New solar reconstruction paper suggests 6x greater solar forcing change than cited by the IPCC

This is interesting. This recent paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics here has done a reconstruction of TSI using Beryllium 10 isotope records combined with sunspot records. The paper suggests that the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) has increased since the end of the Little Ice Age (around 1850) by up to 6 x more than cited by the IPCC.

Modulation potential (lower panel) and TSI reconstructions (upper panel) for the last 2500 years. Data prior to 1600 AD are based on the modulation potential derived from 10Be records from the Greenland Ice core Project (red curves). Data since 1600 AD are based on the two composites shown in Fig. 1 (red and cyan curves). The grey-shaded area indicates the intrinsic uncertainty.

Here is how they did it:

For the reconstruction to the past this amplitude is scaled with proxies for solar activity. Two proxies are available for the reconstruction: Group sunspot number, which is available from the present to 1610 AD, and the solar modulation potential extending back to circa 7300 BC. The latter is a measure of the heliospheric shielding from cosmic rays derived from the analysis of cosmogenic isotope abundances in tree rings or ice
cores, and is available with a time resolution of 2-3 solar cycles (Steinhilber et al. 2008). Although sunspot number dropped to zero for a long time during the Maunder minimum, the solar cycle was uninterrupted (Beer et al. 1998; Usoskin et al. 2001) and the modulation potential did not fall to zero. Hence, a reconstruction based solely on sunspot number may underestimate the solar activity during theMaunderminimum. Therefore in our reconstruction we used the solar modulation potential to calculate the long-term variations and sunspot number to superpose them with the 11-year cycle variations (see the Online Section 6.2).

The modulation potential used in the calculations is based on the composite of data determined from the cosmogenic isotope records of 10Be and neutronmonitor. 10Be data are available up to about 1970 (McCracken et al. 2004) and neutron monitor data, which are used to calculate the current solar modulation potential, are available since the 1950s.


A new approach to the long-term reconstruction of the solar irradiance leads to large historical solar forcing

A. I. Shapiro, W. Schmutz1, E. Rozanov, M. Schoell, M. Haberreiter1, A. V. Shapiro and S. Nyeki

1 Physikalisch-Meteorologishes Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, 7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
2 Institute for Atmospheric and Climate science ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
3 Institute for Astronomy ETH, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract 
Context. The variable Sun is the most likely candidate for the natural forcing of past climate changes on time scales of 50 to 1000 years. Evidence for this understanding is that the terrestrial climate correlates positively with the solar activity. During the past 10 000 years, the Sun has experienced the substantial variations in activity and there have been numerous attempts to reconstruct solar irradiance. While there is general agreement on how solar forcing varied during the last several hundred years – all reconstructions are proportional to the solar activity – there is scientific controversy on the magnitude of solar forcing. Aims. We present a reconstruction of the total and spectral solar irradiance covering 130 nm–10 μm from 1610 to the present with an annual resolution and for the Holocene with a 22-year resolution. Methods. We assume that the minimum state of the quiet Sun in time corresponds to the observed quietest area on the present Sun. Then we use available long-term proxies of the solar activity, which are 10Be isotope concentrations in ice cores and 22-year smoothed neutron monitor data, to interpolate between the present quiet Sun and the minimum state of the quiet Sun. This determines the long-term trend in the solar variability, which is then superposed with the 11-year activity cycle calculated from the sunspot number. The time-dependent solar spectral irradiance from about 7000 BC to the present is then derived using a state-of-the-art radiation code.

Conclusions
We present a new technique to reconstruct total and spectral solar irradiance over the Holocene. We obtained a large historical solar forcing between the Maunder minimum and the present, as well as a significant increase in solar irradiance in the first half of the twentieth-century. Our value of the historical solar forcing is remarkably larger than other estimations published in the recent literature.

We note that our conclusions can not be tested on the basis of the last 30 years of solar observations because, according to the proxy data, the Sun was in a maximumplato state in its longterm evolution.All recently published reconstructions agree well during the satellite observational period and diverge only in the past. This implies that observational data do not allow to select and favor one of the proposed reconstructions. Therefore, until new evidence become available we are in a situation that different approaches and hypothesis yield different solar forcing values. Our result allows the climate community to evaluate the full range of present uncertainty in solar forcing.

The full dataset of the solar spectral irradiance back to 7000
BC is available upon request.

Here is the paper, available online in entirety here (PDF) h/t to The Hockey Schtick

84 thoughts on “New solar reconstruction paper suggests 6x greater solar forcing change than cited by the IPCC

  1. “This implies that observational data do not allow to select and favor one of the proposed reconstructions. Therefore, until new evidence become available we are in a situation that different approaches and hypothesis yield different solar forcing values. Our result allows the climate community to evaluate the full range of present uncertainty in solar forcing.”

    My! My! What an ingenious escape clause! We don’t claim our results are true because that would undermine the foundations of AGW theory. We merely did all this work to expand the band of uncertainty! We can still maintain that AGW theory is sound, but with the caveat that “the band of uncertainty” is merely expanded.

    That kind of equivocation, boys and girls, is what it takes to get such a paper published these days. The fact that such a paper can see the light of day, even with said equivocation, is progress over where things stood only a couple of years ago.

  2. Good to see this paper up at WUWT. I find this an interesting paper in that the authors make no claim that their method is superior or “robust” Rather they highlight the difficulties inherent in all TSI reconstruction attempts, including those that seek to stamp the TSI record flat.

    It will be interesting to compare the authors proposed reconstruction to the solar forcing that Willis discovers in his GCM forcing adventure.

  3. Interesting. How do they justify extending the proxy for TSI into a region beyond the level which has been proposed as a stable background level on top of which the solar cycle adds modulation? I think I’m right in saying that there is no evidence yet to directly link the LIA with reduced TSI?

  4. Breaking news on BBC Today
    0719: It has emerged that the coalition cabinet is reportedly spit over the government’s policy on climate change. Environment correspondent Roger Harrabin reports.

    This marks quite a dramatic shift, because so far the UK politicians have all been on one “consensus” (publicly) and one cannot forget that the Tories were elected by a leader who said they were going to be the “greenest government ever”.

  5. Claude Harvey,

    I have to disagree with you. That quote was my favorite part. It means the people who put together this paper are actual scientists. Scientists who recognize the limits of their research and the possibility they can be wrong. As oppose to “scientists” who try to hide their data, or don’t want people to admit the limits of science in public as it could give those “deniers” ammunition.

  6. The main argument against solar forcing being responsible for post 1970-warming still seems valid, i.e. the TSI trend since ~1950 is approximately zero. Also (from the TSI reconstruction since 1600) would we not expect temperatures during the 18th century to be comparable to those in the late 20th century.

  7. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 10, 2011 at 1:12 am
    Breaking news on BBC Today
    0719: It has emerged that the coalition cabinet is reportedly spit over the government’s policy on climate change. Environment correspondent Roger Harrabin reports.

    I think you’ll find that the dissenters want to go further.

  8. What would the models produce if that solar forcing variable was multiplied 6 times?

  9. Anthony,

    Is it me or strictly using the Greenland ice core as proxy is a little ridiculous as to the proximity it is away from the rest of the planet for measuring the sun spots using a proxy?
    A massive amount of atmosphere and weather conditions to be able to reach that point compared to the equatorial region.

  10. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 10, 2011 at 1:12 am
    Breaking news on BBC Today
    0719: It has emerged that the coalition cabinet is reportedly spit over the government’s policy on climate change. Environment correspondent Roger Harrabin reports.

    It is on Radio 4 listen again;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010xzxh

  11. John Finn says, May 10, 2011 at 1:40 am

    the TSI trend since ~1950 is approximately zero

    Indeed, but one may not forget that it costs a lot of years to warm the oceans up. Even with a constant high level of TSI, it takes about 30 years (or more) to reach a new high in seawater temperature. The fact that since about 2000 there is no increase in temperature anymore (besides ENSO variability), shows that the new equilibrium is more or less reached. The next decade will show the real impact of the sun, as we currently have a less active sun, which should translate in lower temperatures (or not)…

  12. Solar driven climate? Whatever next?

    The evidence is mounting against CO2 as the culprit.

    Inability to find the troposphere hot spot.
    Ice core data placing temperature rise before CO2 rise.
    Now solar variability.

    The IPCC will hate this because they refuse to accept any solar variation at all.

    Keep the evidence rolling in.

  13. . . .comparable to late 20th Century
    yes, if you prefer to ignore sensitivity to initial conditions or assume a straightforward, contemporaneous, purely linear climate response. Doubt it works that way.
    Interesting post though. Whilst welcome, I can’t get too carried away, since reading this blog has taught me to treat proxy reconstructions with a pinch of salt.

  14. The TSI trend since 1950 might be close to zero, but the level is high. Bear in mind that no less an authority then James Hansen has pointed out that present levels of CO2 forcing, even if they stayed constant, will have stored up temperature increases for the next 50 years or so. It’s a very big bucket of water, and it’s going to take a long time to warm – or cool.

  15. “The main argument against solar forcing being responsible for post 1970-warming still seems valid, i.e. the TSI trend since ~1950 is approximately zero. Also (from the TSI reconstruction since 1600) would we not expect temperatures during the 18th century to be comparable to those in the late 20th century.”

    It is very likely that post 1970 warming is overestimated (anthropogenic local warming).

    Even if the solar forcing during the 18th century was comparable to the late 20th century, that still does not mean that the temperatures should be comparable as well. Durin the LIA we had a lot of ice buildup and when the solar forcing increased again, there was a lot of thermal inertia. A lot of heat is needed to melt the ice.

    But I still think that the temperatures during ~40s were comparable to the ~80s/90s.

  16. John Finn says:
    May 10, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Try reading the paper.
    It’s the UV range (175-242 nm) of the Solar Spectra that comprises most of the change in TSI and SSI.

  17. Can someone answer: how is past TSI estimated and how it is now measured, at the surface or by satellite?

  18. There are two or three factors involved during solar max and minimums – one is the TSI, the others are cloud cover and UV displacement effects on the jetstream (which also affects cloud cover) – these lead to ‘pulsed’ warmings of the ocean surface waters to 200m and time lags that redistribute that heat to land – these latter are complex teleconnections from ocean basin to basin – and this determines the global average temperature. From 1980-2001 low level reflective cloud cover decreased by 4-5% – quite enough to account for ‘global warming’. After 2001 it came back by about 2% and the oceans soon afterwards stopped accumulating heat.

    If we focus on one factor alone, we get a distorted picture.

  19. Interesting study but although I scoured it most carefully to see if their findings could correlate with the warming over the last ten years, it actually seemed to have a negative correlation – quieter sun, more warming. So when they use the word ‘historical’ in the title of the report, they obviously do mean ‘historical’.

    So as a scientifically robust counter to the IPCC argument, this is very far from doing the job.

  20. Yeah ,but the AGW crowd have a get out of jail free card. They say that if the climate is very sensitive with regards to the sun, it must be very sensitive for everything else as well, so the C02 greenhouse effect increases even more if the sun’s effects are larger. This is a false equivalence, or rather, a tendancy to lump all climate effects together, rather than to recognise that nature genearlly doesnt follow patterns in a linear or predictable form, which I hesitate to say, tends to be a socialist assumption (.i.e evenness and equivalence).

  21. Alistair McKechnie says:
    May 10, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Interesting study but although I scoured it most carefully to see if their findings could correlate with the warming over the last ten years,

    What warming over the last 10 years?

  22. Peter Taylor

    hi Peter

    I am somewhat ambivalent about the notion that there is a wholseale transfer of heat from Ocean to land which sems to be the generally agreed maxim.

    i live 100 yards from the South coast of England. The warming effect of the gulf stream is easily overcome by the wind direction and the nature of the weather fronts they bring. For example we would normally reckon that in a ‘normal’ year (which rarely seems to happen) the warmth of the gulf stream will just about keep frosts away from our garden until February. 2 miles inland the warming effect has been lost all through the winter. Cloud cover will have a considerable effect on keeping the sea warm, especially at night.

    During the last few winters, when we had strong easterlies and high pressure, the intense cold and lack of cloud they brought meant we had frosts even in November and the gulf stream had a marginal effect.

    Whether the warming effect of the oceans can therfore be said to affect the whole of the UK or by inference entire continental land masses i would be dubious. Wind direction and the effects of weather systems are to my mind every bit as important.

    tonyb

  23. Since TSI is how the warmists try to discredit Milankovitch I remain skeptical. While total TSI might matter somewhat, it matters more where that energy is striking the Earth. That is why the Earth is colder in January when the Earth is closest to the sun and warmist in July when it is farthest from the sun.

    The annual TSI variation is enough to show that location matter more than very small variations in the total amount of energy.

  24. Alistair McKechnie
    I suggest you don’t use the word ‘robust’ on this site if you want to avoid ridicule.
    However, judging by the rest of your comment that aim does not appear to be high on your list of priorities.
    It never ceases to amaze me that CO2 is given every possible route and timeframe by which warming could show itself. Solar influence on the other hand . . . apparently that has to be both immediate and without any complexity attached.

  25. John Finn,

    “The main argument against solar forcing being responsible for post 1970-warming still seems valid, i.e. the TSI trend since ~1950 is approximately zero. ”

    Keep in mind that solar activity was still at this unusually high plateau for the latter half of the century, and there is a mid-century cooling that is a problem for the CO2 hypothesis as well. Model diagnostics show that models disagreeing with each other on sensititivity ranging from 2C to 6C can all “match” the observed 20th century climate, because of the uncertainty in aerosols, that same uncertainty in aerosols can aid solar forcing in explaining the mid-century cooling and rapid temperature increases in the 1980s and 90s.

  26. thingadonta,

    “Yeah ,but the AGW crowd have a get out of jail free card. They say that if the climate is very sensitive with regards to the sun, it must be very sensitive for everything else as well, so the C02 greenhouse effect increases even more if the sun’s effects are larger”

    On the contrary, this result works against that “get out of jail free card. We have no model independent estimates of climate sensitivity to CO2 forcing in the current climate regime, so the best model independent attempts have used estimates of the sensitivity to variation in solar and aerosol forcing. Because the estimates of solar variability were low, the required sensitivities solar forcing to explain the medieval warm period and the little ice age had to be correspondingly higher, and based on an invalid assumption of equivilence justified higher sensitivities to CO2. Sensitivity to solar was often in the 2 to 3 degrees C range. A result of higher solar variability like this report, removes one of the model independent justifications for a higher sensitivity, because it is no longer needed for solar. The geographical, vertical and chemical couplings to the climate (including the oceans of course) are quite different for solar and CO2, and the assumption of equivalence in a nonlinear dynamic system was never justified.

  27. This reconstruction is more like the solar variation which would be required to cause the Little Ice Age and some of the other climate cycles we have experienced. I note they have TSI about 8 watts/m2 lower in the late 1400s, 6 w/m2 lower in the late 1600s and 4 watts/m2 lower in 1900.

    ————–
    David Schofield says:
    May 10, 2011 at 2:04 am
    What would the models produce if that solar forcing variable was multiplied 6 times?
    ———-

    The majority of the warming since 1900 could then be explained by the Sun (in the climate models). They might then better match the 1910 to 1944 warm cycle (which the models cannot do), the 1946 to 1975 down cycle and the 1976 to 2002 up cycle.

    (Note the 10be numbers do not match the sunspot cycles exactly in the 20th century. Sunspot levels peaked around 1950, just as temperatures were falling, but the 10be levels seem to peak earlier closer to the 1946 down-step in temperatures).

  28. Another reply to John Finn:

    I put a pot on the stove, pour soup in the pot, turn the stove burner up to warm and leave it there- there’s no change in burner level over a period of time, yet my soup still warms. Evedently you’ve never warmed soup in a pot.

  29. Maybe I’m misunderstanding something (yet again!) but it seems to me that they are making a massive mistake. Unfortunately I’m not an expert in this area, and I didn’t even fully understand what they were saying (my excuse is that it’s late at night in this part of the globe and I can’t spend any longer on it right now), but this is what I interpreted from it:

    They assume that the solar activity indicated by the 10Be records, and which relates to temperature changes, can be interpreted and evaluated as TSI. ie, the assumption is that the temperature changes were caused by direct solar forcing. Hence the TSI variations must have been x times greater than previously thought.

    To my simple mind, this is very poor logic indeed. The possibility of indirect effects need to be considered.

    Again, the different treatment accorded CO2 and the Sun is striking.

  30. The full dataset of the solar spectral irradiance back to 7000
    BC is available upon request.

    —-

    Now that’s how you do science.

  31. Peter Taylor says:
    May 10, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I agree.

    The main residual factor to be resolved is the correct mechanism for the cloudcover changes.

    Svensmark’s cosmic ray effect is certainly a possibility and well thought of by many but I find it implausible for various reasons.

    I prefer the idea that more clouds globally result primarily from more air mass mixing from longer air mass boundaries when the jets shift equatorward or become more meridional.

    If the solar variations can drive that (and as explained elsewhere I think they can) then we have a suitable amplification mechanism explaining the large energy budget effect from small solar changes.

    The cosmic ray changes could just be a coincidental separate effect from reduced solar activity.

  32. In the face of the tremendous energy available in Earth’s coupled oceanic/atmospheric natural oscillating variations, as it spins and tilts on its axis, I am unimpressed with the Sun’s relatively tiny changes in available energy to out perform our own Earth. IMHO, the Sun, and dare I say anthropogenic CO2, remain distant cousins in the major Earthly drivers of temperature change.

  33. “I WANT TO BELIEVE”, said the climatologist.

    “How might I explain this article to my young boy?”, he asked himself.

    “The sun did it, before, but oh no no not now!”, he said to himself.

    “Daddy, what *is* the sun? Why is the sky blue but the sun yellow?”, Xavier asked.

    “Well, X, it’s got to do with particles that come in and out of our great universe from nowhere and go back there too, to nowhere.”

    “That creates inertia, a sort of soup that other pairs of not-yet-mutually-annihilated particles must always swim in, except in liquid helium.”

    “Like balloons?”, X asked.

    “Xavier, you will be a lawyer. I’ll pay for that. Science doesn’t fit you. You ask too may questions.”, the climatologist said.

  34. Mike Jonas says:
    May 10, 2011 at 6:20 am

    “They assume that the solar activity indicated by the 10Be records, and which relates to temperature changes, can be interpreted and evaluated as TSI. ie, the assumption is that the temperature changes were caused by direct solar forcing. Hence the TSI variations must have been x times greater than previously thought.”

    I don’t think they have been as simplistic as that:

    “Fig. 4 presents a reconstruction of the integrated
    flux for several, selected spectral regions. The contrast between
    different brightness components of the quiet Sun is especially
    high in the UV, which results in a large historical variability of
    the UV spectral irradiance. The irradiance in the Schumann-
    Runge bands and Herzberg continuum increases from the
    Maunder minimum to the present by about 26.6% and 10.9%
    respectively, which is much larger than 0.4% for TSI and the
    visible region. The variability is also relatively high around the
    CN violet system whose strength is very sensitive to even small
    temperature differences due to the high value of the dissociation
    potential. The large UV variability reported here is especially
    of importance to the climate community because it influences
    climate via an indirect, non-linearly amplified forcing.”

    Thus they seem to be recognising the wavelength variations as a greater contributor to climate forcing than the absolute level of TSI.

    My judgement is that those variations alter the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere to alter surface pressure distribution and cloudiness.

    Thus when the sun was more active during the late 20th century the entire atmosphere did not respond in the same way to the solar forcing.

    Instead the thermosphere and troposphere warmed but the stratosphere and mesosphere cooled.

    Now with a quieter sun the thermosphere has cooled, the troposphere has stopped warming and the stratosphere and mesosphere appear to have stopped cooling.

  35. “John Finn says:
    The main argument against solar forcing being responsible for post 1970-warming still seems valid, i.e. the TSI trend since ~1950 is approximately zero. Also (from the TSI reconstruction since 1600) would we not expect temperatures during the 18th century to be comparable to those in the late 20th century.”

    Well firstly, there is no increasing trend from the higher level plateau reached in 1950 would be a better way of describing it. Your question presupposes that we know how long it takes the Earth to reach an equilibrium temperature following an increase in received solar energy, presupposes that the 17th century temperature measurements are accurate, and reliable, presupposes that the current temperature measurements are accurate and reliable. Lets just say that not all parties are in agreement with those suppositions……:-)

  36. The main problem with the paper is visible in the upper right hand plot of the Figure. It shows a large change in [assumed] TSI from 1900 to 1950 and no change thereafter. All evidence we have from solar indicators is that the sun the last few years have returned to conditions of a century ago. This would seem to include TSI as well, unless they can give a reason for why not [and the paper doesn’t do that]. Since the large increase in their TSI drives the reconstruction back in time, the whole thing becomes dubious. You could contrast this with the conclusion of Schrijver et al.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/the-minimal-solar-activity-in-2008%e2%80%932009-and-its-implications-for-long%e2%80%90term-climate-modeling/
    My money is on Schrijver, but there is a lot of room for confirmation bias with two such disparate papers: you get to choose which ones fits your agenda.

  37. Pamela Gray says: May 10, 2011 at 6:49 am
    IMHO, the Sun, and dare I say anthropogenic CO2, remain distant cousins in the major Earthly drivers of temperature change.
    Agree. Sun provides all the energy but no variability. Oceans and atmosphere are more like two naughty children, while CO2 is a pretentious little upstart; all ‘smoke’ no fire.

  38. References are made to ‘Earth’s thermal equilibrium’. I doubt that such state is ever established. For Earth to do that, first the oceans would have to be in equilibrium; that is highly unlikely since the oceans are continuously perturbed by multiplicity of currents. Among number of other reasons currents are promoted by the lack of equilibrium. Nature’s circular causation.

  39. Is it just my eyes or do the cyan lines end at 1970? Is this “Hide the decline – Part II”?

  40. Patrick M. says:
    May 10, 2011 at 10:08 am
    Is it just my eyes or do the cyan lines end at 1970? Is this “Hide the decline – Part II”?
    No, it is just that the ice core data is not well measured in the upper 30-50 years of the record, because the snow hasn’t yet turned into firm ice.

  41. Leif, it looks like they used data sources from before the decline. Papers cited are from 2004 and 2008, I didn’t read the paper to know if they got updated data.

    To the left, resolution in only 22years.

  42. Leif Svalgaard says:
    May 10, 2011 at 8:53 am

    “My money is on Schrijver, but there is a lot of room for confirmation bias with two such disparate papers: you get to choose which ones fits your agenda”.

    ____________________________________________________________

    21st. Century climate “science” in a nutshell :

    Very long on agendas and confirmation biases. Very short on definitive facts.

    As compelling a reason as there is for NOT allowing it to drive political policy.

  43. Leif said;

    “No, it is just that the ice core data is not well measured in the upper 30-50 years of the record, because the snow hasn’t yet turned into firm ice.”

    Do you mean ‘Firm ice’ or are you just testing us? :)

    tonyb

  44. tonyb says:
    May 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm
    “No, it is just that the ice core data is not well measured in the upper 30-50 years of the record, because the snow hasn’t yet turned into firm ice.”
    Do you mean ‘Firm ice’ or are you just testing us? :)

    The could be some kind of pun here, but the picture I have is that first first few meters is not even ice, but just compacted snow and hard to date [no clear layers and the core falls apart]. I know this first hand from when I lived on top of the Greenland inland ice [78N,45W, altitude 3000m] many years ago and had to get water by melting stuff we dug up of a shaft using a chainsaw. Then the next many meters is called ‘firn’ [with an n] and is also not very good for coring, and then you have finally the proper ice. The conditions vary from place to place, but in general the first few meters are pretty useless.

  45. Alan D McIntire says:
    May 10, 2011 at 6:15 am
    Another reply to John Finn:

    I put a pot on the stove, pour soup in the pot, turn the stove burner up to warm and leave it there- there’s no change in burner level over a period of time, yet my soup still warms. Evedently you’ve never warmed soup in a pot.

    Evidently you aren’t aware that there was strong warming in the early 20th century. In other there words there was little or no lag. There was also supposedly cooling in the early 19th century after high solar activity during the 18th century – agin no lag is evident.

    You need to make up your mind – is there a lag or isn’t there? If there is then the past solar/climate correlation would be less obvious.

  46. John Finn says:
    May 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm
    You need to make up your mind – is there a lag or isn’t there? If there is then the past solar/climate correlation would be less obvious.
    John, you miss the point: there is a variable lag to match the record as the believer sees fit.

  47. Leif said;

    “I know this first hand from when I lived on top of the Greenland inland ice [78N,45W, altitude 3000m] many years ago and had to get water by melting stuff we dug up of a shaft using a chainsaw.”

    Ok, I’ll bite…why were you living on top of greenland inland ice?

    tonyb

  48. tonyb says:
    May 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm
    Ok, I’ll bite…why were you living on top of greenland inland ice?
    To detect Chinese atomic bomb explosions… and on the side to study the interaction between the solar wind magnetic field and that in interplanetary space [this interaction is particularly strong at the location I was at]. Google ‘Svalgaard Mansurov Effect’ to learn more, or see: http://www.leif.org/research/JA078i013p02064.pdf

  49. Leif

    I’m glad I asked-the links were fascinating. As for landing on ice in a Hercules with skis strapped over its wheels….

    tonyb

  50. “You need to make up your mind – is there a lag or isn’t there? If there is then the past solar/climate correlation would be less obvious.”

    There seems to be little lag in the effect on albedo but it then takes a while for the effect of increased or decreased sunlight into the surface waters to become apparent over and above the interannual ENSO cycle and the multidecadal so called PDO cycle.

    And there may well be longer low frequency oceanic cycles involving the thermohaline circulation.

    So in effect the lag is variable as a result of other internal system features involving primarily the oceans sometimes supplementing and sometimes offsetting the solar effects.

    So it is common sense that there will be variable lags due to an ever changing interplay between sun and oceans.

    During the early and late 20th century the periods of high solar activity were by and large at the same time as the positive PDO so there was little or no lag in the air.

    However in the mid 20th century the warming effect of the high level of solar activity from cycles 18 and 19 was partly offset and when sightly weaker cycle 20 came along the combination with a negative PDO gave a slight cooling.

    Since 2000 the sun has been getting quieter and global albedo changed pretty promptly but the residual ocean heat content from the late 20th century is taking a while to dissipate. Nearly gone now though.

  51. Here is a question:
    Let us say that the sun is in a two cycle minimum, perhaps another Dalton minimum.
    This would suggest that it could get cold.
    If it gets cold, how will the warmists respond?
    Will they admit their mistake, or will they try and crack down on dissenting voices, to shut anyone up who even mentions just how cold it is getting lately?
    How much is at stake for them?
    Just how far are they likely to go with this?

  52. vukcevic, I certainly wouldn’t call 10Be “useless”, but I appreciate your caution about misinterpretation. I encourage you to acknowledge that wind drives your pet ocean currents.

  53. tonyb says:
    May 10, 2011 at 4:43 am
    Peter Taylor
    I am somewhat ambivalent about the notion that there is a wholseale transfer of heat from Ocean to land which sems to be the generally agreed maxim.

    i live 100 yards from the South coast of England. The warming effect of the gulf stream . . .

    See the image here:
    Page 3, Figure 2: Thermal infrared image of the Gulf Stream
    http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/SEH/Ocean_Planet/activities/ts2siac2.pdf

    Regarding the Gulf Stream, I wonder what is a ‘normal’ situation. This image doesn’t show the warm ocean anywhere near the south coast of England. I’ve looked at about a dozen images and they are mostly similar to this. I also wonder what happens to all the warmth in the outflow water from the Mediterranean Sea. I have not found a useful link, although I remember a print article from about 25 years ago with the implication that this warm/salty water contributed to the return flow deep water in the Ocean. But where does the heat go?

  54. Leif Svalgaard,

    “John, you miss the point: there is a variable lag to match the record as the believer sees fit.”

    Sometimes this impression should be attributed to complexity rather than bias, or lack of intellectual integrity. There are “lags” at several levels in the climate system. The coolest night time temperatures are often not reached until just before sunrise. The climate response to the solar cycle lags a year or over two years, per Lean, et al, and Camp and Tung. The climate commitment studies of Meehl, et al, and Wigley, et al. show that the mixing layer of the ocean achieves most of its response in the first one to three decades, but the deeper ocean was still responding after a millenia. See level rose most rapidly for centuries after the end of the ice age. There are other well documented lags in the earth system. isostatic rebound from the melting of the ice sheets is still occurring.

    Can a solar maximum really be ruled out as a contributer to the warmest temperatures seen since the Medieval Warm Period, because of a plateau in activity reached as the a period of mid-century cooling occurred? Or could the climate response to the maximum have been delayed by more than just the thermal capacity of mixing layer of the ocean, something like the same uncertainty in aerosol forcing that allows models with sensitivities as disparate as 2 and 6 degrees C to “match” the recent warming and mid-century cooling. Even a solar maximum can be frustrated by aerosols. The CO2 hypothesis can’t get by without considerable help from aerosols, that is why the IPCC was so careful to group and evaluate natural and anthropogenic forcings separately. Classify aerosols with solar and CO2 starts looking small. Could that be selection bias?

  55. Martin Lewitt says:
    May 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm
    Leif Svalgaard,

    “John, you miss the point: there is a variable lag to match the record as the believer sees fit.”

    Sometimes this impression should be attributed to complexity rather than bias, or lack of intellectual integrity. There are “lags” at several levels in the climate system.

    Martin

    The ‘recent’ peak in solar actvity was in ~1991 during solar cycle 22. Solar Cycle 23 was not a particularly strong cycle. According to UAH, the LT trend is positive since 1998 (the big El Nino year). You claim there is ‘complexity’ in the system – yet this complexity does not appear to exist in past solar/climate reconstructions. We are often told that there is a ‘clear’ and ‘obvious’ relationship between solar activity and temperature.

    Look at the top RH graph in Fig 1 above. Where was the lag in ~1900? Surface temperature records show a strong warming (and pause) at the same time as the increase in solar activity. What about the Dalton Minimum? The Maunder Minimum which ended in ~1715? What about solar activity in the 18th century?

    I don’t actually think there is a strong relationship between solar activity and global climate. I do think it’s possible that changes in solar activity cause a shift in weather patterns which give an apparent relationship, but assumptions about past climate have been heavily biased by observations in Europe and North America.

  56. John F Hultquist.

    Thanks for the link. I’m much inclined to think the direction/strength of the wind is a key factor in warming, which of course indirectly may be due to the ocean being warm when it blows off it, but is also due to the nature/location of the weather systems.

    For example we are warm (in winter) when the wind is from the west but cold in winter (despite the sea) when it comes from the east.

    I am inclined to think the oceans may be giant pools of relative warmth (although colder than the surrounding atmosphere in many parts of the world) and it vents to the atmosphere (via wind/ocean agitation/hurricanes etc) then into the upper atmosphere without necesarily affecting any land mass to a significant degree.

    There are very few if any places where the water is consistently warmer than the land mass that surrounds it so the ocean may be a factor in all this but I remain un -convinced it is the key factor based on my empirical observations-which I am hoping to get generously funded :)

    I will also volunteer to carry out research into the warm Mediterranean water outflow and could be ready for a research project there around November when- purely coicidentally- it will be cold and grey here in Britain.

    tonyb

  57. agree with Martin Lewitt.
    With all due respect to the experts on solar science who comment here, the question is as always, do we really know what we don’t know?
    I offer in support of that question, a few recent studies which have questioned the ‘known’ science. TSI does not vary significantly but wait a minute, specific wavelengths do. The thermosphere predictably expands and contracts in response to solar cylces, except when it doesn’t. And of course, this topic, new reconstruction suggests 6 x greater solar forcing than previously thought.
    This is not in anyway intended as a slur against the state of the science or the mindset of those who have commented with expertise. I am however, aware that individuals have a great deal of themselves invested in their own beliefs. This is the way it will always be.

  58. John Finn,

    “Look at the top RH graph in Fig 1 above. Where was the lag in ~1900? Surface temperature records show a strong warming (and pause) at the same time as the increase in solar activity. What about the Dalton Minimum? The Maunder Minimum which ended in ~1715? What about solar activity in the 18th century?”

    Figure 1 does not have temparature. I think you misunderstand the nature of the lag. The land temperatures respond pretty quickly, it is the ocean state that lags. Coming out of a relatively prolonged cool period like the little ice age, the over all ocean heat content will be less than it would be after a short term excursion to the same temperature. Therefore if a variable warming forcing plateaus, the ocean will still be gradually getting warmer. This happened after the great ice sheets melted, the thermal expansion of the oceans continued for thousands of years because the oceans had been in such a deeply cold state. If a warming forcing dips but still is above the equilibrium state of the ocean and the ocean will keep on absorbing heat. The temperature dip may be deeper than it would have been with a warmer ocean, and if after the dip, the forcing reaches its previous level of forcing, the temperature may be higher due to the warmer ocean. Coming into the solar plateau at the midcentury cooling, the temperature should have continued noticably upward for a decade or so, and the mixing layer of the oceans should have continued heat uptake for a couple more decades beyond that. If the plateau in forcing continued, while the temperature effections would have been minimal, the thermal expansion of the oceans would have continued for centuries. But the climate system, of which the ocean is the major part, never reaches equilibrium because the climate is always changing. Once the mid-century cooling (which wasn’t caused by CO2 BTW), was over still high solar activity could once again resume bring the ocean up in temperature.

    “I do think it’s possible that changes in solar activity cause a shift in weather patterns which give an apparent relationship, but assumptions about past climate have been heavily biased by observations in Europe and North America.”

    Yes that is where most of the observations have been, but the trend in the science is to find more confirmation that these were global events.

  59. Paul Vaughan says:
    May 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm
    vukcevic, I certainly wouldn’t call 10Be “useless”, but I appreciate your caution about misinterpretation. I encourage you to acknowledge that wind drives your pet ocean currents.

    Hi Paul
    Take a look at http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET&10Be.gif
    (two top graphs from http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET&10Be.htm )
    Dye-3 shows extremely good correlation with CET, while NGRIP is a bit more intermittent, but still impressive at prolong periods.
    10Be is suppose to be direct reflection (inverted function) for the strength of heliospheric magnetic field, i.e. the sun’s magnetic activity, and CET is the best and longest temperature record we have.
    Dye-3 tells us there is perfect correlation between two until 1970, ergo CET is in perfect correlation with solar activity; hence all arguments about ‘climate driver’ should be over.
    Right? Of course not.
    1970 onwards satellite data are in force. No correlation!
    10Be from Greenland are no good.

    Winds drive some of the sea surface circulation. Low altitude winds (in direct contact with sea surface) change direction frequently, main currents do not. It is currents at some depth which are critical for any climate change e.g.

    and they are well beyond any influence of the atmospheric circulation.

  60. Superpose many forcing frequencies with many and various time lags and what do you get? Noise. And we sit here trying to analyze it. Fortunately, its red noise.

  61. “Dye-3 tells us there is perfect correlation between two until 1970, ergo CET is in perfect correlation with solar activity; hence all arguments about ‘climate driver’ should be over.
    Right? Of course not.
    1970 onwards satellite data are in force. No correlation!
    10Be from Greenland are no good.”

    I haven’t checked the above personally but I’ll take it as true.

    The 10Be from Greenland could still be a useful regional indicator as regards CET but no good as a global indicator.

    The thing is that solar changes seem to alter the surface pressure distribution which has a large effect regionally but conceivably a small effect globally until much later due to the global effect of the oceanic lag times.

    So the effect of solar changes on the air circulation and albedo is virtually instant and has a regional effect straight away. The global temperature change is subject to variable oceanic lag effects and only becomes apparent much later. After all, the immediate air circulation effects just send as much energy poleward as equatorward so it’s primarily just a redistribution. Hence the increase in both hot and cold periods especially in the mid latitudes. The global consequence has to await the subsequent manifestation of the increase or decrease of solar energy into the oceans.

    Thus 10Be from Greenland is a good indicator of the effect of solar changes on CET (and probably also other regional datasets) in the short term but is way out of phase with global temperatures as measured by the satellites.

    Can I have my cake and eat it ?

  62. Stephen Wilde wrote:

    “The thing is that solar changes seem to alter the surface pressure distribution which has a large effect regionally but conceivably a small effect globally until much later due to the global effect of the oceanic lag times.

    So the effect of solar changes on the air circulation and albedo is virtually instant and has a regional effect straight away. The global temperature change is subject to variable oceanic lag effects and only becomes apparent much later. After all, the immediate air circulation effects just send as much energy poleward as equatorward so it’s primarily just a redistribution. Hence the increase in both hot and cold periods especially in the mid latitudes. The global consequence has to await the subsequent manifestation of the increase or decrease of solar energy into the oceans.”

    THERE’S NO LAG.

  63. Vukcevic, I encourage you to stop following Svalgaard’s bad example of linear “reasoning”. See for example Maraun & Kurths (2005). Your contributions to the discussion are valuable. Best Regards.

  64. Paul Vaughan says:
    May 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

    “THERE’S NO LAG.”

    The idea that there are no lags within the system seems bizarre to me when we need to consider ENSO, PDO and the Thermohaline circulation all of which alter the rate at which solar energy that has entered the oceans is then released back to the air.

    One could say that that is not a true ‘lag’ being merely a product of internal system variability but it amounts to much the same thing.

    Given that air circulation shifts have a rapid effect regionally but only a much later effect globally it seems to me that the surface temperature datasets are only a guide to the current energy distribution at the surface and no guide at all to the temperature of the entire system.

    We need satellites for the latter.

    Effectively the surface temperature datasets and the satellite datasets are measuring entirely different phenomena.

    Quite a lot of rethinking should follow on from that.

  65. Paul
    Distance Dye-3 location to CET area is ~2700km. It should be obvious that 10Be record from Dye-3 http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET&10Be.gif (top graph)
    can’t mach nearly perfectly CET’s for 300 years and be correct. Number of papers have questioned 10Be record from different aspect (try to google it)
    However, there must be an answer to the conundrum.

  66. “But I still think that the temperatures during ~40s were comparable to the ~80s/90s.”

    They were until Steve McIntyre pointed out to Hansen al all that 1934 was the hottest year on record in the US. The Team then sent a huge air-conditioner back through time and cooled of the US temperature records, thus proving the climate models correct and Steve McIntyre wrong.

  67. vukcevic – appears we’ve had a misunderstanding. I agree with your call for cautious interpretation of 10Be – i.e. maybe it just doesn’t represent what many think — but nonetheless it might represent something else — perhaps something even more interesting… Cheers!


    Stephen Wilde – diplomatic response – well done. I’ll elaborate soon at a preliminary level, but of course the discussion will carry on for months or years. Thanks for your interesting notes. We should be asking around to figure out what existing datasets might represent the variable loopiness you describe. If no such summaries exist, they could be devised. Fractal dimension would be one candidate; perimeter/area ratios another; etc. I have some related ideas to pursue on semi-annual LOD’… Thanks again.

  68. vukcevic, Stephen Wilde, & others,

    Please see section 3:

    Maraun, D.; & Kurths, J. (2005). Epochs of phase coherence between El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Indian monsoon. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L15709. doi10.1029-2005GL023225.
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~douglas/papers/maraun05a.pdf

    (I don’t mean to draw attention to the title, etc. – just section 3, which makes a terribly important point concisely.)

  69. Thanks Paul, you said:

    “Maraun, D.; & Kurths, J. (2005). Epochs of phase coherence between El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Indian monsoon. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L15709. doi10.1029-2005GL023225.
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~douglas/papers/maraun05a.pdf

    (I don’t mean to draw attention to the title, etc. – just section 3, which makes a terribly important point concisely.)”

    The idea seems to be that over time two variable oscillations that are in constant interaction with one another will move towards synchronicity which works against lag effects.

    Did I get that right ?

    As regards solar and oceanic oscillations I have previously proposed that they are currently more or less on average for most of the time in phase (which in practice means that if the sun puts energy into the system faster for a warming effect via less clouds then the oceans pump it out to space faster for a cooling effect via stronger El Ninos). An antiphase effect as it were.

    I have also suggested that over time the phasing could shift so that sun and oceans then supplement each other’s effects rather than offsetting as they do now.

    Is there any evidence that the phasing between solar and oceanic oscillations CANNOT change out in the real world as opposed to theoretically as in that paper ?

    I see that the finding is limnited to El Nino and the Indian Monsoon. I can envisage them locking together due to their proximity and thus similar responses to a forcing from the global oceans and/or the solar input to the oceans but I can’t see that that suggests that the oscillations of sun and oceans also lock together in similar phases.

    Mind you my proposals would still work if the solar and oceanic oscillations WERE locked together but still varied somewhat around the point of balance. They don’t have to go fully in or out of phase to achieve the observed climate variability.

  70. New paper by physicist Denis Rancourt on some of these matters, titled: “Radiation physics constraints on global warming”

    http://climateguy.blogspot.com/2011/05/radiation-physics-constraints-on-global_12.html

    A few excerpts:

    The abstract begins:
    “I describe the basic physics of planetary radiation balance and surface temperature, in the simplest and most robust terms possible that capture the essential ingredients of planetary greenhouse warming.” […]

    And the abstract ends:

    […] “Earth’s radiative balance determining its surface temperature is shown to be two orders of magnitude more sensitive to solar irradiance and to planetary albedo and emissivity than to the atmospheric greenhouse effect from CO2. All the model predictions robustly follow from the starting assumptions without any need for elaborate global circulation models. A recent critique of the dominant climate change science narrative is evaluated in the light of our model.”

    Paper begins:

    “Let us start by building the simplest possible model of planetary radiation balance, realistic enough to capture the essential global average features.”

    “We take the planet to be a perfect sphere with a smooth and homogeneous surface and to have a thin (compared to the planet radius) and homogeneous atmosphere. The planet is uniformly irradiated by a distant sun.”
    […]

    And paper ends:

    […]
    The above sensitivity results corroborate these statements in my recent critique [20]:

    “There are three main problems with this amplification hypothesis [positive water vapour feedback]. First, there is no empirical support or experimental verification for it. Global average atmospheric water vapour concentration is impossible to measure because water constantly changes phase (vapour, liquid, ice) and is distributed inhomogeneously (vapour, rain, snow, clouds, fog, surface condensation/sublimation/vaporisation, etc.).

    Second, there are innumerable hypothetical mechanisms whereby any feedback between CO2 and water vapour could be negative rather than positive and no practical way to evaluate most of these possible mechanisms. For example, just to name one, an increase in CO2 could change the plant ecology in such a way as to reduce evaporation from plants. One could sit and invent hundreds of such plausible scenarios (all equally irrelevant with respect to global climate).

    Thirdly, it is likely that there are other negative (or positive?) also negligible climate feedbacks with CO2 that do not depend on coupling with water vapour. CO2 can be a growth limiting plant nutrient such that its impact on albedo might produce greater climate leverage than any greenhouse effect gas coupling could ever achieve?

    In summary, as I showed in 2007 [2]: “There is of course much more wrong with state-of-the-art global circulation models (climate models) than the assumption and implementation of CO2-H2O feedback. Although these models are among the most elaborate predictive models of complex non-linear phenomena, they are nonetheless sweeping oversimplifications of the global climate system and its mechanistic intricacies.”

    Overall, therefore, there is no established reason to believe that CO2 could be a climate driver and many reasons to conclude that, although CO2 may often follow or correlate with climate indicators [2], climate drivers are related to solar irradiance and albedo and have nothing to do with CO2.”

  71. Stephen Wilde,

    My intention was to draw attention to the methodology presented in section 3, which can be applied to any variables (not just AIR & SOI). There’s no “theory”; this is a framework for observing.

    There are too many misconceptions about oceanic oscillations in online climate discussions. The inescapable bottom line is that oceans don’t produce their own heat. They just receive insolation.

    “Lag” is a maladaptive (but stubbornly persistent) way of framing conceptions about phase relations. “Variable lag” acknowledges more about the nature of the phenomena, but it’s still based on a fundamental misinterpretation of spatially-stationary temporally-global cross-correlation. Complex summaries (as in complex numbers) are needed.

    Excessive (& in many cases exclusive) focus on the mean has left many blinded to the variance. Spatially-asymmetric (north-south) temporally-nonstationary (due to solar cycle acceleration) decadal variations of semi-annual amplitude are a source of multidecadal variations.

    Interfering very seriously with many researchers’ perceptions are interannual variations. Global waves with local manifestations (“spatiotemporal chaos”) are synchronized with the interannual (not to be confused with decadal) component of solar activity.

    More on this in the days & months ahead.

    Best Regards.

  72. @Joe Lalonde,vukcevic,Stephen Wilde

    It seems to me that they used different 10Be data sources to go back to the Maunder minimum, and only Greenland to go back further. From the article,
    “Three different datasets of the 10Be data were used: measurements at DYE 3,
    Greenland, and the South Pole provided by McCracken et al.
    (2004) for the reconstruction back to the Maunder minimum,
    and measurements from the Greenland Ice core Project provided
    by Vonmoos et al. (2006) for the reconstruction back to 7300
    BC.” and “Prior to 1952 the composites are based on
    10Be data (cyan based on DYE 3, and red on South Pole records,
    bothwith 22-year resolution).”

Comments are closed.