# Congenital Cyclomania Redux

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Well, I wasn’t going to mention this paper, but it seems to be getting some play in the blogosphere. Our friend Nicola Scafetta is back again, this time with a paper called “Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs”. He’s posted it up over at Tallbloke’s Talkshop. Since I’m banned over at Tallbloke’s, I thought I’d discuss it here. The paper itself is here, take your Dramamine before jumping on board. Dr. Scafetta has posted here on WUWT several times before, each time with his latest, greatest, new improved model. Here’s how well Scafetta’s even more latester, greatester new model hindcasts, as well as what it predicts, compared with HadCRUT4:

Figure 1. Figure 16A from Scafetta 2013. This shows his harmonic model alone (black), plus his model added to the average of the CMIP5 models following three different future “Representative Concentration Pathways”, or RCPs. The RCPs give various specified future concentrations of greenhouse gases. HadCRUT4 global surface temperature (GST) is in gray.

So far, in each of his previous three posts on WUWT, Dr. Scafetta has said that the Earth’s surface temperature is ruled by a different combination of cycles depending on the post:

First Post: 20 and 60 year cycles. These were supposed to be related to some astronomical cycles which were never made clear, albeit there was much mumbling about Jupiter and Saturn.

Second Post: 9.1, 10-11, 20 and 60 year cycles. Here are the claims made for these cycles:

9.1 years : this was justified as being sort of near to a calculation of (2X+Y)/4, where X and Y are lunar precession cycles,

“10-11″ years: he never said where he got this one, or why it’s so vague.

20 years: supposedly close to an average of the sun’s barycentric velocity period.

60 years: kinda like three times the synodic period of Jupiter/Saturn. Why three times? Why not?

Third Post9.98, 10.9, and 11.86 year cycles. These are claimed to be

9.98 years: slightly different from a long-term average of the spring tidal period of Jupiter and Saturn.

10.9 years: may be related to a quasi 11-year solar cycle … or not.

11.86 years: Jupiter’s sidereal period.

The latest post, however, is simply unbeatable. It has no less than six different cycles, with periods of 9.1, 10.2, 21, 61, 115, and 983 years. I haven’t dared inquire too closely as to the antecedents of those choices, although I do love the “3” in the 983 year cycle. Plus there’s a mystery ingredient, of course.

Seriously, he’s adding together six different cycles. Órale, that’s a lot! Now, each of those cycles has three different parameters that totally define the cycle. These are the period (wavelength), the amplitude (size), and the phase (starting point in time) of the cycle.

This means that not only is Scafetta exercising free choice in the number of cycles that he includes (in this case six). He also has free choice over the three parameters for each cycle (period, amplitude, and phase). That gives him no less than 18 separate tunable parameters.

Just roll that around in your mouth and taste it, “eighteen tunable parameters”. Is there anything that you couldn’t hindcast given 18 different tunable parameters?

Anyhow, if I were handing out awards, I’d certainly give him the first award for having eighteen arbitrary parameters. But then, I’d have to give him another award for his mystery ingredient.

Because of all things, the mystery ingredient in Scafetta’s equation is the average hindcast (and forecast) modeled temperature of the CMIP5 climate models. Plus the mystery ingredient comes with its own amplitude parameter (0.45), along with a hidden parameter for the zero point of the average model temperatures before being multiplied by the amplitude parameter. So that makes twenty different adjustable parameters.

Now, I don’t even know what to say about this method. I’m dumbfounded. He’s starting with the average of the CMIP5 climate models, adjusted by an amplitude parameter and a zeroing parameter. Then he’s figuring the deviations from that adjusted average model result based on his separate 6-cycle, 18-parameter model. The sum of the two is his prediction. I truly lack words to describe that, it’s such an awesome logical jump I can only shake my head in awe at the daring trapeze leaps of faith …

I suppose at this point I need to quote the story again of Freeman Dyson, Enrico Fermi, “Johnny” Von Neumann, and the elephant. Here is Freeman Dyson, with the tale of tragedy:

By the spring of 1953, after heroic efforts, we had plotted theoretical graphs of meson–proton scattering.We joyfully observed that our calculated numbers agreed pretty well with Fermi’s measured numbers. So I made an appointment to meet with Fermi and show him our results. Proudly, I rode the Greyhound bus from Ithaca to Chicago with a package of our theoretical graphs to show to Fermi.

When I arrived in Fermi’s office, I handed the graphs to Fermi, but he hardly glanced at them. He invited me to sit down, and  asked me in a friendly way about the health of my wife and our newborn baby son, now fifty years old. Then he delivered his verdict in a quiet, even voice.

“There are two ways of doing calculations in theoretical physics”, he said. “One way, and this is the way I prefer, is to have a clear physical picture of the process that you are calculating. The other way is to have a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism. You have neither.”

I was slightly stunned, but ventured to ask him why he did not consider the pseudoscalar meson theory to be a self-consistent mathematical formalism. He replied, “Quantum electrodynamics is a good theory because the forces are weak, and when the formalism is ambiguous we have a clear physical picture to guide us.With the pseudoscalar meson theory there is no physical picture, and the forces are so strong that nothing converges. To reach your calculated results, you had to introduce arbitrary cut-off procedures that are not based either on solid physics or on solid mathematics.”

In desperation I asked Fermi whether he was not impressed by the agreement between our calculated numbers and his measured numbers. He replied, “How many arbitrary parameters did you use for your calculations?” I thought for a moment about our cut-off procedures and said, “Four.” He said, “I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”

With that, the conversation was over. I thanked Fermi for his time and trouble, and sadly took the next bus back to Ithaca to tell the bad news to the students.

Given that lesson from Dyson, and bearing in mind that Scafetta is using a total of 20 arbitrary parameters … are we supposed to be surprised that Nicola can make an elephant wiggle his trunk? Heck, with that many parameters, he should be able to make that sucker tap dance and spit pickle juice …

Now, you can expect that if Nicola Scafetta shows up, he will argue that somehow the 20 different parameters are not arbitrary, oh, no, they are fixed by the celestial processes. They will likely put forward the same kind of half-ast-ronomical explanation  they’ve used before—that this one represents (2X+Y)/4, where X and Y are lunar precession cycles, or that another one’s 60 year cycle is kind of near three times the synodic period of Jupiter and Saturn (59.5766 years) and close is good enough, that kind of thing. Or perhaps they’ll make the argument that Fourier analysis shows peaks that are sort of near to their chosen numbers, and that’s all that’s needed.

The reality is, if you give me a period in years, I can soon come up with several astronomical cycles that can be added, subtracted, and divided to give you something very near the period you’ve given me … which proves nothing.

Scafetta has free choice of how many cycles to include, and free choice as to the length, amplitude, and phase of each those cycles. And even if he can show that the length of one of his cycles is EXACTLY equal to some astronomical constant, not just kind of near it, he still has totally free choice of phase and amplitude for that cycle. So to date, he’s the leading contender for the 2013 Johnny Von Neumann award, which is given for the most tunable parameters in any scientific study.

The other award I’d give this paper would be for Scafetta’s magical Figure 11, which I reproduce below in all its original glory.

Figure 2. Scafetta’s Figure 11 (click to enlarge) ORIGINAL CAPTION: (Left) Schematic representation of the rise and fall of several civilizations since Neolithic times that well correlates with the 14C radio- nucleotide records used for estimating solar activity (adapted from Eddy’s figures in Refs. [90, 91]). Correlated solar-climate multisecular and millennial patterns are recently confirmed [43, 44, 47]. (Right) Kepler’s Trigon diagram of the great Jupiter and Saturn conjunctions between 1583 to 1763 [89], highlighting 20 year and 60 year astronomical cycles, and a slow millennial rotation.

First off, does that graphic, Figure 11 in Scafetta’s opus, make you feel better or worse about Dr. Scafetta’s claims? Does it give you that warm fuzzy feeling about his science? And why are Kepler’s features smooched out sideways and his fingers so long? At least let me give the poor fellow back his original physiognomy.

There, that’s better. Next, you need to consider the stepwise changes he shows in “carbon 14”, and the square-wave nature of the advance and retreat of alpine glaciers at the lower left. That in itself was good, I hadn’t realized that the glaciers advanced and retreated in that regular a fashion, or that carbon 14 was unchanged for years before and after each shift in concentration. And I did appreciate that there were no units for any of the four separate graphs on the page, that counted heavily in his favor. But what I awarded him full style points for was the seamless segue from alpine glaciers to the “winter severity index” in the year 1000 … that was a breathtaking leap.

And as you might expect from a man citing Kepler, Scafetta treats scientific information like fine wine—he doesn’t want anything of recent vintage. Apparently on his planet you have to let science mellow for some decades before you bring it out to breathe … and in that regard, I direct your attention to the citation in the bottom center of his Figure 11, “Source: Geophysical Data, J. Biddy J. B. Eddy (USA) 1978″. (Thanks to Nicola for the correction, the print was too small to read.)

Where he stepped up to the big leagues, though, is in the top line in the chart. Click on the chart to enlarge it if you haven’t done so yet, so you can see all the amazing details. The “Sumeric Maximum”, the collapse of Machu Pichu, the “Greek Minimum”, the end of the Maya civilization, the “Pyramid Maximum” … talk about being “Homeric in scope”, he’s even got the “Homeric Minimum”.

Finally, he highlights the “20 year and 60 year astronomical cycles” in Kepler’s chart at the right. In fact, what he calls the “20 year” cycles shown in Kepler’s dates at the right vary from 10 to 30 years according to Kepler’s own figures shown inside the circle, and what he calls the “60 year astronomical cycles” include cycles from 50 to 70 years …

In any case, I’m posting all of this because I just thought folks might like to know of Nicola Scafetta’s latest stunning success. Using a mere six cycles and only twenty tunable parameters plus the average of a bunch of climate models, he has emulated the historical record with pretty darn good accuracy.

And now that he has explained just exactly how to predict the climate into the future, I guess the only mystery left is what he’ll do for an encore performance. Because this most recent paper of his, this one will be very hard to top.

In all seriousness, however, let me make my position clear.

Are there cycles in the climate? Yes, there are cycles. However, they are not regular, clockwork cycles like those of Jupiter and Saturn. Instead, one cycle will appear, and will be around for a while, and then disappear to be replaced by some longer or shorter cycle. It is maddening, frustrating, but that’s the chaotic nature of the beast. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation doesn’t beat like a clock, nor does the El Nino or the Madden-Julian oscillation or any other climate phenomena.

What is the longest cycle that can be detected in a hundred year dataset? My rule of thumb is that even if I have two full cycles, my results are too uncertain to lean on. I want three cycles so I can at least get a sense about the variation. So for a hundred year dataset, any cycle over fifty years in length is a non-starter, and thirty-three years and shorter is what I will start to trust.

Can you successfully hindcast temperatures using other cycles than the ones Scafetta uses? Certainly. He has demonstrated that himself, as this is the fourth combination of arbitrarily chosen cycles that he has used. Note that in each case he has claimed the model was successful. This by no means exhausts the possible cycle combinations that can successfully emulate the historical temperature.

Does Scafetta’s accomplishment mean anything? Sure. It means that with six cycles and no less than twenty tunable parameters, you can do just about anything. Other than that, no. It is meaningless.

Could he actually test his findings? Sure, and I’ve suggested it to him. What you need to do is run the analysis again, but this time using the data from say 1910 to 1959 only. Derive your 20 fitted variables using this data alone.

Then test your 20 fitted variables against the data from 1960 to 2009, and see how the variables pan out.

Then do it the other way around. Train the model on the later data, and see how well it does on the early data. It’s not hard to do. He knows how to do it. But if he has ever done it, I have not seen anywhere that he has reported the results.

How do I know all this? Folks, I can’t tell you how many late nights I’ve spent trying to fit any number and combination of cycles to the historical climate data. I’ve used Fourier analysis and periodicity analysis and machine-learning algorithms and wavelets and stuff I’ve invented myself. Whenever I’ve thought I have something, as soon as it leaves the training data and starts on the out-of-sample data, it starts to diverge from reality. And of course, the divergence increases over time.

But that’s simply the same truth we all know about computer weather forecasting programs—out-of-sample, they don’t do all that well, and quickly become little better than a coin flip.

Finally, even if the cycles fit the data and we ignore the ridiculous number of arbitrary parameters, where is the physical mechanism connecting some (2*X+T)/4 combination of two astronomical cycles, and the climate? As Enrico Fermi pointed out, you need to have either “a clear physical picture of the process that you are calculating” or a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism”.

w.

PS—Please don’t write in to say that although Nicola is wrong, you have the proper combination of cycles, based on your special calculations. Also, please don’t try to explain how a cycle of 21 years is really, really similar to the Jupiter-Saturn synodic cycle of 19+ years. I’m not buying cycles of any kind, motorcycles, epicycles, solar cycles, bicycles, circadian cycles, nothing. Sorry. Save them for some other post, they won’t go bad, but please don’t post them here.

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July 23, 2013 2:56 am

“Nicola” is the female diminutive of Nicholas, the correct male diminutive is, ” Nicoli”. Have you mis-spelt Mr Scafetta’s’ name or were his parents influenced by Johnny Cash’s, ” A Boy Named Sue”?

Stephen Wilde
July 23, 2013 2:59 am

Willis is right about the impossibility of prediction from analysing all cycles that can affect the system energy budget because there are many cycles internal to the Earth system and they exist in infinite variety both individually and via their constant interaction. Furthermore they can come and go.
However, I suggest that one can discern the net effect on the global energy budget at any given time because the global air circulation changes as a negative system response to all available forcing elements, rather like Willis’s own thermostat effect but extended globally.
In general a world with zonal jets and poleward climate zones is warming as a result of the net effect of all forcing elements combined and a world with meridional jets and equatorward climate zones is cooling as a result of the net effect of all forcing elements combined.
Then consider the relative scale of the possible cycles and I suggest that solar and oceanic rule all else but even then the net effect of their interaction at any given time is highly variable.
Nonetheless a look at the global circulation pattern gives a rough and ready indication of the current trend whether it be warming or cooling.
In the late 20th century we had a warming pattern. Now we have a cooling pattern.

July 23, 2013 3:07 am

If you sum two sine waves whose frequencies are close, you get alternate cancellation and addition. The result appears a one cycle that appears and disappears.
Thanks
JK

Kon Dealer
July 23, 2013 3:28 am

Eighteen “tunable parameters”.
No real deifference from CMIP5 GCM models then:-)

DirkH
July 23, 2013 3:32 am

“Could he actually test his findings? Sure, and I’ve suggested it to him. What you need to do is run the analysis again, but this time using the data from say 1910 to 1959 only. Derive your 20 fitted variables using this data alone.
Then test your 20 fitted variables against the data from 1960 to 2009, and see how the variables pan out.”
The question is: Have the IPCC consensus GCM programmers ever done anything like that?
Honest question. If anyone can point to a paper discussing such a validating approach, please do so.

Kasuha
July 23, 2013 3:40 am

Okay, Scafetta’s approximation is not very scientific and contains a lot of free parameters capable of approximating just about anything. I can agree with that.
That does not mean you have to write an article full of insults and hate about it. All of the scientific discussion content of the article could fit into one, maybe two paragraphs. The rest is completely unnecessary and for me it further lowers credibility of WUWT as a whole.
We’ve seen worse right here on WUWT. My personal favorite is the analysis where the temperature record was approximated solely by aliasing errors.

July 23, 2013 3:49 am

Nicola Scafetta’s paper, which I have, is an excellent account of the various astronomical influences that may have a bearing on the climate and is, for this purpose, a goldmine of information.
Willis is puzzled by the 10.6-year to 11-year cycle mentioned by Scafetta. That may be the sunspot cycle,, which does indeed have a detectable influence on temperature. The astronomer William Herschel, in 1801, was reading Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” when he noticed that Smith’s table of annual grain prices on the London market was anti-correlated with the sunspot number. More sunspots, more solar output, better weather, more crops, lower price.
For these reasons I should hesitate to dismiss the astronomical approach as astrological. The heat for this planet comes largely from without, so astronomical cycle-fitting is not an unacceptable hypothesis. One can test it in the simplest way by comparing its projections with those of the IPCC and with the change in real-world temperatures over future years.
I have asked Nicola Scafetta to let me have an equation that will allow me to include his projections alongside those of the IPCC in the monthly Global Warming Prediction Index. I suspect that his model will outperform the IPCC, which suffers from a very serious overdose of tunable parameters. Even if the Scafetta model proves better than the IPCC’s projections merely by accident, it will usefully remind us of how wrong the IPCC’s projections have proven to be.
If I were a betting man, I’d back Scafetta’s projections against those of the IPCC any day, for one very powerful reason. Scafetta is not trying to generate a particular result for political reasons. He is genuinely trying to get a handle on whether and to what extent astronomical influences may influence the Earth’s climate. Let him continue his research: he is well aware of its limitations, but some very powerful mathematicians are working along similar lines and are quite close to succeeding. As Willis himself has discovered by experiment, taking due account of both exogenous and endogenous influences on the climate object is not easy. Given that object’s chaoticity, it may be forever impossible.
The IPCC, in painful contrast to Dr. Scafetta, only justifies its continued existence if it continues to produce blood-curdling reports regardless of what is not happening in the real world. Yvo de Boer, who was until recently in charge of that clattering train, came out a few days ago with a statement that the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC will be really, really scary. It is that vicious and calculated exploitation of ordinary people’s fears for the sake of personal and political profit that we should vigorously condemn until its perpetrators have been flung from office for aye.

July 23, 2013 3:50 am

Figure 11 show the collapse of Machu Picchu as correlating well with radionuclides, and the text says “These events were likely driven by climatic variations”. So solar activity brought small-pox infected conquistadors to South America? A joke paper in a joke journal.

Editor
July 23, 2013 3:50 am

I suspect the cyclists will not respond favorably to your post, Willis.
Regards

GabrielHBay
July 23, 2013 3:53 am

“PS—Please don’t write in to say that although Nicola is wrong, you have the proper combination of cycles, based on your special calculations. Also, please don’t try to explain how a cycle of 21 years is really, really similar to the Jupiter-Saturn synodic cycle of 19+ years. I’m not buying cycles of any kind, motorcycles, epicycles, solar cycles, bicycles, circadian cycles, nothing. Sorry. Save them for some other post, they won’t go bad, but please don’t post them here.”
Strange. Am I the only one who did not get the memo about Willis’ promotion to Uber-Censor who may dictate that lines of thought or investigation that he does not support may not be posted here?
Or is it new site policy?
Ah well… luckily there are other sites that do air ideas that Willis does not agree with…

jimmi_the_dalek
July 23, 2013 3:55 am

I remember that I just happened to make the first comment on one of Scafetta’s earlier postings. I said ” Without a physical mechanism, this is just astrology”. And people kept saying – it fits, there must be something to it. However it is just curve fitting, and Scafetta has in effect disproved the basis of his own work. How? Well each exercise in fitting produces different values for the parameters, which means they cannot have an underlying physical reality.There’s nothing there.

AndyG55
July 23, 2013 4:03 am

If your hindcast matches HadCrud 1900-1979.. you have done something wrong.

Alan the Brit
July 23, 2013 4:06 am

As I told a Met Office atmospheric scientist & fellow chorister a couple of years ago, when he asked me how I could I explain their models projections/predictions of climate change & temperature rise, I painfully had to explain to him that the Met Office boffins had to programme their “puter” to show a given warming for a given climate sensitivity, it won’t do it all by itself!!!! He sadly seemed rather hurt & abashed!

SJWhiteley
July 23, 2013 4:08 am

But does it do any good in the near term, say 5-10 years? All the models seem to be a best guess to fit the narrative, anyway, so can it do much worse?
Based on as you note, cycles come and go (a cyclical cycle?). Without a longer – and accurate – sample set, it is obviously hard/impossible to model; a guessing game. But we aren’t (or shouldn’t be, at this stage) looking to model the life of the earth or even a century scale. A several year outlook, if it can be reasonably close, over the next few years will be of much more value than 30 years or more.
Actually, I’m not even sure it is going to make much difference what the climate really does next year or in 5 years time, let alone 100 years. Perhaps farmers, horticulturalists can take advantage, I don’t know, I’m not a green thumb. The annual climate and weather cycle has so much variability that even a few degrees change on average will make little difference to western civilization.

Niff
July 23, 2013 4:08 am

Hear Hear Lord Monckton. I have deepest awe for Willis and can hear his frustration. But Dr. Scafetta pursues an area that is plausible whether or not scientifically enough for everyone. At least it is with an open mind and striving for understanding of the underlying physics. Unlike warmists who have already decided what it is, us, and that we should all be punished for it.
By all means point out his errors. That is helpful, but none of us know what will be uncovered to enlighten us.
Thank you Anthony for a forum where we can progress this stuff.

Kelvin Vaughan
July 23, 2013 4:15 am

Butterflies have declined by 75% in the UK so there should be 75% less hurricanes on the East Coast of America.

Jon
July 23, 2013 4:16 am

Does the height of the Great Pyramid feature anywhere in the model?

MattN
July 23, 2013 4:20 am

So, WUWT is panning a projection that says what we’ve always said (it’s not CO2, its a cycle)?
So confused….

July 23, 2013 4:29 am

Two primary climate ‘cycles’ are variable about 9.1 years and the decadal one around 64-65 years. They are not primary astronomic (planetary orbital) periodicities but appear to be result from the cross-modulation of the solar and the Earth’s magnetic fields variability
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm
But how the changes in magnetic fields intensity can influence the climate?
In the last few days I have read number of papers, some from the Stanford University experts running the HAARP experiment (Alaska) and it appears they do have some ideas, not far off from:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AGT.htm
hence I am not surprised that another S.U. expert has attempted to ‘rubish’ my findings despite that he has all calculations and couldn’t fault them.

Michael Larkin
July 23, 2013 4:29 am

This article has taught me a lot in an abstract sense about cycles and tunable parameters. That’s precious for someone as mathematically challenged as I am.

DirkH
July 23, 2013 4:32 am

Monckton of Brenchley says:
July 23, 2013 at 3:49 am
“As Willis himself has discovered by experiment, taking due account of both exogenous and endogenous influences on the climate object is not easy. Given that object’s chaoticity, it may be forever impossible.”
If Scafetta’s approach is partially successful (and some past recordings, of Rhine freezings, of Nile levels, of Lake Victoria etc indicate that it might become so), it would show that the Earth’s climate system is not a freely oscillating chaotic system but a chaotic system coupled to the bigger system of solar system influences. We would still be incapable of exactly predicting some of its faster swings but we might become able to rather accurately predict a low frequency component.
I echo Monckton’s request to let Scafetta continue. IPCC GCM’s are more wrong than a WAG.

July 23, 2013 4:42 am

From GabrielHBay on July 23, 2013 at 3:53 am:

Strange. Am I the only one who did not get the memo about Willis’ promotion to Uber-Censor who may dictate that lines of thought or investigation that he does not support may not be posted here?

Gee, we’re all real sorry about your educationally impoverished upbringing, clearly evident by Willis politely saying “Please” which you subsequently understood as meaning Willis would be acting for the site as a (insert invocation of Godwin’s Law).

Ah well… luckily there are other sites that do air ideas that Willis does not agree with…

ReallyRealClimate would gladly welcome you as their fifth regular reader (with two of the others being Morano and Watts keeping tabs on the “competition”). With only four or so new postings a month, it would take hardly any of your time at all.

July 23, 2013 4:55 am

Monckton of Brenchley says:
July 23, 2013 at 3:49 am
I have asked Nicola Scafetta to let me have an equation that will allow me to include his projections alongside those of the IPCC in the monthly Global Warming Prediction Index.
Here is an equation with ‘back-casting’ to 1880, that doesn’t require cycles of any kind extraterrestrial, planetary or solar
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-NAP.htm
and if not just a coincidence, it does suggest significant cooling in the N. Atlantic.

Steve Fitzpatrick
July 23, 2013 5:00 am

Willis, thanks for writing this post. Aside from the ~11 year solar cycle (where measured solar intensity is known to vary with sunspots), the rest of the Scafetta opus is pseudo-scientific rubbish. I by page 8 I switched from reading to skimming the paper, looking for a humorous punch line that never came. If someone as smart as Dyson can understand that lots of free parameters allows one to fit virtually any data, why is this fact apparently invisible to Scafetta?

Bill Yarber
July 23, 2013 5:02 am

Willis
Love your posts. I think we need to change all temp readings to degrees K and realize we are talking about minute perturbations. I got involved with AGW back in ’06 and quickly saw the temperature trend since 1880 could be easily represented by a 60 year sign wave superimposed with a 0.5C/decade linear trend. Another 20-30 years of serious climatic research and we might be close to a reasonable GCM.
Bill

David
July 23, 2013 5:02 am

Willis, it would be neat if you could try to model the price of Apples stock using the same oscillation model… And if successful, to see who would put any money on it.

commieBob
July 23, 2013 5:07 am

Willis has nailed it but some folks may miss the import of what he has said.
200 years ago Fourier pointed out that ANY continuous waveform can be created by adding up a series of sine waves. In other words, the fact that Scafetta, or anyone else, can match a waveform using a set of sine waves proves nothing.

… I’m not buying cycles of any kind, motorcycles, epicycles, solar cycles, bicycles, circadian cycles, nothing. …

The fact that we can decompose any waveform into a set of cycles does not prove that those cycles have any relationship to the cause of the waveform. Suppose that I turn a switch on and then, some time later, I turn it off. The current through the switch will be a rectangular pulse, off-on-off. There will be a set of sine waves that produce that waveform. If you didn’t know about the switch, you could postulate a set of oscillators that produced the waveform. LOL.

July 23, 2013 5:18 am

MattN said on July 23, 2013 at 4:20 am:

So, WUWT is panning a projection that says what we’ve always said (it’s not CO2, its a cycle)?
So confused….

Just because it’s a cycle, and you’re looking for a cycle, doesn’t automatically make it a cycle you want.
For example, who would want to tend the firebox and check the water level while riding a Ballard and Wellington coal-fed steam-powered two wheeler? Answer: nobody did, which is why you never heard of them.
Which is too bad as the three wheeler variant would be useful today in many parts of the world, an idea which deserves to be gaining traction and picking up steam.

pokerguy
July 23, 2013 5:42 am

K writes: “I can agree with that.
That does not mean you have to write an article full of insults and hate about it.”
I’m afraid this is W.E.’s m.o. I find it extremely distasteful. Why does everything have to be so personal with the man?

george h.
July 23, 2013 5:45 am
GabrielHBay
July 23, 2013 5:54 am

You clearly have no inkling of the concept of a hint of satire. To suggest from my comment that I would lean to RealClimate is really hilarious. I nearly choked from laughter. No, my friend, let me break it to you in simple language… I actually find WUWT often, and that includes Willis, just a tad too warmist for my taste. All this credence still given to “CO2 -> some warming, we just argue about how much”… and then interesting lines of though like astronomical cycles, etc, being treated with disdain leaves me, shall one say, edgy. That said, I do find WUWT very educational most of the time and I do appreciate what is done here (most of the time). But may I also add that Willis’ snidy arrogance gets under my skin from time to time. I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way.
REPLY: I think if you ever met him in person, your vision of “snidy arrogance” would evaporate. Snidy arrogance is what we expect from Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory TV show). With Willis, a man who has lived with the islanders of the pacific, ridden the rails, fished the seas, acted as a tour guide, worked as a carpenter, and published scientific papers, what we get is a man rooted in reality. – Anthony

richard verney
July 23, 2013 5:58 am

Willis
I consider the tone of this post beneath you.
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. You ridicule Dr Scafetta for using 18 (or is it 20) different parameters which he consiiders are in play when predicting climate. That is a cheap shot, and even an absurd point.
I am sure that you would accept that climate is inherently more complex than the tides, and that it is inherently far more difficult to predict cliimate than to predict the tides.
One of the more advanced tidal prediction machines, built in the 19th century, had at least 40 different tunable parameters which were taken into account when predicting the tides. This machine was very accurate, and greatly advanced the cause of navigation. At the time the UK quite literally ruled the waves and it was because of innovations like that that the UK was the greatest sea faring nation..
I accept that Scafetta needs to explain and prove the relevance and relationship of the chosen cycle parameters. If it fits there may be something in it, but then again there may not.

John West
July 23, 2013 6:00 am

So, Milankovitch cycles that are easily discernible from a temperature graph over a timescale that encompasses several glacial maximums aren’t climate drivers?
The question is not whether these cycles affect climate but rather whether they are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or greater order variables. Obviously, Milankovitch cycles are a higher order than many other cycles. The cyclical nature of climate is difficult to deny, even Alaskan arctic wildfire preponderance has been found to be cyclical. Nature has trained our brains in the way of the cycle from the daily and annual rhythm of our lives to the discovery of cycles encompassing every facet of nature from the water cycle to the rock cycle. Yes, nature it would seem loves cycles, why should climate be an exception?

YEP
July 23, 2013 6:11 am

grumpyoldmanuk says
“Nicola” is the female diminutive of Nicholas, the correct male diminutive is, ” Nicoli”. Have you mis-spelt Mr Scafetta’s’ name or were his parents influenced by Johnny Cash’s, ” A Boy Named Sue”?
Grumpy, Scafetta is an Italian name, and in Italian Nicola is not a female diminutive, or a diminutive at all, and Nicoli is non-existent as a name AFAIK. Nicola is one variant of the male name, another being Niccolò (as in Macchiavelli). Nicola Tesla was not female either. Please do not comment so confidently on things you know nothing about.

Tom In Florida
July 23, 2013 6:17 am

From the article:
Fermi says: “One way, and this is the way I prefer, is to have a clear physical picture of the process that you are calculating. The other way is to have a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism. You have neither.”
For a moment I thought that was Leif speaking to Vuk.

July 23, 2013 6:20 am

(I posted this some time ago but it got lost somewhere, so here it is again)
Two primary climate ‘cycles’ are variable about 9.1 years and the decadal one around 64-65 years. They are not primary astronomic (planetary orbital) periodicities but appear to be result from the cross-modulation of the solar and the Earth’s magnetic fields variability
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm
But how the changes in magnetic fields intensity can influence the climate?
In the last few days I have read number of papers, some from the Stanford University experts running the HAARP experiment (Alaska) and it appears they do have some ideas, not far off from:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AGT.htm
hence I am not surprised that another S.U. expert has attempted to ‘rubish’ my findings despite that he has all calculations and couldn’t fault them.
Monckton of Brenchley says:
July 23, 2013 at 3:49 am
I have asked Nicola Scafetta to let me have an equation that will allow me to include his projections alongside those of the IPCC in the monthly Global Warming Prediction Index.
Here is an equation with ‘back-casting’ to 1880, that doesn’t require cycles of any kind extraterrestrial, planetary or solar
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-NAP.htm
and if not just a coincidence, it suggest significant cooling in the N. Atlantic.

July 23, 2013 6:21 am

I do not think 6 cycles – 18 parameter is inherently untenable. If there are 6 different cycle periods in the data, then it would take 6 cycles to model it.
This is different than say for example a pure brute force 18 parameter polynomial fit where the value is close, but the min/max do not occur. If you 6 periods is excessive, just wait till Scafetta has enough data to work in the Milankovitch cycles, and then perhaps cycles from the galactic orbit. of course continental drift would probably muddle that.
Between the moon and the 4 gas giants, there are 5 or more periods (not just orbit). How all of this interacts might be the reason the climate periods are different from astronomical periods.
Anyways, the multiple mixed periods does show why attempts to model climate on any single period does not work.

Jan Smit
July 23, 2013 6:22 am

@GabrielHBay, July 23, 2013 at 3:53 am
Please, sir, try not to be so bloody precious. Guys like the irascible Mr Eschenbach are worth their weight in gold. His intellectual discipline is second to none and he rightly does not suffer fools gladly. He is the best kind of intellectual opponent. There’s no fawning, no undue flattery. Just a brutal thirst for truth and objectivity, a hunger to strip away all the superfluous and distracting flimflam and get to the heart of a matter. Willis is a rare and genuine intellectual WYSIWYG. A tenacious terrier of a mind that we should all be very grateful for. What’s more, I think everyone else here would agree that he has every right to try and guide thread content below his own post. As always he asked very politely.
If you think you have a valid point, then put up. If not, shut up. If your point is found invalid, it will be eviscerated by the Williserator (or is it Williseraptor?). If credibility is found in your reasoning, WUWT’s own resident bloodhound-terrier cross has proven himself perfectly capable of the graciousness one would expect of such a man of the world. Your sniping is of a much lower order.
So please refrain in future of cluttering up this bastion of fierce minds unless you actually have something worthwhile to bring to the party, there’s a good boy.

George
July 23, 2013 6:25 am

GabrielHBay says:
July 23, 2013 at 5:54 am
You clearly have no inkling of the concept of a hint of satire
That was satire? 404

KevinM
July 23, 2013 6:27 am

The mystery ingredient is a dataset that already includes regularly updated hindcasts. If you use climate models that already match history in your own model, and weight it correctly, almost any lesser weighted small signal can be added without ruining the hindcast. This product is unspeakably stupid.

Mark Bofill
July 23, 2013 6:31 am

Jan,
Agree with you. Who cares who thinks Willis needs sensitivity training or whatever, what’s that got to do with anything anyway? I’m aware I’m cluttering up the thread too, fine, that can make me a bad person, I’m ok with that. It seems like Willis can barely open his mouth but six people jump in to tell him what a jerk he is for speaking straight.

July 23, 2013 6:31 am

Tom In Florida says:
July 23, 2013 at 6:17 am
For a moment I thought that was Leif speaking to Vuk.
Hi Tom
As you could see from my post above I am rehabilitated ‘cyclomaniac’.
btw, Dr.S and I are best of friends.

Richard M
July 23, 2013 6:34 am

I’m a little confused by Willis’ claims. I always thought Scafetta was trying to find physical mechanisms that have deterministic cycles. Essentially, there are no “free” parameters. Maybe Scafetta isn’t there yet, but it is one way to move forward on a subject as complex as climate.
Ridiculing this kind of effort is rather strange. Yes, you may point out the current level of the work may be lacking but please tell us what new scientific endeavor does not suffer from the same problem?
Personally, I think the problem is extremely difficult. You have all the problems related to casual chains and momentum of cycles (climate inertia) that complicate the issue even further. However, I can’t support Willis’ critique.

W. Zernial
July 23, 2013 6:38 am

Playing with 18 variables easily gives good results for the past temperature variations, but principally there is no difference to all these unphysical CO2 calculations, only the results for the future are different.

Latitude
July 23, 2013 6:39 am

Does anyone else have a problem with any model tuned to hindcast Hadcrut?

July 23, 2013 6:45 am

As an engineer two things have always jumped out at me about the climate: you can’t have a stable climate for 4 billion years if it had anywhere near the sensitivity modelers have assigned to it – given the diverse range if perturbations the earth has been subjected to in its history you can rest assured the climate has some very powerful negative feedback.
The next being that any arbitrary continuous signal (e.g temperature) can be represented as a furrier series. So unlike a number of other modelers Scafetta is at least trying to address the fact that there are cycles – and likely a lot of them (way way more than 6). But yes his approach is wrong – if you want to represent the anomaly as a series of underlying cycles then do the math and find however many there are – then try to match them to physical phenomenon. However I can think of two big problems with that effort: the climate has been subjected to numerous non cyclical inputs (volcanos, asteroids, etc) and there are non-trivial entropy factors to consider (e.g decay in orbit and rotation, or cooling mantle, or thickening crust).
Trying to model a system as complex as the earth is likely impossible, but you can rest assured there hasn’t been a model produced yet that is anywhere complex enough to be remotely accurate.

GabrielHBay
July 23, 2013 6:50 am

@George
Ok. maybe not GOOD satire, but none the less:
“Strange. Am I the only one who did not get the memo about Willis’ promotion to Uber-Censor who may dictate that lines of thought or investigatioon that he does not support may not be posted here?”
From Wiki:
“Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.
A common feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—”in satire, irony is militant”[2]—but parody, burlesque, exaggeration,[3] juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing.”
Ok, skip the satire. I suspect this is not the place for a discussion on literature. Let’s just say that I fully support what some other commentators have said about Willis’ unbecoming and distasteful tone in this post. My humble apologies to the Willis E. fan club who is clearly out in force… 🙂

Clive E. Birkland
July 23, 2013 6:53 am

More uniformed dribble by Willis. His attitude is condoned and accepted by Watts and mirrors the attitude of those that persecuted anyone who dared question that the Earth was the centre of the universe.

You are welcome to disagree, and to offer proof that it is “uninformed dribble”. Step up.- Anthony

Jan Smit
July 23, 2013 6:54 am

Bofill, July 23, 2013 at 6:31 am
Thanks Mark for your support. Yes, as they say “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!”. This is a place for grown-up minds who have learnt some genuine humility, not for the infantile and narcissistic. It’s for people who have drunk deeply of the Pierian spring. And few have drunk deeper than our dear Mr Eschenbach. Sure, he can be barbed and prickly. But I would rather fight beside one growling Willis than with a thousand ‘nice’ but ineffectual windbags looking to puff up their egos.
And now I too am guilty of cluttering up this post – sorry Willis!

thingodonta
July 23, 2013 6:57 am

When I was at school, we were told one day that at around 1pm when most of the planets aligned, there would be earthquakes, tidal waves and chaos. Nothing happened of course. Someone should tell Scafetta that not every celestial cycle has relevance to what goes on on earth.
Also, he hasn’t included that Virgo is in Saturn, so Barrack Obama wont get his bill through congress this month.

July 23, 2013 7:02 am

One difficulty I see in decomposing climate into cycles (focusing on temperature as the measure) is that there are natural cycles and un-natural cycles.
The natural cycles come from nature. And there are plenty of these.
The un-natural are those that have been introduced through “homogenization” efforts. And there seem to be plenty of these–the perpetrators aren’t saying.
It’s like trying to pick the dirt from a slice of watermelon after dropping it at a picnic.

William Astley
July 23, 2013 7:02 am

It is interesting that orbital position ‘theory’ has been used to predict an imminent minimum of solar magnetic cycle activity in 1987. We are of course all aware there as been an abrupt change to the solar magnetic cycle. It appears at this point in time that we are going to observe how solar magnetic cycle changes cause either a Bond cycle or a Heinrich event.
One must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Anomalies (correlation is an anomaly) are often either ignored (because there is no physical explanation for the anomaly) or covered up with an incorrect theory. An example is the creation of dark matter to explain the spiral galaxy rotational anomaly. The true physical explanation as to what causes the spiral galaxy rotational anomaly is connected with this problem.
There is a physical explanation as to why the orbital position of the planets affects the solar magnetic cycle and why the solar magnetic cycle affects the magnetic fields of the planets.
Solar Physics : 1987, Volume 110, Issue 1, pp 191-210
We employ the JPL long ephemeris DE-102 to study the inertial motion of the Sun for the period A.D. 760–2100. Defining solar orbits with reference to the Sun’s successive close approaches to the solar system barycenter, occurring at mean intervals of 19.86 yr, we find simple relationships linking the inertial orientation of the solar orbit and the amplitude of the precessional rotation of the orbit with the occurrence of the principal prolonged solar activity minima of the current millenium (the Wolf, Spörer, and Maunder minima). The progression of the inertial orientation parameter is controlled by the 900-yr ‘great inequality’ of the motion of Jupiter and Saturn, while the precessional rotation parameter is linked with the 179-yr cycle of the solar inertial motion previously identified by Jose (1965). A new prolonged minimum of solar activity may be imminent.
The solar magnetic cycle changes affect the planet magnetic fields (there is an imprint so to speak on the planets due to solar magnetic cycle changes) which explains the Bond climate cycle (850, 1350, 1850 years between events) and the Heinrich abrupt climate change events (super strong Bond events 8000 to 10000 years between events).
One method of identifying and solving a scientific problem where there are one or more fundamental theory errors is to look for anomalies and then to play with hypotheses to try to make all of the anomalies go away, in that there is a physical explanation for what is observed.
One of the best anomalies to find and solve this problem (solar magnetic cycle causing cyclic planetary magnetic field anomalies) is the anomalous magnetic field orientation of Uranus and Neptune. Very interesting.

July 23, 2013 7:06 am

Willis,
your great maritime knowledge and experience as seaman is largely missed. The heat for this planet comes from the sun. Any variation in sunray will find some reflection in air temperatures. However, by far the most heat from the sun is taken up by the oceans; some is quickly released to the atmosphere, other is stored temporarily, or for a long time. Once the heat is in the sea, the sea “determine” the release, based on its extreme complex structure, dynamic, and overall mean temperature, which is merely four degree Celsius. Any sun cycle can be traced in air temperature changes. But that will vary according ocean condition, and presumably only by a marginal figure. The sun ray for the earth has been extremely constant over millions of years. The sun has never caused an ice age. The ocean can generate the next ice age, or (any significant) climatic change within a couple of months and years. However, your critic to Dr. Nicola Scafetta’s air temperature cycle assessment should have been as harsh as done.

July 23, 2013 7:06 am

For the record, I was aware of Dr. Scaffetta’s latest paper several days ago. I chose not to run it because like Willis, I saw the seeds of cyclomania in it. Dr. Scafetta’s motives are noble, but his methods are the issue.
It is tempting to find cycles in data, the human mind looks for such patterns naturally, just as we see shapes in clouds. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with either, but as with predicting what the next cloud will look like based on previous cloud patterns (bunny, dog, bird, flower, angel) so it is equally difficult to predict the next climate pattern based on previous ones.

MikeN
July 23, 2013 7:06 am

RealClimate’s show us your code has a bit more weight now. I still think it was a funny joke on his part to reply back that you need to take a class in wavelets.

Juraj V.
July 23, 2013 7:07 am

There is one distinctive sea surface temperature cycle in North Atlantic:
http://blog.sme.sk/blog/560/310249/Natlantic.jpg
It is so profound, it actually drags the whole “global average” with it.
It goes linearly up and down, each period lasting 25-30 years.
Until we do not know, what causes these regular ups and downs, we are nowhere to talk about “climate sensitivity” or whatever. But we can see, that is switched to cold phase in 2006, that it will last probably another 20 years and that the whole AGW BS is only based on warm part of the cycle.
(North Pacific is quite similar).

beng
July 23, 2013 7:10 am

Planetary “cycles” are just another form of astrology.

John Tillman
July 23, 2013 7:20 am

bryguyh says:
July 23, 2013 at 6:45 am
I like furrier series.
Would apply especially to the famous lynx-sunspot cycle.

Rich
July 23, 2013 7:24 am

Sorry for this off-topic post.
[snip – sorry doesn’t cut it. We have Tips and Notes for this – Anthony]

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 7:25 am

Clive E. Birkland says:
July 23, 2013 at 6:53 am
Dribble is not drivel.

Sigmundb
July 23, 2013 7:26 am

Thanks for another excellent post.
Its a timely reminder how easy it is to fit a model to data if you allow to many degrees of freedom, not only IPCC is guilty of that.
Also thanks for the full Version of the Dyson / Fermi/ Neuman story. I only knew Von Neumans claims from before. All budding scientists should make a big mental note not only of von Neumans but also of Fermis words and keep it next to Feynmans advice about scientific honesty.

Jan Smit
July 23, 2013 7:27 am

@GabrielHBay, July 23, 2013 at 6:50 am
There you go again: “My humble apologies to the Willis E. fan club who is clearly out in force”. You may think that’s witty. Perhaps you really are trying to be funny and I’m having a sense of humour failure. Please forgive me then for being so po-faced, but I do take offence at the idea that I’m somehow a Willis groupie. If there’s one thing I suspect would make Willis vomit is the suggestion that he might have a ‘fan club’ here at WUWT.
Why, oh why, is it such a crime in some people’s minds to show genuine respect for another man’s mind? I could after all say the same things about the inimitable Robert Brown, The Good Lord Monckton, Anthony himself, and many others here. I love their minds – big deal, so what? That doesn’t make me some kind of brown-tongue. I guess I just recognize greatness tempered by humility when I see it and want to sit at its feet and learn. That’s a facet of wisdom, not a fault to be ridiculed.
That said, I really do hope that I have got you all wrong and that the hard edge of cynicism I detect in your posts is all down to my own oversensitivity…

Dodgy Geezer
July 23, 2013 7:38 am

…The latest post, however, is simply unbeatable. It has no less than six different cycles, with periods of 9.1, 10.2, 21, 61, 115, and 983 years. …
Two words.
Ptolemy
Epicycles

That is all…

July 23, 2013 7:38 am

Monckton of Brenchley says:
July 23, 2013 at 3:49 am
For these reasons I should hesitate to dismiss the astronomical approach as astrological.
=========
Indeed. We calculate the ocean tides to great precision using an astrological approach. In contrast, tidal models that use first principles as is done with climate models are hopeless. They cannot deal with the complexity.
Early humans learned to predict the annual cycle of climate long before they understood the process. Again this was done using astrological techniques, building machines (temples) that measured the position of the sun in the heavens.
Have we really progressed so little?
Chaos limits what we can hope to predict from first principles using existing technology. Everything around us moves in cycles. These cycles persist, which suggests they are self-reinforcing and self-organizing. This holds the key to prediction in the face of chaos, as has been demonstrated time and again throughout history.

John West
July 23, 2013 7:49 am

GabrielHBay says:
“ then interesting lines of though[t] like astronomical cycles, etc, being treated with disdain leaves me, shall one say, edgy.”
Nothing contradicts the alarmist accusation of us being “fake” skeptics as evidenced by our willingness to believe anything that counters CAGW like ardent disagreement among ourselves.
And personally I like sarcasm and enjoyed reading Willis’ take.

July 23, 2013 7:50 am

Juraj V. says:
July 23, 2013 at 7:07 am
There is one distinctive sea surface temperature cycle in North Atlantic:
http://blog.sme.sk/blog/560/310249/Natlantic.jpg
It is so profound, it actually drags the whole “global average” with it.

You are nearly there:
I would say there two distinctive variable patterns in North Atlantic: sea surface temperature and tectonic movements
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-NAP.htm
It is hard to prove that they are somehow related, on the other hand it would be unwise to dismiss the correlation.
The energy is required to alter thermo-haline circulation of an ocean; we are told that effects of CO2 are uncertain, solar variability as TSI insufficient, Scafetta’s ‘planetarisam’ is suppose to work via solar input which is already considered inadequate, etc etc..
Tectonics by all accounts, if and when concentrated on the narrow Arctic-North Atlantic passages e.g. the Fram and Denmark straits certainly could do the required work.
Here are two quotes from WHOI, the world best oceanographer institute:
1. Crucial to this WARM-TO COLD oceanographic choreography is the DENMARK STRAIT Overflow Water (DSOW), , the largest of the deep, overflow plumes that feed the lower limb of the conveyor belt and return the dense water south through gaps in the Greenland-Scotland Ridge.
2. Fram Strait represents the unique deep water connection between the Arctic Ocean and the rest of the world oceans. Its bathymetry controls the exchange of water masses between the Arctic basin and the North Atlantic. The significant heat flux through water mass exchange and sea ice transport, i.e. transport of fresh water and sea ice southwards and transport of warm saline waters northwards, influences the thermohaline circulation at a global scale.

July 23, 2013 7:55 am

epicycles provided accurate predictions many centuries before the discovery of the elliptical method. both of these methods were discovered before Newton’s law of gravity provided a mechanism.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 7:57 am

Without understanding celestial mechanics, the Maya made eerily accurate eclipse forecasts, even for parts of the world of which they had no knowledge. So of course too did the geocentric Ptolemaic system, not shown false until Galileo’s observations of the phases of Venus.

Gibby
July 23, 2013 7:58 am

As soon as I hear Jupiter and Saturn as an explanation for use of particular cycles, I immediately think Scientology.

Bob Kutz
July 23, 2013 8:01 am

Willis,
Good post.
I kinda’ thought Nicola would get the hint after his first attempt at curve fitting.
Your commentary does seem a bit harsh, though I see little reason to give credit or kudos to someone who adjusts formula parameters until their hindcast matches the data.
On the other hand you’ve made reference to an early occurrence in Dyson’s career, predating his doctorate, I believe.
It is interesting to note the correlation between that example and this, as it seems to me that quite a bit of Dr. Dyson’s work (extensive, diverse and impressive as it is) originates from playing with formulas and just generally screwing around with the math until something jumps out. By spending time doing something fairly similar to what Scafetta is doing, Dyson discovered several important relationships in math and physics that actually work and are important advancements.
Now I don’t know who Nicola Scafetta is and I haven’t his paper. Further, your point on curve fitting is well taken. Your attempt at playing the part of Enrico Fermi to Dyson’s curve fitting adventure is justified. But the statement that ‘you aren’t buying cycles of any kind’ simply flies in the face of objective facts; we begin with the daily cycle, followed closely by the annual cycle. I am not about to suggest a different set of cycles or an alternate formula, but these are the two basic cycles that impact daily temperature and weather. If climate is a ‘long term average’ of daily weather, this is where to begin your understanding and it certainly relates to cyclical physical phenomena.
We also know that there are many more cycles affecting our climate. There is a massive chaotic system interpreting the interaction of these many complex physical processes, many of which have a normal (if not exact) periodic cycle. We don’t have a solid understanding of some of the physical systems which serve as ‘inputs’ to our climate. (I don’t see any proven models for sun-spot cycles, though we have been working for some time to perfect one, and we have good reason to believe they have an effect on our climate.
With the lack of any rationalization of his formula to known mathematical or physical properties, yes, it is clear that Scafetta is grasping at straws. But that does not mean his efforts will not eventually produce meaningful results. My guess is that if he does it enough times, he will begin to see one term or another fits with a known physical cycle, possibly in a way not previously considered. If you do not spend time playing with the math this recognition will never occur. As Dyson said; “just by trial and error, we found out how to do it, and the error was essential.”
In the end, modeling chaos is akin to reading tea-leaves. What Nicola is doing cannot be said to be worse or better than what mainstream academia climate scientists are doing with their GCMs. To the extent that he does not manipulate his data he is behaving better as a scientist. Eventually he just may be the guy who figures out how to reconcile current GCMs to Milankovich cycles and whatever other, currently unknown or poorly understood, physical mechanisms that drive our climate. By this, perhaps our understanding of “the cable, or patch-cord that links the Sun to the Climate System.” will be improved.
The harshest criticism should be reserved for those who throw out such tripe and then hide behind ‘proprietary data’ and undisclosed methodology while casting aspersions on any who dare question their knowledge and proclamations.
It seems to me you are treating Scafetta like Hansen or Mann.
One of these is as ‘the Great and Powerful Oz’, hiding behind a curtain and demanding reverence and awe while reading tea leaves for fame and fortune.
The other is a ‘quack’ scientist, quietly but diligently working through error after error, occasionally asking others to ‘take a look at what he’s found’. Usually he will be shot down. One time he may succeed. One time is enough.
One of these two may eventually improve our understanding of the world in which we live, possibly even by accident. I’d put my money on the quack over the ‘Great and Powerful Oz’, any day.
I leave you with another quote from Jack Eddy; “But I also think that many of the most significant discoveries in science will be found not in but between the rigid boundaries of the disciplines: the terra incognita where much remains to be learned.”
Still, a good post and a thorough dismantling of ‘curve fitting’ as meaningful advancement of our understanding. Hope Scafetta isn’t discouraged by it. Maybe he’ll now take a look at the physics he is trying to model and see something interesting.
Just my \$0.02.
By the way; what did you get kicked off Talkshop for? Just curious.

Craig Moore
July 23, 2013 8:04 am

When I read this post, I was shaking my head. First, there is the silly feud between you and Tallbloke. Second, the venom from that feud seems to have fueled your display of ridicule and sarcasm for attacking Dr. Scafetta. Now, constructive criticism is more than appreciated. Usually, you are spot on. However, it is hard to give your critique a fair regard given the distraction.
Willis, this is beneath you. I hope you will see your way to mend fences, extend your hand, and soldier on. We need robust discussion without the silly nonsense.

July 23, 2013 8:08 am

the insistence of modern science on a mechanism is largely a nonsense. every revolution in science uncovers a new mechanism underlying the previous explanation. the ultimate underlying mechanism can only be truly known at infinity, which is beyond our grasp.
Is the sky blue because of the nature of the nitrogen molecule? Or is it blue because it had to be some color, and it just accidentally turned out to be blue? Or is it blue because the Creator made it so? Can this question ever be resolved? What difference does it make?
the power and proof of science lies in the accuracy of its prediction, independent of cause.

July 23, 2013 8:09 am

Nice work willis.
I look at the governing equations he creates. They are all dimensionally incorrect. That means regardless of how well they fit the data, they do not express the physics.
Anyway.
Thought folks might enjoy this

Jimmy Haigh
July 23, 2013 8:11 am

I don’t care what anyone says but this big lump of rock (some of it molten) that goes round the bigger lump(?) of thermonuclear hydrogen that has other big lumps of rock (and gas) going round it at intervals of 88 days, 243 days, 365 days (us), 687 days, 11.86 years, 29.5 years….and I forget how long it takes Uranus and Neptune to go around…Anyway, all this cyclical motion must have an effect on the grand scheme of things. And you can’t deny it. Just how much of an effect it has I have no idea.
Cycles are caused by things going around other things.
I don’t kno why anything would go around another thing though.
Anyway. That’s the layman’s explanation for y’all…

July 23, 2013 8:13 am

It’s a shame to read such pseudo science nonsense critique from Willis Eschenbach in this blog. None of his arguments are valid scientific arguments. All fallacies or junk or still wrong.
Any scientist can see in the graph Dr. Roy Spencer has hold up with his hands in the video hearing, twice an oscillation of about 900 years in the temperature reconstruction of the last 2000 years. Because such periods do not come out of nothing it is a common thinking, that (i) this period must have a geometric structure and (ii) it must have a physical process which controls the heat. But until the physical process is unknown, this makes the geometric structure not untrue. We dammed have to search for the mechanism, but not to discredit a persons work because there is no mechanism explained.
The argument given related to Fermi is an argument for theoretical physics and doesn’t holds for empirical research of climate frequencies of doubtful amplitudes and doubtful time scale calibration in the time range of 10000 years to month’s. It is not possible to put all functions and effects in one formula. There is no single formula to calculate the tide height correct with a precision of 10 cm; it takes a lot of syntetic Suns and Moons because of functons of the cycles,
To reject comments because of the authority is not a method of science, it is ignorance in a case, were the author has no idea what geometries are behind the temperature frequencies and functions. This blog is not a scientific blog, it is a blog were you can give personal comments about climate and climate change. If Dr. Scafetta has analysed some 20 parameter, that does not mean that this has no scientific basis; each temperature frequency can be analysed in power and frequency or frequencies, if the function is not simple a sine function.
This method is not simple ‘curve fitting’ to geometric function in a mathematic formula of many terms, as Anthony claims. It is an empiric way to come near to the climate frequencies reconstructed in the records. I have done such a parameter fitting in a magneto-optical material, based on the knowledge of the geometry of optical oscillators: http://doormann.tripod.com/jap6871990.
It is no secret here that analysed real geometric solar tide functions can be used to simulate the global climate.
http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/solar_tides_800.gif
You can compare this function with the Fig. 3 A in the paper of Dr. Scafetta.
Because the power strengths of the temperature frequencies are following an inverse square root function of the tide frequency, this indicates that there is Kepler’s third law involved, which is not invalid at far distances like Sedna, which is a times factor 1000 away from the Sun as the Earth.
Slow down.
V.

July 23, 2013 8:18 am

‘It seems to me you are treating Scafetta like Hansen or Mann.?
Well Scafetta acts like Mann
When Steve McIntyre asked for Scafettas code, Scafgetta refused and turned the whole matter into a game.
When I asked for the code. Flat refusal.
Even Scafetta co author http://heartland.org/craig-loehle says that he wishes Scafetta would share code, but Scafetta continues to play the “mann” game and the “Jones” game.
Anyone with any ounce of integrity who fought with us to get data and code released by hansen, jones, mann and others should tell scaffetta to stop his childish nonsense and post
A) the code he used
B) the data he used
Not links, not descriptions, not arm waving attacks on the people who want to audit or build on his work. he needs to post the data and the code.
Until then folks like ferd should stop giving lectures on how science works. And in my opinion, WUWT should stop promoting Scafettas stuff.
Willis and Anthony and I disagree about a lot. But access to code and data is fundamental. You have to show your work, the ACTUAL WORK, and not merely descriptions of your work

Ulric Lyons
July 23, 2013 8:20 am

Willis writes:
“Are there cycles in the climate? Yes, there are cycles. However, they are not regular, clockwork cycles like those of Jupiter and Saturn. Instead, one cycle will appear, and will be around for a while, and then disappear to be replaced by some longer or shorter cycle.”
Precisely, and that is not cycles as such, but an event series. The only fairly regular pulse is the sunspot cycle.

chipstero7
July 23, 2013 8:36 am

Anthony, I really do not understand why you have deleted my innocuous submissions from being posted here. If you cannot be open in the regulation of these comments then I shall refrain from wasting my time on composing comments for its admin to block. You must have a super-sensitive comment guideline? I’ll look over it, or I’ll just spark some discussion on Joanne Nova’s blog instead, who openly welcomes these sorts of off-topic discussions regarding AGW.

July 23, 2013 8:42 am
July 23, 2013 8:42 am

Ulric Lyons says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:20 am
The only fairly regular pulse is the sunspot cycle.

No. The frequency of the sun spot number is not constant. The frequency shift is in correlation to the global temperature (Yamal data)
http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/sunspot_tides.
V.

July 23, 2013 8:44 am

There is no Earthly reason for the major shifts in climate over the long term from ice age to interglacial over and over again on a somewhat regular basis according to palioclimatic data. I have concluded that there must be solar or other cosmic (Milky Way or larger scale astronomical) influences behind these major shifts. It also seems to me that there probably a is solar basis for the moderate scale shifts that lead to “little ice age” events. It is my hope that the astronomers and climatologists will work together in the decades ahead to understand these cause and effects and the means of energy transfer to make create these climatic influences by astronomical events. Many climatologists have dropped there eyes in dismisal when I have suggested all of this. None the less, I hold on to the idea that the answer is in the stars….

lemiere jacques
July 23, 2013 8:48 am

well; i do agree, he should focuse on finding out if there are periods…
too many parameters to do do forcecast

July 23, 2013 8:51 am

“One way, and this is the way I prefer, is to have a clear physical picture of the process that you are calculating. The other way is to have a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism. You have neither.”
That is an either/or situation. When fitting observed data to a Fourier type harmonic, the statistical significance of each factor depends on the ratio of factors to degrees of freedom. So we may have a lot more confidence with lots more data and fewer factors than the other way. With regard to observed cycles, the measured precision of a cycle depends on the number of self-consistent cycles that are observed within a time frame. A statistically significant cycle that is longer than the time frame is not precise and is only slightly better as a predictor than a linear trend. I suggest that since radiation is essentially a “line of sight, speed of light” process, we should be using hourly met and CO2 data at different sites when analyzing changing mass and energy balances. There are too many assumptions “fudge factors” involved in the global models.

July 23, 2013 8:55 am
The Elephant that wiggles his trunk
July 23, 2013 8:56 am

http://www.webofstories.com/play/freeman.dyson/94;jsessionid=824C94DD263980B74AFB76282A33B896
This discusses how many free parameters are OK for a match, but more important what is the physical basis for the simulation. I think this discussion pretty much summarizes the discussion here

Jimmy Haigh
July 23, 2013 9:18 am

Leif at 08:42.
That I have to ingest. Logarigmic time onthe x-axis. Cool.

LdB
July 23, 2013 9:28 am

There is a much more scientific way that we express what Willis is saying and we say it over and over again “Correlation does not imply causation”.
You can take it to the absurd and say for example “the lack of pirates is causing global warming”
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2012/03/23/true-fact-the-lack-of-pirates-is-causing-global-warming/
That’s the stupidity that Enrico Fermi was describing to Freeman Dyson in the story.
Many of the comments don’t get the message that even if Dr. Scafetti could match global warming perfectly it means absolutely nothing as does the correlation between lack of pirates and global warming, how we would we know that does not come about by pure chance like the match between pirates and global warming.
What Scafetti is doing is not even science and Willis has correctly identified that fact … don’t shoot the messenger … science demands that you link correlations thru a solid mechanism.
The problem for Scafetti is there is no mechanism to link astral cycles especially of ridiculously small planetary bodies versus massive earth local effects.

LdB
July 23, 2013 9:31 am

@Willis
“Christopher, you know that I’m a very big fan of yours. However, in this case you are supporting pseudoscience.”
You are absolutely correct Willis he is and it doesn’t seem to have dawned on him along with many of the others comments.

Ian Wilson
July 23, 2013 9:45 am

Willis,
One the things that you has to be learned in life is to get to know and understand the idea that you are criticizing. Your post shows me that you have not made that attempt. It is full of paper-tiger arguments which are used to make you look as though you have done your home work. You have not.
You are correct in pointing out that a plethora of adjustable constants can make any model fit the data. Point taken. However, there are many good reasons [some given by Lord Monckton above] as to why research like Nicola’s should be encouraged.
Basically, what Nicola’s heuristic model assumes that the Earth’s climate is influenced by external factors that are related to the overall level of solar activity. Given that there is some peer-reviewed research that indicates the possibility that the overall level of solar activity may be influenced by planetary torques and tides, Nicola (and others) are taking the logical next step, and that is to look for a connection between the long-term cycles in the Earth’s climate system and long-term cycles in the planetary toques and tides.
[You can read about the Tidal-Toquing model which is explained here:
http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/why-vej-tidal-torquing-model.html
http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/further-confirmation-of-vej-tidal.html
or you can read some per-reviewed science at:
J. A. Abreu1, J. Beer, A. Ferriz-Mas, K. G. McCracken, and F. Steinhilber
Is there a planetary influence on solar activity?
A&A 548, A88 (2012)]
Nicola has identified what he believes are the most important cycles that may [and I emphasis the word “may”] play a role in the interaction between the Sun and Earth’s climate.
Nicola is not the first person to point out these potential external forcing cycles. He is just he current lightening rod for those who want to show their unease with new and/or alternative ideas.
Here is a link to a post that I believe gives support to Nicola’s work:
http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/is-this-planetary-signature-in-our.html

July 23, 2013 9:52 am

Ian Wilson says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:45 am
He is just he current lightening rod for those who want to show their unease with new and/or alternative ideas.
This is not a new idea. It goes back to 1852 and has not gained acceptance because it has not worked and not advanced science.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 10:06 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:20 am
Monckton of Brenchley says:
July 23, 2013 at 3:49 am
Re: Herschel, sunspots & grain prices:
However, 20th & 21st century grain production & pricing differ in significant ways from the early 19th century British situation. Weather still matters of course, but inputs such as chemical fertilizers, petroleum-based cultivation practices, widespread irrigation, possibility of alternative crops, fallowing, government intervention & a global grain market, among other factors, could muddy the signal, if any.

July 23, 2013 10:16 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:01 am
I don’t wish for this site or the skeptical movement in general to be associated with Scafetta’s curve fitting exercise in any shape or form. I want to disavow it in the strongest possible terms.
There are several other cyclomaniacs on this site pushing similar [or worse] nonsense. And I agree that this association harms the skeptical movement. Once you have been stung by the cyclomania bug, there is no way back and no salvation for you. That bug rears its stinger in every generation. A good example is the recent claims by Abreu et al. You can judge for yourself http://www.leif/research/Comment-Planetary-Peaks.pdf

July 23, 2013 10:17 am
July 23, 2013 10:18 am

LdB says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:28 am
There is a much more scientific way that we express what Willis is saying and we say it over and over again “Correlation does not imply causation”.

The problem with this saying is that some correlations do not imply causation, but are recognized as physical laws.
There is a strong correlation between the square root of the half axis of a moving planet and the cubic root of the rotating time of the planet, as J. Kepler has found out, in his third law. but there is no causation implied, no force, no acting.
If the definition of causation is: “ in classical (Newtonian) mechanics a cause may be represented by a force acting on a body, and an effect by the acceleration.” , the movement of planets is then without any mechanical causation.
It is the same with moving electrons, they need no force to oscillate.
Same with the angular momentum in the solar system. There is no force acting as a cause.There is only a timeless exchange of angular momentum, without any following acting.
But the main nonsense is that it is of no worth to stale was in not. Science is to recognize coherence, what ever it is.
Time is not a force. Time is not an observable in physics. That means a causality as process of following (in time) is nonsense..
V.

July 23, 2013 10:40 am

LdB says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:31 am
@Willis
“Christopher, you know that I’m a very big fan of yours. However, in this case you are supporting pseudoscience.”
You are absolutely correct Willis he is and it doesn’t seem to have dawned on him along with many of the others comments.

The problem with Willis argument is that ‘pseudescience’ is not to be demonstrated (as truth) in terms of science and philosophy. Nobody can show pseudoscience because it has no existence. You only can argue with valid counter arguments, in that you have to argue why arguments are invalid.
V.

John West
July 23, 2013 10:43 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
”As you are the first person to mention Milankovitch cycles in this thread, I have no idea what you are referring to. If it was something I said, please quote my words.
“I’m not buying cycles of any kind, motorcycles, epicycles, solar cycles, bicycles, circadian cycles, nothing.”
So, being a Southerner (smart@ss), I just had to come up with a “cycle” that pretty much everybody agrees does affect climate. FWIW I don’t disagree with what you’re saying and yes the work is being misrepresented in its scope but on the other hand looking for cycles is not necessarily a bad thing. He might stumble upon something that ends up making sense to someone that then puts the mechanism to the cycle. If the approach were turned around and presented as something along the line of ‘these periodicities are discernible within the climate record let’s try to figure out why’ would you be more accepting, assuming simple questions were answered of course? From my own line of work it was the investigation into the periodicity of chemical characteristics that lead to (obviously) the periodic table and ultimately our understanding of quantum physics.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 10:46 am

This site accuses WUWT & Willis of committing pseudo-science:
http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/247-the-relentless-pseudo-science-of-wuwt.html
IMO, the scientific method requires making testable, falsifiable predictions. The issue with the Scafetta paper seems to be whether this method requires the predictor to understand the science behind the prediction. As per Volker Doorman above, Kepler fit an elliptical curve to Tycho’s observations of Mars, showing the assumption of perfectly circular orbits made by both the geocentrists & Copernicus to be false. Yet Kepler didn’t know the mechanism behind these data.
Scafetta’s repeated attempts at curve-fitting might well, IMO, serve a useful scientific purpose, if it leads to identifying candidate physical phenomena with cycles matching whatever he comes up with. More concerning to me is his apparent reluctance to share data, if that’s the right word for his calculations, numbers & assumptions. Worse than worthless psuedo-science? Maybe. Access to underlying figures would help decide.
REPLY: Guess what? We don’t care. They aren’t worth responding to. One of these days those folks will wake up to who is running that outfit. – Anthony

Rathnakumar
July 23, 2013 10:49 am

Brilliant post! Thank you!

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 10:58 am

Volker Doormann says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:40 am
Re: Pseudoscience.
This site accuses Willis of practicing relentless “pseudoscience”, along with WUWT:
http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/247-the-relentless-pseudo-science-of-wuwt.html
I concur that Kepler’s elliptical curve-fitting to Tycho’s observations of Mars is apt to the discussion of Scafetta’s paper, but would add that his not sharing code is unscientific, if not pseudoscientific.
Does a curve-matcher necessarily have to understand the science behind his number-crunching? Or does making falsifiable predictions based upon it suffice? A good match could possibly lead to identifying candidate explanatory physical phenomena. Or not. The exercise may not be pseudoscientific, assuming that appellation is anything more meaningful than a nasty name.

July 23, 2013 11:02 am

In the late 1980s and early 1990s a debate was going on essentially between the Eastern world, mainly the Soviets and China, who were advocating the cyclical view and the Western world, particularly the US and Britain who were pushing chaos theory.
The Soviets have long studied cycles as they relate to economies, particularly food production. The most famous is the Kondratieff, which is a favourite with many who play the stock market.
http://www.kondratieffwavecycle.com/kondratieff-wave/
The Western world promoted the Chaos theory that there were no cycles or patterns.
The difference between the two philosophies was incorrectly judged to be a political difference and part of the Cold War. In fact, it was the same discussion raised by Willis’ analysis of Scafetta’s work.
I used to tease the weather forecasters saying they better hope chaos theory was correct so they had an excuse for their inaccurate forecasts. Of course, the difference defines one of the most misunderstood issues, especially by the public, namely between weather and climate. Anthony has many articles about the misuse or deliberate abuse of the difference, such as this one.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/13/climate-science-and-nuclear-weapons-research-another-conflation-of-weather-and-climate/
There are cycles. The problem is we don’t know how many or the underlying causes. It also appears there is chaos, as in the non-linear nature of the weather. I recall how the issue was complicated when Landscheidt introduced cyclical influences beyond the close solar system. Other factors that appeared included variation in Length of Day (LOD) or the orbit of our solar system around the Milky Way among many others.
I discussed the cycle versus chaos issue with Hubert Lamb and determined that his reason for setting up the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was again proving critical to any potential understanding and resolution. In his autobiography he explains
“…it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.”
In our discussion he agreed this was also essential to the cycles/chaos determination.
Of course, we have less data now than when we discussed this in the early 1980s. What data we have has been adjusted or deleted to the point where most of it is of little value. The distraction was primarily due to a change in the role of the CRU under the Directorship of Wigley and latterly Jones. Again as Lamb notes in his autobiography,
“My immediate successor, Professor Tom Wigley, was chiefly interested in the prospects of world climates being changed as result of human activities, primarily through the burning up of wood, coal, oil and gas reserves…” “After only a few years almost all the work on historical reconstruction of past climate and weather situations, which first made the Unit well known, was abandoned.”
A good illustration of the failures of the IPCC to recognize cycles is the lack of inclusion of Milankovitch.
All this is further support of my argument that the CRU, the IPCC and the politicizing of climate science has set us back 30 years. Let’s push for more and better data before we even take sides in the debate. The trouble is the abuse and use of climate science for a political agenda and the failed projections of the IPCC are reducing the willingness to fund such crucial research.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 11:07 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:41 am
milodonharlani says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:06 am
You’re welcome. It’s still possible that in a world closer to a state of nature, sunspots might correlate causitively (if that’s a word) with grain prices. But that appears not to be the case for the contemporary US.
Mylodon, as you know, is a genus of ground sloth from Patagonia, discovered by Darwin & instrumental to his developing theory. The prolific comparative anatomist & paleontologist Harlan found a fossil jaw of Paramylodon in North America a few years later.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 11:11 am

Tim Ball says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:02 am
Hear, hear!

Wayne
July 23, 2013 11:17 am

I chime in when you put your foot in it, so I need to chime in when you hit the nail directly on the head. You hit the nail directly, forcefully, and completely on the head on this one.
You may enjoy a couple of comics: http://xkcd.com/687/ and http://xkcd.com/1047/ come to mind.

rogerknights
July 23, 2013 11:18 am

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
July 23, 2013 at 5:18 am
Who would want to tend the firebox and check the water level while riding a Ballard and Wellington coal-fed steam-powered two wheeler? Answer: nobody did, which is why you never heard of them.
Which is too bad as the three wheeler variant would be useful today in many parts of the world, an idea which deserves to be gaining traction and picking up steam.

An E Cat-powered three-wheeler might be less bulky and easier to maintain.

AJ
July 23, 2013 11:33 am

While I’m not a fan of Scafetta’s usual cyclomania, I did think his recent paper on sea-levels was interesting. Specifically I liked his use of “Multi-Scale Rate Analysis” plots. I adapted this method to compare HadCRUT4 and sea-level, with results that I found interesting:
I agree with Willis that the multi-decadal cycles don’t have fixed characteristics, though it is interesting that the current slow down appears to be right on time. Mind you, appearances can be deceiving.

July 23, 2013 11:38 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

I wanted to understand, not the changes in the temperature that were occupying everyone else, but what to me was the remarkable stability of the temperature at all timescales. The short answer I found was that emergent phenomena control the climate, spring up when it’s hot to prevent overheating, and keep the temperature stable.

But that’s not what I see, Willis. On a geological time scale, the past several million years has seen regular cold periods where the temperature declines by 8-10 degrees C, bouncing around as it goes, then after about 100,000 years quickly rises by ~10-12 degrees where it stays for several thousand years before falling off the temperature cliff again.
This contains a temperature graph of the past 420,000 years:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/17/global-warming-climate-change/
I see pronounced periodicity as Ice Ages repeat intersperced with Interglacials, but I don’t see temperature stability (implying a narrow temperature range) “at all timescales”.

William Astley
July 23, 2013 11:45 am

In support of and further comments to:
Volker Doormann says:
It’s a shame to read such pseudo science nonsense critique from Willis Eschenbach in this blog. None of his arguments are valid scientific arguments. All fallacies or junk or still wrong.
July 23, 2013 at 8:13 am
William:
P.S. I find other Willis Eschenbach’s articles to be very interesting and informative. I enjoy and find appropriate Willis’ injection from time to time of a little wit into his articles to keep things interesting and to help illustrate points. Thanks and best wishes Willis. William.
William:
The labeling of the fact that there is correlation of planetary orbital changes and solar magnetic cycle changes as ‘astrology’ seems to me to be a bit over the top. There is no logic analysis used to justify using the word ‘astrology’ or to compare planetary orbital influence on the sun with Ptolemy’s earth centered solar model. That seems to me to be very close to name calling which makes any discussion very difficult. i.e. It is implied that we do not have time for that silly idea and in fact we might use our influence and power to crush that silly idea.
Comment:
If anyone who is interested in an astrophysical example of over the top idea killing I would highly recommend Halton Arp’s ‘Seeing Red’ Redshifts, Cosmology, and Academic Science. Curiously the physics of what explains Halton Arp’s set of unexplained anomalies is directly related to how the sun can cause abrupt geomagnetic field changes. Progress on solving what physically causes Arp’s anomalies was delayed for 30 years as Arp was not allowed telescope time and his papers were blocked as discussion and research of the anomalies was a waste of time. 30 years later there are now sets of astronomical connected anomalies (quasar observations, spiral galaxy formation and evolution, large cluster evolution, anomalous hot intergalactic gas, the phenomena that required the creation of both dark matter and dark energy and so on. Only cosmologists are allowed to change to the laws of physics to keep their theory alive.) that are related to Arp’s anomalies.
We all agree there is a physical explanation for ever thing that has and will happen. There are no magic wands. We all agree there are theories that are not correct. We all agree there can be correlation due to chance or there may be one parameter controlling both phenomenon and hence there is correlation but no causal relationship between the two phenomenons. A new incorrect theory (the dragon slayer theory seems to me to be an example of an incorrect theory that is not helpful) is almost as disruptive to advancement as an old completely accepted theory that is incorrect, as the new incorrect theory is used as an examine to automatically label every new or previously rejected theory as cranky, not worthy of even scientific logical discussion. The key issue is logical scientific discussion, give the new or old theory a chance, if there is some possibility it could have legs.
The fact that there are sets of anomalies concerning the glacial/interglacial cycle and abrupt climate changes indicates that there are one or more fundamental assumptions that are incorrect. There is an entire set of peculiar unexplained correlates. Events that should be random are not random.
Something is causing the Bond climate events that occur at a variable interval between events of 850 years, 1350 years, and 1850 years. Roughly every 8,000 to 10,000 years there are super strong Bond events that are called Heinrich events. Something is causing the glacial/interglacial cycle. Something is cause the quasi periodic variance of the solar magnetic cycle.

July 23, 2013 12:08 pm

@Tim Ball The trouble is the abuse and use of climate science for a political agenda and the failed projections of the IPCC are reducing the willingness to fund such crucial research.
I agree. I have noticed the same disastrous trend in conservation biology where the crucial research is not being funded and any changes in wildlife are brushed off as the effects of global warming even in regions where maximum temperatures have declined.

July 23, 2013 12:16 pm

Anthony, may you please add my response here and after Willis article?
*********
First of all, let us start saying that interested readers need to read my paper if they want to know what I say instead of reading Willis’ rants. On my web-site free copies can be downloaded. The paper under analysis is here
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf
However, other papers were published and there may be a need to read them all to know the details, including the references.
About Willis’s article I see that my paper is not making to sleep somebody, which is a good sign.
But people need to sleep well to write properly.
If not the probability of saying non-senses increases greatly.
It appears that Willis had a nightmare.
Let us start from the easiest thing that demonstrates that Willis have lost some hours of sleep and/or panicking.
1) Willies criticized my Figure 11 and the trigon graph by Kepler by stating
*****
And as you might expect from a man citing Kepler, Scafetta treats scientific information like fine wine—he doesn’t want anything of recent vintage. Apparently on his planet you have to let science mellow for some decades before you bring it out to breathe … and in that regard, I direct your attention to the citation in the bottom center of his Figure 11, “Source: Geophysical Data, J. Biddy (USA) 1978″.
Finally, he highlights the “20 year and 60 year astronomical cycles” in Kepler’s chart at the right. In fact, what he calls the “20 year” cycles shown in Kepler’s dates at the right vary from 10 to 30 years according to Kepler’s own figures shown inside the circle, and what he calls the “60 year astronomical cycles” include cycles from 50 to 70 years.
*****
I have numerous problems with Willis citing my paper. First of all Willis deceives the reader by forgetting that those references such as Kepler model, which was a climatic model, wos referenced in a section dedicated to the ancient understanding of climate change. I reference also Ptolemy and Medieval writers, but Willis did not note it.
Second I never talk about a guy called “J. Biddy.”
Who is J. Biddy, Willis? A subject of your nightmare?
As any reader can easily see by reading my paper I am referencing to “J. A. Eddy” not “J. Biddy”
Willies probably does not know it, but J. Eddy is likely one of the greatest solar physicist of the last 50 years. Here is his profile in Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Eddy
Now, let us talk about Kepler trigon.
There Willies see cycles varying between 10 and 30 year and between 50 and 70 year, instead of 20 and 60 years.
However, on that graph these are the reported dates (written by the hand of Kepler)
first trigon) 1583, 1603, 1623,
second trigon) 1643, 1663, 1683,
third trigon) 1703, 1723, 1743,
fourth incomplete trigon) 1763,
which are the conjunction dates of Jupiter and Saturn.
Where Willis saw in the Kepler’s diagram cycles varying between 10 and 30, and between 50 and 70 I do not know.
Given the above it is evident that Willis did not read my paper and is simply trying to mislead the readers of Anthony’s blog. It would be nice to know if Anthony agrees with Willis on these points.
2) Given the above is not surprising that Willis does not understand the logic of the cycles I am taking about which requires a careful reading of my paper, and some knowledge in physics.
About the “Congenital Cyclomania Redux” for using just 6 harmonics spanning between the decadal to the millennial scales Willis does not know that the logic implemented in my model is essentially equivalent to the harmonic constituent astronomical model used to predict the ocean tides on the Earth where up to 40 (very close) harmonics are used. My 6 harmonic model is a baby in comparison.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_tides#Tidal_constituents
I am sure that Willis does not believe in the harmonic constituent astronomical tidal model either which happens to be the most accurate and advanced geophysical model. The only model that actually works in long range predictions.
In addition, Willis accusation that I am using 3 free parameters (amplitude, phase and frequency) for each cycle is false. The cycles parameters are both deduced by the analysis of the data and by a cross-comparison with the astronomical cycles that suggest both the frequency and the phase. In the present paper I made the choice of using oscillations with at most very small adjustments for statistical optimization because many more cycles may be present generating beats.
Look at Figure 7 and 8, and 13. But you need also to read the references of my other papers to understand the physical origin of the cycles.
For example, Willis has not yet understood that the 61-year cycle used in the analysis comes from the beat between the Jupiter-Spring tide (9.93 year) and the Jupiter tide (11.86 year) as explained in my paper.
The only true free parameters are the amplitude of the cycle that need to be calibrated against the temperature data.
The cycle at 10-11 are essentially the solar cycle that is made of a 10, 11 year cycle modulated by the 12 year cycle of Jupiter. I talk about this in another paper, for example.
Scafetta N., 2012. Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter-Saturn tidal frequencies plus the 11-year solar dynamo cycle. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 296-311.
The physical meaning of the oscillations I am using is clearly explained in the paper and in its references.
Many other things are omitted by Willis such as that I do tests calibrating my model in 1850-1950 and reconstruct the climatic oscillations from 1950 to 2012, for example. The solar model I propose hindcast major climatic pattern during the last 10,000 years. See for example Figure 13 and also other references. Etc.
So, the interested readers are invited to read my paper.
I thank the numerous readers above that have noted that Willis comments were erroneous and that one of Willis’ problem is personal arrogance, another is ignorance. I still hope that Anthony realizes it.
The issue of climate change is complex. It is evident that my model performs much better than the IPCC models and has been tested on hidcasting capabilities.
It is evident that Willis does not have a better theory of climate change.
Nature will eventually confirm or rebut my theory. Up to now Nature seems to follow it quite well.
I do not claim that the model is complete yet, other cycles are present (in the case of the tides 40 close cycles have been found). The research continues with other peer reviewed papers on science journals.
As it happens, somebody will be convinced sooner and somebody will be convinced at the end, such as Willis.

G. Karst
July 23, 2013 12:22 pm

I agree with many of your points however the tone and ridicule, are all wrong. Feuding is harmful and some attitudes require adjustment. Let’s try to aim a little higher. GK

Duster
July 23, 2013 12:26 pm

Willis writes: …. Whenever I’ve thought I have something, as soon as it leaves the training data and starts on the out-of-sample data, it starts to diverge from reality. And of course, the divergence increases over time.
I believe that about sums the problem. It is precisely the same behaviour of model vs reality that led Edward Lorenz to develop the mathematical notion now known as the strange attractors. His account of the frustration and irritation that linear modeling of meteorological phenomena provided is well worth reading.

July 23, 2013 12:36 pm

Nicola Scafetta says:
July 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm
Nature will eventually confirm or rebut my theory. Up to now Nature seems to follow it quite well.
So you claim. But without quantitative assessment. Now, science happens when scientists can build on the work by others. There are many ‘planetary’ claims out there. A new one is that by Abreu et al. Does your claim agree with theirs?

TLMango
July 23, 2013 12:37 pm

Willis,
Why so much venom. You are better than this.

Don K
July 23, 2013 12:55 pm

Willis
“What he has done is a kind of manual Fourier reconstruction of the climate signal. But as Fourier showed, any arbitrary signal can be decomposed into a set of sine waves. And that’s all Scafetta has done, decomposed some signal into sine waves. Are you impressed by that kind of pseudoscience? Because I’m not.”
==========
Perhaps that’s a bit strong. Fourier analysis can produce pretty good results under the right circumstances. For example the ancient Ptolemaic astronomy with its crystal spheres, cycles, and epicycles was also a sort of manual Fourier analysis. And while the physical model couldn’t easily have been more wrong, if you used it for navigation and tried to go from Alexandria to Piraeus, you stood an excellent chance of ending up somewhere near Piraeus rather than at Carthage, Gibraltar or Aleppo. Fourier can be OK — IF THE SITUATION IS IN FACT DOMINATED BY UNDERLYING CYCLIC PHENOMENA.
Fourier has serious practical limitations:
1. It will always give you an answer. Very likely a large family of answers.
2. It will probably give you a very good fit to your data, but that does not — as you point out — prove much. If it didn’t fit, you’d tune it until it did fit (remind you of GCMs?)
3. As a practical matter, there is no way to tell which (if any) family members best fit the future.

Bill Parsons
July 23, 2013 1:02 pm

Dr. Ball, thanks for your eloquent comments. I agree that there are cycles.
I found the comment of one solar physicist on this subject particularly interesting. He claimed there are actually an infinite number of cycles of the sun – they transpire over periods infinitely (by our standards) long and infinitesimally short, and thus necessarily overlap each other. Some must cancel each other out, Others, such as the ones Leif has made a career of studying, are quite obvious even to laymen such as myself, and their periodicities can be understood and predicted in a human lifetime. The term “cyclomania”, used to denigrate (even inaccurate) theories of cycles is, in my opinion, a bit disingenuous, since we are all looking for the causes of climate, whether they are cyclical or chaotic. It would be a very uncomfortable irony if the skeptical writers of WUWT overlooked (some of the) actual, historical causes of climate change just because they fall under the heading of cyclical.
A governing mechanism that kicks in and causes thunderstorms when the ocean surface overheats is cyclical, since, by some accounts, it appears to “turn on” during the heat of the day, and gradually turn off, as evening approaches.

Bob Shapiro
July 23, 2013 1:14 pm

Scafetta stuck out his neck in 2011 with predictions. I really would like to see how he’s done 20 months later. If he’s done well, let’s cut him a break. If not, then he needs to explain why not. (The 2012 update to his 2011 post is here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/11/scafetta-prediction-widget-update/)

phodges
July 23, 2013 1:21 pm

If it agrees with hadcrut at any point, it cannot be correct!

John F. Hultquist
July 23, 2013 1:22 pm

I’d like to see an ocean cycle or two, or three. For example, where does the warm water from the Mediterranean Sea go after entering the Eastern Atlantic Ocean? What about the water from the Amazon Basin? There are many other on-Earth things that seem to get little attention but might have influence on things that are indexed as of climatic interest, such as the AMO or ENSO.
—–
Regarding the research questioned with this post: Turn the law of the instrument (aka Maslow’s hammer) around; namely
If you have a nail, everything about you begins to look like a hammer. I’ve pounded nails with a tennis racket, a boot, a wine bottle, rocks, a pipe wrench, pliers, and more. Do I need to list 20 to make the point. They all sort-of do the job but when working with nails a modern claw hammer is what you want. Hammer head meets nail – – there is a clear physical picture of what is desired.
Willis, I think, rightly claims that Dr. Scafetta takes the surface temperature of Earth and looks about for anything or many things to hit it, without reason.
——————
Willis is banned at Tallbloke’s – how funny; made my day.

July 23, 2013 1:32 pm

To give Willis a more technical response, that he may not understand because too physical but many readers may understand, the climate system is essentially a complex system regulated by some set of differential equations. To solve differential equations one need the boundary conditions.
In the case od the climate the boundary conditions are provided by the forcings coming from the space plus some other internal forcing such as volcano activity and GHG variation.
The forcings coming from the space contain necessarily a complex harmonic component due to the fact that the moon, the Sun and the planets are moving around. Some of the harmonics are those that I use.
If a system described by set of differential equations has a boundary condition that contain an harmonic complex component this harmonic component will be reflected also in the solution of the set of differential equations, that is in our case in the climate system,
So, my theory, which was in principle already advocated by science giants such as Ptolemy and Kepler and Newton, and constitute the traditional way to understand climate change has nothing strange or wrong, in principle.
Willis is just panicking and my papers are just making him to have some severe nightmares, we need to understand the guy.
In any case, for the interested readers I have made an interesting graph comparing my model with the IPCC models here
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model_1
Anthony, may you please show my new figure here? [Done. -w]

You may also show it in a more interesting post.

James Allison
July 23, 2013 1:46 pm

I’ve been visiting this site since nearly day one. Havent read many of the comments above but would like to add that I also find the Willis arrogance really distasteful. And at the end of the day you need to convince common people like me to believe in what you are saying.

SandyInLimousin
July 23, 2013 1:59 pm

60 years: kinda like three times the synodic period of Jupiter/Saturn. Why three times? Why not?
Third Harmonic?
A sine-wave component having three times the fundamental frequency of a complex signal.

Laurence Clark Crossen
July 23, 2013 2:00 pm

For the genuine science in the subject of climate cycles, there is the Cambridge University Press book, Climate Cycles Real Or Imaginary? Second Edition c2003 by William James Burroughs.

July 23, 2013 2:02 pm

Bob Shapiro says: July 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm
“Scafetta stuck out his neck in 2011 with predictions. I really would like to see how he’s done 20 months later. If he’s done well, let’s cut him a break. If not, then he needs to explain why not. (The 2012 update to his 2011 post is here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/11/scafetta-prediction-widget-update/)”
Actually my forecast is working very well. See here
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model_1
my updated widget is here
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/scafetta-forecast.png
Anthony, please, show the figure of my updated widget.
For the benefit of the readers. So that they may form also a right opinion about Willis post.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 2:09 pm

It appears to me that climate is cyclic on most if not all time scales. The cycles are not always or even mainly regular, as chaotic elements also influence its changes.
The opening of deep sea channels around Antarctica at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary isolated the continent & started formation of ice sheets there. The Isthmus of Panama altered oceanic circulation, initiating the quasi-regular Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles, modulated by orbital mechanics. So clearly, there’s a role for geography, geology & oceanography in controlling climate.
There also appear to be longer-term icehouse/hothouse climatic cycles. You don’t have to ascribe to Svensmark’s cosmoclimatology to recognize the cyclic nature of at least some climatic phenomena. The icehouse portions of the mostly torrid Mesozoic didn’t develop continental ice sheets, as during the Paleozoic (at least twice) & Cenozoic, but their signal is still there.
Climatology is still in its infancy. Good data need to be gathered & testable hypotheses erected thereupon. But what is known IMO shows that CO2 is not the main driver of climate forcings on Earth, or even a very important one.

July 23, 2013 2:21 pm

milodonharlani says: ….
What you say is absolutely correct. One just need some little objectivity.
To the other readers, do not trust Willis post.
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf
The doubts of many readers are actually explained in my paper quite in details.
I cannot past and copy the entire paper content here. You just need to take some time to read the paper that is quite informative.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 23, 2013 2:39 pm

If Dr. Scaffeta wants to make his code and data available for replication, I’ll be glad to feature his work in a top post.

July 23, 2013 2:42 pm

To Willis, who says:
“You can’t just choose cycles because they work”
Yet, the scientific method only requires that a proposed model works.
Sorry Willies, your own comments prove that at the end you do not have arguments.
You are just handwaving.
And you are acting out of arrogance and malevolence to mislead the readers of this blog about a scientific research that in truth you do not understand.
Science is not done as you think, Willis. Learn to be humble when you are not able to understand things.
By the way, I am not doing curve fitting. Read my paper well before criticizing them with a list of non-senses.

Mark Bofill
July 23, 2013 2:46 pm

Nicola,
Thanks for the link to your paper. I’ve read through it a couple of times and am still thinking it through.
I would like to ask you a few question though that may assist me in understanding your paper:
1) From the arguments I read in Section 7 ‘PLANETARY CONTROL ON SOLAR AND CLIMATE CHANGE OSCILLATIONS THROUGHOUT THE HOLOCENE’, I walk away with the impression that the specific physical mechanisms for what you propose are unknown, since you list some possibilities there, is this correct?
2) If this is correct, how did you select the specific astronomical cycles to use? Was it a matter of finding those that matched frequency elements you were looking for, or was there another method?
3) Is the claim that you refuse to share the data, calculations, and code you used true? If so, would you explain why? If not, would you make these available?
Thank you,
Mark Bofill

July 23, 2013 3:06 pm

Anthony Watts says:
July 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm
“If Dr. Scaffeta wants to make his code and data available for replication, I’ll be glad to feature his work in a top post.”
Anthony, you talk as if I run a mysterious GCMs made of thousand equations and mysterious data. The equation of my model is very simple and is Eq. 7 in the paper.
Sum six harmonics listed in eq. 1-6 and add the radiative component (which is a first approximation of GHG, aerosol and volcano component) as explained in the paper which s based on the CMIP5 ensemble mean.
The model is a good first order approximation
I am making an exel file asked by Christopher Monckton

July 23, 2013 3:06 pm

milodonharlani says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:58 am
Volker Doormann says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:40 am
Re: Pseudoscience.
Does a curve-matcher necessarily have to understand the science behind his number-crunching? Or does making falsifiable predictions based upon it suffice? A good match could possibly lead to identifying candidate explanatory physical phenomena. Or not. The exercise may not be pseudoscientific, assuming that appellation is anything more meaningful than a nasty name.

That are questions and sayings, but they miss relevant points.
One point is that science is searching for coherence. If then a structure is discovered, which shows coherence between time functions, it is possible then to make predictions alike eclipses of the Sun by the Moon.
The next point is that the accuracy of the prediction in time an amplitude depends on the knowledge of the accuracy of the real function.
This is fulfilled by showing the solar tide time function of neighbour planets and the inverse square root function of the tide strength as well known from FFT spectra over 10000 years.
Using this functions you can not only simulate the solar tide functions for the last 5000 years, but also for the next 1000 years, simple because the astronomical NASA ephemerides are precise known to that date.
If you do not know what the nature of mass is or what the nature of gravity is, you still can predict eclipses because of knowing the geometrical laws of Kepler. And in Keplers laws are no physical forces involved. Just geometry. No one would call the prediction of eclipses pseudoscience, only because the are no physical forces in his formulas.
I have discovered the solar tide functions three years ago and they are known here to the regulars.
http://www.volker-doormann.org/ghi_solar_s.pdf
and an update from this year
http://www.volker-doormann.org/frequencies_of_climate.doc
Is is a tragedy that in this time there was absolutely no discussion on the subject in WUWT, neither by Anthony, nor by Dr. Scafetta, nor by anybody else.
V.

X Anomaly
July 23, 2013 3:11 pm

People attribute this quote (or something like it) to Einstein:
“It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.”
1) What Scafetta is doing is not simple.
2) It has way to many elements
3) It is not “elegant” in anyway shape or form. It’s an elephant. It’s more like “a dog’s breakfast”.
4)But most of all, there is no justification for any of the things he has done, because there is no statistically robust prediction.
Scafetta, why don’t you take up Willis challenge (and actually predict something?)

Mark Bofill
July 23, 2013 3:15 pm

Update to prior post, I see now that the discussion in section 7 only relates to the 11 year cycle. Still, the general form of my first question remains, am I just not understanding the physical mechanisms you propose, or are they not in there?
Questions 2 and 3 can stand as they are I think.
Thanks,

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 3:20 pm

Nicola Scafetta says:
July 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm
I should have qualified my remark about CO2 by saying “in the Phanerozoic Eon”. CO2 around 90,000 ppm in the Pre-Cambrian “Snowball Earth” glaciations may well have been a or even the major driver of deglaciation.

X Anomaly
July 23, 2013 3:21 pm

Willis’ challenge:
“Could he actually test his findings? Sure, and I’ve suggested it to him. What you need to do is run the analysis again, but this time using the data from say 1910 to 1959 only. Derive your 20 fitted variables using this data alone.
Then test your 20 fitted variables against the data from 1960 to 2009, and see how the variables pan out.”

Alcheson
July 23, 2013 3:31 pm

Hmm.. to me looks like another version of Mann’s Hokey Stick. How well does your hindcasting do all the way back to the MWP and LIA? Seems your natural variation parameters are remarkable stable…. like a hockey stick.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 3:34 pm

Volker Doormann says:
July 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm
The remarkable fact is that a number of cultures around the world were able to predict eclipses even without Kepler’s work. In March 1504, Columbus used an eclipse to his advantage before Copernicus’ work or Kepler’s birth. He impressed indigenous Jamaicans but would not have done the Maya.
Stonehenge for instance could have been used to keep track of eclipses & hence predict in which month (or moon) lunar eclipses would occur, based solely upon observation, without understanding of celestial mechanics.

Ulric Lyons
July 23, 2013 3:37 pm

“And I’ve spent a lot of time looking for astronomical correlations with any features of the climate … unfortunately, they are weak, few, and far between. As usual with the climate, the noise seems to be larger than the signal (if one exists).”
Me too, but I figured that I need to know what is driving the noise. Like how this March was so cold, but the previous March was baking, and why the heat wave this July etc.

July 23, 2013 3:46 pm

Mark Bofill says: July 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm
1) The details about the specific physical mechanisms are unknown. The model that I propose is a solar model that is based on the major expected theoretical cycles from tidal gravitational forces and solar speed relative to the solar system. These select the major expected frequencies that are tested to reproduce solar and temperature variations.
So, my model is based on specific major harmonics that are actually observed.
About ” Is the claim that you refuse to share the data, calculations, and code you used true? If so, would you explain why? If not, would you make these available?”
This is a story first invented by Benestad and then strongly publicized by Steven Mosher that continuously repeat it as a broken disk for defamation purpose.
The truth is that my paper contains all details to replicate my calculations and findings. My papers are peer reviewed and therefore they pass all standard tests used in science.
About the data, I am not using personal data, but I am downloading the data from the web, such as the HadCRUT4 records.
About the equations that I use, they are clearly written in my papers. Just read them.
About the codes, they are usually very simple and the most relevant one such at periodogram evaluations are very popular and written in books such a Numerical Recipes by Press et al.
You may even use popular tools of analysis such as the The Singular Spectrum Analysis – MultiTaper Method (SSA-MTM) Toolkit.
Of course to replicate a scientific finding one needs to master the technique of analysis and needs to know how to download the data via internet.
Benestad invented the story that I do not share data, formulas and codes because Benestad and Schmidt, 2009 published a paper criticizing some of my previous papers. Then I demonstrate that their paper is filled of math errors. See the story here
So, because Benestad could not reply, he invented the story that they failed the calculation of their paper because “after” its publication I would not have shared data and formula with them.
Which is by the way false because all data and code are public. One just need how to use them.
A detailed rebuttal of Benestad and Schmidt, 2009 is here
Scafetta N., 2013. Discussion on common errors in analyzing sea level accelerations, solar trends and global warming. Pattern Recognition in Physics, 1, 37–57.
http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/37/2013/prp-1-37-2013.html
where I replicate all their calculations and prove the errors without asking them codes or data.

Mark Bofill
July 23, 2013 4:00 pm

Nicola,
Thanks so much for your response. In this case, I will study your paper in depth with great interest.

July 23, 2013 4:02 pm

If extending your natural variation back to include the MWP and LIA makes them disappear (ie MWP not as warm and LIA nearly 2C colder than today) then you clearly are missing something in your natural variation equation . Rather than calling it hindcasting, what I think you have done is more aptly described as using the time frame 1850-1950 as your calibration period.

July 23, 2013 4:13 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm
You are referring to the exact physical mechanism(s), but I am not discussing them in my paper. Your accusation are empty.
The 9.07 year cycle can be constructed from the lunar harmonics, as also you calculate, and it is found in the climate system. Thus, the most likely interpretation of this temperature cycle is that is a lunar induced cycle.
The microscopic mechanisms will be better understood in the future and with them also the exact frequencies will be clarified.
At he moment there is not just one cycle, by many. And interfere among them.
For the purpose of my paper saying that the cycle is 9.07 or 9.03 year (for example) changes little.
Because on 100 years the error would be just a couple of months.
The same is about the 60 and 61 cycles, both may be present. But practically on a 200 year scale the difference would be just within 3 years, not a big deal, for a practical purpose. I need to use only one cycle instead of two because power spectra do not separate them on a 160 year data. So, in the present paper I made a different choice of my previous model, the results are very similar (not identical of course).
Your criticism is invalid in science. Science proceed steps by steps. First there are the empirical finding tested by semi empirical models like mines, after all mechanisms will be clarified one day.
Also for the ocean tides the right harmonics are not understood yet because the true mechanisms are not understood yet, so people use 40 theoretical astronomical harmonics obtained in various ways in regression models to get the correct variability.
You do not understand my method because you do not understand the tidal ocean model. Learn first to predict tides and then come back.

Fanakapan
July 23, 2013 4:30 pm

Obviously Science in the USA is akin to a Contact Sport, and promoting a new and unproven theory leaves one open to being Mugged :O That being the case, it becomes almost miraculous that Mann has survived to Prosper from his nonsense 🙂

July 23, 2013 4:45 pm

So three times the synodic cycle of Jupiter or otherwise some combination of Jupiter’s and Saturn’s orbits, gives the approximately 60-year component?
But the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a well-known approximately 60-year “pseudocycle”, long known to correlate well with Earth’s climate, arising from underlying ocean processes as Bob Tisdale has explained to us.
So why can’t this mysterious approximately 60-yr cycle of Scafetta actually be the well-known PDO?

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 4:52 pm

Fanakapan says:
July 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Mann is backed by the whole Climate-Industrial-Government Complex, which stands to profit financially, professionally or in power from the scam.

Ulric Lyons
July 23, 2013 4:57 pm

“I do love the “3″ in the 983 year cycle.”
953yrs would make sense for synodic periods. Maybe he simply misread it somewhere. There are no major heliocentric planetary cycles anywhere near 983yrs.

William Astley
July 23, 2013 5:08 pm

What we are currently observing has happened before and is cyclical. If we understand the physical reasons for past cyclic events we could based on current observations be able to predict what will happen next.
If I understand the mechanisms solar cycle 24 will provide observational data to resolve the physical reasons why there is correlation between sets of parameters where there should be no physical connection. If there is unequivocal observational evidence – the start of a series of new anomalies that suddenly appear for no reason correlating with the solar cycle 24 change – I would be interesting in collaborating with different people to write a set of papers to explain physically what is happening and what will happen in the future.
Comment:
As I stated based on observational evidence the sun will be spotless by the end of this year. There will be observational evidence that the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted which is physically not possible with the current solar model. I get that.
It appears, if I understand the physical reasons for the anomalies, that there are fundamental errors in the solar model, related to what creates the solar magnetic field, solar wind, sunspots, and coronal holes. The errors in the solar model explain a set of mature astronomical anomalies that are widely discussed in astronomical journals. Due to a number of practical and sociological reasons scientists do not suggest that there are or even that there could possibly be fundamental errors in the stellar model and cosmological theory. All discussion is within the limits of the paradigm. It is quite astonishing however the amount of mature anomalous astronomical observations (the first step when anomalous observations are found is to try to make them go away by identifying errors in measurement or systematical errors, the first stage can a decade or more to work through) to support the assertion that are fundamental errors in the stellar models and in cosmological theory.
Based on my understanding of the mechanisms sea level should now be significantly dropping due to the solar cycle 24 change.
A significant portion of the sea level rise in the last 20 years was not due to the oceans warming, ice melting, or the draining of aquifers. There is in the paleo record anomalous cyclic changes of ocean level.
As I have noted before there are also anomalous cyclic abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field.
Both the ocean level changes and the geomagnetic field changes correlate with planetary temperature changes. The geomagnetic field changes (geomagnetic field inclination changes 10 to 15 degrees) and geomagnetic field intensity changes of 5 to 10 fold are the principal cause of the major longer period climate change events.The physical cause of both the ocean level changes and the geomagnetic field changes is changes to the solar magnetic cycle.
Sea Level Controversy
ftp://falcon.grdl.noaa.gov/pub/bob/2004nature.pdf
Mass and volume contributions to twentieth-century
global sea level rise
The rate of twentieth-century global sea level rise and its causes are the subjects of intense controversy1–7. Most direct estimates from tide gauges give 1.5–2.0 mm/yr, whereas indirect estimates based on the two processes responsible for global sea level rise, namely mass and volume change, fall far below this range. Estimates of the volume increase due to ocean warming give a rate of about 0.5mmyr21 (ref. 8) and the rate due to mass increase, primarily from the melting of continental ice, is thought to be even smaller. Therefore, either the tide gauge estimates are too high, as has been suggested recently6, or one (or both) of the mass and volume estimates is too low.

July 23, 2013 5:29 pm

Nicola Scafetta says:
July 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm
Nature will eventually confirm or rebut my theory. Up to now Nature seems to follow it quite well.
So you claim. But without quantitative assessment. Now, science happens when scientists can build on the work by others. There are many ‘planetary’ claims out there. A new one is that by Abreu et al. Does your claim agree with theirs?
You are still evading this issue.

F. Ross
July 23, 2013 5:49 pm

“… It has no less than six different cycles, with periods of 9.1, 10.2, 21, 61, 115, and 983 years. …”
Is that enough cycles to enter next year’s Tour de France? Team Scaffeta? !:-)

Joe Born
July 23, 2013 5:53 pm

Dr. Scafetta:
Having had comments of my own–which I am pretty sure were correct–dismissed by Mr. Eschenbach, I am certainly willing to entertain the proposition is that your theory is compelling. But there are many of us out here who are not willing to invest too much time in checking out the theories of those who are unwilling to help us out.
To me, it seems that code taking the Fourier transform of a test period (e.g., 1880-1950), bringing the six highest components (with their respective amplitudes and phases) forward (through, e.g., 2012), and demonstrating that the results are close to the measured values would be easy and helpful. Yes, many of us would have little problem doing this on our own, but, then, we would be open to your contention that somehow we had done it wrong. If you show us the “right” way, we could efficiently determine how compelling we think your theory is.
Yes, we’re lazy; that’s part of the human condition. But If you want your theories to gain wider acceptance, you will be well advised to deal with the human condition.

July 23, 2013 6:29 pm

William Astley says:
July 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm
As I stated based on observational evidence the sun will be spotless by the end of this year. There will be observational evidence that the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted which is physically not possible with the current solar model.
There is no such evidence, and you can’t really invoke what ‘will be’. Get real.
Nicola Scafetta says:
July 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm
interested readers need to read my paper
I have read all your papers [even peer-reviewed some of the more abortive ones] and they are not convincing. Comparing yourself to Ptolemaeus, Kepler, and Newton does not imbue you with their authority. Considering your choice of language [here and in previous posts and comments], I think Willis does not need to apologize for anything.
Now, science happens when scientists can build on the work by others. There are many ‘planetary’ claims out there. A new one is that by Abreu et al. Does your claim agree with theirs?
You are still evading this issue.

LdB
July 23, 2013 7:08 pm

@Volker Doormann
You say: The problem with this saying is that some correlations do not imply causation, but are recognized as physical laws.
The problem is we recognize all of those laws also as wrong … incase you missed the memo classic physics is blatantly and definably wrong it is just a layman simplification … hard science says that.
Kepler, Newtonian mechanics all wrong we know they are and science says they are openly and loudly.
You say: But the main nonsense is that it is of no worth to stale was in not. Science is to recognize coherence, what ever it is.
Rubbish it does it hasn’t accepted it 100 years but you obviously missed that class?
Science hasn’t accepted correlation as proof in over a 100 years and no the lack of pirates is not causing global warming.
Your answer is completely wrong at science … end of story.

LdB
July 23, 2013 7:21 pm

Volker Doormann answer got me wondering has our teaching and reporting of science got that bad that the fact all these old classic laws are wrong not discussed anymore.
I had to go and look at current entries in Wikipedia and was relieved they at least do cover it under the section “limits to validity” which obviously we need to get promoted higher up the articles given some of the comments on here.

LdB
July 23, 2013 7:27 pm

@Nicola Scafetta
If all these celestial bodies are causing global warming have you considered tracking all the airplanes, satellites and the ISS because the effects from them must be massive … remember square law function for gravity. A 300 or 400 ton plane at a few kilometers off the earth is going to have a massive gravity tide compared to some pathetic planet millions of millions of kilometers away.
You see where all this garbage goes don’t you?

July 23, 2013 7:30 pm

LdB says:
July 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm
remember square law function for gravity. A 300 or 400 ton plane at a few kilometers off the earth is going to have a massive gravity tide
It is worse than that. The amplitude of tides varies with the inverse cube of the distance.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 7:36 pm

LdB says:
July 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm
What if it’s not just the direct gravitational effect of the gas giants on earth, but the combined effect of that plus whatever influence the big planets have on the sun, too, which could then also affect earth?
Small changes might have outsized impacts in a finely balanced system. Or maybe not. But let’s please pursue any remotely plausible avenue instead of declaring climate science settled on CO2 & practically nothing else. Saying, as do Al Gore & his minions, “What else could it be?” isn’t IMO science. Science should rather ask, “What could it be?”

July 23, 2013 7:38 pm

milodonharlani says:
July 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm
Saying, as do Al Gore & his minions, “What else could it be?” isn’t IMO science.
“It’s the Sun, stupid”. What else could it be?

LdB
July 23, 2013 7:45 pm

@milodonharlani
Sure and it could also be the science proposed dark matter which is either increased in or decreased in the sun. I mean the universe doesn’t hold together properly without dark matter ask any cosmologist.
See you just answered the question about why science no longer accepts correlation as cause we haven’t done since Einstein introduced General Relativity and showed how dangerous that can because we had taken Newtons law at face value.

July 23, 2013 7:46 pm

Thanks, Willis. A good article, if somewhat overly aggressive at times. Thanks for the subsequent clarifications in your comments.
To me, it comes down to whether Dr. Scafetta’s model works or not.
His “classic” model I think is shown in http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model_1 (scafetta-forecast.png).
I do not yet understand his latest paper, “Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs”, at http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf
I do understand you attempt to falsify this work from first principles and he attempts to defend it.
I see his work injured, but still standing. I will be watching.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 7:53 pm

LdB says:
July 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm
True. Science is never settled, even gravitational theory, which might have seemed settled from 1687 to 1905. How much less then can the complex phenomena of climate ever be?

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 8:01 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm
Maybe somebody asks that question, but I don’t. I have tried to explore every avenue through which it could be the sun, but when the hole drilled comes up dry, I move on to explore other fields. I greatly appreciate you & your colleagues fact & argument against an important solar influence on climate.
Still, it strikes me as improbable that the Spoerer, Maunder & Dalton Minima were just coincidentally cold periods.

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 8:09 pm

Dr. Svalgaard, may I ask why you wish to honor Dr. Eddy, if you disagree with the work which made him famous? Or am I misinformed?

nc
July 23, 2013 8:11 pm

Willis this is O/T but I enjoyed your blogs on BC’s carbon tax since I live there and have to put up with those nutters. Anyhow the CBC, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, our taxpayer paid news outlet on the same level as the BBC, has an item where BC government is calling the tax a success, no mention of C02 reduction, here is the link
CBC is very pro AGW and thier news reports in this format is usually open to comments but in this case comments are closed. I suspect because whenever anything they report re: AGW is getting increasing negative comments going against thier idol Suzuki.

July 23, 2013 8:12 pm

milodonharlani says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm
Still, it strikes me as improbable that the Spoerer, Maunder & Dalton Minima were just coincidentally cold periods.
The Little Ice Age was probably an extended period of cold 1400-1900 [ http://www.leif.org/research/Global-Temperatures-2000-yrs.png ]. That there were solar minima during that time is not so improbable as such occur every ~100 years or so; we would expect something like 4 during the LIA just by chance which seems to be what we got. I don’t see anything improbable about that.

July 23, 2013 8:19 pm

milodonharlani says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm
Dr. Svalgaard, may I ask why you wish to honor Dr. Eddy, if you disagree with the work which made him famous?
Jack Eddy was a good friend of mine and he should be honored for drawing attention to the Maunder Minimum and its possible ramifications [based on the information available to him at the time]. Posing the right question is the valuable thing to do, especially if your work inspires many other scientists to take a hard look at the question. That is why he rightfully deserves the honor [not necessarily for being correct].

Clive E. BIrkland
July 23, 2013 8:39 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:52 am
This is not a new idea. It goes back to 1852 and has not gained acceptance because it has not worked and not advanced science.
Wolf’s ideas back then are very different to today. But yourself , Willis and Anthony prefer to criticize and smear from above without having ANY understanding of the underlying principles.
Willis has been offered advise and teaching from Geoff Sharp in the past which he did not take up, Svalgaard is also yet to display any knowledge of the basic principles in a challenge raised by GS years ago on his website, and Anthony has no knowledge on the topic. You guys are not in a position to judge, let alone be capable of peer review.
Meanwhile a lot of esteemed scientists are now looking seriously at the possibility of planetary influence on solar output and Earth’s climate.

LBR
July 23, 2013 8:45 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm
The Little Ice Age was probably an extended period of cold 1400-1900 [ http://www.leif.org/research/Global-Temperatures-2000-yrs.png ]. That there were solar minima during that time is not so improbable as such occur every ~100 years or so; we would expect something like 4 during the LIA just by chance which seems to be what we got. I don’t see anything improbable about that.
What a joke, the LIA has 4 of the deepest grand minima of the Holocene, in a row!

milodonharlani
July 23, 2013 8:52 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm
Those minima did occur during the LIA, but based upon proxy data reconstructions, they seem to be associated with the coldest portions of that cold period, noticeably cooler than the phases in between them. Dalton I’ll grant does also coincide with some major volcanic activity, IIRC.
We may soon have the opportunity to see what a comparable minimum might mean during a warm period.
Your reply to my question on Dr. Eddy is well said. Thanks.

July 23, 2013 8:59 pm

milodonharlani says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm
Those minima did occur during the LIA, but based upon proxy data reconstructions, they seem to be associated with the coldest portions of that cold period, noticeably cooler than the phases in between them.
Not really, in general. Look at the years around 1600 or right now for that matter. Now, we do expect a dip of the order of 0.05-0.1 degree at low solar activity [simply because TSI is a bit lower], so you might be picking some of those up. None of this shows that the Sun is a major driver of climate.

July 23, 2013 9:07 pm

LBR says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm
What a joke, the LIA has 4 of the deepest grand minima of the Holocene, in a row!
Successive minima are always in a row and they will necessarily occur over the 500-yr interval that is the LIA.
Clive E. BIrkland says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm
Willis has been offered advise and teaching from Geoff Sharp
Geoff does know enough to give advise or teaching on this subject. All he can do is spout his opinion.

Ian Wilson
July 23, 2013 9:11 pm

In response to my comments at:
July 23, 2013 at 9:45 am
Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:52 am. It goes back to 1852 and has not gained acceptance because it has not worked and not advanced science.”
The following response is given in the spirit of an ally and friend who does not want
to see Anthony’s reputation sullied by one poor judgement:
Leif, you are not paying attention: I used the words “new and/or alternative ideas”. The overall concept is not new but some of the recent proposals in this field have only surfaced in the last few years, and you know it. And as per usual, you counter scientific arguments with empty bluster.
I see that Anthony, Willis and Leif are running scared. That’s why they’re taking out all stops to discredit an idea that is starting to get traction in the scientific community.
Leif, you are not telling Anthony and Willis everything are you? I thought not. Otherwise, they would know about the upcoming rush of solar scientists who are about to publish solid results supporting the solar-planetary theory.
Anthony and Willis, can I suggest that you ambush Leif at your next coffee break and ask him to spill all of the beans…. otherwise you guys are going to have egg all over your collective faces.
If he denies all, ask him why some of his former buddies are driving the winds of change.
REPLY: Let me say for the record:
1. I don’t care what your opinion is on this matter.
2. I have other reasons that I’m not privvy to disclose.
3. Nobody is “running scared”. The work simply has no merit in my opinion, at one time I thought it did.
Anthony

July 23, 2013 9:19 pm

Clive E. BIrkland says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm
Willis has been offered advise and teaching from Geoff Sharp in the past
Geoff does not have a grasp on elementary physics. His wrong ideas about Angular Momentum transfer shows how little he knows. This paper by Shirley exposes the depth of Geoff’s ignorance: http://www.leif,org/research/Spin-Orbit-Coupling-Shirley-JPL.png
LBR says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm
What a joke, the LIA has 4 of the deepest grand minima of the Holocene, in a row!
Apart from this not being true, four consecutive minima always occur in a row.

July 23, 2013 9:38 pm

Ian Wilson says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Leif, you are not paying attention: I used the words “new and/or alternative ideas”. The overall concept is not new but some of the recent proposals in this field have only surfaced in the last few years
By definition ‘recent’ have only surfaced in the ‘last few years’.
Some of the people you are talking about are some of my best friends and we are working together at scientific workshops, e.g. http://www.leif.org/Svalgaard_ISSI_Proposal_Base.pdf
Their basic argument is that they have identified a large number of peaks in the power spectrum and calculate that the chance of those peaks being there by chance is something like 0.000,000,000,01. I show in http://www.leif.org/research/Comment-Planetary-Peaks.pdf that their argument is flawed in that all the peaks they identify can be harmonics of a single peak near 1000 years, so are not independent and their probability argument falls. A single peak at 1000 years is all it takes. Study Figure 1 in my comment paper carefully.

July 23, 2013 9:39 pm
Ian Wilson
July 23, 2013 9:41 pm

In response to
Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm
So you know all about the tides, do you?
Then you should know about these papers, Willis!
Millennial Climate Variability: Is There a Tidal Connection?
WALTER MUNK, MATTHEW DZIECIUCH and STEVEN JAYNE
J O U R N A L O F C L I M A T E, 2001, VOL15, p. 370
Significant dissipation of tidal energy in the deep ocean inferred from satellite altimeter data
G. D. Egbert & R. D. Ray
NATURE, VOL 405, 15 JUNE 2000, p. 775
Moon, tides and climate
Carl Wunsch
NATURE, VOL 405, 15 JUNE 2000, p. 743
Internal Tides and Ocean Mixing
Chris Garrett
SCIENCE, VOL 301, 26 SEPTEMBER 2003 , p. 1858

July 23, 2013 9:47 pm

Ian Wilson says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm
So you know all about the tides, do you?
“It is not what you know that gets you in trouble, but what you that ain’t”
The tides the planets raise on the Sun and the Earth are 100 to 10,000 times smaller than those the Moon raises on the Earth. Did you know that?

Ian Wilson
July 23, 2013 9:48 pm

Anthony,
I stand by the words I posted above:
“The following response is given in the spirit of an ally and friend who does not want
to see Anthony’s reputation sullied by one poor judgement:”
It is not about who is right or who is wrong. Nor is it about what you or I believe is true. The evidence will prevail, no matter what you think about me or my opinions.
In other words it is not personal…You are about to get a lesson in humility. I just tried to
warn you as a ally.
REPLY: Understood, I have no concerns over whatever this paper is supposed to be coming up. With all the evidence I have seen thus far, I don’t perceive significant supporting evidence for planetary/barycentric style climate theory. – Anthony

July 23, 2013 9:54 pm

“One of these days those folks will wake up to who is running that outfit. – Anthony”
Anthony,
to be fair, the false flag trick worked on Dr. Spencer and Jeff at the Airvent fell for it too. It also worked on you for a considerable period and may in part be working still. PSI worked hard to make anyone who challenged the radiative greenhouse effect hypothesis look ridiculous. You were happy to choose the “safe” path and group any who challenged the idea of a net warming effect from radiative gases as “Slayers” or PSI believers.
You are likely correct in supporting Willis’ criticisms of cyclomaina, however Willis is not always correct. Willis, as far as I know, still believes incident IR in the 15 micron band can slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool 😉

AndyG55
July 23, 2013 10:57 pm

Please, would someone UN-ADJUST the HadCrud record before they use it !!!

Clive E. Birkland
July 23, 2013 10:57 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm
Finally, you seem to think that I deny planetary influences on the earth. Nothing of the sort. I just haven’t found any evidence for them, and believe me, I’ve looked very hard … and you certainly haven’t presented any such evidence.
You have not looked hard and have no grasp of the principles…quoting you looked at Theo’s stuff is not good enough. Some advise would be to go to Geoff’s site and take him up on his offer to educate. Then you might be in a better position to claim some knowledge, otherwise you are just making a fool of yourself.

LBR
July 23, 2013 11:08 pm

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm
LBR says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm
What a joke, the LIA has 4 of the deepest grand minima of the Holocene, in a row!
———————-
Apart from this not being true, four consecutive minima always occur in a row.

If you are going to respond can you at least be factual, I don’t know what solar record you are using, but you have it wrong. I was referring to the depth which of course is the main concern, and there has not been another period like the LIA for at least 5000 years looking at the Steinhilber or Solanki record.
Steinhilber, isn’t he the esteemed scientist that backs planetary influence, along with others like Abreu, McCraken, Beer etc?????

July 23, 2013 11:09 pm

Clive E. Birkland says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm
You have not looked hard and have no grasp of the principles
I shall confess that I also have no grasp of the principles behind astrology, homeopathy, Scientology, Electric Universe, and other assorted pseudo-scientific babble, but I do have a firm grasp on physics and that is what counts [and what Geoff – and you – lack].
One mark of the sorry ‘science’ behind planetary musings is that the various proponents can’t even agree on what the whole thing is. E.g. I have repeatedly asked Scafetta if his correlations and peaks and mechanism match those of Abreu et al. or any of the other peddlers, for that matter. As expected: no reply.

July 23, 2013 11:13 pm

LBR says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm
and there has not been another period like the LIA for at least 5000 years looking at the Steinhilber or Solanki record.
But here have been lots of other dips in solar activity for the last 10,000 years, e.g. Figure 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/swsc130003p.pdf
Steinhilber, isn’t he the esteemed scientist that backs planetary influence
Steinhilber is no longer active in the field.

July 23, 2013 11:48 pm

For the records.
Willis Eschenbach has shown Dr. Scafetta’s Figure 11:
“Figure 2. Scafetta’s Figure 11 (click to enlarge) ORIGINAL CAPTION: (Left) Schematic representation of the rise and fall of several civilizations since Neolithic times that well correlates with the 14C radio- nucleotide records used for estimating solar activity (adapted from Eddy’s figures in Refs. [90, 91]).
The complex near 900 year period in the Eddy’s 14C figure I have overlayed with the two solar tide functions of Pluto/Neptun plus Quaoar/Pluto back in time 5000 years in this graph created 26th February 2010 :
http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/ghi_23_eddy.gif
Because the strength of the solar tidal force is a square root function of the tide frequency the strength of the near 900 year solar tide period of Quaoar/Pluto is 2 times that of the 246 year solar tide time period of Pluto/Neptun. The solar tide period is t = 1/[2 * (|f1-f2|)], while f1 and f2 are the frequencies of the bodies.
If Dr. Scafetta now comes up with a 900 year cycle out of the box, when I have informed him years ago about my discovery without an answer, the history of this discovery on the 11th February 2010 should be known to anybody
Thank you, Anthony.
V.

Clive E. Birkland
July 23, 2013 11:55 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm
How on earth would you know how hard I looked? That’s just hubristic posturing, you weren’t there when I was looking, you have no clue what I’ve done.
I have been watching your comments on this topic for years. At no time have you showed even a basic understanding.
Give me some detail on your knowledge, what major concept does Theo use to predict grand minima??

richard verney
July 23, 2013 11:55 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
July 23, 2013 at 10:12 am
///////////////////////////
I am well acquainted with the story of the elephant; heaven knows, it has been so often recounted. It might have been amusing the first time one heard, but after a dozen or more times it becomes rather stale. It is like a stand up comedian peddling the same old jokes that he was telling 20 years ago, and when challenged, claiming that the old ones are the best..
In fact, I would have thought that the majority of the readers of this blog were equally familiar with it, such that there was no need for you to recount the story at length, and to do so is an insult to their knowledge. It adds nothing as to whether some or all of the parameters used by Scaffeta are relevant and/or in some way determinative. It merely suggests that in some incidences there may be no more substance than mere coincidence.
You raise a valid underlying point but the article is marred by the tone. Your article might have been better had it briefly dealt with cyclomania and curve fitting, but then go on to focus on Mr Scafetta not dealing with your enquiries, not providing data and codes etc. That is just my opinion, and will therefore not be equally shared by all, but likewise it will be as valid as anyone elses.

July 23, 2013 11:56 pm

LBR says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm
But here have been lots of other dips in solar activity for the last 10,000 years, e.g. Figure 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/swsc130003p.pdf without any LIAs. First you claimed ‘the largest dips in the whole Holecene’, then you shortened that to 5000 years, and if you look at the dips the last 400 years, they are not particularly spectacular.

July 23, 2013 11:58 pm

The discussion continues. As I said above the interested readers should read my paper and not trust Willis comments. My paper can be downloaded from here
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf
Willis comment is filled of errors also because he did not read my paper, he simply skimmed it, as I have already demonstrated above and also numerous people noted.
Very likely also Antony did not read it as he continuously repeats his Barycentric convinction ignoring the result from tidal forcings, electromagnetic forcings etc.And he did not note that my data and the equations are clearly written in the paper and easily accessible.
Willis continues with his handwave argument. At my challenge to try to predict the ocean tides that need much more astronomical harmonics (up to 40) than my 6, the only thing that he was able to do was to copy and past a list of tidal harmonics names from somewhere.
Try to do some homework, Willis. Take a tidal record with a sufficient resolution (e.g. 10 minutes) for a month, and let us see how you use it to predict the tides starting from nothing. Develop your own tidal theory from the beginning, do not use the recipes that were already developed. Start to identify the harmonics, from the data, try to give them a physical meaning and we will see whether or not you also will end up using a large number of oscillations.
I need to agree with Ian Wilson that Anthony, Willis and Leif are isolating themselves on this issue due to their inability to see how scientific things are moving around. New papers in the peer reviewed literature are coming out.

July 23, 2013 11:59 pm

Clive E. Birkland says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm
what major concept does Theo use to predict grand minima??
the golden ratio and the five fingers [giving us the middle finger as the maximum]:
http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/golden.htm
This is not science.

July 24, 2013 12:00 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:56 pm
But here have been lots of other dips in solar activity for the last 10,000 years, e.g. Figure 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/swsc130003p.pdf without any LIAs. First you claimed ‘the largest dips in the whole Holecene’, then you shortened that to 5000 years, and if you look at the dips the last 400 years, they are not particularly spectacular.

July 24, 2013 12:03 am

Willis
re: comment
Two primary spectral components (16.13 & 21.4 years) of the geomagnetic field change at core-mantle boundary (Jackson-ETHZ & Bloxham–Harvard data) produce the AMO’s periods from the sum and difference of the two relevant frequencies.

LBR
July 24, 2013 12:18 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:00 am
But here have been lots of other dips in solar activity for the last 10,000 years, e.g. Figure 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/swsc130003p.pdf without any LIAs. First you claimed ‘the largest dips in the whole Holecene’, then you shortened that to 5000 years, and if you look at the dips the last 400 years, they are not particularly spectacular.
You are misquoting me, I said the LIA contained some of the deepest grand minima of the Holocene and 4 of them happened in a row (last one not so strong) which is the significant point. But you choose to right off the era as nothing unusual, this is how you do science…all smoke and mirrors.

July 24, 2013 12:20 am

Just an addition on Anthony, Willis and Leif who are isolating themselves on this issue due to their inability to see how scientific things are moving around.
One of the major aspect of science is to be able to distinguish among plausible theories.
When people do not have a sufficient physical and mathematical background, such as Anthony, Willis and Leif, they should avoid stating non-senses and showing up with an attitude finalized to deny everything.
Anthony, Willis and Leif are simply arguing that the theory that I propose must be wrong because they do not understand it a-priory. Which evidently is not a valid argument because they do not even try to read my paper to try to understand what is written there.
A simple way to evaluate theories is to check whether an agreement with the data exists.
In the case of the IPCC AGW Anthony and the like can say that those models are not trustful not because Anthony understand their physics, very likely he has no clue about it as he has no clue about the solar-planetary theory. Anthony and the like can say that those models are not trustful because the models fail to properly hindcast the data such as the post 2000 standstill.
In this they express a reasonable argument.
however, in the case of the theory that I propose, Anthony do not find any disagreement with the data. My hind casts and forecasts are succeeding.
But instead of wondering, they handwave just for denying. This is not a mature way to act. It is very childish indeed.

July 24, 2013 12:28 am

LBR says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:18 am
You are misquoting me, I said the LIA contained some of the deepest grand minima of the Holocene and 4 of them happened in a row (last one not so strong)
You said:
LBR says:
July 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm
What a joke, the LIA has 4 of the deepest grand minima of the Holocene, in a row!
As you can see form Steinhilbers data Figure 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/swsc130003p.pdf
there were something like 9 deep minima the past 9,400 years [the later part of the Holocene]. Only one of those occurred during the LIA. The other minima during the LIA were not deep [compare with all the other about 50 such dips]. But you are correct that all dips happen in a row: first one, then another one, followed by yet another one, and lo-and-behold one more, etc.

LdB
July 24, 2013 12:39 am

@Ian Wilson
What I think Anthony is telling you is he has learnt to stay more firmly with a hard science approach supposed correlations come and go but unless you can firmly and scientifically link the correlations they likely mean nothing.
What I personally have noticed is a younger Anthony might have gone off science reservation and got all excited about supposed correlations but now he sticks with the hardened scientific edge which I suspect has something he has hardened by actually publishing scientific publications.
Anthony is in no danger of any sort of personal damage because he is simply echoing a line that all hard science does … we call it prove it or shut up publishing.
Most of the problems climate science has got itself into is because it hasn’t taken hard science approach because it had a political agenda that it felt it needed to compel the public to act. So it bent scientific approach and finds itself in the mess that it is at the moment.
Anthony will never get into any problem taking the approach he has he can simply blame it on the rest of us scientists 🙂
Take the alternative and see how much of a mess Mr Monckton is going to be in going forward …… whats next he can get a correlation between AGW with Aliens, Pink rabbits, Pirates, number of not corrupt politicians the list goes on and on. According to Christopher any correlation will do so long as you can show a correlation its a science fact apparently.
I applaud you Anthony … I have now seen you take on greenhouse effect dragon slayers and Scafetta voodoo you qualify to call yourself an establishment scientist in my book … welcome to the club.

July 24, 2013 12:44 am

Nicola Scafetta says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm
New papers in the peer reviewed literature are coming out.
I have repeatedly asked you to tell us if your peaks, periods, and ‘mechanisms’ match those claimed in the ‘New’ papers. And you still evade that issue.

LBR
July 24, 2013 12:48 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:28 am
The “in a row” comment is the point you seem to be missing, but I know you do not know the relevance of multiple deep grand minima. Keep watching the new science and you will learn.

Clive E. Birkland
July 24, 2013 12:54 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm
Clive E. Birkland says:
July 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm
what major concept does Theo use to predict grand minima??
—————-
the golden ratio and the five fingers [giving us the middle finger as the maximum]:
http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/golden.htm
This is not science.

I agree most of it is rubbish, which you are happy to trot out. But the answer is incorrect and nothing to do with the main concept of predicting grand minima. One of his theories is close to reality and shows that amongst the chaff you can find a gem.
C’mon guys the question is not hard if you understand the theory and concepts. What major concept did Theo use to predict grand minima?

July 24, 2013 12:56 am

LBR says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:48 am
The “in a row” comment is the point you seem to be missing, but I know you do not know the relevance of multiple deep grand minima.
Several consecutive minima are always in a row.
But is is good to see that you do not object [how can you, considering the data] to “there were something like 9 deep minima the past 9,400 years [the later part of the Holocene]. Only one of those occurred during the LIA. The other minima during the LIA were not deep [compare with all the other about 50 such dips].” So, as you noted, nothing special.

LBR
July 24, 2013 1:03 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:56 am
Several consecutive minima are always in a row.
But is is good to see that you do not object [how can you, considering the data] to “there were something like 9 deep minima the past 9,400 years [the later part of the Holocene]. Only one of those occurred during the LIA. The other minima during the LIA were not deep [compare with all the other about 50 such dips].” So, as you noted, nothing special.

The Wolf, Sporer and Maunder minima are the deepest of the Holocene, you must be living in another universe.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/image6.png

July 24, 2013 1:09 am

LBR says:
July 24, 2013 at 1:03 am
The Wolf, Sporer and Maunder minima are the deepest of the Holocene, you must be living in another universe.
No, I just have better data [Steinhilber 2010]:
http://www.leif.org/research/Holocene-HMF-B.png

LdB
July 24, 2013 1:19 am

@Nicola Scafetta
I second Leif Svalgaard … link the correlations scientifically or drop this garbage.
Want me to show you the problem Nicola perhaps I should publish this … see your figure 17 it shows a lot of proposed links.
However you do realize there I can think of one you left out ….. aliens pulling a gravitational slingshot around earth that takes energy out of earth and imparts it into the spaceship.
So now one wonders have the number of UFO sightings increased lately .. google is good for that sort of thing
WOW it even explains why global warming has leveled lately …. LOL
There you go so the increase in aliens preforming gravitational slingshots around earth is a possible cause of global warming and you don’t have that on your figure 17.
Come on Nicola give me any statistic you care and I promise I can make up a pseudoscience junk connection to global warming trend I have played this for hours with friends.
I already gave a good one above also not on your figure 17 … gravity waves from aircraft overhead I mean your whole theory is about gravity waves isn’t it?
Should I publish my findings Nicola and will you support them?

LdB
July 24, 2013 1:46 am

Wait stop the press this is a corker I have solved the whole climate change debate
Thinking about airplanes and a little google and I found a scientific report “Climate change could intensify airplane turbulence”
http://www.expedia.com.au/travel-news/travel/flights/climate-change-could-intensify-airplane-turbulence-419055.aspx
Now planes also create air turbulence so it’s obvious using Nicola Scafetta logic that we have a positive feedback mechanism and that’s what is causing global warming.
Just need to draw some pretty graphs and pictures and write my paper and I am pretty sure I can have the whole climate thing wrapped up then … don’t you love science in the fast lane.

William Astley
July 24, 2013 4:31 am

As stated, I believe I understand the physical reason why there is correlation of tides, sea level, planetary temperate, planetary orbital position, and with solar magnetic cycle changes. There is also correlation of the geomagnetic field changes (abrupt axial changes to the field of 10 to 15 degrees which are called archeomagnetic jerks and cyclic excursions where the field intensity drops by a factor of 5 to 10) with solar magnetic cycle changes.
Fundamental errors in models and in theory are found by looking for and analyzing anomalies. For example the physical reason for the glacial/interglacial cycle and abrupt cyclic climate change is an anomaly. There is no physical explanation as to what could cause abrupt climate changes or abrupt changes to the geomagnetic field. The changes are too large, too fast, and are pseudo cyclical which cannot be explained by the current models. There is no explanation as to why the glacial/interglacial cycle from 3 million years ago to 800,000 years ago followed a 41,000 year cycle and then 800,000 years ago changed to a 100,000 year cycle. There is a very long list of anomalies that indicate the Milankovitch insolation theory is not correct. Something else is causing the glacial/interglacial cycle and is causing the cyclic geomagnetic excrusions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.svg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles
Milankovitch cycle Problems (William: In your face anomalies which indicate theory failure.)
2.1 100,000-year problem
2.2 Stage 5 problem
2.3 Effect exceeds cause
2.4 The unsplit peak problem
2.5 The transition problem
2.6 Identifying dominant factor
http://www.agu.org/pubs/sample_articles/cr/2002PA000791/2002PA000791.pdf
The 41 kyr world: Milankovitch’s other unsolved mystery
As I have stated there is a very impressive set of mature investigated astronomical anomalies that support the assertion that there are fundamental errors in the stellar model which explain past and current correlations to solar magnetic cycle changes.
As we are in the middle of a climate war and premature discussion of issues related to solar magnetic cycle interruption could be disruptive, I am waiting to discuss the details to support the above assertions until there is unequivocal evidence the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted. (Yes I understand that it is not possible based on the current solar model for the solar magnetic cycle to be interrupted. I disagree that there is no observational evidence that an interruption is underway; there is no point however in arguing that point as there will be confirming evidence and a NASA announcement of a significant unexplained solar magnetic cycle anomaly if the assertion is correct.)
In the 20th century there were two significant geomagnetic anomalies appeared correlating with solar magnetic cycle changes: 1) The South Atlantic geomagnetic field anomaly (Discovered in 1958, likely started to appear when the solar magnetic super cycle started) and 2) the abrupt increase (by a factor of 5) in the drift velocity of the North magnetic pole (appeared suddenly in 1990s).
What Caused Recent Acceleration of the North Magnetic Pole Drift?
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010EO510001/abstract
…During the 1990s the NMP drift speed suddenly increased from 15 kilometers per year at the start of the decade to 55 kilometers per year by the decade’s end. This acceleration was all the more surprising given that the NMP drift speed had remained less than 15 kilometers per year over the previous 150 years of observation. Why did NMP drift accelerate in the 1990s? Answering this question may require revising a long-held assumption about processes in the core at the origin of fluctuations in the intensity and direction of the Earth’s magnetic field on decadal to secular time scales, …
Solar observations and questions:
1) Sunspot group counting problems. Look at this picture of the sun. How many sunspot groups?
Is you answer three? No, the correct answer – Boulder (NOAA/SWPC) – is five. Two of the sunspots groups are not visible.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/solar/
2) Sunspots are turning into pores
Why? No official answer to data.
http://www.solen.info/solar/
3) Is the fact that sunspots are turning into pores related to the fact that magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots is decaying linearly? Yes
4) Has what is currently happening to the sun happened before? Yes
5) Based on what has happened before what will be the consequences the solar magnetic cycle change? Cooling of the planet, followed by a geomagnetic excursion
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=24476
Glacial Records Depict Ice Age Climate in Synch Worldwide
“Because the Earth is oriented in space in such a way that the hemispheres are out of phase in terms of the amount of solar radiation they receive, it is surprising to find that the climate in the Southern Hemisphere cooled off repeatedly during a period when it received its largest dose of solar radiation,” says Singer. “Moreover, this rapid synchronization of atmospheric temperature between the polar hemispheres appears to have occurred during both of the last major ice ages that gripped the Earth.”
http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/416/
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 30,000 to 100,000 kyr; it may not therefore be as stable as we thought. … ….Recent studies suggest that the Earth’s magnetic field has fallen dramatically in magnitude and changed direction repeatedly since the last reversal 700 kyr ago (Langereis et al. 1997; Lund et al. 1998). These important results paint a rather different picture of the long-term behaviour of the field from the conventional one of a steady dipole reversing at random intervals: instead, the field appears to spend up to 20 per cent of its time in a weak, non-dipole state (Lund et al. 1998). One of us (Gubbins 1999) has suggested that this is evidence of a rapid natural timescale (500 yr) in the outer core, and that the magnetic field is usually prevented from reversing completely by the longer diffusion time of the inner core (2 to 5 kyr). This raises a number of important but difficult questions for geodynamo theory. How can the geomagnetic field change so rapidly and dramatically? Can slight variations of the geomagnetic field affect the dynamics of core convection significantly? If so, is the geodynamo process intrinsically unstable?
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v374/n6524/abs/374687a0.html
New evidence for extraordinary rapid change of geomagnetic field during a reversal
Palaeomagnetic results from lava flows recording a geomagnetic polarity reversal at Steens Mountain, Oregon suggest the occurrence of brief episodes of astonishingly rapid field change of six degrees per day. The evidence is large, systematic variations in the direction of remanent magnetization as a function of the temperature of thermal demagnetization and of vertical position within a single flow, which are most simply explained by the hypothesis that the field was changing direction as the flow cooled.

Mark Bofill
July 24, 2013 5:51 am

Nicola said

However, other papers were published and there may be a need to read them all to know the details, including the references.

and he wasn’t kidding. Slow going.

July 24, 2013 6:15 am

I just realized that Willis did not report the abstract of my paper.
Some readers may be interested in it to have a more balanced summary of my work that does not appear in Willis (unprofessional) comments.
So this is the full reference
SOLAR AND PLANETARY OSCILLATION CONTROL ON CLIMATE CHANGE:
Hind-cast, Forecast and a Comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs
by Nicola Scafetta
take it from
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf
or visit my web-site
http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/
Abstract:
Global surface temperature records (e.g. HadCRUT4) since 1850 are characterized by climatic oscillations synchronous with specific solar, planetary and lunar harmonics superimposed on a background warming modulation. The latter is related to a long millennial solar oscillation and to changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere (e.g. aerosol and greenhouse gases). How- ever, current general circulation climate models, e.g. the CMIP5 GCMs, to be used in the AR5 IPCC Report in 2013, fail to reconstruct the observed climatic oscillations. As an alternate, an empirical model is proposed that uses: (1) a specific set of decadal, multidecadal, secular and millennial astronomic harmonics to simulate the observed climatic oscillations; (2) a 0.45 attenuation of the GCM ensemble mean simulations to model the anthropogenic and volcano forcing effects. The proposed empirical model outperforms the GCMs by better hind-casting the observed 1850-2012 climatic patterns. It is found that: (1) about 50-60% of the warming observed since 1850 and since 1970 was induced by natural oscillations likely resulting from harmonic astronomical forcings that are not yet included in the GCMs; (2) a 2000-2040 approximately steady projected temperature; (3) a 2000-2100 projected warming ranging between 0.3°C and 1.6°C , which is significantly lower than the IPCC GCM ensemble mean projected warming of 1.1°C to 4.1°C; (4) an equilibrium climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling centered in 1.35°C and varying between 0.9°C and 2.0°C .

July 24, 2013 6:49 am

Clive E. Birkland says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:54 am
I agree most of it is rubbish, which you are happy to trot out. But the answer is incorrect and nothing to do with the main concept of predicting grand minima. One of his theories is close to reality and shows that amongst the chaff you can find a gem.
When it was found that the spoon bender cheated at least two thirds of the time, the devoted followers exclaimed: “so what, at least one third is the genuine article”.
William Astley says:
July 24, 2013 at 4:31 am
As stated, I believe I understand the physical reason why there is correlation of tides, sea level, planetary temperate, planetary orbital position, and with solar magnetic cycle changes.
At an asylum for the insane there are three Napoleons and two Einsteins. At least so the inmates claim. Go join them, and don’t forget to reserve your ticket to Stockholm to go collect your Nobel Prize. Perhaps it will be a split prize as there seems to be another candidate here who also understands it all.

July 24, 2013 7:09 am

Clive E. Birkland says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:54 am
What major concept did Theo use to predict grand minima?
Ah, here is the gem you are seeking:
“A phase reversal [an irregular maximum instead of the regular minimum] occurs when the starting phase of a big finger collides with the initial phase of a small finger. The new rhythm continues until the next starting phase of a big finger intervenes”.
All is clear.

Alcheson
July 24, 2013 7:09 am

Nicolas says “My hind casts and forecasts are succeeding.”
I still have yet to see your hindcast include the LIA and MWP.

July 24, 2013 7:34 am

Willis Eschenbach:
At “John Daly, Station of the Week – Northern Norway (3 Oct 03),” ; a Postscript, 08: Oct.2003 reads:
___ “Willis Eschenbach did a closer examination of Vardø and also found the same discontinuity around 1920, amounting to 0.73°C. …..”; the published graphic is here: http://www.john-daly.com/stations/vardo2.gif .
What was the reason for this significant annual discontinuity? Would your reasoning be different if this sudden shift has shown up particularly during the winter season from about 1920 to 1940, starting in the Arctic sector of the North Atlantic, but increased subsequently the air temperatures all over the Northern Hemisphere (N.America until 1933, in Europe until 1940)? It could not have been tides, neither the sun, and most unlikely any ‘cycle’, as discussed here: http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/ , which indicates that it had been merely an ocean issue. Your mentioned Vardø examination and findings is well appreciated, and an inspiration for a better understanding of the global warming period from 1920 to 1940.

Clive E. Birkland
July 24, 2013 7:50 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 24, 2013 at 7:09 am
Clive E. Birkland says:
July 24, 2013 at 12:54 am
What major concept did Theo use to predict grand minima?
—————-
Ah, here is the gem you are seeking:
“A phase reversal [an irregular maximum instead of the regular minimum] occurs when the starting phase of a big finger collides with the initial phase of a small finger. The new rhythm continues until the next starting phase of a big finger intervenes”.
All is clear.

What is clear is that none of the procrastinators know what Landschidt used to predict grand minima. If you do not know this basic piece of information, you know nothing.
Keep trying, you might learn something, his method is not 100% correct, but close to the mark (off by 20 years).

LdB
July 24, 2013 8:04 am

@Nicola Scafetta
=> (1) about 50-60% of the warming observed since 1850 and since 1970 was induced by natural oscillations likely resulting from harmonic astronomical forcings that are not yet included in the GCMs
So explain that garbage stop dancing around the issue that statement is mumbo jumbo.
Even if you take standard Milankovitch theory it has no science basis and is garbage because it’s basis is Kepler’s laws which science already knows is wrong. You can’t base a theory on something you know is wrong and make it right and expect science to go along.
We tried that once with Newton’s laws and it got us into a pile of trouble because it was wrong but the observation correlated well. Don’t ever expect science to do that again and your correlation is never going to be as good as gravity was to Newtons law and I don’t care how long you play with your wiggly lines.
As scientists we don’t care how well you line all this garbage up it’s still garbage unless you can correctly fix all this up.
So how about starting at the beginning and acting like a proper scientist …. from memory someone has already done all the corrections to Kepler’s orbits into GR/SR and yes Keplers orbits were wrong as well.
When you have boosted all the cycles into GR/SR you might actually be able to see what is going on and you should even be able to have a nice computer program and model to look at what is happening.
At that point you might be able to see clearly what is happening and stop guessing and you might even be able to start to try and formulate what an astronomical forcing is and perhaps even work out how to measure it to prove a theory.
We call that process science.
So are you a scientist or into voodoo and black magic Mr Nicola Scafetta your choice.

John Tillman
July 24, 2013 8:18 am

Leif Svalgaard says:
July 24, 2013 at 7:09 am
Procrastinators or prognosticators?

LdB
July 24, 2013 9:24 am

It occurred to me some people do not get why Nicola Scafetta idea as it stands won’t work and why he has to boost the problem into GR/SR so it’s worth taking a quick post to explain it I guess.
The problem starts with Kepler and Newton and in there world the force of gravity is instantaneous it is not restricted to the speed of light … think about the delay in transmission to anything we send into space. Next you have the problem that they view the gravity as a force rather than an acceleration and then you have relativistic or speed effects of the bodies speed and they speed up and down as they orbit. The result is you end up with something that sort of starts to look like a chaotic system.
The problem you face is the inaccuracy in classic physics in all of that on a multi body solution is actually higher than the thing you are trying to measure so put bluntly classic physics will fail.
There are some simplified post-Newtonian ways to study all that but there is a big problem to tidy the system up we use the position of the sun as the reference frame and use Cowell’s method, Enke-style integrator or a few other approaches.
See the problem ….. by doing that you remove the very thing Mr Scafetta is trying to study the effect on the sun.
At this point we haven’t even added in perturbation from celestial objects we haven’t got under direct calculations (that is oscillations from small bodies we have ignored) which will also add in significant noise and error and start to make the system look even more chaotic.
So using a bit of science you can see the problem much clearer and you can see why the silly exercise to try and line up wiggly lines is never going to work because the system is somewhat chaotic and we know why but he is trying to ignore it.
So the first step that needs to happen is you need to boost the problem to account for the fact that the speed gravity force is at the speed of light not instantly because that effect alone will be creating massive chaos and error … ideally the whole problem needs to go GR/SR.
There may be a cheat way around the problem which would be by using one of the post-Newtonian methods on a point in space other than the sun so you could calculate what is happening at the sun but I would like to see a proper astrophysicist discussion on that and what errors are likely. That approach is well out of my ability to comment on.

Joe Born
July 24, 2013 10:08 am

Willis Eschenbach: “Joe, if I’ve dismissed you when you were correct, my bad. There’s always more to learn.”
I realized too late that my comment came out as though I were renewing a complaint, which was not my intention. I was merely attempting, poorly, as it turned out, to emphasize that many and probably most of this site’s visitors view Mr. Eschenbach’s submissions critically, no matter how much they value his insights.
But this brings up a good point. It turns out that, in the most recent instance of the type to which I referred, Mr. Eschenbach did ultimately look into my comment more deeply, and he acknowledged his error publicly, as this site’s regulars know is his practice. If he paid that much attention to the musings of a no-credential layman, how much more likely is he to give due consideration to a Ph. D. physicist–if that physicist makes his case clearly and compellingly? And, although as I said we don’t take Mr. Eschenbach’s opinions as gospel, a positive opinion from him would, rightly or wrongly, make some of us more likely to allocate a portion of our limited time to investigating Dr. Scafetta’s work more thoroughly.

Tim Folkerts
July 24, 2013 10:12 am

LdB,
While I agree with much of what you write, I do feel you are worrying too much about relativity. Yes, relatively is important and interesting. But Newtonain mechanics could better be described as “the low speed/low gravity limit of relativity” rather than “wrong”.
For the case or planetary orbits, relativity is a fairly minor correction. One of the most famous examples is the precession of Mercury. The classical prediction is that the perihelion will shift 532 arcsec/century. Relativity corrects this by 43 arcseconds to give a much better answer. But remember, this is a correction of only 0.012 degrees per century in one aspect of Mercury’s orbit. This is a “big” relativistic correction, but would not even be noticeable in Scaffetta’s work (even if his work does turn out to have any basis in physical causes). Delays in gravity within the solar system will also, I strongly suspect, be only exceedingly minor corrections. Relativity is NOT the problem with this paper.

July 24, 2013 10:26 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
“Nicola, you’ve been offered the opportunity to use the magnificent pulpit of WUWT to spread your theories, but only if you reveal your secret data and your secret computer code.”
Willis, what are the secret data and secret codes that you want?
If you had read my paper you would know that data and code are public.
You have no arguments any more but only engage in defamation tactics, don’t you?
But let us assume that the data and codes are secret, (which are not) how can you criticized something that is secret?
Anthony is damaging himself a lot by giving credit to people like you.
REPLY: People like Willis? Let me tell you something Nicola, I’ve met both of you personally, and you are both fine thoughtful people. But if I had to choose who I’d want to publish a paper with, it would be Willis, because he has the capability to keep me from fooling myself with the types of data analysis that could lead to confirmation bias.
And Nicola, if you want to publish here, the offer still stands, including the requirement for data and code to allow replication of your work in that paper. That way we can determine if your analysis is real, or just a case of confirmation bias. If it is public, just point us to it. Thanks. – Anthony

LdB
July 24, 2013 10:28 am

@Willis
Now, it’s obvious that Scafetta’s parameters are not astronomically based, other than in the way a Hollywood movie is “based on a true story”, which is to say not at all. If they were, he’d use 59.5766 years for his cycle, not 60 OR 61 as he’s done. They are all arbitrary. In addition to the period, he has also adjusted the amplitude and the phase of the cycles to make his formula work
It’s worse Willis they can’t be a constant by the laws of GR … the speed of gravity is the speed of light and the gravity earth is seeing from the moon is the position the moon was on average 1.29 seconds ago. The gravity earth is seeing from the sun is it’s position 8 min and 20 seconds ago. The gravity from Jupiter earth is seeing was the position of Jupiter between 35 and 52 minutes ago.
Those delays mean the planetary cycles mean little the whole cycle sort of looks chaotic …. want a guess what the number for a proper alignment repeat cycle for the main 8 planets and our moon
86,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years that is 86 billion-trillion-trillion-trillion years
Now even 86 billion-trillion-trillion-trillion years might be optimistic for gravity repeats because that is a planetary alignment cycle and I am not sure that takes into account to make sure the planets are the same distance apart on each alignment
In between then and now there will be sort of chaotic cyclical stuff but it will vary wildly because of the delays …. what do you think the chances are to hold a correlation even with 20 parameters over that time span.

July 24, 2013 10:29 am

July 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM
I think the start of the temperature decline will commence within six months of the end of solar cycle 24 maximum and should last for at least 30+ years.
My question is how does the decline take shape, is it slow and gradual or in jagged movements as thresholds are met. I think some jagged movements then a leveling off then another jerk etc etc. Will thresholds be met?
I KNOW THEY ARE OUT THERE.
I think the maximum of solar cycle 24 ends within 6 months, and once the sun winds down from this maximum it is going to be extremely quiet.
Solar flux sub 72, although sub 90 is probably low enough.
Solar Wind sub 350 km/sec.
AP INDEX 5.0 or lower 98+ % of the time.
Solar Irradiance off .2% or greater.
UV light off upwards of 50% in the extreme short wavelengths.
This condition was largely acheived in years 2008-2010 but the number of sub- solar years of activity proceeding these readings back then was only 3 or 4 years, this time it will be over 8+ years of sub- solar activity, and no weak solar maximum will be forthcoming.
Lag times come into play mostly due to the oceans.
It is clear that thesalvatore del prete says:
greenhouse effect ,how effective it is ,is a result of energy coming into and leaving the earth climatic system. The warmer the oceans the more effective the greenhouse effect and vice versa.
With oceans cooling in response to a decrease in solar visible light the amounts of co2/water vapor will be on the decrease thus making the greenhouse effect less effective going forward. At the same time the albedo of earth will be on the increase due to more low clouds,ice and snow cover.
ROUTE CAUSE OF THE CLIMATE TO CHANGE
Very weak solar magnetic fields, and a declining weak unstable geomagnetic field, and all the secondary feedbacks associated with this condition.
SOME SECONDARY EFFECTS WITH WEAK MAGNETIC FIELDS
weaker solar wind
increase in cosmic rays
increase in volcanic activity
decrease in ocean heat content
a more meridional atmospheric circulation
more La Ninas ,less El Ninos
cold Pdo /Amo
I say the start of a significant cooling period is on our doorstep, it is months away. Once solar cycle 24 maximum ends it starts.
This has happened 18 times in the past 7500 years(little ice ages and or cooling periods ) ,number 19 is going to take place now.
Two of the most recent ones are the Maunder Minimum(1645-1700) and the Dalton Minimum(1790-1830).
I say this one 2014- 2050??

tjfolkerts
July 24, 2013 10:30 am

This sort of “cyclomania” and curve fitting can be very valuable as a pointer toward real ‘science’. But it is only a pointer. The next step is to self-consistently fit this new knowledge into previous knowledge — and then to predict new things.
It reminds me of a favorite science quote:

“Science is built up of facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.”
Henri Poincare

* I strongly second the suggestion that Scafetta “train” his fits with only part of the data and then see if it really does predict the rest of the data well.
* I also suggest that Scafetta try to quantify the sizes of the effects with the size of the causes. Do stronger causes correspond to bigger amplitudes?

July 24, 2013 10:32 am

Leif is in denial of past history and the data that shows clear correlations between solar magnetic field strength and climate change.

July 24, 2013 10:35 am

Willis, I think that, from another solar system, one could detect the presence of planets orbiting around the Sun by the induced wobbling.
Furthermore, I thought Dr. Scafetta’s model would get more explicit and refined, his explanations clearer. Maybe I was mistaken, I think.

LdB
July 24, 2013 10:37 am

@Tim Folkerts
Tim if the sun was transported into a wormhole and disappeared right now you would not know about it for 8 min and 20 sec. You would still have light and the earth would still act as if the sun was there.
The gravity earth experiences right now right here from the sun was relative to it’s position 8 minutes ago. In the 8 minutes everything moved the effect is massive you can’t say Newton gravity is okay it isn’t when trying to do this.
You are trying to equate the movement of the planets as creating an effect and you want to ignore the time delays …. seriously get real the errors are massive.