# Svensmark's Cosmic Theory and Cloud Cover Depictions in Little Ice Age Art.

Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball

Correlation between sunspot numbers and global temperature was known for decades, but with no proven mechanism it was correctly set aside. That changed when Henrik Svensmark proposed his Cosmic Rays hypothesis. Figures 1 and 2 show the mechanism in two different ways. Figure 2 is from The Chilling Stars by Svensmark and Calder, the book that took the idea to the public.

Figure 1                                                          Figure 2

The Cosmic effect is now established through rigorous attempts to disprove it, the proper scientific method.

IPCC Challenge

Figure 3. IPCC Figure 7c

A major objective of the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) was to counter the evidence in Figure 7c from the 1990 First Assessment Report (FAR) (Figure 3). It was troubling because it showed significant variations of temperature over the last 1000 years. This appeared to contradict the IPCC claim that 20th century warming was unique and abnormal. The major focus was the depiction of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from approximately 950 to 1350 AD, but the cold spell from 1350 to 1850 known as the Little Ice Age (LIA) was also a concern. As Lamb noted (personal communication) the onset and termination of these periods varied regionally, sometimes by decades.

Artists Images Of The LIA

We all see the world through different eyes with different sensibilities and awareness. In the classic nature-nuture division most of this is nature, especially with certain abilities, such as mathematics, music or art. Artists see colour, light, and patterns of the world differently. There is a basic for landscape artists because they paint what they see before them, albeit with artistic license on occasion. Their work provides evidence of conditions such as the snow and cold of the Little Ice Age by Breughel (Figure 4) or Grifier (Figure 5). There was an exhibition of the work of Hendrick Avercamp titled the Little Ice Age at the National Gallery in Washington from March to July 2010.

Figure 4: Pieter Breughel the Elder, Hunters in the Snow

These artists considered the conditions relatively normal, especially if their lifespans were within the LIA. However, as landscape artists they would detect changing atmospheric conditions before others and be influenced by this in their work.

Figure 5: Jan Grifier, The Great Frost 1683 (River Thames)

Changing Skies Are Evidence of Changing Climate

Figure 6: John Constable, English Artist

Montana is known as “Big Sky Country” so the dominant feature in images are sky and clouds. This is true of any flat region, such as Saskatchewan, or Norfolk in eastern England. Artists naturally paint these skyscapes, but few with greater awareness than John Constable (Figure 6). He became so aware of the clouds that in 1821 he produced an entire book simply depicting clouds and cloud forms (Figure 8). There are several books analyzing these depictions. One of them, John Constables Skies, is subtitled A Fusion of Art and Science and poses the question, And were the skies he painted scientifically accurate? Published in 1999 it preceded the confirmation of Svensmark’s work on sunspots and cloud cover.

Constable’s works do not, in themselves, provide support for Svensmark, but when put with a 1970 study by Neuberger (republished in Weather on 30 April 2012) it provides independent confirmation. The beauty of Neuberger’s work, Climate in Art, is that it precedes by 29 years the beginning of the sunspot temperature connection outlined in Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen’s Science 1991 article Length of the Solar Cycle: An Indicator of Solar Activity Closely Associated with Climate.

Neuberger’s hypothesis was that,

…a statistically adequate sample of paintings executed by many painters living during a given period in a given region should reveal meteorological features significantly different from those of a similar sample of paintings produced during the same epoch in a climatically different region.

He studied over 12,000 paintings in 41 European and American art museums. The period of coverage was from 1400 to 1967. Various definitions were assigned to standardize the categories including the US airways code of four categories,

clear (less than 10% of the visible sky covered by clouds)”,

scattered (10 to 50% clouds)”

broken (60 to 90% clouds)”

overcast (more than 90% clouds)

He divided the 1400 to 1967 span into three epochs as shown in Figure 7 (Figure 12 in the original article).

Figure 7: Neuberger’s caption, Epochal changes of various painting features”

He labeled the epochs,

1400 – 1549 the pre-culmination period of the Little Ice Age

1550 – 1849, the culmination period which contains the years without a summer

1850 – 1967, the post-culmination period in which a definite retreat of glaciers and substantial atmospheric warming occurred.

When he broke this down by 50 – year epochs the percentages for average cloudiness were dramatic ranging from 29% for 1400 – 1449 to 77% for 1550 – 1599. As he noted,

The frequency of low and convective clouds also shows a sharp change from the first to the second epoch reflecting the deterioration of the weather throughout Europe.

Figure 8: From a cloud study by Constable (1821).

J.M.W. Turner, a contemporary of Constable’s, also painted landscapes with extensive displays of clouds. He was more intrigued by the changing light conditions particularly after the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. Because of this his works are considered early English impressionism.

Conclusion

A critical part of climate reconstruction is to obtain corroborating information from different independent sources. This early empirical study by Neuberger supports Svensmark’s hypothesis that changing solar activity creates changing lower cloud cover, which causes changing temperatures.

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Mark Bofill
April 24, 2014 12:57 pm

wince It seems like only yesterday I ate crow over supporting Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory without checking my facts.
I’ll be back.

April 24, 2014 12:57 pm

Has anybody ever seen a bristlecone artist?

YEP
April 24, 2014 1:00 pm

Something (perhaps a lot) must have been dropped and is missing from this mysterious sentence fragment: “That changed when Henrik different ways.”

Mark Bofill
April 24, 2014 1:01 pm

paywalled, but article here.

April 24, 2014 1:01 pm

“Cosmic effect is now established through vigorous attempts to disprove it, the proper scientific method.”
Please, someone tell IPCC, Dr. Mann, Al Gore, etc. etc. etc.

April 24, 2014 1:03 pm

Rigorous, not vigorous.
Stupid computer can’t spell.

April 24, 2014 1:07 pm

It is good to see some (the last author and Svensmark) thinking outside the box. CO2 has been beat to death with nothing coming of it (there is as much indecision as decision).
I agree the answer will lay outside GHG gasses. They do play a small role, but not one that drives the major changes.

April 24, 2014 1:08 pm

So. Now what about Gleissberg and de Vries Suess? 87 and 208 years. There are more. The cooling in these cycles naturally causes more clouds at the lower lat’s and that causes more cooling…. No need for Henriks theory.

rgbatduke
April 24, 2014 1:10 pm

Correlation not being causality, it is better stated that there is a correlation between cloudiness and reported average temperatures. However, it isn’t necessarily the case that the Svensmark hypothesis is the causal basis. I could just as easily state that the cause is purely orbital, or due to variations in solar state other than solar magnetic, or due to variations in aerosol levels and consequent all-source albedo (both direct and from the aerosol/cloud secondary connection) from sources other than cosmic rays.
Is it colder because it is cloudier, or cloudier because it is colder? The pictures do not and cannot reveal that. All they can do is show that cloudier and colder tend to go together, which is surely no surprise, even as it doesn’t in and of itself prove or disprove any particular mechanism (where there might well be more than one!) producing the correlation.
Just before anybody gets carried away with the notion that this is “proof” of the Svensmark hypothesis…
rgb

Mark Bofill
April 24, 2014 1:10 pm

Interesting.
from the article,

When the researchers examined cloud data collected by weather satellites over the past 22 years and compared them with 26 Forbush decreases, they discovered that, for the five strongest events, the water-droplet content of Earth’s clouds decreased by an average of 7%.

I wonder when those were, and if there were significant corresponding temperature anomaly fluctuations around those events? Strange if so that no-one noticed, although perhaps this is well known and I’m simply unaware of it.

Mark Bofill
April 24, 2014 1:12 pm

Dr. Brown,

Is it colder because it is cloudier, or cloudier because it is colder?

That reminds me of Dr. Spencer’s arguments about the difficulties on disentangling forcings and feedbacks.

Mark Bofill
April 24, 2014 1:14 pm

wait, this is from 2009?

April 24, 2014 1:15 pm

I welcome any work into the theory of cosmic rays and the possibility of cloud seeding. Somebody has to do it if only to remove it from the equations. That’s how science gets done. It’s better than the usual suspects spouting something about the red herring, TSI and dismissing all theories related to cosmic rays out of hand.
This story might be a step too far though. Here’s my cosmic ray picture 🙂
http://imgur.com/0RXd0ku

April 24, 2014 1:18 pm

The problem as any theory of style will tell you is that art is not only influenced by nature,
but more importantly art is influenced by other art.
That is, art not only can imitate nature it can imitate other art. This is known as artistic influence.
Until you can quantify the extent to which art imitates other art rather than its subject, you don’t have anything.
On the science there is no connection between GCRs and clouds. Looking at the highest resolution data we have at 12 different pressure levels, I find nothing. zip. nada. zero.

April 24, 2014 1:20 pm

Sorr, I also meant to add that there is nothing atypical about the skys in those old paintings. Sure we don’t have the Thames ice fayres any more and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a big river freeze but the huge cloudy skies are jut sunny old England going about business as usual. it’s been one of those days in the North today.

Mark Bofill
April 24, 2014 1:20 pm

wait, this is from 2009?

Right, because I missed the point of the article. LIA art.
So we’re talking about art as temperature proxies?
Ok, but I’m not sure I like art proxies any better than any of the other proxies. I’ll think about it.
I’m going back to sleep now. Not that it appears I fully woke up in the first place. 🙂

Jon
April 24, 2014 1:23 pm

Sorry, I’m not convinced. Artists are out to make a buck like everyone else, When one local artist has got rich by painting cumulonimbus clouds, others will follow suit. When the public gets sick of cumulonimbus they’ll paint cirrus, or clear skies, or whatever sells. Paintings aren’t done on the spot, immediately, like photographs. The main details are sketched in and the less important stuff — like clouds — is usually added later in the studio.
This is like saying that two-dimensional people were commonly found in Egyptian times and during the Cubist period.

emsnews
April 24, 2014 1:24 pm

The false idea that the sun’s energy output is totally the same forever is WRONG. Dead wrong.
The sun has various levels of activity. This, in turn, causes the rotating planets that surround the sun to change their own temperature over time due to higher or lower energy output levels.
The ‘atom bomb’ sun becomes a ‘fire cracker’ sun as it destabilizes over time, that is, it is very, very old. Want to have a real scare?
The sun isn’t forever! Nor is our planet. Or even the universe itself.

kenw
April 24, 2014 1:30 pm

Caution is warranted as artists are quite free to add/subract/modify clouds to impact the overall art piece. Artistically speaking, clear blue skies are pretty boring as are totally overcast. An artist is very likely to have ‘dressed up’ the sky if these conditions were at hand in reality or to add/subtract mood. My dad did it all the time in his watercolors. I’ve even done it with my photographs (heresy, I know…deal with it).
However, to me there is value in the overall representation since an observed consistency across several artists in a particular time/place would tend to discount individual ‘artistic license’. That appears the case here.
good stuff.

Rhoda R
April 24, 2014 1:33 pm

I don’t see where the skies are any worse proxy than tree rings – ie neither particularly good.

ren
April 24, 2014 1:37 pm
strike
April 24, 2014 1:41 pm

@rgb
“Is it colder because it is cloudier, or cloudier because it is colder? The pictures do not and cannot reveal that. All they can do is show that cloudier and colder tend to go together, which is surely no surprise”
You’re statement is correct for a summerday, but is wrong for winters, at least my european ones. They only get really cold without clouds. Maybe this is different in Your warmer regions?

April 24, 2014 1:41 pm

I find it very interesting that the art proxy lines up quite well with IPCC Figure 7c. Does it mean anything? Maybe, maybe not. It may be more relevent to phsycology than climate science. ..
Also, I would love to see a rigourus test of the statment “The Cosmic effect is now established through rigorous attempts to disprove it, the proper scientific method.”

Greg
April 24, 2014 1:44 pm

“These artists considered the conditions relatively normal, ”
Did they ? Do you have that via personal communication too, or are you channelling?

April 24, 2014 1:53 pm

OK, so if you sorted the art by year (rather than epochs that we know existed), could you get a graph anything like the IPCC Figure 7c? The epoch meathod is kind of like hindcasting, which all of us sceptics hate.

Editor
April 24, 2014 1:56 pm

Funny, these global-temperature-proxies-as-art things.
See, multiple real-world actual witnessed events like the River Thames Ice fairs and churches in the Alps being exposed from under (retreating) glaciers are NOT considered valid proxies, but undated other proxies …

Bob Ryan
April 24, 2014 1:59 pm

Steven Mosher – perhaps the following rewording might help:
‘The problem as any theory of science will tell you is that theory is not only influenced by nature,
but more importantly theory is influenced by other theory.
That is, theory not only can imitate nature it can imitate other theory. This is known as paradigm lock.
Until you can quantify the extent to which theory imitates other theory rather than its subject, you don’t have anything.’
There – that’s better. This is something some really great philosophers have spoken and written about: Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, David Papineau to name just three that spring to mind. I commend them to you.

Avi ben Barzel
April 24, 2014 2:07 pm

Mr Mosher (April 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm) is partially right. Art often imitates art; it’s typically derivative. But from the Renaissance on, Western artists made serious efforts to depict nature with as much representation as they could. They were not monks copying icons in candle-lit scriptoriums, but went outdoors in all sorts of weather and quickly made working sketches of the natural environment before investing months of work on their great canvasses.. No, not evidence perhaps, but certainly a fascinating and pleasingly elegant hypothesis by Mr Ball.

April 24, 2014 2:16 pm

Steven Mosher says:
April 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm
“That is, art not only can imitate nature it can imitate other art. This is known as artistic influence.”
As a plein air painter of 30+ years I would add that artist also are known to add clouds to a clear sky for interest. The next guy might just leave out any clouds. Some painted the sky in the studio to save time on location. The most you could say from the historical paintings is at some time they saw a sky some where like the one in the picture.

Duster
April 24, 2014 2:27 pm

… Correlation between sunspot numbers and global temperature was known for decades, but with no proven mechanism it was correctly set aside. …
This is patently false. Indication of a nonrandom association between phenomena suggests a causal linkage. The linkage may not be even remotely as a simple as a change in one “causes” a change in the other. So, ideally rather than set aside investigation of correlated phenomena, it is ideal to look into determining if the correlation is real, then is it does appear to be real, a search for mechanism should be made. Invoking “no proven mechanism” is laziness, not science.

Stephen Wilde
April 24, 2014 2:29 pm

I still prefer the solution that solar variations affect tropopause heights differentially above equator and poles so as to change the length of the lines of air mass mixing and thereby affect global cloudiness.
The effect is seen in the shifts between zonal and meridional jet stream tracks.
Cosmic ray changes are a mere correlation with little or no causative significance.

Henry Clark
April 24, 2014 2:29 pm

Dozens of papers on the observed climate influence of cosmic rays are listed and described under http://www.co2science.org/subject/s/subject_s.php among other sources.
For example:
Harrison, R.G. and Stephenson, D.B. 2005: “Across the UK, on days of high cosmic ray flux (above 3600×10^2 neutron counts per hour, which occur 87% of the time on average) compared with low cosmic ray flux, (i) the chance of an overcast day increases by 19% +/- 4%, and (ii) the diffuse fraction increases by 2% +/- 0.3%.”
Dergachev et al 2004: Known data “proves that cosmic rays were the main factor affecting the weather and climate during tens of thousands of years.”
A number of correlation plots, even down to quantities like drift ice in proxy data spanning thousands of years, are shown in a Kirkby paper: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.1938v1.pdf
And others are in my usual grand image and plot compilation which includes a number of additional references: http://tinyurl.com/nbnh7hq
So this article looking at art must be placed in context: It is a mildly interesting albeit relatively very weak observation, yet for a strong case with vastly stronger other evidence.
Recognizing the solar cosmic ray influence on climate is far more dangerous to the CAGW movement than, for instance, skeptics just blaming variation in the global temperature index on that in another temperature index (the AMO), and accordingly it has been particularly targeted. As extremely illustrated in http://hidethedecline.eu/ with example after example of original temperature and climate history, the foundation of the CAGW movement has been rewriting the past, rewriting data, and dishonesty. (Note that site has not been linked on WUWT’s list of top skeptic sites, a major omission).
The common claim that global warming is of huge magnitude relative to the change in forcing is untrue: All of global warming over the past century was about a <=~ 0.2% change in absolute Kelvin temperature (where global average temperature, of around 15 degrees Celsius, is around 298 Kelvin), whereas the change in solar-CRF forcing was large enough to primarily cause that at a small climate sensitivity. For example and to further show an example of the co2science site discussion:
"Next, based on information that indicated a solar activity-induced increase in radiative forcing of 1.3 Wm-2 over the 20th century (by way of cosmic ray flux reduction), plus the work of others (Hoyt and Schatten, 1993; Lean et al., 1995; Solanki and Fligge, 1998) that indicated a globally-averaged solar luminosity increase of approximately 0.4 Wm-2 over the same period, Shaviv calculated an overall and ultimately solar activity-induced warming of 0.47°C (1.7 Wm-2 x 0.28 C per Wm-2) over the 20th century.
Added to the 0.14 C of anthropogenic-induced warming, the calculated total warming of the 20th century thus came to 0.61 C, which was noted by Shaviv to be very close to the 0.57 C temperature increase that was said by the IPCC to have been observed over the past century.
Consequently, both Shaviv’s and Idso’s analyses, which mesh well with real-world data of both the recent and distant past, suggest that only 15-20% (0.10 C/ 0.57 C) of the observed warming of the 20th-century can be attributed to the concomitant rise in the air’s CO2 content.

Henry Clark
April 24, 2014 2:31 pm

Dozens of papers on the observed climate influence of cosmic rays are listed and described under http://www.co2science.org/subject/s/subject_s.php among other sources.
For example:
Harrison, R.G. and Stephenson, D.B. 2005: “Across the UK, on days of high cosmic ray flux (above 3600×10^2 neutron counts per hour, which occur 87% of the time on average) compared with low cosmic ray flux, (i) the chance of an overcast day increases by 19% +/- 4%, and (ii) the diffuse fraction increases by 2% +/- 0.3%.”
Dergachev et al 2004: Known data “proves that cosmic rays were the main factor affecting the weather and climate during tens of thousands of years.”
A number of correlation plots, even down to quantities like drift ice in proxy data spanning thousands of years, are shown in a Kirkby paper: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0804.1938v1.pdf
And others are in my usual grand image and plot compilation which includes a number of additional references, in the link in my name.
So this article looking at art must be placed in context: It is a mildly interesting albeit relatively very weak observation, yet for a strong case with vastly stronger other evidence.
Recognizing the solar cosmic ray influence on climate is far more dangerous to the CAGW movement than, for instance, skeptics just blaming variation in the global temperature index on that in another temperature index (the AMO), and accordingly it has been particularly targeted. As extremely illustrated in hidethedecline.eu with example after example of original temperature and climate history, the foundation of the CAGW movement has been rewriting the past, rewriting data, and dishonesty. (Note that site has not been linked on WUWT’s list of top skeptic sites, a major omission).
The common claim that global warming is of huge magnitude relative to the change in forcing is untrue: All of global warming over the past century was about a <=~ 0.2% change in absolute Kelvin temperature (where global average temperature, of around 15 degrees Celsius, is around 298 Kelvin), whereas the change in solar-CRF forcing was large enough to primarily cause that at a small climate sensitivity. For example and to further show an example of the co2science site discussion:
"Next, based on information that indicated a solar activity-induced increase in radiative forcing of 1.3 Wm-2 over the 20th century (by way of cosmic ray flux reduction), plus the work of others (Hoyt and Schatten, 1993; Lean et al., 1995; Solanki and Fligge, 1998) that indicated a globally-averaged solar luminosity increase of approximately 0.4 Wm-2 over the same period, Shaviv calculated an overall and ultimately solar activity-induced warming of 0.47°C (1.7 Wm-2 x 0.28 C per Wm-2) over the 20th century.
Added to the 0.14 C of anthropogenic-induced warming, the calculated total warming of the 20th century thus came to 0.61 C, which was noted by Shaviv to be very close to the 0.57 C temperature increase that was said by the IPCC to have been observed over the past century.
Consequently, both Shaviv’s and Idso’s analyses, which mesh well with real-world data of both the recent and distant past, suggest that only 15-20% (0.10 C/ 0.57 C) of the observed warming of the 20th-century can be attributed to the concomitant rise in the air’s CO2 content.

April 24, 2014 2:33 pm

Growing up in Holland during my days in Art and History classes the depictions of the Little Ice Age were everywhere, There was also a definite cold period from the early 50’s to mid 60’s, I remember skating nearly every winter as a child from 55-66, since then not so much just the last few years there seems to be an increase again in the outdoor activity.

April 24, 2014 2:33 pm

I’m not a painter but an amateur photographer, and I abhor clear blue skies. Clouds can add so much more drama to a scene.
All very interesting, but hardly convincing.

Ed, Mr. Jones
April 24, 2014 2:33 pm

Mosher,
Was that Audubon guy interpreting art, or nature? When an artist desires to add elements not integral to or impacting on the ‘subject’, can we say they are likely or unlikely to use that which is at hand?
Unrelated: Those who dismiss the impact of clouds on global temperatures would likely dismiss the impact of umbrellas on midsummer, midday, tropical beach habitability – as well as on same in New England, US in mid April.

Tonyb
April 24, 2014 2:56 pm

There was a study completed this year to ascertain if old paintings could depict such things as the aerosols from historic volcanic eruptions.
Some artists, like turner, are known to depict colours naturally, and it is reasonable to suppose that similar artists would depict what they saw.
The study is here
http://www.decodedscience.com/artists-works-provide-valuable-historical-information-climate-scientists/43968
Tonyb

April 24, 2014 2:57 pm

unlikely any research money would go into finding triggers of mini ice ages or triggers for interglacial warming as they would probably demonstrate co2 is not a cause of anything? better the billions are spent backing up the settled science

Lawrence13
April 24, 2014 2:58 pm

Jon said
“Sorry, I’m not convinced. Artists are out to make a buck like everyone else, When one local artist has got rich by painting cumulonimbus clouds, others will follow suit. When the public gets sick of cumulonimbus they’ll paint cirrus, or clear skies, or whatever sells. Paintings aren’t done on the spot, immediately, like photographs. The main details are sketched in and the less important stuff — like clouds — is usually added later in the studio.
This is like saying that two-dimensional people were commonly found in Egyptian times and during the Cubist period.”
I think sometimes we think the way we’ve lived in the last several thousand years has been forever but it hasn’t and art like everything else in human existence has slowly, slowly dragged and developed has humans existed literally in mud but surely the evolution of artists up until the 17/18 century was to try and develop the skills to depict reality as best as possible. I say try a because court painters would have to have the skill not only the paint realistically but in a flattering way. However portrait painting was different from landscape and I’m sure cloudy skies weren’t painted for their popularity and I’m sure that most artists were either commissioned by those with clout and money but not the public in general. Saying that as I’ve already mentioned I doubt rich/royal commissions had a proviso that clouds must be included and the scenes like the ‘census at Bethlehem and hunters in the snow. In fact Bruegel was given a commission in 1565 to actually paint the seasons .
I mean Egyptian two dimensional imagery was down to the lack of artistic knowledge and skill and trends like cubism came surely when the body of knowledge of art could paint/draw every subject matter with fantastic realism and accuracy and besides the camera came along. So I would say I believee most artist in the period we are talking about painted as accurately as they could based on their experience, If you look a Bruege’ls ‘Procession to Calvary’ it’s still bleedin’ cloudy!!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pieter_Bruegel_d._%C3%84._007.jpg

April 24, 2014 3:08 pm

Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball
– – – – – – – – – – – –
Tim Ball,
Thinking about the analysis of art versus the climate was enjoyable.
Thank you for the stimulation to do so.
John

April 24, 2014 3:11 pm

‘Svensmark’s Cosmic Theory’
This one is so easy to debunk!
‘This one is important…the Sun doesn’t alter much, [the theory says] the Sun modulates the cosmic rays, the cosmic rays modulate the clouds, the clouds modulate the temperature, so the Sun amplified hugely… but we have reasons to believe it’s a fine tuning knob…the cosmic rays came streaming in…we had a big cosmic ray signal and the CLIMATE IGNORES IT and it’s just about that simple, these comic rays didn’t do enough for you to see it, so it’s a fine tuning knob’. R Alley, AGU>

george e. conant
April 24, 2014 3:12 pm

Clouds insulate , In day time heating the shade of clouds notably casts a cooler temp at ground level than direct sun, at night the clouds trap heat below them providing warmer night time temps than when night sky is clear. I experience this every day……

FrankK
April 24, 2014 3:22 pm

Steven Mosher says:
April 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm
On the science there is no connection between GCRs and clouds. Looking at the highest resolution data we have at 12 different pressure levels, I find nothing. zip. nada. zero.
——————————————————————————————————
Could you please reference your paper or document on this finding Mr Mosher ?

April 24, 2014 3:23 pm

We can’t get the AGW fanatics to understand simple models – or actual satellite data – you know this is so far beyond their understanding you might want to start with something simple like coloring between the lines with crayons.

April 24, 2014 3:26 pm

Lawrence13 says
“I mean Egyptian two dimensional imagery was down to the lack of artistic knowledge and skill ”
No, it wasn’t. For religious reasons they had to draw a body as completely as possible, because if e.g. a finger was missing from the painting, that person would be missing a finger in the hereafter.

R. de Haan
April 24, 2014 3:28 pm

A really great article. Thank you very much Dr. Ball, nice work.

taxed
April 24, 2014 3:43 pm

l have a interest in both landscape photography and weather watching.
By looking at the painting of “The Great Frost 1683” its clear the artist was painting the sky;s he was seeing at the time. They are so detailed l can get a good idea of the weather patterns at the time of the painting. The painting suggests to me that there was a Greenland high in place with area’s of low pressure moving along or sitting to the east of the UK.
Rather like what happened in late Nov / early Dec of 2010.

April 24, 2014 3:52 pm

Sorry. Epic fail. The data is not random but a highly filtered group of paintings that rose to the top well enough to not be thrown away. Such filtered data is like Mann’s selective use of trees. Besides that, the uncontrollable variables involved in the development of the paintings dictate that 1000’s of paintings would be needed.
If anything, this post displays the pitfalls one can stumble into when one does not have a proper graduate level education in statistical analysis.

April 24, 2014 4:00 pm

Ashby Manson
April 24, 2014 4:13 pm

As fun as this article was to read, as an artist I’m going to hit the buzzer. Artist will ad or subtract clouds in response to artistic taste and temperament. Baroque and Gothic art will have differing levels of clouds depending on style. Maybe exclusively using nature studies would get better results, but…I’m not buying it.

April 24, 2014 4:34 pm

I suspect most alarmists would only consider socialist realist art, and they don’t do clouds.

mobihci
April 24, 2014 5:16 pm

There are hundreds of studies that show the medieval warming period existed worldwide and of the studies that show the little ice age, the majority show it existed. only mann and couple of other cherry picked tree proxies show otherwise. why do we need to look at paintings? there is clear evidence such as uncovering farms in greenland etc without having to rely on artists impressions.
http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php
are we sure this is tim ball that posted this?

Herbert
April 24, 2014 5:24 pm

“Svensmark’s Cosmic Theory ”
“This one’s so easy to debunk”
So a video on You Tube showing a few sentences by R. Alley ” debunks Svensmark .
Any peer reviewed papers from Alley ?
Let him write a paper rebutting Yu, F. and Gan Luo , ” Effect of Solar variations on particle formation and cloud condensation nuclei.” Environmental Research Letters , April 9, 2014.
Or perhaps he might write a paper in response to ” The Role of Solar Activity in Global Warming” , by S.V. Avakyan,Herald of The Russian Academy of Sciences 2013,Vol 83,no 3 pp. 275-285.
I don’t think your opinion or that of Alley that ” We know it’s not the Sun ” is very convincing.

April 24, 2014 5:27 pm

We have artists of a certain type ‘modeling’ / describing a sky / climate.
We have scientists of a certain type ‘modeling’ / describing a sky / climate.
Is one of those situations any less epistemologically filtered in its physical representality than the other? Especial knowing how IPCC subservient scientists do research and how peer review isn’t often criticality conducted on their research.
Interesting comparisons are possible.
John

Caligula Jones
April 24, 2014 5:50 pm

Ever notice how many Christmas carols, usually concerning winter and cold, were written during the LIA?

bushbunny
April 24, 2014 6:29 pm

The lack of sunspots usually allows more galactic sub atomic particles actually hitting the earth.
This was well known actually and I learned about this years ago at university. In fact a scientist employed by a fishers authority to investigate why anchovies were in short supply some years more than others. There was more rain fall flowing into the sea and anchovies moved away. The CERN report mentioned this a few years ago regarding cloud formation.
Studying the sun would most probably be too much hard work for alarmists. Yet everyone knows frost does not form if there is cloud cover, and without cloud cover desert temperatures plunge at night and always have.
As far as artists, well there are drawings of the ice fairs held on the Thames, and as we all know, wine growing was hit hard during the mini ice age even in Britain. But they turned the old grape presses into printing presses. This really was a important phase in human cultures, if you could read of course. Books were really for the rich at first, but without them now, we would be not so well informed.

bushbunny
April 24, 2014 6:36 pm

About Christmas Carols, LOL, well Jesus was supposed to have been born in winter, and it corresponds with a lot of pagan winter festivals, Saturnalia, Anglo Saxon and Celtic when food was in short supply. Then Yule of course, the 12 days of Christmas. Each country had their own version of the winter soltise.
When was the Zieder Zee constructed, maybe our Dutch poster could answer that, wasn’t that in the late 40s? As the Netherlands (low countries) were being swamped by the North Sea, they reclaimed the land.

Carla
April 24, 2014 6:41 pm

Figure 8: From a cloud study by Constable (1821).
Lookin’ like that noctilucent structure he’s trying to get here..
Now here in Wisconsin been quite noticeable this spring that if it weren’t for the clouds it might start warming up some.. clouds clouds go away and let the sunshine in ..

bushbunny
April 24, 2014 6:42 pm

Oh, in Australia, first colonized in 1788, some of our Christmas cards, have Father Christmas, being driven by white kangaroos, not reindeer. Or Santa sitting on a beach in his swimmers, having a quiet beer. Somehow being English, and always following a traditional Christmas fare,
it ain’t ‘alf hot cooking a roast in Australia, with sweat pouring down one’s face. Just doesn’t seem as Christmas to me. But I am used to it now, especially as one year we had snow two days before Christmas, a extreme weather event.

bushbunny
April 24, 2014 6:49 pm

Well I have some of Constables prints, and they show lots of green trees. And cathedrals of course, and country life. I know when I lived in UK, snow generally was not seen until after Christmas, unless you lived in Scotland. But one year we woke up on Christmas Day with snow.
That was in Liverpool, UK.

Henry Clark
April 24, 2014 8:04 pm

Mark Bofill says:
April 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm
I wonder when those were, and if there were significant corresponding temperature anomaly fluctuations around those events?
To quote from http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/do-clouds-disappear-4/ (although, of course, this is just a excerpt with the link best gone to directly):
The focus was on the “natural experiments” in which big puffs of gas from the Sun block some of the cosmic rays coming from the Galaxy towards the Earth. The resulting falls in cosmic ray influx, called Forbush decreases, last for a few days. The game is to look for observable reductions in cloudiness in the aftermath of these events. The results are most clearly favourable to the Svensmark hypothesis for the Forbush decreases with the largest percentage reductions in cosmic rays. Scientists keen to falsify the hypothesis have only to mix in some of the weaker events for the untidiness of the world’s weather to “hide the decline”.
The Serbs avoid that blunder by picking out the strongest Forbush decreases. And by using the simple, reliable and long-provided weather-station measurements of temperature by night and day, they avoid technical, interpretive and data-availability problems that surround more direct observations of clouds and their detailed properties. The temperatures come from 184 stations scattered all across Europe (actually, so I notice, from Greenland to Siberia). A compilation by the Mount Washington Observatory that spans four decades, from 1954 to 1995, supplies the catalogue of Forbush decreases.
The prime results are seen here in Dragić et al.‘s Figure 5. The graphs show the increase in the diurnal temperature range averaged across the continent in the days following the onset of cosmic ray decreases (day 0 on the horizontal scales). The upper panel is the result for 22 Forbush events in the range 7−10%, with a peak at roughly +0.35 C in the diurnal temperature range. The lower panel is for 13 events greater than 10%. The peak goes to +0.6 C and the influence lasts longer. It’s very satisfactory for the Svensmark hypothesis that the effect increases like this, with greater reductions in the cosmic rays. The results become hard (impossible?) to explain by any mechanism except an influence of cosmic rays on cloud formation.
To be candid, these results are much better than I’d have expected for observations from a densely populated continent with complex weather patterns, where air pollution and effects of vegetation confuse the picture of available cloud condensation nuclei. Svensmark’s team has emphasized the observable effects over the oceans.

Michael Wassil
April 24, 2014 8:28 pm

strike says:
April 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm
@rgb
“Is it colder because it is cloudier, or cloudier because it is colder? The pictures do not and cannot reveal that. All they can do is show that cloudier and colder tend to go together, which is surely no surprise”
You’re statement is correct for a summerday, but is wrong for winters, at least my european ones. They only get really cold without clouds. Maybe this is different in Your warmer regions?
____________
My experience from living a decade in the Yukon east of Laberge concurs. In the winter, clear days equal colder days and cloudy days equal warmer days. I think this is easy to understand. Cloudy days are somewhat more humid than clear days and the humidity ameliorates the temperature to some extent. Although, with the sun fairly high above the horizon, a clear and cold day can ‘feel’ warmer when you’re exposed to direct sunlight.
However, as far as climate goes, the fluctuations of temperatures during winter don’t really matter very much. Once it goes below the freezing point of water: it’s cold, period. Everything is either dead or dormant until temperatures go above and stay above the freezing point again.
In the summer, however, it’s the reverse. Sunny days are warmer and cloudy days are colder. This has a profound effect, for instance on crops. A cool, cloudy (and especially wet) spring can delay planting beyond the point of viability. Long season crops may fail entirely. A cloudy and cool summer growing season can retard plant growth, reducing the harvest significantly in the fall.

bushbunny
April 24, 2014 8:32 pm

I have turned up my Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology, now out of print, it was a prescribed book for me in my first year at UNE. Regarding ice ages, the causation factors are varied, but volcanic dust is one factor thought to be involved, as well as orbit, and ocean currents, as the glaciers took over the rain cycles were involved and so was the sun. However, one mention is cutting down trees can alter precipitation. This was discovered in the Amazon basin over a ten year research project, that removing rain forests
in very large tracts, drove the clouds up higher and altered precipitation in places as much as 200 miles away. There suggestion was to avoid this to leave tracts of rainforest in place, to almost equal the amount of land cleared.

April 24, 2014 9:04 pm

Thanks, Dr. Ball. Good art research, good science.

Mario Lento
April 24, 2014 10:23 pm

rgbatduke says:
April 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm
Correlation not being causality, it is better stated that there is a correlation between cloudiness and reported average temperatures. However, it isn’t necessarily the case that the Svensmark hypothesis is the causal basis. I could just as easily state that the cause is purely orbital, or due to variations in solar state other than solar magnetic, or due to variations in aerosol levels and consequent all-source albedo (both direct and from the aerosol/cloud secondary connection) from sources other than cosmic rays.
Is it colder because it is cloudier, or cloudier because it is colder? The pictures do not and cannot reveal that. All they can do is show that cloudier and colder tend to go together, which is surely no surprise, even as it doesn’t in and of itself prove or disprove any particular mechanism (where there might well be more than one!) producing the correlation.
Just before anybody gets carried away with the notion that this is “proof” of the Svensmark hypothesis…
++++++++++++
Good points, however the opposite would tend to disprove the theory. If the evidence from art was clear (not cloudy).

bushbunny
April 24, 2014 10:59 pm

I am not going to argue about art but there is imaginative art and landscape art. 16th century
art is mainly concerned with portraits but Constable was for recreating English landscapes.
So were the French impressionists of the 19th Century. Just because it shows snow in any of them means it snowed. Period. It depends on which season clouds are plentiful. In summer and warmer months the temps drop if there is cloud cover, in Winter they tend to keep temps a bit warmer. There are so many variables.

Henry Clark
April 25, 2014 1:59 am

The global cloud cover has a clear overall cooling effect on the planet, even though the net effect of high and low clouds are opposite.
The overall reflectance (albedo) of planet Earth is about 30 percent, meaning that about 30 percent of the incoming shortwave solar radiation is radiated back to space. If all clouds were removed, the global albedo would decrease to about 15 percent, and the amount of shortwave energy available for warming the planet surface would increase from 239 W/m2 to 288 W/m2 (Hartmann 1994). However, the longwave radiation would also be affected, with 266 W/m2 being emitted to space, compared to the present 234 W/m2 (Hartmann 1994). The net effect of removing all clouds would therefore still be an increase in net radiation of about 17 W/m2.
Within the still short period of satellite cloud cover observations, the total global cloud cover reached a maximum of about 69 percent in 1987 and a minimum of about 64 percent in 2000 (see diagram above), a decrease of about 5 percent. This decrease roughly corresponds to a radiative net change of about 0.9 W/m2 within a period of only 13 years, which may be compared with the total net change from 1750 to 2006 of 1.6 W/m2 of all climatic drivers as estimated in the IPCC 2007 report, including release of greenhouse gasses from the burning of fossil fuels. These observations leave little doubt that cloud cover variations may have a profound effect on global climate and meteorology on almost any time scale considered.
http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndClouds.htm

Henry Clark
April 25, 2014 2:07 am

Anyway, as in the above, generally on average the net effect of increased cloudiness is substantial cooling, dominated by reflectance of daytime sunlight, although clouds in the night do warm in the sense of slowing cooling and although cloud type (altitude) matters.

agricultural economist
April 25, 2014 2:12 am

Do not forget Schubert’s ‘Winterreise’, setting in tunes the poems by Wilhelm Müller written under the impression of the Dalton Minimum.
“River, once so restless
Flowing fast and bright
Why are you now so still
Lifeless, chilled and silent
A hard and icy case
You lie cold and dreary
Pressed fast upon the earth”

Louis Hooffstetter
April 25, 2014 2:23 am

omnologos says:
“Has anybody ever seen a bristlecone artist?”
No, but we’ve all seen a bristlecone con-artist.

Charlie
April 25, 2014 2:32 am

Constable was one of the first artists to actually paint the countryside while in the countryside and for it’s own sake , rather than a back drop to a portrait or some classical or biblical scene. If there was one artist i would trust to paint clouds accurately it would be Constable. Also the Dutch/Flemish realists of the 16-17 centuries painted accurate records
When the Dutch/Flemish painted pictures of classical or biblical themes they often set them in contemporary vistas.

April 25, 2014 2:34 am

@Herbert says:
April 24, 2014
‘So a video on You Tube showing a few sentences by R. Alley ” debunks Svensmark’
Well they seem pretty sound evidence to me!
‘the cosmic rays came streaming in…we had a big cosmic ray signal and the CLIMATE IGNORES IT and it’s just about that simple’
And no doubt he has more evidence on the effect, the graphs he shows are very convincing!

Alberta Slim
April 25, 2014 4:46 am

If you look closely at Pieter Breughel the Elder, Hunters in the Snow, you will see that the people on the lake are Curling. [You know. The game with rocks and brushes played on ice].
Just a useless bit of trivia. But this painting was not in Scotland, where the Scots claimed to have “invented” curling. [Their claim would be that they set the rules of the game]
I am a painter and the paintings could be an indicator, but I agree with Pamela. There is not enough evidence. I vary my skies depending on the picture.
The CRE [Cosmic Ray Effect] is interesting in that it is controlled by the sun. This, to me, is far more realistic, than the UN IPCC’s burning-fossil-fuels-releasing-CO2-forming-a-blanket-trapping-heat-leading-to-Thermageddon, aka the GHE [green House Effect]

rgbatduke
April 25, 2014 6:45 am

You’re statement is correct for a summerday, but is wrong for winters, at least my european ones. They only get really cold without clouds. Maybe this is different in Your warmer regions?
No, you are quite correct. Clouds are an awesome reflector of not only LWR but SWR as well — they simply have high albedo and reflect a very large fraction of incident light back as specular multiple reflection (I recall around 90%, but I’m far from sure of that number and don’t feel like looking up the right one). They are white white as seen from above in sunlight because they are collectively reflecting most of the sunlight right on back up.
Beneath the clouds in the daytime, they are cooling. Even in the winter, they can be cooling during the day in the sense that they prevent some of the warming attendant on sunshine. At night, clouds are more often warming, as they block outgoing radiation. They can either REALLY be warming — clouds can easily be inverted relative to ground temperatures and can radiate more energy down than they receive back for a while if they are the result of bulk transport of warm wet air — or they can passively prevent cooling by trapping and backradiating thermal radiation from the surface even more efficiently than “greenhouse gases”.
From what I recall, clouds are on average cooling in temperate through tropical latitudes, and are on average warming in the polar regions. This can locally in space and time easily depend on cloud height and dynamics, though. Daytime vs nighttime can easily depend on what kind of clouds they are — some clouds form during the day from updrafted moisture and tend to come and go diurnally, other clouds form over a comparatively long time and are persistent. Anthony could probably speak chapter and verse on clouds — it’s part of his thing. One way clouds can affect climate, though, is very simple. Clouds have a very high albedo, and are responsible for a substantial fraction of the Earth’s mean albedo. An increase of a few percent in relative average albedo is enough to, on average, drop the Earth’s mean surface temperature by as much as 2 C (the computation is pretty easy to do — it takes incoming insolation off of the top, so to speak).
This is a really interesting potential source of natural variation. The sun may not vary its output by more than a few tenths of a percent (at least within our period of accurate observation) but albedo is considerably more variable with fluctuations on the order of 5%. What isn’t really known is whether or not there is any sort of long term pattern or structure to albedo variation — what are the factors that make it vary other than random fluctuation? The Earthlight project (and more recently satellite observations) reveal that albedo might be a far more serious contributor to climate than previously thought, far more important than CO_2 increases in the short run. Its sensitivity to planetary temperature is also a very important open question — if it automagically increases with temperature, the feedback is negative and might well cancel, on average, most of the greenhouse warming (and help keep planetary temperatures as stable as they apparently are).
rgb

jayhd
April 25, 2014 7:41 am

Contemporary art and contemporary literature both support the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. It has been clear to me ever since I first saw the “hockey stick” that Mann does not know anything about the history, literature or art of the time period reflected in his “science”.

April 25, 2014 8:05 am

Got this far: “…but with no proven mechanism it was correctly set aside.”
Darwin provided no good mechanism–only good correlation–and his theory could not be correctly set aside. Mendel provided a mathematical mechanism–theoretical genetics. The true mechanisms continue to be spelled out: genes, genetic drift, etc. Correlation equates to causation. To deny this is to deny the usefulness of statistics. –AGF

rgbatduke
April 25, 2014 11:26 am

Darwin provided no good mechanism–only good correlation–and his theory could not be correctly set aside. Mendel provided a mathematical mechanism–theoretical genetics. The true mechanisms continue to be spelled out: genes, genetic drift, etc. Correlation equates to causation. To deny this is to deny the usefulness of statistics. –AGF
Hence, ladies and gentlemen, it is easy to demonstrate that smoking causes pregnancy (to cite a single example from actual stats textbooks), as well as heroin addiction. Green jelly beans cause acne. Poverty causes an inheritable excess of melanin in the skin. Fondness for classical music causes wealth. The passing of time itself causes increasing average intelligence (the Flynn effect).
Much as I appreciate what you are trying to say, let’s say it more carefully. Post hoc ergo propter hoc — after a thing therefore because of a thing — is indeed a logical fallacy because it is trivial to come up with literally uncountable examples of correlation that is not, in fact, causality. Some observed correlation is purely statistically accidental, and only comes to our attention via inadvertent data dredging (green jelly beans cause acne). Some observed correlations between A and B does not indicate a causal relationship between A and B at all, but rather a common relationship with C (smoking causes pregnancy and heroin addiction, the Flynn effect). Some observed correlation is enormously complex and arises in spite of the lack of any proximate cause and can only be understood in terms of history, chance, sociology, custom (poverty and skin color, classical music and wealth). Some correlations that are asserted aren’t even valid correlations or are observed only in specific milieu and don’t even indicate a secondary identifiable causality, only complex accident.
At the same time, while correlation is not causality, in the end it’s all we’ve got to make sense of the world. In that sense I agree with you. But “making sense” itself only makes sense in the context of building an entire, reasonably consistent, evidence supported worldview that is basically a self-consistent network of Bayesian (joint and conditional) probability statements that function as mutually supporting prior and posterior probabilities. When certain parts of that structure are so strongly validated by statistical analysis of observation and experimentation that we come to believe that there are (probably) no exception to the rules, we transform them into Bayesian priors with such high probability of truth that it might as well be unity — they become Boolean/Aristotelian constraints of posterior reasoning. When we have enough of these priors that they leave very few gaps in the chain of reasoning from the near-certain priors, through a new conditional hypothesis (that some particular causal structure produces some given observational correlation), to posterior probabilities in excellent agreement with posterior observation, we consider the correlation to indeed be the result of the cause.
Until this happens, though, we cannot be certain — or even reasonably certain — that an observed correlation of A and B is indicative of proximate causality (A causes B) or even secondary causality (a single common, mutual cause C causes A and B). Beyond that, we have entire networks of interlinked causes and really do need to show a strong agreement and consistency with the priors before anyone takes the hypothesis of causality too seriously.
This abuse of logical and/or statistical fallacies is a major problem with the climate debate both ways. For example: The global average surface temperature increased significantly during the 15 year span from roughly 1983 to 1998 (and varied much less strongly on either side of that interval). That span coincided with a period in which atmospheric CO_2 increased. Therefore, the atmospheric CO_2 increase caused the temperature increase. Pure correlation equals causality.
However, if one examines the data more broadly, one observes that the temperature increased quite strongly during the interval from roughly 1910 to 1940 as well, and that during this interval the increase in atmospheric CO_2 was negligible. One observes that from roughly 1943 to 1973 the temperature decreased slowly, although atmospheric CO_2 increased strongly. One observes that from 1998 to the present, the temperature has remained roughly flat while atmospheric CO_2 has increased strongly. One goes further back in the climate record (with ever lower precision associated with the increasingly proxy-derived picture of the climate) and notes times in the comparatively recent historical past when the climate rapidly and substantially warmed and cooled — so much so that they are named eras — with virtually no variation in atmospheric CO_2.
All of these are confounding data — they contradict the assertion of a strong, predictive relationship between CO_2 concentration alone and average temperature. In some cases the evidence shows that the climate can naturally vary substantially without the contribution or influence of variable CO_2. In other cases the evidence shows that monotonic CO_2 variation is a poor predictor of climate trends. Both substantially degrade the probable truth of an assertion of a strong, necessary causal relationship between monotonically increasing CO_2 and the non-monotonic temperature variations of the latter half of the 20th century and first 7th of the 21st century, in spite of the monotonic correlation observed in the 1980s and 1990s.
However, this sort of analysis cuts both ways. The data suggests that the CO_2 “signal” to natural “noise” ratio is not large, but it hardly excludes the possibility that there is no CO_2 signal. Given that we have Bayesian priors that we believe quite strongly — radiation physics, fluid physics, and well-known, easily measured CO_2 spectroscopy — that unambiguously predict that increasing atmospheric CO_2 will have a direct, proximate effect on the average temperature of an increase between 1 and 1.5 C by the time concentration reaches 600 ppm, given that we can clearly see that the climate can and often does vary on nearly this scale over a century without any help from CO_2, given our substantial ignorance of the nonlinear interactions that act as regulatory feedbacks within the climate system, we are left with the distinct possibilities that the climate could actually cool as negative feedbacks eliminate most of the CO_2 linked warming and natural cycles carry the Earth into a cooling phase, that the climate could remain nearly neutral as feedbacks and natural variation effectively cancel CO_2-linked warming within noise, or that the climate would warm by as much as 1 to 1.5 C or more because of net positive feedbacks and/or help from natural variation. The only thing we are required to be especially careful of is any assertion that natural variation is necessarily going to be less important than CO_2, as that is likely to be true only in the very long run based on our observational knowledge of the natural variability of the past.
Until we can solve the complete, coupled, nonlinear, chaotic, multivariate physics problem at a sufficiently fine scale and with sufficiently precise specification of the initial conditions that the computation has reasonable predictive skill, our knowledge of the data only — that is, the visible correlations between different factors and/or observations — has incredibly limited utility. It at best enables us to establish crude bounds and sanity checks on egregious assertions of causal relationships between parameters and observations by preventing them from being cherrypicked or data dredged out of the morass of data available at different sampling, resolution, quality, precision and with vastly different probable errors that themselves vary over time (a data miner’s playground, open invitation to confirmation-bias directed searches). Thus the 80s and 90s don’t prove CAGW, and the 2000s don’t disprove it. The GCMs don’t prove it either, not until they work where at this point, they manifestly are not working. There may or may not be correlations between sunspot levels and solar activity and global temperature — whether there are or there aren’t, the correlations aren’t enough to prove causality and neither is a theory that predicts a correlation if that correlation is not observed in the future, looking for it with good instrumentation, however uncertain any discussion of “corrected” or “uncorrected” sunspot levels observed in the past must necessarily be.
Correlation is not causality, but physics is what we name our most firmly held Bayesian priors for the establishment of causality that explains any given correlation. Explanations that violate physical law are held to be very improbable. Explanations that violate “higher order” laws in chemistry, biology, or in other slightly softer sciences are also treated with well-deserved suspicion, as their truth in some sense contradicts our well-established, observationally verified beliefs, which are further strengthened in most cases with causal chain connections back to still more fundamental and strongly held beliefs. One cannot reason in a scientific vacuum, or reason on the basis of statistics alone.
That’s the major problem I have with numerology in climate science. It is absolutely true that one can come up with very simple numerological models for the global average temperature (according to e.g. HADCRUT4) from 1850 to the present. It is possible to get a very decent fit to the data with a single term linear in time plus a single term that is harmonic in time with a period of ballpark 60 years. One can connect the 60 year period with all sorts of things — planetary conjunctions, the phase of the PDO, whatever you like. One can connect the linear behavior with whatever you like — slowly increasing CO_2, slowly warming oceans post the Little Ice Age with its unknown proximate causes, slowly varying levels of vulcanism, slowly varying levels of solar activity, all of the above in various patterns of coincidence. The problem is that without the underlying, directly computable physical explanation, in the end all you ever have is numerology, not a scientific understanding.
Humans observed correlations between the phases of the moon and sun and the tides long, long before the causal explanation of tides was understood, either in the “simple” sense of understanding the actual proximate cause in terms of accelerating-frame pseudoforces or the far more difficult to compute sense of being able to combine that proximate cause with the fluid behavior of the oceans as shaped and directed by the continents into a wave description that works well enough to have predictive value. But until the latter was known, the former was no more meaningful than the correlation between the lunar orbital period and the solar diurnal period, which are not causally connected in any meaningful sense, although both share the same underlying causal mechanism. In fact, share it with the tides.
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milodonharlani
April 25, 2014 12:17 pm

agfosterjr says:
April 25, 2014 at 8:05 am
Darwin & Wallace did discover a good mechanism, ie natural selection, to explain the observation that previously lacked a good mechanism, ie the fact that species originate from other species such that the suite of species changes over time. For about a lifetime before “Origin of Species”, at least since the demonstration of extinction by Cuvier, “transmutation of species”, ie evolution of living things from other living things rather than divine special creation, had been a recognized but not scientifically well explained phenomenon. Today other evolutionary processes besides natural selection are known, but it’s still observed to be important in the development of living things.

ralfellis
April 26, 2014 12:28 am

As a contribution to the temperature records, the required cold conditions for the Dutch Elfstedentocht (the Eleven Cities Iceskating Race) have only been present 15 times in the last 100 years. The race requires about three weeks of very cold weather.
2 January 1909
7 February 1912
27 January 1917
12 February 1929
16 December 1933
30 January 1940
7 February 1941
22 January 1942
8 February 1947
3 February 1954
14 February 1956
18 January 1963
21 February 1985
26 February 1986
4 January 1997
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfstedentocht#Winners
Ralph

April 26, 2014 1:23 am

Don’t forget the work by Japanese scientists who discovered that muons produced when cosmic ray protons hit O2 and N2 molecules directly weaken silica rich volcanic calderas. Hence during times of prolonged low solar activity there eventually will be higher volcanic activity. Cloud cover is directly affected by volcanic activity, particularly in the immediate vicinity of volcanoes. Stratospheric clouds are particularly influenced by volcanic activity if that activity is strong enough to eject SO2 and particulates into the stratosphere. However the troposphere varies in thickness. It is up to three times as thick at the equator as it is at the poles at winter. This means that relatively weak volcanic eruptions close to the poles can produce stratospheric clouds in higher latitudes.
When the sun’s magnetic field is low then the cosmic rays reaching the polar regions increases faster than at the equator. All this means that volcanoes close to the poles become more active during low sunspot activity and can more directly affect the weather in high latitudes. So it is possible that the Northern Hemisphere polar jet streams is being modulated by the extra-ordinary volcanic activity on the Kamchatka peninsular and this is an indirect effect of the relatively low level of the sun’s magnetic field.
This is a further mechanism to produce clouds so is additional to those more directly produced by cosmic rays.
Nature is very complex., Its complexity is beyond the comprehension of simpletons who would have us believe that carbon dioxide plays an important role in climate matters.

ren
April 26, 2014 7:30 am

J. G. Roederer has aptly remarked:
“The energy argument is not valid for highly nonlinear complex systems such as the coupled atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-biosphere. It is well known that complex systems can behave chaotically, i.e., follow very different paths after the smallest change in initial or boundary conditions, or in response to the smallest perturbation. In a highly nonlinear system with large reservoirs of latent energy such as the atmosphere-ocean-biosphere, global redistributions of energy can be triggered by very small inputs, a process that depends far more on their spatial and temporal pattern than on their magnitude.”
Thus important may be the duration of action of cosmic radiation and its distribution, regardless of the total energy.

strike
April 26, 2014 8:04 am

rgbatduke says:
April 25, 2014 at 6:45 am
Thanks for your explanations, I’ll use them as an inspiration for further privat research..

rgbatduke
April 26, 2014 1:48 pm

Reference, please (to the Japanese paper)? I’m aware of the muon production mechanism and did a senior physics lab on the lifetime of the muon, but from my direct experience doing that lab, I’d be very surprised if muon flux could have a discernible effect on bulk matter within any one to two order of magnitude variation of its baseline rate. It’s just too low — it would take centuries or longer to matter. You might as well cite muons as a source of global warming heat as they catalyze fusion in molecular hydrogen or other materials — something that actually happens, but at a pathetically slow rate because of the lack of significant muon flux. Radiation can certainly weaken structures, but direct neutron flux is bound to be far more important for several reasons:
a) A neutron is roughly 9 times more massive than a muon. All things being equal (both travelling at relativistic velocity) a neutron will do more damage where it hits.
b) A muon is charged. That means that it interacts strongly with matter, in particular with electrons (it is basically a heavy electron). It can slow gradually while passing through denser matter and cause nothing more than transient dislocations or ionizations of electrons — spreading the “heat” of its collision around. It also has very little penetrating distance and stops comparatively close to the surface of the first dense matter it encounters. A neutron is electrically neutral. It more or less ignores electrons and interacts directly with nuclei it encounters. When it hits a nucleus, it communicates a large amount of energy/momentum directly to the nucleus, which can easily cause dislocations in a crystal structure. Neutron embrittlement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrittlement of surrounding materials is a well studied phenomena in the context of nuclear reactors. I’ve never heard anyone worry about muon embrittlement, although those same reactors produce many muons.
c) A muon has a half-life of around 2 microseconds. A free neutron has a half life of around 15 minutes. This strictly limits what a muon can do. We wouldn’t even observe them at ground level if it weren’t for relativistic time dilation/length contraction that gives them time (or shrinks for the muon the distance) to the ground from where they are produced far overhead.
So why go to the extremes of using muons for the hypothesis instead of directly using the increased neutron flux? Which again, I seriously doubt is sufficient to cause large scale structural degradation of rock to the extent that they enable vulcanism on a decadal time scale.
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milodonharlani
April 26, 2014 2:09 pm

November 2010
Muons of course are the galactic cosmic “rays” often fingered in the creation of cloud condensation nuclei. Stanford Linear Accelerator site used to have an excellent presentation on how this formation worked, but of course the Thought Police have taken it down. Lief suggested it was for budgetary reasons, but my doubts remain.

milodonharlani
April 26, 2014 2:10 pm

Oops. Missing part of the citation.
Toshikazu Ebiska, Hiroko Miyahara, Tatsuhiko Sato, Yasuhiro Ishimine: Explosive volcanic eruptions triggered by cosmic rays: Volcano as a bubble chamber- – Godwana Research, November 2010

milodonharlani
April 26, 2014 2:13 pm

RGB:
From a recent actuarial risk paper, posted without comment:
There are a number of scientific papers that link low periods of sunspot activity with increased seismic activity and particularly during solar grand minimums8687. One paper by a multi-disciplinary team of Japanese scientists drawn from Riken Advanced Science Institute, the Institute of Cosmic Ray Research (University of Tokyo), The Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the Riken Computational Science Research Program88 showed how muons can affect the calderas of certain volcanos and how increased densities of muons can cause explosive eruptions. They do this by changing the chemical composition of matter within silica rich magma, particularly when it is cool, so that aerosols are formed, which eventually lead to increased pressure within the magma chamber and hence explosive eruptions. Presumably a steady state is reached with normal muon penetration of the caldera but with significantly more than usual muons and perhaps when they have higher energies than normal then disequilibrium occurs. If this occurs in active volcanoes then presumably it also occurs in extinct volcanos.
Perhaps higher muon densities during solar grand minimums can weaken some caldera enough to enable the release of pressures in earthquake fault lines produced when the volcano was active. This might be the reason why the Christchurch earthquakes are occurring at this time. (Christchurch is located next to volcanoes on Banks Peninsular that were last active around 8 million years ago and apparently has complex volcanic geology beneath the shingle fan on which it is located). By the end of January 2012 Christchurch had experienced over 10,100 earthquakes in just over 17 months. The Christchurch earthquakes were also relatively shallow. The February 22nd 2011 earthquake that killed 186 people was only about 4 kilometers below the surface. These earthquakes were caused by movement of existing crustal fault lines presumably formed when the volcanoes were active. These fault lines also radiate from the main Alpine fault line where both the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates are thrusting up the Southern Alps and this is contributing factor.
The current increased muon activity might also help to explain the swarm of more than 10,000 earthquakes in a few months in 2011 on the German/ Czech Republic border, also at the site of an extinct volcano. This follows 8,000 earthquakes some three years earlier, also occurring within a few months.
86 Correlation of Solar Activity Minimums and Large Magnitude Geophysical Events: John L. Casey, Space and Science Research Center, March 2010
87 Ivanka Charvatova, Institut of Geophysics of AS CR, Bočni II, 141 31 Praha 4, Czech Republic: Long-term relations between the solar inertial motion (SIM) and solar, geomagnetic, volcanic activities and climate
88 ToshikazuEbiska, Hiroko Miyahara, Tatsuhiko Sato, Yasuhiro Ishimine: Explosive volcanic eruptions triggered by cosmic rays: Volcano as a bubble chamber- – Godwana Research, November 2010

rgbatduke
April 26, 2014 3:25 pm

To quote from the wikipedia article on muons:
“About 10,000 muons reach every square meter of the earth’s surface a minute”. This sounds like a lot but it is not. Furthermore, those muons are stopped/absorbed so that their flux exponentially attenuates with depth with a penetration depth on the order of a few tens of meters, so that while some muons do penetrate to as much as a kilometer, one is likely down to a flux of a few muons per square meter per minute.
Now some simple arithmetic. Let’s take 1 cubic meter of water — that’s 1000 kg of water. The molar weight of water is 18 gms. Thus there are roughly 56000 moles of water in a cubic meter. That is $3.33\times 10^{28}$ molecules. Let’s assume that all 10,000 muons are stopped in this single cubic meter. Then every second, a mere 167 muons traverse and stop in the cubic meter. If we divide 100 into 10^28 (ignoring order unity parameters) we would need 10^26 seconds to have an average of one muon stop in the cubic meter per molecule already there.
A year is order 10^7 seconds. The lifetime of the Universe is 10^10 years, or 10^17 seconds. It would therefore take on the order of a billion lifetimes of the Universe (so far) to reach a 1:1 ratio of muon stopping to molecules in the sample.
Of course, one really has far fewer than this to work with. Only maybe 1/3 are stopped in (say) the first 30 meters of rock, and of course rock is much more dense than water. So one has maybe 1/100th of this much flux to work with in a cubic meter of rock. Order of one muon stopping per cubic meter per second, which is incidentally very close to what I observed doing experiments on muons personally 40 years ago.
I have to say that I don’t think rock is going to respond in any measurable way to being tickled by a single muon, or 100 muons, or 1000 muons, or very likely 10,000 muons, per second per cubic meter. The energy flux is a good measure of this. Suppose there were 10,000 muons, each carrying 2x their rest energy or 200 MeV. That’s $2\times 10^{12}$ eV! Is that a lot of energy? Well, let’s multiply by $1.6\times 10^{-19}$ Joules/eV and get (ignoring factors of order unity) $10^{-7}$ Watts being delivered to the cubic meter of rock. It would take a whole year to deliver a single, solitary Joule.
That’s why I think that any assertion that muons modulate vulcanism is pure crack. Even if one multiplies out the energy delivered by another order of magnitude, or three (assuming that the muons catalyze some sort of exothermic nuclear fusion, for example) one ends up many orders of magnitude short of what is reasonably needed to produce a detectable effect over decades. Perhaps the authors think that the Brehmstrahlung that slows the muons imparts enough energy to be chemically significant in the slowing process, but again, I don’t care, take all of the rest energy, multiply it by 1000, do anything you like with it — and you are still orders of magnitude short. You just can’t get there from here with a flux on the order of 1-1000 muons/second per square meter, with exponentially cutoff delivery from the surface on down.
Muons do not heat the earth. Nor do they catalyze sufficient interesting chemistry to affect the earth. I rarely make statements like this, so it is probably wrong when I do, but somebody is going to have to show me some sort of back of the envelope estimate to get me to even take the proposal seriously.
rgb

Carla
April 26, 2014 4:30 pm

Could the answer to the question be in the interstellar cloud variations of ACR and GCR?
“Why was there a transition from a 40,000-year cycle to a 100,000-year cycle?” Buizert said
————————————-
Ice dating from Krypton
Posted on April 21, 2014 by Anthony Watts
…Buizert said reconstructing the Earth’s climate back to 1.5 million years is important because a shift in the frequency of ice ages took place in what is known as the Middle Pleistocene transition. The Earth is thought to have shifted in and out of ice ages every 100,000 years or so during the past 800,000 years, but there is evidence that such a shift took place every 40,000 years prior to that time.
“Why was there a transition from a 40,000-year cycle to a 100,000-year cycle?” Buizert said. “Some people believe a change in the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide may have played a role. That is one reason we are so anxious to find ice that will take us back further in time so we can further extend data on past carbon dioxide levels and test this hypothesis.”…
The paper preprint: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1403.6201v1
Radiometric 81Kr dating identifies 120,000 year old ice at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica
______________________________________
“”“Why was there a transition from a 40,000-year cycle to a 100,000-year cycle?” Buizert said.”””
“”” the Sun would cross these clouds with a mean crossing time of  47, 000 years.””” P. Frisch”””
Pricilla Frisch asks a good question in the following article.

“”” The primary question then becomes: How would the 14C, 10Be, and 36Cl production
change as the ACR component vanishes?”””
Time-variability in the Interstellar Boundary Conditions of the Heliosphere:
Effect of the Solar Journey on the Galactic Cosmic Ray Flux at Earth
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1010.4507.pdf
Priscilla C. Frisch · Hans-Reinhard Mueller
2011
Page 2 intro
…The heliosphere acts as a weather vane for the circumheliospheric ISM (CISM),
responding to the ionization, magnetic pressure, and dynamic ram pressure (Holzer
1989). The cosmic ray component at 1 AU varies with the properties of the heliosphere
modulation region. The interpretation of the geological record of cosmogenic isotopes
relies on accurate models of the cosmic ray spectra. One factor that is not included in
the interpretation of the geological record of cosmogenic isotopes is that the cosmic ray
spectrum incident on the Earth consists of two components that behave differently as
the Sun travels through space. Galactic cosmic rays dominate at high energies, > 500
MeV, and are subject to heliospheric modulation as the Sun travels through space.
However a second cosmic ray component at lower energies is formed inside of the
heliopause from interstellar neutrals that penetrate and are ionized inside of the heliosphere,
forming pickup ions. These are subsequently accelerated to form lower-energy
anomalous cosmic rays (ACRs) with a composition derived from neutral interstellar
atoms in the CISM (Fisk et al. 1974). The local interstellar cosmic ray spectrum that
creates the geological radio-isotope record is thus composed of two components that
vary differently over time and space, the higher energy galactic cosmic rays (GCRs)
that are modulated by a variable heliosphere, and the ACRs that also depend on the
density and fractional ionization of the surrounding interstellar cloud.
Page 4
…The distribution of the low column density local clouds, N(H◦) 0.1 year) of ACRs trapped in the radiation belts of
Earth (Mewaldt et al. 1998) may multiply the production of 14C because of the long
exposure times of nitrogen and carbon compounds in the atmosphere compared to the
direct production of cosmogenic isotopes formed by spallation. An opposite effect of
ACRs on cosmogenic isotope production is suggested by the yield functions of 10Be and
14C as a function of the energy of the incident cosmic ray proton, which are shown in
Figure 6 in Usoskin (2008). The production of 10Be is relatively more efficient at ACR
energies then the production of 14C, based on comparisons of the ratios of production
at  200 MeV (ACR energies) and  20 GeV (GCR energies). These ratios for 10Be
and 14C are  0.03 and  0.001, respectively. These yield functions would then suggest
that the production of 14C is less sensitive to the ACR component of cosmic-ray fluxes
than is the production of 10Be. A third wild-card possibility is that rapid variations of
the geomagnetic field may reduce coupling between the ACRs and the radiation belts,
so that ACRs have the same access to the atmosphere as GCRs, reducing any effect
of storage of ACRs in the radiation belts. In the absence of a detailed understanding
of the effect of ACRs on cosmogenic isotope production, the discussions below linking
cloud transitions to the geological radioisotope data are highly speculative…

Carla
April 26, 2014 4:48 pm

Boy oh boy did that post get scrambled. Not how I had it layed out when the post comment button was clicked..
Frisch also tries to spell out why the divergence between 14C and 10Be in the paleomagnetic record. Whilst the 10be is in agreement with and the 14C is not..

April 26, 2014 5:39 pm

I am sorry I didn’t give the reference. I have referred to that japanese paper before on this website. My grateful thanks to Milodonharlani for referencing it for me and also to rgbatduke for quoting directly from my paper entitled “Extraterrestrial Influences on Nature’s Risks”. The Japanese paper is paywalled. This paper does help to explain why there eventually seems to be more volcanic eruptions during periods of low solar magnetic storm activity. But, of course, it is only one component of nature’s complex web of intersecting forces.
Rgbatduke’s analysis is interesting but he is working from a starting point of an inactive volcano. The volcanoes that are, or can be affected, are more or less just temporarily in a state of equilibrium with only small changes in their calderas necessary for a fresh eruption. Increased muon activity apparently causes a reduction in the surface tension of bubbles within the magma and if this tips the balance between the activating and dampening mechanisms within the magma then eventually an explosive eruption will be triggered. But you will need to read the paper to understand the mechanics of this.
Incidentally the paper also mentions the increase in large earthquakes (M > 7.5) during this period on low solar activity but don’t give an explanation of this. My own view is that the increase is due to the extra amount tidal force friction, which has been converted into mechanical heat deep within the mantle, resulting from near planetary line-up that occurred in the early part of this century. Earth crossed this gravitational force field many times when the gas giants were more-or less aligned and their small but additional gravitational pull would have been added at times to that of the moon and perhaps Venus. Obviously there are very long and differing lags between the cause and the effects because once again there are only small amounts of additional energy being added to a natural system that is not quite in equilibrium. Actuaries are used to dealing with lagged not quite stable systems in insurance and finance so perhaps we can look at such systems with a slightly different perspective.
Incidentally since 2003 there have now been 20 great earthquakes (M > 8) and the previous 20 occurred between 1949 and 2002. The odds of this being purely by chance are very, very low! Of course volcanic activity is also affected by the same forces that affect the incidence of great earthquakes.

milodonharlani
April 26, 2014 5:42 pm

rgbatduke says:
April 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm
I’m with you regarding muon vs. rock. I just provided the cited study which you requested.
I do however think work in both the lab & the field shows that muon & other GCR flux can & does affect CCNs.

milodonharlani
April 26, 2014 5:48 pm

Carla says:
April 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm
I’m open to any actual physical evidence, but IMO the trigger for the 40/100 ka periodicity transition is unlikely to have been CO2. Will be happy to change my opinion when presented with actual observations supportive of that conclusion, but so far, after reading papers suggesting this hypothesis in the complete absence of evidence, I’m inclined to go with other explanations.
I suspect that paper authors raise this possibility in order to get their research published.

milodonharlani
April 26, 2014 6:09 pm

Brent Walker says:
April 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm
I’ll grant you that the biggest earthquakes do seem to come in clusters, but the possible explanations for this observation include internal terrestrial (eg superplume activity) as well as extraterrestrial. Surely the crust is subject to tidal forces, however.
As a denizen of the Ring of Fire, ie resident of the US Pacific Coast & Chile, I have had ample opportunity to experience some Big Ones. Here are clusters from among the most powerful earthquakes since 1900, ie since seismology has measured or estimated their magnitudes:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/10_largest_world.php
Location Date UTC Magnitude Lat. Long. Reference
1. Chile 1960 05 22 9.5 -38.29 -73.05 Kanamori, 1977
2. 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake 1964 03 28 9.2 61.02 -147.65 Kanamori, 1977
8. Rat Islands, Alaska 1965 02 04 8.7 51.21 178.50 Kanamori, 1977
17. Kuril Islands 1963 10 13 8.5 44.9 149.6 Kanamori, 1977
3. Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra 2004 12 26 9.1 3.30 95.78 Park et al., 2005
9. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia 2005 03 28 8.6 2.08 97.01 PDE
13. Southern Sumatra, Indonesia 2007 09 12 8.5 -4.438 101.367 PDE
4. Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan 2011 03 11 9.0 38.322 142.369 PDE
6. Offshore Maule, Chile 2010 02 27 8.8 -35.846 -72.719 PDE
11. Off the west coast of northern Sumatra 2012 04 11 8.6 2.311 93.063 PDE
5. Kamchatka 1952 11 04 9.0 52.76 160.06 Kanamori, 1977
10. Assam – Tibet 1950 08 15 8.6 28.5 96.5 Kanamori, 1977
12. Andreanof Islands, Alaska 1957 03 09 8.6 51.56 -175.39 Johnson et al., 1994
7. Off the Coast of Ecuador 1906 01 31 8.8 1.0 -81.5 Kanamori, 1977
Unranked. San Francisco 1906 04 18 xx xx 7.7-8.25
14. Banda Sea, Indonesia 1938 02 01 8.5 -5.05 131.62 Okal and Reymond, 2003
15. Kamchatka 1923 02 03 8.5 54.0 161.0 Kanamori, 1988
16. Chile-Argentina Border 1922 11 11 8.5 -28.55 -70.50 Kanamori, 1977
OK, so the 1938 quake wasn’t a cluster, but neither was the 1906 cluster until I brought in SF.
Whether these associations are statistically significant or not, & with what natural phenomena they might correlate, I don’t know. But here are just the facts.

April 26, 2014 7:32 pm

Mosher has no scientific credentials and has not published anything on cosmic rays or clouds so I have no idea why anyone would take anything he says seriously.

bushbunny
April 26, 2014 8:01 pm

Poptech, one doesn’t need scientific credentials to understand this natural weather facts..
It is a fact and if you didn’t know, that is your problem. Ignoring the truth and natural physics seems to be a problem with some alarmists.
For example, Pop, if you were living in the Sahara desert, you would note, that the days are rather hot! Then at night you would no doubt freeze your bum off. Why no cloud cover!
Frost doesn’t form in winter nights that have cloud cover. Now work that out?

April 26, 2014 8:04 pm

bushbunny, sorry I don’t get my science from English majors but from scientists like Dr. Svensmark and Dr. Ball.
REPLY: Andrew we are all aware of your position on this, let’s not start another flame war on my blog, OK? – Anthony

bushbunny
April 26, 2014 9:04 pm

Well maybe Andrew, but just because someone is an English major, does not prevent them from having opinions on scientific matters. Nor are some alarmists who can boast at being climatologists interested in spewing irrelevant data to prove what is not as yet a proven science any right to claim credibility over others.

April 26, 2014 11:41 pm

April 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm
[…] ‘This one is important…the Sun doesn’t alter much, [the theory says] the Sun modulates the cosmic rays, the cosmic rays modulate the clouds, the clouds modulate the temperature, so the Sun amplified hugely… but we have reasons to believe it’s a fine tuning knob…the cosmic rays came streaming in…we had a big cosmic ray signal and the CLIMATE IGNORES IT and it’s just about that simple, these comic rays didn’t do enough for you to see it, so it’s a fine tuning knob’. R Alley, AGU>

I found Dr. Hiroko Miyahara (Institute of Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo) to be more convincing in this talk at a conference two years ago: the 2nd Nagoya Workshop on the Relationship between Solar Activity and Climate Changes. Dr. Miyahara is more nuanced in discussing what causes cosmic rays to be deflected towards earth, and when, and what their consequences are. Further, she backs it up with some earthly correlations from the Institute’s experiments and findings that have less of the Hiyo Silver! quality that Dr. Alley adopts.

The presentation slides (recommended) are here:
Other Miyahara slides here:
http://st4a.stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp/nagoya_workshop_2/pdf/3-2_Miyahara.pdf

ren
April 27, 2014 6:50 am

I wanted to draw attention to the current situation. You can see that despite the increase in the neutron (a decrease of solar activity) a significant part of the of ionizing radiation is absorbed by the ozone over the Arctic Circle (radiation falls on cruise altitudes). Were otherwise in the winter, when the ozone level was low. Thus, cosmic radiation reacts strongly with ozone.
http://terra2.spacenvironment.net/~raps_ops/current_files/rtimg/dose.15km.png

April 27, 2014 3:09 pm

When we speak of correlation we do not automatically include spurious correlation but true correlation, of the sort which is used in probably all studies in animal intelligence. That is, the sort of correlation through which we make basic sense of the world. The purpose of statistics is to determine what is true, relevant, non spurious correlation.
Granted, there is excellent correlation between the cock’s crow and sunrise, and while we may not be certain the rooster makes the sun come up, we can be reasonably sure there is some causal rerlationship between the two. “Correlation” is usually defined a priori as causal.
As for Darwin’s mechanism of “survival of the fittest,” this is hardly more than tautological philosophical speculation, hardly better than Wegner’s explanations for Continental Drift. But Darwin and Wegner both provided excellent correlation, and Wegner was wrongly ignored, inexcusably ignored.
So to say it slightly more carefully, true correlation equates to causation. To deny this is to deny the usefulness of the study of correlation, that is, of statistics. –AGF

Carla
April 27, 2014 5:07 pm

ren says:
April 27, 2014 at 6:50 am
I wanted to draw attention to…
—————————————–
So. Hem. Vortex is ramped and ready too..
No. Hem Vortex at 10 hPa not such a sluff either yet?
Go figure and coincidently we have some noisy winds out of the east being sucked up into something. no no.
http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/10hPa/overlay=temp/orthographic=-101.84,53.39,1024
——
milodonharlani says:
April 26, 2014 at 5:48 pm
——————————————
Astrophysics has been P. Frisch’s career.. tenure in her field..
She is part of teams that map out the local interstellar background including interstellar cloud density, speed, ionization rates, interstellar magnetic fields, energetic particle of all types, the heliospheric interface, right on down to the isotope record on Earth.. Ask her she will tell you C is over abundant in the local interstellar medium.
She also is saying that maybe, density and ionization rates of the interstellar background around heliosphere change, there by changing the ACR rates in the isotope records.
She’s into dust grains too.. polarization of and propagation of..

Carla
April 27, 2014 6:11 pm

More and more we are finding smaller scale structures in the local interstellar medium.
Some TSAS tiny scale atomic structures are seen too..as small as a decade long transition time for the solar system..none nearby and wouldn’t expect to see one downwind.. go figure..lol
But clouds coming from different directions, clusters of clouds, boundarys and interactions, interactions with interstellar flux tubes, ionization rate changes, pressure density against the heliosphere changes, often within its journey round the milky way. On much shorter time scales then we used to believe. We still need some higher resolutions though..
Lyman Ultraviolet LUV might help…
Time-variability in the Interstellar Boundary Conditions of the Heliosphere:
Effect of the Solar Journey on the Galactic Cosmic Ray Flux at Earth
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1010.4507.pdf
Priscilla C. Frisch · Hans-Reinhard Mueller
2011
The IBEX ribbon as a signature of the inhomogeneity of the local interstellar medium
Horst Fichtner1, Klaus Scherer1, Frederic Effenberger1,2, Jochen Zönnchen3, Nathan Schwadron4 and David J. McComas5,6
Abstract
Context. A new hypothesis is offered to explain the so-called ribbon feature appearing in the all-sky flux maps of energetic neutral atoms presently observed with the IBEX spacecraft, namely that the ribbon is a consequence of inhomogeneities in the local interstellar medium.
http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/full_html/2014/01/aa22064-13/aa22064-13.html

johann wundersamer
April 28, 2014 4:00 am

what war first – hen or egg.
when you see an egg there had to be a hen to produce it, no matter what the hen stems of.
when you see clouds there had to bee cooler surroundings to condense in.
brg Hans

April 28, 2014 6:01 am

Thanks, Tim Ball! What a beautiful historical/art gem, from long before the great modern scientific [fashions -> cults -> religions]. It seems that on more than one occasion we have better science (observations through conclusions) from artists and historians, than from our scientists.

johann wundersamer
April 28, 2014 4:02 pm

for internal use only.
‘what war first’ – surely you recognized my dinglish, switching from my Deutsch 2 English:
Was war zuerst
to
what war first
when it ought spell
which came first.
Had to hurry to my late shaft.
Regrettably, won’t be the one to stack [your] comments with ‘wars’.
Hans

johann wundersamer
April 29, 2014 4:23 am

thats America – a blind black musician tells the world to see clearly now. There’s gonna be bright, bright sunshiny days!
brg

bushbunny
April 29, 2014 8:04 pm

Darwins theory when he said ‘ survival of the fittest’ referred to animals who could reproduce and that generation reproduce too, to maintain the species. He was dead right, other than he said we were related to primates, or apes. This sparked religious fury and condemnation. It still does with some creationists.