Maunder and Dalton Sunspot Minima

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In a recent interchange over at Joanne Nova’s always interesting blog, I’d said that the slow changes in the sun have little effect on temperature. Someone asked me, well, what about the cold temperatures during the Maunder and Dalton sunspot minima? And I thought … hey, what about them? I realized that like everyone else, up until now I’ve just accepted the idea of cold temperatures being a result of the solar minima as an article of faith … but I’d never actually looked at the data. And in any case, I thought, what temperature data would we have for the Maunder sunspot minimum, which lasted from 1645 to 1715? So … I went back to the original sources, which as always is a very interesting ride, and I learned a lot.

It turns out that this strong association of sunspot minima and temperature  is a fairly recent development. Modern interest in the Maunder sunspot minimum was sparked by John Eddy’s 1976 publication of a paper in Science entitled “The Maunder Minimum”. In that paper, Eddy briefly discusses the question of the relationship between the Maunder sunspot minimum and the global temperature, viz:

The coincidence of Maunder’s “prolonged solar minimum” with the coldest excursion of the “Little Ice Age” has been noted by many who have looked at the possible relations between the sun and terrestrial climate (73). A lasting tree-ring anomaly which spans the same period has been cited as evidence of a concurrent drought in the American Southwest (68, 74). There is also a nearly 1 : 1 agreement in sense and time between major excursions in world temperature (as best they are known) and the earlier excursions of the envelope of solar behavior in the record of 14C, particularly when a 14C lag time is allowed for: the Sporer Minimum of the 16th century is coincident with the other severe temperature dip of the Little Ice Age, and the Grand Maximum coincides with the “medieval Climatic Optimum” of the 11th through 13th centuries (75, 76). These coincidences suggest a possible relationship between the overall envelope of the curve of solar activity and terrestrial climate in which the 11-year solar cycle may be effectively filtered out or simply unrelated to the problem. The mechanism of this solar effect on climate may be the simple one of ponderous long-term changes of small amount in the total radiative output of the sun, or solar constant. These long-term drifts in solar radiation may modulate the envelope of the solar cycle through the solar dynamo to produce the observed long-term trends in solar activity. The continuity, or phase, of the 11-year cycle would be independent of this slow, radiative change, but the amplitude could be controlled by it. According to this interpretation, the cyclic coming and going of sunspots would have little effect on the output of solar radiation, or presumably on weather, but the long-term envelope of sunspot activity carries the indelible signature of slow changes in solar radiation which surely affect our climate (77). [see paper for references]

Now, I have to confess, that all struck me as very weak, with more “suggest” and “maybe” and “could” than I prefer in my science. So I thought I’d look to see where he was getting the temperature data to support his claims. It turns out that he was basing his opinion of the temperature during the Maunder minimum on a climate index from H. H. Lamb, viz:

The Little Ice Age lasted roughly from 1430 to 1850 … if we take H. H. Lamb’s index of Paris London Winter Severity as a global indicator.

After some searching, I found the noted climatologist H. H. Lamb’s England winter severity index in his 1965 paper The Early Medieval Warm Epoch And Its Sequel. He doesn’t give the values for his index, but I digitized his graph. Here are Lamb’s results, showing the winter severity in England. Lower values mean more severe winters.

So let me pose you a small puzzle. Knowing that Eddy is basing his claims about a cold Maunder minimum on Lamb’s winter severity index … where in Lamb’s winter severity index would you say that we would find the Maunder and Dalton minima? …

lamb england winter index wo datesFigure 1. H.H. Lamb’s index of winter severity in England.

As you can see, there is a reasonable variety in the severity of the winters in England. However, it is not immediately apparent just where in there we might find the Maunder and Dalton minima, although there are several clear possibilities. So to move the discussion along, let me reveal where they are:

lamb england winter index wrong datesFigure 2. As in Figure 1, but with the dates of the Maunder and Dalton minima added.

As we might expect, the Maunder minimum is the coldest part of the record. The Dalton minimum is also cold, but not as cold as the Maunder minimum, again as we’d expect. Both of them have warmer periods both before and after the minima, illustrating the effect of the sun on the … on the … hang on … hmmm, that doesn’t look right … let me check my figures …

… uh-oh

Well, imagine that. I forgot to divide by the square root of minus one, so I got the dates kinda mixed up, and I put both the Maunder and the Dalton 220 years early … here are the actual dates of the solar minima shown in Lamb’s winter severity index.

lamb england winter index w datesFigure 3. H.H. Lamb’s England winter severity index, 1100-1950, overlaid with the actual dates of the four solar minima ascribed to that period. Values are decadal averages 1100-1110,1110-1120, etc., and are centered on the decade.

As you can see …

• The cooling during the Wolf minimum is indistinguishable from the two immediately previous episodes of cooling, none of which get much below the overall average.

• The temperature during the Sporer minimum is warmer than the temperature before and after the minimum.

• The coldest and second coldest decades in the record were not associated with solar minima.

• The fastest cooling in the record, from the 1425 decade to the 1435 decade, also was not associated with a solar minimum.

• Contrary to what we’d expect, the Maunder minimum warmed from start to finish.

• The Dalton minimum is unremarkable in any manner other than being warmer than the decade before the start and the decade after the end of the minimum. Oh, and like the Maunder, it also warmed steadily over the period of the minimum.

Urk … that’s what Eddy based his claims on. Not impressed.

Let me digress with a bit of history. I began this solar expedition over a decade ago thinking, along with many others, that as they say, “It’s the sun, stupid!”. I, and many other people, took it as an unquestioned and unexamined “fact” that the small variations of the sun, both the 11-year cycles and the solar minima, had a discernible effect on the temperature. As a result, I spent endless hours investigating things like the barycentric movement of the sun. I went so far as to write a spreadsheet to calculate the barycentric movement for any period of history, and compared those results to the temperatures.

But the more I looked, the less I found. So I started looking at the various papers claiming that the 11-year cycle was visible in various climate datasets … still nothing. To date, I’ve written up and posted the results of my search for the 11-year cycle in global sea levels, the Central England Temperature record, sea surface temperatures, tropospheric temperatures, global surface temperatures, rainfall amounts, the Armagh Observatory temperatures, the Armagh Observatory daily temperature ranges, river flows, individual tidal stations, solar wind, the 10Beryllium ice core data, and some others I’ve forgotten … nothing.

Not one of them shows any significant 11-year cycle.

And now, for the first time I’m looking at temperature effects of the solar minima … and I’m in the same boat. The more I look, the less I find.

However, we do have some actual observational evidence for the time period of the most recent of the minima, the Dalton minimum, because the Berkeley Earth temperature record goes back to 1750. And while the record is fragmentary and based on a small number of stations, it’s the best we have, and it is likely quite good for comparison of nearby decades. In any case, here are those results:

berkeley earth land temperature plus daltonFigure 4. The Berkeley Earth land temperature anomaly data, along with the Dalton minimum.

Once again, the data absolutely doesn’t support the idea of the sun ruling the temperature. IF the sun indeed caused the variations during the Dalton minimum, it first made the temperature rise, then fall, then rise again to where it started … sorry, but that doesn’t look anything like what we’d expect. For example, if the low spot around 1815 is caused by low solar input, then why does the temperature start rising then, and rise steadily until the end of the Dalton minimum, while the solar input is not rising at all?

So once again, I can’t find evidence to support the theory. As a result, I will throw the question open to the adherents of the theory … what, in your estimation, is the one best piece of temperature evidence that shows that the solar minima cause cold spells?

Now, a few caveats. First, I want to enlist your knowledge and wisdom in the search, so please just give me your one best shot. I’m not interested in someone dumping the results of a google search for “Maunder” on my desk. I want to know what YOU think is the very best evidence that solar minima cause global cooling.

Next, don’t bother saying “the Little Ice Age is the best evidence”. Yes, the Maunder occurred during the Little Ice Age (LIA). But the Lamb index says that the temperature warmed from the start of the Maunder until the end. Neither the Maunder’s location, which was quite late in the LIA, nor the warming Lamb shows from the start to the end of the Maunder, support the idea that the sun caused the LIA cooling.

Next, please don’t fall into the trap of considering climate model results as data. The problem, as I have shown in a number of posts, is that the global temperature outputs of the modern crop of climate models are nothing but linear transforms of their inputs. And since the models include solar variations among their inputs, those solar variations will indeed appear in the model outputs. If you think that is evidence for solar forcing of temperature … well, this is not the thread for you. So no climate model results, please.

So … what do you think is the one very best piece of evidence that the solar minima actually do affect the temperature, the evidence that you’d stand behind and defend?

My regards to you all,


[UPDATE] In the comments, someone said that the Central England Temperature record shows the cooling effects of the solar minima … I’m not finding it:

As you can see, there is very little support for the “solar minima cause cool temperatures” hypothesis in the CET. Just as in the Lamb winter severity data and the Berkeley Earth data, during both the Dalton and Maunder minima we see the temperature WARMING for the last part of the solar minimum. IF the cause is in fact a solar slump … then why would the earth warm up while the sun is still slumping? And in particular, in the CET the Dalton minimum ends up quite a bit warmer than it started … how on earth does this support the “solar slump” claim, that at the end of the Dalton minimum it’s warmer than at the start?

The Usual Request: I know this almost never happens, but if you disagree with something that I or someone else has said, please have the common courtesy to QUOTE THEIR EXACT WORDS that you disagree with. This prevents much confusion and misunderstanding.

Data: Eddy’s paper, The Maunder Minimum

Lamb’s paper, The Early Medieval Warm Epoch And Its Sequel

Berkeley Earth, land temperature anomalies

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Matthew R Marler
June 23, 2014 12:14 pm

As usual, I am grateful for your work: thank you.

rod leman
June 23, 2014 12:14 pm

Well, I would say that it is an incorrect analysis to compare temp with any single forcing. There are multiple forcings for Average Global Temp and to make a logical comparison of Temp vs the Solar Intensity you have to adjust the temp graph to EXclude other temp forcings like atypical volcanic activity, El Nino/La Nina, etc.

Warren Bonesteel
June 23, 2014 12:18 pm

Mass index?: Earth, rock, seas/lakes? Once the earth starts to warm up after a solar minimum, how long does it take to affect the system? Same-same wrt warming. Is there a ‘lag’ in the system?

June 23, 2014 12:18 pm

Willis, thank you. To be fair you should reference Jo Nova’s blog post and the notch filter idea with a link or two.
[As soon as I left for town I realized I’d forgotten to link to Jo’s blog, thanks for the reminder. Back now, it’s done. -w]

June 23, 2014 12:20 pm

It is often forgotten that the descent into the LIA began around 1200 AD. The first regions to be affected were in the Arctic, e.g. Greenland.
By the 14thC, Europe too was feeling the effects of a colder, wetter climate.
Dalton and Maunder may have marked the coldest dips, but the explanation behind the LIA as a whole is far more complex, and very little understood.

June 23, 2014 12:21 pm

“Once again, the data absolutely doesn’t support the idea of the sun ruling the temperature. ” Actually this only speaks of sunspots.

June 23, 2014 12:21 pm

May I ask whether or not you checked the UV emissions during sunspot cycles and the lack thereof during the Maunder Minimum? I though, and I may well be wrong here, but UV output has effect on winter weather and by extension the lack of UV activity during the Maunder Minimum may well have some effect during this particular downturn during that period.

NZ Willy
June 23, 2014 12:24 pm

You’re confusing cause and effect. The solar sunspot cycles are an effect from a deeper Solar condition — the issue isn’t insolation (or lack of) from sunspots, but from the whole solar activity. The AP magnetic index is an example — a change in the big picture, and the sunspots are just a symptom.

June 23, 2014 12:24 pm

The cycle ends, the activity decreases. Solar magnetic field is weakening. The Earth’s magnetic field is weakening. We’ll see what happens.

June 23, 2014 12:27 pm

This analysis is pretty much meaningless relying as it does on one set of data about one location. To quote from an article by Burnel ( , “What Lamb’s winter severity map makes most evident is that even across a short arc of the globe, while there is evident a generalized pattern of change through time, this pattern can be experienced quite differently at different points along the arc. Some places experience the change more sharply than others. Sometimes the change is so much out of phase that the trend at the same time in different places is reversed.” For an analysis of the impact of solar variation on climate change on a global scale is needed.

June 23, 2014 12:28 pm

The CET supports the Maunder Minimum at statistical significance, the Dalton less so.
For instance, here are some seasonal and monthly cold records in the CET:
Autumn: 1676
Winter: 1683/84
March: 1674
May 1698
June 1675
July 1816
September 1674 and 1807 (tie)
Other records are close to the usually quoted end dates for the MM (1645-1715) & DM (1790-1830).

June 23, 2014 12:30 pm

Six chronologies based on the growth of Scots pine from the inland of northern Fennoscandia were built to separately enhance low, medium, and higher frequencies in growth variability in 1000–2002. Several periodicities of growth were found in common in these data. Five of the low-frequency series have a significant oscillatory mode at 200–250 years of cycle length. Most series also have strong multidecadal scale variability and significant peaks at 33, 67, or 83–125 years. Reconstruction models for mean July and June–August as well as three longer period temperatures were built and compared using stringent verification statistics. We describe main differences in model performance (R^2 = 0.53–0.62) between individual proxies as well as their various averages depending on provenance and proxy type, length of target period, and frequency range. A separate medium-frequency chronology (a proxy for June–August temperatures) is presented, which is closely similar in amplitude and duration to the last two cycles of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). The good synchrony between these two series is only hampered by a 10-year difference in timing. Recognizing a strong medium-frequency component in Fennoscandian climate proxies helps to explain part of the uncertainties in their 20th century trends.

June 23, 2014 12:31 pm

I should perhaps have added that the CET starts in 1659, so misses the first 14 years of the MM.

June 23, 2014 12:39 pm

The 2009-2010 period was the quietest solar period of our lifetimes and it coincided with record high latitude blocking patterns (cold air distribution) in both hemispheres. What fascinated me was the very active series of stratospheric warmings that occurred during this solar minimum. These are things we couldn’t really measure during the prior minima, so I suspect we’ll learn a whole lot in the years ahead!

June 23, 2014 12:39 pm
June 23, 2014 12:42 pm

Divide by the square root of -1? LOL!
Educational and entertaining. Thanks

June 23, 2014 12:46 pm

Check Figs 8 and 9 at
Here are some quotes.
“Furthermore Fig 8 shows that the cosmic ray intensity time series derived from the 10Be data is the most useful proxy relating solar activity to temperature and climate. – see Fig 3 CD from Steinhilber
NOTE !! the connection between solar “activity” and climate is poorly understood and highly controversial. Solar ” activity” encompasses changes in solar magnetic field strength, IMF, CRF, TSI ,EUV,solar wind density and velocity, CMEs, proton events etc. The idea of using the neutron count as a useful proxy for changing solar activity and temperature forecasting is agnostic as to the physical mechanisms involved……..
The trends in the neutron count over the last few solar cycles strengthens the forecast of coming cooling made from projecting the PDO and Millennial cycle temperature trends The decline in solar activity from 1990 (Cycle 22) to the present (Cycle 24) is obvious……..
It has been estimated that there is about a 12 year lag between the cosmic ray flux and the temperature data. see Fig3 in Usoskin et al…19U.
With that in mind it is reasonable to correlate the cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity and SSN) with the peak in the SST trend in about 2003 and project forward the possible general temperature decline in the coming decades in step with the decline in solar activity in cycles 23 and 24.
In earlier posts on this site at 4/02/13 and 1/22/13
I have combined the PDO, ,Millennial cycle and neutron trends to estimate the timing and extent of the coming cooling in both the Northern Hemisphere and Globally.”

Chris Schoneveld
June 23, 2014 12:58 pm

In a Maunder minimum shouldn’t we also expect the summers to be colder? Why only focus on the winter severity index?

June 23, 2014 12:58 pm

It’s whatever Leif says it is. If Leif says minima dont cause cold spells then discussion over.

Jeff L
June 23, 2014 12:59 pm

Interesting work , Willis – thanks for compiling that , as well as the other recent solar correlation posts.
There is an obvious next question this brings to my mind: What exactly has driven these shorter period changes in climate (by shorter, I mean sub-Milankovich scale cycles) ? It certainly wasn’t coal fired power plants and SUVs. It is the most fundamental question and one the CAGWers have no answer for.
I will say that if the skeptic crowd could develop a compelling theory / model of these past changes, it could potentially be possible to unravel the model temperature signal in terms of an natural signal & anthropogenic signal (if any).
If done with proper scientific rigor, it could be the final nail in the CAGW coffin.

June 23, 2014 1:00 pm

Why are you guys obsessed about 11 year cycles….it’s 22 year cycles stupid! The temperatures changes are accociated to geomagnetic not solar….please redraft

June 23, 2014 1:02 pm

Would like to see a graph with ACTUAL TEMPERATURE rather than some sort of non-defined “Severity index”.

Jeff L
June 23, 2014 1:08 pm

WxMatt says:
June 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm
“The 2009-2010 period was the quietest solar period of our lifetimes and it coincided with record high latitude blocking patterns (cold air distribution) in both hemispheres. What fascinated me was the very active series of stratospheric warmings that occurred during this solar minimum.”
And of course the blocking can lead to extreme cold over Europe & eastern NA.
From the Eddy paper:
“The coincidence of Maunder’s “prolonged solar minimum” with the coldest excursion of the “Little Ice Age” has been noted by many who have looked at the possible relations between the sun and terrestrial climate (73). A lasting tree-ring anomaly which spans the same period has been cited as evidence of a concurrent drought in the American Southwest (68, 74). ”
Drought in the SW is also consistent with persistent blocking – just like we saw this winter.
But is there any correlation between this high latitude blocking & solar activity? We know there is a correlation / causation from polar stratospheric warming events but do those have any relationship to solar activity? Hard to say from the data presented here – temp records would all depend on where blocking sets up (and if the data are from the cold side or warm side of the block).

June 23, 2014 1:09 pm

I can’t say that I’d “stand behind and defend” this evidence as I haven’t looked into it much myself, but I would be interested in seeing your analysis on this:
Yes, I realize the paper’s authors argue for a regional, rather than global, effect of solar activity. But perhaps regional effects during the very complicated little ice age altered people’s perceptions of it?

June 23, 2014 1:09 pm

MattN says:
June 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm
CET temperature data clearly show the 1659 to 1715 partial Maunder Minimum period statistically significantly colder than the following interval 1716 to 1789, with the shorter Dalton Minimum, 1790 to 1830, less so, but still cooler. It all being the LIA, there are some unusually cold years in the warmer mid-18th century period as well.

June 23, 2014 1:10 pm

Temperature declines clearly seen in the HadCET time series:

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 23, 2014 1:11 pm

Having fun with graphs:
It is easily shown the AMO precedes the SSN when the planet is warming, thus AMO could predict SSN thus solar activity. It is when the planet is cooling that SSN leads AMO.
The PDO is more complex, but since the most recent warming phase starting 1979 which I think Tisdale called The Great Pacific Climate Shift (something like that), SSN clearly leads PDO:
Since it is clearly seen the sunspot cycle can lead PDO and AMO, and they go on to influence global temperatures, it is obvious the sunspot cycle influences global temperatures. There are the graphs, it must be true.

Of course, as I said, that’s just having fun with graphs. Although I would like to know the real reasons the graphs can line up so much, mainly as to why PDO and AMO “beats” line up as they do with the sunspot cycles, switching who’s first between cooling and warming phases.

June 23, 2014 1:13 pm

MattN says:
Would like to see a graph with ACTUAL TEMPERATURE

June 23, 2014 1:14 pm

Underlying this work is the unstated presumption that sunspots are correlated with solar output. Is that true? How could we know?

June 23, 2014 1:17 pm

Alan Poirier says:
June 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm
Starting in 1659 rather than 1772, to capture the Maunder as well as the Dalton Minimum:

June 23, 2014 1:24 pm

the decline of the total solar irradiance ( a product of the two century bi-cenntenial solar component) gives indisputable evidence that the earth is heading for a new little ice age.(see Abdussamatov and Piers Corbyn)

JJM Gommers
June 23, 2014 1:25 pm

A plausible mechanism might be a slightly lower irradiation, including lower UV, effects directly the amount of H2O in the atmosphere in the tropics. I assume H2O is a greenhouse gas although it,s not mentioned in the consensus literature. The result is a decline in temperature very small but in enthalpy more pronounced due to the latent heat of the water vapour. This cascades in the higher latitudes and subsequently lower temperatures. As soon as this process progresses the temperature especially at the higher latitudes accelerates to drop further. Maybe changes in weatherpattern during this process
might have influence as well.

June 23, 2014 1:26 pm

Willis – turn off the Sun and then check the temperature. Anyone who assumes the Sun is not the main driver is “over-analysing” the simple reality that without the Sun we might as well be Neptune.

June 23, 2014 1:27 pm

Several years ago I looked at volcanic indices and there were strange changes in the classes/frequencies of volcanic activity during the maunder (iirc) minimum. There are many potential directionality/cause/effect possibilities (did the effects of volcanic activity change the visibility of sunspots?). I don’t remember what I did and the hard-drive I did it on was fried.

Rud Istvan
June 23, 2014 1:29 pm

There are at least 3 climate drivers: sun, natural variation beyond solar (e.g the apparent multidecadal Arctic ice cycles probably driven by ocean circulation and which affects albedo and thermohaline circulation), GHG. Untangling the mix is important, as these may operate on different time scales with different leverage, and with varying rates of feedbacks both positive and negative as they interact. After all, something was forcing change before CO2, and it probably hasn’t gone away.
As for the sun as one of the things in the mix, read Hoyt and Schatten, The role of the sun in climate change, Oxford University Press, 1997 (279 pp.) See also Hoyt, variation in sunspot structure and climate, Climate Change 2: 79-92 (1979). As for possible coupling mechanisms, see Schuurmans, Tropospheric Effects of Variable Solar Activity, Solar Physics 74: 417-419 (1981). Guess what: delta TSI, delta UV, delta heliosphere/cosmic rays, back in 1981.
Die Kalte Sonne is a modern read, page 69 being interesting. Now available in English as The Neglected Sun. Overstates the sun part, so just as wrong as the IPCC saying it is all about GHG. But more information to noodle on if one is so inclined.

June 23, 2014 1:30 pm

[snip – no, we aren’t going there, and I’m not going to have you overrun another thread with your link bombing. Plate tectonics don’t have anything to do with this discussion -Anthony]

June 23, 2014 1:33 pm

Rud Istvan says:
June 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm
We combined a new 10Be record from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, comprising more than 1,800 data points with several other already existing radionuclide records (14C from tree rings and 10Be analyzed in polar ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica) covering the Holocene. Using principal component analysis, we separated the common radionuclide production signal due to solar and geomagnetic activity from the system effects signal due to the different transport and deposition processes. The common signal represents a low-noise record of cosmic radiation, particularly for high frequencies, compared to earlier reconstructions, which are only based on single radionuclide records. On the basis of this record, we then derived a reconstruction of total solar irradiance for the Holocene, which overall agrees well with two existing records but shows less high-frequency noise. A comparison of the derived solar activity with a record of Asian climate derived from δ18O in a Chinese stalagmite reveals a significant correlation. The correlation is remarkable because the Earth’s climate has not been driven by the Sun alone. Other forcings like volcanoes, greenhouse gas concentrations, and internal variability also have played an important role. To quantify the solar influence on the Earth’s climate and to distinguish between the different forcings, climate model simulations are required for the Holocene, employing the new dataset of total solar irradiance. The dataset will be available online at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration paleo server (

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 23, 2014 1:35 pm

jpatrick on June 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm:

Underlying this work is the unstated presumption that sunspots are correlated with solar output. Is that true? How could we know?

You compare TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) and SSN (Sun Spot Number):
TSI is everything in the electromagnetic spectrum so use it for solar output. Just before 1979 is the start of this TSI dataset, using measurements. There are various TSI “reconstructions” that go back further. However, they get based on the SSN records which go way back before 1979, so comparisons aren’t helpful, you’ll be comparing SSN to a product of SSN.

June 23, 2014 1:36 pm

Kirkby’s 2008 survey paper cites a bunch of stuff. One study he highlights is Mangini et al. 2005, “Reconstruction of temperature in the Central Alps during the past 2000 yr from a δ18O stalagmite record.” Excerpt from Mangini:

“… a high correlation between δ18O in SPA 12 and D14C (r =0.61). The maxima of δ18O coincide with solar minima (Dalton, Maunder, Sporer, Wolf, as well as with minima at around AD 700, 500 and 300). This correlation indicates that the variability of δ18O is driven by solar changes, in agreement with previous results on Holocene stalagmites from Oman, and from Central Germany.”

Kirkby’s Fig. 2:

Caption: Comparison of variations during the last millennium of a) temperature (with respect to the 1961–1990 average), b) galactic cosmic rays (note the inverted scale; high cosmic ray fluxes are associated with cold temperatures) and c) glacial advances in the Venezuelan tropical Andes near Lake Mucubaji (8deg 47’N, 70deg 50’W, 3570 m altitude).

D. Cohen
June 23, 2014 1:40 pm

If you average the winter severity index over, say, a century-sized interval and then plot that average against its center point, I bet the coincidence in time becomes more remarkable. (So, for example, the “smoothed” severity index for 1650 would be the average from 1600 to 1700, the smoothed index for 1651 would be the average from 1601 to 1701, and so on). Granted, there are isolated up spikes near and inside the colored bars, but they are isolated — and the century-long averaging will tend to point this out.
Also, as a bit of a quibble, how severe was a dry — that is, little snow — but very cold winter recorded as being? If the amount of snow made more of an impression back then, since there were few or no thermometers, it’s quite possible that the winter severity index, like tree rings, records a combined precipitation and temperature impression of the climate.

Don Easterbrook
June 23, 2014 1:56 pm

You’ve shown that the Lamb winter severity index doesn’t make a very good match with solar minima, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the solar correlation with climate is wrong—it might as well mean that the Lamb index isn’t a good measure of what climate was doing during the Maunder. So I took a look at the CET, extended back to 1538 by Tony Brown. What I see is a temperature maximum at 1650 dropping continuously to a low at 1700-1710. It’s as good (or better) a match as one could expect.
Both 10Be and δ14C show significant maximums during the Maunder, as well as for the Sporer, Dalton, and the 1880-1915 cool period.
The CET during the Dalton shows low temps during the entire interval, (extending beyond the Dalton limits). Like the Maunder it also shows significant 10Be and δ14C maximums.
The consistent relationship between solar minima, temperature, 10Be, and δ14C maxima would seem to indicate that it’s more than just coincidence. What I make of this is that the sun is driving climate, but not at 11-yr intervals or any other cyclic interval. It seems to be ongoing, but somewhat irregular and not likely to show up in any kind of regular cycle analysis. What is especially interesting are the 10Be, and δ14C maxima that match the solar minima and temperature records, suggesting an increase in cosmic radiation during the colder periods. This would lend credence to the Svensmark hypothesis.
I doubt that you will find any kind of regular, cyclic repetition in these data, but that doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t driving the climate.

June 23, 2014 2:04 pm

See also Kirkby’s graph of Bond’s study of ice-rafting debris vs. cosmogenic isotopes (from p.10 of Kirkby’s 2009 PowerPoint):

Not displaying for some reason. Image here:

Trond Arne Pettersen
June 23, 2014 2:08 pm

The variability in TSI is far to small to make a difference in earth temperatures more than a tenth of a degree Celsius. BUT, from NASA:
…While total solar irradiance changes by 0.1 percent, the change in the intensity of ultraviolet light varies by much larger amounts, scientists have discovered. Research shows such variations in the Sun’s emissions can affect the ozone layer and the way energy moves both vertically and horizontally through the atmosphere….
So why not do it simple Willis. On the following graph there is a 11 year mean on both HadCRUT4 and TSI from 1850 until today. There seem to be an astonishing relation between the sun’s irradiance and the global temperature. But something seem to happen in the 1980s….
I find it intriguing. What do you think?

June 23, 2014 2:14 pm

Although it wasn’t called the little ice age until the 1930’s, the effect had been known for centuries before that. I think it is a mistake to attribute it to eddy or lamb. Numerous writers have referenced it in past centuries. Charles dickens noticed the effect having been born during the very cold period at the start of the 19th century and lived to see some very warm periods.
Here are the CET figures for each season from 1659. Cet was thought by many scientists including lamb, Hulme and the dutch meteorological service to be a reasonable proxy for at least the northern hemisphere
In 2011 I wrote this article which extended cet to 1538. In it i Compared the temperature reconstructions of both Hubert lamb and Michael Mann.
I am currently extending it further to 1086 .There are numerous references to the cold and warm periods made over many hundreds of years. The little ice age is much more episodic than is generally believed. The period from 1500 to 1550 looks likely to be at least as warm as today. The 1730’s were only fractionally cooler. this period convinced Phil jones tha natural variability was much greater than he had previously believed.
Some of the sunspot minima match up well with colder temperatures,others do not. I remain unconvinced but it’s certainly a better match that co2 .Almost certainly the jet stream shifted as did the direction of winds. We had long periods of blocking highs and the weather during the cold periods and the transition in the 1200’s was often very extreme,

June 23, 2014 2:15 pm

I have been coming to the conclusion that while the sun is the engine that drives our earths climate that it’s fluctuations are not enough to account for the long term climate changes. It is clear that some major factors even out the small variations and likely the biggest is the sea acting as that regulator that keeps climate stable. By the same token it is clearly arrogance that claims that humans can do what the sun isn’t doing and drive massive changes in the climate. Clearly as with the sun the changes will be small.
It is also clear that we need a lot more good solid research to have a handle on how climate really functions.

June 23, 2014 2:22 pm

Thanks, Willis.

Dave the Realist
June 23, 2014 2:23 pm

so I guess this is suppose to stimulate a discussion?
square root of minus 1 . LMAO

June 23, 2014 2:25 pm

I didn’t see your reply when posting mine.
I agree that the sun certainly has an impact and arguably the period around 1650 to 1700 displays a possible sun spot relationship although other things might also have had an effect.
I think lamb is wrong to attribute the start of the little ice age to 1500AD and we are not helping our understanding of that period by believing the period from say 1300 to 1850 or so to be one
Long deep freeze. The lia had numerous very warm periods and the extremely cold periods were generally fairly short lived although they occurred fairly often.
Sun spots? Long periods of no sunshine? Long periods of extended sunshine? Jet streams? At present we don’t know the causes of the loa, but whilst we have this intriguing period when temperatures were much warmer than today and much cooler than today, with the biggest hockey stick occurring in the period 1690 to 1740, it is certain that natural variability is much greater than mann’s hockey stick would have us believe.

June 23, 2014 2:30 pm

A simple regression model of the TSI averaged over the previous 11 years as the single and only independent variable can predict the temperature with an r-squared of 0.61 Used to predict the past 15 years or so from data it has not seen makes predictions that are more skillful than any GCM model. Its really all that simple. It works. ‘Nuff said. Perhaps we will all understand all the things that go into making it work, but for that, we will have to stop the grantsmanship of the CAGW crowd and fund on merit.

Tom in Florida
June 23, 2014 2:31 pm

Teddi says:
June 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm
“Willis – turn off the Sun and then check the temperature. Anyone who assumes the Sun is not the main driver is “over-analysing” the simple reality that without the Sun we might as well be Neptune.”
The argument is whether small CHANGES in the Sun’s output match up with CHANGES in Earth’s climate.

June 23, 2014 2:37 pm

I havent seen any evidence.
Ive seen proxies. Ive seen years cherry picked from one data series ( adjusted data no less )
But so far nobody has answered Willis’ SPECIFIC question
“what, in your estimation, is the one best piece of temperature evidence that shows that the solar minima cause cold spells?”
To do this you have to
1. Identify the precise DATES of the minimum you wish to argue for
2. Identify TEMPERATURE evidence.
3. Show that the solar minimum causes the temperature to cool, that entails ruling out other causes.
See how #3 works? when we try to attribute warming to C02 increasing, folks demand that other causes be ruled out. hence, showing the solar min causes cooling you have to show that it couldnt be something else.
Here is another thing.
If you point to a purely local record ( like CET) then you’ve havent made the case. Imagine I tried to show that C02 caused warming by only pointing to warming in canada. Why everyone would scream and say that wasnt global warming. In other words, CET cooling shows only CET cooling, not global cooling.
And here is another thing.
If you have ever blasted the use of proxies, then guess what?
Personally I think the painting of washington crossing the delaware is the best evidence some have.
Another way to look at this is to start with some basics.
There are a few estimates of delta TSI from maunder to today.. they range from a a few tenths
of a watt to something over 1 watt. ( recall peak to trough is 1.3watts and the mininum is an extended trough )
Lets call it 1 watt for simplicity. the no feedback effect of decreasing input by 1 watt is around
Think you can find a .4C difference giving the accuracy of the records at that time?
Look at berkeley earth error bars in 1800.
Put another way, if you argue for something greater than .4C then you are implicity accepting positive feedbacks.

June 23, 2014 2:40 pm

Solar activity has been pretty much flat the past 300 years. For the Maunder Minimum we just had a workshop on that. Here is a report

June 23, 2014 2:42 pm

Thanks Willis, really, your point is well taken as in that there actually was a cooling period. So what do you conclude caused the subsequent warming and cooling? Are you in disagreement with the IPCC? The IPCC chart comparing co2 and temperature is very clear, there was no increase or decrease in co2 during those time periods, and as result no change in the temperature either. “Modern interest in the Maunder sunspot minimum was sparked by John Eddy’s 1976 publication of a paper in Science entitled “The Maunder Minimum”. ” I can very clearly remember it being a topic of conversation way (at least 20 years) before 1976 particularly among ham radio operators, who, some of them happened to be scientists also.
Next decade or two will be very interesting don’t you think?

June 23, 2014 2:47 pm
Joseph Murphy
June 23, 2014 2:49 pm

Thanks Willis, very interesting stuff as always. Perhaps an evaporation and condensation cycle of any substance will tend to keep a planets temperature regulated around a certain temperature. Once the cycle is broken there will of course be a substantial shift in surface temp. So many possibilities, so little data. If you ever stop posting I will be quite put out. 😉
vukcevic says:
June 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm
[snip – no, we aren’t going there, and I’m not going to have you overrun another thread with your link bombing. Plate tectonics don’t have anything to do with this discussion -Anthony]
Snip me if need be but I am quite interested in the effects of water or land at the poles, as well as circum-global currents or lack there of on our global climate. Another post perhaps!

June 23, 2014 2:51 pm

Solar activity has been pretty much flat the past 300 years. For the Maunder Minimum we just had a workshop on that. Here is a report [if you cannot open the ppt]

June 23, 2014 3:03 pm

We seem to be looking for a single cause, one that has a similar 11-yr cycle. What if it (11) is more a harmonic/beat frequency from contributory multiple causes? Or as mentioned, a function of something more subtle like what causes the sunspots to begin with? Sunspots are a result of something, right? While we cannot correlate very well with sunspots, perhaps there is something in the root cause of sunspots that correlates. No clues here, just asking.
Of course, looking for multiple related causes could be a lifetime grant…..

Anything is possible
June 23, 2014 3:05 pm

Willis, is it possible for you to shift the Dalton Minimum 11 years to the right on your figure 4, in essence delaying the effect by 11 years, please?
My eyeball test suggests that would tell a somewhat different story, but as my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I would appreciate a more accurate visual confirmation.
If my suspicions are correct, that would be kind of interesting given what is going on at Jo Nova’s….

June 23, 2014 3:07 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm
That T in CET forms a trough at the SSN (as previously measured) low, then, as you note, climbs later in the low sunspot period, supports the solar activity correlation with T, far from arguing against it. T descends into the minima, then climbs out of them, with high correlation to the numbers. You seem to suppose that SSN is constant throughout the decades of minima, as identified. Nothing could be further from the case. The minima are intervals of lower than usual SSN which end when the numbers return to average, but their depths of lowest number coincide with the lowest T observations.

June 23, 2014 3:18 pm

Beyond the CET, one of many such papers finding climatic cycles from around the world:
Article: 500-year climate cycles stacking of recent centennial warming documented in an East Asian pollen record
Deke Xu, Houyuan Lu, Guoqiang Chu, Naiqin Wu, Caiming Shen, Can Wang, Limi Mao
ABSTRACT: Here we presented a high-resolution 5350-year pollen record from a maar annually laminated lake in East Asia (EA). Pollen record reflected the dynamics of vertical vegetation zones and temperature change. Spectral analysis on pollen percentages/concentrations of Pinus and Quercus, and a temperature proxy, revealed ,500-year quasi-periodic cold-warm fluctuations during the past 5350 years. This 500-year cyclic climate change occurred in EA during the mid-late Holocene and even the last 150 years dominated by anthropogenic forcing. It was almost in phase with a ,500-year periodic change in solar activity and Greenland temperature change, suggesting that ,500-year small variations in solar output played a prominent ole in the mid-late Holocene climate dynamics in EA, linked to high latitude climate system. Its last warm phase might terminate in the next several decades to enter another,250-year cool phase, and thus this future centennial cyclic temperature minimum could partially slow down man-made global warming.
Scientific Reports 01/2014; 4:3611.
Forget about the modeled mechanism if you want, but the lag is well supported:
Article: A Mechanism for Lagged North Atlantic Climate Response to Solar Variability.
Adam Scaife, Sarah Ineson, Jeff Knight, Lesley Gray, Kunihiko Kodera, Doug Smith
ABSTRACT: Variability in solar irradiance has been connected to changes in surface climate in the North Atlantic through both observational and climate modelling studies which suggest a response in the atmospheric circulation that resembles the North Atlantic Oscillation or its hemispheric equivalent the Arctic Oscillation. It has also been noted that this response appears to follow the changes in solar irradiance by a few years, depending on the exact indicator of solar variability. Here we propose and test a mechanism for this lag based on the known impact of atmospheric circulation on the Atlantic Ocean, the extended memory of ocean heat content anomalies and their subsequent feedback onto the atmosphere. We use results from climate model experiments to develop a simple model for the relationship between solar variability and North Atlantic climate.
Geophysical Research Letters 04/2013; 40(2):10733-

Reply to  sturgishooper
June 23, 2014 3:51 pm

East Asia isn’t the only place those studies were done. The common thread about the LIA and the MWP that they were local events and not world wide according to the IPCC. All of the other ones agree with the East Asian studies. One in particular was done off the cost of Peru. Whatever the cause, whether the drop in sunspots is a direct or an indicator for something else, I’m staying with activity in the sun. Of course there can be other factors. But I think that no matter how you look at it, sunspot activity is related to climate change. I’m pretty sure this is just a rehash of what has been put out before in an effort to distance any relationship between solar activity and climate, leaving co2 as the only factor, with a slight twist that there actually was a globally warming and cooling before the current period. (hard for the IPCC to deny now, but the arguments were settled years ago, so it’s “settled science”, except it isn’t) Accepting that there were periods of warming and cooling in the recent past would have laid the burden on them to prove in the absence of increased or decreased co2, the causes, which they don’t have any. And of course let’s not forget the new and improved temperature reconstructions that show little temperature changes prior to the Industrial Revolution.
They have an agenda, accurate climate science isn’t it. Or science in general.

June 23, 2014 3:21 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm
“Next, according to Kirby (as well as the other datasets I’ve looked at) the earth warmed for the latter half of both the Maunder and the Dalton minima … what is Kirby’s (or your) explanation for that?”
As I noted above, the explanation should be obvious. SSN was rising during the latter part of the Maunder & Dalton Minima, which refer to decades of lower than average SSN, but not constantly low. The numbers fall into the trough, then rise out of it, but are below normal for the whole period.

Lil Fella from OZ
June 23, 2014 3:25 pm

Willis you break the rules of the AGW mob and wont be a candidate for funding. You look at the facts. Thank you.

June 23, 2014 3:34 pm

CET shows nothing there’s not even a slight trend if you include latest data 2014

June 23, 2014 3:38 pm

BTW, I for one would not use BEST data for anything please refer to Steven Goddard and GISS NOAA, Hadcrut Etc. You will realize this in 10 years time when it hits the fan big time. Its only being realized now in mainstream media. LOL

June 23, 2014 3:41 pm

Willis is like a dog with a bone. I have no doubt that he will eventually get to the marrow.

June 23, 2014 3:43 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm
Maunder T did not bottom c. 1680. The coldest decade of the MM was probably the 1690s, or possibly 1686-95, depending upon data set. The coldest winter in the historical record for the past 500 years at least was 1708/9, but that was largely an extreme WX event in the midst of a multi-decade cold cycle.

Steve from Rockwood
June 23, 2014 3:52 pm

Oceans (to store) and ocean circulation (to transfer) would seem to be the elephants in the room on decadal temperature variation. My 2 cents worth.
And if you don’t have a reason why sun spots heat the Earth then correlation is not causation and especially poor correlation is not weak causation.

June 23, 2014 3:53 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm
Alec Rawls says:
June 23, 2014 at 1:36 pm
“Kirkby’s 2008 survey paper cites a bunch of stuff. …”
… galactic cosmic rays (note the inverted scale; high cosmic ray fluxes are associated with cold temperatures) …
Look at the freakin’ graph … do you see the “high cosmic ray flux” around 1050? Care to point out the “cold temperature” associated with that? And in any case, with five totally different temperature datasets, saying something is “associated with” cold temperatures is a joke.

The cosmic ray ‘data’ is even more of a joke [or even a fraud]. What Kirby shows in Figure two
[reproduced here at the left] as the cosmic ray flux [blue curve] is NOT the cosmic ray flux, but the flux with the geomagnetic modulation removed. At the right I show the true flux [as given by the 14C data] as the red curve. The large variation [red curve] over the past 200 years is not due to the Sun, but to the Earth’s varying magnetic field. If the real cosmic ray flux was a significant driver then the true flux should be plotted at the left, not the flux with the Earth’s variation removed.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
June 23, 2014 4:24 pm

Willis, did any you guys even bother to look at the magnetic field of the earth since it has decreased 10- 15 % since, oh my, since the Industrial Revolution? It should be apparent to you the cross sectional area at the poles is not doubled in field strength but squared. And since magnetic fields are not known to be smoothed, but can be stronger or weaker in places, the burden of proof is on you. I can ask all the questions within reason if you are trying to prove something that is not. Prove to me that it is not the magnetic field of the earth. Prove to me that there isn’t a relationship between the pressure gradient in the solar wind, the compression of the atmosphere (remember as the IPCC told me, a little makes a big difference) which also heats it up, ( they use that technique in the toamack reactor to bring gas to a plasma state, squeezing it by magnetic fields) you know like in a CME, the magnetic fields of other planets, namely Jupiter, as to whether they buck or boost that field strength. Cosmic ray flux is just the tip of the iceberg. Ignoring this will not make it go away, nor calling it an opinion. It’s a system, non linear and chaotic. Looking for precise pieces to this puzzle is ridiculous. It’s too bad you can’t see the relationship between sunspot activity and climate change, I can.

June 23, 2014 3:58 pm

Sturgishooper For the 1000 year quasi periodicity see Fig 4 at
The key uncertainty in climate forecasting is where we are in relation to this 1000 year periodicity .
Looking at the downtrend in solar activity since cycle 22 fig 9 and the temperature trends since 1000AD Fig 3 it would seem more likely than not that we have just passsed the peak and should head down (with some bumps ) for the next 600 years or so.

June 23, 2014 3:59 pm
Rud Istvan
June 23, 2014 3:59 pm

Hi Willis. No, I won’t pick one paper and argue with you here rather than at JoNovas. My suggestion was to read them for background knowledge you may not have.
My sole point was clear. There are at least three influences: solar whatever, GHGs, and Earths own natural variations, of which ENSO, PDO, AMO and Arctic ice are evidence (coupled, who knows. I am intrigued by the stadium wave as an equivalent of a phase locked loop oscillator. Anybody with a cell phone owns one). To say that only one factor explains everything is wrong in my view. To say that one of those big three is not a factor at all is equally wrong for the same reasons, again in my view.
Factors meaning on decadal or longer time scales.

Steve from Rockwood
June 23, 2014 4:01 pm

The data used in Figure 4 looks suspect. Perhaps it is reasonable to assume a greater error margin as you move back in time, but the filtered time series also shows larger swings (trends) as you go back in time and that is a sign those trends are noise. There is no reason to expect variations in Earth temperature trends to have reduced significantly over the past 400 years.

June 23, 2014 4:12 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm
You have not shown that T did start rising before SSN. But even if it did, solar activity isn’t the only variable. However, within margin of error, the correlation with rising & falling T is at worst too close to call.
But if you have in fact compared the average annual T in CET with SSN, I’d appreciate seeing those data & your statistical analysis of correlation.
Motl has analyzed rate of cooling and warming for different periods in CET, although he hasn’t posted cold/hot rankings by ten-year period. He found the fastest cooling of the MM during the 30 years 1666-95 and the fastest warming from 1691 to 1720 (five years out of the MM as usually defined).

June 23, 2014 4:31 pm

The solar barycenter affects sunspots and solar magnetic flows, and only affects Earth’s climate incidentally.
Earth’s temperature is regulated by hurricanes, not CO2 or other aerosols. The gradual increase in temperature since the last major advance of ice 11,500 years ago is due to gradual planetary thawing after an anomalous ice dump, not CO2. When oceans get too hot, they make big storms that puncture the upper atmosphere, and transporting huge quantities of moist warm air. The heat radiates into space and the cold moist air falls back to Earth in various forms. The stronger the hurricane is, the greater the heat will be radiated into space and the greater quantity of cold moisture will cover the ground. This is why extreme cold follows extreme warmth.
The cold spells, such as this past winter, are caused by changes in the electrostatic and electromagnetic forces holding the polar atmosphere into place. Low solar output (not just sunspot activity) results in upper polar atmosphere over Greenland falling to the troposphere and giving cold winters in the Eastern US. It has nothing to do with the amount of heat leaving the Sun.
Changes in the electrostatic and electromagnetic activity of the Earth at the planetary scale also affects the intensity and path of the jet streams, ocean currents, and cloud formation.

June 23, 2014 4:31 pm

You referenced the relation between Sunspot minima and temperature as being a relatively modern idea dating to 1976 .
I was merely pointing out that the lia ( and the sunspot association that was the point of the article) dates back to way before this time.
I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anything else, merely that eddy was the latest in a long line of correspondents.
As regards the association between sunspots and low temperatures, whilst there appears to be a correlation at times, there appears to be limited correlation at other times, when it would have been expected, according to the theory. As an example the sporer from 1500 to 1550 appears to have been rather warm. The 1450 to1500 sporer period however appears to have been rather cold.

June 23, 2014 4:36 pm

Does anyone here know or have a suspicion as to what caused the Little Ice Age?

June 23, 2014 4:43 pm

The long slow thaw was not a polemic. It was a serious study using measured language and incorporating thousands of references that examined the period to 1538 and used as a guide the studies of both Mann and lamb. I make it quite clear there, and in various other articles that I do not agree with Mann. He does not begin to reflect natural variability and I have said this numerous times here and elsewhere over the past five years.
Whatever our personal opinions of him and his science he remains far more credible than you or I and consequently we have to deal with that in our own way. I choose to do it in a measured way and you will have a different approach.

charles nelson
June 23, 2014 4:43 pm

Gee what totally convinced me, the killer fact – so to speak was that in the ‘decade 1425 to1435 ‘Global Temps’ declined at their fastest rate on record. I mean at that point for me the science was settled.
In 1593!!!! Galileo Galilei invented a rudimentary water thermoscope, which for the first time, allowed temperature variations to be measured.
(You know I’m beginning to think that Willis is actually parodying ‘Climate Scientists’ who seem to be able to hang the grandest theories on the flimsiest of data.)
By the way I was down at the beach for a paddle just then and I noticed that the ‘Pacific Ocean’ was warmer than it usually is at this time of year.

June 23, 2014 4:55 pm

Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm
I suspect the same causes as of the prior centennial- or sub-millennial-scale cool spells which follow and precede warm phases of interglacials, which may well be the same as during glacials.
For the post-Optimum Holocene, to wit, the Greek Dark Ages, Dark Ages and Little Ice Age Cold Periods, for example.

Rud Istvan
June 23, 2014 4:56 pm

Willis, you are not your usual self today. I must say, your somewhat snide ( in my view) reply to TonyB just above proves it. Anybody who is following these debates knows what ClimateReason is trying to do through painstaking original historical research. His website explains it in detail.
Understand natural variability back behind CET. And anybody who has bothered to read his fascinating posts (mostly at CE) would know he is as much or more critical of Mann’s hockey stick than Steve MacIntrye. And, in my opinion, with better popular arguments against the Mannian erasure of natural variability. Not everybody gets white noise/red noise and all that fancy statistical math. Everybody gets blizzards, rains, heat waves that caused crop failures, and such.
Calm down, and stop swinging so wildly at ‘friends’ like Tony, Don Easterbrook, etc.
Unfortunately for you, those wild swings are unlikely to be ‘disappeared’ as they probably would at SkS, RC, or other Warmunist sites.

June 23, 2014 4:59 pm

IMO, Lassen has not been shown false:
Long-term Variations in Solar Activity
and their Apparent Effect on the Earth’s Climate
Danish Meteorological Institute, Solar-Terrestrial Physics Division,
Lyngbyvej,100, DK-2100 Copenhagen (2), Denmark
The varying length of the 11-year cycle has been found to be strongly correlated with longterm variations of the northern hemisphere land surface air temperature since the beginning of systematic temperature variations from a global network, i. e. during the past 130 years. Although direct temperature observations before this interval are scarce, it has been possible to extend the correlation back to the 16th century due to the existence of a series of proxy temperature data published by Groveman and Landsberg in 1979. Reliable sunspot data do not exist before 1750, but we have been able to derive epochs of minimum sunspot activity from auroral observations back to 1500 and combine them with the direct observations to a homogeneous series.
Comparison of the extended solar activity record with the temperature series confirms the high correlation between solar activity and northern hemisphere land surface air temperature and shows that the relationship has existed through the whole 500-year interval for which reliable data exist.
A corresponding influence of solar activity has been demonstrated in other climatic parameters. Thus, both the date of arrival of spring in the Yangtze River Valley as deduced from phenological data and the extent of the sea-ice in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic sea have been shown to be correlated with the length of the sunspot cycle during the last 450 years.
70-90 years oscillations in global mean temperature are correlated with corresponding oscillations in solar activity. Whereas the solar influence is obvious in the data from the last four centuries, signatures of human activity are not yet distinguishable in the observations.
Variations in the activity of the Sun greatly influence the physics of the upper atmosphere. Thus, magnetic disturbances, occurrence of auroras at low latitudes, sporadic ionization above -80 km altitude, and – as a consequence of the latter – reduced quality of shortwave radio transmissions all appear to follow the approximately 11-year soler activity cycle. This cycle is most distinctly seen in two observed parameters: the sun- spot number and the 10,7 cm radiation. For analytical purposes the intensity of the 10,7 cm radiation may be the best suited, but it has the drawback that observations were first initiated in the 1950s. For studies involving longer data series the only usable directly observed signature of solar activity is the varying number of sunspots. This has been subject of observation through several hundred years and may be regarded as reliable since 1750 (Eddy, 1976). The sunspot number, generally denoted R, is highly correlated with the 10,7 cm flux.

June 23, 2014 5:03 pm

Does anyone here know or have a suspicion as to what caused the Medieval Warm Period (in the northern hemisphere only)? – (Some scientists provide evidence of its global nature). Other scientists argue that it was not synchronous, ie they have no evidence that it was not globally synchronous. An obvious outlier suggest it may have been. (If only we had thermometers with good spread back in the day. Even today we argue about thermometer placement in the US OF A).
Dmitri Mauquoy et. al. – 2004
Late Holocene climatic changes in Tierra del Fuego based on multiproxy analyses of peat deposits

Our reconstruction for warm/dry conditions between ca. A.D. 960–1020 closely agrees with Northern Hemisphere tree-ring evidence for the MWP and shows that the MWP was possibly synchronous in both hemispheres, as suggested by Villalba (1994).

June 23, 2014 5:04 pm

Willis writes: “Finally, it appears that that the proxy data that [Kirkby is] using is Mann 2008 … And since that misleading proxy data seems to be what Kirby is relying on the most … well, you can do the math.”
Nope, he is using Moberg 2005 [Kirkby’s reference #29, cited in the caption to Figure 2].
“Look at the freakin’ graph … do you see the “high cosmic ray flux” around 1050? Care to point out the “cold temperature” associated with that?
The graph does indeed show a substantial dip in GCR, but only vis a vis the very high levels before and after. At bottom it gets around Dalton level, and the temperature proxies do indeed show a modest (Dalton sized) dip in global temperatures around that time. Not that I wouldn’t expect to see some counter-examples–other things besides solar activity might also affect climate–but I don’t see how this is a counter-example at all.
“why do you believe that cosmic rays are good thermometers?”
I don’t think they are thermometers at all. I think the cosmogenic isotopes that cosmic rays create have the potential to provide a usable proxy for solar activity, if they can be sufficiently dated and calibrated. Thermometers measure temperature, which is a variable that may or may not be driven by solar activity. I want to COMPARE the cosmic ray record to thermometers (to the temperature record) in order to judge whether temperature may be driven by solar activity.
Leif’s link tohis graph of Kirkby’s 14C data before the geomagnetic impact was removed does not seem to be working.
Do you have another link Leif?

June 23, 2014 5:04 pm

philjourdan says:
June 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Divide by the square root of -1? LOL!

You are imagining things.

Reply to  M Simon
June 25, 2014 4:28 am

@M Simon – A requirement for ‘i’ numbers. 😉

June 23, 2014 5:06 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:01 pm
Tony Brown of Climate Reason is hardly anonymous.

June 23, 2014 5:11 pm

… It turns out that this strong association of sunspot minima and temperature is a fairly recent development. …

The idea that sunspots influence temperature goes back to William Herschel.

As part of his attempts to determine if there was a link between solar activity and the terrestrial climate, Herschel also collected records of the price of wheat, as direct meteorological measurements were not available for a sufficient period. He theorised that the price of wheat would be linked to the harvest and hence to the weather over the year. This attempt was unsuccessful due to the lack of previous solar observations against which to compare the wheat prices, and while similar techniques sometimes led to claims of success,[18] modern statistical methods have shown a lack of correlational significance.[19]

For many years people have tried to use sunspots to forecast the weather without much success … unless the Farmer’s Almanac and Piers Corbyn count … or maybe not.

June 23, 2014 5:18 pm

Is my second question now spam? I simply asked for the suspected cause of the Medieval Warm Period and its global scale and synchrony. Does anyone have a lead on this?
TODAY we are in a fierce debate about measuring temperature with satellites and modern thermometers. Now go back 1,000 years. How is it that your could grow figs in Germany and the rest of the world was just staying cold? (Mann et al). These are serious questions.
Mann et al

Bob Weber
June 23, 2014 5:20 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm
“Solar activity has been pretty much flat the past 300 years. For the Maunder Minimum we just had a workshop on that. Here is a report …”
I was the only member of the public in attendance at the Extreme Space Weather Events Workshop you mentioned, via GoToMeeting. I have all 14 Maunder Minimum pre-workshop papers and the presentations. I specifically paid very close attention to what you were saying in your presentations. Dr. Svalgaard, your statement about a “flat” solar output only applies to the Sun’s magnetic cycle, not the sunspot number cycle, which are not the same thing, as you know.
You have reconstructed the magnetic cycle with your IHV index successfully. Good job. You’ve been working on a sunspot reconstruction process also, the results of which you indicate on page 29, the last page of Anyone who looks at the nearly 300 year SSN history recontruction of yours will come away realizing it isn’t even close to flat over the centuries or even the most recent decades/cycles.
You know we don’t get our light and heat from the Sun via the magnetic flux, you know we get it from the irradiance, the “photon flux”, by definition, also a measure of “brightness”. You also know the F10.7cm flux is used as a solar activity proxy, which has a very nearly linear relationship to SSN over time, and represents radiant activity very well, which is why it is used. You know the Sun’s electric field is the basis for the photon flux definition, and you know that the photon flux is what heats the planets. You also know that the area under either the SSN or F10.7 flux curves integrated over time represents the total amount of solar heating we have received over that time.
Your page 29 SSN graph clearly indicates major differences between cycles. You must know that the amount of heat the planets receive via photon flux has varied significantly over time, cycle to cycle. In fact, a professional like you knows all about the daily solar data reports found here . I recommend everyone look at the day-to-day variation of solar output as registered there in SSN, 10.7 flux, and solar flares. There you will notice activity levels that vary over short time periods in magnitude exceeding the oft-quoted 0.1% variation in TSI. UV is also known to change much more in magnitude than higher wavelengths.
So now everyone else knows that the solar activity that counts towards changing the temperature here, through UV penetration into the ocean and atmospheric water vapor, and through IR, changes day-to-day, week-to-week, monthly, yearly, by the decade, and by the solar cycle. Every solar cycle has a length and magnitude that differ from each other most of the time. The recent “modern maximum” in solar activity – notice I didn’t say “grand maximum” – because it’s not necessary – even if by chance it is true – has provided enough extra heating of the ocean over its cooling rate to accumulate more ocean heat content (OHC). The discharge of that heat over time obscures the direct effect of relative amounts of solar heating, and makes it very difficult to extract an average solar cycle length temperature signal. You can ask Willis about that last part.
For those unfamiliar with the idea of accumulated OHC, please see David Stockwell’s two papers linked at the top of this article (his blog is on the Skeptical Views list on the sidebar above, Niche Modelling – David Stockwell) , or yesterdays post by Paul Vaughn here : .
You cannot say that the Sun doesn’t vary enough to change the climate, when in fact the Earth responds to the Sun’s variable heating every day, changing the weather statistics every day that are used to generate long-term climate statistics, all the while “yesterday’s” solar heat stored in the ocean is also releasing and affecting temperatures, while the Earth continually cools to space via several outlets. You definitely cannot say with any veracity that the Sun’s heat output has been “flat” for 300 years, going completely against the accumulated experience and history of observers throughout that time, and the very laws of physics, and your own SSN reconstruction.
The challenge we all face is understanding the different contributions to temperature data from heat released via the oceans, solar direct heating, and the various cooling rates over different parts of the globe. Whatever CO2 does in relationship to temperature, IF it does anything, would also be modulated by the ever-changing solar radiant output.
Dr. Svalgaard you are a true pioneer in our understanding of solar activity and geomagnetics. However, the point is, the Sun does vary, enough.

June 23, 2014 5:22 pm

Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm
These are serious questions.

June 23, 2014 5:27 pm

Jimbo says:
Does anyone here know or have a suspicion as to what caused the Medieval Warm Period…
I suspect it’s like ringing a bell. You can see it here. The planet emerges from the last great stadial, then rings until it finally stops and enters the next one.

June 23, 2014 5:30 pm

Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:03 pm
I suspect the same causes as for the Holocene Climatic Optimum, the Minoan, Roman and Modern Warm Periods, and those between the Optimum and the Minoan.
Anyone who denies that the Medieval Warm Period was global ignores objective reality. The evidence is overwhelming. If anything, it was more pronounced in some other regions of the globe than the North Atlantic zone.

June 23, 2014 5:30 pm

You can see it better here.

June 23, 2014 5:33 pm

dbstealey says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:27 pm
The duration of interglacials depends chiefly on Earth’s orbital and rotational parameters. They vary in length by a factor of at least three, but probably more. Please excuse my source:

george e. smith
June 23, 2014 5:37 pm

Whenever anybody mentions the sunspot cycles and those notable minimal periods, the source of information I turn to is the book, by “Willie” Wei Hok Soon; and Stephen H Yaskell, “The Maunder Minimum, and the Variable Sun-Earth System.”
I’m guessing that Yaskell was more of a ghost author, as it’s a quite lengthy narrative and Dr. Soon probably felt he needed some help with his English. But I don’t know that, and wish I had asked Willie about that, when he referred me to that book of theirs.
It’s an extremely informative book, and Dr. Willie Soon, is a fun person to chat with, even in just a few e-mails.
And I notice, that he is one of the named three “heroes” of climate realism. He is well deserving of that recognition.
Buy the book; it is well worth the modest price.

June 23, 2014 5:39 pm

I really don’t care whether it’s the sun or not. I do want to know the causes of LIA and MWP? I realise that we don’t know. I asked the questions knowing that we don’t know. Yet we ‘do know’ what the hot and bother is all about today. Just food for thought.
I really do want an answer to this simple question. How is it that the Medieval Warm Period was os hemispherical? Read below first.

“This period of widespread warmth is notable in that there is no evidence that it was accompanied by an increase of greenhouse gases” IPCC WG1 Report 1990 (p202)

Medieval Climatic Optimum
Michael E Mann – University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
It is evident that Europe experienced, on the whole, relatively mild climate conditions during the earliest centuries of the second millennium (i.e., the early Medieval period). Agriculture was possible at higher latitudes (and higher elevations in the mountains) than is currently possible in many regions, and there are numerous anecdotal reports of especially bountiful harvests (e.g., documented yields of grain) throughout Europe during this interval of time. Grapes were grown in England several hundred kilometers north of their current limits of growth, and subtropical flora such as fig trees and olive trees grew in regions of Europe (northern Italy and parts of Germany) well north of their current range. Geological evidence indicates that mountain glaciers throughout Europe retreated substantially at this time, relative to the glacial advances of later centuries (Grove and Switsur, 1994). A host of historical documentary proxy information such as records of frost dates, freezing of water bodies, duration of snowcover, and phenological evidence (e.g., the dates of flowering of plants) indicates that severe winters were less frequent and less extreme at times during the period from about 900 – 1300 AD in central Europe……………………
Some of the most dramatic evidence for Medieval warmth has been argued to come from Iceland and Greenland (see Ogilvie, 1991). In Greenland, the Norse settlers, arriving around AD 1000, maintained a settlement, raising dairy cattle and sheep. Greenland existed, in effect, as a thriving European colony for several centuries. While a deteriorating climate and the onset of the Little Ice Age are broadly blamed for the demise of these settlements around AD 1400,

June 23, 2014 5:45 pm

Bob Weber says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm
Thank you Bob

June 23, 2014 5:45 pm

Leif’s link to his graph of Kirkby’s 14C data before the geomagnetic impact was removed does not seem to be working. Try:
Bob Weber says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm
Dr. Svalgaard you are a true pioneer in our understanding of solar activity and geomagnetics. However, the point is, the Sun does vary, enough.
The recent work on the SSN, shows that solar activity in the 20th, 19th, and 18th centuries were pretty much the same:
Of course the Sun varies, but there has been no long-term trend the past 300 years. The variation seems to be quasi-cyclic with about a 100-yr ‘period’. So, I don’t know what you mean by ‘enough’.

June 23, 2014 5:45 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm
Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:03 pm
I suspect the same causes as for the Holocene Climatic Optimum, the Minoan, Roman and Modern Warm Periods, and those between the Optimum and the Minoan……

Thanks. I am however more concerned with LIA and MWP. Those periods are the cause for great angst. The other periods can be waffled and easily explained away. – solar insolation for example.

June 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Willis says: “Look more closely [at Bond’s graph], Alec. Half the time the isotopes lead the rafting, half the time they trail the rafting … and the rest of the time the isotopes have nothing to do with the rafting.”
Bond apparently posted some supplemental information on this issue when his paper was published. I haven’t looked into it, but it is referenced in the first column on his page 2133 where he writes:

The visual match among the records can be improved by adjusting the marine time series within chronological error (Web fig. 1).

Not sure how they dated the ice rafting debris but it was apparently not by cosmic nucleotides. In other words, they were not directly comparing the temperature proxy (amount of debris) to the solar activity proxies (14C and 10Be) by measuring both within the same geologic layer, but rather were using an independent method to date the rafting debris and comparing it to solar proxies from other sources.
This makes dating error on both sides relevant, with the potential discrepancy being equal to the sum of the possible errors on each side. Bond evidently went through the data by hand to see how many of the timing issues that you are noticing could be due to dating error. Of course these same dating errors also call into question his claimed results.
Web 3 sounds worth a look if anyone knows where to find it, but offhand I wouldn’t expect the dating accuracy to be such that inflection points would all lining up correctly even if solar activity were at all points the dominant climate driver (which I don’t think Bond is claiming).

June 23, 2014 5:52 pm

I love ruds appeal to friends. Like jos appeal to friends with lubos.
Willis and I are friends. We attack each others ideas. Like real friends only can.
Once again nobody can offer evidence.

June 23, 2014 5:56 pm

george e. smith says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm
Before Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928) and Annie Scott Dill Russell Maunder (1868-1947), there was Friederich Wilhelm Gustav Spörer (1822-95).
And Frederick William (or Friedrich Wilhelm) Herschel (1738-1822) , of course.
The connection between sunspots and climate wasn’t first noted in 1976.

June 23, 2014 5:57 pm

Steven Mosher says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm
You haven’t been paying attention. Willis has offered no evidence. Many others have done so.

June 23, 2014 6:01 pm

Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm
I beg to differ. There is no way to hand wave away the Holocene Optimum, the Egyptian, Minoan and Roman Warm Periods and intervening cold periods, or the fact that prior interglacials have been warmer than this one. That the Team is concerned only with the Medieval Warm Period and the LIA doesn’t mean that skeptics should limit their critique of the “consensus” GHG hypothesis to just the past millennium.
But IMO it doesn’t matter, since the explanation for the MWP and LIA should prove the same as for previous warm and cool phases of this and prior interglacials.

Anything is possible
June 23, 2014 6:04 pm

“Once again nobody can offer evidence.”
Years 1801-19.

Jean Parisot
June 23, 2014 6:06 pm

Clearly we need to collect good data for the next 4 or 5 solar minima and maximums; then draw some decent conclusions to design some experiments for the next couple of centuries.
Maybe the models will be useful at that point.

June 23, 2014 6:11 pm

Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm
I further suspect that the main underlying cause of both Bond Cycles in interglacials and the more pronounced D-O Cycles during glacials is ocean current variations, abrupt changes in which might be triggered by sudden outbursts of fresh water or SST from lagged solar variations, among other possible drivers of circulation and salinity and temperature parameters.
I trust I’ve made myself sufficiently vague.

June 23, 2014 6:16 pm

Read this –
vukcevic says:
June 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm
[snip – no, we aren’t going there, and I’m not going to have you overrun another thread with your link bombing. Plate tectonics don’t have anything to do with this discussion -Anthony]
Snip me if need be but I am quite interested in the effects of water or land at the poles, as well as circum-global currents or lack there of on our global climate. Another post perhaps!…
I will second that vote. I think it’s EXTREMELY NARROW to presume that plate technonics may not have any influence on climate. RING OF FIRE, Anthony…ever heard of that? Why are there no “active volcanoes on the Atlantic side? Why do we have the hot spots, Iceland, Yellowstone and Hawaii? Plate tectonics have begun to give the answers to those questions. AND, because of the discharges into the atmosphere from said volcanoes, there may well be a “cause effect” on long term atmospheric physics. Remember the underwater volcanoes offshore from Antarctica might yet be shown to have influence on the floating ice. What other connections are there with the crustal surface, the surface water interface, and the dynamics and composition of the atmosphere. I don’t know completely myself. I’m hesitant to dismiss there posibility off hand. It is ILLUMINATING to note that 99.99% of all geologists (applied, AKA petroleum and mining) and academic, regarded plate techtonics as an “impossible theory” by a turn of the century (radical) French geologist. He was right, they were wrong.
REPLY: Well if you can show that plate tectonics change in 11 year cycles, or some other direct measurable sun-earth relationship, it might be worth discussing on a new thread, but I reserve the right to keep this one on track. – Anthony

June 23, 2014 6:17 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm
Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm
I beg to differ. There is no way to hand wave away the Holocene Optimum, the Egyptian, Minoan and Roman Warm Periods and intervening cold periods, or the fact that prior interglacials have been warmer than this one…..

When tackling Warmists, try to stick to the goalposts. If not you will get a red card.
The Arctic Ocean was ice free during the Holocene Climate Optimum. You CANNOT use this argument against Warmists, but you at least have a basis to use the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Check it out. Why do you think they are OBSESSED with these TWO period? Do you hear them screaming about the Holocene Hypsithermal? Solar.

June 23, 2014 6:23 pm

Jimbo says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm
I lack your long and heroic exposure to Warmunistas. I don’t know why you can’t use the thousands of almost ice free Arctic Ocean summers during the Holocene Optimum against them, but must accept your experience that they have some excuse for this fact. If it’s insolation, then they are wrong.

June 23, 2014 6:27 pm

Max Hugoson says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm
Which French geologist was that? I know of a German, Wegener, and a South African, du Toit (of partial French Huguenot ancestry), but no French geologist in the early history of plate tectonics. Please enlighten me. Thanks.

June 23, 2014 6:27 pm

My first impression is you are trying to match things too closely. If the sun’s output changes, there are any number of lag effects, coupled with ocean cycles, which means any review of past temperature data with the sun’s output is not going to match exactly.
I do think this is the problem above, and your problem in general with examining the sun as the driver of climate. The alarmists do the same thing in the opposite direction, they dismiss late 20th century warming as being caused by the sun because the sun’s output was not increasing during this time, without accounting for lag effects and ocean cycles. The same sort of problem extends back into past history with your graphs above.
‘Lambs winter severity index’ is not a reliable indicator, for example. You are mixing an index of part of a year with an index of the sun’s output. Add lag effects, ocean cycles, problems with data, and it is meaningless.
The sun does not, and will not, EXACTLY match temperature indices due to variable lag and feedback effects which can span the order of decades, particularly with regards to the oceans, (which are entirely absent from the above discussion). Ocean changes have been suggested to account for some of the variability with regards to temperature proxies in some of Mann’s reconstructions, for example. The 20th century is also case in point, the PDO greatly complicated solar activity and the temperature record. Selected temperature indices may or may not match solar indices.

June 23, 2014 6:29 pm

I have noticed that as I have gotten older and wiser, everything and I mean EVERYTHING I thought I knew was wrong. I could write a book on how wrong I have been.
Now Willis comes along and skewers the cause of the Maunder and Dalton minimums and when I look at the graphs I see noise.
Could it be possible that the Solar/Global energy flux is in equilibrium and always has been? What an idea.

June 23, 2014 6:30 pm

I know what else doesn’t have an 11 year cycle – human activity of any sort.

June 23, 2014 6:31 pm

Max Hugoson says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm
Dunno about the very roughly 11 year average solar cycle, but orbital cycles may affect volcanism.
The moon of course has often been cited as a tidal force on the crust and what lies below. But then there’s also this:

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 23, 2014 6:33 pm

Dammit Willis, you always manage to make everything seem so …. uncertain.
The above is sarcasm/irony. I am grateful you are ruthlessly skeptical with all claims. Science can only work when every claim must be supported and can withstand the most rigorous cross examination. Keep up the good work.
The more I investigate climate and claims regarding climate change the more I come to the opinion that we simply don’t know, which is preferable to believing empty assertions of consensus.
As Mark Twain said:

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

What we know that we don’t know is a challenge and an opportunity. What we know for sure that just ain’t so will bite us.

george e. smith
June 23, 2014 6:36 pm

“””””…..You know we don’t get our light and heat from the Sun via the magnetic flux, you know we get it from the irradiance, the “photon flux”, by definition, also a measure of “brightness”. …..”””””
Well strictly speaking, we don’t get either one of those things (light and heat) from the sun.
Yes, we do get the energy (electro-magnetic radiation) from the sun, but we make all the “heat”, right here on earth, and the “light” is all in your head, generated by your eye-brain partnership.
We even use quite different units, such as lumen, candela, lux, etc. to specify “light”, and differentiate it from EM radiant energy, which we measure in regular energy units, such as joule.
Irradiance is neither a measure of “photon flux” nor of “brightness.”
Irradiance is strictly a property of radiant power received on a surface, measured in watt per steradian per square metre
“Brightness” is a bastardized term for “Radiance” which has the unit of watt per steradian per square metre, and applies only to sources of radiant energy.
We use Radiant Emittance or radiant Exitance in watt per square meter, for sources of radiant energy; and Radiant Incidence in watt per square meter when referring to reception by irradiated surfaces. The angular distribution is irrelevant, when using those measures. One could describe that as radiant flux, but not “photon flux”, which would relate to photon numbers, and thus would be relevant only for radiation of a specific known photon energy. (wavelength or frequency).
The use of “brightness” as a scientific measure, is discouraged, because of its colloquial, every day common usage, as some nebulous property of “things”.
BUT ! when it IS used pseudo-scientifically, it invariably relates to “xxxxxx” per steradian per square metre., where “xxxxxx” could be radiant power (watt) or photometric “power” (lumen) or it is even used to specify the “brightness” of say an electron or ion source in some variety of units.
People messing around with particle sources , or even material evaporation sources, are presumably not third avenue street people, so generally they DO know precisely what they mean when talking “brightness” of whatever exotica sources they are mucking around with. So they sort of have Papal dispensation, to talk so loosely.
No derogation of third avenue street people is intended by any of the above.
And for the legal disclaimer; this was written straight out of my head, so no assurance can be given, that some French agency, has some nit picking differences, with my words and or speeling or capitalizations or even punctuation. But do use the correct terms, if you want to be understood.

June 23, 2014 6:36 pm

Genghis says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm
Willis has not skewered anything. The “cause” of the Maunder and Dalton Minima is by definition the low number of sunspots observed during those decades. That is not in dispute, except possibly by Svalgaard’s team, intent upon changing how sunspots are counted. But I don’t know if they deny the existence of the minima.
What Willis is trying to show is that sunspot number is not correlated with climatic data sets of his choosing. This he has failed to do, as with his quest to show no correlation with the average 11 year solar cycle. To prove a negative requires doing much more work than he has done, while also ruling out all the lags and offsets that might mask the effect in the few, random, crude, mathematically questionable at best analyses he has done. This is not science but special pleading and bias confirmation on steroids.

June 23, 2014 6:45 pm

A good time to revisit (vis esp figure 2)
Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity?
M Lockwood, R G Harrison, T Woollings and S K Solanki,
CET winters were indeed sporadically colder during the Maunder, but not all winters. This aligns with the theory that low solar activity destabilizes the polar vortex, which allows cold air to move southward en masse. Sometimes, as last winter, the mass moves over the US, sometimes it will visit Europe.
Solar Forcing of RegionalClimate Change During the Maunder Minimum
Drew T. Shindell, Gavin A. Schmidt, Michael E. Mann, David Rind, Anne Waple
England has an oceanic climate. Continental interiors fared worse.

george e. smith
June 23, 2014 6:45 pm

“””””…..sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm
george e. smith says:
June 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm
Before Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928) and Annie Scott Dill Russell Maunder (1868-1947), there was Friederich Wilhelm Gustav Spörer (1822-95).
And Frederick William (or Friedrich Wilhelm) Herschel (1738-1822) , of course.
The connection between sunspots and climate wasn’t first noted in 1976…….”””””
I said NO such thing. Please stop posting utter rubbish, with false attributions to me.

Pamela Gray
June 23, 2014 6:47 pm

Some descriptive thoughts:
1. Good scientific speculators are very specific, allowing others to take their specific and detailed statements and work and hold them up to public scrutiny.
2. Bad scientific speculators are not specific, often making implausible and unsupported statements and unfalsifiable proposals.
3. Good scientific speculators make a herculean effort to find just one instance in the data that refutes the proposed speculation. If they find one, they look for more and spare us the drive by “It’s the [ ] stupid” comments.
4. Bad scientific speculators do not look for any refutation. They only look for and use metrics that support their speculation.
5. Good scientific speculators vet their literature, doing the hard job of critiquing supporting research to see if it will likely hold up to public scrutiny.
6. Bad scientific speculators throw out “supporting” links without having done the hard work that is theirs to do.
If you have speculated on a proposed theory for these odd periods of history, which of these are you?

June 23, 2014 6:52 pm

george e. smith says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm
I wasn’t referring to you, but to Willis’ view that 1976 saw the onset of Maunder Minimum recognition. Did you read the post at the head of these comments?
Soon’s book is valuable, but the Maunders were not the first to recognize the low sunspot numbers of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

June 23, 2014 6:54 pm

Pamela Gray says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm
So Willis is a bad speculator? We already knew that.

Old woman of the north
June 23, 2014 6:54 pm

HI Willis,
Have you looked at the maximum temperatures in this record? Just an idea. Cool weather in the day time means pasture does not grow so well or crops germinate etc.
But, in Central Queensland we went through the 1969-1970 drought – no rain for 18 months. It was warm and cloudy through that second winter, then the drought broke with a 12 inch storm in September, that caused a flood that took all the unprotected (cf no grass cover) top soil and flattened miles of fencing.. That is beside the point.
During the drought we examined closely the rainfall record for our area – Springsure has record from 1863. In it we found the 11year cycle – two 11 year cycles, actually, that followed each other. One was wetter than the other although the actual amount of rain varied in each. Last century, the 1950 decade was wetter in CQ than any previous before the 1890s and then we had the 1970s – again very wet (1974 we had 31 inches in January. We sold out in 76 so have not studied stuff so much since.

Bob Weber
June 23, 2014 6:56 pm

george e. smith says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm
You can find standard definitions for everything I mentioned, and brightness is part of it. Notice you made a much much bigger deal out of the use of that word than I did, although Jack Eddy reported in the BBC video circa 1977 “The Sunspot Mystery” that people back during the Maunder Minimum observed the sun to be “dim”. That qualitative observation can be tested scientifically in this day and age. That video link is . I recommend it for it’s historical perspective.

Pamela Gray
June 23, 2014 7:01 pm

So here is what I am hearing. You have to take the temperature data and wring the shit out of it through several bottom up Earth soaks, cycles, delayed washings, and rinses before you can discern the top down solar imprint on the trend. Yes? And the various solar enthusiasts here are arguing over the exact number of bottom up Earth soaks, cycles, delayed washings, and rinses. Yes?
Do you see my point? What I am hearing from solar enthusiasts is that the temperature trends are made up mostly of Earth’s soaks, cycles, delayed washings, and rinses. The process of extracting the solar signal from the wrung out temperature data takes a tiny set of tweezers gently shoved up a gnat’s ass.

June 23, 2014 7:06 pm

Pamela Gray says:
June 23, 2014 at 7:01 pm
You’ve exaggerated what some are saying about some data sets while overlooking the simple fact that it was colder during the SSN minima, with whatever lag, than during the intervals preceding and following them. There’s no way around that simple, indisputable fact.
It comes through in every relevant global physical scientific data set, in the historical, economic and cultural records, no matter where you look. So by solar enthusiasts, I assume you mean those who look dispassionately at the data.

June 23, 2014 7:07 pm

This has been posted before – this shot clip from the global warming swindle does claim that the 11 year cycle is visible in tree ring proxy data and diatom proxies. I don’t know if links to the data and study used are available, but some digging should result in the data used for this presneation
( I don’t want to waste your precious time and thus the video may not be of much value without links to data).
However, I do find it strange that the author claims that the 11 year cycle and effects are easy seen in tree ring and diatom proxies.

June 23, 2014 7:07 pm

Rud Istvan says:
June 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm
Regarding snideness, I see no difference in these comments from Willis’ norm. Indeed, he seems if anything less ad hominem and aggressively dismissive here than usual.

Terry Jackson
June 23, 2014 7:13 pm

If I were looking for an indicator to relate weather to the human experience, I would look at the Growing Degree Days.

June 23, 2014 7:18 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm
george e. smith says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm
For any lay readers interested in Soon’s work but lacking the time to read his book, here’s a pretty good summary:

Rud Istvan
June 23, 2014 7:22 pm

Hey Mosher, before anything else, go explain your BEST Amundsen research station temperature modification from zero trend to a 0.2C warming trend.
For those who do not know, Amundsen is the exact South Pole science research base (home of famous BICEPT2 and the recent microwave background polarization possiblemfindingmprovingmbothninflation and gravity waves–although independent confirmations awaited, since there is a cosmic dust question their data cannot resolve). BEST modified the Amundsen/Scott careful scientific temperature record by eliminating 26 cold lows that ‘did not correspond to the regional climatology’. Data posted on BEST website for all to see, station 166900. Now, the problem is that Antarctica ” regional climatology” is either a BEST model fiction, or comprises data from the other Antarctic research bases like McMurdo–all of which are along the coasts and moderated by oceans. WTF! The BEST quality control manufacturing slight warming at the South Pole is a self evident fail. Subtract out all the extreme colds measured at the South Pole scientific research station in order to produce warming there in BEST data! It is posted on your website for all who care to look. Too late to take down or fix, since has been archived.
No fancy math needed to see the complete logical screwup in your BEST upward adjustment of the worlds most remote scientific research base’ exact temperature record.
You, Muller, and BEST should be relieved that you are too insignificant to be a direct target in my forthcoming next book on climate and energy, due out perhaps in the fall. Wrote you in, then edited you out. Bigger fish to fry. So many easy targets, I had to decide which ducks to shoot. Perhaps worth reconsidering…Since 166900 is a big fat easy duck.

June 23, 2014 7:32 pm

Rud Istvan says:
June 23, 2014 at 7:22 pm
Thanks for helping to expose the shameless “data adjustment” scam, which is finally starting to get ink in the MSM. The whole hoax is unraveling before our eyes, thanks at least as much to Mother Nature slapping the fraudsters down as to the efforts of pro-science skeptics over the past four decades.

charles nelson
June 23, 2014 7:42 pm

Steven M. Mosher, B.A. English, Northwestern University (1981); Teaching Assistant, English Department, UCLA (1981-1985); Director of Operations Research/Foreign Military Sales & Marketing, Northrop Corporation [Grumman] (1985-1990); Vice President of Engineering [Simulation], Eidetics International (1990-1993); Director of Marketing, Kubota Graphics Corporation (1993-1994); Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Criterion Software (1994-1995); Vice President of Personal Digital Entertainment, Creative Labs (1995-2006); Vice President of Marketing, Openmoko (2007-2009); Founder and CEO, Qi Hardware Inc. (2009); Marketing Consultant (2010-2012); Vice President of Sales and Marketing, VizzEco Inc. (2010-2011); [Marketing] Advisor, RedZu Online Dating Service (2012-2013); Advisory Board, urSpin (n.d.); Team Member, Berkeley Earth 501C(3) Non-Profit Organization unaffiliated with UC Berkeley (2013-Present)

June 23, 2014 7:43 pm

Mosher writes “Once again nobody can offer evidence.”
I’m only sceptical of the evidence he is using. I dont think TSI (as proxied by sunspots) is an effective enough measure to be definitive.
For example if the only “sun data” I had was the time the sun rose and the time the sun set and I note that data, when averaged over enough years, leads to the conclusion the sun doesn’t impact on our climate. …then well thats intuitively a weak argument.
IMO using TSI is also a weak argument when we know the wavelengths that make up that total vary considerably…and the different waverlengths interact with our planet’s atmosphere and oceans differently and we dont really know how they vary over the longer term.

Pamela Gray
June 23, 2014 7:44 pm

sturgishooper, which cold period are we talking about? Both? More than the two in the lead post? And what do you consider to be the time spans of these cold periods? There are different opinions in the scientific literature as to when these cold periods began and ended.

Ulric Lyons
June 23, 2014 7:44 pm

Willis said:
“As you can see, there is very little support for the “solar minima cause cool temperatures” hypothesis in the CET.”comment image?w=840
And yet the three coldest periods are all in solar minima, cycles 12-14 was a minima too. The data disagrees with you.

June 23, 2014 7:52 pm

Pamela Gray says:
June 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm
With respect to Willis’ post, just the Maunder and Dalton. But no matter which definition you prefer, the Maunder and Dalton were cooler than the periods before, in between and after them.
The same is true for other minima, eg the Spörer, Wolf and Oort. In denying this connection, you’re setting yourself up against 200 years of science by the best scientists who studied the issue, starting with Herschel. You could be right, but without abundant evidence supporting your view, please excuse me if I go with Herschel, Spörer, Maunder, Lamb and Eddy, et al.
No disrespect intended, but I have to wonder why you fail to find a solar influence on climate.

June 23, 2014 8:00 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm
I wish I could be as sure of anything with evidence as Willis, my neighbor Pamela, Mosher & the Team are without evidence, indeed with all or the preponderance of evidence against their faith.
True belief is proof against all assaults by reality.

June 23, 2014 8:01 pm

Ulric Lyons says:
June 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm
Data? We don’ need no stinkin’ data!

June 23, 2014 8:06 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm
“I beg to differ. There is no way to hand wave away the Holocene Optimum, the Egyptian, Minoan and Roman Warm Periods and intervening cold periods, or the fact that prior interglacials have been warmer than this one.”
Now you’re talking climate cycles, which raises the risk of causing coronary events among several of the principals here. The operative is “Don’t Go There.” We must avert our eyes.

Carl Chapman
June 23, 2014 8:12 pm

I compared the “400 years of Sunspot Observations” against the “Central England Temperature 1659-present”. I think that using the sunspot observations is better than assigning a date range to the two minima.
Until 1700 the sunspot is near 0 and the temp is falling. Both are at their minimum.
From 1700 to 1725 both are increasing rapidly.
Apart from the Dalton Minimum, the sunspot count doesn’t change much until the 2nd half of the 20th century. Neither does the temperature.
In the 2nd half of the 20th century both go up.
We could say that over short periods the correlation is poor, and there is a lot of unexplained variation, but the bigger picture seems to hold up.
There are three short periods where they don’t match well: the big rise in temperature at the end of the Maunder; only a small dip in the Dalton; the dip around 1880.
If you allow moves of 0.3 degrees for 15 years due to unexplained variability (Enso, PDO, volcanoes, chaos), that would cover all three of those.

June 23, 2014 8:14 pm

Climate is not the average of weather, it’s the consistency of weather …
You can read about all those swings and spikes here:
Nobody notices mean temperature going up and down a tad but throw the seasons all out of whack for a decade or so and folk rally start to take notice. So do crops and livestock. Especially if you throw in the odd brass monkey winter or exceptional summer.
Can’t be bothered to pretty it up with titles etc. The top one is the annual rate of change of CET from monthly averages, the bottom one is SSN (dotted line is proposed correction). Of course it doesn’t line up precisely with solar cycles, do you really expect it to at temperate latitudes with the Atlantic rushing past?

June 23, 2014 8:18 pm

pochas says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm
I guess, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, it depends on what the meaning of “cycle” is.
How about fluctuation on roughly the same wavelength? A Bond or D-O cycle or fluctuation might be around 1470 years on average, which means mean trough to peak of 735 years, but could be, say, 500 to 900 years, depending upon other factors.
It seems to me that as the Holocene Interglacial slouches toward the next glacial the “cycles” are getting shorter, perhaps also increasing in amplitude as well as frequency. But that might just be an artifact of improving resolution. IMO however the downward trend of the past 3000 years is well supported.

Pamela Gray
June 23, 2014 8:22 pm

Irish chronicles, especially those related to religious organizations are quite detailed and very old. The author describes reliable (and additional less reliable) recorded Irish descriptions of cold events that have a time stamp on them. By comparing these timed descriptions of cold events to volcanic activity ice core records, a clear and very close connection can be made as to the timing of the cold event and volcanic activity. In a very real sense, volcanos could be at least one of the elephants in the room. Folks, before you dismiss it, we are talking about volcanic activity that was frequent and MUCH more explosive than anything we have experienced in modern times. The mechanism is there (decreased solar insolation), though not completely understood and is the focus of several research projects and models. I don’t think they have the ENSO disruption right yet but they are getting closer. One of the current limits is the very poor modeling of ENSO further out than a couple months. These large eruptions lasted in some cases more than a year and the stratospheric road to the ice cores from distant locations took a while.

June 23, 2014 8:23 pm

Carl Chapman says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm
That indeed is not only better, but the only satisfactory methodology for testing the correlation of SSN with T. Differing start & end dates for the minima are a little fungible, but the actual count (as previously made) isn’t as subjective as picking approximate years to label as the “Minimum”. This is the point I tried to make with Willis, but which his anti-sun worship belief system compelled him obdurately or obstinately to abjure as apostasy.

Ulric Lyons
June 23, 2014 8:29 pm

The Spörer Minimum dating is obsolete. There was a solar minima from the 1430’s to the 1470’s, and another from the 1550’s to the 1590’s, both agreeing with CET reconstructions and Lambs winter index.

June 23, 2014 8:31 pm

Let me state the obvious Willis. You are clearly much better at this and smarter than I am. But just like with your fracking obsession you may be focusing on the wrong thing. The argument is not that sunspots are driving climate but that solar activity influences albedo changes, which drive temperature trends. I think that you are looking at the wrong thing.

June 23, 2014 8:31 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm
Svalgaard’s team, intent upon changing how sunspots are counted.
What we have uncovered is that sunspots were counted in different ways at different times. What we are doing is trying to bring all counts onto the same scale, referenced to the same method and way of counting, thus just the opposite of what you say.

June 23, 2014 8:32 pm

71% of this planets surface is ocean. It does not absorb energy as a “near blackbody” but rather as a “selective surface”. Therefore looking only at TSI is disingenuous. Spectral variance is critical.
Energy absorbed below the overturning layer can accumulate, and it is the shorter frequencies that penetrate to these depths. It is also these frequencies that vary most between solar cycles. It is notable that surface UV has increased ~ 10 – 20% in the last 30 years, but stabilised since the mid 1990s –
It should also be noted that UV-A still has the power of ~10 w/m2 at 50m depth.
Changes in ocean heat content due to this mechanism would be slow and cumulative below the thermocline. This would allow short diurnal and seasonal signatures to occur in SSTs, with 11 year signatures masked or smeared due to deeper circulation patterns. This mechanism could easily account for 0.8C in 150 years.
The good news is that the UV variance is so great that the data is highly resistant to being “stamped flat”.

June 23, 2014 8:35 pm

Pamela Gray says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:22 pm
Volcanic activity does not explain climatic fluctuations like the MWP or LIA. There may well be connections between climate and volcanism and even between volcanic activity and the sun, moon, planets and stars, but correlation is lacking for the well-supported centennial-scale cycles, if I may call them that, and volcanism alone.
Your baseless assertion that “Folks, before you dismiss it, we are talking about volcanic activity that was frequent and MUCH more explosive than anything we have experienced in modern times. The mechanism is there (decreased solar insolation), though not completely understood and is the focus of several research projects and models” is false on its face (not to mention that anyone who uses the word “folks” to mean anything other than his or her parents is immediately suspect).
You do have Tambora toward the end of the LIA (during the already underway Dalton Minimum), but nothing comparable even to Krakatoa (early in the Modern Warm Period) at its beginning. Where are the initiating mega-eruptions in the 14th and early 15th century that your special pleading, hand waving excuse to ignore the obvious solar influences requires?
There is a possible mid-1400s (probably South Pacific) event of some significant VEI magnitude, but by then the LIA was already well underway. Sorry, but volcanoes don’t wash.

June 23, 2014 8:39 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm
That sunspots were counted in different ways at different times in the past is hardly a discovery.
What you are doing is trying to impose your way of counting retroactively on recalcitrant practitioners of real science, which just happens, big surprise, to support the Team. Who is paying for this supposedly purely disinterested, corrective scientific activity on your part? Let me guess. Could it be the same paymasters as the Team?

Matthew R Marler
June 23, 2014 8:40 pm

Steven Mosher: But so far nobody has answered Willis’ SPECIFIC question
Exactly so. Willis Eschenbach has been presenting a series of focused analyses, testing particular hypotheses with respect to specific relevant data, and finding that certain common claims about solar variation and Earth climate response have been promoted and disseminated without much evidentiary support. Maybe one day he’ll delve into Beryllium isotopes or changes in magnetic field strength, but today we have sunspot minima and a particular climate index that turns out to be pretty independent. It is worth while to absorb these points.
I would also like to thank Rud Istvan and Tonyb for illuminating elaborational comments, which seem pretty mild to me, not critical of anything Willis Eschenbach wrote in the intro.

Matthew R Marler
June 23, 2014 8:43 pm

TimTheToolMan:IMO using TSI is also a weak argument when we know the wavelengths that make up that total vary considerably…and the different waverlengths interact with our planet’s atmosphere and oceans differently and we dont really know how they vary over the longer term.
I wouldn’t rule that out, but there isn’t the supporting/testing evidence either. Or is there?

June 23, 2014 8:47 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm
What you are doing is trying to impose your way of counting retroactively on recalcitrant practitioners of real science, which just happens, big surprise, to support the Team. Who is paying for this supposedly purely disinterested, corrective scientific activity on your part? Let me guess. Could it be the same paymasters as the Team?
You have no idea what you are talking about. The revision of the sunspot number is a collaborative effort involving dozens of experts from across the world, supported by the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the National Solar Observatory, Stanford University, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Specola Solare Ticinese. You can learn more here [should you care to educate yourself]:

June 23, 2014 8:52 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:47 pm
I’m already fully educated as to what you’re up to, thanks. It doesn’t matter how many co-conspirators you have recruited to try to enforce your new orthodoxy on the recalcitrant heretics who persist in practicing science.
Your unwillingness to answer my question as to your funding says it all. Not that I needed to know. The question was rhetorical, since I already know.

June 23, 2014 8:56 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm
I’m already fully educated as to what you’re up to, thanks.
You give a very good impression of someone who doesn’t have a clue. {and the source of my funding was mentioned, but if you already knew, that should not have been a surprise}.

June 23, 2014 8:58 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm
I have more than a clue, and so do you. Why don’t you let readers know when, why and how your current crusade to overturn perfectly good SSN counting systems began. And if you can, please distinguish your funding from that of the Team.

June 23, 2014 9:01 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:48 pm
I realize that even the most rudimentary research is anathema to you, but in seconds you could have found out who Tony B is. It seems that of all regular commenters and posters here, you’re the only one totally clueless as to the identity of Tony Brown.
Are you equally as ignorant of the identity of that other distinguished Brown, rgbatduke?
That someone is anonymous to you hardly is a basis for rejecting his inoffensive comments. For anyone that is but you.

June 23, 2014 9:10 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:59 pm
What do you mean by modern? In every decade since the Maunders popularized Spörer’s work for the English-speaking world, their observations have been commented upon. You trash the history of science as willy-nilly as all other relevant fields, never bothering to do the least little bit of literature search, let alone actual substantive research.
I’m not a pop-up. I’ve commented here before on a variety of topics within my area of expertise. To me it appears that you have no area of expertise beyond applying totally inappropriate and badly executed mathematical operations to inadequate data sets cherry picked by you. Your posting and publishing constitute the antithesis of science. Yet you with unbridled hubris claim to be a “scientist”, while refusing steadfastly to practice the scientific method.
When have you ever taken responsibility for your unrelieved record of shameless error and prevarication? You help make skeptics a laughing stock, so do science no service. Quite the contrary.

June 23, 2014 9:11 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm
Why don’t you let readers know when, why and how your current crusade to overturn perfectly good SSN counting systems began.
As per the 1st SSN workshop was held in September, 2011. The ‘why’ is explained in the Wiki [should you care to look]. And the SSN was not ‘perfectly good’.
And if you can, please distinguish your funding from that of the Team.
The ultimate funder is the US Taxpayer [i.e. you among others]

June 23, 2014 9:12 pm

“…what, in your estimation, is the one best piece of temperature evidence that shows that the solar minima cause cold spells?”
Here it is:

June 23, 2014 9:16 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm
The SSN were all good as long as you took into account how they were counted. Your crusade doesn’t solve that problem, but only makes it worse, intentionally so IMO.
You’re right that we taxpayers are your ultimate funders, much to our discomfiture, but consider the actual agencies and parts thereof who are implicated.
Your effort, however initially motivated by a desire to improve science, is part and parcel of the fundamentally corrupt campaign that is modern “climate science”. Sorry, but that’s the reality.

Matthew R Marler
June 23, 2014 9:20 pm

Willis Eschenbach: It turns out that this strong association of sunspot minima and temperature is a fairly recent development. Modern interest in the Maunder sunspot minimum was sparked by John Eddy’s 1976 publication of a paper in Science entitled “The Maunder Minimum”.
Well. In defense of tonyb, the “strong association” of which you wrote wasn’t that “recent”, unless now you are going to redefine “strong” or “recent”. And if “sparked” does not “attribute” “modern interest” to John Eddy, then you are writing in some language other than English. Your angry response to tonyb was unwarranted.

June 23, 2014 9:21 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm
The SSN were all good as long as you took into account how they were counted.
The problem is that nobody did and almost nobody knew. We are rectifying that.
Your effort, however initially motivated by a desire to improve science, is part and parcel of the fundamentally corrupt campaign that is modern “climate science”. Sorry, but that’s the reality.
Ah, you finally showed your hand and dripping your agenda-driven venom.

June 23, 2014 9:21 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm
It’s not digging out a secret. Tony Brown, like many here, posts through some conduit in which he already had an ID, so that he comes up as climatereason or tonyb. Many who do so make no secret as to who they are, again like Dr. Brown of Duke.
“Digging” would have taken you mere seconds, literally, and I’m sure, if I may speak for him, that Tony Brown would not have felt in the least violated by your having so searched. Interestingly, the Team pull no punches or make no bones about identifying him in their attacks on the excellent science he practices in reconstructing temperature to extend the CET further back in time.

June 23, 2014 9:23 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm
It’s not true that nobody did. IMO your rectification only makes matters worse.
My agenda is science. I wonder what yours is, but have my suspicions.

Rud Istvan
June 23, 2014 9:24 pm

Willis, two pieces of advice based on the unfortunate above record, which I presume resulted from the sort of ‘bad hair day’ we all occasionally have, even if we no longer have hair.
1. Army rule of holes. If you are in one and wish to get out, stop digging. (Why did you continue digging today against your own fan base?)
2. Listening enables hearing. (Listening is very hard, but most Native Americans and all successful hunters eventually learn how to. I am the latter.) You are not listening to this unfortunate thread.

June 23, 2014 9:24 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm
It’s not true that nobody did.
If so, can you tell me who did? otherwise you cannot make the claim.

Pamela Gray
June 23, 2014 9:24 pm

Sturgishooper you need to be brought up to date on ice core records of volcanic ash and sulfur deposits. The deposits that show up at both poles are significant in terms of global weather pattern variations. The largest volcanic eruption in the last 7000 years was in 1258, at the very beginning of what is known as the LIA. Further, the entire span of the LIA (considered to be 1280-1850 A.D. as the outer boundaries in the literature) was a period of exceptional volcanic activity. So I am not sure where you are getting your information but it certainly is not up to date.,d.aWw

June 23, 2014 9:30 pm

Willis says:
“So if you want to bitch about matching things too closely, go talk to the guys making the claims that they match closely”
I can talk to these guys, but there is something here you should consider. It’s a classic ‘lost in translation’ problem. One person’s language and meaning doesn’t exactly match another.
Your efforts here have stumbled upon one of the major issues in climate science, and that is to be commended. The difference between statistical convenience and/or assumptions, as well as language and ‘lost in translation’ problems, and messy reality. As a field-based geologist for several decades, I have seen this very often.
When people say solar activity and temperature ‘match’, they are paraphrasing. You are quite right in pointing out statistical mismatches, but as a statistician, you may be missing the point. They don’t match, and you are quite right, but there are other factors involved which means this mess called climate science is not going to be resolved anytime soon. (Note: academics and statisticians generally hate ‘lag’ effects, because they are taught within both mathematics and statistics to rectify/ignore/’fix’ these from day 1. What if they don’t need ‘fixing’?).
The best example I can think of in climate science, is the example I gave on 20th century warming. Alarmists are ADAMENT late 20th century warming doesn’t match solar activity. They entirely fail to account for, or consider decadal lag effects, especially regarding ocean cycles. I saw a program where melting ice in Greenland lakes somewhere peaks something around March 21, a full 3 months after the summer solstice. And it is entirely solar driven. Go figure. If you want to match solar activity even in a season with melting ice, you can’t. Its a very simple concept, but completely ignored.
Prediction. Field based observations will win out in the end, with the sun being a/the major factor driving climate, including late 20th century warming. This understanding won’t come from statisticians. It’s happened before, geologists couldn’t prove either the age of the earth, or plate tectonics, statistically or otherwise, but their gut-based observations were on the money, verified eventually by better observations and better data. Field-based observations won in the end.

June 23, 2014 9:31 pm

Ulric Lyons says:
June 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm
… cycles 12-14 was a minima [sic] too. The data disagrees with you.
Solar activity now is on par was it was during 12-14, but the climate is not.

June 23, 2014 9:42 pm

Pamela Gray says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm
You are wrong on so many bases that I hardly know where to begin and will necessarily have to leave some points out.
1) No one dates the LIA from as early as 1258. Few if any even start it at 1280*. I’ll believe you that someone does, but please show me who this is. Thanks. (See below.)
2) It is not certain that there was a single VEI 6 or above eruption in AD 1258. Such evidence as exists supports a number of alternative hypotheses:
3) My information is at least as up to date as yours. Please show your work by which you determined that the LIA, ie c. AD 1350 to 1850, was a period of increased and sustained on a regular basis volcanism, statistically significantly greater in frequency and magnitude than during the preceding Medieval and following Modern Warm Period.
*Dating the LIA: the most common dates are AD 1350 to 1850, but NASA narrows it to 1550 to 1850. There was climatic deterioration after 1250 and famine in Europe during the first half of the 14th century, but these were associated with normal fluctuations toward the end of a warm period (same happens in reverse toward the end of cool periods, such as the LIA). And of course there are decadal ups and downs within centuries-long cool and warm periods.

June 23, 2014 9:47 pm

How reliable are the start and end dates of the various minima (Dalton and Maunder in particular)?
Shifting the start/end dates around could change your interpretation of the data, so I was wondering how precise those dates actually are? i.e. what’s the +/- on the dates?

June 23, 2014 9:48 pm

Matthew R Marler says:
June 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm
“I wouldn’t rule that out, but there isn’t the supporting/testing evidence either. Or is there?”
First off there are simple empirical experiments you can run demonstrating the spectral variance / depth of absorption issue with selective surfaces –
Illuminate both blocks with equal SW and block A runs far hotter. However illuminate with equal wattage of IR and both run at the same temperature. A clear demonstration as to why spectral variance is critical to calculating ocean temps. Treating the oceans as a “near blackbody” effected only by a 0.1% variance in TSI is demonstrably wrong, and given this engineering knowledge of selective surfaces is decades old, inexcusable.
Second, you can find papers such as this one discussed at CA in 2005 –
“Impacts of Shortwave Penetration Depth on Large-Scale Ocean Circulation and Heat Transport”
While the paper is modelling based and is largely concerned with biological turbidity, the physical mechanisms proposed would have similar effects to solar variance in strength of UV penetrating to depth. It is notable that the authors understood the difference between “near blackbody” and “selective surface” and thereby why the depth of absorption was critical to heat content and circulation patterns.
Thirdly, we know that surface UV variance in the last 3 decades has been two orders of magnitude greater than TSI variance.
Finally, we are building a record of ocean temps below 100m via ARGO. However this will take time.
The bottom line is this – if you don’t understand how the sun heats the oceans, you can’t understand the effect of solar variability on the oceans. “near blackbody” + “TSI” = garbage.

June 23, 2014 9:48 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm
That is an excellent question, worthy of and doing credit to a great specialist of your caliber.
The easy answer is that I can do it when looking at different historical data sets or counts, so why can’t anyone else? But admittedly that doesn’t suffice. I’d even support your general goal of agreeing on a single count system, while quibbling with the specific one your group is trying to impose.
What does suffice, IMO, is the fact that understanding how the Wolf number is or was derived allows a careful scientist to make valid comparisons.

June 23, 2014 9:50 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm
The 200 year old observation is the connection between sunspots and climatic data.

June 23, 2014 9:52 pm

I should add that the Oort and Wolf Minima are named for those astronomers. They didn’t necessarily share Herschel’s or anyone else’s suspicion of a climatic connection with SSN.

June 23, 2014 9:54 pm

JPG says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm
The start and end dates, as I’ve commented here, are to some degree fungible. Basically, they are whenever SSN falls below or rises back to an average level, so are approximate.

Marlow Metcalf
June 23, 2014 9:55 pm

I can not find the WUWT post but I won’t let that stop me.
As the magnetic fields that work together to cause the sunspots weaken, their interactive efficiency becomes less. At that time the number of sunspots reduces faster than the output of the sun reduces.
So during a grand minimum the sun may be able to decrease and increase output without changing the number of sunspots.
Is there a sun influenced isotope chart?
Also what were the volcanoes and the PDO doing?
I think the sun and orbit are the least strong but most persistent enforcers of climate change.
And there is rarely just one answer.

June 23, 2014 10:01 pm

At the risk of being crude (and ignorant), why TF would you divide anything by the square root of minus 1? It’s kind of like E=MC squared. Really? Why TF would you square the speed of light?

Reply to  gymnosperm
June 25, 2014 6:57 am

– It is a joke. He did not divide by the square root of -1 (i)

June 23, 2014 10:03 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm
What does suffice, IMO, is the fact that understanding how the Wolf number is or was derived allows a careful scientist to make valid comparisons.
That fact is that no-one alive has done this, except the experts now re-evaluating the SSN. And nobody [except the observers in Locarno] I know of, knew that the Wolf number was artificially inflated by 20% in 1947. Did you know this? I discovered this in a few years back, e.g. which gave the impetus to the SSN-workshops. What we are doing is simply providing the understanding needed to use the Wolf Number correctly.
sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm
It’s not true that nobody did.
If so, can you tell me who did? otherwise you cannot make the claim.
So you cannot tell.
Your venomous agenda-driven rearguard resistance to divulging to researchers the flaws that have been uncovered in the historical SSN is understandable [there are many just like you], but is hardly science, regardless of what you say.

June 23, 2014 10:03 pm

Well, stick around. I think we are about to find out(in many of our life times).

June 23, 2014 10:08 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm
Regarding agreement between the poles, as usual, you could not possibly be more wrong.
Not also the 11 year cycle recovered in these synchronized data. Had you done a rudimentary literature search, you’d have found this and so many other studies showing your pet theories to be fantastic delusions. Why anyone here or anywhere else pays the least heed to your garbage (to use your favorite term for the work of those who dare to disagree with you), I don’t know, but have my suspicions. I prefer drivel to garbage:
Cosmogenic 10Be in polar ice cores is a primary proxy for past solar activity. However, interpretation of the 10Be record is hindered by limited understanding of the physical processes governing its atmospheric transport and deposition to the ice sheets. This issue is addressed by evaluating two accurately dated, annually resolved ice core 10Be records against modern solar activity observations and instrumental and reanalysis climate data. The cores are sampled from the DSS site on Law Dome, East Antarctica (spanning 1936–2009) and the Das2 site, southeast Greenland (1936–2002), permitting inter-hemispheric comparisons. Concentrations at both DSS and Das2 are significantly correlated to the 11-yr solar cycle modulation of cosmic ray intensity, rxy=0.54rxy=0.54 with 95% CI [0.31; 0.70], and rxy=0.45rxy=0.45 with 95% CI [0.22; 0.62], respectively. For both sites, if fluxes are used instead of concentrations then correlations with solar activity decrease. The strength and spectral coherence of the solar activity signal in 10Be is enhanced when ice core records are combined from both Antarctica and Greenland. The amplitudes of the 11-yr solar cycles in the 10Be data appear inconsistent with the view that the ice sheets receive only 10Be produced at polar latitudes. Significant climate signals detected in the 10Be series include the zonal wave three pattern of atmospheric circulation at DSS, rxy=−0.36rxy=−0.36 with 95% CI [−0.57; −0.10], and the North Atlantic Oscillation at Das2, rxy=−0.42rxy=−0.42 with 95% CI [−0.64; −0.15]. The sensitivity of 10Be concentrations to modes of atmospheric circulation advises caution in the use of 10Be records from single sites in solar forcing reconstructions.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 23, 2014 10:10 pm

From Girma on June 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm:

Here it is:

756 / 69 = 10.9565
Close enough to the 11 of the sunspot cycle for the running mean of the temperature to have an imposed “11” cycle.
So let’s build a running mean from primes. 3*5*7*7 = 735, no 11. However 3*7 is close to 2*11, so I’ll also take out a 7. I’m also adding endpoints for whole years and starting from the shortest dataset.
Huh, at 735 months HadCRUT4 started leading SSN about 1885.
But at 105 months, it looks more like an inverse relationship, one goes up while the other goes down.
And with the other 7 out, pretty much nothing there at all.

June 23, 2014 10:12 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 10:03 pm
I did not know this until I read your work, but that doesn’t mean that people didn’t know previously that there were problems with the Wolf number.
As I said, my agenda is science. I don’t think that your current efforts are an improvement on the data sets that you hope to overturn. IMO they’re worse, but I would welcome a valid revision of Wolf number or any previous attempt to make a consistent actual or reconstructed count of SSN.

June 23, 2014 10:15 pm

lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 10:03 pm
To clarify, I’m not fighting a rearguard action against divulging problems. I support drawing attention to the limits of past SSN counting systems. I do however object to the scheme which you wish to substitute and which your team is intent upon imposing, complete with sanctions upon heretics who resist reeducation. I guess I have failed to make that clear.

June 23, 2014 10:17 pm

Are we enabling our own home grown Nuccitelli? Just for example, take the reply above….

Regarding 10Be, see my post here. Short version? 10Be is far from what it is claimed to be, and the Greenland and Antarctic ice core 10Be records don’t even agree with each other.

Must I really wade through another cranky post? If you don’t understand it, W, that doesn’t mean other people don’t. I noticed many years ago the Greenland and Antarctic cores didn’t agree. What you can’t deny is the Greenland core shows a Youger Dryas signal. That doesn’t happen by accident. What caused it is debatable. Now there’s where some good discussion can get interesting, but no, instead we have to slog though half-analysis and undergraduate charts.
Oh, crap. Now I’m getting cranky. Does that happen to everybody when they get older?

Pamela Gray
June 23, 2014 10:18 pm

The Samalas volcano in Indonesia was identified as the most likely candidate for the 1257 volcanic event recorded in ice cores at both poles.
From the abstract:
“Drawing upon compelling evidence from stratigraphic and geomorphic data, physical volcanology, radiocarbon dating, tephra geochemistry, and chronicles, we argue the source of this long-sought eruption is the Samalas volcano, adjacent to Mount Rinjanion Lombok Island, Indonesia. At least40 km3 (dense-rock equivalent) of tephra were deposited and the eruption column reached an altitude of up to 43 km. Three principal pumice fallout deposits mantle the region and thick pyroclastic flow deposits are found at the coast, 25 km from source. With an estimated magnitude of 7, this event ranks among the largest Holocene explosive eruptions. Radiocarbon dates on charcoal are consistent with a mid-13th century eruption. In addition, glass geochemistry of the associated pumice deposits matches that of shards found in both Arctic and Antarctic ice cores, providing compelling evidence to link the prominent A.D. 1258/1259 ice core sulfate spike to Samalas. We further constrain the timing of the mystery eruption based on tephra dispersal and historical records, suggesting it occurred between May and October A.D. 1257.

June 23, 2014 10:20 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Willis Eschenbach…
Regarding agreement between the poles, as usual, you could not possibly be more wrong.

If you were aware of recent literature you might know that there are serious disagreements between the 10Be measurements between hemispheres and even between ice cores in the same hemisphere, e.g.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 23, 2014 10:21 pm

From sturgishooper on June 23, 2014 at 10:12 pm:

I did not know this until I read your work, but that doesn’t mean that people didn’t know previously that there were problems with the Wolf number.

Wrong. The Wolf number is the one they are building to remedy the problems with the others. How would people know previously there were problems with a new yet-unborn creation?

June 23, 2014 10:27 pm

sturgishooper says:
June 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm
I do however object to the scheme which you wish to substitute
The revised SSN [or Wolf Number as we shall call it] is based on careful comparisons and review by many experts, so is forced upon us by the data. We have little choice or wiggle room.
You can only object if you have done a similar analysis and thereby come to a different result [which we would love to see]. If not, your reaction is just agenda-driven inertia based on ignorance.

June 23, 2014 10:28 pm

Nice investigative work. Here are three things I have picked up over time that might give you further territory to explore on this subject. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of these points because I have not looked up the data myself.
1. The sunspot population apparently follows Earth’s seasons with the local maximums occurring near the equinoxes.
2. Surface water flow rates follow the inverse of the sunspot cycles delayed by 44 years.
3. The sunspots may correlate with higher temperature because they both arise from the same mechanism, not because sunspots cause the higher temperatures. The Little Ice Age did occur and the sunspot minimums occurred during the Little Ice Age. That in itself may be 100% correlation if the time scales for both to exhibit themselves are on the order of the length of the LIA. Or, it may be just coincidental.
Good Hunting

June 23, 2014 10:37 pm

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
June 23, 2014 at 10:21 pm
By Wolf Number, I meant the method of counting before the Svalgaard team which they’re trying to change.
lsvalgaard says:
June 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm
IMO the problem is not that you’re forced to a new approach, but that you’re trying to force your approach on others. Maybe too glib, but IMO, your desire for a new approach is scientific, but your attempt to force a consensus on your colleagues is not only unscientific but antiscientific. If your approach is correct, time will show it so. Science advances by the death of adherents of the previous paradigm. I’m not sure that your answer to the problems which you have IMO correctly identified is the right answer.
For example, Galileo, like you, made important contributions, but was wrong in other important ways. He at least did not want to, or at least lacked the power to, enforce his new views on others. Quite the opposite. Only the evidence could show him right or wrong, as it did in time both ways.

June 23, 2014 10:40 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
June 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm
It should be a concern of yours, since you sought to denigrate him as anonymous, just as your engage in ad hominem against all who dare question your obiter dicta. If Tony Brown wants to object to my allegedly taking his full name in vain, I hope he will. But as usual, you’re trying to divert attention from your substantive failings with a side issue.

Pamela Gray