When Graphs Attack!

Yesterday I showed satellite imagery of the North Pole and areas into northern Canada. It was still quite icebound.

Today I offer this graph from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which was oft cited back in early June with the phrase “if this trend continues…”.

Click for larger image – annotation added

You can see the source graph here, updated daily:

Nature is a kick in the pants, isn’t she?
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207 thoughts on “When Graphs Attack!

  1. I watch this everyday. CO2 rises and the ice stays. Sort of ruins Gore’s arguement, don’t you think?

  2. OT – When was the last time that the sun has registered no sunspots for as long as at present?

  3. CA has had some comments that had the values for the day for each year. 2008 is also behind 2006 and 2005 for minima at this point.
    By eyeball, If 2008 rate follows the average rather than the anomalous 2007, the final value will be much closer to the average than to 2007. The “knee” in the graph about Jul was where 2007 really collapsed. You’d have to see an even bigger one for 2008 to get to where 2007 was. Of course what you will get from this is spin (2008 was the second, third, … lowest extent, it would have been lower except for ….. and so on). I’m guessing the same technique as saying that last year was one of the highest temps on record while ignoring the fact that the temps are flat or downward.
    The graph at Cryosphere doesn’t seem to have been updated for awhile. Waiting for the adjustments to come in?

  4. On that page, check out at the bottom of the page in the “Notes on the data” section:
    The numbers of sea ice extent in this site are estimates calculated by certain algorism.
    You can’t make this stuff up!

  5. Less then two months to go to maximum melt. If the melt continues at the present rate, I wonder if the media will be all over the story. No, wait — they’ll be so busy covering politics that they’ll just let the event pass without notice.

  6. Anthony,
    Thanks for the update. I may do a follow-up story for The Register in a few weeks, when the Arctic dust (soot) settles. The current trajectory has ice extent near normal in August – with below freezing temperatures forecast for most of the Arctic Basin the rest of the month.
    http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp2.html

  7. So, what we are seeing is the rate of decline is equal to or better than (for some months) the average, just the starting point is around 2k lower, which must mean current temperatures must be relative to the average? Does this assumption sound reasonable?

  8. “The numbers of sea ice extent in this site are estimates calculated by certain algorism.”
    Hilarious! Or is that Hillary-ous?!

  9. In mid June 2007, there was an abrupt melting. Ányone know why, or can provide a link explaining that?
    Aaron,
    Thanks for the great link!
    I think the guy running WoodforTrees was looking for a data source like that.

  10. Someone needs to post up a graphic of what the weather systems are doing in the Arctic. Last year’s minimum was a result of high and low pressure patterns that set themselves up there. Question is, will they or are they repeating the same pattern this year.

  11. BrianMcL
    Typical selective reporting by the BBC. They chose a region where it happens to be warm this summer. Look at the chart I’ve provided. The area they are referring seems to be coloured dark red.
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/climo&hot.html
    Anyone with camera can document a place that’s warmer than normal. This is typical science by anecdotes and misrepresentation. It’s crap.

  12. Pierre,
    Should SS23 persist for another 2 months (and it certainly appears that this will happen) I wonder what the spin will be then (since SS23 is currently 140 months old and the limit on 1 StdDev is 142 months). What happens if/when SS23 cycle length stray into 2 StdDev territory?

  13. I question the whole notion of “one year” and “multiyear” ice.
    I will grant that the chemistry of ice may change the long it’s in a solid state. But I would also challenge anyone to produce an irrefutable date set demonstrating that all ice that resists melting is necessarily “multiyear.” Ice can become very thick rapidly. This can occur from higher than normal snowfall, as well as from compression events. Similarly, “older” ice can incur extension, wind erosion, and outright sublimation, and become quite thin.
    I think way too much has been assumed about what makes ice thick or thin, and how rapidly such things can occur.
    Think “plate tectonics.”

  14. Lief,
    Not quite correct. Last period >20 days was Nov 2007, before that Sept 2007, then Sept-Oct 1996. This makes three periods better than 20days (so far) for SS23/24, while the previous solar minimum had one period (42 days).

  15. This is slightly off-topic; this mean sea level graph may not be current, but early 2008 levels are no higher than 5 years earlier. Due to the ebb and flow of the smoothed line, there were previously times when the level was no higher than 3 years earlier, but not 5.
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/SeaLevel_TOPEX.jpg
    Because of the recent roll-over, the linear line does not seem a good fit, unless it were drawn between 1992 and 2006 data, and then the leveling-off would be even more obvious. Any comments or new trend lines from you technical people?

  16. long -> longer. date -> data.
    Sorry for the typos, no spell checker is capable of detecting them, and my eyeballs are older and weaker everyday. May need to go for bifocals.

  17. Pierre and BrianMcL,
    Something’s not right with that story. As I look at the track of station 35, it appears that the location on July 11 was just north and east of the Svalbaard Islands. If I look at this graph of the current ice from NSIDC, it appears that that particular area is well within normal ice extents:
    Sea Ice Extent 07/13/2008
    If you look just to the right of and a little bit above the northernmost tip of Greenland, you can see Svalbaard Islands. Station 35 should be just north and east of those islands, which appears to be well within normal exents.

  18. Anyone know when the ice stops melting? My guess would be sometime in Sept., and looking at the graph it does start to flatten out towards the end of August. I’m just wondering when it can be said that we didn’t hit any record low ice level this year.

  19. Pierre,
    Regarding your link to the NOAA SST anomalies, and from looking at the BBC track, they are currently well above the 80-degree latitude line, meaning that they are in the “White” area of the anomaly chart, (where it is still pretty dense ice) somewhere around 20-30 degrees longitude.
    Again, this story doesn’t smell right.

  20. “In mid June 2007, there was an abrupt melting. Ányone know why, or can provide a link explaining that?”
    A sudden reduction in ice coverage does not have to mean it melted. Remember that the graph is areas with at least 15% sea ice. This means areas with 85% open water. If the wind comes up and packs this ice together, you are going to see an immediate reduction in the amount of area with 15% sea ice. You would have had no additional melting but you would now have a greater area that is ice free due to wind changes.
    So temperature and melting are only one factor. Sunlight is another factor. There might have been a period of bright, sunny days at that time too. 2007 was unusually clear and had unusual wind patterns. 2008 is looking like something closer to a “normal” melt season.
    Today is overcast at the North Pole.

  21. A comment regarding graphs. I notice that the Verticle scale does not start at zero but at 3 1/2, probably done to better illustrate the small divergences. I wish that all graphs whose origin is NOT zero had a caveat warning folks that the % scale as it appears to the eye is off. I’ve seen many graphs showing ppm of CO2 vs year that start off with ppm far above zero at the origin, making the casual viewer surmise that CO2 growth is much more pronounced than it really is.

  22. Just wanted to update the total periods of spotless-sun days during the current minimum. Jansen’s chart, last updated in May, only indicates three, but we are currently experiencing the fourth such period.

  23. Mind you, anyone wondering where the media will get its next “North Pole Doomed” story can have a look at this from Friday 11th July:
    What an amazingly twisted, skewed article. They deserve an award.
    a.) The floe in question is melting (not because it’s warm but because it’s drifted to a warm current).
    b.) Scientists say the melt started early (by we don’t say how it has lagged since then).
    c.) Scientists have predicted the melt may be as bad as last year. (Not, however, noting last year’s “melt” was due to current, not temperatures, and also not noting that this year’s melt is ‘way offtrack from matching last year).
    My hat is off to the beeb! I am in fact in a mild state of shock and awe.

  24. When this NORTH_POLE_ICE_MELT_GATE finally sums ups it will be just another example of the PREDICTION being the bigger news story then the failure of that PREDICTION.
    This is so typical of the AGW Propaganda Climate News Networks (CNN)
    Serenity now………….

  25. If I look at this graph of the current ice from NSIDC, it appears that that particular area is well within normal ice extents:
    They, if you squint real hard, you’ll notice the article DOES say that the whole reason this is happening is the berg drifted into warm currents! (Squint! Then force yourself to ignore the deliberate misdirection. There you go! Are the boyz at the beeb the ReMasters of Deeesaster or, like, what?)

  26. @jeh and other hypnotised subjects:
    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves.”
    (Matthew; Bible)

  27. Just think, this year’s leftover ice will be next year’s multi-year ice. 🙂
    But multi-year ice isn’t like decades old, usually it’s about 2-5 yo. So not so big a deal anyway. Wonder what the warmers will be screaming about next summer? Nothing, because in a week or two they’ll forget the Arctic exists.

  28. Bill Marsh
    Good question: But they never cease to amaze me with their creativity in the science of spin. Just when I think they’re trapped, they pull something off to gain a few more months time.

  29. Now what happened to jeh, and related responses?
    I got myself worked up for nothing, or what?

  30. Steve Sadlov,
    I agree with you that the notion of “multiyear ice” is a bit silly. Since a significant fraction of the ice melts every year, there will always be one-year old ice. But the total ice extent goes up and down every year, so some one-year old ice can become two-year old ice, and vice-versa, and so on… If one-year old ice would melt that easily, it would always leave room for older ice to melt, and soon all the ice would be gone! I guess you’ve got to live in a cold country to appreciate the fact that ice can come and go very fast. The ice here in Montreal (say on the St-Lawrence) is always less than one-year old, yet it comes back every winter!
    On the other hand, one can also argue that multi-year ice could be more prone to melting. As there is apparently a continuous amount of dust or soot being deposited on the ice (or the snow that covers it), the older the ice, the more soot it’s got, which makes it more absorbing. Fresh ice, on the other hand, is more reflective. So the whole dynamics is probably quite complex.
    All in all, I think the concept of multiyear ice is just another scare tactic.

  31. Frankly, I do not care – in substance – whether the ice over the North Pole waters melts or not. Strictly speaking I prefer Global Warming to Global Cooling. The only reason I want to see Global Cooling is to see egg on the face of Gore and his AGW buddies. And even that not out of personal animosity. I just want to remove the bludgeon from their hand, which they clearly intend to use to destroy the industrial society. And by the way, I also care about the integrity of scientific research, which they are also in the process of destroying

  32. If they have the average 1979-2000 data, why not fit it to a polynomial curve and set up some confidence intervals? The biggest problem with these graphs is that there’s nothing to help assess data variability.

  33. Pierre ,
    Hathaway: “In the early 20th century there were periods of quiet lasting almost twice as long as the current spell.”
    And 1910 (in the early 20th Century) was the coldest year IN the 20th Century!

  34. It seems unlikely that ice sheets would respond dramatically to rather small, marginal temperature changes in a short time frame. Is there some reasonable longer term view acepted by scientists? I guess what I’m asking is (a) is ice sheet size a proxy for climate change in any way ?; (b) Is there some measurable feature of ice that is subject to reasonable prediction and if so, over what time frame?
    If the most recent spate of warming leveled off before 2000, and if the current global temperature plateau is warmer than the average decades preceding it, would we still not expect the ice masses to move to a new equilibrium with respect to size and thickness rather than decline in a big way? I recognize there is a big complex albedo issue with ice sheet melting but even so don’t we have some grasp about expected size, some form of prediction to test against observed ice?
    The AGW crowd seem to want to leap on ice melting as the only happy news in what has otherwise been a tough decade for climate catastrophe fans. I note that Gavin at Real Climate is too professional and prudent to read much into ice melt stories but the general RC commentariat and what passes for mainstream science journalism seem to be not-so-secretly yearning for zero ice by Labor Day.

  35. Evan wrote:

    But if you check the official data for that drifting station, (click on the link, then click on the upper-left graph under “operative meteorology”) you will see that the temperature they experienced has barely reached the 0 deg C.
    Drifting Station North Pole 35

  36. Pierre Gosselin (11:16:06) :
    “bsneath
    According to Hathaway and NASA, this spotless period is normal.
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/11jul_solarcycleupdate.htm
    If I’m not mistaken, cycle 23 is now about 12 years long – which is long, but not abnormally long.”
    Interesting that NASA (in your link) is coming out with this now. Also its interesting that they go back to the Solar minimum of 1933 for a reference to the last time we saw a significant number of spotless days to what we are currently seeing.
    But what happened following the solar minimum 1933?
    35 years of cooling!
    Could it be some type of and indicator of some sort of a cycle on the Sun that it is switching from a warm phase to now a cooler phase?
    (While I’ll be the first to admit that coincidence doesn’t always mean cause and effect, but it is interesting that even NASA goes clear back to the 30’s to find a solar minimum that they claim was similar to what we are seeing now.)

  37. That didn’t come out right. I can’t seem to get the block quotes right. Let’s try it this way:
    They, if you squint real hard, you’ll notice the article DOES say that the whole reason this is happening is the berg drifted into warm currents! (Squint! Then force yourself to ignore the deliberate misdirection. There you go! Are the boyz at the beeb the ReMasters of Deeesaster or, like, what?)
    But if you check the official data for that drifting station, (click on the link, then click on the upper-left graph under “operative meteorology” ) you will see that the temperature they experienced has barely reached the 0 deg C.
    Drifting station North Pole 35

  38. For the record Nansen’s Fram (1893-96) which intentionally allowed itself to be frozen into the Arctic icepack (Sept 29th 1893, 135 deg E, 78 1/2 deg. N) after drifting in the pack to a ‘Farthest North’ at 86 deg. N was finally released on 11th Aug 1896 a little N of Svaalbad at approx. 14 deg E, 81 deg. N.
    The BBC story has all the hallmarks of ‘spin’. Anyway why was the ice island ‘expected to last longer’ The article of course implies GW, but a slower drift rate would fit just fine.

  39. Gary Gulrud – thank you for the web site reference. I added it to my bookmarks. If I can count (questionable), the current spotless period will make the “top 50” in about two more days.

  40. Re the Beeb story,
    Shukman goofed up big time a few years back in relation to a story abouta diamond mining company in the Congo being linked to Al Qaeda, IIRC. Beeb ended up paying large amount of compensation.
    Shukman is probably now grateful for the work and will not go against ‘official’ BBC policy that the science of climate change is settled

  41. bsneath:
    I like his comment that 1822 (or 23) probably cycle 5, would have had a consecutive spotless stretch of 140 days but for a single missing observation.
    Also that (by his method) fitting 24’s progress to the bifurcated spotless cycle patterns, 24 by rights reaches minimum in mid-2009, but he can’t bring himself to believe it.

  42. Here we go again with a graph that uses 1979-2000 as the base period. What happened to 2001- 2007 ????? Could it be that those 7 years would lower the average so that there is no significant anomaly? I am sure it does. More cherry picking, more GIGO.

  43. bill: I took the ‘current’ minimum to reasonably include the last year or so, not just the last three weeks. My point was that, so far, this minimum has not been quieter than the previous minimum.

  44. Anthony – sorry I am going to be OT again (I sincerely hope you and your family are well given what I have seen of the troubles in California).
    I came across an article by Stephen Wilde today on CO2 Sceptics, he has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteriological Society for a while, I do not know if you know of him – and please forgive me if you have read everything he has written – but my search on your blog did not reveal anything from him.
    The article to which I refer is headlined “The Death Blow to Anthropenic Global Warming” seemed to make sense.
    I wonder – have the learned readers on your blog seen this and to those with scientific expertise does it stand up? I recall a rather interesting debate on the Livinston and Penn paper and this seems to add something to it?

  45. But if you check the official data for that drifting station, (click on the link, then click on the upper-left graph under “operative meteorology” 😉 you will see that the temperature they experienced has barely reached the 0 deg C.
    I can’t take credit for that. (I did make some other comments.)

  46. philw1776 (12:21:13) :

    A comment regarding graphs. I notice that the Verticle scale does not start at zero but at 3 1/2, probably done to better illustrate the small divergences. I wish that all graphs whose origin is NOT zero had a caveat warning folks that the % scale as it appears to the eye is off. I’ve seen many graphs showing ppm of CO2 vs year that start off with ppm far above zero at the origin, making the casual viewer surmise that CO2 growth is much more pronounced than it really is.

    Phil, you are so right. Compare this chart with that usual scary Mauna Loa chart that shows CO2 levels rising at about a 45-degree upward slope: click

  47. “If I’m not mistaken, cycle 23 is now about 12 years long – which is long, but not abnormally long.”
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/10jan_solarcycle24.htm
    “On January 4, 2008, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared—and this signals the start of Solar Cycle 24,” says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.”
    REPLY: Thats not quite technically correct. It’s not the beginning of cycle 24 that ends cycle 23, there is overlap. Cycle 23 officially ends when there are no longer any cycle 23 sunspots seen, and for the past few months, near equatorial cycle 23 spots have outnumbered the lone cycle 24 spot aboiut 10 to 1. -Anthony

  48. Tom Klein (13:35:12) :
    The “bludgeon” is not intended for the industrial society (The AGWs are not too concerned about the CO2 from the developing countries). The bludgeon is for Western Civilization. The AGWs are the latest reincarnation of the communists of the previous generation and this is the latest strategy in their ultimate objective.

  49. Some amusing reading from Glenn’s link above…
    “Doug Biesecker of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, likens sunspot 981 “to the first robin of spring. There’s still snow on the ground, but the seasons are changing.” Last year, Biesecker chaired the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel, an international group of experts from many universities and government agencies. “We predicted that Solar Cycle 24 would begin around March 2008 and it looks like we weren’t far off,” he says.”
    So where are all the robins? Anyone?

  50. In comparing sunspot activity and global temperature measurements, there appears to be a very strong correlation between the two with the exception of the years 1878 & 1879. These years had many 20+ day periods of no sunspot activity and yet global temperatures rose significantly. Sure it could be el-nino, pacific oscillation, etc. , but it is just enough to keep me in the “I’m from MIssouri” camp until global temperature anomalies show otherwise.

  51. I wonder – have the learned readers on your blog seen this and to those with scientific expertise does it stand up?
    It’s basically an exposition of the main alternative theory to CO2 driven warming.
    Otherwise, he appears to confuse Total Solar Irradiance, with Total Solar Insolation (which unfortunately have the same acronym). This is a fairly common mistake, but means this is a flawed argument IMO.
    Irradiance will determine insolation, as long as the albedo of the atmosphere doesn’t change. When it does, due to more or less clouds, they will not be the same.
    Insolation determines how much the Earth warms, not irradiance.
    http://www.enotes.com/earth-science/insolation-total-solar-irradiance

  52. Thanx Philip_B for that interesting link. My specialty being temp/humidity, I know too little about the Sun. Now I know the difference between irradiance and insolation.

  53. Lief ….
    You have to admit .. when I look at the graphic on Solarcycle 24, comparing the spotless days per month from June 96-97 to the spotless days per month June 2007-2008 … there is a difinite difference.
    Of course, I can’t see the data that bracket this year’s period, so I can’t say what happened before or after 96-97, but the point blank comparison shows the solar minimum of 96-97 peaking, and then declining. 07-08 is peaked in Oct 07, but seems to be stretching for a second peak. At the very least, the number of spotless days per month for 07-08 does not seem to be regressing as it did for 96-97.
    Thoughts??

  54. Philip B.: The author did not make a mistake… he clearly stated irradiance. He’s looking at irradiance over many decades. Global insolation measurements going back that far do not exist.
    Further, if there’s no irradiance, there’s no insolation… so your statement “Insolation determines how much the Earth warms, not irradiance.”, is a false dichotomy. The total output of the sun most certainlydoes have something to do with how warm Earth is!

  55. “If this trend continues….”
    ….the Arctic ice will be back to 1979-2000 average by beginning of September….

  56. My point was that, so far, this minimum has not been quieter than the previous minimum.
    Well, yeah, but hasn’t the noise pretty much all been Cycle 23 noise? Where’s 24? We got that one teeny spot back in January, but what since? If we’re worried about 24, why would residual tail-off from 23 reassure us?

  57. Glenn posted a quote from Hathaway stating: “On January 4, 2008, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared—and this signals the start of Solar Cycle 24,” says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.”
    I was going to say “I can’t believe they even left that patently false statement on the ‘net.”
    But after thinking about it a few seconds, I thought “What’s new!”
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  58. Well I’m confused. The NASA site in 2006:
    “March 10, 2006: It’s official: Solar minimum has arrived.” and
    “I expect to see the first sunspots of the next cycle appear in late 2006 or 2007…”
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10mar_stormwarning.htm
    “What’s going on? NASA solar physicist David Hathaway explains: “Solar minimum has arrived.”
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/06mar_solarminimum.htm
    In May 2006 the NASA site, while not committing to any official start or stop date, shows a nifty graph with a little upturn at the end looking to be in the range of 2006-2007:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10may_longrange.htm
    Who determines the “official” start and stop dates? We’re now more than two years ahead of March 2006, and if sc24 hasn’t arrived yet it seems it would have to get going fast and drop fast to be another 11 year cycle. The graph in the May article shows 2008 predicted to be somewhere in the plus range of sunspots, between 50 and 100 by my straightedge.

  59. Glenn:
    Because of the erratic nature of sunspot quantity, a smoothed average is taken. This is usually 6 months long, so any published average is always 3 months behind.
    One thing I have wondered and not seen a reference about, rogue sunspots. Have there been any reversed polarity sunspots observed during the middle of a cycle? I’m wondering if the January spot was actually a cycle 24 spot, or a rogue 23 spot? Maybe such don’t exist, but there have been a dozen or more cycle 23 spots since the one 24 spot, and until the 24 spots outnumber 23 spots in any 6 month period, the minimum hasn’t occurred. Very easy to see historically, very difficult to follow in real time.
    I suspect NASA is quite annoyed at the sun by now, but attempts to whip it into line seem to have failed. ;-)/sarcasm off/

  60. Since this thread has seemed to go off topic from Arctic warming, I thought this news today might be interesting to some readers…
    “More Kidney Stone Disease Projected Due To Global Warming”
    […]
    “Dr. Pearle and her colleagues plan to conduct future studies to understand the exact correlation of urine volume with environmental temperature.”
    From the anecdotes of
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714172158.htm

  61. Global insolation measurements going back that far do not exist.
    True.
    I still stand by my statement,
    “Insolation determines how much the Earth warms, not irradiance.
    If he was using irradiance as a proxy for insolation, then he should have said so, with a brief explanation why.
    And note the post by DR, immediately prior to my post about changes in cloud cover.

  62. Anthony wrote:

    REPLY: Thats not quite technically correct. It’s not the beginning of cycle 24 that ends cycle 23, there is overlap. Cycle 23 officially ends when there are no longer any cycle 23 sunspots seen, and for the past few months, near equatorial cycle 23 spots have outnumbered the lone cycle 24 spot aboiut 10 to 1.”

    Perhaps the way to phrase it is something like the following.
    When talking about individual cycles, the start point is when the first spot of the new cycle appears and the end point is when the last disappears.
    When talking about the sequence of cycles, the transition points are when the “6 month smoothed sunspot numbers” for the old cycle are exceeded by the new cycle.
    Note that in both cases that some dates can be determined only in retrospect. So, it will be at least six months before we can say the transtion from cycle 23 to 24 has occurred. Of course, if cycle 24 cranks up in the next month or two, it will be pretty clear when the transition happens. If it starts very slowly, we may argue about the transition date for years. Or maybe it won’t start for years.
    Glenn (19:50:31) :

    In May 2006 the NASA site, while not committing to any official start or stop date, shows a nifty graph with a little upturn at the end looking to be in the range of 2006-2007:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10may_longrange.htm
    Who determines the “official” start and stop dates?

    Disregard, except as historical curiousities, any NASA sunspot articles about cycle 24. They, like most everyone else, are lost but I hope are watching and learning.
    I forget who sets the start/stop dates. I think NASA, but there are minima where the date is actively being disputed by other researchers. It’s fairly immaterial to look at during a minimum since we’ll be well past the minimum before that’s obvious.

  63. “Who determines the “official” start and stop dates?”
    I believe this cycle is officially “over” when spots of the new polarity outnumber spots of the old polarity. In other words, if you look at a graph of the current cycle and also plot spots (monthly average sunspot number, I believe) in the new cycle in a different color, you will see one line falling while the other rises. Where the two lines cross is, I believe, the “official” start of the new cycle.

  64. The thumbnail definition is that when the occurrence of new cycle spots outnumbers old cycle spots they new cycle has begun.
    Right around now we seem to have NO cycle spots!

  65. deanster: When I said ‘it is no different’ it, of course, means within the normal spread between cycles. Whatever we might think of Hathaway [and I have seen quite of number of disparaging comments here] he is quite correct that the current solar minimum is not particular unusual. [At this point I usually expect the standard nitpicks: ‘yeah, but the last couple of cycles were different’, ‘on June 13, 1996, there was one spot on the Sun, but on June 13, 2008 there were none, so clearly something is different’, etc, etc – spare the powder as I won’t comment on those]

  66. Anthony: I have noticed that almost no matter what the topic is for a given posting, the comments eventually all begin to contain a high proportion of sunspot cycle related stuff. The Sun seems to be all over the map in many people’s mind. As you know, personally I don’t think the Sun is an important driver of the climate, so this dumping all on the Sun is quite a curious thing for me to watch. Maybe it is just “since it can’t be AGW, it must be the Sun”.
    REPLY: The Maunder Minimum is highly correlative, and thus is held up as the cause/effect. Dalton minimum too also had some cold weather periods.
    “As you know, personally I don’t think the Sun is an important driver of the climate” Well try turning it off for a few days and tell me if you think that 😉 -Anthony

  67. Leif Svalgaard:
    All of this solar worshipping is because everyone here hates AGW propaganda, and want to firmly believe that the sun is the seize-all driver of the universe. The point is, if AGW propaganda didn’t exist, there would be much more openness and politeness as we discuss human impacts and solar impacts, and which is dominant over the other, and to what extent. That is the world I envision when I begin to take geology classes at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, but that is wishful thinking as they are the worst AGW propagating college in America, or at least in the same league as Penn State with Michael Mann.

  68. With due respect to all, the most authoritative source I have found so far as to an official why and when a new cycle begins is from Hathaway, and it makes sense that the first new cycle sunspot would be the beginning of the new cycle.
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/15aug_backwards.htm
    “A backward sunspot is a sign that the next solar cycle is beginning.”
    That from August 2006, Hathaways’ prediction of earlier that year when the new cycle would begin:
    “I expect to see the first sunspots of the next cycle appear in late 2006 or 2007”.
    Of course, he made essentially the same claim almost two years later as to the start of the new cycle:
    “On January 4, 2008, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared—and this signals the start of Solar Cycle 24,” says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.”
    It appears as if this minimum has upset the apple cart. So I wonder whether there really is nothing unusual about this minimum.

  69. My impression is that Svalgaard (is he in fact a solar scientist?) tends to exaggerate the details of the science and overlooks the “big picture” (ie the hot sun). As a highly qualified scientist myself I have come across this routinely. re Excellent at detailed analysis ect or lab work but never discover anything. Putting Anthony’s perspective in another way… why Leif, do you think temperatures rise during the day?

  70. the comments eventually all begin to contain a high proportion of sunspot cycle related stuff
    Well, Leif, as it is the source of energy for the planet, I personally am not surprised. The Sun varies, the Earth’s albedo varies and convection varies. It is the fixation of the “scientific consensus” and governments on CO2 that is surprising.

  71. Leif says “As you know, personally I don’t think the Sun is an important driver of the climate,”
    I find this to be an incredible statement coming from a serious solar scientist (if he is one?). My credibility = 0

  72. @Glenn
    Now you know how Dr. Pearle and her colleagues got the grant money to do kidney stones research. Just mention global warming in the paperwork, and voila…money approved!

  73. Leif
    The problem with CO2 is that it correlates so poorly with temperature. There are a number of scientists (Mann, etc.) and politicians (e.g. Gore) who have bent over backwards trying to make the data fit. They all failed miserably. If you are a scientist, how can you not acknoledge this?
    So, CO2 doesn’t correlate. So what do you do? You look at the obvious source -the big driver – the sun. Believe it or not, it changes. And the earth’s temperature happens to correlate with these changes very well. We know this now.
    CO2 is quite a curious thing for me to watch. Maybe it is just “since it can’t be the sun, it must be CO2”.
    Leif: Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, behaving like the saviours of the world, and inwardly are ravening wolves.

  74. I might add a simple statement to previous so that Leif can understand. The Sun influences daily temperatures therefore influences weather, weather then over time months/years ect becomes “climate”!

  75. I was puzzled enough by the “official” start and stop dates of solar cycles to email one of the scientists involved with solar monitoring up in Boulder.
    Here is a copy of our exchange:
    Jack:
    It turns out that the official start of the solar cycle is based the
    minimum on the 13-month averaged smoothed sunspot number. However, there
    is actually an overlap period when we see sunspots at high latitudes
    associated with the new cycle and sunspots at lower latitudes associated
    with the old cycle. This so-called butterfly diagram shows that we are
    just beginning to see the tip of the wings of the butterfly for the new
    cycle – but we can’t say the the new cycle has officially started until
    we see what the sunspot number does.
    Here are some links to sunspot data that should help clarify this:
    This web page gives you a quick look at the sunspot graphics – in
    particular you can see what a butterfly diagram looks like and how the
    point in time where solar minimum is defined relative to the phasing out
    of the old cycle and the phasing in of the new cycle:
    http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-index-graphics/sidc_graphics.php
    This web page provides access to the actual sunspot numbers – the link
    to ‘monthly smoothed sunspot number’ has the key parameter:
    http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-data/
    The last year of data from this file:
    yearmm ssn smoothed ssn
    200701 2007.042 16.8 11.9
    200702 2007.121 10.7 11.5
    200703 2007.203 4.5 10.7
    200704 2007.285 3.4 9.8 *
    200705 2007.370 11.7 8.6 *
    200706 2007.452 12.1 7.6 *
    200707 2007.537 9.7 6.9 *
    200708 2007.622 6.0 6.0 *
    200709 2007.704 2.4
    200710 2007.789 0.9 *
    200711 2007.871 1.7 *
    200712 2007.956 10.1 *
    200801 2008.041 3.4 *
    200802 2008.123 2.1 *
    shows that the smoothed number keeps going down but has not indicated a
    minimum at this time. We can say that it will be no earlier than August
    2007.
    Hope this helps – let me know if you have more questions –
    jxxxxxxxx@comcast.net wrote:
    > Xxxxx,
    >
    > Has the 24th solar cycle officially started yet?
    >
    > My reason for asking is the information found at
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080104_sunspot.html
    >
    > The caption under the picture said “First official sunspot belonging to the
    new Solar Cycle 24.”
    >
    > Based on the article, I assumed cycle 24 was underway. A friend suggested this
    was not true; the new cycle has not started.
    >
    > I have a real interest in sunspot activity and check every chance I can at
    Spaceweather.
    >
    > By the way, is there a website with the official sunspot counts?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    >
    > Jack Simmons
    It would appear we have to wait for the smoothed 13 month minimum on Cycle 23 before the official start of Cycle 24.
    The first robin of spring type of analogy holds up well. There have been many times we have seen the first robins of spring, only to be covered with fierce snowstorms later on. Robins are only one of the indications of spring.
    Regards

  76. As this post topic has now become a sunspot topic, I might just post a few interesting snippets here about why some of us should hope that we last long enough to see the outcome of warmers vs coolers!
    The Sun determines human longevity: teratogenic effects of chaotic solar radiation . Medical Hypotheses , Volume 63 , Issue 4 , Pages 574 – 581 G . Davis , W . Lowell
    Correlation of Human Longevity Oscillations with Sunspot Cycles
    David A. Juckett and Barnett Rosenberg
    Radiation Research, Vol. 133, No. 3 (Mar., 1993), pp. 312-320 (article consists of 9 pages)
    Published by: Radiation Research Society

  77. I’m just a lurker but WOW! Vincent are you sure you want to go down that path? I realize it’s good sport to make fun of Hathaway but he’s just a man standing by his prediction (however weak at this point).
    You’re calling Leif a deadbeat theorist, an underhanded way of saying he’s an idiot in his chosed field even though you don’t even know if he’s a solar scientist.
    Once again, WOW! Anyone like a cup of hubris with their inanity.

  78. Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Issued April 2007
    Presented by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)
    June 27, 2008 During the annual Space Weather Workshop held in Boulder, CO in May, 2008, the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel released an update to the prediction for the next solar cycle. In short, the update is that the panel has not yet made any changes to the prediction issued in April, 2007. The panel expects solar minimum to occur in March, 2008. The panel expects the solar cycle to reach a peak sunspot number of 140 in October, 2011 or a peak of 90 in August, 2012.
    That’s a pretty big betting spread. A difference of 50 sunspots within 11 months. How much will that affect the warmth of the sun falling on our planet. I must see a bookie.

  79. Lief,
    The reason that sunspots are on everybody’s mind is that Svensmark predicted a cooling as sunspots dropped, the sunspot cycle is a bit abnormal from recent years, and lo and behold, here is a cooling. I don’t know that it is cause and effect, but he is a scientist and you are a scientist, and you disagree so we will just have to wait for the results.
    There are lots of studies that show a correlation between variations in TSI and earthly weather. Sunspots too. So, while I am sure that you have your ducks in a row, and your partial differential equations or whatever you use all match out to the dot, you will have to forgive our lumpenprole curiosity as to whether there may indeed be an unaccounted factor in the climate debate.

  80. We’re at a solar minima and so the Sun is on people’s minds. If it were a big El Nino then ocean currents would be on people’s minds and we still wouldn’t talk about Arctic Ice. As an interested nobody I would like to know what are the full list of factors that people can conceive of that (realistically) affect the climate. And then when they would be most or least significant. This may not allow us to build up a model of the the planet but it might of the blogosphere. Lets see; solar maxima, ocean currents, ocean flora, the moon and planetary alignments, trace atmospheric gas concentrations… There really might be some use to this.

  81. I also see the Hollywood Vehicle effect. We’re not buying what they’re selling (lives and careers are at stake, yanno).
    So they keep spinning the same yarn; its our taste they’re serving, after all. We won’t see the movies/shows we ask for. We really want what they’re pushing, and this week’s remake is better than the original!
    A bit desperate I’d say.

  82. Flowers,
    I don’t believe solar is the ‘sieze-all’ driver of climate anymore than CO2 is. The earth’s climate is a complex, non-linear, probably chaotic system with so many variables affecting it I highly doubt any single one predominates (and I doubt that we will ever be able to successfully model its behavior).
    I sincerely hope we don’t embark on an attempt to ‘terraform’ the planet over the next century, at least until we can determine what ‘global temperature’ is ‘optimal’ for us. Nobody, not even the IPCC can tell anyone how much temperatures will drop (if they do) per unit of CO2 removed from the atmosphere (which implies that they can’t tell us how much temps will rise per unit of CO2 added either beyond derivations using Stefan Boltzmann and the like – which don’t reflect reality either). Right now we haven’t a clue, nor do we have any idea if, through our efforts, we won’t make it ‘worse’ (warmer), or ‘better’ (cooler) or if warmer is worse or cooler is better or not.

  83. As you know, personally I don’t think the Sun is an important driver of the climate
    Golly gee, Leif, I guess it must be pixie dust then.

  84. Hey Man …..
    You guys back off the attacks on Lief!! He deserves more respect than that!!!
    He is correct!! In the “context” of all solar minimums, solarcycle 24 is “within the range of normal”. This statement does not make an inference regarding the proposed association of longer vs shorter cylces and an impact on temperature, it merely states that similar minimums as we are seeing today have been noted in the record before.
    Until the data come in for the next 5-10 years, none of us can say with certainty the associations. I personally think there is a lot of merit in the “hot water bottle theory”, and that global temp is governed by a combination of sun and ocean. These next years “may” allow us to explore that notion. As Wilde stated, if the Sun all of the sudden turns on the afterburners, and we have a hot sun, and temp warms, we’ll still be stuck in the dark. BUT … if the sun remains cool, the PDO stays negative, and temps go up …we can all breath a sigh of relief ….. and go buy a Prius.

  85. Can we be absolutely certain that this solar cycle isn’t unusual compared to those in the early 20th and late 19th centuries? I am guessing that we can count sunspots much more accurately than they could 100 years ago. Their “spotless” periods might not have been spotless if they had the technology that we use now.

  86. eideard – are you wilfully ignoring the graph this thread is named after or did you not read it? As well as the many comments above yours? Including the ones specifically addressing your point?

  87. “As you know, personally I don’t think the Sun is an important driver of the climate”
    Leif, would you agree with this?
    “The solar contribution to the increase is variously estimated to be around 4-20% leaving greenhouse gases to make up the remaining 80%.”
    “As noted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the Third Assessment Report, published in 2001, anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are highly likely to cause warming of the Earth, but factors such as solar variability could amplify or subdue the effect.”
    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=29

  88. re: Arctic Research Station. Awfully convenient they left out the fact that it’s drifted 1550 miles from where it started into warmer waters.

  89. RE: eideard (05:54:48
    So one sheet is a representation for the whole pack? Also that camp was set up only last year, not as if it has been there for multiple years. That is brilliant insight, thanks for playing.

  90. I check the sea ice extent every day at
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
    I have noticed frequent short “blips” in the data such as the following:
    1. The sudden dropout in May of 2008 for the Arctic basin, seen here:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.html
    2. The sudden dropout in May of 2008 for the Laptev sea, seen here:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.8.html
    3. The sudden dropout in December of 2008, and again in May and June for the Hudson Bay, seen here:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.13.html
    I find it hard to believe that some or all of these are real. Does anybody know if these are simply artifacts of fuzzy satellite data? This makes me wonder how well resolved the data is when it looks “normal.”
    If they are not real, the fact that they are not corrected implies to me that the data we see here are “raw” (which is not a pejorative). Does anybody know how to get tabular versions of these data? I sent email to William Chapman several months ago asking if this was possible – but he never replied.
    Best regards,
    Tom
    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/about/

  91. Leif’s skepticism (of the Sun as an important driver of climate) is apparently born of all the failed attempts to correlate solar activity with climate. But I think he will be the first to admit that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Actually, I believe I’ve read Leif to acknowledge some relationship between the Sun and terrestrial climate on at least centennial scales (something like the Gleissberg cycle, maybe?). Given that…
    Leif, are you familar with Shahinaz Yousef’s publications? He claims that we’re in a transition between Wolf-Gleissberg cycles and that this will lead to a period of reduced solar activity over the next couple of solar cycles, accompanied by cooler climate and enhanced drought conditions.
    Here’s one of his papers:
    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?2003ESASP.535..177Y&data_type=PDF_HIGH&whole_paper=YES&type=PRINTER&filetype=.pdf

  92. Just a thought, Could it be that the large melt in 2007 actually cooled us down for 2008? I mean that is a lot more cold water migrating down into the rest of the surrounding oceans. Just a thought, does anyone know of any research done on this?

  93. eideard
    just so we are clear that is melting even by the bbc’s twisting of the story because it drifted into warmer water not due to any warming of the air temp.

  94. (is he in fact a solar scientist?)
    Um, yes.
    One of those “he honors us with his presence”-types, not to put too fine a point on it.

  95. My own impression is that the 11-year cycles don’t have a heck of a big effect, but the major minimums are probably a different story. Correlation does not prove causation, but it does raise the possibility.

  96. Tom Moriarity,
    I also check Cryosphere Today on a daily basis, and what I find most perplexing is the current graph for Antarctica. It would have us believe that in the very middle of their winter that sea ice area expansion has nearly stopped for the past 3 weeks. I find that hard to believe.
    Current Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area

  97. “Glenn (01:11:07) :
    With due respect to all, the most authoritative source I have found ….”
    I think this is the most “authoritative one”
    NOAA: Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Issued April 2007
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/index.html
    and
    Panel Releases Solar Cycle 24 Forecast
    http://www.spacearchive.info/news-2007-04-26-noaa.htm
    I certainly think the current situation is looking increasingly interesting, also wrt. climate. I also think the NOAA SC24 predictions illustrate how this area of science is in its infancy.

  98. As far as I know, Leif’s argument is that the sun isn’t variable enough to be a major driver of climate beyond it’s initial power and effect it has on a daily basis. People keep twisting this such that they think he’s saying the sun has “no effect on climate”. Sometimes I wonder at people’s ability to read and comprehend, or willfully comprehend differently from the reality of what was said.

  99. Aaron Wells (10:31:32) : “The numbers of sea ice extent in this site are estimates calculated by certain algorism. You can’t make this stuff up!”
    FWIW: Algorism is one of the original words used to describe arithmetic processing. The Neo-Latin/Medieval-Latin word is algorismus. Its use is a bit archaic but not incorrect.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorism

    The word devolved into the modified form algorithm, with a generalization of the meaning to any set of rules specifying a computational procedure. Occasionally algorism is also used in this generalized meaning, especially in older texts.

  100. Basil: There are many people that have noticed that every 100 years or so
    [1700, 1800, 1900, 2010] solar activity seems to be low, and particularly low every 200 years. It is like noticing that South America ‘fits’ into West Africa. Without a reason for why that is, the observation doesn’t count for much. Volcanic activity was also low every 200 years or so, without anybody suggesting that volcanoes cause sunspots [or the other way around]. We only have a very low [like 4 or less] number of degrees of freedom to play with, so coincidences are bound to happen. Some of those may turn out to be real [like the fit of coast lines] once we identify the mechanism.

  101. I just finished reading: http://www-pord.ucsd.edu/~ltalley/sio210/pickard_emery/
    pdf of Chapter 12: Arctic Ocean (Version July 2006)
    Enlightened and enlightening.
    It took almost as long to download it (20+ Mb) as it did to speed read it (and it is probably copyright) so I Googled around for a précis and found this, courtesy of Rod Duke:
    “….in Chapter 12: The Arctic and Northern Polar Oceans from the book Descriptive Physical Oceanography by William J. Emery, Lynne D. Talley and George L. Pickard, the complex interaction of forces that effect the ocean and sea ice are delineated.
    It is difficult to efficiently summarize the sixty pages that comprise this chapter but the highlights are: … unlike tropical and subtropical waters where waters are layered by temperature and separated by thermoclines, the polar seas are stratified by the salt content of the water and separated by haloclines.
    The salt concentration then governs the freezing point of the sea water once the temperature drops to 0 degrees Celsius; the higher the salt content, the lower the freezing point below 0 C.
    The haloclines are formed by the summer melting of the ice, which is lower in salinity than the sea water, and layers over the top of the more dense sea water, but then it freezes more quickly when the temperature drops to 0 C.
    The problem is that the surface haloclines have disappeared and more uniformly saline seawater is present. Unlike freshwater or even brackish water, the density of seawater is greatest at its freezing point. The result is that the seawater starts sinking before it freezes solid. When or if the seawater actually freezes it forms a much weaker sea ice because of the inclusions of salt and this ice requires about half the energy to melt when compared to regular halocline formed sea ice. As the sea ice forms it starts forcing the salt out of the crystalline structure. If the air temperature is abnormally cold it will form the weaker form of sea ice because it will not have the time necessary to expel the salt.”
    Rod, whom I must thank for the concise encapsulation above, then goes on to say…
    “Why have the surface haloclines disappeared?
    It turns out that miscible liquids of different densities can exist in a layered state until there is a disturbance at the boundary layer. This will start an oscillation in the layers that is virtually impossible to dampen due to the entropy differences of the two layers.
    The main culprits for this phenomenon are ICEBREAKERS. The vortices from the giant screws that propel these behemoths are incredibly large and propagate well beyond the 20-meter depth of the surface halocline. These ships force the mixing and provide a lane of broken ice that will be weaker and easier to melt when or if it refreezes.
    NASA satellites show that the greatest loss of sea ice is on the Soviet side of the polar region. The Soviets have the largest ice breaking ships in the world and they use them to keep their northern shipping routes open. In fact they have converted several of their icebreakers into cruise ships and routinely ferry passengers to the North Pole.
    If you want to save the Polar Ice Cap then stop the icebreakers!”

  102. Perhaps if the actual data were used in the plot instead of the average data, then the trend would not be so misleading. Random process results are not predicted by biasing the average bases on last years average and the long time average. Piss poor analysis. The bastard that did this should be fired.

  103. Leif Svalgaard (09:08:29) : “Some of those may turn out to be real [like the fit of coast lines] once we identify the mechanism.”
    True, correlation isn’t cause but the more times an event happens it becomes a suspiciously genuine rule. The ancients noticed that the sun in certain positions forecast the beginning of planting season among other things. They were able to use this rule despite not knowing the mechanism. You have to start somewhere.
    The fit between continents effectively was a one-time event — very good reason to consider it coincidental. Every 100 years with an imposed apparent 200 year cycle is quite a bit more events. Perhaps coincidence but with decreasing probability at every recurrence.

  104. I knew I had seen a paper on this related subject and have just found it again.
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-06/uoca-gic061808.php
    “The ice core showed the Northern Hemisphere briefly emerged from the last ice age some 14,700 years ago with a 22-degree-Fahrenheit spike in just 50 years, then plunged back into icy conditions before abruptly warming again about 11,700 years ago. Startlingly, the Greenland ice core evidence showed that a massive “reorganization” of atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere coincided with each temperature spurt, with each reorganization taking just one or two years, said the study authors.”
    We have come a long way and the road ahead is longer still. Much as we would like to know everything some things take time. I do have issues with ice core records (explosive decompression and diesel lubrication along with cold water’s large range of affinities for the different atmospheric gasses) but sometimes fire must be fought with ice 😉

  105. “we can all breath a sigh of relief ….. and go buy a Prius. ”
    Ergh! I’d rather walk!

  106. Aaron Wells (08:44:09) said:
    “I also check Cryosphere Today on a daily basis, and what I find most perplexing is the current graph for Antarctica. It would have us believe that in the very middle of their winter that sea ice area expansion has nearly stopped for the past 3 weeks. I find that hard to believe”
    But it seems to be happening, and it has happened before. In 2001, at nearly this same ice area in the southern hemisphere, growth stopped fora bout 2 weeks. Look here – there are a couiple other possible examples in this trace as well:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.south.jpg
    The Wilkins Ice Shelf is continuing its breakup through the winter – something is happening down there:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710115142.htm

  107. Leif doesn’t ‘believe in the sun..’ ! Jesus,man, what planet do you live on?!
    [snip, let’s leave the ad homs out please. Leif has been most gracious here, and his opinion is based on what he has observed and studied, I’ll not have him insulted for stating his views. He puts his name to his words, something not everyone does, and for that I applaud him. -Anthony ]
    Referring to another comment;
    The sudden melting of polar ice may have been due to the volcanism of the Gakkel shelf.

  108. vincent (01:20:11) wrote: “My impression is that Svalgaard (is he in fact a solar scientist?) tends to exaggerate the details of the science and overlooks the “big picture” (ie the hot sun). As a highly qualified scientist myself…”
    Just out of curiosity Vincent, what type of scientist are you? What is your specialty? How long have you been a scientist? Where do you practice?
    The curious would like to know!
    I personally don’t agree to everything Leif has to say either, but he is a brilliant person and for that I give him a great deal of credit and respect. My personal leanings in the climate change debate involve a mix of Svensgard’s theories tied into the Equatorial Pacific Warm Pool’s (www.epwp.com) outcomes.
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  109. Ok, Anthony, sorry. It wasn’t meant as a personal attack, it was meant as a riposte to what seemed like beyond the pale comments with no evidence to back them, since he didn’t enclose any. In the physics wars over Special Relativity, the comments from the scientists are often very heated, this site is mild by comparison.

  110. David Gladstone (10:17:28 ) :
    Referring to another comment;
    The sudden melting of polar ice may have been due to the volcanism of the Gakkel shelf.
    It’s an interesting theory, but I read that the energy released would bearly cause a difference to the ocean temperatures, assuming that the heat went straight verticle and wasn’t swept away by the currents. This article also seems to suggest the same:
    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/volcanos-in-gakkel-ridge-not-responsible-melting-the-arctic-ice/

  111. “The Wilkins Ice Shelf is continuing its breakup through the winter – something is happening down there:”
    The various ice shelves that form at the base of Antarctic glaciers grow only to a certain point before they break off and re-form. As the ice moves out over the ocean, it is subject to stresses from tidal action and even seismic action where the shelf meets land. Over time this stress causes cracks to form and they grow. Wind also plays a role. Winds blowing across the ice tends to “push”, “pull” and “twist” the interface with the glacier which also helps weaken it.
    The ice is floating on water and so the winds and currents and any number of things eventually cause the shelf to break off. The larger the shelf gets, the more the shelf is subjected to these forces until they overcome the strength of the land boundary. The glacier on land doesn’t get pushed by the wind over the land, or get moved by “land currents”. So you have one part that wants to stay relatively stationary and another piece that wants to move around somewhat. Just the tides every day act to flex the shelf up and down day after day in addition to any wind, current, or seismic actions.
    it doesn’t mean temperatures are any warmer.

  112. Charles Vairin ( 09:36:44 )
    Perhaps if the actual data were used in the plot instead of the average data, then the trend would not be so misleading.
    Are you refering to the sea ice graph? That entire graph is based on “actual data”.
    Random process results are not predicted by biasing the average bases (sic) on last years average and the long time average.
    Take a look at the graph again. The average is based on 1979-2000 data.

  113. Anthony,
    Just wandering around AOL news and spotted this:
    July 15) — Hurricane seasons have been getting longer over the past century and the big storms are coming earlier, LiveScience has learned. The trend has been particularly noticeable since 1995, some climate scientists say.
    Further, the area of warm water able to support hurricanes is growing larger over time. The Atlantic Ocean is becoming more hurricane friendly, scientists say, and the shift is likely due to global warming.
    Thot you’d be interested.

  114. Mike,
    I refer to my previous but one post. The previous 30 years were lower than average (in line with the AMO cool phase) and the years since 1995 are in line with the AMO warm phase by the looks of it. Wouldn’t bet my salary on AGW somehow.

  115. “The various ice shelves that form at the base of Antarctic glaciers grow only to a certain point before they break off and re-form.”
    This is not correct. The ice shelfs are long-lived, in stable equilibrium between ice addition at the continental edge,an calving at the ocean edge. For example, “The scientists analysed sediments from the bottom of a freshwater lake close to the edge of the present George VI Ice Shelf. The results revealed that about 9500 years ago the ice shelf retreated, allowing the sea to flood into the lake. The ice shelf didn’t reform until 1500 years later, and has been present ever since.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050224115901.htm
    The Larsen A and B shelves, and the Wilkins shelf, did not ‘crack fof’ the continental edge. They disintegrated, fell to pieces in a very short period of time. For the Larsen shelves, and in the earlier breakups of part fo teh Wilkins shelf, this appeared to be due to meltwater pools warming and eating rifts into the ice from the top down. For the current Wilkins breakup, ti appears to be war ocean waters eating the ice shelf from the bottom up, giving larger bergs rather than the ice fragments from the top-down disintegration.

  116. Over on SolarCycle24.com, Leif has been somewhat more expansive on his “the sun isn’t the climate driver” comment. As a non-scientist, I understod his explanation like this:
    1) Total Solar Irradience has not changed much in the last several hundred years, irrespective of the sunspot cycle.
    2) Since TSI is essentially constant, the climate is driven by things other than the Sun.
    3) Therefore, the Sun is NOT the climate driver.
    4) Any warming / cooling noticed that correlates with the sunspot cycle is driven by something else. That “something else” has not been proven yet.

  117. Mike Bentley (13:33:05) wrote: “Anthony, Just wandering around AOL news and spotted this: July 15) — Hurricane seasons have been getting longer over the past century and the big storms are coming earlier, LiveScience has learned. The trend has been particularly noticeable since 1995, some climate scientists say (etc, etc)”
    Don’t bet your lunch money on anything coming out of Live Science. I read that article yesterday and like most articles written by “Super Pogie” Andrea Thompson, it is filled with inuendo, distortions, “if this happens” if that happens,” etc. Typical rot from Live Science. It is my understanding Live Science is affiliated with that character in Canada, Suzuki (sp).
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate project
    http://www.climateclinc.com

  118. Paul, given that so little is known about underwater volcanoes, I think it’s really premature to say that they cannot contribute to melting. I read those posts and didn’t see anything definitive. My instinct says there is something there worth studying and I trust that more than anything else. Remember, the 1999 eruption was as large as that of Vesuvius circa 70 AD, and it is certain that it was not the only one.

  119. Sorry, out of topic, but I wonder why the Metoffice anomaly is not discussed anywhere (not in this blog, not in any other…). Its June figure is higher than GISS (?!) – 0.314 to 0.26! Considering their base line difference, it’s quite remarkable. And, for the second month already it’s the only one rising while the others are falling. Could it be because GISS extrapolates for the Arctic, where there are no stations while Metoffice just ignores the Arctic? And the Arctic is getting colder?
    PS. Jeez, its so funny you finding a colorful graph from 1922 being the graph for urban population in Estonia… That’s where I’m from…

  120. Mcgrats & Paul,
    Yes, I saw the article for what it is. I’m a skeptic on the warming issue. But I also value the diversity of opinion on this site (TNX Anthony). I hadn’t seen that discussed or heard of the site so decided to throw it into the discussion to see what came up. No lunch money is going out of my pocket on this article, (it’s all going for gas)
    TNX all!

  121. neilo: what you said is my argument. The ‘counter’ is: “so what? that just shows that it is not TSI that is important, but something else solar, UV, cosmic rays, solar wind, solar microwaves, voodoo, what else can it be?, etc, etc”. The counter-counter is that all of these other things energetically are so far down the list as to be insignificant. And if solar activity does not have an influence we can clearly see and agree on, then it is, indeed, insignificant.

  122. I apologize to Leif re previous a bit over the top, after all he could say the same thing about me, not nice… Anyway I posted this on Lucia’s blackboard.
    1. “I think one of the main points missed in all these posts is that weather over time becomes climate and therefore anything that determines weather (sun, soot, volcanoes, wind, ocean water movements etc) in the end determines climate. Is this a fair statement?”
    2. Her reply:”Of course that’s a fair statement.”
    3. My reply:Ergo the sun must have an effect on climate even if you can’t show a correlation?
    BTW she has falsified ALL adjusted unadjusted etc etc… IPCC projections as well as all invented data put by RC and shes a AGW’er! LOL

  123. “They disintegrated, fell to pieces in a very short period of time.”
    Yeah, that could well be the “failure mode”. Once parts of it break the rest of it becomes more unstable and it breaks up. But overall, the net impact is for the shelf to disappear and a new one grows to replace it. There was a recent study where they took samples of the ocean floor under a shelf or shelves and determined by the sedimentation that the areas alternated between ice cover and ice free at fairly regular intervals and concluded that there was probably nothing unusual going on currently.
    Temperatures in Antarctica with the exception of one area, have been at record lows. There wouldn’t be any “melting” going on because that area isn’t warming. In fact, there has been little to no warming at all in most of the Southern Hemisphere.
    Bottom line is that the cause isn’t due to temperature change. It could also be due to changes in glacier speeds. Ice is accumulating in Antarctica so that might be changing the glacier speeds which could change how the shelf behaves, too.

  124. But I think he will be the first to admit that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    And correlation does not prove causation. However, the absence of correlation is proof of the absence of causation.
    The problem with a TSI / earth climate link is not lack of evidence, it’s a lack of correlation (and basic physics).
    Having said that, the link between length of solar cycle and climate is suggestive of a causal relationship, and Svensmark’s clouds / cosmic radiation link looks to be a plausible mechanism.

  125. One thing I just found was that it appears that the entire West Antarctica ice sheet slides into the ocean at times for reasons not exactly understood but seem unrelated to climate.
    “MacAyeal was “shocked” to find that the ice sheet collapsed into the ocean at three irregular intervals — 190,000 years ago, 330,000 years ago, and 750,000 years ago.”
    And here is an interesting article:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070705-antarctica-ice.html
    In the past 800,000 years, the warmest period was the last interglacial when temperatures were about 4.5 C warmer than now. The coldest were immediately before the end of the last ice age when the glaciation reached its maximum and temperatures were about 10 C colder than today. So in the last cycle we went from the warmest temperatures in 800,000 years to the coldest in the same time period.
    The temperatures so far in this interglacial seem fairly mild as I believe the highest temperatures so far were during the Holocene Optimum which was, if I remember correctly, about 2-3 C warmer than today.
    Today’s temperatures are neither unprecedented nor particularly high. If anything, the rage of change in North America since 1998 (-0.63 degrees per decade) and since January 2007 should be causing alarm as a continuation of that rate of change would put us back in ice age conditions within about 50 years or so from now if it continues.

  126. Sort of related, but not sure if you have covered this:
    Noctilucent clouds (NLCs).
    Of course this article speaks of global warming as a possible source, without elobarating on how that could be:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/19feb_nlc.htm
    So, if these clouds exist at 50 miles up, they must reflect sun light during the day or, do they add to the greenhouse effect?
    I thought that one idea was that less solar activity meant more galactic radiation, which leads to more cloud formation. The article gives the reason for the ice crystal forming as unknown. However, galactic radiation would be a possible source. Any thoughts?

  127. MCrats
    BVsc, MSc (biology), Msc (computer), PhD (kinetics/statistics). My dad was a well known physicist/meteorologist WMO, he would be revolving in his grave if he saw the trash being put out by AGW.
    Summary: <<
    Papers: 27 Cites/paper: 4.22 h-index: 7 AWCR: 6.34
    Citations: 114 Cites/author: 64.12 g-index: 9 AW-index: 2.52
    Years: 74 Papers/author: 15.52 hc-index: 3 AWCRpA: 3.82
    Cites/year: 1.54 Authors/paper: 2.41 hI-index: 2.72
    hI,norm: 4
    Hirsch a=2.33, m=0.09
    Contemporary ac=2.78
    Cites/paper 4.22/3.0/0 (mean/median/mode)
    Authors/paper 2.41/2.0/1 (mean/median/mode)
    9 paper(s) with 1 author(s)
    7 paper(s) with 2 author(s)
    5 paper(s) with 3 author(s)
    3 paper(s) with 4 author(s)
    3 paper(s) with 5 author(s)
    some of his work
    1,”The Diffusion Coefficients and Velocities of Fall in Air of Atmospheric Condensation Nuclei”,0,”Proc. Roy. Irish Acad”,””,””,”http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&cites=5373013672509268880″
    2,””The determination of the mass and size of atmospheric condensation nuclei”,1936,”Transactions of the Faraday Society”,”xlink.rsc.org”,”http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=TF9363201175″,”http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&cites=17975158569736452415″
    2,”Evaporation and transpiration in the Irish climate”,1953,””,”Dublin: Meteorological Service, Technical Note”,””,”http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&cites=2200796675570335749″
    “An analysis of evapotranspiration observations at Valentia observatory August 1952-July 1956″,1957,””,”Dublin: Meteorological Service, Technical note”,””,”http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&cites=11372600545723254576″
    Atmospheric Condensation Nuclei”,1935,””,”adsabs.harvard.edu”,”http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1935Natur.135..654N”,”http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Nolan+Atmospheric+Condensation+Nuclei”
    good day sir.

  128. “omegaman66 (00:56:54) :
    Where I live the temperature drops at night and rises during the day. I am pretty sure that the reason for this is the sun. ;-)”
    Actually, i’m pretty convinced the reason for this is the Earth rotating. I’d be very surprised to learn otherwise.

  129. vincent (16:34:31) wrote (in response to my asking for his credentials after flaming Leif): “MCrats BVsc, MSc (biology), Msc (computer), PhD (kinetics/statistics).”
    Interesting. But anyone could claim that, couldn’t they? In fact, your entire response revolved around YOUR FATHER’S CV. Can you be more specific about YOURS? What schools/universities? What papers did you author? Where can we read a copy of your dissertation? What is your real name (so whatever you claim can be verified)?
    The curious are still in the dark regarding someone who claims to be such a credentialed scientist!
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  130. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

  131. Basically a glacier or icesheet is a mechanism to transport ice from where it doesn’t melt to where it does melt. This is true irrespective of whether the climate is warming or cool and is true at the coldest point of an ice age. If it weren’t true, the Earth would be an ice and snowball.
    An icesheet over water is prone to large forces from wind. The wind over hundreds or thousands of square kilometers will produce enough force to break off large areas of ice.
    Claims that the cause is warmer temps or warmer water is like a lot of claims in climate science. There is little evidence and it is mostly speculation.

  132. Interesting article in The New Scientist of 2006 where Leif Svalgaard is purportedly quoted as follows
    Quote: Svalgaad warns: “If the Earth does cool during the next sunspot crash and we do nothing, when the sun’s magnetic activity returns, global warming will return with a vengeance.”
    From issue 2569 of New Scientist magazine, 18 September 2006, page 32-36
    So where does he stand in the debate?

  133. Mc crats :the top analysis hartzing’s publish or perish) are all my papers (27) dealing in all cases with complex statistical analysis of biological and weather data (I will provide you with one one example: “effects of heat and humidity on thyroid function” look it up on the net yourself) I will not publicly divulge (would you?) any further information to you. Are you prepared to divulge your qualifications?

  134. Mcrats
    The hartzing analysis below is ALL my work mainly dealing with Physiology, Biology, Bioinformatics (MSc) and a thingy called pharmacokinetics (PhD, University of Queensland) which is for all practical purposes is best fit modeling of data. All this involved complex statistics The actual papers cited on the previous post were of course my father’s work. On this basis I think i should be able to comment on the validity of data shown on this site. I ain’t going to divulge any more on a public forum such as this.. or will you provide your degrees publications ect?
    Anyway this will be my last word on this chao and have a nice day
    Papers: 27 Cites/paper: 4.22 h-index: 7 AWCR: 6.34
    Citations: 114 Cites/author: 64.12 g-index: 9 AW-index: 2.52
    Years: 74 Papers/author: 15.52 hc-index: 3 AWCRpA: 3.82
    Cites/year: 1.54 Authors/paper: 2.41 hI-index: 2.72
    hI,norm: 4
    Hirsch a=2.33, m=0.09
    Contemporary ac=2.78
    Cites/paper 4.22/3.0/0 (mean/median/mode)
    Authors/paper 2.41/2.0/1 (mean/median/mode)
    9 paper(s) with 1 author(s)
    7 paper(s) with 2 author(s)
    5 paper(s) with 3 author(s)
    3 paper(s) with 4 author(s)
    3 paper(s) with 5 author(s)

  135. A couple of simple questions:
    If the sun does not have much influence on climate, what makes the polar climate polar and the tropical climate tropical?
    Why is it warmer in winter in Florida than it is in Maryland?
    Why are summer temperatures almost the same for those two locations?
    Why are the annual temperature swings in the north much larger than the south?
    What would happen if the Earth’s axis was not tilted?

  136. “Where I live the temperature drops at night and rises during the day. I am pretty sure that the reason for this is the sun. 😉
    Actually, i’m pretty convinced the reason for this is the Earth rotating. I’d be very surprised to learn otherwise.”
    And if there was no sun, would the Earth’s rotation cause temperature changes?

  137. Mcrats
    The hartzing analysis below is ALL my work mainly dealing with Physiology, Biology, Bioinformatics (MSc) and a thingy called pharmacokinetics (PhD, University of Queensland) which is for all practical purposes is best fit modeling of data.

    One would think that such an intelligent person would be able to spell the name of the person they’re responding to. And even to decide on a name to use of their own. I guess all those fields are so tippy top secret that you can’t “divulge” your name.

  138. I’ve read the thread fromt the bottom up and was a little confused… are Rex and Vincent the same poster?
    If so, I think at the very least we can conclude she/he is not a rocket scientist. ; – )

  139. Off topic, but… I notice that Hadley had 7 previous months changed in their 2008/06 data, versus 2008/05 data. The changes are…
    Month 2008/05 2008/06
    ==============
    2007/07 0.403 0.406
    2007/08 0.361 0.362
    2007/09 0.413 0.410
    2007/10 0.366 0.367
    2007/12 0.201 0.212
    2008/01 0.053 0.054
    2008/03 0.430 0.445
    For the first time since mid-2004, Hadley’s anomaly is higher than GISS. Before anybody gets their tinfoil hat on too tight, GISS is the odd man out here. They fell from May to June, whilst UAH, RSS, and Hadley went up.
    In the 12-month running means http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/mean:12/from:2000/plot/uah/mean:12/from:2000/plot/hadcrut3gl/mean:12/from:2000/plot/gistemp/mean:12/from:2000 you’ll notice that the Hadley temperature anomaly seems to be levelling off, while the others continue their powerdive. To be fair, hadley’s 12-month mean started falling in June 2007, versus August 2007 for the others.

  140. vincent (15:07:32) :
    I apologize to Leif re previous a bit over the top, after all he could say the same thing about me
    Accepted. Although I would never say something like that to anybody.
    Rasmin: Quote: Svalgaad warns: “If the Earth does cool during the next sunspot crash and we do nothing, when the sun’s magnetic activity returns, global warming will return with a vengeance.”
    The quote is out of context [by New Scientist, not by you]. My statement was an answer to a hypothetical: “if the Sun is important for climate change and AGW is on top of that, then…”. Sometimes the press gets wrong a bit wrong or has its own agenda to push…
    All: please stop bashing Vincent. Have y’all not something important to discuss?

  141. Mcates : Sorry I should have mentioned this. My PC remembered the old “Rex” is should have been Vincent. My name is Vincent Guerrini. I ain’t a rocket scientist or anything of the like I was just taken aback by the statement that the sun has nothing to do with climate. The last thing I would like is to be blowing my trumpet on a forum like this, but i though that mentioning the fact was important (since he would also I presume have various PG degrees) Of course he is entitled to his opinion but so am I. Anyway I am a global warming skeptic and proud of it LOL

  142. Steve Moore (18:03:11) :
    And if there was no sun, would the Earth’s rotation cause temperature changes?
    Don’t be specious. The variations in Earth’s climate, whether daily or seasonal, are not caused by variations in solar output. Whether they are in the long term is another point.

  143. “David Gladstone (14:15:22) :
    Paul, given that so little is known about underwater volcanoes, I think it’s really premature to say that they cannot contribute to melting. I read those posts and didn’t see anything definitive. My instinct says there is something there worth studying and I trust that more than anything else. Remember, the 1999 eruption was as large as that of Vesuvius circa 70 AD, and it is certain that it was not the only one. ”
    I am in agreement that more study is required, after all, Volcanologists didn’t believe the volcanos lining the ridge could blow until they saw the evidence. I’m not ruling out the heating either and that should be explored. What I am saying is that it is unlikely.
    To me, it’s most likely a combination of factors, AMO, weaker ice, sun, prevailing weather conditions etc. IMHO, I don’t think we can pin it down solely onto one thing at this stage.

  144. Steve Moore (18:03:11) :
    “Where I live the temperature drops at night and rises during the day. I am pretty sure that the reason for this is the sun. 😉
    Actually, i’m pretty convinced the reason for this is the Earth rotating. I’d be very surprised to learn otherwise.”
    And if there was no sun, would the Earth’s rotation cause temperature changes?
    What came first? The Chicken or the Egg? 🙂

  145. I suppose if the sun was in a steady state (ie no flux, sunspot, geomagnetic changes ever), and the distance between the earth and the sun was always the same ect…could we assume that the earth’s own environment would predominate? Just speculating…..

  146. I am in agreement that more study is required, after all, Volcanologists didn’t believe the volcanos lining the ridge could blow until they saw the evidence. I’m not ruling out the heating either and that should be explored. What I am saying is that it is unlikely.

    I would have to say that Vulcanology is even less mature than Climatology as the sciences go.

  147. vincent: keeping the sun constant is actually something one could run the current climate models with. Right now the models include the varying distance and an average solar cycle. It should be trivial to keep the distance constant and keep solar activity at zero [or some other constant value] and then run the models for a hundred years and see what we get. To my knowledge that has not been done, but maybe knows better and can tell us what the result was.

  148. The “baseline” measurement for ice melt is an arbitrary 1979-2000 average ?
    Our satellites have recorded data prior to 1979 (by a few years). Why is that dataset thrown out when establishing a baseline for ice melt ? In my physics class, we had a term for this manmade adjustment … we called it … “dry-labbing”. Whenever, your experiment didn’t fit the prediction of your hypothesis … you simply adjusted the numbers to make the hypothesis appear to be proven.
    This is something akin to the “new-math” that the NEA devised to make children f-e-e-l inclusive …
    You know … where there are no absolutes. 2+2 does not always have to equal 4 … if Johnny thinks it equals 5 … then it must be true for HIS reality.
    I find very little HONEST data coming from the Global Warmists.
    Nevertheless, their self-esteem is brimming !

  149. Paul, given that so little is known about underwater volcanoes, I think it’s really premature to say that they cannot contribute to melting..
    One or even several volcanic eruptions put out a tiny amount of heat compared with the heat fluxes on the Earth’s surface.
    Probably more significant are the volcanic vents that line the mid-oceans. I have seen estimates there are as many as 3 million. We don’t know much about them, but they erupt continuously for long periods. They will put far more heat into the oceans than the occasional volcanic eruption. However, we have no reason to believe there is any trend to more eruptions from these vents. And good reason to think they have been a stable feature of the Earth for a very long time.
    A mid-ocean ridge does cross the Arctic ocean, running from Iceland to the north coast of Russia.

  150. If anyone is intrigued, Vincent’s comment at 22:28:40 :
    “Tack själv Leif. Ursäkt igen. Skulle vi inte all vara i arbete?”
    translates, according to Google, to:
    “Thanks Leif. Apologies again. Would we not all be in labour?”
    Presumably the last sentence should read: “Shouldn’t we be all working?” Nah, nah, this is much more fun than working!

  151. I suppose if the sun was in a steady state (ie no flux, sunspot, geomagnetic changes ever), and the distance between the earth and the sun was always the same ect…could we assume that the earth’s own environment would predominate? Just speculating…..

    This is “vincent the scientist”, right? “Ect”?? (snip by John Goetz – no goading please)

  152. REX (17:53:57) (AKA vincent) wrote: “… I ain’t going to divulge any more on a public forum such as this.. or will you provide your degrees publications ect?
    Anyway this will be my last word on this chao and have a nice day”
    Interesting. You come on the forum under the pseudonym of “vincent,” lambast a respected blog member whose name and CV are fully available to all (although we all don’t agree with him), STATE (claim) that you are a credentialed scientist, later (under pressure) provide the blog with your alleged, abbreviated CV, yet won’t provide your name even though it appears from what you provided you’re not even involved with climatology and shouldn’t fear retribution.
    Uh huh.
    By the way, my name is found at the bottom of every post and my abbreviated bio is available at many sites on the net including http://www.expertsources.org and http://www.climateclinic.com
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  153. My last post questioning the authenticity of Vincent was out of order… I hadn’t read any posts since early last night and should have before posting.
    My bad.
    As the liberals like to say (of which I’m not one) when they goof up, time to move on.
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  154. skippy (01:21:48) wrote: “(on fudging numbers) …Nevertheless, their self-esteem is brimming !”
    It’s also dimming, Skippy!

  155. Philip_B (02:52:50) wrote (on oceanic volcanic eruptions) : “…One or even several volcanic eruptions put out a tiny amount of heat compared with the heat fluxes on the Earth’s surface.”
    Quite often, laboratory calculations (such as provided earlier by another blogger) don’t quite “cut it.” There’s an interesting article on the NASA website suggesting it’s not the initial eruption one has to be overly concerned with, but the after effects. In the case of Icelandic, under water volcanic eruptions, researchers found the eruptions could be explosive because as the magma moves to the surface it expands quite rapidly and shoots debris far into the atmosphere as it surfaces.
    My take on the above is that if this indeed is the case, who’s to say it doesn’t also impact the undersides of surrounding ice by causing cracks and disintegration?
    Just a thought. The article can be found at http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/2008/2008071427114.html
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  156. Jack Simmons, vincen, bsneath, et al. on sun spot vagaries:
    I take the following graphic to be all the butterflies we have,
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/bfly.gif
    Unfortunately it doesn’t go back very far. The first sunspecks (Anthony’s internet-notable term) of 24, not-quite-spots exhibiting magnetic reversal, of cycle 24 date to 7/06 and first official spot to 1/08.
    Against the graphic the new cycle begins to look unusual, and contra Leif’s assertion this minimum is no less active (by the measure of spotting), flaring is already unusual by its paucity (begun 2/07), which means the briefly elevated UV associated with them is missing.
    While Leif and Janssens have recently on another thread cautioned against predicting a max on the preceding min, their arguments again appear to rely on spotting comparisons between cycles. Their hope is that March 08 still proves the 13 month minimum.
    However, 10 cm radio flux continues to decline, last month establishing a new smoothed minimum following 9/07’s prior low. Spotting is insufficient to maintain the March 13 month minimum.
    The Heliophysicists are plainly overplaying the sun spot counts as a proxy for solar activity. Looking at the ongoing graphs of data,
    http://www.dxlc.com/solar/
    one sees that radio flux, plantetary indicies, and sun spot count are not equivalent, mutually representative effects of the same underlying cause.
    The hope of a cycle 24 minimum prior to 12/08 is long gone, and the 3/08 prediction was dead on arrival the day it was issued in 4/07. The length of the minimum is strongly correlated with the strength of the sun spot maximum and therefore 24 will be more like cycles 5 and 6 than any cycle since.
    Mene, mene tekel upharsin.

  157. McGrats
    Point taken. I’m afraid I get a bit hot under the collar about this issue probably taking it FAR to seriously LOL…. . The Australian Goverment is spending 5 billion dollars on a “warming” world when in fact it appears to be cooling would you blame me??? BTW the statements in my previous posts re qualifications etc are all true.

  158. Gary: The length of the minimum is strongly correlated with the strength of the sun spot maximum and therefore 24 will be more like cycles 5 and 6 than any cycle since.
    What is ‘the length of the minimum’? If you just mean the length of the cycle, then cycle 20 was also long and yet cycle 21 was the second largest cycle ever. The cycle length is useless for prediction of the next cycle. I do agree that cycle 24 will be weak [a la cycle 14 or 15], but for better reasons [weak polar fields].
    strongly correlated with the strength of the sun spot maximum this is true for the cycle for which you are measuring the length, but not for the following cycle. Which did you mean?

  159. McGrats (07:37:01) :
    Quite often, laboratory calculations (such as provided earlier by another blogger) don’t quite “cut it.”
    My take on the above is that if this indeed is the case, who’s to say it doesn’t also impact the undersides of surrounding ice by causing cracks and disintegration?
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com
    I agree that the calcs are just that, calcs. Also we may have to take into account things such as these numbers in the link provided in my post are based on a land volcano. Under deep sea water, we would have to take into account things such as the surrounding water temperature (which could provide significant more cooling than atmosphere), salinity of the water (insulator/conductor?), pressure from the depth (pressure creating heat) etc etc. It would be difficult for us to say for sure if this eruption has any effect.
    We also have to remember that this eruption occured in 2001 (within a 300 earthquake swarm). I doubt heated water would have lasted that long unless it was continually venting, for which there is no evidence for from the expeditions. Also, from what I can find, the explosion was equal to Vesuvius, but there is no real information about lava flows or superheated ash (to provide heat). Was this equal to Vesuvius also?
    I would have to say McGrats, that cracking and disintegration could be caused by the shockwave of the initial eruption. a blast that large in water could send out a hefty pulse? Just speculating.
    This ones not black or white, but a clear shade of grey me thinks! I’m still not to convinced at present, IMO.

  160. Leif, the minimum of a cycle is taken to precede its maximum. I know you know that, can I demonstrate it? No, just eye-balling as usual. Can one take eye-balling to the bank? I should hope not!

  161. Leif:
    Your dear friend Dave Archibald is more conversant on that subject than I, so what follows is just reasoning by a rank amateur, meaning the duration of low solar activity appropriate to a minimum.
    Remember 23’s minimum, the 13 month smoothed minimum came in May and the following Sept. the longest spotless period.
    So we could call those 4 or 5 months the absolute trough and perhaps the minimum (9503 – 9709) 18 months in length. I don’t have numeric criteria to delimiting a minimum to recommend, but looking at the daily data for ’96 we can see the sun was at its local ebb in radio flux, sun spots, planetary indicies and flaring during the trough, with significant terminus in spotting at either end of the 18 month period.
    Well this time around the decline seems to have been well begun by 3/07 and is yet to bottom. So the minimum, in this non-scientific, woolly thinking sort of way, should extend through all of 2009, i.e., end in being twice as long.
    The current low-level is adequate for minimum as was the activity of a year ago. So lets just say the duration of solar activity of sufficient depression for official minimum.

  162. Gary: so you do mean a kind of size of the ‘through’ around minimum. Nothing wrong with that. The problem comes in, when you say that the length of that flat plateau is strongly correlated with the size of the following maximum. It is not, David A, notwithstanding. The minimum between cycles 20 and 21 is a good counter example. But, hey, what are we quarreling about? We do gree, I think, that we are in for a low, low cycle 24.

  163. Yet at Solar 24: By the sites owner: “Today the solar flux has dipped to a new low of 64.2. Just so you do not worry too much, on July 2, 1954 a value of 64.4 was observed. What followed was one of the strongest Cycles ever recorded (Solar Cycle 19)”. Was that event exceptional?

  164. Leif: We are agreed on a low cycle 24.
    The ‘plateau’ shape is a little too constricting. Establishing SDs from the maximum clearly won’t work for regime changes like 23 to 24.
    I don’t get the 20-21 example, the min was over 10 leading into a max of 160. The coming max will be more like 50.

  165. Vincent: the July 2, 1954 value is likely to be ‘glitch’. There was one too on June 27th, 1954. In any event, these have nothing really to do with cycle 19.

  166. Gary: cycle 20 was a long cycle and the minimum 20-21 lasted quite some time making that ‘minimum long’. Of course, all depends on how you eye-ball the duration. A rather objective way would be to measure the time between when cycle 20 had decreased to R20/n and cycle 21 to R21/n [both smoothed values], where R20 and R21 are the maximum values and ‘n’ is a parameter to be chosen. Setting n = 3 or 4 seems good choices. So by several measures 20-21 was rather ‘wide’ compared to e.g. 21-22 [clearly visible on the butterfly diagram], yet R21 and R22 were about the same, showing that the ‘width’ is a poor predictor.

  167. Gary: clearly I meant: cycle 20 had decreased to R20/n and cycle 21 had increased to R21/n . One could use other methods as well, with not much difference.

  168. Leif: Ok, I eye-ball 27 months the same as cycle 23 min. You are correct not terribly predictive of solar sunspot max. No doubt “strongly correlated” is off the mark.
    But then, I at least implied I was trying to stay out of that game.
    My original point was that any hope of an average to large cycle is now lost. I was not deriding any particular model, rather the current obsession with sun spots. Clearly I am not above the tendency but that should reinforce the issue.

  169. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has a mid-month update where they explain why the ice is not melting as fast as expected:
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
    They’re also qualifying their statement with suggestions that the ice is so thin that significant melting could still occur. I doubt their objectivity in the way they suggest much melting could still happen since they think there is such a long melt period yet to go. With roughly six weeks to go to peak melt, I don’t see this as a very long time to go to reach peak melt, especially since we’re already 4½ months into the melt season and the melt rate seems to slow throughout August.

  170. Pingback: Sea ice extent recovering quickly « Watts Up With That?

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