Solar geomagnetic index reaches unprecedented low – only "zero" could be lower – in a month when sunspots became more active

Back on December 12th 2009 I posted an article titled:

Solar geomagnetic activity is at an all time low – what does this mean for climate?

We then had a string of sunspots in December that marked what many saw as a rejuvenation of solar cycle 24 after a long period of inactivity. See December sunspots on the rise

It even prompted people like Joe Romm to claim:

The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins

But what Joe doesn’t understand is that sunspots are just one proxy, the simplest and most easily observed, for magnetic activity of the sun. It is the magnetic activity of the sun which is central to Svensmark’s theory of galactic cosmic ray modulation, which may affect cloud cover formation on earth, thus affecting global temperatures. As the theory goes, lower magnetic activity of the sun lets more GCR’s into our solar system, which produce microscopic cloud seed trails (like in a Wilson cloud chamber) in our atmosphere, resulting in more cloud cover, resulting in a cooler planet. Ric Werme has a nice pictorial here.

When I saw the SWPC Ap geomagnetic index for Dec 2009 posted yesterday, my heart sank. With the sunspot activity in December, I thought surely the Ap index would go up. Instead, it crashed.

Annotated version above – Source: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/Ap.gif

Source data: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt

When you look at the Ap index on a larger scale, all the way back to 1844 when measurements first started, the significance of this value of “1” becomes evident. This graph from Dr. Leif Svalgaard shows where we are today in relation to the past 165 years.

click for full sized image

Source: http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-Monthly-Averages-1844-Now.png

With apologies to Dr. Svalgaard, I’ve added the “1” line and the most current SWPC value of “1” for Dec 2009.

As you can see, we’ve never had such a low value before, and the only place lower to go is “zero”.

But this is only part of the story. With the Ap index dwindling to a wisp of magnetism, it bolsters the argument made by Livingston and Penn that sunspots may disappear altogether by 2015. See Livingston and Penn – Sunspots may vanish by 2015

Above: Sunspot magnetic fields measured by Livingston and Penn from 1992 – Feb. 2009 using an infrared Zeeman splitting technique. [more] from the WUWT article: NASA: Are Sunspots Disappearing?

The theory goes that once the magnetic strength falls below 1500 gauss, sunspots will become invisible to us.

Note where we are on this curve that Dr. Svalgaard also keeps of LP’s measurements:

https://i2.wp.com/www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png?resize=509%2C239
click to enlarge

Source: http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png

It appears that we are on track, and that’s a chilling thought.

NOTE TO COMMENTERS AND MODERATORS: No off-topic discussions of Landscheidt, “electric universe”, or “iron sun” will be permitted on this thread. All will be snipped. Stay on topic. – Anthony


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January 7, 2010 10:06 am
Dev
January 7, 2010 10:10 am

I noticed this yesterday too. It’s rather jaw dropping.
I’d be interested to read a post by Dr. Svalgaard with his expert comments and insights on this development. Also, has anyone seen any press reports of comments by Dr. Svensmark regarding this latest measurement of the Ap geomagnetic index?

Bill Jamison
January 7, 2010 10:12 am

What an incredible opportunity to learn more about the sun itself and of course the sun’s impact on climate. What a fascinating time to be a solar scientist!

Stefan
January 7, 2010 10:14 am

Which earth-energy proxies can this be compared to? (please excuse my clumsy wording.)
Didn’t the ARGO data show cooling, and then was adjusted by removing a number of bots from the set?

etudiant
January 7, 2010 10:15 am

Is there any possibility that the suns magnetic field could be about to flip?
This has happened here on earth a number of times, as shown in the geomagnetic record.
Is there any known technique for measuring solar magnetism historically over extended periods and is there any modeling to suggest what the effects of a flip might be?

Mary R
January 7, 2010 10:17 am

Your Dec 12th post about geomagnetic activity that you list at the top of this article has a link to a video with Jasper Kirby but the link no longer works. I have searched but can’t find this video anywhere. Anyone have an operable link for the video?

Nicholas Britnell
January 7, 2010 10:17 am

We appear to have witnessed something “unprecedented” in the last 100 years. We watch and learn.

Don B
January 7, 2010 10:18 am

A solar scientist/climatologist whose name escapes me, but I believe it begins with an “L,” wrote that there was a lagged correlation between the geomagnetic aa index and global temperature.
Have any of you looked at the relationship between the Ap Index since 1850 and temperature?

DirkH
January 7, 2010 10:19 am

I don’t know how the Ap Index is measured. Was it possible back in 1850 to measure it that exactly or as these ice cory proxy values or other proxies?

tty
January 7, 2010 10:22 am

Except for the traffic lights it looks rather like a Dickens illustration.

RickA
January 7, 2010 10:23 am

I understand from the above post that we don’t have Ap Index data back to the maunder minimum (because we started collecting this data 165 years ago).
It would be nice to know whether the solar geomagnetic index got down as low as 1 (or zero) during previous periods (like the maunder minimum).
Is there any kind of proxy (other than sun spot count) which can be used to estimate the Ap index number before actual measurements?
Anyway – very interesting. Thank you for the information.

AdderW
January 7, 2010 10:24 am

Vuk etc. (10:06:30) :
‘Global warming’ has arrived in UK .
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47049000/jpg/_47049609_hawick-neil-dickson.jpg

and the colour of global warming is re…sorry, white of course
Britain covered in global scorching

Curiousgeorge
January 7, 2010 10:29 am

Forgive my ignorance, but what would cause the decrease in solar magnetic activity? Is it similar to the way the earth’s field works – spinning iron core, etc. ?

Ckn Litl
January 7, 2010 10:31 am

I really struggle with this one. In the reasoning part of my mind, I look at the correlation and causations of widespread human death and note that cold is one of the most significant factors.
It makes me shudder.
The childish part of my mind looks at this and says that in the future we will be able to say NAH NAH, I told you so to the warmists. Unfortunately, this seems like a very hollow victory when I consider the human cost …

John Silver
January 7, 2010 10:34 am

It’s sunspot cycle LENGTH that is closely correlated to global temperature anomaly.
Cycle 24 gets longer, it gets colder.
Right or wrong?

Methow Ken
January 7, 2010 10:41 am

At least at the level I understand it, Svensmark’s theory on GCRs and their postulated impact on cloud cover being driven by the level of geomagnetic activity on the sun seems quite plausible.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the above data is the magnitude of the change along with the steepness of the slope of the curve in a relatively short period of time; i.e.:
If the projected trend continues, the absolute value of sunspot mag field strength is on track to decline by FIFTY percent in only about 25 years. That’s a BIG change in a very short time.
And unlike many other factors that affect climate, any significant increase in cloud cover should I would think have an almost immediate effect on world-wide temperature data. So if Svensmark is right, we won’t have to wait 100 years for empirical data to confirm the correctness of his theory:
There will be hard data ”soon” (unless of course diehard AGW acolytes can again get away with applying large ”correction factors” to the raw temp data, ala UEA-CRU).

Alan S. Blue
January 7, 2010 10:44 am

Is this index a value that is expected or known to be fundamentally bounded by zero? Like temperature in Kelvin? Or is it a basically arbitrary scale slapped onto something we can measure – like temperature in Celsius?

DR
January 7, 2010 10:44 am

Anthony,
On your warning not to speak of Landscheidt, I’ve never brought it up, but am wondering why you have so much opposition to it so we all understand. I have no opinion one way or the other. Snip if that’s not even allowed.
I’ve dissected UAH data thoroughly and have found definite annual cycles, particularly during El Nino years. In all the 30 years of data, on only a few occasions do global temps not peak for the year in January or February. Ignoring measurements over land, there is a relationship to global temps and ocean temp patterns (NoPol and SoPol are outliers). They (oceans) converge tightly in October (97/98 El Nino is the exception). 2009 Trpcs flattened out from July through November but rose in December. I think the Trpcs may be key to what transpires in the coming months.
We should see global satellite temps rise sharply in Jan or Feb and meet or exceed that of Nov. If they don’t it would be a departure from 30 years of historical patterns. Current winter conditions are not making sense when comparing to previous cycles, so the next two months will be very instructive.
Is it plausible that even with a moderate El Nino, there is a connection between the Ap index and clouds and possibly influencing the AO to go negative thereby limiting global temperature effects of El Nino in the NH? I wonder.

Radun
January 7, 2010 10:45 am

Dev (10:10:49) :
“I’d be interested to read a post by Dr. Svalgaard with his expert comments and insights on this development.”
Yesterday on SC24:
Radun:
“Recent crop of sunspots was stronger and longer than the previous one (around 20/11/09), but AA index is considerably weaker.
Anything to it ? “
lsvalgaard
“yes and no. AA is a rough measure of solar activity, but not from day to day [or even week to week].”

January 7, 2010 10:45 am

Oh wow that Joe Romm article was so full of fail.

Gary
January 7, 2010 10:45 am

RE: Don B (10:18:57)
Would that have been this man?
http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen/SolarWind.html

Dandra
January 7, 2010 10:45 am

You added a “1′ to clarify for your readers and you feel a need to apologize. Yikes….some people must be overly sensitive.

rbateman
January 7, 2010 10:48 am

Just when you thought the Sun was heading back to ‘normal’, this hit’s the fan.
Now what?

DR
January 7, 2010 10:49 am

It appears the Bot smacker tagged my post, so will leave the “L” word out.
I’ve dissected UAH data thoroughly and have found definite annual cycles, particularly during El Nino years. In all the 30 years of data, on only a few occasions do global temps not peak for the year in January or February. Ignoring measurements over land, there is a relationship to global temps and ocean temp patterns (NoPol and SoPol are outliers). They (oceans) converge tightly in October (97/98 El Nino is the exception). 2009 Trpcs flattened out from July through November but rose in December. I think the Trpcs may be key to what transpires in the coming months.
We should see global satellite temps rise sharply in Jan or Feb and meet or exceed that of Nov. If they don’t it would be a departure from 30 years of historical patterns. Current winter conditions are not making sense when comparing to previous cycles, so the next two months will be very instructive.
Is it plausible that even with a moderate El Nino, there is a connection between the Ap index and clouds and possibly influencing the AO to go negative thereby limiting global temperature effects of El Nino in the NH? I wonder.

brad tittle
January 7, 2010 10:49 am

It would be nice if the scientists i admire would stop using Chartmanship.
The range on the two charts are 1800-3200 and 1500-4000. With just a little click, these charts would start at ZERO and the data would be easy to look at and come to a conclusion. As it is, I have to mentally adjust the chart data.
Please — All you leading scientists — start plotting your data without trying to fool yourself or your readers.
I am more worried about you fooling yourself.

DirkH
January 7, 2010 10:49 am
DirkH
January 7, 2010 10:50 am

Jasper Kirkby, of course.

Gary Hladik
January 7, 2010 10:54 am

From the AdderW (10:24:09) link:
‘Paul Simons, The Times weatherman, says the icy conditions could become more prevalent if global warming continues to melt the Arctic ice caps. “If the Gulf Stream slows down/diverts, we’re in big trouble.”‘
Another graduate of the Hollywood School of Meteorology. 🙂

Douglas DC
January 7, 2010 10:55 am

that October “Step Change” has a personal story attached to it.I buried my dear mother on 10/18/05. Vitually the day the sun switched to “cool” .I was walking across the Church Parking lot,and the Organist(who later charged me $100
bucks.) Said”Sure is warm today” (mid 60’s not a record for NE Oregon-and a beautiful, warm fall day-mom would’ve loved it)-she continued-“Got to do something about this!”(She is a local activist/warmist) I said”Well this is part of
a cycle,it will cool off and fairly soon as we are due for a solar cycle downturn
and the Pacific’s due for a cool cycle.”_She_was_Enraged!_”Do you not undestand what Al Gore has been pleading FOR! We are Killing the planet!”
Stompimg off, she under her breath-muttered”#$@%_Repubilcans!”-I said:
“Ah, I’m not a Republican” She got into her Suburban and sped away….

Mr. Alex
January 7, 2010 11:01 am

The value for December was actually 1.41, still 1 in my books though. 😉
http://www.solen.info/solar/
NOAA AR 11035 has just rotated into view and in the latest GONG images it is trying to form a tiny pore… which no doubt will be counted tomorrow with a value of 13.
Unfortunately Leif, it appears that activity (at least monthly activity) is no longer identical to the 1901 dip as you have previously mentioned. It has gone below that level. The index for January 2010 is thus far at 1.42
Solar Polar Field Strength is also in a funk:
http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Polar.gif
Solar Wind is at extremely low values:
http://www.solen.info/solar/images/swind1.gif
Despite the celebration over December’s mild sunspot up-tick solar activity is low, we are entering into territory no living scientist or modern technology has experienced or recorded.
The Clilverd et al (2006) prediction for SC 24 is the likely outcome.
A peak of 42 ± 34 ,(Dalton minimum type cycle).

JMANON
January 7, 2010 11:03 am

Er, was Joe Romm being ironic or does he concede a link between climate and sunspot activity?
Desperate days for the Beeb (who will now investigate themselves for possible bias on climate change…. yeah, I wonder what they’ll decide?) but they keep plugging the “extremes of weather are due to global warming” ….

Atomic Hairdryer
January 7, 2010 11:03 am

Re: etudiant (10:15:19) :
Is there any possibility that the suns magnetic field could be about to flip?
This has happened here on earth a number of times, as shown in the geomagnetic record.

It has fields & flips regularly(ish) for the 11-year cycle. Dr Svalgaard recommended a book-
The Sun from Space, Kenneth R. Lang ISBN 978-3540769521
Which I found fascinating. Opening sentence goes-
“From afar, the Sun does not look very complex” Then proceeds to explain how it’s a loopy squirly knot of magnetism and plasma doing all sorts of complex things. Plus it has some great pictures 🙂
Still not got my head around how the Sun’s magnetic fields interact with ours, and if/how our declining fields may be affecting our system.

Pearland Aggie
January 7, 2010 11:10 am

As a person that has to analyze lots of data nearly every day, the thing that strikes me about the ISES Ap Progression aside of the aforementioned step change is the remarkable decrease in monthly variability. Before 2005, the monthly variability was much larger than it has been for the last 4 years or so. That, in itself, is quite remarkable and unique. I’m not sure what it means, but it is certainly noteworthy.

Jeff L
January 7, 2010 11:11 am

The following link is nice in that the A index, sunspots & flux are all plotted together:
http://www.solen.info/solar/
Anthony, might I suggest to add the A index to the climate widget

January 7, 2010 11:11 am

It is interesting days indeed. Hopefully the record cold currently being experienced is not an omen to come. Global cooling will be far more disastrous than any warming. Maybe you Londoners will be able to skate on the Thames again!

January 7, 2010 11:11 am

So, is there actually increased cloud cover?
If the Ap is just about as low as it can get, then we should be seeing something happening right now, right?
Does anyone know of something like an up to date average cloud cover vs Ap chart?

M White
January 7, 2010 11:13 am

etudiant (10:15:19) :
“Is there any possibility that the suns magnetic field could be about to flip?”
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast15feb_1.htm
“February 15, 2001 — You can’t tell by looking, but scientists say the Sun has just undergone an important change. Our star’s magnetic field has flipped”
Happens every solar maximum

hunter
January 7, 2010 11:13 am

What this mostly shows is that Romm, the RC gang, etc. etc. don’t know squat.
Hansen was in Houston about one year ago, with a .ppt presentation making fun of the concerns about solar issues.
That presentation is not available any more. And, not knowing a year ago just how the AGW promoters behave, I did not download a copy.
It would be great to review his presentation of then.

George S.
January 7, 2010 11:14 am

Just a layman in this area, but I’ve also noticed that what few spots there are revisit us. Seems as if the production of new spots has not picked up as much as the the SSN would indicate. Is there a measure of longevity vs. new production over time compared to Ap?
Please excuse the naivete!

maz2
January 7, 2010 11:15 am

From the British Bullshipping Corpulation.
…-
“Chief defends Met Office record
John Hirst, head of the Met Office, defends the record of the weathermen after they predicted a mild winter.
Andrew Neil asked him to justify his salary which is higher than the prime minister’s.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/the_daily_politics/8443687.stm

Mr. Alex
January 7, 2010 11:15 am

Adding on to my earlier post… which I’m not sure came through :/…
NOAA has already numbered (SWO #) this pore, and it’s not 13 as I predicted but rather 15.
Absolute nonsense.

JonesII
January 7, 2010 11:16 am

tty (10:22:23) :
Except for the traffic lights it looks rather like a Dickens illustration
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47049000/jpg/_47049609_hawick-neil-dickson.jpg
As nature likes..to dance in wavy and gracious movements, nature does not know of men’s curious invention of straight lines, so in its dancing cycles following musical rythms of four hundred years of so, its wide hips move right, and left, sometimes standing still…
Fear not, repent yes of silly pride, forbid nothing, just silently and humbly watch!

Radun
January 7, 2010 11:16 am
January 7, 2010 11:17 am

Mary R (10:17:46) :
Your Dec 12th post about geomagnetic activity that you list at the top of this article has a link to a video with Jasper Kirby but the link no longer works. I have searched but can’t find this video anywhere. Anyone have an operable link for the video?

Is it this one?
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/
And thanks to Anthony for this article, far more interesting than fiction!

Sir Sefirot
January 7, 2010 11:19 am

Etudiant, the sun magnetic field flips with each solar cycle every 11 years aprox, with each polarity taking turns alternatively.

Bill Sticker
January 7, 2010 11:20 am

Yes, but aren’t sun spots only one indicator of solar activity? They’ve never been anything more.
As for Romm’s ‘hottest decade’, the only ‘hottest’ thing about the past ten years has been the abuse heaped upon those who still try to do some independent critical thinking.

JonesII
January 7, 2010 11:21 am

Consequences of “Pride and prejudice”:
the swirl of cloud over East Anglia is the cumulus cloud system that caused snow showers today

drams1
January 7, 2010 11:26 am

On the topic of lag between Ap index and temperature:
There appears to be a 5 year lag from Ap index to Albuquerque growing season from 1900 to now. Spurious correlation? Don’t know.

Harold Vance
January 7, 2010 11:28 am

Don’t forget Lief’s Fall 2009 AGU presentation:
http://www.leif.org/research/AGU%20Fall%202009%20SH13C-03.pdf

Mr. Alex
January 7, 2010 11:28 am

1. Solar Polar Field Strength in a funk:
http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Polar.gif
2. Solar wind at extremely low values:
http://www.solen.info/solar/images/swind1.gif
3. Ap Index has dropped below 1901 levels, so it seems activity is no longer identical to 1901 dip as Leif has stated previously. ( Ap so far 1.42 for Jan 2010)
Despite December’s modest increase in spots and today’s numbering of the puny pore, solar activity is still low and the Clilverd et al (2006) prediction for SC 24 peak of 42 ± 34 (identical to Dalton Minimum cycles), is the likely outcome.

Adam from Kansas
January 7, 2010 11:30 am

If Tallbloke’s theory about the link between Oceanic energy release and low solar activity is correct then no wonder we are seeing such high levels of energy release (and thus energy-loss) from the oceans worldwide right now.
I shudder to think what would happen as a result of that in coming years as we might see our first single digit high since 1990 tomorrow, I’d really not want to see how much colder it could get because of how his theory is being proven and the Sun being so quiet magnetically.

M White
January 7, 2010 11:31 am

“Data from the Ulysses spacecraft, a joint NASA-European Space Agency mission, show the sun has reduced its output of solar wind to the lowest levels since accurate readings became available.”
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-178
“In 2007, Ulysses made its third rapid scan of the solar wind and magnetic field from the sun’s south to north pole. When the results were compared with observations from the previous solar cycle, the strength of the solar wind pressure and the magnetic field embedded in the solar wind were found to have decreased by 20 percent. The field strength near the spacecraft has decreased by 36 percent. ”
The Ulysses mission is now over. Don’t know if any other organisation is measuring the power of the Solar Wind, but it Svensmark’s theory proves to be correct I think it’ll be very important to know.

January 7, 2010 11:32 am

So the AGW theory is that CO2 acts like an insulating blanket in the troposphere absorbing infrared radiation that the earth is trying to radiate out to space … But doesn’t that same CO2 material also absorb incoming solar irradiance in the exact same infrared spectrum and then radiate it when possible towards a cooler area, (usually outerspace), long before that heat/energy can reach the surface of the earth? And for the Tropospheric CO2 to ever be able to radiate that extra heat/energy towards the earth, the earth or its lower atmospheres MUST be cooler than the troposphere, (2nd law of thermodynamics – Heat/energy can only radiate/migrate towards a cooler mass) … Does anyone know how often the earth’s surface or at least the lower levels of the atmosphere/troposphere are cooler than the higher levels of the atmosphere/troposphere to allow this “downward” transfer of heat/energy? … (Being a pilot and observing altitude – temperature differences, my guess is not very damned often!) … Anyway … the greater the CO2 loading, the less direct infrared heat/energy that reaches the earth from the sun in the first place. Seems logical to think that this absorption of energy is just as likely to occur as the absorption of the reflected energy from the earth’s surface … and just as unlikely to radiate that heat/energy downward. I’ve read a lot about AGW in the past decade, but I do not recall seeing this issue addressed to any significant, (to my satisfaction anyway), level.

JonesII
January 7, 2010 11:37 am
M White
January 7, 2010 11:39 am

“Variation of Geomagnetic Activity Since 1844”
http://www.ips.gov.au/Educational/3/1/4
Graph shows yearly-average aa index 1844 to 1997.
Note the decline during the 60’s. Just coincidence but not long after that I believe a few people were talking about the next iceage.

January 7, 2010 11:40 am

The video of the major briefing by Jasper Kirkby on the Cloud experiment is at:
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073
There is a more recent short update also available. Just go the the CERN Website and access the video library.

January 7, 2010 11:42 am

How do constantly improving equipment and observations effect the Solar geomagnetic index measurements?
How can we say with confidence that it hasn’t been this low before?

January 7, 2010 11:42 am

I’m very confused by this story.
According to SPIDR, AP is a planetary index, not a solar index. It’s not clear to me how that would affect sunspots.
Looking forward to some informed clarification.
http://spidr.ngdc.noaa.gov/spidr/help.do?group=geomInd

Madman
January 7, 2010 11:42 am

There have been a couple of threads on the SolarCycle24.com boards discussing the extremely lower measurements of the aa index and the solar wind:
http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=895
http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=956
In this second thread, started by yours truly, Dr. Svalgaard downplayed the prospects for doom and gloom: “In 1901 the solar wind was equally low for an extended period, so we are returning to conditions of 108 years ago. So, been there, done that… “.
So, I quit worrying. ; )

george h
January 7, 2010 11:43 am

Is there any data on how this measure would correlate with any of the historical temperature records?

Invariant
January 7, 2010 11:46 am

The energy in the magnetic field of the solar wind is 10 million times less that of the constant sunlight (1366 ± 0.5 W/m²). Thus is seems reasonable that our sun is not the origin of climate change. Note however that a perfectly constant sun can initiate substantial oscillations here on earth, just like reaction diffusion systems can oscillate without a varying driving force:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_diffusion
This system displays a wide range of oscillatory behaviours, including the formation of travelling waves and wave-like phenomena as well as other self-organized patterns like stripes, hexagons or more intricate structure like dissipative solitons.
Our climate with its known negative feedback mechanisms may thus be random walk between an infinite number of unstable and unpredictable limit cycles…

D. King
January 7, 2010 11:47 am
DirkH
January 7, 2010 11:49 am

“JonesII (11:37:40) :
[…]
http://www-app3.gfz-potsdam.de/kp_index/quicklook.html

Great link, thanks. It’s zero right now!!!!

Mom2girls
January 7, 2010 11:50 am
STEPHEN PARKER
January 7, 2010 11:53 am

Quick! hide the decline

David Ball
January 7, 2010 11:54 am

I do not think that anyone is sure of what implications this has for the future of our climate.

Sound and Fury
January 7, 2010 11:54 am

Well, I guess that means we’ll have another year of no openings on the HF bands… I hope I can get a top-band dipole up…

Gary from Chicagoland
January 7, 2010 11:56 am

When previous events of low Solar Ap Index occur, did global temperatures also decrease? If so, was there a time delay?

Gumby
January 7, 2010 12:02 pm

Since the atmosphere is currently less ‘inflated’ due to lower Solar UV output as compared to what a more active sun would do, does the atmosphere shed heat at a different rate?
My assumption is that the mean free path for radiative cooling is shorter when the solar UV output is lower and that should cause heat to remain trapped longer before radiating into space. And, with a more swollen UV heated atmosphere, the mean free path is longer allowing faster cooling.
Please help my brain gap and thanks in advance! GV

Stephen Brown
January 7, 2010 12:03 pm
Kevin
January 7, 2010 12:12 pm

This might be the video. Watch all six parts of the Cloud Mystery

January 7, 2010 12:12 pm

[quote]The energy in the magnetic field of the solar wind is 10 million times less that of the constant sunlight (1366 ± 0.5 W/m²). Thus is seems reasonable that our sun is not the origin of climate change. [/quote]
Surely you must realize by now that no one is claiming it’s the W/m² of the magnetic field that’s affecting the climate.
It’s the magnetism of the magnetic field that affects the climate. It repels charged particles (cosmic rays) that affect cloud cover. Changes in the magnetic field change the number of charged particles that hit the Earth, and therefore change the rate of cloud formation.
It’s the clouds that change the Earth’s climate, as you can dee in this graph: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1NlR71q69vA/Sz2wiWo5zRI/AAAAAAAAAI0/cRqnskrkX9Y/s1600-h/chart.png

Vincent
January 7, 2010 12:13 pm

Mike O’Kelly,
” But doesn’t that same CO2 material also absorb incoming solar irradiance in the exact same infrared spectrum and then radiate it when possible towards a cooler area.”
First, the incoming solar radiation is overwhelmingly in the visible and only a tiny proportion in IR. Second, any IR radiated by CO2 would be in all directions, not only towards a cooler area.
“And for the Tropospheric CO2 to ever be able to radiate that extra heat/energy towards the earth, the earth or its lower atmospheres MUST be cooler than the troposphere, (2nd law of thermodynamics – Heat/energy can only radiate/migrate towards a cooler mass)”
No. The 2nd law of thermodynamics refers only to heat, not energy. Radiation is absolutely not heat and is agnostic as to where it is goes. Although is may seem counter intuitive, radiation from a cooler area will be transmitted to a warmer area. However, this does not lead to the cooler area becoming still cooler. If that were to happen, then heat would effectively have transferred from a cooler to a warmer area, and that WOULD be against the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
The reason this cannot happen is because the warm area is also radiating into the cooler area, and because it has higher energy, it is radiating more than the cooler body. Therefore, the net flow is from the warmer to the cooler body such that the cooler gets warmer, which is in accordance with the 2nd law. The presence however, of the downward radiation from the cooler area, being opposite to the upward radiation, means that the net flux going out, is at a slightly low rate than it would otherwise be without the presence of the radiating cooler area. That is what is meant by the greenhouse effect and its effect is tiny compared with incoming solar radiation.

DirkH
January 7, 2010 12:15 pm

“Mike O’Kelly (11:32:46) :
So the AGW theory is that CO2 acts like an insulating blanket in the troposphere absorbing infrared radiation that the earth is trying to radiate out to space … But doesn’t that same CO2 material also absorb incoming solar irradiance in the exact same infrared spectrum and then radiate it when possible towards a cooler area, (usually outerspace), long before that heat/energy can reach the surface of the earth?”
No. IR from the sun is shortwave. It goes downward right through.
The backradiated IR is longwave – longer than a micron i think.
” And for the Tropospheric CO2 to ever be able to radiate that extra heat/energy towards the earth, the earth or its lower atmospheres MUST be cooler than the troposphere, (2nd law of thermodynamics – Heat/energy can only radiate/migrate towards a cooler mass)”
Take care. Thermodynamics were invented before Quantum dynamics. In general you are right but it is about the balance: Imagine two blocks of iron, one red hot and one white hot next to each other. The red hot block will receive more energy from the white hot than vice versa, so the law of thermodynamics is fulfilled. Yet each one still radiates to the other, its only that the white hot block sends out higher energy radiation.
A highlevel thermodynamical discussion is Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi’s theory. There’s a discussion thread on WUWT about him:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/26/debate-thread-miskolczi-semi-transparent-atmosphere-model/

Gary Hladik
January 7, 2010 12:20 pm

Mike O’Kelly (11:32:46), that’s a misapplication of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. A photon emitted from a molecule of CO2 doesn’t know and doesn’t care if it’s headed toward a warm or cool body. If it’s absorbed by the target, it transfers its energy whether the target is white hot or icy cold. Of course net transfer will be from warmer to cooler bodies.
Atmospheric water also absorbs incoming IR:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png
The incoming solar energy not absorbed by the atmosphere and not reflected by the surface warms the earth and its oceans. The warm earth radiates IR energy, some of which is absorbed by various gasses (mostly water and CO2) on the way out.
I strongly recommend Willis Eschenbach’s “Steel Greenhouse” post as a simple model of radiative warming:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/17/the-steel-greenhouse/

JonesII
January 7, 2010 12:20 pm

Stephen Brown (12:03:20) Remarkable picture…that’s the snow’s way of showing the truth to Catlin’s expedition members. Now they can use their radar to measure ice depth in their own backyard..☺

Syl
January 7, 2010 12:20 pm

If you click on Adderw’s link:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6978849.ece
then click on the photogallery link in the 4:31pm listing you’ll find the coolest, neatest snowman evuh!

Editor
January 7, 2010 12:20 pm

So Romm knows that a continued quiet sun would cause cooling, which means he knows that the “grand maximum” levels of solar activity since 1920 were a major cause of 20th century warming, which means he knows that CO2 was a minor cause, yet he exults at the prospect of being able to continue to pretend that CO2 is a great threat, and at the opportunity to continue trying to unplug the energy consumption that is the life-blood of modernity.
Not just wrong, but evil.

pochas
January 7, 2010 12:20 pm

Mike O’Kelly (11:32:46) :
“But doesn’t that same CO2 material also absorb incoming solar irradiance in the exact same infrared spectrum and then radiate it when possible towards a cooler area, (usually outerspace), long before that heat/energy can reach the surface of the earth?”
No, the atmosphere is mostly transparent to incoming sunlight, which is high energy shortwave radiation (SW) and contains very little longwave (LW) in the infrared bandwidths. On the other hand, the surface radiates infrared, most of which is absorbed by the water vapor in the atmosphere and re-radiated back toward the surface. This is the “Greenhouse Effect”.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Atmospheric_Transmission.png
The spectrum for sunlight is on the left of the diagram, and the spectrum for surface radiation is on the right, at much longer, lower energy wavelengths.

Don B
January 7, 2010 12:20 pm

Re: Gary (10:45:50)
That was the “L” word we must not mention. Another one of his articles which includes some of the aa data in the article you mentioned…
http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/new-e.htm

DirkH
January 7, 2010 12:21 pm

“Gumby (12:02:30) :
Since the atmosphere is currently less ‘inflated’ due to lower Solar UV output as compared to what a more active sun would do, does the atmosphere shed heat at a different rate?
My assumption is that the mean free path for radiative cooling is shorter when the solar UV output is lower and that should cause heat to remain trapped longer before radiating into space.”
I would think it’s the same because while the atmosphere might be smaller, it is also denser, in other words, the same mass and the same amount of obstacles for a ray to leave it.

January 7, 2010 12:22 pm

Stephen:
Britain today.
Has anyone thought of building a few large snow polar bears in downtown London?

Ron de Haan
January 7, 2010 12:23 pm

Joe Bastardi:
“I debunked yesterday on our video the idea this is global warming, which has to be coming up since anything that happens with this pack of agenda-based people is global warming. I showed the last time it was this cold, back in 1977, with the almost identical pattern we see now, and at that time the U.S. chief science commissar (or is it czar, I keep getting those two mixed up) John Holdren, along with Jim Hansen of Nasa global-warming fame, was on the polar express for the ice age train. Amazing”.
http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=rss

January 7, 2010 12:26 pm

Am I the only WUWT regular that struggles with the idea of a direct link between climate and Sun activity? I’ve seen charts that seemingly look like an excellent correlation, only to see the two diverge. Also, short hot and cold periods don’t match up with Sun activity. For example, it was El Nino that caused the 1998 global warmth, with no blip on the graph above. Similarly, the Solar Geomagnetic Index may be zero, but the southern hemisphere is having a very decent summer. I think some on here (not mentioning names) forget that the cold northern hemisphere isn’t the world. Let’s keep our feet on the ground and not fall into the same traps that warmists do whenever there’s a warm spell of weather. If you look at the tropospheric temperatures over the past few years you’ll see that there is no downward trend yet. Personally I think there will be, but we’re not there yet. http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/MSUvsRSS.html It’s only when the UAH decadel trend goes into minus that we can truly say the warmists are licked, but since 1992 it’s been on the up.

Ron de Haan
January 7, 2010 12:26 pm

Joe Bastardi who predicted the current cold wave on the NH:
I selected certain cities to show this, and the combination of Beijing, Seoul, Chicago, New York, London and Berlin stand after six days at an amazing 8.8 below normal.
http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=rss

January 7, 2010 12:28 pm

The very low Ap values are an artifact. There are two problems. The first [and glaring] is that Ap sunk to 1.9, but because SWPC truncates their values, it is plotted as 1 which is only about half of what it should be. The second problem has to do with the definition of Ap [and similar indices Aa and Am]. They simply cannot be measured when the values falls below about 3 [for Ap] and 5 [for Aa and Am]:
http://www.leif.org/research/Ap%20and%20Aa%20relation.pdf
The physical meaning of Ap and similar and how to calculate them from interplanetary parameters can be found here.
http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf
Long term reconstruction of Ap back to 19844
http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-1844-2008.png

Ron de Haan
January 7, 2010 12:28 pm

Wishful thinking from NASA and Yale:
Global Warming Likely to be Amplified by Slow Changes to Earth Systems
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=42183&src=eorss-manews

P Gosselin
January 7, 2010 12:30 pm
JonesII
January 7, 2010 12:34 pm

How is it going with those windfarms in England?, are they working providing green energy to the rather phlematic englishmen or in these interesting times they are becoming choleric instead?

SAGWH
January 7, 2010 12:37 pm

Has anyone heard anything out of Big Bear Observatory regarding Earthshine Project? I would think we should be seeing some significant changes in albedo readings shortly , if not already , due do this GCR modulation effect ? There has been no update from them since 2008 that I’m aware of [unless the link I have is the wrong one to be looking at].

Bill Marsh
January 7, 2010 12:38 pm

It’s a ‘reverse’ hockey stick!!

January 7, 2010 12:39 pm

I saw this too… well, I shall go spend time via John Daly’s Guest Papers page where he hosts both L and a paper criticizing L. It is a shame that we cannot discuss these things here without fireworks. Therefore, the understanding of Scientific Method itself needs deepening, to reach those “fobidden” areas with a bit more humility and openness to data from all sources.

Mike Abbott
January 7, 2010 12:42 pm

In a comment to Anthony’s December 12, 2009 article on the Ap index, Leif Svalgaard explained why the Ap index would not go below ~3. More precisely, he said:
“Vo cannot drop below 2.5 and B seems to have a floor about 4 nT [both should be taken over a solar rotation] so Aa cannot go below ~4, corresponding to Ap = 1.6. In practice, Vo would not go as low as 2.5 for a whole rotation, so Ap won’t drop below ~3. I think the important point is that we are now down to where we were in 1901 and 1879. BTW, at so low numbers, Aa and Ap are very difficult to even measure and the uncertainty of the numbers is large, so it may not make much sense to distinguish between Ap = 2 and 3 or even 4. Ap is defined as the deviation from the ‘regular’ variation that occurs every day, but which varies slightly from day to day and is really impossible to pin down to an accuracy of a few nanoTesla as would be required to determine an Ap of, say, 3.”
This stuff is mostly over my head, but I will look forward to Leif’s reaction to the SWPC’s report of an Ap index of 1.

Paul Vaughan
January 7, 2010 12:42 pm

DR (10:44:19) “Is it plausible that even with a moderate El Nino, there is a connection between the Ap index and clouds and possibly influencing the AO to go negative thereby limiting global temperature effects of El Nino in the NH? I wonder.”
Winter annular mode (SAM/AAO, NAM/AO/NAO) indices correlate with geomagnetic indices when conditioned on QBO phase according to some authors. (However, I don’t think it is wise to make assumptions about what is causing what at this stage. I’ve looked at some of the phase-relations – what I can say is that they are categorically not random.)

Frank K.
January 7, 2010 12:44 pm

Stephen Brown (12:03:20) :
Britain today. Snow, snow and more snow!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6947586/Snow-covers-Britain-from-head-to-toe.html

That’s an amazing satellite picture of the snow-covered UK!

Mr. Alex
January 7, 2010 12:49 pm

“Leif Svalgaard (12:28:05) :
The very low Ap values are an artifact. There are two problems. The first [and glaring] is that Ap sunk to 1.9”
Where did http://www.solen.info/solar/ get an average value of 1.41 for december 2009?
Surely Ap of 2 is still a low value…

Dr.T G Watkins(Wales)
January 7, 2010 12:50 pm

George h
C14 should correlate with low sun magnetic field ie more cosmic rays, temps from O18. Read Svensmark’s The Chilling Stars.
BBC still sticking to AGW view on the news but, for the first time acknowledged a lot of people are sceptical.

graeme
January 7, 2010 12:54 pm

This could be worse than Y2K.

January 7, 2010 12:56 pm

Am I the only WUWT regular that struggles with the idea of a direct link between climate and Sun activity? I’ve seen charts that seemingly look like an excellent correlation, only to see the two diverge. Also, short hot and cold periods don’t match up with Sun activity. For example, it was El Nino that caused the 1998 global warmth, with no blip on the graph above. Similarly, the Solar Geomagnetic Index may be zero, but the southern hemisphere is having a very decent summer.
The link is between solar activity and clouds, and then between clouds and temperatures. From what I’ve seen and been able to reconstruct myself, that link exits right up to today.
But at no time is the link perfect. The clouds/temperature link has an R² value of about 0.5 in the reconstructions I’ve done over the last several decades. That’s significant, but it’s not a perfect match (1.0 would be perfect).
That means there’s things other than clouds affecting the temperature. El Nino, land use, and greenhouse gasses are the likely suspects for those “other things”.
But the overall trend in temperatures seems to be from clouds, and those “other things” seem to be modifiers to this main trend.
Or, graphically:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1NlR71q69vA/Sz2wiWo5zRI/AAAAAAAAAI0/cRqnskrkX9Y/s1600-h/chart.png

Not Amused
January 7, 2010 1:02 pm

Great links everyone, thanks !
So my mind’s eye is picturing heliophysicists running around like chickens with their heads cut off in excitement and glee… this is the stuff their dreams must be made of !
“The times, they are a changin”

Catilac
January 7, 2010 1:02 pm

“Solar geomagnetic activity is at an all time low”
as a sceptic the inaccurate use of the phrase “all time” by warmers in cases where it is clearly not applicable has always bothered me.
observed low or recorded low or in recorded history, but all time low inaccurate

January 7, 2010 1:04 pm

Leif Svalgaard (12:28:05) :
“The very low Ap values are an artifact…”
Thanks for your comments on this. It adds some needed clarity.

Vincent
January 7, 2010 1:07 pm

JonesII (12:34:17) :
“How is it going with those windfarms in England?, are they working providing green energy to the rather phlematic englishmen or in these interesting times they are becoming choleric instead.”
I believe they are being turned by hand by green activists.

Michael
January 7, 2010 1:07 pm

Solar wind
speed: 283.2 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
Sunspot number: 0
Updated 06 Jan 2010
Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 1 day
2010 total: 1 day (17%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
I’ve noticed the solar wind has been relatively low for a long time.
http://spaceweather.com/

Syl_2010
January 7, 2010 1:08 pm

The second stage of the CERN CLOUD project has started. We should get results this year.

SteveSadlov
January 7, 2010 1:08 pm

I am very worried about this.

January 7, 2010 1:09 pm

Mr. Alex (11:01:57) :
it appears that activity (at least monthly activity) is no longer identical to the 1901 dip as you have previously mentioned. It has gone below that level. The index for January 2010 is thus far at 1.42
There are no [official] Ap values before 1932. Ap less than 3 is meaningless as Aa less than 5 is. This has to do with the way these are measured. We can discuss that in detail, if needed. But I have a feeling that people don’t want to hear this, as it is much more fun to play with the nonsense-values, i.e. with “more humility and openness to data from all sources.” 🙂

Michael
January 7, 2010 1:20 pm

Expect more satellites and space debris to fall out of the sky.

J. D. Lindskog
January 7, 2010 1:21 pm

With regard to published observations of data and processes exhibiting events without historical precedent, the example that I find most intriguing is the Vostok Ice Core record.
http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/vostok.png
A nod to ‘correlation is not causation’ is in order here,
That portion of the record depicting the current warm cycle of earths paleoclimate history is remarkably different from the preceding cycles. If the recorded data is accurate, given pressure, chemical processes, and time of exposure to those variables, the earth in the current cycle is cooler, has remained so for a longer duration, and is considerably more noisy in its variability at the apparent peak of the cycle.
Which brings us to; today. A few writers have in recent times addressed the obvious question “Where are we in the process of the current cycle” to which they respond with a rather euphemistic ’due for a change’. As an uncredentialed observer standing here on the face of the planet I can only respond with, “Indeed”.
So with a Bleg for en enlightenment, I am petitioning the community of WUWT (we are a community, protagonist and antagonist alike) for thoughts, data, or links that might add illumination for the question, ”Where are We”.
Great thanks to Mr. Anthony Watts and crew for providing this forum. The cross correlation of disciplines and cross pollination of thought processes is an event truly without precedent. May you all enjoy the fruit of your place in history.

Shaun
January 7, 2010 1:25 pm

Dr Svaalgard previously posted a correlation between Aa index at minimum (which is about 3+ times the Ap index) and peak of next sunspot cycle. At the time the Aa index was about 8 and projected monthly sunspot maximum was about 75 for cycle 24, if I remember rightly. It would be interesting to see an update of that prediction- given the low Ap index, Aa ought to be between 3 and 4, and the sunspots might peak <50?

JohnH
January 7, 2010 1:25 pm

How is it going with those windfarms in England?, are they working providing green energy to the rather phlematic englishmen or in these interesting times they are becoming choleric instead?
Well the one near me in Scotland on the Fenwick Moor which is the biggest in the UK is becalmed and has been for 3 weeks and this must be the same for the whole of the UK. No power stations shut down because of them then. Gas is being rationed as the storage tanks only hold 7 days backup unlike in Europe where they hold several weeks, hence gas prices are higher in UK than Europe. Must stop or I will be accuseded of being a sad old git or SOG.

January 7, 2010 1:25 pm

Mr. Alex (11:28:40) :
“1. Solar Polar Field Strength in a funk:”
Not a time to be troubled much about polar fields. See you around 2020-25, then we’ll have something to talk about. See Polar fields links on:
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GandF.htm

January 7, 2010 1:27 pm

[quote Leif Svalgaard
The physical meaning of Ap and similar and how to calculate them from interplanetary parameters can be found here.
http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf [/quote]
Thank you for this paper, Dr. Svalgaard. Now I understand that the original article is saying the Ap index changes as a result of solar activity upon it, rather than the other way around.
With that clarification, the article makes sense to me now. 🙂

January 7, 2010 1:27 pm

The very low Ap values are an artifact. There are two problems. The first [and glaring] is that Ap sunk to 1.9, but because SWPC truncates their values, it is plotted as 1 which is only about half of what it should be. The second problem has to do with the definition of Ap [and similar indices Aa and Am]. They simply cannot be measured when the values falls below about 3 [for Ap] and 5 [for Aa and Am]:
And even with that caveat the numbers seem really low.

pwl
January 7, 2010 1:31 pm

“Solar geomagnetic activity is at an all time low – what does this mean for climate?”
2012? Melting crust? Ok…. let’s really hope not.
Wouldn’t it be safer to adjust the following to say: “As you can see, we’ve never had such a low value [since records started being kept], and the only place lower to go is ‘zero’.”
I also wonder what is happening on Mars as a result of this; are their any cooling trends in the wispy Martian atmosphere that are also impacted by the Sun’s magnetic field and solar winds and GCRs? Does this phenomenon even impact Mars or the other planets? It seems to me that if there are simultaneous and detectable impacts of Solar and Space Weather upon more than one planet we’d have a very strong piece of correlative or even hints of causal evidence that can’t be chalked up easily to distortions by man or Mann. Or am I grasping at interplanetary wisps?
Dim Sun | Cold Earth?
http://pathstoknowledge.net/2009/04/22/dim-sun-cold-earth

nevket240
January 7, 2010 1:32 pm

Jones11
it isn’t just the windbag farms. how are the Chinese solar users going today??
how will solar perform if this situation worsens?? will you get your money back??
start stocking up on your favourite canned food, and remember Valley Forge.
regards

DavidE
January 7, 2010 1:33 pm

brad tittle (10:49:15) :
Whilst in general I agree with you about chartmanship, when plotting small changes on a large scale it is often difficult to actually see the change.
Here, where we should be aware of such things, I consider it OK.
DaveE.

Gerry
January 7, 2010 1:33 pm

Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) is in a nosedive not seen since 2008.23:
http://leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png

wayne
January 7, 2010 1:34 pm

Don B (10:18:57) :
Yes I have. I gave Anthony two graphs showing my work a few months ago and he said ‘very interesting’ and passed them to some solar scientists.
Solar geomagnetic activity tightly correlates with the sunspot index for which we have records by true scientists back to 1700, really dating back to Galileo but records during the Maunder minimum (pre 1700) were spotty and index would be below 10 for these seventy years. I gave an explanation on http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/30/14673/#more-14673 at wayne (09:14:10) describing how to build a simple spreadsheet to view this alternate way to look at the solar connection of temperature changes to magnetic activity.
As I told Anthony, this may be only a mere coincidence, but it is curious how you can build a graph totally from the sunspot index and get one basically showing a curve that fits the temperature anomalies which have occurred in the past.
It show the rise after 1700 to about 1790 then the deep decrease to early 1800s. Then rise again to about 1870 with small decrease to about 1930. Then a big climb to peak at early 2000s. Since this is strictly from sunspot proxy of magnetic activity, how can this be?
Take a moment to build the spreadsheet. Extend into the future to do ‘what if’ scenarios by plugging in the SS index for 2010 onwards. Place all tens for 1630 to 1700 to roughly include the Maunder minimum. If anyone posts back for more insight, I will describe the science behind this curious view.
Would be worth your time. When I first saw it I said, wow, what’s this?

Robert of Ottawa
January 7, 2010 1:46 pm

etudiant (10:15:19) :
The Sun’s magnetic field flips every elevn years

January 7, 2010 1:47 pm

Joe Romm is a joke. He has a blog post in which he speculates about “What scientists were saying privately for years.” I pointed out that we didn’t need his speculation, because we have ClimateGate emails, and that clearly shows what has been said for years privately. He did not publish my comment.
I *hate* this cover up by alarmists. They truly are just repeating lies over and over and over until people believe them.

DirkH
January 7, 2010 1:48 pm

“JonesII (12:34:17) :
How is it going with those windfarms in England?, are they working providing green energy to the rather phlematic englishmen or in these interesting times they are becoming choleric instead?”
In my area in northern Germany we have lots of wind turbines. ATM they’re standing still. Nearly no wind.
BTW don’t believe all the things about bird chopping. We have plenty of Milans, Buzzards and whatnot. It’s only that every time a hunter shoots a bird of prey because the beast went on killing his chicken one by one he would drop the carcass under a wind turbine because it’s prohibited to shoot them.
Real story told by a friend who’s father was a hunter.

January 7, 2010 1:49 pm

The 2004-2009 smoothed drop in the AP index is the most pronounced in the entire record since 1844. If you look at the drop in TSI, it represents the biggest 5 year drop since the beginning of the Maunder (scroll down in the link below).
http://chartsgraphs.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/solar-trends-total-solar-irradiance-since-1611/

Sound and Fury
January 7, 2010 1:51 pm

From the thread on the linked (9/12/09) post: Leif Svalgaard said “Vo cannot drop below 2.5 and B seems to have a floor about 4 nT [both should be taken over a solar rotation] so Aa cannot go below ~4, corresponding to Ap = 1.6. In practice, Vo would not go as low as 2.5 for a whole rotation, so Ap won’t drop below ~3”
Does this make Leif look a tad foolish, or have I misunderstood something?

Aelric
January 7, 2010 1:54 pm

Leif at 12:28:05 said: “The very low Ap values are an artifact. There are two problems …”
To summarize the case subject to your concerns: the Ap value has fallen, for the first time since 1844, to a value sufficiently low (1.9, 1.0 whatever) such that it is either impossible and/or meaningless to compute/measure.
Is this accurate?

JT
January 7, 2010 1:58 pm

Is it possible that the instruments used for detecting and recording the geomagnetic index are just more sensitive today than they were say 100 years ago? Could this account for higher highs and lower lows seen recently?
JT

Michael
January 7, 2010 2:07 pm

I guess we could call it, “Our Solar Disaster”.

geo
January 7, 2010 2:07 pm

My first thought upon seeing a sharply incongruous data reading from expected is to double-check there isn’t a fubar in the data pipeline somewhere. Did someone do that?

January 7, 2010 2:07 pm

if these changes in solar magnetism etc affect cloud formation, how long does this take to get to planet earth, certainly it is not instantaneous, right? How long does it take cosmic rays to her here from where they may be “blocked”.

Mike Smith
January 7, 2010 2:12 pm

According to Jan Null, the El Nino has reached “strong” intensity. http://ggweather.com/enso/oni.htm

Robert S. Orr
January 7, 2010 2:12 pm

Jasper Kirkby colloquium
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073

DirkH
January 7, 2010 2:15 pm

“nevket240 (13:32:11) :
Jones11
it isn’t just the windbag farms. how are the Chinese solar users going today??
how will solar perform if this situation worsens?? will you get your money back??”
The chinese sell most of their solar cells to Germany because we have unlimited subsidies for now so unlimited demand. I’m paying 20 eurocent for a kWh and the renewable-energy makers get 50 eurocent.
Photovoltaics deliver next to nothing in winter. There output is very seasonal. It has to do with the fact that days are shorter in winter and the sun doesn’t rise as high. Measuring the output over a year gives you a curve that looks like a gaussian, with the maximum in summer of course.
So no, renewables help us nothing in winter except for wood and books. Germany has never switched off a conventional power plant for this very reason, even the ones in eastern germany got modernized.

John Silver
January 7, 2010 2:16 pm

Please stop calling plasma “comic rays”.
What do you call a spade? “Terra former”?

Richard
January 7, 2010 2:17 pm

The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins
This is a tacit admission that the sun is causing our cooling (or not warming if you wish).
Aha now the sun hots up, maybe now warming may renew, maybe just a little bit. Now this may give us the ammunition to flog our alarmist myth again, with tax funded dollars, with renewed vigour.

geo
January 7, 2010 2:18 pm

Ahhh, having reviewed the thread comments now, I see that Dr. Leif essentially agreed with me –the data/calculations aren’t amenable to really dealing with such low values. Truncating 35.9 to 35 is one thing –truncating 1.9 to 1 is something else entirely.
Tho still, that it didn’t go the other way (rise) given the sunspots is still at least moderately interesting.

January 7, 2010 2:27 pm

[Quote nofreewind (14:07:57) :]
if these changes in solar magnetism etc affect cloud formation, how long does this take to get to planet earth, certainly it is not instantaneous, right? How long does it take cosmic rays to her here from where they may be “blocked”.[/quote]
At it’s nearest point to the sun, the solar wind extends out about 12 billion km, if I remember correctly. As cosmic rays travel at nearly the speed of light, it would take about 12,000,000,000/c to change the amount of cosmic rays hitting the Earth. If I’m doing the math right (and I can’t promise I have) that’s about 11 hours.
But you can just measure the number of cosmic rays hitting the earth and completely ignore the solar wind. It’s effects are already factored in by the time the cosmic rays hit the Earth.

DirkH
January 7, 2010 2:31 pm

“DirkH (14:15:07) :
[…]
unlimited subsidies for now so unlimited demand. I’m paying 20 eurocent for a kWh and the renewable-energy makers get 50 eurocent. ”
And may i add: Yes Brits. This is what awaits you.

January 7, 2010 2:34 pm

Dr. Bob
“Joe Romm is a joke. ”
Joe is a one man George Soros funded propaganda industry. I’ve tried to debate him on his articles before. But he always deletes the material. Same with Tamino. If you want to post what you said to Romm, go here.
http://aicomment.blogspot.com/

Gary Hladik
January 7, 2010 2:39 pm

graeme (12:54:14) : “This could be worse than Y2K.”
My last cold was worse than Y2K. 🙂
(I know it was in jest, but “jest” couldn’t resist.)

Cam
January 7, 2010 2:44 pm

John Silver – you’re on the right track I believe. David Archibald, an Australian earth scientist has done some very interesting work on the length of solar cycles and global temps (others as well). There seems to be a far better correlation between solar cycle length and global temps than Ap, TSI, Wolf numbers etc.
Archibald suggests that for every 12 month increase in solar cycle length, global atmospheric temps will drop 0.7c over the following cycle. It’s a fairly broad sweeipng statement, but he does back it up with some convincing arguments. You should find it buried in his website/blog on the Net somewhere.
Mind you there is a pretty good correlation between solar cycle amplitude (the sunsport number peak) and global temps too, if you plot them both on a running average.
Remembering of course that correlation is not always causation, but it does certainly give you a ‘heads up’.
My money at the moment is on flat global temps until the 2nd half of 2010, and then once El Nino has disappeared, expect to see a pronounced cooling trend commence then.

George E. Smith
January 7, 2010 2:44 pm

Those graphs look decidedly spooky. Here you live for years thinking the sun is a pretty stable object on our scale of things, and then you go and plot a steady dive into the basement, as if some battery is running down, and the lights are about to go out.
I know about nowt about solar physics; but I imagine that the coffeee pot chatters at Leif’s place must be quite interesting. We certainly are living in interesting times.
I would say that 2010 at WUWTville, is off to a roaring start.

DavidE
January 7, 2010 2:46 pm

magicjava (12:56:52) :
Probably a stupid idea.
Have you tried removing these…
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif
corrections from the temp data & seeing what the R2 is?
DaveE.

January 7, 2010 2:50 pm

Quote: Bill Jamison (10:12:51) :
“What an incredible opportunity to learn more about the sun itself and of course the sun’s impact on climate. What a fascinating time to be a solar scientist!”
Yes, indeed!
If only solar scientists were willing to learn. But they learned absolutely nothing from space age measurements summarized here:
http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig1.htm
http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig2.htm
http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig3.htm
http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig4.htm
http://www.omatumr.com/Data/2000Data.htm
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo
myprofile.cos.com/manuelo09

Spector
January 7, 2010 2:53 pm

Is there any official public source for AP Index data (reconstructed or raw) going back to 1844?

nigel jones
January 7, 2010 3:00 pm

JonesII (12:34:17) :
“How is it going with those windfarms in England?”
Not very well, providing < 1% of total demand a couple of days back. When we have cold weather in January and February, there tends to be very little wind.
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/its-still-global-warming.html

January 7, 2010 3:02 pm

Sound and Fury (13:51:20) : You wrote, “Does this make Leif look a tad foolish, or have I misunderstood something?”
You missed something. Just in case Leif ignores your comment for suggesting he was looking a tad foolish, I’ll refer you to his 12:28:05 comment, reproduced below.
“The very low Ap values are an artifact. There are two problems. The first [and glaring] is that Ap sunk to 1.9, but because SWPC truncates their values, it is plotted as 1 which is only about half of what it should be. The second problem has to do with the definition of Ap [and similar indices Aa and Am]. They simply cannot be measured when the values falls below about 3 [for Ap] and 5 [for Aa and Am]”

r
January 7, 2010 3:04 pm

Dirk H and Gumby,
If the atmosphere is smaller and denser because of the small magnetic field of the sun, then the atmosphere over time should cool off to reach an equalibrium. When the the magnetic field comes back, and the atomosphere expands again, it should get even colder! This is how an air conditioner works.
I just scared myself.

George E. Smith
January 7, 2010 3:12 pm

“”” DirkH (12:15:01) :
“Mike O’Kelly (11:32:46) :
So the AGW theory is that CO2 acts like an insulating blanket in the troposphere absorbing infrared radiation that the earth is trying to radiate out to space … But doesn’t that same CO2 material also absorb incoming solar irradiance in the exact same infrared spectrum and then radiate it when possible towards a cooler area, (usually outerspace), long before that heat/energy can reach the surface of the earth?”
No. IR from the sun is shortwave. It goes downward right through.
The backradiated IR is longwave – longer than a micron i think. “””
Well you have to be careful to define what you are talking about.
Actually, it is well known that a higher temperature Black Body ALWAYS radiates at a higher intensity; at ANY wavelength that a black body at any lower temperature. So the sun surface at about 6000 K radiates much more LWIR at 10-15 microns, than does the earth surface at about 300K. But then you have to apply the inverse square law from solar surface to earth orbit, to find the amount of 10-15 micron radiation falling on earth from the sun; and yes CO2 and H2O and any other GHG will snap that up, just as quickly as it does the earth surface emissions. But by the time it gets to earth it is much weaker than the earth emissions.
But in the main energy containing portion of the solar spectrum, about 98% of the incoming solar lies between 0.25 microns, and 4.0 microns, with 1% beyond each end of that range. But water is active from about 0.75 microns, where about 47-8% of the solar energy falls, and may account for as much as 20% of the total solar energy, being absorbed in the atmosphere. CO2 accounts for way less than that for the incoming solar energy; and both are effective to some extent in the 1-100 micron range. But since water abundance pretty much always exceeds CO2 abundance; by a wide margin, the H2O is much more effective in atmospheric warming via the GHG effect, and would do so in the complete absence of CO2; I daresay, we would scarcely know the difference; except for a little less cloud cover on average.

January 7, 2010 3:14 pm

Leif Svalgaard
“The physical meaning of Ap and similar and how to calculate them from interplanetary parameters can be found here.”
http://www.leif.org/research/suipr699.pdf
Dr. Svalgaard thanks for the link (not something that I could easily absorb) but I found interesting the divergence between even and odd cycles (page 53), as in the case of GCR.
Presumably you will disagree, but I believe that, judging from the limited magnetic records, there is a perceptible difference in the solar magnetic output between odd and even SS cycles as well, at the time of the last four solar maxima. Unfortunately even if the differences are real rather than imaginary, four is far too low number to draw a worthwhile conclusion.

Jeremy
January 7, 2010 3:15 pm

It’s worse than we thought.
Actually, with Leif’s explanation, this is worse than it appears for science. It means that we’re no longer getting data that represents reality because we are unable to measure the real value. It means that if the Sun ever does this again when we do have the ability to measure it accurately at these low levels (correct me if the measurement process makes this against the laws of physics, I didn’t read Leif’s entire paper), then this data is sort of meaningless. It means that from a scientific perspective we really are in a zone similar to the previous dalton/maunder minimum because at least one way of measuring the sun has dipped below our ability to measure, much as sunspot measurement back in those times was limited to a pinhole and time of day.
It means, that for all intents and purposes, the needle has hit bottom, and we need a better gauge.

January 7, 2010 3:17 pm

Is it possible that the sunspots and the magnitude of the suns direct emissions have nothing really to do with the climate, as long as they stay relatively constant? And the real effect is the magnetic field (Ap) shielding for the solar system from galactic cosmic rays that directly effect weather by cloud formation? After all, when you have an effect on the parameter that has 95% driving effect, water vapor, it is much more likely effecting that will drive climate change, than some much smaller part of the whole.
This often happens as your measuring equipment gets better in engineering, what was first thought as a driving indicator of a failure, say, is not the primary driver, but just a loosely connected parameter much more easily observed with older technology measuring equipment.
We are now faced with a huge dilemma, was the truth hiding. For the first time in human history we can see the Ap index with precision, and sun spots as well, only to have the mystery turn out to be sunspots are a loosely connected indicator of Ap … And as luck would have it the sun turned down the wick in this time period.
The next years are really going to be great years for sun science, real science.

Harold Blue Tooth
January 7, 2010 3:17 pm

Ckn Litl (10:31:11) :
I look at the correlation and causations of widespread human death and note that cold is one of the most significant factors…It makes me shudder… when I consider the human cost …
The other factor is shortened growing seasons which the world is already experiencing. Food shortages are a big problem for poorer countries. The modernized world won’t feel it as much.
But there will be consequeses for all this worry over carbon when in fact cold and food shortages are the real problem in the world right now.
Worries over global warming? The foolishness of man!!!

Ken
January 7, 2010 3:22 pm

I think this is probably what the Mayans were predicting for 2012, we just botched up correlating their calendar to ours.
But really I need to get into this more, I am a geophysicist, but an honest one I don’t work for the government, I also don’t work for an oil company.

George E. Smith
January 7, 2010 3:22 pm

“”” Curiousgeorge (10:29:06) :
Forgive my ignorance, but what would cause the decrease in solar magnetic activity? Is it similar to the way the earth’s field works – spinning iron core, etc. ? “””
Well we were specifically warned not to mention Ferris wheel cores.
And the answere anyway is no.
The sun surface is largely a “plasma” (Hell not cosmic rays) which is charged particles; atoms that have lost one or more outer electrons; of which hydrogen only has one anyway. And since they move around like a boiling cauldron, a moving electric charge comprises an electric current, and electric currents are surrounded by magnetic fields just like a wire carrying a current is.
Now I am sure that the sun is about a million times more complicated than what I just said; but that is enough to give you a general idea. Most magnetic fields in the universe seem to be related to moving charged particles; and not to iron cores. In any case, ferromagnetic materials like iron, lose there ferro-magnetism above the “Curie” temperature.
Some of this is exactly why Anthony admonished us to stay off the iron horse; so nyet; nothing to do with rusty metal.

DirkH
January 7, 2010 3:23 pm

“George E. Smith (15:12:28) :
[…]
So the sun surface at about 6000 K radiates much more LWIR at 10-15 microns, than does the earth surface at about 300K. But then you have to apply the inverse square law from solar surface to earth orbit, to find the amount of 10-15 micron radiation falling on earth from the sun; and yes CO2 and H2O and any other GHG will snap that up, just as quickly as it does the earth surface emissions. But by the time it gets to earth it is much weaker than the earth emissions.”
Ok – i’ll buy all that, we can probably settle on “LWIR from the sun is negligible”. But – this is a serious question – as you seem to know more about this than me: Do you have a figure about how much LWIR from the sun we get per m^2 ? I guess the upward LWIR is about 300 W/m^2. Do you have a guess as to how big the suns radiative flux in the CO2 + H2O absorptive spectrum actually is when it enters the atmosphere?

wayne
January 7, 2010 3:24 pm

Kevin (12:12:28) :
Good video! Interesting the correlation of the solar systems passage through the galactic arms. In my post above (at wayne (13:34:18)) the curves show this correlation over last three hundred years. I have been waiting for some real explanation to how the curves in my graph so tightly correlate to the anomaly temps. Thanks!
Do you know, is Henrik involved in the CLOUD experiment at CERN? Is that his project without me digging for the info?

George E. Smith
January 7, 2010 3:27 pm

by the way curious,
Ignorance is NOT a disease; we are all born with it. But stupidity has to be taught, and there are plenty willing to teach it.
The only stupid questions are those that are never asked

Atomic Hairdryer
January 7, 2010 3:27 pm

Re: DirkH (14:31:43) :
And may i add: Yes Brits. This is what awaits you.

Very cool pic of the UK here-
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/8447023.stm
Think my electric blanket awaits me 🙂

Derek H
January 7, 2010 3:28 pm

Barry, one of the problems you may be having is that Total Solar Activity is frequently represented using a single indicator or proxy like sun spot numbers. Prior civilizations couldn’t do direct measurements of irradiance or luminosity but their astronomers could and did observe and record sun spots. The numbers of sun spots are indeed a pretty reliable indicator of overall solar activity but they’re not the total story. As this story indicates, Ap is another factor to consider.
I am quite interested in this story on Ap because I remember a pretty nasty solar storm back in Mar 89 that quite literally and measurably expanded the atmosphere. If I remember right, we first started seeing the effects about a day after the X-class solar flares were observed and the effects lasted a good 3-4 days (maybe more).

Veronica
January 7, 2010 3:28 pm

Jones II
As always in the UK we KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. Tomorrow will be my third day of working from home (hooray for the VPN) and with any luck I’ll get my car out 300 metres to the major road before the next snow dump at the weekend.
Any more of this and we will start a husky-breeding programme. What we actually need is those neat little bolt-on snow ploughs they have in the US. somebody should export some over here. They would clean up (haha).

Harold Blue Tooth
January 7, 2010 3:29 pm

lower magnetic activity of the sun lets more GCR’s into our solar system, which produce microscopic cloud seed trails (like in a Wilson cloud chamber) in our atmosphere, resulting in more cloud cover, resulting in a cooler planet
There is also lower activity in the earth’s own magnetic field. A band going over Brazil and out over the Atlantic toward Africa of earth’s magnetic field is weak, and weakening. Some scietist are saying it is caused by the shifting of earth’s magnetic poles, which happens over 100’s of years (they say) and has happened several times in earth’s history.
Weaker magnetic field from the earth itself added to the weaker magnetic field from the sun could make the earth additionally vulnerable to more cloud cover and more cooling than projected.

Alan S
January 7, 2010 3:31 pm

Apologies if this is considered “common knowledge”, what is the time lag before the Earth’s cloud cover starts showing signs of increasing?
I assume there must be a time lag but, ( because we have spent money hunting the wrong fox ), I can’t find any useful information.

kadaka
January 7, 2010 3:32 pm

My Google search for “ap index solar wikipedia” turned up this Jan 4 2009 post from here as the first result, with this Sep 9 2009 post as a sub-result. Out of about 297,000 results.
Truly the power that is Watts cannot be denied, for Watts is power.

Harold Blue Tooth
January 7, 2010 3:33 pm

Dandra (10:45:55) :
You added a “1′ to clarify for your readers and you feel a need to apologize. Yikes….some people must be overly sensitive
It does seem that one in particular is.

DirkH
January 7, 2010 3:34 pm

“Atomic Hairdryer (15:27:34) :
[…]
Very cool pic of the UK here-
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/8447023.stm
Think my electric blanket awaits me :)”
You surely have a high albedo over there. Nice picture!

DavidE
January 7, 2010 3:34 pm

Jeremy (15:15:25) :

It means, that for all intents and purposes, the needle has hit bottom, and we need a better gauge.

Couldn’t agree more.
DaveE.

Harold Blue Tooth
January 7, 2010 3:36 pm

Douglas DC (10:55:59) :
I wish she had been more aware of her setting. It seems she should have set her politics aside for that day.

Clive E Burkland
January 7, 2010 3:38 pm

Gerry (13:33:42) :
Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) is in a nosedive not seen since 2008.23:
http://leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
No answer on this one?
Perhaps an equipment malfunction?

Harold Blue Tooth
January 7, 2010 3:38 pm

JMANON (11:03:03) :
Er, was Joe Romm being ironic or does he concede a link between climate and sunspot activity?
It seems common to me for warmers to unwittingly do that sort of thing.

DirkH
January 7, 2010 3:42 pm

“wayne (15:24:03) :
[…]
Do you know, is Henrik involved in the CLOUD experiment at CERN? Is that his project without me digging for the info?”
CLOUD-9 is Jasper Kirkby’s project. i read that he wanted to do this in 1998 or so already but as he needs a particle beam he had to wait to get it approved until they were done with the LHR. At least that is the official version for the delay. I don’t think that Svensmark himself is involved.

Ed Murphy
January 7, 2010 3:42 pm

Its all a pretty good sign that solar minimum was in 2009 instead of Dec 2008, or at least a possible double minimum.

David Archibald
January 7, 2010 3:43 pm

The Ap Index bottoms out up to a year after the month of solar minimum, so we may have a few more months of low numbers before it trends up again.
We know that Solar Cycle 24 year of maximum will be 2015, and since the downramp of the cycle won’t be any shorter than the upramp, Solar Cycle 24 will be at least 12 years long.
We are still on track for a Dalton Minimum repeat. The Earth’s climate started cooling from 2003 when solar activity (not sunspot number which was 2000) peaked. It looks like the standard 210 year de Vries cycle.

Gail Combs
January 7, 2010 3:47 pm

Methow Ken (10:41:26) :
“….And unlike many other factors that affect climate, any significant increase in cloud cover should I would think have an almost immediate effect on world-wide temperature data. So if Svensmark is right, we won’t have to wait 100 years for empirical data to confirm the correctness of his theory:
There will be hard data ‘’soon” (unless of course diehard AGW acolytes can again get away with applying large ”correction factors” to the raw temp data, ala UEA-CRU).”

The temperature data was fairly easy to rig but a change in cloud cover resulting in lots of white fluffy “global warming” every winter where we do not normally see it can not be hidden. The 2008-2009 had some “freak snow falls like snow in Saudi Arabia, No one in the EU or the USA or China will forget this winter and if we have another bad winter in the EU, USA, China and India not to mention OZ and NZ, then AGW is dead just in time for a massive house cleaning in the US Congress and elsewhere. I am praying for a massive snow storm to hit the USA in October 2010, It happened on the 15-16th of October in Pennsylvania in 2009.

Harold Blue Tooth
January 7, 2010 3:51 pm

Lucy Skywalker (12:39:38) :
I saw this too… well, I shall go spend time via John Daly’s Guest Papers page where he hosts both L and a paper criticizing L. It is a shame that we cannot discuss these things here without fireworks. Therefore, the understanding of Scientific Method itself needs deepening, to reach those “fobidden” areas with a bit more humility and openness to data from all sources.
Interesting way to put it. It seems that fireworks has come from one main source.
But I think Mr. Watts has some good reason in mind to limit things. Who knows, that reason may evolve with time.
But it is his blog. I am happy to agree with his request.

Tenuc
January 7, 2010 3:55 pm

We seem to have hit a string of many factors which are coincident and these push our climate back into cool mode again. Here’s the list, although how these are connected I’ve no idea!
Low Ap index.
Weak NH polar vortex.
Less UV hitting Earth’s atmosphere.
Low density/speed solar wind.
Reduced depth of Earth atmosphere.
Increase in cosmic rays.
PDO turning negative.
El Nino conditions weak.
Weak Gulf Stream.
Please add to this ‘top of the head’ list.
Perhaps all we need is a couple of big volcanic eruptions and a La Nina to complete our NH winter misery?

January 7, 2010 3:56 pm

[quote DavidE (14:46:52) :]Have you tried removing these…
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif
corrections from the temp data & seeing what the R2 is?[/quote]
No I haven’t. I can give it a go, but I’ll need NOAA temps to use NOAA adjustments, and that will take me some time to parse up.
But I can give a guess that it wouldn’t change the results much. As far as I can tell, the reason the clouds don’t have a better match is that there’s little blips scattered like noise throughout the temperatures, not because of large changes to the temperature anomaly over time.
These “little blips of noise”, I assume, are caused by the “other things”, El Nino, greenhouse gases, land use, changes in TSI, etc.
=-=-=
Counter example
=-=-=
The 0.5 R² for clouds/temperatures actually seems fine to me. If it were much higher, I’d worry.
For example, the R² for CO2/temperatures is 0.96. That’s nearly perfect! It means 96 times out of 100 if you tell me the temperature, I can accurately tell you the CO2.
The problem with an R² value that high is if we assume it means CO2 is driving temperatures, then there isn’t any other significant driver of temperatures. There’s no room left for cosmic rays, methane, dirty snow, land use, etc.
Fortunately, we know from ice cores that temperature precedes CO2 changes, not the other way around. Temperature changes happen first, CO2 changes follow temperature. So CO2 isn’t a driver. So we can accept the CO2/temperature R² as just a correlation, not a cause and effect.
But clouds/temperatures _are_ cause and effect. We can measure the light they reflect into space, the light they absorb, and the light they reflect back to Earth and know that clouds _cause_ the temperatures to be about 20 degrees lower than they would be without any clouds.
But we also know that clouds aren’t the only cause. So if clouds had a nearly perfect R², something would be wrong.

Mac the Knife
January 7, 2010 3:58 pm

There are more things betwixt heaven and earth, Joe Romm,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy!
We truly live in interesting times!

r
January 7, 2010 4:05 pm

Is there any evidence in the weather data that the atomosphere cooled (like an air conditioner) from the expansion of the gas after a magnetic storm? The expansion would also increase clouds (like a cloud chamber.)

Syl_2010
January 7, 2010 4:07 pm

Here is Kirby explaining the CERN CLOUD experiment to study cosmic cloud effect on cloud formation.
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1221088

January 7, 2010 4:07 pm

Harold Blue Tooth (15:29:08) :
“There is also lower activity in the earth’s own magnetic field. A band going over Brazil and out over the Atlantic toward Africa of earth’s magnetic field is weak, and weakening.”
You are referring to the well documented South Atlantic magnetic anomaly, where intensity of magnetic field drops to very low values, it has moved from the cost of Africa to the coast of Argentina in the last 300-400 years.
Opposite is case for the N Hemisphere, where there is a strong positive anomaly in Central Siberia, where magnetic field in the last 10-15 years has become stronger than the previous maximum located at the Hudson Bay (rem. E’s magnetic field in the NH is not strongest at the mag. SP, while in the SH it is strongest at the mag. NP; confusing- mag SP is near geo NP).
I have produced a unique diagram of evolution of the NH’s anomaly during last 400 years.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NHMFevolution.gif

Mark
January 7, 2010 4:13 pm

the real question is whether this drop in solar magnetic output is anthropogenic. it looks like we might be destroying the entire solar system, not just the planet. all we’re missing is a theory. anyone?

Bob Diaz
January 7, 2010 4:14 pm

I’m sure that the Earth has seen this before many, many times, but in our short lifespans, it does prove to be interesting. This may well be the smoking gun that blows away the CO2 theory and sheds light on the real reason(s) behind climate change. The next 10 to 30 years should provide some interesting results.

Robert
January 7, 2010 4:14 pm

If this has any influence on the earth we also must see a reaction in the rest of the solar system. This would be the prove that man made global warming is nonsense.

DavidE
January 7, 2010 4:15 pm

magicjava (15:56:38) :
Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest collusion between those deriving the land based temperature sets, I suspect that subtracting those corrections from any of them would yield similar results.
As for ocean temps, that’s a different story.
DaveE.

tallbloke
January 7, 2010 4:20 pm

Lucy Skywalker (12:39:38) :
the understanding of Scientific Method itself needs deepening, to reach those “fobidden” areas with a bit more humility and openness to data from all sources.

Well said Lucy.

hotrod
January 7, 2010 4:24 pm

Dandra (10:45:55) :
You added a “1′ to clarify for your readers and you feel a need to apologize. Yikes….some people must be overly sensitive

Just good practice and good manners. If you modify someone’s graphic and create a derivative product, it is only fair to make it clear you are not putting words in their mouth and inform the reader that they are viewing a derivative product not a copy of the original.
Larry

robr
January 7, 2010 4:29 pm

OT but let me see if I can explain why I think CO2 cannot cause runaway global warming. If I have this wrong would someone correct me? The mechanism for positive feedback from CO2 is that it prolongs the retentions LW IR in the near surface atmosphere, which thereby increases the temperature. This increase in air temp increases the evaporation of water into vapor, which is an even greater greenhouse gas than CO2. The Earth then equilibrates to a higher overall temp.
I maintain that if water vapor is a significantly more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2 then CO2 cannot change the equilibrium temperature. This is so because there is no reason why water vapor alone would not cause runaway warming in the first place unless there was some negative feedback based on water vapor to stop it.
Imagine a real greenhouse with automatic vent and a large fish pond inside. The sun heats the air inside and the vents open to establish equilibrium. Next we add a few more hundreds of parts per million of CO2. What would be the result – the vents would open a couple of seconds earlier.
If what I propose is not true we would not be having any discussion of this topic because life on Earth as we know it would not exist.

Paul Vaughan
January 7, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: Invariant (11:46:54)
Interesting notes – I would add:
We’ve barely begun conditional analyses, so we’re a very long way from being down to residual chaos & measurement noise.

Andrew30
January 7, 2010 4:48 pm

Clearly the obvious explanation is that Voyager 1 has poked a hole in the Heliosheath and let all the solar wind escape into interstellar space. This decreased the backpressure on the sun and lowered the force required to push out more solar wind. That therefore decreased the over all energy level to maintain equilibrium, so the sun cools down, so we cool down. It is simple journalistic physics.
What we must do is to divert the New Horizons space probe towards the hole and plug it up with its high-gain dish. The repair should only take about 40 years, so if I could get funding to build the equipment to pinpoint the location of the tear and monitor the effect for the next 40 years then I can guarantee that the mission will succeed the year after I retire.

rbateman
January 7, 2010 4:56 pm

The observation: Solar Activity at low to very low levels for an extended period.
: Climate cooling off rather strongly for the same period.
The Science: How this stuff works. Not in by any means. Too many links unknown or in a low state of knowledge.
AGW does not fit the observation, therefore it is null and void.

George E. Smith
January 7, 2010 5:00 pm

“”” DirkH (15:23:50) :
“George E. Smith (15:12:28) :
[…]
So the sun surface at about 6000 K radiates much more LWIR at 10-15 microns, than does the earth surface at about 300K. But then you have to apply the inverse square law from solar surface to earth orbit, to find the amount of 10-15 micron radiation falling on earth from the sun; and yes CO2 and H2O and any other GHG will snap that up, just as quickly as it does the earth surface emissions. But by the time it gets to earth it is much weaker than the earth emissions.”
Ok – i’ll buy all that, we can probably settle on “LWIR from the sun is negligible”. But – this is a serious question – as you seem to know more about this than me: Do you have a figure about how much LWIR from the sun we get per m^2 ? I guess the upward LWIR is about 300 W/m^2. Do you have a guess as to how big the suns radiative flux in the CO2 + H2O absorptive spectrum actually is when it enters the atmosphere? “””
Well Dirk,
Let me give you some data in the easiest form for me to get at it. This is data on “Solar Spectral Irradiance” (air mass zero) which is just a fancy way of saying outside the atmosphere, whereas, direcvtly under an overhead sun, at the surface , would be air mass 1, for one atmosphere of air absorption between outer space, and the ground. For lower elevation suns, you get a higher air mass, because of the longer inclined path; got that; prtetty easy idea.
This is a proposed standard curve for (SSI)0, and it also is somewhat dated and standardized to 1353 W/m^2 for TSI, whereas modern satellite measures say 1366 or thereabouts.Under this proposed Standard, the maximum Solar spectral Irradiance is 2066 W/m^2/micron (bandwidth) so this is a small bandwidth measure, not the whole shebang.
Going to 0.5 microns, which most of us think of the as the real solar peak wavelength or the one that corresponds to the sun temperature of about 6000K, we get 1942 W/m^2/micron.
At 1.0 microns wavelength (twice the peak, we get 748; 2 microns is 103; 4 microns is 9.5; 8 microns is 0.60, which is about where the “atmospheric window” falls; the hole in the water/CO2 absorption. At 16.0 microns, we only have 0.038 W/m^2/micron left, and it is actually abut 0.049 at 15 microns which is about twhere the main CO2 absorption band is.
Now if you say that the CO2 band is from about 13.5 to 16.5 micorns, or abpout 3 microns wide, then that solar energy would be about 0.147 W/m^2. The per micron has vanished since we just applied the 3 micron spectral width to get rid of that.
So you can compare the 0.147 W/m^2 to what the surface spectral irradiance is.
This data is right out oif “The Infra-Red Handbook, which is a publication of The Infrared information Analysis Center; which is a DOD analysis center of the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM).
Library of Congress card number is 77-90786, and
ISBN no is 0-9603590-I-X
This is a somewhat difficult to come by handbook that was prepared for the military (Us navy actually, relating of course to weapons systems.
A little dated; but an absolute mine of information.

JonesII
January 7, 2010 5:04 pm

Vuk etc. (16:07:43) :BTW, over that area where recently an air france flight sadly fell down, and airbuses are built as flying electric condensers: Aluminum on the outside, carbon fiber in the middle as dielectric, and aluminum in the inside….just pray not to cross a storm.

January 7, 2010 5:21 pm

> robr (16:29:07) :
OT but let me see if I can explain why I think CO2 cannot cause runaway global warming.
Brilliant, It’s Settled!

January 7, 2010 5:37 pm

Here is where can look at the Cosmic Ray measurement. Scroll down and plug in 1964, generate chart, and see how high can we go…
http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/
Here is cloud cover. Maybe someone can explain which one of these is what we are looking for.
http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/climanal7.html

Peter Pan
January 7, 2010 5:44 pm

I guess the Sun spots picture is not right, the last peak time should be 2000-2001 instead of 2003-2004. Here is the plot from NOAA site:
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/sunspot.gif
The sun spots cycle time span is a very important issue to determine the earth temperature.

MikeE
January 7, 2010 5:51 pm

Vincent (13:07:30) :
JonesII (12:34:17) :
“How is it going with those windfarms in England?, are they working providing green energy to the rather phlematic englishmen or in these interesting times they are becoming choleric instead.”
I believe they are being turned by hand by green activists.

….after being defrosted by gas-powered blowtorches.

George E. Smith
January 7, 2010 5:51 pm

“”” robr (16:29:07) :
OT but let me see if I can explain why I think CO2 cannot cause runaway global warming. If I have this wrong would someone correct me? “””
Well what you say is certainly true as far as I am concerned.
Wtaer content always greatly exceeds CO2 contnet, and water absorbs more LWIR than CO2 does, so water vapor can do all the GHG effect needed without any goosing from CO2. The water feedback enhancement of CO2 is a myth. H2O by itself is a perfectly good greenhouse gas.
What H2O has, that no other GHG has including CO2, is that H2O exists in the atmosphere in all three phases; no other GHG does.
As a vapor, H2O has both coolin effects due to blocking solar radiation from the surface, thereby cooling the surface, but also atmospheric warming by absorbing both incoming solar spectrum and surface emitted LWIR. Evidently the overall effect, is that we are not at -30 C or whatever the BB temperature would be.
But water in the solid, and liquid phases, forms clouds which result in cooling the surface (over climate time scales), so cloud percent increase means cooling, and when it cools too much precipitation removes clouds, so it warms up again.
i’m quite convinced generally that the temperature comfort range of the arth is completely set by the physical properties of H2O, and has almost nothing to do with CO2. And no I do not deny that CO2 absorbs LWIR in the 15 micorn region, and therby warms the atmosphere slightly; big deal, so the percentage of cloud cover goes up as CO2 goes up.
And no I don’t have any detailed numbers; maybe if I had one of those wonderful taxpayer grants, I could even research that.
And I’m standing in the street with my hands in the air, for anybody to shoot at.
i’d love to hear how CO2 manages to defeat H2O’s grasp of the problem.
I also believe it doesn’t have much to do with statistical mathematics.

Anticlimactic
January 7, 2010 6:44 pm

Errrm! Doesn’t this mean we are screwed? The implication is that this is a warm winter – compared to what is coming. I assume any winter crops will be damaged, but will the summer crops be affected as well. Does anyone know what it would be like if we went back to the 1850s in terms of climate, with six times the population?!

January 7, 2010 6:47 pm

[Quote nofreewind (17:37:36)] :
Here is where can look at the Cosmic Ray measurement. Scroll down and plug in 1964, generate chart, and see how high can we go…
http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/
Here is cloud cover. Maybe someone can explain which one of these is what we are looking for.
http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/climanal7.html [/quote]
You want low cloud cover.
I have it already downloaded this and other climate data and put into spreadsheet form if you want it. I called it the Climate Scientist Starter Kit, and you can get it here:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/freepoomaaddon/files/Climate%20Scientist%20Starter%20Kit.zip/download

photon without a Higgs
January 7, 2010 6:51 pm

worse than we thought

January 7, 2010 6:54 pm

P.S.
There also a couple of videos tutorials for the spreadsheet here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kj-iXSn02U
If you don’t have Excel or Numbers, you can use the spreadsheet with OpenOffice, which is free:
http://www.openoffice.org/

Clive E Burkland
January 7, 2010 6:58 pm

nofreewind (17:37:36) :
Here is where can look at the Cosmic Ray measurement. Scroll down and plug in 1964, generate chart, and see how high can we go…
http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/

The solar wind continues its record breaking low levels and it takes about 12 months to reach the edge of the heliosphere. One could conclude the Oulu values may not subside for at least that amount of time.
Here is cloud cover. Maybe someone can explain which one of these is what we are looking for.
http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/climanal7.html

Can be believe the cloud cover data coming from GISS?

Mike Ramsey
January 7, 2010 7:06 pm

Veronica (15:28:34) : [snip]
Any more of this and we will start a husky-breeding programme. What we actually need is those neat little bolt-on snow ploughs they have in the US. somebody should export some over here.
In New York and other large US cities,  ‘Dustbin lorries’ do double duty when there is snow to be plowed.

Mike Ramsey
January 7, 2010 7:13 pm


David Archibald (15:43:00) : 

[snip]
The Earth’s climate started cooling from 2003 when solar activity (not sunspot number which was 2000) peaked. It looks like the standard 210 year de Vries cycle.
  http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/BinWang07-d/WagnerBeeretal01-205yrCycin10Be.pdf

Baa Humbug
January 7, 2010 7:14 pm

I too shall go back and spend some more time on John Daly’s web site.
Regards our climate, I think it’s obvious to all and sundry that it’s not just one thing (force) but many that affect our climate. The trick is to sort out the positive (warming) from the negative (cooling) and start worrying only if we get negative on top of negative etc or positive on top of positive.
As an example, the NH may well be experiencing negative on top of a negative right now, but the southern, where the summer is quite warm, may be experiencing a positive atop a negative. The oceans releasing their energy may well be one of those positives, the hemisphere has a much larger ocean to land ratio than the northern.
Regards the Sun, it was always a folly for the IPCC to claim it’s variations are too small to affect our climate greatly. They should have just admitted they know very little about the suns affects. But we are learning more now aren’t we?
All this extended snow cover reflecting sun light….negative
The suns activity….negative
El Nino about to peter out…negative
The PDO….negative
Enhanced cloud cover….negative
hang on to your wooly coats everyone

Leo G
January 7, 2010 7:20 pm

old Russian saying:
“snow on the mountains, grain in the silos”
The hydrogen isotope from snow melt is more easily absorbed by plants. – Organic Gardener

Les Francis
January 7, 2010 7:24 pm

Andrew30 (16:48:00) :
Clearly the obvious explanation is that Voyager 1 has poked a hole in the Heliosheath and let all the solar wind escape into interstellar space. This decreased the backpressure on the sun and lowered the force required to push out more solar wind. That therefore decreased the over all energy level to maintain equilibrium, so the sun cools down, so we cool down. It is simple journalistic physics.

etc
Brilliant! You had better send this theory off to James Cameron. It maybe the premise for his next big Epic.

January 7, 2010 7:39 pm

Mr. Alex (11:01:57) :
The value for December was actually 1.41, still 1 in my books though. 😉 http://www.solen.info/solar/
I don’t know where they get their data from [I can make a guess, SWPC], but the official Ap values for December 2009 were:
3-hour ap indices and daily mean value, Ap
Month: December
Year: 2009
Date ap-indices Ap
01-12-2009 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
02-12-2009 0 0 2 2 2 0 2 0 1
03-12-2009 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
04-12-2009 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
05-12-2009 0 0 4 3 3 3 9 7 4
06-12-2009 9 6 3 2 0 0 2 2 3
07-12-2009 5 0 2 2 4 4 5 2 3
08-12-2009 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0
09-12-2009 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
10-12-2009 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 0 1
11-12-2009 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12-12-2009 0 0 3 2 2 3 4 4 2
13-12-2009 0 0 3 3 4 2 3 3 2
14-12-2009 5 15 7 5 3 4 3 2 6
15-12-2009 0 0 2 0 2 0 3 4 1
16-12-2009 7 6 2 4 5 6 3 2 4
17-12-2009 0 2 2 4 3 4 3 2 3
18-12-2009 2 0 4 5 3 4 2 2 3
19-12-2009 4 3 2 2 0 0 0 3 2
20-12-2009 3 2 0 3 3 5 2 0 2
21-12-2009 4 3 2 2 2 2 7 3 3
22-12-2009 3 0 2 3 2 2 6 5 3
23-12-2009 2 5 5 3 2 2 3 5 3
24-12-2009 3 5 3 0 2 0 0 2 2
25-12-2009 0 0 2 2 4 3 6 9 3
26-12-2009 6 7 3 2 2 5 0 2 3
27-12-2009 2 2 4 3 3 3 2 0 2
28-12-2009 0 0 2 3 2 2 0 0 1
29-12-2009 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 1
30-12-2009 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
31-12-2009 *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Provisional Monthly Mean Value = 1.9
——————-
It is time to stop all the ‘theorizing’ and whining. I’ll try to explain what is behind the numbers. First, I’ll not be necessarily immodest: I happen to be a world authority on the subject of geomagnetic indices. So here goes:
The various ax indices [aa, ap, am, …] all derive from a measure introduced by Julius Bartels in the 1930s. This so-called K-index [from 0 to 9] is based on the realization that there are two distinct sources of variations of the geomagnetic field [apart from the very slow changes that are due to processes internal to the Earth], namely solar UV and the solar wind. Since the solar UV never falls to zero and since it only hits the Earth during the day at a given location, there is always quasi-regular variation that begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. The magnitude of this variation is of the order of 50 nT or 1/1000 of the Earth’s main field. but is easily measured [and could be measured 200 years ago – the variation was discovered in 1722]. The variation is not entirely regular as it also depends on winds in the ionosphere which in turn are influenced by upwards travelling waves from the near surface troposphere, so the ‘regular’ variation varies a bit from day to day [even if solar UV were constant or zero]. On top of this ‘regular’ variation are effects stemming from interaction with the solar wind. These effects range from almost zero [1 nT or less] to hundreds [or at some places, thousands] of nT, i.e from 1/100,000 to 1/10 of the Earth’ field. The history of this can be found here http://www.leif.org/research/H02-FRI-O1430-0550.pdf which is an invited talk I gave last summer at a IAGA meeting or here http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf which is a keynote talk I gave at a IAGA workshop in Golden, CO.
The goal of construction of geomagnetic indices is to separate these two competing [and overlapping in intensity] effects into a solar wind part and a solar UV part. This is a problem that has only recently been partly solved [namely by basing the ‘solar wind index’ on night-time data only]. Early on, Bartels saw that an experienced human observer could judge the run of the regular variation to an accuracy of perhaps 5 nT. He therefore devised the K-index [K from ‘Kennziffer’, a German word for ‘index’] as the deviation of the curves from the irregularly varying ‘regular’ variation over a time scale of three hours [the latter chosen as a compromise between compactness and expressiveness, but also based on the observation that the duration of a typical perturbation is about three hours [at mid-latitudes]. It turns out that the three hours is also the time it takes the solar wind to ‘pass’ the Earth’s magnetic field, so no wonder that is the natural time scale for many perturbations.
As 5 nT was the lower limit of ‘accuracy’ of guessing or ‘estimating’ the regular variation, Bartels designated deviations less that 5 nT as K = 0. Then he doubled up, so that K = 1 would be assigned to deviations between 5 and 10 nT, K = 2 to deviations between 10 and 20 nt, and so on. The doubling up produced too few K = 9 values [effective none], so the ‘pace’ was relaxed a bit and the higher values of K lie between limits as a bit less that double the immediately lower K value. Note that K = 0 does not mean ‘no activity’ or ‘no solar wind’, but just that we have given up putting a number to it and all we know is that it was less than 5 nT.
Since K is thus a quasi-logarithmic index it doesn’t make much sense to compute a daily, monthly, or yearly average. To make this possible, Bartels devised the ‘equivalent amplitude’, a which was defined as the deviation of halfway between two k limits, e.g. K = 2 has limits 10 to 20, so a for K = 2 would be 15 nT, and so on. He knew quite well that this would get him into trouble at the ends where K = 0 and K = 9 [there is no upper limit], but since these were thought to be rare he figured that the error would not be large [and would compensate each other a bit], if he assigned a = 2.5 to K = 0 and a = 666 to K = 9. There are other problems with this, for example the assumption that the distribution of values in each interval was linear, namely that there were equally many [for K = 2] values of 10 and 20, as of 11 and 19, as of 12 and 18, etc. This is a reasonable assumption everywhere, except for K = 0 and for K = 9. As we are not really interested [for this topic] in K = 9 [which occurs only a few times in a solar cycle], we shall limit ourselves to K = 0. Careful studies of the ‘fine structure’ of the distribution shows that the statistical average amplitude for K = 0 is not 2.5, but rather near 3.75 nT, so that would have been a better choice. In the end, the 2.5 was rounded down to 2 [which was another mistake]. Now, you can determine K for several stations [about a dozen for ap and two for aa] and take the average of the corresponding amplitudes and then perhaps have some stations help defining the average more meaningfully. Like, all stations reporting K =2 and all stations reporting K = 3 define levels that are definitely [??] lower and higher than if half of the stations reported K = 2 and the other half K = 3. Most of that added ‘accuracy’ is illusory for K = 0 as we just don’t know what ‘real’ level that was ‘measuring’.
Mayaud realized part of the above and chose 2 nT as the lower value of the am-index, so am cannot fall below 2, while ap [in principle, but not with any meaning] could be zero. Bartels knew that ap was not accurate to a 1 nT, so chose to report the index in 2 nT units [another mistake, experience showed, as people just get confused].
To complicate matters, Bartels and Mayaud [and myself] stress strongly that a human observer that has intimate knowledge of the variation at ‘his’ station must be making the judgement of what the ‘regular’ variation is on any given day, as an average curve [Bartels called it an ‘iron curve’] varies much more from day to day than the differences between K = 0, 1 and even 2, so incorrect assessment would introduce significant extraneous variance in the index. Unfortunately, people nowadays try to develop computer algorithms to make the judgement. This effort has not been entirely successful for the small amplitudes and is unnecessary for the large ones, so we have actually regressed in the goal of deriving good ap and aa values.
It is my judgement that the recent very low values [less than 5 for aa and less than 3 for ap are not ‘correct’ in the sense of representing the influence of solar activity on geomagnetic activity, and that speculations based on them therefore are invalid.

rbateman
January 7, 2010 7:44 pm

2010 01 07 78 15 80 1
How in the heck swpc/noaa managed to sqeeze 80 x 10E6 hemispherical area out of the two little smudgy pores is beyond belief, but whoop.. there it is.
Maybe somebody meant to say 8 x 10E6 ??
Spill the ink?
Typo ??

January 7, 2010 7:48 pm

Clive E Burkland (15:38:32) :
Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) is in a nosedive not seen since 2008.23:
http://leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
No answer on this one?
Perhaps an equipment malfunction?

No, just a sunspot. A good-size spot is dark, so TSI is smaller. As simple as that. With the spot now gone, TSI will shoot straight up again. The typical variation of TSI during the passage of large spot is that when the spot rounds the East limb we see a lot a faculae, so TSI goes up. As the spot rotates onto the center of the disk, the faculae are less visible and the dark area of the spot causes TSI to go down. Then as the spot goes over the West limb, faculae pick up again and TSI goes high before falling back to background when the spot and its faculae are gone for good.

January 7, 2010 7:57 pm

Mayaud realized part of the above and chose 2 nT as the lower value of the am-index, so am cannot fall below 2
Should have been the aa-index, not the am-index.

January 7, 2010 7:59 pm

rbateman (19:44:43) :
How in the heck swpc/noaa managed to sqeeze 80 x 10E6 hemispherical area out of the two little smudgy pores is beyond belief,
They try to correct for projection, so right at the limb that correction factor is infinitely large applied to a zero area. Or just inside the limb perhaps 10, so that an apparent 8 comes out 80 [as it should].

geo
January 7, 2010 8:04 pm

Mark (16:13:58) :
the real question is whether this drop in solar magnetic output is anthropogenic.
++++
Well, Duh, of course it is anthropogenic. It is clearly the unavoidable result of western imperialism that can only be successfully addressed by the transfer of trillions of dollars to the oppressed peoples of the globe.
As is the heartbreak of psoriasis and bee colony collapse disorder. Also Brittany Spears (which, alas, I have to admit the evidence for the last really is “settled”.)

January 7, 2010 8:17 pm

Correction II:
the ‘regular’ variation is on any given day, as an average curve [Bartels called it an ‘iron curve’] varies much more from day to day than the
Should have said:
the ‘regular’ variation is on any given day varies much more from day to day to make the use of an average curve [Bartels called it an ‘iron curve’] meaningless [or at least going counter to the goal of the whole whole thing].

photon without a Higgs
January 7, 2010 8:20 pm

from AccuWeather:
Temperatures are forecast to dip into the upper 20s in South Texas Friday night…Temperatures could drop into the lower 20s for a number of hours Friday night and Saturday night in southern Louisiana, where approximately 40 percent of the U.S. sugarcane crop is located….Florida….a new wave of freezing temperatures will begin…snow could fall on parts of the peninsula…1 to 3 degrees lower with this new outbreak, compared to earlier this week…
http://www.accuweather.com/regional-news-story.asp?region=southusnews

Leo G
January 7, 2010 8:28 pm

magic java, thanx for the u-tube link.
first time I’ve listened to lennon in about 20 years, still brings tears to my eyes…

Dave F
January 7, 2010 8:38 pm

George E. Smith (17:51:44) :
Really, everything you say in this comment about water vapor and its phase changes implicates the hydrological cycle as a sort of transportation and damping mechanism for the thermal energies, doesn’t it?

Pofarmer
January 7, 2010 8:40 pm

Ya know, this weather pattern is pretty much exactly what I would expect if Stephen Wilde is correct on most of his theories. This could be an interesting decade, and, by interesting, I mean expensive, and, possibly, a little hungry.

Doc
January 7, 2010 8:45 pm

Surely more “value added adjustment” of temperature can make this right for the meme.
Let’s add 5 degrees to this year and subtract 10cm of snow… no, better make that 20cm… errr… 30cm of snow, to get back to the global warming which enriches us all.
Yeah… that’s the ticket!

Patrick Davis
January 7, 2010 8:46 pm

Could this low solar activity be a factor in record cold? Here is a link to some interesting pictures;
http://www.news.com.au/pictures/gallery-e6frflv9-1225817312663?page=1
Note the ones in Brighton, Southern England. I have never heard of nor seen snow settle on the beach at Brighton, not even during the really cold winters of the 70’s. WOW!!

robr
January 7, 2010 9:08 pm

George E. Smith (17:51:44) :
Thank you – I appreciate your acceptance especially because it is by someone I have read here often and who makes sense. I would , however; like to hear from someone telling me I’m wrong and why.

January 7, 2010 9:32 pm

My posting on Ap was [of necessity] simplified to bring out the essential point. If you really want the gory details here is the defining paper: ‘The three-hour range index measuring geomagnetic activity’ J.Bartels, N.H.Heck,H.F.Johnston, Terr. Mag. vol 44, p. 411 [1939], which you can also see here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/TE044i004p00411.pdf
Interesting, but tedious [as the subject is arcane].

Frank Perdicaro
January 7, 2010 9:59 pm

Lets tie into an old thread.
If this keeps up, we certainly _will_ be able to make carbon dioxide snow
at the south pole. Should we make a pool on the first recorded CO2-snow
fall? How about Aug. 5, 2015?
I’d like to comment a bit more, but I am installing a new furnace to keep
the cold, or at least the cost of the cold, at bay. Back to work!

Dave F
January 7, 2010 10:03 pm

Ok, given all of the things presented above, is it possible that the Maunder or Dalton minimums were previous occurrences of invisible sunspot events?

ujagoff
January 7, 2010 10:17 pm

Maybe a little OT, or not…
But it there a SC 23 spotlet forming?
A little low latitude spot is corresponding to a spot on the magnetogram…

Dave F
January 7, 2010 10:18 pm

Leif Svalgaard (19:39:56) :
Yeah, but…. uh… what? ;-P
I wondered what you think of the Livingston Penn theory (hypothesis?) described above about invisible sunspots?

pft
January 7, 2010 10:40 pm

“Vincent (12:13:27) :
First, the incoming solar radiation is overwhelmingly in the visible and only a tiny proportion in IR. Second, any IR radiated by CO2 would be in all directions, not only towards a cooler area.”
I seem to remember about 45% IR (including near IR over 760 nm), 45% visible (380-760 nm) and about 10% UV (under 380 nm).
The UV gets absorbed in the upper atmosphere. The visible light that is not reflected or scattered gets through to the ground, and much of the long wave
and near IR gets absorbed, mostly by H20. So the atmosphere is largely transparent to visible light and opaque to IR and UV (thus reducing the energy reaching the surface).
While radiation is emitted in all directions, the net flux is from the bottom (warmer and denser air) to the top (cooler and less dense-meaning fewer molecules to capture outgoing radiation). Increasing CO2 simply increases the residence time of IR photons in the atmosphere. As one CO2 molecule emits a photon it cools, as another absorbs that photon it warms, net heating effect from additional CO2 is 0, or close to it.

January 7, 2010 10:44 pm

Dave F (22:03:50) :
Ok, given all of the things presented above, is it possible that the Maunder or Dalton minimums were previous occurrences of invisible sunspot events?
Possibly the Maunder, see: slide 14 of http://www.leif.org/research/AGU%20Fall%202009%20SH13C-03.pdf
Dalton: ???
ujagoff (22:17:23) :
But it there a SC 23 spotlet forming?
Possible, although such small specks can form anywhere and with any polarity at any time, without signifying any solar cycle change.
Dave F (22:18:10) :
I wondered what you think of the Livingston Penn theory (hypothesis?) described above about invisible sunspots?
I hold it plausible.
Updated graph, to include the latest large group 1039:
http://www.leif.org/research/Livingston%20and%20Penn.png
Still looks good [within expected variation].

January 7, 2010 10:54 pm

Leif Svalgaard:
“It is time to stop all the ‘theorizing’ and whining. I’ll try to explain what is behind the numbers. First, I’ll not be necessarily immodest: I happen to be a world authority on the subject of geomagnetic indices.”
As much as I am interested to hear what the specialists claim to understand about the Sun,
[inappropriate attack, please keep to yourself ~ ctm]

rbateman
January 7, 2010 11:04 pm

Leif Svalgaard (19:59:52) :
The spot was too far from the limb to get that big of a multiplier. Other sources had it at 10, I calculated it at 16.
(14 raw, 2.5 x multiplier = 14/2 * 2.5 = 16)
Somebody goofed. It should be corrected.

January 7, 2010 11:09 pm

I find Dr. Svalgaard’s attitude toward readers and commentators to be most inappropriate.

Brian Johnson uk
January 7, 2010 11:31 pm

David Shukman BBC – more bias.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8447262.stm

paulID
January 7, 2010 11:45 pm

Alexander Feht (23:09:07) :
I find Dr. Svalgaard’s attitude toward readers and commentators to be most inappropriate.
we are very lucky to have someone of Dr. Svalgaard’s capabilities to explain to us what a lot of this means. His attitude comes from YEARS of studying the sun and is deserved. What your qualifications are we don’t know so I for one will let Dr. Svalgaard say what he wants to say how he wants to say it and thank him for helping us understand a little bit better what the sun might or might not be up to.

Atomic Hairdryer
January 8, 2010 12:31 am

Re: Alexander Feht (23:09:07) :
I find Dr. Svalgaard’s attitude toward readers and commentators to be most inappropriate.

I don’t. As he’s a leading authority on the Sun, I for one much appreciate the time and effort he puts in to sharing his knowledge here. It’s encouraged me to learn more about my namesake, and learn it’s not as simple & constant as I’d first assumed.

Mr. Alex
January 8, 2010 12:39 am

Leif Svalgaard (19:39:56) :
Thanks for clearing that up.

Looking at today’s solar images, this pore is so tiny that it is clear it would not have been seen 100 years ago.
A count of “15” is ludicrous. The tiny SC 23 region on the equator will probably not be counted, as with all the other micro 23 regions that appeared in 2009.
It appears that the goal for January 2010 is to reach monthly mean of at least 15.7 and do everything possible to achieve this,
so that claims can be made in February that “spots” such as 1040 have heralded a “surge in sunspot activity in the new year”.

RR Kampen
January 8, 2010 1:32 am

So 2009 must have been one of the coldest years in over a century, and 2010 will have us forget the LIA?

TFN Johnson
January 8, 2010 1:53 am

Jan 8th, 10.am GMT
Nasty looking blotch has appeared on the sun (top left).
It’d be good if the cycle 24 graph were added to the little pics down the right hand side: just below to daily sun update for instance.
And get rid of the widget until it is working properly……

Tenuc
January 8, 2010 1:58 am

Baa Humbug (19:14:11) :
…Regards our climate, I think it’s obvious to all and sundry that it’s not just one thing (force) but many that affect our climate. The trick is to sort out the positive (warming) from the negative (cooling) and start worrying only if we get negative on top of negative etc or positive on top of positive…
All this extended snow cover reflecting sun light….negative
The suns activity….negative
El Nino about to peter out…negative
The PDO….negative
Enhanced cloud cover….negative
hang on to your woolly coats everyone.

This is my view too. No one big change kicking out planet into cool-mode, rather many small negative changes. Thanks for reminding me about the enhanced cloud cover, and increased albedo, I left left them off my original list. Here’s the new list:-
Triggers for cool-mode climate – happening now.
Low Ap index.
Weak NH polar vortex.
Less UV hitting Earth’s atmosphere.
Low density/speed solar wind.
Reduced depth of Earth atmosphere.
Increase in cosmic rays.
Enhanced cloud cover.
PDO turning negative.
El Nino conditions weak.
Weak Gulf Stream.
Additional potential triggers – yet to happen.
Big volcanic eruptions.
La Nina.
Increased albedo from extra snow.
Ideas for more factors to go on the list are welcome please.

G Adlam
January 8, 2010 2:42 am

I think Dr Svalgaard’s often pithy style and his undoubted authority is one of the joys of visiting this site.

David Alan
January 8, 2010 2:46 am

If and when you start piecing together certain factors, several things start to become clear.
Two glaring similarities are the suns and earths weather anomalies of 1923-1924 and that of 2009-2010.
The ap index and solar minimum for both periods coincide relatively similar. Not exact, just similar. Both the Ap and SSN numbers were somewhat parallel in relativistic trends.
Just compare the timing of both the Ap and SSN data for both time periods. Both are very similar.
The other similarity is the earths global temperatures for that same period. Specifically, the southern hemisphere was experiencing warmer than usual heat and drought for most of the period between 1923 and 1924( think Marble Bar heat wave), and the exceedingly cold period in the northern hemisphere during that same time period.
Another similar anomaly was the Arctics Sea ice melt. WUWT just recently posted about an article published in 1922 and the extreme arctic withdrawal of sea ice, only to rebound soon there after. Similar to the recent decline and rebound of the arctic sea ice 2007-2009.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice a very similar pattern. The timing between these apparent patterns are roughly 88 years. I don’t know if thats significant, but it dears bear scrutiny.
If we went back another 88 some odd years and find a similar solar-terrestrial pattern?
Would it be possible to find any supporting data for other periodic similarities?
Could we go back and find more similarities for 1834-1835, with similar trends.
Can it be that the sun has recurring oscillations in its convection to wreak havoc with its magnetic field strength and the resultant affect it has our own planet?
I think it’s at least a worthy scientific endeavor, because while each similarity anomaly may have no bearing whatsoever while separate, the data when looked at, as a whole, really starts to paint a picture.

John Silver
January 8, 2010 3:23 am

David Archibald (15:43:00) :
“The Ap Index bottoms out up to a year after the month of solar minimum, so we may have a few more months of low numbers before it trends up again.
We know that Solar Cycle 24 year of maximum will be 2015, and since the downramp of the cycle won’t be any shorter than the upramp, Solar Cycle 24 will be at least 12 years long.
We are still on track for a Dalton Minimum repeat. The Earth’s climate started cooling from 2003 when solar activity (not sunspot number which was 2000) peaked. It looks like the standard 210 year de Vries cycle.”
Thank you, Dr Archibald.

January 8, 2010 3:50 am

I notice that the graphs of aa index Vs global temperatures at
http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen/SolarWind.html imply a correlation. I also found a close correlation between the position of the Earth’s magnetic field and global temperatures, see the paper on my website http://www.akk.me.uk/Climate_Change.htm
So is if there is a cause and effect is it the position of Earth’ magnetic field that causes the changes in the aa index? Or contrary to some ideas, as the Sunspot cycles show changes in the Sun’s magnetic field do these affect the position of the Earth’s magnetic poles. There are clear close correlations between the Sunspot cycles, the aa index, the position of the Earth’s magnetic field, the strength of the geomagnetic field and the NAO, . Again see my paper even if it is just for the list of references to associations between climate and magnetism.
Does anyone know of a connection between the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field and climate?

January 8, 2010 4:00 am

Vincent, DirkH, Gary Hladik, pochas et al.
re. Mike O’Kelly (11:32:46) :
The Sun is emitting more infrared heat (long wave) energy than it is light (short wave) energy. The light we receive from the sun is a byproduct of the heat generated by thermo-nuclear reaction and not the other way round. Therefore the majority of energy we receive is in the infrared.
All gases are gases by virtue of the fact that they have absorbed heat (infrared). If they had not they would not be gas, they would instead be solid ice. By the same token any substance which absorbs heat will re-emit that heat equally. For those who need physics laws as evidence see Stefan-Boltzman, and for those who prefer to use their own physical senses please observe that nothing traps heat thus producing a net energy increase causing substances to become infinitely hotter.
Now back to atmospheric gases.
Oxygen and Nitrogen are solid ice up to a temperature of 54.36 K and 63.15 K respectively while CO2 remains as ice right up to 194.65 K and water 273 K.
So the question then becomes, which of these substances is more sensitive to absoption of infrared energy? Which of these substances will absorb heat first?
The answer has to be the substance with the lowest melting point of course.
So the only conclusion is that, either all gases are greenhouse gases, if not, then none at all.
All of this nonsense about heat and radiation not being the same thing is called sophistry and it is a disgrace that it is allowed on this forum. If we are now talking about a kind of radiation which is not heat then why should be concerned? Radiation which is not heat is not going to cause global warming is it?

Don B
January 8, 2010 4:37 am

Re: Leif, 19:39:56+
Thank you
Even though the recent monthly Ap may be “inaccurate,” isn’t it true that smoothed values are at a 100 year low? Couldn’t that be meaningful.

January 8, 2010 4:43 am

I should have pointed out that the last point is in reference to incoming radiation only, re- Mikes original query, and is not concerned with OLR.

mkurbo
January 8, 2010 4:51 am

It’s still the Sun in the end. You may want to separate out the technical elements and aspects, but it is still the Sun that drives our climate. The complexity of the above discussion is breathtaking and it humbles me – it’s also extremely interesting.
However, if you remove the Sun from our solar system, you would no longer have any debate on what drives warming and cooling cycles on Earth – it would be very apparent.

Chris Schoneveld
January 8, 2010 4:58 am

DirkH (14:15:07) : “I’m paying 20 eurocent for a kWh and the renewable-energy makers get 50 eurocent.”
Dirk, we in France go nuclear and I pay for a KWh between 5 and 8 Eurocent (depending on the time of day). Renewables have a long way to go before they can compete with nuclear.

January 8, 2010 5:04 am

Don B (04:37:17) :
Even though the recent monthly Ap may be “inaccurate,” isn’t it true that smoothed values are at a 100 year low? Couldn’t that be meaningful.
Yes, solar activity, the heliospheric magnetic field, and geomagnetic activity are now at the level of 108 years ago. This is very meaningful. If one believes in a strong sun-climate connection one might expect the climate to be likewise. I’m not so sure that is what is observed, though, the present cold months notwithstanding.
Don B (04:37:17) :
Re: Leif, 19:39:56+
Thank you
Even though the recent monthly Ap may be “inaccurate,” isn’t it true that smoothed values are at a 100 year low? Couldn’t that be meaningful.
8
01
2010
Sophistry in politics (04:43:58) :
I should have pointed out that the last point is in reference to incoming radiation only, re- Mikes original query, and is not concerned with OLR.
mkurbo (04:51:09) :
However, if you remove the Sun from our solar system, you would no longer have any debate on what drives warming and cooling cycles on Earth – it would be very apparent.
If you removed the oceans and the atmosphere it would also be very apparent what drives climate. So, the logic is limbing a bit.

Carla
January 8, 2010 5:13 am

Vuk etc. (13:25:58) :
Mr. Alex (11:28:40) :
“1. Solar Polar Field Strength in a funk:”
Not a time to be troubled much about polar fields. See you around 2020-25, then we’ll have something to talk about. See Polar fields links on:
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GandF.htm
MIght be a rush on snowmobile purchases ya think?

January 8, 2010 5:21 am

The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins
In all fairness, this *was* the hottest decade — *if* the world was created on 1 January, 2000…

Mr. Alex
January 8, 2010 5:40 am

“Tenuc (01:58:26) :
Weak Gulf Stream.”
There is discussion on the NIA blog about the Gulf Stream and the possibility that it is undergoing change.
http://translate.google.co.za/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://daltonsminima.wordpress.com/&ei=AHWVSrv_K5zLjAfom5zbDQ&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://daltonsminima.wordpress.com/%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG
I know many of you are not big fans of D. Archibald and
much criticism has been made about the quality of his papers and predictions.
Whilst many of his predictions have not turned out, this one has:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/archibald_ap_predict2.png?w=520&h=303
However his statement that sunspots will not form below an Ap of 2 is clearly false with sunspot 1039 present well into January 2010.
It is a pity D. Archibald is not here to discuss this minimum in its current state, and explain more.
With regards to climate, the Svensmark Hypothesis (Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) to cloud cover modulation theory) is very promising in my opinion.
We will have to wait and see. The 2010s will answer many questions but probably generate new ones.
Does anyone know when and if this graph has been updated??
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/cosmic_ray_surge_graph.jpg?w=510&h=290
Thanks.

Charles
January 8, 2010 5:44 am

Mr Svalgaard, Your work is a credit to your field of study but your attitude to readers and commentators (as others have noted) is sometimes counterproductive (and smacks of the same kind of arrogance that AGW advocates tend to employ.) I remember one of my physics professors advising me to employ doubt when formulating even scientific theories at all times for only self-doubt can interject ones egotistic desire to get to the truth.
You would think that you owned the Sun the way you dismiss anything not on your field of view. That said, you still have my respect.

Mr. Alex
January 8, 2010 5:55 am

* wrt the DA Ap prediction, it is on track, not yet fully confirmed (due to “5 month smoothed” aspect ) sorry… late night last night!

January 8, 2010 6:07 am

Carla (05:13:33) :
Vuk etc. (13:25:58) :
Mr. Alex (11:28:40) :
“1. Solar Polar Field Strength in a funk:”
Not a time to be troubled much about polar fields. See you around 2020-25, then we’ll have something to talk about. See Polar fields links on:
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/GandF.htm
Might be a rush on snowmobile purchases ya think?
Hi Carla
Hope had good Ch & NY break. Interesting NASA’s article you put up ‘overthere’.
“Their analyses isolated six slow-moving oscillations, or waves of motion, occurring within the liquid core. The oscillations originated at the boundary between Earth’s core and its mantle and traveled inward toward the inner core with decreasing strength. Four of these oscillations were robust, occurring at periods of 85, 50, 35 and 28 years.” http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=2420
I was wondering about the GMF oscillations for some time now. This graph I constructed recently, clearly confirms the NASA’s theory.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EMF85N.gif
See also: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GandF.htm

January 8, 2010 6:07 am

Charles (05:44:33) :
but your attitude to readers and commentators (as others have noted) is sometimes counterproductive…
It would be nice if we could discuss the Sun and climate, rather than my attitude. I call things the way I see them. This may seem counterproductive to peddlers of pseudo-science and unfounded speculations. They are welcome to just ignore my comments [as some do when they hijack a thread for their own purposes].

January 8, 2010 6:16 am

Dear Mr.Watts,
I’m writing to ask you to check out this picture I have on my blog of a supposed dead Alien. I know you are somewhat of a scientist. I would really like your opinion on the matter. Thank you.
http://56rebels.wordpress.com/

Tenuc
January 8, 2010 6:27 am

David Alan (02:46:00)
“,,,It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice a very similar pattern. The timing between these apparent patterns are roughly 88 years. I don’t know if thats significant, but it dears bear scrutiny.
If we went back another 88 some odd years and find a similar solar-terrestrial pattern?
Would it be possible to find any supporting data for other periodic similarities?”

Reply: I think so:-
1410-1500 cold – Low Solar Activity(LSA?) – (Sporer minimum)
1510-1600 warm – High Solar Activity(HSA?)
1610-1700 cold – (LSA) – (Maunder minimum)
1710-1800 warm – (HSA)
1810-1900 cold – (LSA) – (Dalton minimum)
1910-2000 warm – (HSA)
2010-2100 (cold???) – (LSA???)
However, our climate is driven by deterministic chaos, with many separate but interdependent processes at work in concert at any one time. The effect of this is to make the periodicity imprecise, with the scale of the effect varying as each quasi-cycle unfolds.
You can break a block of concrete with a few blows of a heavy sledge hammer, or produce the same effect by using a sharp chisel and light hammer, but giving many small blows.

January 8, 2010 7:01 am

Thank you very much indeed for your comments, Dr Svalgaard – I await them eagerly in any thread here, debating the sun.
Most intriguing, for me, were your comments and quotes (e.g. Bartels) in regard to the value of the observer’s personal experience as opposed to computer models.
What a reliance on computer models alone can lead to, as opposed to observations by people with experience in field work, we have had amply demonstrated by recent events …

Rick Filkins
January 8, 2010 7:34 am

Old Chinese Proverb: “May you live in interesting times.”
Come what may, we are in for an interesting ride. Let’s enjoy it.

photon without a Higgs
January 8, 2010 7:36 am

Bill Tuttle (05:21:16) :
The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins
In all fairness, this *was* the hottest decade — *if* the world was created on 1 January, 2000

———————————————————-
Which, of course, would be fairness. 😉

photon without a Higgs
January 8, 2010 7:40 am

DirkH (12:15:01) :
“Mike O’Kelly (11:32:46) :
A highlevel thermodynamical discussion is Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi’s thoery
—————————————————-
Discussion has its place. But i’d rather see if anyone has disproven his math. So far no one has.
But I’ve seen this comment a few times: “his math is over my head”

Gail Combs
January 8, 2010 7:41 am

Alexander Feht (23:09:07) :
I find Dr. Svalgaard’s attitude toward readers and commentators to be most inappropriate.
Reply:
Dr Svalgaard is rather patient with us as we fumble towards knowledge. Unlike a paid professor he is giving us the benefit of his expertise (and time) for free. I for one am glad he is willing to explain things in a simple manner for us. First it is often quite difficult for an expert to make simple explainations. Second reading inaccurate statements about your area of expertise can be quite irritating.

photon without a Higgs
January 8, 2010 7:54 am

I’ve always wanted Henrik Svensmark to comment in sun threads here. But He appears to be busy with his most fascinating theory!!
—-
p.s.enjoy the warming we have now.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/10/svensmark-global-warming-stopped-and-a-cooling-is-beginning-enjoy-global-warming-while-it-lasts/

Wilson Flood
January 8, 2010 8:12 am

Vuk etc (10.06.30)
For those who like to know such things, the image is that of the town of Hawick in Scotland.

A Wod
January 8, 2010 8:18 am

J.P.Douglas (06:16:04) wrote:
picture I have on my blog of a supposed dead Alien.
Commentators writing in Spanish think that the ‘alien’ might be a sloth, based on its nails.

January 8, 2010 8:30 am

Leif Svaldaard
I thank you for giving me ‘enlightenment,’ for someone with your expertise to spend so much time educating us uninformed is unique. God bless you.
Alexander Feht,
you may try putting you mouth where your mother never kissed you !

Swami
January 8, 2010 9:00 am

I have this weird thinking that five centuries from now, self-aware supercomputers with god-like intellect will look at the climate history of our time, model it with a full understanding of obscure and bizarre feedback mechanisms of which we are all but ignorant today, and proclaim that mankind dodged a bullet. We would have been due for another ice age, they will tell us, and it would have ended our civilization, but very fortunately and entirely accidentally we produced enough pollutants to keep us warm.
Today, they cannot model next month’s weather. And the scientists say that’s not an issue, modelling long term climate is not the same as modelling short term weather. But central to weather is chaos theory. Lorenz’s butterflies. And that brings us to “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” In light of that, if we cannot get tommorow right, next year is impossible.
Events have demonstrated this. Climate scientists did not predict last year’s cool summer. They did not predict the decline in powerful hurricanes over the last two years- although after the fact, Scientific American ran an embarrasing article that explained how a decline in hurricanes, much like an increase in hurricanes, or no change in the pattern of hurricanes at all, was an entirely expected outcome of global warming.
It seems climate scientists have revised the scientific process. It now runs like this:
1. Construct Hypothesis.
2. Make predictions.
3. Make observations.
4. Revise predictions to meet observations, or revise observations to meet predictions- whichever works.
5. Declare that observations, since they have met the predictions, prove the original hypothesis.
6. Viciously attack anyone with a competing hypothesis.
Let me give a real example of this in action.
Step 1. Hypothesis. Global warming is melting arctic ice, “northwest passage” is open. (National Geographic, 2007. )
Step 2. Prediction. Shippers have wanted this for centuries. It would dramatically reduce costs of shipping between Europe and Asia. Therefore, we expect to see shipping across this route. (see: http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/northwest-passage/2007/10/10/ )
Step 3. Observation. No shipping taking place. Just try finding a shipper with a route across the Northwest Passage. Except for a few specialized vessels in summer on very special tasks (which is nothing new) none exists. Despite the cost savings. Europe to Asia, they’d rather risk the coast of Somalia than the north coast of Canada.
Step 4. Revise Prediction. “Shippers will avoid the northwest passage because the icebergs are exceptionally dangerous there. Because of Global Warming.”
The merry-go-round continues.
At what point, climate scientists, does the merry-go-round stop, and you tell us, here’s what we say will happen, and if it doesn’t, then my theory is wrong?

joe
January 8, 2010 10:13 am

“The theory goes that once the magnetic strength falls below 1500 gauss, sunspots will become invisible to us.”
Perhaps thats what happened during the maunder minimum.

January 8, 2010 10:35 am

I am looking for data on climate for central New Mexico for the period from 1900 to 1950. The region where I live is the Estancia Basin east of Albuquerque. This area was at one the leading producer of Pinto Beans but in 1950 there wasa dramtic change in the climate that produced a dustbowl. Today the area is arid. Could the climate be changing drastically as the climate was prior to 1950 as a result of changes associated with solar activity? In the height of the Pinto farming the winters we characterized as severe according to the few people here old enough to remember. One respondant,dram1, had some agriculture growth data but I don’t know how to reach this person.

JLawson
January 8, 2010 11:38 am

There is no point, Swami – they’ll continue to revise and spin and change the parameters – and when you explicitly point to what they said would happen and didn’t, you’re pronounced too stupid to understand the nuances of it all anyway.
If Tenuc (06:27:49) is right in his predictions, we’re going into a LIA event that we’re not prepared for, and the Warmists will fight tooth and nail to persuade us isn’t happening. But you can only fool people so long – eventually they’ll figure out that the flipflops and Speedos and SPF-40 sunblock won’t do them much good in waist-deep snow!

January 8, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Mr. Alex (Jan 8 00:39), It appears that the goal for January 2010 is to reach monthly mean of at least 15.7 and do everything possible to achieve this,
so that claims can be made in February that “spots” such as 1040 have heralded a “surge in sunspot activity in the new year”.

That seems to be a rather pointless claim to try and make. How many spotless days would you wish to claim in the past 30? Are you denying that the sun is more active than it was 6 months ago? I haven’t yet checked where the monthly average F10.7 for December fits on my plot, but the blue line here does seem to be edging ever upward.
At these levels, the sunspot count is still in the noise. Anyone making grand claims based on current counts probably has no other evidence for their theory.

Paul Vaughan