Quote of the Week #11


Our QOTW comes from the newly minted Wikipedia page of the late, great Dr. Jack Eddy. Jack had a way with words, he liked them immensely and wielded them in ways that were not only profound but entertaining.

As a person who has worked on all sorts of meteorological and TV broadcast electronics systems in my career, this one quote from Dr. Eddy really hit home for me, and I think many of our readers will get the same great laugh and flash of understanding that I did from it. Then, you’ll understand the image I rendered above.

Jack said:

“Were God to give us, at last, the cable, or patch-cord that links the Sun to the Climate System it would have on the solar end a banana plug, and on the other, where it hooks into the Earth—in ways we don’t yet know—a Hydra-like tangle of multiple 24-pin parallel computer connectors. It is surely at this end of the problem where the greatest challenges lie.”

I’ll think of that one with every time I try to understand the sun-earth connection.

Thanks to Michael Ronayne for finding this magnificent quote, and to his diligence during the past week in metamorphosing Dr. Eddy’s Wikipedia page from a  few dry lines of text to a living document.

32 thoughts on “Quote of the Week #11

  1. Turn that patch cord around. The things that the Sun does are just like our climate: always changing.
    Oh, wait a minute, we need the parallel connectors plugged into Earth too.
    The banana plug obviously goes into the Epicycle side.

  2. Let’s see, a Futaba, a JST, a Tamiya and a Deans Ultra. Someone is into Radio Control cars or airplanes.
    I use mostly Deans myself…

    : I used a combination of connector images found on the web to make this composite. I had no idea it was related to RC. But the idea that the banana plug goes to charging circuits seems apropos. All of the connectors, including the 24 pin PC mobo one, are used to transfer energy – Anthony

  3. THE EARTH OBSERVER • January/February 2003 Vol. 16, No. 1, Page 4
    Providing the meeting’s most memorable quote, Jack Eddy eloquently reminded meeting attendees:
    “Were God to give us, at last, the cable, or patch-cord that links the Sun to the Climate System it would have on the solar end a banana plug, and on the other, where it hooks into the Earth—in ways we don’t yet know—a Hydra-like tangle of multiple 24-pin parallel computer connectors. It is surely at this end of the problem where the greatest challenges lie.”
    Eddy identified a number of such challenges including Earth’s greater-than-expected apparent climate sensitivity to the solar cycle (Figure 1) and asked whether internal variability modes such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) might somehow be playing a role. On longer time scales, he identified the crucial need for improved knowledge of climatically-significant long-term solar irradiance variations.

  4. Good quote. Some scientists express skepticism (or even derision) toward the idea that the solar Grand Minimums are the cause of the contemporaneous temperature decreases: TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) drops by only 0.1% (or some similarly low percentage) so how could that be responsible for the often-severe climatic downturns?
    These critics, I believe, overlook the ways other than TSI that sun could affect the earth.

  5. TSI is the radiative portion of the energy we receive from the Sun. The electrodynamic connection, just now being discovered by the THEMIS mission, is the other conduit of energy from the sun.
    Those of us who use the Plasma Model (successors of Kristiaan Birkeland and Alfven) knew this decades ago, the eelectrodynamic connection. Electrical engineers are fully aware of it as well.
    Think of the TSI as the indicator light signalling the fluctuations in the 10^39 greater energy force that arrives here by the Flux Tube Events, Birkeland currents into the poles.
    And like the bimbo who noticed the red light coming on in the dashboard, alot seem to think it as a irrelevancy. It doesn’t when you understand what causes the red light to come on or off.

  6. Brilliant. A real Science hero!
    What a great counter to that fatuous statement in the BBC documentary about the the Sun:”NO ONE can explain what EFFECT the POWER of the SUN has on our CLIMATE, but whatever it is, it has already been overtaken by man made global warming!” If you don’t know what effect element A has on element B, how can you know element C overpowers it? Deja Vu.

  7. Now we wait to see William Connelley revert the changes made by Michael Ronayne on the grounds of “conflict of interest”, “because the editor doesn’t know what he’s talking about”, banning or suspending Michael for vandalism/trolling or better still trying to get the biography deleted as “non-notable”
    Its got to be worth a few yuks.

  8. Darned if I can figure out how to submit new information of interest to WUWT so I’ll just stick it in as a comment here. Just ran across an item on physicsworld.com dated June 18, reporting on a study by Gunnar Myhre of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo which argues that existing climate models overestimate future warming because official estimates of aerosol cooling have been too large, suggesting that any masking of overall warming will be smaller than previously thought.
    See here http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/39526.

  9. Thanks for another great post to make me think on a Monday morning.
    It’s not just the earth/sun connections we need to understand, but how the whole solar system is linked together. We also need to start to learn how this relates to what’s happening in the rest of the universe.
    Mankind is still in the kindergarten regarding what really drives and regulates our climate.

  10. Mr Watts
    I have a complaint with regard to the graphic. It is unhelpful to me as you have not represented the earth and sun, plugged in?
    I trust you will amend otherwise you may be called a Denier;-)

  11. davidindavis;-)
    FYI, IMHO, the whole point about UN/IPCC/UK climate models showing a big manmade warming is to reinforce the doctrine/belief system to control humanity & redistribute wealth to the rest of the world, refer to Marcus Strong, Koffi Annan’s right-hand man @ the UN Rio Conference 1992 – I wasn’t aware that there was any real climate science undertaken in that regard unless it was incidental! The Puter rules – not!

  12. Aerosol cooling: Masking schmasking.
    If I drive round with the handbrake still on that is not ‘masking’ my speed – its reducing my speed. If I use oversized wheels and tyres that would ‘mask’ my true speed.
    Masking means hiding, which means something is happening but is hidden from the observer.

  13. If the Sun were to ‘wink-out’ for a day or three, I wonder who they’d blame for that?
    Further, I wonder what ~extreme~ measures ‘they’ would undertake?
    It would be the perfect scenario to test virtually every hypothesis regarding whatever warming.

  14. Alan the Brit @ 01:51:34
    Line 4 should read; Maurice Strong, not Marcus.
    Best to know the enemy of man by name.

  15. With apologies for being O/T Now that his name has been invoked, here is but one link for those who wish to read about the anti-Eddy. http://www.taxtyranny.ca/images/HTML/Maurice-Strong/article1.html
    Knowing this man is a must to fully understand why global warming/climate change has become such a force. Strong is the consummate destroyer of worlds.
    I would suggest reading up on this man and his minions.
    I sincerely apologize for this distraction from what should be a post about a true scientist and authentic environmentalist. The loss of Dr. Eddy is a tough one. We must be vigilant in maintaining his legacy from the likes of Strong, Gore, Suzuki, Hansen/Mann/Scmidt etc. (The last three amounting to only one bad scientist really) What I find deliciously ironic is how the weather and nature itself is proving to be the ultimate undoing of these perverted,egotistical madmen. We need more of Dr. Eddy’s ilk.
    Now back to regular programming…

  16. Dr Eddy is sadly no longer with us, but informed scepticism remains. In the rare event that such dissent from the AGW voodoo is reported in the MSM, it’s usually tucked well away. A weekend supplement for instance. Today, however, we have it on the front pages of (as of time of writing) the UK’s Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. Polar Bears are not dying out, say scientists in book on popular ‘scare stories’
    The advertised book may even be a source of contenders for next week’s QOTW. It will be interesting to see how far this story gets picked up by the “usual suspects”, such as the BBC and The Grauniad (sic).

  17. How much more fitting it is to call this solar minimum the “Eddy” minimum.
    BTW spaceweather.com is registering another tiny tim sun spot.

  18. Regarding Eddy’s publications and statements on Sun-Earth connection regarding weather pattern variation, he had made the same mistake other scientists had made when they believed that TSI varied more than it really had. Once the error was corrected and according to Leif, his position changed to one that gave much less significance to the TSI-Weather pattern variation hypothesis.

  19. INGSOC;-)
    Absolutely right! I have a pink post-it on my desk to ring my good friend Marcus! Not Maurice! Ta once again – nice link btw!

  20. INGSOC;-)
    Forgot to add my favourite saying, “the worst type of socialist in the world is a rich one”! e.g. Maurice Strong!

  21. I’ve just read the Telegraph obituary of Dr Eddy. Usually I love reading Telegraph obit’s, especially those of the wonderful war heroes, (sadly diminishing in number if not in glory), and for the most part this was the usual mix of scholarly research and amusing anecdote. However, the two references to global warming stuck out like a tutu on a frog. Notwithstanding that Dr Eddy may have sucked back on his initial ideas vis-a-vis the sun and climate, there is no attempt to link these statements to anything he said or wrote (if indeed he did either). Should I be deemed worthy of a couple of half columns in the press when I pass the veil and some hack tacks stuff like this on to my record, I’ll come back and haunt the swine.

  22. In Nature BLOGS there is an obituary notice for Dr. Jack A. Eddy:
    Sunspot veteran dies at 78 – June 15, 2009
    Posted for Quirin Schiermeier
    At the end of the post is the following statement:
    Irregular variations in the 11-year sunspot cycle are an endlessly appealing topic for all those who would rather believe that the sun – not fossil fuels – is driving current climate change.
    Eddy distrusted wackiness in science, but he was well aware that his discoveries were alluring to obscurants.
    “There is a hypnotism about cycles that seems to attract people. It draws all kinds of creatures out of the woodwork,” he once told science historian Spencer Weart.
    The quotation which Quirin Schiermeier used was taken out of context in the hope that no one would check the source, so here is the source:
    Interview with Jack Eddy, April 21, 1999
    In Michigan by phone, conducted by Spencer Weart
    EDDY: I had been taught that while the Sun indeed affects the upper and outer atmosphere of the Earth, purported connections with the troposphere and weather and climate were uniformly wacky and to be distrusted. I still believe that to some extent, for there is a hypnotism about cycles that seems to attract people. It draws all kinds of creatures out of the woodwork. The claims that were made for associations between weather events and the Sun I thought were pretty preposterous. One of those that turned up was this notion that Gene told me about. About the work of Walter Maunder 100 years before, when he had thought that there was a prolonged period of time in the 1600s when the Sun wasn’t so active.
    That really piqued my curiosity, and I began digging into it. The trail was, initially, purely historical, initiated by Gene Parker telling me about Maunder, and driven by my prejudice of trying to find examples from the past that would disprove, once and for all, the notion of strong sun-weather relations. A devout negativism on this subject was the gospel at the High Altitude Observatory anyway and the catechism that I had been taught and had taught to others. And although I was indeed an acolyte, I was trying to examine the early origins of Sun-weather claims, like unrolling and deciphering the Dead Sea scrolls of solar physics. But it was mostly a love of history that took me down the trail.
    Yes, the AGW True Believers are very much aware of the work of Dr. Eddy and would like it to go away. In 2001 and again in 2002 I asked the question:
    “If the evidence for global warming is that compelling, why is it necessary for those who believe in global warming, to misrepresent data in this manner to support their cause?”
    I am still waiting for an answer!

  23. “Thanks to Michael Ronayne for finding this magnificent quote, and to his diligence during the past week in metamorphosing Dr. Eddy’s Wikipedia page from a few dry lines of text to a living document.”
    Hey now….

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