New Sun-Watching Instrument to Monitor Sunlight Fluctuations

From Physorg.com

March 23rd, 2009 in Space & Earth / Space Exploration
New Sun-Watching Instrument to Monitor Sunlight FluctuationsEnlarge

During periods of peak activity (front three images) sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are more common, and the sun emits slightly more energy than during periods of low activity (back images). The amount of energy that strikes Earth’s atmosphere — called total solar irradiance (TSI) — fluctuates by about 0.1 percent over the course of the sun’s 11-year cycle, even though the soft X-ray wavelengths shown in this image vary by much greater amounts. Credit: Steele Hill, SOHO, NASA/ESA

(PhysOrg.com) — During the Maunder Minimum, a period of diminished solar activity between 1645 and 1715, sunspots were rare on the face of the sun, sometimes disappearing entirely for months to years. At the same time, Earth experienced a bitter cold period known as the “Little Ice Age.”

Were the events connected? Scientists cannot say for sure, but it’s quite likely. Slowdowns in — evidenced by reductions in sunspot numbers — are known to coincide with decreases in the amount of energy discharged by the sun. During the Little Ice Age, though, few would have thought to track (TSI), the amount of solar energy striking Earth’s . In fact, the needed to make such measurements — a spaceborne radiometer — was still three centuries into the future.

Modern scientists have several tools for studying TSI. Since the 1970s, scientists have relied upon a collection of radiometers on American and European spacecraft to keep a close eye on solar fluctuations from above the atmosphere, which intercepts much of the sun’s radiation. When launches the Glory satellite this fall (no earlier than October 2009), researchers will have a more accurate instrument for measuring TSI than they’ve ever had before.

The Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) on Glory is more sophisticated, but still related in concept to the very earliest ground-based solar radiometers, which were invented in 1838. Where those radiometers used sunlight to heat water and indicate the intensity of the sun’s brightness at the Earth’s surface, Glory’s TIM instrument will use a black-coated metallic detector to measure how much heat is produced by as it reaches the top of the Earth’s atmosphere.

New Sun-Watching Instrument to Monitor Sunlight FluctuationsEnlarge

Scientists have compiled a three-decade record of total solar irradiance by patching together data from U.S. and European satellites. Fluctuations in irradiance correspond well with the cycling of sunspots. To ensure continuity, data from Glory’s TIM instrument must overlap with data from an earlier TIM (in red on this plot), which launched in 2003. Credit: Greg Kopp, LASP

Solar bolometers, as this subset of radiometers is called, have been flown on ten previous missions. Nimbus-7, launched in 1978, included one of the first spaceborne bolometers, and progressively more advanced instruments have followed on other NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and European Space Agency missions.In 2003, a first generation TIM instrument went aloft with the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite. Learning from that instrument, engineers have tweaked the optical and electrical sensors to make the Glory TIM even more capable of measuring the true solar brightness and its fluctuations.

“The Glory TIM should be three times more accurate than SORCE TIM, and about ten times more accurate than earlier instruments,” said Greg Kopp, a physicist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and leader of the TIM science team.

“There’s no doubt that’s an ambitious goal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull it off,” said Joseph Rice, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md.

Beyond engineering improvements, the Glory irradiance monitor has another advantage: access to the one-of-a-kind TSI Radiometer Facility. Funded by NASA and built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colo., the new facility has allowed Kopp’s team to calibrate the instrument in the same configuration and under the same conditions as it will endure in space. In January 2009, the Glory TIM instrument underwent a rigorous battery of tests while being compared to a highly accurate ground-based radiometer.

“This was the first time a TSI instrument has ever been validated end-to-end,” Kopp said. “The improvements in accuracy will make it possible to detect long-term changes in the sun’s output much more quickly.” The data will help scientists say more definitively whether the sun’s output is gradually trending upward or downward, and whether the trend is influencing the pace of climate change.

Existing measurements offer a rough sketch, but they’re not quite accurate enough over decades to centuries to paint a clear picture of whether changes in TSI reflect real changes on the sun or just artifacts of different instrument designs. That’s because the radiometers that have measured TSI so far have all reported values at slightly different levels and have all been calibrated differently, injecting a degree of uncertainty into the record.

The new TIM should be sufficiently accurate to quickly yield definitive data on whether solar irradiance is trending up or down. Modelers estimate that TSI increased roughly 0.08 percent as the Sun exited the Maunder Minimum, which lasted for much of the 1700s. But even if TSI radiometers had been available at the time, the increase in irradiance was so gradual that identifying the trend would have been difficult.

Detecting such subtle changes is where the Glory TIM shines. Prior to SORCE, most TSI instruments had only 0.1 percent accuracy, and could not have reliably detected a 0.08 percent change over a century, Kopp explained. The improved accuracy of the SORCE TIM (0.035 percent) would detect such a change in about 35 years. The Glory TIM, meanwhile, should reduce the time needed to nearly ten years.

Getting TSI right has profound implications for understanding Earth’s climate. Thanks to previous orbiting radiometers, scientists know TSI varies by roughly 0.1 percent through the sun’s 11-year magnetic cycle. Such a variation cannot explain the intensity and speed of the warming trends on Earth during the last century, explained Judith Lean, a solar physicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. But, that’s not to say that the sun has no influence on climate change.

While total solar irradiance changes by 0.1 percent, the change in the intensity of ultraviolet light varies by much larger amounts, scientists have discovered. Research shows such variations in the Sun’s emissions can affect the ozone layer and the way energy moves both vertically and horizontally through the atmosphere.

After examining the historical TSI database, some scientists have suggested that solar irradiance could account for as much as a quarter of recent global warming. But without a continuous and reliable TSI record, Kopp and Lean point out, there will always be room for skeptics to blame global warming entirely on the sun, even when most evidence suggests human activities are the key influence on modern climate changes.

Beyond that, there’s a big “what if” percolating through the scientific community. The 0.1 percent variation in solar irradiance is certainly too subtle to explain all of the recent warming. “But, what if — as many assume — much longer solar cycles are also at work?” said Lean. In that case, it’s not impossible that long-term patterns — proceeding over hundreds or thousands of years — could cause more severe swings in TSI.

Could a modern day Maunder Minimum offset the warming influence of greenhouse gases or even throw us back into another little ice age? “It’s extremely unlikely,” said Lean, “but we won’t know for sure unless we keep up and perfect our measurements.”

Provided by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (news : web)

Advertisements

72 thoughts on “New Sun-Watching Instrument to Monitor Sunlight Fluctuations

  1. Let’s hope it has some variation to monitor.
    A sleeping sun gets a bit monotonous.

    Come on Sol, give us a sign
    Bring it forth and let it shine
    Put your hat on and shout hooray
    Tell us you’re coming out to play.

  2. speaking of sunlight fluctuations, Mt. Redoubt is rumbling again…

    Huge Explosion Rocks Alaska’s Mount Redoubt
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,510718,00.html

    and there’s a new report highlighting the importance of atmospheric dust with respect to Atlantic ocean temperatures. for years we’ve been hearing that North Atlantic SST anomalies were the result of AGW…now, maybe that’s not really the case.
    http://www.physorg.com/news157296711.html

  3. Anthony — would be great to get Facebook integrated into your posts. Would help “spread the word” bit faster.

    -John

  4. I wonder if TSI is connected to climate by first dragging SST’s down then temps. go down with it, SST’s peaked not long after solar max according to the monthly SST data.

    If anything, I don’t know if this is connected to a possible massive snowstorm forecast for Wichita starting tomorrow (according to my city paper), and the other one that dumped tons of snow up north less than a week ago, there’s also the big and rare snows the past year as well.

    I had a dream around the latter half of fall where I look at the forecast and it said ‘catostrophic snow’ on a day and cold, I had no idea that it could end up coming true, probably won’t be as cold as in the dream, but the truckload of snow part will seem to be.

    The part that seems wrong about this picture is that there’s dandelions popping up, plants popping up, trees starting to leaf out, spring coming overall, guess Winter can’t go without a possible grand finale.

  5. The relatively small change in irrandiance does not account for the major changes in weather and climate on the earth. Irradiance is only a small part of the puzzle. There is much more than photons coming out of the sun that affects us and the rest of the solar system.

  6. TSI, whether the trend is influencing the pace of climate change.
    !!!!! wow they maybe right sun has an influence. sarc/ off

  7. tallbloke (12:39:41) :

    Let’s hope it has some variation to monitor.
    A sleeping sun gets a bit monotonous.

    Come on Sol, give us a sign
    Bring it forth and let it shine
    Put your hat on and shout hooray
    Tell us you’re coming out to play.

    Round and round I go,
    the barycenter longing to find and rest,
    because the farthest I go
    the most furious I become

    The Sun

  8. Could a modern day Maunder Minimum offset the warming influence of greenhouse gases or even throw us back into another little ice age? “It’s extremely unlikely,” said Lean, “but we won’t know for sure unless we keep up and perfect our measurements.”

    The problem that I have with this perspective is that it does not take into account the wavelength specific absorption and emission of radiation from the sun. We speak all the time about the absorption of infrared radiation from the Earth, caused by the addition of 0.01% of the atmosphere’s CO2 content, but we never discuss the effect of the wide variance in short wave radiation on the absorption and emission of radiation of oxygen (why the sky is blue) or other short wavelength absorbers/emitters.

    As a designer of spacecraft solar power systems as well as terrestrial solar power systems, I am aware on a daily basis that the 1364 watts/m2 that is at the top of the atmosphere decreases to less than 1000 watts/m2 at sea level. The difference, over 300 watts/m2 is not absorbed by CO2 to any significant percentage.

    The entire physics of the CO2 phenomenon is based upon the increase in kinetic energy of a CO2 molecule due to the absorption of an infrared photon. Why is it that the absorption of a far more energetic photon by oxygen or other visible light absorbers does not overwhelm any CO2 signature?

    Secondarily, the USAF has a spacecraft in orbit today, that measures the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere. It has found that in this current extended minimum that the atmosphere has contracted to a greater extent than at any time in the history of the space age (52 years). Why is it that no one is investigating this effect on the overall radiation balance of the atmosphere?

    I am asking these things as questions as I would sincerely like to know why these things are not investigated as to their contribution to global climate.

  9. I wonder if the spectrum at sea level of TSI varies, because during the big 1998 nino and years afterwards, sun’s radiation as felt by our skin was really aggresive, as UV was supposedly higher. Now it is different.

  10. @Ray

    I’m not sure about that. Although Leif tells us that there is not enough change in solar irradiation to explain weather and climate changes, there is no question that factors that seem tiny do have major effects. It is easy to understand warm days and cool nights. On the other hand, if I told you that changes in the angle of incidence of the sun could cause greater than 50 degree F swings in temperature, you might be skeptical if you didn’t know about winter and summer. In short, I’m still open to the possibility that small solar changes could cause major climate variations.

  11. Scott Gibson: “small solar changes could cause major climate variations.”Not forgetting those “heralds of the times to come” as the Snow Owl posted not long ago here at WUWT or the recent appearance of increased numbers of sea bass and flounder fishes on the west coast of SA, which are better than NOAA or any computer model in forecasting cold sea waters.

  12. “Secondarily, the USAF has a spacecraft in orbit today, that measures the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere. It has found that in this current extended minimum that the atmosphere has contracted to a greater extent than at any time in the history of the space age (52 years). Why is it that no one is investigating this effect on the overall radiation balance of the atmosphere?”

    I have wondered this myself. If the atmosphere is contracting is it also condensing?

  13. More on the blizzard that is supposed to be of ‘historic’ proportions around here (if this is sun related I wouldn’t want to think what would happen if TSI keeps on a downward trend), events like this seem to suddenly be getting more common as sun activity continues to decline.

    up to 2 feet of snow forecast for southwestern Kansas, likely including Liberal, Garden City, and Dodge City
    http://www.accuweather.com/news-story.asp?article=2

    A weather update video and page
    http://www.accuweather.com/news-top-headline.asp?partner=accuweather&date=2009-03-26_18:50

  14. Oh, here’s the link to the actual story
    http://www.accuweather.com/regional-news-story.asp?region=southwestusnews

    Here in Wichita, we could get very close to the biggest snowfall we ever had which is 15 inches, the way things are going and with snow forecasts increasing, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if we break that.

    Unfortunately for the kids here who got their hopes up for a snow day Friday the snow will really start falling AFTER they get home from school.

  15. “While total solar irradiance changes by 0.1 percent, the change in the intensity of ultraviolet light varies by much larger amounts, scientists have discovered. Research shows such variations in the Sun’s emissions can affect the ozone layer and the way energy moves both vertically and horizontally through the atmosphere.”

    Cool, finally getting to the real cause of ozone production and destruction as well. Back from the grave, UV-A and UV-B. To the grave with CFCs and the ozone ho;e junk science joke.

  16. P1*V1/T1 = P2*V2/T2

    If the volume has contracted, and the pressure hasn’t really changed much (that being determined rather by gravity), then T must change!!

  17. Let me expand upon that statement. The pressure of the atmosphere is determined by the mass of gas in the planetary atmosphere and the planetary mass.

    If the atmosphere heats up, it will expand in volume.

    We currently see a reduction in the volume of the atmosphere. The mass of the atmosphere and mass of the planet have not changed, so there must be a decrease in the temperature of the atmosphere.

  18. Ohioholic (14:18:08) :
    I have wondered this myself. If the atmosphere is contracting is it also condensing?
    What do you mean by ‘condensing’? That the Oxygen gas is turning into a blue Oxygen liquid running down the window panes? :~)

  19. . . .without a continuous and reliable TSI record, Kopp and Lean point out, there will always be room for skeptics to blame global warming entirely on the sun, even when most evidence suggests human activities are the key influence on modern climate changes. (From the NASA article; my emphasis.)

    And what, pray tell, exactly isthat evidence, aside from a very rough correlation in the 20th century?

    /Mr Lynn

  20. For Leif: from above quote “After examining the historical TSI database, some scientists have suggested that solar irradiance could account for as much as a quarter of recent global warming. But without a continuous and reliable TSI record, Kopp and Lean point out, there will always be room for skeptics to blame global warming entirely on the sun, even when most evidence suggests human activities are the key influence on modern climate changes… ect

    So… at this stage…looks like its going from “no effect” whatsoever to now possibly 25% and then quote below to “long term changes in TSI” in fact could be 50%, 66% (effect on climate…), LOL

    “Beyond that, there’s a big “what if” percolating through the scientific community. The 0.1 percent variation in solar irradiance is certainly too subtle to explain all of the recent warming. “But, what if — as many assume — much longer solar cycles are also at work?” said Lean. In that case, it’s not impossible that long-term patterns — proceeding over hundreds or thousands of years — could cause more severe swings in TSI”.

  21. Really ,really crude calculations. A 1000w microwave oven will raise the temperature of one litre water 10 degrees in one min. Spread that out and one w/m3 will raise the top 250mm (1 foot) 6 degrees in one year. This is assuming 8 hrs of irradiance and a static system.

  22. Leif,

    Has anyone examined what happened to temps etc. in the really big drop-outs which happen in TSI when the biggest sunspot groups occur.

    In solar cycle 23, the biggest, longest one was at the end of October 2003 where TSI dropped from 1,361.7 W/m2 to 1,357.3 W/m2 for more than a week.

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/ion-p?ION__E1=PLOT%3Aplot_tsi_data.ion&ION__E2=PRINT%3Aprint_tsi_data.ion&ION__E3=BOTH%3Aplot_and_print_tsi_data.ion&START_DATE=100&STOP_DATE=500&TIME_SPAN=6&PLOT=Plot+Data

    There was small decline in temps in November 2003 and what looked to be a rebuilding El Nino dropped off to neutral conditions. Anything else of note happen?

  23. Dennis Wingo, Robert Wood…..

    That’s what I would have thought. If the satellite instrumentation is measuring a contraction of the atmosphere, without a corresponding drop in surface pressure….. Then there is only one explanation in physics…. A decrease in temperature.

    …. But the AGW beat goes on. The simplistic laws of Thermodynamics no longer apply. The Hypothesis is now bigger than Ben Hur…..

  24. The NASA measuring the atmosphere altitude would be a direct measure of Temperature if the Volume and Mass were relatively constant. Neat idea.

    Here’s another curve ball: could an asteroid hitting the atmosphere rip off enough of it to cause it to shrink and allow more of the heat to escape thereby causing an ice age? We should look at the temperature record after the Tunguska event and see. Tunguska may not be a good example.

  25. In the TSI graph run a straight edge along the lowest point of the 87 minimum.

    The 85-87 minimum as measured by ACRIM I V1 is a full notch lower then the 96 min as measured by ACRIM V3, and the current minimum as measured by TIM V9.
    Unless it is somehow possible to be less then zero ACRIM I, ERBE, and in my opinion ACRIM2, are FUBAR.
    Maybe not it the bandwidth they are measuring, but certainly in the splicing.

    ACRIM I is set too low. ACRIM 2 is a dab too high. Aren’t the splicings a bit of subjective Xlimate changie hokus pokus?

  26. While total solar irradiance changes by 0.1 percent, the change in the intensity of ultraviolet light varies by much larger amounts, scientists have discovered. Research shows such variations in the Sun’s emissions can affect the ozone layer and the way energy moves both vertically and horizontally through the atmosphere.

    This is interesting because previous satellites designed to monitor solar UV show that the UV intensity rises and falls in lockstep with the rise and fall of the solar sunspot cycle. See, for example http://wwwsolar.nrl.navy.mil/susim_uars.html
    Once there, click on the “Mg II Index” hyperlink.

    Also important is the fact that solar UV radiation is almost totally absorbed by the earth. The gamma rays, X-rays, and ultraviolet radiation less than 200 nm in wavelength are absorbed by oxygen and nitrogen. Most of the radiation with a range of wavelengths from 200 to 300 nm is absorbed by the ozone. Only 0.05% of this very short wavelength radiation is reflected back into space. Contrast this to the longer wavelengths greater than 300 nm where roughly a third is reflected back into space as earth shine.

    Even if TSI as measured in outer space only varies by 0.1% the amount of that TSI that heats the earth varies greatly by wavelength. Given that all of the UV is absorbed and that 1/3 or more of the visible light is reflected back into space that varying UV has a greater impact on the temperature than its contribution to TSI would at first indicate.

    –Mike Ramsey

  27. Ohioholic (14:18:08) :
    “Secondarily, the USAF has a spacecraft in orbit today, that measures the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere. It has found that in this current extended minimum that the atmosphere has contracted to a greater extent than at any time in the history of the space age (52 years). Why is it that no one is investigating this effect on the overall radiation balance of the atmosphere?”

    I have wondered this myself. If the atmosphere is contracting is it also condensing?

    This expansion and contraction is of the thermosphere (60 – 300 miles) not the lower atmosphere.

  28. Dennis Wingo (13:13:36) : You ask:

    Why is it that the absorption of a far more energetic photon by oxygen or other visible light absorbers does not overwhelm any CO2 signature?

    Oxygen and nitrogen do not absorb, they scatter blue light. Okay, oxygen does absorb a very small amount of some wavelenght, but the blue light
    process is called Rayleigh Scattering, here:
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/atmos/blusky.html
    The scattering does not involve a change in the energy of the molecule. To be infrared active a molecule has to stretch or bend in special ways; N2 & O2 don’t. Within the above page, follow the link to Raman Scattering for a bit more info.
    Water vapor does absorb and does swamp the CO2 effect as you expect.

  29. Leif,

    Can you enlighten us a little bit on these two excerpts:

    “While total solar irradiance changes by 0.1 percent, the change in the intensity of ultraviolet light varies by much larger amounts, scientists have discovered. Research shows such variations in the Sun’s emissions can affect the ozone layer and the way energy moves both vertically and horizontally through the atmosphere.”

    “soft X-ray wavelengths shown in this image vary by much greater amounts”

    I guess I’m curious as to what how much energy and the amount of changes and what they can affect.

  30. Given that all of the UV is absorbed and that 1/3 or more of the visible light is reflected back into space

    so even a small % change in cloud cover would significantly affect temperatures.

    Once again, ignoring those pesky indirect (magnetic) effects. We’ll soon know much more, I think.

  31. “Modelers estimate that TSI increased roughly 0.08 percent as the Sun exited the Maunder Minimum” and “TSI varies by roughly 0.1 percent through the sun’s 11-year magnetic cycle. Such a variation cannot explain the intensity and speed of the warming trends on Earth during the last century” in the same article? That’s twenty-five percent more solar radiation in eleven years than was needed to break the Maunder Minimum and it doesn’t have much effect. How much solar energy does it take to boil away the Kool-Aid?

  32. .. J.Hansford (17:00:47)

    The average surface pressure over the earth cannot change unless the mass of the atmosphere changes. Pressure = (mass x gravity)/area *
    PV=nRT does not really apply here because we do not have a constant density throughout the volume.
    * I am assuming the variation of gravity through the atmosphere is zero.

  33. About that graphic, why so much noise? Or maybe it isn’t measurement noise, since the deep spikes seem to be multicolored (seen by multiple detectors). The variations seem to line up with the sunspot numbers (which wouldn’t be surprising), but is it measuring just the effect of sunspot brightness variations, or is it measuring that and something more? It seems like a better sunspot count than the actual sunspot count. The TSI can drop below minimum value even if the sunspot count can’t drop below zero. But why is the sun (TSI) so noisy?

    And what happened recently? The value is low (as expected), but the variation is also much lower than in the previous minimums.

  34. John F. Hultquist

    Thanks for clearing up my slight confusion. However, according to these graphs O2 does absorb at both UV wavelengths as well as at mid visible. These are absorption modes of the O2 molecule.

    http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/ce1ab8df0daa344268200468307354ec,c5eac65350454b5452554d5f7375626b6174092d09093a095350454b5452554d5f6b6174092d094f787967656e093a095350454b5452554d5f73746f66666e616d65092d096f787967656e093a095f7472636964092d093531363935/Spectra/Catalogue_5p4.html

    These seem to me to be absorption lines, not scattering modes.

  35. I am assuming the variation of gravity through the atmosphere is zero.

    Actually this is not correct. I don’t know what the numbers are at the surface of the ground but in low orbit the gravity gradient is about 1 microgee per meter.

  36. Mike Ramsey (17:35:27) :
    .

    Even if TSI as measured in outer space only varies by 0.1% the amount of that TSI that heats the earth varies greatly by wavelength. Given that all of the UV is absorbed and that 1/3 or more of the visible light is reflected back into space that varying UV has a greater impact on the temperature than its contribution to TSI would at first indicate.

    –Mike Ramsey

    I have been trying to find a link with numbers , i.e. the variation of the short wave spectrum with time.

    I was given a link to a plot by Leif that shows that in percentage of the total energy coming from the sun, a small part is from short waves. I really would like to see a time dependence plot per wavelength intervals.
    The reason is that if one looks at the map in http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/uvb_radiation3.php which shows the penetration of UV in the ocean, there are distinct spots in the oceans where the penetration is deeper.

    So, handwaving the numbers I was able to glean, if the “blue to UV” has 5% of the energy, but it varies by 30%, that means that in those spots of the ocean there will be a 1.5% change of energy coming from the sun, much bigger than the general average of 0.1% change between minima/maxima. It is like having a localized heater which varies with total insolation right at the spots where the PDOs etc are created. Now Leif says that the variation during time is large but the percentage of total energy falls faster and the effect is neutered.

    If anybody has any relevant links I would be grateful.

  37. “The improvements in accuracy will make it possible to detect long-term changes in the sun’s output much more quickly.” – Er, actually no. Long-term changes can, by definition, only be observed in the long term. You can certainly observe low rate changes, but you then have to assume that these will accumulate over the long term – i.e. predict the future. Anybody got a crystal ball?

  38. anna v (21:31:45) :

    I have been trying to find a link with numbers , i.e. the variation of the short wave spectrum with time.

    Be careful because the term “short wave spectrum” has different
    meanings. The shorthand used by many scientist refers to
    infrared as “long wave” and anything with a shorter wavelength
    (e.g. visible light) as “short wave”. I try to be explicit
    in my usage by defining the range of wavelengths. I hope
    that this isn’t confusing. I did the following back of the envelope
    calculation a little less than a year ago to try to see what impact
    varying UV intensity might have on global heating.

    The only part of the solar spectrum to have significant variation
    in intensity is the UV, X-Ray range (i.e., wavelength = 300nm
    is reflected right back into space. The detailed shape is vaguely
    parabolic with the wavelength and amplitude of the peak varying
    depending on the surface (e.g. cloud, ice, ocean, desert, forest).
    But a 30% figure is widely accepted as an average.

    This leaves 70% of 92% =.7 * .92 = .644 = 64.4% of the total
    insolation with wavelength >= 300nm that is actually absorbed and
    contributes to global heating.

    That 8-9% represented by UV, X-Ray (wavelength < 300nm) accounts
    for ~12% of the insolation heating the earth.

    The remaining 91-92% varies by only 0.1%. Lean (2000) gives a
    slightly higher historical variation of about 0.3% but let us stick
    with the conservative 0.1% number.

    Now consider that the UV, X-Ray (wavelength =300 nm, 0.1%

    Shorter wavelengths are absorbed in the earth’s upper atmosphere and
    see even larger variations:
    120 nm, 50%
    140-200 nm, 10-15%

    See: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/7/5391/2007/acp-7-5391-2007.pdf

    So I conclude that ~12% of the sun’s energy heating the earth is
    being pumped directly by the solar cycle.

    8% * 12% = 0.96% which is still larger than the 0.1% variation that
    gets kicked around.

    –Mike

  39. Well, that didn’t work. I’ll do it the hard way. :-)

    Anthony, please delete the previous versions of this post. Thanks, Mike

    anna v (21:31:45) :

    I have been trying to find a link with numbers , i.e. the variation of the short wave spectrum with time.

    Be careful because the term “short wave spectrum” has different
    meanings. The shorthand used by many scientist refers to
    infrared as “long wave” and anything with a shorter wavelength
    (e.g. visible light) as “short wave”. I try to be explicit
    in my usage by defining the range of wavelengths. I hope
    that this isn’t confusing. I did the following calculation
    a little less than a year ago.

    The only part of the solar spectrum to have significant variation
    in intensity is the UV, X-Ray range (i.e., wavelength less than 300nm).
    This portion of the spectrum accounts for only 8-9% of the total energy
    content of insolation. http://squ1.org/wiki/Solar_Radiation

    What I realized is that less than .05 percent of that solar UV,
    X-Ray radiation impinging on the earth’s disk is reflected back
    into space. The rest (99.95%) is totally absorbed by the earth.

    On average, 30% of the remaining 91-92% with wavelength greater than
    or equal to 300nm is reflected right back into space. The detailed
    shape is vaguely parabolic with the wavelength and amplitude of the
    peak varying depending on the surface (e.g. cloud, ice, ocean, desert,
    forest). But a 30% figure is widely accepted as an average.

    This leaves 70% of 92% =.7 * .92 = .644 = 64.4% of the total
    insolation with wavelength greater than or equal to 300nm that is
    actually absorbed and contributes to global heating.

    That 8-9% represented by UV, X-Ray (wavelength less than 300nm) accounts
    for ~12% of the insolation heating the earth.

    The remaining 91-92% varies by only 0.1%. Lean (2000) gives a
    slightly higher historical variation of about 0.3% but let us stick
    with the conservative 0.1% number.

    Now consider that the UV, X-Ray (wavelength less than 300nm) radiation
    varies across a solar cycle (in lock step) by about 8%. Below is a sample:
    200 nm, 8%
    220-260 nm, 5%
    greater than or equal to 300 nm, 0.1%

    Shorter wavelengths are absorbed in the earth’s upper atmosphere and
    see even larger variations:
    120 nm, 50%
    140-200 nm, 10-15%

    So I conclude that ~12% of the sun’s energy heating the earth is
    being pumped directly by the solar cycle.

    8% * 12% = 0.96% which is still larger than the 0.1% variation that
    gets kicked around.

    –Mike

  40. A warmer world by additional 1-3 degrees equates to a rise in food production, and an ability to sustain more human population.

    A cooler world by 1-3 degrees equates to a drastic fall in food production, and an inability to sustain our current population.

  41. Mike Ramsey (03:17:28) :

    Thanks.

    Now consider that the UV, X-Ray (wavelength less than 300nm) radiation
    varies across a solar cycle (in lock step) by about 8%. Below is a sample:
    200 nm, 8%
    220-260 nm, 5%
    greater than or equal to 300 nm, 0.1%

    Where did you get those numbers from?

    You are making a point that the real difference in the energies coming from the sun are about nine times more from peak to valley of the sun cycle than what is being generally accepted.

    I am looking at the localized effect of the 5% or 8% according to your numbers, in the oceans where the currents, PDO and ENSO and whatnot develop which according to The Tsonis et al thread here ( synchronized chaos) are enough to explain the temperature variations observed.

    Have you had a look at the map in http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/Images/z10uvb.gif , of how the UV is absorbed to different depths in the oceans?

    The change in the incoming UV could give a mechanism by which the sun cycle can tie up with the temperatures, because an 8% variation in the amount of heat penetrating to large depths might trigger an effect in the ocean currents.

  42. anna v (06:17:47) :

    Have you had a look at the map in http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/Images/z10uvb.gif , of how the UV is absorbed to different depths in the oceans?
    The change in the incoming UV could give a mechanism by which the sun cycle can tie up with the temperatures, because an 8% variation in the amount of heat penetrating to large depths might trigger an effect in the ocean currents.

    This increase of the harmful UV radiation is causing reduction in bio-mass of the oceans’ surface phytoplankton, the largest absorber of CO2 on the Earth’s surface, either through direct destruction of its cells or process of sterilisation by irradiation. Result of this is a reduced uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere and rising in the ‘green-house’ effect. There are already quantifiable evaluations of reduction in the efficiency of phytoplankton.
    (just a comment).

  43. anna v (06:17:47) :

    Where did you get those numbers from?

    See: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/7/5391/2007/acp-7-5391-2007.pdf

    You are making a point that the real difference in the energies coming from the sun are about nine times more from peak to valley of the sun cycle than what is being generally accepted.

    Only at those specific frequencies so no I don’t think that the numbers I quoted are in dispute.

    Have you had a look at the map in http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/Images/z10uvb.gif , of how the UV is absorbed to different depths in the oceans?

    No but I will tonight.

    –Mike

    –Mike

  44. Mike Ramsey (03:17:28) :

    Good info, looks sensible and is consistent with current compact Ionosphere.

  45. Scott Gibson 13.31.05

    ” On the other hand, if I told you that changes in the angle of incidence of the sun could cause greater than 50 degree F swings in temperature, you might be skeptical if you didn’t know about winter and summer. In short, I’m still open to the possibility that small solar changes could cause major climate variations.”

    Simple, but you may be onto something here. One rough measure of TSI on the ground would be to take two cities – say one in Saskatchewan and one in Texas with the same elevation and look at average temp differences (say summer months) and calculate the w/m sq. for each. Also, a small increment in TSI over an extended period would tend to accumulate heat, would it not? Talking about variation by season, look at the moon where day to night it goes from +100C in day to below -150C at night. It would be interesting to see if there is a discernible variation of mid day temp with varying TSI on the moon. Any data?

  46. Good posts, everybody, one of the best threads I’ve seen since October, 2008. Some of the following may be redundant, but maybe it will help others a little.

    Here are the solar & Earth atmosphere spectra. Before you go look at the graph, be very careful to read the ordinate units; they’re logarithmic and not intuitive.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/images/sunbathing/sunspectrum.htm

    From the graph, the UV appears to vary greatly, but if you read carefully, you’ll see it doesn’t matter much as far as energy balance goes, since UV is minuscule relative to the visible and IR.

    What UV does to the ionosphere is another thing, entirely: the ionosphere varies in temperature from 500° to 1500°C (solar min to solar max.) That is an order of magnitude change, large enough to play a part in the putative “iris effect,” which (if found) might explain why small variations in LSI could have a major effect on climate.

    Similarly, changes in height of the ionosphere (or “thermosphere”) are also significant and are believed by some to affect the net absorption area of the Earth or to play a role in elevated limbic night-time sky temperatures.

    Another area of interest touched on previously is the possibility that terrestrial heat sink(s) may vary in operation, banking small sea-level excesses on decadal scales, then releasing the energy into the atmosphere over a relatively short period. If those heat-sink variations are due to changes in the ionosphere, it would explain a lot.

  47. OK.  I finally added a WYSIWYG editor (Xinha) to Firefox.  Hopefully I wont mess up the HTML tags quite as much.

     anna v (06:17:47) :

     Have you had a look at the map in http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/Images/z10uvb.gif , of how the UV is absorbed to different depths in the oceans?

    Interesting.  You might want to look at:

    White, Warren B., 2006. Response of tropical global ocean temperature to the Sun’s quasi-decadal UV radiative forcing of the stratosphere. J. Geophys. Res. – Oceans, 111, C09020, doi:10.1029/2004JC002552, September 15, 2006

    Abstract

    “The quasi-decadal oscillation (QDO) in the Earth’s climate system fluctuated in phase with the 11-year period signal in solar total irradiance (STI) variability throughout the 20th century. The QDO was associated with global average upper ocean temperature variability dominated by the tropical global average from 20°S to 20°N. Earlier diagnosis of the tropical global average oceanic thermal budget found the anomalous warming tendency driven not by the radiative forcing (∼0.15 W m−2) from the 11-year period signal in STI but by the larger anomalous quasi-decadal sensible plus latent heat flux (∼0.5 W m−2) from the overlying troposphere. Now we diagnose the corresponding thermal budget of the tropical global average atmospheric temperature variability, finding it largest in the lower stratosphere (∼0.8°K), decreasing downward into the lower troposphere (∼0.15°K) and the upper ocean (∼0.05°K). These diagnostics find quasi-decadal temperature variability in the tropical lower stratosphere arising from a thermal balance between anomalous radiative forcing (1.0–1.5 W m−2) by ozone absorption of the 11-year signal in solar UV irradiance variability (modified by absorption of mean solar IR irradiance by volcanic aerosol variability) and variable longwave radiation and vertical advection. The latter two processes altered the vertical gradient of equivalent potential temperature in the tropical troposphere that allowed mean vertical circulation to drive an anomalous warming tendency in the lower troposphere. The latter matched the amplitude and phase of the downward quasi-decadal sensible plus latent heat flux anomaly that drove the anomalous warming tendency in the tropical global ocean.”

    –Mike Ramsey

  48.   vukcevic (09:04:23) :

    This increase of the harmful UV radiation is causing reduction in bio-mass of the oceans’ surface phytoplankton, the largest absorber of CO2 on the Earth’s surface, either through direct destruction of its cells or process of sterilisation by irradiation.

    Maybe.

    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/0702_planktoncloud.html

    “It’s almost hard to believe, but new NASA-funded research confirms an old theory that plankton can indirectly create clouds that block some of the Sun’s harmful rays. The study was conducted by Dierdre Toole of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and David Siegel of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

    The study finds that in summer when the Sun beats down on the top layer of ocean where plankton live, harmful rays in the form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation bother the little plants. UV light also gives sunburn to humans.

    When plankton are bothered, or stressed by UV light, their chemistry takes over.

    The plankton try to protect themselves by producing a chemical compound called DMSP, which some scientists believe helps strengthen the plankton’s cell walls. This chemical gets broken down in the water by bacteria, and changes into another substance called DMS.

    DMS then filters from the ocean into the air, where it breaks down again to form tiny dust-like particles. These tiny particles are just the right size for water to condense on, which is the beginning of how clouds are formed. So, indirectly, plankton help create more clouds, and more clouds mean that less direct light reaches the ocean surface. This relieves the stress put on plankton by the Sun’s harmful UV rays.”

  49. vukcevic (09:04:23) :

    This increase of the harmful UV radiation is causing reduction in bio-mass of the oceans’ surface phytoplankton, the largest absorber of CO2 on the Earth’s surface, either through direct destruction of its cells or process of sterilisation by irradiation.
    Mike Ramsey (17:37:08)
    Maybe.
    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/0702_planktoncloud.
    “It’s almost hard to believe, but new NASA-funded research confirms an old theory that plankton can indirectly create clouds that block some of the Sun’s harmful rays.
    “It’s almost hard to believe, but new NASA-funded research confirms an old theory that plankton can indirectly create clouds that block some of the Sun’s harmful rays. The study was conducted by Dierdre Toole of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and David Siegel of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

    The study finds that in summer when the Sun beats down on the top layer of ocean where plankton live, harmful rays in the form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation bother the little plants. UV light also gives sunburn to humans.
    When plankton are bothered, or stressed by UV light, their chemistry takes over.
    The plankton try to protect themselves by producing a chemical compound called DMSP, which some scientists believe helps strengthen the plankton’s cell walls. This chemical gets broken down in the water by bacteria, and changes into another substance called DMS.
    DMS then filters from the ocean into the air, where it breaks down again to form tiny dust-like particles. These tiny particles are just the right size for water to condense on, which is the beginning of how clouds are formed. So, indirectly, plankton help create more clouds, and more clouds mean that less direct light reaches the ocean surface. This relieves the stress put on plankton by the Sun’s harmful UV rays.”

    Thanks for that, absolutely fascinating. I assume that plankton ability to provide this defence mechanism at certain point reaches limit, above which further rise in UV would cause certain amount of damage to the plankton. This would mean that level of protection would be gradually reduced; result less cloud coverage, more UV, more damage to the plankton. Lest cloud coverage would also mean higher global temperature. Now if rise in UV is linked to the rise in solar activity then we have a link between level of solar activity and the global worming.
    Does this make sense or is it a false logic?

  50. vukcevic (02:03:37)
    Correction

    … if rise in UV is linked to the rise in solar activity then we have a link between level of the solar activity and global warming.
    I must disable auto spell-check.

  51. vukcevic (02:03:37)
    Correction

    … if rise in UV is linked to the rise in solar activity …

    That much seems certain.

    then we have a link between level of the solar activity and global warming.

    we have a link yes.  How strong that link is relative to other causes / moderators of global warming is the question.  Because of thermodynamic considerations (http://miskolczi.webs.com/2007.pdf) I believe that the sun must be behind global changes in temperature.  Proving that is the challenge.

    I must disable auto spell-check.

    I will not throw the first stone.  :-)

    –Mike Ramsey

  52. 28 03 2009
    vukcevic (03:23:19) :

    Does this make sense or is it a false logic?

    It makes sense. In combination with the map that shows the depth of penetration of UV http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/Images/z10uvb.gif and the stronger variation of UV during maxima and minima of the solar cycle a rhythm could be set up that would affect cloud formation and therefore albedo and thus global temperature correlated with the cycle . Global temperature is extremely sensitive to albedo. Instead of galactic cosmic rays, UV rays .

  53. anna v (06:17:47) :
    Mike Ramsey (03:17:28) :

    Thanks.

    Now consider that the UV, X-Ray (wavelength less than 300nm) radiation
    varies across a solar cycle (in lock step) by about 8%. Below is a sample:
    200 nm, 8%
    220-260 nm, 5%
    greater than or equal to 300 nm, 0.1%

    Where did you get those numbers from?

    You are making a point that the real difference in the energies coming from the sun are about nine times more from peak to valley of the sun cycle than what is being generally accepted.

    The 200nm wavelength is referred to as vacuum UV because it is absorbed by the oxygen in the air. The wavelengths up to 260nm are strongly absorbed in the stratosphere and above and their contribution will be more related to Ozone production. Just as well since DNA absorbs strongly at 260nm!

  54. anna v (21:14:16) :

    Thanks, all this shows how much unsettled the science of climate is.

    I have always been bothered by the phrase “settled science”.  Science isn’t supposed to be settled.  Rather, new observations turn up unexplained phenomena which in turn drive new science.  Newton’s theory of gravity was as settled as science got in the 19th century.  Then Einstein came along.

    Scientist aren’t supposed to hold to the doctrine of stare decisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stare_decisis).  Those that do are politicians and God knows that there are more than enough politicians masquerading as scientist these days.

    –Mike Ramsey

  55.  Phil. (10:02:10) :

    The 200nm wavelength is referred to as vacuum UV because it is absorbed by the oxygen in the air. The wavelengths up to 260nm are strongly absorbed in the stratosphere and above and their contribution will be more related to Ozone production. Just as well since DNA absorbs strongly at 260nm!

    I appreciate the ozone that we have every day.  Especially now that as the northern hemisphere heads into spring and I find myself checking my supply of sun screen.  :-)

    –Mike Ramsey

  56. Phil. (10:02:10) :
    “Now consider that the UV, X-Ray (wavelength less than 300nm) radiation varies across a solar cycle (in lock step) by about 8%. Below is a sample:
    200 nm, 8%
    220-260 nm, 5%
    greater than or equal to 300 nm, 0.1%

    The lowest wavelengths vary relatively, but the actual variation in energy units is minute. And UV in the band 242-310 nm actually varies opposite to the solar cycle:

  57. Leif Svalgaard (12:19:45) :
    The lowest wavelengths vary relatively, but the actual variation in energy units is minute. And UV in the band 242-310 nm actually varies opposite to the solar cycle:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Erl70.png

    If you look at the right-hand scale you see that flux of 240-310 UV is more than ten times the flux of 180-242 nm UV, so in term of energy the total variation of UV is not in lockstep with the solar cycle, but varies opposite to solar activity: less solar activity, more UV in W/m2

  58. Leif Svalgaard (12:19:45) :

    Phil. (10:02:10) :
    “Now consider that the UV, X-Ray (wavelength less than 300nm) radiation varies across a solar cycle (in lock step) by about 8%. Below is a sample:
    200 nm, 8%
    220-260 nm, 5%
    greater than or equal to 300 nm, 0.1%

    The lowest wavelengths vary relatively, but the actual variation in energy units is minute. And UV in the band 242-310 nm actually varies opposite to the solar cycle:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Erl70.png

    The data that you pointed to (thanks by the way) is for 2005 through mid-2008.  As you know, the last solar max was in 2001.

    “SUSIM’S ll-YEAR OBSERVATIONAL RECORD OF THE SOLAR UV IRRADIANCE”, by L.E. Floyd’, J.W. Cook2, L.C. Herring’, and P.C. Crane, Adv. Space Res. Vol. 31, No. 9, pp. 211l -2120.2003

    doesn’t show this anti-correlation for the Hartley band.  They show UV integrated irradiance time series data for:
    Lyman alpha
    170-175 nm
    200-205 nm
    230-235 nm
    Mg II Core-to-Wing Ratio (V21r2)

    The changes in intensity all track together.  The Mg II absorption feature is near 280 nm is a complex measure loosely defined to be the ratio of irradiance at the center of the Mg II feature to that of its adjoining wings.

    “It is interesting to note that while sunspot number peaked in 2000, the peak in the Mg II index occurred in very early 2002. The sunspot number is a derived quantity based on human counting of dark solar surface features while the Mg II index is a ratio based on direct spectral irradiance measurements. Other than an observed overall long-term correlation, there is no physical description that explicitly links sunspot number with the Mg II index. Accordingly, it is not unexpected that the sunspot number and the Mg II index will significantly deviate from one another from time to time. Differences among solar indices and their proxy relationships to solar total and spectral irradiance are currently actively studied (Pap, et al. 2002; Sprigg and Pap: 2003).”

    The Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) is needed to get better data on UV variation.  If we are heading into a sustained minimum than Glory’s timing will be unfortunate.

    –Mike Ramsey

  59. Mike Ramsey (11:59:10) :
    anna v (21:14:16) :

    Thanks for your encouraging comments; I would welcome your views on the following:

    Some 3-4 years ago when I first suggested such a link I included another factor.
    Along increased UV there is also rise in Gamma radiations, that is reaching the oceans’ surface during periods of high sunspot activity. Collisions between protons and gas atoms of the upper atmosphere produce Gamma rays. Clouds provide protection from UV rays, Van-Allen belt provides partial protection from charged particles and the atmosphere to some extent from Gamma rays. Coincidently, the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field has been decaying since 1860s from 61 to 54 micro Tesla, or by about 11%, so radiation protection of Van-Allen belt has also been reduced.
    If solar activity is on increase (as it has been since 1860-s, with rise in global temperatures ) then amount of both kinds of radiation would be on increase.
    Although plankton may fight UV, to a certain extant, I do not think there is a viable mechanism against Gamma rays, except diving deep down, but that would deprive plankton of the necessary sunlight.

  60. vukcevic (00:49:27) :

    I think gamma rays are orders of magnitude less in the spectrum than UV and visible. Though they are penetrating, fortunately they are few.
    Here is the energy spectrum:

  61.  vukcevic (00:49:27) :

    Thanks for your encouraging comments; I would welcome your views on the following:

    Some 3-4 years ago when I first suggested such a link I included another factor.
    Along increased UV there is also rise in Gamma radiations, that is reaching the oceans’ surface during periods of high sunspot activity.

    Sunlight has a black-body spectrum that indicates that the photosphere has a temperature of about 5,800 K.  We see this as yellow light.  However the temperature rises to 3 million Kelvins in the Sun’s outer atmosphere (the corona).  These high temperatures are needed to generate high energy UV and X-ray light.

    So what heats the corona to millions of degrees?  We are note sure.  One hypothesis is given that sunspots mark magnetic loop bases, as the magnetic loops get twisted by the sun’s rotation they snap releasing vast amounts of energy and mass.  This heats the sun’s atmosphere to the millions of degrees needed to generate X-Ray and UV light.  

    Although the Sun produces gamma rays as a result of nuclear fusion at its core, these very high energy photons are converted to lower energy photons before they reach the Sun’s surface where they are emitted out into space. Therefore the Sun doesn’t give off gamma rays.

    Collisions between protons and gas atoms of the upper atmosphere produce Gamma rays.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1986AdSpR…6..133L

    “Measurement of gamma-ray line intensities from the earth’s atmosphere
    Letaw, J. R.; Share, G. H.; Kinzer, R. L.; Silberberg, R.; Chupp, E. L.
    (COSPAR, Plenary Meeting, 26th, Topical Meeting on Gamma-Ray Astronomy, Toulouse, France, June 30-July 11, 1986) Advances in Space Research (ISSN 0273-1177), vol. 6, no. 4, 1986, p. 133-137.

        The authors report measurements of gamma-ray lines from the earth’s atmosphere observed by the gamma-ray spectrometer on the Solar Maximum Mission satellite. The data are summed over 3.5 years and have excellent statistical accuracy. 20 line features within the range 0.3 to 8 MeV have been observed. Line intensities are consistent with models attributing them to neutron absorption by nitrogen and oxygen. The relative intensity of scattered radiation from the 0.511 MeV line suggests production at an average atmospheric depth of 21 g/cm2. These data allow a detailed comparison of gamma-ray production models with experiment in a medium with known composition, geometry, and irradiation level and therefore serve as a good test subject for models of astrophysical gamma-ray line sources.”

    Gamma ray’s can’t penetrate very far through the earth’s atmosphere.  This is why gamma ray astronomy was not achieved until balloons or spacecraft could gain sufficient altitude.   Even gamma-rays that are produced by neutron absorption don’t get very far.

    Now lightening is a different story.
    http://www.physorg.com/news3959.html

    –Mike Ramsey

  62. Hi Leif,

    Thanks for that extra info re: the various UV wavelengths. Seems to pretty much settle the question for me *why* total UV w/m^2 doesn’t vary that much with solar cycles, with the different bands offsetting ea/ other in different parts of the cycle.

    Which brings us back to the more opaque case for changes in heliomagnetism, cosmic ray-driven increases in cloud nuclei of SO2. If a credible case can be made for a cosmic ray role in natural ozone hole cycles due to SO2 & NO2 ionization cycles, I don’t see why cosmic-ray moderated global cloud cover would be any less likely an avenue for research.

    I recall one team – a team skeptical of some of the more enthusiastic research on cosmic ray influence on climate – had relegated the long-term role of cosmic ray variance to something in the range of a 15 – 25% role in climate variation. But I believe it was Spencer (?) who pointed out that if cosmic rays contributed to just 1% of variation in cloud cover over a long term period then the cumulative effect could perhaps even explain significant outcomes like the LIA.

    To discount the LIA as a marginal continental effect is a bit too facile. Even the ice ages started off slow. When I compared the geological data for interglacial CO2 levels and light oxygen (a bellweather of total available water vapor) I found that LO tracks more consistently with temperatures than greenhouse gases over the past two glacial & interglacial eras. At first this might seem a tautology, since the vast stades locked up LO as the climate dried and cooled. However the data showed that during the depths of the ice ages variations of LO tracked much more consistently with temperature than did CO2, drawing further into question the case for CO2 driving climate at any point in time.

    http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/2002/1/the-eurasian-arctic-during-the-last-ice-age/4

  63. leebert (06:19:33) :

    Thanks for that extra info re: the various UV wavelengths. Seems to pretty much settle the question for me *why* total UV w/m^2 doesn’t vary that much with solar cycles, with the different bands offsetting ea/ other in different parts of the cycle.

    But what if the plankton is most sensitive to a specific window? It may then get a rhythm from the solar cycle. It is something that has to be looked at more carefully than here.

  64. Mike Ramsey and anna v

    Thanks for notes on Gamma rays, I take a point about intensity and accept your estimates that the effect is minimal if at all exists .
    UV path sounds far more promising, be it a 2nd or 3rd order derivative linking solar activity to global warming. I can think of another one, even further removed, but I’ll leave it for another occasion.
    If you intend to pursue the “plankton link” I would love to know how far you get on with it.
    Good luck.

  65. leebert (06:19:33) :

    Hi Leif,

    Thanks for that extra info re: the various UV wavelengths. Seems to pretty much settle the question for me *why* total UV w/m^2 doesn’t vary that much with solar cycles, with the different bands offsetting ea/ other in different parts of the cycle.

     

    Offsetting each other?  Come again? 

    For the record, it hasn’t settled it for me.  :-)

     

    –Mike Ramsey

  66. CO2 hype risks the truth.

    It should be studied if there is a risk.

    The distance from sun to earth varies from 146 to 152 x106km. A area of a sphere is A=4Pi r^2. TRI Intency I should vary theoritically 100%-100%(146/152)^2=7.7 %. TRI varies less than 1 % . Why so ?

    I think that there are indications that studies approved by IPCC have mannipulated data sets, secret datasets and guessed data set and secret methods which are not reproducable. If the truth does not match the IPCC politics , the political issue wins. IPCC CO2-theory is based on an idea that C02 varies input energy less than 1 % and there is no stabilization ( negative feedback).

    Earth’s temperature’s negative feedback is based on H20 vapour and clouds. Stabilization require negative feedbackin the control system theory. If earth did not have stabilization the average temperature would change much more than 10 Celcius or even that 1 C. Also there is a theory that higher solar radiation induces clouds, which lowers input energy. New studies approve that H20 and clouds are efficient energy pumps that radiate heat from the surface.

    The magnetic field of earth has decreased 5-15 % within 150 years. It has been measured for centuries. This correlates with the global warming measurements. Magnetic fiels are complex. It is not homogenous on the earth and in and around the atmosphere. Fields can be added together to get resultant vectors. The field decreases by 1/r2. The fields is weak on earth. Resently man has discovered new cloud types. Man has discovered abnormalities and holes in the earths magnetic field. (Even there is unknown magnetic vortexes in the Bermuda ? ) There are reports of satellite damages due to solar radiation. Also metal objects reacts with magnetic fields, especially when they move in the field, and cause forces etc. Especially alternating current (AC) induced magnetic field can also demagnetize atleast ferretic materials, like rocks. DC generates permenant fields. Compass does not operate ok close to AC lines.

    The earth magnetic field is not well known. There are theories. One states that field generated by running liquid metal inside the core.

    There are many man made magnetic field on the surface, which are stonger than earth’s. Man has woulded coils of power grids on the surface which react with earth magnetic fields. The global magnetic coils are power by power plants. Use of AC has increased 150 years. Solar radiations and magnetic fields can influence power grids. And I think that it is possible that power grids can influence earth’s magnetic field or generator. It should be possible to measure such fields in the atmosphere and above. Perhaps the lines should be designed to induce zero far magnetic field. Some, especially DC systems use earth as return wire.

    If earth magnetic field decreases to zero and reverses we will die due the radiation and heat. A polarity change has happened before. Perhaps this artificial magnet influence earth. Perhaps this should be studied more.

    Jarmo Kanerva, Finland, Europe. M.Sc.

Comments are closed.