Climate Dialogue about the sun

Guest blog by Marcel Crok

Header Climate DialogueOver at Climate Dialogue we have started a new discussion about the influence of the sun on the climate. People familiar with climate discussions know that the sun has been and still is a popular argument to explain at least part of the warming since 1750. This has to do with solar proxies correlating well with climate proxies (in the distant past), although Willis Eschenbach in a series of posts here at WUWT has shown that the solar signal is often not easily detected in climate records.

Also the Little Ice Age coincided with the Maunder Minimum, a period with few visible sunspots. So if the sun played a role in the past, why shouldn’t it in the present?

But figuring out how the sun has varied in e.g. the past millennium isn’t easy. And in fact, the science seems to be developing in the other direction, i.e. showing an even smaller solar influence than scientists thought let’s say a decade ago. AR5 said that in terms of radiative forcing since 1750 the influence of the sun is almost negligible.

Meanwhile solar activity has dropped to levels last seen a century ago. Some scientists suggest the sun might go into a new Maunder Minimum in the coming decades. What influence will that have on our climate?

So the timing of this dialogue is apt. We have a record number of participants, namely five. Two of them – Nicola Scafetta (USA) and Jan-Erik Solheim (NOR) – believe in a large role of the sun. Mike Lockwood (GBR) – in line with AR5 – thinks the sun is only a minor player. The two other participants – Ilya Usoskin (FIN) and José Vaquero (ESP) – seem somewhere in between.

In our Introduction we asked the participants the following questions:

1) What is according to you the “best” solar reconstruction since 1600 (or even 1000) in terms of Total Solar Irradiance?

2) Was there a Grand Solar Maximum in the 20th century?

3) What is your preferred temperature reconstruction for the same period? How much colder was the Little Ice Age than the current warm period?

4) What is the evidence for a correlation between global temperature and solar activity?

5) How much of the warming since pre-industrial would you attribute to the sun?

6) Is the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) of the sun all that matters for the Earth’s climate? If not, what amplification processes are important and what is the evidence these play a role?

7) what is the sun likely going to do in the next few decades and what influence will it have on the climate? Is there consensus on the predictability of solar variability?

There will be a lot of area to cover. Please head over to the dialogue and feel free to leave a public comment. Keep in mind that the goal of Climate Dialogues is to find out on what participants agree, on what they disagree and why they disagree.


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Mario Lento

Sounds like a very interesting forum brewing! I think this is an area of science that needs to be explored as it relates to climate.

Mario Lento

I should have written dialogue, not forum. Sorry about that.


Yeah, you were forum before you were against em.

John West

”6) Is the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) of the sun all that matters for the Earth’s climate? If not, what amplification processes are important and what is the evidence these play a role?”
This is an excellent question but incomplete. Amplification processes are not the only ways solar variation could have significant impacts to Earth’s climate. Variations in the components of TSI are orders of magnitude greater than variation in TSI itself. As we all know UV, Visible, and IR have very different capabilities/characteristics, for example interaction with O2 & O3, ocean penetration, and reflection by different surfaces just to name a few. So I would add: If not amplification processes then what component variations have the most impact and why?

Mario Lento

Well stated John West!


Well, there’s more we don’t know about things we don’t know about. I often wonder whether the black body temperature of the sky isn’t variable. We take it as a constant, but is it really the same in all directions?

george e. smith

Why would it be the same in all directions ?
One half of the sky is illuminated by the sun and the other half by the darkness of space.
So it couldn’t possibly be at any equilibrium Temperature, or even a steady state Temperature, since the earth rotates.
The day side radiates at a much higher BB effective temperature. That’s why Trenberth’s budget cartoon doesn’t work.


IMO, UV component (which varies by about 100% while TSI only around 0.1% across cycles) & magnetic flux are IMO the most important solar variations affecting climate.


Completely agreed. We need to watch Vincent Courtillot’s presentation on YouTube again to remind ourselves that there’s more to the sun than TSI.


“Climate science” needs to become climatology once again, focusing on observation rather than GIGO computer modeling, as Freeman Dyson has so eloquently called for.
Great advances have been made in climatology despite the baleful influence of CACA since 1980, yet the GCMs still take no note of them. Fairly recently SORCE showed the surprise variation in the UV component of TSI, & before that it fell to a salmon fisheries student to discover the PDO, followed in the late ’90s by the AMO.
More data, please, & less modeling which produces the results its programmers are paid to show.


If the primary influence on the Earth’s climate is magnetic, via cosmic ray fluctuations, then there is no need for any ‘amplifications’.

Exactly. Cosmic rays promote cloud formation and the sun governs cosmic ray of closure inversely to its sunspot activity a. Clouds are th v median blinds and I h wun’s irradiance in infrar d is virtually constant and inconse he rial.

See for the full description of a global temperature model that WORKS. Also see Graphs of manipulation a of temperature records by virtually every official authority. Shameful!

It could be like this;
The sun is pouring out more or less a constant amount of energy per time.
We have a ball of water, where circulations are created because of the coriolis effect. These seacurrents are inhibited from flowing as they would have done without any landmasses.
This create complex oscillations.
It is the result of these oscillations we measure.
And that is all. When we started measuring, we jumped into a curve, seeing it go up and down. When it went a bit up, some people got panicked. Instead of just waiting a few years, and it would go down again.

Pamela Gray



And could the periodicity of these oscillations be affected by changes in TSI and/or changes in solar magnetic field strength?


Yes, but there is also longer cycles. So sun output causing oscillations that we can wait to return,
but there centuries and tens of thousand of years cycles.
It seems the ocean dominates, but there is also atmospheric processes which are involved- particularly more relevant in shorter periods of time.
It seems to me oceanic mixing plays large role particularly in the longer term.
But generally speaking there is a lot unknown, other than we can fairly certain CO2 levels do
not have much effect upon global temperature.


Exactly. Climate patterns ranging from sudden changes to indefinite periods of stability can be explained solely by the sun’s energy input, without additional sources. This does not mean that the sun is the sole source in the system, but it does imply that we lack the ability to identify, let alone discern the effects of different sources and sinks. The present and foreseeable scientific domain simply does not contain the skill and knowledge to forecast or predict chaotic processes over large time and space offsets from a known frame of reference. The system is both incompletely or insufficiently characterized, and unwieldy.

Pamela Gray

Actually, your premise is wrong. Changes in the Sun’s energy output (from full of spots to quietly sleeping) measured at the top of the atmosphere does not explain to any great, dominant, or even less than half of temperature trends. Why? Not enough energy available in that variation to force trends up or down in our atmosphere or the oceans. Therefore, without a reasonable and plausible amplification device which would obviously track solar variation, solar variation by itself is an unlikely culprit.


Pamela, I’ve done the calculations for the additional energy added to earth between solar minimum and maximum. There is sufficient energy to explain a 2 degree C variation in temperatures.

Pamela Gray

VikingExplorer, so have others in peer reviewed journals. You may need to double check your calculations. You are off by at least one decimal point.
Lean, Judith L., and David H. Rind (2001). “Earth’s Response to a Variable Sun.” Science 292: 234-36 [doi:10.1126/science:1060082].
Lean, Judith L., and David H. Rind (2009). “How Will Earth’s Surface Temperature Change in Future Decades?” Geophysical Research Letters 36: L15708 [doi:10.1029/2009GL038932].
Lean, Judith L. (2010). “Cycles and Trends in Solar Irradiance and Climate.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 1: 111-22 [doi:10.1002/wcc.018].

Pamela Gray

Viking, you will find this paper of interest. Caveat: Whether or not solar-driven ozone cycles at the poles in the mesosphere layer is enough to cause differential heating changes on a global scale is not deduced. A possible link to local and regional affects is deduced. Given the much greater complexity of our Earth, it is my opinion that a series of higher solar cycles versus a series of lower solar cycles will not result in an identifiable temperature signal (given the degree of intrinsic noise in the temperature data) as a result of changes in polar ozone when comparing a low series to a high series of solar cycles.

Pamela Gray

Total solar output is now measured to vary by approximately 0.1% or about 1.3 Watts per square meter (W/m2) peak-to-trough from solar maximum to solar minimum during the 11-year sunspot cycle. How do you get a 2 degree Celsius bump from that? As a pre-clude, if you site UV variance as your source of this temperature change, remember that the energy “potential” in a smaller portion of TSI will be less than TSI, and in the case of UV, significantly less unless you believe that Earth supplies some kind of amplification.

Pamela Gray

Viking, I have searched high and low for any peer reviewed calculation that demonstrates a 2 degree Celsius change due to solar cycle min to max. Can’t find it. At most I found 1 degree. I found several less than that.


Energy in the Atmosphere:
mass = 5.1480×10 ^18 kg, Cp ~= 1000 J/kg/K, T = 287K (assuming most of the mass is near the surface), E = 1.48 x 10^24 J
Energy required to increase atmospheric temperature by 2 degrees C:
mass = 5.1480×10 ^18 kg, Cp ~= 1000 J/kg/K, T = 2K (assuming a lower average temperature), E = 1.03 x 10^22 J
Ok, it’s common knowledge that the sun receives 1.5 x 10^22 Joules each day, but let’s check that it makes sense. Because the earth is a sphere, only a quarter of the surface area is actually receiving the energy at any given point.
Surface area of earth facing the sun = 510 M km^2 / 4 = 127 M M m^2 = 1.27 x 10^14 m^2.
Seconds in one day: 60 * 60 * 24 = 86400 seconds
Energy received in 1 day = 1366 W/m^2 = 1366 Joule/sec /m^2 * Area * duration = 1366 Joules * 1.275 * 10^14 * 86400 = 1.5 x10^22 J
This matches the published value. As you pointed out, the delta TSI (max-min) = .1% of 1366 = 1.366 W/m^2
Extra received/day (Solar Max) = 1.366 W/m^2 = 1.366 Joule/sec /m^2 * Area * duration = 1.366 Joules * 1.275 * 10^14 * 86400 = 1.5 x10^19 J
Extra received (solar cycle) = Extra received/day * 5 years = 1.5 x10^22 * 365 * 5 = 2.746 x10^22
This is 2.66 x the amount needed to raise the atmospheric temperature by 2 degrees.
Even if we use only 3 out the 11 year cycle for “full power”, we still get 1.647 x10^22 Joules (1.6 times the energy required).

Pamela Gray

Not all of that final number is used to raise temperature. You must add together absorbance, reflectance, and transmittance (which must always equal 1). Absorbance is the part of incoming TSI calculations that is used to determine rise in temperature since that is the only part of the calculation that can heat. And you have to dig and tease for that heat because it is spread between land (the easier part to find) surfaces and transferred to air, and the ocean column. Needless to say, these two absorption “sinks” themselves vary in their absorption capacity on a seasonal and likely decadal basis in a feedback loop.
There are modeled calculations that will give you estimates of these three metrics but use with caution. As you must know error bands for estimates are huge.

Pamela Gray

Here is a beginning text on what happens to the top of the atmosphere calculation of TSI expressed as watts/m2.


>> Not all of that final number is used to raise temperature
Pamela, I will not let you get off topic. The question was:
Is there enough additional energy in a typical solar maximum to explain a 2 deg C temperature variation.
You said: “Not enough energy available in that variation to force trends up or down ”
These calculations clearly show that the answer is yes. While it’s true that the internal thermodynamics are complicated, we can say with confidence that as long as the temperature variation remains within the 2 deg C range, nothing extraordinary has happened.
>> heat because it is spread between land … seasonal and likely decadal basis
I did a steady state analysis, as opposed to writing time domain differential equations to study the dynamics. The point is to get a ballpark for the maximum variation possible.

Pamela Gray
October 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm
From the reference you linked to above:

Given the amount of energy radiated by the sun and the average Earth-sun distance of 149.5 million kilometers, the amount of radiation intercepted by the outer limits of the atmosphere can be calculated to be around 1,367 W/m2.

That reference page is out of date (its graph, for example, extends through only 1999.) Leif tells us now that the correct Top-of-atmosphere TSI should now be revised DOWN to 1362 watt/m^2.
Now, given that the ENTIRE CAGW-hype is about a theoretical increase of solar radiation equal to only 3.2 watt/m^2 … should not ALL papers and programs written using previous 1367 averages be re-written to eliminate the CAGW effect entirely?

Pamela Gray

Victor, you are using an unconventional method. Every other calculation I have seen regarding the effects of TSI on temperature use the generally accepted set of factors. And certainly they all factor in reflectance before determining energy available for a temperature response.
RACook, thanks for the reminder regarding Leif’s work. You are right. However, if I remember the conversation correctly, Leif did not think it would make an important difference with regard to global temperature models using the higher number versus the lower number.


>> you are using an unconventional method.
How can basic science be “unconventional”? This one statement is a microcosm of the entire AGW movement.
>> Every other calculation I have seen regarding the effects of TSI on temperature use the generally accepted set of factors.
It’s best to start with first principles of physics, not applied mathematics.
>> And certainly they all factor in reflectance before determining energy available for a temperature response
But I assume that it’s obvious that reducing TSI by 30% (for reflectance) will not change the conclusion.


Yup. Add ice-field albedo positive feedback, ice-sheet dynamics & Milankovitch cycling & you get glacial/interglacial oscillations. No TSI change required.


Except the sun is NOT a constant source of energy, it varies. It is NOT stable at all. It is entering the next stage of existence which is more and more variable which is why we now have sudden ice ages and then very sudden ice melts.

Mario Lento

Question “1) What is according to you the “best” solar reconstruction since 1600 (or even 1000) in terms of Total Solar Irradiance?” will be the one that stirs a lot of debate. As John West suggests, it’s changes other than just the total TSI that are of importance here. And the proxies are difficult at best to show the specific components of the TSI, at least in the past proxy records. I believe Leif thinks this is not an important area that should be studied – whether or not the sun influences climate significantly – but I strongly disagree. There is much to learn about how the ultimate source of earth’s received energy affects our planet and its climate.

A. Smith

I believe none of the TSI reconstructions are accurate. None.

Pamela Gray

Why? What part of the measurements do you think have errors?


Excellent question Pamela. The statement by A Smith is meaningless without qualification.


A belief doesn’t require qualification.

richard verney

The answer may well lie in: “When and how was TSI first measured?”

Pamela Gray

TSI measurements are quite accurate and satellites have measured a full-on spotted Sun as well as a quietly sleeping spotless Sun. The difference in TSI between those two states in terms of temperature change at Earth’s surface under clear sky conditions has also been calculated. Unfortunately, in our noisy temperature data, the approx. 11 year cycle-sourced change in TSI and its affect on our temperature is buried in the noise of all the other intrinsic sources of variation we have on Earth.


Solar cycle signals have been recovered in many atmospheric phenomena on earth. Also hydrospheric & arguably even lithospheric. Study after study finding these signals have been quoted & linked on this blog. Don’t know how you missed them.


To include citations by others & me in comments to this very post, as this from, among others of his comments, by William Astley (October 18, 2014 at 2:43 am): :
See also please my comment noting the connection between solar cycles & Asian monsoons, known at least since 1926.


Same goes for Girma @ October 18, 2014 at 4:08 am.
At least dozens of such papers have been cited on this blog over the years.

A C Osborn

How about the solar wind?
“Here are excerpts from a NASA press release in 2008:
Curiously, the speed of the million mph solar wind hasn’t decreased much—only 3%. The change in pressure comes mainly from reductions in temperature and density. The solar wind is 13% cooler and 20% less dense.”

William Astley

The ions in the atmosphere are also affected by solar wind bursts. High speed solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the atmosphere which creates a electrostatic voltage differential in the ionosphere which in turns removes ions from high latitude regions and affects cloud formation in the tropics. This mechanism is called electroscavenging. Solar wind bursts are caused by sunspots and coronal holes. What causes coronal holes is not known. For some unexplained reason there have been coronal holes in low latitude positions on the sun late in the solar magnetic cycle. These coronal holes created a solar wind burst which in turn removed ions from the earth’s atmosphere which in turn made it appear that high cosmic ray flux does not result in more clouds.
An observed change in the solar heliosphere during solar magnetic cycle 24 is a 40% reduction in the density of the solar heliosphere (The solar heliosphere is the tenuous cloud of gas and magnetic flux which the solar magnetic cycle creates that stretches past Pluto. The solar heliosphere and the earth’s magnetic field block cosmic ray flux. (See science, Swarm data, which notes for some unexplained reason the earth’s magnetic field is decaying 10 times faster than it had for the last 200 years.)
Due to a reduction in the density of the solar heliosphere the electrostatic strength of the solar wind bursts has decreased by a factor of roughly 2. (This was noted by solar specialists who gave an update of solar magnetic cycle 24 and how the solar magnetic cycle 24 changes have affected the solar heliosphere at the Fall, 2013 AGU meeting.) Due to the reduction in the intensity of the solar wind bursts, solar wind bursts will remove less ions from the earth’s atmosphere by the electroscavenging process.
This paper explains the mechanisms by which solar magnetic cycle changes modulate planetary cloud.
Now as this paper notes coronal holes appeared late in the solar cycle creating solar wind bursts. The solar wind bursts removed cloud forming ions making it appear that high galactic cosmic rays levels (GCR striking the atmosphere is the primary mechanism to create cloud forming ions in the atmosphere.) does not result increased cloud cover.
If the Sun is so quiet, why is the Earth ringing? A comparison of two solar minimum intervals.

ferd berple

How is it that radio communications, for example in the 10-15 meter band, might travel only a few hundred miles at the low point in the solar cycle, and many thousands of miles at the high point in the cycle, if the change in TSI is so small during the cycle?

John M

Umm, maybe it’s because the TSI has nothing to do with freeing up electrons in the ionosphere because it’s a measure of photon intensity. On the other hand, the charged particles which are propelled by the solar wind ….


It’s the significant changes in UV. Up to 700% in some parts of the UV bandwidth. It is the UV that causes the ionisation.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Carrying Place

Fred that is a very good and relevant question. To those who say in effect that the tiny variation in TSI ‘can’t have a strong effect on the atmosphere’ (which I hasten to point out is different from saying it can’t have a strong effect on temperature) I would also point out the dramatic change in the E and F layers of the atmosphere.
I attended a meeting of HAMs in Toronto many years ago at which a presentation was made attempting to demonstrate that injecting a radio signal into these layers at various angles did not ‘reflect’ signals but refracted them which contradicted contemporary and textbook explanations. Signals arrive at distant ground stations with ‘far too much energy’ to have arrived by multiple reflections. He demonstrated that he could pick different signal touchdown distances with conserved power by changing the tilt of the antenna. It was pretty convincing.
The overall efficacy of the layers to refract radio signals is strongly affected by the sunspot cycle. The variation is certainly more than an order of magnitude if one measures the efficiency with which the magnetic radiation from the transmitter is conserved within the system. It could be three orders of magnitude. Maybe more.
Solar radiation striking these active layers at a low angle could be assumed by atmospheric models to travel through the atmosphere and back into space when in fact they are refracted into the E and F layers, leaving later or making it to the surface.
As the incident angle covers the range from 0 to 90 degrees all the time, some angle is just right to be preserved, if the layers are ‘active’ or ‘efficient’. The state of these layers is posted continuously by HAM enthusiasts who know darn well and to their frustration, the efficiency variation. I have clearly heard a 4 watt transmission from a dipole under a roof near New York picked up by my 7 element copper wire Yagi in Swaziland – in the 70’s. It would require one or two orders of magnitude more power to accomplish that now – unless there was a burst of solar activity for a few hours.
It appears the E and F layers are able to harvest more energy from the sun, or less, varying almost immediately with solar activity.

Charles Nelson

I don’t know why you’re all wasting your time with this.
Leif has explained quite clearly and in some depth that the earth’s climate is in no way affected by the sun.
Why can’t we all accept this and just drop the subject?

Pamela Gray

I don’t recall that statement. The Sun does indeed have a cyclic warming affect. However, Earth’s own rather energetic weather pattern noise, variations, and oscillations obscure this mild affect handedly.

Don Perry

Please humor an old man and learn the proper usage of the words “affect” and “effect”.


Affect: one fect
Effect: affect on the internet, e.g., an emailed fect
Infect: affect inbound; affect contained within an inbox
Disinfect: affect that is incoming and nearby; a particular infect implying a contrast
Perfect: a ratio obtained by dividing by affects; a singer/keyboardist married to a guitarist
Feckless: a joke without affect


Have you considered that he may be wrong?

Ian W

Have you considered he may be right – but measuring the wrong thing(s), and/or using the incorrect metrics. After all the climatologists are all measuring atmospheric heat content using temperature which is entirely the incorrect metric for atmospheric heat content due to enthalpy changes; but that doesn’t seem to stop ‘scientists’ using it. Perhaps there need to be more engineers, metrologists rather than scientists and academics; even an HVAC technician would know better.


I keep seeing reports on the Indian Monsoon rainfall following the solar cycle.
Here is one example:
[12] There is greater rainfall over Arabian Sea, the west coast of India, Nepal, eastern India and the Bay of Bengal in 14 sunspot peaks. This pattern indicates an enhancement of mean monsoon precipitation. The average precipitation anomalies in the five recent sunspot peaks reach values as high as 20% above normal. This is also the case for the SLP anomalies, with relatively larger negative values over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, and smaller negative anomalies over central India. Thus, the response to the 11 year cycle in sunspot maxima is an enhancement of the mean monsoon precipitation and sea level pressure patterns, with a strengthening and eastward shift of the Findlater Jet off the coast of Africa.

Fritz Fahrenvolt (sp?) has demonstrated quite well, in, “The Quiet Sun”, that the Earth’s climate is profoundly affected by the Sun. This is another area of settled science which is open to dispute. Are you sure you didn’t leave /sarc off by mistake?


These attempts at minimizing the sun as the major driver of climate amazes me. I figure we won’t be around for the next Ice Age cycle which looms in the future. I bet when this happens, we will notice the sun isn’t operational as a steady state star at all.
Seemingly small variations in solar energy output hitting the planet coupled with where the planet is in the 36,000 year cycle, can trigger either glaciation or swift melting. Neither the earth nor the sun are ‘stable’ anymore.

tom in Florida

1934 is considered one of the, if not the warmest year on record. Yet the 3 solar cycles preceding were very weak. ???????????


One year doesn’t mean much when the minimum period of climatic analysis is weather averaged over at least 30 years.

Tom in Florida

Yet the graph from this article shows the 1930’s as the decade with the most high temperature records.


The first cool counter-trend cycle of the Modern Warm Period occurred c. 1879 to 1915, coinciding with weak solar cycles after the strong mid-19th century cycles so well attested in history, to include its effects on the US Civil War. The solar cycle around the First World War however was stronger, which correlates with the pro-trend warming cycle of the 1920s to ’40s. There was a weaker solar cycle during this temperature upswing, but not weak enough to make a difference, apparently. The next cooling counter-trend cycle in the secular warming of the Modern WP was from the late ’40s until 1977, when the PDO shifted so dramatically.
Clearly, solar influence is modulated by the hydrosphere, atmosphere & lithosphere on earth.
Taking a longer-term view, the Little Ice Age emerges as a secular cooling interval dominated by three or four major solar activity lows, the Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder & Dalton Minima. The Wolf is generally considered a cooling counter-trend cycle in the secular Medieval WP, as it transitioned into the LIA. The correlations IMO are too telling to be dismissed, let alone ignored.

Tom in Florida

According to your graph the solar cycle around WWI may have been “stronger” relative to cycles before and after but it was still a weak cycle and does not account for the temperature increases. As you state in a later comment, insolation changes due to Milankovitch cycles are what gives us the major changes in climate, from glaciation into inter-glacials and back. I really think everything in between is relatively so small it can be written off simply as random flucuations in a chaotic system.

The expansion of the US really began in earnest during the end of the 1700’s and early 1800’s coinciding with 2 sunspot cycle lows. The way west out of New England was thru NY, Philadelphia and on into North Carolina. It became too cold to live in New England. If you don’t believe that, try driving from Trenton NJ to NYC on Rt 1 in the am. The sun is right in your eyes.

John M

The USA data does not always track the global average.

John West

What was the UV?

Only in North America.

Sun Spot

@tom ; “Yet the 3 solar cycles preceding were very weak. “, WEAK ? not even close to the Maunder Min. ?????


Tom, that was a mix of local weather with the usual outside forcings. Bad farming practices and the fact nobody knew they were sitting over an underground sea of fresh water. Temperature gains at the time which did nothing to wet the sky and allow precipitation, a hanging high pressure and so on..

M Seward

What I find quite extraordinary is that for such a massive and unavoidably obvious input into the earth’s climate, in fact really the only fundamental input, is that all aspects of the Sun’s influence have not been the primary if not obsessive focus of climate ‘scientists’ the world over. Instead we have had billions if not trillions of dollars wasted on exploring and reacting to symptoms without really understanding if they are real, just appear so or are quite imaginary . Is this AGW alarmism all actually a placebo study?
I guess we will start to get a clearer picture over the next five years or so as cycle 24 starts to drop away from its peak.


The billions and trillions was always about regulating people, not climate. Climate is the yoke we’re all being strapped to. The loss of quality of life is the burden we will bear once the last yoke harness’ rivet is peened.


As a kid I was fascinated by watching waves on the open ocean (living in California, near the coast). I sat for hours and hours, sometimes with a stopwatch, sometimes just watching. I could see certain patterns that allowed the short term prediction of when the next few waves would come by, and about how big they’d be.
Now, some 50 years later, and being somewhat accomplished in both digital signal processing theory (and practice), as well as having physics, chemistry and computer science on my lapel, I reflect back on those wave-watching days, and it recurs to me that the superposition of wave-trains of varying frequency, amplitude, phase and in multiple-dimensions, direction behave in observably semi-predictable, but still quite chaotic ways.
In the case of Climate and Weather, we have well regarded influences from multiple directions, multiple periods, varying amplitudes. Indeed, many of the cycles aren’t even nicely sinusoidal. They are composed of many frequencies and their spectra is both complex and time varying.
With this observation, then it seems obvious that things such as the Sun and its varying solar cycles and conditions WILL affect both weather and climate overall. Factors such as the integration-over-time of insolation-turned-to-heat in the oceans, in the ecosphere, in the gases of the atmosphere, all contribute. The periodicity of the seasons, the precession of the poles, the nucleating influence of cosmic particles and rays (and their modulation by solar cycles) … again, all contribute. So do the influences of aerosols, both man-made and volcanic or environmental. Caprice of nature, the jiggling of Mother Nature’s bag of dice … cause sometimes the cycles to overlap in ways that exacerbate what would nominally have been “near – normal” weather conditions.
Like the Great Drought which lead to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, sometimes the factors aren’t entirely cosmogenic or anthropogenic, but seem more just to be like the ocean’s waves: when a few key wavelets align on troughs or peaks, then together their effect can be multiplicative, with a factor k > 1.0 for the additive effect they otherwise would have. Sometimes, in the case of volcanism, the effects in the short term can so overwhelm the rest of the waves, that it might be likened to a great earthquake causing such a shift in water that Tsunamis are 10x to 100x the size of the normal background chatter of wave and wind.
From work that was done in Europe by [Svensmark] and others, I cannot agree with those who hold that the solar cycles, the effect of cosmogenic rays and particles, of the variability of the Suns output … amount to nothing compared to the other extant local variables. The answer is TOO pat. The effect of bloody stratospheric jets is itself rarely given consideration, but is yet another of the many contributing waves.
I hope that this monologue matches the eventual findings of this new blog, posted by the OP.


So eloquently put…..

Charles Nelson

Go GoatGuy!


On the scale of 100,000 & 10,000 years the most important of the many factors controlling climate are Milankovitch Cycles, the superposition of earth’s orbital & rotational mechanics to affect insolation. IMO these cycles also influence climate on the order of millennia & centuries, & some on decades. But at these shorter time scales, variations in solar radiation & magnetism become significant, too.
On the order of millions, tens & hundreds of millions & billions of years, solar irradiance is also important, as it increases by about one percent each 110 million years. But if you want an ice age, it appears that you need particular arrangements of ocean currents & a land mass over a pole, although there does seem to be a 150 million year ice age cycle, too, based upon the solar system’s passage through a spiral arm of the galaxy, influencing cosmic ray flux. The Mesozoic had a cold spell at the appointed time, but a full fledged ice age didn’t develop because Antarctica & Australia weren’t far enough south & the continents weren’t sufficiently split up then.


In the long run, the fact that a big part of the earth’s continental landmasses are moving relentlessly towards the Arctic means yes, there will be a lot more ice in the future and much of the northern pole will be more like Antarctica and Greenland today: mostly ice bound.
All these factors are at work and CO2 is the least of these, of course, but the easiest to tax! Thus the relentless focus on it by elites wishing to tax us somehow without us revolting.


Yes as someone who has worked collecting data in the natural environment I have become intolerant of anyone who dismisses a hypothesis because a perfect correlation between cause and effect can not be established. As far as I’m concerned when I see a perfect correlation I see fudging at best and fraud at the worst.. The fact that a perfrect correlation may not exist between solar activity, TSI or magnetic, does not in any way imply that the sun does not have a significant effect on then climate of planet earth.

Ian W

That is particularly true of inputs to non linear chaotic systems. The timing as well as the magnitude of the input will affect its effect . The butterfly has to flap is wings as the chaotic system is in precisely the right state or transition or there will be no effect.


If we could , and the sun has no effect on the earth warming why don’t we just turn it off .

Pamela Gray

That is a rather dim retort. The Earth receives a fairly steady beam from the Sun. But the movement of the Earth (on its axis and in its orbit) and its round shape creates large scale circulation patterns in the oceans and in the atmosphere. Because it is round-ish, there is also differential heating (more in the middle, less at the poles) that combines to set up unique fluid dynamics in both water and air that teleconnect with each other in large and small ways. Add to that the placement of continents and you have plenty of systems interacting with each other to create weather pattern variations and trends, let alone noise, in various temperature and pressure metrics.
We live on a highly variable planet. Far more variable than the Sun in terms of heat coming in at the top of the atmosphere (a rather steady beam) versus heat used on Earth (not so steadily used up through absorption and reflection variables). The Sun’s variability, which can be calculated, is buried in such a lively planet as we have here on Earth.

Mario Lento

Pamela Gray writes: “The Earth receives a fairly steady beam from the Sun.” This is a rather dim statement, one which is only true if you state the beam in terms of TSI. Though it only varies some 0.2% from strong vs weaker cycles, the beam is not steady at all in other energy frequencies. This cannot be denied. Your statement precludes much fact about the sun.

Willis Eschenbach

Mario Lento October 17, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Though it only varies some 0.2% from strong vs weaker cycles, the beam is not steady at all in other energy frequencies. This cannot be denied. Your statement precludes much fact about the sun.

Mario, this claim might make sense … but only if you supported it by actual facts about the variation (in W/m2) over the cycle at various frequencies.
Since the variation in TSI is tiny (less than 0.5 W/m2 on a 24/7 global basis), I find it hard to believe that there is significant variation (in W/m2) in some sub-section of the total. As a result, some actual facts to back up your claims would be most welcome.

Mario Lento

Willis Eschenbach October 17, 2014 at 11:39 pm
Mario Lento October 17, 2014 at 11:21 pm
Though it only varies some 0.2% from strong vs weaker cycles, the beam is not steady at all in other energy frequencies. This cannot be denied. Your statement precludes much fact about the sun.
Mario, this claim might make sense … but only if you supported it by actual facts about the variation (in W/m2) over the cycle at various frequencies.
Since the variation in TSI is tiny (less than 0.5 W/m2 on a 24/7 global basis), I find it hard to believe that there is significant variation (in W/m2) in some sub-section of the total. As a result, some actual facts to back up your claims would be most welcome.
WIllis: Pardon, but you are referring to TSI, and I am not. I assume TSI varies only slightly, hence power over a given area remains too constant to be the cause of the magnitude of climate change we see. I suggest that the frequencies change substantially within that relatively constant power output. Different frequencies have effects other than direct radiative heating. Considering only total energy and not the make up of that energy leaves out the range of frequencies that vary substantially.
Let’s consider a reductio ad absurdum thought. Given that the sun’s TSI stayed perfectly constant, but the frequency output changed to include only 100% deep UV, and zero any other frequency including visible light. The watts/square meter would be the same. Would you bet this would have no measurable affect on Earth’s climate?
I remain a fanboy just the same Willis.

richard verney

My reading, and i would have thought that this was the natural and ordinary reading, of Mario’s comment is that he is referring to the point made by John West
October 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm, namely:
“Variations in the components of TSI are orders of magnitude greater than variation in TSI itself. As we all know UV, Visible, and IR have very different capabilities/characteristics, for example interaction with O2 & O3, ocean penetration, and reflection by different surfaces just to name a few. So I would add: If not amplification processes then what component variations have the most impact and why?”
You will note that Mario endorsed that significant comment.
Rephrasing Clinton: ‘It is not all about TSI st*p*d’ It is far more suttle than that.
It also raises the question of whether a watt is just a watt, no matter where within the system it is inputted.
There is much yet to be undestood.

Willis Eschenbach

Mario Lento October 17, 2014 at 11:53 pm

WIllis: Pardon, but you are referring to TSI, and I am not. I assume TSI varies only slightly, hence power over a given area remains too constant to be the cause of the magnitude of climate change we see. I suggest that the frequencies change substantially within that relatively constant power output.

Thanks, Mario. You said:

Though it only varies some 0.2% from strong vs weaker cycles, the beam is not steady at all in other energy frequencies.

If the “it” you refer to is NOT talking about TSI … then what are you referring to?
Next, you say:

I suggest that the frequencies change substantially within that relatively constant power output.

Thanks for the suggestion, Mario, but I was asking for facts, not suggestions. You know, numbers showing how much and how the frequencies change, and which ones change, that kind of thing.

Mario Lento

Willis Eschenbach October 18, 2014 at 12:15 am
Mario Lento October 17, 2014 at 11:53 pm Edit
WIllis: Pardon, but you are referring to TSI, and I am not. I assume TSI varies only slightly, hence power over a given area remains too constant to be the cause of the magnitude of climate change we see. I suggest that the frequencies change substantially within that relatively constant power output.
Thanks, Mario. You said:
Though it only varies some 0.2% from strong vs weaker cycles, the beam is not steady at all in other energy frequencies.
If the “it” you refer to is NOT talking about TSI … then what are you referring to?
Next, you say:
I suggest that the frequencies change substantially within that relatively constant power output.
Thanks for the suggestion, Mario, but I was asking for facts, not suggestions. You know, numbers showing how much and how the frequencies change, and which ones change, that kind of thing.
richard verney October 18, 2014 at 12:14 am distilled the subject matter correctly.
The “it” is TSI.
The frequencies change substantially (on at least an order of magnitude)


Energy thrown at the Earth has to go somewhere. So where does the UV go?
Variances are extremely dramatic within the 8% (UV) everyone ignores.

Lars P.

“The Sun’s variability, which can be calculated, is buried in such a lively planet as we have here on Earth.”
Pamela, the problem with this affirmation is that we find the signal from Sun’s variability in the Earth climate:
For instance at the resilient earth there is a study where the tiny 11 years cycle variations are shown to have influence:
“Though the Sun’s output varies by less than a tenth of a percent in magnitude during its 11-year sunspot cycle, that small variation produces changes in sea surface temperatures two or three times as large as it should. A new study in Science demonstrates how two previously known mechanisms acting together amplify the Sun’s impact in an unsuspected way. ”
OK, it is a modelling study, but sounds reasonable (at least to me).
Then prof Courtillot showed connection with the UV variability:
And another one about the UV :
“According to the authors, the “mechanism describes how solar UV changes can lead to a significant enhancement of the small initial signal and corresponding changes in stratospheric dynamics”, which in combination with a natural atmospheric circulation, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, causes a “significant ocean response,” “


Prepare for NO government paid climate “scientist” to show up at all.


Is there any other kind of climate “scientist” (i.e., other than government-paid)?


Not as far as the government is concerned. That is unless you are the more enlightened Australian Government.

David C. Greene

Why has no one mentioned “The Role of the Sun in Climate Change,” Douglas V. Hoyt and Kenneth H. Schatten, (C) 1997, Oxford University Press? Although Hoyt & Schatten do not come up with the definitive solution, they thoroughly review the data and thinking extant in the mid 1990’s. As a measure of their thoroughness, their bibliography comprises about 500 references. Their book would be an excellent starting point for this discussion.


A more recent book on solar influences on climate, Die kalte Sonne, is now available in an updated, English version.
A report on the bstorm its initial publication caused among German Green Meanies:


I have always been disappointed that many seem to believe that the Sun’s influence should be measured only or primarily via changes in TSI, and am glad to see that other solar pathways, e.g Svensmark, the solar wind, even the Madman Hypothesis of Increased Volcanism During Deep Solar Minimums, are being explored in more depth.
Well, the Madman Hypothesis is still not being studied all that much yet, but my dog is totally onboard.


But figuring out how the sun has varied in e.g. the past millennium isn’t easy. And in fact, the science seems to be developing in the other direction, i.e. showing an even smaller solar influence than scientists thought let’s say a decade ago.
Smaller solar influence? A recent paper said:

With a combination of temperature and solar induced cloud feedback we deduce a CO2 climate sensitivity of CS = 0.6 °C and a solar sensitivity, related to 0.1 % change of the solar constant, of SS = 0.5 °C. An increase in the solar activity of only 0.1 % over 100 years then contributes to a warming of 0.54 °C, and the 100 ppm increase of CO2 over this period causes additional 0.2 °C in excellent agreement with the measured warming and cloud cover.
That doesn’t suggest smaller to me.


I know this may appear to be an ignorant question but why, when the sun goes down at night, does it get cooler?
If it’s a “minor” player that is?

Pamela Gray

The fact that Earth gets cooler is a reflection of what the Earth does, not the Sun. Night and day heating differences are therefore intrinsic (Earth) factors, not extrinsic (solar) factors.

Pamela Gray : take a look at this sight if you believe direct sunlight makes no difference c.


Psst lonie.. that’s a “site”, not a sight.

Tom in Florida

Think what happens when you step out of direct sunlight into shade. The Sun has not changed, you have changed the insolation on your skin. When we discuss whether or not the Sun has a significant effect on climate, we are paying attention to the amount of changes in solar output..


Thank you kindly,
Yes, I do get that. I guess my point was that the big, hot, yellow ball in the sky MUST have a most profound effect on the climate/weather (and not a minor one) in view of the energy it puts into the system (yes, assuming the energy can get into the system…clouds, particulates, interstellar dust and the like permitting).
Thanks again for your reply.
I’m not in any way a climate scientist (whatever that term actually means) hence my understanding is purely that of the laity.

richard verney

It is interesting that on the dark side of the moon, the temperature is no where near absolute zero. Indeed, even in some of the craters at the poles that never receive sunlight, the temperatures are about 30 to 40K, so nowhere near the 3K of background space. The same is so regarding Pluto, even though it receives little sunlight.

Tom in Florida

re Jones:
The Sun certainly sets the base conditions for life on Earth. Insolation differences are responsible for the creation of seasons and types of climate in different areas of Earth. But these insolation differences are due to conditions of the Earth not the Sun. The discussion of how the Sun influences climate is centered around the question of whether the slight CHANGES in solar energy originating in the Sun can overcome the insolation changes due to orbital mechanics. Another question is whether or not CHANGES in solar energy can be a factor in cloud creation due to GCRs. So we are always addressing the CHANGES in solar energy represented by TSI at 1 AU.

Steve Reddish

By “it”, I presume you mean the location where you are. While your location is moving into the the shade, other locations with equal area are emerging into the sunshine. For the Earth as a whole, the solar energy received does not change significally (in the short period of a day).

Over the period of a day, no, TSI apparently does not change.
But Leif’s daily TSI/TOA solar database from 2001 through 2015 DOES CHANGE by +1/-1 watts/meter^2 from year-to-year.


Is the Sun a constant from a modeling standpoint ?
Everything else is secondary, no?……

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

In my paper “Power spectral analysis of total & net radiation intensities” published in Indian Journal of Radio & Space Physics 6: 60-66 [1977] I observed that the total solar radiation and net radiation intensities shows sunspot cycle [10.5 years].
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

William Astley

Due to the reduction in the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots, the magnetic flux tubes that rise up to the surface of the sun to form sunspots are now being torn apart by convection forces in the solar convection zone. The solar wind removes roughly 99% of the magnetic flux that is produced in the sun to create sunspots. The remaining sunspot flux is believed to create, maintain, and explain the variance of the solar large scale magnetic field. This process (reduction in sunspot intensity, followed by tiny sunspots, and then finally followed by no sunspots only a region that has a slightly higher magnetic field) is more advanced in the solar northern hemisphere than the solar southern hemisphere. There are now almost no remaining sunspots in the solar northern hemisphere and only tiny sunspots (referred to as ‘pores’ by the solar specialists) in the solar southern hemisphere.…_4096_4500.jpg
The northern polar field changed polarity first in June 2012, then weakened and was near neutral in March 2014. (William: The solar northern polar field intensity is now roughly zero which is anomalous and indicates the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted. The sun is very, very rapidly moving to a type of deep Maunder minimum.) The southern polar field reversed in July 2013. In past solar cycles when the solar polar field reversed, the solar polar field intensity passes through intensity zero and rapidly increases in intensity soon after reversal. As can be seen in this graph the solar northern magnetic field is now essentially zero.
Now a solar polar field that is essentially zero indicates the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted and the sun is about to very rapidly move to a ‘Maunder minimum’ state where the sun no longer produces sunspots. The past deep solar magnetic cycle minimums have lasted roughly 100 to 150 years
The following is an explanation of what is physically happening to the sun.
1) Sunspots are believe to be formed from magnetic flux tubes that formed deep within the sun at the solar tachocline which is the name for the narrow region of the sun that separates the solar convection zone from the solar radiative zone. The magnetic flux tubes are buoyant and rise up to the surface of the sun traveling through the solar convection zone.
2) Calculations indicate that the magnetic flux tubes require a minimum field strength of around 20,000 to 30,000 gauss when they leave the tachocline to enable them to withstand the turbulent forces in the convection zone. The small tight bundle of magnetic flux tubes expands as it rises up through the convection zone. For some unknown reason the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots has been decaying linearly for a number of years.
3) We are now at the point where the magnetic field strength of the flux tubes is less than the minimum strength to avoid being torn apart in the convection zone. Initially just as that threshold (magnetic flux tubes are starting to be torn apart as they rise up through the convection zone) is reached and there is an increase in sunspot number as large sunspots are replaced by many tiny pores (small sunspots)
4) As the process continues (magnetic field strength of the flux tubes continues to decline) the magnetic flux tubes are torn apart in the convection zone and there is nothing left to create a sunspot on the surface of the sun. Observational evidence to support that assertion are regions on the surface of the sun that have higher than average magnetic field strength but no sun spots.

Willis Eschenbach

Marcel, thanks for the post. You say:

Also the Little Ice Age coincided with the Maunder Minimum, a period with few visible sunspots. So if the sun played a role in the past, why shouldn’t it in the present?

The LIA started well before the Maunder Minimum. So for the LIA to be caused by the Maunder Minimum we’d have to believe in the reversal of time …
I’m so tired of people posting this kind of solar nonsense without the slightest attempt to substantiate it. How about you give us a graph showing the LIA and the Maunder Minimum?
The sun may indeed have an effect on climate … but nonsensical claims about the Maunder and the LIA aren’t doing your cause any good.

Willis Eschenbach on October 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm
“[. . .] aren’t doing your [Marcel Crok’s] cause any good.”

Willis Eschenbach,
You assert that Marcel Crok has a ’cause’. What ’cause’ do think Marcel Crok has?

William Astley

Planetary cooling is also caused by an abrupt reduction in the geomagnetic field intensity which can occur in advance of the Maunder like minimum. Of course there was a physical reason why the planet cyclically warmed and cooled cyclically in the past, the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle. The modulation of planetary cloud cover is caused by three principal mechanisms. 1) High or low galactic cosmic rays (also called cosmic ray flux CRF which are mostly high speed protons). The GCR/CRF create ions in the atmosphere which increases the amount of low level clouds. 2) Solar wind bursts that create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which in turn then removes cloud forming ions for roughly 2 weeks creating a space charge differential in the ionosphere. The resulting global electric current reduces cloud cover in high latitude regions and reduces the lifetime of tropical clouds. and 3) changes to the geomagnetic field intensity and orientation (the geomagnetic poles abruptly change position which moves the highest GCR/CRF regions to lower latitudes).
P.S. Curiously or ironically the geomagnetic field intensity is now dropping 10 times faster than physically believed possible 2%/decade rather than 2%/century. There is now unequivocal observational evidence of the start of global cooling, record sea in the Antarctic and the start of the recovery of sea ice in the Arctic. The cooling will accelerate. There is of course a physical reason why the geomagnetic field intensity is suddenly now dropping at 2%/decade. Subject for another comment.
In reply to:
lsvalgaard says:
November 1, 2013 at 8:25 am
Problem solved, the paradox is resolve. You (William: Svalgaard and others) quoted older papers that were incorrect and have been superseded. The Maunder minimum is return (there is an explanation for why the planet cooled during the Little Ice age, very low period of solar magnetic cycle activity and why the planet warmed during the Medieval warm period, very high period of solar magnetic cycle activity) The recent grand solar maximum is returned. Furthermore the 2012 paper notes the high resolution long term climate record tracks the solar cosmogenic isotope changes (planet warms when the solar magnetic cycle is high and there is low cosmic ray flux and the planet cools when the solar magnetic cycle is low and there is high cosmic ray flux), which as the paper notes: “is remarkable because the Earth’s climate has not been driven by the Sun alone.” This is fortunate as this provides a physical explanation as to why there is cyclic global climate change in the past.
The 2012 paper notes the cosmic ray flux during the Maunder minimum was 1.6 times greater than current, see figure Fig. 3. (C) Same as (B), but zoom-in of the past millennium. Capital letters mark grand solar minima: O: Oort,W:Wolf, S: Spörer,M: Maunder, D: Dalton, G: Gleissberg.
The older papers you quoted concerning cosmogenic isotope analysis were incorrect. They used the old Antarctic Be10 record which does not capture Be10 changes as the rate of snowfall in that region has not sufficient. That explains why the Greenland Be10 record which is high temporal resolution did not agree with the old low temporal resolution Antarctic Be10 record. The 2012 paper uses a high resolution Antarctic ice core and uses multiple radionuclide records. As the 2012 paper notes there is strong correlation of past climate changes and solar activity which “is remarkable because the Earth’s climate has not been driven by the Sun alone.”
The following are key quotes from the paper.

“The common signal represents a low-noise record of cosmic radiation, particularly for high frequencies, compared to earlier reconstructions, which are only based on single radionuclide records. On the basis of this record, we then derived a reconstruction of total solar irradiance for the Holocene, which overall agrees well with two existing records but shows less high-frequency noise. A comparison of the derived solar activity with a record of Asian climate derived from δ18O in a Chinese stalagmite reveals a significant correlation. The correlation is remarkable because the Earth’s climate has not been driven by the Sun alone.”
“By combining several radionuclide records with PCA as done in this study, an assessment of the systematic uncertainty can be done. The common signal in radionuclide records describes about 70% of the variance, implying that the system effects cause the remaining 30%. These system effects are removed by using only the first principal component. The robustness of PCA was tested by applying a jackknife method, applying PCA to subsets of radionuclide records by leaving out single records. The jackknife uncertainty is on average 5% (SI Appendix, Section S8), which is significantly smaller than the large (greater than 50%) variations due to changes in solar activity between periods of low solar activity like the Maunder minimum (20) and of high solar activity like the past decades.”
“…So far most reconstructions were based on only one single radionuclide record, which makes detection and correction of these deviations impossible. Here we combine different 10Be ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica with the global 14C tree ring record using principal component analysis. This approach is only possible due to a new high-resolution 10Be record from Dronning Maud Land obtained within the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica in Antarctica.…
“9,400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings” by
Friedhelm Steinhilber, Jose A. Abreu, Jürg Beer, Irene Brunner, Marcus Christl, Hubertus Fischer, Ulla Heikkilä, Peter W. Kubik, Mathias Mann, Ken G. McCracken, Heinrich Miller, Hiroko Miyahara, Hans Oerter, and Frank Wilhelms, February 14, 2012


The LIA started well before the Maunder Minimum.
But there was also the Wolf Minimum from 1280-1350 followed by the Spörer Minimum from 1460-1550.
The increasing depths of the 3 minimums correlate nicely with the increasing depths of the Little Ice Age:
(compare radiocarbon record with temperature reconstructions)


As I’ve repeatedly mentioned in response to comments by you & others on the Maunder Minimum & the LIA, please recall that the LIA contained not just one extended solar minimum but three or four, depending upon from when you date its onset.
The Wolf Minimum occurred from c. AD 1280 to 1350, the Spörer from c. 1460 to 1550, the Maunder from c. 1645 to 1715 (or 1710) & the Dalton from c. 1790 to 1820. In between were warming intervals, most notably that from c. 1716-39 (IMO from 1710), which was greater in amplitude & longer in duration than the recent warm spell from c. 1977-96.
The correlation is so great that the LIA is best seen as centuries of unusually deep & frequent solar minima, centered on the Maunder, which was preceded & followed by similar but less powerful, pro-secular-trend cooling cycles. I don’t include the Wolf, since IMO it occurred as a counter-trend cooling cycle during the transition out of the peak of the Medieval Warm Period into the LIA, but was followed by decades of strong warming before the plunge into centuries of a secular cooling trend.

October 18, 2014 at 9:23 am
As I’ve repeatedly mentioned in response to comments by you & others on the Maunder Minimum & the LIA, please recall that the LIA contained not just one extended solar minimum but three or four, depending upon from when you date its onset.

OK. So let us test that hypothesis:
1. Assume that visible sunspots are proportional to solar activity, and that visible solar activity does actually vary at the same time as “total heat sent towards earth”. Note that either of those assumption may, or may not, be correct. Regardless, assume that sunspots are proportional to “heat available to the earth”….
2. Sunspot counts (solar cycles) vary by length of cycle AND by intensity (peak visible sunspot count) of each cycle.
3. So, to eliminate variations of length of solar cycle, peak count, and positive/negative cycles, sum every six cycles into a solar group, beginning at the first solar cycles counted. You will get – on average, a 66 year period that may, or may not, correspond to the short term temperature cycle, but remember, you are NOT counting spots every 66 years, but the sum of six cycles each time:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6  = group 1.
2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7  = group 2.
3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8  = group 3
4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9  = group 4
5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 = group 5

Plot the total sunspots for each group nbr against the earth’s best-available long-term temperature record. If there is a temperature pattern that varies with either even or odd solar cycles, or if there is a period of times when sunspots are more frequent and solar cycles are occur faster (closer together) , if either affects the earth’s measured temperatures, then that effect should be visible.
If several solar cycles occur closer together, and if the timing of solar cycles matters, then it should be visible.
If several solar cycles in a row are higher (have more sunspots) then that effect should be visible.
If positive cycles are in some way different than negative cycles, then that should be visible over time.


IMO all those results are visible, within the error limits of solar activity & temperature records, which are large.


Thank you for the information…we must never forget the sun is the main driver of climate for all the planets…many people like to ‘simplify’ things in order to win an argument. The complex pattern of solar sun spot events in the past runs alongside seemingly huge changes in climate especially in the vulnerable northern hemisphere.
The sun is not stable. The output varies and each variation caused a ripple effect on earth, either melting ice or freezing water depending on whether there is an increase or decrease in sun spot activity.
Other factors feed into the system, too like volcanoes, cloud formation, magnetic field strength, tilt of the planet relative to the sun, etc.

Greg Locock

Can I add another meaningless vote for NOT assuming that the sun’s effect on Earth’s climate is limited to, proportional to, or defined by TSI? Thank you.

Marcel Crok

Hi Willis
Thanks for your comment. I read with great interest your articles about the solar “influence” on the climate.
Please understand that in this short announcement I try to introduce the dialogue and the range of views that it covers. I am myself fully open to the possibility that a) the Little Ice Age wasn’t that cold after all (although the advancement of glaciers in this period is the best indicator that some global cooling happened) and b) that the sun played only a marginal role in this period.
So let’s just see how the dialogues and how convincing different hypotheses will be presented.


Ionization in the zone ozone, contrary to appearances, is not evenly distributed over the polar circle (magnetic field). As a result, the jet streams are blocked in polar vortex. This weakens the polar vortex and causes pressure anomalies in the troposphere above the polar circle. This forces the circulation. These developments are particularly evident in winter, when the jet streams in the stratosphere gain speed.
According to my observations that greater solar activity accelerates the jet stream and reduces the pressure anomalies over the polar circle.


The density of the solar wind affects the galactic radiation that actively affects the state of the ozone over the polar circle (magnetic field).


The NAIRAS model predicts atmospheric radiation exposure from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and solar energetic particle (SEP) events. GCR particles are propagated from local interstellar space to Earth using an extension of the Badhwar and O’Neill model, where the solar modulation has been parameterized using high-latitude real-time neutron monitor measurements at Oulu, Thule, Lomnicky, and Moscow. During radiation storms, the SEP spectrum is derived using ion flux measurements taken from the NOAA/GOES and NASA/ACE satellites. The cosmic ray particles – GCR and SEP – are transported through the magnetosphere using the CISM-Dartmouth particle trajectory geomagnetic cutoff rigidity code, driven by real-time solar wind parameters and interplanetary magnetic field data measured by the NASA/ACE satellite. Cosmic ray transport through the neutral atmosphere is based on analytical solutions of coupled Boltzmann transport equations obtained from NASA Langley Research Center’s HZETRN transport code. Global distributions of atmospheric density are derived from the NCEP Global Forecasting System (GFS) meteorological data.

Interesting graphs… FWIW, I gathered a bunch of nullschool temp and wind graphs from just 2 days before those graphs. Shows the vortex and cyclones nicely. Comparing them is interesting:
Clearly shows warm air rising in cyclonic systems over the ‘low pressure regions’ and the polar vortex descending in the middle. Massive heat engine driven by water heat moving to stratospheric radiation to space ( IR is irrelevant to the troposphere, it is in the stratosphere that the air radiates, and then CO2 cools to space.) In the troposphere it’s all mass flow and phase changes. The images make that clear to see.
Broad circular warm flow down low, narrowing to dissipation at height. Polar vortex huge at height, narrowing to a small swirl at the surface (where you can see cold air outflow over Canada / USA and toward EurAsia…) Circles both ways moving huge heat flux via mass flow / enthalpy. IR need not apply… it only does anything of interest in the stratosphere (about 70 mb).
Now my question is what happens to the IR flow when the thermosphere about the stratosphere has a huge temperature shift from that huge UV solar shift. Hmmm? What happens when the only place where IR does anything is facing a hot thermosphere ‘up’ vs. a relatively ‘cold’ one? Can the solar UV modulate the stratospheric cooling via the thermosphere large temp and density swings? (We know that the low UV level had the thermosphere cool and shrink so much that satelite orbital life changed from the lower drag… not a subtle effect at all.)


Willis is the pressure distribution in the lower stratosphere over the polar circle.

Marcel Crok,
For your wonderfully arranged dialogue, as a minimum it would be valuable to consider various historical timescales of 100 to 200 years when evaluating EAS changes versus solar changes.
It seems on that timescale is where many disputes are centered.

Solar influence could be incredibly simple. EUV from high activity periods causes the atmosphere to expand slightly. Larger atmosphere = larger catchment area for other incoming solar radiation.


IMO solar effects on the hydrosphere & lithosphere are also involved.

Re Question 7) “Is there consensus on the predictability of solar variability?”
Here is a compilation of predictions for SC24.
As you can see, there are 45 of them, more than enough to fill a roulette wheel, and they are “all over the map”.
SC25 is just around the corner.
Ladies and Gentlemen, faites vos jeux!

See - owe to Rich

Allan, I wouldn’t say that 2021 is “just around the corner”. There, there’s my jeu…

Thank you Rich,
A good segue to my recent post, excerpted below:
I wrote this twelve years ago in an article published Sept 1, 2002 in the Calgary Herald:
“There is even strong evidence that human activity is not causing serious global warming.”
“If solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2 [as I believe], we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”
In 2002, SC24 was projected (by NASA) to be robust and we now know it is a dud. If anything, global cooling will happen sooner and perhaps has already started.
Bundle up this winter – looks like another cold one like last year, especially in Central and Eastern North America.
Regards to all, stay safe and warm, Allan

Re SC25 prediction, here is a note from Leif … … and 2016 IS just around the corner…
Allan MacRae says: October 30, 2013 at 11:38 am
Have you made any prediction for SC25?
lsvalgaard says: October 30, 2013 at 11:43 am
A highly speculative one is here:
Come 2016 we should see the new polar field build and from then on I think we can predict with some confidence, not before.

richard verney

May be the sun is more mysterious than climate scientist presently give it credit. See

JJM Gommers

Why a small change in TSI and spectrum over a prolonged period of time might have the opposite effect as CO2 is assumed to have. For example, forcings, change in albedo(snow cover), another one is cloud cover and another one is an increase in ice formation. The inertia of the global system suppresses the impact and makes it to look as a slow process. However the coming years it should become visible assuming cycle 25 is even weaker.

William Astley

Sunspot counting is an archaic ineffective method to look for how the changes to the solar magnetic cycle and changes to the geomagnetic field intensity and orientation cause cyclical planetary warming and cooling and abrupt climate change events. There was and is a physical reason for past gradual cyclically warming and cooling and the abrupt climate change events that initiate and terminate interglacial periods.
As I noted solar wind bursts remove cloud forming ions. Solar wind bursts are caused by both sunspots (coronal mass ejections) and coronal holes. Coronal holes can and have recently occurred late in the solar cycle anomalously in a low latitude position. The coronal holes created solar wind bursts which in turn removed cloud forming ions which hence if a person does not understand the mechanisms make it appear that high GCR/CRF does not cause an increase in cloud cover. The solar wind burst create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which cause an electrical current to flow from high latitude regions to the tropics affecting cloud cover in both regions. In the high latitude regions there is a reduction in cloud cover and in the tropics due to the change in the electrical differential between cloud top and surface a reduction in cumulus nimbus lifetime.

> Once again about global warming and solar activity, by K. Georgieva, 1 , C. Bianchi , 2 and B. Kirov</a
Solar activity, together with human activity, is considered a possible factor for the global warming observed in the last century. However, in the last decades solar activity has remained more or less constant while surface air temperature has continued to increase, which is interpreted as an evidence that in this period human activity is the main factor for global warming. We show that the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in the global warming in the recent decades. A more suitable index is the geomagnetic activity which reflects all solar activity, and it is highly correlated to global temperature variations in the whole period for which we have data.
…The most intense geomagnetic disturbances in both sunspot minimum and sunspot maximum are generated by coronal mass ejection CMEs (Richardson et al. 2001), and their number and the velocity of the solar wind associated with them follow the sunspot cycle (Gopalswamy et al. 2003), so the sunspot number can be considered a good measure of the solar wind originating from closed magnetic field regions. Especially geoeffective are magnetic clouds (MCs) – a subclass of CMEs distinguished by the high magnetic field magnitude and the smooth magnetic field rotation inside the structure (Georgieva and Kirov 2005). CMEs, however, are not the only source of high speed solar wind. Early in the 20th century it was noticed that many geomagnetic storms occur without any visible solar disturbance. Such storms tend to recur every 27 days – the period of solar rotation, therefore they originate from long-living regions on the Sun which come back into geoeffective position rotation after rotation. Only when X-rays telescopes were flown above the atmosphere it was found out that are large regions of open magnetic field geometry, and sources of high speed solar wind. They are now known as Coronal Holes (CHs) because, due to their lower density and temperature compared to the surrounding corona, they look darker in X-rays.
…In Figure 6 the long-term variations in global temperature are compared to the long-term variations in geomagnetic activity as expressed by the ak-index (Nevanlinna and Kataja 2003). The correlation between the two quantities is 0.85 with p<0.01 for the whole period studied. It could therefore be concluded that both the decreasing correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity, and the deviation of the global temperature long-term trend from solar activity as expressed by sunspot index are due to the increased number of high-speed streams of solar wind on the declining phase and in the minimum of sunspot cycle in the last decades.

William: The geomagnetic field index is a measurement of disturbances to the geomagnetic field which are caused by solar wind bursts (coronal hole or sunspot). This paper notes there is has been a significant increase in geomagnetic field disturbances caused by very high solar activity.

On the long term change in the geomagnetic activity during the 20th century Published: 5 May 2009
The analysis of the aa index series presented in this paper clearly shows that during the last century (1900 to 2000) the number of quiet days (Aa<20 nT) drastically diminished from a mean annual value greater than 270 days per year at the end of the nineteenth century to a mean value of 160 quiet days per year one hundred years later. This decrease is mainly due to the decrease of the number of very quiet days (Aa<13 nT). We show that the so-evidenced decrease in the number of quiet days cannot be accounted for by drift in the aa baseline resulting in a systematic underestimation of aa during the first quarter of the century: a 2–3 nT overestimation in the aa increase during the 20th century would lead to a 20–40% overestimation in the decrease of the number of quiet days during the same period.
Fig. 2. Long-term variations of aa indices (12-month and 20-year running averages; scale on the left) and of sunspot numbers (12- month running averages; scale on the right) from 1868 until now.

henri Masson

Most of you focus on the radiative effect of the sun. I think, gravitational forces must also be considered, as they induce waves (and thus also mixing) in the oceans, but of course also in the atmosphere, and even magma (that could contribute to (underwater) volcanism by inducing stresses att he junction of tectonic plates. .As the viscosites of these three media are extremely different, so will also be the corresponding time constants and phase shifts.
Gravitational forces are linked to the relative position, and the distance between the sun and the earth, the orientation of the earth rotation axis and the speed of this rotation. The moon interacts as a stabilizing gyroscope for the earth. Conjunction /opposition of other (heavy) planets reinforce / deforce the gravitational effects, as can be seen by observing periods of “extreme” high / low tides of the ocean. All this generates a full set of pseudo periodic waves, with periods ranging from hours to millions of year.


Look at the waves in the stratosphere associated with changes in solar activity.


Stratospheric Sudden Warmings (SSWs) followed by the formation of an elevated stratopause at ~70–80 km occurred in four of the five recent Arctic winters (2009–2013). We use global high-latitude temperature measurements from the Solar Occultation for Ice Experiment (SOFIE) to analyze the gravity wave (GW) activity in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere (30–90 km) during different phases of the SSW events. We characterize GW activity in terms of temperature fluctuations and the growth of GW potential energy with altitude. At both 40 and 60 km, compared to the non-SSW year of 2011, the GW activity in the SSW years of 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 was reduced after the warming, during the occurrence of an isothermal atmosphere and an elevated stratopause. In contrast, at 80 km the GW activity was highly variable between the individual stratospheric warming events. A case study of GW activity during the 2013 warming event and coincident SOFIE observations of water vapor (H2O) from ~40 to 90 km indicate a correlation between increase in wave activity at each altitude and the time of descent of dry air. This study supports previous modeling studies’ findings that enhanced GW activity is responsible for the downward transport of trace species from the mesosphere to the stratosphere following an SSW event.

William Astley

The following is a hopefully working link to Georgieva, Bianchi, and Kirov’s Once Again about Global Warming and Solar Activity.
Once again about global warming and solar activity, by K. Georgieva, 1 , C. Bianchi , 2 and B. Kirov

Ron C.

This link worked for me:

William Astley

As many are aware planetary cloud cover is modulate by Svensmark’s mechanism where an increase in galactic cosmic rays/cosmic ray flux (GCR/CRF is the confusing historical name for mostly high speed protons which create cloud forming ions in the atmosphere, the first discoverers where not sure whether it was a ray or particle and the idiotic field did not correct the term) causes an increase in cloud cover in high latitude regions and a decrease in GCR/CRF causes an increase in cloud cover in high latitude regions. The level and intensity of GCR/CRF that strike the earth’s atmosphere is dependent on the strength and extent of the solar heliosphere (the solar heliosphere is the name for the tenuous solar wind and pieces of magnetic flux that is created by the solar magnetic cycle and that can extend well past the orbit of Pluto).
CRF/GCR is also modulated by changes to the geomagnetic field intensity and orientation. It was assumed that the geomagnetic field did not and could not rapidly and cyclically change. Over the last 10 years the geomagnetic paleo research indicates that the geomagnetic field does rapidly and cyclically change and the climate change events correlate with the geomagnetic field changes. There is of course a physical reason, a forcing mechanism why the geomagnetic field is cyclically changing and why the changes are more than 10 times faster than the geomagnetic models indicate is possible.
P.S. As noted above cloud cover is also modulated by solar wind bursts (Tinsley’s mechanism) which Tinsley called electroscavenging. Electroscavenging affects cloud cover in high latitude regions and changes cloud properties in the tropics.
As few are aware there is a large region of the geomagnetic field in the vicinity of South America where the geomagnetic field intensity has dropped by 60%. This geomagnetic anomaly is called the South Atlantic geomagnetic anomaly. In the 1990’s the North geomagnetic pole drift velocity suddenly for unexplained reasons started to increased by a factor of five.
Both of these changes to the geomagnetic field intensity and configuration are observational evidence that a geomagnetic field excursion is underway and is accelerating for some unknown reason. The earth’s magnetic field intensity drops by a factor of 5 to 10 during a geomagnetic field excursion. Geomagnetic excursions correlate with the termination of interglacial periods.
A European set of three satellites called ‘SWARM’ was launched in the fall of 2013 to study why the earth’s geomagnetic field intensity is now dropping at 5% per decade rather than 5% per century which is ten times faster than believed possible. The first set of data from the SWARM satellite confirmed that the geomagnetic field intensity is dropping at 5% per decade and showed the large regions of the planet where the field intensity is changing.…than-expected/

Earth’s magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm. While changes in magnetic field strength are part of this normal flipping cycle, data from Swarm have shown the field is starting to weaken faster than in the past. Previously, researchers estimated the field was weakening about 5 percent per century, but the new data revealed the field is actually weakening at 5 percent per decade, or 10 times faster than thought. As such, rather than the full flip occurring in about 2,000 years, as was predicted, the new data suggest it could happen sooner. Floberghagen hopes that more data from Swarm will shed light on why the field is weakening faster now.

The following research indicates the last geomagnetic polar reversal occurred more than ten times faster than the current geomagnetic computer models indicate is physically possible, with the reversal occurring in less than a hundred years, rather than 1000s of years (computer models of the geomagnetic estimate the duration of a geomagnetic reversal is 1000 to 10,000 years).…/1110.abstract

Extremely rapid directional change during Matuyama-Brunhes geomagnetic polarity reversal
We report a palaeomagnetic investigation of the last full geomagnetic field reversal, the Matuyama-Brunhes (M-B) transition, as preserved in a continuous sequence of exposed lacustrine sediments in the Apennines of Central Italy. The palaeomagnetic record provides the most direct evidence for the tempo of transitional field behaviour yet obtained for the M-B transition. 40Ar/39Ar dating of tephra layers bracketing the M-B transition provides high-accuracy age constraints and indicates a mean sediment accumulation rate of about 0.2 mm yr–1 during the transition. Two relative palaeointensity (RPI) minima are present in the M-B transition. During the terminus of the upper RPI minimum, a directional change of about 180 ° occurred at an extremely fast rate, estimated to be less than 2 ° per year, with no intermediate virtual geomagnetic poles (VGPs) documented during the transit from the southern to northern hemisphere. Thus, the entry into the Brunhes Normal Chron as represented by the palaeomagnetic directions and VGPs developed in a time interval comparable to the duration of an average human life, which is an order of magnitude more rapid than suggested by current models. quoted text…1014170841.htm
The following is the Wikipedia summary that summarize the paradox.

Most estimates for the duration of a polarity transition are between 1,000 and 10,000 years.[9] However, studies of 15 million year old lava flows on Steens Mountain, Oregon, indicate that the Earth’s magnetic field is capable of shifting at a rate of up to 6 degrees per day.[19] This was initially met with skepticism from paleomagnetists. Even if changes occur that quickly in the core, the mantle, which is a semiconductor, is thought to act as a low-pass filter, removing variations with periods less than a few months. A variety of possible rock magnetic mechanisms were proposed that would lead to a false signal.[20] However, paleomagnetic studies of other sections from the same region (the Oregon Plateau flood basalts) give consistent results.[21][22] It appears that the reversed-to-normal polarity transition that marks the end of Chron C5Cr (16.7 million years ago) contains a series of reversals and excursions.[23] In addition, geologists Scott Bogue of Occidental College and Jonathan Glen of the US Geological Survey, sampling lava flows in Battle Mountain, Nevada, found evidence for a brief, several year long interval during a reversal when the field direction changed by over 50°. The reversal was dated to approximately 15 million years ago.[24]


William, I am following your comments with great interest. From your post above, is the following correct:
“As many are aware planetary cloud cover is modulate by Svensmark’s mechanism where an increase in galactic cosmic rays/cosmic ray flux … causes an increase in cloud cover in high latitude regions and a decrease in GCR/CRF causes an increase in cloud cover in high latitude regions….. “

Pamela Gray

I have seen clouds build and disappear as if by pen and magic eraser. I know the reason for that and it is entirely intrinsic to Earth. You say there is another source of cloud variation and say it with firm words. Please post a link that correlates measured/observed cloud cover with this mechanism you state so firmly.
You state a fact, but your fact is in reality, a hypothesis yet to be proved. However, I will concede that you apparently believe it is a fact. Fine. Back it up with cloud observation data. We do have some you know. And the effect would be nearly instant.


As for observations of clouds in nature to go with the lab results:
“Effects of cosmic ray decreases on cloud microphysics
J. Svensmark, M. B. Enghoff, and H. Svensmark
National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Abstract. Using cloud data from MODIS we investigate the response of cloud microphysics to sudden decreases in galactic cosmic radiation – Forbush decreases – and find responses in effective emissivity, cloud fraction, liquid water content, and optical thickness above the 2–3 sigma level 6–9 days after the minimum in atmospheric ionization and less significant responses for effective radius and cloud condensation nuclei (<2 sigma). The magnitude of the signals agree with derived values, based on simple equations for atmospheric parameters. Furthermore principal components analysis gives a total significance of the signal of 3.1 sigma. We also see a correlation between total solar irradiance and strong Forbush decreases but a clear mechanism connecting this to cloud properties is lacking. There is no signal in the UV radiation. The responses of the parameters correlate linearly with the reduction in the cosmic ray ionization. These results support the suggestion that ions play a significant role in the life-cycle of clouds."
Sorry, but your anecdotal observations of cloud formation at random moments don't count. Systematic observation of cloud formation during & analysis of Forbush events does.

Pamela Gray

Unfortunately milo, your sited paper was not accepted for publication. So I prefer not to see it as definitive to your case. I am surprised you do.


On your planet that a European journal doesn’t chose to print a paper makes it invalid? Have you ever heard of Climategate? You call yourself a skeptic?
Comment on what the researchers found, please, not whether it passed muster by the CACA pal review Team.
Besides which, as noted, untold numbers of valid papers over the past century, at least, have found the solar cycle signal & the effect of clouds on albedo. Did you learn from Willis to find fault with single papers, whether justified or not, while ignoring the reams of good science destructive of your cherished delusions?
Before commenting on climatology, how about actually studying it?

Pamela Gray

Milo, I highly recommend reading this text. It outlines the very issue we often discuss here. Cherry picking induced bias in research. No wonder your sited paper will not see the light of day.

Pamela Gray

…and dispassionate discourse enlarges our shared understanding while vehement writing does not.

Let me get this straight. You object to a letter by Svensmark, et al, in the open access portion of the Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics of the EGU, while taking as gospel what you read here from Bob Tisdale and Willis Eschenbach, whose climatological work can’t get published in mainstream science periodicals?
But not to worry, since the same observations noted by Svensmark, et al, 2012, have repeatedly been noted by other scientists. The quickest, most cursory search would have produced many such studies.
For instance, this came up, which is not the most resounding support for Forbush decreases, but indicative:
Forbush decreases – clouds relation in the neutron monitor era
A. Dragi´c1, I. Aniˇcin1, R. Banjanac1, V. Udoviˇci´c1, D. Jokovi´c1, D. Maleti´c1, and J. Puzovi´c2
1Institute of Physics, University of Belgrade, Pregrevica 118, Belgrade, Serbia
2Faculty of Physics, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, Belgrade, Serbia
Received: 15 November 2010 – Revised: 15 February 2011 – Accepted: 23 March 2011 – Published: 31 August 2011
Abstract. The proposed influence of cosmic rays on cloud
formation is tested for the effect of sudden intensity changes
of CR (Forbush decreases) on cloudiness. An attempt is
made to widen the investigated period covered by satellite
observation of cloudiness. As an indicator of cloud cover,
the diurnal temperature range (DTR – a quantity anticorrelated
with cloudiness) is used. The superposed epoch analysis
on a set of isolated Forbush decreases is conducted and
the results for a region of Europe are presented. The effect
of Forbush decrease on DTR is statistically significant only
if the analysis is restricted to high amplitude FDs (above the
threshold value of 7% with the respect to undisturbed CR intensity).
The magnitude of the effect on DTR is estimated to
be (0.38±0.06) C.,d.cGE
Or, had you ever bothered to study the subject, you’d already know about Forbush decreases, to which observation Mosher so strenuously objects on this blog. And you’d know that CERN has experimentally demonstrated the underlying physical mechanism behind these observations.
Now aren’t you embarrassed?


Making completely baseless assertions such as that any possible solar cycle signal is totally submerged in atmospheric phenomena deserves rebuke. There is zero evidence to support that unfounded claim, & all the evidence in the world against it. The problem is that you haven’t studied the subject & indeed apparently prefer to remain blissfully ignorant of it.
Now kindly respond to the substance of the many Forbush decrease findings & the experimental research supporting the GCR cloud hypothesis, rather than siding with the Team’s publication gatekeepers, as you do with them on the subject of volcanoes & the LIA.

Pamela Gray

Sturgis, your citation actually scores a point for no discernable affect in global temperature data.
“The effect of Forbush decrease on DTR is statistically significant only
if the analysis is restricted to high amplitude FDs (above the
threshold value of 7% with the respect to undisturbed CR intensity).
The magnitude of the effect on DTR is estimated to
be (0.38±0.06) C.”
Because this paper also refers to a non-random subsample of Forbush events, and even then produces an effect that would not be detectable in any form due to signal noise in our current temperature series, I rest my case on the laurels of your cited evidence.


“although Willis Eschenbach in a series of posts here at WUWT has shown that the solar signal is often not easily detected in climate records.”
No, the solar signal is clearly detected!
The paper by Tung and Camp shows that:
Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean
difference projection:


Some here have quibbled with Judith Lean’s reconstruction of TSI & UV time
series, but I’m convinced.

Pamela Gray

My understanding is that even Judith now quibbles with it. Does that mean you are still convinced of Judith’s previous reconstruction while she has moved beyond it?


Of course. Revisions by Lean, et al don’t change the conclusions of Tung & Champ, IMO. But if you think they’re no longer valid, please show why.
You can read about her revisions, thanks to SORCE, here:
Recall that SORCE is how science learned about the unexpected large fluctuation in the UV component of TSI, as well as leading to lowered estimates for that value. The implications for the climatic effect of this surprise variation in solar irradiance were huge, & still completely missing from CACA GIGO GCMs.

Willis Eschenbach

Girma, that study did NOT use actual temperature data. Instead, it used a NCEP computer model reconstruction of past temperatures. As such, while it is revealing as to the existence of solar cycles IN COMPUTER MODEL OUPUTS, it says nothing about solar cycles here on the real earth.
In addition, as Pamela pointed out, it uses the Lean reconstruction … which even Lean has now backed away from.
Next, they have done a curious thing—they have taken the average of the “solar max” and the “solar min” temperatures, and calculated the difference … but since their data starts with a solar min cycle and ends with a solar max cycle, this is bound to show a trend and a difference, just as if you’d done the same thing using a sine wave.
Finally, it’s the usual piece of anti-scientific bunkum, with no code as used and no data as used. As Mosher observed, that’s an advertisement for someone’s claims, not science in any form.
For example, they say that they did a “Monte Carlo analysis” to determine statistical validity. A MC analysis is quite tricky to do, and depends exquisitely on how you produce the pseudodata. You want your pseudodata to have the same characteristics (mean, SD, skew, kurtosis, autocorrelation, etc.) as the real data … but here’s all they offer as a description:

We address this question (the answer: 0.2%) using a bootstrap Monte-Carlo test, which randomly assigns years, with replacement, to the two groups [high TSI and low TSI]

IF I understand their test correctly, it is worse than useless. They’ve taken a dataset with a very high autocorrelation, and by randomly mixing it, destroyed the autocorrelation structure entirely. Also, by allowing replacements, they’ve also screwed with both the mean and the SD, and likely the skew and kurtosis as well. That’s what can only be described as an epic fail of a Monte Carlo test, IF (as it seems) that’s what they did … but we don’t really know what they did, do we, because we don’t have their code.
You can swallow it whole if you wish … I’ll pass.
All in all? Sorry, Girma, but they’ve only shown what happens in Modelworld, they used the Lean TSI reconstruction, they’ve provided no data as used and no code as used, their Monte Carlo test is a joke, and as a result, back here in the real world the solar signal is NOT clearly detected in any sense.
Look, guys, it’s far from enough to point to some peer-reviewed, published study and claim that the question is settled. The ugly reality is that many, perhaps most peer reviewed climate studies are wrong. You need to read the study critically and think about it critically. The Tung and Camp study is a farce, it has nothing to do with the real world, and the statistical claims are a joke.

William Astley

There is a physical reason for all observations. (There is now the start of cooling of the ocean due to the increase in GCR/CRF).
The following are hopefully working links to the geomagnetic field papers and announcements.

Are there connections between the Earth’s magnetic field and climate? Vincent Courtillot, Yves Gallet, Jean-Louis Le Mouël, Frédéric Fluteau, Agnès Genevey
The most intriguing feature may be the recently proposed archeomagnetic jerks, i.e. fairly abrupt ( approx. 100 yr long) geomagnetic field variations found at irregular intervals over the past few millennia, using the archeological record from Europe to the Middle East. These seem to correlate with significant climatic events in the eastern North Atlantic region. A proposed mechanism involves variations in the geometry of the geomagnetic field (f.i. tilt of the dipole to lower latitudes), resulting in enhanced cosmic-ray induced nucleation of clouds. No forcing factor, be it changes in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere or changes in cosmic ray flux modulated by solar activity and geomagnetism, or possibly other factors, can at present be neglected or shown to be the overwhelming single driver of climate change in past centuries. Intensive data acquisition is required to further probe indications that the Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields may have significant bearing on climate change at certain time scales.

Earl Smith

I have a question, aimed at anyone with the data.
Twenty years ago one of the arguments I used against AGW was that there were a number of solar bodies that were warming up without any combustion of hydrocarbons (Mars, Jupiter moons, Uranus etc) . So it was obviously the Sun’s fault.
Does anyone know what the status is on the various heavenly bodies currently. Are they still warming, are they in a pause, or have their orbits changed so that they are cooling?

Nobody has printed anything (gotten a paper through the CAGW-filter of the CAGW-centric-pall-review/CAGW-philiac-government-funding bureaucracy and review process.
I cannot tell if anybody is looking for extra-terrrestial CSGW effects either! After all, somebody finding such an effect would upset everybody else’s CAGW-centric funding apparatus.


Overall Solar Activity increases and decreases in correlation with orbital changes, this has been the case over the past 400 years seen in this graph below.comment image
My advice to all the scientists using CO2 as the main factor in climate fluctuations and TSI as a minimal factor is to continue to do so. This way it will be so much easier to avoid hundreds of failed global climate models.

The blue line is sunspots recorded, right? But what is your black line?

Yes the blue line is a sunspot record, this sunspot record is Leif’s, The orange points are a 10 year sample of the orbital changes over the past 400 years. the black line is a basic moving average trend of the 10 year sample.
This is an observational based plot not a model. And yes the added forecast is accurate.

Frank Kotler

Interesting clouds in the photo above, eh?


Could you feature the following paper as it shows a clear solar signal in the global mean temperature?
For me, this paper is the “smoking gun” for the current solar maximum to be the cause of the global warming of the 20th century.

Gary Pearse

Girma you appear to have missed Willis Eschenbach’s reply to you about the paper – see above. The gun was smoking even though they shot themselves in the foot.

Willis Eschenbach
October 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm
Girma, that study did NOT use actual temperature data. Instead, it used a NCEP computer model reconstruction of past temperatures. As such, while it is revealing as to the existence of solar cycles IN COMPUTER MODEL OUPUTS, it says nothing about solar cycles here on the real earth……”
Its worth reading the rest of the reply if you understand the statistical methodology.

Mickey Reno

In the first post “What will happen during a new Maunder Minimum,” Figure 1 shows an IPCC AR5 chart of “natural” vs anthropogenic forcing.
In that chart, why is the “forcing” of atmospheric water vapor not included in the “natural” column, or failing that, why isn’t the extra forcing due to supposed anthropogenic emissions at least expressed as a ratio or component of the TOTAL forcing from all GHG, including water vapor? If anthropogenic GHGs are a requirement for evaporation to take place, this is news to me. The primary effects of atmospheric water vapor are (conservatively) 3 or 4 times greater than that of CO2. So why does the IPCC talk about “forcing” without including this largest and completely natural forcing?
Other facets of that table seems to be a bit of bait and switch, too. While I concede that humans emit and are responsible for some increase in atmospheric CO2 and other GHGs, this table appears to blame ALL the GHGs (other than H2O) on human emissions, as if the natural world didn’t contribute anything. AND it also blames all cloud aerosol effects on humans, too. Aren’t there a few natural cloud aerosols? Did clouds never form prior to the industrial age?
Can someone who thinks it’s correct explain and defend the logic of this table to me?
Here’s the link:

From Willis Eschenbach
Submitted on 2014/10/17 at 10:19 pm
Marcel, thanks for the post. You say:

Also the Little Ice Age coincided with the Maunder Minimum, a period with few visible sunspots. So if the sun played a role in the past, why shouldn’t it in the present?

The LIA started well before the Maunder Minimum. So for the LIA to be caused by the Maunder Minimum we’d have to believe in the reversal of time …

Actually Willis, I’ll challenge you a little further with that requirement:
Assume there is a 1000 year long term temperature cycle (and a shorter 60-70 year cycle we will ignore for a few minutes). That single long-term cycle is, obviously, shown by the long-term temperature records, right? Those go up and down.
Now, if there were only two “forcings” controlling that single temperature cycle, a reasonable question is: “When did the forcings change to make the temperature go up and down?” And, naturally, one would – like Marcel just did – associate a peak in the temperature record with a peak in a positive forcing, and the dips in the temperature record with either a peak in a negative forcing, or a maximum dip in a positive forcing.
After, that is the “natural, everybody knows it” consensus, right?
I submit instead the opposite: The “forcings” remained constant. Their summed “feedback” however are the gains and losses from the earth’s total thermodynamic system – which, on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis – IS NEVER in equilibrium and is NEVER in any ideal “steady state” from which it has been “forced” away from a natural temperature by man’s action.
Pick a boundary: Top of Atmosphere for example is the most convenient boundary around the earth’s sphere.
Heat energy is rather always Radiated Inbound, Radiated Outbound, Being Stored (going from a hotter mass in one region to a colder mass in another region), or Being Released (going from a hotter mass in one region to a colder mass in another region.) Include phase changes (melting and freezing ice, melting and freezing rock, evaporation and condensation of water vapor) in those Storage mechanisms.
Radiation losses increase as (T kelvin)^4
Temperatures rise, and losses increase.
Temperatures fall globally, and losses decrease.
The “forcing” function did not change.
The negative effect from a constant “forcing” was greatest at the time of maximum temperature.
The positive effect from a constant “forcing” was greatest at time of lowest temperature.
(Plus the varying lag times for storage and release of the thermal energy within the system boundary.) But heat losses, gains, and transitions continued during the maximum, crossing, and minimum points. When losses = gains, were we at the “average”? Were they both “zero”? Or were they changing the fastest? Length of day (amount of solar energy arriving each minute) each year is after all, changing fastest at the spring and fall equinoxes, NOT at mid-winter or mid-summer.
When temperatures were at their peak in 1100, they did not begin to fall because a single short “forcing” event that occurred in the Dark Ages of 450-475 AD, nor did they fall because of a future 70-90 year Maunder Minimum centered around 1630.
Perhaps, it is as equally correct to say today’s 2000 Modern Maximum Period is due to a reduced negative forcing 450 years ago – more accurately, a “reduced negative forcing” that has lasted from 1650 through 2000. (Or was its effect only from 1850 through 1996?) That today’s 2000-2010 short term peak is in the end/middle/beginning of it’s current “pause” only means that immediately energy losses over the whole year = immediate energy gains over the whole year. As long as immediate energy losses exceed immediate energy gains, we will continue to cool from the 2000-2010 Modern Warm Period. And, as it happens, that IS what is occurring as Antarctic sea ice continues to expand to new record highs, and Arctic sea ice continues to retreat and cause increased heat losses 7 months of the year.
Thus, we should look for one or more 450 – 550 year continuous – or very slowly changing – influences whose NET EFFECT is OUT-OF-PHASE with the long-term temperature record, but whose NET EFFECT the same LENGTH as the long-term temperature record.
Further, that long-term net influence need NOT be a perfect continuous wave of constant period and amplitude. If a varying period is found in the temperature record, then a varying length but periodic influence MUST be looked for. (A fault of the orbital-balance-rotation theories! They keep trying to find non-constant temperature effects (which may likely be the summed results of several varying length slowly-changing forcings) into co-relations found in the peaks and valleys from the constant periods of the proposed orbital and barycentric influences. Now, IF – and ONLY IF – those orbital influences are found NOT to be periodic, but themselves vary at the SAME varying PERIODS of the long-term (or short term) temperature records and/or sunspot records, then they would have a much stronger podium to stand behind.)
Whatever influence is found “is what it is” but – if the temperature record has a varying period, then the influence can ONLY be discovered by looking AWAY from anything that has a constant period during this 12,000 year glacial interval.
A decreasing positive influence, or an increasing negative influence, is actually more what we do see in the long-term temperature record as the Minoan Optimum was hotter than the Roman Optimum, which was hotter than the Medieval Optimum, which was hotter that today’s CO2-aided/CO2-speeded-up/CO2-influenced Modern Optimum Period.

Bill Illis

The Sun provides the Earth with 386.4 x 10^22 joules of energy each year (after albedo reflection).
The Earth is currently accumulating that energy at 0.62 x 10^22 joules of energy each year (or 0.16%).
–> 386.4 10^22 joules coming in: –> 385.8 10^22 joules going back out: –> Slight warming trend as a result.
It is not hard to imagine the Sun’s energy just varying by 0.2% over long time-scales such it causes a long-term slow accumulation of energy or a long-term slow drawdown of energy.
That is what is missing from the debate. The Earth can very slowly accumulate and lose energy. Just tiny amounts per year but over 30, 50, 1000 years, it adds up to a large temperature differential.

george e. smith

Bill, I get a 0.1554% difference, between your gozinta, and gozouta numbers (to the same number of significant digits of course.)
I wouldn’t believe ANY measure particularly of the gozouta, to even 0.1%; maybe not even 1%.
The earth does not radiate over 4pi steradians, at some single black body Temperature,and I’m not aware of any 4pi continuous monitoring of the exiting radiant energy.
And it seems to me, that such a small energy flux imbalance would have to be monitored to that resolution or accuracy over that whole, 30, 50, 0r 1,000 year time frame. I might buy the 30 years, but not the longer periods. And I wouldn’t believe ANY proxy for actual measurements.

My take on the solar/climate connection the why and how it may occur.
Many of us are of the opinion that the chances of cooling going forward are near 100%.
CO2 is a non player in the global climate picture as past historical data has shown.
CO2 and the GHG effects are a result of the climate not the cause in my opinion.
I maintain these 5 factors cause the climate to change and they are:
Initial State Of The Climate – How close climate is to threshold inter-glacial/glacial conditions
Milankovitch Cycles – Consisting of tilt , precession , and eccentricity of orbit. Low tilt, aphelion occurring in N.H. summer favorable for cooling.
Earth Magnetic Field Strength – which will moderate or enhance solar variability effects through the modulation of cosmic rays.
Solar Variability – which will effect the climate through primary changes and secondary effects. My logic here is if something that drives something (the sun drives the climate) changes it has to effect the item it drives.
Some secondary/primary solar effects are ozone distribution and concentration changes which effects the atmospheric circulation and perhaps translates to more cloud/snow cover- higher albebo.
Galactic Cosmic Ray concentration changes translates to cloud cover variance thus albedo changes.
Volcanic Activity – which would put more SO2 in the stratosphere causing a warming of the stratosphere but cooling of the earth surface due to increase scattering and reflection of incoming sunlight.
Solar Irradiance Changes-Visible /Long wave UV light changes which will effect ocean warming/cooling.
Ocean/Land Arrangements which over time are always different. Today favorable for cooling in my opinion.
How long (duration) and degree of magnitude change of these items combined with the GIVEN state of the climate and how they all phase (come together) will result in what kind of climate outcome, comes about from the given changes in these items. Never quite the same and non linear with possible thresholds.. Hence the best that can be forecasted for climatic change is only in a broad general sense.
In that regard in broad terms my climatic forecast going forward is for global temperatures to trend down in a jig-saw pattern while the atmospheric circulation remains
Solar Flux avg. sub 90
Solar Wind avg. sub 350 km/sec
AP index avg. sub 5.0
Cosmic ray counts north of 6500 counts per minute
Total Solar Irradiance off .15% or more
EUV light average 0-105 nm sub 100 units (or off 100% or more) and longer UV light emissions around 300 nm off by several percent.
IMF around 4.0 nt or lower.
The above solar parameter averages following several years of sub solar activity in general which commenced in year 2005..
IF , these average solar parameters are the rule going forward for the remainder of this decade expect global average temperatures to fall by -.5C, with the largest global temperature declines occurring over the high latitudes of N.H. land areas.
The decline in temperatures should begin to take place within six months after the ending of the maximum of solar cycle 24.
Earth’s Impending Magnetic Flip” – Scientific American
Posted on September 30, 2014 by BobFelix
“A geomagnetic reversal may happen sooner than expected,” says this article in Scientific American.
“The European Space Agency’s satellite array dubbed “Swarm” revealed that Earth’s magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than previously thought, decreasing in strength about 5 percent a decade rather than 5 percent a century,” the article continues. “A weakening magnetic field may indicate an impending reversal.”


Three of the characters in the Climate Dialogue banner appear to be smoking heavily, btw.

Ban imagery of smoking then. burn books etc..

{bold emphasis mine – JW}
Nicola Scafetta said in his article at Marcel Crok’s blog post ‘What will happen during a new Maunder Minimum?’,
“The global surface temperature patters are evidently not determined exclusively by solar inputs. On time scales up to the millennial one, global climate averages are mostly regulated by volcano eruptions, anthropogenic forcings and numerous natural oscillations, which include solar, astronomical and lunar tidal oscillations. To avoid misleading conclusions, the different physical attributions need to be taken into account. In addition, the quality of solar and climatic records varies. Instrumental measurements are often processed through complex physical and statistical models and if direct measurements are missing, a low-quality solar and climate proxy reconstructions are adopted.”
“Many empirical studies (e.g.: Bond et al., 2001; Douglass and Clader, 2002; Eichler et al., 2009; Friis-Christensen and Lassen, 1991; Hoyt and Schatten, 1993; Hoyt and Schatten, 1997; Kerr, 2001; Kirkby, 2007; Loehle and Scafetta, 2011;Scafetta, 2012b; Scafetta, 2013a; Scafetta, 2013b; Scafetta, 2014; Scafetta and West, 2007; Scafetta and West, 2008; Shaviv, 2008; Soon, 2005; Soon, 2009; Steinhilber et al., 2012; White et al., 1997) have found a strong but complex solar signature in the climate system at multiple timescales once that specific models and records have been used. Some of these studies have claimed that the Sun could have contributed at least ∼ 50% of the post 1850 global warming. This conclusion contradicts the current analytical climate models, such as the general circulation models (GCMs) adopted by the IPCC that predict only a 5% or lower solar contribution to the warming observed during the same period (e.g. see the IPCC (2013)).”

A reasonable dialogue on solar changes versus EAS changes contains a fundamental debate on models related to the solar dynamic.

I want to add this, thresholds, lag times,the initial state of the climate(how close to glacial/interglacial conditions climate is), land/ocean arrangements, earth magnetic field strength , phase of Milankovitch Cycles ,random terrestrial events ,concentrations of galactic cosmic rays within 5 light years of earth due to super nova or lack of for example, the fact that the climate is non linear is why many times the solar/climate correlation becomes obscured, and why GIVEN solar variability(with associated primary and secondary effects) will not result in the same GIVEN climate response.
What is needed is for the sun to enter extreme quiet conditions or active conditions to give a more clear cut solar/climate connection which I outlined in my previous post.
The solar criteria I suggested needed to impact the climate to make it more likely to become colder, which I suggest can happen if the prolonged solar minimum continues and becomes more established going forward.

If the suns polar field remains unchanged for an extended amount of time it will falsify the current solar dynamo theory. If the negative/positive magnetic poles remain at the geographic poles of the sun for an extended period what will happen? The dynamo does not have an explanation for this, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon, but it will happen and it has happened. Earth has a stable geographical polar magnetic field, and many stars do.


[On this site, do not post a video link without an introduction or description of that video. .mod]


Gotta love the subtle satire! Thanks Admad.
Yep, Sol’s in the dumps recently since most of humanity discounts him. Sceptics can relate Sol. He used to be known to give us the time of day, now it’s been claimed by vibrating gases. He used to be known to give us the warm temperatures, now even that’s been claimed by vibrating gases. What’s an old sun to do ??
Lets pray nothing.


The sun is not static, it changes, whether in number of solar flares, solar wind, various type of frequencies etc, then it affects the climate, since hello, no sun and then we really have significant climate change. The question is how and how much does changes in the suns various outputs affect earths climate.
The answer is extremely difficult to determine since not only the sun, but atmospheric gasses, water vapour, various physical processes, constantly evolving land and water eco systems, land and undersea volcanoes, how many people fart in New Jersey in a given time frame, the list just goes on and on, there are too many unpredictable factors working in a chaotic way to determine specifically what any 1 factor contributes to temperature change. Yes a reseacher can plug a bunch of observed data, proxy data, extraploated data, averaged data, derived data, cherry picked, apple picked, watermelon picked and best guess data, into a spreadsheet and then graph it and say, “A ha I got it! It’s the _________ (fill in the blank).”
What the researcher has is an interesting exercise that may get us an inch closer to understanding climate, but not the magic lever that controls temperature, which then controls climate and then hurts all life on earth.
Probably the biggest sin of climate science is the irrational belief in the singular magic lever that controls all.


In long periods of time (44 years) the sun decides on climate change in middle and high latitudes.


“how many people fart in New Jersey in a given time frame,”
Does this replace the flapping butterfly wings starting a hurricane concept?
On the news, “The storm was caused by a significant fart in a bar in New Jersey.”