Haigh Anxiety: a psycho-comedy of errors

Guest post by Alec Rawls

In an interview with NewScientist magazine, Imperial College professor of atmospheric physics Joanna Haigh scoffs at the idea that late 20th century warming could have been caused by the sun:

Haigh points out that the sun actually began dimming slightly in the mid-1980s, if we take an average over its 11-year cycle, so fewer GCRs should have been deflected from Earth and more Earth-cooling clouds should have formed. “If there were some way cosmic rays could be causing global climate change, it should have started getting colder after 1985.”

What she means is that the 20th century’s persistent high level of solar activity peaked in 1985. That is the estimate developed by Mike Lockwood and Claus Fröhlich. The actual peak was later (solar cycle 22, which ended in 1996, was stronger than cycle 21 by almost every measure) but set that aside. Who could possibly think that cooling should commence when forcings are at their peak, just because the very highest peak has been passed?

Haigh’s argument against solar warming was in response to my suggestion that one new sentence in the leaked Second Order Draft of AR5 is a “game changer.” That is the sentence where the authors admit strong evidence that some substantial mechanism of solar amplification must be at work. The only solar forcing in the IPCC’s computer models is Total Solar Irradiance so if some solar forcing beyond TSI is also at work then all their model results are wrong.

No, no, no, Haigh told the NewScientist, it is “the bloggers” who have it all wrong:

They’re misunderstanding, either deliberately or otherwise, what that sentence is meant to say.

Look whose accusing people of misunderstanding. This woman thinks that warming is driven, not by the level of the temperature forcing, but by the rate of change in the level of the forcing. When a forcing goes barely past its peak (solar cycle 22 nearly identical in magnitude to cycle 21), does that really create cooling? Haigh should try it at home: put a pot of water on a full burner for a minute then turn the burner down to medium high. Does she really think the pot will stop warming, or that it will actually start to cool?

“Deliberately or otherwise,” this is an astounding misunderstanding of the very most basic physics, and Haigh is not the only consensus scientist who is making this particular “mistake.” Hers is the stock answer that pretty much every “consensus” scientists gives when asked about the solar-warming hypothesis. I have collected examples from a dozen highly regarded scientists: Lockwood, Solanki, Forster, Muscheler, Benestad, and more. Not surprisingly, it turns out that they are all making some crucial unstated assumptions.

Solar warming and ocean equilibrium

To claim that the 20th century’s high level of solar forcing would only cause warming until some particular date such as 1970, or 1980, or 1987, one must be assuming that the oceans had equilibrated by that date to the ongoing high level of forcing. That’s just the definition of equilibrium. After a step up in forcing the system will continue to warm until equilibrium is reached.

When I asked these scientists if they were making an unstated assumption that the oceans must have equilibrated by 1980 say to whatever forcing effect high 20th century solar activity was having, almost all of them answered yes, each giving their own off-the-cuff rationale for this assumption, none of which stand up to the least bit of scrutiny. Isaac Held’s two-box model of ocean equilibration is better than Mike Lockwood’s one-box model, but just move to the next simplest model, a three-box model of ocean equilibration, and any idea that longer term forcing won’t cause longer term warming collapses.

The well mixed upper ocean layer (the top 100-200 meters) does equilibrate rapidly to a change in forcing, showing a response time of less than ten years, but that isn’t the end of the story. As the top layer warms up it transfers heat to the next deeper ocean layers. If the elevated forcing persists then these next deeper layers will continue to warm on the time scale of multiple decades to multiple centuries. This warming will reduce the temperature differential between the upper and deeper layers, causing there to be less and less heat loss over time from the upper to the deeper layers, causing the upper layer to continue to warm on the time scale of multiple decades to multiple centuries.

This accords with what we actually see. Since the 50 year absence of sunspots that coincided with the bottom of the Little Ice Age, 300 years of uneven warming have  coincided with an uneven rise in solar activity. Any claim that these three centuries of natural warming had to have ended by a particular 20th century date (never mind right when solar activity was at its peak), is at the very least highly speculative. To claim that we can be confident that this is what happened is borderline insane.

Or maybe it’s that other thing that Joanna Haigh insinuates about. Maybe there is an element of deliberateness to this “misunderstanding” where scads of PhD scientists all pretend that warming is driven by the rate of change of the temperature forcing, not the level of the forcing. How else to blame late 20th century warming on human activity? Some rationale has to be given for why it can’t have been caused by the high level of solar activity that was still raging. Aha, what if temperature were driven by the trend in the forcing rather than the level of the forcing? That would do it. Let’s say that one. Let’s pretend that even peak forcing will cause cooling as soon as the trend in the forcing turns down.

It’s one psycho-drama or the other: either Haigh’s insinuations about dishonesty are projection, accusing others of what she and her cohorts are actually doing, or she’s just dumber than a box of rocks.

Haigh also channels Steven Sherwood, pretending that the highlighted sentence is just about GCR-cloud

The draft report acknowledges substantial evidence for some mechanism of solar amplification and lists Henrick Svensmark’s GCR-cloud theory as an example of one possible such mechanism (7-43 of the SOD):

Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link.

Haigh claims that the evidence about cloud formation being induced by cosmic rays points to a weak mechanism, then simply ignores the report’s admission of substantial evidence that some such mechanism must be at work:

Haigh says that if Rawls had read a bit further, he would have realised that the report goes on to largely dismiss the evidence that cosmic rays have a significant effect. “They conclude there’s very little evidence that it has any effect,” she says.

Rawls says that if Haigh had read the actual sentence itself, she would have realized that it isn’t about galactic cosmic rays, but only mentions GCR-cloud as one possible solar amplifier.

Aussie climatologist Steven Sherwood did the same thing, claiming (very prematurely) that the evidence does not support GCR-cloud as a substantial mechanism of solar amplification, then pretending away the report’s admission of clear evidence that some substantial such mechanism is at work:

He says the idea that the chapter he authored confirms a greater role for solar and other cosmic rays in global warming is “ridiculous”.

“I’m sure you could go and read those paragraphs yourself and the summary of it and see that we conclude exactly the opposite – that this cosmic ray effect that the paragraph is discussing appears to be negligible,” he told PM.

As JoNova and I blogged last weekend, this ploy inverts the scientific method, using theory (dissatisfaction with one particular theory of solar amplification) as an excuse for ignoring the evidence for some mechanism of solar amplification. Using theory to dismiss evidence is pure, definitional anti-science. Unfortunately, NewScientist gives this slick anti-scientist the last word:

“The most interesting aspect of this little event is it reveals how deeply in denial the climate deniers are,” says Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia – one of the lead authors of the chapter in question. “If they can look at a short section of a report and walk away believing it says the opposite of what it actually says, and if this spin can be uncritically echoed by very influential blogs, imagine how wildly they are misinterpreting the scientific evidence.”

Sherwood and Haigh are flat lying to the public about what a simple single sentence says, pretending the admission of strong evidence for some substantial mechanism of enhanced solar forcing was never made, then trusting sympathetic reporters and editors not to call them on it. This is why the report had to be made public. After my submitted comments showed how thoroughly the new sentence undercuts the entire report it was obvious that the consensoids who run the IPCC would take the sentence right back out, and here Sherwood and Haigh are already trying to do exactly that.

Too late, anti-scientists. Your humbug is on display for the whole world to see.

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DirkH

Haigh’s answer: Good enough for government work.

John Blake

Comment would be superfluous.

Rawls says that if Haigh had read the actual sentence itself, she would have realized that it isn’t about galactic cosmic rays, but only mentions GCR-cloud as one possible solar amplifier.
It is all about galactic cosmic rays. Even the subtitle of the section says so explicitly:
7.4.5.1 Correlations Between Cosmic Rays and Properties of Aerosols and Clouds
Joanna Haigh is absolutely correct.

This accords with what we actually see. Since the 50 year absence of sunspots that coincided with the bottom of the Little Ice Age, 300 years of uneven warming have coincided with an uneven rise in solar activity.
There has been no rise in solar activity the last 300 years: http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Petaluma–How%20Well%20Do%20We%20Know%20the%20SSN.pdf slide 8

John West

According to the climate science view of heat transfer the hottest part of the day would always be exactly at noon and the hottest part of the year would coincide with the longest day when the daily an annual forcings peak.

Camburn

I find it very discouraging that the “Skeptical Science Syndrome” has become so widespread. Next thing they will tell us is the world ended at midnight, was transported to another dimension, and now here we are just like it never happened. But the theory shows that it did.

R Babcock

I used to subscribe to New Scientist until I couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe they ARE the new scientists that forgo hard work, skepticism, curiosity, peer reviews, experimentation and the scientific method for government grants and computer models. There is (and always has been to some degree) the fight between those who really want to know and those who really want to believe.

Camburn

lsvalgaard says:
December 21, 2012 at 7:36 am
“There has been no rise in solar activity the last 300 years.
Which tells us all that there is something happening concerning climate that is not yet recognized.
CO2 300 years ago did not show any appreciable rise, yet the temperatures did.
Thank you Dr. Svalgaard.

GlynnMhor

lsvalgaard writes: “There has been no rise in solar activity the last 300 years:”
Yet the C14 and Be10 proxies for solar activity both show considerable increases in such activity, and reveal the Wolf, Spörer, Maunder and Dalton Grand Solar Minima that characterized the cooler climate of the Little Ice Age.
Of course both of those are dependent on how cosmic ray flux changes with solar activity.
Which leads one to examine the work of Svensmark and Kirkby on the effect of varying GCR on cloud formation…

herkimer

An analysis of recent climate history shows that during the period 1870 to 1910, the global air temperatures and the global ocean surface temperatures both declined as the sunspot number declined. From 1910 to 1940 all three again moved up together. From 1940 to 1970’s, the global ocean surface temperatures declined as they entered their cool mode and wiped out the global surface temperatures rise from continuing solar sunspot increase. From 1980 to 2000 all three variables again moved up in unison.. During the last decade or 2000-2010, all three climate variables are again going down as global cooling again gets underway. This declining pattern is likely to continue until 2030 at least . It would appear that the decadal average yearly sunspot number level of about 50-30 seems to be the tipping point where any level below this figure causes global cooling and above this figure causes global warming unless ocean cycles happen to be out of sync and over ride any warming [ like 1950’s-1970’s] We have been running at an average yearly decadal sunspot number of 29.2 over the last 10 years. This low figure clearly explains why there has been no warming for the last 16 years and why instead we are starting to see global cooling like during the past the period of 1880-1910. and again 1790-1830.
The average yearly sun spot numbers during the Dalton Minimum decades [ 1790 to 1837], a period of much colder temperatures like the period 1880-1910 were 27.5, 16.5, 19.3 and 39 . So there is some convincing evidence that low solar sunspot numbers and declining global temperatures are directly linked.
There is a pattern of changing global temperatures that match the variation in solar sunspot numbers. The sun is emitting some additional energy [energy particle Z?] primarily during solar eruptions and major sunspot activity that we have not quantified . We need to step outside our current science and propose some new concepts
There was a recent study released showing a clear correlation between low activity of the sun and cooling of parts of European winters. I quote release from SCIENCE SOCIAL NETWORK below
Link found between cold European winters and solar activity
23 August 2012
AGU Release No. 12-39
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON—Scientists have long suspected that the Sun’s 11-year cycle influences climate of certain regions on Earth. Yet records of average, seasonal temperatures do not date back far enough to confirm any patterns. Now, armed with a unique proxy, an international team of researchers show that unusually cold winters in Central Europe are related to low solar activity — when sunspot numbers are minimal. The freezing of Germany’s largest river, the Rhine, is the key.
Although the Earth’s surface overall continues to warm, the new analysis has revealed a correlation between periods of low activity of the Sun and of some cooling — on a limited, regional scale in Central Europe, along the Rhine.
http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2012/2012-39.shtml

I see Alec’s solar forcing theory running through several intriging recent posts:
1. Alec has been doing a great job of showing that the warming of the later 20th century could have been due to the continuing effects of the high solar activity of that century. He has demonstrated that a three level ocean model could explain why the high level of forcing of the first half of the century would continue to warm the climate during the second half of the century. The consensus scientists are trying to refute his theory and ignore it at the same time. And are failing.
2. The new finding (see next post on this blog) that climate change precedes tectonic activity could be explained by a third factor which causes both. The top candidate for such a factor is solar activity. I’m not the first to think of this. Piers Corbyn of weatheraction.com, has started including earthquake predictions in his solar activity based weather forecasts.
3. The December 7 posting on the Science & Public Policy website was a great paper by Nils-Axel Mörner of the University of Stockholm called “Sea Level is not Rising.” He discusses the fudging of the sea-level satellite data of this century, even though sea level stopped rising. The rise in sea level during that occurred during the 20th century could have been entirely due to the thermal expansion that goes with Alec’s theory that the ocean was acting as a heat sink during the 20th century.
Howard Richman
http://www.idealtaxes.com

dr. lumpus spookytooth, phd.

@lsvalgaard
Leif, can you please post the values for the earth’s current GAT versus the historical average. Also, can you post current atmospheric co2 versus the historic average? I would like to make the point that because earth is currently below the historical averages, you really can’t attribute global warming to man’s emissions, because the earth has averaged higher temperatures without a manmade influence.
To be honest, I am lost on the whole solar forcing thing. I see your point that you think it can’t have caused this warming but Mr. Rawls has quite a bit of evidence himself that it isn’t being valued correctly. Secondly, I see Ivar Giaver’s position also that you can’t distinguish between 288.0 kelvin and 288.8 kelvin.

Kristian

I had a look at the ERA Interim Reanalysis data (of the ECMWF) on the KNMI Climate Explorer regarding the four surface energy fluxes (net downward shortwave radiation (pos.), net outgoing longwave radiation (neg.), latent heat transfer (neg.) and sensible heat transfer (neg.)) from 1979 to 2012. And got some very interesting results. It turns out that of the three negative fluxes (regulating the rate and magnitude of heat loss from the surface) only the change in latent heat transfer really matters. Also, they’ve all grown more negative (more efficient in ridding the surface of heat, that is) globally during the modern warming. As one would expect.
The key seems to be in the latent heat transfer. Not (at all) in surface thermal radiation.
Here is net global surface solar radiation (SSR) from 1979 to 2012 (ERA Interim of the ECMWF – data downloaded from KNMI Climate Explorer):
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Solinnstrlinggl.jpg
Here are the other net global surface energy fluxes – sensible heat (green), thermal radiation (STR) (red) and latent heat (blue):
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Varmetapsmekanismenegl.jpg
Subtracting the sum of the three outgoing net fluxes from the incoming net solar flux gives this net surface energy balance curve for the Earth as a whole from 1979 to 2012:
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Nettoenergibalansegl.jpg
Robustly positive all along, yet still trending unmistakably downward and now finally getting pretty close to perfect balance – maybe withing 3-5 years we’re there, crossing the line … The mean imbalance between incoming and outgoing (1979-2012) is +7,22 W/m^2 (which sounds like a lot).
This is still according to the ECMWF of course.
Just out of curiosity I made a running total on the data behind the plot above. It came out like this:
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Akkumulertenergigl.jpg
So the funny thing is, even though all of Earth’s net surface heat loss fluxes have steadily increased in strength/efficiency (becoming more negative) since 1979 (sensible heat by ~0.8 W/m^2, STR by 0.8-1 W/m^2 and latent heat by ~6 W/m^2, to a total of 7.6 – 7.8 W/m^2) and with the mean net solar input upon the global surface today pretty much equal to what it was in 1979, Earth has been accumulating a LOT of energy/heat. The global solar input has simply been larger the last 34 years than the output from Earth’s surface, the heat loss processes working hard to catch up. And that’s the funny bit. According to AGW theory, what would cause the energy imbalance is a DEcreasing of the total net upward heat flux from the surface. For instance, in a theoretical steady state, with solar IN (considered static) exactly balanced by IR+latent+sensible OUT, more GHGs would indirectly lessen the total heat flux from the surface, making it less negative (more positive) which would then create the observed positive imbalance. But this theoretical course of events is quite the opposite of what apparently actually happens in the real world. Here the IR flux, the sensible heat flux and the latent heat flux are all increasing as a function of surface temperature. Or should we say, as a function of the increasing difference/divergence between the surface temperature and that of the air layer directly above it. If the standard AGW hypothesis were right, the lapse rate should lift the mean temperature level off the ground with increasing concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere. That is to say, the incremental same-temperature levels would be situated gradually higher from the tropospheric mean emission height on down to the surface. This means that in the end, the layer of air just above the ground/sea would warm independently of the surface (a tiny bit) and would thereby in a snapshot reduce the temperature gradient between the air and the surface, reducing the total net heat flux from the ground/sea. For this to be the case, though, the temperature gap between the surface and the air layer adjacent to it must either be observed to DEcrease or to remain stable (they both warm in step). If this gap were rather observed to INcrease, this whole construct would crumble. Then the surface cannot be the follower. Then the surface is the driver. Which is what all common sense is telling us is the case. Look at these two graphs:
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/ICOADSluftmothavoverflate1.jpg
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/ICOADSluftmothavoverflate2.jpg
This is ICOADS SST vs. ICOADS Tair. The first graph covers a large chunk of the Pacific Ocean (30N-40S, 150E-100W). The second a significant part of the North Atlantic (62N-0, 60-15W). Watch how the SST trends are distinctively steeper than the Tair trends in both diagrams. How would an air layer colder than the surface and at the same time with a lower warming rate force the warming of the surface? It couldn’t. And it doesn’t. And it agrees with the ERA Interim Reanalysis data.
Finally, I did the same operation for the tropical Pacific fluxes as I did for the global ones. Here is the result, directly compared to the global (tropical Pacific (24N-24S, 120E-80W) (black), global (red)). From top to bottom – solar, sensible, IR and latent. Watch how much more positive the solar is in the Pacific and accordingly how much more negative the latent heat flux is. For the other two fluxes the difference seems inconsequential:
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/GlvstropSt.jpg

gnomish

(Look whose accusing —– Look who’s accusing)
reminds me of Mars Attacks when Slim Whitman sings Indian Love Call.
it can’t be nice for a climate catastrophists kids and pets about now…

M Courtney

Dr Svalgaard is entirely wrong when he writes at December 21, 2012 at 7:32 am
“It is all about galactic cosmic rays. Even the subtitle of the section says so explicitly:
7.4.5.1 Correlations Between Cosmic Rays and Properties of Aerosols and Clouds”
Well, he has managed to read the title correctly but he has (somehow) failed to read the report or Alex Rawls quote from it in the original WUWT article.
“Compared to the First Order Draft, the SOD now adds the following sentence, indicated in bold (page 7-43, lines 1-5, emphasis added):
Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.”
Alex Rawls is talikng about the “amplifying mechanism” and the “Many empirical relationships”.
The draft IPCC report is talking about the “amplifying mechanism” and the “Many empirical relationships”.
Joanna Haigh is not.
Nor is Dr Svalgaard.
Curious, isn’t it?
In fact they are missing the point so entirely I will now ignore them until they catch up with the science.

David Wells

As Prof Brian Cox says the laws of physics travel in one direction only, birth, life and eventually death hopefully for the rentseekers who live amongst us who have already eaten doom for breakfast, gloom for lunch and government grants for afternoon tea the prolonged temperature plateau will signify their last supper, its that time of year. Hopefully when they roll away the rock this time the greens will be beyond resurrection, unfortunately we will still be left with the bloody wind turbines and biomass to destroy the environment they purported their militant action was supposed to protect, seasonal greetings to all of the greens, not!

Kristian

I’ll refer to Dee et al. 2011, “The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system”
http://vega.unibe.ch/teams/simlen/private/Dee2011_ERAINTERIM.pdf
for a thorough discussion on the ERA Interim project. What comes plainly out when reading the document, is that the reanalysis model has overestimated the mean surface solar input:
“Due to a programming error in the calculation of incident solar radiation as a function of solar zenith angle, the global solar radiation in ERA-Interim is overestimated by about 2 W/m^2.”
and
“For solar irradiance, ERA-Interim uses a constant value of 1370 W/m^2 throughout, i.e. no account is taken of the solar cycle. Variations due to the varying distance between the Earth and the Sun are incorporated as described in Paltridge and Platt (1976).”
According to the newest satellite estimates, the mean solar irradiance is ~1361.7 W/m^2
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/14/total-solar-irradiation-tsi-value-lower-in-2008/
The range in total irradiance between high and low within each cycle is ~1 W/m^2 with PMOD and ~1.5 (1-2) W/m^2 with ACRIM.
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/PMOD.jpg
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/ACRIM.jpg
Disregarding the solar cycle amplitudes won’t affect the long term average (over several cycles). It will, however, affect the decadal variation. That means the graphs I’ve presented (based on ERA Interim) show less variation than reality. The 8.3 W/m^2 (1370-1361.7) difference between model assumption and real-world measurements is significant. It will probably overestimate the average energy input from the Sun at Earth’s global surface by ~1 W/m^2 (1361.7/8,3 = 164 W/m^2).
Dee et al. continue:
“The energy balance at the top of the atmosphere in ERA Interim has improved, with an estimated energy loss of 1.2 W/m^2 (7.4 W/m^2 for ERA 40). However, the energy balance at the surface boundary is poor in ERA Interim, with a global value of 6.9 W/m^2 (3.8 W/m^2 for ERA 40). This degradation occurs primarily over oceans and is associated with an increase in net solar radiation there. Over land the surface energy balance actually improves in ERA Interim, to 0.5 W/m^2 (1.3 W/m^2 for ERA 40).
Källberg (2011) suggests that the model clouds are the major contributor to the imbalance in surface energy, based on a correspondence between spin-up/spin-down of cloudiness and of the net energy fluxes.”
My own calculated mean value for the global energy balance (1979-2012) turned out to be +7.22 W/m^2. Dee et al. finds a +6.9 W/m^2 imbalance (1979-2010).
Based on the quotes above it seems justified adjusting the ERA Interim solar input down by 2+1= 3 W/m^2. This would reduce the global net energy imbalance 1979-2012 to 4,22 W/m^2 (second graph below), which actually sounds AND looks much more plausible than the original +7,22 (first graph below):
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Nettoenergibalansegl.jpg
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Nettooverflatefluksgl2.jpg
Note how in the lower graph (the ‘new and improved’ +4,22 one) we’re already very close to perfect balance and have been so for a few years, quite on the verge of crossing the line into negative territory.
Here are the running totals (accumulated energy) for the +7,22 and the +4,22 scenarios:
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Akkumulertenergigl.jpg
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/Akkumulertenergigl2.jpg
We’re obviously at the summit plateau.
What’s very interesting to observe, is how the evolution in Earth’s energy balance seems to follow the same pattern as ENSO East (NINO3.4) does. One might imagine an oceanic equilibrium line, across which the Earth system fluctuates in giant cycles. Below the equilibrium line the ocean’s heat loss is on average greater than the input from the Sun. There is a net loss of energy content. Above the equilibrium line the situation is reversed. There is a net builup of energy content. The main regulating mechanism seems to be the rate of evaporation from the ocean surface.
From the 70s to the 80s this equilibrium line was somehow crossed. The Earth system shifted from a negative to a positive balance. And here’s the take-home message: After the shift is completed, the trend starts falling at once, on its way back towards the equilibrium line. The initial divergence is gradually and steadily reduced. But the positive energy imbalance is still there all along. Energy is accumulating in the system, only at a slowing rate until it finally reaches zero. We’re very close now to that point.
Compare this to the MEI curve. What do we see?
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/Keyell/MEI-1.jpg
A mighty upward shift in 1976/77. Before this, the curve is generally running below the zero line. After, the curve is generally above. But what about the trend? It starts falling directly from 1977 onwards. It’s basically negative all the way ’till today. Yet the ENSO phenomenon has made the world warmer and warmer during the same period. Since a few years back now the MEI/NINO3.4 curve fluctuates around the zero line, straddling the border between El Niño and La Niña dominance.
Coincidence?

Harry van Loon

Read Van Loon et al. in JGR 2012
[Reply: a link would be helpful. — mod.]

O Olson

Just a quick question from a simple farmer… How long does it take for the sun’s shielding effect against GCRs to reach the outer limits of the heliosphere?

Which leads one to examine the work of Svensmark and Kirkby on the effect of varying GCR on cloud formation…

Weirdly when I look at cloudiness at Forbush events where GCR increase dramatically I can find no change in cloudiness. When I challenge believers in Svensmark to state a testable hypothesis, they all go silent. Seems they want to claim an effect but not define a test for it.

richard verney

“What she means is that the 20th century’s persistent high level of solar activity peaked in 1985… Who could possibly think that cooling should commence when forcings are at their peak, just because the very highest peak has been passed?”
I have not read the full article, but doubtr that the summary is a fair reflection of her argument since if it were, then the warming/CO2 argument would fail. Who would have tjought that temperatures stall or even fall when CO2 forcing is at its post industrial peak! Must be something wrong there!!
The problem is that nobody truly knows what is going on, nor why and it appears that climate scientists (and I use that term loosely since there appears to be little true science conducted) are not sufficiently truthful to admit that they do not properly understand matters and that the data is either defective or insufficient from which to draw any firm conclusions.

Camburn says:
December 21, 2012 at 7:49 am
CO2 300 years ago did not show any appreciable rise, yet the temperatures did.
CO2 the last 300 years has risen considerably as have temperatures…
This is one of the pillars of AGW, no?

P. Solar

“The most interesting aspect of this little event is it reveals how deeply in denial the climate deniers are,” says Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia – one of the lead authors of the chapter in question.
It seems to me it is not the sceptics you are “in denial”.
Their scam is falling apart around them yet they carrying lying and cheating as though it was not already too late. #
You can con people once because many start by assuming good faith . Once you have called out, telling further more ridiculous lies won’t make people listen again.

herkimer says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:00 am
An analysis of recent climate history shows that during the period 1870 to 1910, the global air temperatures and the global ocean surface temperatures both declined as the sunspot number declined. From 1910 to 1940 all three again moved up together. From 1940 to 1970’s, the global ocean surface temperatures declined as they entered their cool mode and wiped out the global surface temperatures rise from continuing solar sunspot increase. From 1980 to 2000 all three variables again moved up in unison.. During the last decade or 2000-2010, all three climate variables are again going down as global cooling again gets underway.
What happened to the ocean thermal inertia that Alec Rawls stress to much?

John West

Amplification is not the only mechanism for solar activity variation to effect climate more than TSI variation would suggest. Component distribution could be the variation that is most critical to climate. For example, a typical acid copper plating solution has over a dozen organic components. The TOC (total organic carbon) parameter does not reflect the operation of the bath well because it’s the distribution or balance of the components that are critical, not just the total. The plating bath could be operating well or not at identical TOC levels. Similarly, TSI is merely the total and does not reflect the distribution of the components of solar output.

lsvalgaard says:
December 21, 2012 at 7:36 am
“There has been no rise in solar activity the last 300 years.”
Which tells us all that there is something happening concerning climate that is not yet recognized.
CO2 300 years ago did not show any appreciable rise, yet the temperatures did.
Thank you Dr. Svalgaard.
Either this is taken out of context, or the “Dr.” is NOT A CLEAR THINKER!!!
WHAT would QUANTIFY SOLAR ACTIVITY FOR 300 years??? Some of the alledged isotope connections are, frankly, “stuff and nonsense”. In terms of records, Sunspots is all we have. And DUE to the inaccuracies of counting and identification, there are rather large error bars there too.
I’m really hoping this is taken out of context, because if it isn’t it throws a negative light on Dr. L.S.’s potificating proclaimations…
Max

MarkW

“Haigh points out that the sun actually began dimming slightly in the mid-1980s”
I’m not aware of any theory that links the suns visible light output with the deflecting of GCRs.

dr. lumpus spookytooth, phd. says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:04 am
you really can’t attribute global warming to man’s emissions
since I don’t, your point is moot.

Imperial has gone down hill – the professors aren’t properly trained in Germany now.

MarkW

Obviously the hottest day of every year occurs on the summer solstice and temperatures start droping the very next day.

I’m guessing this is the paper that Harry was referring to.
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012JD017502.shtml

MarkW

“Just a quick question from a simple farmer… How long does it take for the sun’s shielding effect against GCRs to reach the outer limits of the heliosphere?”
I’ve been told that it is around 6 months.

DirkH

Steven Mosher says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:17 am
“When I challenge believers in Svensmark to state a testable hypothesis, they all go silent.”
Well, the tropospheric hotspot didn’t work out so well for ya, Steven, or did it?

the1pag

If cloud formation is affected by GCR’s, CERN’s “cloud” study, using that big, very elaborate cloud chamber in Switzerland failed to identify it using CERN’s original atmospheric trace gases in those first inconclusive tests.. CERN suggested at the time that future experiments would be conducted to evaluate possible effects of organic gases as perhaps produced by trees. Has there been any clarification or new report about this from CERN?

M Courtney says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:06 am
“Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link.”
The sentence talks about ‘these’ observations, that is: ‘the relationships reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope achives [controlled partly by GCRs]…’ and points out that TSI does not seem to account for these observations, implying … hypothesized GRS-clout link’ and then goes on to state ‘these results were not corroborated by other studies who found no statistically significant links between GCR and clouds at the global scale (Čalogović et al., 2010; Kristjánsson et al., 2008; Laken and Čalogović, 2011).’ ending with ‘Although there is some evidence that ionization from cosmic rays may enhance aerosol nucleation in the free troposphere, there is medium evidence and high agreement that the cosmic ray-ionization mechanism is too weak to influence global concentrations of CCN or their change over the last century or during a solar cycle in any climatically significant way. The lack of trend in the cosmic ray intensity over the last 50 years (Agee et al., 2012; McCracken and Beer, 2007) provides another strong argument against the hypothesis of a major contribution of cosmic rays to ongoing climate change.’
What can be clearer than that? [independently of what one otherwise believes]. The statement is not a ‘game changer’ in any way, especially since its author says that Rawls have misinterpreted it.

RHS

Today being Winter Solstice and the high temps in Denver being significantly colder than they were on the Summer Solstice, I’d believe minor fluctuations in the Sun’s output could have minor fluctuations in our temps. After all, we’re how much closer in our orbit to the sun right now than Summer Solstice? Seeing how lessening the time exposed to the sun and the change of Sun’s angle over the horizon drops the daily temp between 30 and 40 degrees, the temperature changes really do seem to be related to the sun.

D Böehm

Steven Mosher says:
“When I challenge believers in Svensmark AGW to state a testable hypothesis, they all go silent.”
There. Fixed it for you. ☺

DirkH

Max Hugoson says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:26 am

“lsvalgaard says:
December 21, 2012 at 7:36 am
“There has been no rise in solar activity the last 300 years.”
Which tells us all that there is something happening concerning climate that is not yet recognized.
CO2 300 years ago did not show any appreciable rise, yet the temperatures did.”

Here is one C14 proxy, from an unlikely source, skepticalscience (but also available elsewhere).
http://www.skepticalscience.com/coming-out-of-little-ice-age.htm
Leif surely means TSI when he says solar activity; but C14 production did change (it seems).

MarkW says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:36 am
“Just a quick question from a simple farmer… How long does it take for the sun’s shielding effect against GCRs to reach the outer limits of the heliosphere?”
I’ve been told that it is around 6 months.

Depending on what you call the ‘heliosphere’. If we use the ‘termination shock’ at 110 AU as the limit, then since the solar wind goes 1 AU in 4 days [on average], the time would be 110*4 days ~ 14 months

richard verney

The satellite record suggests that there has been no CO2 induced warming these past 33 years; flat from 79 to 97, and flat from 99 to 21012 with just a step change around the super El Nino of 1998. Unless that El Nino was somehow caused by CO2 (which to date no one has put forward a plausible mechanism), there is no CO2/warming signal in the satellite data. Materially, we have more than the so called magic 17 years, we have 33 years without a steady rise in temperature which according to the theory would follow the steady rise in anthropogenic CO2 if CO2 was a primary driver.
Whilst the satellite data set is far from perfect (and far from long enough), it is the best quality data that we have. Just consideration of this record would suggest that one should be vary wary that we understand forcings and what controls the global temperature.

MarkW says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:28 am
“Haigh points out that the sun actually began dimming slightly in the mid-1980s”
I’m not aware of any theory that links the suns visible light output with the deflecting of GCRs.

Then listen up: the variation of the total radiant output of the Sun [TSI] is caused by variations in the solar magnetic field, which does have a role deflecting GCRs when brought out in space by the solar wind.

ConfusedPhoton

lsvalgaard said
“CO2 the last 300 years has risen considerably as have temperatures…”
Misleading as usual.
CO2 has been rising for the last 60 years (debatable whether considerably is correct) but prior to that is was largely constant.
It is interesting that other AGW people use temperature rises before CO2 increases as proof (or pillars) of AGW.

Harry van Loon

Carrick: It is that paper.

What is going to count is what the various IPCC AR5 authors do with the third draft. Then we will know whether they are going to behave like scientists or deliquent teenagers. I wonder whether they will make the third draft public themselves, or wait for someone else to leak it.

Lars P.

“This woman thinks that warming is driven, not by the level of the temperature forcing, but by the rate of change in the level of the forcing. When a forcing goes barely past its peak (solar cycle 22 nearly identical in magnitude to cycle 21), does that really create cooling? “
Well, everybody knows that at the longest day of the year, the 21st of June, is also the warmest day of the year, and from then on starts cooling.

Camburn

Kristian says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:04 am
But this theoretical course of events is quite the opposite of what apparently actually happens in the real world.
Your mistake in your analysis is that you are not suffering from Skeptical Science Syndrome
The real world…..what a refershing thought?

DirkH says:
December 21, 2012 at 8:45 am
Leif surely means TSI when he says solar activity; but C14 production did change (it seems).
I mean the Sun’s magnetic field [which controls both TSI and the GCR flux observed at Earth].
Check slides 30 and 31 of http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Activity-Past-Present-and-Future-Notes.pdf
30: Galactic Cosmic Rays [GCRs] produce by spallation of Oxygen and Nitrogen radioactive nuclei in the Earth’s atmosphere. 10Beryllium [2 oz total global yearly production] and 14Carbon [17 pounds] eventually enter reservoirs at ground level [ice cores and tree rings]. From those, researchers have sought to deduce the solar activity responsible for the solar cycle modulation of GCRs. The observable is really the deposition rate rather than the production rate. The deposition is also controlled by the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field, and by circulation of air and moisture [i.e. by climate]. The effects of these factors are difficult to remove and the influence of the unknown [but guessed at] flux outside the Heliosphere is not well-known. Nevertheless, progressis being made and preliminary results exist for the past ~10,000 years.
The higher flux at solar Grand Minima stands out, but there are problems. Solar activity at present is on par with what it was a century ago, yet the cosmic rays flux back then seems to announce a grand minimum [marked G] which we are not seeing repeated now.
31: It is often assumed that the GCR production, M, is controlled by the HMF B [upper panel] following a relation of the form M ~1/ B^n where n is of the order of 2. Since [absolute instrument] neutron monitors were introduced in the 1950s this relation has worked reasonably well [lower panel]. The data from [relative instrument] ion chambers from the 1930s to early 1950s have been spliced to the neutron monitor data, but do not seem to have the same calibration relative to HMF B [oval in lower panel]. This discrepancy feeds into the calibration of the entire 9,300 years before the present and makes the record difficult to interpret. Resolution of this problem is a high-priority ongoing research effort [ISSI workshop 233, co-chaired by me] and the end is not yet in sight.

pat

Did she think we all forgot the mid-1990s extremely active solar cycle that coincided with the 1998 surface temperature measure? Yes she did. Scientists like politicians have become adepts at rewriting history. Even near time events. Is this delusion or deceit?

Bill Illis

Obviously, solar energy accumulates / discharges at certain (very small) rates;
– throughout a 24 hour period (temperature lag behind solar insolation by up to 3 hours or an accumulation rate of 0.007 joules/m2/second));
– over the annual seasonal cycle (temperatures lag behind solar insolation by 35 days on Land and up to 82 days for mid-high latitude oceans – similar to the daily rate); and,
– over an 11 year solar cycle (tough to say what those numbers are);
Do we expect these accumulation / discharge rates to average out to exactly 0.00000000 joules/m2/second over a longer period of time, say 50 years. Because it has to be lower than this number above to not result in slowly increasing/decreasing temperatures.

Doubting Rich

“This woman thinks that warming is driven, not by the level of the temperature forcing, but by the rate of change in the level of the forcing.”
The irony is that if she even understood the basics of meteorology she could not misunderstand this.
I teach a short meteorology and world climate course for future airline pilots. It is only about 50 hours of classroom tuition, starting with an assumption of no knowledge, so this is quite a basic course. One of the things they need to know is the warmest times of the diurnal an annual temperature cycles on land and at sea.
So they know that the coldest part of the day is shortly after sunrise, and the warmest part is in mid afternoon. They know that the warmest month is just after summer solstice, July in the Northern hemisphere, and the coldest just after winter solstice. They know that the maximums and minima are slightly later at sea, where the response to warming and cooling is slower.
Simply knowing this, and the reasons why, Haigh could not make the error she does make. It is the first thing I thought of when I read what she had said. By her logic the coolest time of day would be at sunrise, and the warmest midday; the land and sea would be warmest at the summer solstice, coolest at the winter solstice. We all know this is not true; even someone with no meteorological education knows that July and even August tend to be warmer than the 21 June in the Northern hemisphere.
So does she lack the conceptual intelligence to connect this to longer-term climate trends? Is she less well-informed than my ATPL students? Or is she dishonest, genuinely believing the sun is not responsible but trying to rule it out but by a simple but false argument because she has no other argument to give to support her belief? Is she trying to win the debate, rather than find the truth, and so using an argument she knows is wrong?