Raimund Muscheler says that a steady high level of forcing can't cause warming

Guest post by Alec Rawls

Solar warming and ocean equilibrium, part 4

I emailed Dr. Muscheler about the very strange remarks that were attributed to him in the recently released report on last year’s NCAR workshop: The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate. Dr. Muscheler says that the report’s version of his remarks “is obviously a mistake,” but he answers my query about what he had meant to say with yet another obvious mistake, a mistake the greatest import, and one which is no less egregious for being widespread.

The report (available for free download from the National Academies Press) seems to paraphrase Dr. Muscheler as claiming that cosmic ray flux during the late 20th century was “steady and high” (p. 17):

Muscheler stated that proxy data indicate that the cosmic-ray flux actually decreased early in the 20th century, but recently the level has been steady and high. Based on the proposed link between increased GCR flux and cloudiness, one might have expected that the late 20th century would be cooler than the early 20th century—a state that was not observed.

So I asked Dr. Muscheler:

By this paraphrase, your comment that “recently the level has been steady and high” seems to be referring to “the late 20th century,” but that can’t be right.

The abstract that you provided for your remarks begins by describing cosmogenic radionuclides as “the most reliable proxies for reconstructing solar activity variations thousands of years back into the past” (p. 41). But late 20th century solar activity was high, so if GCR is actually a proxy (inverted), it must have been low in the late 20th century [or it isn’t much of a proxy].

Usoskin 2007 estimated a grand maximum of solar activity from 1920 to 2000. Lockwood put the peak of this grand maximum in the mid 80’s. Thus the statement attributed to you has to be a mis-transcription of some sort.

I’m guessing that your remark about recent GCR flux levels being “steady and high” was actually a reference to post 2003, not to “the late 20th century.” But that leaves the question of on what grounds you were claiming that the late 20th century should have been cooler than the early 20th century, or did they mis-transcribe that as well?

… If you really do think that, according to the GCR data, the late 20th century should have been cooler than the early 20th century, can you please explain why?

Of course I know the highly unscientific grounds on which numerous “consensus” climate scientists make such claims, but it’s important to get them on record saying it.

You can’t heat a pot of water by turning the flame to maximum and leaving it there

It’s not the level of the flame that causes warming, but the rate of change in the level of the flame. Everybody knows that, or so the anti-CO2 establishment would have us believe. See for instance, Rasmus Benestad, 2005:

A further comparison with the monthly sunspot number, cosmic galactic rays and 10.7 cm absolute radio flux since 1950 gives no indication of a systematic trend in the level of solar activity that can explain the most recent global warming.

It doesn’t matter that solar activity was at grand maximum levels from 1920 to 2000. Only the continued turning up a forcing can cause warming according to Dr. Benestad.

Here is a list of a dozen more top consensus climate scientists all making similar statements, and as I discovered from my “expert review” of the First Order Draft of AR5, this is now the IPCC’s official grounds for dismissing a solar explanation for late 20th century warming.

Would Muscheler add himself to the list? I had to give him a chance and he very graciously took it, thanking me for pointing to the obvious error in the transcription while confirming that, yes, he too looks at the wrong derivative. He should be looking at the zero derivative (the level of solar activity) but is instead looking at the first derivative (the rate of change in solar activity, or the trend).

Muscheler’s response (emphasis added)

Dear Alec Rawls,

unfortunately I haven’t been involved in writing this report. This statement is obviously a mistake and I don’t know why it ended up in the report.

In the early 20th century solar activity increased and, therefore, the cosmic ray flux decreased. According to the cosmic ray-cloud hypothesis the (low) clouds should have decreased and it should have led to a warming.

Solar activity & cosmic rays were relatively constant (high solar activity, strong shielding and low cosmic rays) in the second part of the 20th century and, therefore, it is unlikely that solar activity (whatever process) was involved in causing the warming since 1970.

Maybe I was unclear in replying to a question or there was a misunderstanding from the person writing the report. Anyway it is obviously wrong in the report.

Thank you for making me aware of this problem. I will contact the authors and ask if it can be corrected.

Best wishes,

Raimund Muscheler

The hidden (and completely untenable) assumption of rapid ocean equilibration

Last year I emailed the dozen climate scientists from my list of those who have made these kinds of claims and suggested that they must be assuming that that by 1980 or so the oceans had already equilibrated to whatever temperature forcing effect high 20th century solar activity might be having, otherwise the continued high level of forcing would cause continued warming.

Several confirmed that they were indeed assuming rapid ocean equilibration to any change in climate forcing. One was Mike Lockwood, whose 2007 paper with Claus Fröhlich had opened with a strong assertion that it is the trend in a forcing, not the level of a forcing, that causes temperature change:

There is considerable evidence for solar influence on the Earth’s pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century. Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures.

If the paper was assuming rapid ocean equilibration it really ought to have said so, but better late than never. In his response to me Lockwood offered evidence that ocean equilibration takes at most a decade, but his estimate does not stand up to scrutiny. It was derived from an energy balance model (Schwartz 2007) that represents the oceans by a single heat sink.

This is a highly unrealistic simplification (having the whole ocean change temperature at once). If a more realistic 2-heat-sink model is used, where it takes time for heat to transfer from one ocean layer to another (Kirk-Davidoff 2009), then rapid temperature adjustment of the upper ocean layer tells us next to nothing about how long it takes for the ocean to equilibrate to a long term forcing. (Full discussion in Part 2 of my “solar warming and ocean equilibrium” series.)

The Lockwood and Fröhlich paper acknowledges that there was a long natural warming from the bottom of the Little Ice Age (punctuated by notable downturns when solar activity fell during the Dalton Minimum and around the beginning of the last century), and they say themselves that this long natural warming was probably caused by increasing solar activity, yet we are supposed to be confident, on the basis of a completely unrealistic one-heat-sink model, that this long warming just happened to end in 1980, when the whole idea of a long period of solar warming is fundamentally inconsistent with that model. Crazy.

Workshop participant Isaac Held: “equilibration takes centuries”

One of NCAR’s workshop panelists actually addressed the time-to-equilibration issue (p. 21, emphasis added):

Issues in Climate Science Underlying Sun/Climate Research

Isaac M. Held, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

In his presentation Isaac Held asserted that the response of the climate to radiative heating—whether it comes from greenhouse gases trapping heat, stratospheric aerosols from volcanic eruptions or aerosols of various origin reflecting sunlight back to space, or finally variable TSI heating—involves both the troposphere and the ocean. The surface and the troposphere are intimately coupled through fast radiative-convective adjustments so that they respond as a whole, with part of the heat input going into the ocean. The ocean heat uptake and later slow release back to the atmosphere are the factors responsible for the difference between the transient response of the climate to radiative forcing as compared to the equilibrium climate (some 40-70 percent of the adjustment is achieved on a timescale on the order of 4 years, whereas equilibration takes centuries). This transient behavior can be demonstrated using a simple two-box model of the mixed layer and deep ocean, and it applies to all radiative forcings, such as to the Mount Pinatubo volcanic aerosols, as well as for the response to the 11-year solar cycle. On stratosphere-troposphere coupling, there is recent observational evidence that in the Southern Hemisphere the surface westerlies (and the storm track) have shifted poleward by a few degrees due possibly to the ozone hole over the South Pole in the stratosphere.

[Stephen Wilde will want to look at what the report says about the rest of Held’s presentation.]

To clarify, when there is a long term change in forcing it isn’t 40-70 percent of the eventual deep ocean heat storage that is achieved within four years. Here Held is talking about the time-response of GMAST (the Global Mean Air Surface Temperature), which is largely driven by ocean surface temperature, and the ocean surface warms up quickly in response to an increase in forcing.

If elevated forcing persists for decades or centuries this warmed-up upper ocean layer will all-the-while be transferring heat to deeper ocean depths, causing the temperature differential between the upper and lower layers to shrink which in turn causes a slowing of the heat loss from the upper ocean to the deeper ocean. That slow decrease in heat loss from the upper ocean layer causes the upper ocean layer to slowly get warmer, which in turn causes a slow increase in atmospheric surface temperatures (the remaining 30-60 percent of the GMAST increase that Held is referring to). This continued warming can go on for centuries.

So I must appeal to Dr. Held: you really need to point out to your colleagues the implications of moving to a more realistic “two box model” (never mind a 3 or 4 box model) where it takes time for heat to accumulate in deeper ocean layers. If prolonged forcing can cause the oceans to warm for centuries (and GMAST to continue to rise for centuries) then no, we cannot be confident that by 1980 the oceans had equilibrated to the 20th century’s grand maximum levels of solar activity.

This is regardless of whether those levels were pre or post peak. It’s the level that matters, not the trend.

A helpful diagram

If anyone has trouble understanding why they should be looking at the level of a hypothesized solar-magnetic forcing, not just the trend, here is a helpful diagram from Ken Gregory:

Temperature falls only when the level of forcing falls below that needed to maintain the current temperature. With typical cyclical behavior, temperature peaks often lag considerably behind peaks in forcing. Everybody is familiar with this phenomenon from daytime temperatures, which do not peak at noon but peak in the mid-afternoon. So too with longer period forcings and deeper heat sinks.

So no, if temperature continues to rise after solar forcing has peaked it does not indicate that the continued warming is not caused by solar forcing. On the contrary, it is exactly what we would expect from a solar driver of climate.

In the case of late 20th century solar forcing there really was no discernable peak but rather a 50-year plateau, in which case temperatures should continue to rise until equilibrium is reached. There is no reason to think the oceans would have equilibrated to high 20th century forcing by 1980, and so no reason to dismiss a solar explanation for post 1980 warming.

Day vs. Season

In part 3 of my series Solanki and Scheussler offered a different rationale for assuming rapid ocean equilibration. The strong correlation between solar activity and climate that they had found was strongest with a short lag, less than ten years, so if there were longer-term solar effects, these scientists insisted that they had found no evidence for it. But that is wrong. Rapid responses to solar forcing are evidence for longer term responses, just as the rapid daytime temperature response to the rising sun implies that the hemispheres should warm when their seasons progress towards the greater insolation of summer.

This is pretty basic stuff so maybe these guys just aren’t getting out enough. They don’t talk to people who don’t share their eagerness to grab at any rationale that supports the CO2-warming theory, no matter how patently weak it is. And its pretty clear they aren’t even talking about these things amongst themselves.

Not a one of the quotes I have compiled betrays any hint of hidden assumptions about rapid ocean equilibration or anything else. They are unconditioned statements: the solar flame was not rising so it could not have caused warming. Only when pressed by WUWT do they scramble to support their unstated premises.

For each of these scientists it seems that plan-A was that nobody would notice that they were looking at the wrong derivative.

Leif Gets It right (right Leif?)

On the other side we have everyone who has ever heated a pot of water, including our own Dr. Leif Svalgaard, who was provoked last month to admit:

When I start the pot in the morning on maximum in order to get hot water for my tea and to boil my eggs, it works great for me. I get hot tea and boiled eggs in minimum time. If I turn down the heat, it takes longer…

Good thing Leif has tenure already. His mundane observation rebuts the very heart of the anti-CO2 industry’s dismissal of solar-driven warming.

Another question for Muscheler

When 50 years of steady high solar activity coincide with rising average temperatures, that would seem to be evidence for a solar driver of climate. What is Raimund Muscheler’s grounds for taking it as evidence against? His response to my first query does not say, so I sent him a second. I am contacting Isaac Held as well, whose 2 cents would be much appreciated.

Maybe Raimund really does think that it is the rate of change of a forcing rather than the level of a forcing that causes warming but I doubt it. More likely he has accepted the rapid-ocean-equilibrium assumption of Lockwood, Solanki and others without thinking it through. (Note that the paraphrase of Muscheler’s comments in NAP’s NCAR report has him making the same assertion as Lockwood: that if the sun were driving global temperature then late 20th century temperatures should have been falling, not rising. That seems to indicate a Lockwood-like rapid equilibrium assumption)

Muscheler’s 2007 paper on paleo and recent GCR deposition suggests that 20th century solar activity was merely “high instead of exceptional,” but for time-to-equilibration this distinction makes no qualitative difference. It is true that the smaller the change in forcing the faster equilibrium should be reached (like starting partway in on the equilibration response to a larger change in forcing), so maybe Muscheler sees himself as having strengthened the grounds for the rapid-equilibrium assumption, but that assumption is fundamentally flawed. It can’t be saved by a marginal adjustment of the forcing in question.

Remember the hypothesis Muscheler is trying to dismiss: that solar activity does have a substantial forcing effect, strong enough to be responsible for late 20th century warming. But if the forcing effect of solar activity is substantial then there is no reason to think that the oceans must have equilibrated to a sustained high level of such forcing by any particular 20th century date, hence no reason to say that late 20th century warming couldn’t have been caused by the continuing high level of solar activity.

Perhaps Dr. Muscheler has some other argument for why a steady high level of forcing can’t cause warming but if he has been carelessly making the same unstated rapid-equilibrium assumption as Lockwood et al., here is an opportunity to reconsider. We all make unconscious assumptions. Progress in understanding often comes from uncovering and scrutinizing those hidden assumptions, allowing any errors they contain to be corrected. There is no shame in such a re-evaluation. It is how we move forward.

If Dr. Muscheler would like to give a response that is not framed by my commentary I am sure that Anthony would be glad to offer him a guest post. Raimund been game so far, and hopefully will continue to be forthcoming.

My own summary conclusion

There is no possible way to sustain the claim that a steady high level of forcing can’t cause continued warming, or to sustain with any confidence the hidden claim that the oceans must have equilibrated to high 20th century solar activity by 1980. Without these claims AR5 goes straight to the trash bin and solar activity is still very much in play as an explanation for late 20th century warming.

If solar activity is responsible for any substantial chunk of that warming then CO2 becomes utterly benign. The IPCC’s high estimates of climate sensitivity, needed in order to attribute all recent warming to CO2, are off the table, meaning no possibility of any kind of run-away warming, and if solar activity is the primary explanation for late 20th century warming then the danger going forward is global cooling (now that the sun has turned quiet), making expensive efforts to reduce CO2 emissions the sheerest lunacy.

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You can’t heat a pot of water by turning the flame to maximum and leaving it there
You keep saying that, but it is false. Want a pot of hot water, start at maximum flame and keep it here.

I keep getting the impression that the scientific brains of those on the side of climate alarm are an order of magnitude less impressive than those of those who are as yet unconvinced by the hysteria. On the other hand, the political brains may be the other way round.

I can’t help it, I keep getting the impression that the scientific brains on the side of climate alarm linked to CO2 are an order of magnitude less impressive than those of those who are as yet unconvinced by it.

The Undiscussed Assumption: the sand on which so many outcomes are built, never to be realized!
Trenberth looks to the deep ocean for the heat he cannot find precisely because of this assumption. It is implicit that heat energy moved rapidly from the atmosphere-oceanic interface to explain away his observed energy imbalance (based on the energy theories he is using) using only shallow oceanic energy calculations.
The warmists are humanists, not technical people. To them all these discussions are details fussing around on a grander stage, the only one worthy of consideration. How little they understand that the details ARE the grand stage!
We are not in a war of brickbats and bullets, but of spitballs and spite. But those of junior high sensitivities, whining behind each others’ backs, see their world of trivialities as THE world. It would be best for all if they got out more from their intellectual cabins and upper-scale lounges to learn the difference between what bothers you and what is worth bothering about.

Sorry about the double posting – there is no indication here that a post has been accepted, and the detour to enter names and passwords adds to my confusion. My own brain is well below par … an exception to prove a rule perhaps?

Ed Reid

I find it incredible that this discussion is happening after the expenditure of more than $100 billion on climate research in the US alone. The components necessary for the laboratory experiment which would resolve this issue could be purchased for under $100; and, the experiment could be conducted in a high school laboratory during the normal lab period.
Sheesh!

@Leif
Have you read the article rather than skimmed it? Seen in context, I believe the author is ascribing that attitude to others and taking them to task for it, rather than expressing that belief himself

Anymoose

I find it interesting that all this theorizing is going on, in view of the relatively recent discovery of radio. Inferring accurate solar and cosmic records prior to that is a weak argument for anything. Let’s say that I remain unconvinced.

mrsean2k says:
October 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm
Seen in context, I believe the author is ascribing that attitude to others and taking them to task for it, rather than expressing that belief himself
An author should make clear the difference between what he is saying and what he ascribes to others. I seem to recall that he has used that phrase himself before. An article should not be a guessing game.
Then there is the notion of Modern Grand Maximum. I think there was no such thing. See e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/TIEMS-Oslo-2012-Svalgaard.pdf

wayne

Agree Alex. The warming/depth curve to me would look roughly similar to a Carnot cycle plot, more rapid shallow surface warming but taking literally hundreds of years to totally equalize. The reverse path on a constant step in the forcing would take a different trajectory on the plot but in similar fashion forming the leaf shape on that plot. Seems it would be partially logarithmic and partial linear as all of radiation, diffusibility, conductivity and vertical mass movement would all affect the shape of such a plot.
But the oceans quickly equalizing… just a fantasy.

Gary Pearse

Lacks a little clarity (like Lief, I thought he was against the idea of how to boil up tea and eggs in a hurry) but when you get it, it is a thoroughly clarifying read. It gives an understanding of Trenberth’s idea of first tier and second tier scientists. The first tier scientist from T’s point of view is the political scientist.

Alec Rawls says:
October 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm
So don’t worry Leif, we are 100% on the same side on this.
and yet you persists in suggesting that the non-existing Grand Modern Maximum is the cause of recent global warming…

To Alec Rawls:
I second Leif. Your prose is confused. I managed to get your claim right, but it took me a second and third reading, and some thought, to reconcile apparent contradictions.
The idea could have been stated more clearly.

AndyG55

There is actually an equilibrium point between the heat put into the water and the heat that escapes from the water (by evaporation, and other heat transfers. If you turn up the heat, a new equilibrium point will exist. Its basic physics ! (described by differential equations in maths)
But it takes time !!!!!
The more water there is, the longer it takes to reach the new equilbrium point.
… the Earth has one heck of a lot of water.
If the TSI in this chart is correct, then it is easily enough to explain all of the small amount of warming during the 1980-1998 period. (ignoring urban land temp calcs)
http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/tim_tsi_reconstruction_2012.jpeg

Paul in Sweden

When I heat a big pot of soup with a small flame I find it necessary to stir the pot and move it around a bit so the flame heats up everything uniformly. This is why I think cloud cover, aerosols, etc… and ocean currents which are still unknowns may be a significant factor.

Scute

@ Alec Rawls
“looking at the wrong derivative [trend rather than level].”
Wrong derivative. I like that. That’s what we should be telling them about their explanations for the past decade of flat temperatures.

AndyG55

ps. and if you notice that the latter part of the TSi graph sort of plateaus, then, from the thread a few down from here, showing 16years of level temps, it would seem we have reached that new equilibrium.
That means that if the TSI drops, temperatures will also drop pretty much straight away, although somewhat buffered by the mass of water.
Without a further increase in TSI, there will be no more warming if equilibrium has been reached.

AndyG55 says:
October 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm
If the TSI in this chart is correct,
The point is that TSI in that chart is not correct. Here is a better version [red curves]:
http://www.leif.org/research/Temp-Track-Sun-Not.png

Dr. S looks to be correct about pot of water, but for some reason he keeps turning solar bit to the ‘minimum setting’.
Dr. S I say the solar cycles do matter, calculation is ‘elementary and accurate’
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EarthNV.htm
but it is the dreaded ‘mechanism’ that someone has to convince not only Dr.S. but the responsible scientists’ community from both sides of the debate..
To my surprise even my friend Gavin at RC didn’t dispatch the above to the ‘bore hole’ which made me .dream of getting Svalgaard, Curry and Schmidt to have a ‘brainstorming’ session on my findings, since that is unlikely I shall plod along, but I do have lot of time and no reputation to consider.

Kasuha

I don’t like this “pot of water” analogy. We’re not boiling the water in it, it is already boiling because it’s our planet’s molten core. The stove is nearly freezing and we’re nudging its temperature mere 0.1 °C up or down. The material the pot is made of is styrofoam and it is several centimeters thick. And we’re studying temperature of the upper surface of a thin piece of paper attached to the bottom of the pot. So there, now it’s more like it.

You can’t heat a pot of water by turning the flame to maximum and leaving it there
Like [censored] you can’t. Turn the flame off and see how long it takes.
If you have a large mass, you use a large flame. I have to crank the burner to maximum to heat the oil for the Turkey. If I don’t, I can’t overcome the heat loss and my oil never gets to the needed temperature… or it takes forever to do it. The same thing applies If I’m boiling peanuts.

A quick glance at Dr. Svalgaard’s linked paper shows ample evidence for the high solar activity from the 1880s or so, particularly 1945 on, and possible corrections for the 1800s as well.
The paper that “debunks” the Grand Solar Maximum actually tends to spread it somewhat, with a late 1800s phase and 1950-2000 phase. This hardly makes it irrelevant to forcing issues, even if his assertions are supportable. And the notion of a magnetic field “floor” means that it would take time for the recent high solar/low cloud activity to bleed off. I think we’re seeing that, anecdotally.
The 10Be records are interesting, and somewhat in conflict — worthy of a separate paper. He’s got one from an ice core represented. But the red “Sun” line in Figure 9 suggests that something unusual had been happening in the last half of the 20th century.
Amusingly, Dr. Svalgaard is bucking the “consensus” on sunspot counting, something that is obviously “settled science” and for which there should be “no debate.” Imagine if billions of dollars of funding and government expansion of revenue base rested on the number of sunspots! Perhaps it would be the autumn of his career: the Leif would fall.
But the track record of things like CAGW and sunspot “consensus” science is … spotty.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

RHS

You can’t heat a pot of water by turning the flame to maximum and leaving it there

When using a Bic lighter, I tend to agree that even it’s max output will never boil a pot of water.
/sarc

vukcevic says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm
but I do have lot of time and no reputation to consider.
Nor to gain, I reckon. Science is hard.

Keith DeHavelle says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm
Amusingly, Dr. Svalgaard is bucking the “consensus” on sunspot counting, something that is obviously “settled science” and for which there should be “no debate.”
Actually, this is not the case [and is not amusing]. So, on the contrary, the science is not ‘settled’ and there is intense debate, see e.g. http://ssnworkshop.wikia.com/wiki/Home
These workshops are sponsored by the sunspot ‘producing’ organizations:
The National Solar Observatory (NSO), the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Luther Wu

GeoLurking says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm
You can’t heat a pot of water by turning the flame to maximum and leaving it there
Like [censored] you can’t. Turn the flame off and see how long it takes.
If you have a large mass, you use a large flame. I have to crank the burner to maximum to heat the oil for the Turkey. If I don’t, I can’t overcome the heat loss and my oil never gets to the needed temperature… or it takes forever to do it. The same thing applies If I’m boiling peanuts.
________________
Catch up!

Keith DeHavelle says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm
But the red “Sun” line in Figure 9 suggests that something unusual had been happening in the last half of the 20th century.
The sun line was calculated using the Group Sunspot Number which we show is seriously in error. You may consult the last slide of Hudson’s summary of the result of the 2nd workshop: http://www.leif.org/research/SSN/Hudson.pdf

Layman Lurker

Thanks for the interesting post Alec. I think that it is insightful to also consider that the ocean response times may well differ depending on the type of forcing. IIUC, an increase in ghg forcing is applied directly only at the surface of the ocean while an increase in solar forcing penetrates and directly affects to a depth of dozens of meters. The way I see it, ocean response should be much quicker to an increase in solar forcing than to an equivalent increase in ghg forcing.

Alec Rawls says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm
Remember the hypothesis Muscheler is trying to dismiss: that solar activity DOES have a substantial forcing effect, strong enough to be responsible for late 20th century warming.[…]
If Leif disagrees with this analysis, perhaps he can give us a reason.

I think you misunderstand Muscheler. What he is trying to say is that since solar activity was not exceptional, the exceptional global warming [claimed by some to be exceptional, unprecedented, catastrophic, etc] is not due to the [non-existing] exceptional solar activity.

Luther Wu

vukcevic says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm
_______________
I suppose you are used to it by now and therefore wear your flak jacket.

Peter Hartley

Alec,
Regarding the issue of the time lag in the effect of solar heating on ocean temperature, how does your suggestion of a relatively long time lag (compared at least to the “consensus”) square with Nir Shaviv’s calculations of the ocean as a calorimeter for the 11-year solar cycle (see http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter )? Dr Shaviv does not seem to discuss the time lag in his blog post and although I read the actual paper some time ago I now do not recall that he did so in the actual publication. Perhaps you have looked at it more recently.

fascinating read Alex – however – i too was momentarily nonplussed at the recipe for heating a pot of water – yet – i had a moderate inkling that you disagree with it – your sarc would have been expressed better if you had left off the “Everybody knows that,” – but the fact that there was a hint of sarcasm – and that you eventually clarified your position – makes Leif’s comments puzzling – you both should reflect on the uncertainty of the communication act – as well as the uncertainty behind AGW

ferdberple

How does CO2 theory or Solar TSI explain the asymmetric polar heating?
Quite simply, it cannot. However the asymmetric movement of the earth’s magnetic field is completely consistent with the observed climate change at the north and south geographic poles.
The north magnetic pole is moving rapidly towards the north geographic pole and arctic ice is melting. The south magnetic pole is moving away from the south magnetic pole and antarctic ice is increasing. The north magnetic pole shift is by far the fastest observed in history. The rate of ice melt in the arctic is the fasted observed in history.
We know from the paleo records that magnetic pole shifts are associated with climate change. We know the solar wind enters the earth’s atmosphere at the magnetic poles. We know the solar wind brings an enormous volume of charged particles into the earth’s atmosphere, which modify the atmosphere. Is it reasonable to assume that this modification of the atmosphere has no affect on weather and climate?.
Isn’t it time, given the failure of both CO2 and TSI to predict climate change beyond model curve fitting, to take a fresh look at the obvious alternatives.

Dear Dr. Svalgaard:
I had to laugh when I read the PowerPoint presentation you just pointed me to:• The older SSN records need rationalization
• This group needs to take charge of the perception of
SSN:
– Consensus
– Public databases and ample publications
– Propaganda that discredits any research not using
the consensus SSNThis discussion of propaganda and perception is interesting. One could snark an addition: “.. instead of science, since (as you said) ‘sciece is hard’.” But in fact, there is much science content as well. I hoped for more on the UV flux, as this is evidently an order of magnitude higher than TSI changes.
But in the “caveats” section toward the end, the Hudson document has points including these:

• Abjure running means
• Establish consensus on early data under SIDC authority
[…]
• Eschew linear regression analysis

Would you “abjure” and “eschew” running means and linear regression analysis on climate proxies in general, or just the solar work under discussion at that point?
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
[Duplicate? Should this be deleted? Mod]

Dear Dr. Svalgaard:
I had to laugh when I read the PowerPoint presentation you just pointed me to:

• The older SSN records need rationalization
• This group needs to take charge of the perception of SSN:
– Consensus
– Public databases and ample publications
– Propaganda that discredits any research not using the consensus SSN

This discussion of propaganda and perception is interesting. One could snark an addition: “.. instead of science, since (as you said) ‘science is hard’.” But in fact, there is much science content as well. I hoped for more on the UV flux, as this is evidently an order of magnitude higher than TSI changes.
But in the “caveats” section toward the end, the Hudson document has suggestions including these:

• Abjure running means
• Establish consensus on early data under SIDC authority
[…]
• Eschew linear regression analysis

Would you “abjure” and “eschew” running means and linear regression analysis on climate proxies in general, or just the solar work under discussion at that point?
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Leif Svalgaard says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm
vukcevic says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm
but I do have lot of time and no reputation to consider.
Nor to gain, I reckon. Science is hard.
At least you didn’t dispute my calculation.
Science is hard if one needs need to earn living, from it, it’s a pleasure when pursued as a hobby. Hey, what do you say? Dr. Curry has privately made a positive comment; next would need a geologist/oceanographer, perhaps someone from WHOI ?

As an aside, the ice core records (which show, in general, a several-hundred-year lag between temperature change and CO2 change) might be something of a proxy for ocean equilibrium time. Presumably, CO2 leaving or entering solution would likely be affected by deep ocean temps, not just the surface layer.
Put another way:
The CO2 rise (in ice core)
Catches up in eight centuries or more
Maybe this can’t be beat
As a proxy for heat
And the slowness of oceans before
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Keith DeHavelle says:
October 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm
Would you “abjure” and “eschew” running means and linear regression analysis on climate proxies in general, or just the solar work under discussion at that point?
Linear regression is appropriate when the relations are linear or when the changes are small. Regressions on running means is a no-no [that is what he meant].
vukcevic says:
October 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm
At least you didn’t dispute my calculation.
I didn’t know you have made a calculation worth disputing.
Science is hard if one needs need to earn living from it, it’s a pleasure when pursued as a hobby
Makes no difference, science is hard, period. Now, you may think you are doing science, but you are not.
Alec Rawls says:
October 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm
as if he thinks it is the rate of change of a forcing, not the level of a forcing, that drives temperature.
But do you know that he actually thinks like that?
so what is YOUR grounds for dismissing 50 years of steady high levels of solar activity as a possible cause for a modicum of warming over the same period?
Because we have had similar high solar activity in the 18th and 19th centuries without such warming. And it has not been 50 years of steady high activity, cycle 20 in the middle was low.

It is illogical to argue a constant TSI means the sun is not the source of climate change. The sun emits much more than is measured by TSI. Much of what is not included in TSI is highly variable.
To argue that this variable portion does not affect climate, because we don’t understand the process, is proof of nothing. It simply means that there are things we don’t yet understand (such as cloud formation).
Nature does not depend on human understanding for its operation. It is our ability to predict nature that is determined by our understanding. Thus, human ignorance is not proof of how nature works.
In fact, our ability to think of an alternative explanation does not make the current explanation more likely. Our understanding of the universe is N / infinity = 0.00%. Thus, our inability to imagine an alternative, does not in any way make the alternative less likely.

Deep ocean response is different between cooling and warming. Cooler atmospheric temperatures are felt in the deep ocean faster than warming atmospheric temperatures. That is because one mode works with convection and the other against. If temperatures were to cool dramatically, this would be felt not only in cooler surface temperatures but in cooler downwelling waters though this might mean that the point of downwelling moves to lower lattitude as the water will reach a temperature cold enough to sink earlier. But generally, it is easier to cool a pot of water by chilling the surface than it is to heat it by warming the surface.

Matthew R Marler

Alec Rawls,
Can you show that, over a long term (since 1850, for example), earth temperature change is proportional to, or a monotonic function of, some measure of solar output that was at a relative maximum during the time that the earth was warming?

Don’t get distracted by a discussion on the total solar irradiance (TSI). I don’t think there is a scientist on the planet who thinks that changes in TSI is a major cause of climate change. It is the solar magnetic flux changes that is hypothesized to cause climate change, not TSI. Changes in TSI is too small, which is why TSI is called the solar constant. Some climate modelers claim they include solar forcing in their models because they include changes in the solar constant! The year of maximum TSI is irrelevant because TSI in only a rough proxy for the total solar forcing, which is likely dominated by the Open Solar Flux, or measures of magnetic field strength.
Sunspot number is also used as a proxy for total solar forcing, but it is a bad proxy for the solar-magnetic forcing. Sunspot number reached a maximum in 1958 in solar cycle 19, but the Open Solar Flux reached a maximum in 1992. Only a solar parameter that travels from the Sun to the Earth can effect our climate. No sunspot has ever hit the Earth, so sunspots don’t directly affect climate. The Open Solar Flux does interact with the Earth’s atmosphere, and it varies more than 10 fold. The Helio-magnetic field reached a peak also in 1992. The maximum temperature response is expected to be delayed at least 10 years to 2002 due to the large heat capacity of the oceans. In fact there has been no warming since 2002. The Svensmark cosmic ray theory is only one of several ways in which changes in the solar magnetic flux can affect climate. It also changes cloud height and ozone levels, both of which may affect climate.
Plot of Open Solar Flux;
http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/nir3-Solar_flux.jpg
Plot of neutron count, helio-magnetic field and sunspot number:
http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Rao_CR_HMF.jpg
Alec included in his post a diagram titled “Climate Smoothing” from my 2007 critique of the Lockwood/Frohlich paper with a link to my article on a foreign (Argentina) website. The article can be found at my website in PDF and html versions at
http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=227&start=15

commieBob

Alec Rawls says:
October 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm
… If you would read the post, Leif, you would see that I address very clearly …

I, like Leif, had a hard time decoding your writing. It was anything but clear. The large number of posts that completely miss your point should tell you that.
One suggestion: Make it crystal clear who is saying what. Try quote marks and explicit attribution. Here’s an example:

Ali said “I am the greatest” and I sure wasn’t going to disagree.

The other thing to be very careful about is putting words in other people’s mouths. You’re always much safer if you can use a direct quote.

ferdberple says:
October 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm
It is illogical to argue a constant TSI means the sun is not the source of climate change. The sun emits much more than is measured by TSI. Much of what is not included in TSI is highly variable.
It does not. The T in TSI means Total Solar Energy output. It is measured by letting sunlight heat an instrument in space. Furthermore, all the variation in TSI comes from variations of the sun’s magnetic field which then follows variations in TSI.

Ken Gregory says:
October 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm
I don’t think there is a scientist on the planet who thinks that changes in TSI is a major cause of climate change. It is the solar magnetic flux changes that is hypothesized to cause climate change, not TSI
I think many scientists [and I know quite a few] think TSI is the driver [as almost all the energy is in TSI]. Variations in the solar magnetic flux are what makes TSI vary, so any change in the one is a change of the other, so they go together.

Reblogged this on sainsfilteknologi and commented:
Global Warming ?

AndyG55

Leif, are you saying that TSI has been essentially constant (with regular oscillation) since 1850, how about before that, to the Maunder minimum.
What does it show if you adjust your TSI axis to go from 1361 to 1360 ?
Thanks