Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index now at lowest point in its record

As many regular readers know, I’ve pointed out several times the incident of the abrupt and sustained lowering of the Ap Index which occurred in October 2005. The abrupt step change seemed (to me) to be out of place with the data, and the fact that the sun seems so have reestablished at a lower plateau of the Ap index after that event and has not recovered is an anomaly worth investigating.

From the data provided by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) you can see just how little Ap magnetic activity there has been since. Here’s a graph from October 2008 showing the step in october 2005:

click for a larger image

However, some have suggested that this event doesn’t merit attention, and that it is not particularly unusual. I beg to differ. Here’s why.

In mid December I started working with Paul Stanko, who has an active interest in the solar data and saw what I saw in the Ap Index. He did some research and found Ap data that goes back further, all the way to 1932. His source for the data is the SPIDR (Space Physics Interactive Data Resource) which is a division of NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). He did some data import and put it all into a mult-page Excel spreadsheet which you can access here.

I had planned to do more study of it, but you know how holidays are, lot’s of things to do with that free time. I didn’t get back to looking at it until today, especially after SWPC updated their solar datasets on January 3rd, including the Ap Index. Looking at the data to 1932, it was clear to me that what we are seeing today for levels doesn’t exist in the record.

About the same time, I got an email from David Archibald, showing his graph of the Ap Index, graphed back to 1932. Having two independent sources of confirmation, I’ve decided to post this then. The solar average geomagnetic planetary index, Ap is at its lowest level in 75 years, for the entirety of the record:

ap-index-1932-2008-520

Click for a larger image – I’ve added some annotation to the graph provided by Archibald to point out areas of interest and to clarify some aspects of it for the novice reader.

The last time the Ap index was this low was 1933. The December 2008 Ap value of 2, released by SWPC yesterday, has never been this low. (Note: Leif Svalgaard contends this value is erroneous, and that 4.2 is the correct value – either way, it is still lower than 1933) Further, the trend from October 2005 continues to decline after being on a fairly level plateau for two years. It has started a decline again in the last year.

This Ap index is a proxy that tells us that the sun is now quite inactive, and the other indices of sunspot index and 10.7 radio flux also confirm this. The sun is in a full blown funk, and your guess is as good as mine as to when it might pull out of it. So far, predictions by NOAA’s  SWPC and NASA’s Hathway have not been near the reality that is being measured.

The starting gate for solar cycle 24 opened ayear ago today, when I announced the first ever cycle 24 sunspot. However in the year since, it has become increasingly clear that the horse hasn’t left the gate, and may very well be lame.

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January 4, 2009 11:47 pm

That “its” should have no apostrophe.
Interesting article.

Justin Sane
January 5, 2009 12:00 am

Yabut, wasn’t 1934 the hottest year on record? So a very low index in 1933-1937 would indicate that 2009 should be just as hot.

Jon
January 5, 2009 12:25 am

One should add that the 1930-50’s atmosphere, according DVI Dust Veil Index, was very clean of volcanic particles, and that the 1960-70’s was not.
Today’s atmosphere is mostly clean again like in the 1930-50’s, the last major eruption that had a large effect on the climate was Pinatuba in 1991.
If there is another large eruption now I think the UNEP/IPCC doctrine is dead?

Penguin
January 5, 2009 12:37 am

Thnaks Anthony !
I had been looking for some time without success for this earlier data. Obviously we will need more time to see what the longer tem trend shows. It would appear likely that a longer term low AP is needed before it shows up in the temperature trends as in the 70’s cooler period. A sharp drop from a higher point such as in 1933 may not have been sufficient to cause any noticeable temperature drop.
What I do find most interesting about the AP index is that it always tends to rebound sharply upwards after the SC minimums of the past. This time however the opposite has occured.

Leon Brozyna
January 5, 2009 12:55 am

Thanks for providing that link to SPIDR — I was wondering where the data was coming from for the pre-1991 period.
It is interesting to see low Ap indices matching up with solar minimums, especially during 1933 & 1996, two periods noted for record levels of heat. Which just goes to show that climate is a lot more complicated than pointing at levels of CO2 or various cycles of solar activity.
That being said, I think you may be onto something here. We may see the onset of a really protracted cold period as a result of the confluence of several events, including the negative PDO and a rather quiet sun. Should the sun stay at levels below NOAA predicted values and a negative AO/NAO kick in, I suggest we break out the longjohns.

Steve Berry
January 5, 2009 12:56 am

Justin. Oh, crikey – can we finally put to rest the idea that 1934 was the hottest year?!? It was…in the USA! I know Americans think the US is the centre (see what I did there) of the Universe, and I know those poor saps at Hollywood put every major disaster/alien-invasion/major event directly in the good old US, but there are a lot of other countries out there. The hottest year globally was 1998, so can we ALL remember that please? This isn’t yank-bashing. I’m English, and we actually have an affection for the US since 1942 (even though you were late and made poor excuses. But you did more than make up for it when you finally arrived). I know your media is to blame for insular reporting, so try and listen to the BBC world service a bit. Yes, I know they lie through their teeth on climate, but they get their politics pretty much spot on. Listen to ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ on Radio4. It’s fascinating stuff and gives a superb picture of other countries. But don’t listen to the ‘Today’ programme which is the Beeb at its worst.

Alex
January 5, 2009 12:59 am

Justin,
No that 1934 record was only in the united States.
Seems like something is going on, however there appears to be a 6-7 year lag with temp, the abrupt spike in 1992 correlates with the temp spike in 1998,, and the abrupt uptick in 1972 correlates with the abrupt end of cooling in 1978, and so perhaps even if the US record temp would be seen, the Ap uptick would be in around 1928/27
Just an observation, may be totally wrong, but seems interesting

Chris H
January 5, 2009 1:06 am

No, 1934 was not that hot globally, it was only the “hottest year on record” in the USA. Look at the global temperature since 1932 (same year range as the Ap graph) :
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1926/mean:132/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1932/mean:12

Reply to  Chris H
January 5, 2009 1:54 am

There are those (including myself), that trust the North American temperature record more than the “Global Reconstructions” and believe it is possible that it represents Global temperatures better than the Global datasets.
1. The US and Canada have a large number of rural stations (and just many more stations) which may have helped to reduce UHI contamination of the record compared to the rest of the world.
2. The sea surface temperature bucket adjustments make the entirety of the sea surface records suspect.
3. While NA may be just 4.8% of the area of the Earth, we are 16.5% of the land area, and that’s getting to be more than statistically significant as a percentage of land-based records.
4. I simply do not trust Jones and the Hadley Centre, or Hansen and GISS, their adjustments and extrapolation do not improve accuracy, they simply make up false accuracy and data.
5. If Mann thinks he can reconstruct the world’s temperature to a tenth of a degree from a couple of stands of bristlecone pines in California, it makes far more sense that we can measure the world’s temperature using all of North America.
6. Much of the Global warming signal of the 20th and 21st centuries is found in stations suspect because they suffered discontinuities through Mao’s cultural revolution in China or were outposts under the Stalinist Soviet Union.
7. If you take a handful of sand on a beach and measure its composition it is a pretty accurate representation of the sand on the whole beach.
Personally I believe the 1930’s were the warmest decade on record since we started measuring.

January 5, 2009 1:10 am

“….lot’s of things to do…” doesn’t have an apostrophe as well.
So speak the grammar-Nazis.

des332
January 5, 2009 1:10 am

what happens if it hits zero?

John Finn
January 5, 2009 1:29 am

With respect to the Ap index graph (1932-2008)
1.There wasn’t a 1970s cooling period. The cooling began in the 1940s and ended in the 1970s. The cooling began ~20 years before the dip in the Ap index.
2. As Justin Sane (post #2) points out the 1932 dip occurs just before the warmest period in the US record and at a time global temperatures were still rising.
Whatever the implications of the low Ap index, it doesn’t appear to have much effect on earth’s climate. I accept that is not what’s being implied in the article, but it’s certainly a connection David Archibald is trying to make.

K
January 5, 2009 1:33 am

Anthony:
It is hard to know what to say. I still don’t see much here. But congratulations about the work done with Stanko and Archibald. We now have a much longer set of data.
The argument you presented several months was a graph that indicated – to me at least – the current level looked roughly like 1995-1998. And I was one of those who said that big fall in 2005 didn’t seem important; this index jumps around quite a lot.
Now you have figures back to 1932 that show the current level is lower than any time afterward. Meanwhile you also got the benefit of a downward drift in the last several months. Impressive.
I’m glad to see the longest graphs back to 1932. I offer no opinion on what the low level might mean or foretell.

F Rasmin
January 5, 2009 1:59 am

Steve Berry (00:56:55) : ‘…even though you were late and made poor excuses..’ The Americans should never have bothered have turning up at all? Look what ‘winning’ did for you!

January 5, 2009 2:07 am

Over the next two weeks all agencies that report global temperature will post their numbers for December. Although this is off topic for this particular post I figured I might as well post my SWAG’s for these metrics.
UAH: +0.05°C +/-0.05°C
RSS: +0.08°C +/-0.05°C
NCDC: +0.37°C +/-0.1°C
GISS: +0.31°C +/-0.1°C
HadCRU: +0.27°C +/-0.1°C
We’ll see in about 12 days where these estimates stand.

January 5, 2009 2:15 am

I might as well include NCDC US data estimate for December as well.
NCDC US: -1.6°F (-0.89°C) +/- 0.2°F (0.11°C)

ad
January 5, 2009 2:15 am

Steve Berry, you sound like a flamin’ (hope I got that apostrophe right) [snip–I had to look that one up, and it may have been meant as a friendly cross cultural jest, but still a violation of blog policy ~ charles the moderator]

Alan the Brit
January 5, 2009 2:38 am

If we’re being Mr Picky today, is it not maxima & minima as opposed to maximums & minimums, I’m not a Latin scholar?
BTW it is jolly cold yet again in the UK today, more coal needed urgently it burns well & gives off something called heat! I do believe that we used to burn it to generate electricity before the lunatics took over the asylum!
As sunspot activity has for the moment ceased, I expect skirt lengths to start increasing – high sunspot activity in the sixties correlated with mini-skirt lengths pretty well! The Met Office are playing the “we thought this would happen” game before the raging heat of 2009 kicks in! I certainly hope it does soon. Brrr.
Was the Chaiten? eruption in Chille sufficient to assist in aerosol cooling anyone? It certainly looked to be a significant eruption to me.
BTW & slightly OT, Steve Berry:-) Yes, the US was a tad late joining the party, (& Hollywood always centres its disasters in the US rather predictably & the Brit always gets killed in the last 10 minutes by dying heroically), but don’t forget, that mighty “Sleeping Tiger” was keeping jolly GB in supplies well before 1942 or we would have gone under long before, & it is better to be late than never! They also designed & built for us that wonderful airframe that became the Cadillac of the Skies, the P51Mustang, to Air Ministry specs of course! It was perfectly produced with an excellent Allison engine with a ceiling of 15,000 feet, (Air Ministry specs again!). When it failed to perform above that height (needed to avoid air attack) – that equally wonderful design the Merlin engine was fitted to it. The rest is history fella! You are bang on re the Today programme, its bias towards the green lobby lets them avoid the science in favour of myth! I suspect there is a Ministry of Propaganda within the Beeb controlled by Richard Black & Roger Harrabin. As to the next Hollywood blockbuster disaster, which will presumably be yet another comet/asteroid crashing into the planet – in America of course, I hope they get the impact splash correct this time as in the last movie an angled object impacting into sea or land would NOT produce a vertical “splash”, & technically the US would have had little of a wave impact but Europe would have been awash! Poor show but a rip roaring yarn!

Mary Hinge
January 5, 2009 2:44 am

jeez (01:54:58) :
2. ………. make the entirety of the sea surface records suspect.
4. I simply do not trust …….. they simply make up false accuracy and data.
6. Much of the Global warming signal ……..suffered discontinuities through Mao’s cultural revolution in China………………. Stalinist Soviet Union.
Personally I believe…….

Thanks Jeez for furnishing the script for the next X Files movie….Spooky Mulder and his conspiracy buddies would have great fun with this!

Alex Llewelyn
January 5, 2009 3:22 am

“There are those (including myself), that trust the North American temperature record more than the “Global Reconstructions” and believe it is possible that it represents Global temperatures better than the Global datasets.”
Hmm… that makes sense. Yeah, why don’t we take data from 1.7% of the globe when we have data for (much) more than half… Yeah that makes sense.
“The US and Canada have a large number of rural stations (and just many more stations) which may have helped to reduce UHI contamination of the record compared to the rest of the world.”
The rest of the world (strangely) somehow also has rural stations. You know, what with America being a developed country and all that, developing countries tend to have more rural stations that America (!)…
“The sea surface temperature bucket adjustments make the entirety of the sea surface records suspect.”
But that’s no reason to disregard them entirely. The American data set is just as subject to strange adjustments anyway. If you’re so suspicious of it then just look at the land data.
“While NA may be just 4.8% of the area of the Earth, we are 16.5% of the land area, and that’s getting to be more than statistically significant as a percentage of land-based records.”
Actually the U.S. is 1.7% of the globe and 6.6% of land. Not statistically significant.
“I simply do not trust Jones and the Hadley Centre, or Hansen and GISS, their adjustments and extrapolation do not improve accuracy, they simply make up false accuracy and data.”
Funny. Because they’re the exact same people who run the American dataset… But of course they forgo their corrupt tendencies when doing it for the homeland. And it’s funny, because the satellites are in such good agreement with the surface data.
“If Mann thinks he can reconstruct the world’s temperature to a tenth of a degree from a couple of stands of bristlecone pines in California, it makes far more sense that we can measure the world’s temperature using all of North America.”
Well we know that his reconstruction is highly inaccurate, but at least you can argue he’s doing the best with what little he’s got. We have better and more extensive data than just America, so why not use it?
“Much of the Global warming signal of the 20th and 21st centuries is found in stations suspect because they suffered discontinuities through Mao’s cultural revolution in China or were outposts under the Stalinist Soviet Union.”
But they weren’t found BECAUSE of the discontinuities (which weren’t that big anyway), there just happened to be discontinuities. There’s been warming documented in many other places and in those places before and since.
“If you take a handful of sand on a beach and measure its composition it is a pretty accurate representation of the sand on the whole beach.”
…you know that’s entirely different…
“Personally I believe the 1930’s were the warmest decade on record since we started measuring.”
Well I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.

Dale Chant
January 5, 2009 3:29 am

re its/it’s
…my name is famous
…your name is famous
…their name is famous
…her name is famous
…his name is famous
…its name is famous
No possessive pronouns have an apostrophe. It’s easy to remember.

January 5, 2009 3:32 am

Xavier Itzmann:
“That “its” should have no apostrophe.”
Anyone named Itzmann must know all about ‘its.’ And Xavier is, of course, correct. Here’s a useful graphic: click

Ben Kellett
January 5, 2009 3:42 am

Forgive me for asking the obvious, but if we are to accept that the solar actvity correlates closely with our temperature record, then surely the 1930’s should show up as a cooling phase as should the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. I know there is a “lag”, but this does’t seem to quite fit what we are seeing here.
If we accept also the 1970’s cooling happened as shown, then surely we should expect similar dips in global temps during the other periods I have highlighted. While I accept that we might be on the brink of experiencing a cooler phase due to the late 1990’s/early 2000’s dip in solar activity, how might we explain away the dip showing up in the 1930’s. Indeed, if we are to accept JEEZ’s contention that the 1930’s was the warmest decade on record, then our match of temp against sun seems pretty distant.
Having stated all of that, the extent of the recent dip in solar activity does appear a little alarming and it is difficuly not conclude that such an inactive sun won’t have some sort of effect on our climate.
Ben

Steve Berry
January 5, 2009 3:47 am

Think I should point out that I was pulling the yank chain – or perhaps that should be yanking the chain! I’m full of admiration for the US and all that it has given, and continues to give. No nation is perfect. Even though we (England) gave the world much, we also gave it concentration camps. So, yes I was just having a little fun, and no nasty stuff intended at all. Although I do wish Hollywood would set films (movies) in other countries. Close Encounters got close at the start of the film. But guess where the aliens chose to actually make contact. And then they re-set War of the Worlds in the US when the story is near Woking in Surrey (if memory serves). When we were just about to break the sound barrier the US said they’d give us all they knew about building a Hydrogen bomb if we gave them the secret of how to break through the sound barrier. Seemed like a fair trade at the time. Ah, now I can hear the sound of a Merlin V12. Go to youtube to listen.

Steve Berry
January 5, 2009 3:51 am

Parts of Britain to drop to -10 degrees C tonight!

braddles
January 5, 2009 4:01 am

Frankly, the correlation between that Ap index and global temperatures reminds me of the correlation between global temperatures and CO2 – largely non-existent. Look at 1998!

January 5, 2009 4:03 am

Alex Llewellyn:

Actually the U.S. is 1.7% of the globe and 6.6% of land. Not statistically significant.

Alex should brush up on his reading comprehension. I believe that jeez was referring to North America [NA] in his statement, as opposed to the U.S.
Alex had my attention, up until his deferential apology for Michael Mann’s bogus hockey stick data. What, Mann gets a pass, but jeez gets nitpicked on every single point? The fact that Mann refuses to disclose his taxpayer-funded data and methodology tells us all we need to know about his global warming agenda.
Overall, I thought jeez made a pretty convincing argument. Keep in mind that it is not the skeptics’ point of view that must be defended, but that of those purveying the AGW/CO2 hypothesis.

Chris H
January 5, 2009 4:06 am

@Ben Kellett
IMHO, while there seems to be SOME correlation between sun activity & temperature, it is not the only thing going on! I would like to remind everyone of the wonderful Wood For Trees web site, here showing sunspots vs temperature since 1850, using an 11 year average:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/mean:132/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/mean:132/scale:0.01/offset:-0.8
Close, but no cigar 🙂

January 5, 2009 4:21 am

1933 is around solar minimum so I wouldnt get too carried away….plus 1934 showed no form on the world scale. One country’s record can be heavy influenced by local events.
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

Allen63
January 5, 2009 4:33 am

Because of the Earth’s “thermal mass”, peaks and valleys in global temperature changes due solar causes would lag the solar peaks and valleys. Thus, if the solar variation is annual, the corresponding temperature highs and lows (if any from that cause) would be offset by months. If the cycle being measured is decades (e.g. Sunspots or Ap index), then the offset could be many years — in proportion to the length of the cycle. The forgoing says nothing about the possible heating/cooling mechanisms, if any.
Hence, I would not expect global temperature cycles to precisely overlay solar cycles (of any type) even if they were related. Consequently, if this “low” in Ap index implies low temperature, we probably have not seen the lowest temperature from that cause.

tallbloke
January 5, 2009 4:37 am

Alex (00:59:53) :
Justin,
No that 1934 record was only in the united States.
“Seems like something is going on, however there appears to be a 6-7 year lag with temp, the abrupt spike in 1992 correlates with the temp spike in 1998,, and the abrupt uptick in 1972 correlates with the abrupt end of cooling in 1978”
The lag was also noticed by previous researchers:
http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/solarwind.htm
We’ll be feeling the real effects of the drop in 2005 starting in 2009-13
Brrrr. Snow on the ground this morning.

Allen63
January 5, 2009 4:41 am

I’m with jeez. I like to look at long continuous temperature records from individual out of the way sites — I have an unproven feeling that they more closely represent the reality of global temperature change. And, I seriously question the technical validity and impact of all the “adjustments” affecting the official averaged records.

Ben Kellett
January 5, 2009 4:44 am

Smokey wrote…..
“Keep in mind that that it is not the skeptics’ point of view that must be defended….”
Sorry, but what kind of statement is this? Does that mean that we, as skeptics can churn out any old bunkum, while those holding more mainstream views must defend & justify?
If the skeptics’ stance is to be taken seriously, I’m sorry but our views have to be as (if not more) robust, defendable, well reasoned and backed up with solid evidence, as those views supporting AGW.
While I agree that there is an up hill battle to fight against alamism and in attracting funding for research that challenges AGW, I certainly do not believe that this battle is best fought by not having to defend our views. Indeed, the very opposite is true.
Ben

Arthur Glass
January 5, 2009 4:44 am

‘If we’re being Mr Picky today, is it not maxima & minima as opposed to maximums & minimums, I’m not a Latin scholar?’
‘Maximum’ and ‘minimum’ are, in origin adjectives of the first/second declensions in the superlative degree, the positives of which are ‘magnus’ (large) and ‘parvus’ (small’). The –um’ inflexional suffix indicates neuter gender and nominative case (masculine would be –us and feminine would be –a). The plural ending for neuter substantives (nouns and adjectives) with nominative singular in –um is –a. This latter fact can cause confusion, since the nominative singular feminine is also –a (a female graduate of a college is an ‘alumna’).
In ancient Greek, the equivalent endings are: singular –on, plural –a, e.g. one ‘phenomenon’, many ‘phenomena.’
SOLA EST LINGUA MORTUA BONA.

Arthur Glass
January 5, 2009 4:49 am

But when words have been used in English, or at least in everyday speech, for a long enough period of time, they tend to assimilate to English structures, which would mean, among other things, acquiring a regular -s plural. Thus the plural of ‘forum’ is forums, not ‘fora’.

Hugo
January 5, 2009 4:54 am

Hey Steve Berry: I watch BBCA, mostly DOCTOR WHO, and it seems like England always gets attacked by aliens. And why does everyone in the whole universe speak with an English accent? Seriously, DON’T look to Hollywood for realism, or the Beeb. And you spelled center incorrectly!

Editor
January 5, 2009 5:02 am

OT (but no good threads for these):
1) 7,001,387 hits (and counting)
2) Dr. Heidi Cullen is subbing for Sam Champion on ABC’s (the US ABC) Good Morning America. I don’t know if this is a step up or a step down for her. They share the same climate views.
3) While I’m talking about ABC, last night their Evening News closed with a spot on the disappearing glaciers at Glacier National Park that was shot last fall before this winter’s snow. I later found on their web site it was first aired Dec. 18. One mentioned that to rebuild the glaciers the area needs 3X the average snowfall for years, I’m not sure what the current snow depth is, but they might be getting 3X this year. West Glacier’s forecast is snow each of the forecast days.
4) I would’ve been more interested in something on the Yellowstone earthquake swarm, but I guess it’s still the holiday season. Besides, this time of year I think snowmobiles are about the only easy access into the park.

January 5, 2009 5:06 am

Arthur Glass:
De gustibus non est disputandum.
Ben Kellett:
I agree with you. But the real problem is in forcing the pro-AGW contingent to defend their [failed] AGW/CO2 hypotheses — something they are very adept at dodging.

tallbloke
January 5, 2009 5:07 am

Chris H (04:06:33) :
@Ben Kellett
IMHO, while there seems to be SOME correlation between sun activity & temperature, it is not the only thing going on! I would like to remind everyone of the wonderful Wood For Trees web site, here showing sunspots vs temperature since 1850, using an 11 year average:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/mean:132/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/mean:132/scale:0.01/offset:-0.8
Chris, I’ve tweaked your graph to give you a better idea of what’s happening. Smoothing the temperature date at 1/3 of the solar cycle length brings out the solar signal in the temperature data better than smothing over the whole cycle length. I’ve also detrended the temperature data to take account of the 30%-50% inflation of the post 1970 trend brought about by the positive phase of the PDO and the *ahem* ‘adjustments’ introduced by Giss and Hadcru. It also gives a clue as to what’s going to happen over the next 5 years or so as the temperature seems to have resumed the lag behind solar activity it displayed a century ago.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/mean:43/detrend:0.4/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/mean:132/scale:0.01/offset:-0.9

Traciatim
January 5, 2009 5:14 am

On an off topic note in the fun weather category:
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090104/national/prairie_cold_snap
“Residents of Saskatoon woke up to the coldest temperatures since 1966, with a wind chill of -45 C, leaving the city shrouded in ice fog. ”
Wow, now that’s cold.

Tom in Florida
January 5, 2009 5:15 am

“Seek and Ye shall Find!” Even a regular joe like myself can see there doesn’t (apostrophe ok here) seem to be any link between low AP and temperature. However, we only have a very short time frame as reference. Perhaps the AP was this low or even lower at different times in the past causing who knows what. But we don’t (apostrophe again ok here) have those records and cannot know what correlation, if any, to climate there is. Let’s (once again apostrophe ok here) not fall into algorean science and use a limited period to try to conncect dots that are not there.

January 5, 2009 5:16 am

As this is a new thread that will run some time can I state that the global temperatures since 1850 are not worth the time that is spent analysing them and global temperatures from any era are pretty meaningless.
I fully endorse the validity of using good national records-the longer the better.
I graph Hadley CET back to 1660 a lot. I have also done similar work on Swiss figures to 1860. I know Ellie from Belfast has graphed figures from Armagh and at various times I have seen German, US, and Dutch figures. If there is an existing site which links to long national records could someone point me in the right direction? If not, if people would place a link here to their national (or even regional) temperature data sets I will collate and publish them as a useful resource.
TonyB

Editor
January 5, 2009 5:17 am

Ric Werme (05:02:06) :
Oops – Heidi Jones (who?), not Heidi Cullen. Sigh. I wondered why they didn’t say she was from the Weather Channel.

Stephen Wilde
January 5, 2009 5:17 am

Looks like I need to again refer to my article which points out that combining solar variability with ocean variability largely resolves the problem of time lags and poor fit between solar variability and temperature.
http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1302
And one must remember to consider the net combined effect of all the ocean cycles at the same time, not just PDO or AO.
Oceans and sun in same phase for any length of time as from 1975 to 2000 can be expected to give the largest and fastes temperature changes.

JP
January 5, 2009 5:18 am

I think it will be difficult if not impossible to correlate solar activity and gloal climate -at least in the short run. It is only recently that we’ve been able to measure precisely solar activity, and past proxy methods haven’t always delivered expected results.
A case in point in the timing of the LIA. Many scientists date the LIA incorrectly with the Maunder Minimum. However, ice core data from New Zealand, Africa, the Artic, as well as anecdotal evidence from North America, Asia, and Europe have it beginning nearly 3 centuries earilier. For it wasn’t just temperatures but precipitation patterns that changed. Was it just coincidence that much of the LIA occured during the negative phase of the Gliessberg Cycle (this 200 year period of solar inactivity that encompassed the Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton Minimums)? We simply do not know, but we do know that glaciers in both hemispheres began to grow around 1300, that is 300 years before the Maunder Minimum. The Gleissberg Cycle has been in a positive or active mode since 1820 and with it, a period of long term global warming). Some scientists believe that the Gleissberg Cycle cycles from positive to negative every 200 years. Again, this is more of a “guess”. Who knows, maybe the Russians are correct, and we are about to enter a 150 year “cooling” period.
Otherwise, our climate cycles for the last 12000 years appear to be determined primairily by the ability of our oceans to absorb and exhaust heat energy. Two fluids, our oceans and the atmosphere above it, oscillate in a very complex and chaotic way. Add it the short term effects of volcanic aresols (and other man made pollution), not to mention other things such as land use, and it is almost impossible to predict what determines our climate.
The Alarmist have spun thier entire arguement around the narrow bandwidth of infared absorbtion of a trace gas -namely CO2. Let’s us not make the same mistake.

Jon
January 5, 2009 5:29 am

About 1934.
Well first I question the temp datasets for the last 200 years.
Hadcrut tells me that South-Norway had its warmest year in 1934 and that the 1930’s where as mild as the 10 last years.
The same goes for Arctic in Hadcrut2 Jones et al, but that changed a lot with Hadcrut 3, with old “corrected” wooden seabucket measurements, surprise?
So why does the non-urban station in a large degree tell us that we today towards the polar regions do not have significant warmer weather than in the 1930’s?
When actually this is where it today should be much warmer to validate that the global temperature is warmer today than it was in the 1930’s.
You can only compare 1934 with other years that have the same PDO, ENSO, NAO, AO, Solar activity, volcanic activity(DVI) etc etc..?

John
January 5, 2009 5:36 am

There seem to be many ways to measure solar activity, and the ap index is but one. If memory holds, don’t the Danish solar researchers (Svensmark and Christensen) show that the 30s was an active solar period? They used a method that produced an indicator of solar activity using the length of the sunspot cycle, again if memory holds (from their 1991 article in Science). And sunspot activity per se wasn’t at a low in the 1930s, either, I don’t think.
So maybe what we are learning here is that we need to understand which indicators of solar activity are most correlated with temperatures on earth, and try to identify the physical mechanisms by which solar activity might cause significant temperature changes on earth. Judith Haigh’s articles suggest that when UV flux is highest (when the solar wind is lowest), more ozone is created in the stratosphere, which affects wind circulation patterns, and somehow causes polar weather to advance more toward the equator (both poles). So it would be interesting to see if the solar wind in the 1930s were very weak, or otherwise.

Alan the Brit
January 5, 2009 5:42 am

OT 🙂 Arthur Glass – thanks it was very informative! I actually get much of my Latin from the back of my 1925 P.O.D!
Hugo 🙂 God was supposed to be an Englishman so tradition has it in the UK, that would perhaps explain why the accent flows thro’ the Galaxy! Oh, & the Dalek did actually fall to Earth in the US in series 1! Curiously DR WHO has avoided mentioning Climate Change so far!
It is still very cold!!!!!

rhodeymark
January 5, 2009 5:53 am

Forgive me for asking the obvious, but if we are to accept that the solar actvity correlates closely with our temperature record, then surely the 1930’s should show up as a cooling phase as should the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. I know there is a “lag”, but this does’t seem to quite fit what we are seeing here.
I would think PDO (and massive El Ninos) could determine whether the effects are enhanced or mitigated.

Ben Kellett
January 5, 2009 5:53 am

Smokey, I don’t think we’re yet at the point where we can say for sure that the AGW/CO2 hypothesis has failed. Yes, there may be some holes here & there. Problems with the “Hockey Stick” and yes, the rate of warming has definately slowed to mention but a couple!
There are however, as we are all of us very aware, some pretty complex processes out there and I actually believe it’s still too early to call. I feel that the time of some reckoning at least is drawing near. For example, should Ap Index continue to fall and things don’t change much or indeed if temps start to rise again, then I think we might need to start taking the CO2 thing a bit more seriously. Conversely, if we enter a sustained period of cooling, then I reckon the IPCC et al have some serious explaining to do.
As regards defence of theory dodging by those who support AGW, I have to say that I have been really impressed by some the extremely robust defending of AGW contributers such as (among others) Foinavon and Joel Shore particularly on the James Hansen “nailed it” topic back in December.
My point is that our views need to be presented at least as well as those supporting AGW and our science equally if not more robust – but only to the point where there continues to enough doubt in AGW to bother contending. By the same token, I would expect AGW scientists to eventually capitulate if reality doesn’t soon (10 years) start to match projection.
Ben

Renaud C
January 5, 2009 5:55 am

I have read nearly all the comments and I do not understand the link some people are doing between low Ap and temperatures.
The second graph is making the link with solar minimum which has nothing to do with temperature directly. Solar minimum is end of a solr cycle and it seems that end of solar cycle is combined with a low Ap.
Now what is interesting is that we are precisely at the end of a solar cycle and this end seems to refusing to end. We had in fact for the first time since 1913 a sunspotless month in August 2008 and we had also since 1913 the record number of spotless day for a year. Unfortunately we do not have Ap data for 1913 but what is interesting is that now we have record (for 76 years) low Ap. So this seems to be confirming that this end of solar cycle is quite unusual (for the last 90 years).
It seems also that Ap stays low while new Solar Cycle seems to start and then Ap is recovering.
Will Ap continue to go down? Will that announce a much longer end of the SC23?
Are the Sun cycles data available somewhere so that we could compare them with Ap and see whether we could take any conclusion from this low Ap?

Joseph
January 5, 2009 5:58 am

Re:des332 (01:10:26) :
what happens if it hits zero?
Good question. Does anyone know the answer? Would it be something of significance, or is reaching zero somehow impossible?

January 5, 2009 6:02 am

The aa index is also low – here’s a picture of the period since 1878 of AA* >60
http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/GEOMAG/image/aastar07.jpg
It’s too early to say if this is telling us much but if you look at this paper-
http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/literatur/sonstige/solard.pdf
and especially the chart at ‘figure 2’ which shows the derived aa index back to 100 AD and highlights that there is a clear link with a very low aa index and Wolf, Spoerer and Maunder (interestingly Dalton is not as deep nor as prolonged a dip).
It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years.

tallbloke
January 5, 2009 6:04 am

JP (05:18:50) :
I think it will be difficult if not impossible to correlate solar activity and global climate -at least in the short run.
Not impossible:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/mean:38/detrend:0.4/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1980/mean:1/scale:0.0012/offset:-0.3/plot/pmod/from:1980/offset:-1368.9/mean:2/scale:0.12

January 5, 2009 6:04 am

Sorry my prior post should read “derived aa index back to 1100 AD”

Dodgy Geezer
January 5, 2009 6:19 am

My! It’s ‘discuss America’ time!
“‘…even though you were late and made poor excuses..’ The Americans should never have bothered have turning up at all? Look what ‘winning’ did for you!”
If I recall correctly, the main assistance the US provided in WW2 was economic. It’s hard to compare fighting in a meaningful way, but if we take ‘total deaths’as a measure of how ‘hard’ the fighting was, the US was the lowest ‘provider’, just above the Netherlands. But the US did very well out of the economic side afterwards, so it was well worth turning up for them…
Of course, if you measure things like this, WW2 turns out to be primarily a war between Russia and Germany, with a few other countries on the sidelines. Which I happen to think is pretty accurate.
“When we were just about to break the sound barrier the US said they’d give us all they knew about building a Hydrogen bomb if we gave them the secret of how to break through the sound barrier. Seemed like a fair trade at the time..”
AFAIR, the Brits STARTED building the A-bomb, moved all our people to the US when the Manhatten project started, and then got frozen out by Congress after the war ended. Hydrogen bombs came later. http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalization-institutions_government/nagasaki_2733.jsp refers.
The Sound Barrier was simply given to the US by the British politicians at the time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_M.52 refers. In fact, I suspect the decision made sense at the time – it was assumed that future air wars would be fought with robot missiles, so there was little point developing fast manned aircraft.

January 5, 2009 6:21 am

The December 2008 Ap value of 2, released by SWPC yesterday, has never been this low.
This is because the SWPC values are not correct.
Here are ap values for the past 12 months:
1 7.8
2 11.0
3 11.1
4 9.2
5 6.3
6 6.7
7 5.4
8 5.0
9 5.6
10 6.5
11 4.2
12 4.2
Use http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/gifs/apindex.html to get ap for any month.
REPLY: Alright, but don’t leave us hanging. WHY are they wrong? SWPC cites this as the source for the Ap data:
# Source Ap: GeoForschungsZentrum, Postdam, Germany
# Prior to January 1997, Institut fur Geophysik, Gottingen, Germany
– Anthony

Cassanders
January 5, 2009 6:28 am

I am not alleging a causal connection (with the sun activity) here, but I visited the AMU web-page today, and discovered some rather striking results (I think) .
At 5 mb, the temperature is now 0.30 warmer than same date (jan 3rd) last year,
at 10 mb , 0.30 warmer
at 600 mb 0.80 cooler, and
at 900 mb 0.42 cooler.
Are we moving towards a new reversal of the stratospheric cooling – surface heating trend we have seen the latter decade(s)?
If so, I assume this should have some sgnificance for the skill of the models?
Cassanders
In Cod we trust

January 5, 2009 6:31 am

Chris Schoneveld
The paper I refer to above is the Duhau & de Jager paper you referred to in an earlier thread/posted comment.

January 5, 2009 6:41 am

After yesterday’s posting of the solar cycles graphsequations, I had an email from a solar scientist (not subscribing to the planetary link, wishes to stay anonymous) suggesting that if in the periodicity equation 2pi/3 factor is changed to 2pi/4 (pi/2) a far better agreement is reached between the periodicity and the amplitude waveforms. I agree: so here is the new issue.
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined1650.gif
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GrandMinima.gif

January 5, 2009 7:00 am

Stephen Wilde: “combining solar variability with ocean variability largely resolves the problem of time lags and poor fit between solar variability and temperature.”
Then, what happened then, years before the big 1998 El Nino, which was the cause of all the global warming hysteria?, perhaps the 1989 change of direction in Sun´s orbit around the barycenter?

Pierre Gosselin
January 5, 2009 7:03 am

Tom Woods,
You can add 0.2°C to your estimates.
It wasn’t that cold!
January will be colder though.
The latest SSTs are charted:
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/climo&hot.html
Looks a little bluer than last week.

Stephen Wilde
January 5, 2009 7:07 am

Adolfo,
The PDO went positive around 1975 which combined with a very active sun and caused the observed warming which continued up to the 1998 peak.

Wondering Aloud
January 5, 2009 7:20 am

I would like people to stop talking about 1998 being the warmest year on record altogether. This only applies for the last 30 years if that, any farther back and you are comparing apples and oranges as far as the data available and it’s manipulation.
As to 1934 only being warmer in the US I would suggest the quality of the data makes the likely error far larger than the temperature variation both in the US and in the world as a whole.

January 5, 2009 7:21 am

Joseph (05:58:47) :
what happens if it hits zero?
Good question. Does anyone know the answer? Would it be something of significance, or is reaching zero somehow impossible?

ap can be zero. It is measured every three hours and a 3-hour value is often zero. Sometimes all eight 3-hour values in a day are zero, then ap for the day [called Ap] is zero. It has never happened [yet] that Ap for every day of a month has been zero.
An ap value of zero simply means that geomagnetic activity has been too weak to measure for that 3-hour interval. The 1st and 2nd of December 2008 had Ap=0, so did 12 Oct 1954 and 23 Dec 1935, but such day are rare.

Ed Scott
January 5, 2009 7:21 am

The scientists have the UN’s permission for their experiment and that eliminates any possible danger to the environment.
The question is: Will Nature save us from the scientists?
————————————————————-
Amazing discovery of green algae which could save the world from global warming
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1104772/Amazing-discovery-green-algae-save-world-global-warming.html?printingPage=true
British scientists have discovered that green algae “could” bury CO2 omissions at the bottom of the ocean.
Lead researcher Professor Rob Raiswell, from Leeds University, said: ‘The Earth itself seems to want to save us.’
Scientists already knew that releasing iron into the sea stimulates the growth of algae. But environmentalists had warned that to do so artificially might damage the planet’s fragile ecosystem.

January 5, 2009 7:30 am

Leif Svalgaard (06:21:53) :
This is because the SWPC values are not correct.
REPLY: Alright, but don’t leave us hanging. WHY are they wrong? SWPC cites this as the source for the Ap data:
# Source Ap: GeoForschungsZentrum, Postdam, Germany

They lie to you. Or rather, they are sloppy. The Air Force [USAF, AFWA, Offutt AFB] has its own service to provide a preliminary ap value in real time. SWPC uses those real-time preliminary values and never bothers to replace them with the Potsdam values which are generally available a few hours later, e.g. right now Potsdam reports:
Date ap-indices Ap
01-01-2009 5 9 12 7 7 5 3 6 7 Est.
02-01-2009 2 3 0 2 2 6 7 15 5 Est.
03-01-2009 12 15 12 22 7 12 3 6 11 Est.
04-01-2009 7 3 2 4 2 7 5 2 4 Est.
05-01-2009 5 5 3 2 0 *** *** *** 3 Est.
REPLY: Great, just great. Who to trust these days? Which dataset is real? Which dataset is current? Which dataset is “adjusted”? The answers to these questions should NOT be known only to insiders. If the data is put out for public consumption, its is assumed to be correct. So much for data integrity. – Anthony

Ben Kellett
January 5, 2009 7:36 am

Stephen Wilde said….
“The PDO went positive around 1975 which combined with a very active sun and caused the observed warming which continued up to the 1998 peak”.
Well Stephen, don’t you think you’re sticking your neck out here just a little. To make this statement with such confidence strikes me as being every bit as contentious as stating that Anth. CO2 is the main driver of GW!! Suffice to say that time will very soon be the judge of whether you are right or wrong.
As regards solar activity and temp, I have to say that it seems a pretty loose fit to me. Yes, in a very general way they match excluding 1930’s-early 40’s. But of more concern to me is the radical deviation in recent decades where solar activity while dropping like a stone, is in stark contrast to temps going through the roof. While temps did indeed spike in 1998, we have still observed 7 of the hottest years on record since 2000, which for me represents continued warming.
Looking at the graphs, it feels a bit like being lost in the hills with map & compass. Desperately looking around to make features fit the map, I’m alarmed by the big hill right in front of me that doesn’t appear on my map. What is the more likely scenario?? – the map is wrong (unlikely) or I’m misinterpreting the map (probably)!
Ben

gary gulrud
January 5, 2009 7:41 am

“The hottest year globally was 1998”
My, the historical revisionists are out in force!
The hottest year in the SH was 1941. The PDO and AMO went positive simultaneously circa 1930 releasing solar energy integrated over the preceding decade.
The PDO has just turned negative with the AMO to follow during this tenure. We, at present are experiencing a solar minimum of at least twice the length to which we are accustomed with all the consequences that normally attend.
Expect the next decade to be the coldest your memories, however acute they may be.

Stephen Wilde
January 5, 2009 7:42 am

Ben,
I’m prepared to stick my neck out because the oceanic effect via multidecadal cycles is so large that it swamps pretty much everything else including (especially ?) anthro CO2.
I’m aware that time could prove me wrong but if I’m proved right I will have done the planet and humankind a service

Steven Hill
January 5, 2009 7:51 am

If I pay attention to Leif Svalgaard, studying the sun is a waste of money. No matter what the sun does, there is zero effect. Why waste the money? In the end there is nothing man can do anyhow. Live in Sod houses and ride bicycles made and sold by some world Governement that is controlled by, MAN!

Leon Brozyna
January 5, 2009 7:53 am

Anthony –
I see that Leif already answered your question. I was thinking that it was possible that the left hand (SWPC) and the right hand (SPIDR) don’t know what the other is doing. I just downloaded that spreadsheet that you’ve got on surfacestations that Paul Stanko created and the values shown there for 2008 are close to the values Leif listed and are different from those shown by SWPC. In any case, the most recent Ap values are still the lowest ever in the record as the previous low was set Nov ’34 at 4.8.

Joseph
January 5, 2009 7:56 am

Re: Leif Svalgaard (07:30:59)
Okay… Then what does a graph of the 1932-2008 Ap index using the correct numbers look like? Does the same relationship still hold? Is the “Ap is at its lowest level in 75 years, for the entirety of the record”?

Ed Scott
January 5, 2009 8:00 am

Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979
http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=13834
Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards.

January 5, 2009 8:06 am

Another model bites the dust. Computer models are not science, when will we learn.
If the sun doesn’t control the climate, made we should check some boundary conditions. Let’s see, when the sun’s output doubles, and now let’s check when the output halves.

Stephen Wilde
January 5, 2009 8:08 am

Ben,
If one encounters a peak or a trough then the highest/lowest are bound to be clustered around both sides of the peak/trough.
Thus the assertion that we have experienced x number of the warmest years since 2000 is not inconsistent with having passed the peak and being on a cooling trend.
AGW proponents are just trying to gain time by expressing the issue in the way that has confused you.

Fernando
January 5, 2009 8:12 am

Good 2009 for all:
Personally, I agree with Jeez.
The confusion is caused by James & Jones Enterprises Climate.
Sir Anthony….Which dataset is real?
Once again big question.
I’m afraid the answer is J&J Enterprises Climate.
FM

Richard Sharpe
January 5, 2009 8:13 am

Ben Kellet says:

But of more concern to me is the radical deviation in recent decades where solar activity while dropping like a stone, is in stark contrast to temps going through the roof.

I see you are not unfamiliar with hyperbole.

MattN
January 5, 2009 8:14 am

Latest SSTs: http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.1.5.2009.gif
A bit cooler that last week. La Ninas coming…..

January 5, 2009 8:23 am

Pierre Gosselin (07:03:48) :
Tom Woods,
You can add 0.2°C to your estimates.
It wasn’t that cold!
January will be colder though.

You actually think it was as warm as October and November, globally??
Check out the ESRL reanalysis
http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_30b.rnl.gif
We’re now a couple days past the period in question but this still gives a good enough sampling of December.
That’s the reason why I’m subtracting about 0.2°C from the global average from October and November. Recall those months (Oct, Nov) ended with ~0.2°C positive anomalies in the satellites and ~0.5°C in the ‘Big three’ surface temp agencies.

Pierre Gosselin
January 5, 2009 8:23 am

“If the data is put out for public consumption, its is assumed to be correct.”
Ahem!
With all the corrupt data out there in the field of climate science, this is a rather naive statement. Just think of Hansen and GISS! The field is indeed frustrating.

Pierre Gosselin
January 5, 2009 8:24 am

I beat you to it Matt.
See above ,)

Ed Scott
January 5, 2009 8:27 am

Climate change policies failing, Nasa scientist warns Obama
Award-winning researcher James Hansen says new president’s rhetoric must be backed by action
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/01/scentist-letter-hansen-barack-obama
————————————————————-
Here is the link to the letter:
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20081229_DearMichelleAndBarack.pdf

Ed Scott
January 5, 2009 8:30 am
John Cooper
January 5, 2009 8:39 am

Are there any theories out there which would explain why the sun goes through cycles?

Mike Bryant
January 5, 2009 8:42 am

Speaking of sea ice… is Cryosphere Today down?

crosspatch
January 5, 2009 8:44 am

Jeez,
Another way of looking at North American temperature is to consider it all of the land area of one quarter of the area of the globe. Basically, North America will be most of the land area of the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere. You can pretty much slice the world into 4 parts … North America, South America, Eurasia, and Africa. Of those areas, the North American quarter is probably most representative of global temperatures because it contains the best balance between sea/land and contains areas of both warm and cold ocean currents (Gulf of Alaska offsetting Gulf of Mexico).
So I agree that North American overall temperatures should be a good analog for global temperatures. Though having said that, a couple of months of polar “spillage” into the upper plains and into the Mississippi valley can skew things as can a couple of months of an unusual Bermuda High.

January 5, 2009 8:47 am

Leif Svalgaard (07:30:59) :
“This is because the SWPC values are not correct.
[…] They lie to you.”
REPLY: Great, just great. Who to trust these days? Which dataset is real? Which dataset is current? Which dataset is “adjusted”? The answers to these questions should NOT be known only to insiders. If the data is put out for public consumption, its is assumed to be correct. So much for data integrity. – Anthony

We have the same issues with the sunspot number, remember, and with the temperature records, with TSI, with aa-calibration, etc. This is partly a result of Nature just being messy and we are trying to compress all that messiness into a single number, an index, a proxy. Different people and groups and instruments do this slightly differently, simply because it is messy and we don’t have a point measurement every millimeter or millisecond. The remedy for all this is to look at the bigger picture, i.e. not get hung up on this or that year being the ‘warmest’, this or that value being the lowest ever, this or that count being an all-time high, and on and on. Scientists are [somewhat] trained to do this. It is called error bars, confidence intervals, statistical significance. The public [and many posters on this and any other blog] don’t really understand this and endless [and fruitless] discussions ensue over things that are below the ‘messiness index’ limits. Does this or that wiggle match up with this or that other wiggle? is 1934 warmer than 1998? etc…
There is, of course, a remedy: just use my aa-values, TSI-values, Sunspot Numbers, Solar Open Flux, etc. 🙂
Kidding aside, we have made some progress in cross-checking the indices and getting closer to a workable set. You see, it all has to make sense: the Sun’s magnetic field, the solar wind, geomagnetic activity, the ionosphere, and all the rest are interrelated and we understand the physics connecting them and in many cases can directly calculate one effect from the others [f.ex. from the Sun’s magnetic field we can calculate the solar wind, from the solar wind we can calculate geomagnetic activity, from geomagnetic activity we can calculate satellite drag, etc – it is called modeling]. Some scientists are trying to model the climate the same way [and many claim great success – the science is settled]. Now, every model has shortcomings because of insufficient data and insufficient computing power, but incremental progress is made on all fronts. I have been involved in forecasting the weather back in the 1960s using the meager data and computers we had then and when I compare our skill then with now, I can see great progress.
The problem is that the public [and the politicians and other forces leading and misleading them] wants ‘instant’ success or doom [either way seems to attract] and have no patience for a disciplined approach [we’ll give you the answer in 50 years…]. Many scientists [most are people too] bask in and seek attention [and funding – the latter not a bad thing] and their organizations {NASA, etc] hype every little thing as a gigantic breakthrough [solar winds lowest ever, magnetic portals, elves, doozy solar cycles, you name it]. The public duel among themselves with references and links to dubious ‘information’ found on the internet. and everybody gets hot under the collar [humans are a combative lot] and the science often takes second place to the satisfaction of ad-hom attacks. On the other hand, an informed public is vital to our civilization and some good stuff sticks. It has become harder to pull wool over their eyes [although some do a good job deluding themselves].
So, carry on, we’ll get there.

January 5, 2009 8:48 am

Nitpick: Doctor Who has mentioned global warming in Episode 2 of Season 1 (or season 27, or story #162, or Episode #706 depending on your method of counting Doctor Who.)

Doctor: “You lot… you spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you’re going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take time to imagine the impossible, that maybe you survive.”

Ed Scott
January 5, 2009 8:54 am

Can Dr. Pachauri be far behind? Pun intended.
—————————————————————
A Carbon Tax For Animal Emissions – More Unintended Consequences Of Carbon Policy In The Guise Of Climate Policy
http://climatesci.org/2009/01/05/a-carbon-tax-for-animal-emissions-more-unintended-consequences-of-carbon-policy-in-the-guise-of-climate-policy/

Pierre Gosselin
January 5, 2009 8:56 am

I can’t get any fresh sea ice data from any of the sea ice centers.
Are those folks there still sleeping off their New Year’s hangovers?
What’s going on over there?

January 5, 2009 9:16 am

Joseph (07:56:56) :
Then what does a graph of the 1932-2008 Ap index using the correct numbers look like? Does the same relationship still hold? Is the “Ap is at its lowest level in 75 years, for the entirety of the record”?
Ap is just one of several indices that describe geomagnetic activity [and is not one of the better ones]. There are several others [aa, am, IHV, …] that are either better or go much further back in time [to the 1840s]. You can get more info from:
http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS.pdf and
http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-UCLA-ESS288.pdf
In short, solar cycle 23 is very much like cycle 13, and the values of these indices and of the solar wind during the drawn-out minimum of 1901 and 1902 were very much the same as during 2008 and 2009 [expected], so nothing new.

January 5, 2009 9:17 am

Joseph (07:56:56) :
Then what does a graph of the 1932-2008 Ap index using the correct numbers look like? Does the same relationship still hold? Is the “Ap is at its lowest level in 75 years, for the entirety of the record”?
Ap is just one of several indices that describe geomagnetic activity [and is not one of the better ones]. There are several others [aa, am, IHV, …] that are either better or go much further back in time [to the 1840s]. You can get more info from:
http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS.pdf and
http://www.leif.org/research/Seminar-UCLA-ESS288.pdf
In short, solar cycle 23 is very much like cycle 13, and the values of these indices and of the solar wind during the drawn-out minimum of 1901 and 1902 were very much the same as during 2008 and 2009 [expected], so nothing new.

Ben Kellett
January 5, 2009 9:17 am

Stephen (Wilde),
I know I might appear a bit confused but I don’t really agree that there has been deliberate fudging going on. Yes I agree that it is possible we’re at the beginning of a cooling trend, but the recent cooling will have be sustained for at least the next 5 years before I’ll see it as anything other than a blip within an overall warming trend. Even a 5 -10 year plateau of early 21st century temps might still be consistent with an overall warming trend given the deviation from the 20th century average.
Richard (Sharpe),
While you obviously believe I have over stated the case, please show where the main message I am trying to get across falls down.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/mean:132/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/mean:132/scale:0.01/offset:-0.8
If you click on the above link and take a close look at the recent time scale, I’m sure you’ll agree that there is a distinct and what looks like an “unprecedented” (am I allowed to use that term tentatively?!!) major deviation between red & green lines!
Now, if I were an alarmist, I might find it really quite disturbing that there remains a very high temp profile over the last decade despite lower solar activity. It might almost be described as an over ride or swamping of a natural forcing, but I’ll not go that far…yet. Whether this is down to AGW or not is in my opinion another issue.
You’ll be pleased to know that I am not an alarmist nor a “denier” and I accept the possibility of the “lag” effect described by Stephen Wilde among others. As I have already stated though, this turn around had better continue happening on a fairly sustained basis for my concern with the possibility of AGW to go away.
So in essence, please do not assume that I am concluding that all the raised late 20th and 21st Century temp profile (despite recent solar inactivity) is all down to AGW, but it would be foolish indeed to dismiss the possibility.
Ben

January 5, 2009 9:19 am

Crosspatch
I think you are spot on. The US is a good representation for the world. Even Hadley CET is said to be representative of the Northern hemisphere and we in the UK cover a much smaller area.
This is Hadley set against Zurich Switzerland-
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/beck_mencken_zurich.jpg
the mirroring is uncanny until very recent years, which we identfied as a severe case of UHI and coreected with a total of 0.4C over the last 4 decades to produce the following;
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/beck_mencken_zurich_uhi.jpg
(Both graphs available in excel if anyone else wants to use the data points)
It seems reasonable to me that a large country like the US spreading almost from the arctic to the tropics and bordering both the Pacific and Atlantic is going to have pretty representative temperatures of the world .
Has anyone graphed the US against other temperature data sets like Hadley/Zurich?
Also can I make a plea for links to national (or regional) temperature records as I want to collect them all together in one place for use as a general resource. The longer the better. I know there are good ones for Armagh (Ellie where are you) Germany and Holland amongst other places. If anyone knows if this has already been done please let me know.
TonyB

Robert Bateman
January 5, 2009 9:19 am

From all the graphs and indices posting in this forum the last couple of days, it sure looks like SC24 has crashed through the guard rail and is to be found plunging down a steep embankment.
It will take probably as long as it took descending into the abyss to climb back out of it. Once again, the data coming in show no signs of imminent reversal. It just sinks deeper.

Robert Bateman
January 5, 2009 9:23 am

“MattN (08:14:47) :
Latest SSTs: http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.1.5.2009.gif
A bit cooler that last week. La Ninas coming…..”
La Nina has found me. Supposed to be 5-6000′ snow level here, woke up to 2000′ snow level and white stuff. The cold is winning.

Steve Berry
January 5, 2009 9:24 am

We should not be paying any attention to ground-based temperatures really. The only two places that appear to be of worth would be the troposphere and the oceans. Even then you have to make a decision whether it’s ocean surface or deep. It would appear that only the troposphere is really worthy. What I find truly bizarre is that we should pay any attention at all to past-proxy temperatures. Thinking that you could possibly get a recording to a tenth of a degree from a bristle cone pine or whatever from a thousand years ago is Alice In Wonderland stuff, surely? shouldn’t we start a campaign to ignore ground-based temperatures altogether? Let’s concentrate on what comes out of UAH – whether it agrees with our viewpoint or not. realclimate will love it!

MattN
January 5, 2009 9:33 am

“I beat you to it Matt.
See above ,)”
Dang it. This blog is so popular with so many people, I’m not first with info anymore….

Ron de Haan
January 5, 2009 9:35 am

Alan the Brit (02:38:13) :
“Was the Chaitén eruption in Chille sufficient to assist in aerosol cooling anyone? It certainly looked to be a significant eruption to me”.
Alan,
No significant aerosols from Chaiten. Low SO2 output (insignificant) Low CO2 primaraly water vapor and
Anyhow, not yet.
The status of Chaitén is still code RED and the dome building process has filled up the old caldera which was in fact a hole in the ground.
A huge amount of silica could be blasted into the troposphere of Chaitén explodes.
But other volcano’s have been busy: Sheviluch (biggest SO2 output since 1991), Kamchatka, Souffre Hills and recently Kiuchevskoy
By the way, volcanic activity emits 20 times more CO2 than human industrial activity.
For continuing info about Chaitén Volcano:
1. http://www.seablogger.com/?page_id=11086 (also a link to the North Camara
for real time Chaitén observation.
2.http://volcanism.wordpress.com/

Steve Berry
January 5, 2009 9:37 am
Pierre Gosselin
January 5, 2009 9:42 am

Tom Woods,
Thanks for the link.
But I’ll stick to my assertion.
Want to bet a six-pack of Sam Adams?

Pierre Gosselin
January 5, 2009 9:45 am

Ed Scott
Pay no attention to Hansen. He’s a just a nuke-industry stooge.
Honestly, I see no reason why the greenie wackos like him so much.

Rod Smith
January 5, 2009 10:17 am

Leif Svalgaard (07:30:59) : “This is because the SWPC values are not correct.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This is a perfect example of why much of the data used in the AGW debate is not exactly what it may seem to be.
More to the point, does NOAA know that these values are forecast values (er, preliminary estimates) or not? Apparently, large portions of the data available via NOAA are no where near as reliable as one would think. Quality control at NOAA seems to need a bit of management attention.
I can report that in my days of sending weather data to Offutt’s forecast center that all data was not of equal quality. Anthony’s poking around has brought light to this otherwise non-discussed subject. Thank you too, Anthony.

January 5, 2009 10:20 am

As many regular readers know, I’ve pointed out several times the incident of the abrupt and sustained lowering of the Ap Index which occurred in October 2005. The abrupt step change seemed (to me) to be out of place with the data
The step is due to a very large sporadic storm Sep. 9-15, 2005. See the solar conditions [big red dots=flares] at that time:
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2005,09,04
This was a one-off [although some people might try to convince us that it happened only a week before a syzygy of J+U+N+V or some such] event and does not portend the ‘end’ of SC23 activity.
As you can see from the first Figure at
http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf
solar wind magnetic field (B blue) has had a steady decline since 2003 and 2005 Sept-Oct does not show any special change. The steady decline is the main reason for a declining ap. Solar wind speed has been roughly the same with three progressively smaller bumps [2003, 2005, 2008]. Some three CME related spikes stick up, but nothing special [i.e. ‘out of place with the data’] happened Sep-Oct, The three bumps show up in ap. There is a simple formula that connects the variables: ap = 0.0404 * (B*(V/100)^2)^1.1642 [with R2 = 0.81], f.ex. if B = 4 nT and V = 400 km/s, ap = 5.1; B = 20 nT, V = 800 km/s will give you a major storm with ap = 167.
In my opinion, the is no significance to the ‘Oct 2005’ jump. The Sun did not undergo any qualitative change near that, just the regular decline we always have at the end of a cycle. Humans have a tendency to attach significance to random events, like “an eagle flew over the house the day my son was born, this must mean something”. Oct, 2005 was such an eagle.

January 5, 2009 10:32 am

Leif – I’m smiling.
Well.
It’s tough being human.
I’ve found myself irritated with your (Leif’s) unwillingness to clambor on board
with various assertions.
Now having read your latest statement – well . . . I’m humbled and smiling and taking a deep breath.
Your intelligent reasoning and knowing nod toward human foibles and calm encouragement to ” . . . carry on – we’ll get there” . . . .
It’s the best of our species.
It makes me smile.
Thank you.

EDT
January 5, 2009 10:37 am

I have a few questions that may or may not have been asked at some point in WUWT history:
1)The AP Index is a satellite-based magnetic field reading, correct?
2)How much of the sun’s B-field is caused by the solar dynamo current(s) and how much is caused by the rotation (26-ish days?) of the plasma ball?
3)Are there any other major contributors to the field?

January 5, 2009 10:41 am

If you look carefully at Anthony’s plot and compare it with the green curve [‘theoretical ap’] on the 1st Figure of http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf you will notice that the ap plot has two ‘rabbit ears’ in March and September during 2007, which do not appear on my curve. You will find the same ‘ears’ in other years too [even in 2005]. This is a manifestation of the so-called semiannual variation [more at http://www.leif.org/research/geoact.htm ] and is likely due to the size of the Earth’s magnetosphere changing with how much it tilts into the solar wind. This is a purely terrestrial effect and has nothing to do with the Sun [the Sun does not know about March and September – except if you belong to the astrology crowd]. The September storm in 2005 that is responsible for the visual abruptness of the ‘step’ was artificially enhanced [leading to a larger step] because of the semiannual variation.

January 5, 2009 10:52 am

Trying to find a correlation between surface temperatures and solar activity is not as easy as some comments here imply. If you want to see an almost instantaneous change in temperature associated with solar activity, you can watch the sunrise on a clear day, I suppose. 🙂
This article indicates there can be a lag of 10 to 30 years in “regional” temperatures:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081219180532.htm
I wonder if the probable lag time for “global” temperatures is known.

Stephen Fox
January 5, 2009 10:58 am

Leif Svalgaard (08:47:38) :
Many scientists [most are people too] bask in and seek attention [and funding – the latter not a bad thing] and their organizations {NASA, etc] hype every little thing as a gigantic breakthrough [solar winds lowest ever, magnetic portals, elves, doozy solar cycles, you name it].
Would that list include also climate prediction models with positive feedback built in? Is that not the longest gravy train, receiving the most attention?

Jeff Alberts
January 5, 2009 11:05 am

However in the year since, it has become increasingly clear that the horse hasn’t left the gate, and may very well be lame.

I don’t think you can say that, since we don’t know how the sun “should” act, just like we don’t know how global climate (as silly a concept as that is) “should” act.

January 5, 2009 11:07 am

Robert Bateman (09:19:17) :
From all the graphs and indices posting in this forum the last couple of days, it sure looks like SC24 has crashed through the guard rail and is to be found plunging down a steep embankment.
Leif Svalgaard (12:44:45)
Since my prediction [of 75] back in 2005, the polar fields have weakened a tiny bit, leading to a prediction that now stands at 71, but since that is not statistically different from 75, I do not foresee any change in my prediction.

Graph
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif
suggests range 79-85 for late 2013, which is not far of Dr. Svalgaard’s prediction. As I am well aware he doesn’t think much of it, but as an overall amplitude assessment, the periodicity graph (blue line) gives a reasonable approximation since 1920 and the amplitude envelope (red line) from 1890 (except for SC 20 in both cases).
p.s. (periodicity graph phase has now been revised from 2pi/3 to 2pi/4, thanks to an anonymous contributor) Rest of the material on my website may be corrected in due course
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk

klausb
January 5, 2009 11:15 am

@TonyB
re, your (05:16:52) :
Tony, the link to tempature sets from switzerland (meteoswiss) you may have already.
but they changed their webpages recently – different link, so I add it here:
http://www.meteoswiss.admin.ch/web/de/klima/klima_heute/homogene_reihen.html
(has monthly temperature and precipitation data for twelve stations)
WetterZentrale has some longterm temperature and precipitation datas
– source unknown –
http://www.wetterzentrale.de/klima/index.html
DWD has monthly datasets here for 44 stations in Germany:
http://www.dwd.de/bvbw/appmanager/bvbw/dwdwwwDesktop?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=_dwdwww_klima_umwelt_klimadaten_deutschland&_state=maximized&_windowLabel=T82002&T82002gsbDocumentPath=Navigation/Oeffentlichkeit/Klima__Umwelt/Klimadaten/kldaten__kostenfrei/ausgabe__monatswerte__node.html__nnn=true&T17403010631149843731916gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/KU1/KU12/Klimadaten/Teaser/Daten__Beratung__teaser.html&T55200343671181104940198gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/KU1/KU12/Klimadaten/Teaser/Veroeff.html&T17401010631149671087318gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/KU1/KU12/Klimadaten/Teaser/Daten__Entgelt__teaser.html&T17400910631149670782053gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/KU1/KU12/Klimadaten/Teaser/Daten__WiTech__teaser.html&T147600785081206012013169gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/KU1/KU12/Klimadaten/Klimafaktoren/KF__Teaser.html&T19607931211153805139770gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/allgemeines/klimadaten/teaser__datenservice.html&T19607831211153805134368gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/allgemeines/klimadaten/teaser__stationsinformationen.html&T21400353661157011331648gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/allgemeines/teaser__klimadatenzentren.html&T17402110631149838814972gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/KU1/KU12/Klimagutachten/Teaser/Mobile__Messungen__Teaser.html&T17402910631149843720977gsbDocumentPath=Content/Oeffentlichkeit/KU/KUPK/WetterShop/teaser__wettershop.html&_nfls=false
Datasets from Sweden/Finland here:
http://data.smhi.se/met/climate/time_series/day/temperature/
Datasets from russia here:
http://meteo.ru/english/data_b/

klausb
January 5, 2009 11:23 am

@tonyB
a good source for various data is the climate explorer fron KNMI, Netherlands
http://climexp.knmi.nl/start.cgi

January 5, 2009 11:27 am

Rod Smith (10:17:11) :
More to the point, does NOAA know that these values are forecast values (er, preliminary estimates) or not?
Yes, I have [and other too, I’m sure] pointed that out to them several times, but to no avail. The usual reply I get is that there is complaint form on their website that I can fill out if I have a problem with their service. To be fair to them, they ARE understaffed [quantity and quality] because of low funding.
EDT (10:37:57) :
1)The AP Index is a satellite-based magnetic field reading, correct?
No, ap is derived from ground-based readings [there were no satellites – except the Moon back in 1932].
2)How much of the sun’s B-field is caused by the solar dynamo current(s)
All of it [as far as we know]
3)Are there any other major contributors to the field?
No, not that we know of. From time to time people have talked about a ‘relic’ field in the Sun’s core stemming from when the Sun was formed. This was particularly popular back when the ‘neutrino problem’ was a problem [that the number of neutrinos observed is only a third of what our models show are produced]. A magnetic field at the core would help [perhaps] in explaining this. Now we know that the problem is not with the Sun, but with the neutrino [there are three kinds and a given neutrino changes kind as it flies along – and the early measurements could only measure one kind]. Also helioseismology has shown us that the internal structure of the Sun is just what our models predict, so the core magnetic field idea is not in favor anymore.

Ellie in Belfast
January 5, 2009 11:27 am

TonyB,
Armagh data at:
http://climate.arm.ac.uk/contents.html
I used the raw data, but there is a period with months missing that I fell foul of initally in averaging. Also there are actually several series. I’m checking back to see which ones I downloaded (in October).
I can email the spreadsheet – left contact on your website.

January 5, 2009 11:37 am

Dear vukcevic .Really beautiful curves. I would like to hear how it sounds. Low amplitude phases seem like gaps in the octave.

George E. Smith
January 5, 2009 11:37 am

“” F Rasmin (01:59:07) :
Steve Berry (00:56:55) : ‘…even though you were late and made poor excuses..’ The Americans should never have bothered have turning up at all? Look what ‘winning’ did for you! “”
Well yes very uncool Steve. Might I suggest that you Google the “Lend lease” program; and then tell our Yankee friends they were late to the big dance.
Yes UK deserves to be honored. for standing up for Europe when the others had folded; but without Lend lease, it would have come to nought. The manufacturing powerhouse that WW-II USA became (Rosie the Riveter) is what sealed the axis fate.
And as the moderator says; not in keeping with this forum.
George A. Kiwi

January 5, 2009 11:44 am

Leif
Having studied the “Duhau and de Jager paper – The Solar Dynamo and Its Transitions during the Last Millennium” I am struck by their assertion that there was a step change in solar activity in 1923. Having read all your comments here and on CA I feel that you would not agree with this. Am I correct?

klausb
January 5, 2009 11:49 am

@Leif
re: …there were no satellites – except the Moon back in 1932…
– I liked that, was funny –
@TonyB
Data from Denmark, Faroer and Greenland from DMI, Denmark
http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/climat.htm

Luigi
January 5, 2009 12:00 pm

So can draw a relationship for the lowest point for Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index and the economy!? or the beginning of the green house effect? I want to know, as a scientist, what is the value of noticing the lowest Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index, and how to make a recommendation that we need to change direction.
Cheers!
Luigi

philincalifornia
January 5, 2009 12:02 pm

Ed Scott (08:54:35) : Wrote
Can Dr. Pachauri be far behind? Pun intended.
—————————————————————
A Carbon Tax For Animal Emissions – More Unintended Consequences Of Carbon Policy In The Guise Of Climate Policy
http://climatesci.org/2009/01/05/a-carbon-tax-for-animal-emissions-more-unintended-consequences-of-carbon-policy-in-the-guise-of-climate-policy/
———————————-
So it’s scientifically proven, debate over, that if you tax a cow, it stops farting ?? Wow.

Gary Hladik
January 5, 2009 12:02 pm

Leif Svalgaard (08:47:38) :
“It is called error bars, confidence intervals, statistical significance. The public [and many posters on this and any other blog] don’t really understand this and endless [and fruitless] discussions ensue over things that are below the ‘messiness index’ limits.”
Excellent, excellent post, Leif. It should be the lead post of every discussion on this blog (conceptually, if not physically). If I had my way it would be nailed to the forehead of every alarmist, starting with Al Gore and James “saving the planet and creation ” Hansen.
This also caught my eye:
“…an informed public is vital to our civilization…”
Classic good news/bad news. 🙂

George E. Smith
January 5, 2009 12:08 pm

“” Mary Hinge (02:44:10) :
jeez (01:54:58) :
2. ………. make the entirety of the sea surface records suspect.
4. I simply do not trust …….. they simply make up false accuracy and data.
6. Much of the Global warming signal ……..suffered discontinuities through Mao’s cultural revolution in China………………. Stalinist Soviet Union.
Personally I believe…….
Thanks Jeez for furnishing the script for the next X Files movie….Spooky Mulder and his conspiracy buddies would have great fun with this! “”
Well Mary, I’m in total agreement with jeez on his number 2 point; except I’m not as charitable as he was. To me the the the historic record for 73% of the world’s surface (the oceans) prior to around 1980, is properly characterized (in a scientific sense) as “garbage”.
The story is often repeated as to how surfacew temperatures (at sea) were historically measured by tossing a bucket over the side; thereby grabbing a water sample from some totally uncontrolled water depth; and then measuring its temperature on deck where winds could cause evaporative cooling of the sample. Around 1922 or so I understand, they started measuring the temperature of engine cooling water from the sea; but now in the warmth of the engine room; thus causing a discontinuity in the temperature record; which anyhow was supposed to be a measure of the lower troposphere air temperature (see Anthony’s errant barn owl boxes).
Why anyone would believe that the near surface air temperatures and the oceanic water temperatures would be the same is way beyond my pay grade.
Well that issue was resolved in Jan 2001, in a paper in I believe Geophysical Research Letters, reporting on up to 20 years of data recorded from oceanic buoys which simulktaneously monitored temperatures in the water at a constant one meter depth, and air temperatures on a tower at 3 meters above the surface. With ocean currents perhaps a few knots, and wind speeds anything up to hundreds of mph, why would you expect the air and water to reach the same temperature. That 2001 paper reported that the warming observed during that 20 year period from water data, was inflated by 40% over what the actual air temperature measurements revealed, so the actual warming for that period was only 60% of what the water data claimed.
Now that does not mean that all the previous history needs to be corrected by that 60% factor.
The key piece of information from the buoy studies, was that the water and air temperatures ARE NOT CORRELATED.
So in fact the correct historic air temperatures over the oceans are not recoverable from the water data; and after all they only represent 70 odd percent of the total global surface.
So I don’t even care if the GCM climate models (video games) are correct or not; it is clear that the historic data that goes into them is pure garbage.
So I don’t believe any of this projected ancient history data; well at least no closer than the obligatory 3:1 climate modelling fudge factor. I would suggest that climate science as a science, probably goes back no further than the International Geophysical Year of 1957/58.
Even today when an oceanic research vessel returns to a set of GPS co-ordinates to take updated water temp measurments; there is no assurance that they are even in the same water as they were at some previous time; due to the meandering of ocean currents.
So when Jeez says “suspect”, I suspect he is too polite to say what he really believes.

Ellie in Belfast
January 5, 2009 12:14 pm

Ben Kellett (04:44:14) wrote:
“…our views have to be as (if not more) robust, defendable, well reasoned and backed up with solid evidence, as those views supporting AGW.”
Constructive criticism seems to win out here, that and driving others to better and more accurate analysis. Cathy (10:32:36) I agree no one does it better – we’re priviledged aren’t we!
One thing though. There is a lot of discussion and analysis here. One thing scientists don’t always do well is communicate to to non-scientists (I mean the head-in-the-sand don’t-want-to-know-about-science general public). AGW has the hockey stick. While we’re looking for trends and influences to counter it, what images can be used that will stick in people’s minds if they get into to the MSM?

Mark
January 5, 2009 12:16 pm

Re: Mike Bryant (08:42:35),
I wonder if Hansen is ‘adjusting’ their ice data? (only kidding)…

January 5, 2009 12:16 pm

Leif, most interesting.
Steve Berry – very nearly agree
In ancient records the prime driver can be seen to be solar energy.
With a 6-year delay, and after UHI is properly subtracted, land temperatures reflect the solar patterns today.
But the oceans’ thermal capacity is around 1000 times that of the atmosphere.
So for close correlation, look at the solar links to sea surface temperature
And for high correlation to land temperatures, plot the ocean currents

Ron de Haan (09:35 today)…volcanic activity emits 20 times more CO2 than human industrial activity.
Reference? Perhaps a thread on the current Yellowstone earth tremors will flush this out… Anthony?

Mike Bryant
January 5, 2009 12:20 pm

“To be fair to them, they ARE understaffed [quantity and quality] because of low funding.”
They may not have enough people, and the people they have may not be the best, but at least,
“NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun…”

tallbloke
January 5, 2009 12:34 pm

Leif Svalgaard (09:16:29) :
In short, solar cycle 23 is very much like cycle 13, and the values of these indices and of the solar wind during the drawn-out minimum of 1901 and 1902 were very much the same as during 2008 and 2009 [expected], so nothing new.
I don’t get this. Last time I asked you about the other indices increasing over the C20th, you said there were instrumental errors and the readings were unreliable. Now you are saying thay are comparable.

Mike McMillan
January 5, 2009 12:36 pm

Kaboom (01:10:08) :
“….lot’s of things to do…” doesn’t have an apostrophe as well.
So speak the grammar-Nazis.

Grammar nazis is not hyphenated, and nazis is not capitalized.
Capitalized Nazis were the National Socialists, who believed in a charismatic leader and believed government should regulate otherwise free markets. Thank goodness those beliefs have faded into history.
Mike
humble grammar nazi

Steve Brown
January 5, 2009 12:42 pm

We in the UK have been assured that there is a great deal of global warmth just around the corner. See the linked article:-
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-scientists-warn-that-there-may-be-no-ice-at-north-pole-this-summer-855406.html

crosspatch
January 5, 2009 1:11 pm

“Ron de Haan (09:35 today)…volcanic activity emits 20 times more CO2 than human industrial activity.
Reference? Perhaps a thread on the current Yellowstone earth tremors will flush this out… Anthony?”
That number seems that it could be about right. A recent article I read showed human activity generating about 3% of global CO2 emissions. Decay of organic matter about 30% (about 10 times more than human activity) leaving 67%. So to say that volcanism accounts for 60% of the remaining 67%, that sounds reasonable with the other 7% probably due to such things fires, animal flatulence, etc.

Admin
January 5, 2009 1:16 pm

Mary Hinge:
George E. Smith addressed your point 2.
on point 4:
So when the Hadley Center tells us that the average Central England Temperature on March 19th 1772 was 7.3 C, they have not introduced false accuracy? How accurate were thermometers in 1772?
http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetdl1772on.dat
on point 6:
Why don’t you ask Hadley for the station records for China? Good luck, here is their response to a similar request.
To quote Phil Jones:

We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.

So you can prattle on about peer review, but you are defending a cloistered community of unscientists that has built a moat around their data and methods, pulled up the drawbridges, put their fingers in their ears and are behaving like this.

crosspatch
January 5, 2009 1:17 pm

And remember that undersea volcanism is going to be about twice what land volcanism is (but probably more since the mid-Atlantic ridge, for example, is basically one continuous volcano down the middle of the ocean).

January 5, 2009 1:27 pm

PaulHClark (11:44:07) :
their assertion that there was a step change in solar activity in 1923. Having read all your comments here and on CA I feel that you would not agree with this. Am I correct?
Yes, but I have not read their paper. Do you have a copy? email to me if you don’t want to post the link.
tallbloke (12:34:50) :
I don’t get this. Last time I asked you about the other indices increasing over the C20th, you said there were instrumental errors and the readings were unreliable. Now you are saying thay are comparable.
One should, of course, use my version of the corrected indices. Here is a plot of Ap back to 1844 http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-1844-2008.png . The blue curve shows 27-day Bartels rotation averages and the red curve is a 13-rotation [nearly one year] running mean. Because the values have been corrected for the semiannual variation and the averaging interval is shorter than a month, the values shown will be slightly larger than the monthly means [from SWPC] plotted by Anthony, but the relative variation [on a yearly basis] and the trend should be the same. And that is the important bit; the units don’t matter.

January 5, 2009 1:30 pm

Mike McMillan (12:36:47) :
Capitalized Nazis were the National Socialists, who believed in a charismatic leader and believed government should regulate otherwise free markets.
Sounds very much like our government…

RoyfOMR
January 5, 2009 1:33 pm

OT and slightly depressing!
The European Union (after donating £1m!) denounces socialite’s carbon offset project that pays poor farmers in Mozambique to plant trees, that absorb CO2, and, additionally, to protect existing forests
This project set up the N’hambita Community Carbon project five years ago in partnership with Edinburgh University attracted hundreds of poor farmers “Who were now cutting down trees”
The law of unintended consequences- rings a bell for anyone?
“http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5439366.ece”

Brendan
January 5, 2009 1:35 pm
RoyfOMR
January 5, 2009 1:35 pm
PearlandAggie
January 5, 2009 1:37 pm

meanwhile…quietly…
Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979
http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=13834

PearlandAggie
January 5, 2009 1:48 pm

speaking of animal flatulence…LOL
EPA ‘Cow Tax’ Could Charge $175 per Dairy Cow to Curb Greenhouse Gases
http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20081230165231.aspx
unbelievable…..

klausb
January 5, 2009 1:51 pm

@TonyB
Tony, another item is: how to download datas frequently or scheduled.
One approach is: using R (like Steve McIntyre from CA, http://www.climateaudit.com)
For others, which are more accustomed to Microsoft and/or Windows environment,
in the MS Office is, since MS-Office 2000 a – programmable, using VBA – Webbrowser control. I did use this approach first, when I started to download various data, scheduled.
Nowadays, I do use the – free – express versions from MS Visual Basic and C# in combination with the – free- express version of the MS SQL server. The SQL server
has some limitations: the first is: any database file has to be smaller than 4 GB,
but that’s no real limitation for personal use. I do use more than 320 databases, which -each – are below that limit, but the sum is neary 800 GB now.
I don’t know, if this is helpful to you, or anybody else here, but there may be somybody here or there, where it may be helpful.

Joseph Murphy
January 5, 2009 2:02 pm

Another Great post and commentary. Thank you Anthony. And thank you Leif, mods and the rest of the bunch, you all make the commentary of this blog one of the best on the web.

Ron de Haan
January 5, 2009 2:06 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen, don’t forget to vote for yhe 2008 Blog Awards!
It only takes five seconds.

Glenn
January 5, 2009 2:07 pm

“And remember that undersea volcanism is going to be about twice what land volcanism is ”
Why? Ocean floors are much closer to the heat of the interior. Land and ocean surface area ratio wouldn’t seem to be a valid gauge of the amount of heat, vulcanism or geothermal activity either.

George E. Smith
January 5, 2009 2:14 pm

“” Lucy Skywalker (12:16:04) :
Leif, most interesting.
Steve Berry – very nearly agree
In ancient records the prime driver can be seen to be solar energy.
With a 6-year delay, and after UHI is properly subtracted, land temperatures reflect the solar patterns today.
But the oceans’ thermal capacity is around 1000 times that of the atmosphere.
So for close correlation, look at the solar links to sea surface temperature
And for high correlation to land temperatures, plot the ocean currents
Ron de Haan (09:35 today)…volcanic activity emits 20 times more CO2 than human industrial activity.
Reference? Perhaps a thread on the current Yellowstone earth tremors will flush this out… Anthony? “”
Lucy, I can’t say that I correctly deciphered who said what in your post; hard to tell what was a reference ansd what your own words.
I’d like a dollar for every time I’ve read that the ocean’s heat capacity is 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere.
So what about that humungous piece of rock which acts as a substrate for bothe the oceans and the atmosphere; does it have a heat capacity of any consequence ?
Tracking heat capacity can be a misleading enterprise. Just consider some of the thermal energy exchange processes. In the case of the rocky part of the earth; including UHIs, we typically don’t see a whole lot of convection going on; at least not in time frames of much interest to us.
During the day sunshine, the earth surface heats up to hotter than its long term mean temperature from absorbed solar energy (less albedo losses). That temperature rise creates a thermal graident, that propagates energy downward at a rate proportional to that temperature rise. At the same time, that heated surface is also radiating EM radiation, at a rate limited by the Planck BB radiation limit; modified by the surface spectral emissivity; but also dependent on the fourth power of the absolute temperature rather than linearly with temperature rise. And from the point of view of CO2 resonance absorption in the IR, the EM radiation spectral peak emittance goes as the fifth power of the absolute temperature, while moving further to the short wavelength side of the CO2 absorption spectrum.
So the relative energy transport split between surface conduction to the deep crust, and also the direct thermal conduction to the atmospheric gases; and the EM radiated portion; it makes a great deal of difference if you use the long term flux averages of the official NOAA energy budget, or whether you use the actual real time fluxes which are four times as high at least. Thew energy split is quite different in those two calculations.
The oceans on the other hand throw us a real curved ball. The main heat driver; old Sol, deposits his energy at multi metre depths in the oceans, where it too starts to diffuse by conduction to the depths and surrounding waters; but it also unleashes an incessant upward convection, which acts to transport (over time) most of that heat right back to the surface. And most often; convection trumps conduction when it comes to heat transport in fluids. The return of that energy to the surface results in a delayed IR radiation cooling but also a delayed evaporative3 cooling which is a very powerful heat transport mechanism. On top of that, the re-radiated IR emissions from the atmospheric gases are completely absorbed in the top ten microns of the ocean surface and lead to a very prompt evaporative cooling.
So despite the higher thermal capacity of the oceans compared to the atmosphere, the thermal energy transport mechanisms in the ocean don’t look too favorable for transporting the bulk of arriving solar energy to the ocean depths as is commonly assumed.
The very difference in these thermal processes as a function of terrain; is one of the strongest arguments against the very concept of a “mean Global surface Temperature” as having any scientific validity or significance whatsoever.
Hansen’s GISStemp Anomaly plots, are just that; plots of GISStemp anomaly as he defines it, and reports it. There is no scientific connection between GISStemp anomaly and anything else physical on this planet; and the violations of the Nyquist Criterion, both spatially, and temporally, are so egregious as to completely invaildate any claim to them representing a “Mean Global Surface Temperature” or anything else. They have no more scientific validity than does the average telephone number in the Manhattan Phone Directroy; or the global mean number of animals per hectare on planet earth (animal meaning anything from ants to blue whales; and not plants).

d
January 5, 2009 2:46 pm

I just voted for WUWT as my favorite science blog !!!

Edward Morgan
January 5, 2009 3:01 pm

Leif your words sounded good. Can someone tell me if the sun doesn’t act on temperature then what does? A less active sun means a drop in input to the earth, that’s final.
[snip–out of bounds on this blog, please be more polite ~ charles the moderator]. Not in my name. Ed

crosspatch
January 5, 2009 3:18 pm

“Why? Ocean floors are much closer to the heat of the interior. Land and ocean surface area ratio wouldn’t seem to be a valid gauge of the amount of heat, vulcanism or geothermal activity either.”
Most spreading centers, hot spots, and volcanic arcs are in the ocean. In other words, most of the places where there tend to be volcanoes are under water. A new Hawaiian island is being built as we read this off the coast of the island of Hawaii, for example. Some of the volcanoes have built up to the point where they have emerged from the sea (the Aleutian Islands, for example) but more lie under the sea such as a brand new one just reported within the past month or so off the coast of the state of Washington. There are several more off the coast of Oregon.
My main point was that when people think of volcanic activity, they think only of the volcanoes on land and forget that there are actually a lot more under the ocean and many of those are nearly constantly active. There are active volcanoes even under the ice in the Arctic Ocean and undersea volcanoes are suspected as the cause of at least one mass extinction event.
Basically, twice as many is probably low, the number of undersea volcanoes is probably much larger than that. Active volcanoes have even been found in the Antarctic Ocean.
Also at places like the mid-Atlantic ridge where you have nearly constant volcanism, it is hard for volcanoes to form the shape we generally recognize as a volcano because the crust spreads and pulls it apart. But they do generate a tremendous amount of CO2. Again, I would expect the amount of CO2 generated by undersea volcanoes to vastly outweigh that generated by volcanoes on dry land.

George E. Smith
January 5, 2009 3:25 pm

Would one expect CO2 released from deep ocean ridge volcanose to actually make it to the surface ?

Edward Morgan
January 5, 2009 3:30 pm

So all that stuff about Hydrogen bombs is fine then Charles (moderator) and the insults to America???? That makes me sick but of course I’m right and this site is acting like another excuse for truth. Ed
Reply: I must have missed that. I’m not the only moderator, going back and looking now. The hazards of team work ~ charles the moderator
Reply 2: After much rereading, while I saw stuff I would disagree with and some politics, of the kind that I constantly remind people should be left off this site, all in all the previous comments were not as out bounds in use of language as you were. Even Steve Berry who apparently started it all has made it clear he was being tongue in cheeky (see, I can do it to). I’m a major supporter of the US, and if this were not a moderator reply I would give examples, but as it is a moderator reply I would remind everyone that we accept a plethora of opinions here, as long as users stick to polite and respectful manner of discourse. BTW for those interested in a very in depth story about the relationship between the US and Britain in technological cooperation in winning WWII and how it was a war won by advances in technology, I would strongly recommend this book. ~ charles the moderator

January 5, 2009 3:30 pm

Leif Svalgaard (11:44:07)
Thank you – herewith the link
http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/literatur/sonstige/solard.pdf
I profess to not understanding the finer points of their TP (Transition Point) analysis and I note that you have concerns over the aa index but I was taken by the general thrust of their thesis. Certainly looking at this chart:
http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/GEOMAG/image/aastar07.jpg
I could see a marked change from the end of the last Gleissberg and my interest is tweaked by the resonance with this longer term cycle. There does seem to be something about it that I cannot quite either dismiss nor get to a point where I would enthuse about it – I am merely curiously exploring.
Most importantly I value your thoughts and comments on such things enormously especially given the amount of time you devote to educating people like me.
Here’s the deal – their analysis seemed to suggest to me that the last 80 years was akin to a very active solar oscillation (I hope I have reflected their words accurately) but I know, from having ploughed through the extensive thread on CA and having read your comments here, that you would suggest solar activity has been rather more constant.
I very much hope you can find the time to read and comment on the paper.
Thank You.

January 5, 2009 3:34 pm

Stephen Wilde (07:07:08) :
Adolfo,
The PDO went positive around 1975 which combined with a very active sun and caused the observed warming which continued up to the 1998 peak.

I dont think most people realize that that particular period was infact bonus time for the Earth, not since the MWP have we had that extra heat in the system. If you look at the patterns back to 1280, SC21, 22 & 23 would normally be in the grand minima phase….it tried hard in SC20 but didnt get there, the tipping point wasnt reached, so hence we have endured a short pseudo modern maximum.
But its time to pay the ferryman.

MartinGAtkins
January 5, 2009 3:40 pm

To apostrophe or not to apostrophe. That’s the question.

Ben Kellett
January 5, 2009 3:45 pm

Stephen Wilde said……..
“AGW proponents are just trying to gain time by expressing the issue in the way that has confused you”.
I’m back to this one Stephen! Maybe I am confused, but I dont think so. The way the last couple of decades of global temps appears to me is fairly simple:
For the 10 years up to and including 1998, there were 8 of the hottest years on record. For the following 10 years up to the present, we have again seen 8 of the hottest years on record – only for the second set of 10 years, there has been a bigger leap up the way!
Now let’s assume 2008 falls suddenly below the average of the 1989 – 1998 period. That would be a fairly sizeable drop, but on its own, it would be meaningless if in following years temps were to rebound straight back up.
If we were again in the next 10 years witness another 8 of the hottest years on record (which is kind of what the IPCC is predicting) then the upward trend continues. This could happen with 1998 still remaining the hottest year on record. Would we still be trying to suggest that because of this, Global Warming stopped in 1998? I think not -the trend, while a smaller step up and a flatter plateau, would still be upward. Of course the IPCC is predicting that the 1998 record will fall in the next 10 years together with another raised plateau of global temps, in which case the impressive upward trend would be very clear.
It could well be however, that we have indeed entered a cooling period, but for me, it will take 8 years in the next 10 of significantly cooler global temps to suggest a downward trend.
While it now appears likely that we have indeed seen 2 consecutive years of cooling, by themselves they do not even constitute a blip. To illustrate the point, following the record breaking year of 1990 there were 4 years in a row of lower global temps than those recorded in 1990. Looking back at the record now, we can see clearly that even that 4 year period represents a mere blip within a definate warming trend.
We are therefore exciting times – a time within the next few years of some reckoning, because if you are indeed correct about the changing phase of the PDO together with less solar activity, we should see a sustained lowering of global temps. If however, this fails to happen, should we begin to accept there might be a problem?
Ben

Steve Keohane
January 5, 2009 3:48 pm

Jon (00:25:35) :
One should add that the 1930-50’s atmosphere, according DVI Dust Veil Index, was very clean of volcanic particles, and that the 1960-70’s was not.
The Dust Bowl was generally 1930-36 in the American and Canadian plains, in some regions until 1940, according to Wiki. I wonder how far and high it carried.

AKD
January 5, 2009 3:52 pm

Watt’s Up With That in second trailing “Pharyngula” (a blog that apparently openly celebrates the election of Al Franken to a seat in the US Senate and calls Climate Audit “faux science”) with Climate Audit in third. *Sigh*

hotrod
January 5, 2009 4:12 pm

I have recently discovered this web site and have found it very interesting reading, and a good source to find info that places some useful limits on the prevailing assumption that the “science” of global warming is all settled.
In regard to the suns impact on the earths climate I have a question about it that keeps nagging at me. Everyone seems to be focusing on the suns energy output primarily in the visible light spectrum (and near visible ie ultraviolet), but there seems to be a total lack of discussion of other energy inputs to the earth/atmospheric system that are driven by the sun but are not in that spectrum.
Specifically we have an electromagnetic coupling between the suns magnetic field and the earths that generates very large electrical currents in the atmosphere, and the earth (the Canadian power grid can attest to their potential).
I would assume that these magnetic interactions would be of considerable power and could rival the small changes in the visible electromagnetic spectrum that appear as the sun goes through its sunspot cycles from high activity to low activity.
I have seen no discussion at all regarding how much energy is dissipated in the earth/atmosphere by electrical currents and capture of ionizing radiation such as xrays, solar wind, ions that drive the northern lights etc. Is it realistic to assume these energy inputs are negligible or are they some how included as a hidden factor in the general solar energy output numbers?
Larry

January 5, 2009 4:25 pm

Edward Morgan (15:01:00) :
Leif your words sounded good. A less active sun means a drop in input to the earth
Glad you liked them. And you are quite right. A 0.1% drop in solar input does indeed lower the temperature by 0.025%=0.07K. Hooray!

Editor
January 5, 2009 4:30 pm

Re; Tom Woods (02:07:17) :
Here’s my 1.6 cents worth for December 2008…
Hadley 0.417
GISS 0.61
UAH 0.215
RSS 0.218
And last month my linear regression was 0.1 *TOO LOW*.

D Werme
January 5, 2009 4:45 pm

“Watt’s Up With That in second trailing “Pharyngula” (a blog that apparently openly celebrates the election of Al Franken to a seat in the US Senate and calls Climate Audit “faux science”) with Climate Audit in third. *Sigh*”
Carefull with the politics…..I sent money to Climate Audit, and WUWT, Obama and the DNC….and would have given some to Franken if I were in Minnesota. One thing I like about both websites is that we stick to the science, more or less.
Except of course where Al Gore is concerned……

Jeff Alberts
January 5, 2009 4:56 pm

I’m back to this one Stephen! Maybe I am confused, but I dont think so. The way the last couple of decades of global temps appears to me is fairly simple:

Try looking beyond an incredibly small snapshot in time….

Jeff Alberts
January 5, 2009 4:59 pm

Watt’s Up With That in second trailing “Pharyngula” (a blog that apparently openly celebrates the election of Al Franken to a seat in the US Senate and calls Climate Audit “faux science”) with Climate Audit in third. *Sigh*

I hung out at Pharynx for a while. I didn’t see much science going on, but a great deal of anti-religion (which I don’t have a problem with).
I’m not sure PZ knows statistics, so not sure if he’d know if CA was faux or not. But I’m sure he didn’t offer any substance to his claim.

Robert
January 5, 2009 5:09 pm

“One thing I like about both websites is that we stick to the science, more or less. Except of course where Al Gore is concerned….”
A fair point made.
However, political science tells us that Obama, the DNC and Franken are in full support of Al Gore, the IPCC, their sceince and their agenda.

crosspatch
January 5, 2009 5:16 pm

“Would one expect CO2 released from deep ocean ridge volcanose to actually make it to the surface ?”
Of course, but not in an obvious way such as directly by bubbles. It would increase the CO2 content of the water. At some point the water would release that CO2 into the air. And the warmer the water gets, the less CO2 it can hold and it will release more of it. So lets say you have a deep current picking up CO2 that then circulates down to the equatorial region, wells up and is warmed and the water becomes a shallow warm current headed poleward. As that water warms, it will release CO2.
Also you have surf and wind-whipped storm seas. You have energy stirring up the ocean and mixing it with the atmosphere. There is gas exchange going on at the surface between the ocean and the atmosphere. I believe most of the exchange of CO2 goes from ocean to atmosphere and not the other way around. This is because the ocean would hold a lot more decaying organic matter, CO2 created by animal life (fish flatulence) and volcanic input. The ocean covers 70% of the surface of the planet.
But hey, the USGS says total global volcanic emissions are only 1% of human emissions so I have no idea who to believe. I can’t trust what I read from any source and I don’t have the resources to find every CO2 emitting vent and inventory the emissions over the entire surface of the planet. I certainly don’t believe the USGS claim and they give no data to back it up.
USGS says “Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually. ” on one page and “Volcanoes release more than 130 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.” on another page. UCSB says “Volcanoes contribute about 110 million tons of carbon dioxide per year” all these place say how much CO2 the ocean sinks in “billions” of tons per year and that makes me wonder how Earth kept itself alive before we started driving cars. If volcanoes were adding only 100 million tons and the oceans were sinking something like 10 BILLION tons a year, where was all that carbon going? Subducting sea crust should be giving that CO2 back up through volcanoes.
I haven’t seen any numbers that make any sense so I am talking through my pants to some degree. But it I sincerely believe people such as those at USGS greatly underestimate the amount of CO2 from oceanic volcanoes.

Robert Wood
January 5, 2009 5:17 pm

Leif Svalgaard 16:25:07:
A 0.1% drop in solar input does indeed lower the temperature by 0.025%=0.07K.
Assuming a spherical horse!
OK Let me explain. There’s an accountant, a statistican and a physicist having a beer at a horse race.
They all brag about being able to pick the winner.
The accountant talks of the track conditions, handicap and jockey. He reckons he migfht be able to make it all add up.
The statistician talks of form, of the betting odds and maybe he can get it right.
The physicist states outright that he can precisely calculate which horse will win, assuming a spherical horse.

January 5, 2009 5:19 pm

Leif Svalgaard (16:25:07) :
Edward Morgan (15:01:00) :
Leif your words sounded good. A less active sun means a drop in input to the earth
Glad you liked them. And you are quite right. A 0.1% drop in solar input does indeed lower the temperature by 0.025%=0.07K. Hooray!

Even if there are no other consequences to reduced solar output that still equates to roughly 3.5K over 50 years the oceans didnt get? (Sporer, Maunder etc)
http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/files/2008/12/newc141.jpg

Robert Wood
January 5, 2009 5:20 pm

BTW Leif,
I’ve been enjoying the article on the time constant of the oceans you pointed me too. I will respond at rankexploits when I have digested it; it certainly was what I had in mind, but, of course, I disagree 🙂

Robert Wood
January 5, 2009 5:29 pm

Ben Kellett @ 15:45:12
Let me tell it to you this way. The terrestrial data is contaminated and corrupted. The satellite data only goes back to 1979.
We don’t actually know whether it has gotten hotter or colder historically; the best attempts show that there are cycles in “global temperature” {google co2science and Joe d’aleo icecap) and 1000 years ago, it was lot warmer than today.
Also, the actual reliable record shows that there has been no warming this century, in fact it is cooling.

Edward Morgan
January 5, 2009 5:36 pm

The U.S.A was sold out to the Federal reserve by the British Empire. The British Empire has caused more problems in the world than any other country. I wish people weren’t so proud of this fact and could see where they are heading. In fact we are all slaves, literally owned because of the debt system. War is an atrocity and is needless.
[Evan the RoboMod says “SNIP”]
If every opinion has a voice without humanitarian change then there will be an endless war. I personally came on this site to find out about global warming as it was highly recommended not to hear (and this was where I came in) comments on Britain how great it is and war plus jibes at America being late and hydrogen bombs as a good thing. This is where the thread should have been moderated. I will not apologise for being angry about those things I find disgusting and if more people stood up we wouldn’t get pushed around so easily. Hope this gets past RoboMod who I suppose wouldn’t be angry if he was being ripped off. Ed

Robert Wood
January 5, 2009 5:46 pm

Micajah @ 10:52:26
I wonder if the probable lag time for “global” temperatures is known.
This is a subject I enjoy.
From my scuba diving experience, I can say that the time constant of the oceans, to a depth of 30 meters, or 100 feet, is 2 months. This is the section of the ocean that interacts directly with the atmosphere.
However, the oceans are deeper than that; the next level is the 100 meter, 300 foot, level, where approximately the major thermocline is found. The time constant here is under discussion.
Why am I interested in the “time constant” of the oceans?
It is the oceans that regulate the climate; they have the largest thermal inertia on the planet.
After the effects of Earth orbit, solar output, the oceans are the next most important factor in the “global temperature”.
Now, before everyone jumps upon me, remember that the oceans are the source and sink of water vapour and CO2.

Philip_B
January 5, 2009 5:46 pm

Hmm… that makes sense. Yeah, why don’t we take data from 1.7% of the globe when we have data for (much) more than half
At most a surface station measures the temp over a few hundred square meters, which would make the 5 to 10,000 stations used in GISS/HadCRU about 0.00000001% of the Earth’s surface area.
Avoiding a long digression into statistical sampling, if we are measuring a global effect, one location should be pretty much as good as any other for measuring temperature changes, assuming local effects are avoided.
And,
The absence of rural stations in the rest of the world is a valid point. Australia has the second best network over the last 100 years and it has less than 20, and perhaps less than 10, true rural stations with daily records since 1900.

Editor
January 5, 2009 6:03 pm

1933 wasnt a cooling because it was not an extended minimum like the 70’s was.
However, be that as it may, I would recommend that you guys take the data for that chart and redo it as an 11 year moving average of the monthly mean. This thus counts each solar cycle as a heat “charging” event and smooths it enough that you can see some obvious trends.
I did that with the sunspot records going back to the 1740’s and it clearly shows a very clear climate trend in the 20th that correlates with anybodys hockey stick, compared to the previous 150 years.

January 5, 2009 7:16 pm

Robert Wood (17:17:39) :
“A 0.1% drop in solar input does indeed lower the temperature by 0.025%=0.07K.”
Assuming a spherical horse!

No, assuming that S = aT^4 (Stefan-Boltzmann law). This would be the same even if the Earth was flat.
nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (17:19:37) :
Even if there are no other consequences to reduced solar output that still equates to roughly 3.5K over 50 years the oceans didnt get? (Sporer, Maunder etc)
Let the Sun be like that for 500 years, the reduced solar output would equate to roughly 35K, and the oceans would be frozen solid. Or for 5000 years and the oceans wouldn’t get 350K and would cool to below absolute zero, or for 50,000 years, etc…
If ‘the oceans didn’t get’ means that. But you may want to tell us that ‘didn’t get’ means.

January 5, 2009 7:37 pm

jeez (13:16:09)
When you’re hot, you’re hot!
Edward Morgan
From reading your other posts, you’re on the right track, your heart is in the right place, and for the most part I agree with you.
And if it doesn’t violate your principles, another vote for WUWT certainly wouldn’t hurt. It’s only for bragging rights, but we need everyone’s help. Bragging rights matter!
“We’re Number One! We’re Number One!
& Etc.

Reply to  dbstealey
January 5, 2009 7:54 pm

Aww shucks, thanks, Smokey. At least I have an audience of one. My funniest post ever on WUWT went unnoticed a few months ago.

Robert Bateman
January 5, 2009 7:37 pm

” A 0.1% drop in solar input does indeed lower the temperature by 0.025%=0.07K. ”
Leif, .07K per what? Day, month, year/decade?
If the effect is to input less than that output, the loss would then be cumulative.
And most importantly, if there is a pinhole leak in the gas tank, how long will it be before you realize you are losing gas?
Equilibrium, of course, eventually gets reached, as long as the loss does not escalate.
Exactly what do we know, and what do we not know?

Tim L
January 5, 2009 8:07 pm

Anthony, Has 36% of the vote!!!!
We just might win this yet!!!
Yay !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wheeeeeeeeeeee

January 5, 2009 8:24 pm

I don’t believe the energy that soaks into the Earth at the surface is very large compared to energy transfer to the atmosphere and ocean. Dirt is a pretty good thermal insulator, so the sink is limited to a foot or two, in my opinion. The ocean, however, with its low albedo (at low to moderate zenith angles), huge mass, high specific heat, and good convective properties, is a dandy heat sink. The atmospheric heat sink is roughly 1/1200 th as effective as the oceans; the dirt heat sink, at maybe 50 cm thick, only about 1/80 th as effective as the atmosphere, and probably a lot less.

Robert Bateman
January 5, 2009 8:38 pm

Found this over in Solarcycle 24:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/SSN_Predict_NASA.gif
It’s an animated gif that shows how many goalposts moves have been made.
(Hope this isn’t a banned site for the SNIP).

Robert Bateman
January 5, 2009 8:40 pm

From my experience in underground mines, approx 50 feet in the rock temp is
constant for the altitude and region.
As you go deeper down, the temp rises linearly.

David Ball
January 5, 2009 8:41 pm

I think ” hotrod” raises a very valid point. Especially the point regarding other spectrums of light and energy. During an eclipse, does the temperature in the shadow not drop substantially on earth? What would happen to the earth if the sun were turned off, even for a short time ( a day, a week)? These are common sense questions that cannot be disregarded. I always enjoyed visiting with my fathers colleagues and had great discussions with them. It had to be within their field of study, otherwise they were lost. Sadly, truth be told, we are a long way from understanding the mechanisms, and a long way from knowing all the mechanisms. Humility insists we admit how little we actually know, and set our egos aside. What we would like to see happen must not cloud our vision from what is actually happening. I am not minimizing the scholastic efforts of anyone, in fact, it is crucial that we have people who know a great deal about a given subject. I really like what Leif said about moving forward carefully and not jumping to confusions( I am paraphrasing and I am hoping this was what he meant). Weather is analogous to science in that it can change quickly and without warning, but it can also change very, very gradually. I am ok with either. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go yet. Like looking at the stars at night, it is very humbling, yet at the same time uplifting and invigorating . Just my humble opinion.

January 5, 2009 9:02 pm

Robert Bateman (19:37:53) :
” A 0.1% drop in solar input does indeed lower the temperature by 0.025%=0.07K. ”
Leif, .07K per what? Day, month, year/decade?

Per the time scale of the drop. Assuming that the drop is not too abrupt [e.g. hours]. The basic assumption is that what comes in must go out. Equating the two gives the rate quoted. If that assumption is violated, then you have to careful model where the heat goes. Just hand-waving won’t do. Talking about hand-waving, at the recent meeting in Napa in December, one speaker pointed out that there were many kinds of waves: sound waves, Alfven waves, shock waves, etc, but the most important waves seemed to be hand-waves judging from how often they were employed!

January 5, 2009 9:05 pm

Robert Bateman (20:38:00) :
Found this over in Solarcycle 24:
It’s an animated gif that shows how many goalposts moves have been made.

Perhaps the last slide should read January 2009 and not 2008.

Robert Bateman
January 5, 2009 9:05 pm

When I was young I kept my own temperature charts for 50 cities. I was shocked to see a partial eclipse in Sept. 1969 in Sacramento drop the daytime highs 10 degrees off it’s trend line and persist all the way into December.
One event.

Robert Bateman
January 5, 2009 9:12 pm

Yes, it should be reading 2009 instead of 2008. Somebody just forgot to change the year.

January 5, 2009 9:32 pm

Robert Bateman (21:05:55) :
I was shocked to see a partial eclipse in Sept. 1969 in Sacramento drop the daytime highs 10 degrees
I witnessed the total eclipse on June 30th, 1954 and still remember how quickly the temperature fell.

philincalifornia
January 5, 2009 9:38 pm

jeez (19:54:10) : Wrote:
Aww shucks, thanks, Smokey. At least I have an audience of one. My funniest post ever on WUWT went unnoticed a few months ago.
—————————————–
Audience of at least two actually, although you have to admit that there was some competition on here today. I’m not sure which was funnier, Mike’s comment, or Leif feeling the need to explain it.
I haven’t been on here long, but I take my hat off to Leif. Total, full-service explainer of everything:
Leif Svalgaard (13:30:00) :
Mike McMillan (12:36:47) :
Capitalized Nazis were the National Socialists, who believed in a charismatic leader and believed government should regulate otherwise free markets. Thank goodness those beliefs have faded into history.
Sounds very much like our government…

Reply to  philincalifornia
January 5, 2009 9:50 pm

Yeah philincalifornia, although I personally liked the grammar nazi correcting the usage of Grammar-nAzi.

MG
January 5, 2009 9:46 pm

Perhaps, given the consensus on this forum that we may be entering a global cooling period, an update is warranted on the Wikipedia entry for “Global Cooling”, which takes a historical perspective on an apparently dead theory:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

Paul S.
January 5, 2009 10:17 pm

Hi all,
I’d just like to ask Leif if he has a link to the Potsdam Ap data. I’d like to be keeping track of the most ‘official’ stuff possible. That’s why I started using SIDC data from Belgium for sunspots.
Speaking of Aa values, I was able to download values of that index from SPIDR since 1868. It’s going quite a bit slower as there are 8 values per day * 365 days per year * 140 years… I’m sure you all get the idea.
While I don’t know for sure that we will encounter global cooling, it seems a reasonable possibility. Leif is quite correct in his calculation that a 0.1% drop in solar irradiance would create a mere 0.07K (or C if you prefer) drop in temperature. However, if we have a Maunder Minimum style event, are we really sure the drop in irradiance would be only 0.1%? I don’t recall there being too many pyranometers in the 1600’s. What if the drop is 1%, 2% or even an awe-inspiring 5%?
I do think we’re going to learn alot if this is a repeat of the Maunder Minimum. We might learn how it started, how closely it was actually related to the Little Ice Age, and all kinds of other great stuff. I’m looking forward to it with an open mind.
Thanks for all the thought provoking content you all place here,
Paul Stanko

January 5, 2009 10:38 pm

Paul S. (22:17:22) :
I’d just like to ask Leif if he has a link to the Potsdam Ap data.
http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/gifs/apindex.html
However, if we have a Maunder Minimum style event, are we really sure the drop in irradiance would be only 0.1%? I don’t recall there being too many pyranometers in the 1600’s. What if the drop is 1%, 2% or even an awe-inspiring 5%?
There are good reasons for the Maunder minimum not being 5% lower: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2470

January 5, 2009 10:41 pm

Leif Svalgaard (19:16:08) :
Let the Sun be like that for 500 years, the reduced solar output would equate to roughly 35K, and the oceans would be frozen solid. Or for 5000 years and the oceans wouldn’t get 350K and would cool to below absolute zero, or for 50,000 years, etc…
If ‘the oceans didn’t get’ means that. But you may want to tell us that ‘didn’t get’ means.

Surprised I need to explain, but if we are at perpetual minimum the oceans are missing out on approx .1% of the solar input per day, year whatever. During the LIA we had approx 270 of those years, that has to equate to a decent reduction of thermal energy in our oceans.
SC21, 22 & 23 got the extra .1% that they might not have received going on history leading to the blow off valve situation with the 1998 ENSO event perhaps.
I wonder how this .1% figure is calculated, is it an average of all sunspot cycles?
I would expect quite a variance in solar output from trough to peak on the lowest and highest SSN this century.

January 5, 2009 11:31 pm

nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (22:41:49)
I would expect quite a variance in solar output from trough to peak on the lowest and highest SSN this century.
Better fix that or the sarcasm would be deafening, meant over the last 100 years….

January 5, 2009 11:57 pm

Paul S. (22:17:22) :
However, if we have a Maunder Minimum style event, are we really sure the drop in irradiance would be only 0.1%? I don’t recall there being too many pyranometers in the 1600’s. What if the drop is 1%, 2% or even an awe-inspiring 5%?
Interesting point, the aa figures seem to suggest during the Dalton that you can go lower than Svalgaard floor or normal solar cycle minimum (I am prob not looking at the Svalgaard adjusted aa count) and as the Dalton is no badboy, how low did we go in previous grand minima?

Justin Sane
January 6, 2009 12:06 am

Ya know, if the guys that keep the records and use secret formulas to calibrate their data weren’t the same guys pushing their agenda I might be willing to buy into AGW more. Does conflict of interest ever come up with the IPCC + Hansen + Gore 3 Amigos?
If anyone can prove definitively that warming causes CO2 to increase and not the other way around they should speak up now or forever hold their peace. I know cold water can dissolve more CO2 but that doesn’t necessarily mean that CO2 lags temperature. Someone must have a 100% proof that will knock the IPCC off its High Horse and show the world it’s a Gore Ponzi con job.

tallbloke
January 6, 2009 12:27 am

Leif Svalgaard (21:05:31) :
Robert Bateman (20:38:00) :
Found this over in Solarcycle 24:
It’s an animated gif that shows how many goalposts moves have been made.
Perhaps the last slide should read January 2009 and not 2008.
The most amusing thing about the last slide is the ‘prediction’ of an Rmax=110.
Down 30% from Rmax=160 in the 2006 ‘prediction’.
You’re looking good on this one Leif. 🙂
By the way, thanks for your Ap graph. By my ever so accurate cursory eyeballing, it does seem that the C20th was generally more active than the C19th, which is only to be expected given the sunspot numbers. It’s interesting to note the continued high activity following the dropoff in cycle Rmax after 1950, and I think this goes some way towards explaining the disconnect between sunspots and temperature in the late C20th. I think the plot Paul Clark posted gives a good visual representation of the cumulative increase too.
Given the warmer weather which pretty quickly follows a rise in Ap, and the evident 4-8 year lag of longer term temperature averages behind Ap, it’s clear to me that the big ocean heat battery has been losing more than it is has been gaining for quite a few years now. And given that the effects of the ‘step change’ downwards in Ap noted by Anthony haven’t really hit yet in terms of their effect on long term averages, we can see which way it’s going to go:
A drop followed by a small uptick in temperatures somewhere between late 2009 and 2012, followed by a steep decline. For me, it’ll be fun listening to the warmista crowing about temperature recovery knowing what coming afterwards.

Paul S
January 6, 2009 2:14 am

Leif Svalgaard (22:38:37) :
Paul S. (22:17:22) :
I’d just like to ask Leif if he has a link to the Potsdam Ap data.
http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/gifs/apindex.html
However, if we have a Maunder Minimum style event, are we really sure the drop in irradiance would be only 0.1%? I don’t recall there being too many pyranometers in the 1600’s. What if the drop is 1%, 2% or even an awe-inspiring 5%?
There are good reasons for the Maunder minimum not being 5% lower: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2470

Thanks, Leif! I bookmarked the Ap page and will use that one from now on.
I read through the TSI discussion and am left agreeing that a 5% decrease would be kind of a 3+ sigma event, not one we should ever expect to witness. My calculations using the Stefan-Boltzmann law indicate a 2% drop would cut the temperature by approximately 1.5 Kelvin. So, perhaps that gives us a first guess at a ceiling due to solar variability?
Paul

Paul S
January 6, 2009 2:29 am

Hi everybody,
I’m sure Leif and probably some others knew this already, but for the rest of us… the Aa index was lower in at least the first 6 months of 1912 than it was at any time in 2008, at least in the spidr data. So, we may end up rivalling the 1911-1913 minimum, but probably not exceeding it. I’m still very interested to see SC25 though which, as I recollect, Dr. Hathaway at NASA forecast to be ‘the weakest in centuries’. Do I have that quote correct?
Later,
Paul

Alan the Brit
January 6, 2009 3:46 am

Ron de Haan 🙂
Thanks very much for that very interesting piece & very much appreciated, I learn something every day from this site, thanks also for the web links, I owe you a pint:-)
Jeff Naujok:-) I think I remember that now – the little grey cells aren’t what they used to be @ half a century! It was probably my time to cook the supper that night so probably missed it first time round!
It is still very cold over here, yet another nob of coal Mr Crachet:-) I have a sneaky feeling that the weather forecasters are somehow regretting the climate scientists being under the same umbrella in the Met Office. It is all very well them saying the cold 2008 & this winter being “in keeping with our understanding of Climate Change, not every year will be warmer than the last one”. This seems to be in total contradiction to what the models have predicted/projected. I would venture to suggest that their “understanding of Climate Change” is rather limited!!!! Are we on track for a 0.2°C rise in global temps this decade?

gary gulrud
January 6, 2009 4:30 am

“But it I sincerely believe people such as those at USGS greatly underestimate the amount of CO2 from oceanic volcanoes.”
Beck essayed that the 1812(Mayon? Some here so assert.) and 1815 Tambora eruptions raised the atmospheric CO2 to 450 ppm in early measurements by chemists. This required a decade or so to return to the ~300 average for the cooler 19th century.
The Tambora eruption was a VEI 7, to which we are subject a few times every millenium. The ejecta amounted to 100 km^3, of which, the ultraplinian column requires 20% be H2O and CO2 gas for support (as well as minor components like SO2). CO2 can be as much as 50% but usually is less than 5% of the gas when measured.
Chaiten is to this point a VEI 6 with little SO2 and at very high latitude, both factors unlike Pinatubo which similarly ejected more than 10 km^3. Isn’t it odd that 10 Mtons or so of SO2 can get all this play with the warmeners where a Gton of CO2 (from Pinatubo) is ignored?
Isn’t it also odd that Pinatubo isn’t obvious in the Mauna Loa data, if in fact, the trend is anthropogenic?

gary gulrud
January 6, 2009 4:35 am

Beck reported the measurements but did not attribute the rise to volcanism.

January 6, 2009 5:49 am

It’s [that’s right I think] not just about cold weather. Sun spot activity increases the radiation we receive from the sun, which affects just about everything in life on Earth.
So LACK of activity/radiation is going to be felt in everything. It may be temporary, as I suspect it has happened before, but watch out for the other effects – food quality and production, insect and animal behaviour, including migration, political and social unrest, yes, the weather trends, especially wind, disease and epidemic outbreaks, human mental health [depression], and so much more. As all of life is cyclical, I am optimistic that an increase in activity will follow. Unfortunately I can’t predict when.
As in all statistics, they can either show what you are looking for or only give a partial picture. Trends are better than the statistics themselves, I feel.
Wear a hat when it’s cold, even in bed.
Wendy Salter

Steve Keohane
January 6, 2009 5:59 am

Justin Sane (00:06:52) Look at the ice core data Gore used, it’s right there, fully ignored.

John W.
January 6, 2009 6:11 am

Paul S (02:14:30) :

I read through the TSI discussion and am left agreeing that a 5% decrease would be kind of a 3+ sigma event, not one we should ever expect to witness.

I think it might be more accuratet to refer to it as a “Black Swan
I’d like to know what mechanism could possibly lead to that kind of decrease.

January 6, 2009 6:52 am

Justin Sane:
“If anyone can prove definitively that warming causes CO2 to increase and not the other way around they should speak up now or forever hold their peace”
You can prove it definitively: Just put a coke in hot water for a while (because you are in wintertime) and open it afterwards…

January 6, 2009 7:11 am

A little OT but I just have to post this local article. http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/story.html?id=e25537cf-e677-4c20-a61c-8584a406604d It’s been a very long cold snap indeed.

January 6, 2009 7:29 am

tallbloke (00:27:52) :
By the way, thanks for your Ap graph. By my ever so accurate cursory eyeballing, it does seem that the C20th was generally more active than the C19th, which is only to be expected given the sunspot numbers.
Some comments:
1) the average before 1900 is 13.9, after 1900 14.9, so the difference is not great.
2) before 1900, the observatories often lost the strongest storms [trace went off the record]. You can see that in the diminished number of spikes in the curve. I have not yet ‘made up data’ to compensate for that.
3) the Earth’s magnetic field has decreased by 10% since the 1840s. This makes the Earth a bit more sensitive to the solar wind and slowly inflates Ap [and aa] as time goes by. I have also not yet compensated for that effect.
So it is quite possible [likely in my opinion] that there is no real difference.
Paul S (02:29:00) :
the Aa index was lower in at least the first 6 months of 1912 than it was at any time in 2008, at least in the spidr data.
The ‘official’ Aa-index from SPIDR [and elsewhere] is too low [by some 3 units] before 1957.

January 6, 2009 7:49 am

nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (22:41:49) :
I wonder how this .1% figure is calculated, is it an average of all sunspot cycles?
I would expect quite a variance in solar output from trough to peak on the lowest and highest SSN this century.

The 0.1% is the variation from max to min for the time where we have actual data [1978-2009]. It scales pretty well with the size of the cycle, so for the small cycles early in the 20th century it should be something like 0.05%. The cycle average would be about half of the max swing, so 0.05% for recent cycles and 0.025% for the small cycles.

Edward Morgan
January 6, 2009 7:54 am

Smokey thanks. I’ve calmed down now. You cheered me up. Lost my head a bit there. This site is the best. Its wonderful to read everyday. Thanks to everyone. All the best, Ed.

RICH
January 6, 2009 8:40 am

Over the past 10 years global temperatures have decreased, despite increasing amounts of CO2.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
I wonder if (wink-wink) the sun has anything to do with it? I suspect that as sun spot activity picks up again, so will temperatures.
HOWEVER…we are witnessing an ‘eerily’ quite sun. This may result in decreased amount of activity for SC 24. Fewer sunspots next cycle may result in a flattening or downturn of the recent temperature trend, depending on how far back you measure.
Our planet is a particle that absorbs and radiates the suns energy. The RESULT of this absorption is the atmosphere and biosphere. Everything is feedback from this mechanism of initial absorption. It is impossible for CO2 alone to destroy our progression, when our progression has been a result of CO2.
Question:
What is higher on the food chain, frogs or alligators?




Frogs are. They are plentiful, adapt and survive in various conditions. When humans stop cancer and disease, then and only then, will we be on the top of the food chain. Will we ever?
Think about this. The planet has already solved the cure for cancer. Through the light of God, our planet will always find a way to create life. A perfect self-stabilizing and life giving system. Did you think we could destroy the planet?
“The planet isn’t going anywhere! We are.”
-George Carlin
To reiterate. The science against carbon, is science achieved through carbon. What can I say, we are living in strange times.

January 6, 2009 8:42 am

One aspect of the volcanic eruptions is that large amount of sulphur dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere, where it combines with vapour to create a highly reflective layer.
Some ‘clever scientists’ from Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California, have suggested to do precisely that in order to combat global warming.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/01/climatechange.endangeredhabitats

Harold Ambler
January 6, 2009 8:51 am

Leif Svalgaard (07:21:05) :
Joseph (05:58:47) :
what happens if it hits zero?
Good question. Does anyone know the answer? Would it be something of significance, or is reaching zero somehow impossible?
ap can be zero. It is measured every three hours and a 3-hour value is often zero. Sometimes all eight 3-hour values in a day are zero, then ap for the day [called Ap] is zero. It has never happened [yet] that Ap for every day of a month has been zero.
An ap value of zero simply means that geomagnetic activity has been too weak to measure for that 3-hour interval. The 1st and 2nd of December 2008 had Ap=0, so did 12 Oct 1954 and 23 Dec 1935, but such day are rare.

I wonder, Dr. Svalgaard, as you have said here and elsewhere that the current solar minimum is unremarkable, if you could speak to the ap value of zero occuring twice, on consecutive days, in December, having only, according to the information you have provided, taken place twice before, and then separated by nearly 19 years?

Harold Ambler
January 6, 2009 8:56 am

Bad ital job. Here’s that again:

Leif Svalgaard (07:21:05) :
ap can be zero. It is measured every three hours and a 3-hour value is often zero. Sometimes all eight 3-hour values in a day are zero, then ap for the day [called Ap] is zero. It has never happened [yet] that Ap for every day of a month has been zero.
An ap value of zero simply means that geomagnetic activity has been too weak to measure for that 3-hour interval. The 1st and 2nd of December 2008 had Ap=0, so did 12 Oct 1954 and 23 Dec 1935, but such day are rare.

I wonder, Dr. Svalgaard, as you have said here and elsewhere that the current solar minimum is unremarkable, if you could speak to the ap value of zero occuring twice, on consecutive days, in December, having only, according to the information you have provided, taken place twice before, and then separated by nearly 19 years?

Harold Ambler
January 6, 2009 8:56 am

I give up. Too tired to create itals…
Still curious!

Alan the Brit
January 6, 2009 9:04 am

Gary Gulrud:-)
Thanks for responding to the volcano question. At the risk of opening the flood gates I owe you a pint too, they may have to be virtual ones. Very interesting response. I was fascinated by Chaiten’s eruption but reports all seemed to go quiet news wise over here, & I don’t think it made much of a splash on tv news either!
One of the four responses IPCC spokespersons made midway about the cooling of 2008 was volcanic activity, has there been sufficient eruptions in the last two years or so to cause any as I understood that it took around 12-24 months to have a full effect in the atmosphere. They also mentioned natural variations in the climate system, & reduced solar activity, which was something they appear to consistently play down.

January 6, 2009 9:07 am

Good point George Carlin!, we could turn gw´rs back into carbon (at the stake?).
As seen from above, at 45000 feet altitude, humanity, that mold which together with other living species colour a few spots on the surface of the earth, can not change anything. However we can wonder, seek and find how things work

Robert Bateman
January 6, 2009 9:28 am

Nice to see such a simple question as heat loss per what was totally sidestepped.
I’ll ask it again: This .0.1% drop in TSI, you say it translates to .07K heat loss.
Per what?
Year.
Month.
Solar Cycle
Day.

January 6, 2009 9:43 am

Harold Ambler (08:51:58) :
I wonder, Dr. Svalgaard, as you have said here and elsewhere that the current solar minimum is unremarkable, if you could speak to the ap value of zero occuring twice, on consecutive days, in December, having only, according to the information you have provided, taken place twice before, and then separated by nearly 19 years?
Geomagnetic activity [as many other natural variables like temperature or air pressure or sunspot numbers] has a large degree of ‘conservation’, that is: if one day is low [or high] then there is very a large chance that the next day will also be low [or high], so two consecutive low days are not two independent events. Furthermore, looking at days is not really appropriate because the Universal Time day is arbitrary. If one looks for intervals of eight consecutive zeroes [not constrained to fit into a day] there are many more of these [eight times as many from simple statistics]. Scientists are trained to take all such points into account. I grant you that the general public including you is not, and that you therefore often draw misleading conclusions.
current solar minimum is unremarkable
The current solar minimum is getting down to where many other ones have been, for instance, in 1901 more than half of all three-hourly intervals had a K-index [which is used to derive ap] of zero. Granted that these values are likely to be generally too low [see http://www.leif.org/research/Analysis%20of%20K=0%20and%201%20for%20aa%20and%20NGK.pdf ] it is certain that there were very many more zeroes back in 1901 and 1902 [and 1913]. More than we have seen in the current minimum.
The main point is that the Sun is just getting to where it has been a century ago [and many, many times more in the past]. For us that may seem remarkable, for the Sun not.

January 6, 2009 9:50 am

Robert Bateman (09:28:08) :
Nice to see such a simple question as heat loss per what was totally sidestepped.
The question was not sidestepped, it was ill-posed. If you add 1 W/m2 for a year, the temperature for that year will be 0.05K warmer, if you add it for 10 years, the temperature for those ten years will be 0.05K warmer, if you add it for 100 years, the temperature for those 100 years will be 0.05K warmer.

Tim Clark
January 6, 2009 10:08 am

Gary Hladik (12:02:24) :
Leif Svalgaard (08:47:38) :
“It is called error bars, confidence intervals, statistical significance. The public [and many posters on this and any other blog] don’t really understand this and endless [and fruitless] discussions ensue over things that are below the ‘messiness index’ limits.”

My opinion of the “messiness” and “endless discussions” on WUWT is not concerning “error bars, confidence intervals, statistical significance” They are associated with but not limited to, complex statistical procedures employed to prove an agenda (for example, sigmoidal or sinusoidal cyclomania and the Mannian EVI, the errors of which you ascribe to), algorerithms which are not disclosed, and associations erroneously purported to prove causation.
BTW, algorithm was intentionally misspelled and no apostrophes were harmed in this message. That being said, though well-educated, I reserve the right to make numerous mistakes, in whatever incorrect fashion I chose. I speak for myself as a physically handicapped typist (two non-functional fingers) and for the foreign contributors to this blog. Since it takes so long for me to type without error, Anthony has already posted another thread before completion. So GRAMMAR NAZIS, please SHOW SOME PATIENCE. This blog is not a peer-reviewed publication.

Jeff Alberts
January 6, 2009 10:37 am

This blog is not a peer-reviewed publication.

Oh yes it is! I daresay it gets more rigorous review that most climate science papers these days by the journals to which they’re submitted.

January 6, 2009 10:48 am

No possessive pronouns have an apostrophe. It’s easy to remember.
Simple rule – re: its v. it’s – unless it is, it isn’t.

January 6, 2009 10:50 am

🙂

January 6, 2009 11:38 am

Leif
Did you get the Duhau and de Jager paper and if so do you have any comments?
See my post of 5/1/09 (15:30:34) if you missed it.
Thanks again.

Llanfar
January 6, 2009 11:40 am

It’s Robert’s award
It’s the statisticians’ award

January 6, 2009 11:49 am

The answer of what will Hathaway do, it now official, kick the can and hope. What else would you expect? http://solarcycle24.com/
The sun will awake suddenly on Tuesday night, while you sleep, and everything will be find. The hoax shall remain intact as long as possible. Afterall, the government needs the raxes.

Jeff C.
January 6, 2009 11:57 am

This was mentioned on another thread, but check out the new Hathaway prediction for SC 24 (via solarcycle24.com)
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/ssn_predict_l.gif
Looks like a maximum of around 105 in late 2012/early 2013 and a peak value less than that of SC23. Earlier predictions were greater than that of SC23.
Lief had mentioned in an earlier thread that he though Hathaway might be coming around to his point of veiw. Looks like he was right.

deepslope
January 6, 2009 12:08 pm

“Jeff Alberts (10:37:02) :
This blog is not a peer-reviewed publication.
Oh yes it is! I daresay it gets more rigorous review that most climate science papers these days by the journals to which they’re submitted.”
Let’s face it – this is the new peer review!
I mean this as a general comment on the ongoing transition of the web into a critical global citizens’ forum – and, indeed, WUWT is a true trailblazer. We are at the threshold of monumental changes in the role of science in society.
The “science is settled/consensus” controversy will be seen as a watershed…
so, folks, make sure to vote on weblogawards!

January 6, 2009 12:27 pm

PaulHClark (11:38:48) :
Did you get the Duhau and de Jager paper and if so do you have any comments?
I did miss it. Too much numerology for my taste. And building on data that is not all that secure. Both the sunspot numbers and the aa index were underestimated in the past. The plot you showed of days when aa was above a threshold is particularly sensitive to the underestimate of aa. As far as I can tell, there is nothing special about 1923 and the even-odd rule is likely an artifact in the first place [it is strange that when a ‘rule’ is violated by observations that people invent new mechanisms to explain it rather than to admit defeat]. At http://www.leif.org/research/Storms150.png you can find the number of magnetic storms deduced from a dedicated storm index [Dst]. The number of storms simply follows the sunspot number [the red curve] without any discontinuity around 1930.
More on the underestimate of aa can be found here:
http://www.leif.org/research/Analysis%20of%20K=0%20and%201%20for%20aa%20and%20NGK.pdf

January 6, 2009 12:46 pm

If Livingston and Penn theory is right then the Hathaway curves will change into straight lines (though they are already appearing on the x axis) and we´ll have another “lost cycle”. Could it be possible?

Tim Clark
January 6, 2009 1:13 pm

Jeff Alberts (10:37:02) :
This blog is not a peer-reviewed publication.
Oh yes it is! I daresay it gets more rigorous review that most climate science papers these days by the journals to which they’re submitted.

Touche’

MartinGAtkins
January 6, 2009 1:58 pm

crosspatch (15:18:31)

Also at places like the mid-Atlantic ridge where you have nearly constant volcanism, it is hard for volcanoes to form the shape we generally recognize as a volcano because the crust spreads and pulls it apart. But they do generate a tremendous amount of CO2. Again, I would expect the amount of CO2 generated by undersea volcanoes to vastly outweigh that generated by volcanoes on dry land.

I would point out though that any deep sea venting of CO2 is not immediately available to the atmosphere as it is released under pressure and into low temperatures.

January 6, 2009 3:06 pm

Leif
Thanks – as ever very helpful – I am familiar with your paper on the underestimate of the aa index – hence my comment that “I note you have concerns over the aa index”.
It is also interesting to note the different thresholds that scientists use in this area having read numerous papers.
As my learning increases I can now understand how frustrating it must be for you and all your colleagues to not have good accurate data over a ‘climatic timescale’.
All that said I still found the chart in Fig 2 in the Duhau and de Jager paper to be potentially very telling. Even if we accept that there must be increasing doubt as one goes back in history there is a marked trend which very broadly fits with the climate reconstructions of Moberg and Zhang.
Moreover I think there is a suggestion that the aa index reflects a much higher level of activity since 1923. I do not think we can discount geomagnetic activity as a key element in the climate warming of the last 80 years. How such enhanced activity impacts the Earth’s climate though is a complete mystery to me at least.
Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

deepslope
January 6, 2009 3:12 pm

“MartinGAtkins (13:58:39) :
I would point out though that any deep sea venting of CO2 is not immediately available to the atmosphere as it is released under pressure and into low temperatures.”
CO2 venting at mid-ocean spreading centers is an important and non-trivial issue. I haven’t been active in the field for almost thirty years, but would be happy to delve into it if there is an interest (under another thread?).
To illustrate some of the complexities: vast temperature gradients, pressure of the water column, internal pressure of the ejected gas; and there are the properties of the various components of the CO2/carbonate system. Add to this the fact that there is dissolved organic carbon in the seawater, and that, depending on physical criteria, bursting bubbles can form new organic particulate matter…
in short, submarine volcanoes play a hugely important role in the the global carbon flux and thus Earth’s metabolism and heat budget. A great deal of deep-sea observational work is required to reach an understanding beyond the simplistic models that are built on spot-checks using invasive robot vehicles…
(and the climate change warriors want to combat, fight and control all that before having the slightest idea of the dynamics of the presumed enemy…)

January 6, 2009 3:54 pm

PaulHClark (15:06:47) :
I do not think we can discount geomagnetic activity as a key element in the climate warming of the last 80 years.
Not discounting is not the same as having evidence for. Solar activity and geomagnetic activity in the middle of the 19th century were on par with those of the later half of the 20th. Solar cycles 9, 10, and 11 were just like cycles 23, 22, and 21. I believe temperatures were rather different.
—-
a preview would be nice.
REPLY: Yes and so would a dozen other things, but beggars can’t be choosy, and I use the WordPress.com free hosting service. Complaining to them might help, as it if often requested- Anthony

January 6, 2009 4:01 pm

Leif Svalgaard (07:49:35) :
The 0.1% is the variation from max to min for the time where we have actual data [1978-2009]. It scales pretty well with the size of the cycle, so for the small cycles early in the 20th century it should be something like 0.05%. The cycle average would be about half of the max swing, so 0.05% for recent cycles and 0.025% for the small cycles.
I smell a rat in here somewhere, the fact that the IPCC accept this figure for one and we also have examples where the sunspot activity has been higher than cycles between 1978-2009…..perhaps some re jigging is required.
Also on the subject of the solar floor, there seems no reliable record to prove this beyond doubt. Proxy records are doubtful and aa records starting in 1868 dont go back far enough. What is required is an accurate measurement taken during the lowest point of the Maunder.
It seems very possible to me the max variation could be a lot higher than .01% or 1.3Wm2.

January 6, 2009 4:44 pm

nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (16:01:34) :
What is required is an accurate measurement taken during the lowest point of the Maunder.
First you tell me which year you consider the deepest part of the Maunder Minimum, then we’ll see…
It seems very possible to me the max variation could be a lot higher than .01% or 1.3Wm2.
Indeed it is possible, it even happened as the variation is 0.1%.
To say that “it seems very possible to me” is not science and is not based on anything [it seems].

January 6, 2009 6:47 pm

Jeff Alberts :

This blog is not a peer-reviewed publication.

Neither is the Royal Meteorological Society. They claim to be. But how can they “review” when there is no data or methodology provided in the submissions they publish? click
Oh, and don’t forget to vote. We need your help! You can vote once every 24 hours here: click
[The voting page may take a little time to load due to the high traffic, but once it loads, voting only takes about three seconds.]

Robert Bateman
January 6, 2009 9:36 pm

You might be interested to know that terrible cold descended on Europe in the 1590’s ( just about the entire decade) before the onset of what is now known as the Little Ice Age and the Maunder Minimum.
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie , Times of Feast, Times of Famine (1967, New York, 1971).

January 6, 2009 10:09 pm

A small new Cycle 24 sunspot has popped up today in the southern hemisphere.
Will it make it as a new sunspot is the question?
http://www.solarcycle24.com/

Gary McMillian
January 6, 2009 10:12 pm

My back-of-the-envelope calculation says that it will take about a decade of very cold weather before we reach a tipping point and all of the global warmers become global coolers.

tallbloke
January 6, 2009 11:35 pm

Leif Svalgaard (07:29:30) :
tallbloke (00:27:52) :
By the way, thanks for your Ap graph. By my ever so accurate cursory eyeballing, it does seem that the C20th was generally more active than the C19th, which is only to be expected given the sunspot numbers.
Some comments:
1) the average before 1900 is 13.9, after 1900 14.9, so the difference is not great.
2) before 1900, the observatories often lost the strongest storms [trace went off the record]. You can see that in the diminished number of spikes in the curve. I have not yet ‘made up data’ to compensate for that.
3) the Earth’s magnetic field has decreased by 10% since the 1840s. This makes the Earth a bit more sensitive to the solar wind and slowly inflates Ap [and aa] as time goes by. I have also not yet compensated for that effect.
So it is quite possible [likely in my opinion] that there is no real difference.
Paul S (02:29:00) :
the Aa index was lower in at least the first 6 months of 1912 than it was at any time in 2008, at least in the spidr data.
The ‘official’ Aa-index from SPIDR [and elsewhere] is too low [by some 3 units] before 1957.

Thanks again for all the time you are spending brainstorming this stuff with us Leif.
A couple more thoughts in response:
From the graphs it is clear that there is an upper threshold beyond which increased Rmax in the sunspot count doesn’t translate into higher Ap values. Maybe there is also a lower threshold below which the electromagnetic activity translates to less heating. The universe is full of non-linear dynamics after all. This is why I think the graph Paul Clark posted is interesting. It does no harm to look at the data in a variety of ways to see what stands out. (By the way Paul, when will we get a smorgasbord of e/m indices to play with on woodfortrees?? 🙂
If the post 1957 readings are reliable, Ap may be slightly inflated by the fact that the earth’s magnetic field has diminished, but if that lowering has been reasonably linear, we are only talking 3% or so for 1/3 of the period of record from 1840. During that period since 1957 until the current sudden dropoff, Ap has remained at averagely high levels with an increasing differentiation from TSI and sunspot numbers which far exceeds that 3%.
If the earth is “a bit more sensetive to solar wind” due to it’s lowered magnetic field, there’s a possibility it’s climatic responses to increased input and fluctuation may have been magnified in a non-linear way. If you do decide to “compensate” for that, I would hope you would present the resulting data alongside the existing graph and keep both data series available. We’ve had bad experiences of scientists who ‘adjust’ the data series in line with their theories and hide the originals. 😉
So many potential variables….

January 7, 2009 12:26 am

Leif (15:54:22)
The observation I would make (and it is only an observation) is that from 1870 to ~1912 the aa index was in decline and this corresponds with temperatures declining over the same period (HadCRUT3 Global Monthly Mean). see this chart from ncdc
http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/GEOMAG/image/aassn07.jpg
From 1923 to the end of the C20th there is a marked rise in aa index (especially evidenced by rising aamin) and temperatures rise. The rise is most pronounced from 1985 when the aa index depicts very active levels.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out – if geomagnetic activity falls off and temperatures continue to rise then I will assign this notion to the bin – until then my antennae are raised.

KuhnKat
January 7, 2009 12:49 am

MartinGAtkins;
“I would point out though that any deep sea venting of CO2 is not immediately available to the atmosphere as it is released under pressure and into low temperatures.”
Ocean volcanism has been pumping CO2 and other material into the oceans for as long as there have been oceans. I don’t see what difference it makes that there is a delay before it could possibly reach the atmosphere. Whatever delay factor there is, CO2 was also being emitted before it.
The current rise in CO2 COULD be the result of under sea vulcanism in the past!!

January 7, 2009 12:57 am

tallbloke (23:35:05)
I may be being presumptive but I am not the same person as Paul Clark (woodfortrees) so I am afraid I can’t help with your request re the e/m indices.

Chris H
January 7, 2009 3:00 am

(05:07:37) who said “Chris, I’ve tweaked your graph to give you a better idea of what’s happening. Smoothing the temperature date at 1/3 of the solar cycle length brings out the solar signal in the temperature data better than smothing over the whole cycle length.”
The reason I used the same averaging (smoothing) on both solar & temperature data is that otherwise comparisons of lag are incorrect. This is because averaging introduces it’s own lead/lag effect, so the only way to be sure you are not creating spurious lead/lag is to use the same averaging.
And 11 years of averaging is the minimum needed for sun-spot data to (mostly) loose it’s cyclic nature. Hence my previous graph:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/mean:132/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/mean:132/scale:0.01/offset:-0.8
As some people have pointed out, there is a large discrepancy after 1988. However, there have been previous discrepancies, such as around 1960, which eventually disappeared. To me this simply indicates that there are other factors at work than ONLY solar, but this should hardly be a surprise.
These other factors also make it hard to be sure that solar leads temperature, which would be one requirement for solar to be the cause & temperature to be the effect.
However, the 1988 discrepancy has been growing larger for ~15 years to the present (2003.5 on the graph, as 11/2 years are ‘lost’ due to averaging):
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/mean:132/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1980/mean:132/scale:0.01/offset:-0.8
If I were to use AGW arguments, I would say that 15 years is only “weather”, and that we need to at least 30 years to be sure!
@Stephen Wilde
I am uncomfortable using PDO, AO, etc temperature trends to predict global temperature, because PDO/etc are temperatures themselves. It is not clear to me that this is not simply circular arguments, where the result (temperature) is being used to “predict” the result (temperature)…

tallbloke
January 7, 2009 4:01 am

Chris H
These other factors also make it hard to be sure that solar leads temperature, which would be one requirement for solar to be the cause & temperature to be the effect.
Since we agree that over the long term, there is a good correlation between solar activity and global temperature (notwithstanding lags, leads and divergences introduced by 60 year oceanic oscillations, accentuated by the Phil Jones effect, James Hansen effect etc), we can safely conclude that it solar which is the cause and earth temperature which is the effect. This is because if the line of cause and effect were to be the other way round, we would be living in a very strange universe indeed where the temperature change of a small planet affected the output of a G type star from 93M miles distance.
The contention of AGW is that the divergence is caused by increased atmospheric CO2, but I contend it could equally be many other factors. If the temperature continues to fall, while CO2 continues to rise, their hypothesis is looking shaky. If the proponents of AGW say that the fall in temperature is the temporary effect of soon to be reversing cycles, they need to assess how much of the late C20th warming was due to the positive phases of these currently downturning cycles rather than CO2. But I expect we’ll have to do that for them. 😉

tallbloke
January 7, 2009 4:11 am

PaulHClark (00:57:01) :
tallbloke (23:35:05)
I may be being presumptive but I am not the same person as Paul Clark (woodfortrees) so I am afraid I can’t help with your request re the e/m indices.

Paul, apologies, it was me who was being presumptive.
If the Paul Clark I thought you were is reading, my request stands. :o)
Actually, Paul and I have exchanged a few emails, and in my last I suggested he create a facility for uploading a background image for the graph output. This would enable us to fiddle with wiggle matching to our hearts content. Or insert our favourite picture of a polar bear, frozen mammoth etc. 🙂

RICH
January 7, 2009 7:47 am

Leif,
“If you add 1 W/m2 for a year, the temperature for that year will be 0.05K warmer, if you add it for 10 years, the temperature for those ten years will be 0.05K warmer, if you add it for 100 years, the temperature for those 100 years will be 0.05K warmer.”
Temperature where? Is your control in a vacuum?

January 7, 2009 8:03 am

RICH (07:47:03) :
“If you add 1 W/m2 for a year, the temperature for that year will be 0.05K warmer”
Temperature where? Is your control in a vacuum?

Temperature on the Earth averaged globally. And on the Moon, too, and anywhere else in the Universe, for that matter.

January 7, 2009 8:05 am

Leif Svalgaard (08:03:10) :
Temperature on the Earth averaged globally. And on the Moon, too, and anywhere else in the Universe, for that matter.
Should add: where you add 1 W/m2 to a radiation field of 1361 W/m2, just to keep the nitpickers at bay.

January 7, 2009 8:24 am

I think Smokey is being harsh on the Royal Met Soc’s International Journal of Climate by saying it’s not peer-reviewed. Even if IJC required data were to be delivered up with the manuscript, as we’d all like to see, the peer review would most likely not even touch upon it. Unpaid reviewers are only rarely going to do more than read the paper over, and this is a issue for every journal. The problem is with peer review as a process rather than the IJC.
Finding out if a paper is right can only be done by replication, and the most we can ask of the journals to this end is that they make sure the tools – the data and code – are available.

RICH
January 7, 2009 11:20 am

Leif,
“If you add 1 W/m2 for a year, the temperature for that year will be 0.05K warmer… on the Earth averaged globally. And on the Moon, too, and anywhere else in the Universe, for that matter.”
1 W/m2 is potential energy. It only becomes kinetic energy once it is absorbed. There are many variations into how much is absorbed. It depends on which body and how much that body absorbs, to determine how much warmth is radiated.
“Temperature on the Earth averaged globally.”
The term average, when explaining precision, can only lead to variability.

January 7, 2009 11:30 am

Maybe I was a bit harsh. My apologies. But I stand by my demand that public archiving of taxpayer funded data [especially the raw data and the methodology used to support a submission] must be publicly archived. We’re not talking nuclear secrets here, it’s the climate. If data were publicly archived, there would be a lot more review.
P.S.: Don’t forget to vote for your favorite site today! click

January 7, 2009 12:03 pm

RICH (11:20:45) :
1 W/m2 is potential energy. It only becomes kinetic energy once it is absorbed. There are many variations into how much is absorbed. It depends on which body and how much that body absorbs, to determine how much warmth is radiated.
“Temperature on the Earth averaged globally.”

If you know so much about it, why do you ask?
The variations from body to body do not change the order of magnitude. The correct way of looking at it is this: Let S be the radiation and T the temperature, then we have S = a T^4 or dS/S = 1/4*dT/T, so a 1% change in S gives you a 1/4% change in T. Since the nature of the body is already contained in what T is, we simply have 1 W/m2 is 0.07% of total S = 1361 W/m2, so the temperature change becomes 0.07%/4 = 0.018% of 288K = 0.053K. Where I have used T=288K for the Earth as the place we really care about. If you use another [real] body with different properties, the 288K would be somewhat different, but not by an order of magnitude, so the 0.05K would be a good ballpark figure no matter what body you have in mind.

RICH
January 7, 2009 3:34 pm

Leif,
“If you know so much about it, why do you ask?”
Because when we ask, we learn.
“The variations from body to body do not change the order of magnitude. ”
I think it does. However I am not sure to what degree? If you look at quark energy, specifically the elusive higgs bosun, the point in time in which the particle flips its charge, its field of energy is changed. Around that moment when the flip occurs, it changes the amount of energy absorbed due to changes in its field, despite any constant potential energy. Like I said, it all depends on how much is absorbed… and radiated.
Earth is an atom. The moon is our electron, like an electron in the orbit of an atom. There is a lot of room for error, because there are so many unknown variables, such as changes to fields of energy.
So… why are why are super colliders built? Because when we ask, we learn.
“the 0.05K would be a good ballpark figure no matter what body you have in mind.”
Perhaps. But inside that ball park, would that be a bunt or a homerun? And if a homerun, how far out of the park?

Robert Bateman
January 7, 2009 7:15 pm

0.05K added per year for 100 years leads to an average global temp rise of only 0.05K assuming that the body is at equilibrium and no other changes are expected. If the body is able to retain all of the extra energy, in 100 yrs it will be 5K above the average started at.
If the body is only able to retain the 0.05K for the first year and reaches a new equilibrium, then after 100 yrs the new average is 0.05K higher.
If a body receives 0.05K less radiative energy and continues to radiate what it did before it received less, then the loss will be cumulative.
What means is there currently to measure what the Earth now raditates out into space?

Robert Bateman
January 7, 2009 7:17 pm

Oh, just a pun here: SC24 – Start here, Start Now. 8 goalpost moves and counting for the NASA prediction.

Glenn
January 7, 2009 8:07 pm

Leif,
“If you add 1 W/m2 for a year, the temperature for that year will be 0.05K warmer, if you add it for 10 years, the temperature for those ten years will be 0.05K warmer, if you add it for 100 years, the temperature for those 100 years will be 0.05K warmer.”
This ignores the possibility that even a small change in overall temp may result in climatic changes that could change temp even more, ie “natural variability”, which is your pick out of other reasons for last century’s temp increase, such as solar or co2.

January 7, 2009 9:30 pm

Glenn (20:07:54) :
which is your pick out of other reasons for last century’s temp increase, such as solar or co2.
I asked Svalgaard a similar question awhile back…his answer:”The sun shines on the oceans that store the heat for future use”

January 7, 2009 11:11 pm

RICH (15:34:34) :
Like I said, it all depends on how much is absorbed… and radiated.
In the long run, what is absorbed is radiated.
Robert Bateman (19:15:25) :
What means is there currently to measure what the Earth now radiates out into space?
Satellites measure the infrared radiation. F. ex. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Radiation_Budget_Satellite
Glenn (20:07:54) :
This ignores the possibility that even a small change in overall temp may result in climatic changes that could change temp even more
This works the other way. To suggest what you do, requires you to show that there is mechanism for this or empirical evidence for this happening.
Geoff Sharp (21:30:08) :
I asked Svalgaard a similar question awhile back…his answer:”The sun shines on the oceans that store the heat for future use”
This simply meant that the oceans are a damper of short term variations. This works with cold too. Like where I live [northern CA], the ocean is COLD and lowers the temperature significantly.

January 8, 2009 12:37 am

Leif Svalgaard (16:44:20) :
nobwainer (Geoff Sharp) (16:01:34) :
What is required is an accurate measurement taken during the lowest point of the Maunder.
First you tell me which year you consider the deepest part of the Maunder Minimum, then we’ll see…

OK…lets go for 1695 and compare that to 1959, probably the lowest and highest point in solar activity in the last few 100 yrs. What do you think would be the W/m2 difference between those 2?

January 8, 2009 12:48 am

Geoff Sharp (00:37:22) :
OK…lets go for 1695 and compare that to 1959, probably the lowest and highest point in solar activity in the last few 100 yrs. What do you think would be the W/m2 difference between those 2?
1.3 W/m2

January 8, 2009 1:02 am

Leif Svalgaard (23:11:33) :
This simply meant that the oceans are a damper of short term variations.
??? simply looks totally disconnected from your original answer. So what was your your answer to Glenn’s question “This ignores the possibility that even a small change in overall temp may result in climatic changes that could change temp even more, ie “natural variability”, which is your pick out of other reasons for last century’s temp increase, such as solar or co2.”

January 8, 2009 1:26 am

Leif Svalgaard (00:48:55) :
1.3 W/m2
Surprising answer considering that figure is based on SC21,22,23…can you elaborate?

January 8, 2009 1:32 am

Geoff Sharp (01:02:43) :
“This simply meant that the oceans are a damper of short term variations.”
??? simply looks totally disconnected from your original answer.

The oceans holds 1000 times as much heat as the atmosphere and change on much longer time scales [perhaps 30-60 years or longer].
which is your pick out of other reasons for last century’s temp increase, such as solar or co2.
neither one of the two in the large. Both of the two for small changes of the order of 0.1K.
This ignores the possibility …
If you posit a possibility you must specify a mechanism or direct experimental evidence, otherwise it is just speculation and I’m good at ignoring speculation.

January 8, 2009 1:43 am

Geoff Sharp (01:26:05) :
Surprising answer considering that figure is based on SC21,22,23…can you elaborate?
Absolutely:
1:
The Total solar Irradiance (TSI) has several sources. The first and most important is simply the temperature in the photosphere. The hotter the sun, the higher the TSI. Some spectral lines are VERY sensitive to even minute changes in temperature. Livingston et al. has very carefully measured the line depth of such temperature-sensitive lines over more than 30 years spanning three solar cycles [Sun-as-a-Star Spectrum Variations 1974-2006, W. Livingston, L. Wallace, O. R. White, M. S. Giampapa, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 657, Issue 2, pp. 1137-1149, 2007, DOI; 10.1086/511127]. They report [and I apologize for the somewhat technical turn my argument is taking, but if you really want to know, there is no avoiding this], “that both Ca II K and C I 5380A intensities are constant, indicating that the basal quiet atmosphere is unaffected by cycle magnetism within our observational error. A lower limit to the Ca II K central intensity atmosphere is 0.040. This possibly represents conditions as they were during the Maunder Minimum [their words, remember]. Within our capability to measure it using the C I 5380A line the global (Full Disk) and basal (Center Disk) photospheric temperature is constant over the activity cycles 21, 22, and 23”. I have known Bill Livingston [and White] for over 35 years and he is a very careful and competent observer.
2:
Since the 1960 we have known that the sun’s surface oscillates up and down [with typical periods of ~5 minutes]. These oscillations are waves very much like seismic waves in the Earth [caused by earthquakes] and just as earthquake seismic waves can be used to probe the interior of the Earth, they can be used to probe the solar interior. There are millions of such solar waves at any given time and there are different kinds (called ‘modes’) of waves. The solar p-modes are acoustic [sound waves] normal modes. You one can imagine a frequency increase with an increasing magnetic field, due to the increase in magnetic pressure raising the local speed of sound near the surface where it is cooler and where the p-modes spend most of their time. Of course one can also imagine higher frequencies may result from an induced shrinking of the sound cavity and/or an isobaric warming of the cavity. Another kind is the solar f-modes that are the eigenmodes of the sun having no radial null points [i.e. asymptotically surface waves; again I apologize for the technical mumbo-jumbo]. From the solar cycle variations of p- and f-modes [and we have now enough data from the SOHO spacecraft to make such a study] we now have an internally consistent picture of the origin of these frequency changes that implies a sun that is coolest at activity maximum when it is most irradiant. Now, how can that be? How can a cooler [overall, including the cooler sunspots, for instance, as the temperature of the non-magnetic areas of the sun didn�t change {see 1 above}] sun radiate more? It can do that, if it is bigger! The change in the radius of the Sun from minimum to maximum is about 1 km. Goode and Dziembowski (Sunshine, Earthshine and Climate Change I. Origin of, and Limits on Solar Variability, by Goode, Philip R. & Dziembowski, W. A., Journal of the Korean Astronomical Society, vol. 36, S1, pp. S75-S81, 2003) used the helioseismic data to determine the shape changes in the Sun with rising activity. They calculated the so-called shape asymmetries from the seismic data and found each coefficient was essentially zero at activity minimum and rose in precise spatial correlation with rising surface activity, as measured using Ca II K data from Big Bear Solar Observatory. From this one can conclude that there is a rising corrugation of the solar surface due to rising activity, implying a sun, whose increased irradiance is totally due to activity induced corrugation. This interpretation has been recently observationally verified by Berger et al. (Berger, T.E., van der Voort, L., Rouppe, Loefdahl, M., Contrast analysis of Solar faculae and magnetic bright points. Astrophysical Journal, vol. 661, p.1272, 2007) using the new Swedish Solar Telescope. They have directly observed these corrugations. Goode & Dziembowski conclude that the Sun cannot have been any dimmer, on the time scale shorter than solar evolution, than it is now at activity minimum.
3:
Foukal et al. (Foukal, P., North, G., Wigley, T., A stellar view on solar variations and climate. Science, vol. 306, p. 68, 2004) point out the Sun�s web-like chromospheric magnetic network (an easily visible solar structure seen through a Ca II K filter) would have looked very different a century ago, if there had been a significant change in the magnetic field of the sun supposedly increasing TSI. However, there is a century of Mt. Wilson Solar Observatory Ca II K data which reveal that the early 20th century network is indistinguishable from that of today.
4:
Svalgaard & Cliver have recently (A Floor in the Solar Wind Magnetic Field, by L. Svalgaard and E. W. Cliver, The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 661, L203-206, 2007 June 1, 2007) shown that long-term (∼130 years) reconstruction of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) based on geomagnetic indices indicates that the solar wind magnetic field strength [and thus that of the sun itself, from which the IMF originates] has a ‘floor’ a baseline value in annual averages that it approaches at each 11 yr solar minimum. In the ecliptic plane at 1 AU [at the Earth], the IMF floor is ∼4.6 nT [later revised to 4.0 nT], a value substantiated by direct solar wind measurements and cosmogenic nuclei data. We identify the floor with a constant (over centuries) baseline open magnetic flux at 1 AU of ~ Weber, corresponding to a constant strength (∼ Ampere) of the heliospheric current. Solar cycle variations of the IMF strength ride on top of the floor. They point out that such a floor has implications for (1) the solar wind during grand minima: we are given a glimpse of Maunder minimum conditions at every 11 yr minimum; (2) current models of the solar wind (both source surface and MHD models) are based on the assumption, invalidated by Ulysses, that the largest scale fields determine the magnitude of the IMF; consequently, these models are unable to reproduce the high-latitude observations; and (3) the use of geomagnetic input data for precursor-type predictions of the coming sunspot maximum this common practice is rendered doubtful by the observed disconnect between solar polar field strength and heliospheric field strength [the wrong prediction by the NASA panel for cycle 23 was based on this, and the prediction {of a high cycle} by one half of panel for cycle 24 is also partly based on this]. The constancy of the IMF also has implications for the interpretation of the Galactic cosmic ray flux.
5:
But maybe it is the Ultraviolet flux that varies and affects the stratospheric ozone concentration and thereby influences the climate. I have earlier in (Calibrating the Sunspot Number using the ‘Magnetic Needle’, L. Svalgaard; CAWSES News, 4(1), 6.5, 2007] pointed out that the amplitude of the diurnal variation of the geomagnetic Y-component is an excellent proxy for the F10.7 radio flux and thus also for the EUV flux (more precisely, the FUV, as the Sq current flows in the E layer). There is a weak trend in the amplitude of 10% since the 1840s that can be understood as being due to an increase of ionospheric conductance resulting from the 10% decrease of the Earth’s main field. Correcting for and removing this trend then leads to the conclusion that (as for the IMF) there seems to be a ‘floor’ in rY and hence in F10.7 and hence in the FUV flux, thus the geomagnetic evidence is that there has been no secular change in the background solar minimum EUV (FUV) flux in the past 165 years.
6:
Careful analysis of the amplitude of the solar diurnal variation of the East-component of the geomagnetic field [we have accurate measurements back to the 1820s] allows us the obtain an independent measure of the FUV flux (and hence the sunspot number) back to then. The result is that the Wolf number before ~1945 should be increased by 20% and before ~1895 by another 20%. The Group Sunspot number in the 1840s is 40% too low compared to the official Wolf number. When all these adjustments are made we find that solar activity for cycles 11 and 10 were as high as for cycle 22 and 23. Thus there has been no secular increase in solar activity in the last ~165 years [a bit more precise than the 150 years I quoted earlier]. Of course, there has still been small and large cycles, but we are talking about the long-term trend here [or lack thereof].
Direct measurements (although beset by calibration problems) of the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) from satellites have only been available for 30 years and indicate that solar irradiance increases with solar activity. Correlating mean annual TSI and sunspot numbers allows one to estimate the part of TSI that varies with the sunspot number. If TSI only depends linearly on the sunspot number then irradiance levels during the Maunder Minimum would be similar to the levels of current solar minima. But TSI is a delicate balance between sunspot darkening and facular brightening, and although both of these increase (in opposite directions) with increasing solar activity, it is not a given that there could not be secular variations in the relative importance of these competing effects. Several earlier reconstructions of TSI, reviewed in Frohlich, C. & J. Lean (Solar Radiative Output and its Variability; Evidence and Mechanisms, Astron..& Astrophys. Rev., 12(4), 273, 2004, Doi;10.1007/s00159-004-0024-1.[6] all postulate a source of long-term irradiance variability on centennial time scales. Each group of researchers have their own preferred additional source of changes of the ‘background’ TSI, such as evidence from geomagnetic activity, open magnetic flux, ephemeral region occurrence, umbral/penumbral ratios, and the like. The existence of ‘floors’ in IMF and FUV over ~1.6 centuries argues for a lack of secular variations of these parameters on that time scale. The five lines of evidence discussed above suggest that the lack of such secular variation undermines the circumstantial evidence for a ‘hidden’ source of irradiance variability and that there therefore also might be a floor in TSI, such that TSI during Grand Minima would simply be that observed at current solar minima.

January 8, 2009 1:59 am

Leif Svalgaard (01:43:29) :
Looks like a cut and paste job full of diatribe…a simple answer would be better.
SC19 was higher in solar activity than SC21,22,23….you dont know how low 1695 was in W/m2 terms. The jury is out unless you can come up with some facts.

January 8, 2009 2:48 am

Leif Svalgaard (01:32:25) :
neither one of the two in the large. Both of the two for small changes of the order of 0.1K.
If its neither, what does that leave….and internal oscillations doesnt cut it.

RICH