Something to be thankful for! At last: Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes

UPDATE: Lead author Ben Laken responds in comments below.

I’ve reported several times at WUWT on the galactic cosmic ray theory proposed by  Henrik Svensmark which suggests that changes in the sun’s magnetic field modulate the density of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) which in turn seed cloud formation on Earth, which changes the albedo/reflectivity to affect Earth’s energy balance and hence global climate.

Simplified diagram of the Solar-GCR to Earth clouds relationship. Image: Jo Nova

A new paper published today in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics suggests that the relationship has been established.

Figure 1 below shows a correlation, read it with the top and bottom graph combined vertically.

Fig. 1. (A) Short term GCR change (significance indicated by markers) and (B) anomalous cloud cover changes (significance indicated by solid contours) occurring over the composite period. GCR data sourced from multiple neutron monitors, variations normalised against changes experienced over a Schwabe cycle. Cloud changes are a tropospheric (30–1000 mb) average from the ISCCP D1 IR cloud values.

As the authors write in the abstract:

These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship.

Dr. Roy Spencer has mentioned that it doesn’t take much in the way of cloud cover changes to add up to the “global warming signal” that has been observed. He writes in The Great Global Warming Blunder:

The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.

Well, it seems that Laken, Kniveton, and Frogley have found just such a small effect. Here’s the abstract and select passages from the paper, along with a link to the full paper:

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10941-10948, 2010

doi:10.5194/acp-10-10941-2010

Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes

B. A. Laken , D. R. Kniveton, and M. R. Frogley

Abstract. The effect of the Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) flux on Earth’s climate is highly uncertain. Using a novel sampling approach based around observing periods of significant cloud changes, a statistically robust relationship is identified between short-term GCR flux changes and the most rapid mid-latitude (60°–30° N/S) cloud decreases operating over daily timescales; this signal is verified in surface level air temperature (SLAT) reanalysis data. A General Circulation Model (GCM) experiment is used to test the causal relationship of the observed cloud changes to the detected SLAT anomalies. Results indicate that the anomalous cloud changes were responsible for producing the observed SLAT changes, implying that if there is a causal relationship between significant decreases in the rate of GCR flux (~0.79 GU, where GU denotes a change of 1% of the 11-year solar cycle amplitude in four days) and decreases in cloud cover (~1.9 CU, where CU denotes a change of 1% cloud cover in four days), an increase in SLAT (~0.05 KU, where KU denotes a temperature change of 1 K in four days) can be expected. The influence of GCRs is clearly distinguishable from changes in solar irradiance and the interplanetary magnetic field. However, the results of the GCM experiment are found to be somewhat limited by the ability of the model to successfully reproduce observed cloud cover. These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship. From this analysis we conclude that a GCR-climate relationship is governed by both short-term GCR changes and internal atmospheric precursor conditions.

I found this portion interesting related to the figure above:

The composite sample shows a positive correlation between statistically significant cloud changes and variations in the short-term GCR flux (Fig. 1): increases in the GCR flux

occur around day −5 of the composite, and correspond to significant localised mid-latitude increases in cloud change. After this time, the GCR flux undergoes a statistically significant decrease (1.2 GU) centred on the key date of the composite; these changes correspond to widespread statistically significant decreases in cloud change (3.5 CU, 1.9 CU globallyaveraged) over mid-latitude regions.

and this…

The strong and statistically robust connection identified here between the most rapid cloud decreases over mid-latitude regions and short-term changes in the GCR flux is clearly distinguishable from the effects of solar irradiance and IMF variations. The observed anomalous changes show a strong latitudinal symmetry around the equator; alone, this pattern

gives a good indication of an external forcing agent, as

there is no known mode of internal climate variability at the

timescale of analysis, which could account for this distinctive

response. It is also important to note that these anomalous

changes are detected over regions where the quality of

satellite-based cloud retrievals is relatively robust; results of

past studies concerned with high-latitude anomalous cloud

changes have been subject to scrutiny due to a low confidence

in polar cloud retrievals (Laken and Kniveton, 2010;

Todd and Kniveton, 2001) but the same limitations do not

apply here.

Although mid-latitude cloud detections are more robust

than those over high latitudes, Sun and Bradley (2002) identified

a distinctive pattern of high significance between GCRs

and the ISCCP dataset over the Atlantic Ocean that corresponded

to the METEOSAT footprint. This bias does not

appear to influence the results presented in this work: Fig. 6 shows the rates of anomalous IR-detected cloud change occurring over Atlantic, Pacific and land regions of the midlatitudes during the composite period, and a comparable pattern of cloud change is observed over all regions, indicating no significant bias is present.

Conclusions

This work has demonstrated the presence of a small but statistically significant influence of GCRs on Earth’s atmosphere over mid-latitude regions. This effect is present in

both ISCCP satellite data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data for at least the last 20 years suggesting that small fluctuations in solar activity may be linked to changes in the Earth’s atmosphere via a relationship between the GCR flux and cloud cover; such a connection may amplify small changes in solar activity. In addition, a GCR – cloud relationship may also act in conjunction with other likely solar – terrestrial relationships concerning variations in solar UV (Haigh, 1996) and total solar irradiance (Meehl et al., 2009). The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records (e.g.,Bond et al., 2001; Neff et al., 2001; Mauas et al., 2008).

Further detailed investigation is required to better understand GCR – atmosphere relationships. Specifically, the use of both ground-based and satellite-based cloud/atmospheric monitoring over high-resolution timescales for extended periods of time is required. In addition, information regarding potentially important microphysical properties such as aerosols, cloud droplet size, and atmospheric electricity must also be considered. Through such monitoring efforts, in addition to both computational modelling (such as that of Zhou and Tinsley, 2010) and experimental efforts (such as that of Duplissy et al., 2010) we may hope to better understand the effects described here.

It seems they have found the signal. This is a compelling finding because it now opens a pathway and roadmap on where and how to look. Expect more to come.

The full paper is here: Final Revised Paper (PDF, 2.2 MB)

h/t to The Hockey Schtick

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Stephan
November 25, 2010 12:06 am

Leif?

Brian H
November 25, 2010 12:11 am

Lief is still in orbit.

Boudu
November 25, 2010 12:21 am

So, what they’ve done is propose a theory, think about how it might be realised in the real world then used empirical observations to prove their hypothesis. Groundbreaking.

Scarface
November 25, 2010 12:27 am

So, it’s the sun after all. Who would have thought that…
Can we now put the CAGW-theory to rest, please? I truly hope so.
Mr. Svensmark, if you read this post, please leave a comment over here!

RR Kampen
November 25, 2010 12:29 am

Hm, it’s just a model. We don’t trust models.

November 25, 2010 12:32 am

So, let me get this straight…….
All we have to do in order to stop Global Warming is build an enormous great solar-magnetic shield.
Excellent! How much will this cost the Developing and Western World economies – we are doing it for the children, after all!

November 25, 2010 12:34 am

Wow, thanks for this! David Archibald also followed up on this Sun-GCRs-cloud-climate theory, although he is a geologist, not a solar physicist. I remember last year, there was a WUWT article showing that GCRs were about 19 percent higher than previous year’s level, as the Sun was generally “sleeping”.

Reference
November 25, 2010 12:44 am

Anthony
Notice the dodge in the conclusions:
“The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming”
REPLY: No dodge, conclusions are printed in full in my post. My point is that they found the signal, nothing else. Take off your blinders. – Anthony

tallbloke
November 25, 2010 12:52 am

Excellent news if confirmed by other studies too.

Robin
November 25, 2010 12:52 am

“solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming”
Have had? Past tense? What’s changed? Of course, now CO2 is the only driver for global climate.

November 25, 2010 12:52 am

http://climate4you.com/images/CloudCoverAllLevel%20AndWaterColumnSince1983.gif
There are some trends, but not in direct relation with sun cycles. But obviously changes in cloudiness has serious effect on climate.

Ralph
November 25, 2010 12:53 am

In teresting, but I would be more convinced if they had more than 10 days worth of data. How about a full year, to take into account seasonal variations too.
.

Jerry
November 25, 2010 12:55 am

What exactly does the news mean? Is there a historical trend that would lead to decreased cloud cover? Covering the instrumental record?
That there is a correlation is very interesting. That it supports one or other of the parties is even more interesting and does not seem to have been articulated.

Rob Vermeulen
November 25, 2010 12:58 am

Hi,
you forgot to mention the following conlcusion of the paper:
“Based on the relationships observed in this study […] we speculate
that little systematic change in temperature [due to cloud cover changes, see text] at mid-latitudes has occurred over the last 50 years. However, at shorter time-scales this phenomenon may contribute to natural variability, potentially reducing detectability of an anthropogenic signal.”
which is in line with
“The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have
had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic
warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records”
So to sum it up, the authors show that clouds are related to short-scale variability of the climate and that on long periods, systematic changes in the cloud cover can explain changes in temperature… far below what has been observed during the 20th century. In my sense, it is another proof that the solar influence is way weaker than the rest in the context of the recently observed warming.
REPLY: Gosh, another person wearing blinders. Conclusions (including what you cite) are printed in full in my post. My point is that they found the signal, nothing else. – Anthony

November 25, 2010 1:00 am

Interesting. Any news from the Cloud experiment being run at Cern? It could provide some experimental validation of these findings.

wayne
November 25, 2010 1:01 am

So if this ends up true it was the sun after all.
Now who would have ever guessed such an outlandish reason.

November 25, 2010 1:04 am

There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field. However the correlation is negative, weaker field higher temperature. If the Svensmark’s effect is at work it is in reverse; weaker magnetic field, more GCR, more clouds above the Arctic, higher temperature. More clouds in the Arctic (for 6 months of the year) acting as a ‘GH’ gas prevent excessive cooling, a well known effect in the middle and northern latitudes during winter months.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CO2-Arc.htm

Michael
November 25, 2010 1:06 am

That sounds plausible.

sHx
November 25, 2010 1:08 am

Yay, what a coincidence!
This morning after my usual sweep of Climate blogs, I wondered whether we’re going to hear more about the much anticipated CLOUD experiment at CERN and whether.
This news was not exactly what I was looking for, but it is close. Another win for science.

SteveE
November 25, 2010 1:17 am

Interesting graphs, I think a longer time period would be needed to show a good relationship though.
The -10 to -7 days on the graph doesn’t seem to show the sharp chage in cloud change that’s observed in the -2 to +2 days part of the graph though. In fact it’s got a lower GCR of -1 to -2 but a positive cloud change (CU).
Please correct me if I’m reading this wrong though as I haven’t read the paper fully.

Editor
November 25, 2010 1:25 am

Upon seeing the usage of NCEP-Reanalysis surface air temperatures, I quit reading.

Bob of Castlemaine
November 25, 2010 1:29 am

Indeed very interesting – but still the need for a genuflection to the orthodoxy.

The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records …..

Espen
November 25, 2010 1:50 am

Anthony, your quote below “and this…” is wrong: Between “The observed anomalous changes show a strong” and “shows the rates of anomalous IR-detected cloud change occurring”, 18 lines of text are missing.
I first misread the PDF in the same way myself, it’s easy to do since the missing part of the text appears below the figure in the left column on the next page.
And btw, thank you for a very interesting article!
REPLY: Thanks, disjoint fixed – Anthony

Brent Hargreaves
November 25, 2010 1:53 am

Great news! Once the link between solar activity and climate is well understood we can stop all this nonsense about carbon dioxide.
Our friends in the AGW camp love to hoot, “Ah, you say the precise mechanism is not yet understood! Your belief that one day it will be is thus an article of faith! You denialists are irrational.” Well, Newton may not have understood precisely how gravity worked, but he had a keen eye for cause-and-effect.
Come on, the astrophysicists! Show us how the sun regulates global warming – and cooling – and we’ll move on from this sorry episode of neoapocalypticism. Man made? This was always an outbreak of hubris!

Steeptown
November 25, 2010 1:56 am

Yes indeed, they still have to secure future funding.

Arun
November 25, 2010 2:01 am

“The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records”
Such a totally unsupported and self-castrating statement was necessary to include in order to get published in the sick, corrupt field of climate science. LOL.

Mac
November 25, 2010 2:05 am

It’s the Sun wot dunnit!

Gail Combs
November 25, 2010 2:05 am

Ilove this sentence:
“The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records (e.g.,Bond et al., 2001; Neff et al., 2001; Mauas et al., 2008).”
You have to laugh at the “magic phrase” needed to mollify the CAGW gatekeepers that was necessary to get the paper published. Can’t have the new discovery upset the CAGW applecart. If you look you will find a similar phrase in practically every recent paper published even if it has nothing to do with climate science – disgusting.

Phillip Bratby
November 25, 2010 2:07 am

So all that CO2 has stopped the climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links. That pesky CO2 is more powerful than we thought.

Yarmy
November 25, 2010 2:10 am

The author has his own website here:
http://benlaken.com/index.html
He’s very young: looks like he’s only just finished his PhD.

Stephen Wilde
November 25, 2010 2:10 am

I’d like to resolve the question as to whether the change in cosmic ray intensity is a direct driver itself or a mere proxy for solar changes that cause the cloud changes by other means.
The thing is that the cloud quantity changes also seem to be accompanied by latitudinal jet stream shifting which would itself encourage more clouds by stretching the air mass boundaries along greater distances and causing more air mass mixing. I don’t think anyone has suggested that more cosmic rays shift the jet streams.
It would be nice to know which is the more direct cause of the cloudiness changes.

November 25, 2010 2:19 am

Ralph wanted a greater timescale
From Wikipedia:
In cooperation with other scientists, Veizer compared the reconstructed seawater paleotemperature records for the past 545 million years with the variable galactic cosmic ray flux (CRF) reaching Earth and reconstructed partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 (pCO2).
According to a – cautiously worded – paper in Nature 2000[3] written together with Yves Godderis und Louis M. François, the results can be reconciled if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were not the principal driver of climate variability on geological timescales for at least one-third of the Phanerozoic eon, or if the reconstructed carbon dioxide concentrations are not reliable.
From Viezer and others
Abstract. In recent years the variability of the cosmic ray flux has become one of the main issues interpreting cosmogenic elements and especially their connection with climate. In this review, an interdisciplinary team of scientists brings together our knowledge of the evolution and modulation of the cosmic ray flux fromits origin in theMilkyWay, during its propagation through the heliosphere, up to its interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere, resulting, finally, in the production of cosmogenic
isotopes in the Earth’ atmosphere. The interpretation of the cosmogenic isotopes and the cosmic ray – cloud connection are also intensively discussed. Finally, we discuss some open questions.
In 2003, together with Nir J. Shaviv, an Israeli astrophycisist, Veizer published a paper in Geological Society of America confirming [2], a reduced (capped) influence of carbon dioxide to Climate Change and attributing a more significant influence to cosmic rays. While the mechanism seems not yet to be fully understood, the empirical data showed a suitable fit.

Golf Charley
November 25, 2010 2:20 am

Wikipedia has an artcle that is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Svensmark’s theory. A certain William M Connolley “helped” write the article.
As I know nothng about Cosmic Rays, this leads me to believe that Svensmark is probably right.
WMC (We Manufacture Consensus) and his cronies can be useful afterall.

November 25, 2010 2:25 am

Hi Ryan, whats wrong with NCEP reanalysis data?

John Marshall
November 25, 2010 2:30 am

Makes far more sense than blaming human use of fossil fuels and the CO2 we produce from that energy producing effort. ( This is 3% of the total annual CO2 production, the 97% being from natural emitters according to the US Dept of Energy).

David, UK
November 25, 2010 2:35 am

But… but… the CAGW hypothesis explains all the warming of the last century (once the models have been calibrated and adjusted as required). There is simply no need to look any further.
My protest has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you can’t tax clouds. [/sarc]

gg
November 25, 2010 2:36 am

Wow ! Who`d have thought that great big ball of nuclear powered fire in the sky could cause the earth to warm.

November 25, 2010 2:39 am

Ryan Maue says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:25 am (Edit)
Upon seeing the usage of NCEP-Reanalysis surface air temperatures, I quit reading.
#####
yup. i guess everybody forgets they are not observations. suddenly when observations that nobody trusts are fed into a Reanalysis model (and they cant be right) the result is suitable to use to test a theory. selective skepticism

November 25, 2010 2:48 am

SteveE says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:17 am
The -10 to -7 days on the graph doesn’t seem to show the sharp change in cloud change that’s observed in the -2 to +2 days part of the graph though. In fact it’s got a lower GCR of -1 to -2 but a positive cloud change (CU).
And that is precisely the problem with this analysis.

Dave Wendt
November 25, 2010 2:55 am

This is OT, but I came across a spectacular timelapse video of the Aurora over Norway. It’s well worth a look!

paulsnz
November 25, 2010 2:59 am

Who Knew, Magnetic fields interact with ionic gases and cosmic radiation to produce forces that shape our planets climate and the solar system, Next someone will suggest Gravity holds the solar system together in some sort of periodic orbiting tug of war!.

Richard S Courtney
November 25, 2010 3:06 am

vukcevic:
Thank you for your observation in your post above at November 25, 2010 at 1:04 am.
It says;
“There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field. However the correlation is negative, weaker field higher temperature. If the Svensmark’s effect is at work it is in reverse; weaker magnetic field, more GCR, more clouds above the Arctic, higher temperature. More clouds in the Arctic (for 6 months of the year) acting as a ‘GH’ gas prevent excessive cooling, a well known effect in the middle and northern latitudes during winter months.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CO2-Arc.htm
OK. I get that. You say you observe the opposite of the Svensmark Effect over “middle and northern latitudes”.
But it is not clear to me from the graph in your link what you mean by “middle and northern latitudes”, and that graph is labelled as showing “Arctic” data. So, according to the data you present, it seems to me that your finding applies to the Arctic and possibly both polar regions.
But the paper by Laken et al. considers “the most rapid mid-latitude (60°–30° N/S) cloud decreases operating over daily timescales”; i.e. Lakis et al. have investigated a different region of the Earth than your analysis. And their findings concur with the Svensmark Effect.
At this moment I have no reason to dispute your findings or the findings of Lakis et al.. So, the difference between those findings suggests interesting paths for investigation: but before commenting on that, I point out that if both you and Lakis et al. are right then the effect which Lakis et al. seem to have detected would dominate for global climate.
Very little solar radiation is received in near-polar regions and heat is transported to those regions from warmer climes by ocean currents, so near-polar regions are net emitters of radiation. The effect you describe (and I quote in this post) would reduce the net emission so keep the “middle and northern latitudes” warmer in winter months. But the effect would be small because radiative fluxes are relatively small in those regions.
Much more solar energy is received at 60°–30° N/S than in the polar regions. Therefore, small modulation of radiative fluxes by clouds in the 60°–30° N/S region would have greater effect than large modulation of radiative fluxes by clouds in polar regions.
Hence, if both you and Lakis et al. are right then the net effect would agree with the Svensmark hypothesis.
Which brings us to interesting directions for research.
Firstly, your finding and the finding by Lakis et al. each needs to be confirmed.
Then, both empirical and theoretical explanations for the different findings need to be evinced. (As an aside, there are some possibilities for this. The Svensmark Effect relies on the velocity of comic ray particles providing Einsteinian time dilation to enable them to penetrate the atmosphere to levels where clouds form, and the height of the troposphere – so altitudes of clouds – varies with latitude. The Earth’s electromagnetic field strength and direction differs near the poles from elsewhere so cosmic ray fluxes differ there. Etc.)
After that, the effects of cloud modulation on radiative fluxes at different latitudes needs to be quantified.
Finally, the effect of these different flux modulations in different regions on heat flows (a) around the planet and (b) to and from the planet need to be determined.
All potentially interesting stuff, so I again thank you for your comment.
Richard

Bruce Cunningham
November 25, 2010 3:10 am

I was struck by Ryan’s comment also. I assume the NCEP-reanalysis temps are not so good? A bad thing to use for correlation of their theory?

November 25, 2010 3:10 am

The 95% significance level is also a bit weak. What is lacking is a simple mention of how many key days were used. When doing a superposed epoch analysis a standard test is to divide the data set into two halves and show that the effect is present in both. This was not done.

Stephen Wilde
November 25, 2010 3:17 am

“SteveE says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:17 am
The -10 to -7 days on the graph doesn’t seem to show the sharp change in cloud change that’s observed in the -2 to +2 days part of the graph though. In fact it’s got a lower GCR of -1 to -2 but a positive cloud change (CU).”
Not necessarily a critical issue.
It’s perfectly possible to have a robust correlation on a longer timescale but a weak or non existent correlation on shorter timescales.
That would be typical of a coherent system overall but with lower level elements of chaotic variability or other lower level shorter term forcings overlaying the primary forcing from time to time.
Objections based simply on such lower level features are just churlish. It is the wider picture that matters.

November 25, 2010 3:21 am

Not to put too much of a dampener on it, but there’s not much more to the two signals than the global warming hogwash – a down and an up – and such a relationship is pretty easy to come by pure chance.
Give me an up – down – up – down!
It would only have taken a week more of data and we could all be jumping for joy. Why hasn’t this been done … of course because they’re spending all the money “proving” global boring and nothing is left for serious science!

November 25, 2010 3:25 am

vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:04 am
There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field.
Coincidence, the correlation breaks down when you go back in time, e.g. to the MWP.

November 25, 2010 3:29 am

Stephen Wilde says:
November 25, 2010 at 3:17 am
It’s perfectly possible to have a robust correlation on a longer timescale but a weak or non existent correlation on shorter timescales.
The nature of the superposed epoch method is such that it applies to the shorter time scale, i.e. that of the width of the graph. So you are saying that on a time scale of 3 days it works, but on a time scale of 10 days it doesn’t have to. That is special pleading.

Roger Knights
November 25, 2010 3:30 am

A bonbon for Cancun

Viv Evans
November 25, 2010 3:44 am

Steven Mosher says (November 25, 2010 at 2:39 am):
Ryan Maue says (November 25, 2010 at 1:25 am (Edit)):
Upon seeing the usage of NCEP-Reanalysis surface air temperatures, I quit reading.
#####
yup. i guess everybody forgets they are not observations. suddenly when observations that nobody trusts are fed into a Reanalysis model (and they cant be right) the result is suitable to use to test a theory. selective skepticism

With all due respect, Sirs Mosher and Maue – it would have been much appreciated if you’d told us peasants without PhDs in climate-related fields why using this NCEP Reanalysis is bad, and perhaps even told us peasants lower down the food chain what this beast actually is, ahem, the acronym stands for.
Otherwise, your contribution feels a bit like the sneering we’re used to when lectured from a great height by certain people on certain blogs who shall be nameless.
Thanks in advance for your forthcoming explanations.

Chris Wright
November 25, 2010 4:02 am

“The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records….”
As others have commented, this is a fascinating and rather sad quote.
Clearly the author felt the need to state his belief in the orthodoxy, while at the same time his interesting work provides yet another argument that will eventually destroy the orthodoxy
He says plainly that this mechanism has had a significant effect on climate in the past. Proxy data from around the world (see the recent WUWT post about the MWP/LIA global extent) clearly shows that the mild 20th century warming was very similar to previous events. If the earlier events were driven by this mechanism, as he suggests, then it seems somewhat obvious that the 20th century warming may well have had the same cause. The fact that solar activity was extremely high during the 20th century strongly supports this.
I’m sure the author realises this. To suggest that mechanisms that have driven the Earth’s climate for thousands of years suddenly stopped in 1900 is almost beyond ridiculous. But no doubt he felt he had to say this. So very sad.
Still, those few words which he will no doubt come to regret are of little significance in the greater scheme of things. What really matters is that this significant work will help to move climate science, by whatever small amount, back towards honesty and the rule of empirical evidence and logic over pseudo-religious beliefs and rotten computer models.
Chris

H.R.
November 25, 2010 4:06 am

I think I’ll wait for the movie to come out.
Read Stephen Wilde in the November 25, 2010 at 2:10 am post. There’s a lot more going on before and after clouds form. And as others have pointed out, this paper could use some replication/verification.

kim
November 25, 2010 4:10 am

I think I’ve never heard so loud
The quiet message in a cloud.
================

Duckster
November 25, 2010 4:15 am

Er… they said the model doesn’t work??!?
These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship.
But you are happy to believe them because it fits your theory?
Anyone see a contradiction here?

Robinson
November 25, 2010 4:16 am

You have to laugh at the “magic phrase” needed to mollify the CAGW gatekeepers that was necessary to get the paper published.

Yes, I noted that too. You can’t get a paper published without tipping your hat to the AGW crowd.

November 25, 2010 4:18 am

Richard S Courtney says: November 25, 2010 at 3:06 am
…………..
I have strong reservation regarding the Svensmark effect, that it has sufficient ‘power’ to achive what is implied, but if it does than following could be the result:
In winter months the Arctic insolation is minimal, its thermal input is from the North Atlantic’s current system:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm
In the summer months insolation is the main factor, on annual bases the ratio is probably more like 40:60 solar vs currents.
It is a well known fact that clouds act as a ‘blanket’ in cold winter nights, and even in many winter days above 50N cloudy day could be warmer than sunny (heat gets in, but does not radiates back as effectively as when is cloudless).
This is perfectly in line with GCRvs clouds hypothesis, if applicable, it is just what is relevant and where. Albedo is the main factor in tropical and subtropical regions up to 12 months , temperate regions 8-9 months and polar regions only 3-5 summer months.
One point to bear in mind is that long term changes in geomagnetic field are in the region of 1000s nanoTesla, while for sunspot cycles are in order of 10s of nanoTesla.
But again I think magnetic field is not cause or a a consequence of temperature changes, but happen to be a parallel side effect. According to my research it is the North Atlantic precursor, and geomagnetic field happen to be fellow travellers along the same time line.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP.htm

LazyTeenager
November 25, 2010 4:19 am

Brent Hargreaves says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:53 am
Great news! Once the link between solar activity and climate is well understood we can stop all this nonsense about carbon dioxide.
—————–
Weird logic. Seems to be a rerun of the strangely popular idea that only one thing can affect climate at a time. So every time we find some new thing that affects climate that somehow it proves everything else is excluded; like CO2. Errr no.

Baa Humbug
November 25, 2010 4:20 am

When I read the title, I got excited.
Then I read the words “statistically robust” , “reanalysis” , “GCM’s” and my shoulders slumped.
Having read the rest, I think I understand the purpose of this paper. i.e. these are alarmists who are trying to establish what “natural variations” caused warming and/or cooling PRIOR to mans sins.
The layout of the paper is so so familiar. “We have a theory, ROBUST models confirm our theory, but we need more grants to look further into it.”
Anyone wishing to gain some knowledge about GCR’s and galactic influences on our climate may like to visit the website of that brilliant young physicist NIR SHAVIV http://www.sciencebits.com/

ninderthana
November 25, 2010 4:25 am

Vukcevic,
The negative correlation that you mention may come about because of the difference in albedo between cloud and ice.
Low Earth (Solar?) magnetic field –> more cosmic rays –> more cloud
would normally indicate cooling. However, cloud is less reflective than
the underlying ice, and there is net decrease in albedo near the poles.
Similarly,
High Earth (Solar?) magnetic field –> less cosmic rays –> less cloud
would normally indicate heating. However, over the poles less cloud
means that sunlight reflects of the bare ice, increasing albedo an so
leading to cooling near the poles.

LazyTeenager
November 25, 2010 4:29 am

You have to laugh at the “magic phrase” needed to mollify the CAGW gatekeepers that was necessary to get the paper published.
———–
I have to laugh at people whose lips and tongue are green because they have drunken to much cool aid.
I’d like to see more skepticism about conspiracy theories. I see too much gullibilty.

November 25, 2010 4:31 am

Leif Svalgaard says: November 25, 2010 at 3:25 am
…………………..
As I just said in my comment to Richard S Courtney:
“I think magnetic field is not cause or a consequence of temperature changes, but happen to be a parallel side effect. According to my research the North Atlantic precursor and geomagnetic field happen to be fellow travellers along the same time line.”
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP.htm
Correlation is always there, but it need not be always negative:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LL.htm
The reasons for these prolong periods, could be clear to anyone who considers all the factors affecting the North Atlantic’s currents circulation.
Correlation has to be positive or negative only if there is a direct link of cause-consequence, but that may not be case here. However, you may be aware (at least of theoretical possibility) of close circuit systems where positive feedback flips into negative and vice versa, I do not think that is case here, but the science may prove otherwise.

November 25, 2010 4:32 am

Kniveton has used the superposed epoch method on clouds before, e.g. in a paper with Brian Tinsley: http://www.utdallas.edu/nsm/physics/pdf/tin_dcgcc.pdf
In it they discuss the ‘Wilcox’ effect on storminess from passage of the Heliospheric Current Sheet. Back in 1973 I was co-author of the ‘discovery’ paper on the Wilcox effect: Wilcox, J.M., P.H. Scherrer, L. Svalgaard, W.O. Roberts, and R.H. Olsen, Solar magnetic sector structure: Relation to circulation of the Earth’s atmosphere, Science, 180, 185, 1973. One of the speculations was that the cosmic ray intensity [which is also organized by the polarity of the sun’s magnetic field] was somehow involved. As with so many sun-weather effects, the Wilcox-effect eventually died.

Julian Flood
November 25, 2010 4:33 am

Yarmy says: November 25, 2010 at 2:10 am
quote
The author has his own website here:
http://benlaken.com/index.html
unquote
And he works on the Earthshine Project, one of the most visionary efforts in all of climate science. Respect!
I had trouble interpreting the paper, not least because PDFs are very jerky on this machine. Presumably the GCR change shown in Fig. 3 is a sudden drop with concomitant mid-latitude drops in cloud cover at low and medium altitudes. To me, however, what stands out are the anomalies, equal and opposite cloud _increases_ in a few selected areas. It’s the odd bits that prove the science: looking at the warm spike off North America I’d have guessed it was an indication of (pause for groan from all present) previously reduced aerosol levels caused by oil and surfactant pollution. But looking at the other areas which are warming, I realise I’ll have to think a bit. Why the big blob in the Pacific for instance?
Dr Laken, if you want to see another large influence on aerosols, leave the telescope and amble down to the westerly facing slopes of Tiede, just above Puerto de Santiago and look west as the sun sets. On a still day you can see the pollution from the town’s drains trailing off all the way to the horizon fifty miles away. Think about what that stuff coating the water will do to the production of aerosols. Multiply the population of Santiago up to 5 billion and imagine the result if you multiply that oil smooth by the same amount. Enough oil drains down the world’s sewers to coat the entire ocean surface every fortnight.
But all I’ve got is a hammer, so everything looks like a nail.
JF
I’ve parked my posting for Judith Curry’s future thread on alternative GW theories on her latest Open thread.

Jon
November 25, 2010 4:48 am

Why are cloud changes increasing at the start of the study (day -8 to -10) when the GCR flux is low?

Magnus A
November 25, 2010 4:50 am

This is “non-Svensmark”, but since someone (incorrectly I guess) suggested that Svensmark’s study rejects long term solar impact, a correlation study by Cornelis de Jager and Silvia Duhau, “The variable solar dynamo and the forecast of Solar Activity: Influence on Terrestrial Surface Temperature” may be relevant.
http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/2010-Variable-solar-dynamo3.pdf
They’ve studied correlation between solar cycles and temperature, and predict a solar minimum.
(Abstract of a previous 2009 de Jager/Duhau study:
http://ncwatch.typepad.com/dalton_minimum_returns/2009/02/no-warming-until-after-2014-and-maybe-not-then-.html )

November 25, 2010 4:54 am

….not forgeting that 90% of GCR are PROTONS (Hydrogen nucleii), able to react with ozone and oxygen.

Editor
November 25, 2010 5:07 am

While it hasn’t come up in the comments so far, Svensmark says the cloud effect would be most pronounced in clean maritime air where the clean air means few condensation nuclei exist (cosmic rays create muons which ionize SO2 derived from DMS released by decay algae, IIRC and may not).
This study suggests an obvious followup. Since this presumes changes in cloud cover at mid latitudes, then people should look for changes in real cloud cover and correlate that with latitude and ocean/land surface (including distance from land upwind).

November 25, 2010 5:08 am

vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:04 am
What if Svenmark´s effect is a side effect while magnetism is a cause?
Did you check it with the beryllium proxy?
We should not necesarilly expect heat caused by IR (LWR): When I prepare my breakfast, I expect heat from Microwave :-), others, directly from plasma….. or is it somebody out there prohibiting some parts of the spectrum to change wavelengths/frequencies?

Gail Combs
November 25, 2010 5:10 am

Stephen Wilde says:
November 25, 2010 at 2:10 am
I’d like to resolve the question as to whether the change in cosmic ray intensity is a direct driver itself or a mere proxy for solar changes that cause the cloud changes by other means.
The thing is that the cloud quantity changes also seem to be accompanied by latitudinal jet stream shifting….
_________________________________________________________
Stephen,
Have you taken into account the fact that changes in cloud cover will change the amount of energy hitting the earth instead of being reflected? Especially when 70% of the earth’s surface is water?
This last year or two seems to indicate there has been some sort of change in the jet stream behavior. We also have the change from warm to cool in the PDO.
At this point I do no think anyone can tell what the confounding effects are from the cosmic ray/cloud cover changes.

geoff
November 25, 2010 5:11 am

Radio flux f10.7 from Solar cycle 24 is tracking well below the level of cycle 20, which was during the cold 1970s.

November 25, 2010 5:16 am

Based on the relationships observed in this study […] we speculate
that little systematic change in temperature [due to cloud cover changes, see text] at mid-latitudes has occurred over the last 50 years. However, at shorter time-scales this phenomenon may contribute to natural variability, potentially reducing detectability of an anthropogenic signal.”
which is in line with
“The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have
had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic
warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records”

In my sense, it is another proof that the solar influence is way weaker than the rest in the context of the recently observed warming.

And that’s exactly the sense they wanted to leave you with, despite their own admission that they don’t have any proof of that, and it’s just their “speculation.” Basically this paper is an appology for the recent observed levelling/decrease of temperature (“Oh, temporary cloud issue” while trying to ignore the issue on larger time scales.
Here’s the question that they totally glossed over… if the effect is signifigant enough to be “detectable in palaeoclimatic records” (read as: HUGE time scales), then how is it possible that the effect has had no long-term influence within the last 50 years, but only short-term recently? Hmm?
Their logic doesn’t follow at all, which isn’t surprising since it’s not really logic. It’s an excuse.

cba
November 25, 2010 5:18 am

There is more to cloud cover than fraction of the coverage. Droplet size also matters.
Was it Lindzen that proposed something a few years ago about albedo brightening of the clouds being a regulator?

Gail Combs
November 25, 2010 5:20 am

Richard S Courtney says:
November 25, 2010 at 3:06 am
vukcevic:
Thank you for your observation in your post above at November 25, 2010 at 1:04 am.
It says;
“There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field. However the correlation is negative, weaker field higher temperature. If the Svensmark’s effect is at work it is in reverse; weaker magnetic field, more GCR, more clouds above the Arctic, higher temperature…..
____________________________________
SWAG:
IF Vukcevic is correct for the poles and Laken et al. are correct for the mid latitudes, perhaps this might effect the jet stream as Stephen Wilde pointed out???

November 25, 2010 5:21 am

Mods, pls del prev post (mea culpa on formatting).

vukcevic November 25, 2010 at 1:04 am says:
There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field. However the correlation is negative, weaker field higher temperature. If the Svensmark’s effect is at work it is in reverse; …

Are you possibly confusing or not differentiating between Earth’s magnetic field and the solar magnetic field?
The two would seem to be operative in different areas of ‘space’ …
.

barbarausa
November 25, 2010 5:26 am

OT, except on the thankfulness part:
Mr. Watts, you are something I am thankful for.
I appreciate your work, the forum you provide for your many intelligent commenters, and the work of those titans who, like you, stand for the hard discipline that science used to be, and may become again through the efforts of those with whom you stand.
Many happy returns of the day to all, and no matter what else is happening in our various corners of the planet, if we have the power and connection to run a computer, not to mention a wonderful place like this to visit, it is indicative that we all truly have much to be thankful for!

November 25, 2010 5:31 am

Further thought on cosmic rays, cloud cover, and temperature.
The rise in skin cancer was coincident with rise in global temperatures. Cancers are caused by penetrating radiation (UV-B at least, perhaps cosmic rays as well.) Is it possible that during this period cloud cover was abnormally low?
Now, cloud cover is returning to a more natural state, causing temperatures to drop. I don’t know that skin cancer has been on the decline for the past few years, but would be another interesting correlation to investigate.
If so, you’d have a very interesting correlation between radiation reaching the earth and global temperatures, which would imply that cloud cover is a huge factor.

John Whitman
November 25, 2010 5:56 am

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10941-10948, 2010
doi:10.5194/acp-10-10941-2010
Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes
B. A. Laken , D. R. Kniveton, and M. R. Frogley
“5 Conclusions
This work has demonstrated the presence of a small but
statistically significant influence of GCRs on Earth’s atmosphere
over mid-latitude regions. This effect is present in
both ISCCP satellite data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data
for at least the last 20 years suggesting that small fluctuations
in solar activity may be linked to changes in the Earth’s atmosphere
via a relationship between the GCR flux and cloud
cover; such a connection may amplify small changes in solar
activity. . . . [edit] . . . “

—————
I see they used two data sets, both satellite data and reanalysis data: ” . . . ISCCP satellite data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data . . . “
John

Richard M
November 25, 2010 5:57 am

I’ve never been convinced that GCRs are much more than a small effect. This paper doesn’t change that feeling very much. However, it does show that our favorite GCMs are missing yet another factor. I wonder how many missing climate elements it takes before people realize they have been pretty much useless.

November 25, 2010 6:03 am

That the NAO has flipped to the negative mode, could it ´be linked to solar activity?

November 25, 2010 6:06 am

Hi everyone, thank you for all taking an interest in my work, I didn’t expect such a response – I like all the comments!
I am a bit pressed for time as at the moment, but I wanted to attempt to leave a (hopefully) clarifying comment:
Firstly, I would say (and I sure I speak for my co-authors Dom and Mick also here), this work does not comment on global warming and it should not be interpreted to cast doubt on recent anthropogenic warming. What it does, is rather establish that there may be good evidence of a Cosmic Ray – cloud signal detectable in satellite observations of clouds, which has traditionally been a very murky area as over the last 10 or so years, published work in this area has dealt with small sample sizes, and observations of limited statistical significance.
So, the important thing here is that it finds interesting evidence to suggest that this complicated element of (theoretical) natural atmospheric variability, may be operating. Note I said variability: this work does not identify a trend, and indeed at the end of the paper we state
“assuming that there is no linear trend in the short-term GCR change, we speculate that little (0.088 C/decade) systematic change in temperature at mid-latitudes has occurred over the last 50 years”
From the research I got the impression that any Cosmic ray – cloud link is strongly dependent on not only variations in Cosmic rays themselves, but also on the state of the atmosphere. I.e. if cosmic rays are enhancing microphysical processes connected to clouds, then it is very likely be governed by the cloud conditions.
In fact, I suspect that this is why the approach we have used in the ACP paper has been successful at identifying a relationship: past approaches used rare high magnitude decreases in the Cosmic Ray flux to test for cloud changes – these events were essentially random, and therefore are insensitive to atmospheric conditions.
To comment on a few Posts:
Guido Guidi says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:00 am
Interesting. Any news from the Cloud experiment being run at Cern? It could provide some experimental validation of these findings.
Ben—I heard Jasper Kirkby speak very interesting experiment in Easter, and he is being very careful not to release any results before he has done a thorough analysis.
wayne says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:01 am
So if this ends up true it was the sun after all.
Now who would have ever guessed such an outlandish reason.
Ben—No Wane!
Ryan Maue says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:25 am
Upon seeing the usage of NCEP-Reanalysis surface air temperatures, I quit reading.
Ben—I think this is an important point I would like to reply to.
We are aware of the limitations associated with NCEP (for anyone unfamiliar, NCEP reanalysis are not observations as Ryan rightly says – they are a mixture of observations from various sources fed in to a Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model). NWP’s are similar to weather forecast models, which predict the weather. To re-state, this model is fed with up-to-date observations from many sources, and represents a best-guess at conditions based on our understanding of physical processes, and our knowledge of recent atmospheric conditions (from observations). Uncertainties with a dataset are not to say they are incorrect, or should not be used. In fact using them in a large composite as we have done is a good way to handel uncertainty, as it is essentially an ensemble.
If we discarded any dataset with issues there would be nothing left to use! As scientist, we can only work with best guess and attempt to minimise uncertainty.
Also, I think that most people would agree when you have distinct datasets showing a comparable response (as we do), it is a good verification of the reliability results.
Steeptown says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:56 am
Yes indeed, they still have to secure future funding.
Ben – that would be nice, if you have any floating around send it my way!
Yarmy says:
November 25, 2010 at 2:10 am
The author has his own website here:
http://benlaken.com/index.html
He’s very young: looks like he’s only just finished his PhD.
Ben – I did just finish, about 3 months ago!
I would like to reply to more posts, but I have run out of time. Thank you all again for the interest, the work is on-going, so hopefully there will be more publications on the way.
Best ,
–Ben

November 25, 2010 6:08 am

Speaking at the 3rd International Climate Cobnference in Berlin, Dec. 3-4, 2010:
Prof. Dr. Henrik Svensmark, Denmark, Atmospheric Sciences
Prof. Dr. Nir Shaviv, Israel, Astrophysicist
Prof. Dr. Jan Veizer, Canada, Paleo-geologist
I’m attending, and I’m now really really looking forward to it!

P. Solar
November 25, 2010 6:11 am

Leif Svalgaard says: Coincidence, the correlation breaks down when you go back in time, e.g. to the MWP
Could you explain or reference that remark?
Since there seems to be a large disagreement about the magnitude, extent and even existence of MWP, making such a bland comment about correlation is rather meaningless.
Who’s version of MWP does not correlate ?
What is it “coincident” with. Your other comments on the paper are interesting I think you need to be a lot clearer about what you are saying here.
regards.

Pamela Gray
November 25, 2010 6:40 am

Leif, you beat me to it.
Stephen Wilde says:
November 25, 2010 at 3:17 am
It’s perfectly possible to have a robust correlation on a longer timescale but a weak or non existent correlation on shorter timescales.
You responded:
November 25, 2010 at 3:17 am
The nature of the superposed epoch method is such that it applies to the shorter time scale, i.e. that of the width of the graph. So you are saying that on a time scale of 3 days it works, but on a time scale of 10 days it doesn’t have to. That is special pleading.
Some events in nature have cumulative affects, either occurring due to real cumulative build-up (IE ice ages), or occurring by chance because the event happened hundreds of times (Sun exposure and skin cancer). Other events in nature do not have cumulative affects (this Arctic blast blowing up my skirt in Wallowa County will end in a few days). If Steven wants to state a case for cumulative affects, plausible mechanism must be the arbiter, else you run the risk of falling into the butterfly affect as your fallback mechanism.
Steven, it is very clear from the graph that a plausible mechanism exists for short term cosmic ray affects. But once things rebound in short order, what is the mechanism for cumulative affects? Especially if you can’t find lingering evidence of the short term affect after it goes away?

November 25, 2010 6:41 am

_Jim says: November 25, 2010 at 5:21 am
Are you possibly confusing or not differentiating between Earth’s magnetic field and the solar magnetic field? The two would seem to be operative in different areas of ‘space’ …
No I am not. The heliospheric magnetic field impends GCR entry into heliosphere. The Earth’s magnetic field does the same for the magnetosphere. When the GCR count is calculated it is first adjusted for variation for the strength of the Earth’s dipole (which is different to the Arctic MF) and than remainder is attributed to the strength of the heliospheric field, mainly defined by the SSN.
see also:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET&10Be.htm

Pamela Gray
November 25, 2010 6:42 am

Oops. Sorry folks I don’t know how to add italics and my egg nog coffee has addled my brain. Leif’s comment ended with “…That is special pleading.”

P. Solar
November 25, 2010 6:43 am

WhichBruce Cunningham says:
November 25, 2010 at 3:10 am
I was struck by Ryan’s comment also. I assume the NCEP-reanalysis temps are not so good? A bad thing to use for correlation of their theory?
“Assume” , either positive or negative, is never a good staring point. If you have a doubt check it out.
I am now , sadly, skeptical about all these temperature records and more skeptical the more they are “reanalysed” or whatever. However, I would not dismiss it out of hand. Most of the dubious adjustments seem to concern longer term variation. There is some hope that they may accurately reflect such short term changes.

November 25, 2010 6:49 am

P. Solar says: November 25, 2010 at 6:11 am
……………
It is a reference to my correlation:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LL.htm
(temperature reconstructions vs GMF).
See my reply:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/25/something-to-be-thankful-for-at-last-cosmic-rays-linked-to-rapid-mid-latitude-cloud-changes/#comment-536878

Pamela Gray
November 25, 2010 6:54 am

One more point, clear skies do not lead to a hot Earth. It all depends on necessary factors. Under clear sky conditions, strong radiative cooling can plunge temperatures into negative numbers, if other necessary factors are present. The picture graphic used is somewhat misleading in my opinion.
REPLY: Well I did say “simplified” in the caption, and given I posted this late last night, it was the best I could find. Zzzzz. I agree though, and the authors note that state of the atmosphere is also a significant factor. – Anthony

November 25, 2010 7:08 am

Enneagram says: November 25, 2010 at 5:08 am
…………..
For time being the Antarctica is the main problem to the ‘magnetic field’ being the key. Magnetic field there, in the first approximation, has had linear decay during last 150 years, so no obvious correlation. My view of this is as follows:
The Earth has a large hemispheric asymmetry in number of respects: geophysical, oceanographic and geomagnetic etc.
Northern Hemisphere is mainly influenced by events in the Arctic ; transpolar current with number of gyres, shallow Greenland-Scotland ridge, specifics not available in the SH, that make the Arctic’s temperatures more vulnerable to the external influence.
In contrast the SH by itself is far more stable, not only due to larger water mass but also the circumpolar current acting as a giant flywheel in hydro / thermo -dynamic sense, which is far less prone to the short term disturbances. North Atlantic’s effect on the Southern hemisphere is only a partial ‘cross-talk’ on a decadal time scale, due the oceans’ conveyer belt, resulting in an out of phase polar temperature variability.
I have no data on the Antarctica’s Beryllium, the Arctic’s is questionable for very good reason.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET&10Be.htm

P. Solar
November 25, 2010 7:14 am

Pamela Gray says:
Steven, it is very clear from the graph that a plausible mechanism exists for short term cosmic ray affects. But once things rebound in short order, what is the mechanism for cumulative affects? Especially if you can’t find lingering evidence of the short term affect after it goes away?
Showing a short term effect establishes the mechanism, upto now being refuted as unproven, that links solar factors other than simple direct insolation.
This means we need to look at long term magnetic and other effects, not just flares.
Even if this effect just happens for a few days at a time, that affects the energy entering the system. That will not remain as a pocket of hot air but the energy is still there. A series of such events is necessarily accumulative.
Since this is not just a local effect it could be significant over a very large area.

anna v
November 25, 2010 7:44 am

Pamela Gray says:
November 25, 2010 at 6:40 am
Steven, it is very clear from the graph that a plausible mechanism exists for short term cosmic ray affects. But once things rebound in short order, what is the mechanism for cumulative affects? Especially if you can’t find lingering evidence of the short term affect after it goes away?

Does it have to be cumulative? An accumulation of what? Not of the short term effects, but a long term change in galactic cosmic rays, if the short term effect is valid, can be argued to produce a similar increase in cloud cover. If during the ten days the clouds follow the leader galactic cosmic rays, it is possible to argue that a long term leading would also be followed in a similar way.
I find this observation similar to what the CLOUD is trying to do at CERN. That will also be a short term effect by construction, but it would show that condensation follows the amount of radiation supplied.
Lets recapitulate: If condensation follows the amount of radiation supplied then the plot above seems to me to be a confirmation.

beng
November 25, 2010 7:45 am

Just my opinion, but recent work showing a very tight correlation between N hemisphere summer insolation & rate of ice-changes seems to preclude any other significant influence(s), including GCRs or CO2, at least at the time-scales involved in the studies (the last 800k yrs).

November 25, 2010 7:48 am

vukcevic November 25, 2010 at 6:41 am says:
_Jim says: November 25, 2010 at 5:21 am
“Are you possibly confusing or not differentiating between Earth’s magnetic field and the solar magnetic field? The two would seem to be operative in different areas of ‘space’ …”
No I am not. The heliospheric magnetic field impends GCR entry into heliosphere. The Earth’s magnetic field does the same for the magnetosphere. When the GCR count is calculated it is first adjusted for variation for the strength of the Earth’s dipole (which is different to the Arctic MF) and than remainder is attributed to the strength of the heliospheric field, mainly defined by the SSN.
see also:

Correct me if I am wrong, but, as I interpreted the wording in your first post (I cannot read your mind therefore have only your words to go by) it looked as if you only considered near-earth effects, and implied the solar effects were somehow only earth-centric and not heliosphereic related (at some, say, +100 earth radii away from earth):

There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field. However the correlation is negative, weaker field higher temperature. If the Svensmark’s effect is at work it is in reverse; weaker magnetic field, more GCR, more clouds above the Arctic, higher temperature. More clouds in the Arctic (for 6 months of the year) acting as a ‘GH’ gas prevent excessive cooling, a well known effect in the middle and northern latitudes during winter months.

As we all know, the Sun’s “solar magnetic field” extends throughout our galaxy whereas the Earth’s does not extend throughout our galaxy, therefore, the “solar magnetic field” is capable of affecting, say, “sweeping away GCRs” before ever coming close to seeing the effects of the Earth’s magnetic field …
Good to see we have cleared that up.
.

alan
November 25, 2010 7:51 am

Above, in reference to this phrase in the text, “prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming”, Gail Combs says:
“You have to laugh at the “magic phrase” needed to mollify the CAGW gatekeepers that was necessary to get the paper published.”
Reminds me of something my daughter, who works for a big architectural firm told me recently. All architects working on large projects where any government funding might be involved have to insert stereotypical “green language” and green modifications to even have their proposals considered. Not surprisingly, most in the field are committed to AGW.

November 25, 2010 7:51 am

This brings back to what all chemists know very well: The formation of hydroxides in a solution; they usually form as fluffy compounds floating in the middle and above solutions.
In the present case we also have an hydroxide formation, in the “atmosphere solution”: That of Hydrogen Hydroxide H-OH (charged “water” that we use to call “Clouds”). ..and that H ( a METAL for which we are “THANKFUL”-as said above-) in this case comes from “above”.
Note:These charged hydrogen nucleii sometimes smash our cellphones’ chips.

Olen
November 25, 2010 7:54 am

The butterfly effect, little things mean a lot. Give a girl a small diamond ring and see what happens, don’t give her one at all and see what happens. It is certainly worth looking into to see what the results are in weather. It just might be useful to know.

November 25, 2010 7:59 am

ninderthana says:
November 25, 2010 at 4:25 am
……………
Agree, but I think albedo is relevant only with a direct reference to latitude and time of the year i.e. insolation. Albedo is far more important factor at lower latitudes than within the polar circle, let’s say: tropical and subtropical regions up to 12 months , temperate regions 8-9 months and polar regions only 3-5 summer months. Cloud cover is reverse: cooling in tropics, warming effect in polar regions.
Hence: Svensmark’s effect (more GCR more cloud, if proven) cools tropics, warms the Arctic, but I am not yet convinced that GCR count is high enough to affect cloud formation to the required degree.
There is also a point of the negative feedback here: stronger the HS magnetic field, less GCR, less cloud, more heat, more evaporation, more cloud, i.e. less cloud results in more cloud, hmm…

pyromancer76
November 25, 2010 8:01 am

Anthony, I am thankful for a vigorous scientific debate on WUWT Thanksgiving morning. Hope your family is enjoying renewed health and greetings to all the magnificent commenters on WUWT. Now back to cooking.

Richard S Courtney
November 25, 2010 8:03 am

Gail Combs:
Thank you for your post at November 25, 2010 at 5:20 am which responds to my post at November 25, 2010 at 3:06 am by saying;
“SWAG:
IF Vukcevic is correct for the poles and Laken et al. are correct for the mid latitudes, perhaps this might effect the jet stream as Stephen Wilde pointed out???”
Yes, that is a good example of the kinds of effects that I was supposing may possibly exist when I wrote in my post;
“Finally, the effect of these different flux modulations in different regions on heat flows (a) around the planet and (b) to and from the planet need to be determined.”
But please, please note my point that said;
“Firstly, your finding and the finding by Lakis et al. each needs to be confirmed.”
I listed the logical progression from that point to my final one.
Speculating on what a research study could lead to is good because it gives reason and incentive to conduct the research. But, very importantly, one needs to first determine
(a) whether the effect(s) to be studied is (are) known to exist with significant certainty
and
(b) if the magnitudes of the effect(s) is (are) significant or trivial.
Concentrating on what the research may provide can induce a false confidence in the importance of the effect. The determinations I state as (a) and (b) MUST take major priority over everything else or gross error is inevitable.
Indeed, AGW is a clear example of such error. No agreed determination of ‘climate sensitivity’ to atmospheric GHG concentration changes exists, but political and economic policies are being based on indications of GCMs that assume high climate sensitivity. If the climate sensitivity is low then AGW is trivial and the horrific costs of adopting the policies are not needed. But if the climate sensitivity is high then adoption of the policies may be essential.
Richard

Kev-in-UK
November 25, 2010 8:03 am

Pamela Gray says:
November 25, 2010 at 6:54 am
I assume you must mean at night? As radiative cooling is unlikely during the day with sunlight hitting the surface!?
but yes, the graphic is rather simplified, but I guess it’s because it relates only to GCR’s

November 25, 2010 8:04 am

P. Solar says:
November 25, 2010 at 6:11 am
What is it “coincident” with. Your other comments on the paper are interesting I think you need to be a lot clearer about what you are saying here.
This has been discussed on another thread. The main point is that main magnetic field of the earth [and in the Arctic] has been decreasing steadily the past two thousand years and the temperatures have not been steadily rising the past two thousand years.
Now, Vuk says that the correlation is negative except at times when it is positive. In my book that means ‘no correlation’.

Phil.
November 25, 2010 8:10 am

Yarmy says:
November 25, 2010 at 2:10 am
The author has his own website here:
http://benlaken.com/index.html
He’s very young: looks like he’s only just finished his PhD.

Exactly he’s the first author who is usually the most junior, often a grad student, the faculty come later in the list.

Alan the Brit
November 25, 2010 8:13 am

This ia all fascinating stuff, a great post!
Does anybody remember this from last year, poor old Prof Lockwood, possibly?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8008473.stm
With three harsh NH winters just gone, & a harsh SH one from which they are only just emerging, shouldn’t somebody tell him?

November 25, 2010 8:17 am

vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 6:41 am
The heliospheric magnetic field impends GCR entry into heliosphere. The Earth’s magnetic field does the same for the magnetosphere. When the GCR count is calculated it is first adjusted for variation for the strength of the Earth’s dipole
If the GCRs have any effect it would be with the GCRs actually reaching the atmosphere, so they should not be corrected when correlated with temperatures. Here is a graph of the uncorrected GCRs [represented by their proxy 14C] and the Earth’s [or the Arctic’s – it doesn’t make much difference which one] magnetic field strength [dots]. You can clearly see that they are strongly anti-correlated [as they should be according to our understanding of how this works]. The tiny wiggles are solar activity related changes. It should be clear that the variation of the main field is by far the dominant, so if climate follows the GCR flux, it should follow the 14C curve. I don’t think it does. You can get around this problem by claiming that we do not know anything about past climate anyway.

November 25, 2010 8:18 am

Here is a graph of the uncorrected GCRs
Forgot the graph: http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRays-GeoDipole.jpg

tallbloke
November 25, 2010 8:18 am

Steven Mosher says:
November 25, 2010 at 2:39 am (Edit)
Ryan Maue says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:25 am (Edit)
Upon seeing the usage of NCEP-Reanalysis surface air temperatures, I quit reading.
#####
yup. i guess everybody forgets they are not observations. suddenly when observations that nobody trusts are fed into a Reanalysis model (and they cant be right) the result is suitable to use to test a theory. selective skepticism

I suspect NCEP reanalyses are not as bad as some make out. The reason I suspect this is because I found an interesting correlation between solar activity and the NCEP reanalysis of specific humidity at the tropopause. The odds of it being a chance match are very small.

November 25, 2010 8:23 am

tallbloke says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:18 am
I suspect NCEP reanalyses are not as bad as some make out. The reason I suspect this is because I found an interesting correlation between solar activity and the NCEP reanalysis of specific humidity at the tropopause.
This is expected from Leif’s Law: “if the data matches my pet theory, the data is good” :–)

November 25, 2010 8:38 am

_Jim says:
November 25, 2010 at 7:48 am
As we all know, the Sun’s “solar magnetic field” extends throughout our galaxy whereas the Earth’s does not extend throughout our galaxy
The sun’s magnetic field does not really extend throughout the Galaxy in any meaningful way. It is confined to the Heliosphere by the interstellar medium just as the Earth’s magnetic field is confined to its Magnetosphere by the solar wind [the interplanetary medium]. The fields at times connect, so you might say that the Earth’s field is connected to the Sun’s field which is connected to the Galaxy’s field which is connected to the filed of the Local Group, which is connected to …[etc], but that is like saying that the the Petaluma River extends all the way to China…

oneuniverse
November 25, 2010 8:38 am

Ryan Maue : Upon seeing the usage of NCEP-Reanalysis surface air temperatures, I quit reading.
Discarding the entire paper for this reason seems an over-reaction, as the authors found that the effect was present in both the ISCCP satellite data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data.
ps. Thank you for your response, Dr. Laken, much appreciated.

eadler
November 25, 2010 8:43 am

This is a very interesting study. The conclusion seems to be that under certain atmospheric conditions, GCR’s impact cloudiness. There seems to be a strong physical basis for this correlation. It has taken special work to find incidences of this phenomenon, and previous workers have been unable to discover it.
The authors say that this could have contributed significantly to global climate prior to the rise of anthropogenic influences. This is regarded by some posters as obeisance to the dominance of “Warmers”, rather than as a scientific statement.
It is pretty simple to see why this statement was made. While there has been a 11 year cyclic variation of Cosmic Rays with time since 1950, there is no overall increasing trend in Cosmic Rays to match the trend of increasing temperatures. Check out the following graph extracted from the book “The Chilling Stars”
http://www.realclimate.org/images/TheChillingStars.jpg

Gordon Ford
November 25, 2010 8:43 am

A civilized discussion by intelligent people.
This amplifies the value of WUWT.
Thanks to Anthony and all his friends.
Also Happy Turkey Day to all south of the line, the 49th that is.

November 25, 2010 8:55 am

Richard S Courtney
I am very grateful for your constructive comments. They are great inspiration for further thoughts. I am certain that climate is among the most complex problems the science has to disentangle. Most of my incidental and often incoherent comments are aimed at probing into new aspects of the climate change causes, previously neglected, but for time being I do understant that is far removed from what rigour of science requires.
My thanks again.

Jim D
November 25, 2010 8:55 am

My thinking on this.
They have detected a signal in cloud on the time scale of a few days due to changes in GCR that are (key point) only 1-2% of the solar 11-year cycle GCR changes. Now, if this is important for climate scales, it should also cause something significant to happen in the 11-year cycle, particularly since those GCR changes are much larger. But when we look at the 11-year cycle, at a stretch we only see 0.2 C oscillations in global temperature. So, I suspect that while these short-term fluctuations are interesting, they are not saying anything about climate even at the decadal scale.

Editor
November 25, 2010 9:02 am

Ben Laken 6.06
What a civilised reply. An object lesson to certain big names in this field as was the clarity of your paper.
I shall watch your future work with great interest.
Tonyb

November 25, 2010 9:04 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:17 am
@ vukcevic
………………………….
I thought I was, by default, the master of confounding statements, but I take my hat off, sir.

November 25, 2010 9:11 am

WOW…if their methodology is good, that observational result between ISCCP and cosmic ray flux is pretty amazing.
…waiting to see if Hansen will claim that it’s actually the cloud changes causing the changes in cosmic ray activity…which occur BEFORE the cloud changes.

November 25, 2010 9:13 am

vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:04 am
I thought I was, by default, the master of confounding statements, but I take my hat off, sir.
Not confounding, just wrong.

Brent Hargreaves
November 25, 2010 9:17 am

LazyTeenager says:
November 25, 2010 at 4:19 am
So every time we find some new thing that affects climate that somehow it proves everything else is excluded; like CO2. Errr no.
Just for you, Lazy, the argument is: Nobody doubts that the atmosphere, including its CO2, keeps us warm. Some of us doubt that variations in CO2 PPM, undeniably rising steadily for many decades, was the main driver of the 1975-1998 uptick. (Had that uptick continued to 2010 we’d have become less sceptical about Carbon Monomania.)
My phrase “all this nonsense about CO2” was shorthand for “the dumb assertation that burning fossil fuels takes us closer to a tipping point beyond which a positive feedback will be triggered, leading to Thermageddon, when in fact the climate is an imperfectly-understood complex adaptive system with a multi-billion year track record of supporting life.”

November 25, 2010 9:18 am

tallbloke
NCEP reanalyses: I guess the point I would make to WUWT readers is this. If you read here for a while ( or write here) you will find several persistent themes among “some” commenters:
1. the observation record is junk,biased,tampered with,not accurate…[choose one]
2. Models have to get things perfectly or they are junk
3. You cannot model the climate.
4. Raw observations are better than adjusted data
5. etc
Now I happen to disagree with all of these statements (especially #5). So, it was
interesting to see people applaud a study that uses Reanalysis data.
if you believe that the observation data is junk or biased you need to understand exactly how Reanalysis works. what are the inputs? If you distrust GCMs or models in general you need to understand the kinds of models that get used to do Reanalysis.
Being selectively skeptical about this things wont cut it.
I have no issue with Reanalysis ( or any other data adjustment, data infilling, data extrapolation, data modelling) “observations”. However, before you test a theory using them you have to realize that you are comparing two models. a theory and a model of data. This entail carrying forward errors and uncertainty in the model of the data.
A point Briggs would make if he were here, he’s not so I’ll make it.

November 25, 2010 9:23 am

vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:04 am
He is a respected “Advocatus diaboli”…Friction is needed to make fire, but in order to make Light, electricity is better, and to make magnetism too (in fact both are twins, as Oersted showed it).

timetochooseagain
November 25, 2010 9:25 am

It is sad to me that we all have to qualify, “look, please stop suggesting this has something to do with global warming”…
eadler-“The authors say that this could have contributed significantly to global climate prior to the rise of anthropogenic influences. This is regarded by some posters as obeisance to the dominance of “Warmers”, rather than as a scientific statement.”
It’s not a scientific statement, it’s a stupid statement, I’m sorry to say. The effects did not suddenly stop effecting the climate altogether after some mysterious “time of anthropogenic influences” and they will effect it in the future. This is NOT to assert that the “justification” (a lack of trend) is wrong, just that, saying that they think it can’t have contributed to the recent trend, does NOT mean that it no longer contributes to climate variability and trends, especially in the future. If the sun’s activity changes significantly in the future, this would impact our forecasts for the future, for example, and existing forecasts would probably end up being wrong because they didn’t include this effect.
The fact is that this will have some impact on our understanding of AGW. Of course it doesn’t “negate” it altogether, nothing could conceivably do so. But every change in our understanding of climate has some significance for our understanding of AGW, in some way, even if indirectly. The authors of the study emphasize that this effect can’t, as far as they can tell, directly impact the attribution of recent warming. So? The questions that are interesting about AGW are much more than just the attribution issue in recent decades.

AndyW
November 25, 2010 9:43 am

Great debate, really enjoyed reading it so far.
Anthony, your blog has quality and quantity. Most of the time ! 🙂
Andy

Paul Vaughan
November 25, 2010 9:48 am

vukcevic wrote, “I have no data on the Antarctica’s Beryllium […]”
Maybe have a look here…
Horiuchi, K.; Uchida, T.; Sakamoto, Y.; Ohta, A.; Matsuzaki, H.; Shibata, Y; & Motoyama, H. (2008). Ice core record of 10Be over the past millennium from Dome Fuji, Antarctica: A new proxy record of past solar activity and a powerful tool for stratigraphic dating. Quaternary Geochronology 3(3), 253-261.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/metadata/noaa-icecore-8612.html
data: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/domefuji/domefuji-10be2008.txt

November 25, 2010 9:53 am

This is another step forward…..!

Editor
November 25, 2010 9:56 am

P Gosselin says:
November 25, 2010 at 6:08 am

Speaking at the 3rd International Climate Conference in Berlin, Dec. 3-4, 2010:
Prof. Dr. Henrik Svensmark, Denmark, Atmospheric Sciences
Prof. Dr. Nir Shaviv, Israel, Astrophysicist
Prof. Dr. Jan Veizer, Canada, Paleo-geologist
I’m attending, and I’m now really really looking forward to it!

Well, I won’t be attending, I’ll just be sitting at home feeling very jealous!

November 25, 2010 9:58 am

Enneagram says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:23 am
electricity is better, and to make magnetism too
You have that backwards. In Nature [except very rare places, like our non-conducting air] it takes magnetism to make electricity.

November 25, 2010 9:59 am

It’s good that others are finding the same thing Svensmark had painstakingly taken years to find. Others are catching up to where he is.

Robuk
November 25, 2010 10:00 am

eadler says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:43 am
There is no overall increasing trend in Cosmic Rays to match the trend of increasing temperatures.
http://www.realclimate.org/images/TheChillingStars.jpg
Probably the blue line on the graph is due to the UHI effect.

November 25, 2010 10:00 am

This report demonstrates Association NOT Causative connection.
Solar particle emission flux, the suns general magnetic field and cosmic rays reversed all move together – they are proxies for each other; so don’t confuse association and causation. Straightforward examination of EVIDENCE shows the CR agency theory to link solar activity (11yr) to earth’s weather does not work (or it might have up to 0.3% effect) . The link is directly solar particles which are magnetically linked (22yr cycle) please see “World cooling has…. and comments therein – http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3307&linkbox=true&position=4
Thanks Piers Corbyn WeatherAction

November 25, 2010 10:01 am

Roy W. Spencer says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:11 am
…waiting to see if Hansen will claim that it’s actually the cloud changes causing the changes in cosmic ray activity
Funny. 🙂

Gail Combs
November 25, 2010 10:04 am

Richard S Courtney says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:03 am
“SWAG…..
“Firstly, your finding and the finding by Lakis et al. each needs to be confirmed.”
I listed the logical progression from that point to my final one.
Speculating on what a research study could lead to is good because it gives reason and incentive to conduct the research. But, very importantly, one needs to first determine
(a) whether the effect(s) to be studied is (are) known to exist with significant certainty
and
(b) if the magnitudes of the effect(s) is (are) significant or trivial.
Concentrating on what the research may provide can induce a false confidence in the importance of the effect…..
_________________________________________________________
Richard,
I certainly agree this information needs to be verified, validated and repeated. That is why I called it a Silly Wild A… Guess. I doubt very much we will have a really good idea of all the factors effecting climate, much less how they interact in my lifetime so it is fun to speculate a bit and hope we see some of our speculations proved true or false.

Paul Vaughan
November 25, 2010 10:10 am

Ben Laken commented, “From the research I got the impression that any Cosmic ray – cloud link is strongly dependent on not only variations in Cosmic rays themselves, but also on the state of the atmosphere. I.e. if cosmic rays are enhancing microphysical processes connected to clouds, then it is very likely be governed by the cloud conditions.”
Not inconsistent with what Karin Labitzke has been saying:
http://strat-www.met.fu-berlin.de/labitzke/

Sun Spot
November 25, 2010 10:21 am

Since ClimateGate there seems to be a growing consensus that the Science is un-settled (as exhibited by this post) !

Paul Vaughan
November 25, 2010 10:23 am

vukcevic & ninderthana,
Interesting exchange. A few years ago when I studied relationships between geomagnetic aa index and a variety of terrestrial indices, I found nonrandom seasonal variations (weak or no winter correlations; moderately strong summer correlations). I am left not with conclusions, but questions…
vukcevic, could the coupling sign-switches you note be related to spatial pressure & circulation patterns? (e.g. eddies on opposite sides of a jet…)

DeNihilist
November 25, 2010 10:32 am

What timetochooseagain said.

Charles Higley
November 25, 2010 10:35 am

vukcevic November 25, 2010 at 1:04 am says:
There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field. However the correlation is negative, weaker field higher temperature. If the Svensmark’s effect is at work it is in reverse; …

This reverse correlation actually might make sense, recognizing that clouds also can trap heat underneath them. As the main cause of melting is from warm air and water from lower latitudes, more cloud cover would decrease the rate of heat loss to space, facilitating melting.

Pat Frank
November 25, 2010 10:39 am

Ben Laken, “If we discarded any dataset with issues there would be nothing left to use! As scientist, we can only work with best guess and attempt to minimise uncertainty.”
If this is really true, then a “statistical robust relationship” between the model and NCEP reanalysis data only means significance with respect to the mean of an estimated trend.
That in turn means the uncertainty of the relationship must be convolved with the uncertainty in the trend to get the true total uncertainty in the result.
How certain does the relationship look when one does that?
Looking at Figure 4 of the paper, I note that the 95% confidence interval bands vary with the value of the data, becoming zero when the data pass through zero. This shows that the 95% confidence interval was calculated as a percent relative to some reference, which was then scaled by the relative magnitude of each data point.
True statistical confidence intervals of empirical data are not scaled by the magnitude of the measurement, but are an interval of resolution determined by the instrument and the noise in the measurement including systematic error.
One can also note that GCMs have never demonstrated predictive capacity, so it’s hard to see how correspondence with a GCM output implies physical causality.

November 25, 2010 10:42 am

Paul Vaughan says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:23 am
…………
Paul, thanks for the links.
Re: sign-switches you note be related to spatial pressure & circulation patterns? (e.g. eddies on opposite sides of a jet…)
Would not be able to comment with any degree of confidence on that particular aspect.

Editor
November 25, 2010 10:43 am

The abstract contains one important mis-statement:

These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship.

Not by a country mile. The GCR-climate relationship has already been firmly established by the many statistical studies that find a .5 to .8 degree of correlation between solar-magnetic activity and global temperature change over thousands and millions of years. The only thing lacking has been clear evidence of the mechanism involved (although some of Svensmark’s previous evidence was pretty clear). THIS is what the current study provides: perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far that it is Svensmark’s hypothesized GCR-cloud mechanism that explains the already well established GCR-climate relationship.
Quotes from two of the many studies that have already firmly established that relationship:

Usoskin et. al. 2005: “The long term trends in solar data and in northern hemisphere temperatures have a correlation coefficient of about 0.7 — .8 at a 94% — 98% confidence level.”
545 million year study by Shaviv and Veizer 2003: “We find that at least 66% of the variance in the paleotemperature trend could be attributed to CRF [Cosmic Ray Flux] variations likely due to solar system passages through the spiral arms of the galaxy.”

In other words, GCR (and the solar activity that modulates it) “explains” in the statistical sense, 50-80% of past temperature change, making it THE dominant climate driver.
Such a high degree of correlation over such long periods of time can only be causal, and since it is certainly not global temperature that is causing solar activity, we know that it is solar activity that is driving global temperature. Thus the GCR-climate relationship has already been well established.

Magnus A
November 25, 2010 10:51 am

Jim D says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:55 am
“when we look at the 11-year cycle, at a stretch we only see 0.2 C oscillations in global temperature. So, I suspect that while these short-term fluctuations are interesting, they are not saying anything about climate even at the decadal scale”.
I’m no scientist, so my view may be wrong, but I think that thermal delay is the answer. How do temperature change in a kitchen owen it’s switched on and off, e g when the thermostat switches it on and off?
The 0.2 C variation in a sunspot cycle is a great signal, too large to explain by variation in solar irradiance. GCR-low level cloud cover co-variation is shown by e g Palle et al, in the Earthshine Project.
If this mechanism affects low level cloud cover over decades it should also, I think, have an effect over decades.
The GCR change I think is larger than 1-2 percent. Solar irradiance variation I think is about 0.1 percent, and GCR seems to change more like …10-15 percent?
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/oulu-neutron-graph-123108.png?w=520&h=323

Paul Vaughan
November 25, 2010 10:53 am

vukcevic, the sign of temperature-precipitation relations flips near the freezing point of water. Could it be that during a warm period, when heavy rains melt sea ice, the sign of the correlation discussed by you & ninderthana reverses? I base this question in part on many years spent working & travelling on frozen rivers and snowy mountain slopes. When the warm rains come, the change is discrete, not continous. Once the ice is gone, the clouds reflect more than the surface… (Note for those trying to follow my earlier comments: I work with absolutes, not anomalies.)

Jeremy
November 25, 2010 11:07 am

Using Harrison Ford’s voice:
“Robust… why did it have to be the word ROBUST?!?”

James Bull
November 25, 2010 11:08 am

If this gets out they will lose their funding and any posts at real research units like UEA.
Keep it up. James

C.W. Schoneveld
November 25, 2010 11:23 am

My first language is not English , but I am still able to notice that several people, whose first language it seems to be, are mixing up the meanings of “effect” and “affect” both in nominal and verbal positions. See Gail Combs, timetochooseagain, and SWAG, in their comments.

November 25, 2010 11:27 am

Paul Vaughan says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:53 am
………………
It certainly makes lot of sense, the Arctic winters are strait forward: ice or snow, high albedo, but not much insulation, so the extent of the cloud blanket ‘must’ be the main factor.
The summer months are far more complicated:
– vegetation/soil
– water (ice free surface)
– ice surface
3 different variables to be considered, with the relative ratios continuously changing, certainly complicates the issue, but albedo is possibly more relevant.
So you are correct, certain conditions could make whole system flip from negative to positive correlation.
Not that I would like to draw direct comparison (but I can think of a good reason) while similar flip in correlation happens here, where correlation is not necessarily causation.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LL.htm
But in the Arctic case the flip may happen, even if there is a causation, which would makes Dr. Svalgaard’s statement :
Now, Vuk says that the correlation is negative except at times when it is positive. In my book that means ‘no correlation’.
very questionable !

Sloan
November 25, 2010 11:39 am

Interesting note:
-Earth’s magnetic field is fading. Today it is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in 1845, scientists say:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/09/0909_040909_earthmagfield.html

jorgekafkazar
November 25, 2010 11:49 am

This looks like a clue (or clew) to what is happening in the atmosphere, but doesn’t put the cuffs (or darbies) on the perpetrator (or villain.) More research is definitely warranted in this particular area, and there are other significant, solar-cycle-related variables of this magnitude or greater that should be looked at, in my opinion. We still don’t know everything about climate. The more complicated the model, the greater the likelihood that it’s wrong.
Congratulations to Drs. Laken, Kniveton, and Frogley.

wayne
November 25, 2010 11:55 am

Ben – I should have appended a smiley face behind my comment for you took my comment verbatim. It was just a jab at the colsed minds.
Enjoyed reading of your work. See if you can also find the tie through some real observations and data for I feel you will find some there. Look at cloud formation variances over the inner-continental land masses away from large bodies of water as the oceans. That seems where GCM/cloud signiture should maximize, and as you seemed to show, in the temperate bands.
Oh, it’s Wayne, not Wane.

wayne
November 25, 2010 11:58 am

How about “closed”, not “colsed”. Seems the last moment changes always get you.

Jim
November 25, 2010 12:06 pm

Gamma rays are emitted by some rocks. These can travel 10s to thousands of meters through air. I assume that gamma radiation over the ocean should be a good bit less. Does this influence the relative occurrence of clouds over land vs. ocean?

Jim D
November 25, 2010 12:08 pm

In reply to Magnus A:
November 25, 2010 at 10:51 am
The effect they are measuring is caused by high-frequency GCR changes that are 1-2% (their GU units) of the solar cycle amplitude. That is where my number came from. I am sure it contributes something along with water vapor to the positive feedback to the solar cycle because irradiance changes alone can only account for 0.05 C. But the point was that the solar cycle amplitude that has 100 GU units by definition causes 0.2 C at most, so this process seems self-limiting in some way when you get to longer time scales.

November 25, 2010 12:10 pm

vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 11:27 am
Vuk: I guess everything will fit and correlate if the Moon is included. As
Piers Corbyn says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:00 am
… but that these are modulated by lunar effects to give the observed 60 year cycle
http://climaterealists.com/attachments/database/World%20cooling%20has%20set-in%20warns%20astrophysicist.pdf
Relative to their eccentricity, the Moon has a negative EM field: -3.78 Nm at 0.03 eccentricity and -6.17 Nm at 0.08 eccentricity.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/43332150/Unified-Field-Explained-9

tommy
November 25, 2010 12:19 pm

@Duckster
“Duckster says:
November 25, 2010 at 4:15 am
Er… they said the model doesn’t work??!?
These results provide perhaps the most compelling evidence presented thus far of a GCR-climate relationship.
But you are happy to believe them because it fits your theory?
Anyone see a contradiction here?”
At least there is real observations that seems to support that there is some kind of link. With global warming there is not one shred of data that supports it besides their fancy computer models.

November 25, 2010 12:24 pm

Sloan says: November 25, 2010 at 11:39 am
Earth’s magnetic field is fading.
Earth’s magnetic field (GMF) is all the time in state of a ‘flux’ . In part of South America field has lost nearly 50% of its strength (400 year period) , but in the Central Siberia it is gaining strength. Here you can get an idea of what is going on around the globe.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC23.htm

Editor
November 25, 2010 12:59 pm

steven mosher says:
“November 25, 2010 at 9:18 am
tallbloke
NCEP reanalyses: I guess the point I would make to WUWT readers is this. If you read here for a while ( or write here) you will find several persistent themes among “some” commenters:
1. the observation record is junk,biased,tampered with,not accurate…[choose one]
2. Models have to get things perfectly or they are junk
3. You cannot model the climate.
4. Raw observations are better than adjusted data
5. etc
Now I happen to disagree with all of these statements (especially #5). So, it was
interesting to see people applaud a study that uses Reanalysis data.”
The IPCC directly contradict your 3 (Chapter 14, 14.2.2.2, Working Group 1, The Scientific Basis) Third Assessment Report: “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”
Why do you think you are right and they are wrong in this instance?
Tonyb

wayne Job
November 25, 2010 1:29 pm

The changes to the climate over millions of years as shown in our geological record are proof that only three things can give us catastrophic climate change. Collision with a hard object, our position in the galaxy and the main warmth giver old Sol.
The striking regularity of the ice ages over our recent past proves that our late history is controlled by the last two, any suggestion that CO2 or indeed any other minor forcing can cause anything measurable is laughable.
History will look back on this period of science as a dark age, the rennaisance has started and not just in the field of climate. The heat of change is in the air for many fields.

R. de Haan
November 25, 2010 1:41 pm

RR Kampen says:
November 25, 2010 at 12:29 am
“Hm, it’s just a model. We don’t trust models”.
And why is that?
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/what-causes-changes-in-oceanic-heat-content/
This is about cloud cover.
IMO the final nail in the coffin of the CO2 driven AGW scam.

November 25, 2010 1:47 pm

Tommy:
“At least there is real observations that seems to support that there is some kind of link. With global warming there is not one shred of data that supports it besides their fancy computer models.”
lets start with the “data”
first the cloud “data”
http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/newalg.html
Do you see that box titled “clear sky radiance model”? do you know what that is?
That is a model that lies at the HEART of AGW theory. Its a radiative transfer model. That model assumes that C02 blocks radiation. The effect that warms the planet
“Once each pixel is classified as clear or cloudy, the measured radiances can be compared to radiative transfer model calculations that include the effects of the atmosphere, surface and clouds. The attributes of the atmosphere, surface and clouds are represented in the model by a large number of physical properties; but the availability of correlative datasets and restriction of the satellite radiances to two wavelengths limit the number of parameters that can be determined from the observations. The analysis strategy used exploits the correlative data to isolate the cloud effects and attributes all remaining radiance variation to changes in two cloud properties; other parameters are assigned climatological average values.”
I suggest everyone who thinks these cloud osbervations are real observations should have a look at the flow diagram for the ANALYSIS and MODELLING done on the raw sensor data. That data is adjusted and manipulated by algorithms and assumptions. full stop. Nothing wrong with that, but if you have every complained about adjustements to raw data, you need to be consisten. Further, if you ever questioned the fact that C02 has an effect on IR you need to recognize that this data is massaged by the very core of AGW science. You accept this data, you accpet that part of AGW theory.
Now lelts go on to NCAR/NCEP reanalysis “observations”
They are not observations. Simply, various datasets of various quality are
used inconjunction with a weather model, a junior GCM, to model observations:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0477%281996%29077%3C0437%3ATNYRP%3E2.0.CO%3B2
have a look at the PDF.
NCEP has 4 classes of variables.
To illustrate a class C variable is created entirely by the model with no input from observation: a class B variable like surface temp has some observational input but is strongly determined by the model, Ben used SLAT which I belive is a class B output.
Class A is strongly influenced by actual measures, but here too the model adjusts the data.
bottomline: you like the data? its not observation. its observations that have been “adjusted” by models.

Riskaverse
November 25, 2010 1:57 pm

Robuk says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:00 am
eadler says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:43 am
There is no overall increasing trend in Cosmic Rays to match the trend of increasing temperatures.
http://www.realclimate.org/images/TheChillingStars.jpg
Probably the blue line on the graph is due to the UHI effect.
Can’t find this graph in my copy of Chilling Stars

Louis Hissink
November 25, 2010 1:58 pm

Cosmic ray is a fancy word for “charged particles in motion”, otherwise known as “eelectricity”.
Increased electrical current density (more amps) increases a magnetic field’s strength, and less reduces it, everything else being equal.
Hence if the magnetic field becomes stronger, more amps are coming into the system, and as we know from our own home electric heaters, things get warmer.
Conversely if the magnetic field becomes weaker, less amps are coming into the system, and as we know, again, from our own home electrical heaters. things get cooler.
But if we continue to call electricity cosmic rays, then we remain in comic book science land. The solar magnetic field isn’t powered by something internal to the sun, but an external source – A nuclear furnaced sun just cannot produce the effects we routinely observe from it. But assume an external source and things become a tad easier to explain.

November 25, 2010 2:04 pm

Tonyb
“The IPCC directly contradict your 3 (Chapter 14, 14.2.2.2, Working Group 1, The Scientific Basis) Third Assessment Report: “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”
Why do you think you are right and they are wrong in this instance?
Huh: I would agree with them that long term prediction is “not possible”
well actually it is possible, its just not likely to be very correct.
here’s a long term prediction. the long term outlook is absolute zero.
When I say that you can model the climate I mean exactly that. You can model it. The forecasts and predictions that come out of those models are not perfect, will never be perfect. “long” term of course we end up with no sun and no heat. Over the next 100 years (absent massive volcanos, comets hitting us etc) we have a much smaller range of forecast. So, depending how you want to interpret what the IPCC means by “not possible” and by long term, there is agreement between my position and theirs. or disagreement if you take “not possible” to me logically impossible.
step up your game

November 25, 2010 2:17 pm

Viv Evans
I do not suggest that NCEP reanalysis is “bad”
First and foremost I am calling people to account. People who complain about the surface record should know that these observations are fed into the Reanalysis model.
People fond of saying GIGO should acknowledge their inconsistency
Second, people criticize models. reanalysis is the output of a model. a model of the weather. Third the numbers are not “bad” they have uncertainty. If they are class B or class C outputs the uncertinty is greater. That uncertainty needs to be carried forward in any analysis. So, I have no issuing using the data (Ryan may have in his domain ) but thyey are not observations. they are derived from observations.

Stephen Wilde
November 25, 2010 2:20 pm

This whole subject has become overcomplicated.
The sun became less active from the late 90s. The jets started moving towards the equator (or at least started looping about a lot more between equator and poles).
Earthshine project shows that at the same time total cloudiness began to increase and global albedo also increased.
So less energy got into the oceans and La Nina has started to dominate over El Nino.
Cooler ocean surfaces have started to cool the air above but our attention has been distracted for the past year by a short temperature blip in the troposphere as a result of the fact that an El Nino occurred near the top of a 30 year long (possibly 500 year long since the LIA) solar induced warming cycle.
That’s over. It’s gone. From now on it’s downward for 30 years and maybe longer unless we suddenly get another highly active solar cycle.
The evidence is accumulating that the horizontal extent of the polar vortices at the tropopause and the latitudinal position of the jets and thus total cloudiness and albedo are all far more sensitive to solar variability than we ever thought possible.
I nominate the downward NOx flux from various solar energy reactions above 100km which depletes (or allows to recover) ozone quantities above 45km (as per J. Haigh) and thereby more than offsets the effect of more (or less) UV which alters ozone quantities and therefore warms (or cools) the stratosphere below 45km.
That gives us the observed cooling of the stratosphere and mesosphere during the time of active sun and the recent slight warming at a time of quiet sun without requiring any input from human CO2 or CFCs.
That is my considered diagnosis on the basis of evidence currently available.
Let’s see who is right when we have another 5 years observations (possibly less) in the bag.

November 25, 2010 2:22 pm

Pat Frank says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:39 am
Ben Laken, “If we discarded any dataset with issues there would be nothing left to use! As scientist, we can only work with best guess and attempt to minimise uncertainty.”
If this is really true, then a “statistical robust relationship” between the model and NCEP reanalysis data only means significance with respect to the mean of an estimated trend.
That in turn means the uncertainty of the relationship must be convolved with the uncertainty in the trend to get the true total uncertainty in the result.
How certain does the relationship look when one does that?
Looking at Figure 4 of the paper, I note that the 95% confidence interval bands vary with the value of the data, becoming zero when the data pass through zero. This shows that the 95% confidence interval was calculated as a percent relative to some reference, which was then scaled by the relative magnitude of each data point.
################
thanks pat, I was just going to look into those details, but got busy trying to explain the “data” sources to folks

Editor
November 25, 2010 2:28 pm

Mosh at 2.04
Are you training to be a politician or something? That was an incredibly obscure answer.
“So, depending how you want to interpret what the IPCC means by “not possible” and by long term, there is agreement between my position and theirs. or disagreement if you take “not possible” to me logically impossible.”
Not possible means just that no matter that you seem to want to stand on your head and play with words. Instead of telling me to step up my game how about if we both play the same one in the real world not some virtual reality one?
tonyb

mike g
November 25, 2010 2:35 pm

I wonder if, absent last year’s November surprise, a study like this could even have been published? Here’s a big thank you to whoever leaked the climate-gate files. You may have saved science.

mike g
November 25, 2010 2:38 pm

@
P Gosselin says:
November 25, 2010 at 6:08 am
Speaking at the 3rd International Climate Cobnference in Berlin, Dec. 3-4, 2010:
Prof. Dr. Henrik Svensmark, Denmark, Atmospheric Sciences
Prof. Dr. Nir Shaviv, Israel, Astrophysicist
Prof. Dr. Jan Veizer, Canada, Paleo-geologist
I’m attending, and I’m now really really looking forward to it!
———————–
Don’t spend too much money in advance. They’ll all probably be dis-invited.

mike g
November 25, 2010 2:42 pm

Riskaverse says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm
Yes, but is the trend in temperature real? When I see the kind of tricks Hansen is playing with the data, I wonder. I don’t think he should have to play those kinds of tricks if there was a significant trend.

1DandyTroll
November 25, 2010 2:52 pm

@wayne
‘How about “closed”, not “colsed”. Seems the last moment changes always get you.’
Seems your manic obsessive compulsion gets you though, what with you missed it in your original post but still just had to post it before you even stopped to consider that maybe the person suffers from dyslexia, or poor batteries in his wireless keyboard, or what ever, right, but you on the other hand did have the time so why didn’t you take it?

PhilinCalifornia
November 25, 2010 3:00 pm

Brent Hargreaves says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:17 am
My phrase “all this nonsense about CO2″ was shorthand for “the dumb assertation that burning fossil fuels takes us closer to a tipping point beyond which a positive feedback will be triggered, leading to Thermageddon, when in fact the climate is an imperfectly-understood complex adaptive system with a multi-billion year track record of supporting life.”
—————–
Excellent. Contender for “Quote of the Week” maybe ??
If you don’t mind, I’m going to be forwarding that quote to people on a regular basis.

MVB
November 25, 2010 3:14 pm

Seems a no-brainer that if “The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming”, that this still remains a significant factor now and in the future; and given “anthropogenic warming” is the conclusion of an analysis that factored out exactly this significant factor (and others), the odds do not bode well for AGW.

Jimmi
November 25, 2010 3:30 pm

Mike G,
“Don’t spend too much money in advance. They’ll all probably be dis-invited.”
Why would they be dis-invited? It is a conference ONLY for skeptics…..

November 25, 2010 3:38 pm

Louis Hissink says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm
Cosmic ray is a fancy word for “charged particles in motion”, otherwise known as “electricity. […] A nuclear furnaced sun just cannot produce the effects we routinely observe from it. But assume an external source and things become a tad easier to explain.
Total nonsense.

Bill Illis
November 25, 2010 4:02 pm

Regarding the NCEP Reanalysis data,
I have more faith in a weather model which uses real observations to say this is what we thinking WAS happening in the atmosphere at the time given the observations: …
… Versus the results of a CO2-based climate model which uses theory to predict what they think WILL happen. (with no subsequent reanalysis to find out why the CO2-based models consistently can’t predict anything).
Effectively, we know that the NCEP Reanalysis humidity and temperature data is close to reasonably correct because we had people doing actual observations all over the world in 1980 and we know the climate was not doing anything out of the ordinary at the time. It rained in some places, it was sunny in some places, the humidity in Phoenix was 30% in the morning and 15% in the afternoon, it was warm in Africa, it was cold in the Arctic and there was glaciers in Antarctica.

Alex the skeptic
November 25, 2010 4:04 pm

Arun says:
November 25, 2010 at 2:01 am
>>“The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records”
Such a totally unsupported and self-castrating statement was necessary to include in order to get published in the sick, corrupt field of climate science. LOL.<<
================================
Exactly what I was thinking. Bang on target. One has to refer to AGW to get published.
Jesper Kirkby uses the same 'trick' IMHO, so that he could get through hungrey lions guarding the holy temple. See the following: http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073
It's a lecture on the same lines and the CLOUD experiment that CERN had in their plans for the end of this current year.
IMHO, for CERN to express itself on the matter of AGW, and proposing a link between solar activity/intergalactic radiation and climate variations. they must be pretty damn sure of what they are talking about. They cannot afford to be wrong.
A Wikipedia page ends: He (jasper Kirkby) describes cloud nucleation mechanisms which appear energetically favorable and depend on GCRs.

November 25, 2010 4:11 pm

To me, people have been bolding the wrong statement:
“…The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate prior to the onset of anthropogenic warming, accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records…”
So they’re saying that the signal was there in the past, and that this solar – terrestrial link may have been a main driver in the past.
If the signal existed then, it should still be there now.
That line is attempting to say that this NATURAL variation is being swamped by CAGW.
To see that, remove it from the statement:
“…The climatic forcings resulting from such solar – terrestrial links may have had a significant impact on climate…accounting for the presence of solar cycle relationships detectable in palaeoclimatic records…”
Trying to run an experiment now, with the current CO2 levels, cannot be verified without a comparable experiment being run at a previous lower CO2 level.

Alex the skeptic
November 25, 2010 4:21 pm

By National Post February 23, 2007
Jasper Kirkby is a superb scientist, but he has been a lousy politician. In 1998, anticipating he’d be leading a path-breaking experiment into the sun’s role in global warming, he made the mistake of stating that the sun and cosmic rays “will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century.” Global warming, he theorized, may be part of a natural cycle in the Earth’s temperature.
Dr. Kirkby was immediately condemned by climate scientists for minimizing the role of human beings in global warming. Stories in the media disparaged Dr. Kirkby by citing scientists who feared oil-industry lobbyists would use his statements to discredit the greenhouse effect. And the funding approval for Dr. Kirkby’s path-breaking experiment — seemingly a sure thing when he first announced his proposal– was put on ice.
Dr. Kirkby was stunned, and not just because the experiment he was about to run had support within his scientific institute, and was widely expected to have profound significance. Dr. Kirkby was also stunned because his institute is CERN, and science performed at CERN had never before seemed so vulnerable to whims of government funders.
CERN is no fringe laboratory pursuing crackpot theories at some remote backwater. CERN, based in Geneva, is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, a 50-yearold institution, originally founded by 12 countries and now counting 20 country-members. It services 6,500 particle physicists — half of the world’s total — in 500 institutes and universities around the world. It is building the $2.4-billion Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. And it is home to Jasper Kirkby’s long-languished CLOUD project, among the most significant scientific experiments to be proposed in our time. Finally, almost a decade after Dr. Kirkby’s proposal first saw the light of day, the funding is in place and the work has begun in earnest.
The CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) laboratory experiment, CERN believes, will show the mechanisms through which the sun and cosmic rays can influence the formation of clouds and thus the climate. The CLOUD project will use a high-energy particle beam from an accelerator to closely duplicate cosmic rays found in the atmosphere. This will be the first time this technology will be brought to bear on global warming, the most controversial scientific question of the day.
Also for the first time, very basic answers about the drivers of climate change may surface to dispel the general paucity of data on the subject. “By studying the micro-physical processes at work when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, we can begin to understand more fully the connection between cosmic rays and cloud cover,” CERN explains. “Clouds exert a strong influence on the Earth’s energy balance, and changes of only a few per cent have an important effect on the climate.”
To accomplish all this, Dr. Kirkby has assembled a dream team of atmospheric physicists, solar physicists, and cosmic ray and particle physicists from 18 institutes around the world, including the California Institute of Technology and Germany’s Max-Planck Institutes, with preliminary data expected to arrive this coming summer. The world of particle physics is awaiting these results with much anticipation because they promise to unlock mysteries that can tell us much about climate change, as well as other phenomena. The world of climate science, in contrast, is all but ignoring the breakthroughs in climate knowledge that CERN is about to reveal.
In May, just months before the first CERN results are in, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the agency organizing most of the world’s climate-change studies, will be releasing its much-anticipated report on the state of climate science. Oddly, the IPCC report — now circulating in draft form — has in effect decided not to wait for CERN’s findings.
The IPCC draft report ranks the sun as an all-but-irrelevant factor in climate change. More oddly, it has come to this conclusion although it states that there is no consensus among solar scientists, meaning the IPCC admits it has no hard evidence to go on. Even more oddly, given the excitement and the anticipation that the CLOUD experiment is generating among the 6,500 particle physicists in CERN’s community, the IPCC has decided to diminish the sun’s estimated contribution to climate change by more than half, from its previously small contribution to one that is yet smaller.
Meanwhile, scientists who tout the manmade theory of global warming to the exclusion of others continue to disparage the CLOUD experiment. “This link is not properly established for the moment,” said Dr. Urs Neu of the Swiss Forum for Climate and Global Change, a prominent critic. “The cosmic ray theory has been used by people who want to deny human influence on global warming.”
Dr. Kirkby, in contrast, now 10 years older and wiser, has changed. In the past, he would unguardedly say: “There is certainly a greenhouse effect. The question is whether it is responsible for all the 0.6C warming in the past century, or two-thirds or a fifth — or what?” Now, to head off attacks, and controversies that might once again derail the CLOUD product, he hides his hopes and downplays the significance of what CLOUD may find: “If there really is an effect, then it would simply be part of the climate-change cocktail,” a perhaps less naive, more politic Dr. Kirkby now states.
Lawrence Solomon@nextcity.com
– Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute and Consumer Policy Institute, divisions of Energy Probe Research Foundation.

timetochooseagain
November 25, 2010 4:25 pm

steven mosher-Actually NCEP does not use the surface data, I believe you are thinking of ERA. Nevertheless, you are right that NCEP, and all reanalyses, use uncertain and sometimes problematic data (in this case mostly radiosondes, as I understand it) as inputs to models of weather that are themselves imperfect. So one should not be un-skeptical of the data, but one should not reject it out of hand without good reason. Ryan seems to think there are good reasons to reject the reanalysis out of hand, you don’t. I would like to see him explain his particular issues with the reanalysis data, it would be enlightening.

oneuniverse
November 25, 2010 4:34 pm

Following Pat Frank’s observation (missed it seems by the two reviewers that submitted referee comments) that the 95% confidence interval bands in Fig. 4 become zero when the data is zero (similarly for Fig. 5), I hope that the authors, in support of this potentially important result, will review all their statistical work, perhaps in consultation with other colleagues.
Figures 1 & 2 illustrate the main result of the paper (if correct) , the connection between GCRs and cloud-cover. The result, unlike Figs. 4 & 5, is not based on use of a GCM or the NCEP reanalysis SLAT data.

Rocket Science
November 25, 2010 5:02 pm

@vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:04 am
“There is a strong correlation between the Arctic temperature and the Earth magnetic field. However the correlation is negative, weaker field higher temperature. If the Svensmark’s effect is at work it is in reverse; weaker magnetic field, more GCR, more clouds above the Arctic, higher temperature. More clouds in the Arctic (for 6 months of the year) acting as a ‘GH’ gas prevent excessive cooling, a well known effect in the middle and northern latitudes during winter months.”
And the opposite of that in summer months, except it is the summer temperature drop that is increasing cloud cover, and not the increase in GCR`s.
In winter, higher temperatures increase cloud cover and precipitation.
So what is driving the temperature changes and the changes in cloud cover, is the inverse proxy for the GCR`s, that can only be one thing.

timbrom
November 25, 2010 5:06 pm

This is why WUWT is so valuable. A full and frank exchange of views, Scientific enquiry, scepticism, arguement and even an additional contribution from one of the original authors. Top stuff!

davidg
November 25, 2010 5:22 pm

To Bob of Castlemane and Ralph and the others who by their ignorant comments only show that a little intelligence is dangerous (try reading the whole thing before popping off, why don’t you) as Anthony also points out. You people who only read what you want
are half the problem of AGW!

November 25, 2010 5:39 pm

Alex the skeptic says:
November 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm
CERN is no fringe laboratory pursuing crackpot theories at some remote backwater. CERN, based in Geneva, is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, a 50-yearold institution, originally founded by 12 countries and now counting 20 country-members.
CERN is not running the CLOUD project. They only lend some unused facility to the project which is funded and run by non-CERN agencies.

J.Hansford
November 25, 2010 7:46 pm

Very interesting….. I love stuff that makes the establishment think….. If they are willing or able to. Of course.

HR
November 25, 2010 8:20 pm

Ben Laken says
“we speculate that little (0.088 C/decade) systematic change in temperature at mid-latitudes has occurred over the last 50 years”
Ben can you just clarify this point, please? IPCC’s AR4 says the warming trend since 1950 has been 0.13°C/decade. You’re suggesting to me that GCR may be responsible for 0.088°C/decade. That would be 67% of the total warming trend, which in my book is far from ‘little.’ Is there some mistake here with what I’m saying?
Ben says:
“it should not be interpreted to cast doubt on recent anthropogenic warming.”
I think many reasonable people here would just like to see this aspect of the climate system taken seriously by the IPCC. The criticism is often that the IPCC document is better descirbed as a document about CO2 rather than climate. The acid test may be if the next IPCC document goes some way to acknowledge the work of you, Harrison and others.
Finally to those arguing over correlations, I think the author acknowledges that this correlation is a product of their new methodology. I think a discussion of the merits of the methodology might help to shed light.

Soren F
November 25, 2010 8:20 pm

eadler says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:43 am
There is no overall increasing trend in Cosmic Rays to match the trend of increasing temperatures.
http://www.realclimate.org/images/TheChillingStars.jpg

Could the non-trending GCR just be at some overall low non-equilibrium level, effecting a relatively low albedo, a surplus incoming SW at, say, 0.85 Wm-2 🙂 and thus the warming?

eadler
November 25, 2010 8:23 pm

Riskaverse says:
November 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm
“Robuk says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:00 am
“eadler says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:43 am
“There is no overall increasing trend in Cosmic Rays to match the trend of increasing temperatures.
http://www.realclimate.org/images/TheChillingStars.jpg
Probably the blue line on the graph is due to the UHI effect.”
Can’t find this graph in my copy of Chilling Stars”
I was joking about the chilling starsThe . The url is from RealClimate as the url indicates. The Neutron Data originates from here:
http://ulysses.sr.unh.edu/NeutronMonitor/Misc/neutron2.html
There is no real upward trend in neutron flux between 1950 and 2006. Of course “The Chilling Stars” wouldn’t contain that information.

eadler
November 25, 2010 8:59 pm

Brent Hargreaves says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:17 am
“LazyTeenager says:
November 25, 2010 at 4:19 am
So every time we find some new thing that affects climate that somehow it proves everything else is excluded; like CO2. Errr no.
Just for you, Lazy, the argument is: Nobody doubts that the atmosphere, including its CO2, keeps us warm. Some of us doubt that variations in CO2 PPM, undeniably rising steadily for many decades, was the main driver of the 1975-1998 uptick.(Had that uptick continued to 2010 we’d have become less sceptical about Carbon Monomania.)
My phrase “all this nonsense about CO2″ was shorthand for “the dumb assertation that burning fossil fuels takes us closer to a tipping point beyond which a positive feedback will be triggered, leading to Thermageddon, when in fact the climate is an imperfectly-understood complex adaptive system with a multi-billion year track record of supporting life.””
In fact we know that El Nino also affects the annual global temperature, and 1998 had one of the most powerful El Nino’s on record.
In fact the last 12 months have been the warmest on the temperature record, despite the fact that solar output is at a low point.
So maybe you should be less skeptical this year.

November 25, 2010 9:27 pm

Bill Illis says:
November 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm (Edit)
Regarding the NCEP Reanalysis data.
The issue is logical consistency. If you are willing to accept that observations are good enough to drive the models, then we have no argument. But one cannot on one hand claim the observations are junk and on the other hand accept the outputs of NCEP.
Logical consistency is my main point.
Also dont forget that the cloud observations depend upon RTE. So, one cannot logically deny that C02 has a warming effect (as RTE predict) and simultaneously accept as fact cloud observations that rely on RTE. Again, logical consistency.

November 25, 2010 9:35 pm

timetochooseagain says:
November 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm (Edit)
steven mosher-Actually NCEP does not use the surface data, I believe you are thinking of ERA.
Radiosones for certain, which is why upper air temperature is a class A variable. And as we know many criticized this data source in discussing Santer’s paper. Looking more closely at the data sources in NCEP ( working from memory), I could of course make the observation that if you accept SLAT from NCEP and surface temps from surface stations are inline with SLAT then SLAT confirms the reliability of surface stations. either way, I’m saying that people have to be logically consistent.
I’m just starting looking at NCEP winds so will have more definitive comments in due course. Maybe Ryan will chime in

November 25, 2010 9:44 pm

tonyb
Not possible means just that no matter that you seem to want to stand on your head and play with words. Instead of telling me to step up my game how about if we both play the same one in the real world not some virtual reality one?
Well, given my training when I say not possible I mean, logically impossible.
If the IPCC means hat it is logically impossible to predict the climate over the long term then they are wrong. “I predict the temperature will never change” there I just made a prediction. What I think they mean, however, is that the predictions over the long term ( how long is long) are not very reliable. So, we can model the climate, those models have a measurable reliability, that reliablity or skill is lower than the skill we see in other physics. So, depending upon how you interpret their words (the word possible) I either disagree with them or not. Since, I don’t think they meant logically impossible ( as opposed to physically highly improbable) I think we agree.
psst: no politician would talk about logical impossibility

timetochooseagain
November 25, 2010 9:56 pm

Logical consistency is indeed very important. For my part I am neither one of those who criticized radiosondes during the discussion of Santer’s paper, nor someone who uncritically believes or disbelieves in any particular dataset, without good reasons. NCEP is one I am agnostic on. But I could easily be persuaded one way or the other by arguments.

John F. Hultquist
November 25, 2010 10:30 pm

Pamela Gray says: at 6:42 am
Oops. Sorry folks I don’t know how to add italics and my egg nog coffee has addled my brain.
As it has been blistering cold in the PNW, I understand the egg nog coffee.
It will warm up this weekend and when you have thawed a bit – try this:
Scroll to the top of the WUWT page. Look on the right hand side. Next scroll down until you see a blue rectangle with Ric Werme’s guide to WUWT. Go there. Scroll down to a grey area below a long green region. The grey area is titled “Formatting in comments” and the second explanation will show how to do italics.
Happy Thanksgiving!

anna v
November 25, 2010 10:32 pm

eadler :
http://ulysses.sr.unh.edu/NeutronMonitor/Misc/neutron2.html
There is no real upward trend in neutron flux between 1950 and 2006. Of course “The Chilling Stars” wouldn’t contain that information.

Hold your horses. It is not the peak trends that will produce clouds or not. It is the integrated area below the curves in the link, assuming the observation from this paper establishes that condensation is proportional to the impinging radiation .
So seems to me there is a sequence of fat, lean, fat, lean plots. Between 1980 and 1990 there is half the area than between 1990 and 2000, and in addition the minimum is smaller, thus the area larger. The observation that from 1995 there is stasis in temperature would agree with the integral being larger since then.
Looking at backward times the ice age scare fell in a fat region.
I do not believe that there is one to one correspondence with any factor entering in producing the weather and climate we observe. It is a dynamical system with many inputs and most probably chaotic, but one can observe threads of influences, and this GCR seems to me valid as a contributor, and certainly cannot be thrown out by looking cursorily at peak trends.

November 25, 2010 10:46 pm

I’m trying to understand what they did. The paper states “Thus, the units of GCR changes used here are given as “GU”, defined as a change of 1% of the 11-year solar cycle amplitude in four days.”. At Thule the GCR solar cycle amplitude in neutron monitor counts per hour is ~600 out of a total of ~4300. The change happens over 5 years = 5*365 = 1825 days. In four days the GCRs change thus 600/1825*4 = 1.3 counts. 1% of that is 0.013 count. This sounds silly on its face as there is a regular daily variation of 10 counts or 770 times as large. So, I need some clarification on this.
Anyway, Knieveton and Tinsley analysed the Wilcox effect [ http://www.utdallas.edu/nsm/physics/pdf/tin_dcgcc.pdf ] using superposed epoch analysis around ‘sector boundaries’ [crossings of the Heliospheric Current Sheet]. I have just done an analysis of the hourly GCR flux at Thule for the 1470 crossings during 1957-2010. The result is here: http://www.leif.org/research/Cosmic-Rays-Thule-SB.png
The right-hand side shows the variation for every hour within 40 days on either side of the Sector Boundaries [which were nominally always taken to pass at 0:00h UT]. You see several things:
1) the 10 count daily variation [we know why: we are overtaking GCRs during half of the day and running into them during the other half due to Earth’s rotation]
2) A clear enhancement [larger than the daily variation] right at the boundary [and the day before and after]
3) The enhancements sjow up 27 days before and 27 days after, because the sector boundaries often recur every 27 days. This proves the reality of the effect as noise would not this behavior.
The power spectrum to the left shows the daily peak and the 27-day peak (“1”) and several of its harmonics [“2″,”3”, etc].

November 25, 2010 10:59 pm

It is one thing that clouds are formed from humidity and no doubt GCR play a role in this. The other factor is that clouds and water droplets usually have a charges – hence we have so much lightning here in South Africa. So there must be an influence from magnetism that may push the clouds (once they exist) more towards the equator or more towards the poles, depending how the sun’s magnetic field influences that of earth’s. Obviously if they move more towards the equator a larger surface area is covered leading to a higher albedo….
Let me know if somebody figured that one out.

November 25, 2010 11:05 pm

BTW
it’s never been entirely clear to me as to why clouds do get charged – is it the friction when they move against air?

November 25, 2010 11:08 pm

anna v says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm
Hold your horses. It is not the peak trends that will produce clouds or not. It is the integrated area below the curves in the link, assuming the observation from this paper establishes that condensation is proportional to the impinging radiation.
So one should integrate all the way down to the zero-count line: http://www.leif.org/research/Neutron-Monitor-Thule-Newark.png
Between 1980 and 1990 there is half the area than between 1990 and 2000, and in addition the minimum is smaller, thus the area larger.
This is clearly not the case. The areas are almost the same.

November 25, 2010 11:44 pm

HenryP says:
November 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm
it’s never been entirely clear to me as to why clouds do get charged – is it the friction when they move against air?
Falling raindrops rubbing against each other…

anna v
November 25, 2010 11:59 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 25, 2010 at 11:08 pm
and in addition the minimum is smaller, thus the area larger.
Dyslectic in my old age 🙁 . Of course I meant larger.
I was not going down to 0 but to an imaginary x line through the lowest values. OK call it an anomaly, though I hate the concept.
The point is that one cannot be talking of trends for the peaks when discussing integrated luminosity phenomena.

Editor
November 26, 2010 12:05 am

Mosh 9.44
I think you see yourself as Camus sitting at a the Cafe de Flore wearing a beret, sipping an anise whilst earnestly discussing Philosophy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus
“Camus’s first significant contribution to philosophy was his idea of the absurd. He saw it as the result of our desire for clarity and meaning within a world and condition that offers neither, which he expressed in The Myth of Sisyphus and incorporated into many of his other works, such as The Stranger and The Plague. Despite his split from his “study partner”, Sartre, some still argue that Camus falls into the existentialist camp.”
Clearly you are also a fan of Alice in Wonderland where down is up and up is down. Kevin Trenberth has great need of your skills. 🙂
All the best
Tonyb

November 26, 2010 12:12 am

anna v says:
November 25, 2010 at 11:59 pm
I was not going down to 0 but to an imaginary x line through the lowest values.
But you must if “the observation from this paper establishes that condensation is proportional to the impinging radiation.”

November 26, 2010 12:42 am

tonyb
unfortunately I prefer Quine to Camus.
But you tell me what does the IPCC quote mean to you.
do you think its impossible to predict the climate. this maybe instructive.
who knows we might agree

November 26, 2010 12:51 am

I’m trying to understand what they did. The paper states “Thus, the units of GCR changes used here are given as “GU”, defined as a change of 1% of the 11-year solar cycle amplitude in four days.”. At Thule the GCR solar cycle amplitude in neutron monitor counts per hour is ~600 out of a total of ~4300. The change happens over 5 years = 5*365 = 1825 days. In four days the GCRs change thus 600/1825*4 = 1.3 counts. 1% of that is 0.013 count. This sounds silly on its face as there is a regular daily variation of 10 counts or 770 times as large. So, I need some clarification on this.
Dr. S, the phrase 1% of the 11 year cycle amplitude in 4 days seems ambiguous to me.
too much turkey..

November 26, 2010 12:54 am

Steven Mosher says:
November 26, 2010 at 12:51 am
Dr. S, the phrase 1% of the 11 year cycle amplitude in 4 days seems ambiguous to me.
Mosh, my problem is that the phrase is too precise 🙂
I am hoping that Ben Laken would explain.

November 26, 2010 1:03 am

timetochooseagain says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm (Edit)
Logical consistency is indeed very important. For my part I am neither one of those who criticized radiosondes during the discussion of Santer’s paper, nor someone who uncritically believes or disbelieves in any particular dataset, without good reasons. NCEP is one I am agnostic on. But I could easily be persuaded one way or the other by arguments.
That’s fine, but if you accept it, then it drives conclusions you may want to draw about surface observations.
http://dss.ucar.edu/datasets/common/ecmwf/ERA40/docs/jgr2004_24115.pdf
Basically, if people want to accept NCEP estimates of SLAC to press the case for cosmic rays, then they cannot be critical of CRU which matches SLAC nicely.
if SLAC if right CRU is right. And SLAC, as you note, is not serived from surface stations, (ERA-40 does use station data)
simply: if cosmic rays explains the warming, then you must accept the warming it explains.

Stephen Wilde
November 26, 2010 1:05 am

HenryP said:
“Obviously if they (clouds) move more towards the equator a larger surface area is covered leading to a higher albedo….
Let me know if somebody figured that one out.”
I’ve mentioned it a few times recently, Henry, but getting anyone to accept such a result from shifting the jets is an uphill task.
Then if the solar changes can shift the jets by altering the vertical temperature gradients in the atmosphere as I have proposed elsewhere by involving the reverse sign ozone effect from an increased downward NOx flux when the sun is more active then, voila, the solar mechanism is clear.
I guess it isn’t so obvious to everyone.

Dave Springer
November 26, 2010 1:42 am

Check this out for weird in the following link. Average daily sunspot coverage per decade begins in 1880 at 12%. It has incremented exactly one percent each sunspot cycle to 23% coverage in the most recent cycle.
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/bfly.gif
A fraction of a percent long term change in albedo could easily account for observed warming since 1880. One percent lower albedo is about 13 fewer watts/meter of forcing at the surface. Compare that to 2 watts/meter for all anthropogenic greenhouse gases since 1750.
This is actually climate research that deserves more funding.
Ocean acidification is the going to be the last item on the manmade catastrophe agenda to fall by the wayside. At least that’s marine biology and we could stand to learn more about that.
Once all the CO2 nonsense is cleared off the table we can actually start a conversation about how to get cheap, abundant energy everywhere anyone needs it. That will do an enormous amount towards raising living standards for everyone.

Dave Springer
November 26, 2010 1:47 am

Steven Mosher says:
November 26, 2010 at 1:03 am
“simply: if cosmic rays explains the warming, then you must accept the warming it explains.”
It’s not an all or nothing proposition. The reported warming may be exagerated and solar magnetic activity may play a major, minor, or no role at all in whatever actual warming really took place. I’d rather not be so vague but the science is very unsettled at this point.

Dave Springer
November 26, 2010 2:07 am

Steven Mosher says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm
“psst: no politician would talk about logical impossibility”
Impossibilities often mean practical impossibilities.
In this case what was meant is it is practically impossible to make reliable climate forecasts. The plethora of factors that determine climate are not all well understood, exceedingly complex, interdependent, subject to constant change, and for things like volcanic eruptions, comet impacts, and CMEs are quite unpredictable. Taken together that means it’s practically impossible to make long term forecasts.

Dave Springer
November 26, 2010 2:22 am

eadler says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm
“There is no real upward trend in neutron flux between 1950 and 2006. Of course “The Chilling Stars” wouldn’t contain that information.”
Well there is certainly a real upward trend in sunspots since 1880.
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/bfly.gif
Sunspot coverage has nearly doubled since 1880 with a curiously constant increment of an additional one percent coverage on each subsequent sunspot cycle.

Ninderthana
November 26, 2010 2:53 am

November 25, 2010 at 9:13 am
vukcevic says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:04 am
I thought I was, by default, the master of confounding statements, but I take my hat off, sir.
Leif Svalgaard says:
Not confounding, just wrong.
This is expected from Ninderthana’s Law: “If a statement disagrees with Leif’s view of the Universe, then it must be wrong.”

anna v
November 26, 2010 3:09 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 26, 2010 at 12:12 am
But you must if “the observation from this paper establishes that condensation is proportional to the impinging radiation.”
Are you serious? OK here is a gedanken situation:
Suppose that the only factor entering the problem is “condensation is proportional to impinging radiation” . This would mean that all the cloud cover is due to radiation. As in your plot the base radiation is something like 4000 counts, and the average is , eyeballing,4300 ( I am taking the left hand scale for the argument), the run of the mill cloud cover would be proportional to this 4300. Variations over this average would be the variations introduced by the changes seen in your plot, +/- 300 , something like 7%. On this 7% maybe 30 to 50%, i.e. 2 or 3 total percentage of more putative cloud cover from 2000 on than from 1990 to 2000. This is enough change in albedo to affect the incoming temperatures by enough watts to stabilize any increases or even start cooling. Which is the GCR hypothesis.
Now a multiplicity of factors enters the real world and this is a simplified argument from one of the factors but it cannot be excluded on principle..

Dave Springer
November 26, 2010 3:12 am

alan says:
November 25, 2010 at 7:51 am
“Reminds me of something my daughter, who works for a big architectural firm told me recently. All architects working on large projects where any government funding might be involved have to insert stereotypical “green language” and green modifications to even have their proposals considered. Not surprisingly, most in the field are committed to AGW.”
Same thing happens in biology. A gratuitous mention of “evolution” without regard to relevance drastically increases the chance of a paper getting published.
I call such things “the secret handshake” due that being a classic mechanism by which members of organizations can recognize each other without explicitely mentioning the organization by name.

Louis Hissink
November 26, 2010 3:39 am

Leif wrote:
“Cosmic ray is a fancy word for “charged particles in motion”, otherwise known as “electricity. […] A nuclear furnaced sun just cannot produce the effects we routinely observe from it. But assume an external source and things become a tad easier to explain.
Total nonsense”
Leif,
Thanks for the reply – but what evidence is there that the energy source of the sun is as proposed?
By rhetorical inference or in situ examination?
And please excuse me if I don’t reply quickly as I will be away in the field supervising 3 drilling machines “testing” scientific hypotheses pertaining to the presence of mineral deposits inferred from remote geophysical data recently collected, for the next two weeks; I just have no internet connection.

Ulric Lyons
November 26, 2010 4:07 am

As changes in surface temperatures follow the very large changes in the solar wind velocity, it would make sense that these would cause changes in cloud cover.
The much smaller changes in GCR`s are obviously driven by changes in the solar wind speed, but the tail does not wag the dog. Its paramount to saying that GCR`s drive temperature change.
I would also expect to see any short term correlation between GCR`s and cloud cover completely reverse from summer to winter, as we see in the temperature~precipitation relationship from summer to winter.
In winter, precipitation increases on the temperature uplifts.
In summer, precipitation increases on the temperature drops.

November 26, 2010 4:16 am

Henry@ Stephen Wilde
Sorry Stephen, I cannot help you much, I hope you or somebody here will find that proof just like they now did with the H.Svensmark theory.
You are aware that suncycle activity can influence the UV output from the sun significantly and that this difference in UV affects the manufacture of ozone from oxygen?
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok
(referring to the last part, i.e. the factors identified by me so far that I think can cause global warming or global cooling.

November 26, 2010 4:25 am

Ulric Lyons says:
November 26, 2010 at 4:07 am
In winter, precipitation increases on the temperature uplifts.
In summer, precipitation increases on the temperature drops.

precipitation vs. temperature
Clear example of positive correlation followed by negative correlation
Leif Svalgaard says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:04 am
Now, Vuk says that the correlation is negative except at times when it is positive. In my book that means ‘no correlation’.
This is far more amusing than I expected.

Ulric Lyons
November 26, 2010 5:12 am

Looking at the long term (with help from Leif`s graph)
http://www.leif.org/research/Neutron-Monitor-Thule-Newark.png
correlating GCR levels through each solar cycle, to cloud cover changes, is like comparing surface temperatures to the roller coaster ride of the sunspot cycle through each min and max.

Carla
November 26, 2010 5:54 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm
I’m trying to understand what they did..
..Anyway, Knieveton and Tinsley analysed the Wilcox effect [ http://www.utdallas.edu/nsm/physics/pdf/tin_dcgcc.pdf ] using superposed epoch analysis around ‘sector boundaries’ [crossings of the Heliospheric Current Sheet]. I have just done an analysis of the hourly GCR flux at Thule for the 1470 crossings during 1957-2010. The result is here: http://www.leif.org/research/Cosmic-Rays-Thule-SB.png
The right-hand side shows the variation for every hour within 40 days on either side of the Sector Boundaries [which were nominally always taken to pass at 0:00h UT]. You see several things:
1) the 10 count daily variation [we know why: we are overtaking GCRs during half of the day and running into them during the other half due to Earth’s rotation]
2) A clear enhancement [larger than the daily variation] right at the boundary [and the day before and after]
3) The enhancements sjow up 27 days before and 27 days after, because the sector boundaries often recur every 27 days. This proves the reality of the effect as noise would not this behavior.
The power spectrum to the left shows the daily peak and the 27-day peak (“1″) and several of its harmonics [“2″,”3”, etc].
~
You’re trying to understand WHAT they did.. I’m trying to understand WHEN..
But thanks for steering us around to some of the HOW some GCR penetrate.
All this discussion, geez.
Decrease in solar output over the last couple years, the whole heliosphere contracts, Earth’s atmosphere lowers, and the cosmic radiation belt bloats a whopping 20%. 20% increase and let me say these clouds are cold as all get up and low. Not much trapping of heat beneath them where I live.
vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 4:25 am
Ulric Lyons says:
November 26, 2010 at 4:07 am
In winter, precipitation increases on the temperature uplifts.
In summer, precipitation increases on the temperature drops.
precipitation vs. temperature
Clear example of positive correlation followed by negative correlation
Leif Svalgaard says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:04 am
Now, Vuk says that the correlation is negative except at times when it is positive. In my book that means ‘no correlation’.
This is far more amusing than I expected.
~
Not so amusing as confusing, if cycle stays low and lower GCR will be the new talk of the town.

Carla
November 26, 2010 6:54 am

How to add electrons to the upper atmosphere..through ‘diffuse aruora,’ not to be confused with the ever popular, ‘discrete aurora.’
~
New research provides insights into space weather, could benefit satellites, aircraft
By UCLA Newsroom October 20, 2010
Settling decades of scientific debate, researchers from UCLA and the British Antarctic Survey have discovered the final link between electrons trapped in space and the glow of light from the upper atmosphere known as the diffuse aurora.
Their research appears Oct. 21 in the journal Nature.
Scientists have long known that the diffuse aurora is caused by electrons striking the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The question has long been how these electrons reach the atmosphere, since electrons are normally trapped much higher up in the Earth’s magnetic field through a long chain of events starting with the sun.
Since the 1970s, scientists have debated whether very low-frequency (VLF) radio waves could be responsible for scattering the trapped electrons into the atmosphere. Two types of VLF waves were identified in space as the possible cause of the diffuse aurora, but despite years of argument and research, no conclusive result had been reached.
The new research shows, “without doubt, that VLF waves known as ‘chorus’ are responsible, so-called since the signals detected by ground-based recording equipment sound like the bird’s dawn chorus when played back through a loud speaker,” said the Nature paper’s lead author, Richard Thorne, a UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences.
Chorus waves are very low-frequency radio waves that come from space and are first detected on the ground.
..Through detailed analysis of satellite data, Thorne and his colleagues were able to calculate the effects on the trapped electrons and identify which radio waves were causing the scattering.
“The breakthrough came when we realized that the electrons being lost from space to the Earth’s atmosphere were leaving a signature, effectively telling a story about how they were being scattered,” Thorne said. “We could then analyze our satellite data on the two types of VLF waves, and by running calculations on them — including the rate at which the electrons were being lost to the Earth’s atmosphere — we could clearly see that chorus waves were the cause of the scattering.”
“Our finding is an important one because it will help scientists to understand how the diffuse aurora leads to changes in the chemistry of the Earth’s upper atmosphere, including effects on ozone at high altitude, which may affect temperature right through the atmosphere,” said co-author Professor Richard Horne of the British Antarctic Survey. “We are also including the VLF waves in computer models to help predict ‘space weather,’ which affects not only satellites and power grids, but also the accuracy of GPS navigation and high-frequency radio communications with aircraft on polar routes.”
The diffuse aurora is not the same as the discrete aurora, also known as the northern and southern lights. The discrete aurora looks like fiery moving curtains of colorful light and can be seen by the unaided eye, while the diffuse aurora is much fainter but more extensive. The diffuse aurora, which typically accounts for three-quarters of the energy input into the upper atmosphere at night, varies according to the season and the 11-year solar cycle.
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/new-research-provides-insights-176822.aspx
Diffuse aurora .. fainter but more extensive..accounts for three-quarters of the energy input into the upper atmosphere.. good stuff.. Happy Friday..

meemoe_uk
November 26, 2010 7:23 am

interesting but…
2 weeks data = no where near enough
1 years data = more like it.
hopefully the analysis is preliminary.

November 26, 2010 7:37 am

it’s never been entirely clear to me as to why clouds do get charged – is it the friction when they move against air?
Leif Svalgaard says: it’s “Falling raindrops rubbing against each other…”
I know I am at risk of sounding stupid, but I honestly don’t know. Why would you think that droplets rubbing each other can cause a charge of thousands and thousands of volts? I have never seen anything like that happening during my shower…?

November 26, 2010 7:46 am

anna v says:
November 26, 2010 at 3:09 am
Variations over this average would be the variations introduced by the changes seen in your plot, +/- 300 , something like 7%. On this 7% maybe 30 to 50%, i.e. 2 or 3 total percentage of more putative cloud cover from 2000 on than from 1990 to 2000.
The integral over from 1990.0 to 2000.0 is 4284 and from 2000.0 to 2010.7 is 4288. So, yes, I’m serious.
Ninderthana says:
November 26, 2010 at 2:53 am
This is expected from Ninderthana’s Law: “If a statement disagrees with Leif’s view of the Universe, then it must be wrong.”
Live by your own law, then.
Louis Hissink says:
November 26, 2010 at 3:39 am
but what evidence is there that the energy source of the sun is as proposed? By rhetorical inference or in situ examination?
What evidence is there that Jupiter is round or that Sirius is a double star or that the Sun’s surface temperature is 5777K or that the Sun contains Sodium? In situ examination?
The method is called ‘observation’. You simply see those things. From the properties of the radiation received you know things about the object you are watching. E.g. the color of the Sun tells us its temperature. Sometimes you need a telescope because your direct eyesight is not up to the task [e.g. to see that Jupiter is round]. To see into the core of the Sun we use a neutrino telescope. From the properties of the neutrinos observed we can say something about the interior of the Sun. What we see, we can compare with what we see with the same telescope when we use it to look at Terrestrial sources of neutrinos [that we make ourselves] and so gain confidence in the veracity of our observations, just like we can know that the surface temperature of the Sun is 5777K from comparison with the radiation we observe from bodies in the lab that we heat ourselves. When light passes through a medium containing Sodium, electrons in Sodium atoms change their energy. We observe that energy change as a line in the solar spectrum [the so-called ‘D’ line]. This is how we know that the electrons change and how much and only Sodium reacts in that precise way. So, we see that the Sun contains Sodium [‘if it looks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck etc’]. The nuclear reactions in the Sun emitneutrinos with specific energies. We observe neutrinos with just those energies and so [like with Sodium] can conclude that those reactions are present.
vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 4:25 am
“Now, Vuk says that the correlation is negative except at times when it is positive. In my book that means ‘no correlation’.”
This is far more amusing than I expected.

You are right, your claims border on the edge of ridiculous rather than just amusing.

November 26, 2010 7:54 am

anna v says:
November 26, 2010 at 3:09 am
Variations over this average would be the variations introduced by the changes seen in your plot, +/- 300 , something like 7%. On this 7% maybe 30 to 50%, i.e. 2 or 3 total percentage of more putative cloud cover from 2000 on than from 1990 to 2000.
We can do some more integrals:
1957-70: 4281
1971-80: 4424
1981-90: 4155
1991-00: 4307
2000-10: 4315

November 26, 2010 8:09 am

Carla says:
November 26, 2010 at 5:54 am
You’re trying to understand WHAT they did.. I’m trying to understand WHEN..
They state very clearly in the paper when it was done:
Received: 7 June 2010 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 2 August 2010
Revised: 16 November 2010 – Accepted: 18 November 2010 – Published: 24 November 2010

Pamela Gray
November 26, 2010 8:11 am

Leif, your comment reminds me of the old gas spectrometers. Amazing how those machines could tell you what chemicals and compounds were in something as simple as water, to something as complex as a chemo plant-derived drug. All you needed to do was develop a new language for reading bumps along a spectrum.

November 26, 2010 8:14 am

HenryP says:
November 26, 2010 at 7:37 am
Why would you think that droplets rubbing each other can cause a charge of thousands and thousands of volts?
Walking across a carpet in dry weather can build up several thousand volts. Enough to trigger a spark when you touch the doorknob [requires 3000 Volt].

Tim Clark
November 26, 2010 8:28 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:17 am
The heliospheric magnetic field impends GCR entry into heliosphere. The Earth’s magnetic field does the same for the magnetosphere. When the GCR count is calculated it is first adjusted for variation for the strength of the Earth’s dipole
If the GCRs have any effect it would be with the GCRs actually reaching the atmosphere, so they should not be corrected when correlated with temperatures. Here is a graph of the uncorrected GCRs [represented by their proxy 14C] and the Earth’s [or the Arctic’s – it doesn’t make much difference which one] magnetic field strength [dots]. You can clearly see that they are strongly anti-correlated [as they should be according to our understanding of how this works]. The tiny wiggles are solar activity related changes. It should be clear that the variation of the main field is by far the dominant, so if climate follows the GCR flux, it should follow the 14C curve. I don’t think it does. You can get around this problem by claiming that we do not know anything about past climate anyway.
Leif Svalgaard says:
November 25, 2010 at 8:18 am
Here is a graph of the uncorrected GCRs
Forgot the graph: http://www.leif.org/research/CosmicRays-GeoDipole.jpg

Leif, that graphic appears closely associated with an ~11,000 year orbital cycle (and ice ages, etc., etc., etc.).
Are you promoting cyclomania? ;~P

November 26, 2010 8:29 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 26, 2010 at 7:46 am
You are right, your claims border on the edge of ridiculous rather than just amusing.
Hey, no offence,
to a man of limited vision
‘ borders on the edge of ridiculous ’
to a man with foresight is germ of an idea.
Vaughan Ronald Pratt Professor Emeritus at Stanford University:
November 25, 2010 @ vukcevic (elsewhere)
“Right, that’s what I find so appealing about your graphs.”

Stephen Wilde
November 26, 2010 8:48 am

“Our finding is an important one because it will help scientists to understand how the diffuse aurora leads to changes in the chemistry of the Earth’s upper atmosphere, including effects on ozone at high altitude, which may affect temperature right through the atmosphere,” said co-author Professor Richard Horne of the British Antarctic Survey”
Such as contributing to variability in the downward NOx flux which depletes ozone for a cooling effect in the regions above 45km when the sun is more active ?
And which allows recovery of ozone for a warming effect above 45km when the sun is quiet as per the recent Haigh data ?

anna v
November 26, 2010 8:51 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 26, 2010 at 7:54 am

We can do some more integrals:
1957-70: 4281
1971-80: 4424
this includes the ice scare
1981-90: 4155 this started the warming scare
1991-00: 4307 maybe one should start at ’93 or so
2000-10: 4315 the last two decades are consistent with higher albedo of Palle et al
I am not saying that there is really a fool proof correlation. But, within the multitude of factors entering into cloud making this could be one more contribution and since ’95 there are cumulatively more cosmics and the albedo is rising since ’97 .

November 26, 2010 9:15 am

Mr. Clark
Here is a graph going further back
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/VADM.htm

November 26, 2010 9:23 am

Tim Clark says:
November 26, 2010 at 8:28 am
Are you promoting cyclomania? ;~P
There are definitely cycles [Milankovich etc].
vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 8:29 am
“Right, that’s what I find so appealing about your graphs.”
I think you mean ‘appalling’, check again.
anna v says:
November 26, 2010 at 8:51 am
I am not saying that there is really a fool proof correlation. But, within the multitude of factors entering into cloud making this could be one more contribution and since ’95 there are cumulatively more cosmics and the albedo is rising since ’97 .
The point is that the cosmic variations are so minute that if their effects are proportional to the whole count it will unobservable. There has been very large variations in cosmic ray intensity in the past because the Earth main field varies a lot. These cosmic ray variations do not show up as matching temperature variations.

eadler
November 26, 2010 9:42 am

anna v says:
November 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm
“eadler :
http://ulysses.sr.unh.edu/NeutronMonitor/Misc/neutron2.html
There is no real upward trend in neutron flux between 1950 and 2006. Of course “The Chilling Stars” wouldn’t contain that information.
Hold your horses. It is not the peak trends that will produce clouds or not. It is the integrated area below the curves in the link, assuming the observation from this paper establishes that condensation is proportional to the impinging radiation .
So seems to me there is a sequence of fat, lean, fat, lean plots. Between 1980 and 1990 there is half the area than between 1990 and 2000, and in addition the minimum is smaller, thus the area larger. The observation that from 1995 there is stasis in temperature would agree with the integral being larger since then.
Looking at backward times the ice age scare fell in a fat region.
I do not believe that there is one to one correspondence with any factor entering in producing the weather and climate we observe. It is a dynamical system with many inputs and most probably chaotic, but one can observe threads of influences, and this GCR seems to me valid as a contributor, and certainly cannot be thrown out by looking cursorily at peak trends.”
Fair enough. Eyeballing is not necessarily going to be accurate.
This begs the question: “Is there an 11 year moving average plot which shows a trend in Cosmic rays, which has been plotted by the proponents of the Cosmic Ray Theory, which shows that Cosmic Rays could be a factor?”.
Could you, or any of the “skeptics” reading this, who believe in the Cosmic Ray influence, help out here? If there is no evidence that Cosmic Rays could be driving the current Temperature increase, why all the fuss?

November 26, 2010 9:44 am

Sorry Leif
the light bulb in my head has not lightened up yet
You say: Walking across a carpet in dry weather can build up several thousand volts. Enough to trigger a spark when you touch the doorknob [requires 3000 Volt].
The key word is “dry”! and the key idea is “friction”!
So is the enormous speed of clouds moving in a thunderstorm against the prevailing air in the atmosphere not causing that friction that is enough to cause lightning?
Note that until it actually rains the clouds should be seen as “dry” – just very high water vapor content.

November 26, 2010 10:11 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
November 26, 2010 at 9:23 am
I think you mean ‘appalling’, check again.
Thanks god ‘mean-minded’ and ‘mean-spirited’ are a tiny minority, some would not even help an old lady across the road.
Dr. V.P. “I strongly encourage you to complete your analysis . And as a native speaker of English I may be of more than merely technical assistance.”

November 26, 2010 10:17 am

Dear all, this story has generated a thoughtful and useful discussion which I am grateful for. As a point of some clarification, I have added an open letter to my website. http://benlaken.com/index.html
All the best,
–Ben

November 26, 2010 10:28 am

HenryP says:
November 26, 2010 at 9:44 am
The key word is “dry”! and the key idea is “friction”!
So is the enormous speed of clouds moving in a thunderstorm against the prevailing air in the atmosphere not causing that friction that is enough to cause lightning?
Note that until it actually rains the clouds should be seen as “dry” – just very high water vapor content.

No, it is not the clouds moving. And, actually, the ‘rain drops’ are dry, namely ice crystals. I should have been more precise on that.
vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 10:11 am
Dr. V.P. “I strongly encourage you to complete your analysis.
I think I have urged you to do that many times. You always refuse on the grounds that “others would steal your ideas that could be of enormous importance to mankind”.

November 26, 2010 10:30 am

HenryP says:
November 26, 2010 at 9:44 am
……………..
Cloud electricity is not there because of rain. It is there because of diffusion of ions, due to the Brownian motion.

November 26, 2010 10:33 am

Ben Laken says:
November 26, 2010 at 10:17 am
As a point of some clarification, I have added an open letter to my website.
Except that the letter is devoid of actual information 🙁 . I had hoped that there would have been some clarification of:
“I’m trying to understand what they did. The paper states “Thus, the units of GCR changes used here are given as “GU”, defined as a change of 1% of the 11-year solar cycle amplitude in four days.”. At Thule the GCR solar cycle amplitude in neutron monitor counts per hour is ~600 out of a total of ~4300. The change happens over 5 years = 5*365 = 1825 days. In four days the GCRs change thus 600/1825*4 = 1.3 counts. 1% of that is 0.013 count. This sounds silly on its face as there is a regular daily variation of 10 counts or 770 times as large. So, I need some clarification on this.”

November 26, 2010 10:39 am

vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 10:30 am
Cloud electricity is not there because of rain. It is there because of diffusion of ions, due to the Brownian motion.
Actually, there are several proposed mechanisms. “The two processes generally acknowledged to be the most likely candidates are the process by which ice particles, growing at different diffusional rates, collide and share charges such that the particle growing fastest charges positively, and the inductive mechanism that relies on the pre-existing electric field to produce induced charges in uncharged particles that may be transferred during collisions.”
http://www.springerlink.com/content/w54350750g275214/

eadler
November 26, 2010 10:58 am

Annav
Skeptical Science web site has a graph of the 11 year average of Cosmic Rays versus temperature. After 1970 there are oscillations but no trend to match the temperature trend.
http://www.skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming.htm
Remember that the correlations between cloudiness and cosmic ray increases were hard for the researchers to find. The correlation occurs at the mid latitudes and only for some particular atmospheric conditions. In their discussion section,m the authors state:
It should be noted that although the GCM experiment corroborates
the observed link between changes in cloudiness
and SLAT, it does not provide any further information on the suggested link between GCR and cloud cover.
Based on the
relationships observed in this study, and assuming that there
is no linear trend in the short-term GCR change, we speculate
that little (0.088 C/decade) systematic change in temperature
at mid-latitudes has occurred over the last 50 years.
However, at shorter time-scales this phenomenon may contribute
to natural variability, potentially reducing detectability
of an anthropogenic signal.

November 26, 2010 11:06 am

Water molecules H-O-H are dielectric. Ions & Brownian motions (which we discussed on number of occasions); so ions diffusion works fine for me, and hey, no ‘magnetic field’ frozen or otherwise required. Think about it.

November 26, 2010 11:18 am

vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 11:06 am
Water molecules H-O-H are dielectric. Ions & Brownian motions (which we discussed on number of occasions); so ions diffusion works fine for me, and hey, no ‘magnetic field’ frozen or otherwise required. Think about it.
You miss the essential ingredient: how do you separate the charges, once you have got them onto the ice crystals or rain drops? The point here is that the crystals generally fall down and take the charges with them, thus building up a difference between the top and the bottom of the clouds.

November 26, 2010 11:21 am

I am more confused now then before about where the actual electrical charge in clouds comes from – and I think it is an important lead. I think that there are always charges in the clouds, but it is usually not big enough to cause a lightning strike. That leaves my idea that the directional movement of these (charged) clouds may well be influenced by earth’s magnetic field, which in its turn may be influenced by that of the sun’s, still open?
I agree with Leif about Ben
Unfortunately, unlike many of us here, in the end, it’s all about the money and who pays what and why…
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

November 26, 2010 11:56 am

To respond to the post by Leif (left at Nov 26th, 2010, 10:17am)
Hi Leif, I am sorry that you were dissatisfied with the content of the open letter; it was not intended to be a compendium to the manuscript but a general insight to give some insight into the meaning of the work for non-academics who may be interested. So I will attempt to answer some of your questions regarding our calculation of changes in the Cosmic ray flux.
I will give a worked example with the real data, but values will deviate, as I am not using all neutron monitor sites, and all values for brevity and these are back of the envelope calculations.
Instead of considering neutron monitor variations from a single site (such as Climax) we aimed to give a more globally comprehensive view of neutron monitor changes, as the work concerned an effect that was widespread. So we combined neutron monitor variations from many sites, which were all normalised against the individual neutron monitor changes experienced over the course of an 11 year solar cycle.
For the raw neutron monitor counts from 3 sites we have the following (from days -3 to +3)
day -3 day -2 day -1 day 0 day 1 day2 day3
Climax: 407959.1 407896.6 408134.9 407744.2 407614.7 408117 4083883.3
Moscow: 556742.2 556559.1 556483.5 556178.0 556480.2 556809.2 556723.5
MtWelling: 392036.2 391693.0 391669.0 391668.4 392175.2 392474.3 392293.1
So if we look at the average of those three sites (with key day value normalised to 0 for easy viewing)
Day -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3
Average (counts): 382.3 186.0 232.2 0.0 226.5 603.3 604.7
At this point we can already clearly see a statistical correlation between GCR decreases and the key dates (in the actual paper we had many more neutron monitor sites contributing to the values to increase the robustness of the measurements). So we have a positive correlation between dates of rapid middle latitude zone cloud decreases, and decreases in the Cosmic Ray flux.
Now back to the way we presented the CR flux: as counts are somewhat meaningless to a wider audience, we converted the CR change to a percentage of the change experienced over an 11-year solar cycle, using values from each neutron monitor site.
E.g. Climax (44495.71 counts) , Moscow (54630.13 counts) , Mt Wellington (48190.31 counts)
Finally, we then calculated the CR variation as a change that was relative to preceding days, by subtracting the average CR value (now in percent relative to solar cycle changes) from the average counts of a three day period beginning 5 days earlier. This averaging period approach is similar to that used in other studies (such as Kniveton and Todd, 2001; 2004 JASTP).
So to do that calculation briefly for the average of those three sites for day +2 would give +0.69 units. Where we have defined the units as GU in our paper. Again, I realise this value deviates from the day +1 value presented in the paper, but this calculation was done using only a fraction of the neutron monitor sites from that work to give you further clarification of the method.
I hope this helps,
–Ben Laken

November 26, 2010 11:59 am

HenryP you can pick and choose.
Ordinary particles without charge in Brownian motion move in random directions, charge particles do not, there is a critical distance regulated by forces of attraction and repulsion. Collisions of charged particles are quite different from normal neutral particle collisions. Neutral particles move independently along straight-line trajectories between distinct collision events, which are typically strong, inelastic events that cause the neutral particle to be scattered in approximately random direction. In contrast, a charged particle moving simultaneously experiences (and is deflected by) the weak Coulomb electric field forces around all the nearby charged particles as it passes by each of them. Since the electric fields around the individual charged particles are quite weak and Coulomb collisions are elastic (energy-conserving), they individually lead to typically only very small deflections in the direction of motion Thus, the trajectory of a charged particle is influenced by many simultaneous, small angle deflections in its direction of motion.
As vapour rises through the air Brownian motion and the Coulomb field separates charges into different polarity layers, building electric potential. So by the time vapour has become cloud it is already charged and highly polarised.
Rubbing of ice crystals is a bit a doubtful physics.
I suggest: take two ice cubes from you drink glass and as an experiment rub them together. No starter.

anna v
November 26, 2010 12:00 pm

eadler says:
November 26, 2010 at 9:42 am
I do not want to repeat what we have been exchanging with Leif, if you are interested you can have a look at the posts above starting from
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/25/something-to-be-thankful-for-at-last-cosmic-rays-linked-to-rapid-mid-latitude-cloud-changes/#comment-537508
The interest in the cosmic ray hypothesis rises from the desire to correlate the sun cycles to the weather/climate cycles. As the total energy variations coming from the sun output are very small, amplification factors are sought: One of these is the correlation of cosmic rays with the sun cycles and the hypothesis that the cloud cover increases and thus albedo increases and generate temperature changes.
Α 3% change in albedo can make all the difference in the energy budget to reverse temperature trends.

November 26, 2010 12:39 pm

Dave Springer says:
November 26, 2010 at 1:47 am (Edit)
Steven Mosher says:
November 26, 2010 at 1:03 am
“simply: if cosmic rays explains the warming, then you must accept the warming it explains.”
It’s not an all or nothing proposition. The reported warming may be exagerated and solar magnetic activity may play a major, minor, or no role at all in whatever actual warming really took place. I’d rather not be so vague but the science is very unsettled at this point.
#######
very simply, you change the “observed” warming you change the statistics.
In any case. NCEP surface temp is derived from the temperature aloft. Consequently it has none of the problems we see in surface stations. If the surface stations had significant bias then we could expect the results of NCEP to differ from the surface stations. NCEP does not differ substantially from CRU. that is temperatures for the surface derived from atmospheric temperatures agree with temperatures taking on the ground.

November 26, 2010 12:42 pm

Thanks Ben,
That’s clearer now.

November 26, 2010 1:08 pm

Dave Springer says:
November 26, 2010 at 2:07 am (Edit)
Steven Mosher says:
November 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm
“psst: no politician would talk about logical impossibility”
Impossibilities often mean practical impossibilities.
In this case what was meant is it is practically impossible to make reliable climate forecasts. The plethora of factors that determine climate are not all well understood, exceedingly complex, interdependent, subject to constant change, and for things like volcanic eruptions, comet impacts, and CMEs are quite unpredictable. Taken together that means it’s practically impossible to make long term forecasts.
##### that’s more like it, but still there are issues.
As I stated we can model the climate. the question is how reliable are the predictions?
Well the first problem we have is that we cannot run controlled experiments. we cannot hold independent variables constant and vary them in a factorial fashion.
Consequently we can only make conditional predictions:
1. Assuming no volcanic eruptions ( especially huge ones like Yellowstone caldera)
2. Assuming no comet impacts
3. Assuming no CMEs
4. Assuming the laws of physics dont change
5. Assuming no peak oil or peak coal
6. Assuming no mass extinctions via unknown viruses
7. assuming no breakthroughs in energy generation
8 assuming certain emmission pathways
9. assuming certain population changes
Lots of assumptions. So practically speaking we can make these predictions subject to these assumptions. Practically speaking we can. practically speaking we do.so it’s not practically impossible either. The issue is how much weight should we ascribe to these conditional predictions when making public policy. Should the assumptions hold the predictions could be very reliable ( say within .5c)
What you want to argue is this. We can and do model the climate. The predictions of those models are subject to various assumptions, assumptions that can dramatically change the results. Further, even if those assumptions hold, the predictions still have uncertainties. we cannot ascertain their reliability until after the fact.

November 26, 2010 1:40 pm

Ben Laken says:
November 26, 2010 at 11:56 am
Finally, we then calculated the CR variation as a change that was relative to preceding days, by subtracting the average CR value (now in percent relative to solar cycle changes) from the average counts of a three day period beginning 5 days earlier.
Subtracting a percent value fro an average count doesn’t make sense, so
I hope this helps
It was of no help. what would be of help, would be pointing out where my little calculation goes wrong.
vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 11:59 am
So by the time vapour has become cloud it is already charged and highly polarised.
Rubbing of ice crystals is a bit a doubtful physics.

You are still missing the essential point, that collisions [“rubbing”] lead to removal of some mass from the larger particle, fast growing ice surfaces charge positively and sublimating surfaces charge negatively. The impact of the collision [“rubbing”] melts a local volume on each particle, with the warmer particle supplying more mass than the colder one. The exchange of mass and charge during the collision results in the falling larger crystal becoming negatively charged.
I suggest: take two ice cubes from you drink glass and as an experiment rub them together. No starter.
This is just an example of your simplistic view of things, ignoring [or not knowing] what really goes on.

November 26, 2010 1:42 pm

Ben Laken says:
November 26, 2010 at 11:56 am
Finally, we then calculated the CR variation as a change that was relative to preceding days, by subtracting the average CR value (now in percent relative to solar cycle changes) from the average counts of a three day period beginning 5 days earlier.
Subtracting a percent value from an average count doesn’t make sense, so
I hope this helps was of no help. What would be of help, would be pointing out where my little calculation goes wrong.
vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 11:59 am
So by the time vapour has become cloud it is already charged and highly polarised.
Rubbing of ice crystals is a bit a doubtful physics.

You are still missing the essential point, that collisions [“rubbing”] lead to removal of some mass from the larger particle, fast growing ice surfaces charge positively and sublimating surfaces charge negatively. The impact of the collision [“rubbing”] melts a local volume on each particle, with the warmer particle supplying more mass than the colder one. The exchange of mass and charge during the collision results in the falling larger crystal becoming negatively charged. This is clearly explained in the link I gave.
I suggest: take two ice cubes from you drink glass and as an experiment rub them together. No starter.
This is just an example of your simplistic view of things, ignoring [or not knowing] what really goes on.

November 26, 2010 2:29 pm

vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 11:59 am
I suggest: take two ice cubes from you drink glass and as an experiment rub them together. No starter.
Perhaps you should just and watch your drink glass and let it all evaporate and see that how by then “it is already charged and highly polarised”.

November 26, 2010 2:32 pm

Looks like you dug yourself into a hole.
Have you heard of lightning with no falling rain, cloud to cloud, have you heard ‘bolt from the blue’, sprites …
Read about Brownian motions, the first significant work by Albert Einstein.
…simplistic view ? Your rubbing ice crystals are not only simplistic view, but a bit of a joke. Just put couple of electrodes in the falling snow (ice crystals) and you got yourself a free electricity supply!

November 26, 2010 3:09 pm

vukcevic says:
November 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm
Have you heard of lightning with no falling rain, cloud to cloud, have you heard ‘bolt from the blue’, sprites …
It would do you good to actually read Clive Saunders ‘Charge Separation Mechanisms in clouds” that I linked to: http://www.springerlink.com/content/w54350750g275214/
“The generally accepted concept for the development of the thunderstorm charge dipole is the physical separation of oppositely charged particles within the cloud. Larger cloud particles fall under gravity while smaller particles are transported in the updraught; if these particles carry negative and positive charges respectively then the normal charge dipole will result. […] Observations in thunderstorms have shown that strong electrification follows the development of ice particles. Most mechanisms considered today involve cloud ice in the charging process. […] Latham and Mason (1961), working in the laboratory, studied charge transfer during impacts of ice crystals on an ice sphere representing a falling graupel pellet. They noted that a temperature difference between the particles led to charge transfer, such that the warmer ice particle lost positive charge. […] Despite graupel usually being charged negatively in the lower charge region of thunderstorm dipoles, rainfall measured below cloud is often positively charged. Dinger and Gunn (1946) proposed a charge transfer process associated with melting. Drake (1968) noted that convection in a melting ice sphere produced negatively charged droplets ejected from bursting air bubbles at the surface. […] Ice splintering has had a long history of possible involvement in charging. Latham and Mason (1961) noted that ice splinters created during the freezing of supercooled droplets (riming) on a larger ice surface were charged. […] They did note that in the presence of liquid cloud, the ice crystals grew rapidly and when these larger crystals collided with a riming ice surface, then substantial charges were transferred […] Charge transfer associated with surface growth or sublimation has been noted by everyone who has worked in the area of collisional ice charging in clouds. […] In a series of multiple aircraft penetrations through thunderstorms in Montana, Dye et al. (1986) reported on simultaneous measurements of cloud parameters and electrical properties. They noted that increases in electric field strength occurred in regions containing a mix of liquid water and of ice particles. Ice crystals and graupel pellets were identified by airborne laser probes carried on aircraft flying in regions of strong electric field. They also reported that electrification appeared to be occurring at the interface between the updraught and downdraught regions of the clouds. These observations point strongly to a precipitation based charging process of thunderstorm electrification and they strengthened the growing conviction that ice crystals rebounding from riming graupel in the presence of supercooled liquid water is a requirement of the charge transfer process leading to electric field development and lightning. [..] A thunderstorm charging mechanism based on vapour deposition rate, first proposed by Baker et al. (1987), has been successful in helping to account for differences between the results from various laboratory studies. The concept follows on from the result described earlier that, during collisions leading to the removal of some surface mass from the larger particle, fast growing ice surfaces charge positively and conversely, sublimating surfaces charge negatively. Baker et al., suggested that an additional variable comes into play when two ice surfaces having different vapour diffusional growth rates come into brief contact, namely the surface state of the smaller particle in the collision process. They suggested that the relative diffusional growth rates of the interacting ice particle surfaces was the factor that controls the sign of charge transfer. The charge transfer follows the rule that the ice surface that grows faster by vapour diffusion charges positively during ice crystal/graupel rebounding collisions. This concept has stood the test of time, and has been shown to be consistent with the results obtained in various laboratories. […] Given that ice particles grow in supersaturated conditions, such as in cirrus clouds experiencing an updraught, charge transfer will occur during collisions between non-riming ice particles growing at different rates. The relative growth rate hypothesis predicts that the faster growing ice surface will charge positively. Laboratory measurements have confirmed substantial charge transfer in ice/ice collisions in the absence of supercooled droplets.”
Don’t forget that this is really my field [solar physics is just a sideshow].
Just put couple of electrodes in the falling snow (ice crystals) and you got yourself a free electricity supply!
Actually, putting a couple of electrodes in a thundercloud would give you a very nice free electricity supply.

November 26, 2010 3:16 pm

Response to Leif post on November 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm
Apologies Leif, for the typo – that passage should have read “subtracting the average CR value (now in percentage relative to solar cycle changes) from the average percentage of a three day period beginning 5 days earlier.”
Back to your calculation of the change relative cosmic ray change; it would not be fractions of a count (you quote 0.013 counts). The neutron count variations experienced over the peak-to-peak changes of a solar cycle would surely be far larger than your quoted value of ~600 counts for Thule as you state. I do not have Thule data to hand, but for example, at Climax the average daily counts over the monitoring period are approximately 395,020 while the peak-to-peak solar cycle amplitude change is approximately 44,496 counts, which equates to a change in neutron counts of approximately 11 % of the total Cosmic Ray flux over the course an average 11-year solar cycle.
Best,
–Ben

November 26, 2010 3:59 pm

Ben Laken says:
November 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Back to your calculation of the change relative cosmic ray change; it would not be fractions of a count (you quote 0.013 counts). The neutron count variations experienced over the peak-to-peak changes of a solar cycle would surely be far larger than your quoted value of ~600 counts for Thule as you state. I do not have Thule data to hand, but for example, at Climax the average daily counts over the monitoring period are approximately 395,020 while the peak-to-peak solar cycle amplitude change is approximately 44,496 counts, which equates to a change in neutron counts of approximately 11 % of the total Cosmic Ray flux over the course an average 11-year solar cycle.
As I said, my counts are per hour [yours are per day]. This makes no difference, of course, as everything just scales with a factor of 24. I.e. 600 out of 4300 is 14%. now you said 1% of the amplitude which [with my numbers] come to 6 counts [per hour]. It takes 5 years = 1825 days to go from min to max, so the rate per day is 6/1825. Now your state that you use the rate over four days, so 4*6/1825 = 0.013 counts would be 1 CU on your scale for one hour counts [since I do my superposed epoch with 1 hour resolution]. The daily variation has an amplitude 770 times larger, namely 10 counts.

Jeff B.
November 26, 2010 9:07 pm

One of the reasons I like this blog is that I get to see real scientists going back and forth. Compare and contrast that with Real Climate where everything is suppressed. Thanks to Svalgaard, Laken and moderators and Watts for the lively forum.

November 26, 2010 9:54 pm

1DandyTroll says:
November 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm
Dude, he was correcting himself…

November 26, 2010 10:18 pm

Sorry, I just woke up now. Am I correct in understanding that clouds do not get charged at all simply by their friction against air caused by differences in pressure?
That leaves my idea that the directional movement of these clouds may well be influenced by earth’s magnetic field, which in its turn may be influenced by that of the sun’s, improbable?

anna v