The oceans as a calorimeter and solar amplification

For those who don’t know, a calorimeter is a device to measure heat capacity. There is an entire science called calorimetry devoted to this measurement. Scottish physician and scientist Joseph Black, who was the first to recognize the distinction between heat and temperature, is claimed to be founder of calorimetry. Interestingly, Black studied properties of Carbon Dioxide. One of his experiments involved placing a flame and mice into the carbon dioxide. Because both entities died, Black concluded that the air was not breathable. He named it ‘fixed air’ – Anthony

Reposted from Sciencebits by Professor Nir J. Shaviv, Racah Institute of Physics

I few months ago, I had a paper accepted in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Since its repercussions are particularly interesting for the general public, I decided to write about it. I would have written earlier, but as I wrote before, I have been quite busy. I now have time, sitting in my hotel in Lijiang (Yunnan, China).

Lijiang Scene

A scene in Lijiang near my hotel, where most of this post was written. More pics here.

A calorimeter is a device which measures the amount of heat given off in a chemical or physical reaction. It turns out that one can use the Earth’s oceans as one giant calorimeter to measure the amount of heat Earth absorbs and reemits every solar cycle. Two questions probably pop in your mind,
a) Why is this interesting?
and,
b) How do you do so?
Let me answer.

One of the raging debates in the climate community relates to the question of whether there is any mechanism amplifying solar activity. That is, are the solar synchronized climatic variations that we see (e.g., take a look at fig. 1 here) due to changes of just the solar irradiance, or, are they due to some effect which amplifies the solar-climate link. In particular, is there an amplification of some non-thermal component of the sun? (e.g., UV, solar magnetic field, solar wind or others which have much larger variations than the 0.1% variations of the solar irradiance). This question has interesting repercussions to the question of global warming, which is why the debate is so fierce.

If only solar irradiance is the cause of the solar-related climate variations, it would imply that the small solar variations cause large temperature variations on Earth, and therefore that Earth has a very sensitive climate. If on the other hand there is some amplification mechanism, it would imply that solar variations induce much larger variations in the radiative budget, and that the observed temperature variations can therefore be explained with a smaller climate sensitivity.

Since global warming alarmists want a large sensitivity, they adamantly fight any evidence which shows that there might be an amplification mechanism. Clearly, a larger climate sensitivity would imply that the same CO2 increase over the 21st century would cause a larger temperature increase, that is, allow for a more frightening scenario, more need for climate research and climate action, and more need for research money for them. (I am being overly cynical here, but it some cases it is not far from the truth). Others don’t even need research money, don’t really care about the science (and certainly don’t understand it), but make money from riding the wave anyway (e.g., a former vice president, without naming names).

On the other end of the spectrum, politically driven skeptics want to burn fossil fuels relentlessly. A real global warming problem would force them to change their plans. Therefore, any argument which would imply a small climate sensitivity and a lower predicted 21st century temperature increase is favored by them. Just like their opponents, they do so without actually understanding the science.

I of course, don’t get money from oil companies. In fact, I am not a republican (hey, I am even the head of a workers union). I care about the environment (I grew up in a solar house) and think there are a dozen good reasons why we should burn less fossil fuels, but as you will see below, global warming is not one of them. In fact, I am driven by something strange… the quest for the knowledge!

With this intro, you can realize why answering the solar amplification question is very important (besides being a genuinely interesting scientific question), and why answering it (either way) would make some people really annoyed.

So, what do the oceans tell us?

Over the 11 or so year solar cycle, solar irradiance changes by typically 0.1%. i.e., about 1 W/m2 relative to the solar constant of 1360 W/m2. Once one averages for the whole surface of earth (i.e., divide by 4) and takes away the reflected component (i.e., times 1 minus the albedo), it comes out to be about 0.17 W/m2 variations relative to the 240 W/m2. Thus, if only solar irradiance variations are present, Earth’s sensitivity has to be pretty high to explain the solar-climate correlations (see the collapsed box below).

However, if solar activity is amplified by some mechanism (such as hypersensitivity to UV, or indirectly through sensitivity to cosmic ray flux variations), then in principle, a lower climate sensitivity can explain the solar-climate links, but it would mean that a much larger heat flux is entering and leaving the system every solar cycle.

The IPCC’s small solar forcing and the emperor’s new clothes.

With the years, the IPCC has tried to downgrade the role of the sun. The reason is stated above – a large solar forcing would necessarily imply a lower anthropogenic effect and lower climate sensitivity. This includes perpetually doubting any non-irradiance amplification mechanism, and even emphasizing publications which downgrade long term variations in the irradiance. In fact, this has been done to such an extent, that clear solar/climate links such as the Mounder minimum are basically impossible to explain with any reasonable climate sensitivity. Here are the numbers.

According to the IPCC (AR4), the solar irradiance is responsible for a net radiative forcing increase between the Maunder Minimum and today of 0.12 W/m2 (0.06 to 0.60 at 90% confidence). We know however that the Maunder minimum was about 1°C colder (e.g., from direct temperature measurements of boreholes – e.g., this summary). This requires a global sensitivity of 1.0/0.12°C/(W/m2). Since doubling the CO2 is thought to induce a 3.8 W/m2 change in the radiative forcing, irradiance/climate correlations require a CO2 doubling temperature of ΔTx2 ~ 31°C !! Besides being at odds with other observations, any sensitivity larger than ΔTx2 ~ 10°C would cause the climate to be unconditionally unstable (see box here).

Clearly, the IPCC scientists don’t comprehend that their numbers add up to a totally inconsistent picture. Of course, the real story is that solar forcing, even just the irradiance change, is larger than the IPCC values.

Now, is there a direct record which measures the heat flux going into the climate system? The answer is that over the 11-year solar cycle, a large fraction of the flux entering the climate system goes into the oceans. However, because of the high heat capacity of the oceans, this heat content doesn’t change the ocean temperature by much. And as a consequence, the oceans can be used as a “calorimeter” to measure the solar radiative forcing. Of course, the full calculation has to include the “calorimetric efficiency” and the fact that the oceans do change their temperature a little (such that some of the heat is radiated away, thereby reducing the calorimetric efficiency).

It turns out that there are three different types of data sets from which the ocean heat content can derived. The first data is is that of direct measurements using buoys. The second is the ocean surface temperature, while the third is that of the tide gauge record which reveals the thermal expansion of the oceans. Each one of the data sets has different advantages and disadvantages.

The ocean heat content, is a direct measurement of the energy stored in the oceans. However, it requires extended 3D data, the holes in which contributed systematic errors. The sea surface temperature is only time dependent 2D data, but it requires solving for the heat diffusion into the oceans, which of course has its uncertainties (primarily the vertical turbulent diffusion coefficient). Last, because ocean basins equilibrate over relatively short periods, the tide gauge record is inherently integrative. However, it has several systematic uncertainties, for example, a non-neligible contribution from glacial meting (which on the decadal time scale is still secondary).

Nevertheless, the beautiful thing is that within the errors in the data sets (and estimate for the systematics), all three sets give consistently the same answer, that a large heat flux periodically enters and leaves the oceans with the solar cycle, and this heat flux is about 6 to 8 times larger than can be expected from changes in the solar irradiance only. This implies that an amplification mechanism necessarily exists. Interestingly, the size is consistent with what would be expected from the observed low altitude cloud cover variations.

Here are some figures from the paper:

fig. 1: Sea Surface Temperature anomaly, Sea Level Rate, Net Oceanic Heat Flux, the TSI anomaly and Cosmic Ray flux variations. In the top panel are the inverted Haleakala/Huancayo neutron monitor data (heavy line, dominated by cosmic rays with a primary rigidity cutoff of 12.9 GeV), and the TSI anomaly (TSI – 1366 W/m2 , thin line, and based on Lean [2000]). The next panel depicts the net oceanic heat flux, averaged over all the oceans (thin line) and the more complete average heat flux in the Atlantic region (Lon 80°W to 30°E, thick line), based on Ishii et al. [2006]. The next two panels plot the SLR and SST anomaly. The thin lines are the two variables with their linear trends removed. In the thick lines, the ENSO component is removed as well (such that the cross-correlation with the ENSO signal will vanish).

fig 2: Sea Level vs. Solar Activity. Sea level change rate over the 20th century is based on 24 tide gauges previously chosen by Douglas [1997] for the stringent criteria they satisfy (solid line, with 1-σ statistical error range denoted with the shaded region). The rates are compared with the total solar irradiance variations Lean [2000] (dashed line, with the secular trends removed). Note that before 1920 or after 1995, there are about 10 stations or less such that the uncertainties increase.

fig 3: Summary of the “calorimetric” measurements and expectations for the average global radiative forcing Fglobal. Each of the 3 measurements suffers from different limitations. The ocean heat content (OHC) is the most direct measurement but it suffers from completeness and noise in the data. The heat flux obtained from the sea surface temperature (SST) variations depends on the modeling of the heat diffusion into the ocean, here the diffusion coefficient is the main source of error. As for the sea level based flux, the largest uncertainty is due to the ratio between the thermal contribution and the total sea level variations. The solid error bars are the global radiative forcing obtained while assuming that similar forcing variations occur over oceans and land. The dotted error bars assume that the radiative forcing variations are only over the oceans. These measurements should be compared with two different expectations. The TSI is the expected flux if solar variability manifests itself only as a variable solar constant. The “Low Clouds+TSI” point is the expected oceanic flux based on the observed low altitude cloud cover variations, which appear to vary in sync with the solar cycle (while assuming several approximations). Evidently, the TSI cannot explain the observed flux going into the ocean. An amplification mechanism, such as that of CRF modulation of the low altitude cloud cover is required.

So what does it mean?

First, it means that the IPCC cannot ignore anymore the fact that the sun has a large climatic effect on climate. Of course, there was plenty of evidence before, so I don’t expect this result to make any difference!

Second, given the consistency between the energy going into the oceans and the estimated forcing by the solar cycle synchronized cloud cover variations, it is unlikely that the solar forcing is not associated with the cloud cover variation.

Note that the most reasonable explanation to the cloud variations is that of the cosmic ray cloud link. By now there are many independent lines of evidence showing its existence (e.g., for a not so recent summary take a look here). That is, the cloud cover variations are controlled by an external lever, which itself is affected by solar activity.

Incidentally, talking about the oceans, Arthur C. Clarke made once a very cute observation:


References:
1) Nir J. Shaviv (2008); Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A11101, doi:10.1029/2007JA012989.
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147 thoughts on “The oceans as a calorimeter and solar amplification

  1. It’s the sun, stupid!

    Thanks for posting this most important example of “thinking out of the box”.
    The basic content of this article was on the internet for some time now but with the personal introduction and presentation by Nir himself this is a fine piece of applied science.

  2. “So what does it mean?

    First, it means that the IPCC cannot ignore anymore the fact that the sun has a large climatic effect on climate. Of course, there was plenty of evidence before, so I don’t expect this result to make any difference!”

    There’s a load of frustration in these words. Can’t say I blame him. All the same I greatly admire his work and highly recommend doing some follow up on his site.

  3. I want to reinterate something I mentioned yesterday. Meteorologist such as Joe D’Aleo (and I bet you too Anthony) have been making 3-6 month seasonal forecasts based on the state of the AMO, PDO ENSO, La Nina vs. El Nino, etc. and other ocean state data. Knowing the current ocean state and comparing this to anolog conditions in the past is a great and very accurate tool to make long term seasonal forecasts. It works because the oceans drive the weather. If that is the case, then shouldn’t the oceans drive the climate? Global Circulation Models make the assumption that atmoshere drives the climate. Its no wonder that the climate experts at the Hadley center, using GCM’s, predicted a warm winter for the UK this year while mere weather forecasters, looking the tools they had used for decades, recognized the changes in the oceans and had different, more accurate predictions. Its good to see Dr. Shaviv looking at the oceans and their tie-in to the solar cycles. If solar cycles drive the ocean conditions in some predictable way, the accuracy of climate modeling will improve. Perhaps the expert climate modelers need to develop accurate Ocean Circulation Models so the science of climate modeling can move forward.

  4. Very interesting. I’ll have to read it a couple more times to completely wrap my head around it all. Looking forward to hear what Leif has to say about this.

  5. This question has been oft asked:
    How do rising atmospheric CO2 levels cause oceans to gain heat?

    The answers by AGW promoters were rather lame, and simply assumed ocean mixing largely accounted for it. This to me was incomplete and even seems to be a perpetual mobile as it would mean SW radiation would need to be counted twice or more in such a short time period (ten years) referenced in Hansen et al 2005. Further, LW IR cannot penetrate but a fraction of the top layer of water.

    Has anyone wondered why lasers used in surgery do not boil the blood?

    Hansen et al 2005 (aka the Smoking Gun) claimed the warming oceans were “proof” they looked for to confirm AGW. It did not specify how the process works, only inferred correlation is causation.

    As the oceans have stopped gaining heat (where is the missing heat?) since ~2003, it is becoming difficult to defend the idea that CO2 caused oceans to warm.

    Nir Shaviv’s work reinforces the notion only the sun can account for such warming of the oceans. Of course ReinventedClimate saw no problem with the unphysical process of the magic gas CO2 having the ability to warm the oceans so much in ten years time.

    How many AGW fingerprints left are there?

    See Roy Spencer’s latest research.

  6. Shaviv’s work here, and Tsonis’s recent article, are just marvelously compelling. Now, what is the mechanism by which the sun drives the oceanic oscillations? Oops, if it does, Leif.
    =====================================

  7. By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

    The sun remains in a deep slumber. (We are getting into Dalton Minimum Terrotiry)

    “Today we are 15 days into April without a sunspot and with 603 sunspotless day this cycle minimum, 92 already this year. 2009 at this rate, is likely to enter the top 10 years the last century along with 2007 (9th) and 2008 (2nd) this summer.
    If it stays quiet the rest of this month, the minimum can be no earlier than November 2008, at least a 12.5 year cycle length. I believe January 2009 is a better shot to be the solar minimum as sunspot number would have to be below 0.5 in June 2008 to prevent the running mean (13 month) from blipping up then. April needs only to stay below 3.2 and May 3.4 to get us to January. This would be very like cycles 1 to 4 in the late 1700s and early 1800s, preceding the Dalton Minimum. That was a cold era, the age of Dickens and the children playing in the snow in London, much like this past winter”.

  8. I would point to CA findings about the real SST temperatures (which somehow indicate the Ocean Heat Content): http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1276
    Because of improper use of the correction factor introduced due to change of water sampling methods, the SST curve should be different – there is no dropdown between 1940 – 1970 and the strong SST rise peaks in 1960 – exactly when the strong Sun cycle occurred. After that, SST increases less steeply (weaker Sun cycles). Since 2003, SST drops down in a fast rate – first time since beginning of 20th century.

  9. So the main conclusion is that heat entering the oceans is more than the energy hitting the earth. Shaviv proposes that an unknown process is at works that reflects some of that heat before it escapes to the rest of the universe.

    I can propose him the following: the greenhouse effect !

  10. AT LAST, a guy who heats up his feet with a hot water bottle!
    Now, it comes the following question: How did the 97-98 El Nino originated?
    This is very important because since then it began the “preaching”

  11. About Figure 2: First, why use the obsolete Lean 2000 TSI? Second, why remove the secular trend from TSI? If there were a strong trend (e.g. TSI doubled the last 100 years) that would surely have a big effect. [Answer: because Lean 2000 does have a significant trend that louses up the correlation]. Third, the change from year to year of the sea level [dL/dt] should depend on the change from year to year of TSI [i.e. dTSI/dt] and not on the value of TSI itself. Here is a plot of dTSI/dt [and of several reconstructions of TSI back to 1900] based on my values [full green curve, and Lean’s – dashed green curve: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI%201900-now.png
    Quite a different picture.

  12. Thank you Dr. Shaviv, once again it is shown how little we do really know about our planet.

  13. Figure 2 says it all. Great work again.

    I guess we will have to have a Sun Light Tax to save the earth.

  14. As Shaviv points out, TSI cannot explain the SST variation [so why the obsession with TSI in his graph?], so back to something else. Evidently, he is pushing the cosmic ray flux. The correlation he shows with solar activity breaks down before 1920 and ain’t so hot at the other end of the graph as well. Clearly, he is blaming that on the reduced number of observing stations – a standard excuse, when data refuses to cooperate. Finally, the big elephant is not the small year-to-year changes in MSL, but the much larger secular increase since 1900, and that is hard to explain with cosmic rays, since the heliospheric magnetic field right now is just where it was 107 years ago, at the beginning of the graph.

  15. Flanagan (08:03:30) : Shaviv does not propose that, he is just saying that the amount of heat that oceans can hold is big because seas are extense and deep, you know. Sometimes clouds act as umbrellas so seas under these umbrellas do not warm up as the rest, but anyway, seas are savingheat which can be transferred to the atmosphere if something happens, like when you stir your cup of tea with a teaspoon. Did someone stirr the pacific before the big 97-98 el nino or was it that someone took the umbrella off?

  16. It seems intuitively obvious to me that the long-term-retained heat in the oceans (or lack thereof currently) is the dominant factor. So wouldn’t Watts/m3 be a better measure (i.e. to account for deeper penetration and consequent long-term retention)?

    If two enzyme inhibitors have the same on-rate but one has a much longer off-rate, the amplification effects can be enormous when measured by, for example, billion dollar swings in annual sales of a therapeutic drug.

    Could someone also please try to further explain this big number for me, as it does not pass my initial smell test either:

    <>

    This is purportedly the Watts/m2 that is being forced into the oceans as long-term retained heat ??

  17. Oooops, between the ‘s was supposed to be:

    Since doubling the CO2 is thought to induce a 3.8 W/m2 change in the radiative forcing

  18. Flanagan:

    The main conclusion is that the solar cycles have an impact on the quantity of water condensation, which in turn has an impact on the amout of heat entering the oceans. We are back to the theory that a quiet sun, leads to more low-level cloud cover, that leads to lower global temperatures.
    It makes sense, and it correlates with observations.
    If you want to confuse the issue, you are going to have to do better than that poor attempt at “muddying the water”.

  19. There are, obviously, other questions to be answered. Did the pacific ocean accumulated heat reach a point of inflexion, so the 97-98 event was the beginning of a cooling process? , did an external phenomena provoke it?

  20. An interesting aside is the reaction of the AGW people on any increasing factor for natural causes: If the sensitivity for e.g. solar is higher, then it must be higher for CO2 too. The basic assumption in climate models is that 1 W/m2 more forcing from solar has the same effect as 1 W/m2 more forcing from GHGs… This is far from sure, as the empirical evidence for a negative correlation between the solar cycle and cloud cover shows.

    There is no proof that increased GHGs have any effect on cloud cover (while all models see that as a positive feedback) and there is a world of difference between solar variability in the stratosphere (temperature, ozone, shifts in jet stream position, cloud/rain patterns,…) and the oceans (light/energy penetration to many meters depth) vs. GHGs induced increase in longwave IR: no effect in the stratosphere, heat absorption in a fraction of a mm at the oceans surface (reflection/evaporation/heat transfer to the air)…

    Anyway, if you free the climate models from their (near) fixed efficacy for the different forcings, any increase in solar sensitivity will go at the cost of the sensitivity for GHGs. And that is what some alarmists never will admit…

  21. Flanagan (08:03:30) :

    “So the main conclusion is that heat entering the oceans is more than the energy hitting the earth. Shaviv proposes that an unknown process is at works that reflects some of that heat before it escapes to the rest of the universe.

    I can propose him the following: the greenhouse effect !”

    Flanagan,

    Why don’t you read the article again, this time without AGW blindfolds.

  22. As the Earth is comprises a crust wrapped round a gigantic ball of molten material, I cannot for the life of me understand how it is that the crust can be so perfect a thermal insulator that no outflowing heat enters the oceans. It reportedly gets mighty hot 6000 feet down in a gold mine. That cannot be solar driven, as at shallower levels there is considerably less heat in the rock. They require huge air conditioning when mining at the greater depths. And there is a thinner crust under the oceans. What am I missing?

    Geoff Alder

  23. Nir,

    “We know however that the Maunder minimum was about 1°C colder.”

    “Know” seems a little strong. 0.5 °C seems to be a more reasonable figure from proxy reconstructions which use additional data to boreholes.

    “Since doubling the CO2 is thought to induce a 3.8 W/m2 change in the radiative forcing, irradiance/climate correlations require a CO2 doubling temperature of ΔTx2 ~ 31°C !!”

    Of course, even if we take a drop of 0.5 °C, ΔTx2 ~ 15°C unphysically large. But IPCC scientists are not suggesting CO2 is responsible for the Little Ice Age!

    “Clearly, the IPCC scientists don’t comprehend that their numbers add up to a totally inconsistent picture.”

    I don’t think you’ve properly read what IPCC scientists have stated!

    “Fig. 2: Sea Level vs. Solar Activity…with the secular trends removed…”

    So you have removed what would be expected from CO2 forcing in this plot. Nothing wrong with that, but you’re studying the bumps on the trend rather than the trend itself.

    I’m sure the sun plays a large role in these cyclic variations, but you need a much larger effect than cosmic-ray-induced changes in cloud cover to explain underlying trend.

  24. This aligns completely well with Drs. Spencer and Pielke Sr. analysis, and completely blows away the Hansen/Gore/IPCC fear machine.

  25. To get the correlation his paper claims to have established between solar activity and heat flux, wouldn’t volcanic activity have had to have been “tuned out” of the equation? I’ve always favored the “cosmic radiation/low level cloud cover” postulation, but it is well known that volcanic eruptions have the same cloud-seeding effect as does cosmic radiation. That has always been “the fly in the ointment” for those who set out to show a tight “sunspot/temperature” correlation”.

  26. The point here is not the TSI changing over the 11 year cycle, but the sun’s magnetic field. The magnetic field changes over the same cycle. When the TSI is higher the magnetic filed is higher and vice versa.
    The reason the seas warm much more than the increase in the TSI would imply is the secondary effect. The increased solar magnetic field reduces the cosmic ray count. Cosmic rays moving through the atmosphere act as seeds for cloud formation. Less clouds mean more sunlight reaching the earth’s surface and increased temperature/absorbtion of heat in the ocean.
    So, a prolonged period of solar quiet should lead to substantial increase in the cloudiness of the Earth. This increases the albedo, and by definition lower’s the average temp.

  27. John Edmondson (09:26:01) :
    The point here is not the TSI changing over the 11 year cycle, but the sun’s magnetic field. …

    The magnetic field [and therefore the cosmic rays] now is just what it was a century ago, yet the sea level has risen 200 mm since then. Here is a plot of global sea level since 1870:

    and of the change from year to year [the red curve]. Since 1992 we have satellite data, shown as the light blue and pink curves.

    There is no 11-year cycle in any of this. The power spectrum has no significant peak anywhere near the 11 years. One might therefore even question the basic premise for the article [figure 2]. Clearly some torture of the data must have been performed…

  28. No no no, I don’t agree with some of the affirmations in here. Shaviv doesn’t “prove” that condensation or clouds are responsible for anything. He just reports an apparent discrepancy between heat flux entering oceans and the flux of energy hitting them.

    He then gives several possible explanations, including yet-to-be-discovered processes which would, in a way or another, multiply the energy received by the oceans.

    Moreover, I always have the same comment about it: the variations in the TSI seem to be correlated with the variations in the rate of sea ice increase, i.e. TSI is correlated with variations AROUND the linear increase of the sea levels. The sea levels increase despite the fact that the TSI is in average nearly constant over the years (trend is so to say zero). IMO, the sun then explains how the sea level rate fluctuates around its linear trend, but not the trend itself.

  29. Flanagan,

    Exactly. Multiply by 2.5 from GHG and you get 0.43 W/m2 which is in accordance with Lyman et al 2006, so what is the problem?
    And since 2003 the surface has lost these 0.43 and it’s getting colder again, hmm… a real mystery…

  30. Even the best of the best Earth climate model will never get the right forcast because we don’t even have a good model for the sun and most likely we never will. Even the best solar scientists don’t have a clue as to why the sun is doing what is doing right now and can’t forcast solar activity properly.

  31. Geoff Alder (09:15:34) : ..and by an strange coincidence the warm pool of the pacific ocean is located where the crust is thinner. ..this makes me wonder what external forces (tides?) could provoke changes in the magma.

  32. I’d like to draw your attention to this article appeared in Science on March 20, 2009:

    Alfvén Waves in the Lower Solar Atmosphere by David B. Jess et al.

    It seems to be out of topic; however, it points to the fact that we still don’t understand the flow of energy through the solar atmosphere. The authors relate the heating of the solar atmosphere with this kind of magnetic BPGs.

  33. TSI, again? OOOhhh NOoooooo!!!!!!

    Why, why, why not TEF? Just once?

    Barycentre.

    There, that will teach you Planarians. Knock yourselves out.

  34. What is the relative influence of the earth’s magnetic field vs the heliosphere on galactic cosmic rays and clouds?

    Earth’s magnetic field has decayed by about 5% per century since measurements began in 1840. Directional measurements predate those of intensity by more than 250 years, and we combined the global model of directions with paleomagnetic intensity measurements to estimate the fall in strength for this earlier period (1590 to 1840 A.D.). We found that magnetic field strength was nearly constant throughout this time, in contrast to the later period. Extrapolating to the core surface showed that the fall in strength originated in patches of reverse magnetic flux in the Southern Hemisphere. These patches were detectable by directional data alone; the pre-1840 model showed little or no evidence of them, supporting the conclusion of a steady dipole up to 1840.

    Fall in Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Erratic
    David Gubbins, Adrian L. Jones, Christopher C. Finlay Science 12 May 2006:
    Vol. 312. no. 5775, pp. 900 – 902, DOI: 10.1126/science.1124855

  35. Leif Svalgaard (09:48:03) :

    regarding long term sea level rise, I think it is well accepted by many that it is due to a slow rebound after the demise of the last glaciation, i.e. heat still flowing down to the deep ocean. So I think that neither Shaviv nor anyone else would expect a short term solar influence.
    Regarding the Lean TSI recostruction, I’m also quite curious to know Shaviv’s answer.
    Why don’t you post your critcs on his site?

  36. One of the many wonderful properties of water is it takes a lot of energy to heat it up and water must also lose a lot of energy before it cools.

    Our oceans are roughly 70% of the earth’s surface and contain a huge volume of water. The oceans aren’t just standing water, either. Ocean currents move warm water to cooler latitudes and also circulate cool water back to the tropics.

  37. Leif Svalgaard (09:48:03) :

    John Edmondson (09:26:01) :
    The point here is not the TSI changing over the 11 year cycle, but the sun’s magnetic field. …

    The magnetic field [and therefore the cosmic rays] now is just what it was a century ago, yet the sea level has risen 200 mm since then. Here is a plot of global sea level since 1870:

    and of the change from year to year [the red curve]. Since 1992 we have satellite data, shown as the light blue and pink curves.

    There is no 11-year cycle in any of this. The power spectrum has no significant peak anywhere near the 11 years. One might therefore even question the basic premise for the article [figure 2]. Clearly some torture of the data must have been performed…

    Are you saying that the interplantery magnetic field does not follow the 11 year solar cycle?

  38. At what point does the emphasis shift to the Alarmists to prove their case? 10 years, no global temperature increase, no volcanoes to blame, and now the Argo buoys tell us the heat isn’t in the ocean, (nothing in the pipeline), yet human CO2 production has only increased. In real science, when observations don’t conform to a theory, scientists test a new theory. In climate science, nonconforming data is assumed wrong and Mannhandled and Mannipulated to fit the theory, and then for good measure anyone who questions such practices are compared unfavorably to Holocaust deniers.

    Science will take decades to recover it’s reputation after this most public display of hackery and quackery.

  39. Leif,
    How do you know that the magnetic field is the same as it was a century ago, since the planetary index has been measured only since 1932 and correlates well with the sunspot record since? Sunspots have been reliably observed since the early 1700’s and on a less frequent basis back to the 1400’s and before. I presume that the planetary A index, which correlates well with sunspots since 1932 would equally well correlate with earlier sunspot cycles.

  40. Leif

    I’m genuinely glad to see you post here and that you aren’t subjected to the attacks that many are subjected to on sites of an opposite view. You provide a good foil for people like myself who don’t have a position set in concrete and I’m only sorry that my knowledge doesn’t allow me to contribute to the debate in any way. I do believe though that everybody on the extremes of the debate is arguing over very minor points. What seems clear is that there is sufficient uncertainty over whether there is unnatural climate change never mind what is causing it to make the claims of the IPCC and others seem stupid in the extreme. I agree that we have to eventually find other energy sources than fossil fuels but to do it on the basis of what seems like a scientific/political fraud is an insult to ordinary people.

  41. Paolo M. (10:40:00) :

    “Leif Svalgaard (09:48:03) :

    regarding long term sea level rise, I think it is well accepted by many that it is due to a slow rebound after the demise of the last glaciation, i.e. heat still flowing down to the deep ocean. So I think that neither Shaviv nor anyone else would expect a short term solar influence.
    Regarding the Lean TSI recostruction, I’m also quite curious to know Shaviv’s answer.
    Why don’t you post your critcs on his site?”

    Paolo M
    Why don’t we invite him to participate the discussions on this blog?

  42. This is a very thoughtful study. I remember that the ‘sunspot cycle’ had also been shown recently from the 20th Century data of Holgate (2007) – using just nine, high-quality, worldwide tide-gauge records (Loehle ??). However, I have another question. The 140-year graph referred to by Lief Svalgaard is interesting in how the recent satellite altimetry data seagues beautifully into the longer tide-gauge plot. Over the 140 year period, the SL rise is ~220 mm, or 1.57 mm per year, consistent with a number of tide-gauge studies. There is perhaps a small increase in the slope with the newer altimetry data, but nothing like the 2.9-3.3 mm per year typically given from satellite altimetry.

    Lief, could you please tell us where your data is from and what the SL rise is per year of your satellite record? This huge discrepancy (double) between tide-gauge and altimetry measurements continually perplexes me. I know that satellite altimetry shows a much larger regional variability than tide-gauge measurements and wonder if this reflects on its accuracy.

  43. To what degree could the small solar-amplifying increases in cloud cover that occur at solar minimum be nothing more than the simple result of the falling temperatures. Given the lag-time in the hydrological cycle between evaporation and precipitation, on average, the difference between the dewpoint temperature and the actual temperature would shrink with even a slight decrease in temperature that results from lower TSI at solar minimum. This could increase cloud cover and, thus, reflectance, leading to larger temperature changes than predicted. Of course, the reverse would occur at solar maximum, and these effects might be felt most strongly before re-equilibration (but not before changing the Earth’s oceanic, terrestrial and atmospheric heat content). In my personal opinion, Shaviv has provided a convincing case that ocean heat content changes more than expected on the basis of TSI. The link to cosmic radiation needs more development and I remain skeptical.

  44. Replying to…

    Leif Svalgaard (09:48:03) :

    […]

    The magnetic field [and therefore the cosmic rays] now is just what it was a century ago, yet the sea level has risen 200 mm since then. Here is a plot of global sea level since 1870:

    and of the change from year to year [the red curve]. Since 1992 we have satellite data, shown as the light blue and pink curves.

    There is no 11-year cycle in any of this. The power spectrum has no significant peak anywhere near the 11 years. One might therefore even question the basic premise for the article [figure 2]. Clearly some torture of the data must have been performed…

    It’s not the 11-year cycle per se…It’s variations in the length and intensity of the Schwabe Cycle (nominally 11-year) that seem to be a good proxy for the total solar influence on climate cycles. There are several longer-period cycles that also vary in length and intensity in cyclical fashions. A convolution of the 87-year and 210-year cycles was shown to have a strong correlation to the well documented 1,470-year Pleistocene climate cycle (Braun (et. al.) 2005…http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7065/pdf/nature04121.pdf). Bond (1997) demonstrated evidence that the 1,470-year cycle continued beyond the Holocene.

    Sea level has generally been rising since the end of the Little Ice Age (mid-1800’s). During the periods in which the Schwabe Cycle (~11-yr) lengthens, the Earth has cooled and sea level rise has slowed or stopped. During the periods in which the Schwabe Cycle shortens, the Earth warms and sea level rise accelerates. There seems to be a pretty strong correlation between the fluctuations in the solar cycles and the cosmic ray flux. There also seems to be a strong correlation between high energy cosmic radiation and low cloud cover and a strong correlation between the length of the Schwabe Cycle and temperature. Palle’ et. al. (2004) clearly showed the correlation between cosmic radiation, cloud cover and albedo…And they demonstrated that the radiative forcing potential of the resulting albedo changes was sufficient to explain most (if not all) of the observed warming in the late 20th century.

  45. Clarification: In the first sentence of the above message, it is the DECREASE in radiation intensity that gets ‘amplified’.

  46. Ceolfrith (11:07:11) :

    O/T

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/5159086/New-warning-over-catastrophic-sea-level-rise-scientists-claim.html

    I think the key word in this article is COULD. The sun COULD blow up next week, the planet COULD be hit by a meteor, Aliens COULD land and kill us all.

    I suspect that Carbonistas are getting desperate and trying to scare people into something before “Mother Earth” shows us all what they really are.

    I have just seen this, I calculate that this around 250,000 cubic miles of melting Ice. 2,500 cubic miles/year, Not very likely. Current implied rate = 250 cubic miles/ year (assuming all sea level rise is due to melting ice)

    What disappoints me about the online Telegraph is that only some of the “journalism” can be commented on. Anything like the above mentioned piece is not something you can comment on. However this is the e-mail address for the Telegraph- dtnews@telegraph.co.uk. Try this it might wake them up to the drivel they sometimes allow in their otherwise excellent site.

  47. Anthony

    This may be slightly off topic but I thought it worth a mention. The International Ice Patrol started operations in 1912 as a result of the Titanic incident. Since that time they have measured two parameters – Icebergs below 48 degrees North and the length of the Iceberg season. These data are available in two files covering 1912-1961 and 1961 to the present ( this file does not go beyond 2002 and seems to error at that date). The files are

    http://www.uscg-iip.org/history1.shtml

    and

    http://www.uscg-iip.org/general/history2.shtml

    The berg data is very interesting showing peaks and troughs which are sort of regular which might correlate with solar cycles or other surface phenomemon such as the NAO and el nino etc. I’m afraid my stats is not up to this type of analysis but a simple xl charts shows these variations quite well. Of course these data are subject to a great deal of noise and circumstance such as torpedoing of one of the patrol vessels and the lack of data during periods of the two world wars and vastly different methods of collecting the data ( patrol vessels, patrol aircraft, simple radar and latterly much more sophisticated radar and possibly satellites). It is therefore surprising that there are any trends at all. May be one of your more adept bloggers might be able to make more of the information. Of particular note is the substantial increase in the number of bergs from about 1984 onward peaking again in the early 1980’s

    Tony Berry

  48. Apologies

    the last line should read…. peaking again in the early 1990’s ( not 1980’s) :O(

    Tony Berry

  49. Leif won’t like that they used Lean’s outdated solar reconstruction. But unless I’m cuckoo, if Leif’s recon was used, it would mean that the climate sensitivity to solar input is even greater than Shaviv says (and thus lower CO2 sensitivity).

  50. Well I found the Professor’s explanations to be interesting. I can’t comment on the accuracy of any data he presents; some others evidently can.

    It certainly is plausible to me that there is a lot of energy stored in the ocean that came directly from the sun, and some other energy that came from Infra red back radiation from the atmosphere. Those two alone are treated totally differently by the ocean. Also one must consider that precipitation, of either snow or ice into the oceans is a source of negative energy (so-called latent heat).

    As I have posted here many times; the solar energy is absorbed by the ocean almost as a black body absorber (about 0.97 emissivity), and propagates many tens of metres into the ocean with the solar spectrum peak energy wavelengths going deepest. The Professor mentions “vertical turbulent diffusion”. But he fails to mention a NON_TURBULENT vertical CONVECTION current that operates 24/7 day in and day out; due to the fact that sea water of greater than about 2.47% salinity always has a positive temperature coefficient of expansion, so the waters that are solar heated, expand and rise, where they get heated some more and keep on expanding and rising to the surface; and that convection trumps any conductive process (and likely turbulent mixing as well).

    So the solar heating of the ocean results in the inexorable return of that energy to the surface (heat is NOT a noun); where not only radiation and conduction, but massive evaporation returns it to the atmosphere, where again convection takes over and transports it to higher altitudes, for loss to space.
    The downward atmospheric back radiation in the long wave Infra red, is treated quite differently, in that it is absorbed in the top 10 microns of water, and results in prompt evaporation from that heated surface film; whereas the return of the solar energy is a slower process.

    So I don’t see ANY physical process for pumping incoming energy into the oceanic depths. Yes in some places there are turnover processes that bring cooler water up from the depths.

    So yes I believe there’s a lot of energy stored in the upper ocean layers, and I would be surprised if the amount didn’t vary all the time; but I don’t see that as any mechanism for AMPLIFYING the small (0.1%) change in TSI; which I personally don’t believe by itself has any influence on climate. Even with zero TSI change, the magnetic variations of the sun would affect the climate through the charged particle/cosmic ray/cloud mechanism. I’d like to see some scientific argument as to why cosmic rays/solar charged particles CANNOT influence earth’s climate; but don’t just tell me we see no change in cloud cover. Maybe we don’t; but then we don’t have a way of even monitoring cloud cover properly.

    I have one final criticism of this paper; (but I’m interested in studying this paper more).

    We have no network in place for monitoring the temperatures of the ocean layers that are the thermal energy store; that does not grossly violate the Nyquist Sampling Theorem, and Criterion; so I take with a grain of salt, anything anybody says about global measurements of such things; and that includes GISStemp and HADcrut. GISStemp is the application of some AlGorythm (to which I am not privy) to a set of data obtained from a tiny set of sensors, which fail the Nyquist test; so the GISStemp result applies only to that small set of sensors, and in no way represents the entire earth surface.

    Yes I believe that the earth’s temperature range for the current solar orbit, and TSI is entirely regulated by the ocean/evaporation/cloud/precipitation cycle; but I don’t believe it has anything much to do with any variation in energy stored in the oceans.
    In the sense used in the Prof’s essay “amplification” seems to be a euphemism for “Feedback”, and feedback is a highly overrated concept here.

    Water by itself is perfectly capable of taking care of the temperature; without any assistance from the negligible amount of CO2 or any other GHG in the atmosphere.

    George

  51. It is also entirely possible that the fact that a best fit line through the sea level rise plot is well above the zero line is due to warming derived from the greenhouse effect, warming after the little ice age (air temp out of equilibrium with cooler ocean temps), or the Grand Maximum. Let the attacks from both sides begin below… :)

  52. John Edmondson (10:48:29) :
    “There is no 11-year cycle in any of this. The power spectrum has no significant peak anywhere near the 11 years. One might therefore even question the basic premise for the article [figure 2]. Clearly some torture of the data must have been performed…”

    Are you saying that the interplantery magnetic field does not follow the 11 year solar cycle?

    No, I’m saying that there is no 11-year cycle in the Sea Level as Figure 2 of the present post alleges.

    Bob H (11:10:36) :
    How do you know that the magnetic field is the same as it was a century ago
    http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf

    Dave Middleton (11:38:17) :
    It’s not the 11-year cycle per se…
    You are not getting my point. Forget about the solar-climate party line, and consider only the purported solar cycle relation implied by figure 2. Do me a favor and go look at it. Then tell Shaviv that there is no solar cycle per se to see in his figure.
    My point is that the actual sea level data does not jive with what he plots in any way, shape, or form, so the whole article is based in nothing.

  53. Alan from Australia (11:21:04) :
    This is a very thoughtful study.
    But not consistent with actual data…

    The 140-year graph referred to by Leif Svalgaard is interesting in how the recent satellite altimetry data seagues beautifully into the longer tide-gauge plot.
    The two series have different epochs so to bring them onto the same scale I calculate the difference in level for the time of overlap [1993-2001]. That difference is 108.0245 mm, so has been added to the satellite data.

    nothing like the 2.9-3.3 mm per year typically given from satellite altimetry.
    The 140-yr series has accelerated its change/yr. For 1987-2001 it was 3.22 mm/yr. The satellite series has for 1993-2008 a change/yr of 3.26 mm/yr. Very much the same.

    where your data is from
    for the tidal gauges:
    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_data_cmar.html
    Church & White, GRL, 33, L01602, 2006
    for the satellite data:
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/results.php

  54. Great article. On first reading I understood every single word; by the time I got to sentence length ‘though I was struggling to understand them; as for paragraphs, forget it.

    Action replay. Now for second and subsequent readings. I think I know what he is saying; I just want to understand it so that I can quote it.

    Enjoy.

  55. beng (12:21:13) :
    if Leif’s recon was used, it would mean that the climate sensitivity to solar input is even greater than Shaviv says (and thus lower CO2 sensitivity).
    I can’t see how you make that conclusion unless you assume that whatever climate change there has been is due to a hardly changing Sun. It all hinges on that assumption. Which, BTW, is the original reason that I starting blogging, to fins out out why that was. There are three possibilities:
    1) the sun has nothing to do with it
    2) the sun has everything to do with it
    3) the sun has something to do with it.
    Various people I trust [e.g. Lean] lean towards 3) with some small forcing [10%]. Other people like 2) [with 50-100%]. The simplest explanation is 1). Personally, I have come to believe in 1) while accepting a 0.1C solar cycle change [which does not explain the long-term trend]. This has been a long process for me.

  56. Leif Svalgaard (13:05:05) :

    There is a well known proposition that sunspots correlate with temperature at a gross scale, starting in Adam Smiths time. Fewer sunspots mean cooler temperatures and in Smith’s case, higher wheat prices.
    Sunspot minima, like Dalton and Maunder are associated with cooler or cold temperatures.
    Being a supporter of possibility 1:
    Do you dispute the proposition that there is a connection between sunspots and temperature?
    Is there some other cause for this gross effect that just happens to correspond with the presence or absence of sunspots?

  57. Thanks inferno… Now thanks to you, we know the importance of a chemical species only depends on its mass

    okaaaaaaaaaay

    Fortunately enough, life on earth doesn’t depend on cO2.

    Oops?

  58. Leif Svalgaard (12:30:54) :

    John Edmondson (10:48:29) :
    “There is no 11-year cycle in any of this. The power spectrum has no significant peak anywhere near the 11 years. One might therefore even question the basic premise for the article [figure 2]. Clearly some torture of the data must have been performed…”

    Are you saying that the interplantery magnetic field does not follow the 11 year solar cycle?

    No, I’m saying that there is no 11-year cycle in the Sea Level as Figure 2 of the present post alleges.

    Thanks Leif.

    My point of view is that CO2 doubling will cause an increase of 2-3 F. No positive feedbacks are present , so the IPCC model is plain wrong. Decadal oscillations in Ocean current effects are present in the slow increase in Earth’s temp. This decadal oscillation has turned recently 2005, and is now on a downward path.
    This recent post – Dr. Syun Akasofu on IPCC’s forecast accuracy – looked to be right on the money for me.

    The solar cycle is the big unknown, all of the above assumed the sun was behaving normally. Maybe it is, but it does look very quiet. Too quiet,

  59. A number of sources have stated that they don’t see an 11 year cycle in some of these climate events such as Leif states.

    At least one other source whose name escapes me, however added, that while there wasn’t much of an 11 year effect, there did seem to be a 22-23 year effect; in other words they claimed there was at least a correlation link between the full magnetic soalr cycle, and I believe it was some sort of temperature cycle.

    I have to admit; that I am not enthusiastic about the idea that sea level rise and fall should correlate with seither 11 or 22 year cycles of the sun; so I’m skeptical like Leif.

    I think sea level cycles about which I know very little, are more related to the “Circulation” cycles, so are local climate phenomena, and not major global things like net energy gain or loss.

    Some other things I am suspicious of is the notion that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere. The clever little CO2 pole to pole movie that Anthony posted here a coupla months ago showed avery great pole to pole discrepancy in CO2 cycling.

    I don’t believe for a minute, that excess CO2 at the Arctic Ocean latitudes, which is about an 18-20 ppm annual amplitude, results in diffusion of CO2 under a normal concentration gradient driving force till it ends up at the south pole. That diffusion process has to bew way too slow for anything like that to happen; so I don’t believe there is much diffusion mixing going on.

    Any transport of CO2 from one place to another has to be the result of mass transport; in other words convection currents of the ordinary atmosphere which bring the CO2 along for the ride.

    And since its an annual cyclic event; there is no way it is ever in equilibrium.

    I understand how diffusion of trace impurities diffuse in the solid state; that after all is how all our ICs were originally made, and many still are.

    And no such diffusion process can be happening to any great extent that is of any climate significance in the atmosphere.

    So i’m prepared to accept that convection cyclic mixing processes take place; but true diffusion is not too important if at all.

    George

  60. “That difference is 108.0245mm” – Leif (12:57:33)

    Now we’re measuring sea level to less than a micron? Wow!

  61. Leif at 13:05:05

    I certainly agree that we still do not know the effect of the sun on climate, because we have no mechanism nailed down. But really, isn’t it more likely than not that something cycling in the sun has a greater effect on the climate than zero?

    I’ll beat my tired horse once more. If the mechanism is through the effect of cosmic rays on clouds, and if cosmic ray peaks alternate from sharp to broadened from one solar cycle to the next, and if there are three solar cycles per phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, then might not those phases alternate heating and cooling, as they do, because of the effect of those cosmic rays on clouds? Left wanting in this supposition is how the shape of the peak of the cosmic rays can effect clouds, but otherwise, the bare bones of a theory is there. You’ve pooh poohed this in the past, and I’m not completely sure why.
    ==================================

  62. Congratulations on an excellent and potentially influencial paper, its certainly provides support to the work of other scientists who think outside of the IPCC concensus i.e. Svensmark, Scafetta & West etc…

  63. There is a good deal in that study which is a reworking of the basic concepts already expressed by me over the past year on various sites including this one and in more detail here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1487

    My earliest articles on the subject are now reaching a viewing figure of 20,000 on one site alone and have been distributed by republication worldwide and translated into other languages.

    He extends those ideas to support the cosmic ray aspect and I remain open minded about that but it is not essential to the proposition that all the global changes in air temperature which we have observed can adequately be explained by the solar/ocean combination.

    At present to my mind the solar changes (and by implication the cosmic ray changes) do not show an adequate match to changes in global temperature trends.

    Combining solar with ocean does improve the match which suggests that the ocean cycles are in control rather than the solar cycles.

    I think the answer is that on timescales of 100 years or more the solar influence provides a background trend (possibly via the effect of cosmic rays on cloudiness) but on multidecadal time scales the ocean cycles are the primary driver and account for most of what we see on the scale of a human lifetime.

    The oceans could also affect cloudiness because as ocean SSTs fall they cool the air above and more cloud condenses out. As ocean SSTs warm the air above the water the vapour carrying capacity of the air increases and cloudiness declines whilst the warming process continues.

    So, on longer timescales solar dominates. On shorter timescales oceans dominate and the GHGs are an irrelevance.

    The oceanic Hot Water Bottle Effect sets global air temperature and not the Greenhouse Effect in the air.

    Time wil reveal all but at least the real issues are now in play and being taken seriously by the professionals and increasingly the media.

  64. Long lost on another thread I posted a number of FFTs which would show any periodic temperature variations (as a comparison an FFT of sunspot number which shows the expected 11year cycle is located at the bottom) If there is a noticable 11 year solar influence it would be present in ALL locations – it is not. NB. a greater than 12 or less than 10 year peak cannot be attributed to the 11 year solar cycle. It would be totally different cause.

    To my brain any 11 year solar/magnetic/cosmic ray cycle does not show itself above the noise. There are other repetative signals withmore significance.

  65. Thom Scrutchin (13:49:03) :
    There is a well known proposition that sunspots correlate with temperature at a gross scale …
    Do you dispute the proposition that there is a connection between sunspots and temperature?

    Proposition, yes, but is it for real? probably not, or rather, the evidence is weak.

    John Edmondson (14:13:06) :
    My point of view is that CO2 doubling will cause an increase of 2-3 F.
    What one thinks about CO2 etc, should have no bearing on how solid the evidence is for a solar connection.

    George E. Smith (14:16:23) :
    A number of sources have stated that they don’t see an 11 year cycle in some of these climate events such as Leif states.
    In particular, not in the sea level.

    James P (14:31:50) :
    “That difference is 108.0245mm” – Leif (12:57:33)
    Now we’re measuring sea level to less than a micron? Wow!

    Amazing what one can do with modern technology, isn’t it?

    kim (14:39:36) :
    Left wanting in this supposition is how the shape of the peak of the cosmic rays can effect clouds, but otherwise, the bare bones of a theory is there. You’ve pooh poohed this in the past, and I’m not completely sure why.
    First, because that is a very small second order effect, and we are still struggling to even show that the first order effect is operating.

    stumpy (14:43:24) :
    Congratulations on an excellent and potentially influencial paper
    except that Figure 2 does not accord with available data on the sea level, so “where is the beef” when even the bun is missing?

  66. Leif at 15:07:37

    Well, you’ve certainly explained how a first order effect doesn’t have enough effect to give the range of climate we do see, why couldn’t a second order effect, magnified through a mechanism whose feedback could vary, such as clouds, result in the desired range of climate variation?
    =========================================

  67. kim (15:29:14) :
    why couldn’t a second order effect, magnified through a mechanism whose feedback could vary, such as clouds, result in the desired range of climate variation?
    This is not quite the way science is supposed to work. The ‘desired range’ says it all. Nature does not care what we desire. In addition, to stay on topic, Figure 2 does not show any 22-year cycles, and the graph is suspect anyway as I have remarked several times [without anybody picking up on that – apparently].

  68. kim (15:29:14) :
    why couldn’t a second order effect, magnified through a mechanism whose feedback could vary, such as clouds, result in the desired range of climate variation?
    Maybe I should clarify: if there is no first order effect, there hardly can be no second order effect. The feedback would work on the first order effect as well, but, as usual, if one wants to peddle something, there is an obligation of demonstrating it, instead of saying ‘isn’t is possible that…’. As Al Gore says: “if you don’t know what you a talking about, anything is possible…’

  69. JALMetr@ (15:48:56) :
    I can not understand how Lean could obtain his.
    She was trying to accommodate the notion that the Sun’s coronal magnetic field had more than doubled in the last 100 years [ see http://www.leif.org/research/No%20Doubling.pdf for some background material on this] which it has not.

    Anyway, I think, like Shaviv, that there is an oceanic solar amplification, but with a big difference: via AMO and Gulf Stream. Next I’ll do is to have a look on Heat content and sea level data.
    What I don’t get is why we are even discussing the solar cycle signal in sea level change, when there is none:

  70. Thanks Leif for the link about sun coronal magnetic field. I will read it carefully.

    In relation to sea level I was not considering sun activity, but AMO and other variables. When seeing your graph I can not find a clear relationship with Global Sea Temperatures (derived from GISS-NASA, i.e.). It seams that there are some more factors involved in its evolution. No idea what could be.

  71. JALMetr@ (17:16:54) :
    When seeing your graph I can not find a clear relationship with Global Sea Temperatures
    How about comparing with Shaviv’s Figure 2. He shows a clear cyclic variation of the sea level [although not too well correlated with the solar cycle]. In my plot [which reflects the actual data as I have downloaded them from reputable sources] there is no such variation, so his graph looks like pure fantasy to me, unless some fancy smoothing, bandpass filtering, adjusting, or other massagings that we are not told about were applied.

  72. Leif Svalgaard (17:27:51) :

    How about comparing with Shaviv’s Figure 2. He shows a clear cyclic variation of the sea level [although not too well correlated with the solar cycle].

    Isn’t he showing a variation in the rate of sea level rise, not in the actual sea level itself?

  73. A mechanism whereby cosmic rays or solar charged particles can affect earth climate and how the solar cycles play into that is as follows; remember this is bare bones, and not meant to be an exhaustive explanation.

    It is well known that the solar magnetic cycle (don’t know its technical name) is 22-3 years long consisting of two sunspot cycles together. How the solar magnetic fields seem to reverse from one cycle to another is beyond my ken, and I assume that Leif knows why that happens.

    It is also well known that the earth’s own magnetic field does not reverse every every 11 years , or in synchronism with the sun.

    Therefore one can conclude that the combined local magnetic field near the earth varies from one cycle to another (sunspot) in that during one cycle the sun’s field might enhance the earth’s field, giving a larger local magnetic field strength. During the other sunspot cycle with the sun reversed, the net field would be expected to be reduced, so that the total local magnetic field around earth would have a 22-3 year cyclic variation.

    So what ?

    Well the local magnetic field steers charged particles /cosmic rays in the vicinity of the earth. The graphs of cosmic rays (maybe its neutron counts) verus sunspot cycles is incontrovertible evidence that this happens.
    In particular such particles are know to be capable of spiralling around the earth field lines, which steers them towards one magnetic pole or the other, depending on which trajectroy the particle came in on.

    So with stronger fields more charged particles/cosmic rays are steered away from the temperate/tropic areas towards the polar regions.

    With lower fields comes less trajectory change, and fewer cosmic rays are steered away from the tropical regions.

    It is also well known that cosmic rays, and solar charged particles can create chearged particle showers when they encounter the upper atmosphere, and water droplets can condense on those tracks, in the well understood Wilson cloud chamber mechanism.

    So cosmic rays can enhance cloud formation. But they are only going to do that in areas which have plenty of water vapor, and higher humidity.

    So cosmic rays steered towards the colder magnetic pole regions are not likely to nucleate much in the way of clouds; but those arriving in the tropics where there is plenty of water vapor, will nucleate more clouds, which reflect and block sunlight, thereby resulting in local cooling.

    So higher magnetic field (locally) means less clouds, and warming, but lower magnetic fields means less CR diversion, so more clouds formed and a cooler local environment.

    All of that can happen even if the TSI (solar constant) stayed constant to 8 significant figures.

    There doesn’t have to be very much extra clouds formed in the tropics to have a large effect on temperatures; since it is in the tropics that you have the highests solar energy flux, and hence the blocking effect of clouds is at its highest level.

    Now as I said, this is just the skeleton; I am sure the fleshed out whole creature is somewhat more complicated; but anyone who has a physical explanation for why what I just described cannot happen; then I am all ears, (and open mind).

    I don’t have any dog in this fight; I only care that they get the science correct; period.

    George

  74. As best I understand Nir Shaviv’s hypothesis, it is that small changes in solar irradiation over the solar cycle are being amplified in some way to produce much larger terrestrial climatic effects.

    Shaviv sets his hypothesis in the context of the disputes raging around possible solar causes of climate change. “This question has interesting repercussions to the question of global warming, which is why the debate is so fierce,” he writes.

    But why is the debate so fierce? Perhaps what is happening is that AGW sceptics feel that they must produce a hypothesis to rival the AGW ‘consensus’. And since the sceptics are primarily sceptical about warming, there is perhaps an entirely unsurprising tendency to be drawn towards any hypothesis that proposes that, instead of warming, the Earth may instead be cooling.

    But is it really necessary to come up with a rival hypothesis? Is it not sufficient to be able to show that the IPCC projections of global warming have already been shown to be wrong, that the temperature data that has been used to construct these projections is suspect in a variety of ways, and that the computer simulation models which have been used to make these projections have a number of known weaknesses? Is it really necessary, when showing that 1+1 != 27, to additionally demonstrate, as a final majestic flourish, that in fact 1+1 = 2?

    The reality of the situation, it would appear, is that we simply do not know what (if anything) determines terrestrial climate. We only have a variety of hypotheses, of which one – the AGW hypothesis – has acquired a certain fashionable pre-eminence in recent years, largely by slavish media coverage and by entirely spurious claims that “the debate is over”. Rather than construct a rival hypothesis, might it not be best if there was simply a return to the status quo ante in which all concerned would admit that they really had no idea what was going on, rather than making outrageous claims of special insight/knowledge?

    Why can’t we accept our ignorance? Why do we have to be forever claiming to know what we don’t actually know? Why can’t we just say, “We don’t know. But we are trying to find out. And so far we haven’t got anywhere much. Too bad. It’s the way it’s always been.”

    We humans have been living a very long time on a little spinning planet being pulled this way and that between a number of the great burning balls of fire that we call stars. Why are we getting so terrified about that right now?

  75. Leif at 15:54:31 and 15:43:38

    Yes, I regretted ‘desired range’ as soon as I posted it. Better would be ‘demonstrated range’. I still like my little mechanism, working as it does through cosmic rays and clouds, and showing a way for the sun to create the alternating phases of the cyclic Pacific Decadal Oscillation, but I’ll admit it isn’t a proven mechanism nor is it even very well elucidated. And I’ll happily admit knowing only enough to be foolish. Still, I’ll bet the sun runs the show. Isn’t the climate just the continuation of the sun by other means?
    =========================================

  76. Also, Leif, that there is no demonstrated magnification of a first order effect does not preclude a magnification of a second order effect. Magnification might well be effect specific, and as yet, we don’t know upon what phenomenon of the sun magnification works, let alone if any does at all.
    ===========================================

  77. Tom P,
    We know in the LIA that the canals in holland froze solid and the Hudson River froze enough to transport heavy cannon across it during the US revolution. Stick those datasets in your models and see where that leaves the globe.

  78. Nick Yates (17:41:19) :
    Isn’t he showing a variation in the rate of sea level rise, not in the actual sea level itself?
    Here we go again. The red curve is the change per year:

    George E. Smith (17:42:49) :
    so that the total local magnetic field around earth would have a 22-3 year cyclic variation.
    It does not [at least not one that has been clearly observed] because the interplanetary magnetic field near the Earth varies randomly in the North-South direction regardless of what the solar polar fields are doing.

    but anyone who has a physical explanation for why what I just described cannot happen; then I am all ears, (and open mind).
    See above

    2009
    idlex (17:53:55) :
    As best I understand Nir Shaviv’s hypothesis
    My point was that his graph [figure 2] is fantasy, not what is actually observed, so what does the rest matter?

    kim (18:29:42) :
    Also, Leif, that there is no demonstrated magnification of a first order effect does not preclude a magnification of a second order effect.
    I don’t know of a single such case, so I’ll maintain that it doesn’t happen. Show me an example, and we can go from there.

  79. Leif, 19:15:00

    Show me. That’s always the rub, isn’t it? And not just in Missouri. I respect your integrity and logic. Thanks. Oh, yeah, your knowledge base, too.
    =========================================

  80. Does anyone know how much the uv changes during the course of the sunspot cycle?
    Phytoplanton and bacteria have a mini carbon cycle that changes the turbidity of sea water. At high uv, the bacteria die, the water is turbid and Phytoplanton grow slowly.
    High turbidity would cause surface heating.
    Low uv means lots of bacteria, clear water, more Phytoplanton and IR penetrating much deeper into the water, heating down to 5 meters or more.

    http://www.photobiology.info/Hader.html

  81. Can I ask two really dumb questions?
    If you look at the data Leif referenced above
    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_data_cmar.html
    The sea level falls by about 16mm during the course of 1998. Is this the ocean giving off heat to the atmosphere in that hot year?
    (2) How much of the long term sea level rise is due to dispacement from the effusions of undersea volcanoes?

  82. I’m surprised that nobody has pointed out the similarity between Shaviv’s article and the one recently posted by David Archibald (see https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/07/archibald-on-sea-level-rise-and-solar-cycles/.

    Archibald’s graph and Shaviv’s figure 2 are almost identical. The basic premise of each article is that there is a strong correlation between the “rate of change” in sea level and solar cycles. In both cases, Leif Svalgaard has claimed that such a relationship does not actually exist and cites evidence to support his case. Do the rest of you appreciate the significance of this? If Leif is right, and I wouldn’t bet against him, a lot of blogspace is being wasted over nothing. Instead of talking about what the sea level/solar cycle relationship means, the discussion should focus on whether that relationship exists in the first place. Those of you more knowledgable in this area than me (and that means most of you) must pick apart Shaviv’s figure 2 and Archibald’s graph and determine whether they have any validity. Before Gavin at RC beats you to it…

  83. Mike Abbott (20:43:54) :
    In both cases, Leif Svalgaard has claimed that such a relationship does not actually exist and cites evidence to support his case.
    Now, it is possible that suitable filtering or smoothing or other torturing might produce a smoother curve and that differentiating that curve may produce the desired signal, but such most be met with severe skepticism. My red curve [the change/yr] was in fact produced by first calculating a one-year running mean and then differentiating that to get the change/yr [equivalent to difference between yearly means]. What massaging is needed to get the Shaviv curve?

  84. What massaging is needed to get the Shaviv curve?

    Shaviv writes: “Note that unlike other calculations of the sea level change rate, this analysis was done by first differentiating individual station data and then adding the different stations. This can give rise to spurious long term trends (which are not important here), but ensure that there are no spurious jumps from gaps in station data. The data is then 1-2-1 averaged to remove annual noise.”

  85. Shaviv: “In summary, we find clear evidence indicating that the total flux entering the oceans in response to the solar cycle is about an order of magnitude larger than the globally averaged irradiance variations of 0.17 W/m2. The sheer size of the heat flux, and the lack of any phase lag […] […] It should be stressed that the observed correlation between the oceanic heat flux and solar activity does not provide proof for any particular amplification mechanism, including that of the CRF/climate link. It does however provide very strong support for the notion that an amplification mechanism exists. Given that the CRF/climate links predicts the correct radiation imbalance observed in the cloud cover variations, it is a favorable candidate.”

    Some might argue that a little controversy might be one way to get research money flowing towards more than just selective aspects of the truth.

    We look under every stone.

  86. .

    Is there a graph for magnetic flux variation? If Global Warming episodes are linked to Sunspot activity, then surely magnetic flux must be a key issue.

    Sorry, I am having trouble loading these diagrams, so I cannot see exactly what they represent.

    .

  87. .
    >>Why would the Earth-Solar distance affect nuclear decay rates? See:

    For that, you might have to resurrect the concept of the Aether. I’ve always liked the possibility of an Aether and I don’t know why everyone despised it.

  88. JoeL (22:40:15) :
    Shaviv writes: “Note that unlike other calculations of the sea level change rate, this analysis was done by first differentiating individual station data and then adding the different stations. This can give rise to spurious long term trends (which are not important here), but ensure that there are no spurious jumps from gaps in station data. The data is then 1-2-1 averaged to remove annual noise.”

    It would seem to be impossible to do this with the satellite data, except for the 1-2-1 averaging, which yields:

    I still see no solar cycle effect.
    A robust result should not depend critically on whether the differentiation is done before or after the averaging of stations.

  89. Replying to…

    Leif Svalgaard (15:54:31) :

    […]

    Maybe I should clarify: if there is no first order effect, there hardly can be no second order effect. The feedback would work on the first order effect as well, but, as usual, if one wants to peddle something, there is an obligation of demonstrating it, instead of saying ‘isn’t is possible that…’. As Al Gore says: “if you don’t know what you a talking about, anything is possible…’

    If the first order effect is the modulation of cloud cover, then there can be huge second order effects. TSI does not explain the roughly 55-year warming/cooling cycle since the end of the Little Ice Age or the lower frequency warming component since ~1850…But the “length” of the Schwabe Cycle clearly correlates quite well with that 55-year oscillation…

    I’ve only “played around” with these data in Excel a bit…But it clearly looks like some convolution of TSI and the Schwabe Cycle length would have a very strong correlation with the temperature data…particularly the satellite-derived data. While it’s true that the radiative forcing of TSI alone can’t explain the warming; albedo clearly can explain most (if not all) of the warming and cooling. SKY clearly showed that high-energy cosmic radiation (in the form of muons) can enhance cloud cover. CLOUD will be able to test this theory under varying conditions (next year IIRC). Palle’ has shown that sufficient albedo changes occurred in the late 20th century to provide more than enough radiative forcing.

    It’s just a matter of time before the evidence for the solar-driven model and the cooling over the next 20 years force the paradigm to shift.

  90. The whole debate here has come down to a data issue that should be very, very easy to resolve, but we need Shaviv. I’m going to post on his blog “can you give the exact data and method for your calculation of sea level fluctuations” and indicate to him what Leif has drawn on, and Leif’s graph of MSL rise and fluctuations in rate of rise – since nobody has done that yet.

    My guess is that Shaviv can answer Leif. But we need to see it – and I could be wrong.

    Another factor “under our noses” AFAICT: sea levels are surely always going to rise on balance, at the rate at which the ocean floor deposit accumulates. Or have I missed something? Now there is another contributory factor: detritus from space. From what I’ve read, these could be cumulatively significant over long periods of time, particularly CO2 and H2O.

  91. Dave Middleton (04:19:44) :
    But the “length” of the Schwabe Cycle clearly correlates quite well with that 55-year oscillation…

    I don’t think so, here is cycle length and temperature anomalies:

    and averaged over cycles:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

    The temperature data has a clear upwards trend, the cycle lengths do not. If I remove the trend, I get the green curves, and it has also no significant correlation with the cycle lengths. Whatever correlation there is [R^2=0.2] is in the direction of longer cycles => higher temps. Opposite of what is sometimes claimed: long cycles => cold climate.

    Note that there are TWO curves of everything. This is because you can measure cycle length from min to min or from max to max. I have done both. Does not make any difference.

    Palle’ has shown that sufficient albedo changes occurred in the late 20th century to provide more than enough radiative forcing.

    But also that the albedo does not follow the solar cycle:

  92. Leif stated,

    “What I don’t get is why we are even discussing the solar cycle signal in sea level change, when there is none:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Sea-Level-Change.png

    Well, you disagree with the McLean data, I disagree with the “Official” sea level data.

    Also, a comment about the Solar Wind’s current low level, its effect on Cosmic Rays and the influence of the Solar Magnetic Field might be in order to keep everything reasonable.

  93. Replying to…

    Leif Svalgaard (07:37:21) :

    Dave Middleton (04:19:44) :
    But the “length” of the Schwabe Cycle clearly correlates quite well with that 55-year oscillation…

    I don’t think so, here is cycle length and temperature anomalies:

    and averaged over cycles:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

    The temperature data has a clear upwards trend, the cycle lengths do not. If I remove the trend, I get the green curves, and it has also no significant correlation with the cycle lengths. Whatever correlation there is [R^2=0.2] is in the direction of longer cycles => higher temps. Opposite of what is sometimes claimed: long cycles => cold climate.

    […]

    Try reversing the y-axis for the sunspot cycle length…And use the minima. The correlation is very clear (visually anyway). If you generate a 6th-order polynomial fit to the minima and plot it against a combination of HadCRUT3 and UAH/MSU Lower Trop…the correlation is pretty clear.

    It’s obvious that you have put a lot of work into this subject…How do you account for the cooling trend (particularly on the UAH/RSS data-sets) since 2005-2006?

  94. Dave Middleton (08:40:49) :
    Try reversing the y-axis for the sunspot cycle length…And use the minima. The correlation is very clear (visually anyway).
    Reversing the axis does not change the correlation:
    http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%20Length%20Temperature%20Correlation.pdf

    How do you account for the cooling trend (particularly on the UAH/RSS data-sets) since 2005-2006?
    First, a few years do not make a climate trend. Second, I don’t have to account for a dubious trend to say the correlation is poor [and in any event in the opposite direction: long cycle => warm climate]

  95. kuhnkat (08:37:49) :
    Well, you disagree with the Lean data, I disagree with the “Official” sea level data.
    Even Judith Lean disagrees with her 2000 version, and we both have good reasons for doing so. What are your good reasons for disagreeing with the ‘official’ [and satellite] data?

    Also, a comment about the Solar Wind’s current low level, its effect on Cosmic Rays and the influence of the Solar Magnetic Field might be in order to keep everything reasonable.
    This blog has dozens of such comments. Look around. A short comment is that the cosmic rays and the magnetic field return to about the same values at every solar minimum.

  96. It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to show a climate effect in phase with the cycles of the sun. Perhaps the mechanism by which the sun directs the climate is not a direct function of the cycles, or that it is in phase with groups of cycles rather than any single one. Given the modulating by immense processes, such as the oceanic oscillations, it is likely that the mechanism won’t be on such a small scale as 11 year cycles.
    ================================

  97. Dave Middleton at 08:40:49

    I account for the recent cooling by the flipping of the PDO to its cooling phase, and on that basis I expect global cooling for another 20 years. I’m much impressed by Tsonis’s recent work, correlating, and explaining the temperature record for the last century with the coupling and uncoupling of a number of natural cycles, including four oceanic oscillations. I believe he expects near term cooling, then warming, then cooling again. If, as I believe, the sun directs the climate, and if it does so through oceanic oscillations, we may well get a chance, if the sun enters a Grand or Baby Grand Minimum, to tease out the relationship between what is happening in the sun and in the oceanic oscillations.

    Lots of ifs there, huh Leif?
    =================================

  98. Replying to…

    kim (10:32:06) :

    Dave Middleton at 08:40:49

    I account for the recent cooling by the flipping of the PDO to its cooling phase, and on that basis I expect global cooling for another 20 years. I’m much impressed by Tsonis’s recent work, correlating, and explaining the temperature record for the last century with the coupling and uncoupling of a number of natural cycles, including four oceanic oscillations. I believe he expects near term cooling, then warming, then cooling again. If, as I believe, the sun directs the climate, and if it does so through oceanic oscillations, we may well get a chance, if the sun enters a Grand or Baby Grand Minimum, to tease out the relationship between what is happening in the sun and in the oceanic oscillations.

    Lots of ifs there, huh Leif?

    I come up with about 20 more years of cooling too…

    Do you suppose that the PDO, QDO and other climatic oscillations might just correlate to some perturbation of solar cycles?

    Let’s just hope that we aren’t in a Dalton-style (or worse) solar cycle…We have a lot more people to feed now than we did in 1814.

    I tend to think those deep solar nadirs only happen on the 1,470-year scale (MWP-LIA)…But, it’s sure starting to look like this cooling phase will be significantly cooler than 1942-1978.

  99. Why Celsius and not Kelvin?

    Can anyone explain to me what good reason AGW advocating climate scientists use Celsius rather than Kelvin when employing statistics to variations in solar irradiance and global temperature change? Irradiance is measured up from zero, a dead sun. Kelvin’s 0 K is absolute zero, a good match to say the least. Celsius and Kelvin share the same intervals, but Celsius’ adjusts 0 °C to a human artefact, an interest in the freezing point of water at sea level, at one standard atmospheric pressure. Solar irrandiance measurements are not adjusted in any manner to the freezing of water on Earth at any elevation.

    Mr. Shaviv notes above that solar irradiance varies about 0.1 % over the eleven year solar cycle. Assume a global mean surface temperature of 14 0 °C, the 20th century mean suggested by the US Government . If we apply “Celsius”: [+]14 0 °C x .001 = .014 [+]°C. .014 0 °C is a small amount, much less than recent temperature change, and on its face would seem to preclude solar irradiance as the primary driver of global temperature change.

    However, let’s use the Kelvin scale. Assume a global mean surface temperature of 287.15 K (14 + 273.15). 287.15 K x .001 = .287 K. Tell me why a nearly .3 degree Kelvin (and Celsius) temperature change caused by solar irradiance variation does not support solar irradiance variation as the primary driver of recent global termperature change? Employing Celsius here rather than Kelvin can understate the effect of solar irradiance variation by a factor around 20. Or use IPCC AR4 Scientific Assessment’s .08 %. 287.15 K x .0008 = .23 K. Still, a significant number.

    Above it is stated global temperatures during the Maunder Minimum were 1.0 °C cooler than today. I am not a heliophysicist, but I do not find it implausible that the longer term variation could be about triple the recent, .3 %. If the IPCC AR4’s discussion of recent irradiance levels at solar minimums in the past two or three solar cycles were almost identical, and this is implicitly argued to extrapolate that irradiance centuries ago could not be a tiny bit more different, I am not convinced.

    So, does my argument absolve solar irradiance variation as a major, or the primary, driver of global temperature change without amplifications? (Not saying amplifications do not have some effect).

    Why Celsius and not Kelvin? Feel free to criticize my post in whole or in part.

  100. Jeff at UCLA (14:49:37) :
    However, let’s use the Kelvin scale. Assume a global mean surface temperature of 287.15 K (14 + 273.15). 287.15 K x .001 = .287 K.
    Because radiation, S, and temperature, T, are related by Stefan-Boltzmann’s law S = a T^4, changes are related thus: dS/S = 4 dT/T or the temperature change is one 1/4 of the radiation change, i.e. 0.1%/4 = 0.025% of 287K = 0.07 K which is small enough to be neglected.

  101. Leif at 15:04:52

    It really does seem to kind of come down to whether the oceans’ heat content oscillates on its own, or in response to something from the sun. We shall see, and eventually understand.
    ==============================================

  102. Replying to…
    Leif Svalgaard (15:04:52) :

    […]

    Too many for my taste, and the ’sun’ ifs are not really needed, the PDO seems enough for me.

    I’ve only been reading and participating in the WUWT comments section for a couple of weeks; so forgive me if I’m asking a question that you’ve already answered…

    What do you think drives the PDO? Changes in THC? Or do you think there’s some other mechanism?

  103. Dave Middleton (20:22:32) :
    What do you think drives the PDO? Changes in THC? Or do you think there’s some other mechanism?
    Every complex system with non-linear interactions oscillate all by themselves without any obvious external driver, so I really don’t know if there is one or not.

  104. Hi guys,

    First, I was asked by a few to reply to Lief’s claims that I tortured the data.
    So there is a long reply on my website.

    Lief also further said (at 03:42) that he doesn’t see the 11-year cycle in the satellite data. Well, the data barely covers a cycle, and it so happens that with the exception of the 1997 super el-niño, there is a clear trend which is consistent with the data: 1994-1995 low rate @ solar minimum, 2001-2002 high rate @ solar maximum, and 2007-8 low rate again at solar minimum. Of course, there is a lot of short term variability, but the signal is there.

    This data appears already in the original paper (look at the inset in fig. 6).

    Nir

  105. Shaviv did respond, on his own blog

    Torquemada – the data torturer
    On April 17th, 2009 shaviv says:

    Yes, I pulled finger nails until the data said “I give up, I give up!”

    o.k., now seriously.

    In order to get the cleanest data I used the 24 tide gauges chosen by Douglas 1997 for different stringent criteria (e.g., in geologically stable locations, long records, consistent with other gauges nearby, etc). I used someone else’s tide gauges so that I could not be accused of cherry picking.

    Secondly, because I am not interested in long term trends, but I am interested in short term derivatives, I treated the data differently than what other people do. Instead of averaging the station heights and then differentiating, I first differentiated the data for each station and then added the derivatives. The reason is that this way I avoid getting spurious jumps from the start or end of individual station data. Because it can give rise to spurious long term trends and because I don’t care about long term trends, I simply removed any linear trend from the data.

    In the graph from 1870 that Lief Svalgaard points to, one cannot see the 11-year signal because the latter only amounts to a few cm amplitude (3.5 mm/yr!). It obviously drowns in the annual noise or the long term trends in Leif’s particular graph. Note that at least over the past 50 years, Holgate sees consistently the same 11-year variations in the data (e.g., referenced here). Of course, because he uses a lot of lower quality stations (177) and/or is not careful to first differentiate and then add the tidal gauge data, he sees somewhat different variations before 1950, than what I find. (Of course, this is not a problem because he does not care about 11-year variations). Anyway, did Holgate torture his data too?

    Oh, and the fact that Lean 2000 is used for the TSI is totally meaningless. The correlation with any signal synchronized with the 11-year solar cycle would give the same result. Note that I removed any long term trends from the tide data and from the solar proxies (whether TSI or cosmic rays).

  106. Nir Shaviv (00:01:06) :
    First, I was asked by a few to reply to Lief’s claims that I tortured the data.
    The particular torture you inflicted on the data is linear, so it shouldn’t matter in which order you do the differentiation and the averaging unless you have large data gaps, and why pick stations with such large gaps, when there are many to pick from? And there is cherry picking in picking the cherry that others have picked: of all the possible ones you could have picked, you did pick one for some reason.

    1994-1995 low rate @ solar minimum, 2001-2002 high rate @ solar maximum, and 2007-8 low rate again at solar minimum
    1994-1995 was not minimum, the high values at 1996-1997 were, and 2007-2008 was not minimum, but the high values of 2008-2009 were at minimum.

    At any rate, if data torture is needed, the result is likely to be spurious. A clear signal will show up in almost any selection of stations.

    And the change dL/dt should correlate with dTSI/dt, not with TSI itself [or whatever solar parameter is used]. If it is meaningless to use Lean’s TSI rather than any other solar measure, why not simply use the sunspot number? Using TSI gives the impression [deliberate?] that there is physics behind this, rather than just a meaningless [sic] measure.

  107. Leif 21:59:57

    I don’t quite understand. You say that every complex system with non-linear interactions(CSWNLI) oscillate without an external driver, yet you don’t know whether this one(the climate or PDO) has one or not. I thought at first you were implying that such CSWNLI never have an external driver, thus can’t have one. On second reading, I’m coming around to thinking that you are merely being agnostic; that just because you don’t know of a CSWNLI with an external driver doesn’t mean there can’t be one with an external driver. Is my second interpretation correct? In other words, do you think it is possible that the PDO has an external driver, or not?

    I suspect your answer will be that it is possible, only that there is no proof that the external driver is the sun, or any proof that it is anything else, either.

    And Nir at 00:01:06 and Leif at 00:35:26. My, this is getting interesting. Surely, if the signal is there, it should be demonstrable.
    ===============================

  108. More late night speculation: Might not it be possible for a CSWNLI to have an external driver, better, an effector, that is not in phase with the oscillations? If such a thing were possible, it might not show its signal very easily.
    ===============================================

  109. Leif,
    And the change dL/dt should correlate with dTSI/dt

    It probably will not because of the tropical thermostat. See how well your dL/dt curve fit the ENSO. And the envelope of the minima usually seem to decline from solar max to solar min.

  110. Leif Svalgaard:

    How about comparing with Shaviv’s Figure 2. He shows a clear cyclic variation of the sea level [although not too well correlated with the solar cycle]. In my plot [which reflects the actual data as I have downloaded them from reputable sources] there is no such variation, so his graph looks like pure fantasy to me, unless some fancy smoothing, bandpass filtering, adjusting, or other massagings that we are not told about were applied.

    ———————————————————–

    In this graph I am using CSIRO/TOPEX/JASON, the same data you use.

    http://foro.meteored.com/dlattach.html;topic=79069.0;attach=134194;image

    The difference is that in yours you apply dTSI/dt p yr and I apply TSI, as Shaviv does. It shows a clear cyclic variation of the sea level, with some correlation with solar cycle. Before 1940 there is no correlation, perhaps due to quality data.

    Anyway, I think that it only is indicating possible changes in heat content in the first 700 m, while sea level changes depend on many other factors:

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/downloads/R733_nature07080.pdf

  111. kim (03:17:10) :
    Might not it be possible for a CSWNLI to have an external driver
    You know that I’m not into ‘might it not be possible…’ games. I don’t know of a demonstrated external driver, and I don’t think it needs one.

    lgl (05:01:26) :
    And the envelope of the minima usually seem to decline from solar max to solar min.
    Since I don’t think a solar connection has been demonstrated this atgument doesn’t do anything for me.

  112. JALMetr@ (06:31:27) :
    In this graph I am using CSIRO/TOPEX/JASON, the same data you use. […]
    The difference is that in yours you apply dTSI/dt p yr and I apply TSI, as Shaviv does. It shows a clear cyclic variation of the sea level…

    I do not apply anything, just plot the data, and it is not clear why our plots are different using the same data.

    Anyway, the real issue [as per the title of this thread] is the heat content of the oceans. Here is a recent paper on that: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL037155.pdf
    Their Figure 1 does not show any decadal cycle.

  113. Leif at 06:48:27

    A fair answer; sure there is no known external driver, there is no proven mechanism. But that none is necessary does not rule one out, does it? How about the idea that a solar external driver need not be in phase either with the solar cycles or the oceanic oscillations?
    =========================================

  114. kim (08:35:33) :
    How about the idea that a solar external driver need not be in phase either with the solar cycles or the oceanic oscillations?
    I don’t do the ‘how about’ or ‘isn’t it possible…’ game. Show me a proposed mechanism and I can comment on it or evaluate it.

    lgl (08:40:32) :
    Ok what about this then.
    Same thing.

  115. Replying to…

    Leif Svalgaard (21:59:57) :

    Dave Middleton (20:22:32) :
    What do you think drives the PDO? Changes in THC? Or do you think there’s some other mechanism?
    Every complex system with non-linear interactions oscillate all by themselves without any obvious external driver, so I really don’t know if there is one or not.

    Fair enough…Thanks for the answer.

  116. Leif Svalgaard (15:42:42) :

    ……Because radiation, S, and temperature, T, are related by Stefan-Boltzmann’s law S = a T^4, changes are related thus: dS/S = 4 dT/T or the temperature change is one 1/4 of the radiation change, i.e. 0.1%/4 = 0.025% of 287K = 0.07 K which is small enough to be neglected.

    Thank you for your explanation. I will familiarize myself more closely with this subject.

    Your result is “small enough to be neglected” for purpose of the particular causation discussion here, yet I still see a problem with statistical comparisons of anything, irradiance, CO2 increase/decrease, what have you, and temperature change adjusted to the Celsius’ zero baseline rather than Kelvin’s. You do not comment on it, I don’t take that as acceding my point necessarily, but I think it worth consideration. Maybe the error plays out more in popular demonstrations of climate “science”, by those flouting degree Celsius stats to proclaim or disclaim the CO2 warming thesis–a rhetorical gimmick using Celsius and percentages could be used either way. I know I’ve encountered it elsewhere before, maybe in IPCC “executive summaries” or anti-warming literature. I will look around when I have time.

  117. Jeff at UCLA (13:39:01) :
    Maybe the error plays out more in popular demonstrations of climate “science”,
    possibly, and also the confusion between Fahrenheit and Celsius. Scientists do not get confused by the C versus K.

  118. Leif 9:18:27

    I’ve got to explore the dimensions of the possible before I can ponder a mechanism. Is it possible for a Complex System with Non-Linear Interactions to have an external driver? You’ve clearly made the points that an external driver is not necessary for a CSWNLI, and that you don’t know of one for the PDO or the earth’s climate, but do the characteristics of a CSWNLI rule out an external driver. I don’t think so, but my thinking is not informed by much knowledge.

    Also, if one is possible, and it seems difficult to link any cycling phenomenon of the sun as an external driver to cycling systems on earth, then the area in which to look for a mechanism is where there is no obvious cycling causality or correlation. The ‘chaos’ of the sun could still drive the ‘chaos’ on earth.
    ==========================================

  119. Leif 16:54:09

    A light touche about ‘true believer’. Nonetheless, you have changed my beliefs. However, particularly with Tsonis’s recent work, the idea of an occasional, even somewhat random ‘light touch’ from the sun acting against the coupled pendulums of the oceanic oscillations might well be the manner by which the sun effects the climate. And it could surely be a signal difficult to discern.
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  120. Leif Svalgaard
    JALMetr@ (06:31:27) :
    In this graph I am using CSIRO/TOPEX/JASON, the same data you use. […]
    The difference is that in yours you apply dTSI/dt p yr and I apply TSI, as Shaviv does. It shows a clear cyclic variation of the sea level…
    I do not apply anything, just plot the data, and it is not clear why our plots are different using the same data.

    ———————————————————–
    Leif,

    I apologize for my dreadful English, I “applied” for apply, instead of plot.
    Our plots are not different:

    TSI. We use very similar reconstructions.

    http://foro.meteored.com/dlattach.html;topic=79069.0;attach=134120;image

    GMSL: We use same data and obtain same plot:

    http://foro.meteored.com/dlattach.html;topic=65613.0;attach=134225;image

    The difference is that I also plot dGMSL(mm)/dt p yr and TSI:

    http://foro.meteored.com/dlattach.html;topic=79069.0;attach=134194;image

    And that is what Shaviv is doing. As I said, there is no correlation before 1940, and we must wait to see any in cycle 23; this year should be a decrease in dGMSL/dt.

  121. Leif Svalgaard (15:08:56) :

    Jeff at UCLA (13:39:01) :
    Maybe the error plays out more in popular demonstrations of climate “science”,
    possibly, and also the confusion between Fahrenheit and Celsius. Scientists do not get confused by the C versus K.

    NASA engineers have been known to confuse inches and centimeters!

  122. Jeff at UCLA (13:58:41) :
    “Scientists do not get confused by the C versus K.”
    NASA engineers have been known to confuse inches and centimeters!

    Engineers vs. Scientists :-)

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