New paper in GRL shows that a 60-year oscillation in the global tide gauge sea level record has been discovered

Results suggest that global mean sea level may also be affected, though not yet fully confirmed.

http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl1218/2012GL052885/2012gl052885-op01-tn-350x.jpg

Hot off the heels of an admission by NASA JPL that the satellite derived sea level data is “spurious” due to a lack of a stable reference frame and needs fixing, comes this new paper that suggests we may see a drop in sea level soon.

It is rather at odds with the notion that sea level rise is “accelerating” which is one of the unsupported memes being pushed by warmists and media, now even more so due to the hurricane that wasn’t when it made landfall, Sandy.

I wonder if it came up in discussion today at Dr. Mann’s “breaking news” breakout session?

Key Points

  • The research reveals that there is a 60-year oscillation in the majority of long tide gauge records
  • The signal is consistent in phase and amplitude in many ocean basins
  • This has important implications for quantifying sea level acceleration

Cited by the CU Sea Level Group here.

Is there a 60-year oscillation in global mean sea level?

Don P. Chambers, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Mark A. Merrifield, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
R. Steven Nerem, CIRES, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract

We examine long tide gauge records in every ocean basin to examine whether a quasi 60-year oscillation observed in global mean sea level (GMSL) reconstructions reflects a true global oscillation, or an artifact associated with a small number of gauges. We find that there is a significant oscillation with a period around 60-years in the majority of the tide gauges examined during the 20th Century, and that it appears in every ocean basin. Averaging of tide gauges over regions shows that the phase and amplitude of the fluctuations are similar in the North Atlantic, western North Pacific, and Indian Oceans, while the signal is shifted by 10 years in the western South Pacific. The only sampled region with no apparent 60-year fluctuation is the Central/Eastern North Pacific. The phase of the 60-year oscillation found in the tide gauge records is such that sea level in the North Atlantic, western North Pacific, Indian Ocean, and western South Pacific has been increasing since 1985–1990. Although the tide gauge data are still too limited, both in time and space, to determine conclusively that there is a 60-year oscillation in GMSL, the possibility should be considered when attempting to interpret the acceleration in the rate of global and regional mean sea level rise.

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L18607, 6 PP., 2012
doi:10.1029/2012GL052885

h/t to Paul Homewood

NOTE: I made a clarification in the title and first sentence not long after initial publishing – Anthony

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92 thoughts on “New paper in GRL shows that a 60-year oscillation in the global tide gauge sea level record has been discovered

  1. From paragraph [13] of the paper:
    “Some climate model experiments have found that forcing with combinations of external forcing (greenhouse gases, solar variations, volcanic aerosols) cannot reproduce the observed multi decadal variation in surface temperature [Andronova and Schlesinger, 2000], but that a coupled climate model forced with only climatological fluxes and run over 1000 years will reproduce a quasi 60 year oscillation in surface temperature that is related to fluctuations in the thermohaline circulation in the model [Delworth and Mann, 2000]. This suggests the multi decadal oscillation is an internal mode, and not externally forced. Moreover, a coupled model experiment where the Atlantic surface temperatures were forced to correspond to observations resulted in multi decadal surface temperature oscillations throughout the Northern hemisphere, similar to observations [Zhang et al., 2007], again with no external forcings other than climatology.”

  2. Interesting- but it needs at least 3 full cycles to properly verify the frequency domain characteristics of that component of the variation.

  3. Weird, reading the title of the article (” cycle discovered”) i was shocked to find out that the abstract suggests otherwise. … pays to be skeptical.

  4. I am delighted to see that Steven Nerem is a co-author of this paper. Steven Nerem is associated with the Uni of Colorado sea level data http://sealevel.colorado.edu/. At long last, the narrative accompanying one of the “official” sources of climate data makes mention of natural cycles.
    Discussion
    The Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is the unrotated, first principal component of six observables measured over the tropical Pacific (see NOAA ESRL MEI, Wolter & Timlin, 1993,1998). To compare the global mean sea level to the MEI time series, we removed the mean, linear trend, and seasonal signals from the 60-day smoothed global mean sea level estimates and normalized each time series by its standard deviation. The normalized values plotted above show a strong correlation between the global mean sea level and the MEI, with the global mean sea level often lagging changes in the MEI.
    “.

    While we’re on the subject of “cycles” – I have some time-related data on which I want to do a Fourier Transform looking for signs of cycles. I can’t find any (free) software to run on my Windows XP Home Edition PC. Please can someone point me at suitable software.

  5. MCKIBBEN DEBATE TONIGHT: Tonight at 7:00 Eastern, Bill McKibben will be debating Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress, on the topic of the benefits vs. hazards of fossil fuels. The debate is being live-streamed online at http://fossilfueldebate.com/

  6. If the 60 year cycle does prove to be true, then another pillar of climate alarmism will have been well and truly torpedoed.

  7. Steven Mosher says:”Weird, reading the title of the article (” cycle discovered”) i was shocked to find out that the abstract suggests otherwise. … pays to be skeptical.“.

    The paper’s abstract says “We find that there is a significant oscillation with a period around 60-years in the majority of the tide gauges examined during the 20th Century, and that it appears in every ocean basin.“. Seems pretty clear to me, in spite of a more cautious finish (“Although the tide gauge data are still too limited, both in time and space, to determine conclusively that there is a 60-year oscillation in GMSL, the possibility should be considered when attempting to interpret the acceleration in the rate of global and regional mean sea level rise. “).

  8. It is extremely interesting as the period is the same like with the temperature cycle. I can imagine the heat can be taken more rapidly into ocean deeps in the cold period and kept more on ocean surface in hot period. Nevertheless, my imagination fails facing volume of the water. Where is the water volume hidden and where is the water taken from? Thermal dilatation would not be sufficient I guess. Amount of water in hydrological cycle is also tiny in compare to the ocean.

  9. I imagine if taken with Houston and Dean and a few other studies, a pretty strong narrative about what is really going on with sea levels could be developed

  10. There we go again- look back 60 years to see what kind of weather we should be expecting at this time. There were big droughts in Texas, wildfires, a very cold NW USA, etc. etc. There was also the worst 6 year period for October hurricanes to hit the east coast – I’m predicting another bolt of these hurricanes starting with Sandy over the next few years-it ain’t CO2 causing it but I’m sure we will be getting this BS. It goes with colder weather, too – the northern jet stream dips down further this early in the season and collides with the late N.American hurricanes.

  11. And there’s that 60 year oscillation in global average temperature too, peaking in the early 1940s and early 2000s…

  12. 60 year oscillation again.

    So, why can’t the AMO be included as a natural climate cycle when there is clearly some type of oscillation/cycle in global temperatures/sea level (which might not turn out to be 60 years all the time but probably varies some).

    I note there is a new paper which updates Foster (Tamino) and Rhamstorf 2011 and extends it back to 1850 and also includes the AMO in its regression. This cuts the FandR 2011 warming rate in half.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/17/new-paper-cuts-recent-anthropogenic-warming-trend-in-half/

    Tamino’s response – “The AMO just reflects the temperature.” But here we have another line of evidence indicating there is indeed some type of cycle. And if the AMO just reflects temperature, then what is causing the temperature/sea level to have a 60 year cycle. “Must be something” an objective person would say.

  13. Mike Jonas,

    The abstract says the 60 year cycle is seen in many ocean basins but that:

    “Although the tide gauge data are still too limited, both in time and space, to determine conclusively that there is a 60-year oscillation in GMSL, the possibility should be considered when attempting to interpret the acceleration in the rate of global and regional mean sea level rise”.

    So Anthony’s headline should not read GMSL, it should say in tide gauge records or in most ocean basins.

    • I’ve made a clarification of the headline and first sentence to more accurately reflect the paper. While one could argue that long period tide gauge data is representative of GMSL, the authors say it is indefinite leaving the “further research is needed” door open.

  14. “Steven Mosher says:
    November 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Weird, reading the title of the article (” cycle discovered”) i was shocked to find my confirmation bias suggests otherwise.”

    There – fixed it for you. It really does pay to be sceptical. Or at least open-minded.

  15. Very interesting–sea level seems to follow the 60-year PDO/AMO 60 year cycles, rising during warm cycles and dropping during cool cycles. It also trashes the notion of ‘accelerating sea level rise’ (which is also not shown in historic sea level curves). I don’t understand how the AGWs can continue to push ‘accelerating sea level rise’ with so much data to the contrary.

  16. Adolf Balik says:
    November 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm
    Amount of water in hydrological cycle is also tiny in compare to the ocean.

    But not in comparison to sea level changes. There is recent evidence that La Ninas cause heavy rain over normally dry areas and these areas ‘capture’ the precipitation resulting in a fall in sea levels.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sea-level-fall-defies-climate-warnings/story-e6frg6nf-1226483797934

    I’m generally sceptical of claimed cycles, because data generally doesn’t go back far enough for high confidence, but 60 years is the period of the PDO.

  17. Wow, this is interesting Anthony, this is a breath of fresh air amidst the apocalyptic predictions from the AGW crowd and the liberal mainstream media.

  18. 65 year period (also found in the AMO) appears to be result of the solar-earth cross-modulation (Svalgaard & Mosher see: vukcevic pages 5, & 6).

  19. I am skeptical. I copied the individual red and blue curves and overlay them one at a time into the future to see when they would be out of sync. Near 2300, they were still offset by the same amount. I was under the impression that AMO and PDO periods are not identical, yet in the top graph, they are.

    John M Reynolds

  20. Bill – Anthony has fixed the post’s heading, and yes it does more accurately reflect the paper. We will have to wait and see how it develops from here, but we are already one step further with Uni of Colorado’s “strong correlation between the global mean sea level and the MEI“.
    [MEI is the Multivariate ENSO Index]

  21. From the last paragraph: “It is important to point out that even if a 60-year oscillation is occurring in GMSL, it is still a small fluctuation about a highly significant rate of rise.”

  22. The global 60-year cycle is crystallizing more and more in climate science….of course,
    the IPCC has no knowledge of a 60-year cycle as climate forcing [does not fit into the
    Warmist meme]…. But there must be a cause for it, because the sea level doesn’t go
    up and down just for fun …see further up the comments list: It was found that, quote:
    ””external forcing (1. greenhouse gases, 2.solar variations, 3.volcanic aerosols) cannot””
    be the cause, but something else…… the no. 4,, but which?
    I bet, its the 3-synodic, 61 year Jup/Sat Scafetta cycle in full action, even capable of lifting
    and lowering the sea surface by some millimeters….. Too bad the CO2 is just weak, has
    no power to lift the sea level by just one meagre millimeter….JS

  23. vukcevic says:
    November 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm
    65 year period (also found in the AMO) appears to be result of the solar-earth cross-modulation (Svalgaard & Mosher see: vukcevic pages 5, & 6).
    Nonsense

  24. I’ve looked at the sea from time to time over the last sixty+ years. It sloshes around a bit, but as far as I can tell, it’s been pretty much in the same place all that time.

  25. Where did I hear about a 60-year cycle?

    A quasi 60-year oscillation is very clear in all climaic records including the sea leve rise, as already stated in my papers. See also here
    Jevrejeva, S., J. C. Moore, A. Grinsted, and P. L. Woodworth (2008),
    Recent global sea level acceleration started over 200 years ago?, Geophys.
    Res. Lett., 35, L08715, doi:10.1029/2008GL033611.

    This oscillation is caused by a 60-year solar/astronomical oscillation, as well as the other oscillations observed in climatic records. (of course Leif by using his wrong solar models will deny it, but we can live with it)

    See my web-site for additional information about the 60 year oscillations and numerous papers dealing with it are in the references of my paper.

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model

  26. I wonder how this affects or is affected by ocean currents. Does it modulate the speed of the interoceanic currents, heat transfer rates etc, etc? Or is it the other way around?

  27. Mike Jonas: since you want free, the simplest option is Octave. Installers can be found at octave.sourceforge.net. Using Octave is quite simple…

    To load and analyze a file containg a floats in binary format, from the command line:

    fd = fopen(‘/’, ‘r’);
    data = fread(fd, ‘float32′, ‘ieee-le’);
    fclose(fd);
    fftData = fft(data);
    plot(20*log10(abs(fftData)))

    Mark

  28. Leif and Nicola- proof positive that the science is not settled. Just as it should be. I enjoy both for their contributions.

  29. Nicola Scafetta says:
    November 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm
    A quasi 60-year oscillation is very clear in all climaic records including the sea leve rise, as already stated in my papers. See also here
    ++++++++
    what you might consider is that solar energy takes centuries to reach the surface of the sun from the core. Today’s observed solar activity was actually modulated by the orbital harmonics of the solar system centuries ago, affecting the mixing rate. It is this extreme lag that causes the problems in correlating current orbital patterns to solar activity to a level of detail much beyond the basic orbital harmonics.

  30. Birdieshooter says:
    November 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm
    Leif and Nicola- proof positive that the science is not settled.
    +++++++++
    though I expect the term “nonsense” is opinion, not science. Unless the laws of physics have been changed to include “belief” as one of the variables. Maybe:

    Delta Temp = forcing + error + belief.

  31. ferd berple says:
    “what you might consider is that solar energy takes centuries to reach the surface of the sun from the core.”

    not really, I am talking about a “perturbation” in the energy output which is synchronized to a wave. Wave perturbations may reach the surface in just a few weeks. Energy moves by g-waves too. This is what matters. Essentially the core expands and contracts, and this movement is felt very fast by all sun.

    These issues are explained in my paper.
    Scafetta N., 2012. Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 81-82, 27-40.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2012.04.002

    For example, when your heart beats, you fill the beating immediately in any part of the body, even if the blood moves slowly.

  32. A bold claim from this paper … yet … ill it is.

    I would say that ‘DC’ is desperate; the ‘Tone’ of the paper. Something … missed … something … forgotten … something … LOST. Yes, the instantaneous inertial reference frame of TOPEX/Poseidon cannot be recovered from the telemetry! Thus mapping the Instantaneous Inertial Reference Frame of TOPEX/Poseidon (and Jason 1 and 2 for the matter) to the International Terrestrial Reference Frame is … impossible! A non issue for those who know. :)

  33. Nicola Scafetta says:
    November 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm
    Energy moves by g-waves too. This is what matters. Essentially the core expands and contracts, and this movement is felt very fast by all sun.
    No g-modes are trapped in the interior and do not penetrate the convection zone to the surface.

  34. That CE North Pacific / SW Pacific chart has some parts that look like they move in opposition.

    I suspect we’ve got the water being “nodal” going down in some places and up in others and where measuring with tide gauges at shore lines is inadequate to capture the 3 D dynamic.

    In other words, sampling error.

    Satellites now let us measure the whole surface more or less at the same time, so we can see those nodal points, but the record is so much shorter than 60 years that we think them more or less static anomalies and not dynamic wobbles.

    That’s what I’d look for, any way. Probably driven by tidal forces and harmonics of them from lunar cycle forcing. The lunar 18 year cycle divided into 60 gives 3.3333 that’s mighty suspicious as a ‘nice round number’… and looks like a harmonic.

    Note: Not the 19 year Metonic cycle

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metonic_cycle

    but the 18 year orbital mechanics cycle from this paper:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/8/3814.full

    that is the Saros Cycle

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saros_cycle

    The saros Listeni/ˈsɛərɒs/ is a period of 223 synodic months (approximately 6585.3213 days, or nearly 18 years 11 days), that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. One saros after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur, in what is referred to as an eclipse cycle. A sar is one half of a saros.

    A series of eclipses that are separated by one saros is called a saros series.

    This animation shows the lunar track wandering over the earth as Soros cycles come and go in an even longer supercycle.

    The moon has complex motions that will change the tidal forces and interact with where the water goes on both shorter and longer cycles.

    As an example of a single saros series, the accompanying table gives the dates of some of the 72 lunar eclipses for saros series 131. This eclipse series began in AD 1427 with a partial eclipse at the southern edge of the Earth’s shadow when the Moon was close to its descending node. Each successive saros, the Moon’s orbital path is shifted northward with respect to the Earth’s shadow, with the first total eclipse occurring in 1950. For the following 252 years, total eclipses occur, with the central eclipse being predicted to occur in 2078. The first partial eclipse after this is predicted to occur in the year 2220, and the final partial eclipse of the series will occur in 2707. The total lifetime of the lunar saros series 131 is 1280 years.

    So first place I’d look is to the tides, but not just the monthly, nor even the yearly cycles, but out to include the longer cycles as well.

    Then look at harmonic frequencies of the ocean basins and see if there is any harmonic node likely.

    Might be nothing, but that’s where I’d look first.

  35. OK, fine 60 years. And where is all that water going? Are the oceans cooling and warming on a 60 year cycle (thermal expansion/contraction)? Are the Antarctic/Greenland icecaps growing and waning on a 60 year cycle. Is the water piling up in places where there are no tidal gauges then flowing back? It HAS to be going somewhere?

  36. An oceanic cycle from 50 to 70 years is reported in UN FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 440
    Klyashtorin, L.B.
    Climate change and long-term fluctuations of commercial catches: the possibility of forecasting.
    FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 410. Rome, FAO. 2001. 86p.

    From the abstract:
    “Spectral analysis of the time series of dT, ACI and Length Of Day (LOD) estimated from direct observations (110-150 years) showed a clear 55-65 year periodicity. Spectral analysis of the reconstructed time series of the air surface temperatures for the last 1500 years suggested the similar (55-60 year) periodicity. Analysis of 1600 years long reconstructed time series of sardine and anchovy biomass in Californian upwelling also revealed a regular 50-70 years fluctuation. Spectral analysis of the catch statistics of main commercial species for the last 50-100 years also showed cyclical fluctuations of about 55-years.”

    PDF available at this location:
    ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/005/y2787e/y2787e00.pdf

  37. From Mike Jonas on November 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm:

    While we’re on the subject of “cycles” – I have some time-related data on which I want to do a Fourier Transform looking for signs of cycles. I can’t find any (free) software to run on my Windows XP Home Edition PC. Please can someone point me at suitable software.

    Searches keep leading to FFTW.org as a mother source.

    FFTW is a C subroutine library for computing the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) in one or more dimensions, of arbitrary input size, and of both real and complex data (as well as of even/odd data, i.e. the discrete cosine/sine transforms or DCT/DST). We believe that FFTW, which is free software, should become the FFT library of choice for most applications.

    Developed at MIT, stands for “Fastest Fourier Transform in the West”.

    At the bottom of the Download page is a self-identified as out-of-date list of free programs using FFTW, from Octave to a GIMP plug-in for images to a guitar tuning app. Above are wrappers for calling FFTW from other languages. Above that are the Windows binaries, 32 and 64 bit.

    I’d say it’s worth trying, and easily worth the price.

  38. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Good cite. This is essentially what I have been saying for a long time in WUWT comments. The ~60-65 year quasi-cycle is very likely due to an internal mode for which the eigenstate has components of temperature, sea level, and other climate related variables. A lightly damped mode does not need a coherent external forcing to make it ring, so those looking for coherent astronomical forcings are very likely barking up the wrong tree. Such oscillatory modes arise in natural systems due to energy storage and transmission delays. They are ubiquitous.

    E.M.Smith says:
    November 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Good comment, and important to keep in mind.

  39. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    Nonsense
    Hi doc.
    I am sure you could do better, if you had valid reason.

    The ‘60 year cycle’ (accurate AMO spectrum actually shows just under 65 year cycle), is not a fundamental natural cycle either from the sun or planetary orbital configuration, but it is a product of cross-modulation between solar magnetic (Hale) cycle and a ripple on the earth’s magnetic field originating in the Earth’s liquid core.
    Here is screen shot of the article I wrote some months ago

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

  40. When I was at University, back in the late ’80s, I remember a professor of mine (an old geologist with almost 40 years of experience) explaining a theory that correlated sea level changes to the rate of sea floor spreading at the middle oceanic ridges: when the rate of spreading is higher, the ridges will “bulge” increasing their volume, ando so displacing a larger mass of water (and, of course, releasing more heat to the oceans…).
    If we think at the correlation between El Nino and volcanic/tectonic/seismic activity on the ocean floor, first proposed by Winkler back in 1995-97 and by others since then (mainly from the “Surge tectonics” school), we can suppose a 60 year cycle in the Eart’s “engine”….
    As cited by Leif at the start of this discussion, “the multi decadal oscillation is an INTERNAL mode, and not externally forced”….

    Just my 2 cents….

  41. They assume that they understand accurately and empirically “(greenhouse gases, solar variations, volcanic aerosols)”. Which they don’t; They also assume that their model can accurately predict anything.

  42. This is very important. Interesting to see that Colorado are involved.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm
    From paragraph [13] of the paper:
    “Some climate model experiments have found that forcing with combinations of external forcing (greenhouse gases, solar variations, volcanic aerosols) cannot reproduce the observed multi decadal variation in surface temperature [Andronova and Schlesinger, 2000], but that a coupled climate model forced with only climatological fluxes and run over 1000 years will reproduce a quasi 60 year oscillation in surface temperature that is related to fluctuations in the thermohaline circulation in the model [Delworth and Mann, 2000]. This suggests the multi decadal oscillation is an internal mode, and not externally forced. Moreover, a coupled model experiment where the Atlantic surface temperatures were forced to correspond to observations resulted in multi decadal surface temperature oscillations throughout the Northern hemisphere, similar to observations [Zhang et al., 2007], again with no external forcings other than climatology.”

    This is an important comment about whether the nonlinear oscillation is forced or unforced. However the last sentence appears self-contradictory:

    Moreover, a coupled model experiment where the Atlantic surface temperatures were forced to correspond to observations resulted in multi decadal surface temperature oscillations throughout the Northern hemisphere, similar to observations [Zhang et al., 2007], again with no external forcings other than climatology.

    It is “forced to correspond to observations” then later in the same sentence there are “no external forcings”. WUWT? Did forcing the model improve correspondence with reality? If so, this is an argument for periodic forcing, not for an unforced oscillator.

  43. To the 60-year Scafetta cycle: As comment #2 above shows, external “(greenhouse gases,
    solar variations, volcanic aerosols)” forcings do not produce a 60 year cycle….Then, along
    comes some internist, setting up an “internal model” with “internal input”, which, of course,
    was made to vary, indeed ….and as result they conclude:
    “We ‘suggest’ (!) that the cycle seems to be purely of 60 internal years”……Cleverly
    achieved is the excluding of the trisynodic Jup/Sat Scafetta cycle., being talked off the table
    by “internal” congestion…
    …….you may also go into the cycle-phobic IPCC AR4 literature and there is no 60 year
    climate driver mentioned or quantified, neither internal nor external……….JS….

  44. phlogiston says:
    November 6, 2012 at 1:17 am
    If so, this is an argument for periodic forcing, not for an unforced oscillator.

    Absolutely, forced periodically:
    Earth has a magnetic ‘ripple’ originating in the core and the sun has its cycles.
    When two are in phase the oceans absorb more energy, when two are out of phase the oceans cool.

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

  45. Sea level modulation agrees with the PDO cycle, who would have thought?

    Lots of valid comments re internal or external drivers, but no mention of the Aleutian Low. Sea level fluctuation could easily be linked to the PDO which has major influence over the ENSO cycle (Tisdale will no doubt disagree). Sustained periods of La Nina and the associated trade winds will have impact on sea levels of particular basins. The Aleutian Low also correlates with the PDO and is an atmospheric cycle, which is more likely to be influenced by solar/UV fluctuations. The 60 year cycle in the Aurora record is also of interest.

    The jury is just forming, but all informants need to be questioned.

  46. On those graphs, it looks more like 66 than 60. Since we already know the 66-year cycle in weather events, this isn’t surprising. (Multiple of 11 for obvious reasons.)

  47. Mike Jonas says:
    “I want to do a Fourier Transform looking for signs of cycles”

    You could always try the spectrum function in R.

  48. It’s not possible to claim a 60 year cycle with just 100 years if data. An up-down-up is not a cycle.

    REPLY: Significant tide gauge data goes back to 1880, and if you aren’t too lazy to look that up and can do math, that’s 132 years of data, or just over two 60 year cycles. Thus, your comment is pointless. – Anthony

  49. LazyTeenager says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:50 am

    It’s not possible to claim a 60 year cycle with just 100 years if data. An up-down-up is not a cycle.

    REPLY: Significant tide gauge data goes back to 1880, and if you aren’t too lazy to look that up and can do math, that’s 132 years of data, or just over two 60 year cycles. Thus, your comment is pointless. – Anthony

    The AMO combined with solar cumulative ocean heat content and a smattering of co2 pretty much covers it. You can omit the co2 if you bump up the solar contribution to the limit of Nir Shaviv’s estimate of the terrestrial amplification he measured from tide gauges.
    htto://sciencebits.com/calorimeter

  50. LazyTeenager says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:50 am

    It’s not possible to claim a 60 year cycle with just 100 years if data. An up-down-up is not a cycle.

    REPLY: Significant tide gauge data goes back to 1880, and if you aren’t too lazy to look that up and can do math, that’s 132 years of data, or just over two 60 year cycles. Thus, your comment is pointless. – Anthony

    The AMO combined with solar cumulative ocean heat content and a smattering of co2 pretty much covers it. You can omit the co2 if you bump up the solar contribution to the limit of Nir Shaviv’s estimate of the terrestrial amplification he measured from tide gauges.

    http://sciencebits.com/calorimeter

  51. LazyTeenager says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:50 am

    It’s not possible to claim a 60 year cycle with just 100 years if data. An up-down-up is not a cycle.

    REPLY: Significant tide gauge data goes back to 1880, and if you aren’t too lazy to look that up and can do math, that’s 132 years of data, or just over two 60 year cycles. Thus, your comment is pointless. – Anthony

    The AMO combined with solar cumulative ocean heat content and a smattering of co2 pretty much covers it. You can omit the co2 if you bump up the solar contribution to the limit of Nir Shaviv’s estimate of the terrestrial amplification he measured from tide gauges.

  52. LazyTeenager says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:50 am

    It’s not possible to claim a 60 year cycle with just 100 years if data. An up-down-up is not a cycle.

    REPLY: Significant tide gauge data goes back to 1880, and if you aren’t too lazy to look that up and can do math, that’s 132 years of data, or just over two 60 year cycles. Thus, your comment is pointless. – Anthony

    The AMO combined with solar cumulative ocean heat content and a smattering of co2 pretty much covers it. You can omit the co2 if you bump up the solar contribution to the limit of Nir Shaviv’s estimate of the terrestrial amplification he measured from tide gauges.

    http://sciencebits.com/calorimeter

  53. Geoff Sharp says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:13 am
    ………..but no mention of the Aleutian Low.
    Well spotted. Icelandic Low, Aleutian Low and the ENSO are three fundamental atmospheric pressure systems which may be indirectly responding to the solar input. I have somewhat different idea guided by data the from geology observations in order of the above

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

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

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

    Why geology?
    Earth crust (with atmosphere and oceans) is coupled to asymmetric solid core via huge mass of the liquid core. There is a differential rotation between all three, introducing ripple in the earth’s magnetic field, which has, let’s say, kind of ‘correspondence’ with solar magnetic cycles and its long term activity:

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

    Now, here are two alternatives:
    Either the solar magnetic field has an input into the earth’s behavior, or both have same driving force.
    Both alternatives are anathema to our old fervent critic Dr. Svalgaard, but I give slight preference to the second, as the sun’s magnetic field has played fair, at least up to now.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

    (I do not expect that rgbatduke to be more benevolent in his critique)
    All the best
    Vuk.

  54. [i]„We find that there is a significant oscillation with a period around 60-years in the majority of the tide gauges examined during the 20th Century, and that it appears in every ocean basin.” [/i]

    Kindergarten science.

    It can be shown that tide spectra (San Francisco bay) correlates positive with global temperature. This is a very simple coherence because of the temperature/volume property of water > 4° C.

    Science is to show coherence of real functions in nature. Nonsense cannot be shown.
    Real superimposed solar tide functions are in coherence with the real reconstructed global temperature function (except volcano effects). Depending on the number and frequency range of solar tide functions of synodic couples it has been shown here that i.) not a stupid sine wave frequency of ~ 1/60 years without any geometry function on Earth or in the solar system has any scientific meaning, but ii.) superimposed solar tide functions of real object couples have.

    Solar tide functions are not of sinusoidal function, if there is an elliptic trace involved. This can be shown for the major tide oscillator for millennia and not only for the 20th Century.

    http://www.volker-doormann.org/images ghi_vs_comnispa_5k.jpg

    I wonder that each peer reviewed Kindergarten science paper is in discussion because it is peer reviewed, followed by 500 + personal statements.

    V.

  55. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm
    “No g-modes are trapped in the interior and do not penetrate the convection zone to the surface.”

    There is no need for the g-wave to arrive at the surface, they arrive at the tachocline, bring the harmonic signal there. and force the solar dynamo, which then generates a big wave inside the convection zone. You have criticized my paper without reading it, don’t you?

    For example, read second column page 308 in

    Scafetta, Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation
    throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter–Saturn tidal frequencies plus the
    11-year solar dynamo cycle, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80 (2012) 296–311.

    The 60 year cycle is one of the solar oscillations, and it is seen in numerous solar records.
    See figure 4A and 6D in

    Scafetta, Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation
    throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter–Saturn tidal frequencies plus the
    11-year solar dynamo cycle, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80 (2012) 296–311.

  56. but that a coupled climate model forced with only climatological fluxes and run over 1000 years will reproduce a quasi 60 year oscillation in surface temperature that is related to fluctuations in the thermohaline circulation in the model [Delworth and Mann, 2000]. This suggests the multi decadal oscillation is an internal mode, and not externally forced.
    =========
    Or that the model has a feature built into the code that causes the 60 year oscillation in the model, but tells us nothing about the causes of this oscillation in the real world. It could simply be an artifact of the model builder’s assumptions and expectations when they built the computer code.

    The day someone can model the tides accurately from first principles the way climate models try and model climate, then there might be something to talk about. However, what we have learned about the tides is that they are too complex to model accurately from first principles (forcings/feedbacks).

    As it is likely that climate is orders of magnitude more complex than the tides, it seems quite likely that climate models will have even less success at predicting the future than will tide models run from first principles.

    As a result of the complexity problem, we model the tides in a manner very similar to computing a horoscope. Who would have thought, Astrology more accurate than scientific principles at calculating the earth’s tides.

    The reason why this is true has nothing to do with Astrology, it is simply a result of observation that natural processes tend to be cyclic, not linear. Thus if you can through observation find the cycles in the natural processes then you can make accurate prediction about the future, that would otherwise be too complex to calculate by other means.

  57. vukcevic says:
    November 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm
    “Nonsense”
    I am sure you could do better, if you had valid reason.

    Every competent electrical engineer would know that because of the high conductivity of the lower mantle and the outer core [which is essentially a superconductor at the frequencies of geomagnetic storms] the skin depth is so small that no external electromagnetic influence can penetrate to ir into the core. I have explained that to you you so many times.

    Nicola Scafetta says:
    November 6, 2012 at 5:23 am
    You have criticized my paper without reading it, don’t you?
    I criticized your posting here. The referees’ comments on your rejected papers speak for themselves. BTW, have you considered the strong possibility that the solar dynamo is much closer to the surface than the tachocline? http://www.leif.org/EOS/20111212_NSO-Hathaway.pdf
    “The surface shear layer itself may play a more significant role in the solar dynamo”

  58. Dario from NW Italy says:
    November 6, 2012 at 12:39 am
    If we think at the correlation between El Nino and volcanic/tectonic/seismic activity on the ocean floor, first proposed by Winkler back in 1995-97 and by others since then (mainly from the “Surge tectonics” school), we can suppose a 60 year cycle in the Eart’s “engine”….
    ==========
    A cycle in tectonic activity could easily be a harmonic of the tidal forces on the earth, resulting from the near integer harmonics of the planets that stabilizes their orbits. Similar to soldiers marching on a bridge, harmonic oscillations result in much larger effects than would otherwise be predicted.

  59. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 6, 2012 at 5:45 am
    Every competent electrical engineer would know that because of the high conductivity of the lower mantle and the outer core [which is essentially a superconductor at the frequencies of geomagnetic storms] the skin depth is so small that no external electromagnetic influence can penetrate to ir into the core. I have explained that to you so many times.
    That is not disputed, you got the data, you can calculate it and check my numbers. There is possibility that interaction between two fields happens in the lithosphere or conductive magma, or both, magma is some 10-20 km below ocean surface, and may be that is what Jackson, Bloxham & Gubbins have calculated. If so the ’tension’ between lithosphere and magma could be propagating to the ocean’s floor. Independent geology observations also shows that correlation is there

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

    I can’t work out every single detail myself, get your creative thinking hat on and help out.

  60. Leif Svalgaard says:November 6, 2012 at 5:45 am

    You are right, Leif. The referees’ comments speak for themselves in demonstrating their ignorance and unfairness.

    The referee’s process needs to be reformed to prevent those abuses. Good papers should not be rejected simply because some charlatan is chosen as referee and because some editor is unfriendly toward a specific author.

  61. If you’re on the beach and 3 waves come at a regular interval, how much of a cycle is that?

    When it is time to make a statistical analysis, I think a good filter is simply a filter that minimizes variance in relation to a low polynomial best fit. Maybe a second order polynomial at most. As an example, if you use a N-year moving average. As N goes up you expect the variance to go down. But sometimes you have a very low variance for a certain N. I don’t think it is cherry picking to use a method that creates a particularly low variance.

  62. vukcevic says:
    November 6, 2012 at 6:16 am
    There is possibility that interaction between two fields happens in the lithosphere or conductive magma, or both, magma is some 10-20 km below ocean surface
    No, there is no such possibility as there is no dynamo operating in those magma chambers. A dynamo is necessary because the magma is above the Curie temperature. As I said, the correlation is spurious.

  63. “Climate periodicity of about 50-70 years has been detected by various
    authors. Spectral analysis of temperature variability series in North America
    and Europe for the last 1000 years indicated predominance of cyclic temperature
    fluctuations within the range of 60 to 80 years and at 120 years
    [Shabalova, Weber, 1999]. In the work by Schlesinger and Ramankutty
    [Schlesinger, Ramankutty, 1994] predominance of 65-70-year periodicity of
    the global climate was demonstrated. Spectral analysis of the long-period
    dynamics of the ocean surface temperature and atmospheric pressure in
    North Pacific water area [Minobe, 1997, 1999, 2000] during the last century
    demonstrated predominant 50-70-year (and additional 20-30-year) periodicity
    of climatic indices PDO and ALPI. Similar data on the 50-70-year
    periodicity of ocean surface temperature fluctuations (PDO index) were
    obtained by Mantua and Hare [Mantua, Hare, 2002].”

    LB Klyashtorin, AA Lyubushin, Et Al. 2007

    • To Gymnosperm: [BTW, I know a sperm…and gymno means a gymnastical
      sperm?]
      Taking the GISP2 temp series for 10,000 years, you find an exact 61 year
      temp up-spike all along for 10,000 years…. this is established fact and UTMOST
      accurate, for everybody clearly to see…. Now along come peer/pal -“scientists”.
      …taking blurred, distorted, low
      resolution data..of a couple 100 years only [2 or 3 % of the Holocene]..boasting
      now to “discover” 50-70, a 55-80, a 60-65, a 55-70 year cycles as great “scientific”
      news. The one with the greatest smoke screen is called Mike Mann, he blurres the
      61 year cycle to its widest amplitude as possible, making it a 50 to 85 year cycle,
      thus doubtful for everyone, doubting whether one can speak of a cycle or not….
      [thats the master plan….] Additionally, he does not dedicate himself to 10,000 years
      but rather selects a speck of 330 years of TRW…… and then he, as the others,
      reckon to be the great “cycle experts”……At the contrary,
      the new 60-year cycle people are of high quality, not of Warmist low quality cycle
      blurrers…
      All great news….I am excited, science finally advances with detection of more
      60/61 cycles…. progress cannot be stopped… the end of the Mannocene and the
      Grant-suckocene is on the horizon…..
      and we all can witness it…..JS

  64. Mike Jonas says:
    November 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm
    “…. I have some time-related data on which I want to do a Fourier Transform looking for signs of cycles. I can’t find any (free) software to run on my Windows XP Home Edition PC….”.

    You are actually spoilt for choice , when it comes to free software with capabilites to do Fourier transform, spectral analysis , periodograms etc, and using Octave as somone suggested is not a bad idea, there is also the Gnumeric spreadsheet program , it has a time series analysis plugin ( it is installed along with the program, but is not activated at startup by default so it has to be enabled in the preferences to show up in the functions menus ).

    And then there is Gretl (Gnu Regression, Econometrics and Time-series Library) it has quite a lot of functionality, runs under all the main OS’es, has a GUI frontend option, and can run Octave/Matlab and R-scripts within the it’s own user environment. It might be somthing of an overkill for what you are after, but take a quick peek at homepage at “gretl.sourceforge.net” to see if it suits your purpose.
    And the U.S. National Institute of standards also offers a free program called Dataplot a real heavy hitter that I think is possibly capable of doing any and all statistical and signal analysis anybody ever dreamt up, and then some . Its home page url is:
    “http://www.itl.nist.gov/div898/software/dataplot/”
    And there is a lot more out there, but as I said before we are spoilt for choise , so chosin the right package is perhance a problem of abundance rather than scarcity.

  65. Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 6, 2012 at 7:43 am
    A dynamo is necessary because the magma is above the Curie temperature. As I said, the correlation is spurious.

    You can’t help inventing the obstacles, can you?
    Why would you need dynamo there anyway?
    Let me try again. Induction reaches some 100km or so deep, it acts opposite to the existing earth’s field reaching the area from the core (http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/TMC.htm where lithosphere and magma coexist.
    In far N. Atlantic crustal thickness in certain areas is as low as 10km

    http://seismo.berkeley.edu/~rallen/research/iceland/iceMODELS/JGRfigsCrust/plate1.html

    Conflict between two fields would cause geomagnetic jerks (as the lithosphere flexes and the magma flows). Flexing of the thin lithosphere skin under ocean floor would propagate into oceans.

    Jan Mayen http://www.mantleplumes.org/images3/JanMayenFig1_1000.jpg
    field bidecadal variability is closely correlated to the Leohle’s bi-millennial temperature reconstruction

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

  66. vukcevic says:
    November 6, 2012 at 8:26 am
    You can’t help inventing the obstacles, can you?
    The obstacles are physical.
    Why would you need dynamo there anyway?
    Let me try again. Induction reaches some 100km or so deep, it acts opposite to the existing earth’s field reaching the area from the core

    Because the induction effects are temporary and go away in a few days [as the primary effects in the ring current that cause them in the first place], so do not make any long-term changes. For those, you need a self-sustaining dynamo.
    Your physics is wrong and the correlation is spurious.

  67. Mike Jonas says:
    November 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    While we’re on the subject of “cycles” – I have some time-related data on which I want to do a Fourier Transform looking for signs of cycles. I can’t find any (free) software to run on my Windows XP Home Edition PC. Please can someone point me at suitable software.

    Try Octave (http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/). It is a free Matlab clone.

  68. Mike Jonas says:
    November 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    While we’re on the subject of “cycles” – I have some time-related data on which I want to do a Fourier Transform looking for signs of cycles. I can’t find any (free) software to run on my Windows XP Home Edition PC. Please can someone point me at suitable software.

    There are a lot of possibilities in the FOSS world. I would suggest either R, which has extensive built-in, time-series analysis capabilities, and for which there add-in packages that are even more potent. R is widely used and is now a leading analytical tool. I’m not too fond of the basic data format for time series data that R prefers, but there are packages that can help with that. Steep learning curve and sending output files can be obscure.

    Alternatively, there is Octave which is close enough to Matlab, that code can be moved between them, sometimes requiring some minor editing. Books about Matlab are also useful for learning Octave.

  69. ok, stupid question:

    In the U of C sea level I see grey area north and south:

    In the navy sea level these grey areas appear to be areas with sinking sea level:

    It almost looks like the pluses and minuses are about the same.

    Now my stupid question – can this 60 years variations be such redistribution of waters between equator and poles and the U of C measuring only the rising part now missing the sinking part?

    Could these be due to some changes in gravity – something like this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/23/chnages-in-earths-gravity-in-relation-to-magnetic-field-measured/

    or other? – day variations, Earth speeding or getting slower due to small variations in orbit?

  70. Funny how “cycles” generate such a lively informative and interesting discussion. All good stuff. (As usual on WUWT).

    Many thanks to everyone who recommended Fourier Transform software. I’ll try it out over the next few days.

  71. ATTN: gymnosperm

    You did not give the ref to the paper by LBK and AAL, and you got the DOI wrong. The paper is:

    “On the Coherence between Dynamics of the World Fuel Consumption and Global Temperature Anomaly.” Energy & Environment, Vol.14, No 6, 773-782, 2003.

    This paper was not cited in the IPCC’s AR 4 WG1 chapter.

    LBK’s “FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 410. Rome, FAO. 2001. 86p.” was also not cited in the WG1 chapter. Note the pub date. This paper should have been cited.

    There was no disscuson of climate cycles in the WG1 chapter.

  72. The 60-year cycles are obvious. How this can be new or astounding to anyone on the warmist side is itself astounding. But the “facts” of the skeptic side are not facts on the warmist side (and vice-versa ).

    This popped into my brain and captures my wonder and maybe cynicism:

    What The Climate Wars Are All About

    I talk to you, you talk to me
    We talk and talk and still disagree.
    Black is white and white, black.
    Back is front and front is back.
    I lookk at the sky and you see the ground,
    Our excitement goes ’round and ’round.

    It is strange this you-and-me
    How with the same-built eyes the differences we see.
    Huh! When it’s emotions that drive us,
    Facts don’t come much into play, and
    Each day we talk we step further away.
    For now what matters is not what is true,
    But that each feels he has something
    Important to do.

  73. vukcevic says:
    November 6, 2012 at 2:11 am
    phlogiston says:
    November 6, 2012 at 1:17 am
    If so, this is an argument for periodic forcing, not for an unforced oscillator.

    Absolutely, forced periodically:
    Earth has a magnetic ‘ripple’ originating in the core and the sun has its cycles.
    When two are in phase the oceans absorb more energy, when two are out of phase the oceans cool.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EarthNV.htm

    Geoff Sharp says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:13 am
    Sea level modulation agrees with the PDO cycle, who would have thought?

    Lots of valid comments re internal or external drivers, but no mention of the Aleutian Low. Sea level fluctuation could easily be linked to the PDO which has major influence over the ENSO cycle (Tisdale will no doubt disagree). Sustained periods of La Nina and the associated trade winds will have impact on sea levels of particular basins. The Aleutian Low also correlates with the PDO and is an atmospheric cycle, which is more likely to be influenced by solar/UV fluctuations. The 60 year cycle in the Aurora record is also of interest.

    The PDO can be seen as an oscillation of the integrated ocean-atmosphere system, so atmosphere doesn not force ocean, or vice versa, the system as a whole exhibits an oscillation.

    It would be very valuable if we could know with precision whether the PDO / AMO oscillation going back thousands of years, was (a) regular as clockwork – which would favour a direct astrophysical forcing or strong nonlinear forcing; or (b) if the period is variable, which would favour either an internal, unforced oscillation or a weakly forced nonlinear oscillator.

  74. “Although the tide gauge data are still too limited, both in time and space, to determine conclusively that there is a 60-year oscillation in GMSL, the possibility should be considered when attempting to interpret the acceleration in the rate of global and regional mean sea level rise.”

    Data is too limited to be conclusive about an oscillation. Then it must be too limited to conclude anything else, like a global warming signal for example. Not that that has stopped them so far.

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