Historical sunspot numbers are about to be given an adjustment

UPDATE: Some commenters got the wrong idea about this article, see the footnote.

monthly sunspots 1749 2014Our resident solar physicist Dr. Leif Svalgaard is one of the scientists involved in the effort

Dear SILSO user,

Mon, Jun 22, 2015 11:42 am

Over the past 4 years a community effort has been carried out to revise entirely the historical Sunspot Number series. A good overview of the analyses and identified corrections is provided in the recent review paper:

Clette, F., Svalgaard, L., Vaquero, J.M., Cliver, E. W.,“Revisiting the Sunspot Number. A 400-Year Perspective on the Solar Cycle”, Space Science Reviews, Volume 186, Issue 1-4, pp. 35-103.

Now that the new data series has been finalized, we are about to replace the original version of our sunspot data

by an entirely new data set on July 1st. On this occasion, we decided to simultaneously introduce changes in several conventions in the data themselves and also in the distributed data files.

There are so many diverse changes that we cannot guarantee that everything will work perfectly on the first try.Our team is too small to make full prior simulations. Therefore, multiple careful consistency checks will be done on July 1st itself, which will slow down the processing. So, please anticipate some delays compared to an ordinary month.

The most prominent change in the Sunspot Number will be the choice of a new reference observer, A.Wolfer (pilot observer from 1876 to 1928) instead of R. Wolf himself. This means dropping the conventional 0.6 Zürich scale factor, thus raising the scale of the entire Sunspot Number time series to the level of modern sunspot counts. This major scale change may thus strongly affect some user applications. Be prepared!

Regarding data files, various files will be replaced by new ones, with new more homogeneous names and new internal column formats. The included information will sometimes change: combining data (e.g. hemispheric numbers together with total numbers), separating data (monthly smoothed numbers in a separate file) or adding new values that were not provided previously (standard errors).

All those changes will be explained in the information accompanying our data, on the web site of the World Data Center SILSO. While the primary files will all be replaced in early July, some other changes will still occur in the next two or three months. During this transitory phase, we thus invite you to visit the SILSO Web site to keep track of the changes, as we are preparing this major transition now scheduled for July 1st, 2015.

An important remark for our faithful observers: the current transition in the sunspot number processing does not change anything to the way you enter your data. So, just proceed as usual on July 1st. Your past k personal

coefficients will simply be recomputed relative to the new re-calibrated sunspot number. We are working on this right now. By the way, the new processing software will open the way towards a better determination of the evolution of each station and so, a better feedback to our observers will become possible in the future.

In the coming weeks, please visit our SILSO Web site:

http://www.sidc.be/silso

____________________

Dr.Laure Lefevre

Royal Observatory of Belgium WDC-SILSO

http://www.sidc.be/silso


UPDATE: A number of commenters got the wrong idea about this article, conflating the process with the sort of questionable adjustment techniques  For example, Dr. Svalgaard comments:

As the text says all observers should continue the way they have always done. There is no such as ‘the traditional count’ for observers. That concept is completely local to the SIDC [now SILSO]

Frederick Colbourne adds:

These adjustments (at the very least) compensate for the faulty decision by one important observer to use an instrument that did not have sufficient resolving power to count the sunspots properly.

Willis Eschenbach sums it up:

Dear heavens, this resistance to correcting the mistakes of the past is most peculiar. Mosh is quite correct. The sunspot count of the past was differently calculated, due to changes in counting methods which are both well known and well explained.

What they have now done is to use the same methodology from start to finish.

Look, there have been some bogus “adjustments” to climate records by various miscreants. But that doesn’t mean we can just use what we have in front of us in any field. Sunspots are a good example. We know where we changed methodology in the past. We know the dates that calculation method changed, and how the method changed. As a result of the change we have two incompatible sets of numbers.

So should we just continue to use the existing sunspot dataset, which consists of two sets of DIFFERENT NUMBERS which were calculated in DIFFERENT WAYS and then just spliced together? That would be nuts, no?

Instead what we need to do, and what Leif and the others did, was to go back to the underlying observations, and to use a single unified clearly-defined method of counting sunspots from the start of the record to the end of the record. This single internally coherent dataset replaces the SPLICED DATASET of the past.

Anyone who thinks that using the same counting method from start to finish is somehow bad and wrong, well, they’re free to use the old spliced dataset … and if you do, I’m free to laugh at your adherence to past mistakes.

Note well that this says nothing about the endless adjustments to the temperature record, which may or may not be justified in any particular case, and which are nowhere near as clear-cut and clean as the sunspot count.

My viewpoint is that this adjustment corrects a clear mistake, and therefore should be welcomed. – Anthony Watts

441 thoughts on “Historical sunspot numbers are about to be given an adjustment

    • Will the traditional count be available? It sounds as if they’re replacing the old data files, not offering a new product.

    • As the text says all observers should continue the way they have always done. There is no such as ‘the traditional count’ for observers. That concept is completely local to the SIDC [now SILSO]

    • Fortunate for comparison purposes, but not otherwise. These adjustments (at the very least) compensate for the faulty decision by one important observer to use an instrument that did not have sufficient resolving power to count the sunspots properly.

  1. So how does the new series differ in sunspot trends?
    Is the modern maximum now just another ordinary cycle?
    Also, is the historic version being kept available for replicating older papers?

  2. I hope they preserve the original data as a backup just in case the generated (non-data) numbers don’t work out. They should also annotate the original data as “Observed” and the generated data as “What we have convinced ourselves ‘Observed data’ should have been”.

    • I just hope that all the original files (including supporting data) are secured and backed up like the live data.

      • They should restart the new record beginning now and close and freeze the historic record as they will be unrelated anyway. Instead they’ll cob up some kind of scheme that makes the record appear continuous which means we pretend we don’t see change. And we, the mushrooms, will be kept in the dark and fed bovian night soil.

      • The old records should be archived as is and be available online beside the new one, also they should continue to record future sunspot counts in the same way as before concurrent to the new count method.
        Lay both methods on the table for everyone to see.
        “Replacing” historical records is BS.

      • All original data has always been available and preserved. The main change is simply that we no longer multiply the average count by 0.6. So now the count is really just 10*groups + spots as Wolf defined it.

      • Except where it was already thrown away. As someone who might know about the records.
        Leif Svalgaard
        August 19, 2014 at 8:31 am
        philjourdan says:
        August 19, 2014 at 4:19 am
        Human nature may – but science does not. And good science would maintain the raw data in case new information is found where new numbers must be derived based upon new knowledge.

        None of your good intentions matter when it comes to what people did in the past. It matters not what people should do, but only what they actually did.
        the disappearance of original data is inexcusable
        Irrelevant as the original data was thrown away long ago, before there were any computers.

      • DD More [and many others]. No old data have been thrown away, on the contrary, a lot of new data have been recovered. No data have been altered in any way. All data we have used are still around. What we have done is correcting errors and erroneous ‘improvements’ in fashioning the sunspot series. I’m not going to bother with your nonsense and other’s any more.

      • So we’ve never known what the SSN has ever been since the observed data was tossed out and the numbers we have are invented rubbish as is any derived correlations and discoveries based on that rubbish. Time for a do-over and spend a little time learning from history. Correcting numbers that have never been observed data does not seem to be a reasonable activity. We can now add faith-bases solar observations to our faith-based climate science.
        Maybe we can take a page from astronomers who realized that Pluto wasn’t a planet after all so they quit calling it a planet. As soon as data stops being data we should stop calling it data.

      • What are you trying to do? Ruin everyone’s fun?
        People were having such a grand time grousing about things they didn’t understand, and you have to come along and interject facts.
        /sarc

  3. Some years ago I visited the Royal Observatory of Belgium, including the sun spot count telescope, when they had an open day for the public. The sun disc was projected on a wall to mimic the historical counting method and keep the counting as much the same.
    They were telling that moment that there was an international group working to revisit the historical counts. Which work now seems to get the final touch, Thanks to an international effort, including Dr. Svalgaard…
    What I have read from Dr. Svalgaard, seems to be that the past was less quiet than assumed by many and the past century high numbers were not so exceptional as assumed.
    Will give some interesting debates between those who assume that the sun regulates (all/most) of our climate and those more agnostic on that influence…

    • They have to readjust sunspot numbers. Leaving out the recorded isotope numbers found in living things like trees. (BTW, that’s how CAGW can tell how much man made co2 has been produced and where it is and when) If they don’t readjust the sunspot number some people might believe that somehow sunspots affect climate and not co2. And here it was that based on isotope readings I believed the historical record was fairly accurate. See how that works: it’s OK to use isotope numbers to prove how much influence man has, but not for something else. (I’m not certain CAGW knows that either… look at the rise in co2 levels vs. the amount produced in comparison to the atmospheric weight) The high point of co2 rise was ta da 1998. (so far). So you wonder with ever increasing production of co2 why the increase in co2 rise hasn’t matched

  4. One can only hope that the SSN adjustments are better grounded and more transparent than those made in historical surface temperature records.

  5. Sounds to me like they have too much time and research money on their hands.
    Do they plan to revise the historical observations every few months?
    Next, someone will want to revise the annual number of hurricanes.

    • Jerry, let’s be frank, adjustments are necessary in order to compare apples to apples. While sunspots are much more straightforward than temperature, there is still a significant change of methodology and equipment, not to mention surface coverage, over the ages. In the 1500s, a cloud pattern over Europe meant no measurement, and thus and artificial lowering of the total spots found per year. Not so in these days.
      Just because some people misused data methods does not mean all data processing is bunk.
      And I would completely suggest revising hurricane numbers before 1850 to adjust for changes recordkeeping. In specific, I would divide the number recorded by the fraction of monitored coastline. That would be trivial in 1850 and increase significantly as we go back to the 1600s.

      • Ok, but where do you draw the line? There’s just no end to this.
        My feeling is that if you want to take a shot at “adjusting” historical data, then go right ahead, but your results should NEVER replace historical data. The original data should always be available along with the revisionist data, and each should be clearly labeled. Anything less is a farce.

      • There are no “apples to apples” comparisons. The empirical data does not exist. All there is, is the observations of the day by the methodologies of the day. The best you can hope for, is that a modern comparison of methodologies, might, might lead to some reasonable assumptions about the conditions of the sun at the time. but it is only a proxy, an untestable one at that.

      • This is comparing apples to oranges.
        Reminds me of a story about Abraham Lincoln, who became frustrated with a reporter tying to get Lincoln to admit something was true. In frustration, Lincoln asked: “If you call the tail of a dog a leg, how many legs does a dog have”. The reporter answered five. Lincoln countered: “no, only four. Calling a dog’s tail a leg does not make it one”.
        Calling an old sunspot count a new count does not make it one.

      • Ben, let’s be frank, painting an orange red is necessary in order to compare apples to apples.

      • Nothing is perfect. It’s an estimation. However, it can make the comparisons MORE valuable.
        So long as the original historical data is KEPT AND AVAILABLE and people understand the difference in the measured versus estimated, you can establish trends and scales on a far longer period of time.
        To compare, if you move a temperature monitoring station and it suddenly drops 2 degrees. You have to adjust the prior data to be comparable, otherwise you have a false indication. The same goes with sunspots. We have KNOWN changes in monitoring methods that should be accounted for if we are to make valid comparisons.
        The problem with these come when the data is replaced and put forth as if it was the ONLY data. When the methods and mechanisms are hidden or manipulated to produce the desired result. They are being open and active to carefully AVOID this pitfall. This transparency should be celebrated, not slandered

    • Actually with Hurricanes you have to adjust the series.
      In the past hurricanes were observed on ships and on land
      Now we have satellites which have much more accurate counts
      Same with Twisters
      So if you DIDNT adjust the “raw” data would indicate an increase.

      • No one number would be observed Hurricanes, and the other would be estimated Hurricanes; each number should have well stated caveats. Today the number of observed to estimated to actual is probably very close to 1:1:1, in the past not so much.

    • Jerry, did you leave out a /sarc? http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/data_sub/re_anal.html says in part:

      The Atlantic Hurricane Database Re-analysis Project is an effort to extend and revise the National Hurricane Center’s North Atlantic hurricane database (or HURDAT). Going back to 1851 and revisiting storms in more recent years, information on tropical cyclones is revised using an enhanced collection of historical meteorological data in the context of today’s scientific understanding of hurricanes and analysis techniques.

      It’s spearheaded by Christopher Landsea, a good guy.

  6. thus raising the scale of the entire Sunspot Number time series to the level of modern sunspot counts…..
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzip
    oh well, it really doesn’t matter….someone in the future will just adjust and change what you’re doing right now anyway….just like you’re doing

  7. A suggestion to alarmist history re-writers: how about changing past calendar years? I am sure by judiciously adjusting the starting and ending dates of each year, one could easily get rid of the pause/hiatus…

    • This is an obvious attempt to maintain the meme of the ‘myths of climate’. Well, I see their CO2 greenhouse card and raise them two oceanic oscillations and a grand solar minimum! We’ll see how the cards fall…

    • The funny thing is that people HAVE adjusted the calendar — such as switching from the Juilan Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, or deciding what day marks the beginning of the new year. And if you DON’T correct for this fact, then weird things happen in history. For example, both Shakespeare and Cervantes died on April 23, 1613. However, this happened 10 days apart, because Spain and England used different calendars. Or the “October Revolution” in Russia happened in November (on modern calendars).
      If you DON’T allows for changes in records and techniques over the years, you are SURE to run into trouble and get things wrong. In a poetic sort of way, Kayla’s own comment highlights what is wrong with her comment. 🙂

      • Actually I believe the extra day is added because the actual time to orbit the sun is not a whole number (365) but 365.(something.)

  8. “The North and South components of the monthly smoothed sunspot number for the last five cycles (13-month smoothed monthly values). Green fill color when the North number is higher than the South number, and red color when South is higher than North.
    The plot is based on data from the Uccle station (Royal Observatory of Belgium) up to 1991 and from the WDC-Sunspot Number network since January 1992.”
    http://www.sidc.be/images/wnosuf.png

  9. For some time Leif and others have been reducing the indications of solar variability in the sunspot records.
    Thus far, despite their efforts, there has still remained variability which correlates rather roughly ( on multidecadal and centennial time scales) with changes in global temperature trends across multiple solar cycles.
    Provided the new figures do not iron out variations completely there should still be enough information to support variations in solar activity as a driver of climate changes.
    That being said I remain of the view that there is much subjectivity in the new interpretations and I see little practical utility in the exercise.

    • “… I remain of the view that there is much subjectivity in the new interpretations …”
      Agreed. There is so much subjectivity in all of the “data” involved in climate “science”. It is amazing how the keepers of the data sets can continually change the past and then everyone is supposed to take the data sets seriously. Oh my.

      • Are error bars used on sunspot data? If so, when were error bars first used, and how will those error bars be adjusted along with data?

    • There were mistakes in the previous adjustments to the data. Lief looked at additional records. Ran experiments and corrected the mistakes

      • Well, if Lief corrected the mistakes, then the new data must be darn near perfect. Judging from his comments here, Lief is never wrong. I just hope his work lives up to his own expectations of himself.

      • Dear heavens, this resistance to correcting the mistakes of the past is most peculiar. Mosh is quite correct. The sunspot count of the past was differently calculated, due to changes in counting methods which are both well known and well explained.
        What they have now done is to use the same methodology from start to finish.
        Look, there have been some bogus “adjustments” to climate records by various miscreants. But that doesn’t mean we can just use what we have in front of us in any field. Sunspots are a good example. We know where we changed methodology in the past. We know the dates that calculation method changed, and how the method changed. As a result of the change we have two incompatible sets of numbers.
        So should we just continue to use the existing sunspot dataset, which consists of two sets of DIFFERENT NUMBERS which were calculated in DIFFERENT WAYS and then just spliced together? That would be nuts, no?
        Instead what we need to do, and what Leif and the others did, was to go back to the underlying observations, and to use a single unified clearly-defined method of counting sunspots from the start of the record to the end of the record. This single internally coherent dataset replaces the SPLICED DATASET of the past.
        Anyone who thinks that using the same counting method from start to finish is somehow bad and wrong, well, they’re free to use the old spliced dataset … and if you do, I’m free to laugh at your adherence to past mistakes.
        Note well that this says nothing about the endless adjustments to the temperature record, which may or may not be justified in any particular case, and which are nowhere near as clear-cut and clean as the sunspot count.
        w.

        • Willis, part of the problem is that the old sunspot series supports a strong solar influence and the new one doesn’t. So people would rather lose their rationality than give up their preconceived myths. This is normal human behavior from time immemorial and and is demonstrated so vividly here.

      • lsvalgaard June 23, 2015 at 12:37 am

        Willis, part of the problem is that the old sunspot series supports a strong solar influence and the new one doesn’t. So people would rather lose their rationality than give up their preconceived myths. This is normal human behavior from time immemorial and and is demonstrated so vividly here.

        Sadly, while you are correct, I fear these days it is more than that. Folks have been given deceptive statements by alarmists for so long now that people distrust climate scientists almost by reflex. Given the amount of bogus climate “science” being passed off in the journals these days, such distrust is perhaps a reasonable defense reflex … but the bad news is that honest scientists get tarred with the same brush.
        In any case, I don’t see that the ~ 20% increase in the amplitude of sunspot records more than 60 years old would be enough to make much difference to the various solar hypotheses. If they can’t find the evidence for their purported connections in the sixty years of more recent data, I don’t see how the earlier data helps much.
        w.

        • The 20% is for the latest adjustment in 1947. The big change happened around 1890 and amounted to 50% which combined with the 20% does make a very large difference.

      • I strongly believe that the motivation from Leif and his group are purely scientific, this can’t be said for all groups and specifically many groups in the Climate Science category. Leif defends his work vigorously and has always responded to any question honestly, treated with respect he is a valuable source of information. I for one thank Leif and his group for their work and to make it clear I am in the “very skeptical” camp of the CAGW debate.

      • Reminds me of an old cartoon – Bullwinkle: “Hey Rocky – watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!”. Rocky: “That trick never works!”. Bullwinkle: “Nothing up my sleeve…”
        It seems there’s a history of scientists who think they have the right adjustment what is deem faulty data only to discover subsequent scientists find errors in their work. Sorry – Rocky is right. That “trick” never works. I’m weary of tricks applied to climate science. Just stop.

      • Knowing someone, trusting them, and tending to believe them often go hand in hand.
        For those who do not know this same person, one has no such guidepost.
        Besides, honest people are not always correct about everything.
        Honesty may or may not correspond with veracity.
        And as is rightly pointed out, adjusting past records has come to be a hallmark of dubious practices.
        I come here to learn things. There are other places to read these articles and stories, but I also like to know what other people are thinking and saying. Many publications have websites in which the comments sections are wiped clean of any comment that even hints of CAGW skepticism.
        I would think if the idea of doing this work is to inform and educate, then one might also think that educating those who are skeptical and/or uninformed regarding one’s work is at least as, if not far more, important as holding hands with old friends.
        Or, it could be important, if one chose to make it so.
        Science should not be a turf war, but it should be an ongoing argument.
        We see writers here who do a very commendable job of informing and suggesting and defending and explaining.
        These people change minds, end debates, send other debates off in new directions.
        Sounds like a lot of patient effort went into this new work. I am disappointed by the lack of patience here.

        • We see writers here who do a very commendable job of informing and suggesting and defending and explaining.
          Frankly, I don’t see any [other than myself, of course]. Perhaps you could be more specific.

    • There are a few centuries of temperature and sunspot data. This allows the “experts” to conclude that the sun’s output is constant over the eons.
      If you can blame the sun, you cannot blame man. That’s all you really need to know about the adjustments.

      • So long as good scientific process is followed with method and data released with the new series..
        It seems unlikely that a sunspot will impact weather on earth however what causes sunspots may well.
        Lets keep our minds open, every bit of R&D I have done has produced interesting outcomes, most of the time they are not what was hoped for at the outset but the results are commonly more value than what was hypothesized originally.

  10. Adjustments can make for better science. Since Dr. Svalgaard is one of the principals, I am not concerned with his adjustments. I have no doubt that all the former data will be available, along with the new adjustmented data, and how he got there.
    So long as there is transparent access to all methods, data, methodologies and metadata, so that anyone can follow the changes every step of the way, there’s no problem. That’s how adjustments should be done.
    Mann et al have shown how it shouldn’t be done:
    After more than seventeen years, Michael Mann still has not provided satisfatory responses regarding his MBH97/98 conclusions (including his famous ‘hockey stick’ graph). And what about the Mann07 upside-down Tiljander proxy? He used it even though Ms. Tiljander told him before he published that the sediments were corrupted. He used her proxy anyway because it gave him the hockey stick chart he wanted.
    Dr. Svalgaard’s group can show him how real scientists do it right. NASA/GISS and NOAA should also pay attention. They seem to have a transparency problem, too.

    • dbstealey:

      After more than seventeen years, Michael Mann still has not provided satisfatory responses regarding his MBH97/98 conclusions (including his famous ‘hockey stick’ graph). And what about the Mann07 upside-down Tiljander proxy? He used it even though Ms. Tiljander told him before he published that the sediments were corrupted. He used her proxy anyway because it gave him the hockey stick chart he wanted.

      I don’t know how serious a point this is, but I want to clarify Mia Tiljander did not tell Michael Mann or anyone else on his team “the sediments were corrupted.” What she did was, in her publications, say the last couple centuries of data for the Tiljander proxies were corrupted. She said the previous portions of the records were usable, but the methodology Mann used required proxies be calibrated against the modern temperature record. Since the modern portions of those proxies were corrupted, they couldn’t actually be calibrated against the modern temperature record (and thus, some of them were used upside down).
      The main point, however, is Mia Tiljander didn’t tell anyone this directly. She just said it in her published work. I think the difference between ignoring what is said in a published work is different than ignoring what is said in direct communication. Other people might not care about the distinction.

      • Another problem Mr Stealey might have with the MBH97/98 conclusions is the fact that in more than a dozen subsequent studies using different proxies and different methodologies, have reached the same general conclusion that Mann reached.

      • That is not my understanding. Look at Moberg, Loehle, and Ljunqvist. Even Mann (2008) is not a hockey stick.

      • Joel D. Jackson says:

        Another problem Mr Stealey might have with the MBH97/98 conclusions is the fact that in more than a dozen subsequent studies using different proxies and different methodologies, have reached the same general conclusion that Mann reached.

        But this is highly misleading. The “subsequent studies” he refers to have never used independent proxies or methodologies. Many of the same proxies are used time and time again in millenial reconstructions, to the point where the NOAMER PC1, focus of most criticisms regarding MBH due to Mann et al creating it via their biased and faulty implementation of PCA, was used in more than half a dozen of these “subsequent studies.” That means the “subsequent studies” often didn’t just reuse the same data, they reused the data analysis MBH used.
        As for the “subsequent studies” using “different methodologies,” there are only two general classes of methodologies used in any of these reconstructions. The details vary, but it ultimately comes down to one of the two same things: 1) The Mann approach where bad statistical analyses is used on a large data set in a way which gives undue weight to data with a particular signal; 2) The Jacoby appraoch where a small number of proxies chosen because they show a particular signal are used.
        That’s it. That’s what the entire field comes down to. Any unbiased examination of millenial proxies would conclude we simply don’t have the data to draw quantitative conclusions about past temperatures. That’s an unpublishable result though. Once people like Michael Mann get tons of publicity publishing conclusions they say we can be highly certain of and the field tolerates it, nobody will publish a result which says, “We just don’t know.”
        Of course, it doesn’t help that some “skeptics” insist we know the MWP was warmer than current times. That’s every bit as wrong as what people like Michael Mann say, and it prevents skeptics from having a consistent position on the subject.
        Though as an aside, evanmjones points out an important point – the original hockey stick looks very different from the results published in “subsequent studies.” None of them look anything like a hockey stick. A hockey stick has a flat shaft and a curved blade. Aside from the earliest temperature reconstructions, none have had a flat shaft. Most have shapes more resembling boomerangs than hockey sticks.

      • Joel D. Jackson:

        Care to comment these studies Brandon?
        ..
        http://environmentalforest.blogspot.ca/2013/10/enough-hockey-sticks-for-team.html

        Not if you’re too lazy to. Links are supposed to be provided as support for one’s argument, not as a replacement for one’s argument. If you’re too lazy to participate in a discussion like a reasonable person by actually discussing things, there is no reason I should do the work you refuse to do.
        Anybody can see through the tactic of providing a link to overwhelm your opponent with material while doing absolutely no work of your own. All you accomplish by trying to use such a shady approach to discussions is to make yourself look bad.

      • @ Joel D. Jackson June 22, 2015 at 2:55 pm
        “Another problem Mr Stealey might have with the MBH97/98 conclusions is the fact that in more than a dozen subsequent studies using different proxies and different methodologies, have reached the same general conclusion that Mann reached.”
        @ Joel D. Jackson June 22, 2015 at 3:28 pm
        Care to comment these studies Brandon?
        http://environmentalforest.blogspot.ca/2013/10/enough-hockey-sticks-for-team.html
        The most recent studies listed in the above link show that it was warmer 1000 years ago than it is today. E.g. PAGES 2k Consortium (2013), Ljungqvist et al (2012) and Marcott et al (2013) “Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values.” Even Mann 2008 shows the planet was warmer 1000 years ago.
        Joel Jackson’s claims are not supported by the papers he linked to.

      • proxy “calibration” remains a huge statistical problem in climate science. mathematically it is forbidden because it generates spurious results. The technical description is “selection on the dependent variable”.
        Unfortunately, “calibration” sounds like a good idea, so many “peers” in the climate field are not aware of the faulty conclusions that result from the widespread use of faulty mathematics.
        The problem comes from trying to “improve” the signal to noise ratio of proxy signals, by selecting only those proxies that match the modern thermometer records. On the surface that sounds like it is a good idea. Use only those proxies that appear reliable.
        However, what is being ignored is the assumption of statistics, that you are using a random sample. You are not, since you selected your sample via “calibration”, which means you cannot use the sample for statistical analysis.
        The problem is that in any random sample, some proxies will match the modern thermometer record by chance. Your technique amplifies this noise, while giving the appearance that you are amplifying signal. This is what gives you the blade of the hockey stick.
        When you average out the amplified noise, you get a flat line. Voila, you get the shaft for the area outside the calibration range (before 1850) and after 1850 you get the blade that matches the modern thermometer record.
        The widespread use of calibration in climate science guarantees that you will get hockey sticks. It is the unavoidable result of faulty mathematics, not the result of climate change.

      • Joel,
        See the repeated use of the same proxy series in all these “independent” studies:
        https://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/indepe1.gif
        where the bristlecone/foxtail (PC1) is particularly problematic, as these are based on trees with an abnormal growth spurt. One of the investigations of MBH98 did say that such proxy shouldn’t be used in temperature reconstructions. Other series are equally “tainted”.
        Besides the temperature difference current – past (MWP), even more important is the difference in temperature MWP-LIA: in MBH98 that was 0.1-0.2°C in Moberg, Esper and most other European reconstructions (and Huang – boreholes), the difference is ~0.8°C. That makes a huge difference in estimating the influence of CO2: the higher the natural variability in the past, the lower the influence of CO2…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen, you might find this post I wrote interesting. Amongst other things, it shows the MBH reconstruction compared to a number of other reconstructions, one at a time. When you compare them that way rather than using a messy spaghetti graph, it becomes very obvious the MBH reconstruction was not “confirmed” by subsequent studies.
        One of these days, I’ll have to go back and create graphs like that for all the reconstructions I can find.

      • Joel D. Jackson:

        Ferdinand, Thomas, & Brandon.
        ..
        Not one of you has provided a reconstruction that invalidates Mann’s results.

        You haven’t provided a single reconstruction that validates Michael Mann’s results. I, on the other hand, at least provided a link which showed a number of reconstructions that are significantly different from Mann’s. You may argue they don’t invalidate his results (results which you haven’t even stated), but it is far more than anything you have done.
        Which is because I actually contribute to discussions. I make arguments and offer evidence to support them. I provide information so people can learn and understand.
        You… are just lazy and provide nothing of your own.

      • PS Brandon.
        ..
        Your post shows differences in reconstructions. However, I suggest you include the 2-sigma error bounds that were part of the original MBH97/98. When you do that in your posted graphs, you’ll find that the compared reconstructions fall well within the bounds.

      • Joel D. Jackson:

        1) Marcott

        Marcott et al did not validate MBH’s conclusions. At all. You’re just making things up. Even worse, you’re doing it in such a vague and uninformative way as to make discussion on the topic almost pointless. You’re apparently continuing your approach of demanding everyone else do far more work than you are willing to do.

        2) Yes, thank you for making my argument (re: invalidation)

        Except I didn’t.

        PS Brandon.
        ..
        Your post shows differences in reconstructions. However, I suggest you include the 2-sigma error bounds that were part of the original MBH97/98. When you do that in your posted graphs, you’ll find that the compared reconstructions fall well within the bounds.

        Michael Mann has never disclosed how he performed his confidence intervals and the code for them has never been released. Nobody can replicate them.* Given that, I don’t see much value in including them. That’s especially true since it’s not clear which confidence intervals one would even use since he has published different ones which are inconsistent with one another.
        But leaving all that aside, you’re just making things up. Here is a file with (one version) of MBH’s confidence intervals. It is trivially easy to see the ~95% confidence interval (2 SIGMA) value is significantly smaller than the differences between some of the reconstructions.
        All anyone has to do to verify this is eyeball the graphs I provided for Esper 2002, Moberg 2005, D’Arrigo 2006 or Hegerl 2006. The differences I show exceed the values you can see in that file. I would replot the graphs to show this if you had bothered to put any effort into this discussion, but I’m not going to waste that much time since the only reason this issue even came up is you made a wildly untrue claim without doing anything to support it.
        *To be more precise, nobody can replicate MBH99’s uncertainty calculations. MBH98’s have been replicated.

      • “All anyone has to do to verify this is eyeball the graphs ”

        That’s the most impressive scientific procedure I’ve ever heard of. How about you put the confidence intervals in as published by Mann? I “eyeballed” your table and see that most of your comparisons DO fall into the ranges.

      • Joel D. Jackson:

        “All anyone has to do to verify this is eyeball the graphs ”

        That’s the most impressive scientific procedure I’ve ever heard of. How about you put the confidence intervals in as published by Mann?

        “Wah, wah, someone won’t do all the work for me. How dare they not cater to my laziness?!”
        Get real. You haven’t put an iota of effort into having a real discussion on this topic. I’m not going to go do a bunch of work just to satisfy a person who isn’t even attempting to participate in a reasonable manner. Anyone can look at the graphs I provided and get a decent estimate of the differences between the reconstructions. They can then look at the data file I provided and compare their estimate to the numbers I provided.

        I “eyeballed” your table and see that most of your comparisons DO fall into the ranges.

        I cited four reconstructions which clearly fall outside the ranges for significant portions of their record. If you think I’m wrong, point to one I’m wrong about. Estimate the difference between the reconstructions at a few points and cite the uncertainty levels for those points. It’s easy, and it would let you show I’m wrong (if I am).
        But you didn’t even try. And you won’t. Because you’re not interested in an actual discussion. You certainly aren’t interested in putting any actual effort into this discussion. You just want me to do more work to keep trying to force me to put far more effort into this discussion than you ever will.
        It’s pathetic. Nobody will fall for it. You and everybody else here knows what you’re doing.

      • “Anyone can look at the graphs I provided and get a decent estimate of the differences between the reconstructions.” Except that without the confidence intervals all your work is bogus. Graphs without confidence intervals are a waste of my and your time.
        You seem to be making the mistake in thinking the graph produced by Mann is is conclusions. That’s your problem. You attack the graph, and ignore the actual conclusions WRITTEN in his paper. But I guess you have to do that because of the importance of that one little graphic that was published. A lot of people have attacked it, yet for some reason it stands, along with all the other reconstructions.

        PS, I’m still waiting for you to provide us all with a reconstruction that invalidates Mann’s and subsequent reconstructions.
        ..
        Good luck, and thank you in advance!!

      • Joel D. Jackson:

        “Anyone can look at the graphs I provided and get a decent estimate of the differences between the reconstructions.” Except that without the confidence intervals all your work is bogus. Graphs without confidence intervals are a waste of my and your time.

        Leaving aside the fact you almost certainly wouldn’t apply this standard universally, such as when the IPCC shows reconstructions without confidence intervals, this comment is obviously bogus. You can accurately judge results with the results in a graph and the uncertainty in a text file. It isn’t as convenient, but it’s perfectly workable.

        You seem to be making the mistake in thinking the graph produced by Mann is is conclusions. That’s your problem. You attack the graph, and ignore the actual conclusions WRITTEN in his paper. But I guess you have to do that because of the importance of that one little graphic that was published.

        Um, no. I just assumed nobody would be stupid enough to claim any subsequent studies confirmed MBH’s conclusions like:

        Though expanded uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions for the period prior to AD 1400, our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence.

        When every subsequent study has failed to support this conclusion, including the ones Michael Mann helped create. You’ll also note earlier I said:

        You may argue they don’t invalidate his results (results which you haven’t even stated)

        Drawing attention to the fact you haven’t even said what conclusions were supposedly confirmed by those subsequent studies. That means you’re criticizing me for not discussing conclusions when you won’t even say what those conclusions are.

        PS, I’m still waiting for you to provide us all with a reconstruction that invalidates Mann’s and subsequent reconstructions.

        I’m still waiting for you to provide anything. Even if you can’t produce smallest hint of honest intent, you could at least try to show any reconstruction actually validates MBH. You haven’t though. And I doubt you will.

      • Brandon,
        Nice overview in your link, it clearly shows the “trick”: by mixing gradual differences, you don’t see the large differences between the extremes…
        Joel,
        The difference between Mann and others is up to a factor 8 for the MWP-LIA difference. That has a lot of impact on the estimates for CO2 sensitivity, as several European scientists wrote:
        http://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/fb09climatology/files/2012/03/Esper_2005_QSR2.pdf
        So, what would it mean, if the reconstructions indicate a larger (Esper et al., 2002; Pollack and Smerdon, 2004; Moberg et al., 2005) or smaller (Jones et al., 1998; Mann et al., 1999) temperature amplitude?
        We suggest that the former situation, i.e. enhanced variability during pre-industrial times, would result in a
        redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors in forcing temperature changes, thereby relatively
        devaluing the impact of anthropogenic emissions and affecting future predicted scenarios.

        Also worth reading, about the impact of scaling and regression:
        http://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/fb09climatology/files/2012/03/Esper_2005_GRL.pdf

    • So long as there is transparent access to all methods, data, methodologies and metadata, so that anyone can follow the changes every step of the way, there’s no problem. That’s how adjustments should be done.
      Worth repeating. All you raw data wonks take note.

      • “So long as there is transparent access to all methods, data, methodologies and metadata, so that anyone can follow the changes every step of the way, there’s no problem. That’s how adjustments should be done.”
        Anyone?
        Noaa’s changes to the land record fit this description.
        1. The raw data is all there on ftp.
        2. The metadata is all there.
        3. The method id described in the papers.
        4. the code has been there for years.
        to FOLLOW the changes you have to run the code and understand the code.
        There is no better explanation than the code. no amount of words can describe what the code does at every step. You have to run it and watch.
        Not everyone can do this. It takes time and brains.
        no skeptic has even tried.

      • Re Steven Mosher … ‘usual’
        “no skeptic has even tried.”
        i.e. they are stupid.
        And people still defend Mosher on here as not being a complete ahole. Sigh. No idea why. If it looks like an ahole and it smells like … okay let’s not go there.
        I think few question ‘accuracy of the code’, therefore running the code seems like a pointless waste of time. It’s assumed they know how to write a program to convert the data. I think what many question are the assumptions behind the transformation, but it is nice having the code as well. Kudos.
        “There is no better explanation than the code.”
        Yes that’s why every Windows user is given the 20 million lines of code – so they can understand how to use it … While there is no more ‘detailed’ explanation than code, there are plenty of better ones.

      • @ Steven Mosher June 22, 2015 at 4:46 pm
        “No skeptic has ever tried.
        I don’t know about that but I’m pretty sure no skeptic has funding anywhere close to NOAA’s funding. Give me NOAA’s funding for one year and I bet I could find a different result. I would of course ignore papers with titles that start with the word “possible” and that adjusted more certain data with less certain data to make a politically inconvenient pause disappear. The pause remains clearly evident in the satellite temperature record of the lower troposphere. I think I remember Mr. Mosher once stating that the surface thermometers and the satellites measure different things. I disagree. The troposphere is well mixed on all time scales greater than an hour or two. I don’ think there can be heating of air near the surface without causing heating of the troposphere.

      • Steven says
        “no skeptic has even tried”
        does that include you Steven? Because as far as I know you are a skeptic of “C”agw which is ultimately the issue from a policy stand point. The level of AGW is reasonably debated and should be but the political issue is the “C”.

      • So long as there is transparent access to all methods, data, methodologies and metadata, so that anyone can follow the changes every step of the way, there’s no problem. That’s how adjustments should be done.
        ==================
        I don’t agree. Proxy calibration is widely accepted in climate science, yet it is mathematically flawed. Thus transparency and peer review is no guarantee of correctness.
        Climate science accepts Lincolns proposition that the tail of the dog is a leg, and thus climate science has many. many 5 legged dogs which are held up for all to amaze at.

      • I didn’t know it at the time, but I think one of the main reasons I woke up this morning was to read Ian Schumacher’s reply at 6:26 pm. If this blog was being televised the announcer would’ve yelled “And Schumacher POSTERIZES Mosher!” his sidekick would then say, “I think you have to take Mosher out after a play that, at least for a few minutes…”

      • @Ian Schumacher
        So you say only others (presumably the SCIENTISTs) are capable of running the code and understanding its output, but skeptics cannot. I agree with you.

      • Mosher:
        “There is no better explanation than the code. no amount of words can describe what the code does at every step. You have to run it and watch.”
        some time ago I asked for a link to the code , and you provided it. However, I can no longer find it – would you please be so kind as to provide it again?

    • D.B.: I certainly hope you are correct. I enjoy Dr. Svalgaard’s posts here, but not his replies to comments made about him and his work. His responses come across as arrogant, condescending, and grossly incomplete. He may be a bright scientist and an honest researcher, but I would dread having him as a professor. In his replies to commenters, his ability (or willingness) to explain his views clearly and in layman’s terms is almost non-existent .

      • Louis Hunt June 22, 2015 at 6:39 pm
        Well, if Lief corrected the mistakes, then the new data must be darn near perfect. Judging from his comments here, Lief is never wrong. I just hope his work lives up to his own expectations of himself.
        ……….
        lsvalgaard June 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm
        It does, it does.”
        ///////////////
        I wonder whether you had in mind the above exchange.
        There’s modesty for you, or it is a comment made by someone who, whilst not openly acknowledging that they have an extremely low opinion of their abilities, actually has a low opinion of their abilities and hence a low expectation of their work. No offence meant.
        Actually, I rather like his brevity of style, and given his expertise, his views are always worth reading and thinking about.

      • Louis Hooffstetter
        I agree with your comments. I think it boils down to a total lack of civility.
        I’m willing to be surprised that the new record of SS is valid and not ‘homogenized’ to fit the current theme.

  11. Sunspot data is subjective not objective and is not nearly the best indicator of solar activity.
    This adjustment will not change the fact that solar activity was very high last century as indicated by solar flux readings and that solar activity was very low during the Dalton and Maunder Minimum in contrast and has been low post 2005 in contrast to the last century. Everything is relative.

    • SDP, I would trust modern solar flux readings in various forms, not just visible light flux. Especially from satellites above the atmosphere. But there were none in the mooted Dalton and Maunder minimums. No one can truly know what the various solar fluxes were at those times. We have only an observationally deficient proxy in sunspots, with problems not that dissimilar to tree line tree rings. Pot meet kettle. Goose meet gander. And all that. Skeptics need to be consistently logical, if they are to withstand warmunist attack, while always appropriately acknowledging uncertainty.
      It is the warmunists who are consistently illogical, without acknowledging uncertainty. Do please try to keep it asymetricaly that way. Much better IMO for taking the CAGW meme down faster and harder.

      • ristvan, I tend to agree with your post this is why I have come up with a set of solar parameters that I think if attained will have a climatic impact. Notice the sunspot count was not one of the criteria.
        I think what I have done is give a guideline that if certain low average solar parameters are met going forward these will result in a climatic impact with duration considerations accounted for and prior solar activity in general taken into consideration.
        What is central to what I have done is it takes the guess work out of the equation in that if these solar parameters are meant a climate outcome will be realized. The climate outcome being either a cooler climate, in which case I am correct or a climate which does not cool in which case I will be wrong.
        Based on the data we do have from the past which as you suggest is not certain but based on what we do have ,we know the solar parameters I have come up with have been met during solar quiet periods of time as was evidenced in the recent severe solar lull from 2008-2010, and that past solar quiet periods (although as you said we do not have the exact data) probably had solar activity similar to the recent solar lull from 2008-2010 but for a greater period of time in which case my solar parameters would again be meant and would have resulted in lower global temperatures according to the historical global temperature records . global temperatures.
        Those historical global temperature records NEVER showing a prolonged minimum solar period associated with a sustained global temperature rise and likewise a prolonged solar maximum period of time associated with a sustained global temperature drop.
        The adjustments to the sunspot data will not change those facts because minimal solar activity those being the Maunder Minimum and the Dalton, will still be present relative to all the other periods of time featuring higher solar activity.
        One last note is this will not be the end of solar adjusted data this is going to continue, but no matter how much adjusting the quiet periods and active solar periods are still going to be present, along with the temperature correlation of lower temperatures at times of prolonged solar minimum conditions and higher global temperatures at time of prolonged active solar conditions.
        THE CRITERIA
        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 (10 years) 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.

  12. My prediction is that this latest adjustment will not be the end of the adjustments.
    Then again I am basing all future solar activity namely on the Solar Flux and AP index parameters, sunspots being a side show.
    This adjustment will do nothing to change my view of solar/climate connections.

  13. has anyone made a copy of the old data. Lost original data seemd all to common these days

    • Yes in fact lief went back to relook at original notebooks
      The previous adjustments were botched.
      Only skeptics refuse to fix errors
      [show proof of that assertion – Anthony]

      • Why is it that the more comfortable Mr. Mosher is with these adjustments, the less confidence I have in them?

      • Not far from Chickaloon, Alaska, there’s a lake.
        At the western approach to this lake on the Glenn highway stands a sign that announces “Weiner Lake”.
        Coming from the east, it is signed “Wiener Lake”.
        Most travelers are oblivious to the inconsistency because of the awesome influence of legions of primary school teachers across the continent and across the generations, promulgating the ineluctable truth of:
        ” I before E except after C”!
        Leif has been commenting here for years. So has Stephen Mosha.

      • Steven Mosher June 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm

        Only skeptics refuse to fix errors

        You mean skeptics like Michael Mann who famously refused to fix either the rain in Maine falling in the Seine, or the upside-down Tiljander?
        My goodness, most any statement starting with either “only skeptics” or “only activists” can be thrown immediately in the trash. Exceptions are the rule in this world.
        In this case, it’s even worse, since your statement is so far from true. A number of alarmists have refused to even acknowledge their errors, much less fix them. Remember the near-total silence from the un-indicted co-conspirators after Climategate broke?
        That was the sound of alarmists refusing to acknowledge their errors. Forget about fixing them. They don’t even act like they exist. They continue to deny in word and deed that they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar up to the armpits, and that they lied and covered up their actions when discovered.
        Somebody’s not fixing errors … but it’s not just skeptics …
        w.

      • I grew up in western Michigan, went to a dutch reformed private school and yes I am part dutch.
        dont be too concerned when I write lief as opposed to leif,
        I think I have been doing it on CA and WUWT for 8 years and good friend has never complained.
        Leif and I prolly dont agree on climate change. I never thought to ask him!!! because it doesnt matter
        here is what I did.
        I read his papers.
        I looked at his data and methods.
        It is a great piece of science.
        I dont care if he is a republican or democrat, swede or swazilander or wooden show wearing tulip lover.
        I dont care if he makes comments that upset people. Dont care if he is in favor of a carbon tax or against one, drives a prius or porsche.. his work is the object you all should be looking at.
        I did. it’s an awesome piece of work.

      • Steven
        “Only skeptics refuse to fix errors”
        Funny I thought the non-skeptics settled the science 6 years ago, must have had accurate data to do that, what needs to be fixed?

      • “Could plain old ignorance play a role?”
        It could, but it does not. A very long history of a clearly identifiable pattern does though.
        You may now insert your next jackass unwarranted condescending insult.

      • Only skeptics refuse to fix errors
        ======================
        That statement is untrue as has been repeatedly shown throughout history. The more certain someone is in their beliefs, the more likely they are to see anything that contradicts their beliefs as errors, even when it is true.
        Thus, those that are not skeptical correct the truth, believing it to be in error.

      • Hé Leif, I was assuming that you were Danish, because of your names (both first name and family name). So we could have a conversation in Dutch (I am Flemish, so no problem there – even can speak with a Holland accent, as I worked 34 years in The Netherlands).
        I am not sure how they measured sunspots in the past: did they project them on a paper? When I was visiting the KMI, they projected the sun disk on a wall, but if I remember well, the official count was made by projection on a paper. Is that still done that way, or another way and will that change in the future (computer counting…)?

      • I didn’t realize Mann was a skeptic. What a bs comment. I will work on a list of mistakes not corrected by alarmists. You have really jumped the shark this time.

  14. As we have discovered over many decades of adjusting economic time series, long runs of observational data – no matter how carefully recorded – gather the problems of historicity like barnacles on a ship. As data analysts search for ways of correcting the data to remove known biases new sources of bias are progressively discovered and so the time series data changes from a (more or less faithful) representation of what was observed to one which is a paradigm driven, constructed reality. Indeed, even using the same raw data, competing analysts within different paradigms produce their own adjustments and then quarrel with one another as to which is best representation of reality as they see it. Each might claim their new data series has greater ‘fitness for purpose’, they might say it is of higher ‘quality’ but in the end its a rhetorical process – the output is designed to impress rather than to reveal.

  15. The revised sunspot series is to be welcomed. Recall Eschenbach’s post here on the Maunder Minimum. There was a minimum of observations, not a minimum of sunspots. Ouch.
    That said, all original observation adjustments are not equal, as Huang and Karl have recently demonstrated to their derisive detriment (relying on a method from a Kennedy 2011 paper that also produced the 0.12C ERI/float adjustment— with an uncertainty of 1.7C!, which neither Huang nor Karl mentioned. Nor did they provide their own uncertainty estimate from their recalculation.
    Nor are all adjustments appropriately transparent, as the BOM inquiry in Australia has just proven.
    I am optimistic that this new SS series will be an improvement, not a fiddle. And that the various solar climate models will be recalibrated as a result. And that we might learn some new things that are probably true. All good.

  16. One thing I might add is the old data should not be tossed aside and will still be the preferred data to use by many although it does not really matter because everything is relative to everything.
    By that I mean the less variable the data tries to show the sun to be, the better the case that can be made about climate sensitivity to solar variability. Again it is all relative.

  17. Salvatore – where is a good site for AP readings? I prefer them, too, but they seem to have become less-used. Thanks, from Brett

  18. What could the sun possibly have to do with the temperature of Earth?
    There are no coal power plants and SUVs on the sun, and as we all know, global warming is caused by coal power plants, SUVs, and Al Gore bloviating on climate change (a strong correlation with average temperature — more AlGore face time on TV = more warming)
    Next thing people will be claiming cosmic rays and clouds have something to do with that there warming.
    Make sure after “adjustments” the original data are sent to Hillary Clinton’s server — no one will ever see them again.
    Climate science has so many “adjustments”, and “re-adjustments”, and re-re-re-“adjustments”, that I wonder if the raw data were accurate enough to be worth collecting in the first place?
    There are ice ages once in a while, and mild warming-cooling trends between the ice ages — everything else seems to be wild guess predictions based on inaccurate, non-global measurements, adjustments, infilling and left-wing people bellowing that life on Earth will end as we know it … unless everyone does as they say without question.
    Science has been so corrupted by politics that people who call themselves climate scientists seem less trustworthy than used car salesmen.
    If after all the “adjustments”, it turns out that life on Earth will end as we know it, I’m not listening anymore, because I’ve been hearing that since the 1960’s and nothing bad ever happens.

    • ” that I wonder if the raw data were accurate enough to be worth collecting in the first place?”
      It depends on which raw data you are referring to. If you mean surface measurements and wooden buckets, then yes…it just needs some ongoing massaging to make it settled science.
      If you are talking about satellite data of the whole entire Earth…yes, it is completely worthless and has no value in helping to determine which is the warmest year evah.

      • The ice core and other climate proxy studies tell us to expect mild warming/cooling cycles between the ice ages.
        .
        The cost to measure and compile the average temperature with satellites, assuming average temperature is a meaningful concept for a planet not in thermodynamic equilibrium, will benefit us in what way?
        .
        No one actually lives in the “average” temperature.
        .
        We don’t know what a “normal” average temperature is.
        .
        We can’t predict the future average temperature.
        .
        We can’t do anything to change the average temperature (influence of humans seems minor).
        .
        So please tell me how anyone’s life will be better if we know, even with 100% accuracy, what the average temperature of Earth is?
        .
        If there are no benefits from the data, then the money spent collecting the data is being wasted.

      • If it can be shown that the Earth is not warming, then perhaps whoever decides such things will decide to stop spending $29 billion of our tax money every year studying CAGW.
        And that is just in the US.
        And perhaps the insanity of dismantling our economy and raising energy prices for everyone will come to an end.
        If the question is whether or not money is being wasted on a massive scale, you get no argument from me.
        If the question is whether some data collection methods would seem to have greater merit than others, depending on what use the information is put to, then I have to say that yes, some methods are more better.
        If we are heading towards an end to the present interglacial period, or if we are going to all boil alive in our boots, it may be a good idea to have a heads up.

  19. I suppose everything else has been adjusted and homogenised, why not do it with sun spots too? Obviously the eyeball has changed over the last hundred years

    • I assume that the past must be more completely adjusted for us to be properly assimilated.

  20. Sun spot activity is a crude method of seeing how much energy the sun is sending our way. It is a better predictor of warmer or cooler weather than normal than almost any other predictor.
    NOW they are going to ‘adjust’ this which they note ‘flattens out’ the peaks and valleys…OF COURSE. This useless tampering with data we have become accustomed to using is obscuring reality, not enlightening us better.

  21. My Grandfather, Edison Pettit, worked with Dr. Hubble doing sun spot observations many years ago and my father is one of the founders of the Kitt Peak McMath Solar Observatory. The actual history of taking daily counts of sun spots is less than 150 years old.
    One of the problems with doing sun spot watching during the Maunder Minimum was, astronomers did try to observe what Galileo saw in his famous drawing of the sun spots and saw nothing. They looked and looked and then decided he was hallucinating and had a poor optic telescope.
    After that, no one bothered looking for a while.
    I cannot possibly see how that time period can be ‘revised’ in any way except by having a computer make lots of human-driven assumptions. Useless is the best word for this labor.

  22. Climategate should be further searched for “solar activity” and “sunspots,” because as this email shows, solar activity is a discussion that draws so many people to look at the theory of manmade gw from a different poise in the first place. This conversation was discouraged and limited from the beginning. I think the adjustments to the solar data is a bad development.
    I personally wish I had solar and gm data that wasn’t filtered through Stanford.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/climategate/#comment-249580
    Katya Georgieva December 6, 2009 at 6:46 am
    However, though all the presentations were on planetary influences on
    > solar activity, all the questions and discussions following them were on
    > solar influences on global climate change, and most of the numerous public
    > had come exclusively for this discussion. Unfortunately, no real debate on
    > this subject happened last April because this was not the topic of the
    > session, and because the panelists who were present were not prepared to
    > speak about this. Therefore, we have never had a real debate on
    > attributions of climate change in EGU, while there is much interest in
    > such a debate both in the scientific community and in general public. I am
    > sure a debate explicitly devoted to this topic is inevitable, whether as a
    > part of an EGU General Assembly or not, so I felt such a great debate in
    > EGU 2010 would answer the scientific and public interest.
    Katya goes on to say,
    As you know, Kyoto protocol is soon expiring, and negotiations are about
    > to start for the new treaty following it. The obligations undertaken by
    > the countries which will sign this treaty will mean enormous resources
    > spent on reducing greenhouse emissions at the expense of economical
    > growth, overcoming starvation, fatal epidemic diseases, illiteracy. Maybe
    > this sacrifice is vital for the survival of the civilization because human
    > activity is what is causing global climate change, or maybe these are
    > futile efforts because climate change is due to natural factors beyond our
    > control. As scientists, we have the moral duty to give a clear answer to
    > the question whether global climate change is due to human activity or to
    > natural factors, and consequently, what measures can and must be taken to
    > reduce it or to mitigate it, respectively. Or, if we do not have a clear
    > answer yet, we must honestly state this instead of hiding behind the
    > nonexistent “scientific consensus”, and postpone the practical measures
    > until we reach a higher level of understanding.
    >
    > Unfortunately, this problem is strongly politicized, and severely
    > censured. There are many examples when purely scientific discussions like
    > the proposed EGU 2010 great debate have not been allowed, and the chance
    > has not been given for alternative views to be presented.

  23. “1) Does solar system dynamics significantly affect solar and planetary
    dynamos? If it did, could this affect the Earth’s climate dynamics?
    2) Does solar activity result in geomagnetic field variations? Does it
    change the Earth’s rate of rotation? Do variations in the Earth’s
    geomagnetic field and/or variations in the Earth’s rate of rotation
    affect the planet’s climate dynamics.”
    The adjustments to data could potentially erase important relationships in the earth-sun connection. There are also scientists who worked with daily, regional temperatures in order to look for possible connections to daily solar activity. Brian Tinsley is one.

  24. Adjusting the past is no biggy. I file several form 1040X’s every year for past years and my taxable income always goes in the same direction. Never once has the IRS asked why.

    • Glad you mentioned CO2, the Wonderwoman of gases (sarc off). If we haven’t drunk the koolaid, the mention of summer cloud increases blocking sunspot sightings in the 1500’s however, should make our ears prick up…

    • JPinBalr,
      I need verification of the atmospheric C-14 concentration determination method.
      I presume that C-14 % varies.
      Is there an objective measurement that can me made that lays out the historical C-14 concentration over the past 10,000 years? 100,000 years?
      Since C-14 decays, how does one know either the initial C-14 mass fraction or the initial date of the C-14 mass. You’d have to know one of them correct? Is tree ring proxy dating all we got?

      • For Paul Westhaver
        Wikipedia has a reasonable summary of C14
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-14
        Approximate atmospheric abundance 1 part per trillion [US trillion]
        Half life 5730 years
        Usefulness for dating……somewhere between 45,000 and 60,000 years so no good for dating around 100,000 years
        But you are right…..C14 must be calibrated against known dates where possible as C14 levels apparently fluctuate by as much as 5%
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-14

      • Thank-you GregK,
        I suspected that would be calibration technique or an alternative date method, maybe non-carbon radioactive decay, or some other thing. I know there is suspicion around tree ring data for dating in terms of error.
        OK so if the C-14 absolute % cannot be established, is that error adequately reflected in the C-14 plot?
        Seems to me the error band is absent.

      • Odd the cosmogenic isotope data has been manipulated to make the solar modulation of planetary climate go away. Odd that there were hundreds of peer reviewed papers written that show the past warming and cooling cycles and abrupt cooling events correlate with massive changes to the cosmogenic isotopes.
        The sun is a serial climate changer. The majority of the warming in the last 150 years was caused by the sun. An abrupt change to the sun causes the glacial/interglacial cycles. The solar cycle changes cause both the small, medium, and super large cyclic climate change events in the paleo record.
        The climate wars are about to come to an abrupt end. Abrupt cooling correlating with an interruption to the solar cycle.
        P.S. The cult of CAGW has not acknowledged that there has been no warming for 18 years. How long will it take them to acknowledge in your face cooling?
        Will abrupt cooling of the earth be a small thing or big thing?
        P.S. There are now more than a hundred paradoxes in cosmology (In peer reviewed papers that are directly related to the physics of what is happening to the sun. The discovery that the sun and stars are significantly different than the standard model will be the most important scientific discovery in the history of science.
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/davis-and-taylor-wuwt-submission.pdf

        Davis and Taylor: “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”
        …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … …. "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature , 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11391),reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

        I wonder what caused cyclic warming and cooling on the Greenland Ice sheet in the past? Curious that the same periodicity (time between events, 1500 years with a beat of +/- 400 years) between all warming and cooling events/cycles (including the massive ‘Heinrich’ Event is the same (same periodicity, same forcing function) is observed in both hemisphere.
        Greenland ice temperature, last 11,000 years determined from ice core analysis, Richard Alley’s paper. William: As this graph indicates the Greenland Ice data shows that have been 9 warming and cooling periods in the last 11,000 years.
        http://www.climate4you.com/images/GISP2%20TemperatureSince10700%20BP%20with%20CO2%20from%20EPICA%20DomeC.gif
        Everyone of course is aware that there is now above normal total sea ice (sum of sea ice both poles). There is record sea ice in the Antarctic every month of the year and sea ice is recovering.
        Snowfall is above average on the Greenland Ice sheet.
        Checkout the lack of melting on the Greenland Ice sheet as compared to the last 20 years.
        http://beta.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/
        http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

    • Only BTW: You are mixing here the contents of “1984” and “Animal Farm”. But that’s not really important of course…
      However, I think the new adjusted sun spot numbers cannot wipe out the hypothesis of an probable important influence of the Sun’s changing activity on the climate system, because the cosmic isotope proxies do still correlate well enough with the known climate records so far…

  25. Well as Leif says over and over again, the sun has no impact on the earth’s climate, so this is all very interesting but irrelevant.

    • Progressives rewriting history…soon, they will say that day time CO2 heats are patio every afternoon…not the sun, and the sheeple will fall inline, pay their tax to the new science; the Al Gorian science.

  26. How this all plays out in reality cannot be changed. The public’s perception of reality is what is variable. If a star is the ultimate controller of it’s heliosphere will be much more evident in a couple of decades, as the future unfolds. The biggest problem humanity faces, meanwhile, is impatience!

  27. Many comments here demonstrate a lack of proper due diligence in following the process, both the reasons for the reconstruction to clear calculation calibration differences (due to previous weighting of sun spot numbers/groups), and the process used to re-calibrate the various data sets. Complain all you want, but if your comment reveals such a decided lack of self-education, your complaints will look more like a spoiled child’s tantrum. The process has been very open, transparent, and well-presented in this blog and in other websites with lots of links to studies you can read for yourself. So do your fricken homework instead of talking out of your arse.
    She said sweetly.

  28. Thanks Leif!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    There must be a dozen or so posts on WUWT regarding this issue. I sense from the comments so far that many people have not read the background on the topic. The name Zoë Schlanger comes to mind.

  29. Just checked Dr. S.’s web site and he has been busy. My reading list just grew again..
    Congratulations to Dr. Svalgaard, I know he has worked long and hard on the sunspot number series.. Hope you had a good time with it Dr. S.
    Skeptics have no need to worry so much about the Cha Cha Cha Changes..
    Over the last is it 10,000 years the cycle has exhibited a Ceiling in solar cycle high activity and a Floor in low solar cycle activity.
    But wait..solar cycle 24 hit the FLOOR in low solar activity. And next cycle, solar cycle 25, is expected to be even lower (by approx. third) than solar cycle 24.
    Instead of watching sunspots we’ll be watching the helmut streamers, pseudo streamers and the streamer belt during cycle 25, (not many sunspots)
    I was wondering what the “streamer belt’s” relationship was with the Hale Sector Boundary?
    Activity like Dr. Janet Luhmann spoke about at the AGU2012 Parker Lecture which she had the honor of giving.
    I think Dr. Luhmann will see the Astro physical community get there heads wrapped around the idea that the sun is not a simple dipole..
    One of my favorite lines from the lecture..
    “Where does the ah.. solar dipole anchor?” said Dr. Luhmann
    Well now, where does the solar dipole anchor? Is the anchor location in a state of perpetual change due to?

  30. This adjustment better be right.
    I’m tired of history being re-written just to serve someone’s personal viewpoint.
    There should be a point where criminal consequences are used for people who adjust history just because their personal opinion goes a certain way without proving it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    All of these adjustments to history are now costing the human race $100 billion at a time which rises to the level that adjustments better be f’ing right or there needs to be very very serious consequences.

      • The Spanish Inquisition was a ‘community-wide’ effort. All honesty, I think this is a terrible choice of euphemisms for stating that there is a ‘consensus’ and that the ‘science is settled.’

        • You make that connotation, we do not. On the contrary, we emphasize that this is ongoing work: “As pointed out on several occasions in this chapter, several issues remain open and require deeper analyses that may still span many years. The revised series will thus be open to future improvements as new results are published and new historical documents are progressively recovered. Therefore, in order to properly document future occasional modifications, the WDC-SILSO will implement a versioning system, with an incremental description of changes added to each version.”

      • “You make that connotation, we do not”
        This may be the most concerning comment of the thread. If you don’t understand how “community-wide” effort has been misused in the past then I don’t know how to trust you. When Jquip mentioned the Spanish Inquisition (topical given the recent silliness from the Pope) he makes an excellent point.
        In the future the idea of “community wide effort” might become reassuring, but it is not such at this time.

      • Thank you, Dr. Svalgaard, for using a version control. My objection against “temperature adjustments” is that they rewrite the history in a way that George Orwell would be proud of. I like to see for myself what has changed, not just what the latest politically correct version is.

  31. Well this is interesting, however like a lot of folks have already said, not very useful. The past is the past, with the exception of reading someone’s observation book and adjusting based on someone else’s misread. But if there was no observation the only way to infil that is using some rules and thoughts based on what we think of as normal (todays observations). But normal may not be. Anything created out of nothing is a reflection of the authors bias. Leif is obviously biased, anyone who has ever had an exchange with him knows that. The problem is that Leif doesn’t think he is biased, just like a great many other climate scientists. Even Dr. Mann does not think of himself as biased or wrong. That is just human behavior which is why things like a new data set going back into history isn’t data! its an opinion, calling it a data set is a travesty as bad as karl et al 2015.

    • Yes, I am VERY biased in the direction of getting things right. You are welcome to study the material linked before you shoot your mouth off.

      • That is what I mean, you assume I know nothing, you are biased based on your study and observations. But you can’t know what was in the past. You can guess and estimate but its not observations, its not data. That is the point. You don’t get historical do overs. I am not “shooting my mouth off” I am affirming the general dislike of the idea that we can go back in time and change things that are inconvenient to what we believe.

      • The old data has not been changed, only the errors that have crept in over time in constructing a sunspot series from them. Since you have obviously no studied what has been done, your opinion has no value.

      • Leif, I read the study. It is interesting but it doesn’t change the fact that you are changing others biased views of the data with your own. Neither necessarily right or wrong. A lot of work no doubt but its still impacted by your and your fellow authors personal bias. The really interesting thing is you can assume others made large errors and that everything you have done so far is error free or nearly so. Your paper is not very convincing in that direction. In fact there seems to be a huge amount of additional work that may turn what you have done upside down, or not. Reading old manuscripts and making assumptions about the language of the time and the reinterpreting of those old manuscripts is heavily dependent on the readers personal bias. That is why when you talk history, and that is what we are discussing here, the interpretation of events by two different readers can be completely and utterly different.

      • So methods and if zero really means zero is just comparing numbers? I don’t think so Leif.

      • lsvalgaard June 22, 2015 at 8:33 pm
        It doesn’t matter what you think. The numbers speak for themselves.
        /////////////////
        I may be misunderstanding what David is arguing, but isn’t he arguing that there are significant periods when there are no numbers.
        Maybe because of lengthy prevailing cloudy conditions in Europe obscuring solar observatories such that for lengthy periods people did not bother to actuatly and physically observe. To the extent that there are log/record entries during this period, they are simply guesstimates based upon assumed priors.

      • Random sampling is used all over the place. You do not have to observe something obsessively to deduct activity levels. For example, if you look at the sun once a week and NEVER EVER see any sun spots then this means that the sun spot activity is much lower than during times when the sun constantly has sun spots.
        ‘Infilling’ data based on TODAY’S much higher sun spot activity is wrong.

      • What was the most consecutive spotless days of the current/previous cycle?
        We are now mid cycles and are starting to see spotless or near spotless days.
        And we are only a bit removed from very active cycles!
        Maybe there were no spotless years, but can anyone really say that they know how many spotless days are too many, just enough, or too few?
        How many spotless days might we expect between now and the official end of 24?
        And how many might we expect during the 24 to 25 transition?
        More that the 23 to 24 transition?
        And what about the cycles after that?
        How long will this decline in solar activity go on for?
        Who predicted it first, and when?
        Who predicted all those spotless days in ’09 and ’10?
        When was the earliest such prediction, if any?
        Is this what anyone expects to see at this stage of 24:
        http://solarham.net/regions/map.htm

        • What was the most consecutive spotless days of the current/previous cycle?
          Spotless Days
          Current Stretch: 0 days
          2015 total: 0 days (0%)
          2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
          2013 total: 0 days (0%)
          2012 total: 0 days (0%)
          2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
          2010 total: 51 days (14%)
          2009 total: 260 days (71%)
          How many spotless days might we expect between now and the official end of 24?
          can only give a statistical guess.
          How long will this decline in solar activity go on for?
          I the past is any guide, several cycles.
          Who predicted it first, and when?
          Ken Schatten [and myself] has been saying this for years
          e.g. in 2003 “The surprising result of these long-range predictions is a rapid decline in solar activity, starting with cycle #24. If this trend continues, we may see the Sun heading towards a “Maunder” type of solar activity minimum – an extensive period of reduced levels of solar activity.”
          Many spotless days have long been a stable feature of solar cycles.
          Here are [the discoverer of the sunspot cycle] Schwabe’s observations:
          1826 118 22 277
          1827 161 2 273
          1828 225 0 282
          1829 199 0 244
          1830 190 1 217
          1831 149 3 239
          1832 84 49 270
          1833 33 139 267
          1834 51 120 273
          1835 173 18 244
          1836 272 0 200
          1837 333 0 168
          1838 282 0 202
          1839 162 0 205
          1840 152 3 263
          1841 102 15 283
          1842 68 64 307
          1843 34 149 324
          2nd col = number of groups
          3rd col = number of spotless days
          4th col = number of days with data

  32. The paper is a good read. But I like the data as is, since that is what I have been looking at for so long. So, maybe include the “old” with new methods of building data for period of time as to reflect the changes. Not just pull a Hansen where the old simply is gone. The word change has become ugly. Cheers!

    • Really? That is your level of scientific critique? I know of no one in my circle of colleagues who think like that. So maybe mothers should continue to be blamed for autism and hysterectomies performed on females who have emotional issues.
      Come on man, rise to the occasion and build some scientific acumen.

  33. Adjustments to the sunspot series do little to explain the Anomalously low solar extreme-ultraviolet irradiance and thermospheric density during solar minimum or the failure of Ionospheric total electron contents (TECs) as indicators of solar EUV changes during the last two solar minima.
    The authors of these papers point to the degradation of the satellite EUV detectors and the increased cooling from increased CO2 concentrations as potential sources of the anomaly, however, they show that these are only secondary contributors.
    Decline of the f0f2 critical frequency during the 2008-2009 minimum confirms the EUV flux anomaly, according to Does the F10.7 index correctly describe solar EUV flux during the deep solar minimum of 2007–2009? and The ionosphere under extremely prolonged low solar activity.
    It is this F region of the ionosphere (and not the E region) that is significant when measuring ionization by EUV rays, according to Magnetoseismology, Ground-based remote sensing of Earth’s magnetosphere, noting in section 2.6 Formation and Properties of the Ionosphere:
    “The most heavily absorbed part of the spectrum, and hence peak electron and ion production, occurs in the F1 region, including the He II Lyman α (30.4 nm, 130 km), He I (58.4 nm, 164 km), and H Lyman continuum (91.1–84.0 nm, 105–120 km).”
    Also see slide 3 of Variability of the Solar XUV Irradiance from the SORCE XPS. At EUV wave lengths, peak absorption is at F region altitudes.
    In contrast, sunspot numbers are highly correlated with E region conductivity measured by the various TEC, F 10.7, and solar quiet indices for this 13 year study from 1989 to 2001: Contribution of wind, conductivity, and geomagnetic main field to the variation in the geomagnetic Sq field.
    In the F region, measurable electrical field strength is very high and conductivity is low, while in the E region, the opposite is true. Additionally, field strength and conductivity peak at different times. See The relationship between electric fields, conductances and currents in the high-latitude ionosphere: a statistical study using EISCAT data.
    The source of the resonant 500HZ A/C hum in the ionospheric current, as noted in Ionospheric Irregularities, must depended upon a substantial dielectric charge, in addition to the induced current flow, and is subject to nonlinear impedance due to thermal turbulence.
    Thus, the solar quiet variation, the basis for Dr. Svalgaard’s multi-century EUV reconstruction, is merely an induced alternating current phenomenon, and not a direct consequence of EUV flux.

    • It is this F region of the ionosphere (and not the E region) that is significant when measuring ionization by EUV rays
      We have been down this road before and you seem not to have learned anything. The dynamo current causing the geomagnetic response which we can measure runs in the E-layer where the density is high enough. The air in the F-layer is simply too thin. The current depends critically on the conductivity which depends directly on the EUV flux.

      • You’re way behind the times, Leif.
        Can’t predict satellite drag with your E region calculations.
        Among other things, E region absorbs FUV radiation from the F region that is emitted by the recombination of Oxygen ions photodissociated by EUV flux.
        See Remote Sensing of Earth’s Limb by TIMED/GUVI: Retrieval of thermospheric composition and temperature by Meier et al. [2015]
        Your E region current is nothing more than an RLC circuit implemented in plasma which oscillates somewhat independent of EUV flux, thus the reported anomalies for the last two solar cycles.

        • That is because the models for the F-region ans above are not good. Has little to do with the EUV from the Sun. The effect of EUV [and UV and F10.7] on the E-layer gives us a magnetic deflection which is easily measured and is a VERY good proxy for those fluxes. Which is all I need to determine EUV back to 1740.

      • Your proxies simply confirm your biases, namely, the premise that solar activity has been essentially unchanged for centuries.
        The advent of the SOHO SEM and TIMED SEE has brought about a much deeper understanding of the physics.

      • Yes, that is what I am afraid of, that your quest for a quixotic EUV flux data that is centuries old has somehow corrupted your sunspot interpretation.
        I hope that your adjustments to the sunspot series have no relation to your reconstruction of the EUV flux.

      • EUV flux collected by the SOHO SEM and TIMED SEE satellite modules already contradict your premise, otherwise, you would not have had the need to mischaracterize these the data sets in your EUV reconstruction paper, rotating the satellite data in such that the solar minimum anomalies disappear.
        When a scientist feels the need to mischaracterize data sets for the purpose of countering needless fear mongering, as you have, the utility of science as a whole is discounted and fear mongering amplified.
        The Maya did not abandon there cities because their priests were not accurate in their predictions, they abandoned their cities because they could no longer trust them.

        • jonesingforozone:
          EUV flux collected by the SOHO SEM and TIMED SEE satellite modules already contradict your premise, otherwise, you would not have had the need to mischaracterize these the data sets in your EUV reconstruction paper, rotating the satellite data in such that the solar minimum anomalies disappear
          my reply:
          Nonsense. The TIMED SEE data are used as is. No change at all. The SEM data has been scaled to match the TIMED SEE data and F10.7.

  34. Let’s try an analogy. The chickens remain in the barnyard and they haven’t changed. We’re just changing what we call “a really fluffy one”.

  35. Coauthor Vaquero is quote as saying, “A proper estimate of the past and present activity of the Sun, … is crucial in understanding numerous phenomena that occur on Earth, especially to rule out the role of the Sun in global warming,” Was that a purpose of the corrections? To rule out the role of the sun in warming? That seems unscientific and biased to me.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-sun-18th-century-similar.html
    Nevertheless, looking at the graph in the link—which presumably shows the after-corrections data—there does seem to be a rough correlation of sun spot number and global temperature over the past 115 years.
    Dr. Leif, could you provide graphs of the data before the corrections and after the corrections?

      • Hello Dr Isvalgaard the second link http://www.leif.org/research/Reconstruction-of-Solar-EUV-Flux-1740-2015.pdf would not work for me.
        The first one did. I need to read more about Wolf I just glanced at the issues. page 6
        Okay there’s a problem. most likely many.
        Doctor I am a very, very amateur astronomer, turned my first telescope to the heavens at age eleven, 46 years ago. I also fell in love with history. What your group is doing gives me the jitters. It is becoming less a matter of “facts” but instead one of trust. Because of what has happened trust is less freely given.
        We live in a world where the discussion of all things related to climate is poisoned. Doctor, If you call someone an idiot and he or she is, in what manner can you expect them to react? Next if they are not an idiot, how will they respond?
        Last though I have the jitters, I will not bump your elbow. Time in the end will tell
        michael

        • Works for me [and many others] so should work for you. Try again.
          It is becoming less a matter of “facts” but instead one of trust
          It shouldn’t be as the data is available [the critical parts now, and all the tiny details shortly] and the analysis is straight forward and can be performed by anyone, even using Excel, in matter of hours. What usually stops people from actually looking for themselves is mostly just plain laziness: it is easier to whine than to do some work. Here is an example of the effect [from today] of sunspot weighting homogeneity introduced by Waldmeier in 1947:
          http://www.specola.ch/img/lastsmall.jpg
          At out insistence, the observers now reported both their [inflated] sunspot count in the column marked ‘f’ and the true number of spots in the column marked ‘LW’. The sunspot number is calculated using the bottom number in column ‘g’, here 2, multiplied by 10 and then adding the number in column ‘f’, here 48, for a result of SSN inflated = 2*10+48 = 68. This is the inflated number, the adjusted [real] number you get by using the number in column ‘LW’ SSN actual = 2*10 + 30 = 50, giving an ‘inflation factor’ of 68 / 50 = 1.36. It is that simple. As an average over all the year 1947-2015 the inflation factor turn out to be 1.20, so the obvious adjustment consists simply of dividing all the those values that are inflated by 20% by 1.20, that is all.

    • What Jose means is ‘in order to rule out or rule in’ the sun’s role. The data does not seem to support the latter. In particular the sunspot number now is comparable to what it was a century ago, but the temperatures are not. On the other hand, people see what they believe regardless of graphs and data.

      • I have come to accept that belief always trumps data when it comes to the general human population. And I have taken my lumps for standing my ground and have lost jobs over it. Better that than lowering my gaze.

      • It takes several solar cycles for global temperatures to react to changes in solar variability and even then the reaction is irregular due to the thermal inertia of the oceans.
        There is no reason why the sun / climate relationship need be fast enough to achieve the temperatures of a century ago when the cloudiness changes forced by the current level of solar activity only started to become noticeable around 15 years ago.
        It is quite sufficient to note that the solar changes resulted in cloudiness changes that immediately put a stop to the previous warming trend (hence the pause).
        It will take a much longer period of less active sun to get us back to the temperatures of a century ago and in that time the sun could perk up again for a while. We may not yet be at the millennial peak of solar activity after all.

        • In all humility I’ll point out that your argument is nonsense. Since solar activity in every century since 1700 has varied the same way [high mid-century, low early and late] the temperature variation should also show the same variation, even with a ‘several cycle’ lag. Of, course, if the lag is REALLY long, e.g. a million years, my argument [and yours] will not hold.

      • The effect of the late 20th century high solar activity did not translate into increaseing cloudiness until around 2000 as per data from the Earthshine project. Thus far it has only put a stop to earlier warming. It is far too early to see the full and final effect of that step changre in solar energy penetrating the oceans.
        One cannot realistically say that the 20th century showed low solar activity late in the century. All the cycles up to 23 were more active trhan those of the earlier centuries even according to your revised figures.
        You are the expert in solar matters but not in climate and meteorology.

        • As I said, people see what they want to see, regardless of graphs and data.
          Now, are you an ‘expert’ in climate and meteorology? The latter is actually my real expertise. The solar stuff is just an interest of mine that I have developed.
          Which is my point
          But the point is a misunderstanding. The Group sunspot number [matching F10.7, EUV, and UV measurements] is the real measure of solar activity and that is a very faithful representation of the magnetic field of the sun and its EUV-UV and particle emission [and inversely cosmic rays], if you would care to quote in full: “The Diurnal Range, rY, of the geomagnetic East component can be determined with confidence from observatory data back to 1840 and estimated with reasonable accuracy a century further back in time. The range rY correlates very strongly with the F10.7 microwave flux and with a range of measures of the EUV-UV flux and thus with the solar magnetic field giving rise to these manifestations of solar activity. The variation of the range also matches closely that of the Sunspot Group Number and the Heliospheric magnetic field”.
          Your omission and selectiveness are typical and telling.

      • Leif, it is sad that you so readily resort to abuse.
        Could you refer me to some of your work on climate and meteorology ?
        I have only ever seen your solar material.
        I did not misunderstand your link. You are saying that your group sunspot count is a better match to other solar variables than the relative sunspot count.
        I say it doesn’t matter either way in climate terms because other variables alter proportionately more than the sunspot count however calculated.
        Anyway, the whole point is that the cloudiness response provides a disproportionately large amplification of the solar variation and so it doesn’t matter how small you can get the solar variations to become (short of total elimination) because the cloudiness response will still occur whether you accept that or not.

      • “In all humility I’ll point out that your argument is nonsense.”
        Oh well. That says a lot about you. A lot. But then, you are known for your “style” aren’t you.

      • Mosher:
        Check out the Earthshine project which shows increasing cloud cover since around 2000 and previous articles here at WUWT discussed a cloudiness decrease when the warming was still in progress.

      • Hmmmm, a trend to rising clouds during the approx. period of the pause. Explanatory? Could be.
        ===========

      • Very interesting chart of clouds and atmospheric moisture.
        Is it possible to obtain an up to date version?
        Can you provide a link to the source of this information, how it was collected, etc?
        Thank you.

  36. So Leif and friends are trying to show the Little Ice Age had little to do with a weaker sun and that modern temps MUST BE DUE TO CO2!!
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    A fools errand for fools set by fools.

  37. For all those freaked out by the new reconstruction popping your Solar balloon, there are excellent papers regarding Earth’s natural intrinsic climate variability but you have to weed out the chaff from the solid research. If you have hung your hat on ol’Sol being the reason for recent warming, you have failed to rule out the first encountered pathology: Earth’s own intrinsic variability. So if you are among those who find this reconstruction very unsettling, you are no better than AGW catastrophists who also dismiss intrinsic variables in favor of minute amounts of anthropogenic CO2 being added to the gases in the atmosphere.

    • Plus the new reconstruction is not showing no variation it is showing a tighter variation. This does not mean that solar activity does not effect the climate it means that the climate may be much more sensitive to smaller variations in solar activity then previously thought, the only question is whether the 2 are linked or not.

    • Ok we got it the first, the second and third time. I’m sure Leif can speak for himself.

  38. Thank you, dbstealey. Spot on. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Real scientists do it right and Dr. Svalgaard’s group are for real.

  39. I don’t object to Leif’s efforts if they help solar science in general but I don’t see them as necessarily relevant to climate science.
    Sunspots do not affect climate directly. They merely serve as a proxy for variations in solar activity that affect climate in other ways.
    Leif has above pointed out the continuing relationship within the revised sunspot figures between changes in sunspot numbers and changes in cosmic rsays reaching the Earth and that continues to be relevant to the Svensmark hypothesis.
    Likewise, my hypothesis relating to wavelength and particle variations affcting global cloudiness via reactions with ozone in the stratosphere remains valid despite the revised sunspot nimbers.
    I see no sign of Leif and his colleagues interfering with or concealing past records and so see no valid objection to their endeavours.

      • Your link says:
        “On the other hand, it appears that the Relative Sunspot Number as currently defined is beginning to no longer be a faithful representation of solar magnetic activity, at least as measured by the EUV and related indices”
        Which is my point.
        You work in revising the sunspot count has little relevance to climate science because it does not derogate from the relevance of other aspects of solar activity which more directly affect climate.
        On the other hand it might serve to push attention away from sunspots themselves towards more directly relevant areas of study such as the hypothesis which I have presented.

  40. What is next?
    Adjustment of the climate gate emails?
    The only correlation i can see with rising CO2 is alarmist getting more desperate.
    As for this, i have no view really as it is obvious the sun plays a role.
    How much is the million dollar question.
    And if there are errors to be fixed then Lief should have the chance to fix them, with the work of others.
    Time will tell

  41. For those of you folks who truly think that the changes that Leif and his band of merry persons have made to the sunspot records are not correct … then what you need to do is to quote the part of their explanation of the changes that you think is incorrect, and tell us why. They have explained exactly why each of the changes have been made. If you think they are wrong, then precisely where are they wrong and why?
    Because it is far from enough to merely mouth fanciful stories of global anti-solar conspiracies. Good heavens, these are solar physicists making these changes. Don’t you think they’d be overjoyed to find out the sun, their special chosen field of study, was secretly in charge of the climate?
    In any case, if you think the adjustments are wrong then you need to put up or sit down. Because if you want traction for your claims that the adjustments shouldn’t have been done, you’ll have to explain exactly where Leif and the others went wrong.
    Best to all,
    w.

    • The complex interactions between all of the solar effects, the 70% of our planet which is water and its storage and release of energy and the formation of clouds and their multiple effects may, indeed, be the “secret” controllers of our climate in as much as we have yet to be able to quantity those relationships. Not complete chaos, perhaps organized chaos would be a better description, of course with all of the other ancillary potential causal variables chipping in their two cents worth. What fun!

    • Willis it does not matter one way or the other when it comes to the argument of solar climate connections. Everything is relative which is to say solar activity was much higher in contrast to the Maunder and Dalton Minimums and from 2005-present, despite the adjustment. That fact will remain.
      Further the temperature data response( not manipulated) shows clearly that each prolonged solar minimum period is associated with a temperature drop and each prolonged maximum solar period is associated with a temperature global temperature rise.
      All this does is show that the climate is very sensitive to changes in solar variability which is more due to the associated secondary effects rather then primary solar changes.
      We shall see as we proceed into this decade who is correct and who is wrong as far as a solar climate connection goes. I have put forth my low average value solar parameters which I say will impact the climate and until they are reached the verdict is unknown.
      It is wishful thinking to think this adjustment will somehow diminish the validity of a solar/climate connection. In a word it doesn’t.

      • Salvatore Del Prete June 23, 2015 at 9:12 am

        Willis it does not matter one way or the other when it comes to the argument of solar climate connections. Everything is relative which is to say solar activity was much higher in contrast to the Maunder and Dalton Minimums and from 2005-present, despite the adjustment. That fact will remain.
        Further the temperature data response( not manipulated) shows clearly that each prolonged solar minimum period is associated with a temperature drop and each prolonged maximum solar period is associated with a temperature global temperature rise.

        Salvatore, this is why I rarely even read your comments.
        All you’ve done is throw up a bunch of uncited, unreferenced, unsupported claims. You claim that there are clear connections between solar variations and climate. You claim that the climate is very sensitive to changes in solar variability. You claim that you know that the purported solar-climate sensitivity is due to unknown, unspecified, unidentified “associated solar effects”, rather than being from unknown, unspecified, unidentified “primary solar effects”.
        I’m sorry, Salvatore, but all of that goes exactly nowhere. It’s just your unsupported opinion, and unsupported opinions are of little interest to the scientific world.
        w.

      • Dr. Svalgaard, like any other scientist, must have predictive value in his work. These adjustments will help in our understanding, or they won’t.
        The reactions seen on this thread are of no surprise to me. We have all seen the brutalization and politicization of the scientific method in thread after thread. “Adjustments” that always seem to go in one direction, etc, etc,…..
        . Is it really that much of a surprise that posters have reacted this way?

        • No, no surprise, as posters are like sheep [or useful idiots] who can’t and don’t think critically for themselves. But as I said, that is human nature and not much can be done about it. And all the same, those sheep continue to take [and expect] advantage of things science does for them. Then, on top of things there are ‘exploiters’ [some on this blog] who are just interested in peddling pseudo-scientific nonsense for their own self-glorification.

      • Heh, consider the things the sheep are ‘expected’ to ‘take’, which just ain’t so. I’m not saying your adjustments are among these things.
        =============

      • And Dr. Svalgaard misses (or ignores) my point completely, all in order to denigrate the readership (and everyone else).

      • I agree with David Ball, and what he said in both of his posts just above.
        I have found nothing wrong with the work done to improve the record, and I am starting from a skeptical point of view of any new and improved interpretations of past records.
        But I see little call for such an uncharitable view of the opinions of anyone who has any questions of Mr. Svalgaard’s work.
        People who use a position of authority to denigrate other individuals will never be any hero of mine.
        It is one thing to respond in kind to barbs and insults, quite a different matter to hurl them about in response to polite questions or questions, or for no reason at all. And they are not even funny put downs.
        Just mean and nasty.

  42. ‘Don’t you think they’d be overjoyed to find out the sun……was secretly in charge of the climate?’
    Many solar physicists do think the Sun is in charge of the climate! Do you think this ‘band of merry little persons’ are the only solar physicists in the world?

    • Absolutely!
      I am thoroughly puzzled why there is this movement to minimize the immense, gigantic, utterly huge power of the local star to heat our poor little planet! The fact that suddenly it is dumping us into long Ice Ages with brief warm cycles should scare everyone.

      • ‘I am thoroughly puzzled why there is this movement to minimize the immense, gigantic, utterly huge power of the local star…’
        I call it the Kelvin Syndrome! 🙂

  43. This has been an interesting thread.
    My position is that the sunspot count over time is not perfect and there is no way to make it perfect. These “improvements” may be warranted and may even get the data set closer to the objective truth of how it really came down. But one has to see the three tons of subjectivity that must go into this endeavor. One must also recognize that the alarmists have said all along that the sun has no effect at all on the changes in climate on this earth. Seems there are people’s biases to consider.
    In the long run, I doubt this “clean up” will have much effect on the CO2-causes-the-warming debate. I do think that those who claim that this “clean up” has a lot of room for subjectivity have a point, but one hopes that this effort brings the data sets a little closer to the truth. Our experiences with data-set “improvements” don’t fill up with a lot of confidence however.

  44. Odd that there is now observed cooling of both poles.
    What could have changed to cause cooling of both poles? Atmospheric CO2? No.
    Did the sun change? Yup.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/440/1/012001/pdf/1742-6596_440_1_012001.pdf

    The peculiar solar cycle 24 – where do we stand?
    Solar cycle 24 has been very weak so far. It was preceded by an extremely quiet and long solar minimum. Data from the solar interior, the solar surface and the heliosphere all show that cycle 24 began from an unusual minimum and is unlike the cycles that preceded it. We begin this review of where solar cycle 24 stands today with a look at the antecedents of this cycle, and examine why the minimum preceding the cycle is considered peculiar (§ 2). We then examine in § 3 whether we missed early signs that the cycle could be unusual. § 4 describes where cycle 24 is at today.
    The minimum preceding the cycle showed other unusual characteristics. For instance, the polar fields were lower than those of previous cycles. In Fig. 1 we show the polar fields as observed by the Wilcox Solar Observatory. It is very clear that the fields were much lower than those at the minimum before cycle 22 and also smaller than the fields during the minimum before cycle 23. Unfortunately, the data do not cover a period much before cycle 21 maximum so we cannot compare the polar fields during the last minimum with those of even earlier minima.
    Other, more recent data sets, such as the Kitt Peak and MDI magnetograms, and they too also show that the polar fields were weak during the cycle 24 minimum compared with the cycle 23 minimum (de Toma 2011; Gopalswamy et al. 2012).
    The differences between the cycle 24 minimum and the previous ones were not confined to phenomena exterior to the Sun, dynamics of the solar interior showed differences too. For instance, Basu & Antia (2010) showed that the nature of the meridional flow during the cycle 24 minimum was quite different from that during cycle 23. This is significant because meridional flows are believed to play an important role in solar dynamo models (see e.g., Dikpati et al. 2010, Nandy et al. 2011, etc.). The main difference was that the meridional flow in the immediate sub-surface layers at higher latitudes was faster during the cycle 23 minimum that during the cycle 24 minimum. The difference can be seen in Fig. 3 of Basu & Antia (2010). Since the solar cycle is almost certainly driven by a dynamo, the differences in meridional flow between the last two minima, and between cycle 23 and the first part of cycle 24, may be important factors in creating the cycle differences, which extend into the corona and even cosmic rays (Gibson et al. 2009). Differences were also seen in the solar zonal flows (Howe et al. 2009; Antia & Basu 2010 …etc.), and it was found that the equator-ward migration of the prograde mid-latitude flow was slower during the cycle 24 minimum compared with that of cycle 23.

  45. Stephen Wilde June 22, 2015 at 11:40 pm
    It takes several solar cycles for global temperatures to react to changes in solar variability and even then the reaction is irregular due to the thermal inertia of the oceans.

    Really? It didn’t take several solar cycles for 20th century warming to kick in. This whole argument is ridiculous. Either there is a clear solar/climate connection or there isn’t. Were the weak Dalton cycles during the early 19th century responsible for cooling during that period or not? If they were there was no lag. On the contrary cooling across Europe, at least, actually began in the 1780s, i.e. at least a decade before the Dalton Minimum.
    Face it – the solar explanation for climate variability is a busted flush. However – look on the bright side – it means the warmists cannot explain the early 20th century (1910-1940) warming.

  46. I have two questions to Leif. 1. Does the sun have an internal clock and if not what causes the solar cycles.
    2. What causes the world to cycle in ice ages to small interglacials and back to ice ages if our only heater is the sun.
    The sun spot stuff is chicken feed, real science would be looking for answers.

  47. As Anthony pointed out in the first line of this posting, Dr. Leif Svalgaard is a solar physicist.
    I can’t imagine what terrible thing he has done that would make so many here describe him as a “climate scientist”.

    • Leif said this:
      “As I said, people see what they want to see, regardless of graphs and data.
      Now, are you an ‘expert’ in climate and meteorology? The latter is actually my real expertise. The solar stuff is just an interest of mine that I have developed.”
      which was news to me so I’ve asked for more detail.

      • Thanks.
        A couple of those papers refer tangentially to solar effects on atmospheric circulation / vorticity but that isn’t really climate and meteorology is it ?

      • Leif said ‘The solar stuff is just an interest of mine that I have developed. Hmm, that certainly explains a lot…….

      • Leif said ‘The solar stuff is just an interest of mine that I have developed’. Hmmmm, that explains everything.

      • Stephen. You don’t keep up much with Leif’s website I am guessing. Leif was an early investigator of a possible link between solar variation and Earth’s climate and has said so on this blog more than once or twice. His reputation for being a puma stalking its prey (quiet, intelligent, and with great focus), I have no doubt, was brought to full force on his investigations.

      • Pamela,
        Please direct me to some of Leif’s work that shows expertise on climate and meteorology. He has given a number of links that only relate tangentially to atmospheric circulation and/or vorticity.

      • Still waiting for Lief to give us more details about the fact that he said that ‘solar stuff is just an interest of mine that I have developed’. Apparently, his real expertise is in climate and meteorology. He’s suddenly become a bit backward at coming forward…….

    • Here is your answer Leif is trying to show that solar variability does not influence the climate and one of the ways to go about this is to try to show solar variability is limited. It is a wasted effort and does not work because the data suggest solar variability does indeed impact the climate, even if it should be less then what was previously thought.

  48. They should run two series. The “old standard” and the “new best guess standard”. Especially since, at best, it’s only a guess. Adjusting history is a great deal like lying.
    The only good thing about this is the history will be difficult to wipe off the internet.
    However, since this is likely political else they’d have the kindness to wait until after Paris. Geez..

    • CH, perhaps they should go for “old not very good guess” and “new better guess”. If you insist on calling the solar records a “guess”, which seems pretty odd to me.
      When I was in my teens, in the late 60’s, I made a projection box, out of balsa wood, black card, and greaseproof paper, to attach to my 3-inch refractor. Then I’d close the curtains in my bedroom with just the end of the telescope projecting into the light, and I made numerous drawings of sunspots with this arrangement. I was never able to compare the results with any official records, since the internet wasn’t around then.
      But apparently, I wasn’t really doing any of this – I was just “guessing” at the sunspots. Who knew?

  49. You know something is not right when all his ‘mates’ are trying too hard to prove him right. Everyone knows Leif among other things, is pro AGW.

    • I think you’ve spent too much time in the mountains. I know Dr. Svalgaard personally, and he questions it.

      • Please, few question AGW. Most question CAGW. All over the map on policy. This mishmashing the meaning of skepticism allows the use of ignorant epithets like ‘denier’.
        In my experience, Leif has expressed disdain for the process of the IPCC. Clearly, with this kind of work, he shows capacity to have informed disdain about the process of the IPCC.
        Also in my experience, Leif has attempted neutrality, if not agnosticism, about policy.
        Now to shut my wittle mouf.
        ====================

      • Considering the way things are going, neutrality would seem to be tacit approval of the way things are going. Maybe this is not the case, but I can not understand how anyone with such top notch credentials, who believes that the world is being snookered by a false proposition, can stay neutral.
        Except for the reason of not wanting to be Sooned.
        Staying neutral on this if one is skeptical of CAGW is no badge of honor, IMO.
        Just sayin’.

  50. I’ve added a footnote and notice to the header because some commenters apparently didn’t get the fact that this adjustment corrects a mistake of the past. I support the work, and I support Dr. Svalgaard’s methods.

  51. “Good heavens, these are solar physicists making these changes.”
    This is a blatant appeal to authority. You know, since solar physicists know everything…
    Andrew

    • And it is something they, solar physicists, discussed for years, prior to doing it. The process has been fully transparent and is replicable anywhere, unlike NCDC temperature adjustments which has computer code we have not seen yet, nor is fully replicable outside on NCDC

      • That may be true but now with modern technology there are better ways to monitor the variability of the sun. Solar flux and the AP index being two of the tools which are so much more objective. Sunspots are subjective and this will not be the final adjustment in my opinion.

      • Numbering is somewhat subjective and numbering is not likely the most sensitive of the markers for this manifestation of the sun. There is a great deal more to the characterizing of sunspots than their simple frequency.
        ================

  52. ‘Counting’ sun spots has ALWAYS been entirely subjective. The differences between various sun spots is huge, they can be any size or shape. All our tools that we use to do this are, by definition, subjective. With storms, we have ‘hurricane/typhoon’ data which still doesn’t give exact replication of reality since a high wind hurricane can be very, very small and a low wind one can be gigantic, the effects are wildly different.
    Sun spots have been defined now by size, etc. but way back in the old days this was just not possible. If we put in too much ‘tiny sun spot’ data this flattens the numbers.
    The trick here is, the sun spots that cause climate change are BIG. So tracking just the great big ones gives us a good picture of if it is going to be hotter or cooler on our planet.

    • Mebbe the bigness, mebbe the location, MEBBE the frequency, mebbe sumpin’ else.
      That’s a big ‘maybe’.
      ===============

  53. Hmmmm, I’m trying to find the remark by Leif yesterday diminuating solar influence with the argument that sunspots are similar to a time in the past but temperatures aren’t. Shirley wanted to question that one, and surely Shirley gets what Shirley surely wants.
    But that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone.
    ==================

  54. A poor time to remember that the Maunder spots were ‘large, sparse, and primarily Southern Hemispheric’? I’ve found a way to understand ‘large’, even ‘sparse’, but the asymmetry mystifies.
    ================

    • Bah, I meant it ‘sparse’, even ‘large’, but not sure the alternate makes any difference.
      ============

      • I suspect there is some other manifestation of the sun, either presently unknown or poorly understood, that also varies as dramatically in its effect on climate as the sunspots themselves vary. That manifestation may be caused, or may be co-caused, may even be only co-incidental, by and to the sunspots.
        ==================

      • Hmmm, more clarity; I meant varies as dramatically as the character of the sunspots. You are over here lost in contemplations about the numbers, when that is the least sensitive of the pertinent indicators.
        Dang, somedays I wish I were more numerate, and somedays I wish I were less.
        ================

      • Well, Pam, you’re gonna have to break it down for me a little. Lots about numbers but what do they say about the character of the spots, the size, the locations, etc? Have they figured out the meanings of the asymmetries? Help, oh Authority. Leif is allowed to assist.
        ==========================

  55. So with a new data set, it is now time to ask if there is a super cycle of multiple 11-year cycles and with double peaks (cycles) and relative trough cycle around the super cycle top (?). This would be a longer variation of the pattern observed within individual 11-year cycles and tops.

  56. For my part I see a great danger in “correcting” the past to match the present, if you intend to use the result for comparison.
    Correction is not an objective process. It is subjective, based on current beliefs. Thus the correction process itself is highly likely to lead to confirmation bias.
    The results of the correction will closely mirror the prior beliefs of those doing the corrections.
    The problem for those doing the correction is that it is our subconscious mind that is biasing the results below our level of awareness. What we see as fair and appropriate is relative to our beliefs, not to any absolute scale.
    Which means the corrections to the past are much less reliable in fact than we believe.

    • The analogy of painting the orange red so you can compare apples to apples best describes the problem of correcting the past so it can be compared to the present.

    • And you too have not read the papers. We don’t so much correct the past, but rather the present where we know the data well enough to do so.

  57. lsvalgaard – I agree that apples must be compared only to apples, but the data has changed now. My question is: Does this correction alter our present scientific fundamental understanding of solar dynamics and it’s connection with climate? How would you describe the resulting ramifications (to theory) overall, if any? GK

    • Our knowledge of the solar dynamo is sketchy. In order to gain ground here we need a better data set than the old faulty ones, so a new series will help.
      On the climate front, the situation is better. It has now become clear that the Sun’s influence [although there] is but minor.

      • Minor in the sense of t=0, but not in the context of energy storage in sea water as in t-1, t-2, t-3…

      • Dr. Svalgaard thanks for sharing your results on this site and staying around to answer questions and take abuse by some of the “misguided” folks that comment here. Understanding the complexities of the solar component of climate is vital to gaining a real concensus on attribution.

      • “become clear” ? So you have sorted out every last dimension of it all even though “our knowledge of the solar dynamo is sketchy”? I look forward to the publication of the detailed (and no doubt comprehensive) analysis that fully defines and supports that remarkable claim. In viewing this discussion, I was, at first sympathetic to you in that you seemed to be taking what might called premature knee-jerk abuse. However, It has since become clear that you are also no slouch at dishing out generalized and unwarranted abuse and insults. Now, we see a leap in logic that is insulting to any critical observer’s intelligence. Disappointing.

        • Now, we see a leap in logic that is insulting to any critical observer’s intelligence
          You should apply some of that claimed intelligence when you comment here. It is clear that my conclusion upsets your sensibilities, but so be it.

      • Dr. Svalgaard,
        If we indeed have some sort of grand solar minimum of the next few cycles, and if we also see temperatures beginning to decline, would you modify your opinion that the sun is a minor player?
        I am curious as to what it will take to move the needle on this?
        I myself am of the opinion that warming is very much less to be feared than sudden and/or drastic cooling, and am very curious to see how this is going to play out.
        Do you believe cooling is a greater potential problem?
        Are you curious to see if cooling occurs?
        If it does occur, would you change your mind?
        Please note that I am not asking anyone’s opinion on how likely any of these events may or may not be.
        I am sure that no one here needs to be reminded that the history of science is a veritable encyclopedia of great ideas, wonderful theories, and smart people which were found to be incorrect.

        • If we indeed have some sort of grand solar minimum of the next few cycles, and if we also see temperatures beginning to decline, would you modify your opinion that the sun is a minor player?
          It i always a question of ‘how much?’ and of how much that is compared to the noise. Your ‘weasel words’ “beginning to” are too vague. By how much is the question.
          I can turn it around and ask how much is needed for you to maintain your opinion.
          Do you believe cooling is a greater potential problem?
          Are you curious to see if cooling occurs?
          If it does occur, would you change your mind?

          Cooling is worse than warming.
          As to being curious: Einstein said it best: “I never worry about the future. It comes all by itself”.
          And last: it is all about how much.
          I am sure that no one here needs to be reminded that the history of science is a veritable encyclopedia of great ideas, wonderful theories, and smart people which were found to be incorrect.
          Dumb people are much more likely to be incorrect.
          But it is a scientists prerogative to be wrong. That is how progress is made.
          I one believed there was a Vorticity Area Index effect [google it]. I was wrong then.

  58. Why not leave the historical data as it is? In this computer age treat it like any other database? If you want sunspots run a query. Ask for a Traditional view or a Svalgaard view or any other. Any correction of the original data always has a chance of introducing errors. You find out how priceless historical data is after you’ve erased it.

  59. at a minimum, any correction to the past should increase the error bars. the bigger the correction, the more likely it is that error has been introduced.

  60. “Given the amount of bogus climate “science” being passed off in the journals these days, such distrust is perhaps a reasonable defense reflex … but the bad news is that honest scientists get tarred with the same brush.”
    Indeed. I think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of the damage that CAGW has done to all of science..

    • …and the noose is being tightened as people balk at CAGW. The roar of the politicians that are now scientists and they are not to be argued with. The money train is at full throttle to use the public’s ignorance of science to force agendas. The perfect storm.
      Just as we see here, a lot of work goes into a project, which is arguably well stated; however the distrust and skeptical views are condescendingly scoffed at (maybe warranted in some cases) and one sees the reactions. As an example of turf protecting we see Svensmark’s work and how he was treated by his own so called open (mostly skeptical and rude) minded science community. It’ll all pass. Cheers!

  61. Perhaps it would have been simple to present the two data graph side by side and explain in plain language the gist of adjustment and its effect on the graph. Svalgaard’s own acknowledgement that ” lsvalgaard June 23, 2015 at 12:37 am, Willis, part of the problem is that the old sunspot series supports a strong solar influence and the new one doesn’t.” should be enough to develop the post further and with utmost clarity rather than chastise those who were confused by the post and suffer Svalgaard’s pretentious tone “So people would rather lose their rationality than give up their preconceived myths. This is normal human behavior from time immemorial and and is demonstrated so vividly here..”

  62. In Leif’s own words:
    “The other one around 1880-1900 is due to the [as we now know] erroneous assumption by Hoyt and Scatten that the Greenwich photographic data were homogeneous, which they are.”
    Question to Leif;
    Was the Greenwich data homogenous or not? If the data was homogenous, as you seem to have inadvertently suggested, then why were Hoyt and Scatten erroneous in assuming that to be the case?
    Please explain this glaring inconsistency in your justification for altering past data.
    (Archived for reference)

  63. I have come up with solar parameter criteria that I think if attained and the duration is sufficient will have a climatic impact. Notice the sunspot count was not one of the criteria.
    What is central to what I have done is it takes the guess work out of the equation in that if these solar parameters are meant a climate outcome will be realized. The climate outcome being either a cooler climate, in which case I am correct, or a climate which does not cool in which case I will be wrong.
    Based on the data we do have from the past we know the solar parameters I have come up with have been met or closely approached during solar quiet periods of time as was evidenced in the recent solar lull from 2008-2010, and that past solar quiet periods (although we do not have the exact data) probably had solar activity similar to the recent solar lull from 2008-2010 but for a far greater period of time in which case my solar parameters would again be likely meant and would have resulted in lower global temperatures according to the historical global temperature records.
    Those historical global temperature records NEVER showing a prolonged minimum solar period associated with a sustained global temperature rise and likewise a prolonged solar maximum period of time associated with a sustained global temperature drop.
    The adjustments to the sunspot data will not change those facts because minimal solar activity those being the Maunder Minimum and the Dalton, will still be present relative to all the other periods of time featuring higher solar activity.
    One last note is this will not be the end of solar adjusted data this is going to continue, but no matter how much adjusting the quiet periods and active solar periods are still going to be present, along with the temperature correlation of lower temperatures at times of prolonged solar minimum conditions and higher global temperatures at time of prolonged active solar conditions.
    THE CRITERIA
    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 (10 years) 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.
    In summary the sunspot adjustment is meaningless as far as solar/climate connections are concerned and my low average value solar parameters which I think will have a climate impact remain intact and solar activity going forward is still unknown and for that matter in the past as is being see by the latest revisions not to mention even now sunspots are not counted in the same way. We still have different sets of data.revisions and this will not be the last revision.

  64. Let me correct the last part of my post.
    Solar activity going forward is still unknown and for that matter in the past as is being seen by the latest revisions, not to mention even now sunspots are not counted in the same way. We still have different sets of data. This revision will not be the last revision in my opinion.

    • Sorry, corrections increase error, so by correcting your post, you’ve made it more erroneous.

  65. Here’s a nice summary from Stanford on the issue. http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/NS-Sept-2013-Sunspots.pdf I still say, however, that it is nice that the count is being tabulated by a number of different groups. There is nothing wrong in that. There is nothing wrong with Svalgaard’s work. These are all estimates of one form or another. What is wrong is when individuals on both sides of the argument make grand statements. Truth is far more elusive than most people think.

  66. Quick correlation crunch from the math geeks here at the office….
    MA12 MA24 MA24L12 MA24L24 MA24L36
    WTI -.08 -.17 -.30 -.42 -.50
    Data 1979-May 2015
    WTI is the Wood for Tree Index
    MA12 …12 month moving average
    MA24L12 … 24 month mov average of sunspot with a 12 month lag
    Quick unchecked conclusion…
    Low sunspot numbers lead to warming earth. The 24 month moving average of sunspot number, lagged 36 months, explains -50% of the variance in global temp. Correlation does not mean causation.
    Submitted for ruthless peer review and result replication to the WUWT modern peer review process.

    • Thanks, Mary. A link to the WFT page showing your work would be a place to begin explaining what you are discussing.
      As to your “quick unchecked conclusion”, I’ve slowly checked everything from temperatures to air pressure to sea level variations to fluctuations in river flow to lake levels and a bunch of other claimed correlations. Heck, I even went back to see if what Herschel claimed about sunspots and wheat prices was valid, and guess what?
      To date, using a variety of techniques (cross-correlation, Fourier analysis, etc.) I have NOT found any statistically significant relationship between sunspots and … well … anything.
      However, let me acquaint you with my work on sunspots and invite you to point out any errors in it …
      Best regards,
      w.
      ==============================
      Usoskin Et Al. Discover A New Class of Sunspots
      There’s a new post up by Usoskin et al. entitled “Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity”. To their credit, they’ve archived their data, it’s available here. Figure 1 shows their reconstructed decadal averages of sunspot numbers for the last three thousand years, from their paper: Figure 1. The results…
      Congenital Cyclomania Redux
      Well, I wasn’t going to mention this paper, but it seems to be getting some play in the blogosphere. Our friend Nicola Scafetta is back again, this time with a paper called “Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs”. He’s…
      The Effect of Gleissberg’s “Secular Smoothing”
      ABSTRACT: Slow Fourier Transform (SFT) periodograms reveal the strength of the cycles in the full sunspot dataset (n=314), in the sunspot cycle maxima data alone (n=28), and the sunspot cycle maxima after they have been “secularly smoothed” using the method of Gleissberg (n = 24). In all three datasets, there…
      The Tip of the Gleissberg
      A look at Gleissberg’s famous solar cycle reveals that it is constructed from some dubious signal analysis methods. This purported 80-year “Gleissberg cycle” in the sunspot numbers has excited much interest since Gleissberg’s original work. However, the claimed length of the cycle has varied widely.
      Sunspots and Sea Surface Temperature
      I thought I was done with sunspots … but as the well-known climate scientist Michael Corleone once remarked, “Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in”. In this case Marcel Crok, the well-known Dutch climate writer, asked me if I’d seen the paper from Nir…
      Cycles Without The Mania
      Are there cycles in the sun and its associated electromagnetic phenomena? Assuredly. What are the lengths of the cycles? Well, there’s the question. In the process of writing my recent post about cyclomania, I came across a very interesting paper entitled “Correlation Between the Sunspot Number, the Total Solar Irradiance,…
      Solar Periodicity
      I was pointed to a 2010 post by Dr. Roy Spencer over at his always interesting blog. In it, he says that he can show a relationship between total solar irradiance (TSI) and the HadCRUT3 global surface temperature anomalies. TSI is the strength of the sun’s energy at a specified distance…
      It’s The Evidence, Stupid!
      I hear a lot of folks give the following explanation for the vagaries of the climate, viz: It’s the sun, stupid. And in fact, when I first started looking at the climate I thought the very same thing. How could it not be the sun, I reasoned, since obviously that’s…
      Sunspots and Sea Level
      I came across a curious graph and claim today in a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Here’s the graph relating sunspots and the change in sea level: And here is the claim about the graph: Sea level change and solar activity A stronger effect related to solar cycles is seen in Fig.…
      Sunny Spots Along the Parana River
      In a comment on a recent post, I was pointed to a study making the following surprising claim: Here, we analyze the stream flow of one of the largest rivers in the world, the Parana ́ in southeastern South America. For the last century, we find a strong correlation with…
      Maunder and Dalton Sunspot Minima
      In a recent interchange over at Joanne Nova’s always interesting blog, I’d said that the slow changes in the sun have little effect on temperature. Someone asked me, well, what about the cold temperatures during the Maunder and Dalton sunspot minima? And I thought … hey, what about them? I…

      • Salvatore Del Prete June 23, 2015 at 4:08 pm

        Willis you may have not found anything due to your personal take evaluation of the data. Others do not see it that way.

        Salvatore, let me make you the same offer I made Mary above. My work is listed above. People are free to “see it” however they wish.
        However, if you (or they) think there are errors in it, then it is your/their task to quote what you/they see as the erroneous part of what I said, and tell us why it is wrong.
        Because this hand-waving claim that “others do not see it that way” is a meaningless statement. It goes nowhere, it doesn’t point to anything or anyone. It doesn’t say what I’m supposed to have done wrong.
        In short, it’s just mud that you’re trying to throw at me … and in my world, there’s only one reason a man slings vague, handwaving mud …
        Because he’s totally out of real ammunition. You know, ammunition like pointing out exactly where I went off the rails in my analyses …
        w.

      • There’s this 1970s analysis of crop yields…..
        http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/naldc/download.xhtml?id=CAT76674961&content=PDF
        Though the effects of sunspots, or lack thereof, seems to depend on where your farm is.
        Sunspots seem to be more influential in Illinois compared to Kansas and have little effect in Texas at all !
        Perhaps sunspots have more effect polewards ?
        And maybe we should hope for periods of low sunspot activity…
        Russian researcher Alexander Chizjevsky developed his Mass Excitability Index in which he related 80% of the most significant historical events on earth occurs to periods of maximum sunspot activity.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Chizhevsky
        Unfortunately his proposal ran counter to Marxist dialectics and he was given time to re-think his theory in the gulag.

      • GregK June 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

        There’s this 1970s analysis of crop yields…..
        http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/naldc/download.xhtml?id=CAT76674961&content=PDF
        Though the effects of sunspots, or lack thereof, seems to depend on where your farm is.

        Sadly, the poor fellow seems to be a farm advisor or something who is entirely innocent of statistical knowledge. In particular he has NOT adjusted for the fact that he has subdivided his data into 43 solar levels and six states … which is a total of 258 different subcategories. Do you think that you might just possibly find something “highly statistically significant”, say a p-value under 0.01, with 258 different tests?
        Running the numbers, I see that with 256 separate tests on totally random data, you have over a 90% chance of finding something that is “statistically significant at the p < 0.01 level" … but of course is not statistically significant in the slightest.
        And this, of course, leads to things you point out like say the sun affecting the yields in Oklahoma but not Kansas …
        Sorry, Greg, but that link is nothing but a poorly-done data dredge.
        w.

      • “To date, using a variety of techniques (cross-correlation, Fourier analysis, etc.) I have NOT found any statistically significant relationship between sunspots and … well … anything. ”
        Willis are you over analysing the data or something? you can clearly see temperature rise and fall with solar activity, sure there’s a lot of noise but the relationship is there.
        https://sparksstuff.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/armagh-obs-temperature-vs-difference-between-sunspot-area-and-sunspot-number.jpg

      • Sparks June 26, 2015 at 6:16 am

        “To date, using a variety of techniques (cross-correlation, Fourier analysis, etc.) I have NOT found any statistically significant relationship between sunspots and … well … anything. ”
        Willis are you over analysing the data or something? you can clearly see temperature rise and fall with solar activity, sure there’s a lot of noise but the relationship is there.
        https://sparksstuff.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/armagh-obs-temperature-vs-difference-between-sunspot-area-and-sunspot-number.jpg

        Thanks, Sparks. That graphic might serve as the poster child for bad science. First off, it is relating the temperatures at one point on the planet (Armagh Observatory) with the sun. But not with sunspots. And not with TSI. And not with solar wind. And not with solar magnetism.
        Instead you compare it with “the difference between sunspot area and sunspot number”. This is perhaps one of the more bizarre variables in the history of science. For example … what units is it measured in? Square kilometers minus numbers?
        But we’ll let that pass. The next problem is that it has no provenance. Which Armagh figures are you using, daily or monthly? Which sunspot data are you using, the historical data or the revised modern data? And finally, where is the statistical analysis?
        The problem is that humans are superb at finding patterns where none exist. See the constellations as one among many examples. In a predatory world, the consequences of a false positive (I thought I saw a leopard but I was wrong) are far lower than a false negative (I didn’t notice the leopard). As a result, we are geared by nature to find patterns, even when none exist.
        To get around this tendency, we’ve invented statistics. That keeps us from fooling ourselves. Visually, I’d say that the correlation in your graph is pure junk … but I could be wrong, just as you could be wrong in saying it is significant, and until you run the numbers there’s no way to know.
        And no, Sparks, I do NOT “clearly see temperature rise and fall with solar activity” in your graph. Perhaps it’s because I’ve looked at so many graphs, but to my tutored eye there’s little correlation there.
        And even if there were I’d be sore tempted to view it as a false positive, because what you are measuring is so bizarre that I can’t even imagine how it would have a physical effect. Look, total sunspot area can be re-written as average sunspot area times sunspot count. So if we subtract sunspot count from that, we get
        SA * SC – SC
        where SA is sunspot average area and SC is sunspot count. Factoring out the sunspot count gives us
        SC * (SA -1)
        the sunspot count times the sunspot area minus one. One what? Well, in theory one square kilometre, or one million square km, or whatever square square units you chance to be using (which you have also neglected to mention) … unless you measure sunspot area in new units, say square miles, which gives you a whole other answer.
        Are you truly serious in believing that the temperature in Armagh is ruled by the average sunspot area minus one, times the sunspot count? I mean, you’re free to believe that, but I wouldn’t bruit it about …
        w.

    • We simply ran some simple numbers. 1979-2015 data of Wood For Trees temps vs the revised sunspot numbers posted here. MA12 is the 12 month moving average of the sunspot number. The “L” is for lag time. The 36 month lagged sunspot number was highly correlated with temp.
      The correlation matrix
      http://postimg.org/image/eikno4k0d/
      I don’t know much of anything about sunspots. But the correlations since 1979 are quite strong in this data…
      Caveats…
      …correlation vs causation
      … short time period
      … controversy over sunspot data
      … 20 min of work went into this.

      • Thsnks for that, Mary. What is the statistical significance (p-value) of your results, including the adjustment for autocorrelation? A significant p-value doesn’t mean much, but the lack of one often means a lot.
        w.

      • The stat geeks here replaced sunspots with random numbers using the same spreadsheet and a correlation that large appears only 2.5% of the time. However, I screened five sunspot variables… and the others had much lower numbers. If you test enough combinations on only a 36 year monthly history, then it’s not too hard to randomly achieve that.
        Nothing conclusion but just an interesting high correlation on first try.
        Next up… using that 36 year model on out of sample data before 1979… We’ll see what that shows.

      • Way to go, Mary! Run the numbers yourselves.
        However, I’d get a new set of “stat geeks”, because it appears that the didn’t adjust for autocorrelation. Real temperature datasets are “autocorrelated”, meaning that a day at -40° is more likely to be followed by another cold day rather than a very warm day. And the statistics of autocorrelated datasets are very, very different from those regarding truly random datasets.
        All the best, keep going,
        w.

      • Here in the Southern US, during Autumn, Winter and Early Spring, the coldest days are often directly preceded by the warmest days.
        I take your point, but there are a large number of times when that which is most likely is not at all the case.

      • Dang … how embarrassing is this! Eliza has just revealed my secret Warmist identity. See, normally I wear glasses. So taking a lesson from Superman, I came up with a most devious plan that I’ll reveal to you, and you alone. Please don’t reveal this to anyone.
        When I post as a warmist, I take off my glasses so nobody can recognize me, not even Lois Lane.
        I figure that Eliza must have a pair of those “X-RAY GLASSES!!” that they used to advertise in the back of the comic books. I can’t think of any other way she could have recognized me as a warmist without my glasses.
        w.

  67. Climate, or at least climate on a small multi-decadal scale seems to fluctuate with major ocean cycles, since it is unknown what mechanism drives these cycles, you cannot rule out solar magnetic field cycles as a significant influence. The correlation is there, at least until Pinatubo changed everything, this continued attempt and failure of individuals trying to directly correlate monthly surface temps to SSN and use it as a form of evidence against Solar Variability as a significant climate forcing, is not a valid one in my book.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/from:1965/mean:5/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1965/mean:5/normalise

    • No. I see some uneducated whining. I also see some commentators begging to be fed pablum instead of fixing their own dinner. Finally I see some of the same behavior we normally attribute to low level watermelons who have drank the coolaid without judiciously studying the issue for themselves.

      • Those who do not want to accept solar variability as a driver of the climate does not impact my thoughts about the subject in any way.
        I am going with what the historical climatic record shows and what (talking about from the Holocene Optimum -present) correlates best to it, which is Milankovitch Cycles, with Solar Variability superimposed upon that cycle , with a further refinement of the climatic trends when the AMO/PDO phase, ENSO ,and Volcanic activity are further superimposed upon the climatic trends due to the slow moving Milankovitch Cycles and Solar variability.
        I could care less about a sunspot adjustment which is not going to change the fact which is during relative quiet periods on the sun the temperature trend has always been down and during relative active solar periods of time the temperature trend has always been up.
        That is what the data shows which has not been manipulated.

  68. Hey Pam, a good book for you to start with is ‘The Dummies Guide to Solar Physics’. That’s the one your guru Lief has studied. Oh, and don’t forget he’s also studied ‘The Dummies Guide to Weather’. Actually, that’s a bit too advanced for him and you…….

      • But in his own words he said that the solar stuff was just an interest that he developed. He may be the ‘expert’ here on solar physics, but in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.

      • There is none Stephen, but he knows his astronomy but that does not have to translate to the climate which you point out.
        Stephen I think are basic themes are correct and will we realize before this decade ends.

      • You [and assorted acolytes] are getting tiresome. It should be enough that I tell you.
        But you can study this [and shut the f*** up]:
        http://www.leif.org/research/US-USSR-Agreement.png
        There were 11 areas of concern. Area VIII is of interest:
        The atmospheric scientist Nixon designated to go to the USSR as the US expert and envoy on this was yours truly.
        I believe that the topics mentioned are just what are needed to evaluate the interplay between the climate and various influences thereupon, requiring a good understanding of everything connected with that, from the climate system and up. This is the expertise that sent me as NOAA’s and the US’s representative to the USSR for a several months stint, lecturing at dozens of Soviet institutes and laboratories and facilitating further exchange of data, models, theories, and scientists.
        Now, you can compare that to your expertise in these matters.
        Please supply links to evidence of such.

      • Hmm the SALT 1 treaty was signed May 27 1972
        the May 23 1972 signing for the agreement you posted seems l instead to have been signed by N. V. Podgorny
        Chairman of the Presidium
        of the Supreme Soviet
        of the USSR
        While in the USSR did you get a chance visit the Hermitage museum? I don’t recall if it was closed off to foreigners.
        That must have been an experience, I envy you.

        • Yes, I visited the Hermitage and many other places that were ordinarily off-limits [especially in Siberia], but since I was a Government Envoy I had extensive access. My copy of the agreement states that it was ‘signed by the heads of state of the two nations’, which would indeed have been Podgorny, although there might be some ambiguity between General Secretary and Chairman of the Presidium as to who was really in power.

      • Back in the 1960-1970s while I was actively and heavily involved with synoptic meteorology I solved a problem that at the time was considered difficult: automatic construction of a weather map presenting all the information one would receive from a weather station including the different kinds of clouds at different altitudes, trends and values of temperature and pressure, humidity, wind direction and speed, etc. This was traditionally done by a small army of ‘weather plotters’ who would get data by telex and plot the information on a large [4 feet x 5 feet] map and try to do this in real time such as always having a ‘current’ picture of what was happening [this was before satellites]. Could one do this with a computer using a large ‘flat bed’ plotter and connected to the global weather reporting [telex and telegraph] network? The first successful demonstration of such a system was made by me in 1965 (and actually copied by several countries). The Figure below shows the operational system in action in 1971:
        http://www.leif.org/research/vejrkort-rc4000.png

      • I acknowledge Leif’s expertise in climate and meteorology as it was in the 60s and 70s.
        At that time knowledge of the work of Hubert Lamb and Marcel Leroux amongst others, ocean oscillations, stratospheric temperature changes, global cloudiness changes, jet stream behaviour variations, latitudinal climate zone shifting, upper atmospheric chemistry and sudden regime shifts was pretty limited.
        Since then the data has accumulated that enables a fresh stab at solar induced global climate mechanics to be made as per my hypothesis.
        In the meantime the mainstream has been distracted by the erroneous radiative theory which fails to deal with non radiative energy transfers and Leif appears to have focused mostly on solar physics to the detriment of his climate and meteorology expertise.

        • Nonsense, Stephen.
          My research interest has always been and still is the interplay between the atmosphere and the Sun. I am, of course, up-to-date on both subjects. A good example of the successful blend of these two branches of science is my analysis of of the EUV-UV variation since the 1740s: http://www.leif.org/research/Reconstruction-of-Solar-EUV-Flux-1740-2015.pdf
          and my considerate and professional evaluation of your ‘theory’ is that it is junk.

          • Leif,
            Neither you nor anyone else is yet in a position to declare that my hypothesis is junk.
            It was a surprise to everyone that ozone appears to have increased above 45km when the sun became less active yet that fits my hypothesis.
            It was a surprise to everyone that the stratosphere stopped cooling and may have begun warming again since the sun became less active yet that fits my hypothesis.
            Likewise the change in global cloudiness trend noted by the Earthshine project, the change in jetstream behaviour from more zonal to more meridional, the weakening of El Nino events relative to La Nina events and so on.
            I have the only hypothesis that draws all those unexcpected and unexplained changes into a plausible and coherent narrative.
            The sun’s ‘fingerprint’ is all over it.

          • Your ‘theory’ is just hand waving, no numbers, no quantification, and has ‘junk’ written all over it. But there you are in good company, as junk is prevalent in this field.

      • Leif,
        Your diagram shows stratosphere temperatures stable or increasing for 18.5 years now during which time there has been no significant volcanic disruption yet the sun has been becoming less active.
        During the period of more active sun the stratosphere temperatures were declining apart from two volcanically induced upward spikes.
        !8.5 years is also approximately the length of the ‘pause’ and the Earthshine project shows increased global albedo since 2000 which is when I first noted the jet stream changes.
        You are ignoring good evidence.

      • You’ve got to believe the rabbit is there before you can handwave it out of the hat.
        =========================

      • Yah, yah, highest quality product, persuasive if not always perfectly slick sales presentation. I usually buy. There are no thumbprints on the fascicles.
        ====================

    • Hey Jay, when you have made a scientific discovery and have the effect named after you then you can be as pissy as you like. In the mean time see the Svalgaard-Mansurov Effect and then take your foot out of your mouth.

      • “…when you have made a scientific discovery and have the effect named after you then you can be as pissy as you like. ”
        I disagree. Anyone can be as pissy as they like, regardless of achievements or lack thereof.
        And being rude, dismissive, condescending, haughty, belittling, demeaning and in general a snotty jerk is every bit as off-putting and a mark of poor character in the accomplished upper crust as it is in the great unwashed.
        The difference is, when those who are in positions of ostensible authority behave this way it is more jarring.
        Since when is being real smart and having professional stature an excuse for lack of manners and patience?
        Since when is being a bully and tossing around gratuitous insults considered anything but a net minus?
        Anyone can be as pissy as they like. Coming off as humorless and reflexively demeaning is not a mark of class.

  69. There are a substantial number of cock-sure pronouncements on this post which, considering the lack of more complete understanding that even our ” more educated ” professionals have of the complex interrelationships of the potential causal variables, might be better phrased as conditional statements such as “so far the data shows, or does not show…..”. But then it is many times obvious that such statements are a means of attempting to indicate how much smarter we are than the other bloke. Does not shed a very favorable light upon our discussions.

  70. http://imgur.com/SwJCgrZ
    Now if one looks at this chart(in the above) the bottom one with the blue temperature curve and compares it to the latest study showing the solar secular cycle one will see a good correlation between global temperature and the solar secular cycle.
    The solar secular cycle trend from 1610-2010, and the absolute values of the solar secular cycle trend correlating with the global temperature trends (1610-2010), and absolute values of the global temperature.
    The solar secular cycle trend also shows a distinct increase in solar activity from the period 1930-2005 period, versus the period from 1650-1930 in that the solar secular cycle through out that period of time never exceeds 125 ,in contrast to being above 125 from the 1930-2005 period of time, with a peak of 160!
    In addition if one examines the data, at times when the solar secular trend breaks 100 on the down slide the global temperature trend is down although the global temperature value starting points may differ most likely due to other climate items superimposed upon the global temperature trend such as the state of the PDO,AMO or ENSO.
    During the times when the solar secular trend broke 100 those being the period 1660 -1720 and 1780-1830 both corresponding to the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum ,the global temperature trend is in a definitive down trend. In addition even from the period 1880-1905 when the solar secular cycle approaches the 100 value, the global temperature trend is slightly down once again.
    Then on the hand, when the solar secular cycle trend exceeds 125 from 1930 -2005 the temperature trend is up and shoots really up when the great climatic shift takes place in 1978 which is when the PDO ,shifted from it’s cold to warm phase.
    The data from the above shows quite clearly that when the solar secular cycle breaks 100 on the down slope look for a global temperature cooling trend to begin from what ever level the global absolute temperature is at, and when the solar secular cycle rises and breaks through 100 on the upside look for a global temperature trend to rise from what ever level the global absolute temperature is at.
    A general rule I see if when the solar secular cycle exceeds 125 global temperatures trend up or are at a higher level and when it breaks 100 on the downside global temperatures trend down or are at a lower level.
    If this latest solar information is correct and that is a big if ,but if it is correct, it shows the climate is more sensitive to primary ,and the secondary effects associated with solar variability.
    In addition my low average value solar parameter criteria for cooling may be able to be adjusted up some , due to this latest information.
    One last note, it looks like around year 2010 the solar secular cycle trend finally broke 100 on the down swing which would be the first time since 1830, when the solar secular cycle broke 100 on the up swing and had since stayed above that level until year 2010.
    THE GRAPH SHOWING THE SOLAR SECULAR CYCLE IS ON PAGE 13 OF THE PDF I HAVE SENT . LOOK BELOW.
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/Maunder-Minimum-Not-So-Grand.pdf
    The upshot is Leif latest data on the adjustment f sunspots does nothing to diminish a solar/climatic connection., and I have just showed that to be the case by using his latest data.
    Leif is great when it comes to the sun but he is not a climatologist. Enough said.

  71. The old fudge factor is dead.
    Long live the new fudge factor!
    We are supposed to believe that the new formula turns the old oranges into lovely apples so we can compare them to the apples we eat today. I put little value in the old data except for entertainment value.

  72. My computer started sputtering an advertising crap loudly while reading this thread. Is there a way to tell advertisers that obnoxious sounds are not welcome?

    • Published 2009, but there is really no significant change to speak of. We have firmed up some of the older values by further analysis and new data, but the fundamental issue is unchanged.

  73. I love the way Dr. Svalgaard’s blunt manner defeats so many people. He’s a master. Y’all have to know he’s grinning from ear-to-ear at all the squawking. You’re playing right into his hands, and I love to watch it play out. The educated doctor toying with the grouse. Ya gotta love it. Sometimes the entertainment is even better than the science here at Wattsupwiththat.com!

      • Isvalgaard:
        “squawkers” is right. The place is full of experts … who aren’t. I see Salvatore is a climatologist and you’re not for instance. You say you are a meteorologist. So am I – well trained and 32 years with the UKMO, and retired 8 years now. Makes no difference though – they still think they know more than you/me. In fact they hold two contradictory views in their heads at the same time, a) that they know more than the experts, and b) that they despise the expert his knowledge, with “appeal to authority”, often coming mixed with their “squawking”.
        Now tell me folks – is that not the way the world works – we learn stuff from the experts, ie knowledgeable in their field? …. you know like when we went to school/Uni ?
        If you don’t like their “view” doesn’t make you, defacto “correct”, especially without solid evidence (slayers) – which is why science has a way of rooting out “crap” and coming to a “consensus”.
        Que “squawking”.

      • So you were sent to Russia a long time ago, apparently. Don’t see any mention of your name in the article. As a matter of fact, I don’t see your name mentioned in many places apart from this site………

      • The “squawking” comment is just good common sense, common observation. It’s all that extra stuff, outside of good civil debate. If a person wants to make a jab, do so in good taste and don’t look desperate when doing it. Once you get personal in a debate – you lose.

      • “which is why science has a way of rooting out “crap” and coming to a “consensus”.”
        Hey, have you been following the CAGW climate science thing much?

      • Establishment scientists have a way of shutting out new ideas, or any which conflict with then current paradigm.
        Which is why science (whether medical or the other kinds) tends to advance by paradigm shift, rather than by gradual modification of ideas.
        Do you suppose all of those doctors who, after performing autopsies and such, refused to wash their hands before delivering a child or performing other procedures, knew they were completely wrong? Or were they dead certain they were correct?
        I imagine they may have made very similar comments to some we are seeing here.
        One could write a very thick book detailing even the modern examples such events.
        This book is getting a lot thicker every single day that the CAGW meme holds sway.

        • Establishment scientists have a way of shutting out new ideas, or any which conflict with then current paradigm.
          You are barking up the wrong tree here.
          I’m not an ‘Establishment Scientist’. On the contrary, I am a gadfly, finding faults with many current paradigms, e.g. the establishment paradigm that solar activity the past half century has been the highest in 12,000 years, the establishment paradigm that solar activity on short time scales is random [ http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Sector-Structure.pdf ], the establishment paradigm that the sunspot number record is good, the establishment paradigm that the cosmic ray record is calibrated correctly, and several others of a more technical nature.

      • Sir, I was not speaking of you in this comment.
        But of the comment in general.
        And my response to Toneb was to his remark, and I was not referring to you at all. I am sorry if it appeared otherwise. He, unlike you (I am willing to take you at your word as being not in the warmista camp) sure sounds like he loves a good climate consensus.
        And yes, I have been following the CAGW meme for many many years, although I got so sick of the pointless argumentation that I stopped paying attention several years back, and only recently began to participate in any discussions.
        My attention was rekindled over the past year when I began to learn of and follow what was being said on various blog sites, including this one.
        I very often have more questions than answers, and most of what I “know” may well be wrong. But I am paying attention, and try very hard to be objective and to discern who is “right”.
        BTW-My comment way up top in regard to Mr. Mosher was an oblique and sort of but not completely tongue-in-cheek reference to him, and not at all to you or your work.
        I have no idea if you follow other stories here, but the Mosh, as many refer to him, has a habit of interjecting short hit and run comment bombs, and of seeming to argue with every point made regarding adjustments to temperature data. My impression is that he disagrees with anything that makes the present time seem unremarkable.
        And finally, although I would not presume to make suggestions to a grown man or women regarding how they should interact with others, I myself have to try to keep a thick skin when discussing anything remotely controversial. My best idea for myself is to think like a lawyer…everything is an argument, and none of them are personal.
        And thin skinned lawyers…well… is there such a thing?

        • Menicholas, June 26, 2015 at 7:48 pm
          I was not speaking of you in this comment.
          Some advice: always say who, what, and when if you refer to something, unless it is completely obvious and thus not necessary.

      • “the establishment paradigm that the cosmic ray record is calibrated correctly, and several others of a more technical nature.”
        Personally, I prefer the technical to the tedious. I have far more interest in the stellar mechanics of the sunspots and the cycles and how and why they vary, than in trying to parse through old records to discern or glean a better accounting.
        Not a criticism…on the contrary, I am in awe of such a patient and years long effort.
        I am curious though, as to whether your stated belief that the sun plays only a minor role in climate variations
        is due to having decided that some specific other factors play the major role.
        What causes the onset and end of the interglacials?
        What caused the LIA?
        One thing I am sure of…textbooks fifty or a hundred, or maybe even only twenty, years hence on the subjects of astrophysics and climatology will have some big surprises.

  74. Leif,
    To be concrete regarding the current SC 24. As I understand it, all the original data (until now) of this period will be divided by 1.20? This means that a valid graph about SC 24 still could be made, either using the old data or the new data. (Multiplying the new data with 1.20 would give the old style data.)

    • I like the several hundred year old picture of the bicycle on the ice.
      What a confused article, and what a confused science, and what a confused polity.
      ====================

  75. Historical sunspot numbers are about to be given an adjustment. Unfortunately, when lay people hear such words, rightly or wrongly it makes people lose confidence in scientists and their data. What was so wrong with the original data for it to be in need of adjustment, is what they wonder, which to them means that the original data couldn’t have been reliable in the first place.

  76. No, the real big debate here is obvious: a number of scientists are desperate to deny that the sun, our local star which outsizes all the planets…our earth is so small, it would be a tiny blot on the surface of the sun…has no direct effect on the climate CHANGES.
    The idea that the sun is now entering a phase whereby it is increasingly a ‘variable star’ is so scary, few want to talk about this. Instead, hope is piled on the concept that humans control the climate and things we do will stop the Ice Ages.
    We are in an Ice Age still. We still have no idea outside of the concept that the sun is acting up, why Ice Ages not only begin suddenly but end very suddenly. Unlike previous eras, this on/off cycle looks like, when you graph these, the pulses of a beating heart.
    Why is the warmest time in an Interglacial always the earliest warm period and not at the end of these cycles? It does not get warmer and warmer, it gets colder after the initial flush of warming heat melting massive mile thick glaciers very rapidly, instead, it is a jerky steady decline leading to falling off a cliff into massive re-glaciation.
    Many of us (and most certainly in my astronomer family!) believe the author of all this is our sun shifting gears somehow. We also propose that once the continents which are moving all the time, end up bunched together at the North Pole, we will have continuous Ice Ages. Runaway global warming just is not going to happen.

    • A few months back there were some articles about lightning, and while discussing that, many very interesting and surprising and seemingly relevant topics were brought into the conversation.
      Things like the gamma rays that are now known to originate within thunderstorms, in addition to new information(new to me, anyway) on the better known but still largely mysterious upward directed lightning such as sprite and blue jets, and the implication that these are related to huge electric fields that penetrate the Earth and extend into the uppermost portions of the atmosphere.
      That these interact with and are influenced by the solar wind in ways that are poorly understood cannot be ignored. That these currents penetrate the earth, and that electric currents are closely associated with earthquakes and perhaps volcanic activity is an idea that I would have called kooky not long ago. But can these things be ignored?
      At the very least, such phenomenon points up how we do not know as much as we think we know, and how much there remains to be discovered.
      Until these processes are understood in detail, discounting a possible influence on weather and climate is not just unscientific, it is willful ignorance.
      One must take account of all the known facts if one is to strive for understanding of that which remains unknown.
      And after accounting for all known facts, one may then begin to discern the influence or lack thereof of each part of the puzzle.
      When an innocent person is accused of a crime, and then convicted, it seems to be often overlooked that a guilty party is walking free among us.
      CO2 is innocent.
      So, regarding the ice ages and century and millennium scale variations, who the hell done it?

    • And these phenomenon related to lightning are only a single topic among several which are, in my view, largely ignored and perhaps highly relevant.

  77. Anyone concerned that Leif is a staunch believer that variability in solar activity has little or no effect on Earth’s climate, and is adjusting the sunspot record to reflect this belief?
    Personally I use Leif’s adjusted numbers along with any other data-set I can get my hands on while studying the suns polar field, and the adjustments do not alter anything that I understand about how the sun behaves or how the solar system behaves and the combined effects on planetary climate systems, a more important debatable issue and the elephant in the room is; how our sun is hypothetically the only body in the known universe that can have movement without force, this refers to the belief that planetary bodies in our solar system have an insignificant influence in the suns polar field reversals, that are the cause of the sunspot cycle and is the cause of variability in the solar system including planetary climates.
    The current dynamo theory places the sun travelling around a galaxy with strong planetary polar fields orbiting and [NOT] interacting with the suns polar field in a significant way as to adjust it’s motion, instead the sun itself is thought to generate a “dynamo” as a result of the difference between it’s geographical poles and the diameter of it’s equator, even though it’s the equator of the sun that the planets orbit, as a result of their formation, the interaction of the sun’s polar fields and the direction and speed of the motion of these polar fields as they rotate around the sun also causes the direction the sunspots travel and sunspot intensity.
    There is a test for a ‘Planetary Inclusive Dynamo’ this is where the sun’s polar fields lose momentum and partially reverse or even slow down and not reverse at all, this abrupt halt in the suns polar field reversal can only be a result of the changing interaction of planetary polar fields with the sun’s polar field as planetary orbits change over time causing an equilibrium and enough balance to have less influence. one result of having a slow down or halt of the suns polar fields is that their will be little or no sunspots for long extended periods, and if there are no sunspots for extended periods possibly centuries, Ice ages occur.
    (There will also be less geomagnetic activity caused by the interaction of the suns polar fields with the earth as the sweep past during solar maximums as there would be none)

  78. That, Sparks and the sun travels along the outer branches of the Galaxy and moves in and out of the influence of other mega-systems, dust levels, etc. as we travel relentlessly towards the black hole at the center of our galaxy which will, probably 10 billion years from now, devour our sun which will probably be a dead star some time before then.

  79. It had occurred to me that a comprehensive historical SSN record based on original data and using a consistent method was needed. I would say Dr. S and his group have done a well thought out and reasoned job of it. This thread seems to have half turned into recess at the kindergarten. Appreciation to Dr S for trying to encourage some scientific rigor in the discussion (although in some cases he appears to tilting at windmills) and putting up with the abuse and sillyness .
    As to the “solar” connection, I would see the climate as similar to a PID controller with multiple mostly negative feed backs and multiple variable levels of damping (perhaps I’m stating the obvious). Chaos of the Mandelbrot variety, until you use fine enough resolution and the correct algorithm, it is just noisy internal variation. Since ‘DEEP THOUGHT’ is not even on the distant horizon, I fear it may all be a colossal waste of time to try to analyze every little wiggle in the temperature record. The CAGW types are simply too short sighted. I don’t care much about the last 150 years of temperature when it has not varied demonstrably from the last 12,000 years.

  80. I have a non-polemical question here that involves clouds, not sunspots. (Haven’t seen anything here to make me seriously doubt the revisions so far…)
    According to the chart shown earlier, high level clouds are increasing and low level clouds are decreasing. My question is this: Would this tend to cool the Earth? Low level clouds tend to trap heat, while high level clouds tend to reflect heat back into space, or so I understand. So both trends would work toward cooling, if my understanding is correct.
    Honestly interested in answers. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it makes a big difference exactly when & where the clouds have changed. And there could be correlations with other things, including a dampening feedback to generally warming climate, or cosmic ray flux, or whatever.
    Indulge my ignorance, if you would. I’m interested in learning more.

    • I wondered the same, and think it is so. How might a solar effect change the height, and likely the character, of the clouds? There are all sorts of possible mechanisms. And, of course, it ain’t necessarily the sun, leastways not entirely.
      ================

    • I think that it is very evident that Leifs staunch belief that the sun has little effect on the Earth’s climate is affecting the impartiality of his science. Which sadly is becoming more and more of a problem with an increasing number of scientists. No longer is a lot of science, science based, but “feeling” based and then only accepting the data and evidence supporting their “feelings”.

      • Unless you actually read my papers on this, you should not make such unwarranted statements.
        Read the papers, point out where I go wrong, then draw your conclusions.

  81. I have actually read some of your papers and looked at your site, I have also read some of other peoples papers and have read other learned peoples reviews of yours and others work. I have also seen how you react to people critiquing your work (not well). I do not think that anything I or anyone else says will change you belief, and you are welcome and entitled to your belief, but I don’t think that the current science is totally in step with your beliefs and it seems that your beliefs govern your science more than they should rather that the science governing ones beliefs.
    If I’m wrong – then I’m wrong. But from reading quite an considerable amount in this area this is how you come across as.

    • Well, you could be more specific. Which people, which other papers, etc.
      And you are partly correct that ‘current science’ [CAGW etc] is not totally in step with my conclusions [not ‘beliefs’]

  82. It would be interesting to see a plot of solar cycle length with the new adjustments to see if it changes much.

  83. Can we cut down on the chat/battering one liners here?
    If you have something serious to say about sunspots, fine, supportive papers links good.
    No doubt sunspots or progression between sun pole reversals has major impact on earth. Best times serious measurement is up to grabs for better given historic by telescopes a few hundred years ago. If getting 50 emails a day on comments here, hard to follow. We can also tract sun historically by isotopes like beryllium 10. It will take ten years of future data (cycle 24 … 25)+ to show if true if entering sun weakening or repeat of Maunder or Dalton, yet no doubt just past a solar activity high, could be cosmic rays and clouds.
    Anyways, please refrane if your comment is less than ten words long and is emotional.
    – JP

  84. Well I have read the paper, and I will give you the benefit of the doubt on the over weighting of some of the current counts, only because your work will be easily verifiable. However when you say things like this:
    “lsvalgaard
    June 23, 2015 at 12:25 am
    No, not since 1700.
    During the Maunder Minimum there were extended periods were the observers said “I have not seen any spots this year”. Hoyt and Schatten treated such verbal descriptions a real observations and entered into their database an impossible 365 days of observations with zero spots. This is, of course, nonsense”
    I have to wonder .. did you miss that whole 2008 lull? I wonder.. had we not had Soho and SDO to count tiny spots if we too couldn’t have said I have not seen any spots this year…. of course in a hundred years scientists might call that NONSENSE too. Be careful while you trample the records of the past, you do have an agenda whether you choose to recognize it or not. Your new nasty persona is part of it.

    • You miss the point. It is very likely that there were very few spots, but what we are interested in are actual observations, and when you look at the frequency with which some observers were even looking at the sun, you find that typically that is only a few times a year, so when they say that they didn’t see any spots during a certain year, it does not mean that we can enter 365 genuine observations of zero spots into the database. Anyway this issue is not controversial, there is general agreement that such spurious claims of complete coverage should be disregarded, see e.g. section 3.2 of http://www.leif.org/research/Revisiting-the-Sunspot-Number.pdf\
      As for agenda, spare us your BS.

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