserts. Bleedin’
    hot during the day, and temps fall dramatically at night, sometimes minus in their winter. Why no cloud cover. Frost will not form in winter with cloud cover. But as CO2 only makes up 4% of Greenhouse gases 3% is naturally formed, then 95% is water vapor and 1% trace gases. What some AGW graphs, look at the GHG results. They add on a clear day (no clouds) that puts CO2 as the main GHG when it isn’t. Then water vapor is an important element that produces rain, depending on what part of the world you live in, and the seasonal variations, such as a Monsoon region. But experiments held over 10 years regarding the destruction of the Amazon rain forest, showed that precipitation levels were effected when the trees were removed. Clouds got higher because of the lack of transpiration creating a rain forest. Been in a rainforest I have. Less than 10 yards away the rain forest had been converted into grazing land. New England National Park near Dorrigo and Ebor, that always has more rain and airborne humidity than elsewhere.

    Within 5 feet of entering the rain forest (temperate in this case but some sub tropical spots)
    The humidity increased and so did the temperature. Eucalypti had no foliage down beneath the
    canopy, but Antarctic beeches had evolved to not shed leaves like they would normally and were considered deciduous elsewhere, but keep their leaves most of the year, shedding all year round like gum trees. Why this? Obviously a rain forest environment did not create the same growing
    environment that open land did. Their sap kept circulating.

    A university hired by a fisheries department found that cosmic ray activity did effect the amount of rain falling in a specific area and the fishing grounds effecting the shoals of anchovies and sardines/pilchards. Climate is very dependent on our orbit around the sun, and the amount of
    precipitation varies from the normal sometimes to create drought and floods, and of course the region. The further inland one is the less precipitation is expected. Broad continents, well Australia is an example, the middle of the continent has always been known as desert. But occasionally it gets rain and Lake Eyre comes to life again. (Huge inland ‘sea’ that is below sea level)

    Sorry to be long winded, but this report will shake the AGWists. But getting them to accept the CERN report and the above as an important aspect of climatology is another matter. Lobby, Lobby, and more lobby. Humans create pollution in cities and change the landscape through farming and to a smaller degree cutting down huge tracks of trees. But people are waking up
    and leaving now large strips of trees that balance those cleared.
    .

  55. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm
    Vuk.
    When you have a testable hypothesis talk to me.

    As they say in a primary school class ‘compare & contrast’:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CO2-Arc.htm

    At least I found good correlations.

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

    Could you show one for the CO2 ‘hypotheses’ that you so valiantly (despite hopeless evidence and prospects) defend?

  56. Steven Mosher says:

    Talk to me when you have a testable hypothesis.

  57. Kasuha says:

    I have re-run their analysis for one randomly chosen US station and the february event and I saw a clear signature there. I must admit the day-night difference is very clever technique as it is far more stable than just the temperature record. I saw no signature in just temperatures, it disappeared in the noise, yet it was pretty nicely visible on the difference.
    Of course re-running it for just one station and one event has zero statistical significance but it suggests doing it right may be worth the effort.

  58. Steven Mosher says:

    Damn Leif. I just sorted through every hour of every day in feb 2011 for 206 stations.
    screw temperature, I have solar radiation. its pretty neat data. a bitch to get organized.

    Ok, which one of these events is the biggest..

    And people expect that a Forbush event will lead to fewer clouds and therefore more incoming
    solar radiation.

    problems: If it was already cloudless, it cant get less cloudless.
    GCR are suppose to effect the genesis of clouds..
    So if it was already cloudy….. what’s the effect ..

    Hmm. I can see finding nothing and believers will still believe.. what about x? what about y?
    try z? no wait mosh, do this, try that?

    Anyway, I have the data. Hourly temps ( 3 calibrated sensors per location) hourly solar.
    hourly rain. pristine locations.

    Waiting for a testable hypothesis..

  59. tallbloke says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 12, 2011 at 12:25 am

    problems: If it was already cloudless, it cant get less cloudless.

    About 60% of the Earth has cloud over it at any one time IIRC. What is the relevance of your statement?

    GCR are suppose to effect the genesis of clouds..
    So if it was already cloudy….. what’s the effect ..

    Clouds form and disappear on timescales ranging from minutes to months. Observational evidence shows cloudiness is reduced a few days after strong solar events which reduce GCR incidence.

    There is a strong link between cloud cover and surface temperature. This paper demonstrates a correlation between temperature changes and GCR incidence with a few days lag.

  60. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Waiting for a testable hypothesis.”

    Are you able to test whether any change in globally averaged stratospheric temperatures occurred a few days before,during or after, a significant Forbush Decrease?

    I suggest that such stratospheric temperature changes would shift the position of ALL the components of the surface air pressure distribution latitudinally.

    That would have regional cloudiness and rainfall consequences such as those reported in some of the above posts.

  61. tallbloke says:

    M.A.Vukcevic says:
    September 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    Most of GCR end up in polar, while only the strongest get through in the equatorial regions. If Svensmark is correct that the CR increase cloudiness, than largest effect will be at poles.

    Always remembering that the polar areas are small compared to the rest of Earth’s surface.

    Since GMF is weakest when solar is strongest (because the Arctic’s and solar magnetic fields have a negative correlation)

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC9.htm

    as well as the Earth’s field is considerably stronger then heliospheric, than increase in cloudiness will be higher when the GMF is weaker, as it is case now, exactly opposite to what Svensmark suggests.

    I think this may affect distribution more than incidence rates.

    In the summer’s daytime, albedo will reduce Arctic warming, but only in the areas which are not covered with ice or snow.
    Result: weaker GMF- more cloud- warmer polar circle region; hence good correlation between changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and global temperature

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

    but this is a reverse of the Svensmark’s albedo hypothesy

    The Sun was more than averagely active in the late C20th. Weather satellites measured a drop in tropical low cloud cover from 1980-1998 according to ISCCP data. Insolation changes near the equator have a bigger effect on global temperature than changes near the poles.

  62. bushbunny says:

    Well maybe someone could explain to me why I was taught at Uni, evaporation from the sea creates water vapor that go up and form clouds. They are swept in over land but lose momentum
    and precipitation the further inland they go, hence there are desert regions on broad wide continents. And actually if there is elevation of the land then higher altitude areas tend to get more rain. But no one so far although getting there has remarked that weather is subject to many
    variables within one season but it isn’t CO2 or the probable pollutants caused by oil burning engines, or industry, aeroplanes exhausts, or clearance of land for tillage. The latter now is being
    considered as the no no in agriculture as it degrades top soils as does the use of herbicides and pesticides. And why greenhouse commercial tomato farming they pump more CO2 into the greenhouse atmosphere to spur the plants on. And workers do not drop dead like flies or wear oxygen equipment to breathe! Has anyone heard of ‘rain shadows’ explain them?

  63. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    It seems to me that you’ve changed your line of defense, so to speak. You are no longer arguing that “there is nothing there to see” (like you did in response to Svensmarks Forbush paper) but rather “something seems to be happening, but it’s unimportant”. (Hope I don’t misinterpret you)

    Well that remains to be seen. Since the exact physical process isn’t known there is still a lot of science to produce before one can conclude that the cosmic ray interaction on clouds is unimportant.

  64. bushbunny says:

    PS That was aimed really to those who still believe in AGW, forgive me but I get rather perplexed
    as we continue to go in circles about what drives the weather and the climate. And some on this
    site seem to try and argue against it?

  65. SteveW says:

    Mosher:”Waiting for a testable hypothesis”

    Not wishng to sound glib, but a lot of folk have been waiting for a testable (and therefore falsifiable) hypothesis about CAGW for quite some time, care to propose one so we can see whether this idea is worth pumping many billions of $/£ into mitigating?

  66. Mike Reed says:

    Instead of trying to control the planet’s thermostat by controlling CO2 levels, why don’t we just put up a string of satellites in low earth orbit — like GPS — each equipped with a cosmic ray generator? This would allow us to control cloud formation, heating or cooling the planet at will. Probably cheaper, and certainly less painful, than dismantling western civilization.

  67. Kasuha says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 12, 2011 at 12:25 am
    “Waiting for a testable hypothesis..”

    My hypothesis is: “correlation presented in the serbian paper can be replicated using US data”.
    Is it good enough?

  68. Nuke Nemesis says:

    Still waiting for a testable hypothesis on anything happening with the climate right now is unnatural or unprecedented.

  69. tallbloke says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:39 am
    The Sun was more than averagely active in the late C20th.
    The Waldmeier effect artificially inflates the sunspot number by some 20% and the cosmic ray proxies show that the Sun was not more active over the past 600 years.

    Bengt A says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:41 am
    Since the exact physical process isn’t known there is still a lot of science to produce before one can conclude that the cosmic ray interaction on clouds is unimportant.
    The burden of proof [not met yet as you point out] is on the other camp: showing that it is important. The 13 strong FDs cover only about 1/1000 of the time over which the test was made, so can hardly be taken as strong support for an effect.

  70. Steven Mosher says:

    Tallbloke.

    “problems: If it was already cloudless, it cant get less cloudless.

    About 60% of the Earth has cloud over it at any one time IIRC. What is the relevance of your statement?”

    The relevance is obvious.

    You are looking for an effect that is supposed to decrease cloudiness.

    I am looking at a site on feb18th 2011. On feb 18th it is cloudless. On feb 19th you have a Forbush event. For that site… it cannot get MORE CLOUDLESS.

    Any way.

    “Clouds form and disappear on timescales ranging from minutes to months. Observational evidence shows cloudiness is reduced a few days after strong solar events which reduce GCR incidence.

    There is a strong link between cloud cover and surface temperature. This paper demonstrates a correlation between temperature changes and GCR incidence with a few days lag.”

    ONCE AGAIN. I am asking all the believers in the room to put their thinking caps on and answer the question.

    I have hourly data. Hourly measurements of incoming solar radiation. If it’s cloudy you’ll see lower figures. at night you see 0 of course. There are 206 locations.

    What do you predict will happen to the levels of solar radiation after feb 19th 2011?
    will it happen at all stations?

    How would you do the test?

    Come on, I’m sitting here with the data. What test would you run AND what would make you stop believing…..

    In other words what would it take to falsify your belief.

    206 files.. Hourly incoming radiation data.. no UHI worries AT ALL.

    Surely somebody knows how to form a testable hypothesis for this data..

    I have the data. More than happy to test your hypothesis.. BUT you have to be able to SPECIFY a test.. And stipulate that you will change your mind if the test fails..

  71. Steven Mosher says:

    Kasuha.

    Sorry nice try. The problem is that this dataset doesnt have enough years of data to get a stable DTR average.

    On the other hand.. its got hourly radiation data. Why worry about inferring clouds from DTR..

  72. kim says:

    Moshe, we don’t know enough to specify, but the imaginative are getting closer.
    =========================================

  73. Jeremy says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    They also show that FD less that 7% have no effect. This might mean that comic ray variations have no effect except the 25 times in 40 some years that the FD was above 7%. Hardly strong support.

    No, they don’t show that FD less than 7% have no effect, they show that FD less than 7% has a currently immeasurable effect given the data they used. That is an important distinction. This paper, even with their clever use of DTR, is clearly skirting the boundaries of signal-to-noise ratio. That would be expected with the disparate data sets that can be influenced by so many other things.

  74. A. C. Osborn says:

    Steven Mosher says September 12, 2011 at 8:09 am Quote “I have the data. More than happy to test your hypothesis.. BUT you have to be able to SPECIFY a test.. And stipulate that you will change your mind if the test fails.”
    Why don’t you repeat what the original Europe: diurnal temperatures after Forbush decreases paper did, but for the USA.
    Then you can write a paper and prove them wrong, as you are so positive that will be the outcome.

  75. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    I don’t get the ”only 13 strong FDs during 40 years”-argument. The reason we study FDs are because they are used as indicators, not because they affect climate. What does it matter if there are 5, 13 or 100 FDs as long as we are positively sure that the measured effect is a real effect (and not because of some systematic error etc)?

    The result of Dragic et al. is clear enough, or do you have an alternative explanation for the shape of those graphs?

  76. Tim Clark says:

    “Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 12, 2011 at 7:05 am
    The 13 strong FDs cover only about 1/1000 of the time over which the test was made, so can hardly be taken as strong support for an effect.”

    Since the increase directly associated with [CO2] as determined by physics in a closed chamber analysis is only ~1/300 C, this would represent 30% of the alledged warming.

  77. Bengt A says:
    September 12, 2011 at 8:48 am
    What does it matter if there are 5, 13 or 100 FDs as long as we are positively sure that the measured effect is a real effect (and not because of some systematic error etc)?
    It has to do with the size of the effect. If it takes a 10% FD to show effect above the noise, while smaller ones don’t make it, then it is harder to argue that the smaller variation of cosmic rays is a significant driver. In addition FDs show up mostly in lower-energy cosmic rays rather than in the high-energy ones that are the only ones that are supposed to have effect.

    The result of Dragic et al. is clear enough, or do you have an alternative explanation for the shape of those graphs?
    As the FDs are global, the effect should be global too. That is something to look for. So far, it looks like confirmation bias to me. If you look around and only publish what fits your opinion you can find many correlations. One thing that is a problem is their calculation of the error bar. They say it is the standard error of the mean. With 13 FDs the standard deviation would then be the square root of 12 times larger [that is 3.5 times], but the standard deviation of what? Of the 184 station means? which themselves have an error bar. In any event, 13 cases is much too small a number to do statistics on. As I said, I would like to see the individual cases plotted on the graph as well. Perhaps the data is there, but it is up to the believers to supply the evidence. It dosn’t matter what I think. To quote Steven Weinberg: “I have a perfect record of not having anybody changing his mind”. My comments are directed to the lack of evidence to convince me. Other people may have a much lower bar.

  78. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Mr. Mosher
    You should look at the equatorial region where there is strong magnetic field generated by the night-time equatorial electrojet which in turn is generated by the solar wind. The CR impact may be modulated by the intensity of the electrojet (?), and so affecting change in the cloudiness. Position of the electrojet is governed by the magnetic equator; NASA has shown there is a connection in the storminess and magnetic equator, and there is also some correlation to the global temperature records. For more details see:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC20.htm

  79. Ged says:

    @Mosher,

    This sounds like you have some seriously cool data on hand. Let’s see if I can take this research here and make a hypothesis for you to test.

    So, if I understand this cosmic ray theory well enough, and the implications for rapid changes in diurnal temperature ranges in response to big comic ray fluctuation events (in theory)…

    I would think it doesn’t matter if any one site was cloudless and remains cloudless, but the average cloudiness over all sites. If this event effected cloud formation, we should see less cloud systems coming into the coverage area, and more clouds leaving, for an overall loss of cloudiness. Now, if it also rains prior to the period, that should possibly decrease cloudiness too(? but decrease DTR?); so we need to look for a decrease in cloudiness not associated with prior precipitation, but associated with increasing DTR? Put more strongly, if the cosmic rays are having a reciprocal effect on cloud formation, we should see average cloudiness decrease during the mass ejection event without a prior increase in precipitation, followed by an upswing in clouds a few days after the event (possibly with more precipitation). Thus, there’d be an increase in cloudless and dry during/in response to the event, and increase in DTR? If the hypothesis is correct; so we should see the opposite or not change if has the null to invalidate it.

    I know you said the record isn’t long enough for a good DTR average. But, even if that’s so, if looking across all stations, we still might see a response of increased DTR if this hypothesis about cosmic rays forming clouds is correct.

    Wind patterns might also be interesting, as it can show the movement of the clouds between stations, and out of/into the whole station coverage area. But gees, this is already such a ton of work. And unfortunately, I don’t know quite enough about cloudiness vs precipitation (other than it has to be cloudy to lead to precipitation, but afterwards effects on cloudiness is where I am unsure) to really put forth a good way to test for the GCR out of all the weather noise.

    So to summarize: the hypothesis here is if the GCR are leading to cloud formation, then this event that lowered GCR should lead to a few day burst of decrease cloudiness and precipitation across the whole coverage area of sites (more land cover being investigated the better, as any one site might have no clouds for the duration of the investigation), without an increase in precipitation prior to the cloud loss, and an increase in DTR for the whole coverage area. If we see no change or an increase in cloudiness and precipitation, no change or decrease in DTR (precipitation would decrease DTR due to the wet night?), this would invalidate the hypothesis for this testing area and event. The amount of days to look at this over would be the same as in this paper.

    I hope this made sense and sounds good!

  80. Ged says:

    @Mosher,

    I guess by increase/decreased cloudiness, we’d actually be looking at a decrease/increase in hourly radiation data for that hour verses the average? I hope I am understanding your data sets well enough to put forth useful ideas.

  81. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:09 am
    You should look at the equatorial region where there is strong magnetic field generated by the night-time equatorial electrojet which in turn is generated by the solar wind.
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. First of all, any external magnetic fields are hundreds of times smaller than the Earth’s field, so no “strong magnetic fields”. Second, the equatorial electrojet is a day-time phenomenon generated by solar UV [as the ordinary diurnal variation], but magnified by the field lines being horizontal at the equator [charged particle like to move easier along field lines than across], no a night-time thing and not generated by the solar wind. There is a ‘ring current’ due to particles drifting in the Van Allen radiation belts, but that one has the same magnitude all over the Earth [as the Earth is a the center of current that is much larger than the Earth itself.

  82. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    Dragic measures the change of DTR in response to FDs and that’s a parameter totally irrelevant to climate. Thus I find it hard to draw any conclusions from the size of DTR response. Their result is purely indicative, not quantitative. We need other scientific approaches to find out if and to what extent this effect is of importance to climate. Hopefully Kirkby and CLOUD will help out, at least in part.

  83. Martin Lewitt says:

    Dr. Svalgaard,

    “In addition FDs show up mostly in lower-energy cosmic rays rather than in the high-energy ones that are the only ones that are supposed to have effect.”

    So does that mean that FDs only show up in the higher lattitude data, or that it takes stronger FDs to impact the lower lattitude data?

    The sun’s magnetic field would have a greater distance over which to influence even the higher energy GCRs than the earth’s field, but FDs due to directional CMEs would also have less distance in which to deflect GCRs than an active sun’s expanded wind and magnetic influence. Perhaps FD data at lower lattitudes could be compared to active sun background levels at those lattitudes.

  84. Tim Clark says:

    ~1/300 K

  85. Kasuha says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 12, 2011 at 8:19 am
    “Sorry nice try. The problem is that this dataset doesnt have enough years of data to get a stable DTR average.”

    My uneducated guess would be that for looking for abrupt changes, running average or gaussian filter could provide sufficient normal. You’re looking for weather events rather than climate changes so you don’t need to establish climatic normal. Sure you’ll have some outliers because clear sky can’t become any clearer and completely cloudy any cloudier – I just somehow doubt it will be a frequent case on all stations.

  86. Steven Mosher says:

    Ged:

    http://stevemosher.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/forbush-events/

    This will give you all a taste of the data that I have. thats HOURLY radiation for every day in feb, 2011 at one station. ( I plotted a bunch of others as well– ignore that it says jan.. its feb )

    Charts are not pretty yet and the data strutures are just coming into shape.

    Here is what I do not want to do. I do not want to take a bunch of my time and create an analysis of this data only to hear a bunch of nonsense objections. So, I’m asking people who believe in this effect to lay down a testable hypothesis. basically, define the method of analysis you would use to test whether the event on the 19th of febuary lead to a decrease in cloudiness. If people think about this problem clearly they will see some of the challenges…

    I’m gunna putter around with this for a day or so and maybe publish the code as an R package.

    Hourly data is NOT FUN.

  87. Bengt A says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:27 am
    Dragic measures the change of DTR in response to FDs and that’s a parameter totally irrelevant to climate. Thus I find it hard to draw any conclusions from the size of DTR response. Their result is purely indicative, not quantitative. We need other scientific approaches to find out if and to what extent this effect is of importance to climate. Hopefully Kirkby and CLOUD will help out, at least in part.
    To the extent that climate is average weather, I would say that the response is relevant. If not, then why are we discussing this in terms of climate, or rather: why are the believers so sure this settles the climate debate [Nobel Prize to Svensmark, e.g.]. Kirkby himself has stated their their result from CLOUD says nothing about any climate effect.

    Martin Lewitt says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:41 am
    So does that mean that FDs only show up in the higher lattitude data, or that it takes stronger FDs to impact the lower lattitude data?
    The Earth’s magnetic field filters out the low-energy cosmic rays at low latitudes, so the FD at high latitudes are about ten times stronger than at the equator.

    Perhaps FD data at lower lattitudes could be compared to active sun background levels at those lattitudes.
    The size of an FD [and intensity of cosmic rays in general] is determined foremost by the filtering by the Earth’s magnetic field. Not the Sun’s.

  88. Bengt A says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:27 am
    Dragic measures the change of DTR in response to FDs and that’s a parameter totally irrelevant to climate. Thus I find it hard to draw any conclusions from the size of DTR response. Their result is purely indicative, not quantitative. We need other scientific approaches to find out if and to what extent this effect is of importance to climate. Hopefully Kirkby and CLOUD will help out, at least in part.
    To the extent that climate is average weather, I would say that the response is relevant. If not, then why are we discussing this in terms of climate, or rather: why are the believers so sure this settles the climate debate [Nobel Prize to Svensmark, e.g.]. Kirkby himself has stated their their result from CLOUD says nothing about any climate effect.

  89. Ged says:

    @ Mosher,

    That does not look like fun data to deal with, at all.

    I’m assuming that higher amounts of Z are higher levels of solar radiation reaching the station?

    I wish I had a better handle on cloud dynamics to give you a more solid hypothesis to attempt to disprove (as I do not want you wasting your time!). But, what I said above is the best I can think of at the moment. This data is so noisy though, I am not sure what tests to do to allow it to be used to test the hypothesis of decreased cloudiness with decreased GCRs. Maybe those “believers” in it you mention will come up with something better than I.

    Still, I suppose we should see, some days after the 19th in the same way they saw in this Dragic et. al. paper, an increase in the average Z scores for that span of days, verses the Z scores for the previous span of equal number of days; if this hypothesis is correct, and thus we won’t see this if the hypothesis is invalid. This should be visible for the whole station coverage area, as there is way too much variability for each individual station to see anything but noise, from what your graphs suggest. If this analysis can accurately test the hypothesis fully, in either way, I have no idea; just so much noise.

  90. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:23 am
    ……………..
    ‘night-time’ was lapsus linguae meant ‘day-time’, the rest I will reluctantly agree. Since you have no corrections to my previous post, one would assume you do not ‘disagree’, which may count as a minor miracle.

  91. Steven Mosher says:

    Ged.

    yes. above you will see me talking to tallbloke about the issue of “it cant get sunnier”

    Simply: Imagine a station that is bright and sunny on the 19th. Now suppose that a decrease in GCR leads to a decrease in clouds.. WELL, the stations that are already sunny on the 19th
    cannot get sunnier! they can either stay the same or get cloudy. simple logic.. But those cases
    will play havoc with detection.

    I think the approach of looking at DTR is too indirect, its one step away from what you want to prove.. which is that a decrease in GCR leads to a decrease in cloudiness.

    I need to think about an optimal detection strategy..

  92. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:34 am
    Since you have no corrections to my previous post, one would assume you do not ‘disagree’, which may count as a minor miracle.
    Didn’t even look, sorry to say…

  93. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:34 am
    ‘night-time’ was lapsus linguae meant ‘day-time’, the rest I will reluctantly agree.
    The day-time electrojet is not generated by the solar wind.

  94. HankH says:

    Crispin in Waterloo (September 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm)

    Thank you again for an interesting discussion. I agree that UV-opaque clouds deserve more consideration.

    In short, clouds are treated in all the papers as if they exist on their own – that they are not in fact the product of particle size and a man-detectable sub-set of the total frequency range of radiation. Meanwhile everything else is split into sectors and absorption lines and given all sorts of detail.

    We can in part thank Dessler and the Team for that with their unidirectional model where clouds of any spectrum opacity are only a product of temperature. They acknowledge that hygroscopic particles, modes and thresholds of nucleation, residence times of various aerosols, and such are components of cloud formation but they contend that such things don’t change, all things being equal. In other words like clouds just exist on their own as you put it. Since clouds can’t vary independent of temperature, any discussion of the mechanics behind how clouds form or their spectrality is interesting but purely academic. From their view, Svensmark, Spencer, the Serbs, and anyone else researching independent mechanisms like GCR’s and FB’s are on a fool’s errand. As such, clouds are treated in the models as if they’re just there doing their positive feedback thing exasperating the whole CO2 vicious cycle.

    I’ve ordered a case of pop corn as the I think Svensmark, Spencer, and a few others in the “clouds can vary independent of temperature” bidirectional camp are getting locked and loaded. It has already become interesting and I think one more paper that connects all the dots will have Dessler and the Team behaving like the Keystone Cops as they attempt damage control.

  95. Ged says:

    @Mosher,

    Very true.

    I would think that if we have a big enough coverage area, that should allow us to see the signal. The other issue of course is weather patterns, as clouds usually “flow” in bands. Too small a coverage area (or single station) might get stuck in a band of clouds from say a low pressure system butting up against a high pressure for several days, and potentially overwhelm any small GCR signal as this Forbush should(?) be. We need something really large scale to both exceed weather systems, and average out stations that do not change over the period of time in question: some of the area range cloudy, some of it sunny.

    I’m thinking we may need continent scale (i.e. the entire continental USA) to get a good signal for testing, but it might be possible to do something like the entire eastern sea board to the Appalachian mountains. I’m not sure what area these sweet stations are covering, or exactly how much area we’d need.

    But yes, I think you’d have to average all the stations together to get an “area” signal for radiation. As clouds cover “area”. Rather than looking at any station directly. That’s just my idea on it.

  96. Ged says:

    @ Mosher,

    Urg, the more I think about this, the more impossible a task to lay on your shoulders this seems. Since, the entire USA can be practically cloudless for long periods of time, or almost completely cloud covered; all based on the fluctuations of global weather patterns and the temperature variation fluxes from the progression of the seasons. I don’t know how we can disprove the hypothesis with this test if any signal we see could just be a global level weather system blowing the clouds off the country. Adding meteorological analysis on top of it all.. is just insane amounts of work.

    There still might be a way to scrape the signal out of the data or definitely show it isn’t there, especially with a lot of statistical data sets to work with. But that could mean we’d need to statistically analyze a -lot more- of these Forbush events, and put it all together. I’m not sure…

    You are very clever and know R well, so maybe you have some other tricks up your sleeves that can power through this using this single event. Good luck, and don’t burn too much of your time on this!

  97. NucEngineer says:

    Keep in mind that a Forbush Decrease is the opposite of the CLOUD experiment at CERN.

    With the CLOUD experiment, the team establishes the atmospheric conditions (temperature, pressure, water vapor, and trace constituents), turns on the cosmic rays (protons of relativistic speed), and measures the production of cloud condensation nuclei.

    With a FD, we are looking for a decrease in the amount of already formed clouds following a decrease in the production rate of replacement CCN. This also explains the time delay. It takes time for cloud droplets to first loose size and then completely evaporate.

  98. Steven Mosher says:

    So, Leif.. I should see a modulation of the effect dependent upon latitude

  99. Steven Mosher says:
    September 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    So, Leif.. I should see a modulation of the effect dependent upon latitude
    I don’t think so, as the GCRs that are claimed to have effect are the high-energy ones that have little latitude dependence. The Earth’s field lets those through at all latitudes.

  100. Anything is possible says:

    Wasn’t a similar effect observed over the USA in the aftermath of 9/11, when all aircraft were grounded for a couple of days?

  101. Steven Mosher says:

    Ok, thanks Leif.

    GED. I put up some more charts.

    I have 125 stations spread across the entire US. I updated my post and you can see the problem of having sunny days on the 19th

    You can also cheery pick cloudy stations and see them brighten up after the 19th.

    As you note there are many reasons why a cloudy station can stay cloudy and many reasons why it can get bright.

    I suppose I could do something like this.

    calculate the average daily insolation the week before and compare it with the average week insolation after..

    Any bets gents

  102. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    The Diurnal Temperature Range is of no interest other than as an indirect way to measure cloudiness. Since we have no information what so ever about how DTR corresponds to cloudiness your guess is as good as mine. Maybe a +0.6 change in DTR corresponds to a big change in cloudiness, maybe it corresponds to a small change. Who knows?

    You are trying to use Dragic result to rule out a significant effect on climate, but there is no way to do that. You can’t rule out a big effect and you can’t rule out a negligible effect. It goes both ways. The one important finding in this paper is that there IS an effect, which has been much debated since Svensmarks Forbush paper of 2009.

    And of course we will see some results from CLOUD addressing some of these issues. And Kirkby will talk about them in due time, but he’ll better do the experiments and publish the results before telling us about them.

  103. Stephen Wilde says:

    There is a bit of a logical impasse in some of the above posts.

    Clouds are ALWAYS a result of temperature. Not absolute temperature but rather temperature differentials. Roy’s biderectional concept is therefore slightly misleading.

    Clouds do not in themselves cause a temperature change but what they can do is alter the amount of solar energy that gets into the oceans to fuel the system.

    So we need to consider what temperature changes cause cloudiness changes which then affect fuel for the system.

    In my opinion such changes must occur within the vertical temperature profile of the entire atmosphere and that boils down to oceanic variability from below and solar variability from above both constantly competing to alter that vertical temperature profile.

    Next we have to consider HOW the clouds can most effectively alter the fuel for the system AND tie that in with real world observations.

    Simple seeding from more cosmic rays is not enough in my opinion because I know of no mechanism whereby changes in cosmic ray quantities can be observationally linked to the climate changes we have seen.

    The changes we see are comprised primarily in changes to the positions and intensities of the established climate zones. They move poleward and equatorward cyclically over time and/or the mid latitude jets become more meridional or more zonal to change the speed of energy transfer from equator to poles.

    Those changes can only be achieved via alterations to the vertical temperature profile and I see no evidence that cosmic rays do that.

    Clouds are primarily a result of air mass mixing and temperature differentials developing between sea and the air above. When the mid latitude jets wave about more meridionally the air mass boundaries become much longer and total global cloudiness increases. When the air temperature tries to diverge from sea surface temperatures we see more sea fog or low stratus (the latter especially in tropical regions).

    The opposite scenario applies when the jets behave in a more meridional fashion.

    Observations suggest more zonality and less clouds when the system is warming and more meridionality and more clouds when the system is cooling.

    The critical issue though is net solar energy uptake by the oceans which is obviously reduced to create a cooling system when there are more clouds.

    We seem to have more clouds when the sun is less active but I don’t think it is anything to do with cloud seeding by cosmic rays because the temperature of the stratosphere and the height of the tropopause (and not cosmic rays) is what affects cloud amounts most effectively by changing the length of the air mass boundaries and so the amount of air mass mixing.

    I think that is the simplest hypothesis capable of explaining what we see.

  104. RockyRoad says:

    Steven Mosher–Don’t you have an event that occurs on a partly-cloudy day, so the process of cloud formation is ongoing? That would be a better basis for testing an hypothesis than starting out completely cloud-free.

  105. Bengt A says:
    September 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm
    You can’t rule out a big effect and you can’t rule out a negligible effect. [...]
    The one important finding in this paper is that there IS an effect

    ‘IS” is a big words. They CLAIM there is an effect. The claim is not convincing.

    Here are some other claims:
    Kazil et al. (2006):
    “the variation of ionization by galactic cosmic rays over the decadal solar cycle does not entail a response…that would explain observed variations in global cloud cover.”

    Sloan and Wolfendale (2008):
    “we estimate that less than 23%, at the 95% confidence level, of the 11-year cycle changes in the globally averaged cloud cover observed in solar cycle 22 is due to the change in the rate of ionization from the solar modulation of cosmic rays.”

    Kristjansson et al. (2008):
    “no statistically significant correlations were found between any of the four cloud parameters and GCR”

    Calogovic et al. (2010):
    “no response of global cloud cover to Forbush decreases at any altitude and latitude.”

    Kulmala et al. (2010):
    “galactic cosmic rays appear to play a minor role for atmospheric aerosol formation events, and so for the connected aerosol-climate effects as well.”

  106. Brian H says:

    Excellent work. The current event should provide some live action confirmation.

    But I must object to HankH’s comment: “Svensmark put fourth the theory that cosmic galactic rays (CGR) can produce cloud condensation nuclei” .

    In fact, he put the theory forth first; there’s no evidence that he relegated it to fourth place.
    >:-P

  107. Brian H says:
    September 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm
    In fact, he put the theory forth first
    Actually not. Ney did, back in 1959…

  108. oneuniverse says:

    Steve (Mosh)

    How about doing an analysis along the lines of Harrison and Stephenson 2006 ?
    “Empirical evidence for a nonlinear effect of galactic cosmic rays on clouds”
    doi: 10.1098/rspa.2005.1628 Proc. R. Soc. A

    HS2006 studies data from several UK met sites, and it’d be good to see results for some US stations. You’ll need more data than Feb insolation though..

    With respect to your question about latitudinal variations, there’s some information in the paper “Cosmic ray induced ionization in the atmosphere: Spatial and temporal changes” (Usoskin, Gladysheva and Kovaltsov 2004, DOI:10.1029/2004GL019507).

  109. Ulric Lyons says:

    @Stephen Wilde says:
    September 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    “Clouds are ALWAYS a result of temperature. Not absolute temperature but rather temperature differentials.”

    That is certainly true for precipitation, but the sign changes from summer to winter. A warming blast in winter makes it wetter, while in summer it takes a temperature drop to increase rainfall. So I guess the “was it the FD or the CME that made the clouds go away” study, is best looked at in summer months, with the reverse result expected for winter months.

  110. RoHa says:

    I remember Nellie Forbush from “South Pacific”. Any relation?

  111. Steven Mosher says:

    RockyRoad says:
    September 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm (Edit)

    Steven Mosher–Don’t you have an event that occurs on a partly-cloudy day, so the process of cloud formation is ongoing? That would be a better basis for testing an hypothesis than starting out completely cloud-free.
    ########
    For optimal detection I would think you would have to find those locations where it was somewhat ( how much) cloudy just prior to the event.
    If you then saw:
    1. No brightening, your observation disconfirms the theory
    2. Brightening.. you have 1 more question:
    was the brightening out of the ordinary.

    Characterizing this is not simple.

    In short: without Forbush events cloudy days give way to sunny days with a certain
    frequency that is dependent on many factors. the Hypothesis would be that during these events that probablity goes up. That’s my current thinking on structuring an analytical approach.

    Given a cloudy day whats the probablity ( with no Forbush) that you get a sunny day the following day, next day, next day etc. If Forbush effects the gensis of clouds that probablity structure would change.. supposedly.

    Now I can just run off and calculate the average insolation in the week prior and the average in the week following and I can tell you that the effect is not found. That’s a weak test, but it indicates to me that first pass this theory will be hard to prove. If the effect was large, it would pop out of that test. It doesnt.

    Leif may be able to help me with calculating the maximum insolation for any day at a given lat/lon.. that may give me a better handle on defining “cloudy”.. leif?

  112. Steven Mosher says:

    One universe:

    Thanks that is the kind of measure i was looking for
    “The ratio of diffuse to total solar radiation—the diffuse fraction (DF)—is used to infer cloud, and is compared with the daily mean neutron count rate measured at Climax, Colorado from 1951–2000, which provides a globally representative indicator of cosmic rays. ”

    Now I just have to figure if I can get the DF

  113. Steven Mosher says:
    September 12, 2011 at 8:56 pm
    Leif may be able to help me with calculating the maximum insolation for any day at a given lat/lon.. that may give me a better handle on defining “cloudy”.. leif?
    The maximum insolation occurs as local [real solar] noon and depends on the zenith angle which is just the co-latitude of the station adjusted for solar declination:

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

    http://pveducation.org/pvcdrom/properties-of-sunlight/elevation-angle

    GIYF

  114. Steven Mosher says:

    Nope: cant get the DF.

  115. Here is an example of yet another effect that didn’t hold up:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/180/4082/185.short

    “The solar magnetic sector structure appears to be related to the average area of high positive vorticity centers (low-pressure troughs) observed during winter in the Northern Hemisphere at the 300-millibar level. The average area of high vorticity decreases (low-pressure troughs become less intense) during a few days near the times at which sector boundaries are carried past the earth by the solar wind. The amplitude of the effect is about 10 percent.”

  116. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    Some of those papers you are listing are not even about Forbush decreases, and anyway they have no impact on the study by Dragic et al. You just seem to be in total denial of any cosmic ray-cloud interaction at all. Why don’t you read this comment by Jeff Pierce. He seems to think that Dragic et al has found something, but then again he’s only an expert:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/comment-page-4/#comment-214901

  117. tallbloke says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm
    Nope: cant get the DF.

    Mosh, a guy who is interested in Milankovitch cycles has written a comprehensive program to calculate insolation at any point on earth at any epoch in the last few million years. You’ll need Matlab to run it though. Let me know if you want details.

  118. Steven Mosher says:

    Thanks TB I found a nasa fortran code to do it.. also some spatial maps.
    need to get back to my other project

  119. davidmhoffer says:

    tallbloke, mosher, leif;

    How fast are these major Forbush decreases supposed to have observable effects? Mosher’s thought regarding the week before vs the week after doesn’t sit well with me, there’s an awful lot of other factors that could be at play.

    But what about night versus day? Since the coronal mass ejection in theory “sweeps away” in coming GCR’s, would the effect not be most pronounced on the night side of the planet? For that to be the case, the effects would have to be measurable in hours rather than days. If you were to use weather stations at high latitudes in winter just entering “night time” however, you could get 16+ hour windows. One would think that the largest Forbush decreases would have effects in that time window.

    (my assumption here is that GCR do not as a rule go all the way through the planet unimpeded, and that there is a GCR deficity on the day side of the planet in the first place because the Sun would block from that side)

  120. Bengt A says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm
    Some of those papers you are listing are not even about Forbush decreases, and anyway they have no impact on the study by Dragic et al. You just seem to be in total denial of any cosmic ray-cloud interaction at all. [...] He seems to think that Dragic et al has found something, but then again he’s only an expert
    Suffice it to say that the cosmic ray – cloud interaction claims are not convincing to me. The current hype does not bite me as it must have you. I’m not trying to convince you about something, just telling you why I’m not convinced. As for expert, I do think that I have some expertise, having published sun-weather papers in journals like Science, Nature, and Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences link but, then again, I’m only a scientist.

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 13, 2011 at 12:30 am
    (my assumption here is that GCR do not as a rule go all the way through the planet unimpeded
    Galactic Cosmic Rays do not come from the Sun, but from the Galaxy [all around us] and do not penetrate the Earth at all.

  121. Bengt A says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm
    Some of those papers you are listing are not even about Forbush decreases, and anyway they have no impact on the study by Dragic et al.
    Yet your ‘expert’ refers to one of them:
    “This was discussed in the Calgovic 2010 FD paper http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009GL041327.shtml
    “Currently a cosmic ray cloud connection (CRC) hypothesis is subject of an intense controversial debate. It postulates that galactic cosmic rays (GCR) intruding the Earth’s atmosphere influence cloud cover. If correct it would have important consequences for our understanding of climate driving processes. Here we report on an alternative and stringent test of the CRC-hypothesis by searching for a possible influence of sudden GCR decreases (so-called Forbush decreases) on clouds. We find no response of global cloud cover to Forbush decreases at any altitude and latitude.”
    Those people seems to be in complete denial. Or rather, they did what scientists do: looked at the claim and found it wanting.

  122. Ged says:

    @Mosher,

    If the first pass, average insolution week before verses week after, shows no statistical difference, that definitely curretnly falsifies this hypothesis for this particular event. It is a weak test, yes, but if there was a significant difference we should see it, as you said. I suppose the event was beneath the stated percentage that this paper puts forth for being able to have an effect detectable above noise; but it’s so hard to say anything conclusive in any direction. I do wish we could figure out a stronger test, but if you can’t get the DF, what more can really be done? We’d have to do an analysis identical to this paper and check several Forbush’s of various magnitudes, then analyze their averages (based on total and based on class perhaps). But that’s a lot of work, as you’d be making a companion paper to theirs!

    So then, I’m satisfied with the test you have done and saying, “this particular event on the 19th of February had no statistically significant effect on cloud coverage as done by a week prior/week after analysis.” And that this is not in agreement with the proposed hypothesis of a strong connection between GCR and cloud formation.

  123. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    The paper by Jasa Calogovic and Frank Arnold you’re citing isn’t very impressive. They chose to few and to weak FDs to be able to see any effect of cosmic rays on clouds. Hardly surprising they didn’t find any effect. Here’s Nigel Calder writing about their paper:

    “At the risk of discourtesy to the distinguished authors, I can report that Svensmark laughed when he read the paper from Arnold’s group. Where his own team studied three different satellite data sets and 26 Forbush decreases, Arnold’s took just one data set (ISCCP) and only six events – those ranking 4th, 10th to 13th, and 26th, in Svensmark, Bondo and Svensmark’s assessment of effects on cosmic rays reaching the lower atmosphere. In the Danes’ plot of all their ISCCP results (see above) all but one of the Swiss-German selection have “strengths” between 33 % and 69 %, where any reduction in clouds is similar to the uncertainty. “Of course they couldn’t see anything,” Svensmark said to me.”
    (source: http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/do-clouds-disappear/)

  124. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    I hope I don’t misinterpret Jeff Pierce, but from his comments on realclimate it seems that he, at least in regard to the effect of FDs, somewhat has changed his opinion on the cosmic rays – cloud interaction.

    “…I was an opponent at Torston Bondo’s (Svensmark’s student) PhD defense. I wanted to know what I was getting myself into, so I re-analyzed much of the data in the Svensmark paper and tweaked some of their assumptions including some of the issues raised in the RC post (e.g. randomly removed 1 or 2 of the “big 5″ events, changed their criteria for their minimum daily AERONET measurements, not used any temporal smoothing) and the results do not change greatly. I definitely think the jury is still out, but I also think the Svensmark paper caries weight…”

    Se full comments here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/

  125. Brian H says:

    Bengt A says:
    September 13, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I definitely think the jury is still out, but I also think the Svensmark paper caries weight…”

    Does that mean they are getting heavy toothaches from it? ;p ;)

    n. Soft decayed area in a tooth; progressive decay can lead to the death of the tooth

  126. Steven Mosher says:

    Ged:

    I think I may be able to build a proxy for DF. Basically I need to identify days that are brighter than normal and less bright than normal… so I’m thinking I can use some code to generate the theoretical insolation for the points in the map and then compare the actual to that and have some sort of ratio.. It also may make more sense to correlate the gcr count with that..
    For now, I’m just working on the software infrastructure so that others can play along..
    There are also maps of insolation used for the solar industry that have long term normals…
    thinking…
    dangerous

  127. Steven Mosher says:

    David,

    I have hourly insolation data and temperature data and precip data.
    I just binned it into days as a first cut look.. basically is this effect large?
    In anycase you need to define an optimal detection strategy.

    In a couple days I will publish the R package to let anyone download and set up
    there own study.. I just assemble the tools.

  128. Bengt A says:
    September 13, 2011 at 11:14 am
    The paper by Jasa Calogovic and Frank Arnold you’re citing isn’t very impressive.
    That Pierced is citing…
    In my opinion, NONE of the papers, pro or con, are very impressive, or even a little bit impressive. Apparently, some people have a much lower bar.

    “but I also think the Svensmark paper carries weight…”
    All the papers carry some weight, it is just that it is mighty little. Discussing 5 or 13 or some small number like that of events when dealing with a system as variable as the weather is laughable in any case, UNLESS the result is VERY clear, that is that every event shows the effect and that the effect is never otherwise seen without a corresponding causative event.

  129. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    First you list five papers as rebuttal to the claim that FDs affect cloudiness, and then you state that those papers are unimpressive. So why did you list them in the first place? If this is your area of expertise, then why don’t you bring out some more impressive papers that seriously challenge the idea that FDs has an impact on clouds?

    As for your comment that you would like to see a “VERY clear” result where “every event shows the effect “ I find it problematic in two aspects:
    1. One has to consider the difference between an effect and a measurable effect. With a noisy background the effect you would like to measure could be live and kicking but the only ones you’ll detect are those big enough to rise above the noise level. Just like in Svensmark et al (2009) and Dragic et al (2011). Do you really think that a scientist should be able to detect a signal that is, let’s say, 50 % of the noise level?
    2. Do you realize that you are disqualifying quite a number of scientific findings with your statement? If one tests a new medical drug and finds side effects in 6 cases out of 1000 would you consider that a scientific finding? Or do you think that one needs to see the side effect in all 1000 cases?

  130. Kasuha says:

    Okay I have re-run the analysis with 2003 data (some major sun events in October, a few minor throughout the year, 43 “pristine” stations data available) and my result is zero. When looking at individual stations some of they _seem_ to hold some signal but most have just noise.
    There’s good chance I’m doing it wrong so rather than “disproved” I count it as “not confirmed” but I sure did my best.

  131. Dave Springer says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

    “A global atmospheric water vapor levels have increased, plus the additional greenhouse gases, you’d expect more downwelling LW at night, when the minimum temperatures are usually recorded. More LW at night=higher night time (aka minimum) temperatures.”

    Shallow and wrong. Maybe you should do more literature bluffing and fewer attempts at original thought.

    There’s just as much increased LWIR during the day as there is at night. Non-condensing greenhouse gases don’t go away during the day and the ground doesn’t stop radiating LWIR upwards during the day either. Duh.

    If you get a higher nightly low temperature then you should see a corresponding increase in daytime high temperature. That’s because you’re starting out a higher temperature in the morning when the sun starts to raise the surface temperature. The input from the sun (clear sky) doesn’t change. Ergo the greenhouse effect of non-condensing greenhouse gases should be a rise in nightly low temperature and commensurate rise in daytime high temperate.

    Something else has to be a factor for nightly low to increase without a commensurate increase in daily high. That “something” is negative feedback from clouds during the day. Over the course of 24 hours they block more shortwave energy from the sun than they trap longwave energy from the ground. The lowered surface temperature during the day then becomes a negative feedback for cloud formation due to lowered evaporation rate so an equilibrium state develops where in the end non-condensing greenhouse gases raise nightly lows but do not change the daily high.

    This is very important for agriculture where killer frosts, which occur at night, do considerable damage when they come along unexpectedly. This drastically lengthens growing seasons which are largely delineated by last killer frost in the spring and first killer frost in the fall. So long as daytime temperatures don’t rise commensurately with nightly temperature there’s no adverse consequence to the temperature increase.

    The long and the short of it then becomes:

    1) water vapor is self-regulating in so far as greenhouse effect is concerned

    2) CO2 raises nightly low temperature without raising daytime high temperature

    3) increased CO2 accelerates plant growth rate and at the same time reduces the amount of water the plant uses per unit of growth

    4) increase CO2 provides a wider safety margin against the day when conditions are ripe for the Holocene interglacial to end and the next glacial age begins

    I’m very hard pressed to find any downside in rising atmospheric CO2. A bit of inconvenience perhaps for foolish humans who built permanent structures near sea level and/or came to inhabit islands very near sea level. But sea level is rising so slowly there’s plenty of time to adapt.

    Now if you want to talk about peak oil, reliance on imported oil, and things of that nature you can make some good points about why we should try to conserve and develop alternative forms of energy. Global warming simply isn’t among the list of things to be concerned about in relation to fossil fuel consumption. CO2 is a good thing and if it wasn’t rising from fossil fuel consumption we’d need to invent another way to make it go up because the positives simply far outweigh the negatives.

  132. Ged says:

    @Mosher,

    That is a great idea. That gives something to really test observations against. Not sure about the solar industry data either, as it’s always possible one company or another would inflate the numbers in a region to try to sell more panels, heh!

  133. Bengt A says:
    September 14, 2011 at 2:13 am
    First you list five papers as rebuttal to the claim that FDs affect cloudiness, and then you state that those papers are unimpressive. So why did you list them in the first place? If this is your area of expertise, then why don’t you bring out some more impressive papers that seriously challenge the idea that FDs has an impact on clouds?
    They are all unimpressive. I mentioned the others as examples that you can get the opposite result as long as you just work with a few events. The most impressive paper [which I didn't list] is Pierce and Adams demonstration that the cosmic ray effect is a hundred times to small to account for the observed changes.

    As for your comment that you would like to see a “VERY clear” result where “every event shows the effect “ I find it problematic in two aspects:
    1. One has to consider the difference between an effect and a measurable effect. With a noisy background

    The general claim is that the cosmic ray effect is a MAJOR driver of weather and climate and as such fully explain ‘global warming’. Thus not down in the noise. I’m prepared to accept that there is an effect that is below the noise level and hence almost impossible to tease out.

    2. Do you realize that you are disqualifying quite a number of scientific findings with your statement?
    Most ‘findings’ are wrong to begin with, including some of mine, e.g. the one I referred to earlier.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/180/4082/185.short

    “The solar magnetic sector structure appears to be related to the average area of high positive vorticity centers (low-pressure troughs) observed during winter in the Northern Hemisphere at the 300-millibar level. The average area of high vorticity decreases (low-pressure troughs become less intense) during a few days near the times at which sector boundaries are carried past the earth by the solar wind. The amplitude of the effect is about 10 percent.”
    Progress happens when those are filtered out and discarded.

  134. Bengt A says:
    September 14, 2011 at 2:13 am
    As for your comment that you would like to see a “VERY clear” result where “every event shows the effect “ I find it problematic in two aspects:
    1. One has to consider the difference between an effect and a measurable effect. With a noisy background

    The general claim is that the cosmic ray effect is a MAJOR driver of weather and climate and as such fully explain ‘global warming’. Thus not down in the noise. I’m prepared to accept that there is an effect that is below the noise level and hence almost impossible to tease out.

  135. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    Pierce & Adams paper is a modeling paper and the quality of the result can be no better than the model used. If the nucleation doesn’t work the way Pierce & Adams models their result goes down the bin, but of course, that remains to be seen. The first step in nucleation (CLOUD experiment) showed to happen somewhat different than thought. Eventually Kirkby and colleagues will investigate this matter so there is really no point in arguing about this. Time will (hopefully) tell.

  136. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    I still don’t understand why you state “…that every event shows the effect and that the effect is never otherwise seen without a corresponding causative event.”

    I think you might have mixed different methods up. If this was about a simple experiment with an independent variable, a dependent variable and everything else kept constant, then I would agree, but we’re talking about real time studies of atmospheric processes. A complex system. No possibility to keep any variable constant. If the effect doesn’t show up it could be one or two extraneous variables canceling the effect out. Isn’t that kind of elementary?

    In my opinion Dragic et al’s method is brilliant, and that could very well be my final word in this thread.

  137. Bengt A says:
    September 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    If the effect doesn’t show up it could be one or two extraneous variables canceling the effect out. Isn’t that kind of elementary?
    By the same elementary argument the purported effect could be the result of one or two random spikes that just happen to enhance each other. The only way to combat the complexity is to have LOTS of events, scores or hundreds. None of the papers have that, so the question remains in limbo.

    In my opinion Dragic et al’s method is brilliant, and that could very well be my final word in this thread.
    Their method is ordinary superposed epoch analysis first employed more than a century ago. And is, indeed, a powerful method when applied correctly. Suffice it to say that I don’t think there is much to celebrate or write home about in that paper. But for people wanting something to be true, confirmation bias works well.

    Pierce & Adams paper is a modeling paper and the quality of the result can be no better than the model used
    P&A construct their moldel based on what we know about the physics [or at least what they think they know]. Which element do you think they are wrong on? Perhaps you can ask Pierce where he thinks he failed.

  138. Bengt A says:

    Leif S

    Dragic et al used 189 weather stations and studied 184 FDs. They found the effect for 35 FDs as shown in figure 5. Here’s your take on how that happened “…the purported effect could be the result of one or two random spikes that just happen to enhance each other. Well that’s finally an answer from your side, and an enlightening one as well!

  139. Bengt A says:
    September 15, 2011 at 12:17 am
    Here’s your take on how that happened “…the purported effect could be the result of one or two random spikes that just happen to enhance each other.”

    Your remark that one or two outliers could remove the effect works both ways, one would think.
    The number of weather stations used is irrelevant as weather is correlated over wide regions. If there were a weather station every square mile or every square foot would not make the statistics any better. What is telling is that most of the FDs showed no effect, affirming the notion that cosmic rays are not a major driver. That the data stops in 1995 also mars the analysis. The superposed epoch analysis method can be tricky to apply correctly, see e.g. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v426/n6964/extref/nature02101-s1.doc
    You seem to miss the point: that their analysis does not convince me, this is regardless of how brilliant you think it is and of how happy you are for confirmation of beliefs. The literature is replete with such low-event analyses that have led nowhere. I put this last one firmly in that category.

  140. Bengt A says:
    September 15, 2011 at 12:17 am
    Well that’s finally an answer from your side, and an enlightening one as well!
    I don’t have ‘a side’, just a higher standard of what I consider established. Apparently, I’m not alone: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682611000691

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