New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature

Map of correlations suggest it may be affecting biomass and planetary albedo.
From the Hockey Schtick:

A paper published today in Methods in Ecology and Evolution describes a new satellite dataset of solar UV-B radiation for use in ecological studies. According to the authors, “UV-B surfaces were correlated with global mean temperature and annual mean radiation data, but exhibited variable spatial associations across the globe.” The finding is notable, since climate scientists dismiss the role of the Sun in climate change by only looking at the tiny 0.1% variations in total solar irradiance [TSI] over solar cycles, ignoring the large variations in solar UV of up to 100% over solar cycles, and which according to this paper, correlates to global mean temperature. Thus, the role of the Sun and solar amplification mechanisms on climate is only at the earliest stages of understanding.

In the supplemental information (SI) I found this correlation map, which was telling for me. Note the red of highest correlation – mostly in the tropics. This suggests to me that UVB is playing a role with ocean biomass, possibly modulating algae/plankton, which in turn changes the albedo, and absorption of other solar wavelengths into the oceans (which then affects nearby land-mass temperature).

UVB_to Temperature-quadmap1

The authors write: Finally, we mapped the four types of local spatial association for each pair of compared variables to show how the strength and type of spatial association vary geographically. Areas with non-significant relationship or negative (inverse) spatial association (Low-High, High-Low clusters) indicate locations where our glUV data provide new information (variability) that is not captured by considered existing climate variables. Below is an example of a LISA map for the above mentioned comparison of annual UV-B radiation versus annual temperature (Figure 4a in the manuscript).

Here is the press release:

Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) have processed existing data on global UV-B radiation in such a way that scientists can use them to find answers to many ecological questions. According to the paper published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, an online journal of the British Ecological Society, this data set allows drawing new conclusions about the global distribution of animal and plant species.

Average intensity of global UV-B radiation – mean UV-B of highest month. (Quelle: Tomáš Václavík/UFZ)

Average intensity of global UV-B radiation – mean UV-B of highest month. (Tomáš Václavík/UFZ)

Zoom

Average intensity of global UV-B radiation – mean UV-B of lowest month. (Quelle: Tomáš Václavík/UFZ)

Average intensity of global UV-B radiation – mean UV-B of lowest month. (Tomáš Václavík/UFZ)

Zoom

Many research projects study the effects of temperature and precipitation on the global distribution of plant and animal species. However, an important component of climate research, the UV-B radiation, is often neglected. The landscape ecologists from UFZ in collaboration with their colleagues from the Universities in Olomouc (Czechia), Halle and Lüneburg have processed UV-B data from the U.S. NASA space agency in such a way that they can be used to study the influence of UV-B radiation on organisms.

The basic input data were provided by a NASA satellite that regularly, since 2004, orbits the Earth at an altitude of 705 kilometres and takes daily measurements of the UV-B radiation. “For us, however, not daily but the long-term radiation values are crucial, as these are relevant for organisms”, says the UFZ researcher Michael Beckmann, the lead author of the study. The researchers therefore derived six variables from the UV-B radiation data. These include annual average, seasonality, as well as months and quarters with the highest or lowest radiation intensity.

In order to process the enormous NASA data set, the UFZ researchers developed a computational algorithm, which not only removed missing or incorrect readings, but also summed up the daily measurements on a monthly basis and determined long-term averages. The processed data are currently available for the years 2004-2013 and will be updated annually.

With this data set, scientists can now perform macro-ecological analyses on the effects of UV-B radiation on the global distribution of animal and plant species. “While there are still many uncertainties”, says Michael Beckmann, “the UV radiation is another factor that may explain why species are present or absent at specific sites.” The data set can also help addressing other research questions. Material scientists can identify strategies to provide better protection to UV-sensitive materials, such as paints or plastics, in specific regions of the world. Human medicine could use the data set to better explain the regional prevalence of skin diseases. “There are no set limits as to how researchers can use these data”, says Beckmann.

The data are now freely available for download on the internet and visually presented in the form of maps. These maps show, for example, that in countries in the southern hemisphere, such as New Zealand, the UV-B radiation is up to 50 percent higher than in the countries in the northern hemisphere, such as Germany. In general, the UV irradiation in winter is lower than in summer due to a shorter daily sunshine duration.

Background: Unlike the rather harmless UV-A radiation, the high-energy UV-B radiation causes health problems to humans, animals and plants. Well known is the higher risk of skin cancer in the New Zealand and Australia population if unprotected and exposed to sun for an extended period of time. Skin damage was also documented in whales and amphibians. In amphibians, UV-B radiation may also reduce survival rates of tadpoles and spawn eggs. In plants, the radiation reduces performance of photosynthesis, a process of using solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen. This inhibits production of biomass and thus reduces e.g. yields of agricultural crops.

The paper: glUV: a global UV-B radiation data set for macroecological studies

Michael Beckmann et al
Macroecology has prospered in recent years due in part to the wide array of climatic data, such as those provided by the WorldClim and CliMond data sets, which has become available for research. However, important environmental variables have still been missing, including spatial data sets on UV-B radiation, an increasingly recognized driver of ecological processes.
We developed a set of global UV-B surfaces (glUV) suitable to match common spatial scales in macroecology. Our data set is based on remotely sensed records from NASA’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument (Aura-OMI). Following a similar approach as for the WorldClim and CliMond data sets, we processed daily UV-B measurements acquired over a period of eight years into monthly mean UV-B data and six ecologically meaningful UV-B variables with a 15-arc minute resolution. These bioclimatic variables represent Annual Mean UV-B, UV-B Seasonality, Mean UV-B of Highest Month, Mean UV-B of Lowest Month, Sum of Monthly Mean UV-B during Highest Quarter and Sum of Monthly Mean UV-B during Lowest Quarter. We correlated our data sets with selected variables of existing bioclimatic surfaces for land and with Terra–MODIS Sea Surface Temperature for ocean regions to test for relations to known gradients and patterns.
UV-B surfaces showed a distinct seasonal variance at a global scale, while the intensity of UV-B radiation decreased towards higher latitudes and was modified by topographic and climatic heterogeneity. UV-B surfaces were correlated with global mean temperature and annual mean radiation data, but exhibited variable spatial associations across the globe. UV-B surfaces were otherwise widely independent of existing bioclimatic surfaces.
Our data set provides new climatological information relevant for macroecological analyses. As UV-B is a known driver of numerous biological patterns and processes, our data set offers the potential to generate a better understanding of these dynamics in macroecology, biogeography, global change research and beyond.

The glUV data set containing monthly mean UV-B data and six derived UV-B surfaces is freely available for download at: http://www.ufz.de/gluv.

 
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87 Responses to New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature

  1. milodonharlani says:

    Marine phytoplankton also affect climate by producing cloud condensation nuclei.

  2. Tim Walker says:

    Very interesting study. Thank you.

  3. Merovign says:

    The “sun has nothing to do with it” moment was when media-mainstream climatology “jumped the shark” for a lot of observers.

    It was on the level of “there ain’t no such animal,” as the apocryphal zoo visitor said of the giraffe.

  4. ‘ New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature’

    What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’? When it’s applied to releasing co2 and increased temperatures? Surely some mistake here?

  5. davidmhoffer says:

    Pay walled of course.
    I’m curious to know if they published a temperature reconstruction versus the instrumental record? I’m kinda waiting to see if Leif pokes giant holes in this or not. But if not, then the correlation ought to diverge starting about 1950 or so if sensitivity to CO2 is significant.

  6. Henry Clark says:

    “the tiny 0.1% variations in total solar irradiance [TSI] over solar cycles, ignoring the large variations in solar UV of up to 100% over solar cycles”

    And around 15% minimum-to-peak variation in cosmic ray flux over an ordinary solar cycle, plus more over the “global warming” since the Little Ice Age when average absolute terrestrial temperatures in Kelvin rose by around 0.3% (as in my usual multitude of solar-climate correlation demonstrations in http://tinyurl.com/nbnh7hq ).

    Anyway, I’ll have to look more at this to piece out what is causing what part, since high versus low solar activity times differ in more than UV though it is a factor.

  7. Robertvd says:

    http://www.aemet.es/es/eltiempo/observacion/radiacion/ultravioleta?l=barcelona&f=anual
    http://www.aemet.es/es/eltiempo/observacion/radiacion/ultravioleta?datos=mapa

    I noticed that my birds don’t want to be in the direct sun and when they are sunbathing they go to the part were they can sit behind glass.

  8. JJ says:

    Anthony,

    In the supplemental information (SI) I found this correlation map, which was telling for me. Note the red of highest correlation – mostly in the tropics.

    All of the colored areas denote high (i.e. statistically significant) correlation. Only the gray areas denote low (i.e. not statistically significant) correlation. There is no gradation of high to low correlation provided, apart from the single p value criterion.

    The high-high … low-low categories provide the “flavor”, not the strength, of the correlation. The dark red and dark blue areas denote high positive correlation – high UV with high temp, low UV with low temp. The baby red and light blue areas denote high negative correlation – high UV with low temp, low UV with high temp.

    The authors call out the existence of the uncorrelated and inverse correlated areas as the new information provided by their study. They assert that the positive correlation is already accounted for in existing climate variables.

  9. Rob says:

    David, (1.55)

    Sadly the data is only from 2004 as it is extracted from a NASA satellite sent up to monitor ozone so there will be nothing to compare to historically. No proxies in the paper, just daily UVB data which has been aggregated to give monthly numbers. Any correlations to temperature will interesting, but unlikely to lead to anything concrete for at least two solar cycles unless some intermediate steps in a postulated pathway can be studied (as Jesper Kirby has done for the cosmic ray/cloud hypothesis). The suggestions above about phytoplankton would be interesting as there are some experimental studies that could be done to see if (i) phytoplankton density does change with UVB and (ii) phytoplankton have an effect on cloud seeding.

    Still interesting though.

  10. milodonharlani says:

    Rob says:
    April 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    The mixed effects of UV (primarily A) on phytoplankton have been studied:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1913777/

    Not just direct effects however must be considered, if, as seems at least possible, there is also an indirect effect on ocean temperature.

  11. milodonharlani says:

    A 2008 study attributed the failure of GCMs to model Cretaceous climate on their ignoring the effect of clouds, which could have been reduced then by the depressing effect of unusually hot oceans on phytoplankton:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080410-ancient-warming.html

  12. pochas says:

    Suggests to me that the “loopy jet stream” (aka the dreaded polar vortex) we have come to know and love is associated with variation in solar UV. The UV generates ozone, the ozone absorbs incoming SW, the Brewer-Dobson circulation moves the whole heated mass to the poles where a temperature inversion forms which destabilizes the polar vortex so that cold arctic air masses can move southward. This affects northern continental landmasses which are nearer the poles and provide an avenue for the cold air moving south, but not the southern continents except for small areas nearest antarctica. This may not by itself cause global cooling, as the northern oceans seem to warm as the continents cool. We will have to wait to see the longer term effects of the quiescent solar cycles.

  13. kenw says:

    ..the 4th:

    correlation is NOT causation, certainly. But it provides clues as where to look.

    And despite the rhetoric, anthropogenic CO2 and warming have precious little correlation.

  14. Robertvd says:

    If more UVB warms the oceans even more there should be more cloud formation that stops much of this radiation reaching the surface.
    This morning we had rain in Barcelona .And the rest of the day had variable clouds.
    http://www.aemet.es/es/eltiempo/observacion/radiacion/ultravioleta?l=barcelona

  15. pochas says:

    Had it backward. Strong UV creates the temperature inversion which stabilizes the polar vortex and the cold air stays put. Weak solar cycles remove the temperature inversion and destabilize the polar vortex so that cold air moves southward and northern oceans warm. Sorry!

  16. cnxtim says:

    By all means my jolly climate scientists, continue to examine and measure and when you feel quite confident predict the future weather, accurate forecasts are most useful.
    But please give up this pursuit of the myth of CAGW and expecting taxpayers to fund your folly.

    And also give up trying to blame “big oil” for everything that doesn’t happen to your liking in the world – the rest of us have REAL work to do that requires energy provided for the best all over ROI, .and that means exploiting our oil and gas reserves to depletion if there are no worthwhile alternatives beforehand.

  17. thegriss says:

    What they need to do is look at the changes in frequency of UV during solar maximums (there was a series of very strong solar maximums during the latter half of last century). There are significant changes in sea water penetration in the 300-350 nm range which would have a significant effect algal growth. as well as warming of the surface.
    http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2008-3/download/lrsp-2008-3Color.pdf

  18. Nick Stokes says:

    The plot here shows a spatial correlation of BIO1 with UVB. BIO1 is a mean (normal) annual temperature. It seems to be just an eco climate classification – not time-varying temperature data. It’s just saying that hot places get more UV-B. This may be important for ecologists to know, but it doesn’t tell anything about the Sun and climatic variations.

    REPLY: Well if the actual paper wasn’t paywalled so that only high-preists of eco-sci can look at it, I’d have gladly provided such a plot if they had it. Rather than whine about it Nick why not use your status as an insider and get us a copy to look at? – Anthony

  19. Henry Clark says:

    Actually looking a bit more at this:

    This, as in the quadmap, may be mainly merely a glorified version of such as finding that sunny near-equatorial lands tend to be hot (and have high UV-B too), far from the kind of correlation over time demonstration which is more relevant and which I prefer.

    For example, the Sahara desert has high UV, high sunlight, and of course is hot. That’s not what is most interesting to see, rather that patterns in solar activity match patterns in temperature over the decades (my usual http://tinyurl.com/nbnh7hq ).

  20. george e. smith says:

    Well the first think I noticed about their four color map, is that the oceans are all white, so it would seem they aren’t talking about oceanic algae. And how could ocean algae affect albedo much.

    If some critter or other doesn’t absorb sunlight /UV in the deep ocean, well it just keeps on going till something does. So UV absorption in the ocean, must be total. I suppose some algae types might reflect some other colors, but the UV is going to get absorbed by something; animal, vegetable or mineral.

    But it sounds like an interesting paper to get out from under the bushel.

  21. Henry Clark says:

    Nick Stokes preempted my post by 1 minute it looks like, though I was writing it since several minutes ago, but that is the idea.

  22. TimB says:

    More likely that it’s affecting atmospheric chemistry of ozone at TOA. Ozone is a greenhouse gas which IPCC regards as about 25% effective as CO2. UV-B also interacts with aerosols which also interacts with ozone. If this is done by satellite, it’s not clear how much would be reaching the surface. The answer lies in between stratosphere and troposhere.

  23. son of mulder says:

    ” blackadderthe4th says:
    April 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’? When it’s applied to releasing co2 and increased temperatures?”

    But CO2 has been rising for the past 17 years and temperature hasn’t so what are you talking about?

  24. Rhoda R says:

    The interesting thing about this and some other recent studies is that the publishing portion of the science world is beginning to acknowledge that something other than CO2 may be driving climate.

  25. Steven Mosher says:

    [SNIP Mosh, stop leaving cryptic half-comments, please. If you have something to say, say it. Don't make people try to reverse engineer what you are snarking on about - Anthony]

  26. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Satellites are great.

  27. Duster says:

    blackadderthe4th says:
    April 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    ‘ New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature’

    What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’? When it’s applied to releasing co2 and increased temperatures? Surely some mistake here?

    Correlation does not mean causation, but the “not the sun” crowd have been arguing that the sun is NOT correlated. Thus an assertion has been falsified, which in science means progress has occurred.

  28. Col Mosby says:

    Blackadderthe4th sys:
    “What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’? When it’s applied to releasing co2 and increased temperatures? Surely some mistake here?”
    We use common sense here. In the case of warming/CO2, we all know increased levels of CO2 causes warming and also that warming causes CO2 levels to increase. We also know an increase in Earth warming cannot affect solar UV-B output. Obviously the Earth is warm because of solar radiation, so it’s hardly a giant leap to assume, should someone wish to, that large variations in an important type of solar radiation will lead to some variation in Earth temperatures, in one fashion or another, yet to be spelled out in a definitive manner. As for your claim that doubters deny
    correlation of CO2 / global temps (which is a falsehood and a straw man, elementary school logic), it would be more difficult for you to show that a strong correlation exists, given the rapid and gigantic increase in CO during the past two decades, accompanied by zero global warming. Correlations are a huge problem for the hysterical alarmist crowd, not for the realists.

  29. DesertYote says:

    These data seem more relevant to ecology then to climatology, which is fine by me. I am much more interested in ecology anyways. I grew up were most of the plants have evolved mechanisms that shield them from the impact of UVB. The same mechanisms can be found in the plants of the Andes. BTW, when you climb Everest, be sure to bring your sun block.

    Using my aging Eyeball v 1.0, it seems that the distribution is a function of latitude, elevation, and humidity.

    Like has been noted, it is going to take a lot more data to prove any connection between the spectral distribution of the suns output and climate, not that I am discounting the possibility.

  30. milodonharlani says:

    TimB says:
    April 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Ozone is unusual if not unique among GHGs in being a monatomic molecule.

  31. ntesdorf says:

    “Whatever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’? When it’s applied to releasing co2 and increased temperatures? Surely some mistake here?”

    Yes, the mistake is that CO2 does not correlate with temperature, increased or decreased! Temperatures have not risen for 17 years, while CO2 levels have.
    This study shows something interesting instead.‘ New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature’

  32. Mike Maguire says:

    “Although the total (and visible) irradiance has only increased by roughly 0.3% since the Maunder minimum the enhancement of UV and NUV radiation during the last 3
    centuries is ten and four times larger, respectively.”

    Conclusions:
    “The ozone abundance in the Earth’s atmosphere is influenced strongly by the level of solar UV radiation (e.g., Haigh 1994). Knowledge of the evolution of the solar spectral irradiance is therefore important for obtaining an idea of long-term changes in stratospheric chemistry and possible associated climate changes”
    http://www.landscheidt.info/images/UV_solanki.pdf

    I am also interested in vukcevic’s take and graphs related to this.

  33. davidmhoffer says:

    Rob says:
    April 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm
    David, (1.55)
    Sadly the data is only from 2004
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Thanks Rob. I agree the study is interesting, but from the perspective of climate…pffft, not nearly enough data.

  34. milodonharlani says:

    ntesdorf says:
    April 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Given enough time, movements in CO2 concentration do correlate with temperature, because a colder ocean will hold more gas & a warmer one give up more to the air. But that’s the reverse of the cause-effect relationship falsely posited for CACA.

    During the Precambrian earth’s atmosphere was largely the product of outgassing from the mantle. More than four billion years ago, CO2 concentration was on the order of one atmosphere of pressure, gradually decreasing to ~1/100 atm (~10,000 ppm) by one billion years ago. Precambrian atmosphere aggressively weathered Fe, Ca & Mg-rich minerals. Present atmospheric CO2 (~400 ppm) level results from gradual reaction of the gas with these minerals & from metabolic activity of life. Natural CO2 sequestration (for example by cyanobacterial carbonate precipitation) started in the Archean, later to involve eukaryotic life.

    In the late Precambrian, ie c. 1,100,000 years ago, the sun would have been about 10% less powerful than now, but with 10,000 or more ppm CO2 (some say a lot more), why was that time a super Icehouse World? Even in the Cambrian & Ordovician, Icehouse conditions were common, with CO2 levels around 7000 ppm & the sun just four to five percent less potent. Moving on to the late Carboniferous & early Permian Periods, there was however an Icehouse World with CO2 levels similar to now & the sun less than three percent weaker. Even so, clearly other factors are more important in the onset of cold climatic conditions than CO2 concentration.

  35. milodonharlani says:

    Sorry. Meant 1,100,000,000 years, ie 1.1 billion.

  36. Ulric Lyons says:

    Given that the UVB is higher at high altitudes and lower in the tropical forest regions:
    http://www.ufz.de/export/data/1/57980_UVB3_Highest-Month.jpg
    I suspect that water vapour plays a large part:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50935/abstract
    And then there’s those pesky holes in the water vapour through the tropical regions:
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Earth/action?opt=-p&img=vapour.bmp

  37. clipe says:

    blackadderthe4th says:
    April 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    ‘ New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature’

    What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’? When it’s applied to releasing co2 and increased temperatures? Surely some mistake here?

    Jumping in with a knee-jerk comment before “the doubters” had a chance to read the paper makes you look stupid.

  38. Jeff says:

    This raised a red flag (for me at least, I’m not fond of massively-massaged data, Murphy’s Law, I guess):

    “In order to process the enormous NASA data set, the UFZ researchers developed a computational algorithm, which not only removed missing or incorrect readings, but also summed up the daily measurements on a monthly basis and determined long-term averages.”

    With what (if anything) did they replace the missing readings?
    How did they determine readings were incorrect? Threshhold values?

    “The processed data are currently available for the years 2004-2013 and will be updated annually.”
    Good.

    “The data are now freely available for download on the internet and visually presented in the form of maps.”
    Better…now about that paywall…..

    “…New Zealand, the UV-B radiation is up to 50 percent higher than in the countries in the northern hemisphere, such as Germany…”

    Except if you add back in all the radiation from the tanning parlors… :) Actually they also talk about radiation effects/health…there were some specialists on another thread discussing a similar issue, would be interesting to get their views….

    This sounds promising, would be nice to see the whole study (at least the data is supposed to be available, but the methods should be there too for validation/invalidation/what-have-you…

    Waiting for a response from the halls of Svaalgard….

  39. Konrad says:

    As George E. Smith has noted the plot does not cover the oceans. In considering solar influence on climate, the oceans are important. This study looks at higher energy UV-B, but even UV-A still has the power of 10 w/m2 at 50m depth in the oceans. It is the UV frequencies that vary most between solar cycles.

    Most of the solar radiation reaching the oceans is UV, SW and SWIR. As can be seen from the diurnal overturning above the themocline it is UV and SW rather than SWIR (shallow penetration) that have the most influence on ocean temperatures*.

    When the oceans are considered a near blackbody, the cumulative effects of UV variation are ignored.

    *If DWLWIR and solar SWIR were having a huge effect on ocean temps, how much diurnal overturning would there be? ;-)

    REPLY: Air temperature over nearby land is highly dependent on the oceans, and that was my point – Anthony

  40. Robertvd says:

    “In plants, the radiation reduces performance of photosynthesis, a process of using solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars and OXYGEN.”

    How fast could O2 levels drop ?

  41. Nick Stokes says:

    ” I’d have gladly provided such a plot if they had it. Rather than whine about it Nick why not use your status as an insider and get us a copy to look at? – Anthony”
    I have read the paper. It refers just to temperature data in the Bioclim dataset (as in the SI), and to Terra-Modis annual mean SST. These are spatial distributions of long term means. Unfortunately, the paper’s pdf does not allow me to copy the text.

    The words you have highlighted from the abstract (in your title),
    “UV-B surfaces were correlated with global mean temperature and annual mean radiation data”
    have two possible meanings. We’re used to thinking of time correlation of spatial means. But it can equally mean spatial correlation of time means. Since they have cited a dataset of spatially distributed time mean temperatures, and used LISA to get the spatial correlations, it’s clear that they are using the second interpretation. Which doesn’t tell us anything about climate changing over time.

  42. Konrad says:

    “Air temperature over nearby land is highly dependent on the oceans, and that was my point – Anthony”
    ————————————–
    Yes, you did point that out, and I jumped straight to the SI and missed it :(

    Another older paper that deals with UV into the oceans –

    http://www.biblioteca.uma.es/bbldoc/tesisuma/1663844x.pdf

    This also a biology paper. Figure 3.(d) has a good plot of some frequencies vs. w/m2 at depth.

  43. philjourdan says:

    @BA4 – Correlation does not mean causation. But it is worth looking into. Given CO2 has no correlation, why are people wasting their time with it?

  44. KevinK says:

    Ah, yes, some folks may have finally realized that calculating absolute radiometric values (i.e. the alleged radiative imbalance) actually requires accurate data across the entire spectrum of light (cosmic rays, X-rays, UV-B, UV-A, visible, NIR, MWIR, LWIR, etc.). Sure, the visible light may be quite stable, but the other components (where few folks have bothered to look) may vary widely.

    Once it’s absorbed and becomes heat the spectrum of the incoming light matters little.

    And a simplistic “theoretical black body” spectrum used in models is very naive. Every real observed source of light from incandescence like candle flames and halogen lamps (not coherent sources like lasers) has a spectrum that “approximates” a theoretical black body. The key word is “approximates”. If you measure the real absolute radiometric values (i.e. how much energy is actually emitted by that source) with a spectroradiometer you find that a real light bulb radiating at an approximate 3100K may differ in absolute radiometric energy by 5-10% from the theoretical black body. These differences alone are enough to “wash away” the alleged “radiative imbalance”.

    I might be mistaken, but I think I remember questioning the paucity of absolute data regarding UV light levels reaching the Earth’s surface. But then again I question lots of things.

    Nice new insight for the climate science community. Yes, it only shows a correlation (temperature and UV-B) so far, but that is more than the “CO2 commands Temperature” believers have demonstrated.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  45. Janice Moore says:

    From my annotated summary of:

    Gray et al. 2010 — {http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Gray_etal_1.pdf}

    Abstract (in part):

    “Understanding the influence of solar variability on the Earth’s climate requires knowledge of
    1) solar variability,
    2) solar-terrestrial interactions and the
    3) mechanisms determining the response of the Earth’s climate system.
    We provide a summary of our current understanding in each of these three areas.”

    Gray, L.J., J. Beer, M. Geller, J.D. Haigh, M. Lockwood, K. Matthes, U. Cubasch, D. Fleitmann, G. Harrison, L. Hood, J. Luterbacher, G.A. Meehl, D. Shindell, B. van Geel, and W. White, 2010: Solar influence on climate. Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4001, doi:10.1029/2009RG000282.

    Re: UV and Climate

    1. Solar Variability Generally
    “… we acknowledge the possibility that short‐term processes which occur repeatedly may lead to an integrated longer‐term effect.” [Gray, et. al. at 6]

    Comment: Is there any evidence of such long-term effects?

    2. UV Measurement

    “Improvements made to date suggest that UV irradiance during the Maunder Minimum was lower by as much as a factor of 2 … . However, this work is still in its infancy. The model estimates match observed spectra between 400 and 1300 nm very well but begin to fail below 220 nm… .” [Id. at 9]

    3. Ozone — Stratospheric

    “Ozone is the main gas involved in radiative heating of the stratosphere. Solar‐induced
    variations in ozone can therefore directly affect the radiative balance of the stratosphere with indirect effects on circulation. Solar‐induced ozone variations are possible through[:]
    (1) … UV spectral solar irradiance, … modifies the ozone [Id. at 12] production rate through photolysis of molecular oxygen, primarily in the middle to upper stratosphere at low latitudes [Haigh, 1994][;]
    (2) changes in the precipitation rate of energetic charged particles,… primarily at polar latitudes [e.g., Randall et al., 2007][; and
    3)]… transport‐induced changes in ozone … [from] indirect effects on circulation caused by the above two processes. … On the 11 year time scale, the mean irradiance near 200 nm has varied by ∼6%, over the past two solar cycles … [Id. at 13]
    In the upper stratosphere where solar UV variations directly affect ozone production rates, a statistically significant response of 2% – 4% is evident. … The density‐weighted height integral of ozone at each latitude gives the “total column” ozone, and a clear decadal oscillation in phase with the 11 year solar cycle is evident in both satellite data … The ozone response
    in the lower stratosphere is believed to be the main cause of the total column ozone signal because of the high number densities at those levels.” [Id.]

    Comment: So far, only lower stratosphere shows evidence of a significant ozone signal. What evidence is there that this is ultimately propagated to Earth’s climate?

    4. Models and UV – Ozone Mechanism

    ” Atmospheric models that include a good representation of the stratosphere, including interactive ozone chemistry, are available, but they do not generally include a fully coupled ocean at present. The prime solar mechanism for influence in these models is therefore the change in stratospheric temperatures and winds due to changes in UV irradiance and ozone production, and the influence on the underlying troposphere and surface climate involves stratosphere‐ troposphere coupling processes. This mechanism is often referred to as the top‐down mechanism … .” [Id. at 24-25 -- emphasis mine]

    ” … latent heat flux anomaly across the air‐sea interface of ∼0.5 W m−2, which was larger than the direct solar radiative forcing by a factor of ∼3 and also explained the correct phase of the response. This therefore represents a different kind of amplification of the 11 year
    solar cycle and is not associated with changes in trade wind strength or cloud cover since these did not have the correct magnitude or phase. This result implies a role for the top‐down influence of UV irradiance via the stratosphere. White et al. [2003] also noted that time sequences of tropical tropospheric temperatures lead those in the lower stratosphere, which appears to argue against the top‐down influence. They suggest, however, that this should not be interpreted as a tropospheric signal forcing a stratospheric response because the stratospheric temperature response appears to be in radiative balance and hence is in phase with the 11 year
    solar cycle, while the troposphere responds to anomalous heating and advection which peaks during the period leading up to solar maximum and not at the maximum itself. This is a good example of the difficulties and dangers of interpreting observed signals from different parts of the atmosphere and especially in using their time response to try to infer cause and effect.” [Id. at 26 -- emphasis mine]

    “More recent improved models … simulat[e] an improved vertical structure of the annual mean ozone signal in the tropics, … However, it is still not clear to which factor (SSTs, time‐varying solar cycle, or inclusion of a QBO) the improvements can be ascribed. … despite these general improvements, there are many details that are not reproduced by models. Further studies, including fully coupled ocean‐troposphere‐stratosphere models with interactive chemistry, will be required to improve the simulated ozone signal and distinguish between the various influences.” [Id. at 27-28 -- emphasis mine]

    5. Stratosphere — Troposphere Coupling Mechanisms

    ” … at equatorial latitudes Salby and Callaghan [2005] identified an interaction between the stratospheric B‐D circulation and the tropospheric Hadley circulation … but again, this does not provide a chain of causality.” [Id. at 29 -- emphasis mine]

    There are many proposed mechanisms for a downward influence from the lower stratosphere into the troposphere … response in tropical vertical velocity was not uniformly distributed in longitude but was largest over the Indian and West Pacific oceans, … despite having imposed SSTs, suggesting that their tropospheric signal was a response to changes in the stratosphere and not to the bottom-up mechanism of TSI heating of the ocean surface … .

    This would be consistent with the results of Salby and Callaghan [2005] (see Figure 25), whose analysis suggested that the stratosphere and troposphere are linked by a large‐scale transfer of mass across the tropopause resulting in a coupling of the B‐D circulation in the stratosphere and the tropical Hadley circulation in the troposphere. However, as discussed in section 4.2.2, this does not preclude the possibility that there is an additional positive feedback from the oceans so that both top‐down and bottom‐up mechanisms are acting in the real world.” [Id at 30 - emphasis mine]

    Much work is still required to fully characterize the nature of these complicated
    interactions and hence to verify these mechanisms
    . … Although details of the mechanisms involved are still not fully established, it is becoming increasingly clear that the top‐down mechanism whereby UV heating of the stratosphere indirectly influences the troposphere through dynamical coupling is viable and may help to explain observed regional signals in the troposphere.” [Id. at 32 -- emphasis mine]

    6. UV –Ozone Mechanism v. ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation)

    “… UV‐ozone feedback mechanism appears to cause enough heating near the tropical tropopause to significantly affect the tropical hydrologic cycle, with regional impacts on
    precipitation that are also broadly similar to those related to ENSO changes… .” [Id. at 33]

    Comment: It may be entirely ENSO which is the controlling forcing. Is the relative strength of ENSO v. UV-solar precipitation forcing known?

    7. Re: Attributing Causation of Climate

    ” … correlation coefficients, which suggest a link but are not sufficient to indicate any causal mechanism. In addition, there is substantial internal variability in the climate
    system,… . Since the climate system may react in a nonlinear way the response function can be quite different from the forcing function… .” [Id. at 24 - emphasis mine]

    (from: Summary of Gray, et. al. by Janice Moore)

  46. Louis says:

    “…in countries in the southern hemisphere, such as New Zealand, the UV-B radiation is up to 50 percent higher than in the countries in the northern hemisphere, such as Germany.”

    Does anyone know why that is the case? They’re not comparing New Zealand in the summer to Germany in the winter, are they? The Earth is closer to the sun during the southern hemisphere summer. Would that make that much difference in UV-B radiation?

  47. milodonharlani says:

    Louis says:
    April 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    It’s because of stratospheric ozone differences, not incoming UVB variance:

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/232784832_Increased_ultraviolet_radiation_in_New_Zealand_%2845deg_S%29_relative_to_Germany_%2848deg_N%29

  48. Louis says:

    blackadderthe4th says:
    ‘ New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature’
    What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’?

    Where did you see the term “causation”? Perhaps by “correlated” they didn’t mean causation, they meant correlated. Isn’t it a bit ironic for someone to see the word “correlated” in a sentence, assume it means “causation,” and then complain about correlation not being the same thing as causation? The way that expression is thrown around, I would think that some people believe correlation disproves causation. If so, they’re probably also mystified by what causes pregnancy to occur. Often correlation does mean causation. It just doesn’t “prove” causation. But if you want to establish a linkage, correlation is usually the first place you start.

  49. Steven Mosher says:

    Anthony why would you snip a simple instruction for people to

    LOOK AT THE DATA SOURCE.

    It’s pretty simple. Many people yourself included spend a huge amount of time criticizing two sources of data for temperatures: CRU and GHCN. Of The two surface datasets they reference ( its unclear which they use for correlation ) one relies on CRU — actually the harry-read-me data, and the other (created by my friend) relies on GHCN adjusted and a variety of other stations.. interpolated using AUSPLINE down to 1 km. Neither are suited for climate studies and are targeted more at biology studies and species study.

    REPLY: It wasn’t simple, it was cryptic, and with snark. If you have an issue, spell it out, because I’m done with your drive-by snark, all it does it confuse people and make you look like some of the snottier-than-thou people we deal with. Be the friend you claim you are, spell it out. – Anthony

  50. Mike Maguire says:

    “It’s because of stratospheric ozone differences, not incoming UVB variance”

    Could changes in the structure and strength of earth’s magnetic field in those locations be having an impact(altering stratospheric ozone)

  51. Louis says:

    milodonharlani says:
    April 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    It’s because of stratospheric ozone differences, not incoming UVB variance

    Thanks for answering my question. So incoming UV-B radiation is about the same in both hemispheres, but more of it reaches the ground in New Zealand because there is less ozone in the atmosphere above.

    I’m not sure I want to become a member to read the whole article, but I am curious to know if it explains why there is less ozone in the southern hemisphere. (I doubt it is because people down under use more CFCs than anyone else.) Ozone is created by the the sun’s ultra-violet rays. So if there is plenty of UV light in the SH, why is there less ozone there?

  52. Pamela Gray says:

    Bravo Janice (@ 6:29). A studied comment. Good science review requires such as this example. I will be chewing on your offering.

  53. Ian Bryce says:

    My understanding from the Svensmark work is that UV radiation converts H2S into SO2 and H2SO4, which helps seed cloud formation, which then reduces temperatures.

  54. BioBob says:

    If the biotic component of CO2 generation is more significant globally than the human fossil fuel component [ >3% of the total] (as suggested by Dr Murray Salby’s data) then the mechanism could well be associated with Solar output fractions that vary in time and space like UV B or just plain sunshine vs clouds.

    The point is that we clearly don’t know enough about the global carbon cycle to even draw conclusions on these points. Instead of straining at gnats to prove human induced climate change, how about we do the needed basic science (with quality sampling please) quantifying the various components of the global carbon cycle that lend themselves to that process.

  55. Mario Lento says:

    Janice Moore says:
    April 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    “1. Solar Variability Generally
    “… we acknowledge the possibility that short‐term processes which occur repeatedly may lead to an integrated longer‐term effect.” [Gray, et. al. at 6]

    Comment: Is there any evidence of such long-term effects?”
    ++++++++++++
    Janice:
    Here is one chart showing the integrated effects of the sun spot number. The -40 offset is supposed to be that sun spot number where when it is lower than that, cooling would take place and above that number there would be accumulation of some warming. It’s not proof, but it is interesting though. I think that is the evidence claimed.

  56. Mario Lento says:

    Janice: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/22/new-paper-finds-solar-uv-b-output-is-correlated-to-global-mean-temperature/

    In this chart, I overlaid the AMO with the chart, and you can see sun and AMO generate the temperature trend perfectly.

  57. Dr. Strangelove says:

    UV is correlated to surface temperature because temperature is directly proportional to solar radiation. UV accounts for 3% of the solar radiation spectrum. The tropics receive higher solar flux so it also gets more UV.

  58. Mario Lento says:

    Janice: Ignor that last url – wrong one.
    In this chart, I overlaid the AMO with the chart, and you can see sun and AMO generate the temperature trend perfectly.

    Here is the chart of sun spot numbers, AMO and temperature. I offset the AMO so it is below the series. You can see the AM)’s contribution to the shape. Again – correlation is not causation, but there is something here…
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:30/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/offset:-40/integral/normalise/plot/esrl-amo/offset:-1

  59. Janice Moore says:

    Thank you, Pamela Gray!

    That is high praise coming from a real scientist like you. Believe me, I value it highly.

    (btw: hope all is happy with Mr. Wonderful (smile))
    *****************************************

    Hi, Mario!

    Thanks for the links to some highly relevant data, here.

    It might be interesting to consider that chart in view of this from the Gray article summarized above:

    “… the troposphere responds to anomalous heating and advection which peaks during the period leading up to solar maximum and not at the maximum itself.” (in Item 4 of my 6:29pm post)

  60. Mario Lento says:

    Janice:
    Just very interesting data that seems non coincidental, nor cherry picked. The AMO lines up neatly with the temperature data too… but the AMO seems to oscillate and vary the pattern. Where as integrator functions accumulate and decumulate. (I know – deculumate imay not be a real word – but it fits better than OJ’s glove.)

  61. Janice Moore says:

    Dear Mario,

    “‘Decumulate’ may not be a real word…, but it made sense. I hear you. And your defense of the UV hypothesis is MUCH more plausible than Orenthal James’ alibi.

    Thank you for sharing, excellent Scientist-Engineer. Glad you showed up!

    Take care and GOOD LUCK IN YOUR NEXT RACE!!

    You’ll do great! You always do.

    Janice

  62. ren says:

    If with low solar activity decreases UVB is growing role of cosmic rays in the breakup of ozone. This leads to changes in the distribution of ozone in the stratosphere, in accordance with Earth’s magnetic field (GCR is strongest in the vicinity of the magnetic poles).

  63. 1) Solar activity increases, reducing ozone amounts above the tropopause especially above the poles.

    2) The stratosphere cools. The number of chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere increases due to the increased solar effects with faster destruction of ozone.

    3) The tropopause rises, especially above the poles altering the equator to pole height gradient.

    4) The polar high pressure cells shrink and weaken accompanied by increasingly positive Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.

    5) The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move poleward and the ITCZ moves further north of the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle increases due to the cooler stratosphere increasing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.

    6) The main cloud bands move more poleward to regions where solar insolation is less intense and total global albedo declines via a reduction in global cloud cover due to shorter lines of air mass mixing.

    7) More solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as the subtropical high pressure cells expand.

    8) Less rain falls on ocean surfaces allowing them to warm more.

    9) Solar energy input to the oceans increases but not all is returned to the air. A portion enters the thermohaline circulation to embark on a journey of 1000 to 1500 years. A pulse of slightly warmer water has entered the ocean circulation.

    10) The strength of warming El Nino events increases relative to cooling La Nina events and the atmosphere warms.

    11) Solar activity passes its peak and starts to decline.

    12) Ozone levels start to recover. The stratosphere warms.

    13) The tropopause falls, especially above the poles altering the equator to pole height gradient.

    14) The polar high pressure cells expand and intensify producing increasingly negative Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.

    15) The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move back equatorward and the ITCZ moves nearer the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle decreases due to the warming stratosphere reducing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.

    16) The main cloud bands move more equatorward to regions where insolation is more intense and total global albedo increases once more due to longer lines of air mass mixing.

    17) Less solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as the subtropical high pressure cells contract.

    18) More rain falls on ocean surfaces further cooling them.

    19) Solar energy input to the oceans decreases

    20) The strength of warming El Nino events decreases relative to cooling La Nina events and the atmosphere cools.

    21) It should be borne in mind that internal ocean oscillations substantially modulate the solar induced effects by inducing a similar atmospheric response but from the bottom up (and primarily from the equator) sometimes offsetting and sometimes compounding the top down (and primarily from the poles) solar effects but over multi-decadal periods of time the solar influence becomes clear enough in the historical records. The entire history of climate change is simply a record of the constant interplay between the top down solar and bottom up oceanic influences with any contribution from our emissions being indistinguishable from zero.

    We saw the climate zones shift latitudinally as much as 1000 miles in certain regions between the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. It would surprise me if our emissions have shifted them by as much as a mile.

  64. Mac the Knife says:

    Janice Moore says:
    April 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    From my annotated summary of:
    Gray et al. 2010 — {http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Gray_etal_1.pdf}

    Sweet Pea,
    You continue to surprise me! Nice summary and food for thought! You have also offered on occasion legal perspective that I found quite informative…. And you make me laugh with your otherwise free spirited commentary!
    Keep up the good work, Kiddoooo!
    Mac

  65. Mac the Knife says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    April 22, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Stephen,
    That is quite a concise summary of the atmospheric and oceanic merry-go-round, as coupled with the solar cycle! I’m going to have to read that list several times more, visualizing each step, to grasp the full value and try to understand the comprehensive sequence in its entirety.
    Mac

  66. Janice Moore says:

    Mackie!

    Thank you!

    If I have made a fine man like you laugh (one with a terrific wit and sense of humor, no less), then my life has not been lived in vain.

    Thanks for making my eve– … er…. morning!

    Janice

  67. Mac the Knife says:

    Oh, Gaaawrsh, Janice!
    (Red tinges creeping up my cheeks….)
    Not in front of all these other folks, Sweet Pea!
    };>)
    Mac

  68. Willis Eschenbach says:

    This paper says nothing like what people think it says.

    People think that they looked at the UV-B values over series of years, viz:

    The processed data are currently available for the years 2004-2013 and will be updated annually.

    And they think that the people compared the month-by-month UV-B with the temperature, after the seasonal variations are removed, and found a correlation.

    But that’s not what they did at all.

    Instead, what they did was boil down the UV-B data into 12 monthly averages, January to December. The data they used is solely the TWELVE MONTHLY AVERAGES of the data 2004-2013.

    Then they compared those to the TWELVE MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES, and said whoa, temperatures are high in the summer and so is the UV-B. And temperature is low in the winter, and so is UV-B.

    And temperature is high in the tropics, and so is UV-B. And temperature is low in the poles, and so is UV-B.

    Therefore, we can say that TEMPERATURE IS CORRELATED WITH UV-B … and that doesn’t mean a damn thing about the climate.

    All it means is that UV-B is correlated with the received solar radiation, and so is temperature.

    I think that’s what Nick Stokes and Mosher were trying to say, although it is hard to tell. But the bottom line is that all they’ve shown is that where the sun shines more, there is more UV-B … and also higher temperature.

    Which means nothing about the climate, or the weather, in the slightest.

    w.

  69. Lou says:

    “Background: Unlike the rather harmless UV-A radiation, the high-energy UV-B radiation causes health problems to humans, animals and plants. Well known is the higher risk of skin cancer in the New Zealand and Australia population if unprotected and exposed to sun for an extended period of time. Skin damage was also documented in whales and amphibians. In amphibians, UV-B radiation may also reduce survival rates of tadpoles and spawn eggs. In plants, the radiation reduces performance of photosynthesis, a process of using solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen. This inhibits production of biomass and thus reduces e.g. yields of agricultural crops.”

    ————–

    HMMM… Very interesting… However, I think that statement is wrong… Very wrong.

    UVA is actually more damaging as it can penetrate much more easily through cloud, air pollution, buildings, etc compared to UVB.

    Ironically, UVB sunlight is what is needed to fight cancer, and all kinds of health problems. It is called vitamin D. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ UVB sunlight is more easily blocked by air pollution in large cities. People are often shocked to find that their vitamin D level is a lot lower than they thought it would be after spending a lot of time outside.

    Sun scare belongs to to the same dump as CO2 driven global warming does….

    UVB is actually very important to our health… Something is very wrong with this study, that’s for sure.

  70. Lou says:

    Here’s more information about UVB and skin cancer… Lack of UVB is actually worse for melanoma type. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/melanoma/ as I said that vitamin D from UVB is a cancer fighter. You’d be surprised how common vitamin D deficiency is and melanoma appears in unlikely areas that do not get much sun exposure.

  71. ren says:

    The higher the energy of radiation the greater the likelihood of cell mutation. UVB is largely absorbed by the ozone. It is more dangerous than UVA because of the higher energy. This low solar activity as 2008-2010 could mean an “epidemic” cancerous. This will be the result of penetrating radiation produced by galactic radiation in the lower atmosphere.

  72. Willis said:

    “All it means is that UV-B is correlated with the received solar radiation, and so is temperature.”

    I’m inclined to agree with Willis on this paper. It doesn’t appear to cover UV and ozone changes across multiple solar cycles as the introduction from Hockeyschtick seemed to suggest it did.

    To get to a climate consequence one has to separate causes from effects and then suggest how and why long term ozone changes that are independent of seasons or latitude can then affect a specific climate parameter such as global cloudiness and albedo.

    I don’t think the biological response is strong enough for that.

    Hence my post at 11.42 pm.

    Mind you, it is a legitimate starting point to initially observe seasonal and latitudinal effects and then move from there by extrapolating similar effects across decades or centuries in line with solar variations.

    It is interesting so see more and more work focusing on the different net effects on the Earth system from wavelength variations though.

    I think it is the changing mix of wavelengths and particles from the sun that affects atmospheric chemistry so as to alter the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere differently above equator and poles so as to lead to solar induced climate change

  73. ‘What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’?’

    To all the replies, too many to reply individually, I broadly agree that ‘’that correlation does not mean causation’, but when there is 500 million years of evidence that co2 and temperature are more or less in step, that then becomes strong evidence! As here:-

    Only 500 million years of evidence that CO2 is a GHG and therefore currently heating up the planet!

    ‘looking back at the effect co2 had in the past and these estimates should show a doubling in co2 we should see rise in global temperatures between 2 and 4.5 degrees, now that’s all basic physics…if basic physics is correct we should see a good correlation between temperatures and co2 over the past 500 million years. Well here is the data for temperatures and we get a very clear, oh dear…but it’s the climate science critics, politicians, the bloggers, amateurs, who showcase this graph that completely ignore the role of Sun and it is the climate researchers who factor it in. Over the last 500 million years solar output has being getting slowly stronger, but of course on its own it doesn’t show any better correlation with global temperature than co2 on its own. But if the co2 temperature levels link is correct then when we factor in both co2 and solar radiants which are the long time drivers of climate we should get a good correlation with global temperatures and we do! And the third piece of evidence from our geological past are the so called snowball Earth conditions…Earth should have being covered in ice and it was, several times…the only thing that changed during the snowball period was the co2 levels rose dramatically due to volcanic activity. The thawing of the planet fits perfectly with the role of co2 as being a powerful GHG…but during snowball Earth that kind of weathering did not happen…yes even with the Sun being about 6% weaker than today but with co2 level 25 times higher, the earth was much hotter than today. His amounts to our fourth piece of evidence that co2 is a powerful GHG…and the process repeated itself…so when I hear the argument the climate always changes and this is perfectly natural…then of course it is. There is absolutely no difference of the co2 bring added to the atmosphere now and the co2 that was added to the atmosphere in the past, it‘s the same stuff. Coming to the recent past climatologist agree that the amount of forcing from the Earth’s change in orbit though to be the initial trigger for deglacierization had no where near enough…I covered this in my video the 800 year lag unravelled…so before you claim co2 only lags temperature…so we have now seen how basic physics should warm the earth and we have seen…consistent with co2 as a powerful GHG…then there is no reason to believe co2 has reformed its behaviour because it has come from burning fossil fuels… Is there any evidence that co2 is causing any warming now. Back in the 1950s, 60s, 70s scientists saw no reason why co2 should change its properties and they predicted as co2 levels rose and aerosols cleared we would start to see warming. Over the last 35 years the atmosphere has being warming…of course not all of the heat goes into the atmosphere. Most of it goes into the oceans and evidence shows the deep oceans are absorbing a lot of the extra heat…’ Potholer54.

  74. ren says:

    “Global warming” in North America.
    http://oi58.tinypic.com/dpcyl5.jpg

  75. Doug Allen says:

    What caught my attention- The correltions shown are mainly biotic and not climate. Nick Stokes and others.

    The biotic component of CO2 is significant, and the carbon cycle is poorly understood. BioBob

    Therefore, the biotic changes from changing UV B may have significant climate implications.

    As with the H2O cycle and its positive (vapor) and negative (cloud albedo) feedbacks, the carbon cycle with its many positive and negative feedbacks is very complex and poorly understood.

    My take-away: climate science remains in it’s infancy partly because it is so complex and partly because so much of the funding is to confirm and promote the high CO2 climate sensitivity hypothesis, and so little is for the required baisc science required to understand its complexities.

  76. Jim G says:

    Willis Eschenbach says

    “All it means is that UV-B is correlated with the received solar radiation, and so is temperature.”

    You cannot even say that based upon n=12. That correlation is no better than stretching a rubber band through the scatter diagram.

  77. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Konrad says:

    April 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    As George E. Smith has noted the plot does not cover the oceans. In considering solar influence on climate, the oceans are important. This study looks at higher energy UV-B, but even UV-A still has the power of 10 w/m2 at 50m depth in the oceans. …..”””””

    UV-A is from 400 to 315 nm wavelength.

    At 400 nm, the absorption coefficient in sea water, is 0.0007 cm^-1 which gives a 1/e absorption depth of 14 3 meters, or 95% absorption in 43 meters. At 315 nm, the coefficient is 0.01, so the 1/e depth is just one meter, and 99%lost in 5 meters.

    Sea level solar spectral irradiance at 400 nm is about 500 W/m^2 /micron, so about 43 W/m^2 at 400 nm for 85 nm bandwidth, so that gives about 2W/m^2 at 43 meters and 400 nm.

    The total 315-400 nm, at 50 meters depth, can’t be anywhere near 10 W/m^2.

    Data from the Infra-red handbook.

  78. chuck says:

    “ignoring the large variations in solar UV ” ?????
    ….
    Guess what.
    ..
    ..
    The “T” in TSI stands for ….(drum roll)…….TOTAL !!!!

  79. Jaakko Kateenkorva says:

    Thank you for posting this topic, which has made reading the comments equally enjoyable like it often is in WUWT. Specials thanks to KevinK and Janice Moore for sharing your thoughts here. Thanks also to Blackadderthe4th for helping me to see the forest for the trees, albeit in a different way.

    The article mentions the 0.1% variation in Total Solar Irradiance over cycles. We could similarly analyze the variation in Total Atmospheric Composition during the same period. It cannot be a whopping figure when all atmospheric CO2 counts only for 0.04%. Let alone the supposedly meaningful part of it i.e. man-made variations in Total Atmospheric Composition. Mind you, the article already characterized 0.1% variation as ‘tiny’.

    If man-made variations in Total Atmospheric Composition should be analyzed with more finesse, shouldn’t 100% variation in the sun’s UV radiation become highly relevant by the same token?

  80. drumphil says:

    Now if only something could be done about the wave of people spreading over the intarweb after their daily read of WUWT, the news that a new paper provides evidence that “the sun did it.”

    I’ve run into a few already.

  81. george e smith says:

    “””””…..chuck says:

    April 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

    “ignoring the large variations in solar UV ” ?????
    ….
    Guess what.
    ..
    ..
    The “T” in TSI stands for ….(drum roll)…….TOTAL !!!!……””””””

    What you are missing Chuck, is that not all parts of the solar spectrum (TSI) react the same way in the environment.

    While the total energy maybe only has a 0.1% solar cycle amplitude, possible weather / climate effects of different parts of that spectrum, can have quite different results, so possibly larger cyclic amplitudes.

  82. milodonharlani says:

    blackadderthe4th says:
    April 23, 2014 at 5:55 am

    You are wrong. Basic physics (in the lab, not the climate system) shows that a doubling of CO2 levels from 280 ppm to 560 ppm should produce a temperature increase of around 1.2 degrees C. Higher than that assumes positive feedback effects not in evidence.

    There is indeed a 500 million year record of correlation between CO2 level & temperature, but you have the causation reversed. Temperature increases cause an increase in atmospheric CO2, & decreases cause more CO2 to go back into solution in the seas.

  83. Gary Pearse says:

    blackadderthe4th says:
    April 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    “What ever happened to the doubters saying.’that correlation does not mean causation’?”

    I’m afraid the idea ‘cor doesn’t mean caus’ has come to mean something other than intended among the uninitiated. This caution has been so overplayed that it has come to mean if it’s correlated then it’s NOT causation. For those like blackadderthe4th, you have to understand that correlation of variables is often the first step in recognizing a possible theoretical connection. Indeed, if their is NO correlation, then you have NO related causation and there is NO hypothesis to consider. Correlation is of the utmost importance in science but spurious correlation happens frequently enough that that you have to consider that apparent correlation may not be a real function. The sun “coming up” and “setting” everyday is a worthwhile correlation with time that leads to understanding what is happening. The apparent correlation between copper prices and the height of women’s hemlines above the sidewalk will ultimately let you down!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-13/at-fashion-week-hemlines-are-up-and-down-just-like-the-markets.html

  84. The post has been updated with this comment:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/04/new-paper-finds-solar-uv-is-correlated.html?showComment=1398355699772#c291248561718783507

    Based upon the comment by Nick Stokes above regarding this paper:

    “The words you have highlighted from the abstract (in your title),
    “UV-B surfaces were correlated with global mean temperature and annual mean radiation data” have two possible meanings. We’re used to thinking of time correlation of spatial means. But it can equally mean spatial correlation of time means. Since they have cited a dataset of spatially distributed time mean temperatures, and used LISA to get the spatial correlations, it’s clear that they are using the second interpretation.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/22/new-paper-finds-solar-uv-b-output-is-correlated-to-global-mean-temperature/#comment-1619347

    Nick was able to determine this from a read of the full paper, therefore, I requested confirmation and a copy of the full paper from the authors, received this morning. The authors confirm the paper shows a correlation between spatial UV-B and spatial mean annual temperature and that they did not test for temporal correlations. Thus, the abstract was incorrectly/misleadingly worded as finding

    “UV-B surfaces were correlated with global mean temperature”

    when it would have been more correct to state

    “UV-B surfaces were correlated with spatial mean temperature”

    as use of the term “global” to describe a spatial mean temperature is inappropriate.

    Thus, based upon the now-clarified, albeit inappropriate, wording of the abstract, the claim of this post that UV-B has been demonstrated to be correlated to “global mean temperature” is withdrawn.

    Nonetheless, there may or may not be a correlation between the two and it should be investigated for some of the following reasons:

    1. Solar UV varies up to 100% over solar cycles

    2. Solar UV greatly affects
    a) ozone production, which can also act as one of many solar amplification mechanisms
    b) temperatures of the stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere
    c) photosynthesis and other large effects on the biosphere as shown by this paper

    3. UV is the most energetic portion of the solar spectrum, and penetrates the deepest into the ocean in comparison to the rest of the solar spectrum. Therefore, it has the greatest effect upon ocean heating compared to any other portion of the solar spectrum, and likely is more efficient in heating land as well.

    4. For these reasons, and others, the various portions of the solar spectrum can have vastly differing effects on climate and change far more than the TSI. It is woefully inadequate to dismiss this by only incorporating the tiny 0.1% changes in TSI in climate models.

  85. Mervyn says:

    And to think IPCC chairman, Dr Rejendra Pachauri, tells the world that the IPCC is now 95% confident that mankind’s CO2 emissions is the key driver of climate change. When Einstein remarked we do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us, he was certainly spot on!

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