Revising the Sunspot Number

Rare spotless day observed on July 18, 2014

“AZleader” writes at “Inform the pundits”.

Austin, August 16, 2014 – A rare spotless day on the sun on July 17-18, 2014 triggered public speculation that an already stunted Cycle 24 was nearly over. Such is not the case. Defying the odds for so late in a sunspot cycle, another solar sunspot maximum was set last month. Another one is coming this month.

In other major news, a long needed revision to the 400-year sunspot record was proposed. It’ll be the first change made to the sunspot record since it was first established by Rudolf Wolf back in 1849. The changes will affect long-term climate and other dependent scientific studies.

One effect of the proposal will be to reduce modern sunspot totals. That will wipe out the so-called “Modern Maximum” and make the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, the weakest in 200 years.

Cycle 24 solar sunspot progression

New solar maximum set in July. Credit/SILSO data, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

After four straight months of steep declines in monthly sunspot counts, July reversed the trend and increased slightly.

The Royal Observatory of Belgium released July’s average monthly sunspot count on August 1, 2014. Despite the mid-month spotless day, the sunspot number increased and it grew solar maximum again for the sixth straight month.

Extended periods of inactivity – like the Spörer, Maunder and Dalton minimums – were all accompanied by cooler earth temperatures. Conditions today mimic Cycles 3, 4 and 5 which marked the beginning of the Dalton Minimum.

Revising the 400-year sunspot record

First revision to sunspot record since 1849. Credit/”Revising the Sunspot Number”

The 400-year sunspot record is the longest continuously recorded daily measurement made in science. It’s used in many scientific disciplines, including climate science studies. It hasn’t been adjusted since Rudolf Wolf created it over 160 years ago.

Over the centuries errors have crept into the record, degrading its value for long-term studies. New data and discoveries now allow scientists to detect and correct errors. The first serious look back at the long-term record since Wolf in 1849 came without even a press release last month. It’s a modestly titled new paper called “Revising the Sunspot Number” by Frédéric Clette, et al., submitted for publication to the journal Solar and Stellar Astrophysics on July 11, 2014.

Some outcomes of the new paper include:

  • The so-called “Modern Maximum” disappears
  • Sunspot activity is steady over the last 250 years
  • Three detected “inhomogeneities” since 1880 are corrected
  • Cycle 24 will become the weakest in 200 years

The new paper describes the current state of understanding of the long term record. It isn’t a complete revision of the entire record, but a first level recalibration going back to 1749. The Royal Observatory of Belgium plans to release this and other revisions incrementally over time.

Solar physicist, Dr. Leif Svalgaard of Stanford University, organized a series of four workshops beginning in 2011 designed to review and revise the long term record. This new paper is the first fruit of that labor. Primarily, it removes “inhomogeneities” and brings the International Sunspot Number and newer Group Count record and solar magnetic history in sync.

Full story here: http://informthepundits.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/sunspots-2014-two-big-surprises/

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265 thoughts on “Revising the Sunspot Number

  1. The so called modern maximum disappears…right. So the solar guys have clearly learned some important lessons from the Warmists. When the ‘facts’ don’t suit, simply re-write them!

  2. So counting sunspots isn’t like counting eggs? Ie: 1, 2, 3, 4…..?
    Is there some new math involved? Is there a hockey stick involved? Or what?

  3. <blockquote. charles nelson says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:10 am

    The so called modern maximum disappears…right. So the solar guys have clearly learned some important lessons from the Warmists. When the ‘facts’ don’t suit, simply re-write them!

    Since Dr. Leif Svalgaard has been talking about this here at WUWT for a long time, I take it you haven’t checked out his previous comments on the subject. This is a necessary correction due to errors that have crept into the record. The arguments for the change, and the discussion of why the change is necessary (and what happened to necessitate the change) are, in my opinion, persuasive. This is not a case of ‘facts’ that don’t suit. It’s a case of identifying a problems, analysing the cause, and proposing a solution.

  4. Will the raw data collected during the past 400 years also disappear? I hope not, for science’s sake. Today’s ‘homogenising’ and ‘correcting’ of the raw data could be tomorrow’s mistake which would require re-analysing the raw data again, and again……..
    The raw data must remain untouched, no matter how, why and by whom it is interpreted.

  5. The only minor issue I have, is with the annotation on the graphic entitled, “NASA Prediction”! It seems to me that NASA et al made many a prediction about Solar Cycle 24, about when it would start, that it would be fast & furious, compared with the previous cycles, the models were reliable, etc., none of which was correct! Would it not be more accurate to annotate this graph with the expression, “NASA’s best fit curve with the current data as far as they can tell!” ?

  6. In conversations with Leif Svalgaard in past threads he appeared to take the view that his ‘flattening’ of the solar activity record supported his belief that the sun was NOT responsible for climate variability. He insisted that climate variability was simply an internal system phenomenon.

    I pointed out that, despite all that flattening, the basic pattern of rises and falls remained intact so that if there were an amplification mechanism internal to the Earth system even those smaller variations could, over time, result in changes in the accumulation of solar energy within the Earth system.

    He appeared to not accept the logic of that but now we have multiple papers arriving that do indeed point to suitable amplification mechanisms.

    Leif could still argue that those amplified responses are an internal system process but I would say that the sun does nonetheless appear to be the ultimate cause by changing atmospheric chemistry above the tropopause so as to alter global cloudiness and thereby change the proportion of solar irradiation that is able to enter the oceans to fuel the climate system.

    If I have interpreted Leif’s past comments incorrectly then no doubt he will correct me in this thread.

  7. So the current cycle is lower than most of the 20th century and similar to the early Maunder minimum, but the 20th century wasn’t higher than the rest of the record. Sounds plausible.

  8. As pointed out at The Hockey Schtick:

    Excerpts from pages 71-72:

    “Still, although the levels of activity were not exceptional except maybe for cycle 19, the particularly long sequence of strong cycles in the late 20th remains a noteworthy episode. Indeed, the 400-year sunspot record and one of its by products, the number of spotless days, show that such a tight sequence of 5 strong cycles over 6 successive cycles (from 17 to 22, except 20), which we can call the “Modern Maximum”, is still unique over at least the last four centuries. Given the inertia of natural systems exposed to the solar influences, like the Earth atmosphere-ocean system, this cycle clustering could still induce a peak in the external responses to solar activity, like the Earth climate. However, we conclude that the imprint of this Modern Maximum (e.g. Earth climate forcing) would essentially result from time-integration effects (system inertia) [i.e. the sunspot time-integral], since exceptionally high amplitudes of the solar magnetic cycle cannot be invoked anymore. In this suggested revision, the estimated or modelled amplitude of the effects, including the response of the Earth environment, can be quite different, necessarily smaller, and should thus be re-assessed.

    The recalibrated series may thus indicate that a Grand Maximum needs to be redefined as a tight repetition/clustering of strong cycles over several decades, without requiring exceptionally high amplitudes for those cycles compared to other periods.”

    and Bob Weber pointed out:

    “from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years compared to the previous 100 year period (not including SC24).”

    To my mind that leaves the Modern Maximum intact albeit redefined.

    TSI may not vary much but other solar effects do vary more significantly and do seem to change global atmospheric circulation resulting in cloudiness changes that do cause warming and cooling.

  9. pete ross says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:36 am
    Will the raw data collected during the past 400 years also disappear? I hope not, for science’s sake. Today’s ‘homogenising’ and ‘correcting’ of the raw data could be tomorrow’s mistake which would require re-analysing the raw data again, and again……..
    The raw data must remain untouched, no matter how, why and by whom it is interpreted.

    Wish that it were so, but the raw data tend to disappear [human nature dictates that] with time stretching into centuries. The raw data seems to be in reasonably good shape up to about 1925, but a lot of it has disappeared for newer data. Wolf and Wolfer published all the raw data observers sent them, but Brunner [from 1926] only published the raw data from Zurich, while Waldmeier [from 1945] stopped publishing raw data altogether, with a note in the record, that ‘the raw data is available in the archives of the Zurich Observatories. Mysteriously all the archives are lost… We have tried to [with some, but not complete] success to recover some of the raw data, but the job isn’t finished yet. However, we have some confidence that we have identified two major problem in the historical record, one around 1882 and one around 1947. There are other [smaller] glitches which can also be fixed, so we are making solid progress. The main obstacle is the determined effort in some quarters to resist any update of ‘the precious historical record’. This is, of course, counterproductive: Errors that have been identified must be corrected.

  10. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:56 am
    I would say that the sun does nonetheless appear to be the ultimate cause by changing atmospheric chemistry above the tropopause so as to alter global cloudiness and thereby change the proportion of solar irradiation that is able to enter the oceans to fuel the climate system.
    The main problem with this is that you [and others] have not come up with a plausible physical theory [or mechanism] for how this can happen. Mere hand waving doesn’t cut it, in my book. There are hundreds of such hand waves in the literature. That alone is a good sign that they are just that. I don’t need to see any more of the same old, tired hand waving.

  11. Leif said:

    “The main problem with this is that you [and others] have not come up with a plausible physical theory [or mechanism] for how this can happen”

    There are a number of plausible physical theories under investigation.

    There is one which I favour because it fits with the widest variety of real world observations.

    Changes in jet stream behaviour are the ‘canary in the coalmine’ because you cannot have latitudinal shifting of jets and climate zones without also changing the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles.

    Changes in the balance of ozone creation / destruction differently above equator and poles would do that just fine and we know that ozone amounts respond to changes in wavelengths and particles from the sun.

  12. For those who have difficulty accepting the corrected results of Dr Svalgaard and his colleagues I recommend reading the full paper.

    URL: http://www.leif.org/research/Revisiting-the-Sunspot-Number.pdf

    There is not much new in the paper and no surprises for anyone who has been following this work. Just hard slogging through mountains of hand recorded data entry accumulated for lifetimes of solar observers.

    This new revision reconciles different methods of defining what constitutes a recording unit and reconciling observations done with telescopes of different resolving power.

    The authors point out that past five or six cycles have been strong enough to have an impact on climate during the latter half of the 20th century, We may expect to see soon a recalculation of the cumulative sunspot count and graph that will show the difference between the old cumulative count and the new cumulative count.

    In my opinion, we can still expect the cumulative data to be correlated with warming during the 20th century.

  13. If global temperatures are responding to the solar magnetic output (SSN is a reasonable proxy) rather than to the TSI (with only minor variability), and if SC25 is similar or lower than SC24 than global temperatures of early 1900s is on cards.
    However if SC25 &26 are very low as many projections suggest, then early 1800’s temperatures are very likely according to the past Sunspot trends
    It would be wise for the mid and high latitude countries to initiate programs for large increase in the energy usage requirement. The renewable sources energy not only would be insufficient, but it is a folly to commit financial and technical resources and most of all the precious time to something that under such scenario is going to be totally inadequate.

  14. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:30 am
    There are a number of plausible physical theories under investigation.
    None of those [and in particular, yours] deserve to be called plausible mechanisms. Numbers, Stephen, numbers…
    And you just resorted to the same, old hand waving. Please spare us.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:03 am
    To my mind that leaves the Modern Maximum intact albeit redefined.
    note the subtle shift. There was, indeed a 20th century maximum, and a 19th century maximum, and an 18th century maximum. None of them qualify as a Grand maximum. If you want to see what some people call a Grand Maximum check out the top panel of slide 6 of http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf

  15. The paper says this:

    “we conclude that the imprint of this Modern Maximum (e.g. Earth climate forcing) would essentially result from time-integration effects (system inertia) [i.e. the sunspot time-integral], since exceptionally high amplitudes of the solar magnetic cycle cannot be invoked anymore. In this suggested revision, the estimated or modelled amplitude of the effects, including the response of the Earth environment, can be quite different, necessarily smaller, and should thus be re-assessed. ”

    I disagree that the amplitude of the effects would necessarily be smaller just because the variations in TSI / magnetic cycle are found to be smaller than was previously thought.

    The amplitude of the effects will be determined by the nature of those effects and not by TSI or the simple amplitude of the magnetic cycle

    History records the amplitude of the effects well enough from MWP to LIA to date.

    All investigations should now be focused on those non TSI solar effects on the Earth system and many have made a start already.

  16. Fred Colbourne says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:35 am
    In my opinion, we can still expect the cumulative data to be correlated with warming during the 20th century.
    We have a new record from 1749 on. The average GSN for the first half of the record was 55.3 and for the last half 57.1. The difference is not statistically or physically significant. Here is the run of solar activity and a global temperature reconstruction: http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Temperature-Anomalies.png I am not impressed as some people with a lower bar for what they will accept.

  17. Leif said:

    ” If you want to see what some people call a Grand Maximum check out the top panel of slide 6 of http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf

    I’m not interested in the use of the tern ‘Grand’.

    Your slide 6 shows the Roman Warm Period, Dark Ages, Mediaeval Warm Period, LIA and current warm period well enough.

    It even shows the cooler spells in the early 19th and 20th centuries.

    You have done good work but it still shows solar behaviour as relevant to climate variations.

  18. Heh, hundreds of hand waves prove you right; it only takes one hand wave to prove you wrong.
    ================

  19. ‘The changes will affect long-term climate and other dependent scientific studies.’
    Would that be by ‘lucky’ chance by a change that favours ‘the cause ‘ we needlessly ask
    Like lots of measurements from way back the idea that they equal valid has to ones done now are pure fantasy , its worth remembering there was time when there was no sun spots counted because no one had a idea there was sun spots in the first place, and yet they existed.

  20. Leif deserves a lot of thanks for being willing to come here and discuss this work.
    It will be interesting to see where this goes. Having read a lot of Leif’s writing over the years, I think that right or wrong it is clear he is working in good faith. If someone disagrees with him, they should be able to be agreeable while disagreeing.
    None of this audit of the sunspot record explains away or helps the climate obsessed hide the pause. Nor does it make the cliamte behave the way the climate obsessed want.
    knr makes a great point: the sunspot phenomenon predates climate science. Sunspots predate climate. Sunspots predate Earth. We have some understanding of them, but we don’t know the basics that drive them. Leif clearly works hard to explore that frontier. If this work contributes to expand that frontier, it is a good thing.

  21. @Leif

    Wish that it were so, but the raw data tend to disappear [human nature dictates that]

    Human nature may – but science does not. And good science would maintain the raw data in case new information is found where new numbers must be derived based upon new knowledge.

    With the advent of computers and massive data storage, the disappearance of original data is inexcusable. What we know today is less than what we will know in the future. And robbing future scientists of the ability to expand the base of knowledge is the problem with climate science today.

  22. Did any amateur or professional solar scientist(s) accurately predict cycle 24′s behavour including the including the double peak?
    Recall this, which seems to deal mostly with consensus of a bell curve:

    The Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel has reached a consensus decision on the prediction of the next solar cycle (Cycle 24). First, the panel has agreed that solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. This still qualifies as a prediction since the smoothed sunspot number is only valid through September, 2008. The panel has decided that the next solar cycle will be below average in intensity, with a maximum sunspot number of 90. Given the predicted date of solar minimum and the predicted maximum intensity, solar maximum is now expected to occur in May, 2013. Note, this is a consensus opinion, not a unanimous decision. A supermajority of the panel did agree to this prediction.

  23. By my eyeball measurement, the sunspots of the mid to late 20th century exceed the maximums/maxima in the earlier centuries. There may not be a grand maximum, but there is at least a big maximum.

    Anyway, congratulations to Leif and coauthors on the paper.

  24. What Hunter said. Thanks, Dr. Svalgaard, for your regular appearances here, and your relentless focus on accurate data.

    Science requires theories and models–but it also requires reliable data. Climate “science” (of all flavors) seems to be way too heavy on the former and skimpy on the latter.

    Now I need to go review the presentation and have a look at the paper!

  25. Sunspots are not the only way to measure the level of solar activity and not the most precise one either, as their counts tend to underestimate it. A more precise measure, and a more relevant too, regarding climate change on Earth, is the geomagnetic response to solar activity. There is a brilliant paper by Georgieva, Bianchi and Kirov, published in Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana, vol. 76, p. 969, 2005, that looks at the latter and finds perfect correlation between it and global temperature variations for the whole period between 1856 and 2000.

  26. ***
    Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:56 am

    In conversations with Leif Svalgaard in past threads he appeared to take the view that his ‘flattening’ of the solar activity record supported his belief that the sun was NOT responsible for climate variability. He insisted that climate variability was simply an internal system phenomenon.
    ***

    There’s nothing “simple” about earth’s internal climate variation — just the opposite.

  27. Nonetheless Stephen, solar warming proponents will continue to “twirk” with the data in order to squeeze out their mechanism-less tomes. You know full well that a comparison between the cumulative energy between the two time spans you refer to results in a tiny, tiny fraction change in W/m2 here on Earth (regardless of which piece of the solar spectrum frequency you focus on) that you must then spread through the modern warming period. Knowing that there is not enough energy change to make a measurable difference, you and others resort to some unknown pixie dust to complete your presentation. That’s not even hand waving. That’s a tall tale.

  28. I enter this from a strictly empiricist viewpoint. If a statistically based model is able to give unbiased predictions with a small error, then it is better than no model at all. Truth is what works. So far, solar based statistical top down models are working better than physical bottom up models. But as people wish. The only thing is that the physical world could care less about what we wish.

  29. @Gus: I would suggest you read Leif’s paper–he cross-correlates with geomagnetic activity as a sanity-check on the sunspots. Really good stuff!

  30. Gus
    You refer to a paper by Georgieva, Bianchi and Kirov,from 2005, that finds perfect correlation between it (geomagnetic response to solar activity) and global temperature variations for the whole period between 1856 and 2000.

    Has every other scientist in the world been unable to find this study or are they incapable of understanding it? What you infer is that temperature variation is explained perfectly and no one else in the world seems to care?

    By the way, perfect correlations does not necessarily reveal causation. There may be a perfect correlation between temperature and ice cream cone sales in NYC but one would not infer that eating the ice cream causes temperature change.
    thanks
    Will

  31. Thanks, Leif. Read the pdf of your work you linked to, but I guess I missed how the new proposed system will affect the “Penn and Livingston effect” (sorry, that’s what I remember it as) What does the before/after SSN chart look like for that? Severity/slope lessened but same uh, curiosity?

  32. Why isn’t variance in UV over the solar cycle (or centuries) able to cause/contribute to climate variability?
    UV penetrates the ocean at depth and so variance in UV radiation would have a cumulative effect on solar heating.
    Thanks.

  33. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:22 am
    “The main problem with this is that you [and others] have not come up with a plausible physical theory [or mechanism] for how this can happen.”

    Well I am very familiar with the difference between correlation and causation I am not at all comfortable with discarding anything that cannot be adequately explained with current knowledge. This is a huge problem I have with the proponents of CAGW who will only accept what they can explain even though their explanations are incomplete if not questionable. Just because you offer an explain doesn’t mean that your explanation is correct and just because Stephen can’t offer an explain doesn’t mean that his observation is incorrect. IMHO it is an open question that will not go away because there isn’t (yet?) a “plausible physical theory.” Also IMHO, and despite what others may claim, Climate Science is still an immature field.

  34. Do we trust Leif or everyone else? I go with everyone…

    REPLY: if you want trust, try using your name when you post an opinion – Anthony

  35. “a long needed revision to the 400-year sunspot record was proposed”
    Somehow this does NOT give me a warm feeling.

  36. As a layman interested in all the things discussed here I also appreciate Leif’s regular contributions that help me sort out some of the hyperbole used here and around the web and I’d be damn fool to discount him or anyone else that spends their days thinking and researching upon a subject.
    I don’t want to make the same mistake CO2ers make by staring at just one ball when there are so many other variables in play.

  37. UV penetration is highly susceptible to Earthbound variances thus varies far greater due to these variances than it does due to solar variation. Some use a circular argument that it is UV itself that changes ozone over time, thus changing UV penetration to ocean depth. It is far more complicated.

    From the earth observatory website:

    “We have no reliable long-term record of actual UV-B exposure from ground-based measurements, but we do have accurate short-term estimates of decreasing ozone, which we know leads to an increase in UV-B exposure at the surface. In Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1998, the World Meteorological Organization states that during 1998 at mid-latitudes in the north, between 35 and 60 degrees N, average ozone abundances were about 4 percent (per satellite measurements) or 5 percent (per ground-based measurements) below values measured in 1979, with most of the change occurring at the high end of that latitude zone. That means that recent UV-B radiation doses are correspondingly higher at those latitudes than historical levels (by amounts that depend on specific wavelengths). In the tropics and mid-latitudes, between 35 degrees S and 35 degrees N, both satellite data and ground-based data indicate that total ozone does not appear to have changed significantly since 1979.”

    The reader is wise to note that solar inclination drastically affects UV penetration into water. So changes in ozone at mid to high latitudes would have decreasing affects in the ocean. From the article:

    “Oblique angle of sunlight reaching the surface
    At any given time, sunlight strikes most of the Earth at an oblique angle. In this way, the number of UV photons is spread over a wider surface area, lowering the amount of incoming radiation at any given spot, compared to its intensity when the sun is directly overhead. In addition, the amount of atmosphere crossed by sunlight is greater at oblique angles than when the sun is directly overhead. Thus, the light travels through more ozone before reaching the Earth’s surface, thereby increasing the amount of UV-B that is absorbed by molecules of ozone and reducing UV-B exposure at the surface.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/uvb_radiation3.php

    UV penetration into the oceans is based on several algorithms and tables described in the following paper. These calculations are used to map UV penetration in the oceans.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEUQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spg.ucsd.edu%2FPeople%2FMati%2F2003_Ahmad_et_al_UV_radiation_SPIE.pdf&ei=NVbzU-rtHcKligKys4GoAg&usg=AFQjCNFSHAKlMdz9Z7Ike68r2y-PYVGumA&sig2=uqfBqglDodP8VFonXjAqEw&bvm=bv.73231344,d.cGE

  38. “Cause” is a stretch; “contribute” works, but how much, how often, wavelength changes with sunspot activity, lag time, proportion of LW to SW, – all unanswered questions that fall into the Solar mix that need to be quantified and verified.

    We have a long way to go!!!

  39. Exactly like Bob Weber has pointed out. The solar activity of the last century was very high regardless of what it may be called. Further contrast that solar activity last century to solar activity post 2005 and one can see a significant change from an active sun to an inactive sun. This is going to have climate implications.

    Another point is to try to forecast future solar activity based on when the sun was active last century is absurd. As evidence of this is the severe solar lull that took place from 2008-2010 which took everyone by surprise.

    Bob Weber pointed out:

    “from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years compared to the previous 100 year period (not including SC24).”

    To my mind that leaves the Modern Maximum intact albeit redefined.

    TSI may not vary much but other solar effects do vary more significantly and do seem to change global atmospheric circulation resulting in cloudiness changes that do cause warming and cooling.

  40. Bob, thanks so much for bringing this data out. It proves the point just how active the sun was last century especially when contrasted to the Dalton Minimum and post 2005 solar activity.

    Solar variability is alive and well. Further there in ample evidence that it does indeed impact.

    Bob Weber pointed out:

    “from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years compared to the previous 100 year period (not including SC24).”

    To my mind that leaves the Modern Maximum intact albeit redefined.

  41. It is all fun and games until it is obvious the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted and there is unequivocal global cooling.

    What’s happening to the solar polar field? Bye, bye.

    http://www.solen.info/solar/polarfields/polar.html

    The trend is not your friend. Why is there suddenly, post 2006 record sea ice in the Antarctic and recover of sea ice in the Arctic?

    Manipulating sunspot count will not change the fact there was a grand maximum solar maximum from 1950 to 2006 and the majority of the warming in the last 60 years has caused by cloud modulation and changes to solar UV due to the 1950 to 2006 grand maximum.

    P.S. As we are now becoming aware, the magnetic field intensity of the sunspots and the amount of open flux from coronal hole emission is missed by a simple count of sunspots.
    Note the cosmogenic isotope record (unaltered) shows evidence of past grand maximums and the current grand maximum.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/06/recent-paper-finds-recent-solar-grand-maximum-was-a-rare-or-even-unique-event-in-3000-years/

    Why is there suddenly an increase in galactic cosmic rays (GCR or cosmic flux, silly archaic, in accurate name for mostly high speed cosmic protons that strike the earth and create ions in the atmosphere.)

    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startday=19&startmonth=07&startyear=1967&starttime=00%3A00&endday=19&endmonth=08&endyear=2014&endtime=23%3A30&resolution=Automatic+choice&picture=on

    The number of GCR/CRF and the velocity of GCR/CRF are reduced by the solar heliosphere. The size, density, and the amount of magnetic flux in the solar heliosphere all of which change depending on changes to the solar magnetic cycle (the sunspot count is a coarse and inaccurate means to determine the size, density, and composition of the solar heliosphere.)

    As I have noted the timing of solar wind bursts in the solar magnetic cycle greatly affects the sun’s modulation of planetary clouds and is almost independent of the sunspot count. In recent solar cycles there have been late cycle solar wind bursts from coronal holes which create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which removes cloud forming ions, thereby making it appear high GCR does not cause there to be an increase in planetary cloud cover.

  42. The so called modern maximum disappears…right. So the solar guys have clearly learned some important lessons from the Warmists. When the ‘facts’ don’t suit, simply re-write them!

    Or, perhaps, just maybe, you could look at the substantial evidence they have the supports the rewrite, including the documented alteration in the way the count was conducted over centuries of observation by different humans using different tools. It isn’t all about the GW politics, especially not in solar science that doesn’t get funded primarily by the hysteria.

    The top article points out that sunspot counts are one of the oldest daily records we have but some of the less but still quite old records we have are geomagnetic records that also reflect sunspot numbers in easily invertible ways. In fact, we have three such long term records to determine two measures of solar activity that empirically match up extremely well with sunspot number in the modern era. The argument in favor of this revision is not, in other words, political at all — it is a well-founded empirically based exercise in reason, science at its best, not its worst. I looked over the evidence, and it convinced me that Lief and the others who have participated in this know exactly what they are doing, subject the arguments and data supporting their conclusions to intense scrutiny helped by the fact that there is a group that would at least like to disagree with their conclusions working in the field who would cheerfully point out any real flaws in the reasoning if there were any, and that, in fact, their conclusions are very probably true and that the corrected record is almost certainly better than the uncorrected record.

    Wishful thinking is to be avoided throughout science, but the way to avoid it isn’t to make blanket statements like the one you make, it is to look at the evidence and then, if you have anything specific to say about it, say it. Personally I think the evidence is overwhelming, and expect that there will be very little meaningful opposition to the adoption of the new results. If nothing else, it raises the bar for those who wish to continue to claim that there is anything particularly unusual about the recent 20th century solar maximum, or for that matter about the (probably) coming 21st century minimum. There are maxima and minima in the record still, they just aren’t grand.

    This also does not address in any way whether or not the not-so-grand maxima or minima are or are not correlated with and/or causal of climate changes over the sunspot record. Again, it prevents people from asserting an erroneous conclusion that 20th century warming was all due to a grand maximum in solar state, the way it has been asserted that the Little Ice Age was due to a grand minimum. There simply is a lot less “grandeur” in the record of the solar state than has previously been asserted, which (given the extremely short observational record post-enlightenment and the even shorter electromagnetic record) is hardly surprising.

    rgb

  43. rgbatduke says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Nice try, but why didn’t the solar science community rewrite the sunspot record thirty years ago, if it was so in need of fixing? Why now, when so much gravy is available on the GW train? This stinks to high heaven. It’s just more corruption of science, complete with coercion to enforce obedience.

  44. What has taken place in year 2005 is a complete change from active to inactive solar activity.

    This change in my opinion will be more then enough to have another climatic impact just as is the case when one reviews historical climatic data.

    My challenge remains- Which is to show me the data which shows a prolonged solar minimum period being associated with a rising temperature trend or a prolonged maximum solar period being associated with a falling temperature trend.

    I find no such data and the same result is going to happen as this decade proceeds.
    Already solar activity is falling off and we are no where near the bottom of the solar cycle 24-solar cycle 25 minimum.

    I think the data (especially post 2005/prior to 2005 ) supports the view that the sun can be quite variable and this variability can happen over a short period of time as is the case in the first decade of this current century.

    Expect climate implications if this prolonged solar minimum keeps advancing going forward.

    The problem with so many postings is there is a lack of understanding of noise in the climate system, thresholds in the climate system ,lag times in the climate system and that the climate system is non linear and never in the same state.

    Therefore my point (which I have made many time previously) is DO NOT EXPECT an x change in the climate from given x changes in items that control the climate. This I have preached but with little fanfare.

    Why- look read below.

    The initial state of the global climate.
    a. how close or far away is the global climate to glacial conditions if in inter- glacial, or how close is the earth to inter- glacial conditions if in a glacial condition.
    b. climate was closer to the threshold level between glacial and inter- glacial 20,000 -10,000 years ago. This is why the climate was more unstable then. Example solar variability and all items would be able to pull the climate EASIER from one regime to another when the state of the climate was closer to the inter glacial/glacial dividing line, or threshold.

    The upshot being GIVEN solar variability IS NOT going to have the same given climatic impact.

    Solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects. Lag times, degree of magnitude change and duration of those changes must be taken into account.

    Upshot being a given grand solar minimum period is not always going to have the same climatic impact.

    This is why solar/climate correlations are hard to come by UNLESS the state of solar activity goes from a very active state to a very prolonged quiet state which is what has happened during year 2005.

    So the nonsense that post Dalton no definitive solar /climate correlations exist just supports my notions of what I just expressed.

    Meanwhile, a quiet sun is correlated with a stronger more meridional jet stream pattern which should cause a greater persistence in Wx. patterns which I think is evident post 2005 for the most part.

    From Bob Weber. Correct the data does not lie. And now we are in a severe prolonged solar minimum.

    And the results, from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years .

    LOOKS ACTIVE TO ME.

  45. In addition to my above comments, the heat energy available from the broader spectrum of solar radiation supplies the lion’s share of oceanic heating. This overall broader spectrum varies only a tiny bit with solar variability, not enough to make a measurable temperature difference under clear sky, clear ocean conditions (tiny W/m2 difference, very large ocean). While it is true the much smaller fraction of radiance contained in the UV portion varies more, there is less energy available from it due to it not being a significant portion of the total radiation spectrum in the first place. Therefore, Earth’s own varying parameters overwhelms solar produced UV variation, burying it in Earth’s intrinsic factors. In fact, accurate UV measurements are still beyond our reach. It is good enough for a 3% change in ozone over time, but not for a 1% change. Even more important in this discussion is how much change in ocean heat would there be. We are talking a small amount of energy available even at full force to an extremely large volume of water. Would changes in this small amount of energy be detectable in an extremely large volume of water? And then one would have to consider other factors unrelated to UV penetration that could also change the temperature of that volume of water.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/1999JD900180/abstract

  46. There has always been a problem with the sunspot formula, and it only got worse when observation techniques got better. With just five visible spots on the Sun the sunspot number can be 75.

    Also, many of the sunspots counted for populating the formula would likely not have been seen with technology from 100 years ago, let alone 400 years ago. The result is a “count” that is heavier in modern times than it would have been in earlier times.

    The modern count should be recalibrated such that images used for the count should have the same resolution as images available when the count was first proposed. A tiny little speck visible only with a powerful telescope and modern filtering should not cause a sunspot count of 15. It should be zero.

    It would also be more scientific to call the sunspot number an “index” rather than a “count.” Counting implies a non-dimensional quantity. Sunspots are actually a distributed quantity, as the covered area of the Sun’s surface is more important than the number of spots distinguished.

  47. This article also supports my claim that with the exception of the Dalton Solar Minimum solar activity was active with a steady more or less 11 year sunspot cycle increasing in intensity from 1830-2005 which all of the data still shows to be the case.

  48. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Thank you for clarifying where the problems are, interesting that not publishing and losing raw data goes back a long way,

    Not sure that it is always the case that an observation about a cause and effect always has a scientific explanation before they are accepted as being correct, Continental Drift/Plate Tectonics for instance, Lake Agassiz has a bit of a long history too. Conversely something which has been accepted for many years as the scientific truth starts to be questioned, as I understand it the nothing before the Big Bang concept of the universe is being questioned, not without controversy too. So polarised views are normally counter-productive, but that’s just the view of an interested and open(ish) minded watcher.

  49. One of thousands of studies that show beyond a doubt the LIA was real.

    http://muller.lbl.gov/pages/iceagebook/history_of_climate.html

    My main interest with Lockwood is his views on the extent of solar variability the Little Ice Age takes care of itself.
    That is 100% provable.

    Also if one looks at the ap index history one will see a deep dip around 1900-1907 and another one post 2005.

    The ap index post 2005 is only half of what it was for most of the last century even if the lull from 1900-1907 is included.

  50. rgbatduke says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:37 am
    __

    So no accentuated warming as a result of abnormal Maximum Solar activity level.

    But flat to cooling suggested, for many years, due to a minimum.

  51. Pamela,

    I have explained to you before that it is not the energy content of specific wavelengths from the sun that matters.

    What matters is the effect on global cloudiness.

    Changing global cloudiness makes a much larger difference to the proportion of solar energy that gets past the atmosphere and into the oceans to fuel the climate system.

  52. The way I’m reading it, this will be proper science, reviewed and analyzed by many and should provide the best, reasonably accurate results.

    Contrast this to the “adjustments” being made to the land based temperature record, where algorithms and methodologies are not revealed nor is the unadjusted data, and you see the difference between proper science and, if I may, “political” science.

  53. JohnWho says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:09 am

    That’s not how I read it. I see it as more federal grant-funded rewriting of observations in order to tell the desired story.

    If problems can be identified in existing data, how about fixing them without changing the whole system? Because more spots are visible now, how about just limiting the number to those which would have been visible in previous centuries? Or use a single number for total area covered as measured by 17th to 19th century observers?

  54. My motto is let the data do the talking and the data supports the claims that the sun exhibits variability and that this variability correlates to the global temperature trend over a range of years.

    Going forward solar variability will continue to show itself now that the sun is in a prolonged inactive state in contrast to being in a prolonged active state last century.

    Just compare sunspot data from 2005 to the present to similar earlier periods of time. One will see a decline which by the way will intensify going forward and has a very long way to go.

    The global temperatures as has always been the case will follow suit once again.

    This is for you PAM expect geological activity to pick up as the prolonged solar minimum re- establishes itself. I know you don’t buy it but then again you do not believe in the data.

    I will present the data once again.

  55. philjourdan says:
    August 19, 2014 at 4:19 am
    Human nature may – but science does not. And good science would maintain the raw data in case new information is found where new numbers must be derived based upon new knowledge.
    None of your good intentions matter when it comes to what people did in the past. It matters not what people should do, but only what they actually did.

    the disappearance of original data is inexcusable
    Irrelevant as the original data was thrown away long ago, before there were any computers.

    Walt Stone (@Cuppacafe) says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:22 am
    Thanks, Leif. Read the pdf of your work you linked to, but I guess I missed how the new proposed system will affect the “Penn and Livingston effect”
    I don’t know. The only thing one can do [and must do] is to correct defects as they are discovered.

    PMHinSC says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:50 am
    I am not at all comfortable with discarding anything that cannot be adequately explained with current knowledge
    Nothing is discarded by insisting that the claimants of a correlation demonstrate that the correlation actually holds and that it is energetically possible or at least plausible, and that is where the problem is. Too many people are hand waving or, in a particularly sad case [discussed on WUWT recently] resorting to X-factors.

    Salvatore Del Prete says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:33 am
    The solar activity of the last century was very high regardless of what it may be called.
    No, not when compared to the other centuries.

    William Astley says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:36 am
    What’s happening to the solar polar field? Bye, bye.
    The polar fields disappear in every solar cycle

    David Thomson says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:51 am
    Also, many of the sunspots counted for populating the formula would likely not have been seen with technology from 100 years ago, let alone 400 years ago. The result is a “count” that is heavier in modern times than it would have been in earlier times.
    One often hear that claim, but it is false. We count today using the same small telescopes [on purpose], and in any case differences between telescopes [and people] are taken into account, by adjusting the count correspondingly.

    Sunspots are actually a distributed quantity, as the covered area of the Sun’s surface is more important than the number of spots distinguished.
    It matters not what one should, but only what people actually did 200-300 years ago. We have to use the data we have, not that we wished we have.

    • @Leif

      None of your good intentions matter when it comes to what people did in the past. It matters not what people should do, but only what they actually did.

      I am not talking “should have done”. I am talking “doing”. What has happened in the past cannot be undone. But going forward, is what upset me. If I misunderstood your tense, I apologize.

  56. I consider it important to preserve the unadjusted data, and it appears from the comments that Leif has made that this is being done. This will aloow future generations to revisit it.

    Without reviewing the original data, and knowing the full details about limitations with that data, it appears to me that no one is in a position to comment upon whether the re-interpretation is justified and sound. That does not mean that I take Leif at his word (like anyone, he could be mistaken), but certainly for the time being I would extend the benefit of doubt to what he has to say..

    As a matter of commonsense, one would expect that with modern equipment and techniques which lead to significantly increased resolution, we are today detecting sunspots that would not have been detected 100, 200, 300 years ago.

    In order to make a like for like comparison with the old data record, perhaps we should rebuild old equipment to what we consider was the standard of that equipment at the time (if known old equipment exists it would be preferable to use that), and use that old equipment to record present day data which we can then compare with the present day data collected from modern present day equipment. This could provide a useful check.

    The problem in climate science is the poor quality of the data which extends to all data sets. I can see that there are issues with the sunspot data, and whilst I do not see correlation between sunspot counts and temperature, i can see some broad similarities. Salvatore Del Prete (August 19, 2014 at 7:46 am ) raises a very good point when he says:: “My challenge remains- Which is to show me the data which shows a prolonged solar minimum period being associated with a rising temperature trend or a prolonged maximum solar period being associated with a falling temperature trend.” (the emphasis being on prolonged).

    Personally, I consider that TSI may not be the full story. The relationship between the sun and the earth (including the earth’s magnetic field) is no doubt both complex, and subtle. Changes in wavelength could be significant since this can impact upon absorption of incoming solar radiance. I for one question whether a watt is just a watt, no matter where that watt is absorbed within the system. If for example, due to a change in the distribution of wavelength, solar irradiance is being absorbed by the oceans at a different depth (even if this is only 10 or 20cm different), it could impact upon SST, over short periods. Likewise, such changes may have an impact on cloud cover and/or formation and/or atmospheric jet streams/circulation patterns.

    Personally, I consider it rather premature to make predictions at this stage, since our understanding seems incomplete, and because it appears that we might, within the course of the next few decades, experience a ‘quiet’ sun and we are now in a better position to closely and scientifically observe what affect that has here on earth (although, of course, no one knows what will happen and the sun may be far from ‘quiet’ – we just need to waiit and see).

    I note that the Daily Mail is running a story that perhaps the impact of the sun has been under-appreciated. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2728814/Is-SUN-driving-climate-change-Solar-activity-not-just-humans-increasing-global-warming-study-claims.html

    All I can say is that the next decade, or so, could be interesting, but it is important that there are no natural disasters (such as volcanos) to cloud our judgement.

    .

  57. I appreciate the removal of illusions and the avoidance of new ones. This seems to do that. If there’s no Grand Maximum but there was heating, so be it. I know even anecdotally that it was cooler in the 1970s. It did warm. Solar activity was apparently not unusual. OK.

    And now temp is flat and may cool from here maybe due cosmic rays and cloud formation. Seems viable.

    Presumably it warmed though due to … ??? I’ll go with the oceans, and I don’t mean it was only solar wattage input and storage.

    Earth bats last.

  58. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Your motives and those of your colleagues in this endeavor may well be pure, but please say why funding for this project wasn’t available in previous decades. Surely the problem isn’t new. How long have you wanted to revise the counting system? And why are so many of your colleagues not on board with all or parts of the revamping? Thanks.

  59. richard verney says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:32 am
    As a matter of commonsense, one would expect that with modern equipment and techniques which lead to significantly increased resolution, we are today detecting sunspots that would not have been detected 100, 200, 300 years ago.
    Today we deliberately use small telescopes. no more powerful that were used 200 years ago.

    In order to make a like for like comparison with the old data record, perhaps we should rebuild old equipment to what we consider was the standard of that equipment at the time (if known old equipment exists it would be preferable to use that)
    People seem not to bother reading the papers on this. The old instruments still exists and are actually used to this day, see slide 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf

  60. This data for my money will be revised once again but it does not matter. The point is the sun was active last century and has now become very inactive . This is the point.
    This article does nothing to alter that fact.

  61. @ william says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:22 am

    If you can build a predictive model from the data gathered…would this not suffice for a reasonable hypothesis to the explanation for a ‘trigger’ to warming/cooling periods?

    The predictive model could be rather simple but unfortunately takes a long time to validate. Couldn’t be any worse than the predictive models now!

    The cause and effect of the Sun-Earth holds more common sense validity than the very reasonable CO2-temperature, IMO.

  62. Getting back to data it supports a more meridional atmospheric circulation at times of prolonged solar minimum conditions and a more zonal atmospheric circulation at times of prolonged solar maximum periods.

    That again is what the data shows.

  63. sturgishooper says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:46 am

    rgbatduke says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Nice try, but why didn’t the solar science community rewrite the sunspot record thirty years ago, if it was so in need of fixing? Why now, when so much gravy is available on the GW train? This stinks to high heaven. It’s just more corruption of science, complete with coercion to enforce obedience.

    Just because the warmists have been doing political science why paint Leif with that same brush. I know he can more than defend himself but I see him as a very thoughtful scientist in every sense of the word. Accuracy and history with clarity of thought.

  64. The solar activity of the last century was very high regardless of what it may be called.
    No, not when compared to the other centuries.

    Yes it was. That is why other centuries unlike last century had prolonged solar minimum periods that were named.

  65. TerryBixler says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Unlike Mann, et al, the sunspot number revisionists are not intentionally engaging in chicanery. The question is, why have NASA and other government funds now become available for this project? If it is a worthy effort in the early 21st century, why was it not supported in the late 20th?

  66. William Astley says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:36 am
    What’s happening to the solar polar field? Bye, bye.

    Exactly the solar polar fields have not been exhibiting the same behavior during solar cycle 24 as they have in the past . A marked difference.

  67. Previously on WUWT there was a picture and we could count it manually like they used to then compare it to what was done by computer. I was at about half of the number.

    Question: If the satellites are accurate and we can automate the number, size, intensity and all the other factors why lower the modern records? Why not raise the past numbers?

  68. The problem in climate science is the poor quality of the data which extends to all data sets. I can see that there are issues with the sunspot data, and whilst I do not see correlation between sunspot counts and temperature, i can see some broad similarities. Salvatore Del Prete (August 19, 2014 at 7:46 am ) raises a very good point when he says:: “My challenge remains- Which is to show me the data which shows a prolonged solar minimum period being associated with a rising temperature trend or a prolonged maximum solar period being associated with a falling temperature trend.” (the emphasis being on prolonged).

    FROM RICHARD VERNEY

    My commentary again is that is what the data shows.

  69. TRM says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:56 am

    The satellites aren’t the problem. They show less warming than the “adjusted” surface “record”. But satellite observations began only in 1979. That left Hansen & Jones free to wreak havoc with pre-1979 data.

  70. sturgishooper says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:37 am
    Your motives and those of your colleagues in this endeavor may well be pure, but please say why funding for this project wasn’t available in previous decades.
    The paper points out that:
    “Although the solar physics community now clearly identified those important motivations
    (development of “Space Climate” as a new discipline), the awareness at the level of science funding
    organizations is still lagging behind. This is why the first initiative aiming at a revision of the SN took the form of Sunspot Number Workshops, an informal and unfunded coordinated effort
    gathering a community of experts in the field. Let this be our plea for increased support to these
    fundamental long-term observations and studies of solar and Sun-Earth processes.
    One has to be aware of the problems before seeking funding. And that awareness is recent [what is wrong with that?].

    How long have you wanted to revise the counting system?
    I have an overarching principle: ‘Everything must fit’. If something does fit there is an opportunity to learn something. The famous astronomer Le Verrier [co-discoverer of Neptune] once said: “Tout ecart decele une cause inconnue, et peut devenir la source d’une decouverte”. The first inkling [to me, at least] that something didn’t fit was in 2006: http://www.leif.org/research/Physics-based%20Long-term%20Geomagnetic%20Indices.pdf slide 25. In 2007 the picture was becoming clearer http://www.leif.org/research/CAWSES%20-%20Sunspots.pdf and http://www.bu.edu/cawses/documents/cawses-news-v4-n2.pdf
    The SSN workshops grew out of a talk I gave in Brussels in 2011 http://www.leif.org/research/SIDC-Seminar-12Jan.pdf

    And why are so many of your colleagues not on board with all or parts of the revamping?
    But they are [that is the whole point]. But, as always, there are a few hold-outs [there are still people denying Evolution, Continental 'drift', Big Bang, Solar Nuclear Fusion, Moon Landings, etc]. It will take time for them to come around, but they eventually will [that is called 'progress'].

  71. Leif

    When I go through the old records back to 1000AD at places like the Met office Archives, it is noticeable that periodically there are notes of such as the aurora borealis being seen from as far south as London and also other celestial fireworks. Is there any point in my recording these as possible indicators of low or high solar activity as they can eventually be traced back to approx temperatures for CET?

    tonyb

  72. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Thanks very much for that history of the project.

    But IMO comparing holdouts to your revisions with opposition to the reality of “Evolution, Continental ‘drift’, Big Bang, Solar Nuclear Fusion, Moon Landings, etc” is a bit much. Where in biology, geology, astrophysics and physics are scientists holding those opinions with stature comparable to the holdouts from your program?

  73. climatereason says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:19 am
    When I go through the old records back to 1000AD at places like the Met office Archives, it is noticeable that periodically there are notes of such as the aurora borealis being seen from as far south as London and also other celestial fireworks. Is there any point in my recording these as possible indicators of low or high solar activity
    Aurorae at low latitudes are very good records of high solar activity. The earliest record we have goes back to 567 BC. the problem is that no systematic observations of aurorae are made anymore, so we have no MODERN record with which to calibrate the old records.

  74. sturgishooper says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:25 am
    Where in biology, geology, astrophysics and physics are scientists holding those opinions with stature comparable to the holdouts from your program?
    You have to look at how long it took to eliminate holdouts among scientists [the grim reaper does a good job at that] after each of those breakthroughs, and then add how much longer still it took to eliminate holdouts from the general population [the grim reaper still has a job to do there] including some of the usual suspects right here on WUWT – “without wishing someone to the devil, one might be allowed to hope for best” Piet Hein [Danish poet]].
    As regards ‘stature’, that is partly determined by one’s willingness to admit defeat in view of new data or new interpretations [a good example is David Hathaway and his wrong prediction of solar activity - his reputation and stature have not diminished by his admission of being wrong, rather the opposite].
    What is the ‘stature’ of modern CAWG scientists? Are those people ‘holdouts’ with high stature?

  75. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:03 am

    As pointed out at The Hockey Schtick:

    Excerpts from pages 71-72:

    “Still, although the levels of activity were not exceptional except maybe for cycle 19, the particularly long sequence of strong cycles in the late 20th remains a noteworthy episode. Indeed, the 400-year sunspot record and one of its by products, the number of spotless days, show that such a tight sequence of 5 strong cycles over 6 successive cycles (from 17 to 22, except 20), which we can call the “Modern Maximum”, is still unique over at least the last four centuries.

    So it is frequency modulation instead of amplitude modulation that creates the maximum.

  76. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:38 am

    IMO, the holdouts from the climate consensus do indeed enjoy higher professional stature than the likes of pygmies like Mann. For one thing, distinguished emeritus giants are under less pressure to conform.

    You’re right that it took a generation & the deaths of some geologists for continental drift to be accepted, but what clinched the deal was the discovery of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics. Among scientists, except in France, evolution was generally rapidly embraced. It all depends upon the evidence. But part of my point was that your revision in the SSN counting method isn’t as important to the history of science as evolution, plate tectonics or the Big Bang, no disrespect intended.

  77. Ian W says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:46 am
    show that such a tight sequence of 5 strong cycles over 6 successive cycles (from 17 to 22, except 20)
    cycle 20 destroys that pattern, so we are left with clusters of cycles with 2-3 cycles in them, of which there are plenty.

    sturgishooper says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:56 am
    But part of my point was that your revision in the SSN counting method isn’t as important to the history of science as evolution, plate tectonics or the Big Bang, no disrespect intended.
    Nobody said it was [except perhaps Al Gore and friends of 'save the planet' persuasion]. My point is that it takes time to turn the ship of science around, as most scientists are VERY conservative when it comes to the fundamentals. This is the way it should be.

  78. ” milodonharlani says:August 19, 2014 at 9:03 am
    The satellites aren’t the problem. They show less warming than the “adjusted” surface “record”. But satellite observations began only in 1979. That left Hansen & Jones free to wreak havoc with pre-1979 data.”

    I meant the solar satellites, not the temperature ones. If the modern equipment can give us much more accurate data on sunspots why not adjust previous sunspot numbers up rather than lowering the current data?

    Continuing to use old equipment makes sense to validate & calibrate the new more accurate sunspot numbers from satellites but I’m in the “accuracy is addictive” camp.

    Thanks to Lief and everyone else involved in this. It has been very educational.

  79. “Contrast this to the “adjustments” being made to the land based temperature record, where algorithms and methodologies are not revealed nor is the unadjusted data, and you see the difference between proper science and, if I may, “political” science.”

    wrong on all counts.

    First folks should notice the fundamental similarity between the SSN and the land temperature INDEX

    Note early on in the paper where Leif refers to “relative” nature of the count and the fact that its really an INDEX.. The same is true of the global temperature INDEX, although those in the field do not stress this point as clearly as Leif does.

    Second, all the algorithms used to adjust the series are available. They have been tested and verified with out of sample data and with synthetic data. Finally the “raw” data or rather the first reports are available. Work continues on making all paper records available were they exist.

  80. “The Royal Observatory of Belgium plans to release this and other revisions incrementally over time.”

    Why incrementally? Why not make the corrections all at once, in a transparent way, for all to see? Doing things incrementally sounds more like politics than science. It allows you to heat the pot slowly so the frog doesn’t jump out. It also allows you to make revisions beyond what was originally planned if the politics of the moment demand it.

  81. My last comment has been “awaiting moderation” for some time now. I can’t figure out why. Is the word “politics” considered a four-letter word now?

  82. The point is that the sun has shown variability over the past 250 years from the Dalton Minimum , to the 1890-1910 quiet period to what we have now with very active periods apart from these periods.

    The sun is showing variability and the variability only becomes less when a large number of years is taken which is meaningless.

    It is like a person weighing 150 lbs for 30 years but having a fluctuation from between 130 and 190 lbs during those years. Yes the average is 150 lbs but it was not a steady 150 lbs , only the variability made it appear to have no change.

    Exactly the same condition with the sun.

    In addition as the article so correctly points out that this is the most inactive solar condition going back some 200 years.

  83. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Except among the “climate science” Team, where fundamentals are not only ignored, but are subject to disparagement, as Steve Mosher and Nick Stokes attempt here.

  84. The sunspot count for last century is NOT important. What is important is the fact that the sun for the most part was quite active in comparison to the Dalton Minimum and the present day minimum condition we now have and that the temperature trend over an extended period of time has ALWAYS responded to this solar variability. This is evidenced by looking at the global temperature trend for each of the last 4 or 5 (just to pick a number)prolonged solar minimum periods and seeing in each case the global temperature trend was down while during periods of an active sun the global temperature trend was up. As was the case last century and during the Medieval Warm Period.

    I challenge someone to show data contrary to this.

  85. My non-expert, outsider take on this (in 3 parts):

    1. After tens of billions of public (tax) dollars spent over the last several decades of GC models to run on expensive supercomputers, and many $billions more tossed at the IPCC and the NCA projects, the GCM predictions are failing. Further, significant signs are appearing on the near time horizon (5-10 years) which point to an increasing likelihood of a cooling period coming near term, even if the 100 year GCM-predicted temp trend is correct. Not only is there a moderate discrepancy NOW in modeled global warming, it seems almost certain to become untenably large in the coming decade with the coming solar minimum in 2020-21. We’ve all seen the finger-pointing increase dramatically in the last year as the Pause continues, sea ice grows, and cold winters are experienced. This thread on the historical SSN record adjustments is a clear example, with thinly veiled suggestions of “CYA” data fiddling and blame games rampant in the comments. The same thing happens with every temp data set update. Accept that it is likely to get much much worse.

    2. The accountability for those GCM failures will result in destroyed reputations (scientific and political), and will result in loss of remaining public support (loss of funding) for what was obviously not settled science on Climate Change. (note: I use the UNFCCC definition of Climate Change. The UNFCCC interpretation of Climate Change is what is driving the attempts to de-carbonize our society at great expense and quite real likelihood of exacerbating poverty in the 3rd world.) It is ludicrous to expect public support for Climate Change remedies to address a theoretical global warming in a hundred years, when it is getting much colder in the present AND the energy costs of decarbonization remedies are creating very real pocketbook misery in voters.

    3. (this is the controversial part). IMO, Senior managing career scientists and political scientist appointees at NSF, NASA HQ, NOAA, DOE, and many others who are reputationally bound to the Climate Change paradigm, understand points 1. and 2. above. They must find a justification, or alibi, for why the GCMs failed after the many billions of tax money spent. They need to provide a “we didn’t know what we didn’t know” alibi. All the GCMs and prognostications very early on accepted the assumptions that the solar cycle TSI changes and any “grand minima/maxima” effects were largely inconsequential to the GCM outputs. Although there may indeed be no 20th century Grand Maximum (flattening out the handle of solar hockey stick by some accusations) that fooled the modelers, there is indeed support for Grand Minimums in the historical SSN records. If the coming cooldown can be shown as a “we didn’t anticipate an early 21st century Grand Minimum”, then Climate Scientists and the political left who pushed the Climate Change agenda have their alibi.

  86. sturgishooper says:
    August 19, 2014 at 11:11 am
    Except among the “climate science” Team, where fundamentals are not only ignored, but are subject to disparagement
    Disparagement by so-called skeptics or what. Many of the commenters here on WUWT are so far out on the lunatic fringe that it hurts. But, at any rate, none of this matters as far as correcting known errors in the Sunspot Series. Which, by the way, is completely transparent: anybody can with publicly available data repeat, reproduce, and verify our conclusions.

  87. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:22 am
    . . . The main problem with this is that you [and others] have not come up with a plausible physical theory [or mechanism] for how this can happen. Mere hand waving doesn’t cut it, in my book. There are hundreds of such hand waves in the literature. That alone is a good sign that they are just that. I don’t need to see any more of the same old, tired hand waving.
    ———————————————-
    Leif seems to have forgotten that the existence of the neutrino was proposed as a way of retaining the law of conservation of energy. We have a similar situation with more ocean energy exchange during solar cycles than can be produced by just the small variations of solar irradiance that enter at the top of the atmosphere. I think that variations of cloud cover provide the most likely way to allow greater variability of the solar flux that enters the ocean. This is a testable hypothesis for which efforts to measure the effect are in progress in several different ways.

  88. http://www.solen.info/solar/history/

    Look at the inflection points between solar cycles 19/20, 20/21,21/22,22/23 and compare it to the inflection point between solar cycle 23 and 24. Also look at the peaks.

    See how much weaker the activity of the sun has become now. In addition if one goes back to the Dalton Minimum much less the Maunder Minimum one will find the same results.

    The data proves my point which is the sun only shows less variability when averaged over a long period of time but not over shorter intervals which is what the argument is all about.

    Currently another one of these minimum interval periods of solar activity has commenced and the climate consequence will become apparent as it has in the past according to the historical data.

    The questions are how long does this minimum period last and to what degree of magnitude does this quiet interval reach. Time will tell but it looks pretty quiet as this article attest to. The article again correctly points out solar activity now the least active in past 200 years.

    But I know that part of the new research is wrong(least active solar period in 200 years) only the part about getting rid of the modern solar maximum is correct. If it does not agree it is wrong. Right ?

    Maybe in today’s environment they will change the historical temperature data to show an increasing global temperature trend during a prolonged solar minimum period. Why not.

  89. Disparagement by so-called skeptics or what. Many of the commenters here on WUWT are so far out on the lunatic fringe that it hurts.

    My commentary is show me the data that proves us to be wrong. If I see it I may change my mind. As of today I have seen no data that shows any of the arguments put forth by myself and others is wrong.

    Talk is fine but you need data to back it up with. Where is it? For example show me the data which shows a period of time of prolonged solar minimum conditions and a global temperature trend rising over that long period of time. Produce it. Show me the data.

    Show me data that shows more active volcanic activity during a prolonged solar active period?

    Show me data that shows an increase in cosmic rays during a prolonged solar active period?

    Show me the data that shows a more zonal atmospheric circulation during a prolonged solar active period?

    Show me the data of ocean heat content decreasing during a prolonged solar active period along with sea surface temperatures.

    t.

  90. Since 2005 the sun has been very quiet the global temperature response has been an end to the global temperature rise and an actual small decline . Let’s watch and see what happens going forward.

    Again if quiet solar conditions continue over time and the global temperature trend over time goes up I will admit to being wrong.

  91. Louis says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:29 am
    “The Royal Observatory of Belgium plans to release this and other revisions incrementally over time.” Why incrementally? Why not make the corrections all at once, in a transparent way, for all to see?
    What was meant is that as new data surfaces they will be incorporated in the ‘current version’. This is how it should be and the sunspot number will from now on carry a version number, e.g. W2015 or perhaps just W15. If we have to wait until all data is in [including what we learn in future], we’ll never be able to release anything.

  92. “One effect of the proposal will be to reduce modern sunspot totals. That will wipe out the so-called “Modern Maximum” and make the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, the weakest in 200 years.”

    Looks to me like another reason to doubt AGW is being overturned by ‘science.’ I call BS.

    How many other factors have been overturned or ‘adjusted’ in their favor? Quite a few. Say goodbye to the co2-temp lag in ice core data in a few years…

  93. “New data and discoveries now allow scientists to detect and correct errors.”

    Does it “hide the decline”?

  94. So we have an unbroken daily record for 400 years of sunspot recorded information, and it was all recorded one day, just 160 years ago.

    Really; simply wonderful, isn’t it ?

    Sounds like an early preincarnation, of Michael Mann’s Yamal Tree.

  95. george e. smith says:
    August 19, 2014 at 12:44 pm
    So we have an unbroken daily record for 400 years of sunspot recorded information, and it was all recorded one day, just 160 years ago.
    Really; simply wonderful, isn’t it ?

    Do you have to spout nonsense? or is it involuntary?

  96. Due to Rayleigh scattering, UV propagates through the atmosphere like water wicking through a paper towel: in all directions without regard to source. It will literally propagate around corners. “Line of sight” geometries do not apply. There are working communication systems that have been built on this attribute of UV (but they tend to be short range or low data rate because of the signal spreading effects of multipath reception).

  97. Dr Svalgaard

    thank you for taking the time to comment here. You use very few words and say so much The links to your slides are invaluable. What are some of the reasons your colleagues argue against your proposal?

    Max Planck science advances one funeral at a time

  98. Steven Mosher says:

    note how many skeptics refuse to discuss the actual science even when all the data and methods are clear. note how they change the subject, seek motives.. note how NONE engage in the scientific method

    Steven, that sounds an awfully lot like projection. Here, let me give you a typical example:

    http://www.truth-out.org

    That is a liberal, heavily censoring, climate alarmist blog. Very popular among the mindless and scientific illiterates. . Everything you wrote here applies to them, in spades.

    Take a look. Pick a climate oriented thread, and read their nonsense. Here is one example. Comment if you like. Those folks are completely at odds with skeptics. They change the subject, call names, refuse to discuss scientific facts, seek motives, ignore data, etc. The scientific method might be written in ancient Greek for all they know. That’s why I like the rational discussions here.

    Just because I disagree with your views here does not mean I don’t think you’re a nice guy in person. But really, lately your comments have been content-free.

  99. Mike says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm
    thank you for taking the time to comment here. You use very few words and say so much The links to your slides are invaluable. What are some of the reasons your colleagues argue against your proposal?
    First: there are not many that argue against. Second: some people have careers [and students and research grants] tied up in the ‘precious historical record’ and much of that go out the window, so clearly they are against any changes. Third: what we do is completely open and everybody can repeat, reproduce, and verify what we do, but some people are afraid to do this [afraid of the possibility that we might be correct] so find it easier just to complain.

  100. Uh. I’m the medievalist/historian in the room. And while I’m not afraid of basic algebra (frequently needed and used for sachkritik), I don’t understand why Leif’s work is controversial. Known issues with data, transparent attempts to rectify data.
    Little to no change in TSI over time, VAST amounts of stuff that seems pretty darned relevant to climate (like the previous threads about unmeasured underseas vulcanism — that’s an eye-opener).

    Not trying to troll, nor to defend Leif — he doesn’t need it, his work will stand or fall on its own merits, just like mine or other scholars’ work will (and in both our cases, one hopes, eventually be superseded by more sophisticated and complete work). But why is this a thing, and can I get it in layman’s terms?

  101. philjourdan says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    But going forward, is what upset me
    How can you be upset by what has not happened? And will not happen, because we know better.

    • @Leif

      How can you be upset by what has not happened? And will not happen, because we know better.

      But that was not my understanding of this statement of yours:

      Wish that it were so, but the raw data tend to disappear [human nature dictates that] with time stretching into centuries.

      The word tend is present or future tense. The past tense is tended. hence my false understanding that once the new numbers were created, there would be no need to maintain the raw data.

  102. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 11:46 am

    bones says:
    August 19, 2014 at 11:33 am
    I think that variations of cloud cover provide the most likely way to allow greater variability of the solar flux that enters the ocean. This is a testable hypothesis for which efforts to measure the effect are in progress in several different ways.
    And already, it has failed: http://www.leif.org/research/Cloud-Cover-GCR-Disconnect.png
    ————————————————
    The cosmic ray connection may be in doubt, but lower tropospheric cloud cover varying by a few percent over solar cycles is shown clearly in the plot that you linked. It is more than enough to account for the variation of energy entering the oceans during solar cycles. Further, global cloud cover decreased by several percent during the 1980-2000 warming period.

  103. The graph clearly shows a solar/global temp. correlation. There is a dip in global temperatures 1800-1825 which correlates with the Dalton Minimum . Then the graph shows a rise in the temperature post Dalton as expected only to stall out with the very weak solar lull around 1900-1910 . Then solar activity picks up after 1910 and global temperatures rise until 2005 or so when solar activity finally declines. At this time the rise in global temperatures also ends.

    Thanks for sending the graph which confirms my argument.

  104. Russ in TX says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:56 pm
    But why is this a thing, and can I get it in layman’s terms?
    Before ~1960 the warmists would invoke the Sun as the prime mover of climate [helped by volcanoes, ocean circulation, internal changes, etc]. Now, they don’t do that anymore as the climate lately is believed to have change too much or too rapidly, or whatever]. But if the Sun the past 70 years had been extraordinarily active [Grand Maximum] perhaps it is the Sun after all. If the Sun has just behaved as in previous three centuries, that explanation runs into problems. This is why this is important. Paradoxically, both camps subscribe to “it’s the Sun, Stupid [except when it ain't]“. The arguments on both sides [e.g. as seen on the blog] have gone far beyond reason and science and are now almost religious. Just read upthread to see some of the nonsense being peddled.

  105. Nonetheless Stephen, solar warming proponents will continue to “twirk” with the data in order to squeeze out their mechanism-less tomes. You know full well that a comparison between the cumulative energy between the two time spans you refer to results in a tiny, tiny fraction change in W/m2 here on Earth (regardless of which piece of the solar spectrum frequency you focus on) that you must then spread through the modern warming period. Knowing that there is not enough energy change to make a measurable difference, you and others resort to some unknown pixie dust to complete your presentation. That’s not even hand waving. That’s a tall tale.

    Sure enough, Pamela, but the fundamental problem with climate science is that all assertions of climate causality on a geological timescale require the same sort of handwaving and pixie dust, because we simply do not understand yet what caused things like the LIA and subsequent warming. This is an enormously difficult nonlinear multivariate problem that everyone wants to reduce to a single badly estimated partial derivative because, I suppose, that’s all our brains are really able to handle. All people do is say “it’s that THAT term that is important, it is THIS one”, because of some vague and not terribly compelling correlation. What do we do when it isn’t either one, it is both and ten more besides, and where for some sets of values and initial state they carry the Earth straight into glaciation, and for others straight into a nice, warm, persistent interglacial? How can you make political mileage or get funding by saying “It’s an unsolvable problem”?

    rgb

  106. bones says:
    August 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm
    The cosmic ray connection may be in doubt, but lower tropospheric cloud cover varying by a few percent over solar cycles is shown clearly in the plot that you linked.
    But you cannot conclude that they are SOLAR cycles, just that there is variation and doesn’t it go the wrong way: less clouds = pause in rising temperatures?

    Salvatore Del Prete says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm
    Thanks for sending the graph which confirms my argument.
    Any graph [no matter how weird, wrong, or strange] will always confirm ANY arguments you advance, E.g. when Lockwood declares that there was no LIA you proudly pronounce that you subscribe to his view, etc.

  107. Leif, a question what do you think is causing the climate to change if not solar or CO2?

    Do you think it is just random internal changes going on within the earth itself which when they phase in a certain way give a random climate outcome? I do to an extent by the way..

    If not that what. Because the climate changes and something or things are causing it to change. Sometimes in a very abrupt manner. I will bite, do you have an explanation you wish to share.

    I think it is solar when it acts extreme as we all know. But what do you think?

  108. RGBATDUKE – you make much sense in your postings. Especially the last one.

    For my part -I think it is many items that control the climate with solar leading the way or being a creator for that change and that the climate will always respond different to given solar variability due to the given state of the climate, Milankovich Cycles, earth’s magnetic field strength, and the extent in duration and degree of magnitude change of that solar variability..

  109. Leif Svalgaard said “First: there are not many that argue against. ”

    It was not my intention to imply that you were the odd man out when I said
    “What are some of the reasons your colleagues argue against your proposal?”

    I just wondered if the few with objections had more than ….this is how it was and will always be and my check depends on it…..

    but thank you for the response

  110. Climate change factors

    MY FOUR FACTORS

    1. The initial state of the global climate.

    a. how close or far away is the global climate to glacial conditions if in inter- glacial, or how close is the earth to inter- glacial conditions if in a glacial condition.

    b. climate was closer to the threshold level between glacial and inter- glacial 20,000 -10,000 years ago. This is why I think the climate was more unstable then. Example solar variability and all items would be able to pull the climate EASIER from one regime to another when the state of the climate was closer to the inter glacial/glacial dividing line, or threshold.

    .

    2. Solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects. Lag times, degree of magnitude change and duration of those changes must be taken into account. I have come up with criteria . I will pass it along, why not in my next email.

    a. solar irradiance changes- linked to ocean heat content.

    b. cosmic ray changes- linked to clouds.

    c. volcanic activity- correlated to stratospheric warming changing which will impact the atmospheric circulation.

    d. UV light changes -correlated to ozone which then can be linked to atmospheric circulation changes.

    e. atmospheric changes – linked to ocean current changes including ENSO, and thermohaline circulation.

    f. atmospheric changes -linked also to albedo changes due to snow cover, cloud cover , and precipitation changes.

    g. thickness of thermosphere – which is linked to other levels of the atmosphere.

    .

    3. Strength of the magnetic field of the earth. This can enhance or moderate changes associated with solar variability.

    a. weaker magnetic field can enhance cosmic rays and also cause them to be concentrated in lower latitudes where there is more moisture to work with to be more effective in cloud formation if magnetic poles wander south due to magnetic excursions in a weakening magnetic field overall.

    4. Milankovitch Cycles. Where the earth is at in relation to these cycles as far as how elliptic or not the orbit is, the tilt of the axis and precession.

    a. less elliptic, less tilt, earth furthest from sun during N.H. summer — favor cooling.

    I feel what I have outlined for the most part is not being taken as a serious possible solution as to why the climate changes. Rather climate change is often trying to be tied with terrestrial changes and worse yet only ONE ITEM , such as CO2 or ENSO which is absurdity.

    Over time not one of these one item explanations stand up, they can not explain all of the various climatic changes to all the different degrees of magnitude and duration of time each one different from the previous one. Each one UNIQUE.

    Examples would be the sudden start/end of the Oldest, Older and Younger Dryas dramatic climate shifts, the 8200 year ago cold period, and even the sudden start of the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period.

  111. Excerpt from page 71, http://www.leif.org/research/Revisiting-the-Sunspot-Number.pdf:

    “Still, although the levels of activity were not exceptional except maybe for cycle 19, the particularly long sequence of strong cycles in the late 20th remains a noteworthy episode. Indeed, the 400-year sunspot record and one of its by products, the number of spotless days, show that such a tight sequence of 5 strong cycles over 6 successive cycles (from 17 to 22, except 20), which we can call the “Modern Maximum”, is still unique over at least the last four centuries.”

    To get the 5 “strong cycles” out of 6 successive cycles, count cycles #18, #19, #21, #22, and #23. See http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Temperature-Anomalies.png for the graph.

    Including solar cycle #20 SSN in my SSN count for SC18-23, during the 65 years from 1944-2008, the Sun produced 42% of the cumulative SSN over the entire 200 years preceding solar cycle #24, from 1809 to 2008.

    I counted 6 strong cycles, including SC17, out of 7 successive cycles. SC17 had a higher amplitude than any of the five cycles preceding it so I counted it into the modern maximum, and….

    During the 76 years from 1933-2008, SC17-23, the Sun produced 47% of the cumulative SSN over the entire 200 years preceding solar cycle #24, from 1809 to 2008, – pretty awesome – if not ‘grand’.

    The SSN sum for SC17-23 is 5,182 – and is 47% of the 200 year total SSN of 10,928 (excl #24)!!!!

    See http://www.leif.org/research/Revised-Group-Numbers.xls, {sum of SSN for SC17-23 =sum(F181:F266)=5,182; and the sum of SSN for last 200 years =sum(F67:F266)=10,928}

    My apologies: my previously qouted calculations were for 101 year periods. Oops – off by one cell twice… The corrected 100 yr comparison: the most recent 100 years had a 28% increase over the previous 100 years, starting with the end of SC23..

    In the first full year of this 200-year period, centered on 1810.5, the SSN was uniquely 0.

    Excerpt from page 71-72, http://www.leif.org/research/Revisiting-the-Sunspot-Number.pdf:

    “Given the inertia of natural systems exposed to the solar influences, like the Earth atmosphere-ocean system, this cycle clustering could still induce a peak in the external responses to solar activity, like the Earth climate. However, we conclude that the imprint of this Modern Maximum (e.g. Earth climate forcing) would essentially result from time-integration effects (system inertia), since exceptionally high amplitudes of the solar magnetic cycle cannot be invoked anymore. In this suggested revision, the estimated or modeled amplitude of the effects, including the response of the Earth environment, can be quite different, necessarily smaller, and should thus be re-assessed.

    The recalibrated series may thus indicate that a Grand Maximum needs to be redefined as a tight repetition/clustering of strong cycles over several decades, without requiring exceptionally high amplitudes for those cycles compared to other periods.”

    For emphasis: “…the “Modern Maximum”, is still unique over at least the last four centuries.” -pg71.

  112. Salvatore Del Prete says:
    August 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    I think it is solar when it acts extreme as we all know. But what do you think?
    The sun doesn’t act ‘extreme’. Solar activity does cause variations of the order of 0.1C.

    Bob Weber says:
    August 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm
    “exceptionally high amplitudes of the solar magnetic cycle cannot be invoked anymore. In this suggested revision, the estimated or modeled amplitude of the effects, including the response of the Earth environment, can be quite different, necessarily smaller, and should thus be re-assessed.”
    Is the operative phrase.
    Many of your numbers result from careful cherry picking [e.g. 'over the entire 200 years' - why that number? it is such, rather desperate sounding, numerology and manipulation that give the sun-climate field a bad name] . A much better comparison is simply the first half of the data [133 years] with an average of 55.3 and the second half of the data with an average of 57.1. I see no significant difference. So integrated over the first 133 years should give the same result as integrating over the last 133 years.

  113. Pamela Gray says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am
    Nonetheless Stephen, solar warming proponents will continue to “twirk” with the data in order to squeeze out their mechanism-less tomes. You know full well that a comparison between the cumulative energy between the two time spans you refer to results in a tiny, tiny fraction change in W/m2 here on Earth (regardless of which piece of the solar spectrum frequency you focus on) that you must then spread through the modern warming period. Knowing that there is not enough energy change to make a measurable difference, you and others resort to some unknown pixie dust to complete your presentation. That’s not even hand waving. That’s a tall tale.
    ++++++++++
    Come on Pamela: You completely twist and or miss what Stephen Wilde wrote several times and in several ways –and then you reverted back to an argument he was NOT making. One example is where Stephen wrote “The amplitude of the effects will be determined by the nature of those effects and not by TSI or the simple amplitude of the magnetic cycle”

    I can understand that there is no consensus on how major changes in the sun “other than (TSI which is moderate to minor) can affect the climate system. However, there are theories that are being (and should be) explored to find out how the complex climate system can change due to these significant changes in the sun. It’s one thing to deny there are many indicators that point to the theory that the sun affects climate beyond SIMPLE TSI. It’s another thing altogether to CONCLUDE that it is not possible.

    As skeptics, we should be interested in exploring things we DO NOT know.

    Here’s a clue for you. If I expend 10 calories of energy to open all the shades in my house (on a sunny day) and the house warms to a point equal to 10,000 more calories than it did on a similar day with the shades drawn, you would not be making the argument that you need data. You would see that my 10 calories had little to do with the delta energy accumulation in my house because there were other affects greater than the affect I exerted. Just sayin’

  114. Dbstealy.
    Projection?
    How many times have you seen me here and elsewhere defend leifs work.. And it’s always skeptics who attack him..none of them take the time to go through his brilliant
    Diligent work.

    Now I think leifs work may cause more problems for gcm work. That’s good for science.

  115. Steele says:
    August 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm
    Does this seek to adjust for the so-called “sunspecks” which were not visible to earlier astronomers?
    The original Wolf scale was made with a superb refractor made by Fraunhofer in 1822 and which is still in use. There are no ‘sunspecks’: if a spot is visible, it is counted, small or large. At the SIDC reference station [Locarno] spots are counted with a weight depending on size. More than half of all spots are tiny and are counted with weight 1. The inflation caused by counting large spots [since 1947] is corrected for, but has, obviously, no effect on eventual ‘specks’. Now, there is some discussion about what constitute a ‘spot’. The general path taken is that to qualify as a ‘spot’ the feature has to live for half an hour or more and not be in the limit of visibility, but clearly ‘there’.

  116. Steele says:
    August 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Dr. S. can correct me if wrong, but IMO, modern solar scientists already corrected for the specks even before his & his colleagues’ program, by among other means, using smaller telescopes than now available, in order to match the capabilities of 17th to 19th century optics.

  117. Mario Lento says:
    August 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm
    As skeptics, we should be interested in exploring things we DO NOT know.
    I disagree. We should concentrate on things we KNOW and can demonstrate, rather than shoot our of mouths off about things we don’t know anything about.

    • Leif Svalgaard says:
      August 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm
      Mario Lento says:
      August 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm
      As skeptics, we should be interested in exploring things we DO NOT know.
      I disagree. We should concentrate on things we KNOW and can demonstrate, rather than shoot our of mouths off about things we don’t know anything about.
      ++++++++++
      Ouch Leif… that hurts. I am not sure you’re aiming that comment at me. It’s unlike you to make such a statement or aim harshness in my direction. Prior to you response, my mouth was not shot at or shot off or shooting off about things I don’t know.

  118. Pamela Gray says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:49 am
    Even more important in this discussion is how much change in ocean heat would there be. We are talking a small amount of energy available even at full force to an extremely large volume of water. Would changes in this small amount of energy be detectable in an extremely large volume of water?
    ====================================
    Does it not depend on the residence time of the insolation entering the oceans? If the energy accumulates for years, perhaps decades, within the oceans then a little daily can be a lot over time.
    A steady inflow and outflow of water of = GPM will neither raise or lower a pool. However just a very small increase of inflow, over decades, will become perceptible.

  119. Mario Lento says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm
    I am not sure you’re aiming that comment at me. It’s unlike you to make such a statement or aim harshness in my direction. Prior to you response, my mouth was not shot at or shot off or shooting off about things I don’t know.
    It was aimed at those who think it is better to concentrate on things they don’t know anything about, rather than on things they do have some knowledge about. Judge for yourself where you are on the scale between those two views. Al Gore puts it best: “if you don’t know anything, everything is possible”. What we do becomes closer to science when we apply things we know to the subject. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • Leif Svalgaard says:
      August 19, 2014 at 6:20 pm
      Mario Lento says:
      August 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm
      “What we do becomes closer to science when we apply things we know to the subject. Wouldn’t you agree?”
      +++++++++++++++

      Of course mostly yes – even though Al Gore said it first :) One caveat, we cannot learn much if we limit our imaginations to ONLY what we know by dismissing what others might know.

      Please bare with me. I am setting up the shortcoming in the following statement “”What we do becomes closer to science when we apply things we know to the subject.” I do not imply that we should apply things we do not know.

      Relative to many people, I have a good understanding of how ‘things’ work. I’m talking about highly successful motion and machine process control such as:
      –automated remote welding systems for spent fuel canister lid closure that out perform remote welding system of every welding company in the industry.
      –design and manufacture of machines that manufacture optical fiber for Lucent. (from making the preform glass in plasma lathes to the draw towers where the preform is precisely melted and drawn down 7 stories and then caught and precisely wound with proof testing tension control.
      –motion control in Siemens Linac X-Ray treatment machines. Siemens’ team were 2 years late trying to bring a new design to market until they did what I told them. Let us design the controls.

      Just by applying different understanding of complex motion and complex process control the impossible becomes possible over and over again. I think I am good at seeing whether something is plausible or not in complex systems. That’s what I do.

      So here’s my example of a brilliant engineer “APPLYING THINGS HE KNEW TO THE SUBJECT”

      I’m fortunate enough, Leif, to have been able to prove things undeniably to brilliant people (perhaps not as brilliant as you). A person who earned a masters degree in EE from UC Berkeley is the guy who directed the engineering department of Berkeley Process Control (the company where these machines I mentioned above were re-automated or designed and automated). This guy had been racing for over 10 years and came up with a “model” of how fast his car could go (best lap time) at the given weight, tire grip, braking system, suspension and engine dyno results.

      I argued with this brilliant designer of world class machines that he did not really understand what made a car go fast. I was a certain as you are about solar science that my statement was precise. I told him that he did not understand how tires worked so he was applying the coefficient of friction incorrectly. I told him he did not understand optimum slip angles and and weight transfer worked to provide more traction when needed and in a way that maximized overall speed. [To this day, I do not believe there is any computer that can beat a good race car driver operating a good racing simulator.]

      We argued fiercely. The metric? I told him his race car was 8 seconds faster than the fastest lap he claimed. I never drove his car at this point, yet I argued he was wrong and placed my bet. He eventually agreed to let me take him for a drive on track in his race car. I drove 6 seconds faster than his model predicted was possible with him in his own car, within 3 laps. In 3 laps I demonstrated the otherwise impossible. 6 second more than two football fields of distance on the 3 mile track.

      My argument to him was based on a feeling that I could achieve something. This is airy fairy to most engineers. He argued the physics and stuck to what he knew. But what he knew was limited to a master degree from UC Berkeley and 15 years lead design teams of world class machinery and 10 years racing cars. Evidently that was not enough for him to even conceive

      I’m babbling. But I remain highly curious about complex subjects and hypotheses that make sense to me. If we only stick to what we know, there are often limits. I don’t like to accept limits. It makes me hard to deal with I know :)

  120. David A says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm
    Does it not depend on the residence time of the insolation entering the oceans? If the energy accumulates for years, perhaps decades, within the oceans then a little daily can be a lot over time.
    A steady inflow and outflow of water of = GPM will neither raise or lower a pool. However just a very small increase of inflow, over decades, will become perceptible.

    The climate system is not like a pool. It also radiates heat back into space at close to the same rate as heat flows into the system. So if solar activity was the same in the first 133 years of our data as in the last 133 years, I would think there would be very little difference. The small inflow to your pool is balanced by evaporation from the pool, unless you have a way of preventing that. At least, nobody has identified with any confidence where any extra heat might be hiding. Perhaps you would know?

  121. Leif said:
    “So if solar activity was the same in the first 133 years of our data as in the last 133 years”

    Bob Weber pointed out:

    “from 1808-1908: 4,735 sunspots; and from 1908-2008: 6,197 sunspots – a 31% increase in solar activity in the last 100 years compared to the previous 100 year period”

    which was based on Leif’s own data.

    Leif said:

    “nobody has identified with any confidence where any extra heat might be hiding. Perhaps you would know?”

    Solar input gets past the evaporative layer and into the thermohaline circulation which takes around 1000 to 1500 years. That is well enough established.

  122. Leif, is there an official list of solar cycle minimums, that is the start/end dates finer than a year?

    Wikipedia has a list down to the month, but their references are a paywalled Kane 2002 paper on the Group Sunspot Number, and a list that popped up in an unreferenced Space Today Online article.

    There is an ftp “Official list of solar cycles” in the “External links” section, which doesn’t work. Working the URL did find:
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/space-weather/solar-data/solar-indices/sunspot-numbers/cycle-data/

    “table_cycle-dates_maximum-minimum.txt” appears to be a definitive list, last modified 6/30/2013.

    Is this the one to use? It does not go to the month, but to the tenth of the year, which is good enough.

    Also, I am wondering how people process the sunspot numbers for use. In this file it says:

    The smoothed monthly mean sunspot number is defined here as the arithmetic average of two sequential 12-month running means of monthly mean numbers.

    At WDC-SILSO (aka SIDC) the “Info” for the monthly mean total sunspot number explains how the familiar SSN (Smoothed Sunspot Number) is made using a 13-month “tapered boxcar” running mean. It actually sounds like what happens with a 12-month centered running mean using monthly data, use six months on each side but use only half of the end values, divide by 12.

    Meanwhile back at the ftp directory, in the “documentations” directory there is “SunspotCorrections.pdf” from 9/5/2013, which appears to be the repackaged PowerPoint version found in the “miscellaneous” subdirectory at nine times larger. Three slides, SC 12-14, looks like dating changes. The lines are “Monthly SSN” and “Smoothed Calculated 13-month”.

    Since SSN is already smoothed 12 or 13 months, is a subsequent smoothing using same/similar method of same/similar duration justifiable and sensible?

    Knowing SSN is already smoothed, should I go back to daily for other smoothings (like 25 or 61 months) or do them to SSN?

  123. I see that Leif dealt with Bob’s point thus:

    “A much better comparison is simply the first half of the data [133 years] with an average of 55.3 and the second half of the data with an average of 57.1″.

    That is just another variety of cherry picking which brings in the rapid (but temporary) rise in solar activity in the 1700s so as to equalise the two 133 year periods and so obscure the increase between the last 100 years and the 100 years before it.

    To remove all such cherry picking one really needs to compare a period of 100 years centred on the trough of the Maunder Minimum with a period of 100 years centred on the peak of the current warm period or on the peak of the MWP.

    That would show a substantial change in solar activity which correlates well with temperature variations.

  124. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm
    “solar activity was the same in the first 133 years of our data as in the last 133 years”
    Good to see that you acknowledge that.

    Solar input gets past the evaporative layer and into the thermohaline circulation which takes 1000 to 1500 years. That is well enough established.
    What is established is that the circulation takes that long, not that the heat is stored there. But, again, it is good to see that you realize that a couple of low solar cycles won’t have much effect. You are well on your way to enlightenment.

  125. Regarding mechanisms, I was discussing “energy needed versus energy available” to change temperature trends with a retired meteorology friend the other day. Let’s just consider air and water. Moving a jet stream from here to there, or forcing errant jet loops back into a straighter path takes a TREMENDOUS amount of energy. Moving water from here to there takes a tremendous amount of energy. Yet wind does it easily. You would not ordinarily think so of wind which is essentially pressurized air wanting to fill a void. It’s just air. Can’t be that strong. Yes it can. The wind in the jet stream is so powerful (200-300 miles per hour) that when it has ripples (slower meandering ribbons mixed with fast moving ribbons and usually found at the edges but sometimes in the middle) it can bounce and shake a very large plane. And flying against such a strong wind saps fuel while flying with it can push a large jet.

    So what’s so great about water? Breaking the skin layer of water isn’t easy either. The surface tension of water is 72 dynes/cm at 25°C, meaning it would take a force of 72 dynes to break a surface film of water 1 cm long. That’s a tough surface! A face plant high dive into the pool can leave you bruised and bloodied. Insects find it exceedingly hard to break that surface and some have even taken advantage of surface tension. And water jets can cut metal. So much for rock paper scissors. It appears that air and water wins.

    What many theorists on either side fail to do in their conjecture is to quantify energy needed versus energy available from their proposed mechanism to change even the very first thing in the usual string of connections that lead to ocean and air temperature change. CO2 theorists are the prime example with anthropogenic longwave radiation being said to heat the ocean below the first millimeters to such a degree that when expelled will result in noticeable heat increase in global land temperatures. This on its face is laughable due to a failure to calculate energy needed versus energy available. Solar theorists make the same mistake. Meandering jets being sent this way and that with nothing more than a tiny piece of solar variance, when in reality it can actually tear a plane apart instead of move out of the way to let the plane fly effortlessly in its arms.

    Wind and water are big ticket giants so you had better come to the table with equivalent calculations.

  126. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm
    Bob Weber pointed out:…>/i>
    You see, it all depends on clever cherry picking. For the 100 year 1776-1875 the sunspot number was 55.9, for the next 100 years until 1975 the SSN was 50.0…

  127. Open http://www.leif.org/research/Revised-Group-Numbers.xls and select all 266 years, cells F7 through F272. The 266 year average is 56.2. The average for SC17-now is 67.1, 19% higher than the 266-year average; and the average for SC18-now is 68.6, 22% higher than the 266-year average. The average for SC24 is 53.8, 4% less than the 266-year average.

    If you want to see something interesting, also look at http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Temperature-Anomalies.png at both the upper graph, “New Group Sunspot Numbers”, and see the concurrent solar min in 1810 with SSN=0 matched by a deep extended decline in temperatures that starts after the SSN maximum in 1803, and from the lower graph, “Global Temperature Anamoly”, where temperatures dropped by -1.5C and didn’t recover for 22 years, a period with negative temperature anamolies in every year (1805-1826), and a SSN average per year of 21.2, 62% off the 266-year average.

  128. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm
    Bob Weber pointed out:…
    There is nothing magical about 100 years. Let us take 3 solar cycles, corresponding to the ~30 years the WMO thinks it takes to define climate. For 1975-2008 [thus excluding SC24, as seemed important to you] the average SSN was 72.4, and for 1765-1798 [about two centuries before] the average SSN was almost the same, namely 72.7, yet the temperature anomaly for the modern period was +0.44C, while for the earlier period the anomaly was negative: -0.21, for a warming over the 2 centuries of 0.65C in spite of no difference in solar activity.

  129. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm
    with a period of 100 years centred on the peak of the current warm period
    Cannot be done for another half century, so not relevant.

    Bob Weber says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm
    look at http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Temperature-Anomalies.png
    That, to me, is the clearest indication that the Sun is not a primary driver of climate.
    But, to true believers the data does not seem to carry much weight…

  130. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:47 pm
    Leif, is there an official list of solar cycle minimums
    Actually No [regardless of my earlier comment]. There is no ‘official’ list as officially it is recognized that such a list is somewhat meaningless.

  131. Thanks, Leif. I bring it up because you’ve taught me that the Maunder spots were ‘large, sparse, and primarily southern hemispheric’. It seems that the effect previously known as the Livingston-Penn one might explain ‘large’ and ‘sparse’, but not the ‘primarily southern hemispheric’. The asymmetry looms large for me as a correlate of the cooling.

    Was the Dalton asymmetry peculiar in any way that you know of?
    ========================

  132. Bob and Stephen, calculate it in terms of W/m2 (of whatever wavelength you propose), not sunspot number % of increase, or the % of change in whatever else you want to focus on needed to change something here on Earth. Otherwise you surely see that it is handwaving. 19% higher is indeed higher, but what does that translate into in terms of energy? Or cosmic particles? Or whatever in face of a huge volume of leaky/evaporating air/water it must interact with.

  133. Bob Weber says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm
    The 266 year average is 56.2. The average for SC17-now is 67.1, 19% higher than the 266-year average; and the average for SC18-now is 68.6, 22% higher than the 266-year average.
    The average for SC-02 was 68.1, for SC-03 it was 88.5, for SC-04 67.2, for SC-08 67.3, etc. Do you see how silly you are. Something like half of the cycles would be larger than average, the other half smaller than average.
    You are trying to divert attention away from the finding that the Modern Grand Maximum is dead and buried. R.I.P.

  134. Leif, if there was 300+ years of SSNs in your dataset, I’d go back that far comparing centuries; if there was 400 years…, 500, … 1,000 years… The SSN average for your preferred cherry-picked range of 1776-1975 is 52.8. Since 1975, the SSN average has been 68.2, 21% over the 266-year average, and 29% over the average of your most excellently chosen date range of 1776-1975.

    Like kadaka, I also want to know why the solar daily data is smoothed to get the single yearly values at mid-year, and then smoothed again with your 21-year running mean – where it yields a smaller variation, much like the oft-quoted 0.1% change in mean TSI, also built upon averages of daily data.

  135. Heh, I think you’ve tried to show me that 8:46 link before. I remember the Xtended Cycle.
    ===============

  136. kim says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm
    Was the Dalton asymmetry peculiar in any way that you know of?
    the most peculiar thing we know is that we know almost nothing about the Dalton Minimum as there were very few reliable observations. When Wolf died in 1893, his values for that period were rather high and we would not today call it a Grand Minimum. It was Wolfer in 1902 who from scant and shaky data reconstructed what we today call the Dalton Minimum.

  137. Bob Weber says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm
    Like kadaka, I also want to know why the solar daily data is smoothed to get the single yearly values at mid-year, and then smoothed again with your 21-year running mean –
    Because one of the principal pushers of the Grand Maximum notion, Ilia Usoskin, bases his ideas on the 14C data, that has poor time-resolution because of the long residence time of 14C in the atmosphere. So I need to compare apples with apples. And furthermore there is no 11-yr period in the temperature data, so a finer division does not seem reasonable, but since both the 1-yr and the 21-yr curves are shown you can make up your own guesses.

  138. kim says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:03 pm
    Cool 400 year GSN @ slide #33.
    Perhaps, except is is wrong. But some people ‘who are lagging behind the curve’ like wrong data as long as the data support their ideas…

  139. So, speculating, some asymmetry during the Dalton, undetected by SSN may be correlated with the cooling. I worry this like a dog a bone. There is a marrow of knowledge there behind the nearly impenetrable barrier of ignorance. I can smell it.
    =====================

  140. “You are trying to divert attention away from the finding that the Modern Grand Maximum is dead and buried. R.I.P.”

    - The Modern Grand Maximum is dead and buried. You are right. And so is Global Warming.

    Now with the low cycle #24, we’re on to cooler things. The Modern Grand Maximum, oops, the Modern Maximum is over, and coincidently, so is Global Warming. What a ride! At least we all had a front row seat.

    Seriously, the use of the word grand is the silly thing. It doesn’t matter to me.

    Very interesting paper Leif. I really appreciate everything that went into it that I’ve read so far.

    I learned from your reconstruction Leif that the average yearly SSN from 1975 to now was 29% higher than the previous 200 years, since the founding of our country, and no one should be thanked more than you for all your work in arriving at that decisive determination.

  141. Thanks very much for this repeated, and better learned lesson, Leif. Asymmetry or not, surely you’d agree that if the sunspot numbers are low for the next few cycles, and the Earth cools, then the correlation compels greater searching for causation among the phenomena.

    Speaking of curves, lemme tell you about a ’57 Thunderbird Convertible and a 270 degree onramp loop. Some moments last forever.
    =============================

  142. kim says:
    August 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm
    Was the Dalton asymmetry peculiar in any way that you know of?
    In Wolf’s very first report on solar activity gleaned from original sources, he said [me translating on the fly from the German]:
    “Already in 1802 and 1802 Arago, Herschel, Fritsch, Flaugergues, etc, saw a lot of sunspot groups; and in 1804 and 1804 this richness was extraordinary: Flaugergues could nor recall to have seen the Sun spotless in 1802 and 1803, but well with many and large spots. Fritsch saw in the same years often more than 50 small and large spot umbrae at any one time. Eimbeke says that he has never seen so persistent and frequent spots as in 1803. Huth says that he had never seen so many and so large spots as in February and March, 1804, and so on. Even in 1805 Huth, Bode, Flaugergues, etc were talking about large spots”
    All this was during the Dalton Minimum…
    However, in the next cycle from 1811 on activity was generally lower, although Bode in 1815 saw the Sun covered with more spots than he had ever seem. Fritsch counted in 1817 often more than 100 spots, of which some were visible with the naked eye.
    So, the reality of the Dalton Grand Minimum seems a bit shaky. The data is poor though.

  143. Bob Weber says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:20 pm
    I learned from your reconstruction Leif that the average yearly SSN from 1975 to now was 29% higher than the previous 200 years, since the founding of our country, and no one should be thanked more than you for all your work in arriving at that decisive determination.
    But you draw the wrong [and misleading] conclusion therefrom. Since 1975 the sunspot number has been 68.2, while during a similar period 1768-1794 during the formative years of the US, the average sunspot number was 80.3, or 18% higher. It seems the climate back then was considerably colder than lately http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington's_crossing_of_the_Delaware_River#mediaviewer/File:Washington_Crossing_the_Delaware_by_Emanuel_Leutze,_MMA-NYC,_1851.jpg

  144. Thanks all.
    ———————-

    You have to look at how long it took to eliminate holdouts among scientists [the grim reaper does a good job at that] . . . [Leif @9:38]

    My favorite episode of a man outliving his tormenters is Bretz’s notion of catastrophic flood water needed to explain the channeled scablands of eastern Washington State. Those settled on gradualism could not accept the explanation even though year after year the evidence for it accumulated. Search for J Harlen Bretz to learn more about this, or for a start with focus on the landscape, go here:

    http://hugefloods.com/Scablands.html

  145. Let me get this straight …

    We are discussing counting sun-spots, visable phenomena that we observe on the 50% of the sun that is facing us at any point in time, that covers less that 0.01% of the Sun’s surface less than 1% of the time that at best can be seen as a proxy, but we are not sure what it is a proxy of because we are unsure of which of myriad of Sun outputs affect our climate and how they are connected to sun-spots.

    Have I got this right?

  146. Leif: Let me congratulate you on the successful prediction of the 1st (Northern Solar) Hemisphere Sunspot Maximum, and the Solar Max Sunspot # prediction.

  147. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm
    David A says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm
    Does it not depend on the residence time of the insolation entering the oceans? If the energy accumulates for years, perhaps decades, within the oceans then a little daily can be a lot over time.
    A steady inflow and outflow of water of = GPM will neither raise or lower a pool. However just a very small increase of inflow, over decades, will become perceptible.
    ============================================
    Leif says…The climate system is not like a pool.
    (It is called an analogy, and IF the residence time of energy within the defined system, which cannot be destroyed, increases, while input remains steady, the system will contain more energy.)

    It also radiates heat back into space at close to the same rate as heat flows into the system.
    (Close to is not the same as = to, and the point of my post was that a small input change with a long residence time energy, can accumulate for the entire time of the increase.) ( a all flame may never boil a large thin pot with no top. Place the flame in the middle of a thick walled sealed top pot, and it may well boil due to the increased residence time of the energy within the pot, while input remains constant.)

    So if solar activity was the same in the first 133 years of our data as in the last 133 years, I would think there would be very little difference.
    (It is not the same. The difference is small, but it is not the same. The point of understanding residence time of energy is that a small change can accumulate.)

    The small inflow to your pool is balanced by evaporation from the pool, unless you have a way of preventing that.
    ( I said, ” A steady inflow and outflow of water of = GPM will neither raise or lower a pool.” Please do not be pedantic, the out flow is evaporation, or whatever, the assumption is they are = at the beginning, ust as you illustrate, and then there is an increase in input however small, if it continues to pour into a large heat reservoir, it can accumulate for years, decades, maybe even centuries. Evaporation only takes place at the surface. The sunlight penetrates to over 800 ‘.)

    At least, nobody has identified with any confidence where any extra heat might be hiding. Perhaps you would know? (That is a big duh Leif, nobody knows. However a large chunk of heat left the earth, ocean atmosphere system with the 98 El Nino, did it not? So you tell me, given your expertise, you still show a rise in solar activity for several decades. Just to set some parameters, assume 100 percent of the increase in surface insolation over the oceans, went into the oceans for the largest TSI thirty year period in your record, every day a small increase accumulating. How much energy was this? We know 100% in fact did not enter the oceans, but lets us at least establish an outside parameter)
    ========================================\

  148. Also Leif do you have error bars on your estimates of solar activity, and how would you express the reasons for those error bars. (Be your own best critic for a moment)

  149. Truthseeker says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:08 pm
    but we are not sure what it is a proxy of because we are unsure of which of myriad of Sun outputs affect our climate and how they are connected to sun-spots.
    We are very sure that the sunspot number is an accurate proxy for the sun’s surface magnetic field. So whatever depends on or are caused by or driven by the sun’s magnetic field is very well described by the sunspot number. See for instance slide 7ff of http://www.leif.org/research/SSN/Stenflo.pdf

    rbateman says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm
    Leif: Let me congratulate you on the successful prediction of the 1st (Northern Solar) Hemisphere Sunspot Maximum, and the Solar Max Sunspot # prediction.
    Thank you, Robert, for your kind words. It is nice when the Sun cooperates [hopefully it will continue to do so :-) ].

  150. From Bob Weber on August 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm:

    Like kadaka, I also want to know why the solar daily data is smoothed to get the single yearly values at mid-year, and then smoothed again with your 21-year running mean (…)

    That is NOT like what I wanted to know, I was asking about the properness of further 12-13-mo smoothing of the already 12-13-mo smoothed SSN as I see commonly done, as I have done, and likewise smoothing of the SSN over longer periods or if I should go to daily to start.

  151. David A says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:13 pm
    “So if solar activity was the same in the first 133 years of our data as in the last 133 years, I would think there would be very little difference.”
    (It is not the same. The difference is small, but it is not the same. The point of understanding residence time of energy is that a small change can accumulate.)

    Any difference is smaller than the error bar, so we cannot even say if it was smaller or larger…

    August 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm
    Also Leif do you have error bars on your estimates of solar activity, and how would you express the reasons for those error bars. (Be your own best critic for a moment)
    Of course, as explained here: http://www.leif.org/research/SSN/Svalgaard11.pdf slides 13, 23, and 24. The standard deviation is determined from the spread of the individual observatories that went into the composite [each of these with it own error bar] in the standard way of propagating errors. This is the statistical error. The systematic errors of data taken 200 years ago is much harder to judge, so will itself have an error bar and so on in a infinite recursion.

  152. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm
    That is NOT like what I wanted to know, I was asking about the properness of further 12-13-mo smoothing of the already 12-13-mo smoothed SSN
    The values on my graph are not ‘smoothed’ in a strict sense, but are the yearly average of the 12 monthly averages of the daily values [when observed]. This strange way of getting a value compensates for the fact that often there is a lot of data missing [overcast, other things to do, etc] in the record for each observer. Experience shows that even if 90% of the data is missing, the average is usable.

  153. I hope they will not revise the sunspot number to erase the Maunder Minimum. This is like the Hockey Stick erasing the Medieval Warm Period with tree rings. Change in TSI during the Little Ice Age and the present may be small. But the change in TSI in the Milankovitch eccentricity cycle is equivalent to a radiative forcing of 0.45 W/m^2. This is enough to cause the ice ages.

  154. In the end this exercise is irrelevant because the observed changes in global temperature remain sufficiently well correlated with Leif’s new description of variations in solar activity to allow a suspicion of causative influence to be reasonable.

    Simply pointing out a single cold winter or even a run of cold winters at a time of increasing solar activity is not sufficient to justify ignoring the issue because ocean cycles modify the solar effects.

    Leif’s continuing dismissiveness is, in my humble opinion, misguided.

  155. Minor changes to the SSN numbers are of no particular relevance to the terrestrial events, the solar impact from the sunspots is most likely, for the most of the time, below threshold of climate sensitivity.
    However, on few occasions a year for a short time (and therefore will seldom register in any monthly or annual averaging), the threshold may be greatly exceeded, acting as a trigger to terrestrial events having an effect on the individual components of the climate system such as polar vortex.
    Such an event took place last night

    but because of the Arctic summer on this occasion its effect will be minimal. In the Arctic winter combined with the SSW (earth originated N. Hemisphere winter events) strong impacts initiates splitting of the polar vortex and consequently weeks of the polar jet stream displacement.

  156. @ Leif Svalgaard on August 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm:

    I’m not worried about the new GN numbers, but the usage of the old International numbers. Since the monthly Smoothed Sunspot Number is described at WDC-SILSO as having the “raw” monthly values already run through what sounds like a centered 12-mo running mean, what is the appropriateness of running the SSN through another 12 or 13 month running mean for a smoother line?

    I’ve done it, “authoritative” sources do it, as with picking solar minimums. But does that make it right?

    Likewise I was wondering about other lengths of running means. I see that SILSO has the un-smoothed monthly available. So I could do a running mean of the length I want from that, or do it with the SSN like on woodfortrees.

    I know a certain person who will do three running means of different lengths on the same data to give himself the results he desires, which should be a clue right there. I know of the problems with too much smoothing, and have heard stern warnings about doing further averaging on already-averaged time series data. What is your opinion?

  157. Leif Svalgaard [August 19, 2014 at 2:11 am] says:

    The main obstacle is the determined effort in some quarters to resist any update of ‘the precious historical record’. This is, of course, counterproductive: Errors that have been identified must be corrected.

    Leif Svalgaard [August 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm] says:

    Second: some people have careers [and students and research grants] tied up in the ‘precious historical record’ and much of that go out the window, so clearly they are against any changes.

    You’ve managed to work that phrase into your replies twice now. It comes off as dripping with contempt for those of us who protect data for a living and naturally respect the real Sciences. So what on Earth could you possibly be trying to imply with those scare quotes and that sarcastic tone? That contemptuous phrase is beneath you and is exactly what I would expect from some arrogant wannabe scientist wanting to play God with someone else’s historical data they had nothing to do with, not you Leif Svalgaard who enjoys a healthy reputation here and elsewhere. Actually that phrase is pretty much exactly what I would expect from a Mosher these days. So please do explain what you could possibly be trying to say using the phrase: ‘the precious historical record’. I’m baffled by it.

    Leif Svalgaard [August 19, 2014 at 9:05 am] says:

    But they are [that is the whole point]. But, as always, there are a few hold-outs [there are still people denying Evolution, Continental ‘drift’, Big Bang, Solar Nuclear Fusion, Moon Landings, etc]. It will take time for them to come around, but they eventually will [that is called 'progress'].

    You went off the rails there straight into Lewandowsky crazy land. Continental drift and Apollo are facts that will still be in Science books and recorded history 100, 500 1,000 years from now and beyond because they are real. But using the latest cosmological conjecture du jour is what is actually crazy. The Big Bang is a quasi-religious belief and it will change yet again and again. Humans purporting to know what happened at the beginning of time must be the most patently absurd thing imaginable yet we can easily find Scientists that treat it as ‘settled’ and turn their noses up to the heretics that don’t worship alongside them. Furthermore, the implication that the cranks are here on the skeptic side is offensive. Lewandowsky only writes that nonsense to deflect from the fact that the psychopaths are his own very allies, you know, the Erich von Däniken ancient alien believers, holocaust revisionists, Apollo deniers, grassy knollers, 9/11 nutjobs, etc. If you mean to conflate WUWT and other skeptics to that crowd of kooks then it’s time for a stroke test.

    P.S. for the love of God please use a BLOCKQUOTE tag pair. If you wonder why I say this, consider the fact that you already go to the trouble of using ITALIC tag pairs in lieu of proper quoting, and while that’s a good start you always fail to hit an extra CRLF (the ‘ENTER’ key) so that you create walls of text. It’s so unprofessional in communication and usually means someone that doesn’t pay attention to detail or proofreads their output. If I get a resume that is that sloppy that person gets an immediate strike, and the same goes for perusing articles and forums. But on the bright side at least your replies are comprehensible, unlike Mosher’s ridiculously sloppy efforts.

  158. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:31 pm
    David A says:
    August 19, 2014 at 10:13 pm
    “So if solar activity was the same in the first 133 years of our data as in the last 133 years, I would think there would be very little difference.”
    (It is not the same. The difference is small, but it is not the same. The point of understanding residence time of energy is that a small change can accumulate.)
    Any difference is smaller than the error bar, so we cannot even say if it smaller or larger.
    ================================================
    Yet you are defining the period. Of interest is the energy difference between the low decades at the turn of the last century, and the high decades that followed.

  159. David, we know what that energy difference is within one cycle. Even a crazy busy cycle has a minimum with no spots. TSI can be directly measured now between the two conditions. At issue is whether or not the change in W/m2 within one cycle or over several is enough to show up as a change in oceanic temperatures (since simple daytime heating is not stored over land surfaces for any appreciable length of time). The same is true for any other aspect of solar influence. I doubt any accumulative affect in direct solar impact on the atmosphere. There isn’t any storage capacity there like we have in the oceans. And the only thing the oceans can store is heat. So we are back to W/m2. It’s a BIG BIG BIG volume of water that is quite leaky in terms of evaporation. It seems to me, just on a paper napkin, that we are talking such a small change in ocean heat content due to solar variability over time as to not be discernable on temperature sensors and needing several decimal places on a calculator.

  160. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 20, 2014 at 2:57 am
    What is your opinion?
    As I said, I don’t do smoothing, but averaging. The basic data is the daily, raw data.

    Blade says:
    August 20, 2014 at 5:54 am
    You’ve managed to work that phrase into your replies twice now. It comes off as dripping with contempt for those of us who protect data for a living and naturally respect the real Sciences. So what on Earth could you possibly be trying to imply with those scare quotes and that sarcastic tone?
    That phrase [‘the precious historical record’] is what I have been met with on several occasions. And I do hold it as contemptuous and my comment was meant to convey that. Your explicit comment designed to imply that I do not wish to ‘protect raw data or respect real sciences’ is ludicrous and uncalled for.

    The Big Bang is a quasi-religious belief
    I disagree, but realize that Big-Bang denial is also quasi-religious and I don’t enter into matters of such.

    P.S. for the love of God please use a BLOCKQUOTE tag pair.
    I don’t see the benefit and it has nothing to do with professionalism or lack thereof.

    philjourdan says:
    August 20, 2014 at 6:47 am
    once the new numbers were created, there would be no need to maintain the raw data.
    The raw data is the most important thing we have. Experience shows that raw data disappear with time. This is sad, but it is so. And there is nothing one can do about that.

    David A says:
    August 20, 2014 at 6:54 am
    Of interest is the energy difference between the low decades at the turn of the last century, and the high decades that followed.
    That is cherry picking, but people are good at that, and I realize that one cannot make people see the folly thereof.

    Stephen Wilde says:
    August 20, 2014 at 12:28 am
    Leif’s continuing dismissiveness is, in my humble opinion, misguided.
    I dismiss what I see as poor science, or pseudo-science. You can disagree with that, but as you point out that disagreement is just your humble opinion and must therefore be treated just as that.

    • Leif Svalgaard says:
      August 20, 2014 at 7:50 am

      The Big Bang is a quasi-religious belief
      I disagree, but realize that Big-Bang denial is also quasi-religious and I don’t enter into matters of such.

      Some points to consider concerning the “big bang” theory, so named by Sir Fred Hoyle, its famous detractor:

      How is a universe created from nothing? A singularity? A suspension of the laws of Physics? Are unicorns also possible?

      How can the expansion of universe be accelerating, losing ever increasing amounts of energy? Hastily reincarnate the 19th century theory of aether as “dark energy?”

      Its possible to accept many of conclusions that cosmologists have postulated, including the age of the observable universe, its apparent acceleration, and the observation of superluminal speeds, while discarding the catechism of the “big bang.”

    • @Leif

      Experience shows that raw data disappear with time. This is sad, but it is so. And there is nothing one can do about that.

      It is sad, And in today’s computer/low storage cost world should not be happening. However I understand that what I (and others) see as important is not always so with the data keepers. I appreciate your clarification.

  161. With regard to those who adhere to solar-initiated ozone changes as a factor in cloud formation, I refer you to a new paper that does a great job of describing the diurnal cycle of ozone production and destruction in the stratosphere. It should inform your speculation quite a bit. I will leave its interpolation into your speculations without spoken prejudice.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/7645/2014/acp-14-7645-2014.html

  162. I learned from your reconstruction Leif that the average yearly SSN from 1975 to now was 29% higher than the previous 200 years, since the founding of our country, and no one should be thanked more than you for all your work in arriving at that decisive determination.

    My reply
    Exactly the data shows that the sun was in a very active period most of the last century.

    To make it even clearer all the graphs for temperature data show a decline in the global temperature trend with each and every prolonged solar minimum event. That is 100%.

    In addition solar variability has been shown clearly recently due to the solar lull from 2008-2010 and the general quite solar conditions post 2005, in contrast to the active solar period last century. That is enough solar variability to cause a climate impact which we are already beginning to see this current century as the ACI index has become more meridional and the global temperature rise has come to a halt despite increasing CO2 concentrations. This is tied to the extreme low solar activity post 2005. Least in 200 years according to the latest research.

    FACTS
    Solar activity has gone from active to inactive especially after year 2005.
    The global temperature rise has stopped concurrently with reduced solar activity.
    The atmospheric circulation has become more meridional concurrent with reduced solar activity.
    The global temperature trend was up last century concurrent with an active solar period.
    The global temperature trend during the last prolonged solar minimum period( the Dalton) was lower.

    Those are the facts and they all make a strong case for solar /climate connections through primary and secondary effects.

    The more I review all of the commentary and data the more positive I become this is the correct stance.

    I am quite sure the global temperature trend going forward will be down in response to the current prolonged solar minimum which shows no signs of ending.

  163. Blade says:
    August 20, 2014 at 5:54 am
    you always fail to hit an extra CRLF (the ‘ENTER’ key) so that you create walls of text. It’s so unprofessional in communication and usually means someone that doesn’t pay attention to detail or proofreads their output.
    As screen real estate is precious, using blockquotes and/or extra blank lines forces the reader to scroll too much. What I do is deliberate and is paying attention to that detail.

  164. As I have said going forward before this decade is out it will be quite clear that solar is the primary driver of the climate and CO2 is a non factor. It has been trending in this direction for at least 18 years and counting. This trend will only intensify going forward. I have stated my solar criteria which would cause solar to have an effect upon the climate which will be being visited once again as this decade proceeds.

  165. I see no other solar scientist showing much of an interest in this article.

    It is a non event(the article) because it only tinkers with past solar conditions and still maintains the current solar minimum is the weakest in 200 years and goes further to state this could have a cooling impact upon the climate going forward.

    I like this article’s conclusions for the most part.

  166. Pamela Gray says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm
    Wind and water are big ticket giants so you had better come to the table with equivalent calculations.
    __

    Very nicely stated, agree. If the sun’s energy is insufficient then maybe the driver that modulates process its coming from below. Given the winds are a product of thermal gradients, and I live on the coast and am kept warm at night in winter, and the jetstream keeps flowing just the same a night when the sun is doing stuff, then maybe its the ocean and what heats it directly, both day and night instead.

    Some cheeky salient points for all to remember:

    (1) geology controls all ocean circulation. Why? Because ocean basin topography is a result of on-going energetic geodynamics which produces all topographic features and continental placements, and is thus responsible for all past climate patterns. that topography modulates all circulation and resulting currents today. Thus geology is the PRIMARY controller of oceanic processes and therefore atmospheric gradients as well.

    (2) Earth’s internal energy release is constantly secular heating the oceans too, directly, not indirectly, and it is also producing significant transient thermal pulses and chemical variability.

    (3) SiO2 and CO2 are not just erupted above the waves, it is erupted below as well. If the ocean becomes less alkaline and CO2 is going up, lagging a global temp increase, there’s a good chance submarine volcanism [somewhere, probably several somewhere] has caused it.

    4) The sun alters the mix of what the geology of the planet has already been doing.

    (5) Ice covered moons elsewhere in the solar system are considered to probably have a liquid ocean below thick reworked ice surfaces – WHY?

    Europa:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_%28moon%29

    Ganymede:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganymede_%28moon%29

    __

    The Earth and Sol combined, clearly have the necessary energy and capacity to change ocean circulation patterns and thermal gradient of atmosphere – they are doing it. As long as Earth’s role in first growing and then secular-warming oceans is ignored, the circulation models will diverge from theory and model and will confound adequate explanation. Observational time series measurements of deep oceans, and lots of them, is what’s required.

  167. Surely this is a HUGE shift in the way Svaalgard used to think about the Solar/Climate relationship(basically he said there was none, ie the sun had no effect on climate) If I recall correctly in many many posts here.

  168. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Bob Weber says:
    August 19, 2014 at 9:20 pm
    I learned from your reconstruction Leif that the average yearly SSN from 1975 to now was 29% higher than the previous 200 years, since the founding of our country, and no one should be thanked more than you for all your work in arriving at that decisive determination.

    “But you draw the wrong [and misleading] conclusion therefrom. Since 1975 the sunspot number has been 68.2, while during a similar period 1768-1794 during the formative years of the US, the average sunspot number was 80.3, or 18% higher. It seems the climate back then was considerably colder than lately http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington's_crossing_of_the_Delaware_River#mediaviewer/File:Washington_Crossing_the_Delaware_by_Emanuel_Leutze,_MMA-NYC,_1851.jpg

    The 40-year average from 1975-2014 is not “similar” to 1768-1794 because your period is not 40 years long. There is no wrong conclusion.

    Misleading? That is a baseless claim. The simple fact, computed from your data, that the total SSN since 1975 was on average 29% higher than the SSN average for the 200 years preceding 1975, correctly characterizes the modern maximum. It gives proper perspective to the extra solar activity observed during the modern satellite era compared to the previous 200-year average.

    As for George Washington: he crossed the Delaware on Dec 25, 1776 in the depths of the solar minimum between cycles 2 and 3. Your SSN for 1776 was 20.7, 63% less than the 266-year average, which was also preceded by three years of low SSNs: 1775 was 22.6, 1774 was 43.8, and 1773 was 41.2. The average for those four years was 32.1, 43% less than the 266-year average.

    The lesson from the severe US winter of 2013/14 was that severe widespread cold conditions can also occur when SSN is higher than average, as the SSN for 2013/14 was about 75 on average. Whether you were hot or cold depended on which side of the Rosby wave you were located, within the polar vortex area, or outside of it, as evidenced by the winter’s high and low temp records distribution. Which part of the Rosby wave covered Delaware on Dec 25, 1776? The cold side.

  169. What if David Archibald’s book The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short turns out to be right?,” asks Newman, former ABC chairman and chairman of the Australian Prime Minister’s business advisory council.

    “What if the warmth the world has enjoyed for the past 50 years is the result of solar activity, not man-made CO2?”

    Newman points to Russian scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory, who “are convinced the world is in for a cooling period that will last for 200-250 years.”

    He also refers to respected Norwegian solar physicist Pal Brekke, who “warns temperatures may actually fall for the next 50 years.”

    A return of the Dalton Minimum “more likely than not”

    “Leading British climate scientist Mike Lockwood, of Reading University, found 24 occasions in the past 10,000 years when the sun was declining as it is now, but could find none where the decline was as fast. He says a return of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830), which included “the year without summer”, is “more likely than not”.

    “If the world does indeed move into a cooling period,” says Newman, “its citizens are ill-prepared.”

  170. Dr Norman Page says:
    August 20, 2014 at 8:08 am
    The Clette et al paper is not necessarily the last word on the sunspot record see e.g.Lockwood et al
    Lockwood et al. have a record of playing catch-up and they usually do it poorly. Their paper on this is a good example of the attempts to save the Grand Maximum. As always, L et al. will come around eventually. Usoskin also has new papers on this, and I expect more from the usual suspects.

  171. Stephen Wilde:Leif’s continuing dismissiveness is, in my humble opinion, misguided.

    I expressed a similar opinion, at least once. I thought that Leif Svalgaard dismissed hypotheses when I thought that the evidence for a confident dismissal was inadequate. (My analogy was Rutherford’s confident yet mistake dismissal of Wegener’s hypothesis: he asserted that there was no adequate source of power, whereas he ought to have asserted that an adequate source of power was not [yet] known.) On the whole, however, I think that the balance of the evidence supports Leif Svalgaard. Some time in the future there may be enough evidence to support the existence of one of the these mechanisms that is said to produce a strong association between small solar variations and the larger climate variations revealed in the record — but for the time being the evidence is spotty at best. A number of writers have asserted that the evidence will become available in the next 10 to 50 years, and that we should therefore believe as though the evidence were available now; but the complement is possible as well, namely that it will become clear in the next 10 to 50 years that the hypothesized mechanisms just are not there, or are not adequate.

    If the sun continues to produce low sunspot numbers and the global mean temperature declines, that will provide a lot of information. If the sun continues to produce low sunspot numbers and the global mean temperature rises, that also will provide a lot of information.

  172. Bob Weber you are Misleading? That is a baseless claim. The simple fact, computed from your data, that the total SSN since 1975 was on average 29% higher than the SSN average for the 200 years preceding 1975, correctly characterizes the modern maximum. It gives proper perspective to the extra solar activity observed during the modern satellite era compared to the previous 200-year average.

    MY REPLY

    Then in addition and even more important was the sun’s magnetic field strength last century was very strong.

    If one contrast the Dalton Solar Minimum and the quiet solar period 1890-1910 and the now present very quiet solar period post 2005 one will easily see how active most of the last century was in comparison to these quiet solar periods which is at the heart of the matter and which is what matters.

    Any way you slice it that is what the data is going to show.

  173. If the sun continues to produce low sunspot numbers and the global mean temperature declines, that will provide a lot of information. If the sun continues to produce low sunspot numbers and the global mean temperature rises, that also will provide a lot of information.

    My reply

    EXACTLY

    • Salvatore, I’d suggest you give it a rest. Let other people talk. Your machine gun style of commenting looks a lot like thread bombing and creates extra work for moderators.

  174. Dr Norman Page: The Clette et al paper is not necessarily the last word on the sunspot record see e.g.Lockwood et al

    Do you have reasons for thinking that the Clette et al paper is not in fact the best summary to date?

  175. Dr Norman Page says:
    August 20, 2014 at 8:08 am
    The Clette et al paper is not necessarily the last word on the sunspot record see e.g.Lockwood et al
    Lockwood et al conclude:
    “We have studied the putative discontinuity in the international sunspot number record in around 1 January 1946. Our results confirm the conclusion of Svalgaard [2011] that the discontinuity is present in the widely used data set that is available from most data centers. However, Svalgaard’s estimate that a 20% correction is here shown to be an overestimate.”

    The last statement is incorrect. The best and simplest way of measuring the size of the discontinuity is to use the observations of the difference between direct counts by Locarno. We did that in the discussion around Figures 42-44 in the Clette paper. And the conclusion stands that 20% is what direct measurements show as the average correction.

  176. Salvatore Del Prete says:
    August 20, 2014 at 8:52 am
    Then in addition and even more important was the sun’s magnetic field strength last century was very strong.
    A measure of the Sun’s magnetic field is the magnetic field of the solar wind. The latter we can infer from the geomagnetic record. You hero Lockwood now agrees that the solar wind magnetic field in the 19th century was on par with that in the 20th, see e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/Error-Scale-Values-HLS.pdf

  177. If one contrast the Dalton Solar Minimum and the quiet solar period 1890-1910 and the now present very quiet solar period post 2005 one will easily see how active most of the last century was in comparison to these quiet solar periods which is at the heart of the matter and which is what matters.

    Any way you slice it that is what the data is going to show.

    I am repeating this because I think it is VITAL to the whole point of this discussion and it is the basis for my whole argument.

  178. Bob Weber: Misleading? That is a baseless claim. The simple fact, computed from your data, that the total SSN since 1975 was on average 29% higher than the SSN average for the 200 years preceding 1975, correctly characterizes the modern maximum. It gives proper perspective to the extra solar activity observed during the modern satellite era compared to the previous 200-year average.

    As for George Washington: he crossed the Delaware on Dec 25, 1776 in the depths of the solar minimum between cycles 2 and 3. Your SSN for 1776 was 20.7, 63% less than the 266-year average, which was also preceded by three years of low SSNs: 1775 was 22.6, 1774 was 43.8, and 1773 was 41.2. The average for those four years was 32.1, 43% less than the 266-year average.

    No doubt there are selected epochs when sunspot numbers were low and recorded climate was cool; and selected epochs when sunspot numbers were high and climate was warm. What is lacking to date is a showing of a consistent relationship throughout the entire record. The late 20th century warming and the early 20th century warming were very similar, despite the dissimilarity in sunspot counts (and CO2, as noted in other comment threads.)

  179. Salvatore Del Prete: http://muller.lbl.gov/pages/iceagebook/history_of_climate.html

    Thank you for reposting that link. I do not see a “TREND” in those plots, I see inconsistency. Across the full record, what are the R^2 value and coefficients of any estimated relationship between sunspot and either (a) rate of mean temp change or (b) mean temp? Anyone making a claim for a relationship should supply such statistical analyses.

  180. Matthew R Marler says: August 20, 2014 at 8:50 am
    f the these mechanisms that is said to produce a strong association between small solar variations and the larger climate variations

    Unmentionable says: August 20, 2014 at 8:22 am
    (1) geology controls all ocean circulation.

    Solar magnetic field cannot penetrate to the depths of the Earth’s core, and yet the solar magnetic field (22 year cycle) and a much larger magnetic ripple superimposed on the Earth’s field (orders of magnitude greater than the heliospheric field at the earth’s orbit) have same frequency and are in phase.
    To add to string of coincidences tectonic activity (according to data 1860 to present) in the N. Atlantic – Arctic environs follows the closely (not exactly) integrated sunspot number for the period.
    Secular magnetic field delta (usually an indication of the earth’s crust-mantle events ) for the area (from both paleo and instrumental records) also closely matches the Loehle’s (non tree rings) GT reconstruction.
    And finally, Denmark straits, the major future of the area, is the main bottleneck on the superhighway in the oceans global circulation. On both sides to the north and the south of the straits the Great Ocean Conveyer belt

    releases massive amounts of heat (several hundred watts/ m2).
    Energy in the equal measure across the centuries, comes from the above, but the ‘control knob’ most likely comes from the below.

  181. Thank you for the slide set, Lief! On Slide 10, you presented this:

    Wolfer’s Change to Wolf’s Counting Method
    • Wolf only counted spots that were ‘black’ and would have been clearly visible even with moderate seeing
    • His successor Wolfer disagreed, and pointed out that the above criterion was much too vague and instead advocating counting every spot that could be seen
    • This, of course, introduces a discontinuity in the sunspot number, which was corrected by using a much smaller k value [~0.6 instead of Wolf’s 1.0]
    • All subsequent observers have adopted that same 0.6 factor to stay on the original Wolf scale
    for 1849-~1865

    I’m not an astronomer, so it appears to me that sunspot numbers are an inaccurate and highly subjective proxy for changes that occur within the sun’s magnetic fields and photosphere. Should we be considering a new way to measure this? The fact that sunspot records represent the longest continuous record in science is impressive and elegant, but I wonder if modern instruments would allow us to gather more useful data. Cheers & best, Charles

  182. CRS, DrPH says:
    August 20, 2014 at 9:50 am
    it appears to me that sunspot numbers are an inaccurate and highly subjective proxy for changes that occur within the sun’s magnetic fields and photosphere.
    On the contrary, sunspots [in spite of their subjective derivation] is a very precise proxy for the Sun’s magnetic field. Jan Stenflo says it well: slides 7 to 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/SSN/Stenflo.pdf

    Should we be considering a new way to measure this?
    We have several other ways to measure this [e.g. the 10.7 cm radio flux, and the sunspot areas, and simply the magnetic fields that we now can measure], but they all show that the SSN is a very good proxy, so we need to keep the SSN for the sake of the historical record and also for its simplicity and intuitive appeal.

  183. There is nothing magical about 100 years. Let us take 3 solar cycles, corresponding to the ~30 years the WMO thinks it takes to define climate. For 1975-2008 [thus excluding SC24, as seemed important to you] the average SSN was 72.4, and for 1765-1798 [about two centuries before] the average SSN was almost the same, namely 72.7, yet the temperature anomaly for the modern period was +0.44C, while for the earlier period the anomaly was negative: -0.21, for a warming over the 2 centuries of 0.65C in spite of no difference in solar activity.

    …and where CO_2 is canonically believed to have been essentially unchanged up until roughly 1950, even though around half of the warming preceded this. Indeed, almost all of the observed warming in the CO_2-forced era occurred in a single block of time roughly 15 years long, with easily half of that warming associated with a single discrete non-solar non-CO_2 event — the 1997-1998 super El Nino. A very reasonable estimate for CO_2-forced warming might be 0.1C/decade, with a plausible error at least that large, but resolving this from the natural variations from all causes is essentially impossible.

    Note well that I’m not disagreeing with you. The problem is that the Earth’s climate is clearly following a longer term canonical trajectory with considerable empirical variation, and we cannot AFAIK either explain the past trajectory or predict the future trajectory based on any of the assumptions that go into the existing climate models. We are omitting something really important, something that we don’t even know HOW to include. Until we figure that out, it is going to be very difficult to try to separate out human from natural effects in the observed variation. And if the omitted thing is pure nonlinear dynamic chaos in a highly non-Markovian system — a distinct possibility — and hence essentially unpredictable within some range, we might never really manage it, at least not without a serious breakthrough in the accessible scale of human computation.

    rgb

  184. RGB You do not have necessarily to understand the periodicities in the temperature data in order to make possibly skillful forecasts see Figs 5,6,7,8,and 9. in the last post at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    for evidence of a 960 year periodicity in the temperature data and forecasts derived therefrom.
    The same periodicity is seen during glacial times check the 480 year peak (960/2) seen in Fig S4
    top and bottom panels at

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/08/new-paper-shows-solar-activity-is-linked-to-the-greenland-climate-even-20000-years-ago/#more-37812

    Just scroll down the link to find the Figure.

  185. Matthew R Marler says:
    August 20, 2014 at 9:12 am
    Bob Weber: Misleading? That is a baseless claim. The simple fact, computed from your data, that the total SSN since 1975 was on average 29% higher than the SSN average for the 200 years preceding 1975, correctly characterizes the modern maximum. It gives proper perspective to the extra solar activity observed during the modern satellite era compared to the previous 200-year average.

    As for George Washington: he crossed the Delaware on Dec 25, 1776 in the depths of the solar minimum between cycles 2 and 3. Your SSN for 1776 was 20.7, 63% less than the 266-year average, which was also preceded by three years of low SSNs: 1775 was 22.6, 1774 was 43.8, and 1773 was 41.2. The average for those four years was 32.1, 43% less than the 266-year average.

    No doubt there are selected epochs when sunspot numbers were low and recorded climate was cool; and selected epochs when sunspot numbers were high and climate was warm. What is lacking to date is a showing of a consistent relationship throughout the entire record. The late 20th century warming and the early 20th century warming were very similar, despite the dissimilarity in sunspot counts (and CO2, as noted in other comment threads.)

    Using the freezing up of the Delaware above Trenton as an indicator of ‘climate’ is very misleading. As is the famous painting of Washington’s crossing since that is a painting of ice on the Rhine in Germany, the floes on the Delaware look very different. The Delaware frequently freezes there, most recently this year but also in 2003, very different years as far as SSN is concerned. W. wouldn’t have needed boats this year: http://www.larkandlace.com/2014/01/icy-river.html
    Here’s another:

  186. The climate discussions are so frustrating… it’s as if everyone is pushing an agenda. It is very obvious that people discussing climate have taken their eyes off the ball and I can’t really blame them… Here are the facts that nobody wants to talk about… MAY/June/July collectively we have record warm ocean temps… Ok? This should be the end of any discussion on what is happening….it’s over! What part of record ocean temperatures are you not getting?

    Why it is happening is open for debate as usual. Why? Let us find common ground.
    Anybody attempting to prove how and why the oceans are at record warmth cannot be seriously engaging in a true climate discussion if they leave out the following:
    1) Our magnetosphere is weaker!
    2) Arctic Temps not just Global Temps
    3)Arctic Methane not just Global Methane
    4) Solar Irradiance is simply not tracking downward with the sunspots and solar forcing is still above the solar constant both on Earth and From the Sun.
    5) Volcanism’s role in Maunder Minimum…

    Ok! So….Anybody claiming to know anything about climate science who leaves out irradiance, Arctic Methane and Weaker Magnetosphere needs to go jump in a Lake…PERIOD!… and that lake will be very warm and at record low water levels I willing to be you. Glancing over these comments it seems many have strayed off the path of this kind of data and onto the path of smearing anyone who disagrees.

  187. Dr Norman Page: RGB You do not have necessarily to understand the periodicities in the temperature data in order to make possibly skillful forecasts see Figs 5,6,7,8,and 9. in the last post at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    That is true, but the qualification “possibly skilful” is extremely important. We do not now have any *demonstrably skillful* forecasts, hence no reason to think that the “possibly skillful” forecasts that you speak of have any relationship to the developing climate. This can be said of all forecasts to date: e.g. it is possible that a few of the GCM forecasts are “possibly skillful”, but no reason to think so of any particular few.

  188. RGB All forecasts are can only be judged against future observations- in my forecasts at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    I give estimates of future temperatures at various times and say
    “Global temperature trends, solar activity and the climate and weather patterns since the original 2010 forecast have simply strengthened confidence in the forecast of both imminent decadal and long-term centennial cooling as outlined above.
    The chief uncertainties relate to the exact timing of the current millennial solar activity peak and to the regionally variable lag time between the solar activity peak and its appearance as a peak in land temperatures and global SSTs. A +/- 12 year lag between the neutron count and the SST data has been used here following Fig3 in Usoskin et al:

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2005ESASP.560…19U

    Other investigators have suggested lags between 12 and 20 years. We will see.
    How confident should one be in the predictions in this post? The pattern and quasi-periodicity method doesn’t lend itself easily to statistical measures. However, statistical calculations only provide an apparent rigor for the uninitiated and, in relation to an ensemble of IPCC climate models, are entirely misleading because they make no allowance for the structural uncertainties in the model set up. This is where scientific judgment comes in, as some people are better at pattern recognition and meaningful correlation than others. A past record of successful forecasting such as indicated above is a useful but not infallible measure. In this case I am reasonably sure (say 65/35) for about 20 years ahead. Beyond that certainty drops rapidly. I am sure, however, that they will prove closer to reality than anything put out by the IPCC, Met Office or the NASA group. In any case, this is a Bayesian type forecast in that it can easily be amended on an ongoing basis as the Temperature and Solar data accumulate. If there is not a 0.15 – 0.20 drop in Global SSTs by 2018 -20, I would need to re-evaluate.

  189. “””””…..So what’s so great about water? Breaking the skin layer of water isn’t easy either. The surface tension of water is 72 dynes/cm at 25°C, meaning it would take a force of 72 dynes to break a surface film of water 1 cm long. That’s a tough surface! …..”””””

    Pamela, you have a misunderstanding, of just what “surface tension” actually is. There really isn’t any “skin” layer to break.

    Within the body of a liquid, the molecules attract each other and pull in every which way direction; the so-called Van der Waals forces. So on average, the molecules go nowhere in particular, and largely stay local, almost as in a solid, but with slow diffusion.

    When you get to the surface, almost monomolecular layer, you have pulls in every direction on the surface, and downward pulls from the deeper molecules, but no longer are there liquid molecules pulling upward. So it is as if the surface molecules are being sucked down into the interior. This causes the surface molecules, to rush in to fill any void, that should appear, and as a result, the surface tries to arrange itself to a minimum surface area. If you can isolate a surface element , such as by having a sliding wire perpendicular to a three sided wire perimeter, lying in the surface, the surface tension, will pull that wire towards the other end of the rectangle trying to minimize the enclosed area. The force pulling on that wire is simply the 72 dynes per cm, for the length of the sliding wire, between the parallels. No matter how far you pull that wire against the surface tension, the force stays constant at that 72 value. So it is not like stretching the surface of a balloon, where the force increases, with the displacement , from the point of equilibrium. With surface tension, there is no point of equilibrium; the surface tension, will collapse the surface area down to zero, and still be pulling at the same force.

    If you move the one cm wire along the parallel wire rails, by one cm, the you apply a force (t) over a distance one cm, so you do one (t) dyne.cm of work, in expanding the surface area, by one square cm.

    In fact, the work done by expanding a surface area, is simply (t) times the increase in surface area. And nothing ever breaks.

    When steam bubbles form in boiling water, the surface tension of the bubble surface, tries to collapse the bubble to zero radius. This is countered by an excess water vapor pressure, inside the bubble, over the ambient pressure in the liquid. A little algebraic prestidigitation, using the principle of virtual work (no it’s not what O’bama does), will show that the excess pressure required to support the bubble is just 2.t/r, where r, is the bubble radius.

    There’s a dangerous gotcha, lurking in that equation. Notice as the bubble radius goes to zero, the internal excess pressure required to sustain the bubble goes to infinity, as (r) goes to zero.

    So the bubble can’t even get started, as it would take an infinite water vapor pressure inside to do that, which means a superheated water, and superheated steam, in a very small bubble.

    So in fact, it almost requires, a substrate nucleus, to start water boiling, so it doesn’t have to start bubbles at zero radius.

    So if you put super clean, say de-ionized water (for your steam iron), into a microwave, and nuke it, it will tend to get much hotter than 100 deg. C, and still not boil.

    So you bring it out into the kitchen, and a dust particle drops in it, and the damn thing explodes in your face, with super hot water and steam.

    So don’t ever nuke a glass of water to make coffee, without putting the coffee (or tea) in first, to provide nucleation sites for steam bubbles so it can boil safely if you get it too hot.

    Surface tension doesn’t break when you do a belly flop. The velocity of sound in water simply limits how fast the water can get out of the way, of your impacting belly (or noggin).

    You’ve heard the kettle bump on the stove, when bubble nucleation gets a bit delayed, by lack of dust.

  190. From jonesingforozone on August 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm:

    Some points to consider concerning the “big bang” theory, so named by Sir Fred Hoyle, its famous detractor:

    How is a universe created from nothing? A singularity? A suspension of the laws of Physics? Are unicorns also possible?

    Math. Particle and anti-particle pairs are routinely popping into existence. When it all sums to zero, any number of things may be created.

    Unicorns are an old sideshow and farmshow attraction, made by relocating the horn buds of a goat, I have heard of taking half of each one so the curling is in opposition to make it grow straight. With genetic engineering we’ll be able to make unicorns from horses.

    How can the expansion of universe be accelerating, losing ever increasing amounts of energy? Hastily reincarnate the 19th century theory of aether as “dark energy?”

    Do you remember the example showing the curvature of space, that if you head outward in any direction you will eventually end up back where you started?

    As something heads outward from the center of the universe’s mass, it is also heading towards the center of the universe’s mass. As it is equally heading towards and away from the same thing, the gravitational potential energy remains the same, and from both directions it sums to zero. Likewise kinetic energy sums to zero. Thus no loss of energy.

    Don’t forget the time difference with the effect of the curvature. The edge of the universe we see is heading towards the more compact universe of its time. As when comparing a spacecraft in freefall approaching a planet versus it entering an asteroid cloud of the same mass, acceleration by gravity towards the ancient compact universe center is greater than we would see today traveling through this more-dispersed universe. Thus by our temporal and spatial perspective the visible edge of the universe is accelerating away from us.

    Of course from me that is just largely speculation, but unlike some here I will freely admit that. Except for the unicorns, as those are real.

    • kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
      August 20, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Math. Particle and anti-particle pairs are routinely popping into existence. When it all sums to zero, any number of things may be created.

      The pair of anti-particles creates energy according to the equation E=mc², which could only explain nothingness now.

      Do you remember the example showing the curvature of space, that if you head outward in any direction you will eventually end up back where you started?…

      What would appear as outward acceleration of the universe for the last 5 billion years, according to the ΛCDM, was actually due to a slight inward spiral.

      This hypothesis does not depend upon “dark energy” and does not result in closed timelike curves.

      See Tommy Gold Revisited: Why Does Not The Universe Rotate?.

    • kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
      August 20, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      “Cosmologists only know how to use `unknowns’ to explain `unknowns’,” writes Dr. Richard Leiu, Department of Physics, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL, in his 2007 paperΛCDM cosmology: how much suppression of credible evidence, and does the model really lead its competitors, using all evidence?

      He then compares the ΛCMD model to others according to 16 observational verdicts, such as “Age of stars” and “CMB SZ Effect (WMAP).”

      He concludes, in part, “The irony of today’s times is that while dark matter is still unidentified despite half a century of search, taxpayers are asked to invest in yet another potential fiasco.”

      When observations can be verified, we get the Mann hockey stick scandal.

      When they are not, we get the “big bang.”

  191. RGB You do not have necessarily to understand the periodicities in the temperature data in order to make possibly skillful forecasts

    Of course not! The weather today will be a lot like the weather yesterday! The weather tomorrow, too! That’s good for a 60-70% hit rate right there, in most locations. Even better, I can always make possibly skillful forecasts by looking at trends and periodicities of the past.

    The problem is that if you do this properly, with systems like the stock market or the climate, you find yourself on Koutsoyiannis’ standard picture of an ever rescaling trend. What looks like a linear trend turns out to be quadratic. What looks like a quadratic trend turns over and suddenly it is interpreted as being cubic. It turns again, and not it is periodic. The scale expands yet again and suddenly it turns out that the entire set of twists and turns at larger and larger scale are all just noise on a still larger scale variation of undetermined character.

    And the “character” of that longer scale variation itself could be — chaotic noise!

    That’s why if you Fourier transform the stock market or any parameter or stock price therein, over any sufficiently long data segment, you will get nonzero fourier components. And, if you want to impoverish yourself, you are welcome to build a model based on the most important components and extrapolate it and invest on that basis.

    Before you do, you might read The Black Swan — because quite aside from the non-extrapolability of periodicities inferred from only a few cycles (of the supposed periodicity) with no strong theoretical foundation in a nonlinear chaotic system which is known to probably not be periodic — that’s the chaotic bit — systems like the stock market and climate very likely have non-normal “catastrophes” inherent in their accessible phase space — places where the market drops by 1/3 in a single day, places where there simply isn’t a proper summer or where there isn’t a proper winter. These “black swan events” can occur on all time scales in systems of this sort, and are by their nature unpredictable and so large that they completely destroy/reset any secular trends even when there are some meaningful trends to be reset.

    Numerology is fine, but it is only the first step in physics, and should never be accompanied by a statement of significance until the physics of the numerology is known, cut and dried, and a working model implementing the physics works to substantially, not trivially, predict the future. HenryP makes this error all of the time. One cannot even correct him — his belief that a well-fit curve must extrapolate exceeds all religion. Only the future deviation of the predicted result from the measured one will eventually show him that quadratic fits, no matter how perfect, to short segments of climate data do not extrapolate. Periodic fits, too.

    Or at least, they never have in the past.

    rgb

  192. Curiousity has lead me to make a comparison of the new group sunspot numbers http://www.leif.org/research/Revised-Group-Numbers.xls to the established international sunspot number, Ri {http://sidc.oma.be/silso/datafiles using ‘Yearly mean total sunspot number [1700 - now]‘}.

    Using the same method that I had used earlier for the same years on both data sets, I compared the total numbers of sunspots in post-1975 years to the 200 years pre-1975, and discovered a surprising result, given all the hype: the GSN reconstruction makes no discernable difference over the SIDC number post-1975 as pertaining to the solar cause of global warming. The results:

    The fraction of the sum of sunspots 1975-now to the sum of sunspots from 1775-1974 from both datasets yields the exact same proportion for each, amazingly, 25.8%.

    The fraction of the sum of sunspots 1975-now to the sum of sunspots from 1775-now from both datasets yields the exact same proportion for each, amazingly, 20.5%.

    The average annual GSN 1975-now is 29.2% higher than the average annual GSN 1775-1974, and the average annual SIDC SSN (Ri) 1975-now is 29.6% higher than the average annual Ri 1775-1874, a minor difference of 0.4%. (The Ri value for 2014.5 was estimated at 64.)

    The GSN makes no real difference to any solar influence determinations wrt global warming 1975-now. None. We’ve seen some grandstanding here lately that somehow the modern maximum has been wiped away by the new GSN. Nope. The new GSN does not disprove one iota the solar cause of global warming.

    The new GSN perfectly reinforces the evidence from the SIDC numbers that the sun was significantly more active during the global warming years post-1975 than the preceding 200 years all the way back to the founding of the USA.

  193. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 20, 2014 at 10:01 am
    CRS, DrPH says:
    August 20, 2014 at 9:50 am
    it appears to me that sunspot numbers are an inaccurate and highly subjective proxy for changes that occur within the sun’s magnetic fields and photosphere.
    On the contrary, sunspots [in spite of their subjective derivation] is a very precise proxy for the Sun’s magnetic field. Jan Stenflo says it well: slides 7 to 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/SSN/Stenflo.pdf

    Should we be considering a new way to measure this?
    We have several other ways to measure this [e.g. the 10.7 cm radio flux, and the sunspot areas, and simply the magnetic fields that we now can measure], but they all show that the SSN is a very good proxy, so we need to keep the SSN for the sake of the historical record and also for its simplicity and intuitive appeal.

    Thank you, Leif! That is an excellent answer (and I’m a bit red-faced that I didn’t study the slide-set further! An old feeling when a student doesn’t do his studies completely!!)

    I agree that the SSN is a good proxy, and that we should certainly keep this record going. However, perhaps it could be augmented with other methodologies that you mention? I seem to recall discussions on WUWT that many legitimate sunspot areas are not terribly visible, although the magnetic field fluctuation is there nonetheless. We do this type of “syndromic surveillance” all the time in epidemiology (my field) to monitor illness in a population. Very best wishes, Charles

  194. Bob Weber says:
    August 21, 2014 at 9:31 am
    the GSN reconstruction makes no discernable difference over the SIDC number
    The whole point of our reconstruction was to show [among other things] that it has been possible to reconcile the GSN and the SSN,

    see e.g.
    http://www.leif.org/research/Reconciling-Group-and-Wolf-Sunspot-Numbers.pdf conclusion on slide 13:
    (1) Using the ‘Backbone’ technique it is possible to reconstruct a Group Sunspot Number 1825-1945 that does not exhibit any systematic difference from the standard Wolf [Zürich, Intnl.] Sunspot Number
    (2) This removes the strong secular variation found in the Hoyt & Schatten GSN
    (3) And also removes the notion of a Modern Grand Maximum
    and

    http://www.leif.org/research/Reconciliation%20of%20Group%20&%20International%20SSNs%20-%20Croatia.pdf

    (1) Two corrections reconcile the International and Group numbers back to 1825
    (2) Original Group SSN is flawed before 1885
    (30 No evidence for Grand Maximum from ~1945-1995
    Finally, we carried the revision all the way back to 1749 showing that the 18th century was not more active than the 20th.

    The comparison you made is invalid because the SIDC numbers on their website are inflated by 20% since 1947.
    And, as usual, you are cherry picking. Picking other intervals gives different results. The whole series clearly shows where you go off the rail http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Temperature-Anomalies.png

  195. Leif, I used the time interval you recommended. Average solar activity as measured by sunspot number yearly averages was 29% higher since 1975 than the previous 200-year average, per the new GSN. I’m sure no one is saying the new GSN is invalid. 29% higher solar activity since 1975!

  196. Bob Weber says:
    August 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    29% higher solar activity since 1975
    You can find other intervals where activity is higher than in that 200-yr average [for example: 1749-1794 avg=70.9, 1975-2014 avg=68.2]. The cherry picking game can go on forever.
    The simplest and most non-objectionable is the long term trend from the first half of the data to the 2nd half: 55.3 vs. 57.1, no significant difference http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Temperature-Anomalies.png . And that is without including the two high cycles that preceded 1749 http://www.sidc.be/silso/yearlyssnplot

  197. Bob Weber says:
    August 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    29% higher solar activity since 1975
    You can find other intervals where activity is higher than in that 200-yr average, e.g.

  198. sturgishooper says:
    August 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm
    BEST is a bust.
    which other one would you suggest?
    If they are all bad, no further discussion is needed as we then can’t tell.

    Bob Weber says:
    August 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    29% higher solar activity since 1975
    If you like the official SIDC numbers so much, you may enjoy this ‘unofficial’ use of them, where I simply scaled the SIDC values before 1848 to match the new Group Sunspot Numbers since 1749 and plotted to so re-scaled values before 1749 in blue:

    You can then cherry pick other intervals

  199. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    All official surface station “data” sets are bad. They’ve all been cooked to a crisp. The only procedure with any hope for remotely valid results is to take the global record as it was c. 1979 (before the worst “adjustments”), then tack satellite observations onto it. Since the ideologically motivated invention of alleged human responsibility for climate change, the surface station data have been “adjusted” out of any semblance to reality by the charlatans of Hadley, GISS, et al.

  200. sturgishooper says:
    August 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm
    All official surface station “data” sets are bad.
    Make one for me, that you consider usable [for 1750-2014] and I’ll gladly use that one instead.

  201. From sturgishooper on August 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm:

    How about grafting the first IPCC historical graph (starting well before AD 1750), after Lamb, onto Dr. Roy’s latest update?

    The Medieval Warm Anomaly was only 0.3°C above current temperatures? Do you have something with a better-defined Y-axis?

    Of course before you can splice on the UAH global record, you have to show the Medieval Warm Anomaly was more than regional.

    Why don’t you just point us to the dataset of points used for the IPCC graph, so it can be checked how well the new sunspot number matches up with that?

  202. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The evidence for the global extent of the MWP & LIA is overwhelming and grows more so every year. Same for the Dark Ages Cold Period, Roman WP, Greek Dark Ages CP, Minoan WP & Holocene Optimum. Ditto for comparable cyclic swings during prior interglacials, & for that matter in glacials.

    The data sets for the graph after Lamb have repeatedly been posted in comments to posts in this blog. How did you miss it? Or the extensions to Manley’s work on the CET, which Lamb used, among other sources. Here are the CET data again:

    TABLE II
    PREVAILING TEMPERATURES (°C) IN CENTRAL ENGLAND AND RAINFALLS ( ~oo OF 1916–1950 AVERAGES)
    IN ENGLAND AND WALES
    Period Temperatures 1
    Winter Winter (DJF) High summer High summer Year,
    (DJF) adjusted for (JA) (JA) based on the
    probable Adjusted to adjusted
    under- meet certain values given
    reporting of botanical for winter
    mild winters considerations and summer
    in medieval (see text)
    times (see
    text, see also
    notes above)
    800-1000 3.5 3.5 15.9 15.9 9.2
    1000-1 I00 3.7 3.7 (16.2) 16.2 9.4
    1100-1150 3.5 3.5 (16.2) 16.5 9.6
    1150-1200 3.9 4.2 (16.3) 16.7 10.2
    1200-1250 3.8 4.1 (16.3) 16.7 10.1
    1250-1300 3.9 4.2 (16.3) 16.7 10.2
    1300-1350 3.6 3.8 15.9 16.2 9.8
    1350-1400 3.6 3.8 15.7 15.9 9.5
    1400-1450 3.4 3.4 15.8 15.8 9.1
    1450-1500 3.5 3.5 15.6 15.6 9.0
    1500-1550~ 3.8 3.8 15.9 15.9 9.3
    1550-1600 3.2 3.2 (15.3) 15.3 8.8
    1600-1650 3.2 3.2 (15.4) 15.4 8.8
    1650-1700 a 3.1 3.1 (15.3) 15.3 8.7
    1700-17508 3.7 3.7 15.9 15.9 9.24
    1750-1800 3.4 3.4 15.9 15.9 9.06
    1800-1850 3.5 3.5 15.6 15.6 9.12
    1850-1900 3.8 3.8 15.7 15.7 9.12
    1900-1950 4.2 4.2 15.8 15.8 9.41
    x Temperatures from 1680 averages taken from MANLEY’S (1958, 1961) homogenized records.
    Temperatures before 1680 averages derived from decade values of the winter mildness/severity
    index and the summer wetness/dryness index (p.20) using regression equations based on comparisons
    with observed values since 1680-1740 (see text). Bracketed values have been adjusted for
    systematic departures from the regression line indicated by wind circulation characteristics. A
    separate column gives winter values adjusted on other meteorological considerations explained in
    the text, so that the mildest decades between 1150 and 1300 have temperatures equalling those of
    the 1920-1940 period. The balance of all the evidence meteorological and non-meteorological
    appears, however, to favour the still higher values indicated by the thin line in Fig.4. Summer
    temperatures adjusted to fit certain botanical indications are given in a separate column.
    2 Rainfalls from 1740 averages taken from NICHOLAS and GLASSPOOLE (1931) and Meteorological
    Office records. Rainfalls before 1740 averages derived from decade values of the summer wetness/
    dryness index and from the adjusted average values of annual mean and winter temperature, as
    explained in the text, using regression equations.
    a Values given for the temperatures 1650-1700 and rainfalls 1700-1750 incorporate instrument
    measurements for part of the period and the margins of error (as indicated in Fig.4 and 5) are
    reduced in consequence.
    Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatol., PalaeoecoL, 1 (1965) 13-37

    As you can see, even with a warmer second half of the 20th century (cooked book data available from the Met Office), the CET (good proxy for NH & world) still is far off the MWP highs. Data from other parts of the world show the same thing, as has been commented upon here over and over, in study after study.

  203. MWP in the Southern Hemisphere warmer than present:

    http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/aug/7aug2013a3.html

    MWP in Eastern Hemisphere warmer than present:

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/08/15/new-review-paper-finds-medieval-warming-period-in-china-was-warmer-than-modern-times/

    Western Hemisphere:

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/m/summaries/mwpnortham.php

    Southern and Eastern Hemispheres:

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V3/N34/C2.php

    Oceans:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/new-paper-shows-medieval-warm-period-was-global-in-scope/

    To cite but a mere handful of the abundant studies reaching the same conclusion. Why do the Team and its cheerleaders still try to beat the regionalist dead horse?

  204. The 1975-now portion of the new GSN record had a yearly average of 68.2, 26.2% higher on average compared to 54.1 for the 226 years from 1749 to 1975. Compared to the entire 266-year new GSN series average, the 1975-now annual average, which is 56.2, is 21.3% higher than the whole record annual average (21.3% higher annual average SSN for 40 years).

    If we’re really serious about understanding if and when sunspot activity had anything to do with global warming, we ought to start evaluating from the time when the running average annual SSN is the highest (going back from now), which is 68.9, 1936-now. The previous 187 years to 1936, 1749-1935, had an average of 50.8, a difference of 18.1, making the 1936-now annual average 35.6% higher.

    If we’re really, really serious, we have to acknowledge that solar cycle #24 played no part in the modern maximum and certainly not global warming, as warming ended at least over a decade ago. We should just as easily write off solar cycle #23 after it’s peak in 2002 from having much influence over global warming either.

    That brings us to view a 68-year period from 1936 to 2003 as defining the Modern Maximum, when the average annual sunspot number (GSN) was 73.5, 22.7 higher, or 44.7% higher, than the prior 187-year average of 50.8.

    A 44.7% higher sunspot count for 68 years! That’s pretty “grand” in my book!

  205. Bob Weber says:
    August 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    That brings us to view a 68-year period from 1936 to 2003 as defining the Modern Maximum, when the average annual sunspot number (GSN) was 73.5
    As compared to the average of 68.6 for 1726-1791, so not so grand in anybody’s book.

    sturgishooper says:
    August 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm
    To cite but a mere handful of the abundant studies reaching the same conclusion. Why do the Team and its cheerleaders still try to beat the regionalist dead horse?
    No matter what dataset selected, there will always be someone who will complain.

  206. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    That’s even more true for reconstructed temperature sets than for sunspot numbers. There is really no satisfactory GASTA even for the past century, let alone previous ones.

  207. George, I’m aware of the physics. Just didn’t want to use the space to focus the discussion on it. But since you brought it up in detail, I like this description (see link) because it uses the concept of “work” in the process of breaking through the surface film of molecules. It takes more work to break through that film than it does to move through the water once submerged in it.

    Now just imagine the amount of work needed to push wind and water around. Or the amount of work it takes to build a cloud.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEsQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cns.gatech.edu%2F~predrag%2Fcourses%2FPHYS-4421-10%2FLautrup%2Fsurface.pdf&ei=7MX2U7agL-jNiwKC8YCYAg&usg=AFQjCNHRI5xwhTCf2fn7Bf7IEi19W9Yiwg&sig2=h7jyDdLRA0NAu7_hs3DMHQ&bvm=bv.73373277,d.cGE

  208. @ sturgishooper on August 21, 2014 at 4:06 pm:
    You want to splice on UAH, which is global, to a graph showing the MWA. For showing the MWA was global, your response is claiming the MWA was global, and spouting off some garbled regional Central England numbers.

    @ sturgishooper on August 21, 2014 at 4:07 pm:
    What is this convoluted crud? I had to hack the real URL out of it:

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/stgeorge/geog5426/Lamb%20Palaeogeography%20Palaeoclimatology%20Palaeoecology%201965.pdf

    THAT is it, an old table from 1965?

    Dear Lord, how incompetent must one be to spew a direct copy-paste without even trying to un-garble the text? You scrambled the entire header section without blinking!

    You couldn’t even be bothered to take out the carriage returns of the footer. That’s dirt simple, would take a minute. Why should anyone take you seriously and not just scroll past that garbage?

    Have you ever actually compared that IPCC graph to the HH Lamb text? I noted the differences with Fig.3. And wrote a section on it. Then I went Top toolbar, Reference Pages: Global Temperature – Climate: Paleoclimate. There’s the graph and a link to where it was examined at Climate Audit. After review I’ll defer to McIntyre’s analysis.

    And you are using regional numbers to try to prove the MWA was global, from only one tiny region. Why?

    From sturgishooper on August 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm:

    Why do the Team and its cheerleaders still try to beat the regionalist dead horse?

    Why do you make it so easy for them? CO2 Science has done great work assembling the evidence, from their “Search By Topic” feature you can find many articles and papers on the Medieval Warm Period, regional and global. Why only use them for two regional pieces?

    And at the start you did a misrepresenting, foisting off as “MWP in the Southern Hemisphere” a paper on Northern Chile.

    If you want them to stop talking about the regional Medieval Warm Anomaly and refer to the global Medieval Warm Period instead, then stop referring to regional examples and go straight to the global evidence.

  209. sturgishooper says:
    August 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm
    MWP in the Southern Hemisphere warmer than present:
    http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/aug/7aug2013a3.html

    Points to note: (i) No LIA (ii) Warm Period ends about 1150 so doesn’t coincide with Lamb MW Epoch.

    MWP in Eastern Hemisphere warmer than present:

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/08/15/new-review-paper-finds-medieval-warming-period-in-china-was-warmer-than-modern-times/

    Which includes “Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this history was the warm period it revealed between 860 and 1000 AD”.

    Again this contradicts the Lamb reconstruction. According to Lamb temperatures in 800-1000 were about the same as those in 1700-1900 (see your earlier comment). So either Lamb is wrong or the MWP did not take place at the same time around the world.

  210. Leif, I didn’t go beyond the range of your new GSN, 1749. Yes, it is interesting that there was a high average for the years you mentioned.

    Then, after it was over, after 1791, for 36 years, the GSN averaged 27.9, right through the Dalton minimum. If we compare those high-low periods to the Modern Maximum, we see that during the 11 years after the culmination of the Modern Maximum in 2003, the GSN has averaged 40.6, still 45.5% higher than the 36-year Dalton minimum period annual average.

    We have a ways to go to reach the depths of the Dalton minimum, but as SC24 winds down and if SC25 is also weak, or even weaker, we could reach Dalton-minimum average solar conditions, and from that, we will probably also experience a significant temperature dropoff.

    In less than a decade, there was a -1.9C change during the Dalton minimum, 1802 to 1810 (using http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/auto/Global/Complete_TAVG_complete.txt). SSN=0 for 1810.

    The 68-years from 1936 to 2003 defined the Modern Maximum, when the average annual sunspot number (GSN) was 73.5, 22.7 higher, or 44.7% higher, than the prior 187-year average of 50.8.

    The 1936-2003 Modern Maximum annual average GSN was 30.8% higher than the 266-year GSN annual average. “Grand” or not, it was an extended period of significantly higher solar activity.

  211. Bob Weber says:
    August 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    That brings us to view a 68-year period from 1936 to 2003 as defining the Modern Maximum, when the average annual sunspot number (GSN) was 73.5

    LEIF’S REPLY
    As compared to the average of 68.6 for 1726-1791, so not so grand in anybody’s book.
    My Reply
    Why don’t you post the average annual sunspot number for the Dalton 1790-1830 and what it has been 2005-present?

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