Correlation demonstrated between cosmic rays and temperature of the stratosphere

This offers renewed hope for Svensmark’s theory of cosmic ray modulation of earth’s cloud cover. Here is an interesting correlation published just yesterday in GRL.

Cosmic rays detected deep underground reveal secrets of the upper atmosphere

sh-stratospheric-heating-by-cosmic-rays

Watch the video animation here (MPEG video will play in your media player)

Published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and led by scientists from the UK’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), this remarkable study shows how the number of high-energy cosmic-rays reaching a detector deep underground, closely matches temperature measurements in the upper atmosphere (known as the stratosphere). For the first time, scientists have shown how this relationship can be used to identify weather events that occur very suddenly in the stratosphere during the Northern Hemisphere winter. These events can have a significant effect on the severity of winters we experience, and also on the amount of ozone over the poles – being able to identify them and understand their frequency is crucial for informing our current climate and weather-forecasting models to improve predictions.      

Working in collaboration with a major U.S.-led particle physics experiment called MINOS (managed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory), the scientists analysed a four-year record of cosmic-ray data detected in a disused iron-mine in the U.S. state of Minnesota. What they observed was a strikingly close relationship between the cosmic-rays and stratospheric temperature – this they could understand:  the cosmic-rays, known as muons are produced following the decay of other cosmic rays, known as mesons. Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.

What did surprise the scientists, however, were the intermittent and sudden increases observed in the levels of muons during the winter months. These jumps in the data occurred over just a few days.  On investigation, they found these changes coincided with very sudden increases in the temperature of the stratosphere (by up to 40 oC in places!).  Looking more closely at supporting meteorological data, they realised they were observing a major weather event, known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming.  On average, these occur every other year and are notoriously unpredictable. This study has shown, for the first time, that cosmic-ray data can be used effectively to identify these events.

Lead scientist for the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Dr Scott Osprey said:  “Up until now we have relied on weather balloons and satellite data to provide information about these major weather events.  Now we can potentially use records of cosmic-ray data dating back 50 years to give us a pretty accurate idea of what was happening to the temperature in the stratosphere over this time.  Looking forward, data being collected by other large underground detectors around the world, can also be used to study this phenomenon.”
Dr Giles Barr, co-author of the study from the University of Oxford added: “It’s fun sitting half a mile underground doing particle physics. It’s even better to know that from down there, we can also monitor a part of the atmosphere that is otherwise quite tricky to measure”.

Interestingly, the muon cosmic-ray dataset used in this study was collected as a by-product of the MINOS experiment, which is designed to investigate properties of neutrinos, but which also measures muons originating high up in the atmosphere, as background noise in the detector. Having access to these data has led to the production of a valuable dataset of benefit to climate researchers.

Professor Jenny Thomas, deputy spokesperson for MINOS from University College London said  “The question we set out to answer at MINOS is to do with the basic properties of fundamental particles called neutrinos which is a crucial ingredient in our current model of the Universe, but as is often the way, by keeping an open mind about the data collected, the science team has been able to find another, unanticipated benefit that aids our understanding of weather and climate phenomena.”

Dr Osprey commented: “This study is a great example of what can be done through international partnerships and cross-disciplinary research. One can only guess what other secrets are waiting to be revealed.”

h/t to Ron de Haan

255 thoughts on “Correlation demonstrated between cosmic rays and temperature of the stratosphere

  1. this is really a fascinating article, and worthy of follow up and more depth. thanks for getting this posted.

  2. Great to read of some real investigative science taking place instead of the recent data manipulation claiming to show Antarctica is warming

  3. Can’t be true, the BBC Science & Environment blog hasn’t got that story at all. The best they can manage so far is “Climate Shift Killing Trees in Western US”! They’ll let that one slip through the net for a while, then when they feel the need they’ll regurgitate it for general consumption when no one will notice, say when unemployment hits 3M, or a major scandal occurs with some half-wit celebrity somewhere, the usual technique of burying interesting science. Now that’s one for the books, not Climate Change, not Climate Chaos, not Climate Catastrophe, but Climate Shift! Anything to keep us on our toes I guess.

    Personally I think it makes fascinating reading & certainly lends ever more credence to Svensmark’s theories on Galactic Cosmic Rays

  4. Anthony, I am pretty sure you have got the causal link the wrong way round on this one. The paper is all about how stratospheric warming leads to enhanced detection of muons produced by cosmic rays.

    REPLY:I understand where you are coming from, but I said nothing about a “causal link”. You did. The only thing I said is that it “gives new hope for Svenmark’s theory”, since it has been demonstrated that there is a measurable link between cosmic rays and the temperature of the upper atmosphere. This is important, because it has never been shown before. The question is, what drives the change and how is it related to mesons and is the sudden stratospheric warming related to it? Nobody knows the cause of SSW, so this provides a tantalizing clue. – Anthony

  5. This is a fascinating story, and I will be very interested to know more. Re the CLOUD experiment at CERN, has anyone heard more about when this is scheduled to take place? 2010? I know they’ve had some problems recently at the LHC, just wondering if it has affected the timetable much.

  6. Anthony, if you keep publishing articles about SCIENCE, you are going to ruin your reputation, as flat-earther. Maybe after this is investigated we should call ourselves deep-earthers.

  7. Your “detector deep underground” phrase in particular caught my attention. Now I have more questions for the scientists that work at SNO (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory) where I have worked for a mere 3 months. We are much deeper underground than the Minos lab; we are at the 6800 foot / 2 km level beneath the surface.

    I would like to join the chorus and reiterate Dr Giles Barr’s words in that it is indeed fun to sit far underground doing particle physics. I am not a scientist. I am in the operations group, but I enjoy what I have been learning about various topics while at SNO.

    Thanks for posting an article in terms that I can understand.

    John M Reynolds

  8. Anthony, there have been a number of interesting press releases in the last few weeks concerning the workings of the Upper Atmosphere. I was only highlighting the two below the other day on another site.

    Very interesting indeed. A coherent forcing mechanism seems just around the corner:

    Earth Atomsphere “Breathing” due to UV: http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/32abc3f111047d1a5ec153cc27e63d5d.html

    Also, Infrared waves due to gaseous molecule radiation from NASAs Langley research:

    http://www.livescience.com/space/081216-agu-breathing-atmosphere.html

    “The changes in heating that cause the breathing can also impact climate, by triggering the upper atmosphere’s “thermostat,” as study team member Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., put it. The added UV radiation heats up the atmosphere, in turn causing gaseous molecules to radiate that heat away in the form of infrared radiation.”

  9. Hi,

    i’m not sure I really understand how these (very interesting) results corroborate Svensmar’s theory about cloud formation?

    REPLY: I didn’t say it corroborated, you did, I said it provides “new hope for Svensmark’s theory” because it shows a measurable connection between cosmic rays and the upper atmosphere, something that has not been demonstrated before. The question is, what drives the change and how is it related to mesons and is the sudden stratospheric warming related to it?- Anthony

  10. Wait for the alarmists to scream that correlation is not proof and it is not causality either. It is the only way that they can get there 800 year lag in CO2 increases from temperature increases to look like CO2 is driving climate change to our impending doooooooooom.

    Sure this needs to be looked at further by other teams and independently verified as befits real and proper science, but it is a very good and exciting start and instinctively (rather than scientifically) makes much more sense to me than CO2 being the driver of climate change.

  11. From the article:
    “What they observed was a strikingly close relationship between the cosmic-rays and stratospheric temperature – this they could understand: the cosmic-rays, known as muons are produced following the decay of other cosmic rays, known as mesons. Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.”

    Hmmmm… another proxy for temperature. What I make of it is that it will be a more accurate proxy than tree rings (I know, I know. One’s a proxy for troposphere and the other for stratosphere temps – apples and oranges).

    Unfortunately, unless I misunderstood, we have data of this sort that only goes as far back as when people started digging holes in the ground and started looking for neutrinos – that’s 50 years – but it seems to be good data.

  12. wow, what a beautiful piece of work and what beautiful timing. It starts to look as if cosmic rays might affect not only low-cloud formation but also the temperature direct as well as the ozone concentration. Great that this has come through the mainstream where I hope they will look further at the solar wind correlation.

  13. Very interesting article – thanks Anthony. So this would basically imply that Sudden Stratospheric Warmings (SSW) should be more frequent during solar minimums (since low solar flux allows an increase in the cosmic radiation recieved at Earth)

    It is generally accepted that the Artic Oscillation and/or North Atlantic Oscillation tend to shift negative up to 10 to 20 days following these SSW events – i.e. in meteorological terms SSWs tend to lead to high-latitude “blocking” – patterns which tend to generate intense cold surface high pressure systems near the poles and displace them southwards into the mid-latitudes. i.e. they typically lead to strong cold outbreaks into the mid-latitudes.

    This is interesting since we appear to be undergoing a significant SSW as we write…

  14. Interesting Article….!

    Are there any ideas thrown forward which might explain the sudden increase in the cosmic rays? I noticed an article published by NASA recently mentioning holes in the earths magnetic field being caused by CME’s. Not sure if these events could cause cosmic rays to suddenly stream into our atmosphere ?

    Will look forward to further updates on this topic !

  15. Anthony – thanks for this – its really useful to have you as a monitor of breaking science. I would love to know how this stratospheric heating ties in with UV heating and the shift of the jetstream studied by Drew Shindell at NASA – he had a paper in 2001 I think that found a correlation with UV heating, southerly shift of the jetstream and the Maunder Minimum – maybe this effect also contributed.

  16. Dr. Scott Osprey commented.

    “one can only guess what other secrets are waiting to be revealed”

    Unlike Nero (fiddling) or Gore/Hansen this is not a ‘done’ scientist, well done Scott.

  17. How is this a “renewed hope for Svensmark’s theory of cosmic rays”?
    Have they found a correlation between stratospheric temp and weather in lower troposphere?

  18. The explanation of the video featuring sudden stratospheric warming occurring in the southern hemisphere states that ‘This is the only such event recorded in the southern hemisphere (they normally occur in the northern hemisphere).’

    Well, that’s pretty interesting. Wonder if that has anything to do with Antarctica’s relative ice stability as compared to the Arctic.

  19. based on this: ““What they observed was a strikingly close relationship between the cosmic-rays and stratospheric temperature – this they could understand: the cosmic-rays, known as muons are produced following the decay of other cosmic rays, known as mesons. Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.”

    it sounds to me like jonathan was correct. what am i missing? it sounds like this is saying that WHEN the stratosphere warms, more mesons get through…..wouldn’t this be almost the opposite of what is being suggested on here? not being argumentative….i agree with most of what i read on here, but i am having difficulty understanding this one….

  20. This article from sciencedaily which says that seasons have changed in a way not predicted by the IPCC(therefore AGW), suggests that there have been changes in atmospheric circulation that have changed the seasons. Could the change in the stratosphere cause these changes in atmospheric circulation? then in turn cause the change in global temperature? Just a taught

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090121144053.htm

    “Although the cause of this seasonal shift – which has occurred over land, but not the ocean – is unclear, the researchers say the shift appears to be related, in part, to a particular pattern of winds that also has been changing over the same time period. This pattern of atmospheric circulation, known as the Northern Annular Mode, is the most important wind pattern for controlling why one winter in the Northern Hemisphere is different from another. The researchers found that the mode also is important in controlling the arrival of the seasons each year.

    Whatever the cause, Stine said, current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models do not predict this phase shift in the annual temperature cycle.”

  21. I guess I missed the part about how this discovery is linked to low level nucleation and cloud formation?

  22. Is there a link between Earth’s magnetic field and low-latitude precipitation?
    http://geology.gsapubs.org/cgi/reprint/37/1/71.pdf

    “In addition to supporting the notion that variations in the geomagnetic field may have influenced Earth’s climate in the past, our study also provides some
    degree of support for the controversial link between GCR particles,
    cloud formation, and climate.”

  23. IgI:-(

    Perhaps not yet, but who knows what’s around the corner. It’s like so many things in life around the world, if you can’t find the right answers, perhaps you’re not asking the right questions! Modern Climate Science is in its infancy, only 35-45 years or so old, in contrast to the paleoclimate records we have uncovered, & even then it’s only a learned assumption. I believe we know an awful lot less than we have yet to discover! If computer models know all about it, why are the perpetrators sending teams out to the Pacific to study cloud formation & water vapour effects?;-)

  24. “What they observed was a strikingly close relationship between the cosmic-rays and stratospheric temperature – this they could understand: the cosmic-rays, known as muons are produced following the decay of other cosmic rays, known as mesons. Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.”

    To a particle physicist, as I am, this is gobbledygook. I need to read the paper. Does anyone have a link?

  25. Prediction… Within thirty days, a new study will assert that this recent exciting find has nothing whatsoever to do with global warming, or that this newly discovered relationship has been increasing in intensity because of increased CO2 in the atmosphere. The new study will come out of England.

  26. Well lgl, I suppose it shows evidence of Cosmic rays having an effect on the atmosphere causing a change in the stratosphere…. It gives credibility for further investigation as to other interactions, namely cloud formation….. at a guess anyway.

    Whereas the AGW proponents had been completely dismissive of any effect from Cosmic rays…. they are now forced to revisit and rethink….

    That would be my thoughts on it anyway.

  27. Not sure I would agree with the beginning of your post that this ‘offers renewed hope’ for Svensmark’s theories. I personally don’t think his theories are in need of ‘renewed hope’ as this implies that they have been falsified and this may offer some validation to restore them. I don’t think his theory has been falsified, at least not from the work I’ve seen.

    Anyway, this is interesting and I plan on reading it more thoroughly after work.

    Thanks for posting it.

    REPLY: I can see where you are coming from there. But every theory, including Svensmark’s is just a theory until observation and experiment can validate it. This is one step closer to validation for Svensmark becuase whil it is not exactly the same as his theory, it does demonstrate that GCR’s do modulate the Earth’s atmosphere. I hope it will spur renewed searching for cloud modulation links or some other link related to GCR’s – Anthony

  28. Chris H (and many others)

    I don’t see how this has anything to do with Svensmark’s theory….

    If the elevated muon flux seen 1/2 mile underground also shows up in clean low level air over oceans, then there should be an increase in low level stratus clouds. If observed, that would support Svensmark’s hypothesis.

    However, this can’t be a global event, because the whole atmosphere would expand and the same amount of air would would be in the atomospheric column.

    From the mine’s location, the referenced video, and my lack of knowledge of stratospheric warming events, I don’t know if these occur at lower latitudes. It may be that an event at higher latitudes pushes enough air toward the equator that there is decrease in muon flux there and hence fewer muon-induced clouds.

    Clearly, there is work to do….

    A couple photos of the lab are at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/soudan_underground_mine/physicslab.html

  29. Anthony,
    Daily like so many reading you I am fascinated by the information you provide and especially, like others who comment, in a way I can understand.

    The story also seems ground breaking (excuse the Pun) as it tells of a district possibility for more accurate weather predictions using accessible stable underground cosmic ray modulation data directly to understand waether activity that now has to be sent back by weather balloons.

    You meanton Dr Giles Barr, Professor Thomas and the comment by Dr Scott Osprey. I can imagine they are ecstatic as are any colleagues who worked with them to help research and publish these findings and the great video to back it up. Congratulations must go to them for this fact based intelligent research and scientific contribution.

    Tracking some of the comments too I think testifies the value to this work.
    I look forward to the Anthony day when you educate me enough to be able to add more than thank you notes. In the meantime like 7 million others I am staying tuned.

  30. Ozzie,

    I don’t think the increase in GCR has been sudden and it most likely is related to the decrease in solar activity. At least according to Svensmark, the more energetic cosmic rays coming from beyond the solar system are not affected by the earth’s magnetic field overmuch, they contain too much energy. They are affected by the Sun’s magnetic field and by the intensity of the solar wind, both of which have decreased. This is what has allowed more of the existing GCR to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and create those interesting showers of secondary particles.

    According to some work I’ve read the level of GCR changes over geologic timescales based on the solar systems orbit of the Galaxy and its location in the plane of the Galaxy, but those changes occur over millions of years, not a few decades or a few years. I’ve also seen some speculation that the solar system entered a sort of ‘magnetic bubble’ in near space that is increasing the number of GCR, but that again is over the course of a few million years.

    Bottom line is the number of GCR available seems to be relatively constant in the short term (barring a supernova event locally or some other sudden event) but the intensity of the sun’s magnetic field and solar wind regulate the number that approach earth. This can change over the short term.

  31. Anthony,

    The article suggests that an increase in the level of muons detected
    in deep mines is dependent on the stratospheric temperature. This would seem to indicate that muon level is being driven by the stratospheric temperature, assuming that the meson cosmic ray flux at the top of the atmosphere remains unchanged.

    Is there any evidence that a significant increase in the meson cosmic ray flux at the top of the atmosphere can actually lead to significant heating in the stratosphere?

  32. lgl (04:05:28) :

    “How is this a “renewed hope for Svensmark’s theory of cosmic rays”?
    Have they found a correlation between stratospheric temp and weather in lower troposphere?”

    From the article.

    “These events can have a significant effect on the severity of winters we experience, and also on the amount of ozone over the poles – being able to identify them and understand their frequency is crucial for informing our current climate and weather-forecasting models to improve predictions.”

    DaveE.

  33. So which comes first, the stratospheric warming by other causes leading to greater detection of muons or lower solar flux allowing more mesons to hit the stratosphere causing the warming which then shows up as a detection of more muons?

  34. This is becoming utterly ridiculous. Correlation IS NOT causation, and as someone pointed out earlier, you got the causation exactly the other way around.

    More Temperature => More Muons.

    NOT:

    More Muons => More Temperature.

    This means that this paper doesn’t say absolutely nothing about Svenmarks’ Theory.

    It just defends that Muon counters are very good proxies of stratospheric temperatures.

    The level of absurdity is reaching idiocy. The amount of people that “read” this post and comment on how “warmists are gonna have hard time denying the EVIDENCE!” is too large for me to ignore.

    Or perhaps it’s only the Sturgeon’s Law…

  35. There is possibly a link between events such as this and my supposition that when the air is deprived of energy from the oceans during a negative oceanic cycle then the response of the air is to adjust the circulation patterns in order to restore the energy balance of the air.

    In that case there would be the observed sudden upper air warming followed by larger northern high pressure systems sending out more polar air over more oceans to pick up more energy and thereby restore the balance between energy going into space and energy being collected from the oceans.

    On that basis I would speculate that the initial response of the planet to a developing energy deficit would first be a contraction of the equatorial high pressure systems which then allows an expansion of the high latitude high latitude systems.

    A movement of the jet streams equatorward would follow with the climate shifts we observe on the ground.

    Lots to be investigated here and highly relevant to the validity or otherwise of AGW theory because the same process of the air adjusting it’s own energy balance in response to variations in oceanic energy input could apply when the air’s own energy input is changed by, say, human CO2.

  36. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Someone needs to read this article again! I believe this DOES NOT suggest that cosmic rays lead to temperature changes, and therefore DOES NOT support the concept of sunspot minima leading to global cooling. On the contrary, it says that if the Earth’s temperature (in the stratosphere) goes up, THAT causes cosmic rays to be more easily detected in their underground station. The causality they’re talking about here goes from Earth’s temperature to cosmic rays, not cosmic rays to Earth’s temperature. If I’m reading the article wrong, can someone explain?

    I’m certainly interested in anything that would explain why solar sunspot minima seem to correlate with cooling on Earth, but this particular study doesn’t seem to provide any light on that issue.

  37. Ozzie John (03:43:04) :

    Interesting Article….!

    Are there any ideas thrown forward which might explain the sudden increase in the cosmic rays?

    Yes. As the authors of the article in Geophys. Res. Letts. under discussion state:

    There are two mechanisms by which the condition of the atmosphere affects the muon rate. Firstly, an increase in temperature causes the atmosphere to expand so muons are produced higher up and therefore have a larger probability to decay before being detected. Secondly, the mesons may interact (and thereby be lost) as well as decay. As the temperature increases, the probability of interaction becomes smaller because the local atmospheric density decreases, so more mesons decay, causing an increase in the muon rate. In deep underground detectors where muons with a high surface energy are measured, the second effect dominates and this causes a positive correlation between temperature and muon rate.

    In other words, contrary to the impression in the top article of this thread and many comments, the article is about the ability to detect muons on Earth (or underground!), as a function of the temperature of the stratosphere. There’s no evidence that the cosmic rays are influencing the atmosphere at any level. The atmosphere (or stratosphere) is influencing the ability to detect the muons.

  38. Dear Anthony, thanks for being the fastest blogger to report on this cool work – that includes an ex-colleague of mine at Harvard, Gary Feldman.

    You must be careful before using this work as a proof of cosmoclimatology because the muon flux (production from pions) is partly influenced by the temperature, so the causation in the opposite direction explains at least a part of this observed correlation.

    More comments:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/01/us-global-warming-is-least-concern.html

  39. I am curious as to what causes the stratosphere to suddenly heat up? An electronic charge or magnetic event? I have a magnetic heater. It helps to unfreeze galvanized pipes. You plug it in, stick it to a metal pipe, and it heats the thing up, unfreezing the line. If a heated stratosphere then lets in more cosmic rays, would that lead to more cloud seeding? Or is it a way for us to understand how the Earth breaths out heat? If it is more porous coming in during these events, is that an indirect measure of porosity going out? Is it a way for heat to escape, suddenly?

  40. I remember doing an experiment back in High School with alcohol, dry ice, and a jar to make a cloud chamber. When we stuck a radioactive “glow in the dark” old wrist watch in the cloud chamber little streaks of vapor “clouds” condensed in semi-circles that you could see quite nicely.

    Is this the same basic idea that Svensmark has about radiation causing clouds.

  41. I am not a scientist but this seems to indicate the existence of another negative forcing at work (as marked by the cosmic ray records even if not caused). I agree with those that believe that the earth is a negative feedback system and the threat of “runaway” global warming is unlikely.

    The threat of a small amount of heat increase (caused by CO2 increase) tripping “runaway” global warming seems to be the most plausible (and scariest) scenario on the AGW side. We shall see, but if all it took was heat there certainly appear to have been times in the past when the temperature was rising (heat was being applied by some means) and no “runaway” occurred.

  42. Perhaps time to re-post another article I posted several weeks ago:

    http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/77543w3q4mq86417/

    Unfortunately, this is not a link to the actual paper, just an abstract.

    But these authors looked at 50 years of cosmic ray data collected in Colorado, and compared them to 50 years of cloud records in the UK.

    As I understand it, increased cosmic radiation caused about a 20% increase in likelihood for a cloudy day and cloud density increased 2 or 3% on average with high cosmic radiation.

    I have the actual paper bookmarked on another computer and if there is interest, I will repost the link.

    This paper seemed to more closely verify Svensmark’s theories.

  43. Ron de Haan (23:57:09) :

    Anthony, I think you are the fastest publisher on earth.

    And the worst name speller too. ;-)

    I posted an excerpt from wikipedia in response to your post on the Ross Hays letter thread.

    One reason for major stratospheric warmings to occur in the Northern hemisphere is because orography and land-sea temperature contrasts are responsible for the generation of long (wavenumber 1 or 2) Rossby waves in the troposphere. These waves travel upward to the stratosphere and are dissipated there, producing the warming by decelerating the mean flow. This is the reason that major warmings are only observed in the northern-hemisphere, with one exception. In 2002 a southern-hemisphere major warming was observed. This event to date is not fully understood.

    So maybe the conventional wisdom is that the sudden stratospheric warming is caused by rossby waves and the QBO, which is caused by gravity waves.

  44. Lubos is right, you should be more careful before you post this as evidence that Svensmark has been vindicated.

    Unfortunately, even Lubos didn’t take his own advice, so it took a censored comment of mine for him to edit his own post and claim that “perhaps” Svensmark is not vindicated. Which is bull, it’s completely not vindicated.

    Idiocy continues…

  45. These events can have a significant effect on the severity of winters we experience, and also on the amount of ozone over the poles – being able to identify them and understand their frequency is crucial for informing our current climate and weather-forecasting models to improve predictions.

    What they observed was a strikingly close relationship between the cosmic-rays and stratospheric temperature – this they could understand: the cosmic-rays, known as muons are produced following the decay of other cosmic rays, known as mesons. Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.

    I have to disagree that this supports Svensmark’s theory. From the above, it seems clear that higher stratospheric temperatures lead to higher muon counts. I don’t see any implication that more mesons increase stratospheric temperatures. The “events” referred to that can have “a significant effect on the severity of winters we experience, and also on the amount of ozone over the poles” are Sudden Stratospheric Warming, not mesons or muons.

  46. Pamela Gray (07:10:37) :

    I am curious as to what causes the stratosphere to suddenly heat up? An electronic charge or magnetic event? I have a magnetic heater.
    More likely induction heater.

  47. PS: The confusion one reads into Pamela’s comment just above, for instance, is just an example of the grave mental destruction that this thread is causing in less talented minds.

    No, it doesn’t mean anything about cloud formation, it only means that someone figured out a way to measure temperature in the stratosphere with muons. That’s it.

    Tom is even funnier:

    So which comes first, the stratospheric warming by other causes leading to greater detection of muons or lower solar flux allowing more mesons to hit the stratosphere causing the warming which then shows up as a detection of more muons?

    No, goddamit! It’s the mesons that get hit by the stratosphere, which then warm it up, and then make clouds or something, and then they turn themselves as muons, and then the solar flux says “hi” and then Muons get all excited and kill all the Michael Mann’s in this world and then the world is saved and then Will Smith kisses the bride, the movie is over and you wake up.

  48. Good question Pamela Gray….. If cosmic rays help in the nucleation of clouds…. Then a more porous atmosphere will accentuate that cloud forming.

    … anyway, interesting to see else turns up.

  49. Dear Luis, my post was edited long before I saw and moderated your comment, and a slightly incorrect sentence could have been seen on my website for 90 seconds at most.

    To claim that your comment was useful is ludicrous and I rejected the comment because it was very impolite (and obsolete, at the moment of moderation), much like your comment on Anthony’s blog above ~snip~

  50. I am afraid that I must agree with Mark and a few others from the short read of the article above. There has not been enough study to assign causation but only correlation. It does appear to be a good proxy and that is good for prediction. I can understand how meson ray being destroyed/decayed when striking the upper atmosphere could release energy raising temperature locally in the stratosphere.

    My question would be would this heating (noted rapid as much as 40C or more) causing expansion and rising of the atmosphere column could cause a lowering of the pressure in the lower near surface atmosphere causing clouds and a drop in temperature. (IE expanding gas cools) Not being well educated in the properties of atmospheric physics these things are unclear to me.

    I do hope my understanding and question aren’t to low tech to be addressed.

    Bill Derryberry

  51. Actually the Lockwood & Frohlich (L&F) paper had dismissed the Svensmark & Friis-Christensen (S&F) paper partly on the basis that there was no apparent correlation between temperature and cosmic rays, S&F prepared a reply – here:
    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Svensmark/Reply_to%20Lockwood_et_al_2007.pdf

    They argue that L&F were erroneously using the surface temperature charts as comparisons and not making appropriate corrections – such as for volcanic events. In that reply paper they produce a very good correlation based on other temperature records.

    So while everyone is free to make speculative guesses about the plausible mechanisms of cause and effect nevertheless Svensmark is clearly vindicated at least on the temperature correlation and Lockwood & Frohlich’s criticism of Svensmark & Friis-Christensen is now independently verified as being misguided and hence wrong. That is important.

  52. Dear Katherine, I agree with you that the arguably dominant causal relationship explaining this paper is the temperature’s effect on the muon production.

    On the other hand, you are misled if you think that the opposite causation is not justified by scientific mechanisms. For a wide variety of forcings, the trends in the stratosphere and the troposphere are reverted – they have opposite signs.

    For example, the greenhouse warming heats up the troposphere but it cools down the stratosphere: the Earth’s heat is trapped in the troposphere, near the surface, which means that a smaller amount of it can heat the stratosphere.

    Analogously, if the cosmic rays help the creation of low-lying clouds, these clouds help to reflect the solar radiation from the troposphere and the surface, which means that more of this heat returns to the stratosphere and a part of it heats it up. According to cosmoclimatology, more mesons means a warmer stratosphere. It works in the right direction.

    I think that more research is needed to see which effect is more important as an explanation of the observed link. Meanwhile, could you please tell us your story why the higher stratospheric temperature leads to an increased muon flux under the ground? Sometimes I want to hear others before myself, and at this moment, I actually understand the cosmoclimatological causation more than I understand the opposite relationship. ;-)

  53. Lubos, politeness is not the best quality of yours, and I have to say, no problems with that, I also think that politeness is completely overrated. I wrote no “bad words” and I didn’t call you any name at all.

    So I fail to see anything rather than frustrated censorship on your part.

    And yes, 2 minutes after I made the comment, you retracted. Sorry if I don’t believe your “ludicrousness”.

    It smells a lot like Real Climate. Perhaps both extremes always touch, yes?

    PS: Sorry for the extreme Off Topic on this, but as you may guess, I couldn’t have this discussion on his own blog due to censorship issues… I promise I won’t further this on.

  54. vukcevic (07:34:46) :

    Pamela Gray (07:10:37) :

    I am curious as to what causes the stratosphere to suddenly heat up? An electronic charge or magnetic event? I have a magnetic heater.
    More likely induction heater.

    Or to give it it’s full name, electro-magnetic induction heater

    ;-)

  55. Double PS, but On Topic :):

    The opposite causation that Lubos refers to may be possible, but stinks. It remembers me too badly of the infamous Al Gorian graph linking CO2 with temperature for the last 650ky, and the ridiculous defense of it that some put in, as in saying that perhaps the first 800 years weren’t caused by CO2, but then CO2 “kicked in definitely”.

    In this one, it’s definitely a warmer stratosphere that causes more Muons, but wait, isn’t it the other way around? Perhaps its more Mesons that Cause the Stratosphere to heat up, and then more Muons are created by that!

    Occam’s razor anyone?

    I give you a shot though. There is a way to see if this link is as presposterous as I claim or not. If you place a Muon detector above the stratosphere, you then CAN see who’s right or not.

    Until then, Occam wins. Period.

  56. “measures muons originating high up in the atmosphere”

    I would agree with anna v. and others, the write up is badly muddled and poorly edited.

    Heating the Stratosphere, of itself, does not produce muons, a higher energy/mass lepton than electrons, the representative of which we are familiar.

    The muons are a decay product of nuclear disintegration at the instigation of cosmic rays, either themselves nuclear particles or gamma rays. Neutrino interactions can also produce the muons.

  57. JamesG (07:48:36) :

    Actually the Lockwood & Frohlich (L&F) paper had dismissed the Svensmark & Friis-Christensen (S&F) paper partly on the basis that there was no apparent correlation between temperature and cosmic rays, S&F prepared a reply – here:
    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Svensmark/Reply_to%20Lockwood_et_al_2007.pdf

    They argue that L&F were erroneously using the surface temperature charts as comparisons and not making appropriate corrections – such as for volcanic events. In that reply paper they produce a very good correlation based on other temperature records.

    So while everyone is free to make speculative guesses about the plausible mechanisms of cause and effect nevertheless Svensmark is clearly vindicated at least on the temperature correlation and Lockwood & Frohlich’s criticism of Svensmark & Friis-Christensen is now independently verified as being misguided and hence wrong. That is important.

    Do you think so James? There’s no demonstrated correlation between temperature and cosmic rays in the web report that you linked to. There are two problems with that interpretation:

    1. Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (S-FC) can’t seperate the cosmic ray flux from other elements of the solar cycle. What they show in their Figure 2b is a relationship between the solar cycle and a denuded tropospheric temperature anomaly in which the warming of the last 50 years or so has been removed by linear detrending. What they may have identified is a small residual sinusoidal variation in the tropospheric temperature that cycles in response to the solar cycle. That’s fine…no one would quibble with that, and it’s been identified before. But what’s the evidence it has anything to do with cosmic rays? It’s far more likely to be due to the small cyclic variation in solar irradiance.

    2. The other problem that S-FC highlight is that there has been no long term trend in the cosmic ray flux. If anything this has been in the slightly cooling direction since 1958. That’s what S-FC show pretty clearly in their Figure 2b. Take out the warming and you get left with the bit that matches the solar cycle. This (as S-FC show) is a slight cooling contribution to the earth’s temperature evolution during the last 50-odd years. Clearly according to S-FC the cosmic ray flux is a non-player in relation to the contributions to the large warming of the last 30-odd years..

    It seems that S-FC have rather misunderstood Lockwood and Frolich in any case. While S-FC state that (referring to Lockwood and Frolich) ”But they argue that this historical link between the Sun and climate came to an end about 20 years ago.”, I think you’ll find that Lockwood and Frolich say no such thing. What Lockwood and Frolich demonstrate is that the solar parameters that can influence the Earth’s temperature have been in the wrong direction for warming during the last 20 years. In other words the sun is contributing a slight cooling forcing during this period. Since that’s more or less what S-FC have shown in their own paper, it seems S-FC are tilting at a windmill here….

    There’s another odd thing I’ve noticed. Figure 1 (top) seems to show a “match” between the CRF and the tropospheric temperature. But this very same data (it is isn’t it?) is presented in Figure 2 (top) with different smoothing on both data sets. S-FC have already demonstrated that there isn’t a correlation between the CRF and the tropospheric temperature (this only appears when the warming trend is removed as shown in Fig 2 (bottom)). And clearly the “correlation” in Figure 2 (top) is spurious since with the smoothing removed the temperature variations precede the CRF variations.

  58. Dear Luis,

    I would like to point out that as far as we can see, there has been no lag observed in this muon-stratosphere correlation that would actually settle the question which of the mechanisms is the dominant and primary one and which of them is a subleading parasite effect similar to Gore’s bogus greenhouse effect explanation of the CO2 during the glaciation cycles.

    So it would be nice if you didn’t create the analogies in the direction you find convenient before there is actually some evidence about the direction. I hope that these more explicit considerations about the mechanisms show that you were way too fast in picking one direction and humiliating the other.

    I am still waiting for a plausible explanation of the “higher stratospheric temperature causes more muons” mechanism because I am sometimes getting a wrong sign here. So it is fair to say that Anthony’s original relationship – namely the mechanism that supports the statement that the MINOS paper is evidence for Svensmark et al. – is the only one that has been semi-satisfactorily explained in this thread so far.

    Best wishes
    Lubos

  59. I’d have said Occam’s razor would suggest the cause of warming was the sun. It was good enough for most of our ancestors. Mesons, muons, cosmic rays and clouds are somewhat less simple explanations.

  60. I find it interesting that whenever someone – such as Svensmark, Grey, or Wilde (in his blogs) presents an alternate theory of climate change, people who support the AGW consensus immediately swarm to strike it down. This is interesting to me for several reasons.

    It used to be, back in Einstein’s day, that when someone proposed a theory, every scientist out there who had specialty in that theory tried to disprove it. It wasn’t mean-spirited, it was science. Any theories that survived 30 or so reviews and verifications were found to be “valid”. So, when a “new” theory of climate change occurs (such as those mentioned above), yes, I would expect the scientific community to try and disprove it. That’s science.

    However, when it comes to the theory of CO2-induced climate change, no such attempts to disprove the theory are made. Where are the high numbers of government grants being distributed to scientists who have alternate theories that would contradict the CO2 theory, or those that would try to disprove it directly? As far as I can seen, few, if any exist. And if someone tries to challenge this theory in any way, they are a “denier”. I would think that someone who is so sure of their theory would welcome challenges to it, because surviving those challenges makes the theory stronger. I would also think, that following the “old” style of science, proponents of C02 would state categorically what evidence would disprove their theory, because this again is sound science. Instead, we seem to have a science orthodoxy that circles the wagons any time a new theory is suggested, and one that changes the rules whenever a part of their theory is disproven. See the climate models and their constant “tweaking” for evidence of how the theory is constantly changed, especially whenever observable data seem to contradict it.

    We have so little understanding of the oceans, the sun, cosmic rays, magma beneath the earth’s crust, even atmospheric climate science, yet we are supposed to believe the science is “in” and the issue is “decided”? How could anyone with such an incomplete understanding of the most chaotic, complex, system man has tried to study, claim, after less than 30 or so years, to have a firm enough understanding that they would recommend public policy?

    And before someone pulls that “if there’s 1% chance they are right, we need to act” argument, remember that could be used to justify going into Iran, putting missiles in space to stop meteors, moving all of the cities away from the coast out of mega-tsunami fears, etc. In order to make any objective judgment about public policy, an unbiased risk assessment needs to be done. Any complete risk assessment would need to include the benefits of a warming world (again, where are the studies on this), the economic costs to a dramatic energy paradigm shift to the West and the 3rd World, as well as the risks to us and the likelihood of those risks taking place.

    Instead, I seem to see fear-mongering, with no real determination to have a real discussion about the science, its certainty, or the public policy that should result. The more people wish to say “hold it, let’s talk”, the more “scientific” studies seem to come out that predict doom if we do not act yesterday. Aren’t you pro-AGW folk in the least bit concerned about the rush to action and the relative level of distrustful / fraudulent activity (e.g. Mann’s “hockey stick”) on the part of those who are pushing so forcefully in one direction? Aren’t you at all concerned that when someone brings up legitimate issues they are labeled a “quack” or “denialist” or “industry puppet”? When people are so arrogant, so full of themselves, so concerned with being right and not with being correct, doesn’t your skepticism get tweaked at all? Didn’t many use this same logic with regards to Bush going into Iraq, that intelligence was “biased”, that criticism was squashed, that there was hysteria to move quickly? Why does the same logic not apply to climate change?

  61. Lockwood & Fro[e]hlich (note the umlaut) have problems with their interpretation of satellite data for a start. Doug Hoyt fisked their paper at Warwick Hughes late 2007 or thereabouts.

  62. Lubos, read the original article:

    this they could understand: the cosmic-rays, known as muons are produced following the decay of other cosmic rays, known as mesons. Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.

    Seems a reasonable explanation.

  63. This article says to me: record of cosmic rays incident on earth can be correlated to changes in weather/climate on earth, Unlike carbon dioxide.

  64. Lubos Motl (08:32:49) :

    I am still waiting for a plausible explanation of the “higher stratospheric temperature causes more muons” mechanism because I am sometimes getting a wrong sign here. So it is fair to say that Anthony’s original relationship – namely the mechanism that supports the statement that the MINOS paper is evidence for Svensmark et al. – is the only one that has been semi-satisfactorily explained in this thread so far.

    That’s an odd statement Lubos! First of all the “plausible explanation” has been given already as a direct quote from the paper at least one [se.g. ee foinavon (07:01:13); reproduced below (***)]

    Secondly, it’s completely obvious that the paper describes the increased ability to detect muons as a result of warming of the stratosphere, and there is zero causality in the other direction. If you think that the observations support the CRF-cloud hypothesis as a significant driver of the Earth’s climate then why not illustrate how this might occur? Or if you feel this has already been demonstrated on this thread, point us to the relevant post(s)!

    here’s what the authors state with respect to the means by which enhanced stratospheric temperature facilitiates the detection of muons by troglodytes:

    There are two mechanisms by which the condition of the atmosphere affects the muon rate. Firstly, an increase in temperature causes the atmosphere to expand so muons are produced higher up and therefore have a larger probability to decay before being detected. Secondly, the mesons may interact (and thereby be lost) as well as decay. As the temperature increases, the probability of interaction becomes smaller because the local atmospheric density decreases, so more mesons decay, causing an increase in the muon rate. In deep underground detectors where muons with a high surface energy are measured, the second effect dominates and this causes a positive correlation between temperature and muon rate

  65. Luis and all who are interested:

    Cosmic rays with enough energy to create particles are stable particles, protons, ions, electrons,gammas and neutrinos. The unstable ones have decayed on the way from the galaxy into either gammas or electrons/positrons or neutrinos or protons.

    These stable particles hit molecules in the stratosphere and by E=mc**2 create unstable particles of all kinds, mesons and baryons. These decay and one of the intermediate decay products are muons, which decay weakly into an electron, a mu-neutrino and an electron-neutrino. The muons live something like 10**-8 seconds.

    There is no way that muons from the air can penetrate the ground and reach the Minos detector. The reason it is underground is for this, to avoid the muons which are something like 1 per cm**2 per second on the surface. Any muons seen in the detector are the result of muon-neutrino scattering and turning into a muon +.., a radiation or so length in the ground above the detector.

    Actually I suspect that it is the muon-neutrinos and electron-neutrinos from muon decays in the atmosphere that are detected in Minos and are a background to the neutrino oscillation experiment, which expects neutrinos coming from the direction of Fermi lab.

    I suspect a monte carlo has been used to decipher all this.

    One has to read the paper.

  66. Lubos, it’s all pretty standard stuff on muons – see wikipedia for the basics.

    Muons are produced in the upper atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with nuclei in air molecules, and then travel down to earth. Most of them never arrive as they mostly decay on the way down (mean proper lifetime about 2 microseconds – the fact that any are seen at all is due to relativistic time dilation), and the number detected on earth is a very sensitive measure of the height at which they were produced.

    If the stratosphere heats then the density drops, so the probability of a cosmic ray hitting a nucleus drops, so on average the cosmic rays have to travel further down before producing a muon. Thus the muons have less far to travel and a greater survival probability. Nothing more than that.

  67. Foinavon
    On your point 1, In that report by S&F-C the solar cycle was represented by cosmic ray counts in Figure1and in Figure 2 there was a correlation between mean tropo temps and galactic cosmic rays. In any event they said there was a correlation, Lockwood et al said there wasn’t and now there is independent correlation verification. Regardless of any other arguments Svensmark is thusly vindicated on that point. On your point 2, Figure 2 was detrended so it’s not surprising you see no trend. You can see a trend in Figure 1.

    Lockwood was, I believe, more explicit in previous papers that he believed there was a possibility of a sun-climate link – in line with many other researchers in the same field. S&F-C are very aware of Lockwood’s previous work and his leanings re-sun-climate so it’s likely you who misunderstands him, not them. Many believed or believe any plausible link must have stopped around ’85. S&F-C simply point out otherwise by using different temperature data.

    For your other argument I wouldn’t venture where I’m not qualified but I’m certain that Svensmark would clarify those points if you asked him.

  68. Oops, I see from one of the quotes above that it’s a little more complex than I first said, but the essentials remain.

    Part of the problem is that people are confusing muons with csomic rays: if you put a muon detector above the atmosphere you would see nothing because they are produced in the atmosphere.

    REPLY:
    True but muons are a proxy for mesons, which ARE above the atmosphere, which was my point all along. It is the mesons we are interested in. – Anthony

  69. “there is zero causality in the other direction.”

    One way to help the cause is to avoid hyperbole oneself. I gather you mean this study makes no such argument for Stratospheric heating by some cause related to solar or galactic CRF.

  70. EricR (08:38:12) :

    Yes there’s a lot that’s interesting in science. As far as theories (hypothesis might be a better term for some of the ideas you describe) go, the very least that one can expect from them is that they are compatible with the scientific evidence. I don’t think anyone has that much of a problem with Svensmark’s hypothesis about the CRF. It’s just that there’s precious little evidence for it in the real world. After all the very marked warming of the last 30-odd years has occurred during a period in which the trend in the CRF is, if anything, a cooling one. If we’re interested in the very marked contemporary warming we obviously look elsewhere. Does that mean that there isn’t an influence of the CRF on the Earth’s weather? There’s a bit of marginal evidence for a small contribution. Does the CRF impact on the Earth’s energy budget to the extent that it can significantly influence climate? There isn’t really any evidence in support of that notion, and the theoretical basis is not strong.

    It’s really all about the evidence. If something is wrong one may as well point it out. I’m not familiar with “Grey” or what his theory/hypothesis might be. Does Wilde have “theories” in the scientific sense?

    However, when it comes to the theory of CO2-induced climate change, no such attempts to disprove the theory are made. Where are the high numbers of government grants being distributed to scientists who have alternate theories that would contradict the CO2 theory, or those that would try to disprove it directly?

    really? The blogosphere seems to be chock-a-block with efforts to “disprove” CO2-induced climate change! I haven’t seen anything of any substance along those lines in the scientific literature, but it’s devillishly difficult to “disprove” something for which there is pretty rock-solid theoretical and empirical evidence. Does the greenhouse effect exist or doesn’t it? Is CO2 a greenhouse gas or not?

    Notice that grants are not awarded to “disprove” anything, and if you think about it you might see that a research programme funded by a grant with the aim of disproving a theory, doesn’t make a lot of sense. One might devise a research programme to assess/test aspects of a theory. But one could only set out to “disprove” a theory if there was good evidence that the theory was wrong, and in this case the theory would likely whither away of its own accord anyway. Grant awarding bodies (and scientists) are much more interested in science that addresses positive outcomes (finding out something new and useful). It’s generally only crackpots that aim actively to “disprove” theories, and most theories that do become disproven become so in a rather passive manner, being left by the wayside as productive approaches provide support for alternative interpretations…

    So grants are awarded to explore areas of uncertainty in important areas of science, and require that the proposer has a coherent programme of study/experimentation/observation that bears on the particular question(s) addressed, and that these questions are considered worth addressing and tractable, and that the resources available to the potential awardee are sufficient, the programme is achievable within the time allocated and the awardee has demonstrated a solid competence in the research area (unless s/he is a young ‘un in which case s/he is likely to be helped develop a research programme from scratch)….and so on…

  71. Dear foinavon,

    the very existence of the influence of the cosmic rays on the atmosphere is indisputable – the only question mark is the magnitude of this influence. Sorry, I don’t really want to chat with people who are not getting this point because I don’t think that they have elementary knowledge about the relevant phenomena here.

    But I will happily repeat what is the basic mechanism behind cosmoclimatology. Cosmic rays create condensation centers for low-lying clouds – a statement already demonstrated in Danish labs and under investigation at CERN right now. More cosmic rays means more low-lying clouds. These clouds reflect solar radiation, cool the surface, but that also increases the amount of radiation reflected back to/through the stratosphere which therefore warms up.

    Again, this effect is surely there, the question is how much it is. There are many experimental papers that show this effect at the extremely long time scales – hundreds of millions of years when the Solar System bubbled through the spiral arms of the Milky Way and the temperature correspondingly fluctuated at least by +2 and -2 deg C.

    Thanks for the quote from the paper.

    But I still fail to understand both the sign and non-vanishing of this effect (your favorite one). The warmer atmosphere is expanded but the total amount of air molecules is what controls the cross section so it is unchanged by the temperature, isn’t it? Moreover, if I imagined that the warmer stratosphere is thicker, most of the processes would occur higher in the stratosphere which means that all the pions and muons would have more time to decay and we would observe fewer muons under the ground, wouldn’t we?

    The direction of the causation that Anthony announced – the Svensmark-like influence of the cosmic rays on the atmosphere – is surely the more properly explained one so far, at least on this thread – but I guess that not only on this thread. Everyone who claims otherwise must be living in a different galaxy.

    Best wishes
    Luboš

  72. RE: Stratospheric heating. Here at WUWT a posting months back revealed the stunning rise in noctilucent clouds near the Mesosphere ostensibly requiring increased H2O following heating.
    The historical graph of this phenomenon(provided by Malfi?) was strikingly correlated with solar minima.

  73. Lubos Motl wrote:

    Analogously, if the cosmic rays help the creation of low-lying clouds, these clouds help to reflect the solar radiation from the troposphere and the surface, which means that more of this heat returns to the stratosphere and a part of it heats it up. According to cosmoclimatology, more mesons means a warmer stratosphere. It works in the right direction.

    Based solely on the above article, there is no mention of cloud formation, only the correlation with higher stratospheric temperatures. If mesons caused SSW events, wouldn’t SSWs track the solar cycle? However, the article notes that “On average, these occur every other year and are notoriously unpredictable.”

    Meanwhile, could you please tell us your story why the higher stratospheric temperature leads to an increased muon flux under the ground?

    From the article:

    Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.

    I trust that the above doesn’t require further explication? As I understand it, a warmer atmosphere results in more space between atmospheric molecules, so more mesons “survive” to reach the ground as muons. Apparently, the higher muon count lags behind higher temperatures.

  74. JamesG (09:13:19) :

    Foinavon

    On your point 1, In that report by S&F-C the solar cycle was represented by cosmic ray counts in Figure1and in Figure 2 there was a correlation between mean tropo temps and galactic cosmic rays. In any event they said there was a correlation, Lockwood et al said there wasn’t and now there is independent correlation verification. Regardless of any other arguments Svensmark is thusly vindicated on that point. On your point 2, Figure 2 was detrended so it’s not surprising you see no trend. You can see a trend in Figure 1.

    Yes that’s right James. The problem is that the cosmic ray flux (CRF) cycles in pretty much exact (anti-)phase with the solar parameters like solar irradiance/sunspot numbers and so on. Therefore if one observes a cyclic variation in a parameter (tropospheric temperature, say) that varies in sync with the solar cycle, one can’t ascribe this to any specific solar contribution unless the latter is somehow specifically identified. This can’t be done with the CRF in Svensmark and Friis-Christensen’s analysis. So even ‘though they’re measuring the CRF directly, any effect they observe can’t be ascribed specifically to the CRF. In fact it’s far more likely to be due to the solar irradiance.

    You can see what i mean by observing the solar cycle with it’s CRF contributions and sunspot cycle (a proxy for solar irradiance), individually plotted together:

    e.g.:

    http://ulysses.sr.unh.edu/NeutronMonitor/Misc/neutron2.html

    does that make sense? If not I’ll have another go…

  75. The warmer atmosphere is expanded but the total amount of air molecules is what controls the cross section so it is unchanged by the temperature, isn’t it?

    Lubos believes that the entire stratosphere either warms up or cools down. A quick review of the movie embebbed in this post would teach you otherwise. Where do the particles go? Ever heard of “winds” and how they are formed? “Winds” are about an outstanding advanced and recent theory that states that when an atmospheric region gets warmer, it spreads the air horizontally (but also vertically) towards the coldest regions, and form this queer thing called “wind”. A recent find about what happens then is that the warmer regions have a less dense atmosphere and cold regions have a denser atmosphere.

    But I understand your lack of knowledge of this complicated theory. It’s very very recent indeed.

    Everyone who claims otherwise must be living in a different galaxy.

    We call ours the “Milky Way”. What do you call yours?

  76. Lubos Motl (09:28:40) :

    But I will happily repeat what is the basic mechanism behind cosmoclimatology. Cosmic rays create condensation centers for low-lying clouds – a statement already demonstrated in Danish labs and under investigation at CERN right now. More cosmic rays means more low-lying clouds. These clouds reflect solar radiation, cool the surface, but that also increases the amount of radiation reflected back to/through the stratosphere which therefore warms up.

    Not really Lubos. One can’t demonstrate the formation of low-lying clouds in laboratories, Danish or otherwise! One might be able to demonstrate nucleation of microscopic “aerosol” particles under controlled conditions in a lab, which is what Svensmark has done I believe. Whether this has relevance for low cloud formation in the real world remains to be determined.

    Again, this effect is surely there, the question is how much it is. There are many experimental papers that show this effect at the extremely long time scales – hundreds of millions of years when the Solar System bubbled through the spiral arms of the Milky Way and the temperature correspondingly fluctuated at least by +2 and -2 deg C.

    That’s interesting. Can you cite one or two of those papers? Whether or not that’s the case (I suspect the correlation is not terribly good, but perhaps you can show otherwise), the fact that there is an effect on the (hundreds of?) millions of years time scale as the Solar System cycles through the spiral arms of the Galaxy is probably not very relevant to the effects of the CRF on the Earth’s energy budget on the decadal-centenial-millenial-multi-millenial year timescales that are of rather more direct relevance to us!

    But I still fail to understand both the sign and non-vanishing of this effect (your favorite one). The warmer atmosphere is expanded but the total amount of air molecules is what controls the cross section so it is unchanged by the temperature, isn’t it? Moreover, if I imagined that the warmer stratosphere is thicker, most of the processes would occur higher in the stratosphere which means that all the pions and muons would have more time to decay and we would observe fewer muons under the ground, wouldn’t we?

    That’s odd. I’ve given you the quotation from the paper we’re discussing (Osprey et al 2009; Geophys. res. Lett. in press) that addresses your point twice already. Here it is for a third time:

    There are two mechanisms by which the condition of the atmosphere affects the muon rate. Firstly, an increase in temperature causes the atmosphere to expand so muons are produced higher up and therefore have a larger probability to decay before being detected. Secondly, the mesons may interact (and thereby be lost) as well as decay. As the temperature increases, the probability of interaction becomes smaller because the local atmospheric density decreases, so more mesons decay, causing an increase in the muon rate. In deep underground detectors where muons with a high surface energy are measured, the second effect dominates and this causes a positive correlation between temperature and muon rate

  77. Lubos Motl (07:56:00) :

    On the other hand, you are misled if you think that the opposite causation is not justified by scientific mechanisms. For a wide variety of forcings, the trends in the stratosphere and the troposphere are reverted – they have opposite signs.

    For example, the greenhouse warming heats up the troposphere but it cools down the stratosphere: the Earth’s heat is trapped in the troposphere, near the surface, which means that a smaller amount of it can heat the stratosphere.

    The increased ghg concentration in the stratosphere causes increased radiational cooling of the stratosphere (e.g. Iacono & Clough)

    Analogously, if the cosmic rays help the creation of low-lying clouds, these clouds help to reflect the solar radiation from the troposphere and the surface, which means that more of this heat returns to the stratosphere and a part of it heats it up.

    The component of the solar radiation which heats the stratosphere is the UV which is absorbed by O2 and O3, by the time the cloud tops are reached it has been attenuated and therefore can not be scattered back to the stratosphere in the way you suggest.

    According to cosmoclimatology, more mesons means a warmer stratosphere. It works in the right direction.

    I think that more research is needed to see which effect is more important as an explanation of the observed link. Meanwhile, could you please tell us your story why the higher stratospheric temperature leads to an increased muon flux under the ground? Sometimes I want to hear others before myself, and at this moment, I actually understand the cosmoclimatological causation more than I understand the opposite relationship. ;-)

    Really? The increased temperature of the upper atmosphere means that the creation of muons as a result of collisions is shifted closer to the earth’s surface and therefore more muons (lifetime ~2.2μs) reach the surface where they can be detected.

  78. “a warmer atmosphere results in more space between atmospheric molecules”

    These interactions are probabalistic, where a weakon, weakforce boson is exchanged. Line-of-sight, optical depth heuristics are an out-of-date simplification.

    As the depth of the layer where interaction takes place deepens the probability of interaction probably oscillates in magnitude just as light behaves passing thru different thicknesses of glass (“QED”,Feynman,Priceton,1985).

  79. To All :

    There was an SSW two Januarys ago; I believe this was an incredibly warm January too. I was tipped off to it by an HPC forecaster, T.Kimberlain, who mentioned it in his forecast discussion along with casual speculation of what it might mean in the not to distant future.

    Around the same time, Elliot Abrahms at Accuweather, was showing in his blog 10, 20 & 50 mb charts for P & T and was also making casual speculations as to the future atmospheric patterns for the remainder of the winter.

    Within a couple of weeks of the event, the 10 & 20 mb pressure pattern had completely reversed, and Elliot was continuing to speculate whether or not the reversal would impact the troposphere and the 500 mb pattern.

    Maybe it did or maybe it didn’t, but by early-mid Feb, teleconnections had flipped and a blocking pattern developed. The east became cold, and two blockbuster Nor’Easters buried the interior Northeast.

    Interesting stuff…………. Maybe there are some weatherbuffs here with enough time to peruse the records from then and provide an actual analysis ?

  80. JamesG (09:13:19) :

    I didn’t answer your second point:

    Lockwood was, I believe, more explicit in previous papers that he believed there was a possibility of a sun-climate link – in line with many other researchers in the same field. S&F-C are very aware of Lockwood’s previous work and his leanings re-sun-climate so it’s likely you who misunderstands him, not them. Many believed or believe any plausible link must have stopped around ‘85. S&F-C simply point out otherwise by using different temperature data.

    I don’t think that’s really the case. The point is that there is always a sun-climate link. Sometimes the solar contribution enhances the Earth’s energy budget and the Earth tends to a higher equilibrium temperature…sometimes the solar contribution is a cooling one….sometimes the solar contribution is minimal/steady and the Earth more or less progresses through time at an equilibrium temperature set by the solar output and the greenhouse gas forcing, with variations due to stochastic (and maybe cyclic) contributions internal (e.g. ocean currents) or external (volcanic eruptions/ extraterrestrial impacts) to the climate system.

    Lockwood and Frolich have pointed out (and did so in their paper) that the recent (millenial/multi-millenial scale) climate history of the Earth has a strong solar signature. However it so happens that the sun hasn’t done anything very much in the last 50 years (pretty steady with a slight cooling contribution for the last 20 years), and the very marked warming of the last 30-odd years has occured while the solar contribution has been flat/cooling a tad. That doesn’t mean that the sun-climate connection has disappeared! It’s just not made much of a contribution (a slight cooling one if anything) to recent and contemporary warming.

    Notice that Svensmark and Friis-Christensen come up with exactly the same conclusion. The solar signature is only identifiable in the tropospheric temperature record once all the warming has been removed by linear detrending. And (as S-FC show) the trend in the solar contribution is close to flat (a slight cooling trend. That’s pretty much in line with Lockwood and Frolich…

  81. Haven’t read the articel yet, or any of the above posts; but anthony, is it possible to download that video clip, and save it in my Climate library. That is very illuminating.

    George

  82. apologies if I am keeping this debate off topic, but wanted to clarify…

    tallbloke:

    SSW activity is definitely dependant on up-ward propagating Rossby waves and does indeed appear to be enhanced when the QBO is easterly (or negative), but here is the problem – SSWs can occur when the QBO is positive and, similarly, QBO negative and a rising Rossby wave does not guarantee that an SSW occurs.

    As several of you allude, the atmosphere shows chaotic behaviour on many levels and therefore works in a non-linear way (very small perturbations now can lead to massive changes in the future) so SSW activity MAY depend solely on subtle non-linear interactions between QBO phase and Rossby waves, but we are far from understanding the exact mechanism and the idea of a “triggering” mechanism – such as a pulse of in-bound cosmic rays is probably worth exploring further

    I will leave that to the relevant experts.

  83. Foinavon
    Avoiding the correlation issues which I don’t really disagree with, if I understand you correctly you say that Svensmarks basic theory is demonstrated to be valid but whether the overall effect is important is disputable. Yet this is what Lubos has already said too. And as Luis said, only experiment will really tell us. The curious thing is that you are rather more confident of the “rock-solid” case for CO2 based on “empirical” data. In fact though there is a case for saying the same thing about CO2; there should be an effect but how much of an effect is disputable. Lindzen puts this case best. In the IPCC scenarios there is even a distinct possibility of just a 1 degree effect per doubling of CO2 and only then because possible negative feedbacks have been ignored. Do we ever get the postulated 3 degrees which comes from postulated positive feedbacks. Not in the empirical data we don’t! This 3 degrees comes only from certain biased interpretations of data – every bit as biased as Svensmarks interpretations – and which often seem to be confusing cause with effect. Worse the models which had the 3 degrees sensitivity built-in as input are then used as “evidence” when they naturally output that same 3 degrees sensitivity. The empirical temperature data don’t by themselves make any case at all. It is the adamant nature of the climate modelers that the effect must be there even if it is not yet observable that seems to be the dominant theme in climate science as far as i can see. Are you sure you aren’t letting your natural skepticism be swayed by the arguments from authority?

  84. foinavon,

    It’s interesting that you responded to EricR‘s earlier post — but you ignored his later post, which is much more on point regarding global warming in general, and the belief that the effects of atmospheric CO2 will be catastrophic.

    Eric’s link provides a thorough deconstruction of the fraudulent science behind the AGW crowd’s runaway global warming hypothesis: click

    Those who formerly flogged the AGW-CO2-climate catastrophe hypothesis have now moved on to other peripheral issues, rather than defending runaway global warming’s central hypothesis: that rising CO2 is the central cause. So just for a moment, can we re-visit the main issue, which props up the entire AGW scam? Thank you:

    Please justify, if you are able, spending literally trillions of tax dollars to reduce an atmospheric trace gas to below 1990 levels. Because that’s what the AGW issue is really based on.

    It is a sad fact that the funneling of vast amounts of public money into global warming studies starves other deserving programs of funds. If you can not make a convincing case that spending $Trillions is warranted, then, if you wish to remain credible, you must go on record that the AGW hypothesis does not justify spending these enormous sums on a minor to non-existent problem; nor is there any urgency regarding atmospheric CO2.

    No hedging, now. Will increasing CO2 levels lead to runaway global warming and climate catastrophe? Or not?

  85. Luis Dias

    when an atmospheric region gets warmer, it spreads the air horizontally (but also vertically) towards the coldest regions, and form this queer thing called “wind”.

    That is one of the most creative and outlandish explanations for wind I have ever read. Surely, sir, you jest!

    I think you will find that winds behave somewhat differently than that.

  86. Sorry, posted at the wrong article.

    Ron de Haan (10:11:22) :

    Anthony, not as spectacular as this article but in my opinion a possible second piece of the climate/weather puzzle:

    “Climate records stretching back 5000 years seem to show a strong link between rainfall in the tropics and changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, according to new research”.

    http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=296

  87. Foinavon
    You failed to note that S&F-C said that if the correlation is clear in some temperature datasets then it calls into question the surface measurements that L&F used. These surface measurements are possibly – in the opinion of many – adjusted rather too much. Besides the potential siting problems highlighted on this site there are the TOBS adjustments which add 0.6 degrees of warming trend all by themselves. The bottom line being that when the adjustments are larger than the underlying signal the data should be questioned.

    Now we can probably trust satellite data for the last 30 years but what about before that? Where might we fully trust the surface data? I’d say in three places: Arctic, Antarctic and USA. The latter because it has been “roughly” independently verified thanks to Anthony’s fine work in identifying good rural stations. Now Willie Soon has compared the Arctic temperature data with the solar signature and found an exceptionally good correlation. You can also find good correlation with the USA. That is, in both cases the 30’s or 40’s were just as warm as today. Furthermore, if there was still a strong solar connection today then we’d expect to see cooling taking place as the sun has waned – exactly in line with our current experiences, the pdo shift and with instrument data for land and sea.

    Now i don’t want to get into arguments about TSI and magnitudes of effect because clearly indirect effects are observable. Are they important – I’m prepared to give it another 10 years to wait and sea since I see no looming crisis and any “tipping point” argument is an argument unbacked by any science anywhere.

  88. I’m a bit bamboozled along with Anna v.

    The report as shown above (not the paper) reads like a Japanese transistor radio manual; like Katie Couric trying to explain relativity to Albert Einstein.

    I don’t have the whole Standard Model of Particle Physics in my head; and they keep tinkering with it to stop me from remembering; but when I went to school, (pre standard model) a Muon WAS a Meson; specifically it was a mu Meson, which distinguished it from the pi Meson. Now of course we have the tau meson as well; and each meson is associated with one family of subatomic particles in the Standard Model.

    So as Anna says; it’s gobbledegook, although the underlying message if you can find it, sounds pretty interesting; and as Anthony points out; we can’t tell how this ties Svensmark’s thesis into clouds; but I would sure like to get clear in my mind (and Anna’s too) just what is really the story here.

    I did find out how to save a copy of the video clip, which is very interesting. Lots of other things, I would like to see in similar video clips, such as continuous coverage of cloud formation and dispersal.

    Nice hunting trophy though Anthony.

    Are you actively working in Particle Physics, Anna; or just schooled in it?

    George

  89. George: in modern terminology the muon is not a meson. Mesons are quark-antiquark pairs, such as the pion. The muon is a lepton, like the electron and the tauon.

  90. George E. Smith (11:21:51) :

    Are you actively working in Particle Physics, Anna; or just schooled in it?

    I retired in 2000 after 35 years in the field. Started with cosmic rays but ended with CERN experiments of course, bubble chambers and then a big LEP detector. I keep a bit my hand in, but not seriously.

  91. As Realitycheck correctly noted:
    “It is generally accepted that the Artic Oscillation and/or North Atlantic Oscillation tend to shift negative up to 10 to 20 days following these SSW events – i.e. in meteorological terms SSWs tend to lead to high-latitude “blocking” – patterns which tend to generate intense cold surface high pressure systems near the poles and displace them southwards into the mid-latitudes. i.e. they typically lead to strong cold outbreaks into the mid-latitudes.This is interesting since we appear to be undergoing a significant SSW as we write…

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature

    We use this is forecasting weather weeks in advance in winter for our energy and ag clients. Models are usually slow on reflecting its building down. Take a close look at that plot. You will see we have far exceeded the max temp for this level in the post 1979 period, a significant mid winter warming event indeed.

  92. A muon which penetrates through 500 m of solid rock, has to have a pretty high energy. Much, much higher than the cosmic rays which are screened by magnetic fields in solar active times and do not make it to the earth. So the cosmic particle, which by collision with a stratospheric air molecule generates this muon, has to have had an even higher energy.
    I got the press release on Wednesday, but do not have seen the paper yet. I am quite sceptical of their claims.

  93. Anna V:

    I’m struggeling to understand the partical physics involved in your explanation (the last time I had anything to do with partical decay was high school 24 years ago).

    So, if the underground detectores are incapable of seeing mesons resulting from cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere, what the heck are they seeing that gives a 100% correlation?

  94. This is an important paper, but not for what has been speculated about here. The cosmic rays are not warming the stratosphere. The paper shows that one can measure the temperature in the stratosphere quite nicely using cosmic rays. Said temperature varies for other reasons. One of the things this method may allow is to get a fix on stratospheric temperatures back in the 1930s and that would be important. The paper has no bearing on Svensmark’s ideas, pro or con.

  95. JamesG (10:59:05)

    Avoiding the correlation issues which I don’t really disagree with, if I understand you correctly you say that Svensmarks basic theory is demonstrated to be valid but whether the overall effect is important is disputable.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “correlation issues”! But no I don’t think Svensmarks “basic theory” is demonstrated to be valid. Does variation of the CRF have a significant effect on climate? There’s no particular evidence for that notion is there? If we’re interested in the very large warming of the the last 30-odd years it can’t have a significant contribution from changes in the CRF since any changes in the CRF have been in the wrong direction as Svensmark and Friis-Christensen show in the web site you linked to. So we reject that hypothesis, at least for contemporary warming.

    The curious thing is that you are rather more confident of the “rock-solid” case for CO2 based on “empirical” data…

    Well yes…there’s very little empirical evidence in support of a significant CRF contribution to the Earth’s energy budget, and a massive amount of empirical evidence in support of a major contribution from atmospheric CO2 concentrations. That’s obvious isn’t it?

    In the IPCC scenarios there is even a distinct possibility of just a 1 degree effect per doubling of CO2 and only then because possible negative feedbacks have been ignored. Do we ever get the postulated 3 degrees which comes from postulated positive feedbacks. Not in the empirical data we don’t!

    Really? The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report assesses the climate sensitivity to be in the range 2 – 4.5 oC. The data that informs the conclusion of a climate sensitivity in that range is pretty much entirely empirical.

    JamesG (11:19:53)

    You failed to note that S&F-C said that if the correlation is clear in some temperature datasets then it calls into question the surface measurements that L&F used.

    But according to the website you linked to the “correlation” isn’t clear in any data sets. It only becomes “clear” if one removes all the warming of the last 50 years (see Figure 2 of the web site you linked to:

    : http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Svensmark/Reply_to%20Lockwood_et_al_2007.pdf )

    I’m not really sure what you’re arguing over. You chose to bring this web page to our attention, and yet you don’t seem to want to address the data that’s presented there. The web site data says nothing at all about the CRF. S-FC show that there is only a match between the solar cycle and the tropospheric temperature once all the warming has been removed by linear detrending. That’s what Figure 2 (bottom) shows doesn’t it? So the CRF is irrelevant (it perhaps makes a slight cooling effect) for the warming of the last 30-odd years.

  96. Gary Gulrud, Leif Svalgaard

    A query. If the following consideration applies to mesons why does it not also apply to ultraviolet radiation?

    “Increasing the temperature of the atmosphere expands the atmosphere so that fewer mesons are destroyed on impact with air, leaving more to decay naturally to muons. Consequently, if temperature increases so does the number of muons detected.”

    If the solar wind directly heats the atmosphere one should see an increase in the intensity of ionising/heating radiation at lower altitudes. This should affect the temperature of the air according to its ozone content.

  97. Although the Svensmark idea is promising and is yet to be affirmed or rebutted I don’t think the above article helps either way.

    I tend to agree with those who suggest that the changes in the air come first and the muon signal is a response ( though the matter of causation is still speculative).

    We currently have a cooling ocean and a quiet sun. The observed changes seem to normally be winter phenomena.

    Perhaps they are cooling phenomena generally.

    The sun is not putting as much energy onto the oceans. The oceans are releasing less energy to the air. The air is cooling.

    Anything we currently observe is more likely to be an air circulation response to overall cooling of the air above us than anything else. If that also produces a muon signal then so be it.

    In my speculative opinion we are observing the natural changes that inevitably occur when the air is attempting to balance the global energy budget in the face of a reduction in energy input from both sun and ocean.

  98. Werner Weber (12:44:20)

    The data is quite convincing to me. A very close correlation indeed between the stratospheric temperature and the muon count rate (the latter varies between around 39,000 and 45,000 counts per day depending on temperature which the count rate follows very closely).

    The minimum energy required for a muon to reach the MINOS detector 705 metres underground in 0.70 TeV (700 GeV), according to the authors. Depending on how big the detector is, that corresponds to around 3% (per square metre) of the total muon flux at the Earth’s surface that are detected. In other words if the MINOS detector is 1 sq metre then it detects around 3% of the surface flux. If it’s 10 square metre it detects only 0.3%. That’s a bit of a rough and ready calculation but I think it’s in the right ball park…..but it gives an idea of the proportion of muons that penetrate deeply. Of course if the detection efficiency is low then the number would have to be adjusted accordingly…

  99. There’s a nice little comment piece by Giles Barr and Scott Osprey here (not a stable link but should work for a day or two).

  100. This discussion has generated a lot more heat than light (Al Gore would not approve), but I think the most important aspect of this article is the quote from Professor Jenny Thomas, “… by keeping an open mind about the data collected, the science team has been able to find another, unanticipated benefit that aids our understanding of weather and climate phenomena.” That shows that there are still real scientists out there who don’t cook the books, don’t use preconceived notions and actually practice non-political science! The actual significance of the work will require more time for study and the application of more learned views, so much of the discussion to this point is premature – but interesting anyway.

  101. @Leif Svalgaard (13:26:36) :

    You wrote in part: “… One of the things this method may allow is to get a fix on stratospheric temperatures back in the 1930s and that would be important.”

    The article said they only had data going back 50 years. Is there another source of data that would extend the record back another 20 years? (That sort of info is in your bailiwick.) If so, I agree that it would be cool.

  102. Phew, if I’ve learned one thing from the comments on this article it’s that I won’t be taking Lubos Motl seriously for a while to come.

  103. Leif,

    Any chance that the events causing the SSW are related to the large transfers of energy from the solar magnetic field to the earth that was documented last year? I am assuming that to get a SSW, you need a huge source of energy somewhere, and the only logical source that I see is the sun. It should be pretty easy to rule out momentary TSI changes or flares/CMEs as the cause, which leaves some invisible but potent connection as the likely cause I would assume? Has there been any good work done on the causes of SSWs?

  104. HR asks

    The article said they only had data going back 50 years. Is there another source of data that would extend the record back another 20 years?

    Given that the muon was only discovered in 1936 there are limits to how far back any data could go.

  105. Foinavon
    “Does variation of the CRF have a significant effect on climate? There’s no particular evidence for that notion is there?”
    –There is merely a very strong correlation and a theory. What do we have for CO2?: A very weak correlation and a theory. I remain skeptical of both because both are short on real data.

    “If we’re interested in the very large warming of the the last 30-odd years it can’t have a significant contribution from changes in the CRF since any changes in the CRF have been in the wrong direction as Svensmark and Friis-Christensen show in the web site you linked to”
    –Svensmark uses cosmic rays as a solar proxy. Even Lockwood said that just 20 years out of 110 didn’t match for the sun-climate connection. Svensmark showed even those 20 years aren’t far away when you use less-tainted temperature data – and they show 3 separate dataset correlations. In contrast CO2 doesn’t show any correlation whatsoever to any temperature dataset. So clearly strong correlation isn’t that important to you AGW believers in the first place. I see a trend upwards in figure 1 – where do you see a trend downwards? Figure 2 is detrended. They postulate a positive feedback from water vapor for the higher rise – hey why not; handwaving explanations are common enough in the AGW camp. Tit for tat I say. They could have used the fewer-aerosols handwave too, which is also in vogue with some climate scientists.

    “massive amount of empirical evidence in support of a major contribution from atmospheric CO2 concentrations. That’s obvious isn’t it?”
    –This is something that people repeat endlessly but have you actually looked for this evidence? It’s just not there! What we have instead is a collection of opinions that directly follow from the initial assumption that all warming in the past must have been from CO2. If it wasn’t then the entire argument falls down. This kind of confirmation bias is what seems to be called “evidence” in climate science.

    “The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report assesses the climate sensitivity to be in the range 2 – 4.5 oC. The data that informs the conclusion of a climate sensitivity in that range is pretty much entirely empirical.”
    –Even in these IPCC reports they admit that most of that sensitivity is from assumed positive feedback, which is up to 3 times the directly calculated CO2 effect. Did you miss that part? Such feedback is postulated and inferred but not yet actually observed. The data used to determine the climate sensitivities in these sensitivity calculations – and there aren’t that many – doesn’t in any way support the conclusions: It is all biased opinion. You can actually postulate negligible CO2 sensitivity – all you have to do is assume natural variation is dominant and hey presto.

    “But according to the website you linked to the “correlation” isn’t clear in any data sets. It only becomes “clear” if one removes all the warming of the last 50 years”
    –You need to clean your spectacles. The correlation is outstanding in 3 separate datasets and now – to cap it all – there is yet another apparent correlation in this independent work. Detrending to find a correlation is, btw, a very common procedure.

    “The web site data says nothing at all about the CRF”
    The paper is entirely about cosmic rays. They only talk about the solar cycle by using cosmic rays as a proxy.

  106. I think: This thermometer is the most expensive in the world;

    The figure below (Figure 3 of the article) shows the beautiful correlation between the temperature (5-day running average in blue) as measured by sounding balloons, and the muon rate in MINOS (also 5-day running average, red band with uncertainties). The alignment of the two curves is obviously not known a priori. The exact numerical calibration between muon counts (red, right scale) and temperature (blue, left scale) is a fitted output of the analysis, not an input.

    http://www.instructables.com/community/Observing_quotweatherquot_stratospheric_temp/

  107. Tex (14:45:48)

    The authors of the study under discussion discuss the origin of the SSW in some detail. They’re due to Rossby waves. These (I’m paraphrasing/quoting the authors) propagate up from the troposphere to the stratosphere during winter. In analogy to water waves these can break causing temperatures in the polar stratosphere to rise by over 50K in a few days. The Rossby waves form particularly over major land masses as air moving over steep terrain is “pushed up” . Since most land mass is in the Northern hemisphere, Rossby Waves occur almost exclusively in the N. hemisphere. The frequency of Rossby Waves are thought to be tied loosly to wind direction in the tropical stratosphere and sea surface temperature…

    (paraphrasing/quoting from Osprey et al. (2009) Sudden stratospheric warmings seen in MINOS deep underground muon data. Geophys. Res. Lett. in the press.)

  108. It’s not the SSW event itself that would be a marker for Svensmark. It’s the fact that an SSW causes a “hole” in the stratosphere through which more cosmic ray particles can penetrate to the troposphere, collide, and affect low-level cloud formation that should be investigated.

  109. JamesG (15:00:59)

    You’re not addressing the Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (S-FC) web site article you brought to our attention scientifically, and it’s questionable whether you have any plans to do so! But I’ll have one more go, focussing exclusively on the S-FC web site which we can both look at and discuss dispassionately…the rest of your post is unsupported (and incorrect largely) assertion and not really relevant to the subject of the thread:

    here’s the link to the S-FC web-site article:

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Svensmark/Reply_to%20Lockwood_et_al_2007.pdf

    1. S-FC compare CRF data and tropospheric temperature (from radiosondes). They show essentially the same data in Figure 1 and in Figure 2 (top). These data are rather poorly correlated. We know this because S-FC give us the correlation coefficient (-0.31) [I assume you’ve noticed that the CRF data has been “turned upside down”]. In addition while S-FC smooth the CRF data in Figure 1 which makes it appear as if there is a goodish match, the data is much less smoothed in |Figure 2 (top) and we can see that the temperature rises starting near 1967, 1977, 1987 precede the “rises” (which are actually drops!) in the CRF. In other words there’s (i) little correlation between the CRF and the tropospheric temperature, and (ii) what correlation there is doesn’t indicate causality.

    Are we agreed with that? f not why not?

    2. In Figure 2 (bottom) S-FC remove the warming in the tropospheric temperature evolution by linear detrending, and extracting El Nino, volcanic etc. contributions by unspecified means. (they call this “removal of confusions”!.) They don’t give us any indications at all about how they do this, other than that the linear trend removed is 0.14 K (almost 0.7 K of warming).

    Are we still agreed so far?

    3. This denuded temperature profile shows a minor cooling trend over the last 50 years (not surprising if one removes all the warming) and it is this that S-FC plot with the CRF. Now the correlation is somewhat bettter (-0.47). That’s all very nice. But that analysis indicates that there has been no CRF contribution to warming during the last 50 years. The CRF trend is mildly cooling over this period (we knew this anyway of course [***]), and there is only a CRF-temperature match once all of the late 20th century and contemporary warming is removed.

    Agreed? Or not?

    We can conclude:

    4. Variations in the CRF have made (according to S-FC) no contribution to the warming of interest.

    We can also conclude:

    5. We can’t say anything about the CRF anyway other than that we’ve measured it. The CRF cycles in antiphase with the other solar parameters [***] so that any parameter that is part of the solar cycle will generate essentially the same profile. Any changes we see in the tropospheric temperature are just as likely (in fact rather more likely) to be due to the cyclic variation in the solar irradiance.

    Can we conclude anything constructive?

    Yes, two things I would say, taking S-FC at face value:

    (a.) The CRF (and solar output variation) has made no significant contribution to late 20th century and contemporary warming. If anything the contribution has been a slight cooling contribution ([Figure 2 (bottom)]

    (b) It seems to be possible to “tease out” the solar cycle contribution to tropospheric warming through deconvolution of the temperature evolution tor emove greenhouse gas warming and other “confusions” (!). Of course if we were going to assess this properly we’d like to know how S-FC did their “removal of confusions”….

    [***] http://ulysses.sr.unh.edu/NeutronMonitor/Misc/neutron2.html

  110. Bill Marsh (05:40:29) :
    According to some work I’ve read the level of GCR changes over geologic timescales based on the solar systems orbit of the Galaxy and its location in the plane of the Galaxy, but those changes occur over millions of years, not a few decades or a few years.

    Per Nir J. Shaviv at:
    http://www.sciencebits.com/ice-ages
    (with very nice graphics!)

    it is about 135 +/- 25 Million Years per galactic arm ‘crossing’ when GCR ought to ‘go high’ and we get an ice epoch. (We’ve “just left” an arm which argues for our leaving behind the ice epoch we’re in “Real Soon Now” in geologic terms… a couple of million years?)

    I remembered the up/down galaxy midline period as about 52k yrs but wiki says it’s 33kyrs. At any rate, much of the 2012 Maya ballyhoo is about that being the time we cross the mid-line and GCR / dust / whatever rise happens. I try not to point out to those folks that we’re already about 32,997/33,000 ths of the way there and ought to have 32,997/33,000 ths of the effect, if any, already…

    Then there is the dispute over wether this is true at all. It’s a visual alignment, but from the wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012

    There are also claims like from Michael Tsarion [15] that an actual physical alignment of our entire solar system will occur with the horizontal plane of the Milky Way Galaxy on that day. The solar system is moving around the center of the galaxy every 225 million years or so, and while doing so is moving up and down in a cycle crossing the plane every 33 million years. According to the Journal Nature, this isn’t so because there is evidence of the solar system crossing the galactic plane 3 million years ago. This would mean that we are moving away from the galactic plane not toward it, and we won’t be due to cross it for another 30 million years.[16]

    So I’m not worried… and I think these time scales are way outside of what we normally think of as weather, 30 year weather, 30 year ‘climate’, etc. But they do qualify for geologic time scale climate.

  111. jonathan @ 0910:10

    If the stratosphere heats then the density drops, so the probability of a cosmic ray hitting a nucleus drops, so on average the cosmic rays have to travel further down before producing a muon. Thus the muons have less far to travel and a greater survival probability. Nothing more than that.

    I think Lubos’ point is that if the volumetric expansion of the stratosphere is predominantly in the “z” or vertical direction, the effective areal density of the stratosphere is the same, hence the same number of collisions would occur, but the average height of collision would be higher, hence one would expect to see fewer muons.

  112. Oops… That ought to have been 52Myrs, 33Myrs, and 32,999,997/33,000,000ths of the way there…

    Sometimes it hard to keep firmly in mind just what “galactic scale’ means…

  113. Tex (14:45:48) :
    Any chance that the events causing the SSW are related to the large transfers of energy from the solar magnetic field to the earth that was documented last year?
    No. And there are no huge transfers.

    Has there been any good work done on the causes of SSWs?
    In the Earth’s atmosphere there are planetary Rossby waves [wavelength of thousands of km]. These waves propagate up from the troposphere to the stratosphere during the winter. These waves can break [as waves often do], causing the temperature to increase by 50K or more in a matter of days.

    H.R. (14:29:23) :
    The article said they only had data going back 50 years. Is there another source of data that would extend the record back another 20 years? (That sort of info is in your bailiwick.) If so, I agree that it would be cool.
    The article mentions the possibility of using early cosmic ray data from the 1930s.

  114. realitycheck (10:54:34) :

    apologies if I am keeping this debate off topic, but wanted to clarify…

    tallbloke:

    SSW activity is definitely dependant on up-ward propagating Rossby waves and does indeed appear to be enhanced when the QBO is easterly (or negative), but here is the problem – SSWs can occur when the QBO is positive and, similarly, QBO negative and a rising Rossby wave does not guarantee that an SSW occurs.

    As several of you allude, the atmosphere shows chaotic behaviour on many levels and therefore works in a non-linear way (very small perturbations now can lead to massive changes in the future) so SSW activity MAY depend solely on subtle non-linear interactions between QBO phase and Rossby waves, but we are far from understanding the exact mechanism and the idea of a “triggering” mechanism – such as a pulse of in-bound cosmic rays is probably worth exploring further

    I will leave that to the relevant experts.

    Thanks for the reply. I didn’t want to derail the debate either, but I was struggling to see where sufficient power could be found from GCR’s to reverse the circulation of stratospheric currents. That it’s a predominantly northern hemisphere event (apart from one recorded SSW over antarctica in 2002) implies that the energy which drives it is terrestrial. The more I discover about correlations between length of day, global atmospheric angular momentum and things like rossby waves and the QBO, the more I’m appreciating the complexity and interelatededness of the climates various elements.

    I think I need a good up to date coherent primer if anyone has some recommendations for further reading.

  115. Thanks Anna, sounds like you had a very interesting 35 years. Particle Physics was pretty Rube Goldberg, when I was learning about it at Uof Auckland. The 8 fold way was the cats meow.

    Seems a lot more orderly now; which I guess means we do eventually make progress.

    George

    Nice to know what people around here do or have done.

  116. “” Jonathan (11:38:04) :

    George: in modern terminology the muon is not a meson. Mesons are quark-antiquark pairs, such as the pion. The muon is a lepton, like the electron and the tauon. “”

    Jonathan, thanks for the heads up. You have to bear in mind, that my first electronics text book was the 1938 “Admiralty Handbook of wireless Telegraphy.” All about spark transmitters and “coherers”. As I recall that book depicted the copper atom as having 63 protons in the nucleus, which was like a plum pudding with 34 electron raisins stuck in the pudding surface, and another 29 electrons orbiting around like planets. Seems that book came out just before the discovery of the neutron. Of course I didn’t get the book till around 1953 when I got out of highschool; and it was regarded as a quaint classic then. My recollection was that the half life of a free neutron then was 12 minutes, but I see it is now more like 14; clearly a time dilation effect !

    But the general state of particle physics was pretty bleak, and mus and pis were simply mesons, and all the quarks wer not even twinkles in someones eye.

    So if the electron is stable why aren’t the the muon and Tauon stable.

    Presumably the pion is an up/down pair, then there would be a strange/charm pair and a top/bottom pair.

    So who the blazes are Truth and Beauty ?

    Well it sounds like they had fun putting all that stuff together. I think it is something like general relativity; totally intractible when it first came up, but as others streamlined the mathematics; it starts to get almost ho-hum.

    Nice to know that Anna made a life long career out of those little buggers.

    I had to slide over into electronics, and Optics, but I found that my Physics base was far more useful, than going the EE route.

    We have an eclectic population here in this clubhouse.

    George

  117. I thought… what the heck, it’s friday night.

    Enjoy everyone…

    [snip, I get on people on this site for labeling people as deniers, so it is only fair that I delete your choice of label. Sorry, Anthony]

  118. realitycheck and Joe D’Aleo linked earlier in the thread to the fact that one of these Stratosphere Sudden Warming Events is now occuring. The last one in the northern hemipshere was 2001.

    It looks to be a truly huge event now in the latest chart. A 50C event is ocurring which is as big as these get. One of the Spitsbergen radiosondes has recorded an 80C temp increase over 5 days.

    I don’t know much about these events but any kind of change like this has got to have far reaching effects. The northern polar vortex has literally stopped as part of this event – the weather could start coming from the east in high and mid-latititudes. The forecasts for the NAO have been drastically reduced in the last few days.

    There is no way that sudden warming in the high stratosphere like this does not result in a lot of heat/energy escaping to space.

    Anyone know more about this?

    And the cosmic ray charts seem to have recontinued their march up with the decline in the solar cycle.

    http://www.netweather.tv/forum/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=76151

  119. This is simplified and lay terms. It is another topic about Antarctica and its “warming.”

    Ozone Hole a Good Thing

    The bottom line is Mother Nature is attempting to prevent the warming through the ozone hole and what are humans going to do? Well of course fix the hole by 2050 which will homogeneously speed up the warming of Antarctica. What the heck is wrong with us? . . . Well not me I would not do it.

    b

  120. Leif Svalgaard (16:36:08) :

    Leif,

    I’m trying to get a handle on the Rossby waves, and am a bit confused by your statement “These waves propagate up from the troposphere to the stratosphere during the winter.

    Do you mean to use the word migrate rather than propogate? My understanding is that Rossby Wave propagation is east-west, and I’m having a hard time picturing the waves taking a right-angle turn to the vertical.

    Earle

  121. Jonathan (11:38:04) :

    George: in modern terminology the muon is not a meson. Mesons are quark-antiquark pairs, such as the pion. The muon is a lepton, like the electron and the tauon.

    You guys might as well be speaking Klingon.

    Ha! See what I did there?

    /slinks away into the darkness…

  122. Foinavon
    I’m not here to defend all Svensmarks work. He can do that himself. I merely noted that one of his predictions – a correlation between temps and cosmic rays, which was poo-poo’d by the establishment, has been independently verified.

    Detrending is intended to give a zero trend not a cooling trend. That cooling trend that you see just isn’t there. Also the cosmic rays clearly seem (especially visible in figure 1) to be on a rising trend to me. Since your arguments rest on that fallacy there’s really nothing to discuss. I grant that the water vapor positive feedback explanation for the trend difference is a bit ropey and ALL adjustments to temperatures are to be treated with suspicion.

    However, unlike you I am able to see that such handwaves appear with greater frequency in the pro-AGW camp than among skeptics. I am also able to note, and which you ritually ignore, that whatever the potential deficiencies in Svensmarks theories, it is being asked to pass tests that the CO2 theory is clearly exempt from. For example, if I point out the lack of correlation of CO2 to temperatures to anyone I get the parrot-type response that the inclusion of the “well-established” aerosol argument explains the difference. Yet if Svensmark or others come up with lesser magic bullets to force a correlation or explain away a simple lack of trend then you come down on him like a ton of bricks. Consistency please: why not look equally skeptically at the ritual handwaving explanations from the AGW camp: There are certainly lots to choose from.

  123. foinavon (13:27:26) :
    ‘Really? The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report assesses the climate sensitivity to be in the range 2 – 4.5 oC. The data that informs the conclusion of a climate sensitivity in that range is pretty much entirely empirical.’

    Which climate sensitivity “empirical” data is the IPPC talking about?
    Data from an experience, experiment, or observed? I don’t consider a computer model build around a CO2 drives the climate theory then has the observed data shoehorned in an experiment, observed or experience.
    It reminds of the “we are too big to fail” computer models that “Wall Street” used to loose trillion of dollars.

  124. What a fascinating and mind opening article. (And what an absolutely absorbing theory I might add!) I can always expect a good read at this site. So many open and thoughtful minds!

    Refreshing!

    Cheers all!

  125. Leif Svalgaard –
    “The article mentions the possibility of using early cosmic ray data from the 1930s.”

    I thought you’d have to dig into your super-secret sources to tell me the answer and it was in the article :o)

    Can’t believe I missed that, and I looked again briefly before I asked. Thanks!

  126. foinavon

    “it’s devillishly difficult to “disprove” something for which there is pretty rock-solid theoretical and empirical evidence. Does the greenhouse effect exist or doesn’t it? Is CO2 a greenhouse gas or not?”

    Red herring.

    It’s the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect aspect of the theory that is suspect, not whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    —–

    Also, you quoted JamesG who said the postulated 3 degrees isn’t in the evidence, then replied

    “Really? The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report assesses the climate sensitivity to be in the range 2 – 4.5 oC. The data that informs the conclusion of a climate sensitivity in that range is pretty much entirely empirical.”

    Unresponsive.

    Climate model output is not evidence, neither is it proof of anything. It must match the real-world data, which it doesn’t. The ‘pretty much’ in your statement is a gaping black hole.

    ——

    re Svensmark:

    “We can conclude:

    4. Variations in the CRF have made (according to S-FC) no contribution to the warming of interest.”

    But but but, that’s not Svensmark’s claim nor his theory.

    you do realize it’s a negative correlation between temperature and cosmic ray flux, don’t you. The flux is modulated by solar wind and magnetic field which are weaker during the down part of the solar cycle. Higher flux leads to more clouds which leads to cooler temps and even more cooler on the downside of the solar cycle. IOW, this is a negative feedback, not a cause of warming.

    I think you simply don’t grok Svensmark yet.

  127. If I could add however, that I have been keeping daily track of the weather in my neck of the woods (literally) for quite a few years now, and have been amazed at the strength and tenacity of the large mass of high pressure over the arctic. Our early cold weather, and the current deep freeze just beginning here, are clearly the result of that persistent mass.
    A clue as to my whereabouts and hobbies: I am a business owner and very amateur pilot/meteorologist, living in paradise at the foot of the very North West slopes of the Cascades. 20 Km’s. or so East x Southeast of Chilliwack BC. I have always followed the weather closely, and can only recall back to the ’69/’70 winter for such lingering cold air flowing out through the valleys for so long a period. The entire North and central area of Canada has been breathtakingly cold for a long time this year, and none of the even vigorous pineapple expresses we are famous for has made much of a dent. The cold air mass receded for a few weeks to mostly right around where I live, and consequently we have had much colder weather than what gets reported out of YVR. (Vancouver International) It must be noted that I am a mere 60 clicks east of the Lower Mainland, and generally over the past 20 years or so we get pretty much the same weather as the greater Vancouver area, minus a few degrees. Often, we are much warmer and wetter.

    I will go out on a very precarious limb here and predict that things are going to be very cold in the Pacific NW for many more days this winter. If the postulations mentioned here turn out correct, we should be in this for even longer. Most unfortunate as Cold = Death.

    Keep in mind those that have to bear this burden outside.

  128. Molon Labe,

    I think Lubos is experiencing a minor conceptualization issue. If the atmosphere were contained in a vertical column, he would be correct. As it is not, the SPHERE of the atmosphere expanding REDUCES the density of the atmosphere. As the whole atmosphere does not heat, the higher pressure of the area heated would STILL decrease its density making in the local area.

    This is obvious in high and low pressure areas in meterology and the basic physics of gasses. Hot air balloons are a good example of this phenomenon. melting water is one of the few times when heating causes an INCREASE in density.

  129. Oceanic Rossby waves also overturn the thermocline… pulling cold nutrient rich water from below it and replacing it with warm….. They travel from east to west and are very slow moving.

    Read this introduction to oceanic Rossby waves from the Southhampton Oceanography Center…. Rossby waves or Planetary waves occur in all fluids subjected to the rotational forces of a planetary body…. including the atmosphere.

    It would seem Rossby waves transfer heat at boundary layers quite efficiently… The thermocline in the ocean, and the stratosphere in the atmosphere….

    Just musing…. It’s a complicated thing, this climate… :-)

  130. Syl (18:44:45) wrote (regarding climate sensitivity):

    “Climate model output is not evidence, neither is it proof of anything. It must match the real-world data, which it doesn’t. The ‘pretty much’ in your statement is a gaping black hole.”

    Paleoclimate studies (which don’t use GCMs) also yield climate sensitivities of 2-4.5 degrees.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v360/n6404/abs/360573a0.html

    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=2999010

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003AGUFMPP22B..07L

  131. Luis Dias (06:32:11) : foinavon (07:01:13) : Lubos Motl (07:02:04) : Luis Dias (07:29:08) : Luis Dias (07:37:38) : Lubos Motl (07:43:20) : Lubos Motl (07:56:00) : Luis Dias (08:05:13) : Luis Dias (08:12:03) : foinavon (08:28:09) : Lubos Motl (08:32:49) : Luis Dias (08:45:49) : foinavon (08:46:38) :
    foinavon (09:25:26) : Lubos Motl (09:28:40) : foinavon (09:36:22) : Luis Dias (09:52:32) :foinavon (09:53:56) : foinavon (10:22:46) : foinavon (13:27:26) :
    foinavon (14:22:42) : foinavon (15:13:33) :

    Maybe it’s just me but … you guys are having way to much fun talking AT each other and everyone else. Yak, yak, yak!

  132. Yikes! I have always been a sea witch and looked a bit askance at the sun worshipers.

    But being a historian by training, I have always been a sucker for correlation, particularly complex correlation.

    Yet I have been hanging onto the Feng Shue that water defeats fire. Well, I guess I’ll have to sit by and watch this one play out.

  133. For those interested in an overview of present day particle physics I would recommend the teaching resources of CERN, lectures provided for high school teachers.
    http://education.web.cern.ch/education/Chapter2/Teaching/PP.html

    Neil O’Rourke (13:11:18) :

    Anna V:

    I’m struggling to understand the partical physics involved in your explanation (the last time I had anything to do with partical decay was high school 24 years ago).

    So, if the underground detectors are incapable of seeing mesons resulting from cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere, what the heck are they seeing that gives a 100% correlation?

    It all has to do with the definition of “seeing”. Ultimately, we are all working with “proxies”. You are reading and comprehending this post by proxy, a transfer of my thoughts to your thoughts.

    So I suspect, because I have not seen the paper, that the MINOS set up is “seeing” cosmic muons by use of simulation runs with Monte Carlo and fits to the underground data, which are specific hits in a detector.

    This detector is designed to measure muons and electrons coming from interactions of neutrino-muon and neutrino-electron with the atoms in the mass of the detector, i.e. suddenly a charged track appears with the origin within the detector. They want tracks that are consistent with the hypothesis of coming from neutrinos from Fermilab, but they will also get tracks from cosmic neutrinos penetrating the ground, as background that has to be excluded, and this is done with the program. They ARE counting cosmic muons by a complicated proxy.

    Penetrating neutrinos will also make muons by hitting atoms in the ground but for these to survive to the detector the interaction has to be within a radiation length or two, and I see no point in MINOS measuring them, unless they have the advantage of being much more numerous. In this case also a monte carlo data fit will be necessary, because the logic is the same.

    p.s. please readers of this keep in mind the simplification of not going through all the +/- neutrino antineutrino and labels in these discussions. You can find the complexity in the link above.

  134. In 2005, I found a direct correlation between interstellar cosmic rays and the oscillations of temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. I could corroborate that the ICR warms the Earth’s atmosphere. The measurements of the intensity of the ICR were obtained by the Voyagers I and II in the Shock Bow of the Solar System. Calculating an average speed of 213 Km/s and the distance from the Shock Bow to our planet, the ICR nucleons and subatomic particles would delay about 14 months on reaching the Earth. Considering that the supersonic nucleons which have overcome upstream the Solar Wind could carry Energy up to 70 MeV or higher, their effect on the Stratosphere’s temperature is persistent and intense. The article from the Journal of Geophysical Research explains the mechanism which I couldn’t explain in its moment.

    My report was published here: http://biocab.org/Cosmic_Rays_Graph.html

    I detest to promulgate my own articles, but I think now it could be relevant.

  135. Never thought I would be witnessing a cosmic ray weather forecast, but there has to be SOMETHING that causes Deep Solar Minima to drive Earth’s temps down other than simple TSI which has been beat worse than a bad dog at Scrooges place these days.
    Falls in there with Archibald’s lecture.
    But I was only aware of low-lying cloud formation.
    Show’s there’s plenty of science ahead for those who keep observing.

  136. Chris V. (21:00:54) :

    from the abstract in your link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v360/n6404/abs/360573a0.html
    . Here we retrieve the sensitivity of two palaeoclimates, one colder and one warmer than present, by independently reconstructing both the equilibrium surface tem-perature change and the radiative forcing. Our results yield DeltaT 2x = 2.3 plusminus0.9 °C.

    Radiative forcing? in paleoclimate? and what happened to those 800 to 2000 year delays of CO2 rise from temperature rise?

  137. MINOS is at a depth of 705 meters. This is equivalent to something like 2000 meters of water. At that level, the muon flux should be reduced by about 10,000 from the surface. MINOS reports don’t discuss this much, but you can see hep-ex/0506032 for a graph. My guess is that the people who made the table did it by comparing differences in muons depending on depth; since muons kicked out by neutrinos will not show a dependence on depth, you get the pure atmospheric amount by looking at the differences.

    When MINOS looks at a muon, they can keep track of whether it comes from outside their fiducial volume or not. If it’s purely inside, then that’s a neutrino event. If it’s from outside, it could be a neutrino that converted to a muon in nearby rock or it could be an atmospheric muon that survived the 10,000 reduction caused by depth. They can distinguish between these cases by looking at the direction of travel; atmospheric muons come from above.

    So I’m interpreting their statements like Lubos; they are indeed looking at atmospheric muons, not neutrinos per se, like Anna V.

    In addition to creating muons at the cosmic ray vertex (which isn’t very likely) you probably get most of them by decays of charged pions. If the pions hit something before they decay, then they don’t get to decay, no muon is produced, and none is detected.

    Muon lifetime is 2 microseconds = 2000 ns. If they are travelling close to the speed of light, then the length they would travel (before taking into account relativistic corrections) is around 2000 feet since light travels about a foot per nanosecond.

    However, charged particles lose energy as they travel through matter. The muons that can dig down to 705 meters are going to be rather high energy and so their lifetimes are going to be much extended beyond 2000 meters. Consequently, we can ignore the effects of muon decay. (This was mentioned in the abstract in that they said that this effect, which would reduce the number of muons from a hot atmosphere, was secondary to the primary effect.)

    So when you look at atmospheric muons at a depth of 700 meters, changes to the flux will be due to changes in the number of muons created. That means we have to look at where muons come from.

    Muons come from the weak decay of hadrons. To do that, the hadrons have to avoid having a strong interaction. A strong interaction would be running into something, most likely an air molecule, but maybe a jet plane filled with people who might get cancer someday. This happens in the upper atmosphere because the total depth of the atmosphere (for high energy hadrons) is like infinity. So what matters here is the thickness of the upper atmosphere; when it is hot, you have substantial air at high enough altitude that air is far enough apart that more muons are produced; hence the effect.

  138. Nasif Nahle (21:43:27) :

    In 2005, I found a direct correlation between interstellar cosmic rays and the oscillations of temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. I could corroborate that the ICR warms the Earth’s atmosphere. …
    My report was published here: http://biocab.org/Cosmic_Rays_Graph.html

    Fascinating article Nasif.
    We await Leif’s objections. :-)
    I’m away to the Spanish mountains for a weeks climbing, can’t wait to catch up with a feast of WUWT posts on my return. Thanks Anthony and everyone for the best science blog on the net!

  139. carlbrannen(23:54:51)

    Thank you for the reference on the reduction of muon flux .

    My guess is based on the fact that MINOS is a neutrino detector and the backgrounds that could confuse the data would be neutrino like and thus would be of interest to be recorded.

    As there is no open link to the publication I guess I will have to wait and see what is really being measured( energy spectrum etc) and how, and also how the backgrounds were corrected for.

  140. Syl (18:44:45) in response to foinavon’s statement: “it’s devillishly difficult to “disprove” something for which there is pretty rock-solid theoretical and empirical evidence. Does the greenhouse effect exist or doesn’t it? Is CO2 a greenhouse gas or not?”
    To which Syl replied: Red herring.
    It’s the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect aspect of the theory that is suspect, not whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    Thanks, Syl. I got suckered there for a moment so appreciate your crisp and clear logic check. Devious, aren’t they… Backed into a corner…

  141. Here is the sad part, even if all the rational, intelligent people conclude that global warming is produced by cosmic rays, this will not deter the man made global warming charlatans. The reason it won’t is that their aims where political–not scientific. Their goal was to destroy capitalism in general and the United States in particular. If they were serious for a micro second they would never say another word about man made global warming in English. Rather, they would learn Mandarin. Laying aside global warming and looking at the pollution effects of combustion energy, only China can save the world. Any honest person can see that one billion people trying to reach western standards will dwarf anything the US or even all the west is doing. The solution to pollution or even man made global warming will be spoken in Mandarin. Not English.

  142. Erl:

    “the solar wind directly heats the atmosphere ”

    This is only a polar phenomenon, a paper out last year surmised 1-2 degrees C for the Arctic.

  143. Then again, the current (Jan 20, 2009) Arctic sea ice extent is at the second highest point ever graphed, behind (by a little bit) that of mid-Jan 2008.

    Some we-are-melting-the-Arctic-and-drowning-polar-bears-trend, eh?

  144. Syl (18:44:45)

    [and Roger Carr (03:35:32)]

    Careful with your reading, Syl. My response to JamesG in relation to the IPCC likely climate sensitivity range (2 – 4.5 oC) was in relation to James’ comment ” In the IPCC scenarios there is even a distinct possibility of just a 1 degree effect per doubling of CO2 and only then because possible negative feedbacks have been ignored.”. In fact the IPCC range of likelihood is 2 -4.5 oC0 and 1 oC is very unlikely indeed.

    You’re seemingly unhappy with my statement:

    “Really? The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report assesses the climate sensitivity to be in the range 2 – 4.5 oC. The data that informs the conclusion of a climate sensitivity in that range is pretty much entirely empirical.”

    Syl:”Unresponsive.

    Climate model output is not evidence, neither is it proof of anything. It must match the real-world data, which it doesn’t. The ‘pretty much’ in your statement is a gaping black hole.”

    This thread isn’t really the place to discuss this stuff, and so I didn’t above. But let’s do so briefly. I would say there is abundant evidence for a significant climate sensitivity (near 3 oC) and this is largely empirical. Here’s some of the data below [***]. Likewise there’s a vast amount of evidence for a strong coupling of temperatures and CO2 concentrations in the deep past [*****].

    It would be foolish to ignore this or pretend it doesn’t exist, while embracing notions for which there is simply no compelling evidence in the real world.

    you do realize it’s a negative correlation between temperature and cosmic ray flux, don’t you…

    … I think you simply don’t grok Svensmark yet.

    If “grok” means what I think it means, then I grog Svensmark pretty well! Of course there’s an inverse correlation between the CRF and putative effects on temperature.

    But where’s the evidence? On this thread we have an unsupported allusion to Svensmark’s idea in the introductory article and a web-based report that JamesG kindly showed us. However on reading the web-based report we find it presents zero evidence for a relationship between the CRF and the earth’s temperature. In fact, taking it at face value, it demonstrates clearly that the CRF can have made no contribution to the late 20th century and contemporary warming.

    It doesn’t seem very constructive to adopt a weird “Alice in Wonderland” stance in which you ignore the real world data on CO2 contributions, and pursue unsubstantiated notions that even the proponents demonstrate is largely irrelevant in their own report….
    ……………………………………………………..

    [***]
    Some of the data up to 2006 is reviewed here (ignore the modelling bits if you don’t like them!):

    Annan JD, Hargreaves JC (2006) Using multiple observationally-based constraints to estimate climate sensitivity. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, art #L06704

    http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d5/jdannan/GRL_sensitivity.pdf

    More recent estimates of climate sensitivity from observational data are:

    K-T Tung and CD Camp (2007) Solar cycle warming at the Earth’s surface and an observational determination of climate sensitivity (in press) [not sure I really like this paper!)

    http://www.amath.washington.edu/research/articles/Tung/journals/solar-jgr.pdf

    Royer DL et al. (2007) Climate sensitivity constrained by CO2 concentrations over the past 420 million years Nature 446, 530-532

    [*****]
    A recent review compiles much of the data:

    D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    Even more recent studies supplement the information in Royers review/compilation and cover additional periods with new data sets right through the past several hundreds of millions of years:

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

    W. M. Kurschner et al (2008) “The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of the terrestrial ecosystem” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 499-453.

    D. L. Royer (2008) “Linkages between CO2, climate, and evolution in deep time” Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 407-408

    Zachos JC (2008) “An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics” Nature 451, 279-283.

    Doney SC et al (2007) “Carbon and climate system coupling on timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene” Ann. Rev. Environ. Resources 32, 31-66.

    Horton DE et al (2007) “Orbital and CO2 forcing of late Paleozoic continental ice sheets” Geophys. Res. Lett. L19708 (Oct. 11 2007).

    B. J. Fletcher et al. (2008) “Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change” Nature Geoscience 1, 43-48.

  145. anna v (02:24:03) said:

    My guess is based on the fact that MINOS is a neutrino detector and the backgrounds that could confuse the data would be neutrino like and thus would be of interest to be recorded.

    As there is no open link to the publication I guess I will have to wait and see what is really being measured( energy spectrum etc) and how, and also how the backgrounds were corrected for.

    From the paper:

    Muons are penetrating particles with a relatively long lifetime and can be observed on the Earth’s surface and deep underground. The minimum muon energy required to reach 705m underground, the location of the MINOS detector used in this study, is 0.7TeV.

    For this measurement, the MINOS neutrino detector was used to detect muons [Adamson et al., 2007].

    Then see the preprint of [Adamson et al., 2007].

  146. anna v (22:18:26) :

    Radiative forcing? in paleoclimate? and what happened to those 800 to 2000 year delays of CO2 rise from temperature rise?

    The paleoclimate studies normally compare time periods when temperatures, CO2, and other forcings were relatively stable (i.e., at equilibrium). They then compare the difference in forcings (CO2, albedo…) between those two time periods to determine the sensitivity.

  147. From one of the references above Giles Barr says:

    “The basic physics behind these environmental effects has been known for a long time in the particle physics community. However, very few studying climate will know of these.”

    Hmmmmmmm.

    My initial take on this paper is that it highlights the overall lack of understanding that exists in climate science. And, correspondingly, the lack of respect that should be placed in those who say “the debate is over” or “I have it nailed” or those who support these views.

  148. JamesG (18:04:30) :

    Foinavon
    I’m not here to defend all Svensmarks work. He can do that himself. I merely noted that one of his predictions – a correlation between temps and cosmic rays, which was poo-poo’d by the establishment, has been independently verified.

    But where has it been independently verified? Not in the web-site report you linked to and that we’ve discussed rather thoroughly. They showed there that the solar cycle contribution to tropospheric temperature can perhaps be “teased out”. They don’t present any evidence that there is any temperature response to variations in the CRF. Are you thinking of some other paper that demonstrates a causal relationship between the CRF and temperature?

    if I point out the lack of correlation of CO2 to temperatures to anyone I get the parrot-type response that the inclusion of the “well-established” aerosol argument explains the difference.

    I think one needs to consider the relationship between CO2 levels and temperature more thoroughly. As well as the last 100/200-odd years, there is strong evidence for a major role for CO2 contributions throughout the ice age cycles and the deeper past. I’ve cited some of this here: [foinavon (07:16:38)]

  149. foinavon

    “It doesn’t seem very constructive to adopt a weird “Alice in Wonderland” stance in which you ignore the real world data on CO2 contributions, and pursue unsubstantiated notions that even the proponents demonstrate is largely irrelevant in their own report”

    I have no idea if Svensmark is on the right track or not and I’m not claiming anything about the validity of his theory, just that I still don’t think you understand what his theory is. And I simply don’t know what you mean by ‘real world data on CO2 contributions’ that I’m supposedly ignoring. My complaint is not that the globe hasn’t warmed it’s that the globe has not warmed nearly as much as has been projected and/or estimated if one looks at the temperature record.

    You can list all the sensitivity estimates you like, they can only be validated by real world data–not model output or handwaving. Perhaps it is you who has adopted a ‘weird “Alice in wonderland” stance’ since you continue to ignore what is happening on our real planet and instead blindly accept the data that lives on paper.

  150. At lower levels, C02 on Earth is antifreeze solution with water vapor. At elevated levels, it is a one-time miniscule forcing that does not increase linearly as it’s levels rise.
    Probably what happened to Mars. Once it fell into an Ice Age, it never warmed enough to recover the water vapor and the attendant CO2 antifreeze mix.
    Nothing like an independent test case to clear things up.

  151. Jonathan (07:19:54) :

    Thank you for the reference. It will take me some time to read it. Fig 4 seems to be a precursor of the paper discussed here. I can already see that my guess was wrong and they do measure penetrating cosmic muons.

  152. Nasif Nahle (21:43:27) :

    In 2005, I found a direct correlation between interstellar cosmic rays and the oscillations of temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. I could corroborate that the ICR warms the Earth’s atmosphere. The measurements of the intensity of the ICR were obtained by the Voyagers I and II in the Shock Bow of the Solar System. Calculating an average speed of 213 Km/s and the distance from the Shock Bow to our planet, the ICR nucleons and subatomic particles would delay about 14 months on reaching the Earth. Considering that the supersonic nucleons which have overcome upstream the Solar Wind could carry Energy up to 70 MeV or higher, their effect on the Stratosphere’s temperature is persistent and intense. The article from the Journal of Geophysical Research explains the mechanism which I couldn’t explain in its moment.

    My report was published here: http://biocab.org/Cosmic_Rays_Graph.html

    I detest to promulgate my own articles, but I think now it could be relevant.

    Nasif,

    This is very interesting information for a whole array of reasons which have a direct impact on the current AGW Doctrine dispute.

    The most important ones:
    1. Your conclusions eliminate human kind to effect the earth climate (AGW by CO2 emissions).
    2. The data presented in your report makes you conclude that the Svensmark Theory could be correct.

    I have the following questions:
    A. Is it possible to update the graph in the articles to our current day and time.
    B. Does the position of the shock Bow vary with the strength of the Earths Magnetic field and the current Solar Minimum.
    If this is the case what would be it’s current position and what would be the implementation for the travel time of the IIGC to reach Earth
    C. Is our solar system currently effected by the gas cloud mentioned in the 1978 article to dominate our climate for the next 10.000 years, confirmed by Voyager I and II measurements
    D. What could be the consequence of this cloud for life on Earth.
    E. Perhaps off topic:
    Last year German Scientists found evidence of a sudden shift in the Earth’s climate
    into a Glaciation Fase within a period of 1 year caused by a radical shift of the jet streams and wind patterns.
    Is there any evidence that the found mechanism could trigger such an event?
    F. Joe D’Aleo just posted a response stating that at this moment in time a major warming of the Stratosphere is taking place.
    Is it possible to simulate this event based on your theory?

  153. gary gulrud (05:13:59) :

    Erl:

    “the solar wind directly heats the atmosphere ”

    This is only a polar phenomenon, a paper out last year surmised 1-2 degrees C for the Arctic.

    Just wondering. Look at this:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215184317.htm
    Citation: Smith, A. K., D. R. Marsh, J. M. Russell III, M. G. Mlynczak, F. J. Martin-Torres, and E. Kyrölä (2008), Satellite observations of high nighttime ozone at the equatorial mesopause, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D17312, doi:10.1029/2008JD010066.
    While extreme ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the dominant mechanism that causes the thermosphere to “breathe,” the new CU-Boulder study indicates high-speed wind from the sun triggers independent breathing episodes by creating geomagnetic disturbances, heating the thermosphere and altering its density. The wind streams are generated by relatively cool pockets on the sun’s surface known as solar coronal holes that periodically rotate around the sun’s surface, said Thayer.

    and also:
    Atmospheric Effects of Coronal Holes and Powerful High-Speed Solar Wind Streams in 2003 Observed by the TIMED Spacecraft
    Recurrent and powerful high speed streams were responsible for driving a large portion of the magnetic activity during the year 2003. High speed streams in this year were among the most geoffective of the entire solar cycle due both to their long-durations (10’s of days) and high velocities. In addition, the polar coronal holes, that provided the source of the high speed streams, also contributed to a significant variation in solar EUV radiation by covering a large fraction of the solar disc each rotation. The TIMED spacecraft with ground-based collaborators made comprehensive measurements of the atmospheric response to these strong, long-duration energy inputs. Initial analysis indicates an interesting coupling between variations in the EUV radiation and solar wind inputs in producing the atmospheric response. The decrease in solar EUV (due to the presence of the coronal hole on the solar disc) begins to precondition the atmosphere several days before the fast coronal hole wind hits the Earth, causing the atmosphere to cool and increasing the O/N2 ratio. Long intervals of recurrent substorm activity triggered by the high speed streams deposit energy in this preconditioned atmosphere. Models indicate that the effects of magnetic activity penetrate deeper in altitude and lower in latitude in such a cooler atmosphere. In addition, enhancements in NO and other changes in atmospheric chemistry driven by the recurrent long-duration substorm activity may not recover before the next high speed stream hits, making for weeks long perturbations. There are also indications that mesospheric tides may be modulated in some way by the high speed stream inputs.

    There is a marked cooling occurring in the equatorial and Antarctic stratosphere in conjunction with the northern stratospheric warming that can be seen here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/

    Given the spatial pattern of these temperature changes it looks more like sun than Rossby wave activity to me.

    That atmosphere is just one big bathtub.

    The temperature of the equatorial stratosphere will jump when the enhanced stratospheric ozone (due to the current cooling) is hit by UV when the coronal hole passes.

    I note that a recurrent trans equatorial coronal hole (CH357) was in an Earth facing position on January 22-24.

    I like the description of the physics offered by kuhnkat (19:10:51) :

  154. The best independent real world verifications of Svensmark and the rest of the cosmic crowd include Shaviv & Veizer (2003) who, one working astrophysics and the other geochemistry, found they’d independently produced the same basic graph, but one was for temperatures over the Phanerozoic and the other for galactic cosmic ray flux.

    Jan Veizer has stated on camera (the Danish documentary Klimamysteriet) that he was expecting good correlation with CO2 and was about to abandon that line of research. His measurement of temperature by oxygen isotope chemical analysis wasn’t making sense in light of CO2 variability, which he, like most folk, including Shaviv, had thought was the cause of warming in the 20th century.

    If great correlation over 550 million years doesn’t do it for you, there was published research that took British weather observations and compared it to cosmic ray flux, and noticed something like a 17% higher probability for overcast skies on high flux days over low flux days.

    Svensmark, Kirkby and others might not yet have the mechanisms correct, but I take their models to be much more compelling than the handwaving of the science and ad hominems from IPCC partisans.

  155. foinavon:

    If your best shot is flogging us with Lockwood, Froelich 2007 you’re putting me to sleep, like a Roger Korman film. Lies, damned lies, statistics and statistics founded on landbased data.

  156. foinavon = Gavin as joyned WuWT . Congratulations Anthony.

    REPLY: No this is a UK address, not the same person. – Anthony

  157. Foinavon,

    throw out the model data and most of your referenced studies are gutted.

    Got any real “science” to back up your Alice-in-Wonderland theories??

  158. Chris V. (07:34:37)

    “The paleoclimate studies normally compare time periods when temperatures, CO2, and other forcings were relatively stable (i.e., at equilibrium). They then compare the difference in forcings (CO2, albedo…) between those two time periods to determine the sensitivity.”

    And here enters the march of the paradox’s.

    As Michael Ghil explains

    As the relatively new science of climate dynamics evolved through the 1980s and 1990s, it became quite clear from observational data, both instrumental and paleoclimatic, as well as model studies that Earth’s climate never was and is unlikely to ever be in equilibrium….

    …The difficulty in narrowing the range of estimates for either equilibrium sensitivity of climate or for end-of-the-century temperatures is clearly connected to the complexity of the climate system, the multiplicity and nonlinearity of the processes and feedbacks it contains, and the obstacles to a faithful representation of these processes and feedbacks in GCMs. The practice of the science and engineering of GCMs over several decades has amply demonstrated that any addition or change in the model’s parametrizations” i.e., of the representation of subgrid-scale processes in terms of the model’s explicit, large-scale variables may result in noticeable changes in the model solutions’ behavior.

    The divergence from reality(from unknown quantities of ‘natural variation”) at present bringing a significant level of uncertainty.

    Mathematical physics tells us why.Eg Nicolis and Prigogine

    “Abstract
    The theory of fluctuations is extended to nonlinear systems far from equilibrium. Systems whose evolution involves two separate time scales, e.g., chemically reacting mixtures near a local equilibrium regime, are studied in detail. It is shown that the usual stochastic description of chemical kinetics based on a “birth and death” model is inadequate and has to be replaced by a more detailed phase-space description. This enables one to develop for such systems a plausible mechanism for the emergence of instabilities, in which the departure from the steady state is governed by large fluctuations of macroscopic size, while small thermal fluctuations are still described by a generalization of Einstein’s equilibrium theory. On the other hand, far from a local equilibrium regime, infinitesimal fluctuations may increase and attain macroscopic values. In this case the system evolves to a state of “generalized turbulence”, in which the distinction between macroscopic averages and fluctuations becomes meaningless. ”

    http://de.scientificcommons.org/19226239

    An in Paleoclimate studies we see the Milankovitch “forcings” introduce a paradox,that there is an additional mechanism for amplification(attenuation) present.

    EG Nicolis and Noolis.

    The oxygen isotope record of the last million years, as provided by a deep sea core sediment, is analyzed by a method recently developed in the theory of dynamical systems. The analysis suggests that climatic variability is the manifestation of a chaotic dynamics described by an attractor of fractal dimensionality. A quantitative measure of the limited predictability of the climatic system is provided by the evaluation of the time-correlation function and the largest positive Lyapounov exponent of the system.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/83/3/536

    Hence the conundrum or paradox eg as Nalimov explains

    1. A thing, in fact becomes a manifold when, unable to remain
    self-centered, it flows outward and by that dissipation takes extension:
    utterly losing unity it becomes a manifold, since there is nothing
    to bind part to part; when, with all this overflowing, it becomes
    something definite, there is a magnitude.

    3. Whatever is an actual existence is by that very fact determined
    numerically . . . approach the thing as a unit and you find it
    manifold; call it a manifold, and again you falsify, for when the
    single thing is not a unity neither is the total a manifold . . . Thus it is
    not true to speak of it [matter, the unlimited] as being solely in flux.

    7. It is inevitably necessary to think of all as contained within one
    nature; one nature must hold and encompass all; . . . But within the
    unity There, the several entities have each its own distinct existence.

    10. When it takes lot with multiplicity, Being becomes Number
    by the fact of awakening to manifoldness;

    13. If, then, unity is more pronounced in the continuous, and
    more again where there is no separation by part, this is clearly because
    there exists, in real existence, something which is a Nature or
    Principle of Unity.

    14. . . . while continuous quantity exists, discrete quantity does
    not-and this though continuous quantity is measured by the
    discrete.

    So what are we saying here?.That reasonable questions can be asked about the level of natural variation of climate “states” We can ask this say for example in the question of say “solar-gcr coupling by correctly posing the questions eg.GCR.

    Q1) Do GCR change the state of the earths atmosphere and hence climate state?

    A1) Yes,this is not controversial attribute eg Crutzen 1975, Reid 1978.This is a well developed theory.

    Q2) Where would one expect to see the “signature” of GCR forcing ?
    A2) In the stratosphere , and in the Polar regions.

    Q3) why to A2 ?
    A3) There are two limiting qualities
    A3.1)the atmospheric cutoff (where the density of the atmosphere precludes lower energy GCR from penetrating EG Dorfman 2004.
    A3.2)The Geomagnetic cutoff EG Stormer

    Q4) Is there any observable trend in GCR from the Neutron monitors(and distinguishable from solar cycle modulation?.
    A4) No.

    Q5) Is there any observable trend in GCR flux from other instruments?
    A6) Yes.

    Q7) Where ?
    A7) In the stratosphere eg Bazilevskaya and Svirzhevskaya, 1998 On the stratospheric measurements of cosmic rays, Space Sci. Rev., 85, 31-521. Stozhkov et al., 2000; cf Ahluwalia, 2000

    Over a 30-year period the solar minimum value of the stratospheric flux decreases by ~2.5%

    Bieber 2007 notes

    A long-term decline has also been reported in the >95 MeV proton rate measured aboard the IMP 7 and IMP 8 satellites [Ahluwalia and Lopate, 2001].

    Hence the conundrum.Real climate like to tell the world that there is no “trend”in gcr (and if one only uses the NM) one could say ok.However if we use other observables we can falsify that.

  159. tallbloke (07:28:53) :

    “Ron de Haan (23:57:09) :

    Anthony, I think you are the fastest publisher on earth.

    And the worst name speller too. ;-)

    I posted an excerpt from wikipedia in response to your post on the Ross Hays letter thread.

    One reason for major stratospheric warmings to occur in the Northern hemisphere is because orography and land-sea temperature contrasts are responsible for the generation of long (wavenumber 1 or 2) Rossby waves in the troposphere. These waves travel upward to the stratosphere and are dissipated there, producing the warming by decelerating the mean flow. This is the reason that major warmings are only observed in the northern-hemisphere, with one exception. In 2002 a southern-hemisphere major warming was observed. This event to date is not fully understood.

    So maybe the conventional wisdom is that the sudden stratospheric warming is caused by rossby waves and the QBO, which is caused by gravity waves.”

    Tallbloke:

    I am not in a position to judge your “conventional wisdom” in regard to the cause of sudden stratospheric warming.

    I was caught however by the response of Nasif Nahle (21:43:27) who stated:

    “In 2005, I found a direct correlation between interstellar cosmic rays and the oscillations of temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. I could corroborate that the ICR warms the Earth’s atmosphere. The measurements of the intensity of the ICR were obtained by the Voyagers I and II in the Shock Bow of the Solar System. Calculating an average speed of 213 Km/s and the distance from the Shock Bow to our planet, the ICR nucleons and subatomic particles would delay about 14 months on reaching the Earth. Considering that the supersonic nucleons which have overcome upstream the Solar Wind could carry Energy up to 70 MeV or higher, their effect on the Stratosphere’s temperature is persistent and intense. The article from the Journal of Geophysical Research explains the mechanism which I couldn’t explain in its moment.

    My report was published here: http://biocab.org/Cosmic_Rays_Graph.html

    I detest to promulgate my own articles, but I think now it could be relevant.

    Nasif”,

    I have read all the articles related to his link which provides not only the elimination of the AGW doctrine but also firm support for the Svensmark Theory.

    With the ap index as low as it gets and a current tropospheric heating event taking place we now have the opportunity to observe what processes are at work and collect further proof for Nasif’s theory.

  160. Dear Ron de Haan,

    Thanks a lot! I’ve tried to answer your questions. I’ve numbered my answers:

    A. Is it possible to update the graph in the articles to our current day and time.

    1- Yes, it is possible, as long as NASA releases the database obtained from Voyagers I and II after the period indicated in my article, or at least for the next 14 months. It seems a new article on the matter is in preparation and perhaps it has been an impediment for us, outside NASA, to have access to those databases.

    B. Does the position of the shock Bow vary with the strength of the Earths Magnetic field and the current Solar Minimum?

    If this is the case what would be its current position and what would be the implementation for the travel time of the IIGC to reach Earth

    2- The subject is still not clear. The present calculation proposes a distance of 80 to 84 AU, which is the distance that we could consider it’s the shortest distance from the Earth to the Shock Bow, taking into account that under conditions of solar maxima the distance would be about 95 UA, on condition that the intensity of the currents of interstellar plasma are “normal”. All we can give for sure is that Voyagers encountered something massive and anomalous out there, at a distance of 84-90 AU from Earth, and that, as the solar wind weakens, the intensity of the interstellar plasma, which could hit on planets, increases. This would be valid for highly energized particles because when the solar wind is strong, the weakly energized particles are those which overcome the trajectory of the solar wind in crosscurrent.

    C. Is our solar system currently effected by the gas cloud mentioned in the 1978 article to dominate our climate for the next 10.000 years, confirmed by Voyager I and II measurements?

    3- Definitely, yes, it is; although we could conjecture that we would be barely clearing the border of the cosmic cloud and that few decades stay ahead for our Solar System gets inside the center of the cosmic cloud. I wrote a note in red in my article in reference to some criticisms made on Vidal Madjaar’s observations; what satellites are corroborating currently is a verification of Madjaar’s predictions.

    D. What could be the consequence of this cloud for life on Earth?

    4- I think it would not be of severe consequences for life on Earth. Our Solar System has crossed many cosmic clouds many times and nothing “weird” has happened. My speculation would be most on the kind of species which would survive to the increased radiation and Earth”s electrodynamic changes and which ones would evolve favorably or would perish.

    E. Perhaps off topic:
    Last year German Scientists found evidence of a sudden shift in the Earth’s climate
    into a Glaciations Fase within a period of 1 year caused by a radical shift of the jet streams and wind patterns.
    Is there any evidence that the found mechanism could trigger such an event?

    5- I don’t know, but it could be possible if the geomagnetic field affects to the jet streams and wind patterns. Something very interestingly new and that could be related with the German scientists’ finding is the discovery of a “mysterious” electric charge in the Moon dust and an increase of Moon’s magnetism. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/21nov_abbas.htm and http://www.astrobio.net/news/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1949&theme=Printer

    F. Joe D’Aleo just posted a response stating that at this moment in time a major warming of the Stratosphere is taking place.
    Is it possible to simulate this event based on your theory?

    6- Of course it is possible; however, I have not the complete database, as I have said in # 1. I will be insisting on the issue until someone at NASA has mercy and send me the complete database.

  161. Nasif,
    Thank you for your quick answers and the NASA link.
    Maybe you could ask Leif Svalgaard for support to get this data.

    I really think this is the ground breaking science which provides us with the insights that make us understand what influences and controls our climate.

    I hop that more people visiting the WUWT site will read your findings and fuel a good discussion.

    Thank you very much.

  162. As time goes by the emergence of studies that claim causes for warming other than CO2 will eradicate the AGW Doctrine.

    This is another example:
    A European Study claims that the clean air in Europe is responsible for 10-20% of the day time warming in Western Europe and 50% of the day time warming in Eastern Europe. Combine this effect with the ICR effects, an objective presentation of the temps statistics and tell me what’s left of AGW?

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo414.html

  163. Syl (10:06:39)

    Since this thread is about cosmic rays and the “Cosmic Ray Flux (CRF) -cloud/climate” connection has been alluded to in the top article and introdced specifically by JamesG, one may as well consider the evidence for it!

    Unfortunately there is precious little of any substance/relevance. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. However the web-site article James brought to our attention provides zero evidence for this connection and in fact demonstrates that it’s completely irrelevant for contemporary warming.

    Perhaps it is you who has adopted a ‘weird “Alice in wonderland” stance’ since you continue to ignore what is happening on our real planet and instead blindly accept the data that lives on paper.

    That’s one of those airy sentences that sounds like it should be rather meaningful, but on reflection clearly isn’t! “What’s happening on our real planet” is being explored by scientific investigation and described in publications “on paper”. Svensmark’s notions are described “on paper”. The fact that what we learn and know is compliled and written down in print or electronically isn’t really the point is it! It’s science and therefore it’s all about the evidence. We’d like to see the evidence that might give us confidence in taking the CRF-climate link seriously.

  164. Greg Goodknight (14:35:48) :

    The best independent real world verifications of Svensmark and the rest of the cosmic crowd include Shaviv & Veizer (2003) who, one working astrophysics and the other geochemistry, found they’d independently produced the same basic graph, but one was for temperatures over the Phanerozoic and the other for galactic cosmic ray flux.

    The evidence for that “correlation” is rather contrived unfortunately Greg. We could discuss that if you like.

    However a more serious problem with that hypothesis is that Veizer himself has reassessed the plaeotemperature and has shown (at least to his own satisfaction) that a full cycle of the supposed CRF-temperature link is dis-correlated (Veizer now shows that the early Silurian was very warm when the supposed CRF-temperature “correlation” predicts a cold period). In fact Veizer now considers that it’s atmospheric carbon dioxide that drives/amplifies increased global temperatures (see citation and abstract below). Again that doesn’t mean that the CRF-temperature hypothesis isn’t of potential interest. However it’s a hypothesis which doesn’t accord with real world evidence as shown by the proponents themselves (Veizer….Svensmark….see my posts above).

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations seem to have been several times modern levels during much of the Palaeozoic era (543–248 million years ago), but decreased during the Carboniferous period to concentrations similar to that of today1, 2, 3. Given that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, it has been proposed that surface temperatures were significantly higher during the earlier portions of the Palaeozoic era1. A reconstruction of tropical sea surface temperatures based on the 18O of carbonate fossils indicates, however, that the magnitude of temperature variability throughout this period was small4, suggesting that global climate may be independent of variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Here we present estimates of sea surface temperatures that were obtained from fossil brachiopod and mollusc shells using the ‘carbonate clumped isotope’ method5—an approach that, unlike the 18O method, does not require independent estimates of the isotopic composition of the Palaeozoic ocean. Our results indicate that tropical sea surface temperatures were significantly higher than today during the Early Silurian period (443–423 Myr ago), when carbon dioxide concentrations are thought to have been relatively high, and were broadly similar to today during the Late Carboniferous period (314–300 Myr ago), when carbon dioxide concentrations are thought to have been similar to the present-day value. Our results are consistent with the proposal that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations drive or amplify increased global temperatures1, 6.

  165. Earle Williams (17:45:27) :
    “My understanding is that Rossby Wave propagation is east-west, and I’m having a hard time picturing the waves taking a right-angle turn to the vertical.”

    I’m thinking of a Rossby wave like a long wavelength soundwave and a soundwave propagates in all directions to some degree. It’s not that it takes a right hand turn, because it has 3 directional components at formation.

  166. Erl:

    You are likely outstripping my awareness(in fact, 1-2 ought probably to be 2-3 degrees).

    I did note the recent NASA release indicating(I gathered during minima) that the heretofore required IMF flipping south was incomplete; a more serious conduit of the charged particle streaming occurs with IMF north.

    My intuition is that the direct heating of the (current cool and dense) Ionosphere is circumvented. This might lead to UV heating of lower layers, despite the low levels of this spectrum at minimum(no flares since Feb. 2007), as a higher percentage passes thru to them.

  167. To foinavon.

    Early Silurian (443Mya to 423Mya)

    – CO2: 4,500 ppm to 5,500 ppm

    – Temperatures: 5C to 7C warmer (perhaps as high as 10C)

    – Implied CO2 sensitivity per doubling 1.5C to 1.8C

    – (3.0C per doubling would have temps at 12C to 14C higher)

    Quit quoting Nature studies without identifying the proper implications – A list of 10 Nature study titles tells us nothing – None of us have $500 to shell out to sign up for Science or Nature – and post links to free articles if they are available.

  168. foinavon (02:15:09) :

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202
    from Berner (2001

    I do not see any correlation:

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate/gores_10_errors_old_and_new_scientific_mistakes_and_exaggerations_in_an_int/

    Obviously is spoiled to change the discussion to a field that you know is a dominant characteristics.

    But. I know that you will respond.

    The paleoproxy data for contemporaneous CO2 and temperature data is reviewed in detail here:

    D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    Even more recent studies supplement the information in Royers compilation and cover additional periods with new data sets right through the past several hundreds of millions of years:

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

    W. M. Kurschner et al (2008) “The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of the terrestrial ecosystem” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 499-453.

    D. L. Royer (2008) “Linkages between CO2, climate, and evolution in deep time” Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 407-408

    Zachos JC (2008) “An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics” Nature 451, 279-283.

    Doney SC et al (2007) “Carbon and climate system coupling on timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene” Ann. Rev. Environ. Resources 32, 31-66.

    Horton DE et al (2007) “Orbital and CO2 forcing of late Paleozoic continental ice sheets” Geophys. Res. Lett. L19708 (Oct. 11 2007).

    B. J. Fletcher et al. (2008) “Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change” Nature Geoscience 1, 43-48.

    FM

  169. Bill Illis (08:14:39)

    Come on Bill, let’s address these issues properly.

    The first point is that Greg Goodnight quite reasonably referred us to a paper in which Nir Shaviv and Jan Veizer made a tentative proposal of a possible link between the CRF (Cosmic Ray Flux) and the archaic temperature evolution. The possible connect was rather tentative but a rough “correlation” could be teased out with a bit of massaging of the data.

    Subsequently Veizer himself reassessed his own temperature data and concluded that this required reinterpretation in the light of data using a new proxy method. Now the tentative correlation between the CRF and paleotemperature doesn’t apply any more, at least for one full cycle of the putatuve correlation.

    If we’re trying to claim a CRF-temperature correlation and one of the proposer himself considers that the relationship actually doesn’t apply very well, and in fact the temperature correlates rather well with paleoCO2 data, then that’s rather strong reason that we might not consider the CRF-temperature correlation very well supported!

    Here’s the new Veizer paper again [***]

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

    I think you’ll find that a proper assessment of the climate sensitivity of the full paleotemperature/paleoCO2 record yields a best fit to a climate sensitivity of 2.7 oC per doubling of atmospheric CO2. That’s described here:

    Royer DL et al. (2007) Climate sensitivity constrained by CO2 concentrations over the past 420 million years Nature 446, 530-532

    One of the things you need to be a little careful of in making simplisitc interpretations of climate sensitivty from paleodata from the very deep past is to factor in the weaker solar constant. The solar output was rather a lot weaker 400-500 million years ago, and considerably higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations (of the order of 1000 ppm) were required to maintain the earth in a non-glacial state. That’s described here for example:

    D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    It’s unfortuante that you choose not to make the effort to look at the scientific literature on these very interesting and important issues, since that’s where the science is described, archived, and discussed. Most people are within reasonable distance of a University library, and many good public libraries take Nature and Science. Likewise many papers are available on the web (all of NASA GISS papers and many other government-funded organizations), and can often be obtained via Google Scholar. Likewise one can email the authors for copies and so on..

  170. Bill Illis (08:14:39) :

    To foinavon.

    Early Silurian (443Mya to 423Mya)

    – CO2: 4,500 ppm to 5,500 ppm

    No those values are rather too high I think. The proxy CO2 data are in the range 3000 – 4000 ppm for this period, certainly for the later parts that overlap Veizer’s revised paleotemp data. One needs to go a bit futher back in time to get proxy CO2 data that goes up to 5000 ppm and above. Of course there is some uncertaintly in all of these data…

    Again these data are compiled in Royer’s review of this subject:

    D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

  171. Fernando (09:01:42) :

    foinavon (02:15:09) :

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202
    from Berner (2001

    I do not see any correlation

    Are you sure you know what you’re looking at in that weird graph, Fernando? There is no CO2 data in that graph. It’s a model (Berners Geocarb model). The CO2 “data” is represented in the model with a 10 million time resolution. It’s a very nice model by the way…a very nice piece of work that models the likely CO2 concentration based on our knowledge of the movement of the continents, weathering rates and so on.

    I don’t know where the temperature data comes from. Do you? We know it’s wrong though don’t we? After all the temperature hasn’t dropped steadily from 22 oC to 12 oC during the past 20 million years. Likewise the evidence indicates that the end-Ordovician glacial period lasted a very short time (it’s dated to 445.6-447.3 million years ago, which would be a very thin line on the graph indeed).

    However, there is a more fundamental problem in the graph (which I suspect is designed to fool the unwary). One can only determine the relationship between paleotemperature and paleoCO2 where there is well-defined contemporaneous CO2 and temperature data. In other words you can’t take very sparse palaeodata points and just connect them up and presume that the temperature of CO2 levels are defined during intervening periods! So, for example, there isn’t a paleoCO2 proxy that is contemporaneous with the short end-Ordovician glacial period. So we don’t know what the relationship between CO2 and temperature was for that exact period, and we csan’t presume to know by interpolation from earlier and later proxies.

    In general, where there is well-defined contemporaneous data points for CO2 and temperature, there is a pretty good relationship (low temp-low CO2/high temp-high CO2). That’s what Veizer found. I’ve cited a whole bunch of other data (you copied them into your post!) that assess contemporaneous CO2 and temperature proxies, so you can assess this yourself.

  172. Question – Do such cosmic rays have variations in intensity depending on where they originate? For example, can we be more specific about where on the globe increases of cloud cover occur and correlate this information with the direction and intensity of these cosmics ray?

  173. Two bits of wisdom gleaned / distilled in this thread for me

    (1) Nasif Nahle I too saw your piece “flash out” and when I checked, it felt very right and it seemed the stats are there too. Any chance for rigorous statistical assessment of your (14-month adjusted) graphical correlation? It does feel like the outside, high-energy particles have GOT to be causative of the stratospheric warming. Is there any sign of regular periodicity in the cosmic flux / SSW? I heard “two years” way back on the thread but is this regular?

    (2) Trolls… can blind lesser mortals with screeds of credible verbiage; they are also so skilled at pointing to others for carrying the very faults they themselves carry that, for a while, one believes… and this following can be enough to carry them to the next suckers’ project with “credentials”. I’m naming no names, it’s a phenomenon worthy of scientific psychological appraisal as we learn to wrestle with the likes of Madoff.

  174. foinavon, I’m disappointed. My feelings are hurt. In my 11:11:52 post way upthread, after making various comments I asked you a simple question. You answered others’ queries, why not mine?

    OK, so here it is again:

    No hedging, now. Will increasing CO2 levels lead to runaway global warming and climate catastrophe? Or not?

    I also need to know if I should stock up on ice cubes; how many do I need, and when should I start?

    Remember, no hedging! And no references to other links. I want to know if you believe we’re headed for catastrophe. To be a good sport about it, I’ll answer a question of yours.

  175. What about the major stratospheric warming we are living now?
    At 10hPa it is a new record. Its effect in the troposphere could be the developoment of a strong period of AO-, with a reversal of the mean zonal wind.

  176. foinavon
    I agree with you:
    “Of course there is some uncertaintly in all of these data… ”

    2008 …..is Palaeozoic era?

    The rule of the game is this;
    Structural uncertainty
    Indicative examples of sources:
    Inadequate models, incomplete or competing conceptual frameworks, lack
    of agreement on model structure, ambiguous system boundaries or
    definitions, significant processes or relationships wrongly specified or not
    considered.
    Typical approaches or considerations:
    Specify assumptions and system definitions clearly, compare models with
    observations for a range of conditions,assess maturity of the underlying science and degree to which understanding is based on fundamental concepts tested in other areas.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-uncertaintyguidancenote.pdf

  177. I can’t see how a tiny little thing like a 40C change in the
    temperature of the stratosphere could have any noticeable
    effect whatever on the production of muons, or mesons,
    or any other many-MeV particle. The energy scales are
    hopelessly wrong. The change in relative velocities of the
    nuclei of air atoms that cosmic rays encounter will be
    entirely negligable.

    I suppose it is just barely possiible that the temperature
    changes the local density, and that changes the particle
    flux detected. But the temp effect is in the stratosphere and
    the detector is underground. The total change in shielding
    matter will be minute compared even to the amount of
    atmosphere, never mind the ground that these particles
    go through.

    I think it’s much more likely that the causal chain is either
    increased particle fux causes increased temperature, or
    something else causes both.

    Also:
    From the NCAS page linked above:
    > 1. Contacts:
    > Dr Louisa Watts , National Centre for Atmospheric Science
    > Science Communications Manager.

    Any relation?

  178. Dear Lucy Skywalker,

    Thanks a lot for your comment. I’ll try to answer your question on the periodicity of the Flux of ICR, which could be the answer for Carlo’s question: In 2003, V.E. Timofeev and coworkers from the “Yuri Gagarin Shafer Institute of Cosmo-physical Research and Aeronomy” in Yakutsk, Russia studied the periodicity of the increasing intensity of Galactic Cosmic Rays and they found it is around 243 days (around eight months) due to an Interplanetary Magnetic Field cavity situated near Jupiter which acts like a magnetic bottleneck that traps most of the particles incoming from the interstellar medium. They also found that the Cosmic Rays do not flow in a parallel trajectory with respect to the Solar System equator, but directly perpendicular to the Solar System plane. I think the latter is due to the tilt of the Solar System with respect to the galactic plane, which is near to 90°. The evidence on the origin of the suprathermal and highly energetic particles populations resides on the intensity of the anisotropy of the Cosmic Rays detected by the Voyagers I and II, which is extremely high, for saying it in some way, while the anisotropy of the Solar Cosmic Rays decreases as they reach the termination shock and scatter in all directions as they cross the Termination Shock, especially during the high flux of a streaming away from the Sun. Nevertheless, I adopted the period of 14 months for not creating confusion with the highly energetic electrons towards the Sun emitted by Jupiter. On the other hand, the present encounter of the Solar System (SS) with the Cosmic Cloud could coincide with the orbital period of the SS around the galactic center, which is about 225 million years. Vidal-Madjar et al calculated the distance at which the cloud was in 1978 and concluded that it was at 0.03 ps (9.3 x 10^11 Km) away from the SS and moving towards the SS at a speed of 20 Km/s, which would represent a period of about 50 years. However, as the SS is moving also towards the cloud, the vectors sum offers a speed of 237 Km/s, which, as Alfred Vidal-Madjar pointed up in his article, has abridged the time of encounter to only four years, i.e. the encounter took place in 1982. Any correlation with the beginning of the hard period of global warming is mere coincidence (?)

  179. Dan Evens (17:28:57) :
    I can’t see how a tiny little thing like a 40C change in the
    temperature of the stratosphere could have any noticeable
    effect whatever on the production of muons, or mesons,
    or any other many-MeV particle. The energy scales are
    hopelessly wrong. The change in relative velocities of the
    nuclei of air atoms that cosmic rays encounter will be
    entirely negligable.

    That ‘tiny’ change of 40C gives a ~20% change in density!

    I suppose it is just barely possiible that the temperature
    changes the local density, and that changes the particle
    flux detected. But the temp effect is in the stratosphere and
    the detector is underground. The total change in shielding
    matter will be minute compared even to the amount of
    atmosphere, never mind the ground that these particles
    go through.

    The change in stratospheric density changes the average altitude at which the muons are created, since they only have a lifetime of ~2.2μs that controls where they can be detected (don’t forget to allow for time dilation).

  180. Foinavon says..

    “the large warming of the last 30-odd years..”

    “After all the very marked warming of the last 30-odd years”

    “late 20th century and contemporary warming”

    “If we’re interested in the very marked contemporary warming we obviously look elsewhere.”

    I don’t know anything about CRF’s (although this and other threads may help somewhat) but if the evidence for a causal link between increased CO2 and temperatures exists in the late 20th Century (not exactly in the 21st C, so far), then what is the traditional explanation for the apparently sharper and more dramatic warming of the first half of the 20th C, when CO2 was far below present (after 1940s) levels?

  181. Anthony,

    I am an avid observer of WUWT and greatly respect it’s current objectives and it’s achievements. However I don’t wish to appear paranoid but if you look through the last few threads the “Team” are swarming all over your blogs like a rash. As I see it, as a lurker, they appear to be the equivalent of hired guns brought in to disrupt this blogsite. They are persuasive, articulate and full of information that only someone employed professionally would have time to assimilate. One as to wonder what there objective is and who sent them.

    From my own perspective there is no way I could compete with their knowledge, and I think this applies to the vast majority of amateur blogers on this site. I’m sure though that what ever our qualifications or credentials most of us have the innate ability to recognise “dog dirt” when we see it. No matter how much the dog is excused, no matter how much the dog is defended, no matter how scented they try to make it, no matter where they try to sweep it, the inescapably odour is that of “dog dirt“. They live in a virtual world, indoctrinating each other with the theology, until they are cast out as missionaries to convert or subvert anybody who is not a believer.

    Sorry if I appear too biblical but it all seems to fit, and no doubt the Team will be all over me, not like a rash, but more like a dog.

    REPLY: I think that is a bit much. Please tone down such accusations, as they are without serious merit as far as I can tell, and I know who visits. – Anthony

  182. Luis Dias

    Relax.

    Read the article again and think it through carefully. He did not say what you think he did and further you are dead wrong about the effect this may have on low level cloudiness. No one I see is saying this is proof of anything, it does appear to suggest that the idea that cosmic rays can not affect weather could be wrong.

  183. Here’s a serious question for the many experts that roam this blog:

    Establishing that there is a correlation between solar activity, sunspots, and global temperatures, I am interested in “thermal inertia” and the possibility of a delayed response when it comes to arctic sea ice levels. In particular, how long of a delay do you think there is? In other words, how many years do you think it will be before we really start seeing the effects of this solar downturn on NH sea ice levels? I know there already has been some rebound, but I think there’s still quite a ways to go.

  184. David Porter,

    You’re right of course. Especially since WUWT won the Best Science blog award, the warmists have been swarming. There’s a reason for that. Ever since it became apparent to the causal reader that beneficial carbon dioxide causes such little effect on the climate that it can be disregarded, whole belief systems have been threatened.

    This explains as well as anything why those still believing that we’re headed toward climate catastrophe because CO2 is rising have become so shrill:

    As contrary evidence has accumulated, proponents of strong AGW have begun to display signs of cognitive dissonance. The famed social psychologist Leon Festinger, developer of the concept of cognitive dissonance, conducted early studies of the phenomen.The psychological model is that their belief system became part of their identity, their self, and information at odds with that belief system became an attack on the self. This helps explain why such people can be resistant to information that would be judged positive on a rational basis. Festinger’s book, When Prophecy Fails, tells of a group of doomsday believers who predicted the end of the world on a particular date. When that didn’t happen, the believers became even more determined they were right. And they become even louder and proselytized even more aggressively after the disconfirmation. So we can expect ever more extreme, opaque, and strange defenses from proponents as evidence continues to mount. For example we are now told that even cooling fits in with global warming. [source: CA]

    It’s not a matter of science any more, it’s a matter of status and personal identity.

  185. David Porter (13:11:50) :

    …if you look through the last few threads the “Team” are swarming all over your blogs like a rash. As I see it, as a lurker, they appear to be the equivalent of hired guns brought in to disrupt this blogsite. They are persuasive, articulate and full of information that only someone employed professionally would have time to assimilate. One as to wonder what there objective is and who sent them.

    You come across some articulate and informed posters who shoot half-baked ideas out of the water and rather than tackling what they say you fall back upon the ad hominem insinuation that those who disagree with you are “hired guns”.

    Science is articulate, informed, and intelligent. If you really want this to be a useful science blog then I’d suggest you get used to it.

  186. Anthony,

    If you don’t see it the way I have observed then I accept that. I will mind my tongue in future.

    David

  187. Ok, Ok, hang on a second here….

    So the sun has something to do with the temperature of the planet?

    We need to consult with the Goracle.

  188. “are persuasive, articulate and full of information that only someone employed professionally would have time to assimilate. ”

    I would argue rather they are artless prevaricators presenting as fact or acknowledged likely conclusions drawn by those who similarly present false data and baseless surmises.

    For example, Lockwood and Froelich misrepresent CRF and satellite data and use discredited temperature data to reach their ‘conclusion’.

    The Silurian was the opening of the last super-continent tectonic formation which recurrently gives rise to high global temps.

    Many of us simply don’t have the time to address every troll under the bridge.

  189. gary gulrud (07:21:31)

    For example, Lockwood and Froelich misrepresent CRF and satellite data and use discredited temperature data to reach their ‘conclusion’.

    really? Evidence please.

    The Silurian was the opening of the last super-continent tectonic formation which recurrently gives rise to high global temps.

    The point is that the putative cosmic ray flux (CRF)-climate link suggested by Shaviv and Veizer that Greg Goodnight brough to our attention[***] requires that the period under consideration (443-423MYA) was cold. The putative CRF reconstruction resulting from the passage of the solar system through the spiral arms of the galaxy is around its peak in the early Silurian (according to the rather contrived reconstruction of Shaviv and Veizer). High CRF should give cool-cold global temperature according to the CRF-temperature hypothesis.

    So the data for the early Silurian is 180o opposed to the prediction of the CRF-earth temperature hypothesis. Veizer himself now considers that the warming in this period is a result of greenhouse gas forcing (specifically CO2):

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

    There’s nothing “sleight of hand” in any of that and it requires nothing more than an ability to read and comprehend simple logic. Veizer considers that there is a “coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 during the Paleozoic era”, and there’s a very large amount of similar data that supports this (see citations in [foinavon (07:16:38)]).

    You suggest that tectonic activity may “recurrently gives rise to high global temps”. You’re right. The evidence indicates that very high global temperatures follow extreme and long-lived tectonic activity as a result of the massive release of greenhouse gasses (CO2 but also methane) into the atmosphere. Early Jurrassic global warming (and associated extinctions) is linked to the release of greenhouse gasses from sedimentary reservoirs in the Karoo Basin (South Africa)…the end-Permian mass extinction is linked with global warming resulting from massive greenhouse gas emissions (likely source the Serbian Traps)….the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) followed the massive tectonic events involved in the opening of the N Atlantic at the embryonic plate boundary between Greenland and Europe around 56 MYA and the release of CO2/methane….the end Cretaceous extinction 65 MYA had large associated global warming linked to the double whammy of the massive flood basalt events that gave rise to the Deccan Traps (in now India) and the extraterrestrial impact that slammed into limestone-rich deposits and vapourized massive amounts of carbonate back into CO2.

    So yes, you’re right. Truly humungous tectonic events (these last 1000’s and even many hundreds of thousands of years as in the Deccan Traps formation) result in global warming resulting from massive greenhouse gas release.

    [***] N.J. Shaviv and J. Veizer (2003) Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate? GSA Today 13, 4-10.

  190. Nasif Nahle (12:25:07)

    Foinavon….Could you manage the thermodynamics and thermal properties of CO2? Please, not based on speculations, but on experimental data.

    In what sense Nasif?

    This thread is about Cosmic Rays so we shouldn’t spend too much time on the “thermodynamcs and thermal properties of CO2” probably! I only raised the evidence for relationships between CO2 and temperature in the deep past following a request to consider the Shaviv/Veizer hypothesis and the fact that Veizer himself has published recent data that are opposed to his (and Shaviv’s) hypothesis, and Veizer’s own evidence for CO2-temperature coupling.

    However if you can be more specific in your request I’ll have a go..

    Incidentally, there hasn’t been much “speculation” on my part on this thread! I’ve addressed non-speculatively “data” brought to our attention concerning the Svensmark-Friis-Christensen speculation, the Shaviv-Veizer speculation and the odd paleotemperature-paleoCO2 sketch that was linked to. Everyone else can address this stuff as well as I can, and so I’m rather surprised at the angst my posts have induced. If this threads about the Cosmic ray Flux, one may as well discuss this!

  191. Foinavon… In this sense, precisely: “I only raised the evidence for relationships between CO2 and temperature in the deep past following a request…” How could it be a relationship between CO2 and temperature if the CO2 has not the thermal properties to cause a warming of that kind?
    On the other hand, we positively have experimental and observational data which demonstrates that CR are able to cause changes on Earth’s climate because any production of muons releases energy which is absorbed by the atmosphere, as well as the effect of IC nuclides on terrestrial systems:

    http://www.uap.co.jp/uap/Publication/SERIES/DATA/00081/index.html

  192. Nasil,

    How could it be a relationship between CO2 and temperature if the CO2 has not the thermal properties to cause a warming of that kind?

    That’s a statement of illogic based on a false premise unfortunately. It’s not about the “thermal properties” of CO2. It’s very well understood that the greenhouse properties of CO2 (and water vapour and methane and chlorofluorocarbons etc) are a consequence of their absorption of long wave infra red electromagnetic radiation (LWIR) emitted from the earth’s surface. Thus greenhouse gasses intercept LWIR that would otherwise escape to space, and either re-irradiate this (to be “captured” by other LWIR-absorbing molecules largely) or pass on the energy to other molecules in the atmosphere via molecular collisions.

    CO2 and water vapour absorb LWIR because they have bond vibrational modes that involve a molecular dipole displacement. The vastly abundant atmospheric gasses (O2 and N2) are symmetrical diatomic molecules that cannot undergo asymmetric bond vibrations and thus cannot absorb LWIR. It is the small amount of greenhouse gas concentrations that result in the very large warming of the earth above it’s black body temperature that was calculated even in the 1860’s to be around 260ish oC. In other words without a greenhouse atmosphere the earth would be extremely chilly, with no liquid water on its surface.

    The absorptive properties of CO2 and the other greenhouse gasses are extremely well-characterised spectroscopically.

    The addition of excess greenhouse gas into the atmosphere enhances the greenhouse effect. Since the earth must tend towards thermal equilibrium between incoming and exciting solar radiation, LWIR is emitted from the earths surface and is eventually dissipated into space. Enhancing the greenhouse gas concentration results in temporary trapping of some of this “energy” in the atmosphere. At any particular level in the atmosphere less IR is radiated into space and so the loss of IR on average occurs at a higher level as the CO2 concentration increases. Since the efficiency of emission of IR decreases with temperature (and because the temperature falls the higher one goes in the atmosphere), the layers of the atmosphere down to the earth’s surface must warm in order to re-establish radiative equilibrium.

    The enhanced atmospheric warming resulting from enhanced CO2 concentrations results in a water vapour feedback which has been well-characterised in the real world by direct measurement. The water content of the atmosphere is dependent on the atmospheric temperature (and pressure)…a warmer atmosphere has a higher saturation point for water vapour compared to a cooler one. Thus the primary warming of the atmosphere (from enhanced CO2 concentrations, or enhanced solar irradiance) results in a positive feedback. This is readily observable in the real world…in fact there is a tendency for the atmosphere to maintain a close to constant relative humidity; in other words the absolute humidity rises as the temperature rises. More water vapour means a bit more warming as a feedback.

    And so on…I’m not sure how much detail you want, or if you would like references describing these very well characterised phenomena (whenever I cite references, some of the posters here become a little annoyed!).

    On the other hand, we positively have experimental and observational data which demonstrates that CR are able to cause changes on Earth’s climate because any production of muons releases energy which is absorbed by the atmosphere, as well as the effect of IC nuclides on terrestrial systems:

    http://www.uap.co.jp/uap/Publication/SERIES/DATA/00081/index.html

    No we don’t Nasil. You’ve cited a conference proceedings about cosmic rays. That long list of conference topics doesn’t say anything about CRF-climate links (possibly the Forbush event topic might conceivably? what do you think?). We all know that CRF’s exist and can be detected and so on!

    But your notion of the relationship between CRF and the Earth’s temperature is back to front anyway. Any evidence for a CRF-temperature link is in the direction “enhanced CRF —> reduced global temperature” since cosmic rays are propoed to seed cloud formation. That’s proposed to cool the earth. In any case we’ve already seen (didn’t you read the paper that’s the subject of this thread?!) that the production of muons occurs in the stratosphere, and in any case it’s the temperature of the stratosphere that relates to the ability of muons to penetrate the atmosphere and be detected deep underground by troglodytes with sophisticated detectors….

  193. “Evidence please”

    Presumably Mr. Porter can enter ‘Lockwood Frolich’ into Google and begin with the first listing. He can eventually turn to Warwick Hughes and repeat.

    Or he can simply observe that the geomagnetic field and solar magnetic fields are at historic lows, that at solar minimum coronal holes are routinely earth-facing, that cloud chambers were devised to observe charged particles nucleate droplets, that the earth’s albedo has been rising since 1998, etc., and ignore contrarian sophistry. I would.

  194. Citizens of science,
    I dont think these reoprts verify a relationship between COSMIC rays & the stratosphere.
    Energetic muons etc also come from extreme solar (eg flare) events and it has recently been observed that a long range predicted (by our WeatherAction Solar Weather Technique) solar-originated extreme weather period ‘around 22/23 Jan’ coincided with
    (i) an excepionally deep icelandic low of 937mb
    (ii) hurricane force 107mph winds – 15 deaths in SW france / N Spain.
    (iii) A major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (Temp rise from minus 80C to minus 40C).
    This narrow time window 22/23 Jan (+/- a day) was and still is the most extreme wind-wise (and pressure contrast-wise) of all our 60 plus weather periods of the winter dec-feb inc.
    For pdfs & fuller reports and discussion please see links below
    Thank you Piers Corbyn

    Dramatic Forecast breakthrough: Sudden warming of stratosphere …
    Very significantly it is now reported that the extreme winds (and low pressures) we correctly predicted in our WeatherAction long range forecast would occur ‘(around) 22/23 Jan’ were also associated – pretty precisely – with a Major …
    CO2sceptics News Blog –
    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php

    RE: Cosmic ray scientist Sir Arnold Wolfendale: No relation between global warming and cosmic rays – A reply from Piers Corbyn · Dramatic Forecast breakthrough: Sudden warming of stratosphere linked to Hurricane winds predicted by …
    CO2sceptics News Blog – http://co2sceptics.com/news.php

  195. Foinavon… You say: “That’s a statement of illogic based on a false premise unfortunately. It’s not about the “thermal properties” of CO2.” Then all thermodynamics and thermal science is futil and useless. In brief, ideas are valid and physics invalid? The latter explanation in your post is no other thing but thermodynamics. Unfortunately, that explanation is not based on real data, but on speculation. The problem doesn’t resides in methane and water vapor and CFCs, but on an exaggerated thermal attributions to carbon dioxide. If one applies the real thermal attributes of carbon dioxide, one find that it is not possible that the carbon dioxide causes an anomaly as the one observed in 1998.
    On the other hand, although it seems that you have not read the papers related to the conference, the mechanism on the relationship between ICR and SCR is exposed in the paper included by Anthony Watts at the begining of this thread. It’s not simply a correlation shown in graphs, but by real data obtained from nature.

  196. Pierce Corbyn… I agree with you. I’m not saying that cosmic rays are only of extra-solar nature. Even, there is radiation incoming from Jupiter. I know your work and I must admit that it is creditable. The correlation between the Solar Climate and the Terrestrial Climate is undeniable. Nevertheless, at this moment we have run into with those tips of the ICR that from the standpoint of astrophysics are anomalous and which have relation with the increase of the stratospheric temperature. In my analysis I could not explain the mechanism by means of which the stratosphere was heated up by the increases of interstellar cosmic radiation. These scientists from MINOS have explained the mechanism in a concise way. As far as the relationship that you found and the form by means of which you make amazing predictions I do not have anything to say because I know that the relationship exists. Our problem is that many people dedicate their life to eliminate each revealing investigation by means of syllogisms that in science are known like false logic, without arguments supported by observation and experimentation; for example, Mann’s insistence on erasing the medieval global warming out.

  197. Foinavon… You say: “That’s a statement of illogic based on a false premise unfortunately. It’s not about the “thermal properties” of CO2.” Then all thermodynamics and thermal science is futil and useless. In brief, ideas are valid and physics invalid? The latter explanation in your post is no other thing but thermodynamics. Unfortunately, that explanation is not based on real data, but on speculation. The problem doesn’t resides in methane and water vapor and CFCs, but on an exaggerated thermal attributions to carbon dioxide. If one applies the real thermal attributes of carbon dioxide, one find that it is not possible that the carbon dioxide causes an anomaly as the one observed in 1998.

    That’s a little confused I think. I briefly described the physical chemistry/physics of the absorptive properties of CO2 with respect to long wave infra red and the atmospheric physics in relation to the greenhouse effect. But the notion of “thermal attributes of CO2” doesn’t have much meaning. CO2 doesn’t “heat up” for example or provide a source of heat other than indirectly. It absorbs and emits radiation of appropriate frequencies involving stimulation of bond vibrational modes as characterised spectroscopically, and can transmit vibrational and reorientational energy to other molecules in the atmosphere by molecular collisions. That’s pretty basic and well-understood physics…..

    CO2 was partly responsible for the “anomaly as the one observed in 1998”. The Earth’s global temperature has been responding to enhanced greenhouse forcing for decades and so the variations in the climate system (and the efects of volcanos and man-made aerosols and so on) that change the temperature anomaly up or down from year to year are superimposed on a rising temperature trend. The specific cause of the large and transient jump in the temperature anomaly in 1998 was a result of an extremely strong El Nino that year. Likewise the temperature of 2008 was suppressed relative to the greenhouse-induced rising trend by a combination of a substantial La Nina, the fact that the sun as smack at the bottom of its solar cycle, and I believe we had a bit of negative PDO too. Despite all of that 2008 was still in the top 10 warm years on record. No doubt the next significant El Nino will give us the next “warmest year on record”.

    So one has to be careful to consider all of the contributions to the temperature anomaly that pertains in any particular period.

    On the other hand, although it seems that you have not read the papers related to the conference, the mechanism on the relationship between ICR and SCR is exposed in the paper included by Anthony Watts at the begining of this thread. It’s not simply a correlation shown in graphs, but by real data obtained from nature.

    Yes, but what is the “real data”? What does it show? It shows that the stratospheric temperature affects the formation of muons from cosmic rays and the ability to detect muons on Earth. It doesn’t have anything to say about any putative effect of cosmic rays on the Earth’s tropospheric temperature…

  198. The emissivity of snow, 0.84, that of CO2 at STP? 9.3 * 10^-4. It would appear low temperature, low pressure gasses only heat the surface by conduction, when they are warmer.

    I believe ‘well understood’ is an ambiguous comparative.

  199. Foinavon… The problem is with numbers and constants which have been “adjusted” for giving the desired results; for example, emisivity, absorbency, absorptivity, Cp, Cv, emittancy, etc. Your description is thermodynamics, and you have wrote in a previous post that it has nothing to do with thermodynamics or heat science (which includes heat transfer).

  200. Dear All… Regarding the production of muons, we could say that muons are the track of the incoming of CR nuclides to the atmosphere. The measurements of the load of muons produced when the energetic matter particles hit Earth’s atmosphere shows that CR is increasing. The origin of that increase of CR has been detected by V-I and V-II. And as we talk on thermodynamics, as cosmic rays consist of electrons and heavier nuclei of all elements which are highly energized, it is evident that their energy is absorbed by the matter particles of the atmosphere. The mechanism by which it happens is described in the paper posted at the beginning of this thread. It’s nothing complicated and there is no need of complicating it with speculating arguments. Then again, I should have say before that the carbon dioxide is not a source of heat, but a conveyor of heat. If the molecules of carbon dioxide acquire energy and in consequence a ∆U occurs, then the carbon dioxide is being heated up. There is something forgotten by AGW proponents… The exiguous partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere, which influences absolutely in their poor thermal properties.

  201. Nasif Nahle (08:44:08)

    The problem is with numbers and constants which have been “adjusted” for giving the desired results; for example, emisivity, absorbency, absorptivity, Cp, Cv, emittancy, etc.

    really? examples please Nasif.

    Your description is thermodynamics, and you have wrote in a previous post that it has nothing to do with thermodynamics or heat science (which includes heat transfer).

    Pay attention please. I said nothing of the sort. I said it’s not about “the thermal properties of CO2” (your phrase in brackets), which is a meaningless concept).

  202. “Thus greenhouse gasses intercept LWIR that would otherwise escape to space, and either re-irradiate this (to be “captured” by other LWIR-absorbing molecules largely) or pass on the energy to other molecules in the atmosphere via molecular collisions.”

    Technically accurate, however “re-irradiate”(sic) is of no importance between OLR capture and addition of this thermal energy to the kinetic energy of the atmosphere surrounding the GHG molecule.

    40% of solar TSI is IR, 1% of which reaches the ground. Of the energy transferred by conduction from the atmosphere most results in evaporation where the change of state removes 70 calories per gram of H20. Now there’s your thermal transfer.

    Be nice to Nasif, he appears to be your audience.

  203. Nasif Nahle (09:00:23) :

    Dear All… Regarding the production of muons, we could say that muons are the track of the incoming of CR nuclides to the atmosphere. The measurements of the load of muons produced when the energetic matter particles hit Earth’s atmosphere shows that CR is increasing.

    No they don’t. Again you’re misinterpreting the paper. The fact that the muon flux detected underground increases has got nothing to do with the size of the flux of CR in the context of the experimental data described. The detectable muon flux increases as a result of an increase in the temperature of the stratosphere. Why not read the paper carefully? Here’s a relevant excerpt:

    There are two mechanisms by which the condition of the atmosphere affects the muon rate. Firstly, an increase in temperature causes the atmosphere to expand so muons are produced higher up and therefore have a larger probability to decay before being detected. Secondly, the mesons may interact (and thereby be lost) as well as decay. As the temperature increases, the probability of interaction becomes smaller because the local atmospheric density decreases, so more mesons decay, causing an increase in the muon rate. In deep underground detectors where muons with a high surface energy are measured, the second effect dominates and this causes a positive correlation between temperature and muon rate

  204. Foinavon… You said “it’s not about ‘the thermal properties of CO2’.” Absorptivity, emissivity, absorbency, emittancy, etc., are not thermal properties of CO2?

    Regarding your first request, I’ll give you three examples. The emissivity of CO2 at its current Pp is 0.001, not 0.75. The CO2 Total Emittancy (α) is 0.423 W/m^2, not 5.35 W/m^2. The capability of CO2 for absorbing LWIR is 34 %, not 100 %. The formula to obtain ∆T includes the environmental standard temperature, which is 300.15 K, not the BB temperature (255 K).

  205. gary gulrud (07:14:40)/09:52:41

    Be nice to Nasif, he appears to be your audience

    An audience of at least two surely gary. Else why do you keep responding to my posts?

    Technically accurate, however “re-irradiate”(sic) is of no importance between OLR capture and addition of this thermal energy to the kinetic energy of the atmosphere surrounding the GHG molecule.

    Yes “technically true” as in “true”. Of course the re-radiation of “captured” OLR (Outgoing Longwave Radiation) is a component of atmospheric radiative physics. The IR must eventually be emitted to space (in order for radiative equilibrium to be maintained). Since IR emitted from the Earth to the atmosphere is largely in the direction of space, whereas the emission of captured OLR by CO2 (or water vapour or methane or ozone) is directionally isotropic, the energy is retained more efficiently in the atmosphere. Thus for any height in the atmosphere less IR is being emitted into space, and as the greenhouse gas concentration increases, the radiation to space occurs progressively at higher and colder regions of the atmosphere on average, and is thus less efficient. The layers of the atmosphere right down to the surface must therefore warm up to radiate sufficiently that radiative equilibrium is recovered.

    40% of solar TSI is IR, 1% of which reaches the ground. Of the energy transferred by conduction from the atmosphere most results in evaporation where the change of state removes 70 calories per gram of H20. Now there’s your thermal transfer.

    It’s not obvious what the point of that is. A proportion of TSI reaches the ground/oceans. The surface and oceans are warmed as a result of the forcing which, of course, is supplemented by the greenhouse effect (else there wouldn’t be any liquid water on the earth’s surface). Some water evaporates from the surface and is transferred into the atmosphere (this is a means by which significant amounts of thermal energy is transferred from the equator to the higher latitudes, for example). In general if the solar output is constant (constant TSI), and the greenhouse gas concentrations also constant, the earth’s surface will equilibrate at a steady temperature (with some fluctuations around the equilibrium due to stochastic and cyclic variations in the climate system).

    Now enhance the greenhouse effect by enhancing the concentration of greenhouse gases. The net forcing is increased. The surface eventually settles at a new (warmer) equilibrium temperature.

    I believe ‘well understood’ is an ambiguous comparative.

    It’s not “ambiguous” if the thing under consideration is indeed well-understood. The fact that you might not understanding something very well doesn’t mean it’s not “well-understood”!

  206. Nasif Nahle (10:10:03) :

    Foinavon… You said “it’s not about ‘the thermal properties of CO2′.” Absorptivity, emissivity, absorbency, emittancy, etc., are not thermal properties of CO2?

    One has to be a little bit careful in considering individual molecules like CO2. One can’t really consider that they have “thermal properties”. The don’t have a temperature, for example, which is a collective property of atoms/molecules in a substance or a medium.

    What a CO2 molecule has is an atomic and electronic structure, and molecular orbitals within which reside the bonding electrons in either ground or electronically excited states. These define the spectral absorption properties of CO2. It’s helpful to consider the greenhouse effect in this manner, since it then becomes very clear what is occurring, and why CO2 absorbs long wave IR emitted from the earth’s surface and O2 and N2 don’t for example, how vibrationally excited states are achieved and their energies, the energies of the emissions of IR and the transfer of vibrational energies to other molecules in the atmosphere by molecular collisions..

    Regarding your first request, I’ll give you three examples. The emissivity of CO2 at its current Pp is 0.001, not 0.75. The CO2 Total Emittancy (α) is 0.423 W/m^2, not 5.35 W/m^2. The capability of CO2 for absorbing LWIR is 34 %, not 100 %. The formula to obtain ∆T includes the environmental standard temperature, which is 300.15 K, not the BB temperature (255 K).

    I’ve no idea what those numbers refer to. Who used them “incorrectly” and where are the “correct” definitions defined?! It’s not obvious to me that “emissivity” and certainly not “emittancy” (doesn’t that refer to radiation from a surface?) are particularly relevant to the greenhouse properties of atmospheric gasses. There’s also the possibility that you might be confusing the values of these parameters in a context that is not relevant to the context of isolated molecules in a predominantly N2/O2 atmosphere whose temperature and pressure varies with altitude and so on.

    Can you refer me to an authoritative review/text on this subject?

  207. “The [IR] must eventually be emitted to space (in order for radiative equilibrium to be maintained). ”

    The ‘energy’ must be emitted, and nearer the edge of space in the thermosphere, at an entirely different temperature where CO2 is even less representative and all gas emissivities have risen.

    H2O evaporation transports heat fronm the surface and condensation deposits it high in the troposphere.

    Re-radiation, as opposed to partial transmission? Perhaps you have empirical measurements not relying on spectroscopy?

  208. Nasif Nahle (11:52:53)

    Question eluded: Are those not thermal properties of CO2?

    Not really Nasif. I explained why in [foinavon (11:23:24)], so you can hardly say I eluded your question! The point is that single molecules don’t really have “thermal properties”. A single molecule can’t have a temperature and most properties that can be described as “thermal” similarly apply to collections of molecules.

    The problem with the lax use of language is that it can lead to the inappropriate application of properties (like emittancy) that are only really relevant to collections of molecules (or collections of molecules under specific circumstances as in a surface). In the case of greenhouse gases, we are dealing with isolated molecules under quite specific circumstances (predominant N2/O2 atmosphere, specific vertical temperature and pressure profiles, and so on). It’s not obvious to me that properties like emittancy are relevant under these circumstances, and if they are, that the values of these properties obtained under one set of circumstances are applicable to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    That’s why I would like to see some specific examples of where you consider the properties you describe (emittancy, emissivity, “capability of CO2 for absorbing LWIR”) are incorrectly, and correctly, applied as you suggest in [Nasif Nahle (10:10:03)]. Since I’ve never come across the application of these properties to greenhouse gases under atmospheric conditions, I’d also like to see an authoritative paper/review/text on the subject.

  209. foinavon :

    I’m sure Nasif would agree we respect your knowledge of ‘Atmospheric Science’ but have grave reservations about the ‘science’ itself, having parted company with orthodox physics some 50 years past.

    I’d like to just outline our position a bit, for clarity’s sake, not pretention:

    ‘Emittance’ and ‘absorptance’ follow from Beer’s Law originating in 1798 and reaching its present form in the late 1850s, before Maxwell, Planck, Bohr, Pauli, et al. Astronomer’s in particular made use of it to correct the apparent magnitude of a star for signal attenuation on its path through the atmosphere to the observer. The algorithm is accurate enough for the logrithmic scale of magnitude.

    Beer’s models the interaction of light with matter as Newton’s corpuscles being absorbed or diffused by atoms in fluids. As Feynman details in “QED”, Princeton, 1985, this heuristic is out of date. He develops a new one using lights transmission through glass.

    The electromagnetic field of a light wave causes any number of electrons in its path to oscillate, occasionally resulting in the exchange of a photon. Beginning with a pane of glass a few molecules thick and repeatedly adding this thickness to the pane we find the light transmitted moves by steps from 4% up to 16% and back down, oscillating in magnitude. Lights interaction with matter is probabalistic and results in various materials and configurations must be empirically derived.

    Now turn Beer’s around, rather than merely seeking an effect on signal strength and ask what does it tell us about the interactions of a 15u signal on its route to the ground or otherwise?

    Does it tell us how much of the signal was scattered or absorbed or transmitted or re-radiated, and at another wavelength? Emittance is taken as basically ( 1 – absorptance ) which is clearly wrong in this application.

    A second issue regards Kirchoff’s Law(“improved” by Stewart, Priebe, Planck, even Hilbert had a go before ending with Einstein). His law is supported by a logical proof, “In the case of a body in thermal equilibrium the energy absorbed equals the energy emitted”, ’emissivity’ equals ‘absorptivity’. The proof employs a plane solid cavity as an illustration for empirical verification as if one were needed for this tautology.

    The problem comes when this law is assumed to be a property of matter, as though absorption of a quantum must be followed by emission of that same quantum at a subsequent point. If the body is to remain in equilibrium the exchange must be simultaneous.

    If we describe a box in the air above, a meter on a side, we understand that a thermal, IR, flux constantly passes thru it. We can stipulate that the contents are ‘in thermal equilibrium’ meaning the IR flux entering from below is matched by that exiting above.

    Now measure the temperature and observe that is has changed, say risen. What just happened? Absorptivity exceeded emissivity. Is this a violation of Kirchoff’s law? On the contrary, we would need to describe a sphere 20,000 km on a side enclosing the Earth to reasonably avoid this risk.

    Moving on, Einstein’s black body is an ideal whose pattern of emission is a curve graphing its temperature against the wavelength emitted. All real materials have a curve(of more or less the same shape) displaced above and to the right of the black body. They begin emitting at a higher temperature and at higher wavelength.

    The material’s experimentally derived ’emissivity’ is a dimensionless constant expressing this relationship. Asphalt, at 0.99 or so has a similar curve on the same page depending on scale. Green leaves, at 0.94, probably starts on the same page. Water, at 0.58, begins and ends on following pages.

    Now we come to compressible fluids. They possess a distinct curve at every pressure of interest. CO2’s emissivity at 300ppm and STP is 9.3*10^-4. Its graph begins in the parking lot. Whereas at 600 degrees C it has risen to 0.07.

    Now the emissivity is directly related to the strength of interaction, the time required for it to occur, for an oscillation of an electron to begin and a photon delivered. Asphalt emits a quantum ‘almost’ as quickly as receiving it.

    Moreover, the oceans have 1000 times the heat capacity of our atmosphere and 500 times the emissivity. Were we to momentarily forget Carnot, it’s still impossible to seriously believe, especially as a scientist schooled in the physics, that the atmosphere can heat the surface by back-radiation.

    Finally, regarding the ‘sciences’ last resort, retarding the release of energy to space MSU results are not promising. The tropical tropopause is not the required 1.2 times the surface temp, or climbing to meet that value, nor is the stratosphere cooling as a result.

    If I ever find Hansen’s transfer function derivations we’ll add them to our list.

  210. Errata: “higher wavelength”, real materials begin emitting at high temps and shorter wavelengths.

  211. gary gulrud (08:27:41) :
    foinavon :

    I’m sure Nasif would agree we respect your knowledge of ‘Atmospheric Science’ but have grave reservations about the ’science’ itself, having parted company with orthodox physics some 50 years past.

    Time to go back to school and learn some physics of gases, if our atmosphere was glass some of your points might have merit.

    The material’s experimentally derived ‘emissivity’ is a dimensionless constant expressing this relationship. Asphalt, at 0.99 or so has a similar curve on the same page depending on scale. Green leaves, at 0.94, probably starts on the same page. Water, at 0.58, begins and ends on following pages.

    The earth emits in the IR, water has an emissivity of 0.94-0.99 in the appropriate wavelength range.

  212. “Time to go back to school and learn some physics of gases”

    Actually my EM Fields, Optics and Thermal all date from the early 90s. That was a pure science approach with Maxwell equations and vector calculus. Most of the applied stuff like Wave Guides, Power Transmission, etc. were late 80s. The Nuclear, Spectroscopy, and Mechanics are dated, it’s true.

    ” if our atmosphere was glass some of your points might have merit”

    Never heard of Richard Feynman, he of the eponymous particle diagram, of the Challenger Investigation Panel, lover of Siberian throat music? The book is a classic treatment, short and accessible to the intellectually curious.

    “The earth emits in the IR”

    Never denied it, do you mean ‘exclusively’.

    “water has an emissivity of 0.94-0.99 in the appropriate wavelength range”

    My values are easily Googled, one reason for using them so the suspicious may verify for themselves. Hottel 1942 has an extensive list which has been repeatedly verified over the years. ‘Experimental’ measurement means with plane-solid cavity and calorimeter, not spectroscopy with known sample comparison. The CO2 0.07 at 600 degrees C listed above came from a DOD confirmation of Hottel’s work and gave H2O as 0.14.

    One can go look at a major U site and peruse programs in Climate Science, for example Dr. Wegman’s George Mason. One of three programs provides a Physics concentration. The required courses are not as impressive as my preparation, thank you.

    Now could I teach, can I derive freely? Not to save my life. But I ask you, why would the pre-eminent climate scientist in the world go to a second-tier school, remain at that school for his PhD, jump straight to NASA rather than get a post-doc with a top PI, and not fight for an assistant professorship?

    Yeah his career choices are turning out pretty lucrative but I find a likely explanation in: There just isn’t any talent in your field. You need to get out of the echo chamber.

  213. David Porter (15:01:42) : If you don’t see it the way I have observed then I accept that. I will mind my tongue in future.

    I think it was more a ‘tone’ issue than a ‘content’ issue. I’ve been hanging out here for a while and you get to know the ‘regulars’. Even the ‘regulars’ from ‘the team’. There are clear behavioural traits that stand out. A psych ‘mind print’ that you identified. It’s more the imagery used to describe it that was a bit, er, edgy.

    Are they paid or are they just vigorous True Believers from the echo chamber at RC? There is no way to know without tracking back their IP’s or phishing them a bit. But the fact is it doesn’t really matter. They are who they are.

    You get used to them after a while and it’s kind of like having a SPAM filter. Oh, the Nigerian Prince again… Sometimes it’s worth it to see what their newest argument is, sometimes it tightens up your own understanding of your own points by having a pitching machine to bat against.

    About the only thing that I find bothersome anymore is the constant pointing at the same old RC ‘computer models prove’ papers as though they meant something and the incessant appeals to authority. The credential waving is just mindless. (It doesn’t matter what credential you wave: was the work any good?!) That and the complete inability to go ‘off script’. There are a dozen flat out stellar problems with AGW that they have no answer for. What happens? Not a peep. Not a sound. Dead air.

    So just learn how to read the ‘negative space’ of what they say. Watch the questions put to them that are scrupulously ignored, not even acknowledged as existing. Thats the ‘tell’. Those are the nuggets that makes their presence worth it. Their noise and volume can be a bother, but what they don’t say speaks even louder to the truth…

    An example? On 2 or 3 threads I’ve put it to ‘The Team’ that GISStemp has a critical flaw. NOTHING. Not a heartbeat of a sound. The flaw is that the last few years – up to ten; are used to create an ‘offset’ that measures the difference between two data sets. GHCN and USHCN – two thermometer series. This ‘offset’ is then subtracted from ALL history of the data. So if a thermometer was changed at Reno in the last 10 years and was found to ‘read high’, that offset would be subtracted from all data going back to 1880 (via an indirect means).

    So now I know. They have no answer. It’s golden confirmation to me.

    Now I could fantasize that somewhere there’s a dozen folks in a meeting trying to come up with an answer; but most likey it’s just that RC has no talking point in their guide book. But in both cases the answer is still the same: They have confirmed that this is an important flaw in their AGW game.

    My suggestion is to learn to read that ‘tell’, then they become an asset to you.

  214. foinavon (11:47:52) :
    gary gulrud (07:21:31) The Silurian was the opening of the last super-continent tectonic formation which recurrently gives rise to high global temps.

    The point is that the putative cosmic ray flux (CRF)-climate link suggested by Shaviv and Veizer that Greg Goodnight brough to our attention[***] requires that the period under consideration (443-423MYA) was cold. The putative CRF reconstruction resulting from the passage of the solar system through the spiral arms of the galaxy is around its peak in the early Silurian (according to […]Shaviv and Veizer).

    Well, at Shaviv’s web site: http://www.sciencebits.com/ice-ages
    as I read the graph of spiral arms and ice ages figure 4; that 423-443 MYA is right in the middle of a bottom of the CRF and 1/2 way between two spiral arms.

    No need to thank me; glad I could bring it to your attention…

  215. I’ve been watching ozone at:

    http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/e/ozone/Curr_allmap_g.htm

    and it is down all over the globe -10% to -20% except the N. pole that has lit up like it has an electric current making ozone up there.

    So does anyone know the geographic map of the stratospheric warming event? Does it map onto the ozone pattern in any way?

    Ozone seems to bounce around rather more than I’d expected day to day. Far more than could be explained by slow diffusion or related. It looks a lot like it’s an external driver with a chaotic modulation tossed in.

    Is there somewhere to get an aurora map to see if there is some correlation of it to ozone? This thing is just buggin’ me…

  216. “David Porter (15:01:42) : If you don’t see it the way I have observed then I accept that. I will mind my tongue in future.”

    Don’t mind it on my account, tho I was eager to kill the ‘chicken little tone’, I apologized on an adjacent thread(Vista is cramping my look ups).

    We are not worthy of the ‘big guns’.

  217. Foinavon… You wrote: “The point is that single molecules don’t really have “thermal properties”. A single molecule can’t have a temperature and most properties that can be described as “thermal” similarly apply to collections of molecules.”

    Perhaps you’re dismissing statistical thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics apply to single molecules as well as to massive collections of molecules. The point is that statistical thermodynamics doesn’t consider macroscopic variables, like P, V, T, etc., but microscopic dimensions. If you wish to understand macroscopic thermodynamics, you must to understand first statistical thermodynamics.

    One thing is to say that thermodynamics is easier to apply and understood in macroscopic systems than in microscopic systems, and another very different thing is to think that single molecules have not thermal properties. For example, one single molecule of carbon dioxide absorbs and emits energy. The path between the initial state and the final state of that single molecule absorbing or emitting energy is thermodynamics. The difference is that you have to adjust your observations to the micro-canonical sets. Set provides a concept by which the microscopic properties of the matter can be related to the corresponding macroscopic thermodynamic properties of the complex system.

    One of the main confusions that I have detected in your posts is that it seems you think that heat is a substance. Heat is not a substance but energy which flows through the limits between the system and the surroundings . Molecules collide and exchange energy, and every exchange of energy implies a thermal process. I don’t know how you got the conclusion that single molecules have not thermal properties.

    With this commentary I give for finished my interventions in this theme, given that we are absolutely out of topic and I won’t waste my time discussing quantum mechanics. There are many books on statistical thermodynamics which clarify the concepts which I have managed in my interventions.

  218. “N. pole that has lit up like it has an electric current making ozone up there.”

    Interesting, its certainly not UV, or visible light levels. Could the compacted Ionosphere be a possible cause? I’m making no concessions to Optical Depth.

  219. Nasif Nahle (08:13:36) :

    Perhaps you’re dismissing statistical thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics apply to single molecules as well as to massive collections of molecules.

    No they don’t Nasif. And how can one possibly apply statistical thermodynamics to a single molecule? That’s exactly the case where one assuredly cannot apply statistical therodynamics. The “statistical” element of “statistical thermodynamics” or “statistical mechanics” relates explicitly to populations of particles.

    One of the main confusions that I have detected in your posts is that it seems you think that heat is a substance.

    I don’t think so Nasif. Please point out where I have stated, inferred or hinted that weird notion.

    One thing is to say that thermodynamics is easier to apply and understood in macroscopic systems than in microscopic systems, and another very different thing is to think that single molecules have not thermal properties. For example, one single molecule of carbon dioxide absorbs and emits energy. The path between the initial state and the final state of that single molecule absorbing or emitting energy is thermodynamics.

    No it’s not thermodynamics. Thermodynamics, like statistical mechanics applies to collections of molecules or particles. When a molecule absorbs a photon (say having the energy in the UV region of the EM spectrum equivalent to that of an electronic transition in the molecule) the molecule shifts to an excited state. That’s quantum mechanics, not thermodynamics. If the molecular transition is a vibrational one, the molecule may re-emit a photon that can be captured by another molecule with appropriate molecular characteristics…more quantum mechanics…or it might lose some of its vibrational energy by molecular collisions with other molecules in its surrounds increasing the kinetic energy of these molecules and thus raising the temperature of that local region of the atmosphere. Of course if we were to analyze the distribution of kinetic energy amongst the population of molecules in a region of the atmosphere we can certainly apply principles of statistical mechanics or statistical thermodynamics….

  220. Foinavon… It seems that as you go on your explanation, you become more and more confused. Statistical Thermodynamics is the solution for molecular systems. Point.

  221. Nasif Nahle (11:37:21

    Statistical Thermodynamics is the solution for molecular systems. Point.

    Statistical thermodynamics can be applied to a collection of molecules. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that obvious point. But we should also agree that that it is meaningless in relation to single molecules. Otherwise how can one deal with the “statistical” element of “statistical thermodynamics”? Answer me that Nasif….

    so your assertion:

    The laws of thermodynamics apply to single molecules as well as to massive collections of molecules. is clearly wrong.

    Anyway, perhaps at some point you might explain what you consider the relevance of your “argument” is in relation to the subject of this thread!

  222. E.M.Smith (03:13:46)

    The putative CRF reconstruction published by Shaviv and Veizer indicates that the CRF flux is at its peak close to 440 MYA (million years ago).

    see Figure 2 of:

    N.J. Shaviv and J. Veizer (2003) Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate? GSA Today 13, 4-10.

    In fact if you look on Shaviv’s web site that you linked to, that’s pretty clearly illustrated in Figure 5 there. Since the point of Shaviv’s model is to infer a link between CRF and global temperature, and since Veizer himself has reassesed the very temperature data use to show a correlation, and now finds that it doesn’t correlate at all during this part of the Silurian, clearly there’s a problem with the hypothesis. Veizer himself now considers that CO2 is a dominant driver of temperature changes in the deep past:

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

  223. Foinavon:
    “Veizer himself has reassesed the very temperature data use to show a correlation, and now finds that it doesn’t correlate at all during this part of the Silurian, clearly there’s a problem with the hypothesis. Veizer himself now considers that CO2 is a dominant driver of temperature changes in the deep past:”

    Really? Maybe we should let Veizer speak for himself:
    http://blogs.nature.com/nature/journalclub/2007/10/francis_albarede.html
    http://www.junkscience.com/ByTheJunkman/20070913.html

  224. Niels A Nielsen (04:26:24)

    Well yes. As you Nature journalclub link shows, Veizer considers that CO2 has a strong contribution to paleotemperature variation. He could hardly say otherwise since that’s what his paper shows. Nobody publishes a paper that makes conclusions that one doesn’t actually believe in! I’m not sure why you might think your link suggest otherwise.

    If the CRF hypothesis of Shaviv and Veizer requires a correlation between recosnstructed putative CRF and temperature, and a reassessment of the temperature by one of the proposers himself destroys the correlation during a significant part of the period under study, then one might question the reliability of the “correlation”, let alone the hypothesis! Of course no-one would suggest that these are “all-or-nothing” situations. Obviously all of the contributions to temperature variation always apply. Perhaps the putative CRF-temperature does make some contribution. However Veizer has shown that during a major part of the period studied the temperature change is in entirely in the wrong direction for a significant CRF contribution, and seems to match the CO2 levels. Veizer proposes that there is a “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era”

    Is a blog entitled “JunkScience” of any interest whatsoever to science, scientists or policymakers?

  225. Hope you had time to read the link, foinavon. Jan Veizer does not “consider CO2 as the dominant driver of temperature changes in the deep past.” Jan Veizer writes in October 2007: “Momentarily, the “ground truth” geological data 7 argue for a four-fold greenhouse/icehouse climate pattern during the Phanerozoic, as do the 18O-based 6, 8 reconstructions, both consistent more with the alternative scenarios (e.g. celestial 8, 9) than with the two-fold GEOCARB-type 5 causality.”

  226. foinavon (02:13:53) :
    The putative CRF reconstruction published by Shaviv and Veizer indicates that the CRF flux is at its peak close to 440 MYA (million years ago).

    In fact if you look on Shaviv’s web site that you linked to, that’s pretty clearly illustrated in Figure 5 there. Since the point of Shaviv’s model is to infer a link between CRF and global temperature,

    Sorry, my error. I was reading the ‘Cosmic ray exposure age of meteorites’ as cosmic ray flux (exposure). It’s not, it’s somewhat anti-correlated. Correcting that error and taking Figure 5:

    “close to 440” Million Years Ago. Yes, in geologic scales. Fig.5 shows it about 450-460 MYA, but what’s 10 to 20 million years among friends? Notice also that the CRF had been rising since about 510 MYA (as temperatures dropped) and then proceeds to drop until about 380 MYA (as temperatures rise) etc.

    So what do we have here? A very nice negative correlation.

    We enter the Silurian with almost all the land at the South pole & equator and with glaciation at about 444 MYA, leave it with fewer glaciers about 415 MYA, all while the CRF is dropping. Yes, there is a brief cool spot toward the end, then it resume warming (as CRF continues dropping). I have no problem with the idea that maybe little things, like, oh, the sun and orbital mechanics might have still had an influence on about the same time scales that they do now…

    BTW, the complete lack of any land at or near the North Pole is all that is needed to explain why this particular period has minor glaciation overall and a generally warm climate. Nothing to hold an ice cap at the pole, ergo mostly tropical most of the time most of the earth. The large number of very shallow seas near the equator would also ‘help’.

    The CRF induces an oscillation in temperatures (inversely correlated) but the continents still have to be in the right places for a decent ice age to get going.

    Pretty simple, really.

  227. ClimateFanBoy (13:53:04) : I am interested in “thermal inertia” and the possibility of a delayed response when it comes to arctic sea ice levels. In particular, how long of a delay do you think there is? In other words, how many years do you think it will be before we really start seeing the effects of this solar downturn on NH sea ice levels?

    There will be a lot of variation in the estimates, depending on what factors folks choose to emphasize. Short term effects ought to show up in one season (this winter very cold!). Longer term effects, like the PDO flip, can have a 30 year period of impact (so a 30 yr. period of ‘rebound’ until some new more stable point is reached). Solar cycles have many ‘rates’ but many observers have found periodicities in the 172 to 200+ range and cycles from 1500 years to 2400 years are hypothesized. IFF the sun is a significant driver, then we could have a few hundred years of ‘rebound’ like the Little Ice Age. Then there is the ‘thermal inertia’ of the oceans that some folks estimate at 800 years and others at low thousands.

    But the short form is simpler: Snow can start falling fast from one cold winter. Ice can start forming faster in a single year. As soon as several meters of ice forms, it is more about snowfall than ocean temperatures under the ice (unless some volcanos let loose!); and snowfall has the ability to respond fairly quickly. Longer term, all those cycles start messing with the outcome…

    So expect to see something on the scale of a few years. On the decades scale it could get ‘very interesting’…

  228. E.M.Smith (03:39:56) :

    Is there somewhere to get an aurora map to see if there is some correlation of it to ozone? This thing is just buggin’ me…

    The easiest no-nonsense page I use is http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapN.html I’m mainly interested when there’s a chance of an aurora in New Hamsphire, so I haven’t used that page much lately. Lessee, you’ll want the SH version too, yep, that’s at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapS.html . Perhaps the best starting point is http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/index.html

  229. Foinavon:

    A few readings on statistical thermodynamics:

    Engel, Thomas and Reid, Philip J. Thermodynamics, Statistical, Thermodynamics, & Kinetics. 1st. edition. 2007. Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 14 and subsequent chapters.

    Hutchenson, John S. (2005). Quantum Energy Levels in Atoms, Connexions, Module.

    Pitts, Donald and Sissom, Leighton. Heat Transfer. 1998. McGraw-Hill.

    Glaser, Roland. (2005). Biophysics. Berlin Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag. Pp. 5-80

    Again, and for the last time, not including macrophysical parameters doesn’t mean that molecules and supramolecules are not thermodynamic systems. The confusion resides on believing that the molecular thermal processes are not stochastic. Would you say that the laws of thermodynamics do not work on single molecules, atoms, supramolecules or subnuclear particles, and that these are not thermodynamic systems? Perhaps you are referring to an impossibility of single molecules to absorb and emit energy or don’t make work (W)?

  230. From: JFH

    Anthony,

    This article may be useful regarding the Sudden Stratospheric Warming discussion. [Source and Abstract below] The emphasis is not the same and it is of a “minor SSW” event and it is only of a sample of one. But, it claims showing the cause of the anomaly to be within the atmosphere and to have initiated in the midlatitudes.

    The Minor Stratospheric Warming of January 1989: Results from STRATAN, a Stratospheric-Tropospheric Data Assimilation System

    In NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE (January 1992) Monthly Weather Review, Volume 120, Issue 1, January 1992, pp. 221-229.

    Find here: http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0493/120/1/pdf/i1520-0493-120-1-221.pdf

    ABSTRACT: [lead author: Stephen D. Steenrod]

    Using a stratospheric-tropospheric data assimilation system, referred to as STRATAN, a minor sudden stratospheric warming that occurred in January 1989 is investigated. The event had a maximum influence on the stratospheric circulation near 2 hPa. The zonal mean circulation reversed briefly in the polar region as the temperature increased 34 K in 3 days. The cause of the warming is shown to be the rapid development and subsequent movement of a warm anomaly, which initially developed in the midlatitudes. The development of the warm anomaly is caused by adiabatic descent, and the dissipation by radiative cooling. A brief comparison with the NMC analysis and temperature sounding data is also presented.

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