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. Local Copy.

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Ron de Haan

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.

gary gulrud

Excellent article! Redounding to further increase in readership.

Pearland Aggie

38 spotless days…tomorrow we will be tied for the 11th longest spotless streak since 1849. a week from today, if the trend holds, we will be scratching at the top 5 longest spotless streaks since 1849…amazing!
http://solarcycle24.com/
http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html#Period

deadwood

“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.

Sean

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.

jonk

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.

DR

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.

kim

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.
=====================================

Don B

Pielke, Sr. has long thought the best proxy for measuring global temperature was the oceans’ heat content. Some of his comments on this decade’s cooling oceans:
http://climatesci.org/2009/02/13/article-by-josh-willis-is-it-me-or-did-the-oceans-cool-a-lesson-on-global-warming-from-my-favorite-denier/
http://climatesci.org/2009/03/24/new-paper-on-ocean-heat-content-changes-by-craig-loehle/

Ron de Haan

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”.

Juraj V.

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.

Flanagan

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 !

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”

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.

Alan Chappell

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

Jack Green

Figure 2 says it all. Great work again.
I guess we will have to have a Sun Light Tax to save the earth.

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.

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?

philincalifornia

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 ??

philincalifornia

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

Austin

This is good stuff.
Heat is much more important than temperature.

Russ R.

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”.

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?

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…

OT: Critical points, points where a curve changes direction. Tipping points, points where a guy, conveniently tipped, changes convictions.

Ron de Haan

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.

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

Tom P

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.

hunter

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

Claude Harvey

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”.

John Edmondson

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.

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:
http://www.leif.org/research/Sea-Level-Change.png
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…

Flanagan

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.

lgl

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…

Ray

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.

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.

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.

David L. Hagen

Why would the Earth-Solar distance affect nuclear decay rates? See:
Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance Jere H. Jenkins, et al.
Arxiv preprint arXiv:0808.3283, 2008 – arxiv.org
Could this in any way correlate with cloud levels and thus with modulating absorbed solar radiation?

gary gulrud

TSI, again? OOOhhh NOoooooo!!!!!!
Why, why, why not TEF? Just once?
Barycentre.
There, that will teach you Planarians. Knock yourselves out.

David L. Hagen

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

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?

John Galt

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.

John Edmondson

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:
http://www.leif.org/research/Sea-Level-Change.png
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?

Peter

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.

Bill Marsh

Dr. Shaviv,
Thank you. This was informative and enjoyable. Keep it up.

Ceolfrith

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.

Bob H

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.

Martin Mason

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.

Ron de Haan

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?

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.