Another “escalator“

Guest post by Jan Zeman


Some CAGW proponents argument against the recent stall in the global warming trends with this graph called “escalator”. Source:

But one of my favorite “escalators” is this one:


The beginnings and the ends of the global sea surface temperature (SST) trends – the colored lines – are the time centered solar minima and maxima – quite clearly follow the solar signal – except the last: a quite apparently downward(!) slope from the minimum to the current maximum period of the solar cycle SC24 – e.g. until the most recent Hadsst2gl data available.

…and some say the trends shorter than 30 years don’t tell anything about the climate and its drivers… 

It quite consistently looks like the sea surface temperature anomaly trends in the last ~half of the century more or less follow the rises and drops of the solar activity during the solar cycles, except the last trend since the beginning of the SC24, where the temperature trend goes down, although the solar cycle was on the rise – but it appears to agree with the really considerable descent of the solar activity since the peak of the SC22 and especially after the peak of the SC23, only with a minor lag.

I would like to note that the heat capacity of just the upper ~3.2 meters of the ocean water out of the several kilometers deep ocean is the equivalent of the whole atmosphere’s heat capacity, so the global sea surface temperature anomaly looks like it is even better indicator of the solar activity’s influence on the Earth surface heat budget and temperatures than the global air surface temperature anomaly.

Let’s have look at the trends for the same periods using HADCRUT4GL data for comparison:



Again the global surface air temperature trends’ direction more or less follow the solar cycles up or down, up until the peak of the SC23. After which there is an anomaly – first the trend goes up while the solar activity descends and then it goes down while the solar activity rises. Which I propose could be attributed to a transient lag in the periods when the solar activity trends abruptly change as in our case after the SC22 peak and especially after the SC23 peak. (The SSN averages are in SC21 81.16, in SC22 80.63, in SC23 53.92, and in the SC24 at its peak period is so far 34.36 and it will yet fall significantly.)

All real thermodynamic systems, especially those involving significant latent heat exchanges – as in our case with the ice melting and evaporation (both from the sea surface and land) – have some thermal inertia. The question is only how big its effect is on the surface temperature anomalies.

Let’s yet check the same periods with the GISTEMP data:



We can see quite a similar pattern as with the HADCRUT4GL data.

…some say the sun does not have major influence on the surface temperatures (– sometimes they say at least since ~mid 20th century – which seems to me a bit like a contradiction: Sometimes influences, sometimes not? Such a hot giant as our sun, delivering most if not practically all the heat to the Earth’s surface?)

I don’t think so. The solar activity measured in sunspot number obviously correlates well with the TSI and it correlated quite well with the surface temperature anomalies throughout most of the record up until the end of the 1970’s too. We can see it prima facie:



The only question in my opinion is how fast the solar activity influences the global surface temperature anomalies when the solar activity trends relatively abruptly change (– as in the last two solar cycles) and transient phenomena take place.

The visual comparison of the trend graphs (- the above SSN v. SST, HADCRUT4GL and GISTEMP) also seems to provide a clue that the changes of solar activity could influence the sea surface temperature anomaly a bit faster than it influences the surface air temperature anomaly. Which is what one might expect (anti-intuitively): In my opinion it is caused by the fact that the epipelagic zone (the “sunlight zone” below the ocean surface up to ~200m depth) of the sea has more than 50 times higher heat capacity than whole the atmosphere. Therefore it always traps much more solar radiance converting it to heat than the atmosphere*.

This massive reservoir of sea surface heat** moreover mostly stays on the top, because most of the ocean surface water has lower density than the water below. The waters are mixed by wind and waves only to quite shallow depths. The heat gets into the depths of the ocean mainly by the thermohaline circulation, and it takes quite a long period of time for them to get the heat into the ocean depths. Some estimate this is taking hundreds to thousands of years (see slide 29 here). Otherwise the heat from the ocean’s surface propagates into deeper ocean layers by thermal conduction. Liquid water however does not have very high thermal conductivity, so it also takes considerable time to change the temperature equilibrium state this way, when the long-term solar irradiance/heat input trends and also the possible inducted cloudiness/albedo trends change (as proposed by H. Svensmark and others). So there quite likely can be lags of the surface temperature anomalies trends behind the solar activity trend changes. The question in my opinion is just how long the lags are.

The Occam’s razor principle says “that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected” or in other words: “simpler hypotheses about nature are more likely to be true”.

The average total solar irradiance per time descended quite sharply during the SC22 and SC23 with the pace of ~0.4W/m2 (SC22) and ~0.7W/m2 (SC23) per solar cycle*** and quite apparently continues to further significantly descend in the SC24. Similar it is with the sunspot number, which looks to touch the Dalton minimum levels****. Do you really think this will not have a significant impact on the surface temperatures in the future?

You decide.

* this underlines the fact that the sea surface water has also higher average temperature (the global average sea surface temperature is about 290 Kelvin) than the global average surface air temperature (~287 Kelvin) and is much higher than the average temperature of the atmosphere (254.3 Kelvin is the blackbody temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere which well agrees with the average temperature obtained by the standard atmosphere model). But is also good to note, that the constructs of the global average temperatures and their anomalies respectively have big uncertainties (estimated as high as ±0.46 degrees Celsius), that it poses serious question how significant the warming trend last hundred years of like ~0.72 (HADCRUT4GL) or ~0.77 (GISTEMP) degrees Celsius per century really is. But this is not the topic of this my article.

** continuously and distinctively heating the surface air wherever its temperature is lower and cooling it wherever its temperature is higher, while the water also evaporates from the surface, mainly due to direct heating effect of the solar irradiance on the water surface’s skin able to “knock out” the water molecules into the air.

*** just for illustration see the trends herenote: the PMOD values must be corrected according to this TIM/PMOD correlation, so in reality the SC23 trend (green) is up to ~0.05W/m2 per solar cycle less steep then the graph shows.

**** especially if we use the sunspot number correction proposed by L. Svalgaard – see the slide 8 here)


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Greg Goodman

Even better, the skepticalscience graph starts in 1973– the lowest point of the last cooling event we had. That’s how AGW fetishists see the climate– in chunks small enough to support their pre-selected conclusions.

Greg Goodman

When I saw the cut-off I was instantly suspicious. When it is run to 2013 the whole thing falls apart.
Now there may be a reason for that and we could look into it but if you have a major issue like that don’t some along and try to con us into seeing something else without being up front about it.
We’ve seen enough of that sort of game from the Team.

Greg Goodman

Just to add, I don’t think you are wrong about the long term link with solar but it’s not this simple and what you are doing is slight of hand. Alex Rawls , I think has said quite a lot about how it is the cumulative effect of high solar peaks for most of 20th c. that need to be looked at.
You may want to look at that.

Greg Goodman
Running your plot up to the end of data looks like about the most convincing argument for a strong CO2 effect I have ever seen. Quite worrying.
On the face of it your plot shows that early 20th c. rise was due to solar and later rise was due to CO2 since 1960.
I may have a closer look at this myself. Don’t like to look of it.

This spring the CET ( Central England Temp) is on a down escalator

David L.

An even more complex attempt at fitting a series of linear projections to a sinusoidal function. Why won’t they consider a Fourier transform of the data series? Lines are simply not appropriate.

Greg Goodman

It’s a “heat pump”!


The first graph looks like/resembles the graph that Bob tisdale presented to show zero AGW because the steps coincided with the El Nino events. I prefer Bob’s explanation.

Greg Goodman
OK , the improbably looking temperature curve you had was a result of your 44 year running mean !! Why you did that is anybodies guess but it’s a fine example of the kind of crap you can get with running means if you don’t understand how to use them (which most scientists don’t seem too hot on either).
The above composite running mean produces are reasonable frequency filter to remove 5.4 y and shorter. Provides sufficient ‘smoothing’ effect without shortening the data too much.
Temperatures start to drop around 1940, fully two solar cycles before the peaks drop. Also pre-1880 goes the wrong way re. solar.
The correlation is not the simplistic idea you were trying to suggest. It does not match the pre-1960 warming and so the later divergence is not the stunningly good argument for CO2 powered post 1960 AGW that it appeared to be.
PHEW. You had me worried for moment.
Try selling this to, they’ll probably be happy to run it with the 44 running mean as proof of global warming. 😉


This escalator takes you down. Question for those smarter than me, “Were humans emitting CO2 in the 1950’s and 1960’s or did we start doing that in the 1980’s?


Running your plot up to the end of data looks like about the most convincing argument for a strong CO2 effect I have ever seen. Quite worrying.
Ah, but don’t stop there. Why “550 months”? 600 months is a fifty year centered average, but it is pretty arbitrary, right? We don’t know the time constants for any of the processes associated with the hypothetical oceanic turnover, and of course it isn’t going to show any of the recent flattening of temperature or the effect of the last two solar cycles as they simply haven’t been around long enough to show up. Of course if you drop it to 60 months (five year centered average) nothing interesting shows up. If you go to 800 months, you don’t HAVE to clip the ends, they get clipped for you. The “perfect” correspondence goes away, of course, but you still get that correlation that is still (last time I looked) not causality.
And note well, Lief hasn’t even shown up yet to point out that the SSN counts in this database are all incorrect pre-1980, and that by the time they are all corrected even the 550 month truncated correspondence is largely gone.
Let’s not forget, others would have us plotting planetary influences against the temperature, so even if any given single parameter fits fails it doesn’t mean that it is wrong, only that other things are right as well. You assert that it is convincing to you that CO_2 might be the cause of the divergence at the end, but if you plot the same temperature series against carbon dioxide, you get an absurdly inadequate result because CO_2 was almost flat over the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the graph and has been a smooth monotonic function throughout where the temperature curve has a variety of slope and curvature variations.
And then there are the global decadal oscillations: ENSO, the PDO, NAO. It actually isn’t completely crazy that these oscillations might substantively moderate the overall heating/cooling efficiency of the planet on a decadal timescale, given that they make significant changes in where heat picked up one place is transported to another, lifted up to be radiated away, or modulates cloud cover and hence albedo or cloud/water vapor GHE (where there is 30 times more water vapor in the troposphere at any given time than CO_2, and where it is a potent GHG all by itself responsible for the vast majority of the GHE). Bob Tisdale has argued persuasively that ENSO alone is largely responsible for the “escalator” pattern in the late 20th century temperature series, not CO_2.
Somewhere under there are some very slowly varying causes — variations in orbital cycle, for example — but those causes are nonlinearly coupled to everything else so it is not really safe to say that they are irrelevant. In the long-time-series historical record, they very likely constitute a nearly irresistible factor that drives some sort of set-point for the climate, quite possibly with a decadal to century timescale lag, so the Earth could still be “catching up” to variations that occurred 600 years ago and that are responsible for some unknown fraction of the curve.
At some point, plotting “global T” against any single parameter, especially a monotonic parameter over an interval where “global T” itself was nearly monotonic, becomes a completely empty exercise. That point was reached long ago. It is perfectly clear that no single driver can explain the global temperature series of the entire Pliestocene. We have no single-parameter model that can describe the temperature series for the last billion years. We have no model that can describe the temperature series (deduced from e.g. ice cores) for the Holocene. We have no model that can describe the last 2000 years. We have no model that can describe the last 1000 years. We have no model that can describe the last 500 years. Not single parameter, not two parameter, not ten parameter (well, we can fit anything with ten parameters, of course, but at that point we can fit it hundreds of ways and none of the extrapolate or hindcast the rest of the series above and hence all of them are meaningless.
Can I point out one more time that this is a hard problem? One that is unlikely to yield to mere numerology?
And don’t even get me started on the data itself, or the fact that nobody makes woodsfortrees plots with error bars. I mean if one were going to try to fit the data, or look at any sort of correlation matrix or covariance matrix of the two (or more) proposed correlated entities, that would be one thing, but the significance of the fit depends pretty strongly on the error bars one assigns to the points on the basis of unknown factors, since none of the data represented there is pulled from an iid process. One of the factors is data “adjustment”, for example, where a stunning series of adjustments have almost universally increased the perceived warming in the temperature series.
IMO, one can really only trust the satellite derived post 1979 temperature estimates. Before that time, it is too, too easy to tweak the data within very large error bars and accept this, reject that, UHI another bit, and end up (somehow) with a lot more warming than one might expect looking at the raw thermometry. How one can tweak a UHI to make the series warmer in the present is a good trick, of course.
Finally, one needs to read about Hurst-Kolmogorov in order to understand the data escalator. This works both ways — the current flat is indeed not necessarily significant. Neither is the trend it is superimposed on. Insufficient information in a strongly coupled multivariate nonlinear system.

DC Cowboy

Again, it all depends on the choice of end points. What’s magical about 1970?


That first chart is not how I view “global warming”, so maybe I’m not a skeptic. Then again, I AM a realist, and the big red line that slashes its way through the clearly visible 180 degrees of a sine wave is highly offensive.
On the third hand, the “skeptical science” site has very little to do with skeptics, so… hmm.
I still wonder how “climate change panickers” are going to handle the next 10 years, when their beloved (but still fictional and meaningless) “global average temperature” starts dropping farther away from even the most optimistic “best case” scenarios. No matter how you slice it, more warming is off the table for the next few decades. And that will eventually be impossible to avoid.

I see about 0.6c rise in 42 years on the red line. So this is consistent with the rise we have seen recovering from the LIA, 1.5C per century.
Where is the temperature rise caused by CO2 ? Why is the slope constant?
Where is the catastrophe?
Where are the bodies?
Let,s get real “Realists”


rgbatduke says:
April 19, 2013 at 5:11 am
Finally, one needs to read about Hurst-Kolmogorov in order to understand the data escalator.
Which tells us that temperature will wander about naturally without any forcing or feedback with a much different pattern than would be expected from random noise. That the predictions of natural variability based on classical statistics have likely misled a generation of climate scientists and the IPCC. What we see as meaningful trends in the temperature data could just as easily be an illusion of HK dynamics, similar to animal shapes we see in clouds.

Greg Goodman

I love SepticScience calling themselves “realists”. Great propaganda coup that: I’m a realist (because I say so) and therefore whatever I tell you is real. Don’t even doubt it, it’s reality.
They yet again use the well known “warming trend” of the cosine function:
The usual trough to peak trickery. Pathetic.
But this is of course REAL, after all, they are realists. If you fit a straight line to a carefully cropped off cosine you REALLY DO get a BS answer.


First I’d say Leif Svalgaard wouldn’t approve that sunspot graph.
And second, averaging over 44 years??? Come on. Hasn’t here been an article just recently about how unethical it is to use smoothing to improve your correlation?

” Do you really think this will not have a significant impact on the surface temperatures in the future? “
Your question is riding a dead horse. The temperatures in the future are known for long.


I would suggest doing a competing graphic. Show “how skeptics view global warming” and show the last 1200 years of temperatures. It’s a downward slope. Then show “how alarmists view global warming” where the the 1200 to 40 years ago record gradually disappears, leaving them with their exact graphic doing it’s comparisons as above.


Cycle 24 is not anonymous. If one takes the integral of the Solar Cycle, i.e., area under the curve, it matches perfectly with the increase/decrease of heat added to the Earth. Cycle 24 area is only 1/10 of Cycle 22 and 1/8 of Cycle 23.
1) High energy short radiation penetrates the ocean waters [say 20 meters].
2) Infrared reflects off of the ocean surface.
3) High energy short radiation [UV] changes radically from Cycle minimums to maximums.
4) During a Solar Cycle peak, Solar energy at the Equator in the Pacific [example] moves to Indonesia.
5) Ocean heat moves to North/South Pacific and around Africa to eventually create the Gulf Stream.
6) During a Solar minimum, Indonesian ocean temperature will fall. The North/South Pacific will not be warmed, but will cool.
7) During this minimum [Cycle 24/25], expect the Sea Ice around Antarctic and the Antarctic Peninsula to suddenly increase. The South Pacific heat is almost gone with nothing to replace it.
8) Long time lag to the Arctic, expect the Arctic Ice to increase greatly next year – 2014/2015.
Not TSI [relatively constant], but high energy short radiation [highly variable] driving the Earth’s temperature.

Pamela Gray

Forget Leif. Hell my DOG thinks this is crap not worth investigating!

dr brown says
Insufficient information in a strongly coupled multivariate nonlinear system.
henry says
the trend over the equivalent (time) of one solar cycle, namely 11 years,
is down on almost all data sets, including my own.
Now, to prove where we are going, you only need one first year statistics class of people,
of about 47 students, who each do an analysis of one weather station, in a similar way as I have done, here:
If you would try and fit the drop in maximum temps. you will most probably get something like this:
there probably is no other best fit they will get than the one I got.
That means we are on a cooling curve until around 2038-2040
It seems to me this 88 year solar/weather cycle was already calculated from COSMOGENIC ISOTOPES as related in this study:
Persistence of the Gleissberg 88-year solar cycle over the last ˜12,000 years: Evidence from cosmogenic isotopes
Peristykh, Alexei N.; Damon, Paul E.
Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), Volume 108, Issue A1, pp. SSH 1-1, CiteID 1003, DOI 10.1029/2002JA009390
Among other longer-than-22-year periods in Fourier spectra of various solar-terrestrial records, the 88-year cycle is unique, because it can be directly linked to the cyclic activity of sunspot formation. Variations of amplitude as well as of period of the Schwabe 11-year cycle of sunspot activity have actually been known for a long time and a ca. 80-year cycle was detected in those variations. Manifestations of such secular periodic processes were reported in a broad variety of solar, solar-terrestrial, and terrestrial climatic phenomena. Confirmation of the existence of the Gleissberg cycle in long solar-terrestrial records as well as the question of its stability is of great significance for solar dynamo theories. For that perspective, we examined the longest detailed cosmogenic isotope record—INTCAL98 calibration record of atmospheric 14C abundance. The most detailed precisely dated part of the record extends back to ˜11,854 years B.P. During this whole period, the Gleissberg cycle in 14C concentration has a period of 87.8 years and an average amplitude of ˜1‰ (in Δ14C units). Spectral analysis indicates in frequency domain by sidebands of the combination tones at periods of ≈91.5 ± 0.1 and ≈84.6 ± 0.1 years that the amplitude of the Gleissberg cycle appears to be modulated by other long-term quasiperiodic process of timescale ˜2000 years. This is confirmed directly in time domain by bandpass filtering and time-frequency analysis of the record. Also, there is additional evidence in the frequency domain for the modulation of the Gleissberg cycle by other millennial scale processes
end quote
It is going to get cooler. Prepare for it.

Greg Goodman

Dave Barton just pointed out I put the wrong link for the cosine warming plot. Thx 😉
They yet again use the well known “warming trend” of the cosine function:
The usual trough to peak trickery. Pathetic.

Gunga Din

Maybe Al Gore will make another “documentary”? He can call it “Up the Down Staircase”.

Greg Goodman

Dr Lurtz:
“2) Infrared reflects off of the ocean surface.”
Reflected no, but a lot of it probably gets transferred almost instantly to the atmosphere by evaporation.
“8) Long time lag to the Arctic, expect the Arctic Ice to increase greatly next year – 2014/2015.”
Arctic melting season ramped up in 1987, it has been drifting generally downwards ever since. and recently fell below the six month line:
Unless some similar event (whatever that was) happens again, I think we may start to see beginnings of a recovery in the next year or two.
Rate of change is closing on zero. I’ll have an update on this plot soon. it is now closer to zero than where this plot stops
“Not TSI [relatively constant], but high energy short radiation [highly variable] driving the Earth’s temperature.”
Indeed. TSI has long been used to brush off solar link, by those who are in denial about the failure of the AGW hypothesis. Unfortunately I don’t know of anything but very recent data that could be used to test the UV hypothesis.
Maybe we need a new UV proxy 😉

Dr Lurtz says
Not TSI [relatively constant], but high energy short radiation [highly variable] driving the Earth’s temperature.
Henry says!
Agreed! there are not too many who have figured that one out yet!
Trenberth showed that of all that is being back radiated, (i.e. deflected to space= cooling)
ozone on its own accounted for ca. 25% but he forgot about the NOx’s and the HxOx’s that are also formed by the E-UV from the sun. I have ozone data from the Swiss alps showing 1951 and 1995 as bending points. I have also data from the SH showing 1950 and 1995 as bending points.
Do you see the pertinent correlation of the dates with my sine wave?
(The notion of CFC’s destroying ozone was probably a red herring or a minor factor.)


They can show all the trends and graphs they want to…….
We are cooling down!
They can talk as much as they want about AGW
The sun is the main driver!
They can talk as much as they want about CO2
When all humans aren’t here anymore, the earth will still be here!
We are entering a minmum period, maybe such as the Dalton or Maunder but we do not know,
It could be even worse!!

Gras Albert

John Cook left my alternative escalator up at Scomical Science for less than a minute, no doubt he and Scooter got the point within a second or two…
Perhaps a mod might change my link into an embedded image

Running your plot up to the end of data looks like about the most convincing argument for a strong CO2 effect I have ever seen. Quite worrying.
On the face of it your plot shows that early 20th c. rise was due to solar and later rise was due to CO2 since 1960.
I may have a closer look at this myself. Don’t like to look of it.
ya, basically you can explain all the rise by C02. FWIW

Tom in Florida

Pet peeve rant on.
From the article,
“The Occam’s razor principle says “that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected” or in other words: “simpler hypotheses about nature are more likely to be true”.
This is one of the bastardized versions of Occam’s Razor and is incorrectly applied when trying to prove one’s point.
A more accurate meaning is: “when needing to choose from a set of otherwise equivalent explanations of a given phenomenon the simplest one should be selected. “.
Notice the key words “otherwise equivalent”. Occam’s Razor CANNOT be used to settle a dispute between competing hypotheses. It should only be used as a guiding principle in developing more complex theories.
Rant off


Steven Mosher says:
April 19, 2013 at 8:41 am
ya, basically you can explain all the rise by C02. FWIW
Sure. Just like the rises to the Holocene optimum, Minoan, Roman, Medieval & other warm periods. /sarc


Given that La Nina’s are said to have been keeping things cool it could suggest a strong CO2 effect, depends on where we go in 5 to 10 years. It makes no sense to me that only in the last several years that a CO2 effect would suddenly become visible. Me skepta.


Steven Mosher says:
April 19, 2013 at 8:41 am
“…ya, basically you can explain all the rise by C02. FWIW…”
Thanks for the laugh. Has CO2 suddenly taken a nosedive? There is a blizzard blowing in my backyard, adding to the 5 feet of snow we’ve had since March 1st. You might read rgbduke’s comment at April 19, 2013 at 5:11 am.

William Astley

In reply to Jan Zeman
“The only question in my opinion is how fast the solar activity influences the global surface temperature anomalies when the solar activity trends relatively abruptly change (– as in the last two solar cycles) and transient phenomena take place.”
Hi Jan,
Interesting post.
I support your assertion that the planet will cool due to a sudden slow down in the solar magnetic cycle. What we are observing and living through appears to be a Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle. If we are and I understand the mechanisms we will start to experience anomalous cooling in high latitudes particularly in the Arctic. (i.e. The mechanisms are reversing.)
The following are some thoughts concerning the 20th century warming pattern and the underlying mechanisms related to the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle.
If one looks at this plot of planetary temperature Vs sunspot number, planetary temperature more or less tracks the solar magnetic cycle (we are assuming the solar mechanisms that modulate planetary temperature are directly related to the number of sunspots on the surface of the sun which is not correct, from about 1994 and on.) up until the mid-1990s at which point there is a step increase in planetary temperature and then a plateau.
What is required is an explanation for the mid-1990’s step change in the planetary temperature.
The explanation is not CO2 forcing. The CO2 AGW warming mechanism is continuous; it cannot turn on or off, or accelerate and then stop. The general circulation models predicted that there would be a slope increase in planetary temperature. The normal chaotic internal planetary forcing functions would oscillate around the slope increase. That is not what is observed.
Also the general circulation models predicted that the majority of the warming would be in tropics. The observed warming is in high latitude regions, particularly in the Arctic. The GCM predicted that there would be tropospheric warming in the tropics at about 8 km above the surface of the planet. The tropospheric warming at 8 km in the tropics would then by long wave radiation warm the surface of the planet. There is no observed tropical tropospheric warming, the tropics did not significantly warm.
The fundamental discrepancy between observations and the AGW fundamental mechanism indicates that something is fundamental in correct concerning the AGW theory. It appears conditions in the upper troposphere are different than what is assumed and it is the different condition (the ‘laws’ or basic models of physics still apply to AGW) that causes the AGW mechanism to unexpectedly saturate. (There is paleo data to support that assertion that the AGW mechanism saturates; there are periods of millions of years when planetary temperature does not correlate with atmospheric CO2 levels.)
It appears the planetary feedback response to a change in forcing is negative, the planet resists forcing changes by increasing or decreasing planetary clouds. Negative feedback does not however explain the mid 1990s step increase or the plateau of no warming. Negative feedback would reduce the slope of the temperature rise, it would not create a plateau.
There are cycles of warming and cooling in the paleoclimatic record, Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) cycles. The D-O cycles have a periodicity of roughly 1450 years plus or minus 500 years. There are cosmogenic isotope changes that correlate with the D-O cycles which connect the solar magnetic cycles changes to the D-O cycles. The D-O cycles require a physical explanation. The regions of the planet that warm and cool during the D-O cycles are the same as the regions that warmed and cooled during the 20th century. It appears the some solar change serially changes climate. (i.e. The same pattern of planetary temperature change repeats. It appears the same basic mechanism causes abrupt climate changes that terminate the glacial periods and terminate the interglacial periods. The observed abrupt climate change events, a very, strong version of the D-O cycle, called a Heinrich event occurs with a periodicity of roughly 6000 years to 8000 years.
There is a peculiar geomagnetic anomaly that is concurrent with the mid-1990s step change in temperature. For the last 150 years, the North geomagnetic pole has wandered, moving at 10 km to 15 km per year. In the mid 1990s the North geomagnetic pole movement suddenly accelerated moving at 50 km per year. The geomagnetic pole movement continued at 50 km/per year until the current time. It is now starting to slowdown. During this period the ionosphere’s height anomalously dropped.
In the last 10 years the geomagnetic specialists have found that the geomagnetic field in the past has frequently changed (orders of magnitude faster and more frequent than possible based on the assumed model of the geomagnetic field, a core based self exciting dynamo.) for some unexplained reason. There are climate changes including the termination of the glacial period and interglacial period that coincide with the strongest abrupt geomagnetic field change, a geomagnetic excursion. Abrupt climate change caused by an abrupt geomagnetic field change is in agreement with Svensmark’s ion mediated cloud mechanism. When the geomagnetic field intensity drops the region of the planet that is affected by GCR is greater. The solar heliosphere modulation of GCR therefore causes increased cooling for all solar cycles.
Curiously the abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field appear to be connected to the solar magnetic cycle. Based on the current theoretical solar model, the sun cannot cause large changes to the geomagnetic field, yet it appears it has and does cyclically. There are burn marks on the surface of the earth that have been precisely date and roughly dated to be concurrent with two of the last geomagnetic excursions (12,900 BP and 41,000 BP (Dating is more difficult for older events). The mechanism is dependent on the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit at the time of the event and which hemisphere is closest to the sun at perihelion which determines whether the solar event will ultimately increase or decrease the strength of the geomagnetic field. The same mechanism is happen today although at a lower rate and not sufficient to maintain the current geomagnetic field intensity which explains why if one extrapolates the decay of the geomagnetic field intensity that there would be no geomagnetic field in roughly 1000 years. The mechanism is also affected by whether there is or is not, insulating ice sheets on the planet at the time the solar magnetic cycle restarts. The intensity of the geomagnetic field during the interglacial periods is 2 to 6 times greater than the intensity during the glacial phase.
To enable the sun to cyclically change the geomagnetic field a different solar model is required. There is a list of other solar system observational anomalies that appear to be connected with this cyclic solar change. For example the orientation of magnetic field of Uranus and Neptune which are not aligned with the rotational axis of the planet and the axis of is offset from the core of the planet. That is not possible with the self dynamo mechanism. (i.e. One would expect more or less symmetry with the planet’s rotational axis and certainly with the center of the planet.)
What Caused Recent Acceleration of the North Magnetic Pole Drift?
Is the geodynamo process intrinsically unstable?
Recent palaeomagnetic studies suggest that excursions of the geomagnetic field, during which the intensity drops suddenly by a factor of 5 to 10 and the local direction changes dramatically, are more common than previously expected. The `normal’ state of the geomagnetic field, dominated by an axial dipole, seems to be interrupted every 30 to 100 kyr; it may not therefore be as stable as we thought.
Response to Comment on “Are there connections between Earth’s magnetic field and climate?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 253, 328–339, 2007” by Bard, E., and Delaygue, M., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., in press, 2007
Also, we wish to recall that evidence of a correlation between archeomagnetic jerks and
cooling events (in a region extending from the eastern North Atlantic to the Middle East) now covers a period of 5 millenia and involves 10 events (see f.i. Figure 1 of Gallet and Genevey, 2007). The climatic record uses a combination of results from Bond et al (2001), history of Swiss glaciers (Holzhauser et al, 2005) and historical accounts reviewed by Le Roy Ladurie (2004). Recent high-resolution paleomagnetic records (e.g. Snowball and Sandgren, 2004; St-Onge et al., 2003) and global geomagnetic field modeling (Korte and Constable, 2006) support the idea that part of the centennial-scale fluctuations in 14C production may have been influenced by previously unmodeled rapid dipole field variations. In any case, the relationship between climate, the Sun and the geomagnetic field could be more complex than previously imagined.

john robertson

As a hat tip to a poster of last year, its PIRATES people.(Or reportage of pirates)
We have correlation here, as there have been fewer and fewer news reports of pirate activity, the world apparently has cooled.
Of course the basic question still stands, what are we measuring?
What are we inferring?
What do we know?
After all the noise, it was the idiotic claims of certainty that led me to start investigating this rumour of Anthropogenic Global Warming, Catastrophic even, unless we bought the juju, right now, hurry hurry step right up.
So far “the science” TM Climatology has failed to provide any of the requirements of traditional science, let alone an engineering quality case for the existence of a problem.
My best hope is that a real theory of climate cycles, weather prediction ect,will arise from this backlash against pseudo science, political fraud and public hysteria.
Never before have we had this tool to enable crowd sourced knowledge and immediate argument, welcome to the future of public science.


Greg Goodman says: “Running your plot up to the end of data looks like about the most convincing argument for a strong CO2 effect I have ever seen. Quite worrying.”
Post hoc logic. Quite worrying; not very convincing.
Fascinating as this post may be, Jan, it depends on wiggle matching, with some slopes thrown in. Hypotheses that live by wiggle matching usually die by wiggle non-matching, given enough time. Don’t even have to call in Leif on this one. Nice WFT plot work, Greg. Good commentary, as usual, rgb.

Wouldn’t the global temperature anomaly be isolated or shielded from solar activity as individual stations adapted better standards?
Also, a global anomaly is not representative of any measure of precise area of longitude and latitude positioning where solar activity could be shown, as the anomaly is just a spaghetti junction of temperature values from the equator to the poles, borderline meaningless in my opinion. So, even if the anomaly shows a close approximation of earths actual temperature, to understand what is actually happening it will have to be dismantled and each of the thousands of readings analyzed individually for a trend between solar activity and temperature at each site, geographically there are places that receive more solar energy from the sun than others.
There are many individual data sets I’ve looked at, that actually show an excellent trend with solar activity including a variable lag between the observed activity and temperature reading of 4 to 8 weeks and depending on the season up to 12 weeks.

‘Thanks for the laugh. Has CO2 suddenly taken a nosedive? There is a blizzard blowing in my backyard, adding to the 5 feet of snow we’ve had since March 1st. You might read rgbduke’s comment at April 19, 2013 at 5:11 am.”
no C02 continues to climb. As will temperatures. or did you think that the effect was instantaneous? or did you think that C02 was the one and only factor?
Its pretty straightforward to show that C02 can explain over 50% of the rise. not 100% of course.. its also clear that nothing else, to date, can explain the rise..

Pamela Gray

I think the connection has to do with babies surviving past their first year, people getting taller and everyone growing older. That change in human charateristics matches global warming quite well! Causation! Therefore it IS AGW! Who knew!!!! Tall people caused global warming! (she said, all 4 ‘ 11 ” of her, with a mischieveous smile)
Jan, Jan, Jan. Have you not been reading much here?

Pamela Gray

Mosher, I take it you do not consider Tisdale’s work to have any merit.

richard verney

Steven Mosher (April 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm) says
“…… Its pretty straightforward to show that C02 can explain over 50% of the rise. not 100% of course.. its also clear that nothing else, to date, can explain the rise…”
Natural variation can explain everything.
What we do know is that CO2 cannot explain;
the 1850 to 1860 cooling
the 1860 to 1878 warming
the 1878 to 1890 cooling
the1890 to 1905 warming
the 1905 to 1915 cooling
the 1915 to 1945 warming
the 1945 to 1975 cooling
the about 1998 to date temperature stasis (or possible marginal cooling)
In fact until such time as we know absolutely everything there is to know about natural variation and fully understand it, including being able to identify each and every individual natural component and its direction of forcing and its upper and lower bounds, we are unable to assess whether CO2 does anything at all in the real world environ of this planet in the Holocene era.
I have read your numerous comments on climate sensitivty but the reality is that until natural variation is fully understood, we are not in a position to assess real world climate sensitivity to CO2. We are not able to extract the CO2 signal (if any) from the noise of natural variation. In fact, we do not even know whether in real world conditions, the addition of CO2 acts overall to cool the planet rather than to warm it (albeit, I think that is unlikely but it cannot from observational data be ruled out).

richard verney

Pam says
Mosher, I take it you do not consider Tisdale’s work to have any merit.
(she said, all 4 ‘ 11 ” of her, with a mischievous smile)
Henry says
S. Mosher has never reacted to anyone’s work.
I argue that the change from periodic (human) daily observation (before 1970) to continuous automatic measurement (/s) could have been a cause of considerable change in official
T observation…
Dr. Lurtz has got the theory right….
(see previous comments)
Don’t worry about your size/ imperfection/handicap/etc
it is how your Maker wanted you to be.

Steven Mosher says:
April 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm
“…C02 continues to climb. As will temperatures.”
As temperatures continue stagnate and fall, isn’t it likely that the oceans will absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere. And as CO2 is a low lying gas in a nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere, a property that plants have evolved to take advantage of, wouldn’t CO2 be naturally sequestered from the atmosphere anyway at any point in the future?
Also, where are you getting the “extra” energy to heat up the “extra” carbon dioxide?

David L. Hagen

Jan Zeeman
Per your thesis of TSI impacting temperature, I recommend reviewing David Stockwell‘s
solar accumulation theory at Niche Modeling.
On The Dynamics of Global Temperature Fig. 4 cum solar & volcanism R^2=0.66.
Note particularly his predicted phase lag of Pi/2 (90 deg) or 2.75 years for the 11 year solar cycle.


The changing height between steps looks to also correlate with economic activity. Fewer people flying must mean fewer jet heaters operating near thermometers, quite likely also affecting urban thermometers as offices empty out. We’ve also had some very significant improvements in fuel efficiency in these heat producers – aircraft and motor vehicles, the installation of heat pump technologies. If UHI is correctly taken into account, surely these changes in energy use, both in absolute and relative terms, must affect these thermometers.