Svensmark: "global warming stopped and a cooling is beginning" – "enjoy global warming while it lasts"

UPDATED: This opinion piece from Professor Henrik Svensmark was published September 9th in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Originally the translation was from Google translation with some post translation cleanup of jumbled words or phrases by myself. Now as of Sept 12, the translation is by Nigel Calder.  Hat tip to Carsten Arnholm of Norway for bringing this to my attention and especially for translation facilitation by Ágúst H Bjarnason – Anthony

Catainia photosphere image August 31st, 2009 - click for larger image

Spotless Cueball: Catania observatory photosphere image August 31st, 2009 - click for larger image

While the sun sleeps

Translation approved by Henrik Svensmark

While the Sun sleeps

Henrik Svensmark, Professor, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen

“In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable,” writes Henrik Svensmark.

The star that keeps us alive has, over the last few years, been almost free of sunspots, which are the usual signs of the Sun’s magnetic activity. Last week [4 September 2009] the scientific team behind the satellite SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) reported, “It is likely that the current year’s number of blank days will be the longest in about 100 years.” Everything indicates that the Sun is going into some kind of hibernation, and the obvious question is what significance that has for us on Earth.

If you ask the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which represents the current consensus on climate change, the answer is a reassuring “nothing”. But history and recent research suggest that is probably completely wrong. Why? Let’s take a closer look.

Solar activity has always varied. Around the year 1000, we had a period of very high solar activity, which coincided with the Medieval Warm Period. It was a time when frosts in May were almost unknown – a matter of great importance for a good harvest. Vikings settled in Greenland and explored the coast of North America. On the whole it was a good time. For example, China’s population doubled in this period.

But after about 1300 solar activity declined and the world began to get colder. It was the beginning of the episode we now call the Little Ice Age. In this cold time, all the Viking settlements in Greenland disappeared. Sweden surprised Denmark by marching across the ice, and in London the Thames froze repeatedly. But more serious were the long periods of crop failures, which resulted in poorly nourished populations, reduced in Europe by about 30 per cent because of disease and hunger.

"The March across the Belts was a campaign between January 30 and February 8, 1658 during the Northern Wars where Swedish king Karl X Gustav led the Swedish army from Jutland across the ice of the Little Belt and the Great Belt to reach Zealand (Danish: Sjælland). The risky but vastly successful crossing was a crushing blow to Denmark, and led to the Treaty of Roskilde later that year...." - Click for larger image.

It’s important to realise that the Little Ice Age was a global event. It ended in the late 19th Century and was followed by increasing solar activity. Over the past 50 years solar activity has been at its highest since the medieval warmth of 1000 years ago. But now it appears that the Sun has changed again, and is returning towards what solar scientists call a “grand minimum” such as we saw in the Little Ice Age.

The match between solar activity and climate through the ages is sometimes explained away as coincidence. Yet it turns out that, almost no matter when you look and not just in the last 1000 years, there is a link. Solar activity has repeatedly fluctuated between high and low during the past 10,000 years. In fact the Sun spent about 17 per cent of those 10,000 years in a sleeping mode, with a cooling Earth the result.

You may wonder why the international climate panel IPCC does not believe that the Sun’s changing activity affects the climate. The reason is that it considers only changes in solar radiation. That would be the simplest way for the Sun to change the climate – a bit like turning up and down the brightness of a light bulb.

Satellite measurements have shown that the variations of solar radiation are too small to explain climate change. But the panel has closed its eyes to another, much more powerful way for the Sun to affect Earth’s climate. In 1996 we discovered a surprising influence of the Sun – its impact on Earth’s cloud cover. High-energy accelerated particles coming from exploded stars, the cosmic rays, help to form clouds.

When the Sun is active, its magnetic field is better at shielding us against the cosmic rays coming from outer space, before they reach our planet. By regulating the Earth’s cloud cover, the Sun can turn the temperature up and down. High solar activity means fewer clouds and and a warmer world. Low solar activity and poorer shielding against cosmic rays result in increased cloud cover and hence a cooling. As the Sun’s magnetism doubled in strength during the 20th century, this natural mechanism may be responsible for a large part of global warming seen then.

That also explains why most climate scientists try to ignore this possibility. It does not favour their idea that the 20th century temperature rise was mainly due to human emissions of CO2. If the Sun provoked a significant part of warming in the 20th Century, then the contribution by CO2 must necessarily be smaller.

Ever since we put forward our theory in 1996, it has been subjected to very sharp criticism, which is normal in science.

First it was said that a link between clouds and solar activity could not be correct, because no physical mechanism was known. But in 2006, after many years of work, we completed experiments at DTU Space that demonstrated the existence of a physical mechanism. The cosmic rays help to form aerosols, which are the seeds for cloud formation.

Then came the criticism that the mechanism we found in the laboratory could not work in the real atmosphere, and therefore had no practical significance. We have just rejected that criticism emphatically.

It turns out that the Sun itself performs what might be called natural experiments. Giant solar eruptions can cause the cosmic ray intensity on earth to dive suddenly over a few days. In the days following an eruption, cloud cover can fall by about 4 per cent. And the amount of liquid water in cloud droplets is reduced by almost 7 per cent. Here is a very large effect – indeed so great that in popular terms the Earth’s clouds originate in space.

So we have watched the Sun’s magnetic activity with increasing concern, since it began to wane in the mid-1990s.

That the Sun might now fall asleep in a deep minimum was suggested by solar scientists at a meeting in Kiruna in Sweden two years ago. So when Nigel Calder and I updated our book The Chilling Stars, we wrote a little provocatively that “we are advising our friends to enjoy global warming while it lasts.”

In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. Mojib Latif from the University of Kiel argued at the recent UN World Climate Conference in Geneva that the cooling may continue through the next 10 to 20 years. His explanation was a natural change in the North Atlantic circulation, not in solar activity. But no matter how you interpret them, natural variations in climate are making a comeback.

The outcome may be that the Sun itself will demonstrate its importance for climate and so challenge the theories of global warming. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable. A forecast saying it may be either warmer or colder for 50 years is not very useful, and science is not yet able to predict solar activity.

So in many ways we stand at a crossroads. The near future will be extremely interesting. I think it is important to accept that Nature pays no heed to what we humans think about it. Will the greenhouse theory survive a significant cooling of the Earth? Not in its current dominant form. Unfortunately, tomorrow’s climate challenges will be quite different from the greenhouse theory’s predictions. Perhaps it will become fashionable again to investigate the Sun’s impact on our climate.

Professor Henrik Svensmark is director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at DTU Space. His book The Chilling Stars has also been published in Danish as Klima og Kosmos Gads Forlag, DK ISBN 9788712043508)


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Graeme Rodaughan

Refreshing. Now if only the Politicians were paying attention…

Stephen Wilde

The main shifts in global air temperature trend seem to occur at approximately 25 to 30 years intervals when the oceans change phase. Even on shorter ENSO type interannual time scales we see a rapid and direct response in the air to ocean SST changes.
There is really not much correlation between observed climate changes and the progression of a single solar cycle which is surprising if the cosmic ray effect is at all significant.
There really doesn’t seem to be a shortage of particulates in the air in the first place.
I have difficulty with the Svensmark theory for those reasons but I am supportive of the idea generally. I just think that it is simply one of many modulating factors and not a primary driver.
I am open to persuasion on this issue and look forward to hearing the comments of others.

I have always believed we need a climate change plan A and a plan B, but all our focus has been in creating only the former. I do subscribe to the notion that the suns activity is the main driver of climate changes, either directly (surface temperatures) or indirectly (through warming of oceans etc)
I don’t know how previous solar activity (say in the MWP) is reliably calculated. If anyone can point me to a paper describing this, preferably with an accompanying graph that links the year/decade to the increased/decreased activity I would be greatful.
It would be interesting to overlay this activity over the rise and collapse of civilisations, and other less traumatic but still important events such as periods of relative feast or famine. I am sure this has been done, so again a link would be useful. I seem to remember Lamb did some work on this but I can’t remember in which of his many publications. The IPcc’s references are rather vague in this respect.
tonyb

oakgeo

Please get it professionally translated. I think I just had a freshman flashback.

REPLY:
If somebody has a source (and funds) to do this I welcome any better translations than Google. For now this will have to do. – A

tallbloke

“This means that projections of future climate is unpredictable. A forecast [that] says it may be warmer or colder for 50 years, is not very useful, for science is not able to predict solar activity.”
‘Astrological Numerologists’ will have to try to help science out then. 🙂
“But no matter how it is interpreted, the natural variations in climate then penetrates more and more.”
Go Henrik!

tokyoboy

In Japan the Democratic Party won a landslide victory at the general election on 30 August, and the to-be-prime-minister Yukio Hatoyama announced at a recent press conference that he wanted to aim at 25% curbing of CO2 emission by 2020 with respect to the level in 1990. This is quite embarassing to me, but I do now hope he just “wanted to aim” and not “promised to aim”, “by 2020” ant not during his prime ministership, and “if all the major emitting nations agree” (his words) which appears to be improbable for the moment……….

Johnny Honda

I know that the sun hours per day are measured since a long time. They have this glass balls (like the fortune teller…) and behind there is a stripe of paper. When the sun shines, the light burns a hole into the stripe of paper. I saw it in the 70ies the first time but it might exists already a long time ago.
It would be interesting to see a graph with the daily sunshine hour together with the activity of the sun.

Flanagan

A very mysterious mechanism indeed. And still not supported by any observation. Moreover, how is it the sun is “fading” since the 90ies and all we got is a warming? Even 20 years later? 2009 is not going to be a cold year, far from that. August and July were globally pretty hot and September seems to be setting a new record
http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/amsutemps.html
check Channel 5
REPLY: “And still not supported by any observation.”
Baloney “Flanagan”.
Svensmark cites Forbush decrease events in the op-ed piece and the results. Here’s an essay on it:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/a-link-between-the-sun-cosmic-rays-aerosols-and-liquid-water-clouds-appears-to-exist-on-a-global-scale/
and here
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2009/07/20/decreases-in-cosmic-rays-affect-athmosph
Why would you purposely misrepresent what Svensmark cites when an observation exists and was cited in the op-ed piece? There are times when I think maybe it is better that you take your opinions elsewhere, this is one of them.
Take a time out.
-A

mark twain

svensmark:
One can wonder that the international climate panel IPCC does not believe that the sun changed activity has no effect on the climate, but the reason is that they only include changes in solar radiation…
thats not true!
ipcc explains the warming up to 1950 with natural forces, inkl. sun aktivities!
(i m an ipcc skeptic, but we should not try to missinterpretate them…)

Tenuc

If only the climate of earth were so simple that major changes depended just on one factor. Unfortunately this simplistic view is wrong, and our chaotic climate depends on multiple interlinked mechanisms to keep it within the bounds of a few degrees of temperature variability we usually see.
The Svensmark theory may well be correct, but like CO2 caused AGW, I’m sure it will not turn out to be the sole mechanism. However, with Copenhagen around trhe corner, it’s good to see some publicity which shows the CO2 theory is very weak and perhaps help stop global Cap & Trade being adopted.

dorlomin

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/298/5597/1410

Changes in the global water cycle can cause major environmental and socioeconomic impacts. As the average global temperature increases, it is generally expected that the air will become drier and that evaporation from terrestrial water bodies will increase. Paradoxically, terrestrial observations over the past 50 years show the reverse. Here, we show that the decrease in evaporation is consistent with what one would expect from the observed large and widespread decreases in sunlight resulting from increasing cloud coverage and aerosol concentration.

So global dimming is another of the myths then?

Barry Foster

What the Warmists forget (whether intentionally or not) is that this flatline of temperature (or even cooling) was not predicted by models. How could they predict it, because the models cannot be fed chaotics? Because of that, it shows that ANY future prediction, whether warming or cooling, is ridiculous. And I count-in this prediction of cooling. We CANNOT do that! Why has Svensmark not picked up anything from silly predictions of the Earth frying? We don’t know what the future climate will be, so what we SHOULD be doing is putting money into adaptation of whatever comes our way. It’s bizarre of some to think that we can warm the planet, but it’s equally bizarre to make predictions that we will be cooler too. A lack of sunspots may bring cooler temps, but maybe some other interaction will raise them – so they’ll be a balance. What it all means is that we don’t know, so why make our we do – either way? The econuts are too stupid to realise this, so let’s not follow their lead. We cannot predict next week’s weather with much certainty, certainly the Met Office here in England cannot get a 3-day forecast accurate over my town (I know because I’ve been monitoring it), so we should stop thinking that the Earth will warm or cool, and save money for whatever is thrown at us. Sooner or later we’re going to have to deal with a sizeable meteorite impact. Perhaps we should worry far more about that – with its effect on weather, climate, the money markets, food distribution, and disease & starvation.

UK Sceptic

If we are sliding into another LIA then is it possible we’ll see governments paying industry to pump out as much CO2 as it can?
On the other hand, the UK’s politicians are as dumb as rocks when it comes to science so they’ll keep reducing and sequestering until we all turn to lumps of ice or take a leaf out of Cromwell’s book.
Here’s a ray of hope from Cardiff University:
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/09/10/public-losing-faith-in-climate-change-scientists-find-cardiff-researchers-91466-24659733/
The number polled is really too small to be of any great use and there is one glaring statistic that just doesn’t ring true. It has to be said that the finding of only 5% of those polled feel the media is too alarmist is most probably wrong. Nearly everyone I know thinks media alarmism is not only way over the top, it’s also patronising and stupid.

Alexej Buergin

Will they force Prof. Svensmark to leave Copenhagen at “Copenhagen” ?
He could meet Mitchell Taylor and Ian Plimer in Copenhagen (Louisiana) at that time.

Tiles

Flanagan – ever heard of thermal inertia? That could well explain continued warming in the face of a fading sun. I’m not sure whether the numbers would add up, however.

dorlomin

“Barry Foster (01:03:31) :
What the Warmists forget (whether intentionally or not) is that this flatline of temperature (or even cooling) was not predicted by models. ”
Curious, this is not what I have been told, I have always understood that natural variability can cause temporary decreases in temperature. I guess we have different sources. Perhaps you could produce a quote that states what you have said this clearly?

mark twain

@Barry Foster (01:03:31) :
you are right.
but we are not able to stop climate simulations, this process has just started. off course we have many problems with that, because so many thinks are not predictable, sun, pdo, nao indizes etc. for the ozean circulations eg. we should have a better look at the arctic region. like 2007, there was a real minimum in sea icecover, but is there only more absorbtion in solar radiance? what about the heat content of an ice free part of the ozean and one sea ice covered for the month september (sun angle very low, high reflection by ozean water, almost the same as old ice and high energie flux from the ozean to the atmosphere, much “deeper” as with an ice hat).
chances in deep water circulation will be affected by such processes, eg….

dorlomin (01:13:20) :
“Barry Foster (01:03:31) :
What the Warmists forget (whether intentionally or not) is that this flatline of temperature (or even cooling) was not predicted by models. ”
Curious, this is not what I have been told, I have always understood that natural variability can cause temporary decreases in temperature. I guess we have different sources. Perhaps you could produce a quote that states what you have said this clearly?
————————————-
You want him to produce a quote of what he just said? Doesn’t make a lot of sense. Can you produce a model that matches observations? A hypothesis that matches facts? Those are reasonable requests.
Also the underlying logic of your statement actually matches the statement by B.Foster, ie. that there is an underlying monotic trend of warming through CO2 – your point presumably being that we are just experiencing a “temporary blip” and that normal (warming) service will be resumed at some to be determined date in the future.

Morgan T

Let me give a helping hand here, regarding the Swedes he is refering to the war in 1658. It was so cold that the straight between Copenhagen and Malmoe froze and not only that the ice was so thick that the whole Swedish army with all their equipment marched over to Demnark, this was of course a total surprise for the Danish.

Alexej Buergin

“WUWT & Flanagan: Take a time out.”
Yes, the big C (Cryosphere) is on everybody’s mind and gets some people in a foul mood. In a few week we will look back and smile, citing Henry Miller (Quiet Days in Clichy): “It was a period when C was in the air.”

dorlomin

“You want him to produce a quote of what he just said? ”
Sorry there is not editing function here. I would like him to produce a quote that backs up this statement: “What the Warmists forget (whether intentionally or not) is that this flatline of temperature (or even cooling) was not predicted by models.”

Mick

Folks,
all this science is OK, but I’m afraid it’s irrelevant. One can’t defeat a paranoid religion with logic and common sense. Or argument.
The AGW is ideologically driven and politically executed religion of the green/left alliance. Unfortunately the ignorant public has a mob mentality,
the loudest megaphone wins.
Call me pessimist, I can’t see how civilisation (western) can get out of this 🙁

Allan M

Graeme Rodaughan (23:47:21) :
“Refreshing. Now if only the Politicians were paying attention…”
Well our UK’s (Brown) Prime Minister’s favourite trick when someone disagrees with him, is to turn to the person next to him and start a conversation. I don’t suppose he is atypical, just an extremist.
If only it were not a forlorn hope.
……….
Other fellow: “Well, Woody Allen once said that 80% of life is just showing up.”
PM Brown: “And I think the other half is paying attention.”

Patrick Davis

“Mick (01:46:48) :
Folks,
all this science is OK, but I’m afraid it’s irrelevant. One can’t defeat a paranoid religion with logic and common sense. Or argument.
The AGW is ideologically driven and politically executed religion of the green/left alliance. Unfortunately the ignorant public has a mob mentality,
the loudest megaphone wins.
Call me pessimist, I can’t see how civilisation (western) can get out of this :(”
I can. It’s called war.

dorlomin (01:44:14) :
James Hansen’s testimony to the Senate?
Anything by Gavin Schmidt

jmrSudbury

“UK Sceptic (01:05:16) :
If we are sliding into another LIA then is it possible we’ll see governments paying industry to pump out as much CO2 as it can?”
CO2 levels are already higher than the worst case scenario that the ensemble of models put forth. There is no need to add extra CO2. It obviously has little effect.
John M Reynolds

Allan M

Mick (01:46:48) :
“Folks,
all this science is OK, but I’m afraid it’s irrelevant. One can’t defeat a paranoid religion with logic and common sense. Or argument.
The AGW is ideologically driven and politically executed religion of the green/left alliance. Unfortunately the ignorant public has a mob mentality,
the loudest megaphone wins.”
But not forever. The ignorant public have a lot of common sense, and, although it takes a long time, they see through the sham (or scam). They do so much more now here in the UK. As Dick Lindzen said: “Ordinary people see through this, but the educated people are very vulnerable.” He must be the balancing optimist.
I have wondered why the greenie’s leaders, mostly the toffs here (not forgetting the US’s imported toffs), are so much in bed with the socialists. It seems a strange alliance. Maybe it comes from the old adage: “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” The capitalists have given both lots a bloody nose, and fed an increasing population, and given us a prosperous lifestyle, etc.. The future problem may be that if they win as allies, they will have to fight it out between themselves later, and as always to the detriment of the general public.

The other global warming effect:
UK ‘could face blackouts by 2016’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8249540.stm
Or possibly whiteouts?

Flanagan

I’m sorry but, 1st, this op-ed does not cite an evidence – it just states them without any reference whatsoever. Moreover, in every study by Svensmark, including the last ones, the author somewhat “forgets to mention” the absence of trend in solar radiation and other indicators between the 50ies and the 90ies – strangely corresponding to a rapid average warming. This is apparent in the link Anthony gave me to the WUWT post:
– When a forbush decrease takes place, the water content of some clouds changes by 7% corresponding to a 10%-20% decrease of cosmic ray counts
– after a few days, the water content comes back to normal levels
again, there’s no proof that cosmic rays substantially influence the composition of clouds over long periods of times, especially as compared to other parameters like the ocean average temperature. If you prefer, this is weather, not climate.

Fred Lightfoot

i am 69 years old (a good year) I was born in New Zealand and had my 21st birthday in Antwerp Belgium, (studying petroleum engineering). In 1963 I flew from Europe to NZ, (4 days, now 24 hours). I have worked all my life in the Petroleum Industry, and if a Country has oil I have been there, you never find oil on main street, it’s always in the back of beyond, which gives me a different outlook than 90% of the other people. Weather (not climate) is one of the greatest of our worlds wonders. IT’S LOCAL !
I was in Stavanger Norway and on the tow of the Shell Brent Delta to the Brent field in the Northern North Sea, Shell spent millions and years on weather research before designing these platforms, as the zone has some of the most treacherous seas in the world. The water gap ( the distance from high tide calm water to the underside of the platform ) was designed for the 100 year wave. In the first winter the 100 year wave hit 84 times.
In Siberia winds of 152 km an hour and temp. of -47°C arrived with such precision that we used to run a sweep stake.
”Lightning never strikes twice”, but the top of the oil derrick in the jungle of Sarawak was hit 8 times in 30 minutes.
On an ex whaling mother ship converted into a drill ship (48,000 tonnes) off the coast of Indonesia in a tropical storm with 8 anchors out and in a ‘’storm mode” we where dragged 4 miles off location.
On a jack-up drilling rig on tow from Singapore to Sri Lanka with 2 tugs we went backwards for 24 hours.
In the desert of Saudi Arabia in 1996 with temp. in the mid 30’s C we went down to 18°C and 10 inches of hail in about half an hour.
Now we get politicians (failed lawyers) offering mega $ for research to ”prove” that us humans are in charge of the climate, if these 25-39 IQ ”humans” went and experienced the world, (not visiting the local Hilton) and realized how big our planet is and how small the human presence is we would not be trying to get milk from butterflies.

John Silver

“Svenskerne overraskede Danmark med at gå over isen”
should not be translated to:
“Swedes [were surprised to see Denmark to freeze over in ice]”
It is this thing that he refer to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_across_the_Belts
Typical of the LIA.

Personally, I would love to see Svensmark be correct and that AGW is not a concern because then we can rest knowing that there is, for the most part, nothing we can do about it.

dorlomin (01:44:14) :
“You want him to produce a quote of what he just said? ”
Sorry there is not editing function here. I would like him to produce a quote that backs up this statement: “What the Warmists forget (whether intentionally or not) is that this flatline of temperature (or even cooling) was not predicted by models.”
————————————-
I hate to get in this game as it is your hypothesis the burden of proof is on you. But here’s a graph anyone can google it I think it’s off a pro-AGW site:
http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/ar4-a1b-a2.gif
Here’s one off the millions of presentations of the IPCC:
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/briefing-bonn-2007-05/causes-projections-climate-changes.pdf
None of this is cherry-picked I just did a quick google before lunch……….
I mean, give us something to work with here – the models predict nothing, the science is tenuous at best relying on the infamous feedback process that has demonstrably never occurred. The whole hypothesis seeded on 1 guy’s mis-understanding of Venus’ atmospheric dynamic.
Now mass-hysteria, greed, laziness and massive incompetence – those are things that we *know* occur.

Mike McMillan

I can’t quite see why the Svensmark cloud theory is so controversial.
All the early subatomic particle observations were done with cloud chambers, so we know cosmic rays can seed clouds. We know that clouds increase albedo and thus have a cooling effect. Just because the correlations with climate aren’t bulletproof doesn’t mean they aren’t there, and doesn’t mean they don’t make a contribution to cooling and warming.
Take a look at public enemy #1. The CO2 chart climb is as steady as you get, but the global temperature it’s supposed to be driving seem pretty oblivious to it. Even the usually reliable sea level rise has flattened while CO2 just keeps on going up. About the only things keeping pace with CO2 are the GISS adjustments.

dorlomin

paulhan (02:27:36) :
Anything by Gavin Schmidt
——————————-
So the sun gets reflected out. These aerosols acted as a kind of sunshade over the planet that caused the planet to cool. Our group (though this is before my time), before this cooling happened, did the calculations with their model, and predicted that the cooling would reach a maximum of about half a degree in about two years time. Lo and behold, such a thing happened.
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/schmidt09/schmidt09_index.html
Sorry I interupted a rant there didnt I. Back to normal programming, a few invectives about socialism, religion, Gore, Mann….. you all know the drill.

DaveF

I don’t quite understand why Professor Svensmark says it looks like the Sun is going into a Grand Minimum like in the Little Ice Age. Since the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age lasted around 500 years each, isn’t it reasonable to expect the present warm period to last 500 years as well? I expect there were minor variations in temperature during these periods similar to what we’ve seen in the last hundred years, so wouldn’t the most likely explanation of the current temperature drop be that we’ve entered a thirty-year period like the fifties and sixties followed by a return to the temperatures of the nineties and so on? Or have I missed something?

Stefan

dorlomin (01:13:20) :
I have always understood that natural variability can cause temporary decreases in temperature.

Is there a reference that defines “temporary” ?
I think there should be one. The future is full of possibilities, so predictions are inherently vague. If the prediction didn’t come true today, maybe it will come true tomorrow, or the day after, and so on. So anybody making a prediction can always defend their prediction on the basis that just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. (And whilst this is reasonable, perhaps it is not useful.)
At some point though, we begin to wonder that the predicted outcome isn’t going to happen inside a timeframe that matters. Global warming might be “temporarily” masked by “natural variability” for 10 or 20 years. Well, what if in 20 years we discover that it continues to be “masked” for another 20 years… we’re now talking about a timeframe so far into the future that we’re trying to plan for a world that we simply don’t understand because so many other things could have changed in the meantime.
People focus so much on the climate–what will biotech be like in 20 years? Are we using specially designed bacteria to do everything from clean our clothes to clean up radiation and produce energy?
Who can say? What relevance do our mitigation actions have now to a world so different? See, someone needs to define what “temporary” means in these climate debates, what “temporary” means for practical purposes.

Svensmark: When the Sun is active its magnetic field shields better against the cosmic rays from outer space before they reach our planet […] As the sun’s magnetism has doubled its strength during the 20th century
(1) The cosmic ray intensity has shown no trend since accurate measurements began in the early 1950s
(2) The Sun’s magnetic field has not doubled in the last 100 years. It is now precisely where it was 108 years ago.

RR Kampen

(small correction)
Svensmark is quite correct. Summer (June, July, August) 2009 was globally colder than summer 1998 (though warmer than all others).
September is currently trying for the record. Warmest, of course.

Mark Fawcett

Just recovered from passing out whilst reading the following on the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8249668.stm
Including: “Twice as many people now agree that “claims that human activities are changing the climate are exaggerated”.
Four in 10 believe that many leading experts still question the evidence. One in five are “hard-line sceptics”.

And: Half of the people surveyed believed the media was too alarmist.
Now it’s that last paragraph I particularly like – MSM really, really doesn’t like the thought of losing its audience…
Cheers
Mark.

Chris Schoneveld

The proof of the pudding is, of course, that cloudiness has decreased during periods of warming and increased during the last 8 years of moderate cooling, but that is the one climate metric that has not been measured with any degree of accuracy. Unfortunately, there is not even the slightest indication that there is a correlation between cloudiness and global temperatures, as far as I am aware of. Even a correlation between global temperatures (let alone cloudiness) and solar activity has always been refuted by Leif.

rbateman

Stephen Wilde (23:48:17) :
There is really not much correlation between observed climate changes and the progression of a single solar cycle which is surprising if the cosmic ray effect is at all significant.

It is NOT correlated, it is associated. There is no 1 on 1. What Henrik is describing is the cosmic food chain. It starts, for our purposes, at the galactic level, proceeds then to the Solar System level, and then to the Terrestrial level.
When the Sun goes quiet, we here on Earth experience more of the effects of Galactic influence, which is never quite totally overriden by the Sun. The patch cord does not end at the Sun.
The IPCC’s man-centered universe is as backwards as the Dark Ages, feeding on ignorance and fear of the place we live.
Someday, we will be able to predict both the climate and the solar cycles, but not if the IPCC manages to control science first.
As for the top of the food chain, we are still at it discovering the makdeup, diversity and structure of the Galaxy our solar system careens through.

Robert

As it became common knowledge that AGW would cause increased wildfires, mudslides and risk of earthquake, I moved from California to New Orleans.
After Katrina it had become obvious that AGW had caused stronger and more frequent hurricanes, so I moved again, to Maine.
But not long after that, when we learned that the seas would rise 20 feet I moved to inland Texas, on a hill.
And as it became apparent that millions would soon die from the heat, I relocated to Nome, and just in time too.
And now I suppose you think I should move to Ecuador ahead of the glaciers formed by the coming “Not so Little” ice age. Well I’m here to tell ya buddy, I’m sticking with the IPCC, and my igloo, and to hell with all your scientific data – I’m going with the models, they’ve saved me many times before.

rbateman

Leif Svalgaard (04:01:53) :
(1) The cosmic ray intensity has shown no trend since accurate measurements began in the early 1950s

Put your hand over the left side of that graph and cover up everything prior to 1990 and look again. Ask yourself a question: Where have you seen that slope recently?

Jim, too.

Leif’s summary graph has taken a subtle turn over the past months that I find interesting. The dashed lines (which represent some ‘average’ function) for the F10.7 and Sunspot curves were giving a reasonable indication that a minimum was likely reached in both measures.
Lately, though, the average for the F10.7 data has recurved to the downside while the sunspot ‘average’ has also lost it’s minimum and has flat-lined.
http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
I am not implying anything really except that what has been a very quiet sun seems to have become even more quiescent the past few months. This truly is a fantastic opportunity to study the sun with the finest instruments ever available, at such a minimum level of activity. At any other, more ‘normal’ solar activity level, the opportunity to compare the relationship to climate and sun would be made that much more difficult.
Apologies to Leif if anything I presumed is overstating…
J2

“On June 3, 1999, the European Space Agency announced that the Sun’s magnetic field is getting progressively stronger. Thanks to the unprecedented overview of solar magnetism provided by the ESA-NASA spacecraft Ulysses, a team at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford has been able to work out the recent history of the Sun’s magnetic behavior. According to calculations by British scientists, the strength of the Sun’s magnetic field has doubled during the Twentieth Century alone. This finding may help to clarify the Sun’s contribution to climate change on Earth. The hydrogen → helium fusion model does not explain this phenomenon.”
http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2009/arch09/090909polarity.htm

Nick Yates

Leif Svalgaard (04:01:53) :
Svensmark: When the Sun is active its magnetic field shields better against the cosmic rays from outer space before they reach our planet […] As the sun’s magnetism has doubled its strength during the 20th century
(1) The cosmic ray intensity has shown no trend since accurate measurements began in the early 1950s
(2) The Sun’s magnetic field has not doubled in the last 100 years. It is now precisely where it was 108 years ago.

If only WUWT could get Henrik Svensmark to discuss this here with Dr Svalgaard. It would be so interesting.

Mark
Charlie

The latest addition to my repertoire of quotes:
“..I think it is important to recognize that nature is completely independent of what we humans think about it.”.
— Professor Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at DTU Space.

It’s always refreshing when things make sense. The whole concept that changes in the sun might not affect the earth temp is extraordinarily hard to accept. The cool thing is we get to see for ourselves what happens next.