From Schmidt 2005 to Miller 2012: the "not needed" excuse for omitted variable fraud

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Guest post by Alec Rawls

Miller et al. 2012 recently provided some pretty strong evidence for a solar driver of climate. “This is the first time anyone has clearly identified the specific onset of the cold times marking the start of the Little Ice Age,” said lead author Gifford Miller in January. And the dates?

LIA summer cold and ice growth began abruptly between 1275 and 1300 AD, followed by a substantial intensification 1430-1455 AD.

As you can see in the graphic above (from Usoskin 2003) these dates correspond pretty much with the midpoints of the Wolf and Spörer solar minima. (Usoskin 2007 centers Wolf at 1305 with a duration of 70 years and Spörer at 1470 with a duration of 160 years.)

Yet Miller never noted this coincidence. In fact, he tried to hide it, claiming that the onset of snow and ice growth coincided with periods of especially high volcanism (debunked both by Willis and by Wired), while dismissing the solar explanation with a misleading reference to the Maunder Minimum:

Our precisely dated records demonstrate that the expansion of ice caps after Medieval times was initiated by an abrupt and persistent snowline depression late in the 13th Century, and amplified in the mid 15th Century, coincident with episodes of repeated explosive volcanism centuries before the widely cited Maunder sunspot minimum (1645–1715 AD [Eddy, 1976]).

This is a remarkably blatant deception, acceded to by 13 co-authors plus the reviewers and editors at Geophysical Research Letters. It takes no expertise to know about the Wolf and Spörer minima. There is no physics involved, so who do these people think they are fooling?

Nobody. They just don’t think it is their job to make the case for what they regard as “the other side.” The anti-CO2 alarmists are behaving like lawyers in an adversarial legal proceeding, hiding what hurts their own case while overstating what can be fashioned in support. In the courts an adversarial system is able to elicit a measure of truth only because there is a judge to maintain rules of evidence and a hopefully unbiased jury examining the facts. These conditions do not obtain in science. The anti-CO2 alarmists are both the peer-review jury and the judge/editors, devolving into a pre-scientific ethic where acceptance is determined by power, not reason and evidence.

The lawyerly behavior of Miller et al. lead them to embrace a particular excuse for ignoring the evidence for a powerful solar driver of climate (even evidence that they themselves uncover). They don’t “need” it. But they were not the pioneers of this anti-scientific ploy. That dishonor goes to Gavin Schmidt.

Miller’s two null hypotheses, specific and general

The specific hypothesis of Miller’s paper is a feedback mechanism by which the cooling from volcanic episodes could get amplified into longer term cooling. It is “tested” via climate model. From Miller’s University of Colorado press release:

The models showed sustained cooling from volcanoes would have sent some of the expanding Arctic sea ice down along the eastern coast of Greenland until it eventually melted in the North Atlantic. Since sea ice contains almost no salt, when it melted the surface water became less dense, preventing it from mixing with deeper North Atlantic water. This weakened heat transport back to the Arctic and creating a self-sustaining feedback system on the sea ice long after the effects of the volcanic aerosols subsided.

But the real null hypothesis of the paper, the one that expresses the authors’ motivation, as revealed by blatant cover-up of their own evidence for a solar driver of climate, is more general. It appears in the last line of their abstract, which says that in order to explain the Little Ice Age, “large changes in solar irradiance are not required.”

The timings Miller found point like a neon sign to a solar explanation but he is determinedly oblivious to that evidence. He is only interested in whether there could be some other possible explanation, and as long as that null hypothesis is not absolutely falsified, he takes that as a rationale for ignoring the alternative hypothesis and the evidence for it.

What exactly is the alternative hypothesis? According to Miller’s wording, it is that the Little Ice Age was actually caused by “large changes in solar irradiance.” But nobody thinks that there have been large changes in solar irradiance. There is broad agreement that while solar magnetic activity fluctuates dramatically, solar irradiance remains almost constant. Irradiance shifts towards the UV when solar activity is high, but the change in Total Solar Irradiance is too small to bring about much decadal or century scale variation in climate.

In contrast, there is a great deal of evidence for a solar-magnetic driver of climate (second section here). This is the real alternate hypothesis, and there is at least one well developed theory for how it could occur: Henrik Svensmark’s GCR-cloud.

As a good adversarial lawyer, Miller is unwilling to betray any hint that this alternate hypothesis is even a possibility. Like Voldemart, it is the foe that “must not be named.” Thus Miller refers to the possible solar-magnetic driver of climate indirectly and incorrectly as “large changes in solar irradiance.”

Lawyerly advocacy is not science

In his role as an advocate, Miller’s fear is fully justified. A strong solar-magnetic effect on climate would be a death knell for anti-CO2 alarmism. Any late 20th century warming that can be attributed to that era’s continued high levels of solar activity reduces by the same amount the warming that can possibly be attributed to CO2, which in tern reduces the implied sensitivity of climate to CO2. Even worse, if solar-magnetic effects actually outweigh CO2 effects (my own surmise, by a wide margin) then the present danger is cooling, not warming, thanks to our now quiescent sun.

But lawyerly advocacy is not science. To only examine the evidence for non-solar explanations is to throw away information, violating the most basic scientific rationality, yet this is what the “consensus” has been doing for many years. My review of the first draft of the next IPCC report documents how “vast evidence for solar climate driver rates one oblique sentence in AR5.” AR4 listed Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) as the only solar effect on climate, as did the Third Assessment Report (scroll to TSI). “The Team” simply omits what they wish to avoid.

Miller plays this game from the get go, where his opening literature review assumes that the only solar effect is TSI:

Episodes of anomalously cold summers primarily are attributed to some combination of reductions in solar irradiance, especially the LIA Maunder sunspot minimum [Eddy, 1976], explosive volcanism, and changes in the internal modes of variability in the ocean–atmosphere system [Crowley, 2000; Wanner et al., 2011]. However, the natural radiative forcings are either weak or, in the case of explosive volcanism, shortlived [Robock, 2000], thus requiring substantial internal feedback.

Robock 2000 only addresses the volcanic issue, so Miller’s only grounds for calling solar forcing a “weak” effect is his own analysis, where he only looks at TSI (using the TSI reconstruction of Schmidt et al. 2011).

That’s a phony literature review. Miller’s repeated deceptions—hiding the Wolf and Spörer minima, referring to large solar effects as “large changes in solar irradiance” when there is no such hypothesis—can only be to hide the possible role of solar magnetic activity, but this actual object of Miller’s paper goes unmentioned in what is supposed to be a survey of the most relevant science. The literature review is a place where an adversarial approach is explicitly rejected by well established scientific standards, but the alarmists are not playing by the rules.

There is nothing wrong with Miller et al. testing their hypothesis that solar activity does not play a significant role (which they do by “setting solar radiation at a constant level in the climate models”). But when they pair this non-falsification of their pet theory with blatant misdirection about their own discovered evidence for the alternative hypothesis, that is bad. It is using the “not needed” claim as an implicit justification for the omitted variable fraud that the entire consensus is engaged in.

Gavin Schmidt is a pioneer of the “not needed” excuse for ignoring possible solar magnetic effects

Some history on this particular ploy, for anyone who is interested. Miller and his co-authors are not the first to pull the “not needed” gambit. Eleven years ago Shindell, Schmidt, Mann, Rind and Waple published a paper in Science that is remarkably similar to Miller 2012. Like Miller, Schmidt and his co-authors propose a North Atlantic mechanism for amplifying cooling effects, though the mechanism itself is quite different. The spectral shift that accompanies decreased solar activity is hypothesized to alter atmospheric ozone composition in a cooling direction, setting in motion atmospheric flows (“planet waves”) that in turn are hypothesized to drive the North Atlantic Oscillation. Their null hypothesis is the same as Miller’s: that they can account for the Little Ice Age without invoking any solar effects beyond the expected variations in solar irradiance, and their test is also the same: they run a model.

If the UV shift that goes with low solar activity can explain much of the Little Ice Age, couldn’t the UV shift from high solar activity explain a similar amount of 20th century warming? No say Shindell et al. Changes in atmospheric composition from the pre-industrial to the industrial period supposedly cause the effect of the UV shift to reverse (p. 2151):

Ozone’s reversal from a positive (preindustrial) to a negative feedback supports results showing that solar forcing has been a relatively minor contributor to late 20th-century surface warming (7, 19, 31).

Thus the CO2 explanation for recent warming is not undercut, enabling claims of future catastrophic warming to go forward. Of course Schmidt’s references “showing that solar forcing has been a relatively minor contributor to late 20th-century surface warming” only look at TSI, and his “ozone reversal” is not an empirical finding but a model result. They’ve got all the doors manned.

In 2005, this 2001 paper became the centerpiece of a public exchange between Gavin Schmidt and science fiction author Jerry Pournelle. Schmidt was vigorously insisting on the scientific integrity of himself and everyone he knew:

None, not one, of the climate scientists I meet at conferences or workshops or that I correspond with fit the stereotype you paint of catastrophists making up worries to gain grant money. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever made a dramatic statement in papers, public speechs, grant applications or letters to the editor. Yet I still manage to keep my job and support a couple of graduate students. This is the same in every institution and university. … I do not go around being a doom sayer – but it is incumbent on scientists to explain to people what it is we think we understand, and what it is we don’t.

To explain the sober science that causes him to dismiss the solar-warming hypothesis, Schmidt invoked his 2001 paper with Shindell et al.. It shows that there is no “need” to bring in any suspicious “new physics” (Schmidt’s Voldmartian euphemism for the solar-magnetic hypothesis that must not be named):

I was a co-author of a paper in Science in 2001, that looked at whether climate models could replicate this pattern given the known physics of solar change. We found that two features were key, allowing the solar irradiance to vary more in the UV than in the visible (consistent with what is seen over the sunspot cycle), and allowing the ozone field to vary as a function of the UV and temperature in the stratosphere. With both of these effects, the model produced global cooling (as you would expect) but also a robust change to the circulation (a weakened NAO) that amplified the cooling in western Eurasia and over the mid-latitude continents. Obviously given the uncertainties in the forcing, the data that we were trying to match, and uncertainty in the model response, we can’t use this a proof that we got all of it right. However, in the absence of better data, there is no obvious need for ‘new’ or unknown physics to explain what was going on. This was just a first cut, and better models and more data are being brought to bear on the problem, so the conclusion may change in the future. As of now though, this is still the current state of thinking.

“New or unknown physics” is obviously a reference to to GCR-cloud, which Schmidt finds lacking as a theory. Fine, but that is no excuse for ignoring the ever growing mountain of evidence that there is some mechanism by which solar activity is having a much larger effect on climate than can be explained by changes in solar irradiance. I compile some of that evidence in the second section here. For the state of that evidence in 2001, the Third Assessment Report’s section 6.11.2.2 on “Cosmic rays and clouds” is well worth a look.

While AR4 and AR5 have progressively excised the evidence for solar activity as a powerful driver of global temperature, TAR actually began with several paragraphs of studies that found substantial correlations between solar activity and climate. Only then did it judge the proposed mechanisms that might account for these correlations to be too uncertain to include in their modeling.

That would be okay if they still took the discovered correlations into account in formulating their climate predictions, but of course they did not. This is the highly improper step that invalidates the IPCC’s entire enterprise. They are using theory (in particular, their dissatisfaction with Svensmark’s GCR-cloud theory) as an excuse to ignore the evidence that supports the theory, excising its known predictive power from their predictive scheme.

Evidence is supposed to trump theory, not vice versa. The IPCC is inverting the scientific method. It is literal, definitional, anti-science, and Schmidt’s “no need” excuse is simply another justification for doing the same thing. Since there is no need to invoke a strong solar driver of climate, he is going to ignore the evidence for a strong solar driver of climate, and this is what Schmidt holds up to Pournelle as an example of his integrity: the very point where he justifies the omitted variable fraud that is being perpetrated by himself and his cohorts. If only he were capable of embarrassment.

Who is actually doing a suspicious new kind of physics?

Schmidt looks askance at GCR-cloud as “new physics,” but it isn’t new in any fundamental sense. The cloud micro-physics that Svensmark, Kirkby and others are looking at is presumed to follow established particle physics models. It is a new application of current physics. What Schmidt is really suggesting with his jaundiced eye is that we should be reluctant to extrapolate our current understanding of physical principles to illuminate the biggest scientific controversy of the day.

At the same time, he and Miller and the rest of the alarmists have introduced something that really is new and problematic. They are using model runs to test their hypotheses. They are using theory to test theory, with no empirical test needed. Here Miller describes how he “tests” his theory about ocean feedbacks (page 3 of 5):

Climate modeling reveals one such possible feedback mechanism. Following Zhong et al. [2011], we tested whether abrupt LIA snowline depressions could be initiated by decadally paced explosive volcanism and maintained by subsequent sea-ice/ocean feedbacks. We completed a 550-year transient experiment (1150–1700 AD) using Community Climate System Model 3 [Collins et al., 2006] with interactive sea ice [Holland et al., 2006] at T42 x 1 resolution. Our transient simulation was branched off a 1000 AD control run, and forced solely by a reconstructed history of stratospheric volcanic aerosols and relatively weak solar irradiance changes (Figure 2b) [Gao et al., 2008].

Models are not reality, and in the above case the model is known to be wrong. Total solar effects are presumed to be “weak”? That is what the alarmists all assume but it is not what the empirical evidence says, and while they may be able to tweak their models enough to keep them from being strictly falsified by the LIA, the last decade of no significant warming has them stumped completely.

General Circulation Models are the most elaborate hypotheses ever concocted. They involve thousands of questionable steps, iterated thousands of times. To illustrate, the Shindell-Schmidt paper is good enough to provide us with a highly abridged description of the hypothetical steps that their model works through. It gives some idea of the volume and sweep of what they are theorizing (p. 2150). (If you are actually going to read this, brace yourself):

Our previous studies have demonstrated how external forcings can excite the AO/ NAO in the GISS GCM (22, 25). Briefly, the mechanism works as follows, using a shift toward the high-index AO/NAO as an example: (i) tropical and subtropical SSTs warm, leading to (ii) a warmer tropical and subtropical upper troposphere via moist convective processes. This results in (iii) an increased latitudinal temperature gradient at around 100 to 200 mbar, because these pressures are in the stratosphere at higher latitudes, and so do not feel the surface warming (26). The temperature gradient leads to (iv) enhanced lower stratospheric westerly winds, which (v) refract upward-propagating tropospheric planetary waves equatorward. This causes (vi) increased angular momentum transport to high latitudes and enhanced tropospheric westerlies, and the associated temperature and pressure changes corresponding to a high AO/NAO index. Observations support a planetary wave modulation of the AO/NAO (27, 28), and zonal wind and planetary wave propagation changes over recent decades are well reproduced in the model (22).

Reduced irradiance during the Maunder Minimum causes a shift toward the lowindex AO/NAO state via this same mechanism. During December to February, the surface in the tropics and subtropics cools by 0.4° to 0.5°C because of reduced incoming radiation and the upper stratospheric ozone increase. Cooling in the tropical and subtropical upper troposphere is even more pronounced (;0.8°C) because of cloud feedbacks, including an ;0.5% decrease in high cloud cover induced by ozone through surface effects. A similar response was seen in simulations with a finer resolution version of the GISS GCM (14). This cooling substantially reduces the latitudinal temperature gradient in the tropopause region, decreasing the zonal wind there at ;40°N. Planetary waves coming up from the surface at mid-latitudes, which are especially abundant during winter, are then deflected toward the equator less than before (equatorward Eliassen-Palm flux is reduced by 0.41 m2/s2, 12° to 35°N, 300 to 100 mbar average), instead propagating up into the stratosphere (increased vertical flux of 6.3 3 1024 m2/s2, 35° to 60°N, 100 to 5 mbar average) (29). This increases the wavedriven stratospheric residual circulation, which warms the polar lower stratosphere (up to 1°C), providing a positive feedback by further weakening the latitudinal temperature gradient. The wave propagation changes imply a reduction in northward angular momentum transport, hence a slowing down of the middle- and high-latitude westerlies and a shift toward the low AO/NAO index. Because the oceans are relatively warm during the winter owing to their large heat capacity, the diminished flow creates a cold-land/ warm-ocean surface pattern (Fig. 1).

That is a LOT of speculation. Normally it is all hidden. They just say, “we did a model run,” but this is what it actually means: ten thousand questionable steps iterated a hundred thousand times. It is fine for people to be working on these models and trying to make progress with them, but to use them to make claims about what is actually happening in the world is insane, and using them as an excuse for ignoring actual empirical evidence is worse than insane.

This really is a new kind of science, and not one that stands up to scrutiny. We are being asked to turn our world upside down on the strength of the most elaborate speculations in the history of mankind, yet Schmidt thinks it is cloud microphysics—traditional science!—that should be eschewed. All to justify the destruction of the modern world, now well underway.

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ferdberple

The evidence that magnetic fields play a large part in climate change has been known for decades and completely overlooked by mainstream climate science.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume 38, Issue 2, 15 February 1978, Pages 313–318
Abstract
Dates of climatic episodes recorded in deep-sea cores are compared with the dates of palaeomagnetic polarity transitions during the Upper Pliocene period. The chance that the number of observed coincident dates will be a random occurrence can be as low as 3 × 10−4, and if a suitable simple probability model holds there is apparently a probability of about 0.4 that a climatic event will cause a magneticfieldreversal.

I was rather bemused by this comment;
“Miller et al. 2012 recently provided some pretty strong evidence for a solar driver of climate. “This is the first time anyone has clearly identified the specific onset of the cold times marking the start of the Little Ice Age,” said lead author Gifford Miller in January. And the dates?
LIA summer cold and ice growth began abruptly between 1275 and 1300 AD, followed by a substantial intensification 1430-1455 AD.”
I’m sorry, but these dates are widely known with much dcumentary evidence. I have written on them myself and so have many other people.
What might be true however is that in recent years our knowledge of the past has been obscured by computer models which seem to have a blind spot with established history as a new breed of technicians have gained ascendancy over historians.
tonyb

ferdberple

Why is the Arctic warming while the Antarctic is not, as evidenced by ice extent? This cannot be explained by CO2 or aerosols or indeed any product of industrialization.
The most obvious cause is the rapid change underway at the earth’s north magnetic pole. The north magenetic poles is moving from Canada towards Siberia, faster than at any observed time in modern history.

Dr Mo

Sir, I must take issue with your association of the noble profession of lawyers with the now discredited discipline of climate science. How about picking on a profession that we could both agree upon, such as used car salespersons? Or perhaps real estate agents? 🙂

Rick

In paragraph 7 shouldn’t this be pro-CO2 … “The anti-CO2 alarmists are both the peer-review jury and the judge/editors, devolving into a pre-scientific ethic”

edcaryl

Rube Goldburg would be proud!

ferdberple

GCR may not be the whole answer when it comes to the role of the earth’s magnetic field in affecting climate. Science has a very poor understanding of the connection between the sun’s magnetic field, the earth’s magnetic field, and the effects of the solar wind on the earth’s atmosphere.
It seems logical that large amounts of solar ionized particles energing earth’s atmosphere at the poles is likely to affect the atmosphere significantly, changing its chemistry. Ionizers are used in homes to clean the air, by changing the rate at which particles clump together. Perhaps this rate of clumping is what is missing from the cloud formation hypothesis.

Jones

Dr Mo says:
April 29, 2012 at 6:26 am
Sir, I must take issue with your association of the noble profession of lawyers with the now discredited discipline of climate science. How about picking on a profession that we could both agree upon, such as used car salespersons? Or perhaps real estate agents? 🙂
Sir, I must take issue with your association of the noble profession of lawyers with the now discredited discipline of climate science. How about picking on a profession that we could both agree upon, such as used car salespersons? Or perhaps real estate agents? 🙂
Please forgive me Sir and I don’t mean to muddy the waters (or go O/T) here but 1. My best friend is a car-dealer and he truly is a completely honourable and trustworthy individual but I accept that this might be relegated to the ‘even some of my friends are Jewish etc’ category and 2. My ex-wife is a real-estate agent and on this note I would concur with your position.
Then again I am biased.
P.S. Why don’t sharks eat lawyers?………………………..Professional courtesy………

ge0050

“However, in the absence of better data, there is no obvious need for ‘new’ or unknown physics to explain what was going on.”
This is a common argument in modern science. If we can explain what we see with what we believe to be true, then there is no need to look further for an explanation.
The problem with this arguments is that it assumes what we believe to be true is the same as what is true. It leads to the role of the scientists not as an explorer of truth, but rather as a technician seeking to prove a point of view.
Thus, if you are funded to prove that A causes B, and you are able to show with current knowledge that A causes B, your job has been done successfully.
If instead, somewhere along the line you accidentally discovered evidence that A did not causes B, why would you publish this? You were not funded to publish contrary evidence. Indeed, you might be violating the terms of your funding in doing so, jeopardizing future funding.
Thus, it might be said that scientists that publish only one side of the argument are not acting as scientists, they are acting as employees doing the job they were hired to perform.

Doug Arthur

Voldemort.

jlurtz

The “constant TSI” supporters need to explain why the 10.7 cm FLUX varies from a Sunspot minimum to maximum [ ~70 to ~280 units]. The FLUX is by definition “energy” in a radio frequency band. By thermodynamics, “all” more energetic particles lose energy, and, therefore, become less energetic particles. All energy must pass through the “FLUX window” on its way to Cosmic Noise [unless the energy was created less energetic that the FLUX frequency].
The magnetic field of the Sun is an indicator of Solar activity/energy production. The real question is the “HOW” of “small Solar variations” affecting the transfer/retention heat on the Planet. As others have stated, a possible cause is the “expansion/contraction of the Ozone layer”.
The constant “TSI” view is the same as the “Flat Earther’s view”: “All others are wrong, our faith is correct”.

trbixler

Do the sales people at University of Colorado Boulder with co-authors at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) think they can hold off the changing climate with their models? It did work for Bernie Madoff for a period of time but then reality set in. Looking for the CO2 molecule under the moving shell while the monies flow from your pocket to the the great beyond. Funny how the names Maunder, Wolf and Spörer stick in everyone’s mind. Hard to rewrite history even though every effort is made to do so.

Peter Miller

ferd berple says:
April 29, 2012 at 6:26 am
“Why is the Arctic warming while the Antarctic is not, as evidenced by ice extent? This cannot be explained by CO2 or aerosols or indeed any product of industrialization?”
I have often wondered about this.
The answer may have something to do with the Norilsk nickel mine in central east Siberia, located a few hundred kms north of the Arctic circle. In the good old Soviet days it used to spew ~2.5 million tonnes per annum of SO2 into the atmosphere, now this figure is just less than 1.0 million tonnes.
Norilsk is Russia’s single largest industrial complex (there is nothing comparable in the West) and for those who have been to this fun place, like me, one of its more interesting attributes is having to live in a sulphuric acid cloud for much of the year.
I note in CRUTEM 4, much of the supposed warming in the new improved model (mostly in the high Arctic and few places elsewhere) is located east of Norilsk, so it is possible a significant amount of CRUTEM 4’s new improved figures, designed to promote alarmist temperature changes, is due to the high level of sulphur rich aerosols in northern Russia up until a few years ago.
As for the accuracy of temperature information from Arctic Russia in the cash strapped decade following communism’s collapse, I would treat these figures with a sack of salt.

Am I glad to see this sort of thing written up by someone who really knows what he is talking about. Some years ago, when the AR4 was published, I contacted Nigel Calder with a suggestion that the part of the AR4 on extraterrestrial effects should be attacked, for precisely the reasons Alec has outlined in this excellent paper. Nigel declined my suggestion. I sincerely hope that when the AR5 is produced, this attack will be successfully launched.

Chuck Nolan

You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
G. K. Chesterton
English author & mystery novelist (1874 – 1936)

Pamela Gray

Actually, what is missed are the natural intrinsic oscillating oceanic/atmospheric teleconnections paired with a leaky lid punctured by the loss of heat through thermals and thunder clouds. The fact that a solar minimum happens at some point during one of the longer teleconnected instrinsic oscillating periods is likely to be, and should be our first guess, the circumstances of oscillating intrinsic and extrinsic entities.
These intrinsic entities certainly and easily contain the energy and mechanisms for rather large swings in climate, as they handedly do with short and long term weather pattern variations. Other drivers must be squeezed and massaged to find tiny variations that are then blown all out of porportion with supposed amplifications when compared to the vastly more powerful oceans and atmospheric pressure systems. Two cases are clear. The recent warming can be tied, in every scientific way, to ENSO patterns. The more recent cooling, likewise. There is no need to invoke CO2 or solar influences whatsoever to explain the noisy up, now stalled/down trend. The intrinsic conditions fully explain it.
I will wait for the day when we have oceanic and atmospheric conditions that make no sense in relation to temperature trends without such reliance on what many say are the important powerful drivers, be it CO2 or the Sun. pfffttt

“Dr Mo says:
April 29, 2012 at 6:26 am
Sir, I must take issue with your association of the noble profession of lawyers with the now discredited discipline of climate science…”

That has Got to be the best thread bomb/diverter sentence I’ve seen.
Not to take away from your inference that lawyers are shamed to be equated to the hired technician thugs masquerading as scientists (thanks ge0050!). But, to suggest lawyers as a “noble” profession? Seriously Dr. Mo, you need to get out more. ;>
Great look at the forest Alec! You’ve painted a clear picture that when the alarmists are shoving their pet personally modeled hypotheses of personally buggered bores, that they’re trying get the world lost in their trees.

Alec —
What do you recommend as a measure of solar activity over the instrumental temperature period (say back to 1850)? I’ve tried a centered 11-year moving average of sunspot numbers with not much luck explaining temperature when CO2 emissions (annual or cumulative) are included as a second exogenous variable to capture the GHG effect. Annual sunspot numbers are cleaner, but would predict big 11-year cycles in temperature that just aren’t there.
Be4 would be good, except that the available series for it seem to have only multi-century time resolution. C14 in treerings would be good and has annual precision back thousands of years, but unfortunately it is completely messed up post-1945 because of atmospheric testing of nukes. This means that it can’t be used alongside the recent big increases in CO2 emissions or post-1950s cooling and then warming.
Are there direct measures of solar magnetic state that go back more than a couple of decades?

joel

Anybody who read the climategate emails knows that these men are advocates, not scientists. Nothing wrong with being advocates, but, they shouldn’t claim to be scientists.
I don’t blame them. It has worked out great for climate science funding, and I am sure it has helped their careers. I blame the fools who believe them.
After this current batch of alarmists fades from the scene, and, I think they are fading if for no other reasons than the public has a short attention span, there is no warming, and we are broke and need work, there will be a new batch of alarmists to take their place. And, sadly, the general public and the politicians will be influenced by them, too. Let’s just hope that the next alarm will have less malignant effects. Maybe building an asteroid defense system might not be too harmful and might satisfy the public need for drama.
I for one am not hopeful. The general public is ignorant and intellectually lazy, and therefore easily manipulated.

In contrast, there is a great deal of evidence for a solar-magnetic driver of climate
The problem is the ‘solar-magnetic’ bit. There is a great deal of evidence that there has been no long-term change in solar magnetism as measured by sunspots and the interplanetary magnetic field the last three hundred years. The cosmic ray modulation was fully present even during the Maunder and Spoerer minima. We have discussed all of that several times here at WUWT.

Michael Whittemore

This was a great read and for the most part I can understand your anguish, models are not facts and sun spots have been described as correlating with climate change. Add in cosmic ray cloud feedback’s and you have a great debating stance regarding anthropogenic climate change.
Something that has made me reconsider the feedback’s from cosmic rays is shown in this graph from Musch ler et al. 2005 paper (http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/galactic-cosmic-rays/LaschampAnomaly.jpg).
I also think your comment that “the last decade of no significant warming has them stumped completely” is not entirely true. When natural forcing’s are deducted from the temperature record it is more clear that the increased CO2 is driving warming. This is shown in a graph from Foster et al. 2011 (http://ej.iop.org/images/1748-9326/6/4/044022/Full/erl408263f8_online.jpg). If you add in ocean warming and ice melt its even more clear the Earth is still warming.
Of cause if solar forcing should be given a higher value in the climate models and if cosmic rays do cause a feedback, we should be entering a cooling, lets hope your right.

A superb analysis of the climate science of omission. Alternatively, it was cherry-picking on the largest scale.
It began with the IPCC definition of climate change, continued through to the IPCC climate models and culminated in the cherry picked propagandized Summary for PolicyMakers (SPM).
Science doesn’t need public relations yet that was so much of what Schmidt and others did.
http://drtimball.com/2012/ipcc-cru-climate-science-product-of-public-relations-and-peer-review/
It was all done using taxpayers money so they could control as bureaucrats and academics from apparently unassailable positions. IPCC was set up within the bureaucracy of the UN and the WMO for precisely that reason. Each national weather agency became the political Trojan Horse.
http://drtimball.com/2011/bureaucracy-the-enemy-within/
Through IPCC and the few people, mostly at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), became the Cabal that created, promoted, and protected “the Cause”.

I see the Usoskin paper answers many of my questions above, but I’d still appreciate your take.
BTW, it’s Be10, not Be4! Usoskin has it with maybe decadal resolution from Dye-3, so I’ll try to find the numbers they used.

Stephen Wilde

I still think that I have previously proposed the best solution here:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6645
“How The Sun Could Control Earth’s Temperature”.
Increased cloudiness from more equatorward / meridional jet stream tracks is a better match to observations than the Svensmark GCR hypothesis unless it can be shown how simply adding more condensation nuclei can achieve the same outcome.
and I previously commented on Gavin’s 2001 paper here:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7758
“How Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann almost got it right in 2001”

Samurai

It is despicable how the Warmunistas disregard the strong correlation of high solar activity/global warming and low solar activity/global cooling, especially in light of the known UV shift that takes place and the tentative validation of the Svensmark Effect last In CERN’s CLOUD Experiment announced last August.
The Svensmark Effect works in reverse, which perfectly explains last century’s warming given that the last 70 years from 1930 to 1996 experienced the highest solar cycles in 8,000 years and probably the longest string of consecutive high solar cycles in 11,400 years! (Solanki et al Nature Oct. 2004).
SC23 was a weak solar cycle with a long tail of very low sunspot activity, and SC24 will most likely be the lowest solar cycle since the Dalton Minimum and SC25 will most likely be the lowest since the Maunder Minimum, so it’s no surprise that RSS, UAH and HadCRUT3 temp data shows global temps flat or falling since 1998. Again, more evidence of the Svensmark Effect.
The Umbral Magnetic Field is falling like a stone (currently just below 2000 gauss) and will fall below 1500 gauss around 2020 or so. When it falls below 1500 gauss, sunspots will disappear entirely….
Given these realities, it would seem essential for climatologist to reconsider their position on the Svensmark Effect, because if they are wrong in their assumptions, $TRILLIONS could be wasted in CO2 initiatives, and food preparations need to be taken now, because some of the worst famines in human history took place during the Wolf and Maunder Minima.
Again, despicable.

Don Keiller

This is not the only evidence of “lies by omission”, by the CAGW team.
Look at the Stern Report (2006) which made the economic case for “mitigating climate change”
http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/4/23/sterns-wheat-graph-redux.html
The section on agriculture is as blatant a fiddle as you can imagine.

Hu McCulloch says:
April 29, 2012 at 8:00 am
Are there direct measures of solar magnetic state that go back more than a couple of decades?
The ‘direct’ bit is sort of a weasel word. Is measuring temperature with a thermometer a ‘direct’ measurement? No, it isn’t. The direct measurement is that of the length of a thin string of Mercury. But we can calibrate that length in terms of temperature and thus obtain a measurement of temperature.
Now, apart from this, we have measured the magnetic field on the sun using the Zeeman effect ever since 1908. Would you call that ‘direct’? I would.
The solar magnetic field extends far into the solar system and envelops the Earth, where it causes disturbances in the magnetic field of the Earth which we have measured ‘directly’ since the 1830s
What do you recommend as a measure of solar activity over the instrumental temperature period (say back to 1850)?
So, we have a good measure of the sun’s magnetic activity over that period, see e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/2009JA015069.pdf
In addition, there is good evidence that solar magnetic activity has not had any long term trend the past three hundred years, and that the cosmic ray modulation was fully present even during the Maunder and Spoerer minima: http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf

ferd berple says:
April 29, 2012 at 6:26 am
Why is the Arctic warming while the Antarctic is not […]
The most obvious cause is the rapid change underway at the earth’s north magnetic pole. The north magnetic poles is moving from Canada towards Siberia, faster than at any observed time in modern history.

The southern magnetic pole moves too:
http://www.mrinbetween.com/S_magpl.PDF
http://www.mrinbetween.com/N_magpl.PDF

Ben

From the writeup: “A strong solar-magnetic effect on climate would be a death knell for anti-CO2 alarmism.”
Should this read, “…a death knell for CO2 alarmism”?

Olen

The author was not attacking the legal profession but pointing out the difference in acceptable conduct between pleading a case in court and reporting scientific research. Hiding facts to make a point is never ethical no matter the profession and is compounded when it is tied to a political agenda.
A Playboy magazine cartoon came to mind reading the article. Columbus and fellow explorers walking ashore in the Americas sees a Viking helmet with horns in the sand and says, quick hide it and don’t say anything. The cartoon was successful because it was funny and did what a cartoon was intended to do entertain. And for America the success of the Columbus is that the word got around in writing the location of the American continent without leaving out critical information.
Is science or any other profession different from a successful cartoon, doing what it is intended to do?

Samurai says:
April 29, 2012 at 8:23 am
The Umbral Magnetic Field is falling like a stone (currently just below 2000 gauss) and will fall below 1500 gauss around 2020 or so. When it falls below 1500 gauss, sunspots will disappear entirely….
But their magnetic field [sitting just below 1500G] will not. We know it didn’t during the Maunder Minimum because there was a vigorous solar cycle modulation of cosmic rays back then.

Eric Dailey

Alec,
You said…
“In the courts an adversarial system is able to elicit a measure of truth only because there is a judge to maintain rules of evidence and a hopefully unbiased jury examining the facts. These conditions do not obtain in science.”
Rather it is specifically the power to cross examine and force the opposition to answer questions that gets to the truth. This is an important distinction and must be understood to properly express your point about science.
Thank you for this important paper.

Don Keiller

It is obvious why the Miller et al paper is needed for the “cause”. If aerosols produced by volcanos
can cause significant cooling then so will those produced by industry. Aerosols can be made to account for the cooling seen in the 1960’s and 1970′ in the temperature records. This in turn will allow the GCMs to be tuned in such a way as to eliminate the need for a Solar driver and promote CO2 to (false) prominence.

Nigel Raymond

Re: Lawyers.
Actually English barristers are supposed NEVER to hide facts or laws adverse
to the case of their client*. That is because they are Officers of the Court.
The THEORY of “lawerly advocacy” is an ethical one. Just as is the THEORY of
“scientific method”. PRACTISE may be different, of course, in both fields.
* That is why a barrister will never ask you whether you did whatever you are
accused of. If you say “Oo, Yes!” he will be precluded from saying to the Court
“My client says he did not do it”.

DBCooper

Shouldn’t “Voldmartian” be “Voldemortian?” It might help folks who Google it.

observa

What the Hell! Alien space rays or cosmic rays, they’re all the same and just feed them all into the Great God computer so you won’t fry in Hell if you don’t fry on Gaia. Except that Lovelock among them has had an epiphany and decided he’s not going to face St Peter at the Pearly Gates with his laptop tucked under his arm. Strictly a Tablet man Pete… honest!

The sharp increase in sunspot numbers and [decrease] in cosmic rays shown in your Figure are artifacts and did not happen: http://www.leif.org/research/What-is-Wrong-with-GSN.pdf
So that debunks the basis for the post.

pochas

Michael Whittemore says:
April 29, 2012 at 8:10 am
“Something that has made me reconsider the feedback’s from cosmic rays is shown in this graph from Musch ler et al.”
We have a lot to learn about the Svensmark effect. I suspect the effect is really more about absolute humidity and the water column than it is about clouds per se. As such cooling may depend on the geographic distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere as affected by cosmic rays. I’d look for more pronounced cooling over inland areas which are isolated from sources of evaporation, and possible expansion of desert areas. Over oceans the effect might be less noticeable, although Usoskin did document some effect.

Henry Clark

The CAGW-promoting side has been cunning enough to make a multi-pronged effort, not only (1) revisionism of past temperatures as in the hockey stick, Hansen “adjustments,” etc. but also (2) revisionism of solar history.
That is how they are able to deny solar-temperature correlation over prior centuries: using revisionist data.
Even most skeptics and some commenters here (if being generous in interpreting as not undercover moles) do not understand or realize that yet. They’ve heard of #1 but naively still implicitly assume honesty from everyone on #2. The trick is to watch for giant contradictions of earlier studies when systematically always in a CAGW-convenient direction (not a random distribution of accidental errors and error correction in both directions).
An example of how the above occurs and matters is this (aside from a typo when I wrote 1997 instead of 1994):
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/newuploads/319xq.jpg
The above is from an earlier comment giving references at the very end of the comment section beneath
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/11/does-co2-correlate-with-temperature-history-a-look-at-multiple-timescales-in-the-context-of-the-shakun-et-al-paper/
Data from the pre-Mann era, less political (and skeptics less purged from “mainstream” funded research yet then), is less likely to be intentionally skewed, and that data is what most shows substantial solar-temperature correlation over the bulk of century after century (not 100.0% when on top of other factors including ocean and weather fluctuations on the smallest scales like a few years at a time but very apparent overall in such as the prior linked graph).

I have been working for some time trying to match up solar effects to the global temperature using recorded data from different sources on the Internet using a software I made.
I find clear evidence that the solar impact on Earth’s weather is important and it is not caused by tiny changes on the TSI signal. TSI is irrelevant.
I say weather because so far I have matched it up against the derivate of the global temperature.
From this I have made an estimation of the impact from different solar drivers plus from variations on Earth’s rotation, setting this all to 100%.
The four most important factors are Solar wind speed 48%, Variation in Earth’s rotation 21%, F10.7 radio flux, which I assume is a good proxy for UV radiation from the Solar Corona 15.5% and the Kp Magnetic Index 11.2%.
I find the impact from cosmic ray based on data from Oulu neutron counter to be small and within the margins of error. Therefore I find the GCR theory less credible.
So if the climate modelers want to get credible result they must start to include solar data. But maybe they don’t want to get results near to the truth.

Fine article, but no need to bash lawyers to disprove AGW. Even lawyers are obligated to inform the judge of known facts and law that are contrary to their case. AGW scientists apparently have not yet developed their own canon of ethics, or at least not one that we lawyers and you scientists would recognize as such.

Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

stpaulchuck

Science by grant – dream up a particularly alarming theory. Seek out any and all evidence supporting the theory. if little or none exists create a computer model that supports it. Bury any data or evidence contrary to the theory (it’s “not needed”). Involve the LSM from the beginning to stir up public sentiment to “do something!” Use constant ad hom attacks on any nay sayers. See Saul Alinsky for additional help.

albertalad

I’m no scientists by any stretch of the imagination BUT I’m well schooled by the many articles and comments here at WUWT. And the many give and takes on any particular subject present here. It seems to me after years of WUWT articles and questions raised here – the more questions and articles presented the less we actually know about how this planet works. Now we’ve began peering into the universe and our place within and as we expand our knowledge even more questions are raised requiring even more from mankind’s combined science to even begin to answer any of the question raised. I’m at the position NOW climate “science” can only function going forward with entire teams of all scientists from all disciplines across the board – no longer is it acceptable to look at any give area or subject in isolation to all other disciplines.

John

Svensmark’s theory has nothing to do with our sun or it’s magnetic field. He talks about cosmic radiation from supernova. Not at all the same as the magnetic field of our sun. Yet several times in this article it’s suggested that this can explain how the Sun affects the climate when that is clearly not the case. I hope you correct this as it completely misrepresents Svensmark’s work.

just some guy

“The models showed sustained cooling from volcanoes would have sent some of the expanding Arctic sea ice down along the eastern coast of Greenland until it eventually melted in…..”
Gosh! These models must have been programmed with super-ultra-extraordinary intelligence to have produced such a complex result. Wait, I’ve got it, they found Data. You know, Data> from Star Trek? It’s thier secret weapon. All they have to do is ask and Data will twitch his head to the side and Data will have the answer.
We should all just give in now. For nothing can compete with Data. 😀

Leif Svalgaard says:
April 29, 2012 at 8:53 am
ferd berple says:
April 29, 2012 at 6:26 am
Why is the Arctic warming while the Antarctic is not […]
(Dr Svalgaard:)The most obvious cause is the rapid change underway at the earth’s north magnetic pole. The north magnetic poles is moving from Canada towards Siberia, faster than at any observed time in modern history.
The southern magnetic pole moves too:
http://www.mrinbetween.com/S_magpl.PDF
http://www.mrinbetween.com/N_magpl.PDF
————————————-
Dr Svalgaard,
Thanks for those two charts; I knew that the magnetic poles are not dead-centre on the geographic poles and that they do move, but had now idea how far away they were and how quickly they could move.
I haven’t a pony in this race, but to my unschooled eye it looks as if the North magnetic pole is speeding up, while the South is slowing down. I understand too that the North is warming and the South cooling. Is there a graph that shows corelations between temperatures at the two poles and rates of speed? Thanks.