Solar Scientist Ken Tapping: "No sign of the new cycle yet"

give_me_a_sign

Ken Tapping: One year on into the minimum

From John A’s  solarscience.auditblogs.com

I’ve just been in e-mail correspondance with Dr Kenneth Tapping, asking him to comment on the progress of the solar minimum and his opinion on the likely size of SC24 when it does deign to appear.

Dear Dr Tapping

After you published your rebuke to Investor’s Business Daily, I put your entire reply onto my blog (see http://solarscience.auditblogs.com/2008/04/22/ken-tapping-the-current-solar-minimum/ ) which I notice is the second listing when anyone googles your name. I hope you didn’t mind.

Since that reply the Sun has appeared to have gone into an even deeper slumber than it was when you wrote your article, more than a year ago. You ended that article with a statement

AT THE MOMENT IT IS UNJUSTIFIED TO ASSUME THE SUN IS UNDERGOING A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR. ON THE BASIS OF SUNSPOT NUMBER DATA, WE CANNOT ASSUME ANYTHING ODD IS HAPPENING UNLESS THE NEXT CYCLE DELAYS ITS START INTO 2009 OR 2010

Well it’s now nearly mid-2009 and the only spots to be seen very very occasionally are SC23 polarity.

Do you have any further comment on the Sun’s (lack of) activity? Are we close to unusual times in solar activity? Is the sun undergoing a significant change in behaviour?

Best regards

John

He replied [with my emphasis]

Hi John,

I’ve just got back here from the Space Weather Workshop, which was held in Boulder, Colorado. The opinion there is that the next cycle is coming, although forecasts are for a low cycle with a late start.

Our radio telescopes have detected no sign of the new cycle yet. However a statistical study of indices that I have been doing suggests the Sun did show a significant change in behaviour over the last few years, but that things are starting to slip back towards the normal situation, which could suggest the Sun is at least showing signs of waking up again. It’s deciding to take an additional lie-in cannot be ruled out.

Activity is certainly very low.

Regards,

Ken

When I asked for that “statistical study of indices”, Dr Tapping replied that it was being submitted to a journal and he’d let me know when its in pre-print – which is fine by me.

I think it’s fair to say that all solar scientists have been caught out by the length of the solar minimum and the delay to SC24. In subsequent posts I’ll be reviewing the prognostications of solar models, in an effort to understand what exactly goes into predictions of solar cycles.

In other news, as reported on Watts Up With That:

NOAA/SWPC will be releasing an update to the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction on Friday, May 8, 2009 at noon Eastern Daylight Time (1600 UT) at a joint ESA/NASA/NOAA press conference

I can hardly wait.

[The wait is over, and the announcement was made Friday, which you can read here – Anthony]

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166 thoughts on “Solar Scientist Ken Tapping: "No sign of the new cycle yet"

  1. Time will learn who is right and who is wrong.
    The tricks our solar scientists have learned obviously don’t apply to the current situation.
    This means there is a lot to leran for everybody.

  2. Well, I guess “no such luck”. Those Google ads appear when one wants to read the rest of a post.
    Great photo and interesting exchange of emails. Is John A. for real?

  3. The amateurs are equal or better than the experts on this minimum. We are all waiting and guessing.

  4. Good graphic – we’ll see it on a billboard before anything shows on the sun the way things are going.
    The second disturbed area on the sun has made its appearance and it too seems to be a plage. Perhaps this should be named the plage cycle.

  5. Were approaching the time when all serous solar scientists will have to re-evaluate their data and come up with different solar cycle models.
    There are enough ideas floating around about this. We will be witnesses to what theory prevails and how long the cycle really takes.
    No possibility of invented data on this cycle, we can all go out in the backyard with a piece of smoked glass and look at the sun ourselves!

  6. It’s deciding to take an additional lie-in cannot be ruled out.
    Hmmm… The sun’s been looking a tad pale recently. Another case of swine flu?

  7. One by one, the solar scientists admit something is up. Or down.
    I meant to post this in one of the earlier threads about solar activity, but now is as good as any. When the statement is made, “the sun is acting normally”, how is that meaningful? Is it a scientific statement, or a SWAG to CYA? It seems to me the sun is going to do whatever the sun wants to do, and no matter what it does, all of it is “natural”.

  8. Seems sort of like observing a Walrus. We know that in the past he will jump into the pool at approximately 10 minute intervals. If we extrapolate this data, we can predict that he will jump into the pool again 10 minutes past his previous jump. However, if for some reason more than 10 minutes elapse with no signs of jumping, what indicators do we have to predict the next jump? A burp? A twitch of the whiskers? The data says there should be a jump coming, but if we don’t have any indications of a pending jump, then all we can do is observe. Perhaps there is another, unforeseen factor influencing the jumping, and since we’ve only been observing for about an hour, maybe we’re not seeing the whole picture.

  9. Leon Brozyna (09:09:40) :
    The Plage Cycle, I like that.
    Whatever the Sun is doing, it’s doing it without spots.

  10. If you go back over the past six to eight months the majority of the sunpot groups have been Cycle24 groups, not Cycle 23. But there has been a percentage shift during 2009 toward Cycle 23.
    So we’re seeing small extended runs for each cycle instead of a slower cycle -cycle transition. Which is basically related to the magnetic field differences this go around.

  11. Ron de Haan:The tricks our solar scientists have learned obviously don’t apply to the current situation.
    May we translate “our solar scientists” as “NASA solar scientists”?

  12. It seems others are about as cynical as I am. I am beginning to suspect Oliver Manuel is right; and if the solar models are not based on his ideas, then they are all wrong. Maybe my guess, based on absolutely nothing, could be as correct as any other “prediction”. I guess we will not see the start of SC 24 this year, and the maximum, if there is one, will not be until 2016. If Livingston and Penn are right, then we wont actually see any sunspots at this maximum, though there may be other ways of detecting them.

  13. Adolfo Giurfa (10:10:44) :
    “Our radio telescopes have detected no sign of the new cycle yet”
    In what wavelength or frequency would show up such a sign?

    Tapping is observing at 10.7 cm wavelength. I don’t know what he has been smoking 🙂 perhaps he is looking at the ‘observed’ values which indeed do not show anything [uptick compensated for by increasing distance to the Sun]. The F10.7 flux adjusted to 1 AU [i.e. corrected for distance] shows a clear sign of the new cycle: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
    REPLY: Leif, if you look at photos of the Canadian 10.7cm observing station,
    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/files/2009/05/nrc.jpg
    I’d say that qualifies as something that looks like a “radio telescope” – Anthony

  14. Regarding not knowing all there is to know about a star (our sun), an excellent sci-fi novel comes to mind, Beowulf’s Children by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
    The plot involves a star undergoing unexpected changes that cause serious problems for humans who colonized a planet orbiting that star. The star had been studied for a hundred years or so, and was thought to be stable.
    That novel led me to wonder just how much we know about our Sun, given that if an 11 year cycle is observed, are there yet longer cycles? Perhaps some on the order of thousands of years? Are we in for a big surprise?

  15. Leif 10:18:13
    I noticed that statement of Tapping’s also, because I’d seen your graph with a clear rise in the 10.7 flux. One thing I don’t understand about your graph is the slight upslope of the little blue dots. The amplitude of the blue graph is narrowing, but only the bottom is rising; it seems that the top is dropping also, so it seems that the little blue dots should be level, not slightly rising.
    =========================================

  16. Leif Svalgaard (10:18:13) :
    REPLY: Leif, if you look at photos of the Canadian 10.7cm observing station,
    I’d say that qualifies as something that looks like a “radio telescope” – Anthony

    There is no doubt that they measure the radio flux from the Sun, it is just the interpretation one has to be a bit careful with. I plot their data.
    kim (10:31:43) :
    I noticed that statement of Tapping’s also, because I’d seen your graph with a clear rise in the 10.7 flux. One thing I don’t understand about your graph is the slight upslope of the little blue dots.
    The blue dots is TSI [not F10.7] and may follow slightly different rules. TSI comes from the photosphere, while F10.7 comes from the corona. For each quantity there are two smooth curves. A dashed one which is an honest fit to all the data, and a full one which is my eyeball fit to the bottom envelope of the data. One of the research projects I’m engage in right now is to try and understand what we see, so perhaps I can give an answer sometime down the road. Right now would only be speculation 🙂

  17. “…things are starting to slip back towards the normal situation, which could suggest the Sun is at least showing signs of waking up again.”
    Is this the same way that our economy is waking up: we’re not bleeding job and money or accumulating debt as quickly as before?
    Listening to scientists downplay the Sun’s current lull reminds me of Monty Python’s Black Knight:
    “It’s only a flesh wound…”

  18. Leif, 10:40:19
    Thanks, and thanks for not speculating. Can anyone correct Tapping? It seems he is clearly wrong.
    ========================================

  19. Instead of continuing to embarrass themselves, they should instead withdraw all predictions with the statement that a new prediction will not be forthcoming until the sun gives significant evidence of waking up.

  20. Adolfo Giurfa (09:53:34) :
    “Ron de Haan:The tricks our solar scientists have learned obviously don’t apply to the current situation.
    May we translate “our solar scientists” as “NASA solar scientists”?”
    Adolfo, I said ALL SCIENTISTS.
    The latest NOAA prediction published at WUWT was an assessment based on consensus to fulfill Government obligations for satellite insurance estimations.
    So much for the “official” science in regard to that.
    We have a prediction from Leif which is contradicted by people who state that this minimum will continue much longer and a whole list of predictions from the passed that obviously have been wrong.
    All the other stories have one ting in common. They are either in contradiction with each other, disputed, or based on guess work and they exclude the The Old Farmer’s Almanac (which by the way made a most accurate winter weather forecast thanks to the contribution of Joseph D’Aleo)
    So, let’s wait and see who’s right.
    The opportunity we now have is tremendous. With so much technology, computing power and sensors out in space, there is a lot to learn and understand.

  21. Another Pournelle and NIven’s “Fallen Angles” is another great novel-and reads like today’s headlines.-except we don’t have quite the space presence….

  22. Leif Svalgaard (10:18:13) :
    Adolfo Giurfa (10:10:44) :
    “Our radio telescopes have detected no sign of the new cycle yet”
    In what wavelength or frequency would show up such a sign?
    Tapping is observing at 10.7 cm wavelength. I don’t know what he has been smoking 🙂 perhaps he is looking at the ‘observed’ values which indeed do not show anything [uptick compensated for by increasing distance to the Sun]. The F10.7 flux adjusted to 1 AU [i.e. corrected for distance] shows a clear sign of the new cycle: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
    REPLY: Leif, if you look at photos of the Canadian 10.7cm observing station,
    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/files/2009/05/nrc.jpg
    I’d say that qualifies as something that looks like a “radio telescope” – Anthony”
    Leif, it’s possible Tapping referred to earlier data.

  23. Those big undefined magnetic anomalies only happend about the same latitude on the North Pole side of the sun… why?

  24. idlex (09:14:25) :
    “Hmmm… The sun’s been looking a tad pale recently. Another case of swine flu?”
    More like SHINE flu if you ask me.. O_o!
    If we want to compare the current minima to the Dalton/Maunder/Oort/Lamb/Damon etc.. it all boils down to sunspots. Not flux, or faculae… only spots.
    Our reliable solar records (from the observatories) that go back to those periods are only of sunspots, and when comparing spots only, we can see that this minimum is long and has never been experienced by any living scientist. Quiet has been firmly in place for almost the entire first half of 2009 (so far), even though most predicted an uptick in mid 2008.

  25. None of the big gamblers go to the track anymore to directly observe a thoroughbred, so most aren’t aware old yellow is running. All the big money is in computer gambling these days where they bet heavily on computer generated fictitious nags. Its no surprise that when questioned they are only willing to place Two bucks each way.

  26. On “http://solarscience.auditblogs.com/2008/04/22/ken-tapping-the-current-solar-minimum/”, I read:
    “The histogram Figure 3 shows how the durations of the cycles as seen in the *sunspot data* have varied since 1700. A 13-year activity cycle is not that unusual.
    Figure 3: Distribution of solar cycle durations over the last 300 years. The 1964-1977 cycle, having a duration of 13 years is unusual, but not that unusual.”
    I do’n know anything about a 1964-1977 cycle (sunspot data) with a duration of 13 years. SC20 was 140 months long (from October 1964 to June 1976), i.e. 11 years and 8 months.
    NOAA wrote: “If the December prediction holds up, at 12 years and seven months Solar Cycle 23 will be the longest since 1823 and the third longest since 1755.”
    If Dr. Kenneth Tapping had used the right data, he should have written perhaps more serious articles?

  27. If you are tired of this guessing game by professional scientists, why not enhance your confusion by reading hypothesis from a total novice (amateur researcher would be too generous), it may not be recognised science, but it is different. One day you may be able to say that you’ve seen berth of a new theory (if am lucky, that is). Good doc LS might say: this infant will never see a respectful adulthood, but you never know, nothing to loose …have a go!
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/CycleAnomalies.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/N-S-excess.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/SMF-strength.gif
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk links for solar current and solar subcycle
    Good night to all.

  28. In my utterly worthless opinion we have passed the minimum. We are seeing the flux value rise and there have been more plages with cycle 24 polarity. For me it’s all about Penn and Livingstone at the moment. Why are sunspots ceasing to be visible? What does that mean, if anything for our climate? At this stage nobody knows.
    I might start having nightmares about this “nobody nose”. This disembodied proboscis sailing around the world causing discord, froward bickering, the shaking of fists. Who would have expected this from a nose? I certainly didn’t pick it…

  29. Few scientists will admit they don’t know what is happening. Sure fire way to get your funding cut. Better to be wrong than uncertain. We’ll get lots of predictions, and eventually, one of them will be right.
    My money is on Leif.

  30. The blue dots is TSI [not F10.7] and may follow slightly different rules. TSI comes from the photosphere, while F10.7 comes from the corona. For each quantity there are two smooth curves. A dashed one which is an honest fit to all the data, and a full one which is my eyeball fit to the bottom envelope of the data. One of the research projects I’m engage in right now is to try and understand what we see, so perhaps I can give an answer sometime down the road. Right now would only be speculation 🙂
    Leif
    Is it possible that what the 10.7 cm data is showing is an energy increase in the corona related to a weak cycle. I don’t remember where I read this, but I read in a paper somewhere that it is speculated that the 1859 Coronal mass ejection was of such magnitude because the Corona had been pumped due to the lack of flares. The argument was that the weak cycle of that time resulted in fewer flares, thus fewer “discharges” through the Coronasphere. This effectively pumped the energy level in the Coronosphere to such a level that when a flare did happen that initiated a CME, that the energy level was much higher than it would have been during a stronger solar cycle.
    I wish I remembered where I read that paper. Do you know what I am recounting here? Also, if this is a fair guess, is the increase in the base energy level of the Coronasphere an possible indication of this charge pump in action?

  31. kim (10:58:11) :
    Thanks, and thanks for not speculating. Can anyone correct Tapping? It seems he is clearly wrong.
    I’m working on a WUWT post about F10.7 ….
    Ron de Haan (13:08:27) :
    Leif, it’s possible Tapping referred to earlier data.
    No, he has all the data from 1947 until this noon.
    Dennis Wingo (16:14:12) :
    Is it possible that what the 10.7 cm data is showing is an energy increase in the corona related to a weak cycle.
    I don’t know exactly what is going on, but some of us [at UC Berkeley this time] are looking into the increase of F10.7 to see where it comes from. See our science nugget #99 at: http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/~tohban/wiki/index.php/RHESSI_Science_Nuggets

  32. -Roger Sowell (10:18:31)
    Your post brings to mind another novel by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn called Fallen Angels. While the work does contain embarrassing lip service to the sci-fi fandom, it also deals with much that is relevant to the present physical and political climate.
    First published in 1991, the novel deals with a future Earth ruled by a totalitarian green government suffering economic and technological collapse as a Maunder style solar minimum occurs. Science has been replaced with politically correct dogma and green police have the power to arrest for thought crime.

  33. Am I missing something here?
    Solar cycle 14
    1900 – >150 spotless days
    1901 – >280 spotless days
    1902 – >250 spotless days
    Solar cycle 15
    1911 ->200 spotless days
    1912 ->250 spotless days
    1913 ->310 spotless days
    Solar cycle 24
    2007 ->160 spotless days
    2008 ->260 spotless days
    2009 ->100 and counting
    Is cycle 24 unique? Doesn’t look like it to me.
    Don’t recall hearing about impending ice age after 1914 – the story might have been buried with the outbreak of European hostilities.

  34. TerryBixler (08:56:45) said :
    The amateurs are equal or better than the experts on this minimum. We are all waiting and guessing.
    HOW TRUE, despite what it’s doing to “science.”
    The underlying reason is that the “experts” are simply extrapolating, and in fits-and-starts at that.
    Any amateur well-versed in numerical methods (and without the political hatchet hanging over their heads) can and should do better, if only because we can extrapolate more accurately based on the actual data, rather than an expected outcome.

  35. Les Francis (17:13:30) :
    >>Is cycle 24 unique? Doesn’t look like it to me.
    Aber doch. More than 13 y have already passed from the last minimum (April 1996). This is sufficiently longer than the average value (10.7 y) and now approaching the 13.6 y for Cycle 4, that led to very weak Cycles 5 and 6 during which the Dalton Minimum was observed.

  36. Les Francis (17:13:30) :
    Is cycle 24 unique? Doesn’t look like it to me.
    You are correct, it is not. It will be the lowest in a hundred years, but that in itself is not a disaster. In fact, we solar physicists [at least some of us] look forward to a low cycle(s), so we can verify our ideas about what the ‘ground state’ of solar activity is. Some are even hoping for a Maunder Minimum. That may be too much to ask for, but sure would clear up a lot of questions.

  37. tokyoboy (17:32:54) :
    Aber doch. More than 13 y have already passed from the last minimum (April 1996). […] the 13.6 y for Cycle 4, […]
    Because solar cycles overlap by several years, the ‘minimum’ is not a physically meaningful thing in itself, and certainly not calculated to decimal places. The [smoothed – itself a dubious thing] minimum around 1890 had multiple ‘minima’ hovering between 5 and 6 during 1888 Aug – 1889 Jan and during 1889 Sep – 1890 Apr. The next minimum did a similar thing between 2 and 3 during 1901 May- Jun and 1901 Dec – 1902 Feb. How long was cycle 13 then? The current transition may show similar behavior.
    In fact, there were local minima in 1996 May and 1996 Aug. which one to pick? The whole concept is to fuzzy and not very useful [and just plain silly to plot climate against].

  38. Leif Svalgaard (16:46:31) :
    I’d like to know where this increase in 10.7 cm flux is coming from also.
    I even wrote to Penticon to ask them when was the last time they checked the equipment calibration, and they did.
    So, as far as I can tell, the flux really is increasing but the spots are not.
    The evidence mounts that during the big Grand Minima, the proxies record (the way I understood it) normal cyclic activity, but you can still be spotless.
    Nothing like a good old fashioned scientific mystery!

  39. I came up with a formula to fix minima using white-light faculae.
    Here are my results:
    1878 (1878.157 – 1879.113)(1878.4301 – 1879.3096) = 1878.8695 = 1878 11/13
    1889 (1888.170 – 1889.363)(1888.4657-1889.9945) = 1889.84 = 1889/ 3/25
    1901 (1900.144 – 1902.66) (1900.3945- 1902.1808) = 1901.28765 = 1901.105 = 1901/4/15
    1923 (1923.3 – 1924.134) (1923.008 – 1924.367) = 1923.6875 = 1923.251 = 1923/9/7
    1933 (1933.152 – 1934.130) (1933.416 – 1934.356) = 1933.886 = 1933.323 = 1933/11/19
    1943 (1943.253 – 1944.84) (1943.693 – 1944.23) = 1943.962 = 1943.351 = 1943/12/16
    1954 (1953.267 – 1955.7) (1953.732 – 1955.019) = 1954.376 = 1954.137 = 1954/5/17
    1964 (1964.129 – 1965.147) (1964.353 – 1965.403) = 1964.878 = 1964.320 = 1964/11/16
    1976 (1976.85 – 1976.285) (1976.233 – 1976.781) = 1976.507 = 1976.185 = 1976/7/3
    1986 not avail.
    1996 backdate not available (does not work well)
    2008 (1996/08/03 – 2008/08/03 (min) – 2010/08/03)
    Note: the 1996/08/03 facular count is a bit low but close to the value I use (>1000).
    If the next available count >1000 is used (05/05/2006) then the ramp of spots in SC24 will commence upwards around Nov 2010.
    Perhaps L&P trend will turn around long enough to see spots before our Solar eyes.
    Pehaps not.

  40. Correction: Darn – I forgot to change that 2008 (1996/08/03 -2008/08/03 (min) – 2010/08/03) to
    2008 (2006/08/03-2008/p8/03 (min) = 2010/08/03
    Argghhhh!!!

  41. rbateman (18:34:38) :
    I even wrote to Penticon to ask them when was the last time they checked the equipment calibration, and they did.
    As far as I know they regularly check the calibration by observing supernova remnants Cassiopeia-A and Cygnus-A that other groups spend a lot of time getting absolute flux values for.
    My money is on L&P.

  42. The downside of allowing Anthony to copy my post is he gets to keep all the comments. 😉
    There will be more on solar cycle predictions on my blog in the next few days including a review of the history of solar cycle prediction – and why it bears an uncanny resemblence to guessing.

  43. rbateman (18:46:05) :
    I came up with a formula to fix minima using white-light faculae.
    Here are my results:
    1878 (1878.157 – 1879.113)(1878.4301 – 1879.3096) = 1878.8695 = 1878 11/13

    what do the numbers mean?

  44. Roger Sowell (10:18:31) :
    Regarding not knowing all there is to know about a star (our sun), an excellent sci-fi novel comes to mind, Beowulf’s Children by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
    Douglas DC (12:05:18) :
    Another Pournelle and NIven’s “Fallen Angles” is another great novel-and reads like today’s headlines.-except we don’t have quite the space presence….

    Well these are both awesome books by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, however, neither of these books can hold a candle to their best and most prescient joint effort about a dwindling Sun…”The Mote in Gore’s Eye”!

  45. Leif Svalgaard (19:26:48) :
    rbateman (18:46:05) :
    I came up with a formula to fix minima using white-light faculae.
    Here are my results:
    1878 (1878.157 – 1879.113)(1878.4301 – 1879.3096) = 1878.8695 = 1878 11/13
    what do the numbers mean?

    1878 11/13 means that SC12 started on November 13, 1878.
    1878 157th day converted to decimal year + 1879 113th day converted to decimal year/2 =
    1878.8695 or Nov 13 1878.
    Last day Corrected facular area in millionths of solar hemisphere >1000 for SC11 and first day Corrected facular area in millionths of solar hemisphere >1000 for SC12 and you are now looking at your new cycle ramp slope.
    Since you have pretty much pinpointed by fluxand TSI 2008.8 you can use the Ergrebrisse numbers and come up with the date of SC24 spot ramp using Faculae method.
    So now I must ask you, do you mean 2008 8th month or 2008 9.6th month for minimum?
    I was just horsing around with this, and it looked awfully close in most cases.

  46. Here is the link to the previous thread on Livingston and Penn paper
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/02/livingston-and-penn-paper-sunspots-may-vanish-by-2015/
    Leif Svalgaard (18:59:31) :

    rbateman (18:34:38) :
    I even wrote to Penticon to ask them when was the last time they checked the equipment calibration, and they did.
    As far as I know they regularly check the calibration by observing supernova remnants Cassiopeia-A and Cygnus-A that other groups spend a lot of time getting absolute flux values for.
    My money is on L&P.

    This means that your money is on the diminishing of the magnetic field carried by the spots by 77 Gauss per year. If we start from the maximum in fig3, above, say 2800 Gauss, that is a fall of 2.75% a year in the magnetic field of the bubble that generates a spot.
    My question is 🙂
    In the theory that generates the bubbles what would these numbers mean for the sun’s magnetic field, 2.75% diminution per year or is there an amplifying factor, or a phase transition type factor?
    Next question:
    Sunspots will not be visible to the eye. Will we see them in magnetograms as now with the two plage areas? Is there significance that the plage areas in the magnetograms are being sparse too? It seems that if one plotted magnetogram signed dipoles the curve would follow the curve of the optical spots.
    So the L&P just follows the rule : problem number one has been reduced to problem number two which we still cannot solve ?
    In addition, the curve in fig 3 cannot be linear since we know previous grand minima existed from which the system recovered and we have the usual spots to check. Also it would extrapolate to huge unphysical numbers backwards.
    Are there plots of the magnetic fields of the sunspots for the other recent cycles for which there are magnetic data?

  47. I bought a copy of “Sunquakes” (Probing the Interior of the Sun) by J. B. Zirker for $5.98 on Friday and have been unable to put it down. It’s a description of what is known about the sun from observing oscillations / vibrations.
    What is amazing to me is how very much is known about the sun but how little is known about the sunspot cycle. The book was written in 2003 and I liked the level it was written to. It’s supposed to be for the general audience, but it doesn’t hesitate to discuss Fourier transforms and wave equations, particularly in the notes. It avoids equations, but it uses the terminology and if you’re a grad student in physics or better you’ll be able to fill in the gaps.

  48. rbateman (21:51:18) :
    So now I must ask you, do you mean 2008 8th month or 2008 9.6th month for minimum?
    To the extent it makes sense to talk about a minimum, the F10.7 data points to decimal year 2008.82 which is 2008 day 300, or a few days before November 1st, 2008. But you know how meaningless I consider such a precise number to be [on the other hand it is clear in the F10.7, so it may be a useful number, after all – that is the bit we don’t know right now]

  49. Retired Engineer (16:13:04)
    “Few scientists will admit they don’t know what is happening. Sure fire way to get your funding cut.”

    Regrettably true. Honesty is punished harshly.

  50. Daniel M:-)
    It’s not dead, its just resting, pinin’ for the fjords!
    I say again, do we, by which I mean our scientists, really know all they think they know about the Sun, the solar system, the earth, how what reacts with what to cause any of a A, B, C, ………through to Z? They seem to speak with such confidence when they make pronouncements of various kinds, only to get it completely wrong! Nothing changes does it? Oh well, time will tell.

  51. anna v (22:10:46) :
    My question is 🙂
    In the theory that generates the bubbles what would these numbers mean for the sun’s magnetic field, 2.75% diminution per year or is there an amplifying factor, or a phase transition type factor?

    My reply will be speculation only [but that is allowed if labeled as such]. The important issue is not the magnetic field, but the magnetic flux. Solar physicists [and other types too, at times] use a sloppy terminology. In Maxwell’s equations you have a H and a B, the former being the magnetic field and the latter the magnetic induction. We always talk about B [not H – and this post would be too long and too technical if I have to explain to the lay reader what is the difference between H and B], but we [incorrectly] call B the magnetic field. Correct would be to use the term magnetic induction density or flux density. The flux density over an area [like a sunspot or a plage] times that areal extent, A, is the magnetic flux, F, in that region, and that is what the models try to predict. The magnetic field B [note the wrong terminology] would conversely be the flux F divided by the area A. What L&P find is a decrease of B, not of F, meaning that A [A=F/B] must be larger, meaning that the active region is less compact. For a process that might explain what ‘compacts’ a region into a spot, see Ken Schatten’s ‘Perculation’ paper http://www.leif.org/research/Percolation%20and%20the%20Solar%20Dynamo.pdf
    Next question:
    Sunspots will not be visible to the eye. Will we see them in magnetograms as now with the two plage areas? Is there significance that the plage areas in the magnetograms are being sparse too? It seems that if one plotted magnetogram signed dipoles the curve would follow the curve of the optical spots.

    See the above. Yes, you would see them in the magnetogram as we do now. They will be a bit more spread out and a bit weaker, but they will be there and the flux would be the same.
    In addition, the curve in fig 3 cannot be linear since we know previous grand minima existed from which the system recovered and we have the usual spots to check. Also it would extrapolate to huge unphysical numbers backwards.
    The curve has an unknown shape, but any short piece of a curve is approximately linear, so that is a reasonable first cut.
    Are there plots of the magnetic fields of the sunspots for the other recent cycles for which there are magnetic data?
    Yes back to 1967 for general synoptic maps including spots and everything else. The unique thing about L&P is that they deliberately seek out the darkest point in a spot [presumably the highest field] and measure there. They were the first to do this systematically. Their data goes back to 1990, with a handful of measurements before that back to 1969. Bill L was kind enough to send me his entirely set of measurements. I have not had time to digest them yet… Might make an interesting post, if he would let me….

  52. Hmm, STEREO seems to indicate that something might be coming around the bend at a latitude that would suggest cycle 23 polarity. Looks like a bright spot just south of the equator but just around the bend from where the satellite can see.

  53. Gauss? Gauss?? How out of date can you be. Gauss, Rads, Rems, Curies, etc. were all consigned to the dustbin of history years ago.
    Its all SI these days you know.
    As ordered by the council of Nine.
    Not that it is necessarily a bad thing. To me one horsepower is 330,000 foot pound minutes or 550 foot pound seconds etc. Or indeed 748 watt hours: give or take.
    But don’t mock SI it is a wonderful logical system with simple decimal conversions. Truly wonderful really.
    No George Orwell or Newspeak there. It is exact and precise: I only wish we had had it in my day. Instead of FPS and CGS.
    Still despite the wonders of SI I confess I miss my calories and my dynes and ergs. Not to mention my poundals, tundals and BTU.
    It was like that real money we used to have when six and eight was a third of a pound. Sterling that was.
    Kindest Regards.

  54. Re: Leif Svalgaard (23:35:50) :
    “Yes, you would see them in the magnetogram as we do now. They will be a bit more spread out and a bit weaker, but they will be there and the flux would be the same.”
    So if I might make an analogy that others might understand … you could have a lake that is small in area but very deep or one that is large in area but very shallow. Both lakes have the same total volume (flux in this case) but the “depth” is what makes the difference in seeing a spot or not.
    But I wonder if that is the only thing going on because we seem to continue to see cycle 23 areas for a period that is longer and as a ratio to cycle 24 spots, still more active than I would expect to see. Or are my expectations set incorrectly? Even if we were seeing an increase in cycle 24 magnetic signatures without spots or with weak spots, I would have expected cycle 23 areas to be be nearly gone by now. This makes me wonder if the system is more complicated than it might appear at first glance. What is making 23 linger so long, if in fact it is?

  55. Leif Svalgaard (22:27:09) :
    2008.82 as an academic number to plug into the equation.
    Giving 2010 Dec 24 or 2011 Apr 19 for SC24 spot ramp.

  56. a jones (23:55:25),
    Nice exposition on horsepower. But you are wrong. It is 550 ft lbs/second. Or 33,000 ft lbs/minute. Or 1,980,000 ft lbs/hour.
    An electric motor hp is 746 watts. Or 746 Joules/second.

  57. I am a certified BMMGW [Believer In Man Made Global Warming], but I DO want to hear what other smart people think. The data and analysis coming from this site are rigorous, professional- and scary.
    Now comes all this discussion about sunspots. Sunspots?? Huh?
    Maybe someone can tell me the implications of an anomalous sunspot cycle? I know about the radio aspects– I am a licensed amateur radio operator– but what are the implications for weather and climate change? Is there a relationship between low/ late sunspots and weather or climate?
    I want a graph! 🙂

  58. So what happens if SC24 is the lowest cycle in 200 years (like I suspect)?
    It will mean anyone connected to the Babcock babble will have egg all over them.

  59. a jones (23:55:25) :
    And a Mark was 13 shillings and 4 pence. http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/MAL_MAR/MARK.html
    I am reminded of the days before decimalisation, when a British salesman went to meet a French buyer and to whom he had handed a price list. The French buyer was bemused by the weights being in pounds and ounces. The salesman pointed out that the buyer should easily understand the figures, because “Avoirdupois was his lingo, wasn’t it?” Who said the British do not have a sense of humour?
    [Middle English avoir de pois, commodities sold by weight, alteration of Old French aveir de peis, goods of weight : aveir, avoir, to have (from Latin habre; see able) + de, of (from Latin d, from; see de-) + peis, pois, weight (from Vulgar Latin *psum, from Latin pnsum; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots). A system of weights based on the 16-ounce pound (or 7,000 grains.]
    Best wishes.

  60. a jones wrote: To me one horsepower is 330,000 foot pound minutes or 550 foot pound seconds etc. Or indeed 748 watt hours: give or take.
    That’s the world I grew up in too. Where a foot was about as long as, well.., my foot. And an inch was about as long as my thumb.
    I think it’s important to have a sense what these things are. Yesterday, I heard Brian Eno on the radio saying that there hundreds or thousands of zettajoules of geothermal energy available a kilometre or two underground. What, I found myself wondering, is a zettajoule? And, for that matter, what is a joule? If someone was to ask me what a joule was, how would I explain?
    Since a joule is a unit of work, and the work lifting a mass m through a height h against gravitational acceleration 9.81m/sec2 is m.g.h, then lifting 1 kilogram one metre entails 9.81 joules of work. Does that help?
    I came across an onlne discussion of the question “What is a joule?” in which someone wrote “A Joule is a unit of work. It is roughly the work you do when picking up a mango from the ground.”
    If a mango weighs about 100 gms, then when you pick up a mango one joule is around about the work done lifting a mango 1 metre. But actually, when you pick up a mango from the ground, you do a lot more work than that. If you weigh 70 kg, and you squat down to pick it up, dropping your body mass by half a metre, then standing back up again entails doing 70 x 9.81 x 0.5 or 343 joules of work. Add the one joule of work done lifting the mango, and that’s 344 joules. So, no, 1 joule isn’t roughly the work you do when picking up a mango from the ground.
    Maybe it would be better to think of it in terms of things people do every day. Like walk upstairs. A 70 kg man performs 137 joules of work raising his body up one 200 mm step. Which is about a kilojoule of work every 7 steps he climbs.
    Is there a better way of envisaging these simple things? How many joules are needed to boil a kettle?

  61. It usually takes 12 months or so for the new cycle to bloom after the first few spots, so we should be in that timeframe now. Still likely many months until it begins to bloom, if it will at all.
    This is really a new area for Solar Science, and something we have not seen in modern times. I’d expect to see quite a few papers when this is over rethinking some of what we think we know about the Sun.

  62. a jones (23:55:25) :
    Its all SI these days you know.
    For you it is 0.15 Tesla, then.
    crosspatch (00:22:13) :
    What is making 23 linger so long, if in fact it is?
    I don’t think it is unsual. SC21 and SC22 lingered on more than a year after solar minimum. When is the current minimum? Dec 2008? if so, expect SC23 spots until at least Dec 2009.

  63. Michael Spencer (04:29:43) :
    An FFT will show periodicity in data. If the 11(ish) year solar cycle had a significant effect on temperatures it should appear on all temperature records (sometimes swamped by other effects perhaps) This plot takes a dozen locations round the world with long temperature records and averages their FFT outputs. Central England temperature and Sun spot number FFTs are plotted also. Note that there is no 11 year/22 year cycle in the temperature plots above the noise level.
    http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5025/cetssnavgfft.jpg
    Similar plots can be found on Leifs web site:
    http://www.leif.org/research
    Here’s another plot HADCRUT3 NH temp vs CO2 levels
    http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/4111/hadcrut3nhtempvsco2scat.jpg
    Note that this does not say if T is pushing CO2 or CO2 is pushing T
    But it say to me that there is a relationship
    The lower 2 plots show temperature plotted against sun spot numbers/TSI
    http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/6731/hadcrut3nhvsco2andtsi.jpg
    This again says to me that the two are not related.
    And this is a plot of time related CO2 temp series. Note that one of the plots shows that a log curve fit to the CO2 vs Temp plot plotted over time shows small error
    http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/81/hadcrut3vsco2timeseries.jpg

  64. This ignorant layman is constantly driven back to the fact that scientific observation of the sun and empirically-grounded hypotheses in regard to solar behavior are no more than 400 years old. The sun is 5×10^9 years old. How certain can we be sure that observed behavior over the past four centuries exhausts the repertoire of solar tricks?
    The same might be said of the dynamics of the earth’s atmosphere.
    What did Newton say about standing on the edge of the vast ocean, making soundings with pebbles?

  65. Michael Spencer (04:29:43) :
    “I am a certified BMMGW [Believer In Man Made Global Warming], but I DO want to hear what other smart people think. The data and analysis coming from this site are rigorous, professional- and scary.
    Now comes all this discussion about sunspots. Sunspots?? Huh?
    Maybe someone can tell me the implications of an anomalous sunspot cycle? I know about the radio aspects– I am a licensed amateur radio operator– but what are the implications for weather and climate change? Is there a relationship between low/ late sunspots and weather or climate?
    I want a graph! :-)”
    Have a look at the NIPCC report (page 22 of the pdf)
    available from climatescienceinternational.org
    http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=105&Itemid=65

  66. Michael Spencer (04:29:43) :
    I am a certified BMMGW [Believer In Man Made Global Warming], but I DO want to hear what other smart people think. The data and analysis coming from this site are rigorous, professional- and scary.
    Now comes all this discussion about sunspots. Sunspots?? Huh?
    Maybe someone can tell me the implications of an anomalous sunspot cycle? I know about the radio aspects– I am a licensed amateur radio operator– but what are the implications for weather and climate change? Is there a relationship between low/ late sunspots and weather or climate?

    The alternative theory to Anthropogenic Global Warming is that Natural Climate Variation caused the observed rise in temperatures during the (roughly) 30 year period from the 1970s to the end of the century. A lot of the posters on this site believe this was caused by greater than “normal” sunspot activity, which affected the climate through multiple mechanisms, principally reduced solar wind leading to decreased cosmic ray caused cloud formation; increased UV, microwave radiation leading to temperature increase in the equatorial latitudes.
    The concern you’re asking about, anomalous sunspot cycle, is that the lower than “normal” sunspot activity, with reduced solar wind, UV and radio wave emissions, will result in a corresponding cooling of the oceans, leading to a prolonged cooling of the planet’s climate.
    Those who disagree on the hypothesis of solar forcing will take lack of cooling as evidence; those who agree with the hypothesis will take lack of cooling as evidence against the hypothesis.
    The preceding paragraph is the way science is supposed to be done. When you read our disparagement of the AGW crowd, it’s because they don’t “operate” that way.

  67. I obviously simplified.
    Also: “Those who disagree on the hypothesis of solar forcing will take lack of cooling as evidence; those who agree with the hypothesis will take lack of cooling as evidence against the hypothesis.”
    Should read: “Those who disagree on the hypothesis of solar forcing will take lack of cooling as evidence against the hypothesis; those who agree with the hypothesis will take lack of cooling as evidence supporting the hypothesis.
    (MS Word is acting up on me.)

  68. bill (07:23:24) :
    An FFT will show periodicity in data. If the 11(ish) year solar cycle had a significant effect on temperatures it should appear on all temperature records (sometimes swamped by other effects perhaps)

    This is a bit of a strawman. It may not be the 11-year-ish cycle directly, but some other signal that exerts some measure of control over the cycle, e.g., the low frequency change in average (rms?) cycle intensity. If so, it will likely be too small to show up on an FFT, particularly if it is not a strictly periodic function. Furthermore, an FFT analysis must be done with care when the sufficient conditions for convergence are not known a priori to be satisfied.
    As for your scatter plot, that’s a joke, right? ANY rising data set will compare to another in such a manner. The scatter plot is a thoroughly meaningless way to view the data (and it is not nearly as clear what, if any, relationship exists in that plot there seem to be several if you look closely). Why not compare them over time? Probably because it doesn’t look nearly as good.
    Mark

  69. bill (07:23:24) :
    Do you have a ratio of the Dow over CO2 time series?
    Unless a causal root is clearly identified, all this is numerology.
    And clearly in all indeces, long range ( Ice core records) and short range, trends of CO2 versus trends of temperature, CO2 lags temperature, which is evident when we see CO2 rising merrily and temperature in stasis the past ten years.

  70. bill (07:23:24) :
    I think I’ve challenged you to do this before: do your spectrum analysis (fft) on HadCRUT3 and tell us what you find. CET is not useful for this purpose, as it is strongly affected by natural climate variability on a regional scale that may well obscure the solar signal.
    Or, you might consider reading
    http://www.isac.cnr.it/~climstor/michele/publications/NC_26C_2003_287.pdf
    This is regional as well, but they think they see a solar signal in the data.

  71. Arthur Glass (07:24:25) :
    The Sun has been observed for thousands of years by many cultures.
    Just not with telescopes, photographic plates and eletronic detectors.
    Ditto for climates and grain harvests.
    Isaac Newton was not a nice person at all.

  72. Michael Spencer (04:29:43) :
    If you want the best graph money can buy, you make it yourself.
    Sunspots!! indeed.
    What you ask for has hardly had it’s surface scratched.
    You have literary record, observations going back to ancient times, and the opportunity to look for yourself and come up with your own conclusion.
    I highly reccomend it.

  73. It looks like even if we don’t see dark sunspots, we may see these large lighter colored areas (faculae) indicating quite active regions.
    My questions are these. During the Maunder minimum, were these bright spots noted? were they more noted at the times one would have anticipated cycle maximums? was it possible to see them with instruments of the times? indeed, just how much brighter are these areas (compared to how much darker sunspots are) how much difference in contrast do they really represent? could you see a really bright facula at sunset? was a really bright event like the Carrington flare noted by naked eye anywhere (it had to be sunset or sunrise somewhere when it happened).
    It looks to me like L&P are right and we are headed for no sunspots, but it also looks like no-sunspots does not equal no-cycle, just lowered magnetic flux. So Maunder minimum now seems to me to have been somewhere in a large range between the two, and the appearance of faculae might have indicated just how low or high was solar activity during the decades long period of no virtually no sunspots.

  74. Dumb question: How did observers assign cycle numbers to sunspots before we had magnetograms? Right now, we see 23’s and 24’s. Determine just by latitude?

  75. Lee,
    What to look at is the radius of the sun and its temperature/brightness. During minima, the radius of the sun expands and the surface cools/dims to a degree greater than the percent of the sun covered by spots at maxima reduces the overall lit area.
    “The average gas temperature of the solar surface is about 6050 K, but inside a sunspot, the gas temperature is only 4200 K. The reason a sunspot appears dark is that the gas inside the spot where the magnetic field is strongest is only emitting about 1/4 as much light as from the rest of the solar surface. If you were to rip a sunspot out from the solar surface and put it in the night sky, it would appear as a bright, orange gas, not a dark void. ”
    Note the areas immediately around a sunspot are brighter than average so they tend to cancel out the darkness of the spot.
    During the Maunder era, solar telescopes were not developed enough to see these brighter faculae areas.
    You should read the wikipedia article on solar variation:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation

  76. Retired Engineer,
    The cycle number is based on when Greenwich Observatory started counting sunspots in the mid 18th century. Thats all.

  77. Retired Engineer (09:24:53) :
    Dumb question: How did observers assign cycle numbers to sunspots before we had magnetograms? Right now, we see 23’s and 24’s. Determine just by latitude?
    The magnetic determination goes back to 1912. Before that, the latitude is a good indicator. because when you some spots at 10 degrees and at the same time some at 30 degrees, it is a VERY good bet that they are from different cycles. Even with magnetograms you’ll find that some 3% of spot groups have reversed polarity from what they should have according to their cycle [because the rotate]. Since there are thousands of spots in a cycle, misclassifying a few doesn’t matter.

  78. Leif,
    thanks for the reply.
    A small objection, any curve can be made up of straight line segments, it is the extrapolation to 2015 that is dubious, imho.
    It would be good if you could put up a post from the data you were given.
    jack mosevich (11:26:26) :
    Thanks for the interesting reference, but we are back to problem number one being reduced to problem number two, which is not yet solved. It is the temperature and the Dow that look similar, and the connection of temperature to sun cycles is still not proven.

  79. Solar flux appears to be relatively constant, but there has been a slow increase in spot activity, mirrored by a creeping rise in Planetary A-Index (http://www.solen.info/solar/). A highly reliable source tells me that Arctic aural activity is at it’s lowest in a century, too. This solar minimum is very interesting.

  80. anna v (13:17:16) :
    it is the extrapolation to 2015 that is dubious, imho.
    Everybody knows that so that is not a problem. L&P says “If the trend were to continue…”, not that it would. Going to zero in 2015 [and negative thereafter] is just a handy way of remembering their result.

  81. Mark T (08:33:20) :
    Using the co2 vs temp to produce a curve fit then plotting this against time is shown in the las graph I referenced i.e.
    http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/81/hadcrut3vsco2timeseries.jpg
    Scatter plot will of course produce the t vs cco2 plt from any 2 rising data sources. However, there is no such organisation in TSI vs CO2.
    anna v (08:45:00) :
    And clearly in all indeces, long range ( Ice core records) and short range, trends of CO2 versus trends of temperature, CO2 lags temperature, which is evident when we see CO2 rising merrily and temperature in stasis the past ten years.

    I’m pleased you brought this up. Most anti AGW will point at ice cores and say “this is absolute evidence that CO2 follows temperature” . They will then point out that the lag is of the order of 700 years. Now this is interesting for CO2 to be reacting to the temp rise since the 60’s is therefore not possible. The CO2 should be reacting to temperatures of 1300’s. So which is it to be – Ice Cores 700 years or a new theory of near instant CO2 response to Temp?
    The reference you gave does a scatter plot of 2 variable of the type youo complain about in my posting!!!

  82. Oh yes
    Slight errors due to finger trouble: hypothesis terrible early morning caffiene imbalance due to kettle not boiling quickly enough.
    As for joules and mangoes I don’t know but remember being taught, a long time ago, that the force to raise an eyebrow was about1000 dynes.
    And it is amusing to work out my average horsepower as I walk up the hill and such like.
    But the point is serious. When I was very young I was shown how to calculate in both electromagnetic and electrostatic units: one thousand centimetres is one Jar etc. Not beause this is useful today or even back then but because the difference between the two turned out to be the speed of light: the first real clue that electromagnetic radiation was just that.
    Today it is usual, it was when I took my first degree, to use vector notation for the Maxwell equations: and very handy vector notation is too.
    But of its nature it also obscures fine detail. In classical form the Maxwell equations take about four pages of close argument, in vector notation four lines.
    But the vector notation does not deal with time beyond the arrow of time: whereas the classical solution does.
    Yet the second law of thermodynamics itself depends upon the arrow of time: or we assume it does. And if this universe is a naked singularity we do not need Hawking’s law of cosmic censorship. As indeed thanks to IBM etc. it has now been shown we don’t. Even black holes are subject to the second law of thermodynamics.
    Yet I am told on this board that T&S have abused the second law in what it is said is mere polemic. Which it is: but the paper is much more interesting for what it does not say. I do not know why, than what it does. True T&S have an ecletic view of the second law but frankly no more so than others who advance their views here: and more importantly what appears to be orthodoxy.
    I wouldn’t know but if that is so it is a mad, mad world my masters.
    Kindest Regards

  83. Passerby (13:44:55) :
    Solar flux appears to be relatively constant
    No, it has been rising since November of last year. The various plots you see often do not show the ‘real’ flux that the Sun puts out, but what is observed at the Earth, and the Earth’s distance from the Sun is not constant. The further from the Sun we are, the less flux do we observe. Since January, we have been receding from the Sun, just canceling out the real increase there has been. Here is a plot of the real flux: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png , the pink curve.
    but there has been a slow increase in spot activity
    Hardly [look at the green curve]
    mirrored by a creeping rise in Planetary A-Index
    The increase is caused by the changing angle between the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic axis through the year, that leads to a 25% increase of A-index every equinox even if the solar wind was absolutely constant.
    A highly reliable source tells me that Arctic aural activity is at it’s lowest in a century, too.
    That is correct, activity now is where it was back in 1901.
    This solar minimum is very interesting.
    no doubt about it. You must, however, in spite of your enthusiasm [that we all share] still learn how to interpret the data correctly.

  84. – – –
    Re: Basil (09:04:41)
    Global annual averages mask signals – and regrettably, for anyone investigating more thoroughly, the monitoring network is sparse & clustered. Also, averages are not the only summaries to investigate – particularly if one gets the huge clue that climate modeling suffers serious unknowns with respect to water & albedo.
    – – –
    Comment on bill (07:23:24):
    This glance, while worthwhile, comes nowhere near warranting a final judgement.
    – – –
    anna v (08:45:00) “Unless a causal root is clearly identified, all this is numerology.”
    Causal roots are not the only targets of relationship studies.
    – – –
    Re: Geoff Sharp (04:34:46)
    Geoff, I imagine you found the following “interesting”:
    Axel Brandenburg (2005). The case for a distributed solar dynamo shaped by near-surface shear. The Astrophysical Journal 625, 539-547.
    Kenneth H. Schatten (2009). Modeling a Shallow Solar Dynamo. Solar Physics 255, 3-38.
    Excerpt from the latter:
    “In Babcock’s (1961) original dynamo ideas, however, he advocated a shallow dynamo at the beginning of his abstract: “Shallow submerged lines of force . . . produce a spiral wrapping of five turns after . . . three years.” Leighton (1969) considered both the possibility of a shallow dynamo as well as deep dynamo models.”

  85. bill (14:25:26) :
    Scatter plot will of course produce the t vs cco2 plt from any 2 rising data sources. However, there is no such organisation in TSI vs CO2.

    Given that I never said there is, or should be, any such organization, your point is… pointless. Your scatter plot, as I stated above, is still meaningless.
    Mark

  86. Mark T (15:46:26) regarding bill (14:25:26)
    “Your scatter plot, as I stated above, is still meaningless.”

    Even if a scatterplot does not tell a whole story, it does convey a worthwhile part of a story.

  87. Basil (09:04:41) :
    … do your spectrum analysis (fft) on HadCRUT3 and tell us what you find…

    As requested here are HADCRUT 3 Land-sea/NH/SH GIS SSN CET and an average.
    http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/84/hadcrutnhshlsgiscetssna.jpg
    I thought I had done this before, but cannot find the plot! So apologies!
    Again no 11 year signal above noise level in NH and LS – possibly a snipsy bit in SH
    There may be a 22year signal (actually 21.3) in a number of plots
    There seems to be a peak aroiund 62 years in most (22y and 62 y suffer with lack of resolution)

  88. Leif,
    I think that this is actually a very good time to observe the sun and see many of the processes in slow motion. We will actual be able to observe things that where difficult to see and measure due to the sun spot cycle. Do you think this will help understand the 10.7 cm much better having a very slow transition?

  89. Mike Lorrey (11:54:28) :
    During the Maunder era, solar telescopes were not developed enough to see these brighter faculae areas.

    Not true. I can see them with a 70mm refractor projecting a circle of about 4-6″.
    My wife was sitting 10 feet away doing her gardening, and she could see them quite clearly Saturday, as I projected them onto a white piece of paper.
    What may be true is that they either weren’t there in the Maunder or they didn’t record them.

  90. Jim Arndt (17:25:27) :
    Do you think this will help understand the 10.7 cm much better having a very slow transition?
    Yes, and many other things, too. The ideal would be a Maunder Minimum or worse [Spoerer], but that is not in the cards [yet].
    rbateman (18:01:41) :
    What may be true is that they either weren’t there in the Maunder or they didn’t record them. the latter I think

  91. Leif,
    What is curious to me is that is the AGW theory holds true shouldn’t we see a big increase in temperature in the NH since we are closer (90W/M2). But we see only a small difference. 90 W/M2 is huge compared to the AGW signal and we should see much more warming in the NH compared to the SH. We only see 1C at the most and not much more, we should see 3 or 4C. What is your speculation about this uncertainty.

  92. Jim Arndt (19:29:05) :
    90 W/M2 is huge compared to the AGW signal
    I don’t know what the AGW ‘signal’ refers to.
    The 90 W/m2 difference is 7%, so should give 7/4%= 1.75% of 287K = 5C difference, all else equal, but not everything else is equal. The SH is mostly water which has an albedo only only a quarter of that of land, so say that the SH was only half the albedo of the NH, then in southern summer when we are closest to the Sun, the SH gets and absorbs more solar input. This will reduce the difference substantially. One can make this quantitative and show that the observed difference is close to the expected difference.

  93. They tested it with a computer model.
    I’m quite sure that if computer models were allowed to supplant scientific test, then CERN has wasted a lot of money.
    Likewise, sending up more & better satellites to study our quiet Sun is for naught as it’s far cheaper to run a computer simulation.
    It’s my understanding that a computer model is what you feed the observed data into to try and understand why something is happening, not to actually disprove the occurence.
    I’m quite certain that the world + dog understands that the Sun warms the Earth.
    That our star is in a minimum and it’s measured output has fallen somewhat should directly imply less warming, even if it is disputed by how much.
    For GCR’s causing increased reflectance (albedo) NASA has undertaken more than one study on like areas and come up with a conclusion that if you refect back more incoming less heat reaches the ground.

  94. bill (14:25:26) :

    anna v (08:45:00) :
    “And clearly in all indices, long range ( Ice core records) and short range, trends of CO2 versus trends of temperature, CO2 lags temperature, which is evident when we see CO2 rising merrily and temperature in stasis the past ten years.”
    I’m pleased you brought this up. Most anti AGW will point at ice cores and say “this is absolute evidence that CO2 follows temperature” . They will then point out that the lag is of the order of 700 years. Now this is interesting for CO2 to be reacting to the temp rise since the 60’s is therefore not possible. The CO2 should be reacting to temperatures of 1300’s. So which is it to be – Ice Cores 700 years or a new theory of near instant CO2 response to Temp?

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/co2_and_temperature_relationship_shown_questions_flat_ice_core_co2_graph_du/
    There is long term and short temr eactions. The long term are ocean upoheavals most probably, the short term include also biosphere reactions, again most probably.
    The reference you gave does a scatter plot of 2 variable of the type youo complain about in my posting!!!
    I am not talking of scatter plots. I am talking of the histograms of the two variables used to promote AGW, temperature and CO@ rise, as rates of change the first figure.
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/co2_and_temperature_relationship_shown_questions_flat_ice_core_co2_graph_du/
    There CO2changes lags by a few months.

  95. Leif Svalgaard (19:57:38) :
    Jim Arndt (19:29:05) :
    “90 W/M2 is huge compared to the AGW signal”
    I don’t know what the AGW ’signal’ refers to.
    The 90 W/m2 difference is 7%, so should give 7/4%= 1.75% of 287K = 5C difference, all else equal … This will reduce the difference substantially…

    I’m not sure my logic here is correct. It is late here and time for bed… But I recall having seen good arguments for why the difference is what it should be. Think about the difference in albedo…
    I have several times asked the modelers [e.g. Gavin Schmidt] to ‘crank up’ the 90 W/m2 to, say, double or triple that, to see if their models handle that correctly, but they have been reluctant to do so…

  96. rbateman (21:47:11) :
    They tested it with a computer model.
    In defense of ‘models’: almost everything we do today goes ‘through’ a computer model, and the models are usually extremely good. If you build a bridge, you model the underground foundation, the expected load, the stress due to hurricane-force wind and sea currents, etc., and work out the necessary specs and requirements. We model chemical compounds, plasma experiments, traffic flow, the economy [well, not all models work all the time 🙂 ], you name it. We construct models of solar and stellar structure, and they work with exquisite precision [as we know from helioseismolgy and neutrino measurement], our models simulate supernova explosions, the evolution of the galaxies, nuclear weapons, collisions of asteroids, geomagnetic storms, atmospheric drag on satellites, and even [with some success] the weather.
    What they do in the paper is to calculate the number and composition of aerosol particles as a function of particle size and time throughout the lower atmosphere (troposphere and lower stratosphere). Additionally, we simulate the gas-phase DMS, SO2, H2SO4 and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) precursor concentrations relevant, allowing us to calculate the aerosol nucleation rates and growth of these new particles to CCN sizes.
    Then they find that there are not enough cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) to do the job. This is a rather straightforward ‘engineering’-type calculation [like calculating how much steel goes into a bridge], and should not be dismissed as ‘just a computer model’. Almost everything we do today is based on computer models and they generally work very well.
    Now, 100-yr runs of climate models may be pushing model beyond their breaking point [although some modelers will argue, rightly or wrongly, that the model should work], but it seems to me after a careful reading of their paper that they don’t have that problem.

  97. Leif Svalgaard (23:00:30) :
    I agree that models are very useful, the are another tool in our arsenal, but, as with integrals, they are as good as the boundary conditions a we set them.
    What they do in the paper is to calculate the number and composition of aerosol particles as a function of particle size and time throughout the lower atmosphere (troposphere and lower stratosphere). Additionally, we simulate the gas-phase DMS, SO2, H2SO4 and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) precursor concentrations relevant, allowing us to calculate the aerosol nucleation rates and growth of these new particles to CCN sizes.
    This is a long list of data inputs of trace elements that I would be really surprised were known within a factor of two accuracy for the globe.
    The trouble with models that have to do with climate is that they ignore the errors coming in from their data inputs, imo. Are you convinced they have escaped this trap?

  98. anna v (23:31:43) :
    The trouble with models that have to do with climate is that they ignore the errors coming in from their data inputs, imo. Are you convinced they have escaped this trap?
    It is hard to be sure, but the discussion in the paper does cover variability of the parameters and I don’t see any obvious things to trip over. I think that it is up to people dismissing the paper to be specific about what traps the authors have fallen into.
    You should know from high-energy physics that modeling of an instrument’s response is often the only way of calibrating it. What I’m against is the simpleton notion that ALL models [and COMPUTER models to boot] by definition are suspect. We could not do science at all today without a lot of modeling. Models are essential. Now, on the other hand there are some fields that have descended into model-hell where people study their models rather than nature. The present paper does not seem to this reader to be of that category.

  99. Leif Svalgaard said:

    Additionally, we simulate the gas-phase DMS, SO2, H2SO4 and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) precursor concentrations relevant, allowing us to calculate the aerosol nucleation rates and growth of these new particles to CCN sizes.
    Then they find that there are not enough cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) to do the job. This is a rather straightforward ‘engineering’-type calculation [like calculating how much steel goes into a bridge], and should not be dismissed as ‘just a computer model’. Almost everything we do today is based on computer models and they generally work very well.

    I notice you slipped into first person plural there. Was that a Freudian slip?

  100. rbateman (18:01:41) “What may be true is that they either weren’t there in the Maunder or they didn’t record them.”
    Leif Svalgaard (18:42:07) commented: “the latter I think”

    Interesting. My understanding is that voluminous MM-sun writings exist. Perhaps someone with a lot of patience will go back through them in light of new – & possibly forthcoming – insight.

  101. “Then they find that there are not enough cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) to do the job.”
    As a glider pilot I can tell you a thermal makes a cloud. Hot air rises, cooling adiabatically until it reaches its dewpoint and a nice flat-based cumulus forms.
    The idea that the cloud won’t form till it has enough CCN is silly.

  102. anna v (22:05:33) :
    There is long term and short temr eactions. The long term are ocean upoheavals most probably, the short term include also biosphere reactions, again most probably.
    I am not talking of scatter plots. I am talking of the histograms of the two variables used to promote AGW, temperature and CO@ rise, as rates of change the first figure.
    There CO2changes lags by a few months.

    If I understand you correctly then there are two (or more?) temperature effects on CO2 concentrations? and for some reason the do not exist together.
    One is of the order of months and the other is of the order of 1000 years.
    I think you are suggesting that currently we are under the influence of the monthly version (although presumably there may be a millenial effect that has not yet shown?)
    What I find difficult to understand is why this effect (monthly) is totally absent from the ice core records. Why didn’t the CO2 level leap up by a few hundred ppm when the temperatures changed by a few deg C ? The younger Dryas is similarly not included in this monthly response. What has changed so drastically?
    Various ice core records/dust/co2/ch4/temp over last 40kyears:
    http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/6826/iceage040kkq1.jpg
    Please note that I am not pushing CO2 as the only climate driver. There are many other anthropomorphic GHGs/atmospheric modifiers that have to be considered. I referenced a paper in another post that suggested the other AGHGs made over 50% of the temp changes (and some of these are only present in PPTs).

  103. Leif Svalgaard (19:57:38) :
    Jim Arndt (19:29:05) :
    90 W/M2 is huge compared to the AGW signal
    I don’t know what the AGW ’signal’ refers to.
    The 90 W/m2 difference is 7%, so should give 7/4%= 1.75% of 287K = 5C difference, all else equal, but not everything else is equal. The SH is mostly water which has an albedo only only a quarter of that of land, so say that the SH was only half the albedo of the NH, then in southern summer when we are closest to the Sun, the SH gets and absorbs more solar input. This will reduce the difference substantially.

    Leif (or anyone)
    This issue keeps bugging me and I can’t decide if it’s significant or not.
    Accepting everything in Leif’s post regarding NH/SH land/ocean ratios and albedo etc, would we not still expect land-based stations located on or near the equator to show some temperature change between January and July. And if there isn’t a change – does this tell us anything about the earth’s response to an increase in forcing?

  104. Paul Vaughan (00:20:23) :
    I do not know of any MM writings.
    I do know that Sunspots and White Light Faculae exist independent and coincident of each other.
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/ftpsunspotregions.html#greenwich
    Download the 1913 data:
    2c. Daily summary sunspot area data–apparent and corrected umbral and total areas of sunspots and faculae (in yearly files)
    Download 1913 data:
    3c. Historical Solar Image Database (HSID) — Daily white light full disk images from Kalocsa, Hungary 1880-1919
    Check out the February data in the text file and flip through the images.
    You will see indepent spots, independent faculae, coincidence, and a run of spots that lost it’s faculae during transit across the solar disk, then regained it.
    Some of Galileo’s drawings suggest the presence of faculae, but there are no labels.
    Hard to tell without a text record what is a smudge and what was a faculae.

  105. Some ice core data:
    http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4554/iceageco2ch4100150gt7.jpg
    http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/4103/iceageco2ch4360450lh8.jpg
    To me it appears that a warming trend is initiated by CO2 rise and sustained by CH4.
    A re-entry to iceage is not initiated by CO2 but controlled by CH4 reducing.
    Or perhaps more generally –
    temperature and CO2 change at about the same time when exiting an ice age, CH4 rises after a delay
    Temperature and CH4 change at about the same time when entering an ice age, CO2 falls after a delay.

  106. The most intriguing part of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was his insistence that temp anomalies were recorded during the grounding of US aircraft on the 3 days following 9/11 attack.
    You can’t have it both ways, but I am sure that I could program a model to reject any daytime reflectance of sunlight, but include the nightime trapping. That would force the results.
    I do know that from living on planet Earth that a cloudy summer day is generally cooler than a sunny summer day, and a cloudy night during the winter is warmer than the corresponding clear night.
    Albedo works both ways.
    GCR’s I believe are swept up, occuring from midnight to noon.
    Do the models refect (pun intended) this?

  107. bill (02:04:47) :

    If I understand you correctly then there are two (or more?) temperature effects on CO2 concentrations? and for some reason the do not exist together.
    One is of the order of months and the other is of the order of 1000 years.
    I think you are suggesting that currently we are under the influence of the monthly version (although presumably there may be a millenial effect that has not yet shown?)
    What I find difficult to understand is why this effect (monthly) is totally absent from the ice core records. Why didn’t the CO2 level leap up by a few hundred ppm when the temperatures changed by a few deg C ? The younger Dryas is similarly not included in this monthly response. What has changed so drastically?

    Can we agree that there are many sources of CO2?
    One of them is the long turn over when ocean currents take CO2 rich cold layers and bring them up ( Cold PDO), this, from the ice records seems to be incremental (80ppm/100000) makes an undetectable change within our time frames.
    Another source/sink) is the chemical absorption of CO2 by the surface levels of the Oceans as the temperature falls as well as the yearly biological absorption and exhalation by increasing growth during CO2 spurts and decreasing during lack. This happens in ppms whose changes we can detect. It is not simple and the science is not settled. These will not show in the ice core records 1) because there few biological sources where the cores are taken, 2) they are transient and follow closely ( within 6 months) the temperature so they would be a tiny perturbation.
    In any case, I think the whole CO2 measurements business is ridiculous. It is comparable if we went to the top of Olympus, the Andes, the Rockies, the Alpset etc and recorded temperatures and called them world temperatures. Beck has shown long term records where levels of CO2 were quite high, and I am sure that if we measured CO2 with the density of temperature measurements this would become the norm. Even the idea of going to the coldest parts of earth, where nothing grows, and measuring CO2 (ice core) and calling it world standard is ridiculous. It is just a measure of CO2 in the ice regions, that is all.The AIRS plots have shown the seasonal variation of CO2 and the localization, not well mixed that is, but they are from over 5000 meters height. I am waiting for the data from the Japanese satellite which will be measuring surface sources and sinks to see if my intuition is justified. ( The US one blew up in smoke)

  108. anna v (04:31:11) :
    Can we agree that there are many sources of CO2?
    Yes
    …currents take CO2 rich cold layers and bring them up … an undetectable change within our time frames.
    … chemical absorption of CO2 by the surface levels of the Oceans … as well as the yearly biological absorption and exhalation by increasing growth during CO2 spurts and decreasing during lack. … These will not show in the ice core records 1) because there few biological sources where the cores are taken,

    I thought it was agreed that CO2 was globally mixed.
    2) they are transient and follow closely ( within 6 months) the temperature so they would be a tiny perturbation.
    But the idea was that iceage-warm-iceage was over long period and should therefore show on these rapid response CO2 levels.
    In any case, I think the whole CO2 measurements business is ridiculous. It is comparable if we went to the top of Olympus, the Andes, the Rockies, the Alpset etc and recorded temperatures and called them world temperatures.
    but if you accept satellite temperatures of upper atmosphere this is just what you are doing.
    I am waiting for the data from the Japanese satellite which will be measuring surface sources and sinks to see if my intuition is justified.
    Only a couple of months to go I think!
    If you now do not believe the CO2 results from Ice cores then how can you say that CO2 change follows Temperature change and not vice versa?

  109. Christoph Scheiner in his book of Rosa Ursina (devoted to an all out attack on Galileo, Published in1630) reported that faculae (these bright features) were common.
    http://galileo.rice.edu/images/things/scheiner_rosa_ursina3-l.gif
    French astronomers Jean Picard (recorded solar events 1666 to 1682) and Phillipe de La Hire (recorded solar events 1683 to 1718) made quantative measurements with accurate records at Paris observatory. They did not reported presence of faculae. However, number were reported by Cassini in May of 1678.

  110. Richard Sharpe (23:49:47) :
    Additionally, we simulate …”
    I notice you slipped into first person plural there. Was that a Freudian slip?

    Simpler. I was reading their paper [I wonder how many who dismissed it out of hand had done that …] and to save typing, just copy-pasted a sentence.

  111. bill (05:04:25) :
    I thought it was agreed that CO2 was globally mixed.
    Only by the school of science by vote. AIRS plots say differently.
    But the idea was that iceage-warm-iceage was over long period and should therefore show on these rapid response CO2 levels.
    there is not the time accuracy in the icecore method to see such things. In addition very little biota in icebergs.
    If you now do not believe the CO2 results from Ice cores then how can you say that CO2 change follows Temperature change and not vice versa?
    I did not say I do not believe in the ice core measurements, I just do not believe that the magnitudes are reflecting the earth averages at the time. They are just that, measurements in the cold regions.
    but if you accept satellite temperatures of upper atmosphere this is just what you are doing.
    The whole fuss with CO2 correlations to temperature started with earth measurements of temperature, the sinful GISS. The record of satellite temperatures is too short to speak about any strong trends.

  112. Leif Svalgaard said in response to my question:

    Simpler. I was reading their paper [I wonder how many who dismissed it out of hand had done that …] and to save typing, just copy-pasted a sentence.

    I figured as much, but though I would ask in an irreverant fashion.

  113. Richard Sharpe (12:59:55) :
    I figured as much, but though I would ask in an irreverant fashion.
    For me, it is really a lot simpler. The main modulator of cosmic rays in the long term is not the Sun, but the strength of the geomagnetic field. The changes in cosmic ray intensity due to that is much greater [an order of magnitude] than the modulation due to the Sun: http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRays-GeoDipole.jpg

  114. anna v (11:17:53) :
    AIRS plots say differently.

    looking at the time series Greenland (of ice core fame GISP) is pretty much in the thick of NH CO2 changes. These cores should reflect at least some of the CO2 changes.
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/
    there is not the time accuracy in the icecore method to see such things.
    Sorry but that is not valid. If people are saying that CO2 follows temperature by 700 years. Then if CO2 were more rapid in response then it would show as less delay/simultaneous.
    I just do not believe that the magnitudes are reflecting the earth averages at the time. They are just that, measurements in the cold regions.
    This is also invalid. An Ice age is just that most of Europe NA were under an ice sheet – that’s pretty widespread cold!

  115. Leif – As I understand recent threads from the viewpoint of an interested spectator, rather than as a Physicist / Astronomer / Meteorologist, I gather that you theorize that reduced solar wind leads to a contraction of the heliosphere, which opens up the solar system to increased galactic/intergalactic cosmic ray exposure. The resultant increase in Earth atmospheric ionization provides increased sites for cloud droplet nucleation, and from there we are to get increased cloud cover.
    It occurs to me that Tony Phillips over at SpaceWeather had spent last year beating his drum about the mysteries of noctilucent clouds. One of the mysteries is that the clouds had been reported more in the past few years. (Personally, I’ve only seen the phenomenon once – just last week. I understand that the ISS gets nice tangential views of them fairly regularly).
    Since it might only take a very few percent of increase in Earth’s albedo to generate a modest heliogenic global cooling, could the increased cosmic rays be seeding an increase in very high altitude ice clouds, seen from the ground as increased Noctilucent Clouds over the past few years? Could this be another piece of the puzzle of global temperature cycles?

  116. Tom Mahany (14:25:33) :
    Could this be another piece of the puzzle of global temperature cycles?
    It could, except that in the last 2000 years the cosmic ray intensity has varied ten times as much as the Sun’s magnetic field, so whatever small effect the purported cosmic ray mechanism posits [and the cosmic rays have only varies a few percent in recent times], it should have have ten times as large an effect in the past 2000 years, and there is no evidence of that.

  117. Leif Svalgaard (23:00:30) :
    In defense of ‘models’: almost everything we do today goes ‘through’ a computer model, and the models are usually extremely good.
    I must say that, having spent much of my life writing computer simulation models of one sort or other, that’s not how I see them at all. I think they’re far too seductive. They’re like Tomb Raider computer games (which are also simulation models). I think it’s far too easy for computer programmers to fall in love with the programs they’ve written, and believe them more readily then they should.
    My latest just-for-fun simulation model has been a model of the solar system, implementing Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation and using a set of planetary locations and velocities I pulled off NASA’s Horizons website. It’s been a revelation to write and explore. And it’s been gratifying to see that my planet Earth goes round the Sun in about 365 days. Hurray, it works!!
    I was feeling pretty self-congratulatory about my model solar system, until it got sucked into the barycentre spin-orbit-coupling debate we had here a month or so back, and my little model started being used to calculate the angular momentum of the planets. The sort of thing I’d never intended it to be used for. And I soon discovered that my output data was full of all sorts of noise and spikes that I’d never dreamed were there. What looked like a nice clean model was actually a noisy, clattering thing, like a mechanical orrery in which the copper, cog-driven planets were moving jerkily along their orbits, getting stuck here and there as they moved along. Boo!! It doesn’t work!!
    It’s a familiar experience. I’ve been there dozens of times. Pride comes before a fall. And quite a few other people know this too:
    The Formula That Killed Wall Street Mathematician David Li’s Gaussian copula formula will go down in history as instrumental in causing the unfathomable losses that brought the world financial system to its knees.
    We build models of the world, or the solar system, or the atmosphere, or the economy, and our models aren’t very good. For a while we like to kid ourselves that they’re real cool, but one day to our chagrin we get to see that they really weren’t very good at all. With luck, we learn from our mistakes, and we build a better model next time, and it produces results which aren’t quite as wrong as last time.
    Sorry Leif, but I just don’t believe computer model builders who demonstrate no humility. I don’t want to hear them tell me how good their models are. I want them to tell me how bad they are, how many assumptions are built in to them, how many guesses. I’d believe Jim Hansen if he said, “Look folks, my Global Climate Model is based on all sorts of assumptions and guesses, and the input data is kinda flaky, but this is what it told me.” But he doesn’t do that with his undocumented Fortran (and I’ve written plenty of that in my time too) which he doesn’t want to show anybody. He’s far too conceited. Just like me.
    So, no, most likely the models aren’t extremely good. Most likely they’re all extremely bad. Every single last one of them. And that’s the assumption about them that we ought to start with.

  118. Re: idlex (18:37:29)
    Here, here! – an injection of reality is *just* what was needed to counter the nogo-slatka spin. (that’s bulgarian for “too sweet”)

  119. idlex (18:37:29) :
    using a set of planetary locations and velocities I pulled off NASA’s Horizons website.
    The model of the solar system that JPL uses is very good; that your version of it was a bit shaky does not detract from the goodness of JPL’s.
    The Formula That Killed Wall Street Mathematician David Li’s Gaussian copula formula will go down in history as instrumental in causing the unfathomable losses that brought the world financial system to its knees.
    I don’t think the model was all that bad. People’s greed was probably what upset the system. It is the use of a model [possibly outside of its confidence domain] that gets us in trouble.
    Sorry Leif, but I just don’t believe computer model builders who demonstrate no humility.
    The good guys are all humble guys.
    Even in solar physics we have seen [probably] a spectacular failure of a sophisticated model of the solar cycle predicting a huge cycle 24.
    There are two kinds of models: predictive models [and they are only as good as our knowledge, assumptions, and initial data and often fail] and descriptive models, where you encode what you know [the physical laws and empirical data defining an environment] and then explore the output as a function of a range of inputs. Descriptive models usually do not fail, and if they do, the model is mended accordingly. An example is the successful calculation of the neutrino flux produced in the Sun.
    Most of the calculations in the paper under discussion was of the latter type of model and so does not suffer so much from pride or hubris, they are basically just engineering calculations. How much pride and hubris are there in calculating that you need 6452 tons of concrete for this or that bridge? And the number is usually correct.
    I have actually read the paper, and that seems to be a prerequisite for criticizing it, don’t you think?

  120. bill (13:51:42) :
    There are two mechanisms at least of CO2 out sourcing.> One of them is the 800 to 2000 year delay, which most probably is due to the slow changes in the huge ocean water circulation currents which bring pristine and CO2 rich deep waters to the surface to release by being heated into the atmosphere. Those we cannot see presently, because they are someting like 80/100000 ppm per year changes.
    There is not the time accuracy in the icecore method to see such things.
    Sorry but that is not valid. If people are saying that CO2 follows temperature by 700 years. Then if CO2 were more rapid in response then it would show as less delay/simultaneous.

    The rapid biologic and instant surface response in CO2 that we can see in our life’s time frames, as you say, would look simultaneous in the ice core records, i.e. cannot be seen.
    What is seen in the ice core records is the long cycle of deep ocean circulation that has a miniscule effect in the CO2 budget in our time frame.
    We would not have had this discussion if the mistake had not been made by the AGW enthusiasts to use the ice core records as proof that CO2 drives temperatures. Data proved them wrong.

  121. rbateman (21:47:11) :
    They tested it with a computer model.
    I have no access to their paper, from the abstract:
    “we present the first calculations of the magnitude of the ion-aerosol clear-air mechanism using a general circulation model with online aerosol microphysics.”
    It seems they are relying on a GCM. These models can only fit cloud cover as spaghetti graphs. Nothing I have seen of these models inspire me with any confidence. Already there are no real errors calculated from them, only modeler’s intuitions. So they add a handful of new parameters to the soup and I am expected to believe they have done a solid error analysis when the whole packet does not have one?
    I would not stop the CERN experiments on the basis of such studies.

  122. anna v (22:02:03)
    The rapid biologic and instant surface response in CO2 that we can see in our life’s time frames, as you say, would look simultaneous in the ice core records,…What is seen in the ice core records is the long cycle of deep ocean circulation that has a miniscule effect in the CO2 budget in our time frame.

    I do not think this discussion is getting anywhere. But, If there is a “rapid biologic” CO2 response now then there should have been one during the last Ice age – There were plants around so unless there is a change in the physics I do not see why you say there should be no rapid response of CO2 to temperature fluctuations but just the ocean-co2 effect.
    For you to be taking this stance would suggest that you have knowledge of scientific reasons for this lack of fast response. It would be great if you shared this!
    To my mind, if co2 took 700 years to respond to temperature 40,000years ago it should still take this long. If current temperatures are driving current CO2 with only a few months lag then this should hold for all periods where the flora is similar to today.
    Consequently you have not convinced me to change my opinion that CO2 is driving temperature (with other AGHGs)

  123. Leif Svalgaard (20:31:23) : How much pride and hubris are there in calculating that you need 6452 tons of concrete for this or that bridge? And the number is usually correct.
    How about this for hubris then? Not a concrete bridge, but the spanking new steel Millennium footbridge in London:
    The bridge was completed at a cost of £18.2m (£2.2m over budget) and opened on 10 June 2000 (2 months late). Unexpected lateral vibration (resonant structural response) caused the bridge to be closed on 12 June for modifications…
    The bridge was temporarily closed on 18 January 2007, during the Kyrill storm due to strong winds and a risk of pedestrians being blown off the bridge.

    I agree about predictive and descriptive models. In the latter sort of model, you know – often very exactly – what the end result is supposed to be, and so you know right away when you get it wrong. In the former case, you don’t know what to expect, and it’s much harder to know if you’ve got it wrong.
    My solar system simulation is a descriptive model. I know that the Earth is supposed to complete a single orbit in 365.25 days. When I’ve become confident that it’s a good enough descriptive model, I can start to use it predictively – for example, to see what would happen if new planet or star passed nearby. The switch from being descriptive to predictive only requires a slight change in the input data, to add an extra body.
    I have actually read the paper, and that seems to be a prerequisite for criticizing it, don’t you think?
    I wasn’t criticizing this paper. I was commenting more about what seems to me to be overweening confidence in computer models in general. And “confidence” – or “overconfidence” – would seem to be more a matter of psychology than science. If I was thinking about any computer simulation models in particular, it was the Global Climate Models which are being used predictively by global warming alarmists to foresee all sorts of catastrophic outcomes, when these models don’t seem to be very good at being used descriptively of our present climate. Getting the Millennium bridge wrong was embarrassing for engineers. Getting the climate wrong is likely to be several orders of magnitude worse than merely embarrassing.

  124. Headline in sciencedaily.com
    “Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows”
    So i think to myself what could this be? Some new observations perhaps? Perhaps some old data that has been sitting on a shelf and has been brought to life. No silly me its a computer model
    “Proponents of the cosmic ray hypothesis will probably try to question these results, but the effect is so weak in our model that it is hard for us to see this basic result changing.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511122425.htm
    Now i dont know if they are right or wrong but the way i see it is if your data is good enough then you should be able to do any simulation on the back of a beermatt but if the data is bad then all the supercomputers in the world are useless, so dont tell me about the model tell me about the observation’s.

  125. Paul Vaughan (20:03:06) : Re: idlex (18:37:29)
    Here, here! – an injection of reality is *just* what was needed to counter the nogo-slatka spin. (that’s bulgarian for “too sweet”)

    Thank you. But misspelt compliments offer scant encouragement. “Here, here!” is what I shout when I call my dog. “Hear, hear!” is what I say when I agree with someone, and ask others to listen to him.
    It’s easy to see how these misconceptions arise, when one word sounds exactly the same as another. There are, for example, a lot of people around these days who write about “towing the line”. I always wonder what it is they are supposed to be towing. What they really should be doing is “toeing the line”, which means obediently standing with one’s toes placed on a line (which was often the edge of a plank on a ship’s deck), as the members of a crew might do when assembled by a sea captain to witness the execution of some unfortunate malefactor or other – such as a persistent misspeller of English.

  126. bill (01:46:03) :
    I agree that it is getting nowhere because you do not seem to be reading what I am writing.
    1) There are at least two mechanisms
    2) one takes 800 years because of the ocean botom currents turnaround
    3) the other lags six months which is the plots I linked to above somewhere and is probably mostly of biologic origin together with surface currents turnover of hot and cold waters
    The 800 one is too slow change to see in our Mauna Loa plots
    The six month one is too fast to see in the ice core records.
    What is so hard about this to understand?
    Both mechanisms say that CO2 lags temperature..

  127. idlex (03:46:12) :
    Getting the Millennium bridge wrong was embarrassing for engineers. Getting the climate wrong is likely to be several orders of magnitude worse than merely embarrassing.
    Computer models are only tools [and imperfect ones to boot – no matter how good]. In the end, our use of a tool must be tempered by common sense and economic consequences. And I agree with anna that there is no need to stop the SKY experiment, let it run and its result will be yet another piece of the overall picture. On the other hand, dismissing a paper on the sole grounds that it relies on a model is silly.

  128. anna v (05:19:11) :
    The 800 one is too slow change to see in our Mauna Loa plots

    Totally agree with this
    The six month one is too fast to see in the ice core records.
    Totally disagree.
    If the temp rises a couple of degrees the CO2 goes up by (currently) 100ppm
    At the end of the ice age the temperature increased more than this and so the CO2 should have risen within 6 months by more than 100ppm. The temperature did not fall so the CO2 should have remained high until the 800 year co2 increase also kicked in.
    Are you are suggesting that the rapid response CO2 increase is a transient. – temp rises – pushes co2 up within 6 month -temp continues to rise for 100 or so years – but CO2 suddenly falls back – temp continues to rise and stabilise for another few hundred years. – after 800 years total CO2 begins to rise from the sea output?
    ie. is this what you are saying:
    c ccccccccccccccccccc
    c c
    c c
    ccccccccccccccccccc
    ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
    t
    tttttttttttttt
    The first response of CO2 is a spike that does not record, the slow increase 800years later is what we see.
    I would consider this a strange behaviour!

  129. The second mechanism displayes itself in rates of change. The time scale is too short to show these changes. It responds to a change in temperature not to the absolute magnitude.
    this graph http://icecap.us/images/uploads/FlaticecoreCO2.jpg
    would be a wiggle on the CO2 and temperature curves seen in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok-ice-core-petit.png too tiny to see. It is a transient response, to changes in temperature. In general one would expect the eco system to recover slowly from the ice age bottoms and the absolute scale of this transient effect would be much smaller than now that we are at a very warm and bio friendly age. Having most of the ocean covered by ice would also lead to this.

  130. So you are saying that the rate of change of temperature controls the CO2 level.
    I can see that if the CO2 level increases it will take a time for vegetation to grow sufficiently to utilise this and reduce/stabilise the level. So a fast rise in CO2 production will overload plants initially leading to an increase in CO2ppm, but will this then start reducing as plants grow faster – So a transient effect.
    But what produces the CO2 if it is not from the oceans (800year lag) that is tied into temperature, which has a delay of 6 months from the temperature?
    I can then see that the slow climb out of an ice age would not produce a noticable CO2 increase on this time scale I this theory is assumed correct
    OK. So now there is the killer of a problem. For the last decade or so the temperature has been falling and according to your theory the CO2 levels should have been reducing over the last 10 years (the rate of change of temperature is now negative)
    So two problems
    1. What is the rate of change of temperature doing to produce Co2?
    2. Why has this theory been broken by the last decade?

  131. Leif,
    “It is the use of a model [possibly outside of its confidence domain] that gets us in trouble.”
    EXACTLY! The problem is GCMs and economic models are trying to model much more complex interactions than a bridge model (although that is still complex). The “confidence domain” of a GCM is probably very close to a null set.

  132. So two problems
    1. What is the rate of change of temperature doing to produce Co2?
    2. Why has this theory been broken by the last decade?

    The plot I linked to shows recent changes, where the rate of change does follow temperature. Now I agree that we should also see a flattening of the CO2 curve at some point, certainly not by the mechanism of the deep ocean, but by the absorption from the surface cooling oceans. We have to wait and see what the time scales are for this.
    All these are handwaving models, they are just arguments to state that we do not know enough, do not have enough data or correct modeling to really know what we are doing.
    There is a greek proverb “hurry slowly”. No rush decisions should be made bases on precarious handwaving arguments on either side. Wait and gather data.

  133. Leif Svalgaard (20:31:23) “It is the use of a model [possibly outside of its confidence domain] that gets us in trouble.”
    Richard M (09:23:12) “EXACTLY! The problem is GCMs and economic models are trying to model much more complex interactions than a bridge model (although that is still complex). The “confidence domain” of a GCM is probably very close to a null set.”

    …And, perhaps more fundamentally, folks are not only willing to pay other folks to do low-confidence modeling – they additionally provide BIG theatres, BRIGHT spotlights, and PROJECTION. Behold: cultures are born.
    – – –
    anna v (11:15:02) “There is a greek proverb “hurry slowly”.”
    A similar saying: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”
    – – –
    anna v (05:19:11) “3) the other lags six months which is the plots I linked to above somewhere and is probably mostly of biologic origin together with surface currents turnover of hot and cold waters”
    I’ve not spent much time studying CO2 data & literature, but this discussion and the one at …
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/12/spencer-on-an-alternate-view-of-co2-increases
    … have started to catch my interest. My question for anna v is:
    When you say, “probably mostly of biologic origin together with surface currents turnover of hot and cold waters”, is this based on speculation? – on info which you have encountered? – (or something else?)

  134. Paul Vaughan (18:38:29) :
    >i>”anna v (11:15:02) “There is a greek proverb “hurry slowly”.””
    A similar saying: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”
    A programmer that once worked for me said when I was complaining he was falling behind: “the sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up”… I kid you not.

  135. Paul Vaughan (18:38:29) :
    When you say, “probably mostly of biologic origin together with surface currents turnover of hot and cold waters”, is this based on speculation? – on info which you have encountered? – (or something else?)
    From reading a lot on links and following links in them. From observation of data ( AIRS, Beck,ice core).
    Lucy’s site has a number of threads with lots of links
    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Forum/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=22
    Take the AIRS animation: it shows clearly the biological input, a breathing out when things are burgeoning . Not when we burn most either winter or summer, but in April/May in the north. The bands are localized and stay in the hemispheres keeping their latitude. http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/story_archive/CO2_Increase_Sep2002-Jul2008/
    To summarize my understanding:
    There are at least three mechanisms in the oceans , for two of which there is data:
    1) the long term turn over of deep water rich in CO2, very slow and with a 700+ lag (Ice core)
    2) a surface waters turn over whose CO2 behavior I have seen no data for, I would expect the time constants to be similar to PDO etc turns, but am waiting to see when and if the Mauna Loa goes into stasis. If it is not corrected out of it; there is great need of independent data, independent from the people who have based their reputation on CO2 corrections. Keeling is in all publications. That is why the Japanese data will be very valuable.
    3) a seasonal and longer term response by the biological cycle, seen in AIRS and in the Mauna Loa and the trends plot.
    So it is a hypothesis, that gives noise value to anthropogenic CO2, which will be falsified if temperatures keep cooling for 30 years and CO2 keeps rising.
    As with everything I have discovered in climate data, possibly all mechanisms are at work, and the disentangling and percentages is where the crux is.

  136. anna v (11:15:02) :
    So two problems
    1. What is the rate of change of temperature doing to produce Co2?
    2. Why has this theory been broken by the last decade?
    The plot I linked to shows recent changes, where the rate of change does follow temperature. Now I agree that we should also see a flattening of the CO2 curve at some point, certainly not by the mechanism of the deep ocean, but by the absorption from the surface cooling oceans. We have to wait and see what the time scales are for this.
    All these are handwaving models, they are just arguments to state that we do not know enough, do not have enough data or correct modeling to really know what we are doing.

    But you still have not explained the source of the current CO2
    and the question is do we have time to wait for the models/actuality to tell us what is happening? I agree that data is severely limited. but I thought that the CO2 record showed seasonal variation and so therefore should by now have shown the downturn in temperature.
    Still not convinced by your arguments!!

  137. Meanwhile, back at the Double Plage Solar Ranch, one of them spawned a microdot, after which the gathered magnetics started in with their ‘run for the hills’ spinoff act. Stay tuned for more fascinating pictograms on the MDI Magnetogram. Absolutely the best show in the Solar System.

  138. bill (21:20:19) “but I thought that the CO2 record showed seasonal variation and so therefore should by now have shown the downturn in temperature.”
    Keep in mind that the seasonal variation in dCO2/dt is not necessarily responding only to global temperature.

  139. There’s a new sunsport out there, and Radio Flux 10.7 is at 74, which is low but still it is the highest value we have had for several months. Signs of a change?

  140. Nylo (01:48:37) :
    There’s a new sunsport out there, and Radio Flux 10.7 is at 74, which is low but still it is the highest value we have had for several months. Signs of a change?
    It was 75.5, not 74. The 74 is the ‘observed’ value, the ‘adjusted’ value is 75.5, and is the one to use, as the observed value is influenced by the varying distance to the Sun.

  141. Nylo (01:48:37) :
    There’s a new sunsport out there, and Radio Flux 10.7 is at 74, which is low but still it is the highest value we have had for several months. Signs of a change?
    Yes it is a sign. Like I’ve previously mentioned around here, and even elsewhere. We’re headed for the highest level of activity since March 2008. But my forecast was for June. So this is just a precursor.

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