GISS finally concedes a significant role for the sun in climate

UPDATE: The paper itself is available below.

There is a new  paper published yesterday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters from NASA GISS/Columbia University and Brown University titled  Hydroclimate of the northeastern United States is highly sensitive to solar forcing

Key Points

  • Holocene northeast US hydrological change is consistent with solar forcing
  • Small changes in solar forcing are amplified in our region by Arctic Oscillation
  • Leaf-wax abundances in peatlands provide high-resolution climate information

This paper looks at hydrogen isotope proxy records over the past 6800 years and finds that the hydroclimate of the Northeastern U.S. is “highly sensitive” to solar activity.

The abstract of the paper says:

“The Sun may be entering a weak phase, analogous to the Maunder minimum, which could lead to more frequent flooding in the northeastern US at this multidecadal timescale.”

It is interesting to see this solar-hydro relationship defined in the USA. Previous similar works include defining a solar-hyrdo relationship to Nile River flow in Africa.

Here’s the paper and abstract:

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L04707, 5 PP., 2012
doi:10.1029/2011GL050720

Hydroclimate of the northeastern United States is highly sensitive to solar forcing

Jonathan E. Nichols

Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, USA

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA

Yongsong Huang

Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Dramatic hydrological fluctuations strongly impact human society, but the driving mechanisms for these changes are unclear. One suggested driver is solar variability, but supporting paleoclimate evidence is lacking. Therefore, long, continuous, high-resolution records from strategic locations are crucial for resolving the scientific debate regarding sensitivity of climate to solar forcing. We present a 6800–year, decadally-resolved biomarker and multidecadally-resolved hydrogen isotope record of hydroclimate from a coastal Maine peatland, The Great Heath (TGH). Regional moisture balance responds strongly and consistently to solar forcing at centennial to millennial timescales, with solar minima concurrent with wet conditions. We propose that the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) can amplify small solar fluctuations, producing the reconstructed hydrological variations. The Sun may be entering a weak phase, analogous to the Maunder minimum, which could lead to more frequent flooding in the northeastern US at this multidecadal timescale.

=================================================================

UPDATE: Here is the full paper (PDF)

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116 Responses to GISS finally concedes a significant role for the sun in climate

  1. Jeff D. says:

    OMG, its the SUN!

  2. Dave says:

    And the house of cards around AGW keeps falling!!! Gotta love the irony, AGU drops Gleick and then says: Hey! it’s the Sun Stupid!!!

  3. AdolfoGiurfa says:

    Landscheidt´s New Little Ice Age Instead of Global Warming?:

    Without exception, the outstanding negative extrema coincide with periods of exceptionally weak solar activity and vice versa. So there are good reasons to expect that the coming Gleissberg minimum around 2030 will be a deep one.

    http://www.schulphysik.de/klima/landscheidt/iceage.htm

    This is why the current minimum should be called the “Landscheidt Minimum”

  4. Alan the Brit says:

    Oh Lord, what on Earth is happening – excuse the pun, then again don’t! What with this, a Solar-hydro connection with the River Nile, the Wet Office recently finding a connection between winer weather & Solar activity (priceless). Whatever next? A connection between Earth’s climate & Solar activity? Surely not! Sarc off!

  5. The title of this post is just as ridiculous as “global warming is making the planet cooler”. Only thing, it is sadly true.

  6. wsbriggs says:

    I’m delighted to see real science poke it’s head out of the pages of AGU publications. Let’s just hope it’s not a premature spring bloom.

  7. NICHOLAS says:

    What is up with this?

    More Americans believe in climate change: poll
    (AFP) – 15 hours ago
    WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is real — the highest level in two years — as the public trusted its own observations of rising temperatures, a poll said Tuesday.

  8. John says:

    This isn’t the first paper to find a link between solar activity and hydrology. Mauas et al. (Solar Forcing of the Stream Flow of a Continental Scale South American River, Physical Review Letters, 2008) found very strong links between stream flow of one of the world’s largest rivers and the 11 year solar cycle. Here is the Abstract:

    “Solar forcing on climate has been reported in several studies although the evidence so far remains inconclusive. Here, we analyze the stream flow of one of the largest rivers in the world, the Parana ́ in southeastern South America. For the last century, we find a strong correlation with the sunspot number, in multidecadal time scales, and with larger solar activity corresponding to larger stream flow. The correlation coefficient is r = 0:78, significant to a 99% level. In shorter time scales we find a strong correlation with El Nin ̃o. These results are a step toward flood prediction, which might have great social and economic impacts.”

    Figs. 2 and 3 are especially interesting, if you can get the article.

  9. DirkH says:

    Power struggles within GISS?

  10. Ed Caryl says:

    This is going to leave a mark!

  11. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    GISS disappoints. – gavin

  12. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    I wonder what people like the Mad Dhog will say about this bit of heresy?

  13. I have referred to this 2006 paper from NASA before:

    Does the Nile reflect solar variability?
    Alexander Ruzmaikin, Joan Feynman1 and Yuk Yung2
    1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Tachnology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
    emails: Alexander.Ruzmaikin@jpl.nasa.gov, Joan.Feynman@jpl.nasa.gov
    2Department of Geology and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena,
    CA 91103, USA
    emal: yly@gps.caltech.edu

    Abstract. Historical records of the Nile water level provide a unique opportunity to investigate the possibility that solar variability influences the Earth’s climate. Particularly important are the annual records of the water level, which are uninterrupted for the years 622–1470 A.D. These records are non-stationary, so that standard spectral analyses cannot adequately characterize them. Here the Empirical Mode Decomposition technique, which is designed to deal with nonstationary, nonlinear time series, becomes useful. It allows the identification of two characteristic time scales in the water level data that can be linked to solar variability: the 88 year period and a time scale of about 200 years. These time scales are also present in the concurrent aurora data. Auroras are driven by coronal mass ejections and the rate of auroras is an excellent proxy for solar variabiliy. Analysis of auroral data contemporaneous with the Nile data shows peaks at 88 years and about 200 years. This suggests a physical link between solar variability and the lowfrequency variations of the Nile water level. The link involves the influence of solar variability on the North Annual Mode of atmospheric variability and its North Atlantic and Indian Oceans patterns that affect rainfall over Eastren Equatorial Africa where the Nile originates.
    Keywords. Sun: activity, Sun: solar-terrestrial relations, methods: statistical

  14. Scottish Sceptic says:

    As the AGW scam fails …. along comes new source of funding … the Maunder Minimum scare.

    Indeed, the term “global warming” was originally coined in a paper trying to explain why it hadn’t cooled as predicted. (“Are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming?)

    No doubt we shall soon see a new paper along the lines of: “Are we on the brink of a pronounced global cooling? (aka how sunspots have prevented the predicted global warming, and how sunspots now appear to be the future life-blood of all climate “scientists”.

  15. JJ says:

    Regional moisture balance responds strongly and consistently to solar forcing at centennial to millennial timescales, with solar minima concurrent with wet conditions.

    And therefore solar maxima are consistent with dry periods. When Sol is quiet, wet. When the northeast US is wet, snow. When the ground is covered with snow, lower abledo. With lower albedo, cooling. The reverse when Sol is active. Quiet sun, amplified ==> cooling. Active sun, amplified ==> warming.

    Huh.

    We propose that the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) can amplify small solar fluctuations, producing the reconstructed hydrological variations.

    What else does the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) amplification of small solar fluctuations produce in the Northeast US?

    In what other regions of the world does the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) amplification of small solar fluctuations produce these climate effects?

    What components of the climate system other than the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) may amplify small solar fluctuations?

    In what regions of the world do those solar amplifying components of the climate system produce climate effects?

    What are those climate effects?

    How are these newly discovered and remaining to be discovered solar amplifiers and their attendant climate effects reflected in the General Circulation Models?

    How happy are you that the science is settled?

  16. Hu McCulloch says:

    FWIW, sunspots have decined substantially over the past 2 months, from a peak of 96.7 in 11/11 to 73.0 in 12/11 and now 58.3 in 1/12.

    Double-bump peaks are not at all uncommon, but unless this turns around soon it would be the weakest peak since 1882 (95.8 in April).

    (International counts from http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml , at /greenwch/spot_number.txt )

  17. N says:

    Presumably Gleick knew this was coming. Perhaps it drove him over the edge.

  18. Robert Brown says:

    So let’s see, more frequent flooding requires rain. Rain requires clouds. Clouds have a bond albedo in the vicinity of 0.7, compared to a mean albedo of around 0.3 for the Earth in general (including its average cloud cover). If even weak reductions in solar activity increase rainfall (and hence cloud cover), they must also increase albedo. Every 0.01 increase of albedo predicts a drop of roughly 1K in global average temperature. Solar activity is dramatically falling. NASA is directly measuring a corresponding increase in the Earth’s mean bond albedo via studies of Earthlight re-reflected from the moon’s dark face in the last through first quarter. And we haven’t even gotten to where the change can be nonlinearly amplified by modulating e.g. oceanic absorption and the decadal climate oscillations.

    There is so much real science to be done here. Too bad there is an entire group of scientists who actively oppose doing it, and who have exercised a horribly disproportionate influence on both the journals and granting agencies. There are signs that the logjam is breaking — this paper is one of them. But we are far, far from being there yet.

    rgb

  19. reason says:

    “More Americans believe in climate change: poll
    (AFP) – 15 hours ago
    WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is real — the highest level in two years — as the public trusted its own observations of rising temperatures, a poll said Tuesday.”

    Importance of this depends on what question was asked, and how well the respondants understood the question. 66% of Americans believing that the climate is changing != 66% of Americans believing that the climate is changing as a result of human influence.

    These polls are worthless in my opinion, because odds are the pollster isn’t taking the time to make sure the respondant understands the question they are being asked. Plus, let’s not forget the psychology lesson beind most respondants not wanting to confess that they don’t know what the pollster is asking, and will therefore opt to make up an opinion and sound smart instead of admitting they don’t know / don’t have an opinion.

  20. Michael J. Bentley says:

    Excuse me, but I don’t think the AGW crowd gets it yet – Almost all of us believe the Earth is in a warming trend although there may be some who reject that too. The question is not “Does the climate change over time?” the question is “What drives climate change and to what degree?”

    When I tell people that I question the amount that humans are doing to “warm” the Earth, I find they leap to believing I don’t understand the climate is changing. Off they go into rants about Venus and Flat Earth and etc.

    Yup, I’m one of the two-thirds that would say “Yes.” to the question “Do you believe the Earth (planet) has warmed in the last 50 years?” But I would add to that – “I question the role of humankind in that warming.”

    Of course that’s not ever asked as a follow-on question is it?

    Mike

  21. trbixler says:

    So they talk about rain and snow but not about temperature? Avoid the CO2 conversation at all costs and try to do some science.

  22. Joe says:

    It seems that GISS is compartmentalizing their findings that are contrary to the AGW theory so that, when confronted, they can claim that the given finding was a regional study. They have no qualms, however, with cutting down one tree in Siberia and declaring that it’s tree rings can tell us all we need to know about global climate over the last 1000 years.

  23. Bob Diaz says:

    /// Humor ///

    So they are willing to admit the sun plays a part with climate; maybe the world is coming to an in on December 21, 2012. :-))

  24. John West says:

    NICHOLAS

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hXv72I7nx7ZTg_QuI3Ix1c3i3uXw?docId=CNG.dca855da9e6c393c07dda475a1590504.e41

    “Sixty-two percent of Americans agree that there is solid evidence that the Earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past four decades”

    Why wasn’t it higher? I have very little doubt that it’s warmer now than 1972 (ice age scare). I have no doubt that climate changes. What I have serious doubts of is the contention that burning fossil fuels adds enough CO2 to the atmosphere to increase the GHE (while simultaneously limiting radiant heat loss to space) enough to cause worldwide cataclysm! I also doubt that was an option on the survey.

  25. Re – “NICHOLAS says: February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am
    What is up with this? – More Americans believe in climate change: poll”

    Reading the article below, there is no mention of the poll asking questions about “manmade” or “anthropogenic” climate change, just “global warming” and “climate change,” …in other words do you think its a bit warmer now than 40 years ago?

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hXv72I7nx7ZTg_QuI3Ix1c3i3uXw?docId=CNG.dca855da9e6c393c07dda475a1590504.e41

    “When asked an open-ended question about why they thought the Earth was warming, one-quarter of those surveyed pointed to temperatures they experience and another quarter cited other weather changes. One in 7 mentioned melting glaciers and polar sea ice, and 1 in 8 noted media coverage. Only 8 percent mentioned scientific research.”

    http://www.laramieboomerang.com/articles/2012/02/29/ap/science/us_sci_climate_survey.txt

    It will be interesting to see if the CAGW crowd starts to “own” this poll, since it supports two things I think nearly everyone can all agree on –

    1. Its a bit warmer now than it was 40 years ago; and
    2. Climate changes

  26. Curiousgeorge says:

    Perhaps the Ancient peoples were smarter than people give them credit for. There may have been more to Sun “worship”, than simply a religious connotation.

  27. Bob Mount says:

    Hang on! Where’s the force majeure caveat: ” The findings of this paper in no way detract from the man-made global warming disaster that is due on midnight, 31 Dec 2099 … blah, blah, blah …”?

  28. John said @ February 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

    This isn’t the first paper to find a link between solar activity and hydrology. Mauas et al. (Solar Forcing of the Stream Flow of a Continental Scale South American River, Physical Review Letters, 2008) found very strong links between stream flow of one of the world’s largest rivers and the 11 year solar cycle.
    ….
    Figs. 2 and 3 are especially interesting, if you can get the article.

    You can DL the paper here.

  29. neill says:

    NICHOLAS says:
    February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

    What is up with this?

    More Americans believe in climate change: poll

    Probably the mild winter across most of the US. Here in San Diego, though, it’s been a chilly one.

  30. Robert Brown said @ February 29, 2012 at 8:19 am

    There is so much real science to be done here. Too bad there is an entire group of scientists who actively oppose doing it, and who have exercised a horribly disproportionate influence on both the journals and granting agencies. There are signs that the logjam is breaking — this paper is one of them. But we are far, far from being there yet.

    There definitely seems to be an increase in interesting (notCAGW) climatology papers over the last twelve months. I’d do a metastudy to quantify, but have other fish to fry at the moment.

  31. Passerby says:

    @Maurizio Morabito, what about the title “Global warming boost to glaciers” from BBC News in 2006?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/tyne/5283278.stm

    Since we’re talking about changing viewpoints within mainstream science regarding climate issues, what I would like is for someone to explain to me what happened with the last environmental scare of the 70s when chlorofluorocarbon, commonly known as freon, was leading the charge in anthropogenic climate catastrophe, as in the wikipedia reference:”This anthropogenic compound is also a greenhouse gas, with a much higher potential to enhance the greenhouse effect than CO2.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorofluorocarbon).
    The suggested legislatives for counter-measures were regulated by the IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control) and would later give way to the all prevalent IPCC and carbon dioxide as main cause. Does this stuff get spinned around every now and then with some variations or what am I missing here?

  32. MAVukcevic says:

    They have a very little idea what is going on. There is no amplification in the Arctic, it is the North Atlantic:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP-SSN.htm

    Arctic is in darkness for 3 months of the year, and most of the temperature rise happens in the winter:

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

    Time for Vukcevic to come out all (electromagnetic) guns blazing:
    OT, but interesting electromagnetic story
    Electromagnetic gun
    The big gun uses electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to fire a projectile farther and faster. The railgun, as it is called, will ultimately fire a projectile more than 230 miles (370 kilometers) with a muzzle velocity seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) and a velocity of Mach 5 at impact.
    See pix and video here .

  33. Robert Brown says:

    This isn’t the first paper to find a link between solar activity and hydrology. Mauas et al. (Solar Forcing of the Stream Flow of a Continental Scale South American River, Physical Review Letters, 2008) found very strong links between stream flow of one of the world’s largest rivers and the 11 year solar cycle. Here is the Abstract.

    Very interesting. This suggests that the effect isn’t just associated with the polar oscillations — this sounds rather tropical. Again, increasing the Earth’s mean albedo due to greater cloud cover directly reduces global temperature — quite aggressively at that, although given the buffering produced by the oceans and the overlaid “noise” of ENSO and the other decadal oscillations (depending on region) it might well take decades and two or more solar cycles for the impact to be fully felt.

    The especially interesting thing about this is that the impact of increased albedo on mean global temperatures is far greater in the tropics and subtropics than it is in the polar latitudes. For one thing, the Jacobean of the Earth’s area differential means that there is a lot more area near the equator than near the poles. For another, dropping the high temperatures (across the largest area) is likely to have a bigger impact than dropping the high temperatures near the poles, and because clouds can actually contribute to net warming near the poles (depending on many factors).

    Overall, these things seem to be providing considerable empirical support for the GCR modulation theory as being the primary driver of Earth’s climate on multidecadal and up timescales. That result, confirmed, would almost certainly strike out the “C” from the CAGW hypothesis, because then all the existing climate models would be forced to end the “omitted variable fraud” of leaving out a factor that could actually be larger than the actual GHE forcing from increased CO_2, and indeed could invert the interpretation of at least part of the increase in CO_2, making it more likely not to be of anthropogenic origin at all but rather oceanic CO_2 given off in response to solar forcing during the Grand Solar Maxima of the 20th century.

    (Where I don’t intend to get into the argument of whether or not it really was an 11,000 year or 9,000 year GSM — Ushokin’s data suggests that it was, but sure, this is an area of active research.)

    rgb

  34. Richard M says:

    The reason more Americans believe in “climate change” is quite simple. We’ve had a warm winter over the most populous areas of the country. If the next winter is cold the numbers will drop.

  35. TERRY46 says:

    To Nocholas,with the climate change response, I wonder if anyone in Alaska or Europe were asked about climate change ?Also how many Democrats vs Republicans ?If it ‘s like most polls it probably 70% Democrats 30Republicans.Isn’t it convenient how this issue comes up during a mild winter in the lowe 48.Ask in 20 to 30years and see where we stand then.

  36. Jim G says:

    There is much more to polling research than the answer. Whom did they ask, what did they ask, how many did they ask, how did they ask it, how representative was their pool of respondents compared to those who refused to respond, and even the tone of voice in a telephone or personal interview, etc., etc.

  37. Larry says:

    Major “scientific” break-through! What’s next? “Big news” — the sun sometimes doesn’t orbit the earth!

    Uhhhhh. What happened to all the “settled science”?

  38. AJStrata says:

    So, the actual forcing/feedback mechanism that translates small changes into large scale climate effects is not CO2-based, but is solar-based!

    Of course, anyone could have told them that – including their colleagues in the real Earth Observing side of NASA:

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/18073

    My post uses brand new data from Soumi NPP to illustrate how clouds (water vapor) are the true governor on solar forcing. Each area of low/no cloud cover has both maximum incoming (SW) and outbound (LW) energy. Areas where there are thick clouds you get minimal incoming (SW – due to reflection) and minimal outbound. Therefore the balance is created through the clouds.

    As the study shows, solar changes become a response in the hydroclimate (e.g., clouds):

    “Holocene northeast US hydrological change is consistent with solar forcing
    Small changes in solar forcing are amplified in our region by Arctic Oscillation”

    Sun, Land, Sea and Wind interacting… Whodathunkit

  39. Richard deSousa says:

    Waiting to see James Hansen fire the guys who authored this heretical article! :)

  40. pochas says:

    To get the whole story all of the continents must be mapped. I’d like to see the major river basins color coded to show the degree of response to solar forcing. Unadjusted data only please! Surprisingly, this may be the best data set available to relate solar forcing to climate, with other data too recent or too corrupt for one reason or another. Then set out to explain the data. First things first.

  41. JJ says:

    NICHOLAS says:
    February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

    What is up with this?

    Oh, that? That is what is known as a threadjack.

    It draws attention away from the topic of this post. The topic of this post is a matter of the status of the science, not public opinion.

    GISS finally concedes a significant role for the sun in climate

    That is big news.

  42. MAVukcevic says:

    WE PROPOSE that the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) can amplify small solar fluctuations , producing the reconstructed hydrological variations. The Sun may be entering a weak phase, analogous to the Maunder minimum, which could lead to more frequent flooding in the northeastern US at this multidecadal timescale. my emphasis in the above.

    Dr. Svalgaard could you explain what is this amplification they are talking about, how does it work?

    NASA, GISS
    What is your mechanism?
    Do you have one?
    Are you fishing in the dark?
    No mechanism, no theory !

    Mechanism with full data (plotted in red) available here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm

    Any questions?
    Happy to answer.

  43. dp says:

    Hmmm – there’s our friend the hockey stick at B in the top graph.

  44. mkelly says:

    I am not surprised. Sheldon explained to Penny and Leonard that it was the sun in last years Christmas episode I believe. ; )

  45. Garrett says:

    How come when peer-reviewed articles come out, that seem to support the views of Mr. Watts and most people reading this site, does he and everyone else become so quick to accept the results of peer-reviewed papers? I mean, why don’t you pay attention to ALL peer-reviewed papers. You can’t just cherry-pick the ones you want. If this paper says “it’s the Sun”, then, in the proper scientific fashion, you need to take that into context with all the others that say “it’s not the Sun”. Please explain why not doing so is not cherry-picking? And using the tired old “the other articles are written by corrupt scientists” is not an explanation. The onus is then on you to prove that the “pro-Sun” scientists are not “corrupt”.

    But anyway, the peer-reviewed article linked to above is not a “it’s the Sun” article. The article is about how the Sun influences rainfall in the northeastern United States. It’s not about global warming. Sorry to disappoint you all. It’s about the local effects of solar forcing. The global effects of solar forcing are already very well understood, and scientists came to the conclusion a long time ago that it is not the source of the recent rise in temps.

  46. Robert Brown says:

    As the AGW scam fails …. along comes new source of funding … the Maunder Minimum scare.

    Personally — and I say this as one utterly unfunded in any way for any thing — I’d take that one seriously. The world has thrived during the 20th century warm period. Its population what, tripled? Quadrupled? Food production varied from “barely enough” to where we can feed pretty much everybody except those in overpopulated drought zones afflicted by religious war. A great deal of that food production occurs in e.g. Siberia and Canada and the northern US, where farmers have gotten used to long growing seasons (sometimes enough to get in two crops a year of some commodities). Increased CO_2 has a measurable and positive impact on plant growth as well, although honestly I doubt that is a major factor in crop productivity. It certainly doesn’t hurt.

    One “year without a summer” in the 21st century NH — late or midsummer frosts all the way down to the latitude of e.g. Pennsylvania, including all of Canada, Siberia, and lot of the US midwest — could absolutely devastate food production not in third world countries but in first world countries. We are always at risk of such events because they can be precipitated by e.g. volcanic aerosols alone, given volcanic activity well within the established bounds of known variability (and utterly beyond our control). However, during the 20th century those events were modulating a general (solar + GHE) warming trend.

    If it does indeed turn out that solar is 2x or even 3x more important than the GHE at establishing the mean global temperature, so that CO_2 becomes the minor modulator of solar variation instead of the presumed only modulator ignoring the impact of solar variation, we could indeed see a regression of 1-2K in global average temperature, on a decadal time scale. We could even see a steady decline back to Dalton or Maunder mean temperatures, where we are grateful for any slight positive modulation of those temperatures due to the GHE (even as the cooling oceans start to suck CO_2 out of the atmosphere again).

    This may or may not be enough in and of itself to seriously impact mean crop productivity — I’m guessing some but not much, as farmers react to the growing season as dictated by last frost as part of their natural strategy anyway. It could, however, make us quite vulnerable to coincident events — Dalton minimum AND massive volcanic activity equals massive crop failures and an enormous dollar cost.

    This is where climate research could pay for itself. The ability to predict local weather level catastrophes might well give us the means to anticipate them and perhaps ameliorate their impact.

    Note well that your concern also ignores one very important thing. We can arguably influence total CO_2 concentration in our atmosphere by means of regulating our activity. We cannot have any impact whatsoever on the Sun or on volcanic activity. The confirmation of the solar hypothesis therefore has one absolutely critical effect on human public policy — it stops trying to pretend that everything that modulates the climate is our “fault” and that we can do anything about it!

    This returns the scientists to their proper role — to prognosticators of a variable but potentially devastating future, rather than as sociopolitical engineers who divert vast sums of money on the basis of the illusion of control.

    Control is what the whole thing is all about. It is what it has always been about. Only the illusion of control provides the excuse for essentially unlimited influence in global public policy decisions and investments. Remove the basis for control, and the whole thing collapses.

    I’ve been predicting a Maunder style minimum for the next few decades and a consequent 1-2K reduction in global temperatures for around 15 years now, not as an actual scientist working in the field but as an actual scientist who has looked over the preponderance of relevant data produced by others to make his own best guess. I think the next fifty to eighty years are going to be remarkably cold, and that inside the next decade — possibly in the next five years — global temperatures will be unmistakably decreasing, and decreasing quite rapidly at that. The current solar cycle seems likely to be the lowest one in well over 100 years, and there is reason to believe — not terribly good reason yet, as there is so much we don’t yet understand, but reason — that the next cycle will be even lower. Given the probable coincident inversions in the PDO and perhaps NAO, we could indeed see a rather precipitous plunge as the polar latitudes get a lot colder due to reduced tropical mixing while the tropics themselves actually cool some due to higher albedo.

    If and as the ocean starts to actively cool — as the great heat sink that IMO dominates global climate in so very many ways — CO_2 absorptivity will go up commensurately, sea levels will drop (thermal expansion), and we could actually invert the very feedback process associated with the GHE. As it is, sea levels are probably an almost perfect proxy for global temperature on any decadal or better timescale, as the Earth’s oceanic water is basically one enormous thermometer with nearly any perturbation in water supply irrelevant compared to thermal expansion.

    rgb

  47. Richard M says:

    It’s kind of interesting to see how opposing views can be held and both of them accurate to a point. The Greenhouse Effect is well understood. It does warm the Earth. However, if that effect has a limit then it can’t warm the Earth over and above that limit. I think that is where we are at. The amount of GHGs in the atmosphere are enough to max out the GHE. Accordingly, the things that affect climate will be fluctuations in other variables, e.g. the amount of Solar radiation that reaches the surface.

    The bottom line is that the warmists who believe there is a GHE are correct and the skeptics that believe “it’s the Sun” are also correct. The key is understanding the balance between these parts of the equation.

  48. Robert Brown said @ February 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Overall, these things seem to be providing considerable empirical support for the GCR modulation theory as being the primary driver of Earth’s climate on multidecadal and up timescales. That result, confirmed, would almost certainly strike out the “C” from the CAGW hypothesis, because then all the existing climate models would be forced to end the “omitted variable fraud” of leaving out a factor that could actually be larger than the actual GHE forcing from increased CO_2, and indeed could invert the interpretation of at least part of the increase in CO_2, making it more likely not to be of anthropogenic origin at all but rather oceanic CO_2 given off in response to solar forcing during the Grand Solar Maxima of the 20th century.

    Bingo! for the first part of this. The part about net CO2 outgassing will only occur if the oceans are near saturation and I was recently assured by an oceanographer that the oceans are far from saturated. Phytoplankton and chemical processes work assiduously to remove dissolved CO2. The empirically determined lack of saturation is being used to drive the new acidic oceans scare.

  49. Robert Brown says:

    There definitely seems to be an increase in interesting (notCAGW) climatology papers over the last twelve months. I’d do a metastudy to quantify, but have other fish to fry at the moment.

    Me too — I should be writing recommendations instead of indulging my sick addiction to WUWT. But I think the metastudy would reveal (to absolutely puree a metaphor:-) rats leaving the gradually breaking logjam before it sinks the titanic of their hopes for “the cause”. When important and influential former supporters of CAGW openly break with AR5 and the IPCC in spite of their acknowledged biases, when more scientists are stepping forwards as “lukewarmists” or open doubters of the IPCC’s carefully crafted AR scripts, when yet again a major CAGW enthusiast is openly revealed in public as being a liar, willing to deliberately deceive people in the name of “the cause”, it puts everyone that supports that cause in an equivocal position. At the very least, it makes the claim of “settled science” impossible to sustain, and it makes it equally impossible to continue to suppress well-conceived research proposals or publications in either the funding agencies or the journals.

    Every year that the global average temperature as revealed in the UAH lower troposphere data and (coming soon to a data mart near you) a reliable and difficult to manipulate stream of readings of oceanic temperatures from the surface to depth at an ever-decreasing sampling granularity continue to hold or drop weakens the CAGW argument by shrinking the limits on the “C”. Actual sustained decrease would cause everyone to re-examine everything relating to climate.

    The CAGW hockey team have literally bet the ranch on being right.

    But nature, like Honey Badger, just don’t give a damn. Either they are right or they aren’t, but no amount of data manipulation of political chicanery will mask them being wrong. It can at best, leave the issue ambiguous for a few more years.

    rgb

  50. Robert Brown says:

    Re – “NICHOLAS says: February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am
    What is up with this? – More Americans believe in climate change: poll”

    Most Americans (when polled) claim to believe in Jesus, and a simple majority even claim to believe that there was once an Earth covering flood in which all of the world’s species were preserved, two by two, in a big floating wooden boat the size of a Wal Mart ventilated by a window the size of the door of a microwave oven during the 5 inch per minute rains that fell on every square meter of the Earth’s surface (a rate sufficient to cover Mount Everest in only 40 days).

    That doesn’t make it so.

    rgb

  51. As usual, the periods found do not agree with most of the other ones being peddled, e.g. 172y, 179y, 60y, 22y, etc.

  52. BILL KURDZIEL says:

    Anthony,
    It appears that you’ve got a one-day error in your “Posts by date” feature for Feb. (e.g. today is Wed. 2/29, not Tue.)

    REPLY: I think that’s a wordpress problem, will check, thanks for pointing it out. – Anthony

  53. TomRude says:

    “We propose that the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) can amplify small solar fluctuations…”

    Hilarious, not because of the potential link between MPHs intensity and spatial distribution and the modulation of a solar signal, but because of the use of Walker 1927 indices that represent statistical entities not synoptical ones, therefore killing any potential physical link and explanation for processes.

  54. Olavi says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:

    February 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

    As usual, the periods found do not agree with most of the other ones being peddled, e.g. 172y, 179y, 60y, 22y, etc.

    It’s climate “science” not science. :)

    By the way, when you calibrate sunspotnumbers, are you going to calibrate cosmicray proxies too?

  55. Stephen Richards says:

    It is interesting to see this solar-hydro relationship defined in the USA. Previous similar works include defining a solar-hyrdo relationship to Nile River flow in Africa

    In South America as well. Published and peer reviewed.

  56. Olavi says:
    February 29, 2012 at 10:29 am
    By the way, when you calibrate sunspotnumbers, are you going to calibrate cosmicray proxies too?
    That is the idea: http://www.leif.org/research/Svalgaard_ISSI_Proposal_Base.pdf

  57. Stephen Richards says:

    Robert Brown says:

    February 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

    That is a brilliant post. 2 physicists with a sense of humour. I’m the other or at least was. Reading WUWT almost since it’s inception has driven all my humour underground. Thanks Robert

  58. John F. Hultquist says:

    Garrett says:
    February 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

    “. . . the recent rise in temps.

    Beg your pardon, what recent rise in temps?

  59. Septic Matthew says:

    Robert Brown: There is so much real science to be done here.

    Well said.

    Too bad there is an entire group of scientists who actively oppose doing it, and who have exercised a horribly disproportionate influence on both the journals and granting agencies.

    How much is reliably known about the horrible disproportionate influence that a group of scientists has exercised on the granting agencies? This work was funded by NSF and NASA, and one author is employed by GISS.

  60. Septic Matthew says:

    Garrett: It’s not about global warming. Sorry to disappoint you all. It’s about the local effects of solar forcing. The global effects of solar forcing are already very well understood, and scientists came to the conclusion a long time ago that it is not the source of the recent rise in temps.

    In reverse order, much about the global effects of solar forcing are not very well understood, and the conclusion to which you refer is not universally agreed upon by scientists.

    More importantly, the “global effects” are the aggregation of all the local effects, because the earth does not have a uniform surface and does not have spatio-temporally uniform insolation. Rather, the sun shines brightly in some places, dimly in others, dimly in sunny places during cloudy rainy weather, and not at all at night. The “global climate” is a complex statistical summary of particular weather events distributed around the globe, but everything that actually happens is recorded at a locale and during a specific interval of time. If this particular local instance of solar forcing has analogous instances of solar forcing in enough locations (as claimed in peer-reviewed publications cited above), then it is “global”.

  61. Alec Rawls says:

    Note that this paper is still very careful not to mention the possibility of any solar effects other than the very small variation in TSI. No mention of the possibility that climate may be modulated by the solar wind or other solar variables. From the conclusion:

    We propose that the AO/NAO system is critical in amplifying the weak solar signal to force regional hydrological changes at TGH, … It is possible that effects of this change in solar irradiance will be felt more strongly in regions particularly sensitive to such amplifying mechanisms…

    The “weak solar signal” that they are assuming is the change in solar irradiance, but the change in solar wind, open flux, aa index, etcetera are anything but weak solar signals. The fluctuations are dramatic, yet Nichols and Huang only look at the “weak signal.”

    So they haven’t completely gotten away from the problem that I documented in my review of AR5, where dissatisfaction with current theories of how a solar magnetic driver of climate could operate is used as an excuse for omitting the evidence that SOME such mechanism must be at work. Nichols and Huang are not omitting the evidence for a solar driver of climate. They are just still omitting to mention that the mechanism could include solar influences other than TSI.

  62. SteveSadlov says:

    Solar forcing … or … GCR variations driving changes in cloud cover and precip?

  63. Roger Knights says:

    JJ says:
    February 29, 2012 at 9:09 am
    NICHOLAS says:
    February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

    What is up with this?

    Oh, that? That is what is known as a threadjack.

    The moderators used to bar such posts and point the posters to Tips & Notes.

  64. Stas Peterson says:

    The fellows at GISS are reading their tea leaves on the coming election. They feel that the sane people are likely to get elected; and their free lunch of appealing to the green crazies is coming to an end.

    They rightly fear that in the day when NASA is cutting funds and departments, abandoning new Space Shuttles and robotic explorers, their useless global warming rants can be zero-funded, and they will find themselves on the street and unemployed.

  65. AdolfoGiurfa says:

    MAVukcevic says:
    February 29, 2012 at 8:47 am
    Oh Boy!, that was a real “electromagnetic fart”! directed to those who still don´t believe the words “electro” and “magnetics” go together. :-)

  66. Alec Rawls says:
    February 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm
    The “weak solar signal” that they are assuming is the change in solar irradiance, but the change in solar wind, open flux, aa index, etcetera are anything but weak solar signals.
    there have been no long-term changes in those over the past 300 years. Perhaps you are advocating that the same is true for the climate as well, in which case you may have a point, otherwise not.

  67. Pierre says:

    Watts, why don’t you discuss the NASA/GISS Research Letter Newsletter titled “Earth’s Energy Budget Remained Out of Balance Despite Unusually Low Solar Activity” and dated Jan. 29, 2012?

    A summary statement:

    “A new NASA study underscores the fact that greenhouse gases generated by human activity — not changes in solar activity — are the primary force driving global warming.”

    To help you find your way, here’s the link:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20120130b/

    REPLY: Been there, done that Pierre. Why don’t you learn to use the search box on WUWT or Google?

    If you had, you’d find this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/

    To help you find your way, it is in the upper right portion of the right sidebar.

    -Anthony

  68. Al Gored says:

    What? That bright thingy in the sky matters?

    I know nothing about the office politics at GISS but I’m guessing somebody isn’t going to get invited to Hansen’s next SunDeniers party.

  69. Septic Matthew said @ February 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Garrett: It’s not about global warming. Sorry to disappoint you all. It’s about the local effects of solar forcing. The global effects of solar forcing are already very well understood, and scientists came to the conclusion a long time ago that it is not the source of the recent rise in temps.

    In reverse order, much about the global effects of solar forcing are not very well understood, and the conclusion to which you refer is not universally agreed upon by scientists.

    More importantly, the “global effects” are the aggregation of all the local effects, because the earth does not have a uniform surface and does not have spatio-temporally uniform insolation. Rather, the sun shines brightly in some places, dimly in others, dimly in sunny places during cloudy rainy weather, and not at all at night. The “global climate” is a complex statistical summary of particular weather events distributed around the globe, but everything that actually happens is recorded at a locale and during a specific interval of time. If this particular local instance of solar forcing has analogous instances of solar forcing in enough locations (as claimed in peer-reviewed publications cited above), then it is “global”.

    Personally, I think the emphasis on “global” is a furphy. Climate seems to be a resolutely local phenomenon and is so described in ever so many dictionaries. My crops do not respond to global temperatures, they respond to local temperatures. Ditto for precipitation and wind. It’s true there occasional large lurches such as the Younger Dryas and the 8.2kYa event, but mostly the only thing that counts happens outside the back door. But then I do live in the Southern Hemisphere where average temperatures haven’t changed much for over a century.

  70. Mr Lynn says:

    The Pompous Git says:
    February 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Personally, I think the emphasis on “global” is a furphy. . .

    Boy, that one stumped me. So I looked it up:

    A furphy, also commonly spelled furfie, is Australian slang for a rumour, or an erroneous or improbable story.

    The word is derived from water carts made by a company established by John Furphy: J. Furphy & Sons of Shepparton, Victoria. Many Furphy water carts were used to take water to Australian Army personnel during World War I. The carts, with “J. Furphy & Sons” written on their tanks, became popular as gathering places where soldiers could exchange gossip, rumours and fanciful tales—much like today’s water cooler discussion. . .

    Scuttlebutt has a similar etymology, a scuttlebutt originally being a cask of drinking water on a ship.

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

    Yes, Wikipedia has its uses. Thanks, Git. Amazing what one can learn here. And yes, the ‘global’ in ‘global climate’ and ‘global temperature’ smacks of tall tales and gossip mongering. One expects scientists of the future will regard it much as we regard ‘humors’ as related to disease.

    /Mr Lynn

  71. boston12gs says:

    Garrett says:
    February 29, 2012 at 9:15 am
    “How come when peer-reviewed articles come out, that seem to support the views of Mr. Watts and most people reading this site, does he and everyone else become so quick to accept the results of peer-reviewed papers? I mean, why don’t you pay attention to ALL peer-reviewed papers. You can’t just cherry-pick the ones you want.”

    Unfortunately, the warmeist extremists have successfully undermined the spirit and letter of “peer review” to the point that it’s no longer generally a good measure of scientific excellence. Indeed, it’s often quite the opposite, when one has their fellow warmist extremists–also fully dependent on the continued flow of billions of dollars in grants of public funds to “research” this “catastrophic global warming”–act as the “peer reviewers” of each others papers. Incest much?

    The greatest harm the warmist extremists have done to society with their self-serving and reckless rape of the scientific method for selfish purposes is NOT the billions dollars of public funds wasted–money that could have been spent on clean drinking water or vaccines or health care or literacy for the third world, in other words, spent on REAL problems of humanity.

    No, their greatest harm is that they have effectively undermined the concept of the scientific method as a force for good in the eyes of the greater society. They’ve reduced the “scientific method” (as THEY apply it) to being no more than another extremist cult absolutely intolerant of being questioned or of alternative hypotenuses, and instead see it as a means for obtaining politically awarded research grants of millions upon millions of dollars and their own glorification at scientific conferences around the world created for the sole purpose of waxing their egos.

    The scientific method (as PROPERLY applied) has been the single greatest philosophical force for human well being in the last several hundred years, and it has NOTHING to do with squashing alternative hypothesis, hiding/changing data, or the use of lying and fraud. In the course of a mere couple of decades the warmist extremists have managed to profoundly undermine this popular view of the scientific method by the actions of a bunch of self-interested, red-carptet-seeking, lying, fraudulent, data-creating/hiding, obfuscating pseudo-scientists.

    Good going, you jerks.

    THAT is why the warmest extremists are despicable. Because these so-called “scientists” are betraying true science for self-serving personal gratification, to keep their grants flowing, their “careers” sustainable, their suites at 5-star hotels at conferences around the world, their business class airfares to the premier tourist destinations of the planet, the standing applause from rooms full of similarly situated “scientists” and “bureaucrats” latched tightly to the breast of public funding of “global warming” or “climate change” or “global cooling” or whatever they are calling it these days.

    It all calls to mind the so called “priests” who betrayed their religions for self-serving personal gratification. Absolutely disgusting, in both instances. And which of those two groups has caused the greater societal harm, has harmed the greater number of individuals, and has wasted the greater share of public purse?

    Despicable. Despicable. Despicable.

  72. Theo Goodwin says:

    NICHOLAS says:
    February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

    “(AFP) – 15 hours ago
    WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is real — the highest level in two years — as the public trusted its own observations of rising temperatures, a poll said Tuesday.”

    Shows the power of relentless propaganda. Mild winter now means global warming.

  73. Doug Proctor says:

    If solar forcing “may” be significant, what does this mean for the certainty of measurements with regard to energy balance of the planet?

    In order to establish “mising” heat, or too much heat, one must be referencing a static mean, or at least a perfectly predictable dynamic mean. If there is no static/dynamic number to reference, or one that is, say, not determinable within 1 W/m2, then no missing or excess amount can be identified outside of about 2X the variable.

    Any admission of solar forcing, as in this paper, strikes me as a blow against the current situation. Today could be a result of “excess” solar heating if our understanding of what is neutral is slightly in error. CAGW in CO2 only explains the current situation if we can say that prior to about 1970 the TSI at the ground and in the air was perfectly balanced with the outgoing radiation.

    I think the idea the warmists have is that we came out of the LIA because the negative heat anomaly that caused the LIA ended, and “normal” conditions reasserted themselves. We did not, in their view, come out because a normal plus 0.5 W/m2, for example TSI began, which, after bringing us out of the LIA would continue warming the planet until a balance was reached – a warmer balance than whatever they consider normal.

    The value of “normal” is what counts, and not normal TOA, but within the atmosphere (absorption and refraction) and on the ground (absorption). Cloud changes or surface albedo changes will make the “normal” TSI TOA immaterial when it comes to the stabilized planetary temperature.

  74. boston12gs says:

    And here we all thought that weather != climate. :-)

  75. boston12gs says:

    No word from “the cause”? Too busy planning their next data manipulation/modification/creation/imagination?

  76. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif wrote:

    there have been no long-term changes in [solar wind, open flux, aa index, etcetera] over the past 300 years. Perhaps you [Alec] are advocating that the same is true for the climate as well, in which case you may have a point, otherwise not.

    The study in question is a 6800 year study, not a 300 year study. Since I guess it wasn’t obvious, I was pointing out the failure of Nichols and Huang to consider solar-magnetic causes for the high sensitivity to solar forcing that they found for northeastern climate.

  77. dahuang says:

    “We propose that the Arctic/North Atlantic Oscillation (AO/NAO) can amplify small solar fluctuations…”

    As for AO and the Sun, there is another mechanism proposed other than sunspot numbers. Please pay attention to this theory in this discussion.

    Reference:
    Ramos da Silva, R., and R. Avissar (2005), The impacts of the Luni-Solar oscillation on the Arctic oscillation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L22703, doi:10.1029/2005GL023418.

  78. Alec Rawls says:
    February 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    The study in question is a 6800 year study, not a 300 year study. Since I guess it wasn’t obvious, I was pointing out the failure of Nichols and Huang to consider solar-magnetic causes for the high sensitivity to solar forcing that they found for northeastern climate.
    Since there is no evidence for solar magnetic influence the past 300 years, why consider it for 6800 years?

  79. Dr. Lurtz says:

    Typical Svalgaard, He can’t find a correlation; therefore there is none. Your ego astounds me. You reject a “300 year correlation”, but yet you have stated that there is an “11 year correlation” between Sunspot peaks and valleys.

    Does the Sun affect our climate or not? Pick one.

  80. Dr. Lurtz says:
    March 1, 2012 at 6:33 am
    Does the Sun affect our climate or not? Pick one.
    Of course it does, just like CO2, and Jupiter shine. The question in all cases is “how much?”.
    And the answer is the same: “not much”.

  81. AdolfoGiurfa says:

    The IPCC’s judgement that the solar factor is negligible is based on satellite observations available since 1978 which show that the Sun’s total irradiance, though not being constant, changes only by about 0.1 percent during the course of the 11-year sunspot cycle. This argument, however, does not take into account that the Sun’s eruptional activity (energetic flares, coronal mass ejections, eruptive prominences), heavily affecting the solar wind, as well as softer solar wind contributions by coronal holes have a much stronger effect than total irradiance
    Dr. Theodor Landscheidt

    http://www.schulphysik.de/klima/landscheidt/iceage.htm

  82. RACookPE1978 says:

    Humbling, but note that this prediction of a solar cycle max at 160 was released by NASA just over 5 years ago.

    Scientists Predict Big Solar Cycle

    Dec. 21, 2006: Evidence is mounting: the next solar cycle is going to be a big one.
    see captionSolar cycle 24, due to peak in 2010 or 2011 “looks like its going to be one of the most intense cycles since record-keeping began almost 400 years ago,” says solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center. He and colleague Robert Wilson presented this conclusion last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

    Right: An erupting solar prominence photographed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

    Their forecast is based on historical records of geomagnetic storms.

    Hathaway explains: “When a gust of solar wind hits Earth’s magnetic field, the impact causes the magnetic field to shake. If it shakes hard enough, we call it a geomagnetic storm.” In the extreme, these storms cause power outages and make compass needles swing in the wrong direction. Auroras are a beautiful side-effect.

    Hathaway and Wilson looked at records of geomagnetic activity stretching back almost 150 years and noticed something useful:. “The amount of geomagnetic activity now tells us what the solar cycle is going to be like 6 to 8 years in the future,” says Hathaway. A picture is worth a thousand words:

    Above: Peaks in geomagnetic activity (red) foretell solar maxima (black) more than six years in advance.

    In the plot, above, black curves are solar cycles; the amplitude is the sunspot number. Red curves are geomagnetic indices, specifically the Inter-hour Variability Index or IHV. “These indices are derived from magnetometer data recorded at two points on opposite sides of Earth: one in England and another in Australia. IHV data have been taken every day since 1868,” says Hathaway.

    Cross correlating sunspot number vs. IHV, they found that the IHV predicts the amplitude of the solar cycle 6-plus years in advance with a 94% correlation coefficient.

    “We don’t know why this works,” says Hathaway. The underlying physics is a mystery. “But it does work.”

    According to their analysis, the next Solar Maximum should peak around 2010 with a sunspot number of 160 plus or minus 25. This would make it one of the strongest solar cycles of the past fifty years—which is to say, one of the strongest in recorded history.

    Left: Hathaway and Wilson’s prediction for the amplitude of Solar Cycle 24. [More]

    Astronomers have been counting sunspots since the days of Galileo, watching solar activity rise and fall every 11 years. Curiously, four of the five biggest cycles on record have come in the past 50 years. “Cycle 24 should fit right into that pattern,” says Hathaway.

    These results are just the latest signs pointing to a big Cycle 24. Most compelling of all, believes Hathaway, is the work of Mausumi Dikpati and colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. “They have combined observations of the sun’s ‘Great Conveyor Belt’ with a sophisticated computer model of the sun’s inner dynamo to produce a physics-based prediction of the next solar cycle.” In short, it’s going to be intense. Details may be found in the Science@NASA story Solar Storm Warning.

    “It all hangs together,” says Hathaway. Stay tuned for solar activity.

    Plots and photos available at http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/21dec_cycle24/

  83. RACookPE1978 says:
    March 1, 2012 at 7:19 am
    Humbling, but note that this prediction of a solar cycle max at 160 was released by NASA just over 5 years ago.
    Science [as opposed to politics and alarmism] is self-correcting. We learn from our mistakes. This is normal procedure and in a way not humbling. A prediction like that is a way to test a specific hypothesis. When the test fails, that hypothesis can be crossed off the list. So, rather than a humiliating failure, it is actually progress [as long as you don't stick with the falsified hypothesis - and NASA, or rather Hathaway, did learn].

  84. Dr. Lurtz says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 1, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Dr. Lurtz says:
    March 1, 2012 at 6:33 am
    Does the Sun affect our climate or not? Pick one.
    Of course it does, just like CO2, and Jupiter shine. The question in all cases is “how much?”.
    And the answer is the same: “not much”.

    But like a leaking faucet, a small delta mass eventually makes your water bill $1000s. With the Flux at ~100 for years, and Sunspots low for years; this is the reduced delta energy input that lowers the Earth’s temperature [or course, slowly, "not much", but cumulative].

  85. RACookPE1978 says:

    Certainly. And thank you for the pleasure of your reply.

    But, in my defense, please do note that I specifically said “humbling” … as opposed to the more strict and implicitly more pejorative “humiliating” of your summary. 8<)

    Would that the hundreds of other "scientists" who use their CAGW dogma in paths deliberately leading to the death of millions, and with billions of other permanently mired in sickness, starvation, parasites, insects, eking out dark cold lives handicapped by a lack of cheap energy, water, and food learn from your wisdom.

  86. RACookPE1978 says:

    From Dr Hathaway’s press release discussed above: Most compelling of all, believes Hathaway, is the work of Mausumi Dikpati and colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. “They have combined observations of the sun’s ‘Great Conveyor Belt’ with a sophisticated computer model of the sun’s inner dynamo to produce a physics-based prediction of the next solar cycle.”

    Have we actually seen the corrections to Hathaway’s much-praised NCAR “solar circulation model” from NCAR? Corrections from Dikpati or his programmers? If revised, have those model corrections been tracking what is actually happening?

    Assuming the corrected “solar circulation model” is actually tracking the sun over solar cycle 24, have its corrections or revisions been included into NCAR’s/NASA-GISS/NOAA “Approved” global circulation models the CAGW community uses for their power and academic/bureaucratic/political fund raising?

    If NCAR’s “solar circulation model” cannot track (predict) solar activity over a 5 year period – considering the simplified physics in the rarified but pure gaseous electromagnetic solar atmosphereand – where the lack of water/solid ground/air/humidity/ice/winds/amplified feedbacks/clouds/ocean currents/aerosols/CO2/plants/ocean-ground-ice heat balances make modelling “simple physics” easier – why should we assume that NCAR’s GCM’s reflect much more accurately the earth’s more complex heat and radiation exchanges?

    And don’t you jest love run-on sentence and sub-sub-subordinate clauses ? 8<)

  87. MAVukcevic says:

    February SIDC SSN=33 is on the low side.
    Dr. Hathaway had already cut back severly on his earlier ‘prediction’.

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

    I do hope it does come back, else my (nearly) 9 year old extrapolation ( NOT a prediction ! ) may look accidental. Either way I am happy to observe, but since extrapolations don’t tolerate future corrections I am stuck.

  88. pochas says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 1, 2012 at 4:32 am

    “Since there is no evidence for solar magnetic influence the past 300 years, why consider it for 6800 years?”

    Leif,

    Here is my own plot of the data at

    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/GEOMAGNETIC_DATA/AASTAR/aaindex

    showing the monthly values averaged for the year plotted.

    The data shows a minimum of 6.08 in 1901 and a maximum of 37.12 in 2003.
    I can easily generate trends, std dev, etc, but what’s the point?

    I don’t understand how you can insist that there is little variability in this data. I am sure you can cherry-pick a time way back in the past when the aa index is similar to today, but that tells us nothing useful if we are trying to investigate a possible solar influence on climate.

  89. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif wrote: “Since there is no evidence for solar magnetic influence the past 300 years, why consider it for 6800 years?”

    So Leif thinks we came out of the Little Ice Age why? Because of CO2? His idea apparently is that solar activity has to KEEP going up to cause warming, a particularly foolish idea that, as he is well aware, I have countered many times.

    Is this your position Leif? That to heat a pot of water, it is not enough to turn the flame up to high and leave it there. You have to slowly turn it up? Are you one of those who thinks that it is the trend in solar activity (or any climate driver) that causes warming, not the level. I would like to hear the theory behind that.

  90. MAVukcevic says:

    Alec Rawls
    Pochas

    Even when there is data which shows good correlation and spectrum confirming strong Hale cycle (22year) period, when the solar magnetic field is in and out of phase with the Earth’s magnetic field, that still isn’t sufficient.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/HMF-T.htm

    Problem here is that very often the temperature peaks don’t correspond to the solar activity peaks, which indicates that may be it is the geomagnetic storms which could be a critical factor. Since 1940s & 50s there are good data for number of variables which can be synchronised only by introducing delays, but only for about 50 or so years.

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

    Visual inspection of the above graphs confirms that there is a five decades long linear dependence relationship which is unlikely to be a coincidence, but HMF fell out in the early 1990s, well before the SC23 peak, while the NAO is still there but with much stronger negative gradient.
    Some of these factors were discussed with Dr. S. in past, but his attitude ‘no lasting correlation with clear physical mechanism means no valid hypothesis’ can be considered only as reasonable one.

  91. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 10:51 am
    Is this your position Leif? That to heat a pot of water, it is not enough to turn the flame up to high and leave it there.
    Works for me.
    My position is the reasonable one that over sufficiently long time the input determines the result. One can debate what ‘sufficiently’ is. A few years? A century? 10,000 years? What is your guess?

  92. pochas says:
    March 1, 2012 at 10:07 am
    I don’t understand how you can insist that there is little variability in this data.
    There is lots of variability, but no-long term trend.
    Here is the equivalent ap-index [basically half of aa] since the 1840s:

  93. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif says: “My position is the reasonable one that over sufficiently long time the input determines the result.”

    This would seem to imply that you DO accept that you can heat a pot of water by turning the flame to high and leaving it there. (I hope so.)

    “One can debate what ‘sufficiently’ is. A few years? A century? 10,000 years? What is your guess?”

    How about your 300 years? Your claim, as I (roughly) understand it, is that the high (but not extraordinary) levels of solar activity during the late 20th century actually began in the early 1700’s and pretty much stayed there with the exception of the Dalton Minimum and the turn of the 19th century lull. Can 300 years of high solar input determine a warming result, and in particular, continued warming over this period?

    I certainly see no grounds to exclude the possibility, given the fact that the planet has many times warmed and cooled over periods of several centuries. These fluctuations could be equilibrium or near equilibrium phenomenon, where rapid equilibration tracks forcings that rise and fall over centuries, or they could be slow responses to long term step-changes in forcing. Or they can be a combination of both. The climate system can have parts that respond rapidly to changes in forcing (like the upper ocean layer) and parts that respond slowly (like deeper ocean layers).

    If we were to experience another 100 years of high solar activity (instead of the low that has befallen) I would expect continued deep ocean warming over that 100 years. Wouldn’t you?

  94. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 10:51 am
    Are you one of those who thinks that it is the trend in solar activity (or any climate driver) that causes warming, not the level. I would like to hear the theory behind that.
    It goes like this:
    Say that at time t1 the level is L1 and the temperature is T1. Then at time t2 [ t2>t1 ] say that the level is L2, then the trend is dL = (L2-L1)/(t2-t1). If L2 > L1, there will be a warming from T1 to T2, where T2 > T1. I’ll say that dT = T2-T1 is a function of the trend dL. If the trend dL is larger, then L2 will also be larger and so T2, and hence the warming dT. For small enough changes all relationships are monotonic [the changes are small] so the above must hold.

  95. pochas says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “There is lots of variability, but no-long term trend.”

    Strange, but when I add a trendline to my graphic I get a trend of 8.6 aa index units / century. What could account for this?

  96. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    How about your 300 years? Your claim, as I (roughly) understand it, is that the high (but not extraordinary) levels of solar activity during the late 20th century actually began in the early 1700′s and pretty much stayed there with the exception of the Dalton Minimum and the turn of the 19th century lull.
    And the present low activity which I expect to last for quite some time.

    Can 300 years of high solar input determine a warming result, and in particular, continued warming over this period?
    So if solar activity stayed at the level of the past 300 years for another 6000 years, then the warming would continue unabated for all the 6000 years?

    I certainly see no grounds to exclude the possibility
    The shoe is on the other foot. I don’t have to exclude the possibility, you have to show that it will actually happen.

    If we were to experience another 100 years of high solar activity (instead of the low that has befallen) I would expect continued deep ocean warming over that 100 years. Wouldn’t you?
    And if solar activity stays low for a 100 years, the heat in the deep ocean will still be with us and temperatures will not fall?
    In all these matters you have to be quantitative: what is the input, what is the mixing, what is the the time scale, etc? Mere hand waving will not do it.
    And BTW, what if during the Maunder Minimum the solar magnetic field was not significantly lower? We know that the modulation of cosmic rays back then was a strong as it is now. What if the lack of black spots on the Sun [which are cool] actually meant that TSI was higher during the MM than now? Or at least was not significantly lower. Here is some food for thought:
    “Therefore, the best estimate of magnetic activity, and presumably TSI, for the least‐active Maunder Minimum phases appears to be provided by direct measurement in 2008–2009. The implied marginally significant decrease in TSI during the least active phases of the Maunder Minimum by 140 to 360 ppm relative to 1996 suggests that drivers other than TSI dominate
    Earth’s long‐term climate change.” http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL046658.pdf

  97. pochas says:
    March 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm
    Strange, but when I add a trendline to my graphic I get a trend of 8.6 aa index units / century. What could account for this?
    Two things:
    1) the aa index does not go back far enough to include the high activity in the decades before 1868
    2) the aa index is not calibrated correctly, it is systematic too low before 1957

  98. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif wrote: “If the trend dL is larger, then L2 will also be larger and so T2, and hence the warming dT.”

    So just start your time period during the Maunder Minimum instead of right after. Then you get an upward trend from the Maunder Minimum to 2000, and expected warming over that period.

    Leif wrote: “So if solar activity stayed at the level of the past 300 years for another 6000 years, then the warming would continue unabated for all the 6000 years?” Ocean equilibration need not take 6000 years in order to take 300+ years, but certainly I would expect warming to continue until the planet got at least as warm as it did when Greenland was actually green (around the edges).

    Leif wrote: “The shoe is on the other foot. I don’t have to exclude the possibility, you have to show that it will actually happen.”

    No, if you want to say that it can’t happen, you have to show that it can’t happen. Remember saying this:

    there have been no long-term changes in those over the past 300 years. Perhaps you are advocating that the same is true for the climate as well, in which case you may have a point, otherwise not.

    Leif wrote: “And if solar activity stays low for a 100 years, the heat in the deep ocean will still be with us and temperatures will not fall?”

    There are short term responses (the upper ocean layers) and long term responses (the deeper ocean layers). If solar activity stays low, it should QUICKLY get colder (with a lag of about one solar cycle says the correlation data). That would be the response of the upper ocean layer. But thanks to the heat that has been stored in deeper ocean layers since the Little Ice Age, it won’t get as cold as it otherwise would, and this moderation of cooling will continue until the full ocean equilibrates to the new level of solar forcing (for as long as that level of forcing persists).

  99. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm
    So just start your time period during the Maunder Minimum instead of right after. Then you get an upward trend from the Maunder Minimum to 2000, and expected warming over that period.
    So, the trend is the cause of the warming…
    compare with what you said: “Are you one of those who thinks that it is the trend in solar activity (or any climate driver) that causes warming”

    Ocean equilibration need not take 6000 years in order to take 300+ years
    The geosystem is never in equilibrium, but you make the assumption that there is a significant change in the forcing over a long time. This is the point I object to. There is very little evidence for that. Whatever change there might have been would result in temperature changes of about a 0.1C, thus insignificant.

    No, if you want to say that it can’t happen, you have to show that it can’t happen.
    I’m saying that it didn’t happen.

  100. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm
    Ocean equilibration need not take 6000 years in order to take 300+ years
    It is generally believed that the time constant of the climate is about 100 years, not 300+:

    “The estimated time constant of the climate is large (70∼120 years) mainly owing to the deep ocean heat transport, implying that the system may be not in an equilibrium state under the external forcing during the industrial era”

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/acp-10-1923-2010.pdf

    Other estimates place it lower at only a few decades.

  101. pochas says:

    Strange, but when I add a trendline to my graphic I get a trend of 8.6 aa index units / century. What could account for this?

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    “Two things:
    1) the aa index does not go back far enough to include the high activity in the decades before 1868
    2) the aa index is not calibrated correctly, it is systematic too low before 1957″

    So, the trend depends on what data is included and how it is adjusted.
    Well, I cannot claim that the 8.6 index units / century will continue for very long as I believe we have already seen maximum activity for this 179 year cycle. In fact the data suggests to me that a reversal is immanent.

  102. pochas says:

    MAVukcevic says:
    March 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    “Problem here is that very often the temperature peaks don’t correspond to the solar activity peaks, which indicates that may be it is the geomagnetic storms which could be a critical factor. Since 1940s & 50s there are good data for number of variables which can be synchronised only by introducing delays, but only for about 50 or so years.”

    There is the 1/4 cycle lag which is characteristic of electric circuits with a resistor and a capacitor in series, and this does show up in sun / earth interactions. See

    http://landshape.org/enm/phase-lag-of-global-temperature/

  103. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif wrote: “So, the trend is the cause of the warming.” No, the change in the level causes the warming. You are the one who insists on looking at changes in level in terms of trend, which you can do if you want, so long as you remember that it is the change in level that affects climate.

    Leif wrote:“Therefore, the best estimate of magnetic activity, and presumably TSI, for the least‐active Maunder Minimum phases appears to be provided by direct measurement in 2008–2009. The implied marginally significant decrease in TSI during the least active phases of the Maunder Minimum by 140 to 360 ppm relative to 1996 suggests that drivers other than TSI dominate
    Earth’s long‐term climate change.”Pretty much proves TSI is not driving climate, but other solar variables actually vary by large amounts. Obviously they are the place to look for the mechanism behind the discovered correlations between solar activity and climate (as found by the authors of the paper that is the subject of this post).

  104. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm
    it is the change in level that affects climate.
    the change in level is what is called the trend, so the trend affects climate, as I said.

    but other solar variables actually vary by large amounts.
    The point is that they do not over the long term. They vary a lot from hour to hour, day to day, even year to year, but without any long term trends over centuries.

  105. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif wrote: “The point is that they do not over the long term. They vary a lot from hour to hour, day to day, even year to year, but without any long term trends over centuries.”

    You are claiming that ALL solar variables are close to invariant over the long term, not just TSI? Please tell us then, to what does the “Minimum” in “Maunder Minimum” refer?

    To what do Usoskin’s “Grand minima and maxima of solar activity” refer? I presume you have seen his Figure 4. Pretty clear long term up and downs.

    I know you have some unique ideas, but did not realize you were this far off on your own.

  106. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm
    You are claiming that ALL solar variables are close to invariant over the long term, not just TSI? Please tell us then, to what does the “Minimum” in “Maunder Minimum” refer?
    To the reduced visibility of sunspots during that time. We may be entering such a time again in the next few years.

    To what do Usoskin’s “Grand minima and maxima of solar activity” refer? I presume you have seen his Figure 4. Pretty clear long term up and downs.
    I know you have some unique ideas, but did not realize you were this far off on your own.

    It is Usoskin et al. that are off on their own. There is no modern Grand Maximum. C.f.

    http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf

  107. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif: Usoskin et al. did a 11,000 plus year carbon-14 reconstruction. Your Waldmeier adjustment only applies since 1945. It would not affect the other 99.5% of their record, which is full of longer term ups and downs.

  108. MAVukcevic says:

    pochas says:
    March 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm
    …………..
    That is not what is actually happening. The facts are a bit more complicated. The global temperature (for some unknown reason to science, see Best report on the natural variability) has very strong imprint from the AMO, which oscillates with a 9 year period, while the sun’s is around 11. Two drift in and out of phase which gives a misleading impression of a direct relationship.

  109. Alec Rawls says:
    March 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm
    Leif: Usoskin et al. did a 11,000 plus year carbon-14 reconstruction. Your Waldmeier adjustment only applies since 1945. It would not affect the other 99.5% of their record, which is full of longer term ups and downs.
    Of course there are ups and downs, that is the whole point: there are cycles. Activity was high in the 1950s, in the 1850s, the 1750s and so on, but those highs were about equal, so no long-term trend.

  110. Alec Rawls says:

    Usoskin’s data most certainly does show long term trends.

  111. Nikola Milovic says:

    Finally, someone is going to right the natural way to solve the mystery still unsolved.
    I must again note that the human factor is irrelevant when it comes to climate change on Earth.
    The main cause of all the relevant drivers of change on Earth and throughout the solar system, the interaction between the Sun and planets.
    What chain of influence is established, it is necessary to examine the natural laws that civilization can not be affected.
    It is certain that everything comes from the mutual forces, specifically, as a result of gravity and magnetic fields, leading to the occurrence of cyclic phenomena on Earth and the Sun.
    The study participants GIS partly confirms the true causes of climate change, but in my opinion, it is necessary to enter further into the core of radical causes the appearance of almost all the phenomena that take place in the sun.
    It is important to note, that all phenomena related to sunspot cycles and the reconnection of magnetic poles of the Sun.
    I have a strong need that with my evidence (strictly mathematical), I am helping to clarify this enigma, which science has not yet been deciphered.

    Unfortunately, I have not met with interested institutions to assist in this. This time I ask the authors of this article and the evidence that enable collaboration with the condition, that my evidence, if it is a true, is adequately valorized. This mine, I do not intend to publish without contractual obligations, because, you see, all mankind is trying to solve it.
    The previous discussion, such as they are, will never allow finding solutions.
    Just the right approach to the logical and natural laws can give a good result. No way no mathematical models with illogical assumptions set as the foundation model.
    Here can not be said about any predictions. In these rules, I have, everything is fixed for all time.
    When analyzing the entire case, for example. with the sunspot cycle, it can be seen that there are so many cycles and sub-cycles at all times. These include cycles such as the Maunder and other cycles. Depending on the strength of magnetic fields, and there are variable effects of the change in the number and intensity of sunspots, solar wind, explosions and all other phenomena.
    Which institutions around the world would not want to fund this important project that would solve many problems on Earth. I think that this can predict the earthquakes. Can prevent major damage to all facilities and installations, etc..
    It is not my purpose to point out, but to break the barren discussion, which will not solve anything.

  112. Alec Rawls says:

    Leif wrote:

    “The estimated time constant of the climate is large (70∼120 years) mainly owing to the deep ocean heat transport, implying that the system may be not in an equilibrium state under the external forcing during the industrial era”

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/acp-10-1923-2010.pdf

    Other estimates place it lower at only a few decades.

    Thanks for the link to that Bin et al. paper. Good to see that somebody has tried to estimate an energy balance model with a two-part ocean heat sink instead of Schwartz’ one. Their 70-120 year time constant is much more sensible than Schwartz’ 5 years, but note that moving to a three part ocean heat sink would expand the time constant by a similar factor, and their key finding–that 85% of upper ocean layer heating gets transferred to the deeper ocean–militates in favor of incorporating even deeper ocean layers into the model. If such a high proportion of heat mixes down, it makes sense a substantial portion of it will mix down further still.

    I don’t think I’d put too much stock in their sensitivity estimates, however, given that they are based on the assumption that the only forcing over the last 120 years was from CO2. Talk about begging the question.

  113. pochas says:

    Time lag is a function of frequency. The time lag you find depends on the frequency of the phenomena you are looking at. Surface temperatures vary with a lag of a few hours.

  114. Alec Rawls says:

    That’s what I’ve been saying to Leif: that longer term changes in forcing create longer term responses. He denies there are long term changes in solar forcing, a claim that is glaringly contradicted by Usoskin’s 11,000 year cosmogenic isotope study.

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