Cosmic Rays, Sunspots, and Beryllium

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In investigations of the past history of cosmic rays, the deposition rates (flux rates) of the beryllium isotope 10Be are often used as a proxy for the amount of cosmic rays. This is because 10Be is produced, inter alia, by cosmic rays in the atmosphere. Being a congenitally inquisitive type of fellow, I thought I’d look to see just how good a proxy 10Be might be for solar activity. Now most folks would likely do a search of the literature first, to find out what is currently known about the subject.

I don’t like doing that. Oh, the literature search is important, don’t get me wrong … but I postpone it as long as I possibly can. You see, I don’t want to be mesmerized by what is claimed to be already known. I want to look whatever it is with a fresh eye, what the Buddhists call “Beginner’s Mind”, unencumbered by decades of claims and counter-claims. In short, what I do when faced with a new field is to go find some data and analyze it. After I’ve found out what I can from the dataset, and only then, do I search the literature to find out what other folks might believe. Yes, it costs me sometimes … but usually it allows me to find things that other folks have overlooked.

In this case, I found a gem of a dataset. Here is the author’s summary:

Annually-resolved polar ice core 10Be records spanning the Neutron Monitor era

Abstract: Annually-resolved 10Be concentrations, stable water isotope ratios and accumulation rate data from the DSS site on Law Dome, East Antarctica (spanning 1936-2009) and the Das2 site, south-east Greenland (1936-2002).

The only thing better than data is recent data, because it is more likely to be accurate, and here we have seven decades of recent 10Be deposition rates (fluxes). So, without fanfare, here’s the data in question

10be flux rates greenland antarcticaFigure 1. 10Be flux rates from Law Dome in Antarctica and from Southeast Greenland. Bottom panel shows the annual average sunspot count.

So … what’s not to like about these records? Well … lots of things.

The first unlikable item is that the correlation between these two 10Be datasets is pathetic, only 0.07. Seems to me like this would be enough in itself to put the whole 10Be—cosmic rays connection into doubt. I mean, if the two best recent dataset don’t agree with each other, then what are we supposed to believe?

The next problem is even larger. It is the lack of any clear 11-year signal from the variations in cosmic rays. It is well-known that cosmic rays are deflected from the solar system by the magnetic field of the sun, which varies in general sync with the sunspots. As a result, the numbers of cosmic rays, and presumably the 10Be flux rates, vary in an 11-year cycle inversely to the sunspot cycle. Here’s what the relationship looks like:

thule greenland neutron monitorFigure 2. Sunspots and cosmic rays (as indicated by the neutron count). SOURCE

So the relation between cosmic rays and sunspots is quite solid, as you can see above. However, the problem with the 10Be records in this regard is … they have no power in the 11-year cycle range. Sunspot data has power in that range, as does the neutron count data representing cosmic rays … but the 10Be data shows nothing in that range. Here’s the periodicity analysis (see here et seq. for details of periodicity analyses):

periodicity analysis greenland antarcticaFigure 3. Periodicity analysis of the two datasets shown in Figure 1, 10Be flux from Greenland and Antarctica

As you can see, we have no power in either the 11-year or 22-year bands … and if you look at Figure 1, you can see that their correlation with the sunspots is … well … pathetic. The correlation between Greenland 10Be and sunspots is -0.10, and between Antarctica 10Be and sunspots is even worse, -0.03 … like I said, pathetic. A cross-correlation analysis shows slightly greater correlations with a 2 year lag, but not much. However, the lack of the 11-year peaks periodicity analysis (or visible 11-year peaks in the 10Be data) suggests that the lag is spurious.

The problem is, both the sunspots and the cosmic ray counts have a huge peak in periodicity at 10-11 years … but the 10Be records show nothing of the sort.

So, at this point I’m in as much mystery as when I started. We have two beryllium-10 records. They don’t agree with each other. And according to both periodicity and correlation analysis, they don’t show any sign of being connected to anything related to the sunspots, whether by way of cosmic rays, TSI, or anything else …

Now that I’ve finished the analysis, I find that the notes to the dataset say:

Cosmogenic 10Be in polar ice cores is a primary proxy for past solar activity. However, interpretation of the 10Be record is hindered by limited understanding of the physical processes governing its atmospheric transport and deposition to the ice sheets. This issue is addressed by evaluating two accurately dated, annually resolved ice core 10Be records against modern solar activity observations and instrumental and reanalysis climate data. The cores are sampled from the DSS site on Law Dome, East Antarctica (spanning 1936–2009) and the Das2 site, south-east Greenland (1936–2002), permitting inter-hemispheric comparisons.

Concentrations at both DSS and Das2 are significantly correlated to the 11-yr solar cycle modulation of cosmic ray intensity, r = 0.54 with 95% CI [0.31; 0.70], and r = 0.45 with 95% CI [0.22; 0.62], respectively. For both sites, if fluxes are used instead of concentrations then correlations with solar activity decrease.

If you use flux rates the “Correlations with solar activity decrease”??? Yeah, they do … they decrease to insignificance. And this is a big problem. It’s a good thing I didn’t read the notes first …

Now, my understanding is that using 10Be concentrations in ice cores doesn’t give valid results. This is because the 10Be is coming down from the sky … but so is the snow. As a result, the concentration is a factor of both the 10Be flux and the snow accumulation rate. So if we want to understand the production and subsequent deposition rate of 10Be, it is necessary to correct the 10Be concentrations by using the corresponding snow accumulation rate to give us the actual flux rate. So 10Be flux rates should show a better correlation with sunspots than concentrations, because they’re free of the confounding variable of snow accumulation rate.

As a result, I’ve used the flux rates and not the concentrations … and found nothing of interest. No correlation between the datasets, no 11-year periodicity, no relationship to the solar cycle.

What am I missing here? What am I doing wrong? How can they use the concentration of 10Be rather than the flux? Are we getting accurate results from the ice cores? If not, why not?

These questions and more … please note that I make no overarching claims about the utility of 10Be as a proxy for sunspots or cosmic rays. I’m just saying that this particular 10Be data would make a p-poor proxy for anything … and once again I’m raising what to me is an important question:

If the 10Be deposition rate is claimed to be a proxy for the long-term small changes in overall levels of cosmic rays … why is there no sign in these datasets of it responding to the much larger 11-year change in cosmic rays?

I have the same question about cosmic rays and temperature. There is no sign of an 11-year cycle in the temperature, meaning any influence of cosmic rays is tiny enough to be lost in the noise. So since temperature doesn’t respond to large 11-year fluctuations in cosmic rays, why would we expect temperature to track much smaller long-term changes in the cosmic ray levels?

Always more questions than answers, may it ever be so.

My regards to everyone, guest authors, commenters, and lurkers … and of course, Anthony and the tireless mods, without whom this whole circus wouldn’t work at all.

w.

COMMENTS: Please quote the exact words that you are referring to in your comment. I’m tired of trying to guess what folks are talking about. Quote’m or you won’t get traction from me. Even if the reference is blatantly obvious to you, it may not be to others. So please, quote the exact words.

DATA: 10Be original data, Excel spreadsheet

Extracted Data for Use In R

Monthly Sunspot Data SIDC

CODE: Just for fun, I’ll put it here to show how tough this particular analysis was:

source("~/periodicity functions.R")

par(mgp=c(2,1,0),cex.axis=1)

spotsraw=ts(read.csv("monthly ssn.csv")[,2],start=c(1749,1),frequency=12)

Annual.Sunspots=window(aggregate(spotsraw,frequency=1,FUN=mean),start=1937,end=2009)

plot(Annual.Sunspots)

theflux=ts(read.csv("Polar 10Be Flux.csv")[,2:3],start=1937,frequency=1)

theoxy=ts(read.csv("Polar 10Be Flux.csv")[,4:5],start=1937,frequency=1)

plot(cbind(theflux,theoxy))

fulldata=cbind(theflux[,1],theflux[,2],Annual.Sunspots)

colnames(fulldata) = c("Greenland 10Be Flux","Antarctica 10Be Flux","Sunspots")

plot(fulldata,main="",yax.flip=TRUE)

title(main="10Be Flux Rates in Greenland and Antarctica\n(atoms / square metre / second)",

      line=1,cex.main=1.1)

cor(ts.intersect(fulldata),use="pairwise.complete.obs")

periodsd(theflux[,1],doplot=TRUE,timeinterval=1,add=FALSE,col="blue3",

         maintitle="Periodicity Analysis, Ice Core 10Be Flux\nGreenland (blue) and Antarctica (red)")

periodsd(theflux[,2],doplot=TRUE,timeinterval=1,add=TRUE,col="green3")

You’ll need the code for the periodicity functions, it’s here.

 

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These two references cast more light [i.e. confirms] on the problem:
http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1004/1004.2675.pdf
“This is a particular problem for historical projections of solar activity based on ice core measurements which assume a 1:1 correspondence. We have made other tests of the correspondence between the 10Be predictions and the ice core measurements which lead to the same conclusion, namely that other influences on the ice core measurements, as large as or larger than the production changes themselves, are occurring. These influences could be climatic or instrumentally based”
In particular: “Indeed this implies that more than 50% the 10Be flux increase around, e.g., 1700 A.D., 1810 A.D. and 1895 A.D. is due to non-production related increases!”
I.e., the Maunder minimum. Dalton Minimum, and ‘Gleissberg’ minimum in 10Be are inflated by ‘non-production’ increases.
and
http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1003/1003.4989.pdf
“These and other features suggest that galactic cosmic ray intensity changes which affect the production of 10Be in the Earths atmosphere are not the sole source of the 10Be concentration changes and confirm the importance of other effects, for example local and regional climatic effects, which could be of the same magnitude as the 10Be production changes.”

Tom in Florida

“What am I missing here? What am I doing wrong? How can they use the concentration of 10Be rather than the flux?”
I believe you know the answer,…………. it gives them the results they were seeking.

albertalad

Of course cosmic-ray exposure is more prevalent in elevated regions of North America such as here in the Rocky Mountain area. And as always cosmic -rays depend of given energy of particles. We do know that low level cosmic-rays bombard every square inch of earth at any given moment. Moveover, cosmic-ray studies are known and suspected to have greatly influenced all life on earth though various means such as ionizing the atmosphere, that can trigger lightening and influence cloud formations, and may well have influenced genetic mutation and evolution itself.

Brad

Willis,
It is obvious what you are missing, GRANT MONEY!!!! You could have strung this out for at lest a few years and made a million or more, plus publishing rights. You also need to run it through the DIY a few times to get it thoroughly “scientificey”, so most eyes will glaze over and bow to the master. sarc/off
Your “beginners eyes” are greatly appreciated… that is a term I will remember in the future when auditing commercial buildings. I always tell operators they have blinders on when it comes to some problems. They just can’t see it, and will argue until the cows come home.
A new set of eyes can see that which others can’t.

Willis Eschenbach

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm

These two references cast more light [i.e. confirms] on the problem: …

Thanks, Leif. As usual, you have extensive knowledge in this field, and are good enough to share it with the rest of us. I’m glad I’m not the first person to notice this problem, and it seems to be a serious one.
w.
(For those who don’t know Leif Svalgaard, he’s a solar physicist who has a physical effect that occurs on the sun named after him [the Svalgaard-Mansurov Effect] … his science-fu is strong.)

Some very good points made By Dr. Eschenbach. I am perplexed as well, as much of the claims of those (of us) claiming natural variability of the Sun as to at least some, perhaps plenty of the global climate changes, we have relied on Beryllium 10 analysis. I wonder if other factors are masking the Solar cycles, such as geomagnetic variations and possibility cosmic dust ? Secondly, I do believe that Beryllium 10 does have, as mentioned some influence from precipitation rate. Perhaps because Antarctica is such a low snow fall area as compared to Greenland, this may have something to do with the two records not being aligned. This does not help the overall concern about the Sunspot cycles, however. This is definitely worth exploring much further. Great Post!

In trying to extract the 11-yr modulation from the noisy 10Be-record people often filter the data to contain only periods between ~8 and ~14 years…

Willis Eschenbach says:
April 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm
a physical effect that occurs on the sun named after him [the Svalgaard-Mansurov Effect]
Actually, it occurs on the Earth, but is caused by the solar wind which comes from the Sun. The effect is described briefly here http://www.leif.org/research/On-Becoming-a-Scientist.pdf [slide 7].
Presentation for school children in Japan. Wonder why they are ahead of children here?

pouncer

lsvalgaard says:
“In trying to extract the 11-yr modulation from the noisy 10Be-record people often filter the data to contain only periods between ~8 and ~14 years…”
So in order to extract the cherries from the fruit salad some people often filter the chunks to contain only the red stuff?

Pierre Tourigny

If the 10Be concentration, but not the flux, is correlated with sunspot activity (r = 0.54 and r = 0.45 for concentration vs r = -0.10 and r = -0.03 for flux) and if “the 10Be concentration is a factor of both the 10Be flux and the snow accumulation rate”, doesn’t that suggest a possible correlation with the snow accumulation rate?

milodonharlani

Would appreciate your subjecting carbon 14 data to similar analysis. Please see the Fig 1 in Shaviv, below, taken from Nef, et al:
http://www.sciencebits.com/CosmicRaysClimate
Would also appreciate reading the reasons why you think Svensmark’s hypothesis applies on a centennial scale but not decadal. I have not found this assertion in my reading of his work. What have I missed?
Thanks.

milodonharlani says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm
Would appreciate your subjecting carbon 14 data to similar analysis.
The carbon residence time in the system is too long [decades] to show solar cycles.

njsnowfan

Funny, just watched this video for the first time..
Henrik Svensmark’s documentary on climate change and cosmic rays.

milodonharlani

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm
You may be & probably are right, but your colleagues mentioned above apparently still find the data useful.

scarletmacaw

I would think the difference between flux and concentration depends on how the Be10 is deposited. If it is captured in ice crystals and deposited in snow fall, then using concentration makes sense. I guess my question is where does the Beryllium come from?

milodonharlani says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm
You may be & probably are right, but your colleagues mentioned above apparently still find the data useful.
Unless you specify which colleagues and where mentioned I can’t comment.
scarletmacaw says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm
I would think the difference between flux and concentration depends on how the Be10 is deposited. If it is captured in ice crystals and deposited in snow fall, then using concentration makes sense. I guess my question is where does the Beryllium come from?
Almost all of it comes from middle latitudes and is brought up to the poles by atmospheric circulation, hence depends on the climate itself [sort of circular logic involved].

Carla

This little study from Athens, incorporates the Cosmic Ray Induced Ionization CRII models (1+2) into their local model, giving a global view of GCR induced ionization in Earth’s atmosphere. Making it apart of the Earth’s global electric circuit too.. If the arrival is vertical and downward, does that make it a short circuit..
Cosmic Ray Induced Ionization CRII
Calculation of the cosmic ray induced ionization for the region
of Athens
P Makrantoni1, H Mavromichalaki1, I Usoskin2, A Papaioannou1
Abstract
A complete study of ionization induced by cosmic rays, both solar and galactic, in
the atmosphere, is presented. For the computation of the cosmic ray induced ionization, the
CRII model was used [1] as well its new version [2] which is extended to the upper
atmosphere. In this work, this model has been applied to the entire atmosphere, i.e. from
atmospheric depth 0 g/cm2, which corresponds to the upper limit of the atmosphere, to 1025
g/cm2, which corresponds to the surface…
…2. The CRII model
The CRII model is a full numerical model, which computes the cosmic ray induced ionization in the
entire atmosphere, all over the Globe. The model computations reproduce actual measurements of the
atmospheric ionization in the full range of parameters, from Equatorial to Polar Regions and from the
solar minimum to solar maximum.
Roughly, the CRII rate expressed as the number of ion pairs produced in one gram of the ambient
air per second (ion pairs/gr. sec) at a given atmospheric depth x can be represented in as follows:..
…3. Results
Using the CRII model [1], [2] a study of the distribution of ionization during the solar cycle 23 on a
monthly and yearly basis was performed. A gradual increase of the ionization rate from the solar
maximum to the solar minimum was observed.
The results at the solar maximum (year 2000) and minimum (year 2010), for a Polar region (Rc=0.1
GV), an Equatorial region (Rc=14.9 GV) and a middle latitude region (Athens, Rc=8.53 GV), as a
function of the atmospheric depth, are presented in Figure 1.
It is obvious that during the solar
maximum (2000), the ionization has minimum values, while during the solar minimum (2010), the
ionization is maximum. This indicates that the ionization follows the behavior of the cosmic rays,
which is negatively correlated with the solar activity. It is important to mention that during the solar
maximum, the ionization is almost two times greater at the Poles than in Athens, while during the
solar minimum, it is almost three and a half times greater. In all cases, the ionization rate is maximum
at the atmospheric depth x=100 g/cm2, with a shift to lower atmospheric depths in the Polar regions…
http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/409/1/012232/pdf/1742-6596_409_1_012232.pdf

Willis Eschenbach

Pierre Tourigny says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

If the 10Be concentration, but not the flux, is correlated with sunspot activity (r = 0.54 and r = 0.45 for concentration vs r = -0.10 and r = -0.03 for flux) and if “the 10Be concentration is a factor of both the 10Be flux and the snow accumulation rate”, doesn’t that suggest a possible correlation with the snow accumulation rate?

Could be … I’ve posted up the data as an Excel spreadsheet. It contains the accumulation rates. See what you can find …
w.

davidgmills

I was wondering about 10Be being a proxy for solar activity and began to search for 10Be date for Solar Cycle 24. Could never find a chart or graph. But in the meantime found a few articles and was intrigued by this one in Astronomy & Astrophysics titled:
The chaotic solar cycle, II. Analysis of cosmogenic 10Be data.
http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2013/02/aa15215-10/aa15215-10.html
This last quote stood out and is apropos for this OP:
“The results indicate that solar activity proxies are also influenced by other than solar variations and reflect solar activity only on longer time scales.”

Cynical Scientst

It depends strongly on how the beryllium is being deposited.
Flux is the appropriate measure only if we assume that beryllium is deposited evenly and steadily across the entire surface of the planet. But it seems much more likely to me that beryllium is transported out of the atmosphere by precipitation and hence is deposited quite unevenly and unsteadily across the planet. Areas with high precipitation would then be expected to receive a high beryllium flux while those with low precipitation will get only a small amount. In this scenario concentration is much better measure than flux of the rate of beryllium production as in a well mixed atmosphere the rate of beryllium production should determine the concentration of beryllium in precipitation.
Look to see which of flux or concentration is least strongly correlated with local rates of precipitation. That would be the best measure to use.

Very interesting, and very nicely laid out.
Willis, you write very clearly.
We would all do well if scientific papers were written in a similar clear prose, instead of being immersed and obfuscated in the accepted contemporary ‘scientific’ phrasing and jargon.

Crispin in Waterloo

Willis, the points you make do not really undo the tapestry woven around 10Be. What you have shown however is that the way ice cores are formed is uneven and presents perhaps a very unreliable proxy for anything, especially the magnetic environment of the planets.
It was not mentioned very clearly that 10Be is a proxy for the influence of the magnetic field of the sun, which might not align perfectly with sunspot number. The sunspot number is a proxy for the magnetic field strength, not so? So your good math is comparing two proxies for the strength of the magnetic field and finds a poor correlation. Maybe it cannot be disentangled.
There is a lot on the Internet about longer timelines. 10Be apparently records the passage of the solar system through the arms of the galaxy for example. But that doesn’t come from ice cores. Maybe an ice core is a lousy tape recorder for the songs of the Sun.

milodonharlani

njsnowfan says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm
Thanks. I hadn’t seen that documentary from 2007.
Some here may know the UK Met Office official who looked & sounded straight out of Monty Python twit central casting.
But IMO the effect of UV variation is also worthy of consideration, primarily because of its affect on ozone formation in the stratosphere, rather than (as I once hypothesized but was dissuaded from pursuing by Leif) directly upon the oceans.

milodonharlani

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm
Those I mentioned just above your comment, ie Shaviv & Nef on 14C, to whom could be added others, of course, such as your compatriots Friis-Christensen & Svensmark.

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm
In trying to extract the 11-yr modulation from the noisy 10Be-record people often filter the data to contain only periods between ~8 and ~14 years…
———————
I do not pretend to be a solar expert. But here is what I know about filtering noisy signals (from professional experience). If you are not careful, you will create the signal you are looking for by removing all other noise. The fact is that white noise contains all possible sine waves. By filtering out all the others, you will always be left the the one you are looking for. Whatever solution you come up with for your filter, you must (MUST) run true white noise through it first to insure that you are not creating the desired signal. If you don’t, you will see the signal, and your confirmation bias will trick you into thinking that you are a genius, when in fact you are a fool.

Charlie A

Along the same lines as scarletmacaw’s comment, it is feasible that what correlates with sunspots and cosmic ray activity is the concentration of 10Be in water vapor in the atmosphere. Leif S. says that most 10Be production is in the middle latitudes, so there is also likely a (short?) lag between cosmic ray activity and 10Be concentration in the snowfall at the poles.

milodonharlani says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:36 pm
Those I mentioned just above your comment, ie Shaviv & Nef on 14C, to whom could be added others, of course, such as your compatriots Friis-Christensen & Svensmark.
Ah, the hypothesis pushers themselves. Yes, one would expect that, but that doesn’t really count. What counts is when others validate their hypothesis, and that has not happened. On the contrary: http://www.leif.org/EOS/eost14928-Cosmic-Rays-Hypothesis.pdf
“In our analysis [Rahmstorf et al, 2004], we arrived at two main conclusions: the data of Shaviv and Veizer [2003] do not show a significant correlation of cosmic ray flux (CRF) and climate, and the authors’ estimate of climate sensitivity to CO2 based on a simple regression analysis is questionable. After careful consideration of Shaviv and Veizer’s comment, we want to uphold and reaffirm these conclusions”
And, let us not slide into the same, old, tired stuff. We have been there before.

Jeff in Calgary says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm
“In trying to extract the 11-yr modulation from the noisy 10Be-record people often filter the data to contain only periods between ~8 and ~14 years…”
first to insure that you are not creating the desired signal. If you don’t, you will see the signal, and your confirmation bias will trick you into thinking that you are a genius, when in fact you are a fool.
Which was my point. On the other hand, if there is a signal, the filtering sharpens it. That you see the ‘signal’ in the filtered data does not guarantee that there is a real signal, as you point out.

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm
scarletmacaw says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm
…. I guess my question is where does the Beryllium come from?
—————————
Almost all of it comes from middle latitudes and is brought up to the poles by atmospheric circulation, hence depends on the climate itself [sort of circular logic involved].
_______________________________
So, the theory is 10Be is a good proxy for cosmic rays, but 10Be in polar ice cores may not be? the polar ice cores is noise due to wind and weather patterns, coupled with delays from the 10Be creation, to the time it was actually deposited onto the polar ice? The question is, can the noise be reliably removed from the signal. Based on Willis’ Figure 3, I would be very sceptical is someone claimed that they could. Even with the 8 – 14 year filter previously mentioned, the 11(ish) year cycle is a low point on the Periodicity analysis.
PS how is the Periodicity analysis calculated? Is it a FFT?

Henry Clark

Be-10 is one of multiple isotopes produced by cosmic rays, with others including Carbon-14 and Ti-44.
Referring to the bulk of the overall pattern over time, not implying identicality (unrealistic and unnecessary), a Kirkby paper notes:
“The good agreement found between the 10Be and 14C records confirms that their variations [primarily] reflect real changes of the cosmic ray flux and [primarily] not climatic influences on the transport processes into their respective archives [56].”
The situation is best seen with a broad combo of Be-10 / C-14 cosmogenic isotope, sunspot count, solar cycle length, and neutron monitor illustrations in http://tinyurl.com/nbnh7hq
(That link also includes an example of how not to interpret r or r^2 correlation values, with an illustration for sunspots versus CRF).
Not every dataset is going to be the same, partially due to real world complications like some short-term weather influence, potentially alternatively at times due to how datasets of major climate significance tend to be rewritten sooner or later towards more CAGW movement convenience. There are examples in the prior link with drastic rewriting of temperature history over the past century from relatively double-peak (related to the pattern in solar activity meanwhile) towards a hockey stick (able to claim more mismatch then).
The Kirkby paper estimates there has been about a 30% change in mean cosmic ray flux since the Little Ice Age. The Kirkby paper is online at http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.1938v1.pdf
An additional illustration would be Ti-44 from space meteorites; for example:
“An international team of researchers led by Ilya Usoskin of the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory at the University of Oulu, Finland, may have the answer. They examined meteorites that had fallen to Earth over the past 240 years. By analyzing the amount of titanium 44, a radioactive isotope, the team found a significant increase in the Sun’s radioactive output during the 20th century.
Over the past few decades, however, they found the solar activity has stabilized at this higher-than-historic level.
Prior research relied on measurements of certain radioactive elements within tree rings and in the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica, which can be altered by terrestrial processes, not just by solar activity. The isotope measured in the new study is not affected by conditions on Earth.
The results, detailed in this week’s issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters, “confirm that there was indeed an increase in solar activity over the last 100 years or so,” Usoskin told SPACE.com.”

http://www.space.com/2942-sun-activity-increased-century-study-confirms.html

Willis Eschenbach

markx says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Very interesting, and very nicely laid out.
Willis, you write very clearly.
We would all do well if scientific papers were written in a similar clear prose, instead of being immersed and obfuscated in the accepted contemporary ‘scientific’ phrasing and jargon.

Thanks, Mark. My readership is the scientifically minded layman as well as the professional scientist, and I aim to write accordingly. And yes, the scientific writing style does not foster communication …
w.

Larry Ledwick

Willis here is another paper from 2005 that discusses the same issue and lags in deposition of 10Be.
http://dpnc.unige.ch/ams/ams_beta/ICRC/ICRC-05/PAPERS/SH34/rus-nikitin-I-abs1-sh34-oral.pdf

milodonharlani

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm
In your opinion, Rahmstorf has no agenda to push?
My question had to do with the 14C data from Shaviv & Nef. You have stated the issues you have with 14C, but when those data, the 10Be data, the observed temperature, proxy data from the Maunder & Dalton Minima, the experimental results from Svensmark’s own team & CERN & some correlation with observations of cloud & T, among other evidence, all suggest the same effect, how can you reject the GCR hypothesis with such certainty, indeed vehemence?
I’m not convinced, but there does seem to be enough evidence to continue entertaining the hypothesis. IMO it has not been shown false.

Henry Clark says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm
Be-10 is one of multiple isotopes produced by cosmic rays, with others including Carbon-14 and Ti-44.
For say 25-40 year averages the sources tend to agree reasonably well [depending a bit on which dataset one uses], but that does’nt really matter as the combined record still is very poorly correlated with climate, e.g. slide 13 of http://www.leif.org/research/Eddy-Symp-Poster-2.pdf

george e. smith

“””””…..I have the same question about cosmic rays and temperature. There is no sign of an 11-year cycle in the temperature, meaning any influence of cosmic rays is tiny enough to be lost in the noise. So since temperature doesn’t respond to large 11-year fluctuations in cosmic rays, why would we expect temperature to track much smaller long-term changes in the cosmic ray levels?…..”””””
Say Willis, did you slip a cog here or what ?
” So since temperature doesn’t respond to large 11-year fluctuations in cosmic rays”
Did you mean 11 year fluctuations in TSI; you seem to say cosmic rays twice.
G

milodonharlani says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm
In your opinion, Rahmstorf has no agenda to push?
what does that matter if his analysis is correct?
all suggest the same effect,
Looked at carefully, the ‘evidence’ is weak and correlation is poor [ slide 13 of http://www.leif.org/research/Eddy-Symp-Poster-2.pdf ] how can you reject the GCR hypothesis with such certainty, indeed vehemence?
You got that wrong. I do not reject or dismiss anything, I show you why their case is not convincing to me. Perhaps my standard is too high and your too low. That is possible, but do not mistake persistence for vehemence,

Henry Clark says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm

——————-
Yes, but how do you reconcile the lack of correlation to know reality? 10Be and C14 etc. is interesting, but if they do not match reality, they are proxies for something other than cosmic rays. In fact, this statement:
“The good agreement found between the 10Be and 14C records confirms that their variations [primarily] reflect real changes of the cosmic ray flux and [primarily] not climatic influences on the transport processes into their respective archives [56].”
suggest that they must indeed be a proxy for something, but the question is…What? Willis’ Figure 3 clearly demonstrates that it is highly unlikely to be for cosmic rays. I was thinking that the transport issue could severely “smudge” the archival delay, to the extent that even the 11 year cycle could be invisible, but it could still be OK for longer term measurements, like long solar minimums. However, the close correlation with 14C, kind of debunks that, making 10Be hopeless as a proxy for cosmic rays IMHO.

Larry Ledwick

The lack of correlation you noticed in those plots raises several interesting questions.
Is 10Be production modulated by the energy of the cosmic rays as well as the flux?
Many nuclear reactions have a preferred energy for them to occur for example fission of nuclear weapons materials or nuclear reactor core materials are more efficient with slow neutrons than fast neutrons, which is why reactor designs include moderators to shift the neutron energies into the favorable range.
Is precipitation in the arctic and antarctic periodically driven by different atmospheric sources of water vapor with substantially different 10Be content. For example if the local weather patterns shift so that most of the moisture forming the snow pack comes from surface evaporation off the nearby oceans rather than from ice crystals formed at high altitudes from vapor with long residence times in the areas where 10Be production occurs you should get different fluxes of 10Be, independent of actual total snow fall, but varying according to the source of the moisture captured by the snow that forms over the ice caps.
Do ice core profiles of 10Be from nearby bore holes in the same ice pack agree substantially with each other even though they differ from ice cores from the opposite pole? This would imply differences in 10Be production in the southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere, perhaps due to polarity issues with the magnetic poles and the contemporary polarity of the suns magnetic field at the time the 10Be was produced.
Does 10Be leech move or migrate in the ice column according to temperatures of the ice or presence of some other trace chemical that might allow it to migrate up or down the ice column.
Lots of possible mechanisms to consider but not having looked in depth at the issue only a few off the top of my head issues to investigate.

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm
Looked at carefully, the ‘evidence’ is weak and correlation is poor [ slide 13 of http://www.leif.org/research/Eddy-Symp-Poster-2.pdf ]
missed a line break here.
“how can you reject the GCR hypothesis with such certainty, indeed vehemence?”

Willis Eschenbach

Jeff in Calgary says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm

PS how is the Periodicity analysis calculated? Is it a FFT?

No, it’s a periodicity analysis. As I mentioned in the head post:

(see here et seq. for details of periodicity analyses)

Read through it all, there is a discussion plus further underlying references, including the IEEE paper laying out the theoretical basis.
Basically, it works by averaging out the cycle. You know how you make monthly averages? You divide a long string of monthly data into chunks of 12, stack them up, and average the columns. This gives you a curve representing the average monthly values for January, February and so on.
Now, imagine that you do the same thing with annual data, cut it into 12-year chunks, stack them up and average them. If you do that, you get whatever actual average 12-year cycle exists in the data. And by extension you can calculate the 11-year cycle, or any other length.
Of course, if there is no 11-year cycle in the data, basically your result will be a straight line … but if there is such a cycle, it will appear as some kind of curve. As a measure of the strength of the cycle, we use the standard deviation (SD) of the results—a straight line (no cycle) has an SD of zero, and the bigger the swings the bigger the SD. (This is adjusted, of course, by the length of the cycle, as a long cycle inherently has a larger SD.)
ADVANTAGES:
1. Resolution equal to the original data across the entire range.
2. Finds non-sine-wave cycles.
3. Allows you to examine the actual cycles.
DISADVANTAGES
1. Any given cycle (say 144 months) will appear at multiples of that cycle (288 months, etc.).
2. Decomposition is not orthogonal, so if you wish to decompose a signal into component cycles, the result depends on the order of the removal of said component cycles.
It’s a fascinating (and mostly unknown) tool with lots of practical applications.
w.

Konrad

Are there any mid-latitude 10Be records that show an 11 year cycle?

Willis Eschenbach

Henry Clark says:
April 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm

The situation is best seen with a broad combo of Be-10 / C-14 cosmogenic isotope, sunspot count, solar cycle length, and neutron monitor illustrations in http://tinyurl.com/nbnh7hq

You’ve linked to the Holgate sunspot nonsense, which I falsified in my post “Sunspots and Sea Level“.
Not that that is likely to change your mind, but truly, you picked a horrible example … and you had the bad luck to pick one that I just disassembled.
w.

milodonharlani

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm
I mentioned Rahmstorf’s heavy investment in CACA because you seemed dismissive of the evidence presented by the mentioned proponents of the GCR hypothesis just because they were its early supporters. In the case of its extension to cosmoclimatology, I suppose Shaviv could be considered an originator.
You have other colleagues who aren’t convinced by Rahmstorf, so IMO the GCR hypothesis remains neither sufficiently confirmed nor falsified. IMO however Kirkby’s results are pretty convincing with respect to the mechanism by which GCRs could affect climate on earth & for that matter some other solar system bodies.
Copernicus started work on his heliocentric hypothesis around 1507, published privately shortly thereafter & publicly in 1543, but Ptolemy wasn’t falsified until 1610 & the mobile-earth, sun-centered system definitely shown objectively true until the 18th & 19th centuries. I hope science doesn’t have to wait that long for the GCR-climate hypothesis to be shown valid or false.
OK. I won’t make the confusion mistake.

Graeme W

lsvalgaard says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm

scarletmacaw says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm
I would think the difference between flux and concentration depends on how the Be10 is deposited. If it is captured in ice crystals and deposited in snow fall, then using concentration makes sense. I guess my question is where does the Beryllium come from?
Almost all of it comes from middle latitudes and is brought up to the poles by atmospheric circulation, hence depends on the climate itself [sort of circular logic involved].

The apparent answer would therefore be to develop a 10Be dataset from a mid-latitude ice-core to see if there’s a stronger 11-year signal. I went looking and couldn’t find such an existing dataset. Is there a technical reason why this couldn’t be done?

Willis Eschenbach

george e. smith says:
April 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm

“””””…..I have the same question about cosmic rays and temperature. There is no sign of an 11-year cycle in the temperature, meaning any influence of cosmic rays is tiny enough to be lost in the noise. So since temperature doesn’t respond to large 11-year fluctuations in cosmic rays, why would we expect temperature to track much smaller long-term changes in the cosmic ray levels?…..”””””
Say Willis, did you slip a cog here or what ?
” So since temperature doesn’t respond to large 11-year fluctuations in cosmic rays”
Did you mean 11 year fluctuations in TSI; you seem to say cosmic rays twice.
G

Thanks, George. Since the fluctuations in TSI, sunspots, solar magnetic field, and cosmic rays all move in approximate synchrony with an ~ 11-year cycle, then ceteris paribus what’s true of one is true of all.
My question in general is, what would make something respond to a slow small secular variations in some purported forcing, while at the same time it doesn’t respond to a much stronger faster 11-year cycle of the same forcing?
w.

milodonharlani

Graeme W says:
April 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm
Checking Be levels is just about the last thing that Lonnie Thompson would want to do.
There are some good candidate extrapolar glaciers, like Alaska’s deep Taku, although it’s at about 58 N.

bushbunny

Willis I appreciate your hard work producing these graphs. They must give you some exciting work and I commend you for that, but remember that most of us here haven’t a deep scientific understanding to comment on your graphs To stipulate whom should respond to them is a bit elitist and selective in my opinion. I say no more.We know cosmic rays are deflected from earth due to solar activities, hence less contact with water vapour in our atmosphere.

markx says it for me, too:
Very interesting, and very nicely laid out. Willis, you write very clearly. We would all do well if scientific papers were written in a similar clear prose, …
I always look forward to articles by Willis E. He has a way of making complex issues simple.
If something is written in a confusing manner, that the author is probably trying to hide something. Make it simple! Most basic scientific facts are really very simple: E=mc^2.

milodonharlani says:
April 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm
There are some good candidate extrapolar glaciers, like Alaska’s deep Taku, although it’s at about 58 N.
The problem [which people have considered] is that the ice need to be stable, both for science reasons and even more so from a boring perspective.

milodonharlani says:
April 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm
I hope science doesn’t have to wait that long for the GCR-climate hypothesis to be shown valid or false
It is OK to speculate [even wildly] as long as it is labeled ‘speculation’. The problem is that followers peddle the hypothesis as gospel truth.