New paper from Hong Yan, Willie Soon, & Bob Carter: Fingerprints of the Sun on Asia-Australia Summer Monsoon Rainfalls during the Little Ice Age

Via press release:

A new paper has been published in Nature Geoscience entitled ‘Dynamics of the intertropical convergence zone over the western Pacific during the Little Ice Age ’ by Hong Yan of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and an international team of co-authors from the Alfred Wegener Institute (Wei Wei), Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Willie Soon), Institute of Earth Environment (Zhisheng An, Weijian Zhou and Yuhong Wang), University of Hong Kong (Zhonghui Liu) and Institute of Public Affairs (Robert M. Carter). The results of the research indicate that both the East Asia Summer Monsoon and the Northern Australia Summer Monsoon retreated synchronously during the recent cold Little Ice Age in response to external forcings such as solar irradiance variation and possibly large volcanic eruptions.

soon-hong-rainfall

Pattern of rainfall within the East Asia Summer Monsoon (left) and Australia Summer Monsoon (right) area during the LIA. Locations of proxy-hydrology records in the Asia-Australia monsoon area are indicated. Locations that were dry, without apparent change and wet during the LIA are marked in red, purple and blue, respectively. The decreased rainfall in East Asia continent and northern Australia suggested the synchronous retreat of the East Asian Summer Monsoon and the Australian Summer Monsoon during the Little Ice Age (Image by Dr YAN Hong).

The Asia-Australia monsoon covers the world’s most populated areas, and therefore understanding the factors that control monsoon-belt climatic variation through time is important for response-planning for healthy social-economic development for the globe. Many previous studies have focused on the past climate changes in the Asia-Australia monsoon area, often proposing that the western Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) or the associated rainbelt should have migrated southward during cold climate episodes, such as the Little Ice Age (AD 1400-1850). Such migrations should be associated with the occurrence of a weaker East Asian Summer Monsoon and a stronger Australian Summer Monsoon, with opposing rainfall variations between the two hemispheres.

However, hydrological records from the Asia-Australia summer monsoon area, analysed by Professor Hong Yan and his coauthors, show that southward migration of the ITCZ did not occur during the cold Little Ice Age. Instead, the hydrological data support the operation of a new dynamic mechanism named ‘ITCZ/Rainbelt contraction’ in the Western Pacific region during the Little Ice Age.

Prima facie, a southward migration of the ITCZ should result in less precipitation in the East Asia Summer Monsoon area but more rainfall in Australia Summer Monsoon area. In contrast, the Synthesis of a large set of palaeoclimatological records from across the monsoonal area establishes that the precipitation in both continental East Asia and northern Australia decreased synchronously during the Little Ice Age. The unusual spatial variation in paleoclimate records therefore documents a distinctly different rainfall pattern that violates the former expectation of ITCZ southward migration. Furthermore, comparison of these results with solar records indicates that a relationship exists between the rainfall changes and Total Solar Insolation.

To explain these changes, the scientists propose an alternative dynamic scenario which they have tested using process-based climate modeling. Rather than strict north-south migration, the multi-decadal to centennial change for the western Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone can excitingly be shown to have contracted or expanded in parallel with solar irradiance variations. This new understanding clearly adds to the richness of mechanisms by which the Earth climate system can vary naturally and significantly over periods between a few decades and up to a century in length.

###

The research was found by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Natural Science Foundation of China and the Chinese Academy of Science.

Note: headline was edited about 20 minutes after publication to add lead author Hong Yan, an oversight on my part – Anthony

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91 thoughts on “New paper from Hong Yan, Willie Soon, & Bob Carter: Fingerprints of the Sun on Asia-Australia Summer Monsoon Rainfalls during the Little Ice Age

    • Surely not? Don’t ya know the Sun has no influence whatsoever on our climate. ……Having said that, it can cause auroras on Saturn, but that’s not important right now…….

    • I’m sure alarmists have already written to the journal and the various institutions demanding to know where the authors got their funding?

      • Not necessary since the funding was acknowledged:
        Financial support for this research was provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Natural Science Foundation of China (41403018) and the Chinese Academy of Science.

  1. Message to NYT: “Round up the usual suspects…., sorry, round up TWICE the ususal suspects!”
    Can’t take any chances with this lot.

  2. I do not understand the logic behind the supposed consensus opinion to which they refer – why should tropical rain belts in the southern hemisphere’s western Pacific migrate southwards in response to lower global temperatures?
    Surely the tropical rain belts contract in size and intensity when it cools – weren’t the tropical rain forests a tiny fraction of their current size during the last ice ace, which peaked a mere 20,000 years ago?
    Anyhow, their discovery seems to make complete sense to me – i.e. northern Australia became drier during the LIA – but it sounds like the establishment’s understanding of the ITCZ is yet another reason the climate models have got wrong.

    • The paper concludes just what you suggest. That would imply in turn that the amount of energy arriving from the sun had to have been reduced. So, chasing that particular car, it might suggest that 1) either events on the planet, an increased albedo for instance some limited uptake of the available insolation, or 2) the sun itself did something different; in which case hands on geological work on Mars if called for. Correlations or lack of them between Martian and Terrestrial climatic events would go a long way to helping understand planetary scale processes.

  3. “Peter Miller March 11, 2015 at 11:09 am
    I do not understand . . . .– weren’t the tropical rain forests a tiny fraction of their current size during the last ice ace, which peaked a mere 20,000 years ago?”
    Agreed.
    LIA?
    20,000 years ago?
    [Little Ice Age = 400-500 years ago, centered at 1650 AD. Common climate debate term.
    Last Ice Age = not LIA = 20,000 years ago, 18000 BC. .mod]

    • LIA is “little ice age” and has nothing to do with what Peter is referring to. It probably would have been better if he used the term last period of glaciation or something like that.

      • LIA was the last period of glaciation [minor glaciation].
        But the models are attempting to model variation during our current
        interglacial period. Or the models aren’t modeling glacial and interglacial
        periods.
        In terms of our current interglacial period, it was warmer before the LIA- so around 1000 AD, then we got cooler period called LIA, and since about 1850 AD, glaciers have been retreating and sea level as been rising and average global temperature has increased by about 1 C.
        So apparently in terms of Asia monsoons, they get more rainfall during warmer periods as compared LIA.
        I would have thought this was obvious, but apparently models were not showing this.
        So if continue to warm we should continue to have monsoon conditions like condition in these regions as was the case in the previous warm period [Medieval warm period].
        But I never paid much attention to the models [they have yet be shown to be accurate and generally they seem a bit silly to me] and apparently they have data which shows the model are probably wrong [again].

    • farmerbraun, Peter Miller was using the last glacial era of 20,000 years ago as an example of a cold period and that the tropical forest can be expected to change.

    • The Wisconsin or Wurm (no umlauts available here) glacial, saw a very different climate regime. The Sahara for instance was a fairly well watered savanah, and rainforest seem to have contracted toward the equator. The over all pattern seems to reflect shifts of polar and temperature climate regimes toward the equator with consequent constriction in the of equatorial belt biotic communities. If the LIA paralleled the Wisconsin then the same shifts might manifest, though given the much shorter time span, being able to detect them would be a surprise.

      • For lower case “ü” (w/umlaut) try: press/hold ALT, enter 0252 on number pad, release ALT.
        Würm
        Upper case enter ALT 0220
        [Or on a Mac, Opt + u. ~mod.]

      • “saw a very different climate regime. The Sahara for instance was a fairly well watered savanah”
        No it was mostly hyperarid, except during the warmer middle part of the glaciation (MIS 3) wehen conditions were more like the present. The Sahara was partly savannah during the warmest part of this interglacial and almost all savannah during the previous interglacial (MIS 5e).

  4. ” the scientists propose an alternative dynamic scenario which they have tested using process-based climate modeling.”
    Just wondering if this is similar to the difference between process cheese and real cheese.

    • Yes, they have shown they can model the bands changing width rather than moving.
      But how does that test if that’s what actually happened?

    • What a great analogy!
      Processed cheese is just not the same when you have to eat it in the real world…..

      • The Cadbury heiress commented during the takeover of the family business that she did not want it to be owned by a plastic cheese maker but unfortunately she did not get her wish.
        James Bull

  5. From the press release for the paper** ,
    “Furthermore, comparison of these results with solar records indicates that a relationship exists between the rainfall changes and Total Solar Insolation.”
    ** new paper has been published in Nature Geoscience entitled ‘Dynamics of the intertropical convergence zone over the western Pacific during the Little Ice Age ’ by Hong Yan of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and an international team of co-authors from the Alfred Wegener Institute (Wei Wei), Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Willie Soon), Institute of Earth Environment (Zhisheng An, Weijian Zhou and Yuhong Wang), University of Hong Kong (Zhonghui Liu) and Institute of Public Affairs (Robert M. Carter).

    Are the authors helping to build a new ‘great wall’ of climate understanding that significantly incorporates more research on solar interconnections and contributions? Looks like it, but I think they must during their work partly demolish the old problematic ‘great wall’ made by myopic focus on CO2.
    Viva La Science!
    John

  6. Rubbish, the oil companies clearly deposited those lacustrine sediments, built those speleothems, and paid off the corals to skew the results. /s

    • Agreed.
      But it is interesting to note the new “consensus” forming in Asia.
      It’s not related to the truth (anymore than the Western “consensus” is).
      But it is interesting.

    • “The authors used climate models ergo this study is worthless.
      Right?”
      It depends on what the model is being used for. Reenacting the past? mostly worthless. Predicting the future? totally worthless. Advancing a left-wing political agenda? very useful.

  7. I must admit, I always get nervous when someone claims to see the “fingerprints” of the sun in something that happened four hundred years ago … my first question is, have they tested the technique with modern data? I mean, why would you see such putative fingerprints in four hundred year old sediments but not in the modern records?
    Haven’t given a detailed read to the paper, but I have a rule of thumb—the further back in time someone has to look for support for a climate claim, the less likely it is to be true. Seriously, folks … if you can’t establish your claim with modern data, why should we believe paleo data shows it?
    w.

    • Certainly you can use rocks and sediments to identify major things like deserts vs wet places (and their alternations), ocean basins that are now on mountain tops and the like. However, they should have left out the sun and maybe just had a question mark at to the cause.

      • It is high time that it be made clear to all the steady-state-tipping-point-omigodwe’regonnadie types that the sedimentary record, by its very nature, is a recording of climate variablity. Every crossbed, point bar, imbricated cobble, coal swamp, coral reef, and radiolarian ooze is a product of climate changes at some level. A classic example is the glacial varve. A yearly record. Like a tape recording. And then there’s limestone. Biggest carbon sink on the planet. And while yearly resolution is the exception rather than the rule, it becomes less so in the Holocene sedimentary record. It can be found. And it will gyttja.

    • Especially when related to solar output that could not be accurately measured then, and for which proxy you have shown is worse than dodgy over the early ‘sunspot record’. Regards.

    • “Fingerprints” are always worrisome, still I think there are some sound reasons that can be offered for considering much longer term data than even the putative “paleoclimatic” data that Mann purported to use.
      You might argue that “modern” weather data is insufficient in temporal scope to reflect climate changes reliably and that only much longer time spans – multicentennial to millenial in scale – are the minimum spans for analyzing climate change – especially global climate change – as opposed to weather. Another argument would be that influential elements of a weather generating system are going to be constant influences across all time scales. If so, and if the influences are subtle enough that they are not discernible among the noise of shorter span records, again longer spans may reveal behaviour masked by noise in shorter term data. Of course the proxies you need to study are ones that respond the processes of interest. Current theory, both AGW and saner luke-warmist views, treats CO2 as an influence of interest, but at no term longer than “modern” data is there any real indication that CO2 does anything. Neither ice core data at multimillenial scales or Geocarb III which looks at the entire Phanerozoic reflects any indication that CO2 is an a serious contender. Instead at global geographic scales it seems to influenced by climate changes.

    • W., when looking for 750 year to 1800 year long cycles there isn’t much recent data… Bond Events average 1470 years and a 5000 ish year lunar tidal cycle looks likely. Then the 10000 year Holocene wobble downward to colder needs even longer proxy data to show.

    • Oh I don’t know, Willis. I seem to remember that the sediment aggradation occurring on coral atolls, an idea established by geologists such as Charles Darwin, was rediscovered much later by the study of modern aerial photography data. Are you seriously suggesting that we now ignore the prior studies because somebody has drawn the same conclusions from looking at data arising from more recent events?

      • john karajas March 11, 2015 at 10:27 pm

        Oh I don’t know, Willis. I seem to remember that the sediment aggradation occurring on coral atolls, an idea established by geologists such as Charles Darwin, was rediscovered much later by the study of modern aerial photography data.

        Thanks, John. I see my writing is not clear. I am not opposed to old discoveries. I’m opposed to running analyses on paleo data either instead of or before running the same analysis on modern data.
        Regarding Darwin, he was the man who first explained that coral atolls are the result of sea level rise. And amazingly, he did so before he ever saw a coral reef. A true genius.
        This knowledge was never lost, so there was no “rediscovery”. What happened was that misguided “green” scientific commenters displayed their ignorance by falsely claiming that sea level rise was threatening coral atolls. This was followed by the general display of worldwide ignorance as many in the public followed suit, sadly including scientists.
        I think that I was the first person to call attention to this erroneous claim in a scientific journal, in my piece published in Energy and Environment. Since then, my claims that sea level rise is not a threat have been strongly verified by the aerial photography data you mention.

        Are you seriously suggesting that we now ignore the prior studies because somebody has drawn the same conclusions from looking at data arising from more recent events?

        Absolutely not. I am saying that studying paleo data in place of or in advance of studying modern data is a red flag to me.
        Best to you,
        w.
        PS—A final note on coral atolls. The mechanism is not “sediment aggradation occurring on coral atolls”. The mechanism is that coral reefs actively grow upwards towards the light. As a result, they can easily keep pace with sea level rise IF THEY ARE UNDISTURBED.
        However, many of them are disturbed. The dangerous disturbances are coral mining and the killing of parrotfish. See my previous posts on this question:
        Floating Islands
        Much has been written of late regarding the impending projected demise of the world’s coral atoll islands due to CO2-caused sea level rise. Micronesia is suing the Czech Government over CO2 emissions that they claim are damaging their coral atolls via sea level rise. Tuvalu and the Maldives are also repeating…
        The Irony, It Burns …
        Anthony commented yesterday on the question of atolls and sea level rise here, and I had previously written on the subject in my post “Floating Islands“. However, Anthony referenced a paper which was incorrectly linked by New Scientist. So I thought I’d provide some more information on the actual study, entitled “The dynamic response of reef…

  8. My approach to this to use CET as a proxy for the years of weakest solar forcing through solar minima in the 19th century, which was 1807-1817 and 1885-1895, and also include the very cold 1836-1845, and compare those to Australian drought drought years:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought_in_Australia#Droughts_in_the_19th_century
    Here’s the typical regional winter/summer response from the increased El Nino effects:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/ninocomp.shtml
    And increased positive Indian Dipole events would also be part of the picture effecting the India/Indonesia region.

    • Ulrich, CET is a hell of a long way (about half the world longitudinally, and near half the world latitudinally) away from where this study focussed. Teleconnections?

      • It would be remarkable if any region could escape the effects a weak solar signal, whatever the regional response, which for the UK is cooler wetter summers and typically drier colder winters unless winter blocking dictates otherwise, as in Jan-Feb and Nov 2014.
        A negative North Atlantic Oscillation is known to be associated with El Nino, and El Nino is a primary cause of reduced precipitation in Australia.
        Teleconnections therefore is not so much linkage from one region to others, but rather all regions responding to the same solar signal.

  9. Even if their climate simulations [not data] hint at some response related to the LIA, there is no good evidence that the LIA is solar caused. So someone is overstating a case here. In addition, their ‘solar forcing’ does actually not match the references on which the authors claim it is based. And certainly does not match the TSI Soon used in his paper we just discussed. So, I”m not impressed.

    • “.Thus the catalog of K Pivsky and Pejml [1988], listing auroras at latitudes <55 ø (mostly from central Europe), shows no auroras at all during the years 1797, 1798, 1802, 1807, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1813, 1815, 1816, 1823, and 1824."
      http://www.leif.org/EOS/92RG01571-Aurorae.pdf
      Most of the coldest years of the Dalton Minimum in Europe were from 1807-1817.

      • It has even been argued that that span of very cold years influenced Charles Dickens’ vision of Christmas.

    • Our lack of historic solar resolution pevents us from knowing much in this area.
      Just sayin, its not all sunspots.

    • I agree, the case for the LIA being influenced by changes in TSI is not strong. Relating the TSI to proxies such as the “Maunder Minimum” is a large extrapolation. The same goes for the lack of evidence that the LIA was global in extent – if the LIA was caused by changes to the TSI, then an explanation is required for why the LIA was not global in extent.
      It is an interesting area of research.

  10. “.. previous studies have focused on the past climate changes in the Asia-Australia monsoon area, often proposing that the western Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) or the associated rainbelt should have migrated southward during cold climate episodes, such as the Little Ice Age (AD 1400-1850)”
    Some of you seem puzzled by this ‘migration’. Don’t be. There was major effort during the past 15-16years first, to get rid of the the LIA (and the Medieval Warm Period) by the team because they wanted the recent to be the hottest period of the Holocene and they didn’t want the LIA (which was disastrous to society) to be a cold period we were coming out of as part of the rise in temperatures (they wanted everything flat for millennia, only to rise up in the last 100 years.
    When they couldn’t ignore history – the Thames and the Bosphorus freezing over, George Washington’s troops spiriting away cannons from under the noses of the British in Manhattan by dragging them over the ICE of the frozen sea to New Jersey, the citizens of New York City walking across frozen New York Harbor to Staten Island and 1000year old Swiss villages in the lower valleys being crushed by advancing glaciers from the mountains into the main valleys…..The grudging fall back position was OK! but they insisted that the LIA was isolated only in Europe!!! – climate on a postage stamp theory. The work on the monsoon shifts were discovered but they didn’t want to have it due to the LIA, so they irresponsibly asserted that the ITCZ had shifted because of the cool period in the Northern Hemisphere!!! They let go with very sticky fingers. I hope one day, all the papers of these New Dark Ages monks are re-reviewed in detail to see if they threw out data that might have supported a pan-global LIA and Medieval Warm Period (it used to be called that- not anymore). There was a lot of speliological data gathered and written about during this period – I know there had to be some skullduggery because it was before climategate when it could be committed with impunity.

    • The hockey stick temperature reconstructions contain the LIA. So I don’t not think anyone was trying to “get rid” of the LIA.

    • … but Nature, the mag, is all in on the AGW scam. They are reputationally beyond a mea culpa, same with the editorial staff at Science.

  11. ” the multi-decadal to centennial change for the western Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone can excitingly be shown to have contracted or expanded in parallel with solar irradiance variations”
    That suits my New Climate Model very well because I propose solar effects above both poles causing a contraction (active sun) or expansion (quiet sun) of the polar vortices which also causes changes in the degree of zonality / meridionality of jet stream tracks.
    Such a top down solar effect from both poles at the same time would indeed cause a contracted or expanded ITCZ in parallel with solar variations.

    • Might you please provide us with links to peer-reviewed published papers explaining and supporting your proposed “New Climate Model”?
      “Enquiring minds”, as the old saying goes…

  12. So, here is evidence that the LIA was not a “local” phenomenon, local to the northern hemisphere, a seesaw of climate between the hemispheres, but was in fact a global phenomenon. Good. I always thought as much.

  13. It is not possible to protect all human births because exponential increase is not sustainable. Somebody is going to have to die.
    Only possible increase in human population is by expansion to other planets.
    Perhaps instead of trying to kill each other ( one solution ) alternate would be to pool resources and DNA to make spaceships ?

    • Ahh, but whose DNA? After all, although everyone is equal, some are more equal than others.

      • Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke.
        Replicate the a “biot”, a hybrid of a biological entity and robot using the human DNA pattern for the biological entity. The robot CPU is a neural network chip recorded from actual living humans. Fertilized human eggs from cryostorage incubated, nurtured, raised, and educated become the new human race. Along with animal embryos, and plant seeds, they start a new human civilization on an Earth-like planet, say something like Earth was 20-35 million years ago


      • Tom in Florida
        March 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm
        But what will ensure that those who are born later will want to continue the trip?

        Inertia.

    • “It is not possible to protect all human births because exponential increase is not sustainable. Somebody is going to have to die.
      Only possible increase in human population is by expansion to other planets.
      Perhaps instead of trying to kill each other ( one solution ) alternate would be to pool resources and DNA to make spaceships ?”
      This planet is and will remain unpopulated. BUT we can and should get resources from Space to become hideously more wealthy. Live in world where people can go to the Moon [and Mars and Venus, and etc] if they want to.
      The most significant aspect of opening the space frontier will be to harvest solar energy from Space environment [which energy density of at least 8 times greater then Earth surface- and currently Space is only place solar energy is economically used {rather than fake economics of robbing money from the public- which if continued can only increase poverty, as it’s been doing}].
      To open the space frontier, mainly what is needed is for the lunar poles to be explored to determine if and where there is commercial minable water. Getting some water is not the question, the question can one extract lunar water in manner which is profitable.
      Or to be more specific, can mine lunar water at a cost that allows one to sell
      the water for about $500 per lb. And idea in over the decades the cost would lower significantly, so say in 20 year the cost lower so the price of water can be say $100 per lb, and within century be around $1 per lb,
      So this is mostly about beginning to establish a new market in space- rocket fuel- as you split the water into rocket fuel. And the Moon is only point of starting this process, Or the moon doesn’t have a lot of water, but say the dwarf planet, Ceres could have minable minable water than the fresh water on Earth. And there other locations which if totaling the amount exceed the amount of water in Earth’s ocean [and be fresh water]. So moon has only lake worth of water in total, and starting point to mining oceans of water in other parts of space. And what this allows a future where water in space is cheaper than water on Earth. And allow rocket fuel to cheaper in space than
      on Earth. And got stuff like endless amounts of iron, and iron could be also cheaper in space than on Earth. And gold and other stuff.
      So one can “strip mine” space and stop “strip mining” Earth because it costs less to do it in space than doing it on Earth.
      And it should be noted the hard part or the expensive part is leaving Earth, rather than returning to Earth. Or it’s easy to drop thing down Earth’s gravity well. And you also set systems of harvesting the energy of dropping stuff down Earth’s well. Or if energy isn’t extremely cheap, one might economically import space water to Earth in other to gain electrical power from the gravitational force of the water [like hydro dams make electrical power from gravitational energy of water, and obviously water from space has far more of this gravitation energy per cubic meter of water. But probably electrical energy at this point in time would be too cheap to do this.

    • zemlik,
      Where did that come from?
      Did you just feel like saying “Somebody is going to have to die.”?
      I think everybody is going to have to die, but not necessarily in a sun-altered monsoon catastrophe.

    • Zembuddy, “Somebody “(the third world) is going to have to be allowed to be affluent so that they have something else to do with their time, instead of copulation. The population of the planet will stabilize if it’s human population all share higher goals than reproduction.

  14. The Khmer kingdom in Cambodia fell around the time of the Little Ice Age, due in part to extended drought. Does this count as historical evidence supporting the paleoclimate record evidence as advanced by Soon and company?

  15. Patently, an interesting paper but I’m more heartened to see Dr. Soon publishing papers, despite the co-ordinated witch hunt of late.
    Pointman

    • They went after Dr. Soon for a reason. They know he’s on to them. However they might have poked the dragon.

    • It was submitted in June last year and accepted in late January so it predates the latest brouhaha.
      Soon’s role was more like that of an editor in this paper.

  16. There are reports of 154, 77, 52, 26 day cycles in the sun (and other harmonically related periods). I have also found 154 day and harmonically related periods in India rainfall after removing seasonal pattern.

  17. This is bogus because like two decades ago Willie Soon took a stick of gum from a guy whose brother in laws best friend knew someone that worked for an oil company.

  18. agenda 21 with global governance is the aim, Climate change is the key, realise this and it is all plainly obvious.

    • + 1,200,000,000,000,000*
      We are being railroaded. Agenda 21 is the runaway train. Climate change is the locomotive
      * That’s the size of the global derivatives casino designed to fleece producers and savers. To destroy the capitalist system, debauch the currency. (And while you’re at it, debauch science.)

  19. As I have said before…always have been a fan of Soon and Carter. They publish climate reality and have become my personal appeal to authority. These folks know of what they speak. Year, after year….they continue to publish objective, well researched solid work. (Just my personal opinion)

  20. One must rule out the first encountered pathology. If we do not have records of the teleconnected oceanic/atmospheric conditions present during the period of time under question, to point to solar connections is premature. Due to internal fluid dynamics and other Earthly parameters present at the time under study, it makes sense that internal oscillations, prodded to extend or contract by internal events such as volcanic veils or land bridges coming or going, should be ruled out first. The study seems too willing to look outside a complicated internal system. Not impressed.

  21. Yes, there was an LIA. Yes there was an ITCZ contraction as proposed. Not sure I can see a solar connection. There is no real proof that CO2 effects the atmosphere, purely speculation. No real proof that the sun does either. I tend to agree with Pamela that the internal dynamics of the earth system need to be sorted out first before looking at some vague external factors.

    • Alex
      March 11, 2015 at 11:03 pm
      Sorry, but when CO2 can be considered as either having or not an effect in climate and atmosphere, definitely the CO2 is not an external factor, either vague or not is indeed an internal factor….
      cheers

      • I was using the term external (for CO2) in this case ,as it is considered a ‘forcing’. In my mind I see a forcing as an external thing.

      • I am implying that it doesn’t make much difference if you increase or decrease the population of a city by 1%. However it makes a big difference if the river the city depends on is diverted.
        Sentence 1 is the effect of CO2 and the sun.
        Sentence 2 is the fluid dynamics etc. of the earth.

    • @Alex: “There is no real proof that CO2 effects [sic] the atmosphere…”
      Hmm… Might you do us the kind favor, then, of giving us your considered and irrefutable refutations of the Tyndall equations — just for starters, of course, seeing as how they are quite venerable, and in needed the tuning that they’ve received over the past 100-plus years. But I’m sure we’d all be curious to hear your specific and testable objections to their assertions.
      Or perhaps we should start you out with something simpler — how about defining what you believe to be specific weaknesses in CMIP5 simulations and suggesting improvements, m’kay?

      • Haha!
        It’s an assertion and not irrefutable proof.
        Far be it for me to argue with the ‘learned gentlefolk’ and their models. I just note that temperature remains the same over 18 years while CO2 increases.
        Tyndall? Do you mean ‘why is the sky blue?’. What does that have to do with anything?
        There is no point discussing and/or suggesting anything to these ‘learned folk’ when they add albedo/ emissivity to neat equations (S-B etc.) when everyone who bothers to look up the definition of these values will see that it is only meant as an approximation. So you end up multiplying everything by point ‘ish’.
        So cool. I don’t get involved in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

      • Rik, may I commend you on not hiding behind a pseudonym and that, of itself, makes your comment worthy of a considered answer. To be scientifically literate we must accept that no theory can be proven in any absolute sense. There is always room for doubt and for (even) fundamental revision. It is also, as Lakatos, Kuhn and others convincingly argued, impossible to disprove a theory (the presence of ceteris paribus clauses and the jointness problem to name just two substantial issues that all scientists confront). This is all well trodden ground. The point about the impact of CO2 on global temperatures is a strong conjecture and, from a theoretical perspective, it is highly plausible. The problem is unambiguously detecting the effect in real data. Without doubt the planet has undergone some significant warming over the industrial period but how much is empirically very hard to determine. The association between emissions and temperature change is statistically very weak, even a casual look at the two time series suggests that the chances of establishing correlation are non-existent (unit root problems etc). Correlation does not mean causation, but without correlation demonstrating causation is extremely difficult and hence we have got ourselves into a wicked attribution problem. Fingerprint studies, climate modelling and all the rest are all attempts to nail the problem but all have very significant issues. We are then confronted with the problem of the ‘pause’ and the divergence of temperature series from modelled expectations and to deny its extent and significance is, to my mind, just silly. You see Rik, skepticism is a virtue in any scientific endeavour and the statement ‘there is no real proof…’ is correct. There is, I believe, good support for, but no proof of, a link between anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and global temperature change – but I am skeptical that the conjecture of a strong positive feedback effect has been demonstrated and so my position is that we have far more urgent problems to deal with. That seems to me to be a sensible position for any skeptic with respect to this issue to take.

      • Professor Bob Ryan
        Eloquent.
        I responded tersely because I felt under attack for something I didn’t actually say.

      • @ Bob Ryan: Thanks for your thoughtful response — it’s always a relief to hear from someone whose response isn’t mailed in an ad hominem envelope.
        I concur that an association is not a proof, but I disagree with your assertion that the “association between emissions and temperature change is statistically very weak” — weakness, in this case, is a judgement call. And, of course, I’d be a fool to argue against the assertion that “skepticism is a virtue in any scientific endeavour and the statement ‘there is no real proof…’ is correct.” But as a member of the scientific community, you must also understand that “real proof” is a rare bird, indeed — especially in as complex a system as global climate.
        The question at hand, I fear, is at what point in the accumulation of evidence do the ramifications of a nascent “proof” become a cause for action, particularly when the effects being described, modeled — and yes, at times merely postulated — become sufficiently dire? Personally, my reading of the literature leads me to the conclusion that there is enough solidly accumulated, well-analyzed, and irrefutable evidence to say that the gamble of waiting for “real proof” — or, for that matter, for “real refutation” — it too great. And, as you well know, my position is in line with the majority consensus — and you appear to be too intelligent a man to engage in such balderdash as assertions that the general consensus is either 1) motivated by careerist grant seekers, b) driven by echo-chamber, herd instinct, or iii) not a consensus at all, but rather a left-wing, media-driven plot to strip away freedoms — the whole ridiculous “watermelon” meme. No, the climate-science community is replete with serious truth seekers attempting to provide policymakers with clean data and well-thought-through information. My recent attendance at the American Geophysical Union’s December meeting, fore example, brought me in contact with thousands of like-minded scientists — and even with my bullshit detectors set to stun, I couldn’t find a charlatan among them. Some dim bulbs, to be sure, but in any gathering of 24,000 souls, there will be some silliness…
        Finally, speaking of “unambiguously detecting the effect in real data,” I assume you’ve read of the work of Daniel Feldman at al. at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/). A small step, to be sure, but solid experimental data, well-analyzed.

  22. On second thoughts perhaps not as they must all be from outer space since the science is settled.

  23. Funded by the Chinese Communist Party! In that case Obama, Boxer. Markey and Co will approve – unconditionally!

    • @BillTheGeo:
      Deep, sir, deep. This is, after all, a rather important subject — is it too much to ask you to shelve your puerile, sniggling, ad hominem attacks, and instead provide well-supported arguments based on solid data and well-informed analysis?

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