Solar Cycle 24 Length and Its Consequences

Guest post by David Archibald

Solar Cycle 24 is now three years old and predictions of the date of solar maximum have settled upon mid-2013. For example, Jan Janssens has produced this graph predicting the month of maximum in mid-2013, which is 54 months after the Solar Cycle 23/24 minimum in December 2008:

image

For those of us who wish to predict climate, the most important solar cycle attribute is solar cycle length. Most of the curve-fitting exercises such as NASA’s place the next minimum between 2020 and 2022 (eg: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/06/nasas-november-solar-prediction/). Solar minimum in December 2022 would make Solar Cycle 24 fourteen years long, which in turn would make the climate of the mid-latitudes over Solar Cycle 25 about 1.0°C colder than the climate over Solar Cycle 24.

image

Curve-fitting leaves a lot to be desired. Even late in the progression of Solar Cycle 23, the curve fitters in NASA had poor predictive ability.

Examination of Altrock’s green corona emissions plot from mid-2011 suggests that a new predictive tool is available to us. The original is available here:

http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~deforest/SPD-sunspot-release/6_altrock_rttp.pdf

This is my annotated version:

image

Altrock had observed that solar maximum occurs when the “rush to the poles” reaches 76°. The magnetic poles of the Sun reverse at solar maximum, which is also considered to be the beginning of the new extended solar cycle.

We also observe that solar minimum for the last four minima has occurred when emissions are exhausted at 10°. The latitude of 10° is shown as the red line on the diagramme. Further to that, the last two solar cycles show that the month of minimum can be predicted by drawing a line between solar maximum (the point at which the rush to the poles intersects 76°) and the point of exhaustion at 10°. The bulk of activity is bounded by this line.

Altrock has noted that the “rush to the poles” in Solar Cycle 24 is much weaker and much slower than in previous solar cycles. The line he has drawn intersects 76° in mid-2013, consistent with other predictions of Solar Cycle 24 maximum.

The shape of the emission regions also suggests that Solar Cycle 24 will be quite extended. The blue bounding line from the Solar Cycle 23 maximum intersects 10° latitude in 2026, making Solar Cycle 24 eighteen years long.

That would be an exceptionally long solar cycle. The most recent cycle that neared that length was the seventeen years from the maximum of Solar Cycle 4 to the maximum of Solar Cycle 5. Prior to that, the Maunder Minimum had some very long solar cycles as interpreted from C14 data:

image

It seems that the first solar cycle of the Maunder Minimum was also eighteen years long.

An eighteen year long Solar Cycle 24 would be very significant in that it would be five and a half years longer that Solar Cycle 23. With the solar cycle length/temperature relationship for the US-Canadian border being 0.7°C for each year of solar cycle length, a further cooling of 3.8°C is in train for next decade. The evolution of Altrock’s green corona emissions diagramme as a predictive tool will be followed with some interest.

Back to the subject of curve-fitting, it may be still too early to call Solar Cycle 24 using that technique. The following graph shows the raw monthly data for sunspot number amplitude for Solar Cycles 5 and 6 (the Dalton Minimum) with Solar Cycle 24 to date aligned on the month of minimum. Solar Cycle 5 took about four years to get going before it had a sudden burst, and then died off over the following ten years. It is still a bit too early to be certain about how Solar Cycle 24 will shape up.

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140 thoughts on “Solar Cycle 24 Length and Its Consequences

  1. The world temperatures appear to be driven by the AMO (North Atlantic SST), which has very little to do with the solar cycles. The AMO originates in the sub-polar area where the solar effect is greatly reduced due to the low obliquity of incidence.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GT-AMO.htm

    (see also spectral response in the above link)
    No one would be happier than myself, if it can be shown that the climate oscillations are driven by changes in the TSI due to the sunspot cycles, since the formula extrapolation for the SC24 has proven itself to be (up to date) the most accurate sunspot cycle prediction tool:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7a.htm

  2. Wow – I have the first comment.

    Exciting times ahead with many different solar scientists from different backgrounds writing similar scenarios for the next few solar cycles.

    There seems to be general agreement that solar cycles are heading towards reduced solar activity – the only disagreement is over whether “greenhouse gases” will generate the reduced energy needed to stave off global cooling and keep us toasty warm.

  3. Dave,

    I need to read your essay in detail, but already I found a gee whizz.

    I had always just assumed (and you know where that gets us) that the solar magnetic reversal took place at the solar minimum; when there weren’t a lot of spots.

    But you say that reversal occurs at the solar maximum. I’m puzzled that Dr Leif Svalgaard has never mentioned that fact.

    So how does that work for say a single sun spot; they just up and reverse polarity in mid stride ?

    Or does the polarity of an existing spot not reverse; but new ones appear with opposite polarity at the time of maximum?

    Well we learn something new every day.

    Thanks

    George

  4. Poking around a bit, I found an on-line manuscript by one David Archibald:

    Solar Cycle 24: Implications for the United States
    David Archibald
    International Conference on Climate Change
    March, 2008

    Can we expect relationships between the Sun’s activity and climate, that we can
    see in data going back several hundred years, to continue for at least another 20 years?

    With absolute certainty.

    … 2008 is the tenth anniversary of the recent peak on global temperature in 1998. The world
    has been cooling at 0.06 degrees per annum since then. My prediction is that this rate of
    cooling will accelerate to 0.2 degrees per annum following the month of solar minimum
    sometime in 2009.

    David, it’s now been almost four years since your March 2008 predictions … is there (as yet) any evidence in the global temperature record that those predictions were correct?

    Heck, even here on WUWT, Bob Tisdale has substantially replicated the Foster & Rahmstorf (2011) finding that when cyclic trends are subtracted, the underlying trend is strikingly warming.

    As everyone knows, North America is now experiencing one of its warmest, most snow-free winters in history … wholly contrary to your 2008 prediction. How many more months-and-years of warming will be required to convince you that sunspot-driven climate models perhaps are … well … just plain wrong?

  5. Rosco says:
    January 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    whether “greenhouse gases” will generate the reduced energy needed to stave off global cooling and keep us toasty warm.

    No question about it. The IPCC tells us in no uncertain terms, echoed by solar scientists themselves, that the sun is much to constant to influence climate. Humans are driving climate change. The Minoan caused the Minoan Optimum. The Romans caused the Roman Optimum. The fall of Rome caused the Dark Ages. The Vikings caused the Medieval Optimum and the Renaissance caused the Little Ice Age. Now the Industrial Age has caused the Modern Optimum.

    We know that it is CO2 that keeps us warm because every time the planet warms CO2 levels increase. Climate Science is certain. The Sun has nothing to do with it.

  6. The anecdotal evidence that the northern hemisphere was exceptionally cold during the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum is strong. If the sun enters another Grand Minima – we will likely have similar profound cooling. We might not be able to explain the mechanism now. Our guesses might be wrong – but I’m assuming another strong correlation between a long quiescent sun and colder weather.

  7. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    Foster & Rahmstorf (2011) finding that when cyclic trends are subtracted,

    Nope. F&R (2011) subtracted the linear trend, not the cyclic trend. What they showed is the temperature is strongly correlated with time. The more time you have, the higher the temperature.

    This is about what you would expect statistically. For example, say you started recording the temperature outside today. The longer you recorded the temperature, the more likely you would see a new maximum and minimum temperature. Records are meant to be broken.

    The same thing with climate. We’ve only been keeping thermometer records for a short while in climate terms. The longer you keep records, the more likely you are at some point in time to set new records. Thus temperature records correlate strongly with time.

  8. Ferd. You do indeed seem very certain of your claims that “every time the planet warms CO2 levels increase” – so do they decrease as a result of it cooling – such as just after 1945? (LOL) Maybe you could answer with similar certainty these four questions …

    (1) When the refective (mirror-like) internal surface of a vacuum flask reflects radiation back into the coffee the coffee does not get any hotter – true / false ?
    (2) If you hold a mirror over a batch of earth (which is radiating) at night so that the mirror reflects that radiation back to the patch it does not get any hotter, just like the coffee – true or false?
    (3) When carbon dioxide captures radiation from the surface and then re-emits it back again it is acting rather like a mirror because the radiation going back has no more energy than that which it captured – true or false?
    (4) Hence, when such back radiation meets the surface it does not warm the surface – true or false?

  9. A 3.8 C temperature drop. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s Maunder minimum territory and all that that implies. As the UK imports nearly half it’s food (40% in 2009) the consequences of such a drop could prove interesting.

    Time for the UK to invade a defenceless country perhaps, Australia looks like a good bet.

  10. A causal connection between low sunspot activity and cold winters emerged recently in data from NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment which shows that solar UV output is more variable over the course of the solar cycle than scientists had previously thought. See: October 9, 2011 Nature Geoscience . During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000-50,000 spots in modern times.

  11. Ed Caryl says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm
    A physicist,
    That’s weather, not climate.

    Ed, how can you say that! Every climate Scientists knows that when temperatures go up it is climate. Only when they go down is it weather. A physicist tells us that temperatures are going up, so therefore it is climate by definition.

    Are we clear on this? Increasing temperatures are climate. Decreasing temperatures are weather. Any change in the increase in temperature is therefore Climate Change. Any change in the decrease in temperatures is Climate Disruption – it is a disruption in climate change.

    To summarize:

    increase T = climate
    decrease T = weather
    delta increase T = climate change
    delta decrease T = climate disruption.

  12. Ferd, I like your style.

    Dieta, I don’t see a causal connection there. Perhaps the cite you mentioned (but didn’t provide a link to) has it. Although I must admit that I feel intuitively that there must be a relationship between solar out put and our weather, the old correlation doesn’t imply causation rubric still applies.

  13. A physicist,

    And the Rockies are experiencing much higher than normal cover

    and Alaska is freezing it’s butt off:

    Records are being broken or challenged by blizzards in Prince William Sound and cold temperatures in Nome.

    A glut of snow during the first week of 2012 choked roads in Valdez and Cordova and collapsed warehouse roofs in both of the Prince William Sound cities, which were still digging out Friday as the snowfall threatened to continue into the weekend.

    Cherry picking is fun isn’t it?

  14. Doug Cotton says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    Ferd. You do indeed seem very certain of your claims that “every time the planet warms CO2 levels increase”

    We know it is true because Al Gore says it is true and he won the Noble Prize for saying so. All the climate scientists with the IPCC agree with him and they won a Nobel Prize for saying so.

    Al Gore is perhaps the finest example of the quality of Climate Science in the world, which is why he was personally awarded the Nobel Prize. The other climate scientists, well they just don’t measure up as compared to Al Gore, which is why none of them received the Nobel personally.

  15. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    North America is now experiencing one of its warmest, most snow-free winters in history

    What did you say when it experienced Snowmageddon a few years back?

    Anyway, R. Gates has told us that we get more snow in a warmer climate. So, which is it? More snow, less snow, average snow. Cherry picked snow.

  16. A Fizz~’As everyone knows, North America is now experiencing one of its warmest, most snow-free winters in history ‘

    Funny thing. A friend of mine in Missouri, was commenting on the mild winter down his way, so I went looking in the weather archives for his city (Springfield). Now, I don’t recall the exact year I happened across (I picked random years from 1946 onward, which is the year which the Farmer’s Alamanac appears to start records from for that area).
    One year in particular- chosen at random- stood out: I believe it was 1966. And wouldn’t you know it! It was a HELL of a lot warmer that winter, than this one!
    And the US has gotten warmer, since? Doesn’t seem to square up, does it, Fizz?

  17. J Martin says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm Sir or Madam. You say time for the UK to invade a defenceless country such as Australia. You should advise the UK not to try that, as Australia is building up all of its forces (and poaching thousands of redundant sailors from the UK) whilst the UK is down now to a few small ships in its navy and is issuing redundancy notices to thousands of soldiers and members of its dwindling air force.

  18. And now, if I may, a question for intelligent people on this article:

    Volcanic and seismic activity seems to have ramped up lately. I am curious if there is a relationship between the Sun’s geomagnetic activity (since it has dropped quite a bit), and geologic activity on the Earth? Main reason I ask this is because there was quite a bit of volanic activity coming out of the LIA (and likely, going into it). I had seen comments over the years, that volcanic activity had dropped off as the sun’s activity increased. I have to think the connection is more than just incidental.

  19. David [Archibald], I’m just pointing out how odd it is that your WUST post never references your own 2008 prediction that the Earth should already be cooling at 0.2 degrees per year … and neither does your post comment upon the striking fact that of five independent raw temperature data sets shown in Figure 1 of WUWT’s much discussed and carefully verified Foster & Rahmstorf (2011) analysis … all five data sets show a pronounced rise in global temperature in 2008-2009-2010 (as anyone can check for themselves, thanks to a WUWT post by Bob Tisdale).

    WUWT, indeed?

  20. dieta says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment which shows that solar UV output is more variable over the course of the solar cycle than scientists had previously thought.

    Egads man, what were you thinking. Now we will have Leif all over us. Please observe rule #1. The sun absolutely and positively cannot influence climate until solar scientists have proven it can influence climate. Until then the null hypothesis rules out any possibility.

  21. Otter says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    I had seen comments over the years, that volcanic activity had dropped off as the sun’s activity increased. I have to think the connection is more than just incidental.

    There is considerable evidence that seismic activity peaks when the planets and sun are aligned. There is considerable evidence that planetary alignment influences solar activity.

    The problem is that this question is rarely studied. One of the most damning insults in science, especially in the US, is to accuse a fellow scientists of engaging in Astrology. Thus, a decision to investigate can be career ending.

  22. James Fosser says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    You say time for the UK to invade Australia.

    The UK has a simple plan to get rid of their surplus armed forces. They will invade disguised as Indonesians. No weapons required, free room and board when they arrive. No end of volunteers looking to escape the UK climate of horrible winters and miserable summers.

  23. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    As everyone knows, North America is now experiencing one of its warmest, most snow-free winters in history

    In history!!! Do you mean since the start of the thermometer record? Anyway, here is some more cherry picked points as two can play your game. ;>)

    Kenya 5 January, 2012
    “We are looking at about 20 million kg of green leaf we have lost, whose value is in the region of Sh1 billion ($11.4 million),” Njagi said, adding that this was the worst ever case of frost to hit the country.

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000049510&cid=14&j=&m=&d=

    Cold-stunned turtles washing ashore in North Carolina

    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120105/ARTICLES/120109857/-1/news38?p=all&tc=pgall

    All caused by Global Warming Climate Disruptivity.

  24. “And the Rockies are experiencing much higher than normal cover”

    We currently have a persistent ridge of high pressure that is pushing storms North over California. You can see it in action here:

    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/nepac/flash-wv.html

    The storms are being pushed up into British Columbia and then are drawn back down into Montana or head East across Canada. Most of the weather in the rest of the US is coming from a weaker Southern jet. This is an unusual pattern not generally associated with either La Nina or El Nino but that persistent high pressure has been sitting there for over a month blocking storms from the Sierra Nevada and pushing the jet far North of its usual track for this time of year.

  25. J Martin says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Time for the UK to invade a defenceless country perhaps, Australia looks like a good bet.

    You may find the Chinese got there first:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-15/china-looks-for-wa-agriculture-land/2840486

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/chinese-mine-giant-snaps-up-43-nsw-farms/story-e6frg6nf-1226082387428

    (Some-one mention the warm N America winter? And on another thread, in London?)

    Even though SE Australia experienced the coldest start to summer for 60 years the Chinese may prefer that to what they are getting:

    http://202.108.9.138/news.jsp?fileId=126867

    Cold cherries in Russia too?

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/12/24/62818109.html

  26. Possibly, the most amazing part of this whole argument, is how many people believe their politicians can control the weather.

  27. J Martin says: (January 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm) “… As the UK imports nearly half it’s food (40% in 2009) the consequences of such a drop could prove interesting.”

    Intuitively a country that already has in place the mechanism and means to import a substantial proportion of its food is better placed to weather (pun intended) climate disruption, as it already has a spread portfolio of sources.

    As for the UK invading Australia – that is sooo last century.

  28. To King of Cool

    If you allow the Chinese to buy a significant proportion of your farms. What happens when Australia needs the food that those farms produce and declare that the food can no longer be exported to it Chinese owners in China.

    The result will be invasion by China to secure it’s property rights and food supply. Australia is going down a very dangerous path.

  29. “James Fosser says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    J Martin says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm Sir or Madam. You say time for the UK to invade a defenceless country such as Australia. You should advise the UK not to try that, as Australia is building up all of its forces (and poaching thousands of redundant sailors from the UK) whilst the UK is down now to a few small ships in its navy and is issuing redundancy notices to thousands of soldiers and members of its dwindling air force.”
    ==============================================================
    Indeed! Given a few more years the Royal Navy will consist of a few rowing boats on Canoe Lake in Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy. (but Nelson’s HMS Victory is undergoing a refit, so all is not lost)

  30. At the risk of turning into a sort of R Gates and taking over a thread without regard to the actual article, in this case by David Archibald;

    If we see a repeat of the Maunder minimum as suggested in the article, we know that the effects of that were global, though with the severest effects in the Northern hemisphere. A possible result is that countries which currently produce and export an excess may no longer be able to do so and the UK may find itself unable to source the same volume of food imports it currently does, whilst at the same time seeing a potentially serious reduction in local food production due to the 4 degree C drop in temperatures.

    Canada could see an end to all wheat production. The US should be OK since they just have to stop feeding corn to cars. The middle east will likely destabilise totally as they are too dependant on imports. Russian and Ukrainian grain surpluses have already been shown to be vulnerable just last year (?). Last time round the French struggled to feed their then population and had a little uprising. In the UK in the summer some of the population had a dry run at the uprising food riot thing when they went flat screen TV shopping without money.

    I reckon the government planners who are currently planning on “a warming World” (idiots) will need to switch to planning for “a cooling World”. Lets hope they come to their senses in time, because a modern Maunder minimum may not prove easy to beat, despite our modern technology. We do have considerable advantages over farmers from the 1600s, hot air grain drying machines, bio engineering of plants, poly tunnels, etc etc. But has anyone sat down and worked out if it will be enough ?

  31. HADCRUT3 – Global Temperature Record:
    The time series shows the combined global land and marine surface temperature record from 1850 to 2010. It shows no additional warming since 2003.
    See http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/

    The NCDC – Global Surface Temperature Anomalies database shows a similar flat trend from 2003 to 2010 (16-May-2011, NOAA, National Climatic Data Center).
    See http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/global-land-ocean-mntp-anom/201001-201012.gif

    The annual mean anomalies Hadley Centre Central England Temperature (HadCET) dataset shows a decline of 0.5°C from 2001 to 2011.
    See http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

    Climate disruption or global cooling?

  32. Rather than just accuse “A physiscist” of cherrypicking, how hoes he reconcile his comment that:

    Heck, even here on WUWT, Bob Tisdale has substantially replicated the Foster & Rahmstorf (2011) finding that when cyclic trends are subtracted, the underlying trend is strikingly warming.

    with the following closing comment of Bob’s:

    The assumption made by Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) that a linear trend provides an approximate “global warming” signal was shown to be erroneous using Sea Surface Temperature data. When broken down into two logical subsets of the East Pacific and the Atlantic-Indian-West Pacific Oceans, Satellite-era Sea Surface Temperature data shows no evidence of an anthropogenic global warming signal. It only shows upward shifts associated with strong ENSO events. This would seem to complicate any attempt to justify the inclusion of the linear trend to reverse the sign of the solar adjustment.

    One can be charitable and suggest that he didn’t actually read the full article or maybe he just didn’t understand it?

  33. On reflection gentlemen there would be a bit of a problem with Australia and the UK opposing each other in a military conflict.

    Here is what all Australian military have signed up to;

    “I, (insert full name of person) swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors according to law, as a member of the (insert Australian Navy, Australian Army, or Australian Air Force) for the period of (number of years), and any extensions of that period, or until retiring age, and that I will resist her enemies and faithfully discharge my duty according to law.”

  34. nc says:
    January 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    A physicist where are the 50 million or so climate refuges?

    More importantly, what have we done with the 4.5 billion dead?

  35. nc says on January 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    A physicist where are the 50 million or so climate refuges?

    They’re being hidden by the evil Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Gas companies so that the world will not realize that solar panels and windmills are the one true path of enlightenment.

  36. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    2 Years – oh maybe 3 years ago – Fizz this is a joke right?

  37. It’s too early to say for sure that the world will cool by x degrees due to the current solar cycle, if a prediction is made it will just be a guess based on curve fitting from previous temperature proxies and anecdotal weather event reports from history as we try to guess what the solar cycle is doing.

    Maybe it will cool in the next decade who knows. Now that we have reasonable (but not perfect) temperature measurement data we will learn how the planet responds to the solar cycle in play. Lets not make the mistake made by warmists with arm flailing predictions of future climate based on very limited understanding – lets see what it actually does and try to gain insight. Also please dont call others with different opinions idiots etc, just stick to discussing the ideas and data.

    One thing is for certain warming has plateaued for the last decade and recent la nina conditions seem fairly persistent.

  38. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    To the right of your comment I see the World Climate Widget, which says that the planet is 0.12 degrees warmer than it was thirty years ago. This is despite the fact that the Sun was more active in the second half of the 20th Century than it had been in the previous 8,000 years. For the record, atmospheric CO2 content has gone up 20% over that same period with no effect, except for a bigger biomass. In the meantime, three distinguished Norwegian scientists from the hard sciences have confirmed my methodology. Perhaps you saw this post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/16/polar-amplification-works-both-ways/

    Northern Europe has already experienced the predicted decline under the model.

  39. George, Not to worry. The last Naval vessel we sent to OZ ran aground and never got there.

    But the latest plan is to hire 20 of the new Russian SU-35 fighter aircraft to oppose your 20 American F-35s as it has been noticed that in a recent war game held in Hawaii the Russian SU-35 walked the American F35s. No contest apparently. If we haven’t got any aircraft carriers left we can hire an American one or a French one.

    Phil’s Dad, Cool. it’s a done deal then. We can just walk in. Would you mind awfully if we replace your parliament building with Buckingham Palace ?

  40. ferd berple says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm
    “There is considerable evidence that planetary alignment influences solar activity.
    ____________________________
    So, ferd
    keepin’ yer eye peeled for more harmonica virgins?

  41. David Archibald asserts: … To use the Marxist lexicon, [Rahmstorf] is a discredited element. There is only one true temperature series, that of Spencer and Christy.

    David, with respect, Marxist-style claims that there is “only one true temperature series” make a whole lot of folks feel uneasy.

  42. J Martin says: (January 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm) “Would you mind awfully if we replace your parliament building with Buckingham Palace?”

    Not since 1901. Don’t conflate Head of State (and military allegiance) with Government.

    But we are getting very OT here.

  43. I would like to return the discussion to David’s post.

    David-

    If I understand your annotated version of Altrock’s “green emissions” graph, the “rush to poles” occurs at the peak of the cycle. For instance the rush to pole for cycle 22 occurs in 1990. The blue line then crosses the red line at the end of the following cycle. But the blue lines were drawn after the fact, except of course the last one. After studying the graph for some time I have come to the conclusion that the slope of the last blue line is really conjecture at this point in time. I agree with your last statement: “It’s still a bit too early to be certain about how Solar Cycle 24 will shape up.” But Altrock’s graph is really an elegant way to look at the Solar Cycle.

  44. A physicist says: “David ought at least to comment on that.”

    Perhaps he should.

    I do appreciate your relatively polite manner in defending the warmist view. However, I wonder if you would request comment on the clearly unscientific, agenda driven crap SCIENTISTS on your side engage in? Just one little example of the aforementioned garbage; i.e., email from Tom Wigley to Phil Jones listed below.

    2009 ClimateGate email

    Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”. [Tom Wigley, to Phil Jones and Ben Santer]

  45. BarryW says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm
    “Records are being broken or challenged by blizzards in Prince William Sound and cold temperatures in Nome”

    You mention Nome, this account of the difficulty in delivering Fuel Oil makes a point.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083542/Tanker-carrying-supplies-stranded-Alaskan-village-gets-stuck-ice-flows-crosses-frigid-Bering-Sea.html

    “A Russian tanker carrying desperately-needed fuel supplies for the far northern Alaskan city of Nome keeps getting stuck in thick ice flows as it crosses the frigid Bering Sea in the dead of winter.
    Fortunately, the 370-foot tanker Renda is escorted by a specially-designed Coast Guard ice breaker, the USCGC Healy, whose extra-thick hull is capable of crashing through ice several feet thick.
    But that means going is slow. The two ships are covering just five to six nautical miles a day, even though they still have more 300 miles of sea ice to burst through before they can reach Nome.
    Russian-flagged tanker Renda
    Slow going: The Coast Guard icebreaker Healy leads the way for the Russian tanker the Renda
    Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice around the Russian-flagged tanker vessel Renda
    A massive storm prevented the town of 3,500 on the northwestern coast of Alaska from receiving its last delivery of supplies before it was socked in by the unspeakable winter cold.
    The town could run out of the fuel it needs to heat and power homes, vehicles, hospitals and schools.”

  46. Anybody want to bet that there will be a new set of hysterics wanting to spray soot on polar bears like they wanted to in the early 1970s?

  47. Doug Cotton says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    “Ferd. You do indeed seem very certain of your claims that “every time the planet warms CO2 levels increase” – so do they decrease as a result of it cooling – such as just after 1945? (LOL).”

    Answer – Actually, Yes they did Doug

    Despite the huge quantities of manmade CO2 emissions, atmospheric CO2 did decrease year-over-year in some of the global cooling years from 1959-1974*.

    My question:
    Has this not happened recently because of increased humanmade CO2 emissions, or because the world has, until recently, been getting warmer?

    Regards (and LOL), Allan
    ______________________

    Annualized Mauna Loa dCO2/dt has “gone negative” a few times in the past (calculating dCO2/dt from monthly data, by taking CO2MonthX (year n+1) minus CO2MonthX (year n) to minimize the seasonal CO2 “sawtooth”.)
    These 12-month periods when CO2 decreased are (Year and Month ending in):
    1959-8
    1963-9
    1964-5
    1965-1
    1965-5
    1965-6
    1971-4
    1974-6
    1974-8
    1974-9

    * Modern CO2 data collection at Mauna Loa started in ~1958.

  48. I note that ‘a physicist’ vanished following Steven M. Allen asking him an uncomfortable question concerning a Climategate email.

    And as David Archibald says:

    “There is only one true temperature series, that of Spencer and Christy.”

    Agree. Drs Spencer & Christy show their data and methodologies, unlike the Mann/Jones crowd.

    ShrNfr says:

    “@A physicist: Groucho or Harpo??”

    More like Lysenko.

  49. Attention all you cherry picking warmists who’ve the nerve to point to the warmer winter in this parts as evidence of global warming, what were you saying the last couple of years? Meanwhile, a pattern shift is on the way for the period starting about the middle of this month which should see a return to wintry conditions where it’s been unseasonably warm for perhaps the rest of the winter.

  50. David Archibald says: January 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm
    There is only one true temperature series, that of Spencer and Christy.
    ===============
    Which series is that? They have publicly admitted that the discover page is a load of dingo’s kidneys.

    “Roy W. Spencer said…
    If you would have read the disclaimer at the Discover website, you would have realized you can’t compare the daily, automated, quick-and-dirty data averages there with the fully intercalibrated, quality-controlled UAH dataset that we update every month.

    The Discover website data are meant to give a rough idea of how the latest month is shaping up compared to the same calendar month a year earlier, that’s all.

    21 December 2011 23:59:00 GMT ”

    If they cannot be bothered with data that most of the public sees then why should the get right the data to which you may be referring.

    The satellite data is is just modeled data from a proxy.

  51. pokerguy asks: What were [climate scientists] saying the last couple of years?

    Pokerguy, the short answer is pretty darn simple:

    (1) If we focus on global temperature averages, and we subtract short-term fluctuations correlated to independent observations of volcanoes, ocean current oscillations, and the solar cycle, then we see very clearly a warming trend.

    (2) If instead we focus on local temperature records, and we do not subtract any short-term correlates, then we see very clearly that both in the US and around the world, more local temperature records (by far!) are being broken at the high-end than at the low-end. Which again, shows us a warming trend.

    (3) Scientists like Jim Hansen are on-record as predicting that both kinds of evidence of warming (global warming trends and local heat temperature records) will strengthen in coming years.

    David Archibald’s predictions are notable because they are precisely opposite to the Hansen-type predictions (1-3). In recent years, and taken as a whole, the temperature data have increasingly strongly confirmed the Hansen-style predictions, and disconfirmed Archibald’s predictions.

    So it would help clarify matters if Archibald were to update his predictions as to when predictions (1-3) will reverse (Archibald’s 2008 predictions not having been confirmed to date). Because Hansen and his climatology colleagues aren’t waffling; they’re on-record as affirming that predictions (1-3) will continue to hold good, and will in fact strengthen in coming years.

  52. J Martin: “A 3.8 C temperature drop. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s Maunder minimum territory and all that that implies. As the UK imports nearly half it’s food (40% in 2009) the consequences of such a drop could prove interesting.”

    During the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation/economic collapse, WR eventually started to collateralize their bonds with land because the Deutschemark became worthless.

    Last week, Greece announced they’ll be collateralizing their bonds with land. Given the inevitable collapse of the US$ given all their money printing and $1.5 TRILLION/yr budget deficits, America may also be forced to do the same…

    It’s amazing how many lines of historic change are starting to intersect.

    Deja’vu, all over again….

  53. “Has this not happened recently because of increased humanmade CO2 emissions, or because the world has, until recently, been getting warmer?”

    In 2009 global human CO2 emissions declined but atmospheric CO2 continued to rise. This would indicate that the growth in human-caused CO2 emissions is a negligible factor in accounting for the growth in atmospheric CO2. If human CO2 emissions were significant, a reduction in those emissions would have been reflected in a reduction in atmospheric CO2 or at least a significant reduction in the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2. There was no change. So if human CO2 emissions drop and atmospheric CO2 rise continues unabated, that should be fairly good evidence that maybe the two aren’t connected.

    The oceans are probably still warming from the LIA and that will likely continue unless we see temperatures drop to those seen during the LIA causing the oceans to cool again.

  54. I would expect that the warming of the oceans that I feel reasonable in assuming has occurred since the end of the LIA has caused CO2 contained in them to come out of solution. Things are too fuzzy for me given I am not an oceanologist to make a good ballpark on how much has come out, but I suspect it is a fairly reasonable contributor to the total increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. Of course, the ENSO and AMO have some modulating effects here too. I note that the largest annual growth rate of the Mauno Loa CO2 measurements corresponded to the 1998 super El Nino event. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ But correlation is not causation. If it were, we would have had tons of CO2 around in the Medieval Optimum. We didn’t. Lotsa trees and all turning it into wood and leaves.

  55. old engineer says:
    January 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm
    The line I have drawn is the best fit on the data to date.

  56. Once again I note that ‘a physicist’ is ignoring Steven M. Allen’s uncomfortable question concerning the Wigley/Jones Climategate email, which discusses how to fraudulently jigger the numbers in order to sell AGW to the masses… while still desperately nitpicking something that Dr Archibald has already answered. So ‘a physicist’ complains about the mote in someone else’s eye, while ignoring the beam in his own eye. I believe ‘hypocrisy’ is the proper term for what ‘a physicist’ is attempting.

  57. Nice analysis of Solar Cycle 24 and it’s implications for temperatures. If in fact, as appears likely, that we are in for another Dalton Minimum (or even Maunder) this will be an excellent opportunity to comparing solar forcing on the downside to the warming forcing from increases in GH gases. A better time to be a student of the climate I can’t imagine. Very exciting!

  58. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    David [Archibald], I’m just pointing out how odd it is that your WUST post never references your own 2008 prediction that the Earth should already be cooling at 0.2 degrees per year …….

    ———————————————————————————————

    Why is it that some fail to see the correlation of weather conditions to changes in heat input on the earth? During a warming phase the majority of energy is pushed from the equator to the poles thus a greater equatorial jet is indicitve of a warming planet.. The reverse is also true in a cooling planet.. The imbalance is now at the poles and heat is being lost rapidly. thus an enlarged polar jet like we have today… in either case mid latitudes will be warmer TEMPORARILY. cooling of equatorial regions is shown with major cooling lie we are seeing today. The mid latitudes will stabilize when planetary heat balance returns. This is the LAG TIME between cause and effect. It also gives the false assumption that warming is being driven by some other source..

    Amazing that simple thermal dynamics is not being applied to basic systems.. When earths systems regain some normalcy of balance the cold will set in deep and then its to late to prepare.. some forms of cooling are delayed because of other systems effects…

    Burying your head in the sand isn’t doing anyone any good..

  59. In response to my
    “Has this not happened recently because of increased humanmade CO2 emissions, or because the world has, until recently, been getting warmer?”

    George said:
    January 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    “In 2009 global human CO2 emissions declined but atmospheric CO2 continued to rise. This would indicate that the growth in human-caused CO2 emissions is a negligible factor in accounting for the growth in atmospheric CO2. If human CO2 emissions were significant, a reduction in those emissions would have been reflected in a reduction in atmospheric CO2 or at least a significant reduction in the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2. There was no change. So if human CO2 emissions drop and atmospheric CO2 rise continues unabated, that should be fairly good evidence that maybe the two aren’t connected.

    The oceans are probably still warming from the LIA and that will likely continue unless we see temperatures drop to those seen during the LIA causing the oceans to cool again.”
    _________________________________________________________________

    No bad George,

    One more clue is that in the modern data record, dCO2/dt varies almost contemporaneously with T AND CO2 lags T by ~9 months*
    (where CO2 is global average atmospheric CO2, t is time, and T is global average Temperature)
    AND
    From ice core data, CO2 lags Temperature by ~600-800 years on much longer time scales
    SO
    CO2 lags Temperature at all measured time scales.
    AND YET
    Most parties still insist that the mainstream climate debate should be “by how much does increasing atmospheric CO2 drive temperature upwards” when perhaps they should be asking themselves why they apparently allege that the future is causing the past.

    Maybe atmospheric CO2 is still increasing because of a 600-800 year delay since the Medieval Warm Period.

    And there is a much shorter cycle with a ~9 month lag of CO2 after Temperature.
    And maybe there are one or more cycles in between with intermediate delays.

    I do doubt the warmists claim that “it’s a feedback effect”.
    ______________________________________________________
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

  60. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm
    (1) If we focus on global temperature averages, and we subtract short-term fluctuations correlated to independent observations of volcanoes, ocean current oscillations, and the solar cycle, then we see very clearly a warming trend.

    12-year long flat line in global temperatures is not a “short-term fluctuation”.

    James Nansen is a religious fanatic of the worst kind: the one that not only believes because his faith absurd but cannot go on his guilt trip alone.

    Most of the other AGW types are in it just for the taxpayers’ money. Many of them are leaving their ship already — all the money in the world cannot keep it from sinking.

  61. Sorry, Instead of “Nansen” please read “Hansen”.
    Unlike Jim Hansen, Fridtjof Nansen was a great man. He was on my mind, because I was looking at the set of Norwegian stamps portraying Nansen and issued for his refugee fund.

  62. “As far the the warm NH goes, Dr. Masters seems to have this one right.
    Note that he talks about the sun effect on jet streams etc:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html

    I’ve been noticing that for a few months now.

    The past two years a very negative AO with very low solar activity and now that solar activity has spiked upward a very positive AO.

    The trouble is though that solar activity is still lower than usual for this stage of the solar cycle in absolute terms.

    Therefore what seems to matter in the short term is relative values rather than absolute values.Large swings in solar activity over a short timescale do seem to affect AO but smaller swings in a generally higher or lower solar cycles seem to get disguised by other factors most likely oceanic variability.

    Nonetheless I never expected to see such a close correlation on such short timescales. Although I have based some of my ideas on the solar/AO relationship I had said that the relationship is stronger over multiple cycles rather than from cycle to cycle or as now within a single cycle.

    The current change in solar behaviour is turning out to be a very useful diagnostic indicator.

    Meanwhile the cold hasn’t gone away, it is just constrained within a smaller geographical area within which it is more intense than usual.

    The real issue now is whether we will see significant cold breakouts across the middle latitudes over the next several months leading to cold springs in various northern regions.

  63. Good heavens. Here is the verifiable short answer. For every stretch of warmer summers, for every stretch of warmer nights, for every snowless winter, for every towering snow drift, and for every frozen spring, there have been known intrinsic natural drivers of these weather pattern variations, be they months long, year long, or decades long.. And no need to add either CO2 or the Sun’s angry or sleepy behavior to explain it. Weather patterns are not contrary to the natural oceanic/atmospheric teleconnection conditions that bring them about. It obeys the conditions in every way. That there are those here who can’t see that is a wonder.

  64. “Why is it that some fail to see the correlation of weather conditions to changes in heat input on the earth? During a warming phase the majority of energy is pushed from the equator to the poles thus a greater equatorial jet is indicitve of a warming planet.. The reverse is also true in a cooling planet”

    Well I’d say that wider equatorial air masses and more poleward zonal jets are indicative of a warming planet and narrowing equatorial air masses with more equatorward meridinal jets are a sign of a cooling planet.

    I think a transition period would show larger swings before things settle down to the new setup and I think that is where we are now.

    More detail here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6645

    “How The Sun Could Control Earth’s Temperature”

  65. i use Ixquick as my search engine and Sourcewatch is the 2nd listing for WUWT and they call Anthony a “non-scientist AGW denier”. :/

    sounds like another lefty group on the internet that pretends to be centrist. wonder if they get their funding from Soros.

    [MODERATOR’S NOTE: Joe, this comment is Off-Topic for this thread. We have an Open Thread currently running, a Tips and Notes Page, and a number of other threads where this comment would be more appropriate. Please be kind enough to use them next time. -REP]

  66. A physicist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    (1) If we focus on global temperature averages, and we subtract short-term fluctuations correlated to independent observations of volcanoes, ocean current oscillations, and the solar cycle, then we see very clearly a warming trend.

    It’s really too bad for arguments on both sides that there is no such thing as a “global temperature”.

  67. A physicist said “we see very clearly that both in the US and around the world, more local temperature records (by far!) are being broken at the high-end than at the low-end”

    Did you adjust for UHIE? If calculating the global average temperature requires adjusting stations for UHIE, then why not the record temperatures (particularly record high and low mins which are notoriously contaminated).

  68. J Martin says:
    January 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm
    If you allow the Chinese to buy a significant proportion of your farms. What happens when Australia needs the food that those farms produce and declare that the food can no longer be exported to it Chinese owners in China.

    The result will be invasion by China to secure it’s property rights and food supply. Australia is going down a very dangerous path.

    Couldn’t agree more and so do many others:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/land-rush/story-fn59niix-1226085165144

    http://www.yasstribune.com.au/news/national/national/general/coalition-to-scrutinise-farm-buyups/2411549.aspx

    Political changes are happening in this part of the world starting with State Labor losing in WA, Victoria, NSW by a landslide last year and Queensland almost certainly next in March (current odds ALP 5.0 Coalition 1.15).

    Gillard still has a very tenuous hold of Federal Power and will probably hold the ACT in October which is dictated by public servants. Not sure about the Northern Territory in August. But all Coalition States will back Abbott’s anti-carbon tax stand. Don’t know about foreign investment as there is a fine line between controlled economic progress and isolationism. China also is not the only investor.

    But back to the main issue, some-one told me that the Chinese only worry about two things – money and family. So as to whether they believe Nature or Man is the main driver of climate change could be represented by these two beliefs ie:

    Nature is the main driver if they can see money as the means of a better life or CO2 is the main driver if they have been persuaded that their grandchildren’s future is at stake and is more important.

    I have read a paper* by Chinese scientists that question the IPCC but I am not sure how many are represented on IPCC committees or have written any peer reviewed papers. But I cannot recall any notable Chinese spokespersons for the CAGW cause. At the present state of the art, therefore, I have a hunch that the former will be more relevant in the Chinese psyche.

    * http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fangetal.pdf

  69. Steven M. Allen says:
    January 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Nice post. That emails shows conspiracy to commit fraud beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  70. To
    R Gates, and A physicist :

    I’m a laymen. By my own experience, the earth is warmer than when I was young. But I think it just a natural variance. The climate never stable before and will never be stable in the future.
    To make me belief on AGW
    please explain the following.

    1.
    At a clear night, the temperature goes down much faster than a cloudy night. That means Clouds keep the night warmer. (a cloudy night is warmer than a clear night)
    The concentration of CO2 is the same. This tells me that CO2 has no effect or negligible effect compare to H2O on the night temperature.

    Why scientists so emphasize on the negligible CO2 to be the dominate climate factor?
    This makes me don’t belief in the AGW.

    2.
    Earth is not a black body and earth never be in input/output equilibrium at any time.
    During the day time, earth temperature increases then decreases. At night, decreases more.
    Vary in temperature tells me that the input/output are not the in balance. The temperature records vary year over year. Will using the imaginary “average” (in time series) assumed equilibrium state in computer model generate correct result? For science/engineering we alway have some error bound when making design/ predicting. In this case how big is the error?
    Every thing tells me at current human’s knowledge, we have noway to predict climate 100 years later. Even not the next year. (NASA predicted so.California would dry last winter, but we were very wet. This is a climate prediction, not weather!)

    When we hear the scary predictions, alway 100% sure. (no one tell me the error bound.)
    This also makes me don’t belief the AGW.

    3.
    Earth is not evenly heated black body. In the computer models, they model each area separately? If so, the model should be able to predict weathers every where at any time in the future if the model is correct. If the model cannot predict weather week later then how to predict climate 100 years later? ( climate just a collection of weather) if the model just omits the minor factors, how big divergence will result 100 years later?

    Use the “average” T would make earth radiates less heat than actual heat lose.
    Then results in higher temp prediction. Does the model use “average” T to predict the future?
    This makes me skeptic about the AGW.

    4.
    IPCC and some scientists made lots scary predictions in the past.
    How many of the predictions are correct? How big are the errors?
    How many of the predictions are wrong? Again, How big are the errors?
    In science, a theory predicts 1000 times correctly but 1001th prediction is wrong, then the theory is not a correct theory.
    How many times wrong predictions made by the computer are needed to prove the computer model/theory is incorrect?
    Using unsure predictions to terrifying people is not right thing to do.

    wenson

  71. 1) the solar polar fields reverse at solar maximum
    2) the sunspot bipoles reverse at solar minimum
    3) it is too early to speculate [and heaven forbid, mindlessly extrapolate] on when maximum will be. The polar fields have practically reversed in the north, but are still only halfway down in the south. Solar max for a weak cycle is often a long drawn-out affair, so the ‘precise’ timing may not be too meaningful.
    4) there is really no indication that SC24 will be super-long
    5) solar cycle length as such has nothing to do with climate
    6) UV varies more but is compensated by opposite variation in visible and near infrared, leaving TSI varying a lot less.
    7) TSI, integral of the spectrum, is comprised of spectral regions that have compensating effects.
    8) Surface solar forcing is very small, with direct surface response < 0.1 K in 11-year cycle

  72. “”””” Doug Cotton says:

    January 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Ferd. You do indeed seem very certain of your claims that “every time the planet warms CO2 levels increase” – so do they decrease as a result of it cooling – such as just after 1945? (LOL) Maybe you could answer with similar certainty these four questions …

    (1) When the refective (mirror-like) internal surface of a vacuum flask reflects radiation back into the coffee the coffee does not get any hotter – true / false ?
    (2) If you hold a mirror over a batch of earth (which is radiating) at night so that the mirror reflects that radiation back to the patch it does not get any hotter, just like the coffee – true or false?
    (3) When carbon dioxide captures radiation from the surface and then re-emits it back again it is acting rather like a mirror because the radiation going back has no more energy than that which it captured – true or false?
    (4) Hence, when such back radiation meets the surface it does not warm the surface – true or false? “””””

    Seem simple enough questions Doug; some other questions immediately come to mind:

    Re #1 That reflective mirror in the vacuum flask; it slows down the rate of cooling- true/false ?
    #1a That’s the entire reason behind having that mirror-like surface – true/false ?
    Re #2 If you hold a mirror over a batch of earth (which is radiating) at night so that the mirror reflects that radiation back to the patch, it slows down the rate of cooling – true/false ?
    Re #3 When carbon dioxide captures radiation from the surface and then re-emits it back again it is acting rather like a mirror because it slows down the rate of cooling – true/false ?
    Re #4 Hence, when such back radiation meets the surface it slows down the cooling of the surface – true or false ?

    New question #5 The vacuum flask with its reflective mirror like surface, when filled with hot coffee and sealed receives essentially no extra heat from any outside source, so it does not warm- true/false ?
    New question #5a The vacuum flask with its reflective mirror like surface, when filled with hot coffee and sealed receives essentially no extra heat from any outside source, but it cools slower because of the mirror- true/false ?
    New question #6 The earth with the mirror above it reflecting some of its radiation back to the surface, is also receiving additional energy input from the sun (during daylight); so it continues to warm up although the cooling rate is reduced by the mirror – true/false ?

    So the presence of an energy source input to the earth makes it different from the vaccuum flask which is isolated from external energy inputs – true/false ?

  73. “”””” Leif Svalgaard says:

    January 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Tomorrow I’m off to Japan for this: http://www.leif.org/research/Nagoya-Workshop.doc, and won’t have time to respond to insults from the usual suspects :-)
    I’ll report on the workshop in a couple of weeks. “””””
    Dr Svalgaard; hope you didn’t take MY early post as an insult; or even critical. Just an observation that I hadn’t seen you report on that poitt. I see your post immediately above gives some clarification. Thanks for that.
    Eager to read your report on the workshop.
    George

  74. “”””” David Archibald says:

    January 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    George E. Smith; says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm
    George, love your work. Here’s a link on magnetic reversal at maximum:
    http://www.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~forsyth/reversal/ “””””

    Thanks for the thought David; actually, I do very little other than try to help make the hard work of others a bit more understandable for the lay folk, well if I can.
    I think Dr Svalgaard thought I was being critical, even insulting; but that is not the case; I was just commenting that I had not seen him post on the timing of the reversals. I see he has a post pointing out that the sun’s polar field, and the sunspot polarity are not the same thing. That’s a lack of understanding on my part.
    Ages ago I had this cute picture of a rotating sunspot plasma “worm” generating one polarity at the surface, and of course the opposite polarity inside the sun; and my worm bored into the sun in an 11 year loopy journey, that took it in a short loop and eventually back to the surface. The emerging end, would of course have the opposite rotation for the plasma, so the polarity at the surface would be reversed. Eventually (for some reason) the worm would bore back in to the sun for another trip. I even tried to show that gyroscopic forces would combine the rotation of the sun with the rotation of the plasma worm, which would evenutally lead to it flipping over end for end.
    Well like I say, it was a cute picture; and Leif quickly pointed out that it was entirely a fabrication of my imagination;and that sunspots don’t work that way. Well I still think its cute.

    Thanks for the link.
    George

  75. The U.S. for December 2011 is not anomalously warm compared to the the last 30 years according NCDC.

    Neither is the NH according to UAH.

    Why all the hype?

  76. Wensen
    “Why scientists so emphasize on the negligible CO2 to be the dominate climate factor?
    This makes me don’t belief in the AGW.”

    Because CO2 is a changing factor, while the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is relatively constant over the long run (correct me on this if I’m wrong).

    “Vary in temperature tells me that the input/output are not the in balance. The temperature records vary year over year. Will using the imaginary “average” (in time series) assumed equilibrium state in computer model generate correct result?
    For science/engineering we alway have some error bound when making design/ predicting. In this case how big is the error?”

    I think what you are asking is what is the power of the prediction- aka do we reject the null hypothesis with 95% certainity and is the correlation significant. I can’t answer that as it will probably vary depending on the paper and the number of data sets the use. If you want to get what is considered the best evidence for global warming you should probably go to a site like

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

    and see if they link anything you find helpful.

    “Every thing tells me at current human’s knowledge, we have noway to predict climate 100 years later. Even not the next year. (NASA predicted so.California would dry last winter, but we were very wet. This is a climate prediction, not weather!)”

    Predicting a year’s weather is weather prediction. Predicting multiple decades weather is climate prediction, which is actually easier because you don’t have to worry about weather extremes and can just generalize about the average. Of course, that relies upon your model being correct in the first place which is what this is about.

    “When we hear the scary predictions, alway 100% sure. (no one tell me the error bound.)
    This also makes me don’t belief the AGW.”

    They do come with error bounds usually. Leaving aside the possibility of conspiracy, the media will always accentuate the most terrifying aspects. Shark attacks are rare compared to almost all other forms of death, but the media is alot more likely to report on a shark attack than someone being killed by their toilet.

    “In the computer models, they model each area separately? If so, the model should be able to predict weathers every where at any time in the future if the model is correct. If the model cannot predict weather week later then how to predict climate 100 years later? ( climate just a collection of weather) if the model just omits the minor factors, how big divergence will result 100 years later?”

    Economic models can seperate out different sectors, all the way down to different firms and attempt to model them. So far they have failed to make a model that is accurate enough that they can forecase the ecomony (or they have in secret and are now rich). However, they can accurately predict the long run trends of the economy like gdp growth for a several decade period.

    “In science, a theory predicts 1000 times correctly but 1001th prediction is wrong, then the theory is not a correct theory.”

    That isn’t quite right. It is wrong… if there is another theory that predicts the 1001 things. Otherwise you keep the wrong theory and chalk it up to error (which you’d get if your theory is accurate to 99.9%).

  77. A physicist – the question is not whether there is a warming trend but how great it is and whether it is accelerating. All the data I have seen indicates it is small and not accelerating.

  78. Wenson says:
    January 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm
    “I’m a laymen. By my own experience, the earth is warmer than when I was young.

    Without context there isn’t much one can say. When were you young? Where were you? Have you lived there always?

    With internet access I can check the weather and the weather data for the area in which I was raised. I do so because I have relatives still living in that area. I haven’t been there in nearly 12 years. The folks there still complain about the weather in about the same way as they did when my mother was a little girl nearly 100 years ago. She would tell us that the snow came “up to here” – as she pointed to her waist. Then she would say “and we had to walk up-hill the whole way to school.” Then “it was up-hill the whole way back, too.” I know the snow still comes up to little girl’s waists. I don’t think anyone walks to school anymore. The point of that is that if folks don’t go outside much – what do the know of the natural world?

    Where I live now (central Washington State, USA) we are having almost exactly the same winter weather as we did in 1989-90. I’m able to work outside almost everyday in above freezing temperature. However, a few years after moving here it went to 17 degrees F. at night for 3 weeks in December. Another year we had 5 feet of snow.

    The yearly variation is so much greater than any climatic change it seems impossible to note any trend. As we’ve all noted, the temperature data is not a lot of help.

  79. dwright says:
    January 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm
    “To everybody who says that Canada will have no wheat crops in a cooler NH.

    Actually, the changes in the Canadian wheat industry are quite amazing and there is no reason to believe a slight bit of cooling will be much of a problem. For a short summary, see here:

    http://www.ccge.org/resources/rivers_of_canada/saskatchewan_river/dreams_wheat.asp

    Now, if they get covered by 500 meters of ice, all bets are off!

  80. @ A Physicist
    (1) If we focus on global temperature averages, and we subtract short-term fluctuations correlated to independent observations of volcanoes, ocean current oscillations, and the solar cycle, then we see very clearly a warming trend.

    A bit of a problem this blindness to criticism, but that comment is missing the crucial part.
    After cycle it should have had “and add an artificial warming trend” .
    Some people seem to rely on Foster and Rhamstorf (2011) heavily for their increasing temperatures. When I first saw the graphs showing UAH and RSS satellite data I was very suspicious.
    Then came Tisdale. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/02/tisdale-takes-on-taminos-foster-rahmstorf-2011/
    Unlike A Physicist and R Gates I read the assessment as highly critical.
    As I read the assessment of Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) they only get a continuing warming trend (and it seems identical in all the datasets) by adding the fudge factor of 0.167 degrees C per decade, as their “trick” to “hide the decline”.
    That paper has now made it to my recycle bin.
    The big concern must be how it made it through the review process when it obviously should not have.
    As for temperatures, in Jan 1 2011 Weatherzone a commercial weather service that need to be reasonably accurate to stay in business, announced in Australia 2010 was the coolest year in the 21st century (although still above the long term trend) -see The Australian Jan 1-2 2011. Other people of course may since have applied adjustments to the 2010 Oz temperatures.
    Now the government weather bureau has declared 2011 to be below the long term trend, http://www.bom gov.au and look at their news releases, i.e. temperatures cooling for 2 years.
    Eastern Australia got the cooling effect of the La Nina 6 months before the U.S.A. and that trend has continued since.
    Unfortunately for David Archibald that is not enough trend yet to confirm his post.

  81. Doug Cotton says:
    January 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    (3) When carbon dioxide captures radiation from the surface and then re-emits it back again it is acting rather like a mirror because the radiation going back has no more energy than that which it captured – true or false?
    (4) Hence, when such back radiation meets the surface it does not warm the surface – true or false?

    While I also consider that CO2’s net effects are trivial, you should give up that silly argument. The surface does not remain static while the radiation is doing its doh-si-doh in the nearby atmosphere; it’s continuing to be warmed by incident SW radiation, etc. So the failure to escape to space of the bouncing stuff has a net warming effect. However, there’s so much more going on, that it comes out a wash, at most. In fact, CO2 “leaching” thermal energy from the other gasses and squirting it upwards in the higher altitudes may more than counterbalance the lag-warming at lower levels. See

    http://jinancaoblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/physical-analysis-shows-co2-is-coolant.html

    A much better line of argumentation to follow.

  82. Wenson says: January 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Totally agree Wenson, clouds and water vapour(convection/evaporation/condensation) can clearly be seen to be the dominant factor in controlling temperature. Why radiation is always mentioned as if the atmosphere was static when
    1) convection/water condensation is what moves the heat gained at the tropics to high altitude and subsequently the polar regions. Heat the surface more and the whole process is going to speed up as a result.
    and
    2) As Wenson says, all it takes is one clear night for all the energy in the lower troposphere to escape. A slight change in CO2 is not going to effect this at all.

  83. Leif Svalgaard says January 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    The polar fields have practically reversed in the north …

    … but are currently gaining strength and heading in the opposite direction.

    Solar max for a weak cycle is often a long drawn-out affair, so the ‘precise’ timing may not be too meaningful.

    As indeed appears to be unfolding. At this juncture we can only guess whether another dominance inversion will occur after Feb/March before eventually reversal [thus dragging it out further]. Good entertainment value either way.

  84. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    5) solar cycle length as such has nothing to do with climate

    Where has this been proven? To be certain there is no connection, you would need to show there are no unknowns left. That there are no surprises left in either solar science or climate science. Which means no reason for taxpayers to fund them further. They should move from science to engineering and private industry.

    There is a demonstrated correlation between temperature and the length of the solar cycle. However, the noise in the temperature signal, as well the the short length and poor quality of instrumented records, and well as the impact of air-moisture on energy versus temperature, all call into question any cause and effect conclusions in climate science.

    To say there is no effect because no one has yet discovered the reason behind the correlation.

  85. @ physicist

    I think you did not represent the discussion of Foster & Rahmstorf correctly. There are quite a few things to say about that – basically it is another example of failed peer review.

    1. Is this really the state of the art of climate science ? A regression with basically only 3 parameters and at least 2 of these with very questionable significance for the effect they are assigned to explain ? How many climate scientists asked in private emails. not to be associated with that ?

    2. ENSO indices do not represent the process of ENSO or its impact on global temperature (Tisdale).

    The use of ENSO supports the assumption that the authors do not understand the matter at all.
    ENSO averages the temperature of the surface of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. F&R assume in their model, that a yearly ENSO index stops to effect temperatures after 31 December of a single year. Of course, this is untrue. The warm or cold water from the tropical eastern Pacific does not evaporate or disappear in the deep ocean on that day. It is distributed to other parts of the pacific and continues to influence temperatures over years. This should have already been a show stopper in proper peer review.

    3. Treating ENSO the F&R way, and solar influence only through the very stable TSI, the model contains nothing to explain the natural climate variability of the last few hundred years. This should have been another show stopper in proper peer review.

    4. An improved model would allow a yearly ENSO signal to influence temperature over a couple of years, and as soon as the model would be improved in that way, ENSO starts to eat away a significant fraction from the linear trend with every added year, just because ENSO signals tend to allign over decades.

    5. Another significant and undiscussed inconsistency arises, as the authors claim, that after regression, satellite and ground based temperature trends are very similar. Climate models predict, however, that they should be very different. The failure to discuss or explain this inconsistency, should have been another show stopper in proper peer review.

    6. After correction of these basic errors, (and perhaps inclusion of further natural effects such as cosmic rays to perhaps account for longer trends), the little trend left is of course deducted from realclimatescientists GISS data, and includes land use change, unaccounted UHI, smearing of fast land warming over the arctic and further recent warming adjustments. Perhaps there may be something left for GHG, perhaps not.

  86. @Otter January 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    “….(is) there is a relationship between the Sun’s geomagnetic activity (since it has dropped quite a bit), and geologic activity on the Earth? Main reason I ask this is because there was quite a bit of volcanic activity coming out of the LIA (and likely, going into it). I had seen comments over the years that volcanic activity had dropped off as the sun’s activity increased…..”

    There does seem to be a logical enough connection – as little as I can understand, the sun is moved in tiny orbits about the barycentre of the solar system as it balances out the gravitational forces of all the planets – each of these orbits (all within an area of about 2 x sun diameter) takes about 10-11 years.

    There are various long and short term cycles/patterns which can be observed.

    At regular periods, these orbits go from being very regular in pattern to being more chaotic or irregular. Some publications show these stages may relate directly to sunspot activity, and also perhaps to seismic activity on earth. It is perhaps reasonable to assume different forces tugging athe sun may affect its magnetic characteristics, and so affect sunspot activity.

    It also perhaps makes some sense that the different tidal forces being exerted on the earth as its orbit follows the sun’s little spirals (the earth/sun barycentre is somewhere quite close to the centre of the sun) may result in more seismic activity. So perhaps both sunspots and to earthly seismic activity are simply co-incidently linked to the sun’s “solar inertial motion”, and its not a case of one causing the other.

    Original work was by Ivanka Charvátová (you may need Google translate for the ref below – but if you just Google it, you should find an English version)
    Interview with Ivanka Charvátová: The inertial motion of the sun controls the climate
    Source: Klimaskeptik.cz
    Original text in Czech May 25, 2011
    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/calen13/charvatova_entrevista.html via Google Translate

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/interview-with-ivanka-charvatova-is-climate-change-caused-by-solar-inertial-motion/

    Sorry, you’ll have to Google this one – I have the pdf but don’t know from where:
    LONG-TERM CHANGES OF THE SURFACE AIR TEMPERATURE IN RELATION TO SOLAR INERTIAL MOTION * IVANKA CHARVATOVA and JAROSLAV STI~EST[K Geophysical Institute AS CR, Bo~nf ll, 141 31 Praha 4 – Spofilov, Czech Republic

    Another interesting site on the topic here: Beyond Landscheidt

    http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node&page=1

  87. pokerguy asks: What were [climate scientists] saying the last couple of years?

    A physicist says: Pokerguy, the short answer is pretty darn simple:

    (1) If we focus on global temperature averages, and we subtract short-term fluctuations correlated to independent observations of volcanoes, ocean current oscillations, and the solar cycle, then we see very clearly a warming trend.

    (2) If instead we focus on local temperature records, and we do not subtract any short-term correlates, then we see very clearly that both in the US and around the world, more local temperature records (by far!) are being broken at the high-end than at the low-end. Which again, shows us a warming trend.

    (3) Scientists like Jim Hansen are on-record as predicting that both kinds of evidence of warming (global warming trends and local heat temperature records) will strengthen in coming years.

    There’s been considerable discussion of points (1-3), in the comments on this thread and on other WUWT threads, and the upshot is simple: theory and data are both supporting points (1-3) with increasing strength.

    In particular, after hammering mainly on Prediction (1) for awhile, James Hansen and his colleagues now have begun hammering on Prediction (2) too.

    The long-term scientific strategy of Hansen et al is becoming clear too: in coming years Hansen and his colleagues expect to begin hammering vigorously on Prediction (3), beginning as soon as the (relatively high-precision) ARGO and GLISS data show an acceleration of (relatively low-fluctuation) ocean temperatures and sea-level rise, and continuing as the various (relatively lower-precision) land temperature and satellite data confirm the acceleration seen by ARGO and GLISS.

    At which point, the accelerating warming seen in many more specialized data sets (Arctic sea-ice coverage, ice-mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets, etc.) will finish the job of making Hansen’s case.

    When this point is reached, Hansen et al will (rightly) claim to have won game, set, and match against WUWT’s skeptical guest posters. Because skeptical posts like David Archibald’s have not delivering been anything like the vigor and rigor of Hansen’s Predictions (1-3).

    This is why WUWT’s climate-change skepticism needs to start thinking of a “Plan B” in the event (which is looking increasingly likely) that Hansen’s predictions turn out to be just plain right.

    What might be that Plan B?

  88. @Otter January 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    “….(is) there is a relationship between the Sun’s geomagnetic activity (since it has dropped quite a bit), and geologic activity on the Earth? Main reason I ask this is because there was quite a bit of volcanic activity coming out of the LIA (and likely, going into it). I had seen comments over the years that volcanic activity had dropped off as the sun’s activity increased…..”

    There does seem to be a logical enough connection – as little as I can understand, the sun is moved in tiny orbits about the barycentre of the solar system as it balances out the gravitational forces of all the planets – each of these orbits (all within an area of about 2 x sun diameter) takes about 10-11 years. There are various long and short term cycles/patterns which can be observed.

    At regular periods, these orbits go from being very regular in pattern to being more chaotic or irregular. Some publications show these stages may relate directly to sunspot activity, and also perhaps to seismic activity on earth. It is perhaps reasonable to assume different forces tugging athe sun may affect its magnetic characteristics, and so affect sunspot activity.

    It also perhaps makes some sense that the different tidal forces being exerted on the earth as its orbit follows the sun’s little spirals (the earth/sun barycentre is somewhere quite close to the centre of the sun) may result in more seismic activity. So perhaps both sunspots and to earthly seismic activity are simply co-incidentally linked to the sun’s “solar inertial motion”, and it’s not a case of one causing the other.

    Interview with Ivanka Charvátová: The inertial motion of the sun controls the climate
    Source: Klimaskeptik.cz
    Original text in Czech May 25, 2011
    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/calen13/charvatova_entrevista.html via Google Translate

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/interview-with-ivanka-charvatova-is-climate-change-caused-by-solar-inertial-motion/

    Another interesting site on the topic here: Beyond Landscheidt

    http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node&page=1

  89. Otter January 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm (the short version – the rest lost)

    Google Solar Inertial Motion, Charvátová

    re sunspots, earthly seismic activity, 11 year cycles of the sun about the solar barycenter, and planetary effects – there are some very pretty diagrams here. http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node&page=3

  90. Solar cycle 24 is a mystery as are all other solar cycles, the chaotic nature of the interplay of our solar system and our galaxy on the sun is a maths problem of huge magnitude. Some things in life are sure, as in death and taxes other things not so easy.
    We have had a long time to come to terms with women yet they remain as does the climate an unsolved mystery. Climate science is young and over time it may be understandable and calculatable, weather not so much. The mathematics that govern the harmony of the spheres is simplicity compared to the chaos maths that rules the interplay between the planets and the sun and the resultant behaviour of old Sol. We figure all that out and maybe we can predict the climate in broad terms.
    The weather not so much, we have a heat source in the equatorial regions, water as a refrigerant and two radiators at the poles, an unplumbed airconditioner, thus chaos prevails.

    CO2 per sec does diddly squat in all this chaos, our variable star and its moods and distance cause all our chaos including instability in the inner and crustal zones of our fragile world. If our old Sol goes into a deeper funk expect more earthquakes and the odd nasty volcano, and probably the odd cold day or two.

    To all those seeking answers with the scientific method to these vexing problems I salute you.

  91. “Bill H says:
    January 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    Stephen Wilde says:
    January 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    LOL
    Isn’t that what i said in layman’s terms?”

    Yes, I was agreeing with you but trying to make it a bit clearer :)

    Also it was a good opportunity to refer you to my article saying much the same thing.

  92. RobB says:
    January 9, 2012 at 12:26 am
    Wenson says: January 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Totally agree Wenson, clouds and water vapour(convection/evaporation/condensation) can clearly be seen to be the dominant factor in controlling temperature. Why radiation is always mentioned as if the atmosphere was static when
    1) convection/water condensation is what moves the heat gained at the tropics to high altitude and subsequently the polar regions. Heat the surface more and the whole process is going to speed up as a result.
    and
    2) As Wenson says, all it takes is one clear night for all the energy in the lower troposphere to escape. A slight change in CO2 is not going to effect this at all.
    ————————————————————————-
    As Willis points out, as a system cools, it loses heat ever more slowly. It is possible that a slight change in CO2 could move the curve of night time cooling, yet have little effect on the minimim, just on when and how it was reached.

  93. The perturbations to the earth’s orbit by changes to the SIM may relate directly to seismic activity cycles on earth. (Charvátová)

    So sunspot/seismic link may be real, but the sunspots are symptomatic rather than the cause.

    Perhaps Solar Inertial Motion ( SIM) manages to logically tie together all the odd things related to ‘solar cycles’ that previously seemed to be a bit closer to ‘astrology’.

    So changes to the SIM may generate internal perturbations in the sun which affect its magnetic field, and sunspots.

    There is also the added effect of variations in solar radiation reaching the earth, perhaps affecting cloud formation. So there may also be a SIM/cloud connection, but indirectly.

  94. John F. Hultquist says:
    January 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I grow up in China and live in LA, California for more than 30 years now. I still have relatives there in China. I talk with them every week. I visit my hometown almost every year for last 10 years, most of the times are in winter.

    My hometown is in a rural area. There was no official temp record at the time when I was young. We judged the weather, temperature by memory, by comparing the snowfalls, frozen ground and river.
    When I was young, the river in front of my house froze in the winter. people played on the ice ,walked on the ice crossing the river. Since 1956/7, people cannot walked on the ice any more. After 1970, the river never fully covered by ice. In last 10 years, it is hard to see ice on the river. (The river is much shallower dirtier than before) Also there much fewer snowfalls. If it snows, the snow disappears the next day.
    (the year 2008 was an exception. Lots of snow and the river was covered by ice but no one walked on the icy river. the ice maybe thick enough but people are not used to do that)

  95. A physicist- you are not a physicist. Go back to school and keep your eyes and ears open this time!

  96. Wenson,

    Thanks for the local context. First a correction, then a comment. In my previous note, I left out a minus sign. I should have said minus (-) 17 degrees. Such a small thing but a major impact. Water pipes froze in many homes.

    Comment on freezing rivers: In Alaska there is a place where there is betting yearly on when the ice in the Tanner River will breakup. See:

    http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/

    Here at WUWT (or elsewhere; I can’t find it now) this was discussed because it has been going on for a long time. Someone thought it might be useful to look at the dates of breakup in the context of global warming. However, the population of Fairbanks (about 50 miles up-river) and associated warming of the river was questioned. I don’t remember the full story. The principle is that it is hard to find any such thing where all other variables remain constant. I guess that is why they are called variables.

    A similar thing can be said of the Frost Fairs on the river at London:

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

    Too many things have changed to make much of the lack of ice now. Again, the population has grown, warm water discharges into the river, physical changes in the river system – are the ones that come to mind.

    My summary is that even though we can note changes in our surroundings it is not always certain why those have taken place. On your next visit to your hometown in China, ask the oldest folks about stories told by their parents and grandparents regarding the weather way-back-when. Currently, my oldest relative is a 93 year old cousin. I do a lot of checking with her – good mind, good memory, almost no sight, enjoys phone calls.

  97. Leif Svalgaard says:
    January 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    “Tomorrow I’m off to Japan for this …Nagoya-Workshop…, and won’t have time to respond to insults from the usual suspects”

    Cool… take a stick and beat them senseless. Prof Takeshi Sagiya’s GPS network is about the only source for vertical displacement in the Canary Islands. It seems that IGN sees fit to only publish lateral displacement. The issue is that Sagiya’s network doesn’t update as fast. Give him more support and grad students and I’m sure he could to a much better job.

    I am also curious as to what motivated him to do an independent study of the Canaries. Did he see something in the cards that hinted at El Hierro getting noisy?

    Either way, have a good trip and meeting!

  98. Physicist,
    Even most of the most rabid AGW scientists will concede the warming has stalled. Ask yourself this question: if the heat isn’t missing, why are they (including Trenberth) looking for it?
    I’d love an answer to that.

  99. Ferd. You do indeed seem very certain of your claims that “every time the planet warms CO2 levels increase” – so do they decrease as a result of it cooling – such as just after 1945? (LOL) Maybe you could answer with similar certainty these four questions …

    (1) When the refective (mirror-like) internal surface of a vacuum flask reflects radiation back into the coffee the coffee does not get any hotter – true / false ?
    (2) If you hold a mirror over a batch of earth (which is radiating) at night so that the mirror reflects that radiation back to the patch it does not get any hotter, just like the coffee – true or false?
    (3) When carbon dioxide captures radiation from the surface and then re-emits it back again it is acting rather like a mirror because the radiation going back has no more energy than that which it captured – true or false?
    (4) Hence, when such back radiation meets the surface it does not warm the surface – true or false?

    Can I play?

    1) True. The coffee does not get any hotter. In fact, it cools. You can try this experiment yourself. Put hot coffee into a vacuum thermos. Measure its temperature. Wait one day. Measure the temperature again. Look, it is cooler!

    Note that this assumes that the temperature of the mirror is lower than the temperature of the coffee. If it is a “perfect mirror” surrounded by a perfect vacuum, well then, the temperature remains perfectly constant. But life isn’t perfect, sadly.

    2) Also true. It gets cooler, assuming that the temperature of the mirror is lower than the temperature of the ground. Unless the earth is a source of heat, in which case you have to do a bunch of math to answer the question. Darn!

    3) False! It acts very little like a mirror. A mirror reflects 100% (or close to it) of the energy incident on it back in the direction of incidence. CO_2 does nothing like this. A CO_2 molecule “heats up” (by absorbing the energy) and then bounces around in the gas, sharing its heat with the rest of the gas. From time to time it reradiates some of the energy in a random direction, as do the other molecules of gas it has shared the heat with.

    The heat it absorbs is thus conducted and convected to the entire atmosphere in which it resides, and some of it happens to be reradiated in the right direction to reach the ground. Eventually, of course, the whole atmosphere radiates energy in the right direction (and wavelengths) to reach “outer space” in detailed balance with the energy being radiated up from down below.

    It doesn’t warm the ground as it acts not-terribly-much like a mirror — it slows the rate at which it cools, kinda like the thermos in 1) with an imperfect mirror at a finite but cooler temperature.

    Again, to figure out how much it slows the cooling is a hard problem. It is even harder if water vapor is around, as water vapor is many times more powerful a greenhouse gas and actual clouds are so much again. A cloudy night is likely a “warm night”. A clear, dry night is likely to cool a lot. That’s why it can actually freeze by dawn in the middle of the desert, at the same place one experiences 40+C temperatures during the day!

    4) Answer cloudy, try again later. You’re talking about part of a process of overall cooling. If you trace the time history of a single molecule on the surface, it might emit radiation (cooling), have the radiation make it clean through the atmosphere and be lost, then absorb a quantum of radiation from the overhead “reflecting” atmosphere (warming), cool by bouncing off an air molecule and transferring its energy (cooling the surface, warming the air), be warmed by the molecule next to it, be warmed again by an absorbed quantum, be cooled by radiating away a quantum of energy, and so on ad nauseam.

    The one thing that is certain is that if it is nighttime and all things are equal (ignoring bulk heat transport in or out via wind, assuming a reasonably normal thermal profile to the atmosphere) is that the surface will cool, more slowly as the integrated scattering cross-section of the atmosphere overhead increases (increasing the probability of backscatter and increasing the time required for heat to make it out of the system, heating the atmosphere and/or clouds until the higher temperature of the atmosphere/clouds brings the overall system into a dynamical balance. But the surface always cools, never heats.

    So on average, 4 is true. The backscattered radiation does not (net) warm the surface unless the clouds are already warmer than the surface for some reason. Microscopically it is false — any radiation incident from above is going to warm this molecule or that in a process that is overall cooling.

    What is true (and what I’m sure you are trying to say) is that coffee, the ground, and so on will cool more slowly with a mirror, or clould, or diffuse specular reflector of some sort between it and 3K cold “outer space”. This, of course is true.

    What’s my score?

    rgb

  100. A Physicist says:

    (1) If we focus on global temperature averages, and we subtract short-term fluctuations correlated to independent observations of volcanoes, ocean current oscillations, and the solar cycle, then we see very clearly a warming trend.

    (2) If instead we focus on local temperature records, and we do not subtract any short-term correlates, then we see very clearly that both in the US and around the world, more local temperature records (by far!) are being broken at the high-end than at the low-end. Which again, shows us a warming trend.

    (3) Scientists like Jim Hansen are on-record as predicting that both kinds of evidence of warming (global warming trends and local heat temperature records) will strengthen in coming years.

    I reply:
    (1) Go and look on the latest WUWT thread of Scafetta’s. See how far short the warming has been compared with the IPCC predictions. Then see whether Hansen’s estimates of sensitivity to doubling CO2 bear any credence.
    (2) I look at CET records of the following sort: >10-year extremes of daily maxima, within each month. So there are 4 types of records: high max (hottest day), low max (all days relatively cool), high min (all days relatively warm), low min (coldest day). Here are some results:
    Year #hot #cold
    2011 6 1
    2010 0 6
    2009 0 1
    2008 1 6
    So, in central England in the last 4 years colds have been outnumbering hots. In any case, when the mean temperature (over say 10 years) is close to a maximum because of admitted warming, should we not expect more hot records than cold ones?
    (3) Lots of people are on record with BS predictions. That doesn’t make them right. In 2008 the UK Met predicted half of the next 10 years would exceed 1998’s global temperature. Not one has yet, and the remnants of La Nina make it unlikely 2012 will.

    Cheers,
    Rich.

  101. Various commentators have asked about how the Foster and Rahmstorf paper got through peer review. If one goes to the ERL page, it was received on 27th September and accepted for publication on 16th November. From the Climategate emails, that tends to indicate it got a very light check, probably without anyone checking the maths. It is also probable that they had already arranged the reviewers from the “Team”.
    It doesn’t need much maths ability to see that they added a fudge factor to get the trend they wanted with no scientific basis behind it.
    This flawed paper makes one think that it was rushed out to meet the requirements for AR5 so they can say that the world is still warming even if the data says it isn’t.

  102. Ed Caryl says: January 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    A physicist,
    That’s weather, not climate. The snow cover in Asia is higher than last year. Check here:
    http://www.climate4you.com/SnowCover.htm
    The charts for Greenland are interesting.

    Ed you might want to check that out again. I just created myself a blink chart from the images at the link you provide and with the exception of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan it shows that snow cover over all the Northern Hemisphere is LESS than last year. Of course that doesn’t really mean a thing considering that even in the LIA Philadelphia recorded a 73 degree high temperature in February.

  103. @ChrisM,

    this is appears to be the Team answer to the travesty of stopped warming. They just needed something…anything. The fierce support on Blogs supports this view.

    As we have seen multiple times, the IPCC reports allow inclusion of peer reviewed rubbish.

  104. Frank Lansner says:
    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 am
    Thankyou. I will add one further thing. It seems that the length of a solar cycle is determined at its conception – at solar maximum of the prior cycle. By the time the following minimum is reached, there is a enough data to determine what the length of the cycle will be. So, despite the system being a big sloppy pile of plasma subject to varying torque, once it is conceived it is like being on railroad tracks. So, if that is the case, at the moment of conception of a solar cycle, all the forces are summed up and then the course is set in stone for the next 18 years. While the solar cycles we see average 11.1 years, the extended cycle to the last sunspot of that cycle is about 18 years.

  105. “”””” Robert Brown says:

    January 9, 2012 at 11:32 am
    ……………………………..

    Can I play? “”””””

    Better learn the rules of the game first !

    “”””””
    1) True. The coffee does not get any hotter. In fact, it cools. You can try this experiment yourself. Put hot coffee into a vacuum thermos. Measure its temperature. Wait one day. Measure the temperature again. Look, it is cooler! “””””

    You get one gold star.
    “”””””””
    Note that this assumes that the temperature of the mirror is lower than the temperature of the coffee. If it is a “perfect mirror” surrounded by a perfect vacuum, well then, the temperature remains perfectly constant. But life isn’t perfect, sadly. “””””

    I’ll take back that gold star please; MIRRORS reflect ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION Perfect mirrors reflect any kind of EM radiation; and EM radiation doesn’t know ANYTHING at all about Temperature. The Temperature of the mirror doesn’t matter a jot.
    “””””
    2) Also true. It gets cooler, assuming that the temperature of the mirror is lower than the temperature of the ground. Unless the earth is a source of heat, in which case you have to do a bunch of math to answer the question. Darn! “””””
    Yes darn! now you have one demerit; the Temperature of the mirror is quite irrelevent. Also, mirrors reflect EM radiation, they do not reflect “heat”. “HEAT” is a verb, not a noun.
    “””””
    3) False! It acts very little like a mirror. A mirror reflects 100% (or close to it) of the energy incident on it back in the direction of incidence. CO_2 does nothing like this. A CO_2 molecule “heats up” (by absorbing the energy) and then bounces around in the gas, sharing its heat with the rest of the gas. From time to time it reradiates some of the energy in a random direction, as do the other molecules of gas it has shared the heat with. “””””
    This earns you a splotch instead of a mark or a star; it is true that CO2 DOES NOT act like a mirror; it can absorb and then re-radiate; that is NOT reflection.
    A Mirror DOES NOT reflect energy back in the direction of incidence; it takes three mirrors (Corner cube) to do that. Reflected energy always lies on the opposite side of the normal (to the mirror) from the incident energy; but you got lucky, I’ll give you back the gold star for recognizing that the other molecules it shares heat with also can radiate..
    “”””””
    The heat it absorbs is thus conducted and convected to the entire atmosphere in which it resides, and some of it happens to be reradiated in the right direction to reach the ground. Eventually, of course, the whole atmosphere radiates energy in the right direction (and wavelengths) to reach “outer space” in detailed balance with the energy being radiated up from down below.

    It doesn’t warm the ground as it acts not-terribly-much like a mirror — it slows the rate at which it cools, kinda like the thermos in 1) with an imperfect mirror at a finite but cooler temperature.

    Again, to figure out how much it slows the cooling is a hard problem. It is even harder if water vapor is around, as water vapor is many times more powerful a greenhouse gas and actual clouds are so much again. A cloudy night is likely a “warm night”. A clear, dry night is likely to cool a lot. That’s why it can actually freeze by dawn in the middle of the desert, at the same place one experiences 40+C temperatures during the day! “”””
    You need to get checked for dylsexia : “”””” A cloudy night is likely a “warm night”. “””””
    Correct pronunciation is: A warm night is likely a cloudy night. The clouds DO NOT make it warm; the warmth during the previous day caused the evaporation of moisture, which rose via convection until it cooled to the de point, and caused the cloud to form. The hotter it was during the day, the higher the dew point altitude will be, due the the normal altitude/Temperature laps rate. The warmth caused the clouds; not the other way round; it always cools after sunset.
    Of course, the influx of a mass of warm air from somewhere else will cause a “Tilt” alarm to go off.

    4) Answer cloudy, try again later. You’re talking about part of a process of overall cooling. If you trace the time history of a single molecule on the surface, it might emit radiation (cooling), have the radiation make it clean through the atmosphere and be lost, then absorb a quantum of radiation from the overhead “reflecting” atmosphere (warming), cool by bouncing off an air molecule and transferring its energy (cooling the surface, warming the air), be warmed by the molecule next to it, be warmed again by an absorbed quantum, be cooled by radiating away a quantum of energy, and so on ad nauseam.

    The one thing that is certain is that if it is nighttime and all things are equal (ignoring bulk heat transport in or out via wind, assuming a reasonably normal thermal profile to the atmosphere) is that the surface will cool, more slowly as the integrated scattering cross-section of the atmosphere overhead increases (increasing the probability of backscatter and increasing the time required for heat to make it out of the system, heating the atmosphere and/or clouds until the higher temperature of the atmosphere/clouds brings the overall system into a dynamical balance. But the surface always cools, never heats.

    So on average, 4 is true. The backscattered radiation does not (net) warm the surface unless the clouds are already warmer than the surface for some reason. Microscopically it is false — any radiation incident from above is going to warm this molecule or that in a process that is overall cooling.

    What is true (and what I’m sure you are trying to say) is that coffee, the ground, and so on will cool more slowly with a mirror, or clould, or diffuse specular reflector of some sort between it and 3K cold “outer space”. This, of course is true.

    What’s my score?

  106. @Stephen Wilde says:
    January 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm
    “Nonetheless I never expected to see such a close correlation on such short timescales.”

    That`s what I have been telling you all along. My solar based forecast from 11 months back, said the main incursions of Arctic air this winter, would be from the last week in Jan, to the first week in March. And I did specify an unusually warm Nov, and an average to mild Dec.

  107. @Otter says:
    January 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    ” I had seen comments over the years, that volcanic activity had dropped off as the sun’s activity increased.”

    The pattern I can see in the short term, is larger eruptions occurring on stronger warm bursts after colder winters.

  108. Ulric, I find your forecast for February interesting. Are you willing to say how you arrived at it? Is it based on planetary movements affecting the Sun, and if so is it sunspots or something else?

    Thanks (in advance),
    Rich

  109. Ulric Lyons January 10, 2012 at 6:47 am said:
    re volcanic activity

    “The pattern I can see in the short term, is larger eruptions occurring on stronger warm bursts after colder winters.”

    Ulric, do you have any theories on the mechanism of this?
    I am intrigued by the possible role of sun motion (orbits around the barycentre) in this manner:

    1. Sun motion drives solar activity
    1a. Solar activity drives weather

    2. And (seperately) sun motion drives seismic activity

  110. Sam says:
    January 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm
    First. You spell my name wrong. Wenson, Not Wensen.

    Thank you for trying answering my questions.

    “Because CO2 is a changing factor, ”

    Why? How to prove it? A clear night still cooler than a cloudy night. A Cloudy day still cooler than a sunny day ( in term of the rest conditions are the same )

    I think there are a lots “changing factors”, maybe, many of the them even scientists don’t know yet.

    On world scale, The average temperature didn’t go up a lot as predicted.
    And to prove CO2 is “change factor” you need to show me monotone increase in the average temperature as the concentration of CO2 increases. This didn’t happened yet.
    One year hotter, next year cooler just tells me that it is the “Natural Variance.”
    Monotone increase didn’t happen, that means CO2 is not on the driver seat. When it will sit on the driver seat?

    0.3 C up in average is not much. Every year, some places get hotter, some other places get cooler.
    If only talk about average, I’m sure every one can stand 1 degree C warmer temp .

    Also, the climate is very localized concern. (Mars climate not very important to earth.) like in my hometown, we get warmer. The crop yells much higher. ( many reason for the higher yell, At lest longer growing season is not bad thing) No one complain the warm. Every one is happy about the change.

    About the sea level .People talk about sea level a lot. The sea didn’t goes up a lot.
    If the average temp goes up but Greenland or/and Antarctic temp go down in the summer, the see leave would not up. If the average temp goes down but Greenland or/and a Antarctic go up( lot), the sea level still goes up.

    The rest of the answers are not very clear to me currently . Sorry, I just ignore them At this time.

    Wenson

  111. George says:
    January 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    The lack of Solar Activity has resulted in an extended run of high GCR counts, very much similar to the run of high GCR activity of the 1970’s. It was about 6 years into that elevated plateau of GCR counts that the High Pressure settled in place over the Eastern Pacific/West Coast of N. America and kicked off the 1976/77 drought in the West. It’s about that same time again. The 1976/77 hiatus ended in 1978 when the Sun ramped up and the GCR counts fell out of that high plateau state.
    Not saying what caused what, but the parallel is rather striking. Somewhere in these events (and those that David is drawing our attention to) is a smoking gun that has been seen in the near historic past.

  112. RE: George

    Thanks! From your post I immediately understood this news story about jetliners having to make unscheduled stops from strong headwinds flying from Europe to U.S.
    “Headwinds returning from Europe are more extreme than we have seen in 10 years,” said a United spokeswoman. For the past decade, December headwinds averaged 30 knots, according to United data. But last month, the winds averaged 47 knots, and, on the worst 15 days of the month, 60 knots. WSJ Jan 11., 2012

  113. @See – owe to Rich says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:52 am
    “Ulric, I find your forecast for February interesting. Are you willing to say how you arrived at it? Is it based on planetary movements affecting the Sun, and if so is it sunspots or something else?”

    It is based on heliocentric planetary calculations, and I would regard the key forcing agent as being the solar wind speed.

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