Paper: Russian Heat Wave of 2010 Linked to Solar Activity?

Just a quick note to bring this to attention of readers. I have not been able to locate a copy of this paper other than the paywalled one at Springerlink, so I can’t comment much about it, but it looks interesting. The question is what is the mechanism? The abstract really doesn’t give a hint of that and just saying that “anomalously low solar activity” is the cause really isn’t definitive enough. – Anthony

The dynamics of solar activity and anomalous weather of summer 2010: 2. Relationship with the active longitude zone; effects in the west and east

(Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, Volume 52, Number 1, pp. 1-15, February 2012)
– K. G. Ivanov, A. F. Kharshiladze

Abstract: 

“We confirm the close synoptic relationship of the sectoral structure of the Sun’s magnetic field of the with the near-Earth tropospheric pressure with a case study of three European points (Troitsk, Rome, Jungfrau) in the period of the anomalously hot summer of June–August 2010.

We substantiate the position that such a relationship was fostered by the anomalously low solar activity as a result of superposition of the minima of the 22- and 180-year cycles. Sectoral analysis of the solar-tropospheric relationships has shown that the appearance of a blocking anticyclone in the Moscow suburbs, its expansion to Rome and Jungfrau, and subsequent retreat at first from these points, and then from the Moscow suburbs was closely related to solar activity phenomena producing, according to contemporary notions, cyclonic activity, shown by simulation of the Earth’s electric field.”

http://www.springerlink.com/content/km64487726781347/

UPDATE: Thanks to readers, I have a copy of the paper, which I forwarded to Dr. Leif Svalgaard for inspection.In the introduction of the paper there is this:

1. INTRODUCTION
More than 40 years ago, a statistically significant relationship was discovered between the sectoral struc ture of the IMF and the zonal circulation in the atmosphere of the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere; it was suggested that so-called natural synoptic periods to
some degree were determined by the structure of the interplanetary medium (Dimitriev et al., 1978). Recently it was shown that in one important particular case, the anomalously hot weather of summer 2010, a synoptic relationship took place between the sectoral
structure of the solar and interplanetary magnetic field (SMF and IMF), on the one hand, and the surface atmospheric pressure in the suburban Moscow city of Troitsk, on the other (Ivanov and Kharshiladze, 2011).

Svalgaard writes:

The Russian paper “confirms the earlier conclusions on the
reality of a relationship between the sectoral structure of the IOMFS and the Earth’s troposphere (Mansurov et al., 1974; Wilcox, 1979; Wilcox et al., 1974;… Wilcox, J.M., Svalgaard, L., and Scherrer, P.H.,

Seasonal Variation and Magnitude of the Solar Sector Structure Atmospheric VorticityEffect, Nature, 1974, vol. 55, no. 5509, pp. 539–540.

We have long since abandoned the finding as spurious.

So it seems, they are chasing an old discarded theory, and their findings may be nothing more than coincidental – Anthony

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71 Responses to Paper: Russian Heat Wave of 2010 Linked to Solar Activity?

  1. Mike McMillan says:

    Shaky.

  2. bubbagyro says:

    We know about the solar cycles and effects on climate. But only for a few thousand years at best. But really, expecting to find causation in such a multivariate system as earth’s climate? Hard enough to find correlation in a multivariate chaotic system. Hint: try fractals….

  3. Charlie A says:

    He also has a paper that discusses a possible link between solar activity and hurricane Katrina. Also behind pay wall so I haven’t read it.

    “Generation of the Katrine hurricane during the geomagnetic extrastrom at crossing of the heliospheric current sheet: Is it an accidental coincidence or physical essence? K. G. Ivanov”

    https://springerlink3.metapress.com/content/4r2p474w0456110n/resource-secured/?target=fulltext.pdf&sid=vctemfjpc1hhxosehd5sd51h&sh=www.springerlink.com

  4. Anything is possible says:

    Looks like transcendent rant and way out there theory from where I’m sitting…..

  5. George says:

    Not buying it.

  6. Although the paper cites an old paper of which I am a coauthor as evidence for pressure effects of solar sector boundaries, the detailed comparisons are just too ad-hoc and unconvincing.

  7. BTW, the Russian paper “confirms the earlier conclusions on the reality of a relationship between the sectoral structure of the IOMFS and the Earth’s troposphere (Mansurov et al., 1974; Wilcox, 1979; Wilcox et al., 1974;…”
    Wilcox, J.M., Svalgaard, L., and Scherrer, P.H., Seasonal Variation and Magnitude of the Solar Sector Structure Atmospheric Vorticity Effect, Nature, 1974, vol. 55, no. 5509, pp. 539–540.
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Nature/255539a0-Season-VAI.pdf

    We have long since abandoned the finding as spurious.

  8. tallbloke says:

    I think the chain of causation from Sun to weather is too convoluted to expect nice easy mappings direct from the boundary sectors to localised pressure differentials and blocking patterns.

    There’s little doubt that relatively big and (from Earth’s standpoint) gravitationally and electro-magnetically influential celestial bodies like the Sun and Moon have strong effects on weather patterns though.

    Brian Tinsley’s published work on the global electrical circuit affecting cloud type, and Ian Wilson and Paul Vaughan’s work on luni-solar gravitational effects on the Arctic Oscillation via LOD and the Chandler Wobble look promising to far out thinkers like me.

  9. Casper says:

    I rather believe in a classic case of omega block.

  10. OF COURSE the West Russian super-heatwave and its termination, and the simultaneous termination of the Pakistan super-flood deluges were solar driven!
    We at WeatherAction.com predicted the ongoing super-heatwave, discussed it on Russia Today TV and announced the date that very major solar events would occur and drive jet stream shifts which would end the heatwave and the Pakistan super-rains.
    The highly energetic double sunspot which did it and the consequential sudden ionospheric disturbance and jet stream shifts and thunderstorms firstly in St Petersburg appeared on the day(s) we predicted – 15 Aug 2010 – and are reported here:
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9341 VIDEO at Klimate und Energie Konf Nov 2011 Munchen. The video of my presentation includes a dramatic movie of the material from the sunspot associated CME which moved at half the speed of light.
    and on
    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews10No31.pdf
    We also forecast there would be another but LESSER heatwave in West Russia summer 2011 which was also confirmed. Notwithstanding the importance of their work which, actually looks at real forces rather than CO2 delusionism, I do not know if the Russians’ study would have enabled them to make a similar prediction or if their study was completed soon enough to consider such.
    At first sight, and I should read what they say before saying more, their view as stated above would not predict enough major Russian heatwaves as far as I can see and if they venture into forecasting they are unlikely to get the years right since they make no mention of lunar modulating factors.
    Thanks
    Piers Corbyn

  11. Bloke down the pub says:

    In science, is it better to have correlation without causation, or causation without correlation?

  12. Pamela Gray says:

    It only takes one blocking high non-occurrence under the same conditions (search analog years) and the hypothesis begins to look like cheese cloth. That this hypothesis was abandoned as spurious speaks well of the original author and co-authors. That the current CO2 hypothesis is clung to with tentacled grip speaks ill of the current crop of AGW authors and co-authors.

  13. Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) says:
    April 1, 2012 at 1:54 am
    The video of my presentation includes a dramatic movie of the material from the sunspot associated CME which moved at half the speed of light.
    Either this is an April 1st joke, or you are incompetent on this subject.

  14. Anthony Watts says:

    Just caught this exchange before I hit the road again today.

    Leif I don’t think it is April Fools. One of the problems I have with Mr. Corbyn’s way of doing things is that he often mixes his commentary on science with blatant self promotion done in the style of tabloid reporting.

    For example, I find his report http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews10No31.pdf so visually painful to look at that I find it hard to read. It actually hurts my eyes to look at it.

    I find it hard to even read his forecasts as it feels like reading the National Enquirer. But like that tabloid, I suppose there’s a market for that sort of stuff.

    For the record, CME’s typically reach Earth anywhere from one to five days after the eruption from the Sun’s surface. Earth is about 8 light minutes from the sun, so at half the speed of light (per Mr. Corbyn) we’d see CME’s reaching Earth in about 16 minutes.

    If they had that kind of energy, I don’t think we’d be around to write about it. Our computers and power grid would been toasted from that event, and the Carrington event would look like a pipsqueak.

  15. Anthony Watts says:
    April 1, 2012 at 8:39 am
    I find it hard to even read his forecasts as it feels like reading the National Enquirer. But like that tabloid, I suppose there’s a market for that sort of stuff.
    Yes, he is catering for the science illiterate [of which we have our own batch of far out thinkers right here on WUWT].

  16. Anthony Watts says:

    A question for Leif.

    “We have long since abandoned the finding as spurious.”

    OK I get that, but how would other authors know this? Is there some sort of flag that gets put on papers that have been found faulty, falsified, or otherwise no longer tenable?

    How would somebody, researching in good faith, find this out if they were not privy to this?

  17. Anthony Watts says:
    April 1, 2012 at 9:00 am
    but how would other authors know this? Is there some sort of flag that gets put on papers that have been found faulty, falsified, or otherwise no longer tenable?
    That is a good question. Such papers usually simply die a quiet death. It is rare that they are retracted, denounced, or flagged in some way. A clue is how much they were subsequently broadly cited and the finding being built on by other scientists. For the paper in question: http://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=qFdb2fIAAAAJ&pagesize=100&citation_for_view=qFdb2fIAAAAJ:MXK_kJrjxJIC
    The recent uptick is mainly citations by Ivanov.

  18. Pamela Gray says:

    One of the best set of graduate level classes I ever took (twice, one each for each Masters degree) centered on Research Design and Criticism. I also sat in on a statistics class for no credit. This particular stats class was not a graduate program requirement for me but it required students to do a variety of statistical analysis calculations (IE ANOVAS and tests of statistical significance) with just a simple calculator. The professor was very gracious to let me join in. These types of classes would do all arm chair science enthusiasts and private science practitioners a world of good.

    The criticism class was absolutely a fabulous experience for me. We tore apart gold standard research articles with abandon, brutality, and animal cruelty. Though we also had to present solid and defensible reasons for our criticism, it was all kinds of fun.

    However, the journal material was, as we say, not exactly like the kind you find in a lab filled with beakers and test tubes. It was research on educational practices and ripe for the picking. I was like a kid in a candy shop.

  19. Stephen Wilde says:

    Short term solar variations are unlikely to directly cause individual weather events but longer term solar variability as from MWP to LIA or LIA to date could well load the dice.

    There are many papers from reputable scientists that suggest that solar effects in the upper atmosphere can alter air circulation in the troposphere and a simple comparison of jetstream tracks as reported in ships logs during the LIA shows them to be more equatorward than today. Evidence from the MWP suggests that then the tracks were more like those of today than those observed during the LIA.

    So, I don’t go as far as the authors of this paper or Piers Corbyn but similarly I think Leif and Anthony would be unwise to dismiss top down solar effects on the air circulation and the positions of the climate zones completely.

    Given the data available I think it is more ‘way out there” to adopt a position of certainty than to keep an open mind.

  20. Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 1, 2012 at 9:16 am
    Anthony Watts says:
    April 1, 2012 at 9:00 am
    “but how would other authors know this? Is there some sort of flag that gets put on papers that have been found faulty, falsified, or otherwise no longer tenable?”

    That is a good question. Such papers usually simply die a quiet death. It is rare that they are retracted, denounced, or flagged in some way. A clue is how much they were subsequently broadly cited and the finding being built on by other scientists.

    Here is the distribution of citations with time for the Vorticity Area Index ‘finding':
    http://www.leif.org/research/VAI-Citations.png
    As a contrast, the figure also shows [the bottom two panels] the citation record for results that have stood the test of time.

  21. See - owe to Rich says:

    Anthony, yes Piers Corbyn’s approach is acerbic and a bit gaudy. But I’ll believe that his analysis is all random and irrelevant when any bookmakers start taking bets from him again in comparison to the UK Met Office climatology expectations.

    Rich.

  22. Stephen Wilde says:
    April 1, 2012 at 9:37 am
    Given the data available I think it is more ‘way out there” to adopt a position of certainty than to keep an open mind.
    To my reading of what is available it seems that Corbyn [and others of similar persuasions] is the one that has adopted a position of certainty.

  23. John says:

    Nice try, but solar activity was less than usual in 2010.

  24. John Trigge says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 1, 2012 at 9:16 am
    Anthony Watts says:
    April 1, 2012 at 9:00 am
    “but how would other authors know this? Is there some sort of flag that gets put on papers that have been found faulty, falsified, or otherwise no longer tenable?”

    That is a good question. Such papers usually simply die a quiet death. It is rare that they are retracted, denounced, or flagged in some way. A clue is how much they were subsequently broadly cited and the finding being built on by other scientists.

    Isn’t this another reason that ‘peer review’ should be abandoned (or, at least, less lauded) as the gold standard authority for basing decisions affecting the whole world? Add this to ‘pal review’ and we non-scientists are left with little faith in either good or bad scientific work.

    It’s all very well for scientists within their own narrow specialties to know which research has been debunked or accepted but this does not help when people outside of these specialties are given supposed peer-reviewed conclusions but not the retractions or counter-arguments.

    We are placing a lot of trust in scientists, particularly IPCC reviewers, that they have read every possible article ever written about their topic, including the ones that have been discarded by their authors but without this being documented anywhere (other than a small comment in WUWT as given by Leif above).

    This seemingly poor management of the peer-review ‘system’ means that some of the items that Leif believes ‘die a quiet death’ through non-reference in other literature may only be on life-support in the critical care ward and could be revived by anyone for their own reasons (cue IPCC reports).

  25. Agile Aspect says:

    Where is the link to the paper? Zonal winds imply the stratosphere.

  26. Poptech says:

    That is a good question. Such papers usually simply die a quiet death. It is rare that they are retracted, denounced, or flagged in some way. A clue is how much they were subsequently broadly cited and the finding being built on by other scientists.

    So effectively there is no way to know without wasting time asking each original author every time you cite their paper. Lack of citations can mean anything and it does not tell you the original author(s) later found the results spurious.

  27. Gail Combs says:

    Poptech says:
    April 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    That is a good question. Such papers usually simply die a quiet death. It is rare that they are retracted, denounced, or flagged in some way. A clue is how much they were subsequently broadly cited and the finding being built on by other scientists.

    So effectively there is no way to know without wasting time asking each original author every time you cite their paper. Lack of citations can mean anything and it does not tell you the original author(s) later found the results spurious.
    _____________________________________
    What it means is you have to do a very thorough literature search, read every paper and Hope like heck everyone was honest.

    The last is become more and more questionable as falsified research keeps popping up.

    How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data

    The frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct is a matter of controversy….. This is the first meta-analysis of these surveys…

    A pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.86–4.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once –a serious form of misconduct by any standard– and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behaviour of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% (N = 12, 95% CI: 9.91–19.72) for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices. Meta-regression showed that self reports surveys, surveys using the words “falsification” or “fabrication”, and mailed surveys yielded lower percentages of misconduct. When these factors were controlled for, misconduct was reported more frequently by medical/pharmacological researchers than others.

    Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct.

  28. Citizens,
    I was using CME in the broadest sense. Material of a very wide range of speeds came out of that event including electromagnetic and/or high energy particles which must have been moving at about half the speed of light judging by the timings of the ionospheric disturbance resulting. The jet stream shift was about 12 hours after the solar event which may have been a delayed atmosphere effect or it may have been the main particle arrival – ie about 8 times average solar wind speed which is a 4 day transit time.
    Cheers Piers

  29. barry says:

    Isn’t this another reason that ‘peer review’ should be abandoned (or, at least, less lauded) as the gold standard authority for basing decisions affecting the whole world?

    You can demand the complete truth down to the last atom, but you’re always going to get the best estimate. Peer-review is a “necessary but not sufficient” barrier to pass on the road to uncovering the truth of things. Decicions and policy are almost always made with imperfect knowledge. Any policy that reaches into the future is based on best guesses.

    An interesting challenge for your mind would be to come up with a system that is better than peer-review.

  30. Further to…. of course it could be UV, X rays…. leaving at the same time as the rest of the CME event reaching the earth in 8 minutes and the ionosphere taking another 8 mins or so to respond in the way it did. So for those who want to waste time nit-picking rather than pay attention to what I reported I will rephrase: “electromagnetic or other signals leaving the sun at the same time as the recorded ejected material appear to have had an effect on the ionosphere suggesting their influence effectively moved at about half the speed of light”.
    Cheers Piers

  31. u.k.(us) says:

    John says:
    April 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm
    Nice try, but solar activity was less than usual in 2010.
    ===========================
    You don’t seem to know the drill.
    Questions may get replies, vacuous statements almost never.

  32. Daniel Vogler says:

    I am sorry, but I do not believe Corbyn either. I have the proof of the CME he is referring to. Aug 14th 2010. it was a C4.4 Flare. definitely not half the speed of light worthy.
    I made an animated GIF of it for verification: http://s1073.photobucket.com/albums/w398/astrodanman79/?action=view&current=Aug14210AniGif.gif

    Well yeah S1 radiation storms do happen that fast from the initial blast.

    Here is the SWPC report on it.
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/advisories/201008141706_bulletin.html

    **** FIRST SOLAR RADIATION STORM OF SOLAR CYCLE 24 ****
    On Saturday, August 14, 2010 a small solar flare erupted on the Sun at about 6am EDT. Associated with this flare was a coronal mass ejection (CME) that was partially directed towards the Earth. Also associated with this event was a S1 or minor solar radiation storm on the NOAA Space Weather Scales http: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales/. The only impacts expected for a solar radiation storm of this magnitude are minor impacts to HF radio communications in the polar regions. However, this is the first solar radiation storm of Solar Cycle 24 and the first solar radiation storm since December of 2006.
    At this time, the solar radiation storm has subsided below threshold levels. However, oscillation around this threshold is possible for the next several hours. Subsequent significant activity is not expected but there may be some level of geomagnetic storming on or around August 17th and 18th from the coronal mass ejection associated with this event. Initial observations of the coronal mass ejection direction and velocity do not indicate a high likelihood of significant geomagnetic storming but the Space Weather Prediction Center will continue to monitor this event as it unfolds.

  33. common sense says:

    If solar effects can make one able to forecast the weather and climate with good accuracy, then personally I don’t really care if the science theory has not been confirmed yet. If it works over and over and time and time again, the science theory connections must be there, they just have not been discovered yet.
    Piers, others & myself use these connections with good sucess, if they were not valid we could not do so!

  34. Poptech says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    April 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

    The criticism class was absolutely a fabulous experience for me. We tore apart gold standard research articles with abandon, brutality, and animal cruelty. Though we also had to present solid and defensible reasons for our criticism, it was all kinds of fun.

    I am sure you believed this as your class obviously lacked anyone qualified to defend the gold standard so you effectively participated in an echo-chamber.

  35. Poptech says:
    April 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm
    My point is very clear and in relation to Anthony’s question, if there is no system to let you know that a certain paper’s results were later found to be spurious,
    In practice it is not so hard. Spurious papers have their 15 minutes of fame, and are then not really cited anymore nor used to build upon. That is a good give-away and a practicing scientist soon learns to figure that out.

  36. Poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: April 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm, In practice it is not so hard. Spurious papers have their 15 minutes of fame, and are then not really cited anymore nor used to build upon. That is a good give-away and a practicing scientist soon learns to figure that out.

    Is it possible for papers not to be cited and be completely valid?

  37. Poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    March 31, 2012 at 10:30 p

    We have long since abandoned the finding as spurious.

    Without asking you how would the author know this exact information?

  38. In science, is it better to have correlation without causation, or causation without correlation?

    The correlation – causation relationship is widely misunderstood. In part because of the frequently repeated aphorism ‘correlation isn’t proof of causation’.

    Absent a chance result, cherry picking of data, and few other things, correlation is proof of a causative relationship, although it doesn’t tell you what the causative relationship is. A correlation between A and B may result from a common cause C.

    No correlation is proof of no causal relationship..

    The wikipedia article does a good job of explaining this.

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

    To answer your question. Both are equally bad.

  39. Poptech says:
    April 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm
    Is it possible for papers not to be cited and be completely valid?
    I guess so, but then they would be rather inconsequential and thus not too interesting. We often value a paper not so much by its own merit but by the amount of further research it gives rise to [and that means lots of citations].

    “We have long since abandoned the finding as spurious.”
    Without asking you how would the author know this exact information?

    by seeing that other scientists have not continued that particular line of research. This, of course, means that you have to do your homework and check this, but that you should to anyway.

  40. Poptech says:

    Moderator Request: Can you please delete my comment “Poptech says:
    April 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm” as I read her comment wrong, thank you.

    [better to post this almost apology wouldn't you say? . . kbmod]

  41. Poptech says:

    I guess so, but then they would be rather inconsequential and thus not too interesting. We often value a paper not so much by its own merit but by the amount of further research it gives rise to [and that means lots of citations].

    I am well aware certain scientists place value on popularity and not scientific validity. Whether something is “consequential” or especially “interesting” is subjective. If it is possible for a paper to be valid but not cited then citations cannot be used to judge a paper’s scientific validity.

    by seeing that other scientists have not continued that particular line of research. This, of course, means that you have to do your homework and check this, but that you should to anyway

    Seeing that a paper has not been cited does not tell me that the original author found the work spurious. If I were to research this particular paper I would find one of the authors to have left the field for roughly 20 years.

    You have failed to provide a method to determine this information without asking the authors of each paper you cite when you cite them and it has nothing to do with “doing your homework”. Mind reading technology has not been invented yet.

  42. Poptech says:
    April 2, 2012 at 8:21 am
    I am well aware certain scientists place value on popularity and not scientific validity.
    Popularity among other scientists in the field is a good measure of validity [not perfect, but good]. And popularity should be taken in the sense that other scientists can build on the works and advance the field.

    You have failed to provide a method to determine this information without asking the authors of each paper you cite when you cite them and it has nothing to do with “doing your homework”. Mind reading technology has not been invented yet.
    Asking the authors is not a good thing, because many cling to their old [and spurious] work far too long. The way to go is to see how influential ['popular'] the paper was. This is the only gauge I know of. So, do you homework.

  43. Poptech says:
    April 2, 2012 at 8:21 am
    I am well aware certain scientists place value on popularity and not scientific validity.
    Scientific validity is a slippery concept. The work can be done correctly [and thus be 'valid' at the time] and yet the finding [with later or more data] turn out to be spurious [as happened with our paper in question]. This happens all the time. In fact, most papers in this field fall in that category. Again, the real measure of worth is to what degree the paper spurred further research and advancement of the science, and for that the citation count is a good measure. So, again, do your homework.

  44. Poptech says:

    Popularity among other scientists in the field is a good measure of validity [not perfect, but good]. And popularity should be taken in the sense that other scientists can build on the works and advance the field.

    Can a paper be widely cited and later found to be spurious or invalid?

    Asking the authors is not a good thing, because many cling to their old [and spurious] work far too long. The way to go is to see how influential ['popular'] the paper was. This is the only gauge I know of. So, do you homework.

    Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick papers are widely cited and very influential does this mean they are valid? Popularity does not mean something is scientifically valid. Therefore there is no homework that can be done to determine this. It is the responsibility of the original authors of a paper to publish a later work if their opinion on their earlier work has changed and present their reasoning. Otherwise their is no reasonable way for another author to know this information.

  45. Poptech says:

    [better to post this almost apology wouldn't you say? . . kbmod]

    Thank you for deleting it.

  46. John Edmondson says:

    If anyone thinks they can do a better job of medium term forecasting then Piers then lets see it? Either put up or shut up.

  47. Poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Again, the real measure of worth is to what degree the paper spurred further research and advancement of the science, and for that the citation count is a good measure. So, again, do your homework.

    This is all subjective and there is no homework that can be done to determine this.

  48. Poptech says:
    April 2, 2012 at 10:03 am
    This is all subjective and there is no homework that can be done to determine this.
    I do it all the time. And the worth is often subjective. One applies a ‘smell test’. It helps to know something about the field too. If one knows nothing and is not willing to do one’s homework, then there is not much hope, except appealing to authority, and if that is your choice, then that is also your loss.

    Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick papers are widely cited and very influential does this mean they are valid?
    No, but the research they spur can be very useful, if nothing else to expose the errors.

    It is the responsibility of the original authors of a paper to publish a later work if their opinion on their earlier work has changed and present their reasoning.
    Not at all, and in any event that is not the way it is done. Usually, a paper dies because other scientists cannot reproduce the results, or because general interest wanes and nobody continues that line of research. Often the last person to give up on a paper is the original author. So asking him, is about the worst gauge one can apply. It is rare that you get a statement like mine saying ‘that our finding was spurious’.

  49. Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 2, 2012 at 10:36 am
    It is rare that you get a statement like mine saying ‘that our finding was spurious’.
    Although it does [rarely] happen:
    http://articles.latimes.com/1990-02-20/news/mn-1150_1_initial-pulsar

  50. Poptech says:
    April 2, 2012 at 10:03 am
    It is the responsibility of the original authors of a paper to publish a later work if their opinion on their earlier work has changed and present their reasoning.
    The last work our group did on that paper is here:
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1981SoPh…74..421W/0000421.000.html?high=4d4c8d460221039
    John Wilcox died accidently shortly after and we did no further work on this. The paper ends:
    “we prefer to wait for the results of several investigations in progress before making a final assessment”.

  51. Poptech says:

    So far we have determined,

    1. It is possible for papers not to be cited and still be scientifically valid.
    2. It is possible for papers to be widely cited and be scientifically invalid.

    Thus citations cannot be used to determine the scientific validity of a paper, yet this is what Leif presents should be used.

    To further invalidate all of Leif’s arguments he says you should not ask the original authors of a paper if their work is still valid because their opinion cannot be trusted when he is using exactly this as an argument.

    Some sort of “home work” is supposed to be done with no objective method presented.

  52. Poptech says:

    Not at all, and in any event that is not the way it is done.

    Can you not see the problem with failing to do this?

    Usually, a paper dies because other scientists cannot reproduce the results, or because general interest wanes and nobody continues that line of research.

    That is an assumption that can be incorrect.

  53. Poptech says:

    Here we have a new problem with citations,

    Prikryl et al. (2009) does not show up in Google Scholar as a citing Wilcox et al. (1975).

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=0&hl=en&as_sdt=5,31&sciodt=0,31&cites=15681490934722866424

    This demonstrates that citation databases can be invalid or incomplete thus easily misleading.

  54. Poptech says:

    We now have a third determination,

    3. It is possible for citation databases to be incomplete or invalid.

  55. Poptech says:
    April 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    Here we have a new problem with citations
    I’m not sure what your problem is. It is blindingly obvious if an old paper is still of value. All value judgements are subjective. There is no absolute and objective measure of value or worthiness. Our paper in question was one of several on this subject that we published 1973-1981. The ‘discovery paper’ back in 1973 had as a coauthor the founder and director of NCAR so we even had authority on our side. The effect was hailed as a breakthrough with great promise for better predictions of weather [especially stormy weather] and in a sense revived the whole field of sun-weather-climate research which was pretty much dead by the 1970s and only pursued by cranks [more or less like the situation now]. If all this had held up, great strides would have been made in the 30 years since. None of this happened as the finding did not hold up. The many citations per year fizzled out and died [as was proper]. A few citations of late turn out to be by authors pushing marginal or dubious papers and do not add to the ‘scientific validity’ of our original. Examination of the publication record [even if incomplete] shows this with clarity and strength. On an even longer time scale, a finding may be elevated to a ‘fact’ and taught in elementary school. At that point [or perhaps a bit before] citations become irrelevant [except in historical reviews], but also unnecessary. Until then, doing your homework will give you a good idea of the continuing validity or relevance of old papers. This works fine for me and colleagues I know and ought to work for you if you listen to good advice and apply appropriate effort.

  56. Poptech says:

    Leif, you realize you are completely illogical,

    It is blindingly obvious if an old paper is still of value.” – Leif

    All value judgements are subjective. There is no absolute and objective measure of value or worthiness.” – Leif

    The ‘discovery paper’ back in 1973 had as a coauthor the founder and director of NCAR so we even had authority on our side.” – Leif

    If one knows nothing and is not willing to do one’s homework, then there is not much hope, except appealing to authority, and if that is your choice, then that is also your loss.” – Leif

    I’m not sure what your problem is.

    1. My problem is citations do not determine if a paper is valid. Yet this is what you claim should be used to determine this.

    2. My second problem is the only way to find out if an author later found the results of a paper spurious (if this was not published) is to contact the author, something you claim is not trustworthy. Yet here you do just that, so should I trust your opinion on your older paper or not and why is your opinion on your older paper different from another authors on theirs?

    We have long since abandoned the finding as spurious.” – Leif

    Asking the authors is not a good thing, because many cling to their old [and spurious] work far too long.” – Leif

    Effectively your arguments all revolve around your subjective opinion on everything.

    Again, some sort of “home work” is supposed to be done with no objective method presented.

  57. lsvalgaard says:

    Poptech says:
    April 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    Effectively your arguments all revolve around your subjective opinion on everything.
    Again, some sort of “home work” is supposed to be done with no objective method presented.

    For me, my subjective opinion works quite well. The homework is simple: track down the old paper, read it, find citations to it, read those [and if needed, citations to those, recursively], see if the work has been followed up by other scientists, see if further progress has been made. If not, don’t bother with that old paper. Granted that that involves some ‘work’, but so do most other worthwhile things in life. Furthermore, you could do worse than take this advice from somebody faced with that very problem every day. If you want a ‘just click here’ oracle to form your opinions for you and tell you what is valid and what is not, without any effort on your part, I’m afraid you will not find any [that I would trust].

  58. lsvalgaard says:

    Poptech says:
    April 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    Effectively your arguments all revolve around your subjective opinion on everything.
    Again, some sort of “home work” is supposed to be done with no objective method presented.

    My subjective opinion works well for me, and is based on decades of experience with this.
    The homework is quite simple: track down the old paper, read it carefully, find citations to it, read those [and if needed, citations to those, recursively]. If the work has not been followed up by other scientists, has not stimulated further research, and if nothing basically came of it, then don’t bother with that old paper. As simple as that. Now, I’ll grant that that involves some ‘work’, but so do most other worthwhile things in life. You could do worse than take this advice from someone who faces the problem every day. If you want a ‘just click here’ oracle to form your opinion for you and tell you what is valid and what is not, then I’m afraid you won’t find any [that I would trust]. There is no substitute for you looking into the subject for yourself and form your own subjective opinion. You may counter that you are incompetent in the subject and are seeking an authority to tell you what to think, and I’ll concede that there are people like that and will accept that you are one of them. We can’t all be experts in everything.

  59. Poptech says:

    Leif, you are not following the conversation. A paper can be completely valid even based on new data and not be recently cited, followed up by other scientists or stimulate further research. Citation databases have been shown that they can be incomplete or inaccurate – Prikryl et al. (2009) does not show up in Google Scholar as a citing Wilcox et al. (1975). So citations cannot be used to tell if something is valid or not.

    I am not looking for an “oracle”, I am pointing out that your citation method is flawed.

    This is why Anthony’s question was excellent because Ivanov, could have “done his homework” and there would be no way for him to know you now consider the results from that paper, spurious.

  60. Poptech says:
    April 3, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Leif, you are not following the conversation. A paper can be completely valid even based on new data and not be recently cited, followed up by other scientists or stimulate further research. Citation databases have been shown that they can be incomplete or inaccurate – Prikryl et al. (2009) does not show up in Google Scholar as a citing Wilcox et al. (1975). So citations cannot be used to tell if something is valid or not.
    You are much too formalistic on this. Your so-called conversation is nothing but a demonstration of your inexperience with the process. Citations are VERY useful as I have outlined, provided you do the necessary homework. That our old paper is no good is shown by the lack of interest and follow-ups since ~1980. That does not mean it was not valid at the time we published it [it most certainly was based on the data we had then], only that the finding didn’t hold up or at least was not the breakthrough everybody thought it was.

    I am not looking for an “oracle”, I am pointing out that your citation method is flawed.
    What is flawed is our insistence that one blindly counts citations without thinking or doing the necessary follow up. Without citations, that follow-up would be next to impossible. Hence the value of citations. And the value of indices that count citations, e.g. the Hirsch-index. None of this is perfect, but it is also not ‘flawed’ or useless.

    This is why Anthony’s question was excellent because Ivanov, could have “done his homework” and there would be no way for him to know you now consider the results from that paper, spurious.
    Ivanov should have known this if he had done what I advise, but he is only interested in support [no matter how flimsy] for his own dubious papers.

  61. Poptech says:
    April 3, 2012 at 9:40 am
    Prikryl et al. (2009) does not show up in Google Scholar as a citing Wilcox et al. (1975).
    But if you read the Prikryl paper you’ll see that they do cite Wilcox et al.:
    Wilcox, J. M., Scherrer, P. H., Svalgaard, L., Roberts, W. O., and Olson, R. H.: Solar magnetic sector structure: Relation to circulation of the earth’s atmosphere, Science, 180, 85–186, 1973.
    Wilcox, J. M., Scherrer, P. H., Svalgaard, L., Roberts, W. O., Olson, R. H., and Jenne, R. L.: Influence of solar magnetic sector structure on terrestrial atmospheric vorticity, J. Atmos. Sci., 31, 581–588, 1974.
    Wilcox, J. M., Svalgaard, L., and Scherrer, P. H.: Seasonal variation and magnitude of the solar sector structure – atmospheric vorticity effect, Nature, 255, 539–540, 1975.
    Wilcox, J. M., Svalgaard, L., and Scherrer, P. H.: On the reality of a sun-weather effect, J. Atmos. Sci., 255, 1113–1116, 1976.
    Study my comments carefully and see that I said that you should actually read the papers that have the citations.

  62. Poptech says:

    You are much too formalistic on this. Your so-called conversation is nothing but a demonstration of your inexperience with the process. Citations are VERY useful as I have outlined, provided you do the necessary homework. That our old paper is no good is shown by the lack of interest and follow-ups since ~1980. That does not mean it was not valid at the time we published it [it most certainly was based on the data we had then], only that the finding didn’t hold up or at least was not the breakthrough everybody thought it was.

    My experience with using citations and citation databases like Google Scholar is very extensive but irrelevant to the logic of my argument. I never claimed citations were not useful, what I factually stated is when or how frequently a paper is cite cannot determine the validity of a paper. I am well aware that papers can be valid at the time they were published and later found not to be and I am well aware you consider your older paper to be no good anymore, these are not my arguments.

    All a lack of citations can tell you is that the paper was not cited or recently. It can only measure popularity.

    If the following question is true then your argument is invalid,

    It is possible for an older paper to be valid (even with recent data) but not be cited, recently cited or widely cited and lack followups.

    What is flawed is our insistence that one blindly counts citations without thinking or doing the necessary follow up. Without citations, that follow-up would be next to impossible. Hence the value of citations. And the value of indices that count citations, e.g. the Hirsch-index. None of this is perfect, but it is also not ‘flawed’ or useless.

    All citation indices do is blindly count the citations and apply a meaningless popularity metric to them. None of the citations to your older paper include any works by you or the other authors of your older paper so there is no way for Ivanov to know that you now consider the work spurious.

    Ivanov should have known this if he had done what I advise, but he is only interested in support [no matter how flimsy] for his own dubious papers.

    In which citation would he have found that you now consider the work spurious?

  63. Poptech says:

    But if you read the Prikryl paper you’ll see that they do cite Wilcox et al.:

    Yes I know this but Google Scholar does not list Prikryl et al. (2009) in the papers citing Wilcox et al. (1975).

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=0&hl=en&as_sdt=5,31&sciodt=0,31&cites=15681490934722866424

    This demonstrates that citation databases can be incomplete or inaccurate and Ivanov could be unaware that Prikryl et al. (2009) cited Wilcox et al. (1975) so any “follow-up” that include reading Prikryl et al. (2009) would not be done.

    You are making arguments based on knowledge you hold and others would not be able to obtain since mind reading is not possible yet.

  64. Poptech says:
    April 3, 2012 at 11:42 am
    In which citation would he have found that you now consider the work spurious?
    You miss the whole point. It is not that I consider the work spurious, but that almost everybody else also does. This you and everybody may deduce from the fact that nobody has seriously taken up the effect and used in their own work or kept comparing it to more modern data; in short: the promised breakthrough did not materialize because people found it did not hold up [and such negative findings are rarely published - nobody publishes serious papers anymore refuting the belief that the Earth is flat].

    Another good example is the initial observations of 160-minute solar pulsations, which if real would be sensational and open up the solar core for seismic investigations:

    Observations of solar pulsations
    Severnyi, A. B.; Kotov, V. A.; Tsap, T. T.
    Nature, vol. 259, Jan. 15, 1976, p. 87-89.

    Here is the plot of citations with time:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Citations-of-160-min-wave-paper.png

    As with the VAI-paper, you can see the familiar trend: great initial excitement and many citations for a few years after the initial paper [we at Stanford joined in the search and co-published several papers on this as well]. As the finding didn’t hold up, citations slumped and dropped to a dribble of only a couple per year since. Those were either Kotov still clinging to the finding, or papers reminding the reader of previous failed attempts to discover such pulsations.

    You are making arguments based on knowledge you hold and others would not be able to obtain since mind reading is not possible yet.
    I think this example refutes your claim. As I said, this is a familiar pattern and holds in so many cases that it is a good first-order indication of the possible enduring ‘validity’ of an old paper. But as in most human endeavors, there is no objective, surefire way of being ‘sure’ of anything, one must do ‘homework’ and check for oneself.

  65. Poptech says:
    April 3, 2012 at 11:42 am
    In which citation would he have found that you now consider the work spurious?
    Another good example:
    Solar Oblateness and General Relativity
    Dicke, R. H.; Goldenberg, H. Mark
    Physical Review Letters, vol. 18, Issue 9, pp. 313-316, 1967

    If Dicke were right [he wasn't], Einstein was wrong. Here is the citation history:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Citations-of-Dicke-Solar-Oblateness-paper.png

    And on and on.
    You might here and there find counterexamples, where the original paper has been superseded by a later paper, which is now quoted instead of the original, but they are rare.

  66. Poptech says:
    April 3, 2012 at 11:42 am
    All a lack of citations can tell you is that the paper was not cited or recently. It can only measure popularity.
    That is key: correct papers are popular with scientists, papers that are clearly wrong are less popular. The case of Michael Mann is illustrative. His hockey-stick paper has been cited some 276 times and is thus popular and most scientists in his field still consider the paper valid. The citation history is not long enough to show the eventual fate of his paper. If in 20 years his paper is still considered valid it is a good bet that the citation history would show that. Also, should the paper be deemed invalid or no longer relevant it is also a good bet that the citations would drop off accordingly.

  67. Poptech says:

    You miss the whole point. It is not that I consider the work spurious, but that almost everybody else also does. This you and everybody may deduce from the fact that nobody has seriously taken up the effect and used in their own work or kept comparing it to more modern data; in short: the promised breakthrough did not materialize because people found it did not hold up [and such negative findings are rarely published - nobody publishes serious papers anymore refuting the belief that the Earth is flat].

    That is the point as you used your unpublished opinion as an argument against citing your old paper, the author would have no way to know this. You are then equating abandonment with falsification and even using citations abandonment cannot be determined as it is still cited. Regardless just because a paper is not recently or frequently cited has no determination on the validity of it. Unless the negative findings are published there is no way for someone to know they were found or exist at all. You are making unsupported assumptions that equate to mind reading.

    Observations of solar pulsations

    I found 33 citations for this paper since 2000 in Google Scholar with only 5 from Kotov.

    Those were either Kotov still clinging to the finding, or papers reminding the reader of previous failed attempts to discover such pulsations.

    I searched through some of the papers that cited it and they did not refer to the original paper as failed. This one refers to it as a discovery, http://arxiv.org/pdf/0706.2504.pdf

    I am not saying the paper is correct or not my point is, it does not appear to be as clear cut as you implied and scientists other than the original author may still find the paper valid.

    I think this example refutes your claim. As I said, this is a familiar pattern and holds in so many cases that it is a good first-order indication of the possible enduring ‘validity’ of an old paper. But as in most human endeavors, there is no objective, surefire way of being ‘sure’ of anything, one must do ‘homework’ and check for oneself.

    That example simply shows when and how often the paper was cited, as that is all that can be determined from citations. If a paper is not published criticizing the original there is no “home-work” that can be done to determine if there was a problem with the original paper. Even with a published criticism this still does not mean the original paper is invalid because the criticism could itself be invalid.

    Thus timing and frequency of citations can only determine popularity.

    I believe popularity metrics (citation counts) are irrationally given scientific weight they do not deserve.

  68. Poptech says:

    That is key: correct papers are popular with scientists, papers that are clearly wrong are less popular. The case of Michael Mann is illustrative. His hockey-stick paper has been cited some 276 times and is thus popular and most scientists in his field still consider the paper valid. The citation history is not long enough to show the eventual fate of his paper. If in 20 years his paper is still considered valid it is a good bet that the citation history would show that. Also, should the paper be deemed invalid or no longer relevant it is also a good bet that the citations would drop off accordingly.

    That is pure nonsense. Popularity does not equal scientific validity. Paper can be very popular and being completely fraudulent, http://tech.mit.edu/V125/N50/50van_parijs.html.

    Do you consider Michael Mann’s hockey stick paper(s) to be valid?

  69. Agile Aspect says:

    Poptech says:
    April 6, 2012 at 6:25

    “That is key: correct papers are popular with scientists, papers that are clearly wrong are less popular. The case of Michael Mann is illustrative. His hockey-stick paper has been cited some 276 times and is thus popular and most scientists in his field still consider the paper valid. The citation history is not long enough to show the eventual fate of his paper. If in 20 years his paper is still considered valid it is a good bet that the citation history would show that. Also, should the paper be deemed invalid or no longer relevant it is also a good bet that the citations would drop off accordingly.”

    That is pure nonsense. Popularity does not equal scientific validity. Paper can be very popular and being completely fraudulent, http://tech.mit.edu/V125/N50/50van_parijs.html.

    Do you consider Michael Mann’s hockey stick paper(s) to be valid?

    ;—————

    +1 for “popularity does not equal scientific validity”.

    Popularity is just another manifestation of confirmation bias.

  70. Agile Aspect says:

    Poptech says:
    April 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    That is key: correct papers are popular with scientists, papers that are clearly wrong are less popular. The case of Michael Mann is illustrative. His hockey-stick paper has been cited some 276 times and is thus popular and most scientists in his field still consider the paper valid. The citation history is not long enough to show the eventual fate of his paper. If in 20 years his paper is still considered valid it is a good bet that the citation history would show that. Also, should the paper be deemed invalid or no longer relevant it is also a good bet that the citations would drop off accordingly.

    That is pure nonsense. Popularity does not equal scientific validity. Paper can be very popular and being completely fraudulent, http://tech.mit.edu/V125/N50/50van_parijs.html.

    Do you consider Michael Mann’s hockey stick paper(s) to be valid?

    ;———————–

    +1 for “popularity does not equal scientific validity.”

    Popularity ratings are a manifestation of confirmation bias.

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