# Spencer on solar geomagnetic to earth climate connections

Geomagnetic Forcing of Earth’s Cloud Cover During 2000-2008?

Guest post  by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I’ll admit to being a skeptic when it comes to other skeptics’ opinions on the potential effects of sunspot activity on climate. Oh, it’s all very possible I suppose, but I’ve always said I’ll start believing it when someone shows a quantitative connection between variations in global cloud cover (not temperature) and geomagnetic activity.

Maybe my skepticism is because I never took astronomy in college. Or, maybe it’s because I can’t see or feel cosmic rays. They sound kind of New Age to me. After all, I can see sunlight, and I can feel infrared radiation…but cosmic rays? Some might say, “Well, Roy, you work with satellite microwave data, and you can see or feel those either!” True, but I DO have a microwave oven in my kitchen…where’s your cosmic ray oven?

Now…where was I? Oh, yeah. So, since I’ve been working with 9 years of global reflected sunlight data from the CERES instrument flying on NASA’s Terra satellite, last night I decided to take a look at some data for myself.

The results, I will admit, are at least a little intriguing.

The following plots show detrended time series of monthly running 5-month averages of (top) CERES reflected shortwave deviations from the average seasonal cycle, and (bottom) monthly running geomagnetic Ap index values from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. As I understand it, the Ap index is believed to be related to the level of cosmic ray activity reaching the Earth. (I will address the reason for detrending below).

Note that there is some similarity between the two plots. If we do a scatterplot of the data (below), we get an average linear relationship of about 0.05 W per sq. meter increase in reflected sunlight per 1 unit decrease in Ap index. This is at least qualitatively consistent with a decrease in solar activity corresponding to an increase in cloud cover.

(I’ve also shown a 2nd order polynomial fit (curved line) in the above plot for those who think they see a nonlinear relationship there.)

But just how big is this linear relationship seen in the above scatterplot? From looking at a 70-year plot of Ap data (originally from David Archibald), we see that the 11-year sunspot cycle modulates the Ap index by at least 10 units. Also, there are fairly routine variations on monthly and seasonal time scales of about 10 Ap units, too (click on image to see full-size):

When the 10 Ap unit variations are multiplied by the 0.05 scale factor, it suggests about a 0.5 W per sq. meter modulation of global reflected sunlight during the 11 year solar cycle (as well as in monthly and yearly variations of geomagnetic activity). I calculate that this is a factor of 10 greater than the change in reflected sunlight that results from the 0.1% modulation of the total solar irradiance during the solar cycle.

At face value, that would mean the geomagnetic modulation of cloudiness has about 10 times the effect on the amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth as does the solar cycle’s direct modulation of the sun’s output. It also rivals the level of forcing due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, but with way more variability from year to year and decade to decade. (Can anyone say, “natural climate variability”?)

Now, returning to the detrending of the data. The trend relationship between CERES reflected sunlight and the Ap index is of the opposite sign to that seen above. This suggests that the trend in geomagnetic activity during 2000-2008 can not explain the trend in global reflected sunlight over the same period of time. However, the ratio of the trends is very small: +0.004 Watts per sq. meter per unit Ap index, rather than -0.045. So, one can always claim that some other natural change in cloud cover is overpowering the geomagnetic modulation of cloudiness. With all kinds of climate forcings all mingled in together, it would be reasonable to expect a certain signal to emerge more clearly during some periods, and less clearly during other periods.

I also did lag correlation plots of the data (not shown), and there is no obvious lag in the correlation relationship.

All of this, of course, assumes that the observed relationship during 2000-2008 is not just by chance. There is considerable autocorrelation in the reflected sunlight and geomagnetic data, which I have made even worse by computing monthly running 5-month averages (the correlation strengths increased with averaging time). So, there are relatively few degrees of freedom in the data collected during 2000-2008, which increases the probability of getting a spurious relationship just by chance.

All of the above was done in a few hours, so it is far from definitive. But it IS enough for me to keep an open mind on the subject of solar activity affecting climate variations. As usual, I’m just poking around in the data and trying to learn something…while also stirring up some discussion (to be enjoyed on other blogs) along the way.

UPDATE (12:30 p.m. 10 December 2009)

There is a question on how other solar indices compare to the CERES reflected sunlight measurements. The following lag correlation chart shows a few of them. I’m open to suggestions on what any of it might mean.

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December 10, 2009 9:34 am

Leif: What say you?

Ron Dean
December 10, 2009 9:40 am

I fihd Dr. Spencer’s writings the most enjoyable and informative of the few climate scientist’s blogs I follow. A health dose of skepticism, use of scientific methods, the ability to admit his opinions are incorrect when faced with facts, and an easy down-to-earth writing style, make Dr. Spencer a great ambassador for true climate science.

December 10, 2009 9:43 am

“(Can anyone say, “natural climate variability”?)”
ROFL. Good one Roy. When I think of all the times that I’ve seen Gavin refer to “natural climate variability”, and I knew full well that he didn’t know what “natural climate variability” he was talking about, this all comes back as extremely funny.
To be more clear, I asked Gavin directly to identify the natural variability that was effecting temperature since 1998. He deleted my comment.

Robert Morris
December 10, 2009 9:47 am

The Terra CERES and the Geomagnetic AP Indices for 2000 to date don’t look very similar to my casual eyeballing. Whereas the 1932 to date Geomag AP DOES look more compelling, at least as regards to the 1970s but rather less so for the 1998 global temp peak that is recorded elsewhere, and which if there really were a direct correlation with Geomag AP would have been a cold snap.
I look forward to Dr Spencer’s continuing work in this area, it will be interesting to see if this Cosmic Ray dog really can hunt.

sleepless
December 10, 2009 9:49 am

I wish I could understand the math well enough to do it too.
Very cool

Joe Black
December 10, 2009 9:53 am

I’d ask Gavin to identify the cause(s) of the tree ring divergences.
The dendro Scientists have had a couple of decades to work on this issue rather than just throw up their hands and ignore the data.

Dane Skold
December 10, 2009 9:55 am

I’ve posted twice on Realclimate.org asking if Gavin or Eric were interviewed regarding the editorial that ran worldwide about Copenhagen.
Twice the post was deleted.

Jeff
December 10, 2009 9:56 am

If you’d like to see cosmic rays, build yourself a cloud chamber. This usually consists of a transparent container with supercooled alcohol vapor (cooled with dry ice). When cosmic rays go through the container the charge on the particle causes the supercooled alcohol to condense forming a track. It is like having a meteor shower in a bowl. Very cool, literally and figuratively.
Google “cloud chamber” and you’ll get lots of links on how to make one. You can do it with household materials. Try it, and I think you’ll enjoy the results.

crosspatch
December 10, 2009 10:04 am

This goes along with my “gut instinct” that it isn’t the lack of sunspots per se that cause the cooling as it is something else that happens at the same time that we see a lack of sunspots. The lack of spots being another indication or another indicator of what is going on overall and isn’t in and of itself the issue.
That a decrease in solar wind would allow more GCRs into the inner solar system seems to be quite a reasonable assumption. I would expect us to see a pulling back (deflating) of the heliopause. If the solar wind is slower then it stands to reason that the balance point between the interstellar medium and the heliosphere would shrink in size toward the sun. If the density of the wind is less, then it seems reasonable that GCRs would impact fewer solar wind particles on their way in and would arrive in greater number and with more energy.
While the change in TSI might be quite small, the change in solar wind has been quite dramatic. We keep adding up bits and pieces of evidence that decreases in solar activity change cloud cover.
So now I wonder what changes we might see on other planets. Have Venus or Saturn or Titan seen any changes over the recent years in their atmospheres? We have observation platforms there currently. What have their observations shown over the past few years? Venus is close enough for us to measure from Earth or from Earth orbit. Has there been any albedo change? While clouds on Earth are water, other planets have clouds too. I would expect these clouds to require something to form around initially. If increased GCRs result in increased cloud formation, I would not be surprised to see this in other atmospheres as well and the atmospheres that are farther out in the solar system might show a larger change.

David
December 10, 2009 10:08 am

The AP index was almost as low as it was in the ’70s in the late ’90s, but there was some kind of El Nino event in ’98. If clouds modulated SSTs, then this would be the opposite of what you would expect, wouldn’t it?

December 10, 2009 10:17 am

Leif: What say you?
A R^2 of 0.323 [on smoothed data, no less] is not enough to base any conclusions on. We have good data on Ap [or similar] back to the 1840s [no typo] http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-Monthly-Averages-1844-Now.png so it comes down to finding cloud data from before 2000 and doing a better comparison.

Roy Spencer
December 10, 2009 10:19 am

sounds like a cool experiment, Jeff. But how do you know they are not pixie contrails?

December 10, 2009 10:20 am

Leif: What say you?
If the mechanism is supposed to be via cosmic rays, the relevant correlations should be between cloud cover and the cosmic ray intensity [of which we have good data back to 1951] and not with geomagnetic activity.

John
December 10, 2009 10:21 am

And why does NASA not already have a detailed analysis of this?

Roy Spencer
December 10, 2009 10:24 am

Leif:
I do not trust any global cloud data before 2000. Either the geographic sampling is way too poor (which leads to MUCH larger errors than poor sampling in temperature data), or the satellites drifted through the diurnal cycle.
There is another 10+ years worth of ERBE data, though, which must be used at 72 day time resolution. That comparison should also be done.
-Roy

crosspatch
December 10, 2009 10:26 am

I’ve posted twice on Realclimate.org asking if Gavin or Eric were interviewed regarding the editorial that ran worldwide about Copenhagen.

That is because RC is not a “conversation” in the normal sense of the word. It is a “discussion” but more along the lines of what goes on in a lecture hall and not what goes on around a table or in a lounge.
When you post it is basically like passing a note to the lecturer with your question. The lecturer can review your note and those of others and decide which ones to answer at the end of the lecture.
Postings at RC are like lectures. The communication is intended to be in mostly one direction. The entire notion of RC was to allow a certain group of people to put stuff “out there” and present it in the way they wanted it presented. In other words, the entire basic purpose of RC is to get the correct “spin” on the message.
So for you to expect a message to be actually posted that is not in line with the agenda is somewhat unreasonable unless it (their reason for posting) is so they can roundly criticize you and your question so as to prevent others from asking the same one later.
RC is not a science site. It is a “translation” site where they hope to translate their “science” so that it can be “properly” understood but people outside the academic community. And by “properly” understood I mean that it is important that people reach the conclusion they want them to reach. If your comment or question is counter to that objective, you should have no expectation of it ever seeing the light of day.

FergalR
December 10, 2009 10:26 am

Interesting but doesn’t Svensmark propose low and thicker (therefore more reflective) clouds as agents of global cooling? I’d thought that the IR emitted by the air above such clouds that was most likely bound for deep space was a major part of his theory. I could be completely wrong, but otherwise shortwave data from CERES would only test a part of the CC via cloud theory. I should probably do some research before I spout these ill-informed guesses though; or become an elite climatologist.

Atomic Hairdryer
December 10, 2009 10:26 am

Enjoy the results of supercooled alcohol? I think I just might partake of an experiment or two!
But paging Dr Svalgaard, or anyone that can recommend me a good textbook on solar science. This stuff intrigues me and I know little about it, other than a gut feeling that the Sun has a large influence on our climate. Made more interesting by having it’s own cycles and events, and emitting in a wide spectrum. Because (at least to me) it’s quite variable, it’s easy to find correlations, but would like to understand what they mean and whether they mean anything.

crosspatch
December 10, 2009 10:28 am

“And why does NASA not already have a detailed analysis of this?”
Because studies of natural climate variation do not attract funding. It takes money and right now all the money so going to AGW “verification”.
In a nutshell … it doesn’t fit the agenda so it won’t get funded.

Steve Schaper
December 10, 2009 10:34 am

Mars has cirrus water clouds, like Earth (compared to the other alternatives) and even snow (observed by the Phoenix lander).
Mars also followed the terrestrial warming trend with south polar dry ice sublimations.
What do we see on Mars recently? Is there an increase in cirrus cover potentially due to cosmic ray effects? Is more dry ice surviving the south polar summer?

Aaron
December 10, 2009 10:34 am

It’s always fun to watch someone following facts.

D. Ch.
December 10, 2009 10:35 am

As far as I know, no one has looked for or talked about slight changes in the sun’s angular diameter (that is, the “size” of the sun in the sky) as a way for changes to occur in the sun’s output. When scientists say that the solar irradiance does not vary enough to have a significant effect on the earth’s climate, they are talking about the apparent brightness of points on the sun’s surface — but if that surface did stay more or less the same brightness while the sun’s angular diameter increased, the sun would end up sending more solar radiation to the earth. An increase in solar output from a small increase in the sun’s angular diameter would, by the way, also explain the observed of warming on Mars (and I believe, other places in the solar system) over the last several decades at the same time the earth has been warming. The cosmic-ray cloud-formation hypothesis has nothing to say about the observed warming of other places in the solar system, and global warming skeptics would be wise to reserve some skepticism for it on those grounds alone.

Aidey
December 10, 2009 10:41 am

Hmm. The degree of geomag disturbance may depend on the direction of the IMF. Why not try some property (density?) of the solar wind from the OMNI dataset (http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/ow.html)?

December 10, 2009 10:45 am

Something changed in 2003. We need to find out what the something was ASAP.

M White
December 10, 2009 10:47 am

“Ulysses Reveals Global Solar Wind Plasma Output at 50-Year Low”
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-178
“Galactic cosmic rays carry with them radiation from other parts of our galaxy,” said Ed Smith, NASA’s Ulysses project scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “With the solar wind at an all-time low, there is an excellent chance the heliosphere will diminish in size and strength. If that occurs, more galactic cosmic rays will make it into the inner part of our solar system.”
As with CO2 AGW the GCR/cloud theory must be proved

December 10, 2009 10:49 am

[quote]Interesting but doesn’t Svensmark propose low and thicker (therefore more reflective) clouds as agents of global cooling?[/quote]
Mid level clouds I believe. The big fluffy white ones. They can reflect sunlight back into space. Enough that they can _easily_ counter the warming from standard AGW models.
Higher level clouds actually absorb heat, lower clouds I think are a mixed bag, some absorb some reflect.
Anyway, check out CERN’s CLOUD experiment for ongoing developments in this area.
http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Research/CLOUD-en.html

Roy Spencer
December 10, 2009 10:50 am

I’ve updated the post with sunspot indices, at the bottom.
REPLY: Hmmm…don’t see it yet at your site, will keep checking – Anthony

December 10, 2009 10:54 am

Atomic Hairdryer (10:26:38) :
But paging Dr Svalgaard, or anyone that can recommend me a good textbook on solar science.
Kenneth R. Lang, The sun from Space, 2nd Ed. ISBN 978-3-540-76952
Peter V. Foukal, Solar Astrophysics, 2nd Ed. ISBN 3-527-40374-4
Dermott J. Mullan, Physics of the Sun, ISBN 978-1-4200-8307-1
are among the best.
More accessible is
Kenneth R. Lang, Sun, Earth and Sky, ISBN 3-540-58778-0

Roy Spencer
December 10, 2009 11:00 am

D. Ch.
The TSI instruments used for monitoring for the last 30 years have a field of view several times that of the solar disk. So, they integrate over the whole solar disk.

December 10, 2009 11:02 am

Dr. Spencer,
I agree with your skepticism about the links behind the sun, cloud formation, and temperature. Just because something offers a possible explanation about CO2 not being the main driver of increased temperature does not mean that alternative science is PROVEN. It is at best theoretical and while it MAY be occurring, CO2 MAY be the cause of climactic warming.
Lets not paint ourselves into a corner where we act like those that came before us, quick to find causation when only correlation is occurring. I am not sure Svenmark even has that to a large extent.
Thank you for this honest article.

ShrNfr
December 10, 2009 11:09 am

I guess we will find out in a couple of years. The experiment is being done in real time on us no matter what we have to say. If we cool more than the AMO would indicate we should, or we observe more clouds than normal, then this is accordance with the GCR hypothesis. If we do not, then we have to re-examine the GCR hypothesis to see what, if anything, we may have missed. Science is about showing things that go wrong with a theory. If the theory predicts XYZ, then we do an experiment to see if XYZ happens. If it doesn’t, its back to the drawing board.

P Wilson
December 10, 2009 11:11 am

crosspatch (10:26:15)
The difference between ideology and science is that if the discovery of new evidence casts doubt on the prevailing hypothesis, then there is reasonable grounds for dismissing that hypothesis. In ideology, if such evidence is presented then it is to be censored.
The triumph of science in the modern world came about largely through Galileo, who was quite brilliant. It seems that official climatology today is at the same stage of the papacy in Galileo’s day. The notion that the earth revolved around the sun was heresy to the Church, since it took man away from the centre of the universe. Similarly, to show that co2 – actually, the small part that is anthropogenic – does not follow what the official position says it does similarly dethrones man as the centre of the climate system, and should therefore have no need to atone for his sins.

rbateman
December 10, 2009 11:12 am

Leif Svalgaard (10:17:04) :
Have you looked at AMS (American Meteorological Society) as a source?
http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-archive&issn=1520-0493
The Monthly Weather Review goes back to 1873 with some detailed summaries starting in 1880’s.

rbateman
December 10, 2009 11:16 am

crosspatch (10:28:51) :
I would change ‘AGW verification’ to ‘AGW verification & promotion’.
It takes a lot of money to tie up the MSM.

David L. Hagen
December 10, 2009 11:18 am

Roy
Intriguing exploration. Your estimate of the Svensmark effect appears to be of the right magnitude to explain a major solar /cosmic ray impact on climate.
As an amateur spectator, may I encourage you to explore the impact of cosmic rays on cloud albedo variations as a function of earth’s magnetic field. See:
Earth’s Magnetic field and Climate Variability.
At Global Warming Science
This shows a very remarkable visual correlation between earth’s magnetic field and the regional temperature trends. See:
Earth’s magnetic field intensity in 2000 from the Danish Orsted satellite [http://smsc.cnes.fr/OVH/]
compared to:
global temperature change from 1978 to 2006 for the lower troposphere from satellite data. [http://climate.uah.edu/25yearbig.jpg]
He cites Daniel Johnston: “An Alternative View of Global Warming”May 2008 http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/Johnston_MagneticGW.pdf who developed a prediction model for predicting the temperature anomaly as a function of the magnetic field.
Note the OPPOSITE temperature trends near north vs south magnetic poles where the earth’s temperature trends are also largest.
Could the cosmic rays be affected not just by the magnitude of Earth’s magnetic field, but also by the vector interaction with earth’s field?
e.g., between the solar wind and the earth’s field?
or the solar magnetosphere with earth’s magneto sphere?
E.g., see Prof. Alexander who showed a correlation between precipitation or runoff and the DOUBLE 22 year solar magnetic cycle. See

Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development
, W J R Alexander, F Bailey, D B Bredenkamp, A van der Merwe and N Willemse JOURNAL OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERING, Vol 49 No 2, June 2007, Pages 32–44, Paper 659
See: Solar Wind Flow Pressure – Another Indication of Solar Downtrend?
May I recommend narrowing your analysis to look separately at the Arctic and Antarctic regions. More particularly explore the north and south magnetic pole regions, compared with the changes in the solar magnetosphere and solar wind. The Svensmark effect may be strongest near the magnetic pole regions. You may find opposite signs for trends in the Svensmark effect at North vs South poles.
See A View of Solar Magnetic Fields, The Solar Corona, and the Solar Wind in Three Dimensions, Leif Svalgaard and John M. Wilcox, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1978. 16:429-43; and citations
The heliospheric current sheet as solar cycle proxy

Polar Field s and Solar Cycle 24 (Observational Study)
Leif Svalgaard
For further summary of solar/cosmic ray papers, see:
5.1 Cosmic Rays under
Chapter 5. Solar Variability and Climate Cycles (PDF, 648 kb) in
in Climate Change Reconsidered the 2009 NIPCC report.
Happy hunting.

P Wilson
December 10, 2009 11:19 am

magicjava (10:49:29) :
[“quote]Interesting but doesn’t Svensmark propose low and thicker (therefore more reflective) clouds as agents of global cooling?[/quote]
Mid level clouds I believe. The big fluffy white ones. They can reflect sunlight back into space. Enough that they can _easily_ counter the warming from standard AGW models.
Higher level clouds actually absorb heat, lower clouds I think are a mixed bag, some absorb some reflect.”
its pure speculation on my part, so need correction from those who know better but: Precipitation is increasing everywhere, and cumulonimbus clouds are quite high (rainstorm clouds) whilst lower strata clouds give drizzle. Coupled with a solar minimum, we have increased precipitation.

December 10, 2009 11:21 am

rbateman (11:12:26) :
Have you looked at AMS (American Meteorological Society) as a source?
No, I think it is the enthusiasts that have to go looking, then come back with what they found…

December 10, 2009 11:21 am

Atomic Hairdryer (10:26:38) :
But paging Dr Svalgaard, or anyone that can recommend me a good textbook on solar science.
I’ll hazard a guess that the recommendations by Leif Svalgaard are better than the one I’ll recommend, but I’ll recommend it anyway: Plasma Physics For Astrophysics by Russell Kulsrud, published by Princeton Press.
Both the solar wind and cosmic rays are forms of plasma and both are covered in the book I mentioned.
The key idea behind this, as I see it, is the clouds. Regardless of whether or not it proven cosmic rays help form clouds, it’s the clouds themselves that affect the climate. The cosmic rays don’t change the climate directly.

Hangtime55
December 10, 2009 11:23 am

I would think that the majority of people here are not PH.D’s in the science of Climate Change . While this website may be dedicated to that science , this website among others have had a influx of inquiries of a concerned public relating to ClimateGate .
Your explanation and tutoring above , which I like to call ” ClimateChange 101 ” is giving the public a better understanding of the science .
While I had read what you had presented , I really don’t have a idea on what your talking about . If I gave you instructions on how to replace a fuel injector on your vehicle’s engine you would have an idea of it but would probably pay me to do it .
The point here is that Climate Change Scientists and Apprentices are trained and familiar with shortwave deviations , scatterplots , polynomial fits , Ap unit variations and geomagnetic modulations whereas a typical person such as myself can only have a concept of your explanation above without actually being capable of executing such complex calculations . It’s a Science that is left to the ones who have a passion and devotion of it .
As with your comment in another article that ” this is not how the IPCC thinks nature works ” relating to Negitive and Positive cloud feedback , I am a Skeptic of not only the Anthropological Global Warming Theory , but of most of the research that the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climate Research Unit are involved with due mainly to , yup , the ClimateGate files .
I enjoyed your article ” A Layman’s Explanation of Why Global Warming Predictions by Climate Models are Wrong ” . . . and it seems the folks over at the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climate Research Unit was messing with the flame under the pot of water while they were computing their measurements .

December 10, 2009 11:25 am

In the september 2009 article on Roy’s website:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/09/the-2007-2008-global-cooling-event-evidence-for-clouds-as-the-cause/
he shows the un-detrended CERES SW+LW data which seems to show a decrease in the net energy escaping from Earth. :
The Earthshine project
http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/
shows an increase in cloudiness at the end of ’98 and continuing high levels of albedo:
http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/index_ES_Project_files/image006.jpg
Caption: Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.
Could Roy comment on the relationship between these other cloud measuring datasets and the CERES dataset please.
Perhaps the changes post 2000 are less significant than the increase Earthshine data shows in the couple of previous years. A significant increase in Albedo from late ’98 seems to have led to the situation where cloud is trapping energy in, more than the increase in the reflection of sunlight is having a cooling effect, and yet the global average temperature has been flat or slightly falling since ’98, just before the big el nino.
It may be that there’s another factor I’ve missed, but there seems to be some contradictions here. Maybe the Earth just isn’t getting ‘microwaved’ by magnetism as much since the Ap index fell. :o)

December 10, 2009 11:26 am

Regarding Svensmark’s theory and supporting data, here is a good review coupled with a briefing on the experiments (Cloud) being conducted at CERN by the lead scientist at CERN, Jasper Kirkby:
http://indico.cern.ch/getFile.py/access?resId=0&materialId=slides&confId=52576
You can also find his talk as a recorded video on the Internet. The above link is a pdf of the video presentation and gives one the opportunity to study the graphs and charts.

ShrNfr
December 10, 2009 11:26 am

Actually, you can “see” cosmic rays (or rather their byproducts) when you are the ISS. When a muon goes through the right area of your skull it causes a flash of light in you visible field.

P Wilson
December 10, 2009 11:26 am

P Wilson (11:19:05)
in a warming world, there would be more high level rainstorm clouds presumable, since hot air would cause vapour to elevate more rapidly. Over here (London UK) we get much more prolonged drizzle than rain storms thesdays

TJA
December 10, 2009 11:30 am

” If clouds modulated SSTs, then this would be the opposite of what you would expect, wouldn’t it”
Think of tying a single rope to a bull in a china shop.

December 10, 2009 11:33 am

To save buying an expensive textbook, I’ll sum up the basics of Svensmark’s ideas, as I understand them.
1) Cosmic Rays are poorly named. They’re not photons like X-Rays and Gamma rays. Instead, they’re atomic nuclei without electrons, and they move at nearly the speed of light.
2) When Cosmic Rays crash into the Earth’s atmosphere they have enough energy to create Muons, which are basically giant Electrons.
3) These Muons survive long enough to act as the seeds around which water droplets can eventually form, and from there, clouds.

JonesII
December 10, 2009 11:34 am

I can’t see or feel cosmic rays. They sound kind of New Age to me.
Don’t you?…just watch your face every morning in your bathroom’s mirror, year after year.Cosmic rays are 90% protons=hydrogen nucleii, powerful reducers.
Have you wonder why human life length is aboout that of the Gleissberg cycle?

Jim Arndt
December 10, 2009 11:38 am

Dr. Spencer,
Has anyone looked into the interconnection of the ionosphere and the the tropical thunder storm zone. Speculation that when earth directed CME or flares will interact with the ionosphere and troposphere to create very low RF and interfere with cloud forming nuclie. Meaning that when CME and Flare activity is high we have less clouds and when lower activity we have more clouds in the tropics. Since magnetic activity is low and also we have a very low Gauss readings for sun spots then flares and CME will be weaker this cycle. This should mean more cloud cover for this cycle and lower temperatures over all. Higher the cycle the more intense CME and Flare activity equates to less clouds. Thank you for your time.

rbateman
December 10, 2009 11:39 am

Leif Svalgaard (11:21:03) :
rbateman (11:12:26) :
Have you looked at AMS (American Meteorological Society) as a source?
No, I think it is the enthusiasts that have to go looking, then come back with what they found…

They already did. One of them wears a Nobel and owns an Oscar.

Invariant
December 10, 2009 11:39 am

Leif Svalgaard (10:54:42) :
Roy Spencer (11:00:54) :

It’s indeed a pleasure to be a “fly on the wall” during a discussion between the greatest scientists of our time. Thank you. Did you see the presentation of Jasper Kirkby?
http://seekingalpha.com/article/175641-climategate-revolt-of-the-physicists
As far as I understand Kirkby does not argue that a possible relationship between cosmic rays and clouds is in any way uniform – different qualitative and quantitative phenomena may take place over the land and the oceans, the equatorial regions and the polar regions.
What is the chance that we may achieve a solid understanding of the cosmic ray cloud connection if this relationship is highly non-uniform and non-trivial?

Stephen Wilde
December 10, 2009 11:45 am

I’m still being mentally exercised by this finding:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=36301
“Sunspots unleash solar flares that create a ripple effect well beyond Earth. But when that energy flow does reach Earth, the atmosphere reciprocates by ejecting radiation as a cooling effect to maintain the planet’s energy balance. That cooling response creates the expansion and contraction of the upper atmosphere.”
The implication being that the stratosphere and upper levels of the atmosphere lose energy faster to space when the solar wind is more turbulent.
Comments from Roy and Leif would be especially welcome.

December 10, 2009 11:46 am

Looking at the scatter-plot, I basically see a cloud (pardon the pun) with some interesting observations causing the line to have a slightly non-zero slope.
Even if the slope coefficient were statistically significant, the plot basically indicates no relationship between the Geo-Ap Index and cloud cover.
I would like to know what time periods had Geo-Ap Index values between 20 – 25.

boballab
December 10, 2009 11:46 am

I also am waiting to see what comes of CERN’s Cloud experiment. Here is an hour long presentation by Dr. Jaspar Kirkby about what the hypothesis is and how they are going to test it. If you haven’t watched it, you are missing out.
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/

December 10, 2009 11:48 am

P Wilson –
I’m not sure how rain affects the climate, but I’m sure it does. But Svensmark’s work concerns the reflectivity of mid-level clouds.
But rather than getting it second hand from me, it’s best to read about it from the scientists themselves. Dave L gave a good link to the CERN site. I think that’s where you’ll find the theory best distilled. Plus it’s in video form.

Jan
December 10, 2009 11:57 am

Don’t know if this link has been already been posted but I found it interesting:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/175641-climategate-revolt-of-the-physicists
It presents a lecture by Jasper Kirkby on recent research being done by physicists.

Cinaed Simson
December 10, 2009 12:04 pm

See “Henrik Svensmark on Global Warming”:

The term “cosmic rays” is misleading in the sense that cosmic rays consist primarily of relativistic protons (and small amounts of heavier nuclei) which collide with atoms in the atmosphere producing pions which immediately decay to muons.
It’s the muons (fat electrons) which survive to roughly 6000 meters and decay into an election and two fat neutrinos and amplify the natural cloud formation process.
In particular, it looks at cloud formation in the open oceans.
And the CLOUD experiment at CERN is expected to go online with the a full beam in 2010:
http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Research/CLOUD-en.html

crosspatch
December 10, 2009 12:05 pm

“The implication being that the stratosphere and upper levels of the atmosphere lose energy faster to space when the solar wind is more turbulent.”
Imagine a balloon. It has a given surface area. Now warm the air inside the balloon. The balloon will expand. This expansion increases the surface area allowing it to radiate more heat away.

Dave Wendt
December 10, 2009 12:07 pm

Dr. Spencer;
About a month ago, in the comments for one of your posts here, I posted a question for you regarding a rather obscure paper I had come across, which seemed to me to suggest some rather startling insights on the contribution of CO2 to the “greenhouse effect”. Since I posted in the wee small hours, you probably missed it, so I’ll try again when the sun is still shining and see if I have better luck. To save time I’ll just do a C&P
Dr. Spencer;
Or anyone else here who can help me with a question that’s been nagging me for a couple days. The other day, in the comments for the first post about Monckton’s appearance on Glenn Beck’s show, I got into a tete a tete with another commenter about a study that utilized spectral analysis to separate the contributions of the various GHGs to the greenhouse effect. In googling about on the topic I came across another paper which covered the same ground from a slightly different perspective
http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm
Evans and Puckrin 2006 Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate
The link is to the abstract, you need to click the Extended Abstract link to access the pdf of the whole paper.
The experiment in the paper utilized the spectral analysis technique to measure the downward LW radiative flux to the surface of the various GHGs. Since the paper is couched in the usual AGW blather, my first inclination was to doubt its qualities and indeed as a work of science I didn’t find much to recommend it. But, though their conclusions seemed fairly illogical, their experimental techniques seemed reasonable and the data in the their tables is what has had me ruminating. Particularly their Tables 3a and 3b which list respectively their seasonal observations for winter and summer. The readings for the cold dry air of winter show downward LW flux to the surface from CO2 at 30-35W/m2 and from H2O at 95-125W/m2 in line with the approx. 25% contribution of CO2 to the greenhouse effect. What’s shown in the summer readings is what has had me thinking. The H2O numbers went up to 178-256W/m2 in the warm humid air of summer, but the CO2 numbers went down, not just in relative terms but in absolute terms to 10.5W/m2, a third of the winter rate, and bringing the contribution of CO2 to the total GE to 3-4%, a much smaller value than I’ve usually seen quoted. this phenomenon was so obvious that even the clearly warmist authors commented on the higher H2O flux suppressing the flux from the other GHGs. Since this study was done in Canada and most heating of the planet occurs in the Tropic and Subtropic latitudes, which are presumably warmer and more humid than even the summer in Canada and would probably have even higher levels of H2O flux, if this phenomenon is real and consistent it would seem to me to indicate that the contribution of CO2 at those latitudes would be an even smaller percent.
Since downwelling LW is pretty much the heart and soul of the supposed “greenhouse effect”, it seems to me that if this experimental technique is valid and if it could be broadly applied, especially in the 40N to 40S latitudes, we would have a fairly definitive measure of the contributions of the various atmospheric components to global warming. Also, since most estimates of DLW in tropic and subtropic latitudes are at least 100W/m2 higher than those measured by the Canadians, if the suppressive effect of H2O was demonstrated to be real, it would make Plimer’s much maligned assertion that H2O accounts for 98% of the greenhouse effect look quite reasonable.
I guess, after all that, my question is am I interpreting this correctly, or like some dedicated alarmist, making wild leaps beyond the evidence?

Cinaed Simson
December 10, 2009 12:13 pm

Errata – I meant 6000 feet not 6000 meters.

hengav
December 10, 2009 12:17 pm

Dr. Spencer
Your detrended AP index has a break in the line at the same point as where the downturn in the index occurs in your longer untrended AP index version. You have also adjusted “up the values from around 5 to around 10. Could you comment on why this was done?
I came across a 2008 USGS paper by Jeff Love :
In this paper it discussed in great detail the Haloween magnetic storm from Oct 28 to 31 of 2003. Again comparing your 5-month deternding to what appears to be a 2 day event, do you feel that the intesnsity of that short storm is reflected in your graph? Could you look through the more detailed record just after that storm in your cloud records to get a better idea of a causal relationship? My guess it would be short lived.
They also talk about the magnetic storm in 1989. I was doing a geophysical survey in the high arctic at the time. It completely messed with my proton-procession magnetometer for over 2 weeks. I remember some very spectacular borealis nights that summer.

Claude Harvey
December 10, 2009 12:20 pm

Welcome to the club! The theory of low-level cloud cover being the primary short-term temperature control mechanism of planet earth is very old. The theory that sunspot activity modulates cosmic radiation striking the earth and that cosmic radiation seeds low-level clouds is also relatively old. The fact that volcanic activity does the same thing is also known and even the AGW crowd does not dispute the volcanic connection.
The boys and girls at CERN are very excited to think they may be well on their way to proving the cosmic-ray-cloud-seeding theory. My personal opinion is that if the sun continues its current funk, everyone had better get out their woolies. The AP index seems to be mimicking it’s behavior at the onset of The Little Ice Age when temperatures dropped very rapidly according to archeological evidence.
CH

Fitzy
December 10, 2009 12:23 pm

The theory of Solar evolution like climate science has overlooked many
uncomfortable, theory busting anomalies, resulting in a less than stellar performance when explaining space weather. Both its causes and effects, and its influences on the Earth, and our climate.
Plasma science has long established a pattern of connection between the solar environment, and the behaviour of Earths Magnetosphere, Birkeland’s terrella experiments (around 1895) demonstrated an electromagnetic connection between the Sun and the Earth.
While NASA talks of ‘Solar Winds’, a mechanical misnomer, plasma science would describe Earth immersed in a charged particle soup, and when charged particles travel in a similar direction, we get magnetic effects, where there is magnetism there is electricity.
The Earth is probably a charged body in space, a leaky capacitor if you will, receiving and discharging electrical energy from the sun, both back into space and between the upper atmosphere and the rocky Earth itself.
That particle soup, or PLASMA, acts as a conduit for electrical energy, not quite a perfect conductor, but very efficient never the less.
The visible spectrum, IR and Ultraviolet do not tell the entire story of weather and climate. When Plasma science
The Earth is probably not isolated in an empty vacuum, more research needs to be none, but I’m hedging my bets on the Earth being tethered to the Sun electromagnetically.
Research PLASMA COSMOLOGY and the ELECTRIC UNIVERSE THEORY, another field damaged by orthodox, CRU style peer review.

Michael
December 10, 2009 12:23 pm

Perception is 9/10 of reality. That’s how they tried to brainwash everyone into believing AGW with the corporate media they own. Repeating the same thing over and over again for decades has almost done the Trick.
This is why we need to propagate our perceptions which in fact are reality, but the masses don’t know they are reality. The masses just need to have something to consume. This is why we must promote the Solar Minimum till it hurts and we’re blue in the face talking about it. This is why we must show winter scene pictures and winter scene videos always to our advantage. Show the blizzards across North America and Europe as much as possible.
The middle class are the thinking class, which is why it is constantly being widdled away. Best way to do that NAFTA and CAFTA. Make it impossible for the middle class to gain any ground. Going back to bilateral trade agreements may save the USA and our culture if we act in time.

Jack Green
December 10, 2009 12:28 pm

http://wethefree.blogspot.com/2009/12/it-has-begun.html
Thanks Jan. The cloud experiment has already begun.

philincalifornia
December 10, 2009 12:29 pm

This may be OT but, then again, it may not be. Whatever, it’s super interesting. Weather patterns (literally) on Saturn:
http://www.sphere.com/science/article/cassini-spacecraft-images-show-mysterious-hexagon-on-saturn/19273284

Atomic Hairdryer
December 10, 2009 12:31 pm

Quick thank you to Dr Svalgaard & magicjava for the reading suggestions. That’s the xmas break covered 🙂 I keep thinking a ‘peer recommened’ reading list would make a useful addition to this site, maybe via Amazon’s api.
The plasma physics one would have been next on the list as it’s one of the things that sparked my curiosity after leasing some satellite capacity and discovering the ‘cosmic backhoe’ effect.

David L. Hagen
December 10, 2009 12:31 pm

Svensmark’s 2009 papers provide interesting clues:
Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds H Svensmark, T Bondo, J Svensmark – Geophysical Research Letters, 2009

We find that low clouds contain less liquid water following Forbush decreases, and for the most influential events the liquid water in the oceanic atmosphere can diminish by as much as 7%. Cloud water content as gauged by the Special Sensor Microwave/ Imager (SSM/I) reaches a minimum 7 days after the Forbush minimum in cosmic rays, and so does the fraction of low clouds seen by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and in the International Satellite Cloud Climate Project (ISCCP).

Model of optical response of marine aerosols to Forbush decreasesMB Enghoff, H Svensmark, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 22833–22863, 2009

For the shorter wavelength pair we observe a change in Angstrom exponent, following the Forbush Decrease, of −6 to +3% in the cases with atmospherically realistic output parameters. . . .Shorter wavelengths seem more favorable for observing these effects and great care should be taken when analyzing observations, in order to avoid the signal being drowned out by noise.

lowercasefred
December 10, 2009 12:33 pm

Keep in mind that these plots are looking at the gross change in reflectance.
Different parts of the earth have different reflectance (sea, rainforest, plains, deserts, mountains, and snow/ice cover to hit the high spots) some of these (ice, deciduous forest, e.g.) vary seasonally. When clouds cover an area you first subtract the shadowed part (or part of it) from the net reflectance and then add the reflectance of the clouds. Further, Svensmark theorizes that the clouds are not formed uniformly but vary with latitude and terrain. So the location and timing of the clouds is obviously quite important.
Anyone who expects a simple relationship just does not understand what is, or may be, going on. Considering the number of variables any correlation of reflectance with any one is worthy of attention.

David L. Hagen
December 10, 2009 12:47 pm

See latest:
Status of the CLOUD experiment – November 2009 04:26 min. / 11 November 2009 / CERN
Expecting data next year.

lowercasefred
December 10, 2009 12:50 pm

Looking at my post of 12:33:51, obviously I failed to mention how a change in cosmic rays, or the Ap proxy, might interact with the ENSO, or Atlantic or Pacific Decadal Oscillations. Lord knows what else that we don’t even know about (“unknown unknowns”).
It is just not reasonable to expect a simple correlation.

Michael
December 10, 2009 12:58 pm

My Christmas present this year is Climategate. I don’t need or want anything else. I want to give as a present a DVD titled “ClimateGate: Everything They Didn’t Want You to Know” to everyone I know. When the ask, who are they? I’ll say, watch the movie.
I need you to help me with this. Can we put together a Climategate video we can burn to DVD from a torrent file of the information we have so far? The movie can always be revised in the future. Lots of snow blizzard scenes and stuff about the Solar Minimum in it. I need your feedback on this. Please address this comment directly with your feedback. Can we do this?
Thank You
MJN

jorgekafkazar
December 10, 2009 12:58 pm

“…Note that there is some similarity between the two plots….” -RS
Some, yes, but not huge. I’m a bit surprised at the correlation factor of 0.57. The linear fit seems to be heavily influenced by the tail of the dog at lower right of the scatter diagram, where the Flux Anomaly is between -0.4 and -0.6 w/m², at high Ap indices. These correspond to a very brief interval, roughly Mar — Dec of 2003, a period of abnormally high Ap values (>20). This is very short to hang your hat on.
I note, belatedly, that the ordinate labels differ between the Flux diagram and the scatter diagram. Has some step or information been omitted?
If not, then the tail of the dog seems problematic. There seem to be too many data points in the tail, given how few times the Flux drops below -0.4. Where in time, for example, is the point (-0.64, 23)?

DocMartyn
December 10, 2009 1:00 pm

” Leif Svalgaard (10:20:50) :
If the mechanism is supposed to be via cosmic rays, the relevant correlations should be between cloud cover and the cosmic ray intensity”
During the 50’s and early 60’s the US was doing air burst H-bomb tests. These would put out a LOT of gamma/X-ray’s. The USAF measured the atmosphere, before and after, the big firework. My guess is that much of this has now been declassified.
You could look back at this data and see if they found cloud formation afterward….

December 10, 2009 1:01 pm

Stephen Wilde (11:45:42) :
I’m still being mentally exercised by this finding:
That was just the usual NASA hype. The ‘breathing’ of the ionosphere has been known by decades and has nothing to do with the climate.

lowercasefred
December 10, 2009 1:03 pm

Also the monsoon and seasonal variations in oceanic zooplankton & chlorophyll.
Rats!!
AMONGST THE MANY VARIABLES…etc…
If I think of any more worth mentioning, Fang and I will make another entry.
/Spanish Inquisition Sketch

Bart
December 10, 2009 1:07 pm

My work is very sensitive to the amount of bulge in the atmosphere at high altitudes due to solar activity. I know the bulge can affect atmospheric densities substantially at high altitude.
I am not asserting anything because it is not my area of expertise, but isn’t it possible that the variation in pressure could have a substantial impact on cloud formation in the stratosphere? In my naive view, the bulge could decrease pressure in the upper stratosphere, and when I get low pressure on my barometer here on Earth, I am likely to see clouds. Stratospheric clouds, from what I understand of the debate, tend to allow sunlight to pass through, but reflect radiation back down to the Earth, increasing warming. A lessening of the bulge would then presumably increase pressure, diminishing high atmospheric cloud cover, allowing more radiation to escape.
I’m sure if this is dumb, I’m going to get pummeled, but I still would like to understand things better so, have at it.

December 10, 2009 1:07 pm

philincalifornia (12:29:37) :
This may be OT but, then again, it may not be. Whatever, it’s super interesting. Weather patterns (literally) on Saturn:
http://www.sphere.com/science/article/cassini-spacecraft-images-show-mysterious-hexagon-on-saturn/19273284

It’s not just Saturn that shows interesting harmonic patterns in it’s weather.
http://ray.tomes.biz/b2/index.php/a?s=jupiter+storms&sentence=AND&submit=Search

TheGoodLocust th
December 10, 2009 1:09 pm

My belief is that as new and hopefully more accurate hypothesises are tested that more people will jump from the AGW bandwagon.
People, and scientists in particular, want to be on the cutting edge of innovation – not stuck defending defunct and inelegant ideas.

George Ellis
December 10, 2009 1:10 pm

Thanks Roy. So we can say that on the face of it Solar Geomagnetic Ap is not associated with cloud formation. What is the certainty that Ap is associated with GCR? It sounds like sound reasoning (Solar Ap) might be an indicator. But I would think that Terrestrial magnetic fields are the key and first we might whether Solar Geomagnetic Ap has a straight or lagged R2 to Terrestrial fields? Might that be a missing link or did I read it wrong on which field was used?

JonesII
December 10, 2009 1:12 pm

David L. Hagen (12:31:15) : Cosmic rays, 90% proton, are not those simple mix of particles and lines we inmediately imagine, they are hydrogen nucleii, which if react with ozone make water as a result.

Bart
December 10, 2009 1:14 pm

OK, one thing is, my familiarity with the bulge is a good bit higher than the stratosphere. But, the higher the clouds, as I understand it, the more they induce net warming.

Paul Vaughan
December 10, 2009 1:15 pm

Exactly – (with exceptions noted below) …
“So, one can always claim that some other natural change in cloud cover is overpowering the geomagnetic modulation of cloudiness. With all kinds of climate forcings all mingled in together, it would be reasonable to expect a certain signal to emerge more clearly during some periods, and less clearly during other periods.”
Hint: SOI, IOD, NAM, …
My sense is that we’re just looking for things that affect pressure & circulation patterns and hence redistribution. I don’t imagine any “magic” forces at work – just basic stuff Barkin talks about that affects insolation (not irradiance) – Earth’s shells shaking relative to each other – maybe a multi-layered rattle (tangled with seasonal effects) is a good analogy.
Cautionary notes:
1) Low r^2 (even very low r^2) sometimes comes with low p-value; this could indicate complex conditioning (see Roy’s above note – i.e. it’s not always simple bivariate linear – it can be multivariate nonlinear — also, there are summer/winter contrasts – filtering them out can substantially change the r^2 and hint at why sometimes NAM & sometimes SOI, etc. seem to follow regional (local mountains or whatever are important) precipitation & temperature range (loose proxy for cloud cover) more closely…).
2) Confounding! I encourage people to keep an open mind about what (lurking, unmeasured) factors are partially confounded with GCR/aa/R.
Relationships I find between aa index, LOD, temperature range, lunar nodal cycle, & Earth orientation parameters are happening at the Earth end so far as I can tell. Here are a few glimpses:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/-LOD_aa_Pr._r.._LNC.png
However politically incorrect it may be in our times, this is no trivial result to scoff at. (note: ~1990s anomaly is known to relate to nutation obliquity – so no problem there – just more work to include another variable…)
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CCaa1mo&11aT1mo.PNG
(A challenge “screwing up” this analysis is serious issues with temperature homogenization procedures — it will be serious business sorting it out — FUNDING NEEDED!!)
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/sqrtaayoy.sq22.png
(Note that averaging over hale cycles loosely means we’re looking at something on the Earth end here.)
Although most of the shared signals appear to be at the Earth end, I need to look into solar wind speed (haven’t yet), because there is something “weird” going on there that seems related to regional precipitation patterns. Anyone know where I can find monthly (&/or daily) summaries (&/or reconstructed estimates) of solar wind speed going back as far as possible in time (on a plain-text webpage)?
Confounding!
Conditioning!
We’ll never get anywhere without relentlessly unyielding awareness of these. The alarmists might love it if the complexity causes us to give up on pursuit of the complex-but-clearly-nonrandom.

Editor
December 10, 2009 1:18 pm

Dr. Spencer: Since cosmic radiation reaching earth is a function of several things–solar magnetic activity, fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field strength, fluctuations in cosmic ray flux entering the heliosphere–wouldn’t it be better to look directly at the cosmic ray flux reaching earth, rather than using a proxy that only addresses one of the factors?
I tried to find a plot of neutron counts over the last 9 years without luck, but the raw data is available from the University of Delaware:
http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/

E Flesch
December 10, 2009 1:27 pm

I have seen so many blue skies spoiled by high-flying aircraft — their jetstreams broaden out till the whole sky is covered by high cloud — that I think that is more operative than cosmic whatevers.

Roy Spencer
December 10, 2009 1:28 pm

The break in the time series is because there are 2 months of missing data from the CERES instrument.

Stephen Wilde
December 10, 2009 1:37 pm

Leif Svalgaard :
“The ‘breathing’ of the ionosphere has been known by decades and has nothing to do with the climate.”
If it increases the rate of energy loss to space during a period of more turbulent solar activity then it would have an effect on climate.
As the energy loss to space increases from the stratosphere upwards it will also increase the rate of flow from troposphere to stratosphere and thus help to offset warming of the troposphere from other causes such as a greater rate of energy flow from oceans to air.
In the process the speed of the hydrological cycle within the troposphere would also increase with a consequent shift in the latitudinal positions of all the air circulation systems.
On that basis the speed of the hydrological cycle would be dictated by an ever changing balance between the rate of energy release from the oceans and the rate of energy loss from upper atmosphere to space.
Such solar induced acceleration and deceleration of energy loss to space as a result of increased or decreased turbulence in the flow of solar energy even in the absence of a substantial variation in solar power would also explain why the climate effect is disproportionate to the change in solar power output.

December 10, 2009 1:39 pm

I know nothing about the sun’s effect on clouds but my practical experience in a now neglected technology may be helpful. Long before geostationary satellites made communication anytime, anywhere so easy, my introduction to the effect of the sun on day to day activities on earth started when, over fifty years ago, I joined the UK Army, and trained as a radio operator using morse code. We were given a course in radio theory, which included the constitution of the upper parts of the earth’s atmosphere used in radio transmissions, the ionosphere.
There are three layers of the ionosphere which control point to point radio. These are termed the D, E and F layers. The highest, the F layer, is about 200 miles above the earth. The sun’s radiation causes ionisation of the atmosphere which makes the layers electrically conductive. The D and E layers lie below the F layer and are less important, the F layer being the principal element in long distance communications. At night time, in the absence of the sun’s radiation, the D layer ceases to exist while the F layer becomes a single layer. During daylight hours, under the effects of exposure to the sun’s radiation, the D layer reappears and the F layer separates into two distinct layers called F1 and F2. This is settled science originated by Marconi in 1901, and fully developed in the first twenty five years of the last century. It is non-controversial, but today is largely forgotten as reliance on point to point radio communication has greatly reduced.
Maintaining communications required a transmitted signal to enter the F layer and be bent, or refracted, back down to earth. If the frequency of the transmitted signal was too low, it would be absorbed in the atmosphere. If the signal frequency was too high, the signal would pass through the atmosphere and be lost in space. Therefore, careful calculation of the route the signal had to take between sender and receiver, as well as the skip distance, i.e. point of return to earth, time of year and time of day was required.
At night the effect of the absence of sun’s radiation and the subsequent reduction in electrical conductivity of the ionosphere, is that a radio link using a transmitter at a frequency of 15 to 20 Megahertz during the day, would have to reduce its frequency to circa 3 to 5 Megahertz during the night. The absence of the sun’s radiation introduced a factor of over three in the choice of day/night frequency.
The most important overall element in frequency selection was the point in the average eleven year sunspot cycle at the time. If sunspot activity was at a peak, then much higher levels of ionisation of the atmosphere occurred, creating greater electrical conductivity enabling higher radio frequencies to be used. Conversely, if sunspot activity was at minima, electrical conductivity decreased and usable frequencies would be greatly reduced. In my experience, usable radio frequencies reduced by at least 15 – 20% during sunspot minima.
If sunspot activity has such demonstrably dramatic affects on the upper atmosphere, it is a racing certainty that it affects the twelve miles or so of the lower atmosphere that controls our weather.

Paul Vaughan
December 10, 2009 1:50 pm

Reaffirming my faith in humanity:
lowercasefred (12:33:51) “Anyone who expects a simple relationship just does not understand what is, or may be, going on.” / lowercasefred (12:50:08) “It is just not reasonable to expect a simple correlation.”

Stephen Wilde
December 10, 2009 1:50 pm

crosspatch (12:05:23)
Yes, the increased surface area has already been proposed by me as the reason for the increased rate of energy loss during a more turbulent solar energy flow.
However I likened it more to the wind causing waves so that the more turbulent flow of energy from the sun causes ripples in the boundary layers in the upper atmosphere causing a greater surface area for each and a faster flow of energy to space from the top of the stratosphere upwards.
Note that this is contrary to normal expectations.
What it means is that the cooler stratosphere during a period of more active sun (late 20th Century) is caused by the higher level of turbulence in the flow of energy from the sun and NOT by an increase in GHGs keeping back more energy in the troposphere.
In fact the consequent cooling of the upper atmosphere more than offsets the extra surface warming from the slightly more active sun and mitigates the heating effects from warmer ocean surfaces but only during the current interglacial whilst there is a coincidence between active solar cycles and warm ocean cycles.
Once that coincidence ceases the solar and oceanic cycles start to reinforce one another rather than offsetting one another leading to the wilder climate variations observed during ice ages.

Tenuc
December 10, 2009 1:55 pm

Thanks Dr Spencer for yet another post to get me thinking.
The solar cycle affects the earth in many different ways during it’s course. As you mention, it is difficult to separate out how the different earth/sun interactions effect our climate against a background of natural climate ‘noise’.
For example, we know that TSI stays roughly the same, but other things like Ap index and amount of UV vary strongly (see quote).
Marty Mlynczak, of NASA Langley Research Center:-
“…In the quiet solar year of 2008, for instance, the upper atmosphere’s ultraviolet radiation emissions have dipped to levels 10 times lower than when SABER’s observations began in 2002…”
It would seem that we have a difficult jigsaw to put together before we can work out what’s happening – we could well be missing some of the pieces too.

Michael
December 10, 2009 1:56 pm

Can the current buildup of the record amount of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic be explained by the current solar minimum?

Editor
December 10, 2009 2:06 pm

Congratulations and thanks to Roy Spencer for doing this. Very interesting.
Instead of using the Ap index as a proxy for GCRs, wouldn’t it be better to use actual GCR data.
ENSO possibly has quite a large effect on cloud cover, so would make any study over a short time period rather problematic.
If I understand the GCR/cloud theory correctly …
There could also be regional / seasonal / other factors affecting cloud formation by GCRs – ie, GCRs may form the aerosols, and clouds form on the aerosols, more effectively at some times than at other times.
Please keep the research going, but it could take a while!

Lulo
December 10, 2009 2:07 pm

I, like Dr. Spencer, am skeptical on AGW and on the cosmic ray hypotheses. Dr. Spencer, if you read this, is there any possibility that minute global cooling due to tiny percentage reductions in solar radiation intensity at a global scale might result in slightly higher cloud cover (due simply to the mean temperature being ever so slightly closer to the dew point because of lag effects of moisture compared to incident solar radiation), thereby accelerating the cooling and causing more cloud, with the reverse process occurring during periods of slightly higher solar radiation? In a sense, I am proposing two ‘vicious’ cycles, cooling and warming, as enhancement mechanisms for the proportionally tiny changes in solar radiation intensity with the solar cycles. Of course, I am sure that other natural processes (eg. oceanic circulation, change variations in snow cover and even perhaps AGW) could mask or compensate for such a hypothesis at different time-scales. I guess I am just interested to hear whether there is a reason that this rather elementary hypothesis of mine is wrong.

Stephen Wilde
December 10, 2009 2:07 pm

Tenuc (13:55:14)
“”Marty Mlynczak, of NASA Langley Research Center:-
“…In the quiet solar year of 2008, for instance, the upper atmosphere’s ultraviolet radiation emissions have dipped to levels 10 times lower than when SABER’s observations began in 2002…””
As I pointed out. A less turbulent solar energy flow reduces energy loss to space and the stratosphere upwards starts to warm. Stratospheric (and upwards) temperature changes are caused by changes in the turbulence of the solar energy flow and not by changing levels of GHGs. Tropospheric temperature changes are caused by the rate of ocean energy release and not by changing levels of GHGs (or at least not enough to measure).
It has to be an issue of turbulence and not temperature because, as Leif says, the size of the change in solar power is not enough to cause the observed temperature changes. That also deals with crosspatch’s ballon analogy because the extra solar energy is not enough to make the atmosphere expand enough to produce the observed effect.

Lulo
December 10, 2009 2:08 pm

Typo: In the previous message, I meant ‘chance’ variations, not ‘change variations;’

Paul Vaughan
December 10, 2009 2:11 pm

P Wilson (11:11:42) “It seems that official climatology today is at the same stage of the papacy in Galileo’s day.”
Yes – Hansen’s recent comments were interesting too – (church turning a blind eye for sinners who paid 100s of years ago).

Re: tallbloke (13:07:53) [S & J spatiotemporal harmonics]
Interesting – thanks.

Britannic no-see-um
December 10, 2009 2:11 pm

Dave L (11:26:26)
I had problems earlier today playing the CERN Jasper Kirkby lecture until I found the video on the main document server which plays perfectly.
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073
Definitely one of the most outstanding presentations and absolutely essential viewing, in my opinion.

December 10, 2009 2:14 pm

Dr Spencer and Dr. Svalgaard–What do you think of the folks who espouse The Electric Universe rather than fusion based?
Thanks
REPLY: lets leave that question unanswered for two reasons: 1) it is way off topic, it has nothing to do with earth’s climate and GCR’s 2) previous discussions like this have hijacked threads and I won’t allow it hear anymore – Anthony

December 10, 2009 2:17 pm

Bart (13:07:36) :
In my naive view, the bulge could decrease pressure in the upper stratosphere, and when I get low pressure on my barometer here on Earth, I am likely to see clouds.
Isn’t the pressure at the surface simply the weight of all the overlying molecules which wouldn’t change?
Stephen Wilde (13:37:54) :
If it increases the rate of energy loss to space during a period of more turbulent solar activity then it would have an effect on climate.
What energy loss?
Also, if the Earth’s warms, its energy loss to space will increase correspondingly.

u.k.(us)
December 10, 2009 2:22 pm

re: climate variability
MY new mantra is: ITSS
It’s The Sun Stupid!

Paul Vaughan
December 10, 2009 2:28 pm

Alarmists take note:
Tilo Reber (09:43:18) “When I think of all the times that I’ve seen Gavin refer to “natural climate variability”, and I knew full well that he didn’t know what “natural climate variability” he was talking about, this all comes back as extremely funny. To be more clear, I asked Gavin directly to identify the natural variability that was effecting temperature since 1998. He deleted my comment.”
Thanks for sharing these telling anecdotes.

Bart
December 10, 2009 2:40 pm

Leif Svalgaard (14:17:06) :
Isn’t the pressure at the surface simply the weight of all the overlying molecules which wouldn’t change?
It is a dynamic system. I don’t think the association of low barometric pressure with storm fronts is in any way contentious. Am I misreading your meaning?

December 10, 2009 2:41 pm

Sorry, I should have entered a question at the end about how that theory might have an effect on our geomagnetic field and our climate. I’m not trying to hijack anything.

Jack Green
December 10, 2009 2:43 pm

I watched Jasper Kirby and we need a magnetic cosmic ray shield to keep us from spiraling into another ice age. CO2 is not the cause of global warming which gets humans off the hook at least as to Carbon. Aerosols may be the problem but this is so technical you can’t get political types to latch onto something so small.
Jasper needs to speak up in the scientific community that CO2 is obviously not the problem. Everyone should watch the video but it is an hour long.
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073

jorgekafkazar
December 10, 2009 2:45 pm

David Radioboy (13:39:06) : “If sunspot activity has such demonstrably dramatic affects on the upper atmosphere, it is a racing certainty that it affects the twelve miles or so of the lower atmosphere that controls our weather.”
Nah. The lower atmosphere isn’t ionized, David. Keep thinking, though.

John Costello
December 10, 2009 2:54 pm

Dr Spencer, all;
My degree is in archaeology, i xpercialized in obsidian hydration dating, which is an entirely temperature dependent phenomenon. Ergo, I had to study past temperatures, and my own research confirmed the Little Ice
Age and the medieval warm period, so when I first saw the Hockey Stick I was immediately prejudiced against it. Nothing I have seen since has changed my mind.
My willingness to believe Svensmark’s model also comes from archaeology. The principal dating method used is C14, an isiotope of carbon with a half life of about 5600 years crasted in the atmosphere by cosmic ray bombardment, something that has been known since about 1950. Also known is that certain eras have to have their C14 dates “calibrated” using tree ring dating, because in certain periods there was much more C14 produced (obviosly by an increased cosmic ray flux.) Theswe coincide with tghe little ice age and other colder periods.
Correlation is not causation , but when correlations follow a predictable patern it’s certainly worth while to look for a cause, and I find Svensmark’s, Shaviv’s and Veiner;s hnypothesis convincing.
Of course, I;’m only an archaeologist, and not a “climate scientist.”

John Costello
December 10, 2009 2:57 pm

I also have recently developed arthritis and my touch typing has gotten miserable.

December 10, 2009 3:08 pm

Bart (14:40:21) :
“Isn’t the pressure at the surface simply the weight of all the overlying molecules which wouldn’t change?”
It is a dynamic system. I don’t think the association of low barometric pressure with storm fronts is in any way contentious. Am I misreading your meaning?

The pressure is the weight of all the molecules from the surface all the way up to the ‘top of the atmosphere’. Right?
Expanding the atmosphere a bit does not change the number or total weight of the atmosphere [ignoring a small decrease in gravity with altitude], so the pressure would not depend on the atmosphere breathing.

glen martin
December 10, 2009 3:12 pm

After the interplanetary geomagnetic index (Ap) is homogenized to correct for the step function in Oct 2005 the current value is no longer unprecedented. The science is settled.

Tom in Florida
December 10, 2009 3:19 pm

ShrNfr (11:26:47) : “Actually, you can “see” cosmic rays (or rather their byproducts) when you are the ISS. When a muon goes through the right area of your skull it causes a flash of light in you visible field.”
OT, but as a word of caution, those flashes could also indicate a torn or about to be torn retina. Been there, done that. If they persist have it checked.

Power Grab
December 10, 2009 3:23 pm

>Bart (13:14:21) :
>
>OK, one thing is, my familiarity with the bulge is a good bit higher than the >stratosphere. But, the higher the clouds, as I understand it, the more they >induce net warming.
I, too, expect to get pummeled for dabbling in things I am not trained in…BUT… I have had the same idea.
I have the idea that when there is a bulged area of clear atmosphere, it is like a thick comforter on a sleeping person–it promotes more warmth. By the same token, a reversed situation, where the clear part of the atmosphere is thinner, that will lead to the cold of space being closer to the surface of the earth…leading to more cold, like a sleeping person covered only by a thin sheet.
Didn’t they say last December that the ionosphere was not where they expected it to be? Wasn’t it 400 meters lower than they expected to find it? How thoroughly do we track its height?

December 10, 2009 3:25 pm

One of the observations I have seen from published papers is that there is a lot of noise when the AP index is between about 10-16. We see it here again in this data. Nothing clear. However when its above 18 the earth trends towards more warming. It maybe that there is in fact an AP index threshold of 18 required before there is appreciable reductions in cosmic rays reaching the lower atmosphere. I personally think there could by chance be a profound simplicity to climate change. It appears we only get appreciable effects when the AP index moves above 18. You can see it in this paper.
Can we use the aa geomagnetic activity index to predict partially the variability in global mean temperatures?M.A. El-Borie1 and S.S. Al-Thoyaib2 International Journal of Physical Sciences Vol. 1 (2), pp. 067-074, October, 2006. It may be we could consider the effects of the AP index like a variable fan beside a cooking pot. It takes an appreciable change to start to have a trend towards warming or cooling of the pot ( I work on cooking issues in addition to work as an agroecologist/climate change scientist). Beans won’t cook in a warming pot unless a threshold temperature is reached and cosmic rays may not be knocked away reliably unless the AP index gets above 18.

December 10, 2009 3:30 pm

Maybe i should have used the analogy of a variable fan on a grain cleaner and that would have been even simpler.

Bart
December 10, 2009 3:31 pm

…”so the pressure would not depend on the atmosphere breathing.”
Have you confused me with another poster? I’m not even sure what “breathing” in this context means. There is no doubt whatsoever that atmospheric pressure varies at the surface, and that low pressure there brings on clouds. But, I’m not making any point with regard to low level clouds anyway. I’m merely saying that:
1) I know lower pressure at the surface is associated with cloud formation
2) Perhaps lower pressure in the upper atmosphere could therefore stoke cloud formation there
What I know about that is, at high altitudes, the the so-called diurnal bulge expands significantly when the Sun is active. If gets a lot denser at orbital altitudes, but that is only because it gets pushed up that high where it wasn’t before. Since there is more atmosphere at higher altitude, I would expect the pressure to drop at slightly lower altitude, hence perhaps creating high altitude clouds.
Thus, in a Sun active phase, you could get more high altitude clouds, which would let sunlight through but reflect radiation from the Earth back down, leading to elevated temperature. In a low activity phase, you would get less high cloud cover, resulting in less reflected energy back down, thus enhancing the cooling effect of diminished energy flux. That is the conjecture I am placing forward for review.

NickB.
December 10, 2009 3:42 pm

Wow – someone on CNN just referred to Global Warming as “weird science that they’ve manufactured” as the last word of a discussion about Sarah Palin trying to become the Anti-Gore

David L. Hagen
December 10, 2009 3:48 pm

JonesII
Thanks. For further details see: NASA on Galactic Cosmic Rays
Galactic Cosmic Rays also cause ionization. e.g.
The galactic cosmic ray ionization rate, A Dalgarno – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2006

The chemistry that occurs in the interstellar medium in response to cosmic ray ionization is summarized, and a review of the ionization rates that have been derived from measurements of molecular abundances is presented. The successful detection of large abundances of H3 + in diffuse clouds and the recognition that dissociative recombination of H3 + is fast has led to an upward revision of the derived ionization rates.

Cosmic ray induced ionization in the atmosphere: Full modeling and practical applications Ilya G. Usoskin and Gennady A. Kovaltsov, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 111, D21206, doi:10.1029/2006JD007150, 2006
Latitudinal dependence of low cloud amount on cosmic ray induced ionization I.G. Usoskin, N.Marsh, G.A. Kovaltsov, K.Mursula, O.G. Gladysheva, arXiv:physics/0407066v1 [physics.ao-ph] etc.

December 10, 2009 3:56 pm

Bart (15:31:59) :
What I know about that is, at high altitudes, the the so-called diurnal bulge expands significantly when the Sun is active. If gets a lot denser at orbital altitudes, but that is only because it gets pushed up that high where it wasn’t before. Since there is more atmosphere at higher altitude, I would expect the pressure to drop at slightly lower altitude, hence perhaps creating high altitude clouds.
The diurnal bulge is a global [ok, semi-global] phenomenon. You are saying that the combined weight of two unequal sacks stacked on top of each other is different when the heavy sack is on top rather than the lighter one?

Jeremy
December 10, 2009 4:02 pm

Jack Green (14:43:39) : I watched Jasper Kirby and we need a magnetic cosmic ray shield to keep us from spiraling into another ice age.
Agreed. You mean a kind of reflective dome shield like this
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/Mann/home/mann_treering.jpg
…of course it would need to be launched into space to have the most effect.

David L. Hagen
December 10, 2009 4:03 pm

Roy
Per comment above on looking at the poles, see Figure 3 in:
Latitudinal dependence of low cloud amount on cosmic ray induced ionization I.G. Usoskin et al 2006. They show about 5 times greater intensity at the poles at a solar minimum than at the equator.

One can see that the CRII [cosmic ray induced
ionization], at the depth of 700 g/cm2 in polar region, was about 40% higher during the Maunder minimum than during the recent solar cycle minima, which is double the variation in the course of the solar cycle (Figure 4). We note that this ratio increases with altitude and geomagnetic latitude [see, e.g., McCracken et al., 2004b].

The present solar cycle 23 to 24 is unusually low, so the pole to equator difference may currently be even greater.
Note also Svensmark’s cloud impact being a maximum 7-10 days after a Forbush event. See: Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds H Svensmark, T Bondo, J Svensmark – Geophysical Research Letters, 2009
Thus comparing the ratio of clouds or reflectivity at 7 days after a Forbush event minimum to the day before one, at the magnetic poles compared to at the magnetic equator, may provide interesting five fold difference in the expected signal, compared to at the solar maximum.

jensen
December 10, 2009 4:12 pm

Russian astrophysicists have discovered that the size of the sun varies.
They have constructed a complicated device that can more precisely
measure the suns changing size. It is to be attached to the space station in 2012, and after six years of data sampling they hope to find data which can explain the sun´s size variability to possibly have some connexion with earth´s climate variability But what mechanisms? Very thrilling, but longstanding wait, Alas.
I would like to hear or read more on this topic.
Jensen

Bart
December 10, 2009 4:20 pm

Leif Svalgaard (15:56:12) :
It appears to me you think I am arguing something I am not.
I am not arguing about the surface. I am not conceding anything, but I want you to forget about the surface pressure.
I am arguing that the diurnal bulge increases the volume of the upper atmosphere, more than it increases temperature, and since pressure is inversely proportional to volume divided by temperature in an ideal gas (PV=nRT and all that), I am guessing that the pressure in the upper atmosphere most likely decreases.
My focus is entirely on the upper atmosphere, OK?

Bart
December 10, 2009 4:26 pm

In particular, I am not arguing that the diurnal bulge has any effect on surface pressure.
I was merely using surface cloud formation phenomena to extrapolate behavior to the upper atmosphere. But, I can see that only confused the issue.
I am only interested in the upper atmosphere from here on out.

Jim Arndt
December 10, 2009 4:26 pm

Here is a comparison using many different aspects of magnetism and comparing it to temperature variability.
http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/EarthMagneticField.htm

Bart
December 10, 2009 4:27 pm

And, I am suggesting that lower pressure in the upper atmosphere should lead to cloud formation there.

Stephen Wilde
December 10, 2009 4:33 pm

Leif Svalgaard: (14:17:06)
“If it increases the rate of energy loss to space during a period of more turbulent solar activity then it would have an effect on climate.
What energy loss?
The energy loss described in my link:
“Sunspots unleash solar flares that create a ripple effect well beyond Earth. But when that energy flow does reach Earth, the atmosphere reciprocates by ejecting radiation as a cooling effect.”
I take that as meaning a net cooling effect i.e. the cooling exceeds the energy value added by the very tiny increase in solar power. Rather like the way increased windspeed over a mobile fluid takes away energy faster due to the wind pressure creating waves that increase surface area.
Leif Svalgaard:
“Also, if the Earth’s warms, its energy loss to space will increase correspondingly.”
Of course it does but you keep saying that the variation in solar power is too small to account for observed temperature variations so the Earth warming is not the cause of the increased rate of energy loss to space. It has instead to be caused by the extra turbulence of the energy flow impacting the upper atmosphere and causing disturbances that increase the surface area of all the layers down to the top of the stratosphere.

Jeff
December 10, 2009 4:42 pm

Roy Spencer (10:19:43) : writes about cloud chamber particle tracks:
“sounds like a cool experiment, Jeff. But how do you know they are not pixie contrails?”
Until a few weeks ago I would have said the science was settled [heh], so my first question is how much of that “settled science” was done by CRU. The second question would be whether the people who peer reviewed the cosmic ray research excluded those scientists advocating a Pixie Dust Theory. I did find an article [PIXIE DUST: THE SILICATE FEATURES IN THE DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM] on interstellar pixie dust, but it referred to silicates as opposed to ionized particles.
Given the current state of science, I’ll hedge and say I lean towards cosmic rays being responsible, and agnostic about pixie dust as I’m not an expert in that field.
Jeff

Paul Vaughan
December 10, 2009 4:46 pm

This video won’t play:
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/
No idea idea why – and no interest in software techno-babble.
Anyone know of an alternate that simply works when one hits “play”?

December 10, 2009 5:05 pm

Bart (16:26:00) :
I am only interested in the upper atmosphere from here on out.
Bart (16:27:10) :
And, I am suggesting that lower pressure in the upper atmosphere should lead to cloud formation there.
Upper atmosphere is from 100 km on up. Not many clouds up there [NC excepted].
Stephen Wilde (16:33:26) :
The energy loss described in my link:
“Sunspots unleash solar flares that create a ripple effect well beyond Earth. But when that energy flow does reach Earth, the atmosphere reciprocates by ejecting radiation as a cooling effect.”

that statement borders on nonsense [probably caused by the PR people]. Again: what energy flow?
Even the largest solar flares produce only 1/4,000 extra energy from what we get from TSI and that only for a few minutes. In fact, only one case has been observed: http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/~tohban/wiki/index.php/Chree_Analysis_for_Flares

David L. Hagen
December 10, 2009 5:28 pm

Roy
On lags, see Charles Perry finding a 34 year lag as most significant with R2 ~ 0.35. See Fig. 6 in:
Evidence for a physical linkage between galactic cosmic rays and regional climate time series Charles A. Perry, Advances in Space Research 40 (2007) 353–364

yonason
December 10, 2009 5:35 pm

You just had to do it, didn’t you! And with a nice stretch of spot free days, too.
But now you post on sunspots, and: Daily Sun: 10 Dec. 09
Emerging sunspot 1034 is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Credit: SOHO/MDI

http://spaceweather.com/
It’s not a very impressive one, though.
http://spaceweather.com/images2009/10dec09/midi512_blank.gif?PHPSESSID=kbk87q8jm8b4f2bavjfspqmg16
(it’s at about 10:00, just coming over the rim)

James F. Evans
December 10, 2009 5:36 pm

“Proxy” reconstructions are problematic.
Science can now observe & measure the sun’s output in high resolution.
Before the space age much of the Sun’s observation was limited to sunspot counts and apparent magnitude.
Conclusions about present solar activity based on assumptions, “proxy” reconstructions, of past solar activity is subject to the same weaknesses as other “proxy” paleo-reconstructions.
To eliminate the Sun’s output as a cause of temperature change when hard data is unavailable and paleo-reconstructions is all Science has for comparison/analysis is unwarranted.

yonason
December 10, 2009 5:46 pm

While rare, a solar “superstorm” can, and and even has, occurred.
But when that happens again, cloud cover or the lack of it will be the least of our worries.

December 10, 2009 6:00 pm

James F. Evans (17:36:42) :
Conclusions about present solar activity based on assumptions, “proxy” reconstructions, of past solar activity is subject to the same weaknesses as other “proxy” paleo-reconstructions.
No, they are not. And many paleo-reconstructions are actually measurements, just using the Earth as the instrument. You can’t generalize here.

Bart
December 10, 2009 6:05 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:05:59) :
“Upper atmosphere is from 100 km on up. Not many clouds up there.”
The bulge can extend from about 100 km to maybe 500 km. The atmosphere in it is not very comparatively dense, but the volume grows with R^3, so I would imagine that could be sucking a large number of air molecules from the higher altitudes (~8-23 km I am guessing) which do have clouds.
At the risk of sending you on another tangent, the difference between stormy and fair weather at the surface is less than 10% of total pressure, so in an analogous situation, it might not take too much mass exchange at high cloud forming altitudes to make a big difference.

u.k.(us)
December 10, 2009 6:05 pm

3/4 of earths (exposed) land mass is in the northern hemishere, 7/10 of the earth is covered by water.
i.e. land temperatures didn’t cause the ice ages,wonder what did? combination of many cyclic forces that happen to coinside every 100k years or so? with smaller coinsidences around the main event every 20k years or so? looks like thats whats been happening lately. somebody figure it out and let me know, i’m curious.

Dane Skold
December 10, 2009 6:28 pm

Crosspatch:
The question was posted with respect to the posting of the global editorial on Realclimate.org.
RC.O posted a preamble to the editorial with the disclaimer that the mods of RC took no position on the editorial.
This prompted two very relevant questions:
1. Why won’t you take a position on the editorial?
2. Were you instrumental in its authorship?
If they participated in its authorship, then they are being dishonest about not taking a position about it…it’s their own workproduct.
In the end, the issue is transparency.

Claude Harvey
December 10, 2009 6:36 pm

Re:
ShrNfr (11:26:47) : “Actually, you can “see” cosmic rays (or rather their byproducts) when you are the ISS. When a muon goes through the right area of your skull it causes a flash of light in you visible field.”
“OT, but as a word of caution, those flashes could also indicate a torn or about to be torn retina. Been there, done that. If they persist have it checked.”
OR, these flashes could mean onset of the “Al Gore Syndrome”; a psychiatric disorder causing the patient to see things that plainly are not there.
CH

December 10, 2009 6:39 pm

Bart (18:05:34) :
The bulge can extend from about 100 km to maybe 500 km. The atmosphere in it is not very comparatively dense, but the volume grows with R^3, so I would imagine that could be sucking a large number of air molecules from the higher altitudes (~8-23 km I am guessing) which do have clouds.
The density decreases by a factor of 1000 for each 50 km you ascend, so at 100 km it is a million times smaller than at the surface, at 150 km, a billion times smaller, etc. Not much air to exchange.
And the volume of a shell [an atmospheric layer] increases with R^2, not R^3, if R was supposed to mean distance from Earth’s center.

Gordon Ford
December 10, 2009 6:44 pm

A polite discussion. Who needs peer review.

December 10, 2009 7:30 pm

Roy,
If my memory serves me correctly there is a major correlation between cloud cover and various climatic oscillations, in particular the ENSO. it would be interesting to see the crosscorrelation between the Ap index, cloud cover and the ENSO. My guess is that the correlation between the cloud cover and ENSO is much higher than the correlation between the Ap index and the ENSO. If that is the case then this strongly suggests that the ENSO and the sun are fairly independent factors that control cloud cover. In that case it should be possible to filter out the ENSO-contribution to get a better correlation.

rbateman
December 10, 2009 7:41 pm

yonason (17:35:51) :
I projected it this morning, a shade darker than 60% black.
It should not last long as the diffusion rate of it’s underlying Active Region is proceeding unhindered.

Ian Cooper
December 10, 2009 7:50 pm

Regarding increasing cloud cover. Given that many, but not all, met sites record sunshine hours, can this data be used as a proxy indicator for cloud cover (or tha lack of)? By this I mean, are we seeing any noticeable decreases in sushine hours around the world, and if so does this confirm an increase in cloudiness? Or is this just too simplistic?

Bart
December 10, 2009 7:57 pm

“And the volume of a shell [an atmospheric layer] increases with R^2…”
Only approximately for a thin shell of uniform depth.
The volume of a spherical shell is (4/3)*pi*(R2^3-R1^3), where R2 is the upper radius, and R1 is the lower. Perhaps more usefully, I calculate the volume of a conic segment of a spherical shell as (4/3)*pi*(R2^3-R1^3)*sin(phi/2)^2, where phi is the half angle of the cone. If you fix R1, the volumes grow as R2^3. That is what I meant.
“The density decreases by a factor of 1000 for each 50 km you ascend, so at 100 km it is a million times smaller than at the surface, at 150 km, a billion times smaller, etc.”
But, that profile is precisely what the bulge changes. And, of course, we are looking for pressure, not density, variation, although I suppose they ought roughly to be proportional to one another…
I admit, prima facie, it does not look too promising, but it all depends on how sensitive the cloud bearing layer is to pressure variation, and whether perhaps I have simplified things too much by neglecting temperature variation.
Eh, it was worth a try anyway. /shrug

photon without a Higgs
December 10, 2009 8:44 pm

-35 F in Wyoming USA this morning
-58 F in Siberia Russia this morning
I don’t think -PDO explains that

DocWat
December 10, 2009 8:45 pm

I’m with UK(US) at 14:22… ITSS

December 10, 2009 9:03 pm

Bart (19:57:38) :
Perhaps more usefully, I calculate the volume of a conic segment of a spherical shell as (4/3)*pi*(R2^3-R1^3)*sin(phi/2)^2, where phi is the half angle of the cone. If you fix R1, the volumes grow as R2^3. That is what I meant.
No, because R2 is almost the same as R1, say R2 = R1 + dR, then R2^3 = R1^3 + 3R1^2*dR, and (R2^3-R1^3) = 3 R1^2 dR, hence R^2 not R^3.
[/nit pick off]

photon without a Higgs
December 10, 2009 9:12 pm

…the potential effects of sunspot activity on climate.
I think it’s not about sunspots. I can’t remember Henrik Svensmark singling out sunspots.
Does Henrik Svensmark know he is being discussed here?

David
December 10, 2009 9:43 pm

Onar Åm (19:30:43) :
Basically, that is where I was headed with my comment earlier. The problem is that if(<–) the sun warms the ocean, then when the AP index goes down and theoretically, cloud cover goes up, SSTs should also go down?
But then I got thinking about how land masses bleed their radiative energy faster than water and it only made sense that the land temps would drop before an El Nino and cooler air would settle over the Pacific which would then allow heat to escape and warm the continents, which would then bleed the energy off into space. Then I decided I was thinking way too deeply about it and sat down with my daughter to color.

Mike the QE
December 10, 2009 9:58 pm

Off the topic:
The notion that the earth revolved around the sun was heresy to the Church, since it took man away from the centre of the universe.
Actually, a) it was not declared a heresy and b) the earth was at the bottom of the universe, the most ignoble spot, farthest from heaven. The science was against Galileo. The lack of parallax falsified the theory, and the Church was not prepared to abandon any literal readings [not in the face of Protestant accusations that they were soft on the Bible] just on Galileo’s say-so. Bellarmine invited him to submit empirical evidence, but he never did so. The Proof of the Tides was bogus, and people at the time knew it. Now, the lack of parallax was because the stars were much farther away than astronomers had supposed, but you can’t prove one unproven hypothesis by making a second unproven hypothesis.
On the topic:
The Ap index is an ordinal scale, not a ratio scale, no?
I have seen many a correlation as a QE where at one process level of X there was no correlation with Y and at another level no correlation — but the difference in level of X clearly matched a difference in the level of Y.

James F. Evans
December 10, 2009 10:07 pm

Show the hard data and the apparatus used to observe & measure Sun output data 100 years ago, or 150 years ago and so on.
Without hard data, “proxy” paleo-reconstructions are problematic.
Reconstructions are not primary evidence, rather reconstructions are a series of assumptions.
Any and all assumptions must be viewed with scepticism, especially any that can’t be directly verified.
Essentially, AGW relies on assumptions for its viability as a science.
Too many assumptions.

December 10, 2009 10:08 pm

Mike the QE (21:58:24) :
The Ap index is an ordinal scale, not a ratio scale, no?
Yes. See section 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf
page 14 ff [on the pdf]

December 10, 2009 10:23 pm

I just want to say I double checked Svensmark’s comments on clouds and I was wrong to say it’s medium height clouds that are correlated to cosmic rays. It’s low-level clouds. My apologies for the mistake.

December 10, 2009 10:42 pm

James F. Evans (22:07:49) :
Show the hard data and the apparatus used to observe & measure Sun output data 100 years ago, or 150 years ago and so on.
It measures solar output today, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 150 years ago, …
Here are some hard data from January 1883 (one per hour – average for the month from Wilhelmshaven, Germany):
582 578 576 579 576 568 577 579 572 562 548 543 535 538 548 558 562 559 580 587 593 594 584 584
You cannot generalize and the only assumption in the above example is the the universe worked the same back then as it does now.

Bart
December 10, 2009 11:43 pm

Leif Svalgaard (21:03:30) :
[/nit pick on]
“No, because R2 is almost the same as R1, say R2 = R1 + dR, then R2^3 = R1^3 + 3R1^2*dR, and (R2^3-R1^3) = 3 R1^2 dR, hence R^2 not R^3.”
You mean, approximately when you have a thin shell of uniform depth? Hmm… where have I heard that before?
[/nit pick off]
OK, here’s another completely off-the-wall suggestion. The bulge acts like a lens, focusing the light in such a way as to warm the troposphere and cool the stratosphere, and vice versa when the bulge diminishes. By focusing the sunlight inward, it takes a shorter path to the surface, so it doesn’t spend as much time taking the longer path “sideways” through the atmosphere. It might not be as crazy as it sounds. Generally speaking, objects on the horizon are refracted a full 1/2 degree or so through the atmosphere. The inward flux is so large that even a small change might have a significant effect.
I’m just throwing out ideas here so, no snark from anyone, please.

December 10, 2009 11:44 pm

Jim Arndt (16:26:03) :
Here is a comparison using many different aspects of magnetism and comparing it to temperature variability.
http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/EarthMagneticField.htm

“Most of the energy transfer to the Earth from the solar wind is accomplished electrically, and nearly the entire voltage associated with this process appears in the polar cap region, which extends typically less than 20° in latitude from the magnetic pole. The total voltage across the polar cap can be as large as 100,000 volts, rivaling that of thunderstorm electrification of the planet in magnitude. This polar cap electric field is the major source of largescale horizontal voltage differences in the atmosphere. Moreover, the dynamic polar region accounts for a large fraction of the variability inherent in our upper atmosphere, variability due to chaotic changes in the solar wind magnetic field that produces large-scale restructuring of the cavity enclosing the Earth’s magnetic field. This restructuring visibly manifests itself most clearly in the production of ionized plasmas and the associated distribution of aurora high over the north and south polar regions. In turn, the Earth’s lower atmosphere (that part responsible for weather phenomena) undergoes variations in composition and dynamics influenced by these coupling effects through a complex and as yet not fully understood feedback system. [http://www.arcus.org/logistics/svalbard/Svalbard.pdf]
“It can be seen from this plot that there have been a number of changes in the general trend of secular variation in the past, in particular at about 1925, 1969, 1978 and 1992. These sudden changes are known as jerks or impulses and, at the present time, are not well understood and are certainly not predictable. Some researchers have found evidence for a correlation with length-of-day changes.” [http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/earthmag.html]
It’s also correlated with another entirely predictable phenomenon. I won’t discuss it here in deference to Anthony’s wishes, but I have a blog post up if you click on my name. I’d welcome comments and discussion.

rbateman
December 10, 2009 11:46 pm

One small spot for the Sun, one giant storm for the nation’s heartland.
Kind of ironic. and that pic of the Sun at the top made me do it.

Paul Vaughan
December 11, 2009 12:22 am

Onar Åm (19:30:43) “If that is the case then this strongly suggests that the ENSO and the sun are fairly independent factors that control cloud cover.”
I would describe the multivariate phase-contrasts as being at least intermittently non-random (so cross-wavelet methods will be more fruitful than cross-correlation, at least until the conditioning is worked out). I would encourage you to reconsider the nature of what you are calling “the sun”. Also, we need to keep in mind that SOI is just one index of pressure patterns. The work that needs to be done on this file is going to require a clear agenda for an indefinite amount of time, but I can see no higher priority in climate research at this stage. I’ve shelved my work on this file, knowing that I will have to be funded to the teeth, with no competing obligations, to arrange the operations necessary to advance on this front. Hopefully others are better-positioned to launch an offensive.

Nigel Calder
December 11, 2009 12:27 am

Why do so many people speculate inaccurately about what they imagine Henrik Svensmark thinks, when all but his very latest work was set out in plain language by him and me, in our book The Chilling Stars, published in 2007 and updated in 2008?
The geomagnetic field has very little influence on the Svensmark effect. Here’s what we wrote on pp. 59-60 of The Chilling Stars (both editions).
“The calculations focused on the cosmic-ray activity in the lowest 2,000 metres of the atmosphere, which contributes to the formation of the climatically important low clouds. Remarkably, as many as 60 per cent of the all-important muons are products of cosmic rays coming in from the Galaxy with so much energy that the Sun’s magnetic defences offer no protection against them. They are not involved in the climatic variations over the centuries due to changes in the Sun’s behaviour. Over millions of years, the input of these energetic cosmic rays changes as the Earth travels with the Sun through changing scenery in the Galaxy. Later in the book we’ll see how big the consequences were for the Earth’s climate.
“The remaining 40 per cent of cosmic rays that influence events in the lower air are subject to control by the Sun’s magnetic field. That’s plenty to account for the swings between warm and cold periods already described. But the Earth’s magnetic field has a much weaker effect. The outcome of the calculations is that only 3 per cent of the cloud-making muons that penetrate to low altitudes originate from incoming particles of such relatively feeble energy that changes in the Earth’s magnetism can affect them.”

Paul
December 11, 2009 2:18 am

Why cant we just point a particle accelerator at a clear sky, fire it up, and see if we cant start a cloud off?

meemoe_uk
December 11, 2009 2:25 am

I’ve already said why there won’t be much of a corelation between total cloud cover and magnetic index \ cosmic ray count.
cloud formabilty increases with increasing cosmic ray counts.
But also,
Precipitation-abilty ( cloud destruction ) also increases with increasing cosmic ray counts.
The net amount of cloud does not change much.
Clouds form easier, but also precipate easier.
You can’t have your cloud and eat it.
Average cloud lifetime decreases with increasing cosmic rays.
The main effect of increase in cosmic rays on climate is the variation in location of cloud cover, which shifts to the oceans. This warms the oceans slightly, while the land becomes colder and more arid.
I’d like to see a wattsupwiththat article on this effect. But we’ve got 150 ideas in the comments on how GCR cause Earth temperture to go down. So the idea is somewhat lost in the blizzard. I’m glad you posted Roy Spencer’s take on the increase GCR = increase cloud cover because it shows it to be poor at best and likely false. Now we’ve got that theory out the way ( again ), can we please move onto the truth?

PJMM
December 11, 2009 2:54 am

Maybe the answer is more simple that we think.
Maybe the low magnetic solar induces changes in the rotarion of the Earth. First, the core the Earth, later the mantle and later the crust.
In the crust, first the solids change the velocity. Later the liquids. In plain words, first the change in velocity afects the continents and later the oceans. Because the cinetic energy of the waters the behaviour is different .
But if that changes in velocity afects in different ways and time the solids and the liquids in the crust, maybe afects diferently the gases. So, when the velocity of the earth changes, the global air circulation changes too. And the temperatures.
So, nothing of this is new as we thougth. The answer maybe is more “simple” than we think.
http://www.natsci.colostate.edu/jurs/example/index.htm
http://sait.oat.ts.astro.it/MSAIt760405/PDF/2005MmSAI..76..957D.pdf
And following the others…
Perhaps we should open the eyes to others works and be less pretensious. Who knows?

Stephen Wilde
December 11, 2009 3:25 am

Leif Svalgaard (17:05:59)
“Even the largest solar flares produce only 1/4,000 extra energy from what we get from TSI and that only for a few minutes. In fact, only one case has been observed.”
I don’t see that that matters. You are still fixated on energy content rather than the degree of turbulence in the flow of energy through space to the Earth from the sun.
The observed ‘breathing’ of the upper atmosphere, which you confirm has been known about for decades suggests that the rate of energy loss from atmosphere to space does vary with the turbulence or unevenness of the flow of solar energy through space to the Earth.
A deductive leap needs to be made so as to realise that if such an effect occurs on a small scale with individual solar flares then that effect is going to be present on a very much larger scale as the level of solar turbulence changes over centuries from say Maunder Minimum to Modern Maximum and back again.
The fact that the absolute power of the sun varies hardly at all seems to be irrelevant. What seems to happen is that the more uneven, irregular, turbulent (or whatever) the flow of energy from the sun is then the faster energy is lost from the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere to space.
The more stable it is the less quickly energy is lost from the upper layers to space.
The SABER observation is evidence of that.
The observation referred to by Tenuc is evidence of that.
The observation that the cooling of the stratosphere correlates with an active sun and a warming stratosphere correlates with a less active sun is evidence of that.
All the earlier knowledge about the ‘breathing’ effect is evidence of that.
Once one reverses the sign of the temperature effect of a more active sun then a great deal falls into place as I have pointed out.
Reversing the sign allows an obvious balancing act to emerge whereby the temperature of the troposphere is dictated by interplay between oceans and sun. Sometimes offsetting one another and sometimes reinforcing one nother.
The evidence that a reversal of the sign is correct is that one can then postulate a reason why interglacials are relatively stable ( ocean effects are offset by solar effects and vice versa) and why glacial epochs are so unstable (ocean and solar effects compound one another resulting in much larger temperature swings).
It also follows that ocean effects and solar effects are not always timed so as to offset one another as they do currently (on average). You have previously accepted that the current timing of weak sun with low temperatures (such as during the Maunder Minimum) might be coincidental. I now agree with that. It would seem that with current landmass distributions that timing has to be as it now is to allow an interglacial at all.
So, during say the Carboniferous one would regularly see low solar turbulence reducing energy loss to space and a build up of energy in the troposphere during periods of warm ocean surfaces that would not be fully offset by reductions of energy in the troposphere during periods of cool ocean surfaces thus a warm period overall.
During ice ages the ocean warm periods would be met with a less active sun thus both processes acting to accumulate energy in the troposphere at the same time whilst during ocean cool periods there would be a more active sun thus both processes acting to reduce energy in the tropsphere with the warmer spells failing to fully offset the cooling of the cooler periods leading to large climate swings and ice cap growth.
The logic seems sound and it fits rather a lot of real world observations.

December 11, 2009 4:50 am

Following Nigel Calder’s comment above. Maybe we need think about that idea that its only strong events like forbush events or a really stong AP index that can drive away GCR’s that form clouds. I think the grain cleaner analogy might just be correct. The only way to clean the light grain out well is to turn the fan up pretty high. A low Ap index does nothing.

TomVonk
December 11, 2009 4:50 am

Nigel :
.
Why do so many people speculate inaccurately about what they imagine Henrik Svensmark thinks, when all but his very latest work was set out in plain language by him and me, in our book The Chilling Stars, published in 2007 and updated in 2008?
.
I also wondered . I hope that it is now clearer for everybody after your comment .

Don Penman
December 11, 2009 5:01 am

I think that the arctic has been cooler for the last two winters because of low solar activity and volcanic activity ,if it was cold in the arctic last winter because of a la Nina it cannot be cold in the arctic this year because of an el nino we need another explanation.The great global warming scandal showed a graph which linked arctic temperatures and solar activity maybe if the graph was updated it would still show arctic temperature tracking solar activity.

DocWat
December 11, 2009 5:03 am

meemoe_uk (02:25:30) :
As a former science teacher (I am resting on my lauels and reading this for entertainment) I have spent some fair amount of embarrassing moments in front of a class trying to get a cloud chamber to work. As you may know if the saturation of alcohol is not high enough there are no particle traces. My own partially educated guess is that Leif Svalgaard’s phenomenon is based on creating clouds in marginal conditions of water vapor saturation where no clouds would form in normal conditions, and cause denser clouds than normal conditions would form.
Admittedly there is also rain in marginal conditions as well. But as a Louisiana boy, born and breed, I can say I never saw a cloud dissapate after raining on me for as much as a week at a time. Though no rain falls out the bottom, the cloud still reflects off the top.

photon without a Higgs
December 11, 2009 5:12 am

Nigel Calder (00:27:03) :
“But the Earth’s magnetic field has a much weaker effect.”
Thank you for the clarification.

Jim Hughes
December 11, 2009 5:54 am

The sun’s behavior is a major player behind the ENSO phases and we all know that the latter can have an effect upon global temperatures. So might I suggest when looking for possible relationships between solar and climate, or even weather, that you look into the prior forecasting record of those who have been using this type of methodology for over a decade now. (And not one miscue ever, ENSO phase wise. ) Just a helpful hint Roy.

December 11, 2009 6:02 am

[quote] Why do so many people speculate inaccurately about what they imagine Henrik Svensmark thinks, when all but his very latest work was set out in plain language by him and me, in our book The Chilling Stars, published in 2007 and updated in 2008? [/quote]
An excellent book too. I’m looking forward to future developments. 🙂

December 11, 2009 6:33 am

“To be more clear, I asked Gavin directly to identify the natural variability that was effecting temperature since 1998. He deleted my comment.”
May I suggest a special blog? The “RealClimateCensored blog” of deleted comments from that blog. It would be quite interesting.
http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2009/12/realclimate-blog-part-of-climategate.html

Tim Clark
December 11, 2009 7:07 am

Leif Svalgaard:

MattB
December 11, 2009 7:49 am

One thing is for sure though. At the moment the sun is not doing much. According to Ace ( http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/lists/ace2/200912_ace_swepam_1h.txt ) the wind has dropped to 225.8 (2009 12 05 0400 55170 14400 0 0.2 225.8 -1.00e+05) and the Ap index has been at or below 1 for 4 days this last week ( http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/lists/geomag/7day_AK.txt ).
What was that theoretical minimum wind speed Lief?

December 11, 2009 8:15 am

MattB (07:49:56) :
What was that theoretical minimum wind speed Leif?
About 250 km/s. You can see it being reached here:
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_24h.html
Note the scatter of the solar wind speeds. This is mostly thermal in nature. Doesn’t make sense to cherry pick the lowest point without considering the natural scatter. 250 km/s looks good for right now.

TFN Johnson
December 11, 2009 8:58 am

The widget has “#13 sunspots”. I sthat 13 or a reference to spot 13?
The image way down on the right of the blog has two discernable spots, but more on the grey image.
Can anyone help?

December 11, 2009 9:16 am

A CUSUM of the CERES data would possibly be interesting.

December 11, 2009 9:53 am

Does anyone know what magnetism is? In terms of fundamental particles and their motions?

Tenuc
December 11, 2009 11:12 am

Keith (16:43:01) :
“[Fitzy – you suspect that the earth is tethered electromagnetically to the sun]?”
Thanks for the link, Keith. This could explain what happened when a display of strange lights was seen over Norway on Wednesday 9th December, 2009.
The strange event over Tandberg was witnessed by many people. It began when a white light rose from behind a distant mountain, paused and then started to rotate making a spiral in the sky and filled it In a few seconds. Following this, a greenish blue light emerged out from the middle of the spiral and was visible for around 10 minutes or so before disappearing.
http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1650&category=Environment
http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/nordland/1.6902336

December 11, 2009 11:15 am

Interesting bit on solar turbulence:
http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/12/11/weir.space.and.dimmed.sun.creates.200.million.mile.long.lab.bench.turbulence.research
Normally the ‘noise’ from violent eruptions on the sun would disturb the turbulent flow. Ulysses’ controllers had cleverly contrived for the spacecraft to pass over each of the Sun’s poles during two different solar minima making it possible not only to gather data but also to be able to compare two different energy levels in a turbulent flow. The level of turbulence is down by a factor of 2 in the most recent solar minimum compared with the previous one.

FergalR
December 11, 2009 11:27 am

BBC meteorologist Paul Hudson (who CRU and their cronies criticised in the emails) has a blog post up today about the quiet Sun and a possible Dalton repeat. He’s written about Svensmark and the lack of warming before (the latter was why he was mentioned in the emails).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/

Ipse Dixit
December 11, 2009 11:33 am

I got to thinking (something I typically try to avoid): Could the solar cycle cause changes in the spectrum of solar irradiance? If so would this have an effect on the chemicals that make up the oceans and atmosphere–water and nitrogen? Wiki says water absorbs UV and near IR; Nitrogen absorbs sunlight in the EUV wavelengths. Sunlight has a low UV component, although it increases owing to magnetic fluctuation associated with sunspots. So, sunspots cause UV, which causes water and nitrogen to absorb energy and heat up. Remove the sunspots: Water and nitrogen don’t heat as much.

James F. Evans
December 11, 2009 11:41 am

Sunspot numbers for the last 400 years per Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunspot_Numbers.png
The pioneers in solar observation & measurement beginning in the 1840’s used apparatus cabable of recording magnetic energy this added important information to sunspot counts.
Earlier than the 1840’s, data was more limited. Observation & measurement of the Sun’s behavior during the Dalton Minimum was not as precise and during the more severe and protracted Maunder Minimum the data is sparser still.
And yet even more patchy during the Medieval Warm Period.
The exclusion of solar variability effecting global temperature is not “settled” Science.
There is more to understand.
And some things in the past, present and future we may never know with certainty.

December 11, 2009 11:50 am

TFN Johnson (08:58:32) :
The widget has “#13 sunspots”. I sthat 13 or a reference to spot 13?

The sunspot ‘number’ is S = 10*number of groups + number of spots.
With three spots in one group [which is about what we have now], we would calculate S=10*1+3=13

December 11, 2009 11:56 am

tallbloke (09:53:53) :
Does anyone know what magnetism is? In terms of fundamental particles and their motions?
Magnetism is a relativistic effect that is needed to make electrical phenomena look the same in all reference frames. You can find lots of information on that [also some disagreeing] by googling ‘magnetism relativistic effect’

December 11, 2009 12:07 pm

tallbloke (09:53:53) :
Does anyone know what magnetism is? In terms of fundamental particles and their motions?
At some level our ordinary language fails us in explaining things that are truly ‘fundamental’. Assume you had asked ‘why do two electrons repel each other’? The standard answer is that like charges repel, but that is not really telling you much. To get a bit closer, one introduces the concept of virtual photons. Electrons emit and absorb virtual photons all the time. Let us look at an electron emitting a [virtual] photon. As a photon has momentum and since momentum is conserved [why? because space is isotropic… – getting really deep here] the electron will recoil in the opposite direction of the emitted photon. If the photon meets another electron it will give that electron a kick in the direction of its travel, which is opposite to the recoil of the emitting electron, hence it looks like the two electrons are repelling each other. You can keep drilling down: what are virtual photons anyway and why does isotropy of space mean that momentum is conserved? At some point our ‘knowledge’ and ability to question will bottom out, and it is ‘turtles all the way down’.
The Earth is a halfdome resting on the back of large elephant standing on an enormous turtle…

December 11, 2009 12:14 pm

Ipse Dixit (11:33:53) :
Could the solar cycle cause changes in the spectrum of solar irradiance?
It can and it does. It seems that UV and infrared change in opposite directions even if TSI is constant. These changes are not large, though.

rbateman
December 11, 2009 12:19 pm

Ipse Dixit (11:33:53) :
There is something to be said about a shift in Solar Spectrum.
I believe it has done just that, as TSI is constrained to a very narrow range.
The atmosphere is generally opaque to the lower ranges of UV, so a drop in visible but an increase in UV would lead to a change in how Solar Energy interacts with the atmosphere and surface.
This would make for a much better topic that kicking the TSI bucket around.

Stephen Wilde
December 11, 2009 1:25 pm

Leif Svalgaard
(12:07:56)
” At some point our ‘knowledge’ and ability to question will bottom out, and it is ‘turtles all the way down’.”
I like that because it agrees with my long held opinion that our interpretation of reality is limited by the constraints of logic and logic in itself is insufficient to explain reality.
In fact logic itself is simply an extension of our ability to sense that there is a difference between self and not self.
Having made that distinction all knowledge is just a step by step accrual af additional logical steps and the number of steps taken is a measure of intelligence but not necessarily a true reflection of any independent reality.
I’ll go and lie down now 🙂

Invariant
December 11, 2009 1:33 pm

tallbloke (09:53:53): Does anyone know what magnetism is? In terms of fundamental particles and their motions?
To understand electricity and magnetism I would recommend “Introduction to Electrodynamics” by David Griffiths;
http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Electrodynamics-3rd-David-Griffiths/dp/013805326X

Stephen Wilde
December 11, 2009 1:41 pm

M Simon (11:15:22)
Thank you for that link. It supports my observation that the degree of turbulence in the flow of energy from the sun dictates the rate of energy loss from upper atmosphere to space independently of any variation in the power of the solar energy flow.
We now need to regard a period of more active sun as a time of increased energy LOSS at least from the top of the stratosphere upwards and possibly from the surface as well subject only to a moderating effect from variations in the rate of oceanic energy loss to the troposphere.
The opposite of what we thought but answers a lot of questions as I explained above.

Jack Green
December 11, 2009 2:00 pm

If we are headed into to a little Ice Age how fast does the Global temperature drop?
From Eichler et al GRL 36 (2009) it appears from my mark one eyeball to take 50 years. I assume on a geologic scale that is very fast but on a human scale that’s when my grand kids get to 50. No grand kids yet but soon.
Thanks Leif for posting here. I’ve see you’re posts and work and you are simply amazing.

George E. Smith
December 11, 2009 2:06 pm

“”” Roy Spencer (10:19:43) :
sounds like a cool experiment, Jeff. But how do you know they are not pixie contrails? “””
Well it maybe a cool experiment Dr Roy, but not too realistic; the ethanol after all is for drinking, not for making clouds.
Since ethanol is not considered a common type of cloud formation in the earth atmosphere; better to stick with water clouds. Formation of water droplets is a function of the physical properties of the H2O molecule; including that 104 degree angle built into the molecule; which makes it a highly polar molecule.
Anyone who’s ever taken a hot shower knows that water droplets for readily on cold surfaces. The problem is how do you get a water droplet to form when there is no cold surface, as in the upper atmosphere. It is not commonly observed that water drops suddenly appear out of vapor at tennis ball size. Common sense says they ought to start small, as a few molecules meet up and coagulate. Maybe it takes at least two water molecules to start a droplet, and more are subsequently added. At some point we can say we clearly have an identifiable drop of water; roughly spherical having a finite radius (r), and even a recognizeable surface.
So now we have surface tension to contend with; and as all Physicists know; a consequence of surface tension is that water droplets do not at all like being small. The internal pressure inside a drop of water exceeds the ambient pressure outside; and an 8th grade high school exercise using the principle of virtual work demonstrates that the excess internal pressure in a water droplet, is 2T/r, where T is the surface tension in Newtons per metre, and r is the radius in metres.
Now you can see whay water droplets don’t like being small; that internal excess pressure goes sky high as the radius diminishes.
So water likes to have a substrate to form droplets on, so they can start at non zero radius. Any bacterium or volcanic dust particle, can serve as a starting substrate for water vapor to form liquid droplets; and that is where the cosmetic rays come in; by creating charged particle tracks in the atmosphere that droplets can grow on, at finite radius.
Water quite readily forms supersaturated vapor in clean air environments; and doesn’t condense easily absent a substrate. That is why you should never nuke a cup of clean water to make coffee. It can overheat above the boiling point without steam forming bubbles in it; but if you are holding your face over it, when the CRs clobber into it, and it explosively turns to steam; you are in a world of hurt.
Just because you have never met a cosmetic ray face to face, is no reason to malign them; they can be your frieds; if you are a cloud physicist (or chemist).
And don’t forget to put the coffee in the water before you nuke it.

rbateman
December 11, 2009 2:25 pm

Leif Svalgaard (12:14:23) :
Can you quantify those changes, or has someone already done this?
By opposite directions, do you mean that as Solar Activity drops, Solar Irradiance changes to an increase in UV and IR, and as Solar Activity rises Solar Irradience changes to decrease in UV and IR?

FergalR
December 11, 2009 3:30 pm

rbateman:
Less UV at minimum I believe:
“A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”: Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996.” from

vukcevic
December 11, 2009 3:49 pm

George E. Smith (14:06:49) :
“Just because you have never met a cosmetic ray face to face, is no reason to malign them; they can be your friends; if you are a cloud physicist (or chemist).”
I believe that GCR affect climate, but not in the way Svensmark suggests. The albedo effect is immediate and minimal. However, there may be a possibility of a tertiary effect, with a variable delay of up to several decades. Period of solar minimum is far too short (acting as narrow band pass filter) to produce an observable and convincing correlation. Sequence of several cycles of low solar activity is required for 3-4 distinct sequential steps to take place in order to produce a significant cooling effect by increased intensity of GCR.

December 11, 2009 4:25 pm

rbateman (14:25:54) :
Can you quantify those changes, or has someone already done this?
By opposite directions, do you mean that as Solar Activity drops, Solar Irradiance changes to an increase in UV and IR, and as Solar Activity rises Solar Irradience changes to decrease in UV and IR?

Juan Fontenla:
http://www.lowell.edu/workshops/SolarAnalogsII/abs.php?a=fontenla_t&t=t
You can google this to find more.

DeNihilist
December 11, 2009 4:37 pm

Don’t know if this is cricket, if not then please delete.
Picked this comment off of http://www.scepticalscience.com, was just wondering if Dr. Spencer could comment on it .
{quote} Robert Ellison at 11:05 AM on 12 December, 2009
Amongst the Major Unknowns in Climate are the following
Solar
Phenomenological reconstructions of the solar signature in the Northern Hemisphere surface temperature records since 1600
N. Scafetta and B. J. West
JGR Received 18 January 2007; revised 4 May 2007; accepted 5 June 2007; published 3 November 2007.
[1] A phenomenological thermodynamic model is adopted to estimate the relative contribution of the solar-induced versus anthropogenic-added climate forcing during the industrial era. We compare different preindustrial temperature and solar data reconstruction scenarios since 1610. We argue that a realistic climate scenario is the one described by a large preindustrial secular variability (as the one shown by the paleoclimate temperature reconstruction by Moberg et al. (2005) with the total solar irradiance experiencing low secular variability (as the one shown by Wang et al. (2005)).
Under this scenario the Sun might have contributed up to approximately 50% (or more if ACRIM total solar irradiance satellite composite (Willson and Mordvinov, 2003) is implemented) of the observed global warming since 1900.
Clouds
“The new method is a conceptual breakthrough in how we analyze data,” said Anthony Del Genio, a scientist at GISS and co-author of the companion paper.
“What it shows is remarkable,” said Wielicki (Dr. Bruce Wielicki of NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.) “The rising and descending motions of air that cover the entire tropics, known as the Hadley and Walker circulation cells, appear to increase in strength from the 1980s to the 1990s. This suggests that the tropical heat engine increased its speed.
The faster circulation dried out the water vapor that is needed for cloud formation in the upper regions of the lower atmosphere over the most northern and southern tropical areas. Less cloudiness formed allowing more sunlight to enter and more heat to leave the tropics.”
“It’s as if the heat engine in the tropics has become less efficient using more fuel in the 90s than in the 80s,” said Wielicki. “We tracked the changes to a decrease in tropical cloudiness that allowed more sunlight to reach the Earth’s surface. But what we want to know is why the clouds would change.”
The results also indicate the tropics are much more variable and dynamic than previously thought.
“It suggests that current climate models may, in fact, be more uncertain than we had thought,” Wielicki added. “Climate change might be either larger or smaller than the current range of predictions.”
The observations capture changes in the radiation budget-the balance between Earth’s incoming and outgoing energy-that controls the planet’s temperature and climate.
The previously unknown changes in the radiation budget are two to four times larger than scientists had believed possible. The reason why and the degree to which it changed are surprising scientists and create a powerful new test for climate models.
“The question is, if this fluctuation is due to global climate change or to natural variability,” said Del Genio. “We think this is a natural fluctuation, but there is no way to tell yet.”
Complexity
Climate shifts occurred 4 times in the last 100 years around 1910, the mid 1940’s, the mid 1970’s and 1998/2001 (Tsonis et al, 2007, Swanson et al 2009). The lack of global warming since 1998 is consistent with the climate behaving as a forced nonlinear oscillator. Small changes in forcings (solar, gases and aerosols, albedo) are alternately amplified and damped (nonlinear) by global climate processes and climate then oscillates for a time around a different climate mean.
The direct impact of greenhouse gas increase since the start of industrialisation is about 0.5 degrees centigrade of global temperature increase theoretically. It is not insignificant as energy in the climate system. The total effect is unknown because it feeds into a dynamic climate system of sun, orbit, ocean, atmosphere, ice, clouds, gases and aerosols operating interactively. All of these change all the time. The exponential growth of ice cover is implicated as factor in ice ages – extreme nonlinear climate events. Global cloud cover has been known to change from ISCCP data collected from 1984 and the argument has been about cause and effect. There is a little more cloud cover since about 1999 – which came first the clouds or the current cooling? The question is meaningless as climate is dynamic and complex. Small changes in initial conditions lead to climate fluctuation which then settles into a different mean climate state.
Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007), A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288.
Swanson, K. L., and A. A. Tsonis (2009), Has the climate recently shifted?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L06711, doi:10.1029/2008GL037022.
At the policy level – it is a matter of social, economic and environmental risk. Continued global economic growth is critical for billions of people now and increasing greenhouse gases increases forced system instability – a balance of risk is required. {end quote}
The continued lack of warming in the atmosphere and muted warming or cooling (depending on which researcher) of the ocean and atmosphere suggests that there is less urgency and that alternative development strategies proposed by Bjorn Lomberg amongst others can provide a better and less economically risky (to billions in the developing world) solution. A few decades is all that is required to develop dozens of low cost options for energy and development – a real market solution as opposed to the ‘ecosocialist’ aspirations of one website I have recently visited

Paul Vaughan
December 11, 2009 5:13 pm

meemoe_uk (02:25:30) “Average cloud lifetime […] main effect […] on climate is the variation in location of cloud cover, which shifts to the oceans. This warms the oceans slightly, while the land becomes colder and more arid.”
Some interesting ideas (but I do not advocate limiting focus to GCRs).
PJMM (02:54:21) “So, nothing of this is new as we thougth. The answer maybe is more “simple” than we think.”
Agree.
I strongly encourage everyone to read the Russian literature. If more contributors read Barkin, Sidorenkov, & Klyashtorin, these discussions might get further. Within a few days of reading dozens of Barkin papers (not just a few), I had
these rough results
drafted.
Piecing together clues scattered by Barkin eliminates reliance on “mysterious forces”.
Related:
tallbloke raises some important/enlightened points, but tallbloke: Have you read Barkin yet? (I suspect not, judging by your comments about the core, subcrustal fluids, etc.)
Thanks for the link to your blog. I encourage you to be clear & explicit that you are smoothing SSBz at a Jupiter subharmonic; the confounding amongst the various indices of solar system dynamics is thick (this cannot be underscored enough) and you may cause other (less enlightened, perhaps) researchers to waste precious time figuring out that SSBz might not be where the money is (as I will acknowledge you have hinted (without being explicit) by smoothing at a Jupiter subharmonic). Cheers.
Patrick M (06:33:42) “May I suggest a special blog? The “RealClimateCensored blog””
Good idea – as long as people don’t abuse it with goofy drivel aimed at hyperpartisan humor rather than science — I suppose there would have to be some censoring of “RC Censored” to make sure it did not play into the hands of alarmists, via strings upon strings of “nutjob denier” evidence that “all nonalarmists are nutjob deniers” etc., much of which would undoubtedly be planted by extreme-alarmists posing as “nutjob deniers”.

tallbloke
December 12, 2009 2:34 am

Paul Vaughan (17:13:38) :
tallbloke raises some important/enlightened points, but tallbloke: Have you read Barkin yet? (I suspect not, judging by your comments about the core, subcrustal fluids, etc.)
Thanks for the link to your blog. I encourage you to be clear & explicit that you are smoothing SSBz at a Jupiter subharmonic; the confounding amongst the various indices of solar system dynamics is thick (this cannot be underscored enough) and you may cause other (less enlightened, perhaps) researchers to waste precious time figuring out that SSBz might not be where the money is (as I will acknowledge you have hinted (without being explicit) by smoothing at a Jupiter subharmonic). Cheers.

Hi Paul, a good point, but you get a similar result even if you pick a smoothing period which is ‘out of phase’ both with Jupiter’s orbital period and the Jupiter/Saturn synodic period. Try 21 years. In any case, since Jupiter is by far the biggest planet, equal in effect on SSB motion to the other three gas giants, it will dominate whichever time period you pick won’t it?
Thanks for visiting my new blog, I really hope you call back and contribute, though I appreciate there are more blogs than time permits.

TFN Johnson
December 12, 2009 2:51 am

To Lief Svalgaard

Paul Vaughan
December 12, 2009 3:02 am

Re: tallbloke (02:34:22)
I applaud your synthesis & pioneering research.
I will clarify: I am not criticizing your time-integration bandwidth. Rather I am drawing attention to the confounding – as I said, it is thick – so thick that this cannot be underscored enough. I am suggesting that we keep in mind that there may be lurking variables that are (at least partially) confounded with the variables we study. This is not a trivial consideration. In fact, I would say that opponents have capitalized on a lack of awareness of this.

tallbloke
December 12, 2009 4:54 am

Just as a further thought on the subject, the 24 year smooth is twice Jupiter’s orbital period, and around 6/7 of Saturn’s, 2/7 Uranus’ and 1/7 Neptune’s.
My latest post shows a relationship between north magnetic pole declination and LOD. This is further support for Richard Gross’ theory that sub-crustal currents account for most of the LOD variation I think. Since the inertia involved is huge, as evidenced by the 30 year lag from solar-SSBz motion to LOD response, a 24 year smooth which takes in two full orbits of the main variable, and most of the orbit of the next biggest variable is a reasonable choice in my view. However, I acknowledge that my engineers perspective can be informed by your statisticians perspective, so I’d appreciate your response to this. I’ll post this on my blog for you to repond there, since Anthony isn’t keen for us to discuss these issues here.
Thanks

Peter Taylor
December 12, 2009 5:54 am

Roy and everyone – I haven’t had time to trawl through all the comments – but it is all great stuff – I would need a day to follow up all the links – but congratulations on this very open exploration.
Even the critics of Svensmark’s GCR/cloud hypothesis – for example Sloane and Wolfendale, found that 25% of cloud percentage variability could be linked to the GCR flux (despite how that was represented as debunking the theory in the media). But, my intuition tells me we are dealing with several factors. The variable solar wind has electrical as well as magnetic effects – voltages are involved, as well as pulses strong enough to clear charged particles (aerosols), then as Stephen Wilde points out (and Drew Shindell at NASA) there are chemical and heat reactions in the upper atmosphere that transfer to lower levels – most especially in the polar vortex. These can affect the jetstream. We need to think not just about percentage cloud shifts, but also spatial shifts because the ‘global warming’ heat store is not homogenous – it is located in ocean gyres and the jetstream shifts will affect the rate of heat removal.
Leif – the low pressure centres in the Atlantic and Pacific are caused by vortices that suck air upwards – warm moist air that then creates clouds in a spiral pattern – and this effectively removes heat from the ocean surface (global warming is mostly located in the upper 300m) and dumps it westward on land. That air mass has to go somewhere – and my question to meteorologists is – are the high pressure downward air flows that spiral in the opposite direction, with dry cloudless air, also connected to the up-spirals? Rather like (analogous) the magnetic loops on the Sun!
That system willl also radiate heat outward from the planet at night. The high pressure systems will allow more sunlight in and remove insulation from warm northern waters.
There is a good long term correlation between low magnetic field (from proxies) and low temperatures – over several decades. I suggest (in my book ‘Chill’) that periods of low magnetic activity cool the planet by altering the storm tracks over the oceans and that it takes centuries to recover (as from the Little Ice Age).
As to the present – there WAS a step change in cloud cover registered by the Big Bear Solar Obs and ISCCP in 2001 – a reversal of the 1980-2000 trend of 4% global cloud decrease, with 2% up and maintained to 2006 (the last data I saw). Nobody yet has an explanation for this phase-shift that I am aware of.
You can also follow the SW wave upwelling at the top of the atmosphere from the GISS FD data. It does look to be correlated with the magnetic cycle – there are pulses of extra SW to the earth surface (less reflection) at the solar cycle maximums for 1990 and 2000. This radiation flux dwarfs the computed effect of CO2 radiative forcing over the same period at about 5:1 (I don’t know enough physics to know if that RF includes a gain factor or not).
I wish I had time to put in references and links – but am very busy with the UK media circus following the Copenhagen jamboree – its been a fascinating experience watching what various editors do with my material – from the Times, the Mail and Al Jazeera – only the latter used my full text and did not alter my words, tone or meaning!
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6946144.ece
It is called Science or Soundbite. It is, by the way, heavily ‘edited’ – that is to say, transformed in tone and in some crucial areas of content but the new me is very much more moderate – and no bad thing for the Times!
This is the bit that is left out –
‘This conclusion is supported by recent climate shifts that run counter to model predictions. From the data on cycles I could predict that after 2007, when Arctic summer ice reached a record low, it would start to recover. It has grown by 10% each year since. The models also predicted that the high-level winds known as the jet-stream would shift north as the globe warmed. The jet-stream directs wet weather from the Atlantic and in 2007 it shifted south, bringing widespread flooding to Western Europe.
I have seen a minority report in NASA’s archives which shows that the jet-stream shifts south in cycles as the magnetic field of the sun falls and this was characteristic of the Little Ice Age. Ominously, in 2007 the field fell to an all time low and this repeated through 2008 and 2009, as did the floods. Many solar scientists point to a link between this magnetic field and climate on Earth and when the field is low, the Earth cools. During the low in the 17th century the Thames froze every winter for fifty years and summers were a wash out.’
Too scary for the Times to contemplate, but not the Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1234515/Copenhagen-climate-change-summit-The-world-COOLING-warming-says-scientist-Peter-Taylor—prepared.html
and Al Jazeera (not to be confused in the MidWest with Al Q…..) gave the best undedited coverage:
http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/climatesos/2009/12/2009124191343603151.html
These are all online articles – I have failed to penetrate the national dailies paper versions here – the left-liberals don’t want to know, and the right-wing press want business as usual and no scary cooling.
Am doing my best to get it out there! Thanks for all the help this site offers for the opening of minds and the recovery of real science.
and this bit:
No real climate scientist ever said natural causes are acting alone.
(i.e. the IPCC were setting up a false statement)
is replaced by this:
In other words . no real climate scientist ever said humans were solely to blame for global warming
(in fact – most of them have said something very close to that and the IPCC in particular)
and it is is exactly the opposite of what I said (full version and context – see below)

Peter Taylor
December 12, 2009 6:08 am

The last sentence slipped my notice – I meant to snip it – the full version would have been too long.

tallbloke
December 12, 2009 6:11 am

Congrats to Peter Taylor for getting his articles online with the UK papers and Al Jazeera. The debate is heating up as the earth cools.

Stephen Wilde
December 12, 2009 6:23 am

Peter Taylor (05:54:35)
“the low pressure centres in the Atlantic and Pacific are caused by vortices that suck air upwards – warm moist air that then creates clouds in a spiral pattern – and this effectively removes heat from the ocean surface (global warming is mostly located in the upper 300m) and dumps it westward on land. That air mass has to go somewhere – and my question to meteorologists is – are the high pressure downward air flows that spiral in the opposite direction, with dry cloudless air, also connected to the up-spirals.”
Those low pressure centres are caused by oceans warming the air above which then convects upward. The spiral feature is caused by the coriolis forces in each hemisphere.
What goes up must come down so, yes, the descending air in the high pressure systems is indeed air that previously went up.
Note that as far as I can see the oceans release energy to the air which then rises. No need for a pre existing vortex to do any sucking.
That is where I depart from some sceptic positions. I don’t see how changes in the upper air can control the energy release from the oceans. The tropopause divides the atmosphere into two very different sections.
There are two processes involved. Each is separate and they mingle within the stratosphere.
Firstly the oceans release energy to the troposphere which rises into the stratosphere. Mostly a convective process but also involving some conduction, radiation and assisted by the phase changes of water.
Secondly from stratosphere to space where the process of upward energy transfer is almost entirely radiative due to the rigidly stratified layering.
The two energy transfer mechanisms meet and mingle within the stratosphere which warms or cools depending on the constantly changing balance between the two systems of energy transfer.
The temperature of the troposphere then warms or cools depending on the constantly changing balance between the rate of energy release from the oceans and the temperature of the stratosphere.
Movement within the oceans varies the rate of energy transfer from ocean to air.
The turbulence (not energy content) of the solar wind varies the rate of energy transfer from air to space.
The troposphere and stratosphere react independently to maintain equilibrium over time.
Secondl

Ipse Dixit
December 12, 2009 6:50 am

Leif Svalgaard (12:14:23) :
Ipse Dixit (11:33:53) :
Could the solar cycle cause changes in the spectrum of solar irradiance?
It can and it does. It seems that UV and infrared change in opposite directions even if TSI is constant. These changes are not large, though.
rbateman (12:19:38) :
Ipse Dixit (11:33:53) :
There is something to be said about a shift in Solar Spectrum.
I believe it has done just that, as TSI is constrained to a very narrow range.
The atmosphere is generally opaque to the lower ranges of UV, so a drop in visible but an increase in UV would lead to a change in how Solar Energy interacts with the atmosphere and surface.
This would make for a much better topic that kicking the TSI bucket around.
FergalR (15:30:33) :
rbateman:
Less UV at minimum I believe:
“A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”: Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996.” from
A 6% decrease in the UV spectrum seems like a significant amount. If I had reduced my speed by 6%, I wouldn’t have gotten that speeding ticket for going 89 mph (FHP seldoms writes tickets for less than 15 mph over the limit).
So, is it true that Nitrogen is heated only by EUV? Is it also true that H2O is heated by more efficiently by UV and less efficiently by IR?

December 12, 2009 6:56 am

Tenuc (11:12:03) :
Keith (16:43:01) :
“[Fitzy – you suspect that the earth is tethered electromagnetically to the sun]?”

Paul Vaughan (03:02:56) :
I applaud your synthesis & pioneering research.
[…] I would say that opponents have capitalized on a lack of awareness of this.

Our ‘opponents’ capitalize on the nonsense being spouted. It is harder to take us seriously as long as we pander to such pseudo science…

December 12, 2009 7:14 am

Peter Taylor (05:54:35) :
I suggest (in my book ‘Chill’) that periods of low magnetic activity cool the planet by altering the storm tracks over the oceans and that it takes centuries to recover (as from the Little Ice Age).
Some time ago, several colleagues and myself published a series of ‘sun-weather’ papers about the response of storms to the passage of a solar magnetic sector boundary [crossing the heliospheric current sheet]. With time the effect died [as all sun-weather effect eventually do – this is a strong empirical finding 🙂 ]. It seems that there are still people out there pushing our ‘effect’ and that it just won’t lie down and stay quiet: http://www.ann-geophys.net/27/1/2009/angeo-27-1-2009.pdf
From their conclusion:
“It is observed that explosive cyclogenesis and major extratropical storms including wind storms tend to occur within 2–3 days of the arrival of solar wind CIRs or coronal mass ejections. This conclusion is supported by the results of statistical analysis of an extensive database of extratropical storms showing that signiﬁcant sea level pressure deepenings of mid-latitude storms tend to occur within a few days of the arrival of high-speed solar wind.”
Sigh…

cba
December 12, 2009 7:22 am

Bart,
Seems like you are maybe trying to relate too much of the pressure variations in cloud forming areas to the bulge. Cloud forming means saturated h2o conditions which have a much lower weight. You’re adding in h2o at 18 molecular weight versus the average (n2 o2 dominated atmosphere) of 28.8 molecular weight. Moist air weighs less, like hot air and what’s more, it is going to absorb radiant heat far better than drier air as well.
Nigel,
I’m enjoying your book but am only somewhere around the first 1/3 to 1/2 of it just past where there is discussion on CRs affecting particulate sizes which seem to brighten the cloud’s albedo a bit when smaller particles are involved?? due to increases in CRs?? That suggests it’s not just the quantity of clouds involved but also how their make up varies.
Leif,
What has the last year or two brought concerning Goode & Palle’s Earthshine results that indicated a serious albedo variation in 1997/98 from their Earthshine project? Do they still stand by their original findings? From my calculations, the total peak to peak variation of their albedo change was in the neighborhood of over 10W/m^2 for a period of time. It was also a time when there were no direct measurements being done due to equipment problems.
As for the bulge reducing pressures high up. There isn’t much up there in the way of molecules and total changes in radiation calculate out to be just a few W/m^2 at most for a co2 doubling above the tropopause. Part of this is due to the local high temperatures, some being above 300K, and the fact it is emitting rather well compared to colder Temps for that amount of material. Also, h2o and co2 and … are pretty absorber/emitters and don’t need tremendous quantities to have a more significant effect than one might assume from this.
However, a reduction in presssure would result in a narrowing of already narrow absorption lines while emissions from cloud tops, surface, and even atmosphere are going to be broader so less of the total gets absorbed. I doubt though it is significant or potentially even measureable.

durox
December 12, 2009 7:42 am

CERN has an experiment called CLOUD that will try to find the connections, if any, between cosmic rays and cloud formation.
http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Research/CLOUD-en.html

PJMM
December 12, 2009 8:26 am

I would like to notice that new paper to everybody:
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=20691128
I think the geomagnetic fields are understimate by science in the climatic area.
If we take in consideration the explanation of Marcel Leroux on global air circulation and the impact in Clima, we can search more answers in that subject. Maybe the magnetic fields can add explanation the ENSO and the PDO too.
Now some think that Earth magnetic fields aren´t only protectors of the planet. Maybe that fields take energy outside the planet, especially the sun.
However we dont know very well as it does impact the global temperatures. Some say the ozono layer changes with impact of cosmic rays. And others say that layer or his hole can impact in temperatures in Antartica. So, if geomagnetic fields has relation with temperatures, in that process, at least in the poles, and if the air circulation are afected too by temperatures in the poles (as in the equador), the system is more complex than we thougth. But more simple to understand the link between low magnitc solar activity and global temperatures in Earth.
But if that brasilian team has found a direct connection between magnetic fields and tropical pacific air circulation we can´t be astonished how could be in large scale. Global large scale.
So I sugest to see to global maps. One with geomagnetic fields the other the temperatures by satelite. Like these:
http://pool.org.au/files/imagecache/full_size/image/image/Peter%20Ravenscroft/geomagnetic-field-vertical.jpg
http://ima.weather.com/images/maps/en_UK/web_intl_acttemps_world_600.jpg
Maybe the magnetic fields are more important than we think. And maybe we are neglecting something more “simple” to explain the temperatures variability.

PJMM
December 12, 2009 8:47 am

Excuse me the spam, but as a layman in that field (my background is economics) and curious in the clima subject I allways ask the basic questions before going to more complicated questions.
One basic question I do a lot of times is: why are poles too cold? The standard answers aren´t, in my opinion, the best.
I i was and alien, outside the Earth, I could do the same question. Why are the Earth poles so cold?
North south are only positions relative to us, inhabitants of Earth. And the energy from the sun can´t explain all. Especially the diferences between the tropical temperatures and poles temperatures. Maybe more is needed to understand that clivage between so extrems in temperatures.
But, hey, Im only a layman who likes read and understand that kind of things.

December 12, 2009 9:25 am

cba (07:22:59) :
What has the last year or two brought concerning Goode & Palle’s Earthshine results that indicated a serious albedo variation in 1997/98 from their Earthshine project? Do they still stand by their original findings?
They are still at it, and I’m in contact with Palle. As far as I know, they are standing by the original findings, extended with more data. We have to wait and see what the newest data suggest.
PJMM (08:26:41) :
I think the geomagnetic fields are understimate by science in the climatic area.
From their paper:
“The correlation coefficient of the sea-level pressure 36-month running means versus the magnetic field intensity is 0.96.”
Computing correlation coefficients on running means is a statistical no-no, that right there causes me to put the paper aside.

PJMM
December 12, 2009 10:48 am

“Computing correlation coefficients on running means is a statistical no-no, that right there causes me to put the paper aside.”
I see. But how they could exclude noise of data, in that samples? I mean, in some way they treat the raw data and exclude noise.
But maybe they are wrong.
Just another note. What causes the trap of the cold air inside the artic poles and later releases that air in direction of equador? Even Marcel Leroux didnt have the answer to that process.
I mean, I understand the outbreak if I use the thermodinamic process. What I dont understand is the trap of the cold. And that trap in the process, at somepoint releases the air. To me is very sugestive to look geomagnetic fields teking action in that process.
In the same way, when I think why the cold air in the poles are “traped” and why that cold can´t balance more the differential between poles and equador, I just think in magnetic fields. To me, even Im not expert in the area, I Know cold and hot are only energy. And that energy should balance more the temperatures differential between poles and equador. The only thing that I see that fits the process is taking all Earth as a magnetic body with… 3 poles! Who seems to me bizarre and strange.
Anyway, as I see the process, something happens when the sun magnetic state induces changes in the earth rotation. Changes everything. The air circulation too. In the process everything changes. Solids, liquids and gases. Changes the geomagnetic fields in our planet or even the magnetic north pole. Even in smal part. If we take in consideration all that things happening, even in small changes, maybe that explain the correlation between LOD and temperatures. And geomagnetic solar activity.
This is my humble opinion. As a layman, off course.

December 12, 2009 11:00 am

PJMM (10:48:09) :
Anyway, as I see the process, something happens when the sun magnetic state induces changes in the earth rotation. Changes everything. The air circulation too. In the process everything changes. Solids, liquids and gases. Changes the geomagnetic fields in our planet or even the magnetic north pole. Even in smal part. If we take in consideration all that things happening, even in small changes, maybe that explain the correlation between LOD and temperatures. And geomagnetic solar activity.
If you want to explain everything, you often end up explaining nothing. These things are very complex and interlocking and many processes are at work.
This is my humble opinion. As a layman, off course.

PJMM
December 12, 2009 12:39 pm

“If you want to explain everything, you often end up explaining nothing. These things are very complex and interlocking and many processes are at work.”
Well, I dont want to explain everything. On the contrary. To me, when the sun induces changes in the magnetic field, inside the Earth, triggers a serie of events. Thats why we see a lot of correlations in some fenomena. The cause is the sun magnetic field.
Thats why I think Courtillot and others shows us the way. They tried to open a way of thinking that was neglected a lot.
What I see is allways thinking in the energetic balance inside the system, when the debate is on. But even when we think in energetic balance we forgot to put in the discussion things that we got as settled. Like the air circulation, now the mantra of climate debates. Why is so cold in the poles and why that air is like traped there? Challenging the laws of thermodinamics? If we see the Earth as one body and his gases, why that differential in temperatures? Laws of thermodinamics don´t aplly in that fenomena? If applys, how?
As Marcel Leroux, I think were 50 years rumbling about the same things, without going nowwhere. Today, the laymen feel the pinch of that crazy debate about climate changing, and realize that thing is afecting our pockets and life, without going nowhere. And notice that were paying some scientific error or some scientific “sex of angels” debate and the “barbarians” are entering in Viena. I mean, picking ours pockets, as the politicians are doing useing that scientific error.
Marcel Leroux took a different of view of the climate problem. He realised that were traped in old way of thinking: energetic balance here, there, etc. Aeorossols, cosmic rays and so on but not thinking in changes in the air circulation patterns, for example. Not looking to the air circulation as system that could change the temperatures without externs forcings. Just changing the global air circulation we can assist to a serie of events that could trigger an climate change. Something like to shutt down the Gulfstream and trigger an Ice Age.
So, what I think is simple. When the sun induces changes in the earth because his low magnetic activity, the air circulation changes too, because the gases must change too. just like that.
The problem is, as you said, when that thing happens, a lot of processes starts changing too. Maybe even the vulcan activity changes too, giving us an explanation why may we see some cold temperatures, isnt true? Or maybe the cold air traped in poles starts to be bursted more often, with more intensity, giving us winters with more cold, because maybe is the magnetic fields that traps that cold air.
At same point, for me, is simple. But the system and the numbers of processes are so great that we cant say is simple but complex.
In the same way I saw this in economics. How much of us try to catch “the thing” that triggers a serie of the events and we dream to corner these events making a huge profit? 🙂
But what I saw is debating allways the same whitout going nowhere. Or neglecting a lot of works in the field because we dont want to look if someone gave us the shoulders, to jumping more high.
Who knows? 🙂

December 12, 2009 1:01 pm

PJMM (12:39:08) :
Thats why I think Courtillot and others shows us the way. They tried to open a way of thinking that was neglected a lot.
I have to confess that I as peer-reviewer in the past have rejected Courtillot et al.’s work because it was of poor quality. I’m very familiar with that line of ‘inquiry’. And it has not led anywhere.

Paul Vaughan
December 12, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: tallbloke (04:54:35)
Although I applaud your openmindedness, desire & efforts to synthesize, and willingness to take pioneering risk, I have to note that I disagree [quite strongly] with some (not all) of your methods & interpretations.
Do you know where I can find monthly (&/or daily) summaries (&/or reconstructed estimates) of solar wind speed going back as far as possible in time (on a plain-text webpage)?
If you can help here, I may have something noteworthy to contribute to your blog.

December 12, 2009 2:05 pm

Paul Vaughan (13:24:42) :
Do you know where I can find monthly (&/or daily) summaries (&/or reconstructed estimates) of solar wind speed going back as far as possible in time (on a plain-text webpage)?
has my reconstruction of solar wind speed on a 27-day average basis back to 1882 [the green columns starting in row 621].

December 12, 2009 2:13 pm
photon without a Higgs
December 12, 2009 2:15 pm

Henrik Svensmark did not comment in the post, at least not that I could find. I think some comments here have veered off what he has said. In fairness, some should take time to examine what Henrik Svensmark has actually said and not assume what he has said.

December 12, 2009 2:17 pm

This is very nice.
It important to note that the total amount of cloud cover variation isn’t all there is to the story. The location of the clouds is important too. We’re not likely to see any effect over land and off shore, as there is already lots aerosols in the air. Where we are likely to see CRF effects is over large bodies of water, where albedo is usually very low. CRF changes are likely affect energy flow by much more than the signal we’d see just looking at cloud cover area alone.

December 12, 2009 2:50 pm

CRF and geomagnetic activity are likely to affect more than just clouds. Another commenter shared a paper earlier this year that shows a correlation of solar and volcanic activity.
I can think of a couple plausible mechanisms.

PJMM
December 12, 2009 2:51 pm

“I have to confess that I as peer-reviewer in the past have rejected Courtillot et al.’s work because it was of poor quality.”
That I didnt know it. Thanks for the information. 🙂
Let me say how I did in that subject.
As a layman who only knows that in th past, solar activity was used to predict price cycles (Jevons) and opened economic cycles subject, I started with the basics. Thas why I was introduced to Courtillot and others. And I read almost all I could. Oldest and new. And Courtillot et al came to my wyes like something to look and to explain better what maybe happens.
Thanks, I should read more. 🙂

December 12, 2009 3:17 pm

PJMM (14:51:58) :
That’s why I was introduced to Courtillot and others.
I’m sure Courtillot disagrees with my [and the other reviewer’s too] assessment. Correlations are easy to come by. Physical causation and understanding are much harder.

PJMM
December 12, 2009 4:34 pm

“Correlations are easy to come by. Physical causation and understanding are much harder.”
Are you saying that their work isnt so badly? I mean, you admit that they found a correlation? If so, their work must be on the table, if i understood well.
If that correlation exists so could be a possible link between low magnetic solar with Earth. Or not. Maybe we dont know how, but if that correlation isnt bogus, I should put their work in the table. To understanding how that correlation works, if exists at all.
What I mean is, if the velocity of the rotation changes all the earth, perhaps that velocity changes it all. Solids, liquids and gases. I dont know if we have some works on that subject but if atmosfere lags changing the velocity some afect will have in air circulation. As the water. If so, is possible that correlation and maybe, I stress, maybe in temperatures. Or could be only an effect of other cause. But I dont like to put away something that isnt bogus. Perhaps is an mere effect. Maybe not. But I cant leave and forget. Isnt good policy.
But I sustain. If their work isnt bogus I still count with that. Is my point of view.
But thanks for that information. I still need to read more. 😉

December 12, 2009 5:08 pm

PJMM (16:34:52) :
Are you saying that their work isnt so badly? I mean, you admit that they found a correlation? If so, their work must be on the table, if i understood well.
My criticism of their correlation was that it was cherry picked and not statistical significant. If you have a physical explanation, you can get away with less significance as the correlation is not to prove the relation, but to confirm it. The illustrate the difference: if I have a physical theory and mechanism and based on that I predict that it should rain tomorrow and it indeed rains, that may be taken as a confirmation. But without a mechanism, a single example doesn’t prove anything. You can ‘scale’ that up, to two examples, three, ten, a hundred, a million, etc. At a certain point, the correlation cannot be denied, even you don’t know the mechanism.

December 12, 2009 5:19 pm

Leif Svalgaard (06:56:41) :
Our ‘opponents’ capitalize on the nonsense being spouted. It is harder to take us seriously as long as we pander to such pseudo science…

Ah, normal service is resumed.
Welcome back Leif. 🙂
It’s great you’ve decided you’re one of us.
It’ll be even greater when you stop behaving like one of them.

JonesII
December 12, 2009 5:48 pm

Fitzy (12:23:37) Right. We are living in interesting times, as those of Galileo. The Dominicans monks of the Inquisition now order: “delete emails”, “hide the decline” and so on. Funny indeed, the disappearence of dinausaurs like CRU, the sacrosant IPCC, up to such Ragendra Pachauri who looks like the the popes of those times, fortunately nature cleanses itself in a self healing process.

JonesII
December 12, 2009 5:56 pm

PJMM (08:47:56) : As a layman of course… like countless laymen like Thomas Alva Edison, etc. The less prejudice the more chance to see the light. He who believes knows everything knows nothing.
The parable of the camel and the eye of a needle refers precisely to this.

December 12, 2009 6:18 pm

tallbloke (17:19:53) :
It’s great you’ve decided you’re one of us.
It’ll be even greater when you stop behaving like one of them.

Comments on my personal behavior are not called for. You are also suggesting that I’m a fraud like ‘them’.
In my professional opinion the stuff I referred to is pseudo-science. You can turn it into science by doing a proper analysis [and even submitting to review in a journal]. Proper science can still be wrong. But there are well-known and accepted ways of deciding this.

Paul Vaughan
December 12, 2009 6:40 pm

Re: Leif Svalgaard (14:05:00) & (14:13:05)
I acknowledge your generous contribution. Thank you.

December 12, 2009 7:00 pm

Paul Vaughan (18:40:43) :
Re: Leif Svalgaard (14:05:00) & (14:13:05)
I acknowledge your generous contribution. Thank you.

If you find it useful, let us know what you find.
P.S. It is possible [with somewhat greater error] to get these values back to the 1840s. The basic method is a relationship established using the past 45 years of spacecraft data: A ~ BV^2, where A is geomagnetic activity, B is the magnetic field strength in near-Earth space and V is the solar wind speed. B can also be estimated from other geomagnetic data, allowing us to estimate V from V ~ sqrt(A/B). Because of the sqrt, the error is relatively small.

Paul Vaughan
December 12, 2009 7:04 pm

Thank you Dr. Spencer.

PJMM
December 12, 2009 8:36 pm

“The illustrate the difference: if I have a physical theory and mechanism and based on that I predict that it should rain tomorrow and it indeed rains, that may be taken as a confirmation.”
Yes, I understood your point. My point is, maybe some explanation to that correlation could be find in the future. Maybe. Maybe not.
I was thinking in other problems. Thats why I asked if that work was bogus.
Thanks a lot.

DeNihilist
December 13, 2009 12:59 am

Dr. Svalgaard
, was just perusing your research paper site. Am I right in thinking that your presentation on Wolf, states that the Sun was not more active in the first half of the 20th century as compared to the last half? I ask this, as this is a claim that I have been shown on the http://www.Skepticalscience.com blog. in relation to proof that CO2 is the driver of the late century warming.
{quote} Solar activity has shown little to no long term trend since the 1950’s. Consequently, any correlation between sun and climate ended in the 1970’s when the modern global warming trend began{end quote}
thanx

DeNihilist
December 13, 2009 1:03 am
December 13, 2009 2:30 am

Anthony Watts (18:41:25) :
A note to other commenters – such as tallbloke
Treat Dr. Svalgaard with a measure of respect in discussion, or I’ll boot you off. Personal attacks are uncalled for. Penalty box next.- Anthony

Respect is a two way street. You can’t demand it, you earn it.
I like even-handedness. If you were also to ask Dr Svalgaard to treat others with a measure of respect in discussion, as Charles the moderator has found it necessary to do in the past, that would be very welcome.
I was discussing some ideas with Paul Vaughan (and asked him if we could move it off site) when Dr Svalgaard made his unwarranted attack.

GrahamF
December 13, 2009 4:11 am

An article in the UK Independent today is interesting:
“Could the Sun play a greater role in recent climate change than has been believed? … No living scientist has seen it behave this way. There are no sunspots. ”
“Although at solar maxima there are more sunspots on the Sun’s surface, their dimming effect is more than offset by the appearance of bright patches on the Sun’s disc called faculae – Italian for “little torches”. Overall, during an 11-year solar cycle the Sun’s output changes by only 0.1 per cent, an amount considered by many to be too small a variation to change much on earth. But there is another way of looking it. While this 0.1 per cent variation is small as a percentage, in terms of absolute energy levels it is enormous, amounting to a highly significant 1.3 Watts of energy per square metre at the Earth. This means that during the solar cycle’s rising phase from solar minima to maxima, the Sun’s increasing brightness has the same climate-forcing effect as that from increasing atmospheric greenhouse gasses. There is recent research suggesting that solar variability can have a very strong regional climatic influence on Earth – in fact stronger than any man-made greenhouse effect across vast swathes of the Earth. And that could rewrite the rules. ”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-missing-sunspots-is-this-the-big-chill-1674630.html
Anyone know where the research is published?
Keep up th good work.

GrahamF
December 13, 2009 4:14 am

Correction…
“Could the Sun play a greater role in recent climate change than has been believed? … No living scientist has seen it behave this way. There are no sunspots. ”
“Although at solar maxima there are more sunspots on the Sun’s surface, their dimming effect is more than offset by the appearance of bright patches on the Sun’s disc called faculae – Italian for “little torches”. Overall, during an 11-year solar cycle the Sun’s output changes by only 0.1 per cent, an amount considered by many to be too small a variation to change much on earth. But there is another way of looking it. While this 0.1 per cent variation is small as a percentage, in terms of absolute energy levels it is enormous, amounting to a highly significant 1.3 Watts of energy per square metre at the Earth. This means that during the solar cycle’s rising phase from solar minima to maxima, the Sun’s increasing brightness has the same climate-forcing effect as that from increasing atmospheric greenhouse gasses. There is recent research suggesting that solar variability can have a very strong regional climatic influence on Earth – in fact stronger than any man-made greenhouse effect across vast swathes of the Earth. And that could rewrite the rules. ”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-missing-sunspots-is-this-the-big-chill-1674630.html
Anyone know where the research is published?
Keep up the good work.

December 13, 2009 5:55 am

DeNihilist (00:59:54) :
was just perusing your research paper site. Am I right in thinking that your presentation on Wolf, states that the Sun was not more active in the first half of the 20th century as compared to the last half?
The sun was less active in the first few cycles of the 20th century. The largest cycle4 [19] was at the middle [1950s]. My statement has really to do with comparing the 18th and 19th and the 20th.
tallbloke (02:30:27) :
Respect is a two way street. You can’t demand it, you earn it.
There is a difference between an attack on the ideas held by a person and an attack on the person. The former is fine, the latter is not.

PJMM
December 13, 2009 6:56 am

I dont to want to show something that isnt my desire. I dont want harasse in any aspect Leif Svalgaard. On the contrary, I respect him a lot and I know he is one of the best authorities in the field.
For me, Svalgaard, be available to be questioned in that open space by laymen like me on that subject is an honour and a privilege. I want to mark my point. He knows better than much others that kind of things. What I would like is asking Why some things where, as I can say, rejected or neglectd in the past and We (all of us in general terms) took another way.
For example, Brian Tinsley et al, took their work in some direction that fits better what I understand as manifestations of energy, what Lorenz show us with his model of more restritecd equations.
As I understood, Courtillot was criticized because that jerks fenomena was only mathematics construtions. 😉 Thats why Leif was polite, in my opinion. 🙂
Please, dont be confused about my questions. My questions are more crude because something has been neglected: magnetic effects in “our models”. When to me, is very plausible that nitrogen and oxigen should be show us some effects of magnetic fields.
But, please, I dont want to atack anybody. Just learn and understand why we only took some way of thinking that was diverse about 30 ou 20 years ago.

Ray
December 13, 2009 8:22 am

In the last few days we have seen a microsunspeck as well as aborted ones… all in line and even at both poles… could that be it… the maximum of SC24?