Learning From The Monsoon

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Inspired by a claim made on WUWT that

A new study led by Professor K.M. Hiremath of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics shows the strong, possibly causative correlation between variations in solar activity (red curve) and in monsoon rainfall (blue curve) in Figure 1.

I decided to see what I could find out about the Indian monsoon. I thought I might tell the story by describing the path I walked. I started out with a huge advantage—I knew nothing about the timing, size or pattern of the Indian monsoon rains, other than that they occur during the summer. I knew that when land gets hot in summer, hot air rises, wet air is drawn in from the ocean. Result? Monsoon rainfall. Other than that I had no knowledge, a great advantage in exploration of a new dataset. Preconceptions are the enemy of science …

A Google search led to the Hockey Schtick, which fortunately reproduced two pages from the study. In turn, that identified the data source as the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. Another google search located the IITM data page. I used the “Sontakke” dataset for this analysis, the page is here.

Now, on that page the rainfall data for India is divided into seven regions, three on the peninsula and four in the north. The Hiremath et al. study used all three peninsular datasets, plus the north-west region. Simply because it was higher in the list, I started by analyzing the dataset for North West India (NWI). The Sontakke dataset ends in 2006, unfortunately, but it’s what the authors used. Here are the last two decades of that record:

india rainfall nwi 1987 2006

Figure 1. Rainfall in the North West region of India over the two decades 1987-2006. The monsoon rains come in June, July, August, and September. The top panel is the raw data. The middle panel is the average monthly component of the rainfall. The lower panel is the raw data minus the seasonal component. The trend over this period is not statistically significant. The blue line is the loess average of the data.

Yes, there is a huge difference between the four monsoon months and the dry two-thirds of the year. There is also no statistically significant trend in the two decades of data. Having seen that, I took a look at the same analysis, but for the entire period of the data.

india rainfall nwi 1844 2006

Figure 2. As in Figure 1, but for the longer period of 1844 to 2006.

What stands out in the full dataset is the lack of much long-term variation at all. There is no significant long-term trend to the data, nor any obvious variation over the century and a half of data.

Is there a solar signal in there? Well … perhaps, but if so it’s neither large nor obvious. However, this shows the whole year, not just the monsoon months (JJAS) analyzed by Hiremath et al.

So I then looked  at just the monsoon months. Why did I not start with just the monsoon months? Because I first want to see the entire signal before I start sub-setting it.

In any case, here is the total rainfall of just those four months, year by year, compared with the sunspot record.:

monsoon rainfall nw india sunspots

Figure 3. Rainfall and sunspots. Upper data is the total of the monsoon rains (JJAS) for that year. Lower data is the total sunspot count by year.

At first glance, that looks kinda hopeful … but a closer examination shows that significant correlation simply doesn’t exist. Perhaps the simplest way to demonstrate this is the cross-correlation function. This shows the correlation at a variety of lags, with positive lags showing rainfall lagging the solar changes.

ccf monsoon rainfall nw india sunspotsFigure 4. Cross-corrlation of sunspots and NW Indian monsoon rainfall. 

As you can see, the correlation at all lags is trivially small.

Now, does this show that the paper by Hiremath et al. is wrong? By no means. They looked at an average of four monsoon areas, and I’ve only looked at one of them, NW India. I haven’t examined the rest. However, it isn’t looking good for the solar theory.

I also haven’t taken a close look at their formula relating the solar activity to future rainfall. Why not? Well, I don’t have their paper.

In addition, I couldn’t verify the following from the abstract of the paper:

Those internal forcing variables are parameterized in terms of the combined effect of external forcing as measured by sunspot and coronal hole activities with several well known solar periods (9, 13 and 27 days; 1.3, 5, 11 and 22 years).

Instead, here’s what I found for the cycles inherent in the data.

periodogram monsoon rainfall nw india sunspots

Figure 5. Periodogram of the NW Indian Rainfall. 

Note that there are no long-period cycles that are larger than two percent of the peak-to-peak swings of the data, so we’re way down in the noise. This is trivially small. In addition, there are no peaks at the periods mentioned of 1.3, 5, 11, or 22 years …

So, that’s the investigation to date. Still lots to do. I’ve only looked at one of the four datasets so far. Hiremath et al. looked at the total for the four areas. And I don’t have a copy of the underlying Hiremath paper, so I’m doing my own investigation.

Sadly, my time is quite short these days. I’ve taken a new job, as is my wont, but it has bizarre hours—5:30 AM until 2 PM. Now me, I’m a night owl by nature, so this has played havoc with my available time.

In addition, I’m doing strenuous physical work. We’re doing a rebuild on the lobby and facade of the local movie theater, and there has been a lot of demolition work. The lobby has 11-foot (3.3 metre) ceilings, which we’re ripping sections out of and rebuilding. Much of the work is up in the ceiling, or working up on a two level scaffolding … another part of life’s rich pageant. Now me, I’m sixty-seven, what I call my “middle youth”, so this is, well, somewhat consuming.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. People sometimes ask me what I do for exercise … I say “I don’t pump iron … I pump wood.” So I’ve been spending my days in the gym, climbing ladders, doing the low crawl in the ceiling, and pumping wood.

However, no matter how cardiovascularly stimulating my work might be, to date it has cut heavily into the time for my climate research and investigations. So, for a while at least, I’ll be contributing less to the discussion.

My best to all,

w.

The Usual: If you disagree with someone, please have the courtesy to quote the exact words that you disagree with. That way all of us can be clear exactly what you are objecting to.

Data and code: The data (including the three datasets I haven’t analyzed yet, plus other indian rainfall datasets) and R code are all in a zipped folder called “Indian Rainfall Folder“. To run the code, set your R workspace to the folder, and it should be pretty turnkey.

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123 thoughts on “Learning From The Monsoon

  1. Many studies find the link between Asian monsoons & solar activity on various time scales. I’ve previously linked some on this blog, but here are some others:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/308/5723/854
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v411/n6835/full/411290a0.html
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00482.1
    Solar influence on the Indian summer monsoon during the Holocene
    Anil K. Gupta,1 Moumita Das,1 and David M. Anderson2
    Received 23 February 2005; accepted 27 July 2005; published 10 September 2005.
    [1] The large (8%) changes in the past seasonal
    insolation have a well-documented influence on the
    Indian summer monsoon. However, the effect of the
    small (<1%) decade to century scale solar variability is
    less certain. Evidence is emerging that Earth’s climate is
    sensitive to small changes in solar output on centennial
    time scale during the Holocene. Comparison of a recently
    published proxy record for sunspot activity with our
    newly-revised higher-resolution record of the Indian
    summer monsoon winds reveals multiple intervals of
    weak summer monsoon during the Holocene at
    multidecadal to centennial scales. Weak summer
    monsoon winds correlate with reduced solar output. Our
    results suggest that small changes in solar irradiance can
    bring pronounced changes in the tropical monsoon. The
    multidecade to century scale variations in the monsoon
    winds were much larger in the early Holocene coincident
    with increased sunspot numbers. Citation: Gupta, A. K.,
    M. Das, and D. M. Anderson (2005), Solar influence on the
    Indian summer monsoon during the Holocene, Geophys. Res.
    Lett., 32, L17703, doi:10.1029/2005GL022685.

  2. Willis interesting read thank you.
    I like the description of being in your “middle youth” my Mum when in her seventies used to say she and my Dad were in late middle age as they kept seeing in the news that someone had reached 100 plus years. My Dad only gave up his allotment garden 2 years ago at 89 (still has a garden 120×55 ft) and Mum gives lifts and does errands for the old folks in her car (some of the old folk are 10/20 years her junior)
    As a friend of mine says “You’re only as old as you feel and if you feel old you’re obviously feeling the wrong bit”
    All the best
    James Bull

  3. Similar to exploratory factor analysis – there may be little ripple across the various measures, but the FA will find factors for you, however subtle the profile.

  4. If after 1860 you have 14 peaks in one data set and 12 in the other, do you really expect to have much correlation? Are the usual trick going to make any difference?

  5. Even IF there is something more in it than strong correlation. Who are the man/woman to judge if it’s A that effects B or if there is other factors on the route to B? In other words IF A -> C1 (+C2 and so on) and Cx leads to D that leads to B…..

  6. “Figure 5. Periodogram of the NW Indian Rainfall. ”
    I see you are still using the “slow Fourier Transform” code which I’ve shown distorts the signal badly and is not a valid analysis tool.

    • Actually, the “Slow Fourier Transform” was not invented by me. As Tamino commented on an earlier post,

      It’s also known (in the astronomical literature at least) as the Date-Compensated Discrete Fourier Transform, or DCDFT (Ferraz-Mello, S. 1981, Astron. J., 86, 619).

      So if you are unhappy with it, please go talk to Ferraz-Mello.
      In future, if you think I’m wrong, you really should post up what you think is a correct analysis of the data so that we can all see the difference. I await your analysis of the NW Indian rainfall data.
      w.

      • I have previously posted “what’s wrong” for the sunspot data. Data and code is still up on dropbox. It’s the same tool, same wrongeness. Why would I have to do it again for a different data set?
        Also, you have the burden of proof wrong. When doing signal processing, the burden of proof is on the author: As previously posted, you need to sweep sine waves and make sure you are getting the correct result, make sure the windowing function is correct with low frequency sign waves and make sure aliasing isn’t happening with high frequency sign waves. Showing the impulse response is also normal.

      • Also, how do we know you implemented DCDFT correctly? We don’t. you have to test your code. You have to provide the tests as proof. I have 10 years of signal processing and 25 years of software engineering as a background here. I’ve shipped numerous bugs to the field and been caught out by PhDs making basic “where’s your test code” mistakes – in the medical device field, where if you get it wrong, someone dies (or stays dead in what I was working on).
        Generally I would barely trust built-in Matlab and R functions, though for our purposes they are probably good enough.

      • Peter Sable October 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm Edit

        I have previously posted “what’s wrong” for the sunspot data. Data and code is still up on dropbox. It’s the same tool, same wrongeness. Why would I have to do it again for a different data set?

        I understand that. However, I don’t think that what you’ve posted in any way invalidates the tool. To do that, you’d have to show us how to do it right, and then show the difference between your results and mine.
        And despite repeated requests, you’ve never done that … sorry, but without that you’re just flapping your gums and calling it science.
        w.

      • > To do that, you’d have to show us how to do it right, and then show the difference between your results and mine.
        Well, actually the source code for my method is sitting up on dropbox. It’s an early draft version so I’m still updating it. (the shape is correct but the magnitude has a bug, plus there’s anomalies near zero period I have to deal with)
        output of 11 year sine wave my code: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cy5f0ahxa9i0uog/11-year-sine-wave-scilab.jpeg
        output of 11 year sine wave your code: https://www.dropbox.com/s/91mrdonwri57vm0/periodogram-11-years.jpg?dl=0
        source: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5wh9dbja6x37nfa/AADhfZFr6JXWF2vCDAj407Hoa?dl=0
        I believe what you are forgetting to do is window the data. Read http://www.edn.com/electronics-news/4383713/Windowing-Functions-Improve-FFT-Results-Part-I, The sidelobes I see in your code look exactly like leakage due to windowing issues in that article.
        (btw the thread depth is limited I can’t reply directly to your post which is current below… )
        (also if I could get some help on formatting in wordpress I’d appreciate that)

      • Not sure why I didn’t think of this before, but I disabled windowing on my code and got almost exactly what you got. Lots of side-lobes.
        So I think your periodogram code just needs a window function added.
        I’m still flummoxed as to why you would implement an FFT in a different manner though… FFT is built in to scilab, matlab, Octave, and probably R.

      • Peter Sable October 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        I’m still flummoxed as to why you would implement an FFT in a different manner though… FFT is built in to scilab, matlab, Octave, and probably R.

        Peter, I’ve explained this to you before. It’s because my method 1) does not require that the data be regularly spaced, and 2) is quite tolerant of missing data. The FFT routines built into R are neither … which was the exact reason that Ferraz-Mello implemented it in 1981.
        So for example I have a dataset which is the IntCal98 14C dataset. The space between the samples is variously 10, 20, 30 , 40 50, 415, and 1000 years … my method for FFT handles it without comment.
        How about yours?
        w.

      • Okay, now I understand the missing data part, though typically interpolation is what a signal processing person would use as a separate step.
        You are still not windowing your data and that’s creating plenty of artifacts

  7. Simple correlations with the sun will never be statistically detectable unless combined with ocean oscillations.
    The strength of monsoons have been clearly linked to pattern changes in ocean surface temperatures. When the Pacific is in a LA NIna like state monsoons are stronger and there are more floods in Asia and droughts in the Americas. When in an EL Nino like state monsoons are weaker and there are more droughts in Asia and more floods in the Americas.
    During the Medieval Warm period there was high solar activity and the ocean were in a La Nina like condition with the appropriate pattern of droughts and floods. During the Little Ice Age when solar activity was reduced with the appropriate effect on monsoons and droughts.
    The position of the ITCZ is also a factor and it is well established that the ITCZ moved southward during the LIttle Ice Age and low solar activity.

    • jim Steele October 8, 2014 at 11:13 pm Edit

      Simple correlations with the sun will never be statistically detectable unless combined with ocean oscillations.

      Thanks, Jim, always good to hear from you.
      However, that claim of yours assumes that 1) there are “simple correlations with the sun” [and the weather], and 2) they are being hidden by the ocean oscillations.
      I don’t notice any evidence for either of those claims. Do you have any?

      The strength of monsoons have been clearly linked to pattern changes in ocean surface temperatures. When the Pacific is in a LA NIna like state monsoons are stronger and there are more floods in Asia and droughts in the Americas. When in an EL Nino like state monsoons are weaker and there are more droughts in Asia and more floods in the Americas.

      The monsoon is, as are many emergent phenomena, temperature related. It is driven by the difference in temperature between the land and the ocean. So anything that affects that difference might well affect the monsoon. Obviously, that could include the El Nino/La Nina oscillations, as well as the PDO. I’ll have to take a look at those.
      Note also that the monsoons have a huge cooling effect on the surface, so obviously they are another one of the emergent thermoregulatory mechanisms that control the earth’s temperature.
      However, the path from that to a solar connection is murky and indistinct at best, and non-existent at worst.
      All the best,
      w.

      • “Note also that the monsoons have a huge cooling effect on the surface…”
        Another fact that gives the lie to the positive feedback of water vapor assumed in all the GCM’s.

      • Willis says “that claim of yours assumes that 1) there are “simple correlations with the sun” [and the weather], and 2) they are being hidden by the ocean oscillations.
        I don’t notice any evidence for either of those claims. Do you have any?”
        There are numerous papers showing the oceans absorb heat during La Nina like conditions, the lack of clouds and clearer skies in the eastern Pacific during La Nina can allow 5 to 200 more W/m2.
        I don’t argue that there is a simple correlation with the sun, I argue attempts to determine one will never be detected in the short term of decades to centuries because absorption and ventilation of heat and changing sea surface patterns will obscure the sun’s contribution. But a stronger correlation emerges over longer timescales and the paleoclimate is littered with studies showing changes in cosmogenic nuclides like Be10 correlate with climate change.
        A most pertinent paper is Asmerom et al (2007) Solar forcing of Holocene climate: New insights from a speleothem record, southwestern United States. Geology
        They claim “We show that periods of increased solar radiation correlate with decreased rainfall, the opposite to that observed in the Asian monsoon, and suggest that a solar link to Holocene climate is through changes in the Walker circulation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Kl Nino-Southern Oscillation systems of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Given the link hetween increased warniing and aridity in the southwest, additional
        warming due to greenhouse forcing could potentially lead to persistent hyperarid conditions, similar to those seen in our record during periods of high solar activity.

  8. Willis,
    If you want the Hiremath in pdf, my email is: joel(dot)obryan(at)gmail(dot)com
    I will reply with the pdf of the Hiremath doc.
    Joel (in tropical soggy Tucson Arizona)

  9. At first glance that figure 3 looks more than “kinda hopeful”.
    There are parts of that time period that look very hopeful.
    Perhaps it would make sense to look at the periods that seem to work (1850-1900ish and a century later) and see if those periods seem to work in the other regional data as well?
    It is possible that there is a real solar effect on the Indian Monsoon but that it is swamped by other effects at some times.

    • Thanks, M.
      So your plan is, ignore the data that doesn’t agree with the theory, and just analyze the data that does agree with the theory? You sure you want to follow that plan? Because to me, it seems not just unscientific but anti-scientific.
      Regards,
      w.

      • No,
        I was saying that the data that does agree with the theory may actually indicate that that the theory only applies at certain times. Other factors are more significant at other times.
        So I described a test that would check that… if it applies in one region it should apply in all regions when the theory is applicable.
        If it only applies at sometimes in some places, sometimes, then we have no support for the theory. The evidence is picked to support the theory not the theory picked as it is supported by the evidence.
        But saying that a theory is not the whole answer so it can’t be any part of the answer? That is a illogical.

      • Thanks for the clarification, M, the misunderstanding was mine.
        However, I fear that I know of no tests or other methods that would falsify your idea that a “theory only applies at certain times”. It’s possible, to be sure, but how would you test that?
        You say we could look to see if the same periods seem to work with “other regional data” … which data, and how would we know?
        In addition, how would we identify the time periods in question? What thresholds need to be exceeded to say “this is a relevant time period and that one is not”?
        Finally, suppose (as is almost sure to be the case) that phenomenon A, say solar vs. rainfall, agrees with phenomenon B, solar vs. temperature … but only part of the time. Are we then to assume that whatever links the two phenomena “only applies at certain times” as well, just as you recommend assuming for the solar-rainfall relationship itself? And how far does this recursion continue?
        I’m sure you can see the practical problems.
        w.

  10. I agree with Jim Steele.
    Weather originates in the oceans with nearly all rain arising from and descending back into it. Land masses are merely interruptions between oceans. It is why rain forest removal etc will not alter climate, which more than anything else is a function of latitude, i.e. angle of sun’s rays. The ocean is controlled by the moon, which directs currents according to its declination cycles. The SOI is the result. Current reversal is called El Nino and the weakened winds that result together with slacker currents retard monsoonal activity.and also cyclone development
    For a very rough rule of thumb there are two approx El Ninos per sun cycle, with each return averaging about half a decade. But it is not regular. EN may vary between 2-7 years and one solar cycle may vary between 9-14 years. Longer term, 10 lunar cycles equate approximately to 17 sun cycles.
    Ken Ring
    http://www.predictweather.com

  11. “However, it isn’t looking good for the solar theory.”
    Well, how’s it looking for CO2?
    I’d say the BS detector needle is pegged at 11.
    What say you Willis?

  12. Willis:
    I agree, taking a job sure sucks (up your time 😉
    Since I’ve been chasing money, my time for thought and posting is way off. But, gotta eat… (STILL waiting for all that Big Oil money that is supposedly sloshing around…. /sarc)
    On the monsoons vs solar: An ‘eyeball’ of the rain pattern looks like a (poor) about 80 year cycle with peaks about 1875 – 1960 (yes, I know that is 85 years… I said “about’ 😉 so maybe longer cycle time has some promise, but the data only has one cycle in it (and that one is lousy and could be a random excursion).
    On Fig.5 it looks like about a 16 year lag from the drop of sunspots to the plunge of rain in about 1910. The larger envelope of the two both seem to ’round over’ in similar fashion on each side of that drop (with the lag). Perhaps “period” isn’t quite so important as overall ‘envelope’ ( plot lagged rain vs sunspots and check R value?) When you have multiple not quite regular thing interacting, looking for a regular period will fail. Sunspots have an average 11.1 (or so) period, but actually studiously avoid having that average in any one cycle. Clusters both sides of it ( 9 ish and up to about 12-14 ish). Add in quasi-cycle lunar movements (it wanders over long terms) and you want a wiggle match more than a periodicity peak. Will it find anything? While I suspect so, it is just speculative on my part.
    Jevons (of Jevons Paradox) studied the British Empire grain production/price data from India and found a significant coorelation between solar cycles and grain production. Yes, more than just Monsoons involved, but the data are what they are. There is some kind of connection, just a murky one. It has been ‘found’ several times since the 1800s and Jevons. ( IIRC he was follwing up on Herschel. )
    Does any of that have enough strength to make any real difference? I doubt it. There have been some grain traders who claimed to use sunspots to make predictions and thus money. Then again, some of them claim to use all sorts of crazy stuff…
    IMHO, the reality will likely end up back at Lunar / Tidal and the solar connection just being due to orbital resonance causing a slight coorelation between spots and the moon cycles; but even that is entirely speculative. Still, doing a comparison of tide patters (long term) in the area to monsoons and ocean cycles might be useful.
    Thanks for the story and the analysis. Hope the theatre turns out well!

  13. kenmoonman October 9, 2014 at 1:54 am
    I agree with Jim Steele.
    And I agree with both.
    The Temperature of the Ocean off India’s coast is going to be what determines the Monsoon.
    You heard it hear ‘third’ folks : )

  14. In Australia, we have folk at the Bureau of Meteorology who are capable of homogenising this data to ensure there is a strong trend – up or down – it doesn’t matter – whatever pleases you.

  15. Now, does this show that the paper by Hiremath et al. is wrong? By no means. They looked at an average of four monsoon areas, and I’ve only looked at one of them, NW India. I haven’t examined the rest. However, it isn’t looking good for the solar theory.
    I also haven’t taken a close look at their formula relating the solar activity to future rainfall. Why not? Well, I don’t have their paper.

    Why then are we seeing this essay at all?

    • Good question. Hiremath’s 2004 paper on the same topic is available in its entirety in .pdf simply by Googling “Hiremath monsoon”. Can’t recall if I’ve linked to it on this blog before or not, among the many instances of the influence of the solar cycle on weather & climate I’ve cited in the past.
      From New Astronomy, via Science Direct:
      Influence of the solar activity on the Indian Monsoon rainfall
      K.M. Hiremath a,*, P.I. Mandi b
      a Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore 560034, India
      b Basaweshwara Science College, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India
      Received 5 March 2004; received in revised form 21 March 2004; accepted 1 April 2004
      Available online 22 April 2004
      Communicated by W. Soon
      Abstract
      We use 130 years data for studying correlative effects due to solar cycle and activity phenomena on the occurrence of
      the Indian Monsoon rainfall. We compute the correlation coefficients and significance of correlation coefficients for the
      seasonal and the annual data. We find that: (i) for the whole years 1871–2000, the spring and southwest monsoon rainfall
      variabilities have significant positive correlations with the sunspot activity during the corresponding period, (ii) the FFT
      and the wavelet analyses of the southwest monsoon rainfall variability show the periods 2.7, 16 and 22 year, respectively
      (similar to the periods found in sunspot occurrence data) and, (iii) there is a long-term trend indicating a gradual
      decrease of occurrence of rainfall variability by nearly 2.31.3 mm/year and increase of sunspot activity by nearly
      3.91.5 sunspots/year compared to the activity of previous solar cycle.
      We speculate in this study a possible physical connection between the occurrence of the rainfall variability and the
      sunspot activity, and the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Owing to long-term positive and significant correlation of the
      spring and southwest monsoon rainfall variabilities with the sunspot activity, it is suggested that solar activity may be
      included as one of the crucial parameter in modeling and predicting the Indian monsoon rainfall.
      2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
      Keywords: Solar cycle and activity phenomena; Indian Monsoon rainfall; Flux of the galactic cosmic rays

    • Kip Hansen October 9, 2014 at 6:44 am Edit

      Now, does this show that the paper by Hiremath et al. is wrong? By no means. They looked at an average of four monsoon areas, and I’ve only looked at one of them, NW India. I haven’t examined the rest. However, it isn’t looking good for the solar theory.
      I also haven’t taken a close look at their formula relating the solar activity to future rainfall. Why not? Well, I don’t have their paper.

      Why then are we seeing this essay at all?

      Seriously?
      Look, Kip. I use what I have. I took the data used by the authors, and I took an independent look at whether there is a perceptible solar signal in the NW Indian monsoon rains. I found nothing. I wrote up my findings. I note that you have found nothing wrong with my work.
      Come back when you have something equivalent to contribute, and perhaps you’ll understand this crazy process called “science”. Heck, there are still three more sections of their data to analyze … but it seems you’d rather ask foolish questions than actually do some work.
      w.

      • Reply to Willis ==> To me, this type of premature, superficial “hack-and-slash” criticism of papers you haven’t read adds nothing to our greater knowledge, says nothing about the paper being discussed, and serves only to muddy the scientific waters.
        It might be better for to wait until you know what they are saying before you start in.

      • Kip Hansen October 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

        Reply to Willis ==> To me, this type of premature, superficial “hack-and-slash” criticism of papers you haven’t read adds nothing to our greater knowledge, says nothing about the paper being discussed, and serves only to muddy the scientific waters.
        It might be better for to wait until you know what they are saying before you start in.

        Kip, I thought I’d made it clear that I was not analyzing the Hiremath et al. paper. I said I was INSPIRED by their paper to look at the monsoon rains, and I also said that my results did NOT invalidate their paper, viz:

        Now, does this show that the paper by Hiremath et al. is wrong? By no means. They looked at an average of four monsoon areas, and I’ve only looked at one of them, NW India.

        Far from “hack-and-slash” criticism, I barely discussed their paper at all. Now, at some future date I may do an analysis of their paper. But as I clearly stated, all I’ve done so far is look at a part of the data they used.
        It might be better for to wait until you notice what what I am saying before you start in.
        Finally, why is this analysis of the monsoon rains “superficial” in your not-so-humble opinion? I’ve done a variety of analyses of the data, and you’ve done nothing but complain, cavil, and carp … which of us is being “superficial” here? Do you have anything scientific to add to this conversation?
        w.

      • Personally investigating questions that inspire you is perfectly valid — I do it all the time, often on points and across fields of knowledge a bit esoteric — approaching bizarre — so that my wife and friends think I’ve lost it. They may be right.
        Whatever you call the thing you do when you write this type of piece, it is not science — science requires understanding what knowledge we have already gained in a field; taking advantage of the years of work other colleagues have put in on a question; reading, understanding, questioning, probing and testing to see what part of their work answers valid questions about the world around us with probably valid answers; and attempts to replicate their work. Spending an otherwise idle evening or two playing with one’s “Maths and Graphs Toolkit” and using easily accessed vaguely related datasets found under your local lamppost where the light is good is not the same as years of hard work on a narrow question — and writing up the “results” you obtain from your interesting play is not science — it is sophomoric pretension.
        I enjoy your travel travelogues — but not your pseudo-science travelogues.

  16. Willis, is there a simple algorithm to back convert your cycle-length/amplitudes (i.e. Figure 5) into a signal vs time format?

    • Not sure what you mean, Doc. It sounds like you want to recreate the original signal, but we already have that, so I’m not clear about your request.
      Thanks,
      w.

  17. Excellent, Willis. I wondered about India because the Indian Ocean seems to have a mind of its own and doesn’t change temperature the way the others do (I am basing that on Tisdale’s work).
    I also appreciate the straightforward methods that ‘finds things’ but which are in the mud. The usefulness of that is of someone finds a powerful multiplier the initiating impulse is already demonstrated.
    Is there a cloudiness data set v.s. Temp or rainfall?

  18. I subscribe all or in part to the hypothesis advanced by Happ, et al, that the 100% swing in the UV component of TSI over solar cycles, combined with associated solar magnetic flux variation (as indicated by sunspots), is a major driver of both weather & climate change on earth, via these solar effects on ozone, clouds, air pressure, SST & other atmospheric & oceanic parameters.
    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/the-enso-driver/
    These influences are brought home to me every year during the Pineapple Express & Chinook winds in Oregon (& on longer timescales by PDO switches, most memorably in 1977), & by ENSO swings in Pacific coastal South America.
    Monsoons in China, SE Asia, the Indian Subcontinent & the Arabian Peninsula however are also strongly correlated with these fluctuations, as are droughts & floods on opposite sides of the Pacific.
    CO2, not so much.

    • milodonharlani October 9, 2014 at 8:20 am Edit

      I subscribe all or in part to the hypothesis advanced by Happ, et al, that the 100% swing in the UV component of TSI over solar cycles, combined with associated solar magnetic flux variation (as indicated by sunspots), is a major driver of both weather & climate change on earth, via these solar effects on ozone, clouds, air pressure, SST & other atmospheric & oceanic parameters.

      milodon, I just took a look at your link and found nothing about either sunspots or solar magnetic flux variation. There were two mentions of “UV”, both in terms of what happens to it after it hits the earth, nothing about the “100% swing”.
      Sorry … not convincing in the slightest. It may be wonderful that you have a subscription to the hypothesis, but I fear I prefer, you know … evidence.
      w.

      • The evidence for solar influence on climate is overwhelming to self-evident.
        Did you read the link? UV affects ocean T directly & via its effect on ozone, which also affects air pressure & winds. The correlation is highly statistically significant, but if you don’t think so, no worries.

      • Thanks, milodon, but when someone is asked for evidence, not coming forth with a scrap of evidence while claiming that the mystery evidence is is “overwhelming” is … well … underwhelming.
        It appears that you do not understand that we’re talking about the variations due to the sunspot cycle, and not simply “solar influence on climate”. Everyone knows the day warms when the sun comes up.
        If you do understand that we’re talking sunspot cycles, please show us the ~11-year cycles in your climate variables such as ocean temperatures, Milodon, the cycles that relate to the variations due to sunspots. Yes, it is evident that the sun affects the climate … but it is far from evident that sunspots or any of the many aspects of the ~11 year solar cycle (e.g. solar wind, heliomagnetism, cosmic rays, etc) affect the climate.
        And please … don’t send me links to junk papers like the one Chilean tree paper you or someone tried to slip by last time this was discussed.
        Finally, you say:

        Did you read the link? UV affects ocean T directly & via its effect on ozone, which also affects air pressure & winds. The correlation is highly statistically significant, but if you don’t think so, no worries.

        I’m sorry, but I did read the link. I saw no analysis of the UV effects, in fact you only mention UV twice, and and only UVB, and it’s in the same paragraph, viz

        • Science recognizes that ozone absorbs UVB and that the presence of ozone in the upper atmosphere limits UVB penetration to ground level. More gets to ground in the southern hemisphere than the northern. The ‘Dobson Unit’ for column ozone is based on surface measurements of short wave radiation.

        All true, but that paragraph says nothing about your claims of how “UV affects ocean T directly & via its effect on ozone, which also affects air pressure & winds”. And those are the only mentions of UV in your article.
        Is there a solar-cycle related effect on climate? I don’t know. All I know is that I have looked long and hard for convincing evidence and found none. I have looked in a variety of manners, I’ve used a variety of mathematical analyses (as in this example) and I simply haven’t found it.
        This is just the latest in a long string of failed attempts to find a solar cycle signal in a wide variety of climate datasets. I now get to add “no sign of solar cycles in NW Indian monsoon data” to my list of the many places I’ve looked for and failed to find a trace of the solar cycle. I can see you don’t like that … but if the signal is there as you claim, how about you show us how to detect it? I’ve provided the data, so show us the solar cycle signal, demonstrate how it’s done for us.
        Regards,
        w.

    • The ‘100% swing’ you refer to is only in the EUV which is a tiny fraction of the total UV emitted by the sun. The EUV isn’t involved in stratospheric O3 production and in fact barely makes it into the thermosphere.

  19. Al Gore shares a Nobel Prize while Willis Eschenbach works construction. Maybe climate change really is more dangerous than Ebola. Maybe climate changed caused it. Maybe Ebola will go extinct and it will be all our fault. And maybe it won’t. –AGF

  20. Willis, this topic is almost as old as both statistics and meteorology. The Yule-Walker equations, well known in statistics, combine the names of Udny Yule, a statistician remembered today in respect to spurious regression, and Gilbert Walker of the Walker circulation. Both sunspots and Indian monsoons crop up in early studies. You’ll find some interesting articles if you combine the topics and author names.

    • Something good out of NCAR:
      Entire .pdf open access.
      Abstract
      The eponym “Walker Circulation” refers to a concept used by atmospheric scientists and oceanographers in providing a physical explanation for the El Niño–Southern Oscillation phenomenon, whereas the eponym “Yule–Walker equations” refers to properties satisfied by the autocorrelations of an autoregressive process. But how many statisticians (or, for that matter, atmospheric scientists) are aware that the “Walker” in both terms refers to the same individual, Sir Gilbert Thomas Walker, and that these two appellations arose in conjunction with the same research on the statistical prediction of climate? Like George Udny Yule (the “Yule” in Yule– Walker), Walker’s motivation was to devise a statistical model that exhibited quasiperiodic behavior. The original assessments of Walker’s work, both in the meteorology and in statistics, were somewhat negative. With hindsight, it is argued that his research should be viewed as quite successful.
      http://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1023799000

    • Steve McIntyre October 9, 2014 at 9:28 am Edit

      Willis, this topic is almost as old as both statistics and meteorology.

      Indeed. The first conjecture, to my knowledge, was that of Herschel, who claimed (incorrectly) that wheat prices followed the sunspots.

      The Yule-Walker equations, well known in statistics, combine the names of Udny Yule, a statistician remembered today in respect to spurious regression, and Gilbert Walker of the Walker circulation. Both sunspots and Indian monsoons crop up in early studies. You’ll find some interesting articles if you combine the topics and author names.

      I just did that, and I couldn’t find an article by either author on the subject. Do you have any further hints?
      All the best, and thanks for both your excellent blog site and your excellent work.
      w.

      • Milodon, thanks for your science by assertion. No citations, no support, just you saying so.
        However, before you start believing Hershel, here’s an interesting read.
        I’ve also run the numbers myself. Turns out that his conjecture was based on stunningly little data. I dug up the wheat prices for the period following Hershel’s claim, and it all fell apart … as these claimed solar correlations tend to do whenever we get additional data. I suppose I should publish it, another piece of analysis I’ve done but never published.
        Regards,
        w.

      • IIRC, I provided you with the grain price data to which you refer. By all means, please publish.
        My statements have been repeatedly supported by the studies which I keep linking but which you keep ignoring, to include in this very comment section. Before posting on incomplete data, you still need to do a thorough literature search before making false assertions about the influence of solar cycles. Your failure to read what others have done means that you keep reinventing the wheel, as Dr. Spencer showed with respect to tropical ocean updrafts.

      • milodonharlani October 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        Your failure to read what others have done means that you keep reinventing the wheel, as Dr. Spencer showed with respect to tropical ocean updrafts.

        Dr. Spencer incorrectly claimed that my theory of the thermal control of the planetary temperature by a host of emergent phenomena, in particular tropical thunderstorms, was the same as the “supergreenhouse effect” theory of Ramanathan. Nothing could be further from the truth, as both you and he should know had you read both Ramanathan’s and my work.
        So your attempt at using him as a reference just shows that you haven’t done your homework. If you think the two theories are the same please point out how and where. I made the same request of Dr. Spencer … he became suddenly reticent. I was greatly saddened, because he was (and is) one of my heroes, but in this instance, he was way wrong.
        How about you? You gonna show us all how Ramanathan’s work is the same as mine, as Dr. Spencer fatuously claimed but could not demonstrate? You gonna try to back up your empty false claims?
        Please try. I look forward to it.
        w.
        NOTE: My post at the time in response to Dr. Roy’s character attack is here. I leave it to the reader to decide who is blowing smoke …

  21. Willis, may I suggest you update your definition of a monsoon because this “I knew that when land gets hot in summer, hot air rises, wet air is drawn in from the ocean. Result? Monsoon rainfall. ” is truly outdated.
    Here is a primer regarding atmospheric circulation: http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf
    I invite you to read Leroux Dynamic Analysis of Weather and Climate 2010, Springer-Praxis, chapter 4 on Tropical Circulation:
    “• Monsoon circulation
    The intervention of the continental thermal factor alters this symmetrical distribution. The Sun’s yearly motion displaces maximum warming from one tropic to the other, the theoretical maximum displacement being 46° 54′) (cf. Fig. 3-B). The thermal factor can certainly affect the pressure field, though this is not possible over the oceans, where Anticyclonic Agglutinations dominate and warming is never excessive. Over continents, however, the ITL corridor is locally very deep, and displaced by moving thermal lows, which distort the meteorological equator, lagging more or less behind the Sun’s zenithal motion. The trade wind coming from an AA is thus caused to cross the geographical equator by way of a transequatorial pressure declivity between high pressure in one hemisphere and low pressure in the other. The Coriolis or geostrophic force, a function of the sine of the latitude, is nil at the Equator, and the initial trade wind can cross the Equator under the effects of inertia and of the pressure gradient. Progressive penetration into the opposite hemisphere, towards the axis of the thermal low which is moving away from the equator, increases the geostrophic force, now of opposite sign: the flux is diverted eastwards as a monsoon (photo 19), and the lines of flux are now perpendicular to the isobars (Fig.22).
    Genetically, a monsoon is therefore the extension into one hemisphere of a trade wind originating from an AA in the opposite hemisphere, or directly from an MPH, drawn across by a thermal low in the summer hemisphere. The term summer monsoon is thus tautological. The monsoon meets, along the ME, a (continental) trade wind from the opposite hemisphere, and the area of extension of this trade is considerably reduced.”

    • ITL: Intertropical Low Pressure
      ME: Meteorological Equator
      MPH: Mobile Polar High
      Please correct me if wrong.

    • I’m sorry, Tom, but I see nothing in my description that disagrees with your description. Yours goes through all of the details, to be sure … but if the rising air from the heat over the land isn’t drawing in the moist monsoon air, then what driving it? Sure, they say it is “drawn across by a thermal low in the summer hemisphere” … but that’s just what I said. Hot air rises and draws in moist air.
      w.

      • The thermal low help draw the monsoon air deeper inside continents but the key point is the strength of of the circulation from the opposite hemisphere, driving MPHs passed the ME, transforming trades into monsoon winds. Thus it ties to the balance of the two hemisphere’s circulation modes. As long as there is no understanding of what triggers at short, medium term the switch between slow and rapid modes, we do not get to the bottom of it. For instance regarding a short term switch, why would we have during a winter, a sudden strengthening of all expulsed MPHs from the Arctic or Antarctic for a 3 weeks period then a reprieve then again another increase? Same if we look at a few years were indeed the Milankovitch explanation cannot explain them. So I think there is much more to consider and that has yet to be explained before ruling solar influence in or out based on teleconnections. The merit of Leroux was to describe the geometry of the circulation especially critical in the lower troposphere.

      • There are advantages and disadvantages to being an autodidact. On the one hand, it perhaps frees you to think outside the box, but on the other it raises the likelihood that your idea may already have been thought of by others and written about extensively without your notice, and that you may not have learned enough about the topic to comment on it knowledgeably. That goes double for subjects as complex as climatology and meteorology.
        In the case of how monsoons work, the description in your post lacks certain important observations which Tom has pointed out. What he said is not what you entirely said, not that your description was necessarily wrong as far as it went, but merely incomplete. IMO yours describes better the weak, subtropical American SW Monsoon than the powerful, more tropical monsoons of Asia and Africa.

      • Tom and Sturgis, thank you both for your comments. I do understand the value of greater understanding and more detailed descriptions.
        Was my description incomplete? Of course. Every description, including Tom’s and Leroux’s, is incomplete.
        Was my description wrong? Not anywhere. Monsoons don’t happen in the winter. Why?
        I said:

        I knew that when land gets hot in summer, hot air rises, wet air is drawn in from the ocean. Result? Monsoon rainfall.

        Leroux said, inter alia, that the moist monsoon air is “drawn across by a thermal low in the summer hemisphere”.
        So I knew little about monsoon rains, but nothing that I knew was wrong.
        Leroux’s point was that when land gets hot in summer, and the hot air rises, and wet air is drawn in from the ocean, that the air is even drawn from the other hemisphere.
        While this is certainly interesting and valuable information (thanks, Tom), I’m not sure how it relates to the purported solar cycle in the monsoon rains.
        My best to you both,
        w
        PS—Tom, you discuss “ruling solar influence in or out “. While we could rule solar influences in (if we could find any evidence), we can never rule them out. As I said above, all I can say is I’ve looked hard and haven’t found them. Doesn’t mean they’re not there …

      • Tom Rude, Sturgis Hooper,
        Reading your comments (and Willis’) I have to conclude that the monsoon is initiated and maintained by continental thermal low pressure, without which there is no monsoon, and the other natural effects that you describe all depend on that. Those effects may intensify the monsoon but they do not initiate it nor maintain it.

      • mpainter, the thermal lows over continents do help drawing the monsoon air deeper YET genetically a monsoon is a a trade wind that has crossed the equator. Hence its origin depends on the dynamics of the hemisphere circulation from which the trade wind initiated. Thus you’ve got it backward! In fact the intensity and aerial extension of regions affected by the Monsoons every year-widespread or narrow band of highly concentrated rains- depends on the circulation dynamics.

      • TomRude October 13, 2014 at 11:31 am says

        mpainter, the thermal lows over continents do help drawing the monsoon air deeper YET genetically a monsoon is a a trade wind that has crossed the equator.

        Umm … no. Here’s an excellent definition

        monsoon
        (Derived from Arabic mausim, a season.) A name for seasonal winds.
        It was first applied to the winds over the Arabian Sea, which blow for six months from northeast and for six months from southwest, but it has been extended to similar winds in other parts of the world. Even in Europe the prevailing west to northwest winds of summer have been called the “European monsoon.” The primary cause is the much greater annual variation of temperature over large land areas compared with neighboring ocean surfaces, causing an excess of pressure over the continents in winter and a deficit in summer, but other factors such as the relief features of the land have a considerable effect. The monsoons are strongest on the southern and eastern sides of Asia, the largest landmass, but monsoons also occur on the coasts of tropical regions wherever the planetary circulation is not strong enough to inhibit them. They have been described in Spain, northern Australia, Africa except the Mediterranean, Texas, and the western coasts of the United States and Chile. In India the term is popularly applied chiefly to the southwest monsoon and, by extension, to the rains which it brings.

        Note that:
        • They say the “primary cause is the much greater annual variation of temperature over large land areas compared with neighboring ocean surfaces”, just as I said.
        • They say nothing about trade winds crossing the equator.
        • They occur in a number of regions far from the equator, such as Chile
        So your claim is simply not upheld by the actual usage of the term. The “primary cause” of the monsoons, as I said and as per the definition above, is that in summer the land gets hotter than the ocean, so the air over the land rises and draws in moist air from the ocean.
        Regards,
        w.
        PS: What I gave above is no random dictionary definition. It is from the official glossary of the AMS, the American Meteorological Society. I’m sorry, but I’ll take their word over that of some anonymous internet commenter.

      • Willis Eschenbach
        October 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm
        The Atacama Desert of Chile is closer to the equator than the US Southwest, which also experiences monsoonal flows. Once across the ME, the phenomenon can carry to pretty high latitudes. The Pineapple Express, which brings heavy rain from around Hawaii to the Pacific NW, results from the Madden-Julian Oscillation, so might in effect be considered a mid-latitude monsoon, yet occurs typically when the land is cold.

      • milodonharlani October 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm

        Willis Eschenbach
        October 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm
        The Atacama Desert of Chile is closer to the equator than the US Southwest, which also experiences monsoonal flows. Once across the ME, the phenomenon can carry to pretty high latitudes. The Pineapple Express, which brings heavy rain from around Hawaii to the Pacific NW, results from the Madden-Julian Oscillation, so might in effect be considered a mid-latitude monsoon, yet occurs typically when the land is cold.

        Not sure what your point is here, milodon. The driving force for all of these is the land-sea temperature difference. When this gets large enough, it MAY draw winds across the meteorological equator (which is the latitude line at 5°N) … or it may not. For example, you get the Asian monsoon as far north as Korea, about 40°N … and I’m not buying that those are somehow misplaced southern hemisphere winds. Might be so, but I’d need to see the data to believe it.
        w.

      • Willis, I’ll take Leroux’s work versus the AMS glossary especially because 1) he had studied and explained monsoon’s influence on the meteorology and climate of tropical Africa for his PhD the publishing of which was sponsored by the OMM, 2) because after years of following satellite images and animations, Leroux’s description is so obviously accurate and 3) because you claim asking for respectful discussion but the “anonymous internet commenter” is quite demeaning, especially since I provided a more complete reference (his 2010 book) that you should bother to read. It would in fact help you understand that the definition you just gave did not disprove anything and alluded to the balance of the circulation’s dynamics between the two hemispheres: “The monsoons are strongest on the southern and eastern sides of Asia, the largest landmass, but monsoons also occur on the coasts of tropical regions wherever the planetary circulation is not strong enough to inhibit them.”

  22. Sadly I wont be around to see Monsoons return to the Sahara.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/23degrees/2011/06/will_monsoons_once_again_retur.html
    “Strange as it may seem 8000 years ago when the cave paintings in Wadi Sora were made the Sahara was getting more sunlight than it is now. And that extra heat helped bring the monsoon rains to this desert. But how did the Sahara get more solar energy?
    But over a 41,000 year period it changes, wobbling between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees. Back when the Sahara was green, the tilt was close to its largest possible angle, 24.2 degrees. Which meant that 8000 years ago the Sun shone more directly, more intensely over the Northern hemisphere.
    “This precessional wobble takes 23000 years to complete one cycle, so it will be 23000 years before Polaris will come back round to be our northern star again”

    • Tilt & precession are parameters in the Milankovitch Cycle of orbital & rotational mechanics ruling glacial & interglacial cycles.

    • I confess that it never ocurred to me that the Sahara is a desert because it is not getting enough sunlight.
      I guess that I am pretty behind ward on the latest findings in climate.;)

  23. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04kn99x/jungle-atlantis-2-death-of-angkor-wats-megacity#group=p025tw6r
    “Buried in the Cambodian jungle lie the lost remains of the great medieval city of Angkor, once the capital of one of the world’s greatest civilisations. Today, only the great stone temples like Angkor Wat survive. But Angkor was once a teeming metropolis, full of life – the biggest city on Earth. ”
    It would appear that during the 14th century the Monsoons became erratic and the rains failed.
    Coincides with the start of the LIA????

  24. “… a huge advantage—I knew nothing about the timing, size or pattern of the Indian monsoon rains,…” [Willis; 10 8 14]
    The following links make for interesting reading:
    a. https://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/197402/ghosts.ships.in.the.gulf.htm
    One of many things in Aramco World. Photos and images not with the link.
    Simple heating and cooling (think coastal sea breeze) is no longer the preferred explanation of the monsoons:
    b. http://sohra.net/monsoon-magic/somali-jet-stream-current-and-tropical-jet-streams/

  25. IITM scientists, Pune brought out a book in which the precipitation data at sub-divisional level are given for 1871 to 1994 [monthly, seasonal, annual] — the main author was now retired. From this book it is clear that 78% of the annual precipitation occur during the Southwest Monsoon season – SWM [June to September] at all India level. 1090 mm is average annual rainfall and 852 mm is the average SWM rainfall with a Coefficient of Variation of 9.9%.
    The SWM data present a 60-year sine curve. This data completed two full cycles and the third cycle starting with above the average 30 year part of the cycle in 1987 – this coincides with the Indian Astrological 60-year cycle and lagging by 3 to Chinese Astrological cycle of 60-years. This will end by 2016 and then from 2017 starts the below the average 30 year cycle part up to 2046.
    The 30 year period averages are given as: 873, 828, 868, 837, 860 mm with wet [> 110% of the average] and dry [< 90% of the average] years : 7/2, 3/7, 5/2, 5/10, 7/3 years in each 30-year periods. The 10-year averages are given as: 850.1, 881.8, 865.9; 822.7, 821.7, 837.6; 871.7, 889.1, 871.7; 844.5, 840.4, 829.7 mm up to 1990. This clearly shows the sine curve pattern.
    The frequency of occurrence of floods in the Northwest Indian Rivers follows this pattern. The global temperature follows this pattern in opposite direction. Hurricanes follow this pattern and typhoons follow the opposite pattern. However, the precipitation of Andhra Pradash state presents a different pattern as this part of the country receives precipitation during two monsoons [SWM & northeast monsoon — NEM]. The SWM & NEM precipitation follows opposite pattern but follow the 56-year cycle. The cyclonic activity in Bay of Bengal follows the NEM precipitation pattern. These show an increasing trend but it is not really an increasing trend but part of a 132 year cycle present in the annual rainfall. This cycle [dry/wet] completed by 2001 and the next cycle of dry/wet started around 2002.
    In such data series, if we use truncated data set it leads to misleading conclusions. This is exactly what is happening in collaborative studies between Indian Institutions and Western Institutions. None of them knew the reality. But Indian Institutes use the collaborative mode to publish their work in reputed journals.
    Sometime contradicting findings: (1) Air pollution increases river flows: Study; (2) Air pollution behind decline in monsoon rains; (3) Warming of Indian ocean may weaken monsoon: study; (4) Global warming driving migration of species in India. — poor review.
    We must remember the fact that before 1957 the unit of measurement was in inches and from 1957 onwards the unit of measurement is in millimeters. This introduces certain error in measurements.
    We must also remember that the deviation around the mean depends up on the estimation of mean. Several groups are using different data sets and thus arrive at different means.
    Ecological changes, – deforestation, irrigated agriculture/reservoirs development, mining, etc –, impact precipitation [climate] at local/regional levels.
    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • Dr Reddy,

      This data completed two full cycles and the third cycle starting with above the average 30 year part of the cycle in 1987 – this coincides with the Indian Astrological 60-year cycle and lagging by 3 to Chinese Astrological cycle of 60-years.

      Americans, and in particular American scientists, sneer at these Indian and Chinese cycles (not even knowing that there are both lunar and solar calculations within each) and assume that the Indians and Chinese would stupidly cling to something over the centuries that doesn’t work.

      • Serious scientists sneer at astrology around the planet, and rightly so. Yes, they contain “lunar and solar calculations” … so what?
        As to whether people “would stupidly cling to something over the centuries that doesn’t work”, absolutely so. It’s an oddity of humans, one of humankind’s more endearing qualities. For heavens sake, rhinos are going extinct because the Chinese still think they are better than Viagra … and how many centuries have they followed that lunacy, that powdered rhino horn would give them sexual prowess?
        There’s an old joke that illustrates this perfectly.
        What’s the difference between a human running a maze, and a rat running a maze?
        w.





        If you take the cheese out of the maze, the rat stops running …

      • The Chinese Astrological Cycles are tightly coupled with the I Ching, and it’s far too complicated to explain how here. Liebniz acknowledged Fu Xi’s prior invention, centuries ago, of the I Ching’s binary system that he replicated with his binary number system. Similarly, Niels Bohr openly acknowledged that the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching replicated quantum theory.
        About rhinos
        When the brothers Frank (biologist-Alaska) and Bill (psychologist-Australia) von Hippel wrote their conjecture in a 1998 letter to Science that Viagra would eliminate the need for natural sources–von Hippel, F. A., & von Hippel, W. (1998). Solution to a conservation problem? Science, 281, 1805.—they were just making it up. Neither was a Traditional Chinese Medicine expert (TCM), or they would have known that the traditional use for rhino horn for over 400 years was for “typhoid, headache, colds, carbuncles, food poisoning, arthritis, smallpox, and dysentery,” but most importantly, fever relief. Impotence had nothing to do with it, other than as an old wive’s tale that someone exploited.
        The real market for rhino horn was knife handles, highly prized in the Middle East. North Yemen, alone, constituted half the world’s market for rhino horn during the last half of the 20th C.
        Nonetheless, Viagra’s manufacturer, Pfizer, took note of the brother’s publication and funded the bros, who interviewed ~250 men with penis problems in downtown Hong Kong whose opinions formed the basis for a published paper in 2002, and they rode that horsie with another paper in 2005.
        Von Hippel, Frank A. and Von Hippel, William. “COMMENT: Sex, drugs and animal parts: will Viagra save threatened species?” Environmental Conservation 29.3 (2002): 277–281.
        Von Hippel, William et al. “Exploring the use of Viagra in place of animal and plant potency products in traditional Chinese medicine” Environmental Conservation 32.3 (2005): 235–238.
        The 2002 paper did note that rhino and tiger products had nothing to do with solving impotence. But I guess they managed to convince you.

  26. I think more would be gained by looking at how lunar declination affects monsoon periodicity, and then how the sun affects moon. If we want to go back further we can look to Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus for sunspots. And it doesn’t end there but each system away introduces more noise.
    There’s an old saying, your shirt is closer to you than your overcoat.

    • The following studies were made by me in early 70s:
      Lunar atmospheric tides in surface winds at six Indian Stations — Indian J. Met. Geophys. (1972), 23:189-194
      Solar and lunar atmospherictides in rainfall at Poona — Indian J. Met. Geophys. (1972), 23: 535-536
      Lunar and solar atmospheric tides in surface winds and rainfall (1974) Indian J. Met. Geophys., 25: 499-502
      Effect of solar flares on lower tropospheric temperature & pressure, Indian J. Radio & Space Physcs, 6: 44-50 [1977]
      Power spectral analysis of lower stratospheric meteorological data of H, T, u & v, Indian J. Radio & Space Physics, 6: 51-59 (1977)
      Power spectral analysis of Total and net radiation intensities, Indian J. Radio & Space Physics, 6: 60-66 (1977)
      Forecasting the onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala, Indian J. Met. Geophys. 28: 113-114 (1977)
      A method of forecasting the weather associated with Western disturbances, Indian J. Met. Hydrol. Geophys, 29: 515-520 (1978)
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
      [Thank you. .mod]

      • Thank you, Dr. Reddy. Atmospheric tides , in my opinion, are one of the overlooked animals in the climate circus, worthy of more study. In the 1800s there was much interest in them, but then fashions changed.
        Are any of your papers freely available on the web?
        Many thanks,
        w.

  27. Just an odd thought, I read that the Moon has to be accounted for by the satellites that measure TSI (In the most accurate data sets) presumably due to orbital changes in the instrument itself. I wonder if it is a long shot to imagine that in a non-linear system this small atmospheric tide might be more than a butterfly wing’s worth of influence when combined with the seasonal shape/distortion of the energy flows induced by the Coriolis force.

  28. In the oceanic system the daily vertical displacement of water is small compared with the size of the water body, but the erodal effects on coastlines are enormous.The vertical displacement of the crust due to the Land (or Earth) Tide is small, about half a metre, compared with the thousands of kilometres of expanding and contracting strata beneath the earth’s surface, but is responsible for earthquakes which continually reshape the Earth’s contours, creating mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and plains. The atmospheric tide is on the same scale, controlling most daily weather. Size and scale of effect would be in the eye of the beholder. The atmosphere does also twist and distort around equinox, creating turbulence in all three tides, but there is no energy sourcing from Coriolis which is just a description of perceived flows, anymore than a sharp bend produces a road . And I would venture that butterflies as well as weather would be acted upon by the moon.

  29. Kip Hansen October 10, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Personally investigating questions that inspire you is perfectly valid — I do it all the time, often on points and across fields of knowledge a bit esoteric — approaching bizarre — so that my wife and friends think I’ve lost it. They may be right.
    Whatever you call the thing you do when you write this type of piece, it is not science — science requires understanding what knowledge we have already gained in a field; taking advantage of the years of work other colleagues have put in on a question; reading, understanding, questioning, probing and testing to see what part of their work answers valid questions about the world around us with probably valid answers; and attempts to replicate their work. Spending an otherwise idle evening or two playing with one’s “Maths and Graphs Toolkit” and using easily accessed vaguely related datasets found under your local lamppost where the light is good is not the same as years of hard work on a narrow question — and writing up the “results” you obtain from your interesting play is not science — it is sophomoric pretension.

    Kip, when you can find errors in my work, let me know. You seem to misunderstand what we call “science”. It is a process wherein someone makes a public claim about a scientific subject, and publishes all of the data and code to support and explain what they’ve done. Then, other folks try to poke holes in their claim, to find errors in it, to show that it is wrong. It’s called the “scientific process”. If my work contains errors, please enlighten us …
    Now, of course there are always folks who can’t find a single thing wrong with my work. They usually resort to high-sounding claims about imagined problems with me, or with the subject I’ve chosen, or the way I’ve approached the problem, because they can find no scientific objections to make. You are a perfect example of this kind of gadfly.

    I enjoy your travel travelogues — but not your pseudo-science travelogues.

    I love guys like you, who say they don’t enjoy my writing, and yet they read every last syllable of it. Dude, if you disliked it that much, you wouldn’t read it, so that last sentence is wildly self-delusional.
    But heck, whine on, I’m sure you can find ten other reasons to claim that I’m a fool … and yet to date you’ve not found a single fault with my scientific claims, other than that you think I’m not doing it in the Kip Hansen Approved Method™. Meanwhile, my science was good enough to get peer-reviewed and published in Nature magazine … how about yours?
    Sorry … but in science what counts are facts and results and methods and data and code. Whimpering about about my work loses you points, not me …
    w.

  30. Peter Sable October 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    To do that, you’d have to show us how to do it right, and then show the difference between your results and mine.

    Well, actually the source code for my method is sitting up on dropbox. It’s an early draft version so I’m still updating it. (the shape is correct but the magnitude has a bug, plus there’s anomalies near zero period I have to deal with)
    output of 11 year sine wave my code: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cy5f0ahxa9i0uog/11-year-sine-wave-scilab.jpeg
    output of 11 year sine wave your code: https://www.dropbox.com/s/91mrdonwri57vm0/periodogram-11-years.jpg?dl=0
    source: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5wh9dbja6x37nfa/AADhfZFr6JXWF2vCDAj407Hoa?dl=0

    Thanks for that, Peter, I appreciate your reply. I saw it the first time that you posted it, in our previous discussion.
    I see I wasn’t clear enough in my request. What I meant was not to use your method on a single pure sine wave. What I asked (or tried to ask) was if you would use your method to produce a periodogram of the NW Indian Monsoon data. The data is online if you want to go to the original source linked above, or it is also in the folder of code and data I linked to above.
    If you would provide us with a periodogram of the NWI rainfall using your analysis method, we could compare it to my Figure above, and see if there are meaningful differences.

    I believe what you are forgetting to do is window the data. Read http://www.edn.com/electronics-news/4383713/Windowing-Functions-Improve-FFT-Results-Part-I, The sidelobes I see in your code look exactly like leakage due to windowing issues in that article.

    Not true. I have chosen not to window my data. Why? Because all of the windowing techniques I know of do a couple of things.
    One is that they overweight the middle of the data compared to the ends. When we have a sample of a stable signal as is often the case in the electronics world, this is not an issue. But when there are cycles that can simply appear, persist for fifty or a hundred years, and then disappear entirely, as is common in climate science, overweighting the center of the data can be a big issue.
    And of course, since they overweight the middle, they underweight the ends … meaning you are giving less weight to the more recent (and presumably more accurate) data.
    The other problem is that they trade the elimination of (often inconsequential) sidelobes for a corresponding loss of resolution.
    Me, I’m not interested in what’s way down in the noise with the sidelobes. I’m using this tool to identify strong signals. So I’m not fussed by the sidelobes. What I want is to be able to separate two closely spaced stronger signals. Windowing degrades my ability to do that because it broadens the peaks.
    You are right that windowing can be valuable. Sometimes, however, it just gets in the way.

    (btw the thread depth is limited I can’t reply directly to your post which is current below… )

    Often, I’ll just start a new thread as I’ve done in this case.

    (also if I could get some help on formatting in wordpress I’d appreciate that)

    Not sure what you need, but wordpress support has pages on beginning HTML and advanced HTML. And if you have specific questions I’m happy to answer.
    It’s Friday evening, today the three of us hoisted the 14-foot 300 lb (4.5m, 135kg) beam by hand 11 feet (2.5m) up into the structure to span the new opening and fastened it into place with neither incident nor accident. We did it what I call “Egyptian style”, jacks and levers and such, no machinery, and that’s a good day to all.
    My best to you, Peter, and thanks again for the links.
    w.

  31. jim Steele October 10, 2014 at 8:02 am Edit

    Willis says

    “that claim of yours assumes that 1) there are “simple correlations with the sun” [and the weather], and 2) they are being hidden by the ocean oscillations.
    I don’t notice any evidence for either of those claims. Do you have any?”

    There are numerous papers showing the oceans absorb heat during La Nina like conditions, the lack of clouds and clearer skies in the eastern Pacific during La Nina can allow 5 to 200 more W/m2.

    Jim, always good to hear from you. And yes, when there are fewer clouds for any reason, the ocean absorbs more heat. But that’s a correlation with clouds, not with the sun.

    I don’t argue that there is a simple correlation with the sun, I argue attempts to determine one will never be detected in the short term of decades to centuries because absorption and ventilation of heat and changing sea surface patterns will obscure the sun’s contribution.

    I’ve never understood this claim. The slow secular changes of the sun are much smaller than the ~11-year variations in the same variables. Why, then, would we see no sign of the larger ~11-year variation, but we would see the much smaller secular changes? I’ve never had anyone give me an actual explanation of how such a process might work. Oh, they wave their hands and say things like “thermal inertia” and “delayed response”, but no numbers, no details, no pack drill.

    But a stronger correlation emerges over longer timescales and the paleoclimate is littered with studies showing changes in cosmogenic nuclides like Be10 correlate with climate change.

    “Littered” is an appropriate word. Willis’s Rule of Chronological Causality states that the number of bogus studies claiming to show a sun-climate correlation is directly correlated to how far in the past the investigators are looking.
    Nor am I at all impressed by the studies of cosmogenic nuclides like 10Be. Although the rate of production is indeed related to cosmic rays and through them to the sunspot cycle, I can’t find any 11-year signal in the 10Be records at all. So something else quite large is going on.
    The 14C records are a bit better, in that there is actually an 11-year signal in those records. However, it is tiny, only 1% of the raw variation, and only 4% of the residual variation after the removal of the secular trend.
    Which in turn means that over 90% of the variation in 14C is NOT from the sun … which should give you great pause regarding attempts to state what the sun was doing five thousand years ago, based solely on 14C records.
    Now, if you disagree, please show me the best study of the subject, the one that in your mind and to your satisfaction establishes the 14C-solar relationship and estimates how much of the variation in the 14C record is due to solar activity.

    A most pertinent paper is Asmerom et al (2007) Solar forcing of Holocene climate: New insights from a speleothem record, southwestern United States. Geology
    They claim

    “We show that periods of increased solar radiation correlate with decreased rainfall, the opposite to that observed in the Asian monsoon, and suggest that a solar link to Holocene climate is through changes in the Walker circulation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Kl Nino-Southern Oscillation systems of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Given the link hetween increased warniing and aridity in the southwest, additional warming due to greenhouse forcing could potentially lead to persistent hyperarid conditions, similar to those seen in our record during periods of high solar activity.

    Gosh, you mean you’ve found another paper that says that we’re on the primrose path to Thermageddon from global warming? … color me unimpressed. I don’t think we know enough about what the sun was doing five thousand years in the past to draw alarmist conclusions about what might possibly happen in the future.
    Look, guys, I know that lots of folks claim that there are sunspot cycle-weather correlations. It’s been claimed for sunspots, and for cosmic rays, and for solar wind, the list goes on.
    I just haven’t found any of those claims that stand up to close examination, particularly as new data is added to the record or when the entire record is included.
    Best regards,
    w.

    • Willis you focused on the wrong segment “Gosh, you mean you’ve found another paper that says that we’re on the primrose path to Thermageddon from global warming? … color me unimpressed”
      I read the Amersom statement regards ‘ additional warming due to greenhouse gases’ was just to satisfy the gatekeepers because the study had nothing to to with greenhouse gases. The study simply correlated changes in aridity and solar activity and linked a La Nina like temperature gradient to higher solar activity.
      Although you should rightfully question the 10Be correlations, I again argue looking at power of 11 and 22 year sunspot cycles those short time scales suffer from too much noise. The 10Be record is a function of both production that is global and well correlated with solar activity, and transport and deposition that varies with the weather and locale. The greatest difference in deposition occurs between the seasons. Deposition can happen in both wet and dry conditions and varying seasonal and weather patterns can create deposition patterns that are very noisy and not reflective of 10Be production. Either you need to average over a greater spatial coverage or average longer timescales to separate production from the noise. I dont think ice core data has enough spatial coverage to reliably detect short term variations in the sunspot cycle, but I feel more trusting of longer term 10BE patterns that suggest increased solar activity during the Medieval warm Period and less solar activity during the Little Ice Age.

    • Willis how do you compare your statistical methodology to that used by Van Loon (2004) A decadal solar effect in the tropics in July–August. They compared the average state of the tropical oceans during sunspot maximums with the average state during minimums can concluded
      “In the northern summer (July–August), the major climatological tropical precipitation maxima are intensified in solar maxima compared to solar minima during the period 1979–2002. The regions of this enhanced climatological precipitation extend from the Indian monsoon to the West Pacific oceanic warm pool and farther eastwards in the Intertropical Convergence Zone of the North Pacific and North American Monsoon, to the tropical Atlantic and greater rainfall over the Sahel and central Africa. The differences between solar maxima and minima in the zonal mean temperature through the depth of the troposphere, OLR, tropospheric vertical motion, and tropopause temperature are consistent with the differences in the
      rainfall. The upward vertical motion is stronger in regions of enhanced tropical precipitation, tropospheric
      temperatures are higher, tropopause temperatures are lower, and the OLR is reduced due to higher, colder cloud tops over the areas of deeper convective rainfall in the solar maxima than in the minima. These differences between the extremes of the solar cycle suggest that an increase in solar forcing intensifies the Hadley and Walker circulations, with greater solar forcing resulting in strengthened regional climatological tropical precipitation regimes.”

      • Thanks, Jim, your ideas always welcome. I’ve not seen the study. However, I’d be surprised if they have adjusted the significance levels for the fact that they’ve picked just two months (out of the twelve possible consecutive pairs).
        Given twelve bites at the apple, to have a result that is significant at the usual p less than 0.05 value, you need to find something with a p-value of less than 0.005.
        It gets worse. They’ve not only picked just part of the year, they’ve picked just part of the planet. That means that they need to find something with an even lower p-value than if they’d looked at the whole planet.
        Now as I said, I don’t have the study. But I would be amazed beyond belief if their results passed those statistical thresholds.
        Now to go find the study and see if I’m wrong … OK, the study is here. First thing that struck me was they’ve called what’s happening of the sun the Decadal Solar Oscillation rather than an “eleven year cycle” since it’s neither eleven years nor a cycle. Nice.
        From there it goes downhill fast. First, they’re only testing for significance at the 90% level, i.e. a p-value less than 0.1. Next, they’re not using actual observational data. Instead, they’re using the output of a reanalysis climate model. Next, they’re looking at something for which we have little observational data until recently, the atmosphere between 750 and 200 hPa altitude, or approximately 3-13 km altitude.
        Nor do they show us the results from the times and places where we do have data. Since 1979 we have the satellite MSU data. Why not demonstrate their claim using that actual data?
        Finally, we have the same old problem—no code, no data, no science. For example as to why, they say they do a Monte Carlo test of the results, viz:

        To assess statistical significance of the signals in this paper, we use a Monte Carlo technique involving random sampling with replacement (i.e. boot strapping; Diaconis and Efron, 1983) of the 23 JA values. Specifically, 100 random samples were used to form a distribution of t-values. The observed t-value was compared to the bootstrapped values. Since we are expecting a specific pattern based on physical arguments from our hypothesis, we test at the 90% confidence level.

        Without supporting code, there’s absolutely no telling exactly how they did their Monte Carlo test. In my experience, a proper Monte Carlo test is quite difficult to design, and is subject to unseen pitfalls. The exact structure, distribution, and nature of the pseudo-date you generate to test in a Monte Carlo analysis is crucially important … and we don’t have one single clue how they generated their pseudo-data. So we can’t replicate or even begin to examine their statistical analysis … once again, no code, no data, no replicability, and no science.
        Sorry, Jim. The sun may indeed affect the climate, I’ve never claimed otherwise … but that paper doesn’t even begin to establish that claim.
        Best regards,
        w.

  32. Peter Sable October 11, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Okay, now I understand the missing data part, though typically interpolation is what a signal processing person would use as a separate step.

    I know they would interpolate, which often results in your “data” having far more interpolated numbers than real data. That is a far from optimum situation which can mask significant signals and introduce spurious frequencies.
    In addition, you’re not considering the real world. This procedure was developed for astronomy. In astronomy, as in climate science, not only is there missing data, but the times between observations may be entirely incommensurate. You often cannot cure that with interpolation.
    Peter Sable October 11, 2014 at 2:18 am

    This shows what happens when you don’t window a sine wave. It doesn’t look like the single period you would expect, it looks like energy scattered all over the spectrum.

    Peter, I know very well what an unwindowed sine wave looks like. Been there, looked at that, a lot. You are repeating yourself rather than answer my request.
    The question before us is, does this make any difference for my purposes? I say no, and I’ve invited you to provide us with your analysis of the NW Indian rainfall dataset so we can see which one of us is correct.
    Your continued refusal to provide us with that analysis suggests to me that it does not make a difference, but what do I know? Until you post your analysis, none of us know.
    Regards,
    w.

  33. jim Steele October 11, 2014 at 10:38 am
    Willis you focused on the wrong segment “Gosh, you mean you’ve found another paper that says that we’re on the primrose path to Thermageddon from global warming? … color me unimpressed”
    I read the Amersom statement regards ‘ additional warming due to greenhouse gases’ was just to satisfy the gatekeepers because the study had nothing to to with greenhouse gases. The study simply correlated changes in aridity and solar activity and linked a La Nina like temperature gradient to higher solar activity.

    Well … no. The study actually correlated ∂18O and 14C found in a speleothem. Whether either of the isotopic measurements are accurate proxies for some other phenomena, and which phenomena they might be proxies for, is an open question …

    Although you should rightfully question the 10Be correlations, I again argue looking at power of 11 and 22 year sunspot cycles those short time scales suffer from too much noise.

    Regarding the 10Be, there is no sign of the 11-year cycle in the data. It is not true to say this is due to “noise”, however. A more accurate statement would be that other climate processes are stronger than and overwhelm the cosmogenic signal.
    Given that there are current processes strong enough to eradicate the 11-year cycle from the 10Be records, it seems to me the height of optimism to blithely assume that those strong processes do not operate at longer time scales. What evidence do you have for that?

    The 10Be record is a function of both production that is global and well correlated with solar activity, and transport and deposition that varies with the weather and locale.

    No. 10Be is totally uncorrelated with solar activity in the short term, and we have little reason to merrily assume that this is different in the long term.

    The greatest difference in deposition occurs between the seasons. Deposition can happen in both wet and dry conditions and varying seasonal and weather patterns can create deposition patterns that are very noisy and not reflective of 10Be production. Either you need to average over a greater spatial coverage or average longer timescales to separate production from the noise. I dont think ice core data has enough spatial coverage to reliably detect short term variations in the sunspot cycle, but I feel more trusting of longer term 10BE patterns that suggest increased solar activity during the Medieval warm Period and less solar activity during the Little Ice Age.

    Since the LIA started well before the Maunder Minimum (which lasted ~ 1645-1715), are we to assume that the correlation means that cold weather causes decreased solar activity?
    Jim, I’m just not seeing the data to support a strong connection between either 14C or 10Be and solar activity. Yes, there is a small 11-year signal in the 14C data.
    If you could point me to a good study that firmly establishes the solar to 10Be or 14C connection, I’m glad to change my opinion. But up until now, I’ve not seen that study.
    w.

    • Willis part of our confusion may be explained in the 2014 paper Cosmogenic Isotope Variability During the Maunder Minimum: Normal 11-year Cycles Are Expected in Solar Physics. Amplitude of 11 years cycles are remarkably similar during high and low solar activity years. Suggesting there is “reason to merrily assume that this is different in the long term.”
      “The amplitude of the 11-year cycle measured in the cosmogenic isotope 10Be during the Maunder Minimum is comparable to that during the recent epoch of high solar activity. Because of the virtual absence of the cyclic variability of sunspot activity during the Maunder Minimum this seemingly contradicts an intuitive expectation that lower activity would result in smaller solar-cycle variations in cosmogenic radio-isotope data, or in none, leading to confusing and misleading conclusions. It is shown here that large 11-year solar cycles in cosmogenic data observed during periods of suppressed sunspot activity do not necessarily imply strong heliospheric fields. Normal-amplitude cycles in the cosmogenic radio-isotopes observed during the Maunder Minimum are consistent with theoretical expectations because of the nonlinear relation between solar activity and isotope production. Thus, cosmogenic-isotope data provide a good tool to study solar-cycle variability even during grand minima of solar activity.”
      Also consider Steinhilber et al (2012) 9,400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings, PNAS they combined records to eliminate the noise from transportation and deposition.
      “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.”
      Looking at Asian climate records from the Dongge Cave likely driven by monsoons they concluded “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.”

      • If you have a copy of “Cosmogenic Isotope Variability During the Maunder Minimum” I’ll take a look, but I’m not paying a dime for anything by Usoskin. I’ve seen that joker in action before, he’s wasted my time but he’s not gonna waste my money.
        Regarding Steinhilber, I’d read his paper and description of the cosmogenic nuclei records. The paper and the SOI are here and here. However, my conclusion was quite different from his. If you take a look at the various records, you’ll find that they have peaks and valleys in various points separated by hundreds of years.
        Steinhilber claims that to solve this jumble, all we have to do is do a principle components analysis and only use PC1, and everything is solved … I am much less sanguine about making silk purses from sows’ ears.
        He also finds that cosmic rays historically varied about five times as much as we have ever seen in the actual measurements. Given that, I would have expected some explanation or questions about that result … but there’s nothing there.
        In any case, consider Figure 2D, and how much all of the proxy records vary. Not encouraging.
        So I find myself in the same situation with the cosmogenic isotopes as with solar-weather connections. I cannot say there is nothing there, but the evidence at hand is not convincing.
        My thanks to you,
        w.

  34. Some studies showing the connection between solar activity & 10Be & 14C:
    Stuiver, 1961, 1994; Stuiver and Quay, 1979; Stuiver et al., 1991, 1995; Stuiver & Brasiunas, 1991, 1992; Matter et al., 2001; Beer et al., 1994, 1996, 2000; Neff et al., 2001; Bard et al., 1997; Usoskiin et al., 2004.
    As well as the Maunder Minimum during its depths, the LIA included the earlier Spoerer (AD ~1410-1540) & later Dalton (~1790-1830) Minima. A cold snap during the Medieval Warm Period also coincided with the Wolf Minimum (~1290-1320). Conversely, the LIA interval between the Maunder & Dalton Minima saw two spells of great & rapid warming, interrupted in the mid-18th century.
    During the Modern Warm Period, there were also snaps of less severe global cooling during less pronounced drops in SSN from c. 1890 to 1915 & 1945-77.

  35. Willis, I have not read all the papers on 10Be production but in Pedro (2011) Beryllium-10 transport to Antarctica: Results from seasonally resolved observations and modeling, they write, “The global production rate of 10Be is proportional to the flux of cosmic rays to Earth, which is in turn is modulated by variations in both solar activity and the Earth’s geomagnetic field (see Lean et al. [2002], Webber and Higbie [2003], McCracken et al. [2004], Muscheler et al. [2007], Masarik and Beer [2009], and Kovaltsov and Usoskin [2010] for details and complexities). Globally, 50 to 75% of 10Be production occurs in the stratosphere, with the remainder in the upper troposphere [Masarik and Beer, 1999; Heikkilä et al., 2009].”
    So the question is why do summarily say “No. 10Be is totally uncorrelated with solar activity in the short term” ? What did those studies get wrong?

    • Thanks, Jim. The question is not whether the production rate of 10Be is proportional to the flux of cosmic rays. We know that from physics.
      The question is whether that cosmogenic signal is overwhelmed by the various processes removing Be from the environment.

      So the question is why do summarily say “No. 10Be is totally uncorrelated with solar activity in the short term” ? What did those studies get wrong?

      I assume they are looking at production rates, not how much remains in the environment. I say there is no 11-year cycle in the deal because I’ve analyzed the data and found none, which clearly shows that other phenomena completely overshadow the cosmogenic signal which the references in your cite (and I) agree on.
      w.

  36. milodonharlani October 11, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Some studies showing the connection between solar activity & 10Be & 14C:
    Stuiver, 1961, 1994; Stuiver and Quay, 1979; Stuiver et al., 1991, 1995; Stuiver & Brasiunas, 1991, 1992; Matter et al., 2001; Beer et al., 1994, 1996, 2000; Neff et al., 2001; Bard et al., 1997; Usoskiin et al., 2004.

    milodon, I’ve requested of you before to not try this “document dump” nonsense. If you think that one of those studies is truly valuable and convincing, let me know which one. I’m not interested in quantity, there are literally hundreds of BS solar studies out there, and collecting ten or a hundred of them is meaningless.
    So if you want to tell me which one of those studies you think is the best, I’ll look at it. Otherwise, not worth my time.
    w.

    • They are all worthwhile. If you want to post or comment on a scientific discipline, you should first put yourself through a course in it.
      Where did you get the idea that selecting just one of many studies constitutes a sufficient educational background in a scientific field? Commenters here have advanced degrees & often lifetimes of work in the subjects upon which you presume to write without any prior study. Asserting that there is no connection between isotope production & solar activity out of willful ignorance without having studied the question is about as unscientific as it’s possible to get.
      So start at the beginning with Stuiver, Variations in radiocarbon concentration and sunspot activity, Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 66, Issue 1, pages 273–276, January 1961, AGU & work forward. Or, if you want to skip ahead on the cheap, Cliff Notes fashion, try Beer, et al, Quaternary Science Reviews 19 (2000) 403}415 The role of the sun in climate forcing.
      Abstract
      The Sun is by far the most important driving force of the climate system. However, only little is known how variable this force is
      acting on di!erent time scales ranging from minutes to millennia and how the climate system reacts to changes in this forcing. Changes
      of the global insolation can be related to the nuclear fusion in the core of the Sun, the energy transport through the radiative zone and
      the convection zone, the emission of radiation from the photosphere, and the distance between Sun and Earth. Satellite based
      measurements over two decades show a clear correlation between the solar irradiance and the 11-year sunspot cycle. The irradiance
      amplitude is about 0.1%. This is too small to affect significantly the climate. However, there are indications that, on longer time scales,
      solar variability coluld be much larger. The analysis of cosmogenic nuclides stored in natural archives provides a means to extend our
      knowledge of solar variability over much longer time periods.
      The response of the climate system to solar forcing depends not only on the amount of radiation, but also on its spectral
      composition (e.g. UV contribution), seasonal distribution over the globe, and feedback mechanisms connected with clouds, water
      vapour, ice cover, atmospheric and oceanic transport and other terrestrial processes. It is therefore difficult to establish a quantitative
      relationship between observed climate changes in the past and reconstructed solar variability. However, there is growing evidence that
      periods of low solar activity (so called minima) coincide with advances of glaciers, changes in lake levels, and sudden changes of
      climatic conditions. These findings point to an active role of the Sun in past climate changes beside other geophysical factors, internal
      variability of the climate system, and greenhouse gases. In fact a non-linear regression model to separate natural and anthropogenic
      forcing since 1850 is consistent with a solar contribution of about 40% to the global warming during the last 140 years.

      • milodonharlani October 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm

        They are all worthwhile. If you want to post or comment on a scientific discipline, you should first put yourself through a course in it.
        Where did you get the idea that selecting just one of many studies constitutes a sufficient educational background in a scientific field?

        Where did you get the idea that I said anything like that? I said nothing of the sort, that’s your sick fantasy. I merely asked you to tell me the study that you think is best. You don’t want to do that, fine, no skin off my teeth, but no need to start attacking me simply because you don’t want to pick a study.
        Next, regarding your citation and quotation to Beer et al. They say there are “indications” that periods of low solar activity lead to low temperatures. I guess it’s like how fifty years or more after the start of the Little Ice Age, we have the Maunder Minimum, which is an “indication” that the sun’s minima cause cold weather … right?
        Next, you claim that each and every one of those studies are “worthwhile”? I know of no field of science where all of the studies are “worthwhile”, particularly studies that talk about “indications” as though indications were meaningful.
        Next, your quotation ascribes some 40% of the warming post 1840 to increased solar radiation, which is a joke. The sun hasn’t changed anything near that amount since 1840.
        And indeed, when I go to find out how they got this result, they authors say that they are using their own idiosyncratic irradiance reconstruction, viz:

        Our own irradiance reconstruction is based on the frequency of the Schwabe cycle because we find a better fit with the temperature data if we assume a linear relationship between cycle frequency and irradiance (Fig. 7).

        That’s just too sweet, milodon. They assume that irradiance is linearly related to cycle frequency. They have no evidence that is so, they just flat out assume it … why?
        Well, because when they make that assumption they “find a better fit” … these are the people you are recommending, milodon? Folks who just make assumptions because it gives them a “better fit”?? Does this really pass for science on your planet?
        Oh, yeah. Your recommended study by Beer et al. uses the discredited Hoyt and Schatten estimate of historical sunspots … still want to claim it is “worthwhile”?
        So once again you are trying to impress me by saying that people have studied this for years … and it’s true, they have, but that don’t impress me in the slightest. I’ve seen heaps of absolute garbage coming from people who have that much study under their belt. Your recommended study by Beer et al. is a perfect example. For heavens sake, Beer et al. in the study you quote from are still flogging the long-dead idea of an 88-year solar “Gleissberg Cycle” … that’s your idea of solid science?
        Me, I believe in the ignorance of experts. What impresses me is solid science, not claims about “indications” and silly statements that 40% of the post 1840 warming is from solar variability.
        w.

  37. milodonharlani October 11, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    During the Modern Warm Period, there were also snaps of less severe global cooling during less pronounced drops in SSN from c. 1890 to 1915 & 1945-77.

    Mean sunspot number, 1945-1977 (23 years), 78 sunspots. Temperatures cooling.
    Mean sunspot number, 1933-1945 (23 years), 60 sunspots. Temperatures warming.
    Sorry, milodon, but during the warming time 1933-1945 we had fewer sunspots than in the succeeding 23 years when it was cooling. In fact, during the cooling time we had about 30% more sunspots than during the warming time.
    Now, you can either accept that as evidence that your hypothesis is wrong, or you can just ignore it and shine it on …
    I know which one I think you’ll do, but I’m happy to be surprised.
    w.

    • Please show the source for your SSNs. Mine show strong correlation of cooling with lower SSNs & induced isotopes during the Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder, Dalton, 1880 or ’90 to 1915 &, as I said, to a lesser extent, during the post-War cooling. If indeed the warming of the 1920s-40s occurred during a lower SSN interval than the cooling of the 1940s-70s, it hardly signifies, since both were minor fluctuations in any case.
      The fact is that the LIA consisted of three major SSN minima, interrupted by strong warming trends in between those minima. Please address the main point of my response to your claim that the Maunder can’t explain the LIA because it occurred after its start.
      And please read all the studies Jim & I have cited. Your usual anti-scientific tactic of demanding a single be all & end all study wore thin a long time ago.
      Your false religion (the opposite of sun worship) & lack of study of climatology have clearly blinded you to reality.

      • milodonharlani October 11, 2014 at 11:48 pm

        Please show the source for your SSNs. Mine show strong correlation of cooling with lower SSNs & induced isotopes during the Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder, Dalton, 1880 or ’90 to 1915 &, as I said, to a lesser extent, during the post-War cooling. If indeed the warming of the 1920s-40s occurred during a lower SSN interval than the cooling of the 1940s-70s, it hardly signifies, since both were minor fluctuations in any case.

        I’ll show you mine, if you’ll show me yours. What did you get for the 1933-1945 average, and how did that compare to you 1945-1977 average? You’re just avoiding the issue.

        The fact is that the LIA consisted of three major SSN minima, interrupted by strong warming trends in between those minima.

        Which “three major SSN minima” are you referring to?

        Please address the main point of my response to your claim that the Maunder can’t explain the LIA because it occurred after its start.

        I would if I knew what your main point was … sorry, but your anger is affecting your clarity.

        And please read all the studies Jim & I have cited. Your usual anti-scientific tactic of demanding a single be all & end all study wore thin a long time ago.

        milodon, there may be an exception that escapes my memory, but as I recall I’ve never read a single paper that you recommended that was any better than the Beer et al. junk you just sent me. In fact, it’s nearly a guarantee that if you recommend a paper, it’s not worth reading. So no, I’ll pass.
        Regarding Jim’s studies, I’ve responded to the ones that he’s recommended, Van Loon and Asmeron? from memory. But yours? I’ve wasted hours I’ll never get back following your blind leads. Pass.

        Your false religion (the opposite of sun worship) & lack of study of climatology have clearly blinded you to reality.

        Lack of study of climatology? Milodon, one of us has a published peer-reviewed submission to Nature magazine regarding climate, and I don’t think it’s you. My “study of climatology” was enough to meet Nature’s criteria … so whether it meets your criteria is supremely unimportant to me.
        As to “the opposite of sun worship”, all I ask for is evidence, and so far, you and your fellow solar co-religionists have been unable to produce anything that holds water. But since you repeatedly have been unable to find even a single flaw in my showing that the solar studies have huge holes in them, you resort to ad hominem attacks and trying to bury me in bogus studies.
        Pass.
        w.

  38. Willis Eschenbach
    October 11, 2014 at 11:05 pm
    No fantasy, but your sick reality. That’s what you always say & demand.

    • Um … er … as I said above, your anger is affecting your clarity. I have no idea what you mean by “what [I] always say and demand.”
      What I always say is “no data, no code, no science”, and what I always ask for is data and code … although I doubt that’s what you’re referring to.
      So what is it that has your panties in a twist this time? The way I brush my teeth? My preferences in TV shows? What am I “saying and demanding” that has you so upset this time?
      w.

  39. “For heavens sake, Beer et al. in the study you quote from are still flogging the long-dead idea of an 88-year solar “Gleissberg Cycle” … that’s your idea of solid science?”
    Actually the 88-year is the Uranus-Saturn return which equates to 8 sunspot cycles. It’s actually surprisingly regular.

    • While it is true that 88 years it is the Uranus-Saturn synodic cycle, there is no corresponding cycle in the sun … which is why I called it “the long-dead idea of an 88-year solar “Gleissberg Cycle”.
      Regards,
      w

      • Richard Feynman’s sister disagrees with you. She & her colleague find the 90-100 year solar cycle alive, well & a sound basis for making predictions:
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JA019478/abstract
        The Centennial Gleissberg Cycle and its association with extended minima
        J. Feynman* and
        A. Ruzmaikin
        Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
        Volume 119, Issue 8, pages 6027–6041, August 2014
        Abstract
        The recent extended minimum of solar and geomagnetic variability (XSM) mirrors the XSMs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: 1810–1830 and 1900–1910. Such extended minima also were evident in aurorae reported from 450 A.D. to 1450 A.D. This paper argues that these minima are consistent with minima of the Centennial Gleissberg Cycles (CGCs), a 90–100 year variation observed on the Sun, in the solar wind, at the Earth, and throughout the heliosphere. The occurrence of the recent XSM is consistent with the existence of the CGC as a quasiperiodic variation of the solar dynamo. Evidence of CGCs is provided by the multicentury sunspot record, by the almost 150 year record of indexes of geomagnetic activity (1868 to present), by 1000 years of observations of aurorae (from 450 to 1450 A.D.) and millennial records of radionuclides in ice cores. The aa index of geomagnetic activity carries information about the two components of the solar magnetic field (toroidal and poloidal), one driven by flares and coronal mass ejections (related to the toroidal field) and the other driven by corotating interaction regions in the solar wind (related to the poloidal field). These two components systematically vary in their intensity and relative phase giving us information about centennial changes of the sources of solar dynamo during the recent CGC over the last century. The dipole and quadrupole modes of the solar magnetic field changed in relative amplitude and phase; the quadrupole mode became more important as the XSM was approached. Some implications for the solar dynamo theory are discussed.

      • Thanks, milodon. You are correct, Richard Feynman’s sister disagrees with me, and for all I know, so does Albert Einstein’s brother … so what?
        However, she’s not talking about the 88-year Gleissberg cycle. That one is dead and buried, and it has been magically replaced with the new, improved, “90-100” year cycle that Joan Feynman references. Of course, you can fit a “90-100 year variation” to many things, whereas 88 years is so … falsifiable.
        That was my point, that the study in question hadn’t gotten the memo about the 88-year cycle. Sorry for the confusion.
        All the best,
        w.

  40. The ~88-year cycle isn’t dead. It never was strictly 88 years but averages out to around that over thousands of years, visible in the isotope record, as recovered over & over again in analyses of that record. The forces that operate on that cycle are naturally modulated by other factors.
    I wonder what makes you think that the many papers finding this cycle are now dead. I cited Feynman because hers was from this year. Please state why, contrary to those who study it, you imagine the Gleissberg cycle is dead. Thanks.

    • Thanks, milodon. You say:

      The ~88-year cycle isn’t dead. It never was strictly 88 years but averages out to around that over thousands of years, visible in the isotope record, as recovered over & over again in analyses of that record.

      I’ve discussed problems with the isotope record several times. In any case, I’ve not seen a citation saying that over thousands of years there is a cycle that averages out to 88 years.
      Citation? I ask, because I just ran the 14C data (from the IntCal98 dataset), and I find no large cycles anywhere near 88 or 100 years.
      And please, no data dump. Give me the best evidence for your claim, don’t try to substitute volume for quantity.
      w.
      PS—If (as you say) the 88-year cycle “never was strictly 88 years”, I’d say it was not only dead but was stillborn. An “88-year cycle” is, well, 88 years.

      • I always provide volume & quality. Before commenting on conclusions, the scientific method requires that you read all the relevant papers.
        Why is it that I have to do all your research for you? You make unsupported assertions without any basis, then insist that I supply you with a single be all & end all paper opposing your baseless assertion. There are at least dozens of papers from the past few decades showing the Gleissberg cycle. Again, please show why you imagine it dead.
        Why isn’t Feynman 2014 sufficient? Anyway, here are just the first three that come up when Googled:
        Persistence of the Gleissberg 88-year solar cycle over the last 12,000
        years: Evidence from cosmogenic isotopes
        Alexei N. Peristykh1 and Paul E. Damon
        Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
        Received 15 March 2002; revised 2 July 2002; accepted 9 July 2002; published 3 January 2003.
        [1] Among other longer-than-22-year periods in Fourier spectra of various solar–
        terrestrial records, the 88-year cycle is unique, because it can be directly linked to the
        cyclic activity of sunspot formation. Variations of amplitude as well as of period of the
        Schwabe 11-year cycle of sunspot activity have actually been known for a long time and a
        ca. 80-year cycle was detected in those variations. Manifestations of such secular periodic
        processes were reported in a broad variety of solar, solar–terrestrial, and terrestrial
        climatic phenomena. Confirmation of the existence of the Gleissberg cycle in long solar–
        terrestrial records as well as the question of its stability is of great significance for solar
        dynamo theories. For that perspective, we examined the longest detailed cosmogenic
        isotope record—INTCAL98 calibration record of atmospheric 14C abundance. The most
        detailed precisely dated part of the record extends back to 11,854 years B.P. During this
        whole period, the Gleissberg cycle in 14C concentration has a period of 87.8 years and an
        average amplitude of 1% (in 14C units). Spectral analysis indicates in frequency
        domain by sidebands of the combination tones at periods of 91.5 ± 0.1 and 84.6 ± 0.1
        years that the amplitude of the Gleissberg cycle appears to be modulated by other longterm
        quasiperiodic process of timescale 2000 years. This is confirmed directly in time
        domain by bandpass filtering and time–frequency analysis of the record. Also, there
        is additional evidence in the frequency domain for the modulation of the Gleissberg cycle
        by other millennial scale processes. Attempts have been made to explain 20th century
        global warming exclusively by the component of irradiance variation associated with the
        Gleissberg cycle. These attempts fail, because they require unacceptably great solar
        forcing and are incompatible with the paleoclimatic records.
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1384107608000511
        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011SoPh..272..351F

  41. milodonharlani October 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I always provide volume & quality. Before commenting on conclusions, the scientific method requires that you read all the relevant papers.

    Perhaps that was doable in 1920 or 1940. With the number of papers available today on every subject, it’s not even theoretically possible.

    Why is it that I have to do all your research for you? You make unsupported assertions without any basis, then insist that I supply you with a single be all & end all paper opposing your baseless assertion. There are at least dozens of papers from the past few decades showing the Gleissberg cycle. Again, please show why you imagine it dead.

    I’ve given an entire post on the Gleissberg cycle showing my analysis and my reasons and my citations. Obviously you don’t like my conclusions or my citations, fair enough.
    Just as obviously, you are unwilling to say why you don’t like my conclusions, instead preferring to wave your hand at hundreds of papers and say that the answer is in there somewhere.
    Look, milodon, if you are unable or unwilling to come up with one single paper that you think is the best, that’s fine with me. Just don’t blame me for your unwillingness to tell us why you believe as you do. I’m not willing to read through “dozens of papers from the past” hoping that I stumble across something that is acceptable to you. That’s a fools game, wherein I find some paper and take it apart, and then you say I’ve found the wrong paper, but there are dozens of papers out there, so my showing that one is wrong means nothing …
    I’ve given you my evidence and citations. If you don’t want to give me yours, that’s your business. I do note that you cited Beer et al. above, which turned out to be a joke for the many reasons I listed …
    w.

  42. milodonharlani October 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    … Why isn’t Feynman 2014 sufficient? Anyway, here are just the first three that come up when Googled:

    milodon, I didn’t ask nor do I care who comes up when Googled, particularly when they cost $40 each and are 97% nonsense. I’m not paying for that.
    I asked what you think is the best evidence for your position. It appears you haven’t got any best evidence, just a bunch of stuff you found with a one-minute search on Google … why is that? Haven’t you “read all the relevant papers”, and formed an opinion?
    w.

  43. I must say, milodon, you are nothing if not consistent. I ask you for evidence of the “88-year Gleissberg cycle”, and you send me a reference to
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/253187113_The_120-yrs_solar_cycle_of_the_cosmogenic_isotopes
    The 120 year Gleissberg cycle? That’s nearly 50% longer than your original claim. What’s next, you sending me papers about a 60 year cycle?
    You see why your data dumps are useless? They’re not even on topic, much less on point.
    w.

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