Solar Update October 2014

Guest essay by David Archibald

This essay provides a series of graphs that describe the current state of the sun in context with its history.


Figure 1: Oulu Neutron Count 1964 – 2014

Cosmic rays are pushed away, to some extent, from the inner planets of the solar system by the Sun’s magnetic field carried in the solar wind.

Cosmic rays are mostly protons and alpha particles with some electrons and the nuclei of heavier elements. The highest energy cosmic rays have energies comparable to the energy of a 90 kmph baseball. As they hit oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere, they cause a shower of neutrons. The neutron count from this source follows the solar cycle with about a one year lag, reflecting the time it takes for the solar wind to reach the heliopause. There is a connection with climate in that the atoms hit by the neutrons provide seed points for cloud formation.

A good proportion of the atmosphere is saturated with water above the cloud formation threshold but doesn’t form clouds due to lack of seed points to start the process of droplet formation. This is well illustrated by the satellite photos of clouds forming from ship tracks. Open ocean absorbs 95% of incident solar energy while clouds reflect 40%, so an increase in cloud cover will have a cooling effect. This effect accounts for a portion of climate variation with solar activity. The low in neutron count for this cycle appears to be in, consistent with solar maximum being in early 2013.


Figure 2: Solar Wind Flow Pressure 1971 – 2014

The solar wind flow pressure is now at a monthly high for Solar Cycle 24.


Figure 3: Ap Index 1932 – 2014

The Ap Index is a measure of geomagnetic activity from eight stations around the planet and reflects disturbances in the horizontal component of the Earth’s magnetic field. Activity for the current solar cycle has peaked at about the floor activity for the prior solar cycles back to early 1930s.


Figure 4: Heliospheric Current Sheet Tilt Angle

As measured by the heliospheric tilt angle, Solar Cycle 24 maximum was 19 months ago in March 2013.


Figure 5: Monthly F10.7 Flux 1948 – 2014

The F10.7 flux is a measure of the Sun’s emissions at 2800 MHz (10.7 cm) and correlates with sunspot number. It is a cleaner measure than sunspot number in that it is not subject to observer bias and the record can’t be adjusted on a whim. It has a floor at 64. Based on the correlation with sea level, a F10.7 flux above 100 is warming and below that is cooling. It has been consistently above that level since August 2011.


Figure 6: Interplanetary Magnetic Field 1966 – 2014

The interplanetary magnetic field has hit a new high for this solar cycle.


Figure 7: Interplanetary Magnetic Field 1 – 2014

This figure shows the data from Figure 6 combined with the reconstruction of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) for the last 2000 years by Steinhilber et al (data courtesy of Dr Gargett). It shows that the IMF is currently about the average for that period. The IMF has a lot further to fall to get to the levels of the major minima. We have all lived through the highest level of solar activity for 8,000 years and it was very pleasant. It will be real treat to live through a major minimum as well.


David Archibald, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Regnery, 2014)

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October 23, 2014 12:11 am

There are many things wrong with this post. Perhaps the easiest way to express that is my keynote talk at the recent SCOSTEP symposium in Xi’An
Here is the abstract:
Over the past decade there has been significant progress in the study of solar variability on the time scale of centuries. New reconstructions of Sunspot Numbers, Extreme Ultraviolet and Microwave proxies, Solar Wind Physical Parameters, Total Solar Irradiance, Solar Polar Fields and Cosmic Ray Modulation have provided a well-constrained and consistent consensus of solar variability over the past two centuries. The new insights promise further progress in modeling solar activity much further back in time.
In particular, it is now very doubtful that the modern maximum was in any way GRAND and the biggest in the last 8000 years. More details here:

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 1:07 am

Dr. Leif, I don’t find any word in the original post about “modern maximum” or about the solar variability over the past two centuries or about proxies. Would you be so kind to explain your 1st. sentence “There are many things wrong with this post.” in connection to the actual post?

Reply to  Frank
October 23, 2014 5:37 am

I guess you didn’t read this in the original post:
“We have all lived through the highest level of solar activity for 8,000 years”, and its link to a 2004 paper on the subject.

Reply to  Frank
October 23, 2014 6:23 am

Phil, Dr. Svalgaard’s recent paper does say, however, that IIRC, 6 of last 7 sunspot cycles have been above average. This apparently is unusually high sunspot activity (whatever that means for the planet) in (again IIRC) the last few hundred years. So, we have gone through a recent solar modern maximum but not a GRAND maximum. Leif can correct anything I said that is off.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 1:27 am

Dr. Svalgaard ,
your first link is not working. I would very much like to read what you have on UV proxies. As you would no doubt be aware, current climate modelling has effectively treated the surface of the oceans as UV/SW opaque, and they believe only the 0.1% TSI variance matters. This is clearly not the case. Studies such as Sweeny et al do however show significant temperature effects from differing depth of solar absorption, and of all solar radiation UV penetrates deepest.
Could you please review that pdf link? I was unaware that there were any UV proxies that could give us insight into solar UV variation before the the most recent satellite period.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 2:42 am

Dr. Svalgaard ,
your your second link is working, but I am shocked and amazed. Was TSI not enough? Now you are trying to stamp the UV record flat!
“The EUV causes an observable variation of the geomagnetic field at the surface through a complex chain of physical connections.”
You call that a proxy? Is it big shoes and red noses day!? Add a bear on a tricycle and a big striped tent and you could sell tickets!!!
This is what I wrote to you in 2009 –

Dr Svalgaard, we of course respect your client, Mr. Sun’s right to scientific representation and we appreciate your participation in these informal interviews. As you may be aware Mr. Carbon was formally charged with carrying heat after investigations into climate irregularities. We now find that we need to reopen investigations, as a key witness against Mr. Carbon has been found to be a heavy abuser of Bristlecone pine extract. While we are prepared to overlook minor variations in TSI levels, which your client claims relate to personal use, we feel that this does raise questions about Mr. Sun’s character. We also have unconfirmed reports linking some of Mr. Sun’s activities with known heavies such as Mr. Jupiter. In light of this information we would like to ask that Mr. Sun surrender his passport and remain contactable should we need further assistance with our inquiries. 🙂

Has anything changed in five years? No, you are still gate-keeping. Sod career and reputation, whatever happened to “For Science!”?

Reply to  Konrad.
October 23, 2014 3:14 am

Mr Sun and Mr Jupiter relationship is very secretive, we all know of the Helios’ and Gaia’s open relationship, however we did not know that the Helios’ old man Zeus has even more secretive relation with Gaia, recently evidenced in data between two major climate indices.

Eli Rabett
Reply to  Konrad.
October 23, 2014 7:05 pm

[persona non grata, don’t comment here again -mod]

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 3:13 am

Yes, but didn’t a noted solar scientist claimed recently that all such data was nonsense or rubbish?

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 4:22 am

David Archibald’s article is clear, informative, well illustrated, and much more convincing than murky verbiage and self-references by Dr. Svalgaard.
Thank you, David!

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 5:11 am

I definitely agree with your last sentence; my BS alarm is going off. Clearly the data prior to the current century are reconstructions and averages on the order of decades. The rightmost data are probably from actual measurements and are higher resolution (obviously). If they were shown averaged on the order of decades, the peaks would almost certainly drop well below the 8000 years ago estimated maximum.

Reply to  Hoser
October 23, 2014 6:29 am

My bs alarm is going off
David Archibald’s posts trip alarms.
When confronted with proof, he shrugs.
I can’t understand why this blog features him.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 5:51 am

I agree with Leif. The post has way too many unsubstantiated and unobserved leaps of faith. A ship trail of lower atmospheric water vapor seeded by aerosols from a churned up sea surface cannot in any way, not even from a long distance and when inebriated, be compared to the tiny affect of cosmic ray sourced activity in nucleation in the upper atmosphere. David, on a scientific site, and as a poster, you should at least follow standard scientific discourse conventions. This post is one of your worst yet.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
October 23, 2014 6:04 am

If “standard scientific discourse conventions” are those employed by Dr. Svalgaard, gods save us all. Science would become a cake fight.

David Archibald
Reply to  Pamela Gray
October 23, 2014 7:08 am

I assumed too much perhaps but it would be boring for most readers to have everything spelt out in great detail. Ship exhaust smoke.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
October 23, 2014 5:42 pm

Yes, David. Boringly clear writing, precision, data-based evidence and less color commentary and poorly chosen similes would indeed improve your post.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
October 23, 2014 5:43 pm

Alexander, I presume you refer to Leif’s comments. Certainly not his scientific writings. I’ve read them. They are boringly clear, based on data, highly technical, and devoid of color commentary. Exactly what scientific technical writing should be.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 5:10 am

Thank you, Dr. Svalgaard, for your continuing work and comments.

Joel O'Bryan
October 23, 2014 12:17 am

“It will be real treat to live through a major minimum as well.”
Only to watch the Warmists get their due, i.e. schadenfreude. Meanwhile, throw another log on the fire.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 24, 2014 4:39 am

It won’t be a real treat if we get another little ice age.

October 23, 2014 12:28 am

Thank you. Great info.

October 23, 2014 12:31 am

I have a doofy question probably.. but if more solar activity causes our magnetic shield to shrink, does that in turn compress our atmosphere? And less activity causes our shield to loosen, thus expanding the atmosphere? Am I wrong in thinking that just that could cause a temp change? Normally compressing something causes warmth… I told you it was a doofy question.

Reply to  pkatt
October 23, 2014 1:45 am
Mario Lento
Reply to  pkatt
October 23, 2014 4:56 pm

The magnetic field does not contain the atmosphere. But I can see how you thought that! Pick up a bar magnet and notice that the magnetic field will attract iron and attract and repel other magnets, but it does not contain or move the air around.

October 23, 2014 12:42 am

a few years ago, a study came out showing that the exosphere had shrunk dramatically at solar min – more so than expected. Just wondered what it’s up to now?

October 23, 2014 1:03 am

What a long strung out cycle. Something is up.

October 23, 2014 1:06 am

“It will be real treat to live through a major minimum as well.”
Maldita sea!
That’s why I will continue to live in the tropics.

Charles Nelson
Reply to  Fred Colbourne
October 23, 2014 1:28 am

I live in the sub tropics (Australia) and right now it’s bloody cold!

Reply to  Charles Nelson
October 23, 2014 1:49 am

Same – I will be an old man when the cooling cycle peaks, I will be too old to push my way to the front of the food riots.

Reply to  Fred Colbourne
October 23, 2014 4:57 pm

I moved in the mid 1990’s. A future climate refuge, from the cold.

October 23, 2014 1:07 am

”It will be real treat to live through a major minimum as well.
I sincerely hope David just forgot the “/sarc” tag.
A major minimum would mean major disruptions to agriculture in many parts of the world. Further, some cities may have to be abandoned. Siberia is now an IT technology hub, the disruption would be huge and costly, not a “real treat”.
Is far as I can see a major solar minimum will cause cooling. This would be due to TSI component variation and cloud cover variation. But while predictions for SC25 are lower than SC24, this does not necessarily mean a grand Eddy minimum. On available evidence, we should be planning for cooling not warming. However this should be careful planning, not the foaming inanity of the UN IPCC style. There is no need for panic. We just need a little more proxy data from areas around the globe now occupied where no written records exist for conditions for the LIA. Plan for halfway between those conditions and current conditions and we are good to go. And plan means just low cost planing for rapid 5 year adjustment, but not actually acting. We just blew 800 billion on acting on a “maybe” that is in fact a physical impossibility. There is no need for a repeat performance.

Reply to  Konrad.
October 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Personally I wouldn’t expect an Eddy Minimum cool period to be a major problem. most of the areas in temperate zone and above are fairly technologically advanced, and should be ably to handle it. Just look at how well Alaska has been able to be built up and improved in the face of freezing temperatures. As long as the cooling didn’t last more then a few decades it should be handleable. Now if it lasted a century or more then it might prove a major problem, especially if we were to see significant growth in glaciation.

Mario Lento
Reply to  Konrad.
October 23, 2014 5:06 pm

Konrad – I believe you will like my plan (if it gets cooler or if it gets warmer or if it somehow finds a statis). Here it is:
STOP the IPCC, NASA and NOAA, the AGU, and Liberals in Developed nations from spending any amount of money on trying to prove CAGW. Remove the carbon taxes and mandates for renewables that force wind turbines and PV solar cells onto the grid. Stop rebates for buying PV solar. Stop wasting water and farmland on ethanol which is more expensive and less caloric than gasoline or diesel and makes food more costly. Drill on Federal Lands, expand nuclear. Get rid of the disincentive to use coal based on CO2, but rather make sure that the real pollutants are scrubbed clean and let FREEDOM RING.
This plan would result in lower cost energy, more abundance of everything, a stronger economy for all nations. This will make any cooling much easier to deal with. Why can’t Democrats understand this!

Mario Lento
Reply to  Mario Lento
October 23, 2014 5:08 pm

Typo – “statis” should be “stasis”.

October 23, 2014 2:05 am

We are told by scientists that solar variability influence on the Earth’s climate is minimal (+ or – 0.1C) mainly due to the TSI, while any other factors (magnetic field, UV, CMEs etc) are negligible and not worth of the scientists attention.
Correlation between the centenary temperature anomaly and the Earth’s rate of rotation known as LOD, has been known for years.
However, correlation between solar magnetic cycles and the decadal LOD oscillations (coincidental or not) is a new finding, worth further exploration, whatever causes or the consequences may be.
This paper
gives the data links, enabling anyone with a spreadsheet available, to easily replicate the results, one of the basic requirements.
“Nothing in nature is by chance…Something appears to be chance only because of our lack of knowledge.” Baruch Spinoza

Reply to  vukcevic
October 23, 2014 8:41 am

Please note that web link for the geo-magnetic LOD data recently has changed to:

October 23, 2014 3:00 am

OK, so very broadly speaking:
A 15-20 year cooling period corresponds to high Be10 measured flux levels (but at lower CO2 levels than today),
An 18 year static period (at higher CO2 levels) corresponds to a high Be10 flux levels,
Shorter, more intense solar cycles with low Be10 flux levels but increasing CO2 levels correspond to a 25 year warming period.
So, Leif, Dr Archibald, what were the Be10 proxies during the warming and stagnant period between 1800 and 1950?

Reply to  RACookPE1978
October 23, 2014 4:35 am

These are my graphs of 10be v SSN for the period.
10be v ssncomment image
10be v ssn reversedcomment image

Reply to  RACookPE1978
October 23, 2014 6:16 am

what were the Be10 proxies during the warming and stagnant period between 1800 and 1950
See Slide 30 of my Keynote talk.

JJM Gommers
October 23, 2014 3:05 am

As I said it before “the coming years will be the proof, so patience”.
It would be interesting if a bet can be made on the temperature from 2015 to 2020.

Trond Arne Pettersen
October 23, 2014 3:15 am

The variation in TSI is of course far too small to have any readable effect on global temperature, it would be within hundreds of a degree. But if Svensmark is right, if more cosmic radiation actually can give more clouds, then the variation in the suns magnetic field, with the following variation in cosmic radiation in the atmosphere, could change the mean cloud cover for periods of time. If we use the same procedure that gives the earth a temperature of -18*C with a 30% albedo (+15*C with greenhouse gases), we would just have to change that albedo to 29% to make the planet nearly a whole degree warmer. A very small change in the earths albedo through a minor change in mean cloud cover for a certain period of time, will theoretically result in a change in surface temperature within the range of a degree. This graph linked below is an accumulated departue from average, an integral, of sunspot numbers and global temperatures from 1870 to 2013. The lowest value of both is here set to 100% to make them fit the same graph. The profile of the graph is what matters. As long as the graph is falling we are adding negativ valus, values below the average of the period, and positives where it is rising. What we see is that both the sun and global temperature seem to have the same principal variation, and not the least, the same lowest turning point during this period of more than hundred years. One could ask the propability for this to happen if these two variables should be completely independent. That is of course a rethorical question, no scientific proof, but interesting enogh to be considered as a possible component of the global temperature variation.comment image?dl=0

Eli Rabett
Reply to  Trond Arne Pettersen
October 23, 2014 7:07 pm

[persona non grata, don’t comment here again -mod]

Tom in Florida
October 23, 2014 4:37 am

” the energy of a 90 kmph baseball.”
90 kmph is 54 mph. That is not very fast, perhaps what a 10 year old can throw. Not very impressive.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 23, 2014 5:04 am

k can signify kilometer and can signify thousand and can signify other things!

Reply to  Doug Allen
October 23, 2014 6:03 am

90 kmph baseball
yes, that could be read as 90 k mph.
A baseball traveling 90 thousand miles per hour is going to leave a mark if it hits you. Pretty impressive arm for a 10 year old.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Doug Allen
October 23, 2014 6:39 am

Perhaps it was just a typo and should have read 90k mph, if 90,000 mph was the real number. If that is the case then my original remark makes no sense.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 23, 2014 5:50 am

I’m only guessing but the energy of a 54mph baseball is probably quite impressive for an itty bitty neutron that weighs some tiny tiny fraction of a baseballs weight.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 23, 2014 5:57 am

perhaps the measure is misleading because of the difference in mass of the two objects. because momentum varies as the velocity, while energy varies as the velocity squared, comparing two objects of differing mass by way of analogy can be very misleading.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 23, 2014 6:27 am

If they are both in energy units I don’t think it is misleading.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 23, 2014 6:43 am

the baseball was measured in kilometers per hour. this is a measure of velocity, not energy.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 23, 2014 7:01 am

back of the envelope, a baseball at 90 km/h is about 6×10^8 TeV, while the LHC collisions are about 3 TeV.
So, a person can throw a baseball with about 200 million times the energy of the collision energy of the largest man made particle accelerator on earth.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 23, 2014 6:38 am

the energies of the most energetic ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) have been observed to approach 3 × 1020 eV,[5] about 40 million times the energy of particles accelerated by the Large Hadron Collider.[6]
sounds more impressive than a 54 mph baseball. so if cosmic rays can be so much more powerful than the LHC, are we constantly being showered with god particles as the cosmic rays interact with the atmosphere?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 23, 2014 9:26 am

That is actually VERY impressive as the energy of a single atom, Bit of a difference in mass y’know.

October 23, 2014 5:14 am

Wasn’t that from one high energy GCR? That would possibly translate to high numbers of cloud condensation nuclei?

October 23, 2014 5:20 am

Figure 5- “Based on the correlation with sea level, a F10.7 flux above 100 is warming and below that is cooling. It has been consistently above that level since August 2011. Please, reference to that correlation. The Fig 4 AP index correlation doesn’t appear to me to be a strong one, and the recent exceptionally low geomagnetic activity has occurred during a period of flat or only slightly decreasing global temperatures which could indicate a masking of the high sensitivity CO2 forced, projected warming by the IPCC and even Hansen. Do we have yet another reason for the hiatus?

Reply to  Doug Allen
October 23, 2014 6:20 am

the problem with masking is that large numbers of scientists have been claiming for years that the variability in the sun is too small to account for the variability in temperature. thus, the ramp up in temperature in the 80’s and 90’s must be due to CO2, as they can’t think of any other cause.
so now that CO2 is increasing rapidly and temperatures are static, they have no explanation. all the reasons they couldn’t think of while temperatures are rising, they suddenly can now think of while temperatures are static.
And thus the problem in scientific credibility. Scientists have no imagination to find other causes when they think they know the answer. Only when the answer turns out to be wrong do they think to look for other reasons.
The average person can plainly see the problem even if scientists cannot. Scientists routinely get the wrong answer, then stop looking. Like a lazy policeman. Make the evidence fit the suspect. talk up the supporting evidence, downplay the contrary evidence.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 23, 2014 6:30 am

I like the policeman analogy. In the same vein, there are some that run around trying to catch and humiliate 13 years olds for taking a puff of pot while not looking at all for the murderers and dangerous criminals.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 23, 2014 9:26 am

I started saying in 2008, when I became aware of the Mann hockey stick and it’s “disappearing” of the medieval warming and LIA periods, that the no explanation- argument from ignorance- was extremely weak. Having followed climate science in earlier decades as a reader of Lamb’s “Climate: Present, Past, and Future” I immediately knew the hockey stick was either bogus or signaled new understanding. It didn’t take long to discover which was true! My point now (as in 2008) is that without being able to isolate the forcing variables or understand their relative power, no model can determine climate sensitivity or confidently project future climate scenarios. Climate sensitivity may be relatively high, relatively low (where most recent estimates are converging) or an unhelpful concept- and how would we ever know? I think the IPCC charter to determine the role of humans (and especially CO2 emissions) in the assumed AGW has set back climate science a generation. I think any hope of better understanding requires a return to research science and not the applied science of confirming an hypothesis.

Reply to  ferdberple
October 23, 2014 10:43 am

October 23, 2014 at 6:30 am “I like the policeman analogy. In the same vein, there are some that run around trying to catch and humiliate 13 years olds for taking a puff of pot while not looking at all for the murderers and dangerous criminals.”
Certainly the parents may wish to bust the dog that sold it to him, and get him away from the kind of kids that pressured or humiliated him into taking it. It is a crime to give children drugs. These drugs are harmful to developing minds, to family relationships, and to society. I recommend to all young people to say no to a second drugs and sex revolution, which the Boomers are pushing. It has only gotten trashier and trashier. Like giving cannabis to a young boy.

October 23, 2014 6:10 am

David, thanks for an excellent tour of the current solar situation. Very interesting.

David Archibald
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 23, 2014 7:58 am

Thanks Willis but I am not all that proud of it. It was six months since the last one and time to update the figures. Note that there is no sunspot number graph – everyone is doing those these days. What is new is the 2,000 year IMF reconstruction tied into the instrument record. That shows that we are still a long way above the lows that it could reach. The F10.7 flux is remains relatively strong. That means, if the 10 year lag from solar activity to climate is valid, that significant cooling won’t be until mid-2020s at the earliest. We might get the near term cooling that will take us back to the levels of the 1970s but then another ten years before we find out what happens next. The solar physics community has gone very quiet. A decade ago there were over 50 predictions of Solar Cycle 24 amplitude. At the same stage in Solar Cycle 24, there is only one estimate of Solar Cycle 25 amplitude. Three years ago there was talk of the Sun’s conveyor belt slowing down to a crawl. Now nothing, quiet as the grave. Dr Steinhilber, who generated the IMF data above, has left academia and joined the insurance industry, presumably as an actuary. No heating, no significant cooling, no guidance. A Goldilocks climate in fact.

Reply to  David Archibald
October 23, 2014 8:04 am

The F10.7 flux [a good proxy for solar EUV] can be reliably reconstructed back to 1840 as shown on Slide 26 of
As you can see, the flux is almost always above 100, except for a few years around each solar minimum.

October 23, 2014 7:34 am

After the Cold War period there was an increase of C14 in the atmosphere as a result of nuclear tests. Whether a few percent increase in GCR will cause changes in the ionization of the atmosphere? Whether after the nuclear tests there was a decrease of ozone? May have denounced the scientists?

Eli Rabett
Reply to  ren
October 23, 2014 7:09 pm

[persona non grata, don’t comment here again -mod]

October 23, 2014 7:53 am

David, thanks for publishing a great data summary. Keep up the good work! Do not be discouraged by comments based on “the changing of past data”.
I especially agree with your view of the Solar UV. Sunspots are actually cool areas on the Sun usually surrounded by warmer areas. The warm areas release the more energetic Solar energy.
Here is a higher energy Solar image, note that the energy in several cases is not near Sunspots:
This is a view of the Sunspots, make your own analysis:
I am looking for new information not just “attacks” about other peoples ideas!!

Dr. Deanster
October 23, 2014 8:08 am

All of this hindcast and modelling the past based on new information is nonsense IMO.
The best data with regards to the relationship between the sun and climate is about to happen, but until then, … it is all just a great big pile of uncertainty.

October 23, 2014 8:16 am

I am with David Archibald’s view points he will be proven to be correct in his solar/climate connection assessments as will I.

October 23, 2014 8:24 am

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

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
October 23, 2014 9:03 am

…add the cooling PDO and Atlantic to coincide with lower solar activity.

October 23, 2014 8:47 am

“Serendipitously, the LRO mission made measurements during a period when GCR fluxes remained at the highest levels ever observed in the space age due to the sun’s abnormally extended quiet cycle. During this quiescent period, the diminished power, pressure, flux and magnetic flux of the solar wind allowed GCRs and SEPs to more readily interact with objects they encountered — particularly bodies such as our moon, which has no atmosphere to shield the blow.
“This has provided us with a unique opportunity because we’ve never made these types of measurements before over an extended period of time, which means we’ve never been able to validate our models,” notes Schwadron. “Now we can put this whole modeling field on more solid footing and project GCR dose rates from the present period back through time when different interplanetary conditions prevailed.” This projection will provide a clearer picture of the effects of GCRs on airless bodies through the history of the solar system.
Moreover, CRaTER’s recent findings also provide further insight into radiation as a double-edge sword. That is, while cosmic radiation does pose risks to astronauts and even spacecraft, it may have been a fundamental agent of change on celestial bodies by irradiating water ice and causing chemical alterations. Specifically, the process releases oxygen atoms from water ice, which are then free to bind with carbon to form large molecules that are “prebiotic” organic molecules.”

Robert W Turner
October 23, 2014 8:59 am

I have a feeling I’ll be looking to purchase land in South America in about 15 years.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
October 23, 2014 11:02 am

Don’t go too far south.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
October 23, 2014 11:51 am

I already have, but not too far south: Concón, Chile, at 32° 55′ 0″ S.

October 23, 2014 11:03 am

{bold emphasis mine – JW}
David Archibald wrote in his concluding paragraph,
“This figure [figure 7] shows the data from Figure 6 combined with the reconstruction of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) for the last 2000 years by Steinhilber et al (data courtesy of Dr Gargett). It shows that the IMF is currently about the average for that period. The IMF has a lot further to fall to get to the levels of the major minima. We have all lived through the highest level of solar activity for 8,000 years [Solanki et al 2004 (Nature)] and it was very pleasant. [. . .]”


{bold emphasis mine – JW}
From Ilya Usoskin’s post entitled ‘The Grand Maximum was not a unique event’ at Marcel Crok’s blog.
Ilya Usoskin wrote:
Since all the TSI reconstructions in the past are based on extrapolations and cannot be directly verified via imprints or proxy records. Thus, no OBJECTIVELY “best” reconstructions can be defined. Most of the TSI models use a simple regression between TSI and other indices (e.g. the modulation potential, which is a measure of cosmic ray variability; or sunspot numbers) extrapolated backwards in time. Only a few models (e.g. the one developed by a group at the Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, which pioneered a physical way to model TSI, see Vieira et al. 2011) use a physics-based numerical model rather than a regression. In this model they try to use a physical model to account for all known physical processes that lead to changes in solar irradiation – dark sunspots, bright structures, background radiation. This makes an “absolute” basis for TSI reconstructions.
On the other hand, the regression-based approaches are crucially dependent on the choice of the reference period and dataset and need to be ad-hoc “calibrated” without any guarantee that it works in the past. E.g. the model by Shapiro et al. uses the quite sun model which leads to a very large variability of TSI at centennial scale. But this cannot be checked. To conclude I would slightly favour the model of the Max-Planck Institute MPS (VSK in Figure 1, for the reason that it is based on a physics-based approach which, supposed the physics behind it is correct, should catch the non-linearity of the relations.

The figure referenced by Usoskin tends to confirm Archibald’s point but more modestly than Archibald does. There was a modest solar ‘grand’ maximum in the 20th century, but Usoskin says it was not unique in the Holocene. Usoskin thinks there are up to 20 solar ‘grand’ maxima in the Holocene.
I think the correspondence of modest warming during the similar period of modest solar ‘grand’ maximum stongly warrants further funding to research it. Funding that, I think, needs to come from diverting significant funds from the unproductive GCM effort that is the IPCC’s unreasonable mindset.

Reply to  John Whitman
October 23, 2014 11:46 am

If you look carefully, you will find that at the bottom of the ‘physics-based’ reconstructions is a crucial assumption, namely that there is a ‘background’ level of activity on which the solar cycle rides, and that background is equal to a truly constant value plus a small contribution from sunspots which is supposed to be given by the running mean of the Group Sunspot Number. Since the latter has been shown to be incorrectly calibrated, the reconstructions inherit the flaws in the GSN. Careful analysis show that there is a maximum in every one of the last three centuries, with none of them being particularly ‘grand’ or unusual.
Usoskin has begun this journey down from the 8000-yr peak to a more realistic view. This will take him another solar cycle to complete.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 12:23 pm

Glad to see you commenting today. I had been wondering why I did not see you in some recent solar focused posts here at WUWT.

October 23, 2014 11:38 am

GCRs are a trace constituent of the atmosphere.
In the data there is zero relationship between GCRs and cloud cover at ALL pressure levels.
Zip. nada. nothing.

James Allison
Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 23, 2014 1:09 pm

Has something in common with CO2.

Reply to  James Allison
October 23, 2014 3:02 pm

yes GCR has something in common with C02, both are three characters long GCR, C02
the biggest difference is that one of these is KNOWN to change the radiative properties of the atmosphere, the other does not.
1. C02 is known to change the opacity of the atmosphere.
2. GCR are not known to change the opacity.

October 23, 2014 12:32 pm

If one looks at the data one can see a correlation between GCR /level of solar activity especially when solar variability is at extremes when it was very active last century to very quiet like it was during the Maunder Minimum and Dalton.
The problem however for so many is they don’t understand that other things are happening to cause GIVEN solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects to result in different GIVEN climate outcomes. I will list some of them in the next post.
Nevertheless at times of extremes the climate will warm when the sun is active and cool when the sun is inactive.
There is yet any data to show this not to be the case.

October 23, 2014 12:34 pm

As this decade goes by the solar/climate connection will become much clearer. As I have said many factors can obscure this connection when the sun is not in either an extreme active state or an extreme inactive state.
This is why so many get confused when it comes to the solar/climate connection and convince themselves that it does not exist. They are looking for climate silver bullets and not understanding the complexity of the climatic system.
Let me try again here is my previous post with some additions explaining what I mean.
I want to add this, thresholds, lag times, the initial state of the climate(how close to glacial/interglacial conditions climate is( ice dynamic/state of thermohaline circulation phase or AMOC), land/ocean arrangements(altitude of land), earth magnetic field strength , phase of Milankovitch Cycles ,random terrestrial events ,concentrations of galactic cosmic rays within 5 to 10 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.

John Finn
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
October 23, 2014 1:20 pm

This is why so many get confused when it comes to the solar/climate connection and convince themselves that it does not exist.

…. or perhaps there isn’t a connection. The simplest explanation is often the right one.

I want to add this, thresholds, lag times, …

Yep – there’s all sorts of excuses that can be used.
Salvatore, the earth’s temperature response to the current weak levels of solar activity has been negligible – actually it’s probably been non-existent since the current ‘pause’ is more likely due to ocean cycles. It’s highly unlikely that there is some magic threshold number that kickstarts warming or cooling.

Reply to  John Finn
October 23, 2014 1:31 pm

Are you waiting for the polar vortex, whether you live in the tropics?

October 23, 2014 2:23 pm

JOHN my criteria if these are meant after all of these years of sub-solar activity and the temperatures do not trend down I will admit to being wrong no excuses. So far the criteria has not been meant. Look at today’s readings for an example.
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.
NOTE 1- What mainstream science is missing in my opinion is two fold, in that solar variability is greater than thought, and that the climate system of the earth is more sensitive to that solar

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
October 23, 2014 2:30 pm

Your criteria are much too vague to determine anything. For example, you mention the cosmic ray flux, but where is that to be measured, And are ALL the criteria to be met? of just some of them [the ones that happen to be met]. In short: your criteria are useless as stated.

David in Texas
October 23, 2014 3:57 pm

Dr. Svalgaard,
It appears that you object most to using the term “Grand Maximum”. Would you accept that the 20th. century had a high solar activity than the 19th. century without using the word “Grand”?
I’ve roughly digitized the graph in the pdf link that you provided and integrated it (if you have link to the data, a better job could be done), and it appears the 20th. has about 21% greater activity than the 19th. century. (I have the Excel sheet and image file, but don’t know to put the links in this post.) The 18th. century is incomplete, but comparing the last four solar cycles of the 18th. and 20th. century, they were about equal with the 20th. a bit higher. If we were to made an estimate for the last five cycles for the 18th. century, it would appear even weaker when compared to the 20th. century. From a quick check of the literature, it appears the Maunder Minimum extended into the 18th. century, but you may have a different opinion on that. If it did extend that far, the 18th. century would be even weaker.
In all fairness to David Archibald, he did not use the word “Grand”, but he did say “the highest level of solar activity for 8,000 years” and provided a reference.

Reply to  David in Texas
October 23, 2014 4:28 pm

Here is the record back to 1700:
The thick black line is a 22-year running mean.
You can cut the record in pieces [‘cherry pick’ what you want to emphasize], but the fact remains that none of those three centuries stand out as particular GRAND. The issue is simply if it is true that recent solar activity is the highest in ‘8000 years’. It is not. This would be a qualitative issue, rather than simply a smallish quantitative one.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 5:00 pm

Leif, What’s going on with the period between 1799-1824? Are there any issues?

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 6:52 pm

Activity was low. Exactly HOW low we don’t really know as the data is very sparse. Wolf’s original series had cycle that were about twice as big, but they were adjusted down by Wolfer in 1902. The uncertainty is large, but there is no doubt that activity was low.

Reply to  David in Texas
October 24, 2014 9:09 am

Note the silence from Texas.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 24, 2014 9:10 am

ha read better mosher

David in Texas
October 23, 2014 7:07 pm

Dr. Svalgaard,
Thank you very much for the record back to 1700. It was very kind of you. As you say, none of those three centuries stand out as particularly GRAND.
Do you have the record in digital form? I would like to integrate it.
The difference of temperature between the centuries is not particularly grand either, maybe 1 deg. divided by 287 deg. K or about 0.35%.

Reply to  David in Texas
October 23, 2014 8:19 pm

A spreadsheet is here
A am ot a fan of integrsting. By property of integration [after subtracting the mean] is that the results at both ends are the same, namely zero. Subtracting something else than the mean introduces a free parameter that you can play with and use to fit almost anything.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 9:26 pm


Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 9:33 pm
Mario Lento
Reply to  Sparks
October 23, 2014 9:37 pm


Mario Lento
Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 9:33 pm

The link is to high blood pressure meds… by redirecting to
This is strange

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 10:36 pm

it seems you all figured it out 🙂

Reply to  lsvalgaard
October 23, 2014 11:41 pm

All this quibbling about weather the subjective dimension-less sunspot count for a particular cycle peaked at 100 or 115 or whatever is a waste of time. It is similar with F10.7 flux, just another plain number.
Numbers that count are those for solar magnetic field, not so much the change in intensity by 8 or 10%, but the magnetic field’s POLARITY SIGN and PHASE.
Why these matter?
The Earth’s magnetic field beside its long up/down trends has small variations which have distinct spectrum, drifting in and out of phase with the more stable solar oscillations, creating the well known ~9 and ~ 60 (currently 64) year variable climate cycles.
How does this affect the climate?
The effect: seasonal variation in the climate are much larger than any long term up/down decadal or centenary variability. Due to the ocean’s thermal capacity previous year has ALWAYS an input in the next and so forth.
What matters then is not absolute value of direct or integrated sunspot numbers, but the YEAR TO YEAR change in the combined geomagnetic (solar & earth generated) variability, where the mutual phase relationship is the critical factor.
Even if Dr. S made all cycles exactly the same, providing the minima timings are not changed it would make little difference, one reason that it appears that the lower temperatures are associated with the long cycles.
A new paper is on the way, hopefully in next month or two.

October 24, 2014 7:26 am

My criteria is a guide line that equates to severe minimum solar conditions that took place during the solar lull 2008-2010 and probably took place during the previous two prolonged solar minimums the Dalton and the Maunder Minimum. Those before also.
The climate during each of the two most recent solar prolonged minimums reacted by a global temperature trend drop and a more meridional atmospheric circulation, therefore based on past observation alone it makes sense to come up with some kind of solar climate guide lines for the present and have some kind of an expectation for the climate in response.
Conditions as far as solar activity and the climate back when the Little Ice followed the Medieval Warm Period being very comparable to today’s present situation.
If all of my criteria is met and the global temperature trend does not go down then my theory will be wrong , it can not be more straight forward then that. I have specific solar guide lines that I think if met given the present state of the climate will cause the global temperatures to trend down.
Two other points I want to make is one can see that solar activity last century was far more active then the recent Dalton Minimum, and what has taken place post 2005.
In addition trying to forecast future solar activity based on when the sun was in an overall active period when now the sun is in an overall inactive period is a guess at best.
I have been way off thinking a year or so ago that solar activity would be much lower today then it presently is.

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
October 24, 2014 7:32 am

If all of my criteria is met and the global temperature trend does not go down then my theory will be wrong
And if they are all met save one, then what?
I have been way off thinking a year or so ago that solar activity would be much lower today then it presently is
So your track record is not too good…

October 24, 2014 8:13 am

It is a guide line not something that is written in stone. At that time if it should come a further evaluation will have to take place, and perhaps revisions and adjustments will be made. This is something that will be evolving over time if it looks to be promising. I am in a wait and see mode.
As far as my track record it was off for this second maximum of this cycle but let us see how many persons come out with future sunspot numbers, ap index and solar flux for the years 2015 through 2020, and see what the consensus is and how correct that is.
So far I see silence on this issue.

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
October 25, 2014 10:10 am

You turn your ‘criteria’ into just a moving target to be adjusted at will and as needed and thus be useless.
And you seem to have forgotten my ‘prediction’ of the activity which you in your hubris said you would save in order to be able to debunk it.

David in Texas
October 24, 2014 9:20 am

Dr. Svalgaard,
Thank you very much for the spreadsheet. That was very kind of you.

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